Sunday, August 14, 2011

Last Post

Well, I'm pretty sure that I don't have too many followers on this blog but to those who do follow me, this is the last post that I am going to make on this blog and it is simply to say that I have another blog that I am going to use. Blogger has been giving me trouble for a long time so I have now moved to WordPress. Feel free to follow me there if you would like

Friday, June 17, 2011

To God be the Glory

This is definitely not a new thought to me but this is a new application to me on this thought. I read a book almost a year ago by Jonathan Edwards called "The End for Which God Created the World." In this book, Edwards seeks to prove the meaning of all existence and I think he does a great job at it. He proves through logic and scripture that all glory should go the the Supreme Being of the universe and that Being is God. If all glory is to go to Him and He created everything, then shouldn't the purpose of everything be the glorify Him and not ourselves? I would say yes, our reason for existence and life on this earth is to bring glory to the Creator. So if we are to bring Him glory with our lives, shouldn't we be doing something worth while with our lives? I would say yes, to a point and this is where my thoughts have changed.
For the past 3 years, I have been trying to figure out a way to live my life so as to bring God the most glory and to use my giftedness to the upmost for the purpose and to waste as little time as possible. In trying, I have had seasons of great growth and of stagnation but that is also a part of life, getting into and out of funks. I was thinking today though about the purpose of life. We are to purposely bring the most glory to God but that doesn't always have to be through extravagant means. Living a simple life with simple pleasures, thanking and praising God for your simple life is more glorifying to God than living a life that causes people to look more to God by your work and yet you take credit for your work and life while slightly pointing to God. We are responsible for our own reactions and lives, we should first focus on our own glorifying of God rather than the person next to us and how they are doing with glorifying God. Praise and worship of the creator is actually infectious, if you do it, people around you are going to start to ask questions and start to also bring glory to God. God is in all creation for He created it. If we point it out to people, it may dawn on them that there is a God and that He is worthy to be praised.
I would love to see a place, people, and planet that are on fire for God. A people that love Him and want to glorify Him in everything and not just the big things. God created the tiny atom that should blow itself apart as well as the entire expanse of space that we haven't even seen yet. We should seek to glorify Him in all the little things as well as the big things. This is coming from the guy that has many big things to thanks God for and yet I have trouble enjoying the tiny, "insignificant" parts of life because they are just life. The tiny parts don't bother me, I see them as life, but they are so much more than just life, they are what make us who we are and they are things that we should be thankful to experience. There is more to life than the next big thing, the next party, the next near-death experience (in some cases), there is also all the little tiny things that make this life so much more enjoyable and unique.

What lead me to think of all these things today is that I was pondering people's lives. Could it be that we are really all the same and that there are just small differences in each life that influence us in different ways but that we are all really going in the same direction, asking the same questions and just coming up with different answers and conclusions? In order to test that I would have to examine a life and that isn't actually possible because I only life for 1 life and so I can't have an experiment based upon only 1 lifetime. Psychologists can and have looked at twins and they are the SAME person and yet twins lives are very different from each other as well as everyone else. Life isn't all the same things, there are differences. There is nothing new under the sun though and from that we know that the questions that we ask are always the same, the science might change a bit but really it is the same. It's all built upon itself and we just keep on continuing to advance and I think we always will. In our advancing though, we will always be coming back to the same basic question: why are we here? what is the meaning of life? That is something that people will always try to solve on their own and until they realize that they can't solve it on their own, they can never know the answer to the question, because the questions aren't about you even if you try your best to make it about you. The questions are really about something much bigger than you. You just have to open your eyes to the world around you and see that there isn't actually something out there. Something that does want to satisfy your desire for something more. There is more to this life. There is a God

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Work in a Life

I have been trying to read a lot of books lately because I am trying to teach myself as much as I can while I have a lot of time on my hands so as to best maximize my time. I was convicted tonight though: in all my learning, is it changing my life? With this question in mind, I'm not going to slow down my learning but I do hope that in thinking about it, praying about it, and then, Lording willing, acting upon it, I will start to see my life change and reflect all of my learning. I don't want to be a guy who can tell you a bunch of stuff but then when that stuff is compared to my life, they don't match up. I want people to see my life and then understand my life after they get to know what I know. I have much to learn in life and I have much to change in my life but I know that God is faithful and He will complete the work He has started and all I have to do is my best to do what He commands and I should turn out alright.

I just finish a book about the sovereignty of God and while I have about 40 pages left in the book, I started to think about how this topic would impact my life. The book presents some ideas but then I was trying to think of personal things for me. I came up with a few:
The sovereignty of God impacts how I make decisions. Knowing that God is sovereignly in control of everything mean that I don't have to have all the answers in life. All I have to do is to make the best decision that I can. I can make a decision because I know that God is in control so I don't have to worry about making the wrong decision because God is the one who is making all things work. That doesn't mean there is no such thing as a foolish or stupid decision but that if I am doing my best to seek counsel from God and people more wise than I am and then make a decision, God is going to use that even if it isn't in the way that I thought that He would use it.
The sovereignty of God impacts why I make decisions. Similar to the first but I do think different enough to mention separately. God is sovereign but that doesn't mean that I just do nothing. It means that in everything I do, He is working. Does this encourage me to sin? I hope not. I hope that this encourages me to think of Him in my planning and decisions more. I don't use God's sovereignty as a scapegoat but as a guide. Because God is sovereign and He has laid out His plan for the world in His Word, I know what is going to happen and why it is going to happen and so I can make my plans to further His purpose here on earth. I want to make decisions that promote the glory of God, bless those who are around me, cause me to love Him and others more, and make me into His image.
The sovereignty of God gives me hope. I like to plan and to figure out ever angle that I can and to then do those plans. My plans never tend to have gone according to plan, something always seems to change and then I make new plans. Luckily, I like to plan. I will continue to plan for the rest of my life because I think it is good to have a plan, but in my plan making, I know that God is in control and that I can't try to hold on to my plan. I have no idea what is going to happen tomorrow let alone 2 years from now or 20 years from now, but I am still going to plan for them. I want to do ministry, have a family, and impact that world for Christ. Two of those things, I am very positive will happen because I will not be content in life if I don't do them and I think I have done this up to this point in my life but I want to continue doing them and to do it better and in greater quantity. However, I have died once and I could die tomorrow and never get a family. I would be in heaven, that wouldn't bother me! If left alone, I know I will not be as productive in my life, if I live a long time, as if I had a family because a family, I have heard, makes you grow up and get serious about life. I want that. I don't want to be a kid (I don't think most would call me a kid but still, excel still more). If God blesses me with a family or not though, I don't have to worry about. All I have to do is to spend the time I have as best I can and allow God to work out the rest. This is why I can have hope in life because God is in control and sovereign. He takes care of everything and I don't have to worry about the next day. He is going to provide the things that I need, even if it isn't in the way that I think it should be. He is good. He will provide. I think I can now be excited for life to happen because I just get to ride the roller coaster and have fun along the way doing what I love to do: learning and teaching about the things of God.

Book Review: "The Sovereignty of God"

So I will start off this review with this: if you have not read this book and are saved, get off your butt and read it! "The Sovereignty of God" by A.W.Pink is a book that could almost definitely change your life. Honestly, it does take a while to go through, it took a whole day longer than I had expect for me to get through it but I must encourage you to persevere through it because it is golden. If nothing else, it will challenge everything you know about how life works. At best, it will give you are great respect for God, change how you make decisions, and give you hope for this life. Pink does a very good job of using scripture in his book so he argues his points well but then he also goes after the obvious objections to his points and disproves them so that you can see they he is actually dealing with most all the major problems. He says that this is a little book that barely touches the subject, which is technically true, but it is also a great resource to read because he actually covers quite a lot for such a small book.
There is one thing that really stood out to me that I'm not sure if I agree with/understood his viewpoint and that was on why sin is in the world. I will have to do more research on that but that was the only major flag that I currently remember about the book. The rest I thought was basically good. He gives good arguments and I'm going to take what he said and compare it to scripture as I read through my bible but I think in generally he is fairly sound though may be slightly off on some of his stuff. I can't remember specifics but I do remember questioning a few things he said but again, I still think he hit the nail on the head with this book and I think you so go and read it this week. It really is very good.

Monday, May 2, 2011

How to Spend a Life

In the eyes of most, and I would agree with them, I am a young man. Most would say that I need to be taught more and need to go to school and spend thousands of dollars on a degree and then I will be an adult and ready for the world. i would agree that this is a good path and that most would need to follow it. College has a good place in our society and most people aren't grown up by the time they get out of high school and they need time to grow and they have more to learn and college is a good place to that all this. I'm not saying that I have arrive and that college has no place in my life and I don't need to learn more. I have much to learn, I love to learn, and I will spend the majority of my life learning. No, my problem is not that I'm grown, my problem is that I have the gospel and it compels me to do more.
I could go to college, affect those who are around me for Christ, spend thousands of dollars, learn a lot and get a degree. I could also stay here, get a job, affect those around me, learn a lot, save money, and get no degree but meet a bunch of people and network and live out my life so that people know me by my actions and life and not by a name and title. I see two paths I could take, the first being harder at the beginning and easier at the end while the second being easier at the beginning and harder at the end. What am I to do?
I have had a unique life, one that I know of no one who has had a similar one and not done big things. This is not to say that I am marked for greatness but I do think that I'm marked for something. I don't think it will be easy, for the kind of person I am, if it could be easy, I would make it hard, but that doesn't mean that I should try to make it easier. At the end of my life, I want to say that I have worn myself out for Christ. I want to be a beaten and battered pot by the end. I don't know what this is going to look like for my life but I do know that it won't be normal. This is not to say that normal is bad or easy, I think normal is just as hard, but it will be different. I know that God has some plan for me and I am excited for that. A dear brother told me yesterday that he doesn't know why but for some reason, I needed to get ready, for what ever is to come. So I shall.
A quote that has been on my mind for 3 years is this: "I frequently hear persons in old age, say how they would live, if they were to live their lives over again: Resolved, that I will live just so as i can think I shall wish I had done, supposing I live to old age." Jonathan Edwards.
I think college would be a good use of my time but not the best use of my time. I think that getting a job and saving money would be a good use of my time but not the best use. I think that doing ministry right now would be a good use of my time but not the best use. The best use that I see for my time is to do all 3. I think this will be difficult and very wearing on me but I only have 1 broken body to use up and so I will use it as much as I can until God decides that it is enough.

An objection comes to my mind at this point about all that I have written. What about Ecclesiastes? Isn't there a time for everything? a time for school, work, and ministry? Yes, there is a time for everything, a few hours here and there each day for each. Life is so short. We only have a few years here on earth and if we spend our time the way that the world tells us to and not how we are compelled to through scripture, then we are not spending our time as the best we can. We will all be held accountable for how we use our time, are you using it the best way that you know how for your life? Each life is going to be very different from the next, we are all not the same which is the great thing about God and His creation, He doesn't make cookie-cutter things, we are all unique. I am not trying saying that one life spent one way is better than another. What I am trying to say is that we must all think as to how we can best use the little time that we have. I am fairly sure that I have less time than most people my age and so I want to make the most of the time that I have left. Do remember though, we each only have so much time and we don't know how much that time is. Spend each day as best you can for that is all that you can do in life is your best. Try to take every thought captive. Try to maximize each hour and minute. Don't waste meetings and times of fellowship. Live your life as if you only had a few days left because you might only have a few days left. Trust me, I know this from experience, the end comes up on you quick.

Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Having a Heavenly Gaze

There has been much on my mind lately but a singular theme running through all the things that are on my mind is "What is the purpose of my life?" "what do I want to do with my life?" or "why am I living my life?" I am kinda at a fork in the road with my life at the moment and with my recent trip to Ethiopia, I have had many things come flying in my face making me question what I want to do with my life. Sure, I can always do what people are telling me to do and go off to college and get a degree, get married, start a family and live life from there and that is a viable option and I don't think there is anything wrong with that life (if you are doing that). I don't think that is what I want to do with my life though. Life is so short, I don't want to spend long hours in a class room listening to a guy talk to me about things that I could spend 3 days reading about and then understand it just as well. That doesn't sound like a good use of my time or money cuz college is expensive!
No, when I grow old, I want to look back on my life, at least on the years that I was a christian, and be able to say that I spent them as well as I could and that I maximized my time. I want to live so that my focus is on heaven and eternity to come and not be thinking about my grades or pay check or whatever. Life is short and if you are running with your eyes on the ground, the finish line is going to come up on you and you aren't going to realize it but you will be at the end before you know it. I want to run so that I know when the end is and that I do my best so as to not waste my time.
If we focus on the end and the finish, we will live our lives differently then if we focus on the now and try to get our life in order before serving God (which is what many people think they should do first), or we could not even be thinking about serving God and totally waste our lives. I want to live for heaven yet I feel that at this exact point in time, I'm falling and not having any traction on the course. I want to do something yet I feel that I am swimming and going no where. It is a very hard position for me to be in because I like to be doing something. I like to be accomplishing things yet I'm not really. I'm on pause when I want to be on fast forward. Oh well though, God is good and all I must do is to keep my eyes towards heaven, learn as much as I can, impact all those who are around me, and enjoy the process.

Saturday, April 23, 2011

Book Review: "Culture Shift"

I know a little about Al Mohler and I know that he is really, really smart. Smart people generally are not good at writing books for normal people. Honestly, this book wasn't that difficult to understand. I did have to look up a few words that he used but his writing style is very clear and he covers a huge range of topics in this short book. I would suggest this book for juniors and seniors in high school. The language will challenge them but the topics are ones that they will be facing by that time in their lives. I wish I would have read this when I got it my senior year of high school.
In the book, Mohler goes over topics that you would find in the daily new: politics, abortion, public school, evil in the world; and he takes them, analyzes them for what they are, and then gives a way to handle them in a biblical way. He quotes people from the respective fields in one chapter and then refutes them in the next. It is a little limited in it range of topics but it is a small book and I don't think is meant to be all-encompassing guide to our culture but rather an introduction, something to cover the "BIG" topics in the news. With that in mind, it is quite good. If you are up-to-date with the news and think through it biblically on a regular basis and want to learn more, I would suggest to find a bigger book. If you are a sheltered, private school kid like me, this is a good place to start, a place to get your feet wet from a guy who is trustworthy and amazingly gifted.

Book Review: "Getting Things Done"

This is an incredibly simply book which can totally change your life and the way that you handle problems and things that come up in your life. I would recommend everyone to read this book because it makes total sense. The guys writing style is alright, he isn't painful to read though he does repeat himself a lot and goes through each step many times throughout the book. If you want to get the basics of what he says, read the first 100 pages and then skim the last 160 pages, it is pretty much all repeat after the first 100 pages. He walks you through his method and such in the second half. If you are going to do his system and work on it while you read, then you should read the whole thing but if you just want to take what he says and adapt it to yourself, just read the first half and skim how you suggests you to do it.
It is a good book though and I suggest everyone strongly to read it.

Friday, April 22, 2011

Book Review #1

I'm on a bit of a reading rage right now so I figured I might as well post reviews of the books I have read. These will not be extensive reviews because my mind doesn't work that way. They will be more summarize of the books as well as pros and cons. The first one up is "Heaven Misplaced" by Doug Wilson. Bethany recommended it to me to read to get some background that post-millennialism. I have huge respect for Doug Wilson mainly because my sister totally loves to read him and she hates to read. I've listened to some of his stuff before and I liked what I heard from him so I figured I would give this a try.
His writing style is great. He is well informed and he writes in a clear way so that most anyone can read his books, which is good because some scholars learn so much that they forget how to be simple for the sake of the people, Wilson doesn't. He uses words well and doesn't throw them away. He isn't near the artist that his son N.D. Wilson is but I won't hold that against him.
Now the content: I will say that I don't know much about the view that he is talking about in his book and so I am going to have to read other books to get a firmer grasp on the topic of post-millennialism but I would say that this book is a good introduction to the topic. He covers quite a bit of scripture but I don't feel like he explained any of it too deeply. I wouldn't hold that against him though because this is meant to be more of an introduction and not a college textbook but because I am now to this viewpoint, I don't feel like he explained it enough to convince me to change though he did a good job of making me curious. I do think that he takes some cheap shots at the pre-millennialists a few times but again, I wouldn't hold that against him because the shots he takes, are problems with many who are pre-millennialists and so the shots should be taken. I don't think he is meaning to offend with his comments, just merely to poke so as to cause irritation so that something might change.
As for the view of post-millennialism vs. pre-millennialism, I think that post solves some problems while adding others and the problems it adds aren't problems that I would prefer to have. I did find it interesting because some of the things that he harped upon are things that I totally agree with, such as Christ being in sovereign control now, and he made it sound like it was a view only taken by the post. Perhaps I am a hybrid, I don't know, I just know that I saw his view point in scripture and thought that most people believed this way. any ways, there is my brief review of the book. If anyone reads this, I hope it is helpful and if it is, please say so and I will write more reviews in the future.

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

So Where Do I Go From Here?

Anyone who has been around me much since I have gotten back from Ethiopia should have noticed that I have been more reserved as of late. This is mainly due to the fact that I have a lot on my mind and one of the major things that is on my mind is what am I going to do now that I am back? I don't want this trip to have happened and to not effect me, I want it to change me and I really think that it has. I am getting a little ahead of myself though, no one has been in my mind for the past 2.5 years so no one would know where I am coming from in order to get to where I am at now. So we regress... 2.5 years ago, I started to think about what I wanted to do with my life and I realized that I wanted to do ministry. I wasn't quite sure how this was going to turn out or anything, but I knew that ministry is what I was meant to do with my life. I am not called to a simple life or a "normal" life, God wouldn't have done everything that He has done in my life just so that I can live a simple life. How many people do you know that He kills and brings back to life just so that they can go on the same way that they always have? there aren't many. So I knew I was supposed to do something and I believed it was ministry. So I started to pursue a pastor career. I did a youth ministry internship and started to study and read books, all of which I totally loved. There was something that I was missing though and that I knew I needed if i was going to continue in this career: a heart. I needed to love the people. I didn't really have a love for the people that were around me, sure, I care for them, but I had a hard time relating to them and wanting to care for them. So I started to pray. I asked God to give me a heart and a love for a people. I didn't care where they were at or who they were, just a love for them so that I knew where I was meant to go. So i started to pray, and I prayed, and prayed some more, and I saw that my love for people in generally started to grow, and I was excited. God was working in me. This was all happening over the past 2.5 years. these prayers and loves have been growing. I then went to Ethiopia. I then fell in love. I saw people who had nothing but Jesus and it was totally amazing. These people knew how to live, and they needed help. Perhaps I am not the best person for the job, I know that I am not the best person for the job or the best suited or the most gifted, but I know that I love those people and that God can use anyone who is willing to let Him use them. So this brings us up to today. I know that I love the poor, especial the kids. I absolutely love them and want to care for them. Orphans will always have a special place in my heart. Every time I see them, I want to just love on them. So with all this on my heart, I set out. I don't quite know the path that I am going to take yet but I do know the destination that I am headed for: somewhere. I want to work with poor kids in other countries that have nothing because I love them even without knowing them. I want to share Christ with them.

Now, I have a long ways and a long time before I will be there, that is where you come in; if you are reading this, I need to you pray. Pray that God will give me wisdom, a path to walk, and support. I say support but I am not talking about money (at least at the moment) I need people to encourage me with this, not false or weak encouragement but heart-felt, because they believe in me. I need prayer support. I need people who will come along side of me and who will help me with all of this. It is all new to me and I am a young guy, I need help.

So please pray and ask God to work in me

Tuesday, April 19, 2011

a mind is a terrible thing

I am sorely in need of distraction from my own mind so I write this blog post. I read through Psalms a few months ago and I came across Psalm 146 as one that I need to memorize. It is truly a great psalm, especially to a person who likes to figure everything out on their own and who likes to always have a plan.
I find myself now in need of trusting in God. I want to have the answers to the questions yet it seems like I am only allowed to have the questions at the moment, which I am not enjoying. I like to have answers. My mind has been dwelling on the unknown for the past week or so and that is wrong because it has been occupying my thoughts and more or less paralyzing me because it is all that is on my mind and I am totally a one-track-mind kind of guy, I can only think of one thing at a time. While I would really love to have these answers to my questions because I kinda do need this answers in order to move forward in life; having questions isn't meant to freeze you, it is only meant to pause you.

I still can't clear my head of these thoughts though, they just won't leave me alone. I need to distract myself, I am just not sure as to how best to do that, everything seems to bring them right back to mind, it is terribly annoying. Sleep works for a time and so I will do that for now. until morning where I face another day of wonder.


So as most people know, I just got back from Ethiopia. I was on a missions trip there with 14 other people. We met some amazing brothers and sister and we all really miss them a lot now. We went there to bless them and they totally blessed us way more then we could have even imagined. While there, we did some jobs for them to help them out and such. During all the stuff we did, I started to realize that I have been foolish with my life. It isn't enough in life to simple live and to not live the best that you can. We all only have 1 life to live and we should not let that life go to waste. As such, I see that I have not optimized my life. So today, I started to work out. In the past, my physical fitness had been an idol but now I see that my neglect of it is just plain laziness. So i have started running and I will do push ups and sit ups as well. My goal is not to look better or get bigger or anything like that, but to keep my body in shape so that God may use it as He sees fit and so that my lack of disciple isn't something that holds me back from being used. I'm tired of sitting on the side lines, I want to get back out there so that I may do something with my life.

Tuesday, March 29, 2011

To the end of the world

well, this is the last time that i will be on the computer for 2 weeks. i am leaving for Ethiopia for a missions trip. never in my life have i thought or even wanted to go to africa and yet here and i am, excited and nervous about going. I can't believe all that God has been doing through me and for this trip so far. He provided all the funds for it and I never even had to really ask for money, it just came when i needed it. i have had poor health for quite awhile now and yet God is sending me to a place that doesn't really have modern medicine. i am going to a village of lepers, that's weird and scary. i talked to a person recently and they didn't even know that leprosy was still around. it is. i am going to help an orphanage that is run by widows and i've never been married or had kids yet i'm helping them. heck, i'm still a kid myself. God uses the most unlikely people to do His work. i can tell you all that right now. i would not ever pick me to do anything for the Creator of the universe and yet He seems perfectly fine and willing to let me do it, how cool is that. i get to serve the King, the Creator, God. i feel small.

yet there is much to praise and pray for: that i am able to go, that a stinkin' huge blessing to me and hopefully to those whom i go to. i am going with a great team of people who are going to be a lot of fun. i get to go with my dad, that is crazy. most sons would never get the chance to do something like this with their dad's yet i get to and i am excited for that. please pray though. pray that God would give us all strength. we are all humans just like you going into a place that we are not used to, we need prayer more than ever now. grace, that we would love and spew out grace on one another and on those around us so that we can be a testimony to those whom we meet. and pray for the souls of the people that we get to come in contact with on this trip. pray that God would save some and that we would be the instruments that He uses to do that. pray for the lost, for the sick, for the poor, for the orphan, for the widow, for the leper. allow us to bless them and show Christ to them. help through to love God more because of this. help us to love God more through this trip.
To God Be The Glory
Living Out Unseen Things
please pray

Saturday, January 1, 2011

another year comes and goes

so this last year has been quite eventful for our family: we got another brother, as well as a brother-in-law, garrett graduated, kim got married, moved away, and is now expecting a kid (she thinks a girl), i got a job where i have to talk to people all the time, garrett works at nike now, john is speaking fairly good english now, i destroyed my car, my parents have changed churches and priceless granite is still in business; all in all, a pretty full year.

now to look ahead though. i worked last night and so i didn't go to any year-end parties and so when i got home, i took some time to study. my mind naturally started to wondering and i ended up thinking about the year and what i wanted to change for this next year. i think about sin, study habits, loves, and how i spend my time often but i must say that i am rather lazy. i enjoy sitting in a comfy chair with a cup of coffee and just thinking about whatever comes into my head, that's enjoyable to me. i know that there is nothing wrong with thinking, many people my age need to do much more thinking and less time moving, but for me, i want to work on thinking actively, with pen in hand and thinking about things and pushing the envelope. i want to stop being complacent. this is going to be very difficult for me. this will be difficult because i get tired easy and when i get tired, i get cranky. i don't want that to be me though, i want to have joy in all of this.

so basically, i want this to be a year where i fight myself and my natural tendencies so that i can become a person whom i want to be. the person whom i am now is no good. i turn 21 this year, i think it is time to grow up.

Sunday, November 28, 2010

Be Still

it seems like there are tons of people around me who are going through tough times at the moment. things just seem to be going poorly for people. i wouldn't say that things are going awesome for me but i would say that i am used to things not being perfect and so when things aren't good in my life, i'm completely fine with it. this is not to brag that i handle things well but more to say that my life isn't going perfect and thus disqualify me from making the following comments. my life is generally a struggle, but a good struggle.
i was thinking about these people around me though and trying to think of something to tell them that would encourage them and help them get through these tough times. i was thinking about it and an old song that i used to sing in choir came to mind. the song is called "Be Still" and it is based off of Psalm 46:10a "Be still, and know that I am God." the verses leading up to this verse is all about the works of God and all that he can do and does, mostly in a wartime setting. verse 10 is then just kinda thrown in there almost as if to make us stop and take a double take at this verse. the author then gives the sum up and calls us back to the point that he was trying to make and the point that he introduced in the beginning, that God is our fortress, our refuge and strength.
i like the first part of verse 10 though, "Be still" our culture is all about going and moving, more coffee to keep us going, and more stuff to keep our attention from ever having to think on it's own. this verse is just telling us to stop, sit down, and KNOW that God is God. that is a chilling thing to think about. to just sit and think about the fact that God is God and we are not and that we don't have to worry about anything, God is the one who moves mountains, He is the one who causes the seas to churn, and He is the one who causes all things to happen. we don't have to figure out why or how or anything, we just have to trust, do still, and know that He is God and that He is going to take care of it. we just must be faithful. God is God. He does it all.
we can worry about life and struggle and work to make things right, but we are not called to do that. we are called to be still and know that He is God. we can then think about what we should be doing, if anything, and go from there. first though, we must be still.

to take this even further though: while being still and figuring out what we can be doing, in all this, we must also be trusting that God will take care of it all. it isn't enough to know and think that He will take care of it all, we just actually trust Him to do it and to put our faith in Him to do it. faith requires action but this faith, this action, is probably going to be not action. it is going to be a trust God thing. what are you going to do about something? oh, i'm going to let God take care of it. this is actively non-active. this isn't laying in bed, trusting that God is going to pay your bills. this is busting your butt and trusting God to provide you with work so that you can pay your bills. if there is no work, then you continue to trust God and allow Him to work and bring you work. you don't need to worry about the lack of work, you just have to worry about what you are doing in the absence of the work. you are responsible for your time on earth, not on if work comes to you. if no work, then there is more time to witness about how you trust God to bring you work and He will then bring you work, though not always in the way that you think.
if something bad happens in your life, being still would mean that you don't worry about the bad in your life, but you rather look to God and see Him and His greatness and know that He is God and that He has ordained all things for some reason. bad things do happen and will always happen on this earth, we don't have to worry about finding bad things to happen to us, they will find us. what we have to worry about is how we handle them. it is easy to get mad or angry when bad things happen to us, and that would be the wrong response. we are called here to be still and know that He is God. so even when the bad things happen, we can know that a sovereign God is doing it, a God who is our refuge and strength. how can He be our refuge when He ordains bad things to happen to us? because while they may seem like bad things, they are for the best.

i think i should write more on this but my mind has just decided to shut down and so i am going to stop here.