Currently Listening: Swiss Army Romance We are all dying... It's true, we are all dying. Each passing moment carries us closer and closer to our death. Each breath we take is one less that we have less. No one knows exactly when we will die. No one knows exactly how we will die. All that we can know is that we will die. So were does that leave us? It gives us a couple of things to consider. First of all, what happens when we die? There are several views of this. Everything from "we just cease to exist" to "we become one with everything". I believe that when we die we will face judgement (Hebrews 9:27). Each person will stand before to give account for his life. We will each be compared to the standard of perfection. How will you measure up? I know what I will look like. My life will contrest the pure white with my own filthy dark mess of a life. But... this is the great part... I will know that it doesn't matter. The great thing is that it is impossible to be perfect. Otherwise their would be no hope for me. I am so greatful for the next verse, Hebrews 9:28. It mentions Christ. He payed for my sins, everything I ever did wrong. His red blood washed my filthy life clean. Now, through that red lense, my life will look pure white. That is why I can face death and not be worried about it. And I'm not gonna lie. There is a part of me that is still scared of death. But I know what is waiting for me, and I know that I have a God who is with me. How about you? Where will you be? Will you have something to take your sins away? Here's my second point. What will your tombstone say? What will you leave behind. How we live is so important. Will you live with eternity in mind? Or will you waste your life on the here and now? I've heard it said that you can't take it with you... but you can send it on ahead. I just want to encourage you to remember that. I don't know about you, but I want to be remebered for the great things I did for God. I want to go out with a bang.... That's what I want on my tombstone.
My Story This is my story right now. I was blessed to go to Boston last June with the CDS to serve at King of Grace Church. I knew that it would be a fun time and a cool experience. But I had no idea what all God had planned for me while I was there... While I was there, God openned my eyes to a whole new perspective, a whole new perspective of everything. He changed my whole life around. I wanted more than just a comfortable life. While I was there, I was able to live in a way that I never had before. Even though it was a lot of fun, the trip was also a lot of work. I was basically forced to be calling out to God and praying throughout the day. The fellowship was great too. Steve and Alex led out in praying for eachother and encouraging eachother. WE were able to confess to eachother openly where we were struggling. The guys were humble enough to be open, which helped me to as well. While we were there, one of the members of the church gave us all CD's with messages by John Piper on them. I didn't listen to them until about a month after I was home. But the two messages struck something in my heart. They were both from a series called "Desiring God". The first one I listened to was called "Boasting Only in the Cross of Christ". The second one was called "Doing Missions when Dying is Gain". These two messages hit me like no other message had. God gave me a glimpse of what could be. On one of the messages, John Piper pleads to the young people to not waste your life. He describes a couple who retires early, moves to Punta Gorda, Florida, and spends there time on their large yaught, playing softball, and collecting shells. He went on to explain that, although the American mentality that we are sold sees this as great, in the light of eternity, it is nothing. What will they say to God? "Look at my boat" or "I have a cool shell collection"? He describes this as a tragedy. He then described two single women, serving God in a third world country, who died in a car accident while trqaveling between villages. Neither had ever been married, both were nearly 80. "This", Mr. Piper said,"Is not a tragedy." Mr. Piper ssaid that to make a difference in this world, you don't have to know a lot of things. You just have to know a few things, and be willing to die for them. I ask myself am I ready to die for them? Wouldn't that be a great end? Then I met Keith Green. I was given a biography of him by my parents. I didn't read it right away, but when I did, I was blown away. This was a man, not perfect, but determined to please God. Everything he did, he tried to do for God's glory. He even gave away his music. His music was completely given over to God, which is evident to anyone who listens to his songs. He opened up his home to anyone who needed a place to stay. He had to buy more houses, and eventually move to a ranch, to have the room for all the people who came. Basically, he was a man who had completely given his life to God. God was his life, his master, his everything. AS I read about this man, I was challenged to live for God, to hold nothing back, to give him everything. After all of this, myt focus had completely changed. I saw life differentely. I wanted to live completely for God. I wanted Him to have my whole life. So then what happened? I'm not sure. I have this desire, but I found that it's harder to live it out. I see other people, and the way that they seem to be living, and it doesn't seem right. Even other Christians. And I 'm not talking about all Christians, and not even most Christians, but many Christians in America do not give God their all. They are just satisfied to not go to Hell. They don't care if what they do on earth matters in eternity. I want my life to matter. I want to be the grain that gives back one-hundred fold, not 30 or 60. I want all that God has for me. But then there's the part of me that just wants to be comfortable, to be entertained, who wants it easy. I struggle to control this part. I know that I need God's help here. anyways, more later, gtg
I was reading a collection of writings of Keith Green. He said something that struck me....right between the eyes. He was talking about how Christians in America are blessed with both material wealth and spiritual wealth. I think you know what I mean by material wealth. Compared to many other countries, Americans have a lot of "stuff". We have everything we need and more. Millions of dollars are spent each year just on entertainment. As Christians, we are called to be responsible with our wealth. It was given to us by God, and it still belongs to Him. He wants us to be willing to give it back to Him for His work, and to trust Him. I know that this is something that I struggle with. I have trouble trusting God with my tithe, much less anything beyond that. But God wants us to be willing to give our money to His work. I'm sure that treasure in heaven is better than treasure on earth. It lasts longer. Are you willing to give your money and possessions to God? Is He asking you to give in some way? By spiritual wealth, I don't mean that we are at all "better". What I mean is that God has given us a country in which we don't need to fear being identified as a Christian. Because of this, there are countless spiritual books to be read, Bibles are everywhere, in every hotel room. But heres the main thing. We have the freedom to share our faith. We are given the oppurtunity to freely spread the Gospel with no fear of being shot, or turtured, or beaten, or having our possessions burned, or being thrown in prison. What's the worst thing that we face? Being ridiculed? Being made fun of? Losing our reputation? Not being "cool"? Come on, there are thousands of Christians in other countries who are sticking there necks out, facing death and torture, to spread the Gospel to their neighbors, knowing that any one of them could turn them in. And we are content to just go to our large, confortable churches and meet together, maybe encourage eachother, and go throughout the week, never even seeing the countless unbelievers that cross our paths, the many oppurtunities that God is placing right in front of your eyes, if we would only open them up, and take them off ourselves. They are going to hell. They are facing eternal separation from God. And they don't even know it. They just know that they are empty inside, that something is missing. They are were you would be, right now, if God hadn't already used someone else to tell you of his good news. God could use you. God wants to use you. Will you let Him? Are you willing to put your reputation on the line for God? He laid down His life for you. This is really important to me, because I know that I struggle with this at least as much as anyone who will read it. But God has stirred my heart, and I hope he will stir others as well.
I'm just feeling kinda worn out right now. I know that I need to be actively pursuing God, and I know that I'm not, but I don't even really feel like it anyways. I just wish that I could fix everything immediately, but I know it doesn't work like that. But I am just tired of struggling with the same things over and over and over...... Lord, give me the strength I need to keep following you.... Because I can't keep this up alone.
I have been redeemed. I have been bought with the blood of Christ. Christ died so that I can live. Which leaves me with this: what happens now? I believe that my life is no longer mine. I was a slave to sin, now I am a slave to Christ. Christ died for me so that I might live for him. I have a problem with the "American" church's mindset of freedom. We have not just been freed from our sins. We are not free to live for ourselves. We need to live for Christ. He is our master. If we lose sight of this fact, I feel like we are playing into the plan of the Devil. We are not fulfilling our calling as Christians, as sons of God. I feel like it is taking the gift that God gave us to use for Him, and spitting on it, using it in a way it was not designed for. It is like using a pair of earrings as tacks, or a china plate as a dog bowl. Our lives are so short. We have one chance at this life. Why should we, why should I, live for myself? What will that get me? A short blip of a life in which I spent in vain trying to be happy, trying to get as much pleasure out of this thing called life, in this sick, twisted world. Don't you see how stupid this is? I wish we all would see this, myself included. I know that I don't live like I should. But I just feel that if we all did, this country would be different right now. This is just something that has been on my heart for a while. I don't know if anyone will read this or not, but I even if no one else reads it, I know that it will help me.
Well, I was at Xanga, but I thought I would try this place out, because I am considering moving. My main reason for this is not so much a dissatisfaction with xanga, but because almost everyone I know who blogs is here. So, I'm just gonna try it and see what happens. That is all for now.