Surf to: http://www.freshc.org for a Fresh Connection…
For more GodSpots – 37stories Enjoy!
Surf to: http://www.freshc.org for a Fresh Connection…
For more GodSpots – 37stories Enjoy!
A while back, three o’clock in the afternoon, a couple guys were on their way to church for prayer meeting. At the same time there was a man crippled from birth being carried up. Every day he was set on the curb, to beg from those going into church. When he saw the guys about to enter, he asked for a handout. They looked him straight in the eye and said, “Look here.” He looked up, expecting to get something from them.
One guy said, “I don’t have a nickel to my name, but what I do have, I give you: In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk!” He grabbed him by the right hand and pulled him up. In an instant his feet and ankles became firm. He jumped to his feet and walked.
The cripple went into the church with them, walking back and forth, dancing and praising God. Everybody there saw him walking around and praising God. They recognized him as the one who sat begging on the curb and rubbed their eyes, astonished, scarcely believing what they were seeing.
Wished I’d been there. Maybe on the bus…
Guest post by Greg Coplen (originally on Greg’s facebook). He issues a challenge:
I think that Jeff Harris did a series entitled something like “What’s your story” recently so I may be stealing the title from him.
People are inspired and moved by life-change. Seeing someone else rise from the ashes makes us want to do the same.
I’ve heard that any good testimony has three parts: What life was like, What happened, What life is like now. Many of you know my story, but I’m going to give another brief run-down for reasons that will become clear later.
What life was like:
My life was in shambles. It had started out well enough. I started in full-time ministry back when I was 24 years old as a Music Director at a local church. Through the years though my alcoholism, which I had been fighting since my late teens, began to overtake anything and everything that I deemed important until it finally overtook me. By the time I reached 30 years old I was jobless, homeless (in a physical and spiritual sense) and in horrible physical condition. I didn’t really eat or take care of myself other than just enough to get by for the day. Alcohol had become my meal of choice. I was no longer welcome in my family’s life. Everything in my life that I truly loved had been taken away.
Aug. 8th 2005: I was driven to University Hospital in San Antonio, TX and spent a few days there detoxing from alcohol. I was then driven to a treatment center in Fredericksburg, TX where I began a recovery program. I had no hope that it would work because nothing ever had before. But, what I did have was the knowledge that I could not go back to the way life was because I knew that I would kill myself.
So, I asked God to walk with me one step, one minute, one hour, one day at a time. I asked Him to take away the desire to drink. I asked Him to give me my family back and I asked that I would allow Him to guide each of my steps.
In short I began a process of exchanging my own life for a life that I hoped would not only exemplify Christ in me, but would truly be Christ in me. For some it happens overnight, for others it is a process. But, what I know is that God heard my prayers and saw my desire to be the person He had called me to be.
What life is like now:
In short: incredible! I’m on a journey that is so much more than just recovery. I’m on a journey that challenges me to love people I don’t want to love, to walk with those in whose steps I have already taken, and to be open and authentic about who I used to be and who I am now.
There is no place and no time for hiding my past. If my past and my mistakes can be a part of leading someone else to the Cross then what a blessing that is to me.
I’m on a journey to be the husband, the father and the friend that He has called me to be. I’m on a journey to love God with all of my heart, soul, mind and strength and to love my neighbor as myself.
Finally, I’m on a journey to let go of all that I hold dear and recognize that it’s all just a gift from God. I’ve been given the responsibility to take care of it while it’s in my possession.
Am I up for the challenge? Today I am!
I’ll worry about tomorrow tomorrow.
So, the question is, what’s your story? I would love to hear it and so would the rest of the world.
I’m going to put this on my profile for the FB world to see.
Are you willing to share your story?
Surf on over to Greg Coplen Facebook and leave your story. Thanks Greg. This is incredibly encouraging! God bless.
From my friend Faith. What a great name!
No one is like you, O Lord; you are great, and your name is mighty in power.
So…most of you know that this last week was pretty intense for my family. I received the call Friday evening from my parents telling me that my mom had been having chest pains, had been to a cardiologist, and that she would have a heart catheterization (with stints or bypass) on Monday. My entire family rushed to Missouri to be with my mom and dad. My mom was having all the symptoms of a heart attack on Sunday and was taking nitroglycerin. On Monday, the doctor told us that my mom had some anomalies (defects) and 2 clogged and calcified coronary arteries. He told us that he was pretty sure that she was going to have a triple bypass. We rallied, prayed, and hoped for the best.
An hour passed and the doctor came out with a perplexed expression on his face. He said, “She’s fine. Actually she is better than fine. Her arteries have zero plague and no calcification. Being 65, she should have some but she doesn’t. Not only is she plague free, but the abnormalities on the CAT scan just aren’t there anymore. I cannot explain it, and I called 3 other doctors in to look…God must have performed a miracle.”
My mom went home that evening and has had no chest pain or any symptoms. My mom says that all her symptoms went away shortly before they wheeled her into the procedure room and that it was fascinating to watch the doctors freaking out because they didn’t see what they thought they would. They even checked to make sure they had the right CAT scan.
I am praising God because I truly believe He healed my mom…a mighty demonstration of His power. As you pray and listen to God this week, what is God demonstrating to you?
I saw God before me for all time.
Nothing can shake me; he’s right by my side.
I’m glad from the inside out, ecstatic;
I’ve pitched my tent in the land of hope.
I know you’ll never dump me in Hades;
I’ll never even smell the stench of death.
You’ve got my feet on the life-path,
with your face shining sun-joy all around.
“All the time that Peter was under heavy guard in the jailhouse, the church prayed for him most strenuously…
Suddenly there was an angel at his side and light flooding the room. The angel shook Peter and got him up: "Hurry!" The handcuffs fell off his wrists. The angel said, "Get dressed. Put on your shoes." Peter did it. Then, "Grab your coat and let’s get out of here." Peter followed him, but didn’t believe it was really an angel—he thought he was dreaming.
Past the first guard and then the second, they came to the iron gate that led into the city. It swung open before them on its own, and they were out on the street, free as the breeze.”
I was chatting on-line with a person yesterday who said they had lost their faith. They didn’t believe the Bible anymore and felt like that was the truth. I wonder why it is we believe what we believe?
It seems that even as Peter had an angel that encouraged him to believe in circumstances that appeared to only be a dream, we were sent the Holy Spirit so that we would believe.
The difficulty for those that don’t perceive the presence of the Holy Spirit is believing without seeing. That is called faith. In the midst of living life, our faith is challenged when God doesn’t perform to our expectations. We conclude there must not be a God.
Oddly enough, it is those same circumstances that pulled us away from God that could have drawn us closer. The missing ingredient is faith. Without faith, it is unlikely you will know the presence of the Holy Spirit. It all comes down to believing in what you don’t see such that you can see.
God is amazing!
“Then the Chief Priest said, “What do you have to say for yourself?” Stephen replied, “Friends, fathers, and brothers, the God of glory,” remember when…
WOW! Lightening bolt! There are lots of gods! Yep. That’s right! There are lots of gods, but only one true God. The problem is determining which one is the ONE true God?
Just for the moment, I’d like to step back and not be judgmental on your selection of the true God. I’d like to post some guest appearances from your god or God as the case may be. This is not a religion bashing opportunity. I could care less about your religion. This is a sincere insightful look at God.
Almost all religions reference the Bible in some form or fashion. So, you know there is the story of the prophets calling on their gods to start a fire in the middle of nowhere. This is a challenge among the gods to put up or shut up. My God is big enough to put up if He so chooses.
This is not a demand on my God. This is a request for you to enlighten me. If your god is the one that proves His love by demonstrating His power, I want to give you an opportunity to convince me. I don’t want to have picked the wrong God. No bashing. I have sensitive skin.
If your god can’t prove His power without your help, then I have to say, “You bought into the wrong God”. So, what will it be? Will you accept the opportunity to have your god build a fire after my God soaks your wood with water?
If so, leave me a comment and I’ll give you a “guest blogger” login.
James, son of Alphaeus,
Simon the Zealot,
Judas, son of James
“They nominated two: Joseph Barsabbas, nicknamed Justus, and Matthias. Then they prayed, “You, O God, know every one of us inside and out. Make plain which of these two men you choose to take the place in this ministry and leadership that Judas threw away in order to go his own way.” They then drew straws. Matthias won and was counted in with the eleven apostles.”
Judas got the gold and died spilling his guts on the ground purchased with his gold. The men left behind suffered hell on earth. Who was the winner? Who was the loser? Are you a winner or loser for the cause of Christ?
Winner or Loser? At work you say, “Jesus is Lord and is the only way.” You are fired for sharing Christ.
Winner or Loser? At your family’s Super Bowl, everyone is getting drunk and enjoying the effects of alcohol and drugs. You are critized and called names because you choose to stay sober.
Winner or Loser? At lunch with your friends you bow you head and thank God for all He has blessed you with. You are laughed at.
Winner or Loser? Every 60 minutes your beeper goes off. You turn your thought to Christ. The people around you get a chuckle out of your foolishness.
Do you get it? God makes the rules of the game. We choose whether to follow them. Judas chose. Judas paid. The desciples chose. The desciples paid.
You are in the game. God has made the rules. It’s not whether you will play the game. We all play. It is about what your choice will be.
How much will you pay for an authentic James Harrison Superbowl record breaker T-Shirt? I think this shirt may have been worn during the Super Bowl game and James made his record breaking touch down. I think the guy that has this shirt stole it off his back while he was in the shower.
Or possibly you’d like to bid on Aretha’s hat she recently wore at the Oh’Bama inaugeration. She says she’s not sure if she is going to let the Smithsonian Institute have it.
And if nothing else you could always bid on Michael Swim Phelps’s hooka pipe. He says he used bad judgement. Probably thought the pipe was a bad fit for his teeth.
Or possibly my dirty socks.
I don’t know. I guess the Super Bowl brings out the best or worst in me. Sigh…
Which item will bring the best price on ebay?