I Have Seen A Demon. Have you? (Shadow People)

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Well,

I just have to get this off of my chest because I am in my thirties now, and something I have seen a long time ago has really left an impact on me.

I have seen a demon. I am writing this to just tell the world about how I have seen this, a close friend of mine has seen this, and famous people have seen this (Black Sabbath Band Members). Demons.

On the internet, they are referred to Shadow People. My close friend who I know  has seen a few and he has drawn this artistic impression on them which has made the rounds on the internet.

Image
(More pictures and a youtube link farther down in this post.)

The one I saw when I was in about 1st or 2nd grade is on the right. The one my close friend saw is on the left.

I saw mine when I was sleeping in my parents bed because I woke up in the middle of the night freaked out. I went to their room, fell asleep, and I woke up sometime between midnight and 5 in the morning. When I woke up, I felt completely weirded/freaked out. I looked out from the covers in my parents room. (By the way, I was completely awake and fully mobile–not half sleeping or in some sort of sleep paralysis.) I was looking around the room to just check why I felt so uncomfortable. I was surprised that my eyes were adjusting to the dark because that doesn’t happen when you wake up in the middle of the night. Your eyes are already adjusted. I was waiting for the black blob in front of my vision to get adjusted to. The black blob was hovering slightly back and forth, and then I realized my eyes were already adjusted and that I was looking at some sort of shadow/black misty/ cloaked “being” hovering at the foot of my bed. It was blacker than the adjusted darkness around in the room and it looked as if it were wearing some sort of hooded black cloak.

I threw the covers over me and I was frozen in fear and could barely breathe in and out. After awhile of barely breathing, I decided to look back out from under the blankets to check to make sure that I saw what I thought I saw. And sure enough, that black cloaked figure was still there hovering/floating.

I told my mom the next day, and she said that if what I saw was really a demon to say, “The Lord rebuke you in the name of Jesus Christ.” Well, I prayed every night until I was a high school senior to not see anything like that again. And I haven’t.

However, every handful of years or so, I run into or I hear of someone who has. I know a close friend who has seen demons a few times. He tells nobody, such as I tell nobody, for fear of ridicule and being labeled as having a “mental illness.” (I used to be a police officer, so I have passed the psych exam and interview 2 separate times, and been deemed mentally competent.) I write this knowing most people will disregard this post; however, I write this for the few who have felt isolated in there experience.

When, I was in Junior High, I knew a guy who I became great friends with, that he has seen the figure in the picture (on the left) in broad daylight. His story was that his mom invited over a family friend, and that family friend brought her niece. Well what happened was when my close friend saw the niece (my close friend was in about 2nd grade at the time) he said he saw a tall shadow figure close behind the niece walking footstep for footstep with this girl, and this shadow figure almost had the look of wearing a fedora hat that was on.
It turns out, this niece was with her aunt because this niece’s mom was having a nervous breakdown after a miscarriage, and the mom was writing on the walls with the blood from the miscarried baby.

This same friend of mine saw a demon in the living room of his house when at the same time his mom got a phone call that a new pastor was hired at the church. (Ya random)

So then I am a senior in high school and I am finally getting over being scared of the dark due to my experience, and I was dating a girl. I went to this girl’s church, and this former witch was being interviewed who said that when she was a witch, she would see dark and shadowing figures walk down her hallways, and that these figures looked like they were wearing dark hooded robes. This was just another corroboration of my experience.

After college, I was in the police academy, and the sheriff’s drug enforcement and vice team came into talk with us about people on drugs and the effects those drugs have. This small group of officers said they witnessed a guy in his jail cell, who was just arrested for pcp,  say that dark monsters were after him, and that he wanted the cops to get them away. After saying this, about a minute later, this guy died. This is a story from the Drug Enforcement and VICE detail of the Orange County Sheriff’s Department in California. This in my opinion, were shadow people/ demons. (Google meth users shadow people.)

After I quit cop work, I saw Ozzy Osbourn’s band Black Sabbath talk about the time they saw shadow people/ demons. Here is the link where one of the members talks about how he obtained a 16th century black magic book written in Latin. This guy puts the book in his room and wakes up in the middle of the night, and he describes the same exact thing I saw. He starts talking about it around 40 seconds into the video. Here is the link:

Geezer Butler Tells the Story Behind the Song Black Sabbath
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=x2SOhhftzv8

(It took me about an hour to find this link.)

Later, after I quit my cop job I started teaching. A boy in my elementary school class was drawing the following pictures. I stopped dead in my tracks because the images he was drawing reminded me exactly of what I saw when I was in elementary school.

I asked this boy what he was drawing. He told me he was drawing monsters he had seen. I asked him if he saw them in tv, movies, or the internet. He then said he saw them in real life at about 3pm walking home from school a couple of times. He said he saw them approximately a year or two before in an alley that he used to walk home through. (Needless to say, he stopped walking home that way.) I took some pictures on my cellphone. Here were the pictures he was drawing:

ImageImageImage

So, long story short, Jesus cast out demons in His time on earth, Jesus was also offered all the kingdoms of the world by a demon–Satan.

http://www.weirdca.com/location.php?location=179
An article from the book Weird California of Native Americans seeing this.

Demons are real. People see UFO’s and aliens, and I strongly believe those are demons.

Demons can appear as “angels of light”. Do not be deceived.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=f52KkM9i33c
PRESIDENT JIMMY CARTER TALKS OF HIS UFO EXPERIENCE    (Demonic)

The apostle Paul says,

Ephesians 6:12

New Living Translation (NLT)

“12 For we[a] are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:12)

If you see Shadow People, they are really demonic . They are here to kill, steal, and destroy us. However, Jesus came to save we that are lost. To overcome any demonic activity, you need to put your faith in Jesus, and pray for God to rebuke the evil you are confronted with in Jesus Name.

I have heard of people seeing shadow people on their death beds. If that is ever your case YOU NEED TO PRAY FOR JESUS CHRIST TO COME IN YOUR HEART TO SAVE YOU!
To give your life over to God and to free yourself from Satan (the Bible says we can only have two masters, God or the evil in the world), choose God, and follow the steps below. You Have Nothing To Lose and EVERYTHING to Gain!!!!!!!!

(I copied and pasted the following from the Campus Crusade for Christ website.):

Four Spiritual Laws

Just as there are physical laws that govern
the physical universe, so are there spiritual laws
that govern your relationship with God.

Law 1

God loves you and offers a wonderful plan for your life.

God’s Love
“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever
believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).

God’s Plan
[Christ speaking] “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly”
[that it might be full and meaningful] (John 10:10).

Why is it that most people are not experiencing that abundant life?

Because…

Law 2

Man is sinful and separated from God.
Therefore, he cannot know and experience
God’s love and plan for his life.

Man is Sinful
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Man was created to have fellowship with God; but, because of his own stubborn
self-will, he chose to go his own independent way and fellowship with God was broken.
This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference,
is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin.

Man Is Separated
“The wages of sin is death” [spiritual separation from God] (Romans 6:23).

Separation This diagram illustrates that God is holy and man is sinful. A great gulf separates the two. The arrows illustrate that man is continually trying to reach God and the abundant life through his own efforts, such as a good life, philosophy, or religion
-but he inevitably fails.The third law explains the only way to bridge this gulf…

Law 3

Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for man’s sin.
Through Him you can know and experience
God’s love and plan for your life.

He Died In Our Place
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

He Rose from the Dead
“Christ died for our sins… He was buried… He was raised on the third day,
according to the Scriptures… He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve.
After that He appeared to more than five hundred…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

He Is the Only Way to God
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to
the Father but through Me'” (John 14:6).

Bridge The Gulf This diagram illustrates that God has bridged the gulf that separates us from Him by sending His Son, Jesus Christ, to die on the cross in our place to pay the penalty for our sins.It is not enough just to know these three laws…

Law 4

We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord;
then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.

We Must Receive Christ
“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children
of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).

We Receive Christ Through Faith
“By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; not as result of works that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).

When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth
(Read John 3:1-8.)

We Receive Christ Through Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] “Behold, I stand at the door and knock;
if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20).

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting
Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be.
Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross
for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience.
We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.

These two circles represent two kinds of lives:

Circles

Self-Directed Life
S-Self is on the throne
wpe463.jpg (790 bytes)-Christ is outside the life
wpe464.jpg (719 bytes)-Interests are directed by self, often
resulting in discord and frustration
Christ-Directed Life
wpe463.jpg (790 bytes)-Christ is in the life and on the throne
S-Self is yielding to Christ,
resulting in harmony with God’s plan
wpe464.jpg (719 bytes)-Interests are directed by Christ,
resulting in harmony with God’s plan

Which circle best represents your life?
Which circle would you like to have represent your life?


The following explains how you can receive Christ:

You Can Receive Christ Right Now by Faith Through Prayer
(Prayer is talking with God)

God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude
of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.
Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, I invite you to pray this
prayer right now, and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.

Now that you have received Christ

Advertisements

The Several Reasons I Believe Jesus Christ is who He said He was. (The only Savior of Humankind from Death.)

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

There are reasons I wanted to express why I believe that Jesus Christ is who He said He is, and why I have decided to give my life to Him. Here are the following reasons in no particular order:

1. It makes so much sense to me: Ever since the first grade I have felt that my life has meaning and purpose and that there won’t be just “blackness” after death. I am too alive and too conscious.

2. Every deep seated need I have has real mode and method to be fulfilled. I thirst and there is water, I hunger and there is food, I need love and there is family and friends, I need sexual companionship and there is my wife, I need to have meaningful work and there is my teaching job, and I have this deep rooted desire to search for my Creator and the Bible has all the answers.

3. The world is created so fine tuned: The world is so created to be so finely tuned to support life. We are the only blue ball planet full of water. We are just the right distance from the sun. Our bodies’ cells are these seemingly infinitely complex machines that have encoded DNA instructions in each of them to tell them what to do and how to replicate. The heart is a muscle that never wears out, cells have grown more complex over what we scientifically know about the world around us (Isn’t there some sort of law of thermodynamic that things slow down, break down, and get less complex over time???–but not us humans and our Earth I guess).

4. The Great Atheist Charles Dawkins is Even Suggested Humans Could Have Been Biologically Engineered By Aliens by “Seeding” DNA into our cells: Dawkins said this in an interview with Ben Stein,

“It could be that at some earlier time, somewhere in the universe, a civilization evolved by probably some kind of Darwinian means to a very, very high level of technology— and designed a form of life that they seeded onto perhaps this planet. … And I suppose it’s possible that you might find evidence for that if you look at the details of biochemistry, molecular biology, you might find a signature of some sort of designer.”

I applaud the man for really being objective and acknowledging that we are so complex as humans that it defies logic and a designer is a plausible explanation. He chooses “aliens”, and I choose God.

5. The Historical Jesus is Recognized in the Scientific Community: Jesus existed. We count our years by Him. (It is 2013 AD, Anno Domini= In the Year of Our Lord.)  Scientific community members though debate whether Jesus was a liar, a lunatic, or the Lord. They say He was a liar or a lunatic, but I believe His claims that He is the Lord. The historicity of Jesus are accounted by secular historians such as Josephus, Tacitus, Seutonius and other references.

6. The Beauty of Creation: A sunset, a starlight sky camping, the ocean, and of course my WIFE! Quite the artistic world as a result of random chance.

7. Bible Prophecy (One of my personally most powerful reasons): Have you ever read the Suffering Servant Prophecy in Isaiah 53???? That was written at least a couple hundred years or more before Jesus was born??? That the Messiah would suffer and die??? That through His suffering He would make many righteous????? How about Daniel 9:24-27 prophecy that accurately times the arrival of Jesus from the decree to rebuild Jerusalem to Jesus’ coming. Not only that, but how crazy that the same prophecy predicts the Messiah being “cut-off, but not for himself.” And to add that the temple would be destroyed again!

8. The Messiah Prophesied to the Son of God: Other religions have this big issue with Jesus being God because He was born a man, and that it is impossible for God to be a man. But the famous Christmas Song is also a prophecy found in Isaiah 9:6-7 saying (or singing haha),
“For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called
Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God,
Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.
Of the increase of His government and peace
There will be no end,
Upon the throne of David and over His kingdom,
To order it and establish it with judgment and justice
From that time forward, even forever.
The zeal of the Lord of hosts will perform this.” (Bold and Italics added for Emphasis).

9. A Universally Recognized Moral Law by ALL people regardless of their beliefs: We know the difference between good and bad. And aside from all the “conditioning” that tells us what is right, we have a conscience that goes beyond how we were “conditioned” to know an absolute moral law. For example, if any of us saw an innocent old grandma getting beaten in the street to death by criminals for a purse, it strikes a moral tone in our hearts. We don’t sit and say, “Who cares, she got what she deserved! This is survival of the fittest anyways!” What we really know is that we have this idea of unfairness.
It is not an uncommon situation for a “Godless” person to hate a God they don’t believe in because a family member died before his or her time. There is this deep and profound sense that it is unfair. As C.S. Lewis aptly put, “The Moral Law tells us the tune we have to play: our instincts are merely the keys.”

10. True Love: If you have a dysfunctional family or a shallow marriage, it will be harder to identify with this one. But if you have ever been cared for and loved to a degree far beyond your abilities, looks, talents, and the sum of what you bring to the table, it is a feeling that goes beyond the natural world. True love in my opinion is purely from God demonstrated in it’s 100 percent form in Jesus Christ.

11. The Holy Spirit Convicting Me: Since I have given my life to Christ I have NEVER been able to make destructive and sinful choices without feeling convicted. A key example is watching pornography. The best I have ever tried to rationalize pornography never worked. I might tell myself it is “natural”, “I am a guy and deserve it”, “it’s part of my ‘hardwiring'”, yet I felt like crap when I am participating in it. I always felt convicted/conflicted and most assuredly not content. And whenever I am giving myself over to the guidance, love, and power of the Holy Spirit, I feel CONTENT and at PEACE.

12. Forever and Eternity are a Reality in Our Universe: Sometimes the thought of infinity and forever don’t compute in my little mind and they don’t seem real. But then, I look in outer space, I read from scientists that the outer space is expanding and has no boundaries and it just goes on forever. I then stop myself and think, who am I to deny the thought of a “Forever God” or doubt the possibilities of eternity, when our own solar system is just a molecule in the eternity of outer space.

13. Our Human Minds Are Finite/Limited: I don’t understand how an atheist could ever come to a decision of atheism when our minds are so finite that it is IMPOSSIBLE to know everything. My smart phone makes my brain look like an elementary school calculator that doesn’t even function accurately. It is this thought that I have to realize no matter how hard I try my finite mind will find it impossible to fully “unpack” all the facts of an infinite God.

14. The Thousands of Martyrs By Ceaser Nero who Put Believers’ Faith to the Ultimate “Cross Examination” in the “Court Case” of Verifying Who Jesus Is to the Point of Torturous Death: Ceaser Nero became Emperor of Rome from 54 to 68 AD.  Nero started his killings of Christians around 64 AD–only approximately 31 years after Jesus’ death and Resurrection–which makes it extremely likely that actual eyewitness’ of Jesus were still around who rather chose a torturous death from Nero (Tortures of which I could only imagine since Nero used Christians and human torches) than to deny their eyewitness account and faith in Jesus. In the world wide court pressing to discredit Jesus, these faithful believers decided to be “cross-examined” past the point of torture to choose death from executioners than to deny what supernatural events they had witnessed through the life and testimony of Jesus.

15. Christianity is The Only Religion That Says Salvation is a FREE GIFT (This makes sense to me because I didn’t choose to be born in this horrible place.): Christianity is a free gift. If we believe in who Jesus said He was (God’s Son that through Him we have life), reject our destructive nature, and grow in our love, knowledge, and relationship with Him, we have everlasting life in Heaven.
In every other religion Salvation is “Performance Based”. Mormonism: The better you are the higher level of heaven you go to and the more “secrets” you are allowed to know. Hinduism: The better you are you are reincarnated as something better. New Ageism: The better you are and karma will reward your good deeds and good things will come to you. Buddhism: The better you are you might reach “Nirvana”. Islam: The better you are and robotically serve Allah that you just maybe might reach paradise where you have all these wives. Any weird Christian cult will mix in some sort of performance based salvation like drink the koolaid or you won’t go to heaven.

You see, with me, Jesus makes the most sense, where I feel God knows we have made it hell on Earth. So are salvation from this diseased planet is a free ticket. Any other way would be unfair and a cosmic joke.

Upon this mountain of evidence I acknowledge accept and believe that (The following information is taken from Campus Crusade For Christ’s website):

God loves us and offers a wonderful plan for our lives.

God’s Love
“God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that whoever
believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16, NIV).

God’s Plan
[Christ speaking] “I came that they might have life, and might have it abundantly”
[that it might be full and meaningful] (John 10:10).

Why is it that most people are not experiencing that abundant life?

Because…

Humans are sinful and separated from God.
Therefore, they cannot know and experience
God’s love and plan for their life.

Humans Are Sinful
“All have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” (Romans 3:23).

Humans were created to have fellowship with God; but, because of our own stubborn
self-will, we chose to go our own independent way and our fellowship with God was broken.
This self-will, characterized by an attitude of active rebellion or passive indifference,
is an evidence of what the Bible calls sin.

Humans Are Separated
“The wages of sin is death” [spiritual separation from God] (Romans 6:23).

Jesus Christ is God’s only provision for human’s sin.
Through Him we can know and experience
God’s love and plan for our lives.

He Died In Our Place
“God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners,
Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8).

He Rose from the Dead
“Christ died for our sins… He was buried… He was raised on the third day,
according to the Scriptures… He appeared to Peter, then to the twelve.
After that He appeared to more than five hundred…” (1 Corinthians 15:3-6).

He Is the Only Way to God
“Jesus said to him, ‘I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to
the Father but through Me'” (John 14:6).

We must individually receive Jesus Christ as Savior and Lord;
then we can know and experience God’s love and plan for our lives.

We Must Receive Christ
“As many as received Him, to them He gave the right to become children
of God, even to those who believe in His name” (John 1:12).

We Receive Christ Through Faith
“By grace you have been saved through faith; and that not of yourselves,
it is the gift of God; not as result of works that no one should boast” (Ephesians 2:8,9).

When We Receive Christ, We Experience a New Birth
(Read John 3:1-8.)

We Receive Christ Through Personal Invitation
[Christ speaking] “Behold, I stand at the door and knock;
if any one hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him” (Revelation 3:20).

Receiving Christ involves turning to God from self (repentance) and trusting
Christ to come into our lives to forgive our sins and to make us what He wants us to be.
Just to agree intellectually that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and that He died on the cross
for our sins is not enough. Nor is it enough to have an emotional experience.
We receive Jesus Christ by faith, as an act of the will.

These two circles represent two kinds of lives:

Circles

Self-Directed Life
S-Self is on the throne
wpe463.jpg (790 bytes)-Christ is outside the life
wpe464.jpg (719 bytes)-Interests are directed by self, often
resulting in discord and frustration
Christ-Directed Life
wpe463.jpg (790 bytes)-Christ is in the life and on the throne
S-Self is yielding to Christ,
resulting in harmony with God’s plan
wpe464.jpg (719 bytes)-Interests are directed by Christ,
resulting in harmony with God’s plan

Which circle best represents your life?
Which circle would you like to have represent your life?


The following explains how you can receive Christ:

You Can Receive Christ Right Now by Faith Through Prayer
(Prayer is talking with God)

God knows your heart and is not so concerned with your words as He is with the attitude
of your heart. The following is a suggested prayer:

Lord Jesus, I need You. Thank You for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life and receive You as my Savior and Lord. Thank You for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life.
Take control of the throne of my life. Make me the kind of person You want me to be.

Does this prayer express the desire of your heart? If it does, I invite you to pray this
prayer right now, and Christ will come into your life, as He promised.

Now that you have received Christ

On this web site:
Copyrighted 2007 by Bright Media Foundation and Campus Crusade for Christ.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.
Permission for use from the publisher,
Campus Crusade for Christ, 375 Highway 74 South, Suite A, Peachtree City, GA 30269

Jesus said, “…I am gentle…” (3 words from Matthew 11:28)

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , , , ,

“I am gentle.” -Jesus

I wanted to throw my food on the floor in the restaurant for the lousy food and service, I wanted to keep putting quarters in the dryer to annoy the lady in the laundry room that was rude and impatient to have her be there longer waiting for me to finish, I wanted to cuss out the guy who drove like an idiot on the roadway. And then I think of the elementary students I have who I am teaching to “Follow the Golden Rule.” (Luke 6:31) I also think of the model prayer Jesus taught which says to “…forgive us our debts, as we have also forgiven our debtors.” (Matthew 6:12) I think of an anonymous quote , “Be kind, for everyone you know is fighting a battle” or that “hurt people… …they hurt people.”

The world we live in focuses on revenge and retaliation, but I want to focus on gentleness right now in my life. I look at all aspects of my life, and I have noticed that gentleness is definitely an “underrated quality”, yet it is a quality that has enriched my life in so many ways.

Jesus said, “Take my yoke upon you. Let me teach you, because I am humble and gentle at heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” (Matthew 11: 29 NLT)

I find it very profound that Jesus, God Incarnate, the all powerful, described Himself as “humble” and “gentle at heart”.

I have noticed that in ALL areas of my life I have to be “humble” and “gentle” to be successful in my job as an elementary school teacher dealing with parents and other teachers, resolving conflict with my wife as a husband, maintaining friendships, and dealing with difficult family members, and also (like last night) confronting a restaurant manager for my messed up food order. I have to be brutally honest to get my points across and to communicate clearly, yet I have to do it a gentle way to not get someone defensive and angry.

In all of these situations, the gentle spirit is the one who can bring up difficult issues in a non-condemning and non-emotionally explosive way. I have noticed that even if a person may be right on a topic, if they are abrasive, harsh, or demeaning, that person has won a battle, but they have lost the war in any closeness in the relationship.

I think of the famous verse, “If someone slaps you on the right cheek, offer the other cheek also.” (Matthew 5:39b NLT) This verse isn’t meant to be a pushover or door mat (Jesus drove people out of the temple with a whip he made, and he also overturned tables in righteous anger. All feelings He was entitled to have, and actions He was entitled to do in His “house”, for Jesus never sinned.) The context of this verse is to be someone who defuses a harsh rhetoric and physically violent situations instead of escalating the harsh rhetoric and physically violent situations. When someone tries to escalate a situation with a disrespectful slap to our face, we are to defuse the situation and not escalate it with a slap back.

It is like those school ground fights. They seem to never start with a punch to the face, but with insults back and forth, encouragement from the crowed, “Fight! Fight!”, a push, a push back, a slap, a punch, and now a full on fight has begun.

The “turn the other cheek verse” isn’t a verse to be someone’s punching bag because even Jesus made a whip and drove people out of the temple, and He also commanded His disciples to buy a sword in Luke 22:36. It is a verse for us to want to be peacemakers in this world, and not violent and uncaring men. Jesus even says, “Blessed are the peacemakers for they will be called children of God.” (Matthew 5:9 NIV)

I want to close with the thought that all of my friends who I have cared the deepest for are ones who have “stabbed me in the front.” Meaning, friends who can confront me in love and gentleness calling me out on destructive behavior, but they do it in a gentle way that when the conversation is over, we walk away deeper friends knowing that through trials and turbulence are friendship is deep and strong that can conquer any problem. I have learned this the most with my wife’s and my crazy arguments where we both come out the other side gentler more respectful people who have a deeper relationship due to us confronting each other in a gentle spirit (or us finally reconciling in gentleness and respect). I like to call it to “move in love”. Sometimes I get very hot headed in confrontation, and my life long goal is to “move in love” in confronting these situations with the greatest gentleness.

I hope we are both filled with the fruit of the spirit this week, and to be like Jesus. Why should we? Because we are His disciples!!!!!!! 🙂

“…catch the fish before you clean it.” -Jim Rayburn

Tags

, , , ,

I helped out with a youth group called Younglife awhile back. One quote I loved from the founder of the Christian youth group Younglife was something to the effect of, “You need to catch the fish before you can clean it.” (Jim Rayburn)

I think that is a very big area that many Christians forget. It is only after a person is “caught” by Christ that the Holy Spirit can then begin to “clean” out the destructive parts of that person.

I am reminded of a family member that slowly stopped “sex, drugs, and wild partying” after they gave their life to Christ. This “heathen” family member heard about Christ in the 1960’s when he went on a ski trip with Younglife. That family member first stopped the wild partying, then some time later the sex, and then some time later the drugs about 5 years after first hearing the Gospel. Some people stop their major destructive choices all at conversion, but some slowly release their self-destructive habits to the Lord through conviction from the Holy Spirit.

I remember a short-lived time that I volunteered with an outreach youth group when I moved to a new town for work. I stopped helping there because they were soooo legalistic to these kids who weren’t Christians. High school teens of the opposite sex weren’t allowed to hold hands or even sit together on the couches, during a water event a non-Christian teen was sent home right when she got there because she was wearing a bikini (she never came back), and the head female organizer in her sermon criticized anyone who put “stickers” on their Bible (I had stickers on my Bible I brought to the group!), and there was much more frivolous rules to keep people from not wanting to come to learn of Jesus . Needless to say, only kids who already knew Christ were coming to this supposed “outreach group”, and those were the 4-7 kids who were already home-schooled by helicopter parents who criticized me for not solely playing worship songs during these teen “outreach” meetings.

My point is sometimes I think Christians act more like the pharisees when it comes to evangelizing the lost. The pharisees had this self-righteous attitude and extra-biblical requirements that put a barrier between them and the common person from simply learning of the person of Christ. I believe sometimes we Christians do that, too.

Jesus let a prostitute was His feet, He ate dinner with a tax collector, He set a woman free from the punishment of stoning who committed adultery. He didn’t say to the unbeliever who came to Him, “Leave because your actions don’t measure up!” Jesus is very LIBERAL with His acceptance of people, yet He is very CONSERVATIVE with His teaching. He forgives and accepts the worst of the worst that come to Him(Liberal acceptance/forgiveness), yet He commands us to “go and sin no more” and to “be perfect for I am perfect.” (Very conservative life application.)

As saved Christians we should be obedient and make every effort to be fully pleasing to God, but we also need to remember Christ’s example towards non-believers by accepting people “as is” because you “can’t clean a fish before it is caught.” Let’s be fishers of men, and not throw back any fish that jump in the boat which aren’t already “cleaned.”

-Maxwell

It’s All About Jesus

Tags

, , , , , , , , , , ,

I have been married less than a year, and I have found it can get really easy to fall into a trap that makes marriage all about me. For example, “Why didn’t my wife do any cleaning today?” “Why didn’t my wife make dinner tonight?” “Why does my wife eat with her mouth open?” “How could my wife say that to my face in such a disrespectful tone?”, etc…

Upon some self-reflection, I have realized that I can be such a harsh jerk over small innocent things. My wife doesn’t it do it to me on purpose. I am learning that marriage, life, relationships, and all other things, it seems, won’t make me this cuddly nice person. I am learning that it is only  all about my relationship with Jesus that brings any good out of me (sounds cliche, I know, but please bear with me).

I was thinking today that I feel strongly that my contentment solely comes from Him–not my wife or anyone else. I think of our great example and Savior, Jesus. He often appeared to crave the time to get alone with God and just pray–like needed nourishment and refreshment. At one point, He prayed with such endurance, His other disciples fell asleep due to being tired. I believe my most energizing relationship is with God, and it is embarrassing to think it is the relationship I seem to spend some of the least time alone with. I feel I need to be more intentional to get alone with God and read the Bible and pray to Him.

Jesus is the relationship above all relationships we need to invest in. I say this because I think of Jesus when He was asked how to pray. He didn’t say pray for a wife, pray for a great friend, pray for a “functional” family (those are all great by the way), He said to pray requesting “Give us this day our daily bread”. Quite interesting Jesus also declared that, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)  He also said about bread, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” Finally, Jesus also when tempted by Satan said, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.'” (Matthew 4:4)

I want to conclude by saying, yes, Christian fellowship is hugely important, but are we giving our time to God like we do to our friends? Just like Jesus went alone to pray, spend time with God, and devote time to Him, I know I need to do more of that. Not out of obligation, but that–like Jesus–I appear to crave it like water and bread–that Jesus will really be my “Bread of Life” and my “Living Water”. Being married to my wife is amazing, but I realize it is all about Jesus. Besides Jesus, there is no other relationship to cling to and say to myself, “This person is my ‘Bread of Life’.” I love my wife, but the song lyrics now seem even more true that:

My hope is built on nothing less

Than Jesus’ blood and righteousness.

I dare not trust the sweetest frame,

But wholly trust in Jesus’ Name.

On Christ the solid Rock I stand,

All other ground is sinking sand;

All other ground is sinking sand.”

I hope we are filled with His hope, peace, forgiveness, and love,

Maxwell

“My thoughts are not your thoughts…”

Tags

, ,

I think our environment can play a big part in shaping our religious beliefs. I think of the Pilgrims/Puritans that risked their lives by sailing in the Mayflower across the Atlantic just to worship God freely. They risked a lot by leaving all they had to go to a new land. Surprisingly, these puritans did not become bitter towards God for having to leave their homelands, but they became brave in their pursuit to worship God freely.

However, look at us today. Just because we have run into the hurdles of an economic super-recession (quasi-depression), I have sensed a feeling of bitterness towards God in me and others. I personally have had to move to 3 different counties for work within the last three years, and it makes me ask a lot of “why God” questions.

It has led me to reread the Bible verse which says, “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,’ declares the Lord.” (Isaiah 55:8) This verse becomes even more powerful that Jesus , “…prayed more fervently, and he was in such agony of spirit that his sweat fell to the ground like great drops of blood.” (Luke 22:44). And when Jesus cried out in a loud voice in Matthew 27:46, “My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?”

Jesus is seen so stressed in spirit that He is sweating blood, and He even asks why God has forsaken Him, and when I read about His attitude it make me question my unrealistic feelings of bitterness towards God. Jesus was brave and obedient until death, yet I question my desire to be obedient due to moving for work. (While the puritans, in the pursuit of God, moved to a new continent, by sailboat, in 1620!)

I think that very much unlike the puritans, we have been living in an environment where we feel entitled to be catered to by God, like he is our little genie. We don’t leave all of our comfort to worship God (like “good” Puritans), but we leave God to pursue our comforts (like “good” Americans).

Jesus is our ultimate example of obedience. Did Jesus become bitter or brave when difficult situations faced Him? We have to choose bravery because Jesus did. We also need to reevaluate the power material objects have over our emotions (or even how the lack of material objects negatively causes jealousy in us.)

I decided to write today’s blog after reflecting on my own life recently and reading a quote I found by C.S Lewis which says, “Does God then forsake just those who serve Him best? Well, he who served Him best of all said, near His tortured death, ‘Why has thou forsaken me?’ When God becomes man, that Man, of all others, is least comforted by God, at His greatest need.” (C.S. Lewis, The World’s Last Night)

We need to change our attitudes from being bitter in times of difficulty to to being brave. Because why? Because our Lord Jesus Christ was.

Stay hopefilled, peace-filled, forgiveness-rich, and full of love,

Maxwell

Don’t forget, “love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.” (1 Corinthians 13.)

I am God’s Treasure

Tags

, , , ,

There have been a handful I have broken down crying because I experience something that overwhelms my ability to hold back my emotions and/or it reveals emotions I haven’t yet dealt with.

This happened to me at one point in college. I was feeling distant to friends, family, and God. I attended a chapel service during this time, and the speaker passed out something for us to read. I read it, cried, and I have kept it to this day because it was such a good and simple reminder for my self-esteem because it reminds me of how God views me.

It says, “Above everything else, I want you to know how much you are worth. Doesn’t the story fit together? I did it all for you. Someday, you will realize the price that you are worth. If you would only check your price tag, you would find my name written all over it.”

I couldn’t hold back my tears. I have some dysfunctional relationships in my family where members, for some strange reason, have difficulty verbally expressing love and affection towards me. However, the Bible is so detailed of God’s love for me. It makes sense why they call the gospels “The Good News”. It reminds me of the verse 1 John 4:19 which says, “We love Him, because he first loved us.”

The love I feel God has for me seems almost tangible. Every time I read the Bible, I feel I can put myself in the shoes of the people Jesus is with and experience God’s love for me. Like I am Zacchaeus being invited for dinner, the woman washing Jesus feet with her tears, the paralyzed man Jesus forgives and heals, Peter who denies Jesus and yet is still loved by Jesus, the disciple leaning/relaxing close to Jesus, the woman to be stoned who is forgiven, the leper healed, the man possessed by demos healed who begs Jesus to go with Him etc…

The “Love Chapter” in the Bible that is popular reads like Jesus personified. “Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance.”

I truly believe we could exchange Jesus’ name for love, and this passage would still be true! Who wouldn’t want to have a friend like Jesus? Who wouldn’t want to at least explore the gospels to learn more about Him? I know he is the King of Kings, but reading the Bible he seems he is also the Friend of Friends.

I thank God for the love He has for me, the treasure I am to Him, and the example of Christ for me to love and follow.

Hope, peace, forgiveness, and love,

Maxwell

Love People/Use Things. NOT Use People/Love Things

Tags

, , ,

I feel through media and popular culture we are taught to use people to get us the things we need. Reality TV shows people using each other to get what they want. Commercials show how if you buy their product you will “get the girl” or that you will finally be beautiful. There is a wrong focus on things to bring meaning to our lives.

This point is illustrated well in the Bible story of the “Lost Son” which portrays a son who would rather have the inheritance of his dad, rather than being in the presence of his dad. Before his dad passes away he asks his dad for his inheritance so he can live wild in a far country. His son in effect is saying, “Dad, I wish you were dead, so I can have your money.” The “Lost Son” loves things and uses people to get those things. (He used his dad, prostitutes, and his wild living in the far country.)

The father’s attitude is the complete opposite. When his “Lost Son” returns, the father shows his love to his son by giving him the best robe, a ring on his finger, sandals on his feet, and killing the fattened calf to have a feast and celebrate. The father loves his son and uses his things to show love towards him.

I was thinking about this theme “Love people use things NOT use people love things” because last night I was sick with a 102.5 degree temperature. My wife stayed up with me until the early hours of the morning taking care of me. I am glad I have a spouse who loves me because of me and not on primarily what things I can give her. Her love for me motivates me to show her my love through any possessions I have. To experience deep and loving relationships we need to love people and use our things to love people and not love things and use people to get things.

Hope, peace, forgiveness, and love,

Maxwell

As a child and as a man, I need Jesus Christ!

Tags

, , , ,

“Look! I stand at the door and knock. If you hear my voice and open the door, I will come in, and we will share a meal together as friends.” Jesus said these words in Revelation 3:20, and it is a quote I have never forgotten when I first heard it sitting in my school’s chapel as a first grade student. The message about how I was created, there was a plan for my life, and God wanted to love and know me was as a powerful message then. (This was when I remembered first committing my life to Christ independently.) This message is still as powerful to me now as an adult.

I find it interesting that my strong need for God in my life is still present in me as an adult. I thought that possibly I would feel I needed God less in my life as I grew older. However, I need him just as much, sometimes I feel I think I need him more than when I was a child.

As a child, the love of God towards me was so joyful because I felt it easy to be obedient, I felt it easy to make God happy through my works, I loved that I had a creator that loved me and was protecting me, and the knowledge of God’s love for me made me so content and peaceful. I felt the relationship was so easy and rewarding. I obeyed, and I accepted God’s love as a positive consequence of my obedience.

As an adult, the love of God towards me is so joyful because I am amazed at God’s love for me even though I have sinned so much. I feel like it is so difficult to obey at times, yet I read how quick God is to forgive and his love is “unfailing” (Psalm 13:5). I love that my creator is so desirous to forgive. Angels rejoice when a sinner repents (Luke 15:10), we are like a lost valuable coin or sheep he relentlessly searches for and rejoices with when found (Luke 15:8-10), and God will sprint towards us with total forgiveness like a loving father forgives a rebellious son (Luke 15:20). It is very humbling, moving, and amazing receiving God’s love even though I feel I don’t deserve it.

As a kid, I loved God because I felt I could earn it and deserve the rewards of his love as an “obedient” child. As an adult, I love God because he loves me even though I make wrong choices and have destructive desires. I am amazed that a perfect God loves an imperfect imbecile–me!

I love reading about Jesus chatting with the criminal on the cross, Jesus chatting with the fornicating woman at the well, the woman caught in adultery, or a the corrupt tax collector Zaccheus. He talks to them with such love, with such respect, and with such a desire for them to go and “sin no more”. Many times I feel like I am the criminal, the sexually impure, or the corrupt, yet God takes care of me, forgives me, loves me, and His Spirit motivates me to live a life pleasing to God–a life of obedience (John 14:23).

“Amazing grace, how sweet the sound that saved a wretch like me.”

“Even if that person wrongs you seven times a day and each time turns again and asks for forgiveness, you must forgive.” (Luke 17:3-4 emphasis added.)

Hope, peace, forgiveness, and love,

Maxwell