Holy Week Devotional Thoughts: Darkness

Suffering stopped for Jesus today as His broken body gave out. Jesus was human. His followers were devastated, confused, grieving, hiding. This wasn’t what was supposed to happen in their minds even though Jesus had tried to prepare them. We look at the disciples like they were crazy acting like they did because we know the full story.

We look even worse than the disciples because we know the full story but sometimes live like it’s not true.

If I believe it’s true I strive for Kingdom things. My suffering comes because I live as a citizen of God’s Kingdom and not what life here requires or values.

Today darkness overcomes because Light Is gone. I too have moments of darkness. Soon the earth will shake, the veil will be torn and the opportunity to have a relationship with the Living God will present itself.

There’s no resurrection without suffering.

God sees our suffering. God cares far beyond what we can imagine.

Step into the Light of the living God today. Let go of darkness. It doesn’t love you. It will ravage you just like it did Jesus. We cannot purge darkness alone but only after reaching out to God.

The main goal of darkness is to keep us from God so we are ineffective, disbelieving, numb, apathetic and complacent. Make your move today from darkness to Light through this simple prayer expressing 3 things to God:

1). I’m sorry – confess your sins and ask for forgiveness.
2). Thank You – for sending Your Son Jesus to pay for my sins. I accept this beautiful gift.
3). Please – please take my life, guide my life, I give it to You.

This is the beginning of transformation. Do not be afraid. You’ll wish you’d done it before now. That’s what everyone says on the other side.

 

Signing Up to Get Your Heart Broken, This is Ministry

Some of our kids are dead:  gang shootings, domestic violence, a hit and run at night where he was left for dead like he was trash.

Some of our kids are in jail:  gangs, violence, drugs, theft, fraud.

Some of our kids are in foster care: Mom chose her sex offender boyfriend over her children, domestic violence, addiction.

Some of our kids we’ve lost contact with, they moved away out from under our wing.

Some of our kids had a baby while they too were just a baby.

One 5 year old told me he has 5 daddies and is getting a new Mexican daddy.  “Aren’t I lucky?”

 

ALL of our kids heard the Gospel from us.

It is our greatest gift to them: The Gospel Message.

The Greatest Hope of all.

The one thing we know we can stand on, trust, hang our lives upon: The Gospel.

 

God is good all the time.

Unwavering,

Solid,

Overwhelming Love, the kind that loves even when we fail.

 

Humans are unfaithful.

Humans are sinful.

Humans are selfish.

Humans want to be God.

 

How can dirty mankind come together with a Holy, unblemished God?

This seems impossible, but God did it!

God provided a way.  Why?   He loves.

He sacrificed Himself, He died, He arose on the third day, He heals, He restores, He guides and directs.   He can set us FREE.

 

The Gospel is alive and will never die.

May we never keep it to ourselves!

May the seeds we share grow into beauty that will spread out other seeds that will grow too.

To God be the glory!

 

Our children pray for the salvation of their parents.

Our children pray their families will go back to the way they were before all the bad things happened.

Our children pray for a parent in jail.

Our children pray they can save their mom from killing herself.

Our children pray for us, they thank God for us.  They thank God for all He has done for them.

 

Some of our kids graduated high school!

Some of our kids are working and supporting themselves.

Some of our kids are in college.

One did his senior project on how to share the Gospel.

One plays football for a well-known college campus on full scholarship.

One is married, has children and attends church regularly.

One is headed to Hawaii in the Marines and asked for prayer to live out his faith in the military.

One wrote us a note thanking us for laying the foundation for him to find Jesus Christ.  He expressed his faith has brought him great joy.

Signing up to get your heart broken:  It’s what Jesus did. Ministry does this to us too.

All experiences cited in this poem are fruits of Multi-Housing Ministries of Asheboro that was birthed in 1997.

 

 

 

 

Guidelines for Helping Others Part 2: Do’s and Don’ts

Once I become more deeply involved in helping people I have discovered these do’s and don’ts to be helpful and I hope they can help you too.  These principles are especially helpful when we are involved helping family members and those we already know and have a relationship with as well.  Creating boundaries for us with loved ones is extra challenging because we might have to undo some of what we have done.

  1. Never do for someone what they can do for themselves. It’s ok to do something with someone, but not “for” them.  It’s degrading to make a phone call for someone for example when they’re perfectly able to do that on their own.  It’s also degrading to treat people like they cannot do anything.
  2. Always deepen their community and yours. I’ve learned that many people who beg have no positive community in their lives.  Most don’t even know any successful people so they are operating out of what they know.  When someone approaches us it’s an opportunity to learn from that person’s life and to help connect them to a positive group that can empower them to make progress.
  3. Get rid of your “God Complex.” A God complex is a paternalistic attitude that I know it all and I’m here to teach and lead this person in the way I think is right for them.  The Bible is clear that we are no better than the person asking us for money.  If in my mind I’m thinking I’m better than this person or if I think I have great skills and I can tell this person what to do, I’ve ruined any chance of having a transformational relationship with them.  If I’m thinking about them in a degrading way and I need to repent of this attitude.  I can learn from this person’s story and share my own story with them and God can do amazing things when I humble myself and love someone I just met.
  4. Realize we are all lacking.  I have things I lack too. The richest person in the world still has issues in their life.  We all lack something and we all have weaknesses.  Share what you’re lacking with a person experiencing financial poverty and you might discover that person can help you in your own weaknesses whether it be that you lack forgiveness, good health, intimacy or any other thing.  God has a way of connecting us all together towards healing.
  5. Beware of “feelings.” Many have shared with me how good they feel while on a mission trip that they are helping someone or doing something significant.  This is a self-serving, narcissistic reason to go on mission or help someone.  Sometimes the very thing we feel like doing is the thing that can cause the most damage to someone else.  As Christians we go on mission to serve people so we can share the Gospel message, not so we can “feel good” about ourselves.  That would be in essence using people so we can have a good feeling.

In part three I’ll share a wonderful strategy we have utilized to help people who consider themselves at rock bottom.  This is a long process but it can work!  Stay tuned for Part 3!

 

You Say, “I’m Pro Life,” But Are You REALLY?

I’m praying for those who have aborted a child as I cannot even imagine the pain this political season brings to them. Some who have aborted regret their decision later and this pain can linger for years and years. It’s a pain that isn’t spoken of except in the utmost of confidential situations like with a pastor or therapist. This can even be painful for men too, but our culture doesn’t seem to acknowledge this. I’m sure opening social media and seeing the recent reactions to NY decisions is haunting.

I am Pro Life. For me this isn’t just a belief but something I put into action to care for the orphan or displaced child.  When it comes down to it, it’s our actions that truly communicate what we believe.  This belief is also what causes me to pray for those who I know are suffering because of political posts if they have aborted and regret it.  To me, being Pro Life is respecting for and caring for ALL humans; it’s not just about abortion.  Pro Life means we value life from the beginning all the way until the end!

QUESTION: If you are Pro Life are you just opinionated, or does this belief affect your lifestyle? Does it affect your wallet? Who are you caring for that’s connected to this political issue? Posting an opinion on social media doesn’t change the world but caring for others does. What if every person who has shared a rant on here was actively helping out?

If you’re in need of some ideas on how to help or live out a Pro Life belief here’s a few ideas:

Good Pro Life responses are:

  • Donate to your local Pro Life center
  • Support a group home/orphanage
  • Take care of even just one displaced child through foster care or adoption
  • Support a foster parent, adoptive parent
  • Become a Guardian ad Litem and advocate for children in court
  • Be sensitive to others when you post on social media (pause and ask yourself about ALL the people an issue affects before you post.  Most rash posting is done in anger and can be causing more harm in our society than good.)
  • Care for the aging
  • Care for the disabled, mental and/or physical
  • Care for those who have made mistakes and are in prison
  • Care for the addict

We truly believe that which we live out. What do your actions say you believe?  What if we looked at Pro Life issues holistically like I’m suggesting here?

Yes, I’m aware this is my rant too… I just pray my words, efforts and lifestyle can lead others into action, the kind that really changes the world.

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