Psalm 57

Psalm 57 is what I have been really praying over the past month for my life. The first few verses in this chapter says this:

“Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me, for in you my soul takes refuge, till the storms of destruction pass by.

I cry out to God Most High, to God who fulfills his purpose for me.

He will send from Heaven and save me; he will put to shame him who tramples on me. God will send out his steadfast love and his faithfulness!”

Psalm 57:1-3 ESV

As I was reading this one night, I was thinking of the times that I have carried my own problems for the longest time. and never really let God take control. I might have prayed to God and said “God grant me peace and comfort,” and that is it. I NEVER FULLY surrendered to Him. So with arms held out (in motion to surrender to God, to say “Here Am I God!” I am going to give all my troubles to Him. God doesn’t give us things that we can not handle. I was at a church once, and they were in this message series called “True Love,” the worship pastor sang this song….I don’t remember what the song was called, but I do remember it spoke about His love NEVER failing! I am so unbelievably blessed that I know my God loves me even though my foolishness is over rated sometimes. My God is near, and I can always lean on Him! He will provide. I just have to stay faithful, and so I WILL!

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Falling behind

Well here’s the deal:

-I was challenged to update my blog weekly starting the first of the year…..well it’s February 27th and my last post was in November, so forgive me that I haven’t posted in awhile….gotta love college life, Amen? lol

-So beginning THIS week I will be updating this blog weekly on what God is showing me. Now, I need some accountability, so I need people to read this blog!

The challenge starts NOW! 🙂

-Joey

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Let us give Thanks…

So, Thanksgiving is tomorrow. Now each and every one of us has ATLEAST one thing to be thankful for. Whether it is family, friends, the roof over our heads, or something along those lines…may you as an individual take time not just tomorrow on Thanksgiving, but may you each day take part in giving thanks to God for the blessings you have received. God blesses us richly everyday whether we are aware of it or not. He gives us life! I am thankful that he puts up with me everyday! 🙂

Psalm 100:4

“Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, and into His courts with praise: be thankful unto Him, and bless His name.”

Have a Happy Thanksgiving! Just know that I am blessed to call YOU friend!

-Joey

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XtCZ86ml2m8

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Psalm 139

Psalm 139:1-18 (New Living Translation)

Psalm 139

For the choir director: A psalm of David

1 O Lord, you have examined my heart
and know everything about me.
2 You know when I sit down or stand up.
You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.
3 You see me when I travel
and when I rest at home.
You know everything I do.
4 You know what I am going to say
even before I say it, Lord.
5 You go before me and follow me.
You place your hand of blessing on my head.
6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too great for me to understand!7 I can never escape from your Spirit!
I can never get away from your presence!
8 If I go up to heaven, you are there;
if I go down to the grave,[a] you are there.
9 If I ride the wings of the morning,
if I dwell by the farthest oceans,
10 even there your hand will guide me,
and your strength will support me.
11 I could ask the darkness to hide me
and the light around me to become night—
12 but even in darkness I cannot hide from you.
To you the night shines as bright as day.
Darkness and light are the same to you.

13 You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body
and knit me together in my mother’s womb.
14 Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!
Your workmanship is marvelous—how well I know it.
15 You watched me as I was being formed in utter seclusion,
as I was woven together in the dark of the womb.
16 You saw me before I was born.
Every day of my life was recorded in your book.
Every moment was laid out
before a single day had passed.

17 How precious are your thoughts about me,[b] O God.
They cannot be numbered!
18 I can’t even count them;
they outnumber the grains of sand!
And when I wake up,
you are still with me!

 

The basic outline of this passage:

We are NEVER alone

He Watches Vs. 2-3

Everyone needs someone that when we think we are alone, they have our backs. I am thankful that I have a God, family and friends who have my back. It is good to know that God goes before me EVERYWHERE I go!

When we go through hard times, we need to pray about it!

He Stays Vs. 5-12

You can never ever hide from God.

He will NEVER leave you no matter what.

He Knows the ending Vs. 16

What is the end of the story? Well let’s start with God wins and Satan loses!

God knows the end from the beginning. If you are curious to what His plans are in your life that He has, ask Him. If you receive no answer…TRUST HIM!

 

He NEVER stops talking about us! Vs. 17-18

 

I have been reading over those verses for the past week, so I thought I would post it! 🙂

Have a good one!

-Joey

 

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Peace…

“From his cradle to his grave a man never does a single thing which has any first and foremost object save one—to secure peace of mind, spiritual comfort, for himself.”

 -Mark Twain

“Peace—-Good will effectively asserted against greed.” anonymous

One day this week, I was reading over Acts 27, and the word peace came t mind when reading this passage. Before I tell you word for word what it says, let me first tell you what is happening here. First off, We find Paul taking many journeys. In this particular passage, Paul is journeying to Rome. Paul along with “his men” take this journey together. In Acts 27:10 Paul is advising his men that the journey will include hardship. So the men together aboard a ship and start this Journey to Rome.

Acts 27: 13-15, 18-20, 21-23, 24-26,39-44

The Storm at Sea

 13Now when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to the shore. 14But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster,(L) struck down from the land. 15And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along. 

The Storm at Sea

 13Now when the south wind blew gently, supposing that they had obtained their purpose, they weighed anchor and sailed along Crete, close to the shore. 14But soon a tempestuous wind, called the northeaster,(L) struck down from the land. 15And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along.

You see when the wind blew the slightly, the men CHANGED gears and made sure that they were close to shore. I was listening to a podcast on my Itunes account and the pastor was speaking on this passage. It caught my attention when the pastor said “Peace is tested in moments of change.” He is right. Paul and his men sensed a change in the direction of the wind. Many moments in life, I am EXPECTING peace, therefore I cannot EXPEREIENCE it! Most of that has to do with my pride that I have. I heard someone say this maybe not in this way, but something similar to this: “Pride always deceives the departure of Peace.” When pride walks in your life, peace walks right out of your life.

Acts 27: 15 says: And when the ship was caught and could not face the wind, we gave way to it and were driven along. The wind was so strong that they gave up. I believe the men were so desperate to get to shore that they were doing what I would do if I were in this situation. I would be not even thinking about anything else but trying to keep the ship together so I would have some type of transportation back to land. That is pride my friends. You see one way YOU KNOW that you have peace is that whenever your not steering your boat!  I love this quote I heard by Pastor Preston Morrison, Pastor of Young Adult Ministries @ Gateway Church, Southlake, Texas (he had heard it before) “When it becomes fruitless to struggle, it is wisdom to yield.” Now we are told in Acts that this journey (the Sail) went on for about two  weeks.

Notice what happens in Vs. 18-19

18Since we were violently storm-tossed, they began the next day to jettison the cargo. 19And on the third day they threw the ship’s tackle overboard with their own hands.

These men were officially freaking out! They started throwing all of their belongings they had on the ship overboard! Just like I would do, because I would have no idea what to do! What about you? What would you do in their case?

At this time they were so deep in a storm that they were scared.

Have you ever been so deep in a storm that you went through in life that you could not even see your own hand in front of your face?

Let me tell you that the Word of God tells us that we cannot have peace with fear!  One person once quoted this “The evidence of fear is the absence of peace”

Peace is defined in two different ways in the Bible.

Peace in the old testament- Accord between two nations involving sacrifice, and benefits.

Peace in the new testament- A strong sense of calm no matter what.

Where does this peace come from?

Acts 27:21-23 says that:  21Since they had been without food for a long time, Paul stood up among them and said, “Men,(O) you should have listened to me and not have set sail from Crete and incurred this injury and loss. 22Yet now I urge you to(P) take heart, for there will be no loss of life among you, but only of the ship. 23For this very night(Q) there(R) stood before me(S) an angel of the God(T) to whom I belong and(U) whom I worship,

Paul said peace come from Christ, and His presence! He is the peacemaker!

24and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul;(V) you must stand before Caesar. And behold,(W) God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26But(X) we must(Y) run aground on some island.”

the angel of God came before Paul and said Do not be afraid. I don’t know about you but if I was in Paul’s situation, I would have felt everlasting peace after feeling and being in God’s Presence right in that moment!

Peace can also be found by being, and “getting lost” in God’s word:

Vs. 24-26

24and he said, ‘Do not be afraid, Paul;(V) you must stand before Caesar. And behold,(W) God has granted you all those who sail with you.’ 25So take heart, men, for I have faith in God that it will be exactly as I have been told. 26But(X) we must(Y) run aground on some island.”

May we ALWAYS Take courage in the Word of God and RUN with Him, so that we may have eternal peace!

Stay GODstrong,

Joey

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It’s been awhile…..

Wow! I need to do a better job of updating this blog! Well, nothing really new going on. School…well it’s just school! lol I had no idea that college would be so difficult, especially the teachers….College has been one of the toughest transitions I have had EVER! Life is going swell other than that!

I have been reading, and spending quality time in the book of Psalms for the last couple of weeks. Have you ever thought about when David was going through hard times, how he never lost faith, and he never had a “dull” moment. Day and night he would CRY OUT to God, and truly pray. Now I will admit, I need to spend more quality time in prayer. It is crazy how David in Psalm 118:23-24, says “This is the LORD’S doing; it is marvelous in our eyes. This is the day that the LORD has made, let US rejoice and be glad in it.” Even though David went through hard times, he never gave up on God. I believe when “the shadow of death” is upon us, we immediately give up on everything. Maybe when we fail a test, we might ask God “God, why didn’t you help me on that test” or maybe you have had a friend pass away, or a family member. We should not get in God’s face when bad things happen because God has a purpose for our lives. Remember in Jeremiah 29, where God said he has a plan for each of us, a plan to prosper us and NOT to harm us? So next time when you go through difficulties, and struggles, may you rest in knowing that “this is the day that the LORD has made, so may we rejoice in it.”

Lincoln Brewster wrote a song about Psalm 118: 24

listen to it here: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ngHP6ppfRw4

Stay GODstrong,

-Joey

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“Doing Church Differently”

While I was in Austin visiting my mentor/ good friend of min and his awesome family, he had me read a book entitled “The Tangible Kingdom” by: Hugh Halter and Matt Smay. This book is nicely written. I read it in three days! It was VERY good and insightful! If you ever get the chance to read it, it will open your eyes about alot of things happening not only in our state, country and world, but even in our communities too! One point Halter and Smay talk about is that Church is about change, and change will cause things to be different in some way, shape or form. We get soooo attached to the “old” stuff that we don’t want to let it go. When it is time to change something, we are in FEAR!! We are so scared that we might not ever be the same (to tell you the truth, some of us need to be made new) our styles of missions, worship, and our views are just completly wrong, in my opinion. Worship should be a time where we spend in time is song and prayer, where we as Christians give God back what He has provided us. We should also GO, go as Jesus command us to do. We have sooo many people that are on our streets, searching, stumbling, and starving for God’s love to be shown to them! I am reminded of a video I was watching about Austin New Church, This pastor there was talking to a homeless man, who was walking the streets of South Austin (Kind of the outter part of downtown Austin, Texas) THe pastor who was serving the homeless man asked him “Well what do you thinks about these crazy people coming to help people like you, man?” The guy responded by saying this responce: “It’s not that I care about them talking about Jesus, What I care about is that I don’t think that they care about us.” WOW!!! So, what are we going to do, are we going to “GO” or are we going to just live in Fear?

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