Saturday, December 24, 2016

I Can Be Patient, Can't You See How Patient I Am

5:30 am. The Sun has not even thought about rising, yet you jump out of bed and race down the stairs as fast as your little feet can carry you. You hope you can get to the living room before Mom and Dad stop you. "Not yet,"they say, "We need some coffee and tea before we begin." So, there you stand, eagerly trying to peek around the parents to see the wonder and the joy of the gifts around the Christmas tree. At the point where you are about to burst with excitement, they release you to go check out the treasures under the evergreen. But wait. You can't open your gifts all at once. There is an order to the madness. Stockings are opened first. Then, one-by-one, the gifts are opened where everyone can see and enjoy with you. Being a kid on christmas takes an incredible amount of patience. Some of us have more than others. As we get older, it seems more and more that we need to wait longer and longer for the things we are wanting. Working hard at your job for the promotion you have been waiting for, waiting for a promise from God. Anticipation of a friend's arrival from long ago. Sometimes, being patient can be really hard. I have found this to be true more and more lately as I work in retail over the holiday season. People can get real impatient when we don't have enough milk and eggs out, and, as much as I hate to admit it, my patience for people can begin to run real thin. It takes great control to not greet people with angry when I am asked for the hundredth time if I have any sugar cookies in the back. if we are not careful, the smallest things will set us off, and it takes a while to cool off. As hard as it may seem, it is in these times that we need patience the most. To keep our mouths shut and our ears open to what the people are asking.

I love this quote from the movie Evan Almighty, "When someone prays for patience, do you Think God will give them patience, or rather an opportunity to be patient. When they ask for courage, will they receive courage, or the chance to be courageous."

We pray all the time for patience and courage, and get anxious when it doesn't come right away, but does that not seem a little redundant. We pray for patience, yet when God makes us wait for us, we get even more impatient. What?!? We desire patience in our lives, yet get annoyed at someone at the drop of a hat.  Maybe, God is presenting opportunities in front of us to help build the patience over time. It will probably take some time and a lot of patient waiting, but one day, someone will get on your last nerve, and you won't blow up on them.  So be patient. Your patience you have been praying for has be given to you in small packages over a span of time that is undetermined. God will give you patience if you are willing to wait for it.

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

Saturday, December 17, 2016

Just A Carpenter

Well, it's that time of year again. You know what I mean. Christmas Time. Hard to believe we are less than 2 weeks away from Christmas morning. Where has the time gone? Wasn't it just summertime 3 days ago. I mean, if it were based on Georgia weather, it would have been. Anyway, it is the time to give gifts and connect with family and friends. Lets go back in time a little to the first Christmas. You have probably heard the story of the first Christmas a hundred times. An angel comes to a young girl and tells her she will give birth to the Son of God. Her and her husband go to Bethlehem and her baby is born in a stable and laid in a cow's breakfast tray. Angels come to shepherds, wise men bring gifts(a few years later) and Jesus is born into the world. Have you ever considered Joseph's side of the story. I mean, come on. A simple carpenter meets a young girl and falls in love. He goes to her father and asks him for her hand. Soon thereafter, they are pledged to be married. Now, like the honest man he is, he has not known his fiancee yet. Then one day, his bride-to-be comes to him and tells him news that should excite him. instead, we read that Joseph is confused. How can this be? She's pregnant? With God's child? There is only one thing I can do. In order to not disgrace her publicly, I would divorce her in secret. I'll just call off the wedding and forget this whole thing. I will take care of this tomorrow. I will just go to sleep. Maybe a better solution will work itself out. "Joseph, Don't be afraid. Take Mary as your wife. This is God's will." An angel appeared to Joseph while he slept and assured him that everything would be ok. So, Joseph took Mary as his wife. Then, you know the rest. Caesar gets all high and mighty and wants to know how many people are under his command. So, he sends out a decree telling everyone to go back to their father's home town. So off to Bethlehem they go and the rest is history. Just a simple carpenter and a simple girl were used by God to bring His son into the world.
So whatever you do in life, don't look down on yourself because you are "just a ...", because God can and will use all of us, if we believe in his plan.

Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission From God.

*photo credit- pinterest.com

Saturday, December 3, 2016

On My Side

Over the last month or so, I have been reading through the book of Ezekiel found in the Old Testament. Ezekiel was a prophet of God during the exile into Babylon. Like many prophets in scripture, Ezekiel didn't have it easy as a prophet. Have you ever read through scripture numerous times, yet every time you read it, new things are revealed. Well, this happened for me towards the beginning of the book. In the fourth chapter of Ezekiel, we are told that that he is told by God to lie on his side for 390 days, then switch and lay on his other side for 40 days eating bread made from wheat, barley, beans and lentils. This will be is food during this time. Oh, and he must cook it in his own poop. Ezekiel asks God in his true human nature,"Not so Sovereign Lord! I have never defiled myself. From my youth until now I have never eaten anything found dead or torn by wild animals. No impure meat has ever entered my mouth". To paraphrase, "Please God, don't make me eat my own excrement!" "Alright," Says God," Use cow dung instead. "He then said to me: "Son of man, I am about to cut off the food supply in Jerusalem. The people will eat rationed food in anxiety and drink rationed water in despair, for food and water will be scarce. They will be appalled at the sight of each other and will waste away because of their sin."- Ezekiel 4:16

Talk about a tough sermon illustration.   

Ezekiel spends 22 years prophesying about the fall of Jerusalem. That had to be rough, but he did it because God told him to. He knew that if God had said it, it would not return void. He realized that God had picked him to preach his word, and if God had chosen him, he couldn't turn it down. If God called you to do something hard and probably uncomfortable, would you do it? Would you do the hard in order to save the lost. I hope that if and when that time comes, I will put aside myself, and lay on my side for a period of time in order to get my message across. Will you?

Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission From God

*photo credit- imgur.com

Saturday, November 19, 2016

Closet Christian

"Wait, you a Christian too? I had no idea."
Unfortunately, this kind of thing happens a lot. We get so comfortable in our walk with Christ that when we are around other Christians, they don't see the light of Christ in us, and and we can't see it in them either. I came to this revelation just yesterday at work. In passing conversation, my past work experience came up and my coworker realized we were both Christians, yet neither one of of us did anything to tell the other about Christ. How sad is that? It is not like we act like heathens at work, it is just that we were good people. Nothing stood out about us, so our co workers just see a good worker. Ever wonder why this is? God has done so many good things for us, yet it is almost like we are ashamed of Him. Imagine if we were back in Bible days. Jesus frees us from our bondage of sin, and we just continue in our life as if we are just good people. Where would the church be today if the newly saved believers did nothing to share the good news they had received. The church would eventually fizzle out and we would have no knowledge of the gospel. It is time to come out of our feelings and not be ashamed to share the things placed inside of us. We need to get back into being so connected to Christ that people look at us and see nothing but Jesus shining through us. I want people to look at my life and notice something different about me. Something that pushes them to be around the light. Believe me when I say this. I don't want people to see me when they should be seeing God. We all need to decrease so that God can increase in us all.

"I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God for the Salvation of everyone who believes"- Romans 1:16

"Let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds, and praise your Father in Heaven"- Matthew 5:16  

Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission From God

*photo credit- crossmap.com

Saturday, November 12, 2016

Give Thanks to The Lord for He Is Good

"We give thanks to you, O God; we give thanks, for your name is near.
We recount your wondrous deeds."- Psalm 75:1

We have come to that time of year when we give thanks for what we have. Thanksgiving. I can say I have a lot to be thankful for. I have an amazing family who loves God and understands what it means to live on a little. I have you amazing readers of this blog who have encouraged me to keep writing. Recently, God blessed my family with a home of our own. We all have jobs and we are no longer in a season of need. We are blessed. Were I to list everything God has blessed us with, it would be a list a mile long. I will give one more blessing, however. This blog, the one you are currently reading right now, has hit over 3400 views and this is the 75th post. Who knew that when I started this blog just over a year ago, I would have the come to this point, yet here we are. I have to say, I have really enjoyed sharing my thoughts with you in my own unique way and I hope you continue to read these as they come out. 

Have you been blessed by God in the past year, month, day? I want to celebrate with you. If there is something God have done that you want to give thanks for, share it in the comments and I will rejoice with you.  

"I will give thanks to the Lord because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the Lord Most High."- Psalm 7:17

"Give thanks to the Lord, Our God and King. His love endures forever. For he is good, he is above all things. His love endures Forever.
Sing praise. Sing Praise". -Chris Tomlin, Give Thanks to the Lord, For He is Good

Let us spread the joy and gladness from the things that the Lord has done for each and everyone of us.

Adam Semple- A Young Man thankful for all I have been blessed with on my mission for him.

Saturday, October 29, 2016

Shake Well; Settling is Natural

Pulp free; high pulp; with mango. Though our taste preferences differ, most of us enjoy a nice glass of orange juice to start or end our day. Written on the label of almost every kind of Orange juice is a small warning. "Shake well, settling is natural." It is easy to see why this label is there. After time, the pulp some of you love in your OJ, has all drifted down to the bottom of the bottle. In order to get the great taste you enjoy, you have to give that container a good shaking. Here is a news flash for you; even as Christians, we all need to be shook up from time to time. As we journey down this path called life, it is not uncommon for us to settle. All of our zest has collected at the bottom and we are just a watered-down rembrandt of what we should be. At one time, we had the taste of an on-fire-for-God-Christian, but now, nothing. In our hearts, we know we are saved, we know who we are, but on the outside, everyone can see through our personalities and see nothing but a watered down wannabe. So how do we get "shaken"? How do we go from orange water, to orange juice? It is rather simple actually. Put your hands in the Father and he will take care of the rest. Wait, is that it? That's all it takes? Yes. There is nothing that orange juice can do to itself that will ever get it back to its tasteful state. Only when it is placed in the shaker's grip does the pulp make its way to the whole substance. The fire that might have died down a little can be resurfaced in our hearts. It just takes a little shaking, but not only that, a constant shaking. We can not let ourselves become shaken, then let the pulp resettle. We need to keep our hearts in constant shaking in order to stay on fire for God. When we are on fire, people look at us and see orange juice. I want people to look at me and see God through my life, and not be diluted in my walk with God. Who's with me?

"And when they had prayed, the place where they had gathered together was shaken and they were all filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak the word of God with boldness"- Acts 4:31

"The voice of the Lord shook the wilderness, the Lord shakes the wilderness of Kadesh" Psalm 29:8

Adam Semple-A Young Man on a Mission From God

Saturday, October 22, 2016

When No One Is Looking

"If a tree falls on a mime in the forest, does it make a sound?"
We have all heard this saying. Basically, we are asking if when a tree falls when no one is there to see it, does it make a noise, or is it something that will only be heard if it is seen. Of course it does. Just because nobody is looking or nobody cares at that moment, the tree will still create a large THUD when it hits the ground. With this in mind, why do we act with integrity when people are watching, yet forget about it when we are by ourselves. If we only operate in integrity when we might be praised for it, is it really integrity, or merely self-praise coming from others. "Oh, I will be a good Christian on Sunday when I am in church. I'll come to Wednesday night service. I'll help out in Kids Church, or the Food pantry. What about the rest of the week, when you are by yourself, or even surrounded by people who don't know you as a Christian? Upon looking at you, do they see that same integrity? Would they use that word to describe you to other coworkers, or your boss? When questioned if you would do the right thing even when the wrong way of doing things is much easier, would they trust you could do it the right way, even if it took a little longer? Imagine you were assigned to do a task entirely by yourself. You know that there are two ways to accomplish the task, the easy way, and the right way. Nobody will be grading or watching how you do the work, as long as it gets finished. Is your first response to take the easy road, or the road of integrity that will ultimately give you a better end result. Merriam Webster dictionary gives this definition for integrity-firm adherence to a code of especially moral or artistic values; an unimpaired condition; the quality or sate of being complete or undivided. In simpler terms, this is saying that even when no one is looking, you still hold the integrity as if someone were looking in from the outside. Not because someone is looking, but because even when they aren't we should walk the same path with or without an audience.

"Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable- if anything is excellent or praiseworthy-think about such things."- Philippians 4:8
"To do what is right and just is more acceptable to the Lord than sacrifice."- Proverbs 21:3
"Keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander." 1 Peter 3:16
"I know that you are pleased with me, for my enemy does not triumph over me. 12 Because of my Integrity, you uphold me and set me in your presence forever."-Psalm 41:11-12

Verse after verse of examples in the Bible showing that if we walk in integrity, we will be in God's favor and grace. Living a life of integrity ensures that though accusations will arise against us, the people around us will testify about our integrity and know these accusations are false and have no ground to stand upon. Live a life of integrity for in the end, it will be the strongest witness in your walk.

Adam Semple-A Young Man on a Mission From God

*photo credit-dlotravelblog@blogspot.com

Saturday, October 8, 2016

Junk In The Trunk

"Come on out and let's make our junk, your junk. Yard sale today from then to now"

Last week, my family had a yard sale in our new home. Did you catch that? Our New Home. A new season has begun and it was time to move some things on. Whenever someone is planning a yard sale, it usually starts with a box or two of junk that is taking up space in your home and you need to get rid of it. As you prepare, more things accumulate until you have enough stuff and then some to fill your yard with. Most of the time, the stuff you decide to get rid of is just stuff that doesn't have any significant value to you. Old clothes you have outgrown. toys you have not played with since you were in diapers, and so on. But what about the stuff that is harder to just thrown away? Could be something special to you, like a gift from a family member, or something of great value. How can you justify giving these things up? In life, we go through many seasons. Some are cold and dreary, some are full of new life, but in every season, we need the right equipment. In order to make room for the right, we must first remove the wrong. I'm not saying the things you have held onto are necessarily bad, just space takers for the good. If you have a garage full of beach toys and scuba gear, but you are going on a ski trip, you need to change what you have otherwise you will freeze tumbling down those big slopes. In the same way, God is telling us to switch out the old things so he can give us the new. "But God, this stuff is important to me, I could never part from these." "Ok God, i will get rid of the stuff I don't want, but the things of value, i will price it so high that nobody will want to take it off my hands, only if someone pays really well for that thing will I be ok parting with it." Have you ever considered that the things you have held onto for so long are the things stopping you from moving forward. The old habits you used to partake in are getting in the way of the better journey God wants you to walk out. Sometimes, God puts it on our hearts to have a spiritual yard sale. To clean out our trash to make way for his treasure in our lives. Are you ready to part with your junk so God can give you something better? I know I am. I just hope that when the time comes, you will be too. Give God your all, and he will give you things you never knew your life needed because you were too busy looking at the old. Lose the junk, Find the Joy.

"What is more, O count it all loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Jesus Christ my Lord, for whose sake I have lost all things. I consider them garbage that I may gain Christ"- Philippians 3:8

Adam Semple- A young Man on a Mission From God  

Saturday, September 24, 2016

One, Two, Skip a Few

As a child, learning to count can be really challenging. Eight, nine, twelve, fifteen. We master one set of 10, but then get confused by 11. After a while, we are able to count pretty high, and fairly easy. But let us all be honest with ourselves. At some point, usually as we play hide and seek, our counting turns into something like this,' 1, 2, skip a few, 99, a million. Ready or not, here I come. Wait a minute. what happened to all the rest of the numbers. 42, 69, 1138. All these numbers that are just skipped over like they mean nothing. But what if we are missing something every time we skip count our way through life. Go back to your childhood. When life was easy and the most interesting thing you had was how tasty your toes were. Coloring books and puzzles were our main goal in life and there wasn't a problem that couldn't be solved if you had a crayon in hand and a big imagination. Now focus on a specific kind of coloring puzzle. The Dot-to-dot. An arrangement of numbers written out that when connect in chronological order, would reveal a beautiful picture that we could color as we saw fit. What would happen if you decided to draw a line from 1 to 56, then back to 3, then up to 77 and down to 29. By the time you got to the last number, your picture would be a jumbled mess and the image revealed would look like mere scribbles compared to what it was designed to be. The same can be true for life. We might start out ok, 1, 2, 3 ,4, but along the way, we go a different direction and before we know it, we don't even realize what we have done. The events that take place in your life are all out of whack because you followed 45 with 80, instead of 46. god has laid out your life in the order that he knows will get you to the beautiful image at the end of the pencil, but when we take matters into our own hands, things go a little haywire. Maybe it is time for a do-over. A time to start back at number one, and carry the puzzle through till the end, staying the course of following God's plan. God sees all of your life like a finished picture. We sees where you will fall and where you will stand. Where you will triumph and where you will fail. Shouldn't we trust that he knows which way to direct our steps to ensure that when we fall, he has already placed things in our path to pick us back up. In the end, you too will see the picture God had designed for you. Don't try to rush through life and skip some steps along the way. Stay the course and when your pen leaves the paper the last time, you will see a masterpiece designed by the Creator of all things who wants what is best for his children.

Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Thought-out, Well planned Mission From God

*photo credit-tanya.snappingturtle.co.za

Saturday, September 10, 2016

I'm Gonna Make This Place My Home

What is a home? A home can be many things to many people. For some, a roof over the head. Maybe it is a hotel or maybe for some, a van with some pillows. In the words of Pumba the Warthog, "Home is where your rump rests." Mostly, no matter the place or location, home is where your heart is at peace. This morning, my family moved the last of our belongings from a little storage unit in Conyers to our new home in Athens. This has been a move nearly 2 years in the making and it finally came. We moved up to Athens in March with half of our belongings and enough money for a hotel for a week and a 3 month storage unit. Over the course of a couple weeks, we all had jobs, but not enough to cover the amount for rent for a house/apartment. We knew a miracle was coming but we didn't know when and where. So we prayed and believed and for 6 months in a hotel, we continued to pray and believe. Finally, after numerous attempts of trying to find THE house, we stumbled on a little 2000 sq ft house right across the street from our storage unit. In a way only possible by the wonderful and amazing Lord God, we moved into the house over the weekend. As soon as we walked into the house, we all knew that for this time, this season, this leg of the journey, this house would be home. So this morning, some dear friends meet us in Conyers with a truck and a prayer, and we closed out that leg of our journey. We are home. In a place where God clearly wants us, because too many things have fallen in place for this not to be God. So, now what? Well, we don't stop praying and we don't stop believing, (cue journey), cause God has something big for us coming. The cool part is, God has a place to call Home in store for each and every one of us. Everyone is in a spiritual house, but God is preparing a spiritual home to everyone who believes in him. So don't give up when your place of residence doesn't feel so cozy, your home is coming and it will be amazing.
Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission From God.

Friday, August 26, 2016

Blind Leading the Blind

"The sky is falling, the sky is falling. I must go tell someone".
We've all heard the story of Henny Penny and the acorn that fell in the wrong spot. Amazing, isn't it? Henny Penny is sitting around eating some feed under a big tree. Without warning, an acorn detaches itself from the tree and decides to fall on poor Penny's head. In a panic, her first thought is that the sky is falling and the king should know about it. So off she goes. Along the way, she runs into some of her friends and they all ask were she is headed. Without learning any facts for themselves, they follow Penny willing, convinced that because she said it, the sky must really be falling. Pretty soon, all of her friends are believing this misconception and in the end, they walk right into deaths snare and they are never seen or heard from again. I feel like this happens in our society all the time. One person sees or hears something without getting all the facts and they share it with whomever they come in contact with. They must be pretty convincing because it doesn't take long before everyone is believing a false belief. We need to wake up, look around us and gather actual truth, or else we will fall for anything.  It makes me wonder, did the fox in the story throw the acorn knowing it would send Penny into a tizzy, bringing her and her friends right to his door? See, the devil is crafty like that. He has been watching us, and he knows who to mess with. We have to be diligent in staying focused on what we know to be true, and shy away from the "norm" that the crowds have been convinced to follow. The bible says this in Luke 6:39. "Can the blind lead the blind? Will they not both fall into the pit?" This world tends to follow something it does not know, but they are just blind followers walking the path of a blind leaders. God has given us sight to see the truth. Just open your eyes, and see it.
Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission From God

Wednesday, August 10, 2016

Dream The Impossible

What is a dream? A dream is an unexplainable occurrence that happens when our subconscious falls asleep and our mind takes over. According to science and brain study, we dream hundreds of times in a night, yet for some reason, we wake up barely remembering any of them. Every once in awhile, we will awaken from our slumber, there are fragments left in our thoughts. I have no idea if these are all from the same dream, or just a summary of the night's adventures, but either way, we try so hard to remember even the smallest details and we try to piece together what took place in our head. So, what do we do with these images left over? For me, I spend the whole day wondering what everything in the dream meant and if I remember everything correctly. Most of the time, dreams are just a strange combinations of the day's events, but sometimes, our dreams are small images of what God wants us to do with our life. In life, we get so caught up in the hustle and bustle that it takes our own deepest thoughts to awaken us to our calling and purpose. So how do we turn our dreams from simple images, to life long goals. Well, we need to do something about them. We need to put into action what has already be put in us. All of us have a purpose and a plan. All of us can change the world though the things already inside of us, we just need to make it a goal rather than just a thought. The difference between a dream an a goal is this. A dream is a passing thought. A "I was a pilot in this dream I had last night, wouldn't that be cool if I could actually do that?" Its just a thought that we don't do anything about. A goal is saying, "In my dream, I was the captain on a plane. What can I do to make that a reality?" A goal has a set end date. "By this time next year, I want to be in aviation school and become the best pilot who has ever traveled the wide open sky." That is a goal. Making plans and taking steps that will get you in a new place with a renewed purpose. What to know my dream? My dream is to have a film studio dedicated to make christian entertainment better and better than it already is. I want to know everything here is to know about all types cameras and lighting and sound and everything involved with the behind the scenes of a movie production. But I can not get to that place if I let my dream stay a goal. I have to take initiative and look past the now and look toward the future. Having a goal doesn't mean you have all the answers, it just means that you have a destination in place that will not change no matter the obstacles that arise, or the setbacks we will face. Do something about your dreams, or they will be all but forgotten in the vast maze of memories known as the human brain. It is time to change our dreams into goals and take charge and do something about it.
Adam Semple- A Young Man On A Mission From God.
*photo credit- sampacommunity.com

Saturday, August 6, 2016

King after king after king

In the such and such year of so and so, king of Israel, so and so became king of Judah. He did evil in the eyes of the lord, more so than his fathers before him. This is how most of the chapters or sections start in the book of kings. A king of Israel or Judah dies, and someone takes his place. Every once in a while, there would rise up a king who was good in the eyes of God. This king would destroy the altars to the other gods and turn the kingdom back to the Father. Unfortunately, the bad kings out number the good ones 3 to 1. It must have seemed easier to follow in the foot steps of those before them who rejected God. Those who built altars and temples to Baal and other gods like him, rather than tore down. Because of these men, Israel stayed in turmoil and desolation following the days of Solomon. It all started with Saul. King Saul started out alright. He would consult God before battle and for the first part of his kingship, he drifted away and God rejected him as king. God raised up David to take the king's place. David was good. The best king there was, but even he stumbled a little. Thankfully, he knew when he messed up and he was quick to repent. Because his heart was in the right place, God held Solomon's throne, David's son, as a promise to David. In Solomon's eyes, he had a free pass to do whatever he wanted, because he knew that he would be under God's covering as long as he lived. So he lived a life of luxury, acquiring 700 wives and over 300 concubines. He started slavery in his kingdom, and watched the people suffer while he lived a life of ease. Due to his frivolous life, he ended up having several enemies that waited till the perfect time to strike. After Solomon died, these men took action and Israel has not had full peace since then. The kings also have not come to a place of full surrender to God, except for a small amount who were listed in scripture as "good in the eyes of God, as their father david was before them. But what about the bad kings. It seems with every passing king, more and more evil was introduced into Israel and Judah. God's word could not be heard had he shouted from a bullhorn. They had no desire to be good or do good in anyway. If someone did them wrong, they found ways to eliminate them in ways that would bring the most attention to themselves and the one who did the wrong. Sometimes, I feel like our world has taken some noted from the kings of old. We cry for world peace, yet curse out someone who pulls out quickly in front of us. We are quick to judge and blame, and we no longer feel the need to take responsibility of our actions. We have become a self-serving self-centered shell that does not care to impact our community, let alone the world altogether. It us time to come out of ourselves and look around us at this world that we are destroying with our actions and make changes to fix it, one act of kindness at a time. I know it will not be easy, but if it were easy for Jesus to die on the cross for us, it probably would not have mattered as much to us as it was intended. It just takes one small change to make a huge impact. It is time to be the change our world needs.
Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission From God

Saturday, July 23, 2016

Mighty Men of Valor

These are the names of the mighty men whom David had: Josheb-basshebeth a Tahchemonite; he was chief of the three. He wielded his spear against eight hundred whom he killed at one time.
And next to him among the three mighty men was Eleazar the son of Dodo, son of Ahohi. He was with David when they defied the Philistines who were gathered there for battle, and the men of Israel withdrew. He rose and struck down the Philistines until his hand was weary, and his hand clung to the sword. And the Lord brought about a great victory that day, and the men returned after him only to strip the slain. And next to him was Shammah, the son of Agee the Hararite. The Philistines gathered together at Lehi, where there was a plot of ground full of lentils, and the men fled from the Philistines. But he took his stand in the midst of the plot and defended it and struck down the Philistines, and the Lord worked a great victory. And three of the thirty chief men went down and came about harvest time to David at the cave of Adullam, when a band of Philistines was encamped in the Valley of Rephaim. David was then in the stronghold, and the garrison of the Philistines was then at Bethlehem. And David said longingly, "Oh, that someone would give me water to drink from the well of Bethlehem that is by the gate!" Then the three mighty men broke through the camp of the Philistines and drew water out of the well of Bethlehem that was by the gate and carried and brought it to David. But he would not drink of it. He poured it out to the Lord  and said, "Far be it from me, O Lord , that I should do this. Shall I drink the blood of the men who went at the risk of their lives?" Therefore he would not drink it. These things the three mighty men did.- 2 Samuel 23:8-17
This chapter of scripture might be easy to gloss over, mainly because of all the big long names we tend to just skip over. But just like the rest of scripture, every part is important. At the beginning of the chapter, we get David's last Oracle as king. Immediately following that, we are giving a list of his mightiest men. 30+ men who helped defeat the surrounding armies of Israel. These dudes were not guys you wanted to mess with either. Some of these men killed hundreds from the enemies army by themselves on more than one occasion. These guys were the generals of the day, yet we tend to gloss read over them like it is simply another chronological listing of this guy begat this guy who begat this guy, who had many sons and daughters. I'll admit, I have done this before. But maybe it is time to read the bible with new eyes. Read it like you would read a history textbook. Every one in there did something that impacted something else or someone else. The men in the bible did too. The whole second half of this chapter is full of history regarding Israel's past. Each man listed did something worth mentioning, but our eyes are almost trained to read it, but not necessarily comprehend it. The bible is full of amazing stories and people that you might always hear in church, but that doesn't change the importance of them. We have to realize that every story in the bible, major or minor, is significant otherwise it would not be there. "All scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching. Rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness"- 2 Timothy 3:16
Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission From God
Photo credit- www.keyway.ca

Friday, July 22, 2016

I'd Give My Right Hand to be Ambidextrous

We can get so familiar with the stories of the bible that are most common. David and Goliath, Noah and the ark, Moses and the burning bush. But what about the uncommon stories. The ones they don't talk about in Sunday school. Today's bible story is found in the book of Judges. As usual, Israel sins, God sends a judge, everything becomes honky dory for a little while and then, Boom, back into sin. This time, it is worse than before and all of Israel is sinning once again. Well there was this king see, and he may not have been Ahab bad, but he wasn't good either. His name was Eglon, and he was not a nice dude. God sends this judge, named Ehud. There is something different about Ehud that makes him useful for this purpose. He is left- handed. You may be thinking, so what, half the population is ambidextrous. But see, Ehud was not only a judge, but also a legal sword carrier. Because he was left handed, his sword was positioned on his right side, as opposed to right handers who would have had their sword on the left. It makes much more sense for sword wielders because they can access their weapons much smoother. Anyway, left hand judge is told to go to the king, and the kings guards are not used to dealing with left handers, so they check his left side for a weapon, upon which, they find nothing and they permit him to see Eglon. Ehud tells the king, "Hey, you want to hear a secret straight from God?" Eglon of course said yes and commands his servants to leave them for few minutes. Ehud gets nice a close, pulls out his sword, and stabs it right into Eglon's stomach. As much as Eglon loved a good secret, he also loved food, and was therefore a very large, fat dude. So large in fact, that Ehud's sword was swallowed up among the king's entails. Ehud excuses himself out of the kings window and leaves the king to die in his own fat. The king's  servants, after some time, think among themselves that it has been so long he must be relieving himself. After a little longer of embarrassing long wait, the servants rush into the room to find their beloved king dead surrounded by his intestines and insides, with the killer long gone. Wow, and we wonder why that story is  not popular in kids church. But that doesn't take away from the importance of it. When Ehud was born, he probably thought himself to be weird for not writing and fighting with the same hand as his friends did, but then he grows up and is given a command from God. His difference was by God's grand design to be used for his purpose. If he was the same as everyone else, he never would have gotten in to see the king. God has given all of us different features that we might see as flaws that are actually the things that make us unique and special. Embrace your flaws and be on the watch for what God is going to do through your "abnormalities". God has a plan for all of us. Flaws and all.
Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission
Photo credit- cartoonstock.com

Saturday, July 16, 2016

Stay Focused

Imagine with me the story of Adam and Eve. God creates the world in all its beauty. The waters are full of sea life, the land is full of majestic creatures. The stars and planets are in motion and the tide is crashing beautifully onto the shore. Then, God  makes man. Just one guy to watch over all of God's creation. Adam has been given a very important task. All these animals around you, it is your job to name them. From the smallest of bugs to the largest of mammals, give them whatever name you see fit. So Adam proceeds to name them all. I'll call you a hedgehog, and you a platypus and you, I'll call you a snow leopard. Not sure what snow is, but whatever lets go with it. As he is naming them, God realizes that the birds of the air and the fish of the sea all have a partner, and man shall not be alone. So God puts Adam into a deep sleep, pulls a rib out of his side and out of it, forms Eve. In the eyes of Adam, Eve is the most beautiful thing in God's creation. Together  they finish giving names to the animals. Unfortunately, not all the creatures are good mannered things.  The serpent is crafty and apparently able to communicate using words. He slithers over to Eve and begins twisting the words of God. In the garden, among all the others plants and trees, God made the tree of knowledge of good and evil and the tree of life. He tells Adam and Eve, everything in the garden, you may eat from, except from these two trees. For if you eat of these, you will die. Alright, that sounds doable. The garden is filled with good plants and delectable fruits and vegetables. Why do we need to bother about 2 trees. We are not given a time-frame of how long they were in the garden, but I would like to think they were there a little while. They had a perfect life. No work, just them and God walking peacefully in the Garden that He made. Every animal on the earth living in harmony as your own pet. But, the serpent isn't happy with this arrangement. He uses his craftiness to get into the woman's head. "Did God really say you will die? No, you will not die. God doesn't  want you to eat it because when you do you will be like him. Go on. One bite won't hurt." So Eve takes a bite and out of everything in the garden, it is the best thing she has ever tasted. She proceeds to take it to Adam and tells him to taste it. He takes a bite and instantly they are filled with all knowledge and realize they are naked. So, out of fear and embarrassment, they hid. From the God who sees and hears all, they thought they could elude his sight behind some bushes. but of course, God is the master of hide and seek, and he found them. When they were asked what they were doing, it wasn't long before fingers were being pointed and the truth had come out. Adam and Eve were kicked out of the garden of perfection into a desolate and barren land where they were forced to work the ground for food. Adam and Eve had everything they could have ever wanted, but they went after the one thing they could not and it cost them everything in return. To think their lives started out in life and ended because of one mistake. One mess-up that cost them their lives. The fact is, it wasn't hard to stay in the garden, because the garden had everything they needed. The hard part came when they got too curious about what they had no business in. Satan continues to use this strategy against God's people. He will twist the words of God and show them things they don't need, but show them in a way that looks enticing. Unfortunately, it doesn't take much for the average christian to stray. One look is all it takes to go down a path that is not good. We must prepare ourselves to be ready to look away from the things that are calling for our focus, and keep our eyes on God. For when our eyes are looking intentionally at the Father. nothing can redirect our focus unto something of evil intent. Keep focused, and God will protect you from the attacks of the enemy.
Adam Semple- a Young Man on a Mission From God

*photo credit- mysoulpurpose.org

Saturday, July 9, 2016

Daniel and Dangerous Dudes

The story of Daniel is one of those stories in the bible where the hero triumphs over evil. Of course the Bible is full of stories like this one, but I want to dive in to that one today. Daniel and his friends, Hananiah, Mishael and Azariah, (or as they are more commonly known, Shadrach, Meshach and Abed-nego), had been taken as captives along with several other young men into the city of Babylon. The young men had been given food from the king' s table. The finest delicacies to ensure these men could become strong and workable young men. Right from the beginning, we see that Daniel is different from the others. He decides that he does not want to defile his body with the king's food and instead, he proposes to the servants that for the next 10 days to just eat veggies and drink nothing but water. The servant consented with the idea and after the test period, Daniel and his friends were healthy and stronger then the other men. This came to be known as the Daniel Fast and many churches and individuals continue to do it to this day. Anyway, back to Daniel. Daniel and his friends grew in wisdom and knowledge in literature and in God and Daniel was given the gift of dream interpreting. Over the course of Daniel life, this gift came in very handy. After being in Babylon only a year, the king had a terrifying dream. He went to his advisers and asked them to translate it for him. They were unable to, and so Daniel was brought in and he explained the dream to Nebuchadnezzer. This happened twice while Nebbie K was king. Years later, King Beltshazzar was having a party and a hand appeared on the wall and wrote words in an unknown language. Daniel was called in and he told him that his kingdom was going to fall and be divided and given to the Medes and Persians. Now we come to the part of the story that is more well known than the rest. During the reign of King Darius, Daniel was appointed as one of his governors. Again the king had a dream and again Daniel interpreted it. This made the king very happy and he made Daniel second in the kingdom only to him. Naturally, the other governors did not like this Israelite coming in a ruling over them. So they devised a plot to get rid of him. They found out that Daniel prayed to God every day, at least 3 times a day. So they made a law that everyone should worship the king only. If anyone worships any one else, they shall be thrown in a den of lions. Of course, Daniel knew that what God says is more important than what man says, so he continues to pray to God. Then the other governors catch him in the act and they bring him before the king. Although the king is devastated about losing Daniel, he has to follow his own rules that he set in stone. So Daniel is thrown into the lion's den. King Darius is heartbroken. He is anxious all night completely unable to sleep. As soon as the sun is up, the king rushes to the pit and cries into the pit, "Daniel, are  you there? Did you survive the night with the beasts?" "Hello, your highness. It was the coolest thing. My God closed the mouth of the lions and we all slept in peace. It was awesome." King Darius decree that everyone should now worship Daniel's God. In addition, the governors who proposed the law were thrown into the pit and tore apart before they even hit the ground. Daniel went on to serve under one more king and he never stopped trusting in God to take care of him. Let us all be like Daniel, and trust that when he says something, if we fully trust him, he will protect us.
Adam Semple- a young man on a mission.

Saturday, July 2, 2016

Push the Stone

You have probably heard the story of  the man who was told to go out into his field and push a stone. He is not told why or for how long, yet because God told him to, he does. Day after day, night after night he goes out and pushes against the rock. Years go by and he has pushed hard on this rock, yet it has yet to move. Like any normal human being, after a long day of pushing, he begins to get discouraged. He begins to question what he is doing wrong. Of course, in his time of weakness, Satan decides it is now the time to speak doubt into the man's heart. "Why are you wasting your life pushing that dumb rock when you could be making a living doing anything else? It's not like it is going anywhere. Why don't you just push it on occasion, you know, fit it around your timeclock." Naturally the man lets these thoughts take deep root in his heart and he goes out less and less to push the rock. After some time, he asks God,"Why did you have me push a rock for my whole life and not let it budge an inch? Have I done something wrong?" Then, in His still small voice, He says,"My son, I merely told you to go out and push. I did not tell you to move it. Because you have obeyed and stayed with the pushing, you have become strong and  calloused and ready to take on anything. Leave the moving to me."
How often has this happened to us? God tells us to do one thing, yet we get discouraged when something we think should happen, doesn't. Sometimes, we quit or only put in the smallest effort. We slack on the one thing we were instructed to do because we see it going differently in our heads. Sometimes, God gives us a simple task to see if we will be faithful in the small things while He prepares us for the big things coming our way. God will move the stone when the time is right. Push the Stone with everything you've got until that happens.
Adam Semple- A Young Man on a Mission From God

Saturday, June 18, 2016

Keep Walkin

"What are you doing?" " We're going to knock your walls down." " By walking around in circles?" "Yes, Its not cause we're crazy or anything, our God told us to do it this way."- Veggie tales, Josh and the Big Wall

 Look at those weird Israelite people walking around our giant wall. What are they hoping to accomplish? What is their end goal? Surely this can't be any kind of well thought out plan that will lead to our demise.  All they are doing is walking in circles, making themselves dizzy.

The story of Joshua and the city of Jericho is one of the most well known bible stories of all time. It is a story of a group of people who were told exactly what to do from God and they did. In case you don't know the story, here is a little background. Moses was the leader of the people of Israel. Through the help of God, He led the people out if slavery and into the desert for 40 years. Why the desert you asks. Well God had promised them the land of Canaan, a land flowing with milk and honey, but as the people were checking it out, they got scared. Because they did not trust God to go before them, He made them wait in the desert, literally right outside a better land. 40 years go by, and the scared generation has all died off, except for 2 individuals, Joshua and Caleb. Joshua was Moses' predecessor who took up his mantle after Moses died. Like Moses, Joshua sends men into the city of Jericho, the first city over the Jordan river. The men come back and report that the people of the city are terrified of them, like the older generation was terrified of the Canaanites. So, like any Christian should do when a tough situation arises, Joshua excused himself from camp and went off by himself to pray. As he was praying, an angel of the Lord appeared before him and laid out this simple plan to him. Walk around the city once a day fro 6 days, and on the 7th day, walk around 7 times. After you finish the 7th time, shout as loud as you can. The walls of Jericho will then fall down. Hold on a second. Big wall in front of me, surrounding a large city, and a group of people following me wherever I lead them and you want me to tell them just to a little bit. Ok God, clearly you know what is best. Here we go. So Joshua leads the people around the wall. During the first 6 days, the people walk in silence. Not a word, not a sound. I can imagine that this caused a lot of buzz within the walls of the city. "Hey, come look over here. Its those Israelites walking around our wall. What do you think they want?" "Hey, you Israelite. What are you doing?" Thanks to Veggie tales, I can't picture this scene without seeing little peas in soldier caps mocking and throwing slushies on the heads of the people. Through all the mocking and calling out, the people stay silent. Finally, the 7th day comes around. The Israelites walk around the wall. 1st, 2nd, 3rd time around. 4th, 5th, 6th and their still walking. The people of Jericho are probably wondering what is about to happen. We get no indication of fear or pride from the people. At last, the people walk around the final time. This time, they stop, and at once, they shout like they have never shouted before. The people of Jericho are probably scared for a moment, but when nothing happens at first, they begin to laugh. " Wait, is that it? Was that your whole plan? Walk the city a few times then shout? You Israelites really are...Did you feel that? Has that brick always been out of place? Uh oh!"
After the people shouted a victory shout, God began taking apart the wall in a matter of moments. he people went into the city and plundered it. Has God ever told you to walk the path he has given you to walk? "But God, how can walking fix anything?" Sometimes, in order to get a path straight through your problem, you have to walk around it a few times to show it who is really in charge. Then, when the time is right, you shout as if you have already won, and God will take care of the rest.
Keep Walking, God will continue to lay out the path as long as you continue to follow it.

Adam Semple- A Young Man On A Mission

photo credit- Veggie tales Josh and The Big Wall

Saturday, June 11, 2016

Tupperware

Have you ever realized that we are just containers? Empty vessels just waiting to be filled. The Bible says that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. The temple is just a building if there is nothing inside of it. Sure, it may look really extravagant on the outside, a real beauty, but if there is nothing filling up the vastness, it is just a pretty house. Imagine a Tupperware container. Cheap plastic with a cheap plastic lid. Nothing fancy, yet people have been using them to hold their food for decades. The same is true for us. For thousands of years, God has been using us, an empty vessel, as his temple/resting place. Humans, who were formed out of dirt, are the containers God wanted to use to put his spirit. Tupperware is made better by the things that are put inside, just as we are made different by what is put inside of us. The holy spirit comes into our temple and because God's glory is so great, it shines through our meager vessel and people see what is inside. God has put himself in us, it is our job to keep the inside clean so that when people look in, they see the goodness of The Creator, rather than the filth of what was once inside. Admit it, before Christ filled your temple, however old you might have been, there was probably some things that should not have been there. The good news is, when God sends his Holy Spirit into your soul, He fills you to the brink with himself, and pushes everything else out. The good, the bad and the ugly. Your past, washed out. Made clean when God washed away your sins. Every once in a while, you might find a Tupperware that is not clear, but rather stained, making it harder to see inside. These containers are the people who have been filled with God's spirit, yet they have let other things come in and push aside the spirit. Like spaghetti sauce that has been left too long without getting washed out. Things that distract us from the fresh food inside. Things that people see first rather than what you what them to see. Maybe it is time to do some hard scrubbing and make your Tupperware clear and see through once again. Cleaning these containers is rarely easy, especially when the stains have been there a while. Thankfully, it only takes a little faith for God to make you good as new. A brand new Tupperware container clean on the inside and the out, ready to show the world what is truly underneath the surface. So let us become Tupperware for God, rather than assume we are a beautiful masterpiece by our own design. It is God who made us, and it is God who shines through us to do his work. 

"For do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God's"- 1 Corinthians 6:19

Adam Semple- A young man on  mission from God  

Saturday, June 4, 2016

Drawing Faces

Drawing Faces is not an easy thing to do. You have to make sure everything is even and in its proper place, as well as ensure that when it is done, it looks good to the person it is copied after. I am an Artist. I love to draw and imagine and showcase what I have done. Sometimes, unexpectedly, my eyes will look at a patch on a wall, and in my head, I see a face. Rarely is it ever the same face, but it is a face nonetheless. When I see the face, I picture how I can draw it out on paper so people can see what I see, but no matter how hard I try, it never looks quite right. Not only that, but if I look away from the spot for too long and try to stumble upon the face once more, my brain only sees the remnant of what once was. I feel like life can be like this somehow. We start off with nothing but a blank slate, then suddenly, we get something. An image. A face. We visualize it in our head, and we think about what we are to do with this image.  But then we look away. We get distracted by another spot and after we have regained our focus, we can't seem to find what was just there. So we do 1 of 2 things. 1) We try to force our brain to remember the image, or 2) we simply walk away as if nothing happened. More often than not, the face is a fleeting image lost in the mazes of our head, never to be rediscovered by our eyes. But what if the face was shown to you for more. Perhaps it was a person God was asking you to talk to, yet you were so focused on trying to recapture the moment, that you missed God's little whisper or nudge. I can't tell you how many of these faces I have seen in my years as an artist. Some are silly, and strange. Others are regular looking people who think they are simply lost in the crowd. What if we need to find them, and guide them home. What if that person has been standing next to you the whole time, but you were so busy with your world that you never took notice of them. Maybe, I am just a little crazy in my head. Maybe they are just faces. But what if their not? Perhaps God has shown these to me so that As I draw them, I think about who they are, what they do, how they live. It might be beneficial to pray for these people, without knowing if they are even real at all. A little prayer could be all that person needs from you. God could be taking any opportunity he can get to push us into praying on a whim when something flashes by our heads. Never underestimate the power of a simple prayer. It could save a life, or fill a person with supernatural peace. Your prayer could be the answer to theirs. To know that somebody is thinking about them even though they don't know me, and I don't know them. I will continue to draw. It is my hope that I haven't missed entirely God's nudges, but that from now on, when a face crosses my mind, I do something about. It is my prayer that you will do the same.

From an inspiring artist using the gifts he has been given,
Adam Semple- a young man on a mission from God.

*photo credit- everyonecandraw.net 

Saturday, May 28, 2016

A Withered Tree and Me

The past couple posts I have written have been a little heavy, so I am going to try and go easy on you all this week. Just a simple bible story. Nothing deep, maybe a little profound, but I will attempt to be gentle. The story of Jonah has always been one of those great redemption stories of a large body of people all coming to the knowledge and forgiveness of God the Father. Let's start at the beginning. It is interesting to note that we get no backstory of Jonah, only his father's name. So, God calls out to this man, a prophet. He gives him a simple task. "Go, do what you have been called to do. Travel abroad and tell people what you have told hundreds of people hundreds of times. That should be no problem, you do this all the time. Well, yes, the place I am sending you is THAT place. The place so full of wickedness and corruption that it has reached my ears. No, your going the wrong way. What are you doing? I said Nineveh, not Tarshish. That is not what I wanted" In case you missed it, here is was happened. The book of Jonah starts with the voice of the lord coming to Jonah, son of Amittai. "Go", He says, "to the city of Nineveh, that great city, and cry out against it; for their wickedness has come up before Me." For some reason, Jonah decides he is having none of it and heads to Joppa to buy himself a ticket out of there. "Tarshish or bust". In comparison to Nineveh, this is pretty much the other side of Israel. Of course, God is not happy about Jonah's decision. So while Jonah is at sea playing go fish with some pirates, God sends a great storm that begins to rock the boat. Naturally, the sailors get scared and they begin to cry out to their gods, you know, the ones who have no power and can't even hear them. Jonah is sound asleep in the bunker of the boat and he is suddenly awoken by the captain. "Wake up, pray to your gods to save us from this storm". After an intense game of go fish, Jonah lost the hand and they all realized that it was because of Jonah that they were in this mess. So they interrogated him on who he was. "I am a Hebrew, and I fear the Lord, the God of Heaven, who made the sea and the land." This only made the seamen all the more terrified. "Throw me in," Jonah says," and the storm will be no more". So, up and over the edge, the crew throws him in the sea, and the storm stops immediately. Before the men have a chance to pull him in, a big fish, (some say whale, others aren't sure), swallows him up and he is gone into the depths of the sea. 3 long days and 3 long nights spent in the belly of this great fish. Naturally, this gives Jonah some pretty good prayer time. After a heartfelt apology, God commands the fish to upchuck Jonah onto dry land. Conveniently, right on the beach of Nineveh. So, Jonah does the smart thing and goes into the city. He tells the people that if they do not repent and turn from their sins, God would destroy the city. The king declares a city-wide fast and all the people repent. Then, Jonah leaves the city and perches himself on a ledge just outside the city. He wants to watch the action as God wipes Nineveh off the face of the earth. "Where is the fire and brimstone? Where is my explosion?" That's it. That's the whole story. we have no report of what happened to Jonah after he realized God wasn't destroying anything that day. Jonah is left on a cliff with his thoughts. God is gracious enough to provide shade for Jonah on this cliff side, but after a while of Jonah still waiting for doom and gloom on Nineveh, God sends a worm to eat the tree. With nothing left over but a withered branch of what once was. Sometimes, God will leave us on a cliff with nothing but a withered tree and our thoughts. It is up to us to either sulk in what did not happen, or prepare for what is coming instead.

Adam Semple- A Young Man on A Mission From God

Saturday, May 21, 2016

You Mad Bro?

"There is a place. Like no place on Earth. A land full of Wonder, Mystery and Danger! Some say to survive, you need to be as mad as a Hatter, which luckily I am"- The Mad Hatter, Alice in Wonderland

I don't want to say that Earth is as crazy as wonderland, but sometimes, it can seem that way. Nothing is as it seems and sometimes, nothing makes sense. If your not careful, it might make you a little mad, maybe a little crazy, at least to the people on the outside. you know, everyone not walking this path with you. At some point or another, we have all followed our own white rabbit down the rabbit hole, and are chasing him trying to find a way home. On the inside, we know home is at the end of this journey somewhere, but every being we come in contact with is trying to convince us that there is no real way home, just the queen's way home. Following the way that everything is supposed to go, rather than finding your own way. This can get tough sometimes, but don't worry, our rabbit is just around the corner, and He is never late. When you need him, he will show you a glimpse of himself, assuring you that you are not walking this messed up world alone. Of course, what is wonderland without Tweedle Dee and Tweedle Dum. These are the characters you met whose only purpose is to confuse you as you travel. They don't understand your walk, and have no idea where they are going. With every new idea, they change their view and get confused when you don't change yours. Every word out of the mouth is one of things they have no root in, yet, they believe it with everything in them, and want you to believe it as well. Then there is the doorknocker. This is your opposition. "Your not small enough. Oh, now you are too big. Sorry, the door is locked, you can't get in. You simply don't fit in." Don't let this guy get you down. Alice is supposed to different in wonderland. We are meant to be different as well. See, not everyone you meet is on their correct path. They try so hard to fit in, that they change themselves to the point that they don't even know who they are anymore. They have lost their way. Wonderland is full of strange characters each who have lost their way in numerous ways. They have been told that what ever they what to be or do in wonderland is ok and anything is acceptable, as long as they stay off their way and stick to the way of the queen. You know it had to come. The Queen of Hearts. The ruler of wonderland. Everything goes her way, or "off with their heads". She plants ideas in the heads of the people until they are so lost, they don't know where they came from or where they are going. It is because they are so lost that the only thing they know to do is to try and get you off your path. It is hard to stay with a goal in mind to get out of the craziness, but as long as we have faith that our home is not in this world, we will always strive to get out, whatever it takes.
Wonderland is not our home, only where we are currently taking up residence. So don't become lost, stay on course and all will come clear in due time.

Adam Semple- A Young Man On A Mission From God

Saturday, May 14, 2016

I AM WHO I AM!

Then Moses said to God," Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me,' What is his name?' what shall I say to them?" And God said to Moses," I AM WHO I AM." And He said," Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you. ' " Moreover god said to Moses, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel: 'The Lord God of your fathers, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob has sent me to you. This is My name forever, and this is My memorial to all generations.'- Exodus 3:13-15

 I AM WHO I AM. Here, God is further establishing Himself to Moses. Not for his satisfaction, but for ours. The children of Israel have been oppressed by Egypt for 400 years. Working tireless days and hard nights under the harsh ruling of the Pharaoh. They have lost all hope of freedom and have accepted that they were born in slavery and will die in the same manner. In this statement, God is laying a foundation for his character as a whole. In this situation, He is rescuer and redeemer. but this is not the only occurrence of God establishing himself as our everything. The book of John lays out 7 different forms of God's I AM.

I Am the bread of life... John 6:35-48
"I am the Bread of life. He who comes to me should never go hungry, and he who believes in me shall never thirst." Here, we see God as provider. Come and be filled, believe and be satisfied. When we come to the Father, he will always provide for us. Whether it be manna from heaven, or a gift from a friend, He always takes care of all of our needs, when we need them. not always when we think we need them. For his timing is always perfect.

I Am the light of the world... John 8:12, 9:5
"Then Jesus spoke to them again saying, 'I Am the light of the world. He who follows me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.' " In this passage, we see God as our guide. When we follow Christ whole-heartedly, he will show us which way to go and what steps to take. He won't let us stumble and fall, but he will illuminate every obstacle in our path and lead us down the way He intends for us. And when talking about God's light, I am not talking about a little penlight, no the light I am referring to is a search light, that lights up everything in our way.

I am the gate... John 10:7
"Then Jesus said to them again, ' Most assuredly, I say to you, I am the door of the sheep." God here is our gateway. This passage goes on to say that the sheep hear his voice and know it. Through him, we can come and go into the pasture of greener grass.

I am the good shepherd... John 10:11-14
"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives his life for the sheep." Here God is our protector and warrior. Unlike a hired servant, who sees a wolf and because he doesn't own the sheep, runs and hides, the good shepherd will protect the sheep, even when it means laying down his own life for the sheep. Under the care of the worker, the wolf and come and scatter the sheep, but under the shepherd's protection, the sheep are safe from harm.

I am the resurrection and the life... John 11:25
"Jesus said to her, ' I Am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live. And whoever lives and believes in Me, shall never die. " I am...your redemption. When we come to the Father and believe in Him and follow his instructions, we will be saved. Even if we die in this world, we will live with Him in eternity.

I am the way, the truth, and the life... John 14:6
"I am the way, the truth and the life. No one can come to the Father, except through me.  I am the bridge. The structure between point A and point B. From Earth to Heaven. The middleman between God and man. No one can get there without going through Jesus first.

I am the true vine... John 15:1-5
'I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser." I am the gardener of life. It is in this passage that Jesus talks about good and bad fruit. God will prune the good branches and throw out the bad ones. As long as we stay connect to the vine, we will continue to bear much fruit, but when we become disconnected from the vine, we are no better than firewood that will be destroyed. Stay in God, continue bearing good fruit.

7 characteristics of God. 7 different ways that all come together in the form of one Being. And these barely even scratch the surface of all that God is. I encourage you to dive into the word and discover for yourself all the quality traits of our Savior and Lord, God the Father. The Bible is full of the different aspects of our Lord just waiting to be uncovered. GO find them.

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

Saturday, May 7, 2016

Same Song, Different Verse

"Jesus said to him,' You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the first and greatest commandment and the second is like it. ' Love your neighbor as yourself "- Matthew 22:37-39

Since the bible has been in written form, it has been translated and translated into hundreds of versions. whether by copying word for word, or by reading the word to several scribes who would record as they heard. It has been recorded into hundreds of different language in order to reach people who could not read it in its original text. But how often do we take this written word, and tell it with our own idea of how it should be interpreted? We will only give the portion of the verse that applies to us, and forget the rest. Sometimes, we do it so much, that it is almost as if we have each made our own personal version of God's word. We preach the good and ignore the things that make us uncomfortable. Without hesitation, we blast john 3:16, yet we struggle with Luke 9:23.
"For God so loved the world that he gave his only begotten Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have everlasting life". This is perfect pulpit material. Don't worry, all you have to do is believe and you will be saved. No worries, no trouble, no problem, as long as you believe. Now don't get me wrong, this is a great verse, but what about the verses that say hardship will come for those who believe. "Jesus said to them all, 'If anyone desires to come after me, he must deny himself, take up his cross and follow me". That doesn't sound very- don't worry, be happy, go lucky-life. Yet we forget to mention this verse when new believers come to the faith. We tell them, now that you believe, everything will be alright. But in mind, this is like comparing a parody version of a popular song by saying, its basically the same thing, just spoken differently. Eventually, everyone starts singing the parody and have forgotten the original version. The song's writer has become belittled because someone decided his version was not good enough, so they changed some things around and took credit for someone else's work. In the same way, when we take scripture out of context and only read what we want to, we belittle God's spoken word. We change it to fit our needs, rather than changing our hearts and mind to fit His. Don't get me wrong, sometimes, putting the word into a language we can understand is important. We can learn it easier and absorb it faster when we know what we are reading, as long as when it is translated, only the language has changed, not the content itself. I don't want to have my own version of the Bible specifically made to fit my needs. Instead, I want to read what was written by the prophets way back when, the way they wanted it read. I don't want watered down, easy-going religion that makes me feel good. I want the true words to be the only version I know and to live by those words. God's words. Not mine.

Adam Semple- A young man on a mission from God

Saturday, April 30, 2016

Death To Life

Winter. It's cold. It's dreary. No life anywhere. Granted, you might get a few glimpses of happiness, but most of the time, it is not pleasant. The birds have flown the coup and gone elsewhere, even some people have gone somewhere warmer. The plants have died for the season waiting for the season of new life to come back around. Sometimes, Winter seems to take forever to change and it seems as if things will never get better. But Spring. This second season of the year comes with rebirth and renewal. The birds come home. The plants spring up overnight and things become beautiful once again. Our spirits an souls go through these same kind of seasons. It might start out in the Fall. Cool and breezy. The walk is easy. The burdens are light. You are newly saved and everything is great. Then, suddenly, Winter comes in like a lion and you are knocked on your butt with every hardship this season has to bring. You begin to question what could have gone wrong. The trees you used to walk beside that were once full of color are now bare and empty of all life. You feel dead. What happened? Everything was going great. you were spending more time in prayer, even doing more and more biblestudy. But now, it seems like you are just going through the motions waiting and hoping that when spring comes, you will flourish back into the beauty that used to be. Yet winter continues to drag on, even the groundhog is still seeing his shadow, implying that winter has not reached its end quite yet. A lot of people don't realize this, but whether or not this rodent sees his shadow or not, spring is still on its way. It is not a thing that can just decide to stay away, but rather a natural cycle that comes around every year. Life begins to return to the dead places. Buried acorns begin to grow into mighty oaks, baby animals are born into the world ready to explore their area. People are refreshed with a new outlook on life. We must realize that in order to truly appreciate spring in its entirety, there has to be a hard winter where the old has died into to bring forth the new.  "Therefore, if any one is in Christ, He is a new creation. The old has died, the new has come."-  2 Corinthians 5:17. It is through these hard winters that the things in us that had no business being there, begin to die and are removed from our soil so God can plant in us the new things he has for us in our new season. 

"For to live is Christ, and to die is gain"- Philippians 1:21.   

"For I have come that they may have life, and have it more abundantly." - John 10:10 

"Truly, truly, I say to you, unless a grain of wheat falls into the earth and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit,"- John 12:24.

We need to die, For God wants us to LIVE!!!!

Adam Semple- A Young Man On A Mission

Saturday, April 23, 2016

Is That An Oasis, Or Simply Just A Mirage

You see water right in front of you. It looks as if it is just out of reach. Then, as you go to quench your thirst, it disappears. Just like that, it's gone. Your relief has vanished. Life can feel like that sometimes. You walk through your desert hoping to find something to help you along the way and when it feels like it is about to touch your fingers, it is snatched away. We will all walk our desert at some point. Whether it is 40 days like Jesus' or 40 years like the Israelites, it is going to come. A dry period where you know where you need to get to, it is just taking a longer to get there then you originally hoped.
The song that comes to mind in times like these is from "Josh and the Big Wall" "We didn't have a lot of fun in the desert, we didn't have a lot of fun in the sand. But saddle up your cow, it's all behind us now, because we're going to the Promised Land."
The desert is usually not a thrilling adventure. Its hot, there is sand everywhere and it is dry. Sometimes, this is not just physical dryness, but also spiritual. You walk and you walk, but you never get to where there is refreshment. You pray and pray believing the promised land is right around the corner, but your mirage continues to disappear. There are times when you even find a real stream or a little shade, but then you continue to move on and the water dries up, the shade goes away and you are back in the heat of things waiting for another second of relief.
But don't lose hope. In no time at all, the mirage will become real and there will be a promise land oasis waiting for you. A land flowing with milk and honey and streams of real living water. The scorching hot heat becomes a cool refreshing breeze and life gets a little easier. Now I am not saying life will be easy, just easier. No more wandering, no more wondering. The land is there, you just need to walk a little longer to get there.

The desert is not always a bad thing. It was in the desert that Moses experienced the burning bush after almost 40 years in the desert. Here he got his call to be a leader of the people of Israel. From this desert encounter, he was given a plan to do what needed to be done, and given all the tools to do so. Then we see Jesus' time in the desert after his baptism. After 40 days, Satan comes to him and offers him the world, but Jesus refutes the devil's temptations and is later refreshed in the desert by angels.

So maybe this desert time is preparing you for your burning bush. Maybe God needs you in an isolated place in order to ensure that when he speaks, you will hear him. In a land full of distractions, God's voice can sometimes be hindered from being heard. A desert place might be the only way he can get your attention.

In your desert period, don't forget to continue to pray, continue to believe, continue to trust that God knows what he is doing. The oasis will come, just don't get disheartened with the fleeting of a passing mirage.

Adam Semple- a young man on a mission

*photo credit- Far Side Comics

Saturday, April 16, 2016

Salty Light

"I guess she took the whole 'be salt' thing literally", Said Lot to his daughters after the destruction of Sodom and Gomorrah.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5 to be the Salt and Light of the world. If you are not familiar with the context, this comes right smack in the middle of one of Jesus' most spoken of messages, the Sermon on the Mount. This is the sermon that lays out the Beatitudes, or plainly, the Blessed people message. You know, blessed are the poor in spirit, the meek, the peacemakers, the pure in heart and so on. Right after this segment, Jesus says this, "you are the salt of the earth. But if the salt loses its saltiness, how can it be made salty again? It is good for nothing except to be thrown out and trampled by men". Ouch. Salt is a natural flavor changer. Salt can turn bland fries into beautiful pieces of finger food that most have grown to love. but if it loses it saltiness, what good is it? How can it be made salty again? When we become born again Christians, we are made salty. Christ is alive in us, and we are preserving his name with our saltiness. But over time, we get watered down and diluted to the point where we only kind of go through the motions and are not being effective in the kingdom. We are no better than a regular grain of sand. Thankfully for us, God's love and mercy and grace is new for us everyday, and when we decide to switch from mundane to purpose, we are made salty again. We can go about life with new fervor and gusto. Have you lost your saltiness in your every day life? Maybe its time for some new flavoring.

Jesus continues this passage with this," You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill can not be hidden. Neither do people light a lamp and put it under a bowl. Instead they put it on a stand, and it gives light to everyone in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before men, that they may see your good deeds, and praise your Father in Heaven" Being light is a big responsibility. If you are on a dark trail, surrounded by trees, what helps you find your feet and get you to where you need to be? A flashlight. And the brighter the flashlight, the more clear your path will be. We are the be the same in this world. It is a dark world that we live in, and the world needs a flashlight to find their way. We must surround ourselves in the true light and through him, the world can see where they need to go. Without the light in us, the world will stumble around forever until death. They need us to be connect to the power source in order to extend the power out to every corner of the world and when they connect to the light, it will continue to spread until the whole world is covered in light.

Stay Salty, Shine Bright.

Adam Semple- A Young Man On A Mission