Sunday, December 31, 2006

A Year In Review

This year, I have begun to learn a lot about idolatry. God has been showing me that I have placed a much higher priority on THINGS than I have placed on Him. I continue to do so. I am getting better. I see that 2007 is going to be a wonderful time of refocusing and revitalizing my Christian life as I continue casting off these idols in my life and begin renewing my dedication to growth in Christ.

Some of the key areas of growth have been in my:

This has been the most noticeable area of change in my life this year. God has allowed me to learn how to manage my money and live on a budget. I am learning still, but it is an awesome ride. He has allowed me to be able to begin supporting the missions efforts of my church fellowship as well as sending money to a couple of other organizations on a monthly basis to support the ministry of the Gospel here in Texas as well as overseas. I recently received a letter from one of the missionaries whom I personally support in India telling how he has been passing out tracts, books, and New Testaments to some who violently oppose the work of Christians and his ministry. This is something I never would have been able to share in if I had not learned how to manage my money.

I am planning on opening a video production/website design business this spring. Money will go toward paying down debt, car maintenance, giving to God, and minimal business expenses.

In the area of spirituality, I have not seen as much growth over the past year as I would like to have seen. I did some fasting. I did set aside some things that needed to go. I have begun to focus much more on the way that THINGS get in the way of my fellowship with the Lord. It is good to see those things beginning to come to light. The trouble is that I haven't seemed to get rid of them as quickly or effectively as I would have liked to. One huge thing that has happened that is a tremendously positive step is that I got rid of my internet for four months from July through October. Send me a message to learn more about specifically why I would have done this. This helped me to be able to refocus more on priorities and helped to pry away my computer-dependence that I have allowed to establish itself in my life. I got internet access back in November, but now I have two internet filtering programs to help keep me safe from myself. If you do not have content filtering software on your computer, you are playing with fire. Send me a message to learn more and get recommendations.

The longer I live in a hispanic-dominant culture, the longer I realize that people are more important than schedules. God has thoroughly transformed my social interaction abilities and skills over the past three years. Those who knew me then would have a tremendously difficult time believing that I am the way that I am now. It is all an answer to prayer. This year, I have continued deepening those friendships that I have here. It is awesome to see how God has brought about this change. Truly awesome.

In April, I became the treasurer of a local Christian organization. We run an interdenominational Christian teen center that is open one night each weekend. I wrote a letter to the editor of our local newspaper about the high school band. As I have now personally been the band director for over 450 students here, I also am beginning to be more recognized as I go in public. It happens even more immediately after I go to visit the various elementary campuses here. Kids just kind of look at me. It's kind of eerie sometimes.

I am making friends with more of the band parents and am beginning to incorporate myself more into the community. I am very heavily involved in my church. I run the media ministry, I play keyboards in the worship team, I open the services up from time to time. I taught a Bible study in the mornings last fall and early this spring. I am working on an advertisement for the church fellowship to play on the local television stations.

The personal growth that I have experienced this year has been broad in its impact. I am coming to a point where my focus is MUCH less on me and my pleasure, and I am focusing far more on others -- especially on mission outreaches.

As a teacher, I feel like I have learned a great deal more about running a band program. I have been graciously allowed to have another band director to work full time teaching beginning band with me. This allows me to teach him more about the job as well as it alleviates a lot of the time-constraints that I have had in the past because of administrative work. I also got the classes sorted into like-instruments and I have really been able to learn a lot about teaching the individual instruments much more. All in all, this school year is the most fun year of teaching I have ever had.

I have come to the realization that reading nonfiction books is vital to my continued growth and success in life. Since June, I have read about a half dozen of them, and I anticipate increasing the amount of time that I spend reading in the spring.

Speaking of which, this spring will be one of casting off shackles and old habits that keep me from being closer to Jesus. It's a regular clearance sale: everything mst go. Very few things that I do in my personal time are beneficial and so many of them need to be greatly reduced or eliminated entirely. I have been bingeing for far too long, now it is time to purge.

I have come to the realization that no amount of money that I save in order to get out of debt is worth sacrificing my health. I spend more money on food now than I did for a while, but it is not spent eating out nearly as much as it is on fresh vegetables and soups and other kinds of healthier foods. I walk my dog nearly every morning for about 20 minutes also. This is one area in which I have struggled for years, and it an area wherein I will see tremendous progress in the coming year. Ask me about it and keep me on track.

Friday, November 10, 2006


Wow, what a difference a month and a half can make! I just reread my last entry and quite a few things have changed. The most obvious for me is that I have decided to get internet access at home again. I downloaded the American Family Filter from bSafe online to keep me from spending too much time online and to keep me from getting to websites I don't need to get to.

Another major shift is in my attitude toward mission work. I wrote that I wanted to go overseas. That was before I read K.P. Yohannan's book, "Revolution in World Missions." In the book, he writes about the native missionary movement in India and around the world. I had no idea how much more effectively money can be spent by native missionaries - people who are accustomed to living in the same miserable condition as those to whom they are ministering.

Whereas I would love to go overseas sometime, I would much rather send $1,000 to Gospel For Asia or Voice of the Martyrs to have them equip a missionary or missionaries to evangelize for months at a time. A two week short-term mission trip can run into multiple thousands of dollars and is over when it's over. Sending a native missionary to Bible college for the same price or less can have literally many hundreds of times the results.

The most awesome thing about Dave Ramsey's plan is that I now have money that I can send to missions agencies and really begin to use God's resources correctly.

Monday, September 25, 2006

The Blessings of Obedience

I am amazed by how easy it has been for me to completely get rid of my home Internet access. Just as with most things that we do, the challenge lies not in doing it, but the challenge lies in beginning to do it. As strange as this may sound, it seems more frightening that it has been. There have been a few minor adjustments, though.

I have to pay bills with checks in the mail rather than online. I have to wait until I get my bank statement before I can reconcile the accounts. I have to find new ways to fill my free time; things such as cleaning, spending time with friends, listening to sermons, doing my job more effectively, walking my dog, and other things that normal people do (or at least things most people did much more often ten years ago).

Technology is both a blessing and a curse. I love being able to take my notebook up somewhere with wireless internet, and catch up with friends from home or friends who have moved away from here. It takes me usually about 30 minutes a few times a week to do all of that. I now struggle to remember how I spent entire days online in the past. And yet I have been known to do just that more than a few times. Perhaps it is just a problem that I have.

On the other hand, I am excited to see financial matters beginning to shape up. I had two wisdom teeth removed a couple of weeks ago and will have some other dental work done in a couple more weeks. I will be able to pay for it all (over $1,000) with little difficulty. It slightly delays paying off my credit cards, but it is something I've needed to have done for nearly 5

Finally, I seriously want to go overseas this summer to do short-term mission work. A friend of mine went to Equatorial Guinea this summer to evangelize and help build some there with some missionaries that our church supports. If he goes back next year, I want to be able to go with him. Getting my finances in order will be a great way to be able to comfortably do that also. When I decide to do it, I will begin seeking financial assistance from friends. If you read this, feel free to pray for direction with that whole thing also.

Tuesday, August 01, 2006


More Dave Ramsey

I will be taking no more vacations until I am out of debt.  The one possible exception will be family Christmas gatherings.  I turned down an invitation to go to lunch after church today because “it’s not in my budget.”  I came home and ate a sandwich and frozen dinner.  It felt good!  I have been listening to Dave Ramsey podcasts this weekend.  I’m getting pumped up again.  Great stuff.

Yesterday, I went into Quicken and put in realistic numbers and it looks like I will be able to have my $1,000 baby emergency fund set up on the 15th of this month.  It will be incredibly tight, but it should happen.  After that, it looks like I will get around $2,000 of credit cards paid off by the end of the year.  That will leave me with two credit cards totaling around $8,000 and a student loan and other loans adding up to around $12,000.  So that means that I am well on my way to get completely debt free by the summer of 2008.  That is ridiculously exciting.  More realistically, I am anticipating my net income going up between $100 and $200 a month very shortly after I get a raise and get rid of my cash value life insurance.  That could put me out of debt by the end of 2007.  I think that may be my new goal.  It will be hard.

Seven Habits

Stephen Covey’s Habit 2 is “Begin with the End in Mind.”  In this situation, that means that looking at the goal of being DEBT FREE is what guides my financial decisions.  Similarly, looking at the goal of being HEALTHY is beginning to guide my culinary decisions.

Tuesday, July 18, 2006



I know I am probably far behind everyone else on this.  I have just realized something.  Hypocrisy is not exclusively saying one thing while planning to do another thing entirely.  That is hypocrisy, but so is saying something, planning to do that same thing, and yet for whatever reasons doing something quite the opposite.

Specifically, the first instance would more accurately be called duplicity and the second instance could be called insincerity.  But they are simply the two natures of hypocrisy.  From one standpoint, duplicity is the most harmful because it is done intentionally by one person to another.  On the other hand, for the person who is unintentionally insincere, the insincerity can be quite deceptive.

Consider weight loss.  How many people proclaim that they are “turning over a new leaf” or embarking on a plan to lose X number of pounds only to gain X number of pounds instead or at best maintain the same weight?  How many people begin an exercise plan and do nothing to follow through.  Personally, the answer to both of those questions would be innumerable.

So I come to discover that I am hypocritical in far more areas than I had previously realized.  God help me!

Tuesday, July 11, 2006

Comprehensive Change Continues

As I begin to get my financial house in order, I have noticed some major inconsistencies in my life. I work very hard at my job. I do an exceptional job and produce very good results. But in my personal life, discipline is missing in a number of areas. Understanding that deficiency is a good beginning. Now the time is coming for me to get control over these areas one at a time.

Target Practice

A few weeks ago, I went to a friend's house and he got out a couple of rifles. We went out back and crossed a property line so that it was legal, and began shooting up a storm. I envision the same thing happening as I undergo dramatic, cataclysmic transformation in my life. This is far more comprehensive than any change cycle I have ever attempted before, and the change here is coming from the inside out. Stephen Covey refers to a need for paradigm shifts to come from the inside out, rather than from the outside in. Most of the attempts I have done before have been externally motivated to one degree or another. This is different.


The proof is in the way that I feel now compared to the way that I have felt before when I have tried these kinds of things. I am clearly in control. Before, it has merely been a "well, let's give this a try" kind of feeling. Here, it is fundamentally different. There is no question in my mind that the motivation is there. I simply need to correlate some of these other issues into the intrinsic drive that is under way in getting out of debt.

Essentially, I don't want to wake up in a year and be struggling with the same junk that I have been struggling with for years. I don't want to wake up in a year and still be completely out of shape, overweight, financially controlled by debt, spiritually controlled by my flesh, and living a life of occasional victory, occasional failure, and constant fear. Perhaps this is an oversimplification of my condition, but black and white works best for me. I have begun working on the finances, now I must begin working on the health.

Because a rich person who has spent all his time acquiring wealth at the expense of his health would give all he had to regain the health that he lost. I am tired of being afraid to look at pictures of myself. I am tired of avoiding certain stores because of the number of mirrors they have in them. I have a handful of health problems that contribute to poor breathing. Asthma, a lung that collapsed 9 years ago, the other lung that had a tumor pressing against it, etc. Being overweight and out of shape merely add to the problems, and I am tired of all that junk. My heart is tired, too. If I were to lose a single pound a week for the next year, I will weigh 50 pounds less at the beginning of July, 2007. Very conservative plan.


I am extraordinarily competetive in a lot of what I do. And yet, God has been teaching me over the last three or four years that patience is definitely a valid character trait that I have so oft neglected. The tortoise beats the hare. Dave Ramsey says that "the best way to get rich quick is to get rich slowly." The best way to lose weight fast is to lose weight slowly. Methodical and consistent always beats out flash in the pan. Our microwave culture wants the quick fix. It frustrates us if the cable company gives us a two hour window in which to install the cable. We are a sad lot, aren't we?

Monday, July 10, 2006


"No matter how busy you may think you are, you must find time for reading, or surrender yourself to self-chosen ignorance." -- Atwood H. Townsend

I have recently come to the realize that success depends on knowledge. Knowledge comes from a handful of places. The key storehouses of knowledge are found through experience, trial and error, and reading. Obviously, the quickest and least frustrating of the three is simply reading.


I have never been a prolific reader of books. In school, I don't remember fully reading as assigned book after I finished seventh grade. There are lots of good fiction books that I wish I would have taken the time to read, but I never really like people telling me what to do without telling me why to do it, and I was always able to figure out a way to pass without doing the assigned readings. Perhaps I would be more cultured if I would have spent that resourcefulness rather doing what was asked of me!

Christ Enters

When I tasted of conversion and began to truly live for God back in 2000, I began to read the Bible a lot more than I ever had before. I also began reading Christian nonfiction books. In fact, at that time, I read some of the Left Behind fiction books. I liked learning what I learned in the nonfiction stuff. Since that time, I have collected quite an array of the so-called Christian Living books. I also have a handful of biographies. I have experienced times when I've read and times when I've not read. Up to that point, I had never really had a desire to go out and read books. I really hadn't read many magazines or newspapers either. I simply didn't read. Not for school, not for entertainment, not for learning, not for nothing.

Summer Precipitates Change

I have lately started quite a few books, but very often do not finish them. In June, I got a copy of Dave Ramsey's latest book, The Total Money Makeover. I read it in less than a week. I also have been finding quotes from some of the people that he references and they seem to be very high on reading. So I've looked into it more. In that same month, I borrowed a copy of his book Financial Peace and read it, too, within a week. I went to a discount book store the other day and bought copies of about four or five books. I have completed two more books this week. Maybe one day I'll get a bookshelf to hold all of them in instead of filling an empty closet with them.

Monday, July 03, 2006


I am sitting at a table outside of a hotel down the street from my home. I kicked the cable company out of my home. It is one of the best feelings I have had in a while. In fact, I feel so much more in control now than I have in years regarding my personal life.

For some people, having an internet connection at home is not a problem in the least bit, and it provides little to no temptation. For me, this is not the case. I did some work on my car's engine today, I have been playing with my dog a lot more lately, and I went tubing in a river yesterday. These are things that having the comforts of cable and internet do not encourage me to do. I know it all sounds pretty pathetic, and honestly, it is. But now I am exercising freedom and power and control over these things. I am focused more on God. It will be an incredible journey. At least a year, and we'll see what happens after that. Freedom is an incredible thing. My personal Independence Day is June 30th. Praise God.

Monday, June 19, 2006



I believe that my cable bill with this past statement will get me service through July 2nd.  That means that we are less than 15 days away from the amputation.  It’s exciting.  I am still spending too much time online, but it will all change shortly.  I drove around a bit and I believe there are at least three places within three miles of my home that I will be able to send and receive emails and do whatever else I need to get done (download bank statements, check balances online, etc.) from the privacy of my car.  Ha.

Total LIFE Makeover

I’ve been listening to Dave Ramsey for the last three months now and I have begun to be brainwashed.  This summer represents the beginning of a new life transformation for me in many regards.  The finances and the internet/cable are a step, but they are by no means comprehensive.  I have a renewed outlook on things.  I am looking at things more from the long-range perspective.  Something he mentions in the Total Money Makeover book is that so often in American society, we sacrifice the future for the present.

I Don’t Want To Retire And Eat Alpo!

It’s a dismal picture, but it represents the future of many Americans.  Shopping for food in the pet food aisle.  I am making dramatic changes now that will “change my family tree.”  It is challenging, but I see it as a fun challenge.  I should be completely debt free within two years and then begin to really pile money into retirement and give, give, give to people and ministries.  It’s exciting.  But it takes time.  You see, the best way to get rich quick is to not get right quick.  The best way to lose weight is to lose weight slowly.  Anything challenging takes slow, methodical progress.  Success is the result of consistently doing the right stuff.  Quick results are frequently not that common with successful plans.  I am able to see that in my job so easily, and yet I have failed thus far to see that in other aspects of my personal life.

Introspection Rocks.

Tuesday, June 13, 2006

Seek Ye First

Seek Ye First

Idolatry is placing anything between us and Christ. Why do I place so many things between us? Because I am human. But that is a lousy excuse. So why do I do it? Because I am not allowing the Holy Spirit to lead, guide, and direct me. So sad. But I have been reading books the last two weeks. I have embarked on my plan to finish the New Testament by the end of June. I am in a much better place than I was. But I still allow distractions to creep in. I still allow myself to drift.

I will close out my internet and cable connections at the end of this month. I have discovered that the world of wireless internet connections outside my home is vast. The world of unsecured wireless internet connections is slightly less vast, and yet widely available. I am safer accessing the internet for brief periods of time to upload emails and download podcasts. I am excited about the prospect. This means much more focus time at home. This means much more time to spend with friends.

One of my friends is moving. He got another job. He will be going back to his hometown. I am sad.

It is difficult for me to establish good friendships and we have developed a very strong one since he moved her slightly less than a year ago. It is even more difficult for me to FIND single men around my age who are dedicated to serving Christ. But I know that this whole thing means that God has tremendous things in store for both of us. I am looking forward to continuing the friendship despite the distance. But I am scared.

I would say that he is easily one of less than four guys I have had good solid Christian friendships with. We work together, so we have that bond. We agree on some pretty strongly held theological points. We are both tremendous fans of grace. We have both come through and still confront some of the same struggles. But my God is bigger than this. My God shall supply all my need. I need a male friend who will hold me accountable. I need a guy with whom I can discuss deep spiritual things one minute and sit down and eat a pizza and play a board game with the next.

So much for society’s mold of a man who is completely independent. So much for Hollywood’s view of strength. I have heard it said that meekness is not weakness; it is God’s power under control. Heavenly Father, I pray that you make me meek. Make me a man of humility.

Wednesday, June 07, 2006

The Time Has Arrived

The Time For Transformation Has Arrived

So here’s the deal.  I have a great deal of areas in my life that I have been ignoring for too long.  Way too many areas.  It is high time to rectify those problem areas; time to rebuild altars to the Lord where the ungodly altars have been established for far too long.  Some of these altars were torn down at one point or another, but they have all been in place for far too long and merely continue to grow.  For when a problem is neglected, it ferments and becomes much more potent.

Cultural Detox Is The Beginning

For the remainder of June, my computer/internet time will consist of little more than checking emails in the morning and checking emails in the afternoon.  No Instant Messenger.  No hours spent squandering precious seconds into minutes and hours.  No video games.  No browsing myspace profiles.  No downloading the hottest, latest, greatest programs.  No web searches.  Email.

Radical Change Demands Radical Changes

I have done it before and I will do it again.  This time for real.  Cable and internet go away on July 1st.  I am sick of wasting time.  You see, it is not simply my time that is wasted.  It is not simply my innocence that is sacrificed through popup ads, over sexualized imagery, and reading horrible things that people type.  It is a spiritual battle.  “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places” (Ephesians 6:12).  Life is a spiritual battle.  I have allowed the internet to creep in once again and hinder my fighting the good fight.

Responsibility Ushers In Discipline

I am responsible for this, and I accept that responsibility.  I must now take the responsibility to overcome these problems.  As a result, I stand here at the brink of life-altering changes.  When I did this once before, it was wonderful seeing the growth I experienced.  Now I am committing to a much longer period of freedom from the net.  It is definitely for at least a year.  In June of 2007, I will reexamine to see where things stand and see if I want to bring it back in.

Discipline Leads To The Path Of Righteousness

As I become more disciplined in my life, I will spend more time seeking the Lord.  This discipline will come in some key areas.  Specifically, I envision becoming more disciplined in:

Prayer Time
Free Time
Bible Study
Exercise Habits
Eating Habits
Spending/Saving Habits (Thank you Dave Ramsey)
Thought Patterns – specifically regarding lust issues
Sleep Habits (without television or internet, why not go to sleep earlier?)

Righteousness Leads To The Face of God

As I shed these things, I will outwardly demonstrate the inward change.  Just as when Moses’ face shone after he spent time in communion with God on the Mount, so will my countenance become brighter.  Additionally, I expect to lose weight as a result of being more attentive to the foods I eat and the amount of exercising that I do.

So Does This Mean Complete Internet Rejection?

Absolutely not.  I am fortunate that I have a notebook computer that has a built in wireless receiver.  I am also fortunate that I live in a place where there are a handful of free wireless networks lingering around town.  I will experiment with them some over the next few weeks.  Sending and receiving emails through Outlook (write and read offline, upload and download online), publishing occasional blog posts, and catching up on podcasts should all be things that minimal internet connectivity through free wireless networks will handle.

Sunday, May 28, 2006

Cultural Detox

Cultural Detox

I am not yet sure what all will be entailed in this ordeal, and it will undoubtedly be a work in progress.  What I know is that too much of the world’s culture has been allowed to creep into my life and I want to expel as much of it as I can.  So it is time to do just that.

A Summer of Sacrifice

This summer – definitely during the months of June and July, I am going to make some changes.  Some will be more painful than others, and yet whatever the case, they will all be changes made toward the end of reaching a goal.  That goal is one of transformation in my outlook.

Satisfied with Dissatisfaction

You see, at least in my life, I see a great ill.  I see it in the lives of most people, but I know not the cause.  In me, the problem is simply a matter of being dissatisfied with what I have.  I am not happy with what God has divinely ordained for me to have.  As a result of this dissatisfaction, I seek something better.  The whole “grass is greener on the other side” syndrome.  The grass only appears greener.


My life experience, limited though it may be, has proven to me over and over again that when I acquire things, when I achieve recognition, when I accomplish tasks, and when I attain goals, I am always left with a sense of lack.  That sense of lack is there for a purpose!  Jesus advised us to, “Take heed and beware of covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of the things he possesses” (Luke 12:15).

Did you get that?  Life is not about stuff.  When our lives revolve around stuff, Jesus calls that covetousness.  That’s greed.  That’s one of the so-called Seven Deadly Sins.  Ouch.  So what does that mean?

The Plan

This will be a summer of spiritual conquest in my life.  It will be a summer of overcoming the flesh.  I do not know what all will be entailed in this.  I will assume that there will be some fasting involved.  I am waiting on the leading of the Holy Spirit in some areas.  What I do know, is that I am going to go on a “Fast Food Food Fast” this summer.  That means, I will not eat anything from McDonalds, Jack In The Box, Wendy’s, whatever.  I may still do the occasional Subway or Quizno’s, but we shall see.  This goes in line with my “Total Money Makeover” (ala Dave Ramsey) in that it helps me save money.  It also will help me to avoid overindulgence in really unhealthy foods.

God is the source of all true satisfaction.  Not stuff.  Not food.  Not video games.  Not television.  It’ll be a fun ride!

Monday, May 22, 2006

Got Theology

Got Theology?

Have you ever wanted to sit down and have a good old fashioned conversation about basic theology?  Why is it that more people don’t understand some of the theological basics?  I mean, how can you go to church for most of your life and yet not understand justification?  How can you not understand the basics of salvation?  What’s up with that?

It is disappointing that so many people in churches know more about Jabez in the Old Testament than they do about Jesus Christ in the Old Testament.  More people could tell you how to be blessed than could tell you how to be saved.  And I don’t even want to begin tackling the subject of hypocrisy.  “Hey!  I’m a Christian, too!  Want to go clubbing tonight?  I’ll buy the drinks!”

Shallow people disappoint me. <sigh>

Saturday, May 20, 2006

Trying vs. Dying

I went to a friend’s house last night and we listened to Chuck Smith teaching through Ephesians 1. We discussed again the phenomenal power of God’s grace. It boggles the mind. God has given so much and asks so little.

Then we started talking about churches

So many churches simply do not teach doctrine. It’s like pastors are afraid that if they teach doctrine, they will bore their congregations or something. I guess it’s a tough decision between boring people or sending them to hell. We see so many people working for their own salvation. I think so often people don’t know that they are doing it!

So where does this works thing come from?

Whenever we try to maintain our own salvation or take responsibility for our own actions, we are working. When we understand the New Covenant, we are freed from the stress that comes from TRYING to live according to the Law of God. The Law is good because it shows us our desperate need for Jesus Christ, but it reminds us of just how inept we are. Isaiah says that “all our righteousnesses are as filthy rags” (Isaiah 64:6). The grace of God is great because it shows us our desperate need for Jesus Christ while, at the same time, freeing us from the disappointment that comes so often from the realization that we cannot fulfill the Law’s requirements. Bob Hoekstra writes:

When a person struggles and struggles with a major medical problem, it is agonizing to go on and on, not knowing what the problem actually is. It is glorious when someone is able to reveal what the problem actually is. Part of the glory of the law is that it reveals the basic problem of human struggles: sin. Yet, it is a far more glorious matter to have a remedy for a problem revealed. Grace is that remedy.

Trying vs. Dying

Louie Giglio says we need to do a lot less trying and a lot more dying. That is a good preachery kind of way to put it. In the opening chapters of Hebrews, the Holy Spirit says that Jesus Christ has sat down at the right hand of the Father so that we might enter into the true rest that is typified throughout the Old Testament by the Sabbath Day of rest. Our High Priest has sat down to rest (meaning there is no more work to be done) so that we, too, might enter into that rest. Later, I will write much more on the subject of losing one’s salvation. For now, suffice it to say that when we labor to maintain our own salvation and fear losing it, we miss out on the rest that God has provided once for all for us through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. Glory be to His holy name.

Monday, May 15, 2006

Dead fish float

Dead fish float

I was listening to a sermon message by Chuck Smith tonight.  Something he said really jumped out at me, especially in light of the last post I made.  He said that when he was younger, he would always complain to his mother when she wouldn’t let him to go parties or movies or whatever.  His argument was always “But everyone else is doing it.”  He said that her response was something to the effect of, “Any dead fish can float down the stream.  It takes a live fish to swim against the current.”

Dead people float

By the same token, any spiritually dead person can float through life.  It takes the life of Christ within us to resist those things that are “normal.”

Saturday, May 13, 2006

I just realized something

I just realized something today.

A few days ago, I got a myspace account because I have heard a lot about it and I have a handful of friends who put pictures on there or whatever.  Well, I finally bit the bullet and jumped in.  What I have begun to discover disappoints me.  So many of the profiles I see on there are so carnal; so worldly.  They put Christian as their religion, but then they proceed to put half-naked people, playboy bunnies, raunchy songs, profanity, and all sorts of other things on there as well.  “Where,” I asked myself, “are all of the normal people?”

Then it struck me.

The normal people are the ones whose profiles I am looking at.  The normal people are on there looking for dates.  Looking for friends.  The normal people are the ones who go to bars on Saturdays and church on Sundays.  The normal people are the ones who live to pursue pleasure.  The normal people are the ones who go through life without a vision for progress.

Then it struck me.

Where there is no vision, the people perish: be he that keepeth the law, happy is he(Proverbs 29:18).

Normal people don’t have a vision for life.  I have a vision for my life.  Therefore, I am not like normal people.  I am different.  I am called to be different.  I am saved to be different.

But being different makes it difficult to make a lot of friends.

This also is true, but that in no way justifies going back to doing normal people stuff.  But they might think I’m weird.  They might not be my friend.  They might shrug me off and never invite me to hang out with them.  Dave Ramsey says that when broke people are criticizing your financial planning, you are on the right track.  I say that when normal people are criticizing my lifestyle, I am on the right track.

Pursue Jesus at all costs

But seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness” (Matthew 6:33).
Looking unto Jesus, the Author and finisher of our faith” (Hebrews 12:2).

No other pursuit in life is more prosperous or beneficial than an all-out abandoned pursuit of the Messiah.  The Redeemer of Israel is also the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him.  The righteousness of Christ is unbelievably pure and it makes me stand here in utter amazement.

So where are all of the normal people?  They are on myspace.  Where are all of the different people?  They are on their knees in prayer.  Lord, that I might be separated more from the patterns of the world!  Direct me, Heavenly Father.  Lead me in right paths.


Success in any endeavor, no matter how mundane or profound, is dependant solely upon setting a goal, delaying gratification, and, with the highest level of intensity possibly, seeing the goal through to ultimate fruition.

Tuesday, April 18, 2006

God is tremendously great

God is tremendously great. I am excited about getting back into the Bible reading and studying habits. I am excited about getting over the love of the world. It starts with a change of mindset. That transformation comes from God, not from me. I see myself more and more asking myself questions such as:

  • “Is this thing beneficial for me?”
  • “Do I need to spend money on that?”
  • “How will this impact my goals?”
  • “Does this glorify God in some way?”

Monday, March 20, 2006

Everything posted before this entry has been transported from other writing I have done in the past, either on various blog sites or in personal writing or whatever. The transporting process is ongoing.

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