Sunday, January 11, 2015
Unable to attend church this morning due to sickness, so thought I would have church with you guys today. :) Reading James 1 this morning out of the NASB, unless otherwise noted. Plain text indicates the words of scripture, italics indicate my thoughts when reading. :)
1 James, a bond-servant of God and of the Lord Jesus Christ,
To the twelve tribes who are dispersed abroad: Greetings.
"To the...tribes...dispersed abroad" So even the early church had to deal with seperation from time to time. People come, people go, yet they were still part of the tribe, and letters like this one, kept them connected.
2 Consider it all joy, my brethren, when you encounter various trials,
Woah, that is not everyday thinking. Google define calls a trial: "a test of the performance, qualities, or suitability of someone or something." Something like a exam at school. I believe I can safely say that most of the time, we don't look forward to tests. Yet James is calling us to consider tests "all joy." (completely happiness?) What is this all about? Let's read on.
3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces endurance.
Alright. Things just got deep. The testing of your faith, produces, endurance. Alright, what is this faith he is talking about? We find in Romans 10:17 that: "...faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ." So now we know where faith comes from. Reading the word of God. We find in James 2:17, (the next chapter by the way) that "...faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead." (NIV) So faith is something that comes from reading the word of God, and must be matched by action on our part. Simply reading it is not enough. Faith requires action. We also find in Ephesians 6:16, that faith is a significant peice of the armor of God. "In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one." So this faith thing is pretty major. If we take it up, it grants us the ability to extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one and we know it comes from reading and acting on the word of God. Way cool. Now, this testing of the faith, producing endurance. What is that all about? Let's read the next verse and find out.
4 And let endurance have its perfect result, so that you may be perfect and complete, lacking in nothing.
So the reason these tests are joy, is because the tests are making sure your shield is sound in all regards. That you really are able to extinguish *all* the flaming arrows of the evil one. This makes me think of working out. When you are doing P90X or another workout program and your instructor mixes things up. Throws some new moves at you. Usually happens about that time you are comfortable with the program. Starts making you sweat again. Making you work again, haha! And they do that so that we might be complete, lacking in nothing. All joy....hmm....
5 But if any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all generously and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But if wisdom is lacking, ask a generous God (pray) and wisdom will be given you. Very cool. So even in these trials, our coach does not leave us out there all alone, but will supply us with wisdom. 6 But he must ask in faith without any doubting, for the one who doubts is like the surf of the sea, driven and tossed by the wind.
"But he must ask in faith..." So, if we need wisdom, we must ask in faith. Faith comes by hearing and hearing by the word of God. So our prayer is to be matched by bible study and acting on what we read so that our faith will not be dead and as we do those things, wisdom will be given. Now this doubt business...reminds me of the time Peter was able to step out in faith and walk on water. His eyes were fixed on Jesus and he was able to do things earthly strength does not give you the power to do. But when his eyes left Jesus and he started looking at the waves, he sank and had to be rescued by Jesus. As Jesus pulled him up he asked, You of little faith, why did you doubt? (story can be found in Matthew 14) Would seem doubt is a serious issue.
7 For that man ought not to expect that he will receive anything from the Lord, 8 being a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.For that (doubting) man ought not to expect to receive anything from the Lord being double minded and unstable in the ways that he goes.
Peter could not look at an all powerful Jesus and the waves at the same time. He was going to submit to one or the other as master, either the waves or God and we saw an example of both in that passage. Double mindedness bad.
9 But the brother of humble circumstances is to glory in his high position;10 and the rich man is to glory in his humiliation, because like flowering grass he will pass away. 11 For the sun rises with a scorching wind and withers the grass; and its flower falls off and the beauty of its appearance is destroyed; so too the rich man in the midst of his pursuits will fade away.
Psalm 51:17 reads: "The sacrifice pleasing to God is a broken spirit. God, You will not despise a broken and humbled heart." (HCSV) Poor or rich equally find wisdom in humility towards God. Wealth is also placed in perspective here. You don't get to take earthly wealth with you to heaven. A thought to ponder.
12 Blessed is a man who perseveres under trial; for once he has been approved, he will receive the crown of life which the Lord has promised to those who love Him.
Here is a blessing given for those who bear up and persevere under these trials that come to test faith. Once they are approved, they will receive the crown of life the Lord has promised for those who love him. That, is pretty cool. :)
13 Let no one say when he is tempted, “I am being tempted by God”; for God cannot be tempted by evil, and He Himself does not tempt anyone. 14 But each one is tempted when he is carried away and enticed by his own lust.
This goes back to the knowledge of good and evil at the beginning of time and the fall of man from Eden. God made provision for man as in the garden, but man has to walk in that provision. Add action to the reading of the word. The temptation bit I believe comes from our knowledge of good and evil choices, we have to intentionally choose the right ones and deny the wrong ones room in our lives.
15 Then when lust has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and when sin is accomplished, it brings forth death.
Those choices are critical and the stakes are high. We don't want to be double minded. We want to be growing in faith and overcoming evil with good. (Romans 12:21)
16 Do not be deceived,my beloved brethren. 17 Every good thing given and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shifting shadow. 18 In the exercise of His will He brought us forth by the word of truth, so that we would be a kind of first fruits among His creatures.
Every good and perfect gift comes from Him. In His will and by His truthful word He created us, to be a kind of first fruits amoung his creatures. First fruits...I am reminded of the peach orchards around Stratford. Each year at Peach Festival time, all the owners of the orchards bring their "first fruits" to a contest to show off. Christ calls us his "first fruits" here. That is a very kind thing for an all powerful God to call us mortal humans. :) His willingness to adopt us as His own never ceases to amazing me. :D
19 This you know, my beloved brethren. But everyone must be quick to hear,slow to speak and slow to anger; 20 for the anger of man does not achieve the righteousness of God. Some cautions here on conduct.21 Therefore, putting aside all filthiness and all that remains of wickedness, in humility receive the word implanted, which is able to save your souls.
So putting aside (throwing away?) all fithiness, all that remains of wickendness, in humility, receive the word implanted (faith) which is able to save your souls.
22 But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves.
We don't want any part of the dead faith deal.
23 For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks at his natural face in a mirror; 24 for once he has looked at himself and gone away, he has immediately forgotten what kind of person he was. 25 But one who looks intently at the perfect law, the law of liberty, and abides by it, not having become a forgetful hearer but an effectual doer, this man will be blessed in what he does.
Looks intently, an interesting point here, one man looks and goes away and forgets, the other man looks at the perfect law (the Bible) intently and the adds action to it (abides by it) and he is blessed in what he does.
26 If anyone thinks himself to be religious, and yet does not bridle his tongue but deceives his own heart, this man’s religion is worthless. A fruit of the Spirit is self control. 27 Pure and undefiled religion in the sight of our God and Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their distress, and to keep oneself unstained by the world.
Orphans and widows, this has literal application but also has spiritual. Consider: An orphan does not have a father or a mother. God is called in scripture our Father, the Church is called our Mother. A widow is a bride who has lost her husband. God is called our Bridegroom. Consider in light of these things.
My head is now pounding, and I will close with that. This trial too shall pass. :)
Count it all joy, right? haha! :)
Blessings on you all.
Wednesday, December 24, 2008
This article contains my hopes and dreams for the raising up of my future sons. It is written as a letter from me to them.
I desire above all that you come to a personal relationship with the Creator of the Universe, Jesus Christ. I long for you to know the joys of following in His footsteps. To know Christ and make Christ known is the greatest adventure a human being can undertake and if I could impart only one truth to you, it would be this: “The conclusion, when all has been heard, is: fear God and keep His commandments, because this applies to every person.” (See Ecclesiastes 12:13)
I desire to raise you up according to Biblical principles using texts from the Bible and the works by Micheal Pearl and Steve Maxwell to craft your training program.
I want to give you a love for reading. Nothing else on earth is quite like the joy of reading a great book. When you open the pages of “Pilgrim's Progress” or “Robinson Crusoe” you are taken on a fantastic journey through the epic struggles, falls, victories, and triumphs of the men of yesteryear. When a great man of old took up his stone tablet, his papyrus, or his quill, he is giving you a treasure drawn from his most precious possession, his experience. The most glorious gift God gives to you in your youth is your strength and the greatest gift of older men is their experience. If you learn from the sayings and writings of older and wiser men, you will gain the glory of both gifts. (See Proverbs 20:29) I hope to inspire you in your early years with the tales of the world's greatest men and their achievements so that one day you can yourself raise to join their ranks.
I would have you come to love history and biographies. Mankind faces similar problems every generation, and if armed with the wisdom of the past, we can overcome the problems of the future.
I would have you be as cunning as serpents and as innocent as doves. I desire to train you to honor those things that are worthy of honor and reject those things which are without worth. I want to train you to discern evil from good and choose to do right. (See Matthew 10:16 and Romans 12:21)
In your early years I want to instill a love in you for music. I want you to hear the Scripture songs of the “Dough-Nut Man” and the songs of family by Steve and Annie Chapman. I desire to hear you humming songs that praise the Lord. I would desire that you learn to make music and sing praise to the Lord with your voice or through piano, guitar, or other instruments. I desire that you learn to cry out to the Lord through prayer and song in times of joy or sorrow. I want to be able to see your face beam with joy at the “William Tell Overture” and your feet stomp with joy at the “Battle Hymn of the Republic.”
I desire that you will possess a “Protestant work ethic.” By this I mean that you learn to love hard work that pursues a great and noble goal. That when the time for godly duty calls, be it for your mother, your family, your education, or your country, you will throw yourself into the fray with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.
I pray that God would grant you a vision. By this I mean that God would reveal to you the purpose for which He created you and that you would follow that vision with all your heart. For your grandmother, that vision was one of Homeschooling, of raising godly children at home. It is my goal to continue that vision in your lives.
You should always honor your mother and sisters and be kind to them at all times. It is the job of men to honor, protect, and cherish ladies as God's most beautiful creations and you can do no better than to start with your mother and sisters. The honor men give women is an ancient trust, handed down from the greatest of the knights and cowboys, with its oldest roots resting with Boaz in the book of Ruth and you would do well to follow in their footsteps.
I would have you boys to be hearty, healthy and fit so that you are ready to embark on whatever missions the Lord may choose to grant to you. I want your minds sharp and your bodies athletic. You are to present yourselves to the world in a manly fashion walking will full strides and erect posture. Nothing in this world looks worse than a slouching man unless it is a wet cat. Your handshake is to be hearty and firm without being hard and painful. A weak handshake is not an honor to a man. Grace of comportment and lightness of foot are to be trained with dancing classes and fencing instruction. Boxing and martial arts are excellent ways to train yourself in quickness of thought and action. Being able to talk about sports and compete in them is an important part of being a man, but that training of the body must be carefully balanced with the training of the mind and soul.
I would desire my sons to be problem solvers and critical thinkers. Too many people in this world have never felt the joy of organizing a project or solving a problem. Chess, Checkers, and Stratego are excellent games to promote this methodical way of thinking. I would desire you to be competent in the prominent technology of your day. In your Great Granddad Standridge's time, he figured out a way to install the first air conditioning unit ever installed in a car in the town of Lexington Oklahoma while in your Great Granddad Henry's day he invented a new cattle gate latch that would open from either direction. In my time it has been building my own computers and repairing other electronics. I would love to see you continue that legacy. In your early years, I hope you can join me in my love of LEGO blocks. Nothing is quite like creating anything you like with your own two hands.
Whatever it is that you come to do my boys, do it with all your might. The Bible says in Proverbs 22:29: “Do you see a man skilled in his work? He will stand before kings; He will not stand before obscure men.” No matter the political climate, no matter the economy, there will always be a place for a man who is skilled in his work.
When talking about movies, reading books, listening to music, speaking with people, I want you to learn to discern whether or not these people are speaking from a Godly or historical perspective or not. I want you to be able to tell good wisdom from falsehood. I desire to talk with you about these things and I am sure your mother will also. That is one thing I will always love about your Grandma Henry's home, is that we could always talk about anything. We could take a topic of any kind and pick it apart finding out the core moral of the idea at hand, and finding out if that agreed with Scripture and history or not.
I hope that you will have a love of nature and of the outdoors. God's creation has so much beauty for one to see if they will only look. A long hike followed by a picnic is great fun and a camping trip is a time of wonder. I desire that you be able to safely load, clean, shoot and care for firearms, knives, tents and other outdoor equipment. I want you to be able to safely ride bicycles, drive cars, operate ATV's, drive a standard, and operate a tractor and any other equipment you may encounter.
I desire that you know your way around the house. I want you to know how to wash dishes, run a load of laundry, and cook a full meal if need be. While these duties are commonly thought of as a girls domain, he-man soldiers the world over train regularly at these skills and so should you. It will give you an appreciation for the work your mother and sisters do and will make you self reliant.
I would desire that you be a researcher. If you do not know something, I want you to be able to find out that information. I want you to know how to use a library, how to use the Internet, and how to read instructions.
I want you to have an appreciation for art. Creativity and innovation are invaluable qualities to possess and art is a vehicle for both of these. Whether creating a blueprint for your next LEGO creation or painting a masterpiece of God's creation, I hope art will play a role in your life.
Having the ability to bring order to chaos is a skill that all boys should possess. Battles have been lost due to slipshod handling of something as trivial as a horse shoe nail. King Richard the Third mourned:
"For lack of a nail a shoe was lost."
"For lack of a shoe a horse was lost."
"For lack of a horse a soldier was lost."
"For lack of a soldier a battle was lost"
"For lack of a battle a war was lost"
"For lack of a war a kingdom was lost."
"All for lack of a nail."
Do your best to see that no “kingdom” in which you have a part is lost “all for lack of a nail.”
My son, the desire of my heart is to see you grow up and glory in the service of the King of Hosts. I desire you to have long life and see good days. I would like to draw this letter to a close by quoting a prayer from one General Douglas MacArthur to the Heavenly Father over his son.
“Build me a son, O Lord, who will be strong enough to know when he is weak, and brave enough to face himself when he is afraid; one who will be proud and unbending in honest defeat, and humble and gentle in victory.
Build me a son whose wishbone will not be where his backbone should be; a son who will know Thee and that to know himself is the foundation stone of knowledge.
Lead him I pray, not in the path of ease and comfort, but under the stress and spur of difficulties and challenge. Here let him learn to stand up in the storm; here let him learn compassion for those who fail.
Build me a son whose heart will be clear, whose goal will be high; a son who will master himself before he seeks to master other men; one who will learn to laugh, yet never forget how to weep; one who will reach into the future, yet never forget the past.
And after all these things are his, add, I pray, enough of a sense of humor, so that he may always be serious, yet never take himself too seriously. Give him humility, so that he may always remember the simplicity of true greatness, the open mind of true wisdom, the meekness of true strength.
Then, I, his father, will dare to whisper, have not lived in vain.”
I would like to close this letter with my own prayer for you.
Oh Father God, give him courage and strength to overcome all difficulties he may face. Please give him wisdom and ability in the way you would have him go. Please give him clear vision in the path of grace and the will to follow that path to the end. Please prepare Him as a golden vessel for service unto You. I desire that he be pure in heart and righteous in word and deed. Please give his mother and me the wisdom and ability to guide his footsteps in the way they should go. Please let him be a honor unto Your Name. Let him be trained as You see fit above all else. Let Your will be done in his life.
In Your Son's Name I pray,
Sunday, December 02, 2007
A family of our acquaintance is frankly rolling in money. The entire family seems to enjoy every creature comfort imaginable, they also have been gifted with extraordinary talent in the arts, in athletics, and in many other areas. Many would find it easy to define them as the example of "success." Yet, this family struggles with rebellion, drunkenness and other vices. It would seem that perhaps in chasing "success" they have lost something, the hearts of their children. Is it worth it?
A young girl I know of has been given great outward beauty. She always seems to be dressed "perfectly" and is always current on the latest fashions, yet, it is known that she struggles greatly with depression in her maintenance of her outward looks.
I recently was able to purchase a laptop for a discounted price during Black Friday. Right after making my purchase, I went to a fast food place to get a bit to eat. While waiting inside for my order, I found myself worrying that someone would smash the window in of my car and cart away my new possession. Worry had been added to my life that hadn't been there before, just with the addition of a new earthly thing. What does this tell us about life in general?
As I seek the carer the Lord would have for me, it would be relatively easy to seek a job with a high salary. A patent attorney in Dallas Texas I know of makes $280,000 each year, if one so chose, money could be obtained in large amounts in a carer of that type. With that kind of money, the cars, the house(s), every imaginable earthly dream moves into reality. Yet, at what cost?
It chasing down money a worthy cause on which to sacrifice the souls of one's family? Certainly not. Does great outward beauty remove all thoughts of how people view your outward appearance? It would appear not. Does a nice new laptop add a worry to life? Why, yes it does. So is it these things that we should be chasing in life? Or is it...something bigger?
I believe that money can and is used for good, however, the LOVE of money is the root of all evil as the proverb says. I believe that beauty of the outside fades, but spiritual beauty lasts a lifetime. I believe that laptops are nice, but treasures in heavan are far better. So, as we follow the Lord in His ways of hard work and dillegence, if things like money, beauty, and material things are the partial fruit of that labor, let us remember the things of true value they are the shadows of. In wealth, let us not forget family, in beauty of the outer, let us glory in the beauty of the inner, in times of a laptop, let's remember where are true treasure needs to lie.
Saturday, November 17, 2007
Marriage to the perfect woman? Children of unlimited character and quality? Reformation of nations? Triumph of good over evil, with the the very banner carried by the likes of Churchill, Washington, Lincoln, yes, Christ Himself. Salvation for billions in the path of Billy Graham. Destiny...the thrill of knowing God is with you. What is it for me?
Fiction and history both deluge forth examples to follow, in the Star Wars universe, can anyone not create a personal likeness that would love to posses in that world? Can a perusal of history fail to produce a role model? In whatever one sees, cannot one find a role to be filled?
Yet, in this world, reality seems to cloud the clear vision of fiction and past fact. The highly defined lines of stories and dreams blear before the eyes of the present and the now. Yet...the inspiration remains...the dream lives on.
What were the heroes of the world thinking at 20 years of age? Washington was busily surveying the wild country beyond the Appalachians, little thinking perhaps that Destiny held for him the honor of heading the birth of a world super-power. Did Jesus know in the carpentry shop the the cross and eternal salvation for all was His quest? Churchill at my age was getting shot at in South Africa, to coin his famous phrase, "Nothing in the world is so exhilarating as to be shot at with no effect." Already his wit had revealed itself. Did Ronald Reagan have any idea what awaited him in his later years? Does a John Doe have any inkling of his life's path? Yet life goes on...
My very soul longs for the glories and triumphs of the men before me, "what am I to do?" is my prayer. The good they were able to do, the people they saved, the advancements they made, all culminating with us, in the here and now. The triumphs, the dreams, the visions, yes, even the defeats, the failings, they all lie at our feet, waiting for us to take them on to our children, and our grandchildren. What they do with them rests with themselves and God, but right now, they are ours to grasp, to hold, to run on this leg of the human experience. Who grasps? Who holds? Who is worthy of this cause?
Will the futile, the frivolous, do these causes honor? Will the stench of godlessness rule our generation? Or will we take up the sword of rightousness and strike the beast to the ground? What will be done? What will I do? What will you do?
Saturday, October 20, 2007
What makes the difference?
Why does one child follow Christ while another forsakes? Why does one child faithfully await a pure marriage and in the end, receives with great joy, God's partner for their lives, while another jumps ship and commits fornication at the first opportunity?
After I found myself asking these questions, I remembered a resource that shed light upon that very topic. Check it out here. It really helped me out, and I hope it will help you as well.
Saturday, October 13, 2007
After more then a year of posting hibernation, the Blogging Boy Scout has returned to the blogosphere, under a new name, and with new thoughts and ideas to share.
Since we last meet, I have completed two semesters in college, and am busily working on a third. My relationship with the Lord is growing. My Mustang continues to run well and remains a joy in my life. The Lord is faithful and continues to work and mold me into one of His people. My career path remains in the shadows of the unknown, but I am confident the Lord will make it plain to me in His good time.
During my blogging absence, I find that my good friends Alex and Kierstyn are courting, Regenerate Our Culture keeps marching on and Agent Tim continues to change the world. Theses are good things that are happening in our world, and I am proud to even have the knowledge of them. So much of the world is full of hate, lust, lewdness, and vile, yet Christ's light continues to shine through those who have seen even a glimpse of His glory.
God saw all that He had made, and behold, it was very good.
Through good times and bad, may the Lord continue to grow His chosen ones.
The Scouting Student,
Wednesday, September 06, 2006
I am here at the ECU campus Writing Center this morning and thought I would hop on and update. We got all the "I"'s dotted and "T"'s crossed on the Mustang yesterday so it's now road legal! I just finished working on my Comp I essay. I am looking forward to Biology class later today. Our teacher is really cool. Exams are coming up. I am needing to get ready. Dad and I rode into town together today and that was good.
Well, that's all for now!
Talk to you all later!
The Blogging Boy Scout,