Archive for April, 2009

A few words from Lecrae…

Posted in Culture, God, Music, Video with tags , , , , , on April 26, 2009 by rylanreed

This is a video of Lecrae, some shots taken from a talk that he gave and a concert with Tedashi and then an interview with Leethal (who is the one that made this video).  He talks a little about who he is and what he is trying to do with Hip Hop music.  He is definitely doing some good things for the Lord!

A prayer for the nation

Posted in Culture, God, Patriotic, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , on April 26, 2009 by rylanreed

What the United States needs right now, is not a lot of bickering and complaining and blaming the president, other political leaders, or those in high authority.  We should be praying that God’s will would be done; and if it is in His will, He will work through those that are in leadership to help and bless those that He calls His own.  He Might not do it in the way that we would like, but we still need to trust fully in Him.  I found this in one of my emails and thought that I should share it with you…

Billy Graham’s Prayer For Our Nation
Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and to
seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who
call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done. We have lost our
spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values. We have exploited the poor
and called it the lottery. We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice. We have shot abortionists
and called it justifiable. We have neglected to discipline our children and
called it building self esteem. We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition. We have
polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of
expression. We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and
called it enlightenment. Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today;
cleanse us from every sin and Set us free. Amen!’

Commentator Paul Harvey aired this prayer on his radio program, ‘The Rest of
the Story,’ and received a larger response to this program than any other he
has ever aired. With the Lord’s help, may this prayer sweep over our nation
and wholeheartedly become our desire so that we again can be called ‘One
nation under God.’

‘If you don’t stand for something, you will fall for everything.’

One Nation Under God

What’s the Point

Posted in Culture, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 23, 2009 by rylanreed

This was passed through a couple of emails and I thought it would be good to share with anyone that would like to read it. It’s a good way to look at life…

Regardless of where you are spiritually in your life, the following is inspirational.

You will enjoy the new insights that Rick Warren has, with his wife now having cancer and him having ‘wealth’ from the book sales. This is an absolutely incredible short interview with Rick Warren,
‘Purpose Driven Life ‘ author and pastor of Saddleback Church in California.

In the interview by Paul Bradshaw with Rick Warren, Rick said:
People ask me, What is the purpose of life?
And I respond: In a nutshell, life is preparation for eternity. We were not made to last forever, and God wants us to be with Him in Heaven.
One day my heart is going to stop, and that will be the end of my body– but not the end of me.
I may live 60 to 100 years on earth, but I am going to spend trillions of years in eternity. This is the warm-up act – the dress rehearsal.. God wants us to practice on earth what we will do forever in eternity.
We were made by God and for God, and until you figure that out, life isn’t going to make sense.
Life is a series of problems: Either you are in one now, you’re just coming out of one, or you’re getting ready to go into another one.
The reason for this is that God is more interested in your character than your comfort; God is more interested in making your life holy than He is in making your life happy.
We can be reasonably happy here on earth, but that’s not the goal of life. The goal is to grow in character, in Christ likeness.
This past year has been the greatest year of my life but also the toughest, with my wife, Kay, getting cancer.
I used to think that life was hills and valleys – you go through a dark time, then you go to the mountaintop, back and forth. I don’t believe that anymore.
Rather than life being hills and valleys, I believe that it’s kind of like two rails on a railroad track, and at all times you have something good and something bad in your life.
No matter how good things are in your life, there is always something bad that needs to be worked on.
And no matter how bad things are in your life, there is always something good you can thank God for..
You can focus on your purposes, or you can focus on your problems:
If you focus on your problems, you’re going into self-centeredness, which is my problem, my issues, my pain.’ But one of the easiest ways to get rid of pain is to get your focus off yourself and onto God and others.
We discovered quickly that in spite of the prayers of hundreds of thousands of people, God was not going to heal Kay or make it easy for her- It has been very difficult for her, and yet God has strengthened her character, given her a ministry of helping other people, given her a testimony, drawn her closer to Him and to people.
You have to learn to deal with both the good and the bad of life.
Actually, sometimes learning to deal with the good is harder. For instance, this past year, all of a sudden, when the book sold 15 million copies, it made me instantly very wealthy.
It also brought a lot of notoriety that I had never had to deal with before. I don’t think God gives you money or notoriety for your own ego or for you to live a life of ease..
So I began to ask God what He wanted me to do with this money, notoriety and influence. He gave me two different passages that helped me decide what to do, II Corinthians 9 and Psalm 72.
First, in spite of all the money coming in, we would not change our lifestyle one bit.. We made no major purchases.
Second, about midway through last year, I stopped taking a salary from the church.
Third, we set up foundations to fund an initiative we call The Peace Plan to plant churches, equip leaders, assist the poor, care for the sick, and educate the next generation.
Fourth, I added up all that the church had paid me in the 24 years since I started the church, and I gave it all back. It was liberating to be able to serve God for free.
We need to ask ourselves: Am I going to live for possessions? Popularity?
Am I going to be driven by pressures? Guilt? Bitterness? Materialism? Or am I going to be driven by God’s purposes (for my life)?
When I get up in the morning, I sit on the side of my bed and say, God, if I don’t get anything else done today, I want to know You more and love You better. God didn’t put me on earth just to fulfill a to-do list. He’s more interested in what I am than what I do.
That’s why we’re called human beings, not human doings.
Happy moments, PRAISE GOD.
Difficult moments, SEEK GOD.
Quiet moments, WORSHIP GOD.
Painful moments, TRUST GOD.
Every moment, THANK GOD.

My thoughts are as sinful as actions I would take

Posted in following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , on April 21, 2009 by rylanreed

Lately, I have been realizing and seeing more of my thoughts as sins, than in the past of just letting them go because I was fine for the way I felt.  God is showing me that even though I haven’t done anything, I am still sinning against him and those around me because of the thoughts that run through my head at different times during the day.  I receive devotionals from , Encouragement for Today from Proverbs 31 Ministries.  The devotional that I read recently focused on what I have been going through with the sin thoughts in my life.  It is entitled Don’t Dance Around a Cactus (Tuesday April 21, 2009), and I really think it fits in well.  Enjoy!

What is going on with Gao Zhisheng

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, Politics with tags , , , , , , on April 21, 2009 by rylanreed

I recently got an email from Christianity Today International about Gao Zhisheng, a  forty-four-year-old  Chinese human-rights lawyer, who has been fighting for the rights of those Christians that are in house Chruchs.

Christian human rights attorney Gao Zhisheng, has now been missing 76 days, and there is increasing concern for his life. He was last seen being hauled away from his home by more than a dozen police officers on February 4. Reports from inside China indicate he is undergoing brutal torture.

The situation is critical, and with each day that passes, Gao Zhisheng’s life hangs in the balance.

Because of Gao’s work defending house church Christians and others persecuted in China, the Chinese government wants to silence his voice. ChinaAid president, Bob Fu calls Gao’s torture “the most severe persecution in China’s modern history.” Gao’s wife and two children, who have also been abused and tormented by the police, escaped to the U.S. less than two weeks ago. His family is afraid that authorities, furious at their escape, are taking revenge on Gao.

ChinaAid and The Voice of the Martyrs, together with Gao Zhisheng’s wife and children, call on all Christians and those who value human dignity and justice to speak out on Gao Zhisheng’s behalf by signing a petition to free Gao.

This blog from The New Yorker also has some good information about this situation.  Please be praying for his safe return, but more that people will come to Christ because of the sacrifices that he has made.

oh, the good ole US of A

Posted in Patriotic with tags , , , , , , , , , , on April 18, 2009 by rylanreed

I recieve this email from my father, and I wanted to pass it along, such a great telling of what the men and women of our Armed Forces have done to keep this country free as well as how we have been able to protect those in need of help!

You could have heard a pin drop

When in England at a fairly large conference, Colin Powell was asked by the Archbishop of Canterbury;if our plans for Iraq were just an example of empire building’ by George Bush.  He answered by saying, ‘Over the years, the United States has sent many of its fine young men and women into great peril to fight for freedom beyond our borders. The only amount of land we have ever asked for in return is enough to bury those that did not return.

You could have heard a pin drop.

Then there was a conference in France where a number of international engineers were taking part,including French and American. During a break, one of the French engineers came back into the room saying, ‘Have you heard the latest dumb stunt Bush has done? He has sent an aircraft carrier to Indonesia to help the tsunami victims. What does he intended to do, bomb them?’  A Boeing engineer stood up and replied quietly: ‘Our carriers have three hospitals on board that can treat several hundred people; they are nuclear powered and can supply emergency electrical power to shore facilities; they have three cafeterias with the capacity to feed 3,000 people three meals a day, they can produce several thousand gallons of fresh water from sea water each day, and they carry half a dozen helicopters for use in transporting victims and injured to and from their flight deck. We have 11 such ships; how many does France have? ‘

You could have heard a pin drop.

A U.S. Navy Admiral was attending a naval conference that included Admirals from the U.S., English, Canadian, Australian and French Navies.   At a cocktail reception, he found himself standing with a large group of officers that included personnel from most of those countries.  Everyone was chatting away in English as they sipped their drinks but a French admiral suddenly complained that, ‘whereas Europeans learn many languages, Americans learn only English.’  He then asked, ‘Why is it that we always have to speak English in these conferences rather than speaking French?’  Without hesitating, the American Admiral replied ‘Maybe it’s because the Brits, Canadians, Aussies and Americans arranged it so you wouldn’t have to speak German.’

You could have heard a pin drop.


A group of Americans, retired teachers, recently went to France on a tour. Robert Whiting, an elderly gentleman of 83, arrived in Paris by plane.  At French Customs, he took a few minutes to locate his passport in his carry on.

‘You have been to France before, monsieur?’ the customs officer asked sarcastically.
Mr. Whiting admitted that he had been to France previously.
‘Then you should know enough to have your passport ready.’
The American said, ‘The last time I was here, I didn’t have to show it.’
‘Impossible. Americans always have to show your passports on arrival in France!’

The American senior gave the Frenchman a long hard look. Then he quietly explained. ‘Well, when I came ashore at Omaha Beach on D-Day in ’44 to help liberate this country, I couldn’t find any Frenchmen to show it to.’

You could have heard a pin drop

What Is A Veteran?

A ‘Veteran’whether active duty, discharged, retired, or reserve — is someone who, at one point in his life, wrote a blank check made payable to ‘The USA,Canada,Britain etc.) for an amount of ‘up to, and including his life.’

That is honor, and there are way too many people in this country today, who no longer understand that fact.**

I’m singing, by Kari Jobe

Posted in God, Music, Video with tags , , , , , , , on April 16, 2009 by rylanreed

I found this on a friends sight and thought I would pass it along.  Kari Jobe made a video that included other people’s stories and related it to her song I’m Singing.  Here are both videos…

Even in the hard times God is still there right by your side and He has a purpose for everything that happens!

Still caught in Sin

Posted in following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2009 by rylanreed

Rebelling against the rules doesn’t mean that you’re free. You’re still a slave to sin.  This was perfectly laid out in Pastor Mark Driscoll’s sermon Trial: Temptation from Sin, in the section called America, Land of the Slaves.  Paul also writes in Romans about this:

“14For we know that the law is spiritual, but I am of the flesh, sold under sin. 15I do not understand my own actions. For I do not do what I want, but I do the very thing I hate. 16Now if I do what I do not want, I agree with the law, that it is good. 17So now it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 18For I know that nothing good dwells in me, that is my flesh. For I have the desire to do what is right, but not the ability to carry it out. 19For I do not do the good I want, but the evil I do not want is what I keep on doing. 20Now if I do what I do not want, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells within me. 21So I find it to be a law that when I want to do right, evil lies close at hand. 22For I delight in the law of God, in my inner being, 23but I see in my members another law waging war against the law of my mind and making me captive to the law of sin that dwells in my members. 24Wretched man that I am! Who will deliver me from this body of death? 25Thanks be to God through Jesus Christ our lord! So then, I myself serve the law of God with my mind, but with my flesh I serve the law of sin.”  Romans 7:14-25    (underlined included by me)

Missions exist because Worship doesn’t

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God, Music with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 13, 2009 by rylanreed

I was listening to a Lecrae song a few days ago and heard this quote that he said toward the end of his song SEND ME “Missions exist because worship doesn’t”.  Right off the bat, I knew that the quote was from John Piper and loved the song even more.  I read this passage in Let the Nations be Glad and this is where the quote comes from!

“Missions exist because worship doesn’t!. . . The infinite, all-glorious Creator of the universe, by whom and for whom all things exist–who holds every person’s life in being at every moment (Acts 17:25)–is disregarded, disbelieved, disobeyed, and dishonored among the peoples of the world. That is the ultimate reason for missions. The opposite to this disrespect is worship. Worship is not a gathering. It is not essentially any form of outward act. Worship is essentially an inner stirring of the heart to treasure God above all the treasures of the world~
A valuing of God above all else that is valuable
a loving of God above all else that is lovely
a savoring of God above all else that is sweet
an admiring of God above all else that is admirable
a fearing of God above all that is fearful
a respecting of God above all else that is respectable
a prizing of God above all else that is precious.

In other words, worship is right affections in the heart toward God, rooted in right thoughts in the head about God, becoming visible in the right actions of the body reflecting God. These three stages of worship from inner essence to outward display can be seen in three texts; Matthew 15:8-9, John 4:23, Matthew 5:16.”

“People don’t worship the God that made them!”  Our call is to help people worship the one true God, and not to worship or put trust in us, who call ourselves Christians, but still need the Savior in all parts of our life, especially when ministering to others.  Let us worship our Lord and Savior in telling others His great story!

Is it all about bunnies and eggs or the Cross?

Posted in following Jesus, Holiday with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on April 12, 2009 by rylanreed

I received this in an email ( and thought it was really good on the question of what Easter Sunday is all about.

Biblically speaking, there is absolutely no connection between the resurrection of Jesus Christ and the common modern traditions related to Easter Sunday. As a background, please read our article on the origins of Easter. Essentially, what occurred is that in order to make Christianity more attractive to non-Christians, the ancient Roman Catholic Church mixed the celebration of Jesus’ resurrection with celebrations that involved spring fertility rituals. These spring fertility rituals are the source of the egg and bunny traditions.

The Bible makes it clear that Jesus was resurrected on the first day of the week, Sunday (Matthew 28:1; Mark 16:2,9; Luke 24:1; John 20:1,19). Jesus’ resurrection is most worthy of being celebrated (see 1 Corinthians 15). While it is appropriate for Jesus’ resurrection to be celebrated on a Sunday, the day on which Jesus’ resurrection is celebrated should not be referred to as Easter. Easter has nothing to do with Jesus’ resurrection on a Sunday.

As a result, many Christians feel strongly that the day on which we celebrate Jesus’ resurrection should not be referred to as “Easter Sunday.” Rather, something like “Resurrection Sunday” would be far more appropriate and biblical. For the Christian, it is unthinkable that we would allow the silliness of Easter eggs and the Easter bunny to be the focus of the day instead of Jesus’ resurrection.

By all means, celebrate Christ’s resurrection on Easter Sunday. Christ’s resurrection is something that should be celebrated every day, not just once a year. At the same time, if we choose to celebrate Easter Sunday, we should not allow the fun and games to distract our attention from what the day should truly be all about-the fact that Jesus was resurrected from the dead, and that His resurrection demonstrates that we can indeed be promised an eternal home in Heaven by receiving Jesus as our Savior.