Saturday, May 17, 2008

New Video!

If you weren't aware, there is a video at the bottom of this page. Scroll down and check out this's new, and it's really good.

Wednesday, May 7, 2008

20 Days of Prayer

The Bible says in Matthew 17:20 that if you simply have faith has big as a mustard seed, the smallest of all seeds, you can move a mountain. Prayer can make an impact in everyone’s life. The Bible also says that Satan has to flee at the mention of the name of Jesus, and he knows prayer is a weapon he can’t fight. Unfortunately many have truly gone blind to how powerful prayer is. We really want to encourage people, especially kids, to learn the power of prayer and to pray more.

The Bible is full of verses in regards to praying to the Lord and prayer does change things. In Philippians 4:6 it says “Be careful for nothing; but in every thing by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known unto God.”
The Word says to pray, pray, pray, and that’s what we want to do! We want to challenge you to take the next 20 days and pray for one country. Whether it’s America or Africa or India. We also liked to encourage you to make a list of different things about that country that you’re going to prayer for.

Some key things you might pray for:
-God’s Word would reach the people
-The people would accept it
-The salvation of the people
-The leadership of the country
-The false religions to fail

We don’t want to make this challenge a chore so please don’t do this just for show. We want you to do this with a willing and loving heart towards those who are lost. We want Prayer Warriors who will be diligent in praying for those who need Jesus. The Bible says that when just one person comes to Christ all the angels celebrate.

This challenge was supposed to start on Thursday May 1st, which is the National Day of Prayer, But I didn't see it until a couple days ago, so I'm starting now. We hope you’ll pick a country you’d like to spend the next 20 days praying for (along with specific things about that country to pray for) and post about it on May 1st. Please just leave a comment if you’re going to join us in this fight against the forces of evil, and post about it on your blogs to spread the word.

You’re also welcome to take one of the 20 Days Of Prayer icon and put it on your site! Let’s make the Gate of Hells shake as they did when Jesus rose again as King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Prayer Challenge

Be sure to check out this link and get the code for this icon and/or sign yourself up on Miss Jocelyn's blog.

Instead of praying for a country, God has been laying orphan children on my heart. Our pastor adopted a boy from Kazakhstan and it was really sad what he went through before they got him. I met a 6-month-old, absolutely adorable, African-American baby recently with no parents, no name, and no prospects. I'm going to pray for these zillions of kids out there who have nothing, that God will raise them up, draw them to Him, and change their circumstances. Hope you'll pray for a situation or country that is on your heart and start up some prayer in this world!

Sunday, May 4, 2008

Not Just Stories!

Remember those stories? When you were little? You *really* did think they were real?
"We did not follow cleverly invented stories when we told you about the power and coming of our Lord Jesus Christ, but we were eyewitnesses of his majesty." -2 Peter 1:16
Maybe you’ve, like me, slipped a little mentally. You’ve let your thoughts tend to, "That’s great, but..." Maybe you believe it’s true, but it still just seems like a story to you. You know the Bible is the true, living, Word of God, but somehow...Or, perhaps you simply don’t believe the Bible is really true. Couldn’t a person have wrote it, and others collaborated with that person? No. Ever read fan-fiction for a book? If you have, you know exactly what I mean. The "fan-fiction" doesn’t exactly line up with the actual book. It’s the same thing in the Bible. The Bible lines up perfectly, seamlessly with itself. There isn’t one mistake. And it lines up with history! Very few books can even say that.
But, beyond just history, the Bible (every word of it) is completely and utterly true. Jesus really DID walk on water, raise the dead to life, forgive sins, and, ultimately, rise from the dead himself! Don’t let yourself slip...God’s Word is real. It’s true. It’s alive.
Haven't you ever read a book, and wished it was true? I have. But, when I read my Bible, I don't have to wish. Everything in that book is true. I don't have to worry if it's theologically correct, or lines up with what I believe. I don't have to worry about it undermining my faith, or discouraging me. God's Word is true. It's true in my life, and it can be in yours too.
I don't worry...because I know that the Bible isn't Just Stories.

Sunday, March 30, 2008

True Love? What's THAT, Anyways?

There are lots of ideas circulating out there as to what love really is. But, I think 1 Corinthians 13 expresses true love perfectly.
Love never gives up.
Love cares more for others than for self.
Love doesn't want what it doesn't have.
Love doesn't strut.
Doesn't have a swelled head.
Doesn't force itself on others.
Isn't always "me first."
Doesn't fly off the handle.
Doesn't keep score of the sins of others.
Doesn't revel when others grovel.
Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth.
Puts up with anything.
Trusts God always.
Always looks for the best.
Never looks back,
But keeps going the end. (The Message, 1 Corinthians 13:4-8a)
I think that's a great way to say it. To me, love is a rocky hill, a huddled group of crying people...and a wooden cross, the man on it broken and bleeding. Every drop of blood shed for you. That you might know Him. That's true love to me.
True love is found in the elderly couple holding hands, in the woman coming to visit her alzeheimer-stricken husband, though he doesn't know her. In stepping in front of someone else to take their bullet. In simply denying yourself something for someone else. To me, that's what true love is.
Ultimate love was shown at the cross. There is absolutely no greater love than the love Christ had for you and me when He dies on that cross. None. Nowhere.
What's true love? True love is Jesus's love. Simple as that.
"Greater love has no one than this, that he should lay down his life for his friend."-John 15:13 (NIV)

Monday, March 24, 2008

Am I a Princess?

I was recently babysitting a fun 6-year-old who, like most 6-year-old girls, is absolutely entranced with princesses. The Disney princesses are her heroes and the Barbie movies are the greatest ever. She has a full dress-up box, every princess barbie, and a princess coloring book. Guess what we play when I come! Of course, while we're coloring, she's talking as only a little girl can about the different styles of princess dresses and the latest Fairytopia movie. She mentioned a few qualifications for a princess that I didn't know about (I probably knew it when I was six, but those things just leave you). She was not going to color one single part of her princess's dress brown, because that might look like mud.
"Princesses can NEVER get dirty." she told me, while her little sister decorated her hand with a marker.
"Really? They can't?" I'd had my suspicions from hanging out with this chick, but this confirmed them!
"No. They never do. Well, actually --- (she named a girl I'd never heard of - again) got dirty once. Mud splashed on her dress in her movie. But she wasn't a very good princess anyway."
"Oh" says I.
"Princesses can never leave the palace either!" She continued, pulling out another coloring sheet.
This one I really didn't know about, in all my ignorance. "They can't? Why not?"
Little Girlfriend (as I've come to call her) shrugged. "I don't know. But they really can't!"
"Hmm. Well, wouldn't that be boring?"
She thought for about five seconds. "Ummm... no."
"Oh. Well, ok."
That night I left with the usual babysitting fee and some savvy knowledge about princesses. I remember when princesses were just all that to me too, and I'll admit, I still think pretty dresses are pretty and they do exist in my... uh... subconsciousness maybe? Or maybe the word is imagination that extends into reality. I'm in denial that they're extinct. That is, I can't say out loud that they don't exist, and if I do, I feel like such an evil witch I slap myself and take it right back. But now I get to thinking, "what IS a princess really? What is my first image at the word PRINCESS?"
Ok, so there aren't any princesses like in the Disney movies. As long as I end the sentence with "Disney" I an say it fine. But if there WERE, who would need them? I mean, these girls have fairy-godmothers when you don't, befriend dwarves, dragons and all other kinds of neat species I want to get autographs from, they can all sing, and they meet the cutest, nicest, richest, most chivalrous guys in the kingdom and marry them the next day. Not to mention you pay taxes for fabric so they can get their bird and mouse friends to sew pretty dresses you couldn't ever have. And I just learned they can never set their little feet out of the palace so you could never meet them even if you wanted to. Snap! Is that what a princess is? Sounds like the only one living happily ever after is her (and maybe prince Charming too, Little Girlfriend didn't mention him). Where does everybody else fit into this agenda? I mean, it sounds like the princess race is selfish! *Gasp! I don't think they're supposed to know what that word means!* Here's a description of a real true princess:

"Seventeen - and knew eight languages - in music peerless - her needle perfect, and her learning beyond the churchmen; yet so meek, so modest, so wife-like humble to the trivial boy mismatched with her for policy! I have heard she would not take a last farewell of him; she feared it might unman him for his end. She could not be unmanned - no, nor outwoman'd. Seventeen - a rose of grace! Girl never breathed to rival such a rose; rose never blew that equaled to such a bud?"

This is what Tennyson said of Lady Jane Grey. She was a servant to her people and her God, being Queen of England for a short time, until she and her husband were unjustly accused of high treason and sentenced to death. She was allowed to say a last farewell to her husband, but she refused to see him, afraid that it would make them break down and be unable to face death with calmness. She engraved these words on the walls of her prison with a pin,
"Believe not, man, in care's despite,
That thou from others' ills art free
The cross that now I suffer might
Tomorrow haply fall on thee.
Endless all malice, if our God is nigh:
Fruitless all pains, if He His help deny.
Patient I pass these gloomy hours away,
And wait the morning of eternal day."
Bravely she walked up to the scaffold, said a few words to the people, and was executed, strong in her faith the entire time. It is much more beautiful than Sleeping Beauty. There's a huge difference: Lady Jane Grey served others and had her eyes toward the goal. THAT is God's call for us as his daughters, his princesses. But He may make it so that you don't get your head chopped off, and who knows? Maybe Prince Charming is out there somewhere too! A real princess isn't just lightheartedness and magic and dresses and princes - a real princess is a daughter of the High King with bravery, selflessness, a serving spirit, grace, and love.
His kingdom come!

Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Diss Not

There is a football player I really like. I have watched his Superbowl victory so many times on our DVR I can call the plays. I have his jersey and about every picture of him the internet has to offer. My Dad loves him too, but not as much as me I'm thinking:P If you know me well, you know exactly who I'm talking about: Peyton Manning. I recently read the book on his life so far called MANNING. I was keenly interested to know where he stood in his spiritual life, if anywhere. I also knew he was a good speaker, and wondered how well he could write. Turns out he's a writer at heart. I was made happy in the other wondering by these words:

"My faith has been number one since I was thirteen years old and heard from the pulpit on a Sunday morning in New Orleans a simple question: 'If you died today, are you one hundred percent sure you'd go to heaven?' Cooper was there, and Eli, but it didn't hit them at the time the way it did me. It was a big church, and I felt very small, but my heart was pounding. The minister invited those who would like that assurance through Jesus Christ to raise their hands, and I did. Then he invited us to come forward, to take a stand, and my heart really started pounding. And from where we sat, it looked like a mile to the front.
But I got up and did it. I committed my life to Christ, and that faith has been most important to me ever since."

"Well wow! That's so neat!" I thought. I also started thinking of one other huge thing: his silence. His wonderful coach, Tony Dungy, while holding the Vince Lombardi trophy in 2007 finally victorious, after getting fired from a great job, the death of his parents, and the death of his son gave his whole victory to God leaving nothing for himself. In fact, they've hardly ever been able to interview him, before or since, without him telling millions about his faith and how God blesses him. Peyton was happy too, at the Superbowl. Dripping wet, teary-eyed happy and he was named the game's Most Valuable Player. He certainly said some good things as the best player in the world right then, he didn't gloat, he praised his players, he showed respect to his coach. But now I'm thinking as I was reading this book that he had a huge platform there, taller than the one he was standing on. Tony Dungy and Jim Ursay and used it to the utmost. Peyton didn't. "Hmm, wonder why." thinks I. Then I read again:

"Some players get more vocal about it - the Reggie Whites, for example - (Reggie White was called "The Minister of Defense" before he was called home. I smile) and some point to Heaven after scoring a touchdown and praise God after games. I have no problem with that. But I don't do it, and don't think it makes me any less a Christian. I just want my actions to speak louder, and I don't want to be more of a target for criticism than I already am."
"Sooooo... he's afraid?" I think to myself. He continues to talk about drinking beer, which he does, and people seeing and taking that out on his faith. He said that Christians drink beer sometimes just like non-Christians. Now I'm disappointed, but interested. I tell my dad about Peyton's, at his having expressed interest before, and I asked him what he thought about Christians drinking. He said being a Christian didn't write off alcohol in itself, but if you say you're a Christian and you cause someone else to fall that is downright wrong. I came to the conclusion that Peyton wasn't as strong in his heart as he was on the field. Then my dad said, "Peyton's got some growing to do, just like we all do in some way." I noticed something about myself. Whenever I find someone is not a Christian, or is one that is making a bad decision. I automatically look down on that person. It just comes naturally and I don't like it at all. I want to think well of people, especially people I like:) I am a big judger. With way bad grammar. But we all know it: "Do not judge, and you will not be judged. Do not condemn, and you will not be condemned. Forgive, and you will be forgiven." So without even being conscious of it, I'm judging people and writing them off as people I don't like almost. I hope you do this too, because this is where I've been going with the Peyton story. Well, no, I hope you don't do it, but you know what I mean. I think of the KJ52 song I've looked into called "Dear Slim". It's a song to a famous unbeliever telling about the hope of Jesus Christ. I encourage you to look at the lyrics yourself!But there's one line in it that goes "I hope you understand that I ain't even dissin you". So he's offering hope and love without dissing. So say in your best southern: "Diss not lest ye wanna be DISSED!!!!" There's another line that goes: "Too bad a lot of Christians all they do is hate on you instead of dropping to their knees and taking time to pray for you". So according to the Bible and KJ52, we shouldn't judge or diss - pray instead!!!!!!!! Pray continually. I'm trying to get rid of my automatic diss button. Hope you do too.

Monday, February 25, 2008

What Have We Become?

I'm not going to give you any incredible insight. I just want you to read this song and maybe listen to it if you have the means with an open mind and open heart. Pray for this generation and America.
Dc Talk - What Have We Become?
A preacher shuns his brother
Cause his bride's a different color
And this is not acceptable
His papa taught him so
It was love that he'd been preaching
But this was overreaching
The boundaries stretchin' further
Than his heart would choose to go
Like an angel with no wings
Like a kingdom with no king
(chorus 1)
What have we become?
A self indulgent people
What have we become?
Tell me where are the righteous ones?
What have we become?
In a world degenerating
What have we become?
(chorus 2)
Speak your mind, look out for yourself
The answer to it all is a life of wealth
Grab all you can cause you live just once
You got the right to do whatever you want
Don't worry about others or where you came from
It ain't what you were, it's what you have become
Mom and Dad are fightin'
As Rosie lies there crying
For once again she's overheard
Regrets of their mistake
With Christmas bells a-ringing
Little Rosie'd leave them grieving
The gift she'd give her family
Would be the pills she'd take
An inconvenient child
She wasn't worth their while
(chorus 1)
What have we become?
A self indulgent people
What have we become?
Tell me where are the righteous ones?
What have we become?
In a world degenerating
What have we become?

(chorus 2)
Speak your mind, look out for yourself
The answer to it all is a life of wealth
Grab all you can cause you live just once
You got the right to do whatever you want
Don't worry about others or where you came from
It ain't what you were, it's what you have become
What about LOVE???
What about GOD???
What about HOLINESS???
You know it's true
He is there for me and you
Doesn't matter what you do
What have we become?
A self indulgent people
What have we become?
Tell me where are the righteous ones?
What have we become?
In a world degenerating
What have we become?
What have we become?
Have we come undone?
What have we become?
Have we come undone?
What have we become?
Speak your mind, look out for yourself
The answer to it all is a life of wealth
Grab all you can cause you live just once
You got the right to do whatever you want
Don't worry about others or where you came from
It ain't what you were, it's what you have become
With selfish...
Selfish people
When you gonna learn?
Everyone of us
Gathered 'round in trust
Matthew 23:33 ~ "You snakes! You brood of vipers! How will you escape being condemned to hell?

Wednesday, January 30, 2008

100 years before the mast... or turn to God?

Who is this? This is the legendary Davy Jones as depicted by Disney in DEAD MAN'S CHEST. I did some research for those of you who haven't seen the movie so you can know who this guy is supposed to be. Not the movie character, but what the sailor's term "Davy Jones's locker" is all about. What follows is what I have discovered:
"'Davy Jones’s Locker' is an idiom for the bottom of the sea — the resting place of drowned sailors. It is used as a euphemism for death at sea. Davy Jones is a nickname for what would be the devil of the seas... the fiend that presides over all the evil spirits of the deep."
So... devil not man. Spirit thing, as he would have to be to carve out his heart and put it in a box.
There is a scene in DEAD MAN'S CHEST where five survivors of a shipwreck sit lined up before him. It is a very...eerie and spirit realmy scene. None of the captives look exactly what you call at ease, but there's one man shivering in his shoes and whimpering - quite afraid. Davy Jones kneels to his level and says in his slippery, scary, slow voice, "Do you fear death?" Through his violent shaking, the man nods. "Do you fear that dark abyss?" Jones continues. "All your deeds laid bare, all your sins punished?" The man shakes even harder and continues to nod. "I can offer you an escape." Jones says. The man stops shivering and looks up with a ray of hope. From farther down the line comes a voice that has evidently surprised the owner of the voice. "Don't listen to him!" the voice says. Davy Jones whips his head in that direction and the owner of the voice is a man who immediately looks down again. Dangling from his shaking fingers is a cross. Jones's takes two steps and grasps the neck of the one who had spoken with his crab claws . "Do you not fear death?" he says, in a tone that would make most people say anything he wanted them to. The christian man looks straight into Jones's eyes, still fearfully, and says, "I'll take my chances sir.""To the depths with him" commands Davy Jones, and the man is hurled into the sea."Cruel Blackguard!" another man cries."Life is cruel." replies Jones harshly. "Why should the afterlife be any different?" His footsteps thud on the deck as he walks backs to the first man, saying, "I offer you a choice. Join my crew and postpone the judgement. One hundred years before the mast. Will ye serve?""I-I will serve."If you don't know, this is just wrong. You cannot postpone your judgement. You know what you deserve. To put it bluntly, the fires of hell. But the afterlife doesn't have to be cruel. Jesus and only Jesus can offer an escape to all those who fear that dark abyss. What is it? Acts 16:31 states it clearly: "Believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved." Saved from eternal death and torture! "Oh, no!" you say. "With all the things I'VE done wrong it doesn't work like that." Oh, yes it does! No matter how many things you've done. Jesus, fully God came down to earth as a man, took all the sins anyone could ever commit and died on the cross as a sacrifice for those sins so we all could have a chance to escape death and be with Him forever in heaven. But what happened then? He rose from the grave three days later to show us that He was God and not just some guy that died! "Wait, so that's all I have to do? Believe?" YES! It's as easy as accepting the gift! Sure beats one hundred years of hard labor before the mast, huh? God offers you a choice. Do you choose life or death?

Wednesday, January 23, 2008


Everybody knows about Jonah. His claim to fame was his escapade with a great fish that swallowed him whole when he tried to sneak out of going to Nineveh to warn the people of God's destructive might aimed their direction. THEN we know he prayed for forgiveness and said he would go to Nineveh if God would let him out of that fish. He did. And Jonah went! He delivered his message and told them the city would be destroyed in 40 days. And the Bible says that the Ninevites believed God! They put on sackcloth and the king proclaimed a fast, hoping God would see their repentance and change his mind. And God did. And they all lived happily ever after!
Ok, not quite. Our friend Jonah still wanted the Ninevites to be destroyed. Jonah 4:1-3 says, "Jonah was greatly displeased and became angry. He prayed to the LORD, 'O LORD, is this not what I said when I was still at home? That is why I was so quick to flee to Tarshish. I knew that you are a gracious and compassionate God, slow to anger and abounding in love, a God who relents from sending calamity. Now, O LORD, take away my life, for it is better for me to die than to live.'" Yes, folks it's ok to roll your eyes at this silly little speech. But God just said, "Have you any right to be angry?" Then Jonah went a ways off from the city and waited to see what would happen. But it's pretty hot there. I think he was probably one of those people who don't like extreme temperatures like my mom. Basically, God's assessed the situation in Nineveh, and had decided to spare the city, and had pretty much said as much to Jonah. But this stubborn prophet is waiting for God to blow people to bits just because he doesn't like them. This guy is THICK-SKULLED!!!! But God made a vine grow over him for some shade while he's waiting for something bad to happen to people!!!!!!! Jonah was happy with that, but during the night, God killed the weed. Then Jonah got so mad he wanted to die again! This guy is acts like a toddler through the whole book. He definitely doesn't come close to being a Samuel or a Moses!!!! But over and over, God showed love to Jonah. If it's a father showing love to a whiny baby, we know that the father loves that baby as something that is his own, and can still love the baby even with some screaming. When I see God in the Bible showing love to King David or one of those great people, it's almost like they deserve it. Or at least they didn't do anything that we know of to NOT deserve it. But it wows me that God shows the same love to Jonah, the whiny prophet who would do anything to get out of a little thing like so many of us, as he showed to great kings and messengers who went through thick and thin to do what He wanted. With all this love God shows us when we whine every day, don't you think HE deserves to at least get a heartfelt attempt at obedience?

Thursday, January 3, 2008


I like to play a game where somebody says one word and the next person says the first word that comes to their mind. Such as:
1 - "Hot"
2 - "Cold"
1 - "On"
2 - "Off
And the like. Let's play it! I say the word TEMPTATION. What's the first thing you think of? Tell me in the comment section. Maybe "Eve". I think of SUGAR! I verily believe everybody likes some sugary thing. Starch too! You just feel an urge to move your hand over there and pick up that HERSHEY'S bar and put it in your mouth. Of course everybody has their own area where they are tempted. Maybe sleep, or money, or drugs. But what IS temptation? It feels like an invisible star wars-like force or you're wearing a mind controlling bowler hat like in MEET THE ROBINSONS. When you think about it, it's creepy! I mean, how much are you tempted to have the power to do that to people? We can't do it to people. But everybody is tempted - even Jesus was. Who was the author of the temptation? That's right! Satan. The being scorned and accursed by which fury hell hathno himself. And the same Satan that tempted Jesus tempts us today. "I was always told it was my flesh" you may say. What is your flesh? It is the sinful nature inside of you. The little (or big) part of you that wants worldly things and power and money. The part fueled by the devil thanks to (yep) Adam and Eve. Satan first used his tempting powers on them. "You want it.... you know you want it... you need it... a little's fine... God doesn't know what he talking about... MUST HAVE THE PRECIOUS!!!!!" Yikes. When you think about it, we're all a bunch of Gollums. So how do we resist this creepy, mind and body controlling, power? Here's the sad part: We can't. But here's the good part: God can! God is the only One who EVER outsmarted the devil or beat him. And he's on our side. It's like having your little brother shoot you repeatedly with his annoying NERF crossbow. Of course, the smart thing to do is just run to Dad. Dad can tackle him in a minute and get a wrestling match going with all the rest of your brothers so you can just saunter off unharmed to do whatever. Why let Satan pick on you when you've got his boss around? Just run to him and state the situation. After God takes care of it that time, work on ways to lessen your temptation next time. But one thing about Satan (and little brothers) he NEVER GIVES UP! But (like... certain little brothers) he's faster than you. You can't chase him down and beat him on your own. You need God to help you! Just ask every time!!!!

Thursday, December 13, 2007

Tradition, or Truth?

Take this quiz really fast...see if you really know what the Bible says about Christmas, or if you've just listened to the songs and long-held traditions:
Questions start out easy and then get hard.
1. The name of the mother of Jesus was:

2. Jesus was born in what town?
New York

3. Joseph was a:

4. Why didn’t Joseph and Mary stay at the inn?
It was too expensive
There was no inn
There was no room
None of the above

5. How did Joseph and Mary get to Bethlehem?
Mary rode a donkey and Joseph walked
Who knows?

6. After being born, Jesus was placed in a:
Pile of hay
On the back of a donkey

7. A manger is a:
feeding trough
wooden table

8. Which animals does the Bible say were housed in the stable?
cows, donkeys, sheep
lions, tigers and bears
goats, sheep and cows
The Bible doesn’t say.

9. From what area were the three kings that visited Jesus?
the west
the east
the orient
none of the above

10. What sign were the shepherds told to look for by the angel?
a lion and a sheep together in peace
a tree with a star on top
a star over Bethlehem
none of the above

11. With what words did the heavenly host of angels praise God?
"Joy to the World, the Lord is Come"
"Glory, Glory, Hallelujah”
“King of Kings and Lord of Lords”
"Glory to God in the highest,"

12. What is frankincense?
a form of gold
incense from a tree
a jewel
none of the above.

13. What is myrrh?
a musical instrument
a spice used for burial
a valuable wine
none of the above

14. How many wise men came to see Jesus?
The Bible doesn’t say

15. What does "wise men" most likely refer to?
star gazers

16. The wise men met Jesus in a:

17. Who told Joseph and Mary to go to Bethlehem?
an angel
Caesar Augustus
No one told them to go

18. The child Jesus went to Egypt:
to meet pharaoh
because Joseph was told in a dream to take him
Joseph did not take Jesus to Egypt
none of the above

19. According to the Bible, the little drummer boy met Jesus:
when Jesus was in the manger
at a house
When Jesus was about two years old
none of the above

20. In which books do we find the story of Jesus’ birth?

21. December 25th has been celebrated as Christmas since the Bible was written.

How'd you do??? Here's the answers:
1. Mary- Matthew 1:18
2. Bethlehem- Matthew 2:1
3. Carpenter- Matthew 13:55
4. There was no room- Luke 2:7
5. Who knows?- The Bible doesn't say. Generally, it is assumed that Mary rode a donkey, as she would be nine months pregnant. But, it does not say, so we can't be sure.
6. Manger- Luke 2:7
7. Feeding trough
8. The Bible doesn't say- It is supposed that there would be animals in the stable, however, nowhere in the Bible can you find that idea.
9. None of the above- Matthew 2:1- It is only in the song ,"We Three Kings" that the idea that the kings mentioned are from the orient.
10. None of the above- The shepherds were told to look for a "babe wrapped in cloths, laying in a manger."
11. "Glory to God in the highest,"- Luke 2:14
12. Incense from a tree
13. A spice used for burial- John 19:39-40
14. The Bible doesn't say- Matthew 2:1- Traditionally, people suppose there are three wise men, because there are three gifts. However, nowhere in the Bible does it say that there were three wise men.
15. Star gazers
16. House- Matthew 2:11
17. Caesar Augustus- Luke 2:1,4
18. Because Joseph was told in a dream to take him- Matthew 2:13
19. None of the above- Sorry! The Bible doesn't say that the little drummer boy met Jesus!
20. Matthew and Luke
21. False- December 25 is celebrated in some part by the fact that Charlemange was crowned Holy Roman Emperor on that day. Also, it was originally a pagan festival, so the Christians decided to have a Christian holy day on the same day.

Well, I'm sorry you had to put up with my boring post! But, Meggy said to post. So, I did. :)

Wednesday, December 12, 2007

An angel? Uh-huh. Now What???

I do believe it is Grace's turn to post. Can I get an uh-huh?
The message at my church last Sunday was a lot about the story of when the LORD conceived in Mary. But for once, it did not center around her - it was about Joseph.
Imagine this: You're a guy in the very early A.D. (hard, yes but stay with me). One day your bride-to-be comes back from a 3-month visit to her cousin that you've never met. You know she's back, it's been a couple of days, but she hasn't come to see you yet. Curious. She usually comes to your shop every day. But you can't go to her house today on account of all this woodwork to do. You impatiently set to work, keeping a eye on the window. Suddenly, she is in the doorway. Somehow she got in without you seeing her. You start with a smile, but end in a horrified expression as you see her more closely. She is three months pregnant. Screebees! You stand there with your mouth wide open, not saying a thing, not knowing what to think, even though there is an extremely limited list of things to think. She does not seem ashamed. She looks straight into your eyes and tells you that an angel appeared to her and told her that her child was conceived of the Holy Spirit and she would be the mother of God's Son. Uh... well, what would you think if somebody told you that? Sure. No. She's lying or mad. You are still flabbergasted. What to do? What to DO?
"Well," you think. "Disappointing for the poor guy since he doesn't quite believe her. But why is there a dilemma on what to do?" Let's stop imagining and talk about rules.
Rule #1 for your average girl in the very early A.D: If you were engaged, you would already be considered married! You were to stay pure for a year, but in every other way, you were considered husband and wife. Back then, these promises were taken seriously.
Rule #2 for your average girl in the very early A.D: You did not divorce. You just didn't. It was allowed, but if it did happen, you would make the papers and become some sort of strange alien thing to society. Point: it barely EVER happened. What God has joined together let NO MAN put asunder.
Rule #3 for your average girl in the very early A.D: If you were found pregnant without being married, guess what happened - you were stoned. As in, people gathering around you with big rocks and throwing them at you until you died. You stayed pure for your husband - NO EXCEPTIONS!
So these rules are what Joseph was pondering. If he exposed her, the rock-throwing party starts. He doesn't want her dead. Next option: Marry her anyway. But that messes him up. If she's immoral and, knowing this, he marries her anyway, he's considered a bad guy too. Social outcast. Immoral man. There goes the carpentry shop. Last option: That divorce thing. Supposing he did that. Rare, but necessary he supposes. If he puts her away quietly and doesn't call the papers about it, things should be somewhat related to alright. Messy, messy, messy situation. BUT... God told him in a dream that what she said was true, and to marry her anyway. Oh dear. There goes the carpentry shop. There goes his good-guy, law-keeping image. But the Bible says he obeyed right off the bat. Without question. What a guy! That would be a REALLY hard thing to do.
Now for a little food for thought. Let's go over those rules again. But this time, with the opinions of today:
Rule #1 for your average girl in the very early A.D: If you were engaged, you would already be considered married! You were to stay pure for a year, but in every other way, you were considered husband and wife. Back then, these promises were taken seriously.
The average girl in 2007 Argument: If you're engaged, it's fine to break up if you happen to change your mind. And your purity doesn't really matter. As long as you feel good about your own decision.
Rule #2 for your average girl in the very early A.D: You did not divorce. You just didn't. It was allowed, but if it did happen, you would make the papers and become some sort of strange alien thing to society. Point: it barely EVER happened. What God has joined together let NO MAN put asunder.
The average girl in 2007 Argument: Divorce is your choice and right. There's more fish in the sea. 50% of marriages end in divorce? That's fine.
Rule #3 for your average girl in the very early A.D: If you were found pregnant without being married, guess what happened - you were stoned. As in, people gathering around you with big rocks and throwing them at you until you died. You stayed pure for your husband - NO EXCEPTIONS!
The average girl in 2007 argument: Gimmeabreak! That's so harsh! I think we've already established that your purity doesn't matter. Stay pure for your husband? Heehee! Has ANYBODY done THAT? It's old-fashioned and way overrated. It just doesn't happen, ok?
What happened between then and now? Mary's surprise for Joseph happens every day - except without the angel and the Lord and baby Jesus involved. What have we become?

Thursday, November 29, 2007

"Believe in Yourself"...uh, I'd rather NOT!

Chasen – Crazy Beautiful
From the album – Shine Through The Stars

Whoa you’re oh so beautiful,
you don’t need anyone’s approval
You’ve got to believe in yourself
you know you are
You’re crazy beautiful

There's no need to change
We're different but the same
In the eyes of the King
We're beautifully made
In his image we're made
Take a look it’s all around you
See the world from different views
The way you shine from the inside
I know with out a doubt
It’s more than what you’ll be In the world’s eyes.

Have you ever had somebody tell you to believe in yourself? At least you've heard it said. This is the song, Crazy Beautiful by Chasen. I dunno who that is, some new guy they're playing on Air 1. I think.

"Whoa you’re oh so beautiful,
you don’t need anyone’s approval
You’ve got to believe in yourself
you know you are You’re crazy beautiful"

It's got an extremely catchy tune, and will make about any girl dance. Those artsy "Who-oa"s are real neat. But the lyrics give the wrong idea about, well, YOU! So, we're supposed to believe in ourselves because we're the way God made us. Well, if God made us the way we are, why believe in ourselves? Why not believe in Him?
Say your mom made some brownies. Now for some reason, maybe you had a nightmare the night before about brownies being very salty. Oh, dear. It has messed up your entire day and you REALLY think they are going to be salty! Nightmares really mess you up that way. Do you say, "Well, these brownies LOOK good." (personally I think EVERY brownie is CRAZY BEAUTIFUL!) "So I'm gonna trust these brownies not to be salty." Could be correct, from a certain point of view. But if you really were worried, why not ask your mom about the amount of salt put into the chocolate goodness. About a teaspoon. Now you're thinking, "Ok, I know my mom didn't make these brownies salty. I'm gonna believe what she said."
That was an extremely last ditch attempt at an example, but you get my point. Consider Phillipians 4:13. "I can do all things through Christ, who strengthens me." Not, God made you good. You can do it! "I am the vine, you are the branches; he who abides in Me and I in him, he bears much fruit, for apart from Me you can do nothing." - John 15:5. NOTHING. You cannot do ANYTHING apart from God. You are nothing without the Vine! If you are faced with an important decision, you can't go the Hollywood way and believe that you'll make the right choice, more than likely you'll make the WRONG choice! Listen to what God has to say about your life! After all, he knows what's going to happen, so isn't it in your best interest to hear him out?
Now I'm not saying don't be confident. Being confident is different than believing in yourself. Confidence is all in where you put it. Our only REAL confidence is in God, because he is the only perfect one. Can you think of anything else you can put your confidence in that won't let you down? But don't walk around with your head down thinking you're junk. God made you to be his tool. You can't believe in the hammer to drive the nail in straight - it's all in the hand that hammers and that's God. Being God's tool is awesome! And God has personalized you different than any other hammer. Hence you are.....(sing this out loud)........CRAZY BEAUTIFUL! Just put your confidence in your loving Hammer-er and not in your own metal. I think you (as a hammer) know it's hard to drive a nail on your own! And this is just a matter of opinion I suppose, but I sure need somebody's approval... God's!!!!!!!! Nobody else's matters. As long as I'm right with the Hammer-er!