Saturday, March 31, 2012
Sunday, March 25, 2012
12Beloved, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal among you, which comes upon you for your testing, as though some strange thing were happening to you; 13 but to the degree that you share the sufferings of Christ, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation. 14 If you are reviled for the name of Christ, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 Make sure that none of you suffers as a murderer, or thief, or evildoer, or a troublesome meddler; 16 but if anyone suffers as a Christian, he is not to be ashamed, but is to glorify God in this name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with the household of God; and if it begins with us first, what will be the outcome for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 AND IF IT IS WITH DIFFICULTY THAT THE RIGHTEOUS IS SAVED, WHAT WILL BECOME OF THE GODLESS MAN AND THE SINNER? 19 Therefore, those also who suffer according to the will of God shall entrust their souls to a faithful Creator in doing what is right.
12 Dear friends, do not be surprised at the fiery ordeal that has come on you to test you, as though something strange were happening to you. 13 But rejoice inasmuch as you participate in the sufferings of Christ, so that you may be overjoyed when his glory is revealed. 14 If you are insulted because of the name of Christ, you are blessed, for the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you. 15 If you suffer, it should not be as a murderer or thief or any other kind of criminal, or even as a meddler. 16 However, if you suffer as a Christian, do not be ashamed, but praise God that you bear that name. 17 For it is time for judgment to begin with God’s household; and if it begins with us, what will the outcome be for those who do not obey the gospel of God? 18 And, “If it is hard for the righteous to be saved,
what will become of the ungodly and the sinner?” 19 So then, those who suffer according to God’s will should commit themselves to their faithful Creator and continue to do good.
This is an interesting passage for several reasons. The first reason is on this very blog I announced my sobriety pledge and then I proceeded to do on FB and it was met with different reactions. From Baaaaahahahahahahahahahahaha.... to Anthony, you're awesome! Good 4 you, you are always in my prayers...God's our strength in every circumstance. Phil. 4:13 :) It is very interesting that I explain the logic behind my decision as something to bring glory to God and my testimony as a Christian recently. The reaction again ranged. People are really not too quite sure to make of it. This is just a small sampling of what has been happening to me in recent weeks. I have some of the best friends in the world. We don’t hold each other back and we are brutally honest with one another to the point where it would make a normal man be shattered in spirit. I get constantly made fun of for my faith. They see it as a crutch and as a friend recently penned, “Christianity is not a crutch it is more of a defibrillator” They see every mistake I make and jump at the chance to mock me and poke fun at my faith. This bothered me for a while and but then it was not until last week that it bothered me enough to prompt me to action. In their mocking and teasing was actually advice. I did need to make a change.
While I understand that this “suffering” is not quite the suffering faced by Christians in the Middle East or Christians in the time of Jesus but it is a different kind of suffering. I am glad to wear my faith and to announce that I am a Christian and I should be prepared to deal with whatever kind of “hardships” that leaves me with. I think how many people are ashamed to say they love God or they need God. I think about the people who are quick to mock Christians at the first sign of failure. It is almost insulting to our brothers and sisters who are dying for their faith while we struggle to live out ours. I always remember the first time I gave my life to Christ. I fell in love with my faith. That love put something in my heart that I could only label as fire. We were on fire for God the day we accepted Jesus as our savior. If it was a scripture we wanted to read it. If it was the gospel we were sharing it. If someone was in need we were providing. Hold onto that fire that God placed into your heart and never let it go no matter what. Let each and every day be a new day to fall in love with God all over again. Let everyday be a new day to live out and share your faith. If you suffer for your faith wear that suffering like a badge of courage. You’re a Christian! You are a creation of God and the moment you announce that it is your duty to do everything to bring glory to His name.
Saturday, March 24, 2012
Tuesday, March 20, 2012
President Obama has my vote in this election because I am still hopeful that in his second term we will see political change long awaited in this country. I believe this because a president's first term is all about walking the line to get another term. It would be amazing to see if he trys to go even further and pushes the boundaries of what political offices can do. I think the fight for healthcare was a good one. It is something completely unfounded in this country. While I do disagree with the system that Obama proposed on some levels I think on other levels it’s a terrific thing. We are the only country in the world not to have a universal health care system. I just hopes he shakes things up in his second term. I think that the republicans offer no real threat and absolutely ridiculous when it comes to viable political candidates. Rick Santorum just this past week talked about how if Puerto Rico wanted to be a state then it needs to conform to federal law of having English as its official language. There are several things wrong with this statement the biggest point of all is that there is no federal requirement of having English as the state language and secondly America does not even have a national language. Mitt is just not a good candidate based on his record and his inability to have any backbone on any substantial issue. Ron Paul has said some ridiculous things in terms of what he would do in changing the scope of government and its powers. Some of his ideas do seem appealing but some are just outlandish. This is a quote from 2009, "How about getting rid of the Department of Education and Department of Agriculture. Just go down the list. Get rid of it. Cut the budget in half. Everything that's not constitutional. That's a good place to start." Really, the department of education is on the list of things to get rid of. After looking at these candidates it is almost absurd that they are running for office let alone the presidency of the United States.
Monday, March 19, 2012
7 The end of all things is near. Therefore be alert and of sober mind so that you may pray. 8 Above all, love each other deeply, because love covers over a multitude of sins. 9 Offer hospitality to one another without grumbling. 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.
I thought this was a great passage just because of recent events in my life. This past weekend I attended a men’s equipping conference and it was powerful. The last speaker really charged us with a mission using the passage Matthew 5:14, "You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden.” I bring that passage up because it was a teaching of Christ. Peter reaffirms it in this passage. “1 Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. 2 As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God.” We need to shine the light of our faith since we are living for the will of God. This isn’t something I could easily brush off. This is something that has been burning inside of me for a while. It started off as a match, something easily put out. Now, that fire, that light, has gained traction and momentum and it is burning hot brothers and sisters. Hot enough to melt gold. I have committed this day 3/19/12 to a pledge 6 months of sobriety of no alcohol of any kind. I know the bible only condemns drunkenness but I feel as Paul said in 1st Corinthians 13:11, “When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put childish ways behind me.” I do this for myself and to put to action the very gift of influence God has placed within me. I need to truly start living my life for God. I have suffered as well and failed to minister in my times of weakness, when my testimony could be its strongest. I attribute that last statement to my Pastor Brendan Saunders. In verse 10 Peter starts, 10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms. 11 If anyone speaks, they should do so as one who speaks the very words of God. If anyone serves, they should do so with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. I need to start rebuilding and reinforcing the walls of my faith. It is time to move pass the problem of superficiality. I need to be a sellout for God. "God doesn't want improve lives or change lives He wants you to exchange your life for His." Clive Calver Please join me.
Sunday, March 11, 2012
Thursday, March 8, 2012
I have seen so much hate and so much positive from the Kony movement. I am sure by now everyone knows what it is. I for one think it is a good thing and before you roll your eyes and cite articles on fraud and blah blah blah let me explain something. Every organization is riddle with some type of scam scandal or whatever have you. Don’t believe me type in the name of any organization and type fraud or scam after it and read what articles come up.
"I never swallow the whole hook of the stated goals of ANY government, ours included, but their possible 'hidden agenda' notwithstanding," he continued. "Kony is on the ICC's list for a reason and his deeds are well documented. I believe in Ugandans solving Ugandan's problems. Tricky situ. Assisting the Ugandan government and letting them ultimately resolve and solve their internal issues are not mutually exclusive acts. we need to be wary of traditionally paternalistic attitudes toward other nations and make sure we are acting as 'helpers' not encroachers."
Cynicism does not get you anywhere. At least for something Invisible Children the “scumbag” organization brought to light a man few people knew existed. If you do not have a solution or suggestions or remedies than complaints offer nothing more to the dialogue and in fact take away from it. I think the KONY movement is important because it reminds people that in 2012 that opinion and voicing that opinion is the most powerful thing that continues to stand the test of time even in this digital age.
Sunday, March 4, 2012
We went out to play pool today and enter up in a discussion about logistics and adventure. My friend just got a job offered in Houston. My friend’s don’t think he should take the job because he would be struggling to make it on the salary and cost of living and blah blah but I said he would have to suffer now to reap the rewards later would be the right call. I think that fear is the biggest thing holding my friend back. I understand the debilitating power of fear. I also understand that you can’t achieve greater things if you’re not willing to sacrifice it all. I feel like out of my friends I am definitely the risk taker and to my credit I am the one who has done more of the living. They enjoy the routine and consistency. I don’t mind that. I genuinely believe that all of our lives needs a certain routine or you are just living in a constant chaos. My friend said he thinks I am pushing the notion of this being a missed opportunity. He said opportunities must be thought out regardless and logistics must be made. That’s all fine and dandy but what about the human experience. What about living life? I am at a point in my life where it almost seems back to square one. I make less money now than since HS. I really don’t have any immediate plans for the future. I am enrolled in Bible Baptist College and plan on attending in the fall. In May I will have my associates degree but I am just leaving a lot up to chance. I am leaving everything to fate. I haven’t been the best of planners but I know when it comes down to it my plans never go accordingly. I am not saying why bother but it for me at least it seems that way. On another note I think I am starting to get lonely again. I hate that feeling it creeps up on me every so often. Now is one of those times. I really want a ride or die chick. Someone who can be with me through the thick and thin. I know that is asking for a lot and I’ve said I want to just work on myself but I still got feelings damnit. I just got to keep doing me and see what happens.
Thursday, March 1, 2012
I went to the bible study last night and as usual I just felt like shit afterwards. Don’t get me wrong it, is a beautiful time and great fellowship but I just constantly struggling with God. I said last night I needed to be offended by the gospel to realize how much of a scumbag I was and am sometimes. It is a perpetual battle that I just refuse to lose. I know I will lose I know I must lose but I still refuse to just let go and let God. I am tired of just looking over that cliff of submission and constantly rejecting to take the leap. I find myself in situations that I know are morally compromising and still make the bad choices. I look to the Christian examples around me and I feel ashamed that I am not where I should be. I know I shouldn’t measure my walk of faith against others, but I am only human. The desire for change is not as strong as the realization of my sin. When I realized I was a sinner and decided it was time to give my life to God I was ready I was on fire I was hunger for the word and nothing else. Now that that flame has turned down a bit I’ve let old habits seep in. It has not been worse since moving to Nj but the lack of a home church has made it come to a head. I miss my church family. They help me grow as a person a tremendous deal in CT. I realized that when I went back. I missed them. They were crazy but I learned so much from everyone there. I am very picky. The churches that I’ve been to have scared the hell out of me. So many people go but I don’t think they are getting the right message. People make church about the emotions or the traditions or this or that but what about making the church about God. That seems like an old fashion thing but if you asked me I think it’s worth a shot. You know what else bothers me here. My scumbag friends holding me to a set a rules they don’t even hold to themselves but its ok because I’m the one proclaiming to be a Christian they are only proclaiming to believe in God such a cop out if you ask me.