Monday, January 30, 2012

Don’t Let Your Music Get Too Loud

"Come, you children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD." Psalm 34:11 (NKJV)
Often I find out that the time when I feel closest to God is in the bathroom. No joke. Whether I'm cleaning the toilet or taking a shower, I feel as though I can talk to Him there, and that He'll talk back. I'll turn my MP3 on with Steven Curtis Chapman or Robert Pierre, and I'll be able to praise my Father through the music.
The other week before I cleaned the bathroom, I was "planning" to have a talk with God in the bathroom. Because I felt like I needed to talk with him. When I started cleaning however I had my MP3 on and my headphones in my ear, which is normal for me. Usually I can tune out the music and listen for His voice. But this time was different. My music loud enough so that it clouded out my time with God. By the end of my cleaning I realized I hadn't talked to my King at all. It made me sad, and it made me think. This is similar to life. (Not that cleaning the bathroom isn't life)
Imagine the MP3 as things in our life. Imagine there are two kinds of music, good songs, and bad songs. The good songs are things like Church, blogging, family, eating dinner, etc. The bad songs are things like cursing, smoking, thoughts that we're not supposed to be thinking, you get the idea.
Now imagine that throughout our life we have our MP3 on, and are listening to these songs. Maybe not all the bad ones, maybe you always listen to good ones, it doesn't really matter. But if we let so many "good things" get so loud that we can't hear the One who tries to tell us what good really is. Good is Jesus. Good is listening to His words.
I'm not saying that Church and family is bad. That's not what I'm trying to get at at all! But if we get so absorbed in things that we think we need to be "close" to God, then we've got it mixed up.
"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth! " Psalm 46:10 (NKJV)
To be close to God, all we need to do is just listen to Him. Sit down for a moment, even if you've got a million things to do, and just listen. Listen to His words of love for you. And tell Him how much you love Him. Remember how much He loves us. That's it. It's so much more simple than I ever thought.
Don't let your music get so loud you drown out what is truly good for you.

Saturday, January 28, 2012

Role Models

I have been thinking a lot about role models, especially in the areas of who your examples are compared to who they should be. Without meaning to, I have written several different things on this topic. Today I would like to try combining all those things.

I would like to start by asking you this question:

Who are the role models in your lives?

Let me give you a few ideas...singers, movie stars, friends, pastors, dancers, your boss, etc. You've got them for sure. Do you see any role models that ring true in your lives? For me personally, I have made some friends my role models and sometimes people that star in movies. I want to now proceed to ask you another question.


That simple question is really hard for me personally to answer. When you think about it, you may come up with reasons like, "he's popular," "she is really pretty," or "I like his boots." I want you to stop reading for a moment. Now really evaluate the reasons you like those people. Let's move on to the third question.

Should these people really be your role models?

This is a difficult question and when I answer it for myself, a person comes to mind. I hold him up as an role model just because he is cool. He is popular and people like him, therefore I want to be like that. My point being that a lot of times you are following a person for the wrong reasons.

Before, when I was following that person (last paragraph) he was not a very mature Christian, still young and not caring much about God or his faith (things have changed now and he is growing). He should not have been my role model as he was not living a lifestyle where God was always the center.

Now for those of you whose role models are Godly men and women that are strong in the faith, that is a good thing, but it is not the best example you can have.

Go again through the question posted above, find out where you have fallen short in this area. After that take a look at the following verse, which I am sure we all know, from Exodus 20:3:

"Thou shalt have no other gods before me."

Now, you probably think of idols as statues that you worship instead of God. You may even think of idols as television, iPod's, or even things like food. But have you ever thought your role models can be your idols? Just think of the name of one of the most popular shows in America, American Idol. The winners of that show are idols to millions of people. They watch them, talk like them, dress like them, etc. And a lot of those people are not people we should follow. They are idols in our lives. Even your friends (like the one mentioned above) can become idols, people that are higher in your life than the Lord Jesus.

The Bible says, "let this mind be in you, which was also in Christ Jesus (Philippians 2:5)." Our example in life should be first and foremost the Lord Jesus Christ! He is the perfect role model that never fails or leaves us. We must follow Him first.

Though Jesus should be your highest example, He should not necessarily be your only role model. As mentioned above, pick Godly men and women that are strong in the faith.

So this post is meant as a challenge, when you went through those questions, you hopefully identified some bad role models, bad idols, that you are following. Then I hope you see what your highest role model should be and realize then who you should follow. I am challenging you to reevaluate, pray about it, and change your examples to ones that please the Lord.


Wednesday, January 25, 2012


Is religion and Jesus the same thing? This topic has been on my mind, as well for thousands of other people around the world. Below are two videos. The first is a Christian who is explaining why he hates religion and loves Jesus. He also explains why they are different and how they both affect  a person. The second movie is from a Catholic, who loves both religion and Jesus. I'll let you watch the videos before I further explain what I concluded with some of my personal Bible reading and with some of my beliefs as a Christian.

(Received 15,400,000 views in 20 days!)

(Received 122,000 views in 16 days)

So sure...the first one, that was originally made by the Christian, got the most views. However I threw that fact in there to show you how many people saw and might have been influenced by 1 movie on YouTube. Today's technology can be dangerous. However, used the right way, such as this movie, the Internet can be used for God's glory!

Now, back to the topic. Here is something I typed up while comparing the two videos together.

The major difference between the two videos is that Jefferson explained what Jesus and following Him has done to himself. He shared how great Jesus is by dying on the cross for our sins, and shared how he was affected by Him. Now, the catholic guy (not sure what his name is) shared what pleasures of the world would be unavailable to us if catholics weren’t around. He says that the Trinity was understood by them first. Did not the Lord provide a Bible for us to learn about the Trinity? It’s not too hard to figure that part out; all you need to do is read the Bible for what is says. (That’s another post for another time) Pleasures such as: hospitals, education, charities, science, literature, art, college, catholic church, etc. And if you notice, this guy brings all of his foundation to the “church,” his mother. He says that the reason for pretty much everything is the catholic church, and the religion that he believes in. Jefferson however, clearly defines that Jesus is the reason for everything, and it’s not some religion that is the purpose of it all.
If you listen and watch the two videos closely, you'll probably see where I got my conclusions from.

I would also like to share with you what Jefferson wrote for the description of the video.

A poem I wrote to highlight the difference between Jesus and false religion. In the scriptures Jesus received the most opposition from the most religious people of his day. At its core Jesus' gospel and the good news of the Cross is in pure opposition to self-righteousness/self-justification. Religion is man centered, Jesus is God-centered. This poem highlights my journey to discover this truth. Religion either ends in pride or despair. Pride because you make a list and can do it and act better than everyone, or despair because you can't do your own list of rules and feel "not good enough" for God. With Jesus though you have humble confident joy because He represents you, you don't represent yourself and His sacrifice is perfect putting us in perfect standing with God!
What did the catholic guy write? Here it is.

Jefferson Bethke's video 'Why I Love Jesus But Hate Religion' has stirred up a lot debate in the past couple days. And while he has many, many good points to make, many of his critiques apply directly to the Catholic Church. I have nothing but respect for Jefferson, he is an incredibly talented, sincere, and gracious guy. In the spirit of dialogue, I thought I'd make a Catholic response!
Nothing about Jesus what-so-ever in his description...however, he does explain that he wants to "defend his catholic church."
Some of the key points Jefferson shared are listed below.

Jesus is made by God, religion is made by men.
One is the Cure, and one is the infection.
Religion is man searching for God, where as being a Christian is God searching for man.
Some of the key points the catholic-guy shared are listed below.

Without the catholic church, today people wouldn't have the comforts of education, charities, hospitals, science, literature, etc.

The catholic church welcomes anyone in.

The catholic church understood the Trinity first.

Now, obviously you can see I believe in Jefferson's video more. However I do have one question about his video, and I want to ask your opinion on it as well.

Should we "hate" religion? The word hate is such a strong word, should we truly hate religion? Is it in our place, as Christians - followers of Jesus Christ, to hate religion?

This is a question that has been going through my mind for the past few weeks. What do you think?

Thanks for reading,
God bless,

Note: I thought it would be great to attach these two comments from Matthew and myself to better explain what I mean by religion. Please feel free to leave a comment and tell us what you think about religion or anything else on this topic! God bless!
Josiah, great post! The only thing I have trouble understanding is what you mean by religion? Is it religious affiliations, doctrine, or denominations? Or something entirely different? As Christians, we do not have a "religion," we have a Faith in Jesus Christ. So isn't religion anything we hold above Jesus Christ? ~ Matthew

Hmm, interesting point. I would define religion as following or believing in something, other than Jesus Christ. However, my definition is a little more twisted than that because not all "Christians" are Christians. Mormons, catholic, Jehovah's witness, etc. all believe in Jesus, however how they believe and what exactly they believe in is false. The devil even believes in Jesus... So, yes, I believe religion is anything we believe in or have faith in more than Jesus Christ, however to be a Christan, has way more to it then accepting Jesus as the Lord and Savior. :D Does that makes sense? Thanks! -Josiah

Monday, January 23, 2012

Crazy Love

While I was at Journey to the Heart, one of the staff said to us, "How many of you have ever thought this was a weird book (by its cover) and wouldn't really read it?" And most of us said "Yes." After the Journey I got some more recommendations for it and decided to read it.

While reading Crazy Love (~ Francis Chan), I kept thinking to myself: "I would like to write about this," and "Wow, I would like to share this passage." But after doing that 20-30 times I thought it would be better for you to read it. The wealth of information and knowledge in this book is amazing and eye-opening! It's about how we, as Christians, should be totally in love and obsessed with our Lord instead of just honoring Him out of duty and thinking He will be satisfied with just a small part of our day and time. Here is a quote from the book:

"I wrote this book because much of our talk doesn't match our lives. We say things like, 'I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me,' and 'Trust in the Lord with all your heart.' Then we live and plan like we don't believe God even exists. We try to set our lives up so everything will be fine even if God doesn't come through. But true faith means holding nothing back. It means putting every hope in God's fidelity to His promises."

Throughout the book he offers examples and tells how we can become closer to Christ. It really was an amazing book and I recommend it to all readers!


Saturday, January 21, 2012

Be Careful Little Brain What You Read

He that walketh righteously, and speaketh uprightly; he that despiseth the gain of oppressions, that shaketh his hands from holding of bribes, that stoppeth his ears from hearing of blood, and shutteth his eyes from seeing evil - Isaiah 33:15 KJV

I love a good book, and more often than not, I download books onto my Ipod so I can "read with my ears". I did that the other day, the book seemed an ordinary sci-fi/fantasy novel full of sword fighting and adventure. The title was "A Game of Thrones; A Song of Fire and Ice". The the description didn't seem to portray anything wrong with the book and the reviews were positive. So I listened, eager for a good read. Chapter 1 was good, so was two, by three I had gone "Yikes" a couple times at the content. By chapter 4 I deleted it off my Ipod and my computer.

A part of me wanted to read on and just finish the book, I mean I had spent money on it, but I am glad I didn't. I was reminded on how careful we have to be when reading books. The thing about books is you won't know if it is bad until you start reading it, and by then it can be too late, it's already in your brain. Even when you do your research and read reviews and the description, the majority of the content is a secret until you read it yourself. That is why for the most part, I read books who's authors are Christians or who have passed away. That doesn't always work either, but it cuts down a lot of the trash.

So what do you do when you are reading happily along and suddenly you run into a lewd scene, or anything else that compromises your values? You STOP IMMEDIATELY. I know how tempting it can be to just read on, but don't! I like to read a passage of Scripture right away so it kind of "covers up" what I have just read and switches the gears in my mind to Holy things. Then I get rid of whatever I was reading/listening to so when I'm bored I don't go right back to it.

Be careful little brain what you read. You will be surprised how much it absorbs even when you "skip over it".


Thursday, January 19, 2012

Do not Judge!

This title is so hard for me to follow!

In Matthew 7:1-6 Jesus says: "Judge not, that you not be judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you. And why do you look at the speck in your brother's eye, but do not consider the plank in your own eye? Or how can you say to your brother, 'Let me remove the speck from your eye'; and look, a plank is in your own eye ? Hypocrite! First remove the plank from your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye. Do not give what is holy to the dogs; nor cast your pearls before swine, lest they trample them under their feet, and turn and tear you in pieces."

This is incredibly hard for me to do. I judge people all the time! Whether they are family, friends or people I don't know, I usually judge them. "Judge not, that I will not be judged." This verse hit me today, square in the eyes. I judge people a lot. I correct people, I talk about people and their wrongs, and I continually think about people and their wrongs.

I need to stop judging people actions, how they talk, or any other characteristic that I dislike about a person. I challenge you stop judging others as well. I myself have a really hard time with this. However, I am going to work on this, throughout the many years of my life. I need to work on this, and I ask that you work on this in your lives as well.

Thank you for reading and God bless,

Tuesday, January 17, 2012

The Room

I originally heard this when I went to the camp called Journey to the Heart. It was really impactful to me and I wanted to get a copy, but forgot about it. Recently I ran across it quite by accident and wanted to share it with you. Joshua Harris wrote it and I believe it rings true in all of our lives. (From what I know, this was an actual dream he had. This is not copyrighted so you can use it if you want).

"In that place between wakefulness and dreams, I found myself in the room. There were no distinguishing features save 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 endlessly 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 I 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 20 years to write 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 "Songs I Have Listened To," 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 music, but more by the vast amount of 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 an 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 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, 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.

By Joshua Harris. Originally published in New Attitude Magazine. Copyright New Attitude, 1995. "

Sobering, yet true! I'll tell you the truth, as I consider the things I have done in the past, this scares me. This should scare all of us as we consider our past deeds and things we will do in the future. But it should also humble us and give us a heart of gratefulness as we remember the debt that was paid on our behalf by the Lord Jesus.

I hope this touched you today as it did me.


Monday, January 16, 2012

The Unforgivable Sin

The Unforgivable Sin. What is that? I asked this question on last week on the side of the blog, using a poll. What is the unforgivable sin?

Matthew 12:31-32 says this:

"Therefore I say to you, every sin and blasphemy will be forgiven men, but the blasphemy against the Spirit will not be forgiven men. Anyone who speaks a word against the Son of Man, it will be forgiven him, but whoever speaks against the Holy Spirit, it will not be forgiven him, either in this age or in the age to come."

Jesus said this, and it is the sin that is not forgivable by God. I'm not sure how you could blasphemy the Holy Spirit, nor would I try to figure it out.

This is the answer to last weeks poll, feel free to try and answer the next one!

God bless,

The Dedicated Christians Team

Sunday, January 15, 2012


Sometimes we are calm. Most of the time we are freaked out, worried, stressed- about things we cannot change. It sounds funny, but it's pretty much true. (Unless you are some super-awesome person who can never be worried. I congratulate you.)

"Rest in the LORD, and wait patiently for Him;
Do not fret because of him who prospers in his way,
Because of the man who brings wicked schemes to pass." Psalm 37:7 (NKJV)

Maybe it's the little things that stress us out: the neighbor's barking dog, a crying child, etc. I stress out a lot when I am in a room full of people, all talking very loudly. What good will it do me? Worrying will not make the room quieter, it will not lessen the people in the room. It will only make me look grumpy, and other people will feel awkward because of it. It does us absolutely no good to be worried. Worry can accomplish nothing.

We need to trust in God, and really believe in this simple verse:
"And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose." Romans 8:28 (NKJV)

Sometimes worrying can become a nasty habit. So how do we break out of this? Here are a few tips I've learned:

Pray~ When you find yourself stressing about something you cannot change, pray. Pray for the thing you are most worried about, or for someone in your life who is struggling. Then relax. Relax, knowing that our God in Heaven knows all our needs, and will take care of us.

Memorize a verse in the Bible about trusting in God. (They are countless!) Recite it to yourself whenever you feel afraid.

The LORD is my light and my salvation;
Whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the strength of my life;
Of whom shall I be afraid? Psalm 27:1 (NKJV

Trust~ There's really nothing more you can do than this simple thing. Sometimes it can seem impossible. But we need to trust in Jesus, trust in His care, and remember to;
"Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God;" Philippians 4:6 (NKJV)

Friday, January 13, 2012

Go the Second Mile

I have been reading through the Bible for my daily devotion, and I came across the section where Jesus commands us not to hate or avenge a evil person.

Let me share with you the entire section in which I am referring too.

"You have heard that it was said, 'An eye for an eye and a tooth for a tooth.' But I tell you not to resist an evil person. But whoever slaps you on the right cheek, turn the other to him also. If anyone wants to sue you and take away your tunic, let him have your cloak also. And whoever compels you to go one mile, go with him two. Give to him who asks you, and from him who wants to borrow from you do not turn away. You have heard that it was said, 'You shall love your neighbor and hate your enemy.' But I say to you, love your enemies, bless those who curse you, do good to those who hate you, and pray for those who spitefully use you and persecute you, that you may be sons of your Father in Heaven; for He makes His sun rise on the evil and on the good, and sends rain on the just and on the unjust. For if you love those who love you, what reward have you? Do not even the tax collectors do the same? And if you greet brethren only, what do you do more than others? Do not even the tax collectors do so? Therefore you shall be perfect, just as your Father in heaven is perfect."

That was long wasn't it? (Matthew 5:38-48 [NKJV]) However, there is so many awesome rules to follow and instructions for Christians to do that is different from others!!

Recently, the previous posts that were written, we have been discussing how Christians are different from the world on purpose. The same is explained here. I highlighted several of the key words we need to do towards those who hurt us, persecute us, or hate us.

To start off, I am horrible at this, and I'm not afraid to admit it. Constantly I argue with people who hurt my feelings or who do something wrong towards me that should be right. Even with my family I fight and argue with them so that no one is doing anything "bad" towards me. Jesus is clearly saying here, just let them.

So many different discussions can come from these 10 verses, it's one of the reasons I love Jesus's teachings. The main one I'm trying to point out is that, as Christians, we need to BE DIFFERENT from the world, by loving those who hate us. Twice, Jesus refers to how tax collectors do the same thing that we do. We all love those who love us back. Back when Jesus and the disciples were on the earth, tax collectors were the most hated people, because they took money from those who had none, and took extra for themselves. They were liars, thieves, and were called some of the worst sinners in their time. We need to love our enemies to be different from the world.

But why do we need to be different from everyone else? The reason is explained in verse 45 and 48, but also when people are different from others, people are automatically drawn or interested in that "different" person. Think about it. When you go to school, a party, or a social event, and there is a extra happy person, or someone who is extra nice and friendly, you want to hang out with them or want to meet them, right? Same as for Christians and the world. The world sees Christians in several ways, but if we actually follow the Word, and do as Jesus tells us (by loving those who hate us for example) people will be interested in us as people. They will ask us why we are so happy, why do we not hate, why are we kind, etc. and then we can share with them the good news about Jesus.

Hopefully that makes sense. Jesus wants us to love those who hate us, so that we can be different from the world, so that we can share the good news about Jesus and the Faith.

Thanks for reading!
God bless,

With questions, comments or concerns please write to us at Thank you!!

Thursday, January 12, 2012

Going Through the Motions?

'Cause just okay is not enough
Help me fight through the nothingness of this life
I don't want to go through the motions
I don't want to go one more day
Without Your all consuming passion
Inside of me
In don't want to spend my whole life asking,
"What is I had given everything,
Instead of going through the motions?""

Do you "fake" the Christian life? That is the question we should all ask ourselves. No excuses. The truth. And the answer, "I go to church, youth group, church functions, pray, and read my Bible," doesn't cut it.

Over 50% of Christian youth are faking that they are really saved (America's Research Group, led by Ken Ham. Look for the book "Already Gone."). They love church and sing Christian music, but have never actually made a commitment to follow Christ and find their own Jesus. It's the sad truth. Numerous books have been written on this subject and hundreds of statistics have shown this.

Even Christians can fake how much they really love Christ; I was like that for several years. You're a Christian, you believe in and "like" God fine, but you didn't love the Lord the way you should have... one of the reasons you go to church is you like seeing your friends.

So now Christians are having to witness in our own churches, when our focus should instead be out in the community reaching and teaching those who maybe have never heard the gospel before. We're fighting the battle from the inside as well as from the outside. How do we know if our friends and fellow church-members are really saved. Then what do we do about it?

Our main criteria for people in and out of the church claiming to be Christians should be looking for fruit in their lives (Matthew 7:16). But even more important is witnessing by sharing the gospel and your lifestyle. Christians and unbelievers can benefit from your example if you're living a life of following the Lord. But before you start talking to your friends about spiritual things, check yourself (Matthew 7:5).

In what areas are you going through the motions? Maybe your video games, friends, or books are more important in your life than the Lord. Think of it like this, there is a throne in your mind. Only one thing can sit on the throne. Is it the Lord? Is it your friends? Or is it yourself? You need to ask the Lord to take the throne of your mind, the throne of your life, and rule over all aspects of it. With the Lord's help, you can change your patterns and instead live a life pleasing to Him. Once you have done this, you can be a better witness and testimony for the Lord Jesus, as well as gain a deeper relationship with Him.

If you have questions, comments, or concerns, please email us at


Tuesday, January 10, 2012

Book Review 4

The Evidence Bible is New King James Version with commentary from Ray Comfort!

Ray Comfort is known for his ministry, Living Waters, that is dedicated in helping and encouraging Christians to evangelize with others and share the faith. Living Waters has many resources such as Bible tracts, Informational CD's, excellent videos and many more resources that help everyone share their faith to others.

The most recent book I purchased from their ministry is the Evidence Bible. It's just a normal bible, with a hardcover case and paper. However there is commentary from Ray Comfort throughout the Bible to help you explain certain parts of the Bible better while evangelizing.

To better explain this, let me give you a small example.

Lets say your evangelizing to someone and they ask you one of these following questions that are hard for most Christians (such as myself) to give an accurate, perfect answer. I will also provide a little argument people may have when asking these questions in ( ) .

1. Where did Cain get his wife? (There must have been aliens or other people if Cain had a wife...)
2. How did God create the whole earth in 6 days???
3. How could all the animals fit on the Ark? (It must not have happened...)
4. Did God really wipe out the whole earth? If so, how could He be so evil?? (If he is such a loving God, how can he kill those people like that?)
5. How many angels were at the tomb? ( 1 or 2? )
6. What gender are angels?

These are only some of the questions provided in the book, each one has an detailed answer to give to them, or even to yourself if you want to know why God wiped out the whole earth.

It also has commentary and explains what you should say if someone asks you questions like: "Have you ever lusted?" It also shares how to witness to someone who belongs to a different denomination but isn't trusting in the Savior or following the commandments.

Also provided is awesome quotes from popular and respected men from the past, such as: Patrick Henry, C. S. Lewis, and many others...

One of my favorite quotes is from Oswald S. Smith, "No one has the right to hear the gospel twice, while there remains someone who has not heard it once."

This is an excellent book, not only because it's the Bible, but also because it gives good answers and helpful information to those who want to evangelize but don't know what to say to someone when they ask a tough question.

I am not quite ready to evangelize like Ray Comfort or any of the other members from Living Waters, however, with the help from this book, the Holy Spirit and my relationship with God, I hopefully will begin someday.

Thanks for reading!
God bless,


Sunday, January 8, 2012

Attending Church... is it really necessary?

In Josiah's recent post, there was some comments on "hating organized religion." The thought of attending church (a part of an organized group of believers) has been on my mind for a while now, and I wanted to share my findings.

People frequently say that they don't need to take the time and risk missing the football game to go to church or meet with others when they can substitute listening to the radio or a preacher on television for a message during commercial breaks if they remember. They also say that Christian people are not any different for going to church, therefore there is no reason to go. Is this really a problem or not?

The following is a quote by Joshua Shelor

"...How important is it that we meet together? Is it important that we come to all of the meetings of the church? What should our attitude be toward the meetings of the church? Let us begin by looking at a passage of Scripture. In Acts 2:42 we read that the early disciples “Continued steadfastly in the teaching of the apostles, in the fellowship, in the breaking of the bread, and in the prayers.” They committed themselves to all four of these specific gatherings. Why did the early believers feel that it was so important for them to be committed and steadfast in the meetings?"
They met every day! Can you imagine taking time out of your day to fellowship with other believers, every day of the year? That's hard with our busy schedules where we tend to leave God at church and live our lives like the world for the rest of the week. Shelor goes on to say:

"If we look more closely at the context of the passage mentioned above we will see that the purpose for gathering together is always focused on encouraging and taking care of others, not ourselves. We see in Acts 2 that the believers met together daily from house to house. These daily meetings may have been for nothing more than fellowship, but it shows how well they understood how a body functions. We also read in this chapter that they did not hold anything to be their own, but were happy to share what they had with those in need. Well that sounds just like a body. A hand doesn’t say things like, “Those are my fingers; you need to get your own.” Members of a body don’t worry about personal possessions."
When you're part of a body (church), you should want to work together and be with the other parts of the body so that you can function properly. Church attendance is a must so that you can fellowship, befriend, help other believers. If you don't attend church your theology can become skewed since you don't have anyone else there to correct or lovingly challenge you. By being part of a church or other body of believers, you have the opportunity to sharpen one another and to be sharpened yourself. Coming away rejuvenated to face another week of the world pushing and fighting against your Faith.

But please don't think you can go to any local church and grow and thrive there. We have been blessed with a local church family that teaches straight through different books of the Bible and uses Scripture as the final authority. Please note that this is not always the case and you need to be careful about choosing a church.

I hope you have seen that the Bible clearly instructs you to attend church and/or be in fellowship with other believers. By being active in your body you can display a more biblical picture of what God has instructed us to do in this regard.

*Special thanks to Joshua Shelor for his resources, thank you for doing all that you do, I'm really encouraged by reading and listening to you.*


Friday, January 6, 2012

Book Review 3

I recently just finished a book called, Tortured for Christ. It was really cool, but it also had it's "touching" moments when the Christians were tortured, beaten, or killed for Christ.
The book was written by Richard Wurmbrand, who is the founder of The Voice of the Martyrs, another great book you should read! Anyway, Wurmbrand was the main character in the book. He described what happened to himself and others around him when Russia was overtaken by a Communism government.

Pictures are also included in this book, of Wurmbrand and his family and friends. It also shows some of the scars Wurmbrands received from his tortures.

The book gave some encouragement, because it gave detailed descriptions of how Wurmbrand felt when being tortured. I knew, after reading this book (and a couple others) that if these Christians can withstand pain from being tortured over and over again; I can withstand the "little" things that come up and are a stumbling block in my faith.

I recommend this book, it's a great read! :-)

Thanks for reading,
God bless!


Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Fitting In... Or Not

A few days ago Josiah did a post on a conversation from his Facebook page. (Scroll down to read it) I know he already wrote his perspective on it, but I had another little twist to add. :)

So the conversation led to some one's belief that if you want to fit in with "cool people" you have to be cool. If you want to fit in with "churchies" then you have to act like one. (Scroll down to read it)
First, you need to understand that through God's eye, there are only two groups: The Faithful, and the un-faithful. God doesn't classify us or put us in "sections". He is not up in Heaven saying "Stephanie doesn't look cool enough today, we'd better put her in the shabby group." or "Mark looks so good today! He should be in the awesome group." Jesus came to save the whole world, not just the cool people.
Second, when Jesus came to earth, He did not say "When I leave, be cool so people will like you." Instead He said: "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in Heaven." John 5:16 (NKJV)
For others to notice your light, you'd have to be a lot brighter, or maybe a different color than their own. We should be different, so that we can glorify others through Christ, because of our differences.
So let your light shine, be different - be different in a way that shows Jesus Christ, so that others may learn to know what he did for us.

God Bless~ Tirzah

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Book Review 2

"'Do you have your own Jesus?' Why do you feel close to God one minute and so far away the next? Why does your faith seem empty? Why is it so easy to compromise with the world? Perhaps it's because we have merely inherited someone else's Jesus, relying on what we've seen and heard from family, friends, or pastors."

I am sure most of us have heard of Mark Hall through the band, Casting Crowns. When I saw he was also a writer and had written several books, I was interested to see what he had to say. What I found was an amazing book with a lot of truth in it.

Not knowing our own Jesus is a stumbling point in our Christian walk, but how can we know Him more? Hall answers this question in the book, "Your Own Jesus," where he writes on how to draw closer to Jesus and know Him more personally rather than inheriting our parent's, friend's, or pastor's faith.

He separates it into six different chapters, each starting with a few lines of one or two parts of his songs from the album, "Every Man." He then delves more into the topic of the song. An example would be that he posts some of the lyrics of "East to West" and then talks about the magnificent grace of God. He is a masterful storyteller and has some great stories riddled throughout the book.

The only questionable content in the book is that he broaches some adult topics as he shares stories and thoughts on how to overcome different parts of your life. Because of this, I would not recommend this book for anyone under 13-14 without your parent's permission.

All in all, a very enjoyable read in which I learned a lot. I highly recommend it.