My school bus and I are down at Ridgewater College in Hutchinson; I was asked if I could do this trip since they needed 4 buses to bring 10th graders down here for a sort of college/career day. I'll take advantage of this time to get some things done.
One thing I want to do is to communicate in the next hour or two with the folks who are a part of our local church. Yesterday our administrative assistant put together a tentative email and I'll send that out while I'm here. I hope it will be helpful. I hope it gets read (you can read it by clicking HERE). I hope this blogpost gets read too.
THIS LINK you can learn more about what that is about. Those who have not yet made your own "Cardboard Testimony" are invited to make them before Sunday worship this week at Crossroads. Worship begins at 10 or 10:15 so maybe you'd like to make one at about 9:30. Call me or text me at 763-291-3499 or email me at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Once again I encourage you to take the time to listen to the messages and look at the resources provided by Igniter Ministries from the last three weeks if you missed them or if you could use a refresher. They are worth your time. You'll find them here.
In regard to "Cardboard Testimonies," most of the one's I've seen are about more or less "resolved" issues, a
"before I knew Jesus" and "after." Sharing those wonderful healings is
such an excellent thing. And giving glory to Jesus because of how he
brought major change to lives is so sweet. If you have that sort of
story, please share it!
But if I had the ear of our people today I'd share an encouragement for you who know Jesus but for whom issues and problems and temptations continue. You have a testimony to share too.
Let me explain using my own life as an example:
I can certainly see how the overall direction of my life has changed since the time when I surrendered to the will of God for me. The cardboard testimony I put together for Sunday celebrates the HUGE transformation I experienced in 1980--when God rescued me from being a "desperate hungry liar" and saved me for "34 years of energetic ministry in Jesus' name."
EVEN SO--there are temptations (directed by the Tempter himself) that continue to dog me, pursuing me and sometimes catching me in ways that are not good.
For example, I am sometimes tempted to be anxious. These anxieties come at me in different ways depending on the circumstances of my everyday life. I believe they come at me from the "outside" as it were. I suffer temptation. But even though I sometimes I fall away from the perfect trust God has for me, even though I sometimes fall into the SIN of anxiety, I still have a testimony that I can share -- and here it is:
I know where to turn and I know what to do--I know who to turn to in prayer and how to meditate on God's Word when those feelings of worry come. And, when I DO turn to Jesus in those moments or hours, when I go to prayer and to God's Word instead of resorting to coping skills of my own devising, I do find that victory in Christ that I am promised. I find it every day.
I could make a cardboard testimony, therefore, with the word "anxious" on one side, and the word "peace and trust in Jesus" on the other, even though the temptations, and the fall into the sin of worry, are not over and done with.
The devil is a defeated enemy, but, for now, he continues to pursue. But I will claim the promises if God BY FAITH and I will walk in HIS name even when I am under threat, even when the "fiery darts" of temptation and worry come my way. I have seen VICTORY when I do trust in Jesus, and I will claim that promise today.
By proclaiming the name of the One I trust in those moments of temptation, I have an ongoing testimony to the power of God in my life. Because I know Jesus, I know someone who can rescue me even now.
God working in your life TODAY to bring you through tests and into a new place of peace... for this day... for this moment... Receive it now.
Added Tuesday, Oct. 29 - the photo below was edited to highlight the words on the cardboard testimonies from Sunday at Crossroads - we'll try to post more later.