A Journey In The Life of a Christian: Good Day Allhttp://www.christianviewstoday.wordpress.com
Tuesday, July 17, 2012
Saturday, July 14, 2012
Friday, July 13, 2012
“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten son. That whosoever believeth in him shall not perish, but have eternal life.” John 3:16. Every true believer in Christ will tell you that this is the foundation for their salvation. If we received salvation, where does redemption come into this discussion? The Webster’s Dictionary defines salvation as: 1: deliverance from the power and effects of sin. 2: The agent or means that effects salvation. 3: Christian Science: the realization of the supremacy of the infinite Mind over all bringing with it the destruction of the illusion of sin, sickness and death.
This is how most of us would describe salvation. Most of us believe that you received salvation when you get “saved.” Salvation is the heart and soul of a Christians beliefs. It is everything that we have been taught since Bible School. We were told through John 3:16, that we could be “saved” by accepting Jesus Christ as the one and only son of God, and that Jesus died for us to receive the salvation that his dying provided. This is how a majority of Christians would sum up how we are able to be washed in the blood of the Lamb and receive eternal life.
If salvation is the centerpiece of our faith and beliefs, how does redemption play a part in that salvation? Or is it something totally separate from salvation. Let us take a look at the meaning of salvation as defined in the Oxford Dictionary. Redemption is defined as: 1: the action of saving or being saved from sin, error, or evil: God’s plan for the redemption of his world [in singular] a thing that saves someone from error or evil: his marginalization from the Hollywood jungle proved to be his redemption. 2: the action of regaining possession in exchange for payment, or clearing a debt.
So you can see that redemption is also the “act” of being saved. We can therefore assume, that based upon the two definitions that salvation and redemption as closely related. One (redemption) is the actual act of being saved. Compared to salvation, is one’s deliverance from “sin.”
With the Oxford’s definition of redemption, we can plainly see that you can seek redemption from just about anything. You can be redeemed from being addicted to a drug , alcohol, or any number of things. However, the actual experience of salvation will only come once. This is not to say that cannot seek redemption more than once.
Each of us is afforded the ability to seek out redemption at any time we may need it. As Christians, we are fortunate enough to realize the distinct difference between salvation and redemption. You simply cannot have one without the other. Our belief in God has given us the chance to be cleansed of all our sins. We can wipe the slate clean, and start anew. Therefore, if you believe in God one knows that you need both salvation and redemption. We have taken a clear look into both salvation, and redemption. From that observation, we can conclude that redemption must come before salvation.
As we continue our walk with God, strive to live up to the supreme sacrifice that Jesus made for us. All of us will “break rank” or falter during our Christian journey. We will all seek redemption from our sins, our flaws in character, or our lack of faith. Jesus has made that possible by his death on the cross. Go out today, and find someone and tell them that you love them. Sit down and explain how one can seek redemption and salvation through the acceptance of Jesus Christ as their savior. For that is our duty as Christians. May God bless you all..
Wednesday, July 11, 2012
My life has been filled with extreme peaks and valley's. So goes life, so went my faith. I grew up going to church on and off. As a 16 year old I got involved in the Youth Ministry program at my church. As a matter of fact, I was so involved I was considering a career in the ministry. As a part of that program, we were given the opportunity to deliver a sermon(s) to our members. I took full advantage of that part of the program. My Grandfather was an old backwoods preacher in his younger years before I came along.
Unfortunately, he passed away before I got to this point in my life.
However, I was able to look through his box of sermons which gave me inspiration, and a great sense of pride. I used the knowledge in that box, and prayer to get prepared to deliver my messages to the church. I did preach on several occasions. Which I enjoyed very much.
Even though I considered a life in the Ministry, my Father basically abandoned us when I was a Senior in high school. So my hopes of going to college were dashed. So I ended up going into Corrections, which lead to my Law Enforcement career. That career ended on a snowy, ice filled night. That night I sustained a career ending injury.
By this time, I had my life planned out. Stay in Law Enforcement and the National Guard and retire from both. Well, I lost both of those opportunities. I also had lost my faith in God also. I abandoned God as my Father had abandoned me. It was not as dramatic as my Father leaving, but it was a gradual change in my faith. In 2002, I was a healthy 36 year old man that ran 10 miles a day. That was then and since that year, I have had twelve surgeries, months of agonizing pain and rehabilitation. I also am a skeleton of that man. My confidence was gone, my health was fair at best, I went into a deep dark Depression, and at a couple points suicidal.
My life was in total disarray, I ended up filing for bankruptcy because I tried to help a friend and cosigned a loan which he left me hanging with. So you can imagine that my life was failing as fast as the sun going down at sunset. I thought of God on occasion, but never reached out to him. If things were not bad enough, in January 2007 all this mess had taken it's toll on my loving life of 23 years. She had been diagnosed as being bipolar the previous spring. So in January, I got a voice mail from her, she left a frantic message that she was thinking about suicide and she was going to see her doctor. You can imagine my state of mind at hearing that.
Luckily, she did not go through with it and has been doing wonderful the past four years or so. However, that was another issue that just made me turn away from God. I could not understand how God would allow all this stuff to happen to us. What had I done that was so bad? Life at that point life had become unbearable.
After my wife's desperate plea for help in January 2007, I started seeing a therapists. Mary Hock is her name, and I consider her to be one of the major reasons I am still here today. She helped me overcome all of this crap in my life. In 2004, in was retired was the police department and met the friend that would later betray me on the loan I cosigned. I love his family very much, and have forgiven him for his betrayal. One of the best things that he did for me, was to ask me and my wife Brenda to attend church with them.
I was ready to go back, and this was before all the depression had set in. I was depressed, but the real the serious depression would not begin until a little over a year later. We started going to this small church on a hill close to where I live. The people there were friendly and inviting. The Pastor was a God filled holy man of God. Over the next year, I became a regular attendee and the Pastor became my friend. Things were actually looking well from a spiritual standpoint. Then I injured my back and was in such pain I basically was home bound for a long while, and I stopped attending church.
Again, I lost faith in my God and sank into that dark deep depression. This is when all of the crap started to pile on as I mentioned earlier. I was a lost soul in a tailspin to tragedy. My faith was gone, my health was gone, my hope was gone, and my will to live was gone. Pastor Jerry, would reach out to me from time to time but over then next couple years, we just lost contact. My life was in ruins, I had basically disowned everyone and everything in my life. Depression had control over everything I did or said. As I said earlier, Mary intervened and help me get back on track.
So the years go by and I had gotten the depression under control thanks to Mary and Carol my doctor. One day I simply posted a question about God on Facebook. Pastor Barry from my church answered me. That lead to some conversations, which lead us back to my church The River in Nashville. We started attending what was now an expanded church building and a larger congregation. I was baptized, and Brenda and I got involved in several ministries. Our faith grew by leaps and bounds. We have become devout Christians through our faith.
We have still faced some troubled times since our return to God, but this time our faith was strong enough to withstand the attacks from the evil forces that try to get a foothold in our lives. I am starting Graduate school seeking a degree in Counseling. Our lives have improved dramatically, we have experienced a modern day miracle that saved my wife Brenda from death. God reached down and touched me as I prayed in church on a Wednesday night. He touched me and took this awful pain I had in my abdomen. God is alive and well in our lives. I have learned a lot since those dark days. I understand things more clearly, and I stay in constant contact with God through prayer.
I recently had knee surgery and have been stuck at home for several weeks. You would think that this would be the perfect time for the devil to go on the attack. He did, but I went on the offensive by reading the bible. I began a Christian blog, and started writing inspirational articles like this one. The devil tried to get in, but I slammed the door in his face. Yes I came from a broken past, but that past made me the man I am today. Most of all it lead me to redemption though the blood of Jesus Christ.
Tuesday, July 10, 2012
Before I get into my article, I would like to reach out to my Christian viewers from Russia, Belarus, the Netherlands, Canada, the Philippines, India, France, Hong Kong and Saudi Arabia. It is truly wonderful to have you viewing my writing. I know that you all have testimonies, I would like to invite you to be a guest writer for me. Send me an email or comment with your information and I will gladly get back to you. We are all brothers and sisters in Christ. So now for my daily inspirational message. How many of you have seen or read the book at Courageous. It is a very inspiration movie, with a powerful message about friendship and a commitment to serve your family and always ensure that your family puts God first. That movie has given notice to the men around the world that they are not only responsible for their families safety, but also the spiritual needs of your family. God has placed a great responsibility upon the shoulders of all Fathers and Husbands around the world. It is a responsibility that we as men should take very seriously. For we will be held accountable on judgement day for placing and keeping the word of God in our families. It is so easy to get caught up in our careers that we unintentional neglect the needs of our family. But God gives us the direction to keep all of us on track. He teaches us to place our family first, and to keep the spiritual our families needs ahead of our own. Most of us do a great job of serving God, but do we do an equally good job of tending our children, and spouses spiritual needs. As men of God, we are held to a higher level of accountability. We must demonstrate that we honor our God by spreading the word of God to our families. We are responsible to inspire and motivate everyone in our household to worship God with all their heart and soul. I am one of those that keeps my wife invested in our church and the word of God. We have bible study weekly, we pray together, and we hold each other accountable for our words and actions. We motivate each other and lift each other up on those day(s) when we are struggling with a worldly matter. We do this to keep our walk with God a inspirational journey. We will all have times of doubt and waiver in our faith. Even the faith of the Apostles had moments when their they doubted Jesus. A good example is when they were in a boat making a crossing and a great storm came up and they thought they would all perish. They woke a sleeping Jesus and told him that they were going to be over come by this great storm. Jesus simply said to them "oh ye of little faith", he then waved his hand over the vast water and the storm calmed. So if those that walked with Jesus could have their faith tested, is it not feasible for the same thing to happen to us. Of course it is feasible and probable. It states in 1st Corinthians 16 : 13 to " Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong." As God fearing Christians, we should keep this passage in our hearts. It gives us the needed motivation to keep strong in our faith. Also in 2nd Corinthians 5 :7 it says "For we walk by faith, not by sight." This passage tells us to not look at things through our eyes, but through your heart,soul, and faith in God. In our daily walk with Christ, how often do we say Lord I am not worthy of what you have done for me? Can we say that we have enough faith to tell God that whatever I am going through I relinquish it all to you. That is FAITH. Faith is the ability to put a blindfold on and walk as the blind man sees. For the blind man does not know what is in front of him. He doesn’t walk by sight, but by faith. Walking in the light and presence of God is a life changing experience. God expects us to be the men of great faith and spread the word of the Lord, but start in our own homes.If we do not start there, how can we effectively minister to others if we neglect the spiritual needs of our own families. As always, go find someone, give them a hug, tell them that you love them, and God does also. " For Me and My House, We will Serve the Lord." Amen.
Monday, July 9, 2012
To those of us that believe that Jesus Christ lived and died for us know that God is alive today just as he was in the days when Jesus walked on the earth. We all can demonstrate how God has changed our lives, and testify to modern day miracles. This article is going to take a look at how God worked a miracle in for my wife Brenda.
Some of this story and the events are a little fuzzy because I was in total shock at what had happened. All of the facts the Doctors and nurses told me are a direct reflection of their statements. At the end of February Brenda had not been feeling well so she decided to go by a clinic to get treatment for what she thought was a respiratory infection. As she was getting examined the PA there said that she needed to go to the Emergency Room because she had pneumonia.
The next thing I knew she was in the ER and was headed to Intensive Care. When I heard that news I was petrified. My head was swimming as I rushed to get her some things for the hospital. I remember that seven mile drive was the longest short trip I had ever taken. Once there I hurried to see her. I got to her bed in the ER and saw her her lying there with an IV going and on oxygen. My Mother was there and she gave me the news.
I had never been so scared in my life. i wanted to break down and cry, but I had to remain composed for Brenda. Shortly after I arrived we went to ICU. It was a somber sobering trip up there. They got her settled and I went back said a few words, kissed her and then had to leave.
It was the first time we had not been together in over 13 years. I went home to an empty house and immediately knew how much I took Brenda for granted. I cried myself to sleep that night. The next morning I go back to see her, and was met by her Doctor. She told me that they may need to vent her. I was in total disbelief at what she told me next. She said that the infection that she also had was spreading to her brain.
She was still very ill and there was a great chance that she would not pull through this.I left and went out to the waiting room to find several friends from church along with my Mother. I was reading the bible when I heard a familiar voice, the voice of my Pastor Jerry and Miss Joyce was there also.
They were given the news, and both wanted to go back and pray for her. We went back, and in the back of my head I knew that it may take a miracle to save Brenda. As we went back the Doctor said she was getting worse, and the medicines were not working. We went into her room and Miss Joyce and Pastor Jerry prayed a prayer for Brenda's immediate healing. Brenda cried, and again I wanted to but just couldn't. I waited til I was alone.
So we left the room went back out to the lonely waiting room and Miss Joyce and Pastor Jerry left and a few friends stayed. I was seriously worried and concerned at Brenda's condition. I felt the need seek out God's direction. So I left and found a private spot and prayed to God to not take my wife just yet. We still had many things to accomplish together. At the end of my prayer I told God that I turned her care over to him. I would accept whatever outcome he provided.
The afternoon visiting hours came and I hurried back to see my loving wife. I was met by the nurse before I could get to her room. I got ready to hear that she was vented and that her condition had worsened. To my complete and utter shock the nurse told me that the drugs had finally started to work and she was improving. She said it just took a little time for them to kick in. I smiled and told her "No it was not the medicines, it was a touch from the almighty himself God." She just looked at me and said Amen.
I went to see Brenda and she looked better and was actually eating a little. Told her what the nurse said,and I told her that God had reached down put his hand on her and healed her on the spot. We both wept like babies.
A few days later she was well enough to go home. I learned a lot in those few days. First I learned just how much our church cared and Brenda and myself. I learned that we have very compassionate and God inspired Pastors. Lastly. I learned that God will provide as long as you believe in your prayers.
Was it just time for the medicine to work? Maybe, but any God fearing Christian knows that God performed a modern day miracle as Pastor Jerry, Miss Joyce and I prayed for her immediate healing. So yes Virginia there is a Santa Clause, and Yes God still works wonders.
This article is dedicated to Pastor Jerry, Miss Joyce, Pastor Cole, Pastor Barry, Pastor Kevin, Jared and Brooke, Lori, Wilbur, Walter, Miss Dottie, My Mother, Miss Kathy, and the others that came and offered their support and prayers. Sorry if I left you out, there were so many I can't remember everyone. To each and everyone of you I offer my love, friendship and most of all my heartfelt thanks for making a miracle come true.
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