…Is this the end?

If you may have noticed, I have not been posting articles on this blog lately. This past year God has really gotten hold of my heart in several areas. Part of this was through conviction and repentance of some sin. Another part was through His overwhelming love and grace, He has granted me opportunities to serve Him more than I ever have. I have been able to be on mission through children’s ministry, leading worship, and many fantastic jobs. I have grown to love my Savior more and more this year, and through that love I grow closer to Him. But, and this part makes me just a little bit sad ;(, all of this takes time. While I enjoy every minute writing articles for this blog, I know that God is calling me elsewhere. So as I follow His call, I will no longer be posting articles on a regular basis. I’ll will still post periodical things about what is going on in my life, but I won’t be constant. I’ll still be around, and if you want to comment on my few previous posts, go ahead and I will respond. I’ll definitely leave this site open, and maybe in a few years I can come back to it! If I do, I will most certainly get back to writing. For those of you who stayed with me and read my rants, thanks for your support!

Yours in Christ,

Caleb

 

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Categories: Happenings | 4 Comments

Easter

Oh what a glorious time of year! The birds are singing, the flowers are blooming, the grass is growing, and Easter has come upon us. Sometimes I can’t understand why people don’t get excited about Easter like I do. The death and resurrection of Christ fills me with a joy I can’t explain. Christ loved us SO much that he died for us! I just want to spread the word to all I meet.

Once I calmed down, I decided to find out about the meaning of the word Easter.

After doing some research, and writing, I managed to get the main gist. I give credit to the article linked below where you can find a much more detailed answer. Easter is not associated with pagan feasts or festivals. Instead, the translators of the Bible, Tyndale, Luther, and Wycliffe wrote that ‘ester’ or ‘Osterfast’ were their names for the Jewish Passover. Since Jesus’ birth, death, and resurrection Christians no longer celebrate Passover, instead we celebrate this holiday Easter.

But no matter where the name originated from, Easter is all about the Lamb of God. Jesus who died for our sins, and rose from the grace so that we may have life eternal with him. So as you recover from the Easter craziness, remember to give praise to the Risen King. Don’t forget to brush!

In Christ,

Caleb

(Notice how I slipped that little insinuation there at the end?) 🙂

 

http://www.answersingenesis.org/articles/2011/04/19/name-easter-pagan

Categories: Happenings | 1 Comment

Feelings of Mortal-ness

Brickwork

Sunburn, back pain, and pulled muscles. These are the results of an over-abundance of brick laying. While my parents were visiting my sick grandfather in Florida, my other grandparents stayed at our house. During their stay, we worked on a project to redo the walkway to our house. Little did I know that I would get sunburned in March! Not that I’m complaining. 🙂

Anyway, the entire experience has made me think about how earth is not our home. We are only travelers in a strange land, pilgrims searching for the road to our true destination. This body is temporal, it is full of breakable parts. I think that young people such as myself have problems understanding these facts; we think we will live forever. But as we grow older, we understand death more.

I love what 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 has to say about life on earth, and life after earth. ” Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.” 

‘What is unseen is eternal.’ Beautiful language! Paul was writing to the church at Corinth to press on and endure the hardships of persecution. Because really, what is persecution if they can only harm this body? Remember what Jesus said about how we should not fear those who persecute, but rather the One who destroys the soul in Hell? With this in mind, we need to be courageous in our evangelism because we have only a short time to work for Christ.

As I am finishing my study on the Screwtape Letters, I also found a passage in the 28th letter about this very thing. “Prosperity knits a man to the World. He feels that he is ‘finding his place in it,’ while really it is finding its place in him. His increasing reputation, his widening circle of acquaintances, his sense of importance, the growing pressure of absorbing and agreeable work, build up in him a sense of being really at home in earth which is just what we want. You will notice that the young are generally less unwilling to die than the middle-aged and the old.”

We must try and keep out the world, so that we do not let it find its place in our hearts.

So as I recover from my labors, every ache or tingle reminds me that I am not of this world. I encourage to continue in your walk with Christ every day.

In His faith,

Caleb

 

P.S. sorry about the late post. As you now know, I have been slightly (cough) busy. 😀

Categories: Happenings | 2 Comments

Dirty Glasses

(Photo credit sonomachristian home.com)

(Photo credit sonomachristian home.com)

As God has put a call to ministry in my heart, I am more and more aware of the sin in our world. Families today are no longer ‘nuclear.’ War always seems to be raging, or threatening. The United States, which was founded on Godly principles, is becoming more and more worldly. Many times people ask ‘Why?’ when the unsaved do evil acts. When planes crash due to a hijacking, or when a dictator cracks down hard on Christians.

My pastor has always said this: “Don’t be surprised when unsaved people act like unsaved people.” While this quote may not be original, it has a simple truth. While we expect Christians to live their lives by faith, we cannot expect the worldly to do the same. Yet why would someone do something so evil?

C.S. Lewis said something profound on this subject which I recently read this week. “The instrument through which you see God is your whole self. And if a man’s self is not kept clean and bright, his glimpse of God will be blurred—like the Moon seen through a dirty telescope. That is why horrible nations have horrible religions: they have been looking at God through a dirty lens.”
I love this! A man’s glasses to see God is his soul. When your soul is dirty, your view is obscured. This is why many religions are not unlike Chrstianity. The founders of those religions saw something like what Christians see. However, because of their inability to see God as He really is, they missed the mark.

While we do not want to make excuses for unbelievers, once we understand their plight we understand their thought processes. Even we ourselves have a problem with seeing God as He is. When Christians allow sin their lives and do not repent of it, they are making their glass dirty, thus obscuring their view and relationship. I urge you to clean to clean the glasses of your souls in order to live effectively for Christ. For if your relationship with God is obscured by sin, you cannot minister to the fullest of your ability. While it is important for every Christian to witness and spread the Gospel, you cannot do so when you have sin in your heart.
Examine your hearts as I examine mine before our Bible Club today.

In Christ,

Caleb

 

Categories: Uncategorized | 3 Comments

Go!

(Photo credit bmalife.com)

(Photo credit bmalife.com)

As I read my Bible and live my life, I have been feeling convicted about the way I go about missions. Until this past week, I would say that my view on missions is that my Mom takes care of how we do that, and I just go along with it. We have a Bible Kid’s Club, a Bible study that I lead on Monday nights, and  we go to Church almost every time the doors are open. But I need to make my own faith, no longer depending on my parents. Because once I do that, I can really start to witness to others.

Yesterday we were at a conference and a speaker got up and read a passage from Isaiah 43. He talked about how God wants us to look up and “See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19) We need to get our heads out of the clouds and see what God wants us to do in ministry. God is saying ‘LOOK! I have great things I want you to do!’ while we hide within our daily routine. We are comfortable with the way things are, but God wants us to get out of our comfort zone and do His work. As Steven Curtis Chapman said, ‘This is the great adventure!” 

But what does ministry mean for us? For one thing, don’t think ministry simply means becoming a pastor, or leader in the church. Yes, being an active member in the church is important, but it isn’t everything. Ministry means your way of bringing people to Christ, and then discipling them. This could be through a ministry called Sports Crusaders which uses summer camps every year to minister to kids. This could be through a small group which you lead. It could be disaster relief, or music concerts or anything that you feel the Lord wants you to do.

Secondly, don’t be afraid to start small. If you aren’t working to further His kingdom in your everyday life, why would God call you somewhere else? Talk to your friends, your neighbors, your family, even your enemies. Are they hurting? Do they need help or counseling? What about the people you see at the gym, or library? Do they look like they might need someone to talk to? Once again, this may be out of our comfort zone, but ask the Lord to give you courage.

Last, but certainly not least, don’t waste any time. The mission is urgent! Jesus could return any day now, and souls would be lost. Do you not want to see your unsaved friends or family in heaven? Christians waste so much time on logistics, planning, and waiting. Go! Do the work God is calling you to do, and pray that others may do likewise.

“For the Lord has commanded us saying, ‘I have made you a light to the Gentiles, that you may bring salvation to the ends of the earth.'” (Acts 13:47)

 

In Christ,

Caleb

Categories: Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Apologies

Image

Sorry I won’t be posting a long article this week guys. I just got back from an intensive weekend called Disciple Now and I am exhausted to say the least. Although not all exhaustion is from purely work (Mostly sleep deprivation!), a lot of it is. Continue walking in faith and I will most certainly post something worthwhile shortly.

In Christ,

Caleb

Categories: Uncategorized | 1 Comment

A layer of ice

(Photo credit unknown)

(Photo credit unknown)

As some may have noticed, on my photos page there are a couple more pictures that I have taken recently. Due to two more cold fronts, Missouri has gotten snow, and a great deal of ice. Currently, there is a half inch of ice coating our entire neighborhood providing a perfect environment for sledding. The roads are finally clear, and it is a beautiful day today.

Thinking about ice among other things, has reminded me of a song by  Tenth Avenue North called “Healing Begins”. It’s about redemption, but something tells me its also about Christians. The first verse goes like this:

‘So you thought you had to keep this up/ all the work that you do so we think that you’re good/and you can’t believe its not enough/ all the walls you built up are just glass on the outside/ So let them fall down/ There’s freedom waiting in the sound/ When you let your walls fall to the ground, we’re here now…’

The song is really beautiful as it continues but what gets me thinking is those first few lines. As Christians, are we really living the way we should? Or are we- am I- putting up a facade only around other Christians? Do we have completely different personalities that we show only with certain people? If we do, what can we do about it?

The Bible teaches that honesty is key in all that we do. “Truthful lips endure forever, but a lying tongue lasts only a moment.” (Prov. 12:19) While this certainly does mean that in all that we say tell the truth, it also means our lives should not be hiding something. We should live our lives pleasing to God in ‘thought, word and deed.’ A tough order, yes, but it is the right path to take. Lies are like peanuts, you start with one, but you usually end up having a lot more than you planned. By the time it’s said and done, you’ve dug a hole so deep, you’re ashamed to ask for help. 

The best thing to do in that case is not be afraid to ask for help. Get an accountability partner, talk to your parents or a friend, find someone who will help you out. God is willing to forgive, if you will repent. If you’re not in that hole, than great! But be watchful for those who might be. As always continue giving “an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have, doing this with gentleness and respect.”

In Christ,

Caleb

Categories: Randomness | 2 Comments

New Perspectives

(Photo credit lineweights.com)

(Photo credit lineweights.com)

This week I’ve had the privilege to encounter a man that I would not normally meet in my everyday life. His name is Brian Hogan, and he is a man of many stories. From his travels across the U.S. during his college years, to his missionary life in Africa and Mongolia, to all of the many other things he has done, he is a very interesting man. My family hosted him while he was in town for a class called Perspectives. He is a very adventurous type and has even written a book about his missionary years in Mongolia called There’s a Sheep in My Bathtub, which I believe is for sale on Amazon. He is a strong christian, a personable guy, and a great storyteller.

But what influenced me the most during his stay with us, was his different way of looking at things. While teaching at the Perspectives class, he spoke of the passage Genesis 12:1-3 which says: “The Lord had said to Abram,’Go from your country, your people and your father’s household to the land I will show you. ‘I will make you into a great nation, and I will bless you; I will make your name great, and you will be a blessing. I will bless those who bless you, and whoever curses you I will curse; and all peoples on earth will be blessed through you.” Most of the times I’ve read through that passage I thought about Abram’s faith to go and obey the Lord. But this was not the subject of the discussion. By reading through each part of those verses, Mr. Hogan illustrated that Christians, especially Christians in America, have been blessed by God. Why? Because we have put our hearts, minds, and souls in His care. We are blessed by God, therefore we should go and preach the Gospel in order that the world may be blessed to reflect the glory of God back to Him in praise. 

Christians today sometimes focus too much on the actual salvation. God loved ME so much that He sent His Son to die for ME so that I can be saved. In America, this is especially true because individualism is so much a part of our culture. Yes, salvation IS important, and it is the first thing we teach to the lost. However, God did not want us to be so focused on how much He cares about us that we don’t obey the Great Commission. We should not be so self-focused that we forget why we are here. God wants us to bless others with the blessings he gives us. How can you bless someone today?

 

In Christ,

Caleb

Categories: Happenings, Randomness | 2 Comments

Changes

trees

 

(photo credit Brenda Gordon)

 

 

This week, there’s been a lot going on around our house. Many things that are happening that I don’t have any control of, and some that I do. Workmen have been passing through our house morning until evening in order to finish a flooring project in our kitchen and dining room. This has not only thrown our daily routine out of schedule, but disrupted our eating habits because of the polyurethane smell that is left when they leave!

Change is a daily fact of life on Earth whether it is a big change or small ones. C.S. Lewis wrote in The Screwtape Letters “to be in time means to change.” From the passing seasons to the aging of our bodies we are always changing in our habits and thinking. God is not constrained by the limits of time, therefore He is never subject to change. He is, has, and always will be omnipotent,  omniscient, and omnipresent. Sometimes it blows my mind how outside of our lives and concerns He is there and always has been even when time was nonexistent. 

But back to the subject of change. Sometimes it’s good, sometimes bad. Many times I wish we could do without many of the changes in life we have to endure such as getting old or moving away from old friends. But sometimes God uses change to stretch us and mold us in the way He wants us to grow. In fact, the biggest change that will ever happen to you is something that the world of mankind needs. Because we are sinful in every way imaginable, God made the first move in order for us to be with Him while we live, and when we die. But unless we commit our hearts and lives to Him, we won’t change for the better. Many have tried through diet, resolutions, and promises to change their sinful lifestyle. But it is impossible without the power of the Holy Spirit. In Matthew 18:3 Jesus said “Truly I tell you, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven.” He was so right. Let us have childlike faith and trust that His will is best. 

In Christ,

Caleb

Categories: Uncategorized | 5 Comments

A time to worry?

Night Driving!

Photo credit (popularmechanics.com)

This past week I’ve been reading in The Screwtape Letters by C.S. Lewis for my English class. There are so many concepts and theories about the Church that I haven’t thought about before. One of them I thought was very good.

There is nothing like suspense and anxiety for barricading a human’s mind against the Enemy. He wants men to be concerned with what they do; our business is to keep them thinking about what will happen to them.” (The Screwtape Letters, C.S. Lewis © 1941)

So God wants us to be focused on our witness for him in our families and friend. Satan, on the other hand, wants us to be focused on the ‘what ifs?’ Sounds easy, but it’s very hard to do. For example, driving home last night from Indiana was pretty tense. My mom didn’t want me driving, but she was pretty tired herself. Every time we hit the drunk bumps I sent a prayer heavenward that we wouldn’t wreck! Fortunately, we got home safe and my worries were for nothing.

But whether or not your fears are real, it hurts our relationship with Christ if we don’t trust Him. Satan wants us trying to do everything ourselves; to have a false sense of control. This allows us to feel at ease, and secure. But when God is in control, why should we get in the way? Once we learn to ‘let’ God do what He will, you will be surprised at how much easier life becomes. Instead of trying to do someone else’s job, we can now comfort others and bring Christ into others lives.

Jesus is known for being quite the authority on fear. In Matthew 6:31-33 He said, “So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.” So on that note, I hope you guys have a worry-free week!

In Christ,

Caleb

Categories: Happenings | 2 Comments

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