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Unveiling Boldness

It is within you, within your design.

How Great Is Our God

I do not own this video. It is licensed to Passion Conferences.

2012.

Well it’s here and I haven’t posted in a while so here goes.

As time goes on we must realize that in a moving world full of changing things, God is constant. In a world where dreams can be shattered and wealth, and fame, like everything else, die in time, we must see how God does not move. He simply Is. The reality of moving on and growing up is a reality that is often hard to face. But when we realize we have the support of a constant God… Well i know it helps me get through the day. I may be speaking to someone who doesn’t know or doesn’t believe in God. But, He believes in you. He created you, every single detail; and He is chasing after you. In the end, when you’ve nowhere else to turn, turn around. He’ll be right there, with open arms.

In this day and age it is popular to put our hope in what we see, what we know, what we’re comfortable with.

Maybe try and see that if we understood it all, life would be dull, and we’d have nothing to seek. Try and see that every day counts. Every moment, not every thing. Well it’s 2:17 and I’ve nothing more to say, except this one thing.

I love you, whoever you are, because I have a love from an unbounded God who loves you as well.

Have a Happy New Year :]Image

only in alabama.

only in alabama.

Us and God….or God and us, rather.

This is something we had to read for a paper we had to type in Freshman Seminar. The paper was supposed to be a response to this. I don’t have much to say, but that this guy is right in what he’s trying to get across here. I really think you should take a few minutes and read this. It helped me, and I’m just trying to pass it along :]

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Excerpt from How to Stay Christian in College by J. Budziszewski:

 

 

WHAT GOD THINKS OF THE WORLD

 

You’ve probably never thought about it, but Sunday school teachers face a dilemma. Children love to hear about Jesus, and they ask searching questions. But you have to keep the answers simple or else kids become confused. Teenagers want to know about God too-and they can understand deeper answers-but getting all those hormones to listen is another matter. What’s the result? As students grow older, the intellectual level of their Christian training often drops instead of rises! Many of them never get beyond a child’s understanding of the faith. They carry it right into college, where it’s all too often blown away. When Jesus said you have to enter the kingdom like a child, He meant you have to enter with a child’s trust, not with a child’s understanding. So I’m going to level with you. This chapter presents the basics of the Christian faith all over again-but at an adult level. If you’re not typical and have a great deal of knowledge about your faith, great! But you may want to read this chapter anyway. My main goal is clarity, so I’m going to be direct. Many cults take Christian words and pour non Christian meanings into them, so I want you to be able to detect when that’s happening. Let’s get going.

 

GOD

 

God is like nothing we could have imagined.

God is utterly other than us-other in a way we express with the word holiness. Yes, He dwells within each Christian, but He’s not you. He isn’t the same as you, He isn’t a part of you I and He isn’t a “higher” you. Yes, you’re made in His image, but you’re not Him. You’re not the same as Him, you’re not a part of Him, and you aren’t a “splinter” of Him-nor will you ever be. He doesn’t depend on anything else because He is what everything else depends on. He can’t be explained by anything else because He is what everything else must be explained by. Although we can know what He has taught us about Himself, we can never comprehend Him completely because He is greater than our minds. Anything He wills, He can do. He not only holds supreme power but He also uses it. Nothing can defeat Him and nothing can happen contrary to His will. He is also supremely good-light with no darkness.  Although evil is real, He detests it and brings it to judgment.  He knows everything, He pays attention to everything, and nothing escapes His notice.  He’s not just a What and a Who, like me or like you, but one What in three Whos-one God in three persons: Father, Son, and Holy Spirit.’ There is no one like Him. He is set apart. He is what He is, and there was never a time when He was not.

Do you want to know what God’s holiness means? Then meditate a while on these incidents. When Moses asked God what he should tell the people God’s name was, God said, ‘Tell them my name is I AM” (see Exodus 3:13-14).

Then when Moses asked to see God face-to-face, God said “no” because it would kill Moses (see Exodus 33:18-20).

When Isaiah caught just a glimpse of the glory of God, he said, “Woe is me for I am undone” (Isaiah 6:5, KJV). When the glory of God came into the ancient temple, strong men fell down (see 1 Kings 8: 10-11).

On the other hand, God is utterly intimate with us-intimate in a way we express with the word love. He’s our father. He’s our master. He’s our brother. He’s our shepherd. He’s our husband. He’s our friend. If you think these are “just figures of speech,” that’s fine.  But remember that figures of speech are always mere shadows of the real thing.

Do you want to know how God loves us? Then think a while on these lines. This is God speaking to you, “Your lips drop sweetness as the honeycomb, my bride; milk and honey are under your tongue. The fragrance of your garments is like that of Lebanon. You are a garden locked up, my sister, my bride; you are a spring enclosed, a sealed fountain” (Song of Songs 4011-12). Has He made His intentions clear?

I said before that God is like nothing we could have imagined. We never could have imagined His holiness. We never could have imagined His love. Even if we could, we never could have imagined them together.

Haven’t you noticed that when people get worked up about His holiness they sometimes forget His love, and when they get worked up about His love they sometimes forget His holiness? But that just shows that we don’t understand either the holiness or the love.

Put that love and that holiness together and you get what you might be tempted to call a fanatic. Maybe you don’t want God to be that holy. Maybe you don’t want to be loved that much. Maybe you don’t want to be loved that much by something that holy, for our God is a consuming fire.  None of that makes a speck of difference to Him. Though we can reject His loving pursuit, God is relentless, inexorable, and utterly unfettered in His pursuit of us. He empties Himself, pours Himself out for us, to the point of death, whether we want Him to or not. He crushes our sin. He is utterly opposed to whatever in us opposes Him. He wants us to be holy, to be set apart for Him. And He expects us to like it! We are commanded-get that?-commanded to be joyful about it. What nerve.

The Bible is the story of this God’s dealings with His people, from the beginning, down to the present, into the future, up to the end.

CREATION

 

When you were in kindergarten and drew a pink cat with blue wings, your teacher might have praised you by saying, “My, what a beautiful drawing you created.” Such a compliment is too generous for human beings! People do come up with new things, of course, because God has given us imagination. But only one being can create, and that’s God.

How is what we do different from what He does? Think back to that cat. What made your picture original was that you’d never seen a pink cat with blue wings. You made it up. But you didn’t make it up completely, because you’d seen cats before, you’d seen wings before, you’d seen pink before, and you’d seen blue before. We merely recombine old things in new ways; God makes up really new things from nothing. That’s what it means to create. Only God actually creates.

You can mix blue and yellow to make green, but He invented color. You can have dessert before dinner instead of after, but He invented time. You can put the steeple on the side of the church instead of the top, but He invented place. He invented matter and energy, bodies and spirits, qualities and properties-everything there is.  We only rearrange.

 

A student once told me he wanted to create his own morality. But we can’t make up new moral laws; we can only keep or break the ones God has given us already. How could you turn a moral law false that had been true before? How could you turn a moral claim true that had been false before? Someone else said to me that parents create their children. But all parents can do is offer their bodies as an occasion for God’s creativity. The father doesn’t design the genes that he contributes. The mother doesn’t design the genes that she contributes. Neither of them invented the sexual act that combines their genes, and neither of them invented the process that forms the baby. You may as well call it “creation” when a child mixes tea with sweetener to get sweetened tea.

Now let me tell you something surprising, God didn’t have to create, and nothing made Him create. He wasn’t lacking anything, and He didn’t need anything. Some students think He must have been sitting around in the dark before Creation, doing nothing and getting lonely. They think He created so that He would have someone to talk with, someone to know Him. That’s a sub-Christian view of God. If the infinite God could be lonely, then His loneliness would be an infinite loneliness, Finite creatures like u, couldn’t take it away. But He wasn’t lonely anyway. How could He be? Remember, He is tri-personal, one God in three persons, one What in three Whos. You and I need others to be social, but He is social in His very nature, He keeps Himself the best company there is.

Does it hurt your feelings that God doesn’t need you? Maybe you think this means He doesn’t love you. No, you have it backward. It means He loves you even better than you thought. True, I might well suspect that my wife didn’t love me if she said she didn’t need me. But that’s because human love can’t be separated from need. We love not only to fulfill the needs of other people but also to fulfill our own.   And that’s all right up to a point because God made us full of needs. But His love isn’t like ours, It’s not need-love; it’s pure gift-love.  Though He needs nothing from us, He pours Himself out for us. Nothing drove Him to create us, yet He did.

Every religion has myths about origins, but only in the Bible do we find a picture of a real Creation-an eternal Someone making up something out of nothing. According to all of the other religions, stuff merely develops into similar stuff or perhaps remains unchanged. For example, some of them say the universe “gave rise” or “gave birth” to God. Others say some kind of god or god-stuff “gave rise” or “gave birth” to the universe. Still others say God and the universe are the same, or that one contains the other. You see that they don’t really have an idea of Creation, and that’s why they can’t really tell God apart from what He made. That’s why they worship created things instead of the Creator Himself-whether a tribesman makes an idol of stone, a poet makes an idol of his feelings, or a wealthy man makes an idol of what he can buy. The Bible calls this sin. So get this, God is distinct from His creation. He isn’t a part of it; it isn’t a part of Him. He didn’t “arise” from it; it didn’t “arise” from Him. He spoke, and where nothing was before, it was.

THE BAD NEWS

At first it’s puzzling how there can be a Bad News, because everything God created is good. Some people think He created evil as well as good, or that a good god created all the good things like light, health, and virtue, and a bad god created all the bad ones like darkness, disease, and sin. But that doesn’t make sense. Why not? Because evil isn’t created-it isn’t made up from nothing.

Where does it come from, then? The only way to get a bad thing is to take a good thing and spoil it. For example, darkness isn’t made up from nothing; you get it by blocking the light Disease isn’t made up from nothing; you get it by ruining health. Notice that this doesn’t work the other way around-you can’t get light by blocking darkness or health by ruining disease. So God created only good things, but some of them have been spoiled. That’s even true about Satan. He’s just a created being-an angel who was made good but went bad. To be evil at all, Satan needs good things that he can abuse, things like intelligence, power, and will. Those good things come from God.

God chose to make us the chief good, the jewel, of His creation. He made us in His own image. That doesn’t mean we’re God-we’ve been through that already. It means we’re little portraits of Him. Not of His looks-because God is a Spirit-but of His qualities. We were made to mirror the glory of His truth, to burn with the fire of His holiness, and most of all to flare with the flame of His love. All this raises a question: If love is what God made us for, why didn’t He make us so we had to love Him? Because there is no had to in loving. Love is a commitment of the will. If we had to love, it wouldn’t be love. To be capable of loving God, we had to be capable of turning away from Him. And that’s where the Bad News begins.

God was pleased with His work, but from earliest times, we’ve ruined it. We decided God could go fly a kite. Instead of being satisfied to be made in His image, we wanted to take His place. Genesis 3 tells how we came up with our own ideas about how to be “like gods,” and we weren’t willing to wait for His instruction. This rebellion is called sin. First it clawed us apart from God Himself. Then it soured the relationship between man and woman, brother and brother, nation and nation, and man and the created heavenly beings.

That’s not all. It also ruined us inwardly because although we’ve pulled ourselves away from God, we were designed for harmony with Him. Because our minds no longer obey Him, our desires and emotions no longer obey our minds. Yes, by His mercy, some good things still exist in us. But not one of those good things is in its original healthy state; each has been fatally distorted. Even our best experiences, like love, are mixed with sin, Try going a week without selfishness, resentment, or lust. Try going a day. Try going an hour. You can’t, unless something distracts you. Maybe not even then.

Not only are we ruined, but we can’t repair ourselves. Could you perform surgery on your own eyes or treat yourself for madness? Suppose you tore off both arms; without your hands, could you sew them back on? Our sin-sickness is something like that. We may long to love purely, but the needs in our need-love have become idols that control us. We may long to be holy, but our righteousness has become self-righteousness that rules us. We may long to be reconciled with God, but we can’t stop wanting to be the center of the universe ourselves.

Worst of all, we face judgment. A God whose love is inexorable must spurn whatever is contrary to His love. In spite of what some people want to think, there is such a thing as hell. Jesus, the very person who taught that God is love, warned more about hell than anyone else in the Bible. I have to be careful here because some Christian preachers have overdone it by not talking about anything else, and anti-Christian writers have spread confusion by calling hell “cruel” and “sadistic.” The important thing is to remember what hell and heaven really are. Heaven is a place and condition of perfect fellowship with God; hell is a place and condition of absolute separation from God.’

Some writers have said that the flames of hell are not real flames but mere metaphors for the agony of being left to ourselves. I think this is probably true, but remember that a metaphor is just a shadow of the real thing; if flames are a mere metaphor for that agony, the agony must be worse than flames. Other writers have said that no one ends up in hell unless he wants to be left to himself. Again I think this is probably true, but isn’t being left alone what we all want when we sin? In hell, God merely gives us what we’ve wanted all along, and He lets the horrible natural results of our choices take full effect! We hate it, but there’s no place else we’d like better. Suppose He put us in heaven instead. (He wouldn’t, because He won’t have sin near Him, but let’s pretend.) In our sinful condition, heaven itself would be hell to us. The very radiance of His love would make our skin peel.

By all human reckoning, then, the situation is hopeless. We are broken beyond the ability to fix ourselves, fallen beyond the strength to rise up. By our own rebellion we are separated by an infinite distance from our Creator, and we don’t have the power to get back. Each of us has a seed of hell in Side, and each day it grows a little bigger; short of a miracle, one day it will burst out and devour us. We cannot save ourselves.

THE GOOD NEWS

By all human reckoning the situation is hopeless, but not by God’s. We can’t save ourselves, but God can save us.

How? Can God just overlook our sin? Well, He does overlook it for a time-l mean He doesn’t bring down His judgment on us all at once. But this doesn’t solve our problem. We can’t be reconciled with God and be His enemies at the same time, and we just don’t know how to stop being His enemies. No one can stop sinning just by deciding never to sin.

Our problem has another side too: We’re just plain guilty. Disloyalty to your family, your country, your friend, or your spouse is bad enough, but disloyalty to God is the worst thing in the universe. The worst thing carries the worst penalty. God would be less than just if it didn’t.

Can’t we just pay the penalty? Well, in one sense, yes, but in the important sense, no. The penalty for sin is death, and I don’t just mean physical death but spiritual death too-not only loss of life but loss of God. God made this penalty an automatic consequence of sin’s deed; in just the same way that drowning is an automatic consequence of filling your lungs with water. I suppose that in a sense, unending death would pay the penalty for being unendingly in the wrong, but it wouldn’t solve our problem, would it? The payment would never be over, and it would still leave us dead.

Could someone pay the death penalty for us, the way I might pay a money debt for someone who didn’t have any money of his own? That’s an interesting idea, but awfully difficult. Just think-what kind of person could pay our debt against God?

First, to pay our debt against God the payer would have to be capable of paying that kind of debt. He would have to be able to suffer a human death, and that means he would have to be a human being himself.

The difficulty here is that death is just the problem we humans are trying to get away from.

Second, to pay our debt against God the payer would have to be capable of paying that large a debt. He would have to have infinite resources because we’ve committed infinite offense against God. The difficulty here is that the only one who has infinite resources is God Himself.

Third, to pay our debt against God the payer would have to be able to stand for other human beings. He would have to share our human nature completely and be so perfectly one with us that what happened to him counted as happening to us. The difficulty here is that we had a representative once-the first man, Adam-but he blew it.

Fourth, to pay our debt against God the payer would have to be without any debt himself. He would have to be sinless-completely holy and in perfect fellowship with God. The difficulty here is that all of us have sinned.

Fifth, to pay our debt against God the payer would have to pay the debt willingly. He would have to sacrifice himself for us, to walk with his eyes open into the agony we’ve brought down on our heads. The difficulty here is that our love comes nowhere near the mark of a sacrifice like that.

To sum up these requirements, our debt against God could be paid only by a sinless human being who could count as a new representative of every human being, one who loved us so much that he was willing to spend himself for us-but who was also God, so that He could spend Himself without limit.

 

In other words, God Himself would have to take the heat for us.

As a man.

And He did it.

He who could pay the penalty but didn’t deserve it paid for us who deserved to pay but couldn’t do it. God, still fully God, became fully man as well so that He could pour Himself out on an executioner’s cross as our representative. That’s who Jesus was-both Son of God and Son of Man-and that’s what Jesus did.

And there’s more. Remember, we’re not only guilty but also broken. That means we need not only forgiveness but also fixing. We need to be not only made right with God but also transformed. Jesus took care of this problem too, because He not only died but also rose again. Just as our old life with its sin can be nailed with Him on the cross, so also we can be raised up with Him to eternal life with God. Somehow our guilt flows onto Him, and somehow His life flows into us. Through Him, we gradually become capable of living as we could never live before-of obeying Him more profoundly than we ever did before.

Eternal life means not just living forever but living forever with a new kind of life. It begins with the cancellation of the curse but goes on to perfect holiness. It begins with the forgiveness of sins but goes on to joy and glory. Think of salvation as being adopted into a family. The legal change, from outsider to son or daughter, takes place in just an instant. But slowly you grow up in your new family and come into the inheritance that your new Father has been holding for you all along.

The Good News, then, is that in Jesus, who died for our sins and rose to eternal life, God has made a path for us to get back to Him-a way for us to be forgiven, fixed, and finally glorified.

 

YOU

 

At college-and throughout life-you’ll hear that there are many ways to God. But God says different. Imagine that you’re all alone at the bottom of a pit. The pit is miles deep but barely wide enough for you to stand. Its sides are made of smooth, slippery glass with no handhold or foothold. Water is up to your chin, and it’s rising.

Then a voice comes down to you from above the pit. God is calling, ”I’m throwing down a rope. If you’ll just trust it enough to grab and hang on, I’ll pull you up!” Sure enough, there’s the rope right in front of you, just within your reach.

Jesus is the rope. There isn’t any other. He said so Himself.

What does it mean to grab and hang on? It means to have faith in Jesus Christ as the One who paid the price of your sins and who saves you. Faith is more than just head-belief. It means you stop trusting all the things you’ve trusted before and put your trust in Christ Jesus instead. It means you admit that you’re a traitor and sinner and that you can’t get back to God on your own. It means you say to the Lord with all your heart, mind, soul, and strength, “Jesus, I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Make me right inside. Mess with me. Do whatever You have to. Don’t stop until I’m the way You want me to be. Help me to follow and obey You. I trust You, starting now!”

You can’t even mean such a prayer unless the Holy Spirit helps you, but He can. That’s part of what He does. Start with the help He’s giving you already. Whatever it is, accept it and ask His help for the next step. If you aren’t really sorry for your sins, at least be sorry that you’re not-and ask and trust Him to make you sorry for the rest. If you don’t really trust Him for your salvation, at least start wanting to trust Him– and ask and trust Him to enable you to trust Him more. If you don’t want to let go of your old life, at least desire that you could do so and ask and trust Him to pry your fingers loose.

Through your life, as God pulls you up by the rope of Jesus, you’ll pass through regions of glory as well as regions of discouragement. Remember as you pass through the regions of discouragement that you’re being hauled through them by God whether you feel His presence or not. Tighten your grip! Remember as you pass through the regions of glory that the haul isn’t finished even if you feel that it is. Tighten your grip again!

One day, when the long haul is over, the Lord Himself will welcome you to the top.

Life

this life is like running

over lots of different terrain..
there are hills and valleys and beautiful days and really rainy stormy ones but all the sudden sometimes you just have to jump off a cliff.. but you aren’t really scared because you know you’ll be ok.. but jumping off a cliff is still horrifying, but you know you’ll be ok :) you take the impact and keep running..
right now, my cliff is the step into college.
it’s gonna be crazy, but it’ll be alright 🙂
and that’s life
:) we run toward’s the ocean..
i once heard that death was like this… you reach an ocean.. and while many on this side are saying “there they go” many more are on the other side.. on that distant shore.. saying “here they come”:)
🙂
What a great God He is!

Transformed

“Imagine yourself as a living house. God comes in to rebuild that house. At first, perhaps, you can understand what He is doing. He is getting the drains right and stopping the leaks in the roof and so on; you knew that those jobs needed doing and so you are not surprised. But presently he starts knocking the house about in a way that hurts abominably and does not seem to make sense. What on earth is he up to?he explanation is that He is building quite a different house from the one you thought of– throwing out a new wing here, putting on an extra floor there, running up towers, making courtyards. You thought you were going to be made into a decent little cottage; but He is building a palace. He intends to come and live inside it Himself. ”

-C.S. Lewis

Tonight, I heard something extraordinarily profound. We do not need to live self-confident lives; we need to live Christ-confident lives. It’s often hard to take our own needs out of the picture. But, we forget that God is stepping in. We are to live knowing that Christ guides us and protects us and beams from us. We are like lamps. If there is no flame inside, something isn’t right.

Read 2 Corinthians 3

Paul describes us as living letters that are to express Christ daily.

I know I’m guilty of not doing that as much as I should.

Love you guys!

please comment or message me if you need anything

New photos under the Photography tab :D

look at ’em 😀

I’m tired of poetry in class.

and that is that.

Oh, life.

wallpaper-408848

oh the words
that surpass
the things I’ve heard
and one might ask,
What have you heard,
my friend of old?
Those things that I
have only been told,
and have you know
it was not me
who had these thoughts
of eternity
’twas not a thought
but as a matter of fact
a fact it was
and you can count on that.
For this thought, this truth,
of life beyond
He already knew
He’s already won.
We cannot live
with any regret
for the other side
cannot pose a threat.
We are here for a moment
and then we are gone,
the span of our time,
it isn’t long.
So fight, fight on,
warriors of love,
and seek what is right,
and from
above.

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