Heroes of the World

As most of you are already aware, last night I had the youth come dressed up as an original superhero, and we had a good time. There are videos on my YouTube page if you are interested, I have videos just walking through the room seeing them all hang out, and one video where they all share who they came as. You can find them here, again if you are interested:

http://www.youtube.com/user/TDWPPUNK92?feature=guide

Now, most of them probably came expecting it to be just good old fun, but I had something more in mind…I spoke to them on what a real hero is. I shared with them that we are the World’s heroes. I asked them all what a real hero is…granted most of them had it fairly drilled into their minds that they are someone who helps people..now that is a small portion of it..yes but I shared that it is really much more than that.

There are several parts of the bible where we are told as Christians we are gods workmanship to do things that he set before us, and that he set us apart, that we are to be different from the world. In other words, to be in the world but not of it.

Now, this isn’t really a new idea, but when we hear of stories of someone who does a heroic act, we hear stories of a second of complete selflessness? right? It seems to be the common theme. Heroes don’t really need superpowers, a cape, or big muscles, or any of those things that we associate with being a hero. If we really narrow it down a hero is simply just anyone who puts themselves aside, and sets themselves apart from the world, and lastly dares to be different so the world and communities can be a better place. That’s really the major portion of the hero qualifications.

Now since God called us to do these things, in a way I say that makes us Christians to be the heroes of the world. In closing, the bible/Jesus also gave us the final command to go into the world and make disciples of all nations which we call the Great Commission, which goes back to my post about not being only self responsible.. But In closing I asked a simple question, which was purposely a pop culture reference, but because all Christians have this responsibility to be the heroes of the world, I asked them simply this..Are you ready to Assemble?

Now this part is cool, and I actually wasn’t planning on this, but after I asked this question a short discussion actually transpired, about examples of how they can start to be different, and set themselves apart, and it shows that it got them at least thinking. It was really cool to see.

Anyways, until Next week!

Justin

Can You Handle?

One of the most common things you will hear people say is simply this: “God Will Not Give You More Than You Can Handle.” Seriously…I have lost count of how many times I have heard this said. Not only have I heard it numerous times, I am also guilty of saying this myself over the years…But here is the thing..It actually is another one of the lies that we buy..Before I started studying the word of god, and actually getting to know him better over the last year I have learned that this is actually in fact false.

This Statement, is actually misquoted scripture coming from 1 Corinthians 10:13 which says simply this:

No temptation has overtaken you except what is common to mankind. And God is faithful; he will not let you be TEMPTED beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can endure it.”

Saying that God will not give you more than you can handle, and saying he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear, IS NOT THE SAME! Temptation is not circumstances..they are separate. You will be tempted and Tested in life, but as it says with the temptation will come a way out so you can endure the temptation, but he didn’t say he wouldn’t give us problems we couldn’t handle. This is why so many people misquote this scripture.

I in fact now believe the opposite. God does in fact give us more than we can handle. This is for the sole purpose of our need for his divine intervention. We alone can not handle..but with his help we can. That is why he allows test/trials.

Yes the saying God won’t give you more than you can handle sounds good..but here is the catch…just because something sounds good…doesn’t mean its true or biblical. There are plenty of things out there in the world that people will tell you that sounds great, but as I said, that doesn’t mean it is true.

I in fact now believe the opposite. God does in fact give us more than we can handle. This is for the sole purpose of our need for his divine intervention. We alone can not handle..but with his help we can. That is why he allows test/trials.

So what is my challenge to my readers this week?

Before believing anything you hear, go to gods word first. As I already said, just because it sounds good, that doesn’t mean it is true. CHECK IT!

This is a new thing that is new to my youth, since this is what I preached last night, but I have been doubting myself and this message since last night, and just now my Aunt turned on a movie, and it just had a scene that I caught and in the scene this message was just taught by the pastor in the movie, so to me this was a confirmation that this is what was to be shared. And for that I thank god for. I needed that myself.

Until Next Week!

Justin

Who Says We Are Only Self Responsible?

This week is going to be a little different. It is still being classified under my weekly thoughts Thursday, it is just on a little different topic than normal.

This week I am talking about a sense of self, what I mean by this is partially self-responsibility. In life people will tell you that the only person you are responsible for in life is yourself. They will tell you to worry about yourself and they will worry about themselves. This whole philosophy I do not agree with 100%. I do agree with a sense of self-responsibility in life decisions, meaning you should not be dependent on everyone else when it comes to making every single decision, but It doesn’t mean you should not take other people’s input to help you make the best decisions, especially when it is coming from God himself. A lot of my life decisions have been made after talking to God first, but also after talking with people with more life experience than myself. I am a big believer in this idea that I have that a person who is willing to take others input, is more responsible and respectable, rather than flat-out spontaneous, and making decisions on the spot and not thinking of possible outcomes.

Matthew 22:37-9 Jesus replied: “‘Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and greatest commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself.

Matthew 28:16-20 Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18 Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

On the other hand I do not believe in life we are only responsible/accountable for ourselves, If we were what would be the purpose? I mean we weren’t just told; hey, be a good person, and advance yourself and you will go to heaven. We have responsibility to each other, not just ourselves. We were called as Christians to first love God, and second take that love out into the world, loving our neighbors, and sharing the good news. We call it the great commission. In a sense, we also call that being a christian..

When we get to heaven, we will all be judged based on our deeds, and if we are only trying to advance ourselves, rather than taking some responsibility in the salvation process of others then I don’t believe this is going to over so well for us. So if we are supposed to go out in the world and share the great news, as Christians we are no longer supposed to only be responsible for ourselves. We are not called to only love ourselves and do life alone, but rather the opposite.

So who says in life we are only responsible for ourselves? Not this guy..

See you Next Week!

Justin

Music and Worship

Hey guys, It’s Thursday! You know what that means. Its time for another thought sharing from Justin.

This week I want to focus on something that may not be the same opinion of everyone, as proved to me the past few days, but this is Justin’s thoughts Thursday, not what everyone else thinks Thursday. So if you disagree with me, it doesn’t matter.

Today I have a few things to say.

First of all is your choice in Music. I say, it is okay to listen to Secular music to an extent, just choose carefully, because if you put Junk in, junk is going to come out. Personally I barely ever listen to secular music, half the time my radio in my car isn’t even on. There are so many songs out there that is not of Jesus, and is of worldly things, and the bible says as Christians, we are to separate ourselves from the world and not do the things they do..so if you do listen to secular music, Please try to keep it clean, because to us Christians some of it is poison. Now, I am not saying just because you shouldn’t listen to all secular music I am not saying you should only listen to the mellow soft christian music, There is plenty of good christian music out there, Music does not define it, its the lyrical content. Music itself is neutral. I love to Rock..and that is perfectly fine.

My other thing I want to talk about is choices we make in the music we worship too, If it is about us it isn’t really worship. Like a song we sang last night, I was not a big fan of, it wasn’t so much that it wasn’t a good song, just it isn’t worshipful. Worship is not a time to make points to us, worship is to point towards him. If the song is saying we are beautiful, or we have a lot to offer, it is not worshipful. It becomes just inspirational. We are worshiping him, not the other way around. Another “worship” song that most people like that I can’t stand is “How He Loves” the main reason why I don’t really like it is it says that he loves us, which is really unnecessary because we already know that, and if it were to be truly worshipful, it should be the other way around. Worship is about us telling god how much we love him, etc not the other way around. That is my take on Worship, and music.

 

The Perfect Life!

This weeks post I just want to share with everyone in deeper detail what I shared with the youth last night..

Mike Grimm shared briefly some of the details, but after 20 minutes of worship, and learning some new songs I started to share with the Youth a little bit about the point of Winter Jam, which is the big concert we took them too on Friday Night, and I told them a little bit of the idea behind it, and told them that there was a reason why they had some diversity in their choice of groups they had there, and explained that it was okay if they don’t really enjoy some of the groups, but told them that if you listened to the lyrical content of the music, you will realize that they are all sharing the same general message, which is the message of Jesus Christ, and then stated that they just were reaching a different demographic. After I made this point I took some time to go around the room, and have each of the youth that were there to share their two favorite groups that were there, and the most commonly answered group was RED, which is a Loud Christian Rock Group. At that moment I realized, WE HAVE SOME AWESOME YOUTH!

After we went through the group I played a lyric video of the the song “Perfect Life: Performed by RED” which is linked here, if you would like to hear it:

If you listened to the song, great! But, If you didn’t then you are not going to understand this next part so well…but we will make do.

After I played the song I asked the Youth to share some of the lines in the song that really meant something to them, and really stuck out…then Timothy decided to say, “I don’t want your perfect life” which is the chorus, and I went on to tell them, besides the chorus because that is obvious, then they all got a little less specific and said “the whole first half…” Then Marisa finally said the one I was looking for, “I am perfectly broken”

I started after this with Ecclesiastes 7:20, which states basically that there is no one on earth that does only good, and never sins.

After this I sort of went a little different route, and took them on the Romans Road to Salvation, which was to prove my point a little deeper that we are not perfect, but there is a God who is, and he is who we rely on. I had them all piece it together and break down the verses, and they did very well!

In closing, I told them 5 points:

1.) If they are perfect, they simply are not real and they are empty.

2.) They are perfect at one thing…..being broken!

3.) We are imperfect and broken people being brought back together by the Perfect God!

4.) The Sooner you stop trying to achieve the perfect life, the sooner you can start focusing on things that matter more, and do greater and better things

– Great Commission

– Blind leading Blind

– Bible full of imperfect person after person after person, after person after person, after person, after…you get the point!

5.) My last point I asked the Youth if they wanted to know why God didn’t make us Perfect…which I told them it was because of simply God. If he made us perfect we wouldn’t need him, and he would simply be useless to us, but that is not what he wants, but he wants us to need him.

And that is how last night went down! then they all asked me to play the song again so I did. Then I played some RED music the rest of the night, and they played ping pong and pool for the remaining 15 minutes.

 

Frustration

Frustration, its another one of those inevitable facts of life, cause whether we are willing to accept it or not, the universe was not made to make life for humans simple. If everything in life was easy and not frustrating life would be boring, and we would simply be at the same level of existence as a robot or an animal, just alive and trying to stay alive, but we are humans that have feelings, emotions, and a higher ability to think..so we are going to have conflicts and frustrations because life is messy when you add emotions and all that crap, but we are able to fix it if we choose to.

Frustrations are just like problems, they go hand in hand, you are going to have them…just hang in there. God is not a forceful God, and he didn’t make life easy because if life were easier we would not have a way to show him how much we love him. We know how much he loves us, but without the problems and frustrations we can’t show him just how much we love him.

Where am I going with this is you may ask? simply I am saying this; if we had an easy life it would be easy to love God because honestly you wouldn’t have a reason not to, but when you are frustrated and angry it is much harder to love him, and show him how much you love him, so what I am suggesting this week is rather than thinking of frustration as a problem, think of it simply like this.

Frustration: A Divine Opportunity to Show God Just How Much you Love Him.

Think about it..

See you next week!

Justin

The End Will Justify

Well, this weeks post is not really a new idea, and more than likely won’t be too well thought out, but it is more of a continuation…

If you have talked to me, or read some of my tweets lately, you might have heard that I have some weird freakish ear infection, that unlike a normal one isn’t in the middle ear, but rather on the eardrum itself, and it causes a blister to form on the eardrum. It’s really painful believe it or not, especially if I go without taking Tylenol, or ibuprofen. What has really threw me off is the fact that it causes temporary hearing loss in the ear that has the blister, which is my left ear, and I haven’t been able to hear out of it since Tuesday Morning. Its really quite weird only being able to hear out of one ear, and having to tell people to talk to my good ear. Ha Ha, so to all people that are either deaf in one ear, or half deaf, I now know how you feel, and i feel for ya! Ha Ha

I guess what I am trying to say, is really simple. Pain is not permanent, but it is inevitable. That’s what this whole ear situation is reminding me of, If you are in some type of pain, and I’m not only talking about physical pain, like my ear. But when you go through the pain, there is always a God desired result at the end, and that end will always justify the pain it took to get us there. It also reminds me of a line in a song, sung by the Band Relient K, where they said: “You said I know that this will hurt, but If I don’t break your heart, then things will just get worse. If the burden seems to much to bear, remember..the end will justify the pain it took to get us there.”

I have always loved that song, especially in times of trouble and pain in my life.

Sorry that this weeks post isn’t as exciting, but that’s what my thoughts are this week.

Anyways see you next week!

Justin

Conversing With God

This weeks post is not gonna be as long and thought out as the ones in the past few weeks, but length is not the most important part. It is better to have short and sweet rather than long and bland. I could stretch it out and make it as long as the ones in the past few weeks, but I would rather not. Plus I am a little under the weather and sort of having a hard time holding myself together and focusing.

This week, I wanted to focus more on a simpler subject. It all started on Sunday afternoon, I was on my iPhone trying to open my Bible app on my phone, and it wasn’t working. Now I know that I have multiple physical copies of the bible, but I didn’t have any with me all week, being in my car for most of the week. Just yesterday afternoon I decided to try and delete the app and re-download it to see if that solved the problem and it did. Now the point I am making is not a how to make your phone apps work for dummies. That actually isn’t even close.

My real point is something more on the lines of, I spent a lot of time trying to open the app, and in the end I found myself getting upset because all I wanted to do is read God’s word. For that time of not being able to do what I always do in that time I felt deprived. Now, it is much more than that.

A relationship with God is not one way. He desires a more personal relationship, and it has to have more conversing. If you are only reading a bible once a week, or only saying a prayer at the dinner table that really isn’t enough. You have to be rooted in God’s word and praying daily. If you are only praying and not reading your bible, or listening for god to speak to you then it is like a lopsided relationship. Its like that one friend that you will be attempting to talk to, but they just talk so much that you have a hard time getting what you have to say in.

This was my learning experience this week, It made me realize that over the past while I have sort of let my relationship with God get a little lopsided, I was only concerned about what he wants to tell me everyday, and started thinking that he doesn’t care as much about what I have to say, but that isn’t the case. Its a group effort, if you aren’t wiling to converse with him, and make your relationship more personal it will be all for nothing. And nobody wants to hear the words depart from me, I never Knew You.

See you Next Week!

Justin

Thoughts of The Week – Justin’s Thoughts Thursday

Well, If you haven’t noticed, I have recently been back on a “blog craze.” I have been doing my best to try to write a fresh post at least once a week. As you are obviously aware, over the past few weeks I have been mostly successful, after a long gap, and I mean LONG gap of something we call “writers block”.

Now, I’m not one much for documenting my entire life through writing, especially not in a public environment, but over the last year (2012) I have had quite a few changes that occurred that sort of triggered new interest, and caused me to see life a little differently. It is a never-ending process for me, and for everyone I would think..

One of those “new-found interest” i mentioned is, obviously writing these weekly blogs I have been doing. I guess since I have been doing it weekly, you could call it “Justin’s Thoughts Thursday”. As it currently seems, I have an ability to better express myself in this way than in spoken words, or any other way, besides music, I still do that a ton. I have noticed, that my blog has been getting more hits/visits since I started doing this, and people are learning things about me, and noticing that I have a side to me that most people never get to see, not that reading these are giving you that chance to see that side, but its more than most people would ever get normally.

The past few weeks I have chosen to write on various topics that a lot of times people have a hard time with, and this week is no different, I just had some other thoughts I wanted to share first. This week, I have been thinking up a storm about Problems. Now, at first that seems a little pointless, like writing about things people have problems with, why do problems? for gosh sake its the same word..of course people have a problem with problems. Be sure of this, like everything I do, it has a purpose.

This whole thought process started on Sunday after Heather Conn made a statement, so Heather if you are reading this, since I have no idea if you read these, thank you! The statement was simply this, or something along these lines:

“Miracles can’t happen without problems, you have to endure the problems to get a miracle.”

       After thinking about this all week-long I have made up my mind that this is true. If problems didn’t exist we would have no use for miracles. After she made this statement she went on to say people wish for miracles and jokingly said in a non joking manner be careful. If you are wishing for miracles, in turn you are wishing upon yourself problems. So true!

       Now this is when it starts to show just how cool God is. Just last night at our weekly youth meeting my brother Brandon, made a statement about problems, not even knowing that this was on my heart and mind for this week. It was like God confirming to me that this was to be my post this week. Now The same goes for my Brother Brandon as for Heather, Thanks! The statement went something like this:

“God can not fix your problems, if you first won’t take them to him”.

       This is also true! We have to take the first step in solving our problems, by first taking them to our Heavenly father! Whether we are willing to admit this or not, we can not fix everything. Without God most problems will never get fixed, but if you are willing to admit to God that you have a problem and willing to take it to him it can easily be fixed.

       Anyways that is all I have for this week. Feel free to share if you wish, hope it meant something.

   See you Next Week!

Justin

 

 

Forgiveness

I am the type of person that likes to post his thoughts on topics and ideas that are hard to tackle, and these past few weeks I have been thinking a lot about Forgiveness. The thing about forgiveness though is Jesus made it very clear how we are to think about forgiveness. It is found in Matthew 6:14-15. It is as simple as this:

      For if you forgive men when they sin against you, your heavenly Father will also forgive you, but if you do not forgive men their sins, your Father will not forgive your sins.

Believe me when I say this, Forgiveness is one of the hardest things to do in life, but it was made very clear in these verses that it is required of us. I feel like the major reason why it is so hard to do is because we are people. People are stupid. It is just our nature, there is gonna be times when someone will do or say something that will get completely misconstrued and misunderstood. We are a messy existence.

Now, I am not excluded from this. I have had my share of people who have put me in a situation that has made it hard to forgive, and I have been the one that needed forgiven, and also I have a few people who never have, and they hate me to this day. But this is where most people go wrong. When you apologize and they don’t forgive you, it is no longer on you. If you ask for forgiveness and they deny you, it is no longer a 3 way situation. Then it is between them and God. You did your part in asking, if they deny you and hold on to negative feelings then they are only hurting themselves and missing out on a better life for themselves.

My last thought on this subject is: Why do people not like saying the words “I’m sorry”? What I mean is, even if you feel that you are not in the wrong, and the other person just blew it all out of proportion. If there is tension between you and another person, why would you not be willing to say you are sorry? If the words “I’m sorry” is the only cost for peace, and reconciliation in retrospect to what the cost could be, it is a small price to pay. So why not?