Mission for Gratefulness-11/23/14

I hope I am not doing this just for the coming tradition of Thanksgiving. I don’t know my own heart sometimes. God lead me on this…

Did you know where you live and breathe their might be missionaries all around you? The word “missionary” does not have to deal with just a person who for God in a country or a land they have to get a plane to do the will of God. It’s funny how much we do that sometimes. Maybe we rely on our pastors to be the only ones who “spread the gospel” that phrase being too “ironic” here. Or we go out and have a view point that says, “God knows where these people are. I don’t have to witness because …” fill in the blank for that one.

If we don’t do the commandment that God has attributed to all of us that have become believers out of his grace we do not deserve is that ungrateful of us?

Maybe you just need to adjust your heart when it concerns witnessing or telling others what you believe in hopes they want to receive it.

How do you view being this messenger? Do you have a burden that makes you feel guilty every time you don’t share the message? Do you become afraid of being teased (which is just as bad as being killed for it right? Not really) because you are a believer so you are glad in not telling others about Jesus?

God does not help us if we just sit on our hands and not do what we ought to do. Also God does not speak to us if we don’t read His word. He is glad we spend ANY moment with Him by the bible or by praying or when we share with others, let’s say what we learned about in church to the curious. That gets us blessed when we do that but more importantly God gets to use you for His kingdom as small or as seemingly unimportant those times may seem to us.

And it is so good for us to tell others of the gospel. You know while we were still sinners we must know that Christ died for us. We must remember that God did what He did not so that we could think that our works will get us to heaven (Who got us to heaven?), or that we should get praise and that makes it the only worthwhile reason to do those actions, but that we were deserving of punishment and hell… yet He sent His son who was man and God to die in our place on the cross!

Think about a sacrificial lamb. People believed in God through that. As long as they kept the focus on God during those times they would know God but the ultimate sacrifice which was THE all end all sacrifices Jesus we have power by His grace.

This isn’t just simply believing in God. This is knowing Christ died for us that we, though we don’t deserve His grace (at least I don’t) He died so that we would live. And also that we can learn love by a relationship with Him; our sin separated us His Son bridged the gap that kept us from going to hell and to give us an eternal place in Heaven.

I’d say that is more than enough to be grateful this Thanksgiving. I can give not enough and I hope I never feel it is not enough to give for Christ and just live by walking in Him.

You know when you avoid witnessing you are really missing out? There are wonderful things that can happen as a result and the best one is that glory always, no matter whether your sharing went well or seemingly “unsuccessful” comes to God. His word never comes back void.

And another thing I want to divulge on health. Avoiding witnessing will not do anything to your physical health (you might think “Whew, this is a load off my back!” and think that stress and feelings about having the thought to tell others is now gone) but it will be bad spiritually. Satan might let you be in your comfortable stage but spiritually you are missing out on the blessings of the Lord. Physically you might not get hurt but spiritually you will “die” of starvation!

Let’s give to the mission. Be missionaries of God not to get credit or admiration but out of the gratefulness in the wondrous Savior we collectively share.

Have a wonderful holiday.

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Movie Review- The Second Chance

Genre: Drama

Rated PG-13 for thematic elements and language

Rating: Three *** stars out of five

Synopsis: Ethan Jenkins seems to have it all together. A book about living for God, a big house, even leading ministry comfortably and only within the walls of his church. His father realizes the quiet crisis and seeks he go to a place he’s not used to. One of many places planted by Ethan’s father, he gets sent to the Second Chance church that is within the heart of an urban community.

There Ethan learns the meaning to serve as well as leaning on and learning with a street-minister who is stubborn as well as zealous to the Lord. There two churches different but founded on principles will have their foundations shaken, their hearts stirred on what truly is right in the eyes of God and what man does that sometimes stops God’s blessings from continuing on for the ministering for others.

Review: I’ll admit it. When I first saw this film, I did not totally like it. I was shocked at the surprising amount of language, sexual suggesting with one character, and overall “unholy” aspects of it. That is until I realized at its heart what it really is that I changed my opinion.

This is about imperfect people all realizing the grace of God and serving Him as well as learning all in the heart of two places, a church with brutal realities and another that appears to have lost its goals on what God wants for ministry and use for His will.

They both clash and one threatens to be torn apart. But people who know what love and humility is about fight to keep their foundations from being taken.

What we have here is a “Cross and the Switchblade” for a new generation. Every person is flawed no matter how small their character and the tender love that is shown between the bodies that are churches is wonderful. Mostly by the church called “the Second Chance” where Ethan gets sent to to find out what real servitude is, and that is not what he’s used to, not sharing the love of Christ and staying only within his walls of comfortable lifestyle.

This is a good film. Yes there is some violence, a mention and woman attired that shows she was getting away from prostitution, but through it all people get the second chance to life. Not all listen but the truth hits home to anyone who knows people or better yet know they themselves used to live a certain way but were rescued by the blood of Jesus.

And this story is good for churches (probably no kids if there should be a free showing; there is language just not as “bad” as other movies that are garnered a PG-13 rating) or just to watch with close friends and family it is a story that must be seen to want to serve and believe. Serving is a matter of the heart, not by one’s appearance or by just looking like one does have it all together.

We all when we tell or receive the gospel need a second chance (or more). All we know is while we are imperfect, Christ is by our side through thick and thin, through death and life, and that makes it all worth it.

And God bless you for reading this review.

Honor the one who is everything-11/16/14

In church we are going over the book of Obadiah. Wow the parallels he briefly made with Edom and other countries reflect what is going on with us today as well. I hope we can get a deeper understanding of this book as well as explain the context which is a little more important as well.

Going to a Christmas bazaar at a Catholic church has always been both encouraging and also other things as well. One thing I noticed lately in the past years is the contests they have for the people. Anyone can sign up and apparently the workers like to attache their names to these raffles in hopes that they will win these games. Kind of sadly, many times they have. While people go and have fun and try to win many of the raffles and cash prizes there are workers who try to get into the contests and their names are called seemingly every year. I wonder what exactly their hearts are when they sign up.

Do they think that they “deserve” these gifts since they took the time to serve in the area? Have they felt that they must win because contests are fun? Or have they joined them just because they hoped to help bulk up any baskets that hadn’t many entries, they assumed?

I signed up a few tickets to one because I was hoping to give it as an early Christmas gift but that didn’t work out. Oh well. Next year if this tradition continues.

Now that I think of it I guess I was honoring my mother.

Let’s think of that word “honor.” When I was speaking of God’s “glory” I said that it meant exalted honor. What is “honor?”

According to an online dictionary loosely it means the state of being morally upright, honest, noble, virtuous, and magnanimous.

That sounds like something that cops or military would do. They would be morally grounded on what is right honest and be noble.

But I am talking about another definition.

Profound awe, respect of someone usually for being morally upright and/or competent.

Because of God we have been given many wonderful things like the endless creations on this earth, the air we breathe, and the people we have come to know and love.

But God commands us to witness and evangelize with others and sometimes we do not do what God wants though He deserves to be respected on that commandment.

If we do things for God because His word says so, it is like we are honoring Him. The Lord deserves everything we have to give for Him. His “competence” is that He gives us grace and the amazing ability to speak the gospel no matter how far or early our walk with Christ is.

Some people in countries like the one I live in have amazing blessings. So many luxuries at our fingertips but do we praise God for any of them? Sometimes not.

Therefore if we don’t think of God and what He has done for us, does that make us ungrateful. I think so.

Is that honoring Him?

You know I feel convicted by the many I grew up in the church with. Though it seems I have grown up only under the roof of a house of worship all my life, I have not been doing well all of those years. I feel that I have represented and feel responsible for, in a way, the people who I went to youth group with because I was not following the Lord all the time. And it seems a lot in my circle have fallen away from church.

Was I honoring God by not reading God’s Word and being “comfortable” where I was for a good amount of years? I think not.

I wish that I could keep close contact with many as some are in other parts of my country. I guess the sometimes only honorable thing to do is to pray for them. Also just to be involved outside of the church (something I used to be very uncomfortable about) and be a witness to people around me.

Another thing I hope both you and I do is be grounded in God’s Word the Holy Bible. That is where you really get to honor Him because you get to discern more of what He wants for you and to know Christ’s heart to grow in Him more.

We are as princes and princesses to the King of all Kings Jesus Christ.

What an honor! To be considered a part of God’s plan and be loved and be blessed by Him. Also it is amazing to know that God doesn’t need us to be part of His kingdom but He wants us. He really likes us! He wants us to know Him more so we can, as in a relationship, become close and journey on in this world together with Him.

Because of Jesus’ death and resurrection we can access the God who should be everything in our lives. He should be all we could ever need or want. God should be the one who is everything to us so that we are grateful to share Him.

Do you want to help lead people to Heaven? Then honor God by doing this commandment of telling others how good God personally has been to you… and maybe He will honor you with a reward the day you stand in Heaven.

Let’s all be like ones together, united in His love, bound to His will, and serve Jesus the wondrous Christ with all our hearts ’till He comes! Amen.

Deep Impact-11/2/2014

Going to a class these past few weeks that have been encouraging while at the same time restricted. Can cause a huge impact on the worlds around us. I wish that we had at least 40 minutes to spare to have full effect. It is worth it though many people don’t seem to find it important or are intimidated at its subject. Hope they take the “risk” and try it out with the rest of us, our small number of people.

Happy November! I know I am a little late in wishing everyone well but I hope that people will not mind that much. It is probably one of my favorite celebrations coming up. Thanksgiving. I hope everybody here does not try to make this “holiday” alone but will stay with friends or family just for personal fellowship or for pure fun.

Okay off topic. Now I will try to hone in what I want to talk about.

If you lived during the 90’s as a young teen or younger like I did you might remember the movie. I am not sure which film ripped off of which other film, all I know is one movie aped another’s premise. Those films were Armageddon, a movie about a giant piece of rock headed toward Earth’s atmosphere possibly ready to take out any or all life on it.

And a second film released the same year called “Deep Impact.”

While slow-going in a way throughout the entire pace of the story Deep Impact is a pretty good epic, disaster movie. It is more but mainly about a huge piece of space debris slowly heading to earth and the people including the president of the United States fight with fervor to do ways to do away with this “evil” all-destroying rock.

The other part involves families trying to reconnect or reconcile past dysfunctions and some getting together or trying to as this doomsday scenario hangs above their heads.

Isn’t it great comfort (I know you do if you believe) to know this is not the way the world will end? To merely get along with others because everything is ready to be wiped out and work things out human perspective-wise before we all “bite the dust”?

It must be, person reading, that you have to know of real comfort. There are conflicts with family, there are spiritual battles, there are even deaths due to life’s circumstances happening every day. But do you also know there is Jesus who makes all the at times terrible things we go through worth it?

Christ can make the worst things that happen in and to our families worth living for. I can tell you I have not grown up in what observers would call a “Christian” household. At least as of my late understanding it was not what people would describe as high in morals or pure and always ready for church.

I grew up until the age of 8 years old not knowing Christ. Anytime my father tried his hardest to bring us to church in general there was a fit or certain family members deliberately lagging behind. That battle still goes on today. I hope to continue this habit but I can think of times my youngest brother watched me avoid church. And though that was partly his will to not go, I think I am to blame at least partially for why he does not go to this day.

I think it is possible if we give Him the chance through us to make great things. How? Not by our own power, no pride, or even sometimes not by the things we want. We must be small to make God great in our lives. We must realize that we don’t have God by our side because we don’t let Him in our daily growth. Just like milk is good for us, we must read His word and find out what He wants for our lives. We must “drink” it because it is good spiritually for our hearts and minds.

If you don’t know what Christ wants for your life ask yourself this first. Have you accepted Jesus personally into your heart? Did you ever reach the point in your life that you realized you could do nothing and could not live without Jesus? Did you pray so that this relationship could begin?

If you answered possibly all of these you must know that you might have sin in your life that is keeping you from reaching your goals for God. Or maybe He has another thing planned for you that you don’t know yet. Maybe a door has closed and a window of opportunity has been opened in effect.

And we must remember that Jesus Christ gave His life for all of us. We did not deserve what He did. The sin of the world had to be laid upon Him or else we would not find salvation through Christ’s sacrifice. Like a spotless lamb, he was crucified and after three days He rose again, showing God’s authority over death. He wants us to have life by the action of His Son Jesus because without Him we can’t live.

Well you might not agree with that but I know I can’t live without my Jesus. I don’t even think I’d be alive to this day if God altogether hadn’t existed.

And that’s what helps make the existence of God great. We can know Him, trust in Him, and because of that we can honor and show our love to Him just because He first loved us. Knowing God is in no way a “religious” thing (ew, you might hate that word…). It is a relationship, it is personal, it is individual, and while this world is going gray and heading slowly into darkness know that Jesus still loves you and you can either surrender to His love today or re-commit your love to Him for His glory.

Because who knows what kind of deep impact you will have on other individuals if you just take up your cross and follow Him.