Tag Archives: jesus

My Testimony

I accepted Christ when I was 7 years of age on a Sunday night in Rota, Spain. I was apart of a kids program called Super Sunday Nights. On this evening we were memorizing verses and we happened to be memorizing John 3:16; “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.” After getting familiar with the verse I declared to my teacher, “I want to have eternal life.” She informed me that salvation from our sins comes from Jesus Christ and when we invite him into our hearts he lives with us and helps us by his Spirit. She invited me to pray to God and to ask him to forgive me of my sins and invite Jesus into my heart. I did so as she guided me. It’s funny. I was raised in a Christian home and grew up with bible stories but this was the first time I had ever really understood anything I was hearing. At once it all made sense.

Since then I have battled through many things. I had moved seven times in my life because my parents were in the military. Each time I had to make friends and battle with loneliness and dread. I was the “perpetual new-kid.” Amongst this I sought out the wisdom of the world to confirm what I thought I chose to believe. After many books and articles I would keep searching. It wasn’t as though there weren’t good enough answers; the fact is that I was simply trying to reach God through my own human wisdom. At other times I would pray demandingly for God to come down and perform miracles. I was trying to support my faith with supernatural evidence as if that was enough to satisfy my veracious appetite for “the proof” instead of living John 20:29: ‘Then Jesus told him, “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”’ Simultaneously I struggled with pornography which itself was more of a battle of trying to satisfy my physical cravings. It bled itself out and manifested its true head as a dark “me” attitude.

By the grace of God he has defeated and continues to defeat these enemies in my life. I realize now that my testimony was not so much “from here to there; black & white” but rather “from there and back again;” from innocent-child-like-faith to mature child-like-faith. The skeptic may be inclined to think that I have “regressed,” but in fact I haven’t regressed at all but “progressed.” When I was a child I had received an unimaginable gift from God but I hadn’t begun to grasp what I had received. It was when I was older and a little more foolish that I truly begun to realize just what God has done for me. Through all my doubt and poor decisions God was with me every step of the way. He continues to guide my feet and be my best friend. The truth is that the gospel is simple. In its very nature it weeds out those who would seek God by their own means. In my own life my pursuit for God was a tower of Babel that only after God had confused my efforts did he show me that the way to himself wasn’t through my own brilliance or effort but through the blood of Jesus Christ. Gently he reminded me what I was taught at first. My life now has been a constant pursuit after his Spirit and it’s been my pleasure to find him pursuing me all the same.

Maybe you’re looking for God in the evidence. Maybe you’re waiting for miracles. I would encourage you to stop. Put down the books. Quit waiting on what God could do for you and focus on what he did do for you. The fact is that what Jesus did on the cross was enough for us to praise him for eternity. On the cross he paid the debt of humanity, canceling our sins and earning us salvation, now and for eternity, ultimately reconciling us with God; when we deserved the full wrath of God he took it upon himself to pay the debt that so we may be called his friends. I plead to you on behalf of the Living God to accept his gift. Let your “knowledge” of God drip twelve inches from your head to your heart. A great quote by C. H. Spurgeon sums it up, “Defend the bible? I would as soon as defend a lion! Unchain it and it will defend itself.” Let God’s word fulfill its truth in your life. Quit trying to white-knuckle grace like I did and instead receive it with open hands. Have faith for He will defend himself.

Jake

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Future of Forestry: Close Your Eyes

Promise once it shut you out
You ask, “What was that all about now”?
You and I through rise and fall
We’ve seen the horizon through it all now

Close your eyes this time
Cause trust is all we have tonight
But trust will be forever
Safe your dreams will be
Cause trust will be the light tonight
So close your eyes this time

The house sits stale, it lets you roam
Inside it just don’t feel like home now
I promise hope will pull you out
For that’s love is all about

Close your eyes this time
Cause trust is all we have tonight
But trust will be forever
Safe your dreams will be
Cause trust will be the light tonight
So close your eyes this time

Time will turn this place around
For the man you call Jesus was still a son like you
Sons will spendtheir days searching hard for the things they are made of

Close your eyes this time
Cause trust is all we have tonight
But trust will be forever
Safe your dreams will be
Cause trust will be the light tonight
So close your eyes this time

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Untitled Poem

Can we say that the world is dark,

A society without light?

Whose hope demands a light come down,

To show us all what’s right?

In darkness it did find me,

And swirled with a clash:

It’s tongue did burn,

It lashed out worst.

It’s truth revealing

A wicked curse.

The fury swore,

To take no more,

And gazed its eyes beyond me.

And there stood a man.

As tall as I.

He took my blows, the licking flames to dispel the dusk around me.

I saw his ghost.

For a moment just shadows like me.

Then His fire swelled as it unveiled,

A way to make things true.

It lit me up with the flames it tossed.

An ember lit inside me.

“Go and spread and die no more,

A wildfire you must be.

Illuminate your world,

And that’s how you will find me.”

So as a light in the darkest places I take the place of He,

With blaze unfurled

Always to refine me.

My brothers: coals, keep the fire alive,

My sisters: candles, constantly remind,

That this must go on ‘til final hours.

Do not lose sight young ember.

On that day burst in to flames,

For the light will last forever.

-Jake

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Jesus vs. Religion

“Religion is an attempt to externally conform your behavior to some code of conduct, set of rules or the practice of rituals. Religion attempts to make you clean from the outside in. A relationship with God changes you from the inside out.” – Pastor Dale O’Shields.

Its important to realize that Jesus didn’t make very many “religious” friends. They often to came to Him with loaded questions regarding the law in order to ensnare him but they never succeeded. These people had taken what was holy and worshiped the law rather than the creator of the law. If they truly knew the creator they would’ve recognized Jesus for who he was.

Keeping these thoughts in our mind we have to ask ourselves, what does it mean to be a Christian? A person who claims to be a Christian is in a unique place then any other. Having a relationship with God first and foremost they bypass all the legalism of religion. Religion doesn’t clean us but shows us how dirty we are.

If that is so, what is a relationship with God? A relationship with God is something that changes us at the heart level. When we “come in contact” with God we begin to think, act, and behave differently. We find ourselves desiring things we never once did or could. We begin to seek in Him in all we do and we thirst night and day for his presence in our lives. Not only that but we communicate with Him almost as much as we think; making every thought a prayer.

So how do you know your a Christian? If your faith is in Jesus Christ, who died and rose again. If your life has changed as a result and his Spirit lives in you, teaching, convicting, and empowering you to live as God has chosen.

Please realize that if God truly lives and exists, as he does, then anything we do for Him is not out of religion but out of truth. Every other religion attempts to “get” to the “gods,” but ours was the first and only one to come down to us. Christianity has two faces; the religion and the relationship with God. Please don’t think they are the same thing because the difference between the two makes all the importance in the world. Exhaust yourselves looking for Christ and he will come to you, but don’t get caught up in “religion,” because Christ didn’t come to establish the “Christian” religion, he came to make a way for me and you to connect personally with God himself.

Jake

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pennytuesday:

7 Miles Matt Chandler Sermon Jam (by Takeupyourcross1)

SEVEN MILES.

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Relationships are complicated. Better yet complicated relationships are complicated.

This is dedicated to the second most important decision one can make in their life. Just some thoughts, nothing more. You don’t have to read into it, just read it. 

(Words will now begin assaulting your conscious.) 

Adam was the only man in history to have his wife created for him; the rest of us have the frustrating challenge of choosing a wife out every single living female on the planet. To make this even more difficult we often don’t know what we’re looking for. Somehow amid all the complexity we find the answer to be much simpler.

We want to be known.

At the core of every human heart we find a desire to be, or attempt to be, as fully known as one is by God. Its a process designed to take a lifetime.  

Boy meets girl. Girl meets boy. They go out and then proceed to tell each other every random detail about themselves. Ultimately as the relationship intensifies so do the heaviness of the shared secrets. And when couples break-up or divorce what do you find?

“Why did you guys break-up?” 

“I don’t know…”

Isn’t it true that at then end of the day, when the emotions have faded and bodies have aged that having our soul’s pursued is enough? Isn’t pursuing someone in itself desiring to know them? Its possible to look into a mirror a thousand times and never see yourself but one glance into another soul can tell us the most about our self; the image we were created in. 

My observation has been this: What is beautiful on the outside, but not the inside can over a period of time appear ugly to me, while what is grotesque on the outside, but beautiful on the inside can just as well appear beautiful to me and there are those rare occasions when what appears beautiful on the outside is just as beautiful as what is in the inside and an unspeakable beauty results.

It makes sense doesn’t it? Shouldn’t we search for somebody who is best suited to navigate the passageways of our hearts? Equipped to plunge into our depths? And take delight in the treasures they find there? 

Hmm…

-Long Jack Lobo 

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Gift or Giver?

Lately, I’ve been having a sort of epiphany; its seems that we often times put the gifts God gives us above God himself. Its a completely ironic thing to do when we think about it, however, we seem to do this ALL the time. How often do we pray for our _________ (career, future spouse, spiritual blessing, etc.) yet neglect praying for more of the ONE who gives those things? 

I liken it to taking guitar lessons ONLY to become a better guitar player. How often do we settle short for what someone can give us? If the young student would only realize that his guitar master not only knows all the ins and outs of the guitar but possesses abilities, skills and insights that can ONLY be passed through a relationship!

We need to realize that if we settle for what we want we’ll never find it but if we settle for a relationship with God, we’ll find both the gifts we wish to acquire and a relationship that infinitely out ways what the world has to offer.  

Marinate and apply.

-Long Jack Lobo

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BeBoBaDeeDa Bop Beep!

Make a noise today. 

-Long Jack Lobo

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