Life goes on 3.23.10

Almost a year ago, my life was turned upside down by someone.  On March 25, 2009 I was forced to leave the place I was renting, not because I didn’t pay my rent but because of someone accusing me of trying to harm them.  I had about 20 minutes to load up any thing I could into the back of my van.  I took what I could including Toby my dog and left every thing else behind not knowing at the time that the person accusing me would take every thing I left behind and never gave it back.  I had no place to go, so I just stayed in my  van with my dog.  I lived out of the van for a week and then rented a hotel room for a week, but let’s just say the hotel was not a 5 star hotel!

Not having a lot of cash saved up made it hard to find a new place to live.  I was looking at Craig’s list and found a place in West Amana, it’s not much but it will do.  I moved in on April 1st and have been living there ever since.  If you know any thing about me, you know I’ve made a few mistakes and have been trying to get my life back together.  Ever since I was arrested, I knew I had to find a church but just didn’t have the courage too.  The week before I was forced to live where I was living, I was dating a wonderful woman who loves the Lord and she encouraged me go to church.  I was afraid to go to the church where my mother was a member of, thinking they “knew who I was” or better yet, what I did!  Some how, I got up the courage to walk through the doors.  The night I was forced to leave was a Wednesday night and the church was having a Lenten Super at the church.  Since I now was homeless and no place to go, I though I would stop by the church and see if I could hang out with them.  It felt really odd, not knowing too many people there and just walking in on them but they really made me feel welcomed.  They even had a bible study that night and I stuck around to study with them.

That was a year ago and I have been going to church all most every week, only missing 2 or 3 weeks.  They have accepted me, or should I say; they just love me as I am.  I have done so much in the past year, Bible studies, Community work, Walk to Emmaus , Lay Speaker training, and even joining the church choir.  All of my life I wanted to sing but thought I wasn’t good enough to do it, but since I’ve been practicing and singing with the choir I’ve found that I can do it and really love singing!  My biggest step will be next week as I get to lead second service at church, our Youth leader who leads second service will be gone and I will be filling in for him.  If you would have told me a year ago that I would be leading and singing at  at church, I would have said; no way!

So he said to me, “This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: ‘Not by might nor by power, but by my Spirit,’ says the LORD Almighty. (Zechariah 4:6 NIV)

I am so blessed to have new family, my church family who loves me.  I give all the credit to the Lord, he alone saved me.  The old me could have NEVER done this, some times I think it’s a dream.  I still can’t believe it’s me, I know the Holy Spirit t is in me!  The old me has died and I was given a new birth, a life in Christ.  I no-longer live for me, but live to glorify the Lord.

Amazing Grace (My Chains Are Gone) by Chris Tomlin

My chains are gone, I’ve been set free, My God, my Savior has ransomed me.
And like a flood His mercy reigns, Unending love, amazing grace.


Life and Death!

What a day, I have been a little under the weather the last few days add in a 11 hour day today at work and I was ready to go home.  Wednesday nights is Youth group night at our church.  Since I have given my life over to Christ I have been on the journey to know God and Jesus better.  It’s not something I planned to do, not really sure how it happened, all I know is; it’s “happening to me”.  There is a song out on Christians Radio called “I’m not who I was” by Brandon Heath,  and that’s how I feel now!

I reckon it’s a funny thing
I figured out I can sing
Now I’m not who I was
I write about love and such
Maybe ’cause I want it so much
I’m not who I was

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So, where does Death come in you ask?   Tonight while I was driving home from the youth group I got to thinking about how much I love life now and all the new friends I have made through Jesus Christ.  I once hatted life and wanted to die very much but now I’m afraid to die!   I was what you might call a loner, I liked being alone and found it hard to talk to people.  It’s not that I didn’t want friends, I did very much but I have a hard time letting others get close to me.  I have a hard time asking or even receiving anyone’s help.  Not that I don’t want it but if I have made a mistake then I should find a way out myself!

My past was so messed up and nothing I did seemed good enough!  All I wanted was to be loved and I tried every thing I could think of to get it.  I couldn’t see what I was doing was wrong and was just making things worse for me.  I was getting more and more depressed and after I was arrested for 1St degree  theft I lost most of the friends I had.  I lost the person I loved and that we said “Till death do us part”.  I wanted to die so badly I even made so threats about it.  I still remember getting a text message from a “so called friend” that said “are you dead yet?”  That was the day I should have died and the nearest I have ever been to killing myself!  I remember the  “so called friend” called the Johnson county sheriff to come out and check on me.  They asked me if I was thinking of hurting myself but I was so good at miss leading people I told them NO! just to get them to leave me alone.

Now looking back I can’t believe I have come so far!  Yes I have a long ways to go and even better days are ahead along with some bad days too.  Now that I know Jesus loves me for who I am I know life is worth living for.  How I returned to “my church” is another story but I have to say I’m not alone any more.  I have found a new family who loves me for who I am and not what I was.

Someone once told me that I didn’t have any friends and at the time they were mostly right, you could count on one hand my friends at the time.  Now that Jesus has saved me and I have given up my life for him I have so many new friends that I just love so very much and I am a new person.  If you knew me before I came to know Jesus your going to see someone totally different very soon and someday God has bigger plans for me, so keep in touch.

This October I will be going on what you might call a mini vacation.  I will be going on a 72 hour spiritual journey called Walk to Emmaus.  There will be no TV, Radio, Cell phone no newspapers just a 72-hour short course in Christianity, comprised of fifteen talks by lay and clergy on the themes of God’s grace, disciplines of Christian discipleship, and what it means to be the church.  Not the vacation you were thinking about, right?  So, what does the word “Vacation” mean any way?  Webster dictionary says 1: A respite or time of respite from something: Intermission. 2: A scheduled period during which  activity is suspended.  So, this will be a great vacation for me, I get to shutout the would for 3 days and focus on God and nothing else.  Plus I get to learn to let others serve me and that will be very different for me, I’m not used to letting others take care of my needs.  It will be very humbling to me.

If I still have you this far, Thanks for reading!

God Bless,

Kent

How Jesus has changed my life

I want to write something tonight but what?  If you read any of my past blogs, you know that I have made some big mistakes and just about every thing I once I ever had, I have lost.  I have always thought I was a pretty nice guy, I love to be nice to people and treat them how I would want to be treated.  The one thing I was always looking for but never got a lot was love. I was always looking for someone to love me but most of the relations I had never gave me the love I was looking for.   I could never understand why someone could not love me?  I was a “nice” guy and it would hurt me if I ever did anything to hurt someone I loved.  I just never felt loved very much and I would do any thing for it, including stealing!

I don’t how it happened but Jesus has come into my life and now I know that I am loved!  When “all hell broke loose” for me it was October 29, 2007 and that was the night I was arrested and taken to the Johnson county jail.  That night while in my cell I looked at a drain in the floor and all I could think of is my life is going to hell!  I asked God that night to save me,  looking back I didn’t know I was doing it but I knew I had 2 ways to go; one was down the drain or the other was to look up to God and pray that he would watch over me.

I only spent one night in jail and that’s all I ever want to spend ever again!  When I got home I knew I would have to find a church but I was so ashamed of what I did, what church would let a theft into there building!  I felt like I have lost any friends I had even made, I couldn’t face them because of what I did.  I was lost and very alone, my wife said she was going to stand by me but I knew our marriage wasn’t very strong and that was even before I was arrested.   She ended up filling for divorce and my only choice  was to move out.

I would watch different pastors preach on TV and pray when I went to bed at night.  I knew God but what I didn’t know was Jesus!  Nothing good really happened to me, the only good thing was finding a good job and putting in a lot of hours working hard.  Since I couldn’t face my friends I started to use facebook to make new friends.  One thing I looked for in a new friends was they had to be a Christian and love God.  I don’t remember how we became friends but I became friends with a lady on facebook.  We chatted on acebook most nights and talked on the phone for hours and hours.  She was a Angel sent for haven and I was in love, but our “relationship” didn’t last.  Were still friends today and I think the world of her and it’s because of this Angel that I set foot back inside of Grace United Methodist Church for the first time in a very long time.

That was the March 7 2009 and I have been going to church ever since.  I have been learning more about Jesus and less about me.  All I can say is, I know Jesus loves me and SAVED!  My life is not that same, I’m not who I was.  Something has changed me, all I think about is how I can worship Jesus and Praise God for his Grace.  I now read the Bible and have been going to a Bible study every Monday.  I want everyone to know Jesus, if he can change me; then Jesus can change you too!  I am so happy!  Everyone at church is like family to me now.  My life has changed and I have so much more I can do.

I am still learning and trying also teach at the same time.  It would do no good if I keep what I have learned to myself,  I freely give myself so others can learn too.  Starting October I am going to do, Walk to Emmaus.

What is Emmaus?
The Walk to Emmaus is a spiritual renewal program intended to strengthen the local church through the development of Christian disciples and leaders. The program’s approach seriously considers the model of Christ’s servanthood and encourages Christ’s disciples to act in ways appropriate to being “a servant of all.”

The Walk to Emmaus experience begins with a 72-hour short course in Christianity, comprised of fifteen talks by lay and clergy on the themes of God’s grace, disciplines of Christian discipleship, and what it means to be the church. The course is wrapped in prayer and meditation, special times of worship and daily celebration of Holy Communion.

I am really for ward to this “walk”.  It’s getting late and I should get some rest before work tomorrow.  I will try to write more tomorrow night.