Friends I have been so blessed to belong to a Church family who loves me for who I am and who loves me unconditionally. When I think about what I have been going through these past couple of years and especially the pain I have caused Heidi and my Son I have to wonder how can anyone care about me? I am very ashamed of what I have done and I have asked for forgiveness from my family and from God. I do believe that I have been forgiven and have been shown more mercy and grace than I deserve, but then again that’s what being a Christian is all about. Here are a couple of scriptures that come to mind.
Romans 3:23-24 tells us that “for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, and are justified by his grace as a gift, through the redemption that is in Christ Jesus”
Romans 8:1-2 also tells us “There is therefore now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus. 2 For the law of the Spirit of life has set you free in Christ Jesus from the law of sin and death”
Wow pretty powerful stuff. I have to credit my Brother Tony for quoting these to me when I have been feeling down and discouraged about my transgressions. I have been forgiven and I am still covered under Gods Grace! Friends it took along time to realize this. Like I said in the beginning my Church family has also been awesome through this whole experience. They really stood by Heidi and Cj and welcomed me back home with open arms.
The main reason I am writing this Blog is to reach other people who might feel too ashamed of their Sins to come back to Church. I talked to a very sweet girl and her boyfriend yesterday after the service and asked about her Mom and Dad. Her parents had divorced 4 yrs earlier and recently reconciled and remarried. Her Mom was in our Sunday school class and I can remember the day she told Heidi that she was getting back together with her former husband. Just thinking of the happiness I saw on her face brings tears to my eyes. God has restored another marriage! He has healed another family! God does not know the meaning of the word impossible!
Well to get back to my point. After this couple remarried we haven’t seen them in Church that much and Mom has not been back to our Sunday school class. When I asked the daughter about it she said they are visiting other Churches. I hope and pray that they don’t feel too ashamed to come back and get involved with our Church. Like I said before Westwood has welcomed me back with open arms and I know they would do the same for them. And besides what a blessing it would be for everyone to see how God has worked in their lives. Friends we need more of this! We need to share our victories! We need to see God working in our lives. We need to hear from people who have been through the storm and lived to tell about.
Friends if you or someone you know is avoiding the Church because you feel ashamed of your past sins or feel unwelcomed I beg you to give Jesus along with his bride (The Church) a chance to work in your life. I am so glad I did! I will leave you with a verse from Colossians 2:13-14 ” And you, who were dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us with its legal demands. This he set aside, nailing it to the cross” Remember we have all fallen short of Gods glory and there has only been one without Sin and that was the one who took our place on the cross! Take care my friends, I’ll see you later at our Fathers house.
Those of you who have been following me on Facebook for the past couple of weeks know I have been really hyping up “The Basement”. Well there is a really good reason; simply “The Basement” is awesome. Now to give you a little background on the Basement I am will borrow some quotes from an article in “The Christian Science Monitor”
“The Basement isn't a club. It's a youth-oriented church service – part concert, part pep rally – led by 25-year-old Matt Pitt, a self-taught evangelist who's been preaching his message of clean living, racial conciliation, and sold-out-for-God Christianity since 2004. What began as informal street preaching has become a full-blown enterprise requiring police, security guards, lawyers, and accountants. Mr. Pitt's life has changed seemingly overnight, and many of the teenagers who flock to Birmingham's Cathedral of the Cross to hear him speak say he's changing them, too."
“Pitt is one of a new generation of young evangelical pastors around the country trying to reach out to kids who feel alienated by traditional churches. Mixing prayer and pulse-pounding music, the services speak to teens in a vernacular and environment they're used to, often emphasizing personal testimonies rather than authoritative teaching. Services at The Basement open with roughly 45 minutes of hip-hop performed by local Christian rappers who whip the crowd into a frenzy, encouraging them to dance mosh-pit-style to lyrics like, "Jesus is my rock/ Jesus is my rock star/ Jesus is my rock/ And he's totally cool."
“Pitt arrives onstage afterward, looking somewhat like a rock star himself as his lanky frame, clad in a black T-shirt, jeans, and sandals, is projected across two large screens. "Look at those Jesus freaks right there who are not ashamed," he says, pointing to a row of gyrating worshipers. "Jesus is the only way. The Basement can't do it for you. This is not about a man or a ministry. I'm just the messenger.”
“Keeping it real is a big part of Pitt's message. He addresses issues like school violence, sex, absentee fathers, racism, and suicide. He speaks openly about his personal struggles, as well as those of his family.” Follow below link for the complete article
This article is good but to really get an ideal of what goes on at the Basement you have to see for yourself. The doors open at 6:45 on Tuesday nights at “The Cathedral of the Cross” Church in Centerpoint.
Now for the past couple of weeks I have been taking a small group of kids from Westwood with me on Tuesday nights and it really has been a blessing. Last night one of the kids we took, I believe got saved. He name is Trevor. He is a friend of my son Cj and had just started coming to our youth group on Wed nights. We saw Trevor hanging around the Church last night and invited him to go with us. Well half way through the service I noticed him sitting in the pew with his head in his hands. I asked Cj if he was sick and he said “no dad he is an atheist and I think he is changing his mind” Wow that was powerful!
Trevor continued to sit there while we all were worshiping and then Cj, Kat and Randy Bailey (yes I said Randy Bailey) hugged him and prayed with him. It was very emotional. Usually the service ends with Matt leaving the stage while the crowd gathers up front and worships to a couple Hillsong tunes. Then we usually leave after a song or two but last night we stayed an extra 20 minutes singing and praising Jesus while the kids gathered around Trevor and held him. Wow! I still get emotional thinking about. Then after we got back to the church Cj informs me that his friend Jacob has also been inspired by going to the Basement. All I can say is Praise Jesus!
Now we also have a great youth program at Westwood led by Joseph and his wife Kara and they are doing an awesome job. I think the Basement is just a great way to get our youth on fire for Jesus and invite them into the family of Christ. Now the youths weren’t the only ones on fire last night, if you would of seen Tyrone and I jumping around you would of grabbed a fire hose..Take care friends and hopefully I’ll see you at the Basement! God Bless
As you know Heidi and I have been attending a Love Dare Bible Study at Westside Baptist Church in Jasper on Sunday nights. We have one more session to go and during that session we will renew our wedding vows, but what I want to talk about today is praying as a couple and family. I have been hit and miss on my Love Dare blogs but I feel this is one of the most important dares you can do. So here it goes.
“Ask your spouse if you can begin praying together. Talk about the best time to do this, whether it’s in the morning, your lunch hour, or before bedtime. Use this time to commit your concerns, disagreements, and needs before the Lord. Don’t forget to thank Him for His provision and blessing. Even if your spouse refuses to do this, resolve to spend this daily time in prayer yourself.”
Wow..This is powerful! John and Lisa (our class leaders) have been emphasizing praying as a couple since day one but until a couple of days ago we haven’t been doing it. Then last Thursday we did it. We woke up and “I said I think we need to pray together”, Heidi agreed and then I started thanking the Lord for blessing our marriage and giving us a second chance. I also thanked him for all the other blessings we have received and then ask him to watch over us and our family. It was awesome! Now I have to admit I am not very comfortable praying aloud but this morning I felt at ease and the words just flowed out and it only took a couple of minutes. The best part was later that evening Heidi came home from work and expressed how much the prayer helped her through her work day. She said she felt lifted up all day and nothing really bothered her, which was great! We also did this with our Son the other day and he was real receptive to it. What an awesome way to start the day and strengthen your relationships. Thank you Jesus! A couple of scriptures come to mind when I think about praying together.
“If two of you agree on earth about anything that they may ask, it shall be done for them by My Father”. Matthew 18:19
Also Ephesians 6:11 tells us to “Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the schemes of the devil”
I firmly believe that prayer is the first step in putting on the whole armor of God on and when we do this we are preparing ourselves for anything the enemy throws at us. Praying together also brings us closer to God and to each other. Try it! Take care yall..God Bless…..Chris