All Things Are Possible With God… It’s Not Over Until It’s Over:

ImpossibleMatthew 19:26: Jesus looked at them and said, “With man this is impossible, but with God all things are possible.”

Word came late tonight, that a close friend of mine from my time in the “gay lifestyle” that is close to death made the request that I not come visit him.  He’s now close to death… in terminal hospice care.  I had hoped that I would be able to visit with him in-person, one last time before he dies.  To be able to hold his hand and share “The Good News” of Jesus Christ with him.

I hear from a number of family members of those currently embracing a “gay lifestyle”, and as it is for me, and many others (for various reasons) the HOLIDAYS are some very difficult times.  For as many blessings that “Family” can bring; oftentimes, family relations also equate to pain, strife, and heartache for a varied number of reasons.

On January 3, 2016, it would now be difficult for me to recount the number of communications I’ve received this past holiday season from parents, siblings, aunts, uncles, cousins, and friends of those currently embracing an unrepentant sinful lifestyle.  They’ve been sharing their grief… their heartache… for their loved one(s).  Oftentimes, the message has contained: “… I feel like we’ve done all that we can do… They are so entrenched in embracing their homosexual lifestyle… I’m afraid I won’t see them in heaven”.

Some of these same thoughts have come to my mind earlier tonight, in regards to my friend that is now close to death.  And, after some time in prayer, I was yet again reminded of Jesus’ words to the thief on the cross beside him, as they were being crucified: “Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise” Luke 23:43. … Read the rest

Separation & Healing – A Christmas & New Year’s Message:

One of the worst separations – fractures that ever occurred was the separation – fracture that took place in US human beings!
 
In the Garden before the fall, we were whole. What we thought in our heads matched what we felt in our gut, the words we said fit with who we were, who we were on the inside matched what was seen on the outside, what we believed was what we lived out day by day. 
 
Can you imagine?!?
 
But at the fall, we fractured ourselves, we broke ourselves into pieces. Uprooted from the garden, we made our dwelling a distant country where wholeness is no longer the norm. A place where…
 
  • A man says he loves his wife but sneaks looks at other women.
  • A woman strives to make herself look successful or beautiful, but on the inside she’s plagued by feelings of low self-worth. 
  • A young man asks a classmate to send him a nude selfie, and he has no idea deep down under his request, he’s searching for validation. 
  • A young woman in the teaching ministry shares God’s love with her students, but struggles to believe God loves her as she is.
  • A pastor preaches about worshiping God but hungrily devours the compliments his sermon receives—in essence, bowing at the altar of the opinions of men. 
 
If anything like these in this list strikes close to home for you, that’s bad news. 
 
But all the more reason Christmas is good news for you. And me. 
 
When Jesus became flesh, he united Himself for all time with us in our humanity. God who is One, God who is Life, God who is incorruptible, God who is Love, this God joins Himself with us. And through this union, we are healed. 
 
The answer to our corrupted, disintegrated, sinful state is not found in striving to put ourselves together, but in welcoming Jesus (God In Flesh) into each broken, torn, polluted part of ourselves. Read the rest

The Battle Lines Have Been Drawn?

Over the past couple of weeks since the U.S. Supreme Court decision, which legalized “gay marriage” here in the U.S., I have witnessed so many (individuals and churches) spending a great deal of time speaking about “How do we defend ourselves?”  soldierHow do we protect our congregations from a few “militant pro-gay rights” individuals, who may show-up on our churches’ doorsteps one day seeking to be married, in an effort to pick a fight – bring a lawsuit.
“And, now they are going after the public schools… inserting curriculums that teach middle school children about such concepts of oral/anal sex, homosexuality, bisexuality, etc… WE NEED TO FIGHT THIS!”
I don’t want to belittle the above, but my personal fear in all of this, is that we as Christians will get “swept along” – “lose our way” in the midst of all of this.
How So?
We need to continue to recognize that all of these folks (who may be engaged in the above) are STILL precious souls that Jesus died on the cross for.  Yes, they may be doing, saying, sharing HORRIBLE things… things we should be standing up against, but let’s not lose sight of the souls that are also hanging in the balance.
Let’s not lose sight of the tremendous evangelism opportunities “current events” also present us all.  Opportunities to: Share The Gospel & Speak The Truth In Love!
And, let’s also not forget about some younger – more impressionable folks that may; themselves, actually be struggling with same-sex-attractions (SSA).  By struggling, I mean that they; themselves, may have attractions to those of the same sex and are at a point – wondering what to do about those feels and attractions (embrace them or fight against them).  What message will they come away with, after only hearing all of this strong language: “The Country is circling the toilet, because of what these gay people are doing”… “Gays are the scourge of the earth”…”We need to dig-in and get ready to fight back against these homosexuals”.  … Read the rest

Lightning Strikes vs. Rainbows

LIGHTNINGIt’s true. The Lord did not have lightning strikes for the Supreme Court or any other proponents of same-sex marriage. And it’s also true that God only has rainbows in stock today for all of them. In fact, that’s true for all people who celebrate the Supreme Court’s decision or mourn over it. That’s why I appreciate this picture, except, tragically, I’m not sure that the illustrator understands the breadth of its full meaning, nor the 80,000+ people who shared it.

So, here’s the thing: Do you know what the rainbow is all about which every human being has been handed today and every day since the worldwide Flood some 5,000+ years ago? Do you know why the Lord posted that first rainbow sign up in the cloud for every social network to see till the end of time?

In case it’s been a while since the original and lasting message of the rainbow has been attached to it, we would do well to recall the original intent of the first Illustrator and what his rainbow means.

After the world’s first judgment was fulfilled against sin, which you could say came like a lightning bolt, God promised his patience of grace in the face of sin for the rest of time:

God said to Noah, “13 I have set my BOW in the cloud, and it shall be a sign of the covenant between me and the earth. 14 When I bring clouds over the earth and the BOW is seen in the clouds, 15 I will remember my covenant that is between me and you and every living creature of all flesh. And the waters shall never again become a flood to destroy all flesh. 16 When the BOW is in the clouds, I will see it and remember the everlasting covenant between God and every living creature of all flesh that is on the earth” (Genesis 9:13-16, ESV; Emphasis Mine).… Read the rest

“Legal Marriage” Will Become A Thing For Courthouses Only

marriageNo ChurchSo, after this past week’s U.S. Supreme Court Decision on “Gay Marriage”, what’s next?

Well, unfortunately, I think the days of pastors being able to sign marriage certificates – “legally” (in the eyes of the government) marry folks are numbered… will become a thing of the past.
WOAH… WHAT!?!
I generally try to keep an eye-out / ear to the ground on what is going-on within the “gay community”, and this is what will be “coming down the pike” next.

Many have been saying: “Fine… The Supreme Court has ruled, homosexuals can be legally married… We’ll just leave them alone, and they’ll leave us alone”.

Not so fast… “The Gay Community” won’t let it go at that.  Mark my words… they will intentionally seek-out and target bible-believing churches and request that pastors there marry them.  Why?  To further their point.

THE RESULT:  Pastors will eventually lose their ability to “legally” marry folks.  It will go something like this: “If you, Pastor ________ aren’t willing to marry EVERYONE, then you won’t be able to legally marry ANYONE”.

I foresee a time in the not-too-distant future, where marriage ceremonies in churches, conducted by pastors will be just that.  And, everyone will then need to venture down to the courthouse to have their marriages made “legal” (in the eyes of the government) by the local “Justice Of The Peace”.

That’s where “legal marriage” is heading now that the gay community has gotten their victory in The U.S. Supreme Court.  Unfortunately, many will be able to point back to this post sometime down the road and say: “Scott was right again”.… Read the rest

U.S. Supreme Court Ruling On Marriage: A Christian Response

The Following Contribution Is From:
Rev. William Monday, Board Member
People of Grace

Be as Shrewd as the Devil but as Innocent as the Spirit…

Gay Marriage
Fellow Christians: When the Lord sent out his disciples into a world which was opposed to Him, he said these words: “Be as shrewd as serpents but as innocent as doves.” To put it simply, he was saying, “Be clever in what you do and say (and what you don’t do and say) because souls are at stake, souls who need you although they will seek to destroy your very life, if they could.” Jesus gave this command to his disciples, who were being sent out like sheep before wolves, for one purpose: to share the gospel. (Matthew 10:16)

I’d like to apply Jesus’ command, dear Christians, in light of what the US Supreme Court ruled yesterday in regard to the approval of same-sex marriage.

When you and I interact with a culture opposed to God’s will, it’s essential to listen to our Master’s calling: To paraphrase, “Be shrewd as the devil, but do not sin; be as innocent as the Spirit.” In other words, we have to give careful thought to how we approach a wayward non-believing culture. Too much is at stake. Relying on the gospel alone, we must do all we can to win souls without sinning/without letting anything hinder that, especially our words and conduct. We must speak the truth but wisely and in love. Here, then, is something to keep in mind…

As surprising as it may sound, I would encourage Christians: Do not comment on the ruling by the Supreme Court to nonbelievers. (Christians can and should share their thoughts with other Christians for mutual encouragement but not in the hearing of nonbelievers. That might mean foregoing a post on FB or on a website where there’s a mixed crowd, or taking a previous post down altogether.

Read the rest

PEOPLE OF GRACE is: CELEBRATING!

WE’RE CELEBRATING OUR NEW HOME HERE ON THE WORLD-WIDE-WEB!!
CELEBRATE

On behalf of everyone here at People of Grace, I’d like to give a shout-out and special thanks to Mr. Jason Tesch for his great website architectural help, and to Mr. Dan Niemi for his graphic design talents.  The new website is a result of the hard work of Jason (over the past several months), and our organization logo and website graphic selections are the work of Dan!

We can’t begin to thank them both enough!… Read the rest