Tuesday, May 19, 2009

Just Kidding, Colossians :P

"For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness for sins."
Colossians 1:13&14

"so then just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness."
Colossians 2:6&7

"See to it that no one takes you captive through hollow and deceptive philosophy which depends on human tradition and the basic principles of his world rather than on Christ."
Colossians 2:8

Saturday, May 16, 2009

The Simplicity of God

So these past couple of days I have been, once again, searching for some decent christian music that i can listen to. If you don't know my music taste it does include a lot of secular artists- and that is because i do not believe that secular music is 'evil'. God is my life and my everything but i also have other things going on besides God as well. what about the small things that the bible doesn't touch on?

I think- and i'm thinking and typing here so bare with me- I think that what i'm trying to say is that The bible deals with the big important parts of life, the things that we need to focus on because when everything else fades away, those fundamental parts of life are always going to be standing. However, it does not mean that those smaller details of life are not there- or that we do not spend time being involved in them. we just, as Christians, are not suppose to be obsessed with them.

When an artist, or artists, decide to dedicate their talents to God (not necessarily an artist who is Christian but someone who considers themselves a Christian artist), they make it their duty to produce music that deals with the fundamental ideals of life that is seen through the bible. They do, and personally i think that they should, not waste their time with focusing on the smaller things in life- i mean they can, but not when they made the decision to use their music to honor God, that's their ministry and it should be treated as such. let the secular artists deal with the small things of this world.

I believe that God is a simple God- Jesus even said that we should not pray long and complex prayers like the pagans do. He takes the unappreciated,the unattractive, the overlooked, the unimpressive and makes it into something extraordinary. God uses this pattern all through the bible: Moses, Abraham, the 12 disciples- THE 12 DISCIPLES! they were illiterate fishermen! and they ended up being the foundation of the Church. Jeremiah was a young prophet who could be seen as inexperienced. The burning bush was first, before all else, a bush. People look pass bushes!!!

Knowing how God prefers to move I think it is better to be simple with the medium that we use when we want it to be used by God. A sermon should have as little pomp and circumstance as it can because when God moves through it- you can give Him all the glory. In the same way, when a song is being composed by a Christian artist it should lose the complex and intricate metaphorical stuff because people can't worship to that.For me personally, i first have to sit down and break down all the metaphors and figurative language and imagery then see if the end product matches up with scripture. Then i have re-assemble the song to make sure it makes sense and only then can i even fathom worshiping to that song. It really shouldn't be like that. Poetry is beautiful yes, but i feel like it's place is for personal worship. I can't copy those songs and jam out to them with my youth band. We need simple songs that speak nothing more than God's truths: God is Love. Jesus saves us. I am Alive through his death and resurrection.

Sufjan Stevens is an artist who worships through poetry. However he does not label himself as a 'christian artist.' Therefore i can see that he uses this play on words and his writing as a personal worship to God- i'm fine with that and i wish that many of these poetic 'christian artists' would follow his lead. There's nothing wrong with being a christian playing secular music, take pride in that. Just don't waste my time when i'm trying to find some different kind of worship music and i get this metaphorical stuff...

I'll give you two examples. One is Sufjan Stevens: seven swans

I don't know. Maybe i'm slow but this song, like most of his songs, I only get half of. I'm baffled really at what his point is (no, and i did not enjoy breaking down poems in high school either...) so it's hard for me to see if his understanding of the doctrine is solid as well.

Now here's Tye Tribbett again- Everything (i know. same song. but i'll even use a diff. video :P)

see? simple- they just use words. Master, savior, father, protector, everything, Jesus! I can follow that and so can everyone else. That's a good worship song (lol- and isn't he the craziest? ^_^)

um, that's about it for my rant. Here are my verses. I might stick to Jeremiah but we'll see :)

"But the Lord said to me, 'Do not say "I am only a child." you must got to everyone I send you to and say whatever I command you. Do not be afraid of them because i am with you and will rescue you,' Declares the Lord."

Jeremiah 1:7&8

"They will fight against you but will not overcome you, for I am with you and will rescue you,' declares the Lord."
Jeremiah 1:19

Peace be with You.

Wednesday, May 13, 2009

End or Romans

Not like that took FOREVER :P

"I will not venture to speak of anything except what Christ has accomplished through me in leading the Gentiles to obey God by what i have said and done"
Romans 15:18
said by Paul. This shows how careful Paul was with his words and actions, so that God could be seen through him as clear and he could.

"I urge you, brothers, to watch out for who cause divisions and put obstacles in your way that are contrary to the teachings you have learned. Keep away from them."
Romans 16:17

Recently i've been wrestling with the historical facts of the bible- i must say that it was in lack of faith i always avoided this topic. I was too scared to look at historical proof or documents because i was worried i'd find something that didn't add up. However this past Sunday i asked my father about it and realized that going through the history of the bible and how it has become the book it is today is a natural stage of development in a Christian's life.

i haven't done much research yet (actually i haven't even started researching :P) but I will definitely put up any good stuff i come across on here to share with anyone who wants to see.

From what i got from talking with my Dad, what's wrong about these skeptics of the Bible's authenticity/accuracy is that they focus on the surrounding material that is not in the bible and not on the bible itself. apparently there was a very high pass or fail mark for what got into the bible. If there was any doubt at all about a certain book it was thrown out.

I leave you with Lerae- Go Hard

I have this snobbish attitude about christian rap- it kind of sounds a little crappy to me, but Lecrae has such a great testimony i feel- you can see that he really has a heart for God and it shows in the truth in his lyrics. Check it! : )

Peace be with You.

Tuesday, May 5, 2009

Romans and Everything

"9Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. 10Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. 11Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. 12Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 13Share with God's people who are in need. Practice hospitality.

14Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse. 15Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn. 16Live in harmony with one another. Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.a]">[a] Do not be conceited.

17Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. 18If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. 19Do not take revenge, my friends, but leave room for God's wrath, for it is written: "It is mine to avenge; I will repay,"b]">[b]says the Lord. 20On the contrary:
"If your enemy is hungry, feed him;
if he is thirsty, give him something to drink.
In doing this, you will heap burning coals on his head."c]">[c] 21Do not be overcome by evil, but overcome evil with good."

Romans 12:9-21

Everything- Tye Tribbett : )

Monday, May 4, 2009

Back and Kicking: Predestination

Ha! so it's finally finals week!!!
(and yea, i meant the 4th not the 2nd :3)
and i don't think i did too shabby on the devotions thing- i mean there were weeks...but i had a really good week as well where i was mad busy with school but still managed to do the devo's everyday- gooood ^_^

I decided that I'm going to try to stop preaching- so i'm working on that

Now when i decided to create this blog- i decided to be as real with it as i could about what is going on in my spiritual life: what am i wrestling with what are my doubts what are my praises what are my revelations.

One thing that God really has me thinking about is this idea of predestination: does God already know who is going to dwell with him in eternal life, or do we ask him to dwell in his eternal life. Now, i believe in Jesus- i will call myself a Christian. I do not believe in full predestination- as in i do not believe that God already knows who is going to dwell with him in eternal life and who is going to forever be condemned to hell. Now to most Christians this is a crazy concept and usually i don't share this view of mine unless pushed on it but it's become clear to me that the full predestination thing is something that needs to be squared away with- because it can be the difference between someone getting saved and someone not getting saved i think.

The idea of predestination is this:
God knows all- obviously because he is God. And it is only by grace we are saved- it is by no decision that lets say, I made to be saved from the eternal fire. With me doing nothing God has chosen to save me unconditionally and to have mercy on me and for that I am eternally grateful.
see, i understand that argument and it makes sense to me as well but the bible also speaks about God being love. And i cannot ignore the fact and the inconsistency of God being love and creating man in his image and as something to love and then to condemn more than half of his creation to hell. because the bible also says
"Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow is the road that leads to life, and only a few find it."- Matthew 7:13&14
So what am i to make of that? God chose to save those few? and chose to condemn most men to hell and eternal fire? no! that's is not God at all! see the end of that verse? 'only a few find it.' we obviously have some say. We obviously have some free will- because that is what this is saying- we do not have an option to follow God, we are predestined to do it.

My understanding on this subject of the few:
I believe that God is all knowing and all powerful, but there are things that God is capable of doing but wont do. For example- God is capable of doing evil but he can't do evil. That's because he won't do evil. I think this pattern is seen elsewhere. I believe that God is capable of knowing who is going to go to heaven and hell but, for the sake of giving us free will, chooses not to know that that end result. i believe in a partial predestination where there are things moving in our life and in this world and in reality that God wants to happen. So no matter what people decide, God's end result is going to be the same. But God still gives us room to decide things- one of those things is if we want to be saved or not.
Do not get me wrong, Acts 15:11 says,
"No! we believe it is through the grace of our Lord Jesus that we are saved..."
I believe that it is by grace that we are saved as well- but i believe that God has the invitation out for us to ask for. We, ourselves, do not reach an "enlightenment" of some kind where now everything makes sense but we come to the alter and ask God to save us.
"But what does it say? 'The word is near you; it is in your mouth and in your heart,' that is, the word of faith we are proclaiming: That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved." -Romans 10:8&9


"for, 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved." -Romans 10:13

We ask God to give his grace on us, and unconditionally God gives it to us- no matter what we did or what are backgrounds are or if we turned away from him. That's how i see God's grace being something unconditional and nothing but grace. Because it's something that he offers everyone freely but we have to ask for it and we don't even deserve it.
God created Adam and Eve and they loved Him. But there was no choice but to love God, so Adam and Eve's one rule of never eating fruit from the Tree of Knowledge was the choice God gave them to show their love for Him. God basically said, "if you love me, you will listen to my one rule for you and not eat from this tree." God is giving us that same choice with salvation. but instead of being able to take the fruit, we have to come up and ask for some fruit.

I could go on on this topic, but like i said it's finals week and i need to study
I also want to make it clear that i am always open for God to change my mind on this subject as well. God knows how i am because he created me and he knows how to open my eyes through his word so that i can have understanding in things that are not made clear right now. There are many verses about predestination in the bible- i'll give you one even Romans 8:28-32
i'm ready to tell you right now i don't know what to take from it. but i will be patient with God, like he is patient with me and have faith that he will reveal his truth like he has countless times before.

Scripture that has caught my eye since April 10th:
"not only so, but we also rejoice in our suffering, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; perseverance, character; and character, hope. And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us." Romans 5:3-5

"for just as though the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one. man the many will be made righteous." Romans 5:19

"what shall we say then? shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? by no means! we died to sin; how can we live in it any longer?" Romans 6:1-2

"For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of the sin might be done away within, the at we should no longer be slaves to sin- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin." Romans 6:6&7

"Therefore don't let sin reign in our mortal body so that you obey its evil desires. Do not offer the parts of your body to sin, as instruments of wickedness, but rather offer yourselves to God, as those who have been brought from death to life; and offer the parts of your body to him as instrument of righteousness." Romans 6:12-13

"Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but hose who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds on what the Spirit desires." Romans 8:5

"because those led by the spirit of God are sons of God," Romans 8:14

"For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of Sonship. and by him we cry, 'Abba, Father'" Romans 8:15

"I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us." Romans 8:18

"for the creation was subject to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it in hope that the creation itself will be liberated from the bondage to decay and brought into the glorious freedom of the children of God." Romans 8:20&21

"In the same way, the spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes from us with groans that words cannot express." Romans 8:26

"And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints in accordance with God's will" Romans 8:27

"And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose. For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the likeness of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; hose he justified, he also glorified." Romans 8:28-30
~there you go, but here is where my faith steps in. I have faith that God will open my eyes and i refuse to let this present and apparent inconsistency hinder my faith.

"no, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us. For I am convinced that neither death nor life, either angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the Love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord," Romans 8:37-39

"it is not the natural children who are God's children, but it is the children of the promise who are regarded as Abraham's offspring" Romans 9:8

"it does not, therefore, depend on man's desire or effort, but on God's mercy" Romans 9:16

"therefore God had mercy on whom he wants to have mercy, and hardens whom he wants to harden" Romans 9:18
~this part made a reference to how Pharaoh's heart was hardened when moses asked him to let the Jews go

Romans 10:8-9

"for, 'everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.' How, then, can the call on the one they have not believed in? And how can they believe in the one of whom they have not heard? And how can they hear w/o someone preaching to them? And how can they preach without being sent? As it is written, 'how beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news." Romans 10:13-15

"Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious. But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!" Romans 11:11-12

"If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root, do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you. You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in." Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid. For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either." Romans 11:17-21

"Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy, to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God- this is your spiritual act of worship." Romans 12:1

"Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God." Romans 13:1

"Give everyone what you owe him; If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor." Romans 13:7

"Love does no harm to his neighbor. Therefore love is the fulfillment of the law." Romans 13:10

"accept him whose faith his weak, without passing judgment on disputable matters" Romans 14:1

"Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls, and he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand" Romans 14:4

"But the man who has doubts is condemned if the eats, because his eating is not from faith; and everything that does not come from faith is sin." Romans 14:23
~This one came from the context of a strong believer not judging a weaker person of faith for not eating certain things or drinking wine and for a weaker person of faith not condemning a stronger person in faith for drinking or eating certain things. It is saying here basically that if the weaker does the thing that the stronger does but still sees it as something wrong then for him, that is a sin.
putting it in another context- if i go out and drink (legal age and all that) i'm ok with drinking and being a strong christian. for someone else that may not be the case and i shouldn't push someone who sees it as a sin to drink because to them the feel wrong doing it- therefore, because their concious isn't clean now, them drinking has become a personal sin against God.

That's it- i think it's been over 2hrs... >.<>