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Friday, December 26, 2008

free copy.

hey guys. i got 2 copies of Do Hard Things for Christmas, so if any of you want the extra, tell me and i'll see if i can get it to you.

Wednesday, December 24, 2008

What an awesome year.

Wow. It's Christmas Eve. This year flew by so fast, it's still hard for me to believe that tomorrow is Christmas and in 8 days it will be the year 2009.


This was such an awesome year though. I have been blessed in so many ways I can't possibly list them all. But in an effort to show how amazing God is and how merciful his grace is, I can at least name a few :) 

-My older older sister got engaged.
-My younger older sister graduated college.
-I went to Hawaii.
-I made more friends than I could of possibly thought. Seriously, I can't list all of my friends even if I had hours to do it. 

And on top of all these things, I look forward to God's continued mercy and grace in 2009, with the following being some of the most anticipated things.

-I graduate high school
-I pay off my car
-My older older sister gets married
-My younger older sister goes to Great Britain

And now back to the main reason for my post today, and in fact, the main reason for everything. 

Jesus Christ. The only person in the history of eternity who could act as substitute for our sins. The only son of God. 

And tomorrow we get to celebrate his life and death.
Tomorrow we get to express our love for each other by exchanging gifts.
Tomorrow we remember the cross and the one who saved us from hell.
Tomorrow we praise God.
Today we praise God.

Our God is so great, his mercy is so boundless, his grace so entirely sufficient. Praise the Lord.

Well, since I can't guarantee that I will get on this blog tomorrow, I want to take this opportunity to say something-

MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

~Mark


Monday, December 22, 2008

Christmas Thoughts

Well, I've been kind of slow in getting into the Christmas spirit, but I am happy to say I'm there now.
I have always heard that Christmas is the time for giving rather than receiving, but I have to admit the past several years I've been more concerned with receiving. However, this year, for some odd reason, I really liked shopping for my family. I'm actually more excited about blessing them than I am about getting things. I hope they like what I got them.
But more than things, I'm more aware and focused on why we even celebrate Christmas. Jesus' birth leading to the rest of His life gives us the best present ever - salvation and a personal relationship with God. No matter how much we want to bless others, God still continues to be the Greatest Gift-Giver of all. And His gift is not only available on Christmas, but also for the rest of the year! It's actually Christmas everyday!
So there are my thoughts on Christmas...what are yours?
And MERRY CHRISTMAS!!!

*Mel
Luke 2:10-11 - But the angel said to them, "Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord."

Monday, December 15, 2008

Prayer Update:Findlay

Findlay stopped by Chick-fil-A tonight to give all of us some relief! He's doing fine, has a headache and a cracked rib but other than that no injuries. Praise God! I really think God is after Findlay's salvation at this point because a few days before his accident he and I were talking apologetics (Thank you Mr. Detwiler!!!) and he's got some quirky thinking which I managed to straighten some of it out to the point he's willing to listen to some messages. It is really a miracle that he is out and about walking and such...the doctors actually told his parents they weren't sure he was going to live through that first night. So pray for Findlay's continued healing and most importantly his salvation. Thanks guys!!!! You're prayer warriors!

Prayer Request

Hey guys I've got a prayer request for you...one of my co-workers Findlay was in a pretty serious car accident last week...remember when it rained really bad? Anyway he was on the interstate and apparently he wasn't even doing the speed limit (he's reaaaally protective of his car) and since it was raining he was being extra careful...anyway, his car hydroplaned and he went up under an 18-wheeler. Findlay had a massive bleed on the brain and he also broke something (I forgot what) They sent him home and he is recovering (seems to be doing well), please pray for his complete healing and that there will be no damage to his brain.

(pictures from Findlay himself)
Thanks Guys!!!!!!

Sunday, December 7, 2008

Today's message

Yey! I actually get to post and not just comment after a great message :-)! A few thoughts...
~Wow! Mr. Lechner really likes reading :-). (So do I!)
~I need to remember to ask God that the "eyes of my understanding may be opened" on a frequent/daily basis. I often forget.
~God's revelation of Himself is staggering!
~Although we should all be reading good theology, also never underestimate the power of fiction, and, especially biography written in a compelling, descriptive way (what I call the "fictive method"). There is artistry in fiction that can be deeply compelling and encouraging. It is a powerful medium for good and even for learning important truths as well as nonfiction!
~Given that, I would love to see lists from people of some of their favorite fiction and nonfiction books, specifically ones that help them in their walk with Christ. To start us off, here's my lists:
(and I have all of these...maybe if we're inspired we can use these book lists to start that book club we talked about awhile ago...?)
Nonfiction (no particular order-sorry for the long list)
Knowing God (J. I. Packer)
Passion and Purity (Elisabeth Elliot) (yes, this is from a girl's perspective, but I think it's good for guys too)
Desiring God (John Piper)
L'Abri (Edith Schaeffer) (This is one of the "fictive" ones I was talking about above).
The "Case For"s series (Lee Strobel)
Stepping Heavenward (Elizabeth Prentiss)
The Legacy of Soveriegn Joy (John Piper)
And last but not least God Called a Girl (Shannon Kubiak)
Fiction (Authors)
Frank Peretti (he helped me in my walk, the rest are just fun & inspiring so far, in terms of their fiction)
C. S. Lewis
J.R.R. Tolkien

Sunday, November 30, 2008

Sunday Verse

This is the passage that was preached from at the sunday message today. It really spoke out to me, and I thought I would post it here for everyone to be reminded of.


Romans 5:18-6:11 Consequently, just as the result of one trespass was condemnation for all men, so also the result of one act of righteousness was justification that brings life for all men. For just as through the disobedience of the one man the many were made sinners, so also through the obedience of the one man the many will be made righteous.
The law was added so that the trespass might increase. But where sin increased, grace increased all the more, so that, just as sin reigned in death, so also grace might reign through righteousness to bring eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
What shall we say, then? Shall we go on sinning so that grace may increase? By no means! We died to sin; how can we live in it any longer? Or don't you know that all of us who were baptized into Christ Jesus were baptized into his death? We were therefore buried with him through baptism into death in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead through the glory of the Father, we too may live a new life.
If we have been united with him like this in his death, we will certainly also be united with him in his resurrection. For we know that our old self was crucified with him so that the body of sin might be done away with, that we should no longer be slaves to sin- because anyone who has died has been freed from sin.
Now if we died with Christ, we believe that we will also live with him. For we know that since Christ was raised from the dead, he cannot die again; death no longer has mastery over him. The death he died, he died to sin once for all; but the life he lives, he lives to God.
In the same way, count yourselves dead to sin but alive to God in Christ Jesus. 

~Mark

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Thanksgiving

thanks·giv·ing
Pronunciation:
\thaŋ(k)s-ˈgi-viŋ also ˈthaŋ(k)s-ˌ\
Function: noun
Date: 1533
1: the act of giving thanks
2: a prayer expressing gratitude
3 a: a public acknowledgment or celebration of divine goodness b: capitalized: Thanksgiving Day

Thanksgiving Day
Function: noun
Date: 1674
a day appointed for giving thanks for divine goodness: as
a: the fourth Thursday in November observed as a legal holiday in the United States
b: the second Monday in October observed as a legal holiday in Canada

So is this really the meaning of thanksgiving? Is it really all about getting together with family, watching the parades, being thankful for toothpaste, eating turkey and taking long naps? maybe...or maybe its about something else...something more important than who brought the potato salad or who burned the biscuits Is Thanksgiving only supposed to be expressed on one day of the year? God deserves, requires, and commands our thanks and praise EVERY DAY...not just the 4th thursday
Check out some of these verses about thanksgiving:

Ezra 3:11
With praise and thanksgiving they sang to the LORD: "He is good; his love to Israel endures forever." And all the people gave a great shout of praise to the LORD, because the foundation of the house of the LORD was laid.
Psalm 69:30
I will praise God's name in song and glorify him with thanksgiving

Psalm 100:4
Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise; give thanks to him and praise his name.


1 Corinthians 1:4
I always thank God for you because of his grace given you in Christ Jesus

Psalm 95:2
Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song


Jonah 2:9
But I, with a song of thanksgiving, will sacrifice to you. What I have vowed I will make good. Salvation comes from the LORD."

1 Corinthians 14:16
If you are praising God with your spirit, how can one who finds himself among those who do not understand say "Amen" to your thanksgiving, since he does not know what you are saying?

2 Corinthians 4:15
All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God

Philippians 4:6
Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God

Now, THAT is what Thanksgiving is...with that said, Happy Thanksgiving! Praise God for another day!

Saturday, November 22, 2008

Prayer Request(s)

Hey guys, I have 2 prayer requests although they're kindof about the same thing.
1. My manager Mr. James (greatest manager ever...the dad kind who will get mad if you do somethin stupid or pray with you when you're having a hard time) recently got a second job and by doing so cut his shifts down to two shifts a week...going from a previous five shifts a week. He feels that God has called him to this new job...but after two weeks, he thinks that it was the wrong timing. So right now he's in a position with a big decision...he really wants to come back to us but feels the need to stay at his new job because it is an "ungodly place" in his words. Pray for him in this difficult time.
2. Pray for me (selfish I know) I'm dealing with some character issues mostly at work. I'm also having a hard time dealing with Mr. James being gone and all the changes the management has made lately...hence the appearance of more character issues that need to be dealt with! (Praise God for bringing them to my attention!) Pray for patience and growth in knowing how to deal with frustrating situations and people.
Thanks you guys, I know how faithful you are in prayer! Love you guys hope you have an amazing week....I have another post coming soon.
Vaya con Dios - it means farwell in Spanish but translates literally into "Go with God" how amazing isn't it!?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Hope this link works!

Okay, we kind of had a hard time with the previous links...so I hope I did it right this time. :)



http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/ConferenceMessages/ByTitle/2699_The_Appearance_of_the_Unwasted_Life_Part_1/

And Part 2:

http://www.desiringgod.org/ResourceLibrary/ConferenceMessages/ByTitle/2700_The_Appearance_of_the_Unwasted_Life_Part_2/

Monday, November 17, 2008

Romans 8:28

That's all.

Sunday, November 16, 2008

Thanks for Praying

Hey guys, I just wanted to wrap up a prayer request I had a while ago.


As you all know, several weeks ago one of my coworkers broke her elbow and wrist while working. Thanks so much for all your prayers, and by the grace of God there is no long term injury that she will have to deal with. She has pretty much completely healed, but she still has 1 more week to go until she can use her arm for lifting objects, etc. 

Thanks again!

~Mark

Friday, November 14, 2008

Don't Waste What?

I was listening to John Piper's message, The Appearance of the Unwasted Life, yesterday and was personally convicted. I would highly recommend it to you. It's in two parts and you can listen to or download them by clicking here: Part 1 , Part 2. After listening to the message, please post under the general topic of '"don't waste your..." - you fill in the blank. Some suggestions for specific topics would be 'don't waste your...youth, job, money, time, talent. I think this will help us to mutually encourage each other and to 'spur each other on to love and good deeds' Heb. 10:24.

~mee

Thursday, November 13, 2008

Hi all.

Hello everyone. I'm Adam Davis.

Many of you may already know who I am, from the Elliotts (whom I only recently met) or the Grafs, who have been good friends of mine for a long time. I have even met a handful of you already (Morgan, Bethany, Nathan). I look forward to meeting you all someday soon. You give me the hope that maybe, just maybe, the next generation won't totally ruin the world.

Emily Elliott let me know it might be a good idea to introduce myself to those of you who don't fit into any of those categories and just plain have no idea who I am . I've never been great at introductions, but I'll do my best. I suppose the best way to go about it would be to do what I'd want someone to do if they were introduced to me. It's always nice to get the basics out of the way, so how about that first?

I'm 16 years old, and I'll be 17 on February 21. I'm in what is commonly labeled as the 11th grade. I'm 5'9", blonde hair blue eyes, blah blah blah.

I know none of that is interesting. It's all stuff that becomes immediately obvious when you meet someone in person. What always appeals to me is getting to know how people think; what makes them smile, what makes them laugh, what makes them cry, what they do when they're alone, what they're really afraid of, what they dream of. That's the kind of thing that can be hard to drag out of a person, because it's so personal. But I've always said that I'm one to put all the cards on the table, so here you are.

I smile when I am appreciated.

I laugh when a friend tells me a joke.

You would be hard-pressed to make me cry.

When I’m alone I hum music and pantomime a keyboard.

I’m really afraid of pain.

I dream of being an artist. Not being rich or famous. Just having the freedom to have my own lifestyle.

So, as an icebreaker, I’m challenging you with the same questions. What makes you smile? What makes you laugh? What makes you cry? What do you do when you’re alone? What are you afraid of? What do you dream of.

I look forward to getting to know you.

Friday, October 31, 2008

What Do I Know Of Holy?

So often we think we know it all, or we think we know who God is. But we need to always keep in focus that we only know what God allows us to know. This past Wednesday, the Mission28'rs watched a message by Louie Giglio...if you haven't heard of him he is a Christian music producer most associated with Chris Tomlin. He talked about the indescribableness (and if that's not a word, it is now haha!) of God and how small we really are. Here are the links to the video, its in 5 parts and its between 45 minutes and an hour. I highly recommend that you guys take the time to watch this, you will not regret it.
Part 1
Please take the time, you will learn so much about our wonderful creator!
I found this song by Addison Road and it really plays in with Louie Giglio's message and the thought that we are much smaller than we think. Something to think on :)

What Do I Know Of Holy?
by Addison Road

I made You promises a thousand times
I tried to hear from Heaven
But I talked the whole time
I think I made You too small
I never feared You at all No
If You touched my face would I know You?
Looked into my eyes could I behold You?
(CHORUS)
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

I guess I thought that I had figured You out
I knew all the stories and I learned to talk about
How You were mighty to save
Those were only empty words on a page
Then I caught a glimpse of who You might be
The slightest hint of You brought me down to my knees

(CHORUS)
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?

(CHORUS 2)
What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of wounds that will heal my shame?
And a God who gave life it's name?
What do I know of Holy?
Of the One who the angels praise?
All creation knows Your name
On earth and heaven above
What do I know of this love?

(CHORUS)
What do I know of You
Who spoke me into motion?
Where have I even stood
But the shore along Your ocean?
Are You fire? Are You fury?
Are You sacred? Are You beautiful?
What do I know? What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of Holy?
What do I know of Holy?

You guys have a great weekend!

Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Websites/blogs

I was wondering which of you have blogs/websites. If you have one/any, could you post the URLs? (Or, if that would be unacceptable for some reason, could you tell me at church?) I am interested for two reasons: first, to get to know you all better, and second, because my writing assignment for the next few weeks is to create my own website. Therefore, those of you with experience with "actual websites" (not blogs), could you pass on any helpful tips? Thanks!
(Chelsey, is this post outside of the parameters of this blog?)

Monday, October 13, 2008

Urgent prayer request!

We just got a phone call about an hour ago and heard that my grandpa(my mom's dad) just had a heart attack. Please be praying for him, the doctors caring for him and all of his family.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

God the Rock

I've started studying names/attributes of God in my Bible study, then writing poems about them. This one is based on the three definitions of rock: stronghold/firm foundation, to move rhythmically back and forth, and cause of coming danger. I thought you might be interested... (I'm beginning with my title, then key verse, then the poem itself).


O God my Rock
Isaiah 8:14a - He will be a sanctuary, but [also] a stone of stumbling and rock of offense.

Solid Rock on Whom I stand
All other ground is shifting sand

Never changing, always steady
Trustworthy I know and see
Refuge in the time of storm
Cleft in (the) rock that keeps me warm
Firm through all life's turmoils, strong
A place to be and to belong

Gentle Father rocks to sleep
Baby in the cradle deep
God the Father, One in Three
Using love to quiet me?
Loving One with tender care
Watches o'er His loved ones there

Impending danger! Watch! It's near!
Closer! Closer! Coming here!
God's wrath is wondrous to behold
Righteous, coming, crushing (the) bold
And all who dare to defy God
Above, or here on earthly sod

Solid Rock on Whom I stand
All other ground is shifting sand


Friday, October 10, 2008

Prayer Request

Hey guys, I've got a prayer request for yall.


Today at work (I work at the Concord Mills Chick-Fil-A), right before we opened at around 6:30 in the morning, one of my coworkers, whose name is Leigh, fell off of a shelf in our cooler onto the cement floor. The shelf she fell off was about 3 feet high, and as she fell she hit into another low shelf. She broke both her shoulder and elbow in her left arm.

She was in surgery at around 8 this morning. If you all would be able to pray for her quick recovery and that she would not be in much pain during her recovery period, which will most likely be a few months.

Thanks guys.

~Mark

Monday, October 6, 2008

Verse of the Day

Week of September 30th

Theme of the Week- Humility

October 6th- Philippians 2:1-4 If you have any encouragement from being united with Christ, if any comfort from his love, if any fellowship with the Spirit, if any tenderness and compassion, then make my joy complete by being like-minded, having the same love, being one in spirit and purpose. Do nothing out of selfish ambition or vain conceit, but in humility consider others better than yourselves. Each of you should look not only to your own interests, but also to the interests of others.

October 7th- 1 Peter 5:5 Young men, in the same way be submissive to those who are older. All of you, clothe yourselves with humility toward one another, because, "God opposes the proud but gives grace to the humble." Humble yourselves, therefore, under God's mighty hand, that he may lift you up in due time. Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you.

October 8th- Matthew 23:11-12 The greatest among you will be your servant. For whoever exalts himself will be humbled, and whoever humbles himself will be exalted.

October 9th- Ephesians 4:1-3 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace.

October 10th- Matthew 18:1-4 At that time the disciples came to Jesus and asked, "Who is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven?" He called a little child and had him stand among them. And he said: "I tell you the truth, unless you change and become like little children, you will never enter the kingdom of heaven. Therefore, whoever humbles himself like this child is the greatest in the kingdom of heaven. 


Wednesday, October 1, 2008

thought you guys might enjoy this

I got a great birthday card from my granddad today. On the outside, it says "have an adequate birthday" and the inside says "brought to you by the National Foundation of Lowered Expectations." The Harris' would just love that.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Verse of the Day

Week of September 30th

Theme of the Week- Hope

September 30th- Psalms 42 Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God. I say to my God my Rock, "Why have you forgotten me? Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy? My bones suffer mortal agony as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long, "Where is your God?" Why are you downcast, O my soul? Why so disturbed within me? Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise him, my Savior and my God.

October 1st- Isaiah 40:30-31 Even youth grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall; but those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength. They will soar on wings like eagles; they will run and not grow weary, they will walk and not be faint.

October 2nd- Hebrews 6:17-20 Because God wanted to make the unchanging nature of his purpose very clear to the heirs of what was promised, he confirmed it with an oath. God did this so that, by two unchangeable things in which it is impossible for God to lie, we who have fled to take hold of the hope offered to us may be greatly encouraged. We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure. It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, where Jesus, who went before us, has entered on our behalf. 

October 3rd- Romans 8:23-25 We ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies. For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what he already has? But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.

October 4th- Psalm 62 Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge. Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your hearts to him, for God is our refuge.

Sunday, September 21, 2008

Verse of the Day

Week of September 21st

Theme of the Week- Worship

September 21st- 1 Chronicles 16:28-29 Ascribe to the Lord, O families of nations, ascribe to the Lord glory and strength, ascribe to the Lord the glory due his name. Bring an offering and come before him; worship the Lord in the splendor of his holiness.

September 22nd- Psalm 95 Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud to the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song. Come, let us bow down in worship, let us kneel before the Lord our Maker; for he is our God and we are the people of his pasture, the flock under his care.

September 23rd- Deuteronomy 32:3-4 I will proclaim the name of the Lord. Oh, praise the greatness of our God! He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he.

September 24th- 1 Chronicles 16:23-25 Sing to the Lord, all the earth; proclaim his salvation day after day. Declare his glory among the nations, his marvelous deeds among all peoples. For great is the Lord and most worthy of praise; he is to be feared above all gods.

September 25th- Psalm 34:1 I will extol the Lord at all times; his praise will always be on my lips. My soul will boast in the Lord; let the afflicted hear and rejoice. Glorify the Lord with me; let us exalt his name together.

September 26th- Ephesians 1:3-6 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in the heavenly realms with every spiritual blessing in Christ. For he chose us in him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in his sight. In love he predestined us to be adopted as his sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with his pleasure and will- to the praise of his glorious grace, which he has freely given us in the One he loves. 

September 27th- Matthew 5:14-16 You are the light of the world. A city on a hill cannot be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on its stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds and praise your Father in heaven. 

Friday, September 19, 2008

Prayer request/praise report!

I am writing to tell you all how excited I am about what God is doing!

First of all, let me give you some background:
As I've learned & learned more about certain topics recently, most of which are hot-button issues, I've naturally formed opinions about them. Recently, I've been wishing that I had some way of "testing" these ideas. Usually, my parents have been a good "sounding board," but I needed to see if all the proofs and ideas I found so convincing convinced anyone else. I had a few little ways of doing this, but none as great as the one God gave to me!

See, my mom's family is very diverse :-). All are Christians, but they represent about every possible political, economic, even religious opinion out there, and for a long time (as far as I know) they've basically agreed to disagree. Now, though, I've had an opportunity to "debate"/discuss via e-mail with several of them!

Hence is both my praise report and prayer request: praise, because God has filled my desire, given me an avenue to learn more about apologetics, a definite interest of mine, and deepened my relationship with my uncle, cousin and grandfather through it, and request, because I desire that my words be always "full of grace, seasoned with salt," that I may "always be ready to give a defense for the hope that is in [me], with meekness and fear." (Col. 4:6, 1 Peter 3:15)

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Prayer Update!

Prayer Update:
WE SOLD OUR HOUSE!!!!!!!
They just finished settlement a little while ago and we now officially own ONE house!!!!!
Thank you all so much for praying for us. It means a lot to us.

~mee

Monday, September 15, 2008

Youth Group Question

Hey I know this is a little late, but I thought I would put the 3rd face-to-face question up for discussion. I was kinda surprised that they put a question this deep on the list, and I'm curious what answers you all came up with. Anyways-


Why is it important to understand sin in order to understand why belief not behavior is the essence of being a christian?

Week of September 14th

Theme of the Week- Trust

September 14th- Psalm 20:6-8 Now I know that the Lord saves his anointed; he answers him from his holy heaven with the saving power of his right hand. Some trust in chariots and some in horses, but we trust in the name of the Lord our God. They are brought to their knees and fall, but we rise up and stand firm.

September 15th- Proverbs 3:5-6 Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge him, and he will make your paths straight. 

September 16th- Isaiah 25:8-9 The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces; he will remove the disgrace of his people from all the earth. The Lord has spoken. In that day they will say, "Surely this is our God; we trusted in him, and he saved us. This is the Lord, we trusted in him; let us rejoice and be glad in his salvation."

September 17th- Luke 17:10-12 Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much. So if you have not been trustworthy in handling worldly wealth, who will trust you with true riches? And if you have not been trustworthy with someone else's property, who will give you property of your own?

September 18th- Psalm 37:1-3 Do not fret because of evil men or be envious of those who do wrong; for like the grass they will soon wither, like green plants they will soon die away. Trust in the Lord and do good; dwell in the land and enjoy safe pasture. Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the lord; trust in him and he will do this.

September 19th- Psalm 32:10-11 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the Lord's unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in him. Rejoice in the Lord and be glad you righteous; sing, all you who are upright in heart!

September 20th- Proverbs 28:25-26 A greedy man stirs up dissension, but he who trusts in the Lord will prosper. He who trusts in himself is a fool, but he who walks in wisdom is kept safe.

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Governor's Page Program

hi.
Next week I'm going to be doing the governor's page program in Raleigh. I'm not sure what it involves, but I know that I probably won't like it at first. Please pray for me to learn to enjoy it and have a good learning experience.
thanks.

--Matt

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

Hard things for the week.....

A while back, I remember someone(Chelsey, I think?) made a post asking everyone what their 'hard thing' was for the week. I found that really helpful to know that my friends were praying for me and that I had people to hold me accountable. So, I want to ask, what is your hard thing for this week? Are you struggling in a particular area? How can I/we pray for you?

I know that, for myself, I need to work on keeping God first and trusting in Him. As far as trusting Him....I've had a lot to think about and a lot of changes happen recently in many areas. Sometimes I find myself wishing that I wasn't in the place I'm in right now, or I find myself stressing about things that I shouldn't be stressing about. I just need to trust Him more and know that He has a plan!

Monday, September 8, 2008

Prayer Request

Hey guys, I've got a prayer request for you all. Recently I've been struggling a lot with patience in several different areas, so if you all could pray for me about that, I would really appreciate it. Thanks guys.


~Mark

So...hi

Ok, so hi again people...I've been following the blog to see if anyone would start a topic on their own and so far only Mark has been posting...so I just really want to encourage you because I know that the school year is busy and stressful...I want to encourage you to post, even if its just a few words to say you're alive! I hope you guys have a good week, I'm off to class!

Sunday, September 7, 2008

Verse of the Day

Week of September 7th

Theme of the Week- Patience

September 7th- Proverbs 15 A hot-tempered man, stirs up dissension, but a patient man calms a quarrel. A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. A fool spurns his father's discipline, but whoever heeds correction shows prudence.

September 8th- Proverbs 19 A man's wisdom gives him patience; it is to his glory to overlook an offense. It is not good to have zeal without knowledge, nor to be hasty and miss the way. Listen to advice and accept instruction, and in the end you will be wise.

September 9th- Colossians 3:12-14 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity.

September 10th- Romans 12:9-12 Love must be sincere. Hate what is evil; cling to what is good. Be devoted to one another in brotherly love. Honor one another above yourselves. Never be lacking in zeal, but keep your spiritual fervor, serving the Lord. Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer. 

September 11th- 1 Thessalonians 5:12-15 Now we ask you, brothers to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other. And we urge you, brothers, warn those who are idle, encourage the timid, help the weak, be patient with everyone. Make sure that nobody pays back wrong for wrong, but always try to be kind to each other and to everyone else. 

September 12th- Psalm 27 Wait for the Lord; be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord. The Lord is my light and my salvation- whom shall I fear? The Lord is the stronghold of my life- of whom shall I be afraid? I am still confident of this: I will see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living. 

September 13th- Isaiah 30:18 Yet the Lord longs to be gracious to you; He rises to show you compassion. For the Lord is a God of justice. Blessed are all who wait for him!

Sunday, August 31, 2008

Verse of the Day

Week of August 31st

Theme of the Week- Our Words

August 31st- Ephesians 4:29-32 Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. 

September 1st- Proverbs 18: 4, 6-8 The words of a man's mouth are deep waters, but the fountain of wisdom is a bubbling brook. A fool's lips bring him strife, and his mouth invites a beating. A fool's mouth is his undoing, and his lips are a snare to his soul. The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to a man's inmost parts.   

September 2nd- Galatians 5:13-15 You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature, rather, serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in a single command: "Love your neighbor as yourself." If you keep on biting and devouring each other, watch out for you will be destroyed by each other.

September 3rd- Proverbs 15: 1-2, 4, 7 A gentle answer turns away wrath, but a harsh word stirs up anger. The tongue of the wise commends knowledge, but the mouth of the fool gushes folly. The tongue that brings healing is a tree of life, but a deceitful tongue crushes the spirit. The lips of the wise spread knowledge; not so the hearts of fools. 

September 4th- 2 Timothy 2:14-16 Keep reminding them of these things. Warn them before God against quarreling about words; it is of no value, and only ruins those who listen. Do your best to present yourself to God as one approved, a workman who does not need to be ashamed and who correctly handles the word of truth. Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly. 

September 5th- Colossians 3:15-17 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. 

September 6th- James 3:5 Likewise the tongue is a small part of the body, but it makes great boasts. Consider what a great forest is set on fire by a small spark. The tongue also is a fire, a world of evil among the parts of the body. It corrupts the whole person, sets the whole course of his life on fire, and is itself on fire by hell. With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father, and with it we curse men, who have been made in God's likeness. Out of the same mouth come praise and cursing. My brothers, this should not be. Can both fresh water and salt water flow from the same spring? 

Monday, August 25, 2008

Verse of the Day

Week of August 24th

Following a suggestion that was given, the theme for this week is, "what God has to say about himself."

August 24th- Revelation 1:8, 1:17-18 "I am the Alpha and the Omega," says the Lord God, "who is, and who was, and who is to come, the Almighty. Do not be afraid. I am the First and the Last. I am the Living One; I was dead, and behold I am alive for ever and ever! And I hold the keys of death and Hades."

August 25th- Revelation 22:12-16 "Behold, I am coming soon! My reward is with me, and I will give to everyone according to what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the First and the Last, the Beginning and the End. Blessed are those who wash their robes, that they may have the right to the tree of life and may go through the gates into the city. Outside are the dogs, those who practice magic arts, the sexually immoral, the murderers, the idolaters and everyone who loves and practices falsehood. I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star." 

August 26th- Matthew 7:24-27 "Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash."

August 27th- Matthew 11:27-30 "All things have been committed to me by my Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and those to whom the Son chooses to reveal him. Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." 

August 28th- John 6:25-40 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

August 29th- John 14:1-4 "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going." 

August 30th- Luke 6:32-36 "If you love those who love you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' love those who love them. And if you do good to those who are good to you, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' do that. And if you lend to those from whom you expect repayment, what credit is that to you? Even 'sinners' lend to 'sinners', expecting to be repaid in full. But love your enemies, do good to them, and lend to them without expecting to get anything back. Then your reward will be great, and you will be sons of the Most High, because he is kind to the ungrateful and wicked. Be merciful, just as your Father is merciful."

Sunday, August 17, 2008

Verse of the Day

Week of August 17th

Hey guys I decided to change it up a little, so from now on, each week of verses have a theme! The theme for this week is- Perseverance/Endurance

August 17th- Hebrews 12:1 Therefore, since we are surrounded by such a great cloud of witnesses, let us throw off everything that hinders and the sin that so easily entangles, and let us run with perseverance the race marked out for us. Let us fix our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy set before him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Consider him who endured such opposition from sinful men, so that you will not grow weary and lose heart.

August 18th- James 1:2 Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.

August 19th- Hebrews 10:35-39 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

August 20th- Romans 15:4-6 For everything that was written in the past was written to teach us, so that through endurance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope. May the God who gives endurance and encouragement give you a spirit of unity among yourselves as you follow Christ Jesus, so that with one heart and mouth you may glorify the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. 

August 21st- Revelation 3:10-13 Since you have kept my command to endure patiently, I will also keep you from the hour of trial that is going to come upon the whole world to test those who live on the earth. I am coming soon. Hold on to what you have, so that no one will take your crown. Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the temple of my God. Never again will he leave it. I will write on him the name of my God and the name of the city of my God, the new Jerusalem, which is coming down out of heaven from my God; and I will also write on him my new name. He who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. 

August 22nd- Psalm 112:1; Psalm 112:7-9 Praise the Lord. Blessed is the man who fears the Lord, who finds great delight in his commands. He will have no fear of bad news; his heart is steadfast, trusting the Lord. His heart is secure, he will have no fear; in the end he will look in triumph on his foes. He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor, his righteousness endures forever; his horn will be lifted high in honor.

August 23rd- Hebrews 10:35-39 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded. You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. For in just a very little while, "He who is coming will come and will not delay. But my righteous one will live by faith. And if he shrinks back, I will not be pleased with him." But we are not of those who shrink back and are destroyed, but of those who believe and are saved.

Olympic/Biblical musings

Last night, my mom and I were talking about how the Olympics parallel our spiritual lives and we came up with a few things I thought might interest you all:
~It's easier to start strong than to have the endurance to finish strong
~Starting behind (like Phelps in butterfly) does not necessarily mean finishing last: finishing well, like Paul did, is important. "use your last strength on your last day...be spent in His service" (paraphrase of somebody :-) )
~"Hating" father/mother/brother etc: what do you consider most important? Jesus (Olympic sports) or family? Many (synchronized divers especially) had to leave family and friends in pursuit of excellence in their sport. Are we willing to sacrifice for a greater cause?

Now, this thought is not "on topic," but I thought it was neat that the message this morning was on justice, and I've been musing, or perhaps marveling would be a better word, on how God became "both just and justifier" (Romans ?). An easy to pass over phrase, yet it is amazing if you think about it for long enough.

Tuesday, August 12, 2008

This School Year

I don't know if you've noticed but things have gotten kind of slow around here lately...with school just around the corner I know it will be harder than ever to keep writing faithfully, so before we let it slow down, I have a question for you...what are you most looking forward to you this school year? How do you want to grow this year? What specific areas can we pray for each other this coming school year as some of us face the new and unknown? Lets try to be faithful to pray for one another and to update as much as we can. I pray this school year will grow us all towards a better understanding of the Gospel and to a closer relationship with God and parents!!

Sunday, August 10, 2008

Verse of the Day

Week of August 10th

August 10th- Isaiah 65:17-20 "Behold, I will create new heavens and a new earth. The former things will not be remembered, nor will they come to mind. But be glad and rejoice forever in what I will create, for I will create Jerusalem to be a delight and its people a joy. I will rejoice over Jerusalem and take delight in my people; the sound of weeping and of crying will be heard in it no more. Never again will there be in it an infant who lives but a few days, or an old man who does not live out his years; he who dies at a hundred will be thought a mere youth; he who fails to reach a hundred will be considered accursed.

August 11th- Luke 12:32-34 "Do not be afraid, little flock, for your Father has been pleased to give you the kingdom. Sell your possessions and give to the poor. Provide purses for yourselves that will not wear out, a treasure in heaven that will not be exhausted, where no thief comes near and no moth destroys. For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also."

August 12th- 1 Peter 1:17-21 Since you call on a Father who judges each man's work impartially, live your lives as strangers here in reverent fear. 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 your forefathers, but with the precious blood of Christ, a lamb without blemish or defect. He was chosen before the creation of the world, but was revealed in these last times for your sake. Through him you believe in God, who raised him from the dead and glorified him, and so your faith and hope are in God.

August 13th- Revelation 4:8-11 "Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty, who was, and is, and is to come." Whenever the living creatures give glory, honor and thanks to him who sits on the throne and who lives for ever and ever, the twenty-four elders fall down before him who sits on the throne, and worship him who lives for ever and ever. They lay their crowns before the throne and say: "You are worthy, our Lord and God, to receive glory and honor and power, for you created all things, and by your will they were created and have their being." 

August 14th- 2 Timothy 1:8-10 So do not be ashamed to testify about our Lord, or ashamed of me his prisoner. But join with me in suffering for the gospel, by the power of God, who has saved us and called us to a holy life- not because of anything we have done but because of his own purpose and grace. This grace was given us in Christ Jesus before the beginning of time, but it has now been revealed through the appearing of our Savior, Christ Jesus, who has destroyed death and has brought life and immortality to light through the gospel. 

August 15th- 1 John 5:1-5 Everyone who believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves the father loves his child as well. This is how we know that we love the children of God: by loving God and carrying out his commands. This is love for God: to obey his commands. And his commands are not burdensome, for everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God.

August 16th- Revelation 5:6-11 Then I saw a lamb, looking as if it had been slain, standing in the center of the throne, encircled by the four living creatures and the elders. He had seven horns and seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth. He came and took the scroll from the right hand of him who sat on the throne. And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and then twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. And they sang a new song: "You are worthy to take the scroll and to open its seals, because you were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God from every tribe and language and people and nation. You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God, and they will reign on the earth."

Monday, August 4, 2008

Verse of the Day

Week of August 3rd

August 3rd- 1 John 5:24-29 "I tell you the truth, whoever hears my word and believes him who sent me has eternal life and will not be condemned; he has crossed over from death to life. I tell you the truth, a time is coming and has now come when the dead will hear the voice of the Son of God and those who hear will live. For as the Father has life in himself, so he has granted the Son to have life in himself. And he has given him authority to judge because he is the Son of Man. Do not be amazed at this, for a time is coming when all who are in their graves will hear his voice and come out- those who have done good will rise to live, and those who have done evil will rise to be condemned. 

August 4th- Isaiah 60:19-22 The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you, for the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory. Your sun will never set again, and your moon will wane no more; the Lord will be your everlasting light, and your days of sorrow will end. Then will all your people be righteous and they will possess the land forever. They are the shoot I have planted, the work of my hands, for the display of my splendor. The least of you will become a thousand, the smallest a mighty nation. I am the Lord; in its time I will do this swiftly. 

August 5th- John 3:16 "For  God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but to save the world through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe stands condemned already because he has not believed in the name of God's one and only Son. This is the verdict: Light has come into the world, but men loved darkness instead of light because their deeds were evil. Everyone who does evil hates the light, and will not come into the light for fear that his deeds will be exposed. But whoever lives by the truth comes into the light, so that it may be seen plainly that what he has done has been done through God."

August 6th- Psalm 119:89-96 Your word, O Lord, is eternal; it stands firm in the heavens. Your faithfulness continues through all generations; you established the earth, and it endures. Your laws endure to this day, for all things serve you. If your law had not been my delight, I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget your precepts, for by them you have preserved my life. Save me, for I am yours; I have sought out your precepts. The wicked are waiting to destroy me, but I will ponder your statues. To all perfection I see a limit; but your commands are boundless. 

August 7th- Romans 8:12-17 Therefore, brothers, we have an obligation- but it is not to the sinful nature, to live according to it. For if you live according to the sinful nature, you will die; but if by the Spirit you put to death the misdeeds of the body, you will live, because those who are led by the Spirit of God are sons of God. For you did not receive a spirit that makes you a slave again to fear, but you received the Spirit of sonship. And by him we cry, "Abba, Father." The Spirit himself testifies with our spirit that we are God's children. Now if we are children, then we are heirs- heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. 

August 8th- John 6:35-40 Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me,. and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do  the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."

August 9th- John 14:15-21 "If you love me, you will obey what I command. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Counselor to be with you forever- the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. Before long, the world will not see me anymore, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live. On that day you will realize that I am in my Father, and you are in me, and I am in you. Whoever has my commands and obeys them, he is the one who loves me. He who loves me will be loved by my Father, and I too will love him and show myself to him."