The BibleApologist's Journal

Thursday, April 8, 2004

8:43AM - Long Time But I Am Still Alive

So many things are going on. I absolutely love my work to the point that it doesnt even feel like I am working, I am appreciated, its wonderful. The youth are doing well I think they are really growing sometimes I wish i was more involved but I realize that there is only so much a person can do.

My wife is now 21 weeks as of today and the feeling that I am going to be a father is overwhelming me now... I just cant wait for our baby to be born. The farther we gt in pregnancy the more I realize that people only follow abortion because they are ignorant of truth. As I learned about what is developing when I realized this. It is amazing to follow the development of a baby from conception to birth. Not only that but reading Psalm 139 is absolutely awesome. Understanding that the baby is being formed by the very hand which formed the universe and is crafting our children in a place where no one can see and is developing our childs most inward parts and ordering his or her steps. Its amazing to know that even though we do not have a clue what sex our baby is God already knows who he or she will marry, what she will be when she grows up, He is actively ordering his or her steps.

Last night I taught a lesson on Dealing With Your Past. I asked the question "Does your past hinder you?" "Does your past motivate you?" Took some time to ellaborate. Then we looked at Paul. His past sins, and his past sufferings and still as we remember Paul we think not of Pauls sins or sufferings but His accomplishments. We see a man who wrote most of the inspired New Testament, an Apostle who laid down His life for Jesus everyday. We saw a man who never allowed His Past to hinder him. How His past didnt motivate Him either. He was aware of His past, and He kept it where it belonged....Behind Him. We then looked at two principles to help keep the past where it belongs. The first was renewing your mind, and the second was assited strength. The concept that when i am weak, He is strong. We see that Paul always recognized that He was weak, beaten, stolen from, shipwrecked, cursed, mocked, imprisoned, etc and yet in his own weakness, in his own sufferings, and despite His past, he recognized that all along God was His strength...

Maybe for someone on here, this will encourage you. Maybe you are being told that because of your past you will not amount to anything, maybe it has destroyed communication, robbed you of a hope for a future. Maybe you were emotionally, verbally, or sexually abused. Maybe you have been raped, robbed, defrauded, cursed, or mocked, and you cant help in the midst of the quietness surrounding you to begin to believe that.... Well your past has a very special place....Behind You. It is here, in this moment that you must begin the steps to change and that change begins with renewing your mind. Paul understood this for he mentions it often. He recognized that despite how sin makes you feel, despite how suffering makes you feel that if you are a believer and Christ died for you, sin has been conquered by Christ, and although he faced his apst he held to the truth. He recognised that when it comes to suffering if you are a believer in Christ suffering is a part of the package and Christ reqards those who suffer for His name's sake and despite the times his suffering tried to distract him he Held to that truth. He renewed his own mind. He put off those sins, renewed His mind, and put on a life of selflessness in serving Christ no matter the cost. That is how your past will no longer defeat you, and you may put your past where it belongs. . . Behind you!

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Monday, November 10, 2003

7:25AM - When A Dose of Life Wakes You Up

What do you do?

When Trials come where do you turn?

Where is the answer found when you dont understand?


All of these questions are simple when you go to the right source. In a mass-driven technology age where answers to even some of the most outrageous questions can be solved on the internet, I promise friend, answers to life's questions and Godliness the internet does not house. It is amazing to me that when people come under harsh circumstances how quickly they will turn to things they know, people they know, books they are referred to. Yet, how many times do we under those hard times do we choose to turn to God?

As believers in Christ Jesus and His perfecting work in our lives, I still find myself on occassion consulting the resources of this world. The resources of the finite. The resources of those who are bound for destruction.

It is easy to make opinions about war. About the war in Iraq. Of course, new books and movies will be developed which capture our attention and draw us to the conclusion of the writer/director. Some will bring out the immense death, families ripped apart, financial inflations, and yet in the midst of war, when is it appropriate to turn to the Lord?

My brother-in-law has been called and he is on alert. His engineering unit is preparing to go to Iraq. My wife is scared, my mother-in-law is filled with worry, his wife is regretting ever asking him to sign up when his time was fulfilled just for an extra pay check, and here I am sorting through emotion, opinion, circumstance, consequence, and a just God.

I think of God's Word as He instructs concerning the last days. I think of how there will be wars and rumors of wars. I think of our president and the choices he is making. And I think "What in the world is going on?"

My feelings I have not expressed, my opinion I have not shared. I have been less interested in sharing my opinion lately. See opinions develope and opinions change. Over the years more people have recanted opinons than those who have recanted belief. Opinions develope based on what is before the eye and is a humans approach at making sense of the unknown. Taking what is seen and forming a conclusion on what is not. I can listen to television, listen to reporters, read the paper, and still I am only getting part of the story. Is that what I desire to rest in? It has been said you made your bed lay in it This is a bed I do not wish to lay in.

NO.

I will trust in the Lord my God, in His righteousness, holiness, sanctifying work, His justice, His Majesty, His Immutable Immovable, Unchanging Nature, His Power which is above all else, His presence which emcompasses the Universe, His care and love which tells us He is not willing that ANY should perish and in the midst of all that goes on around me I will cling to the one I know is not moving with the winds of this world, is not set to destroy me in war, who is above every other name, who is filled with all that is good, all that is right, all that is lovely, who will nere let sin into His presence, who is molding me into what He wills. I will rest in Truth. Absolute Truth.

I will not be swayed by rumors, I will not be moved by mass-opinion, I will not allow the words of the false to penetrate my heart and allow seeds of despair to rise, I will be satisfied in God's justice because He knows what is best, satisfied with His chastisement for it molds me into form, I will rest in His peace, trusting in His return not in the circumstances which bring it to pass. I am a soldier, I am a warrior my armor is on my front, I was nere meant to turn around. With the sword of His Truth I will press on through life, and allow His truth to be my light in a land consumed by darkness. I have nothing to fear, No one to fear, For when I am weak The Lord my God is strong!

Amen.

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Friday, October 10, 2003

10:36PM - A Christian Manifesto

Well today was a very eventful day. My wife has taken her weekend to travel to Mitchel, SD. Hello Corn Palace here she comes! Also, I thought about reading a work which I have never read before and thought I would learn something from. As you all know, I desire to be an Apologist. Where would a good Bible Apologist be without remembering the works of Francis Schaeffer a man who is one of the most well-known Bible Apologists in history?

The book was A Christian Manifesto

Not long after I began to read the review flap I was highly disappointed:

    It happened so subtly that few people noticed at first. Little by little, morality and freedom started to crumble. It came first in government, in education, in the media- and finally it began to shake our families and own lives.
    Something fundamental has changed. Law and government no longer provide a foundation of justice and morality but have become the means of licensing moral perversions of all kinds. Education has become the enemy of religious truth and values. And the media have provided means for propogating the change.
    In this explosive book, Dr. Francis A. Schaeffer shows us why this has happened. First, he shows how we have failed to understand the problem- to see that the whole foundation for society has shifted radically from its original Judeo-Christian basis to a Humanistic basis. As the humanistic view takes over, it necessarily destroys the whole way of life built upon the Judeo-Christian heritage. Second, Dr. Francis Schaeffer calls for a massive movement- in government, law and all of life- to reestablish the Judeo-Christian foundation and turn the tide of moral decadence and loss of freedom.
    A Christian Manifesto is literally a call for Christians to change the course of history- by returning to biblical Truth and by alowing Christ to be Lord in all of life. To do this, Schaeffer says, will involve a head-on confrontation with the false view that material or energy, shaped by chance, is the final reality.
    Schaeffer's provocative conclusion is that when the state directly defies the absolute law of God, its authority becomes illegitamate. In this case, the Christian is bound to resist the state by whatever means necessary- through direct legal and political action, and possibly through massive demonstrations of civil disobedience.


I don't know what anyone else is thinking at this point, but my views I think have been tragically halted. My desires got a serious red light. I do not ever want to be known or remembered for a work such as this. My desire has always been that when people read my work they remember that it agreed with scripture. Any view, opinion, or doctrinal belief that cannot be completely supported and enforced by scripture and is inarguable will u find me signing my life to. I am not a person to agree with doctrine because my denomination believes it, but that it is found easily within God's Word. Because He said it I believe it! That is how I desire to be remembered.

Immediately after reading this review, I read 1st Peter. Interesting, for this is Thus Saith The Lord:
Chapter 2:13-25
    Submit yourselves to every ordinance of man for the Lord's sake: whether it be to the King, as supreme; or unto governors, as unto them that are sent by him for the punishment of evildoers, and for the praise of them that do well. For so is the will of God, that with well doing yemay put to silence the ignorance of foolish men: As free, and not using your liberty for a cloke of maliciousness, but as the servants of God. Honour all men, Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honour the King. Servants, be subject to your masters with all fear; not only to the good and gentle, but also to the froward. For this is thankworthy, if a man for conscience toward God endured grief, suffering wrongfully. FOr what glory is it, if, when ye are buffeted for your faults, ye shall take it patiently? but if, when ye do well, and suffer for it, ye take it patiently, this is acceptable with God. For even hereunto were ye called: because Christ also suffered for us, leaving us an example, that ye should follow his steps: Who did no sin, neither was guile found in his mouth: WHo, when he was reviled, reviled not again; when he suffered, he threatened not; but committed himself to him that judgeth righteously: WHo his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. For ye were as sheep going astray; but are now returned unto the Sheperd and Bishop of your souls.


Interesting wording. Very. This is not the only time in the word we are told to obey those over us. In fact, we are told several times by two different apostles this concept of being obedient to the government, employer, master, ruler, king, supreme which we are under not because they are doing right but because authority is given by God and being obedient to GOD is right.

SO. Regardless of how cruel, malcontented, racist, murderous, criminal ruler we may find ourlseves under whether Bin LAden or Sudam himself, I truly believe it difficult to agree that civil disobedience, etc. should be followed. It doesn't mean join the man in his disobedience to God either. I think there are other ways to handle ourselves in the midst of such suffering. I for one agree that in the midst of such times, our obedience to a ruler such as this could be more of an example than fighting his every decission.


I hope this sparks a good conversation! Peace :)
The BibleApologist

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Wednesday, September 24, 2003

12:44PM - Preparation

Well as of last Sunday I am officially the Ministry Assistant/Youth Pastor of First Baptist Church of Jamestown North Dakota! Already I have gotten involved with the Youth and I think there is great potential for a tremendous work of God here. Whether or not God will use me remains to be seen but I can tell that the teens are ready. Its like driving through the many fields out here that are ripe for harvest. Question is the Harvest is plenty but the truth of the matter here is that the workers are soooo few.

My Responsibilities:
First of all to work with the Youth on Sundays and Wednesdays and all other Youth Events

Secondly to assist the Pastor in any way as I work with the congregation at First Baptist (including preaching 2 times per year to the entire congregation)


What a full load!

I am thankful that GId has given me such a wonderful woman. Someone who truly loves God and who truly loves me. Someone who does a tremendous job already being a Pastors helpmeet. I am truly blessed. I dont know many things, but I pray that as I begin walking this road the Lord would teach me, and bring people into my life who will guide me. It is soo sad but the lack of mentors here is unbelievable. Spiritually, many of the people in Jamestown dont know how to mentor etc., or they are afraid to do it. In that case, sometimes I wish I was back in my element, Christian College where it is all provided, none of this hunting a Mentor down business.

Well, I have returned to Blurty. Hopefully for good. It is such a relief to write down my thoughts once again. Thanks to Rita! For sucha wonderful coorespondance. C.S. says to all our friends!

God Bless You All

Current mood: accomplished
Current music: Sancuts Real
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Monday, June 23, 2003

7:24AM - Invitations & Programs

    Well Saturday Evening my love and I stayed up until the wee hours of Sunday Morning working on our invitations and programs for the Wedding. It was such fun! We designed the Invitations together and then agreed on a design for the Response Cards! At like 2:00am I was sooo tired that I had to get some sleep. She stayed up until 3:30am and we were still doing a little to them Sunday Morning.

    Other than that, we are thinking a lot about what we want to do for a Reception and then possibly the different traditions we would like to add from our heritages. If anyone knows of some fun Wedding Traditions we should add please tell us!!!! So far we have looked at Italian (as I am Italian) and German (her family is German) Wedding Traditions.

    Things are going wonderful here. I am loving the area and for some reason God just seems to be blessing us tremendously as we press on towards Married Life. Thank You To All Who Continue to lift us up in prayer as we have been diligently praying for many of you

The BibleApologist

Current mood: content
Current music: Supertones: Chasing The Sun
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Monday, June 16, 2003

3:13PM - Psalm 62:1

    Truly my soul waiteth upon God: from him cometh my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation; he is my defence; I shall not be greatly moved. How long will ye imagine mischief against a man? ye shall be slain all of you: as a bowing wall shall ye be, and as a tottering fence. They only consult to cast him down from his excellency: they delight in lies: they bless with their mouth, but they curse inwardly. Selah. My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from him. He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved. In God is my salvation and my glory: the rock of my strength, and my refuge, is in God.

    Trust in him at all times; ye people, pour out your heart before him: God is a refuge for us. Selah. Surely men of low degree are vanity, and men of high degree are a lie: to be laid in the balance, they are altogether lighter than vanity. Trust not in oppression, and become not vain in robbery: if riches increase, set not your heart upon them. God hath spoken once; twice have I heard this; that power belongeth unto God. Also unto thee, O Lord, belongeth mercy: for thou renderest to every man according to his work.


    Well this is a lesson I am learning as I continue to look for a job here in Jamestown, while we continue to plan the wedding, and while many things seem to pop up at the weirdest times. Thank you to all those who keep us in your prayers. For those of you here on Blurty who remember us, thank you.

    This past month I helped here in Jamestown with a Blood Drive. I have never given blood before so I thought it may be a good time to start. I just received a notice back telling me that I have been Indefinately Deferred. I gues s my body reacted positively to Hepatitis B tests. Since their test of my blood is not sufficient to tell me whether or not I have it, I must now go to a Doctor to find out if the Blood Drive people had false-positive test or if I am either acute or chronic Hepatitis B. I would appreciate prayer in this area, it is totally sporadic, unexpected, and if I do, may be even more expense that my fiance and I werent expecting since she will have to receive a vaccination, and all that good stuff. I will update as necessary.

The BibleApologist

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Thursday, June 5, 2003

7:45PM - Sharing Information

1. What time is it: 7:30pm

2. Name: Justin Batz

3. Name as it appears on birth certificate: Justin M. Batz

4. Nickname(s): Bibleapologist

5. Number of candles on your last birthday cake: Havent had a cake in like 10 years

6. Pets: Used to have a dog named Princess

7. Hair Color:Brown

8. Piercing: No

9. Color of eyes: Brown

10. How much do you love your job: I do not currently have one. I am looking diligently

11. Hometown: Norfolk, Va.

12. Current Residence: Jamestown, ND

13. Favorite Food(s): Chinese, Pizza, Burgers & Fries, Norwegian, German, French Pastries, Italian Pasta, Chicken

14. Been to Africa? No

15. Been toilet papered? Yes

16. Loved somebody so much it made you cry? Yes

17. Been in a car accident? Never (knock on wood!)

18. Croutons or bacon bits? Bacon Bits!

19. Favorite Day of the Week: Sunday or Wednesday

20. Favorite word or phrase: Muh! Yeppers,

21. Tattoos: None

22. Favorite Flower: Orange and Yellow Roses

23. Favorite Drink: Smirnoff Triple Black or Bacardi O3 (Non Alcoholic-- Virgin Strawberry Daquiri or Iced Tea)

24. Favorite sport(s): Volleyball or Swimming & Diving

25. Favorite ice cream: Anything Coffee (Starbucks Java Toffee or Ben & Jerry's Coffee Heath Bar Crunch)

26. Disney or Warner Bros.? Warner Bros.

27. Favorite Fast Food Restaurant? Hardees (Where the last place you would go for a burger has become the first.) Thanks to 100% Angus Beef

28. What Color is Your Bedroom Carpet? Brown?

29. How many times did you fail your drivers test? Never failed.

30. Before this one, whom did you get your last email from? Pastor Ray at Calvary Memorial (http://www.calvarymemorial.org) with the weekly Sermon

31. Which store would you choose to max out your credit card? Best Buy, Radio Shack, Circuit City, or Alienware (an online computer store)

32. What do you do most often when you are bored? Surf the Net

33. Most annoying thing people ask me? People dont usually ask me anything

34. Who will respond to this e-mail the quickest? Penny

35. Who is the person you sent this to that is least likely to respond? Becca she already filled it out :)

36. Favorite TV show(s): Smallville, CSI, Buffy, Angel, Charmed, Ed, Dharma & Greg, Friends, Dragon Ball Z, Thunder Cats, Voltron, Transformers

37. Last person you went out to dinner with? My fiance Rebecca

38. Ford or Chevy? Like A Rock Baby!

39. Time you finished this e-mail? 7:44pm

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Wednesday, May 28, 2003

10:51PM - Jamestown Life

To those of you praying for a safe return, and for those of you who are rooting for the relationship between myself and C.S. thanks so much. The Lord has seen me safely into the arms of my Baby! Also, into a wonderful town where the people really need to either come to know Jesus, or need to 2 Peter 3:18 it! Grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ! Also, to those of you who are fellow apologists, please thread to this post, and leave me ur email, and contact information. I look forward to becoming more familiar on a personal level with you all. :)

Current mood: enthralled
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Tuesday, May 20, 2003

7:51PM - Goodbye Cruel World!!

    Well it is official in exactly 22 hours I will have my wonderful, gorgeous, loving, caring, tender, sweet, compassionate, long-suffering, luscious, intelligent, confidante, of a fiance in my arms holding her passionately as our our lips meet for the first time in months, our temperature rises, and we kiss intimately and happily knowing that we will not be apart like this (at least in the foreseeable future!)

    All of my being is ecited about the fact that I will be leaving this place with the one I love, to be with the one I love, in a place where we are both loved by those who have spent their lives loving us. Off to Jamestown it is. Where I will no longer experience the trials of dorm life, and subject my love to unloving people who do not act like family, and who do not share. For two semesters I have been with irresponsible males, who do not clean after themselves, who do not treat others the way that they would like to be treated. Anyway it is all over and soon I will find myself with my completion. I cant wait.

One Hour has passed since I started this entry. 21 hours to go!

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Saturday, May 17, 2003

7:06PM - God Is My Provider

Wasting my time
Foolish thoughts of mine
Dwelling on surreal desires
Immaterial things that havenot yet come to pass
"You will sit on your ass..."
"You will not last..."


Meditating on the Truth
Thinking on the ONE
Dwelling on His Son
Mind renewed to the here and now
"You love me still"
"You are doing my will"
"I will give you more than your fill"


Promises from God
Gifts from on High
A Job He did provide
A wife by my side
A family for which to provide
Yet all come in His time

For GOD does Provide.
Jehovah Jireh is my Provider!
Praise Him!

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Tuesday, May 13, 2003

9:51PM - Count DOWN

In exactly 10 days and 8 hours I will be on the road to ND! I cant wait! Because when I am done with school and it is the day I will be making my venture to be with the most wonderful woman in the world!!

I cannot explain all my feelings in the short time I have but I know that the woman I am marrying loves the LORD, loves me and can and will to the best of her ability keep a Goldy home. This knowledge is encouraging and at the same time is what I need to be motivated to be a Godly man. I know that in my pursuit of the LORD I find myself striving to be the man Gods wants me to be, the husband GOd wants me to be, and eventually the Father God wants me to be.

I find it quite amazing that when two people strive to do things Gods way they are blessed immensely and immeasurably above all they ever thought possible. I know that this path will not be easy, it will be rough, tough ,and full of turmoil; but for years it has been the desire of my heart to walk this rough road with someone I know loves me and whom I can pour my love on.

In a matter of time, I will be experiencing the verse which states Delight in the LORD and he shall give you the desire of ur heart!

Well those are my thoughts tonight
NOT MUCH but it is where i am at:)

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Saturday, April 26, 2003

11:54AM - Jonah: A Unique Approach

"Don’t be like Jonah!" Have you ever heard that before? I know I have. On occasion when I was stubborn about something my mother thought I should do. It was her favorite church-phrase. However, in a country that encourages biblical ignorance rather than biblical intelligence; I have never taken the time to really get to know Jonah. Sure, we have all heard the story, maybe even seen the Veggie-Tales Movie and most presentations usually go something like this:

Little guy runs from Big God. God lets big fish swallows little guy. Big fish spits little guy out. Little guy preaches and regrets it. God challenges little guy.

Very few times have I sought to see who I am in light of whom these people in scripture are, and yet with Jonah, I have always seen myself. I am pretty sure that at some point we all do. Let's take a walk through time...

The time is 760BC. Israel in under King Jeroboam II, the great grandfather of Jehu. In the past, numerous countries, the worst being Assyrians, have savagely raided Israel. Definitely one of the most immoral peoples in the world at that time, the Assyrians were very big on false religion (a.k.a. Paganism). The Assyrians cannot comprehend the differences of Israel compared to other Kingdoms, and Israel cannot comprehend Assyria appetite for destruction and depravity.

Here is the scene falls upon the shoulders of one prophet of the Lord, a messenger of God. Jonah. If Jonah were in our midst today, he would probably fit the description of the "average Christian." Very content with the comfort zone he had around himself. That is until God speaks. Of all the people in Israel, God chooses Jonah. A "divine appointment" if you will. Of all the "average Christians" God chooses Jonah. No one knows when, or how, but God speaks. It would be nice to picture Jonah in his house on his knees praying. In a congregation with all the people of Israel, standing in honor of the Lord as they read from the Holy Scriptures. However, we are NEVER told in the Word what Jonah was doing as the call was made. Maybe today Jonah is busy. Busy in the market, participating in the cultural customs of the day. The time of the year is unclear, but one thing is very clear.... God Spoke. In a faceless crowd of dozens, we may simply overlook this man, but God did not.

Imagine the look that appeared on Jonah's face as God issued the call, Arise, go to Nineveh that great city, and cry against it; for their wickedness is come up before me. Astonishment! Fright! Maybe the apple which Jonah was holding and examining at the fruit stand intently falls to the floor with a thud! Maybe the parchment he was holding slips through his fingers slowly. Or maybe Jonah wakes from a nightmare. The details are not clear, but one thing is clear...God Spoke...and Jonah responded. He got up, and fled. He ran. He ran seeking to escape the will and presence of the Lord.

Sound familiar? You know, it does to me. I have to ask myself, "Self. How many times have you ran from the presence of the Lord today?" Escape. Fleeing from doing what is right. Maybe something as small as doing my homework, maybe something as big as being faithful to my wife when I surf the Net or get involved in "Ministry". After all didnt this God's simple request? Therefore I beseech you brethren, to present your body as a living sacrifice, acceptable to God, which is your reasonable service. ~Romans 12:1 Jonah has been asked by God to go. Asked to confront an entire people. If we are honest with ourselves, we can relate. We have a hard enough time stepping out of our comfort zone to address sin with one person, just one, much less an entire people group of the known world! Confrontation is hard. For Jonah, it was that much harder because the people he was called to go to he did not like. These people slaughtered his family and friends on a regular basis. Poles would hang outside of Nineveh with the severed heads of people he would know. People that not long ago were fellowshipping with him in his own home! The fact that Jonah did not jump up and go to Nineveh as God command immediately revealed the condition of his heart. Jonah would much rather see the Ninevites, the Assyrians bake in an eternal anguish separated from God for all eternity, rather than share eternal joy with them in heaven.

Now we see a man who is consumed with himself to the extent where the slightest idea of selflessness caused him to flee. Selfishness is bad enough when you do not act at all, you just think about doing something selfish. However, the devil accommodates ignorance. In Jonah 1:3, the scriptures say, And Jonah rose up to flee unto Tar shish from the presence of the Lord and went to Joppa... Here it is don't miss it! And he found a ship going to Tar shish. The last place the devil wants a believer is in the will of God. So caught up in Christ that the world and its system fade away. So if you choose an alternate route for life, he will be waiting with many eye-appealing accommodations. However, they all have a price tag firmly attached. Sometimes that price leads you to further compromise, making it much more easy to rationalize a decision. The verse concludes in saying, so he paid the fare thereof, and went down into it, to go with them unto Tar shish from the presence of the Lord. At last...Relaxation! Jonah is now on his way to freedom! No more tough decisions! No more self-sacrificing! It is time to spoil himself, after all he deserves it, its not easy being a prophet of the Lord, Its time to take a nap!

It has been said of sin: it takes you farther than you want to go, keeps you longer than you want to stay, and makes you pay more than you are willing to pay! I will be as bold to say, for a time, this was my life story. When self has the wheel, ignorance consumes the mind. This concept is best described in driving a vehicle. Picture Jesus as father (your father) and the two of you are going on a trip. In contrast to him, your head barely reaches the steering wheel. He however, can completely see out of the car at the oncoming traffic. If you were to take the wheel, you would be totally oblivious to the oncoming traffic and probably wreck the car. I am that child, Jonah was that child, and we are all that child. Sometimes, we can all relate to this picture. Sometimes, we have bigger accidents than others but we can all relate. However, we don’t want to focus on the child too much. After all, dad is still in the car. And fathers will do anything to get their children back on track.

Jonah 1:4 states, But the Lord sent out a great wind into the sea, and there was a mighty tempest in the sea so that the ship was like to be broken. Already Jonah has passed up two opportunities to serve the Lord and both times he has missed it. He could have submitted. he could have turned around. Now in the middle of the sea, a God given storm rises. However, you will not find Jonah complaining, as the rest of the world violently suffers he can be found in the depths of the ship sleeping soundly. Some of my best sleep is obtained when I shut out the rest of the world. Especially in my dorm, snoring etc. Some of you know you can relate. Sometimes I find it difficult other times very easy. All the more, asleep he is, resting in self-content.

So what happens when the world is shaking and you sleep well? Somewhere someone isn’t sleeping! Here's the sailors' reaction: Jonah 1:5 Then the mariners were afraid and cried every man unto his own god, and cast forth the wares that were in the ship into the sea, to lighten it of them. Have you ever been in the company of sin? For instance, you walk into a room of friends and as you walk in everyone looks at you and an awkward silence spreads like a thick fog? Somewhere in the midst of this is sin, and the ones in sin are the ones taking the nap. Someone in the group has chosen to "fall asleep..."

Verse 5 continues, but Jonah was gone into the sides of the ship, and he lay and was fast asleep. At this point everything is coming apart at the seams. The ship is falling apart! The people are throwing all the excess baggage overboard. They are on their knees to their gods. What a picture of the world! Look around! It doesn’t take long to see the condition of the world rocks terribly. Terrible like a great tempest in the sea. As the sun rises and falls, things do not get better despite our most fervrent desires for such. The storm gets larger in strength, and in the midst of the storm.. Natives cry out in desperation for answers cry out for hope cry out for salvation and the ones who have it, the ones who are called sleep behind doors with sign bearing the greeting "Unwelcome" swaying and creaking in the wind. When something goes wrong, non-Christians are quick to toss their supplies out of the window if they do not work and turn to anything that seems to hold something like an answer. It is this principle that draws people into the cults of today that hold some truth, gods that have no power. In this picture, the man with the answer sleeps, consumed with himself in the lower decks, withholding the Truth of God in ignorance.

Then finally, all eyes turn to Jonah. Now there is NO other answer. Every possible solution available to them upon the ship has been viewed, considered, and attempted to be implemented and nothing has happened. These men have been rocked hard, and now the seek rest. Isn’t it interesting to note the way the sailors deal with this external problem? It is the perfect example of how some deal with internal problems also. Throwing their supplies overboard those seemingly useless items; not realizing that if things work out those items could have been used later. Now they haven’t just suffered a boat loss, they are scared; also they have lost the profits which all that excess cargo would have provided. This is another example of how much sin costs. You don’t just pay for a ship to run, other people pay for the sin you commit. Your decisions dramatically affect those around you and bring everyone to the point where they don’t care about the temporary, they care about things that are eternal... they care about life. Sometimes even I find myself doing this, throwing over the necessities thinking they were really a hindrance. Nothing changes. And of course, many non-Christians would prefer to seek and god that doesn’t offer grace, why? Grace is incomprehensible to a non-believer. After every way is tested, they finally find themselves with one last resort... The sleeping man. How many times do we make ourselves the unnoticed, "Sleeping Truth."

So the shipmaster came to him and said unto him, What meanest thou, O sleeper? Arise, call upon thy God, if so be that thy God will think upon us, that we perish not. This is a powerful statement. The shipmaster is showing more faith in God, more reliance upon Him than Jonah is. This paints a beautiful picture that a sinner cannot be saved until he KNOWS he is a sinner. These men are about to die. They have walked the worlds' walk. They have all went through "The 10 Steps of Known Religions" and "How To Have A Spiritual Life" They have recited prayers, mantras, anything they can think of to find the "favor of the gods" Yet they have not found a way out of the storm. They have no supplies, and the phone lines to their gods have been disconnected (Probably because those false gods haven’t been paying their dues...) they know that they haven’t found the answer, and they do not know Jonah's God. They haven’t been around Him all of their life. Jonah, however, knew God; he didn’t really care at the moment. This desire to know Jonah's God far outweighed his own. All that was necessary was for him to share his God with these people, but he chose to keep silent.

And they said everyone to his fellow, Come and let us cast lots that we may know for whose cause this evil has come upon us. So they cast lots, and the lot fell upon Jonah. Hello! What a wake up call. This whole time Jonah has been so consumed with himself, he has passed up several opportunities, yet at the same time, God's timing is perfect. There is no better time to be honest than right now. Especially when you have no chance to lie. Lots were sacred. A practice with many religious beliefs tied into it. Now, God has passed His judgment. How could Jonah defile the integrity of the Almighty? We find our self-centered prophet broken and figuratively naked with no more facades covering his true identity. He is helpless before these men. He stands humiliatingly before the mercy of Gentile sailors. They have all right to kill him and end the madness. Yet no one would have learned anything. Especially Jonah. Instead we see probably the most profound response in light of all that has taken place, the sailors ask a question... Then they said unto him, tell us we pray thee, for whose cause is this evil upon us; what is thine occupation? And whence comest thou? What is thy country? and of what people art thou?

Well my name is Jonah; I am a prophet of the Lord Most High. I am an Israelite and I hail from Israel, Oh by the way...did I mention I am running from God. Of all the responses commonly known to man for the lots, they ask a question! Regardless of the fact that he was running from God, that he willingly turned away, and that now He was bringing a storm that could kill them all, the people noticed something was different about Jonah. It is out in the open, he was responsible. However, he was the one sleeping and the only one left, now they are curious about this unknown man, but something was different about him. It wasn’t physical. It wasn’t spiritual. It wasn’t where he was going, nor where he was headed (in fact they were all headed to the same place) it was to whom Jonah belonged. Jonah belonged to God and therefore it was automatic that he was different. His God, his people, his family. He was set apart. Even when he did not want to be...

Now we see a selfish broken Jonah at the end of his rope. There is nothing left to do except tell the truth, right? Jonah 1:9 And he said unto them, I am a Hebrew; and I fear the Lord, the God of Heaven, which hath made the sea and dry land. Once chance. If we were given one chance to tell an unbelieving society whom we serve, how would we respond? Now, what would we say if we were in the middle of sin? The pressure cooker. Something is different with that picture. It is easy to tell a nonbeliever whom you serve, what God is on "Your Side" when you are walking the walk. What about when you are stumbling? Then how you respond? What do you have to say? Do you choke up? Maybe it isn’t even you sinning maybe its the person you are talking to. How do you share your God with them? Can we effectively share the truth in love with sin in our lives? Place yourselves in the sailors' position. There is a storm and you are about to die. You are traveling with a Hebrew man who tells you, My God is the God of the sea and the dry land. Oh and I rebelled against Him and ran. Now He is after me. That is pretty ignorant. He did not even think of the way he answered the question. He didn’t even think of whom he was talking to, then again; maybe he didn’t even expect a response. One thing was clear, misplaced fear now has been traded for a sure truth. God was on a rampage. What do they do? Obviously running isn’t an option (Look at Jonah.) Their gods aren’t answering. And now all their cargo is floating in the depths of the sea.

The truth has been shared. The answer was clear. Give God His prophet. Jonah knew God wanted him. It isn’t clear on whether Jonah really understood why. It would be easy to rationalize death. Of course, no matter what was on Jonahs mind I am sure he thought that the next course of action would be the perfect way out of service to God. Verses 10-13 the men were exceedingly afraid and said unto him, why hast thou done this? For the men knew that he fled the presence of the Lord, because he had told them. Then they said unto him, what should we do unto thee? That the sea may be calm unto us? For the sea wrought and was tempestuous. And he said unto them, Take me up and cast me forth into the sea; so shall the sea be calm unto you: For I know that for my sake this great tempest is upon you. Nevertheless, the men rowed hard to bring the ship to land; but they could not: for the sea wrought and was tempestuous against them. For the sailors this was unimaginable. They would throw a live man overboard? Into the sea. More than likely they had seen what the sea had done to many other sailors who had been with them before. There must have been some other way! Its not surprising when faced with Gods way, the sailors looked for something else, even we do that. When we are confronted with Gods Word, asked to forsake sin, the cost just seems too much, there has to be a way that we could make it a little cheaper. We for all practical purposes forget what James 1:15 Then when lust hath conceived it bringeth forth sin, and sin when it is finished bringeth forth death. Truth hurts. So does making the right decisions after making many wrong decisions. As people, we love looking for another way rather than grasping onto God's plan. Until we realize there is no other way.

After double-checking for any other possible solution, their path is clear. They make their choice. Now what do you see them doing? Throwing Jonah overboard? NO not quite yet... Wherefore they cried unto the Lord and said, we beseech thee, O Lord, we beseech thee, let us not perish for this mans life, and lay not upon us innocent blood for thou, O Lord, hast done as it pleased thee. On their knees. In humble submission to an Almighty God! They pray! Gentile, uncircumcised, dirty, Gentiles, unclean, rugged, barbarianistic men, praying to the ONE TRUE GOD! Begging and pleading that He would spare their lives and they sought only to do His will. Imagine the scene. Jonahs face. These men. Their prayer. The questions in Jonah's mind. What faith! What sacrifice! They have no clue as to what this God will do for them throwing His messenger overboard. For doing such a deed would result in death from any other gods!

Of course it is important for many of us hearing this word today, it did not END WITH A PRAYER. These men did not pray and ask Jesus into their hearts, ask God into their lives only to walk away as they were before. NO. These men prayed, and then they did something about it. Verse 15 tells us that their profession ended with them walking in faith, So they took up Jonah and cast him into the sea: and the sea ceased her raging. They were faithful in their submission. God was faithful to their prayer and He blessed the Gentiles and Jonah. Verses 16 and 17 conclude the experience of the mariners in this story it records, Then the men feared the Lord exceedingly, and offered sacrifices unto the Lord, and made vows. now the Lord has prepared a great fish to swallow up Jonah. And Jonah was in the belly of the fish for three days and three nights. not only did these men pray, walk by faith, and receive a blessing from God, these men gave their lives to the Lord because of His faithfulness in delivering them from the storm and Jonah was the vessel God used. Even in Jonah running from God, God used Jonah in ministry. Even when Jonah was blind to a calling, possibly even clouded in his mind with the prejudice mindset of this world stuck with his own views and philosophies of the way things should be done:
        KJV ONLY!
        HYMNS ONLY!
        BAPTISM IS REQUIRED FOR SALVATION
        RAP MUSIC IS OF THE DEVIL
        TEENS CANT HELP LEAD A WORSHIP SERVICE
        THEY ARENT MATUR ENOUGH
        PUNK ROCKERS CANT LOVE GOD
        MY ABUSIVE PARENTS DONT DESERVE THE GOSPEL
        THAT MAN KILLED MY FAMILY HE DESERVES THE DEATH PENALTY NOT SALVATION

Practically applied, the prejudices of this world that sometimes hinder our affectiveness to minister and cause us at times to possibly be viewed as running from the presence of God. may just bring us to a place where we are used in a way to bring those same very people to a saving knowledge of Jesus Christ, or help someone we disagree with grow in their walk. People do you see what God did here with Jonah. There was NO PRACTICAL difference between a GENTILE and an ASSYRIAN. NONE. But God used who was available despite Him. Think of the blessings you receive when you are used and you are willing. Think of the comfort, the peace, not the worldly rest, not the comfortable home. The true from God peace of looking at those you work with and know that their home is an everlasting place. Do you see, your blessings are not first on God's priority list? He will use whoever is there, whether they want to be used or not. It is not about us. It is not about you. You want to work with you? Will you work with adults? You can’t sing? Will you for the glory of God? People aren’t making themselves available to help in the nursery and you don’t like working with kids? What are you going to do about it? Eventually you may be unwillingly thrown into a position to work with kids anyway. If you're a teen, you may get married someday... Will you be unwilling then?

If we continue reading Jonah, he prays, he also does go to Nineveh and with a one-sentence proclamation from the Lord, the people repent. However, do we see Jonah getting over some of his prejudices? Does he grow? Maybe you should read the end of the book! It is a sad ending. We see Jonah sitting under a provision of God unhappy with the results...

This message is over, where are you? Where will you be tomorrow? How are you viewing ministry. Is your choice of ministry at church based on what you like? Or where you are needed?

And what about those of you who don’t know the Lord? Can you relate to the ones who searched everywhere for an answer to the storm of life all around and sometimes get discouraged by the lack of answers. Be strong! God is waiting. He is here in the midst of the storm waiting for you to receive Him and His ways. He desires you to fully trust in Him, and friend the storm may get worse before it gets better. We need to be at the point of loosing everything sometimes before we fully surrender ourselves in willingness, God knows and He is waiting. For some of you he has waited for many years, and for others, he is willing to wait as long as it takes. Even if you run, God is there. Waiting.

Amen

Please feel free to post you’re comments and suggestions concerning this Word. To all of you I hope this message impacts you as much as it did me in developing it.

The Bible Apologist

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7:05AM - A Personal Experience

    This document I wrote for my English Composition I Class last semester. It is not very welll done, however, I did put some time into it... Enjoy!


    There was a time in my life, where school meant absolutely nothing to me; where the most important thing in my life was making sure that I was having fun, and that I enjoyed every moment of my life to the fullest. Hanging around with my friends became one of my only interests, and their negative influence began to show. At the same time, I know I was not much of an influence either. We would smoke before school, sneak and smoke after school, and think of ways to get out of our classes during the day or just not go.

    One day, a friend of mine, Jordan, told me that the following morning I was to meet him and our other friend in the school parking lot before class. He informed me that we were not going to attend classes, but we were going to go across the street to Wal-Mart and hang for the day. If we got hungry, there was a Friendly's and a Hardee's right in the parking lot. Also, we considered the possiblity that someone from the school might show up sometime during the day, so instead of being open about it, we were cautious of who we told and how we moved as we were traveling from the school to the store.

    As we were walking around trying not to be caught, it really made me think of the old James Bond spy movies. In the spy movies, I am reffering to the good guy always walks around like he is about ready to get shot (gun raised and ready to fire on anything that moves). Well, as we were walking around hoping we weren't going to get caught, instead of carrying a gun, we had our mouths. We were prepared, -and to an extent- we were waiting for someone to jump from behind a rack to say, "Boo! Caught You!" So that we could be even more rebellious with our language against the authorities above us. We were able to make it into Wal-Mart just fine, Jordan was looking for and engagement ring for his girfriend, so we went over to the Jewelry section and helped him look for a ring to purcahse for the one he loved.

    As we our way to the jewelry counter I heard a familiar voice saying,

"Justin Michael Batz! Is that you! Get over here right now!"

    Shocked, amazed, and perplexed, I thought it must've been a dream. She couldn't be here, not now, not today. It was Friday; she never came out of the house on Friday. Yet, sure enough, there she was; her eyes were twitching; her voice raised, and ready to give me the wooping of my life.

"What are you doing out of school young man?"

    I answered her with silence.

"Don't you know that your education is important?" she continued, "You cannot learn the things which you would learn at school in Wal-mart."

    I was still in shock -although it was fading- that she showed up unexpectedly, jsut as unexpected as it must have been for her to see me in the store. She finished shopping, me at her side, all while sharing with me the importance of growing up and becoming a man. She talked about the importance of a sound education and a proper mindset when it came to school. Then, finally she hit me with the one that sunk in the deepest.

"Do you think that you brought glory to God with your actions today?"

    I knew the answer, it was hard for me to admit, but the answer was No. Embarrasement and shame filled my soul like a cup is filled with water.

    The car ride how was silent so that only the sound of rubber tires against the hot steamy, pot-holed filled roads of Florida could be heard. Then there was the sound of the heat shield rattling as the AC would come on and go off. As we entered the parking lot of our apartment, and took the groceries and goodies from Wal-mart into the house, she said to me,

"You know what you need to do; I expect you to do that before you get on the computer, look at the television or listen to the radio... Oh, and do not expect to be going anywhere for the week. You are grounded"

    I could not believe that she did that so nonchalantly. She punished me, yet she was trying to make me responsible. I again learned somthing that day from my mother I will never forget. Regardless of whether or not you discern the consequences for your actions; they do exist, and if you choose a decission with no regard for the consequences that result; you are still responsible to see the repercussions through. Before I did anything, I called the school and told my guidance counselor where I was and why I was not in class. I told them that I was irresponsible and that it would not happen again. They informed me that I was the first student ever to call myself into the office for skipping and that they were going to remember that. When they gave me a punishment I received detention after school. That was all, I was not supposed to be able to make up any assignments, but the school was gracious, and all because I took responsibility for my actions and faced the consequences like a man.

Current mood: artistic
Current music: The Ambassador ~Hands In The Air
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Tuesday, April 22, 2003

10:29PM - Bearing Fruit In Season

Expelling some false Christian Doctrine in my spare time!

Ok. I am still listening to the same song by the man of Folk... Bebo Norman. If you dont know his music, you are missing out! It is filled with Biblical Truth and just some transparancy of Christian Character that you may never see anywhere else.

Anyway, so I was writing this nice little outline of Psalm I in class during a break. Sometimes I just cant get it out of my head. Onto the paper it goes. Where I have regurgitated it back to share with others at least three times today. It is amazing how God does that. In that I want to really take a look at something for a minute. How many of the people that read my Blurty have ever had someone in church confront them on their fruit. How many of you are leaders that bring this before your teens, or those under you? Here is something to consider...

In looking at Psalm I some interesting wording is used. Some of that wording is farmers language. I want you to take a look at what the Bible says concerning someone who is blessed of God... The Bible says that he will bear fruit... when? In Season.

I am sorry, but I have been in church for years and I have never heard this preached. I have never heard someone add to their Blessings message that i am not going to be blessed right away, but in season. I have always heard that if I do what I should I would be blessed, but I always looked right away around me for the blessing. If only I had known the precious truth of this text, I would have grown up additional years so much quicker.

Here it is in plain English. Those who are godly, it can be said sow their righteous deeds. However, they are like a tree. It oculd be said its like planting seasons. A season is spent sowing. As a believer we have our seasons of planting, and then we wait for the harvest. This is in righteous deeds too. We sow our righteous deeds, we spend time in the word, pray, we are watchful of our sin and keep short accounts. You know what, God promises for this individual a reaping blessing. There is gonna be a steadfast spirit(you will be like a tree firmly planted), you will bear fruit IN SEASON, our leaf will not wither and everything we do will prosper! What a promise!

However, some of us sit on the other end. Some of do not spend time during our sowing season reading the word, we do not pray, we head ungodly counsel (not founded on the word), we partipate in sin, and do not keep short accounts of sin, struggling every day with growing bitterness, and a resentment that we freely dispense on all around us. You know, the bible considers this just as much a sowing principle my friend. The Bible says that this person will also reap something. God is not mocked. When we sow, we reap. What we plant will spring forth. Here it is for those that are disobedient or sow unrighteousness here is what you have to look forward to in reaping season: You will not stand in the day of Judgement, you will not be in the congregation of the righteous, and you will perish. However, you know what else, you do not receive the blessings of the godly therefore you are not given a steadfast or firm life(nothing seems to go right), your leaf withers and fruit just doesnt seem to bear in season (because all of your soil was spent in sowing unrighteousness!), and nothing you do will prosper. Financial difficulties may not be a product of poor choices immediately in your past but a product of faulty decissions stretched out over a period of time, or from something a while ago.

There is hope. There is hope to young people who are standing there thinking that it is not worth it. Nothing is going right. Nothing appears to be working out in your life. Your girlfriend is pregnant. You had sex and you said you would wait until marriage, now it doesnt matter you screwed up. To those stuck in the bondage of drugs or alcohol there is hope. The bible tells us that we reap what we sow. If we are reaping in this season our past choices and sowing. Lets start fresh today! Start sowing righteousness. Head what the word says in the first few verses. Start sowing righteousness! You know what you may not see immediate results, but we were never promised immediate results, thats what people wanna see. God promises that if you are serious and you reap the Truth you will be blessed in season. Hold on to the promises of Scripture!

~The Apologist

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10:04PM - Psalm I Contrasted with the Sow Reap Principle

   Today I was sitting in my Culture, Race & The Church class and my mind drifted to the book of Psalms. I couldn't help but outline the Chapter and think of a devotional/message to share. If you teach bible studies you are welcome to take this material and share it as is, or twist it to fit what you happen to lead...It is all for the sake of the Lord Jesus Christ and the furtherance of the gospel!

The Sowing
Blessed is the man who:
   -does not walk in the counsel of the ungodly
   -nor standeth in the way of sinners
   -nor sitteth in the seat of scoffers
   -in His Law doth he meditate day and night

Cursed is the man who:
   - walks in the counsel of the wicked
   - stands in the way of sinners
   - sits in the seat of the scornful
   - the ungodly does not meditate in the Law of the Lord


The Reaping
Of the Godly:
   -He Shall Be Like A Tree Planted By The River
    Brings Forth Fruit In Season
    Leaf Does Not Wither
    Everything He does Shall Prosper
    He Does Not Perish


Of the Ungodly:
   -He Shall Be Like The Chaff Which The Wind Drives Away
    Shall Not Stand In The Judgement
    Shall Not Be In The Congregations Of The Righteous
    The Ungodly Shall Perish

Current mood: accomplished
Current music: Bebo Norman- Myself When I Am Real
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Wednesday, April 16, 2003

10:42AM - Looking Beyond the Physical

Genesis 45:6-8

At this point Joseph has been in Egypt for quite sometime. He has seen everything from disownment by his brothers (Ch. 37:23-33) Slavery (Ch. 37:25-29) Seduction and Victimization (Ch. 39:6-23) to Famine and the downfall of Egypt (Ch. 41-50). However, when Jospeh reveals himself to his brothers, not only does he forgive them and remove the sin blocking their fellowship, but he thanks them for their tresspass. "God sent me before you to preserve your lives."

Through all the hardship and trials which Joseph faced , he always stepped back and looked at the Big Picture. "God allowed Josephs brothers to do what they did, Potiphars wife to seduce him as she did, be placed into Egyptian Slavery.as he was, and the famine to sweep across the land as it did for what? Fellowship to be restored in Joesph's family.

Four things took place for this restoration to occur:
1. Joseph was stripped
Jospeh was stripped of all his earthly possessions when he met his brothers at Dothan. Most of all his tunic which is father had made him. In this time Joseph had humbly submitted to his brothers and did not lash out.

2. Joseph was Seperated
Joseph was sold to the Ishmaelites and from that time on became seperated from his family and all which he knew. Yet he did not ever complain or fret.

3. Jospeh was Seduced
Potiphars wife seduced Joseph but I like to see it as Satan seduced Joseph and used Potiphars wife as a tool. If I were satan and saw Joseph constantly completely relying on God in all things, I would be ticked.

4 Jospeh was Supplied
Jospeh needed to be Stripped, Seperated, and Seduced in order to be completely supplied by God and truly understand that God is in complete Control of all situations. He understood of course, but to everyone it made perfect sense in Chapter 45.


The Challenge:
How many times do we look past the physical upon the spiritual.


NOTE: Realize that we live upon the earth. The earth is Satansm and the Heavens are the Lords. However, nothing upon the earth (even by Satan) can be done without the pre-approval of God Himself.

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10:36AM - Worship

What is worship? How do you do it? Well, for sometime my impression of worship was this, "Your relationship with God is daily, but you worship God on Sundays." After this past weekend so many verses I have looked at hit me in the face. Verses like, "Do everything in love, " and "In everything you do, do it for the Glory of God." You know I never saw my "life" as worship, yet the truth is I am a vessel of worship, it is my decission to pour my vessel of worship where I desire.

As we go through our day what do we as vessels of worship focus on? Is it our friends? food? drugs? sex? money? cars? computers? the Internet? even though we may wear somekind of "Jesus" paraphanillia. Even though we participate in Bible studies, going to church, even so, doing any of these things doesnt attribute you to the other 20 hours of your day. For me alone this is a hard thing to deal with. I mean Jesus soent 32 consecutive years worshipping His father and we cant take 2 hours each day. We forget or we are busy. Christ always had time. Shouldnt we?

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10:24AM - Another Journal Entry when I was 18

Why do young people reject God?

Of all the people that do not do what they are told I am King! However, no matter how much I dont listen or backslide, God has promised me a place in Paradise. That, is the only thing that keeps me alive right now. God has a plan for my life and I should do my best to see that plan through. So why then do young people not accept God and the plan He has for their lives? I think it is stupid. If I hadnt ever accepted Christ, I think by now I would've attempted suicide many more than 2 or 3 times and probably suceeded.

Sometimes I think how the hell can you sit there and tell me you have a horrible life, yet you havent been through half the drama I have been through. Then I realize I havent been through the drama that they have been through so where do I get off thinking that there life will be peachy-keen and full of dreams. The one thing to know about problems is that they can make you a better person if you let them and can build character in you.

Since we have determined and discussed one of the main reasons why young people reject God, what can we as people do to fix it? Its very simple to attend to their needs by introducing them to the forgivers or problem- receivers in the bible. Share with them the story of Job. You could even share with them your entire story. Telling them the problems you faced, how Jesus Christ and God helped you through those problems and then sahre the fact that not only do you face new problems, but Satan still tries to use the old ones to help lead you to surrender to sin.

So many teens in the world today reject God because they themselves are rejected. rejected by their parents friends, or sometimes even their significant other. For some, this isnt a problem but for others, its a top killer. What can you do to help people see the truth about our Savior and Forgiver Jesus Christ today?

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10:05AM - Journal Entry I wrote when I was 18

Can you Be In Love on the First Date?

No. It pains me to think people my age fall in love when they just meet someone. Of course you start to care about your significant other, but caring is just one aspect of love. Judas Iscariot one of Jesus' disciples cared about Jesus, yet he betrayed Him. Peter loved Jesus, yet He denied Him three times.

Young people are tought "Love at first sight.," rather look at it as "Compassion at first sight," Too many people mistake the wrong things for love, and it is those misunderstandings that inevitably ruin close relationships. I am not saying relationships are wrong and that you shouldnt listen to your emotions, your emotions are a gift from God. However, your emotions were given to you for a specific reason. To understand love, will help many people understand that wherever they are they may have fallen there, but where they are is not in love.

Look at what I am saying on this paper closely. Here's a better way to put it. Ninety percent of the time you meet a "Fine girl," or a "Hot guy," and you begin to "evolve" into the other persons' dream of a boyfriend or girlfriend. You say "I love you..." because most girls are looking for love from someone from the opposite sex. You see Satan has found our weakness... "Humanity" It is human to find a girls' sensitivity and use it to your advantage. It is human for a girl to give a guy what he wants so she can "feel loved." Feelings and emotions are good things, as I said before. IF you use them in a godly way. If you are using feelings to uplift yourself and degrade others or even if you are using feelings to uplift others and degrade yourself you are misusing the feelings which God gave you.

You say you love the other person, but when you lay her or him, you take something that belongs to that person's husband or wife. In a sense a raping of sorts takes place. Not necessarly the one you slept with either, but that persons future spouse. What do you think God means when he says "the two will become one flesh." God wasnt joking.

If you say you love your girlfriend or boyfriend and sleep with him or her you do not truly love them, you are using them for the moment. Using them to fulfill a selfish innate desire that will be gone when you are satisfied. What happens when it is over? Do you still love him or her, do you treat them with the same love and passion you used to get what you wanted? Or did you merely use feelings and emotions to get through your girlfriends or boyfriends defenses so you could merely get what you want...

LAID.

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9:56AM - Food For thought!

The follwing piece was inspiration given from a bible study I was writing on 1 John. I was looking at the verse that says "That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, of the Word of life..." I was looking for the Greek term "have handled" and this is what i found: to feel on the surface, feeling for or after an object without any actual coming in contact with at all. This was my friend Mark's response...

How do you feel a word?
How do you feel God?
Can you understand what is beneath His surface?
His thoughts are higher than your thoughts,
His ways are greater than your ways.
We can barely understand the surface of God what makes us think we can go any further, any deeper?

We have felt the surface!
We have handled the surface of the One who spoke all of Creation into existence!
Let me tell you about it so that you may join us in this light and be with the Father.
Come and know this surface, so that together we may strive to go deeper.

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