Category Archives:Salvation

Where Will You Spend Eternity?

I read recently that 50 percent of all born-again Christians don’t have the assurance of salvation. Maybe some just need to memorize some pertinent passages on the assurance of salvation, like (1 John 5:13) These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, that you may know that you have eternal life, and that you may continue to believe in the name of the Son of God.

and realize that God’s Word does indeed promise that salvation is the present possession of every true follower of Christ.

On the other hand, perhaps a lot of so-called Christians do not have the assurance of salvation because they are not really saved. Just because you attend church or engage in certain religious activities does not necessarily mean you are a Christian. The Apostle Paul instructed those in the early church to examine themselves to see if their faith was genuine (2 Corinthians 13:5) Examine yourselves as to whether you are in the faith. Test yourselves. Do you not know yourselves, that Jesus Christ is in you? — unless indeed you are disqualified. 

So, how do I know if you are a Christian? How do you know if I’m one? There must be evidence. Jesus said, “By their fruits you shall know them” (Matthew 7:20) Therefore by their fruits you will know them.

If someone examined your life, would they find any spiritual fruit—hard evidence to prove that you are a true follower of Jesus Christ?

Or, let me put it another way: If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you? By “evidence,” I don’t mean how many Bibles you own, or how many bumper stickers you might have on your car with Christian sayings on them. I mean hard evidence. If your family members, neighbors, and coworkers were interviewed and asked the question, “Is (your name here), in your opinion, a real Christian?” we might not be happy with the response.

The only way others can tell whether you are a Christian is by your works. While all the good works in the world won’t save a person (Titus 3:5) not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit. 

In a nutshell, all the great religions of the world, apart from Christianity, say, “Do.” “Do this and you might go to heaven,” “Do that and you might find nirvana,” and so on. Christianity, in contrast, says, “Done.”

God has taken care of your salvation through the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross. He cried out, “It is finished!” He purchased your ticket to heaven at the cross. But having received that ticket, your life should reflect your commitment to Christ. Works won’t save you, but if you really are saved, then works will follow

(2 Corinthians 5:17) Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.

Has that happened to you? Has there been a change in your life?

In Acts 26, the Bible outlines three steps you must take to be sure you are a Christian. This is important to understand, because you may be living under false hope, and ultimately, have a false assurance of salvation. When Paul spoke to King Agrippa and described how God had called him to preach the gospel message, he essentially broke that message down and in so many words, defined it.

Paul said that God told him to preach the gospel, which was comprised of a person hearing it, realizing it was ‘to open their eyes, in order to turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, that they may receive forgiveness of sins and an inheritance among those who are sanctified by faith in Me.’  (Acts 26:18)

So first, you must have your eyes opened. A spiritual blindness afflicts those who have not yet turned their lives over to Jesus Christ, because “Satan . . . has blinded the minds of those who don’t believe . . .” (2 Corinthians 4:4 NLT).

Second, you must turn from darkness to light. Satan loves darkness. Hell is referred to as outer darkness. If you want to really believe, then you need to come out of the darkness and into the light (Acts 26:18).

Third, you must turn from the power of Satan to God. A lot of people today want to live in two worlds. If you want to be a Christian on Sunday, but want to live the other way the rest of the week, it won’t work

(2 Corinthians 6:14) Do not be unequally yoked together with unbelievers. For what fellowship has righteousness with lawlessness? And what communion has light with darkness? 

You must turn from Satan to God.

Have your spiritual eyes been opened? Have you turned from darkness to light? Have you turned from the power of Satan to God? If you’ve taken these steps, then God has forgiven your sins and has a place for you among God’s people in heaven. This is the hope of those who truly belong to Christ.

 

God Promises His Spirit and A New Heart

Not one race has maintained their identity without a homeland after five generations except for the Jews, who have done so for over 2000 years. Yet as knowledgeable as the Jews are relating to the Scriptures, they fail to see that Jesus is the promised Messiah as prophesied in Psalm 22, Isaiah 53, Daniel 9, and Zechariah 11-12.

Paul assures us in the New Testament, “not to be uninformed of this mystery …that a partial blindness (hardening of their hearts) has happened to Israel until the fullness of the Gentiles has come in.” (Romans 11:25).

Surely anyone looking at the evidence of prophecy and the life of Jesus Christ must conclude that if Jesus wasn’t the Messiah, there will never be a Messiah! No one since Jesus has or can trace his genealogy back to David.

What a glorious day it will be when God gives them a unity of heart, putting His Spirit among them and remove their hardened hearts! (Jeremiah 24:7, 31:33, Ezekiel 11:17-21, 36:24-32, 39:28-29).

CS Lewis put it so profoundly:

“I am trying here to prevent anyone saying the really foolish thing that people often say about Him: ‘I’m ready to accept Jesus as a great moral teacher, but I don’t accept His claim to be God.’ That is the one thing we must not say. A man who was merely a man and said the sort of things Jesus said would not be a great moral teacher. He would either be a lunatic—on a level with the man who says he is a poached egg—or else he would be the Devil of Hell. You must make your choice.  Either this man was, and is, the Son of God: or else a madman or something worse. You can shut Him up for a fool, you can spit at Him and kill Him as a demon; or you can fall at His feet and call Him Lord and God. But let us not come with any patronising nonsense about His being a great human teacher. He has not left that open to us. He did not intend to.”

 

 

Just B E L I E V E

23 Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes.” 24 Immediately the father of the child cried out and said with tears, “Lord, I believe; help my unbelief!”   Mark 9:23-24

If you were to die today and stand before God and He asked, ‘Why should I let you into My heaven?’ what would you say?  The question gets to the heart of, “What are you trusting in for eternal life?”

As such, there is no more important question in the world to be crystal clear on! If you place your hope of eternal life in something, only to find when you stand before God that it will not get you into heaven, you’re doomed! There are no makeup exams at the judgment seat! You’d better get it right before you die!

But, you claim, “I’ve lived a good life and done the best that I could do.” Or, “I am a basically good person and I’ve never tried to hurt anyone.” Those are wrong answers when it comes to getting into heaven! The Bible declares that there is NONE righteous or good…

Indeed, there is not a righteous man on earth who always does good and who never sins.   Ecclesiastes 7:20

They have all turned aside, together they have become corrupt;
There is no one who does good, not even one. 
Psalm 14:3

And Paul reiterated this:

9 Well then, are we [Jews] better off than they? Not at all; for we have already charged that both Jews and Greeks (Gentiles) are under the control of sin and subject to its power. 10 As it is written and forever remains written,

“There is none righteous [none that meets God’s standard], not even one.

Don’t get mad at those of us who preach salvation by faith not works. Your beef is not with us, but with Almighty God.   Romans 3:9-10

  So will My word be which goes out of My mouth;
It will not return to Me void (useless, without result),
Without accomplishing what I desire,
And without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:11

Of course, getting into heaven is not just a matter of answering a question correctly. It requires a spiritual resurrection from the dead, as we have seen. It requires having God forgive your sins, so that you are truly reconciled to Him. But for that to happen, you must be clear on the biblical truth of how that happens. And Satan has worked overtime to sow confusion among the world’s religions, including the major branches of Christianity, on the question of how a person gets eternal life.

Paul answers this crucial question in Ephesians 2:8-9. He wrote these truths to those who were already saved, to clarify and solidify their understanding of these vital matters. When you share the gospel with others, their misunderstanding of God’s grace and the relationship between faith and works will be the major issues you will need to clarify.

8 For it is by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you have been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith (complete trust or confidence in someone or something.). And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; 9 not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation].

Throughout God’s Word (the Bible) we see this same claim that by GRACE you are saves, through FAITH…

 “Look at the proud one,
His soul is not right within him,
But the righteous will live by his faith [complete trust or confidence in the true and living God, Creator of heaven, earth, land, sea and all living creatures].

Habakkuk 2:4
For in the gospel the righteousness of God is revealed, both springing from faith (complete trust or confidence in someone or something) and leading to faith [disclosed in a way that awakens more faith]. As it is written and forever remains written, “The just and upright shall live by faith (complete trust or confidence in someone or something).” Romans 1:17

 Now it is clear that no one is justified [that is, declared free of the guilt of sin and its penalty, and placed in right standing] before God by the Law, for “The righteous (the just, the upright) shall live by faith (complete trust or confidence in someone or something).”  Galatians 3:11


But My righteous one [the one justified by faith-complete trust or confidence in the true and living God] shall live by faith [respecting man’s relationship to God and trusting Him]; And if he draws back [shrinking in fear], My soul has no delight in him.   

Hebrews 10:38

 

I choose to believe the true and living God in whom I believe in!

 

 

The Story of St. Valentine

I love a good story, which is why I love history, because its full of good stories. And the story of St. Valentine is an intriguing one. There were a lot of Valentines in the early church, and at least 12 were mentioned in early church history. There was even one pope named Valentine.

 

SO, WHO WAS THE SAINT?

According to one tradition, which came about in the Middle Ages, Valentine of Rome was killed for performing marriages outlawed by the Emperor Claudius II. This is where most of the modern histories of the holiday will take you. And the idea of dying for love is romantic. But, the evidence that Claudius actually outlawed marriages is sketchy. It is possible, but there is a more ancient tradition.

In the 5th century a group of scholars comprised a history of the martyrs of the church, the “Martyrologium Hieronymianum”. Some of the names on the list have brief descriptions of their stories, but many of the oldest martyrs are listed only by name and date.

Three Valentines are listed as dying on February 14th. Two of them were from Italy, and one from North Africa. All were probably killed under the reign of in AD 269 or 270.

All three made the list because they refused to deny Christ and worship the Roman gods. Valentine of Rome may have even been interrogated Claudius himself. The story is that he was martyred after sharing the gospel with the emperor. All three men were tortured, beaten and then beheaded because they refused to deny their love of Christ. Then in the year of our Lord 496 February 14 was declared a day of celebration for the Christian world in their honor. St. Valentine’s Day was a day to celebrate three men who died for the Christ who died for them.

 

THEY DIED FOR LOVE

The medieval English poet Geoffrey Chaucer was the first to associate St. Valentine’s Day with romantic love, but that is not what these men died for. They died for love, but not for romantic eros love.

No, they died for agape love. They died because they loved God without putting any conditions on Him. They did not require God to make them happy or rich. They did not demand fair treatment from their Creator. They died to all of their desires and dreams. They put themselves on the line for the honor and the love of another. They died for the One they loved. They died for the One who had died for them. Now that is real love.

In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins. 11 Beloved, if God so loved us, we also ought to love one another.  1 John 4:10-11

 

 

God Can Do ALL Things: Give It To Him, Part 3

I cannot imagine that anyone reading this series so far, has not experienced at least one moment when you’ve seen something that seemed impossible happen.  For some of you one thing might have been when the United States put man on the moon. Years ago, there was an article saying that it seemed impossible when Bill Gates’ had a vision for Microsoft of having “a computer on every desk, in every home.” Or Jeff Bezos, from Amazon, setting that company on a path to have “every book, ever published, in any language available for Kindle customers to purchase and begin reading in less than 60 seconds.”  Someday people will say, I remember when it seemed impossible that we would ever have a cure for cancer.  It seemed impossible that cars would drive themselves.  It seemed impossible that Jesus was ever going to come back!

In the scripture from Matthew, the disciples have heard Jesus say some things that seemed impossible.  At the end of chapter 18, Jesus says you must forgive your brother’s sin against you how many times?  Seven?  No, seventy times seven.  I picture Peter thinking, impossible.  Then in chapter 19, the Pharisees are asking Jesus about divorce, Moses said a man could divorce a woman for any reason.  Jesus says, no.  No divorce.  Unless she’s been unfaithful.  And while I don’t want to get sidetracked here, I believe in our understanding of how husbands and wives are to treat each other, we would agree that in cases of abuse, divorce is appropriate.  So, Jesus said people should stay married and I picture the disciples thinking, impossible.  (And husbands and wives, this is not a good place of an amen – I repeat not a good place.)  As a matter of fact in chapter 19, verse 10, the disciples say, it would be better not to get married.  If you have to keep each other forever, forget it.  That’s impossible.

Then someone whom we call the rich, young ruler, (and for you who don’t know the story, think cocky young dude with a lot of money) comes to ask Jesus what he has to do to inherit eternal life.  Jesus tells him part of the Ten Commandments, specifically that part about how you treat others; the rich, perhaps spoiled, young guy says, all this I’ve done from my youth.  And Jesus, apparently picking up on his attitude and sensing that the guy places a lot of stock in his possessions, hits the guy where it hurts.  Sell all you have and give it to the poor, then your treasure will be in heaven, then come follow me.

Don’t get lost here thinking everyone is called to sell everything and give it to the poor.  Luke 19 tells of another rich man, Zacchaeus, and Zacchaeus said he said he was going to give part of his wealth away and Jesus approved.

So back to the rich young guy, he walks away sad, not willing to do what Jesus required.

I said Jesus hits the guy where it hurts.  Jesus has this habit of requiring of people what’s most precious to them.

Whatever it is that you want to hold onto more than anything else – If you were the person who went to Jesus is this scripture, His answer would have been that thing.  Perhaps, it is money. Perhaps, it is control. Perhaps, it is anger. Whatever it is that you want to hold on to, He says, let go of that, and hold onto Me.  It’s never the easy stuff, it’s the hard stuff. You might say the “impossible for me” thing.

And just to make sure that His disciples get it, because they have proven time and again they’re not necessarily the brightest, He says, it is harder for a camel, the largest animal they had back then, to get through the eye of a needle than for someone who is rich to enter the kingdom of God.

Now when you go over to Israel today, when you get to the Church of the Nativity, the guides show you a little sub-gate under the gate into the church. And they tell you that that little sub-gate was called the eye of the needle, and that in the gates of the cities they always had this little sub-gate, which was called the eye of the needle. In order to get the camel through it, they had to take all of the burden of the camel’s back, and it had to get down on the ground. And a couple guys behind him pushing, and one guy in front of it pulling, to get it to squeeze through this eye of the needle in the gate. And they say that’s what Jesus was talking about.

I find that interesting. They make it a possibility if you struggle hard enough, and if you grunt and groan enough, you can actually save yourself. A lot of people would like to have you think that. But Jesus points out that that is entirely false. He is talking not about some little gate that you can, by a lot of effort, and grunts and groans squeeze and get through. He is talking about an eye of a needle, that a woman is sewing with, and you trying to get a camel through that? And that’s why the disciples said, “Lord, who then can be saved?” and note, Jesus said what, “With man it is impossible.” Remember that.

He didn’t say, “You got to strain. You got to struggle. You got to grunt and groan, give it your best.” He is saying, “It’s impossible.” Man cannot save himself. The moralist cannot save himself. No man by good works can save himself. No man by a good work can inherit age-abiding, eternal life. It is a gift of God, and it is only wrought by a miracle of God in our hearts and lives. For though it is impossible with men, with God all things are possible.

Some people have impossibilities they’re facing.  Some of you have impossibilities you’re facing.  From our human perspective and abilities, we say IMPOSSIBLE.  And God says to you and to me, you’re wrong.  Nothing is impossible with Jesus.  With Jesus, ALL Things are possible.

Maybe you have a bill due, maybe you have a marriage on the rocks, maybe you have a family situation that is without a solution, maybe you have an unhealthy addiction, maybe you have an anger issue, maybe you suffer from abuse, maybe you are afraid to step out in faith. We know from experience that on our own, at times forgiveness is impossible.  On our own, these things are impossible.

Jesus said to the disciples, and says to you and to me, on your own, you are right… there are some things that are impossible.

And Lord knows, you’ve tried…

over and over and over

Do you have an impossibility in your life?

Do you know our God is the God of the possible.  He is the God of Hope and the only place in the Bible that He’s called that is in Romans 15:13, “Now may the God of Hope fill you will all peace in believing as you trust in Him.”

Jesus says, you are not alone.  I am with you.  Don’t be afraid.  And don’t worry.  Don’t worry about tomorrow, don’t worry about what you’re going to eat, don’t worry about where you’re going to sleep, don’t worry about what others do to you.  You just give it all to God and he will provide the way.  Don’t worry if people take advantage of you, don’t hold a grudge.

How is that possible?  It is impossible from the world’s perspective.

Impossible that God came to earth in the form Of Jesus; Impossible that Jesus would die on the cross for our sin. Impossible that “…by grace [God’s remarkable compassion and favor drawing you to Christ] that you can been saved [actually delivered from judgment and given eternal life] through faith. And this [salvation] is not of yourselves [not through your own effort], but it is the [undeserved, gracious] gift of God; 9 not as a result of [your] works [nor your attempts to keep the Law], so that no one will [be able to] boast or take credit in any way [for his salvation]. 10 For we are His workmanship [His own master work, a work of art], created in Christ Jesus [reborn from above—spiritually transformed, renewed, ready to be used] for good works, which God prepared [for us] beforehand [taking paths which He set], so that we would walk in them [living the good life which He prearranged and made ready for us].” Ephesians 2:8-10

I pray you see the hope and comfort in this message. True. God Can Do ALL Things!

 

God Can Do ALL Things: My Diminishing Shadows, Part 2

In my last post on this series I gave you a brief breakdown of how I KNOW that God can do ALL things.

I will share my testimony with you once again. Obviously, it will not be completed until I return to my heavenly home. Ponder my Diminishing Shadows

I was born in Orange California in 1958. When I was 1 ½ years old my biological mother took my grandfather’s car and abandoned my dad, 2 half-brothers and I. She had an affair with a friend of my dad’s and moved to Illinois. After six weeks or so my dad and grandpa went to bring the car back. Dad took my brothers to their grandma’s house and proceeded to get sole custody of me; very rare for the courts to award custody to the father in 1960. For approximately four years dad raised me on his own with the help of my grandma and aunt. In 1964 he married the woman I call mom, and I gained a mother and brother.

For many years I knew something was different but couldn’t put my hand on what it was. When I was twelve I was caught shoplifting at our city mall. I was not arrested, but my dad was furious. My mom was much more gracious.

On my thirteenth birthday my childhood best friend and I spent the night with my paternal (biological) grandparents. I asked my grandma if mom was in fact my biological mother. Grandma told me to talk to my dad. I told her I was asking her because I knew she wouldn’t lie to me. So I found out the truth. When my mom found out that my grandma told me the truth she banned me from seeing my grandma until I was eighteen. Our next door neighbors arranged for my grandma and I to meet at a shopping mall in Costa Mesa. I was elated. Dad knew that I was meeting her and never said a word to my mom. She did find out later, when I was seventeen and they almost divorced over it.

On February 20, 1973, when I was fourteen, a friend in Jr High invited me to go to church with her. We watched a movie entitled “A Thief in the Night.” To this day I love the song, “I Wish We’d All Been Ready.” Afterwards, Billy Graham gave the invitation to accept Jesus in my heart and I responded. The following evening my brother joined us and also gave his life to Jesus.

I counseled teenage new believers whenever Billy was in town. He was an amazing man, so loving and gentle spirited. I also became active in our church choir. Our choir, Presbyterian Youth Chorale traveled every summer to sing for various churches across the United States. My new best friend and I had Bible studies in the hay loft above her family’s garage. We named are secret meeting place “Bethel,” which means “House of God.”

That same year I ended up in the ER for severe stomach pain. The doctors told my dad that I had gonorrhea. He told them he would bet his life I didn’t. After evaluating me and taking x-rays, the doctor told him that I had endometriosis and needed to go to a gynecologist. So I did, and was told I could never have babies. I was devastated, as I had baby sat since I was nine, and loved children. After graduating from High School and attending one year of junior college, I became pregnant. I was engaged to the father of the baby and my dad told him that he would marry me. Against my beliefs, I got an abortion. A couple weeks afterwards when I used the bathroom a little limb came out of me. Instead of getting help I turned to drugs.

I started working for a floor covering company and ended up having an affair with my boss. He was married with three beautiful daughters and one on the way at the time. Even worse, we discussed having an affair. He eventually divorced his wife and we were married after living together for over two years. By now I had an addiction to cocaine and overdosed on my birthday in 1984. We both quit drugs and became involved in ministry at Calvary. My dad never accepted him. Then, two years later I had another affair, and after marriage counselling we my husband and I decided to separate. I am thankful that he has forgiven me, to this day we are friends.

I met a man in 1987, and began dating him. I became pregnant again, not knowing who the father was, my husband or boyfriend. After talking to them both about the situation, I chose to keep the baby and be a single mom. The baby belonged to my boyfriend.

In 1991, my half-sister was murdered in Nevada and when I came home after her funeral, I again became pregnant with a girl. Her father wanted me to abort, but this time I refused and chose to keep her. My son’s dad said he would adopt her, that way she and our son would both have a dad who loved them, and the same last name. Eight and one half months later my son and I were in a car accident only one block from our home.  The police offered to take me to the hospital, but I chose not to go as I felt her moving and had a doctor’s appointment the next morning. When my doctor examined me, there was no heart beat from my baby. Labor was induced and five hours later Alexandra was still born. The placenta was lodged in my left rib cage and I had emergency surgery, and given a couple units of blood. By this time, I was attending Calvary Chapel of Costa Mesa again and Pastor Carl led the funeral service. I have never gotten over this completely. The loss of a child is difficult to accept. I take comfort, however, in knowing that she is in heaven and has never had to encounter the horrific things this world avails.

Angry at God, I again backslid, this time I did even stronger drugs and led a very promiscuous lifestyle. This led to me getting date raped three months after the loss of my daughter and again had an abortion, even though it was against my beliefs. I tried to justify it with the fact that I was raped.

Later that year I began dating a man and it lasted four years. In 1996, I again became pregnant and made the decision to abort. After the fact, I found out that my boyfriend would have married me and wanted the baby.

In 1997, I rededicated my life to the Lord and my son was saved the following weekend. God is so good. We were baptized together by Pastor Chuck Smith at Pirates Cove, San Clemente. Papa Chuck told me that this time I was going to serve my Lord. This is a day I will never forget as my son and I were baptized together at the same time. It was awesome! We went on a retreat shortly thereafter and were baptized in the Holy Spirit. Hallelujah!  I now began counseling new believers every Sunday and Monday evening at Calvary and annually at the Harvest Crusades in Anaheim. My precious son hung out with the Christian artists that led worship on these occasions and became really close to most of them…Phil Keaggy, Crystal Lewis, The Kry, OC Supertones, Dennis Agajanian, Two or More, and DC Talk. I met my second husband while counseling. Unbeknownst to me he and my son had been hanging out for six months while I was counseling. We were married exactly one year to the day from my son’s and my baptisms. After only a year we were having problems; My husband at the time was very controlling and I was a strong-willed woman. February 2000, I had a nervous breakdown at work and was placed in a state mental facility for 2 weeks, from my recollection. When I came home I began cutting myself by slashing my wrists. My husband would not let me see any of my family or talk to them, and would tie me to my son’s bed with neckties while waiting for the police to arrive.  In July the same year we moved to Indiana and things just got worse. My husband would not hold a job and was verbally and mentally abusing me to the point of my continued self-mutilating, and several attempts at suicide. I was placed in the mental unit at our hospital several times because of this. My doctor did not trust my husband, and honored my wishes to keep him away from me while I was hospitalized. At this time, I was on 17 different medications and was hardly able to function. At night, my husband would whisper in my ear that if I ever left him he would find and kill me. But God was still in control, and I met my best friend who is still my spiritual sister. She has had cancer in several parts of her body for 16 years and has a Soon after moving to North Salem, IN in 2001, I began a youth ministry, “Solid Rock.” The board gave us a generous budget for our teens. In 2003, I finally quit cutting myself and attempting suicide.

In 2004, my dad became sick with lung cancer while my mom was living in Memphis with her sister for close to eleven years. That summer when my son went to visit his dad in California, they stopped by to check on my dad and called to inform me of my dad’s illness. I called my mom who told me he was fine. Prior to this, I had two pulmonary embolisms, blood clots in my lungs, had carpal tunnel surgery and also had my ankle rebuilt after several sprains. That November, one week after my ankle surgery, my mom called and informed me that my dad was dying, and my son and I had a plane ticket waiting for us at Indianapolis International Airport that was to leave the very next morning. A couple days later dad was sent home with a diagnosis of six months to live. Five days later he died, while my son was headed back home to Indiana. After attending my dad’s funeral, I also flew home to Indiana.

I started attending Lakeview Christian Church in Indianapolis, an AG affiliate, I was teaching second grade Sunday school and counseling teens. My husband began having an affair with my coworker, and I took the opportunity to file for divorce. My amazing son and his best friend came and moved me back to California in 2009. I rented a house from a lady over the phone, little did I know how important she would become to my life. We are still very close, and she now lives in Kentucky.

I found out in 2011 that I was the victim of identity theft and the culprit was my ex-husband. My cousin passed in 2011 with complications from colon cancer. Praise God that my spiritual sister led him to the Lord.

In 2013 I was living with my mom when Irvine PD informed me that my now ex-husband was in town. His name showed up because he received a traffic citation. My brother chose to believe rumors about me imposed by another family member, and on Christmas Eve my brother and sister-in-law evicted me from my mother’s home while she was in the hospital. I moved in with my son and daughter-in-law for a couple of months. They had just married that August. God gave me Psalm 42:8 for comfort:

The Lord will command His lovingkindness in the daytime,

And in the night His song shall be with me —

A prayer to the God of my life.

In February 2014, I moved to Missouri to start over. My son and daughter-in law, along with my spiritual sister were the only ones who knew where I was. In October 2014, I married my soul mate and best friend.  The following Spring, 2015, I received a phone call from my mom and she and my brother and sister in law apologized with tears for what they did to me. God always has a way of making things right. It has taken me all this time to truly forgive my ex-husband. Only because God made it possible for me to do so.  I can honestly say that if I were to see him again, I would thank him as I have never been happier or closer to God. My son and daughter-in-law visited us Christmas, 2015, for the duration of four days. Upon returning to California, my son expressed, “Mom you left everything behind and God has blessed you tenfold.” No words have ever been truer from his precious mouth.

Despite my efforts to be rebellious, God has always been there, placing amazing people in my path. He has given my husband and I this ministry to reach out to others who need Him.

So, it is true, with God ALL things are possible! I am living proof.

If you have a testimony you would like to share, please contact us. We would love to use on this site with your permission. We can be reached through our email address: outofseasonministries@outlook.com

God bless you.

 

 

 

 

God Can Do ALL Things, True of False? Part 1

But Jesus looked at them and said, “With people [as far as it depends on them] it is impossible, but with God all things are possible.” Matthew 19:26

Either you believe the Bible is completely true from Genesis to Revelation, or you do not. If in fact, you do believe this, why do you doubt God’s ability to help you in your time of need? If you do not believe this truth, then you should!

I will be doing a series on many things that cannot be explained except for this truth.

Today’s segment will be focused on my personal healing from anxiety disorder, bipolar disorder, depression, self mutilating, and suicidal tendencies.

In 1991 , after the loss of my baby girl, due to an auto accident while I was eight months pregnant, I fell into a deep depression. I was a Christian, so why did God allow this to happen? Now, I look at this from a different perspective. My daughter went immediately to Heaven and has never had to encounter the horrific things of this world we live in.

In 2000, I suffered from a nervous breakdown, at work, nonetheless. A very devastating time for myself and my family. After several years of self mutilating, severe depression, anxiety disorder, and suicidal tendencies, I cried out to God with my whole heart and he healed me. God assures me, ‘Call to Me and I will answer you, and tell you [and even show you] great and mighty things, [things which have been confined and hidden], which you do not know and understand and cannot distinguish.’ Jeremiah 33:3 and  again in Jeremiah 29:12-13, “Then you will call on Me and you will come and pray to Me, and I will hear [your voice] and I will listen to you. 13 Then [with a deep longing] you will seek Me and require Me [as a vital necessity] and [you will] find Me when you search for Me with all your heart.”

Be blessed in knowing that as a child of God if you, “Come close to God [with a contrite heart] and He will come close to you. Wash your hands, you sinners; and purify your [unfaithful] hearts, you double-minded [people]. Be miserable and grieve and weep [over your sin]. Let your [foolish] laughter be turned to mourning and your [reckless] joy to gloom. 10 Humble yourselves [with an attitude of repentance and insignificance] in the presence of the Lord, and He will exalt you [He will lift you up, He will give you purpose].” James 4:8-10

Still not convinced? How about putting God to the test? You heard me correctly. Read His Word. Talk to Him. I guarantee you will be changed forever.

“For the word of God is living and active and full of power [making it operative, energizing, and effective]. It is sharper than any two-edged [a]sword, penetrating as far as the division of the [b]soul and spirit [the completeness of a person], and of both joints and marrow [the deepest parts of our nature], exposing and judging the very thoughts and intentions of the heart. 13 And not a creature exists that is concealed from His sight, but all things are open and exposed, and revealed to the eyes of Him with whom we have to give account.” Hebrews 4:12-13

I would love to hear from you. If you need prayer, I am here for you. I have provided a Prayer Request Journal on this site for you to utilize, and/or you may email me at outofseasonministries@outlook.com

I pray God’s favor upon you.

Significance of Jesus Washing His Disciples’ Feet

Then He poured water into the basin and began washing the disciples’ feet and wiping them with the towel which was tied around His waist. 6 When He came to Simon Peter, he said to Him, “Lord, are You going to wash my feet?” 7 Jesus replied to him, “You do not realize now what I am doing, but you will [fully] understand it later.” 8 Peter said to Him, “You will never wash my feet!” Jesus answered, “Unless I wash you, you have no part with Me [we can have nothing to do with each other].” 9 Simon Peter said to Him, “Lord, [in that case, wash] not only my feet, but also my hands and my head!” 10 Jesus said to him, “Anyone who has bathed needs only to wash his feet, and is completely clean. And you [My disciples] are clean, but not all of you.” 11 For He knew who was going to betray Him; for that reason He said, “Not all of you are clean.” John 13:5-11

 

The washing of the feet was a common practice in the Roman baths. After they had left the bath and returned to the dressing room, they would pick up dirt on their feet walking through. And so, they would always wash their feet when they got back to the dressing room before they got dressed and left. They were totally clean, they had just been in the bath for maybe an hour or two, but they did pick up some dirt or defilement walking from the bath to the dressing room.

Here Jesus in essence is saying that as we walk this path through the world, we may pick up some defilement just from the contact walking through the world. But that defilement is only surface; it isn’t in the head, it isn’t in the mind, it isn’t in my life, it’s just washing the feet. As long as your feet are washed, that’s all you need. Your heart is already clean. Your mind is already set. Just get rid of that defilement. And coming to church is that kind of an experience. We’ve been mixing with the world all week long; we’ve heard the filthy language, and so forth.

There is that surface defilement, and it’s just good to come and just to sit back in the presence of the Lord. Jesus said, “Now you are clean through the word which I have spoken unto you.” And just let the Word of God just sort of wash us, you know, and feel that cleansing of God’s Word, as we just gather together in the sanctuary.

The whole lesson is that of serving one another, which in those days, serving another person was demonstrated by washing their feet. Now, we don’t live in the days of slavery anymore, and we don’t live in the days of open sandals and dirt footpaths. So, washing a person’s feet isn’t a general kind of a practice at all in our culture. You might better fulfill this by going over and mowing your neighbor’s lawn, or washing out his garbage pail. I should be willing to take the place of a servant to serve my brothers for the Lord’s sake. I’m not too big to serve you.

Jesus is telling us, “Look, no task is beneath you. Serve one another. Take the attitude of a servant towards each other. Be willing to give yourself to serve another person’s need. Don’t put yourself on pedestals. Don’t exalt yourself. Don’t get so high and mighty that you begin to demand people to serve you. Look, I’ve set for you an example here. The example that I have set is for you to take the place of a servant.”

He is talking to His disciples who were to be the first ministers in the church. And as a minister, you’re not to get a glorified, exalted opinion of yourself in thinking that people ought to start waiting on you, because, after all, you’re the minister. They ought to bring you a cup of coffee when you come in, they ought to come over and ask if they can do something for you, you know, and make you comfortable. And after all, “I’m the minister.” And unfortunately, many ministers get that kind of a mindset, that, “Because I’m the minister, I should be waited upon and taken care of.” Not so. That isn’t what the word minister implies at all. The word minister is the word servant. And what it means is that I am the one that should be bringing you a cup of coffee, and bringing you a chair and taking care of you, making sure that you’re comfortable. And whenever I think that I’m so high and mighty that you’ve got to wait on me, then I need to get into some other business. When I’m not willing to serve, and to take care of someone else’s needs, then I’ve become bigger than my Lord and then I’m in big trouble. I don’t have the same attitude as my Lord, and thus, I’m not His true representative. And so, this attitude of a servant. Jesus said, “Do you see what I’ve done? Now, if I, being your Lord and Master, and you call Me Lord and Master, and that’s right, but if I being your Lord am willing to serve you, then you ought to be serving one another. Don’t set yourself up on a pinnacle, don’t set yourself up where you’re waiting for men to serve you. You get out and you serve the needs of the world.” God help us; we need more ministers who are servants. That’s the true minister of Jesus Christ.

And for the record, throughout my depression, anxiety, self mutilating, suicidal tendencies, I have found that when I take my eyes off of myself and place them on others and serving them, my own malfunctions seem to disappear. How glorious! Oh Lord, give me Your eyes and servant’s heart. Halleluyah!

God Loves Us Nobodies

Have you ever gone to bed wondering,  “Will I ever get it together?”

The answer is clearly, “no.” This is the same answer for all human beings . However, God has big plans for us “nobodies.” Take a moment and grasp this amazing truth: Jesus is attracted to you. He loves to be needed by people like you and I who are absolutely convinced of our own inadequacies. People who know that without His unmerited generosity toward us, we would be and have nothing.

The Scriptures show us that Jesus was unusually attracted to people who had emptiness in their lives. Not just sometimes, but often. Losers and loners, the sick and the lame, the weak and the hungry. These were the ones He came for and whose needs He met. These were the ones He chose as His disciples. Those who had no fortune, no social standing, no special talents and no promising future.

Do not let your own exaggerated sense of your own inabilities or status keep you from the blessed life in Christ Jesus. You can change and leave that prideful trap behind. The very fact that you are so keenly aware of your weaknesses and limitations makes you a most promising candidate for God’s very best.

From the very dawn of time, your heavenly Father has know you and loved you, He is not waiting for you to get it together. He is waiting for you to come to Him with open, empty hands.

If you think you are too small to be effective, you have never been in bed with a mosquito.” ~ Betty Reese

Won’t you come to Jesus now and invite Him in to your heart? Just say this simple prayer

God I am sorry for my sin. I turn from it right now. I thank You for sending Jesus Christ to die on the cross for my sin. Jesus, I ask You to come into my heart and life right now. Be my Lord, my Savior and my friend., Help me to follow You all the days of my life as Your disciple. Thank You for loving me, forgiving me, and receiving me right now at this very moment. Thank You that my sin is forgiven and that I am going to spend eternity with You in heaven. In Jesus’ name, amen.

Woo hoo! Welcome to the family of God. Please contact us here at Out of Season Ministries if we can help you in your walk with Jesus.