Put That Down

burden

Weight. It can suck the life clean out of you. Extra body weight has stifled me for most of my entire life. I have, however with the help of God himself, changed my lifestyle and have lost some extra pounds. 120 lbs. to be exact. But there is more. It’s not fat that I want to lose now, it’s baggage.

If you are or ever have carried your mistakes around with you then you will know how carrying extra stuff can really affect your life. It hampers everything. Work, family and recreation. Let it go.

For true believers it is as easy as saying “God, here is what I am dealing with. Please take it from me.” It is often said that this is the hard part, Actually confessing that you cannot deal with whatever it is alone. Not so fast.

What I find, most of the time, is that it is what comes next that is always the most difficult. It’s letting go and actually letting God have it, whatever it is.

There were two Monks who had taken a vow of silence. Prior to the silence beginning, they had planned to walk daily through a nearby wooded area. They came upon an elderly woman who was stifled on her journey by a creek. She was too old and too frail to cross the water. One Monk walked up to her and asked “Miss, may we carry you across?” She joyfully responded “Yes”. So the Monks lifted her by the elbows and carried her across the creek. The two Monks were on their way. They had journeyed 5 miles on from the creek when the second Monk said to the first “You broke our vow of silence.” The first Monk responded “My Brother, we carried that woman 30 feet, you have carried her for 5 miles.”

My point? If you are carrying extra baggage and have asked God to truly take it from you and be in control, why do you still carry it with you? If you had to make a journey with a suitcase full of rocks and you got to a sign that said “Empty your bag here”, would it make sense to refill your bag with rocks before moving on?

We believe that God created the Heavens and the Earth. Why should we not believe that He could not handle the messes we have made?

Be blessed,

Deacon Jason Bowden

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See Me

g-k-chesterton-quote-move-the-world

People love to hate things. Unfortunately, Christianity is not excluded.

Pull up your Facebook or Twitter accounts and scroll a little. It won’t take you long to find someone, somewhere who throws in a “Hand Grenade” of a post. You’ve seen them. A picture of a Christmas Tree with a sign that says “We sell to Christians only” or a news article on members of a cult, claiming to be Christians, holding signs and protests at a Soldier’s Funeral.

You may have heard it said that you can sleep in a garage, but that doesn’t make you a car. The same can be said for anyone who carries or raises high a flag that says they are a Christian. That is not who we are.

What we are, and what I wish the world could wrap it’s head around, are sinners. We, or better yet, I, am a failure. We all fall short of God’s call to walk in the ways of his Son Jesus Christ. Not one single one of us deserves his mercy. Yet, his promise is always to have mercy on his repentant faithful. Thank you God.

So what can we do?

First and foremost, walk in his ways with his help. Pray without ceasing. We are called to be in unending and ceaseless prayer. Make your daily life, as you interact with the world, a conversation with God. He walks with us in our homes, our work, our shopping, our worship and yes, our Social Media. Be ever mindful that your journey in life includes God no matter where you are.

Know that a reaction is sometimes what people are after, so, give them one. No I don’t mean by engaging them in a war of words. That is what they want, to see you break and become judgmental and hateful. I mean to pray for them. We show God the love that we have for others most by praying for them. Ask God to change their hearts and to forgive them.

Last, make your presence known. Be there in their joys and their pain. Celebrate with them as well as mourning with them. That is what God does, so why wouldn’t you shoot for the same?

Not a single one of us may ever be able to change the world, but, know that we do have the ability to change the world around us. In my experience I have found that sometimes it just takes time. As you present yourself to them, showing them the true love of Christ that dwells within you, a change starts to occur. Plant the seed and let God do the watering through you.

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Be blessed,

Deacon Jason Bowden

 

 

What Are You Preparing For?

maryjosephLet’s play a game, shall we?

I like to call this game “How much time does it take?”.

It’s simple. Here are the rules…Answer the following questions honestly. No cheating or fudging the answers, ok? C’mon, you won’t be judged by anyone but yourself. Ok, here we go…

1. How much time do you spend getting ready for work or school?

2. How much time do you spend getting your kids ready for the day?

3. How much time do you spend on the internet during the day (Social Media included)?

4. How much time do you spend playing games on a computer, phone or tablet?

5. How much time do you spend on your relationship with God?

If you answered these questions honestly, how do you feel? Now please know, I am not judging you as I am not asking for your answer. I will, however, in all transparency, tell you mine. While spending all of my life as a Christian I can tell you that number 5 outweighs the other 4 MOST of the time. Not everyday though. I am still a work in progress.

Welcome to the beginning of Advent. It starts today, November 27th, 2016 and ends on Saturday, December 24th. Advent is the season of preparation leading to the celebration of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ’s birth. The day in which God himself took on our flesh to begin his own preparation in suffering death for our sins. He was crucified, died, and buried until he rose again and is seated at the right hand of the Father. Now, the preparation for us has begun.

Preparation for what? Black Friday sales? A new President? Bills? A job we have to go to? Worrying about how many likes our latest selfie gets? Preparation for his coming again.

Use this Advent season for preparation. Let’s prepare ourselves. Let’s join together and assist one another in preparing our hearts for Jesus. His lives in my life and my heart but it is not always favorable living conditions. If you have a house guest who has stayed with you for more than a couple of days, wouldn’t you take time everyday to pick up a little? Spruce up the place, and come out of the Advent season better prepared for the creator of Heaven and Earth, and you and me. Take that 5th question you answered above and give it more importance than the other 4 combined. Not only will the celebration of Christmas be better, so too will your life be.

Be blessed.

In His Name,

Father Deacon Jason Bowden