Back for the first time in a while

Hello everybody, I’m back and writing for the first time since…I don’t really know how long ago but all I know is It’s been a while and I want to offer an explanation of why I’ve been gone for so long. The biggest reason is security for my Greece mission trip team. I have learned that it is possible for customs in a hostile nation to just type in my name and see what is going on on my page here and that’s not something that I was willing to risk because in the event of interrorgation by hostile forces, I do not want to endanger an opportunity to share the gospel to those who may have never heard it. So, I had to quit writing for a while but now that I am back and safe from those risks, It is time for me to get back into my little hobby of writing in an attempt to reach people, anybody really. I hope that the few followers I have had forgive me for not posting in a long time and continue to follow me as I share my experiences and what I have learned on my journey with God with my readers. God bless you all and much love.

Austin

Deaf Soldier of God

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Error-Failure to Give(Big problems for Christian)

Ok….so I have a question….feel free to answer it if you wish, why do we-as Christians-feel so hesitant about letting go of things like money? It’s just a piece of paper for pity’s sake! So why do we place so much value in it that we revolve our life around it? It’s a man made object from materials that God provided for us, so therefore it belongs to God not to us. It’s really a pitiful thing. The reason I’m writing this post tonight is because…God has called me to write about this. I don’t believe in coincidences and so…when something happens that most people call coincidences, I call it a message from God. Yesterday evening, my church pastor was talking about giving and financial bondage and today during my spiritual formation class, my professor talked about how it is a Christian’s duty to give, so I honestly believe that tonight, I’m called to write about a topic that may be touchy for some of us, but who am I to disobey God?

Now…there’s a shocking statistic about giving in general and I will list them below.

1. America is the most generous country in the world.

2. Only 2.5% of Americans give to an organization or on a regular basis to the Church

3.Only 5 % of Christians give to an organization or on a regular basis to the Church.

4.Of that 5% of Christians, 80% of the money that the Church gets from offerings are from 20% of the members.

5. The mean income of Americans in general is anywhere between $50,000-70,000.(U.S. Census Bureau, 2011 American Community Survey)

Now…..with those things in mind…..let’s have a look at this scenario and what’s wrong with the fact that only 5 % of Christian Americans give on a regular basis. What’s so hard about giving??? You may think that I know nothing of financial burdens, of financial stress but brothers and sisters, I do. I know what it’s like to be so freaking poor that sometimes all I had to eat was a freaking bologna sandwich, and one slice at that! To  be so poor that luxuries that most take for granted(like air conditioning in the house for example) had to be done without so that we could get food. Now, I’m not saying my life was terrible because I never had want for food or shelter. I never wanted much to begin with anyways. Now I’m on my own in this world as a single college student. I’m paying my way through College with no help from my family. I’m in debt to student loans and I’m currently working a minimum wage job that I absolutely hate. I have to pay my own phone bills, I have to pay my own car payments, I have to pay for my own car insurance and do without a lot of the stuff that I want or like to have. Point is…I know it’s tough. I know that there are many other people that have harder times, that have kids to feed, spouses to support, and bills to pay. However, if a College student whose income is less than $20,000 with mostly the same bills and concerns a single man might have to worry about in addition to the fact that half of my income goes towards missions God has called me to can give to those in need and think of others, then so can anyone that have the ability to earn money. Oh and by the way, being Deaf, I promise you, it’s a heck lot easier to just go on Disability and be too lazy to work and make good money on Disability but that’s just what’s wrong in America, I refuse to be part of the problem.  I am disappointed, disgusted, and sad at the fact that some Deaf Guy and a broke one at that, can give and give happily but those who have means and ways either refuse to give or have convinced themselves that they do not have to give because of-insert lame excuse here- or whatever.

It is pointless to worry about money, it’s just a freaking piece of paper that man has randomly given value to because coins were too heavy and outdated. Plus…the Bible tells us that we need not to worry, because God will take care of us. God will clothe us, feed us, and help us through this little thing we call Life. God takes care of the birds of the air and feeds them, are we not much greater than the birds of the air? God takes care of the flowers, meeting their needs and helping them to adapt over time if the climate changes and dresses the flowers more beautifully than any woman on her wedding days and believe you me, I’ve seen breathtaking women on her wedding day. Are we not that much more precious to the Lord than flowers? So why is it that we worry about money? Why is it that we allow that worry to prevent us from giving to the Kingdom of God. If you are struggling with giving and you truly desire to be a follower of Christ I can give you a piece of advice. Just consider everything you give to the Kingdom of God as a contribution, you know that the Kingdom of God is going to be the most amazing thing ever, it is going to be far more fantastic than any man-made structures, than anything Man could ever even begin to conceive. The more that you give to the Kingdom of God the more you will get back from God when it comes the time for all of us followers of Christ to go to Heaven. The same is true for work, the more work you put into the Kingdom of God the more you will get back from God himself! Also…you know the stuff people like? The nice cars, the iPhones(i honestly don’t see what the big deal is), the Xbox 360(favorite thing ever) and all that stuff. That’s all temporal, that will be destroyed when we die, that will not be taken with us to Heaven, this is especially true with Money. Money is temporal, money is, in all honesty, the worst freaking idea Man has ever had. We have killed for it, we have sinned for it, we have denied God for it, we have defied God for it, we have such a long list of evil things that we have done for Money that it is honestly only beneficial to Satan if we place money as the object of utmost importance in our lives. That’s why I don’t give a flip about money. I can be happy on just 20 dollars a day, that gets me food and there’s plenty of other things I can use to meet my daily needs. But…you know what? Even though 20 dollars a day only amounts to $7300 a year, somewhere out in this world of ours, somebody sure wishes they could even make $1000 a year.

Point is….just give. It’s what we are supposed to do. It’s how we can make the world a better place. It’s how we can make God proud and I want y’all to help me out. Help me to make God proud, give some money to the Church, let go of those change that you don’t use to Habitats of Humanity( they have a box to drop change in in most restaurants), give a gift to Compassion International, actually tip waitresses and barbers, they live on that stuff (I work in a restaurant and I know that most people are stingy and it don’t matter if it’s the best service in the world, some of y’all are too tight to give a freaking tip, I truly hope you change your ways, that type of stinginess pleases Satan, just saying!). I promise you…you won’t miss the money because it’s impossible to out-give God. So..My brothers and sisters in Christ, I encourage you to loosen up that grip on your money and just take a step back and realize….that by being such a tightwad, having a vise-like grip on your coin(or paper for the modern times) Satan is doing a jig as he sees that Project Greed is a HUGE success. Spit in Satan’s face and tell that lying snake “I don’t need this for myself! I can be doing better things with this!”

Now…I hope this has gotten to some of you and touched your heart and motivated you to go and make that change to being a more Giving person. Much love and peace out.

 

Cold world…..Warm Hearts

I really believe that all that is needed for a better world are warm hearts. What I mean by this is that warm-hearted people tend to make other people’s day go better. It is a cold and fallen world that we live in. Often, the inhabitants of this world lives only for self and only to benefit self, which is not how it is supposed to be. If all of us truly followed Christ and did all of his Commands and biddings then I truly believe that this world would be a better place.

There is a song by John Lennon called “Imagine”, it talks of a world without religion and a world without hatred. It talks about basically about an ideal world where everyone co-exists peacefully and Lennon includes that there’s no hell below us and above only sky. He seems to believe that if all the Christians were gone from this world, world peace would be closer to having been achieved. Sad thing is…John Lennon is only one of many people that are against what a friend of mine called “Organized religion.” There are a couple of reasons why people have such a negative viewpoints of Christians in general. There is….of course the media….those people that love to cover just about anything that will make the Church look bad such as catholic pastors molesting young children, Christians against abortions are often depicted by the media as unreasonable folks that absolutely must have their way or the highway. There are also radical religious groups that I dare not even call a part of Christianity because of their exemplary model of hatred, such as the Westboro Baptist Church. Sad thing is….since Westboro is gaining more media attention, people are starting to think that Christians are so hypocritical that we may as well throw our lot in with Satan. Those things among others, affect the perspectives of those who are not saved and make them reconsider getting saved if they were really ready for salvation. Remember that Paul said, I cannot remember the verse and I do not have my bible with me as I write this, but the gist of it was the sins of one member of the Church affects the whole Church. As long as we keep pretending like we got it all together(and if you think you do, get Real, no one is holier than anyone else), the sins of the members will still affect the whole Church. If we do not do anything about it, then our Enemy is gaining advantage over us and we don’t want this! We really don’t! So…you might be asking…”Well what do you suggest then?”

Here’s what I think should be done, change. Change for the better, change your heart to focus on Christ, change your mind to be more open. Open up your hearts and give Love! If you learn anything from this, then please, let it be this. Warm hearts have the potential to change the world. I define warm hearted people as those who have allowed the Love of God to fill them and that they, knowing that the Love of God is infinite, go out into the world and share the Love of God with everyone. If we simply do this, the world is already a slightly better place. In this cold world, I challenge you, my brother and sisters in Christ, to defy the world’s expectation. Defy the expectation that we will be concerned only for ourselves, defy the expectation that Christians are heartless people that may as well be Satan lovers. I only wish for the commands of Christ to be fulfilled and that the return of Christ be imminent. I only wish to help to improve the world and make it a better place but…I cannot do this alone. I need the help of my brothers and sisters in Christ to help make this world a better place. I have some suggestion of what one might do to warm the hearts of others with your own warmth.

1. Encourage your brothers and sisters in Christ to do the Will of God.

2. Help those in need.

3. Give freely and generously, we always have something that we can give to others such as our time, finance, or talents. What good is a gift from God if we do not show our Father that we love and appreciate Him and his thoughtfulness if we never use it???

4. Just Love. Love is the secret ingredient to amazing food. Love is stronger than duct tape or the force. God IS Love, the most powerful thing in the universe.

I hope I’ve inspired a few people to go and fulfill the Commands of Christ. I also appreciate any feedback from my readers, if there is something in this post that I was not clear on, please let me know and I’ll try my best to help and clarify any Confusion. Remember that God loves you and hey…I might not know you but I love you too! God doesn’t care what the color of your skin, your ethnicity, your quirks, or sexual orientation is, He loves you and likewise, I love y’all as much as my fallen heart allows me to. God bless you all!

Oy! Distractions! The Death of us All!

Ok, so over the weekend, I was pondering on what I should write about and I had briefly considered writing about distractions from God. I also thought up of other things for today’s post but God spoke to me through the speaker of today’s Chapel at Southwest Baptist University who, coincidentally, also spoke about distractions along with using our gifts.

For today though, I’m going to focus on distractions. Why should we be concerned with the million or so distractions in everyday life? Because, my brothers and sisters in Christ, every single distraction has the potential to separate us even further away from God than our sins have already separated us. You want to know who this benefits? Satan. 

Satan delights in us when we allow ourselves to be focused on worldly distractions that has absolutely no potential to help us to grow in our relationship with God. Satan does a jig every time we forget to thank God for what we have, for our success, and for everything because we are too distracted by the world to even think about sharing the credit with God. It is only by God’s will that we succeed, it is only by God’s will that we have a chance at eternal life with Him, heck, it is only by God’s will that you’re reading a post created by some random Deaf guy. When I took the time to step back and think upon what might be hurting my relationship with God, I was surprised by the loooooooooooooong list of things that I came up with. For me, my biggest distraction that keeps me from glorifying God is my video game addiction. I’ve spent countless hours playing Skyrim(basically dungeons and dragons on steroids and masterfully depicted in 3D, it’s awesome!) when I could have been using that time to think of ways I can serve the Lord using my gifts. I’ve wasted hours doing something that does not help me in my relationship with the Lord. It is something I will have to deal with right away, along with other distractions that I have like Facebook, Person of Interest(awesome action show).

Now….I want you, my readers, to step back, take a look at your life and ponder on what distractions might be hindering your relationship with God. Do you spend hours and hours on facebook? Looking at hilarious animal pictures? Reading the latest on one of your favorite celebs? Whatever your distraction is…I encourage you to try and reduce the time you spend on those things and use the time that you liberate from those activities to focus on God. I want you guys to undertake this challenge with me, because Christ lived his whole life focused on God. He didn’t waste time gossiping, trying to figure out the best fishing technique in order to maximize his catch, or something the Sanhedrin loved to do, looking down on Gentiles and infidels. He spent all his seconds, all his minutes, all his hours serving God and focusing on Glorifying God just as we should be trying to do. God loves us so much, that he even sacrificed his own son, so that we could be with Him. When you think about it, that’s pretty dang amazing. So….the least we could do is love Him with all that we’ve got and serve him with all the time that we have on this Earth. Let everything you do, my brothers and sisters, glorify our mighty and awesome God. That is why we are here, that is why we exist, so please, I implore of you, give it all you’ve got! I will be trying to do the same with you guys. I love all of you and I want to see y’all in Heaven when it’s our time to chill with the Heavenly Father. Much love and God bless you all.  

Christianity is a Team Sport

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Too often, modern Americans have privatized their spiritual life and separated their Spiritual life from their “Real Life”. This, among with other things, is one of the various problems with the modern Church in America. One does not simply privatize sin, their relationship with Jesus and the Heavenly Father. Too often now, everyone pretends to have it all together for Church every sunday, like everything in their life is as perfect as can be. This leads to being fake. There is a lot of problems in the Church, but the one that concerns me the most is that people are now in the mindset that they can overcome their sins themselves, without help from other Christians or God. They think that they can please God without instructions from Jesus and defeat the enemy all by their lonesome. I tell you the truth, one does not simply defeat sin and the enemy without help. We need others to help us, encourage us, egg us on because without help, without encouragement it is easy to lose hope and once you have lost hope, you have lost the battle against sin and the enemy. It’s just not possible to do it by yourself. So I challenge you my brothers and sisters in Christ, reach out for help from your fellow siblings in Christ. We can lend you our prayers, we can give you words of encouragement, we can back you up in your battle against sin and the enemy, the one they call Satan. Pray to God, He is more powerful than anything else in the entire universe, including Satan himself. He can defeat Satan with a single blow but leaves it to us because he wishes to test who is true to Him.

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So my brothers and sisters in Christ, remember, Christianity is a Team Sport. What are our objectives? To follow the commands of our great and wonderful Coach, Jesus Christ. What has Jesus told us to do? “Go forth and make disciples of all the nations”. Why would we do this? To establish the kingdom of God on Earth. Can we do it by ourselves? HA! No, we cannot do it by ourselves. We must come together and work together, using the abilities given to us by God. This is the only way to fulfill the Commands of Christ, together. If we all can come together and be One as a Church that convenes in the name of Jesus Christ then Satan has no hope of defeating us and we will be richly rewarded by our Heavenly Father. I only wish to see all of you working with me and see the Love of God being shared on Earth everywhere. It is the best thing that we can give to the World. We must be one team, undivided, under the leadership of Jesus Christ. We have got to master sharing the Gospel and reaching all of those who are unreached with the Truth. We must achieve enlightenment with the Truth. Only then, can the Kingdom of God be truly established. 

Third Time’s the Charm

There was once a humble man in the marketplace of Damascus long ago who was a skilled artisan that sold rugs of incredible beauty. The humble man created those rugs with his wife who he loved very much, he would work and toil with her for hours and hours on to fabricate art of such superiority that there was no equal in all of the marketplace. The rugs always sold for a modest price and the humble man and his wife was able to get by on the profits that they made from their works of love. One day, when the wife went out for a walk about the marketplace, she came back with stories of a splendid Gold necklace that had a flawless diamond in set in at the center and two gorgeous rubies on the left and right of the diamond. Above and below the diamond, there were emeralds of such beauty that words could hardly describe its splendor. The wife went on and on about this necklace, envisioning what the necklace would look like on her. The humble man, smiling throughout the story, asked his wife how much it was and she replied. 

“It’s 3500 denari my love, we could never possibly hope to be able to afford it.” She said this with such sadness that it broke the humble man’s heart. He secretly plotted to save up money from the shop to obtain the necklace. After many months of saving, their store was robbed and the humble man, exasperated, began searching for quicker alternatives to earning money. He heard about a Roman brute who boasted that he was the best fighter in all of Damascus and would offer 5000 denari to anyone who was able to best him in combat. The humble man, thinking only of his wife and the necklace searched for the Roman. He found the Roman with his comrades in the marketplace and challenged him to a fight. The Roman, tall and muscular, looked the lean and wiry  humble man up and down and let out a loud guffaw and said to his comrades.

“Look, this mingherlino(weakling) thinks he can take me in hand to hand combat. I’ll make short work of him.” The Roman guffawed even louder after his arrogant boast and then added “Mingherlino, if you defeat me, I shall give you 10000 denari!” 

The humble man replied “I accept the stakes of this fight. It is my honor and pride for your 10000 denari, in addition to my honor and pride, I shall offer my work as an indentured servant should I lose to you.” 

Now the humble man was a skilled hand to hand combatant and was confident in his abilities. The Roman relied mostly on his strength while the humble man relied on his wit and speed. The fight began with the two circling each other, probing the other for weaknesses. The Roman did a headlong rush in order to tackle the humble man. Much to the Roman’s surprise the humble man countered with a low sweeping kick which sent the Roman flying straight to the ground face-first. The humble man, cautiously optimistic, thought to himself “Surely that knocked him out” but the Roman got back up, face bloodied and covered in dirt. The Roman was angry and starting swinging wildly with his long arms. The humble man, bobbing and weaving like a boxer, managed to avoid those wild swings easily and land multiple punches to the body and spin around to the back of the Roman to kick out his legs from underneath him. The Roman fell with such a great thud on the street that it was heard throughout Damascus. Wary of the Roman, the humble man eyed the Roman with caution, praying to Allah that he would stay down. The Roman got back up and was even angrier than before. He took his sword from his comrades who were holding his weapon for him and starting swinging the sword at the humble man. The humble man, calm, cool, and collected, was able to evade the sharp edges of the Romans sword and decided to kick him where it really hurts with all his might. The humble man, a former acrobat, somersaulted over the Roman to get behind him and with all of his might that he could muster landed a kick straight to the Roman’s loins. The Roman dropped down and dropped his sword and begged mercy. The humble man accepted the surrender and took the 10,000 denari that he had earned by dropping the Roman three times in a row without the Roman even landing a single blow on the humble man. 

The humble man went straight to the jeweler that had the necklace his wife desired. The humble man, knowing the traditions of the marketplace well, began bartering with the jeweler over tea from the Indies. The first time around the jeweler wanted too much for the necklace and the humble man was forced to leave the stall to consider the price and give the jeweler time to lower his price. The second time around, the humble man offered a price that was far too low and the jeweler refused and the humble man was compelled to leave once again only to come back a third time to agree upon a price of 4500 denari. The jeweler gave the humble man the necklace and the humble man, amused with how his day has been going said. 

“First time, I fail, the second time, I fail, but the Third time’s the charm eh? Maybe if I ask my wife 3 times, she will cook me my favorite meal though it requires hours of preparation!”  He walked home to his wife pleased with his day. 

Why I blog

I blog for two reasons. First, I would love to share the Gospel for whoever wants to read more about it, I’ll tell stories and all about how God works in my life or other people’s lives and the second is, I have work study at college in which I do pretty much nothing from 2:30 to 5 and it gets really boring so blogging sounded like fun to me and I thought hey, maybe somebody will like reading my stuff and share it with their friends, that’d be pretty sweet! So that would be why I blog.