Tuesday, June 14, 2011

The Sky is Low, The Clouds are Mean

A Poem by Emily Dickinson

The sky is low, the clouds are mean
A travelling flake of snow across a barn or through a rut
Debates if it will go.

A narrow wind complains all day
How someone treated him;
Nature, like us, is sometimes caught
Without her diadem.

Sunday, June 12, 2011

The Connection: Your Walk With God Moment

     As young people in the 21st century, we often don't understand why it's really important to have a relationship with God. Why can't we wait till we're adults with jobs and degrees? Two possible explanations are the following:
  1. Tomorrow is not promised to us. (Job 1:21)
  2. Jesus could come any day, and we have to be ready. (Matt. 24:36-39)

     Okay, those are some good reasons; but could someone explain to me why our parents think five o'clock in the morning is a beautiful time to commune with God? I mean, let's think about this: God is never on vacation, and He never takes naps. Can we not commune with Him at a more godly hour of the day (an hour when perhaps we are more conscious)? Sure we can; have fun debating that with your parents! We can commune with God at anytime (and we should according to 1Thessalonians 5:17), but it is best to start our day with God. In doing this, we can have a better understanding of what God wants us to do for Him that day, and we can also have a peace and an assurance that He is with us and is guiding our actions. When we start our day with Him, we can ask Him to take our life and use it for His purpose.

     However, I have to admit: it is difficult to get up every morning -- with hardly any sunlight peeking through my window -- and praise God. The problem is that if I do not do it then, I never get around to doing it. I guess that in the end that is a good thing because we are told to "seek... FIRST the kingdom of God..." (Matt. 6:33).


     The real question behind the concept of "personal devotion" is this: how do we do it? Do we have to be old school or can we be ourselves? What falls into the category of irreverence? The cool thing about God is that He is always up-to-date with society. That means that if you listen to an audio Bible while reading along, He is okay with that. If you use a computer journal to record what you do in your personal time with God, that is okay. If you tweet or Facebook something that you take out of what you learned, I am fairly certain that God has no issues with that. 

     However, He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. He never changes, and He has guiding principles that also do not change. In essence, God is the He does not necessarily care how you commune with Him (so long as it does not go against His principles); He just wants to spend time with you, like any friend would. And, as you spend time with Him, you will begin to recognize His likes and dislikes; you will also hear Him telling you what kinds of things He would like you do to versus those things He does not want you to do. Here are some suggestions for your WWGM or "Walk With God Moment" :

  • Make sure you pray. Prayer could never be more important; communication is the key to every relationship!
  • Don't forget to hear what God has to say, too! Read a portion of the Bible everyday, either online or straight from the Book.
  • Music is an awesome way to praise God. You can sing songs from a songbook or from memory, you can listen to songs from YouTube or Tangle, or you can write your own songs!
  • An easy way to keep track of your walk with God is to have a WWGM Journal. You can use any kind of notebook, binder or portfolio or you can make a journal on your computer by making a file or using a journal program of sorts.
     Just as a side explanation, I refer to this as a "Walk With God Moment" because your walk with God is continuous; it is for this life and for the life to come. The special moment that you set aside for God each day is the time during which your entire focus is on Him and nothing else. As I said earlier, you should speak with God continuously throughout the day, inquiring of Him to see what He would have you to do. In doing God's will and following His path for your life, you are walking with Him. It's your walk with God, so let God tell you how it should be. Do not let others dictate how your relationship with God should be. That means that while you respectfully accept any advise or criticism given to you by others, you do not immediately implement it; you prayerfully ask God what you should do.

I hope and pray that you will enjoy your walk with God and will make it a part of your daily life.

Friday, June 03, 2011

You Are Royalty! (Conclusion)


I do not know about you but, as a child of the greatest King in the vast universe, I want to be stand out. I want to be known as somebody who is different from the rest of the society. When people see me, interact with me, I wish for them to hear the message: "I am somebody, and I am royalty; therefore, I do deserve respect." 




Christ has not limited His royal blood to only a select group of people; it is available to all who wish to have it. The only guideline is to bring others into the royal family which means that we are to dress like we are royalty, we are to act like we are royalty, and we are to have the character of our King. When others see this, they will be drawn to the presence of the Royal One; and they will be 
able to sing:

Oh, yes, oh yes, I'm a child of the King
His royal blood now flows in my veins.
And I who was wretched and poor now can sing,
"Praise God, praise God, I'm a child of the King!"  


You Are Royalty! (Part 2)


1 Peter 2:9 - "But you are a chosen generation, a royal priesthood, a holy nation, His own special people, that you may proclaim the praises of Him who called you out of darkness into His marvelous light..."
(emphasis added)

---------------------


Conduct:

How you act, how you behave, how you conduct yourself -- these all have an impact on you. You are royaltly: but can other people see that?

Your actions say a lot about what you stand for. Do you remember this phrase: “VERB—It’s What You Do!” From 2002-2006, The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) held this media campaign in order to confront and lower the statistics for childhood obesity. Being geared to middle-school aged children (approximately ages 10-14), they showed children of similar age, race, and situation being active.

You see, it is one thing to simply give lectures and such on the importance of exercise and the downfalls of being a potato couch. However, when you actually see that "everybody's doing it", you encounter the highly influential idea of the power of numbers. This idea may be the very reason behind the increase of followers in our society; whether it be fashion, sex, or drugs, there is somebody doing something simply because someone else is doing it. The thing is: everyone may not be doing it. But that is the way the activity is advertised and, therefore, that is what is believed.

If you did not already know, actions speak louder than words. Today, what you do means so much more than what you say. You are a child of the King: but, it no longer matters how much you profess that. Unless people can see it in your actions, they are not buying it. If your friends at school know that you go to church, but one day they see a not-so-Christian post on Facebook or Twitter, what are they going to think about you? In a technologically-oriented society such as our own, you can no longer live a double life. You either have to be fully for God, or fully for the enemy. No exceptions. 

Character:

Your conduct does not just come from anywhere: it begins with your character. If you want to behave as though you are born of royal blood, than your character must be that of royal blood.

What is character? One dictionary definition is moral or ethical quality. My one of my ninth grade teachers gave this definition: who you are even when no one is watching. My definition is what you are made of. Your character, in essence, is the sole basis of everything that you are. Everything that you do and say is derived from, rooted in, and founded on your character. 

So how is your character developed? Here is the formula (which I learned at a youth convention I attended in January): your thoughts (what you think) forms your attitude (how you feel); your attitude forms your behavior (how you act); your behavior forms your life (or the consequences that come as a result of your behavior).

So, if you are royalty and you wish to look as such to the world around you, then you need to behave like you are royalty; which means that you need to have the character of royalty; which means that you need to think like royalty. Now, remember that you are a child of the King of all kings. Therefore, your character must be a reflection of His character, and not just a reflection of an earthly king or queen in this world. The character and conduct of Jesus was much higher than that of any man or woman on earth, but through His strength and power, we can attain that same level of royalty. 


---------------------

Oh, yes, oh yes, I'm a child of the King
His royal blood now flows in my veins.
And I who was wretched and poor now can sing,

"Praise God, praise God, I'm a child of the King!"

See what the Bible has to say: http://www.youversion.com/reading-plans/attitude

Thursday, June 02, 2011

PlugIn2God Focus of the Month: June

This month, PlugIn2God is focusing on grace, peace, and forgiveness. We all need grace: for by grace are we saved through faith, and that not of ourselves; it is the gift of God (Ephesians 2:8).

Throughout the course of this month, we will be reading and studying about the significance of grace and its meaning in our lives. We will look at God's forgiveness and mercy and will recognize that we need to forgive others also. We will read and see the unsurmountable peace that one obtains from grace and forgiveness  whether he is the giver or the receiver. After this month is over, I pray that we all will make a conscious effort in the strength of Christ to be seek God for grace, mercy, forgiveness, and peace; and to then go and do likewise for our fellow men.  Get the Bible reading bookmark here.