Emergency Room

Trauma Care

Emergency room entrance

“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose.” (Romans 8:28)

After 9/11, the level of security and fear escalated in America. People understood that we weren’t exempt from the extreme evil of the World. It actually made us think a little different about our comfort zones. It affected us in various practical ways; the way we renew our license, passports, traveling, schools, etc… Americans flocked to churches, government officials, clergy, counselors, therapist, medicine, and the like…it really shook us.

That happened on a universal scale, but how about the trauma in your personal life? Most men, in my dealings, won’t admit or deal properly with the trauma in their own life, moreover stay in denial that it even existed. Wake up, stuff happens! Loss of a spouse or child, divorce, sexual abuse, emotional abuse, physical abuse, substance abuse, even the lack of meaningful love can be detrimental and traumatic. Whether we like or not if we don’t pay attention to these areas, they will manifest themselves in other compartments and behaviors, Ask the people closest to you? Unchecked trauma will only produce drama.

However, we can experience true freedom when we invite God to walk us through those traumatic issues. He reminded His people, in this passage and many others, that everything has purpose, even pain. Don’t waste your experiences! Life will get messy but God is faithful to see you through, and to use it for His glory and your good.

“In him we were also chosen, having been predestined according to the plan of him who works out everything in conformity with the purpose of his will.” (Ephesians 1:11)

Juan Mendez_FF 2016Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full-time staff member at America’s Keswick.

 

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 85; Proverbs 24

Daily Quote: “If we have got the true love of God shed abroad in our hearts, we will show it in our lives. We will not have to go up and down the earth proclaiming it. We will show it in everything we say or do.” ~Dwight L. Moody

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. ~Romans 8:28-30

Old Books Background.

Needless Needling

Old Books Background.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stay true to the Lord. I love you and long to see you, dear friends, for you are my joy and the crown I receive for my work.” ~Philippians 4:1 (NLT)

In Chuck Swindoll’s book, “Laugh Again”, he tells a story about some porcupines trying to sleep in the cold. They huddle together to keep warm but their quills keep poking at each other and they eventually have to separate because it just keeps getting irritating to be that close. They need each other to keep warm but they keep needling at each other…kinda like us Christian folks do to each other. Aw, it ain’t intentional, it just happens…yeah right!!

When we read Philippians 4:2 we see two names that come up, Euodia and Syntyche and they musta had a bit of a disagreement because by the middle of the 2nd verse Paul is appealing for them to live in “harmony” in the Lord. Now, even though these two women were living in a Roman colony and enjoyed a level of independence that was uncommon in the Roman Empire, it apparently gives them no excuse for creating disharmony among fellow believers in the church at Philippi. But they just kept…needling at each other. So what are you gonna do? Well you should turn to the 4th chapter of James with me and see what he says of the matter. (for the record, James is one of my go to’s even though he has a bad habit of causing me to say “OUCH”)

So let’s start with these two simple questions… “What is causing the quarrels and fights among you?” and “Don’t they come from the evil desires at war within you?” Guess we best start with the first one. How many of you think that Christians shouldn’t disagree? If you raised your hand put it back down because you’re wrong!! Yeah you’re wrong. If there were only shiny, happy people in our Biblical past there wouldn’t be much of a Bible. I mean, how do you think doctrine gets hammered out or how iron sharpens iron, we just toss seed, add a little water and sow flowers? When you have claimed Christ as LORD and Savior it doesn’t mean that you get to be all wishy-washy about things. So what gets us needling? Let’s continue to question 2…

In the NLT the words “evil desires” is used. Other versions used the word “pleasures” but none the matter of the term it’s the intention to have desire without restraint, pleasure with no boundaries, passion to get what one wants REGARDLESS of consequences. As James so kindly puts it, “You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous of what others have, but you can’t get it, so you fight and wage war to take it away from them. Yet you don’t have what you want because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you ask, you don’t get it because your motives are all wrong—you want only what will give you pleasure.”

(As a sidebar here: sometimes just being offended get things going. Because offence stimulates pride and pride stimulates bad stuff like, strong-arm tactics, stubborn deafness and political maneuvering…sound familiar?)

So what’s the solution? Well ya gotta understand that disagreements are to expected and not all of them are wrong. We need to remember that disagreements can be resolved before stubbornness and selfishness set in and occupy rent-free space. And if you wind up being the one needed to assist in the reconciliation process you have a threefold objective to consider: The goal is not to discipline but to restore, you do this with grace and not force and your common ground in it is Jesus Christ, not logic, church policy, tradition or “because you say so”.

This Freedom Fighter writer has had numerous times in his life where he didn’t think of the damage he did to the testimony he received from Christ’s wondrous work in his life and solved issues with the might of his mouth…pride would get in the way of him wrapping the towel around his waist, humbly set down on one knee and consider the other person but every once in awhile, some guy named Bill W. would remind him of this simple saying….”If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men.” (Romans 12:18) Somebody give me an “OUCH”!!!

Today brothers (and sisters) go out and laugh again in the Victory that was won for us through the shed blood of Christ Jesus and STAND FIRM IN THE LORD!!…AMEN?!!

Chris Hughes_FF 2016Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

 

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 84; Proverbs 23

Daily Quote: “Self-trust is the last great obstacle to living the crucified life, which is why we mill around the deep river of God like animals around a waterhole, afraid to go in because the water may be too deep. We never quite get it.” —A.W. Tozer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. ~Romans 8:28-30

Hiker sits on a rocky peak and enjoy the scenerySlim tourist on the sharp peak of rock in rock empires park  is watching over the misty and foggy morning valley to Sun

Looking Unto Jesus

Slim tourist on peak of rock in autumn empires park

Therefore then, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses [who have borne testimony of the truth], let us strip off and throw aside every encumbrance (unnecessary weight) and that sin which so readily (deftly and cleverly) clings to and entangles us, and let us run with patient endurance and steady and active persistence the appointed course of the race that is set before us, looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus, Who is the leader and the Source of our faith [giving the first incentive for our belief] and is also its Finisher [bringing it to maturity and perfection]. Hebrews 12:1-2b Amplified Bible

With all the coverage of the summer Olympics, my mind went to these familiar verses in Hebrews 12. I decided to read them from the Amplified Bible and wow – that really makes this passage come alive.

Thank you for joining me on this new week of Freedom Fighter blogs. We value your joining us each day.

I read a powerful devotional on the topic of “looking unto Jesus” from a devotional, MEET ME IN THE MEADOWS by Roy Lessin. Think about this:

The lost look to Jesus and see the loving Savior.

The wayward look to Jesus and see the only Way.

The confused look to Jesus and see the perfect Truth.

The empty look to Jesus and see the abundant Life.

The meek look to Jesus and see the suffering Servant.

The humble look to Jesus and see the risen Lord.

The blind look to Jesus and see the glorious Light.

The bound look to Jesus and see the conquering Warrior.

The oppressed look to Jesus and see the triumphant King.

The wounded look to Jesus and see the healing Physician.

The needy look to Jesus and see the caring Shepherd.

The hungry look to Jesus and see the living Bread.

The restless look to Jesus and see the Prince of Peace.

The mistreated look to Jesus and see the Righteous Judge.

The defenseless look to Jesus and see the great High Priest.

The barren look to Jesus and see the fruitful Vine.

The homeless look to Jesus and see their Dwelling Place.

The poor look to Jesus and see their Unsearchable Riches.

The lonely look to Jesus and see the ever-present Friend.

The insufficient look to Jesus and see their All in All.

My guess this morning is that you and fit in one or more of the above categories at some point during your journey. You may be in one of those places now and are looking for answers in all the wrong places.

Well my friend, today would be a good day to LOOK TO JESUS. He longs for us to do that.

Growing up there was an old hymn we sang in our church:

I’ve a message from the Lord, Hallelujah! The message unto you I’ll give; ‘Tis recorded in His word, Hallelujah! It is only that you “look and live.”

Refrain Look and live, O sinner, live, Look to Jesus now and live; ‘Tis recorded in His word, Hallelujah! It is only that you look to live!

Look to Jesus, my brothers. Look and live.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 83; Proverbs 22

Daily Quote: “It is easy to bring a man to the river of regret, but you cannot make him drink the water of repentance.” —C.H. Spurgeon

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose. 29 For whom He foreknew, He also predestined to be conformed to the image of His Son, that He might be the firstborn among many brethren. Moreover whom He predestined, these He also called; whom He called, these He also justified; and whom He justified, these He also glorified. ~Romans 8:28-30

depression devastated young man hiding his face

HOW DO YOU SUFFER?

depression

We had the opportunity to take a vacation to florida to see my mother. My wife, sister and her husband, our daughter were all together for a week to enjoy time with mom. On the second day of the trip I developed a rash across my back and stomach? SHINGLES! I did not want to burden my 91 year old mother, “If one part suffers, every part suffers: 1Cor. 12:16. I did not mention that I had shingles as I knew she would worry and did not want to spoil the vacation.

How often do we hid our suffering from those that love us the most? Jesus suffered more than anyone could imagine. I had family support, Jesus had no one, his disciples abandoned him, no one come to his defence. “The son of man must suffer many things and be rejected.” Luke 9:22 For many, addictions are the pain that takes over our lives. We feel that we have lost all hope. We have given in to our earthly desires and forgotten the one who suffered the most for us, the one who gave his life for us, the one that has the power to save us from ourselves! “My comfort in my suffering is this, your promise preserves my life” Psalm 119:50. We keep our pain of addiction hidden from the ones we love, but they are the ones that truly suffer the most. Reach out to the one who loved you before you were born. “On the day the Lord gives you relief from suffering and turmoil and cruel bondage” Isaiah 14:3

Written by Robert Breault: Robert is a full time staff member at America’s Keswick and married to his lovely wife Shirley.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 80; Proverbs 19

Daily Quote:  “What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like.” ~Augustine

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. ~Romans 8:18

Abstract scene on a female eye and big city.

Righteous vs. Evil

iStock_91778423_SMALL.jpg

For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous, and his ears are open to their prayer. But the face of the Lord is against those who do evil.” (1 Peter 3:12)

When I hear a metaphor like, ‘The eyes of the Lord’ or ‘his ears are open’ I used to wonder if God has a physical eyes, ear, or any other characteristics like humans. Moreover, because of my disobedience, I didn’t want that eye or ear to see or hear some of the things, in which I was involved. Can that eye see my heart or what I’m thinking? These are the questions I would ask myself along this bumpy journey.

But as my relationship with God develops and my understandings evolve, this metaphoric language is revealing God’s continual guardianship and care over my life. He is the protector of His children and as a concern parent he wants to be engaged with the wellbeing of His Creation. Good or Evil!

The verse juxtaposes God’s position; providing confront to one group while rejecting another, nevertheless He is still over all. The warning is strong and His wisdom is infinite, and His love endures. For the saints, be Holy as He is Holy, however we should also have a hunger for sharing Jesus, because that sets the two groups apart. Are you going to tell someone about Christ this week?

Juan Mendez_FF 2016Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full time staff member at America’s Keswick.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 79; Proverbs 18

Daily Quote: “Though we cannot think alike may we not love alike?” ~John Wesley

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. ~Romans 8:18

Forest, abstract, motion blur

Side Effects May Include…

Forest, abstract, motion blur

“For the kingdom of God is not eating and drinking, But righteousness and peace and joy in the Holy Spirit.” ~Romans 12:17

I marvel at the seemingly long list of side effects that may proceed after taking most medications. I wonder if it’s worth the risk of treating one ailment and suffering thru all the possible reactions.

I was listening to Christian radio the other day and the announcer said that if this radio station was a prescription drug the directions would read “take as often as you like, side effects may include eternal life, peace, joy, love and a life lived in the righteousness of Christ”. I thought to myself “give me some of that”.

A side effect is something that is secondary to the one intended. In medical terms it is usually adverse. But maybe a side effect of our actions could result in positive reactions. Paul is addressing an issue with food and drink in Romans 14, it seems that there was a dispute that some believed you could be defiled by what you ate or drank. Paul goes on to say in verse 19, “Therefore let us pursue the things which make for peace and the things by which one may edify another”. So, the side effect of pursuing peace is edifying one another.

I think the bottom line is that we learn to live by a standard that glorifies God and is sensitive to the Holy Spirit of God, or “walking in the Spirit”. I have three that I try to line up with my conduct.

Consideration – Seeing the problem and rightfully diagnosing the issue and how I can be a help instead of a hindrance. Sometimes it may mean staying out of it or prayerfully speaking truth with love in a situation. This may mean putting my own interests aside and doing what’s best for others.

Conviction – The prescription for the ailment. Live with a purpose that is governed by a sensitivity to the word of God. This usually is comes before an action.

Clear conscience – Is usually the way you feel after taking action. If I have a peace about my decision and am confident that it was pleasing to God.

Does the “side effect” bring glory to God and have lingering eternal value. If so, take as much as you want whenever you want and look forward to the “Side Effects”.

Rob_FF 2016Written by Rob Russomano: Rob is married to Terri, he is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and a full time staff member. He is also available as a speaker of the grace of God with a message of Hope for church events.

 

 

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 78; Proverbs 17

Daily Quote: “Since love grows within you, so beauty grows. For love is the beauty of the soul.” ~Augustine

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. ~Romans 8:18

Christian cross on a wild beach with a wonderful sunrise

Enemies of The Cross – PART TWO

Christian cross on a wild beach with a wonderful sunrise

“Stick with me, friends. Keep track of those you see running this same course, headed for this same goal. There are many out there taking other paths, choosing other goals, and trying to get you to go along with them. I’ve warned you of them many times; sadly, I’m having to do it again. All they want is easy street. They hate Christ’s Cross. But easy street is a dead-end street. Those who live there make their bellies their gods; belches are their praise; all they can think of is their appetites.” ~Philippians 3:17-19 (The Message)

I remember the night I took my son, Kevin, to his first ever Philadelphia Eagles football game. I was all revved up (even though it was pre-season) for a good game and was hoping my son would pick up on the excitement. As we were walking towards “The Linc” (Lincoln Finical Field) he noticed someone wearing a t-shirt that had some nasty saying about the Dallas Cowboys. I explained to my son the on-going rivalry that had been such since I was a kid. When we got into the stadium he again noticed that someone wearing a Cowboys jersey was receiving a lot of lip-service. He asked why are the Cowboys enemies of the Eagles…too embarrassed to say it might be because Dallas has Super Bowl victories and we don’t, my answer was kinda plain,” They just are”. He let it go after that. For the record, it was a Philadelphia vs. Carolina game.

On October 26 1884, from the pulpit of Metropolitan Tabernacle, C.H. Spurgeon asked the congregation this question, “Why are men enemies of this Cross of Christ?” His first part to the answer was this…” Frankly, I think that some do not know why they are.” But then he put it into this nutshell, “Nicodemus wisely asked, “Does our Law judge any man before it hears him?” Our lawless ones do! And there are multitudes of men who ought to think themselves as mean as dirt because they never gave Christ a hearing—yet they thrust Him from them. “Oh!” says one, “I should never go inside any of those canting Methodist places.” No, you are such a wonderful man that you think you can see through a stone wall and judge of what goes on inside—you do not need to be taught because you imagine you already know everything!” (OUCH)

Now we can look at world today and see the obvious reason why so many can be counted as enemies. So many people live on the tangible that it’s all about what can be touched, seen and owned. So many people prefer to-eat-drink-and-be-merry that it’s all about life style. But in any case, these two scenario’s offer nothing but a path that is destined for eternal hopelessness, devoid of love, joy or anything truly good. I even dare to say that we Christians have our moments when the Cross is an enemy. It’s those prideful moments where we tell ourselves that we’re good, maybe even better than those around us. After all Jesus paid it all…All to Him I owe…Sin left a crimson

stain…He washed it white as snow. We tend to forget that it was Jesus who was looking towards the Throne of Grace, looking for mercy to be bestowed only to finally yell out, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (My God, my God, why have you abandoned me?)

The sermon Spurgeon gave that day in 1884 really sums up those who are enemies of the Cross. His hope was that The Holy Spirit used his sermon to bring people to Christ even though he knew this unfortunate truth, “But, alas, multitudes of men do not want holiness—they want their harlots, they want their wine, they want their carnivals of vice, they want their selfishness and they want everything that Christ does not give, so they cry, “Not this Man, but Barabbas,” and they make the awful choice of sin as they neglect their Lord! These are “the enemies of the Cross of Christ.”

But this shouldn’t end on a sour note. We have been given the promises of The Kingdom and the Apostle Paul wants to understand that, “But we are citizens of heaven, where the Lord Jesus Christ lives. And we are eagerly waiting for Him to return as our Savior. He will take our weak mortal bodies and change them into glorious bodies like His own, using the same power with which He will bring everything under His control.” (Phil 3:20-21) Brothers (and sisters) this day, walk in the victory that Christ obtained for you and share it. It ain’t yours anyway so ya might as well give some of it away. Who knows…it might win a Super Bowl or two. (yeah I’m stretching it, but I have hope)

Chris Hughes_FF 2016Written by Chris Hughes: Chris, a graduate of The Colony of Mercy (11-2003) is married (Kathy) with two adult children (Kevin and Karen) and has been a Freedom Fighter contributor since 2008.

 

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 77; Proverbs 16

Daily Quote: “Now the point of this analysis is not to judge or condemn the lost or to leave some kind of impression that Christians are better than non-Christians. Rather, it is to help us remember why God has placed us among them. Our mission is to reach out to them! To win them. To help them realize that there is so much more to life than they have ever known.” — Charles Swindoll

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. ~Romans 8:18

Silhouettes of sunrise morning coffee with a note and a pen

His Mercies – They Are New EVERY MORNING!

coffee

Yet I still dare to hope when I remember this: The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is his faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning. ~Lamentations 3:21-23 NLT

This is a new week – a new week to see God at work in your life and mine. And I am very thankful you have joined us for our weekly Freedom Fighter blogs.

I love these three verses from Lamentations. Go back and read them slowly. Are you feeling hopeless? Overwhelmed? Unloved? Then these three verses should be a breath of fresh air to your soul.

Dr. Paul David Tripp writes: “Could there be a greater consolation known to man than these six hope-giving words: HIS MERCIES ARE NEW EVERY MORNING!”

So here you go … can you remember the day you trusted Christ as your Savior? Fix that date and year in your mind.

I was saved 59 years ago. If I were to count the days – that’s 21,535 days. So think about it – it says “mercies.” But if I were to get just one a day – wow!

Dr. Paul David Tripp writes about this mercy in his daily devotional, NEW MORNING MERCIES …

Mercy is the theme of God’s story. Mercy is the thread that runs through all of Scripture. Mercy is the reason for Jesus’s coming. Mercy is what your desperate heart needs. Mercy is the healer your relationships need. Mercy is what gives you comfort in weakness and hope in times of trial. Mercy can do what the law is powerless to do. Mercy not only meets you in your struggle, but guarantees that someday your struggle will end. Mercy is what this sin-broken world groans for. Mercy triumphs where justice can’t. If God offered us only justice, no one would run to him. It is the knowledge of his mercy that makes us honestly face ourselves and gladly run to him. And it is mercy that we will sing about and celebrate a million years into eternity.

I love the words of Lamentations 3: 22– 23: “The steadfast love of the LORD never ceases; his mercies never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Let these amazing words sink in. If you are God’s child, they describe your identity and your hope. They give you reason to get up in the morning and to continue. They enable you to face and admit how messed up you really are. They allow you to extend mercy to the failing people around you. And they allow you to be comforted by God’s presence rather than be terrified at the thought that he is near.

Not only does God lavish on you love that will never cease and grace that will never end, and not only is he great in faithfulness, but the mercy he extends to you and to me is renewed each new morning. It is not tired, stale, irrelevant, worn out, ill-fitting, yesterday mercy. No, God’s mercy is new morning mercy. It is form-fitted for the needs of your day. It is sculpted to the shape of the weaknesses, circumstances, and struggles of each and every one of his children.

Yes, we all get the same mercy, but it doesn’t come to all of us in the same size and shape. God knows who you are, where you are, and what you’re facing, and in the majestic combination of divine knowledge, power, and compassion, he meets you with just the right mercies for the moment. Stop allowing yourself to assess your life in a way that is devoid of new morning mercies. Any scan of your life that doesn’t include those mercies is tragically lacking in truth.

Tripp, Paul David (2014-10-31). New Morning Mercies: A Daily Gospel Devotional (Kindle Locations 5392-5408). Crossway. Kindle Edition

Well my brother, if that doesn’t get your heart pumping and rejoicing this morning – then you need to check your pulse!!!

I am thankful for His mercies that are new EVERY morning. And I am thankful you have joined me on this journey. God bless you.

Written by Dr. Bill Welte is President/CEO of America’s Keswick: He has been married to his child sweetheart for 40+ years, and has three married kids, one that is engaged, and 10 amazing grand kids. He loves music and is an avid reader.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 76; Proverbs 15

Daily Quote: “For you mercy is so plentiful!” David – Psalm 69:16

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

For I consider that the sufferings of this present time are not worthy to be compared with the glory which shall be revealed in us. ~Romans 8:18

Sad young man at the railway station

Knockdown Sorrow and Grief

Sad man

What does love look like? It has the hands to help others. It has the feet to hasten to the poor and needy. It has eyes to see misery and want. It has the ears to hear the sighs and sorrows of men. That is what love looks like. ~Augustine

Then Jesus went with them to a place called Gethsemane, and He said to His disciples, “Sit here, while I go over there and pray.” And taking with Him Peter and the two sons of Zebedee, He began to be sorrowful and troubled. Then He said to them, “My soul is very sorrowful, even to death; remain here, and watch with Me.” And going a little farther He fell on His face and prayed, saying, “My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from Me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.” And He came to the disciples and found them sleeping. And He said to Peter, “So, could you not watch with Me one hour? Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” Again, for the second time, He went away and prayed, “My Father, if this cannot pass unless I drink it, Your will be done.” And again He came and found them sleeping, for their eyes were heavy. So, leaving them again, He went away and prayed for the third time, saying the same words again. Then He came to the disciples and said to them, “Sleep and take your rest later on. See, the hour is at hand, and the Son of Man is betrayed into the hands of sinners. Rise, let us be going; see, My betrayer is at hand. ~Jesus, King of The Universe – and Man of Sorrows – in Matthew 26

Oh beloved, it is true. We can be hurt. Actually, to be a person who Loves, is to guarantee that we will hurt. We enter into our newfound faith thinking that this is going to be wonderful (and it is), but we have no idea how bloody and beat up we are to become on the path.

In our better moments, though often far in between the normal rhythms of our lives, we have learned to be profoundly concerned for the wellbeing of those around us. We have learned to Love. And while we know, really know, that Love just loves regardless of the return it gets, we often come to a place of great sorrow and grief.

It pummels us with its waves. We are knocked down on the floor, and the grief chokes us.

This fool of a writer has learned how Love. i am not good at it, and still i am learning. And what i have learned in the Loving, is that most people have not. And those who have not learned what Love really is, cannot even begin to believe that Love is truly possible. So, they

will look upon one who Loves and project their own motives and strategies onto who the lover is and what their Love does.

The difficulty comes closest in, when those closest to us do not or will not understand. And it is here that the punches actually take the air out of us. The very people we are hoping to lift by our Love, feel oppressed by it. And instead of receiving it, they lash out. And as much as we would hope to be noble and keep some sort of British stiff upper lip, we are nearly done in.

Beyond relationships, as Lovers of Him and others, our comfort with the physical realm becomes tenuous to the point of nervousness. There is within, sometimes, a dull ache. We long for Home. And for some of us we don’t even know where that is… At least we don’t know where it is on this planet. The great joy of being a believer in Jesus, and in being an international worker is that The Kingdom is not just an idea – it is Home. We ache for it. We moan in our sleep, and toss in our bed for it.

Where is this entry going? It is going where all sorrow takes us. It is taking us down to the end of a path that has no outlet. Sorrow takes us to the end of ourselves. We are made to feel the utter futility of existence apart from G_d. We are left gasping on the floor of our souls and find there really is no hope in this life.

And no, this obviously not the end.

We come to realize in our knocked down state, that SomeOne is right there with us. His strong Hand and sweet Breath is breathing life into us. We are in a dark valley for sure sometimes, but He goes into it with us. He feels the pain with us. He has been in the pain Himself.

And this is enough. To be known in our grief – this is enough.

So, are you hurting believer? This is normal. But what is not normal is for you (or this writer) to feel alone and despondent. No, it is in the dark valleys of shadow and grief, that our King is most really with us. His very Spirit is Comfort and Healing and Strength.

Tonight is your night. Time to let the hurt have its way… Let it show you He is with you always.

Makala_FF 2016 Written by Makala Doulos: Makala  is a child of G_d, a husband to his wife, a father to his children, and a teacher to his students. But mostly, he is a prisoner set free by Jesus. Love has invaded his life, crushed it, and made it new. Now, G_d’s Love is what constrains him to live in full surrender to the freedom The Father and Son and Holy Spirit have bought for us all. Grace and Peace to you all.

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 73; Proverbs 12

Daily Quote: “Are you looking unto Jesus now, in the immediate matter that is pressing and receiving from His peace? If so, He will be a gracious benediction of peace in and through you. But if you try to worry it out, you obliterate Him and deserve all you get. We get disturbed because we have not been considering Him. When one confers with Jesus Christ the perplexity goes, because He has no perplexity, and our only concern is to abide in Him. Lay it all out before Him, and in the face of difficulty, bereavement and sorrow, hear Him say, “Let not you heart be troubled.” ~Oswald Chambers

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

~Zephaniah 3:17

Dark, Ominous Clouds Promise Rain and poor Weather.

Hope in Darkness!

Dangerous Rain Clouds

“To shine on those who live in darkness and in the shadow of death, to guide our feet into the path of peace.” ~Luke 1:79

Those were very dark time in the era of the coming Messiah. Sin had run rampant throughout all nations. Political wars, sinful lusts, and personal agendas were at its peak. Oppression from the Roman Empire was being implemented throughout the Land. And God’s people were scattered; and compromised in many ways.

Does this condition sound familiar? We have been bombarded with hostile enemies, racial tension, political agendas, police brutality, police murders, unnatural sexual freedoms… sin is running rampant. It seems like a new type of evil and defiantly feels new, but this type of darkness has been brewing for many years.

This darken world needs a light. The light that gives hope, the hope that gives light. It needs to see the same light that guided us out of our dark hearts. God declares, “I will lead the blind by a way they do not know, in paths they do not know I will guide them. I will make darkness into light before them and rugged places into plains. These are the things I will do, and I will not leave them undone.” (Isaiah 42:16)

While teaching at VBS the topic was hope in the light of Jesus and as that point reiterated itself, I realize that I/we focus on the fact that Jesus has become the light to expose darkness, but His light also reveal His goodness throughout this fallen world as well. He provided the example, and chose us to continue the work he started. It’s our time to put away our sinful, selfish, opinionated, judgmental attitude and be a light, and direct to the light, in a dark world.

Juan Mendez_FF 2016Written by Juan Mendez: Juan is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy and full time staff member at America’s Keswick. 

 

The Daily Bible Reading: Psalm 72; Proverbs 11

Daily Quote:“To many Christians, Christ is little more than an idea, or at best an ideal. He is not a fact. Millions of professed believers talk as if He were real and act as if He were not. And always our actual position is to be discovered by the way we act, not by the way we talk.” —A.W. Tozer

This Week’s Verse to Memorize:

The Lord your God in your midst,
The Mighty One, will save;
He will rejoice over you with gladness,
He will quiet you with His love,
He will rejoice over you with singing.”

~Zephaniah 3:17