A New Adventure is at hand

Today is the official start of my position of Director of the Women and Children’s Shelter in my home town Four years ago I left a place with a similar position and at the time I thought I would be there forever. God saw differently, which is pretty amazing because I never thought I would be here again. I am nervously excited for this opportunity to serve in this capacity of ministry, the key word is ministry. I am reminded of a story of my Dad and I coming to the men’s mission, which is all they had at the time and ministering in a chapel service here. I remember afterwards praying with a man with my father. I remember feeling very drawn to those who were in poverty and experiencing homelessness. It left an imprint on my life. In my previous job I was the Director of Supportive Housing and would assist those who were experiencing homelessness and needed assistance with getting their own place.  One piece was missing… It was the part where you could actually deal with condition of the heart and having Jesus in the conversation, even thou I would approach it with some clients, there wasn’t a lot of freedom to so. I know now that where I am at I am free to include that conversation and it feels very full filling to be able to promote the gospel in the work that we do. I love telling how Jesus is the answer to everything in our lives.  I am excited about promoting that in all that I do. Praise God for his restoration in all things.

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The Issue Is…………..

She woke up that morning and just knew. What is it that she knew?  I have been trying to get inside this situation with this woman in the Bible for a while now. What was she thinking that morning as she rose to get ready? What was her plan? Did she travel alone? You know those nights before you are going to deal with the issue? The restless sleep. The thoughts that won’t turn off. I imagine all of these things in this situation but there really isn’t that much stated about her except that she knew she had an issue and Jesus was the cure.

The Bible tells us that there was a  woman who had an issue, and that  issue was blood that had continued to flow for 12 years. She had exhausted every option she could think of. Financially she could not deal with this issue anymore. This issue in her mind could only be dealt with by seeing Jesus. How many times in our life do we just exhaust all the human avenues and then go to Jesus? Well this is what she had done. Maybe she had just heard about Jesus and what other miracles he had done. Whatever her knowledge of Him it was enough for her to move towards Him to be healed and know that by touching Him it would be so.

In Luke 8:43-48  it  states that this woman was exhausted in every way, financially for sure but I think emotionally, mentally and spiritually as well and she knew that Jesus was coming to town and she knew only one thing she had to get there to see Him, to touch him to make her whole. She was driven and purposeful for her trip to town that day. She was on a mission and nothing was going to get in her way not even overwhelming crowds.

Jesus was on a journey that day as well. He was on his way to Jarrius’s house because he had approach Jesus with his issue. His issue was his daughter who was ill and he knew that Jesus was they only way his daughter would be healed.

So we have Jesus on his way to town heal a man’s daughter due to the father’s faith and the woman with the issue of blood coming to town to  touch Jesus to be healed by her faith. . Two lives were going to be touched that day, on the same day.

It is not stated how far the woman had to walk to get to town. But remember she is ill and is walking upon her own to town. When she arrives she sees the massive crowds and her resolve does not detour her. She is moving up and down, weaving through the crowd and there just ahead of her she sees Him. She reaches out. I picture her stretching out her arm to just grab the him of His garment not even touching Him. At that point of contact she was cured. The Bible states in Luke 8:44, “her flow of blood ceased.” It stopped, it was no more a problem.  The next thing that happens is that Jesus knowing that someone had touched Him turns and asks who it was. Even though there were a multitude of people around Him and His disciples could not even figure out who it was. Now at that point I imagine she just wanted to turn and go home, but Jesus was going to use this, as He used all miracles, to glorify God in a way that would speak to all these people who were present to hear and see.

I imagine the crowd parting a bit and the women is there all by herself. At that point she knew she was singled out.  It states in Luke 4:47, “And when the woman saw that she had not escaped notice, she came up trembling, and falling down before Him, She declared in the presence of all the people for what reason she had touched Him, and how she had been instantly healed.” .  She was trembling, She did not know what was going to happen or what Jesus was going to say to her. So she fell in front of him and states it was me. All the people were watching and listening, waiting to see what Jesus was going to do. She began her story of her issue and how getting to town that day was her only chance to be  made whole. Never underestimate your story or your testimony. People are affected by it , moved by it, changed by it. This was, I assume, not an easy story to tell about herself. It was personal, not something that you would share, but in this instance it became an issue that was revealed and  made public and used to bring glory to the Father in Heaven.

Jesus states to her it is your faith that has made you whole, go now and live in peace. She woke up ill and she would now journey home whole and go to bed tonight with peace. What a difference a day makes. Not even a day but an instance in the day. Think about that in an instance she was cured. All those years of illness gone!

Whatever your issue is Jesus has the answer. He has the solution to what ales you. Come to Him with the thing that binds you, burdens you and He will give you rest and peace if you give it to Him. But you have to give it to Him. You have to move towards Him. You must brave the crowds and reach out and touch Him for He is the Life giver and sustain-er. Jesus stated in John 14:6 I am  the way, the truth, and the life, and no man comes to the Father but by me. The woman with the issue knew in her heart that Jesus was her cure. There was none other that was going to cure her. She fell at His feet and proclaimed before the crowd , yes it was me who touched you and now I am made whole. Yes it was me that came knowing that I had to touch the hem of your garment to be healed. Yes it was me who came, and each time she proclaimed it I hear it getting stronger in volume and I will tell the of the the miracle for as long as live… Yes it was me and I came to be made whole.

Blessings to you till next time.

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Influence? Me?

“Let no man imagine that he has no influence” Henry George. I use to think that you could just live your life and not have it influence the order of things. This is not true. Even the most isolated person’s actions can influence.

The definition of influence according to the dictionary is: As a noun it states that influence is the capacity to have an effect on the character development , or behavior of someone or something. or the effect itself. As a verb it states have influence on. affect, have an impact on, impact. determine, guide, control, shape. govern decide. Either as a noun or a verb the influence generates results that are both positive and negative. Another definition states,”the capacity or power of persons or things to be a compelling force on or produce effects on the actions, behavior, opinions,etc., of others”

What shall my influence be? Why should I be held to a standard of influence in my daily walk with Christ?  In Proverbs  20:11 it states ,” Even a child is known by his actions”. We all can remember as children who the influence rs of bad behavior or good behavior were and that if we chose to be influence rs of bad behavior how our parents would influence us to chose differently. I am sure we can all remember those times.

Have I always been a good influence? No. I have made bad decisions, done wrong things, hurt people by word or deed. I many times had to undo these things in my life. There are still things I need to undo.

I want to be better at influence. I want to have my life speak influence. I desire to be a person that God can use to influence others to know Him and follow Him. I am not always the best example and feel inadequate at times. God will always qualify the called. We all have a determined purpose and we are all called to share Him with others. He has called us to a life of influence in every area not just the ones we pick and choose.

What impact or effect will I have? How will I be a compelling force or produce effects on the actions, behavior or opinions of others? Jesus did this masterfully. He always had a challenge to those who would come and confront him. He would challenge their influence on the people they served. Lets face it He challenged everything they brought to Him. He always knew just how to approach their thinking. It must have been maddening for them to always be the one walking away scratching their head saying,” Okay how did He do that?” I can only imagine how increasingly frustrating it was for them. Hence the reason they sought to kill Him. Jesus influenced change but He did it in a way that caused others to make choices for change. To think differently to the point that it influenced their choice to follow after Him. Jesus lived His influence out each day and every day someone was changed. That’s what I want. To live out my influence each day so that it will speak the effectual challenge of change to those who see it. This is my prayer.

 

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Am I Ready?

It has been said,” A man with an argument is no match for a man with an experience.” As I read that statement it resonated within me Yes! this is so true. If I have experienced the goodness of God, the provision of God, the forgiveness of God, and the overwhelming undeserving grace and mercy of God, then no argument against these things will stand. If I have firsthand experiential knowledge and it is life changing how can it be dispelled.

This morning I was reading out of the book “Jesus Freaks” by DC Talk and all the stories of the Martyrs that I read had this equation in it. These people had experienced Jesus they knew that they knew who He was and what he came for. The mission was clear to them. Tell People about Christ at whatever cost, even torture and even death. As I read these stories of these brave men and women I asked myself, “Am I ready?” even unto death. Is this how I live my daily Christian walk out. While it is true we do not live in a country that demands us to renounce our faith we still have to chose to follow Christ even unto death because truthfully there could come a day when death will be required. The events at Columbine High School were such a time. Do you believe in Christ a shooter asked? What would your answer be truthfully. It could happen. It may happen. When it does I want to be ready to stand tall with a resounding Yes! I don’t want to shrink into a pile of goo and not stand up for Christ. I want to be among those who stand for Him. This is what I want to do with all my heart. So did Peter from the Bible. Will I stand or deny? Will I run or stay? Will overwhelming fear grip me to the point I cannot stand? These questions all rush around in my head and heart. When I read the stories of those who stood I see that something supernatural is at work in them as they endure torture or death. Some continued to preach Christ until death silenced them. They took there last dying breath to tell someone about Christ. They are so motivated and moved by the message that they have no fear. “NO FEAR” remember the T-Shirt?

As I go into 2017 I want to be better at following and living my life for Christ and yes even unto death. Paul states,” To live is Christ to die is gain.”. I want  Jesus to be the most important thing in my life and the relationship I have with Him so that all other things in my life will follow because of that relationship.  So are you ready? I so want to be ready. That is my heart. Give me the strength I need Oh Lord to do and be everything you want be to be. Let your light so shine before men that You is all they see.

 

 

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Only Jesus Could Heal Her

I often think of the woman in the Bible who had the issue of blood. I think of her defeat after seeing so many doctors and how it must of felt not to know how she would overcome this condition, but then there was Jesus. She had become aware of Him and the miracles that he had performed. She had been following his ministry . She was becoming more aware of the fact that if she could get to Jesus she would be able to overcome this disease that was plaguing her for so many years of her life. It was the day that Jesus was coming to her town and she knew she had to get to Him some how some way. The crowds were going to be huge but this did not dampen her resolve. That morning she  could smell hope in the air and it motivated her to get up while even in pain to dress and get ready to go to town. As she left her home she whispered a prayer and knew that if she could just get close enough she would be healed. She started off on her walk to town. Every step was filled with so much pain but she just had to make it to the crowd that was signaling that Jesus was there. As she pushed her way through the crowd she could see the back of Jesus’s head. Her heart beat at a very fast pace as she approached Him. She though if I could just catch the hem of His garment.  Just the Hem I would be healed.  She continued to push her way forward and there it was the hem of Jesus’s garment. She reached down and grabbed the hem. She closed her eyes and prayed, “Heal Me”.  As she touched Him He turned and asked who had touched Him….She responded to him saying it was I….You are healed. Those words spoke life into her life and she knew it was true.                                                                                                                                                                                                                                                Today if you question whether it can happen to you it can. Reach out in faith, touch Him and He will give you  what you need. He sees your heart and is always concerned with what concerns you..Every tear and every pain that you have gone through He will use it to the fullest extent of its meaning to help someone else who is hurting. He will make it mean something good. He always will….He never fails…..Never!!!!

 

 

 

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