Saturday, August 29, 2015

Philippians 2:3

"Don't be selfish; don't try to impress others. Be humble, thinking of others as better than yourselves."

don't be selfish. Being selfish is a strong word. Selfish-lacking consideration for others. That's a good definition. Have you shared with someone today? Anything at all? Maybe even for the most selfish people, how about a smile? Did you share that? I may be wrong in what I say, but my house is located, in my opinion, the most selfish place on earth. This is my first time out of the states, and I could care less about going back. You want to know my definition of America- self-centered, cocky, think about themselves, selfish, lazy, and only put themselves first. That's my definition of America, my opinion, but who cares about my opinion? Honestly? It's not about me, it's about you. The person to your right and your left. Instead of asking, have you shared with someone today, ask in a way Jesus would, have you loved someone today? Have you shared your love today? That's a big question too. Have you humbled yourself today and put someone before. Did you help pay for someone's groceries? Even though you are going to be late for work, did you help the older gentlemen put his lid on his coffee cup? Do you know what Jesus did with His disciples the night before He was crucified? He had loved others. He loved others. He put Himself lower than the dirt on the bottom of His disciples feet. He got down on His hands and knees and washed his disciples feet in a bowl. All twelve of them. Do you know what He did next? I had just stated it. He loved you and I with a full heart, and went to the cross. He died for you and I so that we can spend eternity in heaven with Him. It's difficult thinking of others as better than yourself. It's hard to swallow your pride. I've gone down that road more than once, and it flat out hurts. It feels like swallowing rose bush thorns. Being prideful is going to cause your brother to stumble. That's another big word, pride. It means to have a feeling or pleasure or satisfaction derived from ones own achievement. Have you had your piece of humble pie today as Kelli would say. I ask myself that almost every day. And on some days, I haven't had my piece of pie, and when I do, I can tell you that that piece of pie is disgusting. But every time I bring myself to swallow every last crumb of that pie, I would like to say that God is giving me a round of applause. I'm not perfect and I'm one of the biggest sinners in the world. To be prideful, Psalm 138:6, "though the Lord is on high, yet He regards the lowly; but the proud He knows from afar." To be selfish, James 3:16, "for where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there." For this week I will write on a notecard and place it above my bed these two versus to remind myself to put others before me. 

Friday, August 21, 2015

Versus to memorize

Philippians 1:21 
For me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.

Matthew 5:8
Blessed are the pure in heart: for they shall see God.

1 Peter 3:12
For the eyes of the Lord are over the righteous, and His ears are open unto their prayers.

2 Corinthians 4:1
"Therefore, since we have this ministry, as we have received mercy, we do not lose heart."

Ephesians 2:10
For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.

Psalm 18:2
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

Psalm 19:2
Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge.

Galatians 6:3
For if anyone thinks himself to be something, when he is nothing he deceives himself.

John 14:19

"A little while longer and the world will see Me no more, but you will see Me. Because I live, you will live also."

when Jesus says that you, meaning I, will see Him, gives me joy. Everyday, I see Him all around me. His love that He has poured out to me. Every where I look, I see His love for me. The nature around me, the creation of all things, the gifts that He has given me for everyday use. Isaiah 51:13, "and you forget the Lord your Maker, who stretched out the heavens and laid the foundations of the earth..." The world forgets that God created all and gave all, and loved all. The world doesn't see God for the God He is. He poured out His love for us, and does every day. It hurts to see how cruel people are to one another and how unappreciated people are. I hate to say this but people in first world countries seem to be like that the most. God gives us so much, and so many can't say so much as a simple thank you. Of those that live in first world countries have it made for them. Plates made out of gold, beds made with heat and cold switches, toilets made out of silver, cars that cost so much that they could buy an entire country. It makes me sick knowing that I live in a country like that with people that surround me as such, and it's hard for them to reach out and say thank you or to donate a little. I have been in the potters field program just under six weeks and when I get back home for a couple days between Guatemala and my field location, I can tell you that there is going to be quite a bit that I'm getting rid of and a lot more that I'm going to be thankful for. Just to be thankful for having a meal three times a day, for having a different pair of clothes on my back everyday, to have shoes to protect my feet everyday. It breaks my heart knowing that there are hundreds of thousands of kids out there that get a meal every three days, and it's not even a nutritional meal. Psalm 100, "make a joyful shout to the Lord, all you lands! Serve the Lord with gladness; come before His presence with singing. Know that the Lord, He is God; it is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; we are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the Lord is good; His mercy is everlasting, and His truth endures to all generations." God has given me everything that I have today. He has provided me with more than I need and I can't be thankful enough. I'm glad that He says that I will see Him. I'm glad that I allowed Him into my heart. He has opened my eyes to so much. "Because I live, you will live also." John 11:25, "I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me shall never die." That just blows my mind. "He who believes in Me, shall not perish but have everlasting life." John 3:16. Ooo boy, I'm excited. Not only do I get the privilege of glorifying God and being given great love, I get to spend eternity with Him. I'm excited! "For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord." Is stated in Romans 6:23. He gave us a gift to be born again, to be saved, have everlasting life with God in heaven, and to have rich love poured out to us every day. How do you not say yes. Because He lives, I will live also, in His name. He has given me life, love, kindness, mercy, grace, all of the above. I sin and He still loves me. I deserve to be condemned to hell but He says I don't belong here on earth but in heaven by His side. I have nothing to give except for my life, which His has given His. He deserves my life and a big 'ol hug and a big thank you and much more, but I don't have that. I love Him so much that I'm willing to do anything for Him. 

John 14:18

"I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you."

I've been through situations where my parents have fought and split, but they never got divorced. They were always able to come back together. They've been able to make it work out. I wouldn't know what it's like to be fatherless, or even motherless. Both of my parents were around when I was growing up. They still are. I know a couple people that don't have both their parents around. I wouldn't know what it's like but I'll say what I can. Both of my parents were always at work but I kind of had a second set of parents when my parents weren't around. My aunt and uncle where home, my uncle worked till 4ish, and was home around 430, and my aunt was always home. My mom would take us to school in the morning, go to work around 9ish. My dad left for work around 530 in the morning. Way to early for me. Then he would be home around 615. Just in time for dinner. Now that I think about it and look back at how different my life would be without my dad around, it's crazy. At least once a week in the morning, he would come and say goodbye, tuck us in again, give us a kiss good morning with coffee breath, and leave for work. Would come home in the evenings, sometimes he was early, sometimes he was late, but always came home. If he was early he was making dinner. It wasn't always that kind of manly dinner with steak every meal. Sometimes he would take five different left overs, throw them all into a pan, add a little salt and pepper, and dinner is ready. He would always have a three course meal too. The food pyramid was important. After dinner we were back to homework, I would usually leave my math homework to have him help me on it. Reading and writing which I was disgusted of, was left with my mom. She enjoyed it and was good at it. Then there came a time where I passed my dad in math problems, which I always thought was hilarious. He stopped at algebra, or simple math kind of stuff, then the alphabet was added into the problems and he began to look at a different language. Then I was asking my older brother for help, and I didn't care for that, he wasn't a good teacher. After math was doing chores and taking care of the animals, then getting ready for bed and dessert. My dad would sometimes take care of the chickens and the pigs, turkeys, or horses. He liked having chickens around, it was nice. We didn't have to buy eggs, which was cool because the eggs we got were so good, and sometimes HUGE! Showers came first, then we had marble ice cream waiting for us in the freezer. My dad always had a sweet tooth for chocolate, I can see where I get it from. I didn't used to. He would take the chocolate syrup and dunk his ice cream, and I would take some skittles if I had any and mix those in or strawberry syrup and dunk my ice cream. My brothers would take the chocolate or none and my sister would take no syrup but defiantly ice cream. She would always take the longest in the shower so she was last to get ice cream. Then to brushing our teeth and time for bed. We would go climb in bed, and dad would come tuck us in and say goodnight. Moms next, I can hear in the back of my mind, "give me a kiss goodnight." It was always fun teasing her about it. 
I look back and my life would've been a whole lot different without a dad. Being fatherless is scary to think about. Instead of being a little kid, now my dad helps me on insurance, car payments, working on my car, you know, the boring stuff. I've now got another father in my life. A father that loves me just like my biological father does. A father, that shows me the light if I'm walking in darkness. A father that has a divine power all over the earth. I love him with my whole heart. He has sent His son to redeem me of my sins, He shows me truth in His word. He is someone that I can look to when I am weak and will give me strength to push forward. Tonight, I will ask pastor Jim if I can call my dad and talk with him for a little bit and tell him that I love him!

John 14:17

"The spirit of the truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you."

the Holy Spirit is full of truth and the world doesn't receive it. Not only refuse to, but cannot receive it. It doesn't make much sense to me either but it's Gods word and it's the truth. Accept it and move on. It's interesting how far Gods word has come. From the beginning of time. Imagine that...from the beginning. "In the beginning was the word, and the word was with God and the word was God." John 1:1. "In the beginning God created..." Genesis 1:1. Not only has the word come from God and is God, but it has been with mankind from the beginning which God had created. The word still exist today and is all over the world doing good. Take a look at Buddhism, it only took root in China, Hinduism, took root in India, Doaism, took root in Japan, Muslim, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan, Kazakhstan, Islamic, Islam, Saudi Arabia, Iran, Iraq, Pakistan. And for those religions it had centralized in those areas. It only maintained root in those areas. There are times where missionaries of those religions had tried to spread but didn't have truth, didn't have a divine power to spread. Now if we take a look at Christianity, it has spread all over the world! The truth and need to spread all over the world. It was born in the Middle East, spread to all over Europe and Africa, shipped over to Central America, spread to North and South America, then across the Pacific Ocean to Asia, down to Australia, and back into the Middle East. It wasn't centralized and didn't start that way. Jesus was born in Bethlehem, and spread to Jerusalem, Tyre, Judaea, Cyprus, to all over the world. "...And you shall be witnesses to me in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth." Acts 1:8.  It's really interesting to see how so many people are caught up in other religions that are just garbage and have so many different stories. It's interesting to see that there are wars and controversies over religions. It's sad to see that people are dying for false truth. It's sad how the devil has consumed people to believing in something so wrong, so deceiving, that they are willing to kill innocent people. That they are willing to die themselves, and are willing to go to hell over lies. The truth has existed from day one and will exist till day apocalypse, of whenever Jesus returns. The world is so caught up in the noise, that all they see is salt and pepper on the TV screen. They don't know God and can't see God, so that's all they see. An annoying fuzz, and a terrible sound if you ask me. The world doesn't know God, but those who know Him are able to see the love He gives us, the beauty around us, His creation, those who know Him are able to see Him. 

Those who know Him are able to see His beauty all around. The power all around us. "Day unto day utters speech, and night unto night reveals knowledge." Psalm 19:2. 
Knowing God and seeing God, He dwells in us. He lives in us, next to us, with us, beside us, above us, behind us, in front of us, everywhere. If you can think of the area, He is there. If you can dream the area, He is there. "...for the Lord searches all hearts and understands all the intent of the thoughts, if you seek Him, He will be found by you; but if you forsake Him, He will cast you off forever." 1 Chronicles 28:9. For this week I will write that verse on my hand to remind myself that wherever I am, He is, and that whatever I dream of think, He knows. 

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

1 Timothy 6:10

"For the love of money is a root to all kinds of evil, for which some have strayed from the faith in their greediness, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows."

Money, it's green, rectangular, weightless, has value, uses to about everything, full of numbers and secrets, hidden images, covered in greed, evil and germs. Has an unknown trail of where it last was, or even where it first was. Think of it this way, started out from a money printing factory, made its way into a armored truck to be transferred to a bank, arrives at bank and is signed over to the bank manager, he works at chase banks, counted at the back counter at the bank by two different tellers, made its way to a teller at the front counter, counted again, stored in the register. A man walks up and wants to get money out of his bank account to buy groceries. The teller hands him the money, is counted out to him, he then stores it in his back pocket. Heads to King Soopers and buys his groceries. "$54.67 please" the cashier says to him. He pulls out $60 and hands it to the cashier. Cashier gives him his change, and puts the $60 in the register, gives the gentleman his receipt and he walks off. Couple hours later the head clerk on duty comes by and collects the drawers, swapping out the drawers. Head clerk takes the money, balances the drawer, in the process counts it three times and is verified by another manager and it is then sent back out to another drawer on the floor. A group of young men walk up, buy a couple of sodas and candy and pays with a card, ask for 80$ cash back. They leave the grocery store and head to a friends house. They get there, stay a couple of minutes and decide to go to a bar. They get to the bar and stay for a while. They pay for their drinks and the money is now in the hands of the bar tender. The bar tender takes the total of their drinks, go to the register, gets the change and gives them their change. Another bar tender walks up to the register, grabs the money for change of another group, and gives this other group their change. They leave a tip and leave the bar. The money sits on the table whilst other tenders are helping other customers. A greedy young man walks up to the table and steals the tip. He walks off with it and heads home. Unfortunately he is an addict. He gets home and calls his dealer. His dealer stops by, makes the trade, and takes off. Are you still following me with the story? The little bit of money that came from a money printing factory, is now in the hands of a drug dealer. The dealer leaves the thieves house and heads to pick up more drugs from his dealer. He arrives at his dealers meeting place and exchanges money for drugs. The first dealer leaves, and the other dealer goes back to his house. He, unfortunately is a dirty slob, while counting his money, sneezes into the bills and it's quite gross. Gets some tissue paper and cleans up his mess. Finishes counting his money and puts it into a hidden safe. From the safe, it is back into the dealers hands in the morning. He heads to a local gas station, buys a pack of cigs and a soda. The money is now in the cashiers hands at the gas station. A family traveling through the town need to stop for gas and grabs a bite to eat and gets some cash back. They finish filling their car and head off out of town. From here that money is still traveling. From one part of the country to another. Over hundreds of thousands of miles that money travels. And from one person to the next, it becomes covered in sins. From time to time that money is relieved of sin and donated for a good cause. It's amazing how a weightless piece of paper can cause a person to have greed and fill their lives with sin. Once that root of evilness is planted, that root is extremely difficult to get out of there. Having a love for money will always leave you empty handed. No matter the situation, once having that love for money, you will never have enough. Ecclesiastes 5:10, "He who loves silver will not be satisfied with silver, nor he who loves abundance, with increase." You could have all the silver in the world and still not be happy with the amount you have. Same goes for gold, green pieces of paper, and every item possible. No matter how large your income can be or is, it is never enough. But one thing is for certain, His love is always enough. His love never fails, never runs out. 

John 14:15

"If you love Me, keep My commandments."

Jesus says "If you love Me...." When I first read this verse, I came to a pause. My heart skipped a beat, my eyes stopped and pondered at the word "if." Big word if you were to ask me. Now Jesus is asking me. Now God is asking me, if I, I love Him. So I began to think about it. I thought back a ways. I then begin to say, I do, without a doubt that I love You. Here are some reasons. You died for me Jesus, You loved me, You have always been there for me, You are trustworthy and will never let me. No one has ever done that for me except for my parents. Lord, of corse I love You. With all my heart, without a doubt. Through the toughest of times that I have been in, You have always been there next to me. You have given me life, "before You formed me in my mothers womb You knew me; before I was born You sanctified me; You ordained me a prophet to the nations." When I gave up on You, you didn't give up on me. You always gave me mercy when I deserved to be condemned. You said to come and taste the grace, You invited me to be with you in eternity. You invited me to be in complete paradise with You for eternity. You gave me food when I was hungry, you gave me drink when I thirst, You gave me shelter when I had nothing to give back, You gave me clothes when I was naked, You gave me medicine when I was sick, You picked me up when I couldn't walk, Father, You gave me Your Son to save me, to redeem me. You put my heart back together piece by piece when it was broken, shattered into a million pieces. You gave me eyes when I had none. You poured Your love into me when I had none to give to others. Lord, I do love you, with all my heart, without a doubt. 
Then He asks me, "...keep My commandments." After thinking about His first question and answering that, I pondered on His second one. My first thought was, no, I really haven't. I haven't obeyed Your commandments. I haven't loved as you have loved me, I haven't honored my mother and father, I have used your name in vain, I haven't kept the sabbath day a holy day, I have murdered, I have committed adultery, I have stolen, I have lied, I have wanted. Father, I haven't kept your commandments. Father, I ask You to help me to keep Your commandments. Father, I confess, I can't do it on my own. I'm not strong enough, I need you. Father, I do love You with all my heart, and Lord, I give my best to keep your commandments. I will fail you day to day, Father please forgive me. When I came to this conclusion, I didn't know what to think. I love my God with all my heart, but I have failed Him. I fall short and fail Him everyday. I have nothing to give, and He continues to love me with a full heart. He has given me so much that it is worth being obedient and doing what He asks. We may not have the resources, but believing that He will provide, and He will. When God asked Moses to go, Moses refused, then God said, "who has made man's mouth? Or who makes the mute, the deaf, the seeing, or the blind? Have not I, the Lord? Now therefore, go, and I will be your mouth and teach you what you shall say." Exodus 4:11-12. Jesus also had said, "Go therefore, and make disciples of all the nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and the Son and of the Holy Spirit..." Matthew 28:19. He just wants us to obey and do as He says. All He really asks is go. Take the first step and He will take the rest. For this week I will memorize the 10 commandments.

John 14:16

"And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper that may abide with you forever."

acts 1:8, "but you shall receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you...," Jesus will pray to God and will pray that we will be blessed that we can receive the Holy Spirit. As He stated in acts, that you will receive power when the Holy Spirit has come upon you. Acts 2:4, "and they were all filled with the holly spirit and began to speak with other tongues, as the Spirit gave them utterance." The power of the Holy Spirit has come upon the apostles and gave them power to speak in tongues, and was being a Help to speaking in tongues. They all began to communicate in their native tongue and were all amazed. When Jesus had said He would pray about asking God for us to receive a Helper, He meant it. It had showed up in the twelve apostles, and shows up in pastors, youth leaders, missionaries and many others today. 
The power of the Holy Spirit is so mighty and so powerful. The Holy Spirit being a third of the trinity, you have to assume that the Holy Spirit is full of raw power. The Holy Spirit being part of the trinity, you can just imagine what the spirit is capable of. You don't even really have to imagine, there are multiple parts in the bible that the Holy Spirit shares its power with the apostles and many others. In acts 10, we see Peter being spoken to by the Holy Spirit, saying, "Rise, Peter, kill and eat." Even though it's five words being spoken, you can just imagine Peter being frightened with words like so. Kill and eat. Very strong words. It makes sense when Peter had been fasting, but it was straight forward and blunt. We then see Peter in another situation where the Holy Spirit frees him from prison. In acts 12:6-9, "When Herod was about to bring him out, that night Peter was sleeping, bound with two chains between two soldiers; and the guards before the door were keeping the prison. Now behold, an angel of the Lord stood by him, and a light shone in the prison: and he struck Peter on the side and raised him up, saying, "Arise quickly!" And his chains fell off his hands. The. The angel said to him, "gird yourself and tie on you sandals"; and so he did. And he said to him, "Put on your garment and follow me." So he went out and followed him, and did not know that what was done by the angel was real, but thought he was seeing a vision." By this time, I am amazed of the power of the Holy Spirit. From a voice, to a white, light, figure that helps you escape from prison. Wow! We see a whole lot of the side of the Holy Spirit in the rest of acts. The Holy Spirit is constantly intervening with day to day life all around the world. 
Jesus gave us a gift of the Holy Spirit when He ascended into heaven. The Holy Spirit is full of many powers, but two of the great powers of many great powers it has is convicting us and pointing us to Jesus Christ. When you feel that you had done something bad, and come to realize you had done something bad against God, the Holy Spirit is that feeling. The Holy Spirit works in you to repent and come clean to Jesus. In Galatians 5:16-17, "walk in the spirit, and you shall not fulfill the lusts of the flesh. For the flesh lusts against the spirit and the spirit against the flesh; and these are contrary to one another, so that you do not do the things that you wish." It's interesting to know that the Holy Spirit is constantly warring with the flesh to lead us to righteousness, to lead us to Jesus Christ. "For we through the spirit eagerly wait for the hope of righteousness by faith." Galatians 5:5
It's always nice to know that we have someone on our side and with us, to help us, to guide us step by step along the way. And it all points towards the glory of God. 

Update 8/19

Everything is going fantastic! God is so great! The people down here in Guatemala are great! It's such a blessing to put smiles on faces. It's such a wonderful blessing being able to serve God. He has opened my eyes to so much. I love Him with all my heart. He is such a wonderful God. 

Psalm 18:2
The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God my strength, in whom I will trust; my shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.

A couple prayer request: we have a couple sicknesses going around, a prayer for strength, a couple of the intern have families back home that are going through some struggles, kids around the world that are not getting a meal today, my mom is having back aches, my aunt is having surgery on the 24th for her knee, and thank God for every day that we get. We aren't promised tomorrow. Thank you all for the prayer support. It is greatly appreciated. I miss you and love you all. God bless!

Friday, August 14, 2015

Arch in front of government building with volcano Agua

Volcano Agua and Cross of Antigua

Luke 8:13

"But the ones on the rock are those who, when they hear, receive the word with joy; and these have no root, who believe for a while and in time of temptation fall away."

You can't build on a weak foundation. Even the people that lived in 26 A.D. It just doesn't happen. During the construction on a weak foundation, every thing will begin to fall apart. Haven't you heard the story of the man that built his house on sand and the man that built his house on rock? The house on sand soon became ruble with a blast of wind. It stood no chance to withstand nature. When having a good and strong foundation you then can stand strong and bare attacks. The world or devil, however you choose to look at it, is constantly trying to attack you and cause you to fall into temptation. This would be a good point to say, the struggle is real. It is tough, I myself fight temptations every day and so do many other disciples of Jesus. And to me the best way to fight those temptations is look towards Christ and His word. Jesus Himself had to fight the temptations of this world. That's one characteristic He has that has made Him so great and able to last all these years. In 1 Corinthians 3:11 "For no other foundation can anyone lay than that which is laid, which is Jesus Christ." To have the foundation of Christ alone in your life is by far the best foundation you can have. At least I will believe that. I don't know about you but the power that is displayed from God, Jesus and the Holy Spirit is so great that I wouldn't even want to begin to second guess them as my foundation. It would be like an F5 tornado trying to rip apart a titanium bunker. It's not going to happen. Period. Look back at what happen to the man who built his house on rock. He withstood storms over and over. Always start with a strong foundation. Even on a smaller scale, take a football player for example, works out and builds muscle five times a week, then there is another football player that didn't see the inside of a weight room, and didn't care to build muscle. Put them in a tackling drill and see what happens. The small guy that didn't care to have a strong foundation fell over. Have a strong foundation and you can fight the temptations that the devil throws at you. The noise of this world is very loud. Turn it down and turn up the voice of God. He's there with you till the end.  In Matthew 28:20 Jesus says, "I am with you always, even to the end of the age." He is with us always. That is a promise from Him. God keeps His word, and if you think He isn't, ask Him about it, He will show you He is. So remember that when temptation starts to creep up on you, close your eyes, ask God for help and if you have a bible with you, read it. Always remember, that God or Jesus, or the Holy Spirit is always with us, He is my foundation, my brothers and sisters foundation, He can be yours and wants to be yours. For this week I will write on my hand Matthew 28:20 to give myself a reminder that God is always there for me. "Blessed are you who hunger now, for you shall be filled. Blessed are you who weep now, for you shall laugh."

Luke 8:14

"Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity."

I once knew a guy that was being strangled by the noise of this world. He would go to church quite often on Sunday, would sit somewhere in the middle rows during service, have a bible in his hands, and his mind stuck on what he did the night before, or what he will do when service was over. Service would start and he would be sitting there looking at the pastor, bible open to a random page, and his head was stuck in the clouds thinking, "I wonder what party is going on tonight. If there is one, I wonder if there will be alcohol and girls there. I wonder if I could call Tim and chill for a while. Man, what is this guy saying? All he does is blabber along! What a bunch of idiots that listen to this guy!" When it was time to turn a page, he would turn a page, time to sing, mumbling the words. I knew this guy so well, that every morning I would look him in the mirror. I knew this guy so well, I didn't know myself. I knew this guy so well, that he had a wake up call when he fell asleep at the wheel and crashed into the back of somebody on Parker road. And the night before, he was out with friends around 9 pm getting high. I knew this guy so well that all he cared about was himself. All that he was thinking about was girls and getting high. When I had gotten that wake up call, I knew it was time to change up the story. I began to start listening in church, to start caring for other people around me. I still pleased my own mind and flesh, but instead of waking up every day and looking myself in the mirror with bloodshot eyes, I began to listen in church. Instead of waking up and thinking to myself, I wonder what party is happening tonight, or who I could hang out with, I would go home, get some sleep and set the pipe down, turn my phone off and not listen to the world calling me. I would open up my devotional book from time to time and read what it has to say, then open my bible to the chapter it was talking about. In all truthfulness looking back at that guy, I had no idea who that was. This morning (August 5th), I woke up in the bed I'm sleeping in, in Guatemala, asking the Lord, what he has for me today. As I began to read my psalm of the day, God started to speak to me about this verse. Luke 8:14, "Now the ones that fell among thorns are those who, when they have heard, go out and are choked with cares, riches and pleasures of life, and bring no fruit to maturity." And my psalm of the day is psalm 10. I began to read the psalm, and half way through versus 5-8, "His ways are always prospering; Your judgements are far above, out of his sight; as for all his enemies, he sneers at them. He has said in his heart, "I shall not be moved; I shall never be in adversity." His mouth is full of cursing and deceit and oppression; under his tongue is trouble and iniquity, he sits in the lurking places of the villages; in the secret places he murders the innocent; his eyes are secretly fixed on the helpless." Something caught me up and I wasn't exactly sure. I began to underline those versus and began to realize that God was talking to me, about me. I was moved in such a way that I didn't know what to say. I had done this? questioning myself. I realized, yes, I had done this, and this is part of who I was. I was the seed that was choked by the weeds around me. I was the seed that wasn't being watered enough. I was the seed that lied awake every morning thinking, what does the world have for me today. Times have changed and I can't thank God enough for making me fall asleep at the wheel. I can't begin to thank Jesus enough for saving me from the lies of this world. The world was so noisy that I couldn't hear God. Now every morning, I lie awake in bed for a couple of minutes thanking Him for bringing me back from the dead. Some where in the book of John, can't remember the verse but John states, "why do you look amongst the dead for someone who is alive? He is alive! He is risen!" Why was I looking amongst the dead for someone who is alive. Ask yourself that and see what happens. My aunt and uncle had given me a graduation card with that verse on it, I finished reading it and broke down. And now every morning, the first thing I do, is thank God for what He has done for me! Sometimes we don't realize the wake up call God gives us, I'm glad I did. If I hadn't, I'd probably be at a friends house getting high. And now I wake up in another world and hear the most soothing voice there is to hear. John 6:26-27, "most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the son of man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him." I will for this week write on my hand psalm 10 for a reminder that I am free from what I was.

Luke 8:16

"But the ones that fell on the good ground are those who, having heard the word with a noble and good heart, keep it and bare fruit in patience."

Having a good heart? Do you have a good heart? If so, what does it look like? Not the shape or the cholesterol levels but the love that pours out of it. When you think of someone having a good heart, you often think, what they do with their money or their abundant resources. Are they donating to a charity program, did they help pay for a strangers groceries, did they buy a homeless man a meal. Those are all ideas of a good heart. No questioning about it. Now did they show it with love? 1 Corinthians 13:3, "And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing." They could've given the homeless guy a car, but without showing love, there is no gain. Now if they have adopted a child and given him/her a good home and loved that child as there own, there is gain in the love. Did they save a dog from an animal shelter, take it home and care for the dog, feed the dog, give it a name, gave it a bath, and loved that animal as one of their own. It's interesting to look at loving one another in a different perspective. Without love, you are nothing, as Paul states in Corinthians. Look at God, Jesus. He loves us so much even when we do bad. And many disciples, even nonbelievers, consistently state that He is all powerful, that He has an importance, because He has loved. Maybe next time when you donate clothes to goodwill, instead of mumbling and groaning that you had to put them in a box, drive or walk to the goodwill store, mumbling under your breath how dumb it sounds to give away clothes, you might put love into giving away clothes that your family doesn't want any more, that there is another family out there, maybe even lives a couple houses away from where you live, that desperately needs another shirt for the day, or a pair of pants to walk out of the house in. Love might even be difficult to show to some that are mean to you. But by showing that love that Jesus asks you to show, they might turn around and apologize and show love back. It's really amazing how love works. Especially in return. So have a good heart, show the love that God has loved you with, and in return, people will notice, God will notice and you will be loved back. It's amazing that God loves us. I question why He does, but I most likely won't know until I see Him in heaven. We have never deserved His great love. 
When we begin to keep His word in our hearts and meditate on it, we begin to bare fruits. Galatians 5:22, "But the fruit of the spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, and faithfulness." Baring fruits of the Holy Spirit becomes a blessing amongst itself. Jesus asks us to do so, that we may become more like Him. One fruit that stands out to me most is that of patience. Patience has been the biggest of struggle for me in my life. I struggle with many others, but patience has always stood out. Even today, patience is always seeming to be the stumbler in life. When dealing with jobs or even grocery shopping, I've had to bite my lip and be patient. Even in simple situations as in driving, my impatience-ness seems to get in the way. Ever since I have come to Christ I have noticed a great difference in the patience I have obtained. Just through obtaining Gods word, I have been blessed with more patience. One verse that stands out to me about patience is James 1:4. It says, "but let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete lacking nothing." Let patience have its perfect work. Patience become perfect. You don't hear the word perfect very often. Usually when I hear it, it's referring to God or Christ. Which They are perfect. God, having patience of perfection, patience of a boss, has waited on me for almost nineteen years. Now that is a lot of patience. For others, it could be way more than that. It's amazing how such little patience can go such a long ways. 
For tonight, I will write down 10 areas that I need to be more patient with and pray about them.

Hebrews 6:12

"That you do not become sluggish, but imitate those who through faith and patience inherit the promise."

When times are getting tough, or when you are going through a great loss in your life, don't give up. As much as you want to let go of the rope, throw in the towel, don't! That's what the devil is telling you to do. God puts you through this hard times for a reason. He wants you to look towards Him, ask Him for strength to push on. He doesn't want you to hold up the white flag, He wants you to pray to Him and read His word. He wants us to pound Him, over and over with prayer. We want to be praying so much that He is constantly busy. If we aren't pounding on Him with prayer over and over, then He will be pretty bored up in heaven. He wants to help you get through the struggles in life. He wants to be part of your life and helping you walk for the first time, helping you speak your first word.
When we start to imitate those who have gone before us, Matthew, Paul, your very first pastors, John, Moses, Noah, Jesus, we start to be seen by God. When the cap gun fires and you start your race, you have all those that have gone before you, cheering you on. And Your coach, God, is giving you pointers on what to work on so that you can finish the race. Listen to your coach, He knows best. He created the rules for the race, picked the race for you to run, and He knows that you can finish it, so stay strong. 
Through faith you can finish the race. Believe that you can do it, and you will. Hope for the best. Be faithful to God and He will show you the light up ahead. He will help you get to the end of the race. Have hope that He will help you. Have hope in God that He will provide for your needs. Romans 8:25, "But if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance." Hope for what we do not see, and God will eventually show us. Even when times are rough, wait until it gets better, then He will show you why He put you through it. Most amazing thing about it is, it's all for the good in life. It may seem terrible at first, and it most defiantly can be, but push through to the end, have hope, believe in God, and it always has a plus side to it. Be eager to wait on God, and He will bless you. You may not realize it till a while down the road, but He will show you. Always remember that He is there with you. Matthew 19:26, "...with men this is impossible, but with God all things are possible."  Have faith in Him and He will be there for you.
Be eager to wait for Him. Waiting upon the Lord is a blessing amongst it self. Learn to be patient with God. He has been patient with you, we can do the same. Although it may seem very difficult to be patient, but if I can do it, I'm sure you can too. Psalm 40:1, "I waited patiently for the Lord; He inclined to me and heard my cry." It's interesting what can happen when we wait upon the Lord. Just like running this race. Many others waited upon the Lord for the next instructions for finishing the race. Now it's our turn. God wants you to finish the race. 
Just remember, don't be sluggish, imitate those who have gone before you, be faithful and patient. You will get there. I believe in you and so does God. Believe in yourself. For the next week I will pray for a patience and light on imitating others who have gone before me.

1 Timothy 6:6

"Now godliness with contentment is great gain." 

There is always joy in everything you do. Even when it is down and dirty or frightful and horrid. You can find joy. Jesus was able to. James 1:2-3, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience." Finding joy in everything can be difficult. I myself always try to find joy in everything. The more I laugh about something, the more joy I find within it. Even when there is a more serious situation, I am sometimes scolded when I start laughing about something. Yes, I understand it's a serious moment, that doesn't mean we have to be lame. Laugh a little, live a lot. Isn't that how the saying goes? What about laugh a lot, live for God? Now that's more like it. The more you laugh, the longer you live. There was once a guy that laughed a lot in his life, and he ended up living around one hundred and ten years old. Not exactly sure how old, but he lived a long time. Not sure if he lived for God, but he found joy in what he did. He laughed about something that wasn't really all that funny, like I am while writing this. When you find joy in the little things, some would say, that's when you start living. But maybe that's just me saying that. Even when you're feeling sad, try smiling the biggest smile and eventually, well guess what, you will start laughing. If that didn't work, smile bigger. Think of it this way, if Jesus was able to find joy in the saddest situations, it may be hard, but I'm sure you can too.   Dealing with sad or depressing situations can be tough. It's always worth trying to smile. Some might say, let's turn that frown upside down! If you feel so down, then lean on the Lord. Nehemiah 8:10, "....for this day is holy to our Lord. Do not sorrow, for the joy of the Lord is your strength." Let Him help you through the situations. He is always wanting to and is always able to. Allow Him to cheer you up. Once you allow Him to do so, He will, trust me on that! Allowing God to cheer you up will bring an abundance of joy to your life. He wants you to be happy. Luke 15:11, "...that My joy may remain in you, and that your joy may be full. " Jesus, loves us, died for us, rose again for us, so that we can be joyful, so that we can be saved and live with Him in His kingdom. To hear that, think of that, and to write that down brings me joy. It brings me joy to remember that someone died for me. 
When we have joy, that's when we begin to gain what God has for us. We are brought joy from His love and mercy towards us, we then begin to serve Him, with joy. In the potters field program that I am participating in, my group had to do a media project where we have to make a video that is about something we have learned since being here. Our video was about finding joy in serving God. When cleaning up the property, doing dishes, cleaning our bedrooms every Saturday, and keeping the entrance clean. He blesses us with so much, so we must find joy in serving Him. Why shouldn't we? You might as well take away the toilet you use every day if you aren't thankful that God has blessed it upon you. Get rid of the clothes on your back if you aren't thankful for them. I sure am. I really appreciate being able to use a shower every day. Being able to use a plate to eat off of. Finding joy in everything, can be difficult, but always remember who gave it to you. It may seem that you got it yourself, but where did you get the money. Okay, from a job, who created that job? Okay fine, those ceo did, but who gave life to that ceo, your parents did, but God had already created a path for Him before he was thought of by your parents. Find joy in everything when serving for God. For this week, I will make a list of what God has blessed me with, and thank Him.

1 Timothy 6:7

"For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out."

Everything that is of this world, is from God or the devil. We came into this world from our mothers womb which God had made us. Jeremiah 1:5, "Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations." I, meaning God, made us and thought of us. We came into this world with nothing and God will make it that we leave this world with nothing. He created this world and we have no right to own anything on it, not even ourselves. 1 Corinthians 6:19-20, "Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit which are God's." He bought us with a price, the price of bloodshed and crucifixion on a cross. The price of 200 lashings, a crown of thorns and nails driven through hands and feet. The price of the perfect sacrifice to save us from all our sins. The price of sending His only Son, for us. We are nothing, with or without Him. Maybe that's hard to believe, but it's true. Galatians 2:20, "I have been crucified with Christ; it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself for me." If Christ didn't go up on the cross for us, we probably wouldn't be here. You might as well just bow down now and give up your life to Christ. God created us, gave us life when we were born, gave us life when we accept Christ into our hearts, and He can easily, condemn us all to hell. There is nothing here for us on earth. None of it is ours. You may have processions but they aren't really yours. God can take them away at any moment. The world says, "you don't know you lost something until it's gone." If you look at everything through the eyes of God, you should never feel that way. God created the earth, not you or I. "Christ is the visible image of the invisible God. He existed before anything was created and is supreme over all creation, for through Him God created everything in the heaven toy realms and on earth. He made the things we can see and the things we can't see- such as thrones, kingdoms, rulers, and authorities in the unseen world. Everything was created through Him and for Him. He existed before anything else, and He holds all creation together." Colossians 1:15-17 states. God is eternal, all powerful, all existing and creator of all things. When He says that you will take nothing out of this world, He means that. For this week I will pray for help about different ways of giving.

1 Timothy 6:8

"And having food and clothing, with these we shall be content."

Food. I love food! Don't you? Gives you energy, pleasures your taste buds, fills your stomach, can either calm you down or cheer you up. I mean, food! Come on, it's all so wonderful. Just look at it. Colorful, yummy, and you know it tastes good. Think about I got your mouth watering. The creamy chocolatey goodness. Milk or dark, your choice. Just look at it. Mmmmm, so good. Okay, back to reality. God gave you that pleasure of being able to enjoy food. Being able to fill your stomach, and to give you energy so that you can be filled. God made it so that you can enjoy food. Every bite is just sooo, mmhm! And He made it so that everyone can enjoy it. Just like His love. Matthew 25:35, "for I was hungry and you gave Me food; I was thirsty and you gave Me drink; I was a stranger and you took Me in." He made it so that everyone can enjoy it. He made it so, that everyone can be saved. It's like food, eat it and your saved. Not from hell but from a grumbling stomach. Not from temptation, but to satisfy the craving of chocolate. God put food on the table so that you can be filled. Jesus even says for us to say so in one of His prayers for us, "give us this day, our daily bread." Matthew 6:11. Food is an essential to life, without food, we starve and die. Food was given to us through Gods love for us to enjoy. I sure do enjoy food. Now as you eat food three times a day, maybe more, eat Gods food, His daily bread thirty times a day and be filled.
And after food is given to us, we then can move onto an item we wear. Aren't clothes just so awesome. A covering over our bodies to protect us from the majority of dirt and sun. Clothes are soft, colorful, different shapes and sizes, have become a major participation in festivities, have different meanings in day to day use. Different cultural importances have a major affect in the use of differences of clothing. Different styles of clothes come and go all the time, and circle around. Clothes really never go out of style, just culture has a change in style. One of my favorite parts of clothing is everyone has their own likes. Or even when you wash your clothes and you take them out of the dryer when they are done and they are so warm and soft. It's always fun doing that. Clothes can be so comfortable. God gave us clothes out of His love. He gave us clothing so that we can enjoy it. Matthew 25:36, "I was naked and you clothed me; I was sick and you visited me; I was in prison and you came to me." God is so wonderful, that from His love He allowed us to enjoy food with a passion and clothes with style. 

1 Timothy 6:9

"But those who desire to be rich fall into temptation and a snare, and into many foolish and harmful lusts which drown men in destruction and perdition."

Have you ever been caught in a snare? I haven't but it doesn't look fun. Have you ever been rich? I haven't, and honestly, it doesn't look fun. To me all it screams is sin. Money can be very evil. It can also be very bad. In Timothy it talks about how evil it can be, so that's what I'm going to talk about. Look around the world at what people do with their money that that have abundantly. Big house, multiple nice cars, pool in the backyard, traveling all the time just because. Going out to eat every night, spending money because they can. The most interesting part about most of those people, they got their money from fame. Look at what's behind all of that fame and fortune. Caught up in the sin of this world. Caught up in the evils of money. They are stuck in a snare and can't get out. satan made it so comfortable for them to be in that snare that most of them never want to get out. Surrounded by temptations, by drugs, alcohol, women. Selfish with their day to day life. They probably don't even donate the money to a good cause. It's sad watching these people go from good to bad in just a couple days. satan gets them so far dug in to all of the bad of this world that it seems good to them. Being stuck in a trap like that would be very scary. Then comes the day where they hit rock bottom, and they don't know what to do because they have no wisdom from the one true King. There isn't a bible in site, maybe a couple lines and a shot glass and a party going on in the background. They are about to die from overdose, everyone around that person is took drunk and too drugged to even realize it, and that's when they finally see where they are going. Scary, isn't it. Boy, am I glad that I chose to follow Jesus. One that can save me from the riches in the world. Being rich in a negative way  will just get you trapped, and it will constantly lead to destruction and perdition. Before I read this verse, I didn't know what perdition meant. Perdition means a state of eternal punishment and damnation into which a sinful and unpenitent person passes after death. No thank you, I'll pass. Is really worth being caught up in the riches of this world? Ask yourself that. I know I have, there is nothing their for me. Not only does or can lead to death but spending eternity in hell. Eternal punishment, that's a punishment just thinking about it. I've said it before and I'll say it again, everyone gets a wake up call. Whether you chose to accept it and realize it, is your choice. Whether you want to continue in the path of the unrighteous and spend eternity in a fiery prison is your choice. The world is noisy, log out of Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, ifunny, and all that other junk and open a bible. Anywhere in the bible, doesn't matter, it's all Gods word and it's all truth. I can promise you that if you read His word for 10 minutes each day, your day will be better than when you don't read His word. Trust me on that, I've had the experience. 

Friday, August 7, 2015

Update 8/7/15

Everything is going GREAT!!!!! Antigua is awesome. God has been opening my eyes to so much. Just last night we were able to watch a volcano erupt, fuego, which was soooo AWWWWESOME!!! We went to a hospital today and we were able to minister to the disabled there and it was so amazing being able to be servants of God. I want to thank all of you back home for the prayer support most importantly and the financial support you all were able to provide me with. I ask that you continue to pray for us down here. It is greatly needed. God can work wonders! Stay strong and thank you all SOOO MUCH!!!! I love and miss you all. God bless!! Psalm 3:3-4
But you, O Lord, are a shield for me, my glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice and He heard me from His holy hill. 

Luke 8:11-12

"Now the parable is this: The seed is the word of God. Those by the wayside are the ones who hear; then the devil comes and takes away the word out of their hearts, lest they should believe and be saved."

A few years ago, I was that seed. I wasn't watered of fed enough and I didn't survive. I heard Gods word every Sunday at youth group. At that time I had only gone to youth group for the games. I heard Gods word and didn't think anything of it. I can tell you that I was so consumed in sin that I did not understand what was being said. I was so consumed in sin, and looking back at it now, I was worshipping the devil. I was so lost I didn't even know I was lost. I was dead in Gods eyes and felt alive in my own. I was defiantly alive in satans eyes. satan had made me feel like I was on top of the world, and now that I think about it, I was at the bottom. I was teaching Ephesians 2:1-10 yesterday (Sunday, August 2nd) and came across verse 1-2. "And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, in which you once walked according to the corse of this world, according to the prince of power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience..." And you He made alive. When He sent His son to die for our sins and when we accept Him into our hearts, we become alive in Gods eyes. The Spirit is constantly warring with the flesh. I can tell you that when I got saved and came to Christ, I had never before felt more alive. The weight that was taken off my shoulders, the freedom I had felt. I can't begin to express how wonderful it was to receive Gods love. I questioned myself as to why I hadn't wanted to receive it before. As to why I was that seed that was ignoring God. Why I had the mind set of only going to youth group for the games. I even ask myself, "what was I thinking? How stupid of you!" It was a, could of had a V8 moment. "Did you read the word today?" "No." Bonk! 
"Sin is like being in a five star prison that is so comfortable that you don't want to leave, and you have every chance to leave, until one day, the door closes and then you are stuck in there forever!" Then you are stuck in hell forever. It's a scary thought but true. God gives you so many opportunities to be alive and to be with Him in paradise for eternity. Don't be the seed that ignores what God is trying to say to you. Listen to Him. Yes, sometimes it will be hard for you to listen to Him, but He is always talking to you. He is the truth, the light. He is always willing to accept everyone, all you have to do it obey and give Him your life as He has given His. Being a Christian and a disciple of God, is not! always an easy life. Who ever told you that is wrong. You will have hardship, you will struggle, and God does that for a reason. If you quit, then you are back in satans hands. God doesn't want quitters in heaven with Him. He wants the people in heaven that are willing to go the distance. He wants disciples that are willing to keep their head up and stay strong. Willing to die for Him as He has died for you. He will test you, and test you, but remember, He is always, ALWAYS, there for you.

Volcano Agua and Cross of Antigua

Saturday, August 1, 2015

James 3:14

"But if you have bitter envy and self seeking in your hearts, do not boast and lie against the truth."

It's funny how you hear, "follow your heart" when your heart is controlled by your brain. Interesting! 1 Samuel 16:7, "But the Lord said to Samuel do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature because I have refused him. For the Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart." God looks at a mans heart for the kind of person he is. For God has shown love, grace and mercy to one another. Jesus did the same thing. Now God wants us to do so as well. It's difficult to distinguish your heart from your brain with that kind of thought process. Matthew 6:21 says, "for where your treasure is, there your heart will be also." It's interesting when something that you care so much about, as an animate object, is taken from you or you have to give up, your true colors come out. Where your treasure is, so will your heart be. Now we begin to break it down how God begins to look at us. When we show the love we have for an object or the care shown toward something that is less than a necessity it begins to affect our relationship with God. My youth pastor, rich, once said to me, "you can't worship and praise two Gods at once, you will love one and hate the other." It's most interesting to me because it's true. If you use money for an example and compare with loving Christ, depending on how you glorify God, if it's a positive glorification, you will love God and praise Him for the blessing of the money. And some, who may have not such a strong relationship with God would praise the money and go and spend it continually and forget about the blessing God has given them. Jeremiah 17:9-10, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked; who can know it? I, the Lord, search the heart, I test the mind, even to give every man according to his ways, according to the fruit of his doings." I stand in awe how God is able to see inside our hearts directly and doesn't care how we look in a physical stature. Now we can begin to look into what James is telling these twelve tribes not to do. He then says at the end of the verse, "do not boast and lie against the truth." Okay, fair enough, do not yell...better words, do not tell a lie and commit to that lie. We see what happens in Acts 5:1-4' what Ananias does, "but a certain man named Anaias with Sapphira his wife, sold a possession. And he kept back part of the proceeds, his wife also being aware of it, and brought a certain part and laid it at the apostles' feet. But Peter said, "Ananias, why has satan filled your heart to lie to the Holy Spirit and keep back part of the price of the land for yourself? While it remained, was it not your own? And after it was sold, was it not in your own control? Why have you conceived this thing in your heart? You have not lied to men but to God." Ouch, that hurts. He not only lied to the people he sold the possession to, not only lied to the apostles about it, and committed to the lie, but kept truthful to his lie to God. I begin to say, "hey, hello, over here, what are you doing!!!!" Ananias just did what James told him not to do. Yes, two totally different times within context, but still, I mean, come on. Directly after lieing to God, Ananias and Sapphira both died. So James says do not. Yes, we are human, yes our hearts are deceitful, and yes we commit sin every day, that doesn't mean we should lie to God. He is the creator, the first and the last, the beginning and the end, He can do whatever He wants. With a God that created the entire universe in the snap of His fingers, I wouldn't even want to begin or even better, think about lying to Him. Jesus says in John 8:32, "And you shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free." Amen to that! I know one thing is for sure, is that everyone, I mean everyone wants to be free.
So in continuing with what James says, I will read my bible everyday and continue in Gods word of truth. "But those who wait on the lord shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:31 

James 3:13

"Who is wise and understanding among you? Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meanness of wisdom."

Who is wise and understanding among you? James asks the 12 tribes of Judah, but he is also asking all of us. I have once heard, maybe even said in the bible, "he who is wise, follows the wisest and the most trust worthy wisdom." Well if you answer the question, who is the wisest and has the most trust worthy wisdom? My answer is Jesus Christ, God the Father and the Holy Spirit. The bible has proof of Jesus Christ being, flat out the wisest. 2 Timothy 3:14-15 "(14) But you must continue in the things which you have learned and been assured of, knowing from whom you have learned them, (15) and that from childhood you have known the Holy Scriptures, which are able to make you wise for salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus." Jude 25, "To God our savior, who alone is wise..." Now you begin to think, God, who alone is the all powerful created everything at the snap of his fingers, alone is wise. Jesus Christ, a third of the trinity, died for our salvation, and following Him will make you wise. Proverbs 13:20 states, "He who walks with wise men will be wise..." It's interesting how it is stated over and over, back and forth in the bible. I began to get the point of the first question that James asked, "who is wise and understanding among you?" Well it's said over and over, the wise man will follow the wise. May be difficult but if you follow God, Jesus Christ you will become wise and learn to lean not on your own understanding but His. Amen. Then from gaining the wisdom through Christ, we also show the same goodness, the love, servitude as Christ did. Christ, in my heart, is one of the greatest teachers in history. Knowing that He is God, has the shared power of God, John 13:3, "Jesus, knowing that the Father had given all things into his hands, and that He had come from God and was going to God..." was a great, wonderful, the best servant to His people. He not only had the power of God, the love to die for His children to save them, but put Himself on the same level as the dirt on our feet, John 13:5, "After that, He poured water into a basin and began to wash the disciples' feet, and to wipe them with the towel with which he was girded." Jesus Christ, the man that died for our sins to save us and has a shared power with God the Father, washed His Disciples feet. WHHAT!!!! The servitude that Jesus shows is sometimes hard to understand. The love that we, the children of God, don't deserve stills pours His heart out to us. As James stated, "Let him show by good conduct that his works are done in the meanness of wisdom." Jesus' wisdom, God's wisdom, the Holy Spirits wisdom. 
As being a disciple of Christ, He calls us to be more like Him. I will continue to show the love that God has shown me, and be a helping hand even when it's not asked upon me to do so. "Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread. And forgive us our debts as we forgive our debtors. And do not lead us into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen."

James 3:15

This wisdom does not descend from above, but is earthly, sensual, demonic.

James 3:14 states, "but if you have bitter envy and self seeking in your hearts do not boast and lie against the truth." Then verse fifteen starts out with, "this wisdom..." This self-seeking and bitter envy and the boasting of lies is "this wisdom..." "This wisdom.." In Gods eyes is an earthly wisdom, sensual, demonic wisdom. Why commit to it? 1 Corinthians 3:19 states, "For the wisdom of this world is foolishness with God...."  Of this world Paul states in Corinthians. Of this world, not of Heaven, not of Jupiter, not of another galaxy, but of this world. Whatever is not of God is of this world. Whatever is not of His word is sensual. Whatever is committed that is not of God, is demonic. God tells truth and only the truth. The truth that God displays, is the truth we must follow. It's the truth, why not follow it. Then when we begin to understand His truth, we then are loved by Him. 1 John 4:10, "In this is love, not that we love God, but that He loved us, and sent His son to be the propitiation for our sins." He loved us so much, that He sent His son to be the ultimate sacrifice for us. I can say one thing for sure, that's a lot of love brotha! Now when we begin to understand His love and love back, we then begin to minister others for Him and serve for Him. "He would rather have us obey then to ask for forgiveness later." A friend of mine once told me that, and the world has it backwards. "Ministry takes place when divine resources meet human needs through loving channels to the glory of God." Warren W. Wiersbe states in His book On Being a Servant of God. It's interesting to see how God works through us. Just yesterday we had mentally and physically handicapped people come to our living quarters in Antigua and serving for God, yes we gave them the blessing to put a smile on the faces, but we, I, myself received more of a blessing being able to put smile on there face. God uses us to show His glory and His amazing love through us. He wants us to be a demonstration of His unconditional love. 2 Timothy 2:15, "Be diligent to present yourself approved to God, a worker who does not need to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth." Sometimes when praying, I ask God why He loves us so much. He doesn't answer. And I won't understand why He does. We don't deserve it. But I am so thankful for His unconditional love. There will come a day, where tears are no more, fears are washed away, and we will be standing in front of Him. I myself can only imagine what I'm going to do. Give Jesus a big ol' hug, thank Him with tears of joy on my face and start dancing for Him. I can only imagine what it would be like. For the rest of my life, I will continue to push towards God, obeying Him, thanking Him, and loving others as He has loved me. I love Him with all my heart, He died for me, I will die for Him.

James 3:16

"For where envy and self-seeking exist, confusion and every evil thing are there."

Selfish-lacking consideration of others, concerned chiefly with one' s own personal profit or pleasure. To me that sounds pretty evil, and confusing to an extent. God created us out of His image, sent His only Son to be an example for man, and the people within the world today still only care about themselves. Yes, there are many who follow Jesus and aim to be an example of Him. God bless them. God was the least bit selfish. Don't you think so? It's interesting to see how we were created from Him and through Him, but yet we still have bitter envy in our hearts. The wickedness of man came from satan himself. He had tricked Eve into eating out of the garden of Eden. And now in today's world, we are completely surrounded by satan and his evils. From evil on the Internet, to the evils of criminals. All God wants us to do is love as He has loved us. Make sacrifices to help others, don't fall into temptation, have a strong obedience with God. James 4:7, "therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you." It's difficult to rid of the devil, to make Him flee, trust me, I know from experience. I know many others that fight the devil every day. Tip of advice, fight the devil, surrender to God. God is the only way of being free. "The Lord is my light and my salvation, who shall I fear?" Psalm 27:1 states. God will continue to put struggle in your life, and a lot of the time you will not understand why. You will ask the same questions that many others before asked, "why me? Why are you doing this to? What is the point to all of this? Is there a point to all of this?" There very much is a point to all the struggles God puts you through. He crafts us into a perfect diamond ready to go onto a ring. He is constantly chipping and shinning us, so that when we get to heaven, we will be ready to go on His fingers. The struggle is very real and there is always a wonderful reason behind. You may not understand now, but just hold on, keep your head up high, stiffen that upper lip, grunt your teeth and keep pushing through. Always remember, the reward is always waiting for you when you finish. Pastor Dennis once said, "you are running a race, keep running, you can do it, they're many others cheering you on. Those many others have done it before you, and they know one thing about you, is that you can do it. So keep going, don't give up now." When the times comes that you need a drink of water, pray. When you start to cramp, eat a banana. when you are getting tired, open your bible. Hebrews 12:2, "looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God." Look to Jesus for strength, you can do it too. 
For this I will write down encouraging notes to pray for others and I ask all of you to keep me accountable. "But those who wait on the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint."