Monday, September 21, 2015

"I don't like them....."

The title describes something I think we have all found ourselves thinking to ourselves or even saying out loud at times. This thought comes across our minds about our dislike for someone. This can be caused by a number of reasons. If a person wrongs us. If they wrong someone we love or care we tend to develop a dislike for that person. If they do something that we don't like.

Recently, this happened to me. While I was at work. I saw someone do something (I’ve actually seen this person do it multiple times) but my mind said once again: "Man, I don’t like that person." Not only did I think it, but I even told one of my coworkers. I went on with my day, not thinking about it too much.

God really convicted me later on though. I realized: I am ‘that’ person. The one who I looked at with eyes of judgement. I am that person. How many times have I wronged Christ? How many times have I failed him, let him down, sinned against him. Done stuff that He has clearly said is wrong. I fail him daily.

And yet, God doesn’t look at us with eyes of dislike and disgust. In fact, His response is the complete opposite. No matter how many times I’ve wronged Christ, His love still abounds for me. He is faithful and His arms always open wide for His children to run back to Him and ask forgiveness. How much more of a reason does God have to dislike us when we fail him over and over again, on a daily basis. 

What a convicting/humbling thought. Now, I'm not saying it's easy, not even close. We will all fail. But by God's grace may we respond with love and compassion rather than hatred. 

In John 13:34-35 Jesus says:

"A new commandment I give you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples, if you have love for one another."

Pray for grace and strength as we try and live out these verses. 

Monday, February 2, 2015

A Lesson from Unbroken

"It's too cold." 

"I'm soooo tired."

"I don't want to go to work."

"Eww, that's gross."

All of these little phrases may or may not sound familiar. I know they do from me. These little guys are known as "complaints". Something we may not even think about as these words flow out of our mouths every single day.

Recently, me and my siblings went to see the film 'Unbroken' in the theatre. I highly recommend it by the way. It's a remarkable story of a soldier who went through an unimaginable couple years of difficulty during his lifetime. Stuff that we don't see hardly at all these days. For a more detailed synopsis of the movie you can look it up. Or even just go see the movie. :)

But I was convicted about how much stuff during the day that we take for granted. How many little things that we complain about.

"Great. Look at all this snow." 

A recent one, for many of us I'm sure! Instead of complaining about the snow. We could be thanking God for such a beautiful creation of His.

Instead of focusing on how cold it is. We could be thankful to God that we have heat. And a roof to cover our head.

We get so caught up in the little trivial things that aren't what WE like, or what WE want to do. And we complain about it. When in reality there are people that are in much worse conditions than us. We are truly blessed in America. The freedom we have that other places do not. The resources that are available to us, that other places don't have.

I pray that I would complain less, and be thankful more. That God would give me a heart of thankfulness. And joy when things aren't going my way or tough times come, that I would give thank and praise God in the good times, and the bad.

Psalm 100:4 - "Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name."

Colossians 3:17 - "And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."


Sunday, January 4, 2015

He is everything...

A friend recently shared this video and I thought it was such an amazing illustration of the meaning of this song. Take 5 minutes outta your day when you have time and watch this:

So much truth in this song. All we have is Christ. He is all we need. Life will soon be over and the things of this world will pass away. None of it will matter. At the end of our life the only thing that matters is where we stand with God.

Its so easy to get caught up in life. So easy to have our set schedules running from one place to another. Having many activities, and although those are important don't forget what truly matters. Make time for the One who is our all in all.

"Hallelujah, all I have is Christ!
Hallelujah, Jesus is my life!"


Friday, January 2, 2015

Welcome, 2015!

Hello there. This is actually happening. A new post. One of my hopes for this year is to start blogging more. Even if it's just a couple times a month that is an improvement for me. Oh and by the way Happy New Years! Can't believe its 2015! That means that we are now closer to 2030 than we are to 2000. Just a random factoid.

Anyway. Well I guess I'm just gonna try and explain some of my goals for the new years. I'm gonna call them goals or expectations rather than 'resolutions'. Why? I have no idea.

Goal #1) Get in shape. ("but Joel round is a shape") one of my friends recently told me. Haha very funny. As true as that may be when I say 'get in shape'. I don't mean lose weight. I mean to get in shape so that I can run down the street to chase after the basketball that is rolling down the hill without having to stop for a rest 3 times. Ok, it's not that bad. But you get the picture.

Goal #2) Read 52 books. I'm going to admit it folks. 2014 I read practically nothing. Nada. Zip. It was bad. I read a book here and there but really not as much as I would've liked to. So yes. My goal although it may seem crazy to some. And to others it might be like a "Pfff. I read 52 books in a week." But that is my goal. I may not reach it. But even if I'm close I'll be happy with it. So any good book recommendations would be appreciated as I'm not fully sure for books as of yet.

Goal #3) Memorize Scripture. I don't really know how this'll work yet. Or how I'm gonna do it. But I know that I didn't get nearly enough Bible memorization in last year as much as I wanted. I don't have a specific amount that I want to attain but I want to dig into the word of God and apply it to my life and part of that is having it in my head.

"All Scripture is breathed out by God and profitable for teaching, for reproof, for correction, and for training in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, equipped for every good work." 2 Timothy 3:16-17

Goal #4) Graduate. As silly as it may seem to put as a goal. Its really gonna take some hard work to finish up all my school work to graduate in May. That's going to be so weird. Not having to do highschool anymore.

Well I'm sure more goals will make an appearance as time goes on. But for now this is all I have. Are you bored to tears yet? If you are reading this I'd like to congratulate you on completing what could be known as the most boringest (yes I do know that is not correct grammar) blog post that was ever posted. Thanks for reading. Until next time, which hopefully will be soon.

- JD

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

The post with no name.....

It's true, sometimes the hardest part of blogging is coming up with a title. Something that seems so simple, is actually the hardest thing for me. Oh, and another hard thing for me would be blogging. Seriously guys, I was looking at my last post. July 13th? Really? Anyway, I really don't have anything important to blog about, really. This is rather just an apologetic, and here-is-what-has-been-going-on-in-my-life-since-last-time kind of post. So what has been going on in my life??

Absolutely Nothing. 

Just kidding.

So, lets see. Well, at the beginning of July (or rather June 30th) I started at my first place of employment. Where's that you ask? Oh you didn't ask? Well I'll tell you anyway. I started at Starbucks! I never thought I would be working at Starbucks, but I am. And I really can't even describe my' Ok that was easier than I thought. Haha, but seriously I love my job! The coworkers are great, and it's not the kind of job where I'm like "Ugh, I have to go to work today" but rather I enjoy it.

Umm... well school started in August. August 20th to be exact. How do I know this is the date we started? Because on August 20th, I started the countdown to Christmas break. Seriously folks, it's come to that. It's my senior year! I can't even believe that. It's so weird to think that in May I will be an official high school graduate. And I'll be done with school FOREVER! Ok, just until August when I start college. Or rather continue on with college, cause guys, get this. I'm taking college classes right now, ok, well not like RIGHT NOW, because obviously I'm typing up a blog post. And we all know I wouldn't be doing such a thing during class. :P Yeah, I'm taking classes at WIT right now in the Graphic Design department as part of their "College Now" program. Which is basically highschoolers that have the opportunity to take some College Classes before they graduate high school. A lot of my friends are also taking WIT classes which is pretty awesome. 


Umm... well still school of course. But we had our annual church retreat. Oh my goodness guys, it was awesome. This was only my second year attending, but guys it's such a great time of fellowship and worship and just spending time with the body of Christ. The speaker we had this year was phenomenal! So yeah, that was pretty much the highlight of my month, or should I say year. Looking forward to next year already.

October: School continues. Mid-terms this month guys. Hope you all did fantastic on 'em. Oh, and I turned 17. It's hard to believe I'm 17 years old, guys. Like seriously, you people who know me, are saying the exact same thing. "He's 17, I thought he was like 13!" Yeah, yeah, if I didn't know me I would probably think I was 13, too. 

And I did it. I pretty much just summed up my life in the past 3 months in one blog post. Not in very much detail but that's beside the point. 

Life has been busy. Not gonna lie. It's been pretty hard to keep up with everything. But when it does get busy we NEED to make sure that we don't lose sight of what's truly important. I've struggled with my Bible Reading on somedays because I just have to finish this homework, or even because I'm too tired. Yeah, guys, seriously there has been those days. And even though sleep, and homework, and work, and (fill in the blank) are important things. It's not more important than Christ. 

I was listening to a sermon by David Platt the other day and he talked about how in Phillipians 3 Paul said "But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss because of surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord." 

And that even though some things that Paul listed earlier in the chapter were even GOOD things, but that he understood that all those good things, were a loss without Christ. 

So life is going to get busy, for everyone. But don't lose sight of Christ, because that's what is truly important. 

Until next time....


Sunday, July 13, 2014

Some of my favorites...

Lately, I've been thinking about some Bible verses that have really stuck in my mind throughout the years. Some of my favorites being:

Philippians 4:13 - "I can do all things through Him who strengthens me." 

That verse means a lot to me. For when I'm down and I'm doubting myself in whatever life throws my way. There is no need to fear, cause Christ will give the strength to get through whatever may come our way. God's in control and he knows what will happen. And will give us the strength to make it through each day. Times will get tough, no doubt about that, but when they do lean on Christ and his strength! 

Isaiah: 41:10 - "fear not; for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you, I will uphold you with my righteous right hand."

Another verse that encourages me a lot. It's just so awesome when we are afraid or worried about stuff in this life to know that God is with us. And he will give us strength and help us to get through whatever the situation. He will not leave us on our own. What a great God He is! 

Hebrews 12:1-2: "Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for  the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God."

This verse is an encouragement and great reminder to me to keep running the race of the Christian life with endurance. Laying aside every weight. Whatever that might be that is holding me back from Christ. To cut it off, and lay it aside. No distractions. Looking to Jesus, keeping our eyes on him. Seeking first God's kingdom and not the things of this earth.

So those are just a couple of the many verses that are an encouragement to me, and hopefully now, an encouragement to you as well!


Monday, May 12, 2014

What? I have a Blog?

Once upon a time, there was a teenager. This teenager was super stoked about writing. Writing in general stories, books, you name it. Then one day a brilliant idea struck him. What about getting a blog? Yes! That was it. He would get a blog. Something to have fun with, to improve on his writing, to share with others about his somewhat boring life. And so he did. He began his own blog. Boy did he have fun posting. Especially the first couple times. But as time went on the posts became fewer and fewer. Until one day, they just stopped completely. 

In case you haven't figured it out by now... that teenager is me. I can just picture it now: 

"And the winner of this year's Worst Blogger of the year goes to......JD!" 

Haha, ok. Maybe I'm exaggerating a tad, but seriously I'm sorry for not posting forever. So anyway I thought I'd just give you an update on life. 

It's finals week!! Yup, the week that most students get stressed, Starbucks and other Energy Drinks become a need, and you feel the need to read over every word that you went over that semester. Thankfully, this isn't me (this semester anyway). This semester I took classes that ended up not really being ones that you can "study" for. For instance: I'm taking a class called Vector Drawing. 

Vector Drawing - A smart sounding concept which really ends up being defined as "drawing on the computer."

And really, there isn't much you can do to study for drawing... so yeah, classes like that that don't really require studying. Which is quite spectactular! 

Oh, and I decided to perhaps go into Graphic Design as a major (for the time being) unless God starts to lead me elsewhere. I took a couple of classes in the Graphic Design program and somewhat enjoyed myself. So next semester I'm gonna take some more classes in that program, and I'm kind of super excited to see what God is going to do this next semester! :) 

Well, this is kind of a short blog post but Lord-willing another will follow soon! :) 

Until then...

"So whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God" - 1 Corinthians 10:31

~ JD