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These Are The Days | JUBILEE

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So lift your voice *WOOO* it's the Year of Jubilee
And out of Zion's Hill salvation comes

I don't like to get too political. I tend to lean away from either party and toward the middle. The Libertarian Party appeals to me more than either the donkey or the elephant. I watched bits and pieces of the RNC this week - mostly second hand through late night comedians who help us laugh to keep from crying. I did manage to catch at least some of Trump's speech last night, and it became very clear to me just how strong the shackles of fear have us in their grips.

According to the speakers at the RNC, we have nothing to fear except everything. And "the only one who can fix it" is Donald Trump.

So what Trump is going to do is cancel all debts. All credit cards and student loans will automatically have a zero-balance. Everyone's mortgage is going to be paid for. Those living on food stamps will automatically earn a living wage. Healthcare will be offered free of charg…

These Are The Days | DAVID

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These are the days of your servant David rebuilding a temple of praise.

"But David didn't build the Temple!" That was the argument of several people I've known throughout the years who refused to sing the song Days of Elijah. Some would straight up refuse to sing it. Others would attempt to change the wording of the song - These are the days of your servant Solomon rebuilding a temple of praise. OR These are the days of your servant David preparing a temple of praise.

But all of these arguments miss the point. Here's my attempt to explain why.

In 2 Samuel 6 we see an amazing celebration and worship parade led by King David as the Ark of the Covenant is brought into the newly established capital city, Jerusalem. They're sacrificing bulls. They're shouting and singing and blowing horns. David is dancing around wearing a linen ephod (a priestly garment that wraps around the waist), admittedly humiliating himself in worship to God. Then when the party is over…

These Are the Days | EZEKIEL

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I think so far 2016 goes down as one of the weirdest years on record.

I heard it said that the internet right now is either Pokemon or Racism. There is no in between. I think what gets me most is all the heated "debates" rampaging through social media outlets concerning race and gender and fundamental human rights.

I don't think we are living in the darkest days of human history. VERY far from it, in fact. I think this is a pretty good time to be alive. We have amazing medical advancements that can postpone life and increase the quality of life like never before. We see social progress bringing more freedoms to more people than ever before. We've got supercomputers that we carry around in our pockets that we use to catch fictional monsters and share pictures of our food.

A lot of good stuff is happening.

But....it's still not where it could be. I still see astronomical rates of homicides, suicides, abortions, poverty, police brutality, racism, drug abuse, child a…

What I Know: reflections on the past few weeks

Who am I to speak up about such weighty topics as violence, racism, gun control, and systemic injustices that disproportionately affect certain minority groups?

No one. I am just some twenty-something youth minister and would-be blogger. My circle of influence does not extend nearly as far as others. I don't know how many people this post will reach or how many will take the time to read and ponder my own simple thoughts.

I am no one. And that's kind of the point. Maybe we need more nobodies speaking up. If we leave all the speaking to those with built in audiences, then very few opinions are going to be genuine and heartfelt. We need more nobodies who are willing to speak their own minds, to voice their own thought-out opinions, and to slowly make a positive impact on the world.

I don't know much. I don't know how to fix the problems, but I know there are problems. I don't know anything about guns, but I know that we can do better at training and equipping and scr…

These Are the Days | MOSES

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How do you feel about rules?

I know for my own two boys (5 and 2 years old), rules are more like...weak suggestions. And the rules I have had to make for them are, well, weird. Seriously. This was a sentence that came out of my mouth directed sternly at my son. "No. We do not hit the cat with the spatula!"

It's crazy what kind of rules we have to have in our household simply to function like normal human beings. Don't climb the entertainment center. Don't poop on the floor. Don't hit people with your yo-yo. Really? It's crazy to think that we only have these rules because these things happen.

I hope you have a healthier respect for rules and guidelines than my toddler and preschooler do. When I was a teenager, I didn't quite understand why we had such stupid rules sometimes. I went to a private high school with a fairly strict dress code. We had to wear collared shirts, tucked in, with a belt, and long pants that were free from frays or holes. Guys h…

UPLIFT 2016

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Here's the full length highlight reel from our trip to UPLIFT at Harding University. I can't even begin to tell you was a great time we all had during the week. You'll just have to come along with us next year and see for yourself!

"His divine power has given us everything we need for life and godliness through our knowledge of him who called us by his own glory and goodness." (2 Peter 1:3)

GOD IS ENOUGH

These Are the Days | ELIJAH

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Imagine a world in which everyone used to follow the same religion as you. You can remember a time when people served God, went to worship, and were generally good people. You knew what you could expect from people because nearly everyone held the same worldview. Your national identity was closely tied to your religious practices and stories.

Can you imagine that? Well, then imagine that one day things begin to change. You hear people talking less and less about God and more and more about foreign religions. Rather suddenly there is an influx of new ideas, worldviews, and religious teachings. People still claim to be faithful to your God, but they also start to include other gods and rituals in their faith - besides, all religions are the same, right?

As time goes on, you hardly recognize your own nation anymore. Things changed so badly in such a short amount of time that it leaves you feeling alone, isolated, holding on the whatever remnants of faith that you have left. But by and l…