Sunday, November 11, 2007

A "Rocky" Road

Today, it was Craig Cortright’s turn to preach. He talked about “the other John” in the Bible. As most of you may know, Chad’s “House” series (all five parts are now available online, for you to listen to, at our church’s website) revolved around John 3:16 and was written by the disciple John. So, now, Craig decided to talk about the other John in the Bible: John the Baptist.

Craig talked about John’s bold faith and how he prepared the way for Jesus’s ministry as referenced in Mattehw 3:3: “For this is he that was spoken of by the prophet Isaiah, saying, The voice of one crying in the wilderness, Prepare ye the way of the Lord, make his paths straight.” Craig showed us a nice illustration of how one prepares the way for the king. He said when a king goes out into his kingdom to survey his subjects, there are often many objects and bumps in the road that his horse will have to veer around. That is why, they would often send a servant to prepare the way and make it straight for him to travel on before he goes on his way. That’s what John did for Jesus. He began preparing the hearts of people to receive Jesus and His ministry and all that He would do for the world. It reminds me of how all of us are working to prepare others to be ready for Jesus’s second coming!!

That is why, next week, Craig will be talking about how we can minister and reach people. But, this week, he talked about the rocks and obstacles that are in our way between us, God, and the people we are working to minister to. We all have personal road blocks in our way that need cleared out. He encouraged us all to take the stone that we were all given at the service and come forward and throw it into the little pool of water that they had on stage.

We all have rocks that need clearing out!! I know that this particularly spoke to me, because there has been a lot of “rockiness” with me lately (which my close friends and family who are reading this will understand). So, I need a lot of prayer to get rid of my “rocks” so that my path can be cleared and I can better serve and minister in this world again. It’s crucial to get the rocks out of our lives, because the world needs us. We may be the “one” person in someone’s life that makes a difference, and if we are being held up by those rocks in our way, they are going to suffer just as much as we are by those roadblocks. The obstacles in our way don’t only halt our progress, but others’ as well because they are missing out on what we have to offer when our impact is lessened. So, if we think that we are the only ones being affected by our own personal problems, we are mistaken. Everyone will suffers - it‘s the ripple effect. The whole kingdom is robbed of us and our gifts when we allow ourselves to be robbed. We cheat ourselves, and others, out of blessings by allowing ourselves to be held up by the rocks in our road and failing to live up to our full potential.

This totally cut to the heart of me because I know my attitude, and other things (if not fixed) will punish myself and others if things aren’t made right. So, I am really hoping and praying for a big change of heart in my life and that I will have a renewed desire to change and do better. I guess we all have spiritual lows sometimes. I’m sure it’s nothing I won’t eventually overcome and that the tough stuff will only make me stronger. And, I’m sure it will enable me to help others in new ways that I wouldn’t have been able to otherwise if I hadn’t gone through it. There is a purpose to it all - even if I don’t know or see it yet.

Anyways, I have reason to hope. Things are starting to get better, and the coming year also shows much promise for progress and new beginnings. (Here’s to hoping that the holidays come and go quickly and that stress is minimal!! LOL) And please, if you don’t already know what my “rocks” are, please don’t ask me. Just remember me and pray (I have no doubt that that is what is sustaining me and helping me). It’s intensely personal and stuff that I only share with the people who know me best. If I haven’t told you about it, there’s good reason for it. It’s personal. But, I can definitely tell you that as open book as I am, I will likely reveal it in due course at the right time. We don’t go through trials for nothing. As I overcome my “rocks” it will make for a very good story of victory that will obviously be able to help someone else someday. I know that anyone who is reading this and has no clue what I am talking about is probably immensely curious and/or concerned and worried. So, let me just tell you not to worry; just pray. ;) I’m not drinking or doing drugs or anything like that, ok? LOL God will get me through this - He’ll never give up on me; even if I have felt like giving up on Him. My true friends won’t give up on me either. No matter how rough, I will NEVER, NEVER, NEVER lose faith!!

Anyways, back on topic…….. LOL

John the Baptist also realized that as he prepared the way for Jesus, Jesus would start becoming greater and he, John, would have to become lesser. John 3:30 “He must increase, but I must decrease.” Well said! We must never forget who this is REALLY about!! We must have the humility to realize that this isn’t about us and our glory - it’s all for HIM and the Kingdom!! People need to see JESUS, not “us.“ It’s not about making ourselves look good, it’s about making HIM look good and bearing HIS NAME well!! We are CHRISTians, not “Melissans” or (insert name here)ans. It’s a shame that so many, including MINISTRIES, have lost sight of this!! It’s very spiritually immature and very frustrating to people who do have their hearts in the right place and are trying to make a difference. I can’t tell you how many times I have had to comfort my friend, Susan, because she has been hurt and wounded by so-called CHRISTIAN ministries; ministries that she thought were all on the same team as her and trying to build GOD‘S KINGDOM rather than their OWN! Real nice, people……..really nice……..NOT!!!! :p Seriously…….FOCUS!! Quit cutting the legs out from under your team mates!!! That’s what it is…..a TEAM EFFORT!! (Or at least it’s SUPPOSED to be!!) Do you want to save souls or don’t you?!! Knock off the jealousy and self-promotion!! It’s disgusting!!!

Ok, had to stick up for my friend there because SOMEONE has to stand strong for their Christian siblings and fight for them!! She is wearied from having to put up with so much senseless behavior among “Christians“, and so, there’s my word on her behalf. Of course, it’s no surprise that she would come under so much fire. People really do fear the anointed; though if they are supposed to be on the same page as you, you would think they wouldn’t be jealous of the same Spirit they are supposed to have working in themselves. I guess that’s saying something isn’t it?

Ok, bottom line………have a bold “John the Baptist” faith. Get the roadblocks out of the way, pave the way, and be Kingdom bound!! And, work together with your Christian brothers and sisters - not against them. If we all network together, my gosh do we ever make a difference!! There’s no room for jealousy and division. We need to pray for and encourage each other and be “cross” eyed - not “green” eyed. Are you hearing me people? I’m drinking up my own words today, everyone, because this is preaching at me too!! I’m not too proud to admit that I need work on myself. It’s when you think you got it together that you are really screwed up!! So, I admit that I am a screw up. Always have, and always will be because I will NEVER EVER be perfect…….PERIOD! I will do my best, but I am human and I will fail sometimes. That’s the honest truth. But, it’s not about being knocked down, it’s about getting back up.

God bless you all!!! I LOVE EVERY SINGLE ONE OF YOU - especially my extra close peeps who have always been there for me (you know who you are!!!!). OXOXOXOXO

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