Thursday, December 24, 2015

The Christmas Journey



" Then the angel said to her, 'Do not be afraid, Mary, for you have found favor with God. And behold, you will conceive in your womb and bring forth a son, and you shall call his name Jesus. He will be great and will be called the Son of the Highest; and the Lord God will give him the throne of his father David. And he will reign over the house of Jacob forever, and of his kingdom there will be no end.' Then Mary said to the angel,' How can this be, since I do not know a man?' And the Angel said to her,' The Holy Spirit will come upon you, and the power of the Highest will overshadow you: therefore, also, that Holy one who is to be born will be called the Son of God.'" "For with God nothing will be impossible."- Luke 2:30-35,37
     If you have ever spent anytime in church, you have probably heard this story a few times. But have you ever dove into what was being said in this passage? This is a story about a young girl, estimated to be around 14 years of age, that is called on by God to carry his son. This girl is not married, and has never known a man. It makes you wonder what was going through her head. What will people think of her once this baby begins to grow in her womb? We can imagine that it will not be pleasant thoughts going through their heads. Yet, even though she knows this is going to happen, Mary still commits herself to the Father and allows him to use her in a mighty way. We have been placed on a crazy journey, and God has asked some crazy things of us. We could choose to let the thoughts of the world get in the way, or we can allow God to work through us, and make it all clear for us in the end. What would happen if every time God called someone to do something way out of the ordinary, we don't listen because we are afraid of how the world will judge us. We must realize that God has not called us to be like the world, or even to get approval from the world. We are placed on this earth to give God glory, in spite of the retribution that comes from the outside.
     In the account of the birth of Jesus in the gospel of Matthew, we meet Joseph, a young carpenter who is about to take Mary as his wife. Before they marry, Joseph realizes that Mary is pregnant. Trying to protect Mary, he decides that he should hide her away from people so that they won't be made a mockery. But as he is pondering these things, an angel comes to him in a dream and tells him to not put her away, and he explains that this is a special child sent from God.
     I see Joseph as a "fixer". Someone who sees a problem and thinks with his head of how to turn the situation around for the better. When the angel came to him, he was saying, do not try to change what I have set in motion. Trust that I know what I am doing, and everything will be revealed if you have faith that I will do what I said.
     So Joseph takes Mary as his wife and they begin their faith journey with God. Because they were both faithful in doing what the Lord commanded, Jesus came into the world and fulfilled numerous prophecies spoken about him given thousands of years prior. After Joseph and Mary traveled to Bethlehem, they did not realize that the inns would be full, and they would have to stay in a barn, but they did know that God would protect them wherever they rested their heads that night. God is not asking us to do the impossible, he is merely asking if we trust him enough to do what he says he will do, especially when it seems impossible. God used a teenage girl to bring his Son into the world, just imagine what impossible things he can do with you.

Adam Semple- A young man on a mission from God.

*photo credit by: www.dreamstime.com

Saturday, December 19, 2015

Walking Out What You Talk

Job was a man who was blameless and upstanding in the Lord. He was righteous in the eyes of God and he walked in integrity. One day, Satan wanted to see how far his faith would take him. So he went up into heaven and asked God to remove his protection hedge from around Job, to see if Job would curse God for taking everything away from him. So God gave Satan the power to take away all that he had, but he could not lay a finger on Job. It is cool that even when Satan takes everything from Job, God does not let him touch Job. It says in scripture that God had made job very prosperous and wealthy, and he was the father of many children. With the passing of just one day, he lost all of his livestock, all of his crop and every last one of his children. After all this, the Bible says that he did not do any wrong or sin towards God. Again, Satan comes to the throne room and this time, he is granted permission to inflict Job with sickness and disease. Job was plagued with painful boils from his head to his feet, and he had to use a potsherd to scrape himself. His wife, upon seeing his affliction, told him to lose his integrity and to curse God so he may die. Instead of cursing, Job replies in this way," Shall we indeed accept good from God, but not adversity." Again we see that he still did not curse God. Later, we see three of job's friends come and talk with him. At first, they are exactly what he needs. For the first couple days that they are there, they don't say anything, rather they just sit beside him, letting him know they are there for him. Pretty soon, that got real awkward and they began to talk with him of all the reasons he might be in this situation. Maybe there is a sin in his heart he needs to repent of. Was he really as full of integrity as he had thought? Was there still more punishment to come? These came from well meaning people who were trying to help in ways that they know how. When we are walking down a Job walk, people will show up and try to fix things that are not in their structure of fixing. Sometimes they get agitated and wonder why you have not taken their advice. When people try to fix thing with the natural that can only be fixed in the spiritual, it never works out the way it should. Throughout the book of Job, it seems like there are times when he gets frustrated with his friends, and completely dismisses their opinions because he knows that though it may seem crazy, he must still have faith that God knows what he is doing. Well meaning people will speak into your life, and it might not always be what you need to hear, yet they say it because it seems like the logical thing to do. But God does not want us to live by logic, but by faith and trust in Him. The trials that came upon Job was a test of his character and his faith. God knew that he would not falter, but I think this was to show his friends that Job lived out what he preached, so to speak. The journey of life will be full of trials that test us, but these do not only build our faith, but also the faith of those around us who are sitting on the fence when it comes to trusting. Job ends up becoming even more prosperous because he did not accuse God when things went wrong. I am not saying that Job never questioned God, or that he had his doubts. I am saying that even through these, he trusted God would finish what he had started, even though Job did not know how it would all play out.
God knows how things are going to end. Hold fast to what he has done, and what he will do. Even when things looks bleak and grim, there is a light at the end of your tunnel that gets closer to you everyday you walk with integrity in the Father.

Adam Semple- A young man on a mission

*photo credit-missionbibleclass.org

Saturday, December 12, 2015

From Ur to the Promised Land

Abram, or more commonly known as Abraham, lived in a Babylonian city called Ur. it was a city filled with pagan religions and wicked abominations. One day, Abram is called by God to leave his family and his past and follow him. So Abram, with his father Terah, his wife Sarai and his nephew Lot, leaves Ur.  His father takes his household and leaves. God had told Abram leave his father;s house to go south toward Canaan, but instead he stayed with his father and ended up going north west, toward Haran. It was not until his father died that they could journey on toward Canaan into God's promise.
This is important. Sometimes in life, there will be people that might give good advice or seem helpful to you, but in the end they just end up distracting you from where God has called you to be, It is only when those people are removed from your life will you be able to move forward with what God had for you. It is important to note that it was not Abram who wanted to leave Ur, but his father Terah. Sometimes the "hurtful" people in your life help for a time until things shift.
Abram is now 75 years old. His father has just passed and he is free to go to Canaan. He still takes with him his wife and nephew, and they journey out of Haran. It is at this time that God calls Abram to leave his father's household and go to Canaan. They find themselves in Egypt after a famine hits the land. Because of his wife's beauty, Abram lies and tells the king that she is her sister to protect his life. Even though his faith wavered a little bit, God still held him in the promise where he said he will make him a great nation, and bless those who bless, and curse those who curse him. Through this, The king and his people are plagued and God informs the king of his blunder and He sends Abram and his crew away with much blessing.
After some time, they get to a place where they can see Canaan and it is revealed to them that this is the promised land. Him and lot separate, and Abram and Sarai go to Bethel to prepare an altar to the Lord.
During this time, His name is changed to Abraham, her name is changed to Sarah, and they have been promised a son. Abraham spends the rest of his life believing that his descendants will inherit the land. But after his son is born, God asks him to do something unthinkable. Abraham is told to sacrifice his son as a burnt offering to the Lord. We are not given any clue that Abraham questioned his faith, but rather he rose up early in the morning and took Isaac his son to be sacrificed. After his son was tied to the altar, and the knife ready to strike, God calls out to him and tells him that because he did not withhold, even his only son, he would be blessed more abundantly than the sand on the seashore.
Have you ever been in a situation where God asked you to sacrifice the promise he gave to you. Did you hesitate and decline, or did you trust that God knew what he was doing and follow through. This was Abraham only son, yet he knew that if God asked this thing of him, there was a reason for it. God wanted to know that he was secure in his faith and would do anything asked of him. In this way, we should journey on this walk called life.
Abraham never got to see his descendants take the land. He had to watch from heaven as his great- grandchildren's children took the land promised to his line all those years ago, yet he is still counted as one of the most faithful dudes in scripture. Sometimes, we must realize that when God promises something for us, it will always be a process and we might not see the end, but God knows what he is doing and in his time, promises will be fulfilled.
Sometimes, you need to be faithful in order for your kids to see your faith comes to fruition.

Adam Semple- A Young Man On A Mission

Photo credit- The Brick Testament

Saturday, December 5, 2015

Not Just A Seed

From the smallest seed to the biggest oak, trees come in all shapes and sizes. Some are as tall as skyscrapers, and others are barely big enough to hid in. No matter the size or the shape, all trees serve a purpose. Whether it is to give us nourishment or air to breathe, trees are not here by accident. God did not drop a seed in the ground unintentionally and it suddenly sprouted into something bigger. He created seeds to grow beyond their original design. Christians are meant to be the same way. My brother has stated that in order for a plant to reproduce, it must have a seed that comes out of it. Without this seed, the plant will eventually become a thing long forgotten and we will no longer have them on the earth. Imagine if every Christian journeyed through life without ever sharing the gospel. There would be no more seeds planted in people's hearts that would grow into men and women of God. What would happen to our world if everyone stayed in his own little bubble, never reaching out to anybody? Christianity would soon become a thing of the past and the kingdom of heaven would become emptier with every passing year. it does not take much to plant a seed in a person's life. It starts by simply nurturing the ground and giving time to a person. Spiritual seeds are not always planted by a scripture message preached on a Sunday morning. In  most cases, these seeds are planted by simple acts of connection, walking out our walk with God in front of others. Sometimes, by seeing how a Christian acts and reacts to situations around them, this shows people the amazing life we get to walk in. They see that though things crash around us, we can still stand strong. Like a tree during a storm, when the winds blow in, unless the roots are firmly planted, the tree comes crashing down. Only when its roots grip deep into the soil does the tree stand firm, not wavering in its position. This is how God wants each of us to be. As we dive deeper into him, we plant our roots in good soil and they grow firmly into the solid rock of the Father. Then when Satan's attacks come against us, we do not sway from our path.
      I have heard it said that from the smallest seeds can produce the largest trees. I say this because you may think you are insignificant to the kingdom of God, yet God wants to use you to become a mighty oak tree. In Psalms 1:3 it says," He shall be like a tree planted by the rivers of water, that brings forth its fruit in its season, whose leaf also shall not wither and whatever he does shall prosper"- nkjv. Lets break down this verse a little. A tree planted by the waters that brings forth fruit. God of course is the rivers of water, and when we are planted close to the father, our tree will bear much good fruit. Whose leaf will not wither and whatever he does will prosper. When we stay planted in the Father, we will not be like a tree that dies in winter, but all through the year, we will be evergreen, forever bearing fruit. Whenever we set out to accomplish something, if our roots are solid in God, we will prosper for his sake.
Plant yourself as close to the waters as you possibly fail, and you will stand strong when life's storms strike around you.

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God  

Saturday, November 28, 2015

Prayer-The Completing Piece

"Father, if this be you will take this cup from me, but not my will, but your will be done." " Our Father, who art in Heaven. Hallowed be thy name" 'Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory." "In my distress, I called out to you and you answered me. From deep in the realm of the dead, I called for help and you listened to me." These are just a few examples of prayer written throughout the scriptures. In times of distress or trial, the people prayed. After battle, the people prayed. When things were gathering around them, the people prayed. It is not hard to see that when we pray, things happen. I am not talking prayers of fear. These prayers are prayers of people who know that when they submit they request to God with an open heart, he will talk back to them his plan for the situation. Prayer is a solemn request of help or an expression of thanks addressed to God. Of all the pieces needed to complete a spiritual relationship with the Father of heaven, prayer is one of the pieces that pull everything together. When God's people pray, they are more than just reading some bible verses or going to church. They are declaring over their lives things promised over them, breaking negative things off of them, and aligning themselves right into the heart of the Father. Let me break this down.

Declaring promises- Sometimes, all it takes for a promise to come upon your life, is for you to speak it over yourself in prayer, coming to the truth that if God said it, nothing will come in its way.
Breaking off the negative- Whether intentional or unintentionally, people say things to other people that hurt. When we come to God in prayer, we have the power to break off "curses" that have taken residence in our minds and thoughts.
Getting aligned with the Heart of God- It is said in scripture that King David, even though he sinned, had the heart of God. This did not come overnight, but through a continual working of praying that we would see the world as God sees it and doing as he would do.

I feel like this is pivotal in a person's walk through life. We could read the scriptures till we're blue in the face, but if we don't pray through what we have read, it is merely words on a page. The word of God does not become hidden in our hearts, but rather it is pushed to the back of our minds and soon forgotten. We could be in church every time the doors are open, but if we don't come to the Father asking him to reveal his message behind the message, it just becomes a good word. One that is also shortly forgotten as soon as we leave the building. The power of prayer solidifies the word, whether spoken or read, in our hearts and minds. Then we can reflect on it throughout the week.
The puzzle of our life cannot be finished if we lose prayer. Without it, life is incomplete, and we can't see the whole picture of the way things are supposed to be.

Don't live life without prayer. Use it as the steering wheel of life, guiding you down the right path, and it will never let you down.

Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission  

Wednesday, November 25, 2015

Give Thanks

"Master, send these people away. For it is late, and they must go into the nearest village and buy some food. You feed them. But Master, we only have a few loaves and a couple fish. Bring them to me." This is roughly the conversation that took place between Jesus and his disciples before he feed the multitudes of people. Jesus had been teaching to the crowd and it had grown late. He knew that most would not have been able to get some food, so he had the disciples scrounge up whatever food they could find. Thankfully, a mother had made sure her little boy had some food, and the disciples brought to Jesus 5 loaves and 2 fish. He instructs the disciples to sit the people into groups of 50 and then the miracle happens. He takes the bread, gives thanks and blesses it, then he proceeds to distribute the bread to the people. After everyone ate enough to satisfy, the disciples gather the scraps left over and fill 12 baskets of food remaining. A little boy's lunch ends up feeding 5000+ people, with plenty of food remaining. How cool.

The season of giving thanks has come upon us once again. The time to gather together with family and loved ones and sit down to a nice spread of turkey, pie and all the fixings. In this time, let us not forget what we have to be thankful for. Let's look back on the first thanksgiving. The pilgrims had come from the oppression of England into a new world. The first couple of months were hard, but somehow, they managed to have a year of a successful harvest. To celebrate, they had a feast of Thanksgiving, gathering together with some 90 Indians joined with the pilgrims. Though we don't know for sure, it is safe to assume that William Bradford gave thanks and blessed the feast, as Jesus had done 1600 years earlier. He probably realized the significance of blessing God for his provision, as we should do today. Whenever Jesus broke bread in scripture, it is made clear that he gives thanks and blesses whatever they are eating. At the last supper, when Jesus introduced communion, He took the time to give thanks, " for this is my body, take and eat; for this is my blood, take and drink."

We should always give thanks for what we have. Just because there is an official day of Thanks, we should not go back to forgetting what we have been given to us just because the holiday is over and the pie is gone. Every day on this earth is a gift. And we should be thankful that he let us wake up each morning, with new mercies and grace for the new day. Don't let life get in the way of being thankful every day of the year.

"Give thanks, in all circumstances, for this is a God's will for you, in Christ Jesus."- 1 Thessalonians 5:18    

Happy Thanksgiving and God Bless.

Adam Semple- A young man on a mission from God

* photo credit- www.thebricktestament.com

Saturday, November 21, 2015

Storms, We all got 'em.

Storms come in all types and in many different styles. However a storm comes, depending on the severity of the storm, damage is sure to ensue. But just because there is a storm surrounding you, it does not mean they have to overtake you. Many times in scripture, the heroes are surrounded on all sides by a fierce storm, and yet they come out the other side unharmed from the effects. Some examples of this include the times at sea with the disciples. There were several occurrences when the disciples were in a boat, and they came upon a great storm that made them fear for their lives. But each time, Jesus was there to rescue them. In one circumstance, Jesus was sleeping on the boat when the storm began. After panic arose from his followers, he was awoken from his slumber and the disciples were afraid they would drown. Jesus replies to them and says, "O, You of little faith." He then proceeds to calm the waters and the storm recedes. Everyone on board remarked that he must indeed be the Son of God. A few chapters later, Jesus has just fed the 5000 men plus women and children. He tells the disciples to get into a boat, for he was going up onto the mountain top to pray. At dawn on the next day, when the boat is already far out past land, another storm, not as big as the former, but a storm nonetheless, begins to rock the boat. The disciples look toward land and see a man, Jesus, walking on the water. Naturally, it terrifies them and they assume it is a ghost. But Jesus calms their fear and tells them it is He, and Peter then walks out on the water toward Jesus. But then, the wind picks up, the waves begin to rise, and so does the fear back into Peter's heart. He loses his focus on Jesus and begins to sink. He cries out for Jesus to save him and together they walk back to the boat. Again, Jesus says,"O, You of little Faith. Why did you doubt?" He calms the storm again and they return to land on the other side. In both of these occurrences, the disciples let the storms around them pierce through their faith, and panicked. Even when Jesus was right there the whole time, they doubted that they would come out of it alive.
Have things like these ever happen to you? When storms arise, how have you handled the situation? Storms in life are going to come. When they do, God is seeing how far we trust him and how big our faith in him is. The storms that arise will not always have the same outcome though. Not every storm will secede once we call for help. At times, God is trying to tell us that he will keep us safe in the storm, and he can't do that if the winds die down at the the first help cry. After some storms, we might come out a little scratched up or bruised, but we will be alive. Take the shipwreck that happened to Paul. The boat got too close to land and was completely destroyed, yet every person aboard, both slave and crewman, made it to land safely.

"And I will praise you in this storm, and I will lift my hands, You are who you are, No matter where I am, And every tear I cried, You hold in your hand, You never left my side, And though my heart is torn, I will praise you in this storm"-Casting Crowns, "Praise You In This Storm"

Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission

*Photo from globe-net.com

Wednesday, November 18, 2015

Point of View

An Optical Illusion is best described as an experience of seeing something that is not actually there, or seeing it in many different ways. A way to deceive the eye by appearing as something else. -google definition. For example, a picture of a black or white vase. At first glance, it looks like a vase, but as you continue to look, you end up seeing two faces close together. Same picture, different outlook. When we look at things one way, it is nothing but shapes, but when our perspective changes, the random shapes become an image and we can see things the way the artist intended. Our walk through this journey called life should be the same way. God has put in place a beautiful piece of art right before our eyes, but because we are looking with the wrong view, we do not see how the pieces will flow together. We need to change the way we look at things and once we get into this new position, everything about the picture makes sense. You may be walking through something where random things are happening all around you. This is the time that God is lining up all the pieces. Once you get to the end of this part of the journey, you see that everything you walked through has led you to this point. There is an interpretation of this kind of illusion of, from one angle, is just a bunch of various shapes and there appears to be no form to it. But when you walk to another side, you see that the random lines and shapes are strategically placed so that from the right angle, they all line up and form the shape of a bicycle. As long as you stay in the place where the lines don't fit, you will never see the finished product. Only when you shift into the intended position will you see what God was doing all along. Don't ignore the randomness of life, for in the end, they will work out to be a beautiful masterpiece from God's own hand. Do not be deceived when life does not appear to look like you wanted, but be excited for what your pieces will form.

Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission From God

Saturday, November 14, 2015

Hello. Hello?

" Samuel, Samuel". "Samuel, Samuel". These are the words heard by a kid, no older than 10, one night in the temple. After each time, little Samuel ran to Eli the priest, assuming he had called him. And each time, Eli would tell him that he had not called and he should go back to bed. 3 times Samuel heard this voice and 2 times Eli sent him back to sleep, for the third time, Eli realized that Samuel was being called by God. So when he sent Samuel back to his room the third time, he told him that if he heard the voice again, to answer by saying,"Here I am Lord, your servant is listening". Then God calls the fourth time and Samuel answers in this way. Samuel grew to be one of the biggest prophets of the Old Testament. He was used powerfully by God because when God called, he answered and did as he was instructed. God wants to use us in the same way, he is just waiting for us to pick up the spiritual phone and say, "Hear I am Lord. I am listening." Would it not be awesome if once you became a Christian, a spiritual phone showed up on your counter and would ring anytime God wanted to give instructions to you? Even though there is not an actual phone for this purpose, God still talks to his children the same way now as he did back then. We only need to be open to hearing and leaving the phone on its base so that all calls can come through. For those of you born in my generation who don't know what I am talking about, let me explain. Back before cordless phones that could be carried around in our pockets, the was one. maybe two phones per household, and they were attached to a big base by a cord. When the phone rang, you would take it off its receiver and talk into the mouthpiece. Then once you were finished with the conversation, you would put the phone back on its receiver and it would hang up the call. If there were times when you did not want to be disturbed bu calls, you would take the phone off the base and put it to the side. God wants our phones to always be on the base so that whenever he calls, we are able to listen. You may be thinking,"I never hear from God, my phone must not be working." You don't always need to hear God to know that he has spoken. Picture a text message. No audible words were exchanged, yet the message still gets across. Sometimes, this is how God speaks. A passing piece of paper, or a advertisement for something might compel us to do something. These things are tactics used by God to direct us either away from something, or closer to something. These little tuggings in your spirit are how God talks to us. "What if I have been called somewhere, but don't know specifically what to do in that calling?" In times like these, I have to realize that my dreams and desires, (for the most part) have been place inside of me by the Father. With that being said, he will guide me down the path where I will be able to use my gifts and talents, also given by God, to accomplish my dreams and desires. I know that in some aspect, I have been called into the media industry. I like being on stage as much as I like being in the background. Right now, I don't know the specifics of my calling, but I know it will have something to do with both of those desires inside of me. Nothing in me is accidental, and everything in me was placed there by a Father who only wants the best for me, as well as all of you reading this blog. Until God guides me to my path, I must choose to learn all I can about the things that interest me, so that when the phone call comes in, I will be ready to go. This is what God wants all of us to do as well, whether you know God's plan for you in its entirety or only know pieces. Don't waste time trying to figure out your calling, for in God's perfect timing, he will reveal it to you. Just be sure that your phone is always on the base so that God can pick up his end of the line and dial in your number. It is alright if you don't know all the details to God's plan, as long as you trust him by knowing that when you need the answer, he will provide it in full color, so to speak. When the time comes, there will be no interference between you and God and you will hear him somehow crystal clear.

So get ready, plug in your phone and be prepared to answer when the time comes.

Adam semple- a young man on a mission from God.  

Saturday, November 7, 2015

Who Am I?

"Who am I, that you are mindful of me? That you hear me, when I call? Is it true that you are thinking of me? How you love me, its amazing!"-Friend of God-Israel Houghton.

One of the biggest struggles in this generation is a sense of identity and purpose. What can I do? I am only a youth. Nobody cares about me or what I stand for. These are some of the things that go through everyone's head from time to time, sometimes on a daily basis. Culture tells us that if we don't wear a certain style of clothing or have the nicest car or live the rich life, we are not worth anything. And in order to "be anything" in the eyes of culture, we must conform to the ways that everyone is conformed to in order to be considered "cool". We don't realize that our value and our worth are not rooted in the flesh, but rather in spirit. Even before conception, God had a plan set in place for his people to do something big for his kingdom. Jeremiah 1:5 says that before we were formed in our mothers' womb, God knew us and consecrated us, setting us aside to be his people. Many times in life, people will devalue the life of an individual through their words and actions, this not always done with purposeful intent. When someone is devalued in the eyes of another, they begin to question if they have any worth at all. Unfortunately, the first place they look for it is not in the Father, but in other people. They begin to shift what makes them special in order to be liked or appreciated. They change who they are not because they want to, but because they think their uniqueness devalues, instead of enhances. In the book of Ephesians, chapter 2 verse 10, it says that we are God's workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which we are to walk in on this earth. This verse never mentions that we are made in the flesh, but the Son. We were created to use our special gifts and talents given to us by the Father to help bring the world back to the Father, yet we think that if we hide those talents to be like everyone else, we will be better off. Finding identity in the flesh can only satisfy ourselves for so long, before we completely forget who we are in Christ and continue down the path of conformity and complacency that the Devil tells us we must live. Turn on the TV, and you are likely to stumble upon some product that will make your life better, and the scary thing is that people fall prey to these traps of the enemy every day. When these things are promoted, it makes you look at your life and throw yourself a pity party, causing you to act without thinking and giving in to the lies. "But the Lord said to Samuel,'Do not look at his appearance, nor his height or stature, for man looks at the outward appearance, but God looks at the heart."-1 Samuel 16:7. Are you getting what I am saying here? In this passage of scripture, Samuel has come to anoint the next king of Israel from the house of Jesse, from the tribe of Judah. David had 7 older brothers who were strong, fit and handsome and Samuel assumed that God must want one of these because he was only looking at what man saw, yet God knew their hearts and they were not want he was after. After rejection of the other brothers, Samuel asks Jesse if there are any others. Jesse sends for shepherd boy David who is only on his late teens at the time, who probably didn't smell the best or look at the best, yet he was chosen as king, because his heart was in the right place.  God doesn't want to people who look good on the outside, but are ugly on the inside, he wants to one who don't need physical beauty to be spiritual beautiful.

So let us not value ourselves by what the world sees, but by what God sees. Our body is a temple of the Holy Spirit, and we wouldn't want God's presence living in a dirty hut, but a beautiful palace. In order to do that, we must realize that living to worldly standards will never get us there, but only by surrendering ourselves to the Father, not caring how the world looks at us, but only about what God sees in us.

I want each of you reading this to change some words around from "Who am I?" to "Who I am!" We are Friends of God. He looks at us and sees a beautiful canvas ready to be painted on. We were made in his image and created for his purpose. "For I know the plans I have for you', declares the Lord,'plans to prosper you and not harm you. Plans to give you a hope and a future"-Jeremiah 29:11

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God

Saturday, October 31, 2015

Weapons of Our Warfare

Have you ever played a videogame in which you are going along just fine then, BOOM, Boss level. Sure there have been other obstacles, but you just take care of them, no big deal. But then, out of nowhere, comes the big man. This challenger has the strength and combined power of all the foes before and he is coming at you with vengeance. Unless you are a beast at such games, this guy will come as a shock to you and you probably will not beat him the first couple times around. What if life was the same way. You journey through your own adventure, collecting skills and traits along the way, and then you are suddenly thrown into a huge battle that you may or may not be ready for. I have to admit that depending on the game, I am not a beast at video games, and most of the time, I can't even get to the Boss level, let alone defeat it. But thankfully, God does not require us to be good at video games in order to beat the real Bad guy trying to ruin our lives. In many game scenarios, in the events leading up to that final battle, you spend your time preparing. By this of course I mean that you strengthen your avatar and collect things along the way that allow you to be the best you can be. Of the things collected, one of the more important powerups are those that increase your armor. in games like these, the strength of your armor could determine how you will fair when you are being attacked. Isn't it cool that God gives us our own personal armor to fight off things outside of the virtual reality. In Ephesians chapter 6, Paul talks about putting on the full Armor of God and he lists 6 "pieces" of equipment that we must clothe ourselves with. These pieces are the Helmet, the Shield, The Breastplate, the Belt, the Shoes and the Sword.

The Helmet of Salvation- This piece protects not only the outside, but more importantly, the mind. Satan knows that if he can get into your head, he can infiltrate your whole body. He has ways to use our thoughts against us, to pull us into fear and doubt or tempt us into sinning even though we know the consequences. This is the technique he used in the Garden of Eden. God had told Adam and Eve to not eat of the forbidden fruit, or else they would die. All it took for them was a little seed of doubt placed in Eve's head and the whole world was plunged into sin. The Helmet helps to protect our mind against such attacks.

The Shield of Faith. For any person who has experience with sword fighting, they could tell you that knowing how to use a sword is important, having a sturdy shield in your other hand is just as important. Having a thing solely as defense is just as useful as a good offense with the sword. The spiritual Shield is our line of defense against the attacks from the devil. Satan will fire spiritual arrows at us, and this shield protects the heart from being pierced.

The Breastplate of Righteousness. This piece also protects the important organs from any attacks. The righteousness Paul is talking about is not self-righteousness, but rather the righteousness of God the Father, imparted on us once the Faith has been placed inside of us. This protects us from any and all accusations that come from deceiving lips from the enemy.

The Belt of Truth. Like a belt holds up a pair of pants, this belt holds up our integrity as Christians. When we walk in truth, and honesty, people feel safer trusting us, knowing we won't stab them in the back with false assumptions. Just as we feel more secure with a belt holding up our pants, Truth helps us feel more secure in holding up our lives.

The Shoes of the Gospel of Peace. Walking in shoes of peace, we are able to walk up to the enemy with head held high knowing that none of the enemies' trap will destroy us. Yes they may get us down for a minute, but through God's grace, they will not get us down for an eternity.

Finally, The Sword of the Spirit. This is God's Holy word. When someone is getting ready to fight, they first study the technique and they practice with the weapon. God's word is the same way. In order to fight back against the Devil, we need to know our stuff, and that requires us to get into his word and study his message so that when the enemy comes against us, we will be ready for him.

It is time to upgrade our armor and get ready for battle, For the enemy is coming and he won't come with a warning. He will come when you least expect it, so lets always be ready, not getting lazy with our spiritual training and getting prepared every way we know how.
The time for battle is coming, and its time to fight

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God.

Saturday, October 24, 2015

Parting the Waters

There are several occurrences in the old testament when Israel comes to a large body of water, and they somehow need to cross over to the other side in the quickest way possible. As most of you may have read, At these bodies of water, God uses the person in command to split the waters in half so that the people are able to cross safely through the water on dry land. Even the the miracle is the same in these occurrences, the circumstances surrounding the two are different. The two I am referring to are of course the Israelites crossing at the end of slavery, and at the end of wilderness adventures.
In the first event, The people have just witnessed God do amazing things, called plagues, that hurt the nation of Egypt severely. After 400 years of slavery, the people finally leave Egypt and head out, following the pillar of cloud and fire which is God's road map for them. Not long into their journey, they come upon the Red Sea and after looking back and seeing Pharaoh's men consisting of 600 chariots, they instantly begin to panic and complain. "Did you bring us out here to be killed? I want to go back to Egypt. What are doing, Moses?" Reading through this story in Exodus, nowadays we wonder, what were they thinking? God just rescued them from bondage and they immediately want back in. But, because He is God, and these people are his chosen nation, He proceeds to tell Moses to stretch his staff out over the waters, and when he does, a wind comes in from the east and creates to solid walls of water, one on each side. The Israelites then walk on dry land across the bottom of the sea, and after every person is across, God sends the waters crashing down, right over Pharaoh and his men. About a year goes by, and the Israelites find themselves feet from the promise land, but out of fear, they end up having to spend 40 years in the desert before the nation can claim the land that God already had set aside for them. So 40 years go by. Every person who was 20 years of age or older had died, and a new generation of Israel has been established. This time, they are led by a man by the name of Joshua, who was one of the only two people left alive during the wilderness time, the other of course being Caleb. Joshua sends spies into the land across the Jordan River, Jericho, and the men report that the people are scared of them and that they can take the land. This time, the people come with a new sense of expectancy. Here some of them have waited forty years for this day, and it has finally arrived. Finally they can leave the wilderness and enters God's Promised Land. Joshua commands the people to get ready, "For tomorrow, God will do amazing things among you".-vs 3:5. He tells the priests that carry the ark to walk towards the waters edge, and once their feet touch the water, the waters will separate and again, the people will be able to cross on dry land. Talk about a step of faith. This is one of those times when the people know what is going to take place, yet they had to step out in faith in order for it to come about. Once the waters part, the people walk across, and they take 12 stones out of the riverbed and place them as a monument on the other side as a remembrance to what God did for them that day.
So, now lets compare the two. At the Red Sea, the people were full of panic and worry, for Pharaoh was coming to get them. At the Jordan River, the people were not only ready, they were obedient in stepping out into what God had for them. In both cases, the parting of the waters marked the end of one season and the beginning of a new. These situations brought an end to slavery and beginning of wandering, then the end of wandering to the beginning of promise. Following the parting of the River, the people went on to destroy the city of Jericho, not with weapons, but by simply following the orders laid before them by God. If the people had listened and obeyed the first time, they wouldn't have wasted 40 years wandering looking at the land from afar, but because of their attitude toward the situation, most of the people did not live to see God's promise come full circle. They missed out on the promise because they couldn't get out of their past in order to embrace their future.
Don't miss out on what God has for you simply because you are panicking about what is behind you, but step out into what is ahead.
Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God

photo credit-coveredbythedust.wordpress.com

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

Note to Self

" Dear Future Self, How are things in the future. Anything exciting happen to you recently. I am writing this letter to you to encourage you that even though things may be getting hard and it feels like you will be giving up, I want you to know that you can handle this. You have been through situations like this before, and you managed to survive till the end. Whatever is happening now is nothing new. It might look different from past struggles or old hurts, but they are just different tactics to sway you from the path God has for you. I hope as you read this letter, you have continued to follow your dreams, or maybe you have new ones. I pray you have stuck through the hard times to get to where you are and have not given in to the temptation to throw in the towel at the first sign of struggle. You are stronger than that, and nothing the Devil throws at you is a shock to God. Stick it through, and you will go far.' Your old self-until our two paths intersect."

Have you ever written a note to yourself for you to read sometime in the future. Maybe you would write on on New Years with all the resolutions you made for that year, and you open it the next year to see how you did. Maybe, something big in your life took place and you want to remember the moment. In the letter, you may bring up the event and as your future self reads it, you will in turn remember what God did for you.
What if in one of these letters, you are truly honest with yourself and confess some things that you have a hard time telling other people. The things that are hard for you to admit even to yourself are the places that God wants to fix in you. True life/attitude/perspective change happens when we dig down deep within ourselves and find the things we have buried so far into us that we deny struggling with these things, and then confessing them to the father. Sometimes, these things we have denied for so long, that people may call us out on something, and we become like Peter and deny all existence of a problem. It has been said that once we acknowledge an issue, it is easier to get help and get healing in that area.
You may be wondering what kind of things could bury themselves so deep within oneself that an individual does not even realize they are there. This could be anything that comes between you and God. Addictions, Pride, Greed are just a few things, but the list can go on and on. When there is something that hinders us in our walk with God, we must pray and ask the Father to reveal those things inside of us and ask forgiveness from these things. Once we admit a problem, God will help us get to a positive solution of redemption and freedom.

It might be time to write out a letter to yourself. A letter of confession or apology with the soul purpose of finding peace and growing closer to the Lord and Savior of our souls.

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God, until our lives cross again.

Saturday, October 17, 2015

Crazy Faith

It can be really easy sometimes to follow God when everything in your life is going well. It can be easy when something gets just a little off. But what do you do when everything falls apart and nothing goes like it should? Times like these call for a faith beyond the ordinary. I'm talking crazy faith. The faith that tells you to jump and you have to believe you will make it to the other side. This faith, from the eyes of the outside, can be looked down upon as foolish faith, but in the eyes of God, it is right where he wants his people. Giving everything you own away and living as a poor man seems insane to those around you, yet it might be exactly the place that God has need for you to be in that season of your life. In situations like this, any person you come in contact with might have gone from riches to rags in a short span of time, and you know have a connecting point with that person. "I could never do that. That is crazy. I would look like a fool."  From the words of Petra, I would rather be a fool in the eyes of men, than a fool in the eyes of God.-Fool's Gold. I want to depend on God so confidently, that I will not care how I look to the world, because I am not out to impressive them. We were not put on this earth to fit perfectly into the mold of the world, nor are we to try and gain approval from people, rather than God. Some of the greatest bible heroes that we discuss were probably looked on as crazy. Consider John the Baptist. He ate locusts and honey and wore camel skin, and was considered insane, yet God used him to prepare the way for his son on the earth. Then there is the prophet Isaiah. He spent 3 years naked because God told him to be. Now, we don't know  reason for this, but it was probably awkward to be around him during this time. What about the story of Abraham. After 25 years of waiting for a promised son, Abraham finally receives his promise, then God tells him to sacrifice the promised child. Wait God, I just got my promise and now you want me to kill him. I don't understand. You said My descendants would outnumber the stars in the sky, and it would be through this boy. Why would you want me to kill him? Not once during this story do we read of Abraham questioning God, only that he prepares for the sacrifice believing that whatever happens, God still knows what he is doing. In the end, Isaac is saved from death and a ram is offered instead. Then there is the story of Esther. Esther was just a common girl from Israel who became queen. Then after a short while, she had to risk everything, including her life, in order to save her people. In that day, if someone came to the king unannounced, the king could, and usually did, have that person killed. Yet we see that after prayer and fasting, Esther was able to approach the king with a welcoming heart and she was able to save countless of lives. Take Gideon. He was called by God while threshing wheat in a winepress, for fear of the Midianites finding it and taking it. God called him to lead an army of 300 men to take on the 135,000 men army of Midian. In the beginning, Gideon had to make sure God had really wanted him, but after God proved that he had not made a mistake in his choice, Gideon was able to lead the army. The Midianites were wiped out without a single Israelite drawing their sword. Talk about crazy. Another of many great examples is that of Moses. Moses was born a Hebrew, raised in an Egyptian palace, then spent 40 years in the wilderness. In the wilderness, God comes to him in a burning bush and instructs Moses to walk right up to Pharaoh and tell him to let go the 600,000+ men plus women and children, whom Pharaoh had working as slaves. Moses went up against Pharaoh with only Aaron, his brother, and God, and Pharaoh ended up drowning in the Red Sea. Having crazy faith is not something everyone, even those who are saved, can do. Just having faith when life is going great, is like keeping God in your back pocket, like a spare tire on a car, and only pulling him out when you get a flat. But God needs to be the steering wheel of your spiritual vehicle. God wants us to solely rely on him, that he will get us where we need to go, and when we need to get there. If having faith was an easy task, and it didn't make you appear different or uncomfortable, it would be way more convenient for everyone to do it. As much as God wants all of his children to have faith, what he really wants is the few that truly believe. The ones who have gone through what seems like hell on earth, yet have not wavered in their faith, but rather strengthened it to where it needs to be. That is crazy faith. Faith that, no matter what is thrown your way, you eyes will not waiver from the one who is control, and you will not be shaken. In every situation, in everyday life, this is the faith that we must strive for. Getting to a point of crazy faith probably won't be an easy feat, but once you get to the place of ultimate surrender, God will show you just how big his is, and that there is nothing to fear as long as you trust in what he is doing.

Adam Semple- a young man striving for crazy faith to do the mission from God.

Saturday, October 10, 2015

Like Falling Down a Waterfall

When hiking a trail in the mountains, there is almost always a beautiful spectacle awaiting you at the top. most of the time, it is a beautiful view of a valley from above, or a landscape that is picture worthy, but on occasion, you will see a sight more beautiful than even that. The sight of a gushing waterfall. When coming up to a waterfall, you can hear the sound of it long before you arrive at it, and when you do, there is this amazing smell of beauty that you can't help but soak ii all in. Waterfalls, like any spectacle can be see from several perspectives. There is the view from the top. This view is what an unfortunate boat that happened along the wrong path might encounter. Picture a boat floating down the river, a bright sun in the sky, a cool breeze in the air, when all of a sudden, they hear the sound of falling water and realize what is coming their way. From their viewpoint, they can not see how high up they will be falling from or what lies at the bottom. All they know is they better act quick to ensure they arrive safely on the other side. I feel like life can be like this some times. We are leisurely floating along when, BAM, danger approaches. It comes without warning and there is little we can do to stop it from happening. Usually what happens, at least in movies anyway, is that the people try to turn their boat around and get to shore as swiftly as possible. 9 times out of 10. their attempts at turning around only result in them capsizing backwards over the raging waterfall, rather than facing it head on. Amidst the descent, everyone ends up on the outside the boat and they make sure everyone is still there and ok. A situation happens like this when everything is going smooth and out of nowhere, things begin to fall all around you. You lose a loved one, a house, a job, and suddenly, you are going headfirst over the unknown. Then there is the view from the bottom. From here, you can see the whole waterfall in all of its beauty. From the peak to the river at the bottom, you see nothing but a masterpiece in constant motion, This is what it looks like to be on the other side of a scenario. After the fall, and you have come to the conclusion that everyone is fine, you see that either, "Wow, look what I just survived!", or "Wow, that wasn't too bad. Whatever the size of the waterfall, you look up and see water gushing down on you by the gallons, and yet somehow you came out alive. Yes, the unknown was terrifying, "How high is it? Are there steep rocks at the bottom? Will I survive?" Sometimes, the fall itself might seem to go on forever. "Will I ever get back to how I was? What will it look like when its over?" But then, you hit that cold water, (usually), and all your fears melt away. You survived, you have made it, and it really wasn't as bad as it seemed on the way down. As you look up, you realize what God has just brought you through. You look around and see a brand new sight that your eyes have never seen before and you can't help but feel good about. When you go through life knowing you have survived a waterfall, when the next one comes along, you can brace yourself, let go of the paddles and hang on for the ride, because though it may not be easy going down, the after effect will be breathtaking. Its time to go over and prepare yourself for what lies ahead.

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God

Saturday, October 3, 2015

Disembark From The Ark

If you have spent anytime in church, you are probably familiar with the story of Noah and the ark. In case you aren't, here is a slight summary.
God comes to Noah and tells him that because of the wickedness in the world, He is going to wipe the slate clean and wipe out everyone on earth except for Noah and his family. He proceeds to tell Noah that he must build an ark and it must be big enough to fit 2 of every living creature, both male and female of every species on the earth at that time. Noah is given the measurements and he and his 3 sons, Shem, Ham, and Japheth, got right to work. Once the ark was completed, Noah and his wife, their sons and their wives, and male and female of all animals boarded the ark and for 40 days, God poured out rain upon the face of the earth, coming both from the heavens and under the earth. After the 40 days of rain, there was so much water on the earth, that the tops of the highest mountain ranges were covered in water. Because the waters were so high, Noah and his family stayed on the ark for 150 days. I do not know if this was an additional 150 following the 40, or if it equalled out to the 150, but either way, that is a long time on a wooden boat full of stinking animals with nothing to do and nothing to see but water for miles all around. After the 150 days, God made the ark rest upon the top of the mountain Ararat. 3 months following that, the tops of the other mountains were visible. Shortly following this, Noah opened the window and sent out a dove from the ark. The dove came back after a while for it had no place to rest its feet. Noah waits a week, and again sends out the dove, this time when it returns, it as in its mouth an olive leaf. I imagine this was encouraging to Noah, but they couldn't leave yet. After another week, he sends the dove out for a third time, and this time, the dove did not return back to the ark, for it had found a resting place. After a period of almost a full year on the ark, God told Noah and his family to disembark from the ark and to increase and multiply over the face of the earth. Then God makes a promise to Noah declaring He will never again send a flood to destroy the earth, and as a seal, he placed a rainbow in the sky as a visual reminder between God and man. It might be easy to look at that story with the viewpoint that God is evil and wants to simply wipe us out. How about instead, we look at in as a way to clean house, so to speak, and start fresh. If God simply hated his creation, it would have been just as easy to simply destroy the earth with everything in it, but instead, he took a family that walked in his ways and preserved them from a wicked and perverse generation in order to remove things that should not have been and put in things that should have been. Many people are going through life with the feeling that the rain is just going to keep coming and they will be stuck on their "boat" forever. I can imagine that while on the ark, Noah and his family would get pretty depressed in their situation. Here, they have lost everything they had, their friends, the rest of their family, their livelihood, and are stuck out at sea with no hope of restitution insight. The rain continues to fall and more and more water has come upon the earth. I can only assume, that there is the possibility that a few of them lost some of their marbles and went a little nuts, but then, the sun comes out and there is now a glimmer of hope. "Finally", they exclaim,"we can get off this dumb boat." But unfortunately, their time aboard was not over. Eventually, they begin to see mountains coming out of the water and their hope increases with every peak. The waters are going down. Finally, they get to a point where Noah feels comfortable enough to send out a dove, and at first, there is nothing, but little by little, the dove is becoming a bearer of good news and things are finally looking up. Then, Suddenly, God gives the ok to leave the ark. It is probably safe to assume that they did not come off in a sloth-like many, but rather they were as cheetahs running across the African plains. There was no hesitation to stay aboard, but a haste to get to dry land as quickly as possible. Right now, my family seems like we are stuck on an ark, but we are watching the waters recede and the dove has brought us an olive branch, and we know that the doors of our ark will be burst upon soon enough. I can't wait for the day when I can come on here and tell what God has done for us, and oh what a story it will be, just know that through your storms, God has never forgotten you. It says in chapter 8 of Genesis that God remember his children and rested them safely on the mountain while they patiently waited for the land to come out of the water and they could disembark from the ark. The time is near for your storms to end and your waters to recede and it is time to GET OFF THE ARK!!!!

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God

Saturday, September 26, 2015

Fly-By Time

"THE END IS NEAR. THE TIME IS COMING. REPENT AND BE SAVED". It seems that there is a lot of repent or perish messages being spread across the world. The end times are upon us, but there is this sense that we aren't ready for it. We are not promised tomorrow, or our next breath, yet for some reason, we assume that we have all the time in the world to get right with God. When I am in perfect health...When the finances line up just right...After I finish school....After I get established in my job. These are just a few of the excuses we give to try and justify why we have not ran after the Father. It says in James 4:13-14 that are life is merely a vapor that can pass away at any moment. We can be here one minute, and gone the next. Even if we live to be 108, there are seasons of our life that seem to fly-by faster than others. For a student in school, it may be summer break, for a parent, it is usually the time it takes for their baby to grow up and leave the nest. things such as these happen in the blink of an eye, and there is nothing we can do to slow it down. It is time to use whatever time we have left on this earth, whether it be 1 year or a century, and press in to what God has for us. God has given us everything under the sun that we need to not only get our hearts ready, but the people around us as well. God has given a user manual on how to get through this life and it has been at our disposal for centuries. It is the word of God, the Bible. The book of Ephesians describes it as our spiritual sword in which we use to fight off the attacks that are going to, if they haven't already, come from the devil. But just like any weapon, you can't just pick it up and expect to be a master at it. You have to read it and study it and use it in practice so you can be ready when the time arises. No one can just pick up a sword and be the best if he has not learned the form of the weapon and it is the same with God's word. We must set aside time out of our days and dive into the scripture, call on the name of the Father and ask him to pour out his wisdom upon you as you read and study. Yes, I did just say to set aside time. I know that sometimes, life gets hectic, and there are not enough hours in the day to get things done. I know that your hours are spent doing things that you have deemed important. I know, because I have done the same. I get so distracted with life, that I forget to read my bible, or spend time in prayer. Satan knows that if he can keep us so busy that we don't grow our spiritual walks with God, he has won. It has been said that one will make time for something in life if it truly matters to him, and we must make our time with God as important as everyday life. If we don't, it will be just another thing on the to-do list of things to do before we can sleep and start all over again. Time is short, and we never know when God comes back and redeems his saints from the earth. So I choose to make the most of the time that I have, and follow God as best as I possibly can, and I hope that you choose in you heart to do the same. You might be thinking, "My days are as full as they can be, there is just no time". So start small. 5-10 mins to start. Begin to get yourself into a routine of setting time aside and work your way up to longer more fuller quiet time. It may be hard at first, but it is worth it, knowing you are preparing for battle with every small step you take.

"Time is ticking away, tick tick ticking away. Time is ticking away. Tick tock ticking away".

- DC Talk "Time Is..."

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God. 

Saturday, September 19, 2015

Life for Real

Life is a journey of twists and turns, ups and downs and every once in awhile, you might face the loops that flip you completely upside down for a time. Have you ever witnessed a life that was a straight path from point A to point B? Of course not. What would be the point of life if it was just a road with no obstacles, or a roller coaster without twists, turns and corkscrews? It would be like, "Ok, you're saved now, go enjoy your easy, never challenging life. I'll be here at the finish line waiting for you". There would never be any stretching or pulling therefore, there would never be any growing. It is the things in life that push you down the path God has for you, and if we go through life without them, we will never reach our full potential. God didn't design the earth to be an obstacle course without the obstacles. Everything we go through in life his by his design and they are designed to strengthen us in the ways of the Father. When the corkscrews of life come our way, they might terrify us at first, but only once we have made it out do we realize that though it was terrifying and we probably wanted to hurl at times, we came out of it alive, and we realize we can take on the next one with a little more ease, and the more they come, it easier it gets to know that we will get out of each and everyone and we will be a little tougher from it on the other side. If someone's whole life was  just a straight path, the little tilts of the cart that arise will more often than not scare us, but after we have been conditioned on the big, bad, exciting courses, the little jolts are nothing and we can just breeze past them. At times, it may seem like the challenges are only getting harder, but it is in times like these, that we must realize, God does not give us more than we can handle. That's not to say that  what comes will be easy, But if the course is becoming more twisted, our endurance is getting stronger and God knows we can handle more.  So, whether just a little at a time, or a totally upset, God increases the amount of struggle, to strengthen the individual for the big thing God has for them. When someone is truly motivated to bring about change in their life, they don't take the easy way out. They go for the things that will push them to new levels and stretch them into a new mentality. They push and push to a point, then once they hit that point, they keep pushing. They don't slowly climb the hill just to speed down the other side. The finish climbing on mountain, and look for a bigger one. Roller Coaster enthusiasts can be the same way. Once they have conquered "The Big One", they have to find and conquer "The Bigger One", and this is an endless pursuit until they have conquered the biggest and the baddest. I don't want my life to be one of ease and comfort. I want to live a life that is in continual growth. A life that I am always being pulled out of comfort and pulled into the will of the Father. I want to be a risk taker when it comes to my spiritual fight against the tricks of the devil, and I want as many people who are willing to join me. 
Are you up for the challenge? The challenge to get off of the kiddie coaster and hop on the fast train full of twists and turns, and yes even some full 360's thrown into the mix. God has something bigger for all of us, we just need to be ready. God is not going to throw you into something you are not ready for, so let's get ready and begin the journey toward spiritual exhilaration!!

Adam Semple- A Young Man on A Mission from God

Adam Semple- A young man on a mission from God 

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

What if...?

Have you ever read through scripture and as you read it, you get excited because in new ways and by different plans, God comes out on top and the enemy has been defeated? I want to look at a story in scripture from the eyes of the enemy and try to imagine what was going through their heads as the events unfolded. Imagine with me that during the freeing of the Israelites from Egypt,we get a glimpse of what was going on in Pharaoh's mind. I would imagine it would be something like this.
"Moses, you're not going to beat me at that pace. Oh, That is where you are wrong brother. See, I win. Alright, lets go back to the palace. Hang on Ramses, there is a fight over here, I am going to see what's up. Well make it quick Moses. The next day, Moses' father finds out what he has does and puts out a death threat for Moses. Great, Ramses thinks to himself, Now who is going to do chariot races with me. The story then picks up 40 years later. Ramses himself is now the Pharaoh after his father and suddenly, who comes walking into town, why it is none other than my brother Moses with one of the Hebrew slaves. What is this he is telling me, to let his people go, he can't be serious. He must be serious. He just threw down his staff and it became a great snake. So of course, I call on my magicians and they are able to do the same with their staffs. Now what, Moses. Oh, wait, the slaves staff just ate my magicians staffs, then Moses picks it up and it turns back into solid wood. No matter. Two can play at this game. Take away their straw, I say to the head taskmaster, but keep the quota the same. Good, now that problem is solved, wait, here is Moses again, when I am bathing in the Nile no less, and that slave touches the water with his serpent-staff and the water begins to turn to blood. The water has been turned to blood all over my great nation, so much that the water is undrinkable. I was a bit taken aback at first, but then my magicians did the same thing, so I did nothing. A week goes by and the water is still blood red. Then Moses comes to me again and says to let his people go our frogs are going to cover the whole land. With a wave of the slaves hand, frogs by the thousands come up out of the Nile and get into all of our homes, even into the bedrooms. My magicians do the same, to impress me I guess, but that only makes more frogs. So I call Moses and the slave and tell them that if they call back the frogs, I will let your people go. So the next day all the frogs either died or returned to the river and oh, how the nation stunk after that. Besides the stink, we were no longer in danger, so naturally, I had no reason to let my workers go free. If I thought that the blood and frogs were bad, I had another thing coming. 7 other plagues came upon my people. By this point, I had had it up to the neck with these people. But then one night everything shifted. My taskmaster had informed me that the Israelites had taken lamb's blood and covered their doorposts with the blood. I told him to just dismiss it and let them go about their business. Not even a few hours had gone by, and I had just tucked my oldest boy in bed. I woke to the sound of the nursemaid screaming and I ran in to find my boy was dead. I didn't take me long to realize that cries were coming from every Egyptian household because they too had lost a loved one, from the rich in palaces, to the poor in the slumps. I called Moses and the slave in, and told them to get out. take their wives and their children and their livestock and everything that belonged to them and to get out of my nation. They gathered up their belongings and I watched as they all exited out of the city. It didn't take me long to come to my senses and realize what I had just done. So I gathered together 600 of my best chariots and foot soldiers and we pursued the Israelites as far as the Red Sea. Even from my distant viewpoint, I could tell that the people were getting scared. So I told my men to pick up the pace, but as we were nearing close, a streak of fire spread in front of the horses, so as to slow us up I presume. Then the fires receded and the chariots pursued with all the gusto my men had. It took me about 2 minutes before I realized that the people were crossing on the floor of the sea on dry land, but I had no time to wonder about that. I had a people to recapture. I watched as the last of the stragglers got onto the other side of the river and then it hit me. The waters that had been congealed on both sides suddenly lost its congealed consistency and my men and all of their chariots were being drowned by the waters that came upon us like a mighty rushing wind and the last thing that went through my mind was Moses looking down at me with a look of anguish and hurt."
As must of us know, God had a plan in place from the very beginning, even before Joseph brought the sons of Israel into Egypt 400 years before, and God has a plan for each us as well. I is very cool to me that in those times when the enemy is fully confident that the bad guy will win, God comes in and turns their plans upside down and still allows his people to come out on top. That is the God that I serve, and that is the purpose set before us for our lives. The God who knows the plans he has for us, and what we must do to bring it about, even when the majority of the time is just being obedient and watching him work.
Thanks for stepping into my imagination with me of What If... and for being on the side that has God fighting for them, not against them.
Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God
 
*photo credit- Prince of Egypt

Saturday, September 12, 2015

What God Opens, No One Can Shut

Life is full of opportunities that shape us and mold us into the people God intended. In front of every opportunity is a door- a choice. As we journey down this path there are many times when you come to a doorway that at the time when you are a little further back, the door is wide open, but as you get closer, you realize the doorway is now closed shut. Then there are times when it is just the opposite. You see a closed door, yet upon arrival, you see that it has swung wide and you can walk right through. Life is a constant coin toss of an open door or a closed door, and we need to be at a place where whatever side ends flipped up, we must be content with the results. Know you may be wondering what a situation like this looks like. I will give an example of something that just recently happened in my life. As some of you may know, this past year, I was a part of a ministry school for young adults. I was certain that God wanted me to continue with the school another year. I began fundraising for the year, but by the end of summer, the money just wasn’t in like I had hoped. I realized that what I once thought was a sure thing turned out to be a door that was open for a time, but was now being slammed shut. In all honesty, I was confused and a little frustrated. Why would God put this on my heart to continue, then not let me? Over the course of the next few weeks, I came to realize that where I needed to be was not where I thought it was. I needed to walk a different path then one I had become comfortable with over the previous year. I had fallen into routine and complacency and it wasn’t where God intended for me to be. I am not saying that I am now fully in that place, especially considering that on this earth, we will never be fully complete in the Father and in that perfect place until we get to heaven. I am however saying that through these last couple of weeks, God had need of me right where I am.
 When I think of doors opening and closing in a person’s life, I am drawn to the story of Joseph from the Old Testament. Joseph was the favorite son of his father Israel, so naturally the envy of his 11 brothers. Joseph had been given dreams from God, and as any excited person would have done, he shared his dreams with his brothers. In his dreams, he saw his parents and his brothers, including the sun, moon and stars bow down before him. While reading this, I have never gotten the impression that this was a pride thing, but merely a pure excitement for what was to come. His brothers, however, did not share in his joy. They threw him into a pit and sold him to their distant cousins, the Ishmaelites. Wham! Closed door. But Joseph’s story doesn’t end when the door closes. Joseph is sold to an Egyptian by the name of Potiphar and in a short period of time, He becomes second in command over Potiphar’s whole household. Then, God slams the door once again. Potiphar’s wife gets jealous of Joseph, so she tells her husband that he attacked her and Joseph is then thrown into prison. Even though Joseph’s life has not been entirely peachy, never once does it say that Joseph complained or threw himself a pity party. Through every closed door, he still chooses to praise God. After close to 2 years in prison, Joseph is called before Pharaoh and in turn, becomes the 2nd in command over all of Egypt as he shows the people what they must do to survive the famine. When the famine hits, Joseph’s brothers travel to Egypt for food, and find out that the little 13 year old kid they threw into a pit was now second only to Pharaoh and his life had come full circle. Joseph had spent his entire life with doors opening and closing in his face, but in the end, God had a better door intended for him all along. Joseph could have stayed pouting behind his closed door, but instead, he walked into a new hallway with new opportunities that led to him saving his entire family, as well as a whole nation, from starvation. I do not know where the next door in my life will open, or when that door will close, but when it does, I what to have the mindset of Joseph through it all. To tough it out and change course if the need arises. It is better to walk a new hallway towards a new door, then to stay in the old hallway waiting for the door to open. God will open every door that he wants us to walk through, and he will close every door that he doesn’t. Stay ready in the hallway.

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God.

Saturday, September 5, 2015

May The Lord Be With You

I am going to go full nerd on this one, but I want to try to help people understand the power of God by comparing it to the movie franchise "Star Wars". Before I begin, I want to make sure you know that I am not saying George Lucas read the Bible for his inspiration or that Star Wars is fact fictionalized, I am simply trying to help those of you maybe understand it a little easier. 
For starters,we have the symbolic similarity of Obi-Wan Kenobi and Jesus Christ. In the first movie, we meet Obi-Wan as a old hermit watching over young Luke Skywalker. When Luke falls into some trouble with Tusken Raiders, Obi-Wan comes to his rescue. After hearing the message sent from the princess through a little astromech droid named R2-D2, pleading that he is the rebellions only hope, he then proceeds to tell Luke about the power of the all-encompassing Force that gives a Jedi his unique abilities. In the Gospels, we see Jesus as a man who comes to the rescue of the people of old. He too tells his disciples of a spiritual helper that will come to their aid after he is gone. Towards the middle of the movie, Obi-Wan confronts his old padawan Darth Vader and they battle it out. Doing this fight, Obi-Wan informs Darth Vader that killing him will only make him stronger, but in his anger, Darth Vader strikes him down anyway. This is in resemblance to Jesus Taking the weight of the world on his shoulders when he goes to the cross. Had satan known what he was really doing when he had the people crucify Christ, He probably would have thought through his actions. Satan did not understand that once Jesus gave up his spirit, His reign of terror would officially end. Obi-Wan, after death, is able to guide Luke towards his target of shooting torpedoes into the very heart of the Empire's ultimate weapon, the Death Star. In death, Jesus went right into the gates of hell and the grave and walked out with the keys. Through the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ, there was now a bridge that was made between God and the believers that allowed open access to the Father, through the Son. 
Next is the gift.  In the world of Star wars, we have this thing that holds their universe together, and that is the Force. The Force is the power source that allows the jedi to do what they do. When a Jedi taps into the power of the Force, they are able to see things in a whole new perspective. On the flip side, this is what the Holy Spirit is like to the Christian. When a believer is filled with the Holy Spirit, they are able to walk in new strengths and talents that they never knew they had before. God gave this gift of the Holy Spirit to the believers after Jesus was crucified and rose again.There was a mighty rushing wind and tongues of fire appeared on the heads of the saints, therefore allowing them to speak in new languages and spread the love of Christ to those who were unable to hear it before that time.  
In another similarity of Christ, we have Luke Skywalker, now a full fledged jedi in the sixth movie, Return of the Jedi. In the fifth movie, Luke has discovered that Darth Vader is actually Luke's father, Anakin Skywalker. In the Empire Strikes Back, Darth Vader cuts off Luke's hand and tells him to join him on the dark side and together they can rule the galaxy. Luke declines his father's "gracious" offer and leaves with his friends until the next movie. This is similar to Jesus' time spent in the desert during his 40 days of fasting. Satan comes to the Son after 40 days and tries to get him to fulfill an earthly desire so that he may sin against the father, After 2 failed attempts, he tells Jesus to bow at his feet and he will give him power of the nations. Jesus rebukes the Devil, and he finally gives up an leaves him. Once again, Luke and his father meet up and both the Emperor and Darth Vader try to convince Luke to turn to the dark side. Emperor tries to bring out the anger and hate from Luke 's heart in order that he will strike him down and fully embrace the dark side of the force. Here, I see Jesus on the cross and before his tormentors. At any time, he could have done signs and wonders that would have made them believe in him, or he could have saved himself from the cross by calling down a legion of angels from heaven to rescue him, but he choose instead to die for the believers for that was the Father's will. In the end, Darth Vader turns his heart back to the good side, and he kills the Emperor, even though in the process, it too kills him. Darth Vader vanquishes the evil to save his son, even when his life could not be spared.
"May The Force Be With You". This phrase sums up pretty much the whole Star Wars saga, but this was not entirely a George Lucas original. Paul says to the church in Thessalonica, "Now may the God of Peace himself give you peace at all times and in every way. May the Lord be with all of you
From one saved nerd to another,

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Its Time for Breakthrough

"And David came to Baal-perazim, and David defeated them there. And he said, 'The Lord has broken through my enemies before me like a breaking flood.' Therefore the name of that place is called Baal-perazim."- 2 Samuel 5:20.
Broken through. The word breakthrough means a sudden, dramatic, and important discovery or development. This is not a thing that takes time or is drawn out, but instead it a "suddenly" shift that changes an entire situation. This type of "Suddenly" happens on several occasions throughout the scriptures. The day of Pentecost came, "with a sudden rush of wind", Saul was walking towards Damascus when suddenly, God appears to him in a bright light and changes his life forever. God then shows up in a suddenly for Paul when He and Silas were in prison. "Suddenly, there was a great earthquake that shook the prison, and immediately the doors were open and the chains were broken off of all the prisoners". 
This is just a few circumstances where God showed in a suddenly and did a complete shift of a situation, but those are not all of them. These suddenlies are some of the coolest God-interventions that take place in the bible in my opinion. Sometimes, they come after prayer and thanksgiving, while others come when they are least expected, as was the case in Paul's situation. I like looking at these occurrences as the Climax of a movie. Hope seems lost for one of the characters, when all of a sudden, the hero breaks through the wall of wherever they may be and the victim knows that everything will turn out for the best with the hero taking care of the bad guy in ways that might even surprise the victim and the villain simultaneously. When breakthroughs occur, the people know that their circumstance is about to take a major shift for the good.
In the times we are in right now, people everywhere are waiting for their breakthrough. The devil is attacking them on all sides, and as a result, some have lost hope that their hero, Jesus, is even coming. And then, in a snap, they find themselves in a new place with refreshed hope and courage. When breakthrough comes into a life, we need to be ready for it. We must be diligent in prayer and reading the word so that when the walls break apart, we will be able to stand up and face what is coming rather than cower in fear because we were not prepared. Sudden changes in one's life are likely to make some hobble around trying to figure out what is next, but we must realize that once God comes through, everything will begin to fall into place and it will all work out. It is time to get ready for it. It is time to begin declaring the promises that have been spoken over you life and preparing your heart and soul for the moment when it all comes together. 
Breakthrough is coming and I want to be ready to embrace it. Anyone else with me? Let's Go, Breakthrough is almost here.

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God 

Saturday, August 29, 2015

It Is Finished

 After this, Jesus, knowing that all was now finished, said (to fulfill the Scripture), “I thirst.” 29 A jar full of sour wine stood there, so they put a sponge full of the sour wine on a hyssop branch and held it to his mouth. 30 When Jesus had received the sour wine, he said, “It is finished,” and he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.- John 19:28-30. These were the last things Jesus said on the cross before he died to the flesh. The phrase "It Is Finished" has been recognized as Jesus' final words, but did you know there are 7 phrases that were said by Jesus during his time on the cross?
One of the other widely-known sayings is this, "Father, forgive them, for they know not what they do". Here Jesus is saying that the people were only following God's plan and purpose for this time in their lives. Jesus understood that in order for him to bring salvation to all, the crowd would have to turn from the good for a time, in order to come into the great for eternity. Even during the worst possible pain he could ever endure, he still wanted to ensure the people were covered by his saving blood.
Next we have the conversation with the criminal. Here, one of the men alongside Jesus realizes who the guy that is beside him really is. In the middle of his own persecution, he acknowledges that Christ is the Messiah, and asks that Jesus simply remembers him when he enters the kingdom. But Jesus goes one step further. Not only does he agree, he promises that right away, the criminal will be allowed access to the kingdom. In this statement, Jesus is making it clear that he came to save all men. Not just the ones who faithfully followed him their whole lives, but also the ones who rejected him throughout their life, yet found their way into his saving grace.
"Woman, Behold your son! Behold, your Mother". Here Jesus is talking to his mother and the Apostle John. He is asking John to watch over his mother since he will no longer be on the earth to care for her. This passage shows us His care for humanity. Jesus is telling us that while we are on this earth, we must care for the needs of our fellow brothers and sisters. The life of a follower of Christ is not one of solidarity or aloneness, but it is a community of believers walking with each other toward one goal, the spreading of God's good news to a world so desperately in need of it.
"Eli, Eli lama sabachthani""- " My God, My God, why have you forsaken me?" I imagine through this whole process, this time right here is the hardest, not only for Jesus, but for God the Father as well. At this point, all the weight of the sin of the world is upon the shoulders of Jesus. God is so holy and pure that in the time of his child's greatest suffering, he cannot even look upon his son, for the sin is too much even for God's own eyes. What love. What grace. Jesus fully knows what he has gotten into, yet he still chooses to endure the pain of every sin, from the past, to the present, to the future. Jesus was fully capable of calling down a legion of angels to rescue him off of that cross, but he loves us so much that he went through it all so we could be saved. 
" I Thirst". Even in death, Jesus is still committed to fulfilling the scriptures of the prophets of old. I'm not implying that this was said just to fulfill, I'm just noting that he never turned back from the things said way back when. Some commentators say this statement was made in preparation for his final words on the cross. Here, the soldiers give him a sponge with sour wine that was put on a hyssop and brought it up to his mouth. He took a sip or two, and was ready to give his final words.
"It Is Finished"! Through this passage, Jesus is saying his time in the flesh is done. He has done everything he came to earth to do and it is time to return to the Father. This is also a promise to the children of God. Jesus' death is complete, therefore ending the reign of Death and the Grave. Following this event, Jesus walks into the gates of hell and takes the keys out of the hand of the Devil. Since the beginning of creation, Satan has been fighting a losing battle, and Jesus' crucifixion was only the beginning of his end. 
The last statement of Christ is the thing that we as Christians should proclaim over our own lives. In Luke 23:46, Jesus makes this declaration,"Father, into your hands I commit My spirit". This is what God wants us to say to him after we have accepted him as Lord and Savior of our lives. When we commit our spirit to the Father, we are saying that we trust him to work in our hearts and lives in the ways that will shift us into people God created us to be. When we are fully committed to God, he will keep us and carry us down the path he has set before us. "You will keep us in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on you, because he trusts in you. Trust in the Lord forever".-Isaiah 26:3

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God