Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Just Believe

Does Jesus REALLY love me? With what kind of love does He love me? With an everlasting love? It will never end or fail. He will love me and grace me into the image of Jesus. He is a spring of water in me, welling up to eternal life. My love is His love. When someone rejects me, they reject Him. I am an ambassador for Jesus. I am a little child. I am Jesus' Daddy's child. He is very very fond of me. Sometimes He gets so full of pride over the great work His Son did for me that He just jumps into the air and twirls around and starts singing so loud. His heart is filled with joy because I am finally His through the Cross of His Son. He loves me because I have believed and loved His Son. He made His home with me. I am in Him and He is in me. We're one. Never to be separated again.

When Jesus loves me, it's because He loves me.

If you had a husband who bought you jewelry in order to get you to do something for him, is that really love? Isn't that a selfish motive? God gives without expecting anything in return.

Jesus took our punishment in full and we have the love of God handed to us, free for the taking. "All sins and blasphemies will be forgiven the children of man. " Just take it. Will you believe this? "When the Son of Man returns will He really find faith on the earth?" Ah...My brother or sister...Jesus loves you more than you can imagine.

If you are not a Christian but have stumbled on this blog, it isn't for nothing. God meant you to read this. He entreats you to come inside the to party so that He can love you. He pleads with you to come in and let Him love on you through His Son, Jesus. Jesus has taken away the judgment against you. No amount of begging, crying, pleading, or trying to be good can save you. The entire work has been done. Now He dares you to believe it. That is your job. It isn't a trick.

One reason I love the movie the Polar Express is because of the message in the song, "You can ride for free and join the fun, if you just say yes." Repent and believe. Repent of your skepticism, repent of your unbelief and repent of wondering, 'is this too good to be true?'. This isn't a trick. God entreats you through His sons and daughters to believe and to receive this great gift of Jesus. It isn't about being good. No one is good. This is about faith. Do you believe or do you not? "The fearful and unbelieving will their their part in the lake of fire."

"My righteous one shall live by faith, and if he shrinks back, My Soul has no pleasure in him."

God has done everything for you. There is no excuse. Just believe.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Give Up Already!

"For thus said the LORD God, the Holy One of Israel,

'In returning and rest you shall be saved; in quietness and in trust shall be your strength.' But you were unwilling, and you said, 'No! We will flee upon horses"; therefore you shall flee away; and, 'We will ride upon swift steeds'; therefore your pursuers shall be swift. A thousand shall flee at the threat of one; at the threat of five you shall flee, till you are left like a flagstaff on the top of a mountain, like a signal on a hill.

Therefore the LORD waits to be gracious to you, therefore He exalts Himself to show mercy to you. For the LORD is a God of justice; blessed are all those who wait for Him.

For a people shall dwell in Zion, in Jerusalem; you shall weep no more. He will surely be gracious to you at the sound of your cry. As soon as He hears it, He answers you."

Selfish Generosity

"But love your enemies, and do good, and lend, expecting nothing in return." - Luke 6:35

Jamie and I were talking today on the phone and I asked her a question. The question was basically, "Does God love me in order to get me to do stuff for Him?" A lot of people would have you believe so.

But how is it that Jesus, God Himself, can say that the Law says to lend, expecting nothing in return, and yet we believe that God does expect something in return?

Does God bless me and love me to get me to do stuff for Him or just because He loves me and He delights in doing good to me?

Am I saying that I don't get full of the love of Jesus and it spills into the lives of others? Absolutely not! But is God's motivation in giving grace and love so that I will return the favor? Absolutely not! "Even sinners lend to sinners to give back the same amount." (Luke 6:34)

God gives blessing, love and grace because He loves you, not because He expects anything from you.

Wallow in the love of God, freely. There are no hidden fees.

Sunday, October 26, 2008


Just letting everyone know that Ryan and Jamie posted up a picture we took together Friday night after dinner.

Have at it!

Saturday, October 25, 2008

I miss them already. I feel so close to them. They love me so much.

P.S. We went to Caffino today before they left and we played Blokus outside and had coffee and took a few more pictures. It was a beautiful day. Jesus has blessed me with such a wonderful family. I will be going to their house in two weeks though!! So it won't be long!! :) Can't wait!!!

Keep Believing!!!

God is my Daddy through Jesus' death, burial and resurrection. There is nothing I can do that can cause Him to be angry with me. Jesus embraced ALL of God's wrath for me. He is my shield and my sword. He is my life and my everything. He is wonderful and all together beautiful and absolutely insane with His love. I don't have to do anything.

"And you, who once were alienated and hostile in mind, doing evil deeds, He has now reconciled in His body of flesh by His death, in order to present you holy and blameless and above reproach before Him, If indeed you continue in the faith, stable and steadfast, not shifting from the hope of the GOSPEL (AWESOME NEWS!) that you heard."

People use this as a condemning verse. Oh no, please, anything but making me believe the wonderful news of the Gospel!! (sense my sarcasm?) Please don't make me bear the burden of believing God has taken away my sins forever through Jesus' Cross!! I am only saved if I don't shift from this wonderful hope, not returning to self-effort. Haha.. Threaten me with grace!!! I LOVE IT!! BRING IT ON!!! The more grace the better!!! I will allow Him to love me forever. Even when it hurts and makes me feel like a dirty beggar.

Jeremiah 33:14-16

"Behold, the days are coming, declares the LORD, when I will fulfill the promise I made to the house of Israel and the house of Judah. In those days and at that time I will cause a righteous branch to spring up for David, and He shall execute justice and righteousness in the land. In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will dwell securely. And this is the name by which it will be called: "The LORD is our righteousness."

Friday, October 24, 2008

Dinner With RJW

Whoa!! How fun and exciting!! :)

The dinner was great. Honestly I was so excited by their company that I barely noticed the food, which was great too. Thank you Ryan and Jamie. You both are amazing. I am quiet and hard to discern on the outside, but inside I am glowing lol.

The initial seeing each other was really scary for me, but we quickly warmed up with each other. Ryan isn't 6 foot tall!! He is taller than I am though, which you will see in the pictures we took tonight that Jamie will post on her blog soon enough. I'm a small guy.

Thank you to everyone who prayed for our dinner. It was wonderful. Ryan, Jamie and their daughters, Devon and Savannah were so comfortable to be around. Devon and Savannah are highly intelligent and very funny. OH! We saw a guy with a tail too!! I sort of stared and giggled and kept to myself but Jamie, bold as she is, told the guy she loved it and that she wanted one which was hilarious. We should have gotten a picture, but I guess no one thought of it at the time. Darn it.

I can't wait to visit them again. I hope to in November to visit their home and their farm. Only Devon won't be there though. :( It was so cool to be around someone my age who is a Christian and UNDERSTANDS GRACE. Whoa! But I would love to meet Reagan. He sounds very fun. He likes Eragon and Halo, so he is my style.

OH! I forgot to tell him, but I will say it on here for you to read to him, Jamie. Tell Ryan he has a has a good handshake! LOL! I appreciate a good handshake. And thank you again so much for the Rob Bell books! I'm excited to read them! I like his style of writing too. It looks like a good, smooth read.

Tonight was wonderful. I'll never forget it. I love them!!!

Hillsong - At the Cross

Thursday, October 23, 2008

Hey everyone.

I just wanted to say that I don't ignore your comments on my blog. I read them all even if I don't reply. After gaining so many friends, it's difficult to keep up with you all. But thank you for visiting my blog and I am glad you are encouraged by what I post up on here. I pray that it is used by God to deeply root you in His love. I can't love you perfectly, but I will point you to the One who can.

Much grace and peace to all who love and trust our Lord Jesus Christ, His Cross, His resurrection and nothing and no one else. Continue in the truth. :)


My absolute favorite Christmas movie!

Dinner With RJW

So tomorrow, Ryan and Jamie and their two daughters are having dinner with my mom and I at Olive Garden!!!! Very excited!

We agreed we would both post blogs before and after the dinner.

I think it was Joel who first pointed me to Ryan and Jamie's blog in his own blog post. I knew that this was a must read blog from the get-go. Jamie always points to Jesus and never to us. Since then we have e-mailed everyday, talked on the phone and now we're all going out to dinner.

I am very excited but very nervous. It's always scary the first time. But I have a feeling I will feel right as rain with them. I feel security over the phone even. It is like being surrounded by the grace of Jesus. I always expect to hear things I hear from every other person in the faith older than me, telling me about all the obligations I have for Jesus. But Jamie never does that. She always points me to His love for me and that His love will not fail. Ryan and Jamie are so convinced of the power of His love that I don't sense one hint of religion in them. They are so filled up with Jesus because of their ruthlessly entrusting themselves to His love. I can't wait to speak with them face to face.

I am afraid of whether or not I will hinder Jesus loving them through me because of fear. But I have sneaking suspicions that He is greater than my fears. I have expectations of feelings of security and comfort tomorrow. Talking with them is sort of like coming to a heavenly embassy. There is safety, protection and familiarity there. The love of Jesus is so evident I can sense it. The protection of His unfailing love is in them and through them for me. I don't understand why He loves me so much. I am not being modest, I honestly do not understand it.

I tell them in my e-mails that they love me too much. The truth is, is that I don't know how to handle all of it. If I could draw you a picture, this would be it:

I picture myself standing here, arms loaded with presents from strangers, wondering why they love me so much and how they could be so generous.

I think God gives a better picture, though. I was just reading the story of Mephibosheth yesterday. Mephibosheth had nothing to offer. He was cripple in both his feet, and the king, David himself, commands that Mephibosheth be blessed with servants, a house, food and everything he would ever need. Not only that, he is to eat at the king's table EVERYDAY!

Jesus' love is in your face and makes you uncomfortable, because He loves you with this perfect knowledge of you and insists that He joins Himself to you despite all of the sins you would love to hide. All of your most filthy sins, His love being so vast, He, "brushes them aside like an unwanted cobweb." He loves us now through each other. He hugs us through each other. It's scary and I will feel very nervous about this post tomorrow.

It feels almost embarrassing to say things like this and act so loving because you're so used to being who you used to be, it feels strange to have these new desires and affections. I am so accustomed to the old, dead sinner I used to be that behaving like the righteous person I am seems embarrassing. But with the push of love from sincere brothers and sisters who are filled with Love, that should give me the hang of it.

I am nervous and excited. I am so glad I know people close to me who really know Jesus.

Trans-Siberian Orchestra - Christmas Eve Sarejevo

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Not a Covenant of Merit

Understanding who the poor represent under the Old Covenant, let's look at the beatitudes.

Remember, under the Old Covenant, people were blessed for their obedience to the law and cursed for their disobedience. If you kept the commandments, you got health, wealth and prosperity. Outward blessings for outward obedience I am assuming. And if you disobeyed the commandments you got the opposite: Sickness, poverty, famine. Get it? Under the law, if you do good, you get good. If you do bad, you get bad. Simple enough. A covenant based on performance.

Now, poor guys were considered poor because they were not as obedient. The rich were considered blessed because they were obedient.

Understanding this, Jesus' very first words before the sermon on the mount are this:

"Blessed are you who are poor, for yours is the kingdom of God."

"Blessed are you who are hungry now, for you shall be satisfied ."

"Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh."

And for the rich He says,

"But woe to you who are rich, for you have received your consolation."

"Woe to you who are full now, for you shall be hungry."

"Woe to you, when all people speak well of you, for so their fathers did to the false prophets."

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Loved Forever!

I am so loved by God it's ridiculous. I feel so spoiled. I was telling Jamie on the phone today that sometimes when good things happen in my life, I wonder what I must have done to cause God to bless me so. But as Jamie pointed out, that's a form of witchcraft. Coming up with some sort of spell or concoction that I can use to move God's hand to bless me. It's seeking to enter through any other way but by the Door Himself. Ever good gift comes down from the Father of lights, not because we're worthy but because Jesus is worthy. EXALT JESUS! He is the victor and the champion! He has given us everything! He has bought it all through His precious blood!

Jesus is the only reason I am blessed and He is the only reason I have peace when heartbreak comes. Let us boast only in Jesus and His love for us. He HIGHLY favors me and ridiculously loves me. Why? Because I'm so beautiful? YES! But He has washed me and made me beautiful!! I am His work of art in the spirit, by the Spirit! Don't complain about me, God judges me. And His court has declared me righteous forever in Christ! Everlasting righteousness!!

His banner over me is love. It fills Him with joy to lavish His grace and give His kingdom to me.

Not just me. To everyone who has trusted in Jesus' work on the cross and His resurrection. He is our life and righteousness. The Father loves you!!!! Yes, you!! How? Because Jesus has satisfied His justice completely! He is NEVER angry with you. You are no longer a slave, but you are His son or daughter. Loved by God perfectly, free of charge to you. Jesus paid the price! You are loved forever!!!! FOREVER!

Saturday, October 18, 2008

Grace in Genesis

I think I may have posted something on this before. I can't remember. But for those who may have never heard, this is another great shadow of God's grace through Jesus' blood in Genesis.

I e-mailed this to a few people so you may have read this already, but I figured I would post it for anyone who may not have seen it.

Here ya go:

Genesis 4:1-5:

'Now Adam knew Eve is wife, and she conceived and bore Cain, saying, 'I have gotten a man with the help of the LORD.' And again, she bore his brother Abel. Now Abel was a keeper of sheep, and Cain a worker of the ground. In the course of time Cain brought to the LORD an offering of the fruit of the ground, and Abel also brought of the firstborn of his flock and of their fat portions. And the LORD had regard for Abel and his offering, but for Cain and his offering He had no regard.'

Now, I always wondered why God didn't accept Cain's offering but He accepted Abel's. But the book of Hebrews gives us a hint in Hebrews 9:22: 'Without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness of sins.'

And again in Hebrews 11:4: 'By faith Abel offered to God a more acceptable sacrifice than Cain, through which he was commended as righteous, God commending him by accepting his gifts.'

Now remember that God had told Adam, 'By the sweat of your brow you shall work the ground.'

So we see that Cain was trying to make himself acceptable before God by his own labor. His own works. He probably thought to himself, 'I know God said He wanted blood for the forgiveness of my sins, but that's just too easy. Surely I have to do MY part.'

But his brother Abel simply brought a lamb sacrifice. So we see that Abel BY FAITH, (not by working his butt off) was made righteous before God. Why? Because the blood of the lamb was a picture of the one whom He loved. His Son, Jesus. The only One in whom He is well pleased.

So at judgment day we can either come to the Lord with our works to be judged (All who are under the works of the Law are under a curse.) or Jesus' work on our behalf. You can either be under Law or Grace. It cannot be both. New wine cannot be poured into old wineskins. You cannot mix the old covenant of law with the New Covenant of Grace in Jesus' blood.

What's it gonna be? Works or Jesus? Law or Grace? Unbelief or faith?

Luke 18:17: 'Truly, I say to you, whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child shall not enter it.'

Thursday, October 16, 2008

Free Grace

"Do you believe in that 'free grace' stuff?"

Well, if the shoe fits! I was thinking the other day about how dumb it is I must clarify that grace is free. "Free grace"...When you think about the definition of grace as being unearned, the phrase "free grace" is redundant. But because of people sneaking in heresies into the Gospel, we must clarify. Do I believe in 'free grace'? Grace is free, so yeah...I believe in free grace. Quit being ridiculous. I know it makes you feel special and above others when you bring performance into the Gospel of Christ, but if you insist on corrupting the Gospel, please, don't bring others down with you. We need not make it about what WE do again, no matter how good your reasoning sounds. It's manipulation and guilt. You remain in slavery as a child of Hagar, but our Jerusalem above is free.

Having to clarify truth isn't new either. Paul himself had to be redundant with the Galatians. "It was for freedom that Christ set us free."

Why did Jesus set us free? For freedom. Redundant? Yep. Why do you make God repeat Himself? Do not be disbelieving, but believe. Repent and BELIEVE the GOOD NEWS.

People everywhere couldn't help but love Jesus. He was so beautiful. Even Pontius Pilate couldn't bring himself to want to condemn Jesus. Only those who believe they have no need of grace hate Jesus. The only way to rebel against Jesus is to refuse His love for you. You cannot rebel against Someone who doesn't take into account wrongs done to Him. His love is so persistent and wrecklessly committed, He wouldn't even take into account the the torture we inflicted Him with on the cross. Still, He cried, "Father, forgive them!!!"

The only people who hate Jesus are those who refuse to see their need of Him. The proud. The ones ashamed to beg. Grace just doesn't sound right to them. They cannot grasp it because they have not yet seen their need of it. It sounds heretical to them. But if they could only see how blind, pitiable and naked they really are, they would cling to His love like white on rice, never again returning to the ministry of death and condemnation.

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

Bungee Jumping

Whats up, guys?

I just wanted to thank everyone for their kindness in just taking the time to tell me happy birthday on their blogs. That was very special to me and meant so much. Thank you!!!

Right now I am just listening to Paul Anderson-Walsh's new sermon "Jesus Receives Sinners and Eats With Them". I don't recommend it yet, I'm only a few minutes into it. Paul has the tendency to go off in on his own understanding. He seems to be coming back around to the truth though. Not sure yet. I hope so. We all know how I feel about universalism and new age trash. If I offended you by calling it trash, I can't allow myself to apologize.

Anyway...I went to the Renaissance Festival the other day and wanted to mention a cool moment of freedom in Christ I experienced through trusting in His grace. Under the law, I never would have done this, but there is this trampoline thing with bungee cords strapped to you to make you go really high in the air. At first I immediately declined the invitation from my little brother to join him, fearing it would draw a lot of attention to myself from everyone at the festival because of my prosthetic and I was wearing shorts. I didn't want anyone to say, "Aw, look at him, the cute little disabled guy not letting his disability keep him from having fun." Please. Just leave me alone. Just let me bungee jump in peace. lol

Anyway, all the usual fears and worries started hitting me. What if I fall? What if I can't jump properly and look like an idiot all strapped into the bungee cords and not going anywhere. Things like that...but then the thought dawned on me. Jesus loves me! He is my glory! To hell with what people think! And I gave my grandma my cell phone and wallet and got my freakin' ticket to jump!! LOL

I was nervous but was able to say, by the grace of God that I don't care what people say or think and have fun.

Though one of my fears came true, but the grace of God came as well. At the end, I was standing there waiting for the guy to unhook me from the bungee cords and he said, "Now don't fall down". And I thought to myself, "Why would I fall down?" About that time, he loosened the cords that I was attached to and *plop* I went down lol. It was hilarious. And God's grace spoke to me again saying, "Who cares? I love you".

This may seem trivial, but again, it was a big step for me. Under law and before I was a believer, I would never have been able to do it because my need of acceptance from man so that I could feel righteous and loved. But not anymore.

"If God is for us, who can be against us?"

It was a great adventure into God's grace that day. :)

Sunday, October 12, 2008

The Obedience of Faith

I just feel like encouraging people to believe the Gospel of God's grace.

You don't have to do a-n-y-t-h-i-n-g. Anything. Nothing. Do - you - understand - this? Why are you so stressed out, wondering and worrying what you are doing for God? He has done it all! You want to do the works of God? Here is the work (singular) of God: Believe.

Beware of subtle deceptions that creep in and steal your faith in Christ. The devil will do anything he can to cause you to doubt God's love for you and your identity in Christ. And guys, it WILL SOUND GOOD. It will SOUND right. That's the whole point of deception. It SOUNDS right.

If the Gospel is me living for Jesus, then you are again making it about ME and what I do. It sounds noble, yes. But beware; it is a deception. If the Gospel is about your obedience, then what level of commitment must you reach before you are accepted and included in this so called, good news that some are preaching now? Don't you see? The devil is trying to rob you of your faith in Christ and trying to get you scared so that you start focusing on your performance again. Is living for Jesus bad? Of course not! But if it is based on a wrong motive, it is bad.

Consider what Paul says in the beginning of Romans chapter 10. One of my favorite Scriptures.

"Brothers, my heart's desire and prayer to God for them (the Jews) is that they may be saved. I bear them witness that they have a zeal for God, but not according to knowledge. For, being ignorant of the righteousness that comes from God, and seeking to establish their own, they did not submit to God's righteousness. For Christ is the end of the Law for righteousness to everyone who believes.

Brothers, please don't make it about us again. We started out by grace and we are to continue in it. It's not that grace is for the babies and works are for the mature. This is a salvation beginning and ending in faith. Don't let anyone rob you of your freedom and joy in Christ. You are free indeed! Free from the demands of the Law and free from the demands of people! If you do a good work, let it be a God work and not a religious duty. Let love be genuine my brothers and sisters. Please, don't be hard on yourselves. You are already clean because of the word (the Gospel) that Jesus has spoken to you. Now abide in Him and let your service be done in freedom and love in the Spirit. Your self-efforts will get you no where. It is the Spirit who gives life. The flesh is of no avail.

Please, don't let satan steal your love for Christ and don't let legalists scare you. They themselves do not keep the requirements they put on you. Bask in the unconditional love of God.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008


Hey guys,

Just wanted to say sorry for not posting so much. Not that I feel guilty, but I've just been in this funk lately where I haven't been reading the Bible much or anything. I finished my book Brisingr, by Christopher Paolini (AWESOME!!!) which took me a week or so. When I get into the story, I don't do much else but read. I love these books so I'm constantly reading until I finish. Then I feel depressed and emotionally attached to the characters in the book. It sort of shifts my focus and affections for awhile. I don't know if that is good or bad. But I've not been reading blogs very much or writing them very much. But God is doing great things in my life right now. The enemy is trying to mess with my mind and get me to despair as he always does, but he's a liar. I don't exactly know what God has planned, but I'll figure it out. His will will be done in my life regardless. I just need to overcome fear. Which I can't He will overcome it for me, through me. That doesn't stop it from being scary though. :)

I don't wanna get too proud and start trusting in myself and all that though...I just wanna trust Him and move forward. I know I'm being vague, but it's 11:02 and I am too tired to get into it all. But Ryan and Jamie have been such a wonderful expression of Jesus in my life...They are more than I could have ever asked for. I only hope to be half as bold as they are in their willingness to allow the love of Christ to flow through them.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Until Love Pleases...

Song of Solomon 8:4

"I adjure you, O daughters of Jerusalem, that you not stir up or awaken love until it pleases."

Don't try to force up love for God or people. Allow God to work it in you. Be led by the gentle blowing of the Holy Spirit. The eagles wait on a strong wind high in the sky and use it to carry them where they want to go. Not by struggling to flap their wings, but by opening their wings and riding the wind. In the same way we are to mount up with our wings like the eagles. We wait on the Holy Spirit to put the wind beneath our wings. God leads, we follow. He inititates, I respond. We are led by the Spirit, not the Law. If I am under the Law, I am forever trying to lead the Spirit, rather than allowing Him to lead me. Those who are sons of God are led by the Spirit, not by the Law. Not by your efforts.

Waiting takes time. Abraham waited 25 years for Isaac. Your anxiety doesn't please God, nor does your efforts in trying to make something happen. Your faith and patience pleases Him. There is NOTHING you need to do. Therefore you can rest and wait on Him. The wind blows where He wishes. Not where you wish.