Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Philippians 2

One of my favorite passages of scripture and one of the most challenging pieces of scripture!  v. 3-4 "Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves.  Each of you should look not only to your own interest, but also to the interest of others."  How often do we consider the needs of others above ourselves?  In a society that has a me-first attitude, it often appears that this selfless attitude gets taken advantage of or comes in last place.  But that statement itself states where our focus is; on us!  How quickly we forget our purpose here on earth.  It is not about me!!  It's about God above, about having an attitude that brings Him glory and that glorifies His name!  So often we get wrapped up in pursuing OUR desires and want WE think something should look like and we fail to consider what GOD'S desire is and what HE wants to do with us.  Ultimately, if we are following Him and we align our desires with His, He will reward us with our desires and passions!  They might not look the way we expect them, but they will be fulfilled!  God wants to make us happy, but we first must make sure that our desires and passions are pure and are God-focused, because God is not going to satisfy those desires that lead to death, but only those that will bring us into closer communion with Him, which in the end leads to endless JOY!!  May we take the focus off of what we want, and begin to look to the needs of others!  If we have the selfless attitude of Christ and look to the needs of others, God will bring about the desires in our life!  May we trust Him more and more each day!

Tuesday, January 17, 2012


Attitude changes everything!  It can make a terrible day sound great, or it can make a great day sound terrible.  No matter what comes our way through the storms of life, it all comes back to our attitude!  If we choose to look at the good that God has done for us and constantly stay focused on Him, then we will have a positive attitude that uplifts those around us and keeps us positive.  Notice the key word in that lengthy sentence.  CHOOSE!!  It's a choice!  We can either bring a negative attitude that makes everything seem awful and just makes us miserable, or we can choose to bring joy to whatever we face and uplift those around us, which makes everyday so much more enjoyable!  Whatever attitude we have, it will be contagious!!  Which will you choose today?

Monday, January 16, 2012

Being drawn into the Trinity by the Spirit

The final aspect of the Trinity that is revealed to us is the Holy Spirit!  This was not brought to our human understanding until the first two pieces were in place.  The Spirit gives us a power and a freedom that we could not find on our own!  But it is also something that Satan uses as he brings about many false spirits that masquerade themselves as something great and powerful.  The spirit world is a scary thing because we are constantly surrounded by this warfare that exist.  It is so easy to stumble and to fall for the traps that Satan sets in place.  There is great power in evil spirits.  I have witnessed many scary happenings as the result of witchcraft and have seen the power of these spirits.  It's so scary, but they can come about in such innocent ways.  If we do not have a Biblical foundation set in place of the standards of God and we do not understand how Jesus Himself handled these spirits, then we can easily become ensnared!  When the first two aspects of the Trinity are in place though, we have the Wisdom and Knowledge to know how to deal with these spirits and we can live in Freedom and Truth!
Now when I say we are given Freedom in the Spirit, that does not mean we have Freedom to do what we want.  We first must fall on the foundation of what is Truth and Pure.  In being a Christian, we are to set ourselves apart from the world and to set a higher standard.  We are supposed to help our brothers and sisters out of temptation, not lead them into temptation.  So Freedom in the Spirit never means forgetting the Wisdom that God has given us and forgetting His character, but it means that we are no longer bound to sin but are forgiven!
We are given gifts in the Spirit, and these gifts equip us with Power!  It is valuable for us to understand our gift and how God can use that to bring about His Glory.  When filled with the Spirit, we become equipped with a Supernatural Strength that allows us to do things that are not humanly possible!  Consider it God showing off through you!  When I looked at the disciples and the many miracles they performed, I think about how awesome that is and how much Glory God can receive through that!  We have that same power within the Spirit!  I believe that we are many times hesitant to use the Power of the Spirit because we have seen it misused, but just because it is misused does not give us the right to limit God's work!  He gave us the Spirit for a reason, to bring Himself Glory and to make His name known great!
The thing I love most about the Holy Spirit is that He lives within us!!! Do you know what that means?  That means we are drawn into the Trinity with the Spirit!  We are given the opportunity to worship God in an intimate way, because we are drawn into the Trinity!!  Wow, what fellowship we can have when we accept the Spirit!!  May we learn to live within this Power and Freedom!

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Living a Life like the Son

The next aspect of God that is revealed to us is God the Son.  Often times we solely study the life of the Son.  It is easy to read the New Testament and throw out the Old Testament!  We are forgiven of those laws in the Old Testament, so why read it?  We are freed from the laws, but the most important part of the Old Testament is knowing the character of God, and if we do not know the Character of God then we can not fully understand Jesus and who He is!  Jesus did not come to earth just to save of us of our sins.  Although this is vital in our eternal destiny, He came for something more!  Excepting the Salvation is only one part of our experience, we must then live a life that brings honor to God.  Jesus was a perfect demonstration of how we should live while on this earth.  By observing His life, He demonstrated how the characteristics of God look as a human.  He demonstrated how a Righteous Anger, Jealousy, Wrath, Justice, and Love look on earth.  By earthly definitions, most of these things are not good, but Jesus demonstrated how these truly are Holy characteristics if used in the way God uses them.  Jesus demonstrated how we too can use these things to bring about the glory of God.

It's awesome too, because when we look at the these characteristics of God we think that they can't operate together, at least not at the same time, but they do!  When Jesus entered the Temple and found money exchangers in His temple making a profit off of worship He threw their tables and destroyed what they had set-up!  I love this because it beautifully demonstrates all of these aspects.  Jesus was ANGRY!!  How dare we turn a house of worship into a place to make money!  This thus demonstrated the JEALOUSY of God, showing that He would not stand for anything else to be worshipped!  Which demonstrates the WRATH and JUSTICE of God, because He will not stand for men to worship other God's or to scam others out of money for personal gain!  And all of this comes back to the LOVE God has for us!  He is Angry and Jealous because He knows those things lead to eternal death and He so desires us to spend eternity with Him in Joy and Happiness, that He will not stand for us to fall for these traps.  He is a God of Wrath and Justice because He hates to see us get caught up in the lies of the world because He alone is Holy and He alone can give us eternal Life.  By looking at examples like this, we see how these characteristics are to look in our lives!  May we come to know how to leave with those around us by observing and modeling the life of Christ!

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Establishing a Foundation through God the Father

The first part of the Trinity that was revealed to mankind was God the Father!  God was revealed through scripture in the way He was for a reason.  First we come to know God the Father, then we see the Son, and last we are given the Holy Spirit.  I believe this is how we should approach knowing God.  The foundation of faith is knowing and understanding God the Father!  Before we do anything in our faith, we must discover who God the Father is and study His character!  The foundation of faith is based upon His character.  God never changes and His design never changes.  There was a reason that He only revealed this aspect of Himself to those in the Old Testament.  They had to build the foundation for what God was going to bring about!  Sure it took a while for the Hebrews and Israelites to begin to understand God, but it was necessary.  For us, we can learn from what happened in the lives of those in the Old Testament to gain a better understanding of the Father.
I believe knowing God the Father is vital!  There are so many spirits that exist and many of them deceive you into thinking that they are Holy.  Satan himself masquerades as an angel of light and closely resembles something good.  If we do not have a foundation, we are easily deceived.  We must look at how the Father handled situations that came about.  How did the Father demonstrate Love, Anger, Jealousy, Wrath, and Justice?  He is Righteous and Pure and so if we desire to be Righteous in our own lives, then we must look at Him!  The Son did come to earth to give us Salvation, but God's character never changes, so we still must look at His character.  I have come to love the Old Testament for this fact; that it demonstrates the characteristic of who God is!  The Bible is Truth and we can not pick and choose what we believe, but must study the Bible in its entirety.  May we draw into Holy Communion with God by first studying the character of God the Father!

Friday, January 13, 2012

The Trinity

Recently I have been studying the Holy Spirit and the power that exist within the Spirit!  Growing up, I never heard much about the power that exist within the Spirit or how to use the Spirit.  I knew that the Holy Spirit existed and that it was part of the trinity.  I knew the basics of the spirit, but never how to use it.  Upon studying this aspect of God, I looked at the many denominations that exist within Christianity and looked at how they used the different aspects of God within the church.  I enjoy studying the denominations and think it is important for the different denominations to exist, because each one does something really well that can draw us all closer to God.  I hate the bickering that exist between denominations but think that God reveals Himself in different ways through each denomination.  No group has God figured out, and no one will ever figure out who God is in His entirety.  God is too vast for human understanding, but the more we learn, the more God can allow us to do!  "To whom much has been given, much will be required." or as I like to think of it, to whom much has been given, much will we be able to do as a servant of Christ.  So as I have studied the Trinity I have tried to discover how God works and how we are to discover who He is and to live within His design and plan!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Fear of the Unknown

For our human minds there is a great fear of uncertainty.  When we move into something new and different it can create a lot of fear.  Too often we become comfortable where we are at and fail to move into an area that God may be calling us for fear of change.  Why do we fear though?  If we truly believe that God is calling us into something we should fear nothing!  For if our God is for us, who can be against us? And if our God is with us, then what can stand against?  Absolutely nothing!!  May we move into new avenues with boldness and courage!!  And when we see brothers and sisters moving to where God has called, we should encourage them to do big things, because there is already enough fear present, no one needs us to instill more fear, but they need us to encourage them to trust and take a step in faith, no matter how crazy it seems!  Let's begin to blot out fear by being bold and allowing God to show us how He will provide, no matter how crazy the task!!

Monday, January 9, 2012

Moving into the real world!!

I have just accepted my first job position that does not have a known end! I'm stepping into the real world and moving forward with the next step in my life!  I have accepted a position at Family Life Services in Colorado Springs, Colorado!  This is an extreme change of plans from 2 weeks ago!  I was planning on staying in Marion for a while longer, but I was allowed out of my contract at IWU and encouraged to take this position in the Springs!
For me, this sounds like the perfect position for where I'm at in my life and what I want to do! At times it is a little scary because this is my first job that does not have a known end point. It does feel very different moving into this position that will not end in 3 months.  I'm excited to move to Colorado, where I have always felt like I would live for a period of my life.
I will be moving January 29th! My position is only a part-time job that is called Child and Youth Intern. My role is to set-up and organize after-school programs, weekend activities, and mentor the young people in the organization. The organization as a whole takes in single mothers and their families and provides housing and counseling for the people in this organization!
I'm so excited for this opportunity and being able to move back to Colorado indefinitely! I love the outdoors and Colorado Springs provides so many opportunities to get out and explore nature!

Here is the homepage for Family Life Services!

I have also found a second part-time job in Colorado Springs.  I will be working with an organization called Hope and Home!  This is a foster care agency that places children in foster homes and helps equip foster parents with the necessary tools to be foster parents.  I will be doing child-care and supervising visits between biological parents and their children!  I'm super excited for this as well!

Here is the homepage for Hope and Home!