Religion

Let God do something for you

The great Apostle John declares in 1 John 2:13, “I write unto you, young men, because you have overcome the wicked one. I write unto you, little children, because you have known the Father.” John the Apostle writes again in 1 John 4:4, “Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is He that is in you than he that is in the world.”  

After being in the ministry 42 years, I often see people still having problems that they had ten or twenty years ago. I think to myself, “When are they going to get over their problem?”

In this world we are going to have problems, but I don’t believe that God wants us to carry these problems around with us the rest of our lives. Mark 5:25 tells the story of the woman that had a blood disease for 12 years.  I don’t know about you, but I don’t like to be sick 12 days or even 12 hours, much less 12 years. This same woman spent all the money she had trying to get better, but she grew worse.  Finally, she did something very life changing. When she heard of Jesus and His healing powers, she let her faith in Christ do the talking and she said, “If I may touch his clothes, I shall be whole.”  She then made her way through the crowd and touched Jesus’ garment. The scripture then shares that she immediately felt that she was healed of her sickness.  

Supernaturally, Jesus knew that virtue and power had gone out of Him, and he turned around and addresses the crowd, saying “Who touched my clothes?”  Jesus then looked around to see the woman that touched him. The woman, fearing and trembling, knew she had been healed. She then came and fell down before Jesus and told Him her testimony. Jesus then said, “Daughter, your faith had made you whole; go in peace, and be healed of your sickness.”

I have often said, “What you fail to overcome today and tomorrow, will eventually over come you in the future.” Using the same example of the woman with the blood disease; ultimately, she used her faith in God to receive healing to overcome the deadly illness. In other words, what you don’t overcome will overcome you. 

Dear alcoholic, if you don’t overcome your booze problem, it will overcome you. Dear drug addict, if you don’t overcome your drug addiction, your drug addiction will control your life.  Dear sinner, if you don’t address your sin problem and accept Jesus as Lord and Savior of your life — allowing the blood of Jesus Christ to cleanse you from all sin — you will remain in your sin, living as a slave to sin.

This is my final comment: like the woman with the issue of blood, let God do something for you and then go tell someone.  Allow your faith to touch Jesus, and know that Jesus desires to touch you.

— Tommy Meekins

Don’s Daily Parable-You’ve got a lot of nerve

I know that you all have heard just about all you want to hear about my leg, or the lack of it. After all it’s been three-and-a-half years — give it a rest, huh Dandy? Well, even though it’s old news to you all, it’s new every day when I wake up and it’s still gone. Not only that, it’s gonna stay gone until I get to heaven and God will provide me with a brand new one, praise His name.

I know that most of you have heard about the phantom pain which is associated with the loss of a limb. Well, I can tell you that they may call it phantom, but it is just as real as the words you are reading. The nerves in the human body are so wonderful, the way that God created them. They not only send impulses to our muscles from our brains to tell us to move our arm or hand or finger, but it also sends pain signals from those same limbs, to our brains, so that we know when we are injured. I know that there are times when we wish we didn’t have those pain receptors, but we would be in rough condition if we didn’t have them.

The phantom pain that I have is a very painful (hence the name “pain”) and it also feels as if it’s coming directly from the toes on my right leg, which is plainly not there. The nerve doesn’t know that, however. It still remembers 75 years ago when I was born, that I had a leg that went all the way down to my toes. It’s still trained to believe that my leg is still there. 

Through these last three-and-a-half years, it has gotten some better. It still hurts just as bad, but it now feels as if my leg is about a foot and a half long (no pun intended.) I suppose that the nerve is beginning to learn the actual length of my leg (which is actually zero inches long.)

You know, when we become Christians, we acknowledge that Christ has taken away all of our sins. We believe upon His Word that 100 percent of our sins are washed away and are remembered no more. The thing is, they are! The problem remains, however, that we listen to satan and his lies. We all do it. We all have a problem believing that we can be forgiven of some of the things we have done.

It’s like the parable I wrote the other day: God’s Word is either true or it’s not. So, when we doubt what God’s Word says, “We’ve got a lot of nerve”! 

God bless you.

— Don Cunningham

To God be the glory

A God without glory seems to me to be no God at all. At the same time, it strikes me that glory (magnificence and resulting respect) must exist in the mind of an outside observer. Can glory be conjured up just within the Godhead, without other beings acknowledging that glory? It is an interesting question. 

John 12:28-41 speaks enigmatically of the glorification of Jesus, a glory which is associated with and initiated by blindness, which ironically prevents observation. At the same  time this glorification is said to be separate from understanding and the possibility of obedience, so it does not involve ritual piety as so often implied by conventional Christian theology. I believe verse 40 does not mean that this blindness was induced lest the people be healed but rather implies that God would first blind and then heal anyway. Thus blindness and healing were necessarily connected and that connection was the source of God's subsequent glory.

The basic question remains: how can God be glorified? By acts of omnipotence as in creation, maybe? But much more importantly to the biblical story, God is glorified, shown to be magnificent in His love, patience, forbearance, even in His humility. Destructive and coercive displays of power and demands for conformity and subservience hardly appear magnificent to this human observer, as blind as I may be.

Glorification results from profoundly loving the profoundly flawed. That perfectly describes God. We can glorify God in only one way, to emulate his profound love of others. Ritual piety and worship are meaningless to God. He is far above such personal aggrandizement. Does God's glory place him above and separate from humanity or does it firmly place Him in the very midst of humanity, experiencing what we all experience? Is God's perfection immeasurably beyond human capability or a foretaste of our own divinity? 

Please visit us at www.sjolanderroadfellowsip.com.

— Rick Crotts

Faith News: Win-win

I have never won the lottery. They tell me that in order to win you have to buy a ticket. Maybe that’s why I’ve never won.

I’ve been very lucky though. I’ve survived being broadsided by an 18 wheeler at 60 mph on highway 59. I’ve survived melanoma for the last 19 years. I’ve survived being happily married for 42 years. I have survived raising two wonderful adult children who have been happily married for 3 years now. I survived serving as a pastor for 40 years and am serving a wonderful, loving church in beautiful Baytown now.  

Once a year I do gamble, whether I need to or not. I buy one raffle ticket for the Baytown Rotary Festival. Like last year, it will take place at the Royal Purple Raceway Crown Club from 11 a.m. to 3 p.m. My $100 ticket not only buys me two shrimp and catfish dinners, but it enters me in a raffle drawing for more than 20 prizes, including a grand prize of a 2018 Toyota Tacoma or a 2018 Honda CR-V. Our goal was to sell 1,000 tickets, so my 1 ticket has a 1-in-1,000 chance of winning something. The winner of the drawings will be announced at 3 p.m.

This year, in addition to the great food, there will be lots of fun activities like train rides, balloon animals, a petting zoo, face painting, bouncy house, and sports center featuring football, basketball and baseball, an obstacle course for older children and free popcorn. The Wetlands Center will bring slimy animals for us to touch and the police and fire departments will be there as well.

There will also be live music from the Texas Avenue Band. They played at the Fourth of July Celebration at Bicentennial Park and know a lot of the songs I remember.  

There will also be two auctions: a silent one throughout the day and a live auction at 12:30 p.m. At one of our meetings I volunteered to donate one prime back pew season ticket to worship at Faith Presbyterian, but for some reason they laughed.  

Even if I don’t win anything in the raffle or the auction I still win because my $100 goes to support local services like Meals on Wheels and Habitat for Humanity, both of which have offices on the campus of our church.  The proceeds support Love Network, which helps people in our community in need. The proceeds go to support Polio Plus an effort to wipe out polio around the world, the Guerrero Clinic in Mexico and to build water wells through Living Water.    

The apostle Paul said, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”  He said that as a veteran of shipwreck, false imprisonment, beatings, as well as the success of starting churches everywhere he landed. He was able to lose and to win through Christ who strengthened him. This Saturday, at the Royal Purple Raceway where it’s all about winning, I will be able to do “all things through Christ who strengthens me,” even if I don’t win anything in the raffle. Because in Christ, when I gamble once a year whether I need to or not and don’t win, I win because my gamble pays off in spades for those in need in my community and in our world. 

It’s a win-win.

—Jim Gill

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