Sunday, June 3, 2012

Why Settle for Less When You Could Get More?

                Imagine this: you’re at your big family together for Thanksgiving. You didn’t eat any lunch in anticipation for the big feast you are going to indulge on that evening. But as the day goes on, you become hungrier and hungrier until you give in to your hunger and finally eat a snack. That seems to satisfy your hunger for now, but ten minutes later, you need another. You keep eating snacks to keep your hunger at bay for the big meal. Finally the feast is ready and you seat yourself down at the table and get ready to eat it. You sit there salivating as you stare down the turkey, the green bean casserole, all the different types of salad, the sweet potatoes, and best of all, the desert, pumpkin pie and ice cream. You fill up your plate as much as you can and began to eat. After one or two bites, you realize that you’re not that hungry anymore, that all those snacks filled you up and you didn’t have any room left for the magnificent feast.

                That is kind of like the story of all of our daily struggle. We live in a society that says if you can’t get it within five minutes, it isn’t good enough, it won’t satisfy you.  We start to hunger for satisfaction and since we don’t want to wait for it. So what do we do? We sin. We choose the temporary over the eternal, the snacks over the feast. We let ourselves fill up so much on sin that we can no longer be near God in heaven. This is the daily struggle of all of us. We want so bad to feel satisfied that we give in to temptation and we sin. But that satisfaction doesn’t last long so we keep sinning and sinning and sinning, trying to find the one thing that will satisfy us forever. We do all this instead of just waiting to meet God in heaven and be permanently satisfied. In those moments that we sin, we forget God’s promise to give us eternal life and never ending satisfaction. 2 Corinthians 4:18 says this, “We fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” If we just keep focused on what is unseen, what we know is waiting for us when we leave this Earth and go home, we can forget about the temporary. We have a tendency to choose temporary over eternal. Just look at Jesus. He came to this earth not only to remind us that God is waiting for us, but to be our sacrificial lamb to erase the debt to which we owe because of our choosing temporary satisfaction. Because of the cross our stomachs are empty again and we can feast with our family in Heaven.

                Here are some Bible verses I have found that inspire me to keep my eyes focused on eternal things instead of temporary.

The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever.”

                -1 John 2:17

“And if what was fading away came with glory, how much greater is the glory of that which lasts!”

                -2 Corinthians 3:11

“All flesh is like grass and all its glory like the flower of grass. The grass withers, and the flower falls, but the word of the Lord remains forever.”

                -1 Peter 1:24-25

                As you struggle from day to day with wanting satisfaction, just remember that at the end of this life, God is waiting for you with open arms, ready to accept you with open arms and forever satisfy you. Until next time, good bye and God bless!

Wednesday, November 2, 2011

Thoughts on Pain and Suffering

                These past few days I’ve been thinking about suffering here on earth. Suffering is a big reason that people won’t believe in God. They say, “How can an all loving God let us suffer?” It’s not God who lets us suffer. It’s us who lets us suffer. It’s because we turned our backs on God that we suffer. In the beginning God made a perfect world with no pain or suffering. Everything was good. But then Eve turned her back on God and did the one thing He said not to do. She ate the apple. That’s when sin came into the world. If she hadn’t eaten the apple, we might be living in a perfect world.
                If we look around the world today, we see famine and poverty in Africa, death in the Middle East, and people in Tibet who feel the only way to get people to notice what’s going on over there is to set themselves on fire. That is a world full of suffering. In a way it’s our fault that all these things are happening. If we actually followed what Jesus taught us, there wouldn’t be as much suffering in world as there is now. Matthew 19:21 says this, “Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’" If everyone who claims to follow Jesus did this, we would have a really good chance of eliminating all the suffering in Africa from famine and poverty. Not everything can be fixed by giving things away though. All over Africa there are people who want to control everything. They won’t let anyone have food or water. If we do what Jesus called us to do in Matthew 28:19, 20 and in Mark 12:31, there wouldn’t be people like that. Instead there would be people who loved everyone so much that they refused to eat so others could. There would also be no more terrorist killing people in the Middle East. The hatred they have for people that don’t believe what they believe would be gone. In its place would be a love so great that they would lay down their lives for others instead of killing them. The people in Tibet would no longer have to set themselves on fire to get people to notice what’s going on there because what’s going on there wouldn’t be going on. There would be no need for people to rule over each other because there would be nobody breaking the laws. Pain and suffering would be minimal because we would all have faith in and love God. Romans 8:28 says this, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.”
                In America there is a different kind of pain and suffering going on. It isn’t so much as physical, but mental. Everywhere you look here, you see depressed people. People that feel like they aren’t loved enough to be alive so they kill themselves. People who think that they aren’t attractive enough so they starve themselves or force themselves to through up their food. That is what’s going on in America. It breaks my heart to see all this going on because it shouldn’t be. If we loved our neighbors, people wouldn’t feel unloved; they wouldn’t feel the need to starve themselves. The one thing that we as humans need is love. Without love our whole life means nothing. But thank goodness that God is love. God can take our pain and suffering away because He’s experienced it. His son died on the cross so that we would know that He loves us. Shouldn’t we love everyone this much too? We should be so filled with love that pain and suffering wouldn’t be able to survive anymore. This is what Jesus called us to do. To love one another so much that there would be no more need to sin because love would fill its place. And since God is love, He would be the one that satisfies us. There would be no need for the temporary pleasure of sin because God would be everywhere around us, satisfy our souls.
                I’m going to leave you with a few Bible verses that talk about pain and suffering. I hope these inspire you as much as they inspire me.
-Psalm 23:4:”Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil,
   for You are with me; Your rod and Your staff,
   they comfort me.”

-John 16:33:“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.”
-Revelations 21:4:“He will wipe every tear from their eyes. There will be no more death or mourning or crying or pain, for the old order of things has passed away."
-Psalm 73:23-24, 26:”Yet I am always with you; You hold me by my right hand.  You guide me with Your counsel, and afterward You will take me into glory…My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever."
-Romans 8:18:”I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us."
When you have the time, look up the song Blessings by Laura Story. It is a really great song.
As you good about your daily lives, remember to love everyone. Sometimes all someone needs is to feel loved. Until next time, good bye and God bless!

Wednesday, October 26, 2011

God's Perfect, Unfailing, Never Ending Love

            Sometimes, in the midst of our busy daily lives, we forget about how great God’s love for us is. We get caught up in what the world says that we forget what God says. We need to drown out what the world says and tune into God because the world doesn’t love us like God does. The world says that if you’re too fat, not in shape, and don’t have the right clothes, then you can’t be loved. God says differently. Galatians 3:26 calls us children of God. Children of God. The most loving relationship you can have is with a parent. They love you no matter what you’ve done. That’s why God sent His Son. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” What a loving Father we have! He is so loving that He sent His Son to die on the cross so we could be with Him for eternity. How awesome!
                1 John 4:8 says that God is love. 1 Corinthians 13:4-7 tells us this: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It is not rude, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres.” That means God is all of those things. That is such an amazing thing. In Psalm 63 it calls His love for us unfailing and better than life. Our God is such an awesome God! When I read all these verses, I can’t believe that we sometimes forget about God’s love for us.  His love is so great for us, that nothing can separate us from it. “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”(Romans 8:38-39) Even when we sin against Him, even when we turn our backs from Him, even when we let the world overcome us, He still loves us! That fills me with such joy that I want to tell everyone I meet so they can feel this joy too. “But God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”(Romans 5:8) That’s how much God loves us. Even when we had our backs to Him and ignored everything He said, He sent is Son to die for us. That is what God’s love is all about, loving us no matter what.
                I will leave you with three more verses. I challenge you to think about these as your week goes on.
Ephesians 3:17-19, “And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love,  may have power, together with all the Lord’s holy people, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge—that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.”
Psalm 86:15, “But you, O Lord, are a compassionate and gracious God, slow to anger, abounding in love and faithfulness.”
1 John 4:18, “There is no fear in love, but perfect love casts out fear. For fear has to do with punishment, and whoever fears has not been perfected in love”
Never forget God’s perfect, unfailing, and never ending love for you. Until next time, good bye and God bless!

Monday, October 17, 2011

God's Amazingly Beautiful Creation

                Have you ever just sat and thought about how complex this universe that we live in is? I did that a lot this weekend. From the millions of beautiful stars and planets in the night sky to our planet and us. It is all so complex. It gets me wondering how anyone can not believe in God when they look around. If you just look at a human you can see the overwhelming evidence that there is a God. No one in the world has the same fingerprint as you. How could evolution make us like that? It’s not like we need fingerprints to survive. Isn’t that the basis of evolution? That as time progressed, the most well adapted survived? So why the fingerprints? It’s because God made us, not evolution. Fingerprints are God’s signature on our hands. He cares so much about each and every one of us that He designs a different signature for everyone, like an artist. How amazing is that? The Father of the universe signed our hands. How could you not be overwhelmingly amazed by that? It makes me want to run to the roof and scream it to the world. While I was on the roof top I would look around and see the beautiful ecosystem around me. Everything perfectly placed. Everything perfectly made. From trees to birds to fish to birds to humans, everything is perfect. Not only is everything perfect, but everything is so different. God had so much creativity as an artist that He made more than 100,000 different trees, 32,000 species of fish that we know about, and over 10,000 known bird species. How blessed are we to live in such a beautifully created place? How can people not see God when they look around just our world? Romans 1:19, 20 says this, “19since what may be known about God is plain to them, because God has made it plain to them. 20 For since the creation of the world God’s invisible qualities—his eternal power and divine nature—have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse.” How true is that? If you just look around, you can see the evidence for God. What else is there to say when that explains everything so perfectly?
                I challenge you, that for the next week, you spend some time just sitting outside in His beautiful creature reading His word in the company the Creator. I guarantee it will bring overwhelming joy and that you will never look at anything the same again.  Until next time, good bye and God bless!

Friday, October 14, 2011

The Other Cross

This is just a short story that I wrote. Enjoy and praise God. The first couple of lines are Luke 23:39-42. (I changed it to first person)

The criminal to the left yelled to Jesus, "Aren't You the Messiah? Save Yourself and us!"
"Don't you even fear God since you are under-going the same punishment," I rebuked, "We are punished justly because we're getting back what we deserve for the things we did, but this man has done nothing wrong! Jesus remember me when You go into Your kingdom!"
"I assure you: Today you will be with me in paradise," Jesus answered me.
"Fool," shouted the criminal, "What is your name, you fool who believes that this man is the Messiah?"
"People call me many things," I whispered, "Some call me Fred or Murphy. others call me Laura or Mary-Anne. I am every man and every woman in the near and far future who realize how wrong they've been. I am everyone that finds the truth, that is this: no matter what I've done, God has forgiven me me through this man who is dieing on the cross. I am everyone who, lying on their death bed, finally sees the bigger picture, that all along God has been with them. I am the symbol of the on and only living God's mercy and grace," I took a deep breathe, "I am saved through Jesus the Messiah!"
With that I took my last breathe on earth and entered the Kingdom of God.

Thursday, October 13, 2011

Welcome To My Blog!

Welcome to my blog! I'm still learning all the stuff that I can do, so roll with me as I make alot of changes. I would like to introduce to you somethings about my blog. First off: the name. I really like the name. It symbolizes what I am all about. I am changed by a cross. That cross being the one that Jesus Christ hang on to save my life so I could be with God for eternity. I am changed by a curtain. That curtain being the one in the Jewish synagogue that tore when Jesus died on the cross. This torn curtain and just change my, it changed the world. Behind this curtain in the Jewish synagogue was the place where God dwelled. No one was allowed behind it except for the high preist and that was only once a year after an exstinsive cleansing proses. The curtain tearing is such a big thing because God no longer dwells behind that curtain, He dwells inside of us. With out this curtain being torn, we wouldn't be able to have the same intamicy we now have with God.
Secondly I would like to talk about the purpose of this blog. I am a quite person. And since I am a quite person, I think about things alot. There is usaully only one thing on my mind and that's God. There's a great qoute that goes something like this, "If you want to know where your heart is, look to where it wanders." My mind is always on God. This blog's purpose is to express what I've been thinking about. It will always be about God. My life doesn't matter compared to what He has done and is to do. John 3:30 says "I must become less so He can becom more."
That is all I have to tell you guys for know. I'm going to try to blog at least once a week. So, until next time, good bye and God bless.