Christian

The Kitten, The Junk, And A Guy Named Jake

A True Story of God’s Wonder Working Power

By Christina Dawson

It all started with that wild-eyed, gray kitten. Little did I know, that kitten was about to completely change everything!

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Yesterday morning I wrestled with the thought that our 30 day ‘Who’s Your One?’ prayer campaign was ending. My heart ached as I wrote down as many names as I could think of that didn’t know Jesus.

I prayed fervently, asking God to show me how to ‘carry the burden’ of all these souls. What was I to do to help these people see the truth?

I prayed that I would no longer be only a light. I asked God to make me strong enough to carry a flame . . . kind of intense, I know, but none-the-less it’s what I prayed.

On the way to church I was brought to a sudden halt in the alley by a tiny gray kitten lying in the middle of the road. I had no choice but to pull over by the piles of junk I’ve been so curious about for the past couple of years.

I couldn’t catch the kitten to save my life. He was having nothing to do with me. I was so intent on catching it, I didn’t notice that a man had walked up. “You can’t catch that kitten,” the man said, making me jump!

At first, I was frightened, but I quickly realized he was no danger.

“I live in that house right there with my wife”, he said pointing past the piled up junk. “My name’s Jake. That’s the only kitten left alive. You can’t catch him.”

“Hello, Jake,” I replied as I continued trying to catch the kitten (not sure what I would do with it if I did!)

For about 15 minutes, Jake talked on and on while I tried to catch the kitten. Then I stopped and just listened. I could see that he needed a kind person to talk to. He was broken, both physically and spiritually. He gave me permission to come back later and try to catch the kitten again.

Now very late, I headed to Sunday School. I wanted so badly to invite him to church, but I just couldn’t. For some reason, in that particular moment it didn’t seem genuine, but I intended to do it when the time was right. 

As I walked into church, I was deep in thought. What was I to do? Add Jake’s name to the list in my prayer guide? Then what? My heart was heavy.

I headed for the stairs. I was 20 minutes late. Becky called to me as I passed the church office, “I’ll add your name to your Sunday School class, Christina!”

Oh no, I was intending to skip the embarrassment of my egregious lateness and head to the choir suite, but now I couldn’t cheat the numbers. I reluctantly made my way toward my Sunday School class and sat down next to my teacher. She was already deep into the lesson.

Suddenly, to my shock, my emotions began to well up. I was completely consumed with thoughts of Jake and all his junk. Tears poured down my face. I was so embarrassed, but I couldn’t stop them. The more I tried to quiet myself, the more upset I became. It wasn’t long before the whole class was staring at me bewildered, and one lady ran across the room with a package of tissues.

I blubbered on and on, through my tears, about the kitten. (I know they were probably thinking I had lost my mind.) Finally I got to the part about the man at the junk house. Eventually, I regained my composure enough to explain that my heart was heavy for the lost. All of these precious women began to chime in, encouraging me and each other. Just then, the door opened and a woman walked in.

The poor woman must have thought I was crazy. She sat down. Class was nearly over. Our teacher wrapped up, thanked the woman for joining us, and we all prayed together.

As I was heading to the bathroom to fix my makeup, that was certainly destroyed, the Holy Spirit stopped me. I looked at the woman again, more carefully this time. Wait! I know this woman! She looked different, but it was her. It was Beth.

The only reason we know one another is the result of brokenness. There are so many convoluted divorces and circumstances that make us “family” I will not even attempt to explain. I spoke to her. She remembered me, too.

I wasn’t sure why, but I was compelled to talk to her, stay by her side, and make sure she was comfortably seated in the sanctuary before going to the choir room to put on my robe. I told her I was glad she was joining us and then rushed upstairs. Little did any of us know, the Lord was about to do something wonderful!

At the end of the service, the pastor invited people to come forward to accept Jesus as their Savior. Then he did something he had never done before. Before he dismissed, he said, “I’m going to be standing right over there by the baptistry. If anyone just wants to talk or ask questions about being baptized, come on over and talk to me.” Church was dismissed.

Later that afternoon, I got a text from the pastor. “Your friend came up after the service and gave her life to Jesus! She is getting baptized tonight!”

The Holy Spirit spoke very clearly in my heart. I knew in that moment that I didn’t have a burden to carry because Jesus already carried it. I didn’t do anything at all for her to accept Christ, but I got to walk her to the sanctuary and make sure she felt comfortable and safe, the same way someone did for me when I first came to church. 

The sermon that day was about the Samaritan woman at the well. The story isn’t that she ran back to Samaria and became an evangelist, giving her testimony and preaching the gospel. She simply said, “Its okay, it doesn’t matter what you’ve done! Come and meet my Savior, Jesus.” She made them feel comfortable. She invited them. That’s all we can do. The Lord will do the rest.

And now I know how important it really is, when they come, that we make them feel comfortable. Our kindness can help the Holy Spirit work in their hearts and keep them coming back so He can do even more, just like He did with me because of my church family. I can’t thank them enough for everything they do. 

God used this church to rescue me, and lead me into an abundant life. I have been completely changed and I am so grateful for the opportunity to build the kingdom along side my church family. 

Now, about Jake . . . I’ll let you know what happens, but I know God is up to something.

Thank you for reading Christina’s testimony.

With Love, 

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This Is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

Photo by Nathan Anderson on Unsplash

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For more information on the booklet titled, Who’s Your One?, call 770-410-6000 or visit namb.net

Bible

Praising God Through Music

“I don’t care where it is, what part of the world it’s in, if we have a praise church we’ll have successful Christianity.” Dwight L. Moody 

I believe that today, more than ever, God is calling us to praise and worship Him with our whole heart. The Bible says, “Enter his gates with thanksgiving and his courts with praise…” Psalm 100:4

When I studied this verse, I discovered something interesting. “Courts” in Hebrew is chatser. Strong’s Hebrew dictionary defines it “a yard (enclosed by a fence)”. The definition of gate is, “a movable barrier, usually on hinges, closing an opening in a fence, wall, or other enclosure”.

Through thanksgiving and praise, we open a gate and enter a place of nearness to God.

I thank God for the special closeness I feel when I praise and worship Him in song. I thank Him for all the words of encouragement He has so clearly spoken to my heart during these times of worship.

Recently, as I sang these words, I understood deep in my heart that God has been watching over me, through it all, for the last six decades. It couldn’t have been any more powerful if an angel had appeared and spoke it aloud.

“No power of hell, No scheme of man, can ever pluck me from His hand!” 

(from In Christ Alone, by Keith Getty and Stuart Townsend)

Although he has tried relentlessly, Satan has not been able to take me away from God.  When circumstances were cruel, God was stronger. When my flesh was weak, God was stronger. When I stumbled, God picked me up.

I believe that anointed worship leaders are a gift from God to the Church. They are using their gifts to build up the Church. Embracing this gift is my gift to Him because I love Him.

I would like to thank Sue Love for asking me to participate in the 3-Day Challenge. Sue writes with the insight that comes from suffering abuse; and the healing that comes only through Christ.  She is a Christian woman who has learned to lean on Jesus to survive. She has also been a minister her whole life. You will be blessed by her blogs Walking Wounded and Run With It.

And now, I would like to nominate Vickie for the 3-Day Challenge. Her blog is a book review that I was very excited to discover! If you like to read, this is the place to go!  Vickie’s Book Nook and Meditation Corner

Be sure and visit these great blogs today!

With Love, 

AA55AA1F-EA36-49A9-92BE-41FD67348618

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Click this link to learn more about Jesus: Who Is Jesus?

realchristianwomen.blog 

1st photo credit Matt Botsford on Unsplash

Christian

Helping One Person at a Time – Inspiration from Mother Teresa

What would happen if our goal were to help just one person at a time? Could it possibly make a difference? Mother Teresa thought so. It’s interesting that someone who helped so many had this philosophy:

Mother Teresa

 

Mother Teresa’s words remind me that people who need God’s love are all around me. I can’t help all the homeless, but I can give a cup of coffee to one. I can’t feed all the starving children, but I can sponsor one. I can’t inspire every student, but maybe I can inspire one. 

feed-one-person

Jesus told the Expert in the law that he must love God and love his neighbor as himself. The Expert in the law said, “Who is my neighbor?”  In reply, Jesus told him the story of the Good Samaritan. (Luke 10:25-37)

Jesus as much as said,  “If you see someone that needs your help, help them!”

The Parable of the Good Samaritan

30 In reply Jesus said: “A man was going down from Jerusalem to Jericho, when he was attacked by robbers. They stripped him of his clothes, beat him and went away, leaving him half dead. 

31 A priest happened to be going down the same road, and when he saw the man, he passed by on the other side. 32 So too, a Levite, when he came to the place and saw him, passed by on the other side.

33 But a Samaritan, as he traveled, came where the man was; and when he saw him, he took pity on him. 34 He went to him and bandaged his wounds, pouring on oil and wine. Then he put the man on his own donkey, brought him to an inn and took care of him. 35 The next day he took out two denarii[c] and gave them to the innkeeper. ‘Look after him,’ he said, ‘and when I return, I will reimburse you for any extra expense you may have.’

36 “Which of these three do you think was a neighbor to the man who fell into the hands of robbers?”

37 The expert in the law replied, “The one who had mercy on him.”

Jesus told him, “Go and do likewise.”

Let us examine our hearts. Are we more like the priest and the Levite, or the good Samaritan? Do we show the love of Jesus to those around us or do we pass by on the other side?

With Love, Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you know Jesus?

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can do it now. He loves you more than you can comprehend, and it will change your life forever.

“IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, ‘JESUS IS LORD,’ AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. FOR IT IS WITH YOUR HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH YOUR MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, ANYONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.”   ROMANS 10:9-11

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Bible, Christian

You Have a Ministry! Do You Know What It Is?

There have been moments when I literally began to panic. Thoughts racing through my mind … God didn’t tell you to write a blog! You shouldn’t be doing this! This is all you!

Have you ever experienced this deceitful kind of attack on your mind? God didn’t send you here! God didn’t say …

Do you remember what the Serpent said to Eve? Did God really say, ‘You must not eat from any tree in the garden’?” Genesis 3:1

This is the Deceiver in action: making you question what God has said. It is nothing new.

The devil even tried his tricks on Jesus. But what did Jesus do? He said, “It is written …” (Matthew 4:4)

So the first thing I did was to look in God’s Word to see what He says about ministry.

“And He Himself gave some to be apostles, some prophets, some evangelists, and some pastors and teachers, for the equipping of the saints for the work of ministry, for the edifying of the body of Christ” (Ephesians 4:11-12)

 

My Pastor’s job is to prepare ME for ministry. Your Pastor’s job is to prepare YOU for ministry. The entire Body of Christ is being prepared for ministry. We all have a job to do.

“6 We have different gifts, according to the grace given to each of us. If your gift is prophesying, then prophesy in accordance with your faith; if it is serving, then serve; if it is teaching, then teach; if it is to encourage, then give encouragement; if it is giving, then give generously; if it is to lead, do it diligently; if it is to show mercy, do it cheerfully.” Romans 12:6-8 NIV

Next, I took a spiritual gifts assessment on my church’s website. This confirmed what I already knew. It reinforced my understanding of what God is asking me to do.

Then, I heard the often-quoted verse: “Where there is no vision, the people perish.” Proverbs 29:18

Do we know what it really means? Or, do we interpret it according to present day psychology?

Psychology says, “Vision goal setting is goal setting with a grand purpose. It begins with a dream based in your passion and inspiration in your work. From the dream comes a clear vision of where you want to be and what you want to do …” Jim Taylor, PhD (Psychology Today)

Is that what God meant in Proverbs 29:18 when He says “Where there is no vision, the people perish …” ? Let’s examine the second part of the verse (that is usually not quoted.

“Where there is no vision [no revelation of God and His word], the people are unrestrained;
But happy and blessed is he who keeps the law [of God].” Amplified Bible

The Living Bible translation says, Where there is ignorance of God, crime runs wild; but what a wonderful thing it is for a nation to know and keep his laws.” 

If the “vision” we speak of is the  “…  revelation of God and His word” then maybe our “vision” for the Church should look more like this:

A world where …

  • All Christians show a kind of love that gives them a reputation for kindness and mercy, patience and unselfishness.
  • All Christians ministering in the capacity that God has gifted them, edifying and building each other up, and praying for one another.
  • All Christians showing mercy and compassion toward their fellow man. 
  • All Christians forgiving their enemies, their neighbors, and each other.
  • All Christians sharing the Gospel with a lost world. 
  • All Christians seeking God with all their heart, unconcerned with fitting in with the world.  

Now that’s a vision! What can we do? I can do my part. You can do your part. God has the plan. Our part is obedience and surrender.

With Love, Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

References

“By this everyone will know that you are my disciples, if you love one another.” John 13:35

“Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other” Ephesians 4:32

“But I say unto you, Love your enemies, bless them that curse you, do good to them that hate you, and pray for them which despitefully use you, and persecute you.” Matthew 5:44

“Therefore go and make disciples of all nations.” Matthew 28:19

Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength. The second is this: ‘Love your neighbor as yourself. There is no commandment greater than these.” Mark 12:30-31

Do you know Jesus?

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can do it now. He loves you more than you can comprehend, and it will change your life forever.

“IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, ‘JESUS IS LORD,’ AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. FOR IT IS WITH YOUR HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH YOUR MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, ANYONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.”   ROMANS 10:9-11

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Bible, Christian, God's will

Does My Life Glorify God?

The Bible says, “Whatever you do, do it all for the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 1:31) What does it really mean? My Pastor’s sermon last Sunday made me think.

He told us that two hundred years ago, a church of about 26 people in Rockfield, Ky were led by God to start a new church in Bowling Green. That church, started by four members of the Providence Knob Baptist Church, is the same church I worship in today.

To put this in perspective, 1818 is the year the famous American Patriot, Paul Revere, died. In fact, Warren County was named after General Joseph Warren of the Revolutionary War, who dispatched Paul Revere on his famous midnight ride.

The population of Warren County was less than 12,000 then, as compared to over 125,000 at the present time.

As I worshiped, I understood that the glory and praise being lifted up to God this very day in 2018 was God’s plan all along. A magnificent choir sings praises to our Lord. A team of singers and musicians lead the congregation in worship, little children sing of Jesus’s love.  An orchestra plays heavenly music in praise to the Lord. People are being saved. The Word of God is being proclaimed. God’s work is being done and God is being glorified.

I thought about those pioneers who, in 1818, prayed for God to build a church in Bowling Green, Kentucky. Their obedience and prayers resulted in God being glorified. When God answered their prayers, He did “immeasurably more” than all they could ask or imagine. (Ephesians 3:20 NIV)

Did they see the fruit of their labor? Not unless they’re over 200 years old! But God was, and is, and will be, glorified in this place.

It made me think about my own life. Do I want to bring glory to God only? Or do I want glory for myself? Do I want to allow God to do “immeasurably more” than all I can ask or imagine? Do I want Him to use me according to His will, even if I never see the fruit of my labor? These are heart-searching questions. May we have the courage to ask them.

God’s plans are bigger than our ability to imagine. I understand now, that God’s plan for me must not be limited by my lack of vision or by selfish desires.

“Not to us, Lord, not to us, but to your name be the glory, because of your love and faithfulness.” Psalm 115:1 

Jesus prayed to His Father, “I glorified You on the earth, having accomplished the work which You have given Me to do.” John 17:4

God has the plan. Will we surrender our will to Him? Our part is to be willing.  He will do the rest.

“…for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.” Philippians 2:13

“For the earth will be filled With the knowledge of the glory of the LORD, As the waters cover the sea. Habakuk 2:14

“I will give thanks to You, O Lord my God, with all my heart, And will glorify Your name forever.” Psalm 86:12

This is God’s plan –  To glorify His name.

With Love, Cindy

This is My Journey Unscripted.

Do you know Jesus?

If you have never asked Jesus to be your Savior, you can do it now. He loves you more than you can comprehend, and it will change your life forever.

“IF YOU CONFESS WITH YOUR MOUTH, ‘JESUS IS LORD,’ AND BELIEVE IN YOUR HEART THAT GOD RAISED HIM FROM THE DEAD, YOU WILL BE SAVED. FOR IT IS WITH YOUR HEART THAT YOU BELIEVE AND ARE JUSTIFIED, AND IT IS WITH YOUR MOUTH THAT YOU CONFESS AND ARE SAVED. AS THE SCRIPTURE SAYS, ANYONE WHO TRUSTS IN HIM WILL NEVER BE PUT TO SHAME.”   ROMANS 10:9-11

realchristianwomen.blog