Why Me Lord?

Music has always been very important to me.  As a young boy I love singing along to songs that was playing on the radio. One of the songs I remember the most was “Why Me” by Kris Kristofferson, something about that song stuck in my head and I would sing it to myself ever chance I could.  Most people wouldn’t call this a “Christian song”, “Why Me” was Kristofferson’s lone major country hit as a solo recording artist, reaching No. 1 of Billboard magazine‘s Hot Country Singles chart in July 1973. My faith journey to know the Lord didn’t start for me until later in my life.  Faith is defined as belief, confidence or trust in a person, object, religion, idea or view despite the absence of proof.  Most of my life I didn’t need the “proof” He (God) was with me and I was blindness to His love and kindness.

Try me, Lord, if you think there’s a way
I can try to repay all I’ve taken from you
Maybe Lord I can show someone else
What I’ve been through myself, on my way back to you

Kristofferson wrote Why Me during an emotionally low period of his life after having attended a religious service conducted by the Rev. Jimmie Rogers Snow. Like Kristofferson, I too went through a very emotionally low period in my life and in 2008 while spending a night in jail and facing prison time, I knew I needed Him!  It is that state of mind in which a poor sinner, conscious of his sin, flees from his guilty self to Christ his Saviour, and rolls over the burden of all his sins on Him. With a deep sense of sin and a distinct view of Christ and a consenting will, and with a loving heart, I turned over my trust to Christ that night.

Today, I live because of God’s good grace and look ever day to be able to “repay” all I have taken from life. I pray that someday I can help others who are facing some of the same problems I did and just, maybe I can show them what I went through and how I found my way back home.

God bless,

Kent.

God is All

Hearts can easily be broken, as life deals out blows and challenges. We feel lost, empty and hopeless, as we battle to overcome adversity and take a new direction. God is all we need  spiritually. He can strengthen us and bring us hope, as we trust him more and more, in our daily lives.

Psalm 103:1-8 gives us strong reassurance of what He willingly does for each one of us, as we bring Him into our lives.

Bless the Lord, O my soul: and all that is within me, bless his holy name. 2 Bless the Lord, O my soul, and forget not all his benefits: 3 Who forgiveth all thine iniquities; who healeth all thy diseases; 4 Who redeemeth thy life from destruction; who crowneth thee with lovingkindness and tender mercies; 5 Who satisfieth thy mouth with good things; so that thy youth is renewed like the eagle’s. 6 The Lord executeth righteousness and judgment for all that are oppressed. 7 He made known his ways unto Moses, his acts unto the children of Israel. 8 The Lord is merciful and gracious, slow to anger, and plenteous in mercy. ~ A Psalm of David

All these things can be available to us, but we have to claim them through accepting Him through Jesus Christ. God is all-powerful and all-knowing. He is everything we need and we can tap into His unending power, any time, by taking a different direction in life, and including Him in all we think, say and do. His promises can be trusted.

By Grace Through Faith

And you He made alive, who were dead in trespasses and sins, 2 in which you once walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, the spirit who now works in the sons of disobedience, 3 among whom also we all once conducted ourselves in the lusts of our flesh, fulfilling the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and were by nature children of wrath, just as the others.

4 But God, who is rich in mercy, because of His great love with which He loved us, 5 even when we were dead in trespasses, made us alive together with Christ (by grace you have been saved), 6 and raised us up together, and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Christ Jesus, 7 that in the ages to come He might show the exceeding riches of His grace in His kindness toward us in Christ Jesus. 8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. ~ http://New King James Version (NKJV)

  • dead in trespasses, means, spiritually dead and lost.
  • You once walked, it could be a path of moral carelessness or a dark alley of evil, believers should no longer live according to their past evil ways.
  • Pince of power, namely the adversarial spirit Satan. To continue to disobey God’s way of living, is to support the devil.
  • We were dead, because of Adam’s sin, the entire human race is spiritually dead. Only God can grant new life and save us from our wrong choices. His mercy and kindness prevail forever through Jesus Christ, His Son.
  • The gift of God, is something we cannot earn by any good works. We cannot earn our salvation. Everything is received from our merciful and gracious Father, once we have faith enough to trust Him and believe in Jesus Christ and His sacrifice, for us.

All that God is, we need. First we have to invite Him into our lives and accept Jesus Christ as our Lord and Saviour.

“Dear Lord, I want to know you personally. I know that I have done wrong and I am sorry. I am willing, with your help, to turn away from my sins and turn to You. I believe, Jesus, that You died and rose again for me. Please come into my life. I welcome you as my Savior and Lord, as best as I know how. Right Now”.

Amen.

 

The loud last cry

“With a loud cry, Jesus breathed his last.” (Mark 15:37 NIV)

The very moment Jesus, Having cried again with a loud voice, gave up His spirit.  The temple curtain was torn from the top down (Matt 27:51 NIV).  This curtain, known as the “veil,” was made of fine linen and blue, purple and scarlet yarn.  This veil separated the Holy Place from the Holy of Holies where the Ark of the Covenant was placed.  The word “veil” in Hebrew means a screen, divider or separator that hides.  What was this curtain hiding?  Essentially, it was shielding a Holy God from sinful man.  Whoever entered into the Holy of Holies was entering the very presence of God.  In fact, anyone except the high priest who entered the Holy of Holies would die.  Even the high priest, God’s chosen mediator with His people, could only pass through the veil and enter this sacred dwelling once a year, on a prescribed day called the Day of Atonement.

“But only the high priest entered the inner room, and that only once a year, and never without blood, which he offered for himself and for the sins the people had committed in ignorance.” (Hebrews 9:7 NIV)

The veil was a barrier to make sure that man could not carelessly and irreverently enter into God’s awesome presence.  So the presence of God remained shielded from man behind a thick curtain during the history of Israel.  However, Jesus’ sacrificial death on the cross changed that.  When He died, the curtain in the Jerusalem temple was torn in half, from the top to the bottom.  Only God could have carried out such an incredible feat because the veil was too high for human hands to have reached it, and too thick to have torn it.  The curtain that was about 60 feet in height, 30 feet in width and four inches thick.  Furthermore, it was torn from top down, meaning this act must have come from above.  The torn veil illustrated Jesus’ body broken for us, opening the way for us to come to God.  The age of animal offerings was over. The ultimate offering had been sacrificed.

“When he had received the drink, Jesus said, “It is finished.” With that, he bowed his head and gave up his spirit.” (John 19:30 NIV)

As Jesus cried out “It is finished!” on the cross, He was indeed proclaiming that God’s redemptive plan was now complete. He has done everything that God himself had required of him.  He completed the work God gave him to do, “It is finished,” was his cry. These are the words of exultation of the man Christ Jesus.  Aren’t we delighted to finish a great task?  You type the very last footnote of the Ph.D. thesis,three years work! – “it’s finished” you say to your husband.  You walk out of prison after a ten year sentence – “it’s finished” you say.  You make the last payment of a thirty year mortgage – “it’s finished.” You complete rebuilding a derelict house from the foundations to the roof with additional extensions – “it’s finished.”  You sail around the world single-handed and finally step ashore in the harbor you left months earlier – “it’s finished.”  Here is the Christ Jesus expressing a deep inward sensation of relief.

“Do you not know that your bodies are temples of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have received from God? You are not your own; you were bought at a price. Therefore honor God with your bodies.” (1 Corinthians 6:19-20 NIV)

Jesus torn down the temple curtain through his sacrifice of death on the cross.  We are now free to come to God and speak to Him directly.  The High Priest of yesteryear who for centuries needed to part the curtain in order to enter the sanctuary is no longer necessary.  Jesus has torn away the curtain and has said, “Come and be with me.”  Today, the veil is gone! Because of Jesus Christ, our “new and living way,”  we can come boldly to the throne of grace, so that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in our time of need.  Through Jesus, we have the gift of the Holy Spirit.  Not only is God not hidden from us, he indwells within us.  By the New Covenant, He no longer must hide His face from us for we are made worthy by his blood.  “Don’t you know that your yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?  God’s temple is sacred; and you are that temple.” (1 Corinthians 3:16-17 NIV)  We often forget the seminal nature of the New Covenant: through his blood, Jesus has given us the opportunity to have a deep personal relationship with God.

God is not far away, He is very near and you Indeed can have a personal relationship with Him through Jesus Christ!

Christian Stereotypes I Hate

There are people who have done these very things to me. I am not better than anyone else. I am a sinner but also a child of God. I have accepted Christ as Savior and follow His way but that does not mean I am like other people who just profess to “be christian”. I am a disciple of Jesus. That means something different. I would like to talk with anyone about it and get to know YOUR thoughts. Contact me. Let’s talk.

I hate when people assume certain things about me without getting to know who I am. You probably hate that too! Whenever people figure out I am a pastor at a Christian church, they tend to always assume the following:
 1. Cussing around me is a no-no. Really? I’m honored that you feel the need to change your attitude/language around me, but you don’t need to try and be on “good behavior” when we are together. Typically, I’m not offended by your language and its not like I have never heard it before. I would rather you just be yourself than trying to be someone else for me.
2. I don’t like the gays. I understand why you may have gotten this impression considering some of the ridiculous Christians out there. But, I love them. To be honest, I don’t know why so many of my Christian brothers and sisters elevate this specifically over everything else. When it comes down to it, I love homosexuals just as much as I love you. I wish Christians would fight as passionately against poverty and sex trafficking as they do homosexuality.
3. I don’t drink alcohol. Now you won’t catch me passed out on the floor drunk, but to assume that I don’t drink at all because of my faith is a bit of an overstatement. After all, the first miracle Jesus did was turn water into wine, He knows how to keep the party going.
4. I don’t like to have fun. This probably has a lot to do with rule #3. Because “I don’t drink” then it can be assumed that I don’t like to have fun. Quite the contrary, it just means I have learned to have fun without the need of over intoxicating myself.
5. I’m judging you because you act differently than me. If I have come to realize one thing it is that nobody is perfect. Don’t worry about trying to hide your flaws or your differences because I’m not judging you anyways. Those who judge will be judged and I don’t want any part of that.
6. I am ignorant or uneducated about beliefs other than my own. Actually, it is not “my way or the highway.” Obviously, I, like the rest of Christians, spend most of my time trying to understand my own faith, but to say that I have shut my eyes to everything else in the world is absurd. Don’t assume I have no clue of what exists outside of Christianity.
7. I think I’m better than you. Somehow, because I am Christian, you assume I believe I am better than you. I understand you might get this impression from some of those who wear the Christian name tag, but humility is one of Christianity’s greatest attributes. I don’t think I am better than you regardless of who you are or what you’ve done. We are all on our own journey and everyone’s look a little bit different.
8. I’m Republican. Laugh. Out. Loud. No comment.
9. I ignore science. You might be under the assumption that things like the “Big Bang” and natural selection kill my theory for religion, so I just ignore them altogether. The truth is, I love science and it doesn’t crumble my faith at all. I am just as interested as you are to see how God did it and have yet to come across something that totally shakes my faith to the core on whether or not there was a creator.
10. I’m a hypocrite. Unfortunately, you probably assume this for righteous reasons because you have seen it a lot. But, I want to break the stereotype and say what I mean and do what I say. Of course I fall short just like everyone else, but I am never preaching something that I’m not willing to do in my own life.
Granted, there are probably a lot of Christians out there who meet every single one of these, but don’t assume we are all the same!

Originally posted on www.brettshoemaker.me

Life

Man, it’s been a long times since if posted any thing about me!  Life is still going on! lol  Yeah, it’s not been easy and I’ve been “burning the candle at both ends” a lot the last month.  I have been blessed with a new church, didn’t plan on changing churches, it just happened.  I been working real hard on starting up my I am second small group and maybe that’s why God lead me to St. Mark’s in Marion.  I’ve been “single” (I hate that word) now for about 2 years and I am OK with it.  I think God wants me to be single, that way I can do more for Him. lol. But I know He doesn’t want us to be alone and I keep praying for to Him that he’ll bring someone into my life.  All that I ask for is that she be a Christian and loves music, any thing else I can deal with.

Last year for my birthday, I got myself a guitar and hope to take lessons.  I wish I would have never gave it up back in JR high!  I’m just not sure that I can learn to play again!  I watch youtube videos and try but my fingers are so big, it’s not easy to finger the frets.  A week after a got my guitar, I was blessed with the opportunity to start working with one of the best country band around this area.  I am so happy to be helping Black Diamond and have the chance to learn from some of the best musicians around.  I also want to try to learn to play keyboards too but what’s been in my heart all of my life is singing!  I never thought I was good enough and until I started to sing with the choir at my old church that  I started to learn that I was wrong.  I have always dreamed of singing on stage (who hasn’t right?) but why?  It’s not about me, it’s my way of expressing what life has taught me and giving hope to others who need it.

Well, stay tuned. I’ll try to post more “Broken Road Reflection” about God, life, love.

Kent