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Monthly Archives: June 2014

Since I can remember it was “them” and “us”. The differences were always very evident. The strangest part of it all was that we were the outsiders. They were the “in’s” we were the “out’s.”

Being that I already had issues with insecurity it always frustrated me. I couldn’t understand why they would treat us different, and NEVER understood why they were so mean to my dad. But, that was our lot in life. We were “religious”. They were not.

Holidays with them ended after I was in 4th grade. Grandma came over to our house now, we didn’t go there. Things had changed, but it was ok. At least at our house I didn’t feel like I didn’t belong. At our house we weren’t treated like we didn’t belong.

I did miss having them in my life. I loved the ideals of the Norman Rockwell type life. I always wanted that ideal. And, there were times when I felt like I had lost something. I didn’t understand the change really. Just knew “this was the way it was…” and so life went on.

Through the years they continued with their ridicule of my dad. Of the life choices that he made. They criticized the way that he followed after God. “Oh Buddy, he is the preacher man…” Never HEARING his heart they closed their ears, they closed their hearts… they continued on their path. And we, we continued on ours.

Dad and Mom continued to make hard choices, doing what was right. Teaching me by walking out their relationship with Jesus. Often, as I was growing up, I got frustrated. So many of my friend’s parents and so many of my friends lived what seem such care-free lives. But I didn’t see the freedom in the choices that my parents made. I saw them as “bound up”.

I would have long talks with Dad. “Why can they do all that stuff and not have guilt?” “They drink and smoke and it doesn’t bother them.” I almost had an envy that they could live in life of sin and I couldn’t. It wasn’t a judgment, it was a frustration. Frustration because I hadn’t let that side of my self die yet. There was still a pull… a pull to the world.

I realized as time went on that what seemed like “fun” often left me feeling empty and alone. What often looked so fulfilling and exciting brought nothing but unrest and the need to do “more” the next time. The ride only lasted with me for short spans. I would get real glimpses of the world that often scared me.

Today, as a woman – a mom – I believe that that was because of the prayers of my parents. They never stopped praying for me. Praying for protection, for wisdom, for guidance – for ways out. God always supplied… I just had to choose it.

The last time I had been around them all at one time was at my cousin’s funeral. He died when I was in my mid-20′s. He was gentle and sweet. I always thought he fit more with “us” then them. His life ended way too early, I think he was only 26 or so.

I don’t remember his funeral much. I just remember being sad. Being sad that someone I really liked wasn’t in Heaven. But, even then I didn’t see what I saw this time. I didn’t see the great divide the way that I saw it at Grandma’s funeral.
It happened again “them” and “us.” But, I didn’t really notice. This was the time for Dad to do the funeral for Grandma. She had asked him to a few years ago. I was so proud of him, and as time went on my respect and gratitude grew.

I looked to my left – across the aisle. It felt like it did when I was a kid, but the gap was so much wider now. They were over there and we were “here”. I could see the years. I could see the life that I would have had if my dad would not have ran to God. That is what he did… he RAN down the altar of Falls Avenue Church, in Waterloo. HE RAN away from sin and heart ache and TOWARDS healing and life ever lasting. He chose not only to save his soul, his life — but my kids and his great grandkids. His decision to go after God changed the course of my heritage.

I am a second generation believer. Dad and Mom – now me. My dad broke the wall and allowed the healing water to flow. The great divide is real – and was so evident at the funeral, but Jesus is the boat that would bring them over to us. If they wanted. They could jump in — they could get in the lifeboat and come along with us, and I pray they will.

Until that day we will keep going forward away from what was and into a world full of new hope and promise. The divide… life and death.

Joshua 24:14-17: “ 14Now therefore fear the LORD, and serve him in sincerity and in truth: and put away the gods which your fathers served on the other side of the flood, and in Egypt; and serve you the LORD.

15And if it seem evil unto you to serve the LORD, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD. 16And the people answered and said, God forbid that we should forsake the LORD, to serve other gods;

17For the LORD our God, he it is that brought us up and our fathers out of the land of Egypt, from the house of bondage, and which did those great signs in our sight, and preserved us in all the way wherein we went, and among all the people through whom we passed:


Let us not be deceived, the Gospel is first about personal salvation and secondly the goings about of Christians in caring for others.

False ministry spends itself in fixing the world; but never fixes it. True Christian ministry brings Christ to people and people to Christ.
The Potter, put us back together again. This is where “Christ” becomes “in you, the hope of glory.”

We are “little rock,” Jesus like. He is the Rock who came as Son of Man. He taught and teaches that He will in our day, as well as in the apostle’s day, builds His church through us.

“I will build my church and the gates of hell will not prevail against it.” Jesus was referencing that upon disciples— through them—He would continuously build “His” church. (Matthew 16:18)

The church is His continued presence on earth since He departed and until He returns with it to earth.

Jesus taught also that this church, the answer to the Lord’s Prayer: “Thy kingdom come, Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven,” would be beset (attacked from all sides), but that too, was His business.

He builds the church and upon His return, will settle matters with those who say they are Christians and are not. “Tares,” Jesus called them, as opposed to wheat. False teachers will rise up in the name of Christendom: and we wonder how it is that modern-day Christianity is to many a foul name.

Church building is the work of Christ in us. We plant and water. We can expect— and faith does— that in us, God is working to reach the world.

Jesus does not teach that the gates of Hell will not launch every effort within its means to stop us. Why are we surprised rather than fully aware of the force of hate? But let us not magnify the power of Hell. Let us magnify the real power.

Paul said it, “This too shall work to the furtherance of the Gospel.” Oh, believer, the gates of Hell are allowed to unleash so that God can be glorified. So that men can see the difference of darkness and light and choose the light. The Gospel of Jesus Christ is first about rescuing men from the grasp of Hell. He settled that matter in the Garden of Gethsemane.

And with our difficulties that seem to take us down, we can be assured: the gates of Hell will not prevail, and the Father will not forsake us no matter the cross we must bear.

Yes, He is our Healer—but to every man it is appointed a day to die. (Hebrews 9:27). But we do not embrace death— we fight it— and God has established that His work will shine through (all) little rocks. The Rock of Ages will be with us.

Kingdom people— soldiers of the Light, must be so with courage. Faith-filled courageous action is faith.

Did the gates of Hell prevail against the true in Israel? Will the gates of Hell prevail against the true in Christendom? No!

This “church” stands on the Rock— hides sometimes in the cleft of the Rock— always prevails—is the co-effort of Christ’s men and women, and of Christ Himself.

We are “His ambassadors—witnesses that He is resurrected— His vessels— His children— Brethren to Him —adopted by Him— ransomed by Him— alive in Him— His body on earth— Friend to Him and He more so to us. He is our Boast— our Hope. We say to Him as Thomas spoke: “My Lord and my God” – as Peter spoke: You are the Messiah (Christ) the Son of the Living God.

The message of the true church is all about Savior; the salvation He brought us; the salvation He will bring to any who receive Him. The preaching of the cross will prevail on earth— only in the true church —until time has run its course. Hallelujah! What a glorious church, without spot or wrinkle. Washed in the blood of the Lamb.