Thursday, April 22, 2010

it starts tomorrow

if you are reading this, then you are one of the few crazy people that still check this blog. good for you, way to stick in there

well, since this is just you and me right now, i'm going to call you "Pat" (due to the fact that Pat can be a girls or guys name)

ok Pat, here's the deal. i'm going to write a book and i start tomorrow. this book, i believe, will be somewhat controversial in the topic and i'm trying to figure out how to word it properly. but the gist of the book will be this: my journey of taking my faith to the next level. obviously this is not the controversial part. the deal is, is that i am going to invest way more time into listening to God and following him daily and sacrificing more of who i am to his kingdom and i will do this for one year. by fasting regularly, tithing above and beyond, committing to a sabbath, reading the word daily and praying throughout the day, and not being selfish with my time, i plan on taking a step of faith in this. if by the end of this year i don't see God moving in my life or see satan trying to stop me from growing in my faith, then i will walk away from christianity and pursue another religion

now i know this sounds like i'm testing God and that you shouldn't test the Lord our savior

Deuteronomy 6:16 "You shall not put the LORD your God to the test"

but this isn't quite me testing God, this is more along the lines of showing people that when you put your faith in him, you will see God in your life

romans 1:17 "For in it the righteousness of God is revealed from faith for faith, as it is written, "The righteous shall live by faith."

so if through faith God is revealed, then when i pursue him in faith he will validate my faith in Him. people often pursue God originally with doubt in their heart and thats what i want to address with this book. if you pursue and search for God in faith, then you will find him.

i know with my entire being that God will show up in my life as i'm writing this book, he will show up in huge ways. i am at a state of my faith where i feel so many christians are and have settled in. this type of faith grows stale and becomes moldy with the belief that this is what we are called to do and that we have fulfilled it. i know that i am not at the end of my journey, i know that i have not hit any sort of wall or road block, it's simply my own person lacking faith of taking the next step

i want to take this next step and invite people to walk these steps with me. as i try different ways of growing in my faith, i will write and journal what happens, then publish these writings. the next year of my life i will do this and by doing so, show all those with luke-warm faith that God is waiting for a leap of faith, not a baby step. we've grown beyond baby steps, it's time to jump from the ledge of self-satisfying mediocrity and fall into the hands of the creator of all that is and is to come

i want to visit temples, synagogues, teachers of other faiths, and listen to their ideas and see if God has anything to teach me from them. this will be my 24th year of living, but my first year of the next step of my faith.

this is my commitment to giving hope to everyone who is where i am spiritually.

pray for me because this will not be easy by any means, but i'm ready for a faith that isn't easy

Monday, January 12, 2009

you can't forget a bowling scar

one time at the bowling alley, i split my lip open and got 18 stitches. it was stupid, i know that now because hindsight is 20/20, but it seemed fine at the time. we decided to do this thing called "spin bowling" which is basically spinning on one of the spinny chairs until your dizzy, then bowl. i was spinning, and the chair fell and i landed face first into another chair.

my friend andy is the kind of guy that loves to get stuff for his car to make it faster/louder/more awesome. he drives usually very fast. i picked him to drive because i knew that he lived for these kinds of moments where he actually needs to drive fast. so he got me to the emergency room extremely quickly. it was great. i have a scar on my lip now, it's not totally obnoxiously noticable, but i see it daily, and know it's there. every time i see it, i remember what happened.

in his letter to the galations, paul mentions his "brands of the slave of Christ". he's not talking about literal trademarks tattooed on his forehead, but the scars on his body from obeying the word of God and following Christ. They are the markings of physical harm. this is important that he mentions this. this is a way of reminding the galations that following Christ isn't easy and you have to prepared to be inflicted with actual bodily harm because of it. william barclay puts it really freakin sweet

"it is when me see that we are prepared to suffer something for the faith which we say that we hold that they will begin to believe that we really do hold it. if a thing costs nothing, men will value it at nothing."

when we step out faith and make sacrifices in our own life, it shows that what we follow and believe and know, is that important to us. it means so much that we are willing to make bold steps in faith of sacrifice and of love because we know that what we follow is the truth and worth more than we can offer. when we know, and i mean really know this, thats when we are ready to bear the brands of Christ. not just physically with scars but in what we do daily.

like cutting portions of your day to spend time in the word, or making promises to God and keeping them. i know that i have problems with that especially. i'll tell Him that i'll read the word a certain night, then my friends will be going to disneyland and i'll end up going. if we don't have anything change in our life when we know Christ, what does that show the people that don't believe?

i could imagine that everytime paul saw one of his scars on his body from being wipped or beaten or stabbed or whatever because of his belief in God, that he would remember when it happened and why. it would remind him that he lives for something that is worth getting scars for.

"If after all that has happened to me I were still trying to curry favor with men, i would not be bearing the brands of the slave of Christ."
galations 1:10

Saturday, October 4, 2008

beach thought

Psalm 101:3
"I will set before my eyes no vile thing. The deeds of faithless men I hate; they will not cling to me. "

at the beach, when i was there with my friend dave, the sand was way higher then usual. it was weird, the tide was super low, but the actual height of the sand was way higher. this was so strange to me because the beach looked totally different. i went over to the tide pools and most of them were gone. covered up in the sand. i tell dave about how there were usually rocks there, but that they were covered up with this sand, but he doesn't believe me. i argue, telling him that there are the original rocks under the sand, but he refuses to believe me. he'd been there before but i had been there way more often and i finally convinced him of how right i was/am. later it hit me like a football to the back of the head when you aren't looking and you realize you should have seen it coming because it's so obvious.

consider the rocks as the foundations of morals that we are born with. they are definitive and present. they are strong, and near impossible to ignore because they are right there in front of us. the problem is, is that the world starts leaving traces of it's views and standpoints about things in us. consider the world as the sand. as the world's views and morals start building up in our lives, the sand starts piling up around the rocks. now at first, it's no big deal, little sand in between big strong boulders is no problem. but if it isn't washed away, it starts building up in a terrible way. we will be making small compromises about not getting rid of this little idea, or that little idea and those cracks start getting filled up. as time progresses, the sand starts becoming dominant, and the rocks are easier to ignore. it plays games with our heads, and it almost looks like the rocks have gotten smaller. the views of the world pile higher and higher around our rocks of faith and morality, but if they aren't flushed away, a previously small problem in our personal life starts becoming a major issue in our day to day lives

the rocks become so small that we only trip on them every once in a while, and thats only over the big ones. we can ignore those smaller principles when the world's view of how we should live our lives covers it up. what about just simply lying to someone. the world says that this is not a big deal, and starts getting into our heads that it really isn't. but the more we listen to the world, and let that settle in us, we forget what the fundamental truth is -

1 Peter 3:10
"Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil and his lips from deceitful speech."

Psalm 5:6
"You destroy those who tell lies; bloodthirsty and deceitful men the LORD abhors"
(abhor - to regard with extreme repugnance or aversion; detest utterly; loathe; abominate.)

truth is, is that God isn't ok with it. but we will forget that if we let other things cloud our judgement

here's the other thing. lets say our rocks are actually covered with sand. lets say our lives are filled with the misconceptions of the world. when we come to Christ, would it be easier to dump new rocks on the beach, or just wash away the sand? dumping new giant rocks on the sand seems somewhat ridiculous, when there are already ones there, we just don't see them. when we come to Christ, we shouldn't look at the views of being a christian as something as difficult as moving giant rocks onto a beach. everything that drives us to make decisions in a Godly manner are already in us, we just need to wash away all the stuff that is ruining our sight of it. how do we do that

holy crap this is longer then i thought

ok, so a few weeks ago, i was going through my vhs phase again. this happens every so often where i watch old movies that are on vhs because old movies on dvd usually don't work because old movies on dvd work only twice because they suck. for the few weeks before this, i had started understanding God's love way more, and started putting into practice. even the little things of just remembering that i need to treat people with love and know that in my heart, not just in my actions. little things i was trying to do for people were starting to become more frequent and easier to do.

well i was on my couch, wanted to pick a sick vhs movie, therefore i started looking. as my eyes went from cover to cover, i would remember movies i loved. ones that i used to watch over and over. but something was different. i would instantly remember if it had a sex scene in it, and decide that i didn't want to watch it. honestly, i wasn't trying to do this, it just happened. i didn't want to watch it. i guess it was because it could cause me to stumble in certain parts of my faith, or start leading down a road i didn't want to go, but honestly i just plain didn't want to watch those movies.

1 John 2:16
"For everything in the world—the cravings of sinful man, the lust of his eyes and the boasting of what he has and does—comes not from the Father but from the world."

i believe that deep down inside me, i already knew that i shouldn't be watching that stuff. my parents didn't tell me that, the world definitely didn't tell me that, and church never really speaks specifically about that topic. so where did this come from.

when we understand God's love, and accept it, then start pouring it onto other people, our lives change. the way we live our day-to-day changes. when our intentions are solely based on pleasing God, we start seeing things in a different light. He's the one that can get rid of the views of this world. when we start acting out God's love, it starts eradicating the crap that the world has left in our hearts. His love is what takes away that, His love is the water that slowly takes away the sand that reveals the rocks. only through His love do we start realizing the truth about this world, and realize how to live a God pleasing life. mind you, i don't have this down perfect, but i'm trying

Colossians 1:4-14
"(4) because we have heard of your faith in Christ Jesus and of the love you have for all the saints— (5) the faith and love that spring from the hope that is stored up for you in heaven and that you have already heard about in the word of truth, the gospel (6) that has come to you. All over the world this gospel is bearing fruit and growing, just as it has been doing among you since the day you heard it and understood God's grace in all its truth. (7) You learned it from Epaphras, our dear fellow servant, who is a faithful minister of Christ on our behalf, (8) and who also told us of your love in the Spirit.

(9) For this reason, since the day we heard about you, we have not stopped praying for you and asking God to fill you with the knowledge of his will through all spiritual wisdom and understanding. (10) And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God, (11) being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have great endurance and patience, and joyfully (12) giving thanks to the Father, who has qualified you to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light. (13) For he has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son he loves, (14) in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins"

Monday, August 25, 2008

a few weeks ago i realized something. it was a realization that was more like being in a pool thats empty, thinking that something is missing, then having the water fill up and up and up all around you till you realize - "oh, it's a pool"

i was driving home from hanging out with this girl one time. at the time, i had a crush on her, but i hadn't told her. it was frustrating for me. i believe we've all been in this situation before where you know how you feel, but the other person doesn't and you know that if they just knew, then everything would be radically different.

you are there with them and you hear about how they are struggling in relationships and make mistake after mistake. they try dating this person, and you know that it's not a good situation, but you can't say anything because they are so caught up in the moment that they wont listen. all the meanwhile you think to yourself, "if only they knew how much i cared about them then they wouldn't bother with those other people". it hurts to see them go through pain and hardships and you want to be there but it isn't your place. it's this little wall that is up that you keep poking your eyes over, but they aren't looking.

i see parents with their children and never noticed something until this ride home. i started thinking about how i felt towards this girl and realized it was just a crush. it's not even anything more then that. when i see a parent with their child at the store, you see this connection between the two. it's a trust that is formed, a bond that is deeper then a name and stronger then iron. when a child wanders away, it cries. it will cry and bawl if it is not in the presence of the parents that love them so much. they don't realize this of course, they can't grasp the power of what that is, but they just experience it and can't stand being without it.

as this went through my mind i realized something and that made my heart break more then i could handle

God loves us so much. he loves us as his children, his family and in ways we can't possibly comprehend. it's beyond us. and when there is that gap between us, he longs for us to come home. i imagine that when people don't know God yet, it hurts Him. He sees our struggles and he sees how we will try having relationships with things the world finds important and God sees and just says "No, that doesn't matter". He sees how we cry at night when we get hurt emotionally because of dating, and hurt even worse when we follow the world. we will try to hold on to these fleshly desires but it will never work and God knows that because He sees the picture. He understands how powerful His love is and wants us to embrace that love and not this world. when we are in His presence and grasp the idea that He cares about us and loves us, then we are filled with joy and can't grasp why.

Romans 8:39
"nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"

Wednesday, May 21, 2008

remember, write legible this time

when i type, i usually don't capitalize anything. today i attempted (and succeeded) to think back to the root of that. i think it started when i wanted to make my writing just look smaller. without capitalizing anything, the second level of all my writing vanished, which was great. i suddenly broke my chains of slavery to the "shift" key. this felt original. i felt like this simple decision had changed my life forever. i looked at everything i wrote with new passion and it began with my having to "correct" my writing to make it "my style" "in quotes".

this also made it possible to put more emphasis on things i felt were important. this in turn led me to trying to decide what is actually important enough for me to put the effort into capitalizing. i came to the conclusion that only God was important enough to require that elusive "shift" key

but why do i think this. why is it in even simple writing, usually to myself, that God is something revered ad set apart. i like to think that that could mean that God is always on my mind when i write, but that's just not true. only when it comes to addressing a matter associated with God in some way, does it come up. this, this sucks.

why can't i just keep Him in my thoughts when i'm doing even the littlest things like brushing my teeth or trying to find my ipod shuffle. it's also hard to remind myself that today i ate a can of pirngles before "friends" was over and that even in that, God could be proud of me. that God likes me and is proud of me, even when i'm covered in crumbs and can't find the remote. how is it that every time i go to write, i will remember not to capitalize "i" or "franklin roosevelt" or "forrest gump" but when i'm done hanging out with a friend, i don't thank God for bringing them into my life. what do i thank God for? the food as i'm about to eat it?

originally, i would pray before eating to honestly thank God for proving to me daily that He is a God that provides. now it's become routine to race through meaningless words to begin the meal. it takes the relationship out of the equation when your mind focuses on meat and potatoes rather than love and grace.

why should i pray before going to bed? the original thought of doing it, in my mind, was to thank God for the day. Muslims pray five times a day, every day, and they always get down on their knees and face east, and pray. when i go to sleep, sometimes that's the only time of the day that i've spoken with God and i'm usually lying under my sheets, rushing through the words. screw that. i know you don't have to be on your knees to pray, but where is the relationship in that.

i'm tired of acknowledging the power and authority of God only when i have to spell it. eff that
time to change something in my life


Tuesday, April 22, 2008

A letter

I wrote this letter to my step-dad concerning infant baptism. He sent me an email that contained a debate between 2 people, a baptist and a catholic. it will be an on going debate that i will keep you updated on. but for now, here you go. please feel free to give me any thoughts about the topic. i'd like to discuss this

hey bill

I've been trying to figure out why i never felt right about infant baptism. this priest in the letter makes it very clear that we have to be reborn of the spirit because the spirit births spirit, and no one can enter the kingdom of God unless they accept Christ as their savior and are baptized with water.However, i honestly don't see the validity in there is no concrete evidence that says either way. i'm still studying it, but i know that to enter the kingdom of God, you have to first make a conscience decision to accept his gift of grace. then baptism. never in the bible does it go the other way around.

Acts 8:13 "Simon himself believed and was baptized"
Mark 16:16 "Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned"

and on many cases, it even mentions them confessing their sins and then getting baptised

Mark 1:5 "The whole Judean countryside and all the people of Jerusalem went out to him. Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River"
Matthew 3:6 "Confessing their sins, they were baptized by him in the Jordan River"

a child is not conscience of such a thing, and therefor could not do step 1 to get to step 2. But then we get to the next question which is;
"when is a child able to understand to accept God's love and grace?"

why this is important is obvious, because this series of questions can be unraveled from this, eg; how old do they have to be for God to ignore the fact that they are incapable grasping this concept? this goes for mentally challenged people as well. so then i simply go back to this verse.

1 Samuel 2:3 “Stop acting so proud and haughty! Don’t speak with such arrogance! For the Lord is a God who knows what you have done; he will judge your actions."

God is the ultimate judge. he will judge everyone, and i know that we baptize because we feel we need to do anything we can to save our children. But we can only do so much on our own. the truth is, is that we can't save our kids from the pit of eternal darkness. by taking it into our own hands to "save them" we are robbing God the glory and bringing a sense of humanism to it.

i understand that saving someone like this is not meant to be selfish, but when we skip the part where someone needs to accept Jesus into their life and just tossing water on them, we really truly are. its putting our decision in front of theirs.

i know you understand this Bill, and you also understand how tricky of a topic this is.
there are other things i'd like to discuss with you concerning this letter, but i would like to know your honest opinion about this. what do you believe as far as babies and hell are concerned


p.s. i've been trying to understand this one verse. i know it seems like it's taken out of context, and that's why i did not use it, but the Lord is speaking, and i'd like to know what he means by "and the little ones that you said would be taken captive". this whole section is talking about seeing the promised land, but he gives the promised land to the children despite their age, and clearly defines them as not knowing right from wrong. the same things that kept people form entering the promised land (no faith in God) are the same things that keep them from entering heaven. it even mentions how they were afraid that their kids would not enter because of the soldiers and whatnot, and afraid that they will die. Death was used very often in the bible as a symbol for hell.

so i know its a stretch, but i'm studying that entire passage right now, and trying to find more information on this topic

Deuteronomy 1:39 "I will give the land to your little ones—your innocent children. You were afraid they would be captured, but they will be the ones who occupy it"

Friday, April 11, 2008

Well here we go

Hello everyone!

I've survived 3 days in London so far, and the jet lag is slowly wearing off. Well, i guess it's taking it's time considering it's 2am over here and I am wide awake.

We hung out with an old friend of mine who works at this amazing church here in Waterloo. The church's website is

He was very encouraging and we've decided to make that our home church for our stay here. It's a great church full of excellent people, and I am excited to be a part of it.

Our orientation for school is tomorrow night, so we'll see how everything goes with that, and I'll fill you all in on how my week to week will be like!

Thank you again for all your support, and please keep us in your prayers.