New Favorite Preacher

What do Andy Stanley, Louie Giglio, Judah Smith, Perry Noble, Joyce Meyers, Dick Lincoln and Adrian Despres all have in common?

First, they are all dynamic ministers. More importantly to me, over the last year, depending on who Collins has heard recently, each of them at different times has become her “new favorite Preacher.” Collins, being a “mini me,” has grown fond of watching sermons online during the week, not just on the Sundays she is traveling. Every week she has a new favorite, depending on which podcast she has watched. I absolutely love the internet for this reason. I love not having to wait until a Sunday morning or evening to watch a sermon or depend on a TV schedule to air one. The sermons are just sitting there waiting to be watched, and can be watched over and over again. It is a wonderful thing. I also like to watch Charles Stanley, Andy’s father. They all teach me and have helped me to grow in my walk with the Lord. It has been a great connection with Collins after she left for college. We can watch the same sermon and then talk about it over the phone. God is so good!

So needless to say, there are evils that come with the internet but there are so many great things as well. It just depends on how you want to look at it. PERSPECTIVE! I love the quote by John Lubbock, “What we see depends mainly on what we look for?”

Perspective is a viewpoint that either comes from one’s state of ideas, and the facts known to that person, or, it is from the view of what they have seen or experienced. It could also be that the person sees but is not ready to see, so they choose NOT TO SEE. Simply stated, perspective can be the innocence of honestly, “not knowing what you don’t know”—having limited vision–“seeing and choosing to not see.”

In the two years since we have emptied our nest and my mom has become ill, I have spent more time with my parents. It has been a true blessing to be able to do this for them. They are a true joy, even though the “role reversal” of becoming the “parent to your parents” has brought many challenges. I thank God every day for my sister, Marcia. It was truly God’s provision for me to have an older sister with whom I can walk through this part of life. She always brings wisdom, humor, and perspective to this phase of our lives. Many times she reminds me of my Dad’s age (83,almost 84) and the expectations we should have.

Usually I am cold natured, but not now. Funny how at 50 (BACK 9) things started to warm up for me and it hasn’t stopped! Year round now the temperature in my parents house is at least 80. The TV is so loud I can hear it outside the house when I drive up, and it is ALWAYS ON FOX NEWS OR DR. PHIL. When I drive my dad around, he tells me every turn to make, how fast to go, when to stop and which lane we should be in. It can get on your LAST NERVE. He does not understand computers, doesn’t want to, and really doesn’t like it at all when I am on mine. It is okay for him to answer his cell phone when in the car but doesn’t like it one bit when I answer mine. Does anyone “feel me?” The other day my dad was complaining about email and the internet, and cell phones and etc. I had finally had enough. I turned to him and said, “Dad, if you do not like progressing technology, then why aren’t you still using a horse and buggy? You seem to enjoy the conveniences of cars and, new ones to boot, since you have one.” He finally got it!!! He still often tells me how to drive but hasn’t really said much to me about the computer or cell phone since. He needed my PERSPECTIVE!

So often we have the wrong perspective of God. We think He is just a God to give us DO’s and DON’T’s. To judge. To condemn. To punish. Sometimes, when talking to people, I realize that this view is just a cop-out for someone really “choosing not to see”. Sometimes, it is the simple fact that it is all they have ever been told and they honestly don’t know what they don’t know. Regardless, a mission I have is to desperately ENCOURAGE people with the correct picture of God.

God is Love. Now that I am a parent, I understand more clearly and personally the “sacrificial love” of God in sending his Son, Jesus, to live on this earth, walk, teach and inspire the “written word of God”, our life book, the Bible. Then He died the Most horrific death, to pay for everyone’s sin. John 3:16, “For God so LOVED the world He gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in HIM should not perish but have ever lasting life.” To become a Christian, it is not works that allow us to know HIM, it is a free gift, a choice to pray and invite Him (Jesus) into your heart. Ephesians 2:9-10 says, “Not of works, lest any man should boast. For we are HIS workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath ordained that we should walk in them.” I know personally, when I invited Jesus into my heart, there was an instant peace, then came He (the Holy Spirit) who comes to live in your heart, who drew me into a desire to Know HIM more—to read, to grow and to have a desire to please HIM. I didn’t feel condemned. I FELT FORGIVEN and LOVED.

The purpose of my journal posts are the details of, not a perfect life, but a life of knowing Christ and being forgiven. Not being perfect and sin-free, but KNOWING THE PERFECT ONE who has a PERFECT PLAN, not just for my life, but for yours. Our pastor, Dick Lincoln, put it so well many years ago from the pulpit, when he was inviting people to know Jesus. He said, “I am not going to tell you anything you have to give up for Jesus. If you are sincere and invite Jesus into your heart, it has been my experience that your desires and PERSPECTIVE CHANGE, and some of the things you used to feel are important become less important and desirable. It would not be me giving you a list of do’s and don’t’s, it would be God in you, changing your desires!”

A relationship with Jesus is not getting religion or becoming religious. It is a PERSONAL, DAILY relationship of knowing and seeking HIM. A relationship takes TWO! IT is not one-sided. Jesus promised in Jeremiah 29:13, “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart.” He doesn’t say maybe, he says YOU WILL! When they were little, I loved describing to my children what it was like to feel God. It is like feeling the wind. You can feel it, but you don’t see it. As a lover of Jesus, I can testify that if you believe without seeing, and trust, then YOU WILL SEE HIM AS WELL. Maybe not physically, but you will see evidence of HIM in YOUR LIFE.

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