Monday, April 25, 2016

and then came Monday

I was about 8 years old. There was a re-run of the Sherman Hemsley sitcom Amen on as I shot across the living room to avoid getting yelled at by my grandpa. He had accused me more than once of being a better door than a window.

The front door was open and the storm door had the window raised. It was summer.

My mom was sitting in a purple naugahyde recliner.  I got on my knees by the chair and whispered to mom I need to talk to you.
She asked what it was about and I remember telling her I felt bad. Something was wrong and I didn’t know what it was. I felt like I was bad and it needed fixing.  Mom talked to me about Jesus and the next Sunday I hit the altar.
I cried a lot. Mom cried even more. I was celebrated by those in attendance. I felt GREAT…. and then came Monday.  
I wasn’t different, I wasn’t magically transformed I did all the same things I always did.

That was the first round in a cycle that would plague me until my late teens when Pastor Dean Rhoades told me what I’m going to tell you now.

It’s not about how you are feeling its about commitment.

There you have it. One of the most powerful sentences I’ve ever heard.

It was there in his office that something I took as one hundred percent truth was wiped away like crumbs from a tablecloth.  It wasn’t Gods responsibility to change me.  God wanted me to come to Him exactly as I was baggage, bad habits and all.

It was a changed heart my commitment to stay with Him and His promise to stay with me that would change my life. It was those two things that would burn out and off all the sin, hurts and habits in my future.

Im not saying that God never works that way. I know people that went to cross one way and left another.  I think we all know at least one person that as soon as they proclaimed Jesus lord of their life were instantly changed.  That is an awesome and powerful work. For me though it just didn’t happen that way.

Am I less saved?  No, taking the advice of Paul “'Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.”  Phil 2 13-13

I felt compelled to write this evening because I know there are people new to the faith that might read this and I want them to know that when the feeling wears off God’s still there. He’s still proud of you and He wants you to be with Him on this.   
Stay the course stay committed, whether you are filled with that “first love” feeling or mired in circumstances beyond your control. 
Things will come up, sin and past friends will try to get your attention and like a child in a store with their parent you may turn loose for a second and wander off but He is still there
The God that got you where you are will get you where you are going. 

Just hold on to His hand a little tighter.

Thanks for reading


Alan

Monday, April 18, 2016

Speed of Light

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it.
John 1:5  NIV

I think about this verse a lot.  it is how the book of John begins.  

It’s just the hook though, if you read it in context you see that the Word (Jesus) gave life to everything and His life brought light to the world.
It is this light that shines in the darkness.

I’m usually the last person in my house to go to sleep. By the time I make it upstairs and to the bed the house is pretty dark. We leave Bat’s light on because thats what he wants and it helps me make it upstairs without stepping on wayward toys.
I close the door to our room and try to get across the floor without tripping on a clothes basket, a fan or any other item Lin places in my path in her eagerness to get in bed hours before. The whole time trying to be as quiet as I can.

there is just a little light that comes in under the door. It’s pale and the darkness of the flooring swallows some of it making it even dimmer but its there.

It was getting thru this nightly ritual one night that it occurred to me that the closer I am to the door and even that little sliver of light underneath it the better I can see.
It’s not much but I can at least make out shapes and see the outline of a path.  When I get to my bed and I get situated I can’t see that light at all.

That is why we as Christians go to church and read our bibles. It’s one of the reasons we pray. 
The closer we get to the Light the brighter the room.  Sometimes that shows us stuff we don’t like. It helps us see what we need to remove. It makes walking around less treacherous. The more light we take in the more we can help lead others back to Him from the dark. 

As the light begins to fade, or we close the door again the light is harder to see. Sometimes it seems non existent but its there just on the other side of that door. We just have to go towards it.  Even when we are in bed and comfortable, happy in our darkness there is light waiting just outside for us. 

Just open the door and get closer to the source.  
The answer to your prayers travels at the speed of Light.

Thanks for reading

Alan





Monday, April 11, 2016

A Dead Horse

Here we are again. It’s Monday night, I’m writing a quick blog and all I can think of is service and what it has done for me.  Service keeps me focused on Jesus.  Where the idle soon have their fire put out the serving continually stoke theirs by doing for others.  

Sunday morning Pastor Kelly spoke some on service and giving of yourself to others.  Everyone wants to be part of something bigger.  Everyone wants to feel like they make a difference. So why do so many of us just do for ourselves?  

I’ve said it before and I am here to say it again. Service is where it is at!  If you want a deeper relationship with God then serve. Maybe you want to feel better connected to people. All you have to do is serve. Low self esteem? Perhaps you just don’t feel like you make a difference. Try serving.  Want your voice heard? Get involved serving.  

God changed my life and I serve to make Him happy. I was saved to serve. You were saved to serve. End of story. 

If God changed your life, if you call Him Lord then find a place to serve.  Each of us have a particular set of skills unique to us. 
1 Peter 4:10 in the New International Version says this “Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God's grace in its various forms.”

It doesn’t have to be at LifePoint. there are plenty of places to give of yourself here in town. Crosslines, the free store, the sound house, L-Life and the Red Cross are just a few places you can give a few hours and make a difference in someone else's life.

For those of you that attend LifePoint I’ll make it even easier.  There is a place for you to sign up right here and pick an area you are interested in serving.

Thank you for reading...... now get to work.

Alan





Tuesday, April 5, 2016

I Dare You. I Double Dog Dare You.

Bring all the tithes into the storehouse so there will be enough food in my Temple. If you do," says the LORD of Heaven's Armies, "I will open the windows of heaven for you. I will pour out a blessing so great you won't have enough room to take it in! Try it! Put me to the test! Mal 3:10

I tithe.  That means at a minimum 10% of everything Lin or I make, be it regular paycheck, freelance or cash is brought to the church (storehouse).

There was a time in my life when I didn’t do this. There was a time if someone told me they tithed I thought they were bragging. I thought they thought that they were better than me.   Turns out they weren’t bragging because you can’t brag about something you are supposed to do.
If I told you I have never cheated on my wife, it’s not bragging. Everyone knows your not supposed to cheat on your spouse.  Adultery is prohibited by God. We know not to do that. 
There are certain things that God says you can do and certain things you can’t. 
Tithing is one of those things that God expects us to do.  
Another mistake I made when i was younger was the idea that I could pick where my tithe went.  The Bible specifically says to give to the storehouse and your storehouse is your church.  If you don’t feel like you can trust them with your tithe then get out of that church.

Lin and I began tithing properly after hearing Brad Segabarth speak at church one week. At the time I didn’t know him from Adam’s house cat. I’ve been lucky enough to get to know Brad a little over the last few years and I have to say I genuinely look up to a respect him.  His story changed the way I looked at what I considered “mine”.

So we started tithing. I won't lie It was tough to start. There were doubts and worries. The trust that God wanted me to put in Him just wasn’t there.  As time went on though I began to flex that faith muscle.  When a check would come in and I knew we couldn’t get all the groceries we wanted we still tithed.  We never went hungry. 

I’m going to share one of my stories here.  After you finish this blog I want to hear yours.  I want you to share your similar stories.  You can reply to this post, comment on Facebook or email me.

As for me….

I’ve seen God help us a family of 5 live 2 weeks with $23 in the bank.  It was miraculous.

Right after we began tithing properly things were tight, we got Linda’s paycheck and I sat at the card table where I paid bills and debated if we should tithe.  I remembered God speaking to my heart that day at church and we tithed.  Later that month Lin and I were driving home from Springfield. She was in tears and I was  pretty close.  The electric bill was due and we had zero money to pay it.  We were living in a cruddy house with our 3 kids and the place was a nightmare to heat.  There was $23 in the bank and a $197 electric bill.  It was the last day to pay before service cut off. 
Lin and I returned to the house and we were pretty down. We hadn’t talked to anyone about our problem.  We were too proud (a blog for another day). 
When we got to the house the mail had run and in the mail box was an envelope. It was post marked Kansas City and contained $200 cash.
To this day I have no idea how that happened. I don’t have friends in KC.  I don’t know how anyone could have known. God did though and he took care of us.

I know I am not alone in this. Since we began tithing we have never been without. No we don’t get everything we want. We do however have complete trust at this point that things will be ok and we will have what it takes when we need it.

If you are reading this and you don’t tithe. I highly suggest you look into it.  The Bible is quite clear here “Try it! Put me to the test! Mal 3:10
Tithe properly for 90 days and see what God can do for you. 

If you do already faithfully tithe I wan to hear your stories. Please comment on this blog, reply on my Facebook or email me at alanwaynemyers@gmail.com.

I really do want to hear your stories and with your permission I will post some of your stories soon.