Sunday, February 28, 2010
I felt like I was killing a muppet when I took this picture. (Sorry Katrina, I know I am totally ripping off your sunflower cupcake picture). But I decided I would buy these cupcakes to bring to church tonight and hand out to the kids. (With their parents permission of course). I have had 2 of these cupcakes since I saw them make these. The first one was on Friday. I got this as a reward to myself for finishing my book, "The Chronicles of Judah". (The manuscript will be ready tomorrow afternoon), the second one was today at lunch. There is like an inch of frosting on them as it is...They are soooooo good. When I finally go to Austin at the end of this month, I am determined to try the chocolate covered bacon I saw, and I will most certainly take a picture of that.
Anyway, today has been really productive so far. I was at church for services this morning, helping with the information booth, and again I am at Pie Pantry, meeting people as a mediator for LifeSong, getting people to attend. It's nice and quiet today, so I can actually get some stuff done. I have a test in ANE History tomorrow, and I really have to get that working. I pray that this review will help me...
1 Corinthians 8
(verse 8) Food does not bring us near to God; we are no worse if we do not eat, and no better if we do.
It is interesting how we see that dieting is important to our health. Which it is, but you also have to understand that eating cupcakes, eating anything that is "bad" for you, that isn't going to change how much God loves you. It may change you, but food cannot change the relationship between you and God. I know I probably shouldn't be eating cupcakes, :P let's be honest, there's like a ton of sugar in that, but God still loves me anyway...
Remember this today...
For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Whatever we do, nothing can seperate us from the love that God has for us.
GRACE AND PEACE!
1 Corinthians 7
*Important verses of interest...
What I mean, brothers, is that the time is short. From now on those who have wives should live as if they had none; those who mourn, as if they did not; those who are happy, as if they were not; those who buy something, as if it were not theirs to keep; those who use the things of the world, as if not engrossed in them. For this world in its present form is passing away.
You may ask why I have put this verse in the front of the blog post for today, but if you've been watching the news, you'll get it. I was watching the news today, and I feel that Satan is moving against me. I could use some prayer.
I felt I had to send a package to my contact in Japan who still doesn't know the Lord, Makoto. You saw the picture of the package contents a few days ago. Well, today I watch the news and there's a tsunami heading into the pacific, after a massive earthquake hits Chili. This is the second earthquake in 2 months to hit a major area. Read Verse 31 again above (the highlighted part). I spoke about this with my friend Jacob over pizza (today's picture). We both agreed that these natural disasters is God sending out a warning. He is calling to the world and he's saying "Turn to Me".
I sent Makoto a bible in this package and like I have said, I think that Satan is trying to stop every effort of the gospel to reach him...O Lord, please don't let any harm come to Makoto, and let this package get to him...
I have a very busy day tomorrow, it's very late, so I will write tomorrow.
GRACE AND PEACE!
Friday, February 26, 2010
I have been finding some great opportunities to take pictures and to use them for some great blog posts. Okay, so I was in the library with my good friend Jacob last night, and we were just browsing through the historical section. There were photos of the seminary's classes dating all the way back to the 1870s when James Boyce was president of the Seminary. It was so awesome to see all of this. It was in a hallway blocked off by metal gated rooms with locks on the doors. It obviously was some sort of restricted section, because some of the books looked to be older than the school. Anyway, I turned around, and saw sections on different world regions, and saw this book and it made me laugh. I thought it was a joke, but it was really there. I just thought you would get a kick out of this.
1st Corinthians 6
Do you not know that the wicked will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived: Neither the sexually immoral nor idolaters nor adulterers nor male prostitutes nor homosexual offenders nor thieves nor the greedy nor drunkards nor slanderers nor swindlers will inherit the kingdom of God. And that is what some of you were. But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God.
These books are all around warnings to people to stay clear from people who would seem unjust. It is clear in this chapter that Paul was saying that nobody was going to inherit the Kingdom of God if they were living in sin. But we have hope, because we have received justification through Christ's sacrifice. So rejoice in that today.
The days are continually blazing on. I am slowly beginning to see that I have absolutely no time to breathe, and yet, I still manage to find time to get things done, and to go through school-work, having a social life, being busy with a church planting internship, and finishing up a potentially great novel. I am literally, pages away from finishing, and tonight is going to be it. I will finish my book, and it will be spectacular. I am excited and thrilled to get the editing underway, so I can see about having it published, but for now, all I will be doing is printing up a manuscript for myself, so I can go through the book, read it, re-read it, and then edit it a whole bunch...
Anyway, the 2 pictures are of some events that are happening. Okay, the first picture I took 2 days ago. That is of the contents of a package I am sending to a friend in Japan, Makoto, who I am praying becomes a believer in the not too distant future. The only thing that I can do is pray that this package will make a difference in his life.
The 2nd picture is of where I was for lunch this afternoon. I was with my old professor/youth pastor, Troy, and he treated me to lunch at what I thought was the best cuban food in all of louisville!!!! This place was absolutely delicious. I had grilled grouper with rice, beans, and plaintains. The fish came with a garlic mayo, and I highly recommend this restaurant to you, my readers.
1 Cor 4/5
I have been falling a little bit behind, so I want to try and keep up with my devotions as much as I possibly can. Knowing now, that the book is coming to a close, I can breathe a little bit easier, and loosen up my time, so I can focus more free time on my deeper time with the lord.
I was reading in Chapter 4, and this verse stuck out to me...
Your boasting is not good. Don't you know that a little yeast works through the whole batch of dough? (Verse 6)
It sort of reminds me of Passover, talking about how yeast represents sin, and how we must remove sin, in order to share a likeness with Christ. Well, I'm off to bed, so I will cut this one off for now...
Wednesday, February 24, 2010
When I see this picture, all I can think of is that I am somewhat of a self-fulfilling prophet. I told myself when I found out what Dean's List was back in 2006, that I would be on it before I graduate, and I was actually able to do this. This is a cool feeling.
I am trying to get everything sorted out with my school work and such. It's my last semester and it is keeping me on my toes, I just don't get it. Well that's life as they say.
I am going through some things in my head, and remembering things that people said to me today as words of advice. I am not taking enough pictures. My friend Jacob, who reads my blog wanted to see pictures from this past weekend when I was with my dad in Indiana. I really should devote my time to taking as many pictures as possible this semester, since it is my last one. But between this blog, my social life, and my writing of Chronicles of Judah, some things do get left out, but I will do my best to listen to this advice.
Another thing that I enjoyed about today was what I did not but an hour ago. I have been getting big into theater, and I bought a playbill. I have 4 so far. My first one, from WICKED in New York (dated June 30, 2004) is in bad shape, but it is worth keeping. I hope to keep collecting them as I have the resources to do so. I got one from the musical version of "Dreamgirls" and it is dated 1985. It's literally as old as me :P
Anyway, here's what I promised yesterday
1st Corinthians 2-3
Paul was teaching the people in Corinth about having faith and being grounded in it, like a foundation. If someone's foundation is not built on Christ, then they will fall apart, but the foundation that is in Christ is solid, and lasts for all time. I enjoyed being reminded that I do have this foundation, even when everything in my life says differently. I was reminded by the Lord that the Devil will twist things and make them seem bad, when life is good. Life is perfect when it's in Christ. Despite the bad things, life is always good. I also liked reading (in Ch. 3) that wisdom of the world doesn't last. In fact, the wisdom of this world is actually considered to be foolishness. Dwell on this tonight, I am off to bed...
Monday, February 22, 2010
Today was one of those days were I have to talk about one of the greatest foods on the planet. SUSHI!!!!!!!! Arguable to some, this food serves as both nourishment and work of art...I first tried sushi when I was 12. I was being homeschooled by my parents in New York, and we went to a Chinese Buffet for lunch this one day, and I saw them and actually tried it, and liked it.
After that, sushi just fascinated me, and it wasn't long before I was into anime, and then the entire nation of Japan. God can work in mysterious ways, and work wonders in all of us, so who would have thought that a piece of raw fish could lead into me being a missionary in one of the most lost countries on earth.
Okay, now about the picture. This was the first one I took using my camera phone. I finally was able to go to AT&T and get the phone taken care of properly. So this picture was taken after having spent a weekend with my dad while he was here in Kentucky.
It's late, and sorry, no FLASHDEVO tonight, for the first time in a while...
Look for this nights and tomorrow's post tomorrow (tuesday)
PEACE and Good Night!
I don't understand what it is about "40 Days" that is so significant (well apart from Lent maybe), but I feel it is just cool to mention that I have been doing this "365 Project" for 40 days. My friend Katrina is like over 100 days ahead of me on this, but that's okay, I want to take my time developing my sense of vision and direction, and see how that can all develop as the year progresses. I can already think of some great photo ops that will certainly come in the future. Especially since I am spending my spring break in Austin, TX! So trust me, there will be plenty of chances then.
Well, the reason why that there are no original pictures (again, these belong to a travel site on Japan, and I loved the pictures to show you guys what Japan is like) these past few days, because I didn't bring my computer or my camera with me where I was. My dad has been in town all weekend, and I was with him for his 2 church meetings. We were in Indiana this morning, and then later on in Kentucky for the second meeting. Both meetings were Passover Seders, and it was great to see how the churches responded. Anyway, the pictures are from Mt. Fuji (I can't get over the color schemes in the leaves) and the other one is from Osaka Castle (both places that I have been)
Romans 16-1st Corinthians 1
This was bittersweet for me because I enjoyed being in Romans so much, and now I am getting a glimpse into Paul's ministry as he progresses through his time in prison. So now we are seeing the opening part of 1st Cor 1, in which Paul does his greeting. Grace and Peace be upon you. Then I came across verse 10
I appeal to you, brothers, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ, that all of you agree with one another so that there may be no divisions among you and that you may be perfectly united in mind and thought... (v.10, NIV)
This is vital in the day and age we live in, because if we don't come together as a body of Christ, we will fall, quickly, and harshly and we will all be seperated from each other because of some stupid arguments...
Anyway, it's late, and I have a lot to do tomorrow since my dad leaves to go back to WPB...
Friday, February 19, 2010
College is getting tougher for me and this is my last semester. I hated the fact that I stayed up late, trying to get some work done, okay and let's be honest, also watching episodes of Ugly Betty on DVD, so now I am regretting all of those decisions. I am sitting in my history class right now, trying desperately to pay attention...
My dad is coming at 2 pm, and I will be doing everything I can to stay awake. I am probably going to have to get some Coke Zero after class :P
Anyway the pictures...I didn't feel like taking pictures this time, because I feel like I am repeating pictures, just taking things like roses and vicious redtail hawks. So I did some new pictures (both of which I do not own).
The first picture is from doppelganger week, in which we are supposed to switch our actual picture with someone we sort of look like, and I have been told by people that I look like Elijah Wood, so that's what the picture is. The second one is from the Olympics. (Again, this is someone elses picture) This is one of the Japanese figure skaters up in Vancouver right now. I watched bits and pieces of the Olympics the other day and saw members of the Japanese team skating and had my mind blown, I couldn't believe how fast and crazy they were, if you get a chance, try to look them up on YouTube...
I'm sorry, I want to try and pay attention since my midterm is coming up. I read Romans 15 this morning, and I will leave you just with the verses that stuck out to me the most while I read the chapter over breakfast...
"The insults of those who insult you have fallen on me." For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.
Dwell on that today.
Pray that I actually get some sleep tonight :P
Wednesday, February 17, 2010
Now I know what you must be thinking...another hawk picture, but this one was far better than the one I took yesterday. This is the first instance where I've had a repeat picture (this one I didn't take by the way, it was taken by a friend named Derrick). But I mean, c'mon, I couldn't ask for a more perfect picture. The murderous hawk in action. The gore in the picture could only be compared to something out of an Edgar Allen Poe poem, hearing bones crunch and watching end trails fall from the tree where it was perched. Good times.
The past 2 days have been nothing but God reminding me how much I have to rely on him, and how I am in need of scriptural remindings each and every day. Romans 13 talks about respecting authority and remembering that everything in life is ordained by God. So I am signing off now, because I actually want to have a productive day tomorrow, even though it is my day off, and I need sleep in order to do that.
These are the pictures I have most recently taken for this project. The first one is inside my friend's car, a Golden Snitch. For those of you who don't know about Harry Potter, a Golden Snitch is part of the game of Quidditch. In order to win the game, you have to catch this object, (as is the job of the Seeker) before the other team does. It is worth 150 points, and catching it ends the game...
The second picture is one that is probably (as of now) the best picture I have ever taken. There were rumors going around about a murder on campus, and the hawk in the picture is the prime suspect. The other day, one of my friends were walking up the hill to the cafeteria, and saw a rabbit being eaten by a redtail hawk. Later on the next day, I stumbled upon the animals end-trails, and saw the picture of it attacking the poor thing. It's so incredible how animals work in nature and how the Lord of the Universe is the God of Nature and he ordained all creation and the way it functioned. Even in the midst of the violence of an animal being slaughtered, God provided for the needs of that hawk.
The days are becoming blurs, and I am beginning to get further and further into what I think qualifies as torment. This semester has been hard in all possible ways, and tonight was the hardest night I think I have ever had. I had people be real with me, and tell me the truth. I needed to hear it, although on the outside I clearly didn't want to hear it at all. I haven't understood the reality of my life until I heard it from someone else's point of view. Someone who I have known for years, someone who I would trust with my life. I thought I was being personally attacked, I had anxiety about things that weren't true (things that I thought were real and in reality weren't)
Thankfully my FLASHDEVO sort of helped.
Romans 11 and 12
I didn't post yesterday, and to be honest, my blogging is going along with my quiet time, because I find that when I keep up with the blog, I also keep up with my devotions. Anyway, Romans 11 finished up the trinity of Paul's heart for the people of Israel, but chapter 12 is where God followed up with what my friend talked to me about tonight. Loving people that you normally don't love. We aren't called to respond to people with hatred or to seek revenge, instead we are to show them the same love that Christ showed us first. It is so hard for me to agree with that, but I know that I have to. God had me read that chapter tonight because he knew I needed to hear it...
PEACE! I am going to bed, it is ridiculously late...
Sunday, February 14, 2010
Today was the first time that I put my camera into real action. I got this picture, and I realized this was the first one that actually could pass as something decent. This is my car, and my friend mudge's car. Both are from Florida, and both are in the frigid weather...So in a sense, there's something wrong with this picture...
Today was so uneventful, because I was sick most of the morning with a soar throat and I did not want to travel out in it. I was lucky that I had a ride to another church, Sojourn and I was able to experience worship at a new church for a change. I feel bad though, because I was sick, and because of the weather for 2 days, I wasn't able to get much accomplished for my church planting internship, and with there being only 3 weeks before it finishes, and I am praying that God opens up more opportunities. Plus I am very busy with a lot of projects for school. Pray that I stay on top of things...
Paul said that his hearts desire was to see the Jewish people saved. He saw the zeal they had for God, and how concerned they were for the Law. While the people were following God in their own way, Paul proclaimed to his people, "If you call on the name of the Lord, you'll be saved" Often times, I find myself thinking about my family who is Jewish, I wonder what will occur in their minds when they hear the name "Jesus", what will go through their minds, and hearts. It's something that I have often thought about. I keep praying, and going through the book of Romans...
Saturday, February 13, 2010
Again, I have come to find that I am lacking good opportunities for pictures to be taken. I was downtown in Louisville on a Saturday night, which never happens to me. There was a concert that 3 friends from Boyce were attending and I totally could have gotten that picture and I didn't do it...I need to just carry my camera and a pack of AA batteries with me at all times from now on....
Anyway, this was from outside 5th and Broadway, the convenience store on our campus, who was filling orders for roses for Valentine's Day (aka Singles Awareness Day). I was out most of the night with my buddy Jacob (from Miami) downtown in Louisville on Fourth Street Live. We were inside a sports bar place watching this slam dunk NBA contest thing, if that even is the official name for it. But before you get worried that you saw the word "sports bar" in a post, rest assured, I drank water and shared an order of wings and fries.
The days are truly starting to blend together. February is already halfway done, and soon enough it will be March. As a Tim Burton Fan, I am more than excited for the release of Alice in Wonderland. (Friday March 5th) I think it's going to be incredible. My family is convincing me that it will be weird because of the Tim Burton label, but I think against all of that, I think it will be brilliant, and well executed. I hope to get a big group from school to go out and see it in 3D.
My church planting internship is moving along, and I am happy to say that I have good news. Despite that the official "on paper" part of the internship ends in another 3 weeks, I think that there are a lot of bigger details to get out. I am starting to make myself known in Valley View. I spoke with the director of the lifegroup booth and have agreed to help out with 2 services on Sundays, to let people know about Lifesong, and invite them to be a part of this already existing ministry, so I can be able to attend services for a change. It's great. Plus, with the coming weeks I should be able to finish my evangelism strategy and get it out to the officials of the church.
Starting the Trinity (Romans 9-11)
This is a significant passage in scripture. My dad used these three chapters to write his commentary, "The Heart of the Apostle", talking about Paul's heart for the people of Israel. As I read through Romans 9 today, I came across 2 verses that stuck out to me, Verses 20/21
But who are you, O man, to talk back to God? "Shall what is formed say to him who formed it, 'Why did you make me like this?' "Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for noble purposes and some for common use?
I feel it is important for believers to understand (I particularly have a problem with this thought) that God doesn't favor one person over another. The part of the verse, some clay for noble purposes the other for common, that could talk about 2 people who are exactly the same, live the same lives, grow up in the same place, both are on fire for the Lord, but one ends up becoming a missionary overseas, leading thousands of people to the lord, while the other person becomes an administrator in a church somewhere. Both were created by the same God, both blessed, and both faithful to the will of the Lord, but God designed one person to do something different.
I often feel like there are people who are running the same course as I am, I am finding out what it is that God is trying to use me for, but some of the people are above me. It's like I am running down a road while the other person is in a car next to me, waving as they pass me. I don't want to make it seem like I am lagging behind, but God still sees me running the race, and I think that is all that matters.
Friday, February 12, 2010
My pictures are getting more unique to me. I took this one on the way down to the highway. I am guessing it's the tower from Lord of the Rings, Bara-dur, the headquarters of Sauron, the evil sorceror who crafts the ring, whatever it is, I think it's brilliant.
Today I didn't get to do very much, I even overslept and ended up missing my friday morning class (don't worry, we always get 3 absences in a 3-hour class, and this was my very first one for this class), but I was able to move to a new place for my NAMB internship, and found myself at a Starbucks close to Shively.
I will be going out tonight with a friend to go see PERCY JACKSON AND THE OLYMPIANS. It will be nice to finally see a movie that isn't AVATAR for a change, although I don't think that a movie will ever measure up now...
"If God is for us, who can be against us" I was truly waiting to get to this point in Romans, I was wondering when it would come. It's like I was biding my time to get up to that point, hoping for this encouragement. Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite verses in scripture (next to Phil 1:20), but now I'm in this chapter, and I am happy to have this blessing today. I feel a lot of peace coming from the scripture and find myself wanting more and more each day. It is a good place to be in...
And don't forget the ending verse, there is nothing that can seperate us that is found in the love of Christ Jesus our Lord.
Hope you all have a great night.
Thursday, February 11, 2010
Before you think that I am not in Louisville anymore, that I was at some really fancy Ancient Egyptian museum, think again. This picture is actually from the 2ND floor library over at Southern! This is the sarcophagus of some Egyptian priestess. I was in shock when I saw it. I had to take the picture from behind the glass doors, since it wasn't open yet, or else I would have gotten the picture a little bit closer. I had to ask permission first before taking the picture obviously, and I didn't leave the flash on. There would have been a whole lot of glare otherwise.
I am finally happy that the weather is starting to improve. Classes were back on, (although I don't have classes on Thursdays to begin with) so it was nice that all of the offices and facilities were all open. I picked up the pace and decided to go down to Pie Pantry in Valley Station, which is where I write from.
The main thing that I am starting to take away from the book of Romans is repetition. Paul has constantly been reminding people in these past few chapters about the significance of choosing to reject sin and turn towards righteousness. I am eagerly looking forward to reading 9-11, since I will have my dad's commentary, and I can through those books a little bit easier. I hope that you all have a great day, and that you enjoy today's posts...
BLESSINGS AND PEACE!
Wednesday, February 10, 2010
So what do you do when classes are cancelled for a second day? You find a friend who has coupons for the movies and you go see AVATAR for a 4th time. Yeah, I did do that. I haven't gotten to the point with Lion King yet. It's getting close though. It was fun and it was FREE!!!!!!! I have seen AVATAR 4 times in 3D. It is officially one of my favorite movies....
Now for this picture, I always want people to see some of my interests and things like that. This is one of my favorite book series. This is the Circle Saga by Ted Dekker. I have liked my fair share of books over the years, but this is slowly topping the list as one of the best that's out there. Without giving too much of the book away, here's the synopsis.
The main character is a man named Thomas Hunter. He is running away from some loan sharks in Denver this one night, and is clipped in the side of the head by a bullet. When he wakes up, he's in this alternate reality, in which the world has been moved 2000 years into the future. I won't divulge any more of the details, so you will have to read them. And if you do read them, read them in order...
Tonight, I was listening on my iPod to a song with such a profound message in it. "Haven't Met You Yet" by Michael Buble. Despite being a total Frank Sinatra sounding singer, this one song has me thinking of what is coming next in my life. I used to be concerned about having a relationship, and when I would get married, and when I will meet the woman who will become my wife, and I hear this song, and even though it's not a Christian song, it is so incredible to think, God has this plan in store, and the truth is, "I just haven't met you yet".
(See the music video for the song I'm talking about)
So to my future wife, whoever you are, wherever you are, if you are reading this tonight, I pray that the Lord will bless you, and that as you pray, think of me, and think of the love that God is preparing for the both of us. I don't know your name, what you look like, where you are from, what you are doing with your life at this very moment, but God does, and that's all that matters. God will teach me to love you, just as He will teach you to love me. I have no way to express my love to you but to say that Jesus loved me first, and because of his sacrifice, I have the greatest life there is. He is shaping me into the man that you want me to be, and know that I will be waiting for you my love, someday we will meet each other face to face, and recall the journey that we have spent to find one another, until then, Good night and sweet dreams.
I haven't taken much of a chance these days to write long blog entries, because I have either been preoccupied with other things, mainly, this book of mine. Chapter 27 has been a trouble point for me, and I can't seem to get out of it, but I should be through that eventually (over the weekend) and possibly well into the 30s by Monday. I have to figure out what I want to do with it. I may even decide to cut some of the chapters out. I may settle for 36 chapters and end it. I am praying about this, if it doesn't go well, then I will stick with the plan of the original 42 plus the prologue/epilogue.
Today was talking about being a slave to sin, and how we have to choose to obey or to disobey, there are 2 paths, Wickedness or Righteousness. You are set free from your sins because of the blood of Jesus we are to die to our old life. We are baptized with the death of Christ, and raised to new life in him. I want to choose to follow righteousness whatever that means in my life, I will follow after the Lord in the ways of righteousness and not wickedness.
Have a very blessed night, and please keep warm,
Louisville's temps were like 16 degrees, and I think even colder with wind chill.
Tuesday, February 9, 2010
Figures as much. This is the time of the year where there is a lot of snow. However, this only happens in this area of the country, not back home in Florida. I called home today, and my dad was telling me that there was rain, which I would rather have over the freezing coldness. I was at dinner tonight and after it was over, I walked back in the snow. It was windy, and it was REALLY REALLY cold. This is when I saw the most incredible thing I have ever seen. As I looked on my jacket, I saw a snowflake. I actually saw the shape of one, just like the Christmas ornament, and the cut outs that we used to do in elementary school. Crazy!
This picture was from today when I was on the way to lunch, right before I participated in a snowball fight. I haven't had a good snowball fight in years, and I also went sledding the other day. Today was different because the weather caused school to close. Supposedly there was going to be 2 more inches worth of snow tonight, if that is true, then certainly I would be missing school tomorrow as well. If that is the case, I won't have any classes until Friday (since I already have Thursdays off)
Today was Romans 5. In the opening part of this chapter, Paul describes the cause for a person wanting to die for someone else. That is the greatest example of love. Jesus did die, and Paul showed that Jesus died for the most UNWORTHY people imaginable. When you think of someone dying for someone else, you automatically would think of a mother dying for her child, or a father for his son, but what about someone who absolutely DOESN'T in any way deserve it. Jesus was doing the will of his father, being the shield against death, the cover against sin. It is unbelievable. I cannot fathom this. Thinking of everything that Jesus has done for me. He DIDN'T have to do what he did, but he did it anyway. THIS IS SOMETHING TO CELEBRATE.......
Monday, February 8, 2010
As you look at the title header for my prayer journal today, you will see that it is for February 8th 2004. That is the day I started writing down everything I was praying, and from there, it is become one of my most important spiritual disciplines of my life.
I just thought I would get this done early today.
I haven't done my devotions yet, so there won't be a flash devo until later today, and I will add it to this post...
So until later...
OKAY.....Now I'm back on the air to give the flashdevo
Here it is...
Romans 4, talking about sin and righteousness and redemption and all of that. Verse 8 is what got to me the most talking about the believers, and their sins. "Blessed is the Man whose sins are not counted against him". That is something that God can only be responsible for. We worry about the things that God would do if we are caught sinning but God does above and beyond what we expect. He is truly an unbelievable god. Hope you are encouraged by this.
Sunday, February 7, 2010
At last, after almost a week of seeing pictures of giant blue aliens, far off planets, an empty bed, and a package of Oreos, here are some decent human-including pictures. I am sitting in on Boyce's super bowl party, the first big student event of the semester. I am happy that I made the decision to go out to the event. I was able to make friends with someone close to home. He's been at Boyce for 2 semester, and I didn't even know him. His name is Jacob, he's the guy to the left of me in the picture, he's from Florida. Miami to be specific...It is great because I know a lot about where he's coming from, we can relate. Having grown up only an hour away from each other, there is much to that. So it's awesome.
Today I managed to finish chapter 23 and 24 of the book. I am now up to 237 pages. I cannot get over it. I feel like I am just trucking along. I have 2 more complete weeks to get to my date, and basically what that means is that all of my free time (apart from going to the gym and classes) are going to be devoted to finishing the book on time. I am debating if I really want it to be 42 chapters, but I set that goal for myself a long time ago, and I really want to stick to it. I hope that people don't get too depressed when they read it. I want to describe the book almost as a 21st century version of the book of Job. So much goes down in the story, you are left to wonder how things will happen, whether they will be good or bad.
As I watch the superbowl, I am sort of hoping that the Colts win it, but it would be great if the Saints win because of what New Orleans has been through. Hurricane Katrina was the event that got the city to see how America can come together and help out for the greater good. It won't matter to me either way, because no matter who wins, it will be a great victory, and that's the truth.
Today I ended up going to Valley View instead of LifeSong, because of the party, and it was great. Pastor Joel was wild, and his message was inspiring.
Check it out here:
I was finally able to do my devotions in the morning, reading Romans 3. I am so very proud of myself that my spiritual health has so greatly improved. If I can just get the physical to follow after it, I should be okay :P
There was a passage later on in the chapter (v.9-18) talking about how there is no one righteous person, NO NOT ONE. I remember this passage from a song by Caedmon's Call "Thankful", it was part of the verses in the song. It is so incredible to realize that because of sin, even the most Godly, most spiritually driven people who do their best to please their creator, they are still sinners who need the blood of Jesus. It is deep. I am really looking forward to getting deeper into this book, so look for my posts later in the week.
Okay, now I can officially say that I'm not lazy anymore. This was a picture I was hoping to take to show people what my room has. You've seen my desk, my chachkies (Yiddish for dust-collectors), and now you can see my work area. Last semester, that would have been a bad idea to place things, since I had a roommate, and he slept there, but now, I keep my folders, important papers for classes, and my bible stuff over there. I bought that commentary book in the picture (The John MacArthur Bible Commentary) last semester, when it was on sale for $20. I have used it a couple of times, and right now, as I find myself reading Romans for quiet time, I have often looked through that book to answer some questions about Paul and what he was doing as he wrote the Prison letters.
Also here is an incredible update. I am on chapter 24 of the Chronicles of Judah, and right now, the book is an incredible 227 pages long. I am so happy with the way it is going, and I have so much in place to finish it, and with my goal in mind (February 26th) I hope that it will finally finish as planned, and I can start having it ready for printing and eventually editing.
I am going to try to do my reading in the mornings from now on, but I wanted to talk about Romans 2. In this chapter, you are seeing Paul, and how he wants people to be who they are supposed to be. Non-judgmental, and open to sharing Christ's love. He spoke of how there is no difference between Jew or Gentile and how we are not supposed to regard someone as better than someone else or how we are supposed to live our lives as to not let someone else stumble. It's something I often think about. Could our lives be affecting how someone else lives, how someone else believes in the Lord? Dwell on that today.
As far as the superbowl goes and who I'm rooting for: GO COLTS! (This is only because Peyton is Eli's older brother, and Eli is the quarterback for my New York Giants)
I look forward to tomorrow night's game.
Friday, February 5, 2010
Okay, so I am getting so lazy with not taking my pictures, but I have a story behind this one. This is a persian cat, named Maybe. She is currently being held for adoption in San Antonio, and I was looking at her for when I move to Texas. The chances of me having an animal right away are very slim, since I will have a small apartment, and I'm not even sure they allow animals...However, there are some places on Southwestern's campus that do allow pets, but it's more money...
I fell in love with the Persian breed after seeing a famous one in the Harry Potter books. Hermione Granger has a cat named Crookshanks who is a Persian. I don't know what it is about the cat breed, but I find it so adorable. These cats are actually ugly, they have a squished in face...But who cares, cats are intelligent, and they are also very easy to take care of because they don't liked being walked or told what to do, so they require very little care, and if I were to get a cat, I wouldn't have to worry about taking it outside, just feeding it...
Finally started reading the prison letters, and I am now in Romans... You are finally hearing about what Paul does while he is in prison. It is never clear about his treatment, but we do know that he was kept in a house with someone guarding him on a regular basis...He wrote this letter to show that he was finally going to Rome to meet the believers that he had only heard about. In Acts 2 (during Pentacost) there were Jewish people who accepted their Messiah, and were from Rome, they went back, and from there is it a supposition that a church was started. Paul was writing to the church condemning those people who were saying that it was okay to be living in sin, and he gave specific warnings (listing out the sins by name, through the end of chapter 1) telling people what to avoid. I hope that this encourages you. I am just bored during my history class, and thought I would blog today...
Thursday, February 4, 2010
Life can sometimes get in the way as people get busier and busier, and yet (as you can see in the pictures I've taken, I am clearly managing to have a social life)
The first one (taken on Wednesday) is a typical scene in my room, of people coming to play Super Smash Brothers Brawl on my Wii...
It has become my breaks from studying, and just enjoying time with people on my hall.
The picture I took today is the ultimate goal I had with people here at school. I dedicate this photo to my good friends in Japan, the Fujino family. During the summer when I lived in Tokyo, the Fujinos would have the IMB interns over at their house to watch movies. Often times we would choose to watch the Harry Potter films, or something else, but it was just so much fun to do. So I made a sign like the ones you would typically see while you'd be around the apartment building where they lived. I am now doing a "Harry Potter Marathon". Tonight I did the 1st movie, and I am hoping to go through all 6 films by the middle of March.
I was beginning to have anxiety because I haven't done devotions for about 4 days, and it was about time that i got back to it. I finished up Acts today (YAY!!!!) Paul finally makes it to Rome, and is put under house arrest where he writes the Prison letters (what I am about to move forward to read now). I am just amazed at how the Lord kept Paul alive through all of the trouble he went through just getting to Rome. He was ship wrecked and nearly died. And yet, through all of this God used Paul and helped him write what became one of the most significant parts of the New Testament. I have never found more encouragement, than when I sit to read the prison letters. They are one of my favorite parts of the Bible (next to Exodus) of course.
Anyway, this post goes out to all of my former co-interns who are choosing to follow their Heavenly father's will and return to Japan. Someday I will go back to Japan and I will serve there again...I am praying for that day.
God bless you all...
Tuesday, February 2, 2010
Here is just a look for you guys into my dorm room. This is my bookshelf. It holds all of my movies, and my books for classes. The second shelf is my designated "missions" section, will all of my books from my major (missions) and the shelf after that is my entertainment section, where you'll find Lord of the Rings and Harry Potter...
Very slow day today, and uneventful, but I hope you all have a great week.
No flashdevo today unfortunately...
Monday, February 1, 2010
Another day in which I didn't take the picture, but I am just thinking about the process that goes into making something so grand as this movie. Right now, I am still writing my book, "The Chronicles of Judah". I have been working on it for just over 3 years now. James Cameron started working on his movie AVATAR in 1994, writing the script, hoping that the movie would be released in 1999, just 2 years after Titanic came out in theaters. However, the technology needed to make the movie what it was, wasn't available, so the movie was put on hold for a while. If it has been made in 1999, it would have been a complete bomb, rather than the monstrocity that it now is (box office wise).
I cannot begin to fathom how it must feel to know that something you poured your life into became so successful, and so huge.
I came to a point today where I found everything that I needed to finish my book. i had all of the details I wanted included in the book, everything that would describe how it ended, I did it. And now I am going to run with it. So I chose this picture to express my view that doing things that will become successful will often take time, and you have to trust that God will help you through all circumstances...
Tonight I find myself getting closer and closer to finishing Acts. Paul is being put on trial before several high-ranking government officials, all of whom don't see any reason to accuse him, yet people want him dead. It is so cool to see how the hand of God protects Paul in all of this, and eventually he finds himself in prison in Rome, where he writes most of the New Testament, I cannot wait to get to that point but for now, this is all I can offer, as it is getting late, and I want to be in bed, to be up in time for opening convocation tomorrow.
I know this wasn't exactly the most original of pictures, but it's the best that i managed to do today. I feel like I owe an explanation. Today, I decided to tap into my inner Southern Baptist and bring some food to church. LifeSong members are usually greeted by a pot of coffee, bottled water, and depending on who made them, cookies. So I take it upon myself to go out to Target on my way down to church, and buy these brand new oreos. Okay, let me just say that if it wasn't for the label on the package, you cannot taste the difference in any cookie. Oreos are the same as anything out there. A chocolate cookie with cream in the center. Something too tasty for its own good. I see food in general as a form of Kryptonite to me, it all has to stop somewhere, but you'll be happy to know, that the box was gone long before I could attempt to eat all of them ;). I am seriously trying to get my physical health in order. I am eagerly looking forward to receiving a copy of a Biggest Loser workout DVD (from the show on NBC). It's called the "Last Chance Workout". It should be about an hour long, and it's done by Jillian Michaels and Bob Harper, the shows 2 trainers. I want to work at improving my life all around, and there is just so much I have to thank God for in the process. I am not dead, I have Jesus, I have a roof over my head, there is just so much to say, and I haven't been saying it. Despite there being negativity in my life, I choose to say, God You Reign, and I will still love you.
Something powerful to think about today.
Anyway, the weeks here are school are starting to mesh together. I am struggling to keep at my personal deadline of finishing the book manuscript by the end of this month, but if I keep going, if I don't give up, I'm sure it will be finished by February 26th (my goal date). Right now, there is just so much emotion to these chapters because you are encountering my main character right after being liberated from auschwitz, and now he and his girlfriend (along with her parents) are going to Israel for the first time. He plans to propose to her, and also, have a special memorial service to honor his parents and sisters who all died during the war...This is chapter 19, and the book is supposed to be 42 chapters. I don't plan on boring people by making the chapters over 10 pages each, (please don't think that), I just want the book finished already, and if I can do it, I will do it. I am setting a personal goal to have the book be at the least 350 pages, and right now, the book stands at a whopping 201 pages. So I still have a ways to go yet. (149).
So I decided to stay up late, and spend some serious time in the word. As I still am, I find myself reading Acts. If i am to be in full time overseas ministry, I need to understand where these desires came from and learn from the greatest of all missionaries, the Apostle Paul. Many times (since coming to Boyce) people have asked me, if you're Jewish, why are you not ministering amoung them. It is true, I am a Jewish believer in the Messiah, and I do have a heart for them, but it is not what God has in store for my life. I am (in my mind) like Paul. I am a Jewish Believer who has a heart for his own people, but whom God has called among the Gentiles. Tonight I read Acts 19-22. By this time, Paul is before the Sanhedrin in Jerusalem. He has been accused of turning the Jews away from the law, and they are now following after what Paul teaches.
I am not able whatsoever to compare myself to what Paul went through. I don't know what it's like to be stoned, whipped, beaten, thrown in jail for believing in Jesus. I have been told that I am going to hell for being in a "cult", and been rejected by a lot of people, and ridiculed, but never hurt physically. It would be an honor to receive physical hurt in the name of Jesus. I would count myself blessed. It would be miserable, I would be discouraged, but I would know that he is still God and he still reigns.
Paul also talked to his brothers and sisters throughout Greece, saying that he had been with them for 3 years and his time had now come, he wouldn't see them ever again. That would frigten me. I plan to serve in some overseas capacity in Japan, and I don't know for how long that would be. I cannot imagine saying to my family, my parents, my sister and her family, my brother, everyone I know...Goodbye, I may never see you again...It would be hard, and I would cry, but they would understand that God is there to watch over me, and to use me to reach people for the name of Jesus.
When I was living in Japan, I had the extreme honor of leading someone to the Lord, and baptizing that person...I don't know if I will ever see them again, but I pray that he is growing in the Lord, and that my impact on his life will help him to stay close to Jesus.
I pray you all have the best of weeks, and look to the Lord for your strength this week, it is not of yourselves that you accomplish anything, but through Jesus who gives us strength that we do all things (Philippians 4:13)