Friday, September 30, 2011

Jonah And The Vine?

The account of Jonah has always been a fascinating story to many people. But, I'd like to focus on a part of the story not mentioned too much. The part I'd like to pick up at is after Jonah had been swallowed by the whale and called Nineveh to repentance. If you don't know too much about Nineveh, at the time Jonah was called to tell them to repent, you should research a little bit about just how wicked Nineveh was. However, through the whale experience Jonah decided that he would go ahead, despite what torture they would do to him, and tell them to repent. After he got about a day into the city he delivered his message, Nineveh took 3 days to cross. Expecting to be taken captive at some point he continued prophesying throughout the city and before he knew it he was out the other side... ALIVE! He had just made it through the most difficult and abominable people in the world and not even a scratch! He had seen the wickedness and abominations of the people and thought that they needed to be destroyed so he decided he would see how God would destroy the people and sat up on a hill over viewing the city, when Jehovah appeared to him.

Instead of being happy that Nineveh had repented of their iniquities and sins and was spared, Jonah was furious with the Lord for sparing them. That night Jehovah caused a plant to grow in order to give Jonah shade from the heat of the day. In a night it grew and the next night it was destroyed by a worm. To teach the lesson to Jonah and to us a little better the Lord helps Jonah realize that if we can have mercy and love for a plant which we didn't create and only knew for a little amount of time, can't we have mercy and love for 120,000 souls that are so mixed up in wickedness they don't know their right hand from their left? The story ends there and not much else is said about Jonah. But, this is what we learn from this story that if a soul is willing to repent, no matter how wicked or abominable they may have been, God will have mercy on us and He will not give up on us. I really do know that He is there and that He cares about us. Let's not wait for a threatening situation to occur before we turn our hearts over to God.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

How To Increase Your Faith In Jesus Christ

First let's understand what faith is. Faith is actions coupled with belief in something which is true. Here is a scriptural example of faith,
"By faith Noah, being warned of God of things not seen as yet... prepared an ark to the saving of his house..." (Hebrews 11:7)
So not only is there obvious belief, but also an action to go with the belief. I will list a few ways you can increase your belief in Jesus Christ that will help you endure lifes challenges.

1.) Prayer. If you aren't saying your prayer's and trying to draw closer to God it would be like trying to come to shore with your anchor still out. The scriptures teach that you should ALWAYS have a prayer in your heart. I think of it the same as I would with the relationship with someone you love. If I never communicated with my parents how could I form any relationship with them? I couldn't. The same principle applies with God.

2.) Studing the scriptures. You cannot find comfort and an increase in belief if you aren't learning more about what you are believing in. Just as Jesus said, "Search the scriptures; for in them ye think ye have eternal life: and they are they which testify of me." (John 5:39) We have been counselled by the Saviour to always be learning more about Him. The more learn about Him the more we can come to love and appreciate Him.

3.) Live it. Regardless of your religion if you live the principles and commandments you have received you will draw closer to God than if you were to disregard them. Living your religion says more to God than speaking it does. God is pleased with those who will show their love for Him by obedience.

Tuesday, September 13, 2011

The Light of Hope

I have found in my own life that I have a bad problem. I bring myself down for my faults and for my fears and failures. I get the impression singed into my head that I'm of no worth and that no matter how hard I try I will never change. I tend to let doubt and disbelief creep its way into the corridors of my faith and then let them destroy what I have struggled to build. I then view the shattered remains of what was once a beautiful masterpiece of faith and hope. But all that remains is rubble of my own doing.

I have found a way, not just to cope with, but to annihilate the demons of doubt and disbelief. That way is through the Atoning blood of Our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. I have found that when I realize that for me He died, that He suffered the pains of my sins, that He later carried my cross to the hill of Golgotha, that for me He broke the bands of death and hell and that for me He lives any doubt that I have been struggling with are replaced with joy and peace. If you are like me and experience these feelings of doubt, have hope. Hope that even though you cannot see Him, He knows you and that He will not leave you helpless and in despair if you are doing His will. Hope that He really loves you and that those promises of peace and eternal life will come as long as you are keeping His commandments. Remember what He Himself said, 
"I am the light of the world: he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life." (John 8:12)

Let's follow Him. He is the One who bring us to safe harbors. He is the One who has marked the path and shown us the way. He lives. I have felt His love purge out doubt and disbelief. I know that if I have hope and do his will, in Him I will find true happiness. 

Saturday, September 3, 2011


So you are probably wondering by now why there is a picture of the Big Jaw Pokémon, Feraligatr, with his previous evolutions? Well, sit tight and let me answer it for you. The process of evolution in Pokémon is quite amazing. Generally the more something is beat up and beat down, the weaker and weaker it gets until it is completely and entirely destroyed, but with Pokémon this is not the case. The more battles you go through and the more your Pokémon fight, the stronger they actually get until they finally proceed to have a metamorphic change (they evolve). They then permanently get stronger and more capable of enduring battles and pummeling foes, and in the case of Feraligatr he will completely rock your world. So now you are thinking, "Oh, okay! I bet I know where he is going with this blog! The more challenges we go through the stronger we get!" Wrongo bongo.

So how else could this possibly tie into our lives? Especially with religion? Let's step back and calibrate or readjust our view of "Christianity". In today’s world Christianity is no longer a religion. It is no longer the truth or the way of life. It is no longer a belief that changes lives. Instead it is looked at by many of every faith as a social club or a convenient life-style that doesn't impose on our personal life. It is viewed as something to be put aside if "more" important things come up. This is NOT what the Savior Jesus Christ taught. Christ didn't say,
"Hey, I hope I'm not an inconvenience in your life. But, if I am just go on doing your own thing and I'll save you anyway."
No He specifically said, “So likewise, whosoever he be of you that forsaketh not all that he hath, he cannot be my disciple." (Luke 14:33) This is clearly the opposite of what people believe and teach now. Christ doesn't want us to give most of what we have or are to Him, HE WANTS IT ALL! How can we honestly believe or even suggest that "believing" is all that Christ has asked us to do. The scriptures, especially those like the above referenced, say we HAVE to be willing to give all to be with Him in heaven.

Now I will tie that back into the evolution of Pokémon. Christianity is being attacked. It is being changed within itself into something that is exactly opposite of what the Savior taught. Eventually it will appear to be drawing to its end and then... the “evolution” will occur. Our Savior will come. He will purge out those so called "Christians" whose mouths draw near to Him, but whose hearts are far from Him. We will all come to know at that point exactly what "True Christianity" is.