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Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Easter. Show all posts

Saturday, April 16, 2022

A Firm But Supernatural Foundation - Happy Easter - Purity 707

A Firm But Supernatural Foundation - Happy Easter  - Purity 707                                      

Purity 707  04/16/2022 - Purity 707 Podcast

Good morning,

Today’s photo of  bare earth and a concrete slab underneath a blue and cirrus cloud filled sky comes to us from a friend who not too long ago dreamed of and made the decision to build a new home in Florida for their retirement. Dreaming about and deciding things is one thing, purchasing the land and laying a foundation is quite another.   Generally, when we make statements to others about what we want to do with our lives that seem to be out of the norm, our friends and loved ones will ask  “are you serious?” 

Well our friend put their money where their mouth was, and their spade to ground, to show that they were indeed very serious about their dream and decision, and they shared this photo of the firmly planted foundation of their future home on social media back on April 7th

That sky is brilliant but the thing of beauty in this photo are the things unseen.  This photo’s beauty is the beauty of hope, and potential. This photo’s beauty lies in the things not seen, that seemingly came out of nothing, but with determined effort will materialize in the manifestation of our friend’s vision in which they will actually, physically live.   This photo conveys the wonder of the world that God has made for us.

God made a world in which we could envision and create almost anything we put our minds to.  I almost said that we could create or do anything we put our minds to but the truth is that God gave us such a wonderful faculty of imagination that it is possible to envision things that we can’t actually create physically.

But as a I think about it, even among the physically impossible dreams we have, we could create works of art to reflect our vision. Whether it’s a drawing, a painting, a sculptor, a novel, a blueprint, or a motion picture, God gives us a means of expressing even the wildest visions of our imagination. It just may not be something we can hold in our hands or “live in”.

So I guess we can create anything we put our minds to but the finished product of our imagination may need to be tempered with how our dreams manifest. 

Creative works of art aside, when it comes to real life, I have come to have less patience with and don’t invest my thoughts and imaginations on plans for my life that I can’t work towards and accomplish.  

Back in my drug using days, I would spend time with people who would endlessly talk about their future hopes and plans for their lives that had little or no chance of actually happening, especially considering all they did was do drugs and talk about the future as if things would just magically appear.  

“Some day I going to live there. I’m going to get me one of those one day. I’m going to live in a mansion with, a swimming pool, a four car garage, and never have to work a day in my life.”

Unfortunately, saying it doesn’t make it happen and the dreams that we have for “one day” or “some day” will never happen if we don’t plan for and work toward today.  

Some people feel that they can pray and God will provide things miraculously.  While that is possible, I feel that God’s moving in the miraculous is a rare occasion and tends to have a higher purpose than meeting our personal desires.    People with this view of the Lord have Him confused with a genie. 

Unfortunately, our misunderstandings about God and our unanswered prayers can cause us to decide that He doesn’t exist or that He either doesn’t care about us or can’t help us.    

So how do we know God cares and how can we experience His help in our lives?  

Well, the evidence for God, the manifestation of His vision to help us and to reconcile us to Him, was born in a manger in Bethlehem. Jesus Christ is the culmination of God’s plan of redemption for mankind that was first prophesied about in the third chapter of Genesis and continues throughout the Old Testament scriptures.  God used men to speak about the coming Messiah and to envision a day when He would come to save us. 

Unfortunately, men’s imaginations aren’t perfect and the majority opinion that the Messiah would come as a conqueror didn’t quite play out like they thought it would. Although there are scriptures that describe the Messiah as one who would rule and reign (Isaiah 32:1) there are others that describe him as a suffering servant (Isaiah 53). 

With the advent of Christ, we now understand that these seemingly contradictory prophesies are both true. They describe Christ’s first appearance on the earth, when He suffered, died, was resurrected, and ascended to heaven, and his eventual second coming that was promised in the Book of Acts, right on the heels of the moment of his heavenly departure by an angelic messenger.   Jesus is coming back.    

So God had a plan for mankind and although it hasn’t been completed yet and it is working out more and more each day as people continually see the truth and put their faith in Jesus as their Lord and Savior and decided to stand on the firm foundation of the Rock by following Him.  

As we will celebrate Christ’s resurrection tomorrow, I can remember before I was born again, how I was always troubled and confused about Easter. I just didn’t get it. All the weird symbolism, the traditions of men, and the confounding truth of Christ’s death and resurrection, was an offense to my logical mind and, now that I have some clarity on the matter, I realize that it was an offense to my conscience. 

If Christ died for my sins and was raised from the dead it meant: 

·       I was a sinner.  There were things I was doing that were wrong. That I should not do. That I should stop doing.  And that need to be forgiven of and paid for.  

It also meant that:

·       Christ was God

And that meant that, I didn’t really have a choice:

If Jesus was the Truth, the Way, and the Life, I had to choose to follow Him or I was going to have to pay for my sins and have God’s wrath poured out on me, that I would be separated from God’s kingdom, and consigned to eternal suffering in Hell.  

And I didn’t like that! I didn’t want to “be good”.  I didn’t want to change!  

So I used my snarky wit and disdain for the cute and cuddly symbols of Easter, to basically reject it all. 

But at various times, I would also try to claim a place in heaven through nothing more than the fact of my infant baptism. That somehow I could just be forgiven because of a ceremony that was done on my behalf when I was too young and unaware that I was being promised to be a part of God’s kingdom. 

I didn’t want to go to hell but was too rebellious to make anyone “my Lord”.  

But thanks be to God, the Lord never let me go and during the 38th year of my life, He arranged for me to hear the gospel message that saved my life. The message told me that I didn’t have to earn my salvation, like I thought I had. 

The message told me of God’s plan that began in antiquity and moved through the ages until Christ was born and died for us. It also told me that for me to be forgiven of my sins, and to be a part of God’s plan for all eternity, all I had to do was say “Yes” to Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  

The message told me that God did exist, He did care for me, and He could help me if I would only come to Him.  And I did.  

But like I said, I don’t like ethereal dreams or spiritual wishes.  If I was going to be a part of God’s vision for me, I wanted to make it real.     

If I was going to be a Christian, I wanted it to be real and even though I was still in bondage to the besetting sins that I would one day be freed from, I was drawn to read the Bible to get to know God more.  

I figured I was hopeless in terms of sinning. God took on a big burden with me because He was going to have to forgive all my sins  and I wasn’t done yet.  But I knew He saved me anyway and the love I had for Him drew me to read His word and to begin to try to live out the plan He had for me.   

Even though I was a rebel and a big sinner, I wanted to change but I didn’t think I could.  In our heart of hearts, we know when we are doing wrong and a part of us desperately wants to change, because God wrote His law on our hearts, our consciences come from Him.  

But for me the idea, or the dreams that: 

·       Someday I’ll stop doing drugs. 

·       Someday I’ll stop drinking.

·       Someday I’ll be pure, and be loyal in thought and in deed, to one woman.

Seemed as crazy as some of the drug fueled fantasies that I had heard from some of ghosts in my pasts. 

But the Lord had a vision and plan for me and when I realized that I wanted it too and started walking and working towards it, God’s creative work that He began in my heart became manifest in the world of the living, and just like the work of the creation of the universe, the work that He began in me keeps going and going and going as I allow His word and Spirit to expand my horizons and to take me to places physically, emotionally, and spiritually that I would have never dreamed possible.  

But what man thinks is impossible is possible with God. The Lord is the Creator of Life and that what He wants all of us to have through Jesus Christ, Life and life more abundantly. 

So as we enjoy Saturday today and celebrate Easter tomorrow, lets remember all that Christ done for us and let’s decide to let God work out the plan that He has for our lives.   Our life of faith is no pipe dream. If we decide to follow God’s wisdom and ways, we can discover just how real God is. We can discover just how much he can help us. And we can discover just how much He cares.

God loves us. So keep walking and talking with Him. All His plans are good and right now we are living in the beauty of the potential of the unseen. We don’t know where He is leading us but if we keep going we will be amazed at all the things we see that will “come out of nowhere” as we walk with Him from here to eternity.  

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Today’s Bible verses comes to us from “The NLT Bible Promise Book for Men”.

This morning’s meditation verses are:

1 John 2:24-25 (NLT2)
24  So you must remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning. If you do, you will remain in fellowship with the Son and with the Father.
25  And in this fellowship we enjoy the eternal life he promised us.

Today’s Bible verses encourages us to keep first things first!

As I stated the fact of the resurrection of Christ can be confounding but it is true and the implications of it are far reaching for us personally and for all mankind.  That gospel truth of the atonement of our sins and the new spiritual life we receive when we put our faith in Christ is the first lesson we learn as Christians.  

If we don’t believe the fact and implications of Christ’s death and resurrection and make a personal commitment to put our faith in Him, we aren’t Christians. The Apostle Paul was known for His scholarship of the Old Testament Scriptures but He proclaimed

1 Corinthians 2:2 (NKJV)
2  For I determined not to know anything among you except Jesus Christ and Him crucified. 

1 Corinthians 6:14 (NKJV)
14  And God both raised up the Lord and will also raise us up by His power.

Verse like these show us that Christ’s death and Resurrection matters. They are the cornerstone doctrines of our faith. They prove Christ was God and that His words are true. 

So as today’s Bible verses tell us, we nee to be faithful to what we have been taught from the beginning: Christ crucified and raised to life again. 

And today’s verse also indicate that our faith is not “just believing:.  We are to remain in the fellowship with the Son and the Father. That points to a steadfast commitment to be in a living continuous relationship with God.  We don’t just believe the gospel one time and go about our business.  We are to remain in fellowship with God by living a lifestyle of Christian Discipleship. Far more than just a “worldview”, we are to remain in fellowship with the Son and the Father by living our lives according to their commandments and by sharing their love with others.  

When we doe this we prove who we are in Christ for all the world to see and it will be no surprise to us when we “enjoy the eternal life He promised us.”  So “remain faithful to what you have been taught from the beginning” and teach it to others by proclaiming it and by living it every day.

 

As always, I invite all to go to mt4christ.org where I always share insights from prominent Christian theologians and counselors to assist my brothers and sisters in Christ with their walk. 

Today we continue sharing from John Piper’s “Don’t Waste Your Life” .  

As always, I share this information for educational purposes and encourage all to purchase John Pipers’  books for your own private study and to support his work.  This resource is available on many websites for less than $5.00.

An Eighteenth-Century Preacher Sealed the Breakthrough

Jonathan Edwards came into my life at this time with the most powerful confirmation of this truth I have ever seen outside the Bible. It was powerful because he showed that it was in the Bible. As I write in the year 2003, we are marking his 300th birthday. He was a pastor and theologian in New England. For me he has become the most important dead teacher outside the Bible. No one outside Scripture has shaped my vision of God and the Christian life more than Jonathan Edwards.

I thank God that Edwards did not waste his life. It ended abruptly from a failed smallpox vaccination when he was fifty-four. But he had lived well. His life is inspiring because of his zeal not to waste it, and because of his passion for the supremacy of God. Consider some of the resolutions he wrote in his early twenties to intensify his life for the glory of God.

• Resolution #5: “Resolved, never to lose one moment of time; but improve it the most profitable way I possibly can.”

• Resolution #6: “Resolved, to live with all my might, while I do live.”

• Resolution #17: “Resolved, that I will live so, as I shall wish I had done when I come to die.”

• Resolution #22: “Resolved, to endeavor to obtain for myself as much happiness, in the other world, as I possibly can, with all the power, might, vigor, and vehemence, yea violence, I am capable of, or can bring myself to exert, in any way that can be thought of.”

This last resolution (#22) may strike us as blatantly self-centered, even dangerous, if we do not understand the deep connection in Edwards’s mind between the glory of God and the happiness of Christians. The violence he had in mind was what Jesus meant when he said in essence, “Better to gouge out your eye to kill lust and go to heaven than to make peace with sin and go to hell” (Matthew 5:29). And with regard to seeking his own happiness, keep in mind that Edwards was absolutely convinced that being happy in God was the way we glorify him. This was the reason we were created. Delighting in God was not a mere preference or option in life; it was our joyful duty and should be the single passion of our lives. Therefore to resolve to maximize his happiness in God was to resolve to show him more glorious than all other sources of happiness. Seeking happiness in God and glorifying God were the same.

The Great Coming Together for Me

Here is how Edwards explained it. He preached a sermon when he was still in his early twenties with this main point: “The godly are designed for unknown and inconceivable happiness.” His text was 1 John 3:2, “And it doth not yet appear what we shall be” (kjv).

[The] glory of God [does not] consist merely in the creature’s perceiving his perfections: for the creature may perceive the power and wisdom of God, and yet take no delight in it, but abhor it. Those creatures that so do, don’t glorify God. Nor doth the glory of God consist especially in speaking of his perfections: for words avail not any otherwise than as they express the sentiment of the mind. This glory of God, therefore, [consists] in the creature’s admiring and rejoicing [and] exulting in the manifestation of his beauty and excellency.… The essence of glorifying … God consists, therefore, in the creature’s rejoicing in God’s manifestations of his beauty, which is the joy and happiness we speak of. So we see it comes to this at last: that the end of the creation is that God may communicate happiness to the creature; for if God created the world that he may be glorified in the creature, he created it that they might rejoice in his glory: for we have shown that they are the same.

This was the great coming together for me—the breakthrough. What was life about? What was it for? Why do I exist? Why am I here? To be happy? Or to glorify God? Unspoken for years, there was in me the feeling that these two were at odds. Either you glorify God or you pursue happiness. One seemed absolutely right; the other seemed absolutely inevitable. And that is why I was confused and frustrated for so long.

Compounding the problem was that many who seemed to emphasize the glory of God in their thinking did not seem to enjoy him much. And many who seemed to enjoy God most were defective in their thinking about his glory. But now here was the greatest mind of early America, Jonathan Edwards, saying that God’s purpose for my life was that I have a passion for God’s glory and that I have a passion for my joy in that glory, and that these two are one passion.

When I saw this, I knew, at last, what a wasted life would be and how to avoid it.

God created me—and you—to live with a single, all-embracing, all-transforming passion—namely, a passion to glorify God by enjoying and displaying his supreme excellence in all the spheres of life. Enjoying and displaying are both crucial. If we try to display the excellence of God without joy in it, we will display a shell of hypocrisy and create scorn or legalism. But if we claim to enjoy his excellence and do not display it for others to see and admire, we deceive ourselves, because the mark of God-enthralled joy is to overflow and expand by extending itself into the hearts of others. The wasted life is the life without a passion for the supremacy of God in all things for the joy of all peoples.[1]

---------------------------more tomorrow------------------------

Join our “Victory over the Darkness”, “The Bondage Breaker”, "Freedom in Christ" series of Discipleship Classes via the mt4christ247 podcast!

at https://mt4christ247.podbean.com, You can also find it on Apple podcasts

(https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-mt4christ247s-podcast/id1551615154). The mt4christ247 podcast is also available on Google Podcasts, Amazon Podcasts, Spotify, iHeartradio, and Audible.com. 

These teachings are also available on the MT4Christ247 You Tube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCTxjSNstREpuGWuL0bF3U7w/featured

Email me at mt4christ247@gmail.com to receive the class materials, share your progress, and to be encouraged.

My wife, TammyLyn, also offers Christian encouragement via her Facebook Group: Ask, Seek, Knock (https://www.facebook.com/groups/529047851449098 ) and her podcast Ask, Seek, and Knock on Podbean (https://feed.podbean.com/tammalyn78/feed.xml)

Encouragement for the Path of Christian Discipleship


[1] John Piper, Don’t Waste Your Life (Wheaton, IL: Crossway Books, 2003), 29–31.

 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Thomas says Happy Easter!


Thomas says Happy Easter
It has been a while since posting in this blog. Like most of the people I have a busy life.  My hours are consumed with work, family, and other interests. Work and family are common to most of us. It’s the “other interests” that can vary widely from person to person. Those other interests are the things that help to define us. We are what we do, or what we invest our time in, or what we are into. 
Since making Jesus Christ my Lord and Savior with a simple prayer in response to a radio message, one in which I listened to only with the intent to mock by the way (Ha, Ha, the jokes on me. Right, God?), my other interests have changed.  Since placing my faith in Christ alone, one of my major interests is reading and studying the Bible.  It is an interest that I am passionate about and which receives daily attention. 
Yesterday’s Bible reading of John 20 highlighted the interaction of the resurrected Jesus and the apostle, Thomas.  For those who don’t know, my middle name is Thomas.  I go as MT Clark on Facebook and that partially explains why I do.  Ironically, I think I have a lot in common with Thomas.  Thomas is known as “the doubting Apostle”.  Here is what I read yesterday:
John 20:24-25 (NKJV)
24 Now Thomas, called the Twin, one of the twelve, was not with them when Jesus came.
25 The other disciples therefore said to him, "We have seen the Lord." So he said to them, "Unless I see in His hands the print of the nails, and put my finger into the print of the nails, and put my hand into His side, I will not believe."
Just to give you some context, the preceding 23 verses of John 20 tell the story of Christs resurrection and how it was witnessed by other disciples.  They told Thomas about it, but he wasn’t buying it. Even though he lived and traveled with these other disciples for three and a half years, he didn’t trust what they said.  Not only that but he made an extreme demand for proof: probing the crucifixion wounds.  Who does that?!!  Well as extreme as that request was, we find out that Jesus would oblige him.  
John 20:26-27 (NKJV)
26 And after eight days His disciples were again inside, and Thomas with them. Jesus came, the doors being shut, and stood in the midst, and said, "Peace to you!"
27 Then He said to Thomas, "Reach your finger here, and look at My hands; and reach your hand here, and put it into My side. Do not be unbelieving, but believing."
            So, eight days later, with everyone talking about how Jesus came back from the dead, Thomas remained unmoved.  Had Thomas been American he would be from Missouri because unless he saw it, he wouldn’t believe.  Thankfully, Christ loved him enough to prove He was who He said he was and, as my experiences in my relationship with Him would confirm, He even used his own words to convict Thomas.   The proof presented, Thomas proclaims the truth:
John 20:28 (NKJV)
28 And Thomas answered and said to Him, "My Lord and my God!"
 
Jesus’s response is to Thomas is to us as much as it is to Thomas. 
John 20:29 (NKJV)
29 Jesus said to him, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed."

Jesus Himself admitted that the resurrection was hard to accept but for those of us who didn’t have the benefit of see the resurrected body of Christ, we can rest in the assurance that we are blessed.  Through our faith in Jesus we are given a life that is free of sin and death. Our faith in Jesus gives us eternal life on the other side of death and the actual power to turn from our sinful ways if we ask Him to help us and trust in Him. 

Due to this exchange in John 20, Thomas is forever associated with doubt.  David Jerimiah addressed this issue in the Jeremiah Study Bible and I had to share his insights. 

“Often called “doubting Thomas” for his questions. We can learn much from this man and his encounter with Jesus.

1.       Jesus did not rebuke Thomas for his questions: He simply answered them. While we may not receive answers from God so quickly, a sincere and loving relationship with Jesus allows His followers to seek Him out with their questions.
2.      Thomas went on to serve God. He preached Jesus in India and was killed by a spear in his back.  The church is there today because of this man who asked a question.

Doubter? Not really. Believer who asked a question and then bore much fruit?  Absolutely.

Christianity ultimately comes down to something more than theological questions.  In the end it is all about a Person, not a proposition. 

The questions are the beginning of the journey, but the answers come finally in experience- in reaching out to touch, and to be touched ourselves, by those nail scarred hands. Jesus meets His followers where they are.”   
I was a doubter. I knew who Jesus was and heard the stories of His life, but I doubted their truth and I didn’t see how they applied to me.  I understood that Jesus died for our sins, but I thought that I had to be a “good person” to be accepted by Him.  I knew my heart and I knew I had desires and feelings that were far from holy so because of my sin I felt hopeless to be “a good person” so rather seek the Lord’s help to change I decided that there was no God and thus I didn’t need to change. I thought I was intelligent and religion was a creation of man, made to control the feeble minded. 

   I spent most of my life searching for meaning, identity, and purpose.  After atheism, hedonism, and materialism came up empty, I rejected it all to try to find inner peace and wisdom on my own not realizing that by doing so I became my own god: “I am on the path to enlightenment where my efforts at my practice will result in perfect knowledge, wisdom, and escape from all realms of suffering.” 

I was on this idealized path when I heard a simple gospel message on the radio back in 2010.  I heard the truth of gospel of Jesus Christ as if for the first time and I quickly accepted Jesus as my Lord and Savior.  I had a hunger to verify my faith and started investigating Christianity with the skepticism of a Thomas.  While I couldn’t probe the wounds of Christ, I wanted to know that I hadn’t blindly turned my life over to a fairy tale.  I joined a Bible preaching church, listened to countless teachings, and have read books on Christianity, theology, and apologetics.  I joined a Bible college and received a bachelor’s degree in biblical studies. Beyond this academic research, I applied the teaching from the Bible to my life, causing me to go into recovery for my lifelong habit of consuming mass quantities of alcohol.  Within all of this, I have come to know beyond all doubts that God is real, Jesus is the Savior, and the Holy Spirit is active in our world today. 
The Lord understands if you doubt the truth of the gospel of Jesus Christ, but it is on you to thoroughly investigate the question of Jesus Christ.  I, like many others can tell you, that if you seek God, or truth, you will find Jesus Christ. 
·         To those who know Christ, I wish you a Happy Resurrection Sunday and, if you insist, I will even wish you a Happy Easter.  I encourage you to know Him more and to take hold of the new life that He has promised you, now. 

·         To those who don’t know Christ, I invite you to begin asking the questions that will begin the journey, that I pray, will lead you to the kingdom of God and eternal life.  
God bless you all!




Sunday, April 16, 2017

His Grace is Enough: Resurrection Sunday 2017



His grace is enough.  

When I heard the gospel message that saved me back in 2010, I couldn't believe it. 

In my denomination I knew Jesus died on the cross to pay for the world's sin but the teaching and preaching I heard never taught me that the work that Jesus on the cross was enough to cover all my personal sins.  I was convinced that I was a sinner. They were good at teaching that.  I thought I had to be good to get in Heaven and I knew that I wasn't good so I followed my own selfish desires and forgot about the God who was powerless to do anything but send me to hell.  It was a hard dark road for a long time.  

But then I heard that Jesus did in fact die for my sin, sins past, present, and even future.  I was relieved and immediately said the prayer that saved me.  

His grace was enough!  

After I got saved I resolved to follow the Lord as much as possible even though I was still a drunk and sinner.  I started to read the Bible and saw that Christians were not supposed to get drunk... I was confused.  I thought I was forgiven.  

Well I was and God's grace would cover my sins til the day I died but I Am God's child now.  The Holy Spirit was in me and the same old drunkenness and sin wasn't as much fun. I felt I was doing wrong!  I drank for 25+ years and never had a desire to quit.  But  now I did.   Even though I knew God wanted better things for me I thought it was impossible to change. In 2015, my church started a Recovery ministry, I knew it was for me. I signed up and the rest is history. I'm over Two years sober today.  

When I saw that God was willing to do the impossible in my life, I said "What's next?"

Now I'm close to completing a book I have been writing based on the preaching of a local pastor.  God has healed me in more than one way. I'm out of debt. Life is good.  I am living the new life that is promised to believers in the Bible, a life of hope and victory over sin and death. 

On this Resurrection Sunday, I just want to thank God for what he is doing in my life and I want all who should read this to know that God loves you and He is willing to do the impossible in your life too.

Believe and Christ and follow Him.  


Friday, March 25, 2016

NEW LIFE: ONE YEAR SOBER


March 22, 2015 was the day I woke up hung over, prayerfully, for the last time.  I had entered the Celebrate recovery program at Rock Solid Church in Hudson NY two weeks prior and had been excited at the prospect of cleaning up my life but circumstances had put me in an environment where I thought the pressure to not drink was too much, so I didn’t even try.

I wish I could say that the last time I went drinking was an epic party to end all parties but it wasn’t.  Don’t misunderstand me.  I didn’t say I didn’t have fun.  There was live music, nice people, lots jokes, and laughs.  There were also drugs, desperation, dysfunction, and the signs of 30 years of indulgence in the faces of those in attendance.  The ravages of alcohol and drugs and the emptiness of trying to recreate moments of youthful exuberance were all around me.   Even in the moment, I saw this wasn’t what I was supposed to be doing, or even wanted to do anymore, as a Christian.  The morning after my hangover wasn’t that bad but my soul ached that I had broken my fellowship with Christ.  I repented that morning, asking God to forgive me for walking back into the darkness and to help me not to go back ever again.

God is good to forgive us our sins if we ask (1 John 1:9) and even though I failed, I felt that God had answered my prayer.  I went to the next Recovery meeting confessing my failure expecting criticism but finding acceptance.  I left with a determination not to fall again and to surrender my life daily to God. 

God has been faithful.  I haven’t fallen.  I had never conceived of the possibility of living without alcohol for a year.  Some of you, who read this, may not either.  However, if you trust in God, pray to Him to help you, and continually turn to Him to lead you; He will set you free.

I have completed the Celebrate Recovery program and now lead worship at our meetings (NOW with live mic and electric guitar! WHAT?!?!?) .    I have begun teaching, on occasion, because I have been there, I get it, and I know what is possible if you put yourself into it.   If you are in the Hudson area on Thursday nights, we meet at 6:30 pm at Rock Solid Church. 

More importantly, I stand as a sign post pointing to the one that can save you, heal you, and free you: Jesus Christ.  It’s great to get sober but He can do so much more.  He has revealed to me that getting sober was only the beginning of a new life in partnership with him.  With Christ, I have earned an Associate’s degree in Biblical studies, conquered the fear of public speaking, and gone on mission to Africa.  In my journey, I have gained continuing revelation of truth and my purpose in life.  He has revealed to me the errors in my thinking and changed my priorities to be a faithful follower, husband and father.  

I don’t know what issues, problems, hang ups, or concerns you may have.  But I know this: Christ cares about you. He loves you. And He can give you new life.  This Sunday we celebrate His Resurrection: the proof that He is the Son of God and everything He said is the truth.  This Sunday can be the day you can start a journey that ends in joy and eternal life.  I invite you to celebrate His Resurrection this Sunday at Rock Solid Church; services are at 8:30 & 11 am.  For information about our church go to: http://rocksolidchurch.net/.

I wish all who read this all the best and I pray that you let Christ be the one to lead you in this life and beyond in His eternal Kingdom.  God Bless You!