Tuesday, July 5, 2011


So last week, I actually did a message for a youth group that I work with. I figured I should share the basic premise of the message since I haven't updated this thing in about 6 months.

I did a talk on Esther 4. The main thing I focused on was what Mordecai said to Esther in verses 13-14: "he sent back this answer: "Do not think that because you are in the king's house you alone of all the Jews will escape. For if you remain silent at this time, relief and deliverance for the Jews will arise from another place, but you and your father's family will perish. and who knows but that you have come to royal position for such a time as this?"" In chapter 4, Mordecai was trying to convince Esther to go to talk to King Xerxes in order to convince him to stop Haman from hunting every single Jew down. Esther was apprehensive to go talk to the team. I don't say I blame her, considering there was a standing death sentence for whoever decided to walk into the court of the King without an invitation. The only way out would be the King extending his scepter towards whoever intruded on him.

When I read through this, recently, what Mordecai said really struck me differently than it ever did before. He was challenging. Mordecai was telling Esther that this is her chance to go and make an impact for God and His Kingdom. Sure, God could easily do it without her, but that doesn't mean that He doesn't want to do it without her. I can tell you right now that my life has been full of missed opportunities to make an impact for God's Kingdom. I still miss opportunities. Why? Well I'm scared, to be honest. That doesn't make that right at all. What do I have to be scared of anyways? Sure, people might talk down to me, and talk about me behind my back. But that's nothing compared to what Esther went through. She had to put her LIFE on the line, not just her reputation. So what's holding you back? What's keeping you from doing what God has called you to do?

The other thing I want to talk about concerning what Mordecai said is the fact that he was able to actually tell Esther the tough stuff. The Bible actually says that Mordecai had adopted Esther because her parents had both died already. On top of that, they were cousins. I can't even begin to imagine what was going through Mordecai's head as he was telling Esther to go potentially practically commit suicide. That must have been one of the hardest things he ever had to say, if not the hardest. What if we took the time to challenge our Christian friends who are struggling with something? You know, I have an accountability partner, and we challenge each other a lot. It's one way that we keep each other from just getting casual in our walk with God. Is there a specific person in your life that you feel that you need to keep accountable and that you need them to keep you accountable?

Mordecai was willing to say something so challenging that Esther did in fact change her mind. What if we were all like Mordecai to each other? What more could we all accomplish?

Sunday, January 30, 2011

Life donation

So, the other day, I went to a Red Cross blood drive to donate some blood. It took about an hour of my time to do the whole process of checking in, reading the little booklet they have on donating, going through a screening test, and finally actually getting my blood drawn. By donating blood, I saved a life, maybe a few. But that is NOTHING compared to what Jesus did on the cross. Jesus didn't just donate a pint of blood so that one person's life could be saved, that kind of sacrifice is actually not that hard, it takes an hour, and it's fairly painless, and you get food afterwards. Jesus died, a gruesome and painful death not just so that a couple people could be saved from physical death, but so that millions upon millions of people could be saved from spiritual death and suffering. But like a blood donation, we must also take Jesus' life donation in order to truly be saved. He gave His life, but we have to actually accept it. It's like a blood transfusion. The donation is completely pointless unless the blood is actually put in the person's body. That's just a cool parallel that I wanted to share with you.

Tuesday, January 25, 2011

Trusting God

Do you worry? Are you constantly stressed out about what could go wrong in any given situation, whether it's financial, or someone's safety? It's really understandable, I tended to stress about tech situations back when I was on the tech team in youth group. See, that was my main responsibility almost every Wednesday night. Worrying is a natural thing; it comes with not knowing what is going to happen in your life. College students worry about their grades, most mothers worry about their kids; it's a very normal thing for most people.
             But Jesus says in Matthew 6:31-34 "31 So do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For the pagans run after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them. 33 But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well. 34 Therefore do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own."
            Not knowing what lies ahead can be a scary concept, but at the same time, God knows exactly what plans he has in store for us, and He will always provide for us. So remember not to worry, because that would distract us from what we need to focus on currently. Remember, God's always with us and only wants the best for us!

Sunday, January 2, 2011

God's plans for your life

     Almost everybody, at one point or another, has put thought into what they wanted to do for their lives. Even kids 5 years old think about it, albeit, most want to be police officers, firefighters, astronauts, or movie stars, they've still thought that far into their future. I know for years that I wanted to have my career in computers, because I loved all that techie junk. That, however, was not God's plan for my life. He had much different plans for me, and I'm glad I was listening. Before I go on any further, I want to share Jeremiah 29:11 with you, which says, "'For I know the plans I have for you,' declares the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.'"
     God always has the perfect plans for us, and His plans for me were to make me a youth pastor. I had waited until my graduating summer to actually hear that loud and clear from God, at which point, I had to change my plans very quickly from going to a life focused on getting a degree in computers to a life focused on getting my degree in youth ministry. And while changes in plans got a little hectic for a bit, God kept me calm through the whole thing, because I know for a fact that He has the perfect plan for me, and He also has perfect timing, so He told me I was going to be a youth pastor right when I needed to hear it, not a second early, or a second late.
     So let me leave you with a challenge: have you been listening to what God wants you to do with your life? Or are you dead set on a path that you want to be on?

Wednesday, December 29, 2010

Teamwork pt. 2

If you guys already read my last post, you know that teamwork is important. We should be supporting each other, not arguing with each other. Because on any sports team, all it takes is one person that creates problems for the team to lose its chemistry. Or like how Paul put it, we are all one body, so if the toe is a pain to the rest of the body, no matter if it's a big toe or pinky toe, it will be a distraction to the whole body and be an overall hindrance. It would hurt to walk, let alone be active. That's just when something is being a pain; imagine if the body was fighting itself, for example, an autoimmune disease is a disease in which he body's white blood cells attack it. It's a very painful and damaging thing. Is it possible that the church is doing that right now? Think of all the pointless squabbles that some Christians have with others. Those arguments can cause division in the church to the point that it isn't effective anymore. And that's exactly what the enemy wants. He wants us as a church body to be completely ineffective. So be gracious, be kind, and play for the team! There are bigger things at stake than out own personal preferences.

Friday, December 24, 2010


So I'm a volleyball player, I love playing it. It's one of my favorite sports. My other favorite is ultimate frisbee, but that's irrelevant. In volleyball, every single team member counts. On all the teams I play on, I'm always a hitter. Now normally in volleyball, hitters get most of the credit, mainly because they hit the ball hard and that's where the most intense part of the sport is. But I'm completely powerless without my team, whether or not I'm a good player. When I'm in front row, I'm dependent on my setter to set me up in order for me to hit, but in order for my setter to set me up, he or she has to get a good pass from whoever the ball comes to. The whole team is important in volleyball, whether or not hitters are considered the "dominant" players. Isn't it the same with Christians? Shouldn't we be depending on each other in order to spread the Gospel throughout the world with our different gifts and abilities? 
In Romans 12:5-8, Paul writes, "5 so in Christ we, though many, form one body, and each member belongs to all the others. 6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; 7 if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; 8 if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully."
 And he also writes in 1 Corinthians 12:14-19, "14 Even so the body is not made up of one part but of many. 15 Now if the foot should say, “Because I am not a hand, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 16 And if the ear should say, “Because I am not an eye, I do not belong to the body,” it would not for that reason stop being part of the body. 17If the whole body were an eye, where would the sense of hearing be? If the whole body were an ear, where would the sense of smell be? 18 But in fact God has placed the parts in the body, every one of them, just as he wanted them to be. 19 If they were all one part, where would the body be? 20 As it is, there are many parts, but one body."
God has given us all different abilities, while you might be a hand or an eye, I might be a pinky toe, or a toenail. In other words, while you might have the gift of evangelism, I might have the gift of preaching, or something along those lines. So be a team player, don't just worry about what you can do by yourself; as Christians, we're all in this together, and we have God with us at all times!

Monday, December 13, 2010

Glorifying God

One of my favorite verses of all time, if not my favorite, is 1 Corinthians 10:31 which says, "So whether you eat or drink or whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God." I think that this verse is pretty much telling us that glorifying God should be our main goal in life. But how much do we, as humans, take pride in our actions? I know I do a lot, and that's wrong. Paul says to do EVERYTHING that we do all for the glory of God. For instance, I can do really well on a test at school, a final exam in fact. Now I can say that I studied really well for that exam so I'm the one who deserves all the credit, or I can thank God for allowing me to memorize the material and do well on the exam, because in the end, it's all up to Him. Now that's a hard thing to do for most people. It's our nature that drives us to thinking that we deserve all of the credit, therefore glorifying ourselves in our heads. Whether we act on that thought or not is still irrelevant. We still thought it. So remember, God is in control, and He deserves all of the glory.