25 Random Things About Me (William Earnhardt)

017I am writing today from the Beautiful Tampa Bay area.

25 Random Things About me

 

  1. 1.     I am the same age as the Super bowl. I am 43 and it is super bowl 43 today. If I am alive to see Super bowl 100 I better get free tickets!

    2.     I am not named after my father, Bill. His name is Billy Leroy Earnhardt and my name is William DeWayne Earnhardt. I am named after my mother’s father, William and Uncle John DeWayne.

    3.     I remember sitting in church no older than 3 or 4 watching the preacher, not hoping or wanting, but knowing I would be a gospel worker one day.

    4.     I lived in Oklahoma and Texas for 38 years and never saw a tornado.

    5.     I have never touched alcohol or cigarettes or any illegal drugs.

    6.     I would rather listen to a sports game on radio than watch it on TV. Don’t ask me why.

    7.     In high school I wrote the lyrics to a prayer response song that was used in our church for several months.

    8.     I gave my first Bible study in a home in my neighborhood when I was 15. I was just going door to door. The couple visited our church later at my invitation.

    9.     I preached my first sermon when I was 15.

    10.                        I have seen three presidents in person. Richard Nixon, Jimmy Carter and George W. Bush. Interestingly I saw one before he was president. One while he was president and one after he was president. (Bush before, Nixon during, Carter after.)

    11.                        When I was a child my next door neighbor wrote a puppet skit and he and I performed the skit on a local cable TV show.

    12.                        When I was thirteen I was bragging in science class that I had never broken a bone in my body. In our next class, P.E., not forty minutes later, I broke my collar bone playing football. It was cool though, because Bob Griese, my favorite quarterback had also broken his collar bone.

    13.                        I had seen the gulf or ocean several times on family vacations as a child. In my adult life I had never been to the ocean or gulf until in 2003 I took a trip to Galveston to see the gulf just in case I never got another chance. Should have saved the trip as the next year I moved to Tampa Bay.

    14.                        When I was 12 and 13 years old my neighbor and I would walk down to Skelly Stadium where the Tulsa Roughnecks of the NASL would practice. We would kick the ball around with the players and I even got to interview one or two with my personal recorder. The soccer players were very real and personal. Now I shake my head at today’s stars wondering who do they think they are?

    15.                        I was the first person to graduate in my school. I was there the first year it went to twelve grades and my name came first in alphabetical order.

    16.                        There is an Adventist pastor who has been crossing my path all my life. His name is Jim Ferguson. When I was 7 we moved into a house down the street from his. When I was a teenager I preached at his church in Owasso, OK. Later I was a Bible Worker at another church he had just worked for in Claremore, OK. I then preached in Stillwater while he was there. In Texas he pastored the Breckenridge church right after I left being Bible Worker there. He then pastored the Weatherford, TX church right after I left being the lay pastor there. I also preached several times in the Chickasha and Southern Hills churches in Oklahoma right after he left those churches.

    17.                        When I was a kid I had a nightmare that I fell down an elevator shaft. To this day I do not step onto an elevator until I have looked down and seen the elevator floor.

    18.                        I have lived in all three states that have panhandles and only states that have panhandles. Oklahoma, Texas and Florida.

    19.                        I have had both Jeb and George for governors.

    20.                        I have been to every state West of the Mississippi except Alaska and Hawaii. I have been to every state east of the Mississippi except the extreme North east. I have also been to Canada, Mexico and Peru.

    21.                        A couple of years ago, after buying a brand new car, I woke up at 3am. After realizing what time it was and that I was awake, I jumped in my new car and headed for the East Coast where I watched the sunrise, had breakfast at McDonalds and then drove back to Tampa to work. Later in the evening I drove to Clearwater where I watched the sunset on the west coast. That was one of the most spontaneous things I ever did until last December when on the spur of the moment I drove to Louisiana to golf the next day with a friend.

    22.                        I love photography, golfing, kayaking and biking. Four things I never really did until I moved to Florida.

    23.                        I love being single. I have several married friends and have never felt like a third wheel. I think the term third wheel was invented by a married person who did not like single people. I have friends from every marital or single status, race, gender, age and religion. I simply love people no matter who they are. If a Red Sox fan showed up at my door wanting water I would not turn him away.

    24.                         Out of all the titles and positions I have had in life, being my nieces’ uncle is the one I am most proud of. I think they are proud of me too. J

    25.                        In the 80s I loved the show Unsolved Mysteries. None of my friends really like it so every Wednesday night I would come home from prayer meeting, get a cherry coke and watch the show by myself. It may sound corny but it became what I called, “my special all by myself time.” To this day, while I love and treasure all of my friends and family I have always made sure I also have a “special all by myself time.”

     

Overview for “The Prophetic Gift”

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I am writing again today from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

Here is my overview for the Sabbath School Lesson “The Prohetic Gift.”  It can also be used as a Biblical test to see if someone has the gift of prophecy.

The Spirit of Prophecy

 

What two things identify the remnant church?

And the dragon was wroth with the woman, and went to make war with the remnant of her seed, which keep the commandments of God, and have the testimony of Jesus Christ.  Revelation 12:17

 

What is the testimony of Jesus?

And I fell at his feet to worship him. And he said unto me, See [thou do it] not: I am thy fellowservant, and of thy brethren that have the testimony of Jesus: worship God: for the testimony of Jesus is the spirit of prophecy.  Revelation 19:10

 

Note: The spirit of prophecy is more than predicting the future of being a fortune teller. It is having a testimony or message from Jesus. Ellen White said she did not want to be called a prophet because in her day prophets were only fortune tellers. She wanted to be called a messenger from God, because she was way more than a fortune teller, she had a message from Jesus!

 

What is the purpose of a prophet?

Surely the Lord GOD will do nothing, but he revealeth his secret unto his servants the prophets. Amos 3:7

 

How long is this gift to be in the church?

And he gave some, apostles; and some, prophets; and some, evangelists; and some, pastors and teachers; For the perfecting of the saints, for the work of the ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ: Till we all come in the unity of the faith, and of the knowledge of the Son of God, unto a perfect man, unto the measure of the stature of the fulness of Christ:  Ephesians 4:11-13

 

Note: While many prophets are not accepted in their own country many were also not accepted in their own time. The above verse makes it clear though that as long as God has a church here on earth the gift of prophecy will continue from age to age.

 

Was this gift given to men only?

And Miriam the prophetess, the sister of Aaron, took a timbrel in her hand; and all the women went out after her with timbrels and with dances.  Exodus 15:20

 

And the next [day] we that were of Paul’s company departed, and came unto Caesarea: and we entered into the house of Philip the evangelist, which was [one] of the seven; and abode with him. And the same man had four daughters, virgins, which did prophesy.  Acts 21:8-9

 

Note: Many reject Ellen White as being a prophet because she was a woman, did not write in the Bible and came after the Old Testament. Yet in the book of Acts we find women prophets who came after the Old Testament and did not write anything in the Bible either.

 

Will this still happen in the last days?

And it shall come to pass afterward, [that] I will pour out my spirit upon all flesh; and your sons and your daughters shall prophesy, your old men shall dream dreams, your young men shall see visions: And also upon the servants and upon the handmaids in those days will I pour out my spirit. And I will show wonders in the heavens and in the earth, blood, and fire, and pillars of smoke.The sun shall be turned into darkness, and the moon into blood, before the great and the terrible day of the LORD come.  Joel 2:28-31

 

Note: clearly there were men and women prophets in the Bible and in the last days as well.

 

 

How can one tell the true from the false?

Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? Even so every good tree bringeth forth good fruit; but a corrupt tree bringeth forth evil fruit. A good tree cannot bring forth evil fruit, neither [can] a corrupt tree bring forth good fruit. Every tree that bringeth not forth good fruit is hewn down, and cast into the fire.Wherefore by their fruits ye shall know them.  Matthew 7:15-20

 

Will what they say come to pass?

The prophet which prophesieth of peace, when the word of the prophet shall come to pass, [then] shall the prophet be known, that the LORD hath truly sent him.  Jeremiah 28:9

 

Note: Anyone can get lucky and be 30, 40 or 50% accurate but a prophet of God is 100% accurate.

 

Do prophets place their own interpretation on Scripture?

Knowing this first, that no prophecy of the scripture is of any private interpretation.  2 peter 1:20

 

Will all they say be in harmony with the Scripture?

To the law and to the testimony: if they speak not according to this word, [it is] because [there is] no light in them. Isaiah 8:20

 

Note: The Scriptures make clear there is no light in those who preach against the law or the teachings of Jesus found in scripture. In John 10 Jesus tells us His sheep will flee the voice of a stranger. That is someone not teaching 100% truth or going along with the Bible. This includes the Sabbath and all the commandments.

 

Will they point out sin?

Cry aloud, spare not, lift up thy voice like a trumpet, and show my people their transgression, and the house of Jacob their sins.  Isaiah 58:1

 

Note: Pointing out sin is what led God’s prophets to be rejected in the Bible and the same is true today.

 

Will they edify and counsel?

But he that prophesieth speaketh unto men [to] edification, and exhortation, and comfort. 

He that speaketh in an [unknown] tongue edifieth himself; but he that prophesieth edifieth the church. 1 Corinthians 14:3, 4

 

Note: The purpose of a prophet is not to give mystical signs or mystical theories, but rather sound solid leadership for the church.

 

What if we reject a true prophet?

I will raise them up a Prophet from among their brethren, like unto thee, and will put my words in his mouth; and he shall speak unto them all that I shall command him. And it shall come to pass, [that] whosoever will not hearken unto my words which he shall speak in my name, I will require [it] of him. But the prophet, which shall presume to speak a word in my name, which I have not commanded him to speak, or that shall speak in the name of other gods, even that prophet shall die. And if thou say in thine heart, How shall we know the word which the LORD hath not spoken? When a prophet speaketh in the name of the LORD, if the thing follow not, nor come to pass, that [is] the thing which the LORD hath not spoken, [but] the prophet hath spoken it presumptuously: thou shalt not be afraid of him.  Deuteronomy 18:18-22

 

What is God’s assurance to us?

Believe in the LORD your God, so shall ye be established; believe his prophets, so shall ye prosper.  2 Chronicles 20:20

 

What are we counseled to do?

Quench not the Spirit. 

Despise not prophesyings. 

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.  1 Thessalonians 5:19-21

 

Note: And the brethren immediately sent away Paul and Silas by night unto Berea: who coming [thither] went into the synagogue of the Jews.These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so. Therefore many of them believed; also of honourable women which were Greeks, and of men, not a few.  Acts 17:10-12

 

Ellen White herself says she is the lesser light pointing to the greater light. Yet she is no lesser a light in her day than Paul was in his day. People heard Paul preach and then went to see if it went with the already established Word of God which was the Old Testament. Sure enough his teachings went right along with the Old Testament so he was accepted as a prophet. Today let’s have the same spirit of those in Berea and with all readiness of mind let’s search the Scriptures to see if Ellen White has a message from God. And if she does let’s not despise it but hold fast to all that is good.

 

Here is a parting thought. Ellen White is often misquoted and taken out of context. She has often been portrayed as being unbalanced. Thanks to compilation books where people have taken all of he writings on a particular subject out of their original context and placed them in a book under a particular subject she has been taken literally out of context. Also these compilation books make it look like she was obsessed with whatever topic the book is about. For example Ellen White wrote many helpful and important things about our diet. If you read the compilation book “Counsels on Diets and Foods” you will get the idea she was obsessed with diet. She was concerned about it but not overly obsessed with it to the point of being unbalanced. If you read all of her writings in their original context instead of in compilations you will see the only thing she was actually obsessed with was the love of Jesus!

 

I encourage you to read her actual writings for yourself in their original contexts and see what you think.

You may find more studies, stories and pictures at my personal website In Light Of The Cross.

William’s Speaking Schedule for First Quarter 2009

William Earnhardt’s Speaking Schedule for the First Quarter 2009

Sermons: January 3, both services at Tampa First SDA Chruch.
SS Class: I will be teaching my Seekers Class every Sabbath morning at 10:25am at the Tampa First SDA Church.
Group Bible Studies and Prayer Meetings: Every Wednesday in January at 11am and 7pm.
Men’s Ministry Retreat: March 13-15 and March 20-22 at Camp Kulaqua

My Top Ten Highlights of 2008

Welcome to 2009! I pray that 2008 was very good to you and that 2009 will find you happier and closer to Jesus than ever before! To celebrate bringing in the New Year I have decided to share my top ten list. Please enjoy!

 

My Top Ten Highlights of 2008

 

10. On December 16 I was talking to a friend in Texas and on the spur of the moment we both took off for Louisiana for a game of golf, both of us meeting there that same evening. I love spur of the moment trips like that!

 

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9. I have decided not finish my list as I just decided to fly to England tonight! Just kidding. My ninth highlight is getting to fly to Tulsa with my sister and spending Mothers Day with our parents.

 

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8. Improving my golf game but more importantly getting to spend time with friends on some of the most beautiful golf courses in Florida, including getting to golf with my Dad this Christmas.

 

 

 

7. Kevin Craig getting a hole in one on the second fairway he ever played on in my church’s small golf group.

 

6. Getting to perform two weddings. One was the brother of a good friend of mine and then another was a good friend of mine who’s wedding was in Palm Springs.

 

5. Making new friends and re connecting with old friends on Facebook, Myspace and the Internet in general.

 

4. Finding real cream filled (none of that yellow junk) maple bars at 7-11 even if it was short lived as they stopped carrying them in favor of the donuts with that yellow junk. It was nice while it lasted.

 

3. My Rays going to the World Series! Go Tampa Bay! A hundred years from now the Rays will have 30 world championships and serious historians will be the only ones who will know what a Red Sox or a Yankee is.

 

 

2. Going to Tulsa last October for my parent’s 50th wedding anniversary. Even though its been 50 years, the last 43 years have been the best years of their entire lives!

 

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  1. 17 People getting baptized at my church including 5 from the ASI meetings we had and wonderful Bible Workers and young people coming from all over the world to help win souls including several from Texas! In Texas you know your good when you get invited to work in Tampa!

 

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The Lafayette Classic and Alligators

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Today Victor and I were golfing at Pebble Creek here in Tampa when we ran across another alligator. Never seen one with his mouth open before. Made me a little nervous but I had to get the picture. I had a terrible start but ended up with a 98. Victor got a couple birdies including a couple chip shots from off the green that went right into the cup. He ended with a 77!

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Last Tuesday I was driving around the Florida panhandle doing some sightseeing. I called Doug, my friend from Fort Worth and on the spur of the moment we decided to meet in Lafayette for some golf. We both got to a hotel in Lafayette late that evening and went out to dinner. The next morning we went to the Wetlands. It was foggy and we played the first six holes in the fog. I did terrible so after the first nine holes I told Doug he had won the game in the fog and now that it had finally cleared lets play a new 18 hole game. Doug won the second game as well. That night we had dinner and each headed back to our own homes. Even though I lost and did not get to show off my golf skills to Doug, what was really kewl was that I had a friend who was glad to drive across country on the spur of the moment to hang out with me!

Please check out more of my pics and stories and studies at my personal website http://www.inlightofthecross.com

Check out my friend’s sprots blog. http://bulldogsportsblog.blogspot.com/

Keep Your Own Score

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Here I am putting for my par after barely missing a birdie shot.

Keep Your Own Score

 

Golf is a gentleman’s game and as I continually learn the game of golf I continually learn to become more of a gentleman. Golf will test your etiquette skills as much as your athletic skills. In football the opposing team’s crowd will make as much noise as possible to distract the other team’s offense. In golf you must be quiet and considerate of your opponent when he is swinging. In baseball a pitcher will throw at a batter’s head. In golf you must yell “fore!”* if your ball is sailing close to someone else. In football you cheer when the opposing kicker misses a field goal. In golf you keep a straight face or give a sympathetic word when your opponent misses a putt. The list goes on. Golf is a game that will test your manners as well as your skills.

 

I have learned something important this year about golf and about life. I love to keep score. I love to win but more than just wanting to win I am a statistics freak. I have to know all the numbers and I have to know what the score is. As a matter of fact I have logged into my computer every game I have played this year, where I have played it and what the scores were.

 

However I have learned that some do not like to keep score. A while back I was golfing with my older friend Ron who has been teaching me how to golf but more importantly has been teaching me how to be a better gentleman. The two of us set out to start the first hole when a man golfing alone came up behind us. Being the gentlemen that we are we invited him to join us which he did. After each hole I would ask him what his score was so I could write it down with ours. After a couple holes Ron told me not to ask his score. If he wanted me to know he would tell me. The fact that I had to keep asking was a sign he really did not want to give it. I should have known that.

 

Since then I have run into other people who don’t like to keep score. As a statistics freak I have a hard time dealing with that. But here is what I have learned. It should not matter what the other people’s scores are. There is a par for the course which is the standard for the course. Instead of comparing myself to others I should just focus on reaching the standard. I should be matching my performance against the standard and not against my fellow man. Once again the game of golf has taught me something no other sport will. I once saw a t-shirt on a teenager that read, “Inspiration is not when you outdo your opponent. It is when you outdo yourself.” How true!

 

In life Jesus does not inspire us to compare ourselves to others or be like them. Christ inspires us to compare ourselves to Him and become like Him. He is the par for the course and we will never make par while comparing ourselves to anyone else but the Standard Himself. It does not matter what anyone else’s score is in golf or in life. There is a standard to be reached.

 

Like a wise sea captain once said years ago, “we must set our course by the stars and not by every passing ship.”

 

* When someone yells “fore!” most people look around to see where the ball is coming from. The correct response is to quickly cover your head with your arms.

 

Check out my friend’s sports blog. http://bulldogsportsblog.blogspot.com/

Sharing Jesus on Myspace

n529924774_1066451_1248I am writing again from the beautiful Tampa Bay area.

And these words, which I command thee this day, shall be in thine heart: 

And thou shalt teach them diligently unto thy children, and shalt talk of them when thou sittest in thine house, and when thou walkest by the way, and when thou liest down, and when thou risest up. And thou shalt bind them for a sign upon thine hand, and they shall be as frontlets between thine eyes. And thou shalt write them upon the posts of thy house, and on thy gates.  Deuteronomy 6:6-9

 

God wanted the Israelites to know what they were all about. He also wanted the Israelites to let everyone else know that they were all about the Gospel of their Creator and Redeemer. Sure they had other interests too from various forms of work and recreation, but what was posted on their gates and houses was what they were all about.

 

What are you all about?

 

On a recent trip from Florida to Tennessee to see my sister I became hungry for some fast Mexican food. Soon I saw the sign for Taco Bell. Now the sign and the name told me right away this would be a Mexican restaurant. Their sign told me what they are all about. That is good. I needed to know what they were all about and they needed me to know what they were all about. If I wanted hamburgers then I needed to go elsewhere. Hamburgers were not what they were about.

 

You may not realize it but you have signs that tell people what you are all about. What is that catchy slogan on your t-shirt? What is that poster people see on your bedroom wall as soon as they open the door? What is the first picture people see when they log into your Myspace? It is what you are all about. That’s good. Really, no matter what you have on your bedroom wall or Myspace it is good that you are telling people what you are all about. That way you only attract people who need what it is that you are all about. If I want hamburgers then I don’t need to waste my time going to Taco Bell, and if I am searching for Jesus and the hope the gospel brings then I don’t need to waste my time on a website offering pornography and vice versa.

 

When Jesus walked the earth whether or not you liked Him, you always knew what He was all about. In chapter 53 Isaiah says, “There was nothing beautiful or majestic about his appearance, nothing to attract us to him.” NLT That’s not to say he was ugly just that He was not all about His physical appearance. No doubt many women were attracted to Him but not for physical reasons but for a higher purpose. Physical attraction was not what Christ was all about. Now Christ loves beauty and He loves for people to be physically beautiful just as much as He loves a beautiful sunset or lush green meadow. Christ just made it clear what He was really all about. The nail scarred hands. The eyes of tenderness, His smile of hope tell us what He is all about.

 

In 1 Peter 3:3-4 Peter tells wives with unbelieving husbands to let them know what they are all about. “Whose adorning let it not be that outward [adorning] of plaiting the hair, and of wearing of gold, or of putting on of apparel; But [let it be] the hidden man of the heart, in that which is not corruptible, [even the ornament] of a meek and quiet spirit, which is in the sight of God of great price.” In this context we see Peter is not condemning physical attraction but is rather telling wives, “make it clear what you are all about. Not physical carnal things but something deeper and more spiritual from the heart.”

 

It’s all well and good for a man to be physically attracted to a woman and vice versa. However we need to attract people to what we are all about. They need to know. The Israelites did not spend all day just posting the gospel on their gates and homes, but by having it posted there people knew what they were all about. It’s a different world today. We don’t post things on our gates and homes necessarily but we do post things other places. What is posted on your Myspace right now? Whatever it is, that is what you are telling the world and heaven you are all about. Some children are scared to let their parents or mentors find their Myspace. If you are afraid of someone you respect finding your Myspace then you may ask yourself why that is. Are you hiding something? An inspired author writes that Christians are to be transparent as the sunlight with nothing to hide and no facades. By the way, your parents and mentors know when you have one Myspace for the world to see and then another one that is more appropriate that you try to pass off as your only Myspace. If you think they have not found it or seen what you do not want them to, still your friends and your Savior have found it and they know what you are all about. Embarrassed? I hope not. If you are, then look by faith into those tender eyes of pity. Place your hand into His nail scared hands and ask His forgiveness. Not forgiveness for an inappropriate picture or slogan you have posted but even more so for not being all about the One Who is all about you. Funny how the One who sees and knows everything about us suddenly has the worst memory in the universe when we ask His forgiveness!

 

Sexy pictures and dirty talk are all rampant on the Internet. You can find it anywhere and everywhere. Ask yourself if that is what you want to be. Ask yourself what you are really all about. Ask yourself if the things you have on your Myspace really represent your ambition in life. I don’t know what you have on your personal Myspace but I can guarantee you, you were meant for more than what is mostly out there. Sadly many people are looking for that sort of thing but if so let them find it somewhere else not with you. Meanwhile there are people looking for more than a sexy face or dirty joke. They are looking for a Savior. Will they find Him on your Myspace?

 

Jesus says not to hide the light under a bushel. When I was hungry for Mexican food I needed to see the sign. I needed to know what Taco Bell was all about. They did not hide their sign from me. They made it easy for me to find them. Meanwhile there are millions starving for the gospel. Will they find it on your Myspace or will they just find what is found on any typical teenagers Myspace? Please let people know what you are all about and offer them something special that they won’t find on just any Myspace. Please help people meet Jesus on your Myspace. After all, that is what you are all about, right?

 

Whether it is our house our gates, or our Internet, What we have posted is what we are all about.

 

Prove all things; hold fast that which is good. Abstain from all appearance of evil.  1 Thessalonians 5:21-22

 

I want to apologize now if anything I have written so far has come across as being judgmental or condemning. I don’t mean to assume your Myspace is inappropriate but at the same time my purpose here is to help us take a good look at ourselves and let God make the appropriate changes. I know many who desire to be all about God but temptations and peer pressure make it an uphill battle. I have had to erase my words on page and take back some spoken words when I realized that what I had said or written was not really what I wanted to be about. By trial and error and the grace of God I have found some ways to stay focused on what I am all about. The Internet can be a world of good as well as a world of evil. Please let me pass along some ideas I have found to help us remember and stay focused on what we are all about.

 

Preserving and protecting what you are all about.

 

Accountability Accountability Accountability!!! Did I mention accountability? I hope so because it is so important in keeping us honest and on the right track. Accountability does not infer that you are a bad person. Accountability is just a healthy way of life. Our church has an excellent church treasurer. She is as honest as the day is long. However every church board meeting she brings a financial report and gives accountability. Why? Not because we do not trust her of course we do! Accountability is just a way to document who we are and what we are about. On the Internet we need to give accountability. What that means is our parents and spiritual mentors need to know what is going on just like an honest church treasure lets people know what is going on. Honest people don’t hide things and say ‘don’t you trust me?” Honest people put everything out in the open.”  This is especially true when it comes to the Internet.

 

Many people recommend having the computer in a family room where everyone frequents. It does not belong in the parent’s bedroom or the child’s bedroom. It belongs in the living room or some part of the house the entire family shares. This makes a lot of sense. It keeps us honest. Now in my case I am a single person who lives alone. So any room I have is a private room. Still there are measures I take to provide accountability. I do not have my own Internet connection at home so I am often on the Internet at the church or public library.  This is my way of avoiding the appearance of evil or opening the door for temptations. Since I am single and have no wife or children to keep an eye on me I have an accountability system with a friend in Texas where if I go to an inappropriate site he will know about it and talk to me about it. I am glad to report that he has never had to call me so far. You can find various systems like this on the Internet.

There are various forms of evil on the Internet, not just sexual immorality. I am a mystery buff and I have caught myself staying up all night reading true life crime mysteries till it hit me that the amount of time I was spending on this subject just wasn’t healthy. Many of these stories I ran across while surfing. So I simply don’t surf anymore. I have an agenda when I get on the Internet. Let’s say I need to pay a bill online, check my email and see what the weather will be like tomorrow for my golf game. Then I do those three things and then get off the Internet. I believe that many of us have good intentions and don’t get on the computer to look for evil but when we are just aimlessly surfing we find it or it finds us, so just like when we write a grocery list and then go home as soon as we find everything on the list instead of continuing to roam the store, we need an agenda for the Internet and then get off once we have completed our agenda.

 

Passwords. Some one needs to know your password. If you are a teenager, then sorry, but your parents need to know your password. They need to know what pictures you are posting and what you are writing. They also need to know who you have been communicating with. You may value your privacy but I can assure you it is not as valuable as your safety and your salvation! I am not saying your folks need to read every e-mail you write or text you send but if they do then that’s their business not mine. What I am saying is they need access. They need to know what is going on. They need to do “spot checks” so that there is accountability and checks and balances. Remember trustworthy people don’t hide things.

 

Of course you don’t need your dad reading the e-mail you sent Aunt Miriam about the surprise birthday party you are throwing him, but it is still okay for dad to know that you have Aunt Miriam in your address book and you do correspond with her. That’s a good thing.

 

Now I should not have to tell you how stupid and dangerous it is to chat online with people you don’t know much less trust. You may have seen the “To Catch A Predator” shows on NBC’s Dateline. The predators are stupid but also how smart can you be to be 14 years old and arrange a meeting with a grownup you have never met before without your parents being there. That is just stupid! You don’t really need to be meeting with any adult without your parents or other adult friends being there much less alone with a stranger. Please tell me you will never do something this stupid so we can just go on now. Thank you, I knew you were smarter than that.

 

I know I am not a pioneer in writing when I tell you that it is by beholding that we become changed. This cliché has been repeated a million times because it is true. We need to be careful what we see on the Internet as well as what we post. I love to write and have been writing blogs and devotionals on the Internet ever since I got my first computer. There are a lot of things I would love to write about but I don’t because I don’t want to distract people from my main purpose in writing and that is to bring people to Jesus. I have been tempted to write political blogs and sports blogs and all, but I have to ask myself over and over what I’m all about. I am not saying everyone should just write religious dissertations all the time. At the same time we all have a purpose and once again we need to be finding and sharing something that is not easily found elsewhere and that is Jesus. People can find sports and political blogs anywhere. I want to offer something that can’t be found just anywhere. I hope you feel the same way. Lets let Paul have the final words as he says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things [are] honest, whatsoever things [are] just, whatsoever things [are] pure, whatsoever things [are] lovely, whatsoever things [are] of good report; if [there be] any virtue, and if [there be] any praise, think on these things.” Philippians 4:8 

 

 

Sharing Jesus on Myspace

 

 

And he departed, and began to publish in Decapolis how great things Jesus had done for him: and all [men] did marvel.  Mark 5:20

 

In Mark chapter 5 we read about a man who was possessed by demons until Jesus came and set him free. The man now goes abroad and publishes in Decapolis what great things Jesus had done for him. This man like everyone else who has had an encounter with Jesus just had to share Him with others. Even when Jesus told people not to tell what He had done for them, they just couldn’t contain themselves and had to share it with the whole world. It is the same today. If you have had a real experience with Jesus Christ than you too will want to share Him all over the place-including the Internet!

 

The man in Mark 5 published where he could. His audience was Decapolis and his venue was his mouth. Today we publish many ways but posting our story on the Internet is one of them. Our venue can be the Internet. Let’s take Myspace for example.

 

There are several resources where you can find videos, music, backgrounds and more to help you publish and post what you are all about. Here are two places I found helpful:

http://www.christianmyspacecodes.com/

http://christianmyspace.com/

 

Why not also include on your myspace ways for people to find out more about Jesus? Now you don’t need to make a spectacle of yourself to do this. Some people get annoyed if you bang on their door asking to do Bible studies, but by just sharing a link you give them a non intimidating opportunity to check something out. Here are some ideas:

 

http://bibleschools.com/

 Is the website for the Discover Bible School. You may take lessons online or through the mail however they want. Lessons are available in the kidzone section for kids and early teens. Check it out!

 

http://www.cornerstoneconnections.net/index.php

Is the website for the cornerstone Bible Study lessons for young people. Many churches use these in their Sabbath School lessons.

 

http://www.tampaadventist.net/

Is the website for my church. You may wish to share your church’s website. By sharing your church’s website you are sharing a little more about your world and who you are as well as sharing Jesus.

 

http://www.amazingfacts.org/

Is a site filled with all kinds of free studies and material about Jesus.

 

http://inlightofthecross.com/

And of course you can share my site that I have put together with all kinds of studies and inspirational stories and pictures.

 

Of course there are a lot more sites and resources our there that will help you share Jesus and let the whole world know what you are all about but this is a start.

 

Here are some parting thoughts. In Revelation 3:5 Jesus says, “He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” 

Can you imagine anything more exciting than your name rolling off the lips of Jesus as He brags about you before the Father? Jesus is just as excited when we brag about Him before our friends! In Luke 9:26 Jesus says, “For whosoever shall be ashamed of me and of my words, of him shall the Son of man be ashamed, when he shall come in his own glory, and [in his] Father’s, and of the holy angels.”  It is so crazy how Satan tries to get us to be too embarrassed to share Jesus. We should be proud of all that Jesus has done for us! We should never be afraid or embarrassed to share Jesus anytime and anywhere in the right way.

 

Isaiah says in Isaiah 50:4, “The Lord GOD hath given me the tongue of the learned, that I should know how to speak a word in season to [him that is] weary.” There are many soul weary people today that could use an encouraging word from Jesus. Will you pass that encouraging word along on your Myspace? In Psalms 63:1 David cries out, “my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is.”  Many like David today are hungering and thirsting for Jesus in a land where people want to talk about their sports, fashions and looks, their money and sex lives, everything imaginable except Jesus who is the exactly what this world is hungering and thirsting for. Your Myspace could be the difference in someone’s life. On Myspace you will find all kinds of people sharing their dark feelings in their profiles. Some are depressed and even suicidal. Some are struggling with self destructive addictions. All over the web they can find things to feed their addictions and suicidal tendencies. I pray that on your website they will find something different. I pray they will find Jesus.