12/31/08

Sin, Prayers, and Blessings - Purchased

Michelle gave me a devotional for Christmas and it has been a great blessing. It is Holiness Day by Day: Transformational Thoughts for Your Spiritual Journey by Jerry Bridges. I read about something yesterday that threw some more insight into the sacrifice of Christ on the cross:

One of the best kept secrets among Christians today is this: Jesus paid it all. I mean all. He not only purchased your forgiveness of sins and your ticket to heaven, He purchased every blessing and every answer to prayer you will ever receive. Every one of them - no exceptions (p.14).

I always thought of Christ just purchasing my soul from hell, which is most definitely true, but it is amazing to think that he purchased every prayer and blessing. What a great King!

12/30/08

It's Almost Like Stealing

So out of nowhere my brother was like, "Yo KC, lets go to Sports Chalet. They have a sale." So I agreed to roll with him. And well, I got some deals:

New Balance Fitness shoes - $85.00 - I got them for $5.00 (I am giving these to Michelle's dad).

Born casual shoes - $75.00 - I got them for $10.00 (Nice leather, they smell good!)

Salomon hiking shoes - $85.00 - I got them for $2.50 (that's like 97% off!).

Total retail cost: $245
What I paid: $17.50
Getting ridiculous deals: priceless (well not literally, but almost!).

Rape or Recant

Egyptian police torture and beat believer in attempt to force her reconversion:

Egypt (MNN) ― A report by ASSIST News Service states that while attempting to escape ongoing persecution in Egypt, a Muslim convert was raped and tortured.

Martha Samuel, an Egyptian Muslim who converted to Christianity five years ago, was arrested at the Cairo airport as she was leaving for Russia with her family. Police have promised to release her if she returns to Islam.

In a story covered by the Assyrian International News Agency (AINA), the Egypt for Christ ministry reports that police officers sexually assaulted Samuel both at the National Security office in Heliopolis and at the El-Nozha police station. In a continued attempt to force her return to Islam, police also beat and tortured Samuel. According to AINA, Samuel's children, aged four and two years old, are being denied food to increase pressure on Samuel. Her husband has been taken to the National Security office in Alexandria.

AINA said that the family was trying to travel to Russia using a passport belonging to Samuel, whose former name is Zainab Said Abdel-Aziz. The passport was under Samuel's Christian name, which is on a list of people prohibited from leaving the country. Since converting five years ago, Samuel has undergone continued persecution by Egyptian police, and her own family has tried to murder her.


Let this be a great reminded of what others are doing for Christ in the different parts of the world. Oh Lord, strengthen our faith.

12/29/08

Kevin Clinton?

I have had a great time going to various Christmas parties and interacting with the various people that I met. One of the memories that sticks out the most is when I was at a party with many of Michelle's relatives. Her grandma only speaks Spanish and she started to talk about me, but I had not idea what she was saying. Everyone started to laugh and then they finally told me what she said: She thought that I looked like Bill Clinton!. It was extremely funny. Evidently, this was supposed to be a great compliment; it meant that I am a good looking white male!

You be the judge. Any resemblance? Let me know!


Even if it's not true, I'll take a compliment when I can get one!

12/26/08

What Won't Be in Heaven

Be blessed by "What Won't Be in Heaven," by Randy Alcorn:

What Won't Be in Heaven? No death, no suffering. No funeral homes, abortion clinics, or psychiatric wards. No rape, missing children, or drug rehabilitation centers. No bigotry, no muggings or killings. No worry or depression or economic downturns. No wars, no unemployment. No anguish over failure and miscommunication. No con men. No locks. No death. No mourning. No pain. No boredom.

No arthritis, no handicaps, no cancer, no taxes, no bills, no computer crashes, no weeds, no bombs, no drunkenness, no traffic jams and accidents, no septic-tank backups. No mental illness. No unwanted e-mails.

Close friendships but no cliques, laughter but no put-downs. Intimacy, but no temptation to immorality. No hidden agendas, no backroom deals, no betrayals.

Imagine mealtimes full of stories, laughter, and joy, without fear of insensitivity, inappropriate behavior, anger, gossip, lust, jealousy, hurt feelings, or anything that eclipses joy. That will be Heaven.

There won’t be churches or temples in the new universe, not because they’re bad, but because they won’t be necessary. We won’t need to be drawn into God’s presence. We’ll live there, constantly and consciously. We’ll thank God profoundly, and worship and praise him together, whether we’re working in a garden, singing, riding bikes, or drinking coffee (no reason to think there won’t be coffee trees on the New Earth).

Jesus said, “Blessed are you who hunger now, for you will be satisfied. Blessed are you who weep now, for you will laugh. Blessed are you when men hate you, when they exclude you and insult you. . . . Rejoice in that day and leap for joy, because great is your reward in heaven” (Luke 6:21-23).

No one will go hungry, and all will be satisfied. No one will weep, everyone will laugh. That is the promise of Jesus. Count on it.




12/25/08

Give yourself

With all the gift giving during this year, make sure that you give the best gift of all: yourself.
"I appeal to you therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship" (Romans 12:1).
Michelle and I are having a wonderful time during this Christmas break where we are both off of school. It is great to reflect with the entire body of Christ on the truth of the Incarnation of Christ. Merry "Christ-sent", or "Christmas."

12/24/08

Christ Was Sent

"Christmas" means "Christ sent," and that is exactly what we are celebrating: that Christ was sent to the earth to drink the cup of the Father's wrath so we could drink the cup of living water.

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we have seen his glory, glory as of the only Son from the Father, full of grace and truth" (John 1:14).


Henry Morris said, "In that tiny cell in Mary's womb resided all the information not only for Christ's own growth into manhood, but also for the creation, preservation, and redemption of the whole creation."

Wow.

Let us remember that the incarnation (God taking on human nature, becoming fully God and man) did not start at the birth but at the time when Mary first become pregnant. The fact of Jesus being in the womb is a wonderful mystery.

Focus on the incarnation.


Be blessed by B.J. Hoff's poem:

The first time He came,
He came gently on a starlit night,
In a silent hush with no fanfare…


But when HE comes again,
The earth will shake, the stars will fall,
As the trumpets of Heaven
Announce his presence…


The first time He came,
He was ignored and scorned,
despised and rejected and tortured…


But when HE comes again,
All nations will gather to kneel
Before, Him, declaring His glory
And singing His praise…


The first time He came,
He hung on a rugged cross in shame,
Betrayed by His own, to die as a thief


But when He comes again,
He will sit on His throne,
As the universe shouts
In triumphant joy…
And crowns Him everlasting
King of kings and Lord of lords…

12/23/08

A Disturbing Christmas

The following blog is so good that I had to repost it myself. It is taken from C.J. Mahaney's blog. Please take the time to read this short blog and the news article it contains. It reflects my heart, making me say "Amen!"

"During this time of year, it may be easy to forget that the bigger purpose behind Bethlehem was Calvary. But the purpose of the manger was realized in the horrors of the cross. The purpose of his birth was his death.

Or to put it more personally: Christmas is necessary because I am a sinner. The incarnation reminds us of our desperate condition before a holy God.

Several years ago WORLD Magazine published a column by William H. Smith with the provocative title, 'Christmas is disturbing: Any real understanding of the Christmas messages will disturb anyone' (Dec. 26, 1992)."

In part, Smith wrote:
Many people who otherwise ignore God and the church have some religious feeling, or feel they ought to, at this time of the year. So they make their way to a church service or Christmas program. And when they go, they come away feeling vaguely warmed or at least better for having gone, but not disturbed.
Why aren’t people disturbed by Christmas? One reason is our tendency to sanitize the birth narratives. We romanticize the story of Mary and Joseph rather than deal with the painful dilemma they faced when the Lord chose Mary to be the virgin who would conceive her child by the power of the Holy Spirit. We beautify the birth scene, not coming to terms with the stench of the stable, the poverty of the parents, the hostility of Herod. Don’t miss my point. There is something truly comforting and warming about the Christmas story, but it comes from understanding the reality, not from denying it.

Most of us also have not come to terms with the baby in the manger. We sing, “Glory to the newborn King.” But do we truly recognize that the baby lying in the manger is appointed by God to be the King, to be either the Savior or Judge of all people? He is a most threatening person.

Malachi foresaw his coming and said, “But who can endure the day of his coming? Who can stand when he appears? For he is like a refiner’s fire or a launderer’s soap.” As long as we can keep him in the manger, and feel the sentimental feelings we have for babies, Jesus doesn’t disturb us. But once we understand that his coming means for every one of us either salvation or condemnation, he disturbs us deeply.

What should be just as disturbing is the awful work Christ had to do to accomplish the salvation of his people. Yet his very name, Jesus, testifies to us of that work.

That baby was born so that “he who had no sin” would become “sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” The baby’s destiny from the moment of his conception was hell—hell in the place of sinners. When I look into the manger, I come away shaken as I realize again that he was born to pay the unbearable penalty for my sins.

That’s the message of Christmas: God reconciled the world to himself through Christ, man’s sin has alienated him from God, and man’s reconciliation with God is possible only through faith in Christ…Christmas is disturbing.
"Don’t get me wrong—Christmas should be a wonderful celebration. Properly understood, the message of Christmas confronts before it comforts, it disturbs before it delights.

The purpose of Christ’s birth was to live a sinless life, suffer as our substitute on the cross, satisfy the wrath of God, defeat death, and secure our forgiveness and salvation.

Christmas is about God the Father (the offended party) taking the initiative to send his only begotten son to offer his life as the atoning sacrifice for our sins, so that we might be forgiven for our many sins.

As Smith so fitly concludes his column:
Only those who have been profoundly disturbed to the point of deep repentance are able to receive the tidings of comfort, peace, and joy that Christmas proclaims.

Amen and Merry Christmas!"


Let us share the truth and reality of the incarnation, not a warm and fuzzy American Christmas version.

12/22/08

2 in 1

Two random things in one blog!

I received this e-mail from the online traffic school that I went to in order to clear up a ticket. I thought it was really funny:

Dear Kevin,

The holidays are a special time of year for everybody... Especially law enforcement!

While you're enjoying spending time with loved ones, the police are out in full force making sure that our roadways are safe. Unfortunately, they're also handing out tickets more often than at any other time of year.
If you're one of the unlucky many who happens to get a ticket this holiday season, don't worry GoToTrafficSchool has got you covered!
Enter special discount code HOLIDAY during your online registration and get $2 off our already low priced course.


haha, Merry Christmas, and just in case you get a ticket, here is $2 off. lol


Also, I went to Chick-fil-A today and used a coupon, and they were so nice to give me a free coupon for a milkshake! Sweet! I have used so many free coupons at Chick-fil-A it is almost ridiculous, lol. Gotta support them, they always hook it up!

12/21/08

Santa or Savior?

Sadly, many Christians are mixing Santa with Savior. I find it difficult to combine the two. Santa is so typical of America: tell your children a lie that they will believe for years, yet try to teach them morality by telling them not to lie. Is Jesus really the reason for the season? Don't let your Christmas be like the following pictures. These are absolutely horrible:

12/15/08

It's about time I show this.

Please, watch this short video and let it change your heart about giving during this Christmas season. Don't be consumed by consumerism.




“Consumered By Consumerism”

Get this and get that.

Eat, drink, and gain fat.

More and more

You’ll return to the store,

Build up your credit

And abuse your debit

Trying to create joy

With a worthless toy.

False giving, true receiving

Already bored on Christmas evening.

Fake commercialized love

Not focused on things above,

A Christless Christmas

Turned into a consumer’s business.

Focused on worthless things

Instead of praise to the King of kings.


12/14/08

Farmer KC

I am house sitting this weekend for Phil's family. They live in Norco and practically have a farm! I am taking care of 3 horses, 3 dogs, 1 goat, and 1 cat. Whew. This city boy is becomin' a farmer!

12/11/08

Job

Please watch this short video. It gives a beautiful illustration to the story of Job. As I just posted a blog about a modern day Job, I am reminded of the actual pain that Job went through.



12/9/08

Modern Day Job

Below is an e-mail that I received from Pastor Ralph Arthur. I read it and was shocked because I saw the news headline for it earlier but never knew that this horrible situation happened to a brother in Christ. Please read for this is definitely a modern day example of Job.

Chaplain for San Diego County Medical Examiner:

“Please pray for Mr. Yoon who lost his entire family and every earthly possession in his life today in a moment’s time. His wife, mother-in-law (who recently arrived from Korea to assist with the baby), one month old baby and toddler were all killed as they were in their house as an F-18 completely destroyed it and the house next door. Mr. Yoon is a man of faith and desperately needs our prayers for comfort from the only One that can provide it. He will not be able to have a viewing to say goodbye due to the damage from the fire. His pastor was on the way as we left him last night and he does have family he will stay with in Chula Vista .

Joe Davis

Chaplain

San Diego County Medical Examiner


The following is from Yahoo News:

The Marine Corps fighter plane was returning from an offshore training mission when it clipped a tree and slammed into homes about two miles from Miramar. Two homes were incinerated, and three others were damaged. Three generations of a Korean family died in one home.

The family's pastor, the Rev. Kevin Le e of the Korean United Methodist Church in San Diego, identified three of them as Young Mi Yoon, 36; her 2-month-old daughter, Rachel; and her mother, Suk Im Kim, 60, who was visiting from South Korea to help care for her daughter's newborn.

The body of 15-month-old Grace Yoon, Rachel's sister, was found in the home Tuesday, Fire Department spokesman Maurice Luque said. No one else remained missing.

Young Mi Yoon's widower defended the pilot Tuesday.

"I don't have any hard feelings," Dong Yun Yoon, 37, told reporters near the rubble where his home once stood. "I know he did everything he could."

Dong Yun Yoon, who left Korea in 1989 and became a U.S. citizen, wondered aloud how he would persevere after losing his family.

"Please tell me how to do it," he said, surrounded by his pastor, sister, brother and church members. "I don't know what to do."



This is a modern day Job. Man, this is crazy. A marine fighter plane crashes into his house and kills three generations worth of his family. Everything and everyone is gone in a second. What if this happened to you? To me? What would we do? The only answer can be found in having the Lord. He is the only one who can get Dong Yun Yoon, a 37 year old man, through this horrible time. We need to pray for this man because he has literally lost everything. Just at the Lord did for Job, may he restore for Yoon everything in abundance.

This is a time where this verse seems to really stick out:

Whom have I in heaven but You? And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You. My flesh and my heart fail; But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

Psalm 73:25-26




12/8/08

H.S. Christmas Dinner

We had our high school leadership Christmas dinner last Saturday. We had a great time feasting down on some El Pollo Loco, worship, the Word, a crazy gift exchange, and fellowship. You were either supposed to dress in black and read, or wear an old ugly Christmas sweater. So...I chose the sweater, too bad barely anyone else did!


12/7/08

That DAY Will Be Great!

This is such a great song that encourages me to think of the day when I will see Jesus face to face. Oh man, what a great day. Knowing that Jeremy's first wife died when she was 21 and he was 23, this song is very powerful. Be blessed and edified through this song and praise the King!


There Will Be A Day - Jeremy Camp

I try to hold on to this world
with everything I have
But I feel the weight of what it brings,
and the hurt that tries to grab
The many trials that seem to never end,
His word declares this truth,
that we will enter in this rest with wonders anew

But I hold on to this hope and
the promise that He brings
That there will be a place
with no more suffering

[Chorus]
There will be a day with no more tears,
no more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the
burdens of this place, will
be no more, we'll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we'll hold on to you always

I know the journey seems so long
You feel you´re walking on your own
But there has never been a step
Where you´ve walked out all alone

[Chorus]

Troubled soul don´t lose your heart
Cause joy and peace he brings
And the beauty that´s in store
Outweighs the hurt of life's sting

I can´t wait until that day
where the very one
I´ve lived for always will wipe
away the sorrow that I´ve faced
To touch the scars that rescued
me from a life of shame
and misery this is why this is why I sing

Great for Pastors

This is a great reminded as to what the purpose of the pulpit is. This is also encouraging for anyone who isn't a pastor that gets the opportunity to share small devotions.




12/6/08

Self-seeking

6 "He will render to each one according to his works: 7 to those who by patience in well-doing seek for glory and honor and immortality, he will give eternal life; 8 but for those who are self-seeking and do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness, there will be wrath and fury" (Romans 2:6-8, ESV).

There are only two types of people here, believers and non-believers.

Believers: seek for glory, honor, and immortality = given eternal life.

Non-believers: self-seeking (contentious), do not obey the truth, but obey unrighteousness = wrath and fury.


What alarms me is that one of the descriptions about the people who will receive wrath and fury is that they are self-seeking. It is extremely contrary to our society to not be self-seeking. This is something we must battle. Lord, help us!


  • Let nothing be done through selfish ambition or conceit, but in lowliness of mind let each esteem others better than himself. Let each of you look out not only for his own interests, but also for the interests of others" (Philippians 2:3-4).
  • "Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, leading to edification. 3 For even Christ did not please Himself; but as it is written, "The reproaches of those who reproached You fell on Me" (Romans 15:2).
  • "Let no one seek his own, but each one the other's well-being" (1 Cor 10:24).
  • "For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me" (John 6:38).

Let this not be a description of ourselves: "For all seek their own, not the things which are of Christ Jesus" Philippians 2:21).

12/3/08

It Came Quick!

As of today, Michelle and I have been together for a year and a half! Pretty crazy!
<3

12/1/08

Don't take the credit.

Throughout the book of Acts, Peter is always giving glory to God for the miracles that happened. It is always recorded that the people glorified and praised God, not Peter, for the things that were done. Acts 3-4 is a great example. It talks about how Peter healed a lame man.
  • "Men of Israel, why do you marvel at this? Or why look so intently at us, as though by our own power or godliness we had made this man walk?" (Acts 3:12).
  • "let it be known to you all, and to all the people of Israel, that by the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, whom you crucified, whom God raised from the dead, by Him this man stands here before you whole" (Acts 4:10)
  • So let us give the credit to the Lord when He does something, instead of robbing him of his glory.

11/29/08

Consumed by Consumerism

If you haven't heard yet, a Walmart employee was killed on "Black Friday." As the store opened the doors at 5:00am, the crowd rushed in and trampled the 34 year old man, killing him. How sad is that. A man's life is taken because some people wanted a good deal. America is CONSUMED BY CONSUMERISM!

It is extremely sad that a crowd like this would trample a man to death. As they stepped all over him they thought it would be more important to get a deal than to save a life. Horrible.

Watch this short video from the Associated Press about the worker at Walmart and also a shooting that took place in a Toys R Us:

Webcam

As part of Michelle's crazy laptop package, I got a webcam! Pretty cool yo. Now I can be like all you Mac people, even if it isn't as good. It was free! Like my new headband? It rocks.

Also, check out the first video that I made on Michelle's laptop:


11/28/08

Spent the entire day together. . . literally

So Michelle and I had a crazy day, or day(s). Long story short, we were the first in line at Office Max so Michelle could get a laptop. It was crazy!

For the full story click HERE

11/27/08

Thanks...giving

Well it is the one day were everyone openly participates in gluttony! . . . j/k. It was a blessing to take advantage of this holiday we call "Thanksgiving" even though it has been commercialized just like every other holiday we celebrate, by serving food to the hungry at Bryant park. Although there were a ton of volunteers from the church, it was still nice to serve the 5 or 6 plates of food and ask the Lord to bless the people receiving it. Don't worry, we just didn't hand food out, the gospel was presented as well.

We need to be thankful for his blessings, but are we living a lifestyle that demonstrates that? Am I living a lifestyle like that? Or do I just decide to be thankful once a year?

One way to be truly thankful is to remember the finished work of the cross of Christ and look forward to being with him forever in paradise.

On a side note, shouldn't our THANKS produce GIVING? You know...THANKSGIVING? And we should also thank the Lord for his giving: the giving of the son of God to endure the wrath of the Father for our sins, so that we might become his righteousness. Whew, amen!

11/24/08

False Intercession

I visited the San Juan Capistrano Mission around two years ago. I was looking back at the pictures and it made me remember how all the people were writing prayers down to this saint so that he could pray for them. It was heart breaking seeing how Jesus was being turned into a statue and how mere humans were being elevated. As others were writing their prayers in the prayer journal, I had to write something myself:


We have access to the throne! Not access to dead humans.

Interesting

Does it make sense that students are encouraged to heed the words of Confucius: "What you do not wish for yourself, do not do to others,” during morning announcements?

There is no way that Jesus would ever be able to be quoted during morning announcements at a public school even though that saying is most widely associated with him. You can apply the "Golden Rule" as long as Jesus isn't associated with it. Interesting.

Also, does it make sense to have several books in the library that contain the "F" word in the actual text. Those books are tolerated and yet the students get in trouble for saying the words that they are reading. Interesting.

11/23/08

RE -

The following is an except from one of Randy Alcorn's powerpoint presentations.


God has never given up on his original creation. An entire biblical vocabulary that makes this point clear. Each of these biblical words begins with the re- prefix, suggesting a return to an original condition that was ruined or lost.

Redemption: buying back what was formerly owned.
Reconciliation: regaining a friend.
Renewal: making new again, restoring to an original state.
Resurrection: becoming physically alive again, after death.
Regeneration: being born again, having a new beginning.
Restoration: bringing back the lost.

What a blessing our King is! What great provision He has!

11/21/08

Mercy and Comfort

"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort" (2 Cor 1:3).


"The God of all consolation. This most compassionate Father is the God, that is, the author, of all, that is, of all possible, consolation." —Barnes' Notes on the New Testament


Wow. The Father of MERCIES and the God of all COMFORT desires to show his mercy and comfort to ME, a sinner. Forever grateful.


This verse seems so simple but yet it is so profound. This verse will keep growing deeper and deeper; it is beautiful.

11/15/08

Democracy

With all the gay protesting going around, it is time to think about a few critical elements on this issue.

DEMOCRACY:

Government by popular representation; a form of government in which the supreme power is retained by the people, but is indirectly exercised through a system of representation and delegated authority periodically renewed; a constitutional representative government; a republic. The common people, considered as the primary source of political power; majority rule.

The people voted and the results came in. The protesters want freedom but they don't understand the foundation to the freedom in America: democracy.

Are the people who voted for McCain protesting the White House? Are the McCain supporters receiving "hate" since their wishes were not granted? No! The same way, homosexuals are not being hated on, nor are they being discriminated against. Majority rules.

Their rights are not being taken away. What will be next? Fathers wanting to marry their daughters? Should we allow anyone to do as they please? Men having multiple wives or people marrying their pets? Certainly not.

As you can see, democracy has been turned into "hate." What they call hate, in all reality, is actually fair.

http://www.latimes.com/media/photo/2008-11/43227418.jpg

11/13/08

Heaven

When you think about your future, is the primary thought about heaven or is it about your schooling, career, or family, or success? The main concern of our future should be about where we will spend eternity! For us believers, how come we don’t think about heaven very much? Is it because it is thought to be a place that all “good” people go to when they die? Is it some type of distant mystery? The bible teaches that it is a reality here in the present. If we would only read our bibles more and focus upon the reality of heaven, we wouldn’t set our hearts upon things down here, but would seek the imperishable things above.

The most important aspect about heaven is that Jesus will be there. The supreme desire of every believer should be to see their Lord. If that is not your ultimate motive, you need to analyze why you want to go to heaven. What if Jesus wasn’t there? Would you still want to go to heaven? John Piper says it best:
“Would you be happy in heaven if Christ were not there? The critical question for our generation—and for every generation— is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ were not there?

I agree with what D.L. Moody said, “What life on this earth is without health, life in heaven would be without the presence of God. God's presence will be the very light and life of the place.” When desiring to go to heaven, if the first and foremost motive of your heart does not involve God, then you have a wrong motive and a wrong view of God.

How Not To Get There:
A. By being a “good” person.
B. By purposely doing good deeds so you can earn your own way.
C. By having an internal belief with no external evidence.
D. By being baptized as a small infant or by saying a meaningless prayer.
E. By simply not wanting to go to hell; "fire insurance."

How To Get There:
A. By being in love with Jesus (1 Corinthians 16:22)
B. By having faith that produces external evidence (James 2:18).
C. Repenting (turning away from) sin and turning towards Jesus (Luke 13:3).

Simple Truths Regarding Heaven:
A. Death will not exist in heaven (Isaiah 25:8).
B. Only righteous people will enter heaven (Matthew 5:17-20).
C. Few people will enter heaven (Matthew 7:13-14).
D. Jesus is preparing heaven for his followers (John 14:2-3).
E. Our lives will not be complete until we enter heaven (2 Corinthians 5:2).
F. Heaven is much better than earth (Philippians 1:23).
G. Christians should look forward to heaven (Colossians 3:1-5).
H. Heaven is the home of righteousness (2 Peter 3:13).
I. God is the focus of attention in heaven (Revelation 7:17).
J. There will not be any sadness in heaven (Revelation 21:4).
K. People in heaven will walk with God (Revelation 22:5).

The Distant Future, Now:
A. We are to be heavenly minded (Colossians 3:3).
B. Our current citizenship is in heaven (Philippians 3:20).
C. We are pilgrims, sojourners, foreigners, and aliens to this earth (1 Peter 2:11).
D. Our live is but a vapor here on this earth (James 4:14). E. Everlasting life is occupied in this lifetime (John 3:36).

First and foremost, the main reason why heaven sounds so enticing to me is because Jesus will be there. What a marvelous joy it will be to see Him face to face. When I think about heaven, I am reminded of the classic song by Mercy Me, “I Can Only Imagine.”

I can only imagine
What it will be like
When I walk
By Your side
I can only imagine
What my eyes will see
When Your face
Is before me
I can only imagine
[Chorus]:
Surrounded by Your glory, what will my heart feel
Will I dance for You Jesus or in awe of You be still
Will I stand in Your presence or to my knees will I fall
Will I sing hallelujah, will I be able to speak at all
I can only imagine
I can only imagine
When that day comes
And I find myself
Standing in the Son
I can only imagine
When all I will do
Is forever
Forever worship You
I can only imagine


Being Heavenly Minded

Our life will be more focused as we fix out thoughts, time, energy, money, etc., upon the future instead of the present. We will not squander this life and let it pass us by when we focus upon the eternal. If we were going to be moving to a new location here upon this earth, we would research the new area and find out all the information about it. We need to do the same for our eternal destiny, but with much more urgency and priority.

"Do not lay up for yourselves treasures on earth, where moth and rust destroy and where thieves break in and steal; but lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust destroys and where thieves do not break in and steal. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also” (Matthew 6:19-21).

We must not focus upon this materialistic life. Everything will pass away and the more we put aside the things of this world, the closer our mindset will be towards heaven. To prove this point, here is a great illustration by D.L. Moody:

When a man is going up in a balloon, he takes in sand as ballast, and when he wants to mount a little higher, he throws out some of it, and then he will mount a little higher; he throws out a little more ballast, and he mounts still higher; and the more he throws out the higher he gets, and so the more we have to throw out of the things of this world the nearer we get to God.

Everybody wants to enjoy heaven after they die, but sadly, they don't want to be heavenly minded while they live here in this present age.

Jesus said that He is preparing a place for us in heaven. Heaven is a prepared place for a prepared people. Here are a few examples that show how people are not ready:

• A little girl one day said to her mother, "Mamma, my Sunday-school teacher tells me that this world is only a place in which God lets us live a while, that we may prepare for a better world. But, mother, I do not see anybody preparing. I see you preparing to go into the country, and Aunt Eliza is preparing to come here; but I do not see anyone preparing to go there; why don't they try to get ready?"

• A certain gentleman in the South, before the war, had a pious slave, and when the master died they told him he had gone to heaven. The old slave shook his head, "I's 'fraid massa no gone there," he said. "But why, Ben?" he was asked. "Cos, when Massa go North, or go a journey to the Springs, he talk about it a long time, and get ready. I never hear him talk about going to heaven; never see him get ready to go there!"

So the question arises, are you prepared for heaven? Let the thought of heaven change our daily routines, our comforts in this life, and our view of people. Amen.



"Beyond the smiling and the weeping,
I shall be soon;
Beyond the waking and the sleeping,
Beyond the sowing and the reaping,
I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home!
Sweet Home!
Lord, tarry not, but come.
"Beyond the rising and the setting,
I shall be soon;
Beyond the calming and the fretting,
Beyond remembering and forgetting,
I shall be soon.
Love, rest, and home!
Sweet Hope!
Lord, tarry not, but come."

11/11/08

Just Jesus

After my class I knew that I needed to get gas. Of course I visited Michelle first to say hi, so I ended up getting gas at 11:00pm. I forgot which gas station it was, but it is on the corner of Adams and Indiana. As soon as I pulled in I thought, "I need to tell him (the cashier) about Jesus. So after debating it in my mind, I decided to. Why not? It was 11:00 at night and I was the only one anywhere near the gas station!

So I start talking to him and he had a heavy accent since he is from Egypt and speaks Arabic and has only been in the U.S. for a year and a half. So I talked to him about Jesus and he happened to be on the phone, and the guy who was on the phone was apparently a Christian because Isaac (the cashier) wanted me to talk to him.

The man on the phone said Jesus was the Savior. I said, "Yes! He is the King!" Then the man rebuked me and said, "No! He is the King of kings!" I laughed and then agreed with him. I realized that I can't always use my slogans when talking to others. So make sure you define your terms!

Ok ok, so whats your point KC?

So I asked the cashier what his religion was and he immediately pointed to his wrist. He had a tiny, faded tattoo of a cross. He said that he was a Christian. As I am standing there talking to his friend on the phone, the cashier walked out of the store and apparently went to his car. He brought in this giant necklace that was formed out of pictures of various saints and different pictures of Jesus and a cross was formed at the bottom of it. He named off some of his favorite saints and said that he was Orthodox.

My reasoning for posting this is because it saddens me that so many focus on mere humans rather than Jesus, such as Mary the mother of Jesus and various saints. He identified himself as a Christian by his small tattoo and by his necklace, rather than by Jesus. Since he couldn't understand me that well, I encouraged him to only focus upon Jesus and to read his word.

Earlier today I read this verse:
4
"But when the fullness of time had come, God sent forth his Son, born of woman, born under the law" Gal 4:4 (ESV).

Notice how Paul simply refers to Mary as a woman. She is not elevated or given special honor. Now I am not dishonoring her, what a blessed woman she was! But she is not to be elevated above her rightful place. Paul never hinted towards a "Hail Mary" or said, "God sent forth his Son, born of the blessed Virgin who makes intercession for us." No! He said "woman" showing her equality with all other humans.

Lets keep our eyes focused upon Jesus!

Wow...and He Loves ME!?!?!?

When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained, 4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

Psalm 8:3-4

Please watch this 3 minute video, you will be blessed!

It is amazing that I am so small and insignificant and yet the Lord's thoughts towards me are innumerable (more than all the sand in the world). Wow...

11/10/08

Pretty Sneaky!


I was taking an online test in the CBU library yesterday and Michelle came and secretly took a picture of me! She sent it to me later at night and I never knew that she was there.

She said: I took a peek when u were taking your test! You're so cute!

My babe is so sweet =)

Livin' it!

Please watch this very short video, you will be blessed!


What if we all lived like grandma Clara? Challenging for sure.

11/6/08

You're Preserved

As Jude is addressing his readers he says, "To those who are called, sanctified by God the Father, and preserved in Jesus Christ" (Jude 1).

As a Christian, you are:
  • Called
  • Sanctified
  • Preserved
Most Christians know that they are called and sanctified, but what a blessing it is to think that we are preserved in Christ. Preserved (tēreō) is to guard from loss or injury; properly by keeping the eye upon. What a great blessing that we are preserved, or kept, in Jesus Christ!

11/1/08

Beloved, Let Us Love One Another

34 A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another. 35 By this all will know that you are My disciples, if you have love for one another." John 13:34-35

We are called to both love the body of Christ and the lost. So many people within the body of Christ have disputes and tension with one another and it is horrible.

How can we love the lost if we can't even love the redeemed?

10/30/08

Be Ye Kind

My experience at CBU hasn't necessarily been the best due to transfer problems, bad professors, and discrimination against me participating in certain events because I am in the DCP (Degree Completion Program). Although, they do have a wonderful cafeteria!

BUT my favorite experience has to be every time I go to the bathroom...this sign makes me laugh every time!


10/28/08

By Your Side

"By Your Side" has ministered to me so many times. It has helped me get through some tough days. I just close my eyes and let the words minister to my heart. It is by Tenth Avenue North. You can listen to the song in the video below the lyrics.

Why are you striving these days
Why are you trying to earn grace
Why are you crying
Let me lift up your face
Just don't turn away

Why are you looking for love
Why are you still searching as if I'm not enough
To where will you go child
Tell me where will you run
To where will you run

And I'll be by your side
Wherever you fall
In the dead of night
Whenever you call
And please don't fight
These hands that are holding you
My hands are holding you

Look at these hands and my side
They swallowed the grave on that night
When I drank the world's sin
So I could carry you in
And give you life
I want to give you life

(Chorus 2x)

Cause I, I love you
I want you to know
That I, I love you
I'll never let you go

(Chorus 2x)




10/26/08

Nominalism in the Church


John Piper talks about Christian nominalism. This is a great video that is very short. Please check it out.


Nominalism: The doctrine holding that abstract concepts, general terms, or universals have no independent existence but exist only as names.


People want to receive Jesus as sin forgiver because they like being guilt free, rescuer from hell because they don’t want to burn, healer because they want to be disease free, protector because they want to be safe, and prosperity giver because they want money.


People want heaven but they wouldn’t mind if Jesus wasn’t there. They want to go to heaven without being heavenly minded here on earth.


I always like to share1 Corinthians 16:22: “If anyone does not love the Lord Jesus Christ, let him be accursed.”


One must love Jesus to go to heaven.

10/25/08

What a Great Reminder

"If I speak in the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I am a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal. 2 And if I have prophetic powers, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have all faith, so as to remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing. 3 If I give away all I have, and if I deliver up my body to be burned, but have not love, I gain nothing" (1 Cor 13:1-3, ESV).

Nothing will be profitable unless it is done in love. This is a great reminder for me! No wonder Jesus told us to love God with all that we are and to love our neighbors as ourselves, because nothing will be gained unless it is done in love.

What love is: patient, kind, and it rejoices with truth. It bears, believes, hopes, and endures all things; it never ends.

What love is not: envious, boastful, arrogant, or rude. It does not seek its own, it is not irritable or resentful, and it does not rejoice at wrongdoing.

In order to know love we must know God, because "God is love" (1 John 4:8).

The only way we can act in love is if we are in love with the King!

10/24/08

CTA...GAY?

We truly live in a crazy society. Since I work for the CNUSD and I am taking classes at CBU on education, I am learning that the school district in California is messed up! Did you know the California Teachers Association (CTA) sent $1 million of union dues in order to campaign against Prop. 8? There have been so many teachers that have been fired due to a "lack of funds." Obviously there isn't a lack of funds if the CTA can donate $1 million to support gay marriage. Many teachers that do not support Prop. 8 are angry because the CTA is using their money in this campaign. The sad thing is, I work at a public school and I haven't even heard about this, but I am thankful that my father did. There is only one word that comes to mind when thinking about this: corruption.

10/21/08

Joseph or Jesus?

The following is taken from the Mormon Research Ministry (mrm.org). It is a quiz that is offered to Mormons in order to help them understand that they make extreme statements about Joseph Smith. Upon first reading it, Mormons would say that the correct answer to each question is Jesus. Although, each quote is specifically talking about Joseph Smith. The intention of this post is to help us contend for the faith and share the true Jesus with those of the Mormon faith; to point away from Joseph Smith and lead them to the deity of Christ.
  1. His teachings "are the foundation of our faith. Everything we have is a lengthened shadow of [him]."
  2. "I pray we may learn from his example, that we might incorporate into our lives the great principles which he so beautifully taught; that we ourselves might emulate him;..."
  3. "I honor and revere [his] name... I delight to hear it; I love it. I love his doctrine... I am his witness."
  4. "He died for those he loved. He reigns in the realms above."
  5. "The more I learn of him, the more I love and revere him."
  6. "I look to him. I love him. I seek to follow him."
  7. "He not only gave us joy, happiness and opportunity here, but also a great hope in the life to come."
  8. "Today, this Sabbath day, in many thousands of congregations, perhaps as many as twenty-one thousand, in many areas of the earth, our people have sung or will sing the praises of [him]."
  9. "Of noble seed, of heavenly birth, he came to bless the sons of earth."
  10. He was "a man of sorrows and acquainted with grief."
  11. "Church members are interested in learning more about [him] because they love him and they love the gospel he brought forth."
  12. "How great indeed is our debt to him. ...Great is his glory,... We stand in reverence before him... Let us not forget him. Let not his memory be forgotten in the celebration of Christmas."
  13. "...and he shall stand in due time on the earth, in the flesh, and fulfill that to which he is appointed."
  14. "The light, provided to the world by [him], illuminates the confusion, clarifies the principles of the gospel, and helps lead men and women to their own eternal reward, if they will but endure to the end."
  15. The "work that has been carried out by President Young and his brethren [of the Twelve] has been in accordance with the plans, and designs, and Spirit, and instructions of [him]."
If you would like to see the sources for all these quotes, click here: sources

10/20/08

"Glory!"

Psalm 29:9 (ESV)

The voice of the Lord makes the deer give birth
and strips the forests bare,
and in his temple all cry, “Glory!”
Psalms 29:9

Wow. We are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Corinthians 6:19), so shouldn't everything in us cry out "Glory!" to the Lord just as everyone, or all, did in Psalm 29? Shouldn't every single thing we do be crying out "Glory!" to the Lord? Oh Lord, help us.

God is most glorified in you when you are most satisfied in Him.


10/14/08

Persecution or Seduction?

Charles Spurgeon, writing 150 years ago, speaks poignantly to the problem in the church today: "I believe," he asserted, "that one reason why the church of God at this present moment has so little influence over the world is because the world has so much influence over the church."

Do Christians face persecution here in America? Most people would say no, but I disagree.
C.J. Mahaney believes that Christians aren't persecuted merely in a physical manner:

Today, the greatest challenge facing American evangelicals is not persecution from the world, but seduction by the world. Unlike so many of our Christian brothers and sisters who live in countries with oppressive regimes—where the church is flourishing, by the way—we in America don’t face imminent threat to our families, livelihoods, and well-being for professing faith in Christ. Our peril is far more obscure and far more insidious. We aren’t under attack from without; we’re decaying from within. Our success as ambassadors for Christ, as witnesses of the life-changing power of the gospel, hangs in the balance.

Our persecution is in the form of seduction from worldly lifestyles. As soldiers of Christ, let us stand up against the worldliness we face daily here in America. Let us neither be conformed to the world nor contaminated by it.

Inspired by the book Worldliness: Resisting the Seduction of a Fallen World, Edited by C.J. Mahaney.

10/12/08

The Prosperity Gospel

The Prosperity Gospel Promises Health and Wealth

Please watch this short video:


The Gospel (εὐαγγέλιον) means “Good News.” Sadly, many people think that the Good News is that they will be healed of all sickness, become rich, never struggle financially, and will live a prosperous life if they follow Jesus. They think that the Good News means that they will live the American ream! That is completely wrong! We need to be living in the Father’s will, not the American dream.

It is not about living “Your best life now” but about looking forward to your best life in heaven. If Jesus wanted to have his best life on this earth, he would not have drank the cup of the Father’s wrath that He asked to be passed from Him. He would not have gone to the cross to become sin for us. If Jesus lived by the “Your best life now” lifestyle, He would not have died on the cross and I would not be a Christian. So I am extremely thankful that He did not live that lifestyle, and we shouldn’t live it either!

The Good News is that we get to become children of God and not experience the wrath of God against our innumerable amount of sin. We don’t have to experience this wrath because Jesus experienced it for us. We get to have fellowship with the living God in the present age and when we get to heaven. It is glorious! The Good News is that we don’t get what we deserve, and we get what we don’t deserve. Jesus took the full penalty of sin upon his body on Calvary, died, and rose again on the third day,so that we may become children of God. That is the Good News

THE GOSPEL

Christians should tell others about the gospel (Matthew28:18-19)

The gospel’s message is for everyone (Luke 24:46-47)

People should respond to the gospel with faith (John 1:12)

The gospel is powerful (Romans 1:16)

The gospel of Jesus (1 Corinthians15:1-5)

Believing the gospel brings a change to life (1 Thessalonians1:4-5)

In his book Crazy Love, Francis Chan says: It is not scientific doubt, not atheism, not pantheism, not agnosticism, that in our day and in this land is likely to quench the light of the gospel. It is a proud, sensuous, selfish, luxurious, church-going, hollow-hearted prosperity.

Let us believe in the true gospel and not be fooled by this idea of prosperity.

10/6/08

Creative!

Just to show that I was thinking about Michelle while she was gone in Philadelphia, I decided to get creative with some play-doh and blocks while at work! All for her =)