Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers us.

So it’s been another long pause, but for myriad reasons.  Celebrated our wedding anniversary (Woo-hoo)!  A visit to http://www.thewhitefacelodge.com  in the Adirondacks was just what we needed.  Highly recommended.  On the not so cool side I had my laptop serviced.  They upgraded me from Windows XP to Windows 7.  Only problems are that they wiped out my software that I use for my broadcast, and the software is not a genuine copy of Windows 7.  I’ve also been attending sooo many events.  So I’m on an emergency chromebook to post this note that I’m still standing with my full armor on. Hope you are too.

Within the Womb of Change

by Theresa Lindsay

Preparing for a new season.  Ecclesiastes 3 begins by telling us that “to everything there is a season”.  In the East Coast where I am, we are preparing to change our garments to meet the lowering temperatures.  People are predicting a mild winter, a harsh one, but the truth is we have no idea.  Only God’s grace will get us through it.

Seasons come to give rest and birth.  Many times we get so caught up in the mundane routines of life, we have no idea of when a change is needed.  Yet, when the Great Conductor starts shifting things, we groan and complain.  It’s a knee jerk reaction.  We complain about the heat in the summer, the cold in the winter, etc.

In the brief interludes between season changes, you are no longer satisfied with where you are, and you’re not quite prepared for where you are going.   Sometimes wrong decisions create a new season, and we have to have the grace of God to help us to learn whatever we did that hindered our walk.  On the other hand, If we are willing and obedient, we might enter into a season of reward;  or have our mettle tested at a new level.

So if you’re experiencing frustration, bewilderment, hold on.  It’s just your season to live at another level–again.

I Remember Why I Came…

by Theresa Lindsay

First, I apologize to all for neglecting this site.  I started callednchosen because I want to connect with anyone who wants to come to faith in Christ, or maybe you’re a disgruntled disciple, or maybe you want to have an iron sharpening iron exchange–all are welcome to join this community.  I hope to have exchanges that will help us all be the best that we can be.

This morning I just wanted to share about becoming weary in our walk.  Sometimes we’re burning the candle at both ends and the middle.  Sometimes it may seem that all the bible reading, prayers, church attendance and giving service and finances is not amounting to much.  I encourage you to stay the course.  Don’t let the inner chatter deter you from entering into the presence of the One who is able to undo the heavy burdens and renew your hope, joy and peace.  Bring all that is within you to the House of Prayer.  Remember why you went to church in the first place.

Maybe you were following a person who is no longer in your life; whether it was a change in relationship, or death, whatever the reason, that person was an instrument for you to be introduced to the One that will never leave or forsake you (Hebrews 13:5). This is what I’ve learned from following Christ Jesus–that when we take our eyes off Him and begin to concentrate on the myriad issues that surround us, we begin to sink into despair.  It can happen in a day, a few weeks, months.  Then attending Church can seem burdensome, purposeless.

Remember why you came.  For me, I was a wreck when I was invited to church.  I needed someone to tell me how to deal with my crises.  I received guidance from my late pastor, who was a teacher of the Word of God.  I followed her guidance, and what I understood of the Bible.  It brought me out.  Godly counsel works.  The prayers of the righteous are heard and answered by God.  Especially when we can’t pray for ourselves.  I’m grateful for the Pastor that God placed me under.  She led me to the One who established and settled me in the faith.  From my many experiences of God’s faithfulness, I’d be a fool not to continue to dwell in the House of the Lord all the days of my life.  If He’s been there for us in time past, He’s still with us.

Finally, I leave you with this scripture from Galatians 6:9 – “And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.” (KJV) “And let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we shall reap if we do not grow weary.” (NASB).  Be encouraged.

Believing in Christ Alone is Not Enough

by Theresa Lindsay

Santa Claus, the Tooth Fairy, wishing on a Falling Star (don’t believe I’ve ever seen one) all have one thing in common:  we’ve all believed in them until maturity or reality burst our bubble.  So what about God, His son Jesus the Christ, the Holy Spirit, Heaven, Hell, Satan—these depictions that had accompanying stories that affected my behavior until peers and my own curiosity dismissed them as perhaps more tall tales?   Peers influenced me, curiosity and independence got the best of me, and now I’m back in church.   What’s stopping me from making a mess of my life again?

The time comes in the life of a churchgoer when he or she must decide whether they’ll remain in that status or become a disciple, a follower and learner of Jesus Christ.  It is the time when he or she will stop believing in God and believe God.  There are three things we should have in order to make this transition, so that we can be led by the Spirit of God and not only witness His glory, but also accomplish the greater works of God in our time.

The first thing you must have to believe God is an Experience with Him.  Saul persecuted all those who followed the “heretical” teachings of Jesus, until Christ revealed himself to Saul on the Damascus Road.  Saul was blinded during that encounter by the light that was upon him, and he heard Jesus ask him why Saul was persecuting him.  Through this experience Saul, who received the name of Paul and was empowered by the Holy Spirit to teach and establish order in the Church, declared that although he was never in the company of Jesus’ twelve disciples, he “worked harder than any of them.”  (I Corinthians 15:8-10, NRSV)  Had it not been for this personal encounter, we would not have his letters of testimony, many of which were selected for the canon of our Bible (but when I meet Paul in Heaven, I’m sure I won’t be the first to tell him how difficult he made it for women in ministry because of I Timothy 2:12).

If we’re just sitting in the pew and the teachings of the Bible have never been practiced, if we’re praying and never hear the voice of the Holy Spirit directing or selecting us to be of service, or correcting us when we’re wrong, then perhaps you’re just going along with what the preacher says. God wants us to take what the preacher declares and receive it as the Word of God and do what He says do.  When we see that some of our prayers are being answered, no matter how small or great;  when you endure seasons of adversity until peace is restored (and sometimes peaceful co-existence), when temptations are presented that are a quick fix to something you know God wants you to develop patience so you know that He can work things out through you or for you, then you can say with assurance that “I know that God can because He did it for me.”  We can’t say we know God based on someone else’s experience; He wants each of His children to know Him for themselves.

The next thing we need to do to show God that we believe Him is Expression.  This is when we delight in worshipping and praising God whether corporately or privately.  Many people aren’t comfortable with Christians who are “demonstrative”.  Yet there are Psalms that instruct the readers to shout, clap, leap, dance, play instruments skillfully—all these commands allow us to express our adoration to the One we are in relationship with, who “inhabits the praises of His people” (Psalm 22:3).  When believers praise, we reflect with gratitude on the goodness of God in our lives; we also anticipate with excitement our future victories and blessings.  As we enter worship, it is an intimate time of showing love and adoration to God for who He is, not because of what He’s done.

Finally, there should be some Evidence that we are Christ followers.  As Jesus was being tried for his “crimes”, Peter was repeatedly called out as being one of his disciples.  Finally a woman told him that even his “accent betray(ed)” him (Matthew 26:73).  One cannot be an authentic Christian and not have some of Jesus’ attributes.  There was a theme song to a popular televangelist’s program which the lyrics were (to the best of my recollection),

“Evidence, evidence, do you have the evidence?

Evidence, evidence, can they put you away?

Evidence, evidence, what does your life say?”

Are the virtues of Christ obvious in your life?   Do others notice that “something different” about you?  Are His sayings your sayings?  Are your actions and decisions based on the teachings and commandments of the One who has called and ordained you?  If so you have the basic essentials that are needed in order to understand “the breadth and length and height and depth (of Christ).”  Having these three elements allows us to be genuinely joined and committed to God and not just “dating” Him until the next thrilling thing comes along.