Are we doing all we can to reach the lost in the U.S.?

Hello, I’d like to share a college paper I wrote.  I would enjoy hearing your comments on it as well as your thoughts on how to reach more people in the U.S. with the Good News of Jesus Christ. Thank you!

Click here to view: Nazarenes are we doing all we can to reach the lost in the U.S. 082714

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What gets you excited about serving others?

Return to the Lord

Hello!  I had the privilege of sharing this story about Joel with the congregation of Flint New Life Church of the Nazarene.  The mission of the church is: to introduce individuals to Christ, to equip them to be followers of Christ;  and to impact our community with God’s love.

Joel is a prophet in the OT.  Joel has a message from God to the people.  The message is : if the nation will repent and return to the Lord, God will restore His relationship with her and bless her.  The nation referred to is Judah.  This message is relevant to us today.

Joel 1:15
Alas for that day! For the day of the LORD is near; it will come like destruction from the Almighty.  The day of the Lord – A day of greater trouble than yet they felt, troubles which God will heap upon them.

Joel 2:12-13
“Even now,” declares the Lord, “return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning.”
Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the LORD your God, for he is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and he relents from sending calamity.

The rending (or tearing) of the clothes was an expression of extraordinary uncontrollable emotion, chiefly of grief, of terror, or of horror. It is not mentioned as a part of ordinary mourning, but only upon some sudden overpowering grief, whether public or private.

And since it is your custom “to rend your garments” in sorrow, I command you to rend, not your clothes but your hearts – which means our hearts should be broken over our sin.

Return to the Lord your God – God is still their God, even though they had turned and were gone from Him in sin and were alienated from Him. The true, Unchangeable God said if they returned, they would find Him still “their God.”

God is “slow to anger” or “long-suffering,” enduring long the wickedness and rebellion of man, and waits patiently for the conversion and repentance of sinners.

God is ready to receive and forgive returning sinners and not execute the threatened and deserved evil.

God is patiently waiting for all to come to Him – but there will be a time when there is no more waiting.  The opportunity will be over.  Christ will come again!

Hope in Hopeless Circumstances

Pastor Bob Cattane allowed me to share this message at Flint New Life Church of the Nazarene on March 18, 2012.  May you have hope today as you trust in Jesus Christ!
“Hope in Hopeless circumstances”
In the Old Testament, Genesis 1:1, God instructs Abram to leave his country and go where He will show him. Genesis 12:2, the Lord speaks to Abram, “I will make you into a great nation and I will bless you,..”  Abram left as God had told him to.  He obeyed in faith – not because of what he could see.  At the time God speaks, Abram was married to Sarai and they are childless.  Abram is 75 years old and she is 65 years old.

Some time goes by and in Genesis 15:3 Abram said, “You have given me no children…”  Abram has not seen God’s promise realized.  Most of us would likely start to doubt.  God reassures him in Genesis 15:5, “Look up at the heavens and count the starts – if indeed you can count them.”  Then he said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”  Wow!

Genesis 15:6, Abram believed the Lord.

Many years go by and Abram is now 99  years old and Sarai is 89 years old. In Genesis 17:6  God said to him, “I will make you very fruitful; I will make nations of you and kings will come from you.”  God changed his name from Abram to Abraham – which means father of many.  In Genesis 17:16 God says about Sarai, “I will bless her and will surely give you a son by her.  I will bless her so that she will be the mother of many nations; kings of peoples will come from her.”

In Genesis 21:1, “Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised.  21:3, Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.”

In the New Testament in Romans 4:18, Paul writes, “Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed and so became the father of many nations, just as it had been said to him, “So shall your offspring be.”

Why does it say, against all hope?  Because when Abraham was 99 and Sarah 89 – they still had no son together.  Sarah was well past child-bearing age.  Abraham was an old man.

Other translations of the Bible make it more clear. “Even when there was no reason for hope, Abraham kept hoping – believing” it states in The New Living Translation.
“Hoping in spite of hopeless circumstances, he believed.” This is from The International Standard Version
God’s Word Translation states, “When there was nothing left to hope for, Abraham still hope and believed.”
The one I like best, Weymouth New Testament, Under utterly hopeless circumstances, he hopefully believed.

Are we familiar with hopeless circumstances? What did Abraham believe about them? He believed not in the circumstances and what he could see but he believed the promises of God!  God said it and he believed it.  The Bible is full of God’s promises to us.  They all for all who believe.  In Jeremiah 29:11, God promises, “For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.”  Do you hear that?  God has great plans for you. Plans that are filled with HOPE.  We must put our full trust in our Lord Jesus Christ.  He is FAITHFUL!!

The God of all comfort

Pastor Bob Cattane has allowed me to open the service on Sundays with a welcome and brief message.  I take this seriously and always pray and ask God what He would want me to share.  The following is from Sunday, March 11, 2012.

My name is Lynn.  I serve as a lay minister.  That means I’m in training and taking classes.  I’d like to share some of my personal life with you.  I had a serious depression episode when I was 23.  It seemed like my whole world was black – not just a black cloud – but entire darkness.  My doctors found medication that helped.  Counseling and family support helped me.  Most of all, Jesus helped – I accepted him as my Lord and Savior.  Jesus gave me hope for a brighter future.  Life is still a struggle but God has been there to help me through each and every day.  Why do I share this?

In God’s word in 2 Corinthians 1:3-4, we read: “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort,  who comforts us in all our troubles, SO that WE can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves receive from God.”

God has changed my heart through my experiences.  Now, I am able to understand the pain that so many go through.  I am certain that most of you have experienced deep hurt and pain.  God is there to give you comfort – thank you Lord for that!  However, he wants to use your experience to comfort others.

HOW?
1.  Find a quiet place where you can hear the whisper of God’s voice.
2.  God will show you what he wants – be aware of opportunities.
3.  Little things are so important.
4.  A kind word and listening ear mean so much to someone in a time of difficulty or despair.
5.  Your presence is sometimes all that is needed.

You may never know how much your actions, words or just being there will mean to someone else.  However, you will know the joy of serving the Lord!!

Have a great day and remember the Lord is there waiting for you to call on Him!  Lynn

A Tribute to my dear friend Jeannine Nagy

It was a blessing and privilege to know Jeannine.  She loved the Lord and people and went quietly going about the business of serving Him.  Jeannine served on our church board, cleaned, cooked and most of all prayed.  I have so many precious memories of her going up to the altar, kneeling and wrapping her arm around others to pray for them.  She was on the Prayer team and always ready to lift up to the Lord anyone who needed prayer.  She just poured all her love and concern into others.  The love she received from God flowed through her into others.  Jeannine struggled with many health issues and pain.  However, that did not stop her from being faithful to the Lord and trusting Him for all her needs. For me, Jeannine was a supporter, an encourager, a friend and a sister in Christ.  Jeannine you will be greatly missed but I will not forget all that I learned from you.  I am so happy that she is with her Savior now.  My dear friend, I look forward to seeing you again.

What can we do?

Welcome to my blog!  I am here to share my journey as I learn to love, share and care for others.  Jesus has changed me and continues to change me.  One of the ways this has happened is by volunteering at Flint New Life Church of the Nazarene.  Flint is a depressed city with high crime, high unemployment and people who have lost hope.  Jesus has given me hope for my future.  My mission is to share that hope and love to others in this hurting world.

I would like to hear about your ideas and experiences.  My question is:  What can we do to care for the hungry, broken and hopeless all around us?