Tuesday, November 24, 2009

Non-profit of the Year Award

Teen Challenge Ventura wins 2009 award!

Great news that I am extremely thankful for: Teen Challenge Ventura won the 2009 Non Profit of the Year Award, which is given out by the Chamber of Commerce in Ventura. As a volunteer and supporter of this faith based drugs- and alcohol rehabilitation program I am proud and thankful that this organisation gets the honor it deserves! Well, as a matter of fact all honor goes to Jesus Christ, who is, was, and will always be the proven cure for the drug epidemic! But it is sure nice for the staff and students to receive this award as it will encourage them greatly!

Friday, November 20, 2009

Thoughts on the mustardseed

Use what you have, however small it may be
Have you ever asked God for greater faith? Have you ever desired increase in your faith? Maybe you are too polite to ask, but the disciples (who were around Jesus all the time) didn't hesitate. "Make our faith greater" they told Him boldly (Luke 17:5). Well, at least they adressed the right person. Jesus, however, holds them off a little and tells them to use what they have, however small that may be.

Nothing will be impossible for you (Matthew 17:20)

Oops, quite a bold statement, Jesus always knew how to trigger their thoughts. He basically explained what faith the size of a mustardseed is: something small that enables you to do big things!

Thursday, November 19, 2009

Small stuff

A personal journal entry...
Who despises the day of small things?
(Zechariah 4:10)
What an accurate question Lord, it really touches me. I realize I have not always been grateful for small things, maybe not even for bigger things. Often I keep looking at everything I still have to conquer instead of rejoicing over things already accomplished.
I want to be thankful, always!

Thursday, November 12, 2009

Where will my ambition lead me?

Kingdom truth and values differ from the world's teaching
When I stepped from darkness into light (1 Peter 2:9), into the realm that is called The Kingdom, I didn’t fully realize it would turn everything I knew and had learned in the past upside down and inside out. Everytime I read the Bible it keeps amazing me how Kingdom truth and values differ from what the world teaches. The other day I was thinking about ‘ambition’. I looked up that word in Webster’s and found the following: 'strong desire to succeed or to achieve something, as fame, power, wealth, etc.'
I believe that being ambitious is a good thing as it is often the result of passion and the drive for perseverance. The question we have to ask ourselves however is ‘where will my ambition lead me?’ It is so easy to be carried away and eventually find ourselves in places we do not want to be! Having a desire to succeed or to achieve certain goals is a healthy attitude, I don't think there is anything against such ambitions in God's word. The Bible does offer warnings against selfish ambitions though (in Galatians 5:20, Philippians 2:3 and James 3:14 for example). Selfish ambitions do not serve our fellow men or a bigger purpose and are therefore purely human, even egocentric. God wants us to direct our ambitions towards Kingdom building and advancement.
I found an interesting and helpful scripture in 1 Thessalonians 4:11, it says:
Make it your ambition
1. to lead a quiet life (avoid drama)
2. to mind your own business and (don’t meddle in other people’s affairs)
3. to work with your hands (be productive)

Now, that would not exactly match the average goal of a college student or young urban professional, right? As a student of God’s Word it should be my goal however.
The good thing about following godly ambition is that the rewards are awesome! The next verse says that our daily life may win the respect of outsiders and that we will not be dependent on anybody.
Sounds good to me!

Thursday, November 05, 2009

About Godless chatter

In pursuit of godliness
In Holland we have a saying that goes somewhat like this: “what you say is what you are”. The words that come out of your mouth are a reflection of what is in your heart. Since I am a person that finds talking much easier than listening I have a lot to learn, so I am forever studying everything the Bible has to say on the subject. I have posted several times about the power of words on this blog and my first book Sacred Sabbath for example starts of with some thoughts on the power of God’s word. In 2 Timothy 2:16 I found yet another interesting scripture about this, it says,

Avoid godless chatter, because those who indulge in it will become more and more ungodly.
Godless = without God. Godless chatter is simply any talk that is not God related, which is basically anything without a bigger purpose, without a Kingdom principle as foundation, anything that does not point to Jesus. The scripture warns us that if we indulge in ungodly talk we will become ungodly. That brings me back to the Dutch saying I opened this post with. I like to change it as follows: we become what we speak about. We not only have to choose our words carefully, but also the people we enjoy conversing with.

If it is possible to become ungodly because of ungodly talk, I feel free to say that it is also possible to become more godly if we would talk more about God and God related subjects. In his first letter to Timothy the apostle Paul urges him to pursue godliness, among other virtues (1 Timothy 6:11). Regardless of the fact that we live 2000 years later, we should all be in pursuit of godliness whether that is cultural and popular accepted or not! It does not come automatically because we are believers. So, how then do we start?
By changing the things we talk about and by befriending people who have a similar desire! Changing the world starts within our own heart.
As Bill Johnson always says: don’t wait for the perfect wave to ride, start your own!