Wednesday, September 30, 2009

Wednesday Dish

Rom 10:9that if you confess with your mouth Jesus {as} Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;
   A friend called me yesterday and told me that one of his business partners, with whom I know as well, just returned home from the hospital and was given 2 months to live. He is dying of ALS and it was getting bad. The scary part of the whole situation is that the man doesn't know Jesus Christ as his Lord and Savior. My buddy decided that next week he was going to go share his heart and lay out the Gospel in hopes of a soul harvest for the Kingdom. Two hours after our conversation the phone rang with the news that my buddies business partner was dead. 
  I feel the only way to take this news is to understand the lesson at hand. Something as simple as the verse at the top of the page is all someone might need to hear.We are talking eternity here and for whatever reason that just doesn't sink in all the time. I cant tell you how many times I pass up an opportunity to share my faith with somebody for reasons that right now just make me want to puke. This has been a wake up call for me and there is some serious convicting going on right now in my heart.  I need to be way more proactive about wearing my faith on my chest for all to see. There is just too much at stake not too. You better believe that if George Strait was coming to play a free concert at my house, I would be telling everybody with the quickness without any hesitation. Now what kind of sense does that make.  
  Sorry this has been such a downer of a post. This is obviously something that God is convicting me on and I cant think of a better place to let it out. I hope everybody is doing well and if y'all have any feedback I want to hear it. I really need some advice in consoling my buddy in this situation.
Lets just take a second and praise God that we have been called!!  Thank you Jesus !!!!!

Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Pack Your Bag & Take A Journey With Me

I have been writing on this blog every Tuesday for almost a year, most of the time I just share what's on my heart or what I have experienced recently (reading, music, church message, etc...). I feel the need to switch it up and make a challenge to all the followers of this blog and email. However I hope this really isn't my challenge at all, I hope that it's a call from God to all of us.

Over the next 16 weeks or less (I hope you all will respond with your ideas) we will be covering Paul's 1st letter to the Corinthians or better known as 1Corinthians. So if you would just make it a habit to read one chapter of 1Corinthians (16 chapters) a week this should be a blessing. If this isn't something you all are interested in then please tell me or I can take your silence as a hint and I'll choose something else to do. So here is the intro.

Who wrote it- Paul the apostle who was originally Saul of the New Testament who made "the Damascus road" famous as the Lord appeared to him on that road leading to Saul's conversion thus becoming the majority writer of the NT.
What- a letter to the Corinthian church instructing, teaching, and encouraging them to continue on in the faith.
When- 55 A.D.
Where- Southern Greece (unfortunately a lot like Southern California but not for the good things necessarily).
Why- Inspired by the Holy Spirit like all other doctrine (Bible scriptures).

I have been told that this book of the bible is very relatable to modern America but I guess the whole bible is too so... Anyway here are some of the themes of the book.
1) Calling and benefits of sainthood
2) Disunity of the church
3) Immorality in the church
4) Marriage in the church
5) Liberty in the church
6) Worship in the church
7) The Hope of the church : Resurrection
8) A Charge to the church

I hope you guys are onboard but if not something else will come up. Let's continue to read our bibles and grow in spirit and truth.

1Corinthians 1:3 "Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ."

Monday, September 28, 2009

Worry? Nah....Don't do it.

For the first time in my career I'm thinking about what I'm going to do in the off-season.  I'm wondering if I need to get a job or to pursue winter ball.  I've never "had" to do anything but times have definitely changed.  Me and my wife (Joy) were talking about it the other day and we couldn't help but be a little anxious and scared.  Walking on new territory is sometimes weird and scary.  But we know that God doesn't want us to be.

In Philippians  4,  the bible tells us not to be anxious but to pray when we are.  Really???  Its that easy huh?  Sometimes its easier said than done!  All kidding aside,  it is so awesome to rebuke those thoughts with God's word.  He also tells us that His peace will guide our hearts!!!  I don't know about y'all but when God replaces those thoughts and worries with His Peace....Wow!!!  It still boggles me at times when I can just call on Him and I feel His big ol' arms wrap around me and squeeze.  The hairs on the back of my neck stand up and I know I've got the maker of the universe with me!!!  

The choices we have to make in our lives are sometimes more serious than others.  Even on the small ones we need guidance.  But the big ones are going to bring uncertainty.  Fellas, may we call upon the Maker to give us His peace that passes all understanding.  Something I always think is really cool is that God cares about everything in our lives!!  Everything!!  Our lives are not insignificant in His eyes.  He loves us so much.  May we be encouraged by phil. 4.  

If yall get a chance, read chapter 4 and I pray that God's peace will give you goose bumps too............!!!!

Wainwright has the worst mustache ever!!!

How do you know you love the Lord?

"Whoever has my commandments and keeps them, he it is who loves me. And he who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I will love him and manifest myself to him." - John 14:21

You know I have asked myself at times if I really love Jesus. I mean, how do you know? Is it a warm fuzzy feeling when you think of Him? Is it praying to Him a certain amount of times a day? Does it operate the same way you love your siblings? How do you really know if you love Him when you can't even see Him?

The answer is really not that difficult. If you have repented of your sins, believed on the Lord Jesus for your salvation, put your trust fully in Him, and seek, with all your heart to keep the commandments of Jesus, (summed up in "love God" and "love your neighbor as yourself") then you will love Him. When I say it is not that difficult, I don't mean obedience is a "cake walk," I mean that it is not some complex system of things that you must do. To put it simply, if Jesus is truly your King, then you will obey Him. You will find out from the Scriptures what He requires of you and you will do it. Perfectly? No, but your desire above all things will be to please and glorify the One who "became sin for us that we might become the righteousness of God." (2 Cor 5:21) Those of us who had a great relationship with our fathers know that there is a desire to obey them. Why, because you love them, and when you love somebody you desire to obey them.

The glorious promise that Jesus gives is that for those who do love Him, and evidence that love in obedience, will be loved by Him and the Father, and He will "manifest Himself to them." Isn't that what we all are desiring? A fresh manifestation of Jesus Christ in our lives. To experience His love and grace. To sense His presence in an amazing way.

Meditate on the great truths of the Gospel and let His life, death, and resurrection motivate you to live a life of obedience to Him.


Sunday, September 27, 2009

Are You Who You Want to Be?

Earlier today I was just hanging out in the hotel room listening to my itunes on shuffle. A song by Switchfoot came on called This is Your Life. For whatever reason for the first time I actually listened to the words of the song. In the opening few lines of the song it says "this is your life, and today is all you get now...and today is all you'll ever have. This is your life are you who you want to be?" That whole thing kinda hit home for me. The life we've been given is finite on this earth. We've got precious little time to live our lives the way our Lord intended. And who knows how little we actually have except God. We could be gone tomorrow. Heck, we might be gone later tonight...there's just no way to know. So, here's the point. If you've been thinking about letting go and letting God take control of your life then you better do it, and do it fast! The last little bit in the song when it asks are you who you want to be got me thinking. There are a lot of things I keep putting off that I need to get to with a quickness. I'm not saying you have to run off and fly to Africa for a 2 week mission trip...unless that's what you've been thinking about. It could be as simple as doing the dishes or giving your wife a massage. Honoring her is honoring God. Jenny if you're reading this don't get any ideas. It could be finally having that important talk of sharing Christ with a teammate that's really struggling. Maybe you've been slacking on getting to church or chapel....and I know you can get you're own stuff done on your own time, but I also think it's important that Christians surround themselves with other Christians. God wanted us to know this because He said it in Hebrews 10:25...

Hebrews 10:25 (New Living Translation)

25 And let us not neglect our meeting together, as some people do, but encourage one another, especially now that the day of his return is drawing near.

Two things there stand out to not neglect our meeting together and the day of His return is drawing near. Don't wait any longer fellas....make it happen now. Love yall


Friday, September 25, 2009

Entering prayer......quietly

What up fellas.

In Matthew 6:6 Jesus says, "6But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you."

So, most of us know this, a quiet room undisturbed. In the NT, a lot of people went onto the rooftops to pray because they could get away from noise and busyness going on in the house. So, when we start to rock prayer with our heavenly Father, we gotta eliminate distractions( this meaning aside from your short little prayers during your day). I, as I'm sure you, have found hard to pray effictively when you got things going on around you. We have to be able to pull our entire selves together. Many times, our body can be there but our minds are wondering bout who knows what. Some emotion might still be riding you and you just carry into prayer. So, let the Lord calm your heart. Isaiah 26:3 says, "3 You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you."

The Hebrew word for peace as you know is "shalom", which means more than enough. It means prosperity. Everything we need is provided in God, so we don't have to be distracted by worry when we pray. This first step to prayer might take ten minutes, thirty minutes, or whatever time you need. There have been stories written about folk that have prayed in the forest for ten hours, and spent the first two or three just walking in order to get rid of distracting thoughts. So, whatever time you need, take it. I, myself, have never prayed more than fifty minutes at one time, so that is amazing to me.

But, regardless of your time spent, when you come before the Lord, in whatever place you choose, get quiet and listen to nothing but God. A lot of times in my life I have found that God is trying to tell me things if I will just shut up, plain and simple. If we let our hearts be restful in that quiet place. Too often I have found myself rushing into the process of praying, but Psalms 46:10 says, "Be still, and know that I am God." In this sense, prayer is us expressing our dependency upon God for all things.

If you are trying to pray, but your spirit, mind, body, and emotions are separated, then you are not one. You will be unable to pray God's will with the singleness of purpose. Silence helps bring you into a unity of heart and purpose with yourself and God.

trying to die to myself,

Remaining in Christ

My Brothers in Christ!!
Philippians 1:3 - "I thank my God every time I remember you!"
I'm doing something a little different tonight. Tonight I am in prayer and worship of God primarily and then the USC vs. Ole Miss game is on in the background. I've got my Christian tunes blarring and I am waist deep in the Word. Why isn't every night like this!
I have been studying along with our church/small group with the book, "One Month to Live". It's a 30 day no regret way of living. I'm a fan so far! It's not saying that we are dying tomorrow but its saying we are living today.
This week I contemplated a pretty simple question that I don't ask myself very often. HOW DO I REMAIN IN CHRIST??? The ebb and flow of Christianity is pretty simple and stay with the trends of humanity. We are easy to forget. I forget important dates, people's names, phone numbers and the list goes on. One thing that all of us need not forget is Jesus Christ and the sacrifice he made. I don't know if any of you have ever seen a man bleed and die but it a sight that is truamatic and it changes you. Jesus Christ died a painful, gruesome death for us! Let us not forget His sacrifice! The least I can do everyday of my life is think of Him and act accordingly. Some suggestions are uplifting music, the Word, fellowship with believers and add your's here.
Terry, thanks for the call-out bro. Love you man. More to follow.

Ben Bryant
Savannah, GA
Joshua 1:9

Thursday, September 24, 2009

Watered Down Gospel Misses The Mark

If I were Tyler Parker this is what I think he would write today:

Jeremiah 2:30 "In vain I have chastened your children; they received no correction. Your sword has devoured your prophets like a destroying lion."
Proverbs 3:11 "My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor detest His correction; For whom the Lord loves He corrects, just as a father the son in whom he delights."

Sure, we love to go to church and get empowered to be world beaters with the "prosperity gospel", it feels great to get encouraged that we can have what we want in this life because God wants to give us the desires of our hearts (Psalm 37:4 that's why Durham used to wear #37, haha). Joel Osteen ("If you name it you can claim it") and some of these other popular pastors are great at encouraging the masses but they are doing us a great disservice by not preaching about correction/sin. When we come to the Lord we are all spiritual infants, our foundation is a slab of wet concrete designed for one room at best. We need to be taught, we need to grow, we need to understand sin. Without ever coming face to face with how ugly our sin is we will never fully understand the work of the Savior and His grace. I think it is His grace that makes Him most attractive, this dude forgives everyone, He accepts anyone with 1 easy to obtain prerequisite (faith in Him), anybody can get a seat at His table just accept the free gift. However it really isn't that easy for if it was everyone would be doing it. One of the reasons it isn't that easy is because none of us want to see how ugly we really are, nobody likes to have their lifestyle corrected and told it is wrong.
It makes so much sense, we're children, look at the way children need to be corrected, they hate it. Could you imagine what the world or your child would be like if you let them figure life out for themselves? No correction, no loving advise, no rights and wrongs, lying, taking whatever they want, it would be awful. The funny thing is, that is what is happening all around the states with these church goers who never get sin and correction preached to them. It's scary! Many of us have our own private sins that we like to keep in the closet and let them stack up thinking that they're not hurting anyone, but that is a lie. We also have friends and friendships that have conversation that just floats on the surface all the while we know that they have sin in their life that needs to be rebuked (receive correction). Let's admit, we're scared, we want to keep it fluffy and light, "I don't want them to get mad at me, whaaaah." I'm as guilty as any on both accounts but hear this.
Proverbs 29:1 "He who is often rebuked, and hardens his neck, will suddenly be destroyed, and that without remedy."
This is saying that people need to be corrected and if they choose to be a meatneck about the correction they receive then their not going to make it, no ticket to the greatest show ever, they're up and out!
We all need correction and God uses many different types of people to do it, often pastors and friends. Let's stay open to instruction and correction knowing that it will make us better, sharper vessels for our Heavenly Father who wants to use us for His great purpose.

Wednesday, September 23, 2009

Lee Taylor Walker Testimony

Quick Bio:
Lee Taylor Walker.
27 years old.
Married 2 and half years.
University of Memphis Tennis Coach

Life Before Christ:
I found my identity, value and purpose in:
-being a good, nice church going boy- admiration
-being a good athlete, accomplishments
-girls- pleasure
-partying- pleasure
-people pleasing
-cycling through these things time and time again
-I found as Solomon found in Ecclesiastes 1 and 2- that these things were All Vanity- All Meaningless

How I met Christ:
-Hit depression in college when I was junior in college
-Players I had grown up competing against were top 20 in the world and I was mere mid-line-up college player
-Partying had lost its fun
-I was lost and purposeless
-Started searching and attending church because nothing else was working
-I was convicted after a message I heard- The Gospel Had Penetrated My Hard Heart and God's Grace Gave My Sinful Heart a Perfect Transplant.

Life after Christ and now:
-A mission trip shortly afterwards and a supernatural act of God surrounding me with Godly men and women confirmed that the Holy Spirit was at work
-For the first time ever- Jesus was All my Hope and Peace and I felt the meaning of His blood on the cross. Amazing Grace
-For the first time- I was running into church and bible studies and craving the Word
-Struggled for the first few years of a good works mind-set by being overly involved in spiritual activity- bible studies, church, seminars, prayer groups, etc. These things were good but soon became things I did because that's what Christians are supposed to do- instead of being purely motivated by the Gospel.
-Met a guy 4 years ago that spoke at one of FCA meetings. He had something I wanted. He was different than all the other Christians. He seemed to get it.
-I began to meet with this man many times throughout the week- In Christianese- he began to disciple me- teach me, model for me, and equip me to what it meant to be a follower of Christ and Godly man.
-Now I'm trying to take these tools and by the power of the Holy Spirit- love and serve and witness and disciple those around me.
-God has and is opening doors for me and my wife to witness and disciple the tennis teams here at Memphis. In the past 4 years- 3 players have given their lives to Christ and 10 have been involved in bible studies.
-My biggest battle in my pursuit of holiness for the glory of Gos is finding alone time with God in solitude in order to walk more closely with HIM.
-Everything else is meaningless.

My Prayer:
-That though I plan the route for me and my wife, Christ would direct my paths.

Thanks for the call out Terry. Miss you and Tanner and hope to see ya soon.


Joshua and Caleb, Wed 09/23


Do y'all know the story of Joshua and Caleb? If you don't or can't remember, let me help you out. 
  God wanted to give the Children of Israel a piece of property. So he told Moses to send some spys out to check on it. This place was called Canaan.  Moses called on 12 spies, one from each of the 12 tribes of Israel, to scope out the land.  The men set out for Canaan and they were gone for 40 days. When they arrived, they saw the perfect piece of land. It was beautiful and had more food than they could have ever imagined! When they described it, they said that "it truly flows with milk and honey". It was so amazing that it took two men to carry back a vine of grapes! (When I think about this, I compare Canaan to my dream farm. Monster bucks all over the place, a couple of duck ponds, some flooded timber and a gorgeous cabin overlooking a huge pasture with some bad-to-the-bone horses on it.) There was just one big problem with this unbelievable land of Canaan...The people that lived there were enormous! There were basically just a bunch of Goliaths running around. The Israelites felt like grasshoppers compared to these dudes. In their minds, they had no shot at defeating these guys. They were so scared that they decided to send back a bad report to the Children of Israel, so that they wouldn't have to mess with defeating those giants. 
  Caleb and Johsua quickly reminded everyone that God had already promised this land to them and would deliver. There was NO need to worry, because those giants have nothing on The King! So lets roll out and take em' on! 
  This fires me up, because I struggle with something similar to this daily. I find myself constantly worrying about the future. I loose sleep over things that I have no control over. I worry about money, mortgage, health and basically where my family is going to be in the next couple of years. Why is it that I hang on to these worries??? As a child of the Living King, I am promised to be "taken care of". He will provide for me! I must always remember that God is in control and all I can do is follow His will for me closely and glorify Him, in all I do. The rest will fall into place. So, when we find ourselves to chicken to take on our "giants", remember the encouraging words from Caleb and Joshua!

Hope y'all have a good day- Blaine


Tuesday, September 22, 2009

I'm Guilty Like Pilate

Mark 15:2 "Then Pilate asked Him, "Are You the King of the Jews?" He answered and said to him, "It is as you say."
Mark 15:15 "So Pilate, wanting to gratify the crowd, released Barabbas to them, and he delivered Jesus, after he had scourged Him, to be crucified."
Here are some lyrics (below) from a song that hit me hard the other day. This song is one that has been in rotation for me on and off for three years and still it hits me with something new periodically, that is one of many things secular music can't offer me (praise God for music). Skipping forward to the enlarged section, this artist describes different characters role and actions during the crucifixion of Jesus. How crazy it is to me that most of us have put a couple of these faces on at one time or another. The one that pierced my spirit was the bolded one about Pilate. That was me, going with the flow, wanting to please the crowd, not knowing what I believed in but just doing what everybody else was doing, like sheeps to the slaughter. It could have been so much worse for me.
Verse 2
This story starts at the climax, we find that time’s lapsed- don’t mind that
It’s kind of like a night cap filled with divine acts
We zoom in the lens on Christ's agony in the garden
Doomed for His friends- it had to be for the pardon
And delivery from misery of kids who speak wickedly
Sinfully, inwardly slick with the iniquity
We see disciples sleep and mock today with a lot to say
But we do the same thing when we don’t watch and pray
Like Judas, we sell Christ out to get the treasure
Whether it’s the cheddar or forbidden pleasure
Like the chief priests, we want Christ to surrender
But we want Him out the way when He doesn’t fit our agenda
Like Peter, we have misplaced, fleshly confidence
But we’ll deny the Lord when faced with deadly consequence
Like Herod, we’re curious about Christ because He’s famous
But we quickly get bored with Him when He doesn’t entertain us
Like Pilate, we see Christ and find nothing wrong with Him
But when the world chooses the wicked, we go right along with them

Despite His kindness, we seek to do our Maker violence
The fallenness of humanity at its finest
So now He stands before the crowd doomed to die
An angry mob who’s yelling out “crucify”
The way they treat the Lord of glory is debased and it’s foul
But you miss the point if you don’t see your face in the crowd

The people had a choice whether to choose the most wicked child rapest in the city or choose the miracle worker who claimed to be Diety. Pilate knew they were making a bad choice but he let them do it anyway because he was a conformist, he was weak and scared. Point is most people have nothing bad to say about Jesus and if they do they can be proven wrong very quickly/effortlessly (not that it even matters). So it becomes a decision of accepting or rejecting Jesus's style, He either was who He said He was or He is a liar or lunitic. We can't be in between; as much as are flesh wants to stay on the fence it makes no strategic sense to stay there. In fact standing on the fence is like saying I'm too scared to fight so I'm gonna sit this one out. For the record I'm not a tough guy but I'm not going to sit this one out, there is too much at stake. We can't waste anymore time we have to pick a side, if you haven't chosen a side then do some research so you can make a decision (and continue to armour yourself with evidence to support your beliefs), but don't think that you can take your sweet time. All the Angels players in this group no a little about that, Nick Adenhart's situation has to hit close to home with us like it does/did for them. You never know when your number is going to get called. Let's make a choice so we know where we'll spend eternity. Hope this was worth your minutes.

Monday, September 21, 2009

"Rogue Waves"

Better late than never fellas!! 

I heard an awesome message yesterday at church.  He was talking about facing a "rogue wave" hitting us in our lives when we least expect it.  A rogue wave is a 24-36 foot wave that hits a boat or ship unexpectedly.  There is no "warning" and no "time" to react.  

I have definitely faced these rogue waves at times in my life.  Now what was interesting was how he talked about our reaction to these huge problems that nearly crush our spiritual and physical morale.  So many times, I'm guilty of this, is that we react in FEAR!!  What will we do?  Why did this happen?  Does God not care about me?  Why would he let this happen?  All great questions, but there's a reason.  He's God and nothing catches him by surprise!  

God does care about us and He allows these things to make us grow.  He also allows these things to get our attention at times.  It never ceases to amaze me that God will do anything to get His children to turn back to Him.  Praise God for His unconditional love and grace!!!  I know I need my tail whipped at times by God.  And He will do it too.  

Fear is our instant human nature.  Faith is the farthest thing from our mind at times like these. He preceded to tell us that the two have the same definition........Huh?  Come on?  Its true.  
They both are:  Things we assume or think are going to happen.  Think about it.  They both have the same meaning but mean the total opposite.  Pretty cool huh?  This is why satan has a field day with us when the rogue waves hit our lives.  Faith is tough to cling to when we don't know what to expect next.  Fear is so much easier to conjure up in our minds.  

If you're like me, I focus on the rogue wave instead of me and my heart.  Sometimes I pray for the rogue wave to go away and never come back when I should be praying for peace in my heart and soul.  God uses whatever to discipline us and smack us upside the head.  Standridge!!  Wake up punk!!  Stop focusing on the problem and focus on Me!  Sounds easy huh?  Nope.  We all do this because we all wear skin.  We don't use that as a crutch but know that we need Jesus!  When we minimize our sin, we minimize our need for a Savior!! (heard this from my man Brian Hommell).  We need Him.

"True faith is not the absence of conflict, but the Presence of Christ!"

Fellas, as life hits us this week may we rebuke Fear and hit our knees and cling to Faith.  I'm so pumped up right now that I could give an altar call.......but I won't!  

Later men,  Standridge

"How to Look at the Old Testament" Durham's Sunday Bread

One of my favorite passages in the Scriptures is Luke 24:13-27, “The Road to Emmaus.” If you want to know how to interpret the Old Testament in a Christian way, this is a foundational passage. If you want to get excited about reading your Old Testament, then read this passage.
You know, I have always had a hard time dealing with the Old Testament. How many times have you told yourself that you are going to read straight through the Bible only to have your car break down somewhere around Leviticus 6. It just doesn’t seem relevant to my life. I haven’t had to mark a house because of leprosy, or go through a cleansing ritual for a bed that has been discharged on (yep, that’s in Leviticus). What does all this stuff mean!? What does it have to do with Christianity in the 21st Century!?

The way I have dealt with these questions in the past is to just hang out with Paul, Peter and John in the New Testament. Even then I am missing out because these guys were well versed in the Old Testament and quoted constantly from it. I heard one pastor say that you can’t truly understand the book of Hebrews if you haven’t read Leviticus.

What about the fact that Jesus said in Mark 1:15 that, “the time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand; repent and believe in the gospel.” What gospel are the people to believe in? Jesus had just started his ministry. Jesus’ death and resurrection wouldn’t take place for another 3 years.

In the second century, there was a man named Marcion who tried to solve this problem by saying that the God of the Old Testament was a different God from the New Testament. The God of the Old was an angry, wrathful God, while the God of the New was merciful and kind. You might be thinking, “what and idiot,” but I have heard arguments similar to this, not as extreme, but still along the same lines.

In comes Luke 24 to the rescue! In chapter 23 Luke records the details of Jesus’ death on the cross, and his burial. In the beginning of Chapter 24 he tells of Jesus’ resurrection. Then, Luke inserts this amazing story of Jesus in his resurrection body talking with two of his disciples who do not recognize him. They were devastated that Jesus was killed because they thought he was the one to redeem Israel. These disciples, no doubt, knew there Old Testament backwards and forwards, but they did not have eyes to see. These next three verses are what make this passage so amazing:

And He said to them, "O foolish men and slow of heart to believe in all that the prophets have spoken!
"Was it not necessary for the Christ to suffer these things and to enter into His glory?"
Then beginning with Moses and with all the prophets, He explained to them the things concerning Himself in all the Scriptures.

Jesus was essentially saying, “Hey guys! Wake up! Don’t you realize that all of the OT is about me!” “You didn’t see from Isaiah that God’s servant would have to die to redeem his people?” “You don’t remember Isaiah 53:5 which says, ‘he was pierced through for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities; The chastening for our well-being fell on him, and by His scourging we are healed?’”

Jesus is not only the hero in the New Testament, but was also the hero of the Old. Who do you think it was in the burning bush who said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM?” It wasn’t the Father. No one has seen the Father. Who do you think was the Angel of the Lord who wrestled with Jacob in Genesis 32? I believe it was the pre-incarnate Christ. What do you think the Passover is a symbol of? What about the High Priest, the one who is the mediator between God and man? What about the scape goat, who took away the sins of the people? These are just a few examples.

If you, like me, have gravitated away from the OT I hope that this very brief attempt to explain this passage will motivate you to dive in and enjoy the Gospel of Jesus Christ which shines just as bright in the OT.

Friday, September 18, 2009

Kingdom vs. Religion

Religion is the most powerful force on earth.

Despite the claims of the contrary, everyone on earth is religious. Religion is defined as the adherence to a set of beliefs that regulate the moral, social, and ritualistic behavior of an individual. This includes atheist, secularist, communist, socialist, humanist, or agnostic. For they all adhere to a belief system of some kind, even if it is the belief that there is no providential component, so to speak, in creation in life as we know it. Rather than uniting humanity with common power and knowledge of purpose, religion has I believe proven itself instead to be the great divider of mankind.

Genesis 1:26 “ Then God said, "Let us make man in our image, in our likeness, and let them rule over the fish of the sea and the birds of the air, over the livestock, over all the earth, [b] and over all the creatures that move along the ground."

This statement says one of the most important declarations ever made regarding "mankind". It declares the motivation, nature, purpose, and mandate behind mankind’s creation. Dominion is the purpose for man’s creation and existence. I like finding Hebrew translations sometimes. “Dominion” translates to the Hebrew word “mamlakah", which can also be translated as “kingdom”, “sovereign rule”, or “royal power”. Man was created to have rulership and authority over the earth.

The first thing man was given by his Creator was a “kingdom”.

But, you know the story, we messed up and lost the kingdom given, the gift of divine power. So when man fell from grace, he lost a “kingdom”, not a “religion”. Therefore man’s search is not for a religion, but for his kingdom. This is why religion will never satisfy that deep hunger within us. Religion is itself the search. The hunger of a human heart, my heart and yours, is for the lost kingdom.

Author Myles Munroe once said, "I would dare to say no one has been more misunderstood than Jesus. Misunderstanding has caused Muslims to reject Him, Hindus to suspect Him, Buddhists to ignore Him, atheists to hate Him, and agnostics to deny Him.But it just may be those who claim to represent Him most, “Christians”, who have in fact misunderstood Him and, therefore, misrepresented Him the most." That hits hard to me, because there is a lot of truth to that.

Jesus’ message, assignment, passion, and purpose were to not establish a religion of "rituals and rules" but rather to reintroduce a kingdom. Everything Jesus said and did (His prayers, teachings, healings, and miracles) was focused on a Kingdom, not a religion.

Jesus made it clear from the very beginning that the principle need of the human race, and the only solution to mankind’s dilemma, was the Kingdom of Heaven. His first statements in Matthew reveal this Kingdom priority.

From that time on Jesus began to preach, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is near” (Matthew 4:17).

“Blessed are the poor in spirit, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven” (Matthew 5:3).

Fellas, the power of religion lies in its ability to serve as a substitute for the Kingdom, so it prevents us from pursuing the genuine answer to our dilemma. Religion just cannot be a substitute for a relationship.

trying to die to myself,


Thursday, September 17, 2009

Getting Closer...


I feel like I need to re-introduce myself to all of the new names I'm seeing and to all of the old guys that might have forgotten who I am because of the extreme amount of time since my last post. HA...sorry.

All joking aside...It has been a while since I've posted and I want to explain what's been going on so that you can help me pray for God's provision and guidance.

As some of you know I am in the process of planting a church in Dublin, GA. It is a long story from beginning to end, but I want to briefly let you in on some of the recent developments.

I feel like I need to be completely honest and transparent with you guys so you can understand what's going on...when I began planting this ministry I had alot of pride and arrogance in my life. To most people, you probably couldn't see it...heck I couldn't even see it, but it was there. I thought that I was smart enough, a good enough speaker, and obedient enough to make this thing happen without much help from anyone (subconsciously that included God as well). I was depending on my God given abilities, rather than depending on the God who gave them. I'm 26 years old...doesn't seem wrong does it?...but, I was using my youth as a stepping stone for pride rather than an example to believers in my speech, life, love, etc. I would look at older saints and think that their methods and sometimes their message was outdated and irrelevant. I was wrong!!!

As I got further and further into God's calling in my life I've realized that I don't know that much and I don't have all the answers. I've struggled with patience...I've struggled with depending fully on God...I've had to wrestle with scriptures that I've previously though I understood fully. It's almost like the more I learn about who God is...the more inadequate and unworthy I feel of His calling. It seems like it would be the other way around. I want to be able to have all the answers when people ask me questions. I want to be able to give a formula to them, but I cant.

With this being said...I have been craving Truth. It is my biggest fear that I teach someone a false doctrine about God. So in light of that, in the past few months, I have been devouring sound theological doctrine from the bible and from scholars who have historically been known as giants and heros of our faith. John Owen, Calvin, Luther and more recently Packer and Piper to name a few. What I've found is AMAZING and VERY DIFFICULT at the same time.

The truth about who God is is nothing less that awe, and worship inspiring. However, this cannot come apart from a very uncomfortable examination of who I am in light of His glory. The more I learn about God...the more I realize I don't know.

For would think that the more you know about God, the more righteous you would become, thus leading to a freedom from the conviction of you sins. I mean take a look at Joel Osteen...he seems like he knows alot about God and he doesn't stuggle with the conviction of sin (at least he doesn't communicate this from his platform). It's almost like he becomes less burdened by the weight of his sin as he grows closer to God. Well I've found the opposite to be true..."The Mortification of Sin" by John Owen exposed this to me. The closer we get to knowing God the more obvious and disgusting our sins should become to us...because we begin to see them as God does. And since we are intrinsically sinners, we can never escape this conviction.

Terry said it best when he tweeted the other day, "Being spiritually comfortable should make us uncomfortable". We should never be comfortable as christians, because it should be impossible to be comfortable living in our sins...and we ALWAYS SIN. If there's no conviction you are being deceived by the evil one, because you've become so used to them being in your presence OR you're so prideful as to think you are without sin...either way, it's dangerous. Conviction of sins is GOOD...the Law produces conviction, conviction produces repentance, and repentance is wound together with the dependence upon the Savior.

This stuff is not easy for me to swallow...I like to think that I'm not sinning. It's this and things equally as important that I've been wrestling with lately.

So the reason for my silence isn't because I don't care, but because I've been wrestling with making sure I know what's Truth.


I feel like I'm very close (or at least closer than I was) to being able to bless this group with some of the newly acquired doctrinal turth that God has so graciously blessed me with the understanding of.

Keep up the good work fellas!

PS- If you have time go to and pick up some of the writings of John Owen. I promise it will be the best $7 you spend all year...


shooting guard, 6 foot 2 from Georgia Tech......he's BAAAAAAAAACK!! (Jordan intro for myself)

I'm talking about sin today. Can't get away from it, so lets dive into it. I was digging through some Johnny Mac for help with this post (imagine that) and came across this story to start things off:

A man walked up to a preacher and said in mocking fashion, "You say that unsaved people carry a great weight of sin. Frankly, I feel nothing. How heavy is sin? Ten pounds? Fifty pounds? Eighty pounds? A hundred pounds?

The preacher thought for a moment, then replied, "If you laid a four-hundred-pound weight on a corpse, would it feel the load?"

The young man was quick to say, "Of course not; it's dead"

Driving home his point, the preacher said, "The person who doesn't know Christ is equally dead. And though the load is great, he feels none of it"

Reading over many of the recent posts, we are always talking about asking to have the desire for Christ. Please guide us, and focus our hearts on You. Please help me with this sin. We as christians are so hypersensitive to sin. And, the more we grow as christians the more obsessed and aware we become to our sin and place in this world. Quoting G.I. Joe "now we know and knowing is half the battle" ha. We all have gotten so hard on ourselves when we fall, because we of all people should know better. This is also why actually reading your bible is so helpful. You see the pains and struggles of your biblical heros. The scrip I am focusing on is one we have looked at here many times, and it comes from everyone's "boy"....Paul

(dust off your bibles)

Romans 7: 14-25 starts out with this: "For we know that the Law is spiritual; but I am of flesh, sold into bondage to sin.For that which I am doing, I do not understand; for I am not practicing what I would like to do, but I am doing the very thing I hate.......etc" Please read on as you follow this post due to the fact that the bible is a much better teacher than I.

Talk about some inner conflict going on here. We all can relate to these passages and I'm sure you have had this talk with yourself many times. There are many theological opinions on this being the words of a non-christian vs a christian vs Paul himself. I am not going to get into that as it sometimes distracts our focus in this group. Maybe in a later post...

The thing about sin that really pisses me off is how we "commit" the sin. Now that we know the ramifications for that sin it makes it even worse. When you sin, you are making a commitment. You put in effort. It takes a conscious effort to open that porn site up and let the video load up. It takes effort to work on that chick at the bar when you know where it is going to lead. It takes effort to drink so much it ruins your witness. It takes effort to cheat on your taxes. You are taking time out of your day to deliberatly move further away from God. AHHHHHH. Why do we do it?? Who can help with this?

We see the only answer in the later part of Romans 7:25

Oh,wretched man that I am! Who shall deliver me from the body of this death? I thank God through Jesus Christ, our Lord.

Jesus is our only hope. That is why we cry out to him. He can help, and has helped all of us in the past and will continue to do so in the future. I hope this message hits home with everybody and we continue to strive to live in the Word everyday with our thoughts, actions, and words. It's not easy, and the bad news is that we are only going to get tougher on ourselves as we grow. But, the good news is Jesus Christ, our Lord and Savior....Enough said!



Wednesday, September 16, 2009

A Little About Me and a Thought

What's up fellas?
  Most of you don't know me at all, so I figured that I would take this first post and let y'all in on who I am. 
  My name is Blaine Boyer and I  grew up in Marietta, GA with two parents that split when I was only three. In no way, shape or form did I grow up in a Christian household. I went back and forth from parent to parent for most of my childhood. I found my self worth and identity in sports and popularity. 
  Jesus called me in at a lake house in Albany, GA the summer of my sophomore year in high school. In an event that I can't really put to words, He spoke to me at a campfire through my buddy's Grandmother. From that day forward, my life has never been the same. Flash forward three years from that day... I was drafted by the Atlanta Braves, as a pitcher, in 2000. (I had only pitched a couple of times in my life, but I guess they saw fit and the rest is history.) 
  This season has been pretty wild. I have been with Atlanta, St Louis and the Arizona D-Backs. We are currently in the cellar looking up at the San Diego Padres. 
  I have been married to Ginsey for close to three years now and we live in Marietta and have two dogs, Goose and Nolan.

  Today I had the chance to visit Navy SEAL Team 3 here in San Diego. As we were walking around SEAL headquarters, I saw off in the distance, a group of "hopefuls" on their second of 6 weeks of BUD/S, Basic Underwater Demolition/Seal, training.  The fourth being Hell Week, in which they literally push you to the absolute breaking point of what a human body can handle. It's a full week of nonstop torture. Maximum sleep for the whole week, of week four, is four hours. On top of all of that, you have instructors walking around begging you to quit, offering up a warm meal or bed. All you've got to do is quit. When you quit, you go over and ring this bell three times and its over for you! BUD/S training is where they separate the MEN from the BOYS. The fall out rate of BUD/S training is a remarkable 70 percent. I was blown away at the commitment and drive these men have! Which led me to the begging question... Do I have that same drive and commitment somewhere deep down in me? 
  When I think about the world that we live in as Christians, I can't help but to see the parallels of what I saw today. As "believers", we are a "Special Forces Unit", not for the United States, but for something far greater, the KINGDOM of CHRIST. We don't have instructors walking around offering us up warm food and comfort. No, we have the evil one lurking around every corner, bribing us with temptation. It's incredibly easy for those 70 percent to ring that bell! Just like it's easy for us to fall into satan's temptation.  Those guys out there on that beach today were equipped to fight with only their bodies and physical drive they could possibly muster up.  As believers in Christ, we live in a sinful world that goes against everything that we stand for. But we are equipped with something far greater than human flesh.  We are armored with the Holy Spirit! I'll go to battle with that any day. Piss on that Bell!
    Thanks for letting me be apart of this.


Tuesday, September 15, 2009

His Commandments Are Not Burdensome

When I was young my father did me the favor of shooting me straight. He never said straight up "your brother is just better than you", he just let me know that if I wanted to beat Brian (my brother) I had to work hard at improving my game. I wanted to have the glory of defeating my brother in anything so the hard work wasn't burdensome at all, I loved it. Shooting jumpers in the rain, tossing up rocks to myself and hitting them into the canyon with my bat (standard issue from SF Giants bat-day), or even jumping over stacked bags of leaves like it was the goaline. It didn't matter I was working!
When I got to college the work was a lot harder, sometimes miserable but not entirely burdensome and I look back on it now with fond memories, I'd love to go back and grind it out all over again just because. When I think of anything hard I ever did I don't look back at the grind I look at the accomplishment. Can you all relate?

Let's look at young Jacob describe his grind (being a servant) that his uncle Laban made him endure just so he could call Rachel (Labans daugther) his bride.
Genesis 31:40 "There I was! In the day the drought consumed me, and the frost by night, and my sleep departed from my eyes."
But yet Jacob looked back in retrospect in this way.
Genesis 29:20 "So Jacob served seven years for Rachel and they seemed only a few days to him because of the love he had for her."

Man... Do we love our wives/girlfriends like that? I'm not sure I can say that I do on a consistent basis, and I'm ashamed to say it because I know I love sports 24/7. But let's throw off spouses and sports and ask ourselves if we love Jesus enough to work for Him? Mind you works will not get you a ticket to the show (see last weeks post for explaination). Mix in a little obedience here and a little reading there and we're good right? No! That's not gonna get it to where we need it to be to experience His awesome power. We need to surrender the whole sandwich, not just cut off a chunk and be like "here you go JC get yourself a bite of that" and think He's pleased! Our God is not mocked, you reap what you sow.... period (Gal 6:7)! I'm so tired of my own "B" team mentality, "I'm doing good enough", do you know any champions who went to work satisfied? Man, I don't know I just got fired up on this, let me go put some ice on my neck for a minute.
Now to finish my point, God's commandments (instructions in the bible on how to live) should not be teeth nashing for us to do, we should do it out of love and desire to feel that Holy Spirit tickle our skin again like it did that one time... God wants to give more to us, more peace, more perspective, more love, more laughter, more excitement and yes even more pain. We can't get any of this if we don't grow and the way to grow is to live in obedience and follow His word, cherish His word because He wrote it for us. It's His love letter! I loved Blakes e-outreach email where he asked if we cherish His word. Let's fall in love with the Savior again and experience more of what He has for us.

Father; forgive us of our sinful ways and help us to understand that we are forgiven. Help us to dig our feet in and live this life 100% for you. We need you! In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Thanks for tuning in, I appreciate you guys.

Monday, September 14, 2009

The danger of thinking its about US!!!!

As a newcomer, I'm hoping I do this right.  I hope this ministers to you fellas. 

About 2 weeks ago I thought that I had enough.  I mean enough!!!  I was tired of this roller coaster ride I was on.  My wife and son were home visiting family and poor ol' me had another bad outing.  Familiar territory to anybody?  Yea, its a tough place to be in sometimes.  So, I was on the road by myself to just wallow in my pity.  

I never thought I would be in independent ball. And never thought I would be struggling there too.  Man, am I done with this game? Are the hitters trying to tell me something about my stuff? Can I get my grandmother "out" right now?  These are all great questions for a LOSER to ask.  The fact is, I was just tired of not overcoming my battles.  

I get back to the hotel and mentioned something to my catcher that had caught me that night.  I said something to the effect, "I feel like just going home and finding something else to do."  Well, he didn't like it and he told me he wanted to talk to me.  I accepted.

We had a 15 minute conversation that brought me back to earth and my senses.  He preceded to tell me that since I've been here, with this team, he has grown a lot spiritually.  He said if I left it would not be good for him to not have me around to encourage him. WOW!!!!!!!!!!  Now I write this not to boast and say,"hey everybody I'm a great spiritual teammate."  No!!!  I write this to say how much of an influence we have on our teammates!  

Talking about the Holy Spirit pricking your heart!!!  Ouch!!  I had gotten so wrapped up in my self pity and what God owed me that I missed the whole reason why I play this game.  For HIM!!!  Its so easy to get caught up in numbers, statistics and results and lose focus on our real goal.  Satan come to steal, kill and destroy and yes he was destroying my purpose.  Don't let him.  

Fellas, its not about us at all.  Its not about what God can do for us in this game.  Its about God giving us the talent and a mission field to spread the Good News.  

Praise God for using people around us to minister to us when we are down.  May we be that same encouragement to everybody around us!!  

Its been a pleasure sharing my heart with you.  Until Monday..........


Sunday Bread

What's up E-Fellas! I hope all is well with you guys. I am very excited to be back on board, and I hope that my Sunday night posts will be God-glorifying and a blessing to you.

I am currently a student in the Master of Divinity program at Southwestern Baptist Theological Seminary in my hometown Ft. Worth, Tx. I am taking Old Testament Survey, New Testament Greek, Biblical Hermeneutics (how to interpret Scripture), and Church History I. I love my classes and I am very fortunate to have such great professors.

Tonight I want to talk about my Old Testament professor Dr. Mudliar. He has a PhD from Johns Hopkins University in Near Eastern Studies and is a well known scholar in the conservative Christian world. But do you want to know what has impressed me since day one of his class? His love and knowledge of the Scriptures. It seems as though he knows every verse of the Bible! We will have a Q & A time each class where we will ask different questions and every question he answers, he does by siting numerous passages from the Bible chapter and verse. He will say, "well, if you will look in 1 Corinthians 4: 7-12, Isaiah 53:12-23, and Exodus 34:1-20 you will see ....," and many times quoting the verses verbatim.

I found myself giggling like a little school boy at this amazing spectacle! I had this strong desire to know Scripture like he does. When I meet with people who need counsel I want to have a wealth of Scripture in my mind and heart to pull from. When life hits me hard, I want to have an arsenal of truth to hit life back. The great 19th century English preacher Charles Spurgeon said that the Puritan pastor John Bunyan was so full of the Word of God that he said if you cut him he would bleed the Bible. Why would we not want that for ourselves?

While hearing Dr. Mudliar, I also found myself feeling extreme conviction. I am in seminary to become a pastor. What is a pastor? He is a shepherd of God's flock, the Church. What is his tool for teaching, for correction, for encouragement, for reproving, for exhorting, for comforting, for leading the flock (2Tim 3:16)? It is the inspired, infallible Word of God. Do I know it? Do I love it? Have I memorized key chunks of it? Do I bleed the Bible, or my own personal opinions on things?

In the beginning of the book of Joshua, we see a young man who has taken over for Moses to lead the nation of Israel. We are talking about the Moses who parted the Red Sea, turned the Nile into blood, spoke with God on Mount Sinai and led the nation through the wilderness. Hey Joshua! Your up! Obviously from the text we see he was fearful because God told him several times do not fear. Then God says in Joshua 1:9 what will be the key for Joshua to be blesses and successful as the leader of the nation of Israel. He says, " This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth but you shall meditate on it day and night so that you may observe to do all that I have written in it, then you will make your way prosperous and then you will have good success."

A Christian who does not know his Bible is a Christian who will not experience the power of God. He will not experience the sweetness of His promises, or the freedom and joy that comes from meditating on the grace of God shown in Jesus Christ.

Let us be people of the Book. May we plead with God to give us a desire for his Word. May we be a group that when we are cut we will bleed the Bible.


Friday, September 11, 2009

Questions on Pain and Suffering

I recently had these two questions asked of me from a friend of mine that has come to know Christ during this past year. I feel these two questions are pretty popular questions so I figured I would share them with ya'll (waino) to work out as well so we can be equipped whenever someone comes at us with these questions again.

1. Why are some people born in extreme poverty and sickness and others born healthy and prosperous?

2. Is death by warfare, sickness, or by accident predetermined by God?

*** To answer your first two questions I want to change our perspective on things such as poverty, warfare, and sickness. The popular question is how could a loving God allow such terrible things to happen to people here on earth, but when we ask this question we are thinking of God's love as something that is only concerned with our happiness and comfort here on earth. Here's the problem with that way of thinking. We were created to be in a certain relationship to God. Christ said it was difficult for the "rich" to enter the Kingdom of Heaven (Matthew 19:23) referring no doubt to "riches" in the ordinary sense but also this could cover "riches" in every sense - good fortune, health, popularity, and all the things one wants to have. All these things for some people can be dangerous because these things tend to make you feel independent of God, because if you have them you are happy already and content with your life. This could lead to feelings of not needing anything else let alone God. Consequently, because God loves us so much, He may have to take all these riches away from you because if He doesn't you will go on relying on them. This at first may seem cruel, but who wouldn't trade a short life span of pain here on earth for an eternity of happiness with our Lord who loves us enough to save us from ourselves no matter what the cost! So we must change our perspective of what true love really is and what it is not. Paul talks about this a little further in 1 Corinthians 5 when he describes a situation going on in the church there. Apparently, some member of the church in Corinth was having an affair with his step-mom (straight off the Jerry Springer show I know). Paul addresses this issue because apparently the other members of the church were not addressing the man caught up in this terrible affair. They were just letting this man get away with his double life without any acknowledgment whatsoever. Paul demands that the members of the church address the man and throw him out of the church which again seems like a very unloving and cruel thing to do but Paul explains why in verse 5. Paul says that they are to throw him out so that hopefully he will hit a point of extreme brokenness in his life and recognize his sin therefore leading to repentance and saving his life. So what is true love? Is it allowing someone to continue down a path of self destruction just as long as they are content and happy? Or is true love, a tough love that seeks to save a person's life no matter how uncomfortable the costs or pains may be?

I like an illustration used by CS Lewis on this topic. He says, "If you think of this world as a place intended simply for our happiness, you find it quite intolerable: think of it as a place of training and correction and it's not so bad. Imagine a set of people all living in the same building. Half of them think it is a hotel, the other half think it is a prison. Those who think it a hotel might regard it as quite intolerable, and those who thought it was a prison might decide that it was really surprisingly comfortable."

A quick opinion on warfare.... I often wonder how many young men out on a battlefield with their lives on the line have searched out and found their Creator because of their heightened awareness of death? Personally, I have to think that war can sometimes lead a person closer to God than a normal content everyday lifestyle but that might be just me.


Tuesday, September 8, 2009

Make Sure You Got A Ticket To The Show

Everybody wants to go to the show right? You know the show; the best act in town, the act that nobody wants to miss for fear that they will miss out on the coolest event ever and have to listen to everybody talk about how unbelievable it was? The show! You have to have a ticket to get in, you can't just show up and expect to get in those gates, there are only a certain amount of seats set-up and they are only for the people who received a ticket. You don't want to miss out do you?

Petey Pete (Simon Peter) our favorite denying disciple lays it down for believers in his 2nd epistle. He lists eight (some say seven because they count faith as already attained) things people need to make sure their lives aren't unfruitful and by doing this we will know that we have a ticket to "the show".

2 Peter 1:5-8 "... add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, to knowledge self-control, to self-control perserverance, to perserverance godliness, to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. For if these things are yours and abound, you will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.
2 Peter 1:10 " Therefore brethren, be even more diligent to make your call and election sure, for if you do these things you will never stumble."

Man; I want to make my election sure, I don't want to have to ever doubt whether I'm going to make it or not. I was talking with Brian Manfred recently and we talked about the idea that if our lives ended today would we be going to heaven or hell? We should know how to answer that question, God wants us to know whether or not we have a ticket to the show. We can't let the flesh and enemy fill us with doubt, if we do feel doubt remember the gospel and this epistle from Peter. Peter tells us plain and simple how we can make our election a certainty, go to your bible and read the scripture (seven things to add to your faith). Election is we choose Jesus and become God's elect to live in eternity in heaven. If we are certain that there is a seat waiting in the theatre with our name on it, a ticket to the show, people will see that and want to know what we have. That is producing fruit, we should be living and breathing this stuff. Let's make sure we make our election a certainty and receive the ticket of eternity.

Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Take Heed in Your Ministry

Paul instructs Timothy in 1 Timothy 4:12 to "Let no one despise your youth, but be an example to the believers in word, in conduct, in love, in spirit, in faith, an in purity". Paul list ways in which we are to be examples to those around us. We as ministers of the faith (if you share the gospel then you are ministering whether you like the title or not) are to be examples in our speech, in righteous living, in self-sacrificing service to others, in our relationships, in our commitment to Christ, and through a pure and genuine character. Good advice that I just recently went over so I wanted to share with everyone. I'm going to marinate on this verse for a while before I attempt to unpack it so enjoy my unusual briefness.


Tuesday, September 1, 2009

Who Is Jesus To You

Luke 9:18 "...Who do the crowds say that I am?"
Luke 9:20 "...But who do you say that I am?"

Jesus was asking the disciples these questions and I thought it might be relevant for all of us to ask ourselves who we say that Jesus was and is. If we say He is only one thing (example- Savior) I think we are missing the point. It might be more poignant to ask who He isn't.