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God values YOU

One person does not define you.
Five people don’t define you.
People don’t define you, God does.
Jesus defines who you are, He directs who you are.
Look at your life through the eyes of the man on the cross, the man walking out of the tomb, God sitting on His throne. If He was willing to die for you, the you who you are right now, then what person has earned the right to try and judge you? If God loves you enough to give up everything for you, then isn’t that enough to show you your value? Because you do have value! You right now reading this, God wants you to know that you have value and are valued by Him.
People don’t define you, God does.

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Somehow

Jesus is the God of somehow.

Somehow the disease vanished, somehow the pain is gone, somehow they got the job, somehow they survived it, somehow it was all okay.
Jesus is the God of the amazing and unexplainable, the things that happen that don’t make sense- the impossible. When the doctor says, “I don’t know how, but the colitis is gone” -that’s God. When the police say, “there is no reason they should have survived that accident” -that’s God. When the addict says, “I don’t know how but I managed to turn away from my addiction”- that’s God.
God is the God of the unexplained.
He doesn’t prevent suffering all the time, sometimes He let’s us go through something that we need Him to help us through or rescue us from so that we acknowledge His wonders. You may say, “what about when God doesn’t heal or rescue?” That is a painful but fair question, sometimes God’s miracle is simply being sustained through suffering or trial. I know that for some that isn’t good enough, but when you have God the burden is lifted. That doesn’t mean that it is gone, that means that it is raised so that you can keep walking. Someday, somehow God will end the pain, and when He does you will probably say, “somehow, I’m still okay.”
Somehow she kept her faith.
Somehow she persevered.   
Somehow she held on to Jesus so tight that she feared at times her hands would give up, but she kept on and saw her redemption.

I know many of you are in the pain moments right now and I would like to take a minute to pray for your somehow moment.
Dear Jesus we ask in your name that you will touch every person who is in pain right now oh, that you will touch them and heal them from there pain and suffering whether it is physical and emotional, psychological, whether it is an outside suffering that is plaguing them or an internal suffering. In their families or in their bodies or in their daily lives. Jesus whatever the painful is help please we ask, and give these people who you love their somehow moments, their moment of ‘somehow I made it through’, ‘somehow I was delivered’, ‘somehow it’s all okay’ because somehow you always manage to work things out for our good even if we can’t see it from where we stand now, we ask these things in your name of Jesus, Amen.

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Gain through giving?

I once heard it said, that the reason we give so much up in our lives for other people is because they are what we leave behind when we are gone, through them our lives continue. It sounds a little strange until you think about it. When I mention a ‘but God’ moment, it’s my poppa speaking through me, when I struggle and find myself putting scripture in my shoes so all day I am standing on the word of God, that’s my nana. Those who are gone leave their legacy in us, and if they hadn’t taken the time and effort to teach me, serve me and be with me I might not have the strength that their words gave me. Nana is gone to Heaven but she still lives and guides and teaches through all the people she put effort into. We live in a ‘serve yourself first and then you will have the strength to serve others’ theory in this world, even evangelist speakers have said this once in awhile, and not that serving yourself is wrong, but if the only one you serve is yourself then that is wrong. Jesus didn’t say ‘love yourself, that is the greatest commandment,’ He said ‘love the Lord your God, and your neighbour as yourself.’ If all we ever do is serve us we miss out on the true Joy of serving others and through serving others serving God. Our joy comes from fellowship with Christ, you cannot serve yourself only and have fellowship with others. This sounds really discouraging I know, but I’m not saying drop everything and give up all your time for others, I mean we should actively aim and strive to be servants. If you want to spend a day sitting on the couch watching TV that’s fine, but if while sitting on that couch somebody calls you in need and you refuse to go because you’re busy taking care of yourself isn’t that wrong? As in all things there’s a balance, you can’t only serve others because you’ll hit burnout, but you can’t only serve yourself because that’s not how Christians Act. It always comes back to the old adage, what would Jesus do? Would he say no cuz he was too busy taking care of himself? Or would He go to help those in need? I guess that’s a dumb question, considering the answer is so obvious.

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Drowning in God

There are times when my Faith makes me feel like I could walk out to Jesus on the waves without a doubt, and there are times when my fear makes me not want to even get into the boat. We are all afraid in part of going deeper into God. We like to have control of our lives just like we like to have control of the TV remote, when we go deeper into God we start giving up control. Stormie Omartan said ‘we let God into one room of our hearts and tell Him to stay there, but soon He starts knocking on the door to another part of our hearts, then another, then another until He fills our whole hearts. We hate losing control so we shove God in a corner and say we are Christians because we have Jesus, but that’s not what God wants, in fact that behavior is probably to blame for so many people claiming to be Christians but not acting like it. You can’t act like Jesus until He holds your whole heart. We have to trust God and be guided by our Faith so that we can fall so deep in God that we see nothing but Him. 

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A manly need to protect

In one my favorite novels the MC ends up with a new baby brother; what I love is the part where it says that he suddenly felt a manly need to protect this small form. That is what a dad is. He was the cool kid with the motorcycle and thick wavy hair who married the shy pretty pastor’s daughter, suddenly there is a small form that comes into their lives and he changes from the cool kid to the big bear, the protector, teacher, friend. A manly need to protect comes over him. Don’t miss that word manly. There is nothing weak about being a good father, it’s the opposite, it takes a great strength to be a good dad. God is our Father. God-all powerful being, is our Father. Father is a word synonymous with strength. God gives us dads to provide for and protect us. When a baby is born the man changes from self sufficient island to nurturing care taker, his need to see his child safe, to see them grow, to cry when they hurt to hold them strongly when they’re scared, is all a show of his strength as a person, to become more than himself, to become what they need him to be, that’s a father.

#HappyFathersDay

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Uncle Tom

As tears streamed down his face, he spoke with an unwavering voice, he shared his heart with us. It was proud, it was broken, it felt sorrow, yet it held faith. This side of Heaven, a strong man is briskly hiding his tears as he mourns someone he loved dear. He tributes his brother in Heaven with a grin as he recalls his face and his voice and his heart, but refuses to break because his brother would want him to smile.
When we get to Heaven what will people here be saying about us? Will our loved ones feel pride at having loved us? Will they have Faith in God knowing we are in Heaven? Will they say, ‘she loved Jesus fully?’ Will they say, ‘she was my best friend?’
Will we have a tribute that speaks the message of Jesus’ love?
Someone loves you and is watching you. That was the last thing I recall my Great Uncle saying to me, as he hugged me until my lungs popped. It’s a message we should all remember. God loves you and is watching you. Have you spent time with Him today? Will His name be spoken often when people remember you?

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Hate is easy, love… that’s the hard part

Hate is easy, love is hard.

Charlie Brown was asked why it is that people didn’t mind you asking them why they didn’t like you but why they did mind if you asked them why they did like you? He replied that it was because the latter was a harder question to answer.
Disliking someone is easy, it takes no effort. I once heard a movie character say that she was now free to hate, unburdened by the ties That Force us to love she felt the freedom of being allowed to hate. It’s a terrible sentiment, and yet it almost makes sense. As Christians we are demanded to love, it’s not a suggestion, it’s not a request, it’s a rule. Jesus said ‘and the greatest of these is love,’ and spoke on love being the sign of your Faith over ten times in the Bible, He also speaks against hating others several times, it is not a request.
Why does God demand it? Because it’s a sign of Him, He is love. Why does He repeat this demand over and over? Because it’s hard to follow. There are so many people that would be so easy to hate, having to love them may even cause you to feel ill or in pain. There are really awful people out there. Think of Corrie Tenboom speaking to the crowd and having that German soldier from the prison camp she was in come up to her and ask for forgiveness, what nerve! He had no right to do that after all she had gone through, right? No. He had the same right to ask for forgiveness that we all do because of Jesus. Because God forgave us we must forgive eachother. Love forces us to forgive the unforgivable, to help those who have hurt us, that’s why love is so hard. If we do not love we are not Christian, love is a sacrifice for Christ, and sometimes loving one another is our way of bearing our cross up to the Place of the Skull. Love is pain. Hate doesn’t hurt in the moment,-though it may hurt in the long run- but love hurts often, that’s why it’s a sacrifice, that’s why so many give up on it, and it’s what separates us from the rest of the world. It’s easy to love your friends, but what kind of crazy person loves their enemies? The kind who is crazy about Jesus and knows they have to love to serve Him.  

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Do I show Jesus or just speak Jesus?

How do I tell Jesus to the boy sleeping in the cardboard box?

Lately I’ve been reading and re-reading some of the old classic novels. What are the three main things I find in all these novels? 1.poverty is rampant. 2. God is mentioned often. 3. Faith and perseverance are what cause the main character to win.
Poverty. It’s not a word often stated involving North Americans, though many experience it still. Back in the day, however, (and I mean back around the 30s and earlier) poverty was simply a life style. It was just how it was. You read about the little kids smoking and chewing tobacco because back then it was cheaper than food and quenched hunger; kids, worked in the streets and the sweat shops and the ones that didn’t work stole to survive, sometimes the ones who did work still had to steal. And it was a world wide problem. From the kid in Asia hitting the traveler with a rock and searching the body for food or something to trade for food, to the kid in the old factory in the US, hiding because his dad beats him and he can’t risk going home, poverty ran the streets and that was just how it was.
In these novels God is often mentioned as someone that the adults have learned to trust in despite their hardships, but the kids are still learning and they don’t understand. How can God take my family away? How can He let me go days without food so I dig in old gardens to find three year old dead roots to eat, just so I can have something? How do you explain God to them?
You meet them on their level. There was a time when all sidewalk a preacher did was read the Bible and people came to God without needing what they heard explained, that’s what God can do. But you can’t take a kid off the street, fill them full of rules and say ‘that’s God’s will so do it right or you don’t go to Heaven.’ It’s too much. You need to start on where they are at that moment. Tell them of Jesus’ love and how He is there with them, explain how Faith in the hard times will get them through. Most of all, show them love. Don’t look sideways at the dirty kid with barefeet who just entered your Church, take them and get them a water and let them sit with you so you can explain things to them when asked. We preach too many words, we need to live like we were listening to Jesus’ word more. The kid who had lived in moccasins her whole life can’t be expected to suddenly wear shoes, you can’t demand that she dress like you just to hear the word of God! What part of the Bible says ‘thou shalt wear suits to chapel’?
The kid who has run the streets his whole life with no one caring what he did can’t be expected to sit quiet and not fidget, he can’t suddenly be told to pray and receive but not be told what that means, he might pray for a toy truck and never get it and think God doesn’t care. Explain. But keep it to the Bible, not your opinion.
These kids in the stories learn to fight hard, with the right help they learn to trust God, then they win the battle. But if we try to break them to be in our image, they may never learn how to live in God’s image.
Oh, and all the books I’ve been reading are based on true events, so, how many of those true event kids found Jesus and how many were sidelined by people who wanted them to be respectable, but didn’t care if that stopped them from becoming Christians?
How many people have missed out on Jesus because the Christians got in the way?
And how many people met the right Christian? The Christian who wanted to help, the one who was Jesus’ hands and feet and therefore that person was able to guide the lost to Jesus?
I’m saying get out of the way, I’m saying that we need to pray about our approach before speaking. I didn’t think I could ever find a way to speak to a kid who had been mislead by false teachings and show them Jesus, until I prayed about it and God gave me the words to say, and in the end the biggest thing I could do was love and trust God to give me the words. I didn’t say ‘go change and then try again because God won’t see you when you are like this.’ I said what everyone at my booth said, ‘we are all sinners and make mistakes, but Jesus loves us and is our friend.’
Because that’s the Jesus people will respond to, and that’s what Christ Himself preached and that’s how He lived.

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Drain

Watching All Creatures Great And Small, we came across an episode where a beautiful spaniel had an absess in the skin of his ear. If your dog has long ears you need to clean them regularily to avoid this.
The vet was forced to drain all the blood from the absess and then sew buttons on the ear to cause the veins to distribute the flowing blood in the ear evenly. Gross yes, hang in there, here’s my point. Sometimes it’s like we have absess on our soul. We haven’t cleaned it properally, we havr let dirt and wet get in there and the infection has grown. Suddenly it hurts all the time so we run back to God and He drains all the inpurity out of our lives once again, but if we don’t let him clean it up and sew on the buttons then the infection will just keep coming back and growing. We need to let God distribute our lives in the way that He knows best, we need Him to be our guide and to control the flow of how we live, only then will the pain be gone.

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In the quiet

In the quiet.

With the new Covid lock down we are having to change things up. Walking my dog has been one of the things I have had to change, he still needs walks but I can’t take him where there are people. Last weekend I took him on deer paths instead of following the main trails. The further you walk down these trails made by generally shy and flighty animals you draw further and further away from the people noises around you. You can’t hear vehicles any more and the sound of noise fades away, no more construction or five different people’s music competing against eachother and suddenly the birds are the only song you hear, a bubbling stream rolls past you and you feel peace. That is the moment you can worship without even trying. We struggle to fill our souls with God and to be in the moment because there is so much noise pollution in the world, you can’t concentrate on God because there are too many distractions. So get out of the noise, go into a place of quiet and see if your soul doesn’t take a deep breath and starts seeking God hungrily, it’s not your fault if you struggle to seek God, you just need to get away from all the noise.