Thursday, December 19, 2013

What did Jesus say about Homosexuality?

Christians often get attacked because they believe that having sex with someone of the same sex is a sin. Which the Bible clearly says is a sin, just like it says that sex outside of marriage or having more than one sexual partner is a sin. 
Sin is all the same in the sense that one sin separates us from God, and that Jesus paid for all sin. He paid it all on the cross. We are all sinners, and he loved us so much that he paid for our sins so that we may spend eternity with him in heaven. He said that whoever simply believes in him, has everlasting life with him in heaven

Now, Ive heard many non-christians and christians say that "Jesus never said anything about homosexuality", well, that is a common misconception. 
In Mark 7:21 Jesus said this:
"For from within, out of the heart of men, proceed evil thoughts, adulteries, fornications, murders..."

The New Testament was written in Greek, the common language of the time written. The Greek is much more specific in the meanings than english is, allowing for a narrowed down specific/exact meaning. In this verse, Christ uses the word "fornication", which is the Original Greek word: πορνεία. The Transliteration of this word is Porneia.(Where we get the word pornography). The definition of that word is:  illicit sexual intercourse. (adultery, Incest, homosexuality, lesbianism, intercourse with animals etc.). This same word is used in Matthew 19:9 as the only reason for getting a divorce. In context, in the Mark verse,  Christ is calling any type of sexual relation that is not between that of a man and a woman in marriage, evil, meaning it is a sin. That is just one of the many things he talks about in that verse. 
Of course in our culture & language we see fornication as meaning just "sex" or sex outside of marriage, but because the English language is not as specific as the Greek, this was the closest English word used in the English translations. 

Do I hate people who do those things? Absolutely not! The Bible calls us to be loving and to treat others the way we wish to be treated and to do all things with love. Christ associated with all sorts of sinners. He was kind and loving to all sinners, but he did not condone their sins. He loved the sinners, but not their sins. THAT is the prime definition of Tolerance. Therefore, I love people who sin, but I do not approve of the sin. I don't approve of the sins I do, that is why it is an every day struggle. We are called, as Christians to "hate evil". Sin is evil. We should be more Christlike. We should love others regardless of their sins, but we should not love their sin. 

Monday, December 2, 2013

Faith Without Works Is Dead???

"Faith Without Works is Dead" is a verse that is thrown around by Reformed folks all the time. This is one of the most misunderstood verses in the bible. Many false Lordship teachers teach this as meaning "if you don't have visible good works, then you were never saved at all" this couldn't be farther than the truth. This verse & surrounding passages is talking to believers about their relation to non believers. The Lord's brother is saying that we should show our faith to others by doing good works. 
I'm a man who loves illustrations and analogies, so bear with me for a second. 
Now, faith is an internal thing, much like a thought is. You can't physically pull a thought out and show it to someone. You express a thought to others by speaking it or acting on it. That's how you show a thought. Just because you don't express a thought to others doesn't mean that you don't have that thought. Likewise, you show your faith to others by acting it out in good works for The Lord. But just because you don't do good works, doesn't mean you don't have faith, it just means that you aren't showing your faith to others. 

An analogy that I find most useful in explaining this verse actually came from someone I was trying to explain this verse to. I was explaining this passage to my dear friend Erin, and all of a sudden she said: " Ooh! It's like a doctor who doesn't help people! They have their medical degree and are a doctor, nothing can take that away from them, they will always be a doctor, but they don't practice medicine or help people. Sure they are a doctor, but what good are they to anyone else if they don't put that to use?"
Needless to say, I didn't have to say anything else! Ha! I ran this analogy by a family friend of ours who is a well-respected family doctor in town, an elder at my church, and my old Sunday school teacher, and he was amazed and said that was exactly right!
Now, don't get me wrong, I'm not saying or advocating that we shouldn't do works. In Romans 6, the apostle Paul tells us, "shall we go on sinning so that grace may abound? BY NO MEANS!"
 I'm simply saying that works has nothing to do with salvation.  Ephesians 2:8-9 and John 3:16 clearly state that we are saved by God's grace through our faith alone in Christ alone, not by works. The moment we believe in Christ, we are saved. We are justified, or made righteous in God's eyes because of Christ. Romans 3:28 & Galatians 2:16 clearly say that we are justified by faith, apart from works. Romans 11:6 says "If it by grace, it is no longer of works, and if it is of works it is no longer of grace."
We SHOULD do good works to please The Lord and to show our faith so that we may share the gospel with unbelievers. But those works have nothing to do with whether we go to heaven or not, we go to heaven based on Our Faith alone in Christ alone by the Grace of God. 
Here is an excerpt from one of Dr Dave Anderson's books. It explains this passage in James 2 very well. I've met Dr Anderson on numerous occasions when he led men's retreats  for my church. 
"Thus also faith by itself, if it does not have works, is dead." (James 2:17).

"My faith, concludes James, without any works, is dead. This does not say my faith was never alive. It is dead. Paul talked about the root. James talks about the fruit. Paul looks at the tree and talks about the root where it began. James looks at the tree and talks about the fruit. He does not say it is a fake tree, but that the tree, which was once very much alive and productive, now has no fruit. It has lost its life. It needs rejuvenating, revitalizing"

"James says there is so much more to life than heaven and hell. To James, our life is like a house we are building. Capturing our Lord’s parable from the Sermon on the Mount, he says if we build on the firm foundation of hearing and doing, i.e. faith plus works, our house (meaning our life), will endure, and be preserved in the storm. It will be saved both literally and figuratively. The life lived in accordance with God’s Word will be a healthier and happier life on earth, and its value and worth will be saved and preserved for eternity at the JSC [Judgment Seat of Christ]. But the Christian who builds his life, his house, on just hearing God’s Word without aligning his life with it is a fool, says Christ. He builds his house on sand with no concrete. The first big storm will send it crumbling. He will be miserable in this life, and his life will have no profit to show at the JSC.

"That is why we stress God’s Word. According to James 1:21, it has the potential to save our lives, both on earth and in heaven. God’s Word touches every area of our lives. When we hear and do as it instructs, we are like wise men who build their lives on a solid foundation. We will find success min this life and significance in the next. Every area of our lives that we submit to the wisdom of His Word can have eternal value and worth— family, business, recreation, friendships, health, worship, parenting, you name it. God is interested in preserving far more than our spirits for eternity. Our spirits are preserved by faith alone. He also wants to preserve every area of our life on earth, so it can weather the storms and yield fruit for eternity. This requires more than faith. It requires hearing and doing. That dynamic combination of faith and works has the potential of giving us a healthy, happy life today, the value of which is being preserved in the world to come. With a life built on God’s Word, no storm can blow our house down."

*Anderson, David R. (2013-07-08). Triumph Through Trials: The Epistle of James 

Saturday, September 7, 2013

You Remain....

Id be lying
If I said I wasn
t tired of trying
And now I am down to my last excuse So here I am waiting for You

I take the wheel
And everything starts falling apart I start to wander off the road
That leads to Your heart
Still there You are

In the broken when Im losing my way 
When Im lost in all the doubt and the shame
 You remain, You remain

Sweet surrender
To know that I am Yours forever 

And that You will never
Leave me alone
ll come running
Then I turn to home

I take the wheel
And everything starts falling apart I start to wander off the road
That leads to Your heart
Still there You are

In the broken when Im losing my way
When I
m lost in all the doubt and the shame 

You remain, You remain
Though the time keeps on ticking away
When the fire is gone and hope is starting to fade 

You remain, You remain
God, You remain

Ive tried to do this now for so long on my own 
Youd think Id figure this whole thing out somehow 
But just when I think I cant fall faster or further away 
I turn around and there You are

In the broken when Im losing my way
When I
m lost in all the doubt and the shame 

You remain, You remain
Though the time keeps on ticking away
When the fire is gone and hope is starting to fade 

You remain, You remain
God, You remain

lyrics by Tim Timmons

Monday, August 26, 2013

An Argument For Grace

A friend of mine who graduated with me from Summit Ministries contacted me about my stance on Eternal Salvation and how we should live a Christian life. He was coming from a “Lordship Salvation” point of view, whereas I was coming from a biblical point of view that Salvation is by God’s Grace alone, through Faith alone, in Christ alone. This is the response that I sent him in regards to some of the points that he made in our discussion. Instead of putting his claims on here, I simply worded the response in a way that made it obvious what the claim said. 

First , one of the main things that I have seen from the teachers of Reformed Theology, Calvinism, and Lordship is that they constantly confuse Justification and Sanctification. It is very difficult to determine to whom they are speaking (saved or unsaved). 
Scripture is clear that we are saved (or justified) by God’s grace alone, through our faith alone, in Christ Jesus alone, not by our works. It is a free gift of God which we do not deserve or earn, which is the definition of grace (Eph. 2:8-9). The word justified is a legal term which basically means to “be made right”. We cannot enter into heaven unless we are righteous.  Because we have all sinned and fallen short of God’s glory, we are not righteous. That is why Christ died for our sins. When we believe in Christ as our savior, it is accredited to us as righteousness. The innocent blood of Christ covers us and we are sealed in Christ. Nothing can snatch us from His hand nor his Father’s hand (John 10:27-30). This divine double grip guarantees our preservation for all eternity. It is not our  holding on to Him, but His holding on to us that keeps us securely saved. Once we believe/put our faith in Christ, we are justified, or made right, in the eyes of God. Nothing can take that from us.

Once we have been justified, we start the process which the scripture calls sanctification, or being made holy, is what we call the Christian life. This deals with our everyday living and how we should live as believers.  We are supposed to live our lives in a way that pleases the Lord. We do this by doing good works, spreading the gospel, discipling other believers, bringing people to Christ, etc. This lifestyle would be pretty similar to what Lordship folks say is “living for the Lord” or “Submitting your life to the Lordship of Christ”. As believers, we are supposed to live this way, but sadly in some cases, people become believers, and stay, as Paul says in 1 Corinthians and 1 Peter, “babes in Christ”. They are believers; they have put their faith in Christ as their Savior, but they haven't done anything since that. Scripture tells more mature believers to mentor and disciple these babes in order to help them become more mature in their faith and come to live their lives in a way that is pleasing to the Lord. 

Almost all Lordship teachers and followers think that someone must be living a good Christian life in order to be “truly” saved. But that is never mentioned in scripture because if our good works in our Christian life are what make us saved/justified, then the object of salvation is not Christ, but our works, thus making Christ death be in vain (Gal. 2:21). Our works are completely separate from our faith in regards to salvation/justification. 

Christ died for our sins because we could never achieve righteousness through the law/works. Therefore when we have put our faith in Christ and are saved/justified, we are no longer obligated to obey the law because Christ fulfilled it and we are seen as righteous as he is. Now, just because we are not obligated to do good works to get to heaven does that mean that we should just live however we want? By no means! Freedom from the law through faith in Christ means that we can freely and by our own accord choose to serve and follow him. Galatians 2:11-21 describes this beautifully. 

One other thing that bugs me about the phrases that Lordship folks use is the emphasis on the words “really” and similar words used to describe salvation. Often times  Lordship people like to say “Well, some people who think they are saved, really arent.” or “They were never really saved” or “There faith wasn't real”. They seem to indicate that there are different types of faith, but scripture shows us that there is just one type of faith, and that is the saving faith of believing in Christ Jesus as your savior for eternal life. You either have faith or you don't. You either are saved, or you are not. There are no varying degrees of faith. 

Matthew 7: 15-23

The purpose of this passage in Matthew, the Sermon on the Mount, was not to present the way of salvation, because his disciples were already saved, but it is presenting a way of righteous living for those who are in God's family. He is instructing his disciples on how to work with other people. 

In chapter 7, starting in verse 15 and following, he specifically says he is talking about false teachers. He is warning his disciples about false teachers who come across as sheep but are really wolves. He is saying that they may come across as good teachers, but inwardly they are vicious false teachers. He is telling them that they will be able to tell if they are false teachers by what they teach. If it is contrary to the truth, then it is bad fruit. If they are false teachers they will not say the truth (have good fruit).  He is talking specifically about false teachers in this context. 

Now, continuing in verse 21, he is saying that not everyone who calls out to him will go to heaven, but only those who do the will of his father. Now, what is the will of his father? God’s will for unsaved people is not merely proper theology and impressive works. In the context, Jesus wants people to accept God’s Way (7:13-14) and God’s Word (7:24-27), and obey accordingly. Previously in this Sermon, Jesus taught that the kingdom of heaven was entered only by those whose righteousness exceeds that of the self-righteous Jewish leaders (5:20-48). The righteousness required for eternal life is not based on outward conduct (5:21-28), which is why they should seek God’s righteousness (6:33). Jesus is the narrow gate that leads to God’s righteousness and life (7:13-14; John 10:9). Similar words and concepts in 7:21-23 and 21:23-46 show that the issue is belief in Christ and His righteousness (21:25, 32). Other Bible passages help us know how to receive God’s righteousness (Rom. 3:21-24). Works are not acceptable for obtaining God’s righteousness (Rom. 4:4-5). The only thing God wants an unbeliever to do is believe in His Son, Jesus Christ (John 6:27-29). The will of the Father is to believe in Jesus Christ for righteousness (Matthew 12:50; John 6:40).*

He is saying that only those who believe in Christ as their savior will go to heaven. The reason he said that the people who said "Lord Lord" will not enter is because they never believed in him for eternal life. 

It is further explained in the following verses. He says that many who have done lots of good works such as having preached and spoken as prophets, performed exorcisms, and done many supernatural signs, are trusting in their works to merit eternal life. Their plea to Christ reveals an attempt to justify their entrance into the kingdom of heaven based on their magnificent performances. Their pride in their deeds reveals an attitude of self-righteousness. In their plea, they do not say, “Have we not believed in You alone?” They are thinking that they can get into heaven by those good works.

In verse 23 He says to them that he never knew them. Now, if they were believers, then he would have at least known them at one point, but that is not the case here. He says he NEVER knew them, meaning they had never put their faith in Him as their savior, meaning they were never what we call Christians.*

They may have thought that their works and doing those things were what made them Christian, but a what makes someone a Christian/believer is putting your faith alone in Christ alone as your savior from sin. 

These people might have submitted to the Lordship of Jesus but Submission to Christ’s lordship is not enough to save a person. Someone can surrender all of his or her life and be a devoted follower and servant of Christ’s ethical commands, but not know Jesus Christ as Savior. After all, the people in this passage do not cry “Savior, Savior.” Good works, no matter how great they are, are not enough to save a person. Neither can one’s deeds prove a relationship to Jesus Christ as Savior. Miraculous performances can come from sources other than God (Acts 19:13; 2 Thess. 2:9; Rev. 13:1-12). *

James 2:14-26

In relation to the much debated passage in James 2 about the “faith vs works”,  the whole book was written to those that were already justified before God/saved. This passage is in reference to how we should be towards others that are not saved, and how we should show our faith to them so that they might believe. A common misconception that I’ve seen is that people see this passage, and specifically the “faith without works is dead” part and they think that it means that if the person has no good works, then their faith is not real, or that they have no faith. This idea is not what the passages are saying. As I pointed out, in context, this book is written to those who already believe, its purpose is not to show how to get saved/justified, it is to show how we should live our life once we are saved, in a way that can bring others to Christ. The word “dead” used in verse 26 is, in context, best translated as “useless”. Our faith, without good works, is useless to unbelievers. Yes, we have faith, and that is what has saved/justified us and nothing can take that away from us, but it is useless to others if we don't do good works to help people or to bring people to Christ. A good analogy of this would be: A man who has his medical doctorate is useless if he doesn't practice medicine. Yes, he has his degree and he is a doctor, nothing can take that away from him, but what good is he to people if he does not help them? He isn't, his profession is dead or useless because he doesn't use it in the way it is supposed to be used. Does that mean he doesn't have his medical degree? Of course not! He still has it; he benefits from it, but others do not. 

Another thing to keep in mind is in verse 21 the justification of Abraham by his faith alone is mentioned, “Was not our father Abraham considered righteous for what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar?” Also, verse 23 references Genesis  15:6 which states, “Abram believed the Lord, and he credited it to him as righteousness.” That is what saved Abraham, believing/putting his faith in God. Some 30 years later Abraham was justified before men by his works when he offered Isaac in Genesis 22. That was to be shown before men that he was saved.  Before God justification is by faith alone, before men, in order for them to see, faith must be demonstrated in works.  

Assurance of Salvation

My friend said this about assurance of salvation and Paul: 

1 Corinthians 9:27 - “But I discipline my body and keep it under control, lest after preaching to others I myself should be disqualified.”
If anyone would have total assurance of salvation, it would be the Apostle Paul, But he doesn't

In reference to what you said about Paul not having the assurance of salvation:
I think you misread that verse and read it out of context. Throughout that chapter he has talked about rewards for doing good things. This reward is NOT heaven, it is the inheritance/rewards that we will receive in heaven for our works. He is saying that he is disciplining himself so that he will not be disqualified from the rewards. A cross reference about this reward is 1 Corinthians 3:14, which says “If what he has built survives, he will receive his reward”. In context he is talking about any man who, after believing in Christ, does good works that are in the right motive in serving the Lord, then those things will survive the fire and shall receive rewards for that. Salvation is a free gift, but rewards, for those who are saved, are earned. The quality of our service is the criterion. Rewards are often spoke of as crowns (1 Corinth. 9:25; 1 Thess. 2:19, 2 Tim. 4:8, James 1:12, 1 Peter 5:4, Rev. 2:10, 3:11, 4:4, and 10). Also the reward is mentioned in 2 John 8. 

When we are discussing this issue of assurance of salvation. we have to deal with the biblical data. There is no doubt that the New Testament authors knew they were saved. Just read the introduction to some of the epistles and see how they referred to themselves. Romans 1:1 Paul says “Paul, a bondservant of Jesus Christ, called to be an apostle, separated to the gospel of God.” No uncertainty there! Paul knew that if he were to die he would immediately pass into the presence of the Lord. “We are confident, yes, well pleased rather to be absent from the body and to be present with the Lord.” (2 Cor. 5:8). No Uncertainty there either. We get the same certainty from James (James 1:1), Peter (1 Peter 1:1, 2 Peter 1:1), Jude (Jude 1), and John. In 1 John 5:11-13 he says, “ And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life. I write these things to you who believe in the name of the Son of God so that you may know that you have eternal life.” John tells his readers that if they have Jesus Christ, they have eternal life. Since they have believed in Jesus they should know that they have eternal life. It is a simple statement of fact. All people born into the family of God through faith in Jesus Christ should know that they have eternal life. 
If God wants us to know we are saved,  it is presumptuous not to know . If God made us a promise to be believed, then it is foolish not to take God at His word. Who are we to say His promise cannot be true for us? His word is true as stated. God thinks that we should know and that we need to know. *

Can Good Works Prove Salvation? *

Some who would agree that we are saved through faith alone and not by works nevertheless teach that works are necessary to prove that salvation is genuine. Instead of frontloading the gospel with works, they backload it. One popular saying is, “We are saved by faith alone, but the faith that saves is never alone.” While this may sound good at first, on closer examination it is a nonsensical and contradictory statement, because it says that faith must be alone but never alone!

There is every reason to think that those who have believed in Jesus Christ as Savior and are consequently born into God’s family will experience a changed life to some degree. Some would say that this changed life is evidenced by good works which proves they are saved. If that is true, then the converse is true: if there are no good works, then there is no salvation. In this view, good works (sometimes called “fruit” or evidence of a changed life) prove or disprove one’s eternal salvation.

Some passages are used to contend that works can prove or disprove one’s eternal salvation. Probably the most common are James 2:14-26, John 15:6, and Matthew 7:15-20. But James is writing to Christians about the usefulness of their faith, not its genuineness. Likewise, in John 15:6 Jesus is talking about fruitless believers and compares them to branches that are burned, in other words, not of much use. Matthew 7:15-20 warns against false prophets (not believers in general) who can be evaluated on the basis of their evil deeds or heretical teaching (not an absence of works in general).

There is no passage of Scripture that claims works can prove salvation. In fact, there are many problems with trying to use works to prove salvation, or the lack of works to disprove salvation.

Good works can characterize non-Christians. Works in and of themselves can not prove that anyone is eternally saved because those who have not believed in Christ will often do good things. In fact, good deeds are essential to many non-Christian religions. Sometimes the outward morality of non-Christians exceeds that of established Christians. In Matthew 7:21-23 we see the possibility of those who do not know Christ doing great works, but their works are useless in demonstrating their salvation; they are not saved.

Good works can be hard to define. Though we might define a good work as something done by a Christian through the Spirit for the Lord, how can we always know when that is true? It is hard to imagine even a single day when a Christian (or non-Christian, for that matter) would not do something good like go to work to provide for a family, hold a door for someone, or brake for a squirrel. How can we know when these things are done through the Spirit and for the Lord, especially if they can be done by non-Christians?

Good works are relative. While a person’s behavior may seem excessive, it may actually demonstrate great progress in that person’s Christian growth. A man slips with a curse word that startles other believers, but those believers do not know that before his conversion, curse words flowed freely. The amount of fruit must be considered in the context of one’s total past life, a difficult thing to do. It may also be relative to the amount of sin in one’s present life. For example, if a Christian were to commit adultery, we might focus our thinking on that sin so that we ignore the other good things he is doing.

Good works can be passive in nature. The fruit of salvation is not always what we do, but often what we do not do. As a Christian, one may no longer get drunk or may refrain from yelling at an inconsiderate motorist. This fruit of the Spirit, self-control, may not be detected by others because of its passive nature.

Good works can be unseen. In Matthew 6:1-6 Jesus told his followers to give and pray in secret rather than publicly. A person who never prays in a group may breathe a prayer while driving and no one will ever know. Another may not attend church, but give regularly to a Christian charity. These are works that go unobserved by others.

Good works can be deceptive. Since we can not know one’s motives, a seeming good work could be done for the wrong reason. A person might give money to a church to impress others. Another might volunteer to work with church children only to wait for an opportunity to sexually abuse them. These are not actually good works at all! Motives are difficult to discern, even for the doer, but God knows each person’s heart (1 Cor. 4:3-5)
Good works can be inconsistent. The Bible allows the possibility of believers who begin well, but fall away from their walk with the Lord or fall into sin (1 Cor. 11:30; 2 Tim. 4:10; James 5:19-20). If a Christian shows the evidence of a changed life, but later falls away, at what point in their life do we examine them to prove or disprove their salvation? If there can be lapses in good works, how long does the lapse continue before one is judged as never saved?

Nowhere does the Bible teach that fruit or good works can prove one’s eternal salvation. Since the fruit of good works is not easily discerned or quantified, it can not be reliable proof of salvation. The subjective nature of measuring one’s fruit creates the impossibility of knowing objectively whether someone is saved. The amount of fruit necessary to please one Christian “fruit inspector” may not please the next “fruit inspector.” As Christians, we are created in Jesus Christ to do good works (Eph. 2:10) and expected to do good works (1 Tim. 6:18; Titus 2:7, 14; Heb. 10:24), but good works are never attached to the condition for salvation, which is faith alone in Christ alone (Rom. 4:4-5). While good works can be corroborating evidence for one’s faith in Christ, they are not sufficient to prove or disprove it. Only faith in God’s promise of eternal life through Jesus Christ guarantees and proves our salvation.

Since our salvation is grounded in God's promise and not our performance, since it is a free undeserved gift and not something we must earn,  we are secure. God's promise is sure and he cannot lie. Romans 3:4 says, "Let God be true but every man a liar." In 2 Timothy 2:13 he says, "If we are faithless, He remains faithful; He cannot deny himself ." In other words, even if we were to deny our relationship to Jesus Christ (as the disciple Peter did), God is faithful to His promise to give us His salvation.

*The majority of this is written by me, but in some parts I used text from Dr. Charles C. Bing’s book “Simply by Grace” and his website 

Saturday, August 10, 2013

"The Skies Proclaim the Work of His Hands"

Photograph by Jeffery Berkes. National Geographic
Tonight I witnessed and realized just how vast and beautiful and beyond all measure God's creations are. I was laying out on my deck starring up at the night sky. Above me were a meteor shower and more stars in the sky than I had ever seen in my life! Not only that, but the stars were twinkling so much that it resembled flashing Christmas lights. I stared up taking in this beautiful canvas of God's handiwork and thought to myself, 'who could possibly look up at this and not see that something or someone created it?'. I was immediately reminded of 2 verses. The first verse is Psalm 19:1 ~ "The heavens declare the glory of God; the skies proclaim the work of his hands". The second verse is Romans 1:20 ~ "For since the creation of the world God's invisible qualities -his eternal power and divine nature - have been clearly seen, being understood from what has been made, so that people are without excuse." 

From an early age I have been fascinated with art. I was always drawing, taking lessons, drawing comic books, and drawing characters from my favorite movies. When I was in High School I studied for 4 years under the best art teacher in the state of Mississippi and learned a great deal about art and a lot about life from this godly man. I saw amazing things happen in that art house, but the most amazing of all things was that the Holy Spirit was alive in there. Inside the art house was a dusty old radio that hadn't been touched in years, and it either played gospel music or modern Christian music. That music filled the whole house and gave the artists a sense of encouragement and peace as they worked on their art. Whether the artists were Christians or not, it still brought peace into the atmosphere. The major aspect of the Holy Spirit in this house was that my professor kept telling the students to focus not on what they wanted to create, but what the Lord wanted them to create. And when these young men and women actually took him seriously and prayed about it and gave their work over to the Lord, AMAZING things took place. Many artists learned to let go of their pride and instead redirect all compliments and praises to the Lord, who gave them the gift.

One of the things that I realized in all my years of doing and studying art is that there is always a creator, an artist that created the painting or  piece of art. When you look at a piece of art, whether good or bad, you automatically think:'who did this piece?'. This question is asked because it is an obvious conclusion to come to: if something was created, then it must have a creator. When I looked up at this beautiful night sky, this masterpiece proclaimed the work of an artist. An artist unlike any other. An artist that literally had the whole of space and time as his canvas. This artist must be whoever created the universe. I believe in the God of Abraham, and have seen Him work amazing things in my life, because of that I am left with no other choice but to believe that He is the one who created the universe and this beautiful starry night.

In art you don't see something so uniquely beautiful and complex come about by accident. If a piece of art is intricate and detailed , there must've been a good artist that did it and poured hours of themselves into it. Ive seen enough to know that this beautiful universe, detailed down to the last atom, was created by a very great artist, an artist that makes Michelangelo and da Vinci's art look like that of a toddler. This great artist just so happens to be the one who took the blame for my sins and paid the full price of the penalty I deserve. This God is the one who is with me every second, of every minute, of every hour, of every day and encourages me and protects me. This is the artist that I admire most. This is the artist that I gladly serve. I am honored to call the great artist of the universe my friend.

Sunday, July 28, 2013

One Won Over for Life

As you may remember, a couple of post prior to this one, I wrote about a young high school graduate that is a very strong Democrat that I had been carrying on a dialogue with about the topic of Abortion. He was Pro-Choice and he wrote me a rather lengthy, yet calm and respectful post about his reasons for being so. I then, in turn, replied in a like manner addressing each of the reasons and claims he made. I also then posted and update some weeks later about how he was very thankful for they calmness and respect that I had carried out while discussing the issue and was glad that I did so because many of my points really opened his mind to start thinking about some aspects of the issue that he had not thought about before.

As you might as well know, there was a major victory won in Texas this month for the unborn. Texas made it illegal for women to get abortions after 5 months of gestation. There were many Pro-Choice protesters from all over the state protesting the bill while it was being discussed that week in the senate. There were also a large amount of Pro-Life advocates that came from all over the country to give their support to the senators that were pushing for the bill. I was invited to go to Texas with SFLA, but had prior obligations. I kept in contact with my friends who went there and they updated me. THings got bad, over 5 Pro-Choice folks were arrested, they were throwing bottles of urine, feces, paint, bricks, and used tampons at the Pro-Life advocates. Needless to say, things were nasty. Anywho, I saw this video from Texas during the week that really struck me. It is a video of a post-abortive woman sharing her testimony and how she suffered from the trauma of getting an abortion. While she shares this heartbreaking and heartwarming story of redemption through Christ, the Pro-Choice folks are laughing at her when she describes the mental, emotional, and physical trauma she suffered from after the abortion. They can also be heard chanting "Hail Satan" (a chant that was heard a lot that week coming from Pro-Choicers).

So, after watching this video, I sent a link to it to that guy I had been conversing with. A couple of weeks later, I received the following from him:
"Nick, those two videos really spoke to me. In matter a fact, I am glad to have someone like you around to bring up excellent points when it comes to this topic. I have done a lot of thinking on this here lately, and you're right, it's a disgusting act. I will however continue to hope abortion clinics stay open in the event of rape or mother endangerment, but, I am now, pro-life."

I then told him that, with the issue of rape, that only accounts for less than 1% of women who get abortions, and the issue of the mother's health being at risk, that was not handled in an abortion clinic, but at a legitimate hospital or women's health clinic.

A sense of joy and excitement overcame me when I read this from him. I, at first, felt somewhat prideful that I had turned him from being someone who supports genocide, to someone who believes in protecting innocent human beings. But I then realized that it wasn't me, it was the Lord. He had given me the resources, mentors, and material to read on the subject, as well as a mind to comprehend it. I realized that I am simply the instrument, he is the musician blowing into me and playing the right notes for others to hear. He chose me to convey his message of life. All the praise goes to Him, the almighty creator and sustainer of Life, the Great musician, the all loving Father. I praise and thank Him for giving me the opportunity and resources to help this young man. Praise be to God!

Here is the link to the videos that I showed the guy, in case you are interested.

Tuesday, July 23, 2013

I'm Not Who I Was....

I was riding in my car today when this song by Brandon Heath came on KLOVE. As I listened to this slow melody, I began to realize that this song almost describes how I feel since the past year. Since my breakup I have had a rollercoaster of a ride, but the Lord was with me every step of the way. Ive had my ups and downs and times of darkness and of light. But I have grown stronger in my faith and have grown closer to the Lord. But as Job said, "The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away" and that he did, but he has given again. He has given me new purpose and new passion. Ive changed my direction in life. Ive changed my major, my goals, and my passions. Although I remain single, I am not alone. The Lord is and has been with me every step of the way. Through the fiery furnace and in the promise land, he has been there. I have learned not only to praise him in the good times, but to also praise him in the bad times as well. I may not know at times why I am going through certain things, but in the midst of them I have learned to rely on and trust in Him to bring about His will in the situation. I know that all things work together for the good of those who love Him.

As I was saying, I have changed. I have been through the fire and have been refined and sharpened and have come out as a new and changed man. And for that, I am forever grateful!

I wish you could see me now 
I wish I could show you how 
I'm not who I was 
I used to be mad at you 
A little on the hurt side too 
But I'm not who I was 

I found my way around 
To forgiving you 
Some time ago 
But I never got to tell you so 

I found us in a photograph 
I saw me and I had to laugh 
You know, I'm not who I was 
You were there, you were right above me 
And I wonder if you ever loved me 
Just for who I was 

When the pain came back again 
Like a bitter friend 
It was all that I could do 
To keep myself from blaming you 

I reckon it's a funny thing 
I figured out I can sing 
Now I'm not who I was 
I write about love and such 
Maybe 'cause I want it so much 
I'm not who I was 

I was thinking maybe I 
I should let you know 
I am not the same 
But I never did forget your name 

Well the thing I find most amazing 
In amazing grace 
Is the chance to give it out 
Maybe that's what love is all about 

I wish you could see me now 
I wish I could show you how 
I'm not who I was

Tuesday, July 2, 2013

The Hands and Feet of Jesus at work

Last Tuesday night I went with my grandmother to take my grandfather, mom's dad, to the hospital. He had been to the doctor earlier that day and the doctor told him it was his gallbladder. We were waiting in the ER with him since 9 pm Tuesday night till 3:30 am Wednesday morning. Got him in a room around 4 am and I stayed the night with him. 
He had intensive surgery Wednesday afternoon to remove his gallbladder, which had ruptured. It was impossible to do the microscopic surgery like most people have because of the extent that it was damaged.  He came through the surgery alright but the infection had spread to the rest of his body causing him to be very weak. I was with him a lot during this week. My mom, dad, uncle and I all rotated staying overnight with. I am physically exhausted and ache all over, but I know this is nothing compared to what he is going through.

Although this is a minor surgery in the grand scheme  of things, it kills me seeing this once strong and humble man who never bragged and hardly ever asked for help, be in such a weakened physical state and depending on nurses and doctors to help him because of his discomfort and pain. It makes me realize that even the strongest, most humble, and courageous of men, when at their weakest, need help from others, and most of all, from the almighty healer himself. These nurses and doctors may be helping him but ultimately it is the Lord who is healing him. These nurses and doctors are truly acting as the hands and feet of Jesus. Their calm demeanor, their gentleness, their compassion, and their dedication to helping those in pain are qualities that are most admirable and are proof that The Lord can work through all people. Others might just see it as those people's jobs, and it very well might be just that to them, but for me, I see the love and compassion of Christ shining through from these amazing people. Posted in almost every room in this hospital is a plaque that has the first part of Psalm 46:1 printed on it, which reads "God is our refuge and strength...". And oh how true that statement is!  Praise to the almighty healer and Savior! 

As I am writing this on Tuesday 7/2, he is scheduled to come home tomorrow. Praise God! Thank you all for your support and prayers! 

Monday, June 10, 2013

An analytical response to a Pro-Choice Progressive

I recently posted a status on Facebook criticizing some of the Pro-Choice claims. It lead to a rather lengthy discussion between 4 of my friends. Two were very strong Pro-Life Advocates and two were very strong Pro-Choice advocates. This response is to the most vocal of the two Pro-Choice advocates. I broke down his claims and arguments and wrote a response to each of them. Amazingly, by the grace of God, I was able to stay calm and gently respond to his claims and arguments without getting upset or mad. This youngster is, from what I've gathered, a logical and intelligent student, and I pray that some of what I have said has some effect on him.

Note: *I use some arguments & examples in an edited form from Scott Klusendorf and Dr. Mike S. Adams, both have encouraged and taught me many things on this area. I wouldn't have been able to make this defense without them. *

My friend, you make some great points and raise some important questions. Allow me to break each down and address and/or answer them for you. Before I answer and address what you said, I want to first lay on the table what science says on the issue, and the reasoning behind most of, if not all of my points. 

Scientifically, we know that from the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct, living, and whole human beings. Leading doctors in thee field and Embryology Text books confirm this. The science of embryology is clear. From the earliest stages of development, the unborn are distinct , living, and whole human beings. Therefore, every "successful" abortion ends the life of a living human being. Nothing is added to the unborn to make them “more human”. They are fully human, just as much as human as you and I are.  They just aren't as fully developed as you and I are. They are just as much human as you and I are, just at a different stage of development. In comparison: a 4 year old girl is not as fully developed as a 14 year old girl is, yet both are fully human. That is not simply my opinion, that is documented scientific truth.

Now on to your questions and points.

*”You make it seem like people who are pro-choice are pro-abortion and that's entirely false.”

Being pro-choice means that you want women to have an option, a choice, on whether they want to get an abortion (unjustly end an innocent human life) or not. Being Pro-life means that we value all human life and wish for the equal right to life for all human beings. Because if you take away that one right, all other rights are automatically taken away. So, when it all boils down, Pro-life advocates are against abortion (unjustly ending an innocent human life). Pro-Choice advocates are for the right of a mother to get an abortion (unjustly ending an innocent human life), therefore, by advocating for it, you are on the “pro” side of it. On a side note: the majority of Pro-choice advocates that I’ve met or talked with are very much Pro-abortion. They view it as no different than using a condom or taking the pill. 

*”The honest reason why people have the same process as me are simply one to keep it safe.” 

I assume you mean “safe” for the mother. But abortion, itself, is never a safe procedure. In every procedure, sans failed abortions, an innocent human life is unjustly ended. I do’t know about you, but to me, killing an innocent human being would never fall under the category of “safe”. 


*”Before abortions were legal people still had things like back alley abortions where a shifty guy would use a hanger or some instrument like that. This lead to the woman most often dying or being incredibly hurt....really gruesome stuff. This is why most people who are pro-choice believe that way, we need to keep something like this safe, and avoid a disaster like that from happening ever again.”

Sadly, yes, that did happen before abortion was made legal in the US in 1973. But in saying this, the assumption is made that the unborn are not human. A more understandable analogy of your argument would be: (I’m going to drive down the road to kill someone, but there is ice all over the road, I’m afraid that I might have a wreck on the way there and get hurt. Could you call the city workers to have them come put salt on the road so that I wont get hurt on my way to of from the person’s house? Im still going to kill the person, but at least I will be safe in the process.) In your argument/statement, you are saying that we should keep it legal to unjustly end the life of an innocent human being in a safe and sterile environment to avoid harming the person killing them, as would happen in a dirty filthy place such as a back alley. Where’s the logic in that?

*”Let the expected mother know what she is going through”

I completely agree with you. A mother should know what is going to happen in the procedure before she agrees to do it. Sadly, in the majority of abortion clinics, especially Planed Parenthood, they do not explain to the mother what the procedure is. Ive talked with several women that have either had abortions or had been to get an abortion and then decided not to. They said that they were not shown an ultrasound, or told what the procedure would do. In one person I talked to, she said that although the abortion doctor did an ultrasound, he purposely stood in front of the screen so that she could not see it, and he told her that there was nothing but a glob of tissue. He also talked loud during the ultrasound so that she wouldn't hear the heartbeat. She went to the hospital the same day and saw her child through an ultrasound and listened to the heartbeat. She decided to not go through with the procedure after seeing and hearing these things. This is not an isolated incident, I've heard dozens upon dozens of accounts almost identical to this one from all across the country. Why, you might ask, do the abortion doctors lie and deceive the women like this? Money. The approximate cost for an abortion is between $400-500. The doctors make a profit from this. If they actually told what the procedure would do and actually showed the women the ultrasound, most women, after seeing the child and hearing the heartbeat, would change their minds about the abortion. And thus the abortion doctors would not make any money, save for the small visit fee.   

“Other reasons are obvious, like in the horrific event of rape or incest. How can we as human beings tell a woman who was raped that they now have to carry that burden, and that reminder of the most likely single most horrific event that has ever happened to her in her life. We can't! That would be appalling to even suggest that the woman has to keep it.”

Good point. Rape is terrible. I consider it to be the worst crime, after murder, that is. I advocate for the male to be castrated in punishment for the crime, as well as a long jail sentence.  It is an absolutely horrible crime and nobody should ever have to experience it. You're saying that if a woman becomes pregnant as the result of rape, she should get an abortion. So, you're suggesting that because an evil man commits an extremely terrible act of violence on an innocent woman, then the woman should in turn  commit an extremely terrible act of violence on another innocent human being that results in that human being’s life being ended. If anyone should have their life ended over rape, it should be the rapist, not the innocent child.
As for the child reminding her of the horrific incident, let me ask you something: should we be allowed to kill other human beings simply because they remind of us of a horrible event that happened to us? Lets say that a woman is raped and doesn't get pregnant, and it just so happens that her boss looks similar to the rapist, and everyday at work she is reminded of that horrible incident because her boss resembles the rapist. Should she be allowed to kill her boss, n innocent human being, simply because he reminds her of that horrible attack? 

Luckily, less than 1% of abortions are done on women who became pregnant as the result of rape, so that is a very small issue.
I propose to you an offer:  If I agree to write in the exception for rape , will you lobby with me for the law banning all other abortions (99% of the ones performed) ?

*”Another pretty valid point are the legislators that claim themselves as pro-life consistently vote down child welfare services. So, how can they say we need to protect that child as much as we can while in womb, but when it comes out, if the parents can't afford it, that's on them, maybe the shouldn't have had the kid in the first place. The pro-life concepts don't make a lot of sense in that regard.”

An EXCELLENT point my friend! And that, I agree with you 100%. It makes no sense whatsoever! We should make every effort to protect the children at all stages of development, not just in the womb. Thats why I cannot stand politicians, they dont make sense and they! HA! As the late Whitney Houston so eloquently put it, I believe the children are our future. We should protect them at all costs at all stages of their life . 

*”The MOST obvious [reason], mother endangerment”

This too is something I agree with you on. But I believe you are mistaken about. Yes, I believe that if the mother’s life is at risk and if continuing to carry the child or giving birth would kill her, then I believe that her life should be saved. I haven't met any Pro-life advocates that would disagree. The child will die either way, so you are saving the only life you can. I use the analogy that if 2 kids are going down stream towards a waterfall, and you go in to save them, but because of the current, you only have time to save one, you save the one that easiest to save and that is closest to you. You aren't going in with the intention of taking a life, you are going in with the intention of saving a life. The other life that is lost is an unintentional and unavoidable consequence.
Also, even if abortion were made illegal, this would in no way affect this life saving procedure. These procedures are done in hospitals or women’s clinics by medical doctors who are trying to save the woman’s life. Ive never heard of an abortion doctor doing one of these life saving procedures. I have a friend who is an OBGYN here in Starkville and the Medical Director of the Starkville Pregnancy Care Center, and I've talked to him about this issue and how he handles it. He agrees and says that it is a last resort procedure they do to save the mother’s life and that those cases are rare. So the legalization or ilegalization of abortion would have no affect whatsoever on this procedure. 

*”...people who have the ability to have the keep and could afford it or giving it up for adoption, and they have an abortion, that's pretty twisted.”

Yes, that is pretty twisted. But sadly, that is the case with the majority of people who get abortions in the US. They use abortion as a form of birth control. I believe that adoption is the best choice in the situations where the parents cannot provide for the children. 

In their annual report released in 2010, Planned Parenthood, the nation’s largest abortion provider, did 392 abortions per every 1 adoption referral. 

*”You and I probably shouldn't have too much input on a subject like this because after all, we can never get pregnant. This is women's rights issue, and men trying to legislate it just doesn't make sense!”

I see your point, and I would agree with you IF this really were a women’s rights issue. The claim that abortion (unjustly ending an innocent human life) is a women’s rights issue couldn't be farther from the truth. It is, in fact, a human rights issue. Since abortion was made legal in the US in 1973, over 55 Million innocent human beings have been killed. Half of those innocent human beings (approximately 27.5 Million) have been male. This doesn't just concern women, it concerns men as well. Regardless of the gender, nobody should have the right to unjustly take the life of an innocent human being.   

*”We can not for a single second compare abortions to the holocaust.”

Why can’t we? Approximately 6 million innocent human beings were killed in the Holocaust. Around 55 Million innocent human beings were/are being killed through abortion. The death toll of abortion is approximately 9 times higher than that of the Holocaust.
Now, I will grant that the torture and brutality of the Jews before they were killed is horrific, and in comparison, abortion seems like a more merciful way to kill someone. Although it has been proven that in surgical abortions past 8 weeks, the child can actually feel pain and can feel the pain of its arms and legs being ripped from their bodies. That sounds horrific too.
So, when comparing just the death tolls, abortion would be considered 9 times worse than the holocaust.
Not to mention that the US’s largest abortion provider started out as a machine for eugenics, ridding the nation of the undesirable people, most notably, blacks. Their early founders had numerous links to the KKK and the Nazi Party, and even Hitler and Himmler. They still do, in some forms, still function today with a racist agenda. But that is a whole other can of worms that can be saved for a later discussion. (If you are interested, I suggest you watch “Maafa 21: Black Genocide in 21st Century America”. 

Thanks for your input in this discussion, and I apologize for the delayed response. I hope you have a blessed summer! =)  
As you can see, every response comes back to the question, are the unborn human? If they are not human, than abortion isnt wrong at all and should be legal, but if the unborn are human, then abortion is Very wrong and should be made illegal and the unborn should be protected at all cost! 

*Update: I received a response to this from the guy it was written to. He was telling g someone about it and tagged me in it.:
 "Nick Bell and I were In a debate about abortion recently in a status he published. Nick and I threw some good points at each other in a non-offensive way, some things we actually agreed on. There were people in the thread obviously offended but, in his argument he opened my mind to think about my stance on the issue, I am still pro-choice, but he brought up valid points. Opening people to think works in many ways."

I praise God that his mind was opened to think about and consider some of his ideas!

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Why do we fall?

Last night I had another episode of spiritual warfare. I hadn't had my quiet time where I meditate/ pray in depth or actually sat down to study my bible for a length of time in about a week and I had been feeling guilty about. So I went upstairs where I have cleared out a quiet place which has a coffee table where I can study the Word, a bed where I can rest, and a weight bench where I can work. I started my meditation prayer which was amazing and then I sat down read through Luke. That's when I got distracted by the flesh. My skin on my arms was peeling from a bad sunburn I got a week prior from mowing the yard with my sleeves rolled up. I spent about 10 minutes peeling the sunburn. That flesh was quite distracting (pun intended).  Anyhow, I read through a chapter and then I started getting sleepy. So I went downstairs to go to sleep. I messaged a friend on Facebook before I went to sleep and they replied. The reply, although not related at all, reminded me of the awful breakup I went through last year. My mind started racing and I started feeling sick. The devil was bring back these old painful feelings and memories that I had buried deep in my pit of despair that The Lord had miraculously brought me out of and saved my life. I made the mistake of reading a post on her blog about her bragging about her new boyfriend and she had all these pictures of her and him hugging on each other and her talking about how they have  been together for 10 months, ect... I became so upset. I don't have feelings for her anymore after what she did to me, and I don't think about her anymore. God has brought me out of that. But I was furious and jealous because this girl, the girl I dated for over a year, the girl I almost married, the girl I gave my heart to, she never once posted any pictures of her and I publicly or mentioned me publicly. Yet here she was rambling on about a guy that she has only been with a short time. Heck, I had her ring picked out and everything when she left me. 

As I may have mentioned, I have Obsessive Compulsive Disorder (OCD) which I was diagnosed with at a young age and have been hospitalized & medicated for. I've struggled with it for my whole life. And one of the things that I have problems with is if something is unfinished. Everything needs to be finished. Well, with that relationship, it still isn't finished, so to speak. There was no closure. No reason. Just an unfinished railroad track. God brought me out of all that and has healed me more than I ever thought possible, but he put a temporary end cap on that unfinished railroad track. And this is the second time the evil one has ripped that cap off and has caused a train wreck in my mind. The lack of closure that she continues to torture me with for over a year is usually at bay, but not last night. It was ripped off like a scab and the sore and wounded skin was exposed. Questions began circling in my head. They were legitimate questions that I had, many of them buried, but the evil one was bringing them back up. Why wasn't I good enough? Why wasn't I good-looking enough for her or her patents? Why did she lie to and betray me? Why did she refuse to bring closure to our relationship? Out of all that she did to me, the least she could've done was give me closure. And she knew how my mind works, she knew I needed closure and she told me she wasn't going to give it to me. Why did she continue to torture me? I now know that I will never receive that closure, and even if she read this and felt inclined to give me closure, that would just make things worse. The only way for that end cap on the railroad to be permanently fixed would be for The Lord to bring the One he has planned for me to fix it. Only then will it heal. Until it heals, I will always have that brokenness. And she can live on in her happy new life knowing that she brought me to my lowest, that she broke me more than anything, that because of the refusal to bring closure, she chose to continue to torture me every day of my life until I am married to the One The Lord has planned for me, because only then will that wound be healed. And I know that The Lord will heal it. But I just hope it isn't too long until he does. But then again, I know that his timing is perfect. 

I realized last week that it was the Lord's will for her to break me. He allowed me to fall into that pit of agony and despair. He allowed me to fall so that he could pick me back up and bring me higher and closer to Him and he gave me new purpose. Right after the breakup he convicted me of my new purpose. A purpose that would save lives both physically and sometimes spiritually. While in the beautiful mountains of Colorado, while studying at Summit Ministries, he showed me my new purpose. He told me what to do. He told me atop those mountains his will for what I should do. He told me to stand up, to stand up and fight for his children to be free. He told me to standup for his children that were being killed by the thousands every day in my country. He told me to study and he put mentors and teachers in my path to teach and guide me into the path that he had planned for me. I've been attacked, threatened, harassed, and have lost so many friends for my decision to respond to what he told me to do. But it doesn't bother me, I, like The Lord's brother James says, "consider it pure joy" whenever I face trials of many kinds. I know that the testing of my faith develops perseverance. Perseverance must finish its work so that I may be mature and complete, not lacking of anything. I welcome the opposition and in times when I have been in doubt, The Lord has miraculously used random people around me to encourage me and tell me to stay strong in the fight for the Unborn. 

Anywho, back to last night. When all of this attacking me, I got out of bed and kneeled on my knees and just started praying. At the same time, my friend who I was messaging, sent me a message that encouraged me and made me realize things. I felt the Lord's arm wrapped around me comforting me while I was kneeling on my bedside. It was amazing. I continued to talk to my friend until around 3:30 am! They are unlike anyone I've ever met. They are so in-tune spiritually with the Lord and the Holy Spirit speaks through them every time I talk to them. They have the ability to know when something is bothering or affecting me without even seeing or talking to me, they can just tell. God has blessed them with so many spiritual gifts it is unbelievable. I long for that strong close intimacy that they have with The Lord on a daily basis. An intimacy that satisfies them wholly and makes the thought of dating or marriage almost an after thought. I want that and I am jealous of that! I ask for prayer for that from whoever is reading this. 

On a lighter note, when I started writing this almost  2 hours ago, I was angry, upset, and in pain, but as I wrote this, not knowing exactly what I was going to write, I realized my mood changing. I felt at peace and comforted. I don't even remember writing the third paragraph, I just remember feeling healed once again by The Lord. Thee first to paragraphs were written while I was emotional and in pain, they were the angry upset "flesh" part of me. The third paragraph on is after The Lord sat by my side helping me and comforting me. It is my hope, love, and spiritual desires for The Lord. I do apologize for the harshness of the first two paragraphs, they were written from an angry broken heart. They might've sounded harsh but they were true. Ive thought about removing them from this, but then I realized that without writing out my problems and pains, I wouldn't have found the comfort and healing in His arms, and the realization that he has given me new purpose. I now thank him for using her to break my heart, because if my heart hadn't have been broken, he wouldn't have brought about new purpose and desire to serve and grow closer to Him. And thank you Katherine for breaking my heart last year.  I have realized that he blessed me with meeting and making so many good friends at Summit, the position of President of MSU Students For Life, being a part of the group that is bringing about the new Starkville Pregnancy Care Center, being a mentor to several young believers that are thirsty for the Living Water of The Lord, and the amazing new friends I have made through Bible Studies this year.  All of these things came into play somehow or another because of what you did to me. So, as cruel as it was, I thank you, and for the first time I can finally say that I forgive you! =)

I am blessed beyond all means and what I have far outweighs that of things of this earth! When any of you are at the lowest you can possibly go, ask yourself one question: 

Why do we fall? We fall so that we can learn that God can pick us back up.