Monday, December 29, 2008
It was on my way home from work and my stop at the store when I had the impulse to do something nice for somebody. Yes, I said it was an impulse. The grocery store that I frequent enrout to my domicile was unusually busy this morning, but there was only one cashier. It was, as usual in the early morning on my trek home, Paula (name not changed to protect the innocent, and it doesn't matter, because I do not even know her last name). She's a nice lady, about my age. She knows my first name, too, and it is wonderful to have that kind of relationship with people where you always shop.
I only stopped at the grocery store to pick up a couple things. Hearing that we may be getting more snow in the next day or two, I decided to stock up. I picked up extra cans of various veggies along with some other essentials. Getting it today would save me the trouble of battling the elements to do any shopping in the next few days while I enjoy my weekend.
Being that I had a cart loaded with all of this stuff when my shopping was done ... uh, actually just a bunch of items, I let somebody go ahead of me at the cashier line because he only had a couple of things. No problem. And then, just as I started loading all of those things on that conveyor belt, somebody came up behind me, also with a couple little things. Paula had already started ringing up my desired merchandise, so I couldn't really let that guy go ahead of me. So, I simply stated that he should put those couple of things in with my stuff, I'd pay for it, it was on me. That way, Paula could give him his stuff and he could be on his way!
Of course, the gentleman balked at first. You know, the thing where the person says, "You don't have to do that...", and of course, I persisted, and he relented. Paula looked at me across the counter as she was scanning my goods, with the wide eyes that asked with out saying a word, "What are you doing?"
I told her a lie. I said it was "National Acts of Kindness Day." And I quickly added further to the fib by amending that to "National Acts of Kindness Week." Like I said, it was just one of those things that came to me, pretty much on the spot.
There is an alterior motive for me to relate this story to you today. Obviously, being that this all happened spontaneously, what I did wasn't premeditated, but there was the great reason - right there - why you needed to hear about this today.
I had written about it somewhere else this last weekend - oh, yeah, in the email I sent to Kevin Wall, filling in for the resting Glenn Beck - that we have to choose betwen "Individual efforts or dependence on the government.... " Kevin Wall talked about it, and Pat Boone wrote about it. It's a question of, "Would you rather?"
There will be many people that will face certain financial hardships in the coming year(s). I can tell you this from my usual right-wing slant: The government ain't going to be there to help every person through the financial storm. And, as drastic as things may be financially in 2009, I doubt that you and I will be able to bail out every individual facing financial devastation. But, guess what? We can help, just by doing nice things for people when it is possible. If anything, just to get their morale back up, to give people some hope.
By making 2009 the "Acts of Kindness YEAR," maybe we can make it contagious. Just doing some little things in quantity could make a difference in somebody's life. This is just an idea, based on what Jesus may have commanded us to do... Oh, yeah, he did! But, He didn't command us to pass on that awesome responsibility to some bureaucrats in high government positions.
No, He made it very clear that taking care of and loving people was our sole responsibility, to the best of our ability. And I don't know about you, but I'm not financially able to make a difference in that way most of the time, but it isn't that expensive to hold a door open for somebody or help a little old lady across a busy street, or allow somebody in heavy traffic to change lanes without us having a hissy-fit. Be kind. Being kind is an act of kindness. That is all it will take to make it contagious. I think you'll see.
And, I may as well say it, if you follow this plan, there's something in it for you. It is like crying with a great feeling in my heart all the way home from the grocery store today. The feeling that you get from it is better than the high the best drugs would ever give you.
Jesus didn't just suggest it, but he commanded: Love Thy Neighbor.
Saturday, December 20, 2008
You can either read the transcript, or listen to the actual audio from his show. And here's the really good part: It's free! Please read and/or listen to it. I know you've probably heard the Christmas story many times. However, in this segment, Glenn discusses a perspective of the birth of Jesus that I had not ever thought of or heard before. In other words, an overlooked part of the Christmas story that may help you.
This is a story, this is a story that has been told so many times. We all know where it begins and how it ends. It's a story of birth and death. Of hope and despair. Of great doubt and even greater faith. That's the part we're going to concentrate on, great doubt and profound faith. As anyone can tell you who has stood at the foot of Abraham Lincoln, the Memorial in Washington D.C. and gazed up into his face, our historical figures are so often painted with such bold strokes that they become more giants than men, yet I believe to truly understand their brilliance, their courage or their faith, we need to see them first as who they really were: People just like us, people with hopes and dreams and fears. Just like us. [Continue reading or listen]digg story, submitted by bakeshowdotus
Thursday, December 11, 2008
By Rev. Gerri Janeway
Don't let anyone or anything stop you, slow you, or detour you.
Your steps are ordered by God.
You will never walk alone.
Jesus promised never to leave you or forsake you.
The Lord will walk with you;
but, he cannot walk for you.
The faith walk is a choice.
There will be times that you do not feel like walking.
Jesus did not feel like walking the Calvary Road.
Yet, He walked on.
Walk on in persistence.
When others whom you love turn back,
When those you trusted and walked with turn aside,
When friends leave you and forsake you,
Don't turn to the left or the right;
keep your heart focused on your walk... And,
Remember, your walk is chartered and planned by God.
Straight is the way and narrow the gate.
Keep your feet on the Highway of Holiness.
Walk in His footsteps.
Never forget, many are called but, few are chosen
To walk that path.
He will give you courage and strength for the journey.
His Grace is sufficient.
We are nearing the end of the journey.
We are almost Home.
Walk on, my child, walk on.
Published with permission. © 2008 ~ Rev. Gerri Janeway. You may republish this by including this statement.
Sunday, December 7, 2008
Very early this morning, on an extremely cold wintry day here in Iowa, I finished reading "The Christmas Sweater", the best-selling novel by Glenn Beck. I will never, ever forget the thoughts that ran through my mind as I finished the last several chapters. I was overwhelmed.
Overwhelming feelings can come in different ways. I remember, quite vividly, the way I was overwhelmed almost five years ago when my wife passed away. That was overwhelming grief. It was a storm in my life that I eventually got through, but it was difficult. It did take some time.
And then there are times when we can experience overwhelming joy. The birth of a child comes to my mind, right off the bat, especially when we are talking about the child born in a manger 2000 years ago, the great gift that God has given us.
Well, even the birth of our own children, and all that we see while our loved ones progress through life - even when they have to struggle through their own storms - can all lead to overwhelming joy!
However, each of us are going to have different reactions to the way we see the storms in our lives, just as we will take different roads to deal with the storms.
The way we deal with our storms defines who we are. For those of us who face our storms, and reach the other side of the storm as it eventually passes by, we are rewarded, in ways you may haven't thought of. You will find many people that have faced the storms in their lives and overcame them will go on to help many other people. Glenn Beck is a great example of that, as this gentleman attests to:
So, as you are struggling through your storms, the ones in your past, present, and future, you can feel additional inspiration and confidence by knowing that at some point you will be there to assist somebody else through their storm. And maybe that is why God puts those storms in front of us from time to time. That's an answer that is truly overwhelming!
Friday, November 28, 2008
No kidding, there is no way that I can describe how much the following video, an interview Glenn Beck did with Pat Robertson, has touched me today. And it is my prayer that this will touch many of you, too! Are you ready? Do you have a box of tissues close by? Okay, here it goes:
After seeing the above video, the thoughts were racing through my puny little gray sponge for a brain. And that was while I developed a major plumbing leak, and water was pouring out of my eyes. That, my friends, was one major TESTIMONY of the power of Jesus Christ!
As I was saying, I was overwhelmed this morning. But that was a very good thing. I came up with the title, "How It Begins: The Turning Point," for a reason, I guess. Yeah, well, that is the point. The turning point. That really is how it begins. Somehow, as those thoughts were skidding around the twists and turns in my cranial cavity, I realized how many of the people that became Christians, that I know, who were at their last straw.
Yes, as Glenn Beck testifies, it CAN happen! Praise Jesus!
I just realized, though, that while I ramble here, nobody is really listening. I know, you may still be totally stunned by the video I just shared with you. While there were millions of things that I wanted to say, Glenn Beck had already said it all. I am still trying to wrap my mind around how profound that segment was. That was when I realized, all I had to do was to share it.
Sunday, November 23, 2008
You know what's coming soon, right? Holidays. Thanksgiving. Christmas. Relatives. In-laws...
Well, here's a way I want to share with you on how to handle those things. Hugs. You may be surprised what they can do.
Before my late wife Connie came into my family, there were no such thing as hugs. Now, there are no times that we would ever get by without a hug. A coincidence? I don't think so!
And despite our differences, this is just more proof, we can all love each other. Maybe that is what Jesus taught us... Oh, I don't know, but it is my strongest hunch.
I love you all!
Sometimes it takes a winter in our lives to realize just how much God blesses us.
And just when you are thinking things are getting a lot better, we deal with floods of problems...
I don't want to go too deep here, but I seem to be seeing a very Hegelian way of looking at the way we need to deal with our trials and tribulations. We can see the beauty in even the most harsh conditions, but, there are also times in which we find ourselves facing very undesirable conditions, where our efforts to recover would seem to be overwhelming.
In the two videos above, I showed both the way that we can find the beauty in our adversities, and also the way that there can be things in our lives that are beyond our ability to deal with on our own. Either way, though, look at the way God has found new ways to teach us. There are just those times that maybe we aren't able to turn lemons into lemonade, at least, not without God's assistance. There are those things that are not just beyond our control, but also where we need to realize that we need God to show His Mercy. And that is a fundamental concept that we should really start doing more to learn.
Friday, November 21, 2008
Thanks to David Limbaugh, in his column, "Evangelicals: A drag on the GOP?", he discusses the way that Kathleen Parker blames Evangelical Christians for the demise of the Republican Party. But this article isn't about politics. It is about what she wrote in a very scathing column, "Heresies and Other Truths," and I am going to have to take her behind the woodshed on this one.
Why do I get the feeling that Kathleen Parker has a very low opinion of Evangelical Christians? Hasn't she ever read the Bible? Did she skip over the New Testament? Forget to read the book of Acts?
I don't really appreciate being called a low-brow Christian, but that isn't what upsets me. Oh, I know, being "upset" isn't the word I should use. Well, let me just say that I'm not a "sit down and shut up" Christian... I'll be happy to turn my other cheek as soon as I express the displeasure I may have, in the most loving way that I can, of course. And I do try to avoid "outbursts," but some times I just need to "vent."
Here are the many insults that Kathleen Parker threw at Evangelical Christians:
"The evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP is what ails the erstwhile conservative party and will continue to afflict and marginalize its constituents if reckoning doesn't soon cometh."
"Three little letters, great big problem: G-O-D."
"Armband religion is killing the Republican Party."
"To be more specific, the evangelical, right-wing, oogedy-boogedy branch of the GOP"
"as it has become increasingly beholden to an element that used to be relegated to wooden crates on street corners."
"Which is to say, the GOP has surrendered its high ground to its lowest brows."
"the party has alienated its non-base constituents, including other people of faith (those who prefer a more private approach to worship),"
"shifting demographics suggest that the Republican Party -- and conservatism with it -- eventually will die out unless religion is returned to the privacy of one's heart where it belongs."
"Anyone watching the two conventions last summer can't have missed the stark differences: One party was brimming with energy, youth and diversity; the other felt like an annual Depends sales meeting."
"Even Sarah Palin has blamed Bush policies for the GOP loss. She's not entirely wrong, but she's also part of the problem."
"Let's do pray that God shows Alaska's governor the door. "
"And the nonreligious won't get religion through external conversion. It doesn't work that way."
I don't apologize for my rant about Kathleen's article this morning. That was some pretty dark stuff that she was saying about people that she could, and should, consider as Brothers and Sisters in the Lord. I mean, could she have said any more that trashes those of us that consider ourselves as Evangelical?
I don't apologize for my beliefs. I actually feel very sorry for Ms. Kathleen Parker. In her in-your-face diatribe, she was pretty blatant about her disgust for Evangelism. Worse yet, she may lead many of us to think that "she's a fence-sitting Christian." So, Kathleen, are you afraid to admit you are a Christian? Is that it?
Hey, Evangelical Christians aren't out there wielding swords, ready to chop off the heads of the Infidels. We just want people to understand the message that Jesus gives us, that He died for our sins, and gives us hope of an Eternal Life with God. I am sorry that she didn't learn the main lessons that Jesus taught us, and that was to love our Brothers and Sisters in the Lord. Maybe she needs to go to a Bible study class or two. I'm just saying....
Ms. Parker, I recommend that you check out Our Forty Days of Purpose!, where I wrote about each chapter of Rick Warren's "Purpose Driven Life." Or, just go read that book. I was just trying to make it easier for you.
Now, in my final words for this writing, I need to explain a few things. At first, I was going to post this in one of my other blogs, the one called JOHNNY2K IS HOME, where I write mostly about politics. After all, Kathleen Parker's column was about how the Evangelical Christians are chasing away many of the potential base of the Republican Party, and it supposedly lead to Obama's victory (if he can find his birth certificate - but I won't go there right now...) in the election on November 4. But I changed my mind. I came to the conclusion that Ms Parker's disparaging comments about Evangelical Christians were much more about her distaste for our "religion" than it was with politics.
This blog was surely a better venue to deal with something that is dangerously permeating through American culture. You see, there are many people that really do want to silence Christians. There are the attacks on the First Amendment, those that use the erroneous phrase that isn't mentioned in the Constitution, anywhere: "Separation of Church and State." You know the folks, those that want to replace "Merry Christmas" with "Happy Holidays."
Lastly, I must thank David Limbaugh for bringing Kathleen Parker's column to my attention. Oh, and also for handling the political aspects of what she wrote and how wrong she was.
And then there is somebody else that also deserves my great appreciation. I had started on this post very early Friday morning after I read David's column. I was in the process of writng this when the Glenn Beck show came on the radio Friday (21 NOV) morning. And you'd never believe what Glenn spoke about, I think right at the beginning of the show: Kathleen Parker's column. And it was right in line with what I had already written and had been thinking about writing. Whoa! Believe me, it was very inspirational, not just for this writing, but in my life in general. Thank you, Glenn! By the way, a side note. I need to add that Glenn Beck said to "pray for our leaders," as he was closing the show. Believe me, I am.
Editors note: I should mention that I had actually posted this story to this blog yesterday morning, but after reading it this morning, I decided it needed vast revisions. I hope I have been able to achieve that enhancement to the best of my abilities today.
Thursday, November 20, 2008
Wednesday, November 19, 2008
Miracles DO happen. Brian Welch, formerly of one of those rock groups that we would dread having our kids listen to, turned to the Lord. Brian chose faith.
Sure, most of us could not imagine the kind of life he was going through. But, the truth is, we all have our "tipping points." There are things that go on in our lives that will push us to "higher" spiritual levels. From non-believer to believer, or making a decision to spread the message of the Gospel to a greater extent, there are those things that will inspire us. This is just one of them.
So, here was another video that I had uploaded to youtube long ago. Out of those 162 videos, this is NUMBER TWO (#2). It now has well over 100,000 views. It has given many people new opportunities to witness to the lost. Believe me, it is a big hit for a reason. God's reason.
Oh, and I am starting to understand why God lead me to start this blog. Yeah. It's ministry time. This is a brand new opportunity for not just me, but many others. We're just getting started. For some reason, too, today just seemed like a great day to ramp up my efforts here on this blog. I am hoping that it will also inspire others to get involved here.
Oh, yeah, I am just getting started. No, I keep forgetting... sorry about that...
WE are just getting started!
I guess that I am not the only one that loves this particular video. Out of the 162 videos I have uploaded to youtube.com in the last two years, this is #4!
It is probably because this song seems to be able to tell the Gospel in very clear terms!
Yes, Jesus has changed my whole life! I am not afraid to admit it!
Introducing the incredible and amazing God-given talent and abilities of Glenn Beck.
Blogging in Our Time 2 Escape: A sneak peak of Glenn Beck's "The Christmas Sweater"
Monday, November 17, 2008
Sometimes, the loss of a loved one takes awhile to get over. What? Sometimes? No, I mean most of the time, at least for normal people. We just don't always get over a loss all that easily.
The following video was recorded about two years ago. It was more than two years after my wife passed away. While I had always tried to react in a positive way, there was always this tugging on my heart strings. I didn't hear any harps playing from Heaven, so I came up with this song... "Miss You So Much"....
In this video, you'll see the real ME. I know the feeling of losing a loved one. It's been a couple years since I thought about this, but here it is again. And, there is the one way to get through the sorrow. My faith. It wasn't always easy, but I can tell you that the Lord helped me get through these times. I depend on that every day. I depend on the Lord to get me through what ever comes my way.
Doing what I did in the following video was part of my healing process. And yes, I still have more healing to do.
Please see my forum post, Miss You So Much for the lyrics I wrote....
Tuesday, November 11, 2008
UPDATE: Please be sure to see the video submitted at digg.com by ChristNewsWatch. In my negligence, I forgot to mention how I found this great video.
I also watched the video again, and realized just how good the message is. I don't know how I missed the message in my first views of this video. I guess I need to thank ChristNewsWatch for his persistence, because this video has touched my life in a big way. We get way too wrapped up in our own lives sometimes, and forget about to care about those that need some hope. So, for that reason, this is the PERFECT video to be in the initial launch of this blog. It's a good way to keep us in focus of what we're doing here. If WE ARE THE BODY, then we better start watching out for each other. Enough said.
Saturday, November 1, 2008
My friends, my Brothers and Sisters in the Lord, I am not sure where things will go starting on November 5, 2008. Things may soon change. And for that reason, it is time for me to begin thinking about a change in my focus.
Oh, please beleive me, the timing of this announcement is not "coincidental". I have to say that in the next few mohths, there will be many changes that may not be for our benefit as Christians. This may be a very short-lived effort, so I will take every advantage I can of our current freedoms.
So, what is this blog going to be about? Well, I just have one goal, one mission, one purpose, and all with a lot of passion. I want to take this blog to the limits of exposing the Lord to as many people as possible!
In this process, I want many guest writers. I will link to great blogs. I will bring you the best of great Christian videos. And I will depend on YOU, my Brothers and Sisters, to contribute!
Don't worry. I will relieve you of any further responsibility other than the effort to point me to what needs to be posted. I'll be doing the "editor" job. But, I know that with a great team effort, this can be a fabulous blog. I am already believing that we can get top writers in the Christian community to offer their works. And that is what this all about.
This is the network of the Cross Tribe. Now is our time. If you have been keeping in touch with the events over the last few years, months, weeks, days... you should know that there is a limited amount of time left for us to share the Gospel... at least without worrying about being intimidated and villified.
Hey, let's get 'er done!