Archive for January, 2009

At my pad!

Posted in following Jesus, South Africa Stint with tags , , , , , on January 26, 2009 by rylanreed

It has been two LONG weeks, but finally I have internet in the apartment or “flats” as the South Africans call it.  It has been a hard two weeks as well, most of the things that we tried to get done never worked out the first times around.  God has definitely been testing my patience as well as the other people on my team.  With our flight being delayed to changing the whole flight to the next night, Not finding a place to stay for about a week and then two days later having to move everything to another apartment at the same place because of the owner selling our two places without telling us, our money not going through to our bank accounts, not having pin numbers to be able to access our salary, and having to wait for a week to get a car that we didn’t have to pay each day for.

Through all of this God has definitely been testing me with my patience and seeing if I would give everything over to him instead of just trying to do things on my own, like I think I can do sometimes. James 4:14-15 helps explain what I need to be doing for God instead of for myself.

“yet you do not know what tomorrow will bring. What is your life? For you are a mist that appears for a little time and then vanishes. 15 Instead you ought to say, ‘if the Lord wills, we will live and do this or that.” James 4:14-15

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Puzzled?

Posted in Culture, following Jesus with tags , , , , , , , on January 25, 2009 by rylanreed

Puzzle’s are so interesting and fun to build. Every piece is an important part of the whole and without just one piece, then the puzzle wouldn’t be completed.  Each piece is a different shape and size, some small, some large. Others are jagged and some round, some are long and others short.  Each piece has its own place in the puzzle and if they are placed somewhere else, it usually does not fit or even look good in the whole picture.

The illistration of the puzzle is how the body of Christ works. Each follower in the body of Christ is an important part of the body and without them the picture as a whole would not look as good.  God has called each one of us to the body for a reason and each one of us are truely important to God.  We are all different and have been made that way to be able to fit together and make a more beautiful picture than would only just a few pieces could make by themselves.  If we were all the same, nothing would fit together and it would all just be a jumbled mess. God has made us with a unique plan for our lives and talents to be able to do that. With each plan and purpose, we all fit in our unique place in the body of Christ and when joined as one under christ we are a beautiful picture.

What He did…

Posted in books, following Jesus with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on January 25, 2009 by rylanreed

I do admit that sometimes I don’t remind myself of Jesus’ death on the cross and what he went through on my behalf, so that I could be able to be up in heaven with God after I die.  I do stupid things for my self that I don’t need to do at all because of the love that Jesus has for me, but I do it anyways, just going along with my sinful nature.  It was so good a couple of days ago, while reading through Spurgeon’s Morning and Evening book, to have my eyes opened to such a beautiful way of putting what Christ did up on that piece of wood.

‘The Messiah shall be cut off, but not for himself’  Daniel 9:26

“Blessed be His name, there was no cause of death in Him. Neither original nor actual sin had defiled Him, and therefore death had no claim upon Him. No man could have taken His life from Him justly, for He had done no man wrong, and no man could even have slayed Him by force unless He had been pleased to yield Himself to die. But lo, one sins and another suffers. Justice was offended by us, but found its satisfaction in Him. Rivers of tears, mountains of offering, seas of the blood of bullocks, and hills of frankincense, could not have availed for the removal of sin; but Jesus was cut off for us, and the cause of wrath was cut off at once, for sin was put away for ever. Herein is wisdom, whereby substitution, the sure and speedy way of atonement, was devised! Herein is condescension, which brought Messiah, the Prince, to wear a crown of thorns, and die upon the cross! Herein is love, which lead the Redeemer to lay down His life for His enemies!

It is not enough, however, to admire the spectacle of the innocent bleeding for the guilty, we must make sure of our interest therein. The special object of the Messiah’s death was the salvation of His church; have we a part and a lot among those for whom He gave His life a ransom? Did the Lord Jesus stand as our representative? Are we healed by His stripes? It will be a terrible thing indeed if we should come short of a portion in His sacrifice; it were better for us that we had never been born, Solemn as the question is, it is a joyful circumstance that it is one which may be answered clearly and with out mistake. To all who believe on Him the Lord Jesus is a present Saviour, and upon them all the blood of reconciliation has been sprinkled. Let all who trust in the merit of Messiah’s death be joyful at every remembrance of Him, and let their holy gratitude lead them to the fullest consecration to His cause. (January 16, Evening 41, Spurgeon)

I’ve taken what I have gotten for granted so many times and it is so nice to be able to come back to the saving grace that is with Christ Jesus and kneel before the throne, asking for forgiveness and the love that only comes from Him.

Benefits of suffering

Posted in following Jesus with tags , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2009 by rylanreed

1) It opens our hearts to God

2) It molds us

1Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our lord Jesus Christ.  2Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.  3More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.  (Romans 5:1-5)

2Count it all joy, my brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds, 3for you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness. 4And let steadfastness have its full effect, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing. (James 1:2-4)

3) It makes us sensitive to others and equips us to be a comforter

Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort. (2 Corinthians 1:3)

4) It makes us homesick for Heaven

Psalms 143:8

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love, for I have put my trust in you.  Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul.

The times of stepping back…

Posted in books, following Jesus with tags , , , , , , , , , , , on January 22, 2009 by rylanreed

There is so many times where my problems become bigger than they really are and I let my emotions become bigger than what they need to be.  The small things in life seem to be so much when I try to do them by myself or think I can handle them in a quick amount of time.  It usually takes place after things have been going really good for a good length of time.  I came to that spot last night of having small things that usually shouldn’t matter, really take a big hold over my emotions and how I handled things.  What I read from C.H. Spurgeon’s Morning & Evening booklet, really spoke to the heart of what my problem was.

‘He was sore athirst, and called on the Lord, and said, Thou hast given this great deliverance into the hand of they servant, and now shall I die for thirst?’

“Samson was thirsty and ready to die. The difficulty was totally different from any which the hero had met before. Merely to get thirst and assuaged is nothing like so great a matter as to be delivered from a thousand Philistines! but when the thirst was upon him, Samson felt that little present difficulty more weighty than the great past difficulty out of which he had so specially been delivered. It is very usual for God’s people, when they enjoyed a great deliverance, to find a little trouble too much for them. Samson slays a thousand Philistines, and piles them up in heaps, and then faints for a little water! Jacob wrestles with God at Peniel, and overcomes Omnipotence itself, and then goes ‘halting on his thigh’! Strange that there must be a shrinking of the sinew whenever we win the day. As if the Lord must teach us our littleness, our nothingness, in order to keep us within bounds. Samson boasted right loudly when he said, ‘I have slain a thousand men’. His boastful throat soon grew hoarse with thrist, and he betook himself to prayer. God has many ways of humbling His people. Dear child of God, if after great mercy you are laid very low, your case is not an unusual one. When David had mounted the throne of Israel, he said, ‘I am this day weak, though anointed king’. You most expect to feel weakest when you are enjoying your greatest triumph. If God has wrought for you great deliverance in the past, your present difficulty is only like Samson’s thrist, and the Lord will not let you faint, nore suffer the daughter of the uncircumcised to triumph over you. The road of sorrow os the road to heaven, but there are wells of refreshing water all along the route. So, tried brother, cheer your heart with Samson’s words, and rest assured that God will deliver you ere long.” (Evening, January 21, Spurgeon)

I hope that this helps those that might have gone through, or even are going through some things that follow along with what this is talking about.

My South African STINT (on going)

Posted in South Africa Stint with tags , , , , , , , , , , on January 17, 2009 by rylanreed

This section is more or less just my thoughts and the different events that have happened here and there  while living in Pretoria, South Africa for the year of 2009. My self and eight others on my team started off our journey in Denver, where Campus Crusade has there yearly Christmas Conference in December.  We were able to help with the conference, since our departure was from the Denver airport.

DCC was a really good time to get caught up with friends that I hadn’t seen since the summer up in Juneau, and other friends that I hadn’t been able to hangout with much.  I am so glad for the friends that God has put into my life and how each one of them has been used in different ways in my life.  DCC was also just a good time of having one on oneness with my Creator and somewhat of a renewing of my strength.  My Family was able to drive myself and James, who is on STINT with me, up to Denver so we wouldn’t have to deal with leaving cars.  They stayed a couple of days longer to be able to hangout with me some more before I left for a year.  It’s hard to be away from your family when (for the most part) you do alot of things together, so it was fun to be able to hangout with them a little bit more and share some special moments together.

We left Tuesday morning to be ready for the plane that was leaving at 2:00pm.  The flight to DC was a quick one, but with the time change, we didn’t get into Dulles until 7:30 or so and found out that our flight was delayed til the next morning to london.  When everything got figured out, we changed flights to the next day at 5:40 that was heading straight to JoBurg (yes, we sadly didn’t get to be in London for a day.) If we would have went to London that next day, we might have not been on time for the next flight and would have had to wait another 24 hrs.  Long story short, we were compted living arangements at this really nice resort and a food voucher, becuase I guess the plane has some tech. difficulties.  The resort (in Virginia) was REALLY NICE!  The next day, Wensday, we left at 2:00 to get on the plane at 5:40.  That flight was a LONG on (I probably watched 4 movies and other stuff) and sort of slept here and there.

We flew into JoBurg at 3pm (Pretoria time) and were picked up by a man named Tony, who with his employees, drove us to the Hostel.  South Africa is such a beautiful place, and looks for the most part like a US city.  Hopefully pictures will come to show of God’s great creation!