Friday, August 22, 2008

Consider Compassion

(Matthew 9:35-36)
“Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness. When He saw the crowds, He had compassion on them because they were harassed and helpless, like sheep without a shepherd.”
~
Compassion comes from root words meaning “to suffer with.” ‘Jesus looked at the crowd and had compassion on them.’ He felt their pain and chose to relieve their suffering.
I wonder, do we see people who suffer in the same way Jesus did? Do we practice compassion, a suffering with one another? We say we do but have we put ourselves in their shoes and walked any distance? Or do we stand on the sidelines and judge them?
I feel convicted that I have not always had Christ’s compassion toward those who suffer. One who has the compassion of Christ prays for the suffering ones. The one in need hears kindness and helpful suggestions. The strong one sits in the middle of the mess with the needy one and, yet, chooses not to judge.
But, conversely, the compassion giver might have to say or do things ‘in love’ for the sufferers own good. This is a hard topic. Only God can tell us when we are not showing His compassion, thereby failing Him.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008

Johnny's Home Is Ready

He came to our church through his volunteering at a food kitchen. One of our ladies ran it for a few years. He became sick and asked some help from one of our men who also helped out there.

When he started attending church regularly, he lived at a local nursing home. Before he became a resident there, he was homeless. His health improved and he got right with God. He started having a Bible study among his fellow residents at the nursing home.

He gave testimony of being healed of his disease. He also shared with the church family how God had helped him through some tough days.

When he was able, he attended midweek Bible Study at church. A gentleman who knew his family as they were growing up would bring him. He would stay and participate in Prayer Fellowship, a time devoted to praying for salvation for the lost.

His illness returned a few months ago. His prognosis was not good. When we saw him come into the church, we all received a blessing. When I would see him in the foyer of the church between services, I tried very hard to share a smile with him and speak to him,to make him feel welcome.

I had to go over to the church office this afternoon. As I waited for the secretary to return, someone told me, Johnny died this afternoon.

I know Johnny is in heaven. I know God sent him to our church for a reason. I believe each of us have a mission while we are on this earth. I believe God decided Johnny had completed his.

All who knew Johnny have been made aware of the plight of those in his position. All of us have been humbled by the faith of this man.

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

Emotions

In my reading of other blogs today, the thought of emotions came to me. We are emotional creatures. Since God made us. (read Psalm 139), he made our emotions.

As a child and even a young adult, I would tear up and cry at anything hinting of sadness. What I heard from my elders was not especially helpful,(It's not that bad. There's no need to cry,etc.)

Fifteen years ago, I was in a very emotional stretch. I had been off and on for close to three years. The issue was larger than life to me. None of my close friends could help me. I was ashamed of how I would react to things. I started to pull away from activities because of how I could react.The pastor we had at that time directed me to read the 139th Psalm for seven (7) days.

I read it for the seven days and found some very beautiful and very deep thoughts. The one that stays with me is GOD KNOWS OUR EMOTIONS, HE MADE THEM. WE SHOULDN'T BE ASHAMED OF THEM.

Monday, August 18, 2008

God's Spirit

God's Spirit is evident in the lives of all His children. All believers strive to submit to Him. Others around believers should be able to sense 'something different, yet special' about those who call themselves Christian.

Have you asked God to send His Holy Spirit into your life? Have you asked Him to send His Spirit into your church services?

Some of the holiest moments I have experienced in corporate worship have come because I had invited God's Holy Spirit to be in our house of worship.
Certain special experiences have been:
  1. Seeing a fellow worshiper settle an issue at the altar.
  2. Seeing a worshiper get his sins forgiven and saved.
  3. Witnessing people praying for one another at the altar.
  4. Receiving an answer to a special prayer
  5. Hearing of a person receive healing.

Without God guiding our lives, we are unable to accomplish anything for ourselves or for others. We should live our lives in a way that lives up to our calling. We can only do that through the Holy Spirit. Living this way gives believers perfect peace.

Sunday, August 17, 2008

God with us today

God is with His children. This is a tenet of our faith. Today He was with me in a couple of very special ways. Today was 'Drama' Sunday. I participate in our church's drama ministry. We have been doing short plays on the third Sunday of the month since April. Today was the first time I had an onstage speaking part--I prefer to be a behind-the-scenes person. I hadn't done anything like this since my junior year of high school. The team performed at the 8:00 and the 10:00 services. I heard from people this afternoon about how good the drama was. One friend asked me to explain about the message to others with us.
It is the prayer of all who participate in the drama ministry, that we always convey a message. I believe we have been true to out goal and prayer.
This afternoon, I participated in a school book bag distribution for faith-based ministry, a group of men and women who have felt called to minister to the children of the incarcerated. I assisted the ministry with this event last year, for the first time. These families are most appreciative for anything the ministry group is able to help with.
The friend of mine who felt led to follow God's leading has been able to help several families over the past three years. I know God will continue to be with her.

Fear, Courage: God Is With Us

scpeanutgallery.com  Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the LORD ...