The Intent of This Blog

This blog is intended to be a tool for the growth of whoever wants to use it. It is a daily journal intended to help us be more introspective. Every day I will do my best to supply a motivational quote, a Bible verse, a vocabulary word, and a personal message from myself. Use these if you like as motivation to improve yourself. Then, simply answer the daily questions provided honestly and see if it has an impact on your life. Zig Ziglar said, "If you don't have daily objectives, you qualify as a dreamer." Lets not be just dreamers but doers. Remember Martin Luther King Jr not only had a dream, he also had an objective. Thanks for reading, Jake

Follow DSGJ By Email Here

Friday, September 27, 2013

Beautiful Maker


“You playing is the best argument I’ve ever heard for the existence of God.  Because I don’t really believe a human alone can do this.”  Steve Jobs to Yo-Yo Ma playing his Stradivarius Cello  

For His invisible attributes, namely, His eternal power and divine nature, have been clearly perceived, ever since the creation of the world, in the things that have been made.  So they are without excuse.  Romans 1:20

Empirical:  “originating in or based on observation or experience”  Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Before writing, I listened to some great artists including Yo-Yo Ma play Johann Sebastian Bach’s Cello Suite No. 1 Prelude.  Sometimes we like to logistify God.  Whether we’re on the belief side or the unbelief.  We stack up the evidence.  Measure fact and fiction.  Compare science and faith.  All in an attempt to verify God empirically.  God will not be proven on fact alone.  If you’re looking for evidence of Him in numbers and events you’ve already missed His most powerful appearance.  A song is not in itself evidence of God alone.  But the heart of beauty.  The soul of grace.  The canon of art.  They speak of His benevolence in creating us and giving us the ability to speak through our hearts and mouths.  To speak of beauty and portray it.  What is the point of beauty?  It gives no life scientifically.  But then, it is life.  And life is beautiful.  Life is art.  It inspires and motivates and in some ways creates.  Perpetuating a legacy of God.  I want to let the words of Steve Jobs to Yo-Yo Ma sit with you.  And I would like to encourage you to quietly listen to what I’ve put up on the blog along with this post.  Either that or contemplate a favorite piece of art or beauty.  See if it isn’t evidence that tugs at your heart.  Evidence that there is a God.  Because it’s hard to believe a spawned and evolved human could do it alone, for no good reason.  “I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well.”  David - Psalm 139:14  
Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,
Jake

Thursday, September 26, 2013

Trusting Faithfulness


“March on.  Do not tarry.  To go forward is to move toward perfection.  March on, and fear not the thorns, or the sharp stones on life’s path.”  Khalil Gibran

Be not wise in your own eyes; fear the LORD, and turn away from evil.  It will be healing to your flesh and refreshment to your bones.  Proverbs 3:7-8

Everlasting:  “tediously persistent”  Merriam-Webster Dictionary

“The LORD is righteous in all His ways and kind in all His works.”  Psalm 145:17  Ok, I get the righteous part.  But kind?!  How can someone say that, how can God say that, when so much suffering happens in the world?  God created everything and is in control of everything, but still there is poverty and suffering and death.  One could take the easy road and say that those who are suffering don’t have God.  However, that seems a little simplistic and kinda like a lie to ourselves.  People who love the Lord suffer every day.  People who’ve accepted Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior suffer everyday.  So how can God inspire someone to write that He is kind in all His works?  As I write this, as I ask these questions on paper, I’m hoping for an answer, just like you.  Because I don’t know the answer.  The only thing I can say is that perhaps God’s works are different than His will.  When we study the life of Job, a righteous person who lived for and loved God, we see a man who suffered greatly.  And for what?  To prove a point to the devil?  God did restore Job’s blessings in greater abundance than before, but I don’t think Job would choose to go through what he did for more stuff.  In the end, we see God saying to Job, that He is God and who is a person to question what they do not, cannot, understand.  In the end the Bible says that God brought evil upon Job.  But He then blessed Job greatly for being steadfast in his faithfulness through it.  In the perspective of eternity and heaven and everlasting life, what is kindness?  Is it kind to make a child wait through a sleepless night before they can open their gifts on Christmas morning?  Is it kind to expect a person to work for their wages?  It’s not for us to know what every act of kindness looks like.  In all God has done and will do there is a Savior.  A Savior who can turn every evil into good, when we put a steadfast faith in Him.  A faith that believes what He says, even when we don’t understand how it could be true.  A faith that relies on His work on the Cross, and not our own, to provide a salvation that will more than make up for the suffering we’ve all endured.  Because the Cross destroyed the everlastingness to the penalty of sin.  It means that there is no permanence to the ills of the world, but good will prevail permanently.  Job couldn’t see what would be restored to Him.  He didn’t understand what was happening to him and why.  All he knew was to be faithful.  We have the hope of salvation, the hope of the finished work on the Cross.  We know that the times of suffering will one day reveal God’s kindness in all He does.  However, we still need the faithfulness of Job.  A simple faithfulness.  Not perfection.  Trust.  

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading, 
Jake

Monday, September 16, 2013

The Promise, The Hope, The Miracle


“Don’t believe in miracles, depend on them.”  Laurence J. Peter
For we know that the whole creation has been groaning together in the pains of childbirth until now.  And not only the creation, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for adoption as sons, the redemption of our bodies.  For in this hope we were saved.  Now hope that is seen is not hope.  For who hopes for what he sees?  But if we hope for what we do not see, we wait for it with patience.  Romans 8:22-25

Hope:  “to cherish a desire with anticipation”  Merriam-Webster Dictionary

As I was writing today’s message it came over the news that a shooting was occurring at a Navy shipyard in Washington D.C..  It appears at this point that there are three gun-men and multiple victims, some dead.  I thought about searching for details.  About waiting until “All the facts” were in before writing about it, but no.  Of course it makes a difference how many people were killed.  Of course the lives of those people are valuable to their families and loved ones.  Of course we will want to find out why the shooter or shooters wanted to do harm to other people.  Of course we’ll want there to be justice.  However, I don’t have to wait for the gunshots to stop to say something about it.  I don’t have to wait until every echo of violence has subsided to say something about good and evil.  We don’t have to have all the facts to know that there is a right and a wrong.  
History has a way of revealing sides and identifying justice.  But we don’t have to wait for history to tell us how we should act today.  Today we should act in compassion.  Today we should protect the innocent.  Today we need to find the empathetic recesses of our hearts and act on the motivations that arise from sympathy and love.  Right now people are dying needlessly all over the world.  Right now children are left without families.  Right now someone’s heart is breaking in the need for love.  
Shootings seem to be a common occurrence these days.  However, so is love.  There is a work for evil in this world.  There is a motivation to hurt and kill.  Don’t let it drown out what so many of us know.  That is, the love that is in our hearts and the love we see lived out every day.  You may be reading this wondering where that love is in your life.  You may be reading this doubting whether compassion really exists, because you haven’t seen it in a long time.  You may be reading this with the idea that no one loves you.  If so, I’m about to repeat a much used, but never over used cliche.  Jesus loves you.  Jesus loves all of us.  He’s the source of life and the source of love.  And so, if you’re searching for love today.  You just found it.  The love of Jesus in our hearts can change our worlds.  
Sometimes it’s hard to find and feel love because we have no love.  You’ve heard the phrase, “It takes money to make money.”  It’s true with love too.  It takes love...  Often people love us simply because we first loved them.  The Bible says, “We love because He first loved us.”  1 John 4:19  Can you feel His love?  The love of God?  The love of Jesus?  The love of the Spirit?  They’re not necessarily found in the church down the street.  They don’t necessarily come from reading the Bible.  And they aren’t necessarily manifested in service.  Here’s what the Bible says about love.  “If I speak in tongues of men or of angels, but do not have love, I am only a resounding gong or a clanging cymbal.  If I have the gift of prophecy and can fathom all mysteries and all knowledge, and if I have a faith that can move mountains, but do not have love, I am nothing.  If I give all I possess to the poor and give over my body to hardship that I may boast, but do not have love, I gain nothing.  Love is patient, love is kind.  It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud.  It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs.  Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth.  It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."  1 Corinthians 13:1-7  Today, like any other day has seen the opposite of love.  But it does not, cannot, and will not destroy it.  Because the source of love cannot be harmed.  His love perseveres, and through it so can ours.  
Today, no doubt you’ll hear the statements. “God failed again.”  “If God is so loving why would He allow...”  Perhaps you’ll say them.  Maybe you’ve already thought them.  It’s easy to say that God is love to those who are healthy and prospering.  But what about to those who’ve lost a loved one.  What about to those who are going through the worst.  To those who’ve died.  What does God’s love and compassion mean for them?  You can only really ask those questions once you’ve forgotten about the Cross.  Because through the Cross those problems are solved.  Through the Cross, Jesus’ love shines through to save.  The Cross offers a life of perfection.  The Cross means that suffering is temporary and death a relief.  Through the Cross the ultimate form of evil can be transformed into the ultimate act of love.  To die and be resurrected in perfection in the presence of true and almighty love.  That doesn’t mean our hearts are healed.  It doesn’t mean all hurts are gone today.  It doesn’t mean we won’t cry.  However, it does mean we have a hope.  The hope of the promise of eternal life.  A hope that requires a miracle.  A miracle that occurred when Jesus rose from His grave.

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,
Jake

Friday, September 13, 2013

The Progression Of LIfe


But I hold on to this hope and the promise that He brings
That there will be a place with no more suffering
There will be a day with no more tears
No more pain, and no more fears
There will be a day when the burdens of this place
Will be no more, we’ll see Jesus face to face
But until that day, we’ll hold on to You always
Excerpt from the song There Will Be A Day by Jeremy Camp

So we do not lose heart.  Though our outer self is wasting away, our inner self is being renewed day by day.  For this light momentary affliction is preparing for us an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison, as we look not to the things that are seen but to the things that are unseen.  For the things that are seen are transient, but the things that are unseen are eternal.  2 Corinthians 4:16-18

Transient:  “passing especially quickly int and out of existence”  Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I remember when my dog Clyde was a puppy.  I remember the first few rides were torture for him.  How he clung to me like he was afraid the current trip would produce the same results as his first ride.  That he would be given away once again.  I wanted so badly to be able to tell him in a way he could understand, that I would never give him away.  That he was safe to enjoy the ride.  That we were going to see people he would love.  I couldn’t wait until he knew how safe he was with us.  Now as his muzzle grays I wish I could go back to him as a puppy.  But then his baby Boone wouldn’t be here, and neither would the memories.  So much that life has added wouldn’t be here.  And someday so much of what life offers me now won’t be here anymore.  The things we love come and go.  They’re born to us, mature, and sometimes die.  It’s been called, “The circle of life,” but too often it feels a lot like death.  We’ve heard that we should live in this moment, appreciate what it has to offer and enjoy it.  And that’s true.  But moments are fleeting.  What we look forward to quickly becomes a memory.  There’s no place I’ve ever lived I wouldn’t like to return to someday.  I miss grade school.  I miss the first days of college.  I miss the times when my wife and I were simply surviving.  However, God has blessed me so much since all of those times.  I wouldn’t go back if I could.  And at 32, God willing, I know life has so much more to offer me in the future.  New babies, a family with kids, boundless possibilities.  We have this hope.  It’s a hope from the Creator Himself.  A hope that the future offers perfection.  That the sorrows, sadness, and gladness we experience in this life will not be the end, but the beginning of an eternity of perfect moments strung together in a line.  No more tears, no more death.  What will it be like to progress in time without progressing towards death.  Will there being maturing?  Will there be memories longed for?  I don’t have the answers, but I do have hope.  The hope of salvation.  It’s the progress of life, from transient to eternal.  It’s God saying to us as we cling to Him.  “You’re safe here with Me.”  “I will never leave you or forsake you.  Be Strong and courageous.”  Joshua 1:5b-6a.
Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,
Jake

Wednesday, September 11, 2013

The Routine


“To achieve great things, you need a plan and not quite enough time.”  Leonard Bernstein

“All things are lawful for me,” but not all things are helpful.  “All things are lawful for me,” but I will not be enslaved by anything.  1 Corinthians 6:12

Routine:  “habitual or mechanical performance of an established procedure”  Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Do you have a routine?  Whether we realize it or not, most of us probably have routines.  One of my routines is to get up early in the morning, pray, read the Bible for 15 minutes, read another spiritual book for 10 minutes, meditate (usually nap) for twenty minutes, then write this.  That’s a pretty elaborate routine I know.  Especially when it all happens before I go to work at 6:20.  And for me it’s easy to become a slave to the routine.  It’s easy to feel as if I’ve failed God if I didn’t read the Bible for exactly 15 minutes or more.  Or if I didn’t meditate on Him for 20 minutes.  But the fact of the matter is, sometimes there are more important things than the routine.  For many of us, routines help us cope with the demands of life.  They give us something steady to rely on.  However, sometimes the routine is what keeps us from meeting the demands of humanity, and even God.  Even a routine of worship doesn’t always offer worship in the most affective way.  Whitney and I are expecting a baby in January.  It will be our first, so everything will be a learning experience.  I know some of my routines will change.  Probably all of them.  If it’s God’s will I know I will continue to write these messages every week-day.  However, my morning routine may change a little.  My prayers may be a little shorter, my time of meditation may be a little different, but my heart will remain in the same place.  Sometimes it’s good to be late for work, when it’s to help a stranded motorist along the way.  Sometimes a shorter prayer is better, when it’s supplanted with an act of service.  And sometimes doing what the Bible says is more important than reading it for a set amount of time and no less.  It’s important to know that most of our routines are man made.  Often we treat them like they’re a requirement.  But God gave us few routines.  Certainly the Bible never laid out what we should do every morning before we go to work.  God is not worshiped in our routines, but in our hearts.  In no way am I saying that routines are bad.  God works miracles in and through them.  However, routines should not be seen as unbreakable.  I know we all have different personalities and for some of us a routine is almost unbearable, while for others it’s essential.  Either way, we need to be able to see the actions of our lives for what they’re really for.  That is to do the will and work of our Creator.  If anything gets in the way of that, whether it’s a drinking habit, or a spiritual one, it should be evaluated what it’s for.  Is it for ourselves ultimately, or is it for God.  Everything we do should, in the end, be for God.  Sometimes that looks a lot like something for ourselves.  And in fact there couldn’t be anything more important that we do for ourselves.  Sometimes we all need a break.  God did not create us to be robots.  He created us to be willing and joyful servants.  If anything we do causes us to lose our joy or our service in and for Him, it’s probably not of Him.  At least not in that moment.

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading, 
Jake

Tuesday, September 10, 2013

Simply Everything


“If thou desire the love of God and man, be humble, for the proud heart, as it loves none but itself, is beloved of none but itself.  Humility enforces where neither virtue, nor strength, nor reason can prevail.”  Francis Quarrels

I praise you, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made.  Wonderful are your works; my soul knows it very well.  Psalm 139:14

Whim:  “a capricious or eccentric and often sudden idea or turn of the mind”  Merriam-Webster Dictionary

What’s the big deal about God?  Why is He so important?  Why is it important to worship Him?  The clearest answer seems to be simply that He is the Creator of everything, He is all powerful, He is in control, and that He asks us to make a big deal of Him by worshiping and following Him.  And so, why is it that we forget about Him so often?  Why is it that simply living to be happy often seems more important than Him?  Why is it that we often make God secondary or even thirdly or fourthly in our lives?  Again, the clearest answer seems to be that we are easily encapsulated in our own lives, seeing and feeling everyday events more vividly than we do God.  Because of this many begin to doubt the existence of God.  Many put their faith, hope, and trust in what they can see, feel, and hold in their hands; rather than what they can see, feel, and hold in their hearts, minds, and souls.  We’re constantly asking for empirical evidence and at the same time disregarding it when we don’t agree with it.  There is evidence that God created everything, the same as there is evidence that the car you drive was designed and created by a company.  It’s stamp is on the hood.  So why do we ignore the stamp on us; God’s stamp on creation?  Is it because allowing a belief in God would destroy the plans we have for our lives?  Is it because allowing the wedge that is God into our lives will drive us away from the things we love?  Is it because we ultimately want to be as much of a god as possible?  There is no doubt that sexually transmitted diseases would not exist if we followed God’s rule of marriage.  There is no doubt that millions of children have died because of the diseases caused by promiscuous sex outside of God’s prescription for it.  So do we listen?  Not a chance.  In fact we regard the teaching of abstinence as foolish.  Why?  Because it would damage our ability to find pleasure?  Because it would hinder us from doing what we want?  And why has the culture in the United States become so self interested?  Why do we sue and destroy simply to get a few more dollars for ourselves?  “It’s business.”  As if the phrase ever made anyone feel better.  It’s not business!  Everything is personal!  We all know that.  There’s nothing more personal than having someone take your assets simply because they can and they want to.  Then again, how much easier would life be if we considered that everything we call our own we gave to God?  How much happier could life be if we considered everything we have a blessing from God; meant to be shared?  The Bible says, “The Lord giveth and the Lord taketh away.”  Job 1:21  That sounds like it sucks.  But only if we’re so concentrated on ourselves that we can’t see the proverbial forest for the trees.  There is more to life than what we’re living now.  YOLO (You Only Live Once), it’s a phrase that’s become popular through social medial recently.  Is it true?  One thing that is true, it leads to a life of whimsy, a life of doing what we want, when we want, right now.  Because... We only live once.  So “make the most of it” the world would say.  And so the phrase becomes self fulfilling.  We give up an eternity of perfect joy for a moment of guilty pleasure.  And we all know those moments do bring guilt.  No one in the history of the world has ever been satisfied with selfishness.  It just doesn’t happen.  Contrast that with the billions who have described there lives as satisfying even though they have relatively nothing.  There’s something about nothing that is sort of satisfying.  There’s something about simply surviving that is exciting.  We all need God to survive.  Every breath relies on Him.  Take joy in it.  Breathe and know that it is a gift.  Our lives are a gift.  That’s what so important about God.  Simply Everything!  

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading, 
Jake

Monday, September 9, 2013

The Thrill


“Efforts and courage are not enough without purpose and direction.”  John F. Kennedy

You thrill me, Lord, with all you have done for me!  I sing for joy because of what you have done.  Psalm 92:4

Thrill:  “to move or pass so as to cause a sudden wave of emotion”  Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I’ve never understood daredevils.  I’ve never been one to seek a thrill.  I do like to drive fast and I love fast things.  But I’ve always been risk averse and I can always remember doing a risk analysis on most things I did.  If you like to take risks, if you like a thrill, that rush of adrenaline you get when your life is in danger, then good for you.  I’m not disparaging those things.  As long as your not being foolish and endangering lives unnecessarily.  However, that’s just not me.  But then again, those thoughts of fear from unneeded risk go away when I think about purpose.  With the prospect of saving a life I get excited at the thought of overcoming risks and braving danger.  With a purpose behind it, I get excited about jumping out of an airplane, driving too fast, or infiltrating enemy lines.  Do we follow Jesus the way I avoid perceived danger?  Are we risk averse when it comes to Christ?  We all are to some extent.  Even Peter considered the risk when he was asked if he knew Jesus.  Three times he decided to save himself from danger and deny Christ.  Most of us are lucky in that following Jesus doesn’t risk our lives.  But there are many who do risk their lives for Him.  The thing must of us are scared of risking is not our lives, but our dignity.  We’re scared to be called stupid or naive.  We’re scared to be labeled as crazy evangelicals.  We’re scared to be different.  But there can be a purpose in the risks of following Christ.  Do we ever think of them?  Would we be willing to slightly embarrass ourselves in front of strangers if it meant saving a soul?  Could we risk losing a friend because our values are different?  Is it worth leaving someone without Jesus because we’re afraid to be disagreed with?  Jesus said, “Do not think that I have come to bring peace to the earth.  I have not come to bring peace, but a sword.  For I have come to set a man against his father, and a daughter against her mother, and a daughter-in-law against her mother-in-law.”  Matthew 10:34-35  Too often we believe that following Jesus means never making a wave.  But following Him will almost always make a wave.  It’s not our job to always keep the waters calm.  However, Jesus, like that night on the sea of Galilee, can calm any storm.  I’m not saying that we should purposely create conflict, but that we should be ready for it.  There will be conflict in a Christian’s life.  It will take courage for us to follow Him.  But what a thrill it will be when we get to spend eternity with God.  There is a purpose in danger, there is a purpose in following Christ.  The purpose is Christ.  And is there a better purpose than that?

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,
Jake

Thursday, September 5, 2013

Revivify


“A true frond never gets in your way unless you happen to be going down.”  Arnold H. Glasow

Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewal of your mind, that by testing you may discern what is the will of God, what is good and acceptable and perfect.  Romans 12:2

Revivify:  “to give new life to”  Merriam-Webster Dictionary

Jesus hung out with “the wrong crowd.”  Jesus said He came to seek and to save that which was lost.  Jesus said it is the sick who need a doctor.  And as Christians we are to emulate Christ, right.  Right...  But as we emulate Christ we need to remember that we are not Christ, that we are not God.  He was.  The Bible says that Jesus was tempted in all ways as we are, yet was without sin.  We are not sinless.  No one we know has ever lived a perfect life.  Except Jesus.  But there are Christians who place themselves in harms way, hang out with the wrong crowd, fit in with the wrong people, doing the wrong things, all in the name of being like Jesus.  And there is nothing wrong with trying to be like Jesus.  However, Jesus had a different role than we do.  He came to be a Savior.  We aren’t here to be a savior.  We’re here to point the way towards Him.  Often Christians find themselves at the wrong place, at the wrong time, not because of some missional effort, but because they want to be there.  Emulating Christ becomes a way to justify they’re actions.  Want to reach the people inside a strip club?  Be a good example to your friends, and don’t go.  Want to reach someone with a problem with alcohol?  Show them what it means to enjoy life without drunkenness.  Want to reach a homeless junkie?  Use your resources to provide them with care packages full of food, hygiene items, and probably a Bible too.  There is nothing wrong with being with the wrong crowd, but we have to really discern our motivations.  We aren’t perfect and we never will be.  We are the lost that Jesus came to seek and to save.  Our job is different than His.  And so we have to be careful not to expose ourselves to things that tempt us and threaten to drag us down.  There are places we shouldn’t go, things we shouldn’t see.  We all know that.  And I think most of us understand that deep down, when we go to those places, when we see those things, we’re not trying to be like Christ.  Deep down we know that’s simply an excuse to go to the wrong places and see the wrong things.  The Bible says, “Above all else, guard your heart, for everything you do flows from it.”  Proverbs 4:23  Where is your heart?    The Bible also says, “One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother.”  Proverbs 18:24  That friend we all have is Jesus.  He’ll follow us to those places we shouldn’t be.  He’ll see us doing the wrong things.  He’ll be there when we fall.  No matter what excuse we use.  And He’ll do the same thing He did in front of the Pharisees and Sadducees.  He’ll call us to Him.  “Come to Me, all you who are wear and burdened, and I will give you rest.” - Jesus  Matthew 11:28  Be a good friend to those who need a good friend.  “Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.”  James 4:7  Point the way to Jesus, He is there to revivify all of us.

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,
Jake

Tuesday, September 3, 2013

To The Glory


“Everything around you that you call life, was made up by people who are no smarter than you.”  Steve Jobs

So, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.  1 Corinthians 10:31

Exponential:  “expressible or approximately expressible by an exponential function; especially : characterized by or being an extremely rapid increase (as in size or extent)”  Merriam-Webster Dictionary

I’d like to agree with today’s quote by Steve Jobs.  At the same time I want to disagree with it too.  The part of me that disagrees is the part that knows everything we see, feel, and love was given to us by a loving Creator.  The part of me that agrees understands that God gave us unique abilities to cause effects and create things of our own.  Did God create the computer?  Did He create the automobile?  Or the bicycle for that matter?  He didn’t create them through His word, like Genesis describes His creation of the natural world, but He did give us minds and resources.  He made us to solve problems and see solutions.  In an interview of Steve Jobs I recently watched, He described his disappointment from an article in a Scientific American Magazine.  The article came from a study of animal efficiencies.  The goal of the study (if I remember correctly) was to find out what animal could travel a set distance using the fewest calories.  The condor won and “The crown of Creation,” as Steve Jobs described us, came in around a third of the way down.  “But,” he said, his eyes lit up, “Someone had the insight to include a human on a bicycle.”  “We blew everything away,” he said.  “Humans were meant to be toolmakers,” he concluded.  And so when you take into account the abilities God gave us.  Steve Jobs was absolutely correct in the quote I used today.  Our bodies are amazing.  They’re not the best at everything.  But we can outrun any animal on dry ground given enough time and distance.  Our minds are clearly the brightest.  However, our bodies we’re not meant to stand alone, as is a giraffe’s, or a tiger’s.  Problems were not meant to remain inside our skulls, as in a chimpanzee’s, or orangutang’s.  God gave us resources.  And He gave us the ability to unlock their potential.  Not everyone is meant to be a computing genius, but some are.  Not everyone is meant to design machines, but some are.  Not everyone is skilled with words, but some are.  We are all a puzzle of different shaped pieces.  It takes everyone to reveal creation in all its beauty.  When one is left out the image is degraded.  And that is where Christ enters the picture.  To seek and to save the lost piece.  So that the picture of perfection can be restored.  Our bodies and minds, from the beginning of creation, were always meant to be assisted by the tools we build.  Our physical and mental capabilities are exponentially increased by machines and computers.  They have changed the world over and over again.  There are questions to be asked.  Questions about morality and God.  But those questions have always existed, at every step of human technological development.  And so too, our spirits need assistance.  That assistance comes from one place.  The Holy Spirit.  Able to guide and influence our lives.  Able to exponentially increase our joy and purpose.  In all of creation, we alone, were never meant to stand alone.  We are completed with a tool in our hand, words on the page, people to love, and a God to worship.  People no smarter than us have changed the world over and over.  However, whether they believed it or not, they did it with and through the purpose of or Creator.  What can we do with Him?  To His glory?

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming of?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading,
Jake

Monday, September 2, 2013

The Greatest Letter


Man is a knot into which relationships are tied. Antoine de Saint-Exupéry (Flight to Arras, 1942, translated from French by Lewis Galantière)

One who has unreliable friends soon comes to ruin, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother. Proverbs 18:24

Correspondence: “communication by exchanging letters with someone” New Oxford American Dictionary

The Bible has long been regarded by christians as the ultimate guide for life. It's the ultimate “Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy.” But there is another purpose to the the Bible that is perhaps more important than that. The Bible is God's method of showing us who He is. It gives us a way to see God and be inspired by Him. As humans we do not leave the people we love very long without corresponding with them. Multi billion dollar industries have been created just so people could communicate with each other while being separated. When Adam and Eve first sinned and became as the serpent said in Genesis 3:5 “like God, knowing good and evil,” God physically left us. I can't presume to know God's motives, but I think He had to leave us, to avoid fostering a rivalry between Himself (a perfect Being), and His creation (a corrupted environment). We were curious to know about good and evil, ignored the warnings of our Creator, and fell for the lies of the devil. But God loves us more than we will ever know in this life. He could not, would not, and did not leave us without His correspondence. In every story we see in the Bible there isn't just wisdom on how to act, but God saying to us, “this is who I am, I know you're all gonna do this stuff and this is how I feel about it and how I react to it and no matter what, I still love you.” His Word is there to comfort us when we're sorrowful, to give us wisdom when we falter, and to inspire us when our hope is failing. No matter who we are, or what we've done, we all have “a friend who sticks closer than a brother.” All we must do is accept Him.  He may not be with us physically, but we can all get to know Him.  We have His Word.  The greatest Letter.

Daily Journaling Questions:
  1. How did I help someone in kindness today?
  2. What did I learn today?
  3. What am I thankful for?
  4. Who did I love today?
  5. What am I dreaming for?
  6. What about today do I want to remember forever?
  7. What are my goals for tomorrow?
Thanks for reading.
Jake