Chocolate Milk

I love me some chocolate milk. Actually, I drink a glass of homemade chocolate milk almost every morning for breakfast. No, I didn’t make the milk. And no, I didn’t make the chocolate syrup. But I do put them together each morning in my favorite FrogHead Grill cup(courtesy of Clinton, MS) and stir until there is a beautiful brownish-gray liquid for my enjoyment. And that is all done at my home, so home-made.

I am a chocolate milk snob to be honest, so it has to be just right. I can’t have too much chocolate. But at the same time, I can’t have too little either. I want chocolate milk not diluted chocolate syrup, or slightly discolored milk.

What’s strange to me is that chocolate milk is amazingly similar to our hearts. I know that sounds incredibly odd, but let me explain. You see, to make chocolate milk you have to add the black syrup to the white milk. Once the syrup is added and the milk is stirred there is no going back. You can never get the chocolate out 100%. The same thing goes for what we “take in.” Our minds have the ability to store images and phrase for an indefinite amount of time. I can recall images I looked at when I was ten years old. And there is a good chance you can too.

So, I guess the question to ask is: “What is your syrup?” I mean “What are you putting in?”

I actually spoke on this topic just last night. If we are called to remain pure of heart, then how can we expect to be pure if our mind is polluted with Pornography, Gossip, Slander, Violence, Covetedness (I couldn’t come up with a better word there)? What we influences our everyday influences our hearts just as much as it does our minds.

Thankfully for us there is Grace. Even though the milk of my mind will never be chocolate free again, I still have the ability to overcome the muddled mind that I have created by relying on the Papa’s amazing grace.

I want to leave you with this. Your milk may already have syrup in it, but that doesn’t mean you have to keep adding more. Be careful what you put in.

My name is Jason White, and I am sinner, saved by grace, and loved beyond what I deserve.

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Prisoner?

So, I am realizing more and more that I am just not that smart. I know this will baffle those of you who read this, but it is true.  The more I learn about scripture the less I actually know. That seems kinda of backwards to me.

The particular scripture that has slapped me in the noggin this morning is 2 Corinthians 10:5 “…, and take every thought captive to obey Christ.”

Every? Did he say every? I believe he did. This may not seem like much to some of you, but this is what i got out of it:

I used to think that this verse applied to the bad thoughts. The “I hate that guy” thoughts. And it does, but what struck me today is that it applies to the “I love Jesus so much I’m going to become a monk” thoughts too.

Paul urges us to take “every” thought captive.  That even means the thoughts that are of good intent. Too many times today people will just start a ministry because they feel like they have been called to it. But, have they takien that thought captive and poured over it with prayer and wisdom? I have many times jumped far to quickly to do something that I thought was “from God” because it felt right. But, it didn’t turn out for His glory. And most of the time, made me look foolish.

I’m not saying that Papa doesn’t call us to be Radical, or Outrageous. But, He does call us to be wise. I want to be grounded and wise, but the only way that I can do that is by not acting on impulse, even if I think it is what Papa wants. Take your thoughts captive, whether they be good or bad, and see how Papa will bless you.

My name is Jason. I’m a sinner saved by grace, and washed by the blood of the lamb. Desperately dependent on my Savior.

Sin is your nature

I feel as though I have missed the mark on the sin debate. I feel like most of us have. I was raised in the camp that says you have to adhere to a strict standard of rules and regulations to be sin free. I later joined the camp that states all of my sins are covered by Grace: past, present, and future.

But…

I used that as an excuse for my sin. As a way out. As a way to give up responsibility for my actions. “I’m a sinner, that’s my nature. I still love God, but I still sin.” Which is true. We all sin. But, what if we quit using Grace as a crutch? Let me open that up for you.

I try to fight my sin, and since I can’t defeat sin I will always be fighting sin. So, I give in and just say that Grace will cover my sin(and it does), but I feel like a prostitute. I do what I want and then let God cover my butt.

I will never be able to defeat sin. But Papa defeated my sin at salvation. I only have to fight against myself. Against my bad habits. Against my learned thought processes. And guess what, It isn’t easy. It’s a down right battle. Oswald Chambers puts it like this:

“The conflict is along the line of turning our natural life into a spiritual life, and this is never done easily, nor does God intend it to be done easily. It is done only by a series of moral choices.”

It is tough, and unfortunately I don’t always make the best choices, which in turn makes it that much harder. But, I’m trying. I don’t want to cheapen my salvation by doing whatever I want because I know Grace will be there to pick me up. I want to live a life that is pleasing to Papa. I want to be sanctified to Christ. And, I am the only one who can do that. I have to make the moral decisions everyday that will draw me closer to Him.

So what habits or prejudices do you have that need to be diligently and deliberately stricken from your life?

My name is Jason. I’m a sinner covered by grace, washed in the blood, and tying to live a life that is pleasing to my savior.

It wasn’t me

So one of my favorite movies when I was younger(does saying that make me old?) was Disney’s RocketMan. I thought that was the funniest movie. One scene in particular. Fred Randall(main character, aka: Idiot) is supposed to go into hyper-sleep for the trip to Mars(I love it when Disney puts out scientifically accurate films). But, before he can enter his sleep chamber Ulysses jumps in. I forgot to mention the chimp named Ulysses. Anyway, Fred has to remain awake for the 6-7 month voyage due to this mishap. When everyone else wakes from hyper-sleep, they find a mural painted with astronaut food and the spacecraft is a mess. The first thing out of Fred’s mouth, “It wasn’t me, Ulysses did it.”

Fred is a Blame-Shifter.

I am a Blame-Shifter

A blame shifter(term I learned while working under the tutelage of Jason Albright, thank 7 Habits) is someone who tries to pawn their mistakes or shortcomings on someone else. “Johnson, why isn’t that report on my desk” “Well, Alice was supposed to let me know what font you wanted it in, but never got back to me, so I couldn’t type it up yet.”

I blame shift with God all of the time. Like with my bible challenge. “I haven’t had time Papa, I’ve been busy with work, and family.” B.S. I have had time, or I could have at least made time. I want to blame something or someone for not doing what I know needs to be done.

I think we all blame-shift. In fact, I know we do. It’s a heck of a lot easier than taking responsibility for our actions and choices. But, I don’t want to anymore. I want to back up what I say with what I do. If I say that I am going to read through the Bible then that’s what I am going to do. Now if I say that I am going to try out for the Steelers, make the team, and take Troy Polamulo’s job then I have obviously lost all touch with reality. But I want to be someone of integrity, even if it’s only between me and Papa. For some reason that no one seems to understand, we try to blame-shift Papa more than anyone else. I guess our feeble minds can’t repeatedly grasp the fact that He knows everything. If I’m not loving my neighbor it doesn’t matter to Papa that he sneezed on my driveway 3 years ago while I was cutting grass and throwing the mulch in his yard.

If we take the ability to blame-shift out of the equation then life get’s “too hard”. Well, that’s life. Life was never promised to be peachy-kine(broccoli, Veggie-Tales). Will you accept the “Hard Life” with me?

My name is Jason, and I’m a sinner saved by grace and covered by the blood of the lamb.

Karate Adolescence and Mutant Amphibians

I loved the Ninja Turtles as a kid. I had the action figures, the van, and even begged my mom to buy me the cereal(I didn’t even eat one bowl, sorry mom).

I was also quite fond of the Karate Kid movies, I wanted to be skilled in the art of Martial Arts(that seems redundant to me). I wanted to be a level seven black belt and be able to defend myself with honor.

Well today I do have a black belt with seven notches, but they are used for holding up my pants at different “stages”(which really means the fat times of my life). But why do I no longer dream of being a karate hero, or a mutant sewer dweller? Because I have grown out of that.

If I can grow out of a dream then why can’t I grow out of gossiping, and judging others? Why can’t I grow out of being lazy, or putting myself before my family?

I can. All I need is: 1. A swift kick in the pants(my wife tries this from time to time but my cat-like reflexes keep me out of trouble) and 2. God

So… really it’s just God(He will graciously do all the pants kicking I can stand). He laid it all out in scripture easy enough. As we get to know Papa we see the things in our lives that we want to change. But, we can’t change those things on our own. We need Him to change us, to push us, to challenge us. And it all starts with surrendering it to Papa.

The Ninja Turtles wouldn’t be skilled in the art of turtlejitzu if it weren’t for Splinter. Ralph Macheio wouldn’t be doing the Crane kick if it weren’t for Mr. Meogi. So how is it that I think that I can become some great person without guidance?

The best part of all is that the guidance you seek is probably all around you. First, through the love of our Savior. Second, through His words in the form of scripture. And third, through the community around you. If you don’t have a community around you that can encourage you AND challenge you, then it’s time to find new community.

I no longer want to dine on the milk of Christianity, I want the fillet mignon and loaded potatoes.

My name is Jason and I’m a sinner saved by grace, covered by the blood of the lamb.

Wow!! 30!

No, I’m not 30 years old, not till Feb at least(and I may decided to move it back even further). This is my 30th blog post.

It isn’t necessarily a huge milestone, but for me that is a lot of words put together so far. I like to blog. I like to share what’s in my head with anyone who is willing to read it. But sometimes I get too caught up with who is reading it, or should I say who is not.

Sometimes I get so caught up in the statistics of my blog that I forget about the content and why I do it. I start caring more about the bar graphs showing my daily traffic then I do about the person who might be reading this. I didn’t start this blog to get popular or famous. I started this blog as a way to share what Papa was doing in my life in hopes that others would be encouraged and/or challenged. And by others I don’t mean the world. Because, let’s face it, not everyone is in the same place at the same time, so what I write is not going to apply to everyone.

So, why do I let the statistics affect me so strongly?

Because I haven’t been consistant with my real life. I haven’t been letting Papa affirm who I am. I haven’t been unwavering in my devotion to my God and my family. When that happens I look for self-worth in the opinions of others(or in this case the traffic of my blog). I haven’t finished reading through the entire bible yet, but I have a sneaky suspicion that blogging is not a high priority to the disciples. I don’t think I’m going to find God saying, “You will know that I love you by the traffic on your blog.”

I do, however, want more people to read my blog so that more people will be challenged, or have someone to relate to. So sometime it can be a bit confusing. I want more traffic, but I don’t want more traffic to be my goal(sounds like me and money, it’s a love hate relationship). So, instead of reading “How to make your blog Awesome”(it’s fake, don’t try to google it), I am going to simply blog. I am going to write what I write and let the ships fall where they may(or something like that). I just hope that you enjoy what you read here, and are able to take something of worth away each time.

My name is Jason. I’m a sinner covered by grace.

What is your dream worth?

Man, that’s a heavy question. As much as I daydream, I still can’t even pinpoint exactly what my dream is. I have some ideas: Start my own really cool restaurant, buy into a really cool franchise restaurant if I can’t start my own really cool restaurant, Be a christian camp director, be a worship leader, be a designer of really cool things, build a completely self-sustainable electric car, etc….

Maybe I shouldn’t be asking what My dream should be. Maybe I should be asking what does Papa have instore for me.

Is my dream worth giving up? Is my faith worth more than my dream? Is Papa worth more to me than my dream?

For years I have tried to fit my faith into my dreams. That means that my dreams will always take precedence over my faith. The big problem with that is that Papa said to have no gods before Him. And, I realize that a dream doesn’t seem like a god, but if it comes before Papa then I have given it that power. (I hope that you aren’t expecting the answer to these questions. I’m just not that smart).

I struggle everyday to lay down my will and surrender it to Papa. And honestly, I usually go with my will over his(which is probably why I’m such a failure). But, what would my life, and my dream for that matter, look like if I quit holding onto my will?

I believe that I haven’t made the best choices in life, and I haven’t always walked in the will of God, but I also believe that as soon as I admit my mistakes and confess those to Papa, that I am immediately placed back in the will of God. As long as i continue to trust Him, and turn to Him then I can not escape(that’s funny, it’s spelled just like escape) His will.

So maybe it’s not a question of what my dream is worth. Maybe it is a question of how dependent am I on God. If I depend on Him for my next breath, my next meal, my next step, then my dream will be dependent on Him as well.

My name is Jason. A sinner saved by grace, blessed to live another day.