To The Class of 1995 (20 Years)

This fall my high school will be having it’s 20 year reunion, and again I won’t be making it.  I have a new life and new friends and responsibilities.

But even with all that I do have something, I would like to tell my classmates from so long ago (it sure does seem long ago to me).  I would like to tell them sorry.  What for?  Well I was not a Christian back in High School, if you would have asked me I would have told you I was, but I wasn’t and I know that now.

In high school I’ll be honest I have no idea why anyone liked me I was an athlete (Basketball and Baseball) so I’m sure that helped, I was funny (or so I thought), and on every outward appearance seemed normal.

Because of that normal outward appearance my heart became prideful, arrogant, and boastful.  I was rude to folks, but I would do it with a smile, and a just kidding so that they would still like me.

I thought the world was lucky to have me, and because of that I looked down on folks.  I built an idol and it looked a lot like me and I sure did like to worship it.  For all these things I’m sorry.

I had different groups of friends too.  I never hung out with them all together, I would compartmentalize my friends.  Some for when I wanted to be cool, some for when I wanted to ball, and some for both (but not too many).  I wasn’t the same person depending on what group I was with.  Again, I’m sorry for playing favorites and being false.

I was so looking forward to getting out of high school by the beginning of my senior year that that I really only took the time to get to know a few people very well at all.  I was ready to go make new friends, instead of cherish the few days left with the ones I had since 6th grade.  For that I’m sorry.  To be honest I was pretty low on self esteem on the inside and needed to be liked by others to feel worth.  To feel like I belonged.

7 years after I left high school something happened to me though.  I became a Christian in August of 2002.  I now believe that all men were made in the image of God.  I now know that there was nothing special about me, but there is something special about Jesus.  I now know that I deserve to go to hell because I’m a sinner, a arrogant prideful sinner.  And yet, God gave His one and only Son to die on a cross for me.

If you were a class mate of mine at any time and I offended you in any way (and there must be many ways) I pray that you would forgive me.  Please don’t be bitter with me.  And if there are any of you out there that don’t know Jesus.  Not the Jesus our culture talks about, but the Jesus of the Bible.  If you don’t know about Him.  I pray that you will become intimate followers of His.  Like the wisest man in the Bible said “all is vanity”.  I chased vanity for 25 years (and sometimes I still do), how childish of me.  Class of 95 put away our toys, comforts, sorrows, and rejoice that if we come to Jesus, He is faithful to forgive, He is faithful to love us, and through that even the most prideful and arrogant can become a humble servant of Lord Jesus.  Although my many actions merit eternity in hell, the death and resurrection of Jesus washes my sin off of me and my robes are as white as snow.  How undeserved by me, and yet how wonderful

I won’t be at the reunion this year, but I would love to see you all at the reunion with our Maker one day in the life to come.

In Christ,

David

1 Corinthians 13:11

11 When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I put the ways of childhood behind me.

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I’m Sorry

I’m sorry….

2 little words….But they have so much power.

Today I had to apologize to someone who I had not given grace to, that I had not given the benefit of the doubt to.  Someone I was not a big fan of.

I had kept bitterness in my heart.  And my heart was hurting.  How could I not forgive when Jesus has forgiven me for so much more, far worse, and the price he paid for this forgiveness was his very life.

Oh how arrogant and prideful I can be.  Lord forgive me.

But through the Holy Spirit working on my heart I was not only able to forgive, I realized my own sin and was lead to say….”I’m Sorry”

The situation turned out well and I believe the person I offended and I will move on in a much more loving relationship.  But Lord this is you that melt the wickedness off of my heart.  You are the ultimate cure that can reconcile men.

Oh the power of that…to see my own sin and confess it.  Lord thank you for showing me where I lack, so that I may bring you glory.  And today I believe you did receive glory because in an of myself I would not have said “I’m sorry”.  I needed you Lord, I needed courage to say I was wrong, humility to show my contrite heart.  Lord you gave me these things because you give to those who ask.  You gave me these things because me continuing to be self righteous is not good, and doesn’t bring you glory.  Father, I thank you for those two words and I’m sorry that it took me so long to be obedient to you in this situation.  I love you Lord Jesus and I’m thankful that I have forgiveness because of your love for man-kind.

Jesus you deserve all of my worship, help me to give it to you.  Help me to be humble, to love others more than myself.  Give me a pure heart.

Comfortable Words From Jesus To Those Who Turn To Him

“Come to me, all who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

“God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. (John 3:16)

“This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptance, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners. (1 Timothy 1:15)

“If anyone does sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous.  He is the propitiation for our sins (1 John 2:1-2)

These words give me comfort for my labor is not enough so I get rest in you Lord Jesus.  That you came to those who believe in you that we should not perish.  That you came to save us sinners. That you stand with the father and advocate for me….Yes me despite the person I was…..I am….and will be….

Lord Jesus I praise you for your faithfulness even when I am not.  I praise you for your patience even when I’m not.  I praise you for the ability to be used by you in ministry what a privilege. I pray that you would take away the filth in my heart, that you would fill me with wisdom, that you would change me day by day, year by year.  I pray that you would cleanse my heart and make it new.  Take my pain and my sorrows.  Lord I pray that I would pray to you more often.  I pray that I would not pray in disbelief but expectantly.  I pray that I would not give up on your work because it doesn’t match my timing.  I pray that you would forgive me for any lack of Aw, any lack of obedience, any lack of faith.  Please Lord Jesus transform my mind, my heart, my soul.  Day by day I need you, I desperately need you Jesus.  Show me the way to love others, to love you in a true and meaningful way.  Christ help me to share the good news of your gospel with a world that tells me they don’t want you.  Give me courage Lord Jesus, give me strength.

Christ is Enough, Enough with Idolatry

Jesus,

You are worth my praise.  You are worth my life, You are worth all that I am.  You humbled yourself and became man, you died on a cross for my sins (without me even asking), and you death became my eternal life.  Christ because of this you are worthy of me, the whole me not just the compartmentalized me.  Not just the Sunday me.  Not just the Church/Ministry me, all of me.  I was built to Worship, and I do everyday.  The problem is that much of that worship is directed at the being I love most, the idol of my heart.  The idol of self.  I am selfish and always looking for ways to look out for myself.  Lord, help me.  Lord, help me to love, help my heart to desire loving You first, and neighbor second.  Christ alone is worthy of my Worship, Christ alone is enough.  Lord Jesus, please help my heart to do away with it’s idolatry its worship of me, my time, my plans, my desires.  Help me to have mercy on those that need mercy and don’t know you.  Help me to show them your ways and your plans and your timing.  Lord Jesus, You are enough no matter the day, the problem, the circumstances.  You are enough.

Thank you for forgiving me.  Thank you for taking away my sin and setting as far from me as the east is to the west.  Thank you for never losing a sheep that the Father has given you, no matter how far that sheep wonders.

Thank you Jesus for giving me Life.  Life in Christ.

A Sinner,

David

John 10:27-30

“My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. I and the Father are one.”

My Light is Lit Because Christ Lit it

“You are the light of the world. A town built on a hill cannot be hidden. In the same way, let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

Matthew 5:14,16 NIV

The above was the verse of the day on a site I check out from time to time BibleGateway.com

I like the verse but as a Christian it is so hard to see how come Christ put a light in me at all.  I’m thankful that He did, I’m thankful that when I do good deeds He is glorified.  I just am shocked that Christ would use me with all my faults to point to His glory.  Christ your Mercy and Grace truly are too much to comprehend.  the more I see my life through your eyes the more I wonder how can this be.  I’ve been a Christian now for over 12 years, and it is amazing to me that I can continue to learn year by year the depths that you went to save me from my sins.  Christ I was an enemy to you, and yet you still came to this earth as a man to save me.  You died the most horrible of deaths for me.  Like the end of the movie Private Ryan I find myself asking “was I worth it”  (it being the sacrifice of others).  In my own understanding I would say no, but Christ has much more understanding than me and he has purpose for my life.  I praise God for the good works that he set for me to do, and I do give Him the glory.  My heart was not set on Him it was set on my own selfish ambitions.  Lord I pray make me your light, keep me lit when the winds blow, when the rain pours.  Keep my light burning for You, I am weak and like Isreal of old, can see myself putting me ahead of you by the day.  Help me to reject this type of thought and action, help me to serve and love my family, friends, neighbors, and enemy’s.   Not because I burn so bright, but because You burn so bright in me.

Transformed

I was born back in the late 70’s.  Folks like me played with He-Man, Star Wars, GI Joe, and Transformers growing up.  I’ve taught a College Bible Study the past 9 years and one of my favorite illustrations is using an Optimus Prime.  I start off by showing the students a brand new never before opened Optimus Prime from the movie Dark Side of the Moon.  I look at the students and I tell them I’ve played with Transformers my entire life, but I’ve never opened this package how fast do you think I could transform it?  The answer of course is it would take a while, I’ve never done it before I would need to read the directions, sometimes you have to youtube it because the directions are confusing.  The parts on the new ones are different so they connect differently.

The second Optimus Prime I pull out looks like the old 80’s Cartoon Prime but it was made in the 2000’s and is made of plastic.  It is not the same one I’ve grown up with even though it looks like it much more than the Dark Side of the Moon Version.  I again ask them how long it would take for me to transform this one.  Unlike the first one this one is lose (out-side of the box)  but it doesn’t have the directions.  Even though I’ve touched it before I have never transformed it.  I just took it out of the box and set it on my office shelf about 7 years ago.  Again the students say it would take me a while, and I admit I like my chances better with this one but it would still take me about 5 or 6 minutes and I wouldn’t know if I had done it correctly because I don’t have the directions to check it against.

The last Optimus Prime I pull out is my Generation 1 (G1) original version that I had as a kid.  I am very familiar with this one even though I don’t play with it other than this one lesson each year.  I ask the students how long do you think it would take me to transform this G1 prime.  One in which I’ve spent many hours with, spending time with, getting to know everything about.  Most students will say “I think you can do it in about 2 minutes”.  Then I add this caveat.  How long do you think it will take if you blindfold me or I close my eyes?  The typical response is three to five minutes.  I then close my eyes and transform the G1 Transformer of Optimus Prime in 7 seconds flat.

You see, I know that Optimus, I’m familiar with that Optimus, I’ve spent many hours transforming him.  I use this to illustrate my relationship with Jesus Christ.  You see having a super cool new Bible is nice, but useless if not taken out of the box (See Dark Side of the Moon), Having a Bible that looks old but that has never been opened or read is also not useful (See the 2000’s 80’s version).  However, spending so much time in your Bible that you know every twist and turn (See G1 version) can be the very thing that transforms you from the person you are today, to the person God wants you to be.  The wonderful part about the sanctification process is is the more time you spend with God’s Word, the more you don’t have to think about being a Christian you begin to react like a Christian.  This is very much like a well trained athlete that doesn’t have to think they just do because of the many hours of practice.  My prayer for the students that have seen this or the readers that read this post is that you would begin reading God’s word and watch how he Transforms you.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 New International Version (NIV)

16 All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, 17 so that the servant of God[a] may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.

Your Grace is Too Much!!!!

Christ Your Grace is Too Much!!!

My life is a mess and yet You Bless.

I gave you nothing but sin, and you made me a Friend.

I wanted to act wild, you adopted me as your Child

I am evil and I lie, and for this you decided to die.

I deserve hell, but Your death made me well.

Lord I don’t deserve you and that is what makes it Grace.

Lord Your Grace is Too Much!

But I’ll cling to the Gospel for it has the power to save me….

I’ll cling to the cross because there is nothing good in me…

I’ll call on Your Son’s name… Jesus because nothing else matters…

And on that day that final day my hope is that my Sheppard will bring me home.

Not because I’m good or faithful but because He is good and faithful…

Christ Your Grace is Too Much!  And I thank you for it.

I Love you Lord Jesus.  I pray for those that don’t know your Amazing Grace.

That they would come to know it…

Praise God!

Follower of Christ – Born Again in 2002