Monday, October 26, 2009

Burn Us Up!

Not too long ago I heard Shane and Shane's "Burn Us Up" for the first time....or rather I actually listened to it for the first time. For those of you who have never heard it here is a video from youtube that has the lyrics:

It tells the story of Shadrach, Meshach and Abednego and this song hit me like a ton of bricks. While listening to this song my thoughts turned from these three guys who would have rather been burned alive then bow to an idol to the persecuted church today. One brother that I recently read about who was killed for his faith is Probius. Probius was a martyr around 250AD. He was tortured and killed by the Roman Empire because he would not worship idols. After being tortured for some time he said, "Employ your whole power upon me, and you shall find that neither you, nor the Emperor, nor the gods you serve, nor even the devil, who is your father, shall compel me to worship your idols." After this he was tortured more and eventually killed by the sword.
Persecution is not just something the church faced in the first few centuries. Christians all over the world are facing death because of their belief in Christ and desire to take the gospel to the nations. Next Sunday, Nov. 8, is prayer for the persecuted church Sunday. Many times when we pray for the persecuted church we pray that the Lord will bring them from persecution. However, this Sunday I urge you to pray instead that those being persecuted will have the strength, courage and faith to stand and say with boldness "you shall not compel me to worship idols." Pray too for Believers here. Pray that our passion for the Lord would drive us to a point where we would rather cry "burn us up!" than worship the idols of our culture. Pray that we may cast our idols aside and give anything He calls us to for the sake of the gospel. After all 'he is no fool who gives up what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.'

Wednesday, October 14, 2009


Over the past few days many people have asked me some form of the question: "What is the Yamboree?" I have decided to address the question and share the epicness.

The East Texas Yamboree is essentially a festival to celebrate the yam. It is in Gilmer, Texas which is where I am from. There is carnival that comes and sets up around the town square. There is a school parade on Friday and the Queen's parade on Saturday. Schools let out for Thursday and Friday. The highlight of it is the Queen's Coronation Pageant. This is when the Yam Queen is crowned. Senior girls run for Queen by selling tickets. Whoever sells the most wins. The rest of the girls make up the Queen's Court. When I say these girls dresses are big, that's pretty much an understatement. This is completely hardcore. They even have a traditional bow that the Queen does. The Coronation is on Wednesday and Thursday. There is a Queens Ball, a Barn Dance and a Street Dance.
There is of course a yam contest as well. Other contests include: Yam Pie Contest, Homecanning Contest, Photography Contest, Essay & Poetry Contest, Fiddler's Contest, etc. And of course there is the buying and showing of Livestock.

To get the full idea of yam queens, their dresses and the bow here is a link to the rehearsal pictures from this year. I'm also putting a link to the Yam website. I brought my Flip video camera this week so there will be footage coming.

Monday, October 12, 2009

I just realized today that it has been a while since my last post. Time is flying. I cant believe it's already October! That means it's time for the Yamboree in Gilmer, Texas. I am very excited about attending it this year. So here's a quick update: While life has been incredibly busy it has also been very good. Two of my cousins each welcomed a new edition to their families at the end of September/beginning of October, so it has been fun with babies around Ttown. My nephew Sterling is crawling and saying, "Mama" and "Dada." School has been crazy, I just had a major test week including midterms so it's been almost nonstop studying for a while. It has begun to get colder here as Fall comes. I love Fall and Winter so I am pretty pumped about the change in the weather even if that has meant a lot of rainy days.
Last night I was reading in Acts and I came across this:
"Men of Israel, listen to these words: Jesus the Nazarene, a man attested to you by God with miracles and wonders and signs which God performed through Him in your midst, just as you yourselves know--this Man, delivered over by the predetermined plan and foreknowledge of God, you nailed to a cross by the hands of godless men and put Him to death. But God raised Him up again, putting an end to the agony of death, since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power." Acts 2:22-24

I was struck by the power of God displayed in the last part of verse 24. "Since it was impossible for Him to be held in its power." Wow. It's not that the fact that God has power over death is a new concept but this verse blew my mind. It was impossible for Christ to be held by the power of death! This verse not only shows God and His power, but also shows how small even death's hold is. Right now I am memorizing Psalm 27 and it is so cool to see the "cause-and-effect" in these two passages. Christ came and died on a cross as an atonement for our sins. God raised Him up again, conquering death and taking the 'sting' of death away. Because of this we can join in and say with confidence, "The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the defense of my life; Whom shall I dread? When evildoers came upon me to devour my flesh, my adversaries and my enemies, they stumbled and fell. Though a host encamp against me, my heart will not fear. Though war arise against me,in spite of this I shall be confident." Who, or what, in the world do we have to fear when we serve a God who has conquered what men fear most? So Believer, praise the Lord that it was not possible for death to hold Him, and that He rose again, and rest in His power. We serve a mighty God indeed.