Tuesday, June 29, 2010

Our High Places

Since Amy and I have watched all the LOST we can on Netflix, we
started watching Cake Boss, amazing cakes and very entertaining. On
one episode, Buddy the Cake Boss is talking about how he has to put up
with his crazy relatives and he says, "when I die, I am going straight
to Heaven. I am talking about sainthood. "
Then today I was reading Isaiah 16 which was a prophecy against the
land of Moab, an enemy of Israel. In verse 11, God said, "My heart
laments for Moab like a harp, my inner most being for Kir Hareseh.
When Moab appears at her high place she only wears her self out, when
she goes to her shrine to pray, it is to no avail."
How do we get to our high place? What struggles and burdens do we go
through to get to our high place so that our "sacrifices" are
acceptable? Then, what idols do we build for ourselves? What is it
that we live for? Then we wonder why we feel so disappointed?
Jesus said he came to heal the sick, not the one who are well. The
ones who are sick know they are sick, but the lost are blind, deaf,
and paralyzed, so they build their own high places, make their own
idols, make their own rules to justify their lives and vindicate
themselves. But thankfully, Jesus makes the blind see, the deaf hear,
and the lame to walk.
God hurts watching his creation toil aimlessly trying to save
themselves. There is only one name under heaven whereby we must be
If we try to get our selves to heaven, we will fall so short it will

Thursday, June 17, 2010

What Would You Do for an xBox 360?

I somehow I got a hold of an xBox 360 to borrow. I was very excited! I mainly wanted to use it to stream Netflix to our living room but I quickly began to think of all the other cool games I could play! I could see my self playing for hours I did not have! I thought of all the accessories I could buy with a bunch of money I didn't have! So I compromised, I started looking on ebay to find a used game. I wanted to buy it cheap and I got into one bidding war and I was up higher than I wanted to be. I was trying to picture my self explaining to my wife why I just bought a game for a system that I am borrowing and spending money we didn't have. I mean we just had a new kid, not sure on summer employment, and we are preparing to go over seas. I kept watching my iPhone to see if someone bid a little higher. It got down to less than one minute and I was the highest bidder. I was trying to accept the frustrated state I was in. Now I didn't want to win! Oh, I had the sickest feeling in my stomach! Finally I refreshed my ebay page and some one bid higher within one second to go. I was so relieved!!!!!! God, thank you!!!!!
So why do I tell this story you might ask?
I felt like I was under attack by a spirit of materialism. For a day or two I loss peace over a stupid game. I wanted something I thought would make me happy, but it brought distress. I was not concerned for what Christ wanted, I was concerned for what Kevin wanted. After some more thought, my battle could have been spiritual warfare or I think it was more of a test from God. "Are you really willing you lay down your life for me? Are you willing to lose your self interest and trade it for Christ interest? Can I be your portion?"
I found that the best way to battle envy, to battle lust, to battle discontentment is to give thanks to God right now! I need to thank Him for what I do have, that which he has allowed and blessed. I am his child and he takes care of his children. He knows what I really need and provides it! I am exactly where he wants me to be right now and I need to recognize God's sovereignty and awesomeness! Glory be to God, Worthy is the Lamb! If God is for me, who can be against me!

Tuesday, June 8, 2010

A good idea gone bad...

Toys R Us always brings back great memories. Aisles and aisles of GI Joes, Nerf, Legos, power wheels, and the fun goes on and on forever...

And that is why my wife and I decided to take our two oldest there to pick out a special toy to reward them for their stellar efforts during this difficult time transitioning from 2 to 3 kids. We wanted to get them something they would really like, something they would play with more than 1 day. I was feeling really good! I felt a warmth in my heart as I prepared to shell out a couple greenbacks in order to give something to my kids just because. I figured I got a glimpse of how God feels as he blesses his people and gives good gifts. My son got a guitar which he will not put down. He will take you down if you try and take it away from him and he is 1 years old! He sleeps with it, eats with it, and would bathe with it if we'd let him. My daughter got a hoola-hoop and some toys for her dollies.
I quickly realized how much my son loved his guitar and how much my daughter loved trying to "play" with his guitar as much as possible. My son would scream, squeal, screeeeeech at the top of his lungs until he got his guitar back. This goes on back and forth at least 10 times a day but is slowly getting better. What did I just do!? In fact this was the first time we had bought our children toys just because and I was thinking, I am never going to buy toys again!!
I had to take my daughter aside and tell her God wants us to be thankful for things we have.
As I said that I felt the log in my own eye. Just the day before I was thinking about getting a new computer and upgrading an xbox 360 my mother in law let me borrow and other ways to spend money I didn't have on stuff that I didn't need.
Its funny how we, I, think that things will bring us happiness. If I just had this or that, I would be happy but I can't remember one thing that I have bought that has not disappointed me in one way or another. Here, I thought buying my children a special toy would bring them joy, but actually brought strife, envy, and discontentment. Its funny how we think know what we want and sometimes God just lets us have it and we find how foolish we were/are.
God knows our needs and promises to provide for us but we get confused with what we want and what we need.
When I feel myself yearning for "things" I remind my self of what Paul said:

2 Corinthians 4:18 (New International Version)

18So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.