I’ve been thinking today about how noisy life can be… 

 I have the noise of work and church, family and friendships,

 weddings and honeymoons, dreams and music, plans and details…

I’d say that right now my “life-song”  is pretty up-beat.  It’s loud and busy.. the guitars are soloing, the drum is pounding…the bass is kicking…  life is simply busy..and noisy..

in the midst of all this noise, it’s easy to miss the whisper of God..  I find that so many other things can and will block that still small voice that my soul craves, yet a lot of times I change nothing..  Life just keeps going, and God keeps getting hushed by what I’m doing.

I think Jesus knew exactly what i’m talking about. He always seemed to have a crowd around him, always had things going on..  Yet in the midst of all that we see so often that he would escape to a silent place to refresh and renew his soul and his spirit.  I’ve found that I can only go so far without hearing from God.  My soul craves him.  It longs for him.  I need that silent time with him, and I can tell when i’ve missed it, or silenced his voice.  I am a better man with God. sometimes i just fill my life with too much other stuff.. and pretty soon the noise of my life is just too loud, and God gets drowned out.  But in the midst of all this noise, god is worthy. He deserves all of my attention.  There should be no competition.

So today, take some time to get silent before Him.  Turn off the I pod and the cell phone and just connect with your maker.  Grab ahold of his promises.

“Come to me all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come buy and eat… Listen to me and eat what is good, and your soul will delight on the richest of fare.. Give EAR and come to me, HEAR me, that your soul may live.

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Christianity, if false, is of no importance, and if true, of infinite importance. The only thing it cannot be is moderately important. 

 

This quote by CS Lewis should be branded into the minds and hearts of every Christ follower.

This morning I was reading in Luke 15.  In this chapter Jesus gives 3 different examples of something lost being found.  First it’s a sheep. Second a coin. And third, a son. 

As I was reading I stumbled across a verse where Jesus said that there will be more rejoicing in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who do not need to repent…

Simply, I can see the heart of Jesus in this passage.  He went after the sinner.  He went after the ones who were far from God.  He embraced them.  He loved them.  He accepted them.  But it didn’t stop there.   he always brought around some kind of change in their lives.  He couldn’t simply leave a scene without seeing lives change.  

So tonight my prayer is that I would run after the lost and invite them back..  to embrace the sinner, and show them a better way..  And to rescue the broken and welcome them home.   

 

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I read an amazing passage this morning about a blind man…

This blind man was a beggar and one day as he was sitting by the side of the road, a huge crowd came… He starts trying to find out what is happening, and someone tells him that Jesus is there among them.  At the sound of this, he started to go ballistic.. The people in the crowd tried to shut him up, but this only made him shout even louder: Jesus, HAVE MERCY ON ME!  

and then, something beautiful happens.. The text says that Jesus stopped, and had the man brought to Him.

this was GOD. 

This was the GOD that Revelation talks about.

The one, who has kingdoms and nations and rulers and authorities, and angels and demons under his power… the one who holds mountains and oceans, and planets, and solar systems…  and yet, Jesus, the SON of GOD stops to acknowledge a beggar.. a no one.. a loser in everyone else’s eyes.

I think Jesus was trying to teach us how He is ready and willing to respond to us, but just like the blind man, we have to really want it.  This blind man knew who Jesus was, and it didn’t matter what anyone else said. He was going to find Jesus, no matter what it cost him.

so today I encourage you to not only seek the heart and mind of Christ, but seek to have a real life encounter with HIM.  He’s waiting for you today…  So God, i ask that just like this blind man’s eyes were opened, i ask that mine would be opened to you and to the life you desire for all of your followers.  may we find today, the life that is truly life…

Being in love is amazing!!!!!!! I’d even venture to say that it could be one of the best things in the world!!!

It’s just so sweet to know that there is someone else out there, who wants to be with you, and who wants to love you, even though they know who you really are….

I’ve been thinking alot lately about the love that God has for us.  And tonight i thought about how when someone is in love, they find so much pleasure in pleasing the other person..  I mean seriously, they’ll drive an hour out of the way, just to spend 5 minutes with them, they’ll sleep for 3 hours every night, just because talking is so worth it…  I got to thinking about how awesome it is to have the person you love, actually love you back….  it always tickles me pink when my girlfriend goes out of her way, to find out how i feel loved, and then acts upon it!  I love that!  She takes time to find out how i feel loved.. She doesn’t just say it… she shows it, and i absolutely love that!!! its probably the best feeling in the world…

so i was thinking, why should it be any different with God??  Why don’t i take time to find out what pleases him, or what makes him feel loved??  yeah i could take the easy way out and just say, “well God, you know i love you.  i pray that all i do makes you feel praised and loved…”  thats just too cliche’ for me…  How cool would it be to come before God and say” God, i’ve taken extra time today, to find out what pleases you…  and i know im always gonna fall somewhat short, but nevertheless i want to show you how much i care..”

so tonight, or today, go and take some time to find out what makes God feel loved.  after all, he does that for us every single day…  why not give it a try?

“Only You, heal my soul…”

  Today I was on my way to work, and I was listening to a song that said these very words: “Only you, heal my soul..”  I’m not really sure why these words hit me so hard today, except for the fact that lately I have just felt so unworthy to do anything out of the ordinary.  Do you ever get like that?  Its like I know that God has called me into ministry, but honestly, especially on days like today, I simply feel so useless…so unworthy… so normal…  I know that God is gracious, and merciful, and compassionate, and loving, but at what point do I push it to far?  At what point does that grace dry up?  At what point am I finally too far. Condemned?  Then the thought comes that maybe I just don’t understand this grace He talks about…  Maybe my view of grace and love and mercy is distorted because I am distorted…  Maybe this is all a part of life…  Learning the limitless bounds of mercy and grace, and by learning them, I truly can realize how big of a love God has for me!  I read the verse that talks about my sin being cast as far as the east is from the west, and it just doesn’t make sense!  I think that’s another problem I have.  I try and make sense of a limitless, all powerful God.  Do you ever wish you could just return to being a kid, where you can believe everything?  I want to become a kid again when it comes to my faith in my God.  I’m tired of trying to make sense of things, trying to figure things out for myself. Trying to find healing for myself… After all, wasn’t it Jesus who told us that whoever loses his life will find it? I can try and find healing in 1000 other places, but the fact is that God is the only true healer of my soul.  No matter what I’ve done, or where I’ve been, despite my obvious unfaithfulness, He still heals.

So today, instead of trying to figure everything out, try losing it all.  Become like a kid again, and just dive deep into this never-ending love relationship with God.  He’s there waiting. Where are you?

Tonight, i’ve been sitting by my computer for a little while…  I really wanted to write… like, i just felt like I was suppose to write something…  

So, right now, for anyone who reads this, i just want to remind you of the love that our God has for us. I was reading in the Song of Solomon tonight, and i saw such a beautiful picture of how God loves us..  We are his beloved… his bride…  He’s asking you to come away with him..  

Have you ever thought about the fact that God, our almighty, GOD, becomes vulnerable to us, his creation by wanting a relationship with us?  He opens himself up to be hurt.  He opens himself up for pain..  Im having a hard time understanding why in the world this God, who really has no use for someone as insignificant as me, would care enough to open himself up to me?  And yet, in knowing this, what does it really change??  How does having God in my life, change things?  It should change EVERYTHING!!

 I have an amazing girlfriend, and i love to be with her..  When im not with her, i wish i was… When we have to say goodbye, it kills me inside…. I truly just love her, and want to be with her all the time.  I was thinking tonight about why should it be any different with God??  I know its a totally different level, but still, why in the world would i not long for God in this same way?  The question comes up “do i really love God??”  Where is my heart at?…  Do i ache for him in the night?  Do i “go and look for him?”   Am i ready to sacrifice my life for him?

I just want to see God become more, and myself become less.

So today, think about God as your passionate lover, who simply wants to be with you.  He’s madly in love with you.  he’s jealous for you.  And the beautiful thing is that he’s waiting for you to come find him.  Go and be filled.. fall in love all over again with our beautiful savior Jesus..  fall in love!

so its sunday morning around 11..  I just lead worship for junior high, and i decided that while kevin spoke i would come and read a little bit in the office…

  worship this morning was different..  We realized that we need to encounter God in a new and fresh way in order to see any type of life change in our students..  So this morning we ran after God, trying to lead the way for our students….

But anyways, the reason why i am writing, is because today i have been reminded of my need for Jesus.  These past few weeks i have just become so busy…  Between working for my dad, and working at church, and having an amazing girlfriend, and spending time with my family, i have slowly but surely started to shut God out a little bit.  And today i read a story about a woman who was so busy “serving” and “working” for God, that she completely missed a chance to sit at his very feet, and look into his very own eyes.  Its in Luke 10:38-42.  This story talks of 2 sisters who have Jesus over to their house.  The one sister, mary is absolutely distracted by Jesus, and the Bible says that she sat at his feet and listened to him speak..  while in the other room, martha was distracted by the service she was trying to give Jesus.  And in verse 41, there’s a beautiful moment where we see Jesus explain to a tired servant, just what really matters..  He says, “martha, martha, you are worried and upset about many things, but only one thing is needed.  See, its so easy to get caught up in serving, that I forget that the most important thing, is my friendship, and my relationship with Jesus.  

I want to be more like mary was..  to be like a guy on the eve of his wedding… where all that matters, is the person right in front of me.  my Jesus.

so today, slide your name in where marthas was, and hear Jesus saying

“Billy, Billy, you are worried and upset about many things, when really, only one thing matters.”

come back today.  come back to the childlike faith we so desperately long for.  come back


 ”In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth. Now the earth was formless and empty, darkness was over the surface of the deep, and the Spirit of God was hovering over the waters.”

  As i was reading and meditating on this a little bit today, it came to me that maybe God wants to use this as a picture of who we are before we come to Him…  The second sentence, (the second sentence in the whole Bible) says that the earth was formless and empty…kinda like we are formless and empty when we try and live a life separate from the life giver…  Then, it says that darkness was over the face of the deep..

Sounds like me…

I get pushed just a little bit below the surface of my own sin, and soon i am drowning in it..  I try and swim up, but the more i try, the faster i sink…

oh what a little bit of darkness can do to a soul.  I am suffocating in the depths of my transgressions, while right above the surface there is a God who is “hovering” over the waters, only hoping that I would give Him a chance.. Hoping that I would cry out for the help that I can’t give myself.  He’s already decided that He wants me.. Now its my turn to want Him.

  See, in life I find that I can easily “slip” into some things  that aren’t necessarily an abominable sins in the sight of my God, but it always seems like a little bit of this is never enough… it grows.. it gets bigger… until it finally becomes a monster and takes over me.  I become someone i swore i’d never be..  I say things i never thought i’d say… I think, how did i get here??

Sin is blinding.  

The beauty of all this is comes through in a story in Luke 15, where Jesus talks about a “lost son.”  Just like this lost son, i have squandered the wealth my father has given me.  I’ve chased after things..  I’ve had my fill of sin and have come to realize that a life separated from the very Giver of life, is no life at all!  I challenge you, just to take a look into my fathers eyes.. See if you don’t feel as if you were never gone.  The compassion, the love, the joy, and the hope I find in my “Dad’s” eyes are enough to keep me for a lifetime.  I am His, and His alone!

“I have died to myself and become alive in Him, that I no longer live, but He lives in me and through me!

O Praise Him!

“A new command I give you: Love one another. As I have loved you, so you must love one another. By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.”      -John 13:34-35

 This morning as i was reading, i was reminded once again of the importance of love.  I tend to be selfish, and i tend t only look out for myself most of the time.  When i look at the life of Jesus though, i see he lived exactly the opposite.  These words that he told his disciples in John, were one of his last words to them.   Usually a person’s final words are pretty important…      I love how he tells them that ALL men will know that we are his disciples, if we love    

  the thing that i tend to forget, is that authentic Godly love, is the distinguishing mark of Christs true followers.  1 Corinthians 13 gives a list of things that should characterize our relationships with other people, so that they may get an accurate picture of who Jesus is, and of the love he has for them.

“1 If I speak with human eloquence and angelic ecstasy but don’t love, I’m nothing but the creaking of a rusty gate. 2If I speak God’s Word with power, revealing all his mysteries and making everything plain as day, and if I have faith that says to a mountain, “Jump,” and it jumps, but I don’t love, I’m nothing. 3-7If I give everything I own to the poor and even go to the stake to be burned as a martyr, but I don’t love, I’ve gotten nowhere. So, no matter what I say, what I believe, and what I do, I’m bankrupt without love. 

   Love never gives up. 
   Love cares more for others than for self. 
   Love doesn’t want what it doesn’t have. 
   Love doesn’t strut, 
   Doesn’t have a swelled head, 
   Doesn’t force itself on others, 
   Isn’t always “me first,” 
   Doesn’t fly off the handle, 
   Doesn’t keep score of the sins of others, 
   Doesn’t revel when others grovel, 
   Takes pleasure in the flowering of truth, 
   Puts up with anything, 
   Trusts God always, 
   Always looks for the best, 
   Never looks back, 
   But keeps going to the end. 8-10Love never dies. ”

God’s greatest commands are to love him completely, and to love others selflessly.  if i don’t have love, i have nothing.

God help me

1 John 4:7

“Dear friends, let us love one another, for love comes from God.  Everyone who loves has been born of God, and knows God.  Whoever does not love does not know God, because God is love.  This is how God showed His love among us: He sent his one and only son into the world, that we might live through him.  This is love, not that we loved God, but that he first loved us and sent his son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins.  Dear friends, since God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  No one has ever seen God; but if we love one another, God lives in us, and his love is made complete in us.

 

So today as I write this, I am hit hard with the fact that I am probably the most selfish person out there…  I mean, if true love, the love that Jesus displayed, is to “consider others as better than myself,” then boy have I missed it!!  I honestly can’t go 5 minutes without thinking about myself..  I take so much time fussing over me…

  Im so sick of me!!!

Today I heard a statistic, that in Uganda, 140,000 kids are made into orphans every day!  I sit here, and after this im probably gonna go out and eat some lunch, maybe spend 10 bucks on myself, while on the other side of the world, kids just like me are going to go without a lunch… maybe without a dinner… maybe even for a few days…..

 

     What makes me so much better than them???

 

Why can I go for so long, only thinking about myself??!  I mean, its all about me!  Im seriously so disgusted!  God BREAK ME!!!!  I hate this about myself!! 

 

   The world is looking for someone who is real..  for someone who is different… for someone who is selfless….  That’s what John was saying in these verses..  That no one has ever seen God, but if we truly love, then something of his character shines through..  When we love, we show God, because HE IS LOVE!  When we are selfless, and really think of others as better than ourselves, then we truly begin to paint a picture of who our God is!

I read in Matthew 25 a few days ago, and it was talking about how when God returns, he will separate us like a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats..  And basically, he is going to tell those who loved all people, no matter how gross they were, or how poor they were, or how “down and out” they were, to come on in and experience the fullness of God!  He says that every time, we go out of our way to help someone who is “lowly” in our minds, that we have done it for Him… we have helped HIM.  We have done it for God.  Our King.  Our Love.  Our Savior.

  How many times though, am I too caught up in myself, and my agenda, that I pass by God, and simply think that someone else will “take care of it?”  its really sickening…. If I could just learn to live life like Jesus did..  Im so sick of just being a “singer of songs, and a faker of life!”  Cause when I continue reading in Matthew, I see that the other people that God speaks too, are a lot like me.  He says to them: “Depart from me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels.  For I was hungry and you gave me nothing to eat.  I was thirsty, and you gave me nothing to drink.  I was a stranger, and you did not invite me in.  I needed clothes, and you did not clothe me.  I was sick, and in prison, but you didn’t look after me. 

 

Wow. I don’t want to get to the end of my life, and realize that this whole time, I had it wrong!  I don’t want to look into the eyes of my God, and see disappointment. 

 

   You know, these 140,000 orphans shouldn’t have to stay like that forever.  Why not try and change this??  Why not become selfless and truly learn to love??  Why not pour out ALL of your life??  ALL of your dreams?? ALL of who you are??  See, at the end of all this, I don’t want to stand before God, having done nothing to show his love!  So, with this time that I have left, I am going to give it all to HIM!  Im sick of this!  SICK OF SELFISHNESS! 

 

Oh God, here I am.  Take me!  Every selfish bone on my body wants to run my own way, but you have called me to love you, and to love people.  That’s how they’re gonna know how great you are, by how much I love!!  It’s such a huge responsibility, but God, you are so worth it!!  Take me! ALL OF ME!!  EVERY PART!!  Let me learn to love!!  To live in love!!  To be love!!  To be God to every person I see!! It starts today God!  Start with me!

 

 

Friends, lets live this.  Love, Love, Love!!  Be love!!  Change your world!  Don’t wait for someone else to do it!  Catch a dream and go for it!  Don’t find yourself at the end, with God in front of you, saying “I never knew you…  you didn’t quite get it…  you didn’t live to love.”