Water for kids #8 (Victory)

Last Sunday, on October 20, 2019, in the very cold morning and very warm near noon, Jeremy ran and I walked 13.1 miles. Jeremy’s time was 2 hours and 49 minutes and 34 seconds, my time was 4 hours and 41 minutes and 20 seconds. “Our whole bodies hurt” is, of course, an understatement. But we were happy that we finished.

Thank you for praying, thank you for reading, thank you for giving. Over $600,000 dollars was raised by Team World Vision as a whole during the Metro Health Grand Rapids Marathon. And over 13,000 kids will get clean water in their village and be able to go to school and lift themselves out of poverty.

I raised with your help, and the help of my wife putting out a Facebook plea during the marathon, around $500. That is 10 kids lives changed that is directly attributed to you. Thank you.

And so, it is over.

Or is it?

The day before the half-marathon I signed up for next year. The wisdom of which I challenged the next day during the middle of the half-marathon :>)

I hate to ask people for money, even for worthy causes. So, this year I asked through WordPress and Facebook, because it was emotionally safer. Over the next 52 weeks I am going to ask you to put $1, $2 or $5 a week towards the lives of kids you may never meet, and for water you may never drink . . . this side of heaven.

Mathew 25:34-40, NASB95

“Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed of My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world. ‘For I was hungry, and you gave Me something to eat; I was thirsty, and you gave Me something to drink; I was a stranger, and you invited Me in; naked, and you clothed Me; I was sick, and you visited Me; I was in prison, and you came to Me.’ “Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, and feed You, or thirsty, and give You something to drink? ‘And when did we see You a stranger, and invite You in, or naked, and clothe You? ‘When did we see You sick, or in prison, and come to You?’ “The King will answer and say to them, ‘Truly I say to you, to the extent that you did it to one of these brothers of Mine, even the least of them, you did it to Me.’

Again, it’s your money, it’s your choice, and there is absolutely no pressure.

But I find fun in giving.

If you want to help kids next year, you may want to get a jar or envelope or something to separate the money, and put a few dollars away each week. That way it will be easy to give next year.

Who doesn’t Jesus love?

Jesus loves the mentally ill.
Jesus loves the mentally healthy.
Jesus loves those in a one-man, one-woman married relationship.
Jesus loves those who are not.
Jesus loves the scrupulously honest.
Jesus loves those who tell black, white and various-shades-of-grey lies.
Jesus loves the doctor who ends the life of an unborn person.
Jesus loves that unborn person.
Jesus loves that unborn person’s mother.
Jesus loves the person who believes they were predestined to be saved.
Jesus loves the person who believes they were not.
Jesus loves Muslims, Buddhists, Hindus, Catholics, Protestants and all religious people.
Jesus loves the person that believes there is no God.
Jesus loves the person who rejects Him.
Jesus loves the person who commits the unforgivable sin.

Jesus loves ALL people just the way they are.
And ALL need Him.
Even me. Even you.
And ALL can choose to receive Him as Savior, Lord and Friend.
If they are willing to turn away from their evil attitudes and actions WITH JESUS’ HELP.
And trust Jesus to forgive their evil attitudes and actions.
And trust Jesus to give them His Resurrection Life.

Sometimes the Pastor is wrong…

Have you ever heard a Pastor say that if you only had enough faith you wouldn’t have depression? Or if you didn’t have unconfessed sin in your life God would heal you?

In the following account of a man who was suffering, Jesus doesn’t blame the man for having sin. He doesn’t even require the man have faith to be healed. Read it and see if you can tell whose faith Jesus rewarded.

Mark 2:3–5 (NASB95)

3 And they *came, bringing to [Jesus] a paralytic, carried by four men.

4 Being unable to get to Him because of the crowd, they removed the roof above Him; and when they had dug an opening, they let down the pallet on which the paralytic was lying.

5 And Jesus seeing their faith *said to the paralytic, “Son, your sins are forgiven.”

Jesus saw their faith; not his (the paralytic’s) faith. The man had some LOVING FRIENDS who asked Jesus to heal their friend and Jesus did.

Mark 2:9–12 (NASB95)

9 “Which is easier, to say to the paralytic, ‘Your sins are forgiven’; or to say, ‘Get up, and pick up your pallet and walk’?

10 “But so that you may know that the Son of Man has authority on earth to forgive sins”—He *said to the paralytic,

11 “I say to you, get up, pick up your pallet and go home.”

12 And he got up and immediately picked up the pallet and went out in the sight of everyone, so that they were all amazed and were glorifying God, saying, “We have never seen anything like this.”

Jesus doesn’t criticize, he heals. He doesn’t judge, he forgives. He doesn’t demand, he supplies.

Jesus gave me mental illness, and I have asked him to heal me. He has chosen not to. Except through medications. And I am grateful for those medications. I believe he is using me just as he wants to, warts, mental illness and all. But I would invite you to ask him to heal you. And if you have loving friends ask them to pray on your behalf.

In my case, His best is continued mental illness with the purpose of using it to win the mentally ill to Him. And I am eternally grateful he is allowing me to do this. I am having more fun sharing Jesus’ love than I would doing anything else. And Jesus, restoring me to sanity, using meds and His Holy Spirit in me, is enough of a miracle to give people hope He will love them too.

Can I really let go and let God?

Aaron taught a great lesson at Celebrate Recovery last Monday. The concept he taught me was: I am to stop striving to change my faults and let Jesus do it. Or, (Something I dismissed many years ago as being too easy to be true): Let go, and let God.

I first heard it from an older female member of our Bible study group in the late 1980’s. I dismissed her as being too old to know anything (She was about my age now). Of course I was a sexist, and an elderist, and I didn’t know enough to know I didn’t know enough.

So a whole new freedom is opening up. I can stop the unwinnable war of trying to change myself in my own strength.

Jesus, lead me!

I seek what I love and I find what I seek

If I give money to the poor, and I do it in a way to seek the praise of men, I will find what I seek.

If I am reviled and persecuted by men, because that is what I sought, I prove I will find what I seek.

If I love someone with the love of Jesus, and they revile and persecute me, they do so because they desperately need Jesus but are rejecting Him because they are hurting in some way. I continue to love them, as does Jesus. And if that person realizes that God’s love, through me, is not extinguished by rejection, they may dare to hope that God’s love is real, unconditional, and offered freely to them. They might reach out to Jesus and find Him. And He will heal them.

I am flawed, and without merit. But see I Jesus working in me. He will work in you as well

“UNPLANNED (R)”

Every mother who decides to end her pregnancy is still deeply loved by God; just as every mother who bears her child is deeply loved by God. Both desperately need the love and care of Jesus; who died for both of them (or rather, all four of them).

The movie UNPLANNED (R) is the true story of a real woman’s journey concerning abortion. She said she was lied to by Planned Parenthood (R) and when she discovered the truth… it changed everything.

This Thursday March 28th at 7:20 pm at Celebration! Cinema (R) South and Celebration! Cinema (R) Rivertown Crossing, UNPLANNED (R) will offer truth, love and Jesus, to anyone who is willing to see, hear, and understand.

(I have no relationship with UNPLANNED (R) or Celebration! Cinema
(R) and the opinions expressed are my own and not necessarily theirs).

Overflow of reading the first half dozen Psalms

O Jesus, you are more faithful to me than I am to myself.
You alone care about me,
You alone care for me.
Though I or they speak a thousand lies as truth,
Your words alone will stand.
Come quickly to me
or I will fall.
Come quickly to me
or they will dishonor Your Name.
Vindicate me O Jesus
for Your Name’s sake.
Then I will stand and not be shaken.
Then they will know that You are God!