Sunday, March 22, 2009

If You Fail to See the Problem, Which I Find hard to Believe

Mark 12:31The second is this: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' There is no commandment greater than these."

So for those of ya'll who haven't talked to me in a while. I work at Hobby Lobby. I am currently majoring in Marketing and Management at Arkansas Tech.

Today I worked at the Hot Springs Hobby Lobby. In a world where customer service is laughed at, or known as some calling center in India, I pride myself, and my managers in offering some of the best customer service around.

Now here I am, talking about customer service, and quoting a verse about loving your neighbor. If you don't see how these parallel, then I am here to show you.

There are two sides to customer service, the customer, and the service. (amazing right?)

These two people though they are in two completely different roles, are nearly the same.

There is both a good way, to go about being a customer, and a bad way.
There is also a good way, to go about being the "service" and a bad way.

The role as the customer: To find the item they are seeking, and purchase it.
The role as the "service" provider: To aide in finding said item, in order for the customer to purchase.

Simple right? Not quite, but you also have to key in several other factors, known to me as, "nonverbal communication" This would include, posture, facial expressions, and voice inflections.

So if a customer asks, with genuine sincerity, how to find something, then I am going to respond in the best way possible, going out of my way to help them get what they need.

If a customer asks, and sounds like they want to kill me cause they can't find something, or they're scowling at me when they ask, then I'm really not looking forward to helping them, because chances are things aren't going to end up too well.

But the key to my reaction is, I need to "Love them, like I love myself" Or in a round-about way, treat others, the way I want to be treated. If I am not responding with true customer service, doing everything in my realm of knowledge and expertise to help them out, then what will they want to do back to me?

Why is it that there is so negativity towards the thought of customer service today? It is because the service people, don't treat the customers the way they would want to be treated if they were in their shoes.

I needed to return something to Wal*Mart without a receipt a few weeks back. Now this item was an item that is stolen alot. It was over $100 and due to the fact that it is stolen alot, they could not return it for me. I understood completely. Just like if someone wanted to return sterling silver, furniture, or a custom frame to hobby lobby without a receipt, unless we knew the person on a first name basis, we couldn't do anything to help them.

I believe though, if Americans would get over their lazy selves, and began to treat their customers, like the way they would want to be treated if they were customers, we would see better customer service across the board. Then we wouldn't need to have all these call centers in other countries, because it would pay to have have the best customer service people here in America.

But instead, service people respond to the scowling, grumpy people, with a scowl and a grumpy reply and the circle continues.

Why not go out and have some real customer service today? Do you really want employees of the stores you shop at to scowl and grumpily answer your questions? I hope not!

(Title from Leaf by mewithoutYou)

Thursday, March 19, 2009

Remember That The Fire Is On The Inside

This is a Paper I am turning in tomorrow for Comp 2 (my intext citations are still in it)

The poem “The Paradoxical Commandments” has a very good message behind it, not only in words, but in the history that follows it. Believed by many to be a poem written by Mother Teresa entitled “The Final Analysis” it was actually just found hanging on her wall (Keith Anyway). The true author was Dr. Kent M. Keith, a Christian motivational writer and speaker, Harvard graduate and former Rhodes Scholar (Keith Do it, Anyway).

This poem gained most of its world fame by being posted on the wall in Mother Teresa’s first home for abandoned children in Calcutta. This version, known as “The Final Analysis” contained only eight of the ten original Paradoxical Commandments. These eight were reworded into a poem form for the children. Mother Teresa believed that these lines were key points to live by in our everyday lives. That is why she had them posted in the school for all to see (

The first Paradoxical Commandment is “People are illogical, unreasonable, and self-centered. Love them anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” This line speaks about how people constantly live for themselves. People in general, don’t take time to think about others, they are mainly focused on what benefits them, and how they can be the best in the world. Even though people may be living in their own shell, focused on themselves, people who are Christians (which is who this is written for) are commanded to love people unconditionally. Jesus stated this in Mark 12:31, to “love your neighbor as yourself,” Jesus said this was second only to loving Him. Loving someone like we love ourselves may be more than we want to do in some situations, but even liking them is going to be better than hating them.

The second Paradoxical Commandment: “If you do good, people will accuse you of selfish ulterior motives. Do good anyway. (Keith Paradoxical)” In times past, doing good deeds for people was an everyday occurrence. Today hearing of people helping others is practically unheard of. When a person commits a good deed today, people automatically perceive that they are doing it for personal gain. A person should never feel like they shouldn’t do a good deed because of the way their motives will be judged. They should feel open to doing good deeds whenever they feel like it.

Paradoxical Commandment number three says, “If you are successful, you will win false friends and true enemies. Succeed anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” When a person becomes successful they tend to gain friends who are only along for the ride. These people will latch on to a successful person, in hopes that their success will propel them on to greater things. No matter the types of people that follow a successful person, they should be driven to succeed anyway.

The fourth Paradoxical Commandment states: “The good you do today will be forgotten tomorrow. Do good anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” When a person does a good deed it may be noticed, but it won’t always be remembered. The drive to do good within a person should never die, regardless of whether their actions will be remembered, they should do good deeds.

The fifth Paradoxical Commandment says: “Honesty and frankness make you vulnerable.
Be honest and frank anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” People who are open and honest in many situations tend to get their ideas obliterated by the more conservative individuals in a group. Many people’s fear of rejection keeps them from being honest and truthful. One of the Ten Commandments is “Thou Shall Not Lie.” If a person is being untruthful then they are sinning, according to the New Testament “The wages of sin is death,” people don’t want to die, so any person, Christian or non-Christian should want to tell the truth. Regardless of how people respond to the truth, it is better to be truthful than to keep something hidden in hopes to avoid confrontation.

Paradoxical Commandment number six states: “The biggest men and women with the biggest ideas can be shot down by the smallest men and women with the smallest minds.
Think big anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” Big ideas come to people every day, but there are people who are continually there to find a reason to not implement the idea. People shouldn’t let others bring them down, they should have enough confidence in themselves to do what they think should be done.

The seventh Paradoxical Commandment is: “People favor underdogs but follow only top dogs. Fight for a few underdogs anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” There are always people in life who are ready to pledge support for the underdogs, but when it comes time to fully commit to the underdogs cause, they back out and stick with the known leader. There are days when the underdogs win; people should have enough faith to fight for a few of those underdogs.

The eighth Paradoxical Commandment states: “What you spend years building may be destroyed overnight. Build anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” There is always uncertainty in life, nothing is guaranteed, people shouldn’t be fearful. People should be willing to take risks and do things, even though there is a possibility for failure.

Paradoxical Commandment number nine says: “People really need help but may attack you if you do help them. Help people anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” This can be related back to people drowning. When a lifeguard comes to save a person, they tend to fight against the lifeguard and try to pull them down with them. The lifeguard is still there to rescue them from peril; people should be willing to do the same thing.

The final Paradoxical Commandment is: “Give the world the best you have and you'll get kicked in the teeth. Give the world the best you have anyway (Keith Paradoxical).” This final Commandment alludes to the fight that it takes to get to the top. When someone is trying their hardest, giving their best, trying to make their way to the top, they get kicked around. A person should continue trying their best in everything, regardless of how the world treats them.

The resounding message throughout the poem is to give your best, no matter the situation. To continue fighting for what you believe in, no matter the adversity. Things aren’t always perfect, in fact they’ll never be perfect, but there is always hope. People should do what they believe in, regardless of how others react. We aren’t supposed to allow what others do to affect us, we should remember that it was our choice to be the way that we are, and nothing should change that.

(title from The House That Fire Built by Mae)

Monday, March 16, 2009

Put Music to our Troubles and We'll Dance them Away

So last night, I went Swing Dancing at the Arlington in Hot Springs.
Swing dancing, originated during the Great Depression, and began to sweep the nation.
Dancing was viewed a a great cheap form of entertainment. Anyway, so we had just come from the International Food Bazaar, where some students at Henderson, had swung dance. Since they had been on stage, they were clothed in Depression era swing dance clothing, nice black dresses, and black slacks, shirts with ties, ect. Now all of us danced, but there was one song, where just these two couples from Henderson danced, while the Arlington bar, and dining area was packed full of people, listening to the music, talking laughing, and watching the dancing. I was standing there observing and I felt like, just during that song, I was back in the 1920's, watching these two couples dance their hearts out. Unaware of the Depression that the rest of the world was in. These people, dressed so fine, could've been part of Capone's gang, staying across the street. No telling who these classy people were, dancing to the latest, hippest music around. The people in the crowd, though dressed strangely (for they were still in 21st century attire) knew nothing of these gifted dancers, all they cared about were their drinks, and living in that moment. Then the song ended, and I realized, though the building hasn't changed much, and the people were dressed in the attire from that time, that we were in 2009.

Back in 2009, where we are approaching what could be the next biggest depression. This is a time and place, here within the walls of the Arlington, where the world is forgotten. All you are doing is living in a moment suspended in a time, nearly 80 years ago. Where the band plays, and the people dance, and the troubles of the world are left behind.

(Title from The Ghost by mewithoutYou)

I'll become even more Undignified than This

So Friday was spent at the International Bazaar at Henderson. When watching something like this, there are so many things birthed inside of me to talk about. It's amazing the things that we can learn from different cultures, if we could just open up our eyes to see it.

One of the things I noticed, is there are ways in every culture that we use to express ourselves. Dancing, this is used to convey certain emotions and feelings. Dancing is also done in story form.

What is it that makes us want to do this for expression? Even the Bible talks about dancing, to show our joy in Christ.

Psalm 149:2-4 (New International Version)

2 Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
let the people of Zion be glad in their King.

3 Let them praise his name with dancing
and make music to him with tambourine and harp.

4 For the LORD takes delight in his people;
he crowns the humble with salvation.

We are to rejoice in our maker with Dancing, and the Lord will take delight.
Now the dancing that I am talking about, from foreign lands, has nothing to do with anything like that, or at least what I saw last night didn't, it was all comprised of either 'story' dances as I mentioned, or this dancing that we would see anywhere else, things that most people would deem "inappropriate." I think this is because, when Christ formed us, we were made to dance, we were made to express ourselves. But in our sinfulness, and life separate of Christ, we have begun to express those things that we get excited about, that are not of Him. What we need to realize is that there is a way to dance that is worthy of being called worshiping Christ. There are no set instructions on "how to dance in worship to Christ" but dancing is mentioned thirteen times in the Bible, twelve in the old testament and once in the new testament. Here is a distinct example of when people danced in their joy of Christ's sovereignty; this is from Exodus:

Exodus 15:19-21 (New International Version)

19 When Pharaoh's horses, chariots and horsemen went into the sea, the LORD brought the waters of the sea back over them, but the Israelites walked through the sea on dry ground. 20 Then Miriam the prophetess, Aaron's sister, took a tambourine in her hand, and all the women followed her, with tambourines and dancing.

They danced for they had been delivered from slavery in Egypt. Should we not also dance in rejoicing of Christ's deliverance of us?

Lately I have loved listening to the song "Undignified" sung by David Crowder Band. The bulk of the song goes "I will dance, I will sing, to be mad for my King, nothing Lord is hindering this passion in my soul" Shouldn't we live this way? Free to express our passion for Christ in any way that we want?

I think that by saying, we shouldn't dance at all, because of the way that this world is dancing is wrong.
I think that we should be open to dancing in a way that glorifies God.

Wednesday, March 4, 2009

It's up to you to make the Choice Now

"Don't change the mission to concentrate on the mistakes, Concentrate on the mission and change the mistakes"-John C. Maxwell

This quote comes from the book I'm reading Be a People Person: Effective Leadership Through Effective Relationships. As I've read this book, I've began reading critically. I believe through reading this way, I've gotten more out of this book, than previous books I read.

When I first read this, I was blown away. We are confronted with this everyday, whether people realize it or not. A great way I can relate this statement, is the progress (and lack thereof) that I have had in the Botball competitions that I have been in over the past five years.

In our first year of competition, we were all jumping at the bit, concentrated on the mission and what we could do complete it. FYI Botball seasons are comprised of a given mission for the six weeks, and the same mission carried on to Nationals six months later. So our first year, we were set on the mission, we had no idea what we were doing, but we knew what we wanted to do. In the end, if we hadn't made a crucial mistake between the seeding rounds and head-to-head we would have been in the top three. But this mistake landed us second to last.

Going into our second year, we changed our mission. Instead of being concentrated on the mission, we concentrated on the mistakes we made the previous year. This got us no where, on sheer luck we were able to make it to the top six. Mainly from some good work in an added scoring section of documentation.

Our third year, was our final year as a group. We came to the realization, we needed to stay focused on the mission, we knew what our mistakes were, and fixed them. With this in mind, we stole the show. In our first seeding round, we scored more than all the other ten teams combined scored the entire day. It was one of the most lopsided regional competition in Botball history. We placed first in all three sections of competition. We then decided to go to Nationals, where we placed tenth out of nearly sixty teams. We would have ended higher if it hadn't been for a judge breaking the rules.

In my fourth year, I competed with my school. We started out with fifteen kids. But only four of us were dedicated to the mission. With myself, and one other the only two truly dedicated to building and programming the robots, but we stayed focused on the mission, doing our best we placed third overall.
I continued on by myself with a group of people to Nationals that year. The robots though did not fare the flight well, and being by myself had a hard time getting the robots back in working shape.

In my fifth year I worked with another team. In working with this team, I worked on one robot, while some of the other kids worked on the other robot. I trusted them to finish the robot in time, but it was not completed, in the end I built a robot the day before competition. Without this robot, we would not have been able to place second overall. Placing second overall is something that was extremely hard, with only limited support from one other team member. I had the opportunity to go to Nationals with them, but I abandoned the mission, because carrying a team on your own can be hard. As I had learned from the previous years Nationals.

What I learned through all this, is that if you are conscious of your mistakes, and stay concentrated on the mission, you are apt to go a long way. If you concentrate on the mistakes, you lose sight of the mission and are unable to complete it to your best ability. When you attempt to carry a group mission on your own, you can't do it. If you are on a mission, that is for a team, you need a team. If you cannot gain a team, it is best to abandon the mission, or acquire new members.

(Title from Free to Conquer by Subseven)

Friday, February 27, 2009

I Love You More Than Life

How many people can truly say that they love something more than life? Let alone, our God and Father Jesus! This is something that just hit me at the beginning of the week very strong. I was walking to my car to go to work at 5:30am. It came to me, "To die is gain!" Honestly, not many people want to even consider death. But Paul eagerly sought death. He wanted nothing more than to be with his King and Father in heaven! Are stated here in Philippians:

Philippians 1:20I eagerly expect and hope that I will in no way be ashamed, but will have sufficient courage so that now as always Christ will be exalted in my body, whether by life or by death.
21 For to me, to live is Christ and to die is gain.
22 If I am to go on living in the body, this will mean fruitful labor for me. Yet what shall I choose? I do not know!
23 I am torn between the two: I desire to depart and be with Christ, which is better by far;
24 but it is more necessary for you that I remain in the body.
25 Convinced of this, I know that I will remain, and I will continue with all of you for your progress and joy in the faith,
26 so that through my being with you again your joy in Christ Jesus will overflow on account of me.

So why is it that Paul is so excited to get to heaven? What will it take for us as fellow believers to yearn for this same place?

Paul wants to leave to get to heaven. When I think about this I remember Comp II last week, my professor talked about how as people grow older, they are more looking forward to heaven and seeing loved ones than anything else. They are ready for the suffering they've done on this world to be over. (at least I believe it was Mike talking about this).

But isn't there more reasons to get to heaven? I mean we get to see Jesus! We get to praise Him for the rest of our lives.

But maybe this is the same reason we aren't ready to go to heaven, we aren't even prepared. We don't want to fully worship God yet. We would prefer to do what makes us happy. What makes us happy. What is found though, as people grow old, is that this doesn't bring true fulfillment. Only Christ and our faith in Him, brings us true fulfillment. Then we are truly free to live.

I love this though, people spend there whole lives running from the one thing that brings them true happiness. Though I must put a disclaimer, not everyone is running from it, some people are yet to realize that Christ is where they need to be. Why do we run from the rewards and freedom in life that Christ offers? It just baffles me.

Paul realizes that though he is longing for a better place, to see his Redeemer in heaven, that this is not God's plan, Christ is not finished with him yet here on earth. Since this isn't the plan, Paul is able to continue to advance the church and ultimately the Kingdom.

We will not fully realize that we are aliens to this land (Hebrews 11:13 All these people were still living by faith when they died. They did not receive the things promised; they only saw them and welcomed them from a distance. And they admitted that they were aliens and strangers on earth)
Til we have committed our lives to Jesus. When we are freely living in His will, then we will realize our full potential. Once we have realized our full potential, then and only then will we be able to fully grasp the excitement of going to heaven.

I have to admit I'm not quite there yet, I had the realization that "To Die is Gain" and I still feel that there is work for me to be done here. I feel it will not be until I realize that my work here on earth has been sufficient that I will be able to truly grasp. "To die is gain."

What we find throughout the church, and practically the world, is death is a little talked about subject. What Paul shows us through the Philippians is that we should be excited! If we are truly following and seeking Christ with all that we are, we will be wanting to be in heaven just like Paul was. But until then, we will be just as scared of death as we have always been.

(Title from "More Than Life" by Hillsong United)

* I'm gonna start doing like Alan does, I used to do this in my daily blogs. I started out with More Than Life by Hillsong United, One Way by Hillsong United, Consuming Fire by Hillsong United, Revolution by Jars of Clay, The Battle is Already Won by Keith Green, You Put This Love in My Heart by Keith Green, Tie me Up! Untie me! by mewithoutYou, My Glorious by Pierce, For The Moments I Feel Faint by Relient K.

Saturday, February 21, 2009

Love Has Come, and its Given me Hope to Carry On

Matthew 28:16
Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.
17 When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.
18 Then Jesus came to them and said, "All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.
19 Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,
20 and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age."

The "Great Commission" as Christians we've all heard this at one point or another. The point in time in which Christ directs us to go out and share his teachings with the world. He tells us here, that if we are teaching the world; making them disciples, he will be with us always. How do we get to this point though? To be ready and willing to go and make disciples for Christ? This is where Ephesians chapter 2 comes into the picture.

Ephesians 2
1 As for you, you were dead in your transgressions and sins,
2 in which you used to live when you followed the ways of this world and of the ruler of the kingdom of the air, the spirit who is now at work in those who are disobedient.
3 All of us also lived among them at one time, gratifying the cravings of our sinful nature and following its desires and thoughts. Like the rest, we were by nature objects of wrath.
4 But because of his great love for us, God, who is rich in mercy,
5 made us alive with Christ even when we were dead in transgressions—it is by grace you have been saved.
6 And God raised us up with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms in Christ Jesus,
7 in order that in the coming ages he might show the incomparable riches of his grace, expressed in his kindness to us in Christ Jesus.
8 For it is by grace you have been saved, through faith—and this not from yourselves, it is the gift of God—
9 not by works, so that no one can boast.
10 For we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.
11 Therefore, remember that formerly you who are Gentiles by birth and called "uncircumcised" by those who call themselves "the circumcision" (that done in the body by the hands of men)—
12 remember that at that time you were separate from Christ, excluded from citizenship in Israel and foreigners to the covenants of the promise, without hope and without God in the world.
13 But now in Christ Jesus you who once were far away have been brought near through the blood of Christ.

14 For he himself is our peace, who has made the two one and has destroyed the barrier, the dividing wall of hostility,
15 by abolishing in his flesh the law with its commandments and regulations. His purpose was to create in himself one new man out of the two, thus making peace,
16 and in this one body to reconcile both of them to God through the cross, by which he put to death their hostility.
17 He came and preached peace to you who were far away and peace to those who were near.
18 For through him we both have access to the Father by one Spirit.

19 Consequently, you are no longer foreigners and aliens, but fellow citizens with God's people and members of God's household,
20 built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, with Christ Jesus himself as the chief cornerstone.
21 In him the whole building is joined together and rises to become a holy temple in the Lord.
22 And in him you too are being built together to become a dwelling in which God lives by his Spirit.

Verses 1-4 speak about how we were before Christ, dead, and gratifying our sinful nature. Having nothing to do with Christ. Then even while we were dead in our sins against God, Christ came in and saved us through grace.

Verses 5-7 gives us a picture of what it is like to follow Christ, to truly live for Him we gain incomparable riches. These are given to us not simply because we do good, but because he loves us. Out of kindness Christ gives us heavenly rewards when we grow closer to Him, and promote His word.

Think of it like this, in many retail sales jobs and person has "Commission" and "Base Salary." Salvation is the base salary. When a person works on commission the base salary alone cannot sustain them. Base salary is near the equivalent of like $9 an hour or something like that. So you have to go out and work to sale things in order to build up your commission revenue. Spreading the Word, and living for Christ are the equivalents of commission, when you do these things, the way Christ wants, we will get our commission or rewards in heaven.

This works the same way with waiters and waitresses, they get paid below minimum wage, and have to work for tips, if they don't work, or do a lousy job at it, they aren't going to get their tips or "rewards."

Verses 8-10 tell us how and why we are saved. We can't do good things to get to heaven. I don't know how many times this is said, but here's the verses to back it up, Ephesians 2:8-10. We are saved by grace, it was God's gift to us. We should be thankful! Why is it so often we take for granted our salvation? God gave it to us for free! All we need to do is believe. For us the Gentiles it is an even more big deal. We are supposed to be doing God's works, that he has prepared us to do. Now some people use that as an excuse not to minister. "God prepared me to teach elementary students" If God prepared you to teach, then why are you not also at church teaching? Going out on missions teaching people? You are gifted with an ability, Use it! But also do not forget when using this ability, it is not for your glory, but all for God's. For you are His workmanship, not our own.

Verses 11-13 is speaking specifically to us, the Gentiles. Before Christ we had no acceptance into His presence. For we were not born into the Jewish culture, this kept us from being citizens of Israel, and also meant we did not follow the Jewish traditions and laws, making us unfit to be God followers. But the blood shed by Christ on the cross was for everyone so now we are able to seek God's Kingdom.

Verses 14-18 talk about Christ came to promote peace between the nations. He came to abolish the laws of Old Testament times. With these laws abolished we are able to live in peace. For everyone is able to come to Christ. Through Christ we have access to the Father by the Holy Spirit living in us. Once again another great visual of the Trinity.

Verses 19-22 bring the focus back on the Gentiles. With the shedding of Christ's blood we are now "citizens of God's people." It says we are no longer foreigners and aliens to the household. I find this interesting, because we go from:
Living in the world, and being foreigners to Christ
To Christ living in us, and being foreigners to the world.
These verses also talk about Christ being the head of the church, built on Him and the Apostles. Which continues to say that us as growing Christians are a temple for the Lord, that is constantly at work.

Now we move on to 2 Timothy where it talks about sharing our faith.

2 Timothy 1:8 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God,
9 who has saved us and called us to a holy life—not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time,
10 but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel.
11 And of this gospel I was appointed a herald and an apostle and a teacher.
12 That is why I am suffering as I am. Yet I am not ashamed, because I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day.

13 What you heard from me, keep as the pattern of sound teaching, with faith and love in Christ Jesus.
14 Guard the good deposit that was entrusted to you—guard it with the help of the Holy Spirit who lives in us.

Alittle bit of history on 2 Timothy, This book is believed to be written by Paul during his last imprisonment in Rome(taken from Holman illustrated pocket Bible handbook). This is why he alludes to suffering for Christ.

Verse 8 encourages us to go out and share the gospel, to never be ashamed. Paul is saying not to be ashamed because Christ followers are being arrested for sharing His Word. To go out and share freely and to join in the suffering for God's Word, for we are all slaves to Christ.

Verse 9-10 We were made for God's purpose, it's always been about Him. His grace has always been there for us. It was not until Christ died on the cross that the grace of salvation became apparent to us. This verse tells us completely that when Christ died on the cross, death was conquered and he brought eternal and everlasting life, this was all shown through the Word.

Verse 11-12; Paul has been commissioned to share the gospel! Have we not all? As a duty to our faith are we not supposed to share it with others? This is why he is suffering. Are we not called to serve Christ, to share Christ, with our entire being? No matter what? We should not fear death, we should not fear anything, because Christ has entrusted His message to us and he will never falter.

Verse 13-14 We can use the verses as a way to pattern our lives. We can use these not just for our lives, but to test other things. Guard the gospel, and stay true to it.

After looking at this passage, is this not how we are supposed to live for Christ?
Now that we know how to be saved, and we know what it means to be a Christian, here is a passage from Titus about how we are to live in the world and show that we are Christians.

Titus 3: 1 Remind the people to be subject to rulers and authorities, to be obedient, to be ready to do whatever is good,
2 to slander no one, to be peaceable and considerate, and to show true humility toward all men.

3 At one time we too were foolish, disobedient, deceived and enslaved by all kinds of passions and pleasures. We lived in malice and envy, being hated and hating one another.
4 But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared,
5 he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit,
6 whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior,
7 so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.
8 This is a trustworthy saying. And I want you to stress these things, so that those who have trusted in God may be careful to devote themselves to doing what is good. These things are excellent and profitable for everyone.

9 But avoid foolish controversies and genealogies and arguments and quarrels about the law, because these are unprofitable and useless.
10 Warn a divisive person once, and then warn him a second time. After that, have nothing to do with him.
11 You may be sure that such a man is warped and sinful; he is self-condemned.

Verses 1-2 Be humble and submit to authority. This is something that our generation has a problem with at times. It's really annoying to me too. This is basic manners people. This is something that is taught outside the realm of Christianity. Why can't we grasp this ourselves? I'm not just saying youth either, we're talking about the Mosaics this ranges from twenty five down to 8 years old. But think on that, college students who don't know how to be humble and submit to authority. I see people in my classes who are worse than first graders in the classroom, and then I see them at FUEL. When I see how they act, I feel embarrassed. Is the instructing going on in our churches that bad? Now granted the people in mention, I do not know their faith stance, I just see them in FUEL. But even if you aren't a Christian striving to follow Christ, there is seldom a religion that instructs you to be disrespectful to your authority.

Verses 3-4 talk about how at one time, when we were without Christ we lived like what I mentioned above. But now we have Christ, we are instructed to be something much higher than that! This is a place that really gets to me in management today. Managers and business owners have reduced their standards for hiring and employment. They have employee's who are constantly late, employee's who cannot get the job done. Why is it this way though? It is simply because people are not following Christ, and they have lost their respect for practically everything. People are reverting to how they were before Christ stepped in, and it isn't pretty.

Verses 5-7 Once again reaffirms our salvation. We are saved not because of our good works and righteousness, as I've been saying, we definitely aren't worthy of Christ. We have gained salvation because of His mercy on us. Because Christ wants to share eternal life with us.

Verse 8 Salvation is a gift to us, just like the base salary I mentioned earlier. If it were not for labor laws and unions, we would not have base salary, back before all this, base salary was a gift that boss's gave their employee's. But we must also devote ourselves for living for Christ, this is the only way we get the gift of salvation. If we are not focused on working for commission or heaven, if we just go into
salvation as "fire insurance" we aren't going to be headed to heaven.

Verses 9-11 avoid stupid fights. We were just talking about this, differences in the date of when a certain book of the Bible was written isn't something to fight over. It's something to know the differences, to know why it's thought to be written during that time. But if you both accept it as fact then why fight about it? Don't allow divisive people to divide things. Warn them, then warn them again, and be through with them. There are so many issues with people being divisive within the church. It's not a good thing. It brings a bad light onto Christianity. Don't allow it.

Now Paul is speaking to the Gentiles, and how to live as Christians.

Romans 11:11 Again I ask: Did they stumble so as to fall beyond recovery? Not at all! Rather, because of their transgression, salvation has come to the Gentiles to make Israel envious.
12 But if their transgression means riches for the world, and their loss means riches for the Gentiles, how much greater riches will their fullness bring!

13 I am talking to you Gentiles. Inasmuch as I am the apostle to the Gentiles, I make much of my ministry
14 in the hope that I may somehow arouse my own people to envy and save some of them.
15 For if their rejection is the reconciliation of the world, what will their acceptance be but life from the dead?
16 If the part of the dough offered as firstfruits is holy, then the whole batch is holy; if the root is holy, so are the branches.

17 If some of the branches have been broken off, and you, though a wild olive shoot, have been grafted in among the others and now share in the nourishing sap from the olive root,
18 do not boast over those branches. If you do, consider this: You do not support the root, but the root supports you.
19 You will say then, "Branches were broken off so that I could be grafted in."
20 Granted. But they were broken off because of unbelief, and you stand by faith. Do not be arrogant, but be afraid.
21 For if God did not spare the natural branches, he will not spare you either.

22 Consider therefore the kindness and sternness of God: sternness to those who fell, but kindness to you, provided that you continue in his kindness. Otherwise, you also will be cut off.
23 And if they do not persist in unbelief, they will be grafted in, for God is able to graft them in again. 24 After all, if you were cut out of an olive tree that is wild by nature, and contrary to nature were grafted into a cultivated olive tree, how much more readily will these, the natural branches, be grafted into their own olive tree!

Verses 11-12 we are Gentiles were offered salvation, because of our sins! This says that no matter how bad a person is, they can be saved. Salvation was brought to us to make the Jews envious. But also to bring us riches. Once again I bring it back to the commission analogy. This is what it's all about! Living for Christ and storing up our heavenly rewards!

Verses 13-15 though Paul is talking to Gentiles, he hopes that what he is sharing will affect the Jews also, Paul says what can be lost in gaining Christ? nothing! You gain eternal life! I like this verse, verse 14, arouse some of my people to envy and save of them. How great is that? I want to do that, I wish I didn't have to do that. But I want people to look at me and say, "I want to be like you" and I want to be able to say "It's all for the Lord" There's this song by Keith Green, my most favorite of his, called "Because of You." I want that to be the story of my life, here is the first verse.

"People smile at me and ask me what it is,
that makes them want to be just like I am,
and I just point to You, and tell them yes it's true,
I'm no special one, I'm just one man.

It's because of You,
people smile at me, and they say,
what a lucky guy."

Verse 16, I love this, if you tithe what you have, then what you have is holy. Simple as that. Tithe and everything that is yours will be Holy.

Verses 17-21 if you are fruitful in your walk with God, you will be placed with other fruitful people. This is an amazing concept. God will place you with other fruitful people, but you aren't supposed to get a big head, because then you cease to be fruitful. In order to keep bearing fruit you must be humble. Because if you cease to be fruitful you will be cut off.

Verses 22-24 Though someone who stops being fruitful can be cutoff, they can be brought back. If they become fruitful, because God has the power to graft anyone into His family. Once again showing how there are no limits to God's grace for us.

This stanza from the song "Ephesians" by ApologetiX is what brought all this to mind to me, and most of the verse references are listed in the song also, aside from the great commission.

"I've found salvation's a tree
And faith's what you use for seed
But grace is the start of the roots
And good deeds are just fruit"

So we are supposed to be out sharing our faith with the nations. Through this is covered how to be saved, how to share our faith, how to live in the world. These are essential things to our Christian faith. If we don't know how to go about these things, then we don't know how to live for Christ, and that means that we are "lukewarm" which God warns strongly against.

(Lyrics from "Hope to Carry On" by Rich Mullins)

Wednesday, February 11, 2009

I Am Not What You See

So there are three things I want to talk about today, not necessarily alot of verses, though there will be a few. To start off with, I want to add a disclaimer to all of my notes, written previously and yet to be written. I am not writing to come off as "holier than thou" or to talk down to you. When I tag someone in a note it's because I want them to read it, and leave some input if they get something out of it. I would also love it, if I don't tag you, for you to still read and leave input.
(WARNING: If you haven't been tagged, and you leave input, you will more than likely be tagged in notes thereafter)
Psalm 115:1 Not to us, O LORD, not to us; but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.
These notes are not my ideas, but what the Lord has planted in my heart, and so to Him be all the glory not me. These things that I write about are things that I struggle with also. "I am not what you see" fits this so perfectly. Just because I talk about what we should do in certain situations doesn't mean that I am not currently struggling with it myself.

Matthew 7:4 How can you say to your brother, 'Let me take the speck out of your eye,' when all the time there is a plank in your own eye? 5 You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your own eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.
Luke 6:41"Why do you look at the speck of sawdust in your brother's eye and pay no attention to the plank in your own eye? 42 How can you say to your brother, 'Brother, let me take the speck out of your eye,' when you yourself fail to see the plank in your own eye? You hypocrite, first take the plank out of your eye, and then you will see clearly to remove the speck from your brother's eye.

Matthew and Luke both talk about this, how can I push this off to you as readers, if I am not following it myself? The reason why I write these is because I am struggling with it, and I write in hopes of gaining understanding from you readers as peers, and that through it also if anyone reads and needs help with the same issue they will be able to gain it.

These things that are revealed to me through the Lord actually have a name, that is epiphany.
Epiphany :
1. (initial capital letter) a Christian festival, observed on January 6, commemorating the manifestation of Christ to the gentiles in the persons of the Magi; Twelfth-day.
2. an appearance or manifestation, esp. of a deity.
3. a sudden, intuitive perception of or insight into the reality or essential meaning of something, usually initiated by some simple, homely, or commonplace occurrence or experience.

I have only know epiphany as the third definition, imagine my surprise last night when I was considering putting the word in this note, and looked it up, and saw definitions 1 and 2.

Anyway, So these two epiphanies that I am writing about today happened over the course of the past two weeks, during the worship sessions at FUEL.

The first one, prayer is a conversation with God. Honestly, we hear this all the time, but do we really think of it that way?

Matthew 6:5"And when you pray, do not be like the hypocrites, for they love to pray standing in the synagogues and on the street corners to be seen by men. I tell you the truth, they have received their reward in full. 6 But when you pray, go into your room, close the door and pray to your Father, who is unseen. Then your Father, who sees what is done in secret, will reward you. 7 And when you pray, do not keep on babbling like pagans, for they think they will be heard because of their many words. 8 Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

I know most people have heard these verses before, and then the Lord's Prayer follows this. I also know that most of us don't go out on street corners and pray, but what we do have a tendency of doing, is babble, like none other, and repeat things (I know Darrel has already covered this once this year, but for some reason it just now hit me) such as God, Lord, and other "holy" words. It really hit me that when I pray, that I should just be talking to Him, I already do it some, but not near enough, I need to work to where I'm in constant conversation. I never really understood the whole "praying while driving" thing until this past month or so, in which I find myself in prayer anytime I think of something...It's pretty great! I also think (which this is more personal preference than anything) that when we pray we should be talking to Abba (the Aramaic word for Father) or Father if that "sounds" better to you. But that is just my personal thoughts.

Moving on to my second epiphany. This lines up with both things I have talked about in previous. It also ties into a certain day that is at the end of the week.....
Here is how the epiphany came to me, we were singing a certain song and in this song there is a line that says "Jesus you're all this heart is living for." Now back in the day (ha makes me sound old) as in like over the past two years, I'll be honest, when we'd sing this song in church, I would not sing this line. Because I felt horrible and like a hypocrite for doing so, which in all truth I was. I was always reminded of a verse that I mentioned in the last note, and one that Darrel mentioned last night.

Revelation 3:15 I know your deeds, that you are neither cold nor hot. I wish you were either one or the other! 16 So, because you are lukewarm—neither hot nor cold—I am about to spit you out of my mouth. 17 You say, 'I am rich; I have acquired wealth and do not need a thing.' But you do not realize that you are wretched, pitiful, poor, blind and naked.

I did not want to be lukewarm, so to me, by not singing that line, that was my attempt at being "cold" but what I found, was that in just avoiding that song, I couldn't escape, I would have to leave the church completely to be "cold" and I did not want to do this, so I remained lukewarm until about October/November of last year.

The reason why this hit me so hard, was because I had practically spent all day Monday talking to God about whether or not I would have someone for Valentines Day. (pathetic right?) Now I had seriously spent all day Monday talking to Him about it. Most of the day Tuesday was consumed in it also, but then when I got to FUEL and we sang that song, it hit me, hit me hard. Yes my life may be different from the way it was when I moved here, but Monday and Tuesday, I was not living for God, I was talking to God about what I wanted. This doesn't fly with God. We need to be seeking Him, praying to Him for what he wants in our lives. I know I wrote a note about what I wanted in a girl, and last night I came to the stark realization that what I want in future spouse, and what God wants for me in a future spouse may be two utterly different things. For all I know God could call me to be like Hosea, which would be in stark contrast to anything I would ever want. But it could happen.

(Title from Not What You See by Kutless)

Sunday, February 8, 2009

Echos Coming Back, What's This

So I've been contemplating this week, everything it means to be a high school student (junior/senior) and a college student. Who we are at this stage in our lives. Here in America when we are juniors and seniors in high school, we are considering where we want to go to college for the next four years. We sometimes tour multiple colleges, in hopes of finding the "right" one. Most of the time we don't even ask God what he wants. Sometimes we do. Once we get to college, we have so many decisions to make, Are we going to stay in church? Are we going to turn away? Are we going to party? Are we going to succeed in college?

There are two types of students. The one who sticks by the faith and grows spiritually, and the one who doesn't.

The person who chooses to turn away from the faith isn't a bad person, they have just lost their way. What happens is the youth gets caught up in wanting to be accepted, wanting to have friends, and so they do what they think they have to do to obtain this. If the person was a strong person of the faith, they will notice a very empty feeling. This is because they are not going the way that Christ had planned, and the person realizes it. When the person comes to this realization, they can either choose to return to the Lord, and seek forgiveness, or they can harden their heart and turn even further away.

2 Kings 2:23 From there Elisha went up to Bethel. As he was walking along the road, some youths came out of the town and jeered at him. "Go on up, you baldhead!" they said. "Go on up, you baldhead!" 24 He turned around, looked at them and called down a curse on them in the name of the LORD. Then two bears came out of the woods and mauled forty-two of the youths.

I thought that was an interesting bit about youth who weren't on the right path with the Lord. Then there is King David praying to the Lord.

Psalms 26:6 Remember, O LORD, your great mercy and love,for they are from of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to your love remember me, for you are good, O LORD.

David is praying for God's mercy and forgiveness for all the times he rebelled against him, for the times he wasn't walking the path that God had ordained for him to follow. This is something that all of us have had to do at one time or another, the question is whether or not we actually meant it when we prayed. Then there is the wisdom of King Solomon from Ecclesiastes.

Ecclesiastes 11:9
Be happy, young man, while you are young, and let your heart give you joy in the days of your youth. Follow the ways of your heart and whatever your eyes see, but know that for all these things God will bring you to judgment.

Enjoy life! But remember to do all things in Christ. I really had an "enjoy life" moment last night, after Winter Jam we went to Krispy Kreme and ordered donuts, eight people in the car, drive thru only, separate tickets, it was amazing, we spent over twenty minutes at the window getting our orders. While I was at Winter Jam, I was thinking of all the other times I had been, the first year, with Newsboys, meeting Andrew, then the year with Relient K and Audio A, making the radio show before we left, with all of us on there, Justin, Trevor, Zach, Andrew and I, then driving all the way to Little Rock singing Relient K songs. Including "The Pirates Who Don't Do Anything." These were truly "the days" I have never felt so alive than in moments like that. These are the times to cherish, but there is another side to the story; you have to see the second half of the verse. For all these things, God will bring you judgment. This is something that we forget all too often. Now I can say that last night, and at the previous mentioned Winter Jams, there was nothing negative the God would judge us on. But during the time between, the times when we aren't at church functions, we have to think of the things that we have done, and how God will judge us. Then we remember, he saves! and forgives all sins! Then we have what its like to follow Christ all your life:

Psalms 71:5 For you have been my hope, O Sovereign LORD, my confidence since my youth.
6 From birth I have relied on you; you brought me forth from my mother's womb. I will ever praise you.

We grow up in church, we "rely" on Christ all our lives, we praise Him in church. But have we ever given Him everything? When we are growing up in church do we ever think that things will be different? Do we ever realize our need to be following Christ whole heartedly? I mean, some of us have, but very few can say that their entire life, they have given it all to Christ. So Solomon writes again in Ecclesiastes to remind us what to do:

Ecclesiastes 12:1 Remember your Creator in the days of your youth, before the days of trouble come and the years approach when you will say, "I find no pleasure in them."

Remember God! There is a vast majority of youth who forget about Christ once they are in high school and college. Remember Him, so that you will not say "I find no pleasure in my youth." If we forget about Christ as we are growing into the adults, we will loose valuable time for His Kingdom. We won't live to the full potential that he needs us at. So many people say "if I had thought of it, I wouldn't have done ____________ in college and or high school." I'm the same way, but what if we had been living for Christ? The impact for the Kingdom we would have had!

2 Timothy 2:22 Flee the evil desires of youth, and pursue righteousness, faith, love and peace, along with those who call on the Lord out of a pure heart. 23Don't have anything to do with foolish and stupid arguments, because you know they produce quarrels.

Timothy here is just reiterating the wisdom that Solomon and David imparted to us. I love the verse that comes next though. Avoid stupid arguments. I could just go on about that one, maybe some other time.

Why is it though, that they say avoid the evil desires of youth? Why is it that youth are constantly battling between drawing close to God and disowning the faith. There are several keys to this; we are growing in so many ways during this time, that we really don't know what to do. If we aren't shown the greatness that can be had in following Christ and staying with Him, we won't want to do that. We'll want to do what is fun, and because of our inherent sin nature, sin is "fun" and so we have a tendency to lean towards sin, instead of being "sold out" to Christ. The person who is "sold out" for Christ throughout their entire life is truly blessed, they have such a great story to tell, of how they never strayed from the path of the Lord; sure they've sinned, everyone does, but they have been forgiven. Then there is the story of the one who has turned away from Christ, one of sorrow and pain, but also one of redemption, one of Christ's saving grace.

What you will find is that I refer to myself as straying, I do have to say that I have never stopped going to church, but that I found myself distant, and questioning why I was even going. I was the definition of "lukewarm" and hated it. I was one who hadn't fully lived for Christ his entire life, until a few months ago, when I surrendered all to Him. Now I am truly free.

What will it take to get youth and college students today to see it's sooooo much better to stick with Christ?

(Title from White Lights by Deas Vail)
Look forward, for the Son to rise on a new day

Tuesday, February 3, 2009

You'll Need Something More To Guide Your Heart, as you Grow into a Man, Let Mercy Lead, Let Love be the Strength in Your Legs

So in the past few days I've been reading in "unChristian" and then today in my Intro to Business class it was brought to my attention again, not by what was said, but because what we were talking about was something that my parents had helped me with nearly two years ago.
As is fashion in recent notes, I have brought the entire chapter; tonight is no exception Proverbs 4 been brought into the note, because this is written by a father (King Solomon) to one of his sons.
Yes, I admit it now, here I am, writing a note on Parenting a freshman in college. (and dad's like.....took ya long've been parenting since you were three....)

But this isn't about me. This is about all the Christian parents out there, raising their kids the way they need to be raised.

Here is Proverbs for chewing on, while you read the next part of the note.

Proverbs 1:8 Listen, my son, to your father's instruction and do not forsake your mother's teaching.

Proverbs 4:1 Listen, my sons, to a father's instruction;pay attention and gain understanding.
2 I give you sound learning, so do not forsake my teaching.
3 When I was a boy in my father's house, still tender, and an only child of my mother,
4 he taught me and said,"Lay hold of my words with all your heart;keep my commands and you will live.
5 Get wisdom, get understanding; do not forget my words or swerve from them.
6 Do not forsake wisdom, and she will protect you; love her, and she will watch over you.
7 Wisdom is supreme; therefore get wisdom. Though it cost all you have, get understanding.
8 Esteem her, and she will exalt you; embrace her, and she will honor you.
9 She will set a garland of grace on your head and present you with a crown of splendor."
10 Listen, my son, accept what I say,and the years of your life will be many.
11 I guide you in the way of wisdom and lead you along straight paths.
12 When you walk, your steps will not be hampered; when you run, you will not stumble.
13 Hold on to instruction, do not let it go; guard it well, for it is your life.
14 Do not set foot on the path of the wicked or walk in the way of evil men.
15 Avoid it, do not travel on it;turn from it and go on your way.
16 For they cannot sleep till they do evil;they are robbed of slumber till they make someone fall.
17 They eat the bread of wickedness and drink the wine of violence.
18 The path of the righteous is like the first gleam of dawn,shining ever brighter till the full light of day.
19 But the way of the wicked is like deep darkness; they do not know what makes them stumble.
20 My son, pay attention to what I say; listen closely to my words.
21 Do not let them out of your sight, keep them within your heart;
22 for they are life to those who find them and health to a man's whole body.
23 Above all else, guard your heart,for it is the wellspring of life.
24 Put away perversity from your mouth; keep corrupt talk far from your lips.
25 Let your eyes look straight ahead,fix your gaze directly before you.
26 Make level paths for your feet and take only ways that are firm.
27 Do not swerve to the right or the left;keep your foot from evil.

There is so much about not just parenting, but how to live life in this Chapter that it's alot to swallow. Instead of bringing back in the verses, I'm going to refer to the verse number when I talk about it.
As in 1:8 and verse 1, "Listen", I know that sometimes, especially with kids and their "social issues" that it's hard to keep kids focused, but in all reality it's not just about children hearing your instruction, it is about you acting upon the words you say. It is about the parent actually doing what they are telling their kids to do, if you tell them to brush their teeth every morning and every night, they better be seeing you brushing your teeth every morning and every night. If you are telling them to read the Bible everyday, and you aren't reading the Bible everyday, then what is going to make them want to read the Bible? This is the same way with our Christian walk,(sorry this is off, but it was in the chapter before the one I'm in now in "unChristian") if we are talking all this talk, about how you shouldn't curse, and you should be so involved in church, and such, you had better be doing it, otherwise you are hurting your witness, and people are at a point in today's time, that they don't want your Jesus, if you are just like them. You have to be transparent with someone, whether it be your child, or someone you are trying to bring to Christ. You have to point out to them, that we are saved by God's grace, and we are striving everyday to be more like him, and that yes we may mess up, but God forgives, and still loves us. We aren't perfect, nobodies perfect the only way that things are perfect is together, through Christ.

Hebrews 11:40 "God had planned something better for us so that only together with us would they be made perfect.

In verses two through four it talks about holding to your fathers instruction, about how King David instructed his son King Solomon, to listen, and he essentially wouldn't die. Now we all hope that our kids won't die, but we find that there is some instructions that you give to a kid that can potentially save him from killing himself out of ignorance. I mean if as a child, we weren't instructed that those fast moving things out on the pavement won't stop for you, how many of us would have run out in front of a vehicle and nearly died? Also how many of us as young adults, when instructed by our parents, or worse by an officer of the law, that we needed to slow down, or we could get hurt. I mean these are simple things, that have been known to happen, because of all the years that there have been vehicles on the roads.

Verses 5-9 Wisdom, now this is coming from the wisest man to ever walk the earth. I would think we need to be listening to everything he says, but I mean honestly. If he says be wise and act on it, we should, I mean isn't that the same thing that our parents say to us? "I don't think it'd be best if you touched that stove." or "If you don't stop you'll be grounded." A child may not stop the first time, but I'm sure that if you are adamant and fulfill your word, someday they are going to change. If a child doesn't heed wisdom then what is going to happen? Their years are going to be few, or at least that's what I'd think, cause it says if a child heeds wisdom, his years will be many, and the opposite of many is few. This is what verse ten says.

Verses 11-19 talk about our journey through life growing up, and then even once we are grown. If we heed the wisdom of our parents, and stay on the right path. Nothing bad can happen. Our parents have our back and so does Christ ( I say this assuming that our parents have shared Christ's love with us also). It even tells us what will befall us if we don't listen to our parents, we will essentially be wicked and violent. Isn't that reminiscent of "problem children" today? I mean the ones who don't have any mental problems, the ones who are just straight up defiant. Why are they this way? Because they don't listen to their parents. Why don't they listen to their parents? Because their parents don't stay true to their word, they don't act on their words.

Verses 20-22 reiterate the need to keep the instruction of your parents close to you. For this will bring you ultimate life and health. Many will tell you, after they have strayed from what their parents have instructed, and done immoral things, that it would have been better if they had just listened to their parents. Why do you think this is? Because your parents instruction will bring you true life and health, through Jesus.

Verse 23 oh what I would give to have listened to my parents on this one. If I had guarded my heart, I would have a better testimony for myself to give to my future wife. But this alas is where I have slipped, and I do say that my parents were right. For some reason, when they instructed me not to go out with one person, I listened. But with another I didn't, and what I would give to have gotten out of that sooner. (Laura, you better do a better job!)

Verse 24 don't curse and think bad things. I mean honestly, we have been taught this our entire lives. Why is this bad though? For several reasons, one in the future professional world, you are going to be hired on how you carry yourself, this includes the words that come out of your mouth. Then the bigger one. If you are cursing or talking about inappropriate things, it hurts your Christian testimony. I was actually walking to the caf tonight with two friends who are solid Christians, and a fourth guy who isn't, both of them have been working on befriending him and showing him Christ, but one thing that I noticed as we walked, was what was talked about in conversation. They were talking about another person from our dorm and how he is. In what was talked about, was not something that should have been mentioned in front of a guy who is questioning why he should have Jesus, because we are no different from him (well other than that we don't smoke and dip.....). Let alone talked about in front of other Christians.

Verses 25-27 Just re-iterate how important it is to keep ourselves focused on Christ, and his glory. To not stray from the path. I can honestly say, I strayed from the path for almost a year, and it was not good, I feel like I lost such valuable time, that I could have been using for God's glory. Not to mention all the relationships I hurt during that time.

Colossians 3:20 Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord.
21 Fathers, do not embitter your children, or they will become discouraged.

I bring in Colossians because it cautions against parents overdoing it. I have seen this several times, where parents have been very strong towards their children about how they should act, and how they shouldn't be involved in things, and they didn't care. The children wanted everything to do with it, because they were constantly pressured not to.

Psalm 37:25 I was young and now I am old,yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken, or their children begging bread.
26 They are always generous and lend freely;their children will be blessed.
27 Turn from evil and do good;then you will dwell in the land forever.

I love this verse, because it tells parents how important it is to live like Christ. IF you live for Christ your children will be blessed! Your Children! I mean isn't this the best gift that a parent can give their child?

So parents. You know how to instruct your children. You don't need to hear it from me, but maybe there was some insight you missed that I have pointed out. What I do want to offer to you, is that it works. I may have strayed some, and who knows, it may happen again (though I don't plan on it). But really your hard work pays off! Have faith. Here is the reason why I wrote this note. In reading the chapter "Get Saved" in unChristian, there was a staggering statistic. A person's view on faith is shaped by the time they are ten. So if you haven't showed your child Christ, if you didn't start out in the beginning raising your child towards being a Christian. Then you are going to have a tough time getting them to grasp Christ once they are grown. Only one out of six people become a Christian after the age of twenty, and somewhere around ninety percent of those, have spent at least a three month consecutive period in church before the age of ten. So the hope of anyone becoming saved after college is slim, and it's even worse if they have had no church experience.

The only thing that I have to say that I find is a let down from my upbringing is that my parents did not start daily devotions soon enough. I believe if you start daily devotions as infants with your children, and continue til they leave the house. There will be an expectancy there that is un-paralleled.

I have to say from my experience growing up that there is nothing in my upbringing that I would change, and I have several college friends who would say the same about how they were raised...some even who may have had to write Proverbs 4 when they were in trouble.......I know I have had to.....

Rachel, maybe sometime soon I'll write about grand parenting.

Proverbs 17:6 Children's children are a crown to the aged, and parents are the pride of their children.

Are your parents the pride of your life?

(Title From "Let Mercy Lead" by Rich Mullins)

Thursday, January 29, 2009

We Talk Alot, but it's Always Small, Tiny Bricks That Make a Giant Wall, I Hope These Words are a Wrecking Ball

So really I started this so that I could have a more open community to the notes I was writing, but now I've felt like I should just use this also as an outlet for my thoughts.

So today I had College Algebra, a whole lot easier here at Tech than back home at National Park. There are still a few things that I'm not quite grasping though....

I finally got the rosters for the Toilet Bowl, flag football tournament on Saturday. It looks promising, right now I'm focused on getting my team through our side of the bracket, then we will worry about winning the whole thing.

So for some reason over this week I've begun to notice how lonely I truly am. It's not a fun feeling. I wrote about this girl that I like, and in talking to some of my other friends, they think I should tell her how I feel. But it's like anytime I get ready to, one of us has to go for some reason or another. I wish I could hang out with her, but it's hard when she's so far away. I'd really like to get to know her better, but we never have the time to talk.

Anyway. I'm going to try to sleep now.

(Title from Elements Combined by Fiction Family)

Wednesday, January 28, 2009

"There's Probably No God"

The above link is to the story about Ad's that Athiests have put on London's buses
The below link is one of the campaigns that Christians have put on London's buses, these ran during Christmas time

I'm having a hard time finding the ad campaign that was talked about that went on during the summer months. But I find this very interesting, something I would consider along the lines of atheists fighting to get the ten commandments off of public property... The two sectors are "fighting" for lack of better term, back and forth combating each others ads. But what I find even more interesting is the way that the atheists worded their phrase "There's probably no God" they're leaving themselves open, I mean they are saying "We really don't know if there isn't a God or not," I mean don't atheists believe that there is no God, or at least God in the sense that we believe in.

This is something that is key though, transparency is something that everyone needs to have.

(Wow it's all coming together now, this is soooooo crazy, if you read what I wrote last night, you'll see that I nearly wrote along the lines of what I'm about to say on Sunday night, but that wasn't the right time, all because this is when God wanted me to write about it.)

This is the main reason that outsiders, don't want to come to church. Because we aren't open with who we are, we try to hide behind this mighty "I'm righteous" persona that no one wants to be around. Simply because the atheists are willing to admit that they aren't sure if there is a God or not is a big deal. It would be along the lines of Joel Osteen standing up on National Television and saying "I'm a pastor, but I have committed *insert sin,* and Jesus still loves me. Or us putting an ad up apologizing for not being transparent enough like "Yes people sin, but we strive everyday with Christ's help to be more like him."

I watched this movie Sunday, about an Amish man who goes to Hollywood as a missionary. He ends up in the t.v. business, and starts going to parties and what not for "promotion" in the end, after months of doing so, he ends up messing up, getting drunk, and other things. The girl he is in love with is devastated, he says "I messed up, everyone messes up sometimes" and she says "not you" and leaves him, well he ends up with a job as a guy in a hot dog suit, and while standing out there, he realizes that he still has Christ with him, and that Jesus still loves him, and that he needs to keep carrying out His work. So he begins preaching there on the street corner, gets arrested, and this girl that he loves comes and bails him out. She realizes that yes everyone messes up, and at least he was transparent enough to let her know that, and that he isn't going to get drunk or anything else.

If Christians were transparent, and loving, and not self righteous people who hold their faith above the people who have "messed up" there would be a whole lot more openness to the Word.
If you read that first news clip, you'll see that the Methodists have encouraged the atheist ads because it will make people think about God, and whether or not they believe in Him. If we would be transparent with people who aren't sure, and not condemn them for being outsiders, then people would be a whole lot more receptive to the Word, and Christ's love.

Tuesday, January 27, 2009

Just Keep Doing Your Best, and Pray That It's Blessed

So this past weekend/beginning of the week has been an interesting one for me.....
Friday I decided spur of the moment to go backpacking, I chose Mt. Nebo since it was close and an easy hike. Well after checking in, paying five bucks plus tax (five bucks for a spot that you hike to......I mean really?) anyway I'm packing in, and about a mile, mile and half into it, I turn a corner on the trail, and I see smoke, and I think "the campsites aren't that close to the trail...." and it's a tree! A tree full fledge on fire! Right beside the trail! So I'm like, I should probably call the park office, so I did, and they were like thanks for calling we'll get someone on that. In after thought I forgot to take a picture for all of ya'll to was pretty spectacular, aside from the whole "Wow the whole mountain is about to go up in flames" thought. So yeah, I went on around to my campsite, where I had two different park superintendents come and talk to me. Very interesting thing, reporting forest fires... So yeah camped out by myself all that fun stuff....

Saturday wasn't really too eventful....

Sunday I get out of church and the gas cap on my car was gone, I either left it at the gas station, or someone came and took it. So yeah, that night I saw a movie out at a local church, I came back and was going to write a note about some things and also about a chapter I'm reading in the book "unChristian" (speaking of which Read it! really it will grow you in so many ways, I'm just three chapters in, and it's worth me buying it just for Chapter 3) I got two paragraphs into the note and God was just like "no you aren't going to write this" and that was that.

So I go to sleep and I have to be at work at 6am Monday morning, well I set my alarm, but it didn't go off, why it didn't go off I don't know, but I woke up at 6:10 and was only thirty minutes late for work. But really just on top of all that it made for a really weird four days.

I say all this, because after my whole "burning tree" experience, I felt that before I went to sleep I should read Exodus 3 and 4, Moses encounter with God in the burning bush.

1 Now Moses was tending the flock of Jethro his father-in-law, the priest of Midian, and he led the flock to the far side of the desert and came to Horeb, the mountain of God. 2 There the angel of the LORD appeared to him in flames of fire from within a bush. Moses saw that though the bush was on fire it did not burn up. 3 So Moses thought, "I will go over and see this strange sight—why the bush does not burn up."

4 When the LORD saw that he had gone over to look, God called to him from within the bush, "Moses! Moses!"
And Moses said, "Here I am."

5 "Do not come any closer," God said. "Take off your sandals, for the place where you are standing is holy ground." 6 Then he said, "I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob." At this, Moses hid his face, because he was afraid to look at God.

7 The LORD said, "I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. 8 So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey—the home of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites. 9 And now the cry of the Israelites has reached me, and I have seen the way the Egyptians are oppressing them. 10 So now, go. I am sending you to Pharaoh to bring my people the Israelites out of Egypt."

11 But Moses said to God, "Who am I, that I should go to Pharaoh and bring the Israelites out of Egypt?"

12 And God said, "I will be with you. And this will be the sign to you that it is I who have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you will worship God on this mountain."

13 Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they ask me, 'What is his name?' Then what shall I tell them?"

14 God said to Moses, "I am who I am . This is what you are to say to the Israelites: 'I AM has sent me to you.' "

15 God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has sent me to you.' This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.

16 "Go, assemble the elders of Israel and say to them, 'The LORD, the God of your fathers—the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob—appeared to me and said: I have watched over you and have seen what has been done to you in Egypt. 17 And I have promised to bring you up out of your misery in Egypt into the land of the Canaanites, Hittites, Amorites, Perizzites, Hivites and Jebusites—a land flowing with milk and honey.'

18 "The elders of Israel will listen to you. Then you and the elders are to go to the king of Egypt and say to him, 'The LORD, the God of the Hebrews, has met with us. Let us take a three-day journey into the desert to offer sacrifices to the LORD our God.' 19 But I know that the king of Egypt will not let you go unless a mighty hand compels him. 20 So I will stretch out my hand and strike the Egyptians with all the wonders that I will perform among them. After that, he will let you go.

21 "And I will make the Egyptians favorably disposed toward this people, so that when you leave you will not go empty-handed. 22 Every woman is to ask her neighbor and any woman living in her house for articles of silver and gold and for clothing, which you will put on your sons and daughters. And so you will plunder the Egyptians."

Then Chapter 4

Moses answered, "What if they do not believe me or listen to me and say, 'The LORD did not appear to you'?"

2 Then the LORD said to him, "What is that in your hand?"
"A staff," he replied.

3 The LORD said, "Throw it on the ground."
Moses threw it on the ground and it became a snake, and he ran from it. 4 Then the LORD said to him, "Reach out your hand and take it by the tail." So Moses reached out and took hold of the snake and it turned back into a staff in his hand. 5 "This," said the LORD, "is so that they may believe that the LORD, the God of their fathers—the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob—has appeared to you."

6 Then the LORD said, "Put your hand inside your cloak." So Moses put his hand into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was leprous, like snow.

7 "Now put it back into your cloak," he said. So Moses put his hand back into his cloak, and when he took it out, it was restored, like the rest of his flesh.

8 Then the LORD said, "If they do not believe you or pay attention to the first miraculous sign, they may believe the second. 9 But if they do not believe these two signs or listen to you, take some water from the Nile and pour it on the dry ground. The water you take from the river will become blood on the ground."

10 Moses said to the LORD, "O Lord, I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue."

11 The LORD said to him, "Who gave man his mouth? Who makes him deaf or mute? Who gives him sight or makes him blind? Is it not I, the LORD ? 12 Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say."

13 But Moses said, "O Lord, please send someone else to do it."

14 Then the LORD's anger burned against Moses and he said, "What about your brother, Aaron the Levite? I know he can speak well. He is already on his way to meet you, and his heart will be glad when he sees you. 15 You shall speak to him and put words in his mouth; I will help both of you speak and will teach you what to do. 16 He will speak to the people for you, and it will be as if he were your mouth and as if you were God to him. 17 But take this staff in your hand so you can perform miraculous signs with it."

18 Then Moses went back to Jethro his father-in-law and said to him, "Let me go back to my own people in Egypt to see if any of them are still alive."
Jethro said, "Go, and I wish you well."

19 Now the LORD had said to Moses in Midian, "Go back to Egypt, for all the men who wanted to kill you are dead." 20 So Moses took his wife and sons, put them on a donkey and started back to Egypt. And he took the staff of God in his hand.

21 The LORD said to Moses, "When you return to Egypt, see that you perform before Pharaoh all the wonders I have given you the power to do. But I will harden his heart so that he will not let the people go. 22 Then say to Pharaoh, 'This is what the LORD says: Israel is my firstborn son, 23 and I told you, "Let my son go, so he may worship me." But you refused to let him go; so I will kill your firstborn son.' "

24 At a lodging place on the way, the LORD met {Moses} and was about to kill him. 25 But Zipporah took a flint knife, cut off her son's foreskin and touched {Moses'} feet with it. "Surely you are a bridegroom of blood to me," she said. 26 So the LORD let him alone. (At that time she said "bridegroom of blood," referring to circumcision.)

27 The LORD said to Aaron, "Go into the desert to meet Moses." So he met Moses at the mountain of God and kissed him. 28 Then Moses told Aaron everything the LORD had sent him to say, and also about all the miraculous signs he had commanded him to perform.

29 Moses and Aaron brought together all the elders of the Israelites, 30 and Aaron told them everything the LORD had said to Moses. He also performed the signs before the people, 31 and they believed. And when they heard that the LORD was concerned about them and had seen their misery, they bowed down and worshiped.

Two entire chapters, that's the most I've done so far, anyway it will all come together.
So Moses sees this burning bush, now out there, where Moses is from, I know he didn't have the reaction I had, I mean first off he was on Jethro's land, and secondly it wasn't burning anything else, nor was it burning itself up. But seriously, think about what you would do if you saw a burning bush, you would flip right? I mean, I stay calm in most situations, like I did when I saw the tree, I looked at it, assessed that though it was burning pretty strong, that it wasn't burned enough that it would be falling over anytime soon, at which point I would have flipped, I would have been yelling at the lady and trying to figure out what I could use to did trenches around the fire.

Anyway enough about myself. So Moses starts talking to God through the bush. This is interesting because it's one of the few times, that God actually presents himself as an object for us to "see." So he tells Moses to take his sandals off because he's on Holy ground. Then he goes on to tell Moses what he expects him to do. What does Moses do? He questions God! Questions GOD! I mean honestly, you are talking to God, wouldn't you have enough fear of him that you would just say "Yes, Lord" and move on, but we see this with other important figures in the Bible also.

Genesis 32:22-30
22 That night Jacob got up and took his two wives, his two maidservants and his eleven sons and crossed the ford of the Jabbok. 23 After he had sent them across the stream, he sent over all his possessions. 24 So Jacob was left alone, and a man wrestled with him till daybreak. 25 When the man saw that he could not overpower him, he touched the socket of Jacob's hip so that his hip was wrenched as he wrestled with the man. 26 Then the man said, "Let me go, for it is daybreak."
But Jacob replied, "I will not let you go unless you bless me."

27 The man asked him, "What is your name?"
"Jacob," he answered.

28 Then the man said, "Your name will no longer be Jacob, but Israel, [a] because you have struggled with God and with men and have overcome."

29 Jacob said, "Please tell me your name."
But he replied, "Why do you ask my name?" Then he blessed him there.

30 So Jacob called the place Peniel, [b] saying, "It is because I saw God face to face, and yet my life was spared."

Jacob wrestles with God

So yeah, I mean really, why not just do what God wants?

So after God shows Moses all these signs, so Moses can "prove" God is real, He has told him what to say so that people will know it's the real God. Then after he complained that he couldn't speak, he brought forth his older brother.

God was seriously getting mad, I mean really, making God mad? Why can't you just trust Him, I mean really he's God, do you think he's just going to leave you hanging up there?

So then we have this interesting picture of Moses stopping for the night and God trying to kill him, now it's really interesting how {Moses} is put in there. The reason why it's done this way is because it is assumed that it is Moses spoken about here, the original Hebrew just says "his." What is thought of here, is that Moses son was not circumcised and in order for Moses to do work for God he must be circumcised, and since Moses knows that his son needs this, but hasn't done it God is going to kill him.

When I first read it, I missed the whole circumcision thing, and was like, wow Moses made him that mad! I mean, really if it was over Moses asking questions, why aren't we all dead? But this was about something greater than that.

But I mean really, why do we question God? We are told specifically that he is going to find someone else to do it, if we won't. But why would we not want to? It is an honor for us to be a part of his plan! When we are a part of God's plan we are storing up our rewards in heaven! Which is far greater than anything we can ever imagine

I say all this, and tell you all about my weekend, because, I really don't know how focused on him I was this weekend. And I wasn't really looking for what he wanted me to do, and I feel that that may perhaps be the reasoning for all the mishaps I encountered. So in summary, do as God directs, and you'll be on the right track.

"Just keep doing you best, and pray that it's blessed, Jesus will take care of the rest"

(Title from He'll Take Care of the Rest by Keith Green)

Friday, January 23, 2009

I confess I don't have alot, but what I've got is because of YOU!

Why is it that we want to be recognized for our works?

I mean given, some people like to stay in the back and not be noticed, but deep down inside we want to be recognized. We want to be appreciated!

James 1:9-11
"9 The brother in humble circumstances ought to take pride in his high position.
10 But the one who is rich should take pride in his low position, because he will pass away like a wild flower.
11 For the sun rises with scorching heat and withers the plant; its blossom falls and its beauty is destroyed. In the same way, the rich man will fade away even while he goes about his business

Proverbs 16:5,18-19
" 5 The LORD detests all the proud of heart.
Be sure of this: They will not go unpunished.

18 Pride goes before destruction,
a haughty spirit before a fall.

19 Better to be lowly in spirit and among the oppressed
than to share plunder with the proud. "

Proverbs 31:30-31
"30 Charm is deceptive, and beauty is fleeting;
but a woman who fears the LORD is to be praised.

31 Give her the reward she has earned,
and let her works bring her praise at the city gate.

2 Chronicles 15:7-8
" 7 But as for you, be strong and do not give up, for your work will be rewarded."

8 When Asa heard these words and the prophecy of Azariah son of Oded the prophet, he took courage. He removed the detestable idols from the whole land of Judah and Benjamin and from the towns he had captured in the hills of Ephraim. He repaired the altar of the LORD that was in front of the portico of the LORD's temple.

Proverbs 13:13
"He who scorns instruction will pay for it, but he who respects a command is rewarded."

Ecclesiastes 2:9-11
"9 I became greater by far than anyone in Jerusalem before me. In all this my wisdom stayed with me.

10 I denied myself nothing my eyes desired;
I refused my heart no pleasure.
My heart took delight in all my work,
and this was the reward for all my labor.

11 Yet when I surveyed all that my hands had done
and what I had toiled to achieve,
everything was meaningless, a chasing after the wind;nothing was gained under the sun.

I could go on with the verses all day, as a matter of fact in the NIV the word "reward" in all its forms appears seventy five times throughout the scriptures.

I'm reading this book, "Be A People Person" by John Maxwell. I've stated this in previous notes as well. Anyway, there is a chapter on Encouragement in the book. This is where I was reading today when I had these thoughts.

Why do we only reward the children?
Why do we loose focus on God and focus on our works?
Why are we seeking a worldly reward and not a heavenly one?

In response to my first question posed. In the church (Southern Baptist) we have AWANA's and RA's(Royal Ambassadors) ect. Where children are rewarded for the Bible memorization, and other good merits. Once we graduate to Youth, College, and even Adult Small Groups, there are no rewards. As a matter of fact, typically we loose the accountability that we had in grade school, for reading the Bible, and maintaining a daily walk with Christ.

Why don't we do homework handouts for everyone? Why not every week memorize a verse as a church or a youth group? Why not work on memorizing an entire passage of Scripture over a period of time? Do you know how much heavenly reward we could gain from this? Not only that, but we could allow for an "earthly" reward for the person who does the best. An incentive to try harder. But we have to be careful and not build too much into it. Not to take our focus off of Christ. But wouldn't it be great if we could find that medium, and everyone in the church body memorizing Scripture and growing in Christ in ways they haven't known since grade school!

Now on to the second question. Ego maniacs, self-righteousness. Why? Solomon himself in Ecclesiastes said that it was meaningless. Everything that the Bible talks about on the subject, talks about how dangerous it is. A straight path to destruction. Why would we want to reward ourselves, bring a focus onto us away from God? This is just lessening our reward. Oh it may be great to be noticed here, right now, for what we are doing for Christ, but wouldn't you much rather want a heavenly reward than an earthly one? I know I would.

There I go, I've summed up questions two and three in one paragraph.

But seriously. The Lord rewards us for keeping our focus on him. As stated in Proverbs 31. Why not live all out for Him and get the heavenly reward, than to stay focused on the world, and receive an earthly reward.

As stated in Hebrews 11

"If they had dwelled on the old country they could have stayed there, but they didn't, they were looking for a new one, and for this God was proud, and had a heavenly home prepared for them"
(that is extremely paraphrased)

(Title from the song Because of You by Keith Green)

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Everybody loves him, but they can't get close, at least that's what he's told

What defines a friendship?

Many would quote Proverbs 18:24

"24 A man of many companions may come to ruin,
but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother."

Typically, we just see the second part of that verse, and really I just looked it up for the last part, I didn't even realize the first part.

This is just goes to show you how much God is leading me towards what I need to see right now. Just so everyone knows, what I write about, it isn't stuff I just pick up, it's something I've heard or thought of, and God has prodded me to search further, I'm just asking ya'll to go on the journey with me.

Here I am right now, sitting in my dorm room (I really should be reading something for classes, but it's not overly important at the moment...) And this has been on my heart for the past few days. Last night I ate supper by myself, now I say this not to bring pity on myself, or any other form of glory or what you would think, I'm using it for a point.

When I started out this year at Tech, I had about six friends in the Arkansas Tech Network, two of which were freshmen like me, one an alum, and three who were current students. I have now expanded to Fifty-One friends from the Arkansas Tech Network. That is more people than I can tag in this note! But to be honest with you, there were probably three of them in the caf last night, and I didn't feel comfortable going up and eating with any of them.

A Friend who sticks closer than a brother. Really? I mean I honestly, have to say, I don't have a friend like that. I never have. Now I have many companions. MANY companions. I mean who can seriously go through all 400 and something friends, and remember each of their names? That's something I can do, not to gloat, but I can. But I can honestly say that I wouldn't feel comfortable walking up to any one of them and telling them some things about me.

It's not supposed to be that way. But I am yet to find someone who is willing to invest the time to get to know me like that. Now it can be disheartening, but at this point I am maintaining hope that it's simply because Christ is yet to provide me with the right person to be that friend. Because I certainly don't want to come to ruin. I mean none of us would even wish that on somebody. (well maybe we would.............but that would be a we don't). But it says MAY come to ruin. So there is hope yet!

(Title from Star of the Show by Everyday Sunday)