Saturday, March 25, 2017

I've Got Nothing

"I have this great thought, but I have been staring at this blank screen for hours, and nothing is coming to mind."

Writer's block happens to the best of us at some point. You are in the middle of this big project, or you are trying to start one. You're computer is on and ready, Microsoft Word is open with a new document. The title is typed out, then, nothing. No thoughts, no ideas. Your mind goes completely blank. Writing a blog every week, I deal with this a lot. I know I need to write something, but, in the words of George McFly, "Nothing's coming to my mind". What's worse is when I have a topic, but no meat to fill my sandwich. I feel like this happens to a lot of Christians sometimes. God gives us something fantastic, and then, nothing. God drops a promise in your spirit, but waits to give you details. And if you are like most people, this can get pretty frustrating. Whenever writer's block hits, here is what usually occurs. At some point, I will get frustrated. Staring at a blank screen for hours at a time it seems can be that sometimes. But, after a little frustration, I close my computer, put it down and do something else. Then, when inspiration hits, I go back to my laptop as quickly as I can and finish what I started. God never gets writer's block. He knows how are story will unravel long before he gives us the plot, and he knows that sometimes, we will get frustrated. But there are times when we need to put down whatever is blocked in our lives, focus on something else, and then, when our mind is clear, we can go back to our original thought.
"He who has begun a good work in you will carry it onto completion until the day of Jesus Christ"- Philippians 1:6

The story of our lives will be full of empty details that have yet to be filled in. Just lay it aside for a while, concentrating on something else. In due time, the writer's block will be gone, and you can finish the story God has laid out before you.

Adam Semple- A Young Man On A Mission From God

*photo credit- thestorytellingnonprofit.com

Saturday, March 18, 2017

Lame man walkin'

"Silver or gold, I do not have. But what I do have I give to you, In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, rise up and walk"- Acts 3:6

If you have spent any time in church, you have heard this story several times. If not, here is the context. The disciples have just spent 40 days following the resurrection of Jesus praying and fasting in the upper room. The Holy Spirit comes upon the believers gathered and 3000+ people are added to the church. Peter and John go up to the temple to pray and they pass a lame man who is begging at the gate for help and or money. Peter says to the man, "Look at us". The man gives his full attention, hoping they were giving him something. "Silver and gold, I do not have. But what I do have I give to you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk." Peter then takes the man by the hand, pulls him up, and the man is able to walk and leap and run. He began running through the temple square praising God for the miracle that just took place. Te bible says that the people around him recognized him as the lame beggar, and they were filled with wonder and amazement.

We, to, have this gift. The power to come up to someone in need of healing and, in the name of Jesus, they can be healed. But we have to believe that it will happen, or it is just empty words. Peter spoke these words with confidence because he knew when he stepped out and grabbed hold of the man's hand, God would swoop in and amazing things would happen. But let us back up a little bit. This Peter was the same guy who denied even knowing Jesus just a few months prior, but then he had a radical transformation that completely shifted how he saw the world. He knew that he had become empowered by God's Holy Spirit, and when he walked in faith, God would show up. We need to get back to that place of complete surrender of ourselves in order to let God move where he desires to reveal his glory. The Holy Spirit is an Amazing guide and counselor who is waiting for us to call on him when someone around us needs him. Call on the Spirit of God, and things will begin to change and shift in our lives and the lives of those we come in contact with.

Adam Semple- A Young Man On A Mission From God

*photo credit- ministry-to-children.com

Saturday, March 4, 2017

But I'm (not) TIRED!!!!!!

We have all come in contact with a toddler who is in need of a nap. If you haven't, here is how it usually plays out.  First, you get to the groggy stage. The kid starts dragging behind or dozing in the stroller. If someone tries to tell them to go to sleep, the toddler will get defensive and start throwing a tantrum. This is most commonly followed by the kid saying, "But I'm not TIRED!!!" Everyone around them knows full well that they are exhausted, but something inside the child's mind convinces them otherwise and they somehow think if they fall asleep, they will miss something important. Only when they realize that they need sleep, do they finally give in and hit the hay. So where am I going with this? What does a screaming, sleepy toddler have to do with anything? Imagine if this toddler was your unsaved coworker at your workplace. Life could be going great for them. As they go along, they start to get tired on their own strength. They begin dragging through life, knowing they need something, but not sure what it is. Suddenly, you come along and tell them exactly what they need. Unfortunately, they have this idea in their head that they are just fine the way they are and nothing you say will change that. But, you don't get discouraged. You know that they might make it for awhile without Christ, but eventually, they will fall. So, you keep telling them about Him, and you keep encouraging them to come to the Father. Through your persistence, they come to Christ, and fall into a peaceful rest that they needed all along. God has put us in the places we are as spiritual mothers and fathers to the sleepy toddlers of our society. It is our job to show them a life that reflects what they are searching for, and if we stay the course, God will soften their hearts and they will rest in him. Once the toddler gives in, they will sleep and wake up with new energy and new excitement.

Get out there and be a spiritual parent to the tired toddlers of the world.

Adam Semple- A Young Man On A Mission From God

*photo credit-cbru.tk

Saturday, February 25, 2017

The Power of One

Patience. Insane amounts of time. Serious amounts of stress. I am talking, of course, about dominoes. No, not the pizza place. I'm referring to the classic game of dominoes, the one where you stack them in a line, knock over the first one and watch as they all cascade on top of each other. There are hundreds of videos online of people who have set up thousands upon thousands of dominoes that form an enormous picture. Here's the thing. I don't have the time or the patience or the warehouses full of dominoes to do something like this, but my life is like one big domino effect. Domino number one is birth, then we progress to dominoes of school, college, job, and so forth. Now, imagine being a domino stuck in the middle. You can't see the beginning or the end, all you see is that the domino ahead of you was just standing, now he is currently crashing into you, and suddenly, you are doing the same to the domino behind you. The places we go, the skills we acquire, they are all dominoes to the big picture. With any good piece of art, it takes great time and tremendous patience. If the 3rd domino tries to crash into the 1500th domino, the picture will be completely changed. Instead the 3rd hits the 4th, then the 5th, and so on and so on. God has looked down from above and seen where to lay all the dominoes in our picture to create a masterpiece. Now, imagine being the domino again. If you were to be removed from the line, the domino would end before you and nothing will keep the momentum going. One little domino is all it takes to knock over big steps. It is the little guys that keep the line moving until the last domino is knocked over and you see the finished work.

So, keep in line, brace for impact and fall into the masterpiece God has set before you.

Adam Semple- A little domino stuck in the middle of God's bigger destiny.

*photo credit- youtube.com- Robots

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Comedic Knock-off Of The Original

As great and amazing is the original, everyone loves a good parody version. Some artists have made a career of taking other people's songs, changing up the lyrics, but keeping generally the same beat. Sometimes, the parody version is one you remember way more than the original, yet there are other times when it doesn't even come close. Our lives can become one big parody. Imagine God speaking to you and the words He says are amazing and inspiring and grand. Now imagine that you take those words and change them into something else. You and God know what the original words were, yet the people you talk to only hear your version. We are told in Revelation 22:18-19 that if anyone one was to change the words of God, 1 of 2 things will take place. 1), If you add, plagues and curses will be added to you, and 2) if you take away, you will be taken out of the book of life. Ouch!!! God could not have made this more simple to comprehend. By changing God's word, not only are you wrongly influencing the people around you, but in the end, you are removing yourself from heaven with each word spoken. There will be people we come in contact with every day that are making a living of speaking false truth. Scripture tells us what will become of them as well, "But false prophets also arose among the people, just as there will be false teachers among you, who will secretly bring in destructive heresies, even denying the Master who bought them, bringing upon themselves swift destruction. And many will follow their sensuality, and because of them the way of truth will be blasphemed. And in their greed they will exploit you with false words. Their condemnation from long ago is not idle, and their destruction is not asleep."- 2 Peter 2:1-3 In fact, this whole chapter in 2 Peter tells of what will happen to false teachers and prophets. Don't be like one of these men who only live to distort God's word. Listen to what God is truly saying, and the lyrics of your heart will be pure and whole. Those are the words God wants you singing to the crowd. The original will always be better than any parody the world tries to compete with. 

Adam Semple- A Young Man On A Mission From God

*photo credit- IFC.com

Saturday, January 28, 2017

But What Do I Get Out Of This?

"When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?”  Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.'".- John 6:25-26

These verses come after one of Jesus' most well known miracles, the feeding of the 5000. For those who don't know the story, here it is. Jesus was teaching by the Sea of Tiberias, and it came to the time of day that most folks began getting ready to eat dinner. So, as a test to his disciples, he asks them, "Where can we buy food for all these people?" "Master, more than a day's wage would barely satisfy a little for this crowd," was the response from his disciples. Andrew, brother of Simon Peter, came to Jesus and said, "There is a young boy who has 5 barley loaves and 2 fish, but how can that feed everyone?" So, Jesus tells the apostles to sit the people in large groups on the grass. The people sat down, more than 5000 in number. Jesus took the bread, gave thanks, and broke it until it was distributed to every person there. He did the same with the fish. After everyone had their fill, he instructed his disciples to gather the leftovers, and they collect 12 baskets of remaining food. The next day, the people seek out Jesus, getting into boats and traveling across the sea to Capernaum. Upon arrival, Jesus tells them that they were not looking for him because he was the Christ, but because they got a free meal out of his teachings. Basically, they were following Christ in order to get something out of the deal. 
Answer me this. What is the best way to get people to come to an event you are hosting? Tell them there will be food and it will be free. People will come in droves to get a free meal, no matter what you are promoting. Most of the time, they don't listen to a word you say as long as they don't have to spend any money on food. Clearly, this was the case back in Jesus day. These people saw Jesus on a daily basis doing miraculous healings and wonders, yet they only sought him out when he had filled their bellies. They didn't want any kind of serious commitment, just a money saver. be honest with yourself here. Have you ever gone to an event simply because the flyer said free food. You didn't care about the organization in the least, you just came to eat. Not gonna lie, I know I have. There is a reason America is one of the most overweight nations on the planet. Someone says food and we are there by the hundreds. But here is the issue. Most of us won't stay to hear the message because we are so focused on getting our fill physically, we have no time for spiritual talk. Jesus wanted followers, but ended up with a small band of followers, with thousands of fans. 
Here is the difference between a follower and a fan. A follower is someone who sticks with their leader no matter what. Through the good and the bad, these guys are right there. A fan is someone who only sticks around as long as they are satisfied. The moment their guy does something that makes them uncomfortable, they leave and quit. When the people came back to Jesus in this chapter, He tells them that he is the Bread of Life. Whoever believe in him will neither thirst or go hungry. "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” Wait. Are we supposed to eat his flesh, like a cannibal? That makes me uncomfortable to even think about. Jesus is not saying that we must literally eat him, but spiritually, we must be so close to him and his character, it would be like eating daily bread. It would be like eating breakfast every morning. It gives you the energy you need to get through the day and when we go without it, we end up drained and hungry come mid afternoon. The people in this story left Jesus grumbling and complaining because they were confused at his words. Even some disciples abandoned him because of his uncomfortable words. The revelation had not hit them that Jesus was who he said he was, so it was as if they had ears, but could not hear what was being said, had eyes, yet could not see-Mark 8:18. 

Are you a Christian who is only in this walk for what God will give you? If you are, it might be time to evaluate ourselves and ask," Will I stick with God with things get hard, or will I walk away because I don't understand?
Think about it.

Adam Semple- A Young Man On A Mission From God

*photo credit- memecreator.org

Saturday, January 21, 2017

A Cover of Darkness

For God so loved the world,that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through him. Whoever believes in him is not condemned, but whoever does not believe is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only Son of God. And this is the judgment: the light has come into the world, and people loved the darkness rather than the light because their works were evil. For everyone who does wicked things hates the light and does not come to the light, lest his works should be exposed. But whoever does what is true comes to the light, so that it may be clearly seen that his works have been carried out in God.”-John 3:16-21

Have you ever done something in secret that you know that once it was exposed to the light, people would look at you different? It could be something as little as biting your nails, but whatever it is, you don't want people to know about it. This happened to a guy in the new testament. A Pharisee, named Nicodemus, came to Jesus under the cloak of darkness. As a Pharisee, it wasn't very commonplace for them to go against their beliefs and listen to a man claiming to be the Son of God. So, under nighttime's cover Nicodemus sneaks away to see him. it is here that we get the most quoted and most well known verse in scripture, John 3:16. But that isn't what I want to talk about. I what to discuss the verses that follow. The ones talking about doing evil deeds in the darkness. Why do you think it is most common for a criminal to break into a bank at night, rather than midday? Because not as many people will see him, and he is more likely to get away with it without out any consequences. But eventually, the criminal slips up, and attacks somewhere when the sun is shining bright and his true character is revealed. When the wicked do what they ought not to do, they are already condemned, even if they haven't been caught yet. 


Aren't you glad there is a loving God who doesn't judge us when we come to him at night to hid what we are doing. Instead he receives us with open arms and tells us how to be saved. "Jesus answered, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Do not marvel that I said to you, ‘You must be born again. The wind blows where it wishes, and you hear its sound, but you do not know where it comes from or where it goes. So it is with everyone who is born of the Spirit.”- John 3:5-8. God sent his light to reveal our darkness. The things hidden down deep into our souls that we have forgotten about. It is our job to come to God and lay those things down at his feet, and leave behind the darkness. God has made it so easy for us to come to him. We just need to be willing for people to see what wear are hiding under. 


I'm doing what I can to come fully into God's light this year. Will you join me?


Adam Semple- A young Man On A Mission From God



*photo credit- trekearth.com