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.

Walk with God?

People who want to feel better, reduce stress, and shed unwanted pounds are discovering that walking may be the best exercise of all.  It’s even more important to stay spiritually fit by “walking with God,” which the Bible describes as an intimate, growing relationship with the Lord.  To walk with God, we need to keep in step without running ahead or lagging behind.  Along the way, we talk with the Lord, listen to Him, and enjoy His presence.  We trust His guidance when we cannot see what lies ahead.  It is not just the destination that’s important, but the journey we take together.

“If we claim to have fellowship with him yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live by the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin.” (1 John 1:6-7 NIV)

The kind of life that Jesus lived while here on this earth is an example to each of us as to just what God is looking for.  Jesus lived a life of peace. He loved and blessed others, even those who hated Him.  He did good, healing the sick miraculously and driving demons from the minds and bodies of those who were tormented by them.  Most of all, He lived in perfect harmony with God the Father. He prayed to God.  He talked about God’s Word with others.  He listened to God speak back to Him.

Before beginning a walk with God, you must get to know Him.  There is only one way to God, and that is through Jesus Christ the Son of God. God set it up this way, and nothing you or I can do will change it.  Jesus is our Savior, and He is also our example.  As such, we must repent of our sins, telling God we are not only sorry for breaking His laws but also that we wish to turn away from the life we have lived.  Then, we ask God to forgive us of all the things we have ever done which have been contrary to His way of living.  After we ask forgiveness, we simply believe that He is Truthful when He says that He will forgive us (1 John 1:9).  Then, we confess that we believe that He is the Son of God, that God raised Him from the dead, and that He is now the King of our lives.  After you have come to know God through Jesus, you must realize that this is the beginning of a new relationship in your life.  Like any relationship, there is much to learn about this new Person.  At first you may be a bit hesitant to open up and share freely because of a fear of being rejected. That’s OK. God made you, and He understands how you feel.  He is committed to a long term relationship with you.

Since we show our love for God by obeying Him, we have to learn what His commands are.  This is really very simple to do. Start by reading the Bible, especially the four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke and John).  Obedience is really the central part of our walk with God.  Without obedience, we cannot walk with Him at all. When we do obey His commands, His richest blessings become a natural part of our lives.  His life becomes our life, and the peace, joy, love, exuberance and hope which only Jesus can give will fill our lives.

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


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,