"Every man leaves a lasting influence... that will affect future generations for centuries to come. But let's face it, not all legacies are the same. Some are productive, others are destructive. Some are illustrious, others are infamous... what kind of a legacy will you leave behind? A spiritual legacy is one that money can't buy and taxes can't take away, it is passing down to the next generation what matters most."
Steven J. Lawson

Friday, October 22, 2010

Men with Brave Hearts: Part I

The other day I was listening to the BraveHeart soundtrack which got the mind gears cranking and turning. When you think of that great film, words like freedom, courage, and manliness tends to come to mind(at least in every guys' mind). William Wallace was a man who loved his people, his land, and his home, and fought to keep what was rightly his. At this point in history, the 1200's, the British controlled Scotland and harassed the Scots, taking their wives, burning their homes, and imposing outrageous taxes on a people who could not pay.
After having enough, Wallace decided it was time to fight back. He spent years trying to unite all the clans together to fight against the English. William was later captured and executed, but he died for what he believed in, and eventually, the Scottish, led by Robert de Bruce, gained victory over the English, and won their freedom.
Today, it seems rare that we hear of a man with a heart of courage, of conviction, and vision. But just because we do not hear of them, in the news or common every day conversation, does that mean that those kind of men do not exist. Certainly we know about men like George Washington, Theodore Roosevelt, and others who had convictions and stood up for what was right, yet what about those not written in the pages of history? Men in everyday life, who lay down their lives, who live out their beliefs with conviction and sense of purpose are just as honorable as the famous men we read about and admire.
It may be said that perhaps courage and vision are lacking in our present generation, and I believe it to be true. boys want to stay boys and not grow into mature manhood. Few young men have long lasting direction and vision for their lives. I confess that I have been one of those young men who tried to postpone growing up because of fear and comfort. I have never been an extremely courageous person, fear of the unknown crippled me because I had no vision for my life. Once a man begins to build a vision for his life, and marry that with his God given purpose, that fear though it may creep back up, will be controlled.
Part II coming soon!

Wednesday, October 13, 2010

Like Thy Brother Jonah

This semester in our Youth Staff devotional on Monday mornings, we have been reading Surprised by Grace by Tullian Tchvidjian. The author takes a close look at the story of Jonah and shows how it is more than a story of a man being swallowed by a great fish, rather it is a testament to the grace of God to rebelling sinners. In fact, the subtitle is God's Relentless Pursuit of Rebels. The title fits all of us because we are rebels in need of grace. The author's primary objective is to get you to see how we are just like Jonah. We see that God doesn't pursue Jonah only once in this story during the storm, but actually, the entire story is about God relentlessly pursuing both Jonah and Ninevah and calling both to repentance.
More and more, I begin to see just how much like Jonah I really am. Even though I have been saved by God, my heart is still sinful and will still run away from God and after idols. God's grace is not a one time deal. I know from my own life that I am in constant need of the Father's grace. It is only by His sovereign mercy in my life that restrains me from following the sinful desires of my heart to my own ruin. Why don't we see how destructive sin is in our lives? Why would we ever want to trade the glorious gift of life for things that can only bring us death?