Friday, May 4, 2012

One-Up or Build Up?

... encourage each other and build each other up. – 1 Thessalonians 5:11
            “My grandpa was a rocket scientist,” my friend Derek informed me. “He invented things that go to the moon.” I thought about that for a minute. What had my family done that was as impressive as that? Suddenly, it dawned on me and I blurted out, “My great uncle invented cheese whiz!” My friend stared at me for a moment trying to grasp if I was serious, and finally burst into a fit of uncontrollable laughter. Once I thought about it, I had to agree that it was kind of funny. After all, his grandpa had invented a rocket, while my claim to fame was a relation who had invented spreadable cheese. I must admit, I sounded rather puny in comparison.
My whole life I’ve always found myself trying to one-up people.  Someone would say, “My daddy’s a doctor.” Of course, I had to counter them. “My daddy was a football player, and then he was an air force pilot. Beat that!”
Why is it that whenever someone states something good about themselves, I feel the need to counter it with something better about myself? In my selfish heart I always feel the need to build myself up to be better than those around me. I think that it makes me look better in others’ eyes, when in reality it merely makes me appear self-absorbed and insecure.
Instead of constantly breaking each other down, shouldn’t we be building each other up? When Jesus was on earth, He didn’t seek fame and glory for Himself. He was the most humble, down-to-earth man ever to walk the earth, and we are to follow in His footsteps.

Tuesday, April 3, 2012

When no one’s Watching

…For the Lord sees not as man sees: man looks on the outward appearance, but the Lord looks on the heart.-1 Samuel 16:7 ESV

Everywhere I go, I see someone trying to impress others with their spirituality. It might be time for tuning at a concert, and someone will be sitting on the stage reading their Bible. It might be when I’m sitting in class, and see someone with their eyes scrunched closed and their lips moving.

But there’s one person who stands out from this crowd as truly Christ-like. His name is Nathan Johnson. No one really notices all the things he does, but I’ve noticed the small things he does every day. He enters the kitchen while everyone else is gone, asking if the cooks need help; he’s always the first to volunteer when they need someone to cleanup. He always does his work, and then helps everyone else with theirs, but instead of making a show of it, he quietly and humbly goes about his work.

I know that he is godly - not because he told me so, and not because he’s made a show of his spirituality - but because I’ve seen Christ in him. His quiet example has proved to me that he is a child of the King. In Mathew 6:6 it says” But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father in private. Then your Father, who sees everything, will reward you.”

I know that when I do something good, I usually want everyone to know about it. I find myself seeking man’s approval above God’s. It makes me question my motives. Do I really live to please God? Or am I living for my reputation? I may appear to be the most spiritual person in the school yet not be saved. I can go through all the motions, and yet have my heart still unconverted. If I truly love Christ I will be like Him, even when no one else is watching.

Friday, February 24, 2012

The Battle of the Will

By Moriah Mays

No blood had been spilled, but strong was the fight

Twixt the wants of the will and the conscience of right.

Self reigned in his kingdom; he sat on the throne,

But one overtook him to reclaim his own.

The battle twas fierce and the fights they were long,

But truth will prevail to conquer the wrong.

This battle still goes on in each every soul,

The contender still fights to gain its control.

But who will prevail and stand till the end?

Will kisses of the enemy? Or blow from a friend?

The choice it is simple though seems quite profound,

Twixt the forces of evil and one who resounds.

He fought for us daily and from it is scarred,

Through hands and feet from nails they were marred,

He loves us immensely so for us he fought,

But I chose the one who loveth me not.

The one who tells me to make my own way,

To do what I want and live for today.

His road ends in trouble; his home is the grave,

He leads me with empty promises then makes me a slave.

But there is one who loves me still,

When I have failed and gone downhill.

But he still waits with arms open wide,

To accept me back, sins laid aside.

The choice is also yours today,

What road will you take to find your way?

The path may be easy, but you’ll find all too soon,

As each step grows nearer you’ll soon meet your doom.

The other much darker

The road is much harder

But nearing the end of the road you will be

With Jesus, our king, for all eternity.

Sunday, January 15, 2012

Be still and Know that I am God

I had a really amazing week!
Scott gave a vespers talk that was....amazing. We ended with going around to all the people you have hurt or have hurt you and praying with them. I cant even tell you how good that felt to get of my chest. I feel like I'm finally at peace with everyone. Honestly for a while I've been freaked out by one thought."what if Jesus comes and I'm not ready?" I keep getting this picture in my head of everyone else being taken up and I'm left behind. And at vespers I just had this incredible peace with everything, like I was made right with the world and...I was ready to die. That sounds like a morbid thought but it was the most comforting thought I've ever had.
It's like everything is falling into place with my spiritual walk. For the first time in my life and can pray with other people and not be thinking about what they will think of my prayer, I can just talk to God as if we were the only two present. I cant even tell you how nice it is to pray with each other and uplift one another. I started going to prayer group and it has been SUCH a huge blessing! I feel like I'm finally having my own personal relationship with Christ.
On Sabbath I decided I wanted to read my Bible outside...only problem was that it was snowing. So I got my sleeping bag and climbed up to the top of the stairs outsider the girls dorm. And plopped down to read, but I didnt really get much readign done. I found myself jsut talking to God. and then I looked out at teh veiw and I was filled with such a sense of Gods love. the words "be still and know that I am God" seemed to go through my head every few seconds. It was all so quiet and beautiful...and white. Pure, like the way I want to be.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Whiter than Snow

Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me. – Psalms 51:10 ESV

“It’s snowing!” the shout echoed down the halls of the girls’ dorm and eventually found its way to my room. I jumped out of bed and looked out the window, sure enough; the ground was covered in sparkling shining white snow!

I walked to school that morning in a cloud of whiteness, it was beautiful! However, that night as I was walking back to the dorm for worship I noticed with disappointment that the snow was no longer as beautiful as it had once been, the road was marked up with tire tracks and you could see the mud oozing through the ruts, the spray of mud scattered the hillside, and the trees, who were dripping slush instead of housing the white blanket it had earlier that day looked gloomy and dead. However, to my delight, the next day there was a new layer of fresh snow on the ground making the world look new again.

It reminded me of what we do to our hearts. When God gave me my heart it was pure and clean but then I decided I wanted to go my own way and I tramped all over the snow making it dirty. When I realize how I’ve made my heart I ask God to clean it again, so he does, but then I go and destroy it again. This becomes a system, God gives me a new clean heart and I destroy it and ask for another. But God, in his patience keeps giving me a new heart. But I don’t want to keep making it dirty, I want my heart to stay clean. But this transformation can’t happen by itself. I need help from the one who gave it to me. God will give me a new heart, but it’s up to me to decide what I will do with it. Will I keep it clean, or let it become polluted with sin. It’s your choice too, what will you choose?

~ Moriah Mays

Sunday, November 27, 2011

Priceless Gift

For unto you is born this day in the city of David a Saviour, who is Christ the Lord. - Luke 2:11 KJV

Growing up I never really connected Jesus with Christmas. Sure, he was in the mini-nativity scene at grandma’s house, but so was the little drummer boy, and I found him much more intriguing. Although I never believed in Santa Claus, I always tried to pretend that he was real; I loved the idea of a big jolly man in red giving me toys and candy.

What I didn’t realize was that there’s someone far better. Santa is only a very cheap copy of the real thing. Jesus Christ came down to the world, but He didn’t come on a shiny red sleigh. He came as a baby to a little town that no one knew about. Instead of bringing toys and candy, He brought a gift that cannot be equalled: the gift of salvation. He lived with us and taught us. While Santa only comes once a year, Jesus is always with us! We can talk to Him whenever we need to, unlike Santa where you’re allowed to send him a letter once a year with all your selfish requests.

Legend has it that Santa lives in the North Pole with little elves to make all the toys. Jesus lived on earth with us, healing the sick, helping the poor, and working hard for His meals. Santa requires milk and cookies, but Christ doesn’t expect anything in return for his gift; it’s a free gift, all we have to do is accept it. But the most compelling argument in Christ’s favour is this: Jesus is real! He’s not merely an old legend attempting to make children good, like Santa is. He is the real reason we celebrate. Christmas isn’t about the lights or the food or the traditions. It’s a celebration of the birth of Christ. But this celebration shouldn’t take place on just one day. This celebration can occur in our hearts daily as the result of God’s gift for us. His son, whom He sent to earth to die for us, is truly the ultimate gift—one that money could never buy.

Friday, November 11, 2011

Who Is God?

The love of Christ controls us. -2 Corinthians 5:14A

I once had the opportunity to tell someone of Jesus for the first time. I was reading a Bible story to my kindergarten class of gypsy girls in Albania when one little girl raised her hand and asked, “Teacher, who is Jesus?”

I responded, “Well, He’s God’s Son”

She paused, “Teacher, who is God?”

“He’s like a father.” Then realizing her perception of a father, I quickly added, “But a good father, the best one in the whole world.”

“Oh!” She responded “Like your Daddy!”

Suddenly I realized how good my life is. Not only do I have a father, but I have a warm place to sleep in; I have food, family, and friends (the list goes on and on). But what if all those things were taken away? What if I had been born into a family like the one this child came from? Would I still want to serve God? Am I serving God for my own selfish reasons, or do I truly love Him?

I remember the first summer I was away from home. I came to Fountainview and was out in the carrot fields angrily accusing and questioning God. “Why did you bring me here?” I asked. After praying for quite a while, I finally ran out of words and fell silent. Almost as if through an audible voice, I heard the words “Because I love you.”

God loves me, shouldn’t that be the reason I love Him? Instead I sometimes base my love on what God gives me. This is a love centered on myself. A selfish type of love, and in fact, it isn’t love at all, but merely self worship. The only way we can have true love toward God is by looking to Christ. By beholding His goodness and love, we will become changed. Christ has portrayed a perfect picture of love in his death on the cross. By looking to the cross, our carnal love is changed into the likeness of His perfect love.

~ Moriah Mays