Archive for November, 2007

Perception:

I find Christians particularly offensive. Everyone is going to burn in Hell except them. They have no respect for any other religion. In fact, most Christians hate most other Christians. . . It’s a very dishonest religion and has a holier than thou culture where they believe they are better than everyone else. They like to pose as persecuted, but more often than not they are the persecutors. They tend to lie and steal a lot because they are “forgiven” and therefore can indulge in sin. The religion is theoretically based on the Bible which is, quite frankly, a stupid book, and certainly not written by a God. But Christians hardly follow their own teachings and are more likely to cheat and steal than your average person off the street. . . If Jesus could see what Christianity has evolved into, he’d be spinning in his grave!

—Taken from Church of Reality.org

 

The Reality:

Christians
by Maya  Angelou

“A woman’s  heart should be so hidden in Christ
that a man  should have to seek Him first to find her.” 

When I say…  “I am a Christian” I’m not shouting “I’m clean living'”
I’m whispering “I was lost,  Now I’m found and forgiven.”

When I say…  “I am a Christian” I don’t speak of this with pride.
I’m confessing that I  stumble and need Christ to be my guide. 

When I say…  “I am a Christian” I’m not trying to be strong.
I’m professing that I’m  weak and need His strength to carry on.

When I say…  “I am a Christian” I’m not bragging of success.
I’m admitting I have failed  and need God to clean my mess. 

When I say…  “I am a Christian” I’m not claiming to be perfect,
My  flaws are far too visible but, God believes I am worth it. 

When I say…  “I am a Christian” I still feel the sting of pain..
I have my share of  heartaches, so I call upon His name. 

When I say…  “I am a Christian” I’m not holier than thou,
I’m just a  simple sinner Who received God’s good grace, somehow!

Unfortunately, too many people allow their perceptions of Christianity to turn into their reality, and when that happens we push them further from Jesus Christ, and the precious Gift that He has to offer a lost and broken world.

How are you being perceived by the lost souls that you pass by on a daily basis?  If their ONLY exposure to the Truth of Jesus Christ was through you, would they embrace salvation or would they seek another “truth”? 

 

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1 Cross + 3 Nails = 4 given

Have you ever found yourself in the middle of the night in that suspended state of conscienceness where you’re asleep, yet awake?  It’s the place where you’re not sure if you were dreaming or if what just scared the living mess out of you was real. 

I found myself in that place in the early a.m. two nights ago, and to be honest, it freaked me out.  I was laying in bed, and I could see the faint glow from the parking lot utility light coming into the room.  Suddenly, something jumped onto the bed and onto me, and it started walking on top of the covers.  I couldn’t see what it was but I guessed it may be a cat because of the lightness of the steps on me.  It proceeded to walk across the covers onto Christy.  I still couldn’t see it!  This freaked me out somewhat but it either stopped or I went back to sleep. 

Just a few moments later, the same exact thing happened.  Something jumped on the bed onto me and started walking across me and then onto Christy.  I still couldn’t see whatever it was.  Now, I was really freaked out. Why?  Because I don’t have a cat, dog, hamster, parakeet or any other pet.  Adding to that sensation was the sensation that I really had to pee.  Normally this isn’t an issue but I was so scared I couldn’t move.  My mind was still trying to process everything, and figure out what was going on.  Was I awake and acutely aware of what was going on or was I asleep and dreaming when this little creature jumped onto me?  So I just lay their motionless, not daring to move or wake Christy up. 

After a few minutes, I came to the conclusion (other than I really, really had to pee) that I had just been visited by one of Satan’s little friends.  Now, I know some of you are questioning this line of reasoning, and may even be thinking I am completely crazy, and some are thinking, “Satan doesn’t even exist. He’s a fairy-tale creature.”  Some of you thinking this will even call yourself a “Christian.”

Anyway, I began to rebuke Satan in the name of Jesus Christ, and asked that Jesus take authority over Satan and his dominions because they were not welcome in my home.  In my home we worship Jesus Christ, plain and simple.  There is no room for Satan in my home.  I prayed this for a few moments, and suddenly the fear left me.  I knew I was safe, and Christ had exercised His power over evil.  I got up and went to the restroom to pee for about… oh, 10 minutes.  I finished and went back to bed and went to sleep….sound asleep until that blasted alarm went off.

What’s the point to this?  Simple, Satan is real and he will take any opportunity to “mess” with God’s children, especially those Christians that God is really using to reach lost souls.  This irritates satan to no end.  There are many ways that he will try to do this but his ultimate goal is the  frighten us and distract us from doing God’s work.  Whether you believe this or not is irrelevant.  The Truth is the truth whether you believe it or not.  Satan is real and we are squarely in the middle of a spiritual war that is taking place for the lost souls of this world.  You can stick your head in the sand, and pretend but if you do that then the enemy will take you by the neck and rip you apart. 

It’s time Christians wake up and realize that we are either warriors for Christ, or we are warriors for Satan.  There is no middleground in this battle. 

Mr. Woody and Miss Jennifer are a beautiful, Christ-centered, Bible believing and Great Commission fulfilling couple in our church.  To know them is to be inspired by their faithful devotion to each other, and most importantly to their Savior, Jesus Christ.

Mr. Woody is almost 90 years old, and a retired owner of a very successful construction company in Savannah.  Time has taken a toil on his body but not his mind, not his spirit.  He seems to “creep” down the aisle on Sunday mornings with his push walker, and sitting down or getting up from the pew for him is a laborious act. It’s always an interactive endeavor for him and those sitting around him. 

Miss Jennifer is a gracious but fiesty, petite Thai lady that learned to speak English from watching “Sesame Street”, word-by-word.  She is a beautiful lady that makes you smile when she walks into the sanctuary, and can make you cry with just a touch of her kind hand.  She has that effect on people.  I know because she once prayed with Christy and me, and afterwards as we were walking away Christy was crying, and I asked her why.  She told me it was because Miss Jennifer had such a powerful, kind touch that she couldn’t hold back the tears.  That’s not a gift learned or given to her by this world.  It is God-given and anointed.  When you see her, you see Jesus in her.  

We could sit and listen to them for hours upon hours.  Just a couple of weeks ago, Christy and I had the honor of spending a few moments with them after church.  We listened as Mr. Woody told us of his courtship with Miss Jennifer, and the patience that his heart gave their love.  He talked about going EVERY DAY for 3 Years to Andy’s, a little grocery store where she worked, for breakfast, lunch and dinner just to see her and have a little time with her. He became a part of Andy’s little family, and they would frequently remind Miss Jennifer how “crazy that man is about you.” He talked, with a smile on his face, about how he was rather sought after by the ladies in the church, and how they wanted his attention but that he only wanted Miss Jennifer.  Was it a sacrifice Mr. Woody?  Oh no, it was just love, love for this little Thai lady that had hypnotized his heart.

He then grew even more excited about how Christ had saved him, and shown His absolute Grace upon him in his dying hour.  His body had been engulfed with the fire of cancer, and his family had made all the arrangements.  They had even picked out the suit he was to wear to his burial.  He told us that he had prayed at 4:20 in the morning, as his breathes grew more shallow, for God to go ahead and take him by 6:00 am if it was His will because he wanted to meet his maker in the quiet of the morning, just before dawn.  He told God he was ready but that if it wasn’t His will, to heal him so he could have more time with his family, and so he could continue the work that God had entrusted to him.  He looked at us with misty eyes and told us that that was FOUR years ago, and that God had healed him.  He then added proudly that his great-granddaughter was born at the exact same time that he had prayed on his “death bed” in another state, completely unknown to him. 

Miss Jennifer just stood there with a peaceful, contented smile.  As Mr. Woody was speaking, she would nod, and occasionally interject a snippet of insight about the Grace of Jesus and the mercy He had shown them, or about her life as “a little girl in Thailand.”  Her years spent in poverty in Thailand has shaped every aspect of her life.  Although she is thousands of miles away, living a life of means, she has not forgotten.  Mr. Woody and her are responsible for planting a church there, and she speaks about the church with a passion that is contagious.  You also feel the sadness within her spirit over the grip that Buddhism still has over her family and friends in Thailand.

I could go on and on about Mr. Woody and Miss Jennifer but it would not completely do them justice.  They are a couple that has to be experienced.  So, if you ever find yourself at Calvary in Savannah, please look for the beautiful little Thai lady in a big, “Sunday morning” kinda hat, assisting an elderly, stately looking gentleman “creeping” down the aisle.  They love everyone, so go up to them and introduce yourself.  Give them a hug and tell them that Patrick and Christy sent you.  Trust me, your heart will never forget Mr. Woody and Miss Jennifer.