Sunday, December 31, 2006

"A New Year Ahead- Time for Resolutions"

I guess my resolutions for 2007 are as follows:

Trust God more (I'm only seeing a small part of the picture frame. God has seen and designed the whole painting right down to the tiniest details that have glorified Him.

Friendships must be a priority. I'm not naturally one to gravitate to people. But as a Christian it is essential in building the body. It also creates a support system for brothers and sisters in Christ so that the world's lies don't easily sway them.

I need to listen more. This is not one of my strengths. But I've been watching how God has been changing my conversations with people. It's time to bring people in more. Really pay attention to what they are saying.

Less Stubbornness. Believe it or not I'm a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to computer graphics or web design. I don't know if you guys noticed but I created my links to open in new windows saving the problem of the reader accidentally closing out the blog page.
But getting back to stubbornness God is teaching me that it's not the presentation that matters-it's the message. So I guess my roommates will get a chance to use the computer more! (lol)

More quality time in the Word. I've been reading the book of Acts. At first I was very captivated and inspired with the stories of the early Church. But as I progressed along it took more of me to become interested in what I was reading. I want to create discipline in a life of learning from my devotions the same way I prepare meals or have routine workouts every week which brings me to my next resolution.

Having Workouts that are put in the right perspective. Not vanity. Discipline. One of the most difficult parts of a person's life is discipline of the body. It can be done but it takes a great deal of prayer and a willingness to want to change.

Having a mind for Godly things. I want with everything inside of me to focus my mind on God. It's when I don't - I create my own problems. I don't want to be one of those Christians anymore that when reverting to moments of sin hear the words in their heart "You've been here before. Don't do this. It brings the same dismal result every time..."

Wednesday, December 27, 2006

"Switchfoot Lyrics"


(Like freedom in spring)

She's alone tonight with a bitter cup and
She's undone tonight, she's all used up,
She's been staring down the demons
Who've been screaming
She's just another so and so,
Another so and so

You are golden,
You are golden, Child
You are golden,
(Don't let go)
(Don't let go tonight)

There's a fear that burns like trash inside
And your shame of the curse that burns your eyes
You've been hiding in your bedroom,
Hoping this isn't how the story has to go
It's not the way it goes,
It's your book now,

You are golden,
You are golden, Child
You are golden,
(Don't let go)
(Don't let go tonight)

You're a lonely soul in a land of broken hearts
You're far from home, it's a perfect place to start

(Burn, Burn!)

So this final verse is a contradiction
And the more we learn the less we know

We've been talkin' about a feeling,
We both know inside but couldn't find the words
I couldn't write this verse,
I've seldom been so sure,
About anything before

You are Golden, Child

You are Golden,
(Don't let go)
(Don't let go tonight)

This world is a dead man down (Golden, you are)
Every breath is a fading crown we wear (Golden, Child, you are)
Like some debilitated king (Golden, don't let go)
Don't let go tonight

The Earth spins and the moon goes round (Golden, you are)
The green comes from the frozen ground (Golden, Child, you are)
And everything will be made new again (Golden)
(Like freedom in spring) (Golden, Golden)

Hey, like freedom in spring, (Golden, you are, hey)
Like freedom in spring (Golden, Child, you are)


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"Love, Dating, Relationships - Godly?"

No blog is complete with the writer's two cents on love, dating, and relationships right? Well this one will have a slightly different perspective. I'm going to share with you what God has been showing me about this.

"God must come first."

First and foremost God must come first. You will never and I repeat never know what it's like to experience a Godly relationship if you or your mate doesn't make God his/her first priority. Now you may say,

"Mark, that's kind of a bold statement isn't it?"
True. But let me explain further.

If you truly want to experience true love in a relationship with someone they need to have God's love for you. Like Christ has for the Church. They must love God more than they love you or will ever love you and you must be prepared to do the same back.

Have you ever met someone who strangely always put God first? Even when they were thrown a relationship opportunity they felt the need to pray about it first? Who do think is control of that person's life? The world would say they were nuts, or they should just go for it. But they are in a totally different boat and no matter what storms come along, as long as they are putting God first they will never sink. Why? Because the love they are living for is God's love and nothing can separate us from it.

"For I am persuaded beyond doubt - am sure- that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities nor powers, nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation will be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord."
Romans 8:38,39

"Skin Deep is as shallow as it sounds."

Have you ever been talking to someone and they share with you how they just met the man or woman of their dreams? Well I have news for them. Dreams can also be nightmares. That's like being on a motor boat heading full speed straight for a beautiful exotic island but having no knowledge of how to slow the thing down. Unless you've got the ultimate form of direction (God's direction) you're likely heading for a crash.

"God is interested in building a compatibility structure in a relationship not just a physical attraction."

I like the story of the woman who would only date tall guys. If they weren't tall she would say, "He's nice but he's just not my type." So she dates and soon marries a tall guy. Now every time she wants to get a box of cereal from the cupboard she needs to stand on a chair. She explains this inconvenience to her husband but he refuses to compromise. Says it hurts his back to be bending to reach things. "

"If you weren't so short we wouldn't have this problem," he retorts. She says nothing. A strain falls on the first few months of the marriage.

Then there's the guy's story. All his friends know him as having the highest standards for women. He won't date anything less than a "ten". So he dates and soon marries a women who in his mind is a drop dead gorgeous bonafide "ten". Until he meets her friends. Who just happen to be 11's and 12's. All of a sudden there's an ongoing strain on the marriage in regards to flirting. Hmmm... I wonder why?

Both stories have something in common. They were both based on superficial foundations. The only foundation is Christ. The strongest compatibility is with someone who truly lives out their salvation. Not just a church service. It's a 24/7 passion to serve God. And the privilege to serve God with them is nothing more than a small miracle and a tremendous blessing and gift from heaven.

In summary, the next time you feel you need someone romantically in your life ponder these thoughts:

1. What am I doing as a single person to serve God's Kingdom?

2. Am I willing to wait and trust God that in the event I were to meet someone he/she would be there to help me serve God and their DNA would compliment my life in ways that would only make me enjoy life more?

God bless. Watch the Cartoon!

"God Go Before Me"

I throw on my leather jacket, grab my Bible, and start heading for the hall. As I approach the steps I can almost hear the rat-a-tat tat of the drummer and the bugle sounding the battle cry.
It's time to do war. My last words before leaving the house; "God Go Before Me".

I wonder if David didn't say something similar to this as he approached the hill where a man 3 times larger than him stood fully armored and more than ready to kill him making him a cruel spectacle to all of Israel.

David's words were:

"You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I'll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD's, and he will give all of you into our hands."

And the rest is history.

Are you facing any spiritual giants in your life? It may be what's starting to become some type of addiction and you can hear the Holy Spirit saying softly in your heart, "Let it go. Trust me."
It may be someone who you don't talk to anymore or a former relationship and as a Christian you can feel God telling you the wall being put up is not right. But deep down inside you feel like David approaching Goliath. The odds seem so heavily stacked against you.

I don't know who's going to see this blog. I trust God will direct the people that are in need of reading it though. Say this prayer with me:

God, I don't know what to say or what to do to make things right in this situation.
I just know that it won't happen unless I turn to you so that's why I'm praying right now.
Please give me your strength to take this on just as you went before David. Be my words God.
Like your word says,

If God is for us, who can be against us?" Romans 8:28-31

In Christ's name,


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Tuesday, December 26, 2006

"To be Content or Not Content"

So many times I hear people talking about wanting new things. Ipods, PS3's, guitars. Yeah I'm sure those would be nice and all but how do they make a person more happy?

Doesn't happiness really come from the feeling one gets when spending time with people they love or like or serving with a ministry or charity? I'm learning that for me the desire to buy something new isn't so much about the new thing. It's more about the fact I bought it. And though it seems great at the time there's no guarantee it's going to be great six months later. If it's an electronic item it may even be outdated.

So how does one decide what they should buy or not buy? Well, needs are easy. Food, clothing, shelter, etc. But what about wants? I've been praying about this and God has shown me to look a lot deeper than just the act of wanting new things. He has shown me that every desire starts with a thought. How far we take those thoughts is our choice. But if we put these buying conquests at a higher priority than God we very quickly become a slave to our “buying” and unfortunately there is no end to any of it.

I used to collect toy cars (Hotwheels) and figurines. To be blunt it was never my heart. I just desired to have something that was considered rare or sought after. God kept showing me the words of the Apostle Paul.

"May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, through which the world has been crucified to me, and I to the world."Galatians 6:13-15

I was fanatical with my collectibles. Some stuff I wouldn't even take out of the boxes. I was obsessed with the condition. A scratch would bother me because in my mind my collectible had lossed value. I no longer had the pristine packaged figurine anymore. I didn't see it at the time but it was never about the stuff. It was a reflection of my worth. Deep down inside I didn't want to be known by my friends as the adult who collected toys but I was trapped.

About the middle of September I felt the Holy Spirit calling me, “Mark sell off your stuff”.

So I did. Took a huge loss but basically got rid of everything except for a gift. I'll never forget the feeling I experienced after that. Even though the world would have said I had been severely ripped off, I didn't care. A huge weight had been lifted. It literally felt like shackles dropped from my feet and hands. I was free. And the worth I had felt at that time was priceless.

Now that I'm not looking to further any kind collection of things in my life I feel quite content. God has called me to forget about the pursuit of my happiness through stuff. Instead focus on building friendships with people.

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Thursday, December 21, 2006

"Memoirs of The Younger Years"

I was never a big diary person or into journaling but hey I guess it's worth a try. Who knows- a journal like this may even get me to bear my soul a bit taking me on a personal journey to my days of youth. Not that I feel 90 or anything.

I remember when kids at camp used to torture innocent creatures. We would be all dressed up for chapel and these kids would find it cool to see what would happen if you took a frog and cut off his legs. How utterly cruel! Maybe those kids grew up to be surgeons or something. I was always amazed at how much kids could get away with at camp.

I didn't live in the city growing up. I grew up on an acreage 20 miles south east of Prince Albert. When I was quite young my brother and I would play all day and then be in bed at around 8:00. Wide awake I would listen to every cricket singing like a very poorly rehearsed church choir without any sense of musical tone. Even though I wasn't tired I guess they would eventually put me to sleep!

I remember when I was about 11 or so after supper we would get out the softball and a bat. My brother and I would go outfield while Dad would crack out pop flies. The idea was to get 10 catches in a row. We would get treats after.

I was always a dreamer. And I was deeply intrigued with Medieval times after seeing the Disney remake "A Kid in King Arthur's Court". I ran this imaginary story in my mind where I would be walking toward the pasture and all of a sudden I would be back in in the 1600's approaching a majestic castle. Sometimes I would dream that very scenario but it always seemed to end where I was thrown into a dungeon or was soon to be executed.

As I got older I started to take being a Christian a lot more seriously. When I was 14 or so I started having these dreams where I waged war with a sword and searched my mind on every scripture verse I had learned to battle these demonic beings that just seemed to appear. My sensitivity to spiritual activity had started.

When I was 16 the funnest activity in the world became playing guitar. I would go out and buy every guitar magazine I could find that inspired me. I knew that crossed a line. Dad hated hard rock and unless there's been a brain transplant done in the last 17 years- probably still does. No Kutless CD for Christmas Dad! I guess you'll have to settle for Chuck Swindall. (lol)

On the adventuresome side Dad bought my brother and I a go-cart. It was unique. A guy in the Prince Albert Pen made it. A bobcat-operator owed money for a sign job my Dad had done for him ( My Dad was and is a Sign Painter/Sign Maker) The operator and my Dad agreed to digging out a dirt path. It was more like a series of roads that weaved and winded all throughout the trees and bushes that marked the boundaries of our acreage. They are still their today. When I go out to see my parents on Thanksgiving I sometimes go for a walk down them. Popular trees on either side and layers of leaves crackling with every step. Anyways, I digress. Back to the go-cart story. Even though there was only room for 1 person comfortably we pushed the envelope and tried to ride with 2 or 3 adventure freaks. I remember we used to crash it a lot. It didn't have the best brakes. Those machines get shaken up bad even when your riding safe and normal. Countless times we had to tighten the screws on the carburetor and readjust the throttle but it was still fun.

Ya know for someone who claims he's not into journaling there sure was a lot of writing done for my debut. Not to mention quite the trip down memory lane.

God bless.

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