This website was created from inspiration on the sermon on November 5, 2006 on "Walk Across the Street - Underestimating the Power of Influence We Have on Others." The pastor talked about how two men walked across a street one day in the 1950s to talk with their neighbors about the love, joy, and peace that can be experienced through accepting Jesus Christ as your savior. Turns out that these men were talking to the pastor's grandparents and his father(at the time 10 years old) and now he is who he is spiritually because of the small effort of these men walking across the street and sharing their faith with this pastors' family. It changed not only his grandparents' lives, his father's life, but the lives of generations to come in his family. It is my hope that this website will be my "walk across the street" to those on the internet that stumble upon it.
I am learning more and more about who Christians call on as our God and this is my story...
At an early age, I was introduced to Christ through a small church in a farming community in the US. The idea of having a constant companion who loved me and would forgive me of all my faults sounded like a sweet deal. So at the age of 12, I walked down the tiny aisle of that church and professed my faith to God in front of the congregation. A couple years went by and slowly I started to compartmentalize my faith. Thinking things like, "I know this isn't something that God would want me to do but it makes me happy right now so why not?!" or "If I did this, then that person or that group would like me, and surely God wants them to like me." which led to "I don't care what my family thinks, what do they know?!" which led to alcohol which led to small time drug use which fed my depression and self loathing.
I had many failed relationships in my late teens into the beginning of my 20s. All the while, God was placed in the backseat of my life only called on occassionally at what I believed was my convience. I had knowingly chosen a path that was not according to his will and was suffering for it(whether I was smart enough or humble enough at the time to admit it).
Then at 21, I married the man of my dreams. I had decided subconciously that this man could supply all the needs emotionally and spiritually that I would ever want; needs that only God can fill. So God was pushed even further out of my line of sight. When things were not going right I would look elsewhere for love - attention from other people, alcohol, food, etc.
All along I had been worshiping things and people that did not deserve that worship AND did not deserve the burden of the pressure and responsibility that came along with it AND could never fill the void in my heart. I was flat on my face. I was a drunk. I was hopeless.
Then God came and picked me up. He had everything waiting for me knowing that I was finally ready to see and ready to hear what he wanted me to know. Things like I am to keep no other 'gods' before Him; that He mends the brokenhearted; that only when we are obedient to God can He bless us; that God can forgive all my sins. His love is HUGE! We can never understand how great he is and how great his love is and how great the joy and peace that transcends all understanding can be when we fully submit our lives to him.
I'm learning that my life is a continuing education and my teacher is the master over all the universe! He proclaims things like "I am the Lord, the God of all peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?"(Jeremiah 32:27) No, nothing is too difficult for the Lord. My strength is in him. My joy and peace are only from him.
This is joy and peace that transcends understanding. I am not saying that I have not hurt, that I have not caused hurt, and that I do not know sorrow but there is a peace that has been gifted to me and I can't deny it is from the Lord. How can a person have peace whose marriage WAS on the edge of divorce?(Praise God for rebuilding this marriage!!!) How can a person feel love and peace after losing an unborn child? How can a person have joy that 3 years ago lost many people to death in a short 6 month period? How can a person that is sorrowful and hurting from the consequences of her own poor choices still have peace and joy?
Through revelation of Jesus Christ.
Through his love alone.
The road map to the beginning of your journey to having peace, to having joy, to having Jesus by your side 24/7 ...
(using www.biblegateway.com for the Bible Verses)
Romans 3:23 (Romans chapter 3 verse 23)
for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
But God demonstrates his own love for us in this: While we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
9That if you confess with your mouth, "Jesus is Lord," and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 10For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved. 11As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in him will never be put to shame." 12For there is no difference between Jew and Gentile—the same Lord is Lord of all and richly blesses all who call on him, 13for, "Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved."
I cried out to Jesus this summer. He heard me. He hears you too.
7Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.
God is waiting for you. He loves you.
To learn more about God and his love for you, here are some books to check out...
("All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness."2 Timothy 3:16 Before reading the Bible ask for God to guide and direct you in his truth.)
Experiencing God: Knowing and Doing the Will of God by Blackaby & King
Growing as a Christian 101 by Bickel and Jantz
The Case for Christ by Lee Strobel (A book about an aetheist's journey to discovering Christ.) Also The Case for the Real Jesus, The Case for a Creator
Mere Christianity by C. S. Lewis
(I haven't finished this one yet. It's very intellectual!)
Living God's Will by Eddie Rasnake
Also seek out godly friends that can lead you toward the Lord. Accountability partners that will always direct you back to God's love are so important to have to continue your growth in your faith. Be weary of who you hold as your counsel. (I Corinthians 15:33 Do not be misled: "Bad company corrupts good character.) Pray that God will lead you to friends that can help you grow in your faith and pray that he will allow you to help others come to him as well. He hears your prayers and in his timing answers them according to his purpose. I pray that you see and hear and feel that God is with you as you seek him in all you do.
Sincerely, your sister in Christ.