Monday, December 31, 2007

Joseph Prince

I highly recommend anyone who has ABC Family to set their DVR's or try to catch Joseph Prince at 5am on weekday mornings. He preached an amazing sermon this morning on the parable of the barren fig tree. It was one of those sermons where you knew without a doubt that the Holy Spirit of God had illuminated the meaning of the scripture to him. I love getting revelations of the grace of God in Jesus' teachings.

Sunday, December 30, 2007

Room For Boasting?

I have noticed that the vast majority of people think Jesus will tell them "Well done, good and faithful servant" because they have been good boys and girls. But if that were so, we would have room for boasting. But God said in Romans that we have NO ROOM for boasting. It is absolutely excluded.

Please, brother or sister, don't think Jesus will condemn at His return when you see your shortcomings, lack of love, your sins, or your seemingly small faith. Jesus Himself has purified you and made you able to stand before Him with great joy, fully assured of the power of His death, burial and resurrection. He alone has saved you. He has justified you Himself. And if God has justified you, how will you be condemned?

Don't listen to people who say you must do this or you must do that to enter the kingdom. Jesus told us "Fear not, little flock. For it is your Fathers good pleasure to give you the kingdom." Don't be pressured to perform. Come boldly to the throne of God's unconditional love for you in Jesus Christ. Don't impose your thoughts or feelings about yourself on God. His thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are His ways your ways.

Jesus said there is one who condemns people and it is not Him. The Law alone that people put their hope in condemns them. And so it ends in being their pride that will condemn them.

Give yourself fully to God. He has taken away your short comings of all kinds. Boast in Him alone. Anyone who boasts in themselves or is filled with pride because they have been good boys and girls will be humbled at His coming. God opposes the proud, but gives grace to the humble. Everyone who exalts himself will be humbled and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

Let the grace and love of God in Christ Jesus rule your heart. Let His work alone be your grounds for boasting in that Day.

Thursday, December 27, 2007

Simple Prayer

I decided to type a little about prayer just now. I love reminding myself that prayer does not need to be a long, drawn out speech to God where we must give intricate detail about our needs/wants. Sometimes I slip back into the belief that I must sit down and articulate everything and give some well thought out speech to God before He will finally hear me and answer my prayer.

I've noticed that I can feel guilty for things like this and I can start to get angry at people who pray longer and better than I do. I've heard people speak of praying long prayers for the salvation of their loved ones and things. And to be honest, I don't do that. I have no idea what to say other than, "Father, please let this person be saved. I love them so much and I want them to know You, Father. Please don't let them be lost."

And then the thought comes to me: "Such a small prayer for so great a need? How can you simply pray a few words when we're talking about someone you love being saved from eternal punishment?" And I will feel pressured into giving some long, prayer, rattling off words to God so that He will be impressed with me and finally hear me.

Honestly, the pressure of the feeling that I need to spew out a huge speech before God every time I pray for anything can keep me from praying at all. So then I start subconsciously running away from the presence of God because I don't feel like making some big speech at that moment.

But thankfully, Jesus came to set us free from religion. Whenever you feel like like this, read Matthew 6:7-8.

"And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask Him."

So then, in prayer, be honest and simple. Believe God hears you not based on how pretty your speech is, but on what Jesus did to bring you into the presence of the Father to His throne of grace.

Tuesday, December 25, 2007

This Christmas

So Christmas was pretty good again. I got some really good stuff!

There have been some rocky parts, but over all, it was a good Christmas.

I got me some readin' material. Mom bought me Abba's Child by Breenan Manning, Grace Rules by Steve McVey and The Shack by William Young. I've already started reading them all. The one I've been reading most is The Shack. Things are just now picking up and I'm excited to read it.

I also got a load of Itunes gift cards from my cousin Paul and my mom. about 75 bucks in all. That's 75 songs. I got some clothes and 2 bookstore giftcards from mom and my grandpa and grandma.

One of my favorite gifts came from our neighbor, Debbie. She was extremely kind to us this Christmas. She invited us to her home to eat Christmas dinner with her and her boyfriend, Alex. They were extremely hospitable and generous. Debbie found the way to straight to my heart by buying me a bag of coffee from this coffee place here called Caffino. We all had some last night and this afternoon with the cherry pie she baked for desert. It's really good stuff. Folgers just doesn't do it for ya after you have had Caffino's $10 a bag coffee.

Saturday, December 22, 2007


Chapter 14

"I will heal their apostasy; I will love them freely, for My anger has turned from them."

And going on He says: "I am like an evergreen cypress; from ME comes your fruit."

Friday, December 21, 2007

Vine Fellowship

I've not mentioned it much on this blog about how great my brothers and sisters are in my Church.

They are amazing to me and my mom. They are amazingly faithful to us. They have a genuine love for the Lord and an honest desire to follow Him.

I want to show them the same love and faithfulness they have shown to me without any fear.

You can check out our website at

I'm not sure where exactly they stand on the issue of grace, but they are all wonderful.

Thursday, December 20, 2007

Real Answers

Well, Joel...You and I overcame similar fears. I called into People to People today and got some advice from Bob. I probably sound like a mouse or something ha. But you guys can listen to the show at

It should be up sometime this evening for Thursday 12/20.

What I asked is sort of what I'm going through again at the moment.

Sunday, December 16, 2007

Ain't No Thinkin' Thing

Alright, so I'm confused once again about how I am to live as a believer.

Is it that we are to trust in Jesus Christ and then go out and trust Him to empower us to live Godly lives, or do we wait for Him to change us? When I go out and trust Jesus to live in me, there seems to be a lot of times where I see things that don't look so Christ-like. And I also eventually lose control and cannot get my mind on Jesus. Some days I'm just not able to focus enough to trust Jesus to live in me and through me. When everything inside me feels contrary to what I would like to do, how do I get Christ to live through me? There are times when I simply do not have the capacity to love someone or even be nice and the only thing I know to do is to shut up.

To put it simply, I am asking this: Am I to wait for the fruit, or do I go out and believe Christ will produce it?

When I try to live by faith in Jesus to produce fruit in me, I eventually get exhausted and unfocused.

Saturday, December 15, 2007

Where Do You Put The Quarter?

This morning was rough. Mom wasn't feeling well, and I was in a bad mood. I mean as much as I wanted to, I didn't feel any love at all. I felt like telling her to "leave me alone" and "quit stressing me out".

During this time I kept telling myself "Ok...Christ is in you" and "Don't be a jerk". And I was...I let it spew a little. No condemnation. I know I'm not condemned. But I was again confused, thinking I need to do something, being the Christian. I need to help. But there was no ability in me at all to be kind or understanding. I wanted to go outside and pray, but I felt I needed to stay there because mom was upset. But I ended up making things worse. I guess I had the "save the world" mentality.

I was frustrated and I prayed to the Father and asked "How do I activate Your Spirit!?"

I told Him something like, "I don't feel very much like a Christian right now. Nothing in me wants to love. I would like to be loving, but it isn't there. I don't even have the capacity."

Where is the button I push to get things going?

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Parable of Sanctification?

I was reading the parables one day and reading these two, I remembered the Holy Spirit and wondered if Jesus could be giving an example of how sanctification happens. If I'm wrong, then you will have to forgive my ignorance. ;)

"And He said the kingdom of God is as if a man should scatter seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows; he knows not how. The earth produces by itself, first the blade, then the ear, then the full grain in the ear. but when the grain is ripe, at once he puts in the sickle, because the harvest has come." This reminds me of what Paul said in Colossians chapter 1:

"We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you, since we heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love that you have for all the saints, because of the hope laid up for you in heaven. Of this you have heard before in the word of the truth, the gospel, which has come to you, as indeed in the whole world it is bearing fruit and growing—as it also does among you, since the day you heard it and understood the grace of God in truth, just as you learned it from Epaphras our beloved fellow servant. He is a faithful minister of Christ on your behalf."

Also, in Matthew 13: "The kingdom of heaven is like leaven that a woman took and hid in three measures of flour, till it was all leavened."

Tuesday, December 11, 2007

Where Is The Love?

I'm questioning how the love of God can be in me tonight.

I realized something when I was at Steve McVey's blog. His recent entry on a believer being persecuted named Weihan Shi. I feel selfish for posting this. I'm only concerned for my well-being.

I ignored this post this week thinking I don't need to do anything because I didn't feel led. I felt I should only do it from a genuine heart of love and if I didn't have the love to do something, then I shouldn't do it. But then I remembered the passage in the Bible on "Seeing his brother in need and shutting his heart up". That's scary. Where is the love?

Monday, December 10, 2007

Self-Righteous VS The Gift Of Righteousness

Rob Rufus has preached another great sermon on God's grace called "Self-Righteousness VS The Gift Of Righteousness".

You can download it here.


How do you, when everything in you feels like crap, go on consistently in loving others?

I'm in one of those moods where I physically feel slouchy, tired and irritable. So how do I overcome this and quit being a jerk to people? I'm bored, irritable and lazy. It honestly hurts me even to talk.

Answer: By the Spirit! ....How?

Amazing Skit

Sunday, December 9, 2007

Love Vs. Duty

When I understand God's love for me, I want to honor Him in every single word and action. But I find that I can't. There is nothing good in my body. When I want to do good, evil is right there with me. So how then can I live and express the freedom and love of Christ? Through His Spirit! And how do I do that? I don't! If I did it, then it wouldn't be His Spirit doing it! I just wish I was perfect in all my actions and words. But I'm not. And I must deal with this until He comes to redeem my body and make it like His.

It confuses me so much as to why Christians focus so much on morality and "Christian living". We have an amazing God who loves us! Why do we dwell so much on what we do instead of who He is? I'm not saying we shouldn't talk about holiness. Of course we want to honor God and stir up one another to love and good works, but we aren't out to save the world and work for Jesus! God could do all that with a snap of His finger if that's what He really wanted!!! He doesn't want our slaving away for Him. He wants us!! I think if the majority of our time was spent on learning more of God's love and grace then difficulty with sin and disobedience would fade into nothingness. Why do we settle for the same old boring reminders that we ought to be living right instead of focusing on the Life Himself? I want Jesus, guys. I'm not interested in having a job.

I love God so much and I want so much to honor Him in all I do. But it won't come through my valiant efforts at service. It has to come from Him. Sometimes it hits me in these moments of clarity where I'm able to recognize my "branchness" and realize how I'm absolutely nothing without God. So, if that's true, then it isn't about me. It's about Him. Why do I think I'm able to do anything? Why do I keep getting tempted to rush along the sanctification process? Because I want instant shake and bake results. I subconsciously become insecure in God's love.

Saturday, December 8, 2007

Church Entertainment

I just wanted to take a moment and discuss my concern with the way a lot of televangelists and preachers dress on television dress in nice tuxes and have those really pretty stages with the lights, High Def televisions and whatever else.

I'm not judging anyone or anything but it does make me cringe a little when I see things like this. I just think people ought to quit with the flashy stuff. I could care less what your set looks like and how you dress or what kind of haircut you have! I just wanna hear the PURE, UNTAINTED GOSPEL! I don't care how pretty a book cover is. I just want it to tell the truth about the Good News. Again, I'm not bashing anyone or anything...This is just my opinion.

Thursday, December 6, 2007

Understand And Believe?

Earlier I was contemplating the truth of the Gospel. The reality of it rather than the theology of it. And I eventually found myself trying to grasp the fact it was MY sins that Jesus died for so that I could see how personal and real this is and that the Gospel is not just some salvation theory. I think this is definitely true but I do think we can go too far as I did today. I found myself trying to understand it so much that I physically became tired and then I started to doubt my faith in what Jesus did for me personally. Did I really believe right? Am I sure I put faith in the fact that He died for MY sins and not just for the world? Do I really understand that I was raised from the dead with Him when I believed He was raised from the dead by God?

When I try to understand things too much, and try to put faith in them, then it will be impossible. I can't understand spiritual things with my mind. Of course we are to trust He personally died for us, but struggling to grasp the fullness of that will wear us out. We will never completely understand with our minds, what Jesus did on the cross. Terry Rayburn, in a message I listened to shortly after this anxiety and frustration, said something very encouraging. He talked about how we need to break out of the bondage of trying to understand things in order to believe them. I admit I am terrible with this. I struggle to see my faith and wonder if I believed it right and so on and so forth. Questions such as "Do I really know Jesus?" and "Did I really believe that it was MY sins that He died for?" will plague the person who struggle to understand everything.

Tuesday, December 4, 2007

'Round And 'Round The Mulberry Bush

You know, more often than not, I can easily catch myself in hypocrisy.

Just today I was going to post a blog entry about Universalism, New Age and how much I despise those beliefs. I was going to make the comment about how Oprah likes to quote scriptures from the Bible, but ignores things like the gospel and that there are none righteous, not even one. Then I realized how I still shy away from books like James, 1 and 2nd Peter, parts of Revelation and parts of other books because they seem to contradict the gospel. I know it's simply my lack of understanding, but I've yet to understand a lot of those things and I get scared when I read certain passages. This happened in Hebrews very often before I understood grace and the New Covenant. Now I love Hebrews. It always makes me very confident in the gospel.

But there are parts where I intentionally avoid because I feel I don't understand them or am not ready for them. I used to make myself read everything because I felt that I had to have all my theological pieces in order so that I could be a good Christian. But now I'm starting from the Gospel. Pure Gospel.

I worry at times because I can't love people the way I want and I can't surrender completely to God and love Him as much as I want to. Maybe it's a part of the "slow cooking" process. But I want to go higher and higher in love, faith and hope. I want to explode into the air, flying in the Spirit, loving God with all my heart, with all my soul, with all my mind and with all my strength. But I find it difficult to understand and grasp God's love. I also have difficulty slowing myself down to meditate on Him.

"Where sin abounded, grace abounded all the more."

Glory to God in the highest for His steadfast, unwavering love and grace. Glory to Him because He is God and there is no other. I wish I could love Him like He deserves to be loved.

Coffee Addict?