Our Baggage


Many of us struggle with baggage from our past.  It haunts us every single day and effect our decisions, our friends and our loved ones.  This preview from The Skit Guys does a wonderful job of explaining what the effects can … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

2012 in review


Thank you for helping us reach more hurting people around the world.  Our Walk with Jesus reached 150 Countries in 2012.  I am blown away by how God has used this simple act of obedience to reach and help so many. God bless you all.  Let’s go bigger and better in 2013.  Help us continue to reach the hurting with a message of Hope that only comes through Jesus Christ!

 

The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2012 annual report for this blog.

Here’s an excerpt:

4,329 films were submitted to the 2012 Cannes Film Festival. This blog had 22,000 views in 2012. If each view were a film, this blog would power 5 Film Festivals

Click here to see the complete report.

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Letting Go of Fear


Have you ever wondered what it is that keeps us from just letting go?  I mean from the time we are little, we cling to what we know and have comfort in.  Much like a child in it’s mother’s arms or a little blanky being drug around the floor, we cling to what we think keeps us safe.  Little do we know, those things hold no protection.  While yes, a mother can protect her child, feed and clothe it.  Provide for it changings, a warm embrace on a tough day, she can’t protect us forever.  And as far a the blanky goes, with all the slobber and other things we won’t mention, it can barely keep us warm.

So what is it?  Why are we so afraid of letting go?  Whether in life or love, we are scared little babies.  Imagine if you will, your first roller coaster ride.  You start by getting in the car.  Then the lap bar closes in on our lap.  Immediately, that is your new best friend.  Then you start to go up the hill…. klink, klink, klink.  With each klink, you are one step closer to your doom. Then woosh… down the hill you go, around the loops, up more hills… twisting and turning, up and down, all the while, holding on to that new best friend for dear life.  Then you slowly roll into the loading area, knees wobbling, body shaking, hands sweating, you exit. Sound familiar?  Does to me… sounds like most of my life.  Always scared, always wondering what other people might say or think.  Always trying to guess the outcome, rather that just living in that moment.  The moment that my Creator has me in for a specific reason.  The moment that could teach me, the moment that could draw me ever so close to my maker, or the moment that I finally break free from the chains that have held me captive my entire life.

Is this the way life is supposed to be?  Are we to live in fear as Christians?  What about non-Christians? How are we to live this life each and everyday as if were our last?  How do we make the best out of every single opportunity we are given?  And the hardest one… If you knew today was your last day on this earth, what would you do?  What would you do differently in your past?  While we are not to live in the past, we are supposed to learn from it.  For it is said, and it is very true, those who fail to learn from their mistakes, are destined to repeat it!  And oh how true that is!

So right now, I want you to stop reading for just a few minutes.  No matter how rushed you are or seem.  No matter what you have got to get to next in your crazy schedule.  Ask your self these questions… What is holding me back from letting go?  What is controlling you?  Who is controlling you?  What are you afraid of?

I hope you have been honest with yourself.  Truth is, all of us have something we are afraid of.  All of us are holding our little blankies down deep inside about something or someone.  We have all bought into the lie that holds us in bondage.  It is the lie of fear!  Did you know that “Fear not” is mentioned in the Bible 365 times.  Once for everyday of the year.  Think that is by accident?  I don’t!  I know a God that is so Big and So Powerful and Loves us so much, that over and over again in His Word, He tells us that He is our guide (for those who are willing to follow Him).  Over and over He tells us to fear not, I am with thee.  Even as Joshua took the reigns from Moses to lead the Isrealites, He told Joshua, Fear not, be of Strong Courage.

So how do we get to that point?  The point that we can completely trust in Him for our every need?  My first suggestion would be to ask God to help you stronger in your faith.  Ask Him to reveal the areas you are scared to death of in you own life.  Then give them to Him… lay them at His throne.  You see, as I said before, we are all scared to death about this Christian walk.  We are all scared to screw up, in fear of failing.  We are all scared of sinking if we get out of the boat like Peter did.  But do you know what the difference is between fear and courage?  Fear stops you in your tracks and prevents you from moving in any direction… much less forward.  While Courage, it is being afraid, but choosing to move toward that fear with Strength and Power.  Courage says, I might fail, I might go down, but if I do, I am going down swinging!  Courage says, I might be scared, but the One who called me for His purpose PROMISES He is always with me!  Courage tells me to FEAR NOT!

Moment of Truth

Are you going to continue to allow the enemy to deceive you and trick you into thinking God is powerless in your special situation.  God sees all, God knows all, God is all!  So do you believe that you situation will define you or will you define it?  Are you going to continue to go through your life afraid of what everybody else thinks,  is that really what matters?  God is looking for Warriors!  God is looking for everyday people just like you and I, to make a change and to be a light!  Will you accept His call no matter what it is?  Will you truly trust in His Plans for you?  Bottom line is this… Jesus has paid the price for us.  He has bought and paid for every sin, past, present and future.  He is our Strength and He is our Courage!  It is in Him and Him alone I find my refuge!  I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength!  We must believe and trust that He infact has paid for us and has conquered hell for us!  For if and when we truly believe that, will will find our strength in Him that no man, no army and no battle can take away from us.  We will be able to stand in the face of any enemy with boldness, love and courage.  We will be more than conquerors in this life but more importantly we will then finally be free of the fear that has kept us as a prisoner of war in our own bodies.  We will be free to go and do what He has created us to do!

What are you waiting for…. Break those chains today and LET GO!

Romans 8:18-39
18I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us.19For the creation waits in eager expectation for the children of God to be revealed.20For the creation was subjected to frustration, not by its own choice, but by the will of the one who subjected it, in hope21that# the creation itself will be liberated from its bondage to decay and brought into the freedom and glory of the children of God.22We know that the whole creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time.
23Not only so, but we ourselves, who have the firstfruits of the Spirit, groan inwardly as we wait eagerly for our adoption to sonship, the redemption of our bodies.24For in this hope we were saved. But hope that is seen is no hope at all. Who hopes for what they already have?25But if we hope for what we do not yet have, we wait for it patiently.26In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans.
27And he who searches our hearts knows the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for God’s people in accordance with the will of God.28And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who# have been called according to his purpose.
29For those God foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, that he might be the firstborn among many brothers and sisters.30And those he predestined, he also called; those he called, he also justified; those he justified, he also glorified.
More Than Conquerors
31What, then, shall we say in response to these things? If God is for us, who can be against us?32He who did not spare his own Son, but gave him up for us all—how will he not also, along with him, graciously give us all things?33Who will bring any charge against those whom God has chosen? It is God who justifies.34Who then is the one who condemns? No one. Christ Jesus who died—more than that, who was raised to life—is at the right hand of God and is also interceding for us.35Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall trouble or hardship or persecution or famine or nakedness or danger or sword?36As it is written:
“For your sake we face death all day long;
we are considered as sheep to be slaughtered.”#37No, in all these things we are more than conquerors through him who loved us.
38For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons,# neither the present nor the future, nor any powers,39neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.
Posted in Callings, Church, Creator, Desires, Dreams, Faith, Fear, Following God, God, God's Will, Jesus, Letting Go, Lies of the Enemy, Life, Love, Pain, Religious, Shame, Spiritual Growth, The Love of Christ, Trials, Truth, Uncategorized, Weblogs, Words | Tagged , , , , , | 4 Comments

House On Fire


What would you do if you saw a house on fire?  Would you attempt to rescue the people inside?  What if your house was on fire?  Of course I am not talking about an actual house fire, I am talking about a spiritual fire caused by sin.  The flames from this fire, much like the flames of a real fire, can spread and destroy anything in its path.  Do you know how to protect yourself from the fires of this life?  Come listen as we try to help you equip yourself and protect you from these fires.

Posted in Desires, Faith, Following God, Forgiveness, Free Will, Friends, Friendships, Guarding Our Hearts, Jesus, Lies of the Enemy, Life, Love, On the Prowl, Pain, Shame, Sharing Christ, Spiritual Growth, Standing for Christ, Temptation, The Enemy, The Love of Christ, Trials, Truth, Uncategorized, Weblogs, Witnessing, Words | 1 Comment

Daddy… I am ready for work!


It is said that imitation is the highest form of flattery.  If that is true, who or what are we flattering?

Tristan ready for work

Daddy… I am Ready!

I love how God uses the simplest things to teach us or to help us understand how He feels about us and how we should feel about Him.  Often times, for me, this comes in being a parent.  This morning was no exception… stand there getting ready for work, my son (2 1/2) standing there besides me watching me, as he does most mornings.  While I was focused on hurrying to get ready, my son… was focused on his father.  Having watched me many times before, he got himself ready.  I looked at him in the mirror sitting on the edge of our bathtub, wearing my hat, my socks and my shoes…. I turned to look at him and he giggled and said, Daddy… I am ready!  Wow… through the lips of a 2 1/2 year old, God spoke to me in a very powerful way.

If we would only start each day like that… focusing on our Father.  We then could dress and arm ourselves with His Armor, as Paul tells us in Ephesians 6:10-20 and just as my son did.  Then when we could say to our Father…. Daddy, I am ready for work!  Anything that He calls us for that day, we would be ready to stand.

So as you get ready each and everyday, remember to flatter your Heavenly Father by imitating Him and dressing yourself with His Armor, so you too can say, Daddy… I am ready!

Verses used: Ephesians 6:10-20

The Armor of God

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should.

 

Posted in Armor of God, Callings, Desires, Dreams, Faith, Following God, God, God's Will, Jesus, Kids, Life, Love, Sharing Christ, Spiritual Growth, The Love of Christ, Truth, Uncategorized, Weblogs, Words | Tagged , , , , , | 5 Comments

I Am Sold Out


What would it take for you to completely sell out for God? Him proving that He loves you beyond measure? Him giving His One and Only Son Jesus Christ to die in our place and save us from an eternity in Hell?

We get so wrapped up in this world and all the distractions it has to offer that we often times forget why we were created and why God has chosen to leave us here.

While our jobs provide us with food and shelter, they should never be or become our God! Our toys, while they provide us with some measure of relaxation and enjoyment, should never be where all of our time is spent! And Our money, while everyone would love to have a little more than what they got, should never be what our goals are set towards or the race that we are running.

You see, God in fact paid much to high of a price for us not to give Him what He paid for, US! In fact, He has shown us His unfailing love, in the form of His One and Only Son Jesus Christ dying on the cross and taking our place, just so we would not have to spend an eternity in Hell, full of pain and punishment.

Let me give you an example. You would not buy the hottest, most expensive car in the world and leave it on the lot, would you? Well, God doesn’t want too either! He wants to get in and drive! He wants to take you on a ride of a lifetime. Still not convinced? How about this one… Suppose a person who loves to restore old cars, goes out and buys the oldest and most beat up car he can find. I mean this thing is a hunk of junk!! Everyone who sees it asks him, why in the world did you by this hunk of junk? He just nods and smiles and goes about his business. A while down the road, these same people are in complete awww. I mean this car is a priceless creation. It has been completely stripped down and completely redone and is absolutely amazing. You see, the restorer didn’t see the hunk of junk… He saw what God sees in us… a PRICELESS CREATION!

Many of us are just afraid! I get it, I really do!!! We think for some reason that God wants us to be perfect or that we have to have it all together to serve Him or to even come to Him. That is not true at all!!! God, just like the restorer, wants you, for you! That is it, nothing more! And just like the restorer, He wants to make you into that priceless creation He has created you to be. I mean, when is the last time you saw a car restore itself and fix it’s own problems? We are just like the car, we can’t do it either!

So I ask you again, what will it take for you to sell out for God? He has paid the ultimate price and He has promised to do all the work. He has even told you what to do, come just as we are and leave the changing and restoring up to Him. My friends, if He can change my heart and restore me… He can do it for anyone! Come to Him today. Let’s all sell out for God and see how this world changes!

In Him,

Brad Clarke,
Restored Priceless Creation

Challenge: I challenge all of you who read this, to repost this and sell out for God. Simply sign your name (in the place of mine) as a commitment, between you and God and repost on your wall, blog or any other forum to show the world by word you are selling out for God. Then commit to Him in prayer and offer yourself to Him completely. Revival starts one person at a time, one heart at a time… will you be next?

Posted in Body of Christ, Callings, Church, Creator, Desires, Dreams, Faith, Following God, Free Will, Giving, God, God's Will, Grace, Jesus, Life, Love, Pain, Pride, Revival, Sharing Christ, Spiritual Growth, The Love of Christ, Truth, Uncategorized, Weblogs, Witnessing, Words | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

My Biggest Regret

This gallery contains 1 photo.


One of the things that I regret most in my life is the time that I have spent as a Christian just sitting around using my Christianity as a Trump Card.  You see, I was saved and I knew it, … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Valentine’s Day: What is the True Meaning of Love?


About a week ago, I posted on facebook, “What is the True Meaning of Love”?  I got a couple of really good answers back.  However, being Valentine’s Day ( a man made holiday celebrating “Love”) I figured I would dive in a little further to find out just what love is and how we could be more effective and more intentional about showing it.  After all, one of my favorite sayings around my house to my kids is, Love your neighbor as yourself.  How are they to know how to do that, if they don’t know what love is or what it is supposed to be?

For many of us, love is a gushy feeling we get.  For others, it is a four letter word we need not say or do.  So is it a feeling, an action or a choice? Or is it even real at all?

I have struggled with love most of my life, if I am being honest.  I have put my heart on the line several times, as I am sure you have, only to have it handed back to me shattered into pieces.  I have thought I have felt love and I have thought I have given love, but it was not until I truly surrendered my life to the Lord that I began to understand love and what it really is.  You see, many of us go out looking for love, trying to fill the void that our hearts long for.  But the truth is, there is only One who can fill that void and only one True love for us all.  That is Jesus!  You see, in our human flesh, none of us are truly capable of love.  Love must come from the author of love and that is God.  And through God, we get His One and Only Son Jesus, who is the mirror of love in human form.  How?  Let me explain.

John 3:16-17 states, “God loved the world so much that he gave his one and only Son so that whoever believes in him may not be lost, but have eternal life. God did not send his Son into the world to judge the world guilty, but to save the world through him.”

What do we get from this?  Love is a sacrificial, selfless act, of giving to someone else, what they can not repay and can not afford.  Love is a choice in the fact that we must be willing to literally lay down our lives for the sake of someone else.  Love is an action is the sense that we must severe others out of kindness, not expecting anything in return.  And Love is a feeling, in the sense that once we surrender ourselves to the Lord wholeheartedly, we begin to have compassion and see the hurting world as God sees it.

So how do we obtain the True Meaning Love?  It must first start with True Surrender of ourselves to the Lord.  For it is in Him and only Him, that we are able to Love the way we were created to Love.  You see, Jesus died a brutal death, beaten, whipped, and hung naked on a cross just so we did not have to pay to price of eternal death. (LOVE)  He paid the price would could never afford to pay ourselves.(LOVE)  He sacrificed His life, that we might have it.(LOVE)  He made the choice to come from His throne, to this Earth to save us and redeem us!(LOVE)  That is love!  And that is how we are to model love, act in love and choose to love. God gave us Love in Jesus, so in order to love others as ourselves (or love your neighbor as yourself), you must love like Jesus.  Make sense?

Love Challenge:

So my challenge to you this Valentine’s Day is to Love!  Love like God first loved us.  Love like Jesus showed us how to love, by giving of yourself fully surrendered to the Lord first, then to others, both directly and indirectly. Choose to give freely of yourself and with the gifts that God has blessed you with

Reading: We Must Love Each Other

1 John 3:11-24

11 This is the teaching you have heard from the beginning: We must love each other. 12 Do not be like Cain who belonged to the Evil One and killed his brother. And why did he kill him? Because the things Cain did were evil, and the things his brother did were good. 13 Brothers and sisters, do not be surprised when the people of the world hate you. 14 We know we have left death and have come into life because we love each other. Whoever does not love is still dead.15 Everyone who hates a brother or sister is a murderer, 16 This is how we know what real love is: Jesus gave his life for us. So we should give our lives for our brothers and sisters.17 Suppose someone has enough to live and sees a brother or sister in need, but does not help. Then God’s love is not living in that person. 18 My children, we should love people not only with words and talk, but by our actions and true caring. 19-20 This is the way we know that we belong to the way of truth. When our hearts make us feel guilty, we can still have peace before God. God is greater than our hearts, and he knows everything.21 My dear friends, if our hearts do not make us feel guilty, we can come without fear into God’s presence.22 And God gives us what we ask for because we obey God’s commands and do what pleases him.23 This is what God commands: that we believe in his Son, Jesus Christ, and that we love each other, just as he commanded.24 The people who obey God’s commands live in God, and God lives in them. We know that God lives in us because of the Spirit God gave us.

Help Send Brad and Amber to Kenya!

Posted in Following God, Life, Love, Spiritual Growth, The Love of Christ, Truth, Uncategorized, Weblogs, Words | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Loving Our Neighbors as Ourselves


What comes to mind when you hear, “Treat others how you want to be treated”? How about “Love your neighbor as yourself”?  If you are a believer, you have heard this over and over!  But what does it mean to “Love your neighbor as yourself”?  Who is our neighbor?

Loving our neighbor as ourselves means that we do unto others as we would want done to us.  So lets say that you had a dire need.  Maybe you lost your job, maybe you have lost a loved one, maybe you are homeless or without food to eat for you and your family.  How would you want to be treated in those situations?  Would you want someone to step up and help you?  I am just guessing here, but my guess is that you would want help.  So the answer to this first part is simple…. if you know of a need, do something about it.  Don’t just say I will pray about it.  Listen to what James says, (James 2:14-16) 14 My brothers and sisters, if people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing. Can faith like that save them?15 A brother or sister in Christ might need clothes or food.16 If you say to that person, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat,” but you do not give what that person needs, your words are worth nothing.  Every single one of us is responsible for meeting the needs of those around us.  We must start acting our what we believe, or maybe we already are?

So now that we know what we are to do when a need arises, how do we determine who our neighbor is?  Is it the person next door, a person at work, the man down the street?  Who is our neighbor exactly?  Our neighbor is anyone to whom we come in contact with, either directly or indirectly.  That means, if you are a in a coffee house and you over hear a person crying, you are to address that by going over to that person and asking them what you can do to help them.  That means, when you are living on your social media forums reading all the post in your “Religious Groups” that you are to act when you come across a need.  Love is an action!  Love is not a feeling!  And if we are called to Love our Neighbors as Ourselves, than we must ask ourselves, how would I want someone to love me right now if I was going through that?

For far too long, we have sat on the sidelines thinking someone else will meet that need.  Or I don’t have anything to give right now.  We all have something to give.  And divine appointments happen every single day all around us, we just fail to see them because we are to wrapped up in our own selfishness.  Sound harsh?  Maybe, be it is Truth!  How many of us, including myself, can say that we truly love our neighbors as ourselves?

Now if you are reading this, I am going to give you your first challenge.  There is a dire need for support for our foundation, The Wilson House Foundation.  The Wilson House Foundation is a foundation that helps support the needs of 2 orphanages in Kenya.  For months we have pleaded with the Body of Christ to help us in our endeavor to provide food, clothing, medical and leadership support for these precious orphans and for months we have seen no support, but just from a very few select people.  These children are literally fighting just to survive.  They have literally nothing.  There parents are dead and the sometimes go days without food.  We need your help!  I want to also add this… no matter how little you have, you have more than they do.  And one last thing, always remember you can NEVER out give God!

Application:  Let’s step up!  Let’s take this one challenge and see what God can do through cheerful giving!  Let’s take a stand and truly show the love of Christ by Truly honoring the Second most important command, Loving Our Neighbors as Ourselves!

To accept this challenge, whether it is a $1 or $500, please visit www.thewilsonhouse-kenya.org and Boldly show the love of Christ today!

 

 

 

 

Posted in Body of Christ, Church, Faith, Following God, Giving Freely, God's Will, Jesus, Kenya, Kids, Life, Love, The Love of Christ, Truth, Weblogs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Who Am I Supposed To Be


If you are like me, I have searched and searched this world trying to find myself and where I belong.  I have gone down many dark roads, only to find myself more lost than I ever was.  This life can be hard, confusing, and full of uncertainty.  Even as a believer, this is a question I have asked God, “Who Am I Supposed To Be”? 

The answer is right before our very eyes, but the darkness of this world often clouds or impairs our vision.  You see God has created each and every one of us with a specific purpose and calling for our lives.  He has given us all talents and gifts that we are to use to honor and glorify Him.  The problem lies in this, we fall into the trap of earthly views of what success is.  We let the world, even our parents, family or friends determine paths for our lives that we should not be on.  God and His Word tells us a different story.

You see, when we focus all our attention on God and put Him first in every single thing we do, it is then that we are in and find His Will for our lives.  The problem that most of us face is that we focus on worldly gain, money, or status to try and find our way.  So we end up still feeling a void when we obtain our goals or the status that we are trying to get.  We were not created for that… we were created to Glorify the One who created us and the ONLY way to do that is to seek Him in all we do.

So, my question is to you… are you seeking God in all you do or is He a after thought that you sometimes remember at the end of your day?  Are you truly being who you were created to be?  Are your goals for your life set by the worlds view of success or Gods view of success?  Is your life bringing God Honor and Glory?  Is your life making a difference by being a light in this dark world, or are you blending in?  Are you more worried about what people think of you or what God thinks of you?

Who are you Supposed to be? 

Application:  Seek God and His plan for your life today.  How?  Repent, ask Him to guide your ways and show you who He created you to be?  Study His Word and ask Him to reveal to you the path He has for you.  God is so very Faithful and He will guide you and direct you.

Psalm 138:8 ~  The LORD will work out his plans for my life for your faithful love, O LORD, endures forever. Don’t abandon me, for you made me.

Jeremiah 29:11-13 ~ I say this because I know what I am planning for you,” says the Lord. “I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future. Then you will call my name. You will come to me and pray to me, and I will listen to you. You will search for me. And when you search for me with all your heart, you will find me!

Posted in Callings, Creator, Desires, Dreams, Faith, Following God, God's Will, Life, Spiritual Growth, Weblogs | Tagged , , , , | 1 Comment

The Spirit of Thanksgiving


Well, here we are again.  The Holidays have come roaring back into our lives.  For many of us, it means time with family and friends, frantic shopping sprees, cooking endless amounts of food, parties, and empty bank accounts.  However, before we get to carried away with all that goes with this time of year, I want us to stop just for a moment and focus on what this time of year really should be about and not what it has become.

While there are many benefits to the way we go about the holiday season these days, there are just as many downfalls.  We get to spend time with our families (for some that is a good thing, while for others, it makes for shortness of breath and frequent chest pains).  For some, it is hardy meals followed by a trip to the store for expandable pants and Tums.  And for the insane folks, it means spending time after your family meal planning a shopping spree that starts a midnight (for these people, there mouths water more over the money they will save, then the endless supply of food and treats in the kitchen).

So where are the downfalls of all of this?  The downfalls, unfortunately come in the same context and events as all the above.  We get so lost in the hustle and bustle of the holiday madness, that we rarely just stop and reflect on what God has done for us over the last year.  We loss sight over the blessings, victories and even hard times we have gone through.

So am I saying that we should not do these things?  No… I simply want us to take some time this holiday season and really reflect on what God has done for us and what He is doing for us.  You see, many times we pray for God to help us and pour out His blessings on us and we forget to give thanks.  Sometimes, we go through some difficult times, such as a death, a loss of a job, a loss of a home, or maybe a family break-up.  And we forget to give thanks.  What?  Give thanks for all those bad things?  Why would I do that?  God’s Word tells us in all things we are to give thanks.  It also tells us in Romans 8:28, “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.”  You see, God is constantly working in and through our lives, helping to shape and mold us into what He wants us to be in Him.  Sometimes that means going through difficult times in order that we might see and depend on Him.  Sometimes it means He pours out blessings upon us that we may honor Him and give Him the Glory.  But it tells us that we are to in all things give thanks.  Let us remember this, that God loves us far more than we can ever truly realize.  So much that He sent His only Son, Jesus Christ to pay the debt that could never fully be paid without Him.  Let us remember that God owes us nothing, but has given us everything, eternal life for those who know and call upon His Son to be their Lord and Savior.  This should be reason enough for us always to give Him Thanks.

So, with all this being said, it is truly my prayer for us all to stop and just spend some time reflecting on the true meaning of Thanksgiving and give thanks to the Lord this Holiday Season for what He has done for us.  May it not just be in our words, but rather let it break us all over again… let the tears of Thanksgiving pour from our hearts.  Let the joy of victory empower us, embrace us and go with us!  Let our minds be renewed and our souls and spirits be filled with gratitude for ALL the Lord has done for us!

Make this Thanksgiving this best one of your life, as you find the true Spirit of Thanksgiving!

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God’s will for you in Christ Jesus. 1 Thessalonians 5:16-18 NIV

Posted in Creator, Following God, Giving, Giving Freely, God, Jesus, Life, Love, Thanksgiving, Truth, Uncategorized, Walls, Words | Tagged , | Leave a comment

The Endless Darkness


Some of us, in fact many of us, have at some point experienced valleys in our walk with the Lord.  Valleys that are filled with what seems like endless darkness and with little rays of hope.  My prayer for this post is to prove to you that in that endless darkness you are in, that there is a Light shining on you, guiding you along, even though you may not see it.

  • Even if I walk through a very dark valley, I will not be afraid, because you are with me. Your rod and your shepherd’s staff comfort me.

I have shared with you in many of my past post my failures, the pain in my life, as well as my victories with the Lord.  One of those victories came in one of my darkest days.

I was homeless, no job, 3 shirts and one pair of pants.  I didn’t know if I was going to be able to eat or not.  I was all alone in the darkest place a man can walk.  I could not pray, because I felt God surely had left me and given up on me because of MY CHOICES.  I felt so far away from God, yet was He still near?  No, is the word that kept coming to mind each time I would began to pray.  God doesn’t love you, nobody loves you!  These words rang loud and clear in my head each and everyday.  Where is your God now? See I told you, Gods love is conditional!  You can’t do it, you are what you are… a failure!  All lies that I bought into, straight from the pits of Hell!

One day a friend of mine, a christian friend, came by.  He came and said, “come with me.”  He took me out to lunch and talked to me.  I was honest with him and shared with him what I was doing and what I was feeling.  It was one of the hardest, most embarrassing conversations I have ever had.  However, through that conversation, came a ray of hope through one simple prayer we prayed. In that moment, I prayed for God to forgive me and make me new again.  To restore me, my faith and my walk with Him. At that moment, while I was still in the midst of my valley, God met me there and I felt Him for the first time in a very long time. His was right there!

You see, despite my choices, despite my rebellion, despite me feeling light years away from God, He was still there with me.  He was walking along side me through the darkest valley my life had ever seen.  He was simply waiting on me, waiting on me to turn to Him.  You see, in these moments of our lives that we feel so distant from God, is actually when God is the closest.  He is longing to help us and guide us out of that endless darkness we are in.  However, while He pursues us, He does not force His love, mercy and grace upon us.  It is a choice WE must make.  As believers, God’s Truth is in us the moment we accept Christ as our Lord and Savior.  He pours His Holy Spirit into us to make us a New Creation.  However, when we turn from that Holiness, even for an instant, we are opening the door for darkness to creep back in.  And that is exactly what happened to me.

I was trying to fill the void of my brokenness with everything but God.  I was turning towards every worldly treasure I could get my hands on and in those moments, my world became a very, very dark, lonely world.  I had turned away from God without even truly realizing it.  There is an old saying that goes like this, “if you throw a frog into boiling water, it immediately jumps out because it is hot! But if you put a frog into normal water and slowly turn up the heat, it will sit there until it dies!”  The same holds true for us!  We must constantly be on guard in our spiritual walks with the Lord.  The enemy is looking for ANY WAY POSSIBLE to destroy not only you, but your entire family.  If you are saved by the grace of God, then he can not touch your eternal salvation, but he can (and will) destroy your witness, your family and everything you hold near and dear to your heart.

This post is meant for someone, I don’t know who, but I pray that if you are reading this and this is where you are in life right now, please hear these words!  GOD IS WAITING ON YOU… HE LOVES YOU MORE THAN YOU CAN EVER IMAGINE… DON’T LISTEN TO THE LIES ANYMORE… STOP RIGHT NOW WHAT YOU ARE DOING, TURN AROUND, REPENT AND HE WILL BE WAITING FOR YOU RIGHT THERE!  If you think you can control what it is you are going through, you have just bought into another lie from the on who longs to destroy you! Jesus even illustrates this for us in Luke 15:11-32.

God Found me in my Endless Darkness and proved to me His Unfailing Love, He WILL do the same for you!

Prayer:  Father, I don’t even how I got here.  I am asking for you to forgive me, restore me and draw me close to you once again.  Lord, I can’t do this on my own… I need your help!  Redeem me oh Lord!  Amen!

Posted in Armor of God, Desires, Faith, Following God, Forgiveness, Free Will, God's Will, Grace, Guarding Our Hearts, Jesus, Lies of the Enemy, Life, Love, Pain, Shame, Sorrow, Spiritual Growth, The Enemy, The Love of Christ, Trials, Truth, Uncategorized, Weblogs, Words | Tagged , , , , , , , | 1 Comment

A Love Worth Dying For


This post is not mine, but when I read it, I firmly believed it was worth the share.  I do want to add my reflection on this though.  Read, be encouraged and share!
This is a true story of Mother’s Sacrifice during the Japan Earthquake.
After the Earthquake had subsided, when the rescuers reached the ruins of a young woman’s house, they saw her dead body through the cracks. But her pose was somehow strange that she knelt on her knees like a person was worshiping; her body was leaning forward, and her two hands were supporting by an object. The collapsed house had crashed her back and her head.With so many difficulties, the leader of the rescuer team put his hand through a narrow gap on the wall to reach the woman’s body. He was hoping that this woman could be still alive. However, the cold and stiff body told him that she had passed away for sure.
He and the rest of the team left this house and were going to search the next collapsed building. For some reasons, the team leader was driven by a compelling force to go back to the ruin house of the dead woman. Again, he knelt down and used his had through the narrow cracks to search the little space under the dead body. Suddenly, he screamed with excitement,” A child! There is a child! “
The whole team worked together; carefully they removed the piles of ruined objects around the dead woman. There was a 3 months old little boy wrapped in a flowery blanket under his mother’s dead body. Obviously, the woman had made an ultimate sacrifice for saving her son. When her house was falling, she used her body to make a cover to protect her son. The little boy was still sleeping peacefully when the team leader picked him up.
The medical doctor came quickly to exam the little boy. After he opened the blanket, he saw a cell phone inside the blanket. There was a text message on the screen. It said,” If you can survive, you must remember that I love you.” This cell phone was passing around from one hand to another. Every body that read the message wept. ” If you can survive, you must remember that I love you.” Such is the mother’s love for her child!!Reference:
www.tamiltwist. com/2011/09/mothers-sacrifice-during-japan.html
Reflection:
After I read this story, I was truly touched at this young mothers love for her child and the message on her phone brought me to tears.  Then this came to my heart and my mind.  God does the same thing for us.  When the walls come crashing down around us, He holds us and protects us.  When all seems lost, we have a message from Him to remind us of just how much He loves us, enough to sacrifice His only Son to give us life.  And when we  are in our darkest hour, He sends His people to help us and restore us.
My dear friends, if you have ever wondered just how much God loves you and just how much He longs to draw you near, let this story remind you of just how special you are to Him.  May God Bless you, heal you and restore you, as you are a blessing to God and He loves you more then you will ever truly realize!
Posted in Beauty, Dreams, Following God, God, God's Will, Kids, Life, Love, Pain, Sorrow, Spiritual Growth, The Love of Christ, Truth, Walls, Weblogs, Words | Tagged , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Give Freely


Giving Breeds Love

I had some free time at work and decided to read God’s Word.  This Scripture was the verse of the day and really encouraged me and I pray that if you read this, it does the same for you.

Deuteronomy 15:7-11

When you happen on someone who’s in trouble or needs help among your people with whom you live in this land that God, your God, is giving you, don’t look the other way pretending you don’t see him. Don’t keep a tight grip on your purse.  No. Look at him, open your purse, lend whatever and as much as he needs.  Don’t count the cost. Don’t listen to that selfish voice saying, “It’s almost the seventh year, the year of All-Debts-Are-Canceled,” and turn aside and leave your needy neighbor in the lurch, refusing to help him. He’ll call God’s attention to you and your blatant sin.

Give freely and spontaneously. Don’t have a stingy heart. The way you handle matters like this triggers God, your God’s, blessing in everything you do, all your work and ventures. There are always going to be poor and needy people among you. So I command you: Always be generous, open purse and hands, give to your neighbors in trouble, your poor and hurting neighbors.

Reflection:

When we know that someone is need or asks us for help, how are we as Christians to react?  Do we say let me pray about it?  Do we lie and say I just don’t have it right now to give?  Do we just turn away and ignore them?  Do we tell them, I can’t help you right now, but I know someone who can?  Let me tell you this first, I have done all of the above.  In fact, I have done it so many times I can’t count.  Before I laid myself before God and asked Him to search me and try me.  Before I asked Him to make me more like His Son and less like Brad.  Before I quit making excuse after excuse. I had a heart of stone and only worried about Brad and how Brad was going to make it.  It was after all the above took place that God changed my heart and broke my heart for those who were hurting.  This vision of helping people in need came to me about 2 years ago.  And God has laid the path for this moment in time for me to not only help those in need, but also raise awareness for the Body of Christ… to be a voice.

Closing:

Let us stop making excuses and start making a difference.  When we give, we receive.  It may not be a monetary gift back to us, but your gift in Heaven will far out weigh anything you can imagine.  Give freely my brothers and sisters. Give with the joy of the Lord and know you are being Jesus to that person.  We often times hold on to these things that are not ours to hold on too.  God has blessed us to bless others and to spread the Gospel and the Love of Christ to all nations.  It is right there in His Word.

God changed my heart.  See what God does when you open your heart to Him , you can give right now and literally help save lives in Kenya through our foundation.  Choose to make a difference today, click the link below to find out more.

Posted in Body of Christ, Callings, Church, Desires, Dreams, Faith, Following God, Free Will, Friends, Friendships, Giving, Giving Freely, God, God's Will, Grace, Jesus, Kenya, Kids, Life, Love, Revival, Spiritual Growth, The Great I AM, The Love of Christ, Truth, Uncategorized, Walls, Weblogs, Words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

A World Away: A Brother In Our Hearts


Church Building

I began writing this blog as a meter for my own growth and experiences within my own Christian walk.  I never knew what God had in store or how He would use it to change the lives of two families a world apart.

One must love God with all his heart, all his mind, and all his strength. And one must love his neighbor as he loves himself. These commands are more important than all the animals and sacrifices we offer to God.” ~ Mark 12:33 NCV

I first met Wilson Ngando of Kenya about 9 months ago via facebook, after receiving a friend request.  We began having small general conversations.  I then began feeling a calling from the Lord shortly there after.  At first I thought maybe it was a calling to go over to Africa.  After much prayer, my wife and I knew that was not it, at least for now.  Months went by, and the burden on my heart was still so heavy and I did not know why.  So, I just continued to pray for him and asked God to reveal to me what it was.

Children Eating After First Donation

About two months ago, Wilson began sharing with me the dire need they were facing in the orphanage which he leads.  The worst drought in 60 years has caused a severe famine for the entire East Africa Region.  He began sharing stories with me about how his children there at the orphanage were starving and other stories of infants going to their mothers for milk, but the mother was dead of starvation.  Stories of woman and children walking 6o miles one way to just get food and water to survive.  I knew then part of what we were to do… help!

Children getting food with the next donation

My family is very tight financially.  In fact, like most of us these days, we live paycheck to paycheck.  We depend heavily on my side business just to make ends meet.  But my wife and I knew it was time to act and just do what we could to help in someway, even if it was just a little at a time.  We began sending small amounts over there to Wilson. Yet in my heart I kept hearing, more Brad, more…  I began praying again… not sure what else we could do.  On my way to work one morning the Lord placed it on my heart to call my friend who is the General Manager at a local Christian Radio Station (90.9 KCBI FM).  So I emailed him, I told him what I believed the Lord was wanting me to do and asked him if he would pray about helping me.  His reply… yes!

The Children in Front of their School

So we scheduled a time to do a radio interview and ask for there listening audience to help by making donations.  We did the interview and even had Wilson on there via Skype.  It went perfect.  Everyone was moved and I just knew this was what it was I was called to do for Wilson and the children of the orphanage.  The day before the story was to air, I got a call from my friend.  Do to FCC laws, they were not going to be able to air the story as they originally hoped to.  Since I was an individual, with no 501 c(3) non-profit, they could not ask for donations.  We were all crushed.. I still had that feeling that this was supposed to happen.  So… I began praying, again, asking for wisdom ( as the Lord tells us too).  I prayed for God to bring me a way to make this happen.  I said, Lord, I don’t have a clue what I am doing and we don’t have time to start a non-profit organization, please send me someone to help.  Guess what, a few days later, while venting with a friend, that friend told me that he knew someone who might be able to help me and would have them call me.

The Wilson House Foundation

The next day we talked and before I knew it, I had a meeting set up with a company who does exactly what we needed done.  They act for individuals such as myself, who need non-profit status and allow them to setup foundations to raise money for charities.  Yes, God is good!  That same day, we had a Non-Profit Foundation, and thus The Wilson House Foundation was born.  We are in the works now of trying to re-air the broadcast and provide the miracle that my dear brother Wilson and the orphans of Eldoret, Kenya need.

I tell this story, for several reasons.  However, the most important reason, I believe is this.  You never know what God might do through you or for you by simply saying, “yes Lord, use me”.  What began as simple conversation with a man around the World from me, has turned into one of the most loving friendships I have ever had.  Wilson and the orphans are now considered part of our family.  There is not a day that goes by we don’t talk to them and praise God for them.  By simply saying yes to God, even though I didn’t know what it was for, I have gained not only a friend, but God has allowed us to forever change the lives of children we have never met.  God blesses those who bless others, and in this case, it is my family who has been so richly blessed.

I invite you to come along side us and continue to change lives.  The Wilson House Foundation is just the beginning.  There are many lives to change and many lives to save.  Together, we can make a difference and Together, we can save lives!

To donate to this cause and help save lives, please click here.

Posted in Beauty, Body of Christ, Callings, Church, Creator, Desires, Dreams, Faith, Following God, Friends, Friendships, Giving, God, God's Will, Jesus, Kenya, Kids, Life, Love, Pain, Spiritual Growth, The Great I AM, The Love of Christ, Truth, Uncategorized, Weblogs, Words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | 3 Comments

The Value of a Good Friendship


Proverbs 17:17  “A friend loves at all times, and a brother is born for adversity.”

Finding friendships that last seems to be very hard.  Most of us can remember back in our childhood days, when it seemed everyone was our friend, but as we grow those friendships fade away.  Before we know it, we are all grown up and if we are lucky, we stay in touch with a few friends and if you are really lucky you have a friend that is a like a brother or sister, who you can always count on.  While this is not always the case, as some of us develop strong lasting friendships later in life, it is for me.  With that being said, I want to talk about the importance of having friends and especially close ones.

As you well know, life is hard and there are many trials that you are going to face in time on this earth.  Going about it alone or secluded can be very depressing and very hard.  I was lucky enough to have one friend who is like a brother to me and who has stuck by my side through thick and thin.  Although we have not always agreed on things, and our friendship has been tested, that bond will never be broken.  I lost most of my friends when I made a decision to follow Christ in my senior year of high school.  Me and the group of friends I hung out with were always the life of the party.  But something happened in my junior year that changed me and changed the way I would pick my friends for the rest of my life and something I still battle today.  After catching one of my best friends with my girlfriend, it changed me.  While I was okay on the outside, I was deeply wounded on the inside.  I built a wall around me and no one was able to get in.  Even in my relationships, I rarely let my guard down, always expecting the worst from them.   I have come to realize now, as I look around and have no close friends to count but one, that I have destroyed so many potential close friendships, and all because of the protective wall.  When people get to close, I simply push them away in one way or another.

So why am I sharing this with you?  Why the long history of my life and my friendships or lack there of?  Simple, most of us have some sort of wall like mine.  Some are higher or more protective than others and that is hindering your growth.  While it is good to some what keep your guard up, it is bad to avoid letting people in because you feel they may hurt you or let you down.  Guess what, we are all humans with many flaws and we will hurt people and make mistakes, but it is through those mistakes we grow and learn from.  See for me, I thought everyone was out to hurt me and therefore, I let no one in.  So as a result, I have spent the last 20 years guarding something that I long to have and that I was created to have.  I have deprived myself of the love and friendships that would help me grow, not only as a person, but spiritually too.  Because you know what, those walls weren’t just for friends, they carried over to my relationship with my creator, my Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

So how do we let down the walls the hold us captive?  We must start by trusting in the One who is Trust worthy and that is God.  We must allow the heeling to take place within our hearts, as painful as it may be.  Once that heeling takes place, and it will, we must then begin trusting in people and ask God to do the protecting and to guard us.  Allowing people into your lives is key.  Those relationship take time to build, but the are worth the wait.  Try enjoying the time together and the bond that is being made.  Don’t force a relationship, God will provide the people, as long as you are open.  Should you hang out with anyone?  No.  You should still use your good sense about people.  Some are clingie, some are downers and some are just takers.  Use the discernment that God has given you without putting that wall back up.  And remember this, “A true friend loves you just the way you are!”

Goal:  Brake Down Those Walls Guarding Your Heart

Application:  Build good strong Faith Based Friendships that can last a lifetime

Posted in Creator, Faith, Following God, Forgiveness, Friends, Friendships, God, Grace, Guarding Our Hearts, Love, Pain, Shame, Spiritual Growth, Truth, Uncategorized, Walls, Weblogs, Words | Tagged , | 1 Comment

What it Really Means to have Faith

This gallery contains 2 photos.


What does it mean to have faith?  How do you obtain it?  Where does it come from?  If I asked you if you have faith, what would your answer be? Some believe by saying they have faith, it is an … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , , , , | 1 Comment

The Tragedy of Shame


Image provided by Google Image

The tragedy of shame is not the action or deed for which we are shameful of.  The tragedy of shame is not unveiling it.

I want to paint you a picture in words.  Most marriages are not arranged anymore.  However, imagine if you will, a bride and groom getting married without ever seeing or meeting each other.  Up until the actual ceremony, the two would not even know what each other looked like, leaving a great mystery.  Now, time for the moment… the groom standing at the alter waiting on the arrival of his beautiful bride.  A glamorous white dress enters the room, the veil covering the beauty that lies beneath.  She finally arrives at the alter and is given away by her father, but instead of the veil being lifted for her groom to see, it is left down, hiding what lies beneath.  Everybody in the room can see the beauty that is surrounding her on the outside, but nobody, including her groom can see the beauty that is on the inside.  Only her father knows that beauty.  The ceremony continues, and because of the shame of the bride, she hides even for the ceremonial kiss.

You see the tragedy of shame is the same thing.  Everyone sees the beauty of who you are on the outside, but because of the lies of Satan, that shame keeps us locked under our veil, leaving only our Father to know what beauty lies underneath.  Shame is a powerful weapon of the enemy, and he loves for you to think and more importantly, feel like nobody will see the beauty underneath, only the scars of our past.  Shame is a crippling, paralizing effect, of an action.  You need to hear this very important FACT… We are all sinners, who have fallen short of the Glory of God.  Not one person, on this planet has ever or will ever, walk a perfect life.  The only one who did and could have is Jesus Christ, the One and only Son of God.  He came to this earth, born of a virgin, not just to teach, heal, and stir up the religious views on God, but to bare your sins and my on the Cross.  Nailed to a tree, breathing His last breathe, He cried out “It is Finished!”

“It is Finished!” What is “It”?  It, is our sins.  The past, present and future sins of yours and mine.  You see the true tragedy of shame is this, by hiding under the veil because of our shame, we withhold the Love, the Grace and the Mercy that Jesus poured out on the cross for us.  By hiding, we don’t let others see the marvelous compassion and love He has for us.  Hidden under that veil, is a beautiful workmanship of our creator.  The unveiling of our shame that lies beneath, allows others to see the true beauty of what the Cross represents… A New Creation.  You see, by accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you are just that… A New Creation.  He poured out His precious blood for your shame, pains, hurts and every other burden and sin,  to be cleansed and made new.  The power to break the chains of the lies and deceit, lies within you… Jesus is crying out to you… BREAK FREE, BREAK FREE… YOU ARE MY BEAUTIFUL, PRECIOUS CHILD… I LOVE YOU… BREAK FREE.. ALLOW OTHERS TO SEE MY LOVE, MY GRACE AND MY MERCY THROUGH YOU.  BREAK FREE! I DIED ON THE CROSS FOR YOU!  I PAID FOR YOU IN FULL… BREAK FREE!

Satan is the father of all the lies we hear in our heads… you know the ones I am talking about, “you’re not good enough, you’re not educated, you’re not pretty, you’re not, you can’t….” every single one of them is a lie straight from the pits of hell!  The price has been paid in full, by the blood Jesus Christ!  Satan can no longer touch you, he can only deceive you and lie to you… and he will continue to, if YOU let him….

Challenge: BREAK FREE, BREAK FREE… I know what shame can do… I know what power it can hold, but it is all lies.  So my challenge and prayer for you, is to right now, stand up and proclaim your VICTORY IN JESUS CHRIST and BREAK FREE.

Prayer: Father, I have been hiding under my veil for far too long.  I know you have created me to be a beautiful creation and I know your death on the cross paid the Full price for me.  I ask for your forgiveness for hiding under my veil and being shameful.  I give you full reign over me and my life.  Use my shame for your glory and allow others to see your love, your grace and your mercy that you have shown in me.  Amen!

Link for helpful scriptures to see God’s Promises for Shame.  You can find our helpful resources on the top home page of this blog.

https://bradnd24.wordpress.com/wp-admin/post.php?post=179&action=edit

Posted in Beauty, Faith, God's Will, Jesus, Life, Marriage, Shame | 7 Comments

All Things New


Ever worry about what others think about your past?  I heard a great interview this morning on my way into work that really got me thinking.  The interview was with a former high class escort who has given her life to Christ and is now working to help other women who are stuck in that lifestyle.  What a fantastic testimony of Gods workmanship in a persons life.  To God be the Glory!

As she talked about it on the interview, she said, “I am a new creation in Christ and that is what I want to show these ladies”.  She also said, “I don’t worry about what other people might think or say, because I know who I am in Christ.  My sins are washed, and I have been made new”.  My wife and I talked about it, she said, “can you imagine, she was from a normal middle class family.”  I then said, “yeah, talk about a wearing a scarlet letter around your neck”.  My wife then said something that floored me and really brought it home, she said, “but it is really no different than the rest of us.  We are all in the same boat”.  Wow!  She was exactly right.  None of us are any different than this lady.  None of us are sin free and since no sin is great than the next, we are all wearing our own scarlet letters around our necks.  For some, it might be drugs, alcohol, sex, divorce or lying addiction, while  for others it might be something like porn addiction.   We all have something in our lives, from our past, that might make people look at you in a different way or judge you with.  But here is the thing, you are a new creation in Jesus Christ, as Paul states in 2 Corinthians 17 If anyone belongs to Christ, there is a new creation. The old things have gone; everything is made new! (2 Corinthians 5:17).  When Jesus died on the cross, and you accepted Him as your Lord and Savior, His atoning blood cleansed you from head to toe.  At that moment you were made new.  At that moment, you were blameless in the eyes of God.  Why?  Because you were made new in Jesus Christ and when God looks at you now, He sees His Son.

My dear friends, we all have a past.  None of us are blameless.  We all carry around a scarlet letter, but here is the kicker, that letter is now white as snow.  That letter that used to condemn you, it has been changed to free you and to help others to be set free.  You see, Romans 8:28 says this, “We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him. They are the people he called, because that was his plan.” That means that no matter what you have done, no matter how bad you think it is or even what others might say, God can use that for His Glory, and that is a promise, not from Brad, but from God.  If you lay that burden down at His Throne, He will use it to help build His Kingdom.

So whether you have had an affair or been addicted to drugs, no matter what your past says, God wants you to know that when you chose to accept His Son Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior, you were and ARE a New Creation by the cleansing blood He shed on the cross for you.  He has made all things new.  So, no matter what other people say or judge you by, remember that God sees you for the New and not the old.  And more importantly, He loves you so much that you will never fully understand or comprehend that love.

Below is a link to this ladies amazing story, as well as a very powerful song.  As you watch and listen to it, remember this, He who loves you, has made you NEW!  Proclaim that victory today!  Move forward for He has made All Things New!  God Bless you all!

7 Then Moses summoned Joshua and said to him in the presence of all Israel, “Be strong and courageous, for you must go with this people into the land that the LORD swore to their ancestors to give them, and you must divide it among them as their inheritance. 8 The LORD himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged.”  (Deutoronomy 31:7-8)

http://www.hookersforjesus.org/


Posted in Beauty, Creator, Faith, Following God, Forgiveness, God's Will, Grace, Jesus, Life, Love, Pain, Pornography, sex, Shame, Sorrow, Spiritual Growth, The Great I AM, The Love of Christ, Truth, Uncategorized, Weblogs, Words | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , , | Leave a comment

Putting Christ Back In Christmas


As we embark on this holiday season, it is my deepest prayer that we all remember what we are celebrating.

With all the hustle and bustle that we are faced with each and everyday, the holiday season compounds that times 100.  From Thanksgiving Day on, we are pulled many different directions.  We have multiple Thanksgiving meals, at multiple locations.  Followed by the busiest shopping day of the year, Black Friday.  Some stores this year opened at 3:00 am, while some didn’t close at all.  And while saving money and bargin shopping is great for your pocket book, it really got me thinking.  Have we numbed ourselves to what this holiday season is all about?

Don’t get me wrong here, I am not saying that shopping for gifts is a bad thing. In fact this post is not really meant to focus on shopping at all.  What it is meant to focus on is Jesus Christ and His birth.  My point is this, we are so distracted with holiday parties at work, school, friends and many more.  Not to mention the last minute shopping sprees.  Before we know it, the season has come and gone without any regard to what we are celebrating, the birth of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ.

Our focus, as with our everyday lives, should be on glorifying our Lord and Savior.   However, as time goes by, year after year, more and more people are leaving Christ out of Christmas.  More and more stores, businesses and other organizations, are dropping Merry Christmas for Happy Holidays.  Christ is slowly but surely getting left behind and for what?  But more importantly, why?

The for what part is pretty easy, money and to be politically correct. You know we would not want to offend anyone and say that Christ is the reason for the season.  And we sure would not want to stir the pot and tell people all around us why we celebrate Christmas in the first place.  Christmas gifts are great, and the glimmer on a child’s face is priceless when they open their favorite present.  But Christ should always be the ultimate focus in all we do, especially when we celebrate the birth of our Lord and Savior. Put it this way, on our child’s birthday or an important loved ones birthday, the day is all about that person and celebrating, loving and cherishing what they mean to us.  So should we not even do more for the one who paid the price for our sins and saved us from the pits of hell?

The why part of this is hard to accept, but we must be honest with ourselves.  Christ is getting more and more left behind at Christmas because we as Christians are focusing more and more on the earthly meaning.  Another words, we are conforming to the world.  We are not standing for our beliefs in our everyday lives and so why should we do any different on Christmas?  We need to refocus on what we have (meaning Christ in our lives) and who we are supposed to be modeling (Christ).  We need to be willing to make that stand in the store or even at work or a friends “Holiday Party” and share why we celebrate Christmas.  We need to be willing to sell out and proclaim what Christ has done for us.  What better time to share your faith and share with others the love of Christ?

So as you continue your holiday season journey, it is my prayer that you always remember Christ is the true and ONLY reason we celebrate or have anything to celebrate.  The birth of Jesus Christ is our victory beginning.  Without Him, we would still be on the hook for our sins.  Without His sacrifice, we would have no hope and no future, as well as, no guidance from the Holy Spirit.  So as you sing your Christmas songs on the radio or at concerts this year, listen, really listen to the words and the meaning behind them.  As you go about buying your gifts, remember that it is better to give then to receive.  And as you see someone in need, remember to take the time to help.  Let us make Christ and our Heavenly Father proud that His sacrifice was not in vain and make our Heavenly Father proud that we are His children.  Let’s take Christmas back.  Let’s put Christ back in Christmas.  But mostly importantly, let’s remember what this season and Christmas really means.  Take the time to read and share with your kids the Real Christmas Story.  Explain to them what it really symbolizes and why we celebrate.  Instead of watching the Miracle on 34th Street, share with them and others the Miracle on Bethleham Street.  You know the story of how the virgin Mary gave birth to a baby boy in a manger.  That story still holds power.

In closing, there are many things that I am thankful this holiday season, but honestly, I am most thankful for my financial situation.  Our finances are the tightest and more bleak than I can ever remember, but it for that reason I am thankful.  You see, it is because of that, and the thought of no traditional Christmas for our family that has really caused me to reflect on what this season is all about… Jesus Christ and His birth.

From my family, to yours, have a very Merry Christmas!  And may the Lord bless you richly.  I pray that this year will be more special and different than any other in your life, as you put Christ back in Christmas.

Listen to the song below and truly embrace the words and meaning.

Luke 2:8-21

8 That night, some shepherds were in the fields nearby watching their sheep.9 Then an angel of the Lord stood before them. The glory of the Lord was shining around them, and they became very frightened.10 The angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I am bringing you good news that will be a great joy to all the people.11 Today your Savior was born in the town of David. He is Christ, the Lord.12 This is how you will know him: You will find a baby wrapped in pieces of cloth and lying in a feeding box.”

13 Then a very large group of angels from heaven joined the first angel, praising God and saying:
14 “Give glory to God in heaven,
and on earth let there be peace among the people who please God.”[c]

15 When the angels left them and went back to heaven, the shepherds said to each other, “Let’s go to Bethlehem. Let’s see this thing that has happened which the Lord has told us about.”

16 So the shepherds went quickly and found Mary and Joseph and the baby, who was lying in a feeding trough. 17 When they had seen him, they told what the angels had said about this child.18 Everyone was amazed at what the shepherds said to them.19 But Mary treasured these things and continued to think about them.20 Then the shepherds went back to their sheep, praising God and thanking him for everything they had seen and heard. It had been just as the angel had told them.

21 When the baby was eight days old, he was circumcised and was named Jesus, the name given by the angel before the baby began to grow inside Mary.

Posted in Christmas, Faith, Following God, God, Jesus, Life, Putting Christ in Christmas, Religion, The Great I AM, The Love of Christ, Truth, Uncategorized, Weblogs, Words | Tagged , , | 3 Comments

Spiritual Growth


The moment we enter this world, we are dependent on our parents to feed us, clothe us, change us and to teach us.  As babies, we go through many different changes.  We start out being breast fed or bottle fed (liquids only).  Mainly because we don’t have teeth, but also because our stomach and digestive system can’t handle or process anything else.  However, as we develop, we start eating small amounts of food.  By the time we are a year old, we start eating some table foods, never wanting the gross baby food we once enjoyed.  While the baby foods were packed with nutrients to help us grow, they were only meant to be given for a short amount of time. As we continue to grow, the less we are dependent on our parents to help us.  The more we grow, the more responsibility we are given.  The more we grow, it is very unlikely that we will return to the ways of our baby days.

So why am I making these references with a post called Spiritual Growth?  While many of us have been Christians for a long period of time, we are still eating those baby foods.  We sit in our spiritual baby chair, waiting for someone to feed us.  And while the baby foods of our Christian walk are not bad, they don’t help us grow as God has designed us to.  You see as we grow in our lives, graduating from baby food, we must also graduate in our spiritual growth as well.  We need to begin to feed ourselves.  As we grow, our parents sit us at the table and place the food before us and then we dig in with our forks and spoons feeding ourselves.  Then as we continue to grow, we might even begin to prepare our food.  You see, the same is with our spiritual growth.  We must first recognize where we are (baby, toddler, youth, or adult).  Once we know that, we must strive to learn the next step.  Spiritual growth comes by doing, not by having something done for you all the time.  When we are hungry for our spiritual food, we need to prepare our plate and dig in.

Just as with babies, we all develop at different rates.  We all have different ways of preparing our food.  But the most important thing to realize, is that when you are hungry, you need to eat.  And when you are hungry for your spiritual food, you need to eat too.

Start with a simple recipe, something that you know how to cook.  A simple Bible study or devotional.  When you read it, don’t just put it down, but digest it.  Let it provide you the nutrients it is intended to.  See how to apply it in your everyday life, then apply it.  Or maybe you have been doing that for a while and you need something more.  Maybe it is time for you to start a spiritual family and help them eat.  So then look for ways to start teaching a Sunday School class or Bible Study group.  You see when you prepare the food for others, you still eat too.  You often times get more out of it also.  You see when you are the cook, you know the ingredients, spices and final product.

The worst thing we can do, is to stay where we are in our growth process.  The enemy loves to lie to us and tell us that we can’t grow anymore because of this or that.  My dear friends, we should be constantly growing.  We can never grow enough in our Christian walks.  We are not ever done, until the day the Lord calls us home.  So examine yourselves before the Lord and ask Him to show you the areas you need to grow more and realize that it is a process.

12 In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13 Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14 But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.  (Hebrews 5:12-14)

1 Brothers and sisters, I could not address you as people who live by the Spirit but as people who are still worldly—mere infants in Christ. 2 I gave you milk, not solid food, for you were not yet ready for it. Indeed, you are still not ready. 3 You are still worldly. For since there is jealousy and quarreling among you, are you not worldly? Are you not acting like mere humans? (1 Corinthians 3:1-3)

Challenge: Find out what stage you are in. Then begin taking from the Word of God, so that you might grow.  Ask the Holy Spirit to help you discern, digest and put into practice what you have read and learned from God’s Truth.

Application: As with our lives, we must eat to grow and strengthen ourselves with good healthy food.  We need to do the same for our Spiritual Growth.  We need to eat and digest the Word of God and allow it’s nutrients to help us grow and strengthen us.  Once we are able to feed ourselves, we must then start feeding others, in order that they might grow too.

Posted in Faith, Following God, God's Will, Grace, Jesus, Lies of the Enemy, Life, Spiritual Growth, The Enemy, Truth, Uncategorized, Weblogs, Words | Tagged , , , , , , | 2 Comments

Pride – What Pulls us Apart


Many of my posts have had to do with me and my walk, in hopes that I can encourage you and your walk.  Well, today is no different.  I have struggled this week with pride.  It is my hope that you will see the heart that is behind this and use it to strengthen your walk.

Pride is a funny thing.  It has a way of creeping up without us even knowing it.  This week, I had a situation where I felt like God was telling me something to do and when I shared it with my wife (and family), it brought about a reaction that I was not prepared for.  The reaction was against what I felt led to do.  In this process, I made mistakes that I wish to share with you.  One was my pride.  The second was that I told her what God had laid on my heart at the same time I told the entire family… and that was a HUGE mistake.  But that is for another post.  But trust me, you don’t want to do that…

My pride, made me feel like I knew better than anyone what God was calling me to do.  I argued with my wife and basically told her, “I know what I am talking about and you don’t”.  Now, I didn’t say that, or really even mean that, but the pride in me, would not let go of the fact that God had spoken to me.  She was totally against what I felt led to do and in all honesty, it made me very mad and like wise with her.  My pride jumped up and started thinking, I am the man of this house and I know what is best.  However, I agreed to pray about it and I did.  I also sought counsel, because I honestly just didn’t know what to do.  It was then I was told by a wise friend to submit and love my wife as Christ loved the Church.  To lay down my desires and help her with hers.  To honor her wishes.  However, I was still very unaware of my pride.  I could not see it at all.  But later that day, I told my wife that I would hold off on doing anything until she had the peace to move forward too.

The next morning, I was having my quiet time and before I knew it the burden to do this was stronger than ever.  I asked my wife to please pray for me and this situation.  Again, I hurt my wife, without even realizing it.  You see I, in a since, broke my promise to her. My pride was coming out without me even knowing it.  When I realized I had hurt her again, I stopped right there and prayed. “God if this is not your will, take it from me, but if it is your will, please show me what in the world I am doing wrong here.”  I made a phone call to the man at our church.  And like a slap in the face, the answer came clear as day.  I was completely honest with him and told him my struggles and my wife struggles with this situation.  He simply answered you are very wise to listen to your wife.  I sat there for a minute.  He then said, men are wired to be go getters, we feel a calling and go, often times ahead of God.  And leave everything else in the dust.  WOW!  Sitting there feeling about an inch tall, I could not believe it.  At the moment those words were said, it hit me… MY PRIDE!  I was being a complete jerk.  A prideful, arrogant jerk.

Deuteronomy 8:17-20

17 You might say to yourself, “I am rich because of my own power and strength,”18 but remember the Lord your God! It is he who gives you the power to become rich, keeping the agreement he promised to your ancestors, as it is today. 19 If you ever forget the Lord your God and follow other gods and worship them and bow down to them, I warn you today that you will be destroyed.20Just as the Lord destroyed the other nations for you, you can be destroyed if you do not obey the Lord your God.

My pride had slipped in without me even seeing or realizing it.  I would never do anything to hurt my wife, but I did and it was my pride that was deceiving me, it had slipped right past my guard.  Do I still feel like God is calling us to this situation?  Yes, but not right now, down the road.

So what can we learn from my mistakes?

First, Pride even in the smallest form, is very dangerous.  It, as with any other sin, is blinding.  We can’t see through it to see the truth.  To me, it is one of the most dangerous sins there is.  Second, God has placed our spouses in our lives as a teammate.  We need to heed the warning when we are both not on the same page.  Third, when you are not on the same page, pray about it together… face to face together.  Seek the wisdom from Him as a team.  Where two are more are gathered in His name, He is there.  Fourth, (looking back on this now I realize this) when you start getting upset or see your spouse getting upset about the disagreement, you need to stop and really search what God is showing you both.  In my case, my wife was right on with what God was saying and I was not.  She was not against this opportunity, she just didn’t have a peace about it right now.  And last but not least, is not to jump and run.  (I struggle with this one a lot) When you have a calling, there could be several avenues in which that calling could take place.  Search the Lord and His calling to see what He wants.  Don’t just jump up and run without getting ALL of His instructions.  Sometimes He places a calling on us to prepare us for what is to come.  It is not always right then, right now.  Seek His instruction first.  Then pray with your spouse and then prepare for what He has called you for.  The main thing is that we are open and obedient, but in His timing, not ours.  We are here to bring Him Glory and if we jump out ahead of Him, we only cause ourselves pain.

Pride is very dangerous.  It has the power, if left alone, to rip you to pieces and everything around you as well.  We need to be sensitive to the Holy Spirits guidance and be sure to check our motives in everything we are doing.  God and only God should be the one getting the Glory.

Challenge: Don’t be afraid to admit when you are wrong.  We are all humans and we make mistakes.  The moment I realized I was wrong and what it was that I had done, I called my wife and simply told her, I humbly admit you are right and I am wrong.  Pride can be tricky and it can also cause you and those around you pain.  So always watch for it.

Posted in Anger, Callings, Desires, Faith, Following God, God, God's Will, Grace, Lies of the Enemy, Life, Marriage, Pain, Pride, Sorrow, Temptation, Truth, Uncategorized, Weblogs, Words | Tagged , , , , , , , | 5 Comments

Contentment


I rejoice greatly in the Lord that at last you have renewed your concern for me. Indeed, you have been concerned, but you had no opportunity to show it. I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances. I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through him who gives me strength. ~  Philippians 4: 10-13

During my various trials of late, I learned and I am still learning to hold fast and be content in my circumstances.  While I pray everyday for the Lord to deliver me, I can rest in knowing that He knows my deepest needs.  I sometimes confuse my wants with what my true needs are.  And if I am being honest with myself, He has always provided for my every need.  For even in my darkest trials, while He might not seem to deliver me as I pray for Him to,  but I can rest on the promise, that He will teach me out of the trial I am in and never leave my side.  So I should instead pray and ask for the strength of the Lord to carry me through what I am going through and to teach me what it is I need to learn and seek Him, even in the darkest times.  For the Lord, knows what is best for me, even though I might think I know better.  For as Paul says, I can do all things through Him who gives me strength.  For while I am a man who is bound by time, I serve a God who’s time is boundless. So I should remember what my main purpose is, and that is to bring Him honor and glory in all I do, even in the darkest of trials.

You see true contentment, does not mean we become lazy.  However, it does mean that we must learn to trust in God no matter what our circumstances are.  If you are like me, you like to control every aspect of your life.  I have learn, the hard way, that my ways are not like His.  In fact, they are not even close.  While we see today and hope for tomorrow, God sees everything, the whole entire picture.  We can plan, hope, dream or strive for our desires all we want, but if they are not in His plan, then we often times fill frustrated or even mad.  When we truly learn contentment, we learn to trust in God’s plan and not our own.

Challenge:  Trust in God and His plans and His timing.  God knows all.  He knows the plans He has for us, including what will come out of the trial we are in.  His promises are true, He know the plans He has for you, plans not to harm you, but plans for you to prosper (Jeremiah 29:11)  Take Him at His word and rest in the fact that nothing touches you without first going through the Father.

Posted in Desires, Dreams, Faith, Following God, God's Will, Jesus, Life, Trials, Truth, Uncategorized, Weblogs, Words | Tagged , , , | 1 Comment

I have a Dream


Many have heard the famous Martin Luther King, Jr. Speech, I have a Dream, in which he called for racial equality and an end to discrimination. King’s delivery of the speech on August 28, 1963, from the steps of the Lincoln Memorial during the March on Washington for Jobs and Freedom, was a defining moment of the American Civil Rights Movement.

In a similar fashion, I have been given a dream.  A dream in which we as Christians can unite as the Body of Christ.  Spreading the Gospel and Truth of God’s Word so that all man kind, can be delivered through salvation of our Lord Jesus Christ.  A dream where all racial barriers are broken, a dream where economic status does not matter, a dream where our main focus is sharing the love that Jesus Christ has given us.  No matter what our status is, we have all been called, we have all been commissioned to go and share the Good News.  While there are many different denominations, we as the Body, need to step up and step out of our comfort zones, and share the love of Christ.

I can stand here now and tell you that it breaks my heart to see the Body of Christ as it is today.  There is division like no other time in our history.  As the Body of Christ, we are governed by the Head or Brain, which is supposed to be God.  However, if you look at the Body today, and honestly look, you would think that there is no connection to the Brain at all.  Each part is doing its own thing.  The Body (our physical body) was designed by God to work as one accord.  For example, the legs receive a signal from the Brain, saying step forward, and then your legs move.  However, if we use that same analogy for the Body of Christ, it would look more like one leg stepping forward and the other going backward, while the hand slaps the face.  We are truly disconnected as the Body and you know who pays the ultimate price for this?  The non-believers that we are supposed to be reaching.  They see what the Church has become and they say, I want nothing to do with that.

So what then shall we do?  How can we fulfill this Dream?

Ephesians 4

Unity in the Body of Christ

1As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

7But to each one of us grace has been given as Christ apportioned it. 8This is why it[a] says:
“When he ascended on high,
he led captives in his train
and gave gifts to men.”[b] 9(What does “he ascended” mean except that he also descended to the lower, earthly regions[c]10He who descended is the very one who ascended higher than all the heavens, in order to fill the whole universe.) 11It was he who gave some to be apostles, some to be prophets, some to be evangelists, and some to be pastors and teachers, 12to prepare God’s people for works of service, so that the body of Christ may be built up 13until we all reach unity in the faith and in the knowledge of the Son of God and become mature, attaining to the whole measure of the fullness of Christ.

14Then we will no longer be infants, tossed back and forth by the waves, and blown here and there by every wind of teaching and by the cunning and craftiness of men in their deceitful scheming. 15Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. 16From him the whole body, joined and held together by every supporting ligament, grows and builds itself up in love, as each part does its work.

Living as Children of Light

17So I tell you this, and insist on it in the Lord, that you must no longer live as the Gentiles do, in the futility of their thinking. 18They are darkened in their understanding and separated from the life of God because of the ignorance that is in them due to the hardening of their hearts. 19Having lost all sensitivity, they have given themselves over to sensuality so as to indulge in every kind of impurity, with a continual lust for more.

20You, however, did not come to know Christ that way. 21Surely you heard of him and were taught in him in accordance with the truth that is in Jesus. 22You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; 23to be made new in the attitude of your minds; 24and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

25Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. 26“In your anger do not sin”[d]: Do not let the sun go down while you are still angry, 27and do not give the devil a foothold. 28He who has been stealing must steal no longer, but must work, doing something useful with his own hands, that he may have something to share with those in need.

29Do not let any unwholesome talk come out of your mouths, but only what is helpful for building others up according to their needs, that it may benefit those who listen. 30And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. 31Get rid of all bitterness, rage and anger, brawling and slander, along with every form of malice. 32Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you.

The Great Commission

Matthew 28:16-20

16Then the eleven disciples went to Galilee, to the mountain where Jesus had told them to go. 17When they saw him, they worshiped him; but some doubted. 18Then Jesus came to them and said, “All authority in heaven and on earth has been given to me. 19Therefore go and make disciples of all nations, baptizing them in[a] the name of the Father and of the Son and of the Holy Spirit, 20and teaching them to obey everything I have commanded you. And surely I am with you always, to the very end of the age.”

One day, every knee will bow and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord.  But on that day, not all will enter the gates of Heaven.  One day our Lord and Savior will return, if we don’t pass before then, on that day, we as Christians, we have to account for what we have done.  We will stand before the Lord and He will ask us what we did to share what He so freely gave to us.  What will you say?

Imagine this instead.  The enemy longs to destroy the Kingdom of God. He longs to keep the people on this earth, blinded from the Truth that lies in Jesus Christ.  However, imagine if all of us as Christians would unite in one accord and proclaim the gospel in our everyday lives.  Imagine the day where fear no longer kept you from saving a soul by sharing with them the Good News of Jesus Christ.  If you saw someone stuck in a fire, would you just pass them by, or would you do everything possible to try and save them?  So is it not the same with a soul?  We see them stuck in a lifestyle that is leading them to eternal fire, but what are we doing?  We need to take charge, be bold in our faith, and share the love of Christ with all we see.

I have a dream, a dream of saving every lost soul through sharing the love of Christ.  I have a dream, a dream where we don’t rely on others to do what we are commanded to do.  I have a dream, will you help make it a reality?

Posted in Body of Christ, Callings, Church, Desires, Dreams, Following God, Free Will, God, God's Will, Jesus, Life, Love, Nation, Revival, Truth, Uncategorized | Tagged , , , , , , , , , , , , | 4 Comments

The Pain & Heartache of Love


The Pain and Heartache of Love – February 27, 2015
True Love
Brad Clarke


Have you ever been so hurt by someone so deeply and so bad, that you could feel the pain physically?  Most of us have been hurt by someone we loved at some point in our lives.  But the question I have for you tonight is how do you respond to that hurt?

I, like you, have been hurt in just about every relationship I have ever had.  Some of those have actually crushed me to the very core of who I am.  Sometimes I have responded well and moved on, but others, well let’s just say it took a big bandaid to patch up the wound.  
You see, life is full of pain and sorrows, mixed in with joy and happiness.  It is how we respond during those hard times.  Sometimes we feel all alone, like no body cares.  So in our human nature, we retreat back to our old lifestyles and we turn to drinking, drugs, sex, or other things to fill the gapping hole, void if you will, left behind from what has happened with that person. But what if pain was created to teach us or help us?  What if the heartache and depression was meant for far more than our emotional state.  What if it was to help us understand what “True Love” really is like?
You see, when we go through these deep dark moments of our life, we often look inward to see what we did wrong.  Or perhaps we listen to the little lies on our shoulder, saying I told you so, you will never be worthy of “True Love”!  But tonight I want to look at this topic from a completely different angle.  
Must of us like to think that no one understands the pain and suffering we are going through, but there is one who knows exactly how it feels, yet keeps loving anyway, despite the daily rejection from the other side of the relationship.  The person I am referring to is God.  
You see, God understands all to well the pain of rejection.  He understands the pain of being lied too.  He understands the acts of unfaithfulness.  In fact, He understands any and all labels associated with pain, the destruction and impact one persons choices can have. God suffers each and everyday through this pain.  God so deeply loves us all, that He gave His One and Only Son, Jesus Christ, to DIE for us and take our place on that cross.  Yet each and everyday, we reject Him, break-up with Him, blame Him, and curse at Him.  God weeps at the thought of us all not being with Him for eternity or right now for that matter.  That is why He sent Jesus to conquer Hell for us, because He knew we would never be able to.  God knows what you are going through, better than anyone on this earth.  But “True Love”, from God’s eye’s and from the worlds eyes are two totally different things.  You say, “True Love”?  What in the world does that have to do with me being hurt right now?  Answer… Everything!  
“True Love”, by the world’s standard says, “you have hurt me by ___________________ (fill in your own blank) and must of us carry that pain with us for what seems like forever and maybe some of us actually do.  But God says, you have hurt me and continue to hurt me, but I love you the same today as the day I created you!  I tell you that I love you, but you mock me with a double lifestyle.  I show you I love you, but you turn or push it away from yourself.  I offer you forgiveness, but you tell me your are not worthy of my free gift!  
You see ___________________ (place your name in the blank), I loved you enough and still love you enough to send my Son Jesus Christ to take your place in Hell for eternity!  He Conquered it and Rose again, just as My Word said He would.  And I did it all for you, because I love you!  I also loved you enough to count you as my most prized creation out of everything in existence.  I love you enough to know how many strands of hair you have.  And I love you enough to give you the free gift of salvation and eternity with me in Heaven, through My Sons blameless death on the cross for my namesake and my perfect will for your life.
You see, God’s take on love is this:
Love is patient and kind. Love is not jealous or boastful or proud or rude. It does not demand its own way. It is not irritable, and it keeps no record of being wronged. It does not rejoice about injustice but rejoices whenever the truth wins out. Love never gives up, never loses faith, is always hopeful, and endures through every circumstance. Prophecy and speaking in unknown languages and special knowledge will become useless. But love will last forever! 
1 Corinthians 13:4-8
My dear child, I know your pain and your heartache.  But know this, I promise to you, as I promise all who are in me, I can and will turn your pain into something more beautiful than anything you can possibly imagine, but only if you let me. (Ref. Romans 8:28)  I also promise, that I know the plans I have for you, plans not tom harm you, but plans for your to prosper! (Ref. Jeremiah 29:11) My love for you is made perfect through my Son Jesus Christ!
You see God’s view of “True Love” is not based on who you are, but on who’s you are! And as stated above, no one understands your pain and heartache more than Him. He gives us the exact meaning of “True Love” and how it should be. It is by His Word and by His standard that we should judge how we are to love and how we are to be loved! Anything less, well… Is not “True Love”
In Closing:
If you are hurting or perhaps heartbroken tonight, rest assured you are not alone. And rest your brokenness in His Hands and allow Him to bring something more beautiful out of it, even more than you could possibly imagine. God ALWAYS KEEPS HIS PROMISES! 
Posted in Faith, Following God, Forgiveness, God, God's Will, Guarding Our Hearts, Jesus, Love, Marriage, Pain, Sorrow, The Great I AM, The Love of Christ, Truth, Weblogs | Tagged , , , , , | Leave a comment

Encouragement for the Tragedy in Connecticut


It is in times like this that we as believers need to be real. We need to join with the family and friends of this senseless tragedy and offer them whatever kind of support they might need. People all over this nation are looking for answers as to why? Whether you are a believer or non-believer in the Lord Jesus Christ, we are asking the same questions… Why?

 

While I don’t have the answer to that question, I do know the one who does. He is the only hope we have to hold on too in these times of heartache. As a parent, I can’t even comprehend the pain that these parents are feeling. I can’t offer any answers to their questions, but I can offer them love… the Love of Christ. I can be there as they need a shoulder to cry on. I can be there to hold their hand as they walk through this painful, sorrowful journey. I can be there to pray with and for them. I can be there to be Christ to them. The only two images I have in my head at this moment is the children and the parents of the ones who have been lost. And in those images, I see the same person… Christ! Christ as He holds the hand of the child dying and as He embraces the parents.

 

With all this being said, it should act as a powerful reminder that there are hurting lost people all around us who believe in Christ as our Lord and Savior. People don’t just snap… they all give some sort of warning sign that they are hurting. And in those moments of pain, we make stupid choices and more times than not, they effect many people around us. The enemy holds no prisoners. He could careless who and what his lies effects. The Bible tells us that He is on the prowl and looks to seek and destroy. And while that is true, here is another powerful truth we hold on too during these times and what we need to convey to the hurting world around us, the war has been WON! The enemy has been defeat in the death and resurrection of Jesus Christ!

 

My prayers and thoughts go out to all those families who have been effected by this tragedy. Help can be found if you or anyone who needs help at 1-800-NEED-HIM or at the Our Walk with Jesus website, https://bradnd24.wordpress.com/

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Self Forgiveness


Today’s Attitude of Love: Self Forgiveness All of us have screwed up. And sometimes those screw ups cause us much pain and pain to those we care about too. And while often times we get forgiveness from God and those … Continue reading

Gallery | Tagged , , | Leave a comment

Forgiveness at the Cross


Today’s Attitude of Love: Forgiveness at The Cross

The most important aspect of the Christian faith is the Cross, which Christ died on and bore all of our sins. For without the Cross, we have nothing but our own deeds to present to God on the day of judgement.

So in Today’s Attitude of Love, I want us to focus on what the Cross represents to us, Gods Forgiveness of our sins.

It is the most beautiful act of love there is, Christ leaving his Heavenly Throne to come to earth and die for us. You see, since the fall of man with Adam and Eve, the human race, has been trying to atone for our own sins through different types of sacrifices to God. But God loves us so much, that He was willing and did send His only Son, Jesus Christ to die on the Cross for both you and I and ALL OUR SINS. many times though, we don’t think our sins can be forgiven. We buy into the lies of the enemy, and listen to him as he tells us we are good enough, that we have done too many bad things for God ever to forgive us. The is the biggest lie straight from the pits of Hell. If we listen to that lie, then what we are really saying is that God I not strong enough or that Jesus’s death on the cross is worthless. You God did not choose to send his son Jesus Christ to die so that some would be saved as long as they were not to bad. God sent Him that all could be saved (John 3:16).

So then, what are we to do if we have bought into that lie from the enemy. First, come to the Cross and ask God to forgive you of your sin. Then if you have not ask Jesus Christ to be your lord and savior, simply ask him to come into your life and be your lord and savior. God tells us that he will toss our sins as far as the east is from the west. The blood of Christ has atone our sins for those who choose to believe and repent.

So today, if you have bought into the lie, stop. Come to the Cross and lay your burdens down and find the peace and forgiveness that awaits you. It is the most beautiful act of love there is.

God’s readiness to give and forgive is now public. Salvation’s available for everyone! We’re being shown how to turn our backs on a godless, indulgent life, and how to take on a God-filled, God-honoring life. This new life is starting right now, and is whetting our appetites for the glorious day when our great God and Savior, Jesus Christ, appears. He offered himself as a sacrifice to free us from a dark, rebellious life into this good, pure life, making us a people he can be proud of, energetic in goodness. (Titus 2:11-14 MSG)

Posted in Beauty, Creator, Faith, Following God, Forgiveness, Giving, Giving Freely, God, God's Will, Grace, Jesus, Letting Go, Lies of the Enemy, Life, Love, Pain, Sharing Christ, The Love of Christ, Truth, Weblogs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Forgiving Others


Today’s Attitude of Love: Forgiving Others

All of us have been hurt in our past. Maybe it’s from a broken relationship, marriage, betrayal, slander or physical abuse. And I you are like me, you are or have had a hard time forgiving those who have caused you pain. Well in today’s attitude of love, I want to talk about forgiving those who have hurt us.

Forgiving others can be one of the hardest aspects of the Christian walk. After all, pain caused unjustly can leave scars that we can carry with us for a lifetime if left untouched or unforgiven. Many of us in fact have pushed the pain so far down in our hearts that it has caused our hearts to grow cold and bitter. But harboring those feelings of hurt can be very destructive in many of the areas of the most important relationships in our lives, including our family life and even our relationship with God.

You see, there are countless scriptures in God’s Word that deal with forgiveness. But today I want us to focus on what happens if with don’t forgive and what happens when we do forgive.

When we don’t forgive someone who has hurt us, whether intentionally or unintentionally, we one, cause more pain in our own lives because our hearts will grow cold and bitter. Two, we fail to show the love that Christ has so graciously shown to us. And third, the Bible tells us that if we don’t forgive, we will not be forgiven. So many times we say things like, you just don’t know how bad it hurt me. Or, they have not asked me for forgiveness. But I want to ask you, how many times have you hurt someone and not asked for forgiveness. And two, do you think Christ doesn’t know how you feel, after all he did bare all our sins, past, present and future.

You see, forgiveness is not only for the person in fault, it is or us. When we choose to forgive someone, even when they don’t repent or ask for it, we take them off our hook and place them on Gods. This frees us and allows us to move on in our life. But it also allows God to start working on them. Who do you think has more power to change a heart and mind, you or God?

There is true freedom in giving forgiveness to those who have hurt us. It allows us to grow and mature, but it also and more importantly keeps us in line who God and our forgiveness with him.

So if you have something you are holding on to today, give forgiveness and show the attitude of love that Christ has so freely shown you. You will find that it will not only free them, it will free you as we’ll.

Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you. (Ephesians 4:32 NIV)

Posted in Beauty, Body of Christ, Callings, Faith, Following God, Forgiveness, Friends, Friendships, Giving, Giving Freely, God, God's Will, Grace, Jesus, Letting Go, Life, Love, Marriage, Pain, Pride, Shame, Sharing Christ, Sorrow, Spiritual Growth, The Love of Christ, Truth, Weblogs | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Loving Your Spouse


Today’s Attitude of Love: Loving Your Spouse

Lets face the cold hard truth, it is often times easier to love a stranger than to love your spouse. Why? It is simple, we live with them day in and day out. They see most of our imperfections. They are the brunt of our bad days, and we all to often just simply get to comfortable. We tend to love them out of habit rather than loving them out of sacrificial love that God calls us to. Raise your hand if this is you. You wake up in the morning kiss you spouse good bye and say “I love you” as you rush out the door. Maybe a phone call or text through out your day. Then you arrive home and kiss your spouse good night and say “I love you again” as you drift off to sleep. If there is an intimate moment, it is often times out of obligation or duty rather than the two bodies joining as one in the act of love and adoration.

Sound familiar? Don’t worry you are not alone. My guess I that if we are being honest, most of us fall in that realm.

How do we stop that habit or trend and love our spouse as we have been called too? Once again, we must use Christ as our guide and our measuring stick! Marriage is the relationship in our lives that most reflects our relationship with Christ Himself. Our love towards our spouse must reflect the same sacrificial aspect of that of Christ and His love for us. Anything less than that is falling short.

So with that in mind today. I want you to one, not to feel hopeless. If you have failed in this area, as all of us do, rest assured that God is there and His Mercies are new each and everyday. Just simply ask him to forgive you in this area and ask Him to help you love your spouse like He has called you too. Then second, follow his blueprint below in the passage. Third, make your spouse and the love you show your spouse intentional. Behind God, make that your next most important area of your life. Make them feel your love beyond words. Let them know just how important they are to you each day.

This will not only revolutionize your marriage, it will buy you right in the middle of Gods Will for your marriage. God must always be first, for he is the author of love and without Him as our guide, we will fail.

Read the scripture below and go love your spouse today the way God has called you and find out just what you are missing in your marriage.

Submit to one another out of reverence for Christ. Wives, submit yourselves to your own husbands as you do to the Lord. For the husband is the head of the wife as Christ is the head of the church, his body, of which he is the Savior. Now as the church submits to Christ, so also wives should submit to their husbands in everything. Husbands, love your wives, just as Christ loved the church and gave himself up for her to make her holy, cleansing her by the washing with water through the word, and to present her to himself as a radiant church, without stain or wrinkle or any other blemish, but holy and blameless. In this same way, husbands ought to love their wives as their own bodies. He who loves his wife loves himself. After all, no one ever hated their own body, but they feed and care for their body, just as Christ does the church— for we are members of his body. “For this reason a man will leave his father and mother and be united to his wife, and the two will become one flesh.” This is a profound mystery—but I am talking about Christ and the church. However, each one of you also must love his wife as he loves himself, and the wife must respect her husband. (Ephesians 5:21-33 NIV)

Posted in Callings, Desires, Dreams, Faith, Fear, Following God, Forgiveness, Giving, Giving Freely, God, God's Will, Grace, Jesus, Life, Love, Marriage, Pain, Pride, sex, Spiritual Growth, The Love of Christ, Trials, Truth, Weblogs, Words | Tagged , , , | Leave a comment

Who Will You Serve


Who Will You Serve

Ultimately the Christian walk comes down to this, choosing who you will serve, your own selfish ambitions or God! And yes it is a choice! A choice you must make each minute of every hour of everyday. See when it all comes down in the end of your life, you will be judged individually with what you have done with what God has given you. We should not serve The Lord out of obligations but rather adoration! You might say God has done nothing for me! Just look at this mess my life is! I would say this to you, God loved and still loves you enough to send His Son to die on a cross for you. He bore all your sins, past, present and future so that you would not have too! He has given us life, eternal life for those who choose to trust in Him as their Lord and Savior. That is something to be extremely thankful for and something to adore!

So today my challenge for you and me is this, reflect on just what God has done for you and serve Him today accordingly! Love your God first with everything you have, then love your neighbor as yourself! For you can’t do the second without the first! And by doing this, you will find yourself in the midst of Gods Will for your life and can stand against any foe that speaks against you.

So in closing, be thankful today for what God has done and is doing in your life and go love so others might see that love God has poured out upon you!

Have a great Friday and be blessed in the Name above all names, Jesus Christ!

“Now fear the Lord and serve him with all faithfulness. Throw away the gods your ancestors worshiped beyond the Euphrates River and in Egypt, and serve the Lord . But if serving the Lord seems undesirable to you, then choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served beyond the Euphrates, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you are living. But as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord .” (Joshua 24:14, 15 NIV)

20121116-131940.jpg

Posted in Body of Christ, Callings, Creator, Desires, Dreams, Faith, Fear, Following God, Free Will, Giving, Giving Freely, God, God's Will, Grace, Jesus, Life, Love, Pride, Sharing Christ, Spiritual Growth, Standing for Christ, The Great I AM, The Love of Christ, Truth, Weblogs | Tagged , , , , | Leave a comment

Pray for Your Spouse


Pray for your spouse today! Not for your selfish desires but for their safety, their walk with The Lord and their protection. Be thankful for them and what they are for your family and to you.

With the demands of this world today, it is easy to lose sight of those who are in need right beside us. God has made us one body to work together as a team and a team is only as good as its weakest link. Your spouse maybe hurting or in need without you even knowing, so lift them up today and join back together what God has set forth for His Glory.

Go has a plan for us as individuals and as a couple, and His Word tells us, I we seek Him, we will find Him, both in our own walks and our walk as a couple! Bring you marriage back to the Cross today and be transformed!

Posted in Armor of God, Desires, Faith, Following God, Forgiveness, God, God's Will, Grace, Guarding Our Hearts, Jesus, Life, Love, Marriage, Pain, Pride, Sorrow, Spiritual Growth, Trials, Truth, Weblogs | Tagged , , , , , | 2 Comments