Sunday, October 29, 2006


I know some of you might have come on my blog site to check for my new blog yesterday because I told you that I post a new one each Saturday. I am sorry, if you did come and did not find a new one. I was at event with Rainstorm youth ministry. The youth group that I lead. The event was Acquire the Fire the whole theme of the weekend was "Branded by God – The Mark of a Warrior."
I am not going to write about the weekend right now. I am going to write about why I did not post last night I needed some sleep. So day it is about sleep. Do you ever feel like the guy in this picture sleeping on the subway. That you are so tired that you fell asleep on your way home.

There is a song by a guy named Riley Armstrong and he talks about sleep. I went and saw this guy play before with my sisters and brother. It is a funny song. This is what he says:

looking straight at the light
it never used to be that bright last night
but it's a new day with fuzz in my eyes
alarm is still ringing when I open the blinds
how do these people do it
they are like driving around like there's nothing to it
I imagine it's like the medication their on
or probably just the coffee but
one thing is certain in life

and that is that today I'm going to eat cereal
I mean come on let's get our priorities straight
but before I know it I'm out the door late
just trying to catch some rat or some race
or something I'm not quite sure what it is
so for now I just best keep moving
and by nine a.m. my brain and my body
finally decide to meet
and we come to the same conclusion as yesterday
that I never get enough sleep

sleep, no I never get enough
always waking up tired
sleep, no I never get enough
if I don't show up I might get fired
sleep, no I never get enough
always waking up tired
sleep, no I never get enough
if I don't show up I might get fired

they call it commuting
but I think they should call it intravenous
cause it's what I need every time I get
stuck behind a truck, just trying to turn left
just trying to turn left, why are you trying to turn left
why don't you park your silly cube van
hop in I'll drop you off

cause at this rate we'll both be late
but I'd rather be late than sitting here doing nothing
and by nine a.m. my brain and my body
finally decide to meet
and we come to the same conclusion as yesterday
that I never get enough sleep

sleep go on and sleep some more
sleep go on and sleep some more

Do you ever feel like what the chorus says that you never get enough sleep. Sometimes I feel like that. I wish there was more time for me to sleep. I feel tired sometimes and wish I just could get more sleep. Sometimes we do not get enough sleep because we are taking so much on and we are thinking about it all night that it keeps us up. When I thing about this I am drawing to a verse in the bible that says:

"Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life. I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with me—watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll learn to live freely and lightly." Matthew 11:28-30 (The Message)

I like it when I read that when I am tired and worn out about thinking about life and what to do and things in life. I can go to God and He gives me a break from thinking about and He shows me how to recover my life and how to take a real rest.

How do you handle things in your life that have you thinking about them each night so you do not get enough sleep. Do you say well I fell asleep at 12 it is better than last night when it was 1. And I only need a couple of hours it do what I need to do. That might for a bit but they is going to come a time when you can not handle it anymore, and you might start doing stuff that you would not do before. Like failing tests at school, getting mad about stuff faster then normal. But when we turn to God and say I need rest, I am tired, He says I will show you come and follow Me, but we need to choice to say that, and He wants us to do that. So this week will you say I need so rest I am tired with life right now, and will you do that and see what God for you?

Howden Matt Howden

Saturday, October 21, 2006

"Waiting on the world to change"

Today blog is a bit different. I am going to talk about John Mayer's song entitled "Waiting on the world to change." When I first heard this song on the radio I thought it was a good song, well at least the music part was cool. Then I really listened to the words, and we are going to unpack the song about. I wanted to make this one shorter this week, because I feel the last couple have been a bit long. I hope you enjoy this one.

This is what he says:

So we keep waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
Its hard to beat the system
When we're standing at a distance
So we keep waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change

Let's unpack this part, if we keeping waiting for the world to change on its own it will not do we as people need to stand up. Find areas were we can get involved and make a difference, Rainstorm did this last night by going to a place called Sew-on-Fire Ministries and they put together gift bags that are going over to Africa to be given out to people. They are trying to make a difference in the world not sitting by waiting for it to change on it owns.
“It is hard to beat the system” if you are “standing at a distance” you need to get there and do something.

Now to the next part about waiting, he sings about waiting for the world to change again. He also says “It’s not that we don’t care We just know that the fight ain’t fair.” Yes the fight is not fair but maybe we still need to fight even if it is not fair.

“One day our generation Is gonna rule the population.” This is true and the type of world you life in well be the one you help create with the people living now. If will be hard to change world once you reach “an age” you think is the right age, you can make a difference now. Stop waiting and start marking a difference.

So we keep on waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
Know we keep on waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
We keep on waiting (waiting)
Waiting on the world to change
Waiting on the world to change
Waiting on the world to change
Waiting on the world to change.

Stop waiting for the world to change and make a difference, somehow and somewhere. You change make a difference.

The Bible tells a story between Jesus and his fellows after he died and rose from the dead and had spent some time with them it is found in Acts 1:6-8. This is what it says:
“So when they met together, they asked him, "Lord, are you at this time going to restore the kingdom to Israel?"
He said to them: "It is not for you to know the times or dates the Father has set by his own authority. But you will receive power when the Holy Spirit comes on you; and you will be my witnesses in Jerusalem, and in all Judea and Samaria, and to the ends of the earth."”

They were “waiting on the world to change” and they thought it would be done at this time; however God had a different idea He would send them out and they would change the world, with the power that He gave them and with the message of Jesus Christ. If you read the Acts 2 you know that they did spent some time waiting and then they got this power. Went out and changed the world with the message of Jesus and 3000 people received this message, and it changed the world. As Christians we still have that same power and we do not have to wait for the world to change, we as the church can began to make a difference and change the world.

I do not want you guys to think I am out to attack pop-culture music. I just thought that we listen to this song and we might believe the words of John Mayer and wait for the world to change with out doing anything. If you felt this is attack against him and his song, I am sorry that is that last thing I wanted. Please leave a comment, even if you do not have a blogspot name you can leave a comment. Thanks for reading I hope you enjoyed it.

Howden Matt Howden

Saturday, October 14, 2006

“What am I to do for the widows and orphans?”

This blog comes from the talk I did at Rainstorm Youth Ministry last night. I hope one day we ask this question to ourselves and answer it for your self not just because it is important to someone else, but because it is important to you. And I will give you four things I found at the end of this blog. Putting together this blog (or talk if you were at Rainstorm) was a bit more of a difficult for me. But I hope it all works out in the end.

The talk was entitled “what am I to do for the widows and orphans?” There as a couple different reasons, I talked about this here are the reasons:

  1. Next we are going to a place called Sew-on-Fire Ministries. It is a ministry based in Burlington. This is a ministry that puts together bags that go to other Countries to meet the needs of people. They will have things that we have here in Canada and they do not have them where they live.
  1. I wanted to give Rainstorm a reason to why we are going to do that next week. To give is some purpose, because we think having a purpose behind something we do is great.
  1. There is a thing coming up in early December entitled For Kids Only. Where children will come to St. Paul’s (a church in Dundas) on Saturday and they will be able to get Christmas gifts for their families. This event is going to include a few churches from the Dundas area, and I helping from my church. My job is to get youth to be elves to help to kids with their gifts and stuff.
  1. When getting ready to do the talk I did on “The Power of the Tongue.” I came across a really cool verse that you can read near the end of this blog. That changes the way I view of what I am to do for widow and orphans.

So there are a few reasons that led me to ask this question. “What am I to do for the widows and orphans?”

When I asked that question, I thought I would look at what the Bible had to say about the topic. Here are a few passages that I came across and this not all of them.

The first one I found was in Isaiah 1:17 it says:

“learn to do right!
Seek justice,
encourage the oppressed.
Defend the cause of the fatherless,
plead the case of the widow.”

This passage tells us to defend the cause of the orphans (or fatherless) and pled the case of the widow.

The next passage I came around was found in Job 31:16-23 it says:

“If I have denied the desires of the poor
or let the eyes of the widow grow weary,
if I have kept my bread to myself,
not sharing it with the fatherless-
but from my youth I reared him as would a father,
and from my birth I guided the widow-
if I have seen anyone perishing for lack of clothing,
or a needy man without a garment,
and his heart did not bless me
for warming him with the fleece from my sheep,
if I have raised my hand against the fatherless,
knowing that I had influence in court,
then let my arm fall from the shoulder,
let it be broken off at the joint.
For I dreaded destruction from God,
and for fear of his splendor I could not do such things.”

Now to get to the really cool verse I found in James 1 and we are going to look at verses 26 and 27. If you read “The Power of the Tongue” you might remember vs. 26, but this is just to help us understand the verses.

James 1:26-27 says:
26 “
If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.”

This passage tells us that pure religion that God look for is one that looks after the orphans and the widows. This changes the way I look at life now

One more verse I came across is found back in Isaiah 1:23 is says:

“Your rulers are rebels,
companions of thieves;
they all love bribes
and chase after gifts.
They do not defend the cause of the fatherless;
the widow's case does not come before them.”

This passage tells us that rulers are busy chasing after gifts to care about the widow’s and orphans. It tells us to defend the cause of the fatherless.

Growing up I always, thought oh someone else will look after the orphans and the widows that’s not my thing. The Salvation Army they do a great job with that I will not worry about that. After reading that verse in James it changed the way I thought about that. And I think we as a group (Rainstorm) need to at least twice a year right now, we need to help meet the needs of the widows and orphans. We do have them here in Canada too; you do not need to jump on a plane to someone else to do it.

These verses in James become very real to me this week when talking to my brother and mom. My brother has a friend who died. This friend had a girlfriend and she was pregnant when he died. Since then she has given birth to the child. My brother has been home for almost two weeks now, and he has been hanging out with the girl and the kid. One day after hanging out with her he came home and was talking about how great the kid is and stuff. Then he went on to say that my mom and him are going to open up a bank account for this kid so that when he is 21 he will have some money. I said to my mom so I heard you are opening another bank account. She was confused. Then I went on to say more, there are a couple reasons she is doing this. One to get my brother to save money but we can not tell him that. Number two because my brother and this guy were really good friends and she thinks it is a good idea. Number three she believes it is the Christian thing to do. She sees the need of this girl and her child and wants to meet it. She is putting James 1:27 in to practice and might not even know it.

Finally there is one more verse I found in Exodus 22:22 it says:

“Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan.”

Last night I did not try to take advantage of orphans or widows, I did not use any pictures to make you emotional and get people crying. I wanted to get you to think about this topic and make the right choice and let God lead your heart to meet the needs of the orphans and the widows.

“What am I to do for the widows and orphans?”

  1. Pled their case

  1. Not to take advantage of them

  1. Give them a voice

  1. Look after them

I tried my best not to make this a social talk I would to keep it as Biblical as I could. I hope this make sense to you. I hope you understand you have something to do for the orphans and the widows. I hope you found some where were you can do this. This is what made it so difficult for me.

Next weeks blog. I will have to think about because I am not doing the talk Rainstorm. If you have any ideas. Leave them with your comments.

Thanks for reading please left a comment!

Howden Matt Howden

Tuesday, October 10, 2006

"The Power of the Ask"

This past Friday at Rainstorm this was the talk that I did. I talked about two other topics leading up to this one those two were "The Power of the Tongue and The Power of Words" This one was number 3 in "The Power series."

I am going to narrow it down even more to a question we can ask people. That question I will give you at the end so just stay with me to the end. It will make sense in the end I hope.

On a leadership cd I listened to a couple weeks ago said that leaders have the power of the ask, and not to say someone elses no for them, before you ask them to help you something. Most of the time we say someone elses no for them before we even ask them to help. We say things like that would not want to help out with this or that, and who knows maybe they would like to help. After hearing that on the cd, it made me thing of this thing called "The Power of Ask" and I moved it from just leaders to everyone. And then I moved it even more to people asking their friends and family matters to church. How often to we say their no for them before we ask them. I know I have done it in my own life.

Now back to what I asked the youth at Rainstorm. Here are a few asks I asked them:
When thinking about being asked a question, what type of question do you like to be asked?
What types of questions do you ask people?
What is your answer to the question "how are you doing today?"
What is the answer most people give to you when you ask them that? (how are you doing today?)

Did you know that the Bible has Asked questions in it too?

One of them is found in Joshua when he asked the people who they will serve (Jos. 24:14-15)

Jesus also asked people questions here are just a couple: "When Jesus saw him lying there and learned that he had been in this condition for a long time, he asked him, "Do you want to get well?"" (John 5:6); Once when Jesus was praying in private and his disciples were with him, he asked them, "Who do the crowds say I am?" They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, that one of the prophets of long ago has come back to life."
"But what about you?" he asked. "Who do you say I am?"Peter answered, "The Christ of God." (Luke 9:18-20)
There are more a lot more. I just picked those two.

What types of things do you want to get asked/invited too? and why?
Who do you want to ask to those things?
How do you feel when you are not invited to something?

How do you feel whgen you plan something invite people to it and they don't show up?
What do you do about it?

The Bible tells a story about a guy we plans a party and invites the guests. He tells his servant to go and get the guests because the party is ready to start. Here is the story: Jesus replied: "A certain man was preparing a great banquet and invited many guests. At the time of the banquet he sent his servant to tell those who had been invited, 'Come, for everything is now ready.'"But they all alike began to make excuses. The first said, 'I have just bought a field, and I must go and see it. Please excuse me.'"Another said, 'I have just bought five yoke of oxen, and I'm on my way to try them out. Please excuse me.' "Still another said, 'I just got married, so I can't come.' "The servant came back and reported this to his master. Then the owner of the house became angry and ordered his servant, 'Go out quickly into the streets and alleys of the town and bring in the poor, the crippled, the blind and the lame.' " 'Sir,' the servant said, 'what you ordered has been done, but there is still room.' "Then the master told his servant, 'Go out to the roads and country lanes and make them come in, so that my house will be full. I tell you, not one of those men who were invited will get a taste of my banquet.' " (Luke 14:16-24)

The Bible tells one more story about a man named Zacchaeus who climbed a tree to see Jesus when Jesus was coming to his town. Things in his life lead him to climb that tree. This is what it says: "Jesus entered Jericho and was passing through. A man was there by the name of Zacchaeus; he was a chief tax collector and was wealthy. He wanted to see who Jesus was, but being a short man he could not, because of the crowd. So he ran ahead and climbed a sycamore-fig tree to see him, since Jesus was coming that way.
When Jesus reached the spot, he looked up and said to him, "Zacchaeus, come down immediately. I must stay at your house today." So he came down at once and welcomed him gladly.
All the people saw this and began to mutter, "He has gone to be the guest of a 'sinner.' "
But Zacchaeus stood up and said to the Lord, "Look, Lord! Here and now I give half of my possessions to the poor, and if I have cheated anybody out of anything, I will pay back four times the amount."
Jesus said to him, "Today salvation has come to this house, because this man, too, is a son of Abraham." (Luke 19:1-9)
Maybe it was the change he saw in a guy name Levi who was a follower of Jesus and he was a tax collector like Zacchaeus. Luke 5:27-29 says: After this, Jesus went out and saw a tax collector by the name of Levi sitting at his tax booth. "Follow me," Jesus said to him, and Levi got up, left everything and followed him. Then Levi held a great banquet for Jesus at his house, and a large crowd of tax collectors and others were eating with them.
Maybe Levi asked Zacchaeus to the party and maybe he invited him out when Jesus was coming to his town. Then Jesus asked him to come so he could stay at his house. Maybe there are people in our life who are "climbing trees" to see God.

Have you ever wanted a place to find Support, Teaching, Outreach, Reconnecting with God, Ministry. This is what Rainstorm is about and if you are looking for a place to have this in your life then Rainstorm could be that place for you.

Here is the question I talked about at the start of this blog. "What are you doing this Friday? Would you like to check out Rainstorm with me?"
We can keep asking this question to our friends or we could start to ask our friends. Some might say yes and some might say NO!!! But do not say their NO for them before you ask them then let them say their answer.

Could it be as easy as asking that question, once you have talked about what a great time Rainstorm is?

That is "The Power of the Ask" You can invite people to something where they could meet the living God.

Howden Matt Howden

Friday, October 06, 2006

The Choice is Yours...

I know this blog is later than I said I would put them up on Saturdays. But I want you to know that I will be returning to the Saturday blogs tomorrow. Wow two blogs in two days that is crazy I know. But I hope you will enjoy them.

This blog is all about choices, this is what we talked about Rainstorm last Friday night. This was not my week to do the talk at Rainstorm, but I liked what we talked about so I thought I would write about it. And I have really been thinking about choices. I have made in the past. And I thought it would be good for people read about.

We make choices everyday. We choose what we will wear, what we do for the day, how we will treat people that day, what we will talk about that day, what will watch on TV that day, what we listen to. We have a lot of choices in life. As young people we more choices which we talked about at Rainstorm last week. There are: Studying or hanging out with friends? How to spend your free time? How to spend your money? Which friends to hang out with? What clothes to wear? What movies to watch or not watch? Who to date (or whether to date)? Choosing your course?

With some more chooses in life. I something have difficulty making up my mind, on what to do sometimes. I also feel I have too many choices in my life? Sometimes I do not consider the consequences of the decisions I make before making them. I often change my mind after I have made a decision, because I think I did not make the right. Even if I know it is the right one.

The Bible tells a story of a guy named Joshua and he was infront of some people, and he asked them to make a choice. He said "Now fear the LORD and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your forefathers worshiped beyond the River and in Egypt, and serve the LORD. But if serving the LORD seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your forefathers served beyond the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD." (Joshua 24:14-15)

He gave them the choice to follow the gods of their forefathers or to follow the LORD. This is a choice that is still being asked to us today. Will we follow some other gods or will we serve and follow the LORD. This is another choice we have in life.

So with this choice is one we need to make. If you would to talk about follow this LORD more, let me know and I will talk to you about.

Next blog coming tomorrow. This one is entitled "The Power of the Ask"

Howden Matt Howden