Thursday, December 31, 2009

His Thoughts or His Mind?

"Let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus;"
Philippians 2:5

"For my thoughts [are] not your thoughts, neither [are] your ways my ways, saith the LORD." Isaiah 55:8

If his thoughts are above our thoughts, then how can the mind of Christ be in us?

It is not the understanding thoughts of the Almighty's ways that we are to have in us, but rather the mind of willingness to do God's will and humility that the Saviour possessed while on earth. It is not the ability to know all things as God does in Isaiah 55:8 that we are commanded to have, but the ability to obey without understanding, like Christ did in Philippians 2:5.

Too often we desire the opposite: to understand the ways of God Almighty and his perfect design, and yet we refuse to have the submitted, self-sacrificial mind that our Lord displayed in his life on earth, though we be commanded to "follow in his steps." (1 Peter 2:21) The path of Phillipians 2:5-8 goes unaccomplished in most Christians as they seek to know "why" God does things, reaching beyond human comprehension into the knowledge of an infinite God, which we will never understand.

Our Lord would rather us have a Christ-like submission to his authority, crucifying ourselves with Christ. In this way, it is not our will, but his being done. This is the mind of Christ.

Therefore, not understanding God Almighty's thoughts and ways, let us have the mind of Christ.

Tuesday, December 29, 2009

True Victory; True Defeat

Victory is a coveted thing. A measure of heavenly immortality on mortal earth. Victory is when you truly get triumph in the face of a struggle.

And defeat. Defeat is not a "knocked down but never knocked out" attitude. Defeat is when you lose. In effect, the battle is over. No one takes defeat well.

I've felt victory before. True victory that was so longed-for and coveted that it almost hurt me for the exitement that I felt. It was a swelling of joy and longing in my heart that almost burst my spirit. And I've felt defeat. I've felt completely crushed, as if victory was not at all possible.

In fighting my flesh, victory and defeat are real things. In spiritual warfare, both of these can be felt. Sometimes just a whiff of victory can be very encouraging at a point in life where the campaign seems marked by defeat.

Most of the time, victory cannot be acheived because our battle efforts are not passionate enough. We lack the energy and will to do what is necessary in certain battles to gain victory. Then we get knocked down. We suffer losses. We take steps backward.

A lot of times, a defeat can aggravate me to the point that I will go all out, sparing no expense, and doing drastic things physically and spiritually to gain that victory. I'm a winner, and losing is not something I do well. And if anything good can come from losing, it is the determination that pushes me over the top to gain the victory, because I've made the effort necessary to win.

And that's where you need to get if you seem to never gain the victory. Get in a mode of win-or-die syndrome. And give it all you've got! You cannot go too far in putting forth an effort to gain a victory for God. Do the drastic things that seem overboard if that's what it takes. Fast for long periods of time. Pray at crazy hours of the morning and night. Get close to God in ways that you need to in order to get the upper hand on the flesh. You have to make the flesh weary and wasted before the spiritual man can get a solid foothold. Make the old flesh weary and tired. Then get a hold of God, and beg him for his strength. Victory is possible. Especially after defeat. God wants Christians to be victorious, and with his help and a sincere will-power, it can be acheived.

This is the purpose of the altar in the Bible--for flesh to be sacrificed. Burn the flesh. When the stink of burning flesh begins to rise out of your life towards God and for God, he says it will be a "sweet smelling savor." What stinks to you in the flesh will smell good to our Savior. Lay yourself on the altar, and kill the wicked flesh, sacrificing it to the Lord.

"I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that you present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service." Romans 12:1

"I am crucified with Christ; nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me." Galations 2:20

Thursday, December 10, 2009

Christmas Ladies Meeting Setup

I have been sick for the last two days, and finding myself without much to do, I thought I would put up a few pictures. Although ladies meetings have nothing to do with me, I usually have a lot to do with the setup, cleanup, and eating up of the leftovers. So, I thought since I had a lot of investment in it, I’d put up a few pictures of that.

photo photo 3

Somehow food tastes better when you eat it in a nice setting.

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Somehow my mom couldn’t bear not to have a Christmas tree, so we settled for this little 3 footer. The way I see it, I have enough work to do without making extra work for myself. Makes sense, right?

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These were the able waiters at the party. Many times I have been in those outfits, getting picked on, poked at cause I was at a ladies meeting, getting my cheeks pinched, and being told I was handsome all night (though it may be true). :) I don’t envy you boys… hope you had a blast! :D After setup, I left and went with Russell over to his trailer for a few hours. I’m sure the ladies had a good time, as always.

Monday, December 7, 2009

Double Decision

Fork in the Road

It is always easy to say things. It’s not always so easy to do them.

Words spoken in time of ease many times are hard to swallow in times of testing. And due to the excess of words, we find ourselves questioning things that we once have said, and now are expected to act upon.

It’s not that what was once said was wrong. It doesn’t even mean that we no longer believe it now that the testing is upon us. But our flesh gets into situations where our desire is so overwhelming that the things we once stood for are now being second-guessed and even being tossed to and fro in our minds.

As a Christian who takes a stand for many things, this is especially important. You must take that stand, but taking that stand will require you to live a very specific way.

“LORD, who shall abide in thy tabernacle? who shall dwell in thy holy hill?…[he] In whose eyes a vile person is contemned; but he honoureth them that fear the LORD. He that sweareth to his own hurt, and changeth not.” Psalm 15:1,4

Swearing to your own hurt, and changing not. These are powerful words spoken by the psalmist, realizing some things he knew personally.

David said he would not touch God’s anointed. When Saul began throwing spears, David ran. He honored his word. But it did not end there. After more than 5 years of running from Saul, the opportunity to kill him was well within David’s grasp. Yet he apologized and repented for simply cutting the cloth of Saul’s garment. Swearing to your own hurt… and CHANGING NOT!

Stability is probably the most lacked character trait in this generation. People don’t even know what to stand for, and then those that do know what to stand for don’t stand.

There’s no such thing as making a decision for God only one time. If you make a decision for the Lord, the devil is sure to test it. Try it. If you made the decision once, you will need to make the same decision again.

I made the decision a long time ago to do whatever the Lord told me to do. A semester into college, I’ve made that decision at least 100 more times. :)

I made the decision not to use certain language. I make that same decision every time I go to work and deal with certain people that do their best to bring out the worst in me.

I made the decision to keep myself pure, saving my heart and body for the precious young lady I marry. I made that same decision again today.

The point is, if you made the decision for the Lord, expect to make it again, and again, and again. A world of sin is against everything you promise the Lord.

Have you made the decision to do whatever God wants? If you have, then never let financial circumstances, geographic locations, or self-will deter you.

Have you vowed to keep yourself pure? If the answer is yes, then never, ever give your heart, emotions, or feelings to anyone whom God has not expressly told you is the man or woman you will marry, and only then after you have the go-ahead from God’s authority in your life. In fact, I ask every unmarried young adult with Christian parents reading this to make a vow to the Lord: Vow to never pursue a relationship that leads to marriage until both of your parents approve. If one of them sees a problem, then there’s something wrong. But I promise you, if both of them agree that it is good, you can be sure the Lord is in it. (That advice was unplanned so that was free of charge) :D

And that will be another decision that your flesh will be sure to test you on. Just remember, even if it hurts, CHANGE NOT! What was right when you made the decision is still right today. Do not change based on the situation. The circumstances do not warrant exceptions, the circumstances show what you really believed all along. Stick with those decisions… especially when it hurts. God loves to see his children make decisions, and then make the same decision again when the going gets tough and it isn’t easy, because it honors him.

Double decisions will be the greatest tool of public testimony you can have. And to top it off, God will be pleased. And when he smiles, the frowns of the world won’t mean a thing. I love to make God smile, and he put it on my heart to write this post. God is pleased with double decisions!

Tuesday, November 17, 2009

One Nice Picture!

Just a few friends having a blast at the beach.

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(Oh, actually it’s a few friends and a twitter-pated couple!)

Saturday, November 7, 2009

Good times, tough times...

It has been a very unusually grim time around Truth Baptist Church and the Heritage Boys Academy. It has had its highlights as well though. Alot has happened, so I'll do this in chronological order.

On Wednesday, the 21st of October, our dear friends from the Netherlands, the Huussens, arrived in Panama City. They will be here until the first week of December, and will be back again sometime after the first of next year to get ready for the Russell and Hannah's wedding. I don't know the details of it all yet, but nonetheless, it has already been alot of fun since they've been here. I have enjoyed every spare minute I can "escape" over to their trailer. :D That was one of the highlights.

Then on Monday, the 26 of October, our campmeeting started. We had Pastor Charlie Andrews, Pastor Mike Keenan, Bro. Terrence Calvin, Bro. Terry Kendrick, Bro. Jake Huussen, and Bro. Daniel Waters preach during the week. There were some other assorted preachers during the week, including myself, and I had such a great time preaching! The Lord gave much liberty and I can't remember having such a good time preaching. The whole week was truly a blessing to our church. The quality of the preaching was excellent, and the Lord met with us in a great way.

Then some tough times came. On Sunday, the 2nd of November, Silas Blackburn, who has been fighting cancer for close to 6 six months, went on to be with the Lord. He went after fighting a battle most men couldn't take. The Lord's grace has been, and will continue to be sufficient. We are all grateful for the comfort that Silas' battles are now over, and we will see him again, and soon.

Since then, I have spent the last 9 days with some disease I can't seem to shake. It has included severe headaches, fevers, head and chest congestion, coughing, etc. It has in a large way interrupted school more than anything. It is the first time I've been sick this year. It has really caught me off guard, because I typically stay pretty healthy. Anyway, pray that I can shake this thing before Monday, cause I can't miss any more school or I'll really be in trouble.

I have really enjoyed some things I've learned from God recently as I've tried to grow closer to him. He has been especially close and real through the tumultous times, and I cherish the things I am learning and have learned.

The Lord is good.

Saturday, October 3, 2009

What is Important?

What is important to you?

Family? The right to be raised and raise your family as you see fit, stay healthy as you see fit, and love and serve God as you think is best is seen by most Americans as a right, and one that they would die for, at that! 

Friends? Your brothers and sisters in Christ and the comraderie you share is crucial to your spiritual encouragement and help, and I know that this is important to the majority of my readers.

Freedom? The ability to choose to serve God, own a gun, homeschool your kids, and preach against everything the Bible does are all freedoms that I would give my life for tomorrow. And so would most of my readers, I would presume.

But what we would truly give our life for tomorrow is what we give our lives for today. A lot of what goes on in American patriotism and politics today is nothing but talk!

People say they love America. Yet when it comes right down to it, they do nothing to effect the change they say they want to happen.

I have a hard time with the “I Love America” claims when people vote, not for the best man, but rather for the man who has the best chance of beating who they hate the most. (You want change, you say?)

I have a hard time with the “I Love America” claims when we send back to congress the same men who created this mess, and even elect them to the office of the President of the United States. (Where’s the Maverick now, when we need him most?)

I have a hard time with the “I Love America” claims when I can’t even get people to read a political blog that discusses the very issues they say are important to them.

I have a hard time with the “I Love America” claims when the courts, the lawyers, and the politicians are passing law after law trampling your freedoms and labeling you in a way King George III could have never dreamed of before the War for Independence. And you do nothing.

I have a hard time with the “I Love America” claims when some people have already quit reading this article because they don’t want to get involved with “all that political stuff.”

I have a hard time with the “I Love America” claims when you watch America go to Hell on a regular basis, and you can’t even get off the televisions, the video-games, the computers, and the beds to go on visitation, street preach, and be a witness for Christ. When you refuse to be different on purpose in situations where you can make a difference for God…

My point is this: I don’t believe a lot of people love America the way they say they do. When I get riled up about these issues, and I watch others yawn, I wonder just how possible revival is in this country. I wonder just how possible a real change for God is possible with these lazy Christians who “say” they love America.

You love yourself and your comfort. That’s what you love; because that’s what you act on.

But mark my words—you will answer to God for wasting the greatest opportunity of freedom a people has ever had in world history. You’ll answer to God for the immeasurable amount of patriot blood that has been spilt for what we squander today. And to top it off, we’ll have to apologize to some great men that gave their families, their fortunes, their reputations, and their lives so people like us can write what we think on a blog without government censorship.

If you want, you can plop down into your E-Z chair with a magazine and a cup of tea with your claims of “Oh, it’s just prophecy being fulfilled. Even so, come Lord Jesus.” But your complacency will be answered for one day. That’s a fact.

Monday, September 28, 2009

More than just forgetting...

"Repent ye therefore, and be converted, that your sins may be BLOTTED OUT, when the times of refreshing shall come from the presence of the Lord;" Acts 3:19

"I have BLOTTED OUT, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee." Isaiah 44:22

In your bible, you find that God forgets our sins. Our iniquities he will remember no more. But in these passages, I find an even deeper description of God's mindset toward our sin, past, present, and future: Blotted out.

When I forget something, it doesn't mean that it ceases to exist (I wish that were true in school). It simply means that I am unaware of it. But when something is blotted out, it literally ceases to exist! How can this be?

The almighty God that created our very being, hung stars we can't imagine in places we can't comprehend, and orchestrates the thunder I hear outside my window right now, said that your sins are "blotted out." I don't presume to understand my God in these things, but I have chosen to believe him when he says them. My sins aren't in a closet somewhere to be brought out by the adversary at the judgement. They simply don't exist. When I call to remembrance my sin, the Father turns to his Son, and says, "What is he talking about?"

I don't know about you, but many times when I pray it seems my sins are ever before me. I can't shut the sin out of my mind long enough to even talk to the Lord! If that happens to you, then that is the devil trying to distract you, hinder you, and stop you from praying. From now on, do what I do. I say to the Lord, "Lord, please hold on one second." Then I turn to the devil, and I say, "Devil, that sin is what Jesus took to Calvary, and I appreciate you reminding me of all that God did for me when he blotted out my sin. Anything else you need?" Then, without further delay, I continue praying.

That may seem strange to you, and you may think I'm crazy for talking to the devil like that. But just think of it this way--He doesn't mind interrupting you and God to talk to you, so you might as well take the time to shut him up. Just tell him that anything he wants to talk about is already gone in the blood of Jesus Christ, so he needs to go kick a coke can down the street, cause you don't have time to talk to him today. AMEN! Don't waste time with that old fool!

Remember saints, your sins are forgiven, and on top of that, they're blotted out!

The Lord hath done great things for us, whereof we are glad!

Tuesday, September 22, 2009

Fast Living and Long Vacations

Yes, I am alive, if you began to wonder. Life has just been extremely busy for me lately. I haven't had time for really anything but school and work. I used to go to the gym pretty regularly to play basketball...not anymore! I used to do my piano lessons on Friday, my morning off. Now I take my Sunday afternoon nap and do piano lessons in that time. You know it's bad when your next door neighbor who just happens to be your grandmother says, "I never see you anymore." Yeah, I know. I hardly see myself anymore, it seems. The mirror is forgetting what I look like. :D Just kidding.

Actually, in times of crash and burn, I get moments of tranquility. I have my little recesses that I can't really afford to take, but the cost of not taking them just happens to be higher. It's a nap here and there, or something like that. I just do it and then make up for it later somehow.

Anyway, college has been a quite an experience, so to speak. I have had many, many discussions with professors who profess to be wise, but really can't back up what they say. They are used to students who allow themselves to be spoon-fed everything without feedback. I couldn't even begin to tell on this blog the stories of class issues that come up. It boils down to the fact that this country is so ignorant of truth, that even the concept of making sure things are true is completely foreign to them.

So here I sit, looking at my laptop screen, getting ready to take an absence from school for the next 2 days, and thanking God more than ever before that vacations exist. I wonder sometimes just how much of my life is going to be at this level of fast-pace. I want to think that after college, it will slow down, and I'm sure it will. Whatever the case, I am willing to give my time, effort, and personal well-being to the cause of Jesus Christ. Making a difference for Christ will never be convenient, and I am resigned to that fact. As a lawyer, I don't plan on signing papers for corporations to do business to the tune of $300 per hour. I plan on really making trouble for the devil, if you want to look at it that way.

But for this next week or so, it's time to sleep, eat, laugh with family, bible read, sleep, bible read, eat, sleep, have fun with family, bible read, good book read, sleep...you get the picture. :D

Stay in the fight, for it will soon be night, Christian!

In Christ Alone,
Clay

Sunday, September 13, 2009

God's Will for Me

Should I think beyond God's will for me
And dare to fall as prey
To future days too far from me
And miss God's perfect way?

Should I think above God's will for me
As though there is a place
That I could reach by my own lead
Surpassing God's daily grace?

Should I think behind God's will for me
And wonder how it would measure
If I returned God's will to flee
And wish for seeming pleasure?

Should I think around God's will for me
That other ways be known
Than the way I know and plainly see
That God has clearly shown?

Or should I rest on eagles wings
And determine not to wrest
The design with which God fulfills all things
And wait--cause He knows best?

Monday, August 31, 2009

Real Treasure

“Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal:”

Christians today see their lives through the dimmed glasses of worldly philosophy. We seem to think that our life consisteth of the abundance of things that we possess, though the Bible warns us of this. In fact, the measure of a life is not in the amount that you can see, but rather in the amount that you can’t see. What has he given of himself to God?

The amount of yourself that has been given wholly to God is the true measure of your worth in this life. Those that only look to lay up great wealth here on earth have missed the greatest blessing that wealth can be to you—giving. If God supplies my needs, and I believe he does, then the amount of myself and my possessions that I give to God is the measure of what I think I need to help God take care of me. Do I have the faith that God can supply my needs without my help?

Christians have laid up no treasure in the eternal bank of heaven, focusing to treasure all temporal (and I mean REAL temporal) possessions in safes, banks, and wallets.

“For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.”

Herein lies the problem. God wants your heart. When he gets that, the money comes with it. My treasure has, for the most part, gone to reach souls around this world. As a result, I don’t have as many earthly treasures. Should I worry? Did God need that money to pay for my college? No! God paid for my entire college with scholarships.

When your money is not surrendered to the Lord, neither is a whole host of other things. Why? Your heart is wrong.

I know why so many churches freeze up when money is mentioned. I know why missionaries are spending 4-5 years on deputation. I know why the Mormons are doing such a much better job of reaching this world. Because we are looking at the sorriest bunch of Christians God has ever had to work with! You as God’s people are sitting on your wallets as if they belong to you while a lost world is going to Hell! That’s why.

Perhaps your pharisaical, cold heart will only be softened by the flames of Hell as the lost are turned into it on the day of judgment. I promise you, you will be the one that loses out by storing your money in banks that will burn and wallets that steal your treasure, and therefore your heart, from God. God’s people need wake up—and fast! The end is near, and the churches are asleep at the wheel.

Examine yourself!

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Coming Home

Breathing hard, he turns the corner. Although he hardly looks the part, he knows these halls very well. The beautiful walls of ivory are decorated with the richest and finest ornaments anyone has ever seen. He takes another turn, leading to the court room. He is hardly presentable in these garments. The stench he leaves behind as he walks through the corridors leaves the bystanders in awe that one would present himself this way. But, they had learned to keep their opinions to themselves when it came to the Kings son. After all, who were they?

He passes by the chamber of learning without even a pause. How many hours had he spent in the chamber of learning? As a child, he had learned so much in that chamber, yeah, precious riches of wisdom. This knowledge of the holy is still with him today. Today, he hardly looks like he once did. He once resembled the royalty he was—and still is!

He sees down the corridor on his left the chamber of fellowship. How many joyous moments has he of that wonderful place? Growing up there, he had the pleasure of spending much of his life in precious communion with the King’s cabinet and counsel. How embarrassing it would be to be confronted in such an environment in his current state!

No, he must keep going.

He finally enters the main hall that leads to the court room.

Almost there…

Now that he’s here, doubts enter his mind as to his decision. What will his father think? Does he know of his son’s indiscretion? Of course he does! Could he possibly not know? Dare he ask for mercy again after again hurting his father? He wasn’t sure.

He sure didn’t remember the hallway toward the courtroom being this long of a walk. His breathing is heavier than before.

He hadn’t been gone long…or at least it didn’t seem long. He had just wandered…a little. But it didn’t take much. First it was just a fancied thought and before you knew it, he was at the end of his rope. Now, here he panted forward at the door through which his fate would be decided.

He begins to recall his father’s mercy last time this happened. What a fool! How could he have done this again? He can only imagine his fathers hurt…

After being adopted out of such a bad situation, you would think a Kings son would have some more loyalty than this. After all, his father kept back no blessings from his son in his time. Everything he owned was a gift from the King; he had given him everything! But in getting what he wanted, he lost what he had! Why did he leave again? That’s funny! As big as it seemed then, he can’t even remember anymore!!

He begins to weep. How foolish can he be? How pointless could the reason have been for him to leave if he can’t even remember?

He must pull himself together before he reaches the courtroom so he can present his sincere apology, and accept his fate. He must.

But thinking on his sinful ways is not helping. He tries to stifle his sobs as he looks up knowing he must be close to the courtroom of his father by now…

And there he stood, in front of his father, in the middle of the courtroom!

Someone must have opened the courtroom doors without him knowing, and while his head was bowed with his sorrow, he had unknowingly walked right in to the courtroom.

His father saw his sorrow. He saw the tears. He saw him bearing out his heart. And now what?

He couldn’t speak. But then, he realized he didn’t need to. He could see his father’s eyes stinging with tears, and he knew once again the great love his father had for him. He knew in that one glance that forgiveness was granted. He not only knew it---he felt it! Once again, everything was ok! His father embraced his son, glad he hadn’t gone far, but even more glad he was quick to come back when he realized his mistake.

And the kings aides and the bystanders in the court looked on with awe at the relationship of a forgiving father and an unfaithful son.

And now the painted picture hangs in the corridor of the King’s son, ever deepening his love for the father. For he that is forgiven much, the same loveth much!

----------------------------------------------------------------------------------

The King is my heavenly father. The unfaithful son is me. The time this occurred? Last Sunday morning.

Thursday, August 20, 2009

Our Problem with God’s Will

I appreciate God’s will. I’ve seen it guide, work, and lead in many situations. The will of God has led me as much as I’ve seen it lead anyone. I’ve seen God speak when I had questions, showing me his will. I’ve watched God’s will work in the lives of others. I’ve seen the blessings of those who followed it, and the horrible consequences of those who did not.

I’ve never believed God’s will was a mystery. I always believed that if you truly wanted God’s will, God would show you what he wanted. People act sometimes like God is playing hide and seek with his will, like he gets some sort of pleasure out of seeing you distress over what he might want for you. I don’t believe my Lord does that.

But there is something about God’s will, that, if you don’t understand it, you could be greatly discouraged and disheartened. This concept is called God’s timing! Revealing his will is an art that only God understands, and it’s where faith comes into the picture. There is a beauty that turns the head of God Almighty, and it’s faith.

God does not show you his complete will. He only shows you what he wants you to see. I used to deeply wonder at why he would do this. One night, as I was meditating on this, I asked God why he wouldn’t tell me some important things I felt like I should be able to know. I simply asked God to show me why he wouldn’t let me see the whole picture, or at least more than I was seeing at the time. Then, whether by divine inspiration or common sense I don’t know, it occurred to me that what I knew about God’s will, I would prepare myself for. What I didn’t know about God’s will for me, I could not try to prepare for. Maybe God didn’t want me to try to prepare for my own future instead of letting him prepare me for my future.

And here lies the problem. Are we content to only see as much of God’s will as he allows us to? Do we allow our wishes to see too much of his plan deter us from doing his immediate plan. Could it be that your misconceiving that God is not showing you his will when in reality his will is for you to do nothing. You can’t see everything at once; it would take away from the sovereignty of God, as well as our dependence on his guidance. Don’t allow the road signs miles down the road that you can’t quite make out distract you from adequately obeying the road signs right in front of you. Focusing on God’s will in 5 years may cause you to lose focus on God’s will for you right now.

Faith is taking the first stair when you can’t see the whole staircase. Faith is trusting God to only show you what part of his will he wants you to know for now and being content with it. I say this not because I have conquered it completely. Rather on the contrary, I have been chastened on this quite recently. Without realizing it, you can build up a grudge against the Lord about something you don’t or can’t understand. Don’t allow that to happen. Be content with only a piece of the puzzle. One day, when the picture is all complete, you will enjoy the beauty of it tremendously, because you know every mountain and valley of each piece.

Just something to think about.

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

His Grace Is Sufficient

I wrote this song back in 2006, but it took a while to develop if you know what I mean. I normally include a key change when we sing this, but due to some voice issues on my part that morning, we omitted it on this occasion. Russell and my dad really make it sound nice here singing those parts. Hope you enjoy!


Tuesday, August 18, 2009

Vacation

The Maynard family has been on vacation for the last week, and we have enjoyed ourselves. After visiting some relatives, we played golf today before heading home. The course was phenomenal! Below is the best pictures from golf.

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 Vacation - August, 2009 036Vacation - August, 2009 039Needless to say because of the pictures, it was beautiful. Now that I’m in the car on the way home, it has started POURING RAIN. I mean it is coming down in sheets. The Lord was good to keep it clear until we were done.  Praise the Lord for a good day and a great week!

If you happen to think of it, pray for me tomorrow. I start school, and it will be groundbreaking day, so pray that the transition is smooth. I’ll let you know probably tomorrow how it went.

Thursday, August 13, 2009

"And laid thy hand upon me..." Psalm 139:5-6

It's one thing to imagine great things to be done for God, and even ask for the Lord to do them through you. It's one thing to offer your services to God. But it's quite another thing for God to lay his hand upon you.

When God lays his hand on you, you are ruined. You are only good for his use. Someone who has been chosen by God cannot succeed at anything besides what he has called you to be. You cannot be a good salesman, policeman, or soldier of the armed forces when you're called to preach. You won't make a good insurance agent, real estate developer, or even church worker when God wants you on the mission field. I didn't say you couldn't be those things, you'll just be barely making it on your own, miserable out of God's will.

Only God knows what I know about myself. And while everyone else can say the same, it does not take away from me the amazement that God decides to use me. I'm not the only candidate out there. God makes a conscious choice to put me in positions to get glory out of my life. Why?

"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it."

When choosing someone to be a young preacher one day, God must have looked over the earth for a young, small, unworthy boy. He saw the most insignificant and wicked young man, and decided that if he would give his life to God, he could get glory from his life, seeing he had absolutely nothing to be proud of. He knew at that time how much I would fail him, how much I would fall short, and how sorry of a Christian I would be, and he still laid his hand on me.

Then I've gotten up and preached and God seemed to just blow through and lavish favor on me....for what reason, I for the life of me cannot figure out! I am the last person worthy to be used for God's glory in something like washing a toilet, let alone for God to tell me to preach his holy book.

He's sees right through me! He sees as I preach and knows the struggles I face even in things I'm preaching about. He sees my pitfalls that show up in my sermons, and he allows me to preach the standard so much higher than I've ever been able to attain. I've always had to be honest with him. What's there to hide from him, anyway?

He knew before he saved me what kind of Christian I would be. He knew before he called me just how much I would hurt him in my actions, though striving for better. He knew! And he still laid his hand upon me!

"Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it."

God, if I am only good on earth for one thing, may it be bringing you honor and glory. If I can only attain one thing, may it be that in spite of myself, my love for you always be stronger than the day before. And in essence, God, please help me to bring a smile to your face!

Tuesday, August 11, 2009

Vacationing!

Well, we finally completed the 2 day, 18 hour trip at about 11 p.m. last night. We were tired, but the family was up and waiting for us. The Lord kept us safe, for which we are grateful! My Uncle Tim has a beautiful place up here in Chardon, Ohio. Here are some pics:







That's about it for now...I'll probably put up another post out of Psalm 139 later.

Sunday, August 9, 2009

“Thou hast searched me…” Psalm 139:1-4

People don’t understand what you are feeling. You don’t even understand it all…and yet God has already searched you. God has performed an operation on you that has all of your worries and cares on inventory.

“Thou hast searched me, and known me.”

If anyone knows me, it’s the Lord. Boy, does he know me! I’ve been at his feet just a few times, for many different things. I’m glad he knows me. It brings me comfort. No one else has to understand, including myself. God is the one making decisions, so as long as he understands I’ll be OK. I’m glad he does.

“Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.”

Have you ever tried to hide from God? We don’t really believe we’re hiding, we just try to ignore him quietly. We try to act like God doesn’t know us as well as he does.

“Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O Lord, thou knowest it alltogether.”

It says he compasses our path and our lying down. There is not a flank that the enemy can penetrate. Compass literally means to surround. God has compassed you. Not only has he compassed me, but he has compassed my path. My path is where I’m headed! My future has already been staked out by the Saviour. There is nothing to be uncertain about. He will wake me tomorrow. He will meet me at the car tomorrow to help me carry my mental luggage throughout the day. He will open the classroom door on the 19th to greet me at school. I am compassed, brethren!

When faced with a complication in life, Bro. Neils Gade once said, “It’s a matter of prayer, but not a matter of worry.” That is an attitude that would help us all if we would adopt it.

I’m starting to think we complicate the Christian life a bit too much. And it is complicated when we must handle the struggles.

It’ almost like there is a stack of paperwork that is too overbearing for us too even handle, and we let it depress us. Meanwhile, on the other side of the desk sits God. He has all the same information organized and analyzed, and even gives you the answer to the problems that await. Yet still, we allow the sin of worry and anxiety to overcome us. Why don’t you depend on him? It's the Lord’s problem. I have given my life to the Lord, and in return he has promised that I can cast all my care upon him. (1 Peter 5:7)

Just leave it at that.

Monday, August 3, 2009

Good times at HBA!

This was a funny moment the other day at the academy. Saturday while we were outside for recreation, Luis Cabrera, a boy in the home, completed quite an amazing feat here. Enjoy!



Saturday, August 1, 2009

Quotes of the Week

"A good character is the best tombstone. Those who loved you and were helped by you will remember you when forget-me-nots have withered. Carve your name on hearts, not on marble." - Charles Spurgeon

"A lie can travel half way around the world while the truth is putting on its shoes." - Charles Spurgeon

"A vigorous temper is not altogether an evil. Men who are easy as an old shoe are generally of little worth." - Charles Spurgeon


And for the quote of the week:

"Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but only empties today of its strength."
- Charles Spurgeon

Wednesday, July 29, 2009

Working out your own Salvation

I took my parents truck down to the car wash to get washed recently. They do a real good job, inside and out. It smells real nice, looks real nice, and it takes a whole lot less effort for just a little cash. So anyway, I was in the waiting area drinking coffee and checking out the newspaper they had laying on the table there, when a mid-40's lady maked the comment, "That Obama is wicked!" She had obviously been looking at the back of the newspaper I was reading and saw the front page article regarding the federalization of all health care. And she didn't even dignify him with the customary "President" title! Wow! She just blasted him with the term "wicked!" Atta' girl! :)

But what got me was not the way she addressed Obama (I won't even dignify him...), but the word she used to define him..."wicked." That, to me at least, carries a biblical connotation. So I simply asked, "Ma'am, are you born again?" To that she replied, "Son, I'm saved, sanctified, filled with the Holy Ghost!" I guess that's a yes, huh? But if you know anything about dealing with other religions, you know that the phrase she gave me is easily identifiable with the Pentecostals who believe in sign gifts in our age for all believers. They say it is a requirement of Salvation to speak in tongues, which is evidence of the "filling" of the Holy Ghost. Well, if you know your Bible, the "fruits of the spirit" as listed in Galations 5:22-23 are the way to "walk in the spirit" according to Romans 8 and be fillled with the Holy Ghost. The filling that happened in Acts 2 was the same filling that I got the day I was saved, except I didn't have to perform the same "gifts" the believers did in a pivotal dispensation to show a sign to the Jews. (1 Corinthians 1:22) And it certainly didn't have to be done in order to be saved like they say. That's adding works to Salvation which is heresy. It doesn't mean that those who believe that doctrine aren't saved, it just means they are trying to prove something that isn't necessary instead of just believing what God said by faith.

I got all of that from the term, "saved, sanctified, and filled with the Holy Ghost." I knew who she was, what she believed, and I knew that she was trying to feel me out, so to speak. So I said, "God filled me with the Holy Ghost too. That's what happened when I got saved!"

Ok, so by this point, we had both staked out the battleground! She was a Pentecostal, works added to Salvation, miracle worker, and I was a hard-nosed, fundamental, by grace through faith alone, Independent Baptist. War was on the way, and I could feel it! These Pentecostals that I meet aren't too meek, if you know what I mean.

She said, "Well, I'm just trying to 'work out my own salvation.'" I responded, "Good for you! I know that 'he which hath begun a good work in me will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ." She snapped, "Well you still got to work out your own salvation!!!" Aha! She's used to sinking people with one verse of scripture!

But that one verse had me puzzled. I didn't know exactly what to say, and in a Nehemiah moment I begged God to give me something to tell this woman. A bible believing, King James banging, church kid was stumped out of the blue, and I didn't even know why.

But out of nowhere came this:

"W-w-well, y-you work out your own salvation....(seconds that felt like eternity)...the same way you work out your muscles."

God, where is this going?

"Really?" she says. "How is that?"

"Well, you don't work out the muscle for it to exist, or even to prove the muscle exists. You work out the muscle because that's what it's there to do--work! Salvation doesn't need to be worked out to exist in the first place. It just needs to be worked out because that's what God gave you Salvation for--to work it out!"

THANK YOU, LORD! (deep sigh)

And before I realized what had happened, they had informed the woman that her car was done, and she could go. She saw that as a convenient exit and made her way off. But she got the truth, and she didn't get it from me! That came from the 3rd heaven on that woman's behalf to help her understand her Bible.

And while the Pentecostal was being shown that she didn't need to do a miracle to be saved, the Baptist was getting one on his behalf.

Saturday, July 25, 2009

A Blog worth checking out!

Hey, all! My dad started a blog! The url is www.preacherbud1611.blogspot.com. So check it out. I'm looking forward to the articles he posts in the future.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Quote of the Week

"I'm doing what I believe God told me to do. If you don't like it, go to heaven and take a u-turn!"

- Charlie Andrews.

Thursday, July 23, 2009

The Journey Goes On

Time has passed, and nothing has changed about the fact that things always change. I hate change...some of it anyway. It's always exciting to see the new, and at the same time sad to see the old go away. This is happening in more than one area of my life as of late.

First, I am officially a college student at Gulf Coast Community College. Honestly, up until this point, I was anxious to get the "ball rollling," so to speak. Now, I'm kind of apprehensive about the fact that for the next seven years, life is going to be full of changes. But, that aside, I'm glad that things are moving along. My first four classes are scheduled to begin August 19th, so please pray that the Lord would prepare me physically, mentally, and spiritually for what lies ahead. The starting classes are: English Composition I, General Psychology, Understanding Music, and American National Government.

On another sphere, Dad and Russell are just getting the hang of their schedules back after the overseas trip, and Dad had to work at the boys home today, and Russell drove 2 and a half hours each way to take Mom to the doctor today. Russell has acclimated better than some would expect, and I'm not talking about jet lag. (stifled laugh) Seriously, he has kind of jumped right back into things and done well for that matter. Russell and I just got to sit down tonight and really review his trip via videos and pictures. He could not have had a better trip, it seems. The Lord truly blessed it. From all the mushy stuff that normally happens, to the hilarious teasing that naturally takes place, to the supporting cast that is my Dad and the Huussen family, I had a great time looking at all the memories that were made. I wish I could have been there...
Anyway, Russell and I got to talk for a while...not something that happens very often anymore, and it made me realize just how little that has happened in the last 6 months or so. Let me advise you that have family and loved ones around you: appreciate those you love, and forget about the undesirables. Love and care deeply while you have them by your side. Because, like I said, life changes things. The perfect word to describe what I mean is the word cherish. Cherish the times you enjoy with those you love. Enjoy simple daily things that will not always be there. Cherish opportunities to make differences you will not always be able to make.

Well, if you can even imagine me being this way...I've been kind of quiet and to myself the past couple of days. And it's because of all that's going on that I just wrote about. My family will be taking a week and a few days of vacation at the beginning of August. It may be the last time our family is able to travel long distances together as a whole. Possibly, we can take one more the first week of October. We are jokingly calling it our "Farewell Tour." :D But when the laugh dies away, we know it's true. We won't be the same for very much longer. Life changes things.

But, as sad as it can be, it can be that exciting as well! The journey goes on, and God is looking to do much with the Maynard family in the future. Whether that is the college student trying to make a difference at school, the eldest trying to add Maynards to the bunch, the youngest making fun of both, or the parents trying their dead-level best to lead a ministry, a church, and some goofy Maynard boys toward God's will for them, I promise you, much is in store. Just wait and see!

Tuesday, July 21, 2009

Congrats!


My brother, Russell, and my Dad have just returned from the Netherlands. This was a special trip, especially for Russell and the one he was going there to visit. (oooohhhh!) :D
Hannah Huussen, daughter of missionary Bro. Jake Huussen, was the purpose of Russells trip. Through divine direction on the part of both Russell and Hannah, it is now official that they are courting! (party) Hannah was unaware of his coming until the morning he arrived, though from what I can tell, she is very pleased with the outcome of the visit! :)

Congrats, big brother! You deserve everything God has and is blessing you with due to your patience and waiting on his direction. Staying on your toes and dodging a few bullets was surely worth the prize in the end. Love you, Russell!

Hannah, my sister in one way and soon to be in another, congrats! :) It is truly precious to me to see the Lord's hand guiding the two of you together. I'll try not to hold your choice against you. LOL Actually, it was God's choice, and he doeth all things well! I know it was God's choosing because Russell, for all his good tastes, isn't THAT good at choosing! :) Love you, Hannah!

What's best about the whole thing....IT CAN STILL BE DONE RIGHT!!! So for all the doubters, the mockers, and disputers that would try to discourage, distract, and help God out, stay away from me!! God doesn't need your help, and he'll do a top notch job without your input. Patience pays, and haste wastes! When God sends Ms. Universe into my world (not for a while, I assure you), God will know, I'll know, and Dad and Mom will know. I don't need to go to other churches, college, campmeetings, etc. to find a choice. God's way is best--always has been, always will be.

Thank God for his works toward them that fear him! God be praised! Russell and Hannah, God bless you both! We love you dearly!

Sunday, July 19, 2009

When you don't understand, just understand!

Sometimes we have a thought processes that lead us to believe that what we think is important. "I think....", "I believe...", etc. I have come to the conclusion that what we think is not only unimportant, but also unnecessary. We think too much instead of focusing on what we know.

In the military, it doesn't matter what you think. It matters what you know. In the academy where I work, there is a chain of command from the top to the bottom, and it doesn't matter what you think, it only matters what you know. The Christian life is no different.

In a battle situation for the military, you thinking could cost lives. It's not your job to think, and it's not your job to weigh options, it's only your job to act on what you know is right. Do. Quit thinking! When the order comes, don't think about it...just do it. It comes from the top, and you aren't going to be held responsible for the right or wrong of the order, only whether or not you obeyed.

That brings me to the point of this post. Sometimes things don't make sense. There always will be things that don't make sense. But when you don't understand, just understand this: you understanding is not a priority! When you understand that, understanding everything else becomes a commodity. We need to quit thinking like we as Christians have to understand things that happen.

I think of David...he was completely misunderstood. He did not understand why he couldn't be king from the day that God annointed him. But the important thing was he didn't let his lack of understanding God's doings get in the way of him allowing God to work on him. There are things you will never understand...and there are people who will never understand you. They misunderstood David and read into his actions because they had a plan. Others around him had reason to read into his actions so they could call him subversive. This was a plot to find reason for Saul to kill him.

There is not one whose actions have not been misread or read into. Everyone has been misunderstood at some point. None was misunderstood and misread like our Lord, though. He was killed for claiming to be who he was, being charged with blasphemy.

Like Christ did, and like David did, we should not worry about what we can't control, what others think, what we think about things we don't understand, and focus on what we know. And Christian, you know what's right! Quit thinking...just do right. If you do that, your misunderstood and misread actions will be explained by your steadfastness in what is the truth.
What's right? Do it...and leave the rest up to God to sort out.

Don't think. Do right.

Wednesday, July 15, 2009

The Far Country

When the prodigal son took his journey, there is no doubt he took a physical, literal journey into the far country. The far country was full of bright lights, city attractions, and sensuality. It was enough, whatever it was, to lure even the fathers son away from home. But what is the far country? Does it have to be across the country? I don't believe so.

The moral of this story as Jesus told it was not the son that left, but the elder son that was still with the father. The Pharisees were murmuring about Jesus eating with and receiving sinners. Jesus responded by telling them about the sheperd who left ninety-nine to find one, and when he is found, there is great rejoicing. The same with the lost coin, etc.

So the problem being dealt with in this parable is not the sons that leave physically, but rather the ones who never left the fathers side, yet never understood the heart of their father toward those who were wayward.

The Bible is clear that we should be very forgiving as spiritual Christians in the spirit of meekness. (Gal. 6:1) This was not the case in Luke 15. The elder brother had a clear problem.

Only a selfish, self-centered person would be upset with the rejoicing over a son come home. You see, the elder brother was as far away in his heart from the father as the younger son was literally. And by the way, it's just as far of a trip back home when it's a heart problem as when it's a outward flesh problem. I know this because I've never been to the far country in person. I've never run to the bright lights and big city attractions of this world. Yet I have made my homeward run many times--in my heart.

I do not downplay the fact that the elder son had never left home. It is no secret that the physical far country holds far more dire consequences than the far country of your heart. But I assure you that the far country of your heart is no less sinful.

I have returned from that far country a few times. I will not, by the grace of God, go back. That far country has its markings--critical of everyone and everything, fleshly decisions, and self-serving and self-centered actions. While in that far country of your heart, you can't even allow someone else to enjoy the blessings of God on their life. The servants think they're spiritual, the brethren are overplayed, and the father is unjust and unfair after how good YOU'VE been. That's how you think in the far country of your heart! Leave it at once. Realize that the physical far country is a place that you could be tomorrow aside from Gods grace, and rejoice with the rest of us. The father has slain the fatted calf for those for whom we rejoice. You won't stop the party, so you might as well get in on it.

Notice that the father reminded the elder about his inheritance at the end of the story..."All that I have is thine," he said.

Just maybe if you'll come home from the pity-party, you'll be the next recepient of the fatted calf. In fact, I know that you will. But there aren't fatted calfs slain at the fathers table for those who abide in the far country, whether in the flesh, or in their heart.

Come home.

Quote of the Week

The church is looking for better methods; God is looking for better men. The Holy Ghost does not flow through methods, but throught men. He does not come on machinery, but on men. He does not anoint plans, but men....and at that, men of prayer.

~ E.M. Bounds

P.S. I am not dead, just real busy right now. I have some posts on the way, I just can't make any promises. There "should" be a new one by tonight on both of my blogs.

In Christ Alone,
Clay

Thursday, July 9, 2009

New Blog!

I have started a new blog!!! Pray I have more time for it than I have for this one...or maybe it would be better to have more time for this one, and then some more time after that for the other one. LOL Either way, I wouldn't mind spending more time blogging, so pray about that!

The purpose of the blog is stated on the top right sidebar, so check it out.

http://www.freedompoliticsonline.blogspot.com/

Enjoy!

In Christ Alone,
Clay

Tuesday, July 7, 2009

On the Fourth of July

I got this email from a friend of mine that goes to our church who works out on the beach. I thought it was pretty good...

"With the 4th of July coming up in two days working at the beach, I have and will see a lot of fire works; people will stand in awe and say 'oohh...ahh, they are so pretty...look at all the colors!' But when is the last time some one stood in awe in an open field or on the beach and said 'ooh look at Gods painting in the sky which is new twice a day everyday!' or watched the lightning and imagined what majesty it took to create. This just came to me as I am walking my floors watching the fire works and watching people watch the fireworks all the while above the fireworks God is not being upstaged as he has lightning in the clouds. Glory and Honor and Praise be to God, Holy and Righteous. AMEN!

Monday, July 6, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Whatever mans opinion of you may be, let it not be more humbling than your own view of yourself. If any man thnks ill of you, do not be angry with him, for you are worse than he thinks you to be. If he charges you falsely on some point, yet be satisfied, for if he knew you better he might change the accusation, and you would be no gainer by the correction. If you have your moral picture painted and it is ugly, be satisfied, for it only needs a few blacker touches and it would be still nearer the truth."

-Charles H. Spurgeon

Sunday, June 28, 2009

Some of my favorite kids!

I love the kids at our church...so here are some pics.

Me with Joshua Steven Channer -- 2 weeks
Christina Channer -- 2 years (A piano player prospect)


Wednesday, June 24, 2009

Quote of the Week

Prayer is not getting things from God, that is the most initial stage; prayer is getting into perfect communion with God so that I tell Him what I know He already knows in order that I may get to know it as He does. - Oswald Chambers

*Note from blog author: This quote had me up until midnight last night! What a powerful statement.

The Thief is Dead!

For the past month or so, we've been having problems with a raccoon getting in our chicken pen. Our chicken population has gone from 19 to 4 in the last few weeks, so I guess the fight has been on. Well, last night, I planned on going out and sitting in the woods beside the chicken pen until he came out to get his evening meal. As I was walking across the yard with the gun and a flashlight, one of the boys in the academy ran up to tell me that the coon was in the pen right then! So I hurried over there, and sure enough he was in there. Three 12 gauge turkey-shot rounds later, it was a done deal. Now we need to go buy some more baby chicks to replace all the dead. Anyway, here are the pics...

They are very beautiful animals....if they just wouldn't mess with my chickens!!

Saturday, June 20, 2009

But there is forgiveness with thee... Psalm 130:4

The ideal of forgiveness is a choice and an emotion of supernatural composition. It is not a humanly natural trait. A heart of forgiveness can only come from the God who gives it. Yet, as hard as it can be to forgive, we are asked to do it often. Why?

If I could think of one characteristic of Christ as it pertains to my relationship with the Lord, I think it would have to be forgiveness. There is not one trait of my Lord that overshadows my relationship with him as much or as strong as his forgiveness toward me. Forgiveness is by definition to pardon or remit and offense or debt; to overlook an offense and treat the offender as not guilty of the said offense.

Many times there is not forgiveness with man. But Psalm 130:4 is one of my favorite verses because He is always willing and able to forgive. His forgiveness toward me is what makes me love him so. In fact, every time I confess my sin to him, I find myself in deep thanks and gratitude for his forgiveness, being amazed at the fact that he would forgive me yet again. In fact, if it wasn't God that was doing the forgiving, I wouldn't believe it to be genuine. But my God is amazing!

So, in essence, to be like Christ, we ought to be a forgiving people. And yet, I think this is one thing that most Christians never learn--a forgiving heart! I think we've learned, in a lot of ways, how to abuse the goodness of God by never showing the goodness we've received to others.

In the account of Matthew 18:21-35, we find a lesson by the Lord Jesus about a man that owed a great debt. After being forgiven by the king of this insurmountable debt, he would not forgive his neighbor of a simple, small debt. Do you think you've been forgiven of 100 sins? 10,000? Probably more? Christ forgave you of all those sins, never needing forgiveness himself, yet needing forgiveness on a constant basis, we would dare to refuse forgiving others. How many times have you not forgiven someone in your heart, then asked God for his forgiveness?

I believe there are Christians all over standing in churches thanking God for forgiveness, and if they would be real quiet, they would hear the Holy Spirit yelling back, "Then why don't you forgive?"

Forgiveness is as much for the one giving it as it is for the one receiving it. Why? Because if you desire to be Christlike, you must forgive. If you do not forgive someone, you are hindering both yourself, and the one you refuse to forgive, in your walk with the Lord.

Has someone ever forgiven you? How did you feel about that? Thankful? Do others deserve forgiveness less than you do?

Galatians 6:1-3
"Brethren, if a man be overtaken in a fault, ye which are spiritual, restore such an one in the spirit of meekness; considering thyself, lest thou also be tempted. Bear ye one another's burdens, and so fulfil the law of Christ. For if a man think himself to be something, when he is nothing, he deceiveth himself."

The issue of unforgiveness stems from pride. You cannot harbor unforgiveness in a humble heart. You cannot harbor unforgiveness in a heart that is right with God.

The bottom line is, people are worth forgiving. I've heard people say, "You don't know what they did to me." To that I say, I also don't know what you did to the Lord that he forgave you for.

Just forgive.

Tuesday, June 16, 2009

Quote of the Week

"Isn't it amazing the responsibility with which God entrusts me, in spite of my proven proneness to fail him? But even more amazing to me is that I could ever lack faith in him, when he has proved time and time again that he will never fail me."

-Clay Maynard

Monday, June 8, 2009

Noah

"And Noah did according unto all that the LORD commanded him." Genesis 7:5

Repent! Repent! The judgement of the Lord is come! Any who would escape must flee to the refuge of the Ark of God, through the door that God hath opened. Come, before the rain falls!

What a nut! This Noah guy is crazy. He plans on building a boat in the middle of a field because water is going to fall from the sky? He's nuts....

Noah was alone. When he began this amazing task, the environmentalists began going crazy about the trees he was cutting down, the natural habitat being destroyed, the homes for animals vanquished at the end of an inhumane, crazy man's axe blade. The building department council got together and decided that it was illegal, seeing Noah had not obtained a permit to build such a structure. As punishment, the government confiscated his house with all his earthly belongings.

Nothing of earth matters to me. Get on the Ark! How shall we escape, if we neglect so great salvation?

You would think everyone would leave the nutty old man alone, but they didn't. They taunted him, along with his three sons.

Hey Japheth, you as crazy as your old man? You think the water is coming too? Or are you just building along with the family to keep from feeling guilty? You know he's crazy, don't you?

Hey Shem, what about your wife? You gonna take her on that filthy boat with all those vile animals? What kind of man are you to lead your family into something so incredulous? Aren't you responsible for your own wife, or you just trying to appease your dad?

Hey Ham, you know even your uncles, aunts, cousins, grandparents, and other relatives think he's crazy, too?! You think God would really kill all the relatives and family--the whole known world for that matter--and only save your family? Are you really that narrow minded? You think you're better than us?

It was taunting for sure. But it didn't stop there. The local nightclubs, dance parties, and proms moved to Noah's field. After all, what better way to drink the night away than laughing at old diluted Noah and his boys building away at that old boat. How long have they been at it, 45, 50 years now?...

When the Ark is finished, then the flood will come upon the world of the ungodly! Come help us build, and get on board!

At first, the relatives tried to engage him in useful conversation.

You know, Noah, we believe like you do, we just think you're a little too hard on everyone else who may not be just like you. You know, Noah, maybe you should settle down on that building a little and show a little more compassion.

But he was insanely committed to this tedious, useless task. He was unmovable.

Would true compassion shield you from the truth to accommodate your sinful practices? Is it greater compassion to leave off building the refuge from the coming storm, suffering my own family to be judged? Nay, nay, brethren, it is compassion that drives me to tell you to leave your sinful ways, and help me build this ark, saving your families as well!!

Noah, Noah. How long will you persist? Till you die? You've been working on this monster of a ship for like 100 years now, and still no water has fallen in any measurable amount, and yet your sure the whole world will be covered? God will punish us? Where is he Noah? Why isn't God helping build the boat? HA!!

Be not deceived. God is not mocked! Whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap! Because sentence against an evil work is not executed speedily, therefore the heart of the sons of men is fully set in them to do evil. Say to thy soul, "Soul, thou hast much goods laid up for many years; take thine ease, eat, drink, and be merry." THOU FOOL! This night thy soul shall be required of thee.

We went and talked with Dr. Doubtful Disputations, Noah. He said the signs are evident in your behavior that you have a severe medical condition. Noah, you can be treated with doses of community involvement and compromise, and we promise, you'll think a little more clearly.

Hey, Noah! The government just put a label on you. You're a fanatic! You home school your children, you read the King James Bible, you believe in the constitution, you believe in the second amendment, and, worst of all, you're building a boat to get out when it's all just seemingly coming together for the first time here on earth with amazing unity under our new president and congress and judges!

We're just having a good time, Noah! Is that so wrong? You think so narrow minded, Noah; just loosen up a bit!

It is not my mind that is narrow, but my morals. My mind is free! It is your mind that is narrow, while your morals are loose! I seek to obey God, by faith, to the saving of my house.
Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh!

Noah had no ministerial association for comfort, encouragement, and help. He had he, his wife, his 3 sons, and their wives. That's it! No one else! Yet, I happen to believe, that if a man wins his own family, he has won his first and greatest mission field. Noah had no converts, but his family was on the ark with him that day.

Noah finally got them fool animals on the ark with him. Man, what a boat! And what a nutty old man. Ha ha ha... he says he's gonna be inside the Ark seven days before the so-called "rain" falls. What a cook!

Hey, Noah, you old coot! We're just gonna have a party right here outside your boat. After all, "God" shut the door right? (laughing) Hey, everyone, lets have a toast to day 4 of the week before "God" "floods" the earth! Ha ha ha...

Hey, Noah, it's day seven. This is the day, right? I guess we'll see right? Ha ha.

(Silence)

What is that? Do you feel something? It's like water is sprinkling.

3 hours later

Noah! Noah! Open the door!!! (gasp) (choke) Noah, just get a rope out the window or something, Noah. Noah, we're going to drown. (gulping) It's to our shoulders, Noah, help us!!!!

Settled into the innermost chambers of the Ark, sits Noah, his wife, his children, and their wives. They realize the punishment and judgement of God in a whole new way. They pray that somehow God would block out the awful sounds of those people dying...

And when the last knock on the side of that Ark faded away... and all was quiet, Noah was just glad he had obeyed God. And this preacher of righteousness now had spared his family, and in turn, the human race.

Don't quit telling sinners of the wrath to come, but don't feel responsible for their actions. When you've done your job--telling the truth--leave the rest to God, and get on the boat!

For further updates

Due to the busyness of my schedule, I will not be posting the updates concerning Silas Blackburn from here on out unless it concerns me. There are other blogs to follow for these updates, and I frankly do not feel like repeating the same information when I could direct you to blogs where the information is found.

http://www.kdforthecongo.blogspot.com/ - Mrs. Karen Blackburns blog
http://www.cherishedheritage.blogspot.com/ - Mrs. Kim Channers blog

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

More Updates

Well, I said not to expect many posts, and I have not disappointed, huh?
Monday morning started with a bang, as I helped early in the morning to get my mother, Mrs. Karen, Paige, and Silas packed and headed down to the hospital in my truck.

What a cute kid!


Silas is now back in Gainesville after a week stay at home. He has already begun and is in process of his second chemotherapy treatment. Please pray for his pain level as it is sure to be high. From what I am told, they are planning a stem cell extraction so they can clean it of neuroblastoma cancer cells. They will then store the stem cell until later on when they can give it back to him. Later on next week, we will need 2 more platelet blood donors to give blood. I could possibly be one of them.

He has received 2 natural treatments of ozone therapy. This is a proven medical practice that is working around the globe, though yet unapproved my the AMA (American Medical Association) Although this is not administered at Shands in Gainesville, they have been giving him these treatments when he's not hospitalized, and plan to do more of the same. I am told that he pukes after the ozone therapy. This is not a bad thing; it is the detoxifying process of both the cancer and the chemotherapy.


I have stayed pretty busy myself, schooling the 5 remaining Blackburn children every day from 9 a.m.-3 p.m., then going to work at the academy from 3-10 p.m. I had one person joke that I had no life. I beg to differ. It is only when we lose what we think life is that we can find what life is all about. "Whosoever will lose his life for my sake, the same shall find it." If your life is about helping others, you really know what life is.



I love school!!!




All the students but one. (two are in the background)

Can't forget about lunch!

I have had a blast, despite a little tiredness. I have been glad to help in some way. When I school the kids, give blood, anything...I feel like I'm being a part of helping them. That's all I want at this point--to be a blessing. Bro. Nick is on the road for the next two and a half weeks with Josiah and Buddy Stonewall, so that leaves me only four kids to school right now. Also, Charity Lyman flew in today, and I'm being told that she is going take the main load of watching and caring for the kids--possibly including the schooling. If you want to help out financially with the many costs of the treatments, commuting, caring of all the children, etc., You can write a check to "Truth Baptist Church." Write "Silas Blackburn" in the memo, and the money will go straight to a fund set up by the church to take care of the costs as much as is possible. Send the checks to:

4015 Maynard Dr. Panama City, FL 32404

Well, that's all for now.


In Christ Alone,

Clay

Tuesday, May 26, 2009

Busy and busy some more!!

I have been incredibly busy as of recent. In fact, it's to the point where people I live with are forgetting what I look like and making appointments to see me. LOL I'm just kidding!
It actually started about 2 weeks ago when Graduation practice really began to heat up. Because of the situation with the Blackburn baby, my mother could not direct the program as she normally does, and so the directing of the program was left to me. Over the last two weeks, I have averaged 2 practices a day, somewhere around 2-3 hours a practice. Aside from the actual practice, I have had to write, proof-read, and type 4 speeches, as well as proof-read 10 graduate speeches, type 6 songs, practice the songs with the boys, get the program to transition smoothly, etc. To say that this program has absorbed my last two weeks is a huge understatement. The program was this last Saturday the 25th. I can't say it went off without a hitch--and the perfectionist in me hates that--but I once heard a man I greatly respect say that he would go to war with an 80% army, cause you'll never get 100%. So, I need to learn to be content with coming a little short of perfection...

I just got to breathe a sigh of relief over this weekend since the graduation is over, and I am now beginning teacher duties starting today. In care of the Blackburns schooling, I have taken four students, or, stoogents I could call them! LOL They are certainly quite a case to have on your hands! In fact, as I write this, the last two are finishing their school here at about 1 p.m. School starts at 9 a.m. and ends at about this time every day. And in case that wasn't a full time job, at 2 p.m., I will head to the boys home to finish the last two classes of school over there, and then finish the shift until 10 p.m. I wish I could say that this type of schedule was temporary, but it looks to be like this for a while in the future, so don't expect lots of posts. I'm glad I'm staying busy; the idle mind is the devil's workshop, and God knows that, so he's keeping me out of trouble! :) Please pray for me. I will sure need it to keep my sanity! It was hard enough doing my own school, but it does not compare to having to teach others.

By the way, yesterday was the one year mark since I graduated from high-school! Man, time sure did fly! I will be starting college in 3 months from now, my older brother turns 20 in a few weeks, etc. I'm half way to turning 19, and I still haven't stopped to enjoy 18 like I told myself I was going to. Does it ever slow down? One day I'll be a lawyer, and I'm going to wonder where my childhood went. I'm going to wonder what took up all that time... as the old Ron Hamilton song says, "Cherish the Moments."

Well, these needy children are dying to have my always-helpful attention once more, so I'll write more soon. I have a post about the prodigal son I would like to post in the next week or so, but it's real looooooooooong!!! Pray I can shorten it a little.

In Christ Alone,
Clay

Wednesday, May 20, 2009

The Miracle of Salvation

He's in a fix. This sea of life is tumultuous! He's been here forever it seems...it might as well be forever, cause he knows of no other life outside this raging sea he lives in. There have been good days and bad, but the good days are few.... and it's so lonely.

Living in the troubled sea is no easy task, especially without the boat, sails, anchor, and captain needed to weather such a storm. The rashes from constant waves and torrents of sins consequences rack his body with pain, and the taste of that awful seaweed rises from his tongue every time he takes a laboring breath...but that's just life here on the sea.

The attacks come so sudden, so sudden it takes him by surprise, though he should be accustomed to it by now. Those sea creatures, monsters that they are, seem to toy with him on a constant basis, the sea monster of them all telling him he's got no hope. What if he's right, though? He wonders when they'll just kill him and end this misery most call life... Well, if this is life, I want no part of it. He seems to think no other life exists...

The storm is back. All of the empty promises, broken relationships, and unfulfilled expectations are thundering through the sky, reminding him of times where he trusted that he could make it on his own, trusting his own heart... well, he still does, cause he learned from those mistakes; I'll do better next time.

It's killing him now, this restless sea. He surely cannot make it long in this darkness...it's overtaking him. He chokes hard on the bile mixed with salt water in a half cough, half vomit that hurts him to his very soul! He feels something like a log of some sort with his right hand, and clutching it with all his might, hoping it will save him from sure destruction, it too crumbles upon contact, following the path of all he has clung to in this sea. His head is barely staying above the water, and only for seconds at a time. The will to survive rises within him, but the weights of his past sins and the bleakness of having true hope...well, why try? He will soon die, he knows. He no longer resists...

He hears the voices of men... sailors ....men somewhere ... maybe he's just already losing consciousness from lack of oxygen ... but no, those are the voices of men he hears!! He hears the croaking of wood and metal as the biggest ship he's ever seen comes into view on the horizon. A life boat with a rescue team is on it's way!!!! Finally, help is here; he may just live! But can they get here in time?

Maybe it's one of the delusions those sea monsters like to pull... but he's never had one like this before. In fact, just the view of the ship and crew seemed to bring over him a longing to be one of them. They worked with such strength and confidence, though they also bore the storm that was raging. They worked with such purpose. There seemed to be a calmness... or peace, aboard that ship... even in such a storm. He wonders who their Captain is...

Well, that was years ago. Now he sits aboard the same ship of grace! He had no problem abandoning his old clothes and ways when this ship passed by. Come to find out, the Captain is there for leadership, but he's also the anchor for stability, the sails for direction, and the bow for durability. It should be easy to trust the Captain, shouldn't it? I mean, the storms are still bad, but he's on a ship that just can't be brought down!!! After all, the Captain promised when they get to port, he will share his name, his wealth, his home, and his inheritance with this old hopeless sinner! He wonders sometimes how long it will take to get home, but as long as they're headed there, he's just fine.

But... sad to say, sometimes his weaker nature gets the best of him. He begins to question the Captains directions, deciding to try to guide the ship his own way... My, what mistakes can be made doing that!! He should just let go and let God...

Why would he question the Captain? Was he doing so great out on life's sea alone? Now he has someone to call family, friends and shipmates that would never let him down if they could help it, and the friend that sticketh closer than a brother! What could he possibly do without the Captain? He doesn't want to leave the ship. To whom shall I go? Thou hast the words of eternal life. He, well, he just doubts sometimes. But what a great Captain he is, he is always forgiving, always concerning, and always caring. But, the only thing is, when he steers things away from the Captains plans, he always hurts his Captain. And he hurts himself as well. The more he tries to control things on his own, the farther he gets from the Captains best for him, settling for God's partial blessing.

Isn't is good that God doesn't kick out the doubters? I mean, Thomas doubted, and Jesus didn't kick him out of the group. That's comforting isn't it? Thomas' only problem was that he missed church on Sunday. :D Remember? Everyone was there on Sunday morning for church but Thomas. He slept in and got a bad rap! Jesus didn't even scold him, he just decided to make a second appearance, and told Thomas, "touch me, and see."

But the doubting isn't only with the saved, it's with the lost. Over in 1 Corinthians 15, Paul had to rebuke a bunch of people who weren't teaching the Resurrection. Doubts, doubters, and doubteresses. (I'm not smart; I came up with that word.) LOL

Listen, if you're lost and you're a doubter, and the Holy Spirit can't convince you, I surely can't convince you. All I can say is, it's true. You're wanted; your soul was worth dying for to the creator of the universe, and the old rugged cross was for you!!!

I met a man the other day who just told me, "That's too good to be true. Nobody gets deals like that in the real world. That's just your crutch." I proceeded to tell him that if you're hurt, don't you want a crutch? And by the way, Christ is so much more than a crutch for me... he's wings to fly as eagles!

I wrote a song the other day for doubters because of that man. The song isn't finished yet, because I only included the lost, but when it's done, the third verse will include the saved who doubt as well. I'll post it when I'm done. Hope it helps!

Could it Be Real
---
I heard a story; I heard a song
I heard a testimony, the word of God
I felt his touch upon my very soul
This perfect love I simply had to know
---
I heard his voice; it whispered soft but clear
I needed life that gave me rest from fear
Could I let go, and quell my shameful pride
His blood could heal, forgive, and satisfy
---
Could it be real, my sins be washed away?
Could he forgive, and cleanse my deepest stain?
If I believe and turn in Godly sorrow
Could it be real, that he my soul would save?
---
So I believed. By faith I took his word
And now I'm clean, I know my hope's secured
He gave me peace where there was only fear and doubt
And now this love, I know and tell about!
---
I know it's real; my sins are washed away
His love forgave, and cleansed my deepest stain
When I believed, and turned in Godly sorrow
I found it real, cause he my soul did save!
---
You may not see, and doubt that it is so
But you can't doubt this joy this peace I know!
---
I know it's real; my sins are washed away
His love forgave, and cleansed my deepest stain
When I believed, and turned in Godly sorrow
I found it real, cause he my soul did save!
By Clay Maynard