More than empty words


Today I want to share a story about me. Something that happened recently. Many times life throws us curveballs and we miss them. Totally. This devo is really about prayer and the power of it. Probably the most underestimated and least used of God’s tools. Why? Satan hates it, it is so powerful that if every professed christian was fervent about it, Satans power would be completely gone.
Matthew 6:5-13 “And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward. But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you. “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him. Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name. Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread, and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.
So, the story. I was involved in a robotics competition last saturday. It was something I kinda looked forward to and had spent alot of time getting ready for. Thursday I spent at least four hours getting out robot ready. We were having problems with it but there was one problem we did not have. Falling off the table we run the competition on. Friday same thing. By friday night our robot could do the competition effortlessly. There were no problems to solve. I’ve done the competion four years and this was my third year at nationals. And honestly it was the most ready I’ve ever been for any competition. Our robot was arguably the best robot there. The odds were in our favor. We set up for competition and everything was perfect. It seemed as nothing could go wrong. Well, I was wrong. When the official run came, it we fell off the table, no precident, no prior hint, no warning, nothing. Actually, it should humanly not have happened. But, it did. We finished sixth where we should have been at least second probably first.
So you may ask what does this have to do with prayer. Alot actually. By the way I did not tell you this to make you feel sorry or anything, please don’t. God works in marvelous ways. He tought me something again, what really matters. Prayer is something that should be with us at all times. It is our lense for this world along with the bible. Nothing is quite like it. The most amazing part of the day was this. When we read devotions in the morning our verse reminded us of the heavenly, it said we run the christian race not for an earthly prize bot an imperishable onr. On the way home from one of my bro’s soccer games, I heard a sermon on work ethic. I left the competition totally dissapointed and by the time I started praying and talking to God my heart was as soft as mozerrella cheese. Never underestimate prayer. For days I’d prayed that God would do something to get closer to hime, and God answered. When you pray, what do you pray for, that God would give you victory? Help you on your exams? Give you good friends? What?!?!
There is a human tendency (I’m human) to pray for selfish things, to pray with empty words, to seek self glorification in prayer. But Jesus commands us to defy these bad tendencies. Let me translate some of this passage into our modern vernacular(language, for those of you who don’t like old english) : )
Dear God, you are holy, there is none like you, you made the atoms the earth the sun the stars, you mad me and love me. You sent your son to die for me. God because I tend to forget you, help me to live for your kingdom, give me strength to obey you just as your angels obey you, give me spiritual strength and food for my soul in this spiritual desert of a coulture, forgive my sins today as you did on the cross, keep me safe from tempations on the internet, keep me away from bad influences and gaurd my heart. Amen
Do you pray for God to forgive your sins, or hide them? Do you pray for protection from sin, or for pleasure? Do you pray for your will to be done, or God’s? Do you mean what you pray, or do you just say it? God does not care if you talk to him in formal english and fancy language, he wants you to talk your heart out to him. He wants YOU, not your pride. He wants to destroy your sin not cover it up. He wants to get you to know him. He wants you to find peace and pleasure in him. Do you talk to God like he’s just and old man that could care less about you, or do you talk to him as friend, ruler, savior, king, champion, future mate, eternal love? God wants YOU! He doesn’t need you, no you need him, and prayer is the way to get him, prayer is the way you get to know him, prayer is the way he becomes significant to you. DO YOU PRAY? and if you do, do you do it out of duty or out of love?
dks
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Who am I?


Who am I? That is a question we ought to ask ourselves regularly. I would almost suggest, daily.
Psa 51:9-12 Hide your face from my sins, and blot out all my iniquities. Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. Cast me not away from your presence, and take not your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me the joy of your salvation, and uphold me with a willing spirit.
David realized something, his heart was his real problem. As a king he had great influence and power, he was able to cover up sin with his wealth and money, he basically had the run of the mill. He could look good to his people, but he realized that God saw him as he really was, and that thought scared him. I am who I am in secret, that is what David realized. I am the person who I really am when I am alone with limitless internet. I am who I really am when there is not a eye to behold what I do. I am the person I really am on my phone, and on facebook. When we are ‘goody two shoes’ every time someone is watching, then you get your reward, but let me tell you, it’s not a heavenly one. Since the rise of technology, e-mailing, texting, facebook, twitter………. No one has had a hard time developing a split identity. Never before has it been easier to cover sin in a flurry of activity. And yes this may just sound like spiritual re-hash. But, then again, God never changes does he? Have you ever realized that the ‘cool’ christians are very ‘spiritually minded’ when the pastor is around, and laugh at the crudest jokes when he’s not around? Everywhere I look around me at church I see a group of young people casted to fit a mold they don’t like, I see a group of people that look like angels. Then they graduate…. but what is the authorities’ reaction when teens don’t fit the mold? “Oh, we need to get them back into the mold” Have you realized that it’s really hard to turn a caterpillar into a butterfly? It doesn’t work. You have to wait, and all the shoving in the world won’t help. In the same way we must wait on God. And yet we must strive to truly be christians ourselves. We need to strive to be christians when all the pleasures of this world are holding us back. When cloth is soaked in water the water permeates the entire cloth, unless there is scotch gurad. The problem is that spiritual scotch-guard is coating many christian hearts. So, what do we do? Fix ourselves first! An unlit torch can’s start a fire! We need to stop feeling good about ourselves and break down weaping before God. The scotch-guard of sin needs to be removed before we can soak in God’s grace. Until we ask forgiveness and stop looking forward to indulging our sinful pleasures we can’t serve God. The best thing a man can do is love God, the second best thing he can do is to hate himself.
So who are you really? Permeated by God and a realization of your own sin, or repelling God’s love and feeling good about yourself?
dks

Singer-Jamie Grace


On her album, One Song At A Time, Jamie Grace mixes in her love of God with some playful lyrics and tunes that will get stuck in your head,
in a good way. On this album there are 11 songs that are sure to make you
wanna sing along.

My personal favorite is her song called “Holding On.” My favorite part of the song is
the chorus which says this –

“I’ll just keep holding on for what I believe / Oh, I believe in You /
Give me the strength for the fight / And the heart to
believe when it’s hard to believe in You”

I enjoy and highly recommend that you listen to her songs.
~ Lilian B.

P.S. Picture source, http://www.talentjug.com/profile/jamiegraceh/physical

Music-Turn Around By Matt Maher


As a teen living in a world full of depressing situations, this song is one of my favorites. It speaks to the people with hopes that are very little. The song reminds us that whatever hardships you are going through right now, remember that theirs someone waiting for your call, our Savior. Just say one short prayer, He’ll be there!

“If your looking for a Savior, all you gotta do is turn around.”

~Twin Z.

Video link- http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GCi8P7W_tAw

Photo link-http://mattmahermusic.com/blog/tag/photos

Mandie and The Secret Tunnel


Mandie and the Secret Tunnel Poster

 

Mandie And The Secret Tunnel is a movie about a girl living in the 1900’s. It goes along with the book series.  Her father has died and her mother plans on sending her away while keeping her older sister Irene. Some parts can be sad and I find some other parts to be hilarious. I really love watching this movie! This is the first out of 3 so far and I am hoping for more! I highly recommend this movie for everyone!

~Lili

P.S. Find out more at http://www.imdb.com/title/tt1132286/

 

Adopting James


Hi there. We’re the Toys. One guy from California who married a girl from Florida and now we live in Kentucky with three dachshunds. We would like to have a child (or several of them), and we would like to adopt. I want to be a writer (fiction, fantasy, you name it), and Sarabeth wants to be a stay-at-home mom. The economy is rough right now so we’re both stuck working jobs that we don’t necessarily want to be working at. So, we started this blog, AdoptingJames, to help raise awareness of our adoption and to promote my writing. It’s sort of turned into a place where I talk about current issues like movies and books and news and help others view them through a Christian worldview.
So stop by, and take a look around. We’d love to hear some feedback from you to know what parts of the blog you particularly enjoy (or not enjoy). Hope to see you there! Oh, and if you’re a fan of Pixar/Disney movies, you’ll find yourself quite at home on our blog. See ya!
-Andrew Toy
That was a guy who has an awesome story! I encourage you to go to their blog.
~Lilian

8 Reasons Why I Can’t Share My Faith


I watched a video earlier that listed the top 8 reasons why I can’t share my faith. Here is a summary of it-

8. I might get beat-up. Now, that one caught me off-guard. Getting beat up? It could happen, so I went on

7. I am afraid I won’t make sense. Now, I can understand that. What if your words over-cross? So, I went on.

6. I might get made fun of. Now, that is a reason that I could most imagine happening. A kid going to tell his friends and suddenly, everybody makes fun of him. So, I went on.

5. I don’t know how to start. Now, I can imagine a lot of people doing that. “How do I start? Well, I don’t know so I guess I won’t”. Next,

4. I’ll be a bad witness. This one really caught me. I never imagined somebody as a “bad witness”. So, I thought about it and then went on.

3. I’ll say the wrong thing. Now, that one sounds like above. You say the wrong things and then you think you are a bad witness.

2. I’ll be a Religious nut. That’s what I think most of society is like. They want to be the “It Things” and the “It Things” don’t believe in God, so most just keep it silent.

Now, drum roll, the number 1 thing is…

1. I don’t know enough! That one was surprising for me. I mean, I never thought, not once, about not knowing enough about Christ to share your faith. I never thought about if somebody asks me a question and I don’t know the answer. I just never worried about that.

Now, look back at what I just told you. What do all those have in common? They are all excuses, not reasons! Now, I want you to think, are these your excuses?

~LB.