Monday, August 29, 2011

If I Only Had a Brain

"It is better to keep your mouth closed and let people think you are a fool, than to open it and remove all doubt."
- Mark Twain

     You find yourself in a conversation about your Christian faith, your beliefs upon various subjects, etc. When all of a sudden the person you are with asks, "Why do you believe that?" Caught off guard you might timidly say, "Because the Bible says so." "Where?" He/ she counters.  And you freeze. Where does the Bible say that?

"Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have."
- 1 Peter 3:15 (NIV)

     The Bible tells us to always be prepared to give an answer for the reason we believe what we believe. God gave us a brain to think and reason with; we can't effectively be His ambassadors, if we don't take the time to learn about what and Who we are representing. Now obviously we are not going to have the answer to everything; sometimes we'll just have to say, "You know what, I don't know" (and that can be really hard to say). However, we need to study God's word and seek answers.

     Below are several suggestions to help you "renew your mind" and find answers.
               - As you are reading your Bible, and doing your devotions, keep a notebook by you. List the categories that you want to find verses on. Each time you find a verse, write it down.
              - Listen to theology podcasts (ask your parents or someone at church what they recommend).
               - Read theologically sound books

     By studying God's word and learning more about Him, the next time we encounter a conversation about our beliefs, we will be able to discuss our views intelligently and in a way that is glorifying to God. And who knows, maybe the answers we give can help bring someone to Christ. God gave us brains, it is time we used them for His glory.

"The mind of the wise instructs his mouth, and adds learning and persuasiveness to his lips."
- Proverbs 16:23 (AMP)

Monday, August 22, 2011

You Don't Define Me

"Put on the new self, which is being renewed in the image of its creator."
-  Colossians 3:10

     What are we reflecting? What/who do we turn to for our definition? Our culture has set up an image of what we are supposed to be like. We are told we have to act, think and dress a certain way. This is what we call expressing our individuality (although we're being like everyone else). But we aren't called to conform to the world's image; we are called to conform to God's image.


     This is a pretty hard task for all of us to tackle, especially when we are constantly told the exact opposite (e.g. you must watch this movie, everyone else is; you must look this way, everyone else does; you must do this, everyone else has). Plus, we are only human, reflecting God doesn't come easily to us. However, instead of being a reflection of the world, we should pray that God will help us to reflect Him. Our definition should be found in God.


     We can try to look for meaning elsewhere, but it will never satisfy us. One fad leads to another, and we are just left wanting more. So we may not watch what everyone else is; we may not look like super models; and we may not be cool. But God doesn't call us to be cool; He calls us to be faithful. It is time that we stood up, and looked at the image the world wants us to model and say, "You don't define me." We are created for so much more, than just to fit in. And we will never fulfill our calling, until we let God define us, and we put on the image of our Creator.


"Every one of us... is deeply longing for something on the inside... Every one of us is unhappy, and nothing can make us happy until we find God... God has made us so that we're not complete until He has His place in us."
- The Iron Lady (Gilbert Morris)

Tuesday, August 16, 2011

NOW AVAILABLE!!! The Adventures of Warp: The Dark Knight

     The Adventures of Warp: The Dark Knight is now available on Amazon.com and the CreateSpace eStore. For 20% off at the CreateSpace eStore use the code: LTYV6MA4 . You can also preview an excerpt from the book if you click here.

Sunday, August 7, 2011

The Adventures of Warp: The Dark Knight

The amazing book cover that my sister illustrated 
and my brother designed.

     I have always LOVED to write; it has been a dream of mine to publish a book. And now God has provided me with an awesome opportunity. I am so excited to announce that I have a book coming out on August 16 (it will be available on Amazon.com). The book is called The Dark Knight, and it is the first in The Adventures of Warp trilogy. I wrote The Dark Knight five years ago, when I was fourteen, so this has been a long work in process.

     Here is the link to an excerpt from my book: Click Here for the Book Preview. Also, below is a promotional video that my brother created; he really did a terrific job on it (as did my sister, who drew the characters and the background they are on, in the video).

video

     I am so excited about this book, and I hope you guys will enjoy it.

"...Giving thanks always and for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ."
- Ephesians 5:20

Monday, August 1, 2011

I Will Praise You


Whatever the storm,
Whatever is lost,
Whatever it takes,
Whatever the cost,
I will praise You!
I will praise You!
- Rebecca St. James (I Will Praise You)

     Praise and worship has always been one of my favorite things in church; it makes you feel so connected with God. But praise does not end when the music does. We should praise God when we are happy and when we are sad; when everything is going right and when everything is going wrong. In all our accomplishments and all our gifts that God has given us, we should give the glory to Him. Praise and worship should be a continual thing.


"If any man speak, let him speak as the oracles of God; if any man minister, let him do it as of the ability which God giveth: that God in all things may be glorified through Jesus Christ to whom be praise and dominion for ever and ever. Amen."
- 1 Peter 4:11 (KJV)


   This can be a very hard thing to do; when I accomplish something I typically would prefer to sit back and say, "What a good job I have done." However, the Bible tells us to use our abilities for God and to give Him the glory. We are to praise Him, even when we don't feel like it, because without Him we couldn't have accomplished it.


"I will praise you, O Lord my God, with all my heart, I will glorify your name forever."
- Psalms 86: 12 (NIV)


    Below is a video of Rebecca St. James talking about her song "I Will Praise You." I think she makes several good points about worship in it. I would love to hear your thoughts.