A Ponderation On Life

So my whole youth group for the month of January has been doing a 31 day fast and I remembered today that Thursday is the last day of the fast. But then I got to thinking “Ok I know God has done awesome stuff this month and awesome stuff in me” But I needed to sit and ponder it to see the broad spectrum of what he has done. So I am going to post about that and what he has done in me.

Well first of we really started hitting theLife.jpg
volunteering with the middle school this hard. We have been going in during lunch and hanging with the kids and getting to know them. It’s been awesome and I have met some great kids, but thru this whole experience my heart has been transformed in a way I never thought it would have been. See I noticed that if I missed a day or didn’t get to go down there I felt guilty it was weird to me at first. So I prayed to God “Why do I feel guilty if I miss” and he reminded me that back in August that he showed me a vision of the middle school and he wanted me to get in there and help. Well and that worked I am in there along with some friends from church also. So I realized that I was feeling guilty cause I knew God had called me to be there and I was missing out.

But thru this fast I realized that I had taken a step and had gotten in there and started helping out but God wasn’t finished. He gave me a vision of me going into the middle school, now he has given me a vision of the middle school’s culture being completely changed. He gave me a dream of the kids getting involved in church. But thru connecting with the students during the lunch hours and volunteering with some painting my heart has been transformed more. I now feel connected to the school in a whole new way. I cant sleep at night without praying for the school and the kids in it. God has added to my journey in amazing ways.

Well during the fast I sat down and asked God “Lord, I have taken the first step now what do you want me to do?”. Well he answered and he gave me more than one answer. He answered for what he wanted me to do in the school and then gave me more insight into what he wanted me to do in my life in the future.

First for the school; He told me he wanted me to just connect. It was cool thought cause when he said that it reminded me of what paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:19-23

1 Corinthians 9:19-23 (The Message)

19-23 Even though I am free of the demands and expectations of everyone, I have voluntarily become a servant to any and all in order to reach a wide range of people: religious, nonreligious, meticulous moralists, loose-living immoralists, the defeated, the demoralized—whoever. I didn’t take on their way of life. I kept my bearings in Christ—but I entered their world and tried to experience things from their point of view. I’ve become just about every sort of servant there is in my attempts to lead those I meet into a God-saved life. I did all this because of the Message. I didn’t just want to talk about it; I wanted to be in on it!

But when he reminded me of it he showed me my life and said that is you and you are living it out. it was really cool cause I really got to see that I have been doing what God has wanted me to do in this stage of my life.

He also pointed out that cause of my age I have a great opportunity to be doing what I am doing cause I’m still a teenager so I still have that special connection with other teens. It was really cool to hear God tell me all this.

Then for the last part. I have known I was suppose to be a youth pastor but God showed me a little more into that. He told me “I have given you a vision of this school and you have done that and I have transformed your heart for this school and the kids in it, I have given you this heart to prepare you. I want you to be a Junior Hight Youth Pastor.”

It was like a huge eye opener. I kinda questions why in the world would God be wanting me to do this and why did he show me this. Well I now know why. He is training me for my future and the coolest part of it all is I have met some amazing people and I get to make an impact on my community.

I can honestly say the last 6 months or so I have felt gloomy cause I knew what God wanted and I was doing it but I didn’t understand at all. Well he showed me.

So to summarize . I compel everyone that is on this fast to ponder the fast and what God has done. You will be surprised. It’s no coincidence that God has called us to fast the first month of the year. He is showing us Him for the next year and what he wants us to do this year to make a move for Christ

Much Love ~ Jeremy Newton

How To Make A Better Blog In 13 Steps

I decided that I wanted to share with everyone some of the stuff I have learned from1051_76_77---The-Famous-199-Steps--Whitby--North-Yorkshire_web.jpg
blogging that will help you keep your blog going and to make it better.

1.There are many things that make up a great blog but the first thing is you got to pick a topic and stick with it. You can have a sub topic but make sure you blog is mostly posts on your topic.

2.Have great content. If you want people to read you need to have content that will attract people and keep them reading. A great way of keeping good content is to always put your spin on it and talk about yourself people would rather read more about you than stuff you can find everywhere.

3.Read and comment other blogs. Blogging isn’t just about you its a community. So visit other blogs related to your topic and read it and comment on it. When you comment you get a chance to link your blog and most authors will check you out and when you get to know them you never know you might create permanent link backs for each-other.

4.Pick a good layout. The way the web is now which is called web 2.0 they want clean and modern. Don’t pick a dark blog and don’t clutter it. Keep it organized and resourceful and keep stuff easy to find.

5. Link to other blogs. If you read something you like link to other blog.
6.Use social networking sites to submit your blog and its posts to sites like these:

Stumble Upon
Digg
Blog Catalog
Technorati
Del.icio.us
Rededit

7.Always comment back to peoples comments cause then you start discussion on your blog and it attracts others.

9.Use rss and make it easy for others to access. That way others can know when you update your blog without having to go to your site.

10.Use categories for your posts to keep everything clean and organized.

11.Post frequently but don’t post useless stuff. Post great stuff with good content. If you want to keep readers you need to keep giving them stuff to read.

12.Use pictures. When you have longer blog posts pictures take the focus off of all the words and make your posts look so long and it adds a little fun to your posts.

13. Don’t post huge posts. If people don’t understand something or want to know more you can continue in your comments and attract more discussion on your blog.

If you want to know more feel free to discuss and ask questions and I will add and if you want to add more to the post let me know and I will edit my post.

Much Love ~ Jeremy Newton

Championship Sudoku On A Rollercoaster

So today I was reading some discussions on a web bard and I came to realize that most people that I have ran into on the web want nothing to do with God and in the process of that they begin to tell others what is wrong with what they believe. Now I know it can go both wast, Most Christians as most people in this generation would say, Christians shove to much, they are always pushing their beliefs and telling people they are going to hell. I hate to say it but they re right! Christians in the broad spectrum tend to be for a lack of a better word/description ” I’m going to shove what I believe at you and if don’t like it then forget you there’s no hope for you.” Honestly if someone was doing that to me I wouldn’t listen to them. If I wasn’t already a Christian and know why I believe what I believe and my beliefs are based off of my personal walk with God I probably would stay away form religion, Cause there are hypocrites, to many rules and wacky beliefs. But the problem with all that is how we are perceived just but using the name Christian. Yes I hate Christianity at time but not for reasons you would think, It’s cause of the people that give other Christians a bad name, the broad sense of complexity and the label put on you when you say you’re a Christian.

“It seems finding and embracing God has become more complex than championship sudoku on a roller coaster. ~ Louie Giglio”

Seriously why is Christianity so complex, I don’tRollercoaster.jpg
believe God ever intended it to be that way.
When Christ said take your cross and follow me he meant just that “follow”. Don’t plan your life than put me in it but follow me. Following always brings spontaneity and acting in the moment. All God wanted us to do is follow him and embrace him and then form that relationship we will know what God wants us to and when. When you follow someone and learning form them your Character changed and you begin to be like them. God is a person of love and would do anything for those whom he loves. When we begin to imitate God thats what others should see, They should see God’s love. How are they suppose to see that wen we are to busy telling them their wrongs? There are to many sources in this world already telling us how bad we are what is wrong with us. Why would someone want to go after God when the person that is suppose to show the representation of God is telling them what the world is already saying to them? That’s not love. We only need to use words when people as but if not we just need to love and them a life committed for God and changed for the better from that commitment.

Now back to simplicity. All we need to do is follow God and from that comes a passion and that’s were the would with God starts. When we follow God he will direct us to what he wants for us in our life’s.

I’m going to end here to ope for discussion and comments. If you have questions ask but most of all feel free to discuss.

Much Love ~ Jeremy Newton

Christian Blog Ring

Hey I wanted to see who would be interested in making a blog ring. Basically we all just link to each others blogs on like the sidebar of our blogs or something. That way people can keep looking thru to more Christian blogs. Let me know what you guys think.

I think it could be really good in the long run for all of us. If you want to just leave me a comment and I’ll check out or blog or if your on blog catalog check me out on there and we can set it up on there.

Also I was thinking of posting on some other topics is there anything you would like to see? I was thinking about maybe on blogging and stuff you can do to make your blog better. Let me know thats what the comments are for =)

Scratch My Back

Hey I thought I would make a post so that everyone could give me some feedback. So I am going to write what kind off feedback I am looking for and let me know honestly.

Layout,
Posts,
Stuff You would like to see,
Stuff you don’t want to see that is on here,
Ways to promote my blog.

Really I am looking for any feedback and suggestions on my blog so help me out. I was thinking of maybe making a community of christian bloggers but all this stuff that I want to do with this blog and ideas I have to have a website. But if you think I should I will work to my best to get a site.

The Standard of a Commitment

Last time I wrote I wrote about passion, Well we got the passion now what? Now we need to set the standard as a christian. The following passage in 2 Corinthians talks about what life as a Christian looks like if you have passion to do what God has called you to do.

2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (NLT)

7 We now have this light shining in our hearts, but we ourselves are like fragile clay jars containing this great treasure.[b] This makes it clear that our great power is from God, not from ourselves.

8 We are pressed on every side by troubles, but we are not crushed. We are perplexed, but not driven to despair. 9 We are hunted down, but never abandoned by God. We get knocked down, but we are not destroyed. 10 Through suffering, our bodies continue to share in the death of Jesus so that the life of Jesus may also be seen in our bodies.

11 Yes, we live under constant danger of death because we serve Jesus, so that the life of Jesus will be evident in our dying bodies. 12 So we live in the face of death, but this has resulted in eternal life for you.

Can you see the commitment in that? Alot of times we get an attack and we give up cause we don’t like it, but when you really think about it why would you be attacked by the enemy if you weren’t a priority for the Good guy? As we step out and do what God has called us to, as we obtain the passion that won’t let the fire for God in our hearts burn out and when we get the heart of Christ that will make is so we will do whatever it takes to show Christ to this world, We become a priority on the enemy’s hitlist. It takes great commitment to sit thru attacks but if we truly are in God then as the above passage says we are going to persevere.

I want to look at 2 Corinthians again but in the message translation it shows some more insight.

2 Corinthians 4:7-12 (MSG)

7-12 If you only look at us, you might well miss the brightness. We carry this precious Message around in the unadorned clay pots of our ordinary lives. That’s to prevent anyone from confusing God’s incomparable power with us. As it is, there’s not much chance of that. You know for yourselves that we’re not much to look at. We’ve been surrounded and battered by troubles, but we’re not demoralized; we’re not sure what to do, but we know that God knows what to do; we’ve been spiritually terrorized, but God hasn’t left our side; we’ve been thrown down, but we haven’t broken. What they did to Jesus, they do to us—trial and torture, mockery and murder; what Jesus did among them, he does in us—he lives! Our lives are at constant risk for Jesus’ sake, which makes Jesus’ life all the more evident in us. While we’re going through the worst, you’re getting in on the best!

I love the part were it talks about us being ordinary and unadorned clay pots that thru that it shows God all the more. The world see’s us (atleast the people around us that we have a general influence on) as an ordinary human. They see us and then wonder ok there a Christian whatever I know lots of Christians. As we live in Christ there going to see him in a new light, cause although we are human they will see God’s power in us. We need to press into God and let God do the influencing.

I love how Benny Perez puts it about how the world has people with knowledge but not people that do.

“The world is filled with people who know the right things, but it is time to buck the trend of just knowing and go to the doing stage.” ~Benny Perez

If you look at Paul in the bible he was a man who had a lot of head knowledge in religion. However, Paul makes it clear that the only thing that is worth anything is knowing Christ. Paul also had the power of God in his life.

Paul realized that God has given us the power from without to deposit within us the ability to accomplish great things. God has given us the power fond in the resurrection of Jesus–the promised Holy Spirit! God has given us power:

1. Over the enemy (1 John 4:4)
2. To witness (Acts 1:8)
3. Over sin (Romans 6:6-11)
4. To give us life (Romans 8:11)

Paul makes it clear that we are not living in the world powerless, but have been given a deposit of the Holy Spirit! Remember, God has given us the power from without and deposited it within to help us set the standard for others to follow.

To set the standard we will also see in Paul’s life that he had perseverance. If we are to set the standard for others we need to persevere no matter what. I think I covered that in a sense when I was talking about 2 Corinthians.

Paul also let go of the past.

“Brethren. I do not count myself to have apprehended; but one thing I do, forgetting those things which are behind and reaching forward to those things which are ahead,”(Phillipians 3:13)

In response to letting go of the past I am going to quote a passage from Benny Perez’s book pacesetters.

Notice what Paul says the on thing he does. Paul could have done many different things, but he chose to focus in on one thing– forgetting what is behind. In order to be pacesetters, we need to be people who leave the past in the past. The trent is to dig up the past and rehash it over and over. I believe that we need to look at the past, dealt with it, get healing from it, and go on. I remember one person telling me that you cannot drive a car looking in the rear view mirror. Paul is exhorting us to let go of the past both the defeats and the victories. In order to set the standard, we must let go of the past and not deny it, but get healed from it and go on. I have heard people telling me how they cannot do anything with their lives because of what has happened to them. I tell them that the past does not have to hold you back from your future. Our past hurts or failures can either be stepping stones or tombstones. Your past will be something to build on or it will bury you. The choice is left up to you and me and what will we decide. Let us not follow the trend of blaming all of our problems on what has happened. We need to hear what God says, forget the past and move on to the present , and look forward to the future.

Paul Goes on to say that he is reaching forward or straining to what is ahead. This is the picture of a runner ho is setting the pace be straining every muscly in his body as he nears the finish line. In order to set the standard, our energy must be focused forward and not focused on the failure in the past. The key is know that the best days for you and me are not behind us but ahead of us. Only in the future can we know God better and accomplish great things for Him. The trend of looking in the past will only kill the vision of what God has for us in the future. Remember, the destiny that God has for you and me is always ahead of us and never behind us. Eventually, all of us will reach heaven which is in the future for all of us. ~Benny Perez

And to be an example you have to want to be an example. But once you decide you want to be an example and you want to change the trend, your making a commitment on your life and it’s not an easy one. If you decide to change the trend you must strive after God’s heart and then do what he tells you. If you are going to break the trend there are going to be alot of uncomfortable times. To change the trend you have to be different from this world, a person who is doing what God says and not the lusts of their body. So I pray that everyone that reads this will make a commitment to set the standard.

Tell next time much love ~ Jeremy Newton

A Journey For Passion

Well I have been reading Benny Perez’s book “Pacesetters”, and I came across a chapter on passion and instead of writing some of it and then saying what I think I decided to just right a good outline of what he said and leave it for God to show you instead of me. All the stuff below is word for word excerpts from his book so enjoy.

Excerpts From Pacesetters

Saul was a passive man who changed into a man of passion when re realized that there was a cause to fight for that was greater than himself. We to have a great cause, a modern-day crusade, for which we must fight:

-our friends and families,
-our communities,
-our country,
-the next generation,
-our own lives.

a passion for God is birthed out of a relationship with Him. I’m not talking about an emotional attachment, but a full fledged relationship which motivates you to follow hard after God. The key to getting passion once the relationship has been established is to ask God to give you passion:

-passion for the lost,
-passion to live a pure life,
-passion for his Word,
-passion to pray,
-passion to worship.

Maybe you have never had any really passion for God and so have never really experienced victory in these disciplines. Perhaps you once a had a fiery passion for the Lord, but that passion has been drowned in a see of passivity. Or possible you have lost your way and desire to be restored to the Lord in a passionate relationship. Whatever the case, we’re going to examine the life of a man who had a passion for God, lost it, and regained it: The prophet Elijah.

Whenever there has been a victory for the forces of light, expect a violent reaction from the power of darkness. it’s kinda like throwing a rock at a bee hive; the bees find it irritating and they fly around in a frenzy stinging anything in their way.

Fear that is placed in our heart by the enemy will rob us of our passion for God.

When the enemy raises the stakes, we must raise the standard!

1. We must read the word of God everyday. If we are not consuming the Word of God everyday, just like we eat a meal, then we will become weak in our passion for God.

If you are looking for passion you will never discover it until you determine that you will feed daily on the Word of God.

2. We must take time to rest.

If we don’t take care of our bodies we are gonna keep on going and going for God and eventually we are going to burn out. So we need time of rest and restoration or we are going to burn out.

3. We must go to the presence of God.
Elijah’s journey of 40 days allowed the Lord time to deal with the fears that Elijah was carrying. God knew that at the end of the journey, Elijah’s passion would be restored and he would transit from a fearful man to a greater man of passion than ever before.

We must maintain a sense of urgency which will drive us to the presence of God.

A loaded question

“And there he went into a cave, and spent the night in that place; and behold, the word of the Lord came to him, and He said to him, ‘What are you doing here, Elijah?'” 1 Kings 19:9

In our moment of crises it sometimes takes someone we love and who loves us to ask the hard questions and help us regain our perspective. God will often allow us to sink into depths of despair or self-pity before He intervenes. The reason for this is that until we come to the end of ourselves and realize that we do not have the answer, He can’t really help us.

A Loaded Answer

Elijah’s response is from the heart–and that’s the problem! His answer is filtered through the heart of man and not the heart of God. Let’s read:

“So he (Elijah) said, ‘I have been very zealous for the Lord God of hosts; for the children of Israel have forsaken Your covenant, torn down Your altars, and killed Your prophets with the sword. I alone am left; and they seek to take me life'” 1 kinds 19:10

The response is one of frustration and self-pit and follows a typically human attitude anchored in pride:

Defensive: I have been doing a great job for you, Lord!
Judgmental: Everyone else is doing a sorry job for you, Lord!

Three simple steps can help us to recover our passion for the Lord and become on fire for Him once again:

1. Faith in God to lead us in triumph.
2. Trust in God to keep us from harm.
3. Love for God which motivates our ministry.

Realize there are other people on fire for God.

Passion for God is born out of relationship with God, Remember, passion without relationship is emotion; relationship without passion is religion.
Let’s go after the real thing! ~ Benny Perez

Well I hope you enjoyed all of that as much as I did. I refrained myself from using my input cause Benny did such a good job and I didn’t want to mess it up. But if you want to discuss it at all that’s what comments are for so comment and I will comment back and we can discuss this.
Much Love ~ Jeremy