From the BlogSubscribe Now

Refugee

Now that President Trump is in the oval office he has illuminated the need to provide proper screening for refugees pouring across our borders. The President has also suggested that we should build a wall between us and Mexico. This is a very polarizing topic that will illicit very heated debates on both sides of the issue.

One view point is to open our borders and let them all come in and lets help them, no matter what the cost. We will just screen the refugees the best we can and just deal with the fall out if a couple of bad apples get across and wind up killing some of us.

Another view point is to lock down the borders and stop being the world police. Lets stop being the giant refugee camp for the rest of the world. We have enough problems of our own, dont we?

I can hear the responses from my christian friends now. What would Jesus do? I am thinking that Jesus would meet the problem head on and provide for the needs of the people. Does that mean that Jesus could only do that here in America? In other words, could Jesus meet the needs of the refugees right where they live in the war ravaged villages where the refugees are from? Maybe only in America could he meet their needs…..

Please do not misunderstand me. I do feel compassion for people in third world countries that are being destroyed by war mongering dictators who have very little regard for human life. Does that mean I am not supposed to have compassion for the huddled masses of Americans who live on our streets? What about our veterans of foreign wars? Why has it come down to a choice between Americans vs refugees from other countries? Mabye someone should come up with a solution that will help all three groups of people.

I love to watch Dateline on NBC in the evenings. They always seem to have some sort of human interest story to air. The other night they aired a story about the ban that President Trump imposed when he took office. That ban was overturned by the Supreme Court and now the ban has been lifted. The story showed how much red tape and screening that refugees have to go through via the TSA.

One refugee family made their trek to one of our inner cities and were met by whatever organization that is in place to help the refugee family start a new life in our country. They were moved into a nice apartment and the father was assisted in finding a new job. I have no ide what other help was given to this family but now they have a new start and are no longer in fear for their lives. What an awesome story.

Meanwhile, back on the streets of America our government is doing NOTHING to help the homeless people or veterans. The most that the local goverment does is to bus the homeless away from their tourist districts downtown out to the suburbs or even to a near by city. Lets not address the problem, lets just move it around or sweep it under the rug and ignore it.

Yes, there are local organizations in Charleston such as Lowcountry Herald and other faith based organizations who try to meet the needs of feeding the homeless and providing them with health screening and personal hygiene kits. These organizations are run mostly by volunteers who give of their time, energy and money to see this happens. For the most part though, most folks ignore the homeless and consider them less than human.

There are those people who chose to live on the streets. There are some people who are homeless because they allowed addictions or divorce or joblessness to get them where they are. Sometimes addiction turns to job loss and a wrecked marriage and then they wind up on the streets. Does that mean there is no hope for these people? Jesus would look at these folks, feed them give them clothes, heal them and tell them to go and sin no more. That is what he did with the woman at the well.

We have churches that go on missionary trips to third world countries to tell people about the gospel of Christ and to take them clothes and provide them with clean drinking water and health services. Maybe our faith based organizations should turn that magnifying glass inside of our borders and see the needs right here in our own back yard.

This is a huge problem and it has gotten worse from one decade to the next. It is time that we as a people, as Americans, reach out to these people and lend a helping hand. If we do not do it, who will?

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Happy Birthday Angel Jessica

JamesKaty2008_thumb.jpg

 

 

Today our Jessica Ann would be 25 years old.  Jessica is our 2nd oldest child next to Jeremy Moffitt who is 29.  Today is also the 14th anniversary of the World Trade Center twin towers being attacked.  I remember both events as if it were yesterday.  I remember Jessica taking her last breath on August 5th 2001 at approximately 2 am.  I remember telling her that it was ok to quit fighting and to let go.  Jessica Ann slipped from the bonds of her cancer ridden body into the arms of Jesus in that moment.  It is our hope and belief that we will see her again along with other loved ones when we leave this life and move on to the next one.

It has been said that time heals all wounds.  I would say that time allows us the opportunity to learn how to deal with the pain and grief of losing a loved one.  Time gives us a measuring stick for our perception of the pain and feeling of loss that comes with grief.  One does not simply “get over it”.  If you are a friend or family of someone that has lost a loved one please do not make the mistake of expecting them to just “get over it”.  Grief is something that becomes a constant companion.  Over time, the pain does subside and get easier to deal with but it never totally goes away.

Today, my heart goes out to the family and friends of the 3000+ souls that lost their lives in the terrorist attack in New York City on this date in 2011.  Terrorists (aka cowards) hijacked 3 jet liners and intentionally flew them into both of the World Trade Center towers and attempted to fly into the Pentagon.  Someone said that 9/11 is the “Pearl Harbor” of my generation.   I will never forget where we were when this happened.  A neighbor called me and told me to turn on the TV and watch the news.  We sat in our living room and watched in horror as the World Trade Center buildings burned and then collapsed one after the other.  We watched as the second plane hit the second tower while the first one burned.  I remember how surreal it was to watch the 110 floor towers just collapse into the ground while millions of viewers watched in disbelief.

My heart goes out to the families and friends of the public servants who rushed to the scene to help people and ultimately paid the highest price for doing so.  Police officers and fire fighters who were trying to help victims lost their own lives on that horrible day.  This is a day that Americans came face to face with radical Islam and their act of cowardly terror.  I know that the pain of the event was and is intense for most of us.  It would be so easy to categorize all Muslim people as terrorists but I realize that is not fair.  That would be like saying that all Christians are willing to kill innocent people in the name of God.

The problem with terrorism and war is that innocent people including women and children lost their lives.  I guess that our government calls this loss of life as collateral damage.  I do not pretend to fully understand all of this.  I just know that people were going about their day to day business in the World Trade center towers and that it was forever interrupted by a cowardly act by terrorists and now they get to live with the grief.  Our thoughts and prayers go out to the survivors.  May they find some sort of release from their pain and find the courage to go on despite their losses.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

25 years of marriage as of May 12th

JamesKaty2008_thumb.jpg

 

 

As of May 12th Katy Moffitt and I celebrated 25 years of marriage.  That is right, back in 1990 we stood in a Baptist church in Houston Texas and before God, friends and family we vowed to be husband and wife no matter what.  For better or worse both in sickness and health.  To round out our vows we privately added a coffin clause.  The only way out of this marriage is if you are in your coffin.

Over the last 25 years we have known or seen many different marriages which have wound up in divorce court.  Marriage takes a lot of work, love, tears and commitment.  A commitment to do whatever it takes to make the marriage work.  Marriage takes love, patience, communications and lots of forgiveness.  Despite our best efforts it is almost impossible to change the other person.  When we get married we can easily fall into the trap that if we love someone enough that we can change the person to be who we want them to be. 

Katy and I have faced our fair share of ups and downs.  Some of the challenges that we have faced would have been catastrophic and would have ended most marriages.  I still remember our first premarital marriage counseling sessions.  Katy and I met an older couple out in Sugarland Texas at their home and shared a dinner.  We had a nice chat during dinner and then the genders split up and went to different parts of the house.  After it was all said and done Katy and I were amazed to learn that we would never have a successful marriage. 

The marriage counselors identified some things that were probable pit falls that would prove to be more than we could handle even if we were in love at that time.  Katy comes from a family that had to deal with alcoholism.  I came from a really messed up home life as a child.  I still remember the man stating that he could tell that “ I had been through some pretty rough spots” up until that point.  We were told that because of our past that I would never be willing to be in the relationship for the long haul and that if I did leave Katy she would wind up being an alcoholic. 

I am glad that Katy and I did not buy into that negative crap.  I grant you that these people were older and wiser than us and they could see some potential problems if we had allowed this to happen.  Katy and I discussed those things and decided that together and with the help of God we would be able to overcome them. 

As I look back over the last 25 years I can see several things that have required us to lean on each other and our faith in God in order to remain steadfast to our wedding vows.  I still do not understand how people can weather the storms of life without a faith in God.  I know that some folks do not understand faith and they view those of us with faith as weak people who are in need of some sort of fairy tale figure in our lives to run to when times get tough.  

One of the things that we seem to have always had to deal with are the financial struggles.  Nothing will destroy a marriage faster than financial stress or one or both spouses being unfaithful.  Looking back over the last 25 years I can see that while things have been a bit shaky at times with regards to finances our needs were always met somehow.  We always had a roof over our heads, food to eat and clothes to wear. It did not help that we made some stupid decisions along the way early on.  We suffered from the “I wants”, and decided that we would rather have it now and pay later.  What the credit card industry and marketers do not tell you is that paying later means you will pay dearly for the privilege of having things that you do not need quicker.  Katy always told me that she did not marry me for my money (or lack thereof) and I did not marry her for her cooking skills.  Luckily for us those areas have gotten much better over the years. 

Over the last 25 years we have lived through different seasons.  We lived through the honeymoon stage and entered parenthood with 3 children.  Jessica, Kristina and Justin Moffitt were born to us.  I have a son named Jeremy who was from a previous marriage.  The children went from being toddlers to adolescents to adults in what seems to be the blink of an eye. During this time we experienced the typical things that most families experience with 3 children.  We had our fair share of emergency room visits and hospital scares. 

I remember when we lived in Atlanta Georgia and I worked for Delta Airlines as a contractor.  Justin fell out of a 2 story window and banged his arm and head on the patio.  We rushed him to the ER and we got a lecture from a DSS worker who was concerned that we did not call an ambulance much less let our son fall out of a window.  It is tough to watch your children have to endure pain and suffering and not have the ability to keep them from that. 

I also remember when our Jessica Ann, when she was 10 years old, started to have blinding head aches and other neurological symptoms such as being dizzy and not being able to keep food down.  We found out that she had a baseball sized tumor in her head.  Emergency surgery removed 95% of the tumor but the rest of it that was wrapped around her brain stem would eventually kill her. The doctors gave Jessica Ann 12 months to live and 14 months later she went to heaven. 

I remember sitting at MUSC Childrens hospital with the team of doctors and our pastor.  We were told that she only had one option left but it was harsh and it could possibly kill her quicker than the cancer.  A bone marrow transplant would be performed and she would be in the hospital for 6 weeks while she was isolated from others to keep her from getting infections.  There was no promise that this would work even if we decided to go that direction.  I remember talking to Jessica at the tender age of ten and telling her what the options were.  I remember how she looked and reacted when what we told her sunk in.  She decided that she wanted to go home and not try the bone marrow transplant. 

That 14 months that we lived out as a family back in 2000 and 2001 was the hardest 14 months on our family. I have been told by the medical community that most families that lose a child to cancer typically wind up destroyed and scattered to the winds and in divorce court.  I remember when Jessica Ann died and the funeral director in Goose Creek told me that the statistics showed that we would be divorced within a year.  I remember how angry that made me and I remember telling that man that I rejected that idea.  We would not wind up in divorce court over this.  We would dig in and do whatever we could to survive this event. 

That was 14 years ago in August.   Our family was not destroyed but it certainly was impacted in a negative way.  None of us have been the same since that day we lost our Jessica Ann.  I am proud that Katy and I were able to hold things together and work through all of those things and that our marriage survived despite all odds.  I would also state that this season of our life was probably the one thing that did shake my faith in God down to the very foundation.  

Now we are empty nesters.  Justin lives in downtown Charleston with his girlfriend and Kristina lives in Oregon.  I guess you could say that we are in the last season of our lives.  We are sliding into our golden years and second childhood.  We are both in our 50’s and while we would like to think that we are in our middle years neither of us expect to live another 50 years.  I suppose that none of us know when our lives will end.  We have to live our lives one day at a time and leave all of the eternal issues up to our God and creator who created us and the world we live in. 

I am so very blessed to be married to my Gizmo.  Katy has been my best friend for the last 25 years. I remember sitting at First Baptist church in Houston Texas and telling Katy that we would only be friends.  I remember how that made her cry.  I guess that God had shown her that I was her husband before he told me.  I remember saying that I would never marry again until I saw a burning bush in the middle of I-10 at noon time.  Apparently there was a burning bush (or car) at some point because Katy chased my heart down and captured it.  There have been no regrets and no looking back.  I am glad that I am married to my Katy and I am looking forward to us growing old together. 

I am a better man because of Katy.  Katy has always been the most selfless person I have ever known.  Katy is also the most faithful person I know with regards to her faith in God.  Katy has a quiet faith that is very strong.   Katy has always believed in me even when I did not believe in myself.  Katy has taught me how to be more selfless and more loving of other people.   I really am not sure how she has put up with me for all of these years but she has.  I believe that makes her a saint.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Let’s be thankful

I turned 53 years old today.  🙂  In the grand scheme of things, I am glad that I am still alive and able to type this blog post.  🙂

Today is Thanks Giving day and I am also celebrating my birthday.  I went for a walk with my our dog Willow, and took that opportunity to be prayerfully thankful.  I want to list some of the things I am thankful for below.

  • Being alive
  • The Grace of God that provides salvation to all mankind
  • my acceptance of Grace many years ago
  • how God, through his mercy has picked me up, dusted me off and given my life new purpose and meaning
  • being relatively healthy
  • my loving wife Katy
  • my children, Justin, Kristina, Jeremy and Jessica
  • living in America and being free
  • my job
  • our church family  Coastal Community Church and Grace Fellowship Church
  • our Lab Willow who was a rescue dog
  • all of my extended family

I suppose that the older I get the more opportunities that I get to reflect on my life.  Where am I going and where have I come from?  Do I measure up?  Do I believe that I am as successful as I could be?  Am I satisfied with what I see in the mirror?  How many regrets do I have?

I figure that I am not alone with some of the questions above.  As I prayed today I asked God to give me the ability not to compare myself with other people.  It would be easy to compare myself with others that are much more successful than I am and feel like a failure.  On the flip side of that I could also find folks to compare myself with that would make me feel like a great success.  The Bible teaches us not to compare ourselves with one another.  We are not supposed to look at someone else and be envious of who they are or what they own or do not own.  The only thing I am supposed to compare myself with is the light of God’s word.  That is the only measuring stick that I should compare myself with.  When I look at myself in the reflection of the word of God how do I measure up?

When I look into the mirror of God’s word I realize that there are some things that are still broken.  I also can look back into the past and see the emotional and mental wreckage that is there.  I can see where God has repaired a lot of the damage that was there and has given me a new purpose for living.  He has dusted me off and set me down and given me a new heading, a new course.  When I think about it, I could run myself crazy worrying about what could have been.  If I had done this or that then maybe I would be in a better place or be more successful.  Instead of doing that I chose to reflect upon those things that God has enabled me to do.  When I reflect on what God has done in my life and those things that he has allowed me to walk through then I realize why I am who I am today.

As the title to this blog post reveals, I want us to take the time to “be thankful”.  Instead of looking at our broken lives, or the broken world we live in, I would encourage us to be thankful for those good and positive things that we should be thankful for.  Let’s be thankful that we are alive, and that there is HOPE for the future.  Be thankful that as we observe the landscape of our communities around us, that we can be an active participant in bringing about positive change in those communities.  We can see what is broken and be that person who does the decent thing and pays if forward.  God has bestowed upon us Grace and Mercy while we were not deserving of it.  Let us show our thankfulness by bestowing that Grace and Mercy on those people who live around us.

The holiday season is upon us and there are people all around us that are broken and hurting for many different reasons.  For some people the holiday season only reminds people of those loved ones they have lost or maybe they are in the midst of their own personal or family crisis.  Lets be mindful of that and reach out to those people and do what we can.  We do not need to have magical answers.  We just need to be there in whatever way we can, and let those people know that they matter and that they are not alone.

Happy Thanksgiving to you and yours!

 

 

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

How To Change Your Online Life In 5 Minutes! | Heartstone Journey

How To Change Your Online Life In 5 Minutes! | Heartstone Journey.

I thought this article was worth sharing.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Living out our faith in the small things

I got up this morning and did the same thing I do every morning. I have a daily routine or ritual that I follow. I would like to think that we are creatures of habit and those habits help us to maintain some sort of balance in our lives. If you are like me, you grow weary of doing the same thing over and over again. Sometimes I yearn to break up the monotony of everyday life. Instead of driving to work on path A I will chose path B for a changbikepath4.jpge in scenery. No matter how we look at our daily routine or desire to change it up there are some things in life that remain constant.

One of those constants is the fact that our faith in God is a core value that everything else is centered around.   Hebrews 11:6 says “And without faith it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him.” Romans 10:17 says “So then faith comes by hearing, and the hearing by the word of God”.

As I read God’s word I am continually reminded that God pursues his creation. God wants to have fellowship with us. God wants to provide us with abundant life. God is our everlasting father and a brilliant light of truth that guides our feet and sets us on the narrow path. We all need to continually and faithfully build our faith and not allow the things of this world to destroy it. How do we do that? We do that through prayer, reading of God’s word and fellowship with other believers.   The light of God and the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives is not there for us to put on a shelf and treat it as a trophy. God blesses us and gives us power from on high so that we in turn can be a light and blessing to the world around us.

I praise God for the church family that I was adopted into many years ago. It is because of your faith and obedience to the cross that I am able to continue in my walk of faith. Your faithfulness to the calling of God in your life in the small everyday things will encourage others. We all need one another in times of trials and darkness. Our mission field is all around us no matter where God has us. God places us where he wants us and it is there that we must work out our faith and allow God to touch those around us.

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Life groups- what are they, and why are they important?

Why do we go to church?  Do we go on a regular basis or sporadically?  Do we only go during Easter and Christmas, which is the typical times that people who do not regularly attend go.  Do we go to church fully expecting the church to meet our needs without giving back something in return?  Do we have hidden expectations and if those are not met do we pack up our stuff and head over to the next church across town?

One of the things that I love about Coastal Community Church is that they address those questions head on.  They encourage people to come to church with a desire to serve one another and those in the community.  One of their Tshirts says the following.  “Do not go to church BUT BE the church”.  What does that mean?  It means that the church is made up of people (you and I) and that everyone in the body of Christ (the church) has specific skills and gifts that can be used to bless other people.  Because Christ loved us and gave up his life for the church, we should be willing to love one another and give our love and lives away to other people within and without the church.  We should be a light on a hill and a salt in the earth.  We should be people who make a real difference in the lives of others.

Yesterday was Life Group Sunday.  We are kicking off the many life groups for the Winter and Spring semester that will last 10 to 12 weeks in 2014.  So, why are Life Groups important?  Why is it important that we belong to Life Groups at our local church?  It does not matter what the title is that is given to it.  What matters is that you are walking out your faith with other believers in that local church community.  Here are a list of points we were given yesterday.

 

1. I need others to walk with me  Col 2:6

2. I need others to work with me   Eph 2:10 and Eccl 4:9

3. I need others to watch out for me.    Phil 2:4 and Eccl 4:10

4. I need others to wait and weep with me.   1 Cor 12:26

5. I need others to witness with me    John 13:35 and Phillipians 1:27b

I would encourage you to think about these points and to look up each scripture and see how it applies to you.  I want to encourage everyone who reads this ,to get involved in a local church and become active.  When we do that, that is how we can begin to grow in our faith and spiritual maturity and bless others around us.

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Authentic Faith

I love attending Coastal Community Church in West AshleyScreen Shot 2014-01-05 at 4.23.04 PM.  Katy and I have been members there now for going on a year or longer.  One of the things I love about the church is that it is alive.  The church has 3 services every Sunday and they have close to 450 members in attendance.  The church is growing so much that they are breaking round on a new building this year.

The evangelism strategy of Coastal Community Church is simple.  They want us to “invest” and “invite”.  We are to live our lives in such a way that people will know that we are Christ followers.  We are to invest our lives into the lives of others.  Our challenge is to love people for who they are right now and show them how much we care.

No matter where we live, where we work or where we play, there are people all around us that are hurting.  God has placed us there so that we can reach out to them and bring them hope.

One of the statements Pastor Chris made today was this.  Salt and light have a “radical influence” on whatever it is they come into contact with.  He also stated that there are three types of “Bitter salt” and “glaring light” people who are counterfeit Christians that repel people from God.  Those are the following types.

In your fact Christians” whose sole purpose in life is to cram the word of God down your throat at all costs, and communicate to you that you will go to hell if you do not change your ways.

Holier than thou Christians“, who feel as if they are better than everyone else.  They measure their worthiness of God’s grace, by their religious accomplishments.

Cosmetic Christians”  project an outward appearance of being a Christian but when you look past the surface you find that they are no different than anyone else.  The lives of those people do not tell the story of someone that has been redeemed or changed on the inside.

Unfortunately I think that all of us have been guilty of being a lot like those three groups of people at some point.  The challenge for all of us is to do our best to be humble servants and invest our lives into those around us.  None of us deserves grace.  God pursues us because he loves us.  It is because he draws us to himself that we are even aware of his presence and love for us.  Once we respond to the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives and ask God to be our redeemer do we really understand the power and importance of grace.

This morning we were told that Savory Salt and Illuminating Light looks like this.

A costly Christianity.  Live out our faith, even when it costs you.

A compassionate Christianity.  Don’t just share God’s love, but show it by your actions.

A consistent Christianity.  Be real, you are being watched

A committed Christianity.  Pray for people, even when they do not “deserve” it.

If you are like me, I have been challenged to be who God wants me to be in the community he has placed me in.  My challenge is to be authentic with regards to my faith and not live my life in such a way, that show me to be a hypocrite.  No one expects me to be perfect but if I say I am a Christ follower then I should act that way.

I would like to hear if any of this has challenged you.  Share with us the message you received at church today.  I would love to hear from you dear reader.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

Paying it forward – lets do this all year round

Whether we like it or not, the Christmas season is upon us.  All around us we see evidence of this.  Stores both online and offline are in a full court press trying to pressure us to release the grasp on our pocket books.  We are being told through marketing hype the only way to celebrate Christmas, is to spend lots of cash and buy lots of presents for everyone we know.  The only problem with that idea, is that not everyone has a lot of cash to throw around for buying presents.  I think that it puts a lot of unnecessary pressure on folks and creates more stress than joy or peace.

While I think it is nice to be able to give gifts to our loved ones, maybe we are missing the point of the season.  As we listen to some of the Christmas carols, lets focus less on the music and more on the message.  Here are some of the songs we are familiar with.

Peace on earth and good will to men. 

Joy to the world.

Silent Night

We are familiar with these songs and we sing them without missing a beat.  I am thinking that maybe less is more in this situation.   I would suggest that we do what we can with what we have, without going into debt this Christmas.  If you have X amount of dollars and X amount of people to buy for, then that is what they are going to get.   After all, it is not about how much the gift costs, but rather the actual act of giving.  Why are we falling into the commercialized trap of competing with the Jones’s and trying to gain approval by what is or is not under the Christmas tree?

One of the ways that we can spread peace and joy is by paying it forward.  What does that mean?  Think back to the times in your life where you experienced a random act of kindness. Take that random act of kindness and pay it forward to someone else in your community. You will be surprised at how good this will make you feel.  Not only that but you will probably surprise the recipient and motivate them to do the same thing.  Paying it forward means that you chose to do something kind, considerate or generous to someone who is not expecting it and wanting nothing in return.  Sometimes paying it forward means that the person receiving the act of kindness may never know that you did it.

I would love to hear about a random act of kindness that you have experience in your life and how it blessed you.  How did it make you feel?  How did it motivate you?  Did it have a positive affect on your life in the moment or for the future?  Did it increase your outlook on humanity?

We wish you a Merry Christmas  that is filled with Hope, Joy and peace that will fill your heart and spirit.

 

 

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter

People need hope

What is more important?  Debating the finer points of theology or sharing my personal testimony.  I believe that sharing my personal testimony along with living a life that is reflective of that testimony is essential to being a Christ follower.  What does a Christ follower look like?  More importantly, what does a Christ follower not look like?

In order to describe a Christ follower one might decide to create lists of things that a Christian is not supposed to do.  These lists are typically made up by men and women who subscribe to specific denominational rules. As a Christian, who subscribes to a faith in Christ, I might fall into a specific denomination.  I am a Christ follower but I follow this set of rules.  When I go to church I do this and that, or we do not do this or that.

No matter what denominational guidelines you subscribe to, one thing is certain.  When you become a Christ follower you become a new person.  2 Corinthians 7:15 says “Therefore if any man be in Christ he is a new creation, the old is gone and the new has come.”  At some point we come to the realization that we are sinners in the need of God’s forgiveness. We ask God to forgive us of our sins and to give us the power to live according to his will and desire for our lives.

That means that as we embrace our new spiritual being that we no longer live as we lived before. We have a new heart with new desires and a new direction in life.  We have a new purpose.  That purpose is to reflect the love, grace and mercy of God to the world around me.  As a Christ follower it is not my job to convert anyone to being a Christ follower.  I am only responsible for my relationship with God.  I am also responsible for how I treat my fellow man.  I am responsible for leading them to the source of my salvation, joy and peace.

As we look around at the world around us I believe that we can agree that things are a mess.  We live in a broken world surrounded by hurting people. People who are broken need hope and the hope they need is the grace of God.  People do not need more religion and more rules.  People need to know that God loves them and is not interested in striking them down and making them pay for their sins.  God has gone to extraordinary lengths to provide all of us with saving grace.  The bible tells us that “for all have sinned and come short of the glory of God”.  We are not able to work our way into heaven.  Only by accepting that we are sinners in need of a loving God will allow us to become Christ followers.  The bible also says that “faith without works is dead”.   We do not do “good works” to earn enough of Gods favor to get into heaven.  We do “good works” because of our salvation and the gift of grace and we are thankful that God does love us despite of our sin.

As we walk down the road of life today let’s remember that we may be the only Jesus that someone may encounter.  People are looking for hope. People are hurting because of the brokenness in their lives.  My hope is that we can live the type of lives that will reflect the thing that people need the most.  The love, compassion and mercy of God are the only things that can bring about true hope and transformation.  Only when people can see those qualities in our lives will they become curious about Jesus and then we are able to share our personal testimony with them.

Our personal testimony is a powerful story that tells people about how God rescued us, forgave us of our sins, give us hope, new life and purpose. My hope is that as you read these words, you will be encouraged to continue down your path of faith in Christ.  If you are not a Christ follower, and you find that you want the free gift of grace that I am speaking of, please reach out to me or to your local church. Ask someone to share their testimony and show you what Gods word says about his incredible love for you.

Share this:
Share this page via Email Share this page via Stumble Upon Share this page via Digg this Share this page via Facebook Share this page via Twitter