Posts Tagged ‘God’

Over the weekend, a small group of guys and a staff member had gone to Guymon, OK to do a couple of storefronts for fund raising purposes. While they were there they met up with a gentleman that had come through the Teen Challenge center that I work at. Jack (not his real name) didn’t graduate as he decided to leave early.

Jack invited them to go out to dinner. While there, he told them some of the things that had happened to him after he left the program. Jack told them that he had to go jail for 30 days for not completing the program. While he was there, he had the opportunity to witness to a gentleman. This gentleman that he was witnessing to had come to the Lord. They both read the Bible everyday.

Jack was also able to go to his mother’s grave and forgive her for what she had done to him. Jack was also for the first time in a long time, able to call her MOM. That is the power of God in Jack’s life.

I don’t often hear stories like this. It is good to hear that while a student leaves early it doesn’t mean that they didn’t get anything. Sometimes, God puts a person only for short time and not for the full time that they agreed with when they enter the program. The successes are less if they don’t go through the whole program. But every once in a while stories like this do happen.

When I was at Cape Girardeau, MO a similar thing happened. During the apple picking season the police showed up to pick up one of the other guys. Before I go on let me relate to you how this came about.

The students that come into Teen Challenge are usually here for one of three things. Bear in mind that it is not a program for just teenagers. Men and Women also need help. Anyway, the students come in for one of three different reasons. They are family ordered, court ordered (which is not our program), or they are wife ordered.

This guy had come in due to court related issues. So to make sure that his PO knew where he was at, he wrote him a letter saying that he was in the Misssouri Teen Challenge. Which, then meant that his PO sent the police for violation of his parole by leaving the state he was supposed to be in.

Anyway, Dave (not real name) was picked up by the police while he was out picking apples. The whole time he had a peace about having to go to jail. While he was there, Dave witnessed to every person that they put in the cell with him.

He had a “revolving door” for the cell that he was in. Every day he had a cell mate. Every day that person was gotten and another person was brought in. The last guy that was brought to that cell, came to the saving knowledge of Christ.  Dave had to go to jail in order to witness to this guy. God had tested him to make sure that he would do so with others that came in before the “main event”.

Dave was brought back after that. He said that the whole time he was feeling peaceful about where he was at. He also knew when he was going to return to the center. He knew that he had to go jail for a week for just that one moment.

What is the moral of both of these incidents. It doesn’t matter what happens. If you are in God’s will, He will cause good things to happen when it seems that things are going south.

Both of these men followed this command of Jesus:

Mark 16:15 And He said to them, “Go into all the world and preach the gospel to every creature.”

Romans 8:28 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.

Normally, before I go to the center, I go to the post office to get any mail that is there. I get there and get the mail, close the box and then head back to the center. This was close to 12:40 in the afternoon. Now I am not going to say that i am slow, but it took a while for me to realize that I did not have my keys. I noticed this between 6 and 7.

Well after looking in all the usual places. That is in my jacket pockets and in the front pockets of my jeans. In my room at the cabin. In all the offices that I stepped into. All with the same results. They were not there.

At about 8 this evening that is when I remembered that there was one place I hadn’t checked yet. The post office. As there was a coworker here at the time, I decided to go check the post office. Yes, yes. The post office is closed this time of night. Well this po has boxes and that part they have been leaving open again, recently. So I get there and walk into the lobby and thought, “You have got to be kidding.”

The very things that I was hoping were going to be there, were. The keys were still in the PO box. Either people just didn’t see them or they were blinded when looking in that area. Needless to say, I felt relieved that I did not have to explain to my boss, that I had lost the keys. I have three words that fit this moment. “God is good.”

He is regarded as the most famous atheist in the world but last night Professor Richard Dawkins admitted he could not be sure that God does not exist.

To read the story click here.

Could he be getting closer to becoming a Christian?

One of the hardest things I have ever encountered is when someone turns their back on God. Hard because I have done what I could to make sure that they are learning about having a relationship with Christ. Hard because I know that it has nothing to do with me. They are turning their back on God.

I then have to believe that what I have been able to teach them is going to bear fruit. Isaiah 55:11 says:

So shall my word be that goeth forth out of my mouth:
It shall not return unto me void,
But it shall accomplish that which I please,
And it shall prosper in the thing whereto I sent it.

This means that what I have taught them or they have gotten from church or chapel will remain with them. And the word that they have received will eventually bear fruit.

I can only hope and pray that it will be sooner than later. Unfortunately some need to learn things the hard way. It is still tough to see someone walk away from God. Especially when we want to take it as they are pushing us away. It can be hard to remember that their problem is not with us, but with God.

It is amazing how some things work, especially in the ministry that I work for. So many times we try to do things because we know that no one will find out. We tend to put one of these up in our minds and believe that this will be enough to keep what we do private.

Sorry, this is for me and me alone

 But God has some things to say about things done in secret. He says that He will blast out the news of the hidden things when we do them in secret. He will bring them to light. (Mark 4:22 “For everthing that is hidden will eventually be brought into the open, and every secret will be brought to light.”

All too often we think that we can do things in secret when we are alone and it is okay.  At least to a degree. I say to a degree because technically, we are never alone. We have someone looking over our shoulder all the time. It doesn’t matter if we feel like we are doing anything wrong. But, if we are in ministry, that ministry after a time will suffer. If we help out in church, eventually we won’t want to do that. Why? When we do something that we know that God does not want us to do, He will step in if we continue on with it.

I have seen this before. I have said that I work for a ministry called Teen Challenge. I saw the effects of what one staff member was doing when he was by himself. Though no one knew what he was doing, it was still affecting the shifts that we worked. Things were becoming chaotic. When he admitted to what he was doing and was released from his part in the ministry, things seemed to calm down almost immediately.

Strange as this might sound, what is done in the physical world affects the spiritual and vice versa. When you work in ministry it can be felt and seen in a way that is hard to ignore. What we do will affect us in all areas of our lives no matter how good we hide what we are doing. Be careful what you do when you think you are alone. The Holy Spirit is looking over your shoulder. God will not let things go for too long before he steps in to deal with it.

We all have those areas that we want to hold on to and God will let us. But He will also bring these things to light if we don’t deal with them. Trust me when I say, it is easier to deal with them ourselves. It is much harder when God has to step in and deal with it Himself. It may be difficult either way, but why would we want to carry around baggage when we don’t have to.

First off, let me just say sorry about the last post that was sent out. It was done by mistake. This is the post that was supposed to be sent out.

Yes, yesterdays post was more of a fun thing. I received this in an email and thought “why not”. So I posted it. But then today, I started to think about what God’s Valentine to us really was.

You see, many of us have a valentine from God. We have it hid away, in a drawer or on a shelf. We don’t read, but we know that when we need to see it, it is close by. But for many of us we claim that we don’t need it. If we do have it out it just sits somewhere collecting dust.

Would we treat a letter from our loved ones this way? Would we keep an email unopened from our spouse or girl/boy friend? Or another family member? Of course not we would read it with joy. Knowing that while we read their words they have us on their minds. This letter or email makes us feel special.

We all like knowing that there is someone thinking about us all the time. Shoot, many of us are thinking about someone else all the time. Someone that has captured our hearts or whose heart we would like to capture. Yet we disregard a love letter to us of one who has us on His mind and heart all the time. He looks at the palms of His hand and sees a picture of you and me there. So what is this letter? The Bible.

God's love letter to the world

God's love letter

The Bible shows us the love that God has for us. The Bible shows us His devotion to us. God told us in His letter the depths He would go to “win” our love and devotion. He fights for us. He woos us to himself. He is our strong tower. He is our strength. He is our wisdom. He records all this in the Bible. He gave it to us, so that we can know what we need to about Him in order to love Him.

Instead, those He loves choose to ignore it and Him. Maybe we should take time now to read the greatest valentine that the world has ever seen or been given. Then we can get to know the One who would do whatever it takes or took to get our attention.

God’s Valentine

Posted: 02/08/2012 in Uncategorized
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