Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Day 13: Philippians 4:2-9

This is  so one of my favorite passages in the Bible: Philippians 4:2-9. As usual, here are a few main points of the passage that I really like.


  • I love how Paul is concerned with specific members of the Church. He asks the brothers and sisters in Christ to help two women who are disagreeing. I mean, if Paul cares for them so much, it makes me wonder how much more God cares for us!
  • Rejoice in the Lord always. Joy. Now, I used to think this meant that "Oh, I have to always be happy no matter what happens to me." However, now I think it means that I can have joy through my sorrow by knowing that God is with me and loves me, so even when I'm sad, I still can have hope. So rejoice! God loves ya!
  • Be gentle. ... God's with you! So remember that even when you're with the EGR people.... haha just kidding. But seriously. Be gentle to others. It actually makes life a lot better.
  • Don't be anxious. Sounds hard, but don't you always feel better whenever you tell a friend your problems? God will always listen to ya. So tell him your problems and requests. And also remember to thank him. Because he's done a lot.
  • My favorite verse of the lot: Philippians 4:7. "And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus." I've heard lots of stories about Christians who have always seemed peaceful no matter what happened to them. I never thought I'd see it until I went to a summer camp recently and saw so many middle schoolers affected by God's love and peace. It happens. But we can also maintain it more often by remembering... God is with us. and He does give peace.
  • Put it into practice. I'm still working on this.... but as James 1:22 says, "Do not merely listen to the word and so deceive yourselves. Do what it says."
God bless!

Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Hawai'i Pidgin.

As it is very late.... I'm sorry, but I don't have the time to write my thoughts on a Bible passage while actually putting thought into it. So instead, I'm going to talk about an awesome new discovery I have made through one of my good friends. The discover is....  Da Jesus Book. We... well I.... seem to have forgotten the other translations in different languages in the Bible. To me, Da Jesus Book, which is the Bible in Hawai'i Pidgin, seems to contain a type of joy and love that sometimes can't be felt by normal words in my opinion. For example, John 3:16-17. This is Jesus talking. "God wen get so plenny love an aloha fo da peopo inside da world, dat he wen send me, his one an ony Boy, so dat everybody dat trus me no get cut off from God, but get da real kine life dat stay to de max foeva. You know, God neva send me, his Boy, inside da world to punish da peopo. He wen send me fo take da peopo outa da bad kine stuff dey doing."  It just feels very vibrant to me... like I can feel the familiar way that the apostles and Jesus and everyone else would have been talking. If you want to try out Da Jesus Book, go to www.youversion.com and scroll down in the versions menu until you get to the language Hawai'i Pidgin. Then enjoy. God bless!

Friday, November 25, 2011

Day 12: Thanksgiving!


Ok. I know.... I fell behind on the Challenge. I was kinda caught up in Thanksgiving and hanging out with my family. But as a punishment.... I will give a small portion of what happened this awesome week.


Thanksgiving. A day of giving thanks. My whole family (+1) came home. We had quite a bit of fun, going to old buildings, eating lots of turkey. At the old building, I had fun with my brothers camera and... well... made me look like a ghost.
My first attempt. Notice the awesome brother on the left.
The second attempt. with my creeper expression.


I have to say, my brother is a pretty awesome guy. He's an amazing musician, just a nice guy in general... and yeah.


Outside, it was such an awesome day for shooting photos. and there was a railroad track right next to us....... so I gave into the temptation.
Oh yes. vanishing points.

oooooooo.... off center vanishing point.


I couldn't resist.

So anyway... Now it's time for me to put the Bible stuff up. Because the Bible is a major reason why I need to give thanks.

Today, I got to read part of one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Philippians. Philippians 2:1-22, to be specific. So here's a little bit of what I learned. Here are a few things that stood out to me:

  • In the first verse, Paul states so many things that should obviously be felt from having a relationship in Christ. Made me wonder how many I have.
  • Second verse: Being Like-minded and having the same love in a community of Christians. it sounds awesome.... let's do it more.
  • Jesus put himself so low to save us mere humans.... let him be an example of how our attitudes should be.
Favorite verses:
Philippians 2:3-4
Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others above yourself. Your attitude should be the same as that of Jesus Christ;

Seems like a good life purpose to me....

And stuff I need to do: I really need to work on feeling the obvious things from the first verse. Also, I need to work on putting others above myself a lot.

Thanks! and God bless!

Wednesday, November 23, 2011

Day 11: Psalm 11

Hello! Here's another 2AM slightly shortened post... but I hope you enjoy!

Today I read Psalm 11, written by David. He starts out by talking about how God is our awesome refuge that no one can break. Then he writes about how the wicked are destroying the foundations of the righteous, and how God, in his holy temple, examines us, punishes the wicked, and helps the righteous as loves justice.

One thing I really love about this passage- It reminds me of how God is so powerful, loving, and righteous-- we really don't have to worry too much cuz we have him on our side. God bless!

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Day 10: 2 Timothy 4:1-8

So today I read 2 Timothy 4:1-8. It's a great passage about evangelism that Student Ministry Team was assigned to read, and, frankly, it's rather awesome.

Here are a few highlights that I love about this section.

  • We should be prepared to preach the Word both in and out of season- Meaning that we should be ready both when we're feeling like the day is great and God is awesome and all that stuff.... and when the day is terrible and we feel like God has totally abandoned us (which he never does, by the way.)
  • When we preach the Word, we should correct, rebuke, and encourage with great patience and careful instruction. It's important not to just charge in with rather scary statements of change, but instead to go slowly so the person we try to reach is not scared away from Christianity.
  • Paul says something along the lines of "Men will turn their ears away from the truth and will turn aside to myths." Isn't that so true?!! People are so caught up with the myths of "more, more, more" and "evolution" because we often don't want to believe God exists, because if God exists we shouldn't be wanting "more more more" and we wouldn't have to do what's "right," hence evolution and that sort of thing.
  • Keep your head. It's important not to go crazy while evangelizing. I mean, crazy in love with God is cool, but not like off your rocker crazy.
  • Lastly, I really like the "I have finished the race" part of it as I'm a runner... and I totally get the pain involved in finishing a race at times.
well, good night! God bless.

Friday, November 18, 2011

Day 9: 1 John 2:15-17

So... today's post will be a tad bit short as it's.... 2 o'clock in the morning.

Today's passage is 1 John 2:15-17! Here are just a few of my favorite observations about this passage.


  • "If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him." Now, in my opinion, John means that we shouldn't love the world as in be obsessed with it and have it as our number one priority. It's okay to like stuff, but it shouldn't get in the way of our love with God.
  • "The world and its desires pass away, but the man who does the will of God lives forever." When you think about it... all of the worldly things in life- for example, fashion, sports, and all the other junk in life- they don't matter that much when we compare it to God... so isn't serving God infinitely more worth it?
God bless!

Wednesday, November 16, 2011

Day 7: Psalm 3

Today, I was looking for a good passage to read when this Psalm caught my eye- the fact that the Psalm was written while David had fled from his son, Absalom, made me want to see what David would be like. So today, I read Psalm 3.

David starts out by telling God that he's having a really  rough time and that life seems impossible at the moment, but then he goes on to praise God even though he's extremely sad about his son! He says that God protects him, that God always answers, God sustains him.... But I think the statement that sums those up is verse 6: "I will not fear the tens of thousands drawn up against me on every side." Doesn't that say so much?! David was so confident in God that he would go against tens of thousands just with God at his side as he trusted in God to protect, answer, and sustain. That's faith.

David then goes on to ask God to "Arise" and deliver David-- and in doing so, punishing his enemies. David ends by praising God again by saying that from the Lord comes deliverance.

The main thing I got from this chapter is that God is so incredibly amazing-- how can I not put all my trust in Him?

God bless!

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Day 6: Psalm 70

Today's chapter is obviously... Psalm 70. It's another short chapter, but it's very cool. In the first few verses, David talks about his troubles with God and asks for help. Then he praises him even through his troubles. At the end he describes himself in comparison to God and asks for immediate help.

There are several things I like about this Psalm. First of all, it's short. This shows how great prayers to God can be that simple... which leads  into my second point- David is really simple in his prayers. He just tells God what's going on, praises him, and asks for help. That's just so unbelievably cool.

This passage inspired me to pray more this week... even if it's short and concise. Cuz talking to God is important. and that's what prayer is.
God bless!

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Day 5: Hosea 3

So today's chapter is.............. Hosea 3. and it's such an awesome chapter of the Bible that it's awesome.

Once again, Hosea's relationship with his wife is parallel to God's relationship with Israel. So God tells Hosea that he should show love to his wife "as the Lord loves the Israelites, though they turn to other gods and love the sacred raisin cakes."

First of all- sacred raisin cakes. That's just plain awesome. Raisin cakes?! .... as it turns out, they were a form of sacrifice to their fake Gods. But still... raisin cakes. That's just awesome. But scarily enough, I'm sure I have my own "raisin cakes" that I love that are just idiotic. Now I have to wonder.... what do I love that's just super duper idiotic?

Second of all- God's love is so unbelievably awesome. (today's word of the day appears to be awesome) He loves them even though they just abandon him!

So, God has Hosea show love to his wife again and buy her back as she was an adulteress (though it cost him quite a bit) even though she was disobeying and betraying him in pretty much... everything.

Hosea then writes that though the Israelites will go through a pretty rough time for a long time, they will eventually come back and seek God and come trembling to the Lord. This is referring to when Jesus comes as the Messiah and the "David their king" (as Jesus is a descendent of David). Pretty cool how it worked out exactly that way, eh?

Therefore, here are my points to myself today.

  • What are my raisin cakes? (wow that's really weird out of context....)
  • Remember that even when we go through tough times, we always come back to God and seek him (sometimes without knowing it) and whether we come trembling or not... he accepts us. We can depend on him with our hearts and lives.
Commentary here: http://www.christnotes.org/commentary.php?com=wes&b=28&c=3

God bless!

Day 4: Hosea 1

Hosea 1. I can easily say it is one of the most head-scratching, confusing, "what is going on?!!", "what is God doing?" chapters of the Bible-- at first glance. But- after digging a little deeper via online commentaries.... (and those little footnotes on the bottom of your Bible- they're helpful!), I got a little more understanding than before.

God tells Hosea to marry an adulterous wife, have children and name them these odd names according to what's going to happen in Israel next. There's Jezreel: which describes how the current house of rulers was going to be punished for a massacre at Jezreel; there's Lo-Ruhamah: which means not pitied/love, which refers to how God wasn't going to show pity to Israel anymore; and then there's Lo-Ammi, which means not my people, which refers to how God doesn't think of the Israelites as his people anymore.

However, after each of the last two statements, God tells Hosea how he's going to resolve the problem. (i'll let you read it because it's awesome.) The last verse in Hosea 1 says, "The people of Judah and the people of Israel will be reunited, and they will appoint one great leaders and will come up out of the land, for great will be the day of Jezreel." This verse kind of shows the hope and future deliverance the Israelites have (if you want a detailed explanation of this passage click here.

This passage was assigned to me with the theme of "Obedience in a difficult calling." Imagine being called to be a prophet of God and having to do what Hosea did. That would be slightly difficult for me. But we are obedient because we have the hope and knowledge that God has a plan and loves us no matter what we've done and no matter what terrible storms we are going through. A friend told me recently that the time that we hear God the most is often in our storms. Storms can strip us of everything that we depend upon on this earth so that the last thing we have to hold onto is God. So even in our storms, we can still be obedient to God as we know that we are being tempered and that God uses storms to change us. So yes. Go read Hosea 1 and be confused and study it, for it is good for you. God bless!

P.S. Random thought- I keep on having this reoccurring nightmare that I accidentally put the wrong day of the challenge down: i.e. Day 1, Day 2, Day 5....

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Day 3: Daniel 1

So: I just read Daniel 1. and I have to say it's pretty cool.

In Daniel 1, Jerusalem is defeated and many men, including Daniel and some of his friends, are taken as a type of servant for the king. As a result, Daniel and his friends are taught in Babylon's classes and at first, are fed the king's food. However, the food and wine were unclean to Daniel and his friends, so Daniel asked their guard if they could eat vegetables and water instead of meat and wine for ten days, and if they were healthier,  Daniel could still eat his clean food. After 10 days, Daniel and his friends were much healthier than the other men, and eventually became some of the wisest men in Babylon.

This is really cool to me because it shows how God can fulfill some of the least-likely seeming situations to work to his advantage. It's always great to remember that God has a great plan, and that all things are possible through him. God bless!

Friday, November 11, 2011

Day 2: the old chapter.

11/9/11 (ish.....)

Alright, I know this is a day or two late, but still, this chapter of the Bible is so cool. and I used to just classify it in the "useless" part of the Bible (though there is no such thing.)

Zechariah 7.

Zechariah is a prophet from 520-518 B.C., but a lot of his writing is very applicable to today. Today I tried using the method SPECK (Sins to Avoid, Promises to Claim, Examples to Follow, Commands to Obey, and Knowledge from God), but I think another method would have worked better for me today, as a lot of them I couldn't really fill in. So instead, here's a bit on why I think this passage is awesome.


In Zechariah 7, the priests of God are asked whether they should "mourn and fast in the fifth month" as they had done in many years before. However, God says instead of doing that, they should "Administer true justice; show mercy and compassion to one another. Do not oppress the widow or the fatherless, the alien or the poor. In your hearts do not think evil of each other." Unfortunately, the people of Israel just harden their hearts towards God's message. I feel like this often relates to the modern church. At church, we (including myself) often just think of the problems and people within the church and how to deal with them. Though this isn't wrong (there are countless "one another" commands in the Bible), we also have a calling to love the outcasts, the broken, and hurting. Doing this command can range from loving the "not-so-cool" people at lunch to serving others on a missions trip! For me, I feel like I can show love to both people at my school and just other random people in my life. Hopefully God can help me out with that.

Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Construction....

Hey all!
Sorry- tonight was a little crazy and I didn't get to finish my blog post- 2 shall be coming tomorrow! God bless!

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

Day 1: 1 John 3

So, this morning I woke up early (after multiple times of ignoring my alarm), and after getting my breakfast, started reading 1 John 3. At first, I was very tempted to switch chapters as I had almost no idea what he was talking about! But, after rereading a few times, and referencing a commentary that Brandon was so kind to give me, I started to understand a little more than before. To read and try to digest this passage a bit more, I used a Bible reading method from my youth group called OPA- Observations, Principles, and Actions. Here goes.

Observations
First of all- isn't it amazing how we're God's children?? When one really thinks about it, the word children  means so much more than just someone's kids. It's someone who is taken care of, led, valued, and loved beyond comprehension. We're that to none other than God. I'd have to say that's rather cool.

Now, in my opinion at least, there are multiple rather confusing things in this chapter- I had to look them up in the commentary. Among them are verses 3, 6, 10, and 15. So in case anyone has some questions on those, here's what I learned this morning about those verses.

In verse three, he talks about a hope that helps us to purify ourselves. He's referencing the previous verse, in that when Jesus comes, he's going to make it so we're like him. As that's amazing beyond belief, that's very good motivation for us to "purify [our]selves."

In verse 6, the Bible says no one who lives in God continues to sin. At first, I thought this was saying that we don't sin after we are saved. As I know that to do that is impossible (for me, at least), I was curious and looked it up in the commentary. As it turns out, it means that no one who lives in God lives in sin- meaning that his/her life isn't devoted to sin. For example, if someone was saved but continued to live the same reckless lifestyle, would you believe him?

Verse 10: The "doing what is right" part is kinda like verse 6. The brother and sister part I'll talk about in....

Verse 15. The awesome and amazing part of Christianity that drew me into it is community. As Christians, we can have community and fellowship with any Christian we meet. One time, I was on a flight back home. I had pulled out my Bible and started reading it as I noticed a woman next to me was reading another Christian book. We eventually had an amazing conversation about God and church on the ride home, and the amazing parts were, a.) we had never met before, and b.) there was a clear gap in age! but we could still have fellowship. So here, the Bible is saying that one can't be a Christian and hate his/her brothers and sisters. About the murderer: as God died for every sin, if the murderer came to be saved afterwards, he would be forgiven. Obviously if he continued to murder, then I would ask if he actually was a Christian or not.

Principles:

God is everything that is good and perfect, while Satan is everything that is evil and bad. Jesus came to destroy the evil of Satan. Unfortunately, Satan is still present in our world today until Jesus comes again and Satan is judged. The sad part is, today many people blame God for things that are bad and wonder, "why would a loving God let these evil things happen?" God gave us free will, and as Adam and Eve chose to eat the fruit that God said not to, sin entered the world. Jesus came to pay the penalty, but until He comes again, there is still sin in the world... and therefore evil.

Actions.
These vary from person to person depending on what one needs to work on. For me....

Don't continue to live in sin! There are certain habits I need to drop such as laziness, bad attitudes, and judging. with God's help hopefully I can change those.

Also, I need to love my brothers and sisters. As 1 John 3:18 says, "Dear children, let us not love with words or speech but with actions and in truth." For me, I need to take time to genuinely care for others in actually taking the time to listen, talk, pray, and try to help me brothers and sisters.





So... that was just a part of what I learned today. Forgive me- I'm still trying to figure out how to put Bible reading stuff in a blog type thing. I really do need to emphasize this though: I'm a human and imperfect teenager who really doesn't know that much. So I can be wrong in many points. So feel free to correct me, comment with what you think, or even ask questions! I'll try my best to correct and answer things. So.... God bless!

A Challenge.

Last year, I went on a missions trip to the Dominican Republic that changed my life. I witnessed hundreds of poor children who had so little... yet they were the happiest children I have ever seen. They had the most inexplicable joy- the type of joy that Paul talks about in Philippians 4:7, the "...peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Jesus Christ." Paul talks about how he learned to be content no matter what was going on with him: depending in God. Yes, in. To me, depending in God means that one should draw on Him for everything in every situation. While you read the rest of this, you should listen to a song that talks about this right here: Everything

As time went on, a few months after my missions trip, I started to lose the attitude and the passion I had gained from the DR. I forgot about how the kids were always joyous though they lived in houses the size of my room, houses that had no electricity, no plumbing, and no reliable source of food. My attitude changed back into a dissatisfied, selfish attitude (though I'm not saying I was perfect after the missions trip... far from it.) The problem, was I didn't really notice that I was losing the effect of the experience until the missions trip was just a memory to me. The memory of the kids who had achieved Paul's secret started to fade.

As I thought about this, I realized that I am still far from achieving this secret: I am often dissatisfied with the many possessions I have, my situations in life, and small bits of work I have to do. I am living as a somewhat strong Christian who isn't growing or acting in faith. Therefore, for the next 30 days, I'm going to devote more of my time to focusing more on God, reading his Word, and trying to live for Him and in Him everyday. I'll be praying for God to change me into who He wants me to be-- whatever that is. Everyday, I'll try to post what I read and what I observe and notice and hopefully act upon. If you, as my reader, would like to suggest a passage for me to read (or even join the challenge), that would be sweet. Thank you! God bless!