We're Glad You're Here! :)
This web site is for anyone who is curious about the Christian God. All I can do is share my own account and understanding, but my hope is that it will inspire others. I adamantly believe that there is an intelligent creator, and that He has my best interests at heart. I can't imagine life without Him! When I asked Him to, He helped me pick myself up, dust myself off and keep going. Notice that I didn't say that He picked me up and brushed me off - He helped me to do it, and He can do the same for you!
Many terms we hear today such as "personal Jesus" and "relationship with God" have lost their meaning and become cliche. Instead of floating superficially over the surface, allow me to share what "personal Jesus" means to me.
I knew of God, but I introduced myself to God on an intimate level about the year 2000, maybe in the same way that a lot of people introduce themselves intimately to God. That was the beginning of a particularly difficult season in my life. I was at the end of my rope, and I had no clue what to do. One day, which I remember vividly, I fell to my knees sobbing and I begged God to help me. I asked Jesus into my heart. That was a defining moment in my life; it was the first time I'd ever admitted I couldn't go it alone. I opened my hands and allowed God to take the wheel.
Has it always been easy and fun since then? Nope. But life is never always going to be easy and fun. Sometimes it's downright miserable, and that's a fact. But during those miserable times, remember that they are temporary, and that if you ask God to help you through it, he will. The truth is in the Bible:
2 ‘I will go before you and make the crooked places straight; I will break in pieces the gates of bronze and cut the bars of iron.
3 I will give you the treasures of darkness and hidden riches of secret places, that you may know that I, the Lord, who call you by your name, am the God of Israel.
Looking back now at my journey since that day, I can see clearly where God's hand has worked things out for me. In situations where I needed to change direction, the direction was changed. When I was on the right track, a way was made for me to continue, even when I couldn't see a way. I might not have agreed with God about what was best for me at the time, but I kept my faith in the living God, and he hasn't let me down. Now I understand that he knows me better than I know myself! Just remember, God responds to faith, not to pain. I've learned to try to adapt to what life throws at me, because it's all part of it:
1 To everything there is a season,
A time for every purpose under heaven:
2 A time to be born, And a time to die;
A time to plant, And a time to pluck what is planted;
3 A time to kill, And a time to heal;
A time to break down, And a time to build up;
4 A time to weep, And a time to laugh;
A time to mourn, And a time to dance;
5 A time to cast away stones, And a time to gather stones;
A time to embrace, And a time to refrain from embracing;
6 A time to gain, And a time to lose;
A time to keep, And a time to throw away;
7 A time to tear, And a time to sew;
A time to keep silence, And a time to speak;
8 A time to love, And a time to hate;
A time of war, And a time of peace.
I think the idea of "obeying" God is where a lot of people get tripped up. When you think of "obeying", you might visualize galley slaves rowing a boat, or a dog sitting for a treat. That couldn't be farther from the truth. God isn't a control freak on a power trip trying to order people around. Maybe a good word to substitute for obey would be "trust". He created you, so He knows you and wants to make your life the best it can be. Jesus said:
10 The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.
11 “I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd gives His life for the sheep. 12 But a hireling, he who is not the shepherd, one who does not own the sheep, sees the wolf coming and leaves the sheep and flees; and the wolf catches the sheep and scatters them. 13 The hireling flees because he is a hireling and does not care about the sheep. 14 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own.
When you decide to become saved by grace and ask Jesus into your heart(and that is entirely up to you), you then have a life coach. When you obey God, there is now a constant exchange between you. You exchange blindness for sight. You gain wisdom, discernment, and the ability to have intimate conversations with God anytime, anywhere. You now get insider information on what's not meant for you, and what is. You learn to stop trying to control things that are out of your control, and to stop trying to figure out everything on your own, which brings peace. Your burdens are lightened, not made heavier:
105 "Your word is a lamp to my feet
And a light to my path.
28 Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. 29 Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and lowly in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30 For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”
When you obey God, you find your purpose. You realize that we're not all here just to work, pay bills, and consume. That's the worlds way, but that's not why you're here. You are far more precious than that. When you obey God, you gain self respect, plus humility, because you are the child of a King, but you are also here to serve and be an example of God's love.
36 “Teacher, which is the great commandment in the law?”
37 Jesus said to him, “‘You shall love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your mind.’ 38 This is the first and great commandment. 39 And the second is like it: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ 40 On these two commandments hang all the Law and the Prophets.”
When you hand your life over to the one who created you, you actually find your life. You have the opportunity to learn who you really are, what your gifts are, and what you're supposed to be doing. You realize how amazing it is just being alive, and what an incredible gift you've been given. And all you have to do is ask for it. It's absolutely free for the taking. I don't know how to put it a better way. As it's so beautifully written in the Bible, Jesus said:
8 For by grace you have been saved through faith, and that not of yourselves; it is the gift of God, 9 not of works, lest anyone should boast. 10 For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them.
The bond I have with God intensifies over time as I continue to study His word, meditate on Him, and try to keep my thoughts and actions aligned with Him. I attribute my nearly nauseating sense of hope solely to His presence in my life. He is my best friend, and He is always with me:
1 John 4
4 You are of God, little children, and have overcome them, because He who is in you is greater than he who is in the world.
The times that are terribly hard make me a stronger, wiser person, and the lessons I learn about what is truly important in life make my life richer.
Have you ever wondered if there really is a God, if God loves you, and what the Bible is? Ever wonder why you're alive and what you're supposed to be doing while you're here?
I believe that we humans are amazing, spiritual beings in temporary, physical bodies. You and I were selected to be in this world right now, right where we are, to affect others, and so that others can affect us. How we chose to do that determines what our own lives will be like now, while we're here on earth, and later when we travel on.
One day we'll be off to new adventures(for better or worse) in a much different place, and now's the time to decide where that's going to be. Now's all we have! We came into this world complete with unique gifts, personalities, and potential. We're here for a reason, not by chance. If you're eyes opened this morning, then you have things to do. How do I know? Because the God I know is alive and works in me. The Bible says(speaking about those who follow Jesus):
13 “You are the salt of the earth; but if the salt loses its flavor, how shall it be seasoned? It is then good for nothing but to be thrown out and trampled underfoot by men.
14 “You are the light of the world. A city that is set on a hill cannot be hidden. 15 Nor do they light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a lampstand, and it gives light to all who are in the house. 16 Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven.
You can't be "salt" or a "light" if you're trying to be like everyone else in the world.
No matter what a persons age, race, geographical location, income, history or family tree, every single one of the roughly 7 billion people on earth have struggled with or are struggling with something. No one is immune to hardships. We all have questions, problems and tough decisions to make. But there is good news! Life does come with an instruction manual! It's called "The Bible", and it's available everywhere.
Maybe you're skeptical about the whole Bible, God, and the Christianity thing. That's perfectly understandable. You might ask, "If there's a loving God then why do bad things happen to good people?" "If there's a loving God then why do people suffer?" God can answer your questions, but there's a catch. He only reveals himself to those who earnestly seek him, and then, only gradually. Just as a hurricane can crush delicate flowers, he reveals himself a little at a time so we have time to learn, process, understand and grow. You wouldn't expect a 3 year old to organize a party(well, not the ones I know, anyway).
God knows your intentions, and if your heart's not in it, He's not going to take you seriously. Learning who God is is not like studying for an algebra test, because this isn't an academic education. This is spiritual education, and if you aren't sincere, then it won't matter if you live in a church and read the whole Bible every day for the rest of your life, you won't get to know Him. But if you're sincere, all you have to do is ask...
7 Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you:
8 For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened.
The closer you become to God, the closer He'll come to you. You move farther away from God, He'll move farther away from you. You move, God moves. With faith and patience He will give you what you need to live a fulfilling life. You will have questions and times of doubt, and that's ok. You're an imperfect person in an imperfect world. Trust God's timing.
All of us yearn for love, companionship, encouragement, and acceptance. Some people are blessed with terrific families or friends that lift them up and encourage them. That's great! But whether or not you have anyone else in your life supporting you, your creator is always there with you. He'll help you to find strength and peace, no matter where you are or what's going on around you.
No matter what else you do, just know that you are unconditionally loved. He loves you so much he sent a divine man, his son Jesus, to the earth to be born, live, suffer and die so we could have some understanding of just how much. Unconditionally, forever, without fail. In a world where it's getting harder to know who to trust, you can trust Him.
Only the living God offers us the promise of eternal peace in paradise with him when we die, and all you have to do to get started in your new life is to ask Jesus to come into your heart and trust him as your savior.
I invite you to browse around this site. You've come this far. Make it worth your while. :)
Peace and Blessings!