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LISTEN HERE. Pass it around… this truth needs to be heard.
This tree bears strange fruit
There’s blood on the leaves, it’s dead at the roots
The cracked grey branches are decaying within
Just like the black poison that hangs from it’s limbs
Come and dig me up, reach down to the roots
Rip the deadness out, and plant something completely new
I am alive, I will abide
In the life giving blood of christ
I’m grafted in, You’ve killed my sin
Now I can live, I’ll live in Him
I tried to tie fresh fruit
To a tree that had poison all the way through
It rotted and fell off, it was dead to the core
It even killed the ground, I was worse than before
You can’t tie fresh fruit
To a tree that has poison all the way through
It will rot and will fall off and soon it will die
It will even kill the ground, It’s a matter of time
There is not much else I can do but weep when I hear this song. The truth that is displayed rushes through my body, convicts me of sin and leads me to repentance. How often do I elevate “spiritual exercises” as instruments of righteousness and Godliness? I act like these “good works” will heal this rotting tree… I assume that if I pray more, read more, sit in my church cubicle more… I will change. I tie this “fruit” to a dead tree and it holds for a season, but undoubtedly… like it has hundred times before, this fruit will rot away because it lacks roots. I will continue to live as a poisonous tree… unless I beg to be dug up.
For no good tree bears bad fruit, nor again does a bad tree bear good fruit, for each tree is known by its own fruit. (Luke 6:43)
This poison consumes me. Yet, the cross has covered that blackness. All my foolish attempts to glue fruit to a bad tree are redeemed through His blood shed. And I ask… as I die daily… that I might be dug up, that new roots might be planted within me.
**Big up’s to my man Cam Huxford who wrote this song. His anointing is evident and it’s an honor to worship with him.** (Download the song HERE)
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I have words to say… but they will not top these words I’m about to share. My buddy Robb showed me this little article that I wish I could share with the whole world. So… read this… re-post it… forward it.. etc. This is Gospel Truth and this needs to be heard:
“When Jesus was dead and buried, with a big stone rolled against the tomb,
the Pharisees came to Pilate and asked for permission to seal the stone and
guard the tomb. Pilate said, “You have a guard of soldiers; go, make it as
secure as you can” (Matthew 27:65). So they did. They gave it their best shot—in
It was hopeless then, it is hopeless today, and it will always be
hopeless. Try as they may, people can’t keep Jesus down. They can’t keep him
buried. They may use physical force or academic scorn or media blackout or
political harassment or religious caricature. For a season they will think the
tomb is finally sealed. But it never works. He breaks out.
It’s not hard to figure out: He can break out because he wasn’t forced in. He lets himself be libeled and harassed and black-balled and scorned and shoved around and killed.
I lay down my life, that I may take it again. No one takes it from me, but I
lay it down of my own accord. I have power to lay it down, and I have power to
take it again. (John 10:17-18)
No one can keep him down because no one ever
knocked him down. He lay down when he was ready.
If China was closed for forty years to the Western missionaries, it’s not because Jesus slipped and fell into the tomb. He stepped in. And when it was sealed over, he saved 50 million Chinese from inside—without Western missionaries. And when it was time, he pushed the stone away so we could see what he had done.
When it looks like he is buried for good, Jesus is doing something awesome in the dark. “The kingdom of God is like a man who scattered seed on the ground. He sleeps and rises, night and day, and the seed sprouts and grows, but he knows not how” (Mark 4:26-27). The world thinks Jesus is done for—out of the way. They think his word is buried for good in the dust of irrelevant antiquity.
But Jesus is at work in the dark places: “Unless a grain of wheat falls into the ground and dies, it remains alone; but if it dies, it bears much fruit” (John 12:24).
He let himself be buried—“no one takes my life from me”—and he will come out in
power when and where he pleases—“I have power to take it again.” And his hands
will be full of fruit made in the dark.
“God loosed him from the pangs ofdeath because it was not possible for him to be held by it” (Acts 2:24). Jesus has his priesthood today “by the power of an indestructible life” (Hebrews7:16).
For twenty centuries the world has given it their best shot—in vain.
They can’t bury him. They can’t hold him in. They can’t silence him or limit
him. Jesus is alive and utterly free to go and come wherever he pleases. “All
authority in heaven and earth has been given to me” (Matthew 28:18). All things
were made through him and for him and he is absolutely supreme over all other
powers (Colossians 1:16-17).
Trust him and go with him, no matter what. You
cannot lose in the end.
Awed by his freedom and quiet power,
Pastor John Piper”
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He was oppressed and afflicted,
yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so he did not open his mouth…
For he bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.
Today we rest at the feet of Jesus. We remember the blood, the pain, the torn flesh, the tears, the sweat, the disfigured face, and the last breath. People ask…how can one rejoice in such agony?? It is simple. Because in His agony.. the fullness of God is revealed. In His agony… the full revelation of His grace is seen. Like a Lamb, our great King was lead to the slaughter. Jesus is the end for which the universe was made, and the means that makes that end possible to enjoy (Piper).
Today I hope to know more fully what it means… To know nothing [...] except Jesus Christ and him crucified.
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I gotta say, it was a little weird reading all these names and thinking that I could’ve actually been named one of them. So here they are…
Christopher Michael Ostrom
Andrew Caldwell Ostrom
Justin Lee Ostrom
Nicholas Wray Ostrom
Anthony Michael Ostrom
Jeffery Michael Ostrom
Zachary Michael Ostrom
Alexander Michael Ostrom
Jordan Caldwell Ostrom
Shane Caldwell Ostrom
Peter Michael Ostrom
Patrick Michael Ostrom
hmmm… what’s your favorite?? (besides the obvious one).
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I was reading through the Book of Common Prayer today and got hit with something that I can’t get out of my head. While I rest in the Love of Jesus… preparing my heart for Good Friday and Easter… I want to know the posture of the King I serve.
“The ass was the beast on which kings rode when they came in peace; only in war did they ride upon horses. The entry of Jesus was the claim to be King. But at the same time it was the claim to be the King of Peace. It was upon the ass of peace and not upon the horse of war that Jesus came. He came deliberately refusing the role of the warrior Messiah and claiming to be the Prince of Peace. He was appealing for a throne, but the throne was in the hearts of men. In that entry into Jerusalem Jesus, in a dramatic symbolic action which spoke more loudly than any words, was making one last appeal to men, and saying to them: ‘Will you not, even now, even yet, accept me as your Lord and King, and enthrone me within your hearts??’ Jesus’ entry into Jerusalem was an action of supreme courage; it was an assertion of royalty and an offer of love; it was at one and the same time royalty’s claim and love’s appeal.” -William Barclay
That is His posture.
He is our Peace.
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I slack… yup, kind of a slacker.
OKAY, to catch you up on life a lil……………
1. I have graduated from College (weird)
2. I have moved away from Redding and I am now living in Seattle
3. I live on a beautiful lake (see pic below)
4. I am Interning at Mars Hill Church here in Seattle
5. I ride the bus to work (sometimes)
6. I am still single (“all the single ladies”… where ya at?!)
These are just a few of the many new things that are happening in the life of ME!
I feel like I will be in Seattle for a while now. This is home and it always has been.
Please come take a visit sometime.
p.s. Redding family… I miss ya’ll. thank you for everything. You are the reason I am where I am in my life and I will be forever grateful.
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For the past 2 months I have been reading the book From Eternity To Here, by Frank Viola.
Up untill now… I haven’t read a more thought-provoking, challenging book. It has litterally ROCKED MY WORLD. The Lord has spoken so strongly through it… And it is a book that I want to pass on to everyone I know.
It is littered with beautiful theology and insights on the ageless purpose of God. From here on out… I will be reading this book at least once a year.
Here are a few sneak-peeks:
“Apart from the Lord Jesus coming to earth, God had no expression. In the same way, without the body of Christ (the church), Jesus has no expression. You and I are now sons of the Living God. What do sons do? They display the life of their father. We are also the body of our Lord. What does a body do? It expresses the one who indwells it” (235).
“Don’t make the mistake of thinking that the church is the joining together of different races. Not so. The church doesn’t include Jew and Gentile, men and women, slave and free. The church is a new species altogether. All earthly distinctions are annihilated and erased within her (the bride) walls. God has eradicated the two warring camps of Jew and Gentile and re-created them into one new human” (277).
Seriously folks.. Go buy this book. It will make you weep, it will piss you off, and it will cause you to fall face down at the feet of Jesus.
(and sorry for all the bad spelling…was blogging from my phone).