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Showing content with the highest reputation since 06/05/2020 in Stories

  1. 2 points
    My life is just a pile of ashes Blown away in the wind every single day My life is just a big old pile of ashes Nothing ever seems to change! Until one day I met You You took the ashes and made something new You created new life within me And now my life is to serve you! My life is just a pile of ashes Molded and shaped and created new My life is forever changed By your Love, Mercy, and Grace Lord forever you I praise!
  2. 2 points
    How Do You See Yourself? “Then God said, ‘Let us make human beings in our image, to be like us. They will reign over the fish in the sea, the birds in the sky, the livestock, all the wild animals on the earth, and the small animals that scurry along the ground. So, God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God, he created them; male and female he created them’” (Genesis 1:26-27, NLT). Growing up, I always had a poor value of myself. I believed that I was a horrible person. I did a lot of bad things because of my drug and alcohol addiction: I stole from people, I lied to people, I used people etc. I did a lot of bad things, so I thought I was a bad person that deserved nothing but bad things. Even though that has been a long time ago, those memories still stay with me. I forget to remind myself that I am different from all other forms of creation. It is only human life that is called “created in the image of God.” God has given you and I communicable attributes. We have the ability to learn and increase our knowledge, we can reach a certain level of spiritual understanding, we can be very creative, if we seek it – we can become very wise, we can love, we can feel and show compassion, etc. God breathed His very breath into us. Even though I always had a poor view of my self-worth, looking back, there were others that were trying to remind me of who I am, and who they are. I was given second chances by people that should have wronged me, I was forgiven by those that I hurt tremendously, and I was shown love when I only reflected hate. This is that beautiful image of God and that beautiful Spirit working its wonders. I sometimes wondered how someone could be willing to forgive me so easily. When I understood the forgiveness of God, and how he had forgiven me, and what He had done for me – then it made sense to me. You must understand that we all need forgiveness! Every single one of us! I remember when my daughter Madison was just a little girl, maybe only 2 or 3 years old. She was so loving and so understanding and forgiving to be so young. I remember when I would let her down, she would sit in my lap and rub my hair and say, “It is ok daddy, you have pretty hair.” (Laugh out loud) I must put aside my anger, put aside my differences, and have that sweet child-like faith and compassion to be able to forgive in that way. Don’t we all? No matter how you see yourself, how you see others – we are created alike. We have been created in the image of God! We are all valuable and precious to God. Should we not all be willing to forgive? Be Encouraged, Chris 😊
  3. 2 points
    What is your name? It depends on who is calling you? Maybe you are called mommy, or daddy? Maybe you are dear, or honey? When the doctor calls, your ears hear your full name. When you hear which name someone is using, then that can tell a lot about the roles that exist between the people. The Lord has been known by many names. In the bible we see different references for the names we know Him by. One name was used in Daniel alone. This name was Ancient of Days. We find this in Daniel 7. Daniel 7:9 NKJV “I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire. Study light.org commentary discusses that this name Ancient of Days is about stressing the eternity of God. Oxford dictionary states that eternity means unending time. Ancient of Days is our Lord showing us that He is beyond time. That time has no impact for our God. He is not concerned as the days turn to years. He is not worried that task will not be completed. The clicking of the clock is just a background noise with no pressure on His actions. How does an eternal Father make a difference in our limited lives right now? We may have an expiration date on earth, but our prayers to the Lord do not. Prayers that reached the Ancient of Days is the one thing that will continue with Him, even long after they leave our lips. 1 John 5:14 NKJV Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us. Daniel 7:9 gives a good visual of who our mighty God is? What if our prayer today was focused on this Lord who is eternal? Let’s take the time to reach out to Him. When we do, the words that flow from our spirits, can be spoken with a peace. A peace that they are given to the One who can hold our desperate cries. Our Father holds on to those heartfelt words, knowing that time itself will erase some of the pain of our prayers, and the other ones may be tied to time that only He understands. Ancient of Days is just another name in the role that our Savior has with us. When we have that time alone, what will change knowing that our Lord has a name that is beyond the passage of time. Ancient of Days, the God with no limits on time, please help us not be stressed with our limited time. Allow us peace, comfort, and perseverance when we feel overwhelmed with to do list, and deadlines. Proverbs 3:34 Toward the scorners he is scornful, but to the humble he gives favor.
  4. 2 points
    In the spring of 1985, I found myself at the doorstep of mom’s house. She was expecting me, but unprepared for the shock of her life. I had called to inform her that I was coming back home. I hopped into my car and drove the four and half hour trip. I was a physical wreck for it took every bit of strength I could muster up to complete the journey. I had the shakes and a severe hangover from the previous night. I cannot remember the last time I had taken a sober breath. I pulled into the childhood driveway, threw the transmission into park, and walked up to the front door. With my right hand, I reached for the doorknob, twisted it, and walk through the threshold. I was embraced with a loving hug followed by sobbing. The tears falling down the cheeks of her face were not joyful but terror. She did not recognize her youngest son because she remembered her boy being full of life. Bewilderment radiated through her expression, and she was devastated. I was one hundred and ten pounds and the skin on my face was sunken inward, giving the appearance of a sick and frail young man. I was speechless, hopeless, and desperate. I was only away from home for three years. I never thought it would end up like this. I was full of ambition, ready to take life by the horns. I had visions of prestige by planning to make a name for myself. I had a lot of good intentions. These should have been achievable goals, but the demons inside myself stripped away anything worthwhile. I was baffled, ashamed, and did not know where to turn. My parents agreed to provide me a place to stay under the condition I would seek help. I was willing and took them up on their offer. Mom knew of a counselor who specialized in alcohol addiction. So I contacted him. After the first face to face session with Mr. Barfield and just before leaving his office, he handed me a flyer with a list of twelve-step programs. He highly suggested I start attending meetings. I decided to choose one and did not know what to expect from the twelve-step program. I was scared. I cannot recall the topic at my first meeting. I continued attending and began to identify with the medical description of alcoholism. The way they laid it out made perfect sense because for the first time concerning my drunkenness there was a logical explanation. It spoke volumes, and as I looked back at the past, there was concrete evidence staring me between the eyes. Then came their hook, line, and sinker that would be the only solution to my predicament. God! That presented me with a major stumbling block because I was agnostic. There could be no God in this world riddled with evilness. I was highly offended by their seemingly shallow outlook. How could God do anything for me? Well, they said to me, just hang in there a little longer. Don’t give up before the miracle happens is a frequent slogan. Things did change. God began to work on me, and I gradually found faith. As a result, from seeking God a transformation began taking root, and I learned a lot about how He works. I came to understand that through trusting Him everything will be taken care of regardless of the current situation. The power I received from His strength allowed me to make amends for my wrongdoings as well as healing my heart. Even though I found the effect of God, I failed to maintain it and became complacent. I was content with the way my spiritual life was and started to slack off in my devotion. I did not realize the danger this type of view would bring. This blindness cost me dearly and after eighteen years of sobriety, I got drunk. I remember the moment I started using alcohol again was not wise. Everything God had done for me was tossed aside because I decided to get drunk. The insanity of alcoholism returned with a fury taking me places of degradation. I was in the grip of wickedness unlike any I had known. I was dying a slow and miserable death. God did not give up on me and continued calling me back. I finally heard Him after eight years of misery. He opened His arms, and I embraced Him. God picked up where He had left off and quickly showed me the light at the end of the tunnel. As I walked down God’s tunnel, He delivered me to His Son Jesus Christ and into salvation. I now know the Light at the end of God’s tunnel is Heaven.
  5. 1 point
    The most understandable and encouraging attribute concerning salvation is that of its permanency, after all, it is called “eternal salvation” (Heb 5:9). What part of salvation is temporary, seeing that one of the meanings of redemption is that of being saved from “eternal damnation” (Mar 3:29). Is it a sensible truism that one can be eternally saved and then not eternally saved? Thus being temporarily saved from “everlasting punishment” (Mat 25:46) is clearly a concept of an oxymoron?
  6. 1 point
    The Nature of Christ “Though he was God he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges and took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8). As I was reading this, I was thinking, “How would I behave in this situation?” I would have been shooting lightning bolts at people and levitating them straight up off the earth that I created. We could not possibly control a position of such power. We would be completely overcome by it. Jesus, he did not selfishly grasp hold of the position he had like I would have. Instead, he was willing to give himself over to serving our needs. Maybe if Jesus would have behaved in a manner likewise, the Jewish leaders would not have been so infuriated with Him. He was claiming to be God but seemed as a weak little man. If Jesus would have blasted them with a lightning bolt or two, I am sure their minds would have quickly changed about Him. They probably would not have plotted to kill Him, but instead would have worshiped Him. But that is not the way God wants to gain our attention is it? Jesus set the example of what God is like – not a dictator, but a loving, serving, father. Jesus did something that is extremely hard for me to do. Verse 7, he emptied himself. He emptied himself of all self-interests. He came here to do one thing, and one thing only and that was the will of the Father. For God to become a man was extremely humbling, but he did not stop there. He completely took himself the extra mile and took the role of a servant. When Jesus came, we all should have fallen to our knees in complete worship and praise – our Lord is here. Instead, the Lord fell to his knees to serve us. The Creator served His very creation. Wow! Man, Oh man! A lot of days I ask myself, “How should I live as a Christian?” No better example of humiliation and a complete selfless attitude could possibly be given than that of Christ. That is the example the believers in Philippi were being encouraged to follow. That is the example we are encouraged to follow today. Verse 2 - be like minded – live humbly before God, and each other. God sent Jesus on a mission. This is His briefing – “1. That He should assume human nature by being born of a woman, and thus enter into temporal relations; and that He should assume this nature with its present infirmities, though without sin. 2. That He, who as the Son of God was superior to the law, should place Himself under the law; that He should enter, not merely into the natural, but also into the penal and federal relation to the law, in order to pay the penalty for sin and to merit everlasting life for the elect. 3. That He, after having merited forgiveness of sins and eternal life for His own, should apply to them the fruits of His merits: complete pardon, and the renewal of their lives through the powerful operation of the Holy Spirit. By doing this He would render it absolutely certain that believers would consecrate their lives to God” (Berkhof, L. (1938). Systematic theology (p. 269). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing co). Jesus perfectly accomplished all these things that we could not. So, what is your response to this. What is your response to Him? Be Encouraged, Chris
  7. 1 point
    The Golden Rule “Do not seek revenge or bear a grudge against a fellow Israelite but love your neighbor as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18, NLT). What happens when someone does us wrong? We usually act out from our emotions. If we are hurting, we want to inflict that hurt upon the other person. Hurt people hurt people! Sometimes when we are upset, we do not even say anything to the other person. But we sure do tell everyone else. We talk about the problem behind their back and do you know what that does? It only makes the situation worse. This just leads to resentment and hatred. Since the 18th century the “Golden Rule” has commonly designated this ethical maxim. Do unto others as you would have others do unto you. That sounds familiar. Probably because Jesus said this in Matthew 7:12. So, if you are treating someone poorly, you should think about this. Is this how you want to be treated in return? When someone is doing you wrong, it does not feel good does it? The natural consequence of harboring ill feelings and a grudge-bearing attitude is going to result in vengeance. You are going to do something that you will regret! The kind of love that is being discussed here means that a person is to forgive a neighbor’s wrongs as quickly as they would forgive themselves. It means you are to show others the same practical care that you show yourself! For me, that was a major problem. The care that I showed myself was alcohol and drug abuse. I had a poor view of my self-worth, and I treated myself like garbage. I am 36 years old and I am just now realizing this is why I have treated people so poorly throughout my life. This is why so many of my relationships have failed. This is why my relationship with God failed! Is this you too? How could I love and respect God if I could not love and respect myself? When God would tell me I was the apple of his eye, I would call him a liar. I will tell you what helped me to turn around. It was when I done someone horribly wrong, but yet they did not do me wrong. Instead, they showed me love, compassion, and forgiveness. It took that happening for me to see the love, compassion, and forgiveness that God had extended to me so many times. It took that for me to extend that same love, compassion, and forgiveness to myself! I am trying my best to live by Jesus’ example. I fail all the time, but Jesus did not! “He did not retaliate when he was insulted, nor threaten revenge when he suffered. He left his case in the hands of God who always judges fairly” 1 Peter 2:23. If we repay evil with evil, we are putting ourselves in the place of God. And we are also sinning against the sinner! God is the only fair judge! Your job, my job, is to love. So start showing people how you want to be treated today. We all want and desire to be loved! Be Encouraged, Chris
  8. 1 point
    Ephesians 6:12 - For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places. KJV Jul. 2, 2020 Jeremiah 17:9...The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it. KJV Last month, The Holy Spirit dropped the word Righteous in my Spirit. I asked Him what is it you want me say about “Righteous”? He told me to look at what is going on in my peoples heart, it is disturbing because too many are falling away from my moral right. Choosing to instead to follow the crowd. I asked Him about the message for this month, He led me to the 17th chapter of Jeremiah which deals with two kinds of people...the wicked and the righteous. Jeremiah was warning the people about their sin even though they had the Law, prophets of God and history filled with God’s miracles. Just like us today. He said in verse 9...the heart is deceitful above all things and desperately wicked. When the Bible speaks of the heart, it is not talking about the one that pumps blood through our body...It is our mind. It is amazing how we allow our minds to consider everything contrary to God’s Word. Sin is what the Bible calls it and that is exactly what it is. The comparison between the wicked and righteous begins in verse 5...Thus saith the Lord; Cursed be the man that trusts in man and not Me. We know the evil in man goes back to Genesis and by the time we get to Genesis Chapter 6 verse 5 we find out what God's penalty will be...And God saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every imagination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually. 6...And it repented the Lord that he had made man on the earth, and it grieved him at his heart. 7...And the Lord said, I will destroy man whom I have created from the face of the earth; both man, and beast, and the creeping thing, and the fowls of the air; for it repent me that I have made them. The stain of man’s evil was so devastating to God that everything paid for it. The animals, birds and beasts ...everything God said was good when He created it, paid the price of death and they had nothing to do with man’s evil. There was however redemption and it is in verse 8....But Noah found grace in the eyes of the Lord. He was not perfect but verse 9 say’s...he was a just man and he walked with God. Biblically, the contrast between the Righteous and wickedness can be found primarily in Proverbs. The Righteous are hopeful., the wicked are fearful Proverbs 10:24...The Righteous are concerned about the welfare of God’s creation, the wicked’s kindness is cruel, Proverbs 12:10. The righteous are showered with blessings, the wicked are covered in violence Proverbs 10:8. The Righteous understand justice, the wicked do not, Proverbs 28:5. The Righteous seek out the honest, the wicked hate the honest...Proverbs 29:10...The Righteous care for the poor, the wicked are unconcerned about the poor...Proverbs 29:7...The Righteous are bold as lions, the wicked fear constantly...Proverbs 28:1...The Righteous are protected by God, the wicked are destroyed by God...Proverbs 10:29...The Righteous have a refuge when they die, the wicked are crushed by their sins...Proverbs 14:32… Man will trust in other men, military, business and other entities he created, for their success as they see it but the Righteous have faith in God. They are called the underdogs, the ones struggling to get by, the ones who are crazy with this faith in God thing but in reality they have the peace that surpasses all understanding which is only found in God. God has stopped the world with Covid 19 yet many want to diminish it’s severity in peoples lives. The evidence of God’s hand in this is the fact the atmosphere has been cleansed, the land has been restored, the waters are cleaner, families have spent more time together and those who recognize God’s work have given Him their Praise and Worship. Gas was under $1.00 per gallon and we had nowhere to go. Then He sent a dust cloud formed in the African desert, across the oceans taking the same path hurricanes do that has hit the United States creating a breathing issue. Most recently flooding in the south and many still refuse to recognize Him sending His message to us. It is amazing to me that due to the death of George Floyd, not only have the Righteous in America taken a stand against evil but people from all over the world are standing with those marching and not one person has contracted or been affected by the virus. We have seen the huge throng of people but they have had Divine Protection. There will be a price to pay, we will reap what we sow...Galations 6:7-9... Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap. 8...For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting. 9...And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not. 10... As we have therefore opportunity, let us do good unto all men, especially unto them who are of the household of faith. In the final analysis the questions will be...Whose side will you be on? Mark 2:17 - When Jesus heard it, he saith unto them, They that are whole have no need of the physician, but they that are sick: I came not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance. Paul wrote in in his letter to the Philippians Chapter 1:9...And this I pray, that your love may abound yet more and more in knowledge and in all judgment; 10...That ye may approve things that are excellent; that ye may be sincere and without offence till the day of Christ; 11...Being filled with the fruits of righteousness, which are by Jesus Christ, unto the glory and praise of God. The Apostle John, The Beloved Disciple whom Jesus loved wrote in 1st John 2:1 & 2...My little children, these things write I unto you, that ye sin not. And if any man sin, we have an advocate with the Father, Jesus Christ the righteous: 2...And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world. My brothers and sisters. I will be praying for your strength and determination to follow God's call to righteousness...though it may be difficult, walk away from the crowd who chooses not believe. Thank You Lord for Your Word.
  9. 1 point
    A “Far Away” God Every Christian will go through “desert experiences” in life. Perhaps you are going through one right now? When I speak of “desert experiences,” I am not referring to momentary discouragement or the usual ups and downs of life. These are all natural occurrences. What I am speaking of is a continuous spiritual period of time when we feel God is far away. These are the times when the Christian says, “Lord, where are you? I am facing hardships and difficulties on every side and I need you – now!” There are several reasons we go through “desert experiences.” One is sin. When we are in rebellion against God we often feel He is far away, and, in actuality, He is. Our sins separate us from God (Isaiah 59:2; Jeremiah 5:25). Another reason for a “desert experience” could be that a hope we have clung to – perhaps for a job or a relationship – has not become a reality. Or, a “desert experience” could simply be the point God has brought us to for a specific purpose; for something He wishes to accomplish in our lives. Always remember that one of God’s purposes in our lives is to teach us and to change us. He desires to bring us closer to Him that we may learn more about Him, and in the process, more about ourselves. It is in these spiritual wildernesses where everything we have thought, everything we felt, and everything we have built our lives upon is stripped away. And when everything has been stripped away, all we have left is the Lord. These can be the darkest times in our lives, times when we feel like we’re walking in circles in a dark room. But never forget: God has brought you to this place for a specific purpose! Finding the Exit It is inevitable that Christians will undergo these “desert experiences” at least once in their lives. This is a given. The question then is: How do we get out? If you find yourself trapped in a “desert experience,” here are a few things to remember: 1. There is no formula. There are no five steps and you’re out of the fire. Life doesn’t work that way, and neither does the Christian life. 2. Remember who God is. Remember what He’s done in history, and remember what He’s done in your life. He has rescued His people from the brink throughout history, and He will do so again. He has rescued you from the brink when He saved you, and He will be there again for you when you need Him most. 3. Be brutally honest with yourself by asking God: “Lord, what in my life needs to change? What is causing this ‘desert experience’ I am in? Is it something I have done? Is it sin? Have You brought me to this place for a specific purpose?” 4. If God reveals sin in your life, confess it and repent of it. If it is something else, keep praying and be open to what God wants to show or teach you. 5. Don’t go through it alone. Generally, when Christians go through “desert experiences” they don’t want to talk to anyone; rather, they tend to isolate themselves. This can be a very dangerous place in which to be. Find another believer to confide in and share your concerns with him or her. 6. Accept and embrace reality. This is often very difficult to do; but this is the very reason God has brought you to this place. You may need to grieve over the loss, which may mean that you need some time to accept what has taken place. 7. Learn about God’s amazing grace. Be open to God. Allow Him to work in your life and mold you into the man or woman of God He wants you to be. 8. And finally, pray and study God’s Word. Stay focused on God and again, never forget who He is. If you are angry, hurt, or sad, tell God – He already knows what you are going through. Cast all you cares upon God, for He deeply cares about you (1 Peter 5:7). If you find yourself in a “desert experience,” never forget that God is with you in it – even if you don’t feel His presence. And not only is He there with you, you can rest assured of something else: He will bring you through it! The challenge for you is to remain faithful while you navigate your way through this wilderness journey!
  10. 1 point
    As I was reading Scripture this morning, I was reading in Mark chapter 1. I came across verse 9: “One day Jesus came from Nazareth in Galilee, and John baptized him in the Jordan river” (Mark 1:9, NLT). I was reading that, and I was thinking about Nazareth just a little. If you think about it, the people back then would have probably thought that their Messiah would come from Jerusalem rather than a little small village that really had no significance whatsoever. It reminds me of Jellico, here where I live. It is a small town of maybe 2,500 people if that. In the bigger cities people always say, “Nothing good ever comes out of Jellico.” That is because this little town is overrun with drugs. But I can see the people on the scene back then thinking that very same thing about Jesus and about Nazareth: “Nothing really good ever comes out of Nazareth.” And then another thing that really smacked me across the face was Jesus being baptized. Especially in a baptism for the repentance of sins. If Jesus needs to be forgiven of sins, then we are all very much in trouble. 2 Corinthians 5:21 says, “For God made Christ, who never sinned to be the offering for our sin, so that we could be made right with God through Christ.” Shew! Thank goodness – that was a close one! So, Jesus participated in John’s baptism not because he needed to repent of his sins, but he did it to identify with us – sinful humanity! Wow! This is it! The time we have been waiting for is happening … Then the spirit descended on Jesus like a dove when he popped up out of that water verse 10. This verse took me all the way back to Genesis 8:10-12: “After waiting another 7 days, Noah released the dove again. This time the dove returned to him in the evening with a fresh olive leaf in its beak. Then Noah knew that the floodwaters were almost gone. He waited another seven days and then released the dove again. This time it did not come back.” God’s promise to Noah of a new world was there! And it is here in Mark that we see the Messiah coming to fulfill the promise that God made to his people! Have you ever saw a dove? We had one hanging around the house here for a while. It was so gentle, just as Jesus the gentle servant who was coming to bring healing and restoration following a message or repentance by John. Israel was being asked to turn around. You are going the wrong way folks! Turn around from your disobedience and rebellion and start anew by turning to the Messiah – he is here! Hope you guys have a fantastic day. I was super blessed with my Bible study and I just had to share 😊 Be Encouraged, Chris
  11. 1 point
    I am a chosen Earth Angel Of the Most High My wings are scorched by fire It's hard sometimes to fly My motives are of pure love Though not destined to float clouds above I am born to fight fire At times I break the rules I can capture the tough ones That the goody Angel girls would lose I fight fire with stronger fire I am not afraid I walk through these flames boldly With a spirit untamed I reach for those that are burning without His grace, we are all the same The only difference between them and us We've learned to call upon His Name Walk with me a while Join me in this battle of the blaze Cry with me.... Shout praise with me... Struggle with me some days Everyone is welcome There is something here for all I am simply an Earth Angel Captive of the fires wall
  12. 1 point
    Would it be ok if I just shared something here. This is a poem I wrote that is actually a part of my story "The Body of Chris" . It is my take on what I would call a "Beat Poem" ( think beatniks of the 60's with berets and John Lennon glasses all snapping their fingers instead of applauding ) I hope you like it. " Who Needs Jesus " Who needs Jesus Jesus, who sees us Who frees us To be us The we that He Wants us to be, us The 9 to 5 us The dead and alive us The hip and the jive us The husband and wife us The sighted and blind us The "I'm lost please come find me " us The " I haven't got time to make up my mind " us The rich and the poor us The virgin and whore us The "Please, I want more " us The night and the day us The "I'll do it my way " us The "I'll say what I want to say" us The " I'll lay with whom I want to lay" us The straight and the gay us The sinner and saint us The strong and the faint us The "I'm not really as dark as they all want to paint " us Who needs Jesus The Jesus Who sees us Who frees us to be us The we the He wants us to be , us The me and the you, us The Muslim and Jew us The chosen are few us The " Who the (bleep) are you to tell me what to do " us It's all in His name , us The different and same us The " I'm living with shame" us The "Who can I blame?" Us The wild and tame us The you and the I , us Who all live and die , us Who laugh 'til we cry, us The "Don't say Good-bye" us The " Why God , oh why?" Us We We need Jesus We need Jesus to see us We need Jesus to free us We need Jesus to help us to be us You and me We We need Jesus Critique is always welcome. "Iron sharpens iron" as they say. Thank you
  13. 1 point
    It was early in the morning. The sun was out, and the heat of the day had yet to start on this summer morning. I had my phone, and ear buds. I was planning to feed my self spiritually during a brisk walk. I had just started the sermon, and was listening to the introduction. I passed by a paved parking area. There are on the ground were two puzzle pieces. They looked like they belonged to a child puzzle that was about 50 to 100 pieces. I immediately thought, how disappointing. Some child will try to put together a puzzle only to find two pieces are missing, and the task cannot be completed. I soon forgot about the puzzle pieces as I quickly continued my walk, and the sermon began to dive deeper into biblical truth. What a great joy! The sun was shining, and the message was being received by my spirit. I felt God’s hand guiding me with the knowledge that was shared by the pastor. Time seemed enjoyable. I was not in a hurry to pass to the next item on my list, or was I bored withunfulfillment. It was just what my body, and spirit needed. I had turned around, and started walking back toward where I started halfway in the sermon. As the sermon was finishing, I was close to the parking lot again. As I was leaving, I saw another puzzle piece from the same two that were lost. It was a little farther away from the first two pieces that I saw. This time though, my thoughts were different. I am listening to this sermon, and finishing up taking in God’s word. God was showing me my spirit guidance. He was taking this sermon, His word, and applying it to my life. He was connecting it all like little puzzle pieces. I began to see what He was trying to teach,and show me. Maybe looking at these puzzle pieces was not about sadness. Instead they were about hope. He was showing me that I just had to connect them with God’s word, and spirit to understand what I was learning. God was giving me pieces to the puzzle this morning. It was all supposed to be connected, and not separately understood. In order to grow in God’s purpose for my life, and understand His ways, my spirit had to bring together the connections. I began my walk with sadness, and two puzzle pieces on the ground, and when I finished there was one more puzzle piece. That last piece with God’s spirit had turned my sadness to joy. God is connecting pieces for you, just like He was for me. There may have been sadness when you saw one or two pieces, He gave you. Wait on a couple of other pieces that God will show you, and joy will come to you too. Ah, Lord GOD! It is you who have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and by your outstretched arm! Nothing is too hard for you. Jeremiah 32:17
  14. 1 point
    A True Friend “Don’t ask me to leave you and turn back. Wherever you go, I will go; wherever you live, I will live. Your people will be my people, and your God will be my God. Wherever you die, I will die, and there I will be buried. May the Lord punish me severely if I allow anything but death to separate us. When Naomi saw that Ruth was determined to go with her, she said nothing more.” (Ruth 1:16:18). Some of my best memories as a child was my friends. Early on, I had a couple ride or die friends that were always there for me. That would always do anything for me. Travis Jeffers and Brian Gosnell. We were so young back then. Maybe 10 or 11. As you get older, you realize that very rarely you will ever have the kind of friendship with anyone that you had with a childhood friend. That is just a different kind of friendship right there. The sleepovers, the all-nighters on the old Sega Genesis 😊 those were the days. Reading this passage of Scripture brought back old memories of friends that I have not saw in years. I thought to myself, “Man, what a friend Ruth was.” It would be nice to have a genuine friend like that would it not? It is hard to find a true friend these days. This Scripture is so awesome for me because it shows me how we should be in our friendships with others. It shows me where I fail as a friend. Naomi tried to get Ruth to leave, but she was not hearing it. The original word for determined in verse 18 means – strength, firmness, and persistence. We could all use some of that in our lives, couldn’t we? Man, this just reminded me how quickly we give up on people. We give up on people so easily sometimes. All I know is if we were fixing to embark on a journey together, and I had just had the worst luck, the most of horrible days, and you told me to just go ahead and go home – ok see you pal! Be careful. Call me when you get there! You know what really stuck out to me? Isn’t our recovery journey a lot like that? Those whom we thought were our friends just bid us farewell. They pretty much write us off. Good luck pal hope you make it through your recovery. Most of them are not ready or willing to be by our side through it all! We all need a friend in our life that possesses a character like Ruth. Someone that will hold us accountable, always be there for us, and not give up on us when we give up on ourselves. Do you have a friend like that in your life? If you do, consider yourself extremely blessed. Call them or message them today and tell them how much you appreciate their friendship and everything that they have done for you. Even if you are like me, and it is an old childhood friend that you have not saw in years. Try and get in touch with them and see how they are doing. Talk about your memories together of the good old days. This could be life changing for you! We sometimes take friendship for granted. Having a true friend is like taking a coin into the pawn stars shop in Vegas and finding out it is worth 1 million dollars. You did not realize what you had! Be Encouraged, Chris Hope everyone has a Happy Father’s Day!
  15. 1 point
    “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another: just as I have loved you, you also are to love one another. By this all people will know that you are my disciples if you have love for one another” (John 13:34-35). Prayer Jesus, thank you so much for your Word. I am having a hard time concentrating this morning. My mind is drifting everywhere, and I just cannot focus on anything that I am trying to do. I still desperately desire to hear from you this morning and I want to draw close to you. But it seems that the enemy is trying ridiculously hard to pull me away today. We are not going to let that happen. I am going to keep fighting through it. In your name I pray – Amen! Reflections One of my 1st thoughts when I read this verse was; “Why does Jesus call this new? I thought we were always supposed to show love to others.” That is true, but as you read on, Jesus says, “Love one another: just as I have loved you.” Whoa! Jesus! Are you telling us that we must love each other in the same way that you have loved us? That is not humanly possible. I fail at this every single day. I fail at loving anyone like that – even myself. Last night at work, I definitely did not show a great Christian example of love to Sherry. I am not even capable of showing this kind of love to you Lord. I do not know if I will ever be able to do this. Jesus goes on to tell us in verse 35 that “By this (love), all people will know that you are my disciples.” Do you know how important this is Chris? Oh my gosh! I am deeply reminded of the importance of this. My anger and actions from work last night are reminding me now! Its as important as cutting the stove off when you are done cooking or turning the faucet to the tub off when it is full – except way more important than those two things. This is more important that burning your house down or getting water damage in your floors – trust me on this one! God allows the world to judge whether I am a disciple of Jesus by the way I behave toward other people. That is true! How many times have you looked at a Christian in a restaurant on a Sunday evening and said, “That is the rudest person I have ever saw.” Do you know how many of my friends in fast food have said that to me? They say, “I dread the Sunday church rush because those are some of the most hateful and rude people that we have to deal with!” That is so sad people. What is that saying to the world about God’s church? No wonder the gospel has struggled for the last 2,000 years and is still struggling today! We need to take Jesus seriously at his Words on this verse. Are we doing that? Apparently not! I know I have not been. There are many people that would say, “There is no way Chris is a disciple of Jesus Christ!” I have made a lot of mistakes, but thank goodness that Jesus loves me like he says he does! Can we love others like that? This passage challenges me because I cannot love like Jesus. I am usually only worried about myself and how I feel rather than others. But the closer I get to Jesus, and the more I understand His love, I can try to love better! The object of my affection at least shifts in that direction. I will still fall short, but the more I allow the love of God to change my life, the more I will allow that life changing love to shine on others. I am encouraged because Jesus loves me. He really loves me, and he loves you. He loves you so much that he died a horrible death, one that we could not even imagine going through – and we probably would not go through it for anyone at that! Especially someone that mistreated us as we have mistreated him. I can see the love of Jesus changing my life. I mean, I still mess up, but I am making progress. He is working on my heart. My actions do not completely line up yet because I still got a lot of garbage in my mind, but He is helping me with that as well. He loves us! If you are having a bad day today, remember that – He loves you! Let that love change your life, and you will change the lives of others! Application Your application can be totally different than mine. This is what I felt like I needed to do through this Scripture. God may lead you in a totally different direction – and that is ok. 1. I am going to go out of my way today for someone other than myself. 2. You never know what someone else is going through. I am going to make it a point to say kind gestures to at least five people today. And hopefully make that a daily habit. Prayer Jesus thank you so much for your Word. Thank you for opening my eyes and my heart to your Word, despite the enemy trying to distract me this morning. I want nothing more than to know you. That is what I long for. I have tried to replace you with drugs, alcohol, and sex, but that never worked. The part of my heart that has been empty was missing you. You are the only one that can fill that space. I am going to struggle with my applications, but I ask that you remind me when I do of your great love. You loved me when I was a complete jerk and treated you horribly. And you still do! Help me respond to everyone in love and not anger. By this, all people will know that I am your disciple and maybe they will want to know you to! In Jesus Name – Amen!
  16. 1 point
    The body of Christ is moving. Blessed are those who are members of His body. It is more blessed for those who realize this movement. For those who've been praying and putting to good use whatever God has given, well, what more can we say. Let us pray that in God's Love and mercy, more will be grafted in, in Jesus name.
  17. 1 point
    I know you’re with me on this one. Hope in times of despair sounds impossible. Yes, when life terms are unbearable, emotional turmoil is a constant struggle. This unwanted distress brings forth problems reserved for Christ’s intervention. Today, many people are protesting for several reasons. Most of their actions are peaceful, but others use violence to incite riots. And using physical force for victims of injustice frighten others causing an atmosphere of despair. Other circumstances leading to discouragement are death of a loved one, financial hardship, unemployment, homelessness, and chronic illness. Those create a mindset of impending doom. What is hope? In the carnal world its approach to every life crisis is temporary and the future holds a brighter outcome. But in God’s kingdom it’s knowing in Christ our place in eternity is heaven (John 14:2). This places our focus on God and not here on earth. I think you’ll agree with me when I say people who disbelieve God live in hopelessness. But they’re blinded to their eternal anguish and rely on their individual strength to move pass despair. Because they reject Christ, their resolutions are short-lived. Here’s something we both can agree on is Christ’s hope isn’t from this world but of heaven. Yes, Jesus promises an everlasting hope to God’s chosen people. Amid a world entangled with wickedness, this spiritual truth makes our lives worth living. Remember, we live for Christ and God designed hope as an assurance for our eternal future (Jeremiah 29:11). The interesting part of Jesus’s hope is its power over despair. Tapping into Christ’s strength overtakes the hardship caused by original sin (Genesis 3:16-19) but sometimes it takes perseverance to discover God’s hope. The key that unlocks Christian hope is prayer. Here’s why that’s important. Because prayer is the backbone to Christian faith. It’s the way I connect with God and the powerful impact it has in changing my spirit. As the result of prayer, I find solutions to my problems. As seen, finding hope in times of despair is possible with the Holy Spirit. I encourage you to continue seeking God. Believe me, it’s worth the effort. Trust in God and you’ll find an abundance of spiritual confidence. How do you find hope?
  18. 1 point
    “I delight greatly in the Lord; my soul rejoices in my God. For he has clothed me with garments of salvation and arrayed me in a robe of his righteousness…” (Isaiah 61:10, NIV). There’s a man in my town. I drive past him on a regular basis, too uncomfortable to stop and have an actual conversation. He’s rough looking, unshaved, with skin worn and darkened from many hours in the sun. He appears beaten down and tired from the many miles he’s paced on this particular stretch of road. I imagine he has a story, that he would happily share, if only I would stop and listen, but I have places to go and people to see, who, quite honestly, I’d much rather spend my time with. The man is easy to spot – perhaps you’ve seen him as well – as he adorns himself with two wooden signs, one in front and one behind, tied together with two strands of rope that wear heavily upon his shoulders. The signs contain a crudely handwritten message that I can’t quite make out. He’s a walking billboard, but the only advertisement he’s promoting is his dire predicament. I really should stop, but I’m in a hurry. I’m late for work and people are depending on me. Maybe tomorrow I’ll have the time for a conversation, but if I do, I hope it will be brief and not too uncomfortable. I’ll die if someone sees me talking to this guy! As I drive by, I think for a few more moments about the man. His entire identity seems to be tied to this sign, tied to his body. I wish he could see his real self-worth, that he is loved by God, that he is forgiven, that he doesn’t need to be burdened by his past, his sin, or this sign. Rather, he has been clothed in righteousness by a God who loves him and a Savior who bore a cross for him. These are the words the man needs to hear. And maybe I’m the one who needs to tell him. But today, I am pretty busy. Maybe I’ll stop tomorrow or the next day. That’s what I’ll do.
  19. 1 point
    We have to be careful with our actions verses are words reason I say that because your actions speaks volumes. now I am not saying not use your voice to promote peace, I am saying stop and fight with shield of faith protest peacefully. freedom of speech we have the right to lift every voice. But what we have realize that God can still turn this all around. He is master of all good and bad nothing happens unless says so. the system was created for us to fail for us be so easily distracted make up excuses . Now we have no excuses we either bow down right now cause his word said every knee shall bow every tongue shall confess. people are now being forced to choose. people are repenting coming to knowledge of who God is. wanting to know him and serve him that is a part of the plan bring people back to heart of worship. their is still hope have faith in God rise up be the solution not problem. come together seek justice love and peace as one. enough is enough its time for a change.
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