The HK Protests: A Repeat of Tiananmen Square?

Hong Kong has slowly boiled down. After weeks of protests and mobs, the city has finally settled down to its previously peaceful state. However, on the internet, the protests continue.

These protests are unique because they are conducted entirely on the internet. Since the invention of protests (which probably took place directly after the invention of groundings), people have, for the most part, conducted their protests in a violent manner. The Boston Tea Party. Gandhi’s Salt March. The Boston Massacre. The Storming of the Bastille. And finally, Tiananmen Square.

In China, the Tiananmen square incident never happened. The Wikipedia sites have been blocked, as have many other websites that talk about it (this probably will be, too). To date, there currently exists exactly one memorial to that terrible day, and it’s located in Hong Kong. Needless to say, the story has all but been erased from China.

Regardless, we know the truth about Tiananmen Square. Long story short, several thousand students met at the square to protest government policies. The Chinese government, wrongly believing the protests to be harmful, sent over thirty divisions from the country’s army. These divisions, comprised of over 250,000 soldiers and tanks, went to the Square and eventually killed several thousand innocent civilians and protestors.

Thankfully, the responses to the HK Protests have been far less dramatic. There have been few injuries or deaths resulting from the protests, so the loss of life has not been an issue. Instead, the Chinese government has been attacking the protests over the internet.

Twitter, Facebook, and YouTube have all removed Chinese government users from their domains, citing fraudulent accounts as the reason for removal. Twitter, the largest platform for the protests, has removed several hundred government users, all actively working at sabotaging the protests. Some go directly against the protesters, while others take a more subtle approach. These are the most deadly, for they pose as protestors, while actually saying violent and harmful things about the Chinese government. These users are the most dangerous to the protest, for to the common citizen, they are impossible to distinguish. Many normal people have seen these fake users and have assumed they are real protestors, saying terrible things about the Chinese government.

This just fuels the flame that will eventually grow into full-on Chinese oppression of Hong Kong. The Chinese government can cite these fake protestors as real and harmful, using them as a reason for the violent removal of real protestors. Americans, this goes against everything we stand for. We must unite and draw awareness to this growing movement, and, as stated before, pray for the HK protestors, that they would have wisdom in their movement. If these protests reach the level that I predict, it may end up as a repeat of the Tiananmen Square incident.

Guys, this is real life. We cannot avoid this. We cannot shun this. But, as Christians, we can pray for the people of Hong Kong. I beseech you, pray and love, no matter the consequence.

Two Encouraging Bible Verses for a Bad Day

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Life is full of difficulties and stress. As Christians, we often fall under the weight of the pressure. So, once a week, I will be publishing two new verses, just in case you are having a bad day. Here you are!

 

Romans 8:21-22

“What then are we to say about these things? If God is for us, who is against us? He who did not withhold his own Son, but gave him up for all of us, will he not with him also give us everything else?”

Psalm 37:23-24 

“The LORD makes firm the steps of the one who delights in him; though he may stumble, he will not fall, for the LORD upholds him with his hand.”

 

Alright, that’s all for today. Thanks for reading, and I hope you are encouraged. If you haven’t clicked that Subscribe button, make sure to do so! Thanks again, and have a wonderful day!

 

 

Picture credit: Pixbay

 

Coveting God: Three Ways That the Bible Confronts Our Rooted Covetousness

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In today’s world, coveting isn’t given a second thought. We often covet without remorse, perhaps without even conscious thought. After all, coveting usually isn’t thought about. It has become such a common part of our daily lives that we don’t even notice it. We buy our cars and eat our expensive dinners, but we rarely stop long enough to think of what the Bible says about coveting. To many, coveting is like the disaster victims on the news: real, but distant. Oh, it exists, but nobody gives it a second thought. Coveting seems like the boring uncle found in every family. You know, the one that sleeps on the couch through thanksgiving and only wakes up for dinner. He’s there, but nobody really notices him.

So, what is coveting? We all know the classic “Thou shalt not covet” that we were taught in Sunday School, but do we really know what it means to covet? Exodus 20:17 says, “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife, or his male servant, or his female servant, or his ox, or his donkey, or anything that is your neighbors.”1 Simply put, coveting is the sinful desire of something that is not ours. Regardless of whether or not we act on our selfish desire, covetousness is the wicked craving for something we do not own. The wickedness in coveting is what makes it a sin. A man can walk into Target and look over some clothes, but if he does not sin in his shopping, he does not covet. However, if that man desires the pornographic magazine on Aisle 8, he covets and sins against His Lord.

Covetousness is not only found within sinful desire. Ephesians 5:5 goes so far as to pronounce it idolatry, saying that “everyone who is… covetous (that is, an idolater) has no inheritance in the kingdom of Christ and God.” When we sinfully lust after an object or person, we idolize them, propelling it into a position of importance above God. As we covet, we idolize, so that eventually we lose all focus and begin to worship the creation rather than the Creator. This frightening realization is a sobering reminder for many Christians, rich and poor alike.

Confronting the depth of our covetousness is one of the most difficult processes a believer can go through. Thanks to Adam’s screw-up, we are born in utter depravity, a package deal of sin that includes covetousness. Within an African context, we find all kinds of covetousness from all kinds of ages. As a three-year-old, we coveted a lollipop or a mandazi (doughnut). As a teenager, we coveted a football or a dress. As adults, we coveted (and continue to covet) that cow or beautiful plot of land. Coveting is such a deep part of our culture that most hardly even notice its existence. Yet, while anything can be coveted, God cannot be coveted. After all, covetousness is a sinful desire, and within God, there is no sin. If we desire God,

What does God say about coveting? Well, firstly, He tells us to stop coveting. That’s simple enough. “Do not love the world or the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him.” (1 John. 2.15) God tells us to reject the things of the World, lest we fall into the trap and become hardened of heart. If we love the World more than we love God, we lower Him below our common desires and lose sight of His sacrifice. We must tame our eyes and mind, refusing to allow the devil to gain a foothold through the covetousness in our daily lives. In doing this, we re-focus on God and ensure that He will remain the most important part of our lives.

Secondly, God tells us to include him in our desires. James 2:2 says, “You desire and do not have, so you murder. You covet and cannot obtain, so you fight and quarrel. You do not have, because you do not ask.” James tells us that we acquire the desires of our heart but often leave God out of the picture. When we, in our eternal pride, choose to ignore God and instead chase our passions, we fail to ask God for our simple desires and cannot appreciate His creation. Simply put, by singularly trying to obtain worldly possessions, we fail in our goals and are left feeling empty and broken. But, if we confess our covetousness to God, He will not only forgive us but will give us the gift of Him, which comes with the ability to receive actual happiness within His creation.

Finally, we are commanded to be transformed by the renewal of our minds (Romans. 12.2-3). We must allow God to remove the root of covetousness and refresh our minds, focusing only on Him. If we surrender completely, He will give us the ability to fight covetousness and greed. He will show us how to exercise wisdom in our daily lives, ensuring that we can understand what true covetousness is.

In a recent sermon, New Hoper Russel Cochran preached on 1st John 4: 13-21. He briefly gave a comparison quite relevant to the Bible’s commandment on covetousness. He said that the end of 1st John is comparable to someone taking a test. This person goes through the test, and as he answers question after question, he realizes that he has nailed the test. Every answer is easy, so he is finished within ten minutes. Finally, as he reaches the very end of the test, he’s sure that he has aced it. Then, he discovers that final essay question. This question is worth more points than the rest of the questions combined, and as soon as he reads the description, he knows that he has no idea how to answer. In other words, he has no clue how to answer the question. He came the entire way through the exam, thinking he had passed, only to find that at the end, he fell very short.

This story also comparable to the tenth commandment. Readers of the Bible begin to read the commandments, and as they go along, they feel pretty good. I’ve never murdered, and I’ve never missed a Sunday service. I don’t swear, and I don’t have any idols. Finally, they reach the end and realize that something is very wrong. All hopes of fulfilling the Ten Commandments are dashed.

Yet, there is joy found in the Gospel. God tells us that not all hope is lost. After all, He has died for all our sins, including coveting. Because of His sacrifice, we can rejoice and be glad, for His love covered the multitude of our sins. We don’t need to ace the test; we only need to pray for God’s forgiveness and guidance in removing the deep seed of covetousness from our hearts and to replace it with Himself. Praise God for His grace!

1 All Scripture quotations are taken from the English Standard Version.

I’d like to give my gratefulness to Russel Cochran, for the imagery he painted in his sermon yesterday, and to Tim Challies, who’s article 2 Reasons Why Coveting is a Serious Sin inspired this article.

My MailChimp Premium Subscriber List is Up!

Hey! My MailChimp Premium subscriber list is up! Do you want upgraded content? Do you want to join the Africa Boy premium followers? If so, prepare to do two things.

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1: If you haven’t already, click that Follow button on the side (if you are on a computer) or bottom (if on a phone or tablet) of the screen. Now, you’ll get regular updates to my regular posts!

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2: Join our Premium Subscribers! You can do this by either clicking the popup at the bottom of the page, identical to the picture above, or by clicking this link! If you do so, you will receive lengthy, detailed updates once a month containing details on my family, recent happenings in Uganda, and way, way more.

Link to join: https://mailchi.mp/a50d636adfb2/premiumafricaboyusers

Link to my previous update about Mail Chimp: https://africaboy.home.blog/2019/08/13/two-updates-mail-chimp-and-the-last-swordsman/

Larry Swearingen: Another Murderer Pretending to be a Christian

Yesterday, another murderer was given the death penalty. Larry Swearingen, age 48, was acquitted for the kidnapping, rape, and murder of 19-year-old Melissa Trotter. The murder actually happened over twenty years ago, in 1998, when Melissa disappeared after leaving her dormitory.

After nearly twenty years of trials and jail time, Larry was finally given the death penalty and was injected with a lethal solution of pentobarbital. A few minutes later, he was dead.

What made this interesting, however, was that his last words were, “Lord, forgive them. They don’t know what they’re doing.” Larry reiterates the words of Jesus before his death by crucifixion (Luke 23:34).

So, was Larry innocent? Well, according to every single person around him, he wasn’t. Many of his neighbors and friends agreed that he was guilty of murder. Swearingen had a massive amount of evidence against him and even tried to get fellow inmates to confess to his crime.

Larry was a murderer. Of this, I have no doubt. There is far too much evidence against him for me to believe otherwise. However, his last words intrigued me. Why would a man, having knowingly committed a heinous crime, restate the last words of Jesus? Once again, this is another case of the John Earnest crime- a psychopath murderer that is self-deceived into believing they are a believer. Even though someone claims Belief, we are to test the spirits, as commanded in 1 John 4:1-6. So, even if your best friend claims Christianity, test the spirits and find if he speaks true. Even those that say “I love Jesus!” may be fake.

Thank you so much for reading! I truly appreciate your support. If it isn’t too much trouble, feel free to click that Follow button at the bottom or side of the screen, or join my Mail Chimp mailing list when the widget pops up. Thanks!

Link to my post about John Earnest: https://africaboy.home.blog/2019/08/15/delusions-about-gods-glory/

Link to my home page: https://africaboy.home.blog/

 

The Hong Kong protests: Justifiable or Condemnable?

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Hong Kong has become embroiled in protests. Thousands gathered in central Honk Kong to protest the recently passed Chinese law, allowing China to extradite Honk Kong criminals.

What does this mean? To the average person, this just seems like something small. But, to Christians, this is massive. China is tightening its control over Hong Kong, and that grip is going to slowly continue to squeeze. The last time a protest of this level happened, thousands died (see the Tiananmen square article, found here). If China follows through with its motion and removes criminals from Hong Kong, then this will create an opening to remove not just convicted murderers and thieves, but also “criminals” such as Christians, protesting China’s communist control.

Hong Kong has always been a place of freedom. According to my parents, who’ve been to Hong Kong, even the atmosphere of Hong Kong is different and less oppressive. Hong Kong’s government has allowed freedom of speech and religion, directly contrary to China’s oppressive removal of Christians. Hong Kong is a pinpoint of freedom and love, surrounded by a country that is actively banishing Christians.

So, why protest? The people in Hong Kong have always celebrated their freedoms, especially the previously mentioned freedom of speech and religion. With China encroaching on these freedoms, the people of Hong Kong have gathered in peaceful protests. They wish to show China that they will keep their freedoms, no matter what. These protests seem to be justifiable, as the protestors have not resorted to violent actions, and appear to have good intentions.

What can we do? Well, that’s easy: pray. As Christians, we are called to pray for the people protesting China’s control. Because the protests are peaceful, and not violent, we are called to pray for the people of Hong Kong, that they will exercise wisdom in their protests.

That’s all for today! However, I will come back to this topic, as it continues to fascinate me. Look for a new post about Tiananmen square and its comparison to the Hong Kong protests!

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Link to my last post: https://africaboy.home.blog/2019/08/19/the-versatile-blogger-award/

The Versatile Blogger Award

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Hey everybody! We’re back again with our (apparently) weekly award: the Versatile Blogger Award. Thank you so much, Newblogger20, for the nomination! Her blog is one of my favorites! Make sure to check it out here.

The Rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Link to the blog of the person who nominated you
  • Share 7 facts about yourself
  • Nominate 15 more bloggers for the Versatile Blogger Award

The first and second are already done, so now the third is up. However, it’s going to be a challenge to write seven facts I haven’t already written.

  1. I use very colorful substitutes for swear words (Oh frappuccino!).
  2. I have bad hand-writing.
  3. I enjoy reading Calving and Hobbes (an inspiration to us all).
  4. I love shwarma (thank you, Iron Man).
  5. My favorite type of a country’s food (like Mexican, Chinese) is Indian.
  6. I have bad back problems.
  7. I have a unique sense of humor.

Alright, that’s all. Now, my victi- nominees, I mean.

Kenechi Duatron

Sincerely Hero

Global Glitters

Joshua Swanson

Living For Jesus

Sparks of Ara

Alright, that’s all for today! Thanks for reading, and I hope you have a great day!

 

 

Delusions About God’s Glory

On April 27th, 2019, a man most have identified as John Earnest, entered a Jewish Synagogue and began firing an AR-15, killing one and wounding three. This teenager, John Earnest, while not being completely identified as the murderer, has been identified as the most likely perpetrator. He was nineteen at the time, and appeared to have no remorse at his actions. But, this is what’s crazy:

“Before he allegedly walked into a synagogue in Poway, Calif., and opened fire, John Earnest appears to have written a seven-page letter spelling out his core beliefs: that Jewish people, guilty in his view of faults ranging from killing Jesus to controlling the media, deserved to die. That his intention to kill Jews would glorify God.” (Zauzmer 2019)

John claimed to be a Christian. In fact, he didn’t just claim belief; he truly believed he was a Christian. And yet, for good reason, I don’t believe that John was a Christian. A belief that one is a Christian does not make you a Christian. We still have to allow Christ into our lives, giving Him room to work His holy will.

Sadly, a man can be so delusional that he believes God will be glorified through the death of Jews. In fact, a man can be so delusional that he, a psychopath murderer, will believe that he can both murder and glorify God. These two factors don’t add up. A man cannot have true belief in God, and yet go and attempt to kill people that are doing their best to serve God. No Christian, even one that believes he is one, would commit such a heinous act.

My point is this: even the most delusional, psychotic man can believe he’s a Christian. Self-deceit can run so deep, we never even give it a second glance. When encountered with these situations, the best thing we can do is pray, both for removal of self-deceit from our lives, and for God to work his will in our hearts and minds. Also, we need to disprove the theories abounding on the internet about Christian murders. John Earnest, if he did commit this terrible crime, was not a Christian. Despite this, we need to prove that we, as Christians, are not remotely like him. We should not allow the people angry over this tragedy to become angrier. Give grace and love, especially to the Jews. They have suffered as much as we have.

 

 

Works Cited

Zauzmer, Julie. “The alleged synagogue shooter was a churchgoer who talked Christian theology, raising tough questions for evangelical pastors.” The Washington Post, May 1 2019, https://www.washingtonpost.com/religion/2019/05/01/alleged-synagogue-shooter-was-churchgoer-who-articulated-christian-theology-prompting-tough-questions-evangelical-pastors/?noredirect=on

Random Acts of Kindness Award 2.0

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Hey! We’re back with our weekly award- my second Random Acts of Kindness Award! Thank you so much, Jesusluvsall for the award! Guys, his blog is so encouraging, you have to check it out here.

Here are the rules.

  1. Tell who nominated and why
  2. Copy and share the picture that shows the award, posted above
  3. Share a paragraph of something that impacted your own life in the way of receiving kindness or how you extended kindness to someone else
  4. Nominate anyone or share to your own page. If you choose to participate, Tag or pingback to the original person who nominated you.

I’ve already done the first and second, so now onto the third and fourth.

Hmm, a random act of kindness. Let me think… Alright, I’ve got it.

Nine months ago, my family and I went back to the USA for a brief Christmas visit. While in the USA, we split our time between Saint Albans, West Virginia and Chicago, Illinois. My mom came from Chicago, so we spent time with her parents (my grandparents), then went down to West Virginia, where my dad’s parents live. Now, even though it was close to Christmas, I still had classes at the online school, Veritas Scholars Academy. I decided to do them at a nearby coffee shop, Coal River Coffee. So, early Tuesday morning, I found myself doing the class in a coffee shop. Halfway through the class, I was startled by a tap on my shoulder. Looking up, I saw a smiling waitress holding a steaming cup of coffee. Having been at the coffee shop many times, they knew that I love black coffee, and they had decided to give me a free cup, knowing that I didn’t have any money (it’s funny but true). Thus, I was able to do class while drinking a free cup of quality coffee.

Ok, let me clarify something. I don’t just tell stories about people giving me free drinks (see my Random Acts of Kindness post, found here). I promise I have more stories than that. However, these simple acts of giving me free drinks have stuck with me, and I will never forget that simple act of love.

Alright, now to tag someone. I nominate pkadams, found here. Have fun!

As always, guys, thanks for reading! I truly appreciate your support and hope you have a wonderful day.

Two Updates: Mail Chimp and the Last Swordsman

Greetings! Today, I simply want to post a few updates, both about my Mail Chimp for (which you have likely seen recently) and my fantasy novel in the works: The Last Swordsman (The title is a work in progress).

The MailChimp form was added recently. I added for a reason: I intend to start giving monthly updates on my family, life here, the Africa Boy website, Follower Counts, and much, much more. However, I will only be sending these updates to the people on my Mail Chimp list (unless by special request), so if you’re interested, be sure to add your email to the list!

Now, for the story. For those of you that don’t know, The Last Swordsman has been my brainchild since this February. But, a few months later, I discovered two guys in my VSA Online School: Logan Wright and Beau Henneman. Beau, Logan and I wrote a fictional, 58 page, 19,000-word story about the people in VSA, and it was quite fun to both write and re-read. We intend to write a sequel in about six months. However, I also discovered something else: we were decently good at writing together. Our styles flowed fairly well, so after The Adventures of the Thunder Squad (our story) was finished in May, I decided to show them my ideas for The Last Swordsman. Both agreed the story had potential, so we’ve been tackling the story for the last few months. We’ve managed to make some headway, so I’ve decided to begin posting updates on a Google doc. If you’re interested in being part of the editing or reading process, access the doc here. I will regularly post updates and notes on the doc, so be sure to keep an eye out! Our goal is to self-publish on Amazon before 2020, but that is an extremely flexible goal, considering none of us are over 16 years old. However, feel free to check it out here!

Anyway, thanks for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

Behind the Blogger Award 2.0

Hey guys! Today, we have another award- my second Behind the Blogger award! Thank you so much, Kenechi Duatron, for the nomination! Guys, make sure to check out her awesome blog here. Here are the rules:

  • Thank the person who nominated you
  • Answer all the questions down below
  • Pingback to the creator: Ellyn @ Allonsythornraxx
  • Nominate 5+ bloggers you’d like to know more about, to do this tag

 

Alright, now to answer the questions.

  1. Why did you start blogging and why have you kept blogging? I started blogging for a couple of reasons. I loved writing, and I wanted to share some of my experiences with the world. I also have a lot of family members, and I wanted to find a way to communicate with them. I’ve kept blogging because I’ve thoroughly enjoyed it!
  2. What is your favorite type of blog post to write? Definitely my stories. Those are so much fun to share, and I get really excited as I write about past experiences.
  3. What are your Top Three favorite blog posts? In order from third to first: The Top 10 Songs Tag, Loving LGBTQ, and Christian Dating in a Secular World.
  4. What are some of your favorite things to do to relax? Drinking coffee, reading, swimming, and basketball.
  5. What are three of your favorite things? Playing basketball (predictable answer, I know), reading, and blogging!
  6. What are your proudest blogging moments? When my blog reached 100 followers, and when I received my first award!
  7. What are your hobbies outside of blogging? Basketball (once again), writing, baking, and reading!
  8. Describe your personality in three words. Extroverted, jokester, energetic.
  9. What are your top three pet peeves? People that cut in line, siblings being loud, and bad fouls in basketball.
  10. What’s something your followers don’t know about you? I enjoy watching the Pokémon cartoons!

Here are my nominees!

Jesusluvsall

Angela G

Newblogger20

Three’s a good number for me. Thanks for the award, Kenechi! As always, guys, thank you so much for reading, and I hope you have a wonderful day!

 

 

 

 

Eight Principles for How to Flesh Out Your Christianity in a Maturing Time*

This sermon was preached at TCK Camp by Mr. Matt Winkler. The title to his sermon, being the same title as found above, caught my eye. It’s not often that someone gives you eight principles on how to grow in Christianity during maturing times. For many teenagers, “maturing times” are every time. This makes this post, copied from the notes I took off of Mr. Winkler’s sermon, especially relevant to today’s teenagers.

Furthermore, this sermon became even more interesting when I found that Mr. Matt supported each principle with a verse from the first two chapters of James. The first chapters of James never struck me as something identical to the title above, but Mr. Matt’s knowledge of the Bible (and of 1st and 2nd James) allowed him to show me many hidden things within James 1-2. I will include each verse with its corresponding principle. Disclaimer: these principles were not mine. They were spoken by Brother Matt Winkler at TCK Camp, Musana Camps, Uganda on the 27th of July at 9:00 AM.

  • Rejoice in trials. James 1:2-3*“Count it all joy, brothers, when you meet trials of various kinds. 3 For you know that the testing of your faith produces steadfastness.” When we are met with various trials, we are called as Christians to respond in joy, for these trials shape and define who we will be in the future. Many Christian martyrs went to the grave with joy, such as Jerome of Prague, who met death while singing hymns to his Lord (Foxe 1985).
  • Ask for wisdom. James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask God, who gives generously to all without approach, and it will be given to him.” When wishing to receive Godly wisdom, Christians should request it as often as they pray.
  • Recognize our equality in Christ. James 2:1 “My brothers, show no partiality as you hold the faith in our Lord Jesus Christ, the Lord of glory.” We are to be unbiased when it comes to dealings with fellow Christians, as seen in the following verses. Glorifying one Christian because of monetary standing is something unrighteous and sinful.
  • Take responsibility for our actions. James 1:9-10 “Let the lowly brother boast in his exaltation, 10and the rich in his humiliation, because like a flower of the grass he will pass away.” The key to this verse is the last piece, ordering the rich to boast in his humiliation. Despite our rank, we are to tell of our sin to everyone (within reason, obviously), and take responsibility for our actions. One of the most amazing experiences a Christian can find is when they take full responsibility for their actions and own their wrong. In my personal experience, it feels as if a great weight has been lifted from my shoulders.
  • Trust God’s unchanging good nature. *** James 1:16-17 “Do not be deceived, my beloved brothers. 17Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow due to change.” We are to always trust that God, the Father of life and goodness, has the best plan for us and will never deviate from that plan. God is good, all the time, and all the time, God is good.
  • Respond with complete control over our thoughts and emotions during difficult situations. *** James 1:19-20 “Know this, my beloved brothers: let every person be quick to hear, slow to speak, slow to anger;20 for the anger of man does not produce the righteousness of God.” During tough trials, we are to constrain our emotions and respond with godliness and love.
  • Accept that while you are still in a struggle with your flesh, you can still put away rampant sinfulness. *** James 1:21 “Therefore put away all filthiness and rampant wickedness and receive with meekness the implanted word, which is able to save your soul.” Even though we are perpetually in a battle with the flesh, we are still able to “put away childish things” (1 Corinthians 13:11, ESV Student Study Bible). We can put away rampant wickedness and receive God’s word.
  • Obey God’s word without fail. James 1:22 “But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves.” We are to diligently study God’s word, then act out on what we have learned, living with God in our actions.

That concludes our brief study of the first two chapters of James. Thank you very much, Mr. Winkler, for speaking these words of wisdom and allowing me to put them onto my blog. To my readers: take these words to your heart. If you are going through a trying time, re-read this and pray for God’s wisdom to enter your heart.

Thank you so much for reading, guys! Your views mean a lot to me, and I greatly appreciate them! I hope you have a wonderful day!

 

 

* Title changed

** All Scripture quotations are taken from the ESV Student Study Bible.

*** Sub-title changed

Works Cited

Foxe, John. “Foxe’s Christian Martyrs of the World”. 1985, Barbour and Company, Inc.

ESV Student Study Bible. Crossway, 2011. Print.

Breaking Away from God- a Story

The story below was an entry for a story competition. Just something short, not deep, and rather shallow, to be honest. Although, in my defense, it had to be under 1,000 words. With this kind of story, I could have passed 5,000 easily. Regardless, I found it interesting both to write and to re-read. This story was based off of a true story, told to me by a believer I have known for many years. The last part, with the truck on the wrong side of the road, is based off of his story. That part is true. The first, while being fictitious, strikes a chord with many of us. Breaking away from God is something that we are tempted in daily. It seems to be so easy to just turn our backs on God and walk away. After all, that’s the easy thing to do, right? Sadly, just because it’s the easiest thing to do, doesn’t make it the right thing to do. When we become Christians, we are in it until the end. No turning back.

 

Breaking Away from God

Inspired by a true story

            “This will be fine, Mom.” Billy Olsen grabbed his backpack and shoes, opened the car door, and exited the vehicle. Quickly, he turned around and kissed his mother.

“Bye, mom! Have a great day! I love you!”

“I love you too, baby.”

Walking away, Billy smiled. His mother was, by far, the coolest lady in the world. Glancing over, he saw a familiar face.

“Hey, Billy!” Billy’s friend, Jason, jogged over, his fat cheeks jiggling as he ran. “Did you hear the news?”

“News? What news?”

“They posted the results for the basketball tryouts!”

Billy didn’t even hesitate. He dashed away, through the doors of the school, and through the hallways, finally reaching the place where they posted the results.

“George Wright, Billy Olsen, Adam Jace! Adam’s on the team with me!” Billy bounced up and down on the balls of his feet. “That’s awesome! I’ve never played with Adam before!”

Jason sighed. “I don’t know, Billy. I don’t trust Adam.”

One month later, the Cross Lanes Warriors were playing the Nitro Hornets. The Warriors were down by one point with thirteen seconds left on the clock.

George Wright passed the ball to Billy, who received it by the half-court line. The clock was ticking.

10

            Billy dribbled to the right, pulling the Hornet’s center towards him.

5

            He crossed over, dribbled to the left and found an open spot.

3

            Pulling up, he shot the ball.

1

           The ball sailed through the air and splashed into the hoop. The buzzer sounded, signaling the end of the game. The Warriors had won!

Later, after the team got changed, the players began to head home. Just as Billy was about to walk out the door, a figure blocked his way.

“Hey, Billy. That was a great shot.”

Billy’s eyes widened. Adam was the most popular guy in school. He had never, in his entire life, even addressed Billy’s existence.

“Thanks, Adam!”

“Yeah, no problem. Hey, listen. We’re going to have a party at my house. Girls, music, the works. Are you interested?”

“Of course!” Billy did not hesitate.

“Awesome.”

The night was wild, even by Adam’s standards. Hundreds of High-Schoolers attended, all of them ready to thank Billy or pat him on the back. Music blared through speakers, and bottles of beer were brought out.

“Hey, Billy! Try this!” Adam handed Billy a can of Bud Light. Its ice-cold exterior chilled Billy’s hands. He turned it over. At that moment, the words of his father came to him.

Never, ever, drink alcohol for fun.

           Billy felt the eyes of every person in that room upon him. Swallowing, he popped the can open and took a drink.

“That’s my boy!” Adam grinned.

Billy drank three cans that night.

Over the course of the next three months, Billy deteriorated from a once-Godly young man into a boy shaped by the world. Every night, he would go and party with Adam, and every day he would sleep through classes. His grades plummeted, and Mrs. Olsen’s dreams of sending Billy to Wheaton College were crushed. Billy’s friendship with Jason disintegrated, causing the two to stop speaking with each other.

Then, one day, everything changed.

Billy was in the midst of a raging party. Alcohol had been brought, and Billy was so drunk he could hardly see.

A few hours later, Billy decided to leave. He had gotten his driver’s license, against his parent’s wishes, so he had driven his Ford F150 to the party.

The car chirped as Billy unlocked it. He slid into the driver’s seat and started the engine.

Ten minutes later, he was on the highway, driving south towards his parents’ house. His eyesight had gone from bad to worse, and by this point, he was almost blind. To make matters worse, it began to rain, further erasing any hope of seeing the road ahead of him.

Pull over. A small voice inside of Billy’s head spoke. Billy shook his head, convinced he was hearing things.

Pull over. Billy turned on the radio.

Pull over. Billy accelerated the car, convinced he was going mad. Then, suddenly, he felt that terrible sensation of his car beginning to slide. The rain had frozen on the ground, creating an icy surface that removed all traction from the car tires.

The car began to slide. Frantically, Billy tugged on the wheel, trying to right the vehicle, but it was to no avail. The car slid into the opposite lane of the highway, stopping in the exact middle of the highway.

Out of the gloom, headlights appeared. An 18-wheeler had appeared out of the rain, headed directly towards Billy’s truck. There was nothing he could do. He tucked his head down and prepared to die.

I’m going to Hell. The thought cut through his foggy brain like a knife. Billy knew exactly where he was going.

Billy felt his car move slightly.

There. That’s it. I’m dead.

Then, a car horn blared. Billy raised his head. He wasn’t dead. Somehow, in the span of two seconds, his car had gone from facing the wrong way on the wrong lane to facing the correct way on the correct lane. Billy’s eyes widened. The fog in his brain disappeared, and he could suddenly think straight. He knew exactly who had saved him.

“God?” He whispered.

I have given you your life, My son. Now go and use it the way I intended.

Billy broke down. He wept and wept, covering his pants with tears.

“Forgive me, Jesus. Forgive me, please.” He continued to cry. That night, in the small car cabin, Billy released all of his sin and doubt and gave his life to Jesus.

Two months later, Billy had restored his relationships with both his parents and Jason. He returned to Church, finding his time there to be refreshing and grace filled. Even though he had broken away from Christ, Christ had not abandoned Billy.

 

 

America or Uganda?

 

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You know, as an MK to Uganda, I receive a lot of weird questions from both sides of the globe. When in Uganda, I receive strange questions about America. When in the USA, I receive strange questions about Africa. Interestingly, there is one question that appears on both sides of the planet. This question was actually something I wrestled with for over three years. Here’s how it usually goes.

“Out of both the United States and Uganda, which is your favorite country?”

Or

“You’ve lived in two totally different cultures. Which one is your personal favorite?”

Some of you will laugh that this seemingly simple question has been something I’ve drastically wrestled with for years. Others, having asked me this question, will scratch their heads, unsure as to why this question is so difficult to answer.

It should be simple, right?

Honestly, it’s far harder than you would think. There are elements in both countries that I love and hate. For one, I love pizza! That, to me, is one of the best things about the USA. However, I also hate the “my personal space” atmosphere found in America. The fact that you don’t greet that random dude on the street often grates on my nerves. While in Uganda, that man would have greeted you cheerfully, without any regard for “stranger danger”. But upon arrival in the United States, I instead find that the harmless runner on the sidewalk will call the cops if you say hi.

Honestly, if you are repetitively telling your kids “stranger danger”, then how do you expect to meet anyone?

Anyway, I digress. There are many, many factors to my likes/dislikes of the USA and Uganda. Despite these, there is no clear cut answer. As a country, I find that I like Uganda a bit better than the USA. However, the USA also contains some of my favorite people.

So, to answer the question: I can’t answer the question. There you are. There is no real answer to that. While I like and dislike things about both countries, there isn’t a clear-cut answer to the dilemma.

So, if you ever have the misfortune of meeting me, or you somehow already know me, make sure to ask me: What do you like and dislike about the United States? You will receive an interesting answer!

 

Alright, that’s all for today. Thanks for reading! Also, I’d like to apologize for my inconsistency in blog posts. Our internet has been down for the last week, and I’ve found it very difficult to publish posts. Please bear with me!

Barnabas Award

Hello again! Today, we have another award, and it’s another new one! This time, it’s the Barnabas Award! Thank you so much to Jesusluvsall, who’s blog can be found here. The rules are as follows.

  • Thank the person that nominated you and give the link to their blog.
  • List 5 things about yourself.
  • Answer the questions your nominator gave you.
  • Give 5 new questions for your nominee.
  • Nominate 5 people.

The first one is already done, so now on to the second.

  1. I have bad back problems.
  2. I follow the NFL and NBA (Bears and Bulls, respectively)
  3. I love reading
  4. I love basketball
  5. Cheese-free pizza is amazing

Alrighty, that’s done. Now to answer the questions. My answers are in bold. 

  1. Why is the sky blue? I don’t have enough brainpower to answer that. 🙂
  2. Do you like to iron clothes? Nope!
  3. What makes a duck quack? A need to express itself.
  4. What makes you happy? A clear sky.
  5. What legacy do you want to leave behind? One that showes God’s glory.
  6. What is your favorite artistic form of expression? Writing! 

Now, here are my questions.

  1. How tall are you?
  2. What’s your favorite book?
  3. How do you find release?
  4. What’s your favorite movie?
  5. What person in your life has influenced you the most?

Now, since I’ve nominated a lot of people recently (and I’m going to nominate a bunch tomorrow since I have another nomination to do), I’m just going to do one.

I nominate Newblogger 20 at https://newblogger20.wordpress.com/

Last post: “The Top 5 NF Songs from “The Search”

Alright, thanks for reading, and I wish you a wonderful day!