Making up for lost time!

So, it’s been awhile…. Writer’s block is a terrible thing to a writer, and one who enjoys writing!
Most of my blogs are about encouragement to Christians/Christ followers to empower them to “Press On” to “Stand Strong” and to “Be Courageous”!
It’s funny coming from a man who has struggled with depression for nearly all of his life and can only attribute the VICTORY from the struggle to the “Almighty God!”
I feel inspired today and getting away from my format a little, I just want to share a couple of things.
First off, when God wants to use you, and you tell Him,

“Here I am”
EXPECT the unexpected! And BE READY!!
I want to talk about Ephesians 6:5-18 for a minute:
Many recognize the following as the “Full Armor of God” or “the WHOLE Armor of God”, but I want to preface it with verses 5-10.

Which reads: “Slaves, obey your earthly masters with respect and fear, and with sincerity of heart, just as you would obey Christ. Obey them not only to win their favor when their eye is on you, but as slaves of Christ, doing the will of God from your heart. Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people, because you know that the Lord will reward each one for whatever good they do, whether they are slave or free.

And masters, treat your slaves in the same way. Do not threaten them, since you know that he who is both their Master and yours is in heaven, and there is no favoritism with him!!”

Be CHRIST to the CHRIST LESS!

Finally, BE STRONG IN THE LORD AND HIS MIGHTY POWER!!
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.

And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people.

Jesus died to give us eternal life, but more importantly, for those of us who have received His gift, to pass it on to the others that are CHRIST-LESS!

I have lived a life of addictions, abuse, anger, and avoidance.

When I realized the real life I could have in following the “King of Kings and the Lord of Lords”, I left the backpack of “guilt and shame” at the cross of the grace of Jesus!

I won’t go into it here, but as cliche’ as it sounds… when I found Jesus, my life changed! This isn’t some hocus pocus mumbo jumbo… I was as cynical as anyone could be… the “cynic of cynics” if you will!!

But, I took a chance… and watched the transformation take place in my life. Some people call it brainwashing, I call it sin-washing!!

I not only feel the presence of God in my life and soul. I walk with Jesus in a way that I have never experienced walking with ANYONE!!

Then, when I let Him know… “Here I am, Use me!!” He slowly and gently guided me into the path where I found my soul mate, and then slowly training her and I into the ministry that will ultimately lead more souls to Christ!

One example of a God instance is when we were called to a tiny church in Minerva. We were like…WHAT??!! So, we listened, and went.

Much to our dismay, we were asked to help out with the youth group once in awhile, you know adviser type stuff….

Because I specifically told God that working with kids was NOT my ministry!! Well, as we started helping, the leader at the time decided it wasn’t for her, so the pastor’s son came in to take the reins of “Youth Pastor”, until God called him somewhere else… then his brother, Darlene and I were told that we would “co-pastor” with each other.. giving Justin the voice that was welling up inside of him… so we all worked together for a little while… until he was taken, in a fire, in the basement of his home….

We stayed the constant presence in the youth group, despite all the changes that happened in just a short year. One of the last decisions Justin had a part in was helping a church in Detroit to do some outreach for a week… we took 4 stable Christian girls, leaders in our youth group…. and when we came back, the youth group had started taking on the shape that God had wanted all along… we watched the transition… we just played a part in it, but did NOTHING to change it…
We listened to God, and now we are the Youth Pastors, of a spiritually sound youth group… grounded on the foundation of Christ!!

No matter how tough it got, we stayed… and kids that would have left because there was no youth group became staples and helped to strengthen the body of Christ in their little youth group!!

It was amazing to watch!

I can’t tell you how many times… I lost my faith. Whether it be financial woes, cars breaking down, or anything to do with people… we tripped a couple of times… and stood the ground and God showed up, EACH and EVERY TIME!!

That’s not to say that there won’t be bad days. That’s not to say that things will be perfect…

But, putting on the FULL ARMOR of God, has strengthened us… forged our life with Him, and in turn, God has got the glory, and teens, adults, and kids were touched by the hand of God…

Simply because we said, like Abraham… send me…knowing not where we are going… only on the promises of God and His Holy Word!!

And God said Go! And we went! And our lives are forever changed!

So, stop doubting, start trusting the God of fulfilled promises.. let Him guide you, and let Him pave the broken road, let Him fill in the gaps, let Him smooth out the cracks!!

And you will be forever blessed and changed!!

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