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