Wednesday, July 27, 2011


I was recently looking at a photo album I received from a really good friend of mine, whom I appreciate and have the utmost respect for, for my high school graduation gift. It contained pictures of me and close friends from youth back in the day, and had pictures of all the people who had a huge impact on forming who I am today. Those who came to youth and left, those who were a huge part throughout all my years in youth, and even those who mentored me, helped me shape into the man of God I became in high school. Although I was a stubborn teenager who didn't know what he wanted, and who waivered worse than trees in the wind, these people stuck by me, extended grace when I really didn't deserve it, and showed me love like I had never felt. They exemplified a God who they talked about, but managed to walk the walk. Although I am not sure where each one is at now, I know that those days were incredible, they were filled with so much adventure, with so much passion, and just a sense that we all had each other's back, through thick and thin.

I am sure many of you are aware that I didn't have the strongest family situation growing up, but in my eyes, although I am not in contact with many of the faces I saw, there is a sense of looking back on old family photographs. Pictures of retreats, of times of prayer, times that I know there were tears that followed, and times that you just can't help but look at and smile. :) Lately I have had a real sense of missing high school, and all those that made it so special. There are things that I look back and forehead-palm, and turn a little red. I mean there will always be high school drama, but it just seems so insignificant right now.

So as I reflect, and notice how long this blog has become, I want to pose this question: Do you ever look back and remember the good times. The nights where you couldn't stop laughing because EVERYTHING was funny? The days where you struggled to get through class to see those people who knew exactly who you were and appreciated you for that? Or maybe just hanging out with those couple of close friends and talking relationships and that "special someone" who you would give your arm and your leg to date?

I know it is not good to live in the past, and it can be dangerous if that is what engulfs who you become. There are those who never get out of high school and live that lifestyle in there middle age years. But I think we need to look back and truly appreciate where we have been.

I encourage you, look back and think of something or someone you are thankful for. If you believe in God, thank Him for the blessings that were given to you. If you don't take some time to reminisce on the good ol' days.

To those reading this, and we were close or even just everyday friends, thank you for your investment in my life, and taking the time to get to know me. If you went to youth with me back in high school; you are family and thanks so much. If I have hurt you and you have some bent up anger towards me, I am sorry, and I hope you can understand that I am also just a man, and I have made MANY mistakes in my short life on this earth. Please find it in your heart to forgive me, because I am just a man. Our lives are way to short to hold grudges, and we need to spread the love. I have seen many acts of forgiveness and some really big ones at that.

2 Corinthians 9:14-15

 - 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift!

Saturday, February 19, 2011

Is True Wisdom Knowing When to Keep our Mouths Closed?

1 Cor. 1:27-31 - 

27 But God chose the foolish things of the world to shame the wise; God chose the weak things of the world to shame the strong. 28 God chose the lowly things of this world and the despised things—and the things that are not—to nullify the things that are, 29 so that no one may boast before him. 30 It is because of him that you are in Christ Jesus, who has become for us wisdom from God—that is, our righteousness, holiness and redemption. 31 Therefore, as it is written: “Let the one who boasts boast in the Lord.”[b]

One of the things I have been battling with is my craving for understanding. I want to better understand why I believe what I believe, and also why I stand up for what I stand up for. It is not easy living in a society that we do where the Christian faith has gone from a majority to minority in the couple decades. There are many more faiths out there, and many that to the large amount of people look more appealing than Christianity. I love the occasional debate with people, and discussing different angles on things of life. And with every debate or argument, I am finding myself wanting, once again, to better understand. Although there are many out there that it is easier to live a blind faith, I personally prefer to have an educated faith. Whether that means looking at commentaries or reading books on different topics, it is not as simple for me to just say "I do this because in my heart I know it is right, and nothing will change that". I tried that once, and found myself shaken as soon as someone brought up the possibility of it not happening. I had no defence, and I was helpless in the argument. Also, growing up I did not have a faith in Christ, therefore everything I have learned and lived has been in the last 8-9 years. I have been to Bible College and plan on attending seminary eventually, and I have appreciated the people I have met along the way, because I have gotten a better understanding from many different perspectives. 

Now don't get me wrong, by no means do I not deep down in the deepest part of my heart believe that God is a mighty and powerful God, and also in the trinity (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit) and also the resurrection and coming again of Christ, but to blindly say "this is true just because..." I find it a little difficult.

But to what extent is it time to just take what you learn, and rather than debate and cause a ruckus, just relax, and share with those who are willing to listen. Although I do like to ask tough questions of people and their faith, especially those who believe in God, I sometimes wonder if maybe it would just be smarter to be quiet than to stir the pot. And maybe sometimes there ARE things in the faith that it is just better to not understand. There are things that we will NEVER be able to understand because we are not God. And there are things that no one will be able to prove until we actually meet God. 

Where is the balance, of faith and understanding, on which we can teeter. Is it better to have more faith? Is it better to have more understanding? I don't know, I just know that it is the salvation and grace given to us by God that we are able to press on, wake up another day, and walk another mile.

I am beginning to understand how unworthy I am of ministry on my own, and even with the grace of God. But it is in the weakness that God can make us strong.

Be strong my friends, and may you never stop seeking the one who created and loves you more than you will ever know.