13 November 2009

Why Do Women Ask For More Punishment??

See Genesis 3.

First, let me explain how it all went down (of course, in my own eyes) ~:-)
So, Adam and Eve are hangin out in the most perfect and beautiful place on earth. Nice! Eve's been checkin out this forbidden fruit tree and can't help herself. The serpent's been lying to her for awhile saying, "It's all good...and you'll be like God if you eat this." Well, who doesn't want to be like God?! Anyway, she gives in to the serpent's lies and eats the fruit. She then looks directly at Adam (with the look of death) and says, "If you don't eat this fruit, you're not gettin any tonight!!" Well! Adam's not stupid, he does exactly what is wife tells him to do. Sure enough, things go south immediately.

God sees what all went down and plays dumb. He comes walking around the corner looking for Adam and Eve, but they're hiding and wearing leaves. God asks them, "What's up with that?" Adam confesses to eating the forbidden fruit and says it's all Eve's fault. God turns to Eve and says, "What have you done?!" Then, Eve blames it on the the serpent and says, "The walking snake made me do it!"

Then God's like, "What in the world?!?!!!" Finally, he begins to lay the smack down. Then, the next words out of his mouth are pretty harsh. According to the order of events and those responsible, He tells the serpent he's doomed. Then he looks right at Eve and says, "Now, for you young lady. You're gonna have mad pain when you have babies. AND, on top of that, you're gonna wish you could rule over dudes, but instead, they're gonna be the boss. Have a nice day!" Lastly, God looks directly at Adam with his hands up in disappointment, "Really?? What did I tell you?!! Alright. This is how it's gonna be. You're gonna work whole lot. Actually, you're gonna work till you die. Then, it's gonna be hard work. All these bad things will always happen while you're workin. Then, you'll sweat and work some more. Plus, the dirt will barely provide you anything you need. Make sense?!"

15 June 2009

My 40 Day Fast - Part 3

Lastly, I mentioned earlier that I was spending lots of time reading and praying. Well, there were 5 things I was determined to ask God about every time I prayed. But, before I tell you, this is very personal to me. For me to reveal this to you shouldn’t be taken lightly...not lightly at all. In order: 1) That God would bring and bless the woman he has for me in my life. 2) That He would bless, open the right doors and take me to the next level in my career. 3) That He would greatly bless and find favor in each member of my family. 4) That He would greatly chase after my unsaved friends in any way necessary (most by name). 5) That He would pour more love and passion for Him in the lives of my friends and the people around me that are already His (many by name).

I knew my life was somewhat insignificant. Yet, He showed me how much He truly cares for me and loves me. He showed me how much more important others will be to me. He showed me His heart for His people. He showed me what a servant truly is. He showed me how much I am to love and lead His people. He showed me how quickly life passes and there’s no time to waste. He showed me how important it was to spend my life blessing and encouraging others. He showed me just how much I should live my life to serve Him…and that it will cost me. He showed me how much He’s blessed me already. He showed me that I will be blessed abundantly more and that I shouldn’t ask why…I should just keep thanking Him. He showed me just how much life isn’t about me. He told me to share this with you. Remember: “Greater love has no one than this…” (John 15:12-17).

11 June 2009

My 40 Day Fast - Part 2

After starting my fast, my original goal was 3 days. After the first day, I was already beginning to feel weak. I could tell my energy level was way down. I began praying and/or reading during every meal (I ate 5-6 times a day, so I prayed 5-6 times a day). Quite honestly, if you're not praying and spending quality time with God when you're supposed to be eating, then you're just dieting. The weakness intensified and I found it harder to do routine things. However, the first 3 days came and went and I could already tell a big positive difference in my attitude and the way I viewed things. I never made a conscious decision to view life differently either. It just sort of happened. It was the Holy Spirit working in me. Three days had come and gone.

My next goal was 7 days. I never thought I'd make it past the first 3! And, with each new goal, I felt like I was starting over with day one. That would make sense though.

Anyway, so after I fasted 7 days, I decided to keep going. My next goal was 21 days. I learned about the Daniel fast and how he ate only bland tasting food for 21 days. On the 21st day an angel came to him and told him that his fasting made a difference, the angel was able to get help from Michael, and now the angel was free to deliver the message he was to give Daniel (Daniel 10:1-14). However, when I thought to make 21 days my next goal, I was praying that God would do some crazy cool miracle in me or just show me some cool supernatural stuff. I was hoping he would do this early on so I wouldn't have to fast the whole 21 days. I guess I was looking that forward to it! ~:-D If he did something like this I knew it would be enough to highly motivate me. In other words, I really wasn't looking forward to not eating for the whole 21 days. I didn't want to think about how long that actually was.

02 June 2009

My 40 Day Fast - Part 1

Let me just start off saying this, there's nothing you can do that's more humbling and more powerful than fasting and prayer.

On October 1st, 2008, I initially decided to go on a 3 day fast. I've never really fasted all that much (besides one meal) and the longest I've ever fasted was for one lousy whole day. It's sad, but you have to understand that I can get a serious bad headache if I don't eat (not to mention a really bad attitude). Jennifer says I turn into a brat when I'm really hungry. She's right. ~:-D Even my family gets on to me when I don't eat. They'll say something like, "Dathan! Go eat something now"!!! So, this should show you how ill I get when I don't eat. I'm definitely not fun to be around when I'm really hungry.

First off, I wanted to be sure my heart and motives were in the right place and that I was fasting for all the right reasons. I started reading books and doing some research. I even started asking around to see what others did when they fasted. I only know of one other person whose fasted food for all 40 days (Bryan Spencer). Also, I finally came to the conclusion that the only real fast that makes a difference is not eating. I was so disappointed that I couldn't just fast desserts/Coke's/internet etc. Well, I could have settled, but I felt I would be cheating. I mean, I knew I had a problem with bad headaches and having a bad attitude when I didn't eat, but I wanted some real answers from God. Trust me! I really wasn't looking forward to starving myself. You see, the Bible mentions that some answers to prayer don't come, but through prayer AND fasting (Mark 9:29). I truly believe we don't see some miracles and answers because we don't pray and fast. I finally looked at my life's situations. I started seeing the hearts of others and the struggles my family and friends were going through. And, I wanted God to really make a difference in my life, my family and the people around me. I simply decided that there were more important things than stupid food. The answers that I wanted were more important than eating. I wanted lives to be dramatically changed. I wanted my life to dramatically change. I wanted Jesus to use me in every way possible. I wanted my unsaved friends to come to Jesus. And, I just wanted so badly for God's plans to trump any plans I made. I wanted to know the creator of the universe more than I'd ever known Him before. Finally, I'm co-leading praise and worship at my church now and I surely wanted my heart to be in the right place in order to lead God's people in his favorite. How dare I not have my heart and motives in the right place while leading His people! I decided that the least of these reasons were more than enough to make the sacrifice.

26 May 2009

Debt = The Devil

I just recently sent in a small success story to a financial blog that I read almost daily. So, I thought I'd share my story with ya'll.

First off, I don't come from a family that has much and I certainly don't come from a family (or know many friends) that take finance and investments seriously. I didn't have the wisdom passed down to me. So, I can mainly thank getrichslowly.org for the valuable knowledge that I have today.

Ok, sorry I had to mention all that, but let's get to the point. Prior to September of last year (2007), for a few months I was non-mortgage debt free. I'm a single 31 year old with 2 cars and a house. My furniture is mainly used, but in good shape. Actually, to be honest, the couch and love seat are a little too 'floral' for me, but they were a gift. I'm not looking to update the furniture much b/c I'm sure, when I get married, the wife will have her way with the place anyway. ~:-D I'm also a big car nut. I specifically like imports and I like turning every day grocery getters into aggressive mean-machines. However, this car hobby of mine is probably the most expensive hobby I can think of!! I'm still working on balancing my car itch and saving at the same time.

25 May 2009

How NOT to pray

The point I want to quickly make has to do with repeating God's name too often when we pray. We all know that when giving a speech or speaking to a crowd, saying things like, "um" or "uh" often can be crazy annoying and can distract the listener from points the speaker is trying to make. We all know and have been taught not to use these "filler words".

Now, I'm gonna probably hurt some feelings so be prepared. In NO way is this a stab at anyone or any style of prayer. It's just my way of giving my $.02 about how a lot of us pray.

Let's start with an example. Prayer is no different from having a conversation with a best friend. The only thing that's unique is that you're talking to your all powerful creator (which is honestly quite humbling and sometimes overwhelming). Anyway, here's my example. Let's pretend I'm praying to you and you are God. Ok, now that you're God, let's give you a name. Names are important so let's make a good one. I say your name should be Kevin Christopher Burton. Beautiful!! Ok, now we need a setting. Let's pretend I'm taking some quiet time in the living room and talking to you about what's on my heart and mind. Remember, you have all the characteristics that God has and I can't see you. Now, I'm gonna start praying and I just want you to "listen" and observe how I'm talking to you.