Saturday, January 31, 2009

Just Me

After talking with our dear friends, the Huussen family one afternoon, I found myself reflecting on something that was said. At one point, I told Lydia that she was crazy (she is, by the way!) LOL But her response is what made me think: "No, I'm just me."

I have used that term multiple times since then, including in a previous blog post. (Cause people call me crazy all the time! LOL)

Have you ever met someone who just wasn't themselves. I know that's an oxymoron, but the idea is that this kind of person behaves as if they're someone they're not. Make sense?

It's easy for me to get frustrated with people who act like this. I wonder what their motives are. Only someone who is not satisfied with who God made them would behave this way, and I know that it is not pleasing to God! What would you feel like if you created someone for a unique purpose, giving them limitations that you want to work your power through, giving them strengths that you can receive glory in, and making them different than anyone else so that they are able to be what no one else can, being themselves in God's own, planned way... only for them to strive at being someone else?

I wonder at the motives.... I know that it does not please God. In fact, in my opinion, it smells of wordliness! This attitude comes from the concept that one person or personality is more important than another; that to be, or act, or look a certain way, puts you in a category above others. I believe that this attitude, which has strongly influenced this generation, is from from the Television, Hollywood, Magazines, and Hell itself! It is certainly not from God! This is what God says:

2 Corinthians 10:12
"For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise."

Comparing yourself to others rather than Christ is simply unscriptural. Paul the apostle constantly references Christ in his epistles when judging himself. He never puts himself in a category based on accomplishments, accolades, or appearance. He simply strived to be like Christ. That is God's desire for Christians.

The Lord told Samuel in 1 Samuel 16:7,
"Look not on his countenance, or on the height of his stature; because I have refused him: for the LORD seeth not as man seeth; for man looketh on the outward appearance, but the LORD looketh on the heart."

This is also why fantasy is dangerous. Letting your mind wander makes you wish you were someone or something that you're not. I advise to be careful of most fictional books, as well. It is easy for our carnal minds to lose reality and fantasize about things that are either not God's will, or are simply fantasy. Paul said, "...whatsoever things are true...think on these things." I am not against all fictional books, as long as they honor God. But I think even with clean, Christian fiction, it is easy for the mind to wander. That is not God's will.

Paul also said, "Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;"

I've heard of supposed Christian young people taking pictures of actors or so-called "stars" down to the beauty salon to get the same hair cut. I know of people who dress or act different around different people to give a false depiction of theirself based on their company. Then there are those who are not simply not satisfied with who God made them, and resort to painting themselves up to look different, something the Bible classifies as the actions of an harlot. I heard one preacher say, "you need LOTS of paint on that barn!" He was even speaking of his wife! The manners that I grew up with dictate that to be a rude comment! But the point is, did he marry his wife for who she was, or for who she wasn't, but could make herself to look like. I'm not angry or upset at anyone who disagrees with this, but I think America has overdone the philosophy that we need to be someone that God did not make us.

I can't speak for everyone, but I know that I love my dearest friends the way I do, because they are themselves! They're not pseudo-anything. Nothing fake, phony, or plastic. Just down to earth, real people. I love my family for who they are. I love my friends for who they are.
I want to be...."just me!"

"Just be who you is, don't be who you ain't, cause if you ain't who you is, you is who you ain't!"
- Commen sense

"Just Me," Lydia J. Huussen, Used by Permission

Friday, January 23, 2009

I Am a Soldier

I am a soldier in the Army of my God
I promise to support and defend the Word Of God against all enemies!
The Lord Jesus Christ is my Commander in Chief, The Holy Spirit is my Secretary of Defence, The Holy Bible is my Code of Conduct, Faith, Prayer and the Word are my weapons of warfare!
I have been taught by the Holy Spirit, trained by experience, tried by adversity and tested by fire! I am a Volunteer in this Army, and I am enlisted for eternity! I will either retire from this Army at the Rapture..or die in this Army!
I will not get out, sell out, be talked out, or pushed out!
I am faithful, reliable, capable, and dependable!
If my God needs me, I am there! If He needs me in Sunday School, working with youth, helping adults, or just sitting and learning, He can use me because I am there!
I am a Soldier! I am not a baby! I do not need to be pampered, petted, primed up, pumped up, picked or pepped up!
I am a Soldier! No one has to call me, remind me, write me, visit me, entice me, or lure me!
I am a Soldier! I am not a wimp! I am in place saluting my King, obeying His orders, praising His name and building His Kingdom! No one has to send me flowers, gifts, food, cards, candy, or give me handouts! I do not need to be cuddled, cradled, cared for, or catered to!
I am committed! I cannot have my feelings hurt bad enough to turn me around! I cannot be discouraged enough to cause me to quit!
When Jesus called me into this Army, I had nothing! If I end up with nothing, I will still come out even! I will win! My God will supply all my needs! I am more than a conqueror! I will always triumph! I can do all things through Christ!
Devils cannot defeat me! People cannot disillusion me! Weather cannot weary me! Sickness cannot stop me! Battles cannot defeat me! Money cannot buy me! Governments cannot silence me and hell cannot handle me!
I am a Soldier! Even death cannot destroy me! For when my Commander calls me from this battlefield He will promote me to Captain and then bring me back to rule this world with Him!
I am a Soldier, in the Army, and I am marching, claiming victory! I will not give up! I will not turn around! I am a Solider, marching Heaven bound!
Here I stand!
Taken from the Soldiers for Christ Ministries
Edited and formatted by Clay Maynard

Saturday, January 17, 2009

Bible Trivia!

For those of you who have not noticed, I have added an interactive, weekly Bible trivia question to the column on the right side of the blog page. After each week, I will post a new Bible trivia question. You can find the answer to the previous Bible trivia question on the bottom of the column on the right. The questions are not going to be easy to come up with, seeing I will be coming up with them on my own. Your interaction is appreciated. :)

In Christ Alone,

Saturday, January 10, 2009

Clutter in the Prayer Closet

Remember the last time you couldn't find something? First you looked in the obvious places where the object should be, then you moved on to the last place you remember using or seeing it, then it gets real serious and you start digging for it...and digging long...and hard! You mean you're going to find what you're looking for. You've all been there, and before you know it you're in the bottom of some closet throwing everything away!!! :D You're frustrated that you can't find what you're looking for, and you're sick of all the junk that you never use that is getting in the way of you finding what you're looking for.

I was in my closet yesterday. For a very long time, mind you. It ended with about 6 trash bags full of junk sitting outside my bedroom. Needless to say, after about 3 hours of cleaning, the whole room looked 100 percent better! My hard-working brother, Aaron, and I are both completely pleased with the result.

But it's those times where you need something that you realize all the junk that stops you from getting to it. It's the time that you need something important that emphasizes all the junk that's in your closet.

The back door of the Maynard house is where the laundry room is. I remember about 3 years ago, during a campmeeting at our church, we were extremely busy! Consequently, the laundry got so backed up that the whole room was being overcome by our laundry! :D I then had the unenviable task of getting out the back door for some reason I can't remember! What a feat! To climb over all of that laundry for something simple that I needed.

"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" Psalm 66:18

The key is the word "regard." It does not say "perform" or "act upon."

Regard - "Attention of the mind." Noah Websters 1828

Simply the "thought of foolishness is sin," according to Proverbs. Regarding iniquity in your heart is just as sinful as committing the act--they're both sin! Regarding iniquity also leads to the iniquity itself when not properly checked. What is regarded in your heart will be performed in you members. Mark it down. You cannot separate the preparation from the action. You will do that which you have prepared your heart to do, which is why Rehoboam messed up the way he did: "And he did evil, because he prepared not his heart to seek the LORD." 2 Chronicles 12:14.

"Watch your thoughts, they become words. Watch your words, they become actions. Watch your actions, they become habits. Watch your habits, they become your character. Watch your character, it becomes your destiny." -Author Unknown

That unknown author had it right. Paul knew it too! That's why he told those Corinthians:

"(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;" 2 Cor. 10:4-5

It's also why he advised in Phillipians:

"Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things." Phil. 4:8

What you regard in your heart affects what you do; what you regard is based a lot upon what you put into your mind from books, music, videos, etc.

"If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear me:" Psalm 66:18

It does not say the Lord will always say no. It doesn't even say the Lord will not answer. It says he will not even hear you. What a statement to make! How many deafened prayers have you prayed that never made it past the ceiling because of the iniquity of your heart? How many times has God simply never even heard you when you prayed? Isn't that scary? I serve a God that I not only trust, and have faith in, and want. I serve a God that I need!!

That's where the closet clutter comes in. Is your closet full of clutter? Not just the physical clutter, but the spiritual clutter. The clutter that raises the stench of sin from you prayer closet, causing God to turn away in disgust!

As I cleaned out my closet yesterday, I realized that it would have been a lot easier had I kept the clutter out to start with! It's the same way with your prayer closet. Don't let the clutter pile up in there! Go dig it out! Pull it out before God, throw it in trash bags, do whatever you need to, but don't let it still be there when tragedy hits, in the moments of your life where you need God the most! Wouldn't it be terrible for something tragic to happen in your life, and when you begin to pray, you begin to search for God through a pile of clutter? I would hate to think that someones life hanging in the balance was lost, simply because I couldn't get to God for all the clutter of my prayer closet.

It could be that a decision will need to be made, and you need to be in touch with God to make a God-honoring decision, but there's just too much clutter!

"God help me to keep my spiritual closet clean, so that when I need you, I know you hear me! For my prayer closet is a place where we can always meet, free of this worlds clutter! ...oh, and I guess keeping the physical one clean isn't a bad idea either!" :D

Friday, January 2, 2009

The Year of Our Lord?

Every year that passes by, I wonder what the next year holds. I've wondered if I would become famous, author a book or another song, meet the president (that's not as glamourous as it used to be), become rich, get terribly sick, travel around the world, or even die! I like to think about the future like that! That sounds crazy, doesn't it? No, I'm not crazy; I'm just me!! :D

However, the greatest possible thing that could happen this year is for Jesus Christ to come and take his children home. I've decided that nothing in my life would be interrupted by his return. I know every young person has thought that they hope they can perhaps go to college, get married, have children, etc. But I have nothing listed above, or elsewhere for that matter, that I would rather have than the return of Jesus Christ!! The implications are endless!!

I guess I could start with the end of all pain! Hallelujah! Thankfully, I have not had to live with much pain, but I know several people that live in constant pain...I want the end of pain just for them! I sometimes wish that I could share the pain to give them some relief. I used to think that some of these wishes for heavens beauty were selfish; now I just know God knew what he was doing when he promised them!!!

Then no more sin! No curse of the old man. No temptation, whether the lust of the flesh, or of the devil. No more sin. Wow! No more political scandals that hurt uninvolved people; no more drug dealers using children as their messengers; No more children abused, women used, or the weak being crushed by the strong. No more survival of the fittest; no more human nakedness used for advertisement; no more babies being killed by pshycos for parents! No more injustice that locks up innocent preachers while nine-time felons walk the streets and golf courses with a freedom they didn't earn. No more claiming Santa is real while denying the existance of God! NO MORE SIN! No more struggle with the world and the devil for our minds and hearts. Thank God!

No more good byes. Now this is a big one!!! I plan on spending a couple dozen lifetimes with each of my dear friends here on earth. How do you make it away from family and friends that you love so dear? This precious promise that we shall know them "as they are known."

But greatest of all, to see Jesus Christ! To see Jesus' face, from which a beard was ripped by the hands of his own creation, justifying even those sins that they were presently committing! What love!!! He was the embodiment of love! Love that would save me, knowing what kind of sorry Christian I would be! What love..."Love so amazing, so divine, demands my soul, my life, my all!"

In light of the fact that Jesus could come this year, we should be busier than ever! Souls need to be saved, saints need to be encouraged in the fight, and crowns need to be won for the honor and glory of Jesus Christ.

Do you remember what the angels told the disciples at Jesus ascension? "This same Jesus, which was taken from you, shall so come in like manner, as ye have seen him go into heaven."
What if you had been told that? You would think that Christ was coming in your lifetime!! I believe that's what the disciples thought as well. But, you see, their approach to that line of thinking was different than most Christians today! That is evidenced by their action. They thought, "Jesus is coming back; we've got to get busy evangelizing this world. After all, he said to go into 'all the world.' " The attitude of most Christians today is, "Jesus is coming back, so why bother?" Instead of a motivation for service, the coming of Christ has been the cause of lazy Christianity with the fleeting thought, "I can't wait till Jesus gets me out of here."

What's your attitude? Is it like the disciples? "Jesus is coming back; we need to get busy!" Or is it like modern Christianity? "Jesus is getting us out of here, so why bother?"

I want to be busy when Christ shows up. What about you? If you're not, now's the time to get busy! This could be the year...the year of our Lord!!!

In Christ Alone,