Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Does Anyone Really Know You?

In today's culture we hardly know people like we once did. At one time people lived in small little villages. They didn't have their personal iPods, their personal computers, their cars, etc. They were all stuck together. They would live for generations in an area. They'd work with each other, celebrate with each other, etc.

Am I saying this is necessarily better? Well I can see good aspects to it. But it's not as if it's a very viable model in the modern society of today. But moving on.

In the times that we live in today we don't necessarily even know the people who live in our own house. Do we really know what our friends listen to? What web pages do they browse? Who do they chat with? Where do they drive?

Here's my point. If you want to be close to people and let people know who you are, and to find out who they are, you have to be honest. You'll have to confess your sins "Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much." ~ James 5:16 

If you want to hide behind a mask, you can. You can go to church on Sunday. Go put on your best clothing. Put on your best attitude. Then you can come home and live like the devil. But ultimately, living like this will send you to hell. 

Be open about who you are. It's hard because we sin. We don't want to be open because we don't want to change. But what happens if we don't change? We will end up with the consequences, and they are much worse than repenting and turning away from that which is seen as evil in the sight of God. 

In order to grow to a point where people know who you are, you're going to have to spend time with them. Spend time with people in different contexts. Don't just hang out in fun places and enjoyable settings. Go spend some time ministering to people with others, serve the widow and the orphan, help fix your neighbors house, etc. And confess your sins. Be humble. Don't let your friends perceive you to be more than you really are.

I pray the Lord will make me less of an unrepentant hypocrite. And I hope he will work in you as well.

Sunday, February 26, 2012

Sunday Scriptures

Daniel answered the king and said, “No wise men, enchanters, magicians, or astrologers can show to the king the mystery that the king has asked, but there is a God in heaven who reveals mysteries, and he has made known to King Nebuchadnezzar what will be in the latter days. Your dream and the visions of your head as you lay in bed are these: ~ Daniel 2:27-28

Saturday, February 25, 2012


Sleep is great. Going to events doesn't help with getting any..

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Trustworthy Friends

There are people who are “always” right. And, sure we all think we’re right, otherwise we wouldn’t say anything. But some people need to let the whole world know that they are right, through gossip, destroying relationships, and hurting people. It’s upsetting to me, mostly because much of the book of 1 Corinthians is berating the Corinthians for the dissonance that is going on in their body and encouraging them to be unified. Unified in Christ.

So that is one type of person, but there is also another type of person. They make promises and keep them. They talk one way and do the same. They are trustworthy.

But how do we determine which someone is going to be. Are they going to be trustworthy or untrustworthy, faithful or unfaithful? Or how about yourself? Are you trustworthy? I personally struggle with being trustworthy, so it’s not as if I have this down.

Number one, just be trustworthy. It’s a personal branding. People will remember times that you weren’t trustworthy. They’ll remember when you failed them. And it takes a long time to forget. 

But how do we get to a point where we're trustworthy? Trustworthiness in general comes from having good character. It will give you the consistency that’s needed to be known as a trustworthy person.

Secondly, find people who are very loving. And I don’t mean some sort of gooshy love that does nothing. I mean people who are willing to give you tough love. They'll generally be the ones who call you to a higher standard. True friends will always try to move you forward and towards Christ.

Finally, you will just have to go through hell with people to truly know them. There are a few people I’ve read of, who met with a little dissonance around them and then either ran away or betrayed their friends, and maybe they were tortured or hurt, but it was a good lesson to me. There are great people out there during the good times, but when the going gets rough, they run away or betray their friends. And a lot of times, sadly you won’t know who your friend is until you go through a time like this with them.

That’s why most of the time your best friends will be your family. You’re forced to go through trials with your family and can’t just leave. You eventually learn to work things out. I hope someday we will have friendships that are similar to a strong family relationship. 

“This is my commandment, that you love one another as I have loved you. Greater love has no one than this, that someone lay down his life for his friends." ~ John 15:12-13

Monday, February 20, 2012

Directing or Following?

You must create direction for yourself. Are you running through life learning what others teach you? Part of this life will be generally directed by others. Our parents direct us. Our elders and pastors direct our lives. The Christian authors we read direct our lives. But ultimately, does most of the direction of your life come from the theologians of the film world/sports/advertisements/clothing designers/secular artists/authors/etc. 

Take for instance the Super Bowl half-time show. This was a worship service (in the words of Madonna) that saw Madonna as preaching a sermon to the largest audience in America. And yet most Christians will think of this as a well put together or show with no impact on their lives. 

Look at the feminist movement or the attack on patriarchy. These beliefs have been pushed incredibly hard by the Marxists raised up in the Frankfurt schools of thought. The school that pumped out some of the biggest destroyers of culture today. We can see that their beloved ideology is being worked out into a reality in the destroyed families of today. 

I think many people try to say there is some sort of neutrality in life. But in reality, you're going to either take dominion or be taken over by others. Attacking life with vigor is something we have to do. We have to summon the moral courage to conquer the lies of neutrality, Marxism, socialism, and the man other outworks of these ideologies. It's not as if it's easy, to any extent.

What can you look back on that you have done in your life? Or are you being led around by the media from one Marxist ideology to another?

Sunday, February 19, 2012

Sunday Scriptures

I have been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ who lives in me. And the life I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me. ~ Galatians 2:20

Friday, February 17, 2012

Sex Obsessed Culture

Almost every one of the top 100 songs on the charts involves sexual undertones. To rack up the views on Youtube, go find some woman with a bunch of cleavage and put it in your thumbnail. To make a successful box office movie make sure there's a bevy of sexual tension, whether the co-stars are 10 or 50. They have plenty of sex education for the 3rd graders. Skin shows up quite often on the magazines. Homosexuality is seen as normal and is often laughed at or even condoned by large entertainment establishments. For many people colleges, rather than institutions of learning, can breed a spirit of anonymity and a vagabond nature, creating many loose women, unless one is committed and accountable to a church fellowship. -   Pornography is all over the internet, seeping into everyone's homes. Or maybe it's just the movie you picked up from the local video store. How can this be healthy for a culture?

This culture is difficult for young men to live in and yet remain pure. (I know it's the same for women, but I'm a dude, so yeah.) Here's the thing. We have to. We're all sinners, and we're going to fall.  However, in the midst of sin, we need to live a life of repentance before God, leaving our sins at the cross, and rejoicing in the hope of His resurrection.  We have to cry out to God constantly, study His Word, stay accountable and get wisdom from older men. It's something that I don't do enough. And I can tell when I don't because that's when I struggle most. 

"Therefore put to death your members which are on the earth: fornication, uncleanness, passion, evil desire, and covetousness, which is idolatry." ~ Colossians 3:5

People present solutions, quick fixes.  These quick solutions can be steps in the right direction, but ultimately, crying out to God is your best option. Learn to love what is pure. There are young ladies around me who don't stoop to seducing and tempting men to sin. Learn to love modesty. Learn to love the humble heart. Learn to admire purity. Learn to admire a woman who won't give her heart away to a guy who has no responsibilities to her.

"... the younger men as brethren; The elder women as mothers; the younger as sisters, with all purity." ~ 1 Timothy 5:1b-2

The thing is we're all sinners here. Don't kid yourself. We all struggle with lust, whether it be flesh, money, or fame. Even married people struggle. And we will all fail without the help of Christ. So cry out and turn from evil. 

"Therefore let anyone who thinks that he stands take heed lest he fall." ~ 1 Corinthians 10:12 

And as a last thing, don't burn in your lust. "But if they cannot exercise self-control, they should marry. For it is better to marry than to burn with passion." ~ 1 Corinthians 7:9.  Don't put off marriage for the wrong reasons!  Use biblical priorities.  Get a job and get married now, if you need to.  Whatever you do, don't give in to lust!  These physical desires are not bad; they just need to be put in the right context.

P.S. I wouldn't use 1 Corinthians 7:9 as the first line when attempting to court a woman. ;-P

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

Exercise or Healthy Food

I rarely talk about exercise on this blog, mostly because I think it's a small part of life and should in general stay that way on my blog. But it is important in its own little way. So I'm going to do a couple posts on it.

Today is a very different place than it was in the generations past. Much of the work done today is very brainy. We get things done with machines that once took hundreds of man hours and lots of sweat. We used to have to grow gardens and hunt for meat in the woods to just provide a day to day existence. At one time the rich were seen as those who were able to sit around all day and eat. The upper-class would be defined as those who were vastly overweight. And in reality, many of us are very wealthy today, in the same sense that food is easily available and physical labor isn't necessarily needed.

Today is very different. Much of the food today can be got by burning 5-10 calories of walking out to our car and drive 10 minutes over to a grocery store, maybe even to buy some healthy groceries, and then back home and having to burn another 15 calories while bringing the food inside our house. Then we collapse on the couch and watch tv or clickity clack on our computers. And this will overall lead to an unhealthy life longterm. We literally never have to walk anywhere. We don't have to walk to the grocery store, we don't have to bike to work, we can do everything in our cars. Exercise has become an afterthought.

Motivation is kind of a new thing we have to deal with, more than ever before in the terms of exercise. It's something I struggle with every day. I still try to do a couple runs a week, a couple P90x workouts, and some other random bike rides and such.

I know quite a few people like to eat healthy, but if you eat healthy and eat 3x what you should, is it really eating healthy? Also, how about when your body begins to slow down? Many people I know tend to be skinny when their bodies process tons of food and they have a fast metabolism, but as they reach their 40s and 50s they begin to grow that gut or hips and store a little extra fat here and there. This is where I think exercise comes in. It's going to help keep your body's metabolism up. It's going to help burn off those excess calories. It's going to help produce the testosterone/estrogen one's body needs.

I think people sometimes try to solve all their problems by just eating less/more healthy. And of course this is a great way, but it just doesn't do what exercise does. Most people I know who try dieting lose 5-10 lbs here and there. But someone who not only cuts back on how they eat, but also begins a daily exercise regimen keeps that weight off.

Exercise is going to help men produce more testosterone. This is an age where testosterone levels are fairly low, mainly because men are incredibly over weight. And how do we combat this? Healthy food of course, but exercise is one of the best ways. I.e. Squats would be one of the best.

Or, how about for ladies. When having children, women are going to gain on average 8-10 lbs of extra fat, of which a woman will generally drop if she breastfeeds her children. But at the same time, her estrogen levels can tend to drop when she breastfeeds. And what helps produce estrogen? Exercise.

As a young person, you have to build your habits now. At this point you may not have to worry about how much you eat. But at some point you're going to need the character to keep that weight off. Build those exercise habits. It's what's going to help you keep that weight off long term. (And even if you never struggle with weight, the health benefits are a good plus)

I occasionally get tired of people who are always talking about healthy food and yet exercise once a month. It feels they're unbalanced. Sure, healthy food is great. But if you completely ignore the fact that exercise is also an important factor in the unhealthiness of today's age, I feel you can end up just as unhealthy in the long term as others.

And one more thing, I absolutely hate the emphasis our culture puts on being thin. It's like we have this obsession with anorexic people. This emphasis is placed on women in a big way. The thing is, thin doesn't mean healthy. I've known plenty of thin people who would walk a mile and collapse in exhaustion. Instead, we should focus on healthy. Our bodies generally will find a healthy place that they like to be in. You fight to get it down, but it won't go much farther. That's kind of a good place to be.

"Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God in your body." ~ 1 Corinthians 6:19-20

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Valentine's Day

I want to post about love. Love is a beautiful thing. Something that we don't see. However, we must see it worked out in actions. Today is that day everyone who has that special person in their lives gets them lots of material gifts. Woohoo. I mean, it's the thought that counts, right? But the thing is, if we put such an emphasis of getting flowers, chocolate, and maybe some diamonds for that special woman of yours, are we doing it the rest of the year through your other actions? I think love's more about all the small moments. How you treat your wife when things are going wrong. How do you respond when dinner tastes smoked. How about when the house has been through several minor tornadoes? Or the dishes have become a mini Everest? I think these are the times that tell what your love really is in a fundamental sense.

A Lonely Person :-(

;-) jk jk

Everyone's a Hypocrite

To some extent all of us will be hypocrites. The number one thing I hear from apostates is the reason they left was because the church was full of hypocrites. I think the real problem is they saw unrepentant hypocrites. Everyone at some point will say something and do something different. We have this condition called original sin, we're kind of stuck with that. But what makes a godly person different from just being a hypocrite for 20 years with hidden sins or even not so hidden sins is that one is constantly repenting and turning from his/her hypocrisy and the other is not. It's pretty simple. I think a good church will always be a mess to some extent. Just because people don't live with some kind of fakey life. They sin against others. They tell their friends to flee lust, but then fall into it themselves. But they repent and don't act as if they don't sin.

Sunday, February 12, 2012

Sunday Scriptures

Jesus said to him, 'You shall love the LORD your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.' This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like it: 'You shall love your neighbor as yourself.' ~ Matthew 22:37–39

Friday, February 10, 2012

Loving Parents

A loving parent disciplines their child. Not in a manner that is done out of anger and hatred for their child, but in a manner of love and wanting to see them grow closer to Christ and to kill the flesh. I've come to realize that the bad parent doesn't want to discipline because it's easier. It's "easier" to ignore a problem. But then they become raging little monsters as they get older. Just like a sword, every parent wants them to be sharp. But if the only time you work on the sword is when you are angry and slam the rock against the sword you will just do damage, rather than create a sharp edge.

Thursday, February 9, 2012

True Self

If you want to find out who someone truly is you have to spend lots of time, in many different situations. The problem is that if you're always around someone when you're having a good time, you know how they act when they are having a good time. How about when they're stressed? When they have to work hard? When people say things they vehemently disagree with? How about on the internet? Do they feel pressured to act like a goody two-shoes around you? Or are they just being who they really are?

I think we can be surprised by how different people can become after first impressions. Just because we never really knew them in the first place.

Tuesday, February 7, 2012

Good or Bad?

Everybody is different. You can try to find their good side or their bad side. What are you looking for though? Much of the time just the pure aspect of trying to find the good qualities of a person versus looking for their bad qualities will create a much more peaceful friendship. Now seeking to help them overcome their bad qualities is always good, but the question is more, what do you focus on?

It would be as if I had half of my face burned in a fire, would you be always turned off by the ugly half burnt face? Or could you try to overlook it and look at the half that wasn't burned, and looked pretty good. Lol. <_<

Monday, February 6, 2012

What Do You Want?

What do you want to look back on as your accomplishments in 50 years? Or 20 years? Do you want to be married? Own a mega-million dollar corporation? Have a million friends? Have children? What do you want to have accomplished? I think you can tell a lot about a person by the fruit that they have at the end of those times. I've had debates with a couple of people lately on some forums and by the end, no one had been convinced against their will, and I just had to say, why don't we get back together in 30 years and see the kind of fruit that yours/my worldview creates. Anyone can talk a good talk, but what are the actual results going to look like? A good question to ask yourself as you move forward in life.

Sunday, February 5, 2012

Sunday Scriptures

As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him, rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving. ~ Colossians 2:6-7

Friday, February 3, 2012

Why Do People Want to Win?

One thing I've noticed is that people like to debate and win. But why? Is your life going to be hurt by it? Is the other person going to go to hell if they're wrong? What makes it so important to you that it's a life or death issue? Debating because we like to debate isn't necessarily maturity. We need to have some sort of godly purpose behind our debates. This means we can practice debating, so that we can address issues and talk to others in a skilled manner. But ultimately is it about your flesh and pride or the upholding and growth of God's kingdom?

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Wake Up

You need to wake up every morning and decide to be loving. You have to decide not to be grumpy. And then do it. ^_^