October 19, 2007

Remembering... Toad!




In life we grieve over our sorrow and cry over our pain. We lose loved ones and leave classmates behind. Grief is no more than a time of rest a time to reflect. I have not grieved, however, I have cried. Memories of life as it was will never be, but a step is what it has given me. A year ago today I lost one of my classmates a young man who has touched the hearts of many. Timing in life is like a stop watch it never stops. We must mark the lives of those around us and remember those who are surrounded by the pain of the loss. I pray today that those who were close to Anthony will remember him today and that their grief turns into a smile. He had touched so many lives, being the class clown it isn’t difficult to do. He will be greatly missed, but in one year I can say life as we knew it has changed and with the time ticking it isn’t time to leave one minute to regret. Remembering all who are grieving today in prayer!

October 18, 2007

Heels in the sand...

We are surrounded by compromise. Surrounded by a world of get what you want with no regard to what it takes. In the church we have been victims of nothing less, girls fighting over who will get the next preacher boy and boys fighting over who will get the next trophy wife. Life is supposed to be filled with hope and great adventure. We are supposed to be reaching for the stars and instead we are reaching for the pebbles that surround our feet while we walk over them. We have started to compromise ourselves and given up on fighting for what is right.
For some reason it seems that we are so often overtaken by satisfaction or publicity that we find ourselves in this little church world no different than the world we live in. We have allowed ourselves to remove landmarks that have been in place for many years and revamped them much like our freedom of speech and religion. Sometimes we forget that we are like boats in water we want the boat to be in the water, but not filled with the water. Our lives should be nothing different; we are to live in the world, but not of the world.
I believe we all know that we are in the middle of a battle. The youth is being attacked right now and it isn’t just because we are so great or so godly. It is because if we can believe that a little compromise won’t hurt us, then a little can grow into a lot and in which will weaken our walks and decrease the spreading of the Word. By doing this the Truth will soon be killed off and there will be no more people walking in the Truth.
Compromise can come in so many ways and in the youth I believe it has many stages. One stage I believe is in us. I believe to cure this deadly disease we must get to the source. We need to learn to start relying more on God and less on our own feelings or knowledge. We need to learn that we are not the force behind our swing, but the vessel in which the work is being done through. We are no more than the keys on the piano; if someone doesn’t play the piano the keys are really worthless.
I’ve found out one thing while living in the Truth. Nothing is ever as easy as it seems. Life is hard, people are mean, and you can never depend on anyone because at one time in your life they will let you down. Hey we are human and if we were perfect there would be no need for heaven.
Open the ears and hear what it is that you need to do. In life we are asked to take out the trash, wash the dishes, and sometimes even cook supper. Well, in our spiritual life we are asked to go to Africa, clean the church, and sometimes even stay somewhere you don’t want to be. Listening to God sometimes can be misunderstood and with that we grow. Sometimes we get a little love tap, sometimes the full left hook and sometimes we even get a swift kick in the behind. In which, I believe is only done when we find ourselves listening to ourselves.
Listening is something that involves more than our ears it also involves our hearts and our eyes. When you hear something it isn’t always because of the words that are spoken, but also the body language behind it. Learning to read and listen to people is something that I believe is a good tool when trying to listen to God. You should always know for sure when God is speaking! You don’t always understand why He says what He says but you know He is speaking. Sometimes when He speaks it isn’t exactly through prayer it can also be through someone else who is filled with the Holy Ghost. Getting slapped on the wrist isn’t the best feeling in the world, but the reward of listening is like creamer in coffee sometimes the only way you can take it and sometimes the only way we can truly learn.
Now I’m going to put a little twist on this and get down to the real compromise I see in our youth. We are surrounded by role models in the church people who sometimes have never really thought about their leadership role. Now the people who are actually in the leadership role they are put to higher standards and who they are in a relationship with are put there as well. When men pick their spouse or the girls they are going to date the way they present themselves is an example of what should be.
No one asks to be under a magnifying glass, but the truth of the matter is we all are. No matter whom you are or what position you have you look to those who are older for guidance and council. You watch and look up to those who are put into positions because they are the ones who the elders of the church believe are good role models to look up to.
Kids look up to the youth who are placed into positions. It is just the way life is. Even though this isn’t right it is the fact and it is something that we as the youth must understand. When we pick those who are going to be our helpmates we need to look at the whole package. If what they portray to others is nothing less than what God wants than it should give us the okay. People don’t understand that when you go for something that is of the world and you are placed into a position you are not just taking the chance of falling you are also taking a chance with a whole lot of young people behind you. For example: if a young man is in leadership and he starts to date a girl who is snotty, questionable on her dress, questionable on her prayer life, and even more so not well liked by many of the girls around her or even in general. It isn’t always because the girls are jealous of her. When this boy starts to date her he is telling the girls who are strong on their standards, strong in their prayer life, and well respected that none of that stuff is important. Also tells the younger girls that they can also lack in those areas because godly men don’t look for godly woman. It also tells the boys in the church that they can also compromise and allow themselves to go after girls who are much different than the girls that were said to be virtuous.
Now I’m not saying that you are suppose to marry or date someone who you are not attracted to. I’m saying that who a person is with is who they are in real life. People can only be something they are not for so long. Everyone is watching and when you are choosing someone who you want to have by your side you need to make sure that they are the whole package. Don’t compromise yourself into believing that you can have the best of both worlds because the truth is… you can’t. Light can’t be mixed with darkness.
So, let’s start thinking about our futures. Let’s start being the leaders we are supposed to be. We know that the days are short. The youth needs to get strong and quit putting their heels in the sand. We need something more strong to place our heels in… like the ROCK. We need to look at ourselves and really make the decision to walk or not. Strength is something we all need and God is the only way. Let’s start listening and stop pretending. People in the church know who is right and who is not so let’s push our pride a side and start listening. It may help you skip that swift kick in the behind!

October 15, 2007

Waiting to exhale.....

Sometimes I feel like all I need to do is exhale. As if doing so I will let go of all that has ever worried me. Well it really can work that way. Let go of what is holding you back. Let go of what is making you frustrated. Exhale and let it go, give it up to God and let him take the load. He gives us burdens, but doesn’t send us to carry them alone. It may be hard at times, but remember that He never sends you alone. We have a friend who catches us when we fall, lifts our heads up when we cry, and kisses our scraped knees when we fail, but He also lets us know He loves us with every waking moment. Who could say God doesn’t love use when He’s promised us all the beauties of Heaven. Keep smiling… there will come a day when all your hard work will pay off and all your scrapes will heal completely. There will be no more tears, no more fears, and best yet so much love that you can’t think of anything else! KEEP SMILING MY LOVELY FAMILY OUR DAY IS COMING SOON!!!!