Posts Tagged ‘Holy’

Easter: Rising to the Occasion

April 12, 2009

On the third day, the ground around Jesus’ tomb shook, causing the guards stationed there to tremble and fall and the boulder over the entrance to the tomb rolled away. Inside the tomb, all that remained where His body once rested were the cloths that lay over him, neatly folded on the stone. Mary Magdelene and Jesus’ mother, Mary, went to visit the tomb with spices, but they found not Jesus’ body, but an angel, sitting on the boulder that was rolled away. He said to them, “Do not be afraid, for I know that you seek Jesus who was crucified. He is not here, for he has risen, as he said.” (Matthew 28:1-6)

Jesus’ Resurrection is more than just fulfilling more prophecies of the Old Testament. If Jesus had not risen from the dead, He would not have been able to be the Way, the Truth, or the Life. In John 14:6, Jesus said that no one comes to the Father except through Him. A dead Messiah could not be the Life, for he is dead. He would not be the Way, either. How can a dead Messiah bring us to the Father? That said, this means He would not be the Truth, either, for by not being at least one of these, it disproves the entire statement of John 14:6. However, He has risen. By being the Life, He conquered death. By being the Way, He has sent us the Holy Spirit and is actively guiding more and more people to the Father. By being the Truth, He has fulfilled the Old Testament Messianic prophecies and has saved the world from their sins. Now, one question remains, are we willing to accept Him as our personal Savior?

Titus 3:4-7 can best tell us why His resurrection is significant.

But when the kindness and love of God our Savior appeared, he saved us, not because of righteous things we had done, but because of his mercy. He saved us through the washing of rebirth and renewal by the Holy Spirit, whom he poured out on us generously through Jesus Christ our Savior, so that, having been justified by his grace, we might become heirs having the hope of eternal life.”

Happy Easter to all, and God bless!

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Top 10 Reasons to Go to Church

March 9, 2009

Since FoxNews isn’t letting my post show up. (The filter almost never lets my posts go through, especially if they are well thought-out.) So, I decided to post my top 10 reasons here to link to them later.

I gotta say, though, I usually don’t go out of my way to make blogs like these just to put on a news forum, but I find this reply to be quite special, especially since it does indeed involve a testimony. So, I’m going to keep this up, since I really enjoy re-reading it.

Article: http://foxforum.blogs.foxnews.com/2009/03/08/shuler_church/

Reply for FoxNews.com:

Oh, first of all, if you believe that man is made in God’s image (Genesis 1:27), if God didn’t have a sense of humor, we would not be able to laugh.

Also, I personally laughed a lot at number 5.

1) Fellowship with the Lord. You can pray anywhere, but nothing beats a place that is set apart for worship when it comes to praying.

2) Fellowship with others. You’re not going to enjoy church much if you don’t talk to your brothers and sisters in Christ. Not only do you earn friends of priceless value, you will also grow in your spiritual relationship.

3) Wisdom and guidance. All of us face trials and hardships, one way or another. By talking to your pastor and your brothers and sisters in Christ about your trials, they will always be supportive, whether it is by testimony, prayer, or anything else.

4) The epistles. Most reading you hear come from the epistles of the New Testament. These are chock-full of wisdom and good advice, and as a bonus, you may get a sermon that discusses the reading in-depth, to help clarify the message.

5) Youth groups. In some churches, teens and young adults can get together for worship. The result is a stronger spiritual relationship and a chance to make friends your age.

6) Worship music: If you go to, say, a Pentacostal church, you may experience a more modern form of worship, such as with electric guitars and drum sets. Well, the one I went to had that, and I loved it. No idea what modern worship is like? Check out Mercy Me, Toby Mac, or Newsboys.

7) Church activities. Some churches get involved in the field. One church I went to had what was called “Feed the Multitudes”, a special picnic that everyone is welcome to eay, play games, and listen to music, while the Good News is spread throughout the picnic.

8) Bible study. Interested in going even deeper into the Bible? Ask about Bible Studies. Groups can get together to learn more about God’s Word and enjoy food and fellowship in the process.

9) Tithing. Although I won’t get deep into tithing, I will suggest a verse: 2 Corinthians 9:6. Do not hesitate to put a tenth of your week’s earnings in the bucket. The money may be used for the church building, special activities, food for the hungry, etc. Keep this verse in mind when you give your tithe. The Lord rewards those who put their hearts into their tithing.

10) Your overall growth. The difference between choosing to go to church and choosing not to go may be as small as not getting spiritually nourished or as big as your own life. Why I say that is because in times like these, depression is not just found in the economy. People need a beacon of hope when life’s greater trials hit. I, myself, can say that if it weren’t for church, I may not be living today, because I hated my life before I learned the joy of knowing the Lord. Where I saw weakness and failure in myself, my Lord saw strength and success, and it is evident today by my current job as a teacher and by my testimonies. Of course, it was not by my strength alone. The Holy Spirit guided me to this life I now love.

God bless you always.

New Year’s Testimony

January 26, 2009

Since this is the beginning of the year, I thought I’d post this testimony to start off my blogs, since it has to do with New Year’s Resolutions. It also gives detailed info on pretty much who I was and who I am now. Feel free to comment on the testimony or any part of it in particular.

The Unforgettable Resolution

Most of my life, I lived only for myself. Even the good deeds I had done were mainly to make me feel good. My pride was in myself, and I thought little of the important things in life. In the recent years, I started to change my way of thinking, not on my own , but through the Holy Spirit. In the end of 2007, I made a New Year’s Resolution. I wanted to get more involved with Olive Branch Ministries. Little did I know that the Lord was guiding me to something big.

At the start of 2008, I began to go to prayer meetings at Olive Branch. It was a new experience for me, and I had to make this a habit if I wanted to keep my resolution. At first, I had to set my watch to remind me of the prayer meeting. I even missed maybe a couple of them, but now, I don’t need to worry about setting my watch anymore, because I made going to prayer meetings a habit. Being at the prayer meetings helped me in my prayer experience, as it has given me guidelines on how to pray and what to pray for.

March 2008, I was invited by my friend David to go to Bible Study with his friends. I was nervous, but I did agree to go, and even though I was unfamiliar with their Pentacostal form of worship, I learned to get used to it and soon got more involved. I eventually got more involved by going to Victory Fellowship and participated in Wednesday services. David helped me strengthen spiritually by showing me a Christian radio station: K-LOVE. At first, I switched between that and my other radio station, but after a couple of days, I set my car radio to K-LOVE and never went back. I began reading my Bible, as well, as a result of these experiences. Although I haven’t read the entire Bible yet, I am looking forward to getting there. Even so, it will take me more than one trip through the Bible for me to learn everything there is in it.

Being at Victory Fellowship, I’ve learned many things. I learned about tithing and speaking in tongues (although that I still am not yet able to do, but I want to do at some point), and I even developed a new way to greet other people: I use my right arm for a handshake, and I use my left arm for a hug. I have to admit, at first, hugging people other than ones in my family didn’t feel right at first, but now, I do it so naturally, now, and it feels really good. I started tithing in the summer of 2008 and have made it a habit since then. Raising my hands in worship also became a habit for me, and I love to do it to the Holy Ground Medley at Olive Branch, not just to express thanks to my Lord, but also to be “lifting up my holy hands, for the Lord is here, and where He is, is holy.” Today, I don’t go to Victory Fellowship much anymore, probably because of a prayer I made, one night. Up until then, I was tithing at Victory, and, going to two churches in one week, it meant that I am tithing at one church and not to the other. So, I prayed that the Lord would guide my tithing to Olive Branch Ministries. Well, I did not expect the results to be what they were. I started feeling alone, spiritually, when going to Victory Fellowship. It most likely have been because I wasn’t speaking in tongues while others were, or others were filled with the Holy Spirit at one moment, and I felt embarrassed, because I wasn’t feeling what they were feeling. I eventually just stopped going to Victory under the reason that I needed to make sure I slept a full night for work. However, my prayer was answered. I am tithing at Olive Branch ministries, just like I prayed for. I still miss going to Victory, though, since I have made many friends there.

Another major change happened online. I became a moderator of a message board in January, but in the increasing months, relationships with the other staff members seemed to quickly crumble, especially from dealing with topics of religious discussion. In March 2008, I left the staff and then the entire message board. I was done with them. I could not handle being around the other staff members anymore, and I wanted peace. Looking back on that decision today, I thought to myself where would I be had relationships not crumbled. Well, I would certainly be in a position of some importance, but I would not be close to the Lord. Also, I was hanging out with the wrong crowd. I was among those whose god is not my Lord, and with those who even went so far as to mock my Lord on a daily basis. In a way, I am claiming that being at that message board was stifling my relationship with the Lord. I do not claim this to be true for all Christians, just to myself. In July 2008, I sent a message to those I had the biggest grudges with and told them that I have forgiven them and that I thank them for leading me, if unintentionally, to this radical change in my life. To this day, I don’t regret making the decision to leave. Come to think of it, that moment seems to reflect Psalm 1 to an extent.

Because of 2008’s New Year’s Resolution, I have made a new New Year’s resolution: to have an even closer relationship with my Lord. This first Sunday of the year was a really great start for that, with the hymn “Thank You, Lord”, and Colossians 3. Today, I know what it is like to have Jesus as my Lord and my personal Savior. It is a very warm feeling. My bond with Him is a strong personal one. When I have a problem in my life, He is the first one I go to, and when something goes wrong, whenever a thought pops up in my head that tells me to blame my Lord, I curse that thought and banish it without thinking upon it, because I know in my heart that my Lord’s ways are perfect. He is the reason I have a close personal relationship with Him. He is the reason I now have a passion in life, a career that I will never steer away from. He is the reason that I do not hate myself, as the younger me once did. This year, I resolve to walk forward in Christ, that I may have experiences greater than the experiences in the year before.