Monday, January 28, 2013

Scratching the Surface

I found something cool tonight while I read my Bible. If you notice, there are many instances where there are numerous gaps. It is found in the history and even in the teachings and thoughts of certain individuals. For instance, the Gospels do not give a detailed account of Jesus’ life. Yes they have stories about him, but they don’t discuss ever single healing nor every single place he visited. He spoke to multitudes of people at a time and we don’t know about most of these people.
            The Bible tends to only scratch the surface in many instances, not just in history but even the qualities of God. It leaves these stories open for us to discover and realize. God wants you to discover him, and learn about the things that he loves. One of those things, are the events that happen in this world. He wants you to know and see what he sees. Not only this, he also wants you to take an interest in his message he has for you. There are secret things that on certain day’s only you would see. You and I can read the same verse, but we can be impacted in completely different ways. It’s amazing how God can do that; how it is almost written into our very DNA, where we get impacted differently by certain things.
            I challenge you today to pick up your Bible and read it. Let your mind and heart wander through each text and verse. Think and meditate on what your reading, and I am telling you, that God can take the most boring scriptures (to me it’s the genealogies lol), and reveal something to you.

Friday, January 25, 2013

God Is Straight Up Laughing!

“He who sits in heaven laughs;
The Lord holds them in derision.” –Psalm 2:4

Life can really suck sometimes. I mean it can be riddled with a multitude of issues. Bills might not be getting paid, ends may not be getting met, and people are dying, while some are sick or just straight up starving. In a world with a plethora of problems this verse is an immense comfort. “He who sits in heaven laughs…” in this Psalm it is talking about a massive problem with people rebelling against God. It’s a crazy thought to just picture God sitting in heaven just laughing at this problem. It’s not that he doesn’t care; it’s that in his eyes, it’s really no big deal. In comparison to his power and majesty, the problems on this little spec in the infinitely vast universe, is dismal.
Imagine the laughter God has when the problems in your life are put on the table. It must be hysterical. However, there is an interesting dialectic about to happen. Your problems and those of the World might be small, but God, in his infinite power and might, cares about them. God cares about you, he cares about those that are starving, and he cares about your needs. In Mathew, Jesus states that God cares for the sparrows, yet how much more are you worth to him. God’s energy and passion are placed in you and what happens around you. When you put these little issues at his feet, he takes them up in his huge hands and deals with them.
The point of this little spiel is that God cares about you. The issues in your life is so dismal that it might bring a little chuckle out of the ‘big guy in the sky’, but that is to just show you that he can take anything you throw at him. Nothing is too big, or too small for him to deal with. It could be an issue in the world (poverty, war, etc.) or it can be something in your life (pain, drama, sorrow). Regardless, God still wants to hear about it.
There is something important to state though. There is only one requirement for God to start doing something. God is not Santa Clause who will fulfill your wish list or a genie who will fix every problem. God’s effort is not something that is free of charge. Yes I said it! It’s not FREE! The thing that he wants is you. He just wants you and your heart. He wants this relationship with you and he wants to interact with you. If there is a requirement that would probably be the only thing. I am not theologian, so I can’t prove to you on some intellectual level. I just know God loves you and I know that he wants you to love him as well. I hope this has encouraged you today.

Peace out peeps! Sorry for the long reading. If you got through it then thanks for reading.

“If you abide in me, and my words abide in you,  ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.    By this my Father is glorified, that you  bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.” John 15:7-8

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

It's all Good in the Hood

In Genisis 1, the story of God's creation is told. He makes all these things; the sky, water, earth, etc.. In essense, he creates our physical reality. Im not here to debate if it literally happened or not; however, I want to shed light on one phrase that is repeated 5 different times. After each phase of creation, the Bible says that God saw that it was good. That right there really speaks volumes about life. God looks at everything around us as good. Everything he created has goodness and beauty in it. Even this little monkey that looks like many people I know is seen as Good.

I just want to encourage you today to take a minute or two out of your busy schedule and see all the Good God has created. Right now, for the few that read this blog, you are breathing. That breath has so much physical complexities involved in order for it to happen; I am no scientist, so i can't really explain all of it to you lol. But even something like your heart beat is amazing. Did you know that your heart beat is unique? Out of the 6 billion+ people, no one has a heart beat like yours! In God's eyes you are good and beautiful. So take a minitue or two to see your surrounds and the goodness in it. Then give some praise!

"And God saw everything that he made, and behold, it was very good..."-Genesis 1:31

Friday, January 18, 2013

There 'aint' no such thang!

"But as he considered these things, behold, an angel of the Lord appeared to him in a dream saying, 'Joseph, son of David, do not fear to take Mary as your wife, for that which is conceived in her is from the Holy Spirit.'"- Mathew 1:20

When we read through the first chapter of Mathew we tend to skip a few parts. The first part we tend to skip is that boring genealogy in the beginning; however, I found that we also skip another interesting part. We usually just read the above verse right through without giving it much thought.  This part is essential in many aspects. The first aspect is that it is a proclamation about Jesus and the nature he has. This is the part we usually pick up almost instantly, however, we never really take into consideration the actual event of him having a dream. Joseph had a dream and a literal angel come to him to speak to him. This is CRAZINESS! I mean in today's society we usually chalk this up as delusional. I mean to be honest, if I had a dream that an angel was speaking to me about something, I would probably put it into the catagory of bad food from the night before. What if you had a dream like this? It is another interesting note that  when we hear about other religions having spiritual events like this we usually term it as superstition.

My first point is this: God uses our cultrual and contemporary context to speak to us. In that day and age (the time of Joseph), people believed the supernatural was a part of everyday life; in many instances, there was really no seperation between the supernatural and natural. Consequently, when someone had a dream, they did not really question its validity. Joseph is no exception. God spoke to him through his cultural beliefs to reach to him. He does the same today. The importance of this point is that God will reach out to you in a way that you will find believable. If you look at developing countries (many people call them third world countries though I don't like that term), people still talk about God reaching out to them in dreams and visions. There are supernatural things that happen because that is their culture. God speaks to us Westerners in a different aspect (well most of us anyway) This wasn't my main point though so I don't want to waste your time talking about this lol.

The main point is the first part of the verse. Joseph "considered these things". This guy had a a lot on his plate. Imagine, if you have a girlfriend and they suddenly got pregnant without you having.... (well you know what I mean lol)... Would you believe them if they denied it? I mean seriously, I probably wouldn't (which gives me the thought that God would have to reach out to me miraculously to tell me otherwise lol). But Joseph was also struggling with this. What should he do? How should he approach this situation? He was a religious man that had the fear of God and it is probably safe to say that he prayed about it as well. The significance is that we need to do the same. When we go through our issues or trials we need to use our brains to think the situation through. We need to dig into God and ourselves to see if we can find a solution. This is when God reaches out to us in the best way possible.

I know I went through a pretty large discourse (College word!) in order to get to the point I just wanted to encourage those out there that are going through a difficult time. Keep digging into yourself and into God. Keep praying and I'm telling you that God is going to speak to you in a way that you are going to understand.

Peace out Homies

Wednesday, January 16, 2013

Getting Caught in the Trap

It has been a long time since I have posted anything on this blog, but there is something inside me that is screaming out to be shared. I was sitting here in school, completely silent and studying about Sufi love(if you don’t know it has to do with something about Islam), then suddenly I just felt this thing in me screaming out, “Are you doing what you should be doing?” This question hit me like a brick. It is in reference to the question of fulfilling my purpose in life. I joined this school and am studying these things to bring glory to God in some way at least that was my initial intention. However, now it seems like I have been caught in some sort of trap. Everything that I have been doing has been for selfish motives and selfish gains. Somewhere something went wrong. It transformed into me wanting to graduate not to help people, but just to get done with school. I lost that intention and I got sucked into the trap of living for me, myself, and I.
  I have been reading this book called Radical (well actually listening to the audio version since I study all the dang time) and it has really challenged a lot in me. It has turned my comfort upside down and really made me look at myself to see what I am truly living for. Am I living for  a successful graduation, marriage, family, job, or even church service? Or am I living for something greater then all that: God? This coming season at Calvary Chapel Sawgrass we are going to be taking a challenge with the youth of not just being a FAN for Jesus, but a Follower. In layman terms, being a fan is completely different from a follower. The fan is the one that will cheer for their team or even come up with some cool songs to praise their greatness. Even though he does these things, there is not really anything required of him. The fan doesn’t have to come to the games, nor does he really have to put in work like the team does. In actuality, many times, he can leave early and even skip certain events when things don’t go his way. On the other hand, the follower is a completely different story. The follower is in it through thick and thin. He is the one that gives up his livelihood to learn and be like the one he follows. He is like certain individuals who gave up their successful fishing business or a certain famous religious leader who gave up that title. These are followers. They are the individuals who really live out what they believe. They don’t walk away when things get tough; they truck on and keep fighting, whether it is an outer struggle or one within.
 I am personally starting a journey to set myself on the right path. Not the path of self-indulgence or self-concern, but the path of living for the ONE who changed my life. I am going to search for answers to questions like how to transform the things I am doing now for Christ. What are ways that I can serve not just in Church, but also outside it as well. I know for myself, it is time to make a change. Are you up for the challenge? Its time to make a difference in this world.

p.s. This little spiel of mine might not have anything to do with you. If not then…oh well =)