One of Us

“What if God was one of us?

Just a slob like one of us?

Just a stranger on the bus

Trying to make His way home?”

“One of Us”- Joan Osbourne

So the four lines at the top of the blog are from a song called “One of Us” written by Eric Bazilian and released by an unknown singer named Joan Osbourne in 1995. I wrestled with the song for a whole, nearly sleepless night a few days ago, because it really is something that Christians take for granted. Yet, so much of the world struggles with this ideal of God being relatable to them, and whether or not they can have a personal relationship with God.

Personally, I heard the song because it was covered by Glee in an October 2010 episode. Now, stay with me here. While many of you may hate or be in support of Glee, what the show was known for was tackling the tough issues of society. In this episode, a Glee club member’s father has a heart attack, and the episode is about how the different members of the club try to help that character deal with the event based on their religious beliefs. Ryan Murphy (Glee creator) hoped to create a balanced view of religion that ensured that there was an equality between pro and anti-religious ideas presented. The episode received critical acclaim by achieving that. This song was the end of the episode.

Personally, I haven’t had many times that I pondered the question, “What if God was one of us?” I grew up in a Christian home and learned about God from an early age. I was blessed to have great parents who helped me mature in my faith. The Bible clearly explains that Jesus Christ came down to the earth and lived in the same world with the same temptations, successes, failures etc. that we have to go through. Yet, lately, I’ve been trying to understand how people who do not believe in God view him. I feel like this view is one that Christians often overlook. In order to reach those who do not have faith in Jesus Christ, we have to be able to connect with them where they are. Whether unbeliever or believer, I believe that this question of whether God was one of us is something really important when it comes to the faith known as Christianity. This song really gets down to the mark.

“What if God was… just a slob like one of us”. It truly recreates the deep yearning of the human condition that we all feel for a savior. The brokenness and emptiness of this world truly breaks my heart. No matter how much society and the world tries to bury it, people know deep inside that there is something more to this world than what is on the surface. Yet, to these people, God is a larger than legend myth legend. The mosaic that the human population have created of God is absolutely brilliant, but it makes Him seem inaccessible to the population. How many times in history have people sat crying in the alley, park, bedroom, back of the bus etc. and wondered if God hears them? How many times do these people just wish that God walked the earth and would walk up to them and solve all their problems? Is that you?

Now, for those who came from the same background that I have, here’s the question. Can you imagine being in this position? Left in a place where you are not sure if God can relate to you? Here’s the kicker… we all have. Whether Christian or non-Christian we have all at some point seen God as that huge holy figure that we can’t relate to. We all imagine, “What if God was… just a stranger on a bus”. Even though we’ve heard the stories, we still oftentimes wonder… was Jesus really like all of us?

Our culture attempts to answer this question with different pieces of literature and entertainment. One T.V. series that I watch is Supernatural, and the basic premise of the show is that there are two brothers (Sam and Dean Winchester) who understand the “supernatural” of the world. They interact with (and often kill) the things that human culture have put in this “supernatural” box. Ghosts, Vampires, Wendigos, Djinns, Demons and Angels. In later seasons (Season 11 starts soon, so excited!) they heavily deal with Demons and Angels. In this world, God has been “missing” for longer than almost anyone can remember. While many characters voice their beliefs about God (some believe him dead, uncaring, a simple story etc.) the most striking one is from an angel named Castiel.

Castiel is the main protagonist aside from the Winchester brothers (and my favorite character!). In earlier seasons Castiel is seen struggling with this idea of who God is and what he means to Castiel. He often calls out to God, begging him to return to the world and fix it. However, Castiel’s faith begins to disappear as God continues to “not show up” despite horrible tragedies rocking the world. He doesn’t understand why God isn’t, “Trying to make his way home.” Questions run through his mind constantly. Are the stories that Castiel heard really true? Did God just make this creation just to leave it in the dust? What if God is just another really powerful angel who decided to dump the world and go relax somewhere else in the universe? These are the powerful questions that Castiel ponders, yet, are a reflection on how many people who do not have a faith in Jesus Christ think about God and Christianity. Castiel is stuck between fully embracing free will, and believing that God will come back and control the heavenly realm. This depiction of Castiel fully describes so many people in the world. It is one of the underappreciated storylines in the Supernatural saga, but one that I very much appreciate for its honest portrayal of the human condition.

The beautiful thing is that God truly was one of us. He lived with people, ate with sinners, healed people, and died as a common criminal. He felt all the same feelings that we do. The surrounding environment is obviously different because as pictures clearly show us Jesus was the only white man in an early A.D. Jerusalem (catch the humor?), and we live in the 2000s. For real though, he had the same human experience that we do, and can relate to us through our troubles. Honestly, even as a long-time Christian, it is still hard to grasp how the Almighty God understands the way I feel. It’s absolutely breathtaking, but impossible to fully grasp.

There is so much heartbreak in the world, and so many people that need to hear about God. Not the religion called Christianity. They need to hear about the God that can fill that large hole in their heart. They need to hear about the Father that is always there and listening to their every single word. They need to hear about the Jesus Christ who walked this earth, and can relate to their struggles. This is the true goal of those who call themselves Christians. Not to build churches. Not to isolate themselves from the world. Not to go to church once a week and to forget about it. This is the real purpose of Christianity. To bring people closer to the living God who is the only thing that can fill that void in the hearts of billions of people who cry out for help in this world.

P.S. Can’t believe I’m already over 1/4 through my last semester of college! Life is really busy but I’m able to hang out with old friends, make new ones, and also still finish my schoolwork in between. Life is awesome!

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Why Do We Fall?

This is, in my opinion, the most famous quote from the Batman trilogy. I’m sure we’ve all heard it before, but here it is in its complete form when Bruce Wayne and Alfred had just escaped Wayne’s burning house in Batman Begins. “Why do we fall sir? So we can learn to pick ourselves up.” That is from Alfred, Bruce Wayne’s butler. There has always been something in us as human beings that makes us wonder how to bounce back from rough times and tough results. In Batman, Alfred points out that we can do it on our own as long as we try hard enough, and sure enough Batman always does just enough to succeed. However, I feel like that Batman doesn’t tell the whole story. This is what I believe: I believe that when we fall down, we can’t pick ourselves up by our own power. We need the help of our family, friends, and most importantly God. Even Batman needed help from those like Gordon, Alfred, and Catwoman… but with that said, he is still the best superhero ever. PLEASE DON’T STOP READING if you disagree with my selection. I’m just putting it out there haha! In reality though, we can’t do everything ourselves, and we truly need the help of God in order to help us be able to truly pick ourselves up. I’m going to divide it into a few different categories.

First, how do we fall? Well, most of the time that we fall it is because we think that we can do everything by our self, and we quickly find out that we can’t do it. This stems from the sin nature that we have. Our sin nature (and ironically our culture) tells us we can do whatever we want, and that there will be no consequences. First of all, I think we all know that there are consequences to our actions no matter what society tells us. There’s no questioning that. Secondly, we aren’t capable of making everything go according to our plan. A lot of times people act like they have it all together, just because we’ve set up this society where failing is looked at as bad. The problem is that instead of hiding our insecurities and problems from each other, we need to share them with each other. Now, I’m not telling you to go stand in front of a ton of people, and tell them all your problems. What I’m telling you is find a few of your best friends/family and tell them what you’re dealing with. This is because we fall when we are alone. Christian loners don’t stay Christian loners for that long. They also don’t stay Christians for that long. James 3:2 says,

“We all stumble in many ways. Anyone who is never at fault in what they say is perfect, able to keep their whole body in check.”

Obviously, none of us are perfect… so the conclusion is that we truly need others. There is no substitution for growing with other Christians, and helping with each other’s highs and lows. That begs another question…

How do we learn to pick ourselves up? The obvious answer would be that after the fall we can look back and see everything that we have done; then simply don’t repeat it. However, I would say we learn to pick ourselves up through praying to God and studying his word. If God knows everything about you, knows what is best for you in every way… then you should be praying to him. If you are in love with somebody, do you spend time with them? Absolutely. It’s the same way with God; you should spend time with him in prayer and reading your Bible. A side-effect of this is that we start to see more and more of what God sees. We see where we are really failing, we see where we are doing well… but most importantly we see what God has made us to do. That leads to the last step…

How do we actually pick ourselves up? We pick ourselves up by seeing the path that God has put ahead of us, and running straight toward it. Don’t look back, to the left or the right… go straight ahead. When we realize what we’ve done in the past (when we’ve fallen) is nothing in comparison to where we’re going that’s when we are where we need to be. We also realize that we need other people to get there, and that God has put people in our life for a reason. We pick ourselves up by bonding with them in the community of Christ, and all working together for his glory. We rely on the amazing grace of God to help us get through whatever we need to get through. Philippians 4:13,

“ I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Such good words. We always need to remember, we don’t have to rely on our strength to do things. God will give us the strength to conquer any challenges that come our way, and he will put the right people into our life in order to fulfill his great plan.

What happened to Batman? Well, after his house got burned down did he dwell on what had happened? No, he saw the destiny that was beckoning him to save Gotham City, and he went straight toward it. No matter what happened, he knew his calling was to save the city from harm and he stuck with it. That is how you pick yourself up… forget all the rough times you’ve been through, see the path God has for you, and stick to that path!

Benefits Of Being “Single”

So something that is really pushed in today’s society is this idea that being in a relationship is better than being single. If you’re single, people wonder why, and a lot will say that you have something wrong with you. We live in a world where updating your status to “in a relationship” is viewed as the best thing that could ever happen to you, and that it is so great you aren’t a single anymore. First of all, to clarify, I’m totally not bashing couples here. I know a bunch of great couples and I’m really happy for those who are in relationships. You guys have done well! What I’m going to be presenting is two areas of where it is a benefit to be happily single, and that it’s totally an okay thing despite society telling you it’s not. Not an in-depth look, but just a general look that I hope gets people’s minds going.

Spiritual Growth

To be very honest, my greatest moments of spiritual growth have been when I’m single, and that is the opinion of quite a few people. This is because when you are single you are obviously only responsible for you, yourself and you. You are able to focus on your own spiritual growth because you don’t have the burden of having to help your significant other (not a bad burden, you just don’t have it as a single). Yes, you do still grow spiritually with the people around you whether you are single or not, but the degree you are growing with them compared to growing with your significant other is drastically different. I know that the greatest moments in my life are the ones where I am single and I can pursue God with all of my heart everyday. In Corinthians 7:32-35 it says,

“I would like you to be free from concern. An unmarried man is concerned about the Lord’s affairs—how he can please the Lord.  But a married man is concerned about the affairs of this world—how he can please his wife— and his interests are divided. An unmarried woman or virgin is concerned about the Lord’s affairs: Her aim is to be devoted to the Lord in both body and spirit. But a married woman is concerned about the affairs of this world—how she can please her husband.  I am saying this for your own good, not to restrict you, but that you may live in a right way in undivided devotion to the Lord.”

Essentially, this scripture is saying that if you are a single, you can be completely devoted to God. Once again, Paul points out that either path isn’t wrong, there are benefits to both paths. God should always be on top of your life at ALL times, but if you are single it is fairly certain that you will be more devoted to God and what he is trying to do in you. When you are in a relationship, you will try to please your significant other right? There will be days where God will get squeezed out, and that time slot will be filled spending time as a couple. It is just natural that you will want to do whatever makes your significant other happy, and there is nothing wrong with that; however, it hinders your ability to spread the gospel. You won’t have that undivided attention toward God and that is one thing that you can have as a single.

You don’t rush into a relationship

If you are single what is the first thing a lot of people say? A lot of times they will say something like this, “You’re single? Well, I know somebody who you’d really work well with…” The singles out there know that feeling… when you feel you’re getting pushed to get together with someone. I’m sure we’ve all seen it happen before. Two people feel socially awkward as singles, and they think they will work together with someone so they get together with them. Then, over time, they realize that perhaps they don’t mesh quite as well as they thought. They start having problems and before you know it they break up with each other. Then (for a lot of people) they try it again… and again… and again. They keep telling themselves if I jump into this relationship then everything will be okay. In our society, we look at a couple and think that they are completely fine. If you are in a relationship people always say that hey, they have it pretty good. There is this false image that if you are in a relationship then the sky will be blue, and that you get to ride unicorns. Well, maybe not unicorns. You get the picture though. If you are single, you aren’t in the cycle that quite a few other people are in! So, you may ask (or may not because you know you shouldn’t question my awesomeness) is the question, “Well Caleb, that was a really great speech you just told me. So what is exactly leading up to?” My answer to you is that if you are happy being a single, you won’t rush into a relationship. You will take more time to get to know the person, more time to pray to God about it, and more time to talk to your friends about it. I personally know this approach works out well. I can honestly say I’m happy being single. I am a pretty carefree person in the first place as most of you know haha, but being single is something I am totally fine with. I am in a place where I know that I can take my time and not be rushed into a relationship. I’m going to take my time and at some point it will happen. Probably here at my college because it is pretty good at creating relationships. That’s why we students call it (college name left out) ___Mingle. It’s like Christian mingle, just in a real-life setting hahaha. Either way though, if you are a single BE FINE where you are at!!! Just continue to grow with God and take your time finding that person. It’ll work out in the end 🙂      

Growing in God pt. 2 Prayer

So, there are so many different ways to approach prayer and I really think it is one of the harder things to do in the Christian walk. I’ve always prayed a lot to God but I didn’t really think about how I was doing it. Then, I had an assignment in my Christian Thought (Theology class) at college and the point of the assignment was to grow in one area, focus on it for a week, write about it, and continue to grow in that area. I feel like it is a good description of prayer… so I’ll just post my assignment. I feel like it will help you understand prayer more because it certainly helped me to deepen what I feel is an already strong relationship with God. The point is that you can never grow in God enough and I know that I just want to know God more and more. I want to know him more, I want to see his face, and I want him to be the most important part of all of me. Anyways, read on…

 

“I chose the area of prayer because I knew that this was something that I could definitely improve in. When I read this assignment for the very first time the Lord convicted me and I realized that I needed to improve how I pray. Honestly, I can pray well when I’m in a group but I find it quite a bit harder to pray when I am alone. When I understood that was the direction that God was pushing me in I wasn’t very surprised and I decided to obey his instructions to improve this area of my spiritual life.

The way I chose to respond to this assignment was in meekness and I started it with prayer of course! I decided that I was going to let God work whatever he wanted in my life that week and that I would make time for whatever God wanted me to do to bring about improvement in this area. I understood that I couldn’t do any of this on my own and I was only going to become closer to God in prayer if I let him teach me.  I also decided that I would pray for 10 minutes at least once every day. One of my goals for the week was that I was going to pray before I got into a mode of desperation. In the chapter, it pointed out that a lot of times we associate praying with desperation, and an example of that was the Hail Mary. The Hail Mary is a desperate heave to the end zone in hopes that a miracle should happen; therefore, I vowed to pray before I got to that point. That’s how I wanted to respond to this challenge.

            On the first day of the week, Monday, I decided to start my prayer out by just listening to God for two minutes and not saying anything. To tell the truth, I really didn’t hear anything from God for those first few minutes and so I moved on in the prayer. For the next few minutes or so I thanked God for all the blessings he has given me. My family, my friends, the fact that I can attend this great university and countless other things I have been blessed with. After that, I brought my prayer requests to God and explained to him what was on my heart. One of the specific ones was my grandmother because she had been admitted into the hospital because of severe dehydration the night before. I was very nervous because she is eighty years old and my mother said that she was pretty out of it that night. I prayed to God and asked him to heal her and make it so she could go back home. My grandpa was also harvesting apples so it was a prayer for him that he would be able to focus on the harvest and not worry about my grandma. I spent just a few minutes basking in the reassurance I felt that everything would be okay. Those are the moments where you don’t do anything at all and you just have to remember that he is God. He has control over everything and will put everything in its right place. So while it was a rough beginning I felt like the prayer time ended really well.

            On Tuesday, I decided to do it a different way and started out with my prayer requests. When my mom had talked to me earlier in the day it sounded like my grandma was doing a little better, but she still couldn’t walk around and was still feeling dehydrated. At this point, I felt like she was definitely doing better but I decided I would just pray for her that day and nothing else. The combination of praying on both Monday and Tuesday just really made me peaceful about the whole situation. If I hadn’t set this time to pray aside for this project I know that I would’ve felt a lot more stressed out but with the time I spent in prayer it brought about in me much more trust in God’s plan.

            With the last prayer session in mind, on Wednesday my goal was to really be able to listen to God speak to me during prayer. So once again, I started my prayer time just not saying anything and keeping my ears completely open to whatever God was trying to tell me. Thankfully, it went a lot better than it did on Monday! This time when I was listening God told me that I needed to continue to seek him and pursue him. I feel like I do a pretty good job of learning more about God and following him but I will admit that my fire for him was dying a little. I was just losing motivation to pursue him with all my heart and during that prayer I was convicted to surrender all of myself to him again. Not just parts of me, but all of me. This really taught me that prayer isn’t just about part of me or part of my struggles… prayer is about all of me. God cares about all my struggles and wants me to bring them to him. I needed to step out of the boat before I could walk on the water. Because of this, I have stopped holding things back from God and I have given them all to him.

            On Thursday, I continued to pray to God not only about my prayer requests and my praises, but for him to change me from the inside out. That was probably the biggest thing that impacted my life from this whole exercise. It taught me that I can and should pray for God to continue to change me every day. I have always been the one striving to change myself but after this exercise I have realized that God can do that as well. Yes, I should be striving after him and changing my character to be more like him but I can’t do it all on my own. I need God to change me and I need to pray for him to do it for me on a daily basis.

            Friday was a great day because I did my prayer time after I had finished school so I was much more relaxed. I was thanking God for the health that he gave my grandmother as she was able to go back home the night before. In addition, I was showing gratitude to God for helping me survive another week of school. I find that Fridays have next to no prayer requests and quite a few praises. God must like Fridays!!!

After doing this exercise for a week, I really felt like I learned a lot about prayer. I had never had a time where I singularly focused on prayer and after this time I knew that is was a great benefit for me. I learned that God will give you peace through prayer, that if I give everything that I am to God through prayer than I am not hampering God’s help, and I realized that I needed to keep praying for God to change me from the inside out. Also, I prayed before the times of desperation and it felt so good to do that. I know that I will keep all the lessons I learned in this exercise close to my heart.”     

Battle Cry

A lot of times Christians take a lackadaisical approach to the real spiritual war we are in. Our own salvation is in Jesus Christ but there’s so much in this than just us. There are other people’s lives at stake… we just don’t think about the fate of non-Christians we love. I hate to break it to you… but they’re going to hell. Good people go to hell. What I mean by that is if somebody lives a good life and never accepts Jesus… they’re hosed. I like to use the analogy of a boomerang. Somebody will reach out and do as much good as they do to save their own life but no matter how much they do the boomerang will always come back to them. You can’t do it on your own… you need God. But that’s not what this is about. This about witnessing to those who haven’t heard this news and I will use the chorus from the song “Battle Cry” by Skillet to expound on this topic.

I believe we can’t lose

This is a huge part of the witnessing process… realize that God has already won the war. Satan cannot reverse that however much he tries and his fight is doomed. That doesn’t mean that we can relax because the individual battles are still in our hands. Satan tries to get into our heads and puts fear into our hearts. Don’t listen to him… whatever he says we can’t lose!!!

Even mountains will move

When God leads us to do something and we think that all the odds are stacked against us… there is still a way to achieve the goal he has put in our hearts. If we follow God with all of our heart mountains will move. Whatever God wants to be done will be done… we just need to believe that he will move those mountains for us.

It’s our faith, it’s our life

A huge part of witnessing isn’t reaching out to the lost; it’s building your own faith. Thankfully, I’ve had people in my life that do that for me on a constant basis. From my best friends, to my mentors, to the people at my private Christian university right now… my faith has been built up. Especially at this university, I love how my faith is challenged and I want to know more about God. Additionally, this is your life. Don’t waste the time that God has given you to save the lost. He has given you everything you need… you just need to take the initiative and incorporate him into your life. Then you can reach out to the lost and help bring them to God 🙂

   
This is our battle cry

Witnessing to non-believers is a huge call for us as Christians. It’s honestly a battle cry because when we are witnessing we are grappling with demonic forces… it’s not something to be taken lightly. We are living for God and in carrying out his will he is helping us fight against Satan. This is a battle; therefore, it needs a battle cry that comes from us and that encourages us as we fight the enemy.

They can’t take us down

That’s the point… no matter what happens we can’t be stopped. I’ve honestly come to this conclusion… dying for Jesus is an absolute honor. If I was killed because I was spreading my Christian beliefs I would win. It’s something that I’ve struggled with but now I can say it with absolute truth… I am NOT afraid to die for my faith. Nobody can take me down.

 
If we stand our ground

We have everything… we just need to have the guts to stand our ground and not budge a single inch. God calls us to be warriors for him and that means to stand our ground for him.

If we live, if we die

You see; if we live and continue to preach about Christianity we win. If we are killed because of our refusal to stop spreading God’s word we win. Why? Because we are finally rid of this fallen world where sin abounds and we decay every day. Then we get to see God face-to-face. Either option sounds wonderful to me!

We will shout out our battle cry

We don’t need to be quiet about our faith. Shout out to the whole world what God has done for you and do it all of your days. We won’t keep the life-changing effects of Jesus Christ to ourselves… we will spread it across the whole globe. Whether you’re a missionary, doctor, banker, athlete, student etc. there are chances in your life to witness about Jesus Christ. So let that battle cry shout out in everything you do and let it spread to others!!!

 

This is why I believe God calls us to battle. So men, don’t be boys. Be real warriors that are seeking God’s will and fighting for his kingdom. Women, don’t be girls, strive for God! We can’t lose so there is no reason to be tentative… God will move those mountains in your life. He will move in your life and do things you never could’ve imagined. So don’t be afraid… use that battle cry to bring glory to God and everything he has done!!!!!!!!!!!

 

P.S. 6 weeks of college are in the book. The workload is getting higher as I head toward mid-terms but I’ve had so much fun here. So many good times!!!!!

March 18th, 2013… Life’s Direction

Life is a joy. On the other hand life is tough. There’s no way of going around it. No matter how many blessings that are scattered across your roadway through life there are always a lot of stuff that brings you to tears. If I had to count the times I cried this senior year I would literally be counting forever lol. Of course some of those were for joy, but most of them were because I just felt like everything was falling apart. With my experience in life I’ve discovered that the basic key when it comes to life is your direction. No matter what is happening in your life something you should always be paying attention to this key area. In the wide terms, where are you going? Are you going in a general direction that pleases your Heavenly father, who sacrificed everything for you, or are you drifting away from his grace? Obviously, none of us can completely go in a perfect direction. I would be the first to admit that I’m a flawed person like everyone else on the earth lol. I am very impatient, sometimes lazy and sometimes can really get ticked off if someone does enough to make me upset. So this is all in a general sense; it’s a direction we want to keep following.

The first thing is don’t be afraid to move the direction of your life according to the will of the Holy Spirit because God has control of everything last time I checked ;)

“The Lord of Heaven’s Armies has spoken—who can change his plans?
When his hand is raised,who can stop him?”
Isaiah 14:27

Basically, if you know in your heart that the Holy Spirit is telling you to go one way, GO THAT WAY!! There are so many things that we don’t feel like giving up. One of the hardest things I had to do was give up playing high school soccer this spring. I had been training harder than anyone else trying out for the team and felt like I was hitting my stride at just the perfect time. About two weeks before the tryouts God clearly told me you’re not playing high school soccer. I will admit, I wasted a few nights of my life trying to argue with God. It didn’t work haha. Now, a month later, I know (for one) my grades would’ve slipped if I had been playing soccer the last month or so plus I feel like God has something he wants me to do with the spare time I now have. Can’t wait to see what it is! That whole example just is a personal example of how I realized that the direction of my life needed to be changed according to God’s plans. Like I said before, please don’t think I’m setting myself up as a perfect Christian. I have had many times where I haven’t done what God said and it’s come back to bite me. So I’ve had experience on both sides of the coin. Just remember God is out there and he CARES about you SO much. No one in the universe wants you to be in a personal relationship with him more than God does and no one is more crazy in love with you than Him! Always remember God is in complete control of the situation and He wants what is best for you.

Another piece of the puzzle is you making the personal choice to keep a loose grip on your life and let God take control. It’s a choice that we all have to come to grips with at some point and it inevitably changes our lives because it is such an amazing decision. It is so easy to keep a death grip on your life and try to control everything. I mean sometimes I really do feel like the only person I can trust in the world IS myself, but God is slowly working on my heart and showing me that I can do nothing compared to what he can do. Just let go of it all!

Finally, you gotta make the effort to channel your life toward God. There are so many distractions in life and so many things that make us want to “forget” God for just a few moments. FIGHT through those moments with everything you have because those moments are the ones that determine the direction of your life. Life is made up of a lot of little steps, so every decision you make is important. God controls the direction of your life, but you make the decision whether to strive for the glory of God or just to stick in the norm. As one who sat in the norm for WAY too long, I think the answer is easy. Go big for God, shine so that the direction of your life is obvious to everyone that you know. Always be pushing to know God better because that will overflow into the rest of your life.

Just make a promise to God that you will make the direction of your life honoring to him your whole life. I got a long way to go. I’m only a senior in high school and I don’t know where in the world my life is going. But that’s the fun part. I get to sit back and see what God is going to do! I promise that I will do everything in my power to do everything that I can to honor my Lord the rest of my life. Anyone else in on this too?

I’ll end it with a beastly scripture. I love it when God knocks it out of the ballpark!

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28

How to Treat Other People

“Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everybody. If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone. Do not take revenge my friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord.” Romans 12:17-19

 

So I had my first day of work as a camp counselor today and the topic for daily devotions today was that of dealing with hard to-deal-with co-workers. Obviously, the short message can apply to more than co-workers; it can apply to anyone else that you’re having a rough time with in life. As we all know our human nature is to take revenge or the conflict into our own hands instead of letting go of it to God. We think we can solve the problem but usually we end up making it worse haha! It’s so hard to let go of… if I had to look at my life there were plenty of times I was totally in the position of being wronged and totally in the right to take revenge into my own hands. Normally I didn’t just because getting revenge is not really in my nature but the few times that I did I held NOTHING back. For those who know me it takes A LOT to make me angry; therefore, I really don’t have problems. But when somebody does enough and crosses my “line” I just go nuts… I will hold nothing back and will do the utmost I can to make problems. That is one of my major flaws and I try to walk with God everyday to mold that part of my life more into his image 🙂

 

On the other hand, there have been a few times where I’ve been the problem. Like I said before, it’s just not in my personality but it still happens every once in awhile. There have been times where I won’t ask for forgiveness or I hold on to a grudge and I end up hurting somebody. Speaking of grudges; just don’t have them. It sucks… all it does is hurt people. People hold onto grudges simply to swell their pride and boost their personal security levels. So try to avoid that completely- life is simpler and more enjoyable that way 🙂 If you realize you’re wrong make amends and don’t hang on to what you know isn’t right. I’d rather admit that I’m wrong and be holding on a rope than hanging by a thread of the slim rope holding on to what was wrong. That was such a great metaphor… at least I think it was. Overall, if you’re wrong admit the problem, make amends and stop hurting the other person.

 

Can we all agree that there are so many… well I’ll be honest here… butt-heads in life? I think we can!!! There are people who just try to be a pain; yet, God says live at peace with everyone. No matter how a person acts you have to remember that they are created in God’s image and you have to treat them that way. Be peaceful, be truthful, and don’t hurt them back… Philippians 4:8, “ Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy- think about such things.” Whatever fits this verse is what you should be showing to other people 🙂

 

 I honestly think that the rest of Romans 12 sums up everything we need to do. Romans 12:20-21 says, “On 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.’ Do not be overcome by evil but overcome evil with good.” Do it 🙂

 

P.S. Thanks to all my normal readers for being patient… I hadn’t published anything for awhile simply because I thought for a large chunk of time God was telling me to quit the blog. After a week I realized that wasn’t the path he wanted me to take, which made me happy because I love writing this blog!, and I just needed a new fire. I was really burnt out writing and I just wasn’t quite doing the blog to the best of my abilities. Thankfully, God made my burnt-out work great and showed me that I needed to take a rest. Now that I’ve had a few weeks just to sit and think I have more of a plan to where the blog is going. God hasn’t shown me the whole picture but I’ve seen some of it and I’m really excited to share with you what he puts on my heart 😀  Hope everyone’s summer is going great and enjoy the great times you have… I know I have been! For those of us who are working… try to have enough fun in between work 😉 haha jk I know we’ll all have enough fun. Peace out 😀