Saturday, July 30, 2011

Guys In Relationships

This is written to all the guys out there in the world who are in any relationship with women. I’m speaking straight from my heart here. And believe me there’s a lot of passion coming behind me. Is the way you treat women honorable to them or does it treat them as dirt? 
One of the things the ticks me off the most is when guys treat girls wrongly. Who gives you the right to use that girl for selfish, sexual, and emotional ambitions? Who? I can almost guarantee that your girl would give anything for a guy who would love her for who she is and not just for her body. 
I think it begins first with the way we view girls. Do we view them just as “eye candy” or do you see them as a daughter of the same God that you say you serve? It sickens me to see guys do awful things to the girl they supposably love. How is that love? The Bible tells us in 1 John that true love is sacrifice. It’s what Jesus did for us on the cross. He did ultimate love sacrifice. Love is always looking for the benefit of the other person.
You guys that have your hands all over your girlfriends and then you go to church and take communion, the Lord’s body and blood, with the same hands like it’s no big deal. Tell me what’s right about that? Get your heart right. That’s so wrong. That’s how our culture thinks. It’s no longer rebelling to have sex, it’s rebelling to wait until marriage for sex. 
I challenge you to rebel from our culture’s standards. 
Be the leader in your relationship. In the relationship I’m in now with the girl that I like, I’ve had to step up and stop from foolish talking and such that would lead to something bad in the future. Sure it hurts, cause I’m naturally sexually attracted to her. But I also know that God is honored through our actions of waiting. The ultimate purpose of a relationship is to glorify God. 
I would encourage you to set up guardrails in your relationship. What are guardrails on the road for? Exactly, keeping the car away from danger. And for the most part where are they located? Right up on the danger spot? No usually they are built back away from the problem. The same is true when we set up our guardrails in a relationship. You know yourself better than anyone. So you’re the one that needs to be the one who sets up those in your life. It’s for the sole purpose of keeping yourself from problems so that you can glorify God. 
More than anything though, build your relationship on that which lasts: Christ. Too many relationships that I’ve seen have been built on emotion, and when a problem comes up because they’re foundation isn’t dug down deep in Christ; it blows away with the storm. Use the Bible as your counsel! There’s so much wisdom in it. Read books on relationship. Joshua Harris’ writing has been a huge blessing to me. 
But, guys please take the initiative to lead your girl rightly. I can promise you that she will be crazy over that! That’s how God designed it! You lead, and she submits and you live in perfect harmony glorifying God by Biblical love. She longs for that leader in her life. And she also longs for that guy who will love her heart and not just her body. And your relationship will finally be based on that which lasts: Christ. Get your parents, friends, and pastor involved too!  They have so much wisdom on topics like this.
Prayer is crucial. Pray and ask God to reveal to you His will for your life. It also involves you being in the Word, that’s His written revealed will! Submit to Him. God has put your parents in your life to guide you, and it’s our responsibility to submit to them (Eph 6) So trust their input if they are godly people, if not then find some older couple who knows you well that you can trust will be straight up with you.  
Be comforted that God is sovereign and has the perfect partner lined up for you. Your job is to trust Him to bring her into your life in the right time. So please, I beg you, treat your girl and other girls with respect so that you honor God, her, and her parents. Remember that that heart, body, and mind isn’t yours until you are one with her. 
Know that I love you with my whole heart and that’s why I write this. I want to see a change in the world in the ways guys treat girls. 
Much love,

Thursday, July 14, 2011

Is Christ Divided?

I think within the body of Christ there are different people with different interests and gifts. But, as a whole divisions among the body are a hinderance to the gospel. I completely respect people with other beliefs from me in how they view Scripture, but for me to verbally attack them with my words, whether in front of them or behind their back, is sin.

When others verbally attack someone's ministry that is trying to follow to the commands of Scripture is wrong. How to do you think an unsaved person views this when he sees it? People are selfish. And we all have preferences. I really think a lot of these disagreements in the Christian circles really boil down to people and their preferences. That's not to downplay different Doctrinal issues. But have you gone to Scripture to find out what God says about it, rather than listening to what other people say about it. Ultimately we will be held accountable for our own lives. Stop attacking the way other people do ministry and hold certain beliefs. Notice I say attack. I believe we can lovingly talk about the beliefs and why we hold that belief. We all are here to be a light for Jesus and to lift each other up in the faith.

So when you are tempted to bash someone else's ministry. Stop and ask yourself what you are doing to reach the people they are reaching through that ministry. Remember that we are here to glorify God by loving Him and loving others.

Much love,

Monday, July 11, 2011

Testimony of a Gracious God

Well...I grew up in a Christian home. Sound familiar? Well to me it does because for most of my friends this is the case in their life as it is with me. But that means nothing. Granted it’s a huge blessing having a father and mother who love God with their whole heart, but it doesn’t automatically grant you salvation. I guess I thought it did.
I was born on a Christian university to Christian parents where we went to a Christian church and I went to a Christian school my whole life. Still there too. Needless to say I knew that Gospel (that Jesus came because we all sinned, died for our sin, rose again victorious over sin and death, ascended into heaven where He is now interceding on our behalf before the Father, and our hope is built on that He will return someday and take us to heaven to be with God forever) but when you accept this it changes you. I never accepted it.
I thought I did when I was 4. Went forward because I saw someone else do it and I thought it would be cool. No idea what I was doing. Again the Gospel changes a person’s life. No change in my life though. Fast forward through elementary school and stop in junior high school. My life would look something like this: Put on the “christian” face while at church, school, and before my parents, but when I was with my friends I knew I could “trust” or I was alone I was filling my head with TV shows that whet my appetite for sex. Sin satisfies for a season then it’s gone leaving you wanting more. I went to movies for satisfaction. Again it didn’t last. Then I discover the internet which has no end it seems. I was filling my head with pornography. My relationships with others and my parents was horrible. It became a normal habit and I always felt that people knew, so I lived my life in fear of people finding out. 
This is never a fun way to live life. Wouldn’t recommend it for those of you wondering. I was caught multiple times but couldn’t get away from it. I was always trying to find ways to get around my parents. This lifestyle went on for 5 years. 
Junior year of high school was a very awkward time for me because I was starting to grow up and realizing my life was a wreck. I lived for the next high. My dad is over all the fine arts at the university that my high school was connected to. I was always the sports dude. Got to impress the ladies right? Fine arts people can’t do that I thought. But I have to make the old man proud right? So I tried out for a play at school. With no intention of making it. But God had different plans for me. I made it... 
God is good. 
It was from that, that I started to see Christian brothers and sister love each other. When we were at rehearsal they had a ton of fun, but also talked about what they were learning about God. They were truly happy and satisfied in God! I started meeting with my youth pastor with some other guys in my youth group during the time I was in the play. The play went well but I still had not been changed by the Gospel. My youth pastor decided to meet with some of the leaders in youth group. I wasn’t much of a spiritual leader, though I did lead worship on the guitar. But for whatever reason God saw fit for me to be in that group. Little did my youth pastor know that through his words the Holy Spirit would convict me and show me my need for a Savior. I remember the night like it happened yesterday. I can’t tell you the date or anything but I was driving home after one of the meetings and I opened up and talked to God for the first time in a while. I had grown up in a christian home my whole life...I knew what I had to do to be saved. I could tell you in my sleep. But it finally became real to me! I asked Jesus into my heart and decided to follow Him with my life. 
Jesus saves.
Having a head knowledge of God doesn’t get you to heaven. It’s by the grace of God that anyone can have eternal life. My life was transformed into a new creature in Christ on that night. I had the desire to be in His Word. I started having burdens for people that I knew. My Bible teacher at school and I started meeting on a regular basis going through Spiritual Leadership. At the end of that year I got elected as an officer over my senior class. I don’t say this to brag but to show how God gave me huge opportunities right at the start of my walk with Him. Still not sure why. 
Come to the start of my senior year. My whole senior year is filled with growth and opportunities. First, being an officer involves that you talk in front of people. Before I was in that play I wasn’t a big fan of it. But through the play really started to enjoy it. A little bit.... I started to have opportunities to talk in front of people quite a bit. The student body organization asked me to preach in front of the whole school, I got asked to be in another play, and I had opportunities to preach at prayer meeting at school. Why do I say all this?
I started to feel the call to preach through all of this. One day before chapel I asked God to show me if He wanted me to use my voice for Him. I don’t know how Biblical it is to ask for a sign, but I did. And God answered very clearly. The sermon right after I asked was called “Using Your Voice for God.” You can’t tell me that happened by chance. God started to give me the desire to be in the ministry. At the end of my senior year God gave me the opportunity to work at Woodlands Camp in GA. Changed my life again there as I was with people who knew a lot about God and really loved Him with all their heart. Continual growth here in my life is a pattern that wasn’t there before. 
After camp, I had the burden to start a Bible study at the college that I was going to attend. It happened and it grew very fast to about 50 people! Only by God’s grace. I am so unqualified as a leader and God graciously provided very godly people to work with who are so much better as leaders than myself. It was a growing time for all of us as we all had different circumstances that came up due to the size of the group. But a lasting impression that God left on me was that I sort of planted a little an extent. But through all that God has given me a desire to plant a church in California, a love that has always been there in my life. I was starting to realize that God put that love there for a reason. 
So presently I am studying to be a pastor. And again my life is constant growth. I don’t say any of this to brag, except to brag on my God and what He has done in and through me. Through Christ I have victory. It’s not to say that I’m not tempted cause I am. But by the grace of God, He keeps me from it. And when I choose to go my own way there are mercies anew from Him. 
We all need Jesus. Do you know Him? Do you really know and love Him? 

All the glory to my Father in heaven,
Cam Lawson