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There is a light at the end of the tunnel (a Timeless Truths blog post)

tunnel

Have you had enough? Are you ready for the struggle you’ve been in to be over with … like, yesterday? Do you wish you could see (and truly believe) there really is a light at the end of the tunnel … for you (not just for everyone else, but for you, too)? Well, I’ve got good news … there is! According to God’s Word, there will come an end to our suffering. In fact, 1 Peter 5:10 (NIV) tells us, “And the God of all grace, who called you to his eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered a little while, will himself restore you and make you strong, firm and steadfast.” Therefore, we can take comfort that, whatever we may be going through now, it will NOT last forever! There IS coming a time when the suffering will be over and we will be restored and not only restored, but also made strong, firm, and steadfast! No more wishy-washy … no more indecisiveness … no more being controlled by endless doubts and nagging concerns … but STRONG, FIRM, AND STEADFAST! After having suffered for a little while – in whatever trial we may have had to go through and endure – in the end, we will come to see a purpose in it … we will come to see, probably in hindsight, that the suffering actually produced a “harvest” of something good … something that we would not have received if we had not gone through the trial. Maybe you’ve heard the story about the butterfly and how, as it’s breaking free of its cocoon, it’s important for it to struggle, for, without the struggle, it’s wings would never be strong enough to endure the coming days when their purpose is to soar! If someone tried to cut that cocoon to “help” the butterfly, they, in reality, wouldn’t be helping at all. Rather, they would be preventing it from attaining it’s true strength! So, whatever you’re going through today … big or little … just remember these timeless truths … there is a light at the end of the tunnel! There will be a day when your pain gives way to victory! There is a purpose in the suffering! You will be restored and made strong, firm, and steadfast! Then, and only then, will you be fully equipped to soar … and not only to soar, but also to bring God glory!

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Until we meet again (a Timeless Truths blog post)

sky 2020Losing a loved one is never easy … especially when it is unexpected. Having no hope that you’ll ever see them again is even worse. Fortunately, that doesn’t have to be the case. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-18 The Message (MSG) tells us, “And regarding the question, friends, that has come up about what happens to those already dead and buried, we don’t want you in the dark any longer. First off, you must not carry on over them like people who have nothing to look forward to, as if the grave were the last word. Since Jesus died and broke loose from the grave, God will most certainly bring back to life those who died in Jesus. And then this: We can tell you with complete confidence—we have the Master’s word on it—that when the Master comes again to get us, those of us who are still alive will not get a jump on the dead and leave them behind. In actual fact, they’ll be ahead of us. The Master himself will give the command. Archangel thunder! God’s trumpet blast! He’ll come down from heaven and the dead in Christ will rise—they’ll go first. Then the rest of us who are still alive at the time will be caught up with them into the clouds to meet the Master. Oh, we’ll be walking on air! And then there will be one huge family reunion with the Master. So reassure one another with these words.” Yes, we can have hope … if our loved ones died “in Christ” we can have the assurance that their death does not mean good-bye forever … it only means good-bye until we meet again … if we are “in Christ” as well. What does it mean to be “in Christ” you may ask? To be “in Christ” means to be in a relationship with Christ … it means someone has accepted the gift of salvation Jesus offered when he died on the cross to pay the penalty for all of our sins. It means we are trusting Jesus alone to make us right with God (not our own “good works”). To be in Christ means to be “born again” … it means to be “born” into the family of God … where old things have passed away and all things become new. It means someone is no longer living their lives just for themselves to satisfy their own desires, but, instead, out of thankfulness for everything Jesus has already done for them, they are choosing – as an act of their free will – to live in the way the Bible teaches … for the new desires God puts in their hearts … the new desires that involve loving others as God has loved them … the new desire to live in a way that is pleasing to God and is beneficial in how they treat others as well. To be “in Christ” simply put, means to be saved. So, if your loved one who has died was “in Christ” when they died and you, now, (or before you die) are also “in Christ” you can have the hope and confidence that you will, indeed, one day meet your loved one again and it will be like one huge family reunion with the Master! Therefore, look to the timeless truths in these scriptures to give yourself and others the hope and comfort you need in your time of loss. And if you haven’t accepted the gift of salvation Jesus offers to everyone (yes everyone!) … or if you’ve backslidden away from him … don’t worry, you can trust in Jesus even now to make you right with God and can receive the gift he offers by praying a prayer for salvation such as this sample prayer: 

Dear God, I am a sinner in need of salvation. I believe Jesus died on the cross in my place. I believe He alone gave His life as the perfect sacrifice for my sin. I believe Jesus not only died for my sins, but was also raised again and is now living in heaven. I believe only Jesus can make me righteous before You. There’s nothing I could ever do to earn Your free gift. I repent of all my sins and ask You to make me new as I accept Your gift of salvation now. I ask Jesus to be both the Lord and Savior of my life. Come into my heart, fill me with Your Spirit, and help me to live for You. Thank You for saving my soul. In Jesus’ name, amen.

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Dependable (a Timeless Truths blog post)

car with fireHave you ever had a car that you thought would be a reliable, dependable vehicle only to discover later it was actually a lemon? You had invested so much money, so much time, and so much effort into trying to do the best you could into getting the best you could afford only to have your hopes crushed. What a disappointment. How about if you’re a business owner? Have you been diligent in carefully screening all prospective employees to find the right match for your company, thinking you’ve done all you could to ensure you would be hiring a dependable worker only to discover later they had lied on their resume and had actually convinced other people to lie just so they would get a positive reference when you called to check out the person’s character. Wouldn’t you be disappointed? Wouldn’t you wish there was some foolproof way to be sure the next time you hired someone you wouldn’t have to go through the same thing again? Don’t we all wish that there could be something or someone that we could trust to be absolutely, completely dependable? Lamentations 3:21-23 (NIV) says, “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed, for his compassions never fail. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.” Did you catch that? The Lord’s compassions are new EVERY MORNING … every.morning. … Every Morning … every single morning. This timeless truth assures us that every day we can trust that the Lord is absolutely, completely dependable to be compassionate towards us. We can be absolutely sure He will be faithful. We can know, without a shadow of a doubt that He will always be there for us in whatever challenges we face … good or bad. Webster’s defines compassion as a “sympathetic consciousness of others’ distress together with a desire to alleviate it.” So, when we comprehend that God Himself is compassionate towards us and that His compassion is new every single morning … no matter what we are going through, no matter what we are facing, no matter whether we bought a lemon for a car, whether we hired an undependable employee, whether we ourselves need to learn how to be more dependable ourselves … no matter what we face in life, we can trust that God will ALWAYS be there for us in a dependable, compassionate way that desires to alleviate whatever distress we may be in. So, if you need anything … anything at all: strength, help, hope, encouragement, love, peace, joy, wisdom, enablement to keep on keeping on … whatever it may be, you can trust that God will be absolutely, completely 100% dependable every single morning to compassionately be there for you to meet your need. He is faithful. He will never let you down. His desire is always for your ultimate good. His ways are higher than our ways, so sometimes His ultimate good may look different than what you may consider to be good … meaning you will most likely still have to go through some hard stuff in life … but our ultimate good always comes whenever we trust the Lord to give us the strength to get through whatever we may need to go through and when we learn whatever valuable lesson we may need to learn in the process. So, today, whatever you are facing, know that God wants to compassionately be involved in it. He compassionately wants to help you in more ways than you could ever imagine. He wants you to trust that He, alone, is absolutely, completely dependable … through it all.

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Revisions (a Timeless Truths blog post)

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Are you the stubborn type? Do you like to have everything go a certain way (your way) and do you easily get upset when your plans get changed? Well, there’s good news … you’re not alone! It’s quite common for people to think their way is the best way (perhaps the only way) to get things done, and get them done efficiently! The up side of that mentality is that you generally have a good work ethic; the down side is that you may not realize there’s a problem until someone else points it out (hopefully gently) … and that’s when humility needs to come into play. You need to be willing to accept there really are other ways of doing things … and some ways just could be better than what you imagined. Jeremiah 29:11 (NIV) tells us, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” So, this timeless truth lets us know that God’s plan for our lives is good (period). Even when it may not look that way on the surface, God’s plan is always good … the problem often comes when we may not see things the way God sees them. We may have a vision of how our lives ought to go … how one thing will lead to another, and another, and another so that eventually our vision comes to pass. However, as we quickly learn (as in all of life) our plans often undergo several “revisions” before the “final draft” is completed … and even then, it’s still not over until it’s over (meaning even more revisions will most likely be needed before all is said and done). The key is being open and willing to allow Jesus to be Lord (not just Savior) of our lives. Think of the word revisions as re-visions … being willing to change and get a new vision … being willing to change course (as the Lord leads). Suppose you had gone through the process of applying for several new jobs and had started to think maybe there was one other job you might be willing to apply for as well and you had started to open yourself up to that possibility but had not yet actually gone and done it. Then suppose you get a phone call out of the blue from a company in the same business as the one you had been thinking about (but had not applied to yet). This company got your resume online when you filled out all the information for the job bank and you had no clue until you got that phone call that you “just so happened” to answer without knowing who it was. What would you do? Would you be open and willing to at least talk to the person on the other end … even though it wasn’t in your plan? Would you be willing to “change course” and see what they had to say/what they had to offer you? Would you realize perhaps this was a blessing from God you hadn’t fully considered receiving yet? Would you revise your own plan and be open to a new plan – a new vision? Hopefully (and prayerfully) you would … otherwise, it’s possible you may miss making the change that could be needed … the change that could lead to a new destiny for you … a new blessing for you to grow in the grace and knowledge of God … into the knowledge of how much of a loving and gracious God we have the privilege of knowing personally. Remember, when God tells us a revision is needed to our original plan, we can trust that His plans are always good and always better than anything we could have dreamed up ourselves!

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Are you prepared? (a Timeless Truths blog post)

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Life happens. In all of it’s craziness … in all of its ups and downs … life happens. Because of this, many people know it’s wise to be prepared. Whether it’s packing extra diapers and clothes in the diaper bag before leaving the house to go on a trip, getting gas for a snowblower before a predicted major snowstorm, stocking up on toilet paper when there’s word it may be in short supply, or making sure your first aid kit is ready to go in case of a medical emergency, wisdom tells us we need to do these things so we will be prepared … whatever may come our way. What some people may not have thought of, however, is the importance of being prepared in a less obvious, less visible, less tangible way … being prepared to give an answer for the hope they have found in a relationship with Christ.

1 Peter 3:15, 16 says, “Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience…” (NIV) The truth is, we always need to be ready … we always need to be prepared … in every season of our lives. As we go about “life” we will undoubtedly find ourselves in situations we didn’t plan … situations that are actually opportunities given to us to see what we will do with them. Will we be ready to share our hope with others? Will we be willing to do so? Will we be willing to be honest and transparent so that we can relate to others on whatever level they are currently at? Will we make the most of every opportunity, knowing in our hearts that we may only get “one shot” at speaking God’s love, truth, and encouragement into someone else’s life? If we want to share with others we first need to make sure we’re prepared. How do I do that? you may ask. Well, how do you prepare for other things? You anticipate what may be needed and you use wisdom to gather those things together so you’ll have them on hand when the predicted need arises. In the same way, if you anticipate coming into contact with someone who may be hurting and who may need a word of encouragement, a good way to prepare for that anticipated need would be to “fill yourself up” with encouragement in your own heart. Whether it be reading the Bible, listening to praise and worship music, listening to a sermon, praying and getting into God’s presence as you seek Him with all your heart, or any number of other things that may help you, personally, to get “filled up” yourself, in so doing you’ll have what is needed when the opportunity comes to let yourself be “squeezed out” and share what’s already in your heart. So, the next time you find yourself in the grocery store, the hardware store, or any other place we’re “allowed” to go nowadays (with social distancing of course), make sure you’re prepared. It may take a little ingenuity to speak to someone from 6 feet away, but it can be done. If God opens the door of opportunity for you to share the hope He’s given you, being prepared ahead of time ensures you’ll be able to make the most of that opportunity. Remember, you may only get that one shot to make an eternal impact on another person’s soul … so be ready.

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Courage over Corona

https://www.facebook.com/cchurch11a/videos/611221929432695          

Be encouraged!!!

got life?

got life jpg
Can you relate to Trevor?  Has something happened in your life that’s left you feeling angry, bitter, and resentful?  Something that’s left you feeling like giving up on life?  Do you want to find out what happened with Trevor that caused him to have a complete turnaround … a complete new life?                     Then this book is for you!

 

Note: (Even though this is Book 2 of a series it can still be read on its own)

 

My Journey with God has a new look! Check it out!!!

Check out My Journey with God … now with a new look! This is a book filled with stories of my own personal experiences in discovering God’s love as I built a relationship with Him … both in the good times as well as the more challenging times.  As you read you’ll be encouraged in knowing you’re not alone … there is someone out there who can relate to what you’re going through … right now… as you travel your own journey.

 

When God closes a door He opens a window

Transition periods are not fun. However, when God gives you a new perspective, everything changes. Your spirit goes from feeling down and depressed to uplifted and hopeful. Such is the case with me at this stage of my life.

As I was in the process of finishing up writing Whispers to the soul, I was sensing in my own spirit that it was time for me to retire from writing books and “just” maintain a blog on my new website to keep the books “alive” to the public. I didn’t know what I would write on the blog – just that I was going to need to write “something” at least periodically. After all, I had done all the work writing all those books … and I didn’t want them to just fade away. I still wanted people to know they existed. I still wanted people to buy them. To read them. (Even if they only read sample chapters from them … even that would be fine with me … at least that would be something to know that my efforts weren’t all in vain.)

Then came this morning. I read a devotional and, after pondering it, God gave me a new perspective on my whole situation.

It wasn’t that I was going to be “just” writing a blog to keep my books alive. It wasn’t that I was going to be “stagnant” or going backwards or that I was going to have to try to come up with something more to write about the books that were already “out there” when there was really nothing left to write about. No. Instead, it was that I was actually going to be going forward. I was actually going to be allowed the privilege of writing a blog. I was actually being trusted by God to let the Holy Spirit lead me and guide me in knowing what to write and when and how … it was like a revelation. It was like God had trusted me to write all those books for Him, and now He was trusting me to take this next step of faith into the unknown – not knowing what the blog would look like, not knowing what exactly I would be writing about or how often… or, really, much of anything for specifics … just that this is what God was leading me to do next … for Him.

Then, realizing that it wasn’t really about keeping the books “alive” like I had originally thought. No. It was really about keeping my “voice” alive – about keeping the voice of all that the Holy Spirit put into me that needed to be shared with others alive. About continuing to let the Lord speak through me whatever He put on my heart to speak … just like with the books, but now, with the blog. But now, without all the pressure that comes with writing books and everything that goes along with it. But now, with freedom … freedom to just “speak.”

And so, here I go – just speaking what’s in my heart on this day – being led by the Holy Spirit to share my story with you in hopes that it will somehow inspire you to see things from a different perspective than you may have seen it before – a perspective that leads to you feeling the way I feel now – hopeful, nervous, and excited all at the same time. Not knowing what God has in store, but knowing – since it’s God – it’s gotta be something good.

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