Archive for December, 2008

Reason for Christmas

Posted in following Jesus, Holiday with tags , , , , , , on December 27, 2008 by rylanreed

I found a christmas poem that was on a church’s bulletin a couple of Sunday’s ago and really liked the words in it and wanted to share with everyone.

Carols of Christmas

I hear the carols of Christmas

The candles flicker low;

My mind goes back to Bethlehem

And the manger long ago.

I sing Joy to the World,

I think of angels all aglow;

Singing What Child Is This?

As the winter winds blow.

I hum the carols of Christmas,

They fill my heart with joy;

Christ came to bring earth Silent Night —

This Sweet Little Jesus Boy.

Douglas R. Rose

2000

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Where oh where is thee… trashcan?

Posted in Random with tags , , on December 14, 2008 by rylanreed

Today, I was over at my Aunt and Uncle’s house for lunch and when we were done I was trying to find the trash can and looked probably in about 5 or so places before I found where there trash can was hidden.  Afterwards, I thought how interesting it was that I looked in different places, and how many places I could remember from other houses.  A few examples of where trashcans are placed in different houses:

Under the sink

In a different cabinet in the kitchen

By the side of the counter

Around the corner away from the kitchen

In a different compartment around the kitchen

It’s interesting to me, might not be to most people, but it’s sort of funny to think about as well.  If you have a different place where you put your trash cans at, then leave a post.  Lets see if we can get 20 different areas where trashcans can be located.

Where to turn

Posted in following Jesus, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 11, 2008 by rylanreed

Life sucks.  OK, not literally, but there are a lot of circumstances or situations that we get into that just really sucks.  So, where do we turn? Probably to an angry state or maybe try and do or go somewhere else where we can totally just forget about it.  It’s been sort of like one of those weeks for me, not going in the right direction and getting frustrated by it, but trying to change things on my own.  That usually never works.  But the great thing about God is that he comes to us in different ways, speaking to us to open our eyes to what we need to see.  Before heading off to church, I sat down to read the Bible a little and the chapter that I read spoke exactly about what I was struggling with and brought me to my knees.  God was working in my life, even though I was trying to do things on my own the week before, to show me what I needed to do.  At Church, a couple of the songs caught my attention, Strong Tower by Kutless and Grace Like Rain by Todd Agnew.  Here is the lyrics for Strong Tower

When I wonder through the desert        And I’m longing for my home
All my dreams have gone astray.          When I’m stranded in the valley
And I’m tired and all alone                      It seems like I’ve lost my way

I go running to your mountain;            Where your mercy sets me free

You are my strong tower                         Shelter over me,                                                                                                    beautiful and mighty,                                 everlasting king
You are my strong tower                          Fortress when I’m week
Your name is true and holy                      And your face all I see
Your face is all I see

In the middle of my darkness                  In the midst of all my fear
You’re my refuge and my hope              When the storm of life is raging
And the thunders all I hear                      You speak softly to my soul
Now I’m running to your mountain      Where your mercy sets me free.

God is my strong tower and for those that are Christians, he is your strong tower as well.  If we only repent of our ways and turn to him he will cover us with his mighty wings and protect us.  God Loves us, not for the things we do or how good we are, but because he made us in his own image and he has a purpose for us.  Those hard times that we go through, they might just be a testing of our faith, God using those to mold us into what he wants us to be.

The other song was Grace like rain, and it just hit me like a ton of bricks.  I love that song and its lyrics which speaks such truth to the people that sing and play along with the music.  I don’t really want to parapharse it to what I am thinking, becuase of how great those lyrics are.

Amazing grace, how sweet the sound                   That saved a wretch like me
I once was lost but now I’m found                        Was blind but now I see so clearly

Hallelujah, grace like rain falls down on me
Hallelujah, all my stains are washed away, washed away

‘Twas grace that taught my heart to fear                 And grace my fears relieved
How precious did that grace appear                       The hour I first believed

When we’ve been there ten thousand years            Bright shining as the sun
We’ve no less days to sing Your praise                  Than when we first begun

Through those two songs and the sermon that the pastor of Middle Cross Chruch, David Gilmore, spoke on how to have joy even when things are rough and don’t usually go your way, showed me and opened my eyes during my hard time that God was still there, sitting right besides me.  He never left and was speaking to me through those different things.  What a comfort that was for the day, being able to experience God even when I thought I was alone.

If you want to listen to David’s sermon you can listen to it hereGo to Joy Part 2 of 3, November 16

What to do with time

Posted in following Jesus with tags , , , , , , , on December 10, 2008 by rylanreed

Where does all the time go? That question is usually uttered after the time in which we were planning to get things done has passed and we still haven’t really accomplished anything that we wanted to get accomplished.  I read a book resently entitled Coach Wooden One-On-One by John Wooden & Jay Carty, a 60 day individual reading on different topics that are and were important to the Great Coach John Wooden.  The first day’s reading was about time and the illistration by Christian comedian Robert G. Lee that jay Carty used really hit home to me, more about how I want to use every second of the day to glorify God.  Here is the illistration:

If every morning your bank credited your account with $86,400 but every evening canceled whatever part of the amount you failed to use, what would you do? Spend every cent–of course!    Well, you have such a bank account–it is called time. Every day it credits you with 86,400 seconds.  At midnight, whatever you failed to use is lost. A balance is not carried over to the next day and you’re not allowed over drafts. Each day the bank named Time opens a new account with you. Each night it burns the records of the day. If you fail to use the day’s deposits, the loss is yours.

I really want to have every second of the day be glorifing to God, moving towards His will each and everday.  “Dear Lord God, I want today to be a masterpiece for You. I want to bring glory to You every minute of the day. May it be so.”  (Carty, 1)

Zooming effect

Posted in Movies, Random with tags , , , , , , on December 10, 2008 by rylanreed

This is a great part in the movie, The Legend of Bagger Vance, and a great inspirational talk that Will Smith gives to Matt Damon.  The part when he sees him self alone and the flag starts coming close, is one of the coolest scenes in this video.  The only other movie that I know of that does this is The Greatest Game Ever Played.  What coincidence that they are both golf movie.

sorry for what ever language that is…  (on the screen)

Biblical Leadership and Those to Look Upon

Posted in Culture with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 9, 2008 by rylanreed

This is the final post in a three-part series.  Check out the other two posts in this series here.

Where Are All the Dudes
Part 3: Biblical Leadership and Those to Look Upon

In church the other day I was talking with a couple guys that were sitting next to me.  I asked them two questions after the service.  The first was, “Why do you come to church?”  The other was, “Why do you think most men don’t come to church?”  Their answers were intriguing.  Mark said that the reason for him going to church was to get refilled with the word of God and to have quality time with other believers.

Both men, on the question about why some men don’t come to church,  pointed towards the same reasons, namely, man’s ego and pride that pushes him away from the church.  The “I can do it on my own without any help” mentality causes men to not want to be corrected or rebuked.  They even mentioned the fact that God used women in a lot of ways to be leaders, like Rehab hiding the spies in Joshua 2, Esther saving the Israelites from total destruction in the book of Esther, and Mary the mother of Jesus who brought Him into this world in Mathew, Mark, Luke, John.  (Obviously, it’s natural for a woman to birth a child, but it’s no less significant that God used a teenage virgin to bring in the Savior of the world.)

Two other Christian brothers of mine (James and Andrew) and I are doing a three part series of where are all the men in Church today.  This is the third and final post.  We aren’t theologians with all the answers, but only sinners saved by grace through faith in Jesus Christ and are trying each and everyday to be the man that God wants us to be in this world.  In the first part (linked above), James shared about the fall of Adam and us, and how we can strive to live Godly lives.  Andrew shared about today’s culture and how many different views there are of who a masculine man is and what he should look like.  What I want to share in this third part is who we can look to as biblical leaders and how we can use their examples to use in our lives, with how we lead our families, and how we help lead in the church.

There are so many godly men in the Bible that were used in amazing ways. Some who right off the bat knew what was needed from them, and others that would not even go towards the thing that God was wanting them to do until He stepped in and brought on a circumstance that opened their eyes to what He was asking.  Caleb and Joshua come to mind as being those that follow hard after God.  In Numbers 13, Caleb and Joshua were two of the twelve spies that were sent into the land of Canaan too check out the surroundings and see if the Israelites could conquer the land.  In 13:27-14:9, the 10 out of 12 spies as well as Caleb and Joshua spoke of what they saw

27 And they told them, “We came to the land to which you sent us. It flows with milk and honey, and this is its fruit. However, the people who dwell in the land are strong, and the cities are fortified and very large…30 But Caleb quieted the people before Moses and said, “let us go up at once and occupy it, for we are well able to overcome it. 31 Then the men who had gone up with him said, “We are not able to go up against the people, for they are stronger than we are…7 [Joshua and Caleb] said to all the congregation of the people of Israel, “The land, which we passed through to spy it out, is an exceedingly good land. 8 If the lord delights in us, he will bring us into this land and give it to us, a land that flows with milk and honey. 9 Only do not rebel against the LORD. And do not fear the people of the land, for they are bread for us. Their protection is removed from them, and the lord is with us; do not fear them.

The other ten spies gave a bad report when they came back from spying on the land of Canaan, not believing in God to overcome their enemies and give them what was rightfully theirs.  The people believed them and became scared, wanting to go back to Egypt, where Moses just brought them out of with help from God.  Only Caleb and Joshua believed that God’s power could get them to where they needed to be.

Nehemiah is an interesting story surrounding the rebuilding of the city of Jerusalem.  Drew Josephs, who wrote a book entitled The Top 100 Men of the Bible, talks a little on what Nehemiah had to go through to get done what the lord wanted.

Though Nehemiah held a prestigious position in the Babylonian court, he wasn’t happy. As long as his people in Jerusalem lived in danger, this exiled Jew’s heart remained with them…While Nehemiah waited on King Artaxerxes I, his sorrow became apparent. Powerful Kings weren’t used to their cupbearers looking as if they were about to dilute the wine with tears. But when Artaxerxes heard of Nehemiah’s problem, he supported his desire to help Judah. In a few minutes, Nehemiah had permission to go to his homeland, provision for his journey, and authorization to get building materials.

Nehemiah, wanting to restore the city of Jerusalem because of its fallen walls, got plenty of oposition from his own people as well as the outsiders that were around him.  Following God’s heart, he decides to take on the great challenge of protecting the city as well as the men who would work on the walls day and night from those who would try and destroy them again.  He was a man of God who worked til the completion of both the city and the hearts of the people in it, helping turn their hearts back to God.

The life of Joseph is another one that comes with hardships and trials, but his faith in God through everything brings him to a place where he is able to help his family as well as the whole country that he was put in charge of.  From being Jacob’s most beloved son, to having his brothers sell him into captivity, to him running through the ranks in Egypt, Joseph continually sought the LORD.  From starting out under the captain of the guard Potiphar, to being accused of rape by Potiphar’s wife, being thrown in the prison where he was used by God to see dreams that answered what the Pharaoh was questioning, to being made second in command over all the people, Joseph was truly a biblical man.  Through all of this, he still knew that God was in front of him guiding his foot steps.  Genesis 41:39-41 says,

39 Then Pharaoh said to Joseph, “Since God has shown you all this, there is none so discerning and wise as you are. 40 You shall be over my house, and all my people shall order themselves as you command. Only as regards the throne will I be greater than you.” And Pharaoh said to Joseph, “See, I have set you over all the land of Egypt.”

David was man after God’s heart (1 Samuel 13:14).  Acts 12:22 says, “And when he had removed him, he raised up David to be their king, of whom he testified and said, ‘I have found in David the son of Jesse, a man after my heart, who will do all my will'”  David wasn’t the biggest or strongest of his brothers, he wasn’t really that important, being a shepherd boy, but God used him to take down the biggest enemy of his day, Goliath, with only a few rocks and a sling.  Afterward, David was put in charge of the Army and was later run off by king Saul himself. Through times of hiding, and even in opportunities to kill Saul, David chose to trust in God to put things into their rightful place.  In time David became the king and ruled for years. He wasn’t perfect, but God used his good and bad to make history and to showcase His glory.  Drew Josephs, again states,

When we read of David’s life, we begin to understand that our lives are not made up of compartments. We cannot keep our work life in one bow and family life in another.  When David sinned  in his personal life, it affected his rule. When he was faithful, everyone benefited. Our lives need that consistency that glorifies God.  Though David had some major life failures, God made him one of the most powerful Kings in Israel and brought the Messiah from his line. Though any man fails, God does not desert him — that is true for us as it was for David.

Barnabas, in the New Testament, was a different kind of leader, in the way that he encouraged those around him and forgave those that might have faltered trying to work with him.  He was coined the “Son of Encouragement” and his kindness brought others closer to knowing the Savior.  “Saul, the former persecutor of the church who became known as Paul, benefited from Barnabas’s warmheartedness. When everyone else in the church worried about whether Saul’s conversion was genuine, Barnabas collected the new convert and brought him to the apostles.  The Son of Encouragement must also have been a risk taker for his Lord, because if he had been wrong about Saul, Barnabas would have been bringing enemy number one into the church,” Josephs writes in his book.  Peter and John the apostle with his brother James, were the closest friends to Jesus out of the 12 disciples.  Its interesting how rough those three were for being Jesus’ closest friends. Again I turn to Josephs, as he so poignantly shares about these three men:

(James) “Perhaps success is why the sons of Zebedee were used to having things their own way: They certainly had commanding personalities. When the disciples met a man who was driving demons out in the Master’s name, John planned to stop him in his tracks. After all, the stranger wasn’t one of them.  Later, when a small village didn’t take kindly to having Jesus and His twelve disciples take shelter with them, James and John wanted to call down fire on these people. The brothers’ fiery tempers earned them the nickname from Jesus: Boanerges, which means “Sons of Thunder.” (Peter) “He might seem the least likely man to become an apostle of Jesus. Rough-hewn, hard working, and relatively uneducated, Simon, son of Jonah, was a no-nonsense kind of man. He may have been a bit coarse and vulgar, too.”

Jesus picked these men, even though they might have been a little rough around the edges, to experience the greatness of the Most High and through time become humble in spirit and be used in reaching those they were around for Christ.  There are other Godly men that I could mention:  Gideon who fought with 300 men; Samson who’s strength was used for God and then was his final downfall; others like Abraham, Elijah, John the Baptist, Moses, Noah, Samuel, and Paul.  Jesus Christ was the only man ever on earth that was complete perfect and we need to look to Him first for learning and guidance.  He should be our first example.  Josephs said it best:

Learn from these men, be inspired by them, and avoid their mistakes. Scripture has recorded their lives to help us. May they challenge your faith and help it grow.