Saturday, January 28, 2012

For the Love of Life

For those of you who know me well, I have been through many jobs. I have been a Fast Food Worker, Restaurants, Retail. Movie Theater, Movie Store, Youth Development Worker, Hotel Sales and Car Sales....Phew! WOW, just typing it made my head hurt. I went to Amanda the other day and said "Hun, I like my job." Going in I told my managers, this is just temporary for me. I want to be a they know. My job gives me plenty of opportunity to work on school stuff, and in the meantime I get to speak with a lot of different people. I know God has put me here for a purpose, and I love seeing Him work.

Each customer I speak with I have been able to talk to them and let them know what I am doing with school. They may see my textbook on my desk and ask about it, or they may just strike up conversation. It gives me a great opportunity to spread the Word. Also, I have coworkers that I have come to care for and I can only hope that I am making a difference in their lives. (You know who you are.) :)

God has purpose in our lives no matter where we are. When I started working here, I was a little leery because it was yet another job that I was not going to stay at for a while. But I have said numerous times that this is my last job before I become a Pastor...God willing.

This made me start thinking...God has a purpose for everything! I hope that I am able to be used as a tool for Him. I pray that God uses me in circumstances that I have yet to see. But I wanted to bring up that no matter what circumstance you are in (Health, Employment, Life) that God is going to use you.

Ephesians 2:10 says: "For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them."

How are we going to let God use us? I think sometimes we IGNORE the ways that God wants to use us. As Christians we are to be used by God here on this Earth, but yet we often ignore the calling by our Master to go here or go there. God, how are you going to use me as a Husband, a Father, a Friend, a Car Salesman, a Youth Worker....God where do you want me? I think that we often forget to ask God where He wants to use us and completely ignore God's calling. 

"God, is that you talking?" How often have you asked yourself that when you see a car on the side of the road and you are deciding to stop or not, or you see a stranger in need or you need to talk to someone that may have hurt you? How often have we asked ourselves "Why me?" Well, because God has a plan to use you through your matter where you are. Remember that we are where we are because God wants us there. 


The Clouses

Monday, January 16, 2012


"Canon" comes from the Hebrew word Qaneh and the Greek Word Kanon. Both signify or represent a reed or a measuring stick. As I am reading this I think about how I measure up to God's standards. How do I measure up to what I am supposed to be as a Christian?

3 Things I could better focus on:

1) Guidance: Matthew 7:7 states that "Ask, and it shall be given to you. Seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you." All to often I skip a step in figuring out what I am supposed to do next in life. An opportunity may pop up and I suddenly am like..."Should I do this?" and start figuring out ways I could make it happen. Wait, James...did you forget something. What about what God wants? Did God put this in your life, maybe you should talk to Him first?" I always jump to conclusions on what I should do by myself without consulting the one who gives all.

Maybe this something is God's will for you, but James, did you ask for it? Did you go to God in prayer about it? When a church job eventually does open up for me and it is God's time to go into full-time ministry, and need to make sure I am going to God about every opportunity. Another good verse to go along with this is Philippians 4:6-7: "do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus."
2) Tithing: Wow, is this an important subject. This is a subject that most of us either avoid or turn our head to. I DONT SEE YOU, I DONT SEE YOU. If I don't see you, I don't have to acknowledge you. Well, we do. God says in 2 Cor. 9: 6-7: "The point is this: whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows bountifully will also reap bountifully. Each one must give as he has decided in his heart, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver." You hear that! God says to give boutifully. And, to be happy about it! But God, what about my new game...I really want Battlefield 3! Well, I need to know what is more important. And to be happy about it.

Money belongs to God in the first place, right? He gave us the ability to work, to live in a country to work freely, to give us a good job to make money, etc. Without God, you wouldn't have the money in your pocket. I want to be more like the beggar in Jesus' story that gave all she had. God, I want to give my all to you. Battlefield 3 can come later.

3) Temptation: We all know there are many things in this world that we need to avoid. The devil walks this Earth and is lurking in every corner. Being around the Internet all day, being a man and living in this world all at the same time is a dangerous field. I need to guard myself from the temptations of this world. Matthew 26:41 states "All of you must keep awake (give strict attention, be cautious and active) and watch and pray, that you may not come into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak."

There are so many things to avoid though. Pornography, Drunkardness, wealth, adultery, language...I could go on. And I am sure as some of you are reading this that you say...done that, done that....God is preparing me for a life in His word and a life preaching the Gospel. If I am walking the fields of this Earth and enjoying it's bounty, I am not in God's will and I am not protecting myself.

This comes back around to my first issure...prayer and guidance. All to often I forget to ask God to help protect me from the wiles of this Earth. If you are feeling temptation, go to GOD! He will help drive it away!

This verse summarizes it pretty well: "And lead (bring) us not into temptation, but deliver us from the evil one. For Yours is the kingdom and the power and the glory forever. Amen." Matthew 6:13

Thanks for listening.


The Clouses

Sunday, January 15, 2012


As I sit here beginning the next chapter in my life, Liberty, the next challenge, the next step...I think to myself that this is such a huge blessing.

This whole weekend has been amazing. Lorelai, my princess and the one who stole my heart a year ago has just turned 1. We had her birthday party yesterday at Milford High School pool and it couldn't have been better. It was amazing. As I look at my little girl and how much she has grown in the last year, I start to tear up a little. Where has the time gone? For those of you have grown kids, I am sure your saying right now..."Just wait." But in the past year she has grown from a little baby who resembles a oompa loompa (from the jaundice) to a beautiful young toddler. SHe is my princess and I will love you forever Lorelai.

And today I took the first steps into both of my classes. Mixed emotions on this. First I began with math and already I start getting frustrated. I despise Math, but I am so giddy and happy to get started that I seem to forget that what I am doing is so despicable and get the point. I have also started my Old Testament Survey studies and this is going to be fun. I am already learning so much. Did you know that every time the Word has the LORD all caps it was originally "Jehovah" or Yahweh (YHWH?) I had no idea! Going through Genesis and Creation right now and I am learning.

Now with the house quiet and Amanda and Lorelai in bed I am going to continue studying and learning, but I wanted to post how amazing our Lord is and how great it is to be a Father and student. Thank you all for tagging along in this journey.

Short post today but I promise to post a more profound and interesting post tomorrow.

-James Clouse

Saturday, January 7, 2012

Family LIfe

I am a Father of a beautiful baby girl who the Lord has blessed me to take care of her during her time on this Earth. Wow, this is such a blessing. For those of you who don't know, Lorelai was born by IVF (In-Vetro Fertilization.) This procedure was emotionally and physically draining in both Amanda and myself. Rarely does this procedure work the first time you do it, but the Lord had a plan for us, and he blessed us with it working the first time. If it did not work the first time, then we could not afford to do it a second time. Coincidence, certainly not! It was all God.

I am also the Husband of a beautiful, caring, honest, God-Loving woman. She is my anchor. (LOL, Amanda if you get that) She is everything to me. I don't know where my life would be without her today. We have been together for 10 years now and married for 7, and yet it seems like yesterday that I asked her to go out for coffee with me. Amanda goes along with all my craziness...from going back to school to get my BA in Bible Studies to calling the "Light Worm" toy a Bed-bug! I Love you babe!

"Effective family life does not just happen; it's the result of deliberate intention, determination, and practice." -Chuck Swindoll

Let's talk about these points. I am going to be referencing Ruth 4 while we do this.

1) Deliberate intention: What is your intent in your marriage? In your family? The dictionary defines intent as "something that is intended; purpose; design. It's origin comes from the Latin word intentus which means an aim or purpose. What is your purpose with your family? My purpose with my family is to take care of them. My aim is to be the best Father and Husband that I can be. To help support, protect and care for them. These are deliberate actions.

For those of you who know me well, I am a Huge gamer. I love video games! TO be perfectly honest, if I was still single I would probably be working at some dead end job making what I can to get by and play video games the rest of the time. But this is not my aim now. My aim or my purpose was given to me by God to take care of these beautiful women in my life. How can I let other things that don't have a purpose get in the way of this?

2) Determination: Wow, does Marriage take determination. When I think of determination to be determined to do something...I think of a race. I think that I am determined to finish this race. I will not give up, I will not give in to pressure, or hurt or pain. Marriage is like this race. Sometimes you will run into road blocks or things will get in the way of your marriage. Either finances, parents, worldly issues, whatever this may be, but are you determined to get through them?

In Ruth 4 Boaz fights for his love. He is something called a kinsman-redeemer (Hebrew: goel) Which means that Boaz was in some way related to Ruth's previous husband. Ruth was a widow. Her husband that passed away had some family in his hometown that Ruth moved to. Boaz saw her in a field picking scraps of food up and fell in love with her. But there was a roadblock. In the hierarchy of kinsman-redeemer, there was someone in front of him to take care of her and her land. So, what did he do? Did he give up and say..."Oh well, there is someone out there for me." No, he went to the other person and fought for her. He was determined to fight for his love. Men, are we determined to fight for our families. There are a lot of things in this world that we need to fight.

3) Practice: Every day I feel more and more in love with my wife. Seven year kidding me. When I get home, I say I love you babe. When she goes to work, she will always get a call from me making she she made it to work okay. Does this love, and care come easily? No, it takes practice.

How often do we still take our ladies out on dates? Now, I do have to say we don't do this as much as I would like due to a couple of reasons, but it is something we will be doing more of soon. But while we were dating, weren't we practicing our relationship.

Think about a Basketball game. If you build a team and go to your first game without any practice, what will most likely happen? You would get slaughtered! A team (marriage/family) needs to practice to build a functional unit. If you don't practice with your team, you will lose.

There is so much more I could get into on this subject, but I need to leave more for later huh? I know I need to practice some of things I said in this, but I am still learning too. I love you Hun and can't wait to see you later.

Thursday, January 5, 2012

Times of Moses

I have been reading "Courageous Faith" by Ed Hindson for school and came up to Chapter 4 on Moses. As I am reading this, I said to myself "I want to find out more than what this book is giving me." So, I did a little research of my own. Please remember that this is all theory based on a educated guess. (If you want to go out on a limb and say I am educated.) :)

During the ancient times of Egypt there were different dynasties. The Hyksos were the Second Intermediate Time of Egypt when things were under some sort of chaos. The twelth Dynasty came to an end with the death of Queen Sobekneferu around the time of 1777 BC. She did not have an heir to her throne, so a new dynasty took over. Both the 13th dynasty and 14th dynasty didn't last too long, but about 1650 or so the 15th dynasty took over called the "Hyksos."

The rulers of the Hyksos go as ordered: (speculation)
Khyan (1620 BC)
Apophis (1580-1540 BC)
Khamudi (1540-1530 BC)

Now, let me start by saying that the Hyksos are noted for starting the Composite bow and horse-drawn chariot.

As you see above, each ruler had a somewhat long run of power. I speculate that Apophis' daughter was the one to take in Moses. You will know why a little longer into the blog.

Now, Moses ran away after saving one of his own into the wilderness. When God asked Moses to return to Egypt via The Burning Bush (Exodus 3:1-21) the Bible states a new ruler (Pharaoh) had taken over at that point. (Khamudi)

Now, the last plague on Egypt was the death of every firstborn in every household. Now, normally the heir of a kingdom is your firstborn. The Bible does state that the Pharoh's son was killed during this plague.

So when the Pharoah released the Isrealites into the wilderness, and they got to the Red Sea...everybody knows the story of dividing the Red Sea. Now it is my speculation that either the Pharoah was with the Egyptian army (who were on horse drawn chariots) when they drowned or quite possible he went a little nutty after these affairs, because this dynasty ends with him and it moves unto the 16th dynasty.  (See Exodus 14:21-31) His heir died in the last plague so he has no one to carry on the 16th dynasty.

I still want to do a little research on this matter, but I wanted to share what I have learned so far. Thanks for listening.

Love the Clouses

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

God's Love and Blessings

Oh how I've tried these before. But lately a lot has been on my heart, my mind and my conscience. God has great plans for me and I know that.

Amanda, John and Lorna Lyman and myself have been doing a Bible Study called Experiencing God. I have had so much fun with it and I have learned so much. One of the most important things I have learned so far is Why do we ask for God's blessings in our life? Yes, God likes to bless us. I know this. But, why ask for them. Do we deserve them? Did I do something so miraculous that I now have no more sin in my life? No, we all sin and come short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23) Instead, we should be asking God what we can do for him. Lord, what would you like me to do for you today? How can I be more obedient to you? This is why I have named this Blog "Humble Servant." Instead of asking for God to pour His blessings on me and my family, I am going to ask God what I can do to be more obedient to Him? He will decide if I deserve His blessings or not.

Folks, this is incredibly dangerous!!! Make sure you are prepared. You are asking God....the Maker of life...what you can do for him. You are asking Him how you can be more obedient. You better know that He is going to show you a few things on how you can do that. You better be careful what you ask for because He will show you.

General Dwight D. Eisenhower once said "There are no victories at bargain prices." What he is saying here is nothing comes easy or cheap. God's blessings will not come easy or cheap in your life. What makes me think that God will bless me when I am not being obedient to Him?

So, this is my first of many blogs. I hope that you all help me to stay accountable to keep up with this because I learn as I type. I feel the more I express what I have learned, the more it sinks in.

Love from the Clouses!