October 14, 2011

Please pray for me

Hey guys, I don't know if anyone reads this anymore, but if you do I just need you to pray for me. God has been working in my heart recently every time I hear the word, but I've just been resisting Him and going deeper in sin to try to not worry about it and just trying to get away from Him. But God doesn't give up that easy, and He found me in the bottom of the boat as it were just as he did Jonah. Running from God has taken the energy out of me, so the only way to go up is to depend completely on God, which is good, but I need to do it. The only reason that I have been in the word recently is to quiz, and thank God, he used that to get hold of me. It has been hard to get up early in the mornings.. it just seems all of a sudden it is dark late into the mornings which does not help me wake up. It takes a lot of effort which I don't have so just pray for me that I would resist my drowsiness and focus. Even more, that I would get up in the first place. Thanks

January 18, 2011

Waiting... isn't easy.

Wow! Greg and Jordan! Thanks for your posts... i havn't gotten on here in forever, but did today, and was so excited to see your two posts!!! ( I know they were from a long time ago as well, but hey better late than never!
I guess i can share what i've been learning as well!

I have been doing so much research lately for my future. I feel like I don't have any idea how I am going to ever get to college, and I don't know where exactly God is leading me, but I know I have to be willing to do whatever He wants, and I also know that I can't just sit here and expect Him to do all the work. So, basically I've been doing a lot of research and a lot of praying. But during this time I have also bee doing a lot of searching in the Bible for verses that will help me trust Him with everything I've got. I feel like God is trying to teach me something about waiting... so why not try and learn it? ;) So, here are some of the verses I have found.
Psalms 33:

13The LORD looketh from heaven; he beholdeth all the sons of men. (WOW!!! The God in heaven beholds us!!!!!)

14From the place of his habitation he looketh upon all the inhabitants of the earth.

15He fashioneth their hearts alike; he considereth all their works. ( He not only notices us, but he pays attention to what goes on in our lives)!!!

16There is no king saved by the multitude of an host: a mighty man is not delivered by much strength. (We can't look to ppl to help us... it is God alone who has the BEST solution!)

17An horse is a vain thing for safety: neither shall he deliver any by his great strength.

18Behold, the eye of the LORD is upon them that fear him, upon them that hope in his mercy;

19To deliver their soul from death, and to keep them alive in famine.

20Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield.( here it is.... God is a help for those who wait on HIm!)

21For our heart shall rejoice in him, because we have trusted in his holy name.

22Let thy mercy, O LORD, be upon us, according as we hope in thee.

In closing, here is one other verse.

2 Thessalonians 3:5
And the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God, and into the patient waiting for Christ.

Waiting isn't easy, but for those of you in the same boat as me, remember what we are waiting for! We are waiting for direction from: THE GOD OF THE UNIVERSE! If your heart is in tune with God, He will lead you, whether or not is was where you expected or wanted to go.

Rachel D

October 25, 2010

Psalms 1:1-4

1Blessed is the man that walketh not in the counsel of the ungodly, nor standeth in the way of sinners, nor sitteth in the seat of the scornful.

2But his delight is in the law of the LORD; and in his law doth he meditate day and night.

3And he shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that bringeth forth his fruit in his season; his leaf also shall not wither; and whatsoever he doeth shall prosper.

4The ungodly are not so: but are like the chaff which the wind driveth away.


The main verse I want to point out is verse 2,David Loved the law of the Lord, when i read that verse, I thought of how, that Davids favorite thing to do was READ and think about the Law of God, Because blessed is the man that walketh not in the way of sinners... and his meditation, his constant thinking about the law of God would keep him from that, though he did sin, but thats when he let down his gaurd, or when he wasnt thinking about the law of God. But for most of his life he was like the tree planted by the rivers of water, where others could see the differnce in David and Isreal because God kept giving them the victory in their battles, Which always came after he went to the Lord asking for victory. as described in chapter 2. When Isreal was ungodly they were like the chaff, They were driven into captivety, or othe consequences.

For us its the same, we have to love the word of God and his laws also, to keep us from sin, meditate in it think about it, pray about it. and you will be like that tree, Others will see a difference in your life, because of a weapon to use against sin, the word of God. If you try to do it on your own, without God, isnt that ungodly? is your righteousness as filthy rags because it points toward how good you are, and not how great God is? You will be like the chaff, driven about by the wind because you only do whats right when you feel like it.

In chapter 2 it talks about how God laughs when people want to go up against Isreal. because all David has to do is ask God for victory, and God would give it to him. obviously Isreal had to go out and fight, but God was with the swords of isreal, and its the same, sometimes we have to struggle and, we can have the sword (the word of God)but if we have sin, as an Ai, or we just dont ask god to go with us, we dont have our biggest weapon, which is God. the one that gives power to the scripture. Thats How it points to God, and not to yourself. God can lugh at Satan when he comes to attack us, because all we have to ask God to help us in our fight because we have no true power in ourselves. but we need our sword, we need to love it and meditate on it.

October 24, 2010

Preparation to the Gospel

I don't know if anyone ever checks this blog anymore or not, but as long as it is still here I thought I would post some things that I have been finding, working through, had questions about, etc.
In the beginning of the Gospel of Mark the bible says that John the baptist cried, “Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” It then describes his ministry, “John did baptize in the wilderness, and preach the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins.....and were all baptized of him in the river of Jordan, confessing their sins.” It then talks about how John was pointing those whom he preached to and baptized to the ministry of Jesus.
John was sent to prepare the way for Jesus. John's message was the baptism of repentance for the remission of sins. Baptism symbolizes our death to sin and new life in Christ. Here is the question that I have: Do we as Christians not do enough prep work in the lives of those that we seek to evangelize?
Now let me say right up front that I am not saying that passing out tracks or having a service that preaches the good news is a bad idea. I am simply stating a question that came to my mind when I came to this passage.
John was sent to prepare the way for Christ. In preparation to the ministry of Christ, John preached the necessity of repentance and the putting to death the works of the the flesh (symbolism of baptism). This was all in preparation for the ministry of Jesus who would bring the baptism of the Holy Spirit.
Why was Johns message so vital in preparation to the ministry of Jesus which would bring new life? I wonder whether we often underemphasize the master/servant relationship that becoming a Christian brings. Why does the gospel (the good news) involve baptism, symbolizing our death to sin? Why does Rom. 6 say God forbid that we (Christians) should continue in sin? Why does Galations 5 state that those who are Christ's have crucified the flesh with the affections and lusts? Why are Christians required to daily take up their cross daily and follow Christ?
I believe that repentance and surrender is a very essential part of the gospel. If this part of gospel is not explained you would expect to find “Christians” who are living lives that are not surrendered to Christ but to sin. You would expect to find many people professing to be Christians but not showing it in the way they live. You would expect to find many people professing faith in the good news simply as a ticket to heaven. Is this not what we are finding in this century?
I am not sure exactly how to put this into practice. I do know that I have often had reservations or questions about the way we preach the good news whether it is to city kids, VBS, etc. John preached repentance and baptism before Christ came and brought the new life through the holy spirit. So is it possible that when evangelizing kids or people who are lacking a moral foundation (I believe this describes most people today) we should start by talking about the law of God which we cannot keep. That maybe we should explain that Gods great love does demand allegiance or surrender. This is a vital part of the Gospel. At least that is what I am thinking after reading this passage.
Another fact that may play into this question is the knowledge or state of the people being evangelized. The Jews knew they were sinners (unless they were scribes or pharisees)and had heard much about their rejection from God and had felt the rejection of those who were “righteous.” They did not need a whole lot of education on this principle. However, when Paul was writing to a predominately gentile audience such as in Romans, we find him talking much about Gods law and how it condemns us. If you just look at the chapter headings it is rather revealing; “The Gentiles' need of righteousness,” “Sin will be punished,” “Gods law,” “Obeying God's law,” “All have sinned.” After this it goes into the part of the gospel that we often term the good news.
All this to say that I believe that in this culture many people don't truly recognize their depravity and inability to keep God's law on their own. Therefore I am wondering whether our method of evangelism needs to be adjusted accordingly. Again let me say that I am not against handing out a tract or holding good news clubs, they can be used mightily by God. I am wondering though how many of those who say that they know that they are a sinners really have a grasp on that reality.
I would love to hear what you think; if you think I am taking this out of context, overemphasizing, interpreting correctly or incorrectly, etc.

Greg

August 28, 2009

Finishing Strong...

Like Jesus, we are tempted.
Like Jesus, we are accused.
But unlike Jesus, we give up.
We give out.
We sit down.

How can our hearts have the endurance Jesus had?

By focusing where Jesus focused: on "the joy that God put before Him" (Heb. 12:2
He lifted His eyes beyond the horizon and saw the table. He focused on the feast. And what He saw gave Him strength to finish...and to finish strong.

Such a moment awaits us. In an hour that has no end, we will rest. Surrounded by saints and engulfed by Jesus Himself, the work will, indeed, be finished. The final harvest will be gathered, we will be seated, and Christ will christen the meal with these words "Well done, good and faithful servant" (Matt. 25:23)

July 5, 2009

The lesson learned from Matthew 5:22

Matthew 5:22 But I say unto you, That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment: and whosoever shall say to his brother, Ra'-ca, shall be in danger of the council: but whosoever shall say, Thou fool, shall be in danger of hell fire. I love this verse and the message that it has. Sometimes, like when were having a "bad day" and we just get ticked off at every little thing, a lot of those "little things" really, we would not be angry over on a normal day. But when we do that, it's kind of like we are playing out the verse where it says, "That whosoever is angry with his brother without a cause shall be in danger of the judgment." We really are getting angry with them without a cause, just like the verse says. Also, when we get angry with some one, and we start calling them names, like "fool," or "idiot," the Bible (not me) says that we are in danger of hell fire, so obviously, it is important to God that we guard our tongues and keep our tempers. Although, when I read this verse, I did not really know what the word "Ra'-ca" meant, but I just kind of brushed over it. And since I read it, I kind of found my self playing this verse out and this verse popped into mind and now I've looked up what that word means and this is what the web page that I got into said: "Raca is of Aramaic origin and is a biblical term. It can mean "worthless, vain and empty". The word can be found only Matthew 5:22 quote "Whosoever shall say to his brother, Raca, shall be in danger of the council". It was used as a word signifying contempt by the Jews. At its root the word means "to spit".
When I first read this I thought it said, "At its root the word means to *split.*" But I thought it was really cool that I read it that way because basically when I am calling my siblings "worthless" or "stupid," or what ever I'm saying when I'm mad, I am causing a split in my family and it causes our relationships to get farther and farther away, and that is what Satan wants, he wants to disintegrate one of the most important things to God, the family, and I can't let him do that.

July 1, 2009

Psalm 54

One of the nights i was in Canada i sat down and prayed for the Lord to lead me to some passage that would help me through the next day.... I opened to Psalm 54... It was just what i needed!

   1Save me, O God, by thy name, and judge me by thy strength.

   2Hear my prayer, O God; give ear to the words of my mouth.

   3For strangers are risen up against me, and oppressors seek after my soul: they have not set God before them. Selah.

   4Behold, God is mine helper: the Lord is with them that uphold my soul.

   5He shall reward evil unto mine enemies: cut them off in thy truth.

   6I will freely sacrifice unto thee: I will praise thy name, O LORD; for it is good.

   7For he hath delivered me out of all trouble: and mine eye hath seen his desire upon mine enemies.



Rachel

June 30, 2009

Angela's Celebrating Another Year!

Happy Birthday Angela! Thanks for your sweet smile, encouragement and involvement in the youth group. We've watched your love for the Lord increase as you've spent time getting to know Him. Keep growing and may this next year be one where you draw even closer to our precious Savior. Hope you hd a great day!

June 22, 2009

SEVENTEEN AND COUNTING...

Happy 17th Birthday Jessica Knocke! Thanks for your part in the youth group. Its been neat to see you grow in the Lord. Keep spending time in the Word and in prayer and let others see God through your life. Many blessings and wishes for a happy day!

June 21, 2009

How God Has Been Showing Himself Real...

Now that school is out and summer is officially underway its been so refreshing to be able to spend time in God's Word and in prayer without being pressed down by the thoughts of more books and classes. I've needed this "spiritual boost" and have been enjoying every minute of it. We serve an incredible God! I've been taking walks mostly every day and for some reason I have been drawn to God this week through the skies. I keep finding myself marvelling at them. How could a God who is powerful enough to create the vast amount of sky, with its fluffy clouds and splashes of color, be tender enough to love someone like me? The thought overwhelms me at times. Call me sentimental if you wish, but God really does deserve so much more than we could ever give Him.

"Each time I touch a rose petal and breathe the sweet fragrance it brings, I know theres a God up in heaven. No human could create these things!

The sunset in its golden splendor, such colors no artist can do! I know when I look on its beauty, each page in the Bible is true.

No picture or painting can capture the beauty of any of these. The handiwork of God is revealed in the flowers, the sunset, the trees."


Have a God-focused week,
Chrystal

p.s. If you're reading this, know that you were prayed for today. Keep pressing foward. Its hard at times, but it's always worth it.

June 11, 2009

happy birthday a day late!



Happy Birthday Zach Read!
hope you had a great one! We will all be praying for you as you continue to seek God's will for your life.

June 5, 2009

Another look at the sowing-reaping lesson

Micah 7:13: Notwithstanding the land shall be desolate because of them that dwell therein, for the fruit of their doings.
We read this verse in family devotions today, and that last part of the verse struck me hard; it was "for the fruit of their doings." The land was desolate, with nothing good or healthy in it, because, as the verse says, the fruit of their doings wasn't very good either. You know, you do reap what you sow, but you also eat what you reap, and if you're not sowing anything good, then you're not reaping anything good, and if you're not reaping anything good, then you're not eating anything good, and if you're not eating anything good, you're going to die.

June 3, 2009

Where Are You Getting Your Water From?

Jeremiah 2:13- "For my people have committed two evils; they have forsaken Me the fountain of living waters, and hewed them out cisterns, broken cisterns, that can hold no water."

Ouch. Its almost like Jeremiah is looking at the people and asking "Are you stupid?! Everything you ever really wanted or needed is found in God. He's supplied it for you and its right in front of your face! Yet, you are determined to look in every other place imagineable. You are searching for happiness and fulfillment in places that hold no satisfaction. You're wasting your time digging wells that will never yield anything with which you can quench your thirst. Return to God and know that He will give you the life you are seeking."

Shortly after thinking about all that I was listening to a cd and came across this song. I connected it to the verse in Jeremiah and God really used it to convict me at a time when I needed it most. I hope it does the same for you.

Chrystal

video

June 2, 2009

#1 Refute to the Big Bang Theory

Bangs have never created life; only destroyed it.

May 29, 2009

Why do we always seem to skip over our time with God?

I find it amazing how, when we look at our schedules and we find it busy, or we find that we have an appointment early in the morning, or when get to bed late and just want to sleep in, the first thing we take off our list is usually our devotion time (maybe you don't have to have a list that says "devo's" on it but you just skip them anyways). I fall into this pit so many times with out even realizing I'm there. It's like mom tells me, "You have a dentist appointment at 8:30 tomorrow morning," and I think, "Well, I'll have to get dressed, make my bed, take out the trash, eat breakfast... looks like I aint havin devotions tommorrow," or, like a lot of times, it happens this way, "O man, it's late already tonight, I'm tired, and I just wanna sleep in. I guess I'll just sleep through my normal devotion time," and I'm ok with that. I don't even think of it as being sin. One thing that I could also go awhile about on this post about is that this sin of course could also be categorized with the whole "setting your priorities straight," but thats a whole nother sermon. So just pray for me that I'll stop skipping over my devotions all the time, and since I know that it's a big trap for all of us in the youth group, just pray that all of us would find the time to be with our Best Friend (kind of ironic + sad that we don't want to spend time with our self-proclaimed "best friend"), and that we would not skip the awesome profitable time that we need to spend with Him every day.

May 27, 2009

Another Birthday!?!?

Happy Birthday Johnny Caputo! Thanks for your part at church and in your family's ministry to Millersville. Keep a surrendered heart and God will bless your life.

May 18, 2009

Bearing Birthday Biddings...

Happy 17th Birthday Erik Hanson!!!!!!! Thanks for your willingness to serve in the youth group through your violin playing, singing, and involvement. Seek God with all your heart, stay in His Word and let Him lead you through every day. Hope you have a great day!

May 11, 2009

Guess our national leaders didn't expect this, hmm?

On Thursday, Darrell Scott, the father of Rachel Scott, a victim of the Columbine High School shootings in Littleton, Colorado, was invited to address the House Judiciary Committee's subcommittee. What he said to our national leaders during this special session of Congress was painfully truthful.

They were not prepared for what he was to say, nor was it received well. It needs to be heard by every parent, every teacher, every politician, every sociologist, every psychologist, and every so-called expert! These courageous words spoken by Darrell Scott are powerful, penetrating, and deeply personal. There is no doubt that God sent this man as a voice crying in the wilderness. The following is a portion of the transcript:

"Since the dawn of creation there has been both good & evil in the hearts of men and women. We all contain the seeds of kindness or the seeds of violence. The death of my wonderful daughter, Rachel Joy Scott, and the deaths of that heroic teacher, and the other eleven children who died must not be in vain. Their blood cries out for answers.

"The first recorded act of violence was when Cain slew his brother Abel out in the field. The villain was not the club he used.. Neither was it the NCA, the National Club Association. The true killer was Cain, and the reason for the murder could only be found in Cain's heart.

"In the days that followed the Columbine tragedy, I was amazed at how quickly fingers began to be pointed at groups such as the NRA. I am not a member of the NRA. I am not a hunter. I do not even own a gun. I am not here to represent or defend the NRA - because I don't believe that they are responsible for my daughter 's death. Therefore I do not believe that they need to be defended. If I believed they had anything to do with Rachel's murder I would be their strongest opponent.

I am here today to declare that Columbine was not just a tragedy -- it was a spiritual event that should be forcing us to look at where the real blame lies! Much of the blame lies here in this room. Much of the blame lies behind the pointing fingers of the accusers themselves. I wrote a poem just four nights ago that expresses my feelings best.


Your laws ignore our deepest needs,
Your words are empty air.
You've stripped away our heritage,
You've outlawed simple prayer.
Now gunshots fill our classrooms,
And precious children die.
You seek for answers everywhere,
And ask the question "Why?"
You regulate restrictive laws,
Through legislative creed.
And yet you fail to understand,
That God is what we need!



"Men and women are three-part beings. We all consist of body, mind, and spirit. When we refuse to acknowledge a third part of our make-up, we create a void that allows evil, prejudice, and hatred to rush in and wreak havoc. Spiritual presences were present within our educational systems for most of our nation's history. Many of our major colleges began as theological seminaries. This is a historical fact.

What has happened to us as a nation? We have refused to honor God, and in so doing, we open the doors to hatred and violence. And when something as terrible as Columbine's tragedy occurs -- politicians immediately look for a scapegoat such as the NRA. They immediately seek to pass more restrictive laws that contribute to erode away our personal and private liberties. We do not need more restrictive laws. Eric and Dylan would not have been stopped by metal detectors. No amount of gun laws can stop someone who spends months planning this type of massacre. The real villain lies within our own hearts.

"As my son Craig lay under that table in the school library and saw his two friends murdered before his very eyes, he did not hesitate to pray in school. I defy any law or politician to deny him that right! I challenge every young person in America, and around the world, to realize that on April 20, 1999, at Columbine? High School prayer was brought back to our schools. Do not let the many prayers offered by those students be in vain. Dare to move into the new millennium with a sacred disregard for legislation that violates your God-given right to communicate with Him. To those of you who would point your finger at the NRA -- I give to you a sincere challenge. Dare to examine your own heart before casting the first stone!

May 8, 2009

Cut and Remove

Matt. 5:27 Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not commit adultery: 28 But I say unto you, That whosoever looketh on a woman to lust after her hath committed adultery with her already in his heart. 29 And if thy right eye offend thee, pluck it out, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell. 30 And if thy right hand offend thee, cut it off, and cast it from thee: for it is profitable for thee that one of thy members should perish, and not that thy whole body should be cast into hell.
I came across this passage the other day and it stuck out to me. I know that all of us church people have heard this passage a countless number of times, but it still stuck out to me. It starts out by talking about the sin of lust/adultery. However, the principle applies to all sin. Basically the question that I keep coming up against is what action am I taking to resist temptation? I think in some ways I have disregarded the seriousness of my sin. While God knows that we won't be perfect, and is ready to forgive, he makes it very clear that we are to make no provision for the flesh but to put it completely to death.
Again, how seriously do I take my sin? Jesus uses a wonderful word picture to show us just how seriously we should take it. It is better to loose a hand or an eye and enter into heaven than to enter into hell with all your bodily members. Talk about putting something to death! I need to look at my spiritual life more like a battle zone. When you are in a battle you take a serious evaluation of your week points. The Holy Spirit helps us do this in our spiritual lives. Next you need to come up with a plan of action. You try to plan ahead so that the enemy will not be able to take advantage of that weakness, of if he does how you can combat it. Shouldn't we do the same?
When I was younger I had a bad habit of calling my brother names that really annoyed him. My dad had told us kids that we weren't supposed to call eachother names, but I had made a habit of it. I started to feel very convicted over my sin...the Holy Spirit. I made a plan of action(I think my dad actually suggested it); when I called him a name, I would pay him money.
Why is it that as I have gotten more lax in my fight against sin? Anyway, it needs to stop. Jesus makes it very clear in this passage that we need to take quick, decisive action against sin. The one other thing to keep in mind, as I said earlier, is that even though Jesus made himself very clear on this issue, He has also stated very plainly elsewhere in the bible that He will give complete forgiveness if we ask and truly repent. These two views can be very hard to hold at the same time. I want to end with a passage that I think gives a very good picture of these two views. It shows that we can know that we are forgiven but still fight with all our strength against sin.
II Cor. 7:8 For though I made you sorry with a letter, I do not repent, though I did repent: for I perceive that the same epistle hath made you sorry, though it were but for a season. 9 Now I rejoice, not that ye were made sorry, but that ye sorrowed to repentance: for ye were made sorry after a godly manner, that ye might receive damage by us in nothing. 10 For godly sorrow worketh repentance to salvation not to be repented of: but the sorrow of the world worketh death. 11 For behold this selfsame thing, that ye sorrowed after a godly sort, what carefulness it wrought in you, yea, what clearing of yourselves, yea, what indignation, yea, what fear, yea, what vehement desire, yea, what zeal, yea, what revenge! In all things ye have approved yourselves to be clear in this matter.

Greg

May 4, 2009

Going forward.

Life can only be understood backwards, 
but it must be lived forwards.

     - Soren Kierkegaard

I found this quote, and had to think over it for a while, but what's saying is so true! As we look back, the past things make sense, but they didn't seem to make any sense at the time, and things we are going through right now sometimes make no sense, but in the future we will understand it. So, the only way to live is to keep going forward and trust that God knows what's going on even if we are not sure. God has every thing under control!
Thats my thought for today ;)
Keep going forward!
Rachel