Monday, November 19, 2012

Thanks for – Wait, what are you doing?! That’s mine!!!

In my last post, I said that I would begin the first points of the “Real Man” and “Real Woman” lists from The Rebelution.  However, I didn’t realize at the time that my next post would fall just before Thanksgiving!  Being that Thanksgiving is an important topic (let alone holiday), I will save my intended post for next week.  You can find the links to the “Real Man” and “Real Woman” pages at the bottom of my last post.  (I may also be putting both of those in the “Some Awesome Links!” page of the blog.)

This past Sunday, my pastor spoke on Thanksgiving (as would be typical for the Sunday before Thanksgiving, I suppose.)  He chose however to not speak about the holiday, but instead simply about the word: Thanksgiving.  We can many times get caught up in the celebration of a day instead of actually celebrating it for the reason it was meant to be celebrated.  Sometimes though, having a day given to a certain celebration can cause us to not celebrate it the other 364 days of the year.  Think about Christmas.  It’s a wonderful time to celebrate the birth of Christ, but if you were to have “Joy to the World” playing in your car in the middle of May, people might think you’re a tad crazy.  In fact, it almost seems wrong to celebrate the birth of Christ outside of the winter season.  This can sometimes be the case for Thanksgiving, sadly.  We spend the day being thankful for what we have and forget to thank God all the other times he blesses us.  (It doesn’t help that the day after Thanksgiving we spend fighting each other to get more stuff.)  If someone were to give you a gift every week, would you simply thank them once a year?  Of course not!  We would be thankful each time.  The same is true with God, except he doesn’t just bless us each week; He blesses us every single day!

Sometimes, though, the way we thank God on Thanksgiving can sometimes be selfish in its own way.  One point that my pastor made in his message was, “Sometimes we allow ‘counting our blessings’ to dissolve into ‘counting on our blessings’.”  When I thank God for His blessings, I have to watch out for how I do so.  If I only thank Him for my belongings, it can evolve into unintentionally thanking Him for blessing me with more than someone else, thus comparing myself to others.  This isn’t the way God intended us to thank Him.  It’s perfectly fine to thank God for what we have, but He’s given us so much more than material things.  He’s given us family, friends, and even subtle blessings in our everyday life.  These are the things for which I am most thankful.

What are you most thankful for?  A job?  A friend?  A recent blessing?  Share a comment below:

Saturday, November 10, 2012

"Male and female, he created them" - Genesis 1:27b

                It’s been over two weeks since my last blog post.  A lot has happened since the end of October.  First of all, I broke my finger.  After letting it heal in the wrong position for almost two weeks, I had to get surgery.  Now I have a cast over my right hand and am forced to type left-handed.  As you can imagine, this makes it very slow.  Another thing that happened is that I was blessed to be able to give a five-minute “children’s message” at my church last Sunday.  It was a great experience and I was able to speak about the importance of willingly binding ourselves to Jesus Christ, using a pair of handcuffs to illustrate my message.  Finally, on the 24th of October, I turned 16.  No, I haven’t gotten my driver's permit yet.  I still have some studying to do.  There are many things I look forward to now that I’m sixteen.  Getting my permit and a job are definitely among those things.  More recently I’ve been thinking about what’s most important in my life.  Scouts has been a huge portion of my life in these past few years, but as I’ve grown in Christ more, it’s become less important to me.  I still think scouts is a great thing, but I praise God that he’s been growing in me the desire to serve Him more instead of getting caught up in things that don't have eternal value. 

                I’m very thankful that one of my favorite blogs, The Rebelution, has begun to write new things.  One of the pages I found while searching the site caught my attention.  It was called, "Teen Girls Define 'A Real Man'".  It lists several different points that make up what a man of God looks like, along with scripture to back them up.  Reading over the points was very humbling, and showed me many different ways in which I can grow as a man.  In my next few posts, I hope to go over these points.  However, there are also points of what a “real woman” looks like, so I will try to compare the points of both in their own separate ways.  Guys and girls are completely different; created by God to do different things.  That’s why you can’t have a definition of a “real person”.  God made us to be men (and women) after His heart, which is why I appreciate that the lists were made separately under the careful thought and prayer of Christ-minded teens.  In my next post I will get into the first points of the lists.  The links to the two lists are: Teen Girls Define "A Real Man” and Teens Define "A Real Woman"
                Well, I think that’s enough left-handed typing for one day.  His blessings,