12.23.2008

new perspective

Last time I was in DC I picked up the newest copy of Relevant Magazine, http://www.relevantmagazine.com/. The article which really stuck out to me was the "7 Burning Issues." Which spoke about how the church should respond to such issues as war, social issues, politics, homosexuality etc.... The last one, homosexuality really stood out to me.
For a long time this issue in and of itself has been on my heart and how the church (typically) approaches it.

So, please, indulge me for a moment.

I used to have a quite negative and biased look on the homosexual community/lifestyle. Thinking that in no way shape or form they could be Christian or have any idea as to who God is, I now feel that I was very wrong. I know believe that a man or woman who is tempted in this can be a Christian. 1 Corinthians 6:9-11 lays it out clearly. The trick is to not indulge (Romans 13:14) in these things that we struggle with or that we are tempted by. Temptation is not sin, its when we entertain these temptations with our thoughts or actions. Now I want to make it very clear that I don't condone homosexuality. I believe that it is wrong and not natural. Just like I believe that getting drunk, looking at pornography and having sex before marriage is wrong and not natural. It's all sin, simple as that. So for the duration of this we will call "homosexuality" what it really is, sin.

I firmly believe that people who are sinners should be able to freely enter into a church. My Bible tells me that Christ died for ALL sinners to be saved. We read all throughout the book of Romans where the Apostle Paul tells us that the grace of God is in no way a license to sin. (Ref. Romans chapters 6, 7, 8) Once someone steps into a relationship with God they ought to abstain from a sinful lifestyle. I believe that we have to approach all sinners with love and with the knowledge that all have sinned (Romans 3:9-20) and fallen very short of the Glory of God.

There is no "sin scale" in Heaven that God is using to compare our sins amongst each other. Sin is sin. We are born into this. Just as God is love we are sin. So its when we grasp this concept that we can look at anyone, regardless of the severity of there sin, and realize that we are all in the same boat.

12.21.2008

prior...

...to the sin coming into man did man have a consciousness? was it needed if sin did not exist?

12.13.2008

i don't have enough faith to be an atheist

thats it! i simply don't have the faith to believe in nothing (how can you believe in nothing? the word belief denotes the fact that there must be ''something'' to believe in). to believe that all of this (universe, earth that we live on, the family i have, the home i am living in, etc....) is just random selection! what sense, if any, does all of this make? take apart a wind up clock, place the contents in a bag, now shake. do not stop shaking until the clock comes back together in a full working manner. what are the odds of that happening? thats how insane all of this evolution jargen is to me.

no staring into the endless void, not for this guy. i will keep praising my God and living this life as i was created to live it. i will never stop seeking the God of all creation, the Star Breather, the galaxy maker. He who holds the universe in His hand. for He is my source of life.

amen and good night.

California......


...how i miss thee. its hard to put my finger on it, is it California that i miss or is it "California as i remember it" that i miss? don't get me wrong, i love Richmond but it does pale in comparison to the western cities, LA, San Diego, Seattle or Portland.

the last time that i went back to California it was nice but it left a bitter sweet taste in my mouth.

i believe that i miss it as i recollect it. 6 years have passed since i lived there and a lot has changed with the state as well as with me. i have grown away from it. (GAST! listen to me, you would think we (myself and cali?) were separated at birth).


and the weather, oh how i miss the weather! ALWAYS nice! the surf, the culture, the everything, its great. still there is something off about it for me. i know that Richmond, Virginia is where i belong. there is no doubt of this in my mind and i am at peace about it. but still my heart breaks for California. so, i am resolved to pray. to pray for my fellow laborers in the church and keep them held up in my thoughts. and i am resolved to stay right where God has me.

12.11.2008

us and......soda???

step 1. take a bottle of soda, now shake hard.

step 2. let said bottle of soda sit on the counter.

step 3. either A, take the lid off and let it explode or B. let it sit and go flat.

exercise complete.

so often this is how we are in life, we either explode or go flat.

if we bottle up and repress our emotions we tend to explode. the ironic thing is that the issue we are loosing our self over started out as a small thing. or, after bottling up the issue at hand, we ignore and tell ourselves, "its not a big deal, i can handle it." we then proceed to ignore it and we become flat or empathetic.

both scenarios are dangerous and i believe that we get this way because we have no stability in life. we see all of the things that we have placed our trust in and they're failing all around us. be it the economy, marriage, family and friends, or yourself. all of these things are temporary, they are going to go away. (now understand this, i am not in any way down playing the importance and significance of the things. they are all beautiful attributes to life.) someday they do come to a close. sweet! now that i have painted a dismal forecast, now what? have you thought of God. the same God that has created all that we see knows us and loves us dearly and has a plan for our lives that prevents us from loosing it or getting empathetic.

step into the peace and love of God. step into that life which YOU were created to live.

12.10.2008

4 Anchors that Hold

Acts 27:23-29

23 For last night an angel of the God to whom I belong and whom I serve stood beside me, 24 and he said, ‘Don’t be afraid, Paul, for you will surely stand trial before Caesar! What’s more, God in his goodness has granted safety to everyone sailing with you.’ 25 So take courage! For I believe God. It will be just as he said. 26 But we will be shipwrecked on an island.”27 About midnight on the fourteenth night of the storm, as we were being driven across the Sea of Adria,[a] the sailors sensed land was near. 28 They dropped a weighted line and found that the water was 120 feet deep. But a little later they measured again and found it was only 90 feet deep.[b] 29 At this rate they were afraid we would soon be driven against the rocks along the shore, so they threw out four anchors from the back of the ship and prayed for daylight. 30 Then the sailors tried to abandon the ship; they lowered the lifeboat as though they were going to put out anchors from the front of the ship. 31 But Paul said to the commanding officer and the soldiers, “You will all die unless the sailors stay aboard.” 32 So the soldiers cut the ropes to the lifeboat and let it drift away.
33 Just as day was dawning, Paul urged everyone to eat. “You have been so worried that you haven’t touched food for two weeks,” he said. 34 “Please eat something now for your own good. For not a hair of your heads will perish.”

Four Anchors that Hold

1. God - Vs. 23 "I am God's" In this passage Paul knows that he is God's. There is such peace and overwhelming comfort that comes with this. And its not JUST that you are God's but that you are in His will for your life. We live best when we acknowledge and live for that which created us. Also reference Psalm 139.

2. Faith - Vs. 25 Paul states, "....I believe God." Without faith we have nothing. Hebrews 11:1 - 1 "Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen."

3. The Ship - Vs. 31 "Stay on board." So often we get upset, frustrated or "derailed" in our lives because we feel that God is not around. When, in all reality, God is always there but we must stay with Him and continue on the course set out for us. Another translation says, "Abide in the ship." Stay in God, Abide in God.

4. Meat - Vs. 34 "Eat something." A word, or a scripture sometimes will stay on my palate for the longest of time. These are the things that must be taken with us to encourage and push us on through life.

12.08.2008

boundries

i find it interesting that we desire so badly to be free from boundaries in our lives yet we cannot even park our cars without some inanimate line on the road telling us where to park it. but we have to be free from rules! from authority and government! (read Romans 13) "you can't/won't hold me back!" we shout as we drive down the road being guided by lines, that keep you held into a certain area....that keeps you from harming yourself or others. interesting.

boundaries are in place for our protection. to the ones how have the hope of things yet to come (ref. Hebrews 11:1, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=hebrews+11:1) we see these boundaries in our lives as being the Hand of God, lovingly directing and guiding us. to the ones that have YET to obtain their hope they sum these things up to random selection, evolution, and "oops it just happened that way!"

its nice to know that God has me and that the Creator of all has a vested interest in my life and every life (ref. Psalm 139, http://www.biblegateway.com/passage/?search=psalm%20139;&version=31) and cares about my future.

so is it....

....that we have the free will to choose God or is it that we are pre-destined to choose God?

12.02.2008

it is not often....

.....that i cannot muster the courage to talk to someone face to face, this is that rare occasion. so, i have retreated and am hiding behind the safety of my keyboard.

about 2 years ago now i became highly active with Generation Now http://www.gen-now.org/ and in doing that i came under the authority, instruction and teaching of Pastor Craig Dyson. he has become a great mentor in my life as well as a trusted friend and dare i say a brother. these are words that i never toss around lightly, friend, mentor, brother and the like. rather these are words that i hold in high esteem. i liken him to a brother because that is what he has become. God has used this man in my life to encourage me, stretch, dash my lofty thoughts of self proclamation and at the same time i have stood on his back so i could see what he was trying to show me all along. i have learned sacrifice, discipline and how to love others in a deeper way. Craig, i truly don't have all the words to tell you what your friendship has meant to me.

Cara, i think that we were separated at birth. i mean think about; were both from the NW......well that's really all i have to support my argument. really what i'm trying to say is that you have become a sister to me. i thank you for your prayers and your friendship. you are a great woman of God and i'll never forget what you have taught and very often you have taught me without words. thank you for your dedication to myself and Christa, it will never be forgotten.

you guys are leaving for Montana on Saturday (in case you forgot!). if i had my way i would stop you.....wait, no i wouldn't. here is why, because this is what God has for your lives and if you were to stay and strive you would be miserable. the one thing that i have been told by you guys is to walk out what God has for my life.

i (we) expect to hear mighty things coming out of Montana and i (we) expect it soon!

i'm out of words, so i'll use Craig's instead.

"Don't despise the journey."

11.30.2008

living...

...the way i was built to live.

this last week i have had 3 people tell me that "i do so much" with people and the church. my response is the same one that it has always been, "no i don't." and then the person scoffs and makes some remark to shoot me down, not in a bad way.

here is the analogy i use to explain this.

if you were to walk up to a car and (lets pretend this car could talk and have thought) pat it on the hood and thank it for doing a good job being a sports car it would laugh. why would it laugh? because the sports car would wonder why you are stroking its ego for doing what it was created to do. just the same with the mini-van, the truck, the family car, etc...... these vehicles are carrying out the purpose for which they were built.

this is how i see my life. i'm living every step of it, every breath, every heart beat, and every word for my God and not for myself. we live to serve others with our lives. this is the example that was set for us with Christ and this is the life that Christians must live.

this concept of service is something the world (non-Christians) cannot understand. how can you love selflessly if you haven't experienced selfless love? i can already see the debates that i have sparked, we'll see what happens.

live the life that God has given you for God and only God. think of this, last thought i promise. if a sports car tried to be a truck, or visa versa, this would not work. the same applies when we try and live our lives away from God, or away from our creator.

i part with that, God Bless and good night.

great blogs

there is a list on the side of my page listing some great blogs but i want to take a moment to highlight some that i love and frequent often. http://underwearandwisdom.blogspot.com/ this one belongs to David Stells. He is a great brother in the Faith and a fellow laborer, the kids got mad skills......check it out. http://sewtrashy.com/ this is Whitney Beasley's page. do yourself the favor and drop in, your cheating yourself if you don't!

http://www.suburbandissident.blogspot.com/ this man is nasty awesome. Yale grad and now a missionary in a "Red" country. he is a man that I look up to and respect. God Bless you Cole, Your in my prayers bro. http://unveiledlives.blogspot.com/ John Cain. a man of many thoughts and a great thinker. http://www.craigdyson.com/ Craig Dyson. he has been and will always be a great influence in my life. he has poured into my life and been a better then friend then i can express. God has recently called him and his wife Cara http://8406shepherdswatchdr.blogspot.com/ to Montana. we look forward with great anticipation to hear of what God is doing out there.

So these are a few people in my life that have had and continue to have a great impact on my life. I only hope that I have some positive affect on them. God Bless.

11.04.2008

Amazing.

My God made this.....



I have always been the first to admit that I know very little about (and forgive me if this is poor dialect) outer space, but I do know when something is beautiful. And I am in pure amazement at the works of my God. The same God who created this made me and its forever amazing to me that this God who made all of this knows me greatly and eternally.






11.02.2008

Proverbs 1

The Beginning of Knowledge
Proverbs 1:1 The proverbs of Solomon the son of David, king of Israel: 2 To know wisdom and instruction, To perceive the words of understanding, 3 To receive the instruction of wisdom, Justice, judgment, and equity; 4 To give prudence to the simple, To the young man knowledge and discretion -- 5 A wise [man] will hear and increase learning, And a man of understanding will attain wise counsel, 6 To understand a proverb and an enigma, The words of the wise and their riddles. 7 The fear of the LORD [is] the beginning of knowledge, [But] fools despise wisdom and instruction. 8 My son, hear the instruction of your father, And do not forsake the law of your mother; 9 For they [will be] a graceful ornament on your head, And chains about your neck. 10 My son, if sinners entice you, Do not consent. 11 If they say, "Come with us, Let us lie in wait to [shed] blood; Let us lurk secretly for the innocent without cause; 12 Let us swallow them alive like Sheol, And whole, like those who go down to the Pit; 13 We shall find all [kinds] of precious possessions, We shall fill our houses with spoil; 14 Cast in your lot among us, Let us all have one purse" -- 15 My son, do not walk in the way with them, Keep your foot from their path; 16 For their feet run to evil, And they make haste to shed blood. 17 Surely, in vain the net is spread In the sight of any bird; 18 But they lie in wait for their [own] blood, They lurk secretly for their [own] lives. 19 So [are] the ways of everyone who is greedy for gain; It takes away the life of its owners. 20 Wisdom calls aloud outside; She raises her voice in the open squares. 21 She cries out in the chief concourses, At the openings of the gates in the city She speaks her words: 22 "How long, you simple ones, will you love simplicity? For scorners delight in their scorning, And fools hate knowledge. 23 Turn at my rebuke; Surely I will pour out my spirit on you; I will make my words known to you. 24 Because I have called and you refused, I have stretched out my hand and no one regarded, 25 Because you disdained all my counsel, And would have none of my rebuke, 26 I also will laugh at your calamity; I will mock when your terror comes, 27 When your terror comes like a storm, And your destruction comes like a whirlwind, When distress and anguish come upon you. 28 "Then they will call on me, but I will not answer; They will seek me diligently, but they will not find me. 29 Because they hated knowledge And did not choose the fear of the LORD, 30 They would have none of my counsel [And] despised my every rebuke. 31 Therefore they shall eat the fruit of their own way, And be filled to the full with their own fancies. 32 For the turning away of the simple will slay them, And the complacency of fools will destroy them; 33 But whoever listens to me will dwell safely, And will be secure, without fear of evil."

10.29.2008

have we forgotten...?

Barack Hussein Obama is nearing the presidency and society has seemed to turn a blind eye to the controversy that follows this man. Rev. Dr. Jeremiah Wright, Tony Rezko, Louis Farrakhan etc..... Are we so blinded by the media that we cannot see this man for what he truly is? What about ACORN? What about Jeremiah Wright? http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=8M-kD0QdRJk click on this link and see for yourself the hate that this man spread for years. Then he goes onto the View and denounces his pastor of 20 years, http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fPTl4s_xIDY&feature=related, what?!? My wife has been in our church now for 26 years, all her life. If she came to me tomorrow and said that he (our Pastor) was "more of a crazy uncle" and that the things he has said to her, for 26 years, didn't really have that great of an impact on her life I would have her committed, that's crazy!

This truly blows me away on one hand that this man might be president, but at the same time it doesn't. I guess we'll find out in 6 days......

10.16.2008

my favorite


This is my favorite peice that I have done in a long time. Enjoy.

let us fight

2 Corinthians 10:4-6


4 The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. 5 We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. 6 And we will be ready to punish every act of disobedience, once your obedience is complete.


In any fight there must be a delineation of the opposing forces and what they stand for. When a man or woman is truly living out their faith and walking the witness of Jesus Christ the enemy in the fight is satan. The way satan attacks is through sin and temptation, which leads to sin.


The world (meaning society, satan and anything opposing to God) tells us to be inward focused and seek after that which satiates one's self. Christianity says to serve and love others, to place others before yourself. The word of God (Bible) says to remain pure sexually and to protect that purity (1 Corinthians 6:18-20) and to honor God with our bodies as a living sacrifice (Romans 12). Society says its just sex and to stop being so "up tight" about it. When this is said I realize that it is said out of a complete ignorance and misappropriation of one's focus.


So as Christians we must always be ready to fight. We must arm ourselves with love, authority of God's word and truth. We must never forget that this message that we live is ridiculous to those who don't know God.

1 Corinthians 1:18

For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.

So let us not be surprised and taken off the foundation that God has set us on when the world mocks the gospel, it's to be expected. Always love with a reckless abandonment and do not hold back. Let the light of God shine in your life (Matthew 5:14-16).

10.14.2008

Truth

This word, or concept, has seemed to have fallen to the side of the road as of late. What does it mean? Is it a relative term to the individual or is it a constant? Should it be a constant?

Truth:

1 archaic : fidelity , constancy b: sincerity in action, character, and utterance

Truth should be a constant. When I married my wife I committed myself to her in every way. To love her, stand by her in sickness and health, etc.... the truth of the matter is that I have bonded myself with her for the rest of our lives. This is a truth. This is a constant. In today's society marriage is becoming more of a whimsical thought. There seems to be less and less weight carried in one's spoken word of commitment.

Truth cannot be relative. Two plus two will always be two. And for those of us who know now and for those who will learn, God will always be God.

10.13.2008

He must increase but I must decrease

Denying one's own self for the gain of Jesus Christ is an awesome thing. When someone truly realizes that they must decrease their lives (self interest, personal gain, work, family, friends, etc...) so that God can increase its a very freeing realisation.


In John 3:30, "He must increase, but I must decrease."


It's only when this is done and we deny ourselves that we can truly love all people out of a Christ like nature. This love is a love that is not self seeking in any way, that is not self gratifying or boastful to any measure. If love is not out of a complete attitude of service to the recipient then it could be argued that it's not truly love.


The writer of Philippans had an extraordinary understanding of this and counted all things as loss to the glory of Christ.

1Finally, my brothers, rejoice in the Lord! It is no trouble for me to write the same things to you again, and it is a safeguard for you.
2Watch out for those dogs, those men who do evil, those mutilators of the flesh. 3For it is we who are the circumcision, we who worship by the Spirit of God, who glory in Christ Jesus, and who put no confidence in the flesh— 4though I myself have reasons for such confidence. If anyone else thinks he has reasons to put confidence in the flesh, I have more: 5circumcised on the eighth day, of the people of Israel, of the tribe of Benjamin, a Hebrew of Hebrews; in regard to the law, a Pharisee; 6as for zeal, persecuting the church; as for legalistic righteousness, faultless.
7But whatever was to my profit I now consider loss for the sake of Christ. 8What is more, I consider everything a loss compared to the surpassing greatness of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them rubbish, that I may gain Christ 9and be found in him, not having a righteousness of my own that comes from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ—the righteousness that comes from God and is by faith. 10I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death, 11and so, somehow, to attain to the resurrection from the dead.

Truly this is how I desire to live out this life.

God help me.

9.27.2008

question.....

this is to the atheist but open to anyone.

if there is no heaven and there is no hell, what happens to your soul when you die?

better yet. if the belief is there is no "after-life" then do we even have souls? if there is nowhere for them to go then why have them?

9.26.2008

art

i have made a new blog dedicated to my art work. i don't consider myself anything special but i do like to show it, so check it out. http://rvaart.blogspot.com/ and, please, feel free to drop a little criticism if you like. take it easy.

9.21.2008

Aftermath - War of Ages

Light has dawned.I've emerged to hide my face in disgust.Reach for me in that day.Ease the storm that's plagued me.Although we live in darkness, will a torch ever burn and give us light as we close our eyes.We've decided to walk alone, flirting with our arrogance.The clouds roll in as our heads hang.Lord, fill our mouths and our lives with your words.I will life my voice and stand so we may live.And fight the pride that holds me in place.For I am not a slave to my fear.Hide no more and leave your anchors at bay.Surfaced the grave that's buried too deep.Remove the dagger held by my lungs.Hide no more.Become a messenger.Cry out a song of praise that is true.Transform.Become a flesh that's reborn.Take the pride that darkens me.Hear me.For I won't be help down by fear.No one will ever quench my thirst.For I long for a better life.I'll fight

9.20.2008

Why abort?

This question has been popping through my mind for last couple of weeks and it astounds me that this is still legal. Why is it okay to kill an Innocent life? Where are that child's rights and why do they start only at a set number of weeks?

My thoughts go like this. I believe that in some cases abortion is used as an out for irresponsibility and for poor planning. It, abortion, has become something of a convenience vs. a life long decision. The psychological toll on the woman is immense and the toll that is taken on the unborn child is death. So this brings me to a rather obvious proposal, give that child up for adoption. In other words, give that child a chance at life instead of making the child pay for your mistake.

Carry the child for nine months and give that life a chance at a potential 80 years of life. I can already see the question that's going to come out of this one; you can't legislate morality!! Yes you can and our culture has been doing it from the beginning. Go murder, rape, steal or embezzle millions and tell the judge that your "morality" says its okay to do these things, see what he says. The same principle applies here. Our society has deemed it permissible to kill off the affects of your decision to have sex. Why is this alright? I say that if you cannot deal with your consequences of your actions you should NOT have the right to murder....it doesn't make sense.

9.19.2008

Wait....what?!!?

Just these last few days the Bush administration has orchestrated a plan to bail out big investment firms (http://finance.yahoo.com/tech-ticker/article/63460/Biggest-Bailout-Ever-Did-the-Government-Go-Too-Far?tickers=mer,bac,fre,fnm,leh,aig) and other high up corporations such as AIG (American International Group) and many others. This is all being done to the tune of at least 85 billion dollars. Whats this mean for us the taxpayers? That's right, higher taxes and to be honest whether these taxes hit me or not I think its wrong. What my government is telling me is that I can slack on my mortgage and not tend to my bills and the government is going to cut me a check and bail me out as well. I think this is insane to say the least!

atheism equals no accountability

Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary

ac·count·abil·i·ty
Function:
noun
Date:
1794
: the quality or state of being accountable ; especially : an obligation or willingness to accept responsibility or to account for one's actions
3 a: a statement explaining one's conduct b: a statement or exposition of reasons, causes, or motives c: a reason for an action : basis

I recently wrote, in the posting previous to this that, "Atheism, or anti-theism, is the desire to escape accountability of one's own actions", and I stand by this. The response to this is, "I answer to myself." In other words, "I am accountable to myself." As we see in the definition of this word, account, accountable, and accountability, one cannot be accountable to one's self. If this the case the action of answering to yourself completely negates the meaning of the word. If you are accountable then there must be someone that you answer to. Try telling your employer that you answer to yourself and you will find yourself quickly unemployed. Regardless of your stance on God we are all accountable in our lives, even if we do not acknowledge it.

So this being the case, the question still stands; if there is no God who do you answer to?

9.18.2008

On atheism

When an atheist, or an anti-theist, speaks in defence of his/her belief my faith in Jesus Christ strengthens that much more. What is extremely sobering about atheism is the complete lack of substance in any degree and the praise of one's self. If there is no God why live? Another way of saying it; what is there to live for? Atheism, or anti-theism, is the desire to escape accountability of one's own actions. If there is no God to whom do I answer to? Says the atheist. Little do they realize that's it absolute freedom in Christ vs. absolute oppression, as God is so often portrayed.

I also firmly believe that the person who does not believe in God, and makes that fact known, is closer to Christ then they realize. Think about it. If you have ever seen a fight or have had the unfortunate time of being in one, you know that you must be close to your enemy to fight them. The person who tells everyone that they hate God or that God does not exist must, in figurative terms of course, sit in the lap of God in order to slap Him in the face. This brings up yet another issue.

In the book, "God is not great; How religion poisons everything" the author Christopher Hitchens writes, "I hate God and God hates me." I find this interesting. How can you hate something, someone, or even the idea of something if you don't believe that that "something" even exists? And how can that non-existent something hate you if that something does not exist? See, I think atheist's shouldn't have a single thing to say about God. How can you if you don't believe in it? Not just that you don't believe in it but that you don't think there is even anything to believe in!!! How does this make sense?

And this is what we as Christians must approach with grace and understanding. Understanding in that we can't and shouldn't expect a person to live by the standards of God if they are not God's child. This is the world and time that we live in.

8.16.2008

beautiful

Poi si tornĂ² all'eterna fontana

"Then one returns to the eternal fountain"

8.13.2008

life right now

i find myself in an odd place right now. i do not believe that I'm stagnant in my walk or even sedentary in my thoughts i just feel slow. it is true that my life is very busy and full of friends and activity but i almost feel as if God is trying to reveal or coax me to a different place that He already is. please understand that I'm not complaining about life, not in the least. i could almost argue that its contentment that i feel rather then a variable of speed; slow. its a different kind of contentment that i feel though, its almost a factual feeling. as if God is reinforcing to me that He has been and will always remain there and everywhere for the rest of ever.

7.19.2008

Love or Pride?

Love outside of it's Creator is not Love, but pride. If God is the creator of Love, rather if God is Love (1 John 4:7-11) how then can man love outside of God? Sin is rooted in pride. Pride is rooted in a recognition of self and from others, pride. When love is attempted outside of it's originator we run into a sort of prideful desire for recognition. In turn we create not love but a love of self which destroys the very premise of true love, which is to love others before yourself.

So we come down to the dilema yet again. Life, love, breath and all of the above is useless outside of God, outside of its Creator.

6.27.2008

fire hydrants and shadows

there is a fire hydrant across the street, its silver and it has a shadow. while looking at this hydrant the other night God spoke to me and it, i believe, was and is very poignant.

this hydrant, i noticed, has a shadow. and just like every other shadow there are certain similarities. all shadows are a "cut out" of the original. depending on where the light hits the object they can be the same height and width as the object. now if someone tried to convince you that this shadow had the exact same qualities and value as the main object you would assume this person to be crazy. the shadow serves no purpose beyond that of telling you where the object has taken up space, that's it.


when we as people are living our lives outside of our Creators (God) design and plan we are this shadow. the same applies. if you walked up to someone and told them that there shadow held the same validity in life this person would not only assume you were crazy they would tell you as well. i think that there is a sort of catch though. when we are living in our shadow of our true self we really don't know it. see, the enemy, who is satan, will do everything in his power to try and keep us living outside of God's plan because he knows full well what we (you) were truly created for. he knows that when we submit ourselves to the Master Author the true writing of our lives begins and there is nothing that can be done to stop it. think of it this way. to truly understand a song, poem or play you would go to the author, right? of course. God is this author of our lives. however, you can still run wild on this stage we call life and be completely unaware that you missed your cue. this is due to the fact of our pride, we are convinced that we can do it ourselves. however, how foolish would that actor look on stage if he did not follow the script and all of the other's did?


among many others this is the offering of Christianity, clarity of life. wouldn't it be hard to live as that shadow of the object yet still desire with all of you to be the actual? i'm not going to suppose that this is Christianity in it's entirety because it is not. i believe it is as individual as the individual. however we cannot be someone that we were not created to be and wouldn't it be nice to be the self that you created to be. how else do you, could you, be that self away from your true Creator?

6.16.2008

friends

every Monday night my wife has her Fusion (that would be a college girls small group) and i go to Barnes and Noble's with a good friend of mine, Logan. we sit and talk. about what you ask? everything. tonight we talked about life, Jesus (which really is life!) God, the Holy Spirit, money, work, philosophy, family, friends etc.... its truly a time well spent. now i have realized as of late that God has greatly blessed me with friends, which i do consider family.

every other Sunday night we have all the college kids over here at the house. to do what you ask? to talk and hang out. we drink coffee and speak on the idiosyncrasies of life. God, family, friends, work, life, politics and everything else in between.

what i am trying to get at here is that life is good and God is greater!

6.14.2008

a thought on light

"I believe in Christianity as I believe that the sun has risen, not only because I see it, but because by it I see everything else." C.S. Lewis from " The Weight of Glory
it's interesting to me how profound yet simple this is. when i gave my life, heart, mind and everything solely to God i saw, and still do see, all things in such perfect clarity. why wouldn't i? you would understand a poem, painting or song if it were explained to you be the creator of said work better then if it were told to you by some on looker. so why wouldn't we see with more clarity when our Creator truly opens our eyes?
in John 9:39 Christ says that He came to "give sight to the blind." now i believe this to be figurative as well as literal, He did and still does both. prior to a life given to Christ we can see, or so we think. the enemy, satan, has blinded us to ourselves and our own self destructive ways. we do not know, until were lying face down on the floor, that we have missed the mark. think of it this way; a man for all his life has lived in darkness, literal darkness, lets say a cave. now you find this man and introduce light to him, keep in mind he has no concept of this, at all. how over stimulated and elated do you think this man would be? for the first time in his life he would truly see.
we, prior to Christ, live in this darkness, and like the man, do not know it. now its easy to assume that this man, having lived in the cave and just shown the light, would be thrilled to show his friends. there would be no hesitation rather complete joy and excitement allowing nothing to stop him from showing his friends and family.
this is why i breath. this is why exist. getting married, holding an occupation, drinking coffee with my friends and ranting on theology and philosophy and (seemingly useless) politics are all well and good but not the reason i live. this is. see i have been shown this light and i'm elated, thrilled and over joyed to tell others.
Matthew 5:16 - "Let your light so shine before men, that the may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven"

6.10.2008

bitter coffee and sin.

let me start this out and make it very clear that i am not saying that coffee is sin, that's just dumb and anyone who knows me would agree that i should own stock in Starbucks with the coffee i go through. i'm simply using it as an analogy, so relax and enjoy that cup o' joe.

coffee, it is great. i, like many people, are drawn to it. i love the aroma, the taste and i have many memories tied into it. but, there is a problem. 95% of the coffee is great, then there is the last 5% that is wretched. its rough. and for anyone that drinks it with some regularity can back me up on this. if you let that coffee get slightly cool its going to be nasty towards the last sip. its going to leave a bitter, nasty taste that lingers in your mouth. no good i say!

now lets go to sin. sin, particularly of the flesh, is like this. sweet, aromatic, enticing, and pleasurable. then towards the end it suddenly turns into this hideous mass of pain, discomfort and shame. by this time its often to late to stop, so we think. (it's horrible to realize that death has been, and is daily, delivered to us in such an enticing way that we cannot help but to peer in.) the enemy will tell us to continue, to see "it" through. our flesh will echo the same. when the feeling or sensation flows over into the nerves, that overflow is the consummation; when the anguish flows over, that physical symptom is the crowning horror.

sin is deceptive. satin is the great liar and deceiver. his ultimate goal is to kill us (john 10:10) and to see us robbed of who God made us to be. so just as that last sip of coffee can all to often be bitter so the same with sin. we train ourselves to get "used to it", to adjust. when this takes place we are only fooling ourselves.

6.05.2008

Romans 7:13-25

13. Has then what is good become death to me? Certainly not! But sin, that it might appear sin, was producing death in me through what is good, so that sin through the commandment might become exceedingly sinful.
14. For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am carnal, sold under sin.
15. For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.
16. If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.
17. But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
18. For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells, for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.
19. For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.
20. Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.
21. I find then a law, that evil is present with me, the one who wills to do good.
22. For I delight in the law of God according to the inward man.
23. But I see another law in my members, waring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.
24. O wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death?
25. I thank God-through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then, with the mind I myself serve the law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin.

6.01.2008

the good, the bad and the relative

Relativism, which is the doctrine that there are no absolute truths, i.e., that truth is always relative to some particular frame of reference, such as a language or a culture.

this is the basis of relativism and it is flawed from the start. if there are no "absolute truths" how can there be truth at all? even in a small amount? when you ask for the truth would you ever ask for the partial truth? no. we want the whole truth in its entirety.

the relative philosophy will also say that there is no definite good, all ways are good they would say. with the exception of murdering, raping, theivery, etc... the basic moral codes of society. however, the satanist, the hindu, the buddist, the Christian, the moron and so on are all right or good in there own respect, the relativsit would say. however, if one believes that all are right then that person does not believe there is wrong. in turn, they have nothing to reference good off of. so how can all be right if there is no wrong? (i personally believe that this relative mindset or philosophy of living is highly irresponsible and immature at best. this posistioning that individuals take is simply a way to dodge all responsibility and to make sure that everyone is happy with you. if you look at the soceity that we live in it is becoming more and more this way.)

the world that we inhabit dictates to us that there cannot be light without darkness. only a fool would try to convince you that darkness was a mere thought or frivoluos idea. without the darkness light would not stand out, light would not break the darkness, light would not be light. just the same there must be right and wrong, there cannot be one with out the other.

Jesus Christ is the true way, the only way. we have a blessed assurance in the blood of Jesus Christ to know that if we follow after Him we are choosing the right and good way of life.

5.31.2008

God, family and tattoos

my tattoos, often people ask me what they mean and where i got them, so here goes.

i have a rose on the top of my wrist with the word "family" beneath it, that one is pretty self explanatory. i got in San Juan, Puerto Rico at a parlor on the beach. the dude tattooing me knew as much English as i do Spanish, that equates to "no" and "hi". SWEET! the thing that i failed to take into consideration was that i had been outside at the beach all day, didn't think that maybe i was sun burned. when his gloved hand hit my skin and pulled back i almost jumped out of the chair!

on my left wrist is written purity and on my right wrist is written truth. both of which pertain to God. got them at East End Demographics.

on my right arm is a 1957 Chevy Bel Air Hardtop, light green paint with a white top. side note: the artist who did this tattoo is named Sara "Monster" Kennedy and she has become on of my good friends. when i first met Sara she had her arms folded and she was leaned back in her chair glaring me down. i think that she thought i was looking for tribal work or something. so when she started the peice i was asking a great deal of questions. one of which was, "how much did that gun (i was refering to the tattoo machine she had in her hand) cost you?" she stopped what she was doing, looked up at me and said, "that was a free bee and i'll remember that your IGNORANT to all this. ITS NOT A GUN!" she said sternly. "its a machine!" from then on i have always had a greater respect for the craft of tattooing and the artists. and i must say that i think Sara could beat me up if she wanted to. this was my dad's first car. i really enjoy getting tattoos that symbolize things or people, this is the perfect symbol for him. my dad has been in the automotive business since he was 17 years old in Santa Ana California. he started out doing oil changes and basic tune ups on cars. this is what, i believe, started the love affair he still carries to this day. my father is an awesome man. he has a handle bar mustache. drives a 1969 Volkswagen Baja Bug to this day and loves life. he is one of the oldest kids you'll ever meet!

above the rose and below the bird is written "no compromise". i got this tattoo shortly after Gen Now summer camp last year. the theme of last years camp was "no compromise". coincidence, i think not. this one is more of a reflection of my view on life and more importantly my view on God and Christianity. no grey area, none! that's how i desire to live my life in every way.

above that is the bird. its a sparrow with "est 1983" written beneath it. that's the year that i was born. i got that tattoo at Philadelphia Eddies in Philly. the area is called South street and its awesome, had a great time out there.

on the inside of my forearm is the a-typical "praying hands", written beneath of it is "forgiven". once again that is rather self explanatory.

above that is written "just restin my eyes". this one pays homage to my Grandpa Gibbons who passed away the summer of 2002. every time that we would come over to my Grandparent's house and get ready to back out to lunch or wherever, he would sit down and fall right asleep! i'm talking within 15 seconds the man was out. but when you stirred him he would lift his hat and reply, "i was 'just restin my eyes.'" whats funny about that is my dad recalls all his growing up he would do the same thing. thinking of a tattoo for him proved to be a little challenging. he served during the WWII, landed on D-Day, fought all the way through Europe for 3 straight years, then came home, got a job and started the family. yet, he did not identify with the Army. so i got what reminded me most of him, "just resting my eyes."

on my right bicep i have a tall ship because i served 4 years in the USN.

on the inside of my right bicep i have a rose that say "mom". because i love my mommy! say something!!!!

on the back of my arm, my tricep, have a 1911 model Colt .45 with a silver (grey) oak leaf on the pistol grip. these were the side arms issued to all officers during WWII. my grandpa, Jack Jones, was that officer. we called him PoPo, long story behind that one. he served in the Army for 20 years and retired a Lt.Col. he passed away a few years ago. it was an odd time for me personally. i remember talking with my dad and trying to decide whether i should go visit him while he was alive or wait and go to his funeral, i choose to visit him in the hospital. there were two very distinct features about him that i will always remember. he had piercing blue eyes and a full head of hair. so i flew out to California with the direct intent on seeing him, and i did. it was brief but very good. i prayed with him and spoke for a few minutes then left. after i got back to base (this is while i was in the Navy) that day my dad called me and informed me that PoPo had passed away. looking back on it now i wonder if God kept him here so i could see him one last time.

on my right shoulder i have a wasp but not just any wasp, its Fifenella. it was originally designed by Walt Disney for the Women Air Service Pilots, WASP. my grandma Gibbons was a pilot during WWII. she stayed state side, as most did. what she would do is pick up the plane at the factory in say, Kansas and fly it either the west or east coast. her favorite plane to fly was the AT-6 Texan, it was the fighter of the day. she told me that one of the most nerve wracking times she ever had flying is when she was towing tank targets behind her, that tanks were shooting at! she is still alive and well in Santa Ana California. in July she'll be 87.

written across my chest is "set free" because i am set free from all sin. read the book of Romans.

on my left rib cage, the whole thing, is a spin off of the "rock of ages" work. its a cross on rocks with water around it. beneath of it is written "grace". i need to finish it but i'm scared of the pain. it hurts, a lot!

and lastly (for now) on my upper back is a trinity knot with the words faith, hope and love around it. i started it in Chicago Il. and finished in Clairmonte California.

so you see my tattoos are not an opportunity at rebellion or of anything malicious but simply the story of my God and my family.

hope you enjoyed.

5.28.2008

4,000 dead each day. 25,000 a week. 109,000 in a month. 1.3 million a year....

....and that's in the U.S. alone.


since legislation was passed in 1973 legalizing abortion over 40 million have been killed.


it's odd how this has passed under the radar. reason being is because it's looked at as a "choice" versus a life long action/decision. when we stop or infringe on some one's choice where looked at as halting there freedom, which i agree with. but what about when someone else's life is on the line? i do understand that that woman is the mother of that child and she, like all of us, have right over our bodies. i do also understand that that woman made the choice to engage in sexual activity, (which leads to pregnancy) thus demonstrating her maturity, or immaturity, in her individual decision making. at any rate, she made a choice. (
now in cases of rape and or molestation i would argue the point of still having the child to give that child a chance. some will state the case of it being to painful for the mother, good point. however, that child shouldn't have to pay for someone elses action. Just over 1% of all abortions in the United States happen as a result of rape: Torres A and Forrest JD, Why do women have abortions? Family Planning Perspectives, 1988, 24(4):169-176. http://abort73.com/index.html) by making this choice she also, so we should hope, understood the potential ramifications of it. here in lies the crossroads of the problem. people only want the feeling and do not think further ahead to what the potential consequences could be. so the question remains, why should an unborn child have to be put to death due to one's poor decision making?

lets talk about the word choice some more. if someone rapes another person and while standing before the judge in an attempt to justify that action taken they say, "What?! My body my choice! right???" wrong we would say, right? right! in our criminal, social and ethical (how ever loose the ethics might be) society when you make any decision that hurts or effects the well being of another person in any way shape or form you are in direct violation of that persons right to freedom and choice. as is abortion. its an action that not only effects the woman but also effects the unborn child, who does not have the ability to speak for itself. and as basic social standards tell us this is unjust and highly unlawful.

i firmly believe that when people begin to take responsibility for our individual actions things will start to change. and when we as Christians stand up for love, truth and live our lives by the true statues of God and His word this world will be turned over.

5.26.2008

blue or red.....left wing or right wing....

.....democrat or republican....couldn't say.

i wholeheartedly believe that it's important to remain aware of the world around us, to shut it out would be a very immature and irresponsible action. how can we help if we don't know what's going on?

a poll recently took by Relevant Magazine (www.relevantmagazine.com) shows that 1% of Christians will vote democrat, 5% republican and 94% say that neither side is the correct choice. interesting.

a friend of mine said this, "It's not going to matter who gets into office, whether they be a democrat of republican, until the church steps up and does what were supposed to nothing will change." sometimes the most profound statement or thought is the most simplistic.

every social issue, every war, etc... can be solved with Christ.

5.23.2008

untitled

//cutting splitting chopping my mind in two/between here and there/which way to choose?/which way to go?/

//cutting splitting chopping your body in two/between your fathers back and hell/you are the blood for me/the only for me/

//facing separation with no expectation/facing destruction at the the cost of life/life given to let me live/to let us live/dying to live and dying to this so called life we press forth towards the light/

//heaven bound with hell at my heels/power given and strength bestowed/running away from the pain of the past/i find truth in your path/

//this isn't life this isn't truth/false existence under "your" pretence/this world this time is nothing without you//

5.19.2008

dream

I had a dream this last friday night that went like so.......

I was in a store, a grocery store I believe. I was shopping around and a small family came down the aisle that I was on. They were in the middle of a conversation and the mother asked the little boy, he couldn't have been more then 8-9 years old, "Who is Jesus?" "Well," the little boy replied. "Jesus was a good guy, did good things but He's not the only way." The mother aggred. I then turned to the family and told them that, "Christ is the only way....." and that's it.

This, Relativism, is something that weighs heavly on my heart. Our society is plauged by it and the avenues of it are endless. This little boy in my dream was stating exactly what is being fed to us on a daily basis thats its okay to mix your character, your God and your destiny with this world. Oil and water. The two cannot mix, it's not possible.

Society and media are slowly, yet subtly, choking out the message of Christ and all to often we buy into it. If you call yourself a follower of Christ seperate yourself from the rest. Don't see that movie that you wouldn't take your Pastor to! Don't assosiate yourself with people who claim to be Christian yet walk as the world walks.

In our minds, thoughts, actions and words there should be no grey area in this matter.

DC

Christa (the wife) and I went up to DC this last weekend. It was a two fold trip. One because it's our one year anniversary on the 20th and two because some sweet peoples we know had there inaugarual church kickoff! It was a great time.

One of the highlights for me this weekend was church. Not just church, The City Church, D.C.( www.thecitydc.org ) The presence of God resides in that house and in the people. I felt just as comfortable sitting in that church as I have ever felt at my home church.

Richmond, D.C. and all over the east coast is about to blow up! I can feel it in my bones! Lets keep the momentum going and be excited for what God's doing!

5.16.2008

give up the fight.

we must give up this fight we call life. give up trying to be your own person. give up trying to find yourself because i can promise that you won't find yourself in yourself. give up trying to live this life on your own strength, we weren't made to.

we are a people of a God of love and truth.

i have seen His hand move before me, His word does not come back void. we are built for greatness we just have to submit to our great Father. this life is not your so give it up and bend your knee to God and He will lift you up. He'll fulfill your dreams and the desires of your heart. your life will be strong and your countenance will be that of joy and peace regaurdless of this world. you are made for love and made from love.

be the change.

we have been seeing change and growth in our church and in our community, lets keep it going. so often we complain that nothing is happening, that nothing is changing. what we fail to realize is that we are the change that is needed. what must take place is for us to step up and start something. as men and women of God we are not called to sit back and complain about what should happen, rather we are called to be a light and to make our voice heard. we need to remember that we are making our voice's heard every single day weather we say anything or not. when we keep silent to things around us that we know are wrong we scream that we don't care. however, when we step up, speak out and speak against evil God is heard! i want to encourage us all to remember that we ALL are loved more then we will ever be capable to imagine. lets continue in what we do for God and give Him all the glory.

seed

the potential of a seed is incredible. that one seed can produce a tree, that tree an orchird, and so on. why is it that we abort the seed before it even has a chance to grow....even to be planted. we see the seed in it's infancy and don't like what we see so, and we think its the logical thing to do, we kill it.

we know of planting seeds in others, its a very common topic in the church. we know to nuture, water and cultivate those seeds in others. what about the seeds that the Lord is placing in our hearts everyday? we need to, i need to, step up more and more and cultivate the seeds that God is placing on my heart, on our hearts.