Wednesday, October 31, 2007

A bit stressed

Physics exam is tomorrow. We have a whole lot to know for this exam. My brain has officially transferred all of it's potential energy into kinetic energy, and my brain is a non-conservative energy source (or something like that).

I enjoyed dinner with Christina at Cal baptist today. Usually we eat with other people, but it just worked out that we were alone. It was nice being able to spend some time with her. The choir continues to improve. I sang with them for a little while after getting tired of physics. ;)

1 Corinthians 3:18 really caught my attention today.
Let no man deceive himself. If any man among you thinks that he is wise in this
age, he must become foolish, so that he may become wise.

It is so easy to feel good about myself for learning all these new things, but that is not what God desires. God knows infinitely more than I do. The Laws of physics are only there because He created them. I am very thankful for this humbling reminder. May we grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord, Jesus Christ!

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Teach me to love

I found myself in awe of God's love. I kind of let my mind wander as I thought about 1 Cor. 2:9 which says that "... things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, and which have not entered the heart of man, all that God has prepared for those who love Him." I don't know about you, but I can imagine a lot of wonderful things, but God has prepared something far greater than we can even imagine. His love is too amazing for words to describe. I was thinking of the hymn called "The Love of God".

Could we with ink the ocean fill,
And were the skies of parchment made,
Were every stalk on earth a quill,
And every man a scribe by trade,
To write the love of God above,
Would drain the ocean dry.
Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
Though stretched from sky to sky.

What an amazing picture. The ocean filled with ink, the whole sky is paper, everyone writing about the love of God, and still not having enough resources to fully express what His love is like. It really is over-whelming. God, teach us to love how You love.

Monday, October 29, 2007

Studying for physics... again

I have a quiz tomorrow afternoon, and an exam on Thursday in physics. I am not ready for either of them as of now. You know what I'll be doing all day tomorrow. :) All prayers would be greatly appreciated.

Once again, there has been a change to the Verse Memorization Tool. I finally found a free hosting site for pages. It definitely isn't the fastest hosting site ever, but it's free and easy. If you have any suggestions, I would love your feedback!

I have often thought about Christianity as we know it and wondered what kind of letter Paul would write to us. I read 1 Corinthians 1 today, which talks about Christian unity. I think this is something that Christianity around the world really struggles with. It is very difficult because there are many false doctrines within individual churches, and so we cannot be united with them. I wish that everyone would just stop their ideas and start reading God's Word so that they see what God's ideas are. Why do we always try to cram God into our own ideas? Why can't we read the Word, take what it says, and be obedient? Is it really that difficult? I pray for Christian unity because I know it will not come as a result of our "great" ideas. It will only happen by individual Christians being obedient to God's Word, and encouraging others to do the same.

Sunday, October 28, 2007


We learned about discipleship in church today. Pastor Tim gave us a great definition of love: A commitment to the best of another person. The best for every person is always a right relationship with the Lord. True love is helping others find the greatest joy, which comes only from a right relationship with the Lord. According to Philippians 2:4, we are to look out for the interests of others. This means that we need to go out of our way to pay close attention in order to serve others effectively. We are also supposed to encourage others.

Hebrews 10:24-25
And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.

The Greek word for encouraging is "parakaleo." This same word is used in 2 Cor. 5:20 (urging people to be reconciled to God), 1 Peter 5:12 (giving courage to others), Jude 1:3 (urging someone to contend earnestly for the faith), Rom. 12:1-2 (strongly encouraging others with God's mercy), etc. Sometimes encouragement is extremely difficult. Telling someone that they are going the wrong direction is very difficult, but it is the most loving thing to do! It needs to be done. I pray that God would give me the boldness to stand up for the truth of His word, and make a difference in the lives of others.

I finished an auto-notification system for the Verse Memorization Tool for when the link changes. The link will change, so if you want to have the latest link without having to contact me, please subscribe on the website.


David (one of three elders at church) and his family moved today into a very nice home. Moving is such a long process. It is one thing for us to help him get all of that stuff into his house and garage, but the work has just begun for him. I am very happy for them! :)

Now that I got this verse memorization tool up and running, I am working on creating a small program to notify people when my ip address changes. It would be nice to have a static (unchanging) ip address, but those cost more money. I have been working very slowly (slacking off) on memorizing Romans 12. Verse 10 caught my attention today as I read through it.
Be kindly affectioned one to another with brotherly love; in honour preferring one another;

It is easy to be unselfish when our unselfishness is seen by others, but how about the small things when no one is looking? James 4:17 says that it is a sin to not do a good thing that we know we should do. Let's press on to be examples of unselfishness.

Friday, October 26, 2007

Lots of excercise

This morning, I actually got to play basketball without the rush of having to get to class at 7:50 am. It was one of those days that the ball just bounced the right way. I ended up winning all three games. I lost both games last time, so I guess it just goes that way sometimes. After that, I got to go out with pastor Tim and talk about life, and what God is doing--what a great encouragement he is. Then I went to the gym and worked out a little bit for baseball. I figure that I should be getting ready since practices start in December (yay!). This evening I ran around the lake (2.2 miles). I am a short distance person (50 yards sounds like a great race). Honestly, I was almost positive that I couldn't run that far without stopping, but I made it. Bible study was canceled this evening due to a power outage at Cal baptist. I think it was probably best anyway since Mr. Babb has been working 12 hr shifts due to the fires. I am definitely thankful for people like him--that would be exhausting! He can certainly use our prayers.

I finally made a web version of the Verse Memorization Tool. For those of you that don't know about this, Pastor Tim asked me to make a little program for verse memorization. The technique that he finds most effective is taking the first letter of each word in the verse to help you remember, and yet still make you think hard enough to memorize it in a relatively short amount of time. If you are interested, shoot me an email. :)

I read Ephesians 6 today (this is the passage that talks about the spiritual armor). Verse 18-20 caught my attention.

With all prayer and petition pray at all times in the Spirit, and with this in view, be on the alert with all perseverance and petition for all the saints, and pray on my behalf, that utterance may be given to me in the opening of my mouth, to make known with boldness the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains; that in proclaiming it I may speak boldly, as I ought to speak.

The concept of praying at all times in the Spirit seems to be impossible; however, I have found that it really isn't that difficult. When we are focused on God, we are in constant communication with Him. It is a matter of continually communicating to God what my heart condition is, and asking Him to change my heart to desire what He desires. Paul sets a great example for us in wanting prayer for boldness. Here he is in prison, and he is still not giving up. He is pressing on to make the gospel known even in chains! Let us be an example to others with our boldness to proclaim the gospel.

Thursday, October 25, 2007

It is Officially Smoky!

All my classes are canceled until Monday. We did not really have smoke this morning. It was above us, but not really in the air near the ground. Now, it has come to ground level and I don't find it too enjoyable. Having said this, I realize that I have absolutely nothing to complain about. There are so many people that have lost almost everything. At Cal baptist yesterday, I got to talk with a friend that lives near the fire. He said that the fire came within 100 feet of his house, but didn't touch his house. Unfortunately, most of his neighbor's houses burned down, but I praise the Lord that his house was left untouched. God is good!

Ephesians 5:15-16 was a much needed reminder today.
Therefore be careful how you walk, not as unwise men but as wise, making the most of your time, because the days are evil.

Honestly, I didn't get much done today. God knew that I needed these verses this evening. I really do need to make better use of my time. I can't say that I wasted my time on anything in particular. I just avoided my responsibilities (homework). It is essential that I am diligent with the responsibilities that God has given me, not only because it is what He commands, but it prepares me for dealing with my future responsibilities as a husband, father, and provider in my home. That seems like such an overwhelming responsibility. It truly will be an act of God if I am ever able to fulfill those roles like my dad does. I need to press on to make the most of the time God has given me (prayers to this end are always appreciated).

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

No class!

I played basketball this morning... and I think I played just about as well as I ever have, and we still lost both games. I guess it just goes like that sometimes. My calculus teacher didn't show up today. This week has been long, so I really am not complaining about this. I got quite a bit of studying done for physics, but I still have a lot more to do. I took Christina to choral union today and had dinner at Cal baptist, which was joyous as usual. I had my first real (first-hand)MAC troubleshooting experience today. I was always told that everything "just works." Well, this isn't true. Actually, the internet wouldn't have worked if it were not for firefox saving the day (Safari fails life). Anyway, I got the internet working in Ally & Lauren's apartment. They didn't have internet since the semester began, so I'm glad they don't have to go outside and sit on the stair case and hope for wireless to work anymore.

Ephesians 4:14-16 caught my attention today.

As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming; but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ, from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

We must press on to know God's Word in such a way as to not be deceived by the constant false doctrine that is thrown at us. When it says that we are to speak the truth in love, I think we are to hit these false doctrines head-on, but do it with Christ-like love. The result of this is growth of the body of Christ. Let's press on to know the truth and then speak it boldly in love!

Tuesday, October 23, 2007

God is above all

We got an email concerning my great uncle Bert today. The ranch (the mobile home park that he owns) had 47 mobile homes, the office, and the barn burn down in the fire. Needless to say, it is a hard time for them. My prayer is that God would use this to draw them to Himself. When things like this happen, it really puts life in perspective for me. There are so many things in life that really don't matter. Eternity isn't one of them. I got sick the other day from breathing dust all night (I didn't realize all this dust was blowing in and I was breathing it), but it is so minor compared to things that people are having to deal with. I am reminded that God has a purpose for all of these trials. "What man intends for evil, God intends for good."

I was encouraged by these words from Ephesians 3:20-21.
Now to Him who is able to do far more abundantly beyond all that we ask or think, according to the power that works within us, to Him be the glory in the church and in Christ Jesus to all generations forever and ever. Amen.

We have such a powerful God. It gives me such incredible peace knowing that He is able to do far more than I can even imagine. Hope in Christ is the one thing that will never fail. Please continue to pray for hearts to be opened to the gospel, and for people to share it with them.

Monday, October 22, 2007


For those of you that were wondering, we are not in any kind of fire danger. God is good! Please keep my great uncle (Bert) in your prayers. He owns quite a bit of land with mobile homes on it, and I know at least some of those burned down. Pray that God would use this time of trials in his life to bring him to Christ. Dad doesn't have to go back to work until Friday which is a blessing. Keep the firefighters and all the families that have lost possessions in your prayers. May God open the eyes of people that have been blinded to things that matter eternally. Praise the Lord that the wind has died down since yesterday. It will be a hard road for many families... and they need God's saving grace. Please pray to this end!

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Personal ministry theme

Our theme at church is "personal ministry." It has been a great challenge to me to get out of my comfort zone, and do things for God's glory in the hearts of others. Today, we studied about how we can minister to other believers. Specifically, stages in spiritual maturity... and how the cycle works.

Hebrews 5:11-6:2
11 Concerning him we have much to say, and it is hard to explain, since you have become dull of hearing.
12 For though by this time you ought to be teachers, you have need again for someone to teach you the elementary principles of the oracles of God, and you have come to need milk and not solid food.
13 For everyone who partakes only of milk is not accustomed to the word of
righteousness, for he is an infant.
14 But solid food is for the mature, who because of practice have their senses trained to discern good and evil.
1 Therefore leaving the elementary teaching about the Christ, let us press on to maturity, not laying again a foundation of repentance from dead works and of faith toward God,
2 of instruction about washings and laying on of hands, and the resurrection of the dead and eternal judgment.

Titus 2:1-8
1 But as for you, speak the things which are fitting for sound doctrine.
2 Older men are to be temperate, dignified, sensible, sound in faith, in love, in perseverance.
3 Older women likewise are to be reverent in their behavior, not malicious gossips nor enslaved to much wine, teaching what is good,
4 so that they may encourage the young women to love their husbands, to love their children,
5 to be sensible, pure, workers at home, kind, being subject to their own husbands, so that the word of God will not be dishonored.
6 Likewise urge the young men to be sensible; in all things show yourself to be an example of good deeds, with purity in doctrine, dignified,
8 sound in speech which is beyond reproach, so that the opponent will be put to shame, having nothing bad to say about us.

Ephesians 4:11-16

11And He gave some as apostles, and some as prophets, and some as evangelists, and some as pastors and teachers,
12 for the equipping of the saints for the work of service, to the building up of the body of Christ;
13 until we all attain to the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, to a mature man, to the measure of the stature which belongs to the fullness of Christ.
14 As a result, we are no longer to be children, tossed here and there by waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by the trickery of men, by craftiness in deceitful scheming;
15 but speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,
16 from whom the whole body, being fitted and held together by what every joint
supplies, according to the proper working of each individual part, causes the growth of the body for the building up of itself in love.

When we first become a christian, our spiritual understanding is limited to basics, then we start growing and applying the things we learn (this is where we have to face the problems of our life), then we grow into a mature believer (serving others, having a good solid knowledge of scripture), the last stage is leadership (influencing others, being able to teach). Now we aren't completely in one stage. Even people in the leadership stage will go back to the basics and the application stages. In general, the goal of personal ministry is to get to that leadership stage, and help people in the other stages to get to that stage (or at least be able to teach the basics). Pastor Tim used the analogy of a good coach. A good coach knows what an athletes level of play is, he also knows what the athlete is able to do, and knows what needs to be changed in order to get to maximum performance. We need to be the same toward others.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Men's Bible Study

In our monthly men's Bible study, we are studying about leadership. We are going through a book by John MacArthur called "The BOOK on Leadership" (meaning that it is discussing Biblical truth's about leadership and it's application). Our chapter today was called "How not to be Disqualified." There are so many areas in which we prepare for leadership that I wouldn't have even thought about. We are preparing for leadership at all times, that doesn't mean that it is good preparation though. In order to be a godly leader, we must be an example of Hebrews 12:1-2. We must push aside everything that hinders us, and run the race that God has set before us!

God of Truth

In Bible study tonight, the main point was that we must have a fixed point of reference (God's Word). Mr. Babb used an illustration of a crime scene. When you write out a report of a crime scene, everything is based on fixed reference points. Fixed reference points in the sense of scripture means that we have the Truth, and it will never change. I really appreciate all the work that Mr. Babb does in preparation for this Bible study. Take a look at these passages (I left out a couple because they are almost identical):

Isaiah 65:16 - God of truth.
John 14:6 - Jesus is truth.
1 John 5:6 - Spirit is truth.
John 17:17 - God's Word is truth.
Numbers 23:19-20 - God doesn't lie or change His mind.
James 1:17 - God doesn't change.
2 Samuel 22:31 - God's way is perfect, flawless, and proven.
Deuteronomy 32:4 - God's work is perfect.
Proverbs 30:5 - God's Word is tested.
Psalm 12:6 - God's Word is pure.

What should our response be?
Deuteronomy 4:2
You shall not add to the word which I am commanding you, nor take away from it, that you may keep the commandments of the LORD your God which I command you.

Simply put, our response needs to be obedience to the one and only Truth (God's Word).

Thursday, October 18, 2007

Ready for the weekend

It has been a good week, but I am definitely ready for the weekend. Bible study on Friday nights gives me something to look forward to each week. It is such a blessing! Well, studying for physics is done for the night, and I am ready for some sleep (basketball tomorrow morning).

I love this prayer in Ephesians 1:15-17.
For this reason I too, having heard of the faith in the Lord Jesus which exists among you and your love for all the saints, do not cease giving thanks for you, while making mention of you in my prayers; that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of glory, may give to you a spirit of wisdom and of revelation in the knowledge of Him.

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Long, but productive

I played basketball again today after not playing for a couple days. It was a lot of fun as usual (especially since my shot was on today). :) I had calculus class this morning which I actually enjoy to some extent. Overall, it was a very profitable day, I got a lot of studying done for physics during choral union. Eating at the cafeteria with some music students (some of which are in the Bible study as well) was a lot of fun. This evening, I went to a deaf event for my sign language class. We basically talk to deaf people and other students in sign language... it is actually fun. :) I just finished writing my report for that so that I can turn it in tomorrow.

I was encouraged by Galatians 6 today.

7 Do not be deceived, God is not mocked; for whatever a man sows, this he will also reap.
8 For the one who sows to his own flesh will from the flesh reap corruption, but the one who sows to the Spirit will from the Spirit reap eternal life.
9 Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.
10 So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.

It is easy to get tired of doing good when the majority of other people don't hold to the same standards. This is to be expected, but still can be wearisome. This passage was exactly what I needed today. It is a blessing knowing that our efforts are not in vain, and that we will reap what we sow. Let us continue to sow seeds of righteousness and godliness!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

An awesome day!

Today was one of those days that you wish you could repeat over and over again. :) I got plenty of sleep last night due to the fact that I had absolutely no homework to do (the one good thing about exams). I got to spend a good amount of un-rushed time in the Word before my sign language class. After sign language, I still didn't have homework because I had already finished it, so dad and I went to the park and I got to do some hitting practice (I love my dad). I have totally changed some things about my swing, so it took a while to get adjusted, but I am happy with the results thus far. If that wasn't enough fun for the day, I actually got to sit down and read a few chapters in "Shadow of the Almighty" by Elisabeth Elliot. I found much encouragement in these quotes from Jim Elliot.

God is going to give me a specific leading--not when I ask for it, but when I need it, and not until then.

Anything, good as it may be, put before my study of the true and living Word, becomes a snare and I must assiduously avoid such, if the Word is to be my fresh meat every morning.

Rest in this--it is His business to lead, command, impel, send, call, or whatever you want to call it. It is your business to obey, follow, move, respond, or what have you.

I can't tell you how encouraging it is to read something like this! What a great example of faith and obedience! Looking at Jim Elliot's life, he had such a short life, but look at the example that he left for us. His life was not a wasted life. May we be courageous enough to be obedient to Christ at all costs so as to spur others on to obedience as well.

Monday, October 15, 2007

God's goodness

I was intending to cram for my calculus test yesterday, but I was just too exhausted after having been up until 2:30 am working on it the night before. So last night, I worked on it until midnight or so... and my brain just didn't want to work, so I decided to sleep for an hour. I set my alarm for 1 am and woke up at that time still really exhausted, so I set it for 1:45 so that I could study for a couple more hours and then sleep until 6:30. Well, I slept through that alarm... then my 5:20 alarm went off which I also slept through, but I woke up to my 6:30 alarm. I guess I didn't realize how tired I was. Anyway, I crammed for an hour and took the test. I think I did fairly well, despite my lack of preparation time. I would not recommend this method for test preparation, but I am thankful for God's grace and help in comprehending the concepts.

The message yesterday was about Fellowship with God. The focus was on the concept that God is light. Pastor Tim went over three ways that light is portrayed in scripture. Light is portrayed as sight, revelation, or truth (John 8:12, 2 Cor. 4:4-6, 2 Tim. 1:10). Light is also a symbol of purity or holiness (Rom. 13:12, John 3:19-20). Light portrays alertness or awareness (1 Thes. 5:4-6, Psalm 119:105, 1 John 2:11, John 12:35, John 11:9-10). Having said this, we must look at the core of the message found in 1 John 1.

5 This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.
6 If we say that we have fellowship with Him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not practice the truth;
7 but if we walk in the Light as He Himself is in the Light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus His Son cleanses us from all sin.
8 If we say that we have no sin, we are deceiving ourselves and the truth is not in us.
9 If we confess our sins, He is faithful and righteous to forgive us our sins and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

For some reason, we tend to get the idea that there are small sins and big sins. I guess it is true in some ways... consequences are different for different sins. Regardless, we need to see sin as sin. The result of sin is separation from God--loss of fellowship with Him. I think the greatest pain that Christ had upon the cross was separation from God. Why is it that we can sin in small things and not see it as a big deal? I think our consciouses have been dulled by the amount of sin that we see on a daily basis that is not dealt with. Sin doesn't look so good if you put the punishment before it. I think this is a huge problem in our society! We are all given the idea that sin goes unpunished. We are told that life is all about us, and that we deserve [fill in the blank]. We must go back to true fellowship with Christ without the hindrance of ourselves. This doesn't come without work. Take a look at Eph. 5:8-11.

8 for you were formerly darkness, but now you are Light in the Lord; walk as children of Light
9 (for the fruit of the Light consists in all goodness and righteousness and truth),
10 trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord.
11 Do not participate in the unfruitful deeds of darkness, but instead even expose them;

A key part in this is trying to learn what is pleasing to the Lord. We must fill our minds with God's Word so that we naturally do what is pleasing to Him. Pastor Tim used the illustration of marriage. Marriage is companionship and fellowship (Gen. 2:18, Prov. 2:17, Malachi 2:14). You listen to the other person and find out what they like and don't like and then you act accordingly. You wouldn't expect a spouse to be happy during the weekend after being treated like trash all week long, so why would we think fellowship with God is different? Let us search for those things that please God and act accordingly!

Sunday, October 14, 2007

A unique choir concert

I am going to keep this extremely short because of my Calculus exam tomorrow at 7:50 am. Christina had a choir concert at the Dortignac's church (a family with 14 kids... very small church). They actually sang around the people the entire concert. My grandparents came, which was really neat. :) Christina sang a solo, and did pretty well. Before the concert, a bunch of us played volleyball (some of the girls played in high heels). haha Anyway, I want to share some stuff from what I learned this morning at church, but I will have to save that for tomorrow.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

A win?!?

Jonathan's team finally won a game (4-2)!!! Jonathan plays defense or sweeper pretty much the whole game and does an excellent job of it. He is quite fast for his age and is constantly pressuring those forwards to make bad shots or stealing it from them and taking it up the outside. I am really impressed.

Dad, Mom, and Christina went to the Awana conference today. I believe dad talked at three sessions. Christina's orthodontist was there and went totally out of his way and ran the slide projector for each of dad's presentations. What a blessing he has been to us!

While they were off at the conference, Jonathan and I went to Cal baptist and played ultimate frisbee. :) Let's just say that not keeping score was a good thing today, but it was a lot of fun! Afterwards, we went and ate lunch in the cafeteria.

I was reading Galatians 4 today and was hit between the eyes by a few verses.

7 Therefore you are no longer a slave, but a son; and if a son, then an heir through God.
8 However at that time, when you did not know God, you were slaves to those which by nature are no gods.
9 But now that you have come to know God, or rather to be known by God, how is it that you turn back again to the weak and worthless elemental things, to which you desire to be enslaved all over again?

This describes our position in Christ. Reflecting on my walk with Christ, I see many times that I have turned back to those weak and worthless things--not living in the reality of my position in Christ as an heir! If Christ died for us to be sons and heirs of God, we should definitely live like children of God. Let us live up to our position in Christ!

Another blessed Friday night

As usual, I was very blessed by Bible study tonight. What an amazing breath of fresh air! We talked about the importance of our minds being changed from the inside out (a complete transformation). Joel shared an interesting thing about the conscious. The point he made is that our conscious is something that motivates us not to do something that we know is wrong, but a big part in this is the knowledge part. Are we filling our minds with truth, or are we losing sensitivity by not heeding to our conscious? The difference comes when the Holy Spirit fills our conscious with the truth of His Word. We need to hate sin like God hates it!

This little section in 1 Peter 1 really caught my attention. There are a couple things that really caught my attention. Take a look at the phrase, "things into which angels long to look." The revelation of the gospel is something that we take for granted, but apparently the angels long to see what we get to see. Maybe we need to reconsider how important it is in our daily life. Another phrase that caught my attention was, "prepare you minds for action... fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ." We really have no other hope than Christ's sacrifice for us. Let us prepare our minds to take action!

10 As to this salvation, the prophets who prophesied of the grace that would come to you made careful searches and inquiries,
11 seeking to know what person or time the Spirit of Christ within them was indicating as He predicted the sufferings of Christ and the glories to follow.
12 It was revealed to them that they were not serving themselves, but you, in these things which now have been announced to you through those who preached the gospel to you by the Holy Spirit sent from heaven--things into which angels long to look.
13 Therefore, prepare your minds for action, keep sober in spirit, fix your hope completely on the grace to be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.
14 As obedient children, do not be conformed to the former lusts which were yours in your ignorance,
15 but like the Holy One who called you, be holy yourselves also in all your behavior;
16 because it is written, "YOU SHALL BE HOLY, FOR I AM HOLY."

Thursday, October 11, 2007

Life is Good

I must say that life feels better after exams than before. :) It was nice to come home and relax for a bit. God was very gracious and my first class today was canceled which allowed me to have extra study time. As I walked out the door, I didn't think I did well on the exam, but after looking at the problems again when I got home, I think I did okay. Regardless, the results are His. Thanks for your prayers.

I had to pick up Jonathan from soccer practice this evening, and I wasn't planning on going onto the field (I was barefoot), but they weren't finished yet, so I went out there. They were having a scrimmage game... and I so I just had to join the game. My feet are a little bit sore from being stepped on with cleats and stuff, but it was definitely worth the fun.

I was blessed by Galatians 3 today. It is such an awesome thing that we are not saved by our obedience to the law, but rather by His grace through faith (Eph. 2:8-9). I was thinking a bit about verse 27 where it says that we have been clothed with Christ. Our actions should be an exact representation of Christ. Let us press on to be like Him!
24 Therefore the Law has become our tutor to lead us to Christ, so that we may be justified by faith.
25 But now that faith has come, we are no longer under a tutor.
26 For you are all sons of God through faith in Christ Jesus.
27 For all of you who were baptized into Christ have clothed yourselves with Christ.

Wednesday, October 10, 2007


I am definitely not ready for this physics exam, but I hope to be ready by the time I take it tomorrow evening. I spent the majority of choral union time today making out my "cheat sheet." After a while, the choir split into sections, so I listened to the orchestra for a while, and then played/sang random songs in the practice rooms. I miss the days of spending hours in the practice room playing/singing any song that comes to mind... and spending some time in the Word between songs in the quietness of the practice rooms. :) Good times! Anyway, after choral union, Ally and I went over to see the "Treble-Makers" (Lauren's flag football team made up of all music students). They won 6-0! I was quite surprised... they played very well (several interceptions and good running). By the time the game finished, Christina had finished her voice lesson, so we went over to the cafeteria and ate. I thought this thing was a enchilada, but it was like a bread-ish texture which Christina really didn't like. Oops! She lived though. :) I must continue to cram for my test.

Tuesday, October 09, 2007

An interesting day

I have to share this funny story from yesterday. The Awana group yesterday was at someones house, and there were a couple families there. One little boy (5 yrs old), found a grasshopper in the back yard garden. What do little boys do when they find grasshoppers? They catch them of course! Well, he got his hand over it, and then it jumped... and he got scared, took his hand off, and it got away. A second later, he comes out of the garden and says with a frustrated voice, "Why do they have to be so jumpy?" We could not stop laughing!

There were a few interesting things that happened today. The main one would be that a lady down the street was attempting suicide with a shotgun (if I'm not mistaken), but the sheriff's arrived in time and stopped her from doing so (I think they ended up shooting her in a non-vital place). If you could keep that family in your prayers over the next several days as they deal with this situation, that would be great! This evening, we only had 2 of us leaders for T&T boys which made for a somewhat crazy night. They behaved themselves relatively well though. :) There is one little boy that I work with that has autism. It is really neat to see him memorizing God's Word! I have been doing my best to try to figure out what works well for him. The other boys don't know about his autism, and so he is often upset when other boys don't treat him how he thinks they should (even if they weren't being mean). For example, he expected all the other boys to wait to say their verses until after he had done his. It is definitely a challenge, but I wouldn't trade it for anything. God's Word will not return void!

I was challenged today by Galatians 1:10 which says, "For am I now seeking the favor of men, or of God? Or am I striving to please men? If I were still trying to please men, I would not be a bond-servant of Christ." It reminded me of the reason behind what I do. It is easy to get caught in the trap of being a people-pleaser, but this isn't what God has called us to! We need to be His bond-servants (a lifetime servant by choice).

Monday, October 08, 2007

A couple thoughts

I read this in 1 John 5 today, and found it very encouraging! Trying to be obedient can seem like such a burden, but when we focus on loving God, it really isn't a burden at all, it is a joy! :D

2 By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and observe His commandments.
3 For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments; and His commandments are not burdensome.
4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world; and this is the victory that has overcome the world--our faith.

I played basketball this morning, it was a lot of fun as usual. This afternoon, I got a call from the athletic director at school saying that he received all my paperwork for baseball. YAY! I got so excited that I watched some baseball technique videos to brush up on stuff, and learned that I can improve my swing (actually, I used to hit correctly until my coach told me to put my back elbow up). Just in case you were wondering... no, you are not supposed to put your back elbow up, but don't dip you back shoulder either. haha Anyways, I am excited about baseball! My first game is at the end of January against none other than San Diego Christian College. :) This evening, I was given the opportunity to lead worship for the high school Awana group which I absolutely love to do! Now I am doing homework once again.

Sunday, October 07, 2007

I love Sundays!

As usual, I learned a lot this morning at church. I am going to keep this really short because I have a lot of work to do. Lately, I have found myself really hindered by the discouragement that comes with non-productive days. Even though this wasn't the focus of the message, God used a couple passages to renew my perspective. John 15:11 says, "These things I have spoken to you so that My joy may be in you, and that your joy may be made full." This reminds me of the verse that says the joy of the Lord is our strength. What I really need during the not-so-fun times of school is a healthy dosage of the joy of the Lord! Back to homework I go. ;)

Saturday, October 06, 2007

Here comes another week

Today, Jonathan tied his soccer game (this is the first non-loss that they've had). I am not one that is impressed often (that's probably a bad thing, but it's true), but I must say that I am very impressed by his playing and all the practicing he does to get better. He is a great example to the other kids on his team. :)

Well, this week is looking like a whole lot of work. I have a Physics exam on Thursday, and three chapters to learn by then. I also have a lot of Calculus homework to do. I think one thing that school does for me that not a whole lot of other things do is teach me to depend on God for strength to press on. It doesn't matter if I feel like doing homework or not, it needs to be done! I need to be constantly reminded of the fact that I need to pursue excellence because God has given me the ability to do so. God has blessed me in so many ways, it would be a shame not to make use of these for His glory. If you get a chance, I could use prayer for diligence and focus this week, and most importantly that God would be glorified in my efforts.

Friday, October 05, 2007

Growing in knowledge... God, help us be obedient!

I am constantly growing in my knowledge of scripture. I find it very exciting to hear things from new perspectives, and how other passages fit into a given topic. This evening at Bible study, we studied the flesh and also the fruits of the Spirit. 1 John 2 and James 4 give a good summary of the world. Cravings of sinful man, lust of the eyes, pride, fights, quarrels, coveting, murder, and evil desires. We also looked at what comes from the sinful nature. I won't take the time to list them. I think almost all of the sinful nature can be put into very few catigories. This is by no means a perfect catorigization, but it would seem that you could put just about any sin under pride and selfeshness. We need to be filled with Godliness, righteousness, faith, love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, gentleness, self control, faith, holiness, compassion, kindness, humility, etc. So, we know that we are full of sin, and we need to be full of righteousness, but how does one change this? Let's take a quick look at Rom. 12:1-2 and Eph. 4:17-24.

1 Therefore I urge you, brethren, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies a living and holy sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your spiritual service of worship.
2 And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may prove what the will of God is, that which is good and acceptable and perfect.

17 So this I say, and affirm together with the Lord, that you walk no longer just as the Gentiles also walk, in the futility of their mind,
18 being darkened in their understanding, excluded from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them, because of the hardness of their heart;
19 and they, having become callous, have given themselves over to sensuality for the practice of every kind of impurity with greediness.
20 But you did not learn Christ in this way,
21 if indeed you have heard Him and have been taught in Him, just as truth is in Jesus,
22 that, in reference to your former manner of life, you lay aside the old self, which is being corrupted in accordance with the lusts of deceit,
23 and that you be renewed in the spirit of your mind,
24 and put on the new self, which in the likeness of God has been created in righteousness and holiness of the truth.

Mr. Babb has said a couple times during Bible study that if we feed our flesh more than we feed the Spirit, the flesh is going to win. I am convinced that this is true. We need to have our minds renewed by the Word! In the closure of Bible study, he read some verses from Romans 8 that really put things in perspective. It is so easy to gain this knowledge and not put it into action. Let us drown the flesh in the Spirit!

5 For those who are according to the flesh set their minds on the things of the flesh, but those who are according to the Spirit, the things of the Spirit.
6 For the mind set on the flesh is death, but the mind set on the Spirit is life and peace,
7 because the mind set on the flesh is hostile toward God; for it does not subject itself to the law of God, for it is not even able to do so,
8 and those who are in the flesh cannot please God.
9 However, you are not in the flesh but in the Spirit, if indeed the Spirit of God dwells in you But if anyone does not have the Spirit of Christ, he does not belong to Him.
10 If Christ is in you, though the body is dead because of sin, yet the spirit is alive because of righteousness.
11 But if the Spirit of Him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, He who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through His Spirit who dwells in you.
12 So then, brethren, we are under obligation, not to the flesh, to live according to the flesh--
13 for if you are living according to the flesh, you must die; but if by the Spirit you are putting to death the deeds of the body, you will live.
14 For all who are being led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God.

Thursday, October 04, 2007

More work...

Well, it has been a busy week. I am glad that it is almost over, but I have a lot of homework to do. I find it amazing that with the seemingly unending homework, God always pushes me through. God is good!

I thought I'd share a little bit of 1 John 2.
15 Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.
16 For all that is in the world, the
lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world.
17 The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever.

These few verses really put the things of this world under the magnifying glass. We can be so focused on things that don't count for eternity. We need to be "...the one who does the will of God..." Several years ago, I wrote a song based on these verses.

I’ve found so many things to seek for that are of this world,
But they don't seem to matter, when I think about the cross,
Where You poured out Your blood for me,
And the only thing that I can do, is to give you my life,
And to surrender all I have, and to say,

I give my life to You, Lord,
And I give to You my heart,
I give you all my strength, Lord,
And I give you all my praise,
I give my life to You, Lord,
And I give to You my heart,
I give you all my strength, Lord,
And I give you all my praise,
For you are God,
You are God.

Wednesday, October 03, 2007

Random funny-ness

This morning, my little brother and I somehow got on the topic of forbidden fruit. Anyway, I figured out what the forbidden fruit was!!! It was a watermelon tree! They went to pick one and then one fell,thus the "in the day you eat it, thou shalt surely die", and then God cursed the watermelon tree and said "you must crawl on your belly"... or something like that. hehe Okay, so maybe not the best theology there.

Today, I went and listened to choral union at Cal baptist. They sounded really good! There was one thing that was really funny though! There are a couple guys that are definitely better at instruments than they are at singing (to put it nicely). Not really a big deal because there are like a ton of people in there (like 150 or something). Anyway, it just so happens that these two gentlemen were standing by the door and singing very loudly. It also just so happens that there was a conductors conference thing going on. I kid you not, conductors would walk in the door, hear these guys, and leave! It was about the funniest thing ever to see this happen like nearly 10 times.

On a more serious note, it has been a blessing getting to go to Cal baptist on Wed. to watch choral union, and Fri. for Bible Study. I am overwhelmed by the friendliness of the students (even though I left the school). I miss the theological discussions over lunch, and the fun conversations as well. Going on Wed. evenings has given me a little bit of that back, and I am really thankful for that fellowship. It is a great refreshment!

Pastor Tim is going to start preaching on 1 John, so I have been studying it a bit. Verse 5 of chapter 1 really caught my attention.
This is the message we have heard from Him and announce to you, that God is Light, and in Him there is no darkness at all.

As Christians, we are to be the light of the world. It is so easy to try to blend into the darkness. We don't want to stand out and be called weird, we want to be normal. It is encouraging that God isn't asking us to do something that He hasn't already done. :) God is the perfect example of light. I think of the Christian life as a light that is visible from all directions. As we are disobedient to what God has revealed, we start blocking portions of that light. We may be blocking things like relationships with other Christians, ruining our witness by some act of rebellion to God's Word in the presence of someone that is searching for truth, or even blocking out God's voice to us. Sin does separate us from God, but He is always faithful to forgive us when we confess it (1 John 1:9). It is extremely difficult to try to unblock these areas in our life where we have blocked Christ's light, but it needs to be done! We need to press on and take responsibility for our past actions, and press on toward being the light of the world as He calls us to be.

God is good!

Yesterday turned out to be a good day. :) 3rd John was a great encouragement. Paul says, "I have no greater joy than this, to hear of my children walking in the truth." It puts joy in my heart knowing that God is pleased when I walk according to His truth. Thanks all for your prayers. I'm off to play baseketball... more later.

Monday, October 01, 2007

A difficult day...

Well, I'll be completely honest here. Today definitely wasn't a great day. I woke up later than I wanted to and missed my time in the Word this morning. This was followed by much frustration with little action concerning my lack of commitment to the Word--both in lack of desire to read it, and lack of obedience to it. I honestly got almost nothing done today. My studies were hindered greatly by distractions that I didn't even try to get away from. I had absolutely no desire to read the Word, or do my homework. Just now, I read through 2 John several times just to clear my mind of the useless things that have filled my mind throughout this day of no focus. I find it extremely frustrating that I know that I am to do my best for Christ no matter what I do (Colossians 3:23), and yet I don't do it.

Having said this, it is essential that I get beyond the failures of today, and press on to complete obedience tomorrow. Praise the Lord for His mercies being new every morning (Lamentations 3:21-23)! If you would keep me in your prayers, I would really appreciate it.