Wednesday, December 22, 2010

About My Last Post....

Let's just call it, shall we?  No more of this stuff.  If it isn't directly dealing with Jesus, let's not even worry about it.  Can we do that please?  I apologize.  My curiosity got the best of me there.

Why the heck should I be concerned with angelic things and what the heavens were, are and will be like?  I live on earth.  I don't live in the heavens.....YET!  There will be a time when all that stuff will probably become more important to us, but as it is now, all we should be focused on is Jesus and how to be more like Him.

It is that simple.  The gospel is all we need.  Everything else is extra.  Jesus is the key to everything.  Without Him, nothing makes sense.  Without Him, we are doomed.

I feel as if I was following the path of Adam and Eve when they decided to eat from the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil.  They just wanted to know everything.  That same curiosity bubbles up inside of me.  As far as I can tell, it is both a blessing and a curse.  I desperately am seeking truth.  Jesus is the Truth though, and I already know Him.  I am completely satisfied, and even overwhelmed, with Jesus.  The mysteries of God are so deep that there are many that He intentionally hides from us and will not let us know.  Men have stumbled because they wanted to know those forbidden things.  I have firmly decided that I will not be one of those men.  I have decided to be a slave of Christ Jesus my King.

I don't want to know the names of all the archangels.  I don't want to know the names of all the fallen angels.  I want to know Jesus' voice through His Spirit.  I want to know the POWER of His name.  I want to sit in my room for hours laying on my little yoga mat thing that I have and just listen to worship music and talk to Jesus, my King, my Lord, my Savior, my friend, my guide, my mentor, my teacher, my hope, my protector, my everything.

Jesus, as you watch me post this blog, please turn my heart FULLY to you and no one else.  I don't care about Satan.  I don't care about demons.  I don't care about angels.  I don't care about Michael and Gabriel.  I don't care about Paul or Peter or David or John or Moses.  Which of these saved me from sin?  I don't care about heaven or hell.  I don't care about the Occult.  I don't care about my career.  I don't care about my happiness.  If it pleases you, as hard as this is for me to say, take away my friends.....take away my wealth......take away my gifts......take away my blessings.  I want to please no one but you.  I could care less if the President of the United States honored me.  I could care less about garnering the praises of the masses.  I ONLY want to receive honor from YOU.  Lead me to act in ways that grant me only more favor with you.  My deepest desire.....deeper than my desire for a wife, deeper than my desire to be famous, deeper than my desire to have kids.....is to please you and to walk in your will.  Please let me speak nothing but truth.  Please let me know you better so that I can love you more.  Please severely punish all those evil spirits that oppose you and that deceive your people and that pull us away from you.  Please deal with them swiftly so that we don't have to deal with that garbage anymore.

Tell the Father I said what's up and that I love Him.

Moral of the story.....Jesus is the key to everything.  He is all that matters.  He is the hero of humanity.  Blessed be His name above all other names forever.  PLEASE PLEASE PLEEEEEEEEASE be glorified in this world in this generation.

Tuesday, December 21, 2010

The Nephilim and the Book of Enoch

So, the first couple verses of Genesis chapter 6 intrigue me.  Basically, they talk about how angels came down from heaven and slept with women and had children who were half-demon, half-human giants.  They were called the Nephilim.  "They were the heroes of old, men of renown."

I don't know about you, but that is pretty freakin' nuts.  I don't claim to know all the ins and outs of this whole situation, but it seems to me that it is one of those things that we have just decided to cover up and not talk about as Christians.

Now, I realize that it is not that dire of an issue, but it is very interesting.  The Nephilim (race of half-demon half-human giants) are mentioned later on in the Bible also in Numbers and in 1st and 2nd Samuel.  One of those times is when the Israelite spies who were spying on the inhabitants of the promised land went in to scout out the land to see if the Israelites should move in and take it (after leaving Egypt).  The men came back with a report about how the Nephilim were in the land and they (the spies) were "like grasshoppers" compared to them.  They were all afraid with the exception of Joshua and Caleb (who later went in with the next generation and pwned the giants). Also, Goliath, the giant whom anointed king-to-be David rocked in the face with a stone from a sling was a descendant of the Nephilim.  He was a descendent of Anak (who was a Nephilite).  Later on in 2nd Samuel 21 it talks about David and his mighty men fighting the Philistines again and defeating a string of giants (Ishbi-Benob, Saph, the brother of Goliath for whom no name is mentioned, and another giant with 6 fingers and 6 toes on each hand and foot).  It also strongly alludes to the fact that there were many "descendents of the giants (or Nephilim)" in Gath, the city from where Goliath hailed from.

Anyway, I was thinking about my God.  My God is gracious, loving, kind, merciful, and the list goes on.  I know this to be true from personal experience.  It is how He treats me.  Therefore, it has been difficult for me to understand why He would flood the entire earth and wipe out almost everything on it.  I see how bad our world is today, and He still puts up with us and lets his unending grace abound.  It just makes me think......"man, the world must have REALLY REALLY sucked just before Noah's flood."

Therefore, I dug deeper into all this stuff about there being Nephilim on the earth and how God was disgusted with it and such, and I came across the Book of Enoch.

The Book of Enoch is a collection of writings attributed to the seventh from the line of Adam (as in 7 generations below Adam).  He was one of two people mentioned in the Bible who never had to face death but was so favored by God that he was simply taken into heaven (the other was Elijah).  The Book of Enoch was apparently once revered as Scripture but was refused canonicity at the Council of Nicea.  The council of Nicea was when church leaders got together and decided to come to agreement and make one "canonized" Bible for all of Christianity.  It is my belief that this council was guided by the Holy Spirit and put together the Bible as it was supposed to be.  With that said, I still do also believe that there are other writings that were omitted from the Bible that were the inspired words of God as well (just as God is still speaking new things through new prophets today).  I haven't looked into it TOO much, and I know these things can be dangerous, so I am being very careful with it.....but I definitely am leaning towards the Book of Enoch being true testimony from the highly-favored Enoch himself.

The Bible quotes the Book of Enoch more than once.  This goes to show that the writer's of the Bible believed the Book of Enoch to be scriptural and true.  Jude, the brother of Jesus, uses a direct quote from the Book of Enoch.  It's a really short book so you can read it for yourself if you don't believe me (it is right before Revelation near the very end of the Bible).  Also, the Book of Enoch was found with the Dead Sea Scrolls, which many of us use to reaffirm the integrity of our Bible.  Also, as far as I have read from it, the book does not contradict anything in the Bible at all.

What is the Book of Enoch all about you might ask?  Well, I am no expert and have not read the whole thing, but it goes into detail about many heavenly things that take place during the early years of the earth.  I think of it as an account of the heavens during the time of Genesis as opposed to an account of the earth.  It goes into detail about the battle in heaven (when Lucipher rebels and is cast out).  It also goes into detail into what is talked about briefly in Genesis 6 concerning angels leaving heaven to go sleep with women.  It is actually very, very interesting.  It is my guess that it was left out of the canon because it was not absolutely necessary for us to know, nor was it easy to take in.  Admittedly, it's some pretty freaky stuff.

I don't like to speak too much about things that I don't know.  So I'm not going to divulge much further into it.  I will say this though.  I think we severely underestimate just HOW TERRIBLE the world must have been for God to decide to destroy everything on it but Noah and his fam.  My belief is that there were Nephilim roaming the earth, a TOTAL abomination to what God intended mankind and the whole earth in general to be.  God was SO disgusted by the world, he destroyed most of it and started over.  Think about how awful our world is now and has been in the past, and yet it can't compare to what it was just before the flood.  That means it was worse than the holocaust, a massacre of millions of people, God's CHOSEN people no less.  Demons, or fallen angels, sleeping with women is a big no-no in God's eyes.

It all sounds very crazy, but I personally believe it to be true.  I don't care if it makes me seem crazy along with it.  I just gotta be real about it, it's what I believe.  In case you were wondering, I also believe that the illuminati and other secret societies are real and very, very powerful and ultimately controlled by Satan himself.  I believe in the power of my God and His sovereignty above these things as well though.  And I KNOW Jesus to be the only answer to the terrible condition of our world.

I'm either crazy, a liar, or I'm right.  There are only 3 options.  Pick one.

I have way more to say on these subjects, but I'm pretty freakin' tired right now.  So I'm gonna go to sleep, if you want to talk about this stuff with me, or even if you're concerned with me because this stuff is really weird or you think it is"un-Biblical," just holler at me.  I'd love to explain myself.  So until next time.....PEACE!

Sunday, December 5, 2010

I am the Greatest of Sinners

I really am up there with the greatest of sinners.  I don't drink.  I don't smoke.  I don't have sex.  I don't do a lot of things that are bad, but SO WHAT!?  The sins I commit are much greater than any of those.

I am not writing this post out of humility, because I have none.  The Lord has given me the grace to become aware of my life-destroying pride.  I have more knowledge of scriptures than most people that I know and it does nothing for me but destroy me and destroy others that I try to disciple and teach.  It doesn't matter what I know or what I've been given, not to God at least.  To Him, it matters how I use those things, what my motives are with those things, and if I use them out of love and humility.

I don't.

I teach people to follow ME instead of following God.  It only feeds my pride even more.  I am sorry to all the people that I have done this to.  My regret is truly deep and the only way those wounds have been and will be healed is by Jesus' blood and His grace.

It is true, I know and have taught many deep truths about God to many people.  They are true.  They are real.  I have never lied.  Yet, I shared you truth WITHOUT grace.  Truth without grace is exactly the ingredients of Satan himself when he "masquerades as an angel of light."  I have been unknowingly doing the works of the devil, the Accuser of the Brethren himself.

I have desired to sit in the throne room of Christ in heaven.  I don't even know what I'm saying.  I have NO IDEA what that even requires of me.  I am fallen and my pride consumes me even when I am fully aware of it.

I get jealous of other people when they have an anointing from God that even comes close to my own.  It is pathetic.  I become jealous when a ministry that I have nothing to do with succeeds in something or when they bring glory to God.  Too often I am more concerned about making more of a name for myself than making a name for the NAME ABOVE ALL NAMES (Jesus).

I have been getting rocked by Satan when I thought that I was actually doing the work of God.  I am starting to understand Solomon's great wisdom of Ecclesiastes now when he says that everything is meaningless.  Knowledge is meaningless.  Authority is meaningless.  One's calling is meaningless.  All of these things can be used for evil just as well as good.

I asked the Lord for more authority and to do great things on this earth.  He responded by telling me that "to whom much is given, much is required.  Are you sure you want this?"  It took me aback and made me second-guess.  I now know that with great authority, there is also a greater potential to promote evil just as well as good.  I don't want the authority if I will use it for myself, because I know it will destroy me and many others that I influence.

My pride destroys me.  I am not just trying to paint a picture here to warn you guys.  I am honestly just venting/repenting/apologizing.

I am aware that the Lord has given me great potential.  Up to this point, I have been failing miserably and have been upheld ONLY by His grace.  I deserve hell.  I truly, truly do.  If anyone reading this looks up to me....stop.  I'm not kidding.  I may look good on the outside, but too often my motives are impure.  I am done with seeking the approval of men and women.  I can't do it anymore.  I need humility.

If I don't acquire true humility, I will rise high only to fall even further.  I'm living a dangerous life.  If I don't change, I will be the reason for thousands, if not millions, of souls being separated from God for eternity.  I may save some, but not NEARLY as many as I was supposed to.

I always wanted to be remembered for all of history.  Now I FINALLY realize that I instead want to be known for all eternity.  History doesn't matter.  Eternity does.

The Lord is already turning my heart because He loves me more than any of you will ever know on this earth. My hope and my determination is to wear a mantle of true humility.  Without it, I am doomed.

I am sorry.....and I am changing.

I don't hate myself, so don't worry about me.  I hate who I've been and who I was in danger of becoming.

Jesus is the ONLY one worthy of honor or praise.

Thursday, December 2, 2010

Galatians 5 (continued)

Now this next part is important, because I feel like way too many times people make excuses for themselves and then start blaming God for stuff.  People feel like God is distant or they get jealous of other people when God is working on their behalf and blah blah blah blah.  What I mean is that people start convincing themselves that certain things are OK to do and they aren't REALLY sinful.  For instance, the issue of drinking (as in alcoholic beverages).....Christians say that it is OK to get drunk because it's not a sin to GET DRUNK, it just makes you more vulnerable to other sins WHILE you're drunk.  So as long as you don't do anything stupid when you're drunk, then it's not a sin.  Well......that is wrong, and as the famous rapper Nas once said, it ain't hard to tell.  Paul says this DIRECTLY after talking about living by the Spirit as opposed to living by the flesh/sinful nature: Galatians 5:19-21 - 

"The acts of the flesh are OBVIOUS: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery; idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; DRUNKENESS, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, THOSE WHO LIVE LIKE THIS WILL NOT INHERIT THE KINGDOM OF GOD."

As you can see, I emphasized a few words in there for you guys.  Paul claims it as obvious, like it isn't even a question.  It's simple.  Duh.  He states being drunk as one of those OBVIOUS sinful acts.  He also (and everyone reading this, this is the most important part) says that anyone that lives this way WILL NOT inherit the Kingdom of God.  This is what I'm talking about when I say people make excuses and then wonder why they are not partaking in God's Kingdom or in God's power.  9 times out of 10, it is because of this right here.  Living in sin like this, taking advantage of God's grace, using your freedom to satisfy the sinful nature.....it cuts you off from inheriting God's Kingdom.  Living this way, you may experience God every once in a while when you really need it, fully out of His grace, but not nearly as much as He would like you to be.  This makes people believe that God only shows up when you REALLY NEED Him.  I can tell you firsthand though, even when I don't NEED Him, when I am just chillin', God shows up and does extremely tight things for me and for people that I'm praying for.  I am not saying that I am perfect, because this stuff that I'm talking about right here is the same reason that I, myself, am limited in my inheritance of God's Kingdom (a combo of my sin and my lack of faith, but mostly my sin).  I sin WAY too frequently.  I admit that, but I can take solace in the fact that I at least KNOW WHY I am not seeing miracles done every day.  It is MY fault.  I am not making excuses as if it is GOD being distant from me, or GOD not caring enough about me, or GOD not following through on His promises, or GOD not being real, or GOD this GOD that....like it's His fault instead of mine.

If we live in this sinful garbage, we should not expect to see the kingdom of heaven.  We should not expect to live a life of miracles, signs, and wonders.  We should not expect to be used by God in the mighty ways that we hope for.

I will now give you my personal translation of Galatians 6:7.....(BTdub, my man Jason called me out that I was going to write this after only knowing that I was going to be blogging about Galatians)....here it goes anyway.

"Don't get it twisted, God's not a chump.  If you do bad stuff, bad stuff will happen to you.  If you do good stuff, good stuff will happen to you."  (The actual verse says...) "Don't be misled, you cannot mock the justice of God.  You will always harvest what you plant."

In a nutshell, if you keep sinning, God's grace isn't going to magically cover over it and  make it all like it never happened.  You will reap the consequences.  Likewise, if you do good deeds on God's behalf, out of love and NOT self-promotion, God will reward the crap out of you and bless you beyond what you can even contain.

How many of you knew that you can fall from grace?!?  The whole idea that "once saved, always saved" is a lie.  I will just be blunt about it.  It is not true.  You can definitely have your name "blotted from the book of life."  I am not just guessing on this either.  It is in the Bible.  God talks about how people that take advantage of His grace and think they are still saved are going to have a rude awakening when the day of their judgment comes like a thief in the night.

In addition, how many of you know that the blessings of God, while ultimately under the grace of God, are actually determined by our actions and our heart towards God?!?  God gives more blessings to those who are more worthy of them.  Hold on Braeden.....wait!......are you saying that the blessings of God are deed-based!?!?!?

YES!  Yes I am.  And I'm not afraid to say it because it is the truth.  It is all over the Bible.  One example is the parable of the talents (spoken out of Jesus own mouth in the gospels).

I'm not trying to scare anyone into doing good deeds to prove yourself to God, because He actually hates that.  In fact, that is what the book of Galatians is all about.  We do not have a set of rules to obey to please God.  We are made righteous by faith in Jesus.  We are set free by faith in Jesus.  But I say we stop making excuses for ourself and start being responsible for this incredible gift we've been given.  Let's not use our freedom to remain slaves to sin.  Let's use our freedom to go out and set others free.  Can I get an amen on that?!

Until next time, PEACE!

Galatians 5

Man...God just had me read Galatians and I of course started reading.  The first few chapters were just kinda "whatever" to me and I wasn't really THAT into it.  The Word is always good, but it's not like the Holy Spirit was making it jump off the page to me.  I kept reading though......and I got to chapter 5 (verse 13 to be exact).....and it was like it instantly hit me: "This is what He's having me read Galatians for."  


Galatians 5:13 reads (from the NLT translation) - "For you have been called to live in freedom, my brothers and sisters.  But don't use your freedom to satisfy your sinful nature.  Instead, use your freedom to serve one another in love."


I really just love that.  And I understand it means more to me at this very moment because the Holy Spirit specifically quickened it to me, but still, it's amazing.  It is SUCH an important command.  Don't use your freedom to satisfy the sinful nature...instead, use it to freely love each other.


God really does give us freedom to do whatever we want.  It's a great thing, but it can also be a bad thing depending on what we choose to do with that freedom.  My bro dog Jason (commonly reffered to as J-Bone) pointed this verse out to me in Jeremiah a long time ago and I love it.  I am actually asking him exactly where it is right now because I always forget.....so hold on one second......OK!  Here it is.....


Jeremiah 40:4 - (words being spoken to Israelite prisoners back when Babylon was a primetime evil power of the world) "But I am going to take off your chains and let you go.  If you want to come with me to Babylon, you are welcome.  I will see that you are well cared for.  But if you don't want to come, you may stay here.  The whole land is before you--go wherever you like."


At this time, God was sending His people to Babylon and was going to take care of them there, even in the midst of all the evil that took place there.  Yet it is like God is speaking to His people saying (in my own words), "I am going to set you free, I am going to Babylon and I would love it if you followed me there....because I promise to care for you and protect you.  If you DON'T want to be with me though, that's fine too.  You can go wherever you want."  God is giving His people the ultimate option to abide with Him and enjoy His protection and care, but He is also giving the option for people to do their own thang.


We can choose to use our freedom to do whatever we want to do.  Basically it boils down to two choices though: follow God or don't follow God.  The consequences of the decision you make in this regard are absolutely dire.  Just as Paul said in Galatians, you are free to do whatever you want, but don't use that freedom to satisfy sin, use it to love each other.


Later on in Galatians 5, Paul breaks the two choices up like this: follow the Spirit or follow the flesh (sinful nature).  As humans we are born into sin and therefore slaves to our sinful nature....or at least WERE slaves to our sinful nature.  Christ set us free from that.  Now we have that freedom to choose to live by the Spirit (of God) or to live by the flesh.


Here is an illustration that might help you understand.  Using our freedom to satisfy the sinful nature is like being a slave and working for a really mean, evil, nasty master your whole life.  Then, finally, out of nowhere, a heroic champion comes and saves you and sets you free and is like, "I've set you free, now come follow me and let's get the heck out of here."  But you, with your newfound freedom, decide to stay there and not follow your rescuer out.  You instead decide to stay where you are, in slavery to your master (sin), and not leave with the hero (Jesus) that came and saved you.  Does that makes sense?


I realize I am writing a ton, so I'm going to break this into two separate posts.  So without further ado.....to be continued.....

Monday, November 15, 2010

Worship

The Bible talks about how we are supposed to worship God in spirit and in truth (John 4:23-24).  Shout out to my sister Katey who I love very much by the way.  She told me to start giving references for the verses that I'm referring to so that you guys don't think I'm lying about any of this stuff.

Anyway, the Bible tells us to worship in spirit and in truth.  If you've been a Christian for a long time, you have probably heard people say this.....and I don't know about you, but when I heard people saying that stuff I had NO idea what the heck it meant.  For the most part, the people saying it don't know what it even means to worship God in spirit and in truth.  Here is my take:

To worship God in "truth" means to be totally real about it.  In other words, don't just pretend to worship God and sing hymns just because everyone else around you is doing it at a church service or because you feel like you have to.  That's not real.  It has to be REAL worship.  You have to legitimately be praising God for who He is, what He's done, what He's doing, and what He's going to do.  God knows when your heart isn't really in it.  Other times people will be singing worship songs, but they won't even be singing them to God, they will instead be singing them to people so that everyone can hear what great singing voices they have.  Unfortunately, people do this a lot.  It annoys me.  When you are worshiping God....worship God, no one else matters.  My best worship times with the Lord are always when I am alone in my room, laying on my floor mat that I bought specifically for the purpose of laying on while worshiping/praying, and just speaking directly to God with no distractions and no other people to worry about.  It's just He and I.  I love it and God always shows up and I just out of nowhere will start to cry or laugh or whatever....literally.  Not afraid to admit it either, actually pretty proud of it.  I don't cry out of my own thoughts, its just a sweeping of the Holy Spirit that I can't contain.  Worship ushers in the presence of God.  Don't ask me why, but God always shows up in places of true worship.

On to the next one....worshiping in "spirit."  Now what the heck could THAT mean???  I had no idea for the longest time.  Then I came across this verse in Romans chapter 12 (verse 1 for those that want to know).  It says this...."Therefore, I urge you, brothers, in view of God's mercy , to offer your bodies as living sacrifices, holy and pleasing to God--this is your spiritual act of worship" - Romans 12:1.  It says that offering our bodies as living sacrifices holy and pleasing to God is our spiritual act of worship.  Therefore, to worship God in spirit is to live your life in a way pleasing to Him.

In a nutshell, the worship that God desires from us is to keep it real with Him and live our lives for Him.  It's really simple.  It's actually really easy to do.  God doesn't require perfect worship, he just requires that we keep it real and do the best we can to live our lives with the goal of pleasing Him.

Worship is a very powerful thing that not only honors God, but also enlivens us, and protects us from the enemy.  Satan and demons HATE worship of God.  They can't stand to be around it.  When the devil is on your back, just start worshiping God.  9 times out of 10 that's all it's gonna take.  I can attest to this personally.  God always tells me to start worshiping Him whenever there are demons around.  Often times He just tells me a random Psalm (well to me it's random because I don't know which Psalm is which just by number) and tells me to start reading it out loud.  It always ends up being a Psalm all about how mighty and invincible God is.  Demons hate it, because they know it's true.

There's definitely way more to be said, but I'ma just keep it short and sweet.  So until next time, PEACE!!!

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

My Problem

The title of this blog doesn't really do justice for what I'm about to get into.  It makes it sound as if this is my one and only problem, but I want to assure all of you that I have plenty of problems and that I'm by no means perfect.

See, here's my problem.....
I hate on the church too much.

It's plain and simple.  I always hate on different members of the church, different parts of the church, and the church in general all the time.  I get frustrated and get caught up on things that groups or people in the church are doing that are wrong.  Whether it be ignoring wonderful gifts of God (such as the potent power we have in the Holy Spirit) or teaching things about reality that are not true (like that Hell is Satan's kingdom rather than earth), it frustrates me so much that I constantly have to be venting to my friends or anyone that will listen.

I never go up and confront anyone or any people about these things, because I know that is not the heart of God on the matter.  I do not want to be a stumbling block to anyone.  Also, most of these things are done out of ignorance, not out of disobedience.  We....(I say WE because I am a part of this sometimes as well)...simply just don't know God on a deep enough level, know what His word truly says, or know exactly what the Holy Spirit is leading us to do at each given moment to be able to adequately usher in His kingdom.

BTdub, that reminds me....How many of you know that we aren't waiting to go to heaven, but in fact heaven is waiting to come to us?  It is our mission to be ushering God's kingdom to earth, not waiting for God to take us away to heaven.  We keep sitting here waiting for Jesus to come back....while Jesus is up there waiting for us to usher Him down.  There are things that have to be done....BY US....before Jesus is coming back.  We aren't just supposed to be sitting down here holding out for Christ's glorious return.  We're supposed to be making moves so that it is able to happen.  He won't come back until we do our part.  If you don't believe me, read the Bible.

Anyway, back to my problem.  I have so many issues with the church today that I feel like every time I'm talking about the church I'm just throwing a huge hater's ball in its honor.  Ask my friends, they'll concur.  I want to emphasize here, this is not the whole church....just my opinion of the general church in the United States.  Let me break down a list real fast:
1.  We take "The Great Commission" and make it the #1 ULTIMATE commandment of God....when in all actuality it is AT LEAST 3rd on His list (behind love God and love others).   And I mean AT LEAST.  (Oh, and for those that don't know what The Great Commission is....in a nutshell it's Jesus' command to share the gospel with people and to "go and make disciples of all nations."  We act like our job is to simply recruit recruit recruit.  NO!  Our job is to love God.  That's it, the rest follows behind it.

2.  We  TOTALLY ignore the power of the Holy Spirit.  We even shun the gifts of the Holy Spirit a lot of times.  You go to a church in the United States today and speak in tongues, even under your breath, and you are considered a freakin' weirdo who probably is demon-possessed.  It's just stupid.  Because of this we miss out on so many miracles, signs, and wonders that God wants to not only SHOW us, but also perform THROUGH us.  God expects us to be healing the sick, prophesying his spoken word, performing miraculous signs, and even raising the dead.  We literally have superpowers but we keep ignoring them.

3.  We never address the presence of the enemy (AKA Satan and demons).  Let me make this clear, it is not good to focus on the enemy, but it is CRUCIAL that we are aware of his presence, his tactics, his strategies, and his schemes.  If not, we will keep blaming God for all of the evil in the world.  We will keep blaming each other for all of our sins.  We will start fighting against God's children instead of fighting God's enemies.  "For we are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places." - Ephesians 6:12.

4. SUNDAY IS NOT "GOD'S DAY!"   If any day is, it's Saturday because that is the original Sabbath.  And as far as I know, God never changed it.  Just wanted to get that one off my chest, sorry.

5.  We act like church is just a building and not even more so a body of people.

6.  We don't forgive each other, especially our leaders.  How many times do you see a pastor get caught in an affair and then everyone disowns him or abandons him because he wasn't "worthy" to be called their pastor anymore?  And then on top of that, how many people in the congregation do you think even prayed for the man before, during, or afterward?  Being a pastor of an entire church, the enemy is attacking them MUCH harder than most of us!  Yet we still sit there and judge the crap out of them instead of extending our hands to help them when they need it most.  MAN we suck!  When Peter, (whom Jesus hand-selected to be the "rock" that he built His church on) denied that he even knew Jesus 3 times in a matter of hours.....at the moment when Jesus needed Him most no less.....I'm pretty sure after that Jesus was like, "Hey....so uhhhh, Peter......ummmmm, I'm gonna have to kick you out of my church now cuz.....well......you made a mistake and are now a bad example for the rest of the people..............."  Right?  Isn't that what He said to Him?  Hold on actually......OHHH...........Wait a second!  He did the exact OPPOSITE of that!  He forgave Peter, kept His word, and made Peter the leader and founder of the church.  Maybe we should try to be more like Jesus.  Just maybe, I don't know.

Truthfully, I could keep ranting for pages and pages.  I do not want to though, because as I am bashing on the church, I am only bashing on myself.  God had to teach me that.  I am part of this church.  I do the exact same garbage.  Instead of being frustrated with everyone else's shortcomings or lack, I should be thankful that God has blessed me with these truths and wisdom.  I should use these gifts He's given me to change the church, not to hate on it.  So if anyone else feels the way I do about the general church of the United States right now, take my advice, don't just spend your time bashing on it.  Change it.  And we aren't going to change it by constantly rebuking people or by telling people they're wrong and the way they are doing things is not how God wants it.   No, the way we change it is by simply following God and doing what He says in every single moment.  We change it by being examples and living in the truth.  The truth is magnetic.  If you are walking in the truth and in your calling, people will be instantly attracted to you and not even know why.  Shouting and ranting and throwing hater's balls like I just did aren't the solution.  The solution is simply.....us.  We are the solution.  Not how we act, what we say, what we do....but who we ARE.  It's not about changing strategies, it's about changing hearts.  Let your light shine for everyone to see.

That's all I got, so until next time....PEACE!

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

Common Misconceptions...(and in some cases just lies)

I was talkin' to a buddy of mine the other day and started just lashing out with a bunch common misconceptions that are often thought about Christianity that are just completely untrue OR made up OR highly exaggerated.

For instance, the idea that every sin (in God's eyes) is equal is just a lie.  People will tell you, "To God, telling a lie is just the same as murder.  To God, a sin is a sin no matter what it is."  In the words of Dwight Schrute....FALSE.  That is not true AT ALL.  Honestly, I don't know where people get this from.  It is not found anywhere in the Bible.  I was taught this from a young age and just sort of accepted it, but after having read pretty much the entire Bible, I now recognize that it is untrue.  I don't know who made it up or why they did it, but let's shatter this myth shall we?

When Jesus is about to be crucified, Pilate is speaking with Jesus pretty much begging Him to defend Himself but Jesus won't respond.  Finally Jesus responds by saying, "You would have no power over me if it were not given to you from above.  Therefore the one who handed me over to you is guilty of a greater sin."

Did you see that?  Jesus said that those who handed Jesus over to Pilate (aka the pharisees, teachers of the law, and Judas) are guilty of a GREATER sin that Pilate was.  He clearly distinguishes between the severity of sins.  Also, there are times in the Bible where Jesus talks about how those who are sinning but are ignorant of it, will be judged less harshly than those who are willingly, KNOWINGLY sinning against Him.  On top of that, when God gave the law to Moses and the Israelites, He clearly gave different, more severe, punishments to different sins.  I could keep going and giving more evidence, but I think that's enough for now.

Another misconception:
GOD'S WILL IS ALWAYS BEING DONE AND EVERYTHING THAT HAPPENS IS PART OF GOD'S MASTER PLAN......false!

This excuse is used all of the time to help cope when bad things happen.  For instance, someone's 6-year-old nephew gets killed and to help cope with it they just say, "Well, it's all part of God's plan.  This had to happen to fulfill God's purposes."  I don't mean to be crass because unfortunately situations like this happen far too often, but they are NOT always God doing it.  We have to realize that we live in a fallen world that, at this point, is being ruled by Satan.  (I'll address this remark in just a second).  God NEVER EVER desires for a woman to be brutally raped and murdered....EVER!  It is not GOD'S WILL for things like that to happen.  If God's will were always being done, than we would be living sinlessly with Him in a heaven-like earth with no pain or suffering.  God's ultimate plan is not some strategy that requires all of the pieces to fall into place with perfect accuracy and with perfect timing.  In fact, He has to keep maneuvering around our shortcomings and failures due to sin in order to bring to fulfillment what He promised in His word.  God did not designate every tragedy to happen just to fulfill his MASTER PLAN.  He's gonna find a way to make it happen, without controlling every single thing that we do.  We have our free will, and unfortunately, most of us act like idiots most of the time.  He is going to forgive that and overcome it for us.

There are many, many other misconceptions about Christianity or about the world, but I don't have enough time to address all of them right now.  I may make a "Part II" segment later, but I want to address this one at least right now:
GOD RULES HEAVEN, SATAN RULES HELL, AND THEY ARE FIGHTING OVER EARTH.
 This is untrue.  Everyone always talks about Satan and his demons as if they are just down there having a ball in hell, torturing humans and making plans of how they are going to screw people on earth.  This is so far off its ridiculous.  When God cast Satan and his crew of flunkies (demons) out of heaven, where did He cast them down to???  Was it hell??? NO!  It was the earth.  God cast Satan and his demons to the earth.  He gave authority over earth to men through Adam.  Adam, like the noob that he was (I'm just playin, I bet Adam was a baller and I'm sure he did a way better job than I could have) gave up his authority and rulership over earth and gave it to Satan when he decided to follow the serpent instead of following the Lord.  When Satan is tempting Jesus in the desert and shows Him the kingdoms of the world and offers to give them to Jesus, he says this: "I will give you all their authority and splendor, FOR IT HAS BEEN GIVEN TO ME, and I can give it to anyone I want to."  (Luke 4:6)  He wasn't lying.  Satan has been given all the kingdoms of the world by us, and he can give them to whoever he wants to.  There is also a verse that talks about how the devil is constantly roaming the earth, looking for people whom he may devour.  You can't roam the earth when you are in hell.  There is a huge chasm between hell and earth and heaven.  You cannot escape hell unless God personally pulls you out.  Hell is not the kingdom of Satan, it is the place of torment created FOR Satan and his followers (aka the fallen angels...aka demons).  Hell is Satan's destiny. When Jesus casted out demons, they always begged Him NOT to send them to "the abyss," which is hell.  They DREAD hell.  It is not their secret hangout spot.  It is the place they know they are destined for, and the place where they are trying to drag the people God loves with them.  They know they can't touch God, so they are going to go after the things that He loves.  We HAVE to realize that Satan is at large in this very world that we live in.  There is a major battle going on in our midst.  We can either be pawns sitting in the middle, or, by the grace of God, we can be knights, kings, and queens fighting for the Lord and ushering His kingdom down.  We are not supposed to be trying to escape this world and flee to heaven.  We are supposed to be pulling heaven down to earth.  THAT is God's will.  Let's stop being pawns and start puttin' in work.  Can we please do that?  Can I get an AMEN on that!? Goodness.

Well, that's all I got for now, so until next time....PEACE!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

Sin Sucks

WARNING: Some of the things I say in this post may seem harsh or insensitive.  I'm going to say them anyway.

When we think about sin usually we think of something that is fun to do, something that is highly desirable.  We wouldn't constantly be sinning if there was no motivation to do it.  Sin is fun.  There, I said it.  It's true.

Here is my basic assessment of sin.  At its core, sin is simply separation from God.  Anything in opposition to God or His will.....is sin, and it causes a literal separation from God.  Sin is the only thing in the world that God cannot live side by side with.

When we sin, we push ourselves away from God and push God away from us.  It causes a massive gap between us and God.  Think of it this way:  you are sitting side by side with God at the dinner table.  Each time you sin, you are welcoming the enemy to come put a chair between you and God and take a seat (and they will take that seat every time, I promise you).  As the sin mounts up, you and God, who were previously enjoying close conversation and fellowship, are sitting more and more chairs away from one another.  You know how it can get at a big table when you go out to eat with friends and you end up being at the end of the table so you can't talk with anyone, especially the people on the other end who always for some reason seem to be having the most energetic, enthusiastic, epic conversations of all time?  Well this is similar, except replace those fun people at the end of the table with GOD, the freakin' king of the entire universe.  Eventually it gets to the point where you have to shout across the table, over the chattering lies of the enemy, to be able to speak with God and, likewise, you have to interpret God's voice through all of that same chatter.  Then finally, it will come to a point where you are so far from God that you can't hear a single thing.  If you were constantly seeing visions before....they stop coming as frequently.  If you were having awesome worship sessions with the Lord that brought you to tears.....those stop.  If you were having dreams sent by the Lord.....those stop.  Your mind starts wandering onto things of this world instead of things of God's kingdom.  In short, it just really, really sucks.  God can pull you out of it, but while in this crappy world of sin, everything sucks.

I don't know about you guys, but when I am in deep sin, I CANNOT hear God's voice.  I stop having any sort of prophetic visions or dreams.  I have no motivation to do Godly things.  I grow lazy, weak, selfish, arrogant, deceitful, and proud.  Then....the worst thing of all....is that I BLAME IT ON GOD!!!  I act like its HIS fault!  I'm like, "God, where are you at!?  I've been sittin' here half-heartedly praying to you for days now and you are nowhere to be found.  I thought you said you'd never leave me or forsake me.  What the heck happened to that? Blah blah blah blah blah."

It takes a big ol' slap to the face from God before I realize how much of an irresponsible joke I am and how it is TOTALLY my fault every time.  God is always reaching out to me, trying to speak to and through me, trying to help me, trying to encourage me, trying to prove Himself to me.  Unfortunately, but honestly, I just am always pushing him away each time I sin.  And yes, I know, we are saved by grace and our sin is washed away by the blood of Jesus..............IF we repent.   IF we repent, our sins are forgiven.  Yeah, there are requirements for the forgiveness of sin.  You don't really hear that preached very often, but it's true.  Everyone just talks about the grace part of it and that's the end of the story, but that is so far off.  I don't want to downplay the grace of God at all.  In fact, He PERSONALLY told me to never underestimate His grace, ever.  So I never will, for all I know He could decide to save all people even if they don't turn to Him out of his unending supply of grace.  I don't know, but I do know that in the Bible He gives us specific requirements for forgiveness of our sins.  For instance, as I said before, we have to repent of them.  That means we have to legitimately TRY (we don't have to be perfect and forever stop but we have to try) to stop committing that sin.  In addition, we have to FORGIVE every other sin against us.  Jesus spoke plainly when He said, "If you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins."  That is Matthew 6:15 BTdub if anyone wants to find it.  It is in other places in the Bible as well.  Forgiving others is a HUGE deal.  Living with unforgiveness in your heart can kill you.

Back to the sin though, it is a big deal.  It creates this massive, unattainable gap between us and God.  Don't you guys get why God hates sin so much????  His hate for sin is only so strong because His love for us is SO STRONG!  Let me say that again in all caps......

GOD'S HATE FOR SIN IS ONLY SO STRONG BECAUSE HIS LOVE FOR US IS SO STRONG!

Our sin separates us from God.  It hurts Him so much when we are in sin because then He cannot abide with us and simply BE WITH US like He wants to.  He loves us so much that instead of just wiping us all out and creating new, perfect, sinless beings, He decided to put all of that sin that we did onto His own son, so that we can be pure before Him.  The sacrifice of Jesus is more than most people realize, but that's a topic for another time.

There is a song by my man Jimmy Needham (if you don't know him look him up and listen to some of his stuff) called "The Great Love Story."  It is all about how our sin has created a massive divide between us and God and how no one was able to fill that divide no matter how hard we tried.........until.......UNTIL......Jesus came.  The song ends with these words....."All glory.....and all honor be......to the God that filled the divide."

Jesus fills that divide for us, but if we keep on living a life of sin, his precious gift of forgiveness to us will be in vain and we will miss out on all of the things God wants to give us.  I am BY NO MEANS saying that we need to be perfect and sinless.  In fact, it is impossible.  I sin all the time.  I hate it, but I do it.  It is a battle between flesh and spirit.  My spirit is willing but my body is weak.  We are BORN into sin and it is our nature, but we have to be truly repentant and truly forgiving of others.  If we are not, then we aren't forgiven.  It's harsh, but it's true.

I just want to finish with this, and I might be calling some people out, including myself, but here it goes.  It may not be the case, but you may as well at least consider it.  With that said, if you feel like God is distant from you or like you aren't hearing from God like you should or experiencing a life of real miracles and signs from God.....if you feel like God is not coming through for you......if you do not see God's promises being fulfilled in your life......then stop sinning.  Just like how having a lack of faith limits what God can do for us, being in sin is the same way.  The more we sin, the less God can operate in our lives.

To sum it all up, sin sucks and we should try really really really really really hard to stop doing it.  Even though it is fun to sin, it is temporary and in the long run it only smokes you and clouds you from communion with God.  Trust me, the instant satisfaction of sin is not even close to being worth sacrificing close fellowship with God.  As always, if you have questions or concerns with any of this stuff, just hit me up.  Until next time.....PEACE!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Story of a Man

This is the story of a man.  He is no ordinary man.  He is my very close friend and current Portland Trailblazer Seth Tarver.  Yeah, that's right.  I'm name droppin'.  My best friend is an NBA superstar....nbd. Ok, so he may not be a superstar....YET.  In fact, he is only currently on the pre-season roster, but I believe in him and I know God is going to do His thing on His behalf.

Before I get into his testimony, I need to share with those of you who don't know Seth at all a little bit about his character.  Because I know he would never make any boast or brag about himself, I feel it is my duty to do it for him.

This may turn into an incredibly long list, so you can skip to the end if you want to, but here it goes.  Seth is totally down for the Lord, incredibly humble, completely truthful, a true gentleman, a huge reason why I am who I am today, EXTREMELY corny yet still hilarious, exceptionally hard-working, infinitely fair-minded, and most importantly...a fierce, FIERCE friend.  (Yes, I did just quote Dumbledore from Harry Potter 4 just now....moving on).  He played basketball the last four years at Oregon State and has major aspirations to play in the NBA.

I was talking on the phone with Seth earlier today and asked him what his most memorable encounter with the Lord was.  I am going to attempt to relay that story right now.

Seth showed up to Grace City Church in Corvallis right at the end of his senior year of college (only a few months ago).  There was a guest speaker that day at the church who Seth has since called the most prophetic man he had ever been around.  I don't know the guys' name and I didn't bother to ask Seth, so I apologize for that.  Anyway, before the service started, the man asked one of Seth's friends whom he had brought to church that day if he could pray for him.  After receiving a welcoming reply, the man prayed for Seth's friend (who I don't believe was even a Christian at the time) and spoke God's word over his life.  He described things about his past, things that only God would know.  He "read his mail" and absolutely rocked the young mans' life (whom I also know but did not interview for this blog) to the point to where he is on fire for the Lord right now because of it.  Essentially, the guest speaker's prophetic words over Seth's friend proved not only God's existence, but also God's deep, passionate, PERSONAL love for him.  This was all a big deal to Seth too because he had been talking to this particular friend about God for basically the last four years.

After hearing all of this stuff being spoken over his friend and seeing the drastic impact it was having, Seth immediately threw up a prayer to God that went something along the lines of: "God, please make this dude pray for me too today."  Sure enough, Seth's prayer was answered when after the service the man asked Seth if he could pray for him as well.

The prophetic speaker basically just spoke on God's behalf, telling Seth things that only God would know.  He recounted every event in Seth's college career in detail.  For instance, the man spoke to Seth in depth about having nagging injuries throughout his entire basketball career at Oregon State (Seth did indeed suffer many such injuries including plantar fasciitis that limited his playing ability greatly).  He commented on Seth having issues with coaches.  He spoke about the times that these things occurred and remarked on the effects these things were having on Seth.

I understand that simply KNOWING something about someone is not very special.  Even if it is impossible for someone else to know, yet somehow they still know, the only thing that does is provide something to stand in awe about, but it doesn't actually help lead them or encourage them at all.  Thankfully, that is not all that God does.  The great part about this prophetic encounter Seth had (and almost every other prophetic encounter for that matter) is that the prophet delivering God's word doesn't stop at just stating what God knows about you.....he continues on to relay what GOD THINKS ABOUT ALL OF IT and WHAT GOD IS GOING TO DO ABOUT IT.

God, speaking to and through this prophetic man, did not stop at acknowledging these things concerning Seth, but he went on to tell Seth what He thought about all of it and what He was going to do about all of it.  In regards to the nagging injuries, God told Seth that he saw him struggling with all of the injuries that limited him greatly, but that He was going to make Seth be able to play freely again, without injury.  God told Seth that he saw him being lied to and dealing with unfair treatment and all of this stuff, but that HE would never lie to him and would never let him down.  He also talked about the disappointment Seth felt with his basketball play during his course of college.  Seth was a premier player coming out of high school and was expected to perform at a much higher level than he was able to at Oregon State.  Seth himself was disappointed in his college career, and God knew it.  Being the great Father that He is though, God encouraged Seth greatly through this man.  The man told Seth that God was going to do far more than he imagined for Seth with basketball.  I don't know what everyone thinks, but to hear God say that He is going to do far more than you can imagine in a particular area of life that is direly important to you is kind of a big deal.

Only a few short months after this all went down, Seth is now on the Portland Trailblazers' preseason roster and God is fulfilling every single promise He made to Seth that day.  God CANNOT be stopped.  His promises are ALWAYS fulfilled and His word NEVER fails.

Seth remarked to me during our little "interview"-- if you can even really call it that.  Honestly, it was just a conversation betwixt friends.  Anyway, he remarked to me that it wouldn't even sound amazing, awe-inspiring, or jaw-dropping to anyone else because God spoke to Him so PERSONALLY through that other people wouldn't understand.  It was BLATANTLY clear to Seth that God knew EVERYTHING Seth had gone through and every thought that Seth had even had.  It was undeniable that God was watching and paying attention to every little detail in Seth's life.  You guys might not understand what I'm talking about so I want to stress this point.  It was UNDENIABLE to Seth.  As in, Seth has 100% certainty.  He doesn't just hope or have faith in it, but he knows it as much as a mathematician knows 2+2=4.

I get exactly what Seth is talking about; it is too hard to explain how crazy it is to be spoken to by God because it is such a PERSONAL experience.  God isn't speaking to the prophet, he is speaking to the people or person the prophet is speaking to, if that makes sense.  I'm sure none of this stuff this guest speaker was saying edified or benefited himself at all.  In fact, it probably didn't make any sense to him, but it spoke DIRECTLY to Seth Tarver, because that is who GOD was speaking to.  If you haven't experienced something like this ever in your time with God, just ask Him for it, and He will give it to you.  If you want Him to speak directly to you, just open your heart, open your ears, and listen.  If you don't hear anything, ask God to send someone else to you to PROVE Himself to you.  God is so full of grace it's ridiculous.  When he says, "ask and you shall receive," He means it.

If you don't know God at all and want someone to talk to or run things by or whatever, just hit me up.  That's all I got for now, so until next time...PEACE!

Non-profit or non-prophet???

I had a good friend once tell me this quote concerning the church: "It's supposed to be a non-profit organization, not a non-PROPHET organization"  (props to the quote from my man Austin Williams).

When he first told it to me, we were both just laughing about it for a little while....then we realized how grave of a quote it really was and how, unfortunately, necessary that quote is for the church to hear and heed.  I feel like the main body of the church today has been ignoring one of the biggest gifts God has given us to be real warriors down here on this earth...that gift being prophecy.  Now don't get it twisted right off the bat.  I'm NOT hating on the church.  Come on people, our battle isn't against flesh and blood but the principalities and rulers in heavenly realms (a.k.a. Satan and demons) DUHHHH.  The devil is working HARD to make us as ineffective as possible for the kingdom of heaven and he is doin' a pretty freakin' good job at it.  I bet if 1000 Christians read this post less than 100 would actually know what I'm talking about when I say that prophecy (and the other gifts of the Holy Spirit) can single-handedly, RADICALLY, change a life.  I can tell you first-hand because it happened to me.

A few years ago I went to this home group (or Bible study type of thing) with these random people that I didn't know nor did they know me.   Everything was cool, there was no weird chanting going on, no incense being burned, no funky robes being worn or anything like that.  It was just regular dudes and regular ladies getting together to "do the stuff."  Now, when I say "do the stuff," I mean to do the things God has commanded us and given us the authority to do via His word in the Bible.  Part of that "stuff" happened to be practicing the gifts of the Holy Spirit: prophecy, tongues, healing, miracles, worship, teaching, and many other ones as well.  At this time, I had no idea what any of this stuff was.

Long story short, the leader of the group asked if they could all pray for me, and I was totally down.  So everyone took about 5 minutes silently praying to God and basically asking Him if He had anything He wanted to say to me or about me.  Then magic happened.....

I promise you, these people had never met me before and I had never met them.  Somehow though, they knew EVERYTHING about me: things I had never told anyone but God, inside jokes between friends and I, even the fact that I play the game Super Smash Bros. for Nintendo 64 almost religiously.  I was seriously just freaking out.  Then God started speaking through them telling me things that He wanted to say to me.  It was all TOTALLY encouraging and confirming.  He told me about my past, my present, and what He wanted and was going to do for me in my future.  It was gonzo-nuts.  I COULD NOT stop smiling!!!  I had like an insta-grin for the next 3 weeks.  It absolutely rocked my socks off.  There is no higher form of flattery than the God of the universe taking time to individually speak to you.  It was insane.  The thing that blew my mind the most though, was when they told me that I could do the same things they were doing: seeing visions, having prophetic dreams, and all sorts of things.  It wasn't that these people were special or that I was special, ANYONE who follows Jesus and accepts His Holy Spirit can do all these things and more too.

I could keep talking more and give more detail about that experience, but that's not really what this post is about.  The point I want to get across is that all of these amazing things that are so powerful and, let's just be real, EXTREMELY tight are being wasted all the time because we are too timid or scared to even talk about them in a church let alone actually practice them.  I've dreamed about having super powers all my life and now finally I realize I CAN have them.....DANG!  It's almost too good to be true, but trust me, it all IS true.

You guys might be thinking, "So Braeden, you're telling me that you now prophecy and see visions?" And my answer to that is, "Yes, yes I do, and so can you."

I was skeptical because you see those pastors on TV slappin' people on the forehead yelling, "BAM!" and knocking people over, and it just looks like a WWE match trying to trick people into following Jesus.  Now, I don't know how much of THAT stuff is real and how much is totally exaggerated, but I can tell you with full certainty and from experience that the gifts of the Holy Spirit are real and active and at our disposal today just as much as they were with Peter, James, John, and Paul.

The Bible itself constantly urges us to be pursuing Spiritual gifts.  The very first thing the apostle Paul says when he addresses the issue of Spiritual gifts (in 1 Corinthians 12) is to not be ignorant of them.  Don't ignore them.  He also says that the best way to pursue them is through love.  Basically, if you aren't pursuing them to use for loving purposes, then God won't allow you to use them at all.  I could quote these verses for you, but I'd rather everyone just go read it for themselves.  Oh, and that reminds me, if there is ever anything in this blog that you find erroneous or inconsistent with what you think the Bible says...don't take my word for it.  Read the BIBLE!  Don't read this blog, read the Bible.  It will help you a lot more than I can.

Now in the words of one of America's finest heroes, Forrest Gump, that's all I have to say about that.  If you guys have any questions or anything you want me to answer or address in this blog, just hit me up.  Until next time, PEACE!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Switching Gears

Soooo, last week I posted basically about the fall television season.  Well NOW (after getting the OK from my teacher), I will be blogging about my testimonies, thought, questions, and overall adventure (and I'm not the kind of guy that throws the word "adventure" around lightly) with Jesus.  Being my first blog about all of this stuff, I kind of just want to paint the picture of where I'm coming from, so that everyone else can at least understand to a little bit more of a degree.Let me just start off by saying this: Jesus is the real deal.  I grew up in the church being taught all about the Bible and all that good stuff, but it wasn't until my freshmen year of college (when ultra-ridiculous, literally impossible things in the case of this world started to happen around me) that I REALLY started living fully for the Lord.  Before, I feel like i followed Christianity closely.  Now though, I follow CHRIST Himself fully.  The difference between the two is huge.  All of the time, I hear people talking about different religions and how they are just made up to make people feel good about their lives and blah blah blah, but I know first hand that God is real, that the God of the Bible is real.  How do I KNOW you might ask, well I have seen His power at work with my own eyes.  I've been very blessed to actually get to see impossible things be done by God....things like people with deaf ears INSTANTLY regaining their hearing, people prophesying, seeing visions, and too much crazy/ridiculous, almost unbelievable stuff that it would take forever for me to write them all down.  With that said, no, I have not seen an angel before, but yes, I HAVE seen demons before.  And yeah, they are pretty freakin' scary sometimes, BUT once you know God on at least some sort of level, all that fear goes away, because Jesus is SUCH a baller and so much greater than all of them.  I know, I know.  I sound crazy.  A few years ago I would have thought I was crazy too.  I'm not here trying to convert people into believers or scare people or anything like that.  I'm just trying to keep it real and if that means talking about certain things that might be taboo or whatever, well then I don't care.  I want to end this post with the most important thing there is to know about God.  Amidst all of the miracles, the angels vs. demons, the details of the Bible, and all that other stuff, God and all of Christianity boils down to one thing......love.  It is ALL about love.  MAN, I wish people knew what I was talkin' about!  God = LOVE.  Until next time, peace!