Monday, November 25, 2013

Pursue Her

Christian guys:  Please read this article!  These are ideas I've been working through lately, and have been wanting to blog about.  Click here to read!

Friday, November 22, 2013

Trials are a Gift?

When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, “It may be that Joseph will hate us and pay us back for all the evil that we did to him.” So they sent a message to Joseph, saying, “Your father gave this command before he died: ‘Say to Joseph, “Please forgive the transgression of your brothers and their sin, because they did evil to you.”’ And now, please forgive the transgression of the servants of the God of your father.” Joseph wept when they spoke to him. His brothers also came and fell down before him and said, “Behold, we are your servants.” But Joseph said to them, “Do not fear, for am I in the place of God? As for you, you meant evil against me, but God meant it for good, to bring it about that many people should be kept alive, as they are today.So do not fear; I will provide for you and your little ones.” Thus he comforted them and spoke kindly to them.
(Genesis 50:15-21, ESV)

Can I look back on everything, even those things that seem to bad to me, and thank God for them? Can I thank Him for struggles that have crippled me for years? Can I thank Him for things that so often discourage me and cause me to despair? Yes...I believe I can...

Many of my readers probably know about the context of the Biblical passage that I posted above.  Joseph was definitely put through things that he probably would have had a hard time imagining that he would one day thank God for them...but God did have a purpose in it.

While my struggles have never been as "bad" as Joseph's were...I definitely know that I've had my share of heartache and struggle.  Many of the struggles bear scars that will probably never go away while I'm on this earth...struggles that continuously cause me to doubt and become discouraged.  However...God's grace has been evident through it all...

God has helped me to even thank Him for giving me these things...they're a gift from Him...He has opened so many opportunities for ministry through my struggles.

At the time that I was enduring those struggles...could I have brought myself to thank Him?  Definitely not...but over time, as God helps us see His purposes in it, He enables us to be thankful.

So...if you're going through a struggle that you don't understand...and you are discouraged...take heart!  God doesn't waste a single trial!  You can trust that He is shaping you into the image of His Son through it!

Saturday, November 9, 2013

Am I really a Veteran?

When we think of a veteran we normally think of the guy on the front lines...the guy who's on the front lines with guns blazing all around him...the guy who knows the pain of seeing many of his comrades die around him.  I cannot identify with these experiences...

The only guy we had die on our boat while I was on it was a guy who died by falling out of the window of an apartment complex (I don't think they ever found out why).  We did our patrols around the Pacific and stopped to do enjoy the sights and experiences of different ports.  The closest we ever came to danger while I was on board was when the earthquake/tsunami hit Japan, and when there were major tensions between us and Korea.

I got up for work on the boat, and did my job...which usually entailed doing maintenance on one piece of electrical equipment or another...

But, would the soldier not thank the ones who support him?  Would the Marine not thank the one who transported him into battle?  The one who cooks his food?

Do I feel like a veteran?  No...not at all...the greatest danger I faced each day was the danger of being electrocuted or burned by scalding water (while cleaning salinity cells).

However, if veteran is defined as anyone who served in the military during a time of war, than that is what I am...regardless of how unworthy I feel of receiving that title.

Thank you so much to all my military brothers who will serve, are serving, or have served!

Thursday, November 7, 2013

Worn

by:  Tenth Avenue North

I’m Tired I’m worn
My heart is heavy
From the work it takes
To keep on breathing
I’ve made mistakes
I’ve let my hope fail
My soul feels crushed
By the weight of this world

And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

I know I need to lift my eyes up
But I'm too weak
Life just won’t let up
And I know that you can give me rest
So I cry out with all that I have left

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause I’m worn

My prayers are wearing thin
Yeah, I’m worn
Even before the day begins
Yeah, I’m worn
I’ve lost my will to fight
I’m worn
So, heaven come and flood my eyes

Let me see redemption win
Let me know the struggle ends
That you can mend a heart
That’s frail and torn
I wanna know a song can rise
From the ashes of a broken life
And all that’s dead inside can be reborn
Cause all that’s dead inside will be reborn

Though I’m worn
Yeah I’m worn


Every Thursday here at Northland we have Student Body Chapel.  It's a day when the faculty has a staff meeting in place of their chapel, so we have our own chapel run by the student council.  This morning I didn't really want to go.  I was toying with the idea of using a chapel cut and staying in my room to work on homework.

I'm so glad I went...

At the beginning of chapel they played this video that I posted above.  Then the student body president got up and talked about how the student council wanted to do a chapel that's just focused on finding our contentment in Christ...because he said that he and the council noticed that the students seemed to just be worn down and tired.  Boy was he right...after this went spent the rest of chapel singing through a bunch of really encouraging songs, with scripture readings read every few songs.

I guess you could say I didn't realize how tired and discouraged I was until chapel.  I've been feel super tired and overwhelmed with all my homework lately, but instead of running of Christ, I turned inward and started seeking to find pleasure in things outside of Him.  God used this chapel to remind me that only in Christ will I find the strength I need to face what lies ahead.

Preserve me, O God, for in you I take refuge.
I say to the Lord, “You are my Lord;
I have no good apart from you.”
As for the saints in the land, they are the excellent ones,
in whom is all my delight.
The sorrows of those who run after another god shall multiply;
their drink offerings of blood I will not pour out
or take their names on my lips.
The Lord is my chosen portion and my cup;
you hold my lot.
The lines have fallen for me in pleasant places;
indeed, I have a beautiful inheritance.
I bless the Lord who gives me counsel;
in the night also my heart instructs me.
I have set the Lord always before me;
because he is at my right hand, I shall not be shaken.
Therefore my heart is glad, and my whole being rejoices;
my flesh also dwells secure.
For you will not abandon my soul to Sheol,
or let your holy one see corruption.
You make known to me the path of life;
in your presence there is fullness of joy;
at your right hand are pleasures forevermore. 
(Psalm 16, ESV)

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Captured this picture this morning...


The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases;
his mercies never come to an end;
they are new every morning;
great is your faithfulness.
“The Lord is my portion,” says my soul,
“therefore I will hope in him.” 
(Lamentations 3:22-24, ESV)