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.

Lookin’ for love

Tennessee Williams wrote in the Glass Menagerie, “Time is the longest distance between two places” but looking back at where I was just a few years ago seems like yesterday.   Some times I think it’s just a dream, how can someone who I can’t see, can’t touch or hear put love into my life and change me!  Being a single man wasn’t easy and even when I was married I was still “looking for love in all the wrong places” but everything I did for love just got me into trouble.

5696_105460397006_93874507006_2675602_5503512_n“I’ve spent a lifetime looking for you, Single bars and good time lovers, never true. Playing a fools game, hoping to win, Telling those sweet lies and losing again”.

It wasn’t until I lost it all that I found a friend who I could turn too.  I still remember the night I asked Jesus to come into my life, and He did.  I have never been happier, my heart is overflowing with joy and yet there are still mountains to cross but I know I am not alone any more.

“You came a’knocking at my heart’s door, You’re everything I’ve been looking for”

I know most of you don’t like “religion” and until a few years ago I was one of you!  Wikipedia describes Religion this way…

Religion is a collection of cultural systems, belief systems, and worldviews that establishes symbols that relate humanity to spirituality and, sometimes, to moral values”.

Jesus might be the symbol of being a Christian but religion has nothing to do with what happens when thing change in your life.  Religion didn’t save me, Jesus did and it’s not religion that changed my life, it’s a Relationship!

When I was alone then, no love in sight and I did everything I could to get me through the night. Don’t know where it started or where it might end I turn to a stranger, just like a friend.

You don’t have to be alone, their is a love that’s so real that nothing you can do will change your life no matter how wrong or bad it might be.  It can start today and is forever and little by little you’ll find like I did you are loved!  Jesus is no strange, He’s been waiting for you and He’s the love you’ve been dreaming of.

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

You are loved!

This past week we had a young lady take her own life by jumping off a bridge in Iowa City onto Interstate 80 on Tuesday morning, where she was hit by a semitrailer and killed. I know what it’s like to feel so overwhelmed that you just can’t see any hope for living. Yes, I have been to that point in my life where I wanted to end it all. I felt so alone, no hope for tomorrow but that was before I found the love of Jesus Christ and my local church. I didn’t know this young beautiful lady at all but her death touched me in a way that I can’t express! That night, I just keep saying, “she didn’t have to do this” and how sad I was for her family, friends, the driver of the semi and the first responder and Law enforcement officers.

As I was on my way to church this morning, I felt God calling me to step up and talk to our congregation about what I was feeling. When we are feeling depressed, sad or what ever, we can’t go it alone and covering it up doesn’t help. I you think the person you care for knows how much you care for them, don’t just think they know! Tell them, show them ever day how much you love them no matter how bad they feel. If your dealing with depression and can talk about it, DO IT! Let’s not hide it any more, show others who are facing the same thing that they too are not alone and can come to you if they want too. Life is so wonderful, and Jesus died on the cross to give us new life and no matter what you have done or what your going through, his family of believers love you and you can trust them.

I know this is my calling to help others dealing with depression and showing them the love that Jesus Christ offers us. I am so thankful that the good Lord gave me new life and new hope so I can try to touch life’s that are hurting. Just hearing people thanks me for sharing my thoughts and experiences is nice, I hope they can take from it that it’s OK to let people see who they really are, and that’s a child of God who loves us so much that He sent his only son to die for us.

Your not alone and if you think that ending your life is all you have left, please don’t! Let me know, I will do every thing I can for you. You are loved more than you know and better days are ahead.

God bless.

Starting over

Well it’s been a week since I last saw Julie and she’s now moved to Waterloo.  I have been doing good, got a lot of work to get my apartment looking good.  Thanks God I saved most of my things, like dishes, pans, microwave etc.  Julie wanted me to get ride of them, she called it “all my junk”  but now I need it.  Got to clean it but it will come in handy.  It’s kind of quiet around here, Toby my dog is night next to me, it’s his unconditional love that keeps me going.  I have a empty spot in my heart now, I loved Julie more than she knew but I also am finding out that I am so much more that what she wanted.

I think she was holding me back and even though I miss being with her, I love my freedom.  Now I can worship the Lord any and all times.  I went to worship service list night and it was fun and went to another tonight and it ROCKED!  I am looking forward to doing more things like this and getting stronger and stronger with the word of God.  I not doing this for me as some of you may think,  God will bless me with just what I need.  I give all the praise to him and all the control too.  If I was to die tomorrow, I would die a happy man and know I’d be in his kingdom.