Friday, February 11, 2011

[re]Defining Truth

We live in a culture of lies. Lies that are harmful, hurtful, and even deadly. As Christians our primary responsibility is to glorify God. We are to focus on Him, and live for Him. We are to live against the grain; combating these lies that Satan is throwing at us and stabbing us with by being obedient to the precepts God has laid for us in the Bible. It seems pretty simple at a glance. Follow these rules, all goes well, right? Wrong. In this culture of lies, it is rare to find truth. It is rare to find what is just, righteous, and Godly. Many young people are not receiving teachings of truth, and are, therefore, being sucked into the falsehoods of our society. That is one goal of We Shall Speak. We want to give insightful, encouraging articles full of the truth and righteousness of God. We want young people to grow. We want to be increasing the truth of our Father and decreasing the deceptive images shoved in our faces.
First we must understand that there are two versions of ‘truth’. There is God’s truth- the truth of righteousness, honor, nobility, character, godliness, purity, and justice. And there is Satan’s truth- the truth of malice, anger, physical perfection, moral decline, and self centered living. Satan can make his version of truth look really good. Trust me. It looks like a comfy hotel room. You are settled in, ready for your vacation, right? Wrong. You walk to the door to find out it’s locked. There are no windows. You are locked in an elevator headed for Hell. But if you never get out of that comfy chair you’ll never know, will you? You’ll never know if there’s a way out if you don’t look for one. Guys (and girls), we are called to find these truths. We are called to search the Scriptures (Acts 17: 10-12) and build a foundation of truth to root ourselves in. If we have a foundation of deceit and impossible expectations, how can we fully trust in God?
I recently attended a conference called Embracing the Fathers Love. The speaker, Tricia Frost, made a statement that really set me thinking for days after. She said “Most Christians have faith that God is big enough, but they don’t trust in how big He is!”. If you ask a Christian whether God is big, they will say “Yes”; but if you ask them whether they trust that He is big, you’ll see the mist of doubt begin to cloud their faces. Guys, truth today has been so distorted. What seems to be real and just is terribly not so! It seems just to abort and terminate the life of a baby that doctors know will be a vegetable… is that truth and justice? No! Sanctity of life and God’s creative design is truth and justice!
The world is filled with seemingly good morals. Even the slightest alteration on a truth of God can make a huge impact in removing His precepts from this world. One word can change a sentence. One lie can change a life. One life can change the world. It seems incredible to me that one life can change the world. But think about it. One person changes the life of another, who changes the life of another, who changes the life of another, etc. The effects can spread like a wildfire. That is why it is important to get the truth down each time. A perfect example would be a game I used to play. It’s really fun, you should try it. We called it “telephone”… there are probably other names, too. It went like this- Kristi would pick a word or phrase…. Say… “the groove is in the heart”. Kristi would then whisper to Harry “the groove is in the heart” and Harry might say to Maggie “the move is in the heart” who might say to Richard “the clue is in the cart” and it goes on. That is often how it is with facts and culture. We need to make sure we are getting it right. Not one of us needs to believe that Harry whispered it to us exactly right. We have to go check for ourselves before passing the word on to the next person.
It is vital we begin with a good, firm rooting in truth. Otherwise we are oh so susceptible to being shaken from our faith. It is happening all around us. False truth being packaged as good morality, or even God’s truth. The prosperity Gospel, the health Gospel, the works based Gospel, etc. They all look religious and good, but it doesn’t make them so. Again, I can’t stress the importance of standing in truth. It is what will allow you to discern whether or not what I say is true, or the next person, and anybody else you meet. Don’t let Satan trick you. Don’t let him get the best of you. Seek truth and hold on to it for dear life. The best way to find truth is to seek God… the author of truth. “Instead, seek his kingdom, and these things will be added to you.” Luke 12:31

Sunday, January 16, 2011

(Poem) I Dread the Silent, Soulless Sleep

I dread the silent, soulless sleep,
Terrors whisper before the dawn-
But in the Silence, I peer out
Th’ cleft Rock You sent my soul to keep.

The darkness cloaks its Shadows here,
Dark terrors steal my peaceful sleep!
But in the shadows, I seek out
Th’ cleft Rock You sent my soul to keep.

In silence, but for fatal cry,
Your Son fell to the soulless sleep.
He dragged terrors wi’ him, agony,
Th’ cleft Son you sent my soul to keep.

Th’ cleft Son you sent my soul to keep,
He lights my way past dreary halls.
Into Your chambers, I peer in--
You send my soul to restful sleep.

This was also posted here some time ago:

It's a good website. I highly recommend writers to post there, and readers to read stuff!

Sunday, December 26, 2010

Don't be a Mirror Man.

In my quest to find verses concerning perseverance, I found a delightful passage in James that I would like to share with you all. This passage actually got me thinking on something else that I know I really needed to hear, and thought I might share with you all.
But be doers of the word, and not hearers only, deceiving yourselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, he is like a man who looks intently at his natural face in a mirror. For he looks at himself and goes away and at once forgets what he was like. But the one who looks into the perfect law, the law of liberty, and perseveres, being no hearer who forgets but a doer who acts, he will be blessed in his doing.

~James 1: 19-25
When I first read this I read James 1: 25 and immediately had the idea to write a post on persevering in the perfect law of liberty. However, upon reading the context of the passage, it was the analogy that caught and held my attention. I thought upon it for a few moments, and realized how it perfectly reinforced my thoughts from early today on how I had begun to hear the things of God, but was no longer doing them. I was falling into that pitiful rut of going through the motions. It struck my heart that I had been hearing, but not doing. I had thought in my mind "I want to be holy and righteous" but I was taking no action to bring myself to that state. I was being a mirror man.

To expound, a mirror man is the man who sees his natural state, pities and mourns over it for the length he reflects on his projected image, but turns his back and allows the image of his true state to slip from his mind. The next time he comes across his reflection, he repeats. He sees set before him his true nature, but is unwilling to change that reflection. Rather than allowing God to mold the image to reflect Him, a mirror man says "Oh my, look at that. I should try to do better next time." A mirror man is about himself. He sees the list of things he must be and do in order to be deemed 'righteous and holy', and quickly becomes overwhelmed, turning his back and allowing himself to forget. But a true man (or woman) of God, sees the image and cries out to their Saviour, pleading for the opportunity to be molded in the image of Christ. They seek out the chances that will allow them to do those things that will grow and strengthen them in more ways than one. They seek not the glory and fame, the shallow image of a good Christian, but rather the very image of Christ. There is a difference.

I suggest you take the time to truly study the essence of Christ and seek Him, rather than what He asks you to do. Rather than using actions to change you, allow Christ's work in you to change your actions. Allow his words to shape and mold you. When he gives you a command, do it. No matter how hard. Now matter how impossible. Allow your faith to carry you, don't try to carry your faith through. Persevere in the hard things. There is a reason we have to be doers rather than hearers. We aren't going to always desire to do what's right. We have to fight the desires to do otherwise, and make a concious decision to choose the hard and narrow path. Faith is not a feeling. It is a decision. Just as with love and compassion. You have to choose to believe. Choose to love. Choose to do.

The Gospel message is not for you alone. It is not centered on you. It is centered on Christ and intended for everyone. Hearing the Gospel makes it about you, and how you go about telling others. Doing the Gospel makes it about Christ, and shows the Gospel to the world the way God delights to do so. For this reason I say, don't be a mirror man. Don't hear the word, see your reflection, and allow the image to fall away from your memory. Do the word, and allow your reflection to be the face of Christ, always keeping it at the forefront.

Tuesday, December 7, 2010

I would like to introduce you all to one of my favorite sites and a great resource for teen writers. This is the official introduction video and it explains a good deal of what it's all about. My favorite thing about this place? The acceptance. The do hard things attitude. No one is told they aren't good enough. I will sum it up with a comment I left on the site just a few days ago:

"This community has most definitely impacted me! It has provided me with a fresh desire and passion for picking up my pen, and has given me hope that it is possible for teens to write well and be successful in their endeavors. And not only that, but I have been introduced to the first adult that is willing to take his time to mold and shape teenagers into great writers.
So many times I’ve been discouraged by adults who don’t think I’m very good, because, well, I’m a teen! They point out my errors, and instead of helping me find the solution they walk away, leaving me puzzled. That doesn’t happen here! Everyone gathers together, lovingly tears the given work apart and gently builds it into something far stronger and better. No one is slandered, put down, or humiliated here. It warms my heart and brightens my smile to see what goes on here at My only regret is that I didn’t jump in sooner, when I had the chance!

I can’t wait to see how this community grows and changes. This has the potential to change not only how the world views teen writers, but how they view themselves. I am so thankful for Caleb and all the other members of this community, and everyone who is yet to come!"

Tuesday, November 9, 2010

Following God's will for me, not you.

As many people know, it's NaNoWriMo (National Novel Writing Month). For those of you who don't know what it is, I suggest you check it out. Hundreds of thousands of people are participating in the madness this year, including myself, and at least two other We Shall Speak member, Kalev and Hannah Marie.

On my personal blog I posted that I would not be blogging for the month of November, but I decided I would take a small break and write this. This has been something that has really stuck out to me this month more than ever before.

I was really excited about NaNoWriMo this year. Last year I particpated in the YWP version and my word count goal was merely 10, 000 for the entire month. I made it with 5,000 extra words and only the beginning of a novel. This year I was ready to take the full challenge. I had improved drastically in my writing skills and abilities, as well as gaining much confidence in this past year. I also had a laptop and more time to help things along. I breathed in deep and grinned wide. I was going to do this, and I was going to do it well.

So I rubbed my hands together and began my exciting work of fiction. 2, 600 something words into it I realized something. My story was very boring. I knew the plot, and I knew it was not, but the beginning was just plain boring. So I talked to my mom, who suggested a Prologue. So I wrote a 2, 300 something word Prologue. And then I realized something else. My Prologue outshined the rest of the book. So I switched to another story. 300 words into that and I was bored. So I talked to a dear buddy of mine who said to ditch both and just start over. So I took my Prologue in hand and began writing. I had no idea what it would be about... it just had to be something.

So I let the ideas flow, not knowing where the story would take me. It landed me in the Great Depression, to begin with. Once that was established other ideas began to form. I was asked for a synopsis of my book. I made the entire idea up, spur of the moment. But it worked. I liked it. I was eager to write this book. I envisioned myself, 50,000 words later, a best-selling author. Well, okay, I wasn't thinking that far, but I was thinking towards publishing (still am, just to let you know). That's when I posted on my personal blog that I'd be taking a break.

That's when I read that other post. I followed her blog, therefore, I got her blog posts in my dashboard feed. I thought "Oh, she's posted a farewell for now post, too. I should read it." And so I did. That's when it began. I became... you might say jealous. Here was a girl that I knew outshined me. Her writing abilities superb, talked about amongst everyone. Her work was pointed out and displayed, published and praised. She had what I wanted. Appreciated work. Skill. Brains. A gift. Words flowed from her fingers like a raging river with no end.

What's more is that I was jealous of her time. Here was a girl who had six hours to devote to writing, and who loftily (or so I thought) claimed that only 150, 000 words would do. I seethed inside (seethed may be a slight exaggeration, but hey... I wasn't happy). I had worked hard and struggled forever to achieve what I had now. To be outshined by one with a natural ease and poise with words made me tremble. It caused strain and lack of diligence, as well as focus and concentration, costing me valuable working time.

Now in the above story (which is entirely true, I assure you) note the over abundance of "I"s and "me"s. It wasn't long before I realized my conceit and self centeredness. I was stricken. I had wasted precious brain energy focusing on the envisioned "competition" that I had not done my utmost on the story God had given me to tell. I was so caught up in wanting the will of God for her life, that I forgot that God had a special will for mine, too. And it was a different will, but just as good.

It was when I realized that writing was not about me, or you, or the publisher, or the editor. It's not about what one person does compared to another. It's about God. It's about taking what He's given you and putting it into action. This applies to all of life. When we get so caught up in the will of God for others, we lose focus of following His will for us, and we pay for it. If her life were meant for me, I'd have it. Apparently her life wasn't meant for me, therefore, I don't. But never would I trade my life, nor my calling. Perhaps my gift is not the same,  or perhaps my skills are lesser than hers, or perhaps my style is unique from hers, but God gave me different skills, a different style, a different story to write.

When I began focusing on my story, and my goals, and no one's dreams but mine and God's things began to shape up. I began meeting my goals and going beyond (and then slacking back when other household chores and duties came up. * sigh *). I encourage you guys to stop feeling under rated, under par, unskilled, or unappreciated. Look to the One who gave you your gifts, Who gave you that calling, Who put you in that direction. If each one of us were like another, life would be a constant repeat. So I challenge you to stop comparing and start preparing. God's given you a journey especially for you. Seek Him. Find it. Follow it. And let His appreciation be your motivation.

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

Blog Buttons and Other Thoughts.

We Shall Speak is run entirely by volunteers; young people with a passion for writing and spreading the truths of the Gospel with everyone. Our current project is about to begin and our numbers have dwindled from a hearty twenty-six members to our current five faithfuls. We need people who are willing to help and commit time to this project, or we will fail. So in light of this, for those who perhaps can't commit their time to the project, but would like to help in some way, we have a little something to help spread the word. We have blog buttons! There are a few different variations, with more on the way. On our "Blog Buttons" page there is also a little blinkie, for those who are interested in that. We do need your help. We can't do it without you guys.

I will reiterate for you guys, that those who are interested in volunteering as writers, editors, or both, may email us at However, it does require commitment. Please pray about it before joining. I encourage you to talk to your parents and evaluate your other commitments. If you can't truly give us your heart when writing, perhaps it isn't the best time. Whatever you do, do it for the glory of God. Make Him the focus of this project, of your time, and efforts. I encourage you now to not only pray concerning this, not just limit your focus on Him as the center only in this, but to extend it to every part of your life. Let Him be the reason you do anything and that you are able to do anything.

We also would love to hear from you how this blog (and eventually the books we hope to get out) have blessed you. We'd like to know how we can better serve you. Are there things you would like to see on this blog? Suggestions? Questions? We love emails and comments! Let us know what you are thinking of We Shall Speak. Perhaps all you can give is prayer, we would love that. Anything that you can do to help us out, we appreciate more than you know. We thank those of you who read the blog, and we especially thank those of you who have remained faithful to the project. May God be glorified in it and may we all be blessed by it.

Thank you all!

We Shall Speak

We Shall Speak

We Shall Speak

Monday, September 27, 2010

I Need You, Jesus.

I sat pondering why I felt so... average. Where had my joy gone? Where was the unabounding, all consuming joy that permeated every aspect, ever breath, every thought of life? I spoke with a friend. They asked what had happened? Who had done it? Why was I so down? I explained to them, it was no one. Nothing. It was all inside. I didn't care anymore, there was no motivation. I had lost my fire. And then it hit me. I needed my Jesus back. He was the only reason for doing anything. And so I told my friend that I knew what was wrong. I needed my Jesus as my focus. When that thought came the sweetest thing happened. I heard a song in my head- one of my favorite worship songs. The verse I remembered is as follows.

And I need you Jesus to come to my rescue.
Where else can I go?
There's no other name by
which I am saved.
You capture me with grace,
I will follow You.

I felt the tears come immediately to my eyes. What a sweet thing I had, and yet I had fallen away from, even if not completely. I was looking at the dirt and the stones around the cross-the ordinary things- but I was no longer seeing the cross. And him. And what he'd done for me, so that I could have fire, so that I could have joy, so that I could have peace.

I was focused on something that was, in itself, not all satisfying. Whether we focus on school, careers, marriage, reading, music, etc. as our ultimate goal, our end in life, we will always find discontentment and satisfaction. Nothing is an end in itself but God. If you focus on school, you'll get school; if you focus on reading, you'll be read; if you focus on music, you'll get music. That's how it is. When you achieve it, that's it. Life is empty. It doesn't go beyond that. But when we focus on God, we focus on someone that is all powerful, all knowing, all loving, and never ending. There is no end. We never reach a point of achievement in which we throw our hands up and say "What now?". And the pursuit of God gives so much more than the pursuit of anything else. If marriage is your chief end, you'll get marriage. But if God is your chief end, you get eternal life and oftentimes a marriage as well. A marriage cannot be all satisfying, but God more than satisfies.

We must choose to drop our focus on the things of life and the things of this world and focus on the only thing that remains stable and true. This life is shallow, deceitful, and short. If we sow the seeds of our life there, we shall reap them there. We need to look ahead and determine now what end we choose for ourselfs. For me, the only true end in itself is Jesus Christ.

Philipians 1:21 sums it up so well stating "For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain."