Saturday, April 24, 2010


This week has been a challenging week for me. I experienced a desire to be selfish. To do what I want while throwing all caution to the wind not caring about the consequences or ramifications of my actions. There were times I struggled to do what pleases God, but there’s an odd thing about these selfish desires … I felt a pull toward them like a magnet to a chalk board. I don’t know why I act that way but I’m sure the foursome of Skillet feels the same way as they write:

Sometimes I don't try
To make you happy
I don't know why I do the things I do to you but

Sometimes I don't wanna be better
Sometimes I can't be put back together
Sometimes I find it hard to believe
There's someone else who could be
Just as messed up as me

Sometimes I can't hide
The demons that I face
Sometimes don't deny
I'm sometimes sinner sometimes saint

Sometimes I don't wanna be better
Sometimes I can't be put back together
Sometimes I find it hard to believe
There's someone else who could be
Just as messed up as me

I find comfort in the confession of the Apostle Paul as he shares his struggles to remain a committed Christian, the struggles of the Israeli’s in Judges and 1 & 2 Kings, for it means I'm not the sole person wrestling with this. Still I struggle with why there’s this tug toward sin. I mean the bible says that Christ overcomes the power of sin doesn’t it? I suppose next time I’m tempted to “go astray” I could take Jesus advice to Peter and pray. I have a problem with that though. It’s easier said then done! My heart races, I feel a sense of pressure, and an intense weight sometimes falls on my shoulders. My mind goes topsy turvy and I go back and forth with thoughts of:

*** I could give in to my urges because {insert reason here}, but I really shouldn't because {insert opposing reason here} ***

Am I on to something here, or am I up Schmidt creek without a paddle? MEH! Whatever! I don’t know what I’m saying… It’s late, and I think I really should head to bed before I spin circles around my own thoughts? *** thinks to himself*** "hey! Is that a RAT?
AAAAHHH!!!!!! Rats drive me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once there were rats there. Rats drive me crazy! Crazy? I was crazy once there were rats there. Rats drive me crazy! Crazy? Ooops I think its too late for that lol! good night yall!

A Word About Salt

Jesus once said that we are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is no longer good for anything, except to be thrown out and trampled by men This verse is often preached on by pastors and it’s usually coupled with the following verses talking about light. (Matt 5:13-16)

Over the years I’ve heard preachers say that salt is used as a metaphor for the people of the church. Depending on the preacher, the people in the church represent a myriad of things in reference to salt. Some say salt was used as a substitute to the refrigerator, as salt acts as a preservative, and coincidently God’s people are to act as a preservative “for the Lord” … what that looks like I’m not sure, (but if you’d like to discuss the possibilities of what “preserving things for the Lord” looks like, I’m more then willing to do so). Then there are others who (I’m guessing here) – like to cook – and talk about how salt is used in cooking as a flavor additive, then launch into ways on how the church ought to be a flavor additive in their lives, influencing the people around them etc etc,

Being an aspiring chef (among other things), and knowing a thing or two about cooking, I’d like to challenge the adding flavor metaphor. Occasionally I get creative and experiment with new dishes, or I take an old favorite and change some of the ingredients giving it a different flavor. I’ve found there’s a few times I experiment and I add too much salt. To counterbalance some of the saltiness in my dish, I add sugar. And it works =) I’m no scientist so I can’t explain what happens when I add sugar to it, nor am I a professionally trained chef (I’m just another Rachael Ray lol) I just know it works.

With that said, my question is this: If the church is to be a flavor additive, adding a little metaphorical salt to those around us… what should/could be done when someone opposing our beliefs comes along, adding some sugar and cancelling the flavor we – as salt – have added to the dish? Hmmmmm …......

Monday, April 12, 2010

A Curiosity Of Mine

Last week I shared one of my devotionals on Good Friday. (click here) In preparing the devotional, I couldn’t help but notice the life of Peter. Before he met Jesus, and was invited to join him on his 3 year trek around Israel, Simon, the son of John (Peter’s other name) was a fisherman (Matt 4:18). And after denying Jesus 3 times on the night he was betrayed, Peter went back to the life he had before he met Jesus – that of a fisherman. Not only do I wonder why that is, but I wonder if we do that today. If someone paid by the church to be involved in ministry, goes through a trial where they end up denying they knew Christ, as such they end up jobless, with no means of supporting themselves; what happens? Does such a person go back to the life they had before their invitation to ministry? If so, how often does this happen? If it does happen, can a person then say going back to your “old way of life” after denying their work with and/or for the Savior is a given?

I wondered also if I were to deny Jesus like Peter did what sort of life I would to return to. I had my encounter with Jesus at a point in my life where I was just out of school trying to figure out what to do next. Fortunately, with God’s help I went and graduated from Bible College. Does this mean then that if I wee to deny Christ, completely disown Him, vowing never to go back to being a Christian, would I end up job less and homeless (or something very similar?) Hmmmm….

Thursday, April 8, 2010

Reflections On Scripture

Ever wonder what it would be like to live the bible? By that I mean have you ever wondered what it would have been like to actually be one of the characters in the bible. This happened to me recently. A number of weeks ago, I was reading the book of Job while working on one of my devotionals and I came across this:

Do you know how God controls the storm
and causes the lightning to flash from his clouds?
Do you understand how he moves the clouds
with wonderful perfection and skill?
JOB 37:15-16

After reading the questions I immediately thought, “Yes I do! I can explain what causes lightning! I learned that in science class. It has to do with the build up of positive and negative charges in the air during a thunder storm. The electrical potential, between these positive and negative charges eventually grows strong enough to overcome the air's resistance to electrical flow. Racing toward each other, the charges connect, completing an electrical circuit, and discharging the accumulated electricity as lightning."

I would continue by saying, "As far as the clouds go God, I can appeal yet again to science. Science tells me that clouds are formed when water vapor in the air is cooled and condenses as part of the water cycle. Clouds consist of billions of tiny water droplets (and even ice crystals) floating in the sky and appear in a variety of shapes and sizes depending on how and where they formed. Clouds are moved along by wind, which is caused by a process of air cooling and heating.”

Now I’m not about to launch into some long drawn out debate over the existence of God, nor am I here to “convert” you. To that effect I will simply say I unequivocally believe God exists, know He is a significant part of my life, and wants to be a significant part of your life too. But that’s a decision you need to make. I also believe if you’re reading this, your old enough or at least have the maturity to come to your own conclusion about whom, or what God is.

Anyways, I’m getting off topic…

After launching into these thoughts regarding lightning and the formation of clouds, I imagined myself in Job’s shoes and wondered what my buddies response would be if I shot back with that comment… would it change the following remarks in the Old Testament wisdom/poetic work? What about God’s response to Job in chapter 38 and following… would it be the same or different, complimenting Job’s knowledge of cloud formations and flashes of lightning?

Saturday, April 3, 2010

What If: In The Steps Of A First Century Disciple

With it being easter weekend, i thought it would be appropriate to share one of my newest devotionals on the night of Jesus betrayal...So please enjoy one of my devotionals titled What If: In The Steps Of A First Century Disciple I hope it inspires you, Tim bits

What if…

• You discovered a new island, what would you name it and why?
• A classmate asked you for the answer to a question during an exam while the teacher was not looking? Would you give them the answer?
• You were in the bank and somebody started to hold up the bank, what would you do? How would you react?
• You had only 48 hours to live, what would you do?

Jesus told them, “Tonight all of you will desert me. For the Scriptures say, ‘God will strike the Shepherd, and the sheep of the flock will be scattered.’ But after I have been raised from the dead, I will go ahead of you to Galilee and meet you there.” Peter declared, “Even if everyone else deserts you, I will never desert you.” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know me.” “No!” Peter insisted. “Even if I have to die with you, I will never deny you!” And all the other disciples vowed the same.

After having a feast with his disciples, Jesus takes them on a walk to the Mount of Olives. Along the way, Jesus tells them he will be captured by the end of the night. The disciples will then run away in fear, and deny any association with Christ. Shocked by this news, Peter pledges to die with Jesus if he has too; and he proves his readiness to die by drawing a sword and hacking off someone’s ear when confronted by the mob that would take Jesus away (John 18:10). Unfortunately for Peter, Jesus was right. Peter denied ever knowing Jesus and ran like the dickens when the rubber met the road. (Matt 26:69-75).

Perhaps you’ve read the same story agreeing with Peter. If you heard Jesus say he was going to be arrested and abandoned by his closest friends, you would promise to die with Him too. Only this time it would be different. You would confirm your alliance with Christ, stand your ground and not run like the coward Peter was at that moment.

The Gospel of Luke says Jesus came to fulfill everything that the Old Testament ever spoke of concerning a coming Messiah or Savior (Luke 24:44). The first century Jews were looking for a Savior that the Old Testament referred to, and Matthew wrote his gospel to show the Israelites that Jesus is the long awaited Messiah the Old Testament spoke of. So when Matthew wrote his Gospel, he mentioned things in Jesus’ life that matched the Old Testament prophecies which spoke of a coming Messiah or Savior. The disciples scattering at the time of Jesus’ arrest is a fulfillment of Old Testament prophecy proving Jesus to be the chosen one. The disciples abandoning Jesus was one of these fulfilled prophecies. So the likelihood of everyone deserting Jesus at this time is not only definite but certain.

I don’t know what your relationship with God is like today, but maybe this story is tugging at your heart. Maybe you find yourself in the same situation as Peter; feeling remorse for a stupid decision you made recently. If you do, let me say all hope is not lost. Three days after his crucifixion, Jesus rises from the dead and has a heart to heart talk with Peter during breakfast by the Sea of Galilee (John 21:1-17). After this, Peter’s hope was restored and his faith rekindled. Despite his many mistakes as a disciple, Peter became a great leader in the church. He even became a contributing author to the New Testament as he wrote 1 and 2 Peter. Being restored that morning near the Sea of Galilee, Peter had no idea how God was going to bless his life. All it took was a heart to heart conversation with Jesus. If you find yourself needing the same thing as Peter did, be encouraged to know that Jesus is waiting to hear from you.

Here I am waiting
Abide in me I pray
Here I am longing
For You
Hide me in Your love
Bring me to my knees
May I know Jesus
More and more

Come live in me
All my life
Take over
Come breathe in me
I will rise
On eagle's wings