Thoughts, observations, scripture and other articles relating to Christianity and the Christian life.

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Best Gospel Explanation video EVER!!!

http://player.vimeo.com/video/8707672

How to get to Heaven from Chris Mole on Vimeo.


What we can learn from hospital visits

So, Jenn (my wife) woke up with kidney stones this morning and we took a field trip to the hospital.  Hospitals are a place of high emotion and do a great job of stripping away distractions and showing you a persons true nature.  No cable tv, no internet (most of the time anyway…Jenn is getting a CT so I am doing this to kill time and to keep me from working myself into thinking this illness is something it’s not).  Just you, your loved ones and your thought life.  The fact that so many people near by are so close to Christ or hell is a bit overwhelming.

I would imagine that hospitals might be (outside of church) the most common place where people finally come to Christ.  Finally in a situation where our own mortality is staring us right in the face, we can no longer ignore the inevitable: we are going to die.  We will discover what lies beyond this life.  And as the Bible tells us, MANY people will not like what they find.  Only when it is too late will the truth become obvious to them:

Jesus IS Lord.  Hell IS real.  Our object of faith DOES matter.  Our deeds AREN’T relevant to our salvation.

This is one of the big reasons that I do and say what I do.  Heaven, Hell, God, Satan are all a fact of universal reality, NOT someone’s realities truth.

Let us act accordingly; always on the lookout to be used as a instrument of salvation for others by Christ’s sovereignty.

God bless.

-Neil


Turn Your Head and Cough…

I had to goto the doctor to get a physical recently.

Yeah, one of THOSE physicals.

The older I get, the more comfortable I am getting them.  Maybe I appreciate more that I need to take care of my body or maybe it doesn’t bother me as much to be naked in front of a stranger (not in a creepy exhibitionist way though).  Either way, it is even MORE important to get regular check up of our spiritual health.  Below is a list of things you might want to ask yourself about.  Most of these are biblically based, some are just my opinion, but I think all are helpful.

  1. Do you know the basics of your faith?  Do you know the nature of God?  Do you know what the “Trinity” is? Do you know HOW people are saved (Faith?  Works?  Both?)?  The doctrine of the Trinity and Salvation are essential to our belief.  If you don’t know the answers to these questions, or have a wrong answer, there is a very good possibility your soul is in jeopardy.
  2. Are you spending time in scripture?  Growing in your faith without bible reading or otherwise being exposed to God’s word is like trying to build muscle without lifting weights.  Sure, it MIGHT happen…but it ain’t bloody likely.  Like lifting weights and exercising, it also gets easier and more enjoyable the more you do it.  I didn’t care for it at first either, but now I feel great every time I do.
  3. Do you pray “without ceasing”?  Praying, to use a hip analogy, can be like using a cell phone.  There are two main ways to communicate via a cell phone: Talking or texting.  The “talking” kind of prayer is the all encompassing, summative prayer that I might do at night.  I say prayers for friends, family, students and coworkers to come to know Christ, safety for all, praises and requests.  These prayers can last anywhere from 3-15 minutes (or longer if something is really on my heart).  The “texting” type prayer are the really quick prayers that I might say throughout the day.  For example, if a student comes up and tells me a grandparent passed over the weekend, am I am in the hallway monitoring the kids, I might say a quick, silent “texting” prayer for comfort for the family, or something like that.  I take prayer requests seriously and it can be hard (especially when you see almost 200 kids a day) to keep up on all of the prayer requests that come to mind.  These texting prayers are great for a few resons; They keep our mind on God throughout the day, they keep us sensitive to the needs of others, and they also keep us from being overwhelmed with prayer requests during our “calling” prayers.
  4. Do you “keep you minds on the things above”?  It is impossible not to be preoccupied at all with worldly things, but I find the more I concentrate on Christ, the less I worry about day-to-day life, and the more I reflect his image (but believe me I am FAR from even a DECENT reflection of Christ).  When we start to realise that the mortgage payments will pass, the sinful temptations will pass and one day we will be face to face with Christ, things start to get in their proper perspective.
  5. Is Christ a fairytale or fact in your daily life?  Sadly, as told in Matthew, there will be people who profess Christ, but will be turned away because of their false faith.  I think these people who will be turned away largely treat Christ as a fairytale instead of fact.
  6. Can people tell there is something “different” about you?  Are you conforming to the world, or are you in contrast to it?  If we are known by our “fruits” or “deeds/disposition” are you growing delicious grapes, or sour apples?
  7. Is God at the top of your priority list?  I had an argument with a person close to me about this one time and it was one of the most difficult conversations I have ever had, but it resulted in a revaluation for that person and I have seen growth since then.  God is not A priority.  He is THE priority.  This does not mean that every moment of our lives should be spent in bible reading or prayer, but rather that his standards and expectations should permeate every aspect of our lives.  There is no aspect of our lives that is not accountable to God.  If God isn’t number one in your life, he might as well not be in your life at all.

Do you have some other items that you think should be added to this list?  What other things do you think should be in a “Christian Physical”?  I would love to hear your ideas.

-Neil


Unthankfulness

Respectable Sins by Jerry Bridges is one of those books that should be read and reread by ALL believers.  Every time I read through it, it convicts me of sins that go nearly completely unchecked in my life.  Among them is the sin of unthankfulness.

If we believe, like scripture tells us, that every good gift is a gift from God, then how often should we be thanking God throughout our days?

That beautiful sunrise?  A gift from God.

The place you live?  A gift from God.

The food you eat?  A gift from God.

We should live, saturated in the knowledge, that God has had the right since our very fist sin, to condemn us forever.  How thankful should we be just to be able to breathe the air we breathe?  Our very lives, our free will are His gift to us.  How much MORE thankful should we be that we are His children and that we are saved.  Not only are we saved, our salvation is NOT dependant upon our behavior, it, like everything else in our lives, is a gift from God.

Let us strive to live, perpetually thankful for ALL that we have.  Let us be thankful that we are saved through our faith, and around the dinner table Thursday, let us be thankful and bold, sharing the faith when the opportunity presents itself.

Have a wonderful holiday, and safe travels.

-Neil


Work and Answered Prayer

It’s spring break.  I have nine days off of work.  I will be spending part of my time camping with my fiance on the coast.  I plan on trying to spend some of that time in solitude for prayer, meditation on the word and in hopes of clearly hearing God’s voice.  Something I have come to realize it that just because we don’t hear a voice from the heavens does not mean he is not speaking to us.

A while back, I was SERIOUSLY considering leaving teaching.  I was having trouble with the kids, felt like my efforts were becoming futile and just frustrated with teaching all together.  I prayed about it, thought about it, looked at other options.  And then four very cool things happened all in a period of 24 hours:

  1. I talked to a coworker about my situation.  She said that she faced a similar situation when she was at the same stage in her teaching career.  She also spoke how highly our common students spoke of me as a teacher.
  2. That same day, as a part of a research project, I received a very sweet page long letter from a student of mine praising me for my efforts, my humor and saying that I had taken a subject she hated and turned it into something that she enjoys.
  3. I had a phone call with a parent of a student who had faced a lot of difficulties lately and she again said she thought I was doing a great job and that I was one of two teachers she thought was really helping her child.
  4. A Christian Rapper, Sho Baraka, whom I follow on twitter (Yeah, i’m a cyber celebrity stocker) put this up on his page: “If God has called you to be a trashman, don’t stoop so low as to become a King“.  This really solidified it for me that my career isn’t about what is going to make me happy or my life easy, but it’s about where the Lord can best use me.

Never in my life have I felt like it was made so obvious to  me that where I was is where I belong.  It has inspired me to work even harder, and in doing so, my students are learning better and I enjoy the job more.  It has been such a blessing.

Please pray for me for patience, energy, truth, love and contentment.  I will need it to keep up with teenagers for the next 30 years. 🙂

God bless.

-Neil


technical difficulties

Been having some technical difficulties lately. Should have a new post on Sunday.

Neil


Have to post this so I can get my blog on technorati…bare with me…

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