Catch

Leave a comment

I was working for one of my clients today, and he came out to tell me he had to head into town for a few things. He is in his 80’s and has been struggling health-wise for some time. The major problem he has been dealing with is an infection in his foot that he has had surgery for three times but it keeps coming back, as well as major wrist pain. I said, “John, can I ask you a question that may sound weird coming from your landscaper?" He said "Sure." I told him that I believe in the healing power of the Holy Spirit and that I feel like God wants to give him a healing touch. I asked if I could pray for him, and he agreed. So I said a quick, to-the-point prayer, opened my eyes and he was crying as he was just ripping that brace off of his wrist. "Steve, for the first time in more then two years I am pain free. I am going to be able to play catch with my grandsons on Thanksgiving and everyone is going to want to know what happened." Then he said, "When you prayed, you said Daddy God. I have never in all of my years heard that, or thought of God in that way." So I had the privilege of sharing a little with him as God as Daddy God and how He loves us.

Submitted by Steve

Advertisements

A New Creation

Leave a comment

I thought God told me to get the baptism ready because people are going to get baptized. So I was ready this Sunday for people to say they wanted to. Both services went by and no one said anything. I had asked Rolph, our custodian, to clean it for this very reason. This morning I got a call from Scott and Tanya and they said they had a friend who wanted to get baptized. The water was freezing but it was so encouraging at the same time. Someone became a new creation at the church this morning and God is well pleased.

Submitted by Adam Bower

Feed My Sheep

Leave a comment

I have learned a valuable secret: to love is the most potent of all gifts. Imagine, if you will, standing beside Jesus performing a miracle, and after he is finished he turns to you to find you in total awe. He speaks these words: "Why do you stand here marveling at what you see me do? Do you not know that if you have faith as small as a mustard seed you may say to the mountain move and it shall be moved?" This is all the license required to do tremendous acts of love, this is the game change that exceeds all worldly understanding.

My journey of love began with a single proposition. If you love me feed my sheep. People are really hungry, not just for food and shelter but hungry to know love. Many have given up, we do not see them, they reside in the shadows, broken, familiar with rejection, resigned of hope and full with sorrows. Such was the condition of our latest endeavor. She had served her nation but time slows even the greatest of athletes. The light of those days of glory has dimmed, the body now broken, the sacrifices forgotten, here stood the veteran soldier, abandoned and alone for a decade. Trapped in one room of a four bedroom house, helpless and now greatly offended, sorrow begins to depress the spirit sending the mind and the body into dark places. We are sent unto such for the purpose of reconciliation with signs and wonders. We have loved her from the beginning, in all her mess we have loved her. We labor on her behalf where it makes no sense to her we should be so concerned. We shall make change, she shall know it in her heart and give praise and honor to the God that did not abandon her. She shall be made whole. Do you love me? Then feed my sheep.

Submitted by Randy

Saved By Grace

Leave a comment

Adam’s message today slammed the coffin lid down on some old religion stuff that God has been illuminating for me. Lord, just give me Christianity 101 on this side of eternity, please. Thanks so much (Adam/Brian) for being the vessels you are!

I’ve made a decision today about something that God has been working on in me for the past few weeks. I am going to begin existing in my “new creation” status.

As Christians we often say, with a degree of glibness; “I’m just a sinner saved by Grace!”
This is a statement that is ultimately true, with two antithetical perspectives, both true, one past and one present tense. This statement is so frequently used that it has even become a default response for many, in lieu of simply receiving a compliment. Someone might say, “Your ministry/attitude/preaching/ etc. is such an encouragement to me,” and the humble response can be “I’m just a sinner saved by Grace!” This is such a conditioned response that sometimes, oddly, those of us born and raised above the Mason-Dixon line might even say it in a southern dialect! (LOL! …….what in the world is that all about?)

The question is: if both halves of this statement are true, which half are we declaring over ourselves?

This analogy came to me (if you have never undergone an appendectomy, not to worry. It’s just an analogy!): To say, “I’m a sinner saved by Grace” is true…in the same way that it is true to say, “I had appendicitis, and my appendix was removed (not simply medicated….removed) therefore, I no longer have to ever worry about appendicitis.”
I have not lived the “sinner saved by Grace” concept in that way at all, and realize now fully that by constantly affirming this sin nature, we manifest……sin! Conversely, by constantly affirming our “new creation” status, we manifest the fruit of the Spirit. No striving required. (Proverbs 23:7 “….as a man thinketh in his heart, so he is.”)

I used to think of our paradoxical sinner/beloved child designation as the opposite sides of a coin. Always coexisting, yet mutually exclusive, impossible to behold simultaneously, and incapable of manifesting simultaneously. I now see that this is not true, as it removes the words "you are" from “a new creation”, and inverts our familiar quotation by saying; “You are saved by Grave….but you’re nonetheless a sinner.” The truth is, what we’ll call the “tails” side of the coin (sinful nature) is no longer coexisting with the “heads” side… the tails side is dead! This in no way encourages apathy toward sin, nor should it evoke a false sense of immunity to it, as sin will always “come knocking”. Instead it does the exact opposite by reminding us that we are a new creation, and although sin and Satan are indeed real, they are no more than a snarling dog on an unbreakable chain, incapable of touching those who decide to avoid them. Sin becomes uninteresting. In fact, it requires a willing effort on our part to cross the clear-cut borderline, provided by the Holy Spirit, in order to indulge them.

I’m no longer a “sinner saved by Grace”…………….I’m just “saved by Grace”

Submitted by Kirk Reese

Exciting Being A Christian

Leave a comment

Last night one of my old friends that currently serves in the military came over to visit from North Carolina. As we were sitting in my living room talking he began to explain to me how he has to have back surgery in April because his back has a curve that is excessive. I asked him if it hurts at all and he told me it does, always. We continued talking for a while and eventually I found myself telling him about how exciting it is being a Christian. Our conversation eventually boiled down and he needed to leave to catch up with someone for dinner, but on his way out he mentioned his back again. So I asked again, "does it hurt right now?" "Yes." "How bad?" I asked. "Well on a scale of one to ten its about an eleven." "Can I pray for you?" Very quickly he replied, "Yes please do." So we prayed and then I asked how it felt. He moved around a little in a way to test it out, then he looked at me and said, "Well it’s like tingling where it used to hurt." Without hesitation I said, "lets pray again, God is moving in your body and you are being healed right now." So we prayed again. This time he moved around after the prayer to test it out and as he moved he began to smile. "It doesn’t hurt," he proclaimed. Thank you father God for the promise of healing. My friend was so shocked by the healing that even after he left my house he continued to text me and tell me how amazing that was. It’s only God, brother man.

Submitted by Zach Bear

God’s Power

Leave a comment

At work the other day, one of my old co-workers that had been laid off returned. We began working, and I was sort of in charge of training him on the specific task. As we started our physically demanding job, I noticed that he didn’t seem up to par. As I walked toward him I said, "everything going good?" He replied, "In a lot of pain." I asked why. He began to tell me that while he was laid off he pulled something in his back and it still really hurt. As we talked I said, "How bad is the pain?" He answered with, "On a scale of one to ten, ten being worst, it is about a fourteen." "Wow, that’s a lot," I replied. Then he continued to tell me how he went to the doctor and he said it was a pulled muscle and how they gave him Vicodin and muscle relaxers but that they just didn’t cut it. I asked him then, "so could I pray for you?" "Sure if you think that will work." I put my hand on his back and prayed for him right in the middle of the shop then I looked at him and asked how it felt. He was a little hesitant. I said to him don’t lie to make me feel good, this isn’t for me, its for you. If it still hurts, tell me. He shook his head, “yes it still really hurts,” he said. I told him that I was going to continue to pray for him silently today and through the week and may lay hands on him and pray again. “Ok,” he replied. “Thank you.” I know he did not instantly get healed, but I thank God for the opportunity to even pray for him. I thank God that He opened his eyes to God’s power, so much so that my co-worker began to ask about it. So that then gave me an opportunity to share some awesome testimonies of how great God is. Thank you Father God.

Submitted by Zach Bear

Forgiveness

Leave a comment

When I was younger and still very unsure of who God was and is today, I spent much of my days in high school making fun of people that I felt were different than normal. I specifically remember two different cases that happened to get me into some trouble. As I came to realize more fully who God is and the heart that He has not only for me but for everyone, I would feel sad for those people I made fun of. They would randomly pop into my head, and I would right away feel the need to make up for what I did. One problem though, I didn’t know where any of them lived. So I would just let that thought go and say God you know that I want their forgiveness, help them to have forgiven me already in their heart.

Well Saturday morning my wife and I went to church to get our picture taken for the church directory. We walked in, sat down and started talking to some families we know. The photographer came out of the room to get the next family, which was not us, and my heart sank. The photographer just happened to be somebody that I went to high school with. Not only did I go to high school with him but we knew each other, in a bad way. Like I said earlier this was one of the people I spent a lot of time making fun of. I told Brittany about the situation and had lots of time to think about what I was going to do. God kept telling me this is your time to get it off. He will forgive you, just get it out there. So after a while the photographer that I knew came to the table to get his next family. The people at the table said next is Zach and Brittany. He replied, "oh I know, I went to high school with him." Instantly I felt heartbroken and as soon as we walked into the room I said to him, "Hey I’m really sorry about how I acted in high school, I just didn’t understand who I was, but I’m different now." Without any hesitation he replied, "Oh that’s fine we all change." The rest of the time there was great and I love how God gave me that opportunity to make that up to him.

Submitted by Zachery Bear

Older Entries