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Monday, February 09, 2004

One Week Off
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I took a little break from blogging, a little over a week off to be exact--but definitely not by choice thanks to a total of having 7 quizzes and tests total last week along with having to read over 220 pages of a novel about the Vietnam War for English. Having said all that, it is pretty evident that I've been a little busy, especially when you add into the mix that I made a trip back to Greenville this weekend to visit with the family and friends. During this week off, I found myself so wrapped up in the cares of school and work that I put them first in my life. During just one week, I put the cares of this world above all other things in my list of priorities. Just one week off from my normal pattern, but I fell far from my life of putting Christ first in every aspect of my life and I felt the negatives that once consumed my life sneak back in. Of course, some people might think that just one week away from Christ isn't really all that bad. In fact, I have even heard the argument that absence makes the heart grow fonder. However, when you're dealing with God, that argument is anything but true. Just one week off from following God is quite possibly the worst mistake that could be made. Just one week away from Christ's words and teachings endangers the very soul of whoever is falling away from Jesus because He is returning, but we don't know when. It could be any moment. How will Christ find you when he returns? Jesus posed this question himself when he said:

"Watch out! Don't let me find you living in careless ease and drunkenness, and filled with the worries of this life. Don't let that day catch you unaware, as in a trap. For that day will come upon everyone living on the earth. Keep a constant watch. And pray that, if possible, you may escape these horrors and stand before the Son of Man." -Luke 21:34-36

We do not know the second or minute or even the hour of the returning of Christ, but we do know that He is returning. He will catch you unaware and very possibly during your one week off. The only way to avoid this is don't take a week off from God. Thankfully I have great friends and family who have helped me regain my footing on the path following Jesus Christ. Hopefully I can return the favor to someone who needs it.

Until next time--take care and God bless.

Sunday, February 01, 2004

Victory in Defeat
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There is no doubt in anyone's minds that today is Super Bowl Sunday, the epitome of what football should be. Of course, this Super Bowl held even bigger implications for myself, since I have been a Carolina Panthers fan since their inception. At kickoff time, I found myself completely absorbed into the game and not caring about anything but a win for my favorite team, but as the final seconds rolled off of the clock I found myself staring at the cold hard truth of defeat. Finally awakened to defeat I felt as though the game was useless and so was the season. Quickly I realized that the outcome of one game does not in any way defeat or take away the entire season of highs and joyous moments. The victory for the Panthers and their fans is the great season and the promises of greater things to come. Much in the same manner as the Super Bowl outcome not lessening a terrific season, we should also remember the life of our Lord and Savior. Jesus lived the most amazing life of anyone in recorded (or unrecorded) history with lessons about this life and the one to come. Though what seemed to His disciples as a defeat when Jesus died on the cross, it really only marked the ending of sin as the barrier between God and all His children. We know now that Jesus's death was anything but a defeat, but the true victory over sin. This victory came out of seeming defeat. For every single person in this world, there is now a victory over sin and death and all the things in this world--just by belief in Jesus Christ as the promised Messiah and the true Lord and Savior of your life. The fact that this victory is for everyone and anyone who believes is reaffirmed by the apostle John when he wrote:

"For every child of God defeats this evil world by trusting Christ to give the victory. And the ones who win this battle against the world are the ones who believe that Jesus is the Son of God." -1 John 5:4-5

Never forget the truth of this victory. Belief in Jesus Christ as the Son of the Living God, who died on the cross and raised himself from the dead for your sins is the ultimate victory. So no matter what the situation or whatever small defeat you may encounter in your day-to-day life, remember that there is victory even in that defeat, because God loves you and Jesus died for your sins. Victory in victory, Victory in defeat and always Victory in Christ.

Until next time--take care and God bless.

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