"Every day counts when we are devoted to God!" -Elizabeth George (A Woman After God's Own Heart)
Jesus was forsaken so we would never be. -Dr. John Barnett

Daily Scripture Verse

"Cast your cares on the Lord and He will sustain you; He will never let the righteous fall." -Psalm 55:22

Tuesday, August 21, 2007

My new website

The new website that I have been working on is now up and running. The address of the website is www.revitalizeouryouth.wordpress.com. I will now be posting all new posts on that website. So I would encourage those who have linked to my page to change the link to the above address.
I haven't gotten all of my old posts on the new website yet, and I am unable to post all the comments I received on this blog to the new one.
Check out the new and improved Revitalize Our Youth, and tell me what you think!
God bless and take care!
Moriah

Tuesday, July 31, 2007

Wow it's been a while...

I just wanted to let you all know that I'm in the process of switching from a blogger account to a wordpress account. So I haven't had a whole lot of time to get on here and write any posts or update and declutter this website. For that I'm sorry. I hope to get on soon and either finish up getting the new website in order, or write a new blog post.
But for now here's some Scripture for you to think on...

Ephesians 5:15-17 "Be very careful, then, how you live -- not as unwise but as wise, making the most of every opportunity, because the days are evil. Therefore do not be foolish, but understand what the Lord's will is."

Galatians 5:1 "It is for freedom that Christ has set us free. Stand firm, then, and do not let yourselves be burdened again by a yoke of slavery."

2 Corinthians 10:3-4 "For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, the have divine power to demolish strongholds."

1 John 5:4-5 "For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world: Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God."
God bless and take care!

Saturday, June 30, 2007

Trust God in Life

I'm confused. I don't know what to do. I fear going forward...I'm determined not to fall back. I close my eyes to try and block what I see only to find out that the images in my head are just as clear as the ones I truly see. I try to harden my heart to the emotions I'm feeling, but only to find it's no use.
The only thing I can do is trust in God. He holds my future. I don't see nor do I understand what my future holds, but God does. And for that I'm thankful.
I'm tired. I'm always "on the go". I want to stop and just give up, but I must run with endurance the race that is set before me. If I stop I will loose and fall. I have to plug along even though it's hard.
So what if I'm confused? So what if I'm tired" So what if I feel I can't go on? I'm an overcomer! I put my trust in Jesus. I have lived most of my life for myself and my own selfish ambitions. I will live whatever life I have left for God. He's all I need. He's all I should ever want...

Does that sound familiar to you? Do you ever feel that when it gets to hard that you want to quit?
I know that sometimes life gets hard. Sometimes you may feel like you want to just give up. DON'T. When things get hard, trust in God. When you're confused, trust in God. When you're tired, trust in God, and He will carry you through.
Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your pathes straight."

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Christian Youth In Action (CYIA)

Hey you guys!
I'm sorry it's been so long since I've been able to get on here and update my blog. I've been extremely busy. This summer God's given me the opportunity to teach 5-day clubs (similar to a VBS) all over Oklahoma. I'll be working all summer with Christian Youth In Action (CYIA) which is also called Child Evangelism Fellowship (CEF) So far this summer 22 children have accepted Jesus as their Savior in the clubs that I have tought in. This week I'm teaching 2 clubs a day. Please pray that I'll have the right words to say to the children in the clubs, and that their hearts would be open to hearing the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Thanks!!
I actually have a blog post written out on paper that talks about growing in Christ...I just haven't had the time to write it out yet. So as soon as I am able I will do that. =) God bless you guys and take care!

Sunday, May 27, 2007

My baby sis!!!

Hey you guys! My mom just had her baby!! Yeah!!! Since my Battle cry wouldn't let me post the pics up on there; I decided to just put them on here. =) My baby sister name is Reese Olivia. She's 4 pounds and 13 oz. She was born at 3:53 pm on Friday May 25, 2007.



This is a picture of me and Reese about a day after she was born.



This is Reese with her grimace/ smile. =)

And this is Reese playing peek-a-boo.





Thanks you guys for the prayers! We all appreciate them. Please continue to pray for all of us.

Friday, May 18, 2007

Will We Go?


Recently, in one of my courses for school; I needed to read through the book of Isaiah. There’s a scene in Isaiah 6 that caught my eye...

King Uzziah just died, and now the Lord showed Himself to Isaiah...
“Then I heard the voice of the Lord saying, “Whom shall I send? And who will go for us?” And I (Isaiah) said, “Here I am. Send me!” Isaiah 6:8

Isaiah was willing to be sent. He was willing to go. Isaiah knew what it meant if he went for the Lord. It meant that he would have to give up everything that he held dear, and maybe even his very life.

Are we willing to forsake all else for the Gospel of Jesus Christ: Are we willing to give up the comforts of this world to go where the Lord leads us?

“He (Jesus) said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.” Matthew 28:19

And now the final question is...

Will we go?



For those who commented on my last blog, I've replied to your comments if you want to check it out...God bless and take care!

Saturday, May 12, 2007

Mercy Me (Easter) Bring the rain

It's amazing how God works in the lives of those who love Him!
This past 2 weeks have proved to be extremely strenuous. One of my cousins tried to commit suicide, several friends walked away from God, and many other things have left me feeling empty. Everytime I feel that way, I would turn on my radio to one of the only Christian stations in my area, and everytime this song played. This song has been a great encouragement to me in my life, and I wanted to share it with all of you. I hope it encourages you also. God bless and take care!!

Saturday, April 28, 2007

Testimony of Frank Hernandez

Frank H. is a new found friend of mine from a Christian website called Battle Cry. I would encourage you all to check out Battle Cry. You will be blessed!

Hello, My name is Frank Hernandez I pray that through this testimony the Lord can use my bad choices to minister to someone out there amen. Well I'm 35 years old. I was born in Riverside, Ca. However I was raised in Corona, Ca. I was raised by my mother and step father. I also have four brothers and two sisters, all younger than me. Growing up in my home with my step dad was very hard for me. I was always treated differently, was mistreated very bad. I never have been fishing, camping, or to a baseball game. My life was very restricted to being home. My step dad never showed me anything. At the time well I was young I didn't know he was my step dad. I grew up thinking he was my real Dad because He raised me from the time I was 6 mo. old. At the age of 8 years old I finally met my real dad. He had just been released from prison. Still at this time I was not told he was my dad. He was introduced to me as my uncle. My uncle (dad) saw me in the store on day. He wanted to buy me some candy, I told him I couldn't because I wasn't allowed to eat candy or drink sodas, but my brothers could. The next day he came over to visit me without my dad knowing. And gave me all kinds of sweets=) I thought he was the coolest. Yet I still didn't know he was my real dad. It wasn't till about 2 weeks later that my mom called me over from my grandma’s house to talk to me. She informed me that my real dad had just been killed, and that he was not my uncle but my real dad. Then she just got up and left me there by myself. At that point it hit me, all the hurt of never knowing who my dad was. Why I had always been mistreated everything hit me. I was only 8 years old, and I was filled with so much hate. All I knew was that this man my uncle or dad who ever he was, was the only person who treated me the way a father should treat his son. I put it in my heart to avenge my dad. So at the age of 12 years old I got jumped into my street gang. I started using drugs fighting anybody and everybody. I wanted too be feared. I had so much hate inside of me. I started too get locked up in juvenile hall at 13. I was on a down ward spiral, going no where real fast. at the age of 14, I started to shoot up speed and heroin. By that time I had made a name for myself in the streets. Even with the older homies. Everyone knew that when someone messed with my gang or its members I was the one to call. I was so dedicated I would sleep with my shoes on so I could be ready when the gang needed me. It got to the point that I was already fighting with the police. Shortly there after, a local gang was out to kill me. The police had called my mom to inform her that she should keep me inside and try to prevent me from going out that night. I didn't listen I went out looking for them and ended up getting busted. Thank you, Jesus. They ended up going to my house, chasing my lil brother shooting at him for my mistakes. That just made matters worse. I was still filled with so much rage and hate. I ended up finding out that my real dads brother had something to do with my dads killing. It may have been due to some prison politics stuff. So my ultimate goal was to go to prison. At 15 years old they sentenced me to 1 year in juvie camp. I ended up doing three years. When I got out I was just about 18 years old. After only about 2 mo. of my release, I met my wonderful wife. Everything moved so fast. 3 mo. later I was living with her, and her two young girls ages 4 and 2. They are my girls now=) Anyways I changed my whole outlook on life as a result of falling in love with my wife, although we both continued to use drugs, and partying all hours in the night. About 1 year later we both accepted the Lord. Halleluiah! We then got married and were doing good. However we were not reading our bibles at all=( We were the, yea look at me I'm a Christian type of person. you know the type.) We knew of God but didn't know God. In the year 2000 I lost my baby brother. He was only 23 years old. Didn't understand why he died he was in good health and shape. He went to sleep on night and didn't wake back up. It wasn't till later that we found out he had high blood pressure and didn't know it. That hit me real hard. I wasn't prepared for it spiritually. I fell back into drugs and gangs again real heavy. This time I now had not only my wife, but also my two daughters and two sons. I was bringing drugs and guns into my home. The only thing that mattered to me was me. I got involved in some pretty heavy duty stuff. I ended up in prison on a five year sentence for my crime. I thank the Lord because I was facing about 12 years. And yet even in there I wasn't ready to change. The first half of my term I was involved in some pretty bad stuff. My wife was driving 12 hours every weekend to come see me. Half way through my prison term God used an unsaved man to minister to me. This man said what was wrong with me. He said there was something different about me; I had a wife who came to see every weekend, got mail everyday. He went on to tell me that he knew I read my bible at night he suggested that I get my bible and stick to it. Prison wasn't for me he said. I knew at that moment The Lord was giving me one last chance. If I didn't respond he was going to stop knocking on my heart. So I literally went to the guys I was running with in there and said that was it I was going to serve the Lord. I really gave my life to him. I started to minister in there, the Lord was really using me inside there to minister to all those men. I was leading men to the Lord in there. I began preaching every weekend in the prison chapel. I always say that being in there was my spiritual boot camp. Being in there the Lord showed me how to depend on him. When my wife was sick and in the hospital, there was nothing I could do but pray. I couldn't even go see her because I was in prison. When my sons were doing bad in school, I couldn't help them. I just sought the Lord and he took care of it. Now I'm in Bible college to obtain my ordination lic. to become a prison minister. I was just recently invited to speak at the juvenile hall in my county. I am also involved in are churches youth group. I just had the opportunity to minister to them as well as our men’s meeting. God is doing something in my life. There is nothing better in life than serving the Lord. God is good. He has restored my relationship with my step dad and mother. Halleluiah. My mom is serving the Lord. I now work with my dad. So I minister to him through out the day. The Lord is just moving so much in my life. All praise and glory belong to Jesus. If this testimony has touched you and you would like to e-mail me for anything prayer someone to talk to. I'm here for you. But most of all God is there for you AMEN. my e-mail address is f.hernandez70@yahoo.com.

Tuesday, April 24, 2007

The Importance of God's Word

How important is the Word of God to you? Co you make sure that you spend some time everyday in His Word?
When I meet a fellow brother or sister in Christ, one of the first questions I ask is, “What have you been reading in the Word?” Which is usually followed by, “Is anything sticking out to you while you read?” Most of the time I get a response of “I haven’t been reading the Bible lately,” or “I’m...uh...reading...uh... I forgot what I read this morning.”
“For I delight in Your commands because I love them. I lift up my hands to Your commands, which I love, and I meditate on Your decrees.” –Psalm 119:47-48
Delight- the source of pleasure; great satisfaction; joy (Webster’s Encyclopedia of Dictionaries)
Do you delight in the Lord’s commands because you love them, and Him?
Think of the Word of God this way... a letter written to you from the Person who loves you the most. If someone wrote you a love letter wouldn’t you want to read it every chance you got? (Personally I would especially if I said I loved that person back)
We as followers of Jesus Christ should want to spend time in God’s Word.
"Oh, how I love Your law! I meditate on it all day long." -Psalm:119:97

Thursday, April 19, 2007

Urgent Prayer Request!!!

I have a major prayer request. My mom and I babysit a 2 year old named Landon, and he's in the hospital right now. He was sick this morning when his mom dropped him off, and it just got worse as the morning progressed. He'll be staying in the hospital for a few days. Please keep Landon and his parents in your prayers. Neither of his parents are followers of Jesus Christ. Thanks!!

I'm sorry for my absence as of late. I've become extremely busy, and have not had a whole lot of time to do anything but school.

Sunday, April 08, 2007

Resurrection Day

“ When the Sabbath was over, Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James, and Salome bought spices so that they might go to anoint Jesus' body. Very early on the first day of the week, just after sunrise, they were on their way to the tomb and they asked each other, "Who will roll the stone away from the entrance of the tomb?"
But when they looked up, they saw that the stone, which was very large, had been rolled away. As they entered the tomb, they saw a young man dressed in a white robe sitting on the right side, and they were alarmed.
"Don't be alarmed," he said. "You are looking for Jesus the Nazarene, who was crucified. He has risen! He is not here. See the place where they laid him. But go, tell his disciples and Peter, 'He is going ahead of you into Galilee. There you will see him, just as he told you.' "
Trembling and bewildered, the women went out and fled from the tomb. They said nothing to anyone, because they were afraid.
When Jesus rose early on the first day of the week, he appeared first to Mary Magdalene, out of whom he had driven seven demons. She went and told those who had been with him and who were mourning and weeping. When they heard that Jesus was alive and that she had seen him, they did not believe it.
Afterward Jesus appeared in a different form to two of them while they were walking in the country. These returned and reported it to the rest; but they did not believe them either.
Later Jesus appeared to the Eleven as they were eating; he rebuked them for their lack of faith and their stubborn refusal to believe those who had seen him after he had risen.
He said to them, "Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation. Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned. And these signs will accompany those who believe: In my name they will drive out demons; they will speak in new tongues; they will pick up snakes with their hands; and when they drink deadly poison, it will not hurt them at all; they will place their hands on sick people, and they will get well."
After the Lord Jesus had spoken to them, he was taken up into heaven and he sat at the right hand of God.” –Mark 16:1-19

Easter isn’t about some cute, little, fuzzy bunny who gives out Easter eggs for good little boys and girls to find, but it’s about the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the grave.

My prayer is that you all will have a most blessed Resurrection Day!! God bless and take care on this wonderful day that we remember when the Lord Jesus Christ rose from the grave!

Monday, April 02, 2007

Fearfulness of Witnessing

My throat is dry; I try to swallow
My brow is wet with perspiration; I wipe it away
I open my mouth to speak; but no words come out
I close my eyes and open them, trying to blink the fears away
What was that verse? I can’t remember
I’m trembling from head to toe
I want to say “Jesus loved you enough to die for you”, but “how was your day” comes out instead
I want to tell them about Heaven and Hell; instead we talk about the weather and the latest news
“I’ll tell him next time, Lord.” I say as I’m driving home
There won’t be a next time
I get a phone call from his parents later that night
They tell me he died in a car wreck
The told me about the head on collision with the semi
And how he died on impact
“Oh God!! Why didn’t I tell him?”
Now he’s gone, and there’s no turning back
I let him go, and now he’s burning in Hell for eternity

We as true followers of Jesus Christ shouldn’t be afraid to share the Gospel with our friends, family, or even someone we don’t know.

Why?

Well, one...He told us not to fear those who can only kill the body. Matthew 10:28- “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the On who can destroy both soul and body in Hell.”

And two...God tells us to GO. Matthew 28:19-20- “Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.” Mark 16:15- “He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the good news to all creation.’”
How about it? Who will join with me to save our lost and dying generation?

Friday, March 23, 2007

Time To Fight

When you go to school, work, or even the store; what do you see?
I see a spiritually sick and dying generation. They go about their lives thinking everything is alright when in reality it isn’t. They either think they are good enough to get into heaven, or they have no hope. They cut themselves just to dull the inner pain. They get drunk so they can forget their past. They starve themselves so they can look like the “perfect” people on MTV, and in teen magazines. They sleep with their girlfriends and boyfriends because they think that’s how you show love. They kill themselves for lack of love, lack of self-esteem, lack of everything.
This is our generation.
For too long I’ve sat back and watched my generation destroy itself. For too long I’ve kept quiet about who God is and what He has done for the world.
Well, not anymore!

I’m going to let my light shine before this generation, our generation. Nothing is going to keep me quiet any longer.
I’m standing on the front lines! I’m ready for the war. Will you stand with me?
I will not be conformed to this world. I will not be what the world wants me to be. To the world I am dead, but I have been made alive in Jesus Christ.
I will not keep silent! We live in a world where two people die every second.
What I have to say will heal the hurting, calm the frightened, convict the self-righteous, and proud, give hope to the hopeless, and give security to the insecure.
Will you join me in the fight to save the souls of our generation?

Monday, March 19, 2007

I Surrender

This is a poem I wrote a few days ago....

I surrender my life to Jesus
Because He’s the only one that can heal us
He bore our sins upon that cross
Our lives are no longer at a loss

He shed His blood for you and me
We once were blind, but now we see
In this life we will have strife
But Jesus is the WAY the TRUTH and the LIFE
Our academics may soar
But without Jesus they will be no more

I surrender my life to God
Even though to some it seems odd
I will give Him my whole heart
‘Cause that’s where it all starts

There’s a fine line we should walk
It doesn’t do anything if it’s just talk
We can’t just say we’ll get around to it
Because odds are; we won’t really do it
One day Jesus will come...
Will you be ready for the Son?

written by,
Moriah Strickand

Friday, March 16, 2007

Regeneration in the Church

This is a sermon by Dr. John Barrnett. He's the pastor of the church I attend. The sermon is long, but very good. I would encourage you all to read it time permiting.

We have seen that the gift of salvation has seven key elements; and have examined forgiveness and justification. This evening we come to regeneration. Regeneration is a word that is much wider than the Bible or Theology, it is a part of the everyday world around us.

re·gen·er·a·tion (rĭ-jĕn'ə-rā'shən) n.
1. The act or process of regenerating or the state of being regenerated.
2. Biology. Regrowth of lost or destroyed parts or organs.
3. Theology. Spiritual or moral revival or rebirth.
God must love regeneration because we see it throughout His creation.

REGENERATION IS ALL AROUND US
From the cycle of the seasons, to the water cycle, to the claws of crustaceans that grow back after loss. God is a God that loves to offer a way for life to begin again.
Regeneration is the process by which an animal restores a lost part of its body. Broadly defined, the term can include wound healing, tissue repair, and many kinds of restorative activities.
The best-known and most widely studied examples of regeneration are those involving epimorphosis, in which the lost structure is reproduced directly by a combination of cell proliferation and redifferentiation of new tissue.
For example, if part of the liver is cut away, the remaining portions increase in size to compensate for the missing tissue and to restore the normal functional capacity of the organ.
Of all vertebrates, amphibians have the most highly developed capacity for regeneration. Certain species have the ability to regenerate not only limbs and tails but also parts of the eye, lower jaw, intestine, and heart.
Most annelids, such as the earthworm, can readily regenerate segments after their removal: some species can regenerate whole organisms from any fragment.
The ability of certain echinoderms, such as starfish, to regenerate missing arms is well known. Cutting such an animal into several pieces results in each piece forming a new organism[1].
All living things are made up of cells. But nowhere is regeneration in the physical world more important than in our aging bodies.
In the space of area that would be inside of the letter o on the page of your Bible in front of you, about 40,000 cells could fit.[2] There are a nearly uncountable number of cells in our bodies estimated to be between 30 and 100 trillions cells of 200 different types.[3]
Each day your body replaces cells, you and I get regenerated physically by a continuous stream of nutrients and every so often every cell in your and my body is replaced. That is the regenerating power of the human body.
Every day humans will lose and replace 200 billion red blood cells. Remarkably, our bodies manufacture 2 million replacement cells in a split second. A single red blood cell will make an incredible journey, traveling 100 miles through a vast network of 60,000 miles of veins, capillaries, and arteries.
Consider this: your stomach lining and your small intestine replace themselves every five days, your skin replaces itself once a month, your liver replaces itself every six weeks, and your skeleton replaces itself about every seven years. It's pretty amazing.
Whether you are 7 or 77, your body replaces billions of cells every day. The sad news is that that amazing renewing process begins to slow and finally ends the older we get.

REGENERATION IS OUR GREATEST NEED
But the greatest example of regeneration is when God makes us His very own home; when God makes a human His habitation in the greatest miracle of all—salvation.
God's regenerating us literally means we live again, we have new life, a fresh start, renewal, a new beginning.
God has made provision for us to be born again, regenerated through the new birth—in order to give us His life living within.
But why would we the greatest and highest and most wonderful of all earth"s creatures—why would we need regeneration? Because a disaster each of us partakes of has rendered us uninhabitable by God.

WE ARE UNINHABITABLE
At 10:13 AM on April 26, 1986 in a Russian city called Chernobyl, the world witnessed the greatest known industrial accident.
The V.I. Lenin Memorial Chernobyl Nuclear Power Station Reactor 4 exploded and released over the next 9 days of intense fires—as much as 100 times more total radiation than was produced in both atomic bombs dropped on Japan in World War II.
Hundreds of thousands of Russians were evacuated and an area of 500 square miles was rendered completely uninhabitable. Even to this day humans can not live in close proximity to the encased reactor because of the radiation levels. Let me repeat that phrase 'rendered completely uninhabitable’ …
The key element of that disaster was the rendering of an area completely uninhabitable; no humans could live anywhere around that open source of deadly radiation. The solution was the immediate and prolonged massive airlift of materials to try to confine the deadly radiation. A mountain of material was dropped by helicopter, which totaled almost 10,000 tons of clay, lead, and dolomite onto the reactor; and later the building of a concrete tomb over the site. But all that did was to try to keep the deadly radiation inside an area that would be forever closed to human life.

You and I ARE BY NATURE UNINHABITABLE TO God.
We were born with a heart that was emitting a deadly radiant far worst than the gamma rays of that exploded reactor 4; we were producers of the element most hated by God in the Universe, which is called sin. The presence of sin within each of us made us completely uninhabitable to God. He could never live within us because He is holy and we are sinful.
Regeneration is when God comes down to the site of the worst disaster in the Universe—us sinners, and completely removes the deadly elements at the core of our being.
Biblically speaking we receive a new heart in regeneration. The first complete explanation of this process is in Ezekiel 36:26-27 when God says that He will give us who come to Him through Christ a "new heart”. The Scripture goes on to say that He takes away the bad heart we had and replaces it with a brand new one that He made that is just right for the Lord Himself to come and live within.
One of the greatest elements of our salvation is regeneration—when we entered God’s family, received a new heart, and became God’s habitation. We came alive, beginning to live the everlasting life—that forever separates us from the lost, who remain in forever death.
Regeneration is most important because it marks the dividing line between saved and lost, eternal life and eternal death, eternal sonship to God and eternal alienation from God.
That is the miracle of regeneration.

OUR REGENERATION IS MIRACULOUS
Regeneration is a supernatural work of the Holy Spirit by which the divine nature and divine life are given (John 3:3-8; Titus 3:5). Regeneration occurs when God sovereignly acknowledges a person’s belief of the gospel[4].
Regeneration is the most dramatic change in a new believer; when we are “born again” we enter the family of God. (Re- means “again,” and generation means “birth.”)
Some argue that since a man dead in trespasses and sins cannot believe, God must first regenerate him in order that he may then believe. But, if that were true, that is, if he already had been regenerated and thus been given the gift of eternal life, then why would he need to believe? The two must be simultaneous[5].
All we have to do is unwrap and experience all that He has given to us.

UNOPENED PRESENTS
All of us who are saved, born again, and believers in Jesus Christ have received a gift—the greatest gift. But the question we need to answer is—are you opening and enjoying that gift? Salvation has seven key elements—each like a special present. Are you opening your presents?
These gifts are opened by faith one by one as we see who we have become in Christ. So the Christ of Christmas is the start of a lifetime of priceless treasures, given to us freely by God above.
Be sure you have opened your presents this Christmas, given by Jesus.

OPEN THE GIFT OF REGENERATION
Because of our sin—we are all dead in our trespasses and sin; so we need regeneration.
The Gift of Salvation is about Jesus who died to take us who are dead in our sins, bring us to life and welcome us as family members, full of endless life and brand new—that’s regeneration!
In Regeneration we go from spiritual deadness, and uninhabitable for God to life in His Spirit overflowing with His Presence.
We need to experience what the Scriptures often declare—God Himself has regenerated us. That means that He has sought us out in our dead and decaying condition, breathed eternal life into us, and brought us into His family by the new birth. Then He comes to live within us so we are forever having an abundant and overflowing, eternal life.
Regeneration transforms us in so many ways. We instantly become:
John 1:12 But as many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children of God, to those who believe in His name”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am a Child of God.
Romans 8:2, 9- "For the law of the Spirit of life in Christ Jesus has made me free from the law of sin and death. 9 But you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you. Now if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he is not His." Because Jesus regenerated me—I am a Free From All SLAVERY.
1 Corinthians 3:16 Do you not know that you are the temple of God and that the Spirit of God dwells in you?” Because Jesus regenerated me—I am a Temple of God.
1 Corinthians 12:27 “Now you are the body of Christ, and members individually”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am a member of Christ's Body.
2 Corinthians 1:21 “Now He who establishes us with you in Christ and has anointed us is God”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am anointed and sealed by God.
Ephesians 2:1, 10 “And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am a Divine work.
You have heard of a piece of art being an original “masterpiece” or actually painted or made by a master like Michelangelo or Da Vinci. Well—we who believe are God's Word masterpieces; we are even signed by the Author Himself!
Philippians 4:13 “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.
Colossians 1:13 He has delivered us from the power of darkness and conveyed us into the kingdom of the Son of His love”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am a Citizens of Heaven.
Colossians 2:10 “…and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am complete in Christ.
Titus 3:5 “…not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit.” Because Jesus regenerated me—I am washed, given a fresh start, and new beginning.
1 John 5:18 “We know that whoever is born of God does not sin; but he who has been born of God keeps himself, and the wicked one does not touch him”. Because Jesus regenerated me—I am born of God and the evil one cannot touch me.

START A NEW SPIRITUAL EXERCISE
If you have never tried this I’d encourage you to start a new dimension of your spiritual life by opening your gifts. Let me share with you one of the more wonderful spiritual exercises you can ever do.
As you begin each day, each month, and as we come to the end of this month—as you begin a new year, one of our greatest privileges is to open and enjoy the gift of salvation God has given to us. By faith we please God when we believe what He's said about us. We need to not live by what others say or have said about us all your life.
Satan is the Accuser and wants us to only remember all the many times we have fallen; Satan delights in the days, weeks, or months he can keep us condemning ourselves for what we've done. That is his plan, so don’t fall for it. Resist Satan as you believe the truth; speak the truth; and preach the Gospel to yourself.
And when ever we fall down, God says to just turn back to Him and repent, confessing our sin immediately--and believe that what God has promised in His salvation. We are forgiven, justified, regenerated, reconciled, adopted, redeemed, and sanctified. That makes us precious in His sight, special in His plan.
One of the most powerful habits you could grow is to take this list of the ramifications of having received the only gift everyone really needs and rejoice by faith in your great salvation!
Keep this list in your Bible, at home, on your computer, put one on your mirror where you start your day, and in your car. Where ever you need to keep reminding yourself of what great things God has promised and done through Christ's death for us!
Slowly as you understand and lay hold on these truths a life-changing transformation take place in our minds, and then in our emotions, and finally throughout our entire life as we live each day based on God’s eternal truth.

OPEN THE GIFT OF JUSTIFICATION
Because of our sin—we are all guilty convicts in God’s sight; so we need justification.
Christmas is about Jesus who died to take guilty convicts and destroy any record that that ever committed a crime and takes their place in the punishment—that’s justification! A Sinner stands before God as accused and is declared righteous by His imputed righteousness.
In Justification we go from being accused and guilty before God to being righteous and with no record of wrongs!
We need to experience what the Scriptures often declare—God has once and for all through Christ's sacrifice justified us. That means that He has accused us, declared us guilty of sin and then made us righteous and forever deleted the record of all our wrongs.
Romans 8:33-34 “Who shall bring a charge against God’s elect? It is God who justifies.34 Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.” I have been justified and by Christ justifying me and because the record has been erased —I am free forever from condemnation.
1 Corinthians 6:17 “But he who is joined to the Lord is one spirit with Him.” By Christ justifying me—I am forever united with the Lord.
Ephesians 1:4 “… just as He chose us in Him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before Him in love”. By Christ justifying me—I was chosen by Jesus to be holy and blameless in his sight.
Ephesians 2:6 “…and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus”. By Christ justifying me—I am already seated with Christ in Heaven.
Ephesians 3:12 “… in whom we have boldness and access with confidence through faith in Him”. By Christ justifying me—I can always approach God with confidence.
Colossians 3:3 “For you died, and your life is hidden with Christ in God”. By Christ justifying me—I am safely hidden with Christ in God.
Hebrews 4:15-16 “For we do not have a High Priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted as we are, yet without sin.16 Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.” By Christ justifying me—I always have His grace and help.

Thursday, March 15, 2007

Trusting God

Proverbs 3:5-6- “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all you ways acknowledge Him, and He will make your paths straight.”

This a pretty straight forward passage wouldn’t you agree?

We can trust the Lord for everything. He knows what’s going to happen, and He knows why it’s going to happen.

I’ve told several of my friends the below paragraph several times before...

“Everything happens for a reason, and though we don’t always understand it at times; everything happens to the glory of God. He has everything in control; all we need to do is trust Him, and He will get us through.”

We must realize that sometimes people will fail us and break our trust, but God isn’t like that. He never fails us, He’s always there for us, and He’ll never leave us.

What an awesome God we serve!

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Fruit Of The Spirit- Love (Part Two)

I’m continuing on looking at love based on 1 Corinthians 13. I would highly encourage you all to check out Part One of this series if you haven’t already. (They build on each other)

Verse 4: “Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.”
(In verses 4-6 you can replace the word “love” with you name.)

Love is patient...

Are you patient? If one of your siblings at home keeps making a ton of racket, or is doing something else that’s just as annoying; do you show them love by not “blowing up” in their faces?

To be completely honest with you guys, I’m not always patient with my brothers. I’m in the middle of 4 brothers and that’s enough to make anyone go insane! :)

Love is kind...

“Shut up you retard!” Ok so maybe you don’t say it like that, but we all have to deal with being kind to people. It doesn’t matter if it’s a family member, friend, or co-worker. We must show love by being kind to people.

When Jesus was preaching, hundreds of people came looking for Him. They wanted to see, hear, touch, and be healed by Jesus. Did Jesus get angry or annoyed with the people? Did He tell them to ‘go away and leave Me alone?’ No!

In fact, it was quite the opposite. He wept when Lazarus died (Luke 11:32-36), and He had compassion on the people He came in contact with and helped them to the best of His God-given abilities. (Matthew 14:14)

We as followers of Jesus Christ are called to be imitators of Him. (Ephesians 5:1) Now, I know we can’t raise people from the dead, or feed 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish. But we can show love to the family of the deceased member by giving a listening ear, or a shoulder to cry on. We can show those we come in contact with on a daily basis love too. We all have special gifts that the Lord has blessed us with; we can bless others with those gifts and show them that we care.

Love does not envy...

“That’s my car!” I hear these words every Wednesday night on our way to a Bible club at the church I attend. We usually have 8 people in the car with us on the way to and from church, and 4 of those 8 people love to look out the windows, point at a car they see on the street, and yell, “Oh yeah, that’s my car!” Of course this is followed by arguing because someone else wanted to “claim” that car. This is envy.

Envy- A feeling of discontent or resentment for someone else’s possessions or advantages (Webster’s Dictionary)

Envy is wanting something that someone else owns or has. Another word for envy is covet, and coveting is a sin. (Exodus 20:17)

How can we show love to people if we envy or covet the things they have or the accomplishments they’ve done? We can’t! It’s impossible.

Love does not boast, it is not proud...

Boastful- To speak with vanity or; to be unduly proud of; to brag; to vaunt; to praise oneself extravagantly.

If you are boastful, then you are proud.

The Bible talks a lot about pride. Since this post is already pretty long I’m only going to share with you 2 different verses in the Bible that talks about pride.

1 Peter 5:5- “Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility towards one another, because, ‘God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble.’”

Romans 12:3- “...Do not think of yourself more highly than you ought, but rather think of yourself with sober judgment, in accordance with the measure of faith God has given you.”

If you haven’t already guessed; the opposite of pride is humility.
Humility- To humble; to lover the dignity of

In John 13:1-17 we find Jesus humbling Himself and washing the disciples stinky, and disgusting feet. That’s a job of a servant not the Messiah! Yet He did it, and told us to do the same.

If we are boasting about our accomplishments and are prod about what we do; how on earth can we show love to anyone?

This is something all followers of Jesus can work on...

TO BE CONTINUED...

Galatians 6:14- “May I never boast except in the cross or our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world.”

Thursday, March 01, 2007

Fruit Of The Spirit- Love (Part One)

“But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self control. Against such there is no law.” -Galatians 5:22-23

This blog post will be about the first fruit of the Spirit...love.
The type of love this verse is talking about is the love that Jesus has for us, and the love that we should have for those around us. I’ll be basing this post on 1 Corinthians 13.

Verse 1- “If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am only a resounding gong or clanging cymbal.”

Many Christians disagree on what speaking in tongues means. From my personal study, I believe speaking in tongues means speaking in a language that you have not learned.

“When the day of Pentecost came, they were all together in one place. Suddenly a sound like the blowing of a violent wind came from heaven and filled the whole house where they were sitting. They saw what seemed to be tongues of fire that separated and came to rest on each of them. All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.” –Acts 2:1-4

The word “tongues” is a Greek word that can be translated in two different ways.
1. glossa—means languages
2. dialektos—means dialects

So in 1 Corinthians 13:1 “tongues” could be replaced with the word languages, or dialects.

We can talk all we want, but if we aren’t speaking in love we’re just making a bunch of noise. And in the end we’re most likely going to annoy someone.

Have you ever heard a gong or cymbal being hit over and over again? If you haven’t I’ll tell you this...it gets annoying after about a minute. This is how we will be if we don’t have love, or speak in love.

Proverbs 15:1a- “A gentle answer turns away wrath...”

Verse 2- “If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have faith that can move mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.”

We can be as wise as Solomon in all his splendor, and have faith like Abraham. But if we don’t have love; we are nothing, and the things we do amount to absolutely nothing.

Verse 3- “If I give all I possess to the poor and surrender my body to the flames, but have not love, I gain nothing.”

I know a lot of Roman Catholics (basically my dad’s entire family) who would give to the poor, but usually they don’t do it out of love. So what do they do it for?

Well, they might do it for two reasons...

1. They might get something out of it
2. They believe it’s the right thing to do

Now, both of these reasons are pretty self-explanatory, but let’s focus on the second reason for a few moments.

A lot of people (not just Roman Catholics) believe they should give to the poor because it’s the right thing to do. They feel obligated to do something good.

Now, I’m not saying that we shouldn’t give to the poor, and help them out when we can. As a follower of Jesus Christ, we are actually commanded throughout the Bible to help those in need. But that’s a whole different subject that I’ll have to talk about some other day.

Many “religious” people help the poor because they think it might get them into Heaven.
This type of thinking is wrong. Only saving faith will get you into Heaven.
(Check out James 2: 14-16 for the last two paragraphs.)

If we don’t act in love when we do something (whether it be giving to the poor, or helping your mom around the house; we gain nothing...

TO BE CONTINUED...

Saturday, February 24, 2007

Too Much Music

How many hours a day do we listen to music (whether it be CDs, the radio, ipod, or mp3 player)? I recently added up all the hours that I listen to music during the day and it ended up being about 10 hours a day. I was shocked! Now, I’m not saying that the music I listen to is bad and not God honoring, but it’s the fact that I listen to so much of it in a day.

How much time do we spend a day in God’s Word? For me...not nearly enough.

So I’ve come to the conclusion that
1. I’m going to cut back on my “intake” of music.
2. If I find myself having nothing to do; I’m going to use the time wisely, and read my Bible or a Christian devotional.

I would appreciate it if you (my faith readers) would keep me accountable.

Tuesday, February 20, 2007

Fear Of Witnessing

I’m taking an evangelism course called Evangelism Explosion (EE), and this last Sunday was the first On-The-Job-Training (OJT). Basically, we go out and witness to people on the streets with our team, which usually consists of 3 or 4 people.

Well, I became extremely nervous when I got into the car to go on OJT with my team. Yet, I was excited to go out and witness to people.

So on our way to the hospital, I prayed to the Lord and asked Him to take away my fear of witnessing to someone I don’t know. Immediately, I felt a sense of relief, and my fear was gone.

Later on that night, when I got back from witnessing with my team; Scripture verses kept popping into my head.

Matthew 6:34- Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.

Proverbs 3:5-6- Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He will make you paths straight.

Hebrews 13:6- ...the Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid. What can man do to me?

We don’t need to be afraid of what someone might think, say, or do to you when you go out and share the Gospel with them. If it’s the Lord’s will that they be saved; He’ll soften their hearts, and they’ll hear and receive the Word of the Lord.

Saturday, February 17, 2007

A Wise Saying And Then Some

2 of my best friends came over this weekend, and this morning while we were all reading our Bibles; Amy wrote something down on a piece of paper, and read it to us. I found it very encouraging and asked if I could post it on my blog.

Here’s what she said...

“Pain is a beautiful thing that is hidden in the midst of our suffering. It brings out the worst in us and the also the best in us which isn’t really the best. It sharpens us or deadens us. It is our choice in how it will influence us. We must choose to either ignore it our learn from it. Jesus promises me that “He will never leave me or forsake me.” He is so worthy of my love, but I am so unworthy of His. Oh God, please soften this hard heart of mine. Make me like You. Wash me and cleanse me from this double-minded life. Show me Your ways. Lead me in the way of salvation. Open my eyes so I may see wonderful words from Your law. Please take the tension and fear away and replace it with peace. “For You are my God and I will only serve You.’”
Your daughter,
Amy Lesh


Well, on another note, Today I’m officially 17. Yipee!

I’ve been looking over this past year, and I’ve seen how much God Almighty has changed me. In June, I fell away from the Lord, and got into some really bad things that I wish I hadn’t done. A few months later I asked God why those things had happened to me. I then remembered a wise saying that I had heard before. “Everything happens for a reason, and to the glory of God even when we don’t understand it.” (not exact quote)

Not that long after, a friend of mine emailed me and told me he had tried to commit suicide. Later on, 2 other friends either called or emailed me and told me they too had tried to commit suicide. I was able to encourage all three of those people in the Lord during their time pain and suffering. I did not do it on my own accord; the Lord helped me.

Sometimes things happen to us that we don’t understand, but God has a reason for all that does happen. And it’s to His Glory.

Wednesday, February 14, 2007

The Modesty Survey


The Modesty Survey written by the Rebelution is finally up. I’d encourage everyone reading this blog post to check it out.
What’s the Modesty Survey?

“The Modesty Survey is an exciting, anonymous discussion between Christian guys and girls who care about modesty. Hundreds of Christian girls contributed to the 148-question survey and over 1,600 Christian guys submitted 150,000+ answers, including 25,000 text responses, over a 20-day period in January 2007.” -The Rebelution

For the girls: I’d encourage you all to check out what the Christian guys from all over the world think about how we dress. Tell your friends and family to check it out too. (Especially if they’re Christians who want to please God with what they wear.)
To the guys: If you didn’t get a chance to be apart of the Modesty Survey don’t worry. The Rebelution has a petition that you can check out at the Rebelution. (scroll down till you see The Petition) I’d encourage you guys to tell your sisters in Christ to check out the Modesty Survey.
(I’ll be posting my regular blog posts starting tomorrow. Please check back later on for the next posting. Thanks!)

Oh! By the way, happy V-day from your sister in Christ!

Saturday, February 10, 2007

God Is Closer Then You Think

At 8:00 this morning, I found myself sitting in a classroom full of teenagers.
I’m home schooled; so why was I in a class with a bunch of kids my age?

I was taking the ACT, and I was nervous as can be. I’ve never done well on tests before no matter how long I study. My mind seems to go blank every time.

So here I sat in chair 3. My heart was pounding as I look around the classroom till at last my eyes came upon a piece of paper on the tack board. It said this... “God is closer then you think.”
I smiled and let out a sigh of relief. Thanks, Lord! I thought.

So for the next 4 hours, I diligently worked on the test. Every time I felt a new wave of fear come over me; I just remembered that little saying on the wall, and thanked the Lord.

God is closer then you think.

What a very true statement! He is closer then we think and sometimes realize. In fact, He never leaves us. There’s a verse in the Bible that says, “I will never leave you, nor forsake you.” He’ll never leave us (even when we do wrong) because He loves us too much. (John 3:16)

Wednesday, February 07, 2007

Sin and God's Love

What is sin? That’s a question that many people ask in the world around us.

In one of my homeschool courses, there was a quote by Susannah Wesley, the mother of John and Charles Wesley printed on one of the pages. She answers the question of what is sin very well. She said this, “Whatever weakens your reason, impairs the tenderness of you conscience, obscures your sense of God, or takes your relish for spiritual things – that is sin to you.”

Sin is not just things like murdering someone, lying, or stealing. Not to say those aren’t sins because they are definitely sins, but sin is anything that displeases God or is a transgression against His law.

When you do something that you know you aren’t supposed to do then it’s sin. There are many things we do in just one day that we know we shouldn’t do but we do it anyway. Maybe it’s watching a bad show on TV, or checking out a site on the internet that you shouldn’t. These are called sins of commission.

Sins of omission are things that we know we should do, but don’t. These can include things like failing to read our Bible and praying, not truly loving those around us (our neighbors), and so on.

So why do we sin? It’s nature. We were born that way. It all started about 6 thousand years ago when Adam and Eve first sinned. Their sin separated them from God, and since we are descendants of Adam and Eve; we also sin.

“...Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool.” (Isaiah 1:18) “But God demonstrates His own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8)

Praise the Lord that He loves us so much that He would die for us! All we have to do is freely accept His free gift of Salvation. For those of us who have already done this; are sins were once like scarlet, and now they are as white as snow.

Can I get a praise God to that?

Friday, February 02, 2007

Truly Needing God

I’ve heard many people over the years who have said that they don’t need God. That they can survive on their own. I know I’ve done this plenty of times, but you know something? We can’t survive on our own. If it weren’t for God keeping His hand on this little planet we call home, Earth would practically destroy itself.

Think about it. A few thousand years ago, God took His hand off of Earth for 40 days and 40 nights and what happened? A catastrophic Flood wiped out all but 8 people and a few animals that God saved.

We can do nothing without the Lord. If it weren’t for the Lord we mortal humans wouldn’t even remember to breathe.

Without the Lord; there would be no hope. If there was no God, then when we die that’s it. There would be no life after death. There would be no Heaven or Hell. We would just die and turn to dust. Everything we did on Earth would have no meaning.

But praise the Lord, there’s hope! Jesus Christ is our hope. He died on the cross to pay the penalty for our sins and purchased a place in Heaven for us. Unfortunately, though, not many people know of this hope that we have.

Why?

Because we who have it aren’t sharing it with others! That to me is a very sad situation. We have the best gift that anyone ever needs, and we just hide it. We all know someone who doesn’t have this free gift; whether it is a friend, family member, or just an acquaintance. How very sad it will be when your friends or family stand before God and they don’t have their name written in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

The truth of the whole matter is we can’t survive without the Lord, and neither can your friends or family.

So what are we going to do about it?

Thursday, February 01, 2007

An Explanation And News

First off, I believe I owe you guys an explanation as to why I haven’t been posting any blogs on Revitalize Our Youth. Besides from the fact that I’ve been extremely busy; I tried to do things on my own without God concerning this blog.

I was reading in my Bible this morning when I got up, and I just couldn’t seem to get anything out of it. Nothing was sticking out to me. “What’s going on? Why am I not getting anything out of my Bible this morning?” A little voice in the back of my head said, “ You can do nothing without Me.”

I then realized that I had sinned. I wanted to do whatever I wanted. I wasn’t praying to God and asking for His guidance. I was in the wrong, and I need to ask you, my faithful readers, to forgive me.

Now, back on schedule...

Dakota Fanning....
Apparently, “Hound Dog” didn’t make as big a hit at the Sundance festival as was previously expected. In fact, it is being trashed by the early reviewers. Praise God!

I encourage all of you not to spend your money on this movie, if it gets out in theatres, and to continue to pray, and spread awareness. You can check out more about Dakota Fanning on Kingdom Advancer's blog. (Unfortunately, my computer won't let me put his link on my blog. Sorry about that Kingdom Advancer.) Here's his blog site... www.kingdomadvancing.blogspot.com.

Tuesday, January 30, 2007

Just Some News

A few things are or will be happening this week that I wanted to inform you guys about.
1. I plan on writing another blog post about the movie "Hound Dog" until then check out Kingdom Advancing for updates. I've become pretty busy with my school and studying for the ACT, so it might take a few days.
2. I'm also writing a book called "Overcoming the Pain". It's my autobiography about how Jesus Christ changed me in an awesome way. I would appreciate your prayers concerning this. I truly think that it's the Lord's will for me to do this.
3. I've started up something new for this blog. Prayer requests. Prayer is an awesome thing. In the past 3 months or so; I've seen God answer many prayer requests, from knowing if God wants me to write "Overcoming the Pain" to hearing from a friend who had walked away from God, and is starting on the long journey of healing. We serve an awesome God!
Basically, if you have prayer requests or praise reports that you would like fellow Christians who visit this blog (including me) to pray for; please email me. Thanks!

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Prayer As A Part Of Our Lives




I’ve recently been studying the Gospel of Luke during my quiet time with the Lord, and I came across this verse that really made me think.

“One of those days, Jesus went out to a mountainside to pray, and spent the night praying to God.” -Luke 6:12

A normal person sleeps about 8 hours a night. Jesus spent at least 8 hours praying to the God of the universe that night. And I don’t believe this was some repetitious prayer that so many people repeat from memory.

How much time do we spend praying to the one who loves us so much that He died on the cross for us? I’d have to say that I don’t do it nearly enough.

Another thing that strikes me is the fact that He went to a lonely mountainside to pray. He went alone; no followers, no friends, no teachers of the Law, nobody. It was just Him and God; no distractions.

How many times do we as true followers of Jesus get distracted with all the noise around us? For most of us (including me) the answer is a lot. We tend to start praying then all of a sudden we hear something that catches our attention, and Jesus is forgotten. And then maybe a few hours later we remember that we never finished praying. “Oops, sorry, God. I won’t do that next time.” But odds are we probably will.

“When He (the Lamb of God) had taken it (the scroll), the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incenses, which are the prayers of the saints.” –Revelation 5:8

Focus on the last part of that verse for a moment. “...golden bowls full on incenses, which are the prayers of the saints.”

God loves us so much that when we pray to Him; He puts our prayers in a golden bowl. Our prayers must be really precious to Him if He does that with them.
Prayer isn’t just a quick thing you say before a meal, or bed. It’s a communication with God Almighty. He talks to us through His word (the Bible), and we talk to Him through prayer.
So why can’t we spend more than 5 or 10 minutes talking to Him, but we can spend hours talking to our friends?

He loved us enough to die for us. We can show our appreciation and love by spending more time in prayer with Him.

Monday, January 22, 2007

Homosexuality and The Bible

Yesterday, as I was getting ready for church, I was thinking about a question that I just had to answer. The question was, “Did Jesus ever talk about homosexuality, and how it is wrong?” I immediately wanted to say “yes”. But how can I prove that it’s wrong, and that Jesus Himself said it was wrong?

Well, I continued to think about it till at last I figured out the answer. The answer is yes. Homosexuality according to the Bible (God’s holy and perfect word) is absolutely wrong. I also found out that Jesus did say it was wrong; a sin in fact.
I’m going to take you step-by-step, and show you how I came to this conclusion.

1. God said it was wrong in the Old Testament. The Lord spoke to Moses saying... “Do not lie with a man as with a woman; that is detestable.” -Leviticus 18:22
In the Dictionary, detest or detestable means hate. So in other words God said He hates it when someone one did this.

2. Jesus and God are one. In other words, they are the same. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.” -John 1:1
Since the word Word is capitalized in the Bible; it means it’s a name for Jesus. So “In the beginning was Jesus, and Jesus was with God, and Jesus was God.”

3. Jesus said that homosexuality is wrong. If Jesus and God are one, then it was also Jesus who said that lying with a man as with a woman is detestable.
Jesus never changes. “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday and today and forever.” –Hebrews 13:8 This verse could also be translated that Jesus is the same in the past, present, and future. So is Jesus said in the past that homosexuality is wrong, then it’s still wrong today and forever.

There is consequences when commits this sin. Many people will tell you there isn’t, but the Bible says there is. “Because of this, God gave them over to shameful lusts. Even their women exchanged natural relations for unnatural ones. In the same way, the men also abandoned natural relations with women and were inflamed with lust with one another. Men committed indecent acts with other men, and received the due penalty for their perversions.” –Romans 1:26-27

The due penalty is diseases like AIDS, Herpes, Syphilis, and Chlamydia.

“The body is not meant for sexual immorality, but for the Lord, and the Lord for the body. You were bought at a price. There honor God with your body.” -1 Corinthians 6:13b, 20

Check out the latest updates about Dakota Fanning and the movie "Hound Dog" on Kindom Advancing.

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Modesty

Modesty. It’s a word that the world today has practically done away with. It’s been discarded and “wear whatever you feel lie wearing; whether it’s modest or not” has replaced it.
In our society today, men and woman both fall for the trap of immodestly that has been laid before them.
Girls all over the world wear next to nothing. 16-year-old girls walk around in clothing that look like they were originally made for 12-year-olds.
And guys of all ages go around wearing pants that look like they’re about to fall off. They show off their Spongebob Squarepants boxers with their pants down to their knees. Personally, I have absolutely no desire to see that, and I’m sure Christian guys don’t want to see 12-year-olds clothing on a girl who is 16.
Now, I know that not everyone dresses like the world. Unfortunately, though, those of us who want to please God with the way we dress are the minority. The vast majority of the world dress in an immodest fashion.
“So what? Everyone dresses this way.” Well, let me ask you this...if everyone jumped off a bridge would you follow suit? “Give me a break! It’s just fashion!” Just fashion huh? Well, if wearing skin-tight clothing, or next to nothing is fashion, then I don’t want to have anything to do with it!
My brothers and sisters in Christ, we cannot conform to the world’s standards of how we should dress. We must stand up for what is right.
Recently, I’ve been checking out a blogsite called The Rebelution. They’ve put on a modesty survey and I would encourage you all (both girls and guys) to check it out. Basically, Alex and Brett Harris the creators of The Rebelution have started this modesty survey. Girls from all over the world ask questions about modesty and Christian guys from all over have the opportunity to answer those questions. I’d encourage everyone reading this post to go to The Rebelution, and check out the modesty survey.
Also, please continue to pray for Dakota Fanning, her family, and the whole situation that they are in.

Friday, January 19, 2007

Dakota Fanning in "Hound Dog"


I recently read a post by a fellow blogger named Kingdom Advancer. In his most recent post he talked about a controversial movie called “Hound Dog” starring a 12-year-old girl named Dakota Fanning.
I felt compelled to also write a blog post concerning this inappropriate film.
Basically, the movie is about this little girl who throughout the entire movie is sexually abused by her father. Later on in the film she was apparently raped.
This is not even right! No 12-year-old girl should have to simulate having sex with some guy. It’s just sickening. “This movie makes Brittany Spears look like an angel.” –Betty
To make matters worse, Dakota’s parents have approved the role that she plays in the film “Hound Dog”.
Let me ask you a question...What parent in their right mind would allow such an indecent thing happen to their child when they claim that they love them?
The movie “Hound Dog” is set to come out during next weeks “Sundance Film Festival”
I completely agree with Kingdom Advancer concerning the actions that must be taken. 1. Don’t buy, see, or rent the movie. All these producers want is money. Why give then the satisfaction? 2. pray that God’s will would be done, and that if it is His will this movie would be an utter and complete failure. Pray for the entire Fanning family, and pray that if this movie gets out; that no one will fall for the trap that has been laid. 3. Tell your Christian friends about this film. Show people (in a loving way) how sinful and destructive this film is.

Thursday, January 18, 2007

A Few Questions

This blog post is going to be extremely shorter than my normal ones this time. What I wanted to do for this post is ask you guys questions that I’d like you to think about.
These question are something that I’ve had on my mind for a few months now. I’d like to for warn you that these questions might offend you. If you are easily offended then please don’t read the following questions. Thank you.





Do you find yourself judging newcomers at church just because they look different from you?

Would you rather read a book, watch something on the TV, or surf the net instead of reading and studying God’s word?

Do you go to church to worship God, or just to hang out with you’re friends?

Do you thank God for the good things in life as well as the bad?

Are you afraid to share Jesus with your non Christian friends because they might make fun of you?

If someone who knows you’re a Christian comes up to you and said that you’re dressing immodestly or inappropriately; would you be willing to change how you dress?

Do you do everything as unto the Lord?

Do you find it easier to hate someone or forgive them when they say or do something to you?

Is personal Bible reading and prayer a part of your daily schedule?

If God asked you right now to give up everything you own and follow Him; would you?

Wednesday, January 17, 2007

Age Doesn't Matter


How many times have you felt like you couldn’t do something God wanted you to do because of your age? Have you ever felt like you were too young? I know I have. Maybe you thought something like, “I can’t do that, Lord. I’m just a kid. I don’t have enough experience.”

Though out the Bible, God used people who’s hearts were turned towards Him; regardless of age.

When Goliath challenged the Israelites and God; the Lord sent a young boy named David to kill the giant. (1 Samuel 17) Why him? Because his heart was turned towards the things of God.

God called a child named Jeremiah to be the mouth (so to speak) of the Lord. (Jeremiah 1:6-8) Why Jeremiah? Because his heart was turned to God.

Mary, the mother of Jesus, was a young girl who God used in a mighty way. When God wanted to send His only begotten Son to the earth; He used Mary. God Almighty used Mary because her heart was turned towards Him. (Luke 1:26-28)

In the Gospel of John, it is recorded that a young boy gave his lunch of five loaves and two fish to Jesus Christ. Jesus took those loaves and fish, and fed 5,000 people with them. Why was the boy used? Because his heart was on God.

Do you see the pattern?

“Don’t let anyone look down on you because you are young, but set an example for the believers in speech, in life, in love, in faith and in purity.” -1 Timothy 4:12

God doesn’t car if you’re young. If your heart is on Him (like the young people I mentioned in this post) then He will use you.

Tuesday, January 16, 2007

Thankfulness

What are you thankful for?
The Bible talks a lot about being thankful. Psalm 100 and Psalm 107 are just two different chapters in the Bible about thankfulness. There are several more.
A lot of times when I ask ‘what are you thankful for?’ I get the standard answer of ‘I don’t know’.
In our culture, we are bombarded by commercials, billboards, movies, etc. telling us that we need more stuff to be happy when in reality, we need the Lord Jesus Christ. Jesus is the only one who can fill that void in our hearts. No amount of “stuff” will fill it.
What a radical change there could be if everyone in America would just stop chasing after more stuff, and be thankful for what they have.
The United States of America has truly been blessed by the Lord. We have one thing that virtually no other country has, but greatly desires. That one thing is called Freedom.
Our nation has way more than the average person in most if not all the other countries. Yet we are always looking for more.
Why is that?
The answer is pretty simple really. It’s lack of contentment. Our nation is very ungrateful. Most Americans do not stop and thank God for what He has given them.
I know I haven’t always been thankful, but you know, when we are thankful for what God has given us (whether it be our toothbrush or our car); our whole outlook on life drastically changes. Instead of chasing after more stuff; you find yourself chasing after what really matters, and that’s God Almighty.
“Do not store up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy, and where thieves break in and steal. But store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven, where moth and rust do not destroy, and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” –Matthew 6:19-21
Nothing here on earth is going to last. It will all vanish away, but everything that’s laid up in Heaven (the things that have true value) will never vanish away.
God didn’t have to give us anything. He doesn’t owe us one thing. The truth of the matter is that we owe Him everything.
So why did He give us these things?
Because He loves us! It’s written throughout the entire Bible. It started way back in the beginning when God created man and woman in His own image. (Genesis 1:27)
They sinned against God, but because He loved them; He didn’t kill them where they stood. God clothed them and sent them out of the garden. But He was still with them. He watched over them to the day they died.
The greatest show of love was when He sent His only begotten Son to pay the penalty for our sins. (John 3:16-17) Jesus was born of a virgin, lived a perfect life, willing died on the cross for our sins, and rose from the grave three days later defeating sin and death.
I’d say that’s something to be thankful about!
The last point that I want to bring up is that thankfulness (the act of being thankful) is a choice.
You have the God-given ability to choose whether you are going to be thankful for what you have, or ungrateful and wanting what you don’t have.
It’s a choice we all have to make. Being thankful is not a choice we make once then forget about it; it’s one we must make everyday of our lives.
So what do you choose?

Monday, January 15, 2007

Not Ashamed Of The Gospel

(not ashamed)

“I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.”
-Romans 1:16

I recently read this verse in my quiet time with the Lord, and I had to ask myself, “am I ashamed of the Gospel? Am I willing to get out there and proclaim Jesus among my non Christian friends?” The Holy Spirit within me said “yes”, but my flesh said “no way!”
It’s a spiritual battle. As a true follower of Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit within us says, “I can do everything though Him (Christ) who give me strength.” (Philippians 4:13) Yet our flesh tells us, “What if they laugh at you? What if they don’t listen? You can’t go tell them; you’re not smart enough.”
The Holy Spirit and our flesh are constantly at war with each other.
Let me ask you a question...
Are you ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? In other words, are you afraid to go tell you’re friends at school or work about the Lord Jesus Christ?
Let me tell you something...we don’t need to fear when we are on Jesus’ side.
There are Christians all over the world today who die just because they preach the Gospel of Jesus Christ. You know, all these people have one thing in common. They feared God more than the feared man. “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.”
-Matthew 10:28

I am not ashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ. Why am I unashamed of the Gospel? Because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes; first for the Jew, then for the Gentile.
I have a Bible study at my church every Wednesday. Well, my leader was sharing with us some things on witnessing. One of the things she said was this, “We don’t need to be afraid when we go out and witness because if it is the Lord’s will that they hear the Gospel, then they will.” *(not exact wording)*
It is only by the power and grace of God that any of us are saved. So with this in mind, we don’t need to ashamed of the Gospel.

Sunday, January 14, 2007

Forgive and Move On

Recently a friend of mine walked away from the Lord. This person stopped coming to church, and stopped answering anyone’s emails from church.
A few of my friends and I began to wonder if Anonymous was alright. This happened back in November.
Well, a few days ago I received an email from Anonymous. In that email, Anonymous told me how much they hated me, how I need to leave them alone, and how ugly I was.
I’d be lying if I said that Anonymous’ words didn’t hurt me, but it was the words they didn’t say that hurt more. What I mean by that is that I read the unwritten words between the lines. The words that say, “I’ve walked away from God, I don’t care what He says, and I want to do whatever I feel like doing!”
Well, later on that night I was praying to God and asking Him what I should do concerning Anonymous’ words. These are some verses that came to mind....
“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God. Everyone who loves has been born of God and knows God. Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another. We love because He first loved us. If anyone says, “I love God,” yet hates his brother, he is a liar. For anyone who does not love his brother, whom he has seen, cannot love God, whom he has not seen. And He has given us this command: Whoever loves God must also love his brother.” - 1 John 4:7, 11, 19-21
I need to love Anonymous just as God loves us. I also need to continue to pray for them too.
A few days later, I had another friend say that they would probably beat up Anonymous because of the emails that I received.
I told them if I took to heart every mean and cruel word ever said to me; I’d be a very bitter person.
You see, God wants us to forgive and pray for those who do and say cruel things to us.
Ask yourself, what would Jesus do?
Did Jesus get mad and hit back when the guards slapped and beat Him before He was crucified? No!
Did Jesus hold a grudge against the Pharisees when they spread lies about Him? No!
What did He do? He forgave and prayed for them.
Now that love!
Jesus never said the Christian walk was going to be easy. In fact, He said that the world would persecute us because they persecuted Him. John 15:20b- “...If they persecute Me, they will persecute you also...”
We as true believers in Christ need to forgive and move on when people hurt us and say cruel things to us just like Jesus did.
That’s love.

Thursday, January 11, 2007

Walk The Talk

If you’re going to talk the talk; you had better walk the walk.

You all have probably heard this saying (or something along those lines) before. But did you know that a lot of Christians don’t walk what they talk? (Or they just don’t care)
I know I haven’t always done what I talk. In fact, one time I had been talking to a dear friend of mine about the importance of Bible study. About half way through my sentence; I stopped. I realized at that moment that I was being very hypocritical. I was telling this person that it is important to have a daily quiet time with God, and here I was not putting aside time with God on a daily basis.
Later on when I had gone home that night; I prayed to God and asked Him to forgive me. I also asked Him to help me do what was right, starting with having a daily quiet time with the Lord.
That was about 8 months ago. There are days when I don’t start the day off right by not reading my Bible, and I feel absolutely horrible about it. But now it has come to a point that when I realize that I haven’t read my Bible; I stop with whatever I’m doing and read my Bible. I don’t do it because I feel like I have too; I do it because I want too.
We are being very hypocritical if we say one thing, yet do the complete opposite.
I like how Paul puts it in his letter to the Romans. “You, then, who teach others, do you not teach yourself? You who preach against stealing, do you steal? You who say that people should not commit adultery, do you commit adultery? You who abhor idols, do you rob temples? You brag about the law, do you dishonor God by breaking the law?” Romans 2: 21-23
I don’t know about you, but I find that very convicting!
The Bible is very clear about what God thinks about hypocrisy.
Isaiah 1: 10-15—“Hear the word of the Lord, you rulers of Sodom; listen to the law of our God, you people of Gomorrah! ‘The multitude of your sacrifices- what are they to me?’ says the Lord. ‘I have more than enough of burnt offerings, or rams and the fat of fattened animals; I have no pleasure in the blood of bulls and lambs and goats. When you come to appear before Me, who has asked this of you, this trampling of My courts? Stop bringing meaningless offerings! Your incense is detestable to Me. New Moons, Sabbaths and convocations- I cannot bear your evil assemblies. Your New Moon festivals and your appointed feasts My soul hates. They have become a burden to Me; I am weary of bearing them. When you spread out your hands in prayer, I will hide My eyes from you; even if you offer many prayers, I will not listen. Your hands are full of blood;’”
Now that’s a sobering thought! The Lord hates it when we act like hypocrites. It tells us so in those verses.
But He offers forgiveness to all those who willingly come to Him and ask.
“Wash and make yourselves clean. Take your evil deeds out of My sight! Stop doing wrong, learn to do right! Seek justice, encourage the oppressed. Defend the cause of the fatherless, plead the case of the widow. Come now, let us reason together, says the Lord. Though your sins are like scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall be like wool. If you are willing and obedient, you will eat the best from the land; but if you resist and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword. From the mouth of the Lord has spoken” –Isaiah 1:16-20
No sin is too hard for God to cleanse. Whether it’s being hypocritical or lying; He can make you as white as snow.
It’s your choice. Serve God or serve yourself...what are you going to do?

Tuesday, January 09, 2007

Life After Death


Please read the song lyrics and then scroll down to read my post.
“Life After Death” KJ-52 lyrics

I rolled out the bed as the alarm started going off
rubbed my head with my arm it was the crack of dawn
I’m late fo work and I really just hate my job
I kissed my wife good-bye and then I walk across the lawn
got in the car out the driveway and I’m riding on the road by the mall
past the highway that I’m flying on but
it slows to crawl cause some guy was just driving wrong
and I’m getting mad cuz I wonder why it's going on
get out the way I just scream as I’m driving on
I hate my day and this way that it started off
I change lanes and I thought that I was pulling onto
the main lane but just then I saw this green Honda
it straight came next thing it was the window shattered
felt a great pain my body being bruised and battered
it all changed went black and I knew I had it
I coughed blood breathed my last breath that was it

Chorus

what ya gonna do when there's no time left?
what ya gonna do when ya take ya last step?
what ya gonna do when ya breathe ya last breath
out ya chest and find out that there's life after death? (x2)
next thing I know everything just got real quiet
I opened my eyes to my surprise now it's real silent
I realized I had died now it's my judgment
I’m standing before the Most High now and all of the sudden
He said to me, "Why should I let you into My heaven?"
I told God, "Well really I’m a good person."
He showed my life and all the times now that I was sinning
every line to every curse to every bad decision
from every lie to every word there was nothing hidden
He showed how Christ died and with my life and that I’d killed Him
He showed me time after time how I’d reject Him
I never cared about the sacrifice God had given
I never cared about my life or the way I lived it
and now I’ve died and it's too late to be forgiven
guilty of my crime I’m sentenced to eternal prison
it's dark, I’m alone, I feel my flesh burning

CHORUS

I rolled out the bed as the alarm started going off
I scratch my head and then I yawned it was the crack of dawn
I’m praying and I’m thanking God that I got my job
I kissed my wife good-bye then I walked across the lawn
got in the car out the driveway and I’m riding on the road by the mall
past the highway that I’m driving on but
it slows to crawl cause some guy was just driving wrong
but I’m not mad I just wonder why it's going on
I use the time to pray for my family now and for my mom
I’m thanking God for the way my day had started off
I change lanes and I thought that I was pulling onto
the main lane but doesn't that guy see my green Honda?
it straight came next thing it was the window shattered
felt a great pain my body being bruised and battered
it all changed went black and I knew I had it
I coughed blood breathed my last breath that was it

CHORUS

next thing I know everything just got real quiet
I opened my eyes to my surprise now it's real silent
I realized I had died now it's my judgment
I’m standing before the Most High now and all of the sudden
He said to me, "Why should I let you into My heaven?"
I told God, "I never was a good person."
He showed my life and all the times now that I was sinning
every line to every curse to every bad decision
from every lie to every word there was nothing hidden
He showed how His Son died and with my life and that I’d killed Him
but He showed the time I chose Christ and I didn't reject Him
He showed the time when I took the love that God had given
He tried to serve thru my life whenever I lived it
and now I’ve died but I thank God that I’m forgiven
He wiped the tears from my eyes as I cried and thanked Him
cuz forever I’m gonna be with Him just in Heaven

CHORUS

This song talks about two different types of people. The first person represents the non-believer. He does what the world does.
The second person is the one who truly follows Jesus. You can see the difference in his life when he doesn’t overreact while driving on the road. Instead of getting angry he just prays.
The person who does not surrender his life to Jesus will be almost exactly like the first person in the song. He or she will one day die and stand before God for their judgment.
What a sad day that will be when those who thought they could get into Heaven by doing good things and being a good person find out that just being a good person doesn’t cut it. Since they didn’t accept Jesus they will be cast into Hell which is the second death. (Revelation 21:8)
On the other hand, the one who truly follows Jesus will one day die and go to Heaven where he or she will worship the Lord forever. The true followers will find out that there’s life after death.
My only question for you is this...
Which of the two types of people are you?

Monday, January 08, 2007

Beyond The Surface




Please read the song lyrics and then scroll down to see my post.
“Beyond The Surface” -Kutless

I've been hiding
Hiding for so long
Right behind my digital mask
I've been trying to be someone I'm not
All these perfectly fake people
Push us to insane ideals
They're nothing more than counterfeit images

That push me away
To bleed out the pain
Don't you dare to make another move

Put the knife away
That's not what anybody needs
There's a better way
Than everything now that you see
Stop comparing who you are
To who you want to be
Let's step out beyond the surface

Don't give in to everything
The world around tells you to be
Open up your mind release your self
Stop the lying stop comparing who you are to what you see
Never letting fear hold back the change

And push you away
To bleed out the pain
Don't you dare to make another move

Put the knife away
That's not what anybody needs
There's a better way
Than everything now that you see
Stop comparing who you are to who you want to be
And step out beyond the surface

Put the knife away
That's not what anybody needs
There's a better way
Than everything now that you see
Stop comparing who you are to who you want to be
And step out beyond the surface

I’m going to be talking about something that at least one percent of the population does.1 It’s called cutting.
Cutting is an addictive, self-inflicted habit that literally thousands of people struggle with every single day of their lives.
Cutting temporarily eases the emotional pain that they are going through. Reverting to cutting yourself can be caused by to much emotional stress. For instance, you never fit in with anyone. They tease and pick on you saying things like, “You’re useless, you can’t do anything right, you’re stupid, and ugly.”(There are several other things that can spur on inflicting wounds on yourself. I’ve just chosen this one as an example.)

Leviticus 19:28- Co not cut you’re bodies for the dead or put tattoo marks on yourself. I am the Lord.”

Right there in that verse it tells us that cutting is wrong. It’s a sin.
Let me explain...anything we do that the Lord doesn’t like is a sin. So with that in mind, if the Lord tells us not to cut your body yet we do it anyway, then we are sinning. But by God’s matchless grace, we can be forgiven if we humbly come before the Lord and ask Him to forgive us. Matthew 7:7-8-- Ask and it will be give to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
It doesn’t just stop there though. You see, after you ask for God’s forgiveness, you have to change. If you ask for forgiveness and then go right back to what you were doing in the first place; then it’s like slapping God in the face and saying “I don’t want what you have to offer me!”
Some of you may be thinking right now, “It’s just too hard! How on earth can I do something like this when it seems so impossible? Well, I have a news flash for you, nothing is impossible with God’s help! Philippians 4:13- “I can do everything through Him who gives me strength.”
I’m not saying at all that change will be easy (for change is never easy), but with a little bit of faith, the Lord’s help, and prayer you can be an overcomer.




1. taken from www.bergen.org/AMST/pc/selfhurt/Statistics.html