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Archive for April, 2011

There’s no doubt about the fact that music artists strongly impact young people of all ages today. Their music, their history, and their philosphies are eagerly taken on by many people who look up to these artists as role models. Even among Contemporary Christian Music bands, artists continue to influence youth culture like no other media.

Delirious? is one very well known Christian band. And the autobiography of the lead singer, Martin Smith, is a definite must-read. Not only does this book tell you about the beginnings of the popular music group, but it also discusses Smith’s personal life and walk in his faith.

Rarely do you see musicians who live a morally upright life. Most have songs and lyrics contianing foul language and inappropriate topics. It’s nice to sit back and read about a different kind of band. One that brings glory not to themsleves, but to someone much Greater.

I highly recommend Delirious: My Journey with the Band, a Growing Family, and an Army of Historymakers by Martin Smith and Craig Borlase to anyone who wants an encouraging, inspiring read. =) 

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What are the things that bring you joy? That makes your heart dance? That fills you with excitement?

Perhaps it’s that video game, that high-tech gadget, being with friends, being at parties, no homework… No matter the source of our joy, we all have something that makes us happy.  But which of them really lasts? Do they make you happy temporarily, or do they give you true happiness that lasts a lifetime?

For many Christians, our source of joy comes from our Lord. His faithfulness, His presence, His promises, His words – these all last for years, as opposed to the short-lived pleasures of the world. Therefore, why aren’t we continually going back to God every day to rest in His promises? Why do we wander away from Him, trying to fill a need only He can satisfy? These questions are ones we should keep asking ourselves as often as possible. We know He satisfies; we’ve felt the satisfaction while reading His word or being lost in worship. That sacred place our mind locks into whenever we enter the presence of God, that place where all finally seems right in the world. That place… where we encounter God and truly be filled.

In order to constantly feel God’s presence, we need to meditate on things above. This, of course, includes God’s Word, but also on other things such as peoples’ testimonies, Christian books, and talking with God Himself. Not surprisingly, all of the previously mentioned are an outgrowth of God’s Word. So ultimately, meditation on the things of God means to meditate on His Word. Constant rest in His promises will not only satisfy us, it will profoundly shape our perspective on life and our attitudes every day. Personally, I find that if I spend time every morning in the Word or some kind of devotional, I am noticeably more joyful and positive the rest of the day. No matter how much homework is assigned (well, maybe if I have 10 projects are due the next day, but I’m sure none of my teachers is THAT evil…) or the number of insults hurled at me, they slide off like water and have little or no effect on my perspective.

If you haven’t already, I would strongly encourage you to begin a daily Bible study or devotional. I recommend doing it in the morning, because it will have more effect on your life the rest of the day. Also, read good Christian books regularly. They will strengthen your faith by opening more of the Word or by describing God’s sovereign hand in other Christians’ lives. Most important, however, MEMORIZE God’s Word and hide it in your heart, meditating on it throughout the day. By thinking about such things, you become more heavenly minded and find true satisfaction in God alone.

This is a lesson I am still learning myself, but by the grace of God I have seen results of practicing these truths, enabling me to confirm that God alone does satisfy and fill our deepest and innermost needs.

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Why Do I?

Why do I blog?

Why do I read all these Christian books?

Why do I do ministry work?

Why do I work to develop good character?

Why do I attend retreats and conferences?

Why do I go to church?

Why do I pray?

Why do I worship?

Why do I have higher moral standards?

Just why… ?

These are just a few of the questions I ask myself from time to time. Honestly, whenever I’m doing something, a questions appears aksing me just why do I do the things I do? There has to be more to it than habit.

Sometimes I do things for so long I forget the reason why I even began to do it. For example, I love reading Christian books. Whether they’re fiction, non-fiction, or instructional books, I read them all. But many times I’ve forgotten just why I even began to read them in the first place. What drew me to them anyway?

Maybe because I want to grow in my walk with God and be inpired by His work and revelation in other believers’ lives.

Another example are my moral standards. Why don’t I date? Why do I refrain from inappropriate relationships with the opposite sex? Why do I try to refrain from vulgar language and jokes?

Maybe because I want to reserve my all for God, and consequentially for my future spouse. Maybe I want to spend the years I’m supposed to be single pursuing the Lord and giving Him all the affection I can muster. Maybe because I don’t want to be seen and called a normal teen, but instead be an example to others in love, faith, and purity.

Why do I blog anyway? Surely there must be something more to life than sitting at a computer typing up a bunch of articles that don’t even make sense to the Bible-illiterate. There must be more to life than even writing anything at all.

Maybe I write because I enjoy it. Maybe I blog in order to share with others what God has shown me.

Just maybe… I want to reach out to the lost.

Just maybe… I want to see other believers grow in their relationship with Christ.

Just maybe… I want to store up treasures in Heaven.

Just maybe… I do this all for God because He did it all for me.

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The Grandfathers

The Grandfathers, a film that is a member of the series about Jim Elliot, Nate Saint, and other missionaries killed by the indigenous groups they were ministering too, is a powerful film that everyone should watch. It is about Jesse Saint, the grandson of the murdered Nate Saint, who struggles to deal with the memory of such a famous grandfather as well as his death.

The film follows Jesse as he travels to Ecuador and befriends one of the tribesmen involved in his grandfather’s death. He is then able to learn more about and confront his family’s past, and start anew in his own destiny.

I highly recommend this movie to anyone who wants to learn about the extent of forgiveness and God’s love.

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What does it really mean to take up your cross and follow Christ? What does it mean to be actual doers of the word instead of merely listeners?

In the Take Action Bible, published by Thomas Nelson Publishers, you can read about people who have followed Christ’s command to obey His word all over the world. Included with each short story are several devotional questions to help you reflect on how these people obeyed God. It is a blessing to flip through these stories while reading your Bible.

This Bible includes:

  • 48 full-color pages
  • 15 real-life stories show how to take action with God’s Word
  • 52 Take Action ideas
  • Personal Take Action note pages
  • New King James Version® (NKJV) UltraSlim Bible text
  • Translation and text notes
  • Words of Jesus in red
  • Concordance
  • Bible reading plan

Perhaps the only complaint I have about this Bible is its quality. It;s one of those Bibles you’d give away in bulks, much like paperback books. I believe it can be a bit sturdier for more years of use, but it’s pretty nice in design and binding as is.

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