Archive for faith

The Gospel in Christmas

Posted in following Jesus, God, Holiday with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on December 29, 2010 by rylanreed

Jesus Christ, the gospel, has given us a chance to live with Him in eternity, if we just take a step of faith and believe that He is God and came to save us from our sins.  We think of Jesus as a baby boy, and that is what He came to earth as, but His main purpose was living a life for us to follow (knowing that we aren’t perfect and don’t have to be) and dying on the cross to take the punishment of our sins on His shoulders so that we could have a close relationship with Him and God the Father.

Here is a Christmas card that spells the gospel out in a beautiful way.

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If only a rock could float

Posted in Culture, following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on September 30, 2010 by rylanreed

Peter doing his thing on the water, until he started looking at Himself and his surroundings instead of Christ.

Jon Bloom takes such a good look at this passage and what is can do for our lives. I always remember reading about Peter jumping at of the boat onto the water as a way of showing his faith in Christ and Christ approving of his faith by letting him stay on top of the water.  It was not so much Peter’s own belief, but his belief of who Christ was and what Christ could do if he just let Him take control.  We could all learn to study God’s word to truely know how Christ can be there, instead of just living through life hoping that Christ would pick up the “slack” of what we have already done.  And Jesus, letting Peter sink slowly to bring him and others back to the realization of how much they were in need of Christ and how much power he has over everything.

Where do ya look

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

To accomplish great things, we must not only act, but also dream, not only plan, but also believe.  Bradley Mines

What is your vision for your life? That is a question that always comes up into conversation if you or someone else is at a transition point in their life and are looking to start something new. You usually get a lot of those kind of questions right before you graduate from high school and go to college, but more and more people are trying to figure this out even in the jobs that they have now.  I do get frustrated with that question, but it is needed to know where your going with your life and I believe that Pastor Mike Neely has the right way of thinking about the vision statement. 

Pastor Mike Neely of Highland Park Evangelical free church, did a devotional about the world’s vision plan and seeking God’s vision plan. Here is a little bit of it:

Valid Faith Gives Us Vital Vision

Vision is today’s buzzword, but many people will not experience the power and fulfillment promised in vision seminars! Why? Because there is a vast difference between vision and fantasy!

Faith is not the ability to believe in yourself, but in God. It is a popular belief today that you can accomplish anything that you truly believe you can. But God says in Romans 10:11, “Whoever believes in Him (Jesus) will not be disappointed.” Faith is confidence and trust in the character and promises of God – in contrast to self-confidence.

Does the Bible encourage us to make up our own dream and then ask God to help us achieve it? No; quite the opposite! Jesus said: “Truly, truly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, unless it is something He sees the Father doing; for whatever the Father does, these things the Son also does in like manner,” (John 5:19-20). Jesus Himself, the divine Son of God, made it clear that He did not come to do His own will, but “the will of Him who sent me,” (vs. 30).

Jesus models visionary thinking that should fuel our personal lives, our church ministries and our planning strategies. Vision is to focus on God so we can join Him in what He is doing! Vision is not a fantasy, but a focus upon the Ultimate Reality that is beyond the natural. It focuses on God and allows Him to open our eyes to what is supernatural, spiritual, invisible, and eternal.

Vision must be more than dreaming about something bigger, better, more than what you are currently able to do. Vision must be a God-confidence that sees the impact of faithfulness, sending ripples out from your neighborhood into eternity! It is an abiding focus on God that brings contentment with Him – who He is, who you are in Him, what He is making of your life – that convinces you that you are living the abundant, eternal quality of life Jesus promised to those who hear and follow Him!                      

Press On, (Philippians 3:14)

Teaching at Beam

Posted in South Africa Stint with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 19, 2009 by rylanreed

This second semester has been somewhat of a change from last semester in the area of where we, as STINTer’s, have spent most of our time.  Last semester we were only at BEAM Africa, which is a development center for township children just outside of Pretoria, one day out of the week, but this semester we have been able to go there three days a week.  It has been a privilege for myself and my friend James Pruch to be able to take one of those days and teach the male staff workers there at BEAM, some things from the Bible. A good ole Bible Study.  The first week we talked about new birth and what God has done to make us dead sinners alive in Christ. The second week was about faith and grace, mostly stemming off of Ephesians 2, but also James 2 and the life of Abraham.  Here are a few pictures that we took from that day:

Question from the day: “How do we know if someone has true Faith?”

Beam Board

James illustrating the importance of the sequence of a Christian’s life:

Beam teaching

I am talking to the guys about faith and works and the difference between the two in James 2 (The one on the right is Blessing)

Beam teaching1

From left to right: Ludwig, Brian and Ronney

Beam guys

There were good times, now bad times

Posted in God, Politics with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on October 16, 2009 by rylanreed

This is a little excerpt from Coach Dave Daubenmire on April 13, 2006 with NewsWithViews.com.  It talks about the good times three years back and how wrong things were actually going.

Nothing seemed beyond the reach of American ingenuity. By all appearances God’s blessings were abundantly visible. The Greatest Generation lived in a nation where Christ was honored. He was at the center of schools, the foundation in our homes, and the pillar of our government. But in their desire to do bigger things, they forgot to do better things. They traded their spiritual inheritance for a pot of stew.  They didn’t mind the store.

Somewhere, in the desire to conquer outer-space, the Greatest Generation lost control of America’s inner-space. Working to increase their wealth, they lost their values. They cleaned up the environment but polluted America’s soul. They transferred their prosperity to their children, but not their Faith. They stood silently by as Christ was removed from this nation.  Yes, my friends, they spent the inheritance.

Let’s be gut honest here, folks. There is no liberty in America anymore. Government has become the over-reaching tyrant that our Founders warned us about.  Christ, the only firm foundation, was strip-mined from America. Outwardly the ground looked the same, but underneath, out of sight, a new support system was in place, and America was slowly sinking into the swamp. The spirit of the world replaced the Spirit of the Lord. When the authority of government overthrew the authority of Christ, America lost her way.

I guess no one listened to him and took to heart what was needed to get done, cause now we are where we placed ourselves, in a hole and what looks like a pretty long way out. Read all of what he has to say, cause it’s worth it.

Birthday…

Posted in God, Holiday with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 31, 2009 by rylanreed

So, today is my birthday but I am not going to write how awesome I am or why people don’t remember me (which is not true) or anything like that.  I want to write this as a thank you letter to all of those that have been apart of my quarter-century-life and shaped it to what it is today.

I want to thank God, the God of heaven and earth, for giving me my life because without Him I wouldn’t be here.  I want to thank God for giving me breath each morning, to be able to have lived this long in His world because we should know that we might not be here the next day.  I want to thank my mom, Bonnie, for berthing me and going through the pain and turmoil that giving birth takes upon that person.  I love you mom! I want to thank my dad, Bernie, for “training up a child in the way he should go; even when he is old he will not depart from it.” Proverbs 22:6 I know you weren’t sure if I would follow or not, but you still stuck to what God had commanded you in raising a son.  Thanks for showing me how a Godly man should live his life and how he should love his wife and children.  I love you dad! Thanks to both of you for how you trusted God in each one of our lives, for always loving us and disciplining us when we needed it. 🙂 Proverbs 23:13-14 “Do not withhold discipline from a child; if you strike him with a rod, he will not die. 14If you strike him with the rod, you will save his soul from Sheol (hell).” I want to thank my sisters, Janelle and Laura, for loving me and being there for me when I needed it, as well as telling me when I needed to give it up and stop what I was doing.  Thanks for the encouragement and grace that you have shown me through out my life. I love you sisters! I want to thank my grandparents and my Aunts and Uncles and Cousins and all my other relatives for you support, encouragement and love over the past 25 years.  I love all of you!

I want to thank all my friends for giving up their time to hangout, relax and chill; to play sports and watch sports; and do whatever other stupid things that we did.  I want to thank one of my best friends Andrew, for sticking through it with me over the past ten years or so.  We have had our differences, but you have always been around when I needed it.  I want to thank James and Matt for being great friends and Godly men, always wanting to learn more and repent more, while leading others to learn more about Christ as well.  I want to thank Corey, Brian and Kav for being good Bible Study leaders and great friends and for the time spent when I just wanted to talk.  Your presence was always greatly appreciated.  I want to thank Casey and my other Juneau brothers for sharing two of the greatest summers of my life up in Juneau Alaska, what a trip and what a time shared!  You are all brothers in Christ and good friends to me!  (if you didn’t mentioned specifically, you are in my first line… thanks for your time too)

I want to thank Pastor Doug Shada and my Uncle Doug for your time spent helping me get through a really rough time in high school.  Thanks for your patience and thoughts on what was happening.  I want to thank Bill and Kent and those in leadership with Crusade that has helped me over the past few years in growing in my faith and walk with Jesus.  I want to thank all of my supporters as well, for letting me go on this great adventure and serve me in supporting me financially and prayerfully as I do God’s work in South Africa.  Thanks to all who is letting God lead you in your lives so I could be able to see Him through you.  Thanks also, for those Godly men that showed me how a true man of God should live and work in his day to day life.

Thanks!!!

What To Hope In

Posted in following Jesus, God with tags , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , on August 25, 2009 by rylanreed

“…Now hope that is seen is not hope. For who hopes for what he sees? 25But if we hope for what we do not see we wait for it with patience.”  Romans 8:24b-25

What do you hope in? It’s an easy question to ask and answer because the phrase “I hope” flies off our tongues pretty regularly.  So, where does your hope  lie?  Do you ever say to yourself, “man I hope this goes my way” or “I really hope that they like me” etc.  “We hope for a lot of things and we hope IN a lot of things, things that too often fail us, like people, our work, our accomplishments, and especially in ourselves. Experience tells us how often these things do fail us.”  So where can we turn that won’t fail us, Jesus.

Jesus Christ is the only person that will not fail us.  HE died on the cross for us if that says anything.  Yes, we can’t see Him, and we definitely were not alive during the time that He spent on this earth, but the Bible was written for us to be able to believe and faith in Him to save us and send us to where we need to be and what we need to be doing.  Look through the whole Bible, mainly the gospels because that is where Jesus talks and does miracles, to see how Jesus can help you get through life.  The whole Bible is about Jesus… but that’s a whole other blog.

Here are a few places, one in the Old Testament, and the other talking about the Old Testament, which talk about hope and how we can have it in Christ.  In Psalms 78:7 it says “so that they should set their hope in God and not forget the works of God,but keep his commandments.”  Titus 1:2 says, ” in hope of eternal life, which God, who never lies, promised before the ages began.”  Then in Romans, Paul brings both together, the Old and the New Testament.  Romans 5:4-5 says, “And  endurance produces character, and character produces hope, and 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.” And Romans 15:4 says, “For whatever was written in former days was written for our instruction, that through endurance and through the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope.”

“Faith doesn’t have to be blind, but hope and trust are two key aspects to it…”  Unknown Author

Hope
Sees the invisible
Achieves the impossible
If you look up
There are no limits…
– Lacuna Coil

Hebrews 11:1 “Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.”

2Corinthians 5:7 “For we walk by faith, not by sight.”