Giving Thanks For The Right Reasons

Thanksgiving! What do you think about when you hear those words? Football? Food? Parade? Shopping? I think about those things, too. But is that really what we should be thinking off?

Now, I don’t think about Jesus when I think of Thanksgiving. I should, though. One of the things I think about is how the day after Thanksgiving we decorate for, wait for it, Christmas. I am also a fan of the food. But I really should be giving thanks to GOD! I mean, without Him, would we even have Thanksgiving?
So I’m not saying that on Thursday you should avoid the food and just pray all day. But you should give thanks to Him more then just the second before you eat when your thoughts are on turkey or pie.

Where I Belong

Where I Belong is a song by Building 429. It is one of the most inspirational songs I have ever heard.

Sometimes it feels like I’m watching from the outside
Sometimes it feels like I’m breathing but am I alive
I will keep searching for answers that aren’t here to find

I know all of us feel that way sometimes. We feel so empty and lonely. But God is there.

All I know is I’m not home yet
This is not where I belong
Take this world and give me Jesus
This is not where I belong

I know and believe this is the truth. Do you? Do you know that earth is not your home. It’s just a small part in your life when your saved. I hope that you get the chance to hear this song and really think about it. I don’t think you will regret it.

Band Website-

The Room

as written by a 17 Year Old Boy.
This is excellent and really gets you thinking about what will happen in Heaven.
17-year-old Brian Moore had only a short time to write something for a class.
The subject was What Heaven Was Like.
“I wowed ’em,” he later told his father, Bruce .
It’s a killer.
It’s the bomb It’s the best thing I ever wrote.”
It also was the last.

Brian’s parents had forgotten about the essay when a cousin found it while cleaning out the teenager’s locker at Teays Valley High School in Pickaway County .

Brian had been dead only hours, but his parents desperately wanted every piece of his life near them, notes from classmates and teachers, and his homework.
Only two months before, he had handwritten the essay about encountering Jesus in a file room full of cards detailing every moment of the teen’s life.
But it was only after Brian’s death that Beth and Bruce Moore realized that their son had described his view of Heaven.

It makes such an impact that people want to share it.
“You feel like you are there,” Mr. Moore said.
Brian Moore died May 27, 1997, the day after Memorial Day.
He was driving home from a friend’s house when his car went off Bulen-Pierce Road in Pickaway County and struck a utility pole.
He emerged from the wreck unharmed but stepped on a downed power line and was electrocuted.

The Moore’s framed a copy of Brian’s essay and hung it among the family portraits in the living room.
“I think God used him to make a point. I think we were meant to find it and make something out of it,” Mrs. Moore said of the essay.
She and her husband want to share their son’s vision of life after death.
“I’m happy for Brian.
I know he’s in Heaven.
I know I’ll see him.”

Here is Brian’s essay entitled:

 In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room.
There were no distinguishing features except for the one wall covered with small index card files.
They were like the ones in libraries that list titles by author or subject in alphabetical order.
But these files, which stretched from floor to ceiling and seemingly endless in either direction, had very different headings.
As I drew near the wall of files, the first to catch my attention was one that read ”  Girls I Have Liked.”
I opened it and began flipping through the cards.
I quickly shut it, shocked to realize that I recognized the names written on each one.
And then without being told, I knew exactly where I was.
This lifeless room with its small files was a crude catalog system for my life.
Here were written the actions of my every moment, big and small, in a detail my memory couldn’t match.
A sense of wonder and curiosity, coupled with horror, stirred within me as I began randomly opening files and exploring their content.
Some brought joy and sweet memories; others a sense of shame and regret so intense that I would look over my shoulder to see if anyone was watching.

A file named ”  Friends” was next to one marked    ”  Friends I Have Betrayed.”

The titles ranged from the mundane to the outright weird.
”  Books I Have Read,” ”  Lies I Have Told,” ” Comfort I have Given,”  ” Jokes I Have Laughed At.”

Some were almost hilarious in their exactness: ”  Things I’ve Yelled at My Brothers.”

Others I couldn’t laugh at: ”  Things I Have Done in My Anger”, 
Things I Have Muttered Under My Breath at My Parents.”
I never ceased to be surprised by the contents.
Often there were many more cards than expected.
Sometimes fewer than I hoped.
I was overwhelmed by the sheer volume of the life I had lived.

Could it be possible that I had the time in my years to fill each of these thousands or even millions of cards?

But each card confirmed this truth.
Each was written in my own handwriting.
Each signed with my signature.

When I pulled out the file marked ”  TV Shows I Have Watched,”   I realized the files grew to contain their contents..

The cards were packed tightly, and yet after two or three yards, I hadn’t found the end of the file.
I shut it, shamed, not so much by the quality of shows but more by the vast time I knew that file represented.
When I came to a file marked ”  Lustful Thoughts,”   I felt a chill run through my body.
I pulled the file out only an inch, not willing to test its size, and drew out a card.
I shuddered at its detailed content.
I felt sick to think that such a moment had been recorded.
An almost animal rage broke on me.

One thought dominated my mind: No one must ever see these cards!

No one must ever see this room!
I have to destroy them!”
In insane frenzy I yanked the file out.
Its size didn’t matter now.
I had to empty it and burn the cards.
But as I took it at one end and began pounding it on the floor, I could not dislodge a single card.
I became desperate and pulled out a card, only to find it as strong as steel when I tried to tear it.
Defeated and utterly helpless, I returned the file to its slot.
Leaning my forehead against the wall, I let out a long, self-pitying sigh.

And then I saw it.

The title bore “People I Have Shared the Gospel With.”
The handle was brighter than those around it, newer, almost unused.
I pulled on its handle and a small box not more than three inches long fell into my hands.
I could count the cards it contained on one hand.
And then the tears came.
I began to weep.
Sobs so deep that they hurt.
They started in my stomach and shook through me.
I fell on my knees and cried.
I cried out of shame, from the overwhelming shame of it all.
The rows of file shelves swirled in my tear-filled eyes.
No one must ever, ever know of this room.
I must lock it up and hide the key.
But then as I pushed away the tears, I saw Him.

No, please not Him.

Not here.
Oh, anyone but Jesus.
I watched helplessly as He began to open the files and read the cards.
I couldn’t bear to watch His response.
And in the moments I could bring myself to look at His face, I saw a sorrow deeper than my own.
He seemed to intuitively go to the worst boxes.
Why did He have to read every one?
Finally He turned and looked at me from across the room.
He looked at me with pity in His eyes.
But this was a pity that didn’t anger me.
I dropped my head, covered my face with my hands and began to cry again.
He walked over and put His arm around me.
He could have said so many things.
But He didn’t say a word.
He just cried with me.

Then He got up and walked back to the wall of files.

Starting at one end of the room, He took out a file and, one by one, began to sign His name over mine on each card.
“No!” I shouted rushing to Him.
All I could find to say was “No, no,” as I pulled the card from Him.
His name shouldn’t be on these cards.
But there it was, written in red so rich, so dark, and so alive.
The name of Jesus covered mine.
It was written with His blood.
He gently took the card back He smiled a sad smile and began to sign the cards.
I don’t think I’ll ever understand how He did it so quickly, but the next instant it seemed I heard Him close the last file and walk back to my side.
He placed His hand on my shoulder and said, “It is finished.”

I stood up, and He led me out of the room.

There was no lock on its door.
There were still cards to be written.

”  For God so loved the

world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.”   John 3:16

If you feel the same way forward it to as many people as you can so the love of Jesus will touch their lives also.

My ”  People I Shared the Gospel With”   file just got bigger, how about yours?



You don’t have to share this with anybody, no one will know whether you did or not, but you will know and so will He.

God Blesses Us Everyday,
It’s Up To Us To Notice!!!

God’s Power still lives

God is more powerful than any of you can ever Imagine. He can conquer everything. And he is on your side!
1Corinthians 15:1-4
Moreover, brethren, I declare unto you the gospel which I preached unto you, which also ye have received, and wherein ye stand; By which also ye are saved, if ye keep in memory what I preached unto you, unless ye have believed in vain. For I delivered unto you first of all that which I also received, how that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures; And that he was buried, and that he rose again the third day according to the scriptures:
Friends, I want to share with you something I’ve already talked about often. This something is what my entire life is based on and is your base too, if you have believed. This something is your salvation, and I want you to remember it so that my message is not useless. I have told you only that which God has given me, which is this: Jesus gave himself so that we can be saved, he died for our sins, he was buried, and then he defied all the powers of hell, sin, and death, and he rose up from the grave clearing our sins away forever.
I want to share with you today a testimony of God’s power, a power that saved us and continues saving us. This testimony is a testimony for those who have loved christ and one for those who don’t know him yet. God has a power beyond comparison. For centuries man was a slave to sin and death, no one could break that curse. But God came down and he broke it by dying, he broke it by giving himself up. So. Ya, cool, I’m already saved, so why on earth should I care? So, here’s my answer. You have grown up since the day you were born, surrounded by sin. Sin has been pelting you and will pelt as it pelts you right now. God offered you this life vest as you are drowning in sin. Now, what would happen if you decided that you would loosen the straps a bit. Inevitably you would start drowning in sin again, you still would make it through, but the ride will shake you really hard. In the same way the gospel is like a life vest, you put it on, but sin still bombards you. You’ve got to tighten the straps again. Well, can you do that? No, once you start flailing you can’t tighten the vest. But, God in his power still can, he can forgive your sins.
I said I wanted to share a testimony of power, and yes I will. I want to remind you that the God who saved you when you were swamped in sin, fighting him, can still tighten your vest after he put it on. I sin often, yup, I’m still in a world of sin, and each time I sin Satan slips this tag of despair in. “See, you can’t beat sin, ha! got you” And every time that tag comes God slips in the arm of divine power. His word shows me that he has killed my sin and that he can kill every new sin just like he did the old ones. He tells me through his word that when I feel like I’m drowning he’s still there, floating me. God’s power is infinite. I want to remind you that you never need to give up, your fight agains sin is not hopeless. Why? Jesus has RISEN! He is still alive, and he will help you conquer sin.
Don’t give up.


Announcement!!!! Calling all girls! Real4Him is a brand new blog made just for girls, made by us girls at CTL. We really think you should check it out. And though their is not a lot now, we are going to add a LOT more to it. Thanks!

~Girls of CTL

(Boy’s, don’t worry. The boy’s of CTL are making a boys blog too. So it shouldn’t take too long…)

Can You Match GOD?

Hope you don’t mind me telling a bit more about the GC (Grand Canyon). Cause I will.
Psalm 19
To the chief Musician, A Psalm of David. The heavens declare the glory of God; and the firmament sheweth his handywork. Day unto day uttereth speech, and night unto night sheweth knowledge. There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard. Their line is gone out through all the earth, and their words to the end of the world. In them hath he set a tabernacle for the sun, Which is as a bridegroom coming out of his chamber, and rejoiceth as a strong man to run a race. His going forth is from the end of the heaven, and his circuit unto the ends of it: and there is nothing hid from the heat thereof. The law of the LORD is perfect, converting the soul: the testimony of the LORD is sure, making wise the simple. The statutes of the LORD are right, rejoicing the heart: the commandment of the LORD is pure, enlightening the eyes. The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring for ever: the judgments of the LORD are true and righteous altogether. More to be desired are they than gold, yea, than much fine gold: sweeter also than honey and the honeycomb. Moreover by them is thy servant warned: and in keeping of them there is great reward. Who can understand his errors? cleanse thou me from secret faults.Keep back thy servant also from presumptuous sins; let them not have dominion over me: then shall I be upright, and I shall be innocent from the great transgression. Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O LORD, my strength, and my redeemer.
So, when you’re in the GC, the first thing you realize is that you’re in the middle of a bunch of rocks and just about nothing else. No phone service, no internet, no modern form of communication. So those rocks become cool, but the coolest part is night. When it gets dark out, it gets dark out, no city lights, no flashlights, nothing but starlight. You can see fairly well just by moonlight and starlight, but best of all, you can see the stars. Lots, and lots, and lots, and lots, and( open brackert, infinite lots, close bracket) of stars. The beauty would almost compell me to be an astronomer. Now think of David, living in a time when night ment bedtime, so that every night he saw all these stars. The result is stunning. Many of you know the verse in romans that states that God is self-evident, if you will only acknowledge him. Here it is.
Romans 1:19-20 For what can be known about God is plain to them, because God has shown it to them. For his invisible attributes, namely, his eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made. So they are without excuse.
God is a matchless god. He made the stars, all of them, in one day. He made this planet in one day. He made man, and all the animals, in one day. He made all the matter you see with a thought. God is matchless. Can you make the trees, the grand canyon, the stars, the animals, and all else you see? No I didn’t think so. It is self evident from this creation that there has to be a creator, God is this creator, this originator. But, man has ignored him, has decided not to acknowledge his presence. It’s not that man couldn’t see him, it’s that men have blinded themselves so they can’t see him. Notice what psalm nineteen says.
There is no speech nor language, where their voice is not heard.
Take out the Italics( they were meant as grammatical help and put there in translation) and you’ll get a whole new meaning
no speech nor language, their (nature’s) voice is not heard.
Many people have shut their eyes to God’s ‘book of nature’ it’s voice is not heard, this is almost a prophesy. Despite the fact that God is evident, that nature speeks of his power and majesty men have ignored him. They try to become like God ( not much different than adam and eve ) but they can’t, because God is matchless, no one is like him. Now this is where this truth applies to you. Man has closed his eye to nature, they don’t see God there, but God’s word is powerfull and sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing even to the dividing asunder of bone and marrow. The Bible is still open for Man to see God there. But how are they to hear without us bringing them the knowledge? For the sake of brevity I will conclude with this statement. GO! Tell others about GOD!!!!!!!!
Intersting fact: the astronomer in our group is a professor, he got pulled over for being barefoot before. If you want to hear more about post it in the comments.

I’m Not Who I Was

By: Brandon Heath

One of the first steps of changing your lifestyle is changing yourself. You must give up a lot of things, like your usual hobbies, your usual habits, and many others.  Sometimes, it also requires you to give up your decisions that you think was right. Remember your life before you changed? It was full of trouble, pride, and misunderstandings.

” I’m Not Who I Was” is about looking back to the past and seeing how things have been after you changed. You’ve discovered your talents and forgiven your enemies. Finally, your hoping you will see them again soon.

Here’s a link to the song. Happy listening!:)

Twin Z.

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?

The most Eternal kill joy of a gift

Ya, a paradox I know. but, hey, no worries it gets worse. Because the eternal kill joy of a gift is, pleasure. Sorry yall, it’s true, pleasure is a killjoy. Hard to believe, but that’s what I’ll be talking about. I want you all to read the next passage as a message of an (really) wise old man who had it made, and realized an important truth.
I said in my heart, “Come now, I will test you with pleasure; enjoy yourself.” But behold, this also was vanity. I said of laughter, “It is mad,” and of pleasure, “What use is it?” I searched with my heart how to cheer my body with wine–my heart still guiding me with wisdom–and how to lay hold on folly, till I might see what was good for the children of man to do under heaven during the few days of their life. I made great works. I built houses and planted vineyards for myself. I made myself gardens and parks, and planted in them all kinds of fruit trees. I made myself pools from which to water the forest of growing trees. I bought male and female slaves, and had slaves who were born in my house. I had also great possessions of herds and flocks, more than any who had been before me in Jerusalem. I also gathered for myself silver and gold and the treasure of kings and provinces. I got singers, both men and women, and many concubines, the delight of the children of man. So I became great and surpassed all who were before me in Jerusalem. Also my wisdom remained with me. And whatever my eyes desired I did not keep from them. I kept my heart from no pleasure, for my heart found pleasure in all my toil, and this was my reward for all my toil. Then I considered all that my hands had done and the toil I had expended in doing it, and behold, all was vanity and a striving after wind, and there was nothing to be gained under the sun. Ecclesiastes 2:1-11
Let me translate this to modern english.
I played video games all night every weekend. I talked to my friends and had fun talking about crude things. I played sports and I gave it my heart. I made one thousand friends on facebook, and posted ten thousand likes. I watched movies every weekend. I watched youtube when I was overcome by the least bit of boredom. I made best friends with my ipod, and listened to my favorite music. And behold it was all utterly pointless.
God has given man the gift of pleasure, and the gift of rest. He has given us a drive to do something ‘fun’ or pleasing. And this is a great gift, it is a gift that is amazing. Have you realized, bugs don’t have fun, nor do snakes, and lizards, birds and platypussesses. But we humans can enjoy life. We can enjoy things like beatiful mountains, lovely forests, complex music, other humans, good books, well made movies, and other works of art, both human and divine. But this gift of pleasure can also drive man to: excessive, smoking, drinking, sex, drugs, movie watching, facebooking, fantasy team managing, and other pleasure. God has given man a need for rest. ( That is why he created a day of rest). He has created man to need a break. My question to you today is this. God or man? In other words what will you pick for a rest, God’s joy, or man’s pleasure? Will you choose to get to know God better in you spare time, or will you please yourself? The thing is you can’t live for both. Either god or man not both. That is why pleasure can be a kill joy. God gives joy( satisfaction, peace, permanent fullfillment, rest) while Man gives pleasure(dissatisfaction/a want for more, fun, temporary fullfillment). Your choice is to pick. God or Man. This is the paradox, pleasure can paralize your spiritual life and kill your joy, thereby pleasure becomes a killjoy. Now let me clarify what I’m not saying. I’m not saying you can’t have fun and be a christian, you just can’t live for it. So take your pick, and your life will follow course. Kill your joy with man or maximise it with God. God or Man. You WILL pick.
Interesting fact: before correcting this devo I wrote english, englich. Bad translation.

The most Annoying awesome gift in the world

No, I’m not talking about, broccolli for your birthday or something like that, but, I talk about something much, much more everyday. WORK !!!!!!
Ecclesiastes 3:12-13 I perceived that there is nothing better for them than to be joyful and to do good as long as they live; also that everyone should eat and drink and take pleasure in all his toil–this is God’s gift to man.
Ya, I wish…. If you’re in the least way like me. HUMAN. Then you probably hate work, I mean if its fun, its not work. Though some fun things are productive. So, why on earth is work a gift? Cons: It’s hard, it never is really done, it could consume you, it takes time away from more pleasureable things………….. And on into infinty, right? Pros: well, if you can’t think of any then this devo is for YOU. (I know, horrible advertising)
So, what is work good for? the first thing that probably came to your mind is the rewards. Like, c’mon we all need some cash here and there. Plus if I can make six digits a year I’ve got it made, right? NO, actually that’s not the biggest benefit. Work is a gift because it keeps you away from sin. Think of it, it kind of hard to be slothful when you’re mowing the lawn. Or to waste your time when you’re using it well. Or to look at pornography when your doing yardwork. Often we think of work being a plus because of what we can get from it, but in reality that is not the gift, the gift is that we CAN work. God has given us the ability to work. I have realized that the most depressing days of my life are the days where I did nothing but relax. While the best days of my life are the days I have gotten something done well. The gift is that we can work for satisfaction, the gift is that we can work at getting to know God, the gift is that we can work at loving others. If there is one point I want to make, this is it: God’s gift to us in this verse, is not the rewards of work, but that we CAN work for the rewards. There are many handicapped people that wish they could earn money, that wish they could do something other than be taken care of. But they can’t, and it really depresses them.
But, there is a danger, work can also consume you. If you are not carefull, then the real goal of life, glorifying god, can be blotted out by work. Never value the gift over the giver. So this week when your mom ask you to help her in the garden, ( I picked this because it’s not overused, like take out the trash), or when you are forced to rake your lawn in the middle of spring. Then, please remember, that work can help you grow up, and live a happy satisfied life. Please accept the most Awesome annoying gift in the world.
p.s. please tell me what you think of the font, comment a : ) if you like it and a : ( if you dislike it