Why do we do what we do?

So I was thinking about life and I was thinking why do we do what we do? Do we do things because we want to do them or do we ask God first? I think a lot of us (myself included) sometimes forget to ask God if this is something he wants us to do. It is really easy to do because many of these events aren’t totally hooked into God like sports, theater, whatevs… it just doesn’t seem connected to God. The reality of it is that EVERYTHING we do is connected to God so for events, committments, life decisions… everything we do should be of God. How we act, how we live… it’s a complete package haha. Look at yourself and ask, “am I constantly striving to reach God’s standards?” We all strive because we can’t make his standards. This is because God’s standard is perfect… and if you don’t make the cut you deserve death according to Romans 3:23. “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,”. But the wonderful thing of course is Jesus went to die for us on the cross and saved us all. So we should trust God because he has saved us from death and he knows what he is doing. So we should do everything we do for the glory of God. So I’m going to let this passage from The Utmost for His Highest end it…

“We have no right to decide where we should be placed, or to have preconceived ideas as to what God is preparing us to do. God engineers everything; and wherever He places us, our one supreme goal should be to pour out our lives in wholehearted devotion to Him in that particular work. “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might . . . (Ecclesiastes 9:10)”

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It is only thos…

It is only those who never do anything who never make mistakes- A. Favre

I really liked this quote simply because it describes what we should do in life. We shouldn’t be afraid to make a difference for God or dive into something new… it’s part of life. God never made us to live life in a small way… he made it for us to live every second to the full. That includes taking chances… so don’t be afraid. I mean we’re all gonna make mistakes (we’re human) yet at the same time God put you right where he wants you. So trust him and just dive into life 🙂

The Other Side of the Door

The title on this post could mean so many different things but this is truly God inspired because I never would’ve figured out how a 30 hour famine raising money for an African pig farm, a Taylor Swift song and reflection on God could’ve combined themselves into a solid topic. However, it has happened!!! Trust me; it will make sense once we go through the entire subject. So here it goes…

 

So this weekend my youth group was doing a 30 hour famine to earn money for a pig farm that we wanted to sponsor in the Sierra Leonevillage of Masapri. I was really excited and was ready to go. The first night we had our normal meeting and then we slept in the church we were at for the night and (being teenaged guys) we stayed up until 1am in the morning. A little after 1am I started listening to music on my MP3 player because I cannot go to sleep without music… it is literally impossible. Taylor Swift is one of my favorite artists and since a lot of her music is country/softer stuff she is the main artist I listen to when I go to sleep. I was listening to one of my favorite songs from her called “The Other Side of the Door” (big surprise lol) and I was thinking the normal things a guy thinks when he listens to a Taylor Swift song. Don’t need to explain 😉 …anyways so we got up the next morning and had a devotional. At the end of the devotional our leader gave us the chance to simply pray to God for about 10-15 minutes and connect with Him. I was praying and it was certainly deep but God kept bringing the words of that Taylor Swift song to my head. Honestly, I kept trying to ignore the song because I was like “what in the world does a Taylor Swift song have to do with my faith?” God is very funny sometimes haha so once I really thought about the words really hard I got what he was trying to get across. Remember, God created everything in the world and He can use whatever he wants to bring around His will… including a Taylor Swift song haha. So I’m going to break these lines/thoughts into chunks and I’ve selected certain portions of the chorus to describe the points that God showed to me.

 

All I really want is you…” So this line is pretty straight forward. It simply points out what we all have to figure out eventually. We need to realize that God is the only thing that can satisfy us and can fill our needs. Nothing else can… NOTHING in this world can match what God can do for us. So we have to bring ourselves to the point where we truly say that all we need is God.

 

…to stand outside my window throwing pebbles, screaming, I’m in love with you…”   This is my favorite by far. We should be so in love with God. He deserves everything that we have and he deserves all of our praise. We shouldn’t just believe in God; we should be in a relationship with God. We should be in absolute love with in him and it should show in what we do. All of our actions should be done to please God whether we are at school, sports, work etc. because people should know that we’re different. Your witness and how you act in public is your love message to God. We want to be in complete love with God and absolutely shining his love because we have a fiery passion to please Him. We should be falling head over heels for Him because He is the maker of the heavens and the earth, the great I AM, and He knows all of us by name. He knows our most anxious thoughts and He knows when we wake up and when we lie down… He cares about us more than anyone else ever could. So we should be like a teenaged guy who pelts a girl’s window with rocks and is screaming I’m in love with you because that’s passionate love. Now we do want the love to be more than emotional of course, but the emotional dimension should be exactly what’s being talked. We should be in absolute love with God.

 

Wait there in the pouring rain, come back for more”   That’s another big thing in my mind. When life just blows you down and you feel like you wanna quit that’s when keep going. When (in life) you’ve taken punches to the head, the face, the gut and you’ve been knocked to the floor and you just wanna quit… don’t. Trust the living God who loves you more than anyone else ever can and don’t just trust him when you have to. Keep coming back for more; even when you “don’t need his help”. You want God become a permanent part of you and someone that you constantly talk to.

 

“All I need is on the other side of the door” The decision is in our hands. Are we gonna stay in our zone where it’s just me, myself and I… or are we going to trust God and surrender ourselves to him. Matthew 7:7 says “”Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” God is right there… when you trust him what he does is so amazing. So if you are resisting him don’t resist any longer… it only hurts your best interests. Simply release yourself into God’s arms and you won’t believe how much he can do for you.

 

Hope you guys enjoyed that… it took some skill to weave that together haha! Man… I graduate in less than two months. I’ve enjoyed the many awesome moments of this senior year and I will ride it all the way to the end 🙂

BTW Here’s a link to the actual song if you want to listen to it and just clarifying this has nothing to do with my personal life haha… http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6-1w_5oUMeQ

Lord Reign in Me

So I’ve been super-busy and I lost the flash drive that had my next blog (fingers crossed it shows up soon) but I thought just listening to this song is good. I’ve honestly never been more stressed out in my life than I have the last few weeks and I think people are starting to notice lol. People keep telling me I’m acting weird… so I guess that’s why. I’m overwhelmed but I’m just holding onto God more than I have ever before in my life. I’m holding on to him and whatever anyone does they can’t get me to let go. No matter how many people put me down, no matter what anyone does, no matter what happens in my life no one can break the bond between me and him. He is truly everything to me 🙂

April 12th: My Utmost for His Highest

I read this bit from Oswald Chamber’s book “My Utmost for His Highest and it was crazy awesome. Just relax and read through the passage for today

Co-Eternal Life. Eternal life is the life which Jesus Christ exhibited on the human level. And it is this same life, not simply a copy of it, which is made evident in our mortal flesh when we are born again. Eternal life is not a gift from God; eternal life is the gift of God. The energy and the power which was so very evident in Jesus will be exhibited in us by an act of the absolute sovereign grace of God, once we have made that complete and effective decision about sin.

“You shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you . . .” (Acts 1:8)— not power as a gift from the Holy Spirit; the power is the Holy Spirit, not something that He gives us. The life that was in Jesus becomes ours because of His Cross, once we make the decision to be identified with Him. If it is difficult to get right with God, it is because we refuse to make this moral decision about sin. But once we do decide, the full life of God comes in immediately. Jesus came to give us an endless supply of life— “. . . that you may be filled with all the fullness of God” (Ephesians 3:19). Eternal life has nothing to do with time. It is the life which Jesus lived when He was down here, and the only Source of life is the Lord Jesus Christ.

Even the weakest saint can experience the power of the deity of the Son of God, when he is willing to “let go.” But any effort to “hang on” to the least bit of our own power will only diminish the life of Jesus in us. We have to keep letting go, and slowly, but surely, the great full life of God will invade us, penetrating every part. Then Jesus will have complete and effective dominion in us, and people will take notice that we have been with Him.

Hope this made a good impact on you! God is incredible 🙂

My Thoughts as I turn 18

Well, it finally happened. I turned 18!!! I’m “officially” an adult now but I prefer the title of a young man because I think that’s where I’m at 😉 … shoot. I’ve been thinking so much about my life the last few weeks. I know everyone says you realize how fast time flies when you turn 18 but it really does. Wasn’t it just yesterday I was an eight year-old kid drawing beautiful pictures of the plants in my front yard for science (Ok, I’ll admit they were pretty crappy pictures haha). I don’t draw ANYTHING anymore lol; it’s just not my thing. Just a little while ago wasn’t I playing goalie in elementary school and getting 25-30 shots at me every game because our defense was that bad? How’d I move from there to forward, to outside back and finally to center back? I enjoy every position but one of these days I’m guessing I’ll play midfield… Wasn’t it just a little while ago my family adopted my little brother when he wasn’t even a year-old? Now he’s in second-grade and he is so incredibly awesome. He is a super soccer player, works hard on his school and I just love the kid 🙂  There are so many other memories… I don’t wanna waste your guy’s time by going through more of them! So I guess this blog is just what I’m thinking about life itself as I reflect on the life I’ve had.

 

One of the first things that I’ve learned about life is that you have to be proactive to be successful and there is always another chance. You can’t just stumble through life like it doesn’t matter because every single second of your life is precious. You really can’t get it back… so don’t waste it. God gave you the time you have while you live on the earth to love other people and shine for him. Go out and get it. Life isn’t a story of one success and you’re set for life or a story of one failure and you’re screwed. How you take every second of your life and all the different things that you do determine it. So I didn’t really get all of this until this summer when I went on a missions trip with my youth group. It was simply the most amazing experience I’ve ever had in my life. God finally opened my eyes to see that what you do in life does matter. You cannot just waste your life and expect good things to happen. It doesn’t work that way. You must go work hard to get somewhere in life because while you rely on God I’m pretty sure he doesn’t want you to sit in your parent’s basement for 10 years haha (cause I know I wouldn’t want to)! I’m not the most brilliant student, but what I lack for in natural genius I make up for with hard work. I went through a really rough quarter than dropped my GPA a decent amount but I know if I hadn’t been working my butt off it could’ve been FAR WORSE. Whatever you’ve done, wherever you’ve been… it’s a life of second chances. I definitely know I’ve been given another chance by God and I’m hanging on to him and NEVER letting go. I did such a great job of wasting my life for awhile, I was living for nothing. I had no purpose. I was just drifting through life and when something good happened I was really happy and when something bad happened I was really sad. I was messing up my life and wasn’t going anywhere. I’d probably say somewhere around 2 years ago God finally started shaking me and I kept getting closer and closer to losing myself to him. Then I had this missions trip and it BLEW my top off and for the first time I finally committed to God 100%. So for those who think they’ve messed up way to much and God would never love you… he does. So just take life for what is… a chance to take every second of your life and live it for your heavenly Father 🙂

  

Also, I’ve figured out that no matter what you try to fill your life up with if it’s not God it doesn’t work. Sports, school, girls, success, work, drugs (haven’t done that haha) … whatever it is you always have a hole in your soul. I’m not saying that these things aren’t good because they are sometimes wonderful (cept’ drugs lol. They aren’t good for you!) but you just have to keep God at the forefront. Because you have to remember, he gave you everything that you have and everything you will EVER need… pretty sure He should be #1 in anybody’s book! There is just a point where you have to realize that and wake up. Ya know, I’ve played a lot of soccer and have been around guys that have the ability to go pro… but I’ve seen that they aren’t satisfied. All that happens is that they keep pushing and pushing for better results because they can’t feel satisfied with what they’ve done. I’ve known absolutely brilliant people in school that I can tell they just aren’t filled. Even with all their success and their 4.0’s and everything else they still don’t feel at peace… they just keep doing it because it is what people expect of them. I’ve never really struggled with any of these except sports. I used to play 3 sports and I literally devoted my life to playing them. All I did was finish school in the morning/afternoon and then off to soccer, basketball, or baseball practice. Oftentimes the sports overlapped and I would end up training for one sport while the end of the season was happening in another sport. My whole weekend would be preparing and playing whatever game I had to do that weekend. Any spare time I had would be spent going to the middle-school to practice soccer by myself or practicing baseball with my dad at the elementary school. The only thing I didn’t do was get upset at losing. I never really dwelled on anything… it was just “that’s the result and when do we play next?” I mean there were still a few moments I dwelled on… a few that I still do. The biggest one was when I screwed up our team’s undefeated season in the last game a few years ago. We were losing 1-0 with about six minutes to go and I was on a breakaway. Only the keeper to beat… and I kicked the ball right into his chest and into his hands :/ still can’t believe that one. Sorry, that was off track! My point is that I was consumed by sports completely. I honestly cared about nothing else. I didn’t care about school; how I was acting, God etc. it was just playing sports. It was my life. I’ve learned that lesson. For those who know me I still love soccer TREMENDOUSLY but I’ve made sure that it is not my life focus. Just do everything for God because he was the one who gave you the situation and the talent and the ability. I succeed in life with the gifts in life that he has given me and I know it makes him proud. When I take the soccer field I feel him right beside me. Whether I win or lose soccer games I always remember to praise him or when I score a goal or when I make a brilliant defensive play (this happens frequently ;)). For the few people who have seen my goal celebration it always starts with hands pointed up in the air. Because I REALLY feel God’s pleasure at those points since I’m using the natural ability he has given me to bring glory to him 🙂 So to wrap this section up… stuff in life is okay. Sometimes it’s simply amazing 🙂 Just remember to keep God firmly above all else and you’ll be right where you want to be!!!

Another thing I’ve learned (and still struggle with) is that I shouldn’t judge others because I am a flawed person myself. I have a tendency to point fingers at other people and try to put them into the wrong and me into the right when really there isn’t any reason to do that. That’s the main thing I’ve been struggling with the past month or so… sorry to the people who I’ve done that too. That’s the just the biggest thing. I am still very impatient (improving lol) but I want things right now and don’t want to wait. While they are very rare I still have flashes of anger that aren’t very good for anyone. Somebody may ask me why do you put this stuff up for the world to see? The fact is I really don’t care. People can see the stuff anyways and it’s not like I care THAT much about what people think about me. I still do partially because that’s human nature but at the same time I’m just the kind of person who puts their problems out there. Haha, I’ve learned that no matter how hard people try to present themselves as perfect they ain’t. So I’m the same as everyone else but the only difference is that I’m openly admitting to my failures… and if I’m the same then why should I judge others? That is a good question because there is no reason to judge others when you are critically flawed. Just a thought 🙂

 

So another lesson I’ve learned is that you shouldn’t go through life uptight. Whatever the situation, have fun! God has everything under control and you just need to follow him 🙂 I know school and work seems like they’re really hard but I put it this way… “Hard work leads to fun play”. Yes, I just quoted myself in my own blog 😉 beat that! Seriously though, you just have to be dedicated to your duties and complete them then you can have fun. Even though I’m a senior in high school I go to community college and I constantly hear people say that they can’t have any fun… it’s because they don’t work hard on their school. They are constantly goofing off during school and so it takes the whole day to finish their homework. Now if they worked really hard on their stuff all day they might find their evenings might be a little more free. Haha, I have it down. I wake up, work on school before classes, go to classes, have lunch, work on more school, exercise and then work on school even more! I’ve learned that as long as you put in the work and try as hard as you can then you have nothing to be ashamed of 🙂 Then have fun! It can be so easy to get “too busy for fun” but you shouldn’t be. You just have to make sure that you have some events planned and people to talk to during the week so that you get your fun in 🙂 Because life just gets dull when you don’t have fun and then you start getting uptight and then life just gets stressful. Don’t let that happen… work hard then have fun!

 

Another thing is that my group of close friends has helped me out SOO much this last year. I really wished I had figured out that your close friends could be so much help before this year lol, it would’ve helped the other years of my life. God has still helped the most obviously haha but this group has helped me out a ton as well. I can’t lie… it’s been a tough year. There have been a lot of things going down that have just made life somewhat stressful at points this last year. For those who know me I’m a pretty composed person but this year I’ll admit that there has been some times that I have been really rattled inside. That’s where my small group of close friends has helped out so much. All the advice, all the encouragement, all the help, all the smiles, just talking… I really can’t describe how much you people mean to me! Thank you about a million times over for giving me wonderful advice, relieving my stress and helping me out when I need it the most 🙂

 

I think another thing I’ve learned (and wish I’d really believed it a little faster) is that God does everything for a reason. God has plans to give you hope and a future… he’s not trying to make it hard on you. The trials that come through life are meant to bring you closer to Him and make you trust him better. All of us go through trials- that’s a fact! God loves you more than anything else and everything that goes through your life is for something better. One of the pivotal things in my life that I was bewildered (and even now still a little bewildered) by was when I broke my wrist playing high school soccer in my sophomore year. For those who have heard this story a million times bear with me 😉  …so I was playing JV soccer at my high school. My h.s. is a soccer powerhouse in our state (we have never missed state and make it to at least the quarterfinals most years) and it was a very good team. By halfway through the season my JV coach told me that I was going to be called up to the varsity after our next game. I was estatic… an underclassmen playing varsity on one of the best teams in the state!!! I was really excited. In our next game, I was grabbed by the jersey and LITERALLY flung out of bounds. I landed on concrete that was a yard outside of the soccer field and nearly busted my tailbone; however, I broke my wrist. I was very frustrated to say the least. The next few months I was seriously ticked at God asking him why could he do such a thing when I was just about to have my big break? Why, Why, Why??? Now that I look back; I can see why he did it. I was addicted to soccer and it was higher than God was in my life. I still wish God could’ve taught me in some other way haha but that’s how he choose. The point is that everything that happens has a purpose and while it may not seem like a good thing at the time God has your best interests in mind. So just trust Him 🙂

 

For a little humor; Call Me Maybe was the best song that came out this last year. No argument will ever make me change my stance haha. It just is. Carly Rae Jepson is a decent artist and I do listen to her only album because it still has some other good songs. Good time is also an excellent piece of music… it’s another one of my favorite songs this year. The best band ever is Thousand Foot Krutch… they just are. There are too many super amazing and awesome songs that get me ready to go. Umm… Phenomenon, Rawkfist, Move, Welcome to the Masquerade, Already Home, The End is Where We Begin… the list goes on and on haha. Taylor Swift is REMARKABLE… love her music as well!!! That’s my thought on music 😀

 

If anyone tells you feeling bitter about how your life is gone and regretting how your life has gone are the same thing it ain’t true! There’s a big difference between the two. Feeling bitter about your life is simply seeing what happened but at the same time seeing what more you could’ve done or what another possible result might’ve been. The key thing here is that you see that stuff but you wouldn’t change anything in your life. I honestly would not change A HEARTBEAT of how my life has gone. Yes, there have been some really down moments… but I wouldn’t change it. That’s what regret is… seeing all of these things but wanting to change what happened in your life. So do I feel a little bitter about some of my life? Yes, but would I change a second of it? GOSH NO!!! I am amazed at my life… there have been many twists and turns but I’ve had a pretty good time haha! I get a little stressed out every once in awhile but I mostly just keep rollin’ because God has taught me he takes care of it all 🙂 I mean we all doubt God’s plan at some point or we second-guess his awesomeness. A majority of the time though, I’ve learned just to let it go. Whatever happens life will go on in the direction God would want you to go in and sometimes it is going to not feel right but you just gotta keep following. You will be discouraged, treating poorly by others, have a rough time fulfilling your work or school duties, have a few tough days on the soccer pitch or the baseball diamond, have some rough emotional days etc. but remember Jesus went through SO MUCH MORE for you and I. He was a human; he KNOWS how we feel. I’ve said this like four times in this post already lol but trust in God. He has given me every second of my life for a reason and I’m just stickin’ with Him. To the best of my abilities, I try to follow the words “You lead; I’ll follow.”

 

I honestly am taking turning 18 really seriously because it is serious. Over the last year I’ve been planning for my future and now that I’m becoming an “adult” it’s time to put those plans into action. For the people who know me, please don’t think I’ll be that more serious and different. I’ll be the same nerd and (sometimes) dork that I’ve always been haha and I’ll always be up for having fun! It’s just part of life… too many young people run away from growing up. I’m not. No matter what you do you will grow older lol and there’s no sense wasting the present time trying to cling onto the past. I’m ready to go be what God wants me to be and I’m not wasting any time in going that direction. Now to work on becoming a self-supporting adult… that’s gonna take a while 😛

 

To wrap up this spread out thought that this post has turned into… you really just have to let go of what you want. Give God control… He molds you more and more into his image and makes your life into something so beautiful that you can’t even comprehend. He has blessed me with so many things over my life but I’ve just been blessed SOOO much this last year by Him. Everything has been amazing.. all the new friends I’ve made, the friends I’ve gotten to know better (some WAY better), the opportunities I’ve had, the moments I’ve been able to enjoy 🙂 Kinda lost for words right now lol. I’m just laying back and enjoying the ride! I still can’t believe I’m 18… but there is so much of life to go and such little time. I’m not wasting a second because it all is so precious and I only get one shot at this 🙂

 

Just a few quick things to say then I’ll wrap this thing up. The first thing is whenever you look at a person don’t look at what they can do for you. Look at would you can do for them. The final thing is just smile. You don’t know if you’re the one person who brightens up someone’s day and your smiling helps people so much. I always used to be confused as to why people would always say I was encouraging. I had no clue whatsoever. Then someone finally told me “Well, a huge part of it is because it is nearly impossible not to find you smiling. It’s just about impossible not to feel more light-of-heart with you around.” So that’s why I smile no matter how I’m feeling, no matter what’s going on… it just helps other people so much 😀

 

Finally, I thank God beyond anything else. The amount that he has changed me is absolutely amazing. He lifted me from who-knows-where and saved me. I am eternally thankfully to Him so much and I just want to live my life in a way that lets people know how incredible He is. Plus Jesus dying on the cross for my sins still blows my mind thinking about it. “Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6

 

P.S. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w6l4AnJ5yjo