Wednesday, November 30, 2011

Jesus is Merciful, Jesus Will Save

“And Jesus said, “Come, follow me and I will make you fishers of men.” Mark 1:17

On Monday, Chad spent his day helping move a lady who was being evicted. She also needed help towing her car to the auto shop. She and her pet guinea pig were locked out at 8:30 in the morning, so Chad, one of the men from QSBC, this woman and her guinea pig all rode together to the auto shop.

On the same day, another couple in our church landed here from New York. They are looking for work and needed another week in their motel room. We agreed to help them because they are making progress they just needed some assistance.

Chad and “Craig”, from New York, were standing at the counter of the motel to pay for the room. The owner of the establishment read the name of our church out loud in a thick Indian accent. “You are from a church?” he asked. Chad answered, “Yes, I am the pastor.”

The owner went on to explain that there was a crippled woman living in his motel who cannot walk without braces on her legs. Her husband has been beating her and forcing her into prostitution. “If I give you the room number, will you go visit her?” He asked.

They took the number and went to find the room. Chad said he knocked on the door, and after some yelling and shuffling the door opened. He looked down to see a badly beaten woman. She had crawled to the door on her knees.

Both of the man and the woman are terminally ill with cancer, and they had no food. The woman had grown up in church. Not knowing how much longer they have to live she had been praying day and night for a pastor to find them. Chad prayed with them and the couple from our church who are living in the motel drove the woman to the store to buy groceries. That night her husband was hospitalized with low oxygen levels. If the woman is able, she wants to come to church on Sunday.

So many people we encounter are hurting tremendously. While their situations at first glance seem overwhelmingly complicated, what they really need most is to be shown the love of Jesus Christ. I pray we will always have the strength and courage to follow Jesus to the dark places. With confidence in The Gospel and by the power of The Holy Spirit we can witness lives transformed!

Rescue the Perishing

By Fanny Crosby

Rescue the perishing, care for the dying,

Snatch them in pity from sin and the grave;

Weep o'er the erring one, lift up the fallen,

Tell them of Jesus, the mighty to save.

Though they are slighting Him, still He is waiting,

Waiting the penitent child to receive;

Plead with them earnestly, plead with them gently,

He will forgive if they only believe.

Down in the human heart, crushed by the tempter,

Feelings lie buried that grace can restore;

Touched by a loving heart, wakened by kindness,

Cords that are broken will vibrate once more.

Rescue the perishing, duty demands it

Strength for your labor the Lord will provide;

Back to the narrow way patiently win them,

Tell the poor wand'rer a Savior has died.

Rescue the perishing, Care for the dying;

Jesus is merciful, Jesus will save.

Thursday, November 10, 2011

His Love Endures Forever

We've finally moved all of our things from Amarillo where from among other treasures, the kids found their sleeping bags. They are all snuggled down in them soaking in the warmth from the fire. There is a peace in our home tonight I thought we'd never know again.

One year, on the anniversary of his successful liver transplant, my dad used Psalm 118 to remember all the ways God's love had been demonstrated to him and our family. He took the stanzas and made them personal for all God had brought us through. Since I am overwhelmed with thankfulness and unsure how to express it all I decided to do the same.

Psalm 118 reads . . .

Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.
Let Israel say: “His love endures forever.”
Let the house of Aaron say: “His love endures forever.”
Let those who fear the LORD say:

“His love endures forever.”

When hard pressed, I cried to the LORD; he brought me into a spacious place.
The LORD is with me; I will not be afraid. What can mere mortals do to me?
The LORD is with me; he is my helper.

I look in triumph on my enemies. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in humans. It is better to take refuge in the LORD than to trust in princes.

All the nations surrounded me, but in the name of the LORD I cut them down. They surrounded me on every side, but in the name of the LORD I cut them down. They swarmed around me like bees, but they were consumed as quickly as burning thorns; in the name of the LORD I cut them down.

I was pushed back and about to fall, but the LORD helped me.

The LORD is my strength and my defense;

he has become my salvation.

Now to make it personal. . .

God has redeemed us and is restoring our life.
His Love endures forever . . .

God renewed our sense of calling and placed us in a field of lost souls.
He has helped us be effective, provided a facility and given us a vision for growth.
His love endures forever . . .

God has gone before us in so many instances and given us favor with people we hardly knew.
His love endures forever . . .

We have a church family who prays for us, serves with us and encourages us daily.
His love endures forever . . .

We have learned to make family a priority. God is blessing our marriage
and enriching the lives of our children.
His love endures forever . . .

In a two week span our family battled colds, the flu then croup.
One by one the kids are healing and were all able to go back to school this week.
His love endures forever. . .

I have the love of Chad, David, Sean and Ruby.
His love endures forever . . .

My mother and best friend.
His love endures forever . . .

We get to see Chad's parents more often and share in special days. Last month after I told Chad's aunt Mary how much I appreciated them travelling all the way to Oklahoma from Kansas to help with lunches
she said, "We're family. We support each other!"
His love endures forever . . .

He has provided extra work so we can make ends meet.
His love endures forever . . .

By God's hand we were lead to a beautiful school called King's Gate Christian School
where our children are learning and growing in wisdom, knowledge and understanding.
This opportunity is one of the greatest testaments to God's faithfulness to us and we are thankful everyday.
His love endures forever . . .

Chad left Monday to gather up all of the things we left behind in Amarillo.
It was the last week to sell our home and the bank had already taken steps to foreclose the property.
While Chad was in Amarillo the realtor called and asked if we would be willing to accept a short sale.
A couple had been waiting for their preapproval and praying we would accept their offer.
By the end of the evening the contracts were signed and a burden is being lifted.
His love endures forever . . .

We went from having to visit the food pantry for our own family in February
to serving 960 meals in the month of October.
His love endures forever . . .

What started with one family in our living room grew to over 60 in worship each Sunday.
Last month we baptized four new followers of Christ.
His love endures forever . . .

I have a home being built for me in Heaven, by my Creator, Savior and Lord, so that
where HE is I can one day spend eternity.
His love endures forever . . .

"You are my God and I will praise You; You are my God, I will exalt you."
Psalm 118:28