The Good News!

 

 

The Good News of the Gospel is that Jesus is alive!  He has risen from the dead.  He allowed for Himself to be crucified on a cross of suffering for the sins of ALL men.  Our part?  To confess our sins, repent from our wicked ways, and turn to Him so that we may be saved.  God's word says in Romans 10:10 that if we confess with our mouths that Jesus is Lord, and believe that God raised Him (Jesus) from the dead, that we will be saved.   (Also good news!)

Jesus is God in human form come down to the earth to share in our sufferings, to experience our lives, to become the blameless and spotless Lamb of God — to take on the sins of all men so that we might be saved and come to relationship with our Father in Heaven. He is 100% God and 100% Man — can you wrap your brain around this?  Probably not, but you don't need to. 

I saw yet another celebrity death in the news today.  Billy Mays (Oxyclean guy), then there was Michael Jackson, Farrah Fawcett, Ed McMahon.  The deaths of people who are so publicly known causes me to question my own mortality.  When will it be my time?  Only God knows the days that I have here on this earth.  As a Believer, God knows the time and the ways of the remainder of my days here.  I don't want to waste them, knowing that I could have told yet someone else about our Lord and Savior — so that they too may be saved.

Jesus says in the book of John that NO ONE can come to the Father except through Him (Jesus) — and that is confessing with our mouths that He is Lord, and believed that God raised Him from the dead — then we will be saved.  There are not many paths to get to heaven.  There is but only one, and that path is narrow.  The gate to hell is wide, and many are heading down that path. 

You have a choice to make — do you choose LIFE (eternal life with Jesus Christ) or DEATH (eternal hell and destruction, where there will be weaping and gnashing of teeth)?  Some would say that God is a mean God for sending people to hell.  The REAL truth is, He doesn't SEND them — they choose it, by NOT choosing Him.  Hell was not made for humans — it was made for satan and his minions of demons – that is why God sent His Son Jesus Christ — to die on the cross, once and for all, for the sins of all of man kind. 

God's word also goes on to say that Jesus did not come to condemn the world — HE CAME TO SAVE IT!  So what will you choose today?  By not choosing Christ, you have made your choice.  Don't wait until its too late.  Don't wait until you're on your death bed.  Don't wait another minute, another second.  Choose Jesus Christ today, and be saved, and know without a shadow of a doubt of where you are going.

Once you make that choice though, you must realize you have to give up the sinful life you are leading.  It won't always be easy, but God's word also says that all have sinned and all have fallen short of the glory of God, but if we confess our sins before our Heavenly Father He is faithful and JUST to forgive us of our sins.  THIS is good news people!  As Christ followers, we don't have to have it altogether — we need to do our absolute best that we can, this is where God's grace comes in.  When we stumble — get back up, dust off, and keep moving forward.  Confess, repent, ask forgiveness, give forgiveness, love God with all your heart, soul and mind, love your neighbor as yourself (and yes, this even means your ex-husband or wife!). 

Watch the video to see what Jesus did for you — so that you CAN have a relationship and eternal life, and forgiveness from your sins.  When we become new in Christ, we become a new creation — all old things have passed away, and all things are made new!  (God's word says this also).  I IMPLORE OF YOU — I BEG OF YOU — choose LIFE in Jesus Christ today!  Don't wait another day.  God bless you in His Precious Holy Name — Michele

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Isla Capri

Hello there to all my fabulous praying friends in "vox world".  I just wanted to send out a prayer request for one of our dear and newest family members.  Isla Capri was born over the weekend, and she has some type of infection that is interferring with her breathing.  She is currently at Children's Hospital.  Here is a link to her caring bridge web site if you want to leave a note of prayer for her.   We have heard that she is quite a fighter — and we know that the Lord loves this little sweet girl of His.  Please pray for her.  Thanks so much!  With Love, Michele & Joe http://www.caringbridge.org/visit/islacotterill  

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Interesting Meeting

 

I had an interesting meeting the other day.  I was driving back from Seattle after my doctor's appointment, and decided that I wanted to stop on Mercer Island because I'd never been there before.  It was 10 am, and a beautiful morning already.  I had my back pack with my water, and a good book to read.  I started off for a park.  I passed by two, and before the third one I asked the Lord where I should go and decided to stop at the third one I came to.  It was completely empty.  What more could I ask for? 

I walked down to the park, which was on Lake Washington and absolutely beautiful.  It was quiet and peaceful.  There were ducks and very few boats out on the water.  Gradually more people began to show up.  I layed my blankie out and plopped myself in the sun, and began to read my book.  Then I notice this man coming down the walk way carrying a huge floaty thing, and listening to some type of pod cast on his blackberry.  He made me laugh because he went and sat down on a bench and began blowing up this HUGE floatie, but not with a device.  He was using his own mouth to blow it up.  When I say this floatie was huge, it was HUGE. 

I continued to read my book, flipped over to the other side so that I would get evenly browned.  Then he decides to walk over and ask me if I had ever listened to this teacher he was listening to.  I told him I hadn't, and had never heard of the guy.  I asked him what this guy taught.  He said he's a pastor, are you into that sort of thing?  I said yes I believe in Jesus Christ. 

There were a lot of people around at this point so I didn't feel uncomfortable talking to him.  He began telling me that I could have a great life if I would just listen to this teacher, or that teacher, etc.  I told him that I did have a great life, but it wasn't a result of any teacher here on earth — it was solely because of Jesus Christ.  I don't place my faith in any teachers.  I will listen to them, glean what I can, and put my faith in Jesus and Jesus only.  He couldn't understand what I was talking about.  I know his heart was in the right place, but just slightly skewed. 

He told me that he thought that he had been sent there to get me back on track, and listening to these certain teachers and kept saying if I would listen to these teachers I could have a great life.  I explained to this man that what I found, unfortunately, when I was listening to these certain teachers he was talking of, I found that it caused me to carry a burden that I was never meant to carry.  I was reading all these books, trying to do all these things, pray the right thing, do the right thing, etc., and getting worn down in the process and very burdened, and felt very heavy.

He then tells me again that he believed that the Lord sent him there for me — to get me back on track.  I very gently asked him, "do you think maybe the Lord sent me here for you?"  I told him that since I quit listening to those teachers that I've found a greater peace than I had before.  He told me that was a lie from the enemy.  I sighed.  I asked him if he ever read his bible.  You can guess his answer.  (No) — but then he goes on to tell me that one of these teachers he said I should listen to said that even she hasn't read the whole bible.  I told him that I found that disturbing, and asked him why he didn't find that disturbing.  Someone on television, supposed to be a Christian, teaching the word of God,has been a Christian for many years, and is leading others — and she says that even she hasn't read the bible.  I found that hard to believe, but even if it was true, that's not a good thing. 

I told this man that in all my strivings of reading this book, or that book, or working on this issue or that issue, I finally one day looked up and said to the Lord, "it shouldn't be this hard to have a relationship with You."  In His gentle, quiet, still voice, He replied "it's not."  I put all those books away, and focused solely on the Word.  You see, its not up to me to hold the world in my hands, that's His job.  Again, when the disciples asked Jesus how to pray, Jesus gave them a simple outline.  It's not hard.  God — Your will be done. (Matthew 6:6-13) 

It's been a journey to let go of some of these bad teachings that I read because I can't help but think "maybe it was something I did, or didn't do, or I didn't pray it the right way….." etc.  Just because we follow Jesus doesn't mean that everything is going to be perfect, or that we're going to have our "best life now" because sometimes life is tough, but what we need to remember is that God is faithful.

A dear friend pointed me to Psalms 25 this morning.  In the study notes in my NIV bible, it stated "Adversity in our lives is not necessarily a sign of God's disfavor.  Knowing God and His ways may lead us into suffering and loss that we would not have otherwise encountered.  The ultimate example of this truth is Jesus Himself, who followed God's will perfectly, yet suffered sorrow, betrayal and the cross.  The believer, abiding in God's will, must expect the same."   (Matt. 10:24)

There is no magic formula for having a relationship with our Creator.  Absolutely we can and should pray and do things as He leads, but above all else, we should want His will to be done in our lives. 

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Missionary/Mission Fields of Snohomish County and Beyond

When we hear the word "missionary" the thoughts that may come to mind are going to foreign lands – Mexico, India, Africa, China, etc, but here in the United States is a very large mission field.  There still are many, for whatever reason, have never heard the good news of Jesus Christ, or have chosen to refuse to hear it for whatever reason.  Look for open doors and opportunities every place you go — grocery stores, banks, churches (yes unsaved people go there too!), parks, beaches, etc.  The list is endless.

Don't fear speaking up and talking to someone about the Lord.  The Lord will make the way for the conversation.  Don't think that the person has to be saved on the spot.  You may just be one of many along this person's journey to coming to know the Lord.  I know there were many along my journey who faithfully planted seeds in my life.

It doesn't have to be extravagant and scripture filled.  It can be a simple hello and look the person in the eyes (and mean it), and ask them "how are you?"  You will be so surprised how many people will open up and really tell you how they are.  Here's a hint – this is an open door for an opportunity to share the love of God.  The Lord will bring many hurting people to you, and you can have opportunities to minister if you allow it.  One thing I have found is that never has any person ever refused to be allowed to be prayed for.  Listen to their story, and then bring comfort, and offer to pray with them.  If they don't feel comfortable with that  — just tell them you will pray for them, and do it.  Pray that the Lord will get them where they need to go.  God knows what is best for them, and what it will take for them to hear the good news — trust Him for the results. 

Remember, we are not the Savior.  Our job is to point them to the Savior.  Off of us, and onto Him.  I know me personally, without the Lord I'm a pile of crap.  Seriously.  With everything that I've done over my lifetime prior to Christ, I don't deserve the life that He has given me today, but He is so full of mercy and grace that He loved me right where I was at — and continued to love me and care for me (through His word and through people), that I came to know Him and His saving grace for me.

Okay, there's my pep talk for the day — now get out there and be missionaries!  Go on!  Don't be afraid.  You don't have to come up with the words yourself — ask Him for His words, His love, His compassion.  You just need to be available.  That's it — and in the words of the Nike commercial "just do it!"

Blessings and love to you today. Phil 4:13 "I can do all things through Christ who gives me strength."

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What To Do With Water Bottles?

(I first posted this on July 31, 2008, felt the need to re-post it again) 

Hmmmm?  You say?  For the last few years whenever I see a homeless person standing there with a sign, I would have various things run through my head, as I'm sure most people do.  Well, the Lord began doing a work in my heart for these hurting people because I realized (through the Lord) that I could very easily be one of them.  I don't know how or why they ended up there, and right now they could be in God's will.  Who are we to know or judge?  Look at the life of Job. 

So recently, as I was driving down the road, pondering, thinking, and talking to the Lord, He gave me a brilliant idea.  Water bottles! 

He gave me two scripture to attach to the water bottles.  It is John 4:14-15 "but whoever drinks of the water that I shall give him will never thirst.  But the water that I shall give him will become in him a fountain of water springing up into everlasting life."  –Jesus Christ.  The other scripture is the scripture known as the salvation scripture.  It is Romans 10:11 "As the Scripture says, "Anyone who trusts in Him will never be put to shame."  That 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." 

The Lord told me to put these two scriptures on some little tag cards, and attach them to the water bottle.  I also wanted to be able to offer some nourishment, and would take a rubber band add the scripture card and a granola bar.  I began handing them out to every person that would stand out any place with a sign asking for money.  I would pray prior to giving a bottle, and would say something the Lord would tell me to say, find out their name and tell them I would be praying for them.  And then I would pray for them every time the Lord prompted me.

I have wanted to share this with others because I think that this is a great way to get the message of Christ out there because many of these people may never set foot in a church.  Joe and I also pray over the scripture cards, and ask the Lord to bless the person receiving it and to guide them where they should go (meaning a church).  To us it didn't matter what church they attended, just that they would come to know Christ.  God knows where they should be, and He'll get them right where they need to go. 

The reason I haven't shared it with others is because I didn't want to feel like I was bragging on myself in any way, but I believe that is a lie from the enemy.  I am sharing it with others so that you too can offer a bottle of water to anyone the Lord prompts you to, and share the message of Jesus Christ.  The Lord hasn't just prompted me to give them to just those with signs, He has actually had me give them to many others, and although I would be by myself and scared to death, I would do it — even when as I was walking away they would laugh at me.  

There is an entire world going to hell in a bucket, and they think their enjoying the ride.  We must go out into the world as the disciples did, and get the message of Christ out to anyone and everyone.  Our duty is to be obedient to the Lord in all things, not just the things that will benefit us.  Living a life of complete surrender is so challenging and so rewarding.  My prayer is that this "ministry" will be picked up by the multitudes, and that many will come to know Christ in a great and mighty way.  God bless you today. 

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