Thursday, October 30, 2014

His Glory and His Grace--Part 1

His grace.  God's amazing grace.  

Ephesians 2:8a For by grace are you saved through faith

The grace of God can be found at the Cross of Calvary and the blood that Jesus shed on that very same cross for you and I.  

Without this, we as sinners, who are soooooo unworthy to even come before the Most High God, will find death and eternal seperation from God.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Joy unspeakable

Good morning again.

Being a believer in Jesus Christ brings me great joy.  On many occassions i get the chance to talk about my Saviour and share the message of salvation.  Last night was one of those times and I loved it.  Sorry.   I LOVED IT. 

Rich, whom I shared with, asked me to get him a bible.  Getting bibles for new believers and those who are searching for truth is also one of my greatest joys as a child of God.  He is searching for truth and here (pic below) is where he will find it.  

Please pray for his salvation and deliverance.  Thank you and God bless.


Quick note to you

To all who will read this post:

Good morning, afternoon or evening to you.  Have a safe and Godly blessed day.

                                                  (Picture is borrowed)

Tuesday, October 7, 2014

2-hour layover

"A man's heart plans his way, but the LORD directs his steps."  Proverbs 16:9

Let me start by saying i am not in an airport or planning to fly (now or in the near future).  My layover was of a different kind.  A godly kind.  

6:07 pm
Having finished up at the library i went to Wendy's to visit someone who, by the way had gone home, so i got a drink and decided to watch some tv.  My plan (see above verse part a) was to get in and get out.  God however, (see last half of verse) had other plans.

A few minutes into my drink (i am a slow sipper) a gentleman walks in and sits a couple of seats from me.  Two days prior we had a brief conversation about the news and that was that.  While eating my sandwhich I had a sinking feeling (still in the two days prior) that I had missed the chance to share the gospel with this man.  I quick scanned the parking lot to see what direction he went but could not locate him.  Me thinks he has an invisible cloak? 
My prayer: "Lord give me another chance to speak to him.  I know i missed the chance to share Jesus, please forgive me."
Fast forward to today and God answered my prayer.  Here was he.   

Rich asks me "Do you work?"
Odd question as an ice breaker but i am game. "Sure."
(In my mind i am furiously thanking God for the answering my prayer. ) 
In-between bites of food and washing it down we talk.
Rich is new to the area coming from Syracuse, New York and he is looking for some part time employment.  I give him the names of a few places that are hiring and he thanks me.  
(He is eating and I am literally dancing in my seat because God is good.)

With the door open I tell Rich how I prayed to see him again and get the chance to talk to him.
He chuckled and echoed the same sentiment.  Rich desperately wanted to meet people and befriend them so he can feel more at ease in his new environment.
-God ordained-

I take one last look at my watch and decided Adventures in Odyssey can wait. (how selfish of me)

We continue our conversation and Rich tells me some things about himself and I too let my hair down.
( I'm laughing right now.  NO HAIR! )
Our lives almost parallel each other's and it helps to break down any barriers that remained between us.  Rich tells me how hard it has been to get established and find work but in his own words "I am not giving up."  Good attitude.
Continuing on he speaks of wanting to finish his college degree and get back into real estate sales.  
From time to time we look at the news and comment.  As for me I tell him about my job and the things I like to do and I mention going to church and reading my bible.  The air grew quiet for a few minutes and he said he went to church from time to time.  More silence.  Rich next says something about the Ebola virus and I asked him what it meant to him.  "Just another virus, but here in America."  
My eyes light up and I could sense the presence of the Spirit as I kind of corrected his statement.  From that point we talk about the church, God, Jesus, the Holy Spirit and bibles.

I asked him "Is there room for God in your life?"
"No not right now." is the response.
Having said that he goes into detail about his plans and what he hopes to accomplish by the time he turns 85.  At present he is only 42. 
I have a bad habit of telling people they are under no obligation to answer any of my questions when i get more into talking about the bible.  No one has taken me up on my offer so far.  I should stop asking and just take away the option.
Rich is comfortable talking about the bible so i go on.
I pose this question to him.  "What about the end of you life?" 
He thinks for some seconds and says "hopefully i have enough money and am settled where i can just live in comfort." 
Hmm.  Not what i was expecting.  Let me try a direct approach.
"You have your life planned for the next 40+ years.  Lets just say you have done what you set out to do, you reach your target retirement age.  Now what?  What have you done about your eternal salvation?"

It must have come out of left field because he said nothing for almost 3 minutes.

"I go to church some Sundays."  His statement was more of a question to me in hopes that I would say that is acceptable for salvation.
"Rich, do you have a personal relationship with Jesus Christ?"
"I believe in God."
-inwardly i am praying for Holy Spirit guidance because I dont want to offend him and risk him putting up a wall.-
Before I could go on more news about the Ebola virus dots the television.  
"It is a sign of the times."
Whoa!  Rich said it not me.
I mention to him how profound his statement is.  Right there i tell him about why the world is in the shape it is in and what to expect.  Not grasping my point he says he will be ok with his money and house and car, nothing extravagant.  The stock market and real estate will take care of him.
(I push the door open wider.)
"No Rich.  Those things will fail you and many others who put their trust in them."
"What do you mean?"
I stop and pray some more choosing my words carefully.
Pointing to the tv screen I tell him that mankind has turned its back God and is now paying the price.  Abortion, same-sex marriages, crimes against children are part of it.  To put a name on it, sin.
We have steadfastly refused to turn back to God.  
"Not everybody is like that."
"No they are not.  But sin is sin."

Now for the kicker.  I tell Rich about God's love for all of humanity and how He provided a way for us to receive forgiveness for our sins through Jesus Christ and the blood He shed on the cross.  
"God is love."
"Yes, God is love.  But, God is also Just and will judge us based on our lives and whether not we accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour."
His eyes glazed over and he turned away.  However, I still heard his words.  "I never knew that."
I did not say anything.  He needed to digest what was being spoken to his spirit.  My spirit was praying for him to hear the truth and receive it.
"I have been thinking about these things for a while (spiritual things) but i put them off.  Now i am not so sure.  I need to get back to church and read the bible."
I asked if he had a bible and he said no.  I offered to get him one and he was quite happy.

In the closing minutes of our talk I tell him how I came to Pennsyvania and part of my testimony and gave the glory to God, because I could do nothing without Him.  God brought me out of my situation and placed me where I am.

We say goodnight and agree to talk somemore tomorrow.  I asked Rich if he would let me pray for him and he declined.  No hurt feelings.
We look out the window to see a slow and steady rain is falling.  Shaking hands we go our seperate ways into the night.
Walking on cloud nine and not feeling the rain I lift up my voice and pray for Rich' salvation and for the Hand of God to be upon him as he goes home and thinks about all that he heard.  I sing praises to God for His mercy and grace.



Come, Thou Almighty King

Come, Thou Almighty King
rule on this earth
as You rule in heaven

Come, Thou Almighty King
hear our praises not 
from Your heavenly throne
hear O Lord from before our faces

Come, Thou Almighty King

Come, Thou Almighty King
to claim Your own
Eternal praises to 
You evermore

Famous Quotes

"The battle of prayer is against two things--wandering thoughts and lack of intimacy with God's character as revealed in His Word.  Neither can be cured at once, but both can be cured by discipline."

Oswald Chambers  

Sunday, October 5, 2014

The Other Room

I had a few minutes before bible study tonight so i went into the sanctuary to pray a little just to get into the right mindset.

As i began to pray the peace of God filled me.  Very welcoming I must say.
I smiled and just basked in His presence.  However, not long into my quiet time, laughter filtered through from our fellowship hall (where we have our bible studies) and into the sanctuary followed by light conversations.  

My quiet time was 'un-quietted'.  Guess what?  I smiled all-the-more.  Why?  God says in his word "forsake not the assembling of ourselves (body of Christ) together."   How beautiful and sweet it is to gather together and enjoy the fellowship of one another.  During this time of trials and tribulations we need to encourage one another.  Knowing the people in the room we all come from very differents areas of the country and walks of life.  Apart from each other we are different people however when we  come under the banner of Christ, we are all the same.  One mind, one body, one Spirit.

God was surely pleased and we are to please Him in all we do.
In the sanctuary God's presence is there among His own.
In the bible studies the Spirit of God teaches us. 
In the center of it all is Jesus the Christ.

How was your Sunday spent?   

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Hands & Feet

I, I, I.....

I did not want to wake her, so i hung my head and said a prayer.
My eyes started to tear up.  The battle had begun.  "Lord, please no."
I turned my head into the breeze to staunch the flow.  Victory!

How much longer?  I looked at my watch and it was almost 10pm.  
My hands were trembling as I held the cup of coffee and bag of sandwhiches.
Still no movement from her.

A couple blocks away I see the lights from a coming train and desperately wanted it to awaken her.  
I put the food on the seat next to me to keep from spilling the coffee.  
(My hands are shaking more feverishly now.)
The train rolls past with horn blasting and not so much as a twitch from her.  
"Maybe she's dead?"  I think silently.
More prayers offered up on her behalf and I say one for me.  Almost ten minutes have passed, so i decide to wake her.  
"Excuse me, ma'am."
My heartbeat quickens.
Just as I was about try again she awakens.

"Hmmm."  She slowly stirred. 
I quickly offered my apologies for having to wake her and gave her the cup of coffee. 
Quizzically she looks at me and says "thank you."
She fully sits up on the bench and we start conversating.  
"I was dreaming."
Oh do i feel bad.

Three days prior I had heard of her.
Two days ago i offered her a donut while on the way to work.  Interestingly enough, I apologized for not  having any coffee to go with the donut.  
"That's ok." And she gladly accepted the donut.
Today, last night actually, i got her a full meal.
-end of backstory-

For the next 10 minutes we talk about 'mutual' things and we connect with ease.
Our lives are not so different by the way.  She is from Pottsville and a recent transplant to Hazleton.  
For a few days she has had a rough go of it, but things are starting to fall into place, I assume. 
Her story takes on a more personal tone and I become silent. 
She takes a sip of her coffee, reaches into the bag and grabs a sandwhich.  
In that short span of time I go back in time to 1995 and the beginning of my second year of hell.
Everything becomes blurry as my eyes start to water and my throat constricts. 
"Lord no, please!"  

(At this moment I recall walking around the streets of downtown Wilmington, Delaware just wanting to find a place to rest my very weary body.  It was the beginning of the fall season and I was cold.  The mission was full and I had nowhere else to go.  So, i wandered the streets for about 6 hours.  With no strength in my body to go on I come to the vestibule of an business.  The guard inside the lobby said he could not let me into the building but I could sleep inside the first set of security doors.  My eyes with tears flowing say a million thank you's.  "No one will be here til morning.  I'll wake you before anyone arrives."  He watches me as I sink to the floor and into a dark abyss.)

She looks at me and i turn my head elsewhere, not wanting her to see the tears.
We talk some more, laugh a little bit and agree to see each other again.
Slowly i take my leave of her and go home.  I look back and catch her looking at me.  More goodbye's, more prayers and more sorrow in my heart.
Sleep was hard to find.  I kept thinking back to my days of being homeless and all the people whom God sent my way to help me.  Was I ever truly grateful for them?  You bet.  Where are they now?  If i only knew.  God does though and I pray for them and I thank God for the part they played in getting me back to my Saviour.  
Even in the wilderness, God took care of the nation of Israel.  They never hungered or had want for anything.  The prophet Jeremiah spoke of an everlasting love that God bestowes upon His children.  It is with that love that God draws us to Him.  Even in my time of wandering God never left my side.  He provided for me, protected and preserved me.  It is my fervent prayer that God would do the same for this lady with whom i have been blessed to meet.   

I promise to have her name for you in a future blogpost.

Soli dios gloria 
(To God alone be the glory)