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Posts Tagged ‘family’

Those Nights

 Before you scroll down, please listen to: Those Nights by Skillet

I remember when we used to laugh
About nothing at all, it was better than going mad
From trying to solve all the problems
We’re going through, forget ’em all
‘Cause on those nights we would stand and never fall
Together we faced it all, remember when we’d

Stay up late and we’d talk all night
In a dark room lit by the TV light
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

We’d listen to the radio play all night
Didn’t wanna go home to another fight
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

I remember when we used to drive
Anywhere but here, as long as we’d forget our lives
We were so young and confused
That we didn’t know to laugh or cry
Those nights were ours, they will live and never die
Together we’d stand forever, remember when we’d

Stay up late and we’d talk all night
In a dark room lit by the TV light
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

We’d listen to the radio play all night
Didn’t wanna go home to another fight
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

Those nights belong to us
There’s nothing wrong with us
Those nights belong to us

I remember when we used to laugh
And now I wish those nights would last

Stay up late and we’d talk all night
In a dark room lit by the TV light
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

We’d listen to the radio play all night
Didn’t wanna go home to another fight
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

Stay up late and we’d talk all night
In a dark room lit by the TV light
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

We’d listen to the radio play all night
Didn’t wanna go home to another fight
Through all the hard times in my life
Those nights kept me alive

Those nights belong to us
There’s nothing wrong

From: Metrolyrics.com

Sometimes a song’s lyrics can describe my feelings more than my own words can. Especially songs that have that melody and instrumental component.

There are nights where I just want to cry. Sometimes I do, sometimes it feels like a dam is blocking the tears’ flow.

This isn’t the sort of post I normally do. It’s personal. I really am not one who expresses my feelings to people, though there are a select few in my circle of friends.

As of late, my life, well, let’s just say hasn’t been easy. I’ve done, experienced, and seen things that no one should have to go through. But that is the result of a fallen world. I know many people around me are struggling, suffering, trying, coping, and/or hurting. I know I am one of them.

This is going to be one of my longer posts, just to fore-warn.

An excerpt from my journal.

2/14/14

These past few months I’ve grown sick and tired. I can’t stand it anymore. The yelling, the drama, the list could go on and on.

This really should be spoken aloud, but for now, writing it down will have to do.

My brother, [Younger Brother 1] is almost out of control. He yells and blows up at the smallest of things. ‘Things’ is a broad term. I used it properly. He bad talks and back talks to everyone. He bullies [Younger Brother 2], but then again, somethings [Younger Brother 2] just asks for – baiting him and watching him take the bait. I’m not justifying my brother’s actions, if that’s what you’re thinking.

I am so. fed. up. I’m so done, irritated. Et cetera. I can’t handle it anymore. I can’t remember the last day where there wasn’t any yelling, arguments, people laughing and smiling.

I am torn. I cry almost as much or more than I genuinely laugh. I’m sick of drama. 

[Younger Brother 2] disses me and calls me awful names. I act like they just bounce of. But they hurt.

I set my alarm this morning for 8:00, but turned it off and slept in. Around nine I’m awakened by yelling slamming, and screaming. My door is closed. From the moment I woke up my day has been rotten, even considering it’s a snow day. There is no peace. I just feel tension. I just don’t known anymore.

I jump at the slightest of sounds, I cringe and almost crumple at the raising of voices. I’m afraid. Though, I hide it all away. I put on a facade and keep calm and try to carry on.

I act happy, like I’ve bounced back from a down mood. But I don’t.

I often sit in my room alone, door shut, music either plugged in or not. But I sit there deep in though. I try to think about all the ways I can help my brothers; help [Younger Brother 1]. What’s the psychological factor? His heart? Emotions/real thoughts?

Truth is: I’m desperate.

Yeah, I’ve been going to God more and more, which is a good thing. He’s drawing me nearer to him. I need that.

Through trials, there is happiness at the end. They can be long and tedious or short and over. We can be at the end of the rope and that’s when God seems to pull us out.

I’ve been at the end for awhile.

I’ve been done.

I’ve promised not to ever cut again – I slipped just before New Year’s, but after I said I said I wouldn’t cut myself anymore. My wrists are so far, as clean as they’ll be.

Relapse is real. Addiction is real.

If I said I wan’t angry at God, I’d be lying. I know I shouldn’t be, I feel guilty and like a bad Christian for saying and thinking it.

But he knows all my thoughts and actions even before I think them. He knows exactly what I’m going through. He has a plan for my life. A road that is hard, slim, and narrow, but in the end and grand picture of life, there is an un-explainable or indescribable reward and treasure waiting for me.

I often find myself trying to help others first and pushing my feelings off or not wanting to trouble people.

Sometimes you don’t realize you’re actually drowning when you’re trying to be everyone else’s anchor.

— Unknown

Despite his bad times, [Younger Brother 1] has the occasional happy moment (as of late he’s been better than just have the occasional happy moment). There’ll be moments when we both are laughing so hard we cry.

Those moments can change quickly. They are also forgotten fast.

I love my brothers, I really do. I try to cope, I try to help. I try to act strong and fine. But every argument, every tear, every yelling/screaming word tears me apart slowly. There’s a wound try to heal, but each time it’s just ripped back open, even bigger. 

Why do I tell you all of this? To have you pity me? Never. Worry over me?  Don’t even. Post this so all family and friends could see my true thoughts and land me with a counselor? Nope. Cause drama? Didn’t I say I hate drama?

I tell you this because I want to give encouragement out to people who are going through the same, similar, or just tough situations. I want to tell them that there is hope. I’m living, breathing proof.

Those nights? Well, it’s these sorts of nights that causes me to pray even harder.

Pray hardest, when it is hard to pray.

— Unknown

These sorts of nights are what deepens my faith and causes me to hold on, trust, and believe in Christ. These nights belong to us. These nights keep me alive. They keep me alive in God’s word and the Spirit. They help me get stronger, even though it may cause disruption in me for a time.

God is My Lighthouse in the darkest night. He never fails. He never leaves.

One night I dreamed I was walking
along the beach with the Lord.

Many scenes from my life flashed across the sky.
In each scene I noticed footprints in the sand.

Sometimes there were two sets of footprints,
other times there were one set of footprints.

This bothered me because I noticed
that during the low periods of my life,
when I was suffering from anguish, sorrow or defeat,
I could see only one set of footprints.

So I said to the Lord,
“You promised me Lord, that if I followed you,
you would walk with me always.
But I have noticed that during
the most trying periods of my life
there have only been one
set of footprints in the sand.
Why, when I needed you most,
you have not been there for me?”

The Lord replied,
“The times when you have seen only
one set of footprints in the sand, is when
I carried you.”

— Mary Stevenson

I can make it through anything. Anything is possible with God (Matt. 19:26). I know that with him I can be strong and courageous, facing each day knowing he is by my side and he will never leave it; I’m not alone (Josh. 1:9).

For an ending:

7eventh Time Down’s song “Just Say Jesus

If you have any questions, feel free to drop an email, you can see the email on the Contact Us page.
If you want a list of encouraging or just plain good Christian songs, email or comment, I’d be happy to provide a list for you of my favorite artists and songs.

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Prayer & Perspective

A verse that I’ve thought of on and off lately is the Lord’s Prayer – or as I like to call it ‘The Disciple’s Prayer’ – since Jesus gave the prayer to his followers as a guideline of how they should pray; Jesus already knew how to pray. I’ve always thought of prayer as something more than “special wording meant for Jesus.” It’s a personal thing; and that’s how God intended prayer to be – he wants your true thoughts and word, coming straight from your heart. A prayer shouldn’t be something you memorize and recite each night; it shouldn’t be like a script for then it loses its whole meaning.

I am only using the first four verses of the passage (Matthew 6:5-9), but the whole passage can be found in Matthew 6:5-18. I use the ESV version for verses.

“And when you pray, you must not be like the hypocrites. For they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, that they may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward,” (vs. 5).

Pause there for a second. Before I go on, I want to point out these lines alone, are the first verse. This is a crucial verse. For oh-so-often, too many Christians get caught up in themselves – believing they know it all. The modern day “Little Christ” is not like the early, first Christians. “Little Christ” is what Christian means – it was coined when the first disciples were teaching, and actually the word Christian or “Little Christ” was meant as an insult.

The modern day Christians often think highly of themselves; thinking of how much better off they are because they know Christ and others don’t. They don’t care about the poor and needy – their focus is on money, while they teach Jesus’ sermons on how to care for the poor, broken-hearted, and lost souls. This is wrong, wrong, wrong; the opposite of how a Christian is supposed to act. Sadly, by preaching and having people look at them and either marvel or scoff, they get their reward of satisfaction. They are not true Christians – they do not live up to the definition of a “Little Christ.” Because these Christians are so caught in themselves they do not receive or get to experience the amazing wonders, things, and feelings that Jesus has to offer us.

“But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who is in secret will reward you. And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words. Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him,” (vs. 6-8).

It is true, often it is the short, simple things that work best. Long, drawn ouutttt things make people lose interest, especially if they aren’t to the point. When people ramble on and just add “fluff,” they really don’t know what they are talking about. As it says in (some concordance to) verse 7, they are just wasting their breath and their words are “heap[ing] up [like] empty phrases” – they have no meaning.

God knows what is on our hearts and minds, he’s more than aware of our needs – but he also knows that we need a way to communicate our feelings, needs, and what is on our minds and hearts to him (not just other people). He gave us a way to do so: prayer. This, to me personally, meant so much, knowing I had a way to connect to my Father in heaven. Knowing there was someone, someone who was so powerful and perfect, was always there for a sinful ridden and hurting person like me… is just indescribable. He always listened. He always comforted in some way. He won’t tell anyone. And to me, that meant a lot, as my trust to certain people has been cut. I know that when I can’t find the words to express how I’m am feeling – he knows exactly what I’m feeling and going through. All I have to say in my mind, in the quiet of my room, is: “Father, help me – you know my heart and thoughts. Please help me to get over this painful feeling that’s tearing me apart in an indescribable way.”

He’ll always listen to you in your hardest moments.

It is comforting to know that my Father knows what I need before I ask him, that relationship between Father and daughter (or son) is unbreakable and imaginable by people who don’t truly know what it is like to know such a force. Those people who stand on the streets proclaiming out loud don’t hear when God calls them, like we do, they don’t hear it because of all the noise they’re making. For God doesn’t normally communicate in the form of a thunderstorm (per-say) – loud and noisy, but he comes like a soft wind, blowing gently. Only those who are quiet and listen can hear it.

When God calls to those lost people out proclaiming on the streets or elsewhere, they don’t hear him, or if they do, they ignore him. Even when fellow believers try to humbly point out that their ways are wrong or try to kindly help them in the right direction, they most often push them off. They point their finger at them, saying they are the wrong-doers; they are the false believers. And it is sad, but it is reality. We live in a fallen world and we are waiting desperately for our Savior to return to take us home.

Our Lord is like a shepherd – he calls and pulls us back when we are lost. He is most persistent and never gives up, even with those who are stubborn. But there are cases when flesh must die and their time to be redeemed runs out or the sheep don’t want to live under the wing of their shepherd. They believe there is something better; they get lost in the ways of the world.

I hope you all got as much as I did out of this verse – if not more.

I am no longer eager, bold, and strong

  All that is past; I am ready not to do

At last, at last, 

  My half day’s work is done,

And this is all my part,

  I give a patient God

My patient heart.

p 265, March by Geraldine Brooks

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View part 1 here: Trust Governs How We Love

The passage we will be looking at today is a continuation of 2 John; 2 John 1:7-13 (NIV):

Many deceivers, who do not acknowledge Jesus Christ as coming in the flesh, have gone out into the world. Any such person is the deceiver and the antichrist. Watch out that you do not lose what you have worked for, but that you may be rewarded fully. Anyone who runs ahead and does not continue in the teaching of Christ does not have God; whoever continues in the teaching has both the Father and the Son. If anyone comes to you and does not bring this teaching, do not take him into your house or welcome him. Anyone who welcomes him shares in his wicked work.

I have much to write to you, but I do not want to use paper and ink. Instead, I hope to visit you and talk with you face to face,so that our joy may be complete.

The children of your chosen sister send their greetings.

Our God is holy and loving to much; everything isn’t good, it must hate something, right? Right, that something is sin. Truth governs the expression of love. In verses 7-9 (the few two) it shows that we must beware of those who deceive us. Satan uses works in the realm of the mind, shifting the image of God; the philosophy, just a bit so that we may become confused and not know the right works of God. He (Satan) and his ‘servants’ are masts actors – “clothing” themselves as righteousness, even though they not really have that relationship with Christ.

The false preachers teach that Jesus did nothave a body, instead they teach that he was just a spirit occupying a body. This means if you don’t believe, you do not accept that Jesus, God’s one and only son, came to earth in flesh, and died on the cross; otherwise they are saying he’s not a savior. They teach that the Bible, well, it doesn’t have the answer we all are “searching” for. – But see, they had this “vision” (etc.) and they know how we can get to heaven and all, cause they  know it.

– Now, before we go freaking out, you have to realize, this is reality. As Christians, in this world, is just time spent in this awful battle; the battle between good and evil; righteousness, salvation, and love against sin. It’s the world between the two kingdoms; the battle grounds. And we are the soldiers. –

Continuing on, now just because out enemies, false teachers, have a different belief doesn’t mean we treat them like crap (excuse my language). Instead, we need to love the truth more. How does this make sense? How does it apply? You may be wondering? Read on and you’ll see why… it’s because we need to watch ourselves, we need to be more careful not to stumble and suddenly loose everything in a snap. This is because if you lose that spiritual stability, you lose the rewards that follow, because there are actually rewards for those who continue to truly believe.

Warning: If you aren’t loyal in truth, you destroy the works God has done.

Through our pride and selfish acts comes our ruin.

Whoever believes Jesus came to the earth, took on sin, and smashed it, then we can only, and only then, say we understand.

Where the believers in Jesus’ time often fell was with people who were the outcast; “underdogs” (whatever you’d like to call them). Why? Because the feeling of empathy happened. Letting them in their home and then suddenly those people would be teaching them false words. They needed to boot them out! But also they needed to just get to know them, to teach them the truth. This applies to us now-a-days.

For those who you push away, are travelers, Jehovah’s witnesses, etc. they use the “excuse:” But you’re a Christian. You have to let me in, what would Jesus do?  to get in, to get to you. Right, they have that right don’t they? NO! Absolutely not. That’s no excuse. That’s them trying to sell you out. You must be prepared to defend yourself and the truth of which you behold. What do I do though? You may ask. Well simple. You tell them this:

“I am no Jesus.”

Simple. Smart. Leaves them shell-shocked (supposedly) .

People these days advertise false things, at first you criticize, but soon people send in money asking for that thing, and everything goes down hill from there. Satan tries to do the same thing, he tries to get us to spend our money on everything, instead of that which is right.

You remember the person John is writing this letter to? If not go back and take a second to read part one, it’ll tell you who the audience  is; the recipient of the letter. The recipient is a woman. John wants to give the woman more, to talk to her face to face, not formally from which he wrote this letter, but personally. He wants to teach her for hearing the truth governs the pure; true joy.

The application is this: When you aren’t believing that Christ dealt with sin, how he came, died, and vanquished sin, well I can tell you this: It won’t get you far, not far at all in your journey of life. You must not believe every word someone who claims to know everything, cause even though they claim to know everything, it doesn’t show that they accept Christ’s sacrifice, because they truly aren’t a believer.

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I’m going to be doing this post a little different that the recent ones I’ve done, being I’m doing it off of some notes I have.

The passage I will be “dissecting” is 2 John 1:1-6 (NIV):

The elder,

To the chosen lady and her children, whom I love in the truth —and not I only, but also all who know the truth — because of the truth, which lives in us and will be with us forever:

Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.

It has given me great joy to find some of your children walking in the truth, just as the Father commanded us.  And now, dear lady, I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another.  And this is love: that we walk in obedience to his commands. As you have heard from the beginning, his command is that you walk in love.

First we’ll look at the theme, which is this: “Truth governs how we love.”

Second, let’s ask ourselves, “Who’s the audience?” in most cases it’d be a man, but in this case it appears to be a lady, unnamed.

Thirdly, the base of the passage is that there were “fake leaders” entering the houses of the real – to say – leaders of the church and staying, afterwards they ask who the other leaders of the church are and earn their trust so that they may preach and teach false – only known to them – scripture. Thus, converting, turning, and confusing people.

“Truth is that which accurately reflects God. In the end, that is the scripture.”

The Greek word for truth is “αλήθεια” (pronouced “al-líth-ei-a”). In our time, the 21st century, the post-modernistic era is a talented bender at truth. Companies use “trustworthy” sayings, like: 9 out of 10 Doctors recommend and say it will make you better in beauty (phyical appearance) if you buy our product. They make things sound safe and usable. They want you to love it, not like, but love it, and they even heap all those guarantees and such on, “We’ll guarantee 100% satisfaction, and if you don’t like it you can send it back for a refund, but please keep this (product from us) as a gift (in remembrance of us).” But are they really telling the truth or just trying to get people to suck up and buy it? It may be a cheap product, it may not.

But people (especially in politics) stretch the truth and bend so often it’s hard to tell if they really mean it or not, especially with relationships, sometimes people just fake their love to use people – which is just gross and selfish.

 “Truth defines the love to one another.”

Marriage. Committing your life to someone you absolutely love is huge. And when you say your vows, and mean it truthfully, you really love them, now in some cases it lasts for 50+ years… others 2 years.

Taking a somewhat temporary detour… I want to kind of use my grandparents as an example. They show an amazing example of God’s love for others and are wise people, because of time, and it is always the people like your elders, who know more  than you and can give you advice, and when they do: listen. They’ve been through more and understand how to get through. My grandmother and grandfather are an amazing example of the quote, they are strong Christians, are always full of amazing stories and advice to give, and their love for one another grows stronger each day and hour. They have been married for over 50 years.

“Relationships in the church can only thrive as much as we dwell in reality.”

For the first and second verses, a summary of them is this: “We are love in Christ in truth.” Being part of a local church is not just attending, but in knowledge, truth, and understanding in Christ. When Jesus addresses this woman, look at the detail he uses. “Grace, mercy and peace from God the Father and from Jesus Christ, the Father’s Son, will be with us in truth and love.” The Israelites were very formal when writing a letter and most often they always put their name at the beginning of the letter, instead of the end, like we do now, so that other can see who it’s from better and not having to read down to the bottom and then discover who it was from.

“If you don’t understand Him, you don’t know how to walk.”

Jesus gave us his all, love is natural, but we as flesh need commandments to help us love like we are supposed to. Loving and showing it properly is hard, even if you really don’t want to. And when I’m talking about love, I don’t mean it in that “ooky” way, I mean it as “Love your neighbor as yourself” (Gal. 5:14) way. We need to understand Christ’s view, and that’s being kind and loving all who persecute, make fun of you, etc.

“If you don’t have an understanding of truth, you cannot love correctly.”

In 1 John, he [Jesus] talks and teaches about love, in 2 John he teaches us how to balance love with truth. In 1 Timothy 3:14-16 (NIV) it says “truth never changes.” Neither should our love for one another as brothers and sisters in Christ. When we see a friend who needs help we should do it out of love, not hate or to make ourselves look good. Before you act to anything big, think this:

“What would Jesus do?”

Application: That we never lose sight of Christ.

Concluded Moral: As Christians we need to keep a watch for the fake leaders. Make sure you dig for evidence and truth, before you love and become attached.

“Truth is that which respond to reality.”

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“For you know that it was not with perishable things such as silver or gold that you were redeemed from the empty way of life handed down to you from you ancestors, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect.”

1 Peter 1:18-19 (NIV)

Can you ever imagine something more valuable or someone so close to you dying for something you totally screwed up on; some horrible thing you did? God sent his perfect son to die for our wretched sins and our messed up lives. One can’t comprehend such love or something with such meaning. I mean, would you be able to die for a friend – or all your friends if it meant saving them? Do be sincere. Our human nature of selfishness kicks in and we normally chose to opt out. I’m sure there are a few people who would sincerely sacrifice their life for others, and for those who have friends like that, you’re blessed! I will say that personally I would have second thoughts. But. I love and care for my friends. They mean a lot to me, my family even more.

You know, a French jeweler once engraved on a’many medallions, “Car, vois-tu, chaque jour je taime davantage, Aujour dnui plus quenhier et bien moins que demain.” Translated to English is says: “For you see, each day I love you more. Today more than yesterday and less than tomorrow.” The poem is entitled Eternal Love – just like God’s love for us; unfailing and ever-lasting. That’s why he sent his son, he loved us so much, he wanted to deliver us from evil, he wants to have a forever-lasting relationship with us. He is El-Shaddai.

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