What’s Hidden Will Be Found…Cassie Wilson

During the third week of March, my church held a week-long revival meeting. Friend, let me just say, the messages from that meeting were needed and to see the Lord move and touch in people’s lives was an absolute blessing.

 

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About a week and a half before revival began, I felt the Lord nudge me into mailing out invitations to the lost and backslidden and invite them to attend the meeting. This is in no way, shape, or form a “look at me” post. A brag post for the Lord, yes. But, me? Definitely not.

I spent a good portion of a week googling mailing addresses and bothering everyone in the church to find accurate P.O. numbers and street addresses. The list of people I had planned to invite started out small (think six or seven), but quickly grew to a whopping seventy-two by the time I got finished.

Imagine for a moment: what if everyone that received an invitation came to know the Lord? That would have been over 100 people (some invitations were addressed to whole families) added to the Kingdom! I did not realize the burden some of my church members carry for their lost family members until I mailed invitations to their lost children. Oh, the burden those mothers and fathers must carry! I won’t lie, it put a lot of things into perspective for me and opened my eyes just a bit wider.

Of those seventy-two invitations, though, there was one particular man that I just could not find an address for. I searched the White Pages for days. I Facebook messaged anyone I thought might know his address, including his direct relatives. I texted my pastor (and by that, I definitely mean pestered) hoping he would have some information.

Nope. Nothing. Not a thing from any of my sources.

For days, I prayed the Lord would help me find his address. All things that are hidden or lost are eventually found, right? Well, in the case of this man’s mailing address, that was a no and I was running out of precious time.

I gave up and handed the invitation to the pastor’s wife and asked that she take care of it. I had exhausted all my resources and at that point revival was mere hours from starting. There was nothing else I could do, but continue to pray for the man’s salvation, regardless of whether he received an invitation or not.

On the sixth night of revival, the pastor was welcoming out visitors. He welcomed a man by his first name, but I didn’t catch it. I was battling an epic cold during this time, so it’s likely I was busy grabbing a cough drop or searching for my hanky. My mother caught my attention and said, “That’s him.” Of course, too focused on my temporary relief from the sinus infection, it took me a minute to process what she had said and to whom she was referring.

The man that I spent hours upon hours searching for his address and failed to find was seated on the back pew. Friend, when an altar call was given, the man prayed and gave his life to the Lord that night!

I have absolutely no clue if the pastor’s wife delivered the invitation I had written to the man. I don’t know if he even saw the letter at all. I could not find an address for him. He was essentially lost to me. But, the Lord found him and offered the man eternal salvation.

I do remember my pastor saying that he had spoken with the man several times the day that he decided to attended revival. So, whether the invitation from me was handed to him or my pastor invited him, I do not know. And truthfully, it does not matter. I am reminded of a verse found in 1 Corinthians. 1 Corinthians 3:7 says, “So then neither is he that planteth any thing, neither he that watereth; but God that giveth the increase.” Regardless of who invited the man, it was God that found him and saved his soul from Hell.

So, I guess to answer my original question: What’s lost and hidden will be eventually find, right? The answer is always yes. Those prayers you’re praying for your lost friend of family member, the ones where you ask to the Good Lord to save them, they will be answered. You might have a hard time getting through to your loved ones, but someone, somehow, and someday will. A little effort, a little faith, and a whole lot of prayer goes a long way.

Keep the faith-

Cassie

Just a Reminder….Arlesia C.

Easter is not just a holiday. It is a reminder of how much Jesus loves us. It is a celebration of not death, but a celebration of life. We should only remember this once a year, but this should be a reminder to us everyday.

Jesus loved us so much that he was willing to die for our sins. That’s a whole lot of love. To be willing to die for the sins of not just you and I, but for the whole world. Because he died though him we have eternal life. That should always give us hope. The stress, the hurt, the pain of this life will not always be. One day there will be no more tears, sorrows, heartache, or pain. We will be with our heavenly father in our new eternal life.

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John 3:16 – For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.

A Look at Nehemiah 3…Cassie Wilson

Am I the only one that spends entirely too much time (if that’s even possible?) reading the New Testament and not enough time in the Old Testament?  Maybe I’m the only one that feels that way?  Although , I guess it’s not entirely a bad thing. 

The New Testament, to me, is one of the best places to receive instruction on how to live a good, Christian life.  Paul’s letters to the churches and to certain individuals are rich in encouragement, warnings, and just general instruction. It’s because of this that I often forget the same things can be found in the Old Testament by reading and studying the lives of the Saints of Old. 

Recently, I’ve been spending some time in Nehemiah. The Book of Nehemiah is a great book full of determination, encouragement, and fight.  When the adversary came hard at Nehemiah and the Children of Israel, they continued on with their work for the Lord– a sword in one hand, a hammer in the other. 

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The third chapter of Nehemiah left me with some food for thought.  This particular chapter details all the different people that helped restore the city of Jerusalem. Have you ever heard people ask the question, “If the Bible was written in your day, what would it say about you?”  

I’ve often wondered this. Nehemiah 3 made me wonder about the answer to this question even more.  Would the writer of the book I appeared in describe me like the fearless leader, Esther, who fasted, prayed, and worked hard to save her people from destruction?  Would I not be named at all? Only described like the woman at the well who meet Jesus on that life changing day in John 4?  Or would I be described like the complainers of the Children of Israel when they wondered in the desert?

If I’m being honest, it might be a mix of all three.

We can presume Nehemiah took the time to record his own story, based on clues from the text.  But Nehemiah in Chapter 3, also described the people working alongside him to restore Jerusalem.  Most people are simply recorded as having worked on a particular portion of the city.  Nehemiah, though, takes the time to describe the Nobles of the Teokites and Baruch. 

And next unto them the Teokites repaired; but their nobles put not their necks to the work of their Lord. (Nehemiah 3:5). 

It’s pretty clear that the nobles did not help at all. I’m sure there were many reasons, but Nehemiah records it so harshly, I can’t help but wonder if the Nobles were like those that claim to be Christian, but rarely ever do the work of God.  You know, the ones that like a title, but don’t want to work or sacrifice for that title. 

Nehemiah states that Baruch “earnestly” repaired the piece he was assigned (Nehemiah 3:20). I could be wrong, but I’m pretty sure Nehemiah only used the word “earnestly” to describe Baruch. I wonder what made him stick out from the rest?  Did he have a smile on his face while doing the work of the Lord? Did he encourage others along the way?  Did the spark inside him light a fire in the hearts of others?

I don’t have the answers to those questions. But I do know that whatever it was did not go unnoticed by Nehemiah and by God.  It was enough to get Baruch recorded in the Bible in a positive light. 

What about you, dear reader?  What do your actions and demeanor say about your Christian walk?  Is it enough to be noticed positively by others?

Keep the faith-

Cassie 

What Mob Movies Have Taught Me About God-Joe Misek

Over the past few months, I have gone with a friend to see a couple of pretty violent movies. They are violent enough that I probably don’t want to endorse them by mentioning them by name. But the set-up of the movies is a tried-and-true theme in Hollywood. A criminal-underworld mob effectively runs a big city with its wealth, influence, power, and by the sheer number of violent mobsters willing to die for the mob boss.

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U.G.L.Y-Brittanee Slack

I have grown up around a lot of adults that love comedy. Years ago there was a comedian by the name of Jonathan Slocomb that was very well known at the time in the Gospel comedy aswan-2077219_1920rena. One of his most memorable lines was something to do with U.G.L.Y (You gotta love yourself). I think it is interesting that he could use a negative word and make it positive. Uglyness is mental and with a change of mind pattern anyone can be beautiful. The most beautiful people in the world are beautiful from the inside and it comes on the outside.

A lot of people focus more on outer looks instead of the inner. Even when exercising when you exercise your inner traits then it will come out and make exercising a lot easier. Some people need to exercise on a regimen and others do not and that all depends on genetics. As we begin to love God to the fullest extent that we should then we can become ugly and then beautiful again but not in the physical aspect but in the emotional,personality and spiritual aspect as well.

Today be u.g.l.y but we when you are make sure you work really hard at being u.g.l.y. After you become u.g.l.y enough you can fully realize who you are in Jesus and on a personal level as well.

Comfort in a Time of Grief…Arlesia Cummings

I lost my mom yesterday morning. My heart is completely broken. I miss her. I want to talk to her. I want to laugh with her, and see her face. Words can’t describe how empty I feel. As a Christian I try to keep telling myself that she’s just sleeping. Those in Christ never die. We are just at rest. Even though I know this to be true, it still doesn’t take away from my pain. All these words are encouraging but at the end of the day I’m  just a girl that just wants her mommy.

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Yes I may be grieving, but I realize that I’m not alone. Someone else just lost a loved one. Someone else has a broken heart. You see we as people have something in common…this thing called life. When you think you’re the only one going through something someone else is feeling that same pain. So my prayer this morning is not only for my family, but for everyone out there that has lost a loved one. I am praying for you. We’re going to make it through this. May God be with you.

Love you mommy, forever and always!

I leave you all with 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18

But I would not have you to be ignorant, brethren, concerning them which are asleep, that ye sorrow not, even as others which have no hope.

 For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so them also which sleep in Jesus will God bring with him.

 For this we say unto you by the word of the Lord, that we which are alive and remain unto the coming of the Lord shall not prevent them which are asleep.

 For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first:

 Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.

 Wherefore comfort one another with these words.

Dear God…Brittanee Slack

This has been an interesting last couple of weeks but with you I have been able to get through it. I have received a lot of opportunities and sometimes it is hard to keep everything togegratitude-1251061_1920.jpgther. As I read your word and pray then I am able to have peace about the situation. I am so grateful that I have been able to find the proper way to express myself and get my thoughts together. This is a different style of a post today but I want to take the time to just thank you and let you know that I appreciate you for everything that you have done for me.

What a Broken Laptop Taught Me About God…Joe Misek

My daughter is a toddler, and my only child. As a first time parent, I’m learning very quickly that my child provides a very interesting lens through which I look at life and my relationship with God. I have been on a bit of a hiatus from posting to the blog since the holiday season, not because I needed the break, but because I needed a computer.

My daughter has taken inspiration from Curious George and climbs up onto, and investigates, everything she sees. In December, while I left the living room for a moment, my daughter hopped up onto the couch to check out my laptop sitting on a tray table. She inadvertently kicked over the table (and laptop), and long story short, it broke the hard drive. I lost everything I’ve done on that laptop for the past couple years. Everything else was intact somehow, but the hard drive was dead. I mentioned “long story short”… I’m leaving out a lot of details about my reaction this incident.

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So I ventured out several weeks later, and after rallying support for an early birthday gift from my wife, my parents, and a rewards program on my credit card, I got a new laptop. I am happy with it. But I had this small problem.

The old laptop is actually still in great shape, but the hard drive it dead. Those are not cheap. And if I got a new one, I’d need to buy a license to get another version of Windows onto it. Also not spare change. Do I recycle the old laptop? Give it away to some tech-savvy person?

My dad suggested that I give it to him. At his office where he works, they have to replace computer systems every so often, and he usually can grab little spare computer parts before they are recycled. So my dad put an old but functional hard drive he had into the laptop. Then he installed a free, basic operating system onto the laptop, put on a web browser and a couple of kiddie games, put up a big picture of Elmo as the theme on the startup desktop screen, and get this… gave the laptop to my twenty month old daughter, who broke the laptop in the first place!!!

A while later, I was reading a familiar passage about what God can do to the human heart.  I will give you a new heart and put a new spirit in you; I will remove from you your heart of stone and give you a heart of flesh,” Ezekiel 36:26. What my dad did to the old laptop, God does to the human heart. In fact, the entire story with the laptop is a good analogy. Most often, if a person is to allow God to “install” a new hear and new spirit with that person, the exterior has to take a fall. Something usually breaks. The hardware sometimes has to hit rock bottom to realize that something new is needed.

We humans can truly be arrogant and complacent. For several years before I became a follower of Jesus, there were several people telling me the Good News. I was a miserable and depressed person for years, and I still resisted for several years of God ganging up on me with an army of His people. I had to break… a few times. The new heart and spirit in me was dramatically different from the old one; I was in college at the time and everyone noticed. It was that obvious.

As “good news” people, it is our mission to be the instruments of God’s redemptive work in the world. We carry this mission to places where bad news predominates, and it can be disheartening to see someone hit what we think is rock bottom, and then sink even lower. It is not my intention to be unrealistic; our mission is hard, we pray as if lives depend on it, we hit rock bottom or watch others hit rock bottom, and not every single story is a happy ending. But I do want to encourage you with this truth, that God intends and zealously desires to transform stone cold hearts into hearts bursting with life and joy, and to adopt those far away into this divine family marked by good news.

 

As God goes on to say through the prophet in verse 28, “you will be my people, and I will be your God.” Just like that old laptop being revived with an entirely different hard drive, God can revive you or someone you know in a powerful and real way.