jesus christ

the gift of receiving

gift of life Quick update. These past few weeks have been quite busy for me, especially at work where we've picked up a few new clients. So I've been racing to finish as much work before I leave for vacation tomorrow. I'm going home to Alabama for a week to visit family and friends. Then last weekend was packed full of excitement, my wife came down with a horrible stomach bug that kept her in bed all day Saturday while I went to my company Christmas party, and then Sunday was our anniversary. So I would apologize for not writing sooner, but I think it's understandable. However, I did want to share something with you that hit me yesterday in a brief moment of inspiration while I was in the bathroom.

I once had a friend tell me the he wanted to be a janitor so he could serve people. At the time I thought that was very Godly of him. But was that really the plan God had for him? Sure it's a nice sentiment to say that we will do the dirtiest job, in the name of God, but is that truly what we are called to do? So often what we hear from the world, from the church, from friends, family, all these external sources, can cloud our better judgement, and ultimately skew the plan God has for us.

I mean what sounds more Christian to you? Setting off to Africa to serve as a missionary for 1 year and preach the name of Jesus, or keep working at my 9-5 job where I (insert your job here). I think God is in both of those decisions, but what "sounds" more Godly? I feel this is what God is trying to teach me right now. He's saying, "look at your life, the life I've given you, the way I've made you, now look at the life you're leading, the decisions on your horizon, which is most like you?" I think we would be surprised at what God has to say about this. I know I've thought about missions before, talked with my wife about it and all, but that wasn't something etched in to the very design of my heart.

But what about when Jesus says "Go into the world and preach the gospel...". I think that was a great order given to his disciples. But is that the same thing He's telling us? The bible is not living, it's just a book with words in it, but the Holy Spirit is alive, and He is the one that speaks to us through scriptures and other means. God's plan is ultimately the same for everyone, but He uses each of us uniquely.

So coming back to my friend who wanted to be a janitor. I think we, as humans, and especially as Christians, get these ideas in our heads of what will make us "good", what will make us "approved", but those things, if done out of pride or selfishness, will only lead us further from the truth. I don't want to speak on behalf of God's plan for my life, or yours, I want to listen and accept the perfect will of God for mine and my families life. Because in doing so, in receiving from God, that is the most valued gift we can have in this life.

tree of life

Tree of Life is Jesus Christ Staring out my car window, parked next to my house, I noticed the two bushes that were planted as a mere covering for the eye sore that is our ac unit. The one thing that's always caught my attention since moving in close to a year ago is how one of the bushes is completely dead, and the other is full of life and green as can be. Both bushes receive the same amount of sunlight day after day and both are on fertile soil. Yet the one on the left remains dead and void of any life.

So why am I writing about my two bushes that remain as a covering for the eye sore that is our ancient ac unit? Glad you asked. As I was sitting in my car staring at them God spoke to me "choose this day what tree you will eat from, the tree of life or the tree of the knowledge of good and evil?" And my answer was a no brainer when looking at the contrast between the bush that was brown and ugly and void any life, and the bush that was green and vibrant and it's leaves reaching to the sky in full splendor. I choose life.

I want this life. The fullness of life found in Jesus Christ. The life that is always full of life and beautiful and reaching evermore for the light. I'm amazed at how God offers us His simple truths hidden in plain view every day of our lives. If only we can stop a second and think on Him and quiet our hearts to hear what He might say we might be amazed. I know I was today.

Hope everyone has a great weekend.

Further reading:

Genesis 2:9

"And out of the ground the LORD God made every tree grow that is pleasant to the sight and good for food. The tree of life was also in the midst of the garden, and the tree of the knowledge of good and evil."

Proverbs 11:30

"The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, And he who wins souls is wise."

Revelation 2:7

β€œHe who has an ear, let him hear what the Spirit says to the churches. To him who overcomes I will give to eat from the tree of life, which is in the midst of the Paradise of God."

and the winner is

Armen Thomassian Last month I held a contest for my one-year blogiversary. It was my first contest to hold, ever, and I was a little nervous to see how it would go. But after receiving over thirty comments it was my greatest post to date. It was a blast getting to read everyone's comments. Some just came right out and explained why they wanted the note books, while others quoted whole poems (not sure what that was about). It even opened the door to make some new connections. Thanks again to everyone that stopped by and left your comments.

However, there could only be one winner and that's what I wanted to share with you today.

His name is Armen Thomassian. (That's him in the picture.) Originally british born, he now lives with his wife in Tasmania, Australia where he preaches the gospel of Jesus Christ. He used to have a wonderful blog where he shared his views on his faith and life, but due to some unfortunate events decided to take it down. His site now exist as merely a portal to visit him elsewhere on the web and to contact him. But even in the face of adversity he leaves us all with a message of hope:

"Let nothing or no one steal your joy."

Congrats again to Armen for winning the Field Notes 3-Pack of notebooks and I hope they come in handy for him.