Spring Cleaning God Style!

Recently my sister Alyson got married and moved out of my parents house (where I currently live) I got the chance to take her old room, which I jumped on because it is bigger :). So when we started moving my stuff from the basement to the upstairs room, it was my opportunity to do some spring cleaning, I threw out a lot of old things. This experience got me thinking, God probably wants us to do spring cleaning (more like spring, summer, fall and winter cleaning) of our minds/hearts as well. So I want to search in the Bible with all my readers and discover what the Bible has to say about our job as Christians to make sure our thoughts are pure and remain pure.

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God. Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.Colossians 3:1-2. This is our goal for our minds. It is clear from these verses that we need to make our goal eternal, not the here and now. God doesn’t leave us hanging there, the Bible is filled with instructions on how to get there. Let’s take a look at a couple of those instructions.

Let’s start with the Bible itself. God gave his children (us) an instruction manual that is more useful than any instruction manual that you have ever come across and it is called the Bible. If you want to keep your thoughts pure and on the truth of the Lord Jesus Christ, the best thing to do is read the Word. “In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was with God in the beginning. Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind. The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.” John 1: 1-5. As I have been learning at SNG (the church service I attend Saturday Night Grace) the writer of this book is extremely intentional in his words and wants to make a point. The point that is being made here is that Jesus is the Word, The Word has always been with God, and is God. Confusing right? it involves the Trinity, which I am do not know everything about, and no one knows everything about God so that is just that. Anyways back to the point I am trying to make. The Word is Jesus, the Word is God, the Word is the Bible. So God has given us Him in the Bible. If that is true which I believe it is, then we must read the Bible in order to “keep our thoughts on things above”.

“This, then, is how you should pray: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven. Give us today our daily bread. And forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one.”” Matthew 6:9-13. This is a perfect example of a prayer that would help us to “keep our thoughts on things above”, and as noted above it comes from The Bible. God wants to help us in everyday life and when we pray things like the prayer above, He will.

Finally the last thing I want to just touch on is, we need to take a good look at our playlists, movie choices, and book choices to make sure that we are not stuffing garbage into our mind. Now the thing I want to say about this is that it is not bad to read about fantasy or sci-fi, God gave us our imagination. Just like everything God gave us, Satan likes to use it to twist our mind, but we have to remember that God gave it to us and if we believe in him we can use it for good.

I hope all this made sense. Have a good day and God bless all of you reading.

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Marriage “From the Outside Looking In”

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So yesterday my sister Aly and my new brother Tim got married! What an exciting time for not only them but the people that surround them as they embark on this new adventure together. God has been the center of their relationship before their marriage and I imagine that He will be the center of their marriage as well. I decided to do a post about marriage because I wanted to give everyone an idea of what marriage should look like, and what the Bible tells us about it.

Let’s start at the beginning, “The LORD God said, “It is not good for the man to be alone. I will make a helper suitable for him”” Genesis 2:18. So here we see that God wants someone for the man, so what does he do to fulfill his wishes? “Then the LORD made a woman from the rib He had taken out of the man, and He brought her to the man.” Genesis 2:22. Now we see that God makes another human from the man, but this human is different, this human is a woman (Genesis 2:23). From these verses we can see that the idea of marriage came straight from God, there was no thought from the man or the woman. My question is this, why do so many marriages fail? The answer is the same answer that I have been finding to so many of my questions, it is simple answer. We are human, we live in a world consumed by sin, we have failed, how can we expect a covenant designed by God to work without God and in a world filled with sin… We can’t there is no way to make it through a marriage without God. So what does God say about marriages, what are his instructions to us?

The New Testament is what God has given us to guide us in our new lives, after Christ sacrificed his life for us. So what does the New Testament say about marriage? I want to focus on what it says in Ephesians 5. “Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body of which he is the Savior.” Ephesians 5:22-23 (emphasis mine). “Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave Himself up for her” Ephesians 5:25 (emphasis mine). Here we see a clear picture of what is expected of a couple, that the wife listen and submit to the husband and in return the husband must love his wife. So what does this mean? So often I hear from people that they think this is a sexist thing to say, but in fact it is not. God created two separate beings as we can see from Genesis 2, he did not intend for both man and woman to have the same functions/roles. The goal of the writer here is to define these two separate roles that have been given to us. Submit does not mean that you are now a slave to your husband, it means that you should trust your husband to know what he is doing and trust that he is being lead by the Lord. The next part is a simple idea, husbands must love their wives. This idea is simple, but it has a broad meaning. When the Bible says love it is not talking about the superficial love that the world has created, no it is talking about love on the scale that God has created. It is talking about a sacrificial love. Finally, because the woman submits to the man he must be Christ centered so he can lead his family in a way pleasing to God.

So now to get back to my Title “Marriage “From the Outside Looking In”” I chose this title for two reasons. One, I am not married so I have no idea what a personal marriage is. Two, I was writing about what a marriage should look like. I say should, because we are not perfect beings and there will be struggles in everything we do, including marriages, but there is hope in Jesus Christ our Savior, and we can be forgiven for our mistakes.

Finally, I want to say that I am extremely proud of Alyson & Tim Neufeld, they have demonstrated what a relationship can look like if it is Christ centered, not saying that they didn’t argue before their marriage, but that they could always come out of an argument knowing more about each other and about their relationship with God. I am extremely excited to see what God will do through them and through their marriage, I will pray for them and support them with kind, encouraging and loving words, as they start this new chapter in their life, I love you guys and will always be here for you!

Worship

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Worship is an integral part of the Christian faith. There are a large number of verses in the Bible that in some way tell us to worship/praise God. My favourite verse is actually one of these. “Praise the LORD, O my soul: And all that is within me, bless his holy name” Psalm 103:1 (KJV). For the longest time I had a very shallow vision of what worship was, I had always assumed that worship was when we sang praise and worship songs at youth, Sunday school, church, etc. It wasn’t until probably grade 10 or 11 that I realized that there was so much more to it than that.

Our Father wants us to worship Him because he provides, is watching over us, created us, and an endless amount of other reasons. Just like there is an endless amount of things to praise God for, there are almost as many ways to worship him. To name just a few prayer (1 Chronicles 29:10), Singing (James 5:13), and reading the Bible. I have always “struggled” with prayer, I struggle to say what I need to, but what I have come to realize these last 2 years is that the times I struggled to come up with the right words were the times that I was farthest away from Jesus. God knows exactly what is going on in our lives, and he has no need to hear our prayers, but he chooses to listen to our pleas and praise, because he wants to comfort us and wants us to know that he is always there.

God knows that we as humans will not always want to worship Him, because we don’t see the bigger picture and when trials and tribulations come our way we get angry, sad, depressed, etc. So what has He told us to do? He says Lament. Lament is defined in the dictionary as “to express sorrow, mourning, or regret”. God wants to here our sorrows, our pain, our anger, our frustration, etc. As I said above, He knows what is going on, He wants us to cry out to Him so that we can become closer to Him.

I want to encourage you to try a new form of worship or one that maybe you haven’t done in a while. For example if you haven’t served someone in a while try that, or if you don’t take time out of your day to read the Bible read a chapter a day for the next week. Jesus wants a relationship with us and relationships are not one sided, we can not expect Jesus to do everything for us if we are not willing to get into the thick of it and make a commitment to spend time with Him. Hopefully by serving you will learn something new about yourself, about Jesus and about your relationship with Him.

Beauty

“So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them” Genesis 1:27. I have recently noticed a lot of females doing this selfie challenge, where they take a selfie with no make-up or hair products (all natural). It really got me thinking; As men and as a society as a whole why do we put a huge pressure on women to look a certain way? If God created us in his image why do we try so hard to create a new image for ourselves?

Here is an answer straight from the Bible, ” The Lord does not look at the things man looks at. Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart” 1 Samuel 16:7. When we look at others we are looking through a film of sin called the world, when Adam and Eve sinned they left the garden and entered a new world that was covered in filth (sin). Now that we live in this world we see things differently than we should. “Then the eyes of both of them were opened, and they realized they were naked; so the sewed fig leaves together and made coverings for themselves.” Genesis 3:7. The Bible makes it clear that the reason we do all these things is because we live in the world which is filled with sin. As Christians I believe that we are called to be more than what the world tells us to be, in fact God tells us not to live like the rest of the people, “Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is–his good, pleasing and perfect will.” Romans 12:2.

Anyways, I am not trying to condemn women for wearing make-up or doing special/crazy things with their hair, what I am trying to say is that women and men should not be afraid to be all natural, and they should not have to worry about what other people think about their appearance. God made you who you are!

At the same time I would encourage everyone to continue this all natural look, because you are all beautiful and are made in God’s image; although you may not always feel like it remember that God loves you for you and not for what the world wants you to be.

Making Changes

What has God done in your life to let you know that you need to make a change? Have you been paying attention? Have you been working towards a better relationship with Jesus Christ?

Recently I have been reading a book called “The Great Divorce” by C.S. Lewis. The book has made me think about decisions that I have made in my past and the judgements I have thrown on people behind their back. God shows us in unique ways where we are going wrong in life, and he also shows us how to fix problems.

“We had previously suffered and been treated outrageously in Philippi, as you know, but with the help of our God we dared to tell you his gospel in the face of strong opposition.” 1 Thessalonians 2:2. This is an example of God placing people in your life. This is one of the ways that God lets us know that we are not heading down the path that He wanted for us.

Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says “Two are better than one, because they have a good return for their labor; If either of them falls down one can help the other up,. But Pity anyone who falls and has no one to help them up.” God wants us to have friends that help us through hard times. God also wants them there to help us grow in our relationship with Jesus Christ, and one way they do that is by helping us identify problems in our life, such as being a control freak, swearing, tearing people down etc.

I have really been focusing on making a change in my life, I want to be someone who is on fire for Jesus Christ! Slowly I have been changing (at least I think I have been :P) with the help of all the people in my life, spending time in the Word and spending time in prayer I think I can learn day by day to know God more and to live a life pleasing to him.

I want to challenge all the people that read this to make the same kind of commitment. 😀 Good Luck and God Bless

Humans, what is seen from above.

Sometimes I wonder about what we look like to God. Would we look like a bunch of ants crawling around the surface of Earth? Would we even be noticed, because we are on only one planet out of millions in the known universe? Maybe some of you can relate to these feelings.

The answer is that God does notice us! Someone who created and rules over the whole universe sees us for who we truly are. He knows all about you and me, he loves each one of us and has chosen us for special tasks in life.

Your eyes saw my unformed body;
all the days ordained for me were written
in your book before one of them came to be
Psalm 139:16

God loves us and has been thinking about us since before we were born. How cool is that! There has been so many times in my life where I have wondered if there was anyone who really loved me. This would happen when I would argue with my parents, get in fights with friends and especially when I moved from Gnadenthal to Reinfeld and had to change schools. I wish I would have truly known how much God loves me, then I would have realized all the people close to me that he had placed there.

God is greater than anyone can imagine, but I often try to imagine what he would be like. I really want to know what he is thinking of us when we act like our crazy human selves down here on Earth. I remember times when I would be sitting at home and it was dark outside and I would see shadows from trees. I would get so scared, but now I look back and I imagine God saying in those moments words from the book of Isaiah.

“Do not fear, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are mine.
Isaiah 43:1b

I don’t know about you but the thought that I am God’s son is so crazy. I find it so relieving that someone like me a sinner who does not deserve eternal life gets it! God promises us life (eternal life) and all we have to do is accept Jesus! Once you truly accept Jesus you will realize all that you have been missing in life. Jesus brings us hope and unbelievable joy! We don’t get a free pass through hard times, but we get an amazing God to lean on and he provides amazing people to build into our lives.

He died for us so that, whether we are awake or asleep, we may live together with him.
Therefore encourage one another and build each other up, just as in fact you are doing.
1 Thessalonians 5:10-11

I want to encourage everyone to build up the people around you. I will be trying my hardest to make this a focus in my life, because I know I have failed at it in the past.

God is bigger than “insert your situation here”!

When I was a kid I really enjoyed watching Veggietales! Looking back on those days I realize how big of a message some of those stories actually where. One that I remember quite often is the song  “God is Bigger Than The Boogie Man” (click the link to listen to the song). This song doesn’t just apply to the Boogie Man it applies to everything that life has to throw at us.

I want to be clear that I am not talking about an easy fix for all of the problems we have in life. God promises us trials and trouble, see John 16:33 or 2 Timothy 3:12, but if you read John 16:33 you will also note that it says “But take heart! I have overcome the world.” So no matter what the world throws at us Jesus has overcome it with his death!

I also know that many of you will probably think, “you can’t talk about this, you don’t know what I am going through.” or “I don’t think this applies to me.”. Well guess what, it doesn’t matter what your going through or what I am going through, because I am not God, I am simply explaining and bringing to light what the Bible already tells us. Smile So listen up because I will be quoting scripture, and that is the TRUTH!

I want to start off by quoting a section of scripture from Matthew 28.

The Great Commission

16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go.17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted.18Then Jesus came to tem and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me.19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit,20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

Here is what I believe this piece of scripture is telling us:

Jesus has just risen from the grave, and is addressing his disciples for the last time. Now think about this for a little bit. Jesus who has been leading them on a crazy awesome journey is about to leave them. How would you feel if everything that you had ever accomplished in life was about to fall apart and disappear forever? This is exactly what the disciples were going through. If I were in their shoes I would probably be feeling fear, anxiety, and a bunch of other things mixed in with that. So this is what Jesus decides to leave them with, it is an encouragement to them. Jesus also wants us to know that he will never leave us. Just like he would never leave the disciples.

 

When Jesus left he gave us humans something to replace his physical body. What he gave us was access to the Holy Spirit. Acts 2:4 describes the Holy Spirit coming down on the people at Pentecost. The Holy Spirit is how God stays with us through the hard times and the good times in life. Like I said earlier God told us that in life we will have troubles, but he also promised to watch over us and be with us during those times. I also said that this is not an easy fix to all of the troubles in life, although it isn’t an easy fix it is fix that will make you a better person and help you grow in your relationship with Jesus Christ. Let me explain how this is working out in my life right now. In the last half of 2013 I had a bit of a rollercoaster, I had one of the best experiences of my life, and very shortly after I lost someone close to me. I won’t go into great detail about either of these situations (maybe I will do another post on them), but I will tell you that God definitely put people and passages into my daily path to help encourage me and keep me joyful. There were days when I did not even know what to say to God, but because I had the Holy Spirit I did not even worry about it, because the Holy Spirit translates all of our pain into words that God can understand.

Finally, I want to talk about how he can help you! Even after all of this you might still be thinking, “My situation is different, it is so hard and I don’t think this applies to it”. Well let me tell you something, God is experiencing it with you, if God never leaves you then He knows your pain, he knows exactly what you are going through and is ready to jump in and help, all you have to do is ask! Now don’t expect an overnight switch, God will work with you to help you overcome this pain, but like a lose weight fast diet, if you expect to be happy right away you will bounce back, because you are not giving God time to work in your life.

I really hope this helps anyone dealing with depression, addictions, the lose of someone close or any other pain in life. If you have more questions or something wasn’t clear I would suggest talking to your local pastor to help clear things up. Smile have a great day!

 

Jordan Froese

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