Journey or Destination part 2

geesje-vera2

Journey or Destination? By Geesje

https://stumblingtowardsthelightblog.wordpress.com/

 

I can safely say that on November 30th, 2016 I received Christ in my heart. In spite of all that has happened before then, and my faith in God being older than that, the joy of being saved was never mine until recently.

It has changed me in a way I always thought was impossible. Yes, I have heard the stories and read the testimonies that claim there was a sudden peace in surrendering, asking for and being granted forgiveness after repenting, and accepting the gift of the Cross. In spite of my being baptized in 2010, I had never experienced it for myself.

Finally, my heart was changed, in the middle of a pile of laundry, as I admitted I cannot do it alone. I am not strong enough. I need Him.

My journey to get to this point has been a long one, with a lot of ups-and-downs along the way. My long distance pen-pal Jack, whom I have never seen in person, has been an inspiration and a wealth of knowledge when it comes to my travels on the path to my Savior. Jack now blogging at www.JesusChristExalted.com sent me emails, books, and music over the past 20 years, that have helped me to get to know the Lord better. Getting to know him as a gifted poet, Jack has shared his faith and his knowledge with me during the times when I was on spiritual crossroads in my life.

Jack pointed me to the Lord’s Prayer when I needed help to pray all those years ago. He was also the one I turned to on that November-night, when I felt lost, hurt, alone and so confused about what it was that God could want for me in my current situation. What would God want FROM me ?!?!

Jack pointed me to Matthew 5 and 6 in the Bible, and to a chapter in 1 Corinthians, so that I could read for myself what the answer was in God’s own Word. And reading, I did! And while reading those words I knew that what Jesus asked of me in Matthew 5 and 6, I could not do. I was not strong enough. I would have to have help.

God’s help.

So I got down on my knees and prayed. Prayed for Jesus to come and save me, to help me fight the darkness I felt surrounding me, to take my troubles and my worries from me, help me to be who He wants me to be, and help me to do what He wants me to do, rather than what I think is best.

I asked Him to forgive my sins, and change my ways from the inside out. And He did!

The years of struggle and slow progress to get to that point made me think I was “there”, that I had arrived, so to speak. I felt elated, walking on clouds! Happy to finally be saved and feeling like the Lord was really with me, inside of me, changing me from the inside out. I felt like singing His praises all day, and literally did.

And then, a couple of days later, Jack told me I needed to find a church close by, to be my family in Christ and to learn more. His own online guidance was not enough for a Newborn like myself, that I needed actual spiritual family…

For as long as I can remember, Jack has been the only spiritual family I have had. Even though living at the other side of the Atlantic, he has been there online during my struggles and questions. Jack has been the one to suggest I start this blog. Jack has been the one suggesting I start singing again. Jack has been like the voice of God to me.

And now he told me that I would have to find a family. And I didn’t like it one bit. I felt disappointed, rejected and abandoned. I didn’t need anyone over here, did I?! I had not before, and I was saved now. I had finally reached my destination, had I not?!

No. I had not.

It took a picture of my daughter to make me realize that I had been foolish to think so. My precious 4 year old, 7 pm on New Year’s eve, outside while it was dark.

Holding fireworks in her hand for the first time, her little safety glasses on, wide-eyed and oh so proud. She was lighting fireworks like the adults, and she was a really BIG girl now! Oh the look in her eyes, thinking she ‘had it made’! … not knowing that her ‘fireworks’ were merely  sparklers and throw-downs. Literally child’s play compared to what would go up in to the sky, later, at midnight.

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Yes, to her it was immense. But in reality, she was still at the start of her journey to being grownup. It will take several more years of growing up for her to experience the real fireworks at midnight. A lot of falling and getting back up, questions and struggles to learn and understand the risks that are involved and the consequences of her actions and choices.

In her eyes I saw my own feelings reflected: I had felt like I was all grownup now, like I had arrived at my destination and from here on it would all be a piece of cake. That I had overcome all danger and all sin and all struggle to finally be a saved Christian for real! My pride got the better of me, and I thought I could handle it, from now on. What Jack had tried to tell me was that he wanted to make sure that I would find all the support, help, and care that I need as a Newborn.

 

Because this is not a destination, but rather the start of another journey. Being reborn comes with a whole new world of challenges, experiences and questions. All of those needs are way more than a single brother in Christ, no matter how kind and Guided he may be, can answer and take care of from across the Ocean. I am not abandoned nor rejected. I will not lose the family I feel I have…. no, He simply wants for me to find more family!

So I am looking at churches around here. To see if there is a church that could be the family that I need. I no longer feel rejected or abandoned. I feel blessed because I am not travelling alone. And my brother in Christ? He is helping me, pointing out local churches that might be suitable that he finds through the Internet, sending me links and even looking up websites.

My God is a great God, for He has given me everything I need and more to grow so that I won’t have to be a newly born forever. And I thank Him for working His miraculous ways, across oceans and through cyberspace, with me every step on this journey. Because a journey is what it is. And that is what He does!

 

Geesje https://stumblingtowardsthelightblog.wordpress.com/

Netherlands

Deuteronomy 31:8 The Lord himself will go before you. He will be with you; he will not leave you or forget you. Don’t be afraid and don’t worry.

Journey or Destination Part 1 The STAR

Dutch Windmill
Dutch Windmill 2016

Journey of Destination? part 1

THE STAR

It was a long time ago. But I can still remember.

 

My parents and brother were gone from home. Watching the house and the dog, I must have been 20 something years old when the NEWS crushed my world and called my whole existence into question.

 

Earlier that year, my family had been shocked by the murder of my cousin’s baby girl. She was not even one year old, found outside of the house, and drowned in a ditch.

 

Babies like that don’t get up and walk outside while her parents are taking an 8 minute stroll, walking the dog together. It should have been perfectly safe for 8 minutes alone in her perfectly safe crib inside her perfectly safe house. Instead, someone came in, took her outside, dropped her in a ditch, and left her to die.

 

It had shocked our family.

 

Shortly after the girl had died, Jack helped me find a way to understand that perhaps her story on earth was fulfilled. Perhaps there were things God saw in her future we could not yet see, but God thought it better for her to come Home to Him. She would rest in His peace.

 

The biggest shock came a few weeks later. I was alone at the house when I heard the news. The woman who was supposedly responsible for the murder of my cousin’s baby was being set free by

the Justice Department because of lack of evidence. She was known to be ‘confused’ and there was a pretty clear vision of what had happened that night, but not all of it could be proven. So she was set free.

 

Hearing that news sent my head spinning and my heart crying out!

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HOW?! How could this be? How could this young life end and this woman not pay for it? What kind of justice is that? What kind of

God would let someone get away with something as unforgivable as this!!?

My anger demanded some kind of punishment, some kind of justice, some kind of sign that God was Watching this! and Judging! DOING something!!!

 

To hear of this woman being set free, was just one shock too many for my fragile faith. This was not the God I had believed in for so long as a child. Not the righteous, just, and honest God who punishes the wrong and loves the right. If HE could not do something about this, who could?

 

I felt the ground fall from beneath me.  I was lost! It felt as if God had abandoned me. If He were not around, then what had I been believing in?

 

Perhaps my parents and brother were right after all, and it was all just stories that they told children in school. To my family, it was a mystery how I had kept believing in the stories from the Bible I heard in school. They did not believe there was a God, and I was feeling like my certainty, my childlike trust in this God I had heard about, may have been a mistake indeed!

 

I needed not call my family to talk about this. They would have answered “God is not real.” But I was not ready to accept that kind of an answer.

 

That evening, I had to show up for duty at the local radio station. I was to be technical assistance for a few program makers and then spent the last 2 hours playing non-stop music until the airtime was over.

I rode my bike over to the studio and tried my best to get through the first two hours without too much talking.

The second program maker left the studio, the board meeting had finished up early as well, and the station manager dropped by the studio to let me know that I would be the one to close up the studio for the night. I closed the door behind them, making sure I would not be surprised by anyone coming in that had no business being there.

 

And started playing songs. Just random stuff I pulled out of the cd boxes next to me. And while I did, I could feel my questions just keep on whirling around in my head.

 

WHY?!! Why would she be allowed to walk free when my cousin and his family would have to live the rest of their lives with this loss?

 

While closing up, wandering about in that old house built in 1875,that we used for a studio, I found myself crying.

Angry tears. And then whispering. Angry whispers. Talking. Urgently talking. Shouting. Screaming. Yelling. Angry words. Angry questions. Questioning God out loud. Telling Him how angry I was, how unjust He had been. How much He had let me down! How furious I was!

 

And then, after a while… how sad I was, how confused and afraid I was, how lost I felt, thinking about a world without Him. But also how difficult it was for me to still believe that He was still true, still around… if He would let stuff like this happen.

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Ain’t it funny, how you can tell whether someone is listening or not? How you can tell the difference between someone listening to you or reading the newspaper, while hidden behind that newspaper…?

 

Alone, in the last room that was still lit, I sat down on the floor and realized that He had been listening. All the time. To my yelling. To my whispering, my shouting, my screaming, my questions, my doubt and my fear.

And that it was all right. But it was not. NOT enough. It was NOT alright! My stubborn mind needed proof! Because I had believed Him there before hadn’t I? In spite of what my family said, I had believed God was there!

 

And yet, He could not be. Because why would He let this woman walk free. How COULD He?!?

 

So if there really was a plan for this, if He really had this covered, and most of all, if He wanted me to believe that He was real, He was going to have to show me. And I told Him, it had to be rather obvious, because I was really not gonna go ahead and fall for “just anything” this time.

 

I sat there and waited, but nothing happened.       Nothing.    Well, beside the clock ticking on and the building getting colder from the heater being automatically turned off…

So I got up and finished the closing up. Numb and sore from my outbursts, I put on the alarm after cleaning up the last dishes, and locked the door. I turned around on the steps to the front door, to walk to my bike. The same steps I had stood on, so many nights before this one, doing the exact same thing.

And this time, I looked up and saw it. A HUGE star. Glittering like a diamond, almost as if saying

 

“Hello there!”

 

And all the way home on my bike, that big glittering star was shining ahead of me. It seemed to be there every turn I made, every corner I took. Staring me right in the eye. Right until I arrived home.

 

My sign from God that He is here. Everywhere. If I care to look.

I felt peace knowing that He would listen to me, and even answer my cry, however futile I may be in this huge world. That I mattered enough to Him to have that star shine brightly for me.

Now that I had proof, I had 2 choices. I could go insane trying to hold on to my control, my ideas of what justice is and what should happen.

Or I could give it up. Give up trying to understand what His reasons might be. Surrender my need to know, my need to understand, and trust in Him. No longer question Him, or His presence.

And that is what I did. I surrendered to Him. I didn’t have to understand anymore. I just had to believe. Trust. And surrender.

Sounds so simple, don’t it? It does when I write it down now. But that was only the first time I have surrendered to God. Because control is hard to give up. My need to understand is strong. I am proud enough to think I know a lot and curious enough to want to learn more. But to give up that pride, that need to know, need to understand… is one of the things that I have had to keep on doing on a conscious level or I would slip right back in to my questioning.

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One thing I have not questioned like this anymore, ever, is whether God  is real or not. Since that day, I have been sure of it. I have been talking to Him, although I hardly ever visit a church, although my family still has no idea why I am so certain of God. He has been there on so many occasions, if only I put my ego aside and care to listen to what He wants from me. Through relationship trouble, addictions, re-organizations at work, and depression, I have seen Him there. I have felt His Hand on my back, felt His Arms around me, felt Him listening, guiding me.

>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>>

for more of Geesje’s writing, see and like her blog:

www.StumblingTowardsTheLight.com

Wm. H D Hanks shares part of his story!!

willie Hanks 2willie Hanks

Hey peeples, I got some things on my mind again… I grew up looking at my Dad as a super hero. He really was in my eyes. I watched him beat up people, I watched him fix stuff , he took care of us kids and made us feel safe. When I was about Ten or Eleven things changed drastically in our home and I hated the old man to the point that I wanted to murder him. I came real close a few times but I felt I couldn’t leave my mom who was mentally ill in a position where my baby brother and sister had to depend on her. Anyway as years went by, the bitterness grew deeper in all of our bones. I went to prison where I came to know Jesus Christ. I only made that move cuz Dad did… Somewhere in there I realized that my Dad loved me… He kept pushin’ for me to seek God. He kept trying to show me, tell me that the hate inside of me would one day destroy me if it went unchecked. So anyway after all these years I know longer feel anger towards my pops, I no longer feel the shame. I’m just proud that Melford N Hanks Sr is my Dad. I have seen him overcome many obstacles and kill out many demons in his life and help many others do the same in their lives. I TRULY BELIEVE MY DAD IS A SUPER HERO…

WORD Rap – an attempt to Flo’

Word Rap

“The Word of God Is Alive and Powerful” Hebrews 4:12 NLT

BackGround:

The Word of God Is Alive and Pow’rful !–constant repeat kinda’ like a heartbeat rhythm

The Voice:

Yes, In the beginning, Jesus spoke and made the world,

The sun, the moon, and everything; sweet and still unspoil’d.

 

Yes, God made man and woman, then He said that it was “GOOD.”

God loves to be with people. Coming to your neighborhood!

 

The Christ became a human, born a babe in Bethlehem.

He grew up perfect, sinless; Yes, He show’d us how it’s done.

 

He never lied, He never stole, nor murder’d anyone.

Our sinful lives cause hurt and lies so Justice must be done!

 

Our lives have hurt God’s feelings. We hurt others-Feel the Pain!

But Jesus paid our penalties so we won’t burn in flames.

 

He bought us life eternal. On the cross, He died to save

To give us Love and Peace and Joy and Freedom for sin’s slaves.

 

Please come to Jesus, Start anew forgiven, born again.

Yes, In his blood be washed today while turning from your sins.

 

Jesus can live inside of you. His Pow’r can set you free.

Your clean life whole, forgiven with pure light for you to see.

 

***Written in Williwaw Park Wasilla, AK working with GraceWorks Ministries.  http://www.graceworksak.com

Our kids and team did the background while Shelby Andrews performed “The Voice” July 27, 2016

Jesus Commands… Part 2, 52 Commands

 

Christ and the Catch of Fish

 

Jesus Commands Us to Make Disciples

Part 2: 52 Commands

In the Great Commission (Matthew 28:18-20), Jesus tells us to make disciples… teaching them to observe all things that I have commanded you…”

http://iblp.org/questions/what-are-commands-christ shows us 49 of Christ’s commands.

I would add #’s 50, 51, and 52.

#50 In John 13:34, Jesus said, “A new commandment I give to you, that you love one another; as I have loved you, that you also love one another.”

If your name is written in heaven, and you follow Jesus daily, you may be a disciple.

Disciples are additionally commanded to #51 heal the sick and #52 preach that the Kingdom of God is within reach in Luke 10:9.

In v. 17, the disciples were rejoicing that demons were subject to them. Jesus gave them “authority… over all the power of the enemy.” The only requirement of these individuals appears to be “disciples” with “your names are written in heaven.”

Jesus had chosen 12 ”apostles” about a year earlier Mark 6:7, Luke 6:13, 9:10.

 

My point is this: We have a lot to do to observe all things that Christ has commanded us. Let’s do the stuff and lose the fluff!

 

fly

 

God’s Best Promise

 

God is With Us: His Best Promise

Jim Elliff

When Moses found the Hebrew people acting immorally at the foot of Mt. Sinai on the way to the Promised Land, he wasn’t the only one who was angry. God was ready to wipe out the entire lot of them and start again. One of Moses’ most significant acts was to intercede for the foolish tribes of Israel so that they could continue to make the journey.

But then God let Moses in on another great loss—He would no longer go with them. That cloud by day and fire by night through which God manifested Himself would no longer be around. Oh, He would send an angel, but His manifest presence would be unavailable.

Once again Moses unashamedly begged, and God graciously relented. Yet Moses made sure he said this to God, to summarize his feelings:

“If Your presence does not go with us, do not lead us up from here. For how then can it be known that I have found favor in Your sight, I and Your people? Is it not by Your going with us, so that we, I and Your people, may be distinguished from all the other people who are upon the face of the earth?” (Exodus 33:15-16).

The presence of God—There is nothing else as important.

Moses already knew that God was everywhere, or omnipresent. But he was asking for the commitment of God to His people, His promise that He would oversee their travels and troubles—a continual presence guiding, instructing, caring.

God did go with them, but sadly, judgment was still in the picture for rebellious Israel.

Fast forward about 2000 years. The disciple Matthew is writing his now famous rendition of Jesus’ life and ministry. He isn’t writing a letter, answering questions or squaring off on issues like the later Paul the apostle would do. Rather, he is writing literature. Historical literature, for sure, but writing with an agenda. He selects those aspects of Jesus’ life that show the authority or kingship of Jesus especially. But the superb gospel of Jesus that he wrote has some amazing bookend statements about this Jesus. We call them an “inclusio.”

First, at the birth of Christ Matthew reminds us that this baby is to be called Emmanuel. This is a name, like so many names of that day, which had special meaning. It meant, “God with us.” This means that Christ’s coming was a visitation of God Himself in the person of His Son. When you see the Son, you see the Father, for they are the same in essence, though taking on distinct roles for the sake of redemption.

When Matthew ends his famous letter, He describes Christ, now resurrected and soon to be ascended. The Savior is speaking to His disciples in what we have come to call, “The Great Commission.” The promise He makes is profound. “And lo, I am with you always, even to the end of the age.”

Not just His presence for judgment, or even the gift of God in human form to the world—rather, this promise is about the presence of God in Christ only for believers. It is a promise that will carry His disciples through suffering and hardship for the gospel, and death itself.

“I am with you” was enough. “I am with you” answered all their needs. It took the disciples, and will take us, to the end.

But what’s beyond that? Interestingly, there is more after the “inclusio” of Matthew. Paul tells us an even better promise yet to be fulfilled by Christ.

For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air, and so we shall always be with the Lord. (1 Thessalonians 4:16-17)

One day, for Christians only, we will rise to meet the Lord. I won’t go into details about what follows, for there are several views. However, one thing is sure. When the Lord comes we will meet Him and from that point on, “we shall always be with the Lord.”

In the new earth (Revelation 21) for a period that will not end, the Lord will be with us without the filter and disruption of sin or the limitations of human understanding. The most exciting thing about the future is that we will enjoy His presence in a changed body for eternity. “God is with us” takes on more meaning then.

Copyright © 2010 Jim Elliff. Permission granted for reproduction in exact form. All other uses require written permission. Find more free articles at www.BulletinInserts.org, a ministry of Christian Communicators Worldwide: www.CCWtoday.org