Pushing towards the start line.


So, in all honesty, I really haven't felt much "inspired" or "lead" to write anything... and I feel - as I've been rediscovering and re-evaluating the vision God's given me for my life - that even though I hold these inhibitors still, I need to push through them.

The post I set up yesterday was something I wrote almost two years back. I was attending a small congregation of the Four Sqaure church and the pastor there encouraged us (the members) to feel confident to prepare a message the Lord gave us and he'd give us a Sunday service to share it. This was supposed to be Part One of Three or Four on a series seeking how God inspires change - seeking it as I was trying to live it.

I clung to starting with conviction since personally I strive to seek conviction in my life. My viewpoint of myself as a person leads me to believe that I'm not lacking good qualities - that I have little to no room for improvement. Oddly enough this idea manages to sub-consciously co-exist with my ever-present awareness of certain faults. If you couldn't guess, this quickly and easily leads to personal and spiritual stagnation.

When I first came to accept Yeshua's sacrifice for my sins, I hungered for conviction. I felt it the one thing that could change me, pull me from the self-destructive cycle of knowing I'm truly far from who I want to be, but sub-consciously content with who I am. When I started to investigate the Biblical presence and usage of conviction, I came to realize that it was only the first step, and probably the easiest.

Looking into my own life as I wrote, I saw more and more that when I met the conviction I so hungered for, I often didn't complete the process of change. I'm intending to work on Step Two: Confession - which will be posted here once I manage to complete it - which I've also managed to achieve following certain convictions. Unfortunately, the part I, and I'm sure many others, have the most trouble with is Step Three: Complete Change - Repentance.

The more imminent question I have before me is this - Vision. Purpose - God, what am I supposed to be doing with this life?

I have a small gasping presence of His vision for my life in hand... but my eyes are dimmed by this life and the last two years of abandoning it and leaving it to die, lost in my past. I need to nurture that vision, allow God to feed it, strengthen it - and allow God to clear my eyes and strengthen my soul for the work he has established for me.

C.C.C. - The Three Steps to Repentance (Step One)


Step one: Conviction.

Conviction is often misunderstood, or mistook for man judging man, or for man causing offence. However, The Holy Spirit alone is capable of convicting a man of his iniquities and helps him accept this first step of repentance.

However, Conviction is vital, without it, change can not occur! Often people will refer to Romans 8:1 “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit,” when confronted with conviction. This verse is too commonly used to negate the requirement of conviction in the walk of a Christian. This misuse spreads a ‘feel-good’ message of half truth, especially when only the first part, “There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus,” is quoted.

Open to Hebrews 12:4-6. Now we read this about our Father in Heaven: “You have not resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin. And you have forgotten the exhortation which speaks to you as to sons: ‘My son, do not despise the chastening of the Lord, nor be discouraged when you are rebuked by Him; For whom the Lord loves He chastens, and scourges every son whom He receives.’

Now, it is true, and Thank God it is, that we do not receive condemnation, now that we have accepted Christ as our Lord and Savior. This does not mean that we can continue to live life just the way we were when we were first saved. God loves us, and He rebukes, convicts, those He loves in order to change us. Conviction through the Holy Spirit comes through the boundless Love of God to put us on the path of repentance and effectively lead us, by hand, to becoming more like His sons and daughters.

We need to understand just how important it is to be able to receive conviction with a thankful heart. Not only does God want to change you, He wants to use your obedience and your decision to change to help convict and change others around you. Look at Titus 1:7-9. “For [an elder] must be blameless, as a steward of God.” Stop there. Who is this elder being a steward of? Us. The body of Christ. God’s sons and daughters. That’s who God has made the elder a steward of. Why is he our steward? Continue reading: “not self-willed.” Now stop and think a moment… If we reject conviction, how can we call ourselves stewards of God? Regardless of what God places before us to be stewards of, we can’t watch over it without handing Him our will and doing His instead. Lets keep reading: “not quick-tempered, not given to wine, not violent, not greedy for money, but hospitable, a lover of what is good, sober minded, just, holy, self-controlled, holding fast the faithful word as he has been taught, that he may be able, by sound doctrine, both to exhort and convict those who contradict.”

Verse 9 in the amplified says this: “He must hold fast to the sure and trustworthy Word of God as he was taught it, so that he may be able both to give stimulating instruction and encouragement in sound (wholesome) doctrine and to refute and convict those who contradict and oppose it [showing the wayward their error].”

How many of us know that if we’re not accepting God’s discipline, we’re contradicting and opposing the Word of God? God has established stewards among us who serve God though exhortation of those who are in line with God’s will and plan for their lives, AND to convict those who are out of line with God’s will! This second part is not referring to those who do not know Christ, those who are not free from condemnation as stated in Romans 8:1. There is a duty of conviction within the body of Christ, that’s what God’s saying in Titus 1:9. We can choose to heed God’s call and convictions, be it during prayer and coming directly from Him, or be it from one God sends as a steward over our lives.

We know that Jesus has already sent us a councilor, The Counciler, the Holy Spirit (John 16:7). “and when he had come, He will convict the world of sin.” (John 16:8a). Through the Holy Spirit, which can include a brother lead by the Holy Spirit, God delivers His conviction of our sins, so that we may accept His punishment and be refined, with His love pouring out of us.

We need to receive conviction with joy. Change comes from Confession, Confession is inspired by Conviction, Conviction comes from the Holy Spirit, and the Holy Spirit speaks only what He hears from God. Finally, God sends His Holy Spirit out of Love for us! To see us change and serve Him with all we are!

Thank you God! Thank you for your love! Thank you for your conviction of my ways that wrong you! Thank you for enabling me to confess them to you and you will listen! Thank you for giving me the strength I need to change for you! Thank you for loving me! Lord, make me yours, and make me like you! In Yeshua' Name! Amen!

Why does my mind vanish at random points?


I really feel I need to get myself back to church this week... I don't care if I'm missing both legs... I'm going.

Thanks to random (and not-so-random) circumstances, I haven't been able to get to church since the 2nd... and I'm really feeling the emptyness that comes from my sad tendancies to vegetate and not seek much stimuli at home. When I get out on sundays to go and hear God's Word, I often can spend the week persuing the idea presented, or other spurred by my investigations. As you can see, I haven't really touched my journals since the beginning of the month (not seriously at least). This is primarily due to the mindless state I feel I fall into when I think things like "I should work on my next post," or "I should update my journals, just 'cause," or anything that threatens production. It's really irritating to the part of my mind that's still functioning relatively regularly... unfortunately, that's apparently not the part of my mind that controls my body.

On the plus side, or the down side, depending on which way you look at it; I haven't caught the big, bad virus that's been kicking people off their feets. Good, because I'm not stuck in bed. Bad, because it'd be some form of sad justification attempt on my part for my spiritual and intellectual stagnation I've been participating in. I can't get over how much it sucks.

Random side-note from work, which I could jump to unfounded conclusions and think, "Hmm, I wonder if God's telling me something?"
April 21st: Jillian(call center) and Sherry(HR manager) leave Lyon Travel (Jillian quit and Sherry's moving)
April 24th: Beth(Accounting manager) announces that she's leaving Lyon for a new job on the 12th of May
April 28th: Kristy(operations, and pregnant) announces out of the blue that today's her last day. Permanent maternity leave.

That's FOUR people gone in 7 days... That's insane for a small company like Lyon (and rather sucky for everyone who's left... 'cause that's a lot of slack to suddenly have to pick up). It also seems final that my IS position is going poof on the 31st of May (Maybe they'll let my finish the week if I don't have something else by then). There's not IS budget for me, but there's budjet for basically 5 new manager positions(HR/Accounting/Program Development/Sales/Operations) and 2 Call Center positions. None of which I'm qualified for. Suck. Guess I'll be planning on leaving Lyon behind as a positive mark on my resume and a good 5 months of experience in office/business type work under my belt. I'm still so very much endepted to Sean for making the job for me. We're both pretty sad the the position can't be funded by the IS budget.

Fortunately, aside from the stagnation bit which may or may not be partially resulted from the work front, this hasn't effected my faith at all. God's still as there for me as ever, and I trust Him that He is. Even though my prayers for my wife haven't been enough to heal her, I know God's still there. I think that I can't imagine the circumstance that would make me deny my faith, so that's good at least. It's just the persuit of God and His Word that I've been lagging.

On that note, would everyone please pray for Naomi? and Lyssa? and everyone who's being attacked by this virus?

Comments Fixed!


Whoops... the new template didn't account for the word verification I had turned on. So that's why the comments didn't work. They should work now though XP

Anybody out there?


Okay... I'm sure just about everyone wonders this when they're starting out on a blog... but I can't help but wonder if anyone reads this.

If you've read this, or are checking out my blog, please drop a short note. It'd mean a lot to me ^_^

Unfortunately, no inspiration for any theological chats... not much new in my life quite yet. My old high school is hiring a position I want, but other than that...

Hmm... Passover starts this Wednesday at sunset, and runs until sunset on the 19th. This'll be my first passover as the head of a household. I've unfortunately never been to a Seder, so I have no idea on how to run one as of yet. Maybe sometime in the next couple of days I'll share what I learn about it.

New Layout and Suikoden V


I was looking around for Photoshop tutorials a while ago and I found a site that tries to teach you how to make your own blog layout and all. I felt too lazy to get into it, and besides I didn't have any good ideas for my own. So I looked around at the free ones that other people made, and I found this one. I liked the color scheme much more than my previous layout, and it made it easy for me to create and show my own header image (yes, I did in fact make that banner myself).

So yeah, I think it's pretty nifty. This is a color scheme that's incredibly easy in comparison to universalize. That helps, plus I don't have to worry much about color clashes with the header image, while my initial one posed that exact problem. Not to mention that the coding of this one was way easier for me to find what I wanted to tweak and tweak it.

Another note: I went and drove my wife 40 minutes one-way just to buy her Suikoden V. She's a serious die-hard Suikoden fan, and V had many a good reviews. Coming off the disappointment of IV she was estatic. It's been a while since I've seen my wife that incredibly happy ^_^ She hasn't played it much yet since she's working on her latest page for her web comic. Which in my opinion is very, very spiffy. I mean, how many Full Color and Shading! web comics are out there that actually manage to update every week? She's a very good authoress too, so you can be sure that the story will be/is good. So go check it out! You'll at least have to agree that the art is good, even if web comics aren't your thing ^_^

I've been in a fairly dry-ish place spiritually lately... it's pretty sucky. I haven't had solid inspiration to write up another insightful post on some biblical/spiritual issue. But oh well, I've never been the writer type. This makes writing anything understandable and insightful difficult for me in the first place. Only through God's inspiration have I ever been able to write anything of worth. It's somewhat sad, but it's true. I'm happy that He does occasionally use me to write things though. I wish I could do it on my own, maybe then I could do something crazy like a web comic myself o_O Or not... ya know... XD

Running with the Law, or running from the Law?


So this idea came to mind very recently as I was riding up and down I-91 and I-89 in Vermont last saturday. We spent 5 hours (round trip) on these highways. I think we saw a grand total of 3 state troopers posted waiting to grab any excessive speeders or otherwise dangerous drivers.

Here's the thing that caught me: Whenever our driver saw a state trooper, he dropped from 70-75mph to 60-65mph (speedlimit 65). This led me to ponder and seek God on it. "Why are you slowing down only when you see a representative of the Law?"

This man is a very strong man of God. He leads the flock I've been a part of for over four years. Everyone does this, but this made me believe that as Christians, we must obey the laws we are placed under, not just temporarily modify our behavior in the presence of an enforcer of the law.

Today's sermon at the church I visited today with my wife reaffirmed any thoughts I may have had on this issue. We were in Exodus 19 - God's introduction of Himself to the people of Israel, whom He had just deliverred from the slaving hand of the pharoh. How did God introduce Himself to Israel? What were the first words the Israelites audibly heard from their God?
"And God spoke all these words, saying:
I am the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of bondage.
You shall have no other gods before Me.
You shall not make for yourself a carved image—any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children to the third and fourth generations of those who hate Me, but showing mercy to thousands, to those who love Me and keep My commandments.
You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold him guiltless who takes His name in vain.
Remember the Sabbath day, to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God. In it you shall do no work: you, nor your son, nor your daughter, nor your male servant, nor your female servant, nor your cattle, nor your stranger who is within your gates. For in six days the LORD made the heavens and the earth, the sea, and all that is in them, and rested the seventh day. Therefore the LORD blessed the Sabbath day and hallowed it.
Honor your father and your mother, that your days may be long upon the land which the LORD your God is giving you.
You shall not murder.
You shall not commit adultery.
You shall not steal.
You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.
You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s." (Exodus 20:1-17)
God's first words to Israel were His ten commandments! Why? Because they were not readied to see and accept His Grace! See, we need to be aligned to God in our hearts to truly hear grace from Him. God can speak to us, "Go, and exalt the poor!" Then we can either do one of two things:
1) Go, and exalt the poor;
2) Tell God, "I can't go... I have a dentist's appointment. I'll go later when I have time."
Now, of these two answers, which one is likely to receive the graceful God, the face of God that Moses met on Mt. Sinai, and which is likely to receive God's Law, that which the Israelites got?

#1 will meet with God and be given Grace.
#2 will meet with God and be given His Laws.

Why does God need to respond in two different ways? Through His Law, He means to discipline us, to change us, to mold us into who He needs us to be - obedient, fearful, and humble. Those who respond to God already through obedience, fear of the Lord, and humility will be those in camp #1. If we're still proud, unlawful, and stubborn towards God... we will get His Law to demonstrate to us clearly, "This is what's wrong in your life. Change, grow, and learn to fear who I am!"

Look at Israel's reaction to hearing God speak to them His Laws:
"Now all the people witnessed the thunderings, the lightning flashes, the sound of the trumpet, and the mountain smoking; and when the people saw it, they trembled and stood afar off. Then they said to Moses, “You speak with us, and we will hear; but let not God speak with us, lest we die.” And Moses said to the people, “Do not fear; for God has come to test you, and that His fear may be before you, so that you may not sin.” So the people stood afar off, but Moses drew near the thick darkness where God was." (Exodus 20:18-21)
They feared Him! They "trembled and stood afar off." God had demonstrated that He was real, He was there, and He was powerful enough to save or destroy them. They had been lulled by Egyptian gods, and they, until then, still had not seen God in the miracles that saved them. The didn't realize how terrible and great the Lord is. And so their hearts were not ready for grace.

Now, back to the speeding issue that spurred all of this. God will send us the Law to mold us, and prepare our hearts through fear and trembling in His presence so that we may be able to fully receive grace! We, as children of God, have a choice to make when God needs to send us the Law, and not His grace:
a) Slow down until the presence of the law is no longer there (until you know the state trooper can't see you); or
b) Slow to the speed limit and stay there.

That's what hit me saturday: When we mend our ways, even occasionally to excess of what's needed, in the face of the law, why then do we revert to our old ways of breaking the law? Even less than 60 seconds after we were corrected by the law, we revert to our old, broken, ungodly habits... Why? Because God doesn't linger on those who won't listen to Him, and learn to obey Him. He'll get someone else to do His work, and you'll miss the blessings of it, and have all the more to push through the next time God speaks to you.

So I say to you, when the Lord delivers you His law, repent! Turn around from the wrongs God is calling you on! And do it now! Don't just do it now, but continue to persevere and continue to be obedient to the law God sent to you! Now and forever! Slow down to the speed limit, and every time you are behind the wheel from now on, stay at the speed limit, wherever you are! Humble yourselves and love to serve God, don't resist God in your prideful ways, but I say to you, "resist sin to the point of bloodshed" (Hebrews 12:4)! Follow His commandments and He will make you a King and a Priest! Greatness and glory unknown and unimaginable will be ours in God's Kingdom if we will just humble ourselves and keep God's commands! Halleluliah!

Yeshua, my Lord and savior! Blessed be your name on high. Send to me your law to correct me! Send to me your grace when I'm able to receive it. Lord, I give up my life and all the desires of my flesh. Please, help me keep all the commands you have sent me. Help me live a life worthy of the words, "Well done, my good and faithful servant." Lord I love you! May, through your Holy Spirit, my words and actions do naught but to strengthen and advance your kingdom and your glory! Take all I say and rebuke me where I am led astray, and bless me where I am speaking your Word.
In Yeshua's Name, Amen!

Location: Brattleboro, Vermont, United States

Graduated college with a BA in Graphic Design. Married my wonderful wife on July 30th of the same year (we met in college) after over 2.5 years of courtship. Always been interested in computers and web sites. Computers always seem to like me too, either that or I just tend to time my arrival to help people right when the problems resolve themselves :P Accepted Christ as my personal Savior Nov. 14th 2002. Still growing best I can in my faith.

Last posts



Powered by Blogger