Freedom: Is It Just a Piece of Paper?

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Some view the US Constitution as just a piece of paper. Others know it to be more than that. While many have acted out the rights given to them (for good or bad), others still have not tasted its freedom. The same (and more so) is true with God’s Word. While some view it as just paper, those who have trusted in Christ know it to be so much more than just paper. No other pieces of paper have the power to save a man’s soul as the Word of God does. Image

Why do we view the US Constitution to be more than paper? Men have died to protect it and to share it with other countries. We should view God’s Word more than the Constitution for the very One Who sent His only Son to die for our sins -and lives-empowers His Word with life and freedom from our chains of sin.

One of the most beautiful correlations in our country between God and the USA is this: they both accept immigrants from the enemy. USA accepts the immigration of those from enemy countries providing freedom to them from the very oppression that the USA is against. God, through His Son, accepts “immigrants” from the greatest enemy of all- our sin nature. In fact, He takes it a step further and adopts us as His own!

Freedom to make one’s own choices is an honor to any new immigrant to the USA and to any Imageseasoned American. There are many freedoms to choose from to exercise. While some are beneficial to the individual and others beneficial to society as a whole, there are some “freedoms” that are not freedom at all.

Satan wants mankind to believe that freedom is making as many decisions as they want based on their own preferences and emotions. He tells mankind that the one decision that does give them freedom is the wrong decision. Neither Mitt Romney nor President Obama have the answers for America. While to the voter there is a clear choice to make as to which one is better, both are respecter of persons. There is only One who accepts all that come to Him. Jesus said that He, ” came not into he world to condemn to world, but to seek and to save that which was lost.”. Lost from what? Lost from the fellowship of God the Creator. The thief on the Cross, the Roman Centurion, and the woman at the well all came from different ethic and cultural backgrounds and each were granted freedom in Christ by Jesus Christ Himself. 

True freedom cannot be found in governments, kings, land, or wealth. True freedom cannot be given by mankind. Mankind can only receive true freedom from the Lord Jesus Christ. Found on the very pieces of paper that make up the Bible are Words that Grant freedom and eternal life. While the US Constitution is a strong and powerful document, it’s pieces of paper that can be changed at will by mankind. Unlike the US Constitution, the pieces of paper that make up the Bible will never be changed.
 
When it comes to a piece or pieces of paper, freedom is loose-leafed when mankind is in charge. Those immigrants to the USA from unstable countries where freedom is only pieces of paper cannot fathom why Americans have died defending the US Constitution. To us it is our very being and thread that has woven our American lives. However, the paper that makes up the US Constitution cannot be compared to those that act as a bed and vehicle for the very Words of God. God does not need paper for His Words to preserve the freedom that He grants to all who trust in Jesus Christ. For the Words that rest on mere pieces of paper flow into mankind’s heart granting him eternal freedom that cannot be changed or taken away by wars or by the will of man.
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Best Friends Do Exist: A Birthday Tribute

A very lonely young girl once prayed, “Lord, please give me a best friend on this earth that will help me to serve you, that will cheer me on a cloudy day, that I will be able to depend on in the roughest of times, and that will love me despite my faults.”.

Little did this eleven year old girl know how long it would be before she truly had a best friend. Years went by mingled with joy and grief. Tears fell, trials passed, and yet this young girl remained true to her Savior despite the odds.

As the young girl grew she eventually went to a major university. Sure she made good friendships that still are lasting to today’s present time, but those friendships weren’t exactly what she was seeking to fulfill her idea of a best friend.

Some time passed with joy and enthusiasm. Some friends came and gone and some stayed; and little did the girl know that the green-sweater fellow who sat next to her in Chapel was to be her best friend created by God just for her. The two were parted for a short while to let growing and other such maturing take place, and then one Fall night at a soccer game her prayer was finally answered.

Yes, of course this girl is me, and I CANNOT imagine my life without the love of my life and my best friend, Jonathan. God answered my prayer with so much more that I could ever imagine. Who knew that the silly kid with the cheap sunglasses was so special, amazingly patient, unfailingly kind, and incredibly handsome. Even though I did not truly understand what I prayed for as a child, God knew how to fulfill what I was asking for.

I love you, crazy Jonathan Harper! Happy Birthday!

Things Found in the Backyard

Spring is here, and so are all of the beautiful flowers that come with it! Each day of Spring is a new adventure. What new form of life will be found today? The best part of Spring is the new life that comes out of the old plants.  Through Fall and Winter, many plants look listless and dried up, but when Spring comes life enters their veins once again.  It’s as if they are new once again.

This newness of life can also be found in Christ, “Therefore if any man be in Christ, he is a new creature: old things are passed away; behold, all things are become new.” (II Cor. 5:17). Like the plants of Fall and Winter, we are lifeless without Christ. Once He enters our lives new life is given. The leaves of Fall blow away, the harshness of Winter is melted, and we are transformed into beautiful, new creatures.

It’s amazing how it’s so hard to recognize something that was so dead and is now so alive. Nothing is similar. This is how it should be in the Christian’s life. After Salvation has taken place, nothing should be as it was before. A tree holds it’s shape through all seasons, but when the new life from Spring comes into it,  it looks nothing like the tree that it was before. It still looks like a tree, but nothing of its life as a “dead” tree remains. This is how a Christian should be. Nothing of our “dead” life should remain in us. We should be showing the new life that we have received through Christ.

As a freshly bloomed flower shows the beauty and awesomeness of God, so should we as Christians. “Know ye not, that so many of us as were baptized into Jesus Christ were baptized into his death? Therefore we are buried with him by baptism into death: that like as Christ was raised up from the dead by the glory of the Father, even so we also should walk in newness of life. For if we have been planted together in the likeness of his death, we shall be also in the likeness of his resurrection:” (Romans 6:3-5).

(Pictures included in this article are original, and the copying of them is strictly prohibited.)

A Book That Changes Lives Forever

There are many books in this world. Some books make you laugh, and some books make you cry. Some books bring you reason, and some books bring you desire. Of all the books in the world, what makes one book different from another? Is it the content? Is it the new concepts presented? Is it the author?

I have read many books throughout my life. Once I finish a book, I really have no desire to read to read it again unless there is something that I just did not understand. However, there is a book that never grows old, never runs dry, and never runs out of words that speak to my heart.

Each time I open this book, I get excited. I get so excited sometimes that I just stare at the pages. It overwhelms me to know that this book was made for me and others likes me. This book has truly changed my life.

What is this book, you ask? This book has the answer to ALL of life’s problems. This book is not like other books with authors who will perish, but this book was written by Someone who lives forever. This book has words that move your heart in ways that you could never imagine. This book is called The Holy Bible, God’s Word.

Yes, that’s right. God wrote a book for you and for me. He gives this wonderful book to us as freely as He gave His Son to die on the Cross for our sins! “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16).

The most wonderful part about The Bible is that you can know your Creator. God makes Himself known to you through His Word. If you ever question what he is like, read in the Book of Psalms or any other parts of the Bible. How can we not be thankful for this wonderful gift from God? God’s Word is so precious.

Are you having problems in your life? Do you need answers? Here is a link to receive a FREE Bible: http://www.spirit1.us/dir_06/. If there is something that you do not understand, do not hesitate to contact me. 

Teaching English in China: My Experience

In the Summer of 2005 I took a trip with other students from Bob Jones University to Shanghai, China to teach English for 6 weeks at Shanghai Medical University. Never in my life did I imagine that God would allow me to journey to such a wonderful place with such wonderful people. I learned a lot while I was there, and I made many new friends.

The things that I learned the most were patience, culture, and the spiritual needs of the Chines people.

I learned patience from my students. At times it was very frustrating to make the students understand what I was teaching them in English, but in the end God worked it out for the better.

I learned the culture through the time I spent with each of my students. They kindly invited me into their homes, showed me their favorite parts of the city, and took me shopping. (NO, I did not buy the head-dress you see in the picture. I just tried it on.)

Most important of all I learned that the people of China do not know who Jesus Christ is. In the U.S. we hear His name used many times in one day–improperly and properly. A Chinese person can tell you that they have never even heard His name. They do not know who He is, and they do not have a relationship with Him? What about you? Do you know Jesus?

China will always have a special place in my heart. What I have learned and the memories that I hold will always be with me.

Tell me about the places that you have been to and what you have learned from them.

The Piano

The piano– what more can I say? It’s one of the most beautiful instruments on Earth. I have been playing the piano for 15 years now, and I adore it. There is nothing like having a hard day a work, and then coming home to a beautiful instrument that melts the soul.

My favorite pastime with the piano is composing my own works. Although none of my music is published as of yet, I hope to have it in the public some day.

What an awesome Creator we serve. Without Him we would have no purpose for music or even the ability to know how to use it. I praise God for this wonderful gift.

What are your experiences with musical instruments? What are your favorite songs to play and why?

Blistering Blisters!

Imagine yourself sitting inside of an oven. The sweat would poor down your face, and you would feel the life being sucked out of your body. This was my childhood in St. George, UT– one of the hottest deserts in the USA. At least I think that it is one of the hottest. The long Summer days felt like endless scorchers with temperatures rising between 115 to 120 degrees F. What did you do during those days, you ask? Well, swimming was an option, but then there was always the possibility of snakes trying to cool down in the water with you. The slip-and-slide was fun, but barreling down into a nest of scorpions was rather interesting. Hiking was enjoyable if you didn’t get lost or run out of water.  Despite the intense heat, I did always enjoy our red rock mountains and national parks that surrounded my home town.

Nowhere else in the USA has such beautiful mountains and national parks. Snow Canyon National park is directly in front of my parent’s house where I grew up. It was always such an awesome view to wake up to each morning.

I no longer live in St. George, and much has changed since I have left. I have many fond memories and friends and family that still remain, and I always know that I will be greeted with love when I go to visit.