He Found Me

I have heard people say that this Christianity thing is a crutch, that it’s for weak people.

I say that they are right.

It is for the weak. For the weary. For the heart broken. I know this first hand. I was one of those weak, weary, heart broken people.

When I was at my lowest point, in my deepest despair…He found me. He strengthened me, healed my broken heart, and gave me a peace beyond understanding. For that I will forever be grateful.

So…call me weak…that’s ok…I will call me LOVED!

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An Unexpected Journey / Confessions of a Professional Christian

The following is an article originally posted to PerennialProdigal.com

Early April 2007, while in prayer, I felt that God impressed upon me “Start preparing for what I have for you!” I was almost giddy with excitement and hopeful expectation.

I already had what most aspiring ministers and some tech geeks would call a “dream job”. I was the Worship Pastor at a mega-church in the Greater Houston Metropolitan area, and also in charge of creative video production. Pretty cool right? Yeah…..it was…a little. But, you see…things had been tough at work for about seven months or so. Really tough.

So, as you can see, what I felt God whispered to me in prayer was awesome. I just knew that things were about to get better, and I was ready for it.

Easter rolled around and it was awesome! We had prepared an awesome program, arranged and performed some amazing songs. The band and Worship team were in top form. As a special presentation, I sang an old Third Day song along with a video presentation that was very moving.  The audience was engaged, moved with emotion, that was what it was all about. All four weekend services went off without a hitch. Now we could relax a little. I took a much needed vacation the following weekend.

Upon returning from vacation, I was re-energized and ready to conquer the world…and ran slam into a brick wall. Difficult church staff meetings and tense closed door sessions with superiors, left me bewildered, hurt and confused.

Wednesday,. May 23rd 2007, I pulled into the church parking lot heading into work. The weekend services had been really good. Tuesday’s staff meeting had been difficult…again. But I was determined that today would be different. I had determined that I would try very hard to not rock the boat.

Upon getting out of my car, grabbing my laptop and brief case, I saw the senior pastor about to walk up the stairs to his second floor office. We exchanged pleasantries, as we always did, and he said, “why don’t you drop your stuff off at your office, grab a cup of coffee, and come up and let’s visit”. We had done this many times. We’ve known each other for well over ten years, most of which had been spent together on staff. Usually we would talk about a lot of nothing. He would ask about the family, I would ask about his kids. We would laugh about the latest joke or funny story we had heard. Sometimes we would talk 70’s rock music, because…we all know it was the last great era of rock and roll music. Most all of the time we would get around to talking about ministry and what God was doing in our church.

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Follow Jesus, Not the Crowd

Perhaps the most simplistic, yet profound advice I have ever read, came in the form of the following short tweet by author and pastor Jarrid Wilson who simply stated…”Follow Jesus, not the crowd”

Standing AloneMy thoughts are this….

Jesus is steadfast, unwavering….crowds are fickle and prone to wander.

Jesus is eternal truth….crowds spout the rhetoric of the latest trend.

Jesus is Mercy and Grace….(most) crowds attribute grace and mercy as a sign of weakness.

Jesus is Peace and Love….crowds will suffer violence in the elusive search for the same.

The answer is simple….yet so hard for most to comprehend!

But…it takes courage to follow Jesus.

It will sometimes require you to stand apart from everyone else. It will require you to completely trust in God, to hear and follow what He is speaking to you. It will require you to speak what is not popular. It will require you to love those who are not part of the “in” crowd. It will require you to move outside of yourself to care for those around you. But, the benefits far outweigh what is required.

Follow Jesus, Not the Crowd!

Reposted from www.perennialprodigal.com #perennialprodigal

15 Things Jesus Didn’t Say

Jim Palmer

 

shamegirl

15 things Jesus Didn’t Say:

“For God was so disgusted with the world and you that he gave his one and only Son.”

“I have come to bring you a new religion.”

“By this all men will know that you are my disciples, if you have correct theology.”

“If anyone would come after me, let him disparage all other religions and their followers.”

“If you love me, you will regularly attend a church of your choice… within reason.”

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Relevant Christian Celebrates 6 Years!

Relevant Christian posted it’s first post on February 26th, 2007 entitled Rebel, or Progressive Thinker?, and at today’s count, have had over 316 posts, well over 261,000 visitors, and 1,890 published comments.

The purpose behind Relevant Christian was born out of a growing uneasiness about the state of Christianity, and a desire to start people thinking, or maybe even start a conversation. While it was not our purposeful intention to be controversial, we have at times, definitely succeeded in being so.

Our most popular post to date, “What Does the Bible Say About Tattoos?”, has been viewed 115,910 times, and was written by a very good friend and pastor Timmy Gibson.

We have had the pleasure of having some great contributors to Relevant Christian, and I would like to say thank you to those who have contributed (no pun intended) to the success of Relevant Christian.

Timmy Gibson
Joe Martino
Bill Reichart
Dave Anderson
Chris Elrod
Justin Heibert
Joel Johnson
Tracey Eldridge
Heather
Shane Anderson
Stephen McDonald

…oh yeah….Me and one or two others that I may have neglected to mention…and of course those that have written guest posts from time to time….Thank You!

It has been an exciting journey…so far!

Unshakable Hope

I had a vivid dream last night –  In this dream I was completely healed and whole.

The dream began with me simply stepping out of bed, which is something I haven’t been able to do in over 15 years. I could walk, talk, eat, dress myself and do everything else that I was once able to do. Mary and I were so excited that we began calling all of our family and friends and then we began visiting people at their homes and offices (Mary drove the car because I don’t have a driver’s license and the only thing I’ve driven in last 15 years is a wheelchair).

The dream was so real-to-life that I was telling Mary all the places I wanted to travel to and all the restaurants I wanted to try. I was even making practical plans like getting a driver’s license and making an appointment…

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Three One Six

Struggles, doubt, fear, anxiety, troubles, worry….all can cripple us from discovering an incredible freedom. A freedom that is waiting just beyond all of the distractions, just outside of the noise that surrounds us. A freedom that we catch occasional glimpses of while peering through windows darkened and shadowed by stress and worry. A freedom that at times seems so unreachable while traversing through the haze of addiction. Yet it’s there…we know it…we feel it….we hope….it has to be there.
It is there…He is there…
Have you met Him? He is waiting for you! His name is Jesus….He is freedom!

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