Saturday, February 18, 2017

Caleb McCusker
Hebrews 13:17
"Have confidence in your leaders and submit to their authority, because they keep watch over you as those who must give an account. Do this so that their work will be a joy, not a burden, for that
would be of no benefit to you."
Dang, this is a hard one for me honestly. Living on the mission field, I've grown up in different countries, different cultures, and different rules to follow. For the most part, the majority of the laws that
I've experienced in other countries, I have a hard time submitting to. The have laws that I don't agree on and that almost make me feel helpless in some serious situations.
But, I also know that I am suppose to follow God's laws over man's laws. I know there is suppose to be a balance to it all but I personally struggle to find that balance. I know I'm suppose to follow
the laws of the land I am in, but I also know I'm suppose to follow the laws of God and do what I know He would want me to do.. Even if that means I break the laws of the land I am in.
I know this is a complicated topic, but this is just where I am at personally. I know my convictions and I know my God is a just God.
Caleb McCusker
Ephesians 6:1
"Children, obey your parents in the Lord, for this is right."
Colossians 3:20
"Children, obey your parents in everything, for this pleases the Lord."

So, I'm gonna go out on a limb here and say these verses refer to children obeying theit parents. Ya know, in the same way I should obey my parents, I ought to do more so to my Father in Heaven.
In the Bible, God said: "If you love me, obey me." So, if I love God, I should keep his commandments. Which, "Children obey your parents" is in fact one of His commandments to us.
Now, I love my parents to death, but I know in the past there has been times where I really didn't care and went against something they told me not to do. By doing so, I not only was disobeying my
my parents and doing wrong to them, but I was also sinning and disobey God as well. To be honest, if I didn't come here to IGNITE, I'd be disobeying the Lord. I know it was his will for me to come
here, and I thank God He pushed me into coming here.
Caleb McCusker
Romans 6:16
"Don't you know that when you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of the one you obey- whether you are slaves to sin, which leads to death, or to obedience, which
leads to righteousness."

Before Christ got ahold of me, I was a slave to sin and death. Though at the time I was still a small child, God knew who I was and who I'd become if I didn't have Him in my life.
Before time God kne me and who I would become with ot without Him. Now, looking back at what I had to go through to get to Him at such a young age, I understand why He allowed that demon to
torment me to the point where the only one I had to look to was the Lord.
As I look at myself now as a Christian, I recognize just how much of a sinner I am. Knowing myself, I couldn't imagine who I'd be without the Lord in my life. He brought me out of the bondage of sin
and death and now I am a willing servant of God.
Caleb McCusker
Acts 5:29
"Peter and the other opostles replied: 'We must obey God rather than man!' "
What Peter and the other opostles said is something that I've held onto for as long as I can remember and it's something I've just done almost naturally. like a soldier in the Lords army, If God says it, I believe it. If God, commands it, I'll do it. but, the the rebel in me flares up quickly.
Granted, I am a sinner, and I have slipped up many times, but by the grace of God I strive on to obey Him.
I can't tell you how many times I've had people or just my fleshly desires try to sway me into doing something I know isn't right and my metality to it is just if God wouldn't want me to do it, then I'm not going to do it.
Granted, it's a strugle sometimes because my flesh gets the best of me sometimes but thank God His mercies are new everyday!
Caleb McCusker
Hebrews 5:8
"Son though he was, he learned obedience from what he suffered."
Theres been many times I've had to learn my leasson through pain and dificulty because I was too stubborn to listen to God, or I'd just flat out ignore Him.
Let me tell you now those were the most stupidest decision I could have ever made. Instead of listening to God and follow in His will, I could have saved myself so much heartache and frustration
if I would have just listened to Him in the firstplace. I speak from exsperience when I say that if you don't just go along with God's plan, He has no problem with humbling you the hard way.
Though I have screwed up with past decisions, I know God is gracious, merciful, and loving, which is why He does the things He does to get me back to Him, even if the leasson I have to learn will
Caleb McCusker

Psalms 17:15
"As for me, I will be vindicated (to be proven innocent/ without guilt)  and will see your face; when I awake, I will be satisfied with seeing your likeness."
Ya know, we're all going to die someday, thats just a given in life. It doesn't matter who you are, where you come from, where you are at in life, in the end we're all going to stand before the Lord Almighty.
As Christians we will be persecuted cause of our faith in one way or another, some in more harsh way than others. Some people may be harrased, while in some places, like the middle east, are put to death cause of their faith in Christ.
David had numerous enemies in his life and they were all after his head. As Christians in a world that will only continue to get worse, there way come a point in time where I may lay my life down for
my faith. But that won't be the end, that'll be very begining of true life as I wake and see the Lord's likness.
Philipians 4:11
"I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances."

Being on the mission field for so many years, I totally understand where Paul was coming from when he said this. Throughout the years I've had to learn to be content with whatever the circumstance
that came up. Granted, I may not enjoy what has happened, but I've learned to be content even through the storms of life.
Caleb McCusker

Hebrews 13:5
"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you."

Alright, I'm gonna be as honest and as raw I can with y'all on this one. The end of this verse stood out to me the most because, and I don't know why, but a lot of times I feel like God has indeed forsaken me in certain
ways. Now, before you go and start to think I'm out of my mind or something, bear with me because maybe we all have gone through this struggle in one way or another if were honest with ourselves.
'Lord, are you even listening to me? Do you hear me? Why does it feel like You call me to do things that I seem to fail at?
These are the questions I ask God almost regularly. Now, I get it.. He says 'Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you', but why is it that I feel the way I do? I know I have seen the Lord work
in my life but at times I also feel like he puts me on pause at times as well. I know it most certainly could be the devil planting these thoughts in my mind which then I take and form them into feelings. I honestly don't know.
But, I know the Lord is more then right with what He says, I've expierenced it and I know He is with me even when I don't think He is.
To be honest with you, I have been in the ring with the Lord lately and have gotten mad with Him. And as a testimony to this verse, I know God is with me cause slowly and surely, I've stopped swingin' and have surrendering into His arms. Even more so as I write this.
I should know better then to question wheather God is with me or not, but I am still a sinner in need of grace more thimes then I could ever count and thank Him that He loves me that much to stay
even when I fall into small seasons of doubt.
Caleb McCusker
Luke 3:14
"Then some soldiers asked him, 'And we, what shall we do?' He replied, "Don't extort money from anyone by threats or by false accusations, and be content with your wages."

Hmm.. 'Don't exort money by threats or false accusations'? So, in other words, don't be a bully. I mean, if you think about it, this verse is pretty simple to apply to our lives.
God gives us exactly what we need when we need it, and sometimes He'll give you a little extra as a blessing. Just what he gives us is a blessing in itself. I don't deserve anything if I think about it.
But the Lord is full of grace and mercy and I am greatful for whatever he blesses me with, big or small. I'm not perfect by any means and if I am honest with myself, I know I need to learn to be more
content with the things the Lord has blessed me with. Take my gift of music for example.. Others might look at me and think I'm a great guitar player, but I know my limits and I know what I'm good
and not good at. I honestly wish I had better skills with my guitar, but I know I need to be content with the level of gifting God has given me and use it for his glory and not my own.

Saturday, February 11, 2017

Caleb McCusker

1 Timothy 6-8
"But godliness with contentment is great gain. For we brought nothing into the world, and we can take nothing out of it. But if we have food and clothing, we will be content with that."

Time to open up a can of 'Honesty'.
Growing up on the mission field for so many years has taught me so many good leassons that I will never forget. I see the world in a whole different way then most Americans would and that will
most likely stick with me the rest of my life. Though growing up on the field has been a good thing for me, the leassons I've learned haven't always been easy.
There has been times where my family had nothing but rice and beans to last us a week. Though that is pretty much 'poor people food' it's honestly more then most people have, and we were
greatful to have the 'poor people' food because we had faith in God and knew He would provide everything we need to get through the weeks till whenever payday was.Granted, it was hard at times to be content with what God had given us but in the end I was always greatful. I have a sang that goes like this: "You live to eat, we eat to live". How's that for some
perspective? I'd rather be a poor man in God's will then a rich man out of His will. We need to not worry about the earthly temporary things in this life, instead, we need to keep our eyes on the prize
ahead of us and trust the Lord that He will provide everything we need. I know it can be hard to be content with things, believe me, I know. We may not like the same meal days in a row, but that's what God has given us to sustain us and we ought not
to get bitter toward what the Lord has blessed us with. Theres people I personally know that have gone with pretty much nothing but rice. And I know theres people around the world that have
literally NOTHING. It may sound harsh but what gives us the right to complain about having the same meal weeks in a row? If we were honest with outselves, we really have no right to complain if God gives us what we NEED.

Saturday, February 4, 2017

Caleb McCusker

Hebrews 6:12
"We do not want you to become lazy, but to imitate thise who through faith and patience inherit what has been promised."

It is not a secret that there has been times in my life where I was impatient with God. I'm a fallen sinner, and as one, I try to put God on my timing. The week before coming to Ignite was a crazy one.
I had just flown back from the States back to Belize and somewhere between the flights, my luggage had been misplaced and were left at the last airport I was in. As you can imagine, I was very
annoyed and angry with the airlines but also, I had some anger towards God as well. Why didn't He just give me a smooth-sailing trip? Why did my bags have to be left behind?
What am suppose to learn from this anyways? In reality, God was teaching me a important leasson: I had to trust what He was doing. So, instead of sitting around worrying for my luggage, I began
to pray to the Lord for 1. To ask for forgivness for becoming angry at Him, and 2. To give me peace and know that He had his hands on the whole situation. To be patient and wait on His timing.
Now, I know getting my bags back isn't  promissed thing. But, after praying to the Lord, I had a sense of peace come over me and I knew I didn't need to worry or stress about anything.
Eventually, I did get my luggage back. Praise God!
See, just like Abraham, I had to wait patiently for God to fullfill what I knew He would do. I had to step back away from the situation and instead of getting all angry at everything, I just had to give
it all up to the Lord and trust He had a plan for the whole thing.

Caleb Mccusker

Revelations 1:9
"I, John your brother and companion in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance that are ours in Jesus, was on the island of Patmos because the word of God and the testimony of Jesus."

For the Christian, persecution is going to be a given. If we aren't in some way sacrificing/suffering for the Lord, then somthing is off. John was speaking to his brothers in the faith who were also
companions in the suffering and kingdom and patient endurance. You and I are also the brothers and sisters in the same faith. I suffer, I am part of the kingdom, and I have patient endurance
till the Lord finally calls me home. Weather that is through persecution and suffering or he comes back. Though John was on that barren island,and experienced all those trials, I don't think he ever once regretted or wished any of
these things were happening to him. The Bible says "to live in Christ, and to die is gain". There may be a time someday that I may suffer and give my life for the Lord, but theres no other way I'd
want to go then to be serving Him till I meet Him face to face. But till that day, I will press on through the storms with patient endurance.
Caleb McCusker

Colossians 1:11
"Being strengthened with all power according to his glorious might so that you may have a great endurance and patience."

Just recently I had the opprotunity to climb one of the volcanos here in Antigua Guatemala. Let me tell you, it had to be one of the most hardest physical thing I've done so far.
6 miles going all up hill from anything to rainforest, slippery rocks, mud, cold wind and weather, high altitude, pine forest terrain, and desert terrain. Somewhere in the 3/3 marker, I was becoming
completely exhausted to the point where I would stop and takes breaks almost every ten steps. The path I was on seemed like it went on forever without end and I began to grow
weary. As I continued on my way, feeling like my legs were about to quit on me, I prayed out to God to fill me with strength to reach the top. I wasn't about to stop and there was no going back for
me. So I pressed on, pushing myself harder with the Lord's strength till what seemed like forever, I finally reached the top of Agua and gave all the glory to the Lord!
Without being strengthened by His power, I couldn't have made it to the top. When I thought I was at my limit, God gave me the endurance to press onward and upward in patience, knowing He
would get me to the top.
I know there will be time after time after time where I'm going to need God's strength and endurance to get me through struggles in life. But, I know God is always faithful to see me through to the
end, letting His glory be shown through me in testimony to His all power.

Caleb McCusker
Luke 21:19
"Stand firm, and you will win life."

Stand firm, and you win life. All I can say to that is 'Amen!'. The time for the Lord to return is so near. The signs of the last days are all around. Their on the T.V, on the news, social media, etc..
The world is getting darker and darker by the day, I couldn't imagine the world without God's people in it. What a evil evil place it would be. But, unfortunately, there will be a day when that will be a
reality. Persecution is rampid throughout the world, but even then, God tells us to Stand firm. I don't know about you, but I am the type of person that when the Lords says something, I believe it
with all my heart and I hold to it as much as I can. Till death even, if it comes to that. If I am to die, I'd much rather die for the one true God then live a thousand years following after the world.
Caleb McCusker
Luke 8:11-15
"This is the meaning of the parable: The seed is the word of God. Those along the path are the ones who hear, and then the devil comes and takes away the word from their hearts, so that they may
not believe and be saved. Those on the rocky ground are the ones who receive the word with joy when they hear it, but they have no roots. They believe for a while, but in the time of testing they
fall away. The seeds that fell among thorns stands for those who hear, but as they go on their way they are choked by life's worries, riches, and pleasures, and they do not mature.
But the seeds on good soil stands for those with a noble heart, who hear the word, retain it, and by preserving produce a crop."

In the past I can't tell you how many times I've felt like the seeds on the rocky soil. I could sit in on a church service, enjoy the teaching, become convicted,
and gladly receive it. But at the end of the day, I could so easily forget applications from that message and quickly go from feeling the Holy Spirit working in me then suddenly feel my flesh take over.
Eventually, after some trial and errors, God finally gets ahold of my stubborn self and opens my eyes and heart to what He has been trying to tell me.
I can tell you, that isn't they way to go. It's an everyday fight and it could be so much easier if I just let God work in me from the start, but knowing the hard-hearted, stubborn sinner I am, it takes a while sometimes for the
me to actually get what the Holy Spirit is trying to tell me. Sometimes I just need a sucker punch to the gut from God.
I personally want to be the seeds on the good soil. The one who has a noble heart, who hears the word, retains it, and by preserving produces a crop.
With prayer, seeking the Lord, and holding onto His words, I know I can be the one on good soil.