"Encourage Yourself In The Lord!"

       I decided to wait a week to post more goals, because the computer that I have them saved on is having issues.  Oh, the joys of technology!  So instead, I am going to to share something I recently read in the Bible.
       I Samuel 30 tells the story of when the Amalekites captured Ziklag.  They attacked when David and his men were away, and they burned the city and took the people captive.  When David's band returned, they found the city burnt and their wives and children carried off.  Verse six says, "And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the Lord his God."  David was in trouble; his own men were talking of killing him!  So what was his reaction?  He "encouraged himself in the Lord his God!"  
       We live in a day when Christians everywhere are under attack from the devil.  One of Satan's favorite tactics is getting us to believe that there is no reason to go on; all hope is gone.  Nothing could be farther from the truth!  We are living in exiting times; don't let the heat of the battle get you discouraged!  When you are having a tough day ( or maybe a tough week or even year ), remember that the God that David served is the same God that we are serving!

       Here are a few ways to encourage yourself in God-
1.  Remember where God has brought you from. ( I Corinthians 6:11 )
2.  Think of where God is taking you. ( Revelation 22:14 )
3.  Give Thanks! ( I Thessalonians 5:18 )


More Goals For 2013

Continuing on with some of my goals for this year-

6.  Spend quality time with siblings.  Young people looking for opportunities to serve should begin with their own families.

7.  Read the Declaration of Independence and the United States Constitution.  It is important that we understand how and why America was founded, and these two documents are a good place to start.

8.  Read "Her Knight in Shining Armor," by a friend of mine, evangelist Caleb Garraway.  This book is a call to young men to rise up and be the man that God wants them to be, as they prepare for marriage.

9.  Smile and laugh more!  I sincerely believe that we as Christians need to loosen up and enjoy life more.  Why do we (including myself) go around with such long faces, when we have been given so much?

10.  Do push-ups every day.  This one may not be as "Spiritual" as some of my other goals; however, I do want my body to last as long as possible in order to serve God as long as possible.


Dueling Banjos; Or is it Dueling Brothers?

     So what did happen to the banjo?

     The dispute of two brothers...

     The demise of the banjo...

     The discipline of the "guilty" brother...

     So what really happened?  Well, someone (I won't say who) stepped on the banjo on Sunday and broke it.  So, we made a trip to Wal-Mart to get some wood glue, and the repaired banjo will be in concert (hopefully) on Thursday night!


Goals 2013

       For the next several Mondays, I will be sharing some of my goals for 2013.  I will be doing this in order to encourage others to set goals that will help them draw closer to God and to serve Him better.  I realize that 2013 has already begun, and that you may not yet have any goals for this year; but, "Better late than never!"  So here are five of my goals for 2013-

1.  Read the Bible through in eight months.  (I actually started on this goal on December 1, so my goal is to finish before August 1).
2.  Finish memorizing the book of I Corinthians.  (I am working on chapter five right now, since I did the first four chapters last year).
3.  Lead ten people to the Lord.  (This looks pretty daunting for me, but with God, all things are possible!  And if I miss the mark on this goal and only see 5 people saved, that would still be more than last year!)
4.  Share the gospel or give a tract to an average of two people per week.
5.  Start a blog (check!) and post at least once per week.



Not Drawing Back In The Battle

       In my Bible-reading time yesterday, I read something that really stuck out to me, so I thought I would share it here.  Joshua 8:25-26 says, "And so it was, that all that fell that day, both of men and women, were twelve thousand, even all the men of Ai.  For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai."  God gave the Israelites a complete victory that day, because Joshua didn't draw his hand back.  How many times do I "draw my hand back," and as a result fail to accomplish all that I could for God?  At the end of 2013, I want to be able to look back and say, "I persevered through every battle that I had to fight."


       Thank ya'll for reading my blog; just wanted to clarify something.  While I believe that God has  shown me that the King James Bible is the Bible for the English-speaking people, I am not here to debate or argue my point.  I don't have nearly all the answers for some of the questions people have about the Bible, but God does; if you are unsure on which Bible to read, just ask God to show you.
       My goal for this blog is simply to encourage others to live for God; I'm not trying to start a debate forum.  Read the Bible, ask God for wisdom, and go evangelize a lost and dying world!


     So I am entering the world of blogosphere!  Why in the world am I doing that?  I am doing it because one of my goals in life is to challenge and encourage others, especially young men, to live for God.  Few times in history has the world been so dark, yet darkness only comes from lack of light.  If America had some young men, just a few, who were willing to live 100% for God, we WOULD see revival in our country.
     In my family's travels, I meet many young men who have a desire to do right, but who let something hold them back.  Their is only one difference between great Christians and average Christians.  Almost all Christians WANT to do what is right, but only a handful actually do it.  The difference, then, is in the DOING, not the WANTING.  Having a desire to do what is right does not cut it; you HAVE to live out what the Bible says.
     And when I say the Bible, I mean the word-perfect, un-changing word of God.  The one that Psalms 12 speaks of when it says, "The words of the Lord are pure words: as silver tried in a furnace of earth, purified seven times.  Thou shalt keep them, O Lord, thou shalt preserve them from this generation for ever."  God has preserved His word just like He said He would, and for the English-speaking people, he has preserved it in what we know as the King James Bible, also referred to as the Authorized Version.  The only reason I can know that what my Bible says is true, is because the Bible I'm readin' hasn't changed since it was written, and it isn't gonna change! Talk about "Standin' on the Promises"!  If you don't like what I just said, that's ok. I love ya even if you disagree.  Just remember this- my Bible says it's perfect, but I have never met anyone who says your Bible is.  Since Psalms 12 promised that God would preserve His words, you might want to figure out where it is that He preserved them.  I'll do a whole post on this issue later, so now back to why I'm starting this blog.
      I desire to see some young men get a fire inside of them, a fire to do something for God. My generation has the God-given oppurtunity to see perhaps the greatest revival of all time, and yet all we care about is facebook, twitter, texting, movies, malls, hot-rods, and football! Are we seriously so consumed with such trivial things, that we can't see the harvest in front of us! Listen, I really enjoy football (even if my Hawkeyes lost two-thirds of their games last year), I find some media to be helpful, and I like nice cars and nice clothes; however, none of that is going to matter two-hundred years from now! The only thing that is going to matter is whether or not I lived for God. That's why my highlight of 2012 was, for the first time ever, leading someone to the Lord! (It was way more exciting than any football game I've ever seen!) That's why one of my goals for this year is to lead ten people to the Lord.  Which is why I made a vow to God to share the gospel or give a tract to an average of two people per week this year.

     Now, please don't get the wrong impression; I'm not writing this so you will think I'm somebody special.  I'm nothing without Christ, and neither are you.  That's why I pray for His wisdom every day, in order to serve Him better.  I hope that God will speak to you through this blog.  I will do my best to communicate the truths in God's Word, but if I say something that doesn't line up with Scripture, throw it out and move on.
     My prayer for anyone reading this blog is this: that your heart would be stirred to live for God, and that you would become a man (or woman) on fire.