The Mad Academy

The MAD Academy is a program I am apart of at Santa Barbara High School. MAD stands for “Multimedia Arts & Design”. Both of my brothers were in it years prior to me coming to SBHS, and my brother graduated this year. This year I learned how use Adobe Illustrator. My teacher was Ms. Shapiro who worked with Adobe Illustrator professionally. It was pretty cool learning how to use Adobe Illustrator, because it is a very good skill to have in the real world. For the second half of this school year was Web Design and A.J. Henning was my teacher. He taught us about how to make websites. I made two websites this year. One about surfing, and the other was for an awareness campaign about over fishing. Creating websites take a long time, but in the end it was pretty cool to see your own website on the internet, even if it wasn’t the greatest.

This has been an interesting year learning about all of this stuff. I personally am not the most computer savvy person, other than the fact that I own a computer. I feel like it was a good season learning about all of these things in the MAD academy.

picture: haleyapowell.files.wordpress.com

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Because He Lives

A man in the Bible named Job once said, “But as for me, I know that my Redeemer lives, and he will stand upon the earth at last.” For us who are Christians, we behold the most glorious Truth in the whole world; that our Redeemer lives! That not only is our God the One True God who is ruling and reigning on the Throne, but the same God who made us came down to earth to love, heal and forgive us of our sins. He lived and died, to buy our pardon with His death upon the cross. But we know that that’s not how the story ends; there is an empty grave to prove that our Savior lives! And now life is worth living just because our Jesus lives.

David Crowder does a wonderful cover of this song called, “My Redeemer Lives.” Take a listen, and rest in the everlasting arms of the Son, who conquered sin, death, and the devil.

How Deep The Father’s Love For Us

How deep the Father’s love for us? How vast beyond all measure, that He should send His only Son to make a wretch His treasure. This is an amazing verse from a beautiful song called, “How Deep the Father’s Love For Us. This song just melts  my heart. The verses are written so well, they rhyme, and I just love it. That is the Gospel. That God loves us so tenaciously that He gave up His own Son as a love Sacrifice to display His passion for us. Basically saying, ” That is how much I love you. I didn’t even spare My Son for you?  What wouldn’t I do to get you? I’ve given you everything! Will you receive it?

“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.”-Romans 5:8

“Greater love has no one than this: to lay down one’s life for one’s friends.”-John 15:3

Come to Christ today. He’s long awaited to pour His love into your heart. Recieve it today.

The Joy of Heaven

Last night I was having a conversation with my mom about Christ and His death on the cross for us. We were listening to worship music and both were in that state that you should constantly be in. That state is meditating upon, and being satisfied in the Person of Jesus Christ and His death on the cross. My mom was saying that the cross had become so much more real to her after seeing a shadow of Christ’s death on the cross while she hiking. Meditating upon the death of Christ is what satisfies us, and makes us have joy; this only because He lived, died, and rose again, for us.

The joy that Jesus was scourged till He could see all of His bones, beaten, hit in the face, crushed, bruised, spit-upon, mocked, had a crown of thorns twisted into His skull, carried a cross beam weighing over 100 pounds up to Golgotha, where His precious hands and feet were nailed and pierced through, then was raised up outside of His home town on that cross, as His filleted back was going up and down, scraping against the hard splintery wood, for 8 hours straight. But this does not compare to what our Lord actually did for us. He was forsaken by the Father. On that cross Jesus took the wrath of God that we deserved for our sins. He was separated for the first time for the Father and the Holy Spirit; that perfect union of the Trinity was broken, for us. Jesus did not only take our physical death but He took our spiritual death. Hell was poured out upon Christ on Golgotha for us.

This is joy. That God takes the damnation that we deserve, and instead of giving us the judgement of hell He takes it for us.

By now your wondering why I went through Christ’s death for us when this post is clearly about the joy of heaven. Why’d I do that? Because that is the joy of heaven. John Piper states it like this:

“The critical question for our generation— and for every generation— is this: If you could have heaven, with no sickness, and with all the friends you ever had on earth, and all the food you ever liked, and all the leisure activities you ever enjoyed, and all the natural beauties you ever saw, all the physical pleasures you ever tasted, and no human conflict or any natural disasters, could you be satisfied with heaven, if Christ was not there?”

Absolutely not. There is no joy without Jesus there. A heaven without Jesus is hell. The joy of heaven is that wrath deserving, hell-bound, rebellious creatures are redeemed because of the death of their Creator. And our Creator will have the marks to prove that we are His.

When we finally return home, the joy is that Jesus will look at us and we will see Him face to Face. And we will see Him, as a Lamb slain( Revelation 5), and we will fall down before our King, and never stop praising Him. Never stop loving Him. Never stop thanking Him.

Come to Jesus today. He wants to save you from eternal hell, and satisfy your every desire in Himself. Meditate upon His deep, deep, love for you today.

Prayer:

Father, praise You. Thank You for loving us so much that You sent Your One and only begotten Son that all who believe in Him will not perish but have eternal life. Thank You Lord Jesus, for everything You have done. Help us to know You and meditate upon You and Your love. Thank You that You are the joy of heaven. And that we will look upon You, our Savior, our God, and our Lord, and see what you have done for us, and praise You forever. Thank You Jesus. Holy Spirit thank You that You pour the Love of the Father abroad into our hearts. Would You do that today, we receive You now. Thank You Lord. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.

photo: 2.bp.blogspot.com/

Who Could Love Me Like You?

Psalm 139 has got to be one of the most beautiful Psalms ever. Feel free to take a look at it here: http://www.esvbible.org/Psalm+139/. All throughout this Psalm David is tripping out on the greatness of God. One of the key images David displays is how much God knows us. God literally formed us in our mother’s womb, before the foundation of the world He has loved us and thought of us. David also talks about how precious God’s thoughts are toward him. He says,

“How precious to me are your thoughts, O God!

How vast is the sum of them!

If I would count them, they are more than the sand.” (17-18)

Who could know us like God? It is true that if we could count them they would outnumber the sand. I would go on to saying that His thoughts towards us are endless. They are endless beams of perfect love, and He desires our hearts to be pierced through by His infinite love towards us.

Check out this Psalm, maybe even meditate on it for awhile. Get on your face before the King of Kings and Lord of Lords who loved you infinitely before the world existed.

photo: data.whicdn.com/

 

C.S. Lewis Quote of the Week

The C.S. Lewis Quote of this week is, “There are two kinds of people: those who say to God, ‘Thy will be done,’ and those to whom God says, ‘All right, then, have it your way.’ ” This is one of gnarliest quotes I’ve read in awhile. Strictly because when God says to us, ” All right, then, have it your way”, that is His wrath. It is God’s wrath to a disrespectful, rebellious, sinful humanity that does not obey Him. The thing is though, God wants us to return to Him. He wants us to repent of sin and perverse nature, and come back to Him. He understands that the only way for us to have ultimate meaning, joy, and pleasure is to say, “Thy will be done”. In this post I will dissect why that is our ultimate purpose, and to not say “Thy will be done” is the worst form of wrath there is.

Why do we need to say “Thy will be done”? and why is it bad to say “my will be done”? Well, we must first take a look at our Maker. God is Trinity, as very call the Triune Godhead. This Godhead consists of the Father, the Holy Spirit, and the Son. The Son is submissive to the Father in all that He does. When Christ was on this earth everything He did was to be obedient to the Father. His whole reason for coming to this earth was to be obedient to the Father and His Will. (Luke 22:42, Matthew 26:42,6:9-13, etc.) And Christ obeyed the Father’s will perfectly, without fault. This has been from eternities past as well. The Son has always says, “Father Your will be done” and that’s that. Secondly, The Father gives authority to the Son over everything. Hebrews 1:2 describes Christ as the Heir of all things. Jesus is also the Judge of the Living and the Dead as 1 Peter 4:5 describes Him. Lastly, Christ says about Himself in Matthew 28:18 that, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to Me”. This means, it’s all Christ’s. Lastly, The Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit glorifies the Son and the Father. He is our Helper, Counselor, and Advocate (John 14:26). The Holy Spirit’s goal is to glorify the Son, thus the Son gives glory to the Father, and the Father glorifies the Son. It this beautiful submission of the Triune Godhead that leaves us in awe of who He is.

So God, being Trinity, (meaning three indifferent Persons in One Godhead) is submissive. The Sons says, “Father Your Will be done.” And if the Son, completely equal with the Father says, “Your will be done”, how much more ought we? Yet because of our fallenness we cannot see the absolute urgency to say God have your way in my life. The reason Christ tells us to ask for the Fathers will in our lives is because He Himself says, “Father Your will be done”. How much more do God’s creations need to say that if God Himself does?

Lastly, for God to say, “Have it your way.” is the ultimate form of wrath there is. In Romans 1:24 Paul tells us, “Therefore God delivered them over in the cravings of their hearts to sexual impurity, so that their bodies were degraded among themselves.” That’s scary. Paul was prior speaking of sexual immorality, and this verse tells us why the world is in the sinful state of lust that it is. God gave them over to their desires. But think, if they came to God, heartbroken about their sin, and repented and said, “Father forgive me of my sin. Save me Lord Jesus, Your will be done in My life now and forever Lord.” Do you think that God would hesitate to pick that broken wretch up and carry Him into the Kingdom? No way! God would scoop them up in the Wings of His love. But people won’t come, because God gave them over because so many times He said, “Come back to Me!” and the world said no. So God said fine, have it your way.

God loves us despite our failures. Come, the reason you live is to say God your will be done in my life! Have your way. Come to the Father and says this to Him today. Ask Him to save you. God is awaiting your return. Come today.

photo: 2.bp.blogspot.com/

Why The Gospel Changes Everything

Have you ever experienced death? Maybe it was the death of a loved one, maybe it was someone you weren’t acquainted with; maybe it was your pet. Odds are though we all have experienced death in our lives at sometime; and if you have not yet, just know that it is coming. Why I am saying this is because death changes everything. You realize that you will not live in this earthly vessel forever. Death could be compared to losing a limb, or your ability to walk. Eventually you begin to learn how to deal with your handicap in your day to day life, but it’s never the same. You have lost that limb that you’ve had your whole life and maybe for some of us losing that limb meant everything. To you my friends, you who fear death, and have lost friends, family members, pets; I don’t know. To you I say today that there is hope. And this hope does not disappoint (Romans 5:5). This is “Because of His great mercy He has granted us a new birth, resulting in an immortal hope through the resurrection of Jesus, the Messiah, from the dead.”(1 Peter 1:3)

The reason that I started off with death, is because it changes your life dramatically. It’s as if your whole entire life comes to a complete stop. And you aren’t the same no matter how long it takes. This type of dramatic change is life-changing, and can be compared to the Gospel. Let me first off saying that the Gospel is Good News. There is literally no greater news in the universe than the Gospel. And when you hear it, God begins to do something in your heart. If you haven’t felt that, continue reading as I explain what the Gospel is, how it changes our lives, and how it is the antidote.

2000 years ago, God came down to the earth that He created. He put on flesh and became like a man. Why did God do this? For you, me, and every person on the face of this planet. Because there is a problem that has ruined this world and humanity. This tragedy is called sin. It is the reason there is murder, death, evil, genocide, and many other horrific things in this world. We sinned against God in this place called the Garden of Eden. We said to God through our act of sin, “I know that you have provided everything, but I am going to go my own way, cause deep down I think I know better than You, God.” So as soon as we sinned death came into the world and polluted everything. The seed that was from Adam and Eve was polluted by inherent sin, and we now are suffering the consequences. Not only do we suffer from death, and evil, but we now get judgement from God, because we broke His law, and now deserve eternal damnation. But does God leave us in this situation? No. But the Father sends His only Son to die and take our place and the wrath that we justly deserved from God.

“but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8). Jesus was born in a barn were animals lived, ate, and excreted. He grew up in poverty. “Surely he has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.” (Isaiah 53:4). He came down, and lived 33 years for YOU and ME. He was scourged, beaten, spit-upon, mocked, crushed, crucified, and died for US. Not only did God take the physical pain for our sin, but He took our hell. Hell is separation from God, and on that cross Jesus cried out, “My God, My God, why have You forsaken Me.” Jesus bring God had been in perfect fellowship with the Father and the Holy Spirit until that horrific moment when the Father would turn His Face away from His Son for our sin.

Then, on the third day at dawn, Jesus Christ resurrected from the dead. By thus He conquered sin, death, and hell, and the devil.

The Gospel changes everything because something in your heart for the first time in all of your life is opened to God who in eternities past said, “I want that person in My family. And I will send My only begotten Son to pay for his/her life so that they can see how much I love them.”

Man oh man, now that you’ve heard the Gospel now is the time to respond. You are never same after this experience right now. Will your accept Jesus as Lord and Savior, put your faith in Him and His work on the Cross for you, repent of your sins, and give all that your are to Him forever, surrendered to Him in loving obedience? God bled for you that you could be satisfied for the first time in your life! Please, you don’t know what your missing. Everything that you could ever want is right here.

Everything that your heart has ever longed for is right here in the Person of Jesus Christ, the Lord of Lords and King of Kings. The one True God is waiting for return to His all consuming loving arms. And He will wrap those arms around you, with pierced hands and say, “My son, my daughter, how long I have waited for you to come home. Come, be satisfied in Me, rest in Me.”

Jesus is waiting, He is waiting for YOU. All of that sin you’ve been chasing after; that boy or girl, that job, that friendship, that social status, that object, it won’t satisfy you ever. It will leave you more depressed, unsatisfied, and sad. Only Jesus can satisfy you. Trust in Him, repent of your sins, and accept Him as Lord and Savior of your life. Give all that you are to Him. You will be changed once you do this, for you will die. That old life you lived before Jesus was your Lord and Savior is now dead. Your are now:

1. a beloved Child of God. (1 John 3:10

2. have been saved from eternal damnation and given eternal life.(John 3:16)

3. not your own for you have been bought with a price.(1 Corinthians 6:19-20)

Those are just three things out of many many more.

Come today, give yourself to Jesus. He loves you with an all consuming love that we can never imagine. But i can sit here on my computer all day and tell you about His great love, but it means nothing if you don’t receive Jesus and all that He has done for you. Receive His love, you will never be the same. Even if you don’t feel different, pursue Him, and He will reveal Himself to you.

Much love,

Austin Myers

photo:faithdream.hubpages.com

Faith vs. you

Today were gonna look at Hebrews 11:25. To gain a bit of context, we will look at verse 24 first.  “It was by faith that Moses, when he grew up, refused to be called the son of Pharaoh’s daughter.” Chapter 11 of Hebrews is most commonly called, “The Hall of Faith”. It goes through people such as Abraham, Sarah(his wife), Noah, Rahab, and plenty of other very important figures in the Old Testament. The Author displays how by faith, God used these men and women in radical ways. Today we are going to be talking about Moses, and how by faith God used him mightily.

Moses grew up as an Egyptian and as son of Pharaoh’s daughter. The privileges of being apart of Pharaoh’s family would be amazing. You would have rank, power, pleasure, and wealth. Anything that Moses wanted he could have until the day he died! But he did not chose the fleeting pleasures of sin. Moses saw his people, being beaten, spit upon, mocked, and mistreated. It was by faith that He chose to be identified with God’s people, and not Pharaoh’s household. “and chose to suffer with the people of God rather than to enjoy the short-lived pleasure of sin.”(Hebrews 11:25). Moses saw the people of the One True God being hurt, mocked, and mistreated. And rather than enjoying the hedonistic lifestyle of the Egyptians and all of their sinful pleasures, he suffered with God’s people by faith in God.

Now how could Moses know that this is exactly what Christ would tell His people to do? Moses lived 1500 hundred years before Christ, and Moses tells of the Lord in all of His actions. “Then Jesus said to His disciples, “If anyone wants to come with Me, he must deny himself, take up his cross, and follow Me.”(Matthew 16:24). That displays Moses perfectly. He denied himself. He said to himself, “Self, i consider you dead and gone; you have been put upon the cross; crucified. I will suffer with my brothers and my sisters. For I identify myself with Christ, not you oh crucified thief, hang there till dead.” That took power. Moses could not have denied himself solely upon his strength, no; he trusted in YAWEH, the God of above all Gods. He had the power of the Holy Spirit.

Since we have been crucified with Christ, we do not live, but Christ lives IN us (by the Holy Spirit). This life that we now live is by FAITH (trust) in the Son of God, who loved us and gave Himself up for us. (Galatians 2:20). Trust in Jesus today. Ask Him to give you greater faith than Moses, and ask Him to fill you with the Holy Spirit until He controls you; then, self will finally be dead and gone. If we indeed reckon ourselves crucified with God, ourselves will die. Christ died upon thew cross, and so do ourselves. It will hurt, be bloody, and horrendous, but you will die. And once you died you will rise as Christ has risen. You will resurrect into glory in a new body as Christ has done. But this can only be done by the power of our God; The Holy Spirit. He is the one who kills ourselves and our sin. It is His strength that strengthens us, His Living Water that quenches our souls, His breathe of Life that permits us to breathe in, and out. We need Him!

I will end this post with Luke 11:13: “If you then, who are evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will the heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him?” The Father is awaiting for you to ask Him to fill you up with Himself, but are you going to receive? Friends, we need Him . Receive Him into your hearts today, and God will pour Himself into you heart today.

photo: www.mzl.com/

The Cure For A Restless Heart

I believe St. Augustine put it best when he said, “You have made us for yourself, O Lord, and our heart is restless until it rests in you.” In the Greek the word for heart is “kär-dē’-ä”. Kär-dē’-ä in the biblical usage for heart meant the center of all physical and spiritual life. Your heart is everything that you are. Think about it, your heart is the reason that you are alive. If you have no heart you would have no life, and if your heart stops beating you die. That is why in the Greek of its meaning’s is that your heart is all that you are.

Now when the Lord Jesus came to the earth, a man came up to Him and asked, “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the Law?” And He said to him,”You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind. This is the great and first commandment.”(Matthew 22:36-40). The word used for heart in this passage is kär-dē’-ä. Look though, Jesus does not just stop at the heart, which is already represented as all that you are. He goes on saying love the Lord your God with all of your soul and mind. So Jesus is saying with EVERYTHING THAT YOU ARE LOVE ME. For that is the reason that we were created, to love God. To glorify God and enjoy Him forever, that is the Chief End of Man. That is the only way that we will ever have joy, satisfaction, and peace.

Do not think that God is being self-centered by saying love Me with all that you are and glorify Me. If you had a child wouldn’t you want to give him or her the best gift in the world? And when they received that precious gift wouldn’t they say how much they love it? Or how great it is? If not, their joy would not be full, for our joy is made complete in expressing how great something is (giving it praise). It is the same way with God. Since God is the best gift ever, He gives us Himself, and He does not hold back. So when we receive Him, naturally we say, “Praise you Lord! I love You more than anything Jesus! Glory to Your holy Name!.” And we will never cease to give Jesus praise. He gives us everything we could ever desire in Him; completely independent of anything else, when we deserve damnation and separation from Him forever. How great is God? By giving praising Christ and loving Him with everything that we are, we are ultimately and infinitely satisfied in Him. See we do this all the time with creation, but we never do it to the Creator. Herein lies our hearts disease of restlessness and longing.

Recently in reading the Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer says before we sinned against God that, “In the deep heart of man was a shrine where none but God was worthy to come.” In our hearts was God, He lived in us. That is the ultimate joy of life; to have God’s Presence living inside of us. But because of sin, The Lord our God, our Maker, and everything that we are was ruthlessly forced out of our hearts and things took their shameful place on the Throne of our hearts. Tozer says, “Men  have now by nature no peace within their hearts, for God is crowned there no longer, but there in the moral dusk, stubborn and aggressive usurpers fight among themselves for first place on the throne.” Our hearts are not only restless when they do not rest in Christ, but they are restless when God does not rest in them on the Throne, getting all of our love, adoration, and worship.

In conclusion, Jesus is enough. So many times i fail to realize that every morning, before i get out of bed, i must say to the Lord, “Jesus, please come into my heart, and live in my heart as Lord and Master on the Throne of my heart by the power of Your Holy Spirit. Do not let anything take Your place on the throne of my heart, for my heart belongs to You and is Your throne, and Yours alone. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.” Please pray this with me today, for Christ is worthy of our hearts.

photo: JesusChristblog.blog.com

The Lion and the Lamb

The Lion is a mighty creature. It is majestic, powerful, beautiful, conquering, fierce, and terrifying. At it’s roar you tremble, and at it’s beauty you stand in awe. Those are just a few things that come to mind when I think of a lion. Now, a lamb is quite different from the lion. Maybe even exact opposites. We cut off their wool to make our clothing, leaving them naked. We kill and eat them to satisfy ourselves. Lambs are lead to the slaughter. They are meek; humble even. They are not proud, powerful, conquering, or terrifying. Anyhow, the reason we are talking about the lion and the lamb is to look at He who is both: Jesus Christ.

This weekend I was at a local coffee shop in Carpinteria, and was reading Seeing and Savoring Jesus Christ by John Piper. A whole chapter in this book is dedicated to the Lion and the Lamb; Jesus Christ. This is where I got my idea to write this blog post from.

Revelation 5:5 declares Christ as “the Lion of the tribe of Judah, the Root of David, has conquered, so that he can open the scroll and its seven seals.” When John was in heaven watching all of Revelation take place, in chapter 5 now one is worthy, or capable of opening the scroll and it’s seven seals. But then Christ comes on the scene, the mighty Lion of the Tribe of Judah, who can open the scrolls and their seals. Read this description of Christ, the mighty Lion from Revelation 19:11-16:

“Then I saw heaven opened, and behold, a white horse! The one sitting on it is called Faithful and True, and in righteousness he judges and makes war. His eyes are like a flame of fire, and on his head are many diadems, and he has a name written that no one knows but himself.  He is clothed in a robe dipped in blood, and the name by which he is called is The Word of God. And the armies of heaven,arrayed in fine linen, white and pure, were following him on white horses. From his mouth comes a sharp sword with which to strike down the nations, and he will rule them with a rod of iron. He will tread the winepress of the fury of the wrath of God the Almighty. On his robe and on his thigh he has a name written, King of kings and Lord of lords.”

But not only is Jesus the Lion, He is the Lamb. Right after verse 5 in Revelation 5 that John immediately says in verse 6, “I saw a Lamb standing, as though it had been slain, with seven horns and with seven eyes, which are the seven spirits of God sent out into all the earth.” Jesus was like a Lamb lead to the slaughter Isaiah 53:7 says. But notice that Jesus is not slain, dead on the floor as a lamb who was killed, He is alive. He appears as a Lamb who was slain, but standing as an all powerful and all conquering Lion. In Acts 1:11 the disciples stare at Christ who has ascended into heaven, but angels come and say to them, “Men of Galilee, why do you stand looking into heaven? This Jesus, who was taken up from you into heaven, will come in the same way as you saw him go into heaven.” When they say “This Jesus”, they mean that the same Jesus Whom was crucified for us is the same King who is coming again for us, even with His pierced side, hands and feet, scourged body covered by scars. He was slain, but He has risen. As well in Matthew 11:29 Jesus describing Himself He says, “Take my yoke upon you, and learn from me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls.” How beautiful is that. Jesus, the God of the universe, says to us just come to Me, for I Am gentle and lowly in heart, like a meek Lamb.

Personally, I can’t think of anything more awesome or radical than that depiction: The Lion and the Lamb. All powerful, all majestic, all glorious and almighty. But also all humble, all meek, all loving, all self-sacrificial; as He gave Himself for us. Jesus, the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, the One True God, loves you more than you could ever possibly perceive or fathom. Receive His love today, He is so wonderful, I don’t understand how you could resist.

photo: images4.fanpop.com/