Tuesday, August 19, 2014

A Life Worth Living in Christ

Believing firmly that many Christian women are lacking the necessary mentoring skills to feel competent in mentoring another woman, my heart's desire is to teach Christian women the necessary mentoring skills needed, so they, too, can engage in productive Christian mentoring. In looking back at the last thirty to forty years of my personal mentoring relationships, I realized that I had utilized many different mentoring styles within my different mentoring relationships; styles that I could share with other women. Along the way, I additionally discovered that there were some very specific and needed characteristics of productive Christian mentoring that could be shared as well. I also discovered that it is important to know the do's and don'ts of mentoring so that all Christian mentoring relationships can be built on trust, authenticity, and caring. The result of accumulating this knowledge on Christian mentoring relationships is that I now desire to teach other women how to utilize all this information for their own benefit in developing positive and productive mentoring relationships.

Ultimately, all the information that I have acquired on Christian mentoring will be compiled and used within the book that I am writing on Christian mentoring. (This book is due out in the spring of 2017, entitled The Three-Strand Cord of Active Relational Christian Mentoring). But while I am working on my book on Christian mentoring, I want to share some of the information that I have acquired with as many women as I can. So, I have started this blog to share with other people some of my findings as well as some of the spiritual knowledge that God has given to me to share. Even after this God inspired book has been published, I will continue this blog to help other Christians acquire biblical knowledge and develop a heart of living for God and for helping others along the way. I also hope this blog will embolden women to share the Gospel Message every chance they get.

How to Develop a Christian Mentoring Relationship

Looking back at all the mentoring relationships that I had engaged in over the years gave me the ability to see how the many different kinds of mentoring relationships that I had been involved in had developed. I was also able to see the positive characteristics of each. In looking at each of these relationships, I determined that there are essentially four fundamental components to all Christian mentoring. I knew then that the first thing I needed to do was to fully explain these four fundamental components, which I believe are necessary to any productive Christian mentoring relationship. Consequently, I developed a very simple phrase that incorporates all four of these important components that describe this type of mentoring and that will make it easier for Christians to remember these necessary components of Christian mentoring. This descriptive phrase is: "Active Relational Christian Mentoring" (ARCM).  

The four specific words in the above phrase represent the four components or elemental factors that are needed for Christian mentoring. In fact, the four words in the above descriptive phrase are important to the complete understanding of what true Christian mentoring is all about. 

The first word in the above phrase is "active". This word represents the first component or elemental factor in Christian mentoring. The definition of the word "active" explains the poductiveness and type of involvement necessary in Christian mentoring. For, the word active explains that action is needed within Christian mentoring process. The word active also means that this type of mentoring is the opposite "passive" mentoring which does not require the mentor to engage with the mentee at any time. On the other hand, with active mentoring the mentor not only speaks to the mentee but engages in developing a relationship with the mentee in order to help the mentee in whatever area they need help. This particular word then represents an on-going relationship of engagement. Therefore, the word "active" simply means that the mentor must determine to actively engage another person in conversation and then with a heart of service engage actively within the mentoring process to help and empower the mentee. 

The next component  or elemental factor in this type of mentoring is represented by the word "relational". Christian mentoring should not only be active, but be relational in that some type of active relationship has to be developed between the mentor and the mentee.  For example, the relationship can be that of friendship, or it can be the type of relationship that is found between a teacher and student. There are also other types of mentoring relationships that are based on counseling, coaching, or sponsorship. But whatever type of mentoring relationship that is needed, the mentor and mentee have to be willing to communicate and willing to develop a some type of relationship in order to relate to and trust each other in a positive manner. 

The third component or elemental factor in this descriptive phrase for Christian mentoring is represented by the word "Christian". This type of positive and active mentoring is indeed Christian because the mentor is sharing their life that is lived in Christ with another. This Christian type of mentoring, though, is different from secular mentoring, which usually does not bring God or Christ into the mentoring relationship. In fact, the word "Christian" gives us the essence or the most important aspect of this type of type of godly active mentoring. For, no matter what the topic or subject being mentored within the mentoring relationship, Christ will always be at the center of the two lives that are engaged in the Christian mentoring process. Indeed, Christ is the One who empowers the mentor and enlightens the mentee along the way.

The last component in this descriptive phrase is represented by the word "mentoring"Mentoring is the type of ministry or service that is being engaged in for the glory of God and for the benefit of another woman. For, mentoring is the sharing of information, knowledge, skills, gifts, talents, etc. with another for the purpose of empowering another person to become all she can be for God, herself, her family, and her friends. 

Having now explained the four foundational components or elemental factors within the phrase "Active Relational Christian Mentoring", I still need to give you a complete definition of this type of mentoring. For the phrase or title "Active Relational Christian Mentoring" encompasses more that just sharing and empowerment. This, then, is the definition: "Active Relational Christian Mentoring, rooted in Christian faith, love, and service to Christ, is the voluntary and sacrificial investment in the life of another within a relational format for the purpose of sharing knowledge, values, gifts, skills, laws, and other God-given resources to empower and enhance the life of the person being mentored."  

Active Relational Christian Mentoring (ARCM) is just one of the many services or ministries that Christians can engage in to further the spread of the Gospel message, as well as to support and empower those who have already become Christians. ARCM is a service oriented ministry for Christ. 

We all live in this fallen world, and we all have times when we need the support and the strength of our fellow Christians in order to get through a particular trial or need. ARCM is just one of the services that we can engage in to help our fellow Christians. Moreover, this service can be a way to reach out and share the Good News with a non-Christian. In all of my future posts, I will be blogging about different spiritual topics and biblical insights that God lays on my heart, but I will also be relating and discussing the importance of serving the Kingdom of God through the process and ministry of Active Relational Christian Mentoring. You can do it! You can help other women through this wonderful mentoring service.

Who am I?
So that you will know something about me and why Active Relational Christian Mentoring is so important to me as well as why I believe it should be important for you too, I have started this, i.e., the first post of my blog, with the first title: A Life Worth Living in Christ!  I hope you will enjoy learning more about me and about Active Relational Christian Mentoring.  
God has been with me throughout my life; even during some of the most difficult times in life. In fact, I believe that even at a very young age, perhaps two or three years old, that I was very aware of the presence of God in my life. Moreover, I had a great home life with loving parents. My parents set the foundation of my constant awareness of God by making sure that we always went to church and that we lived our lives by God's instructions and commandments. We weren't wealthy, but we were blessed in so many ways. And up until I graduated from high school at the age of seventeen, I had not experienced any great trials or traumas in life. My father, though, had been totally disabled from his participation in WWII, so we all knew what terrible pain was. But just as importantly, my father always leaned on God for his strength and thus set a wonderful example of a man who never complained and gave all the glory to God. Because of my dad's disability, my mother was the one who had the career in the family, but she was always there in the evenings and on the weekends to give us further examples of Christian living and trust in Christ. Both my parents were loving and caring. But, what made my specific life worth living in Christ.

I will start at the beginning. At the age of seventeen I was excited to start my first year of college that Fall. However, I had never been away from home before and was a little concerned about how I would handle being on my own. I knew, though, that God was my strength. You see, I had been "Saved" at the age of nine and had dedicated my life from that point on to living for Christ. Now that I was away from my family, I realized that I needed Christ's support more than ever, so I spent a lot of my spare time (after classes and after studying) in the small college chapel praying for strength and courage. I was concerned and afraid about something. Little did I know, but my prayers were preparing me for what was to come within a few days. 

Then one evening before a college dance and while my roommate and I were showing two of out of town friends around our picturesque campus, I was struck by a car as we crossed from one side of the campus to the other. We were crossing a four lane highway at the crosswalk that we had to use to go from one side of the campus to the other. But, the driver of the car was not paying attention to light and did not see it change. When we realized that the car was not going to stop, all of us scattered in different directions to try to avoid the oncoming car, but I wasn't able to avoid the car. The car hit me and threw me over 50 feet. I was immediately in a life or death situation.

I needed to be rushed to Kansas City, which was the nearest large city with a trauma unit, but it was determined that besides all the breaks I was bleeding internally and would not make it that far. So the ambulance took me to the small hospital in my college town, even though the hospital was certainly not equipped for trauma patients. Even so, with God's help and the willingness and determination of young doctor, I would receive life saving emergency surgery. 

On top of the internal bleeding which had to be dealt with immediately, I had a ruptured bladder, a left knee with torn ligaments that allowed my knee to move sideways, and many other breaks, including a shattered pelvis and a compound fracture of my right hip, all of which led the doctor to think that I might not live. Fortunately, God had placed this young doctor, just out of medical school, in this college town’s hospital, and he was determined to save my life. Of course, had it not been for God and His direction and His timing, I would not have lived! But God had something else planned for my life! In Psalm 118: 17 the Psalmist said, “I shall not die, but live, and declare the works of the Lord.” – KJV. That was the way I felt a few weeks later upon discovering that I was still here on this earth. I never asked anyone, “Why me?”, rather I asked my parents why God had not taken me home to be with Him. I had received Salvation and was ready to go home to be with Christ, so why was I still alive. The simple answer was that God had something for me to do. I was to declare the works of the Lord in some manner or another.

Every day was especially hard on my parents and my fiancé as they were the ones spending hours watching over me. The hospital did not have an Intensive Care Unit so they became, in many respects, my ICU nurses; for example, letting the other nurses know when I started to turn blue after a miss-matched transfusion, or when I needed more sedation to avoid coming out of the semi-induced coma state that would keep me from feeling the terrible pain of all the breaks and allowing me to heal easier. Along with my parents' and my fiancé’s constant prayers, God used their vigilant eyes to keep me alive. But, their eyes would see more than just problems, though, as they would also see several miracles during the time that I was there in that hospital.

 One of the the miracles they personally witnessed was the miracle regarding the staph infection that disappeared over night. I had developed a staph infection in the compound fracture of my right leg. The generally used medicine to combat a staph infection was penicillin. However, I was allergic to penicillin. The only other medicine at that time that could be used on me was a new antibiotic that had possible severe side affects. If used, I could lose my sight, my hearing, or possibly my kidneys. I did not know any of this because I was in an induced coma and none of the staff or my parents talked about my situation while in my room. But the doctor had told my parents that they would soon have to make a decision regarding the staph infection and my leg.

The night before a decision had to be made the next morning, I miraculously awoke briefly out of my induced coma to see my father leaning over me crying. Dad later told me that I looked up at him and told him not to cry or worry, because God would not let them take my leg. Dad had been crying because the doctor had privately told my parents that if the staph infection was not any better by the next morning, they would have to take my leg off to save my life.

The very next morning when the doctor came in to look at my leg, the staph infection was completely gone. With the miracle of the disappearing staph infection, God allowed my parents to see God's hand of protection and His answered prayers. Hebrews 13: 5b says “For He [God] Himself has said, I will not in any way fail you nor give you up nor leave you without support. [I will] not, [I will] not, [I will] not in any degree leave you helpless nor forsake nor let [you] down (relax My hold on you)! [Assuredly not!].” – Amplified Bible. God certainly did not forsake me!

There were other small but awesome miracles there in that small town hospital, each of which demonstrated that God had something more in store for me. I spent 8 weeks in this college town's small hospital, because I could not be moved until they could put me in a full body cast to transport me to a Springfield, Mo. hospital with orthopedic surgeons. By moving me to a Springfield, Mo. hospital I would be closer to my parents' home and my church family and friends who could come to visit me. Moreover, there would be orthopedic specialists available who could start the process of helping me to walk again. 

My parents and my church family prayed for me continually. I had survived the unimaginable trauma of being hit by a fast moving car, but there would be many more surgeries in my lifetime and even the doctors could not tell my parents if I would have a normal life again or not. Originally the doctors told my parents that I would never walk again, but God had something to say about that. Although I had months in a full body cast and then months of physical therapy, along with many reconstructive surgeries, I eventually learned to walk againand I saw God’s hand in everything that I was able to accomplish, including becoming a wife, mother and teacher/ Library Media Specialist. Although life was not always easy, I have continued to live my life for Christ. Certainly, there have been times when I didn’t think that I could go on, but God has always been there for me, reminding me that, “I can do all things through Christ Who Strengths me.” -- Philippians 4: 13. NKJV. Christ has indeed strengthened me!

The Miracles that Saved My Life

Christ has saved my life more than once, as He strengthened me to live for Him. Of course the first time Christ saved my life was when Christ spiritually “Saved” my soul. He gave me eternal life when I repented of my sins. Knowing that I was a sinner who needed forgiveness and cleansing from all my sins, I believed on Jesus Christ as the living Son of God who died and arose for me so that I would not have to spend eternity separated from God. I asked for forgiveness and accepted Christ into my heart. “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believeth on Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.” -- John 3: 16. KJV. Moreover, “… He who hears My Word, and believes Him Who sent Me, has eternal life, and does not come into judgment, but has passed out of death into life.” -- John 5: 24. NASV. What peace and joy have lived in my heart and soul since I accepted Christ as my Savior! Christ lives in my heart!

The second time Jesus Christ saved my life was when I was struck by the car. I had already accepted Christ as my Savior when I was nine years old, so with the car accident I could just as easily have gone on to be with the Father in Heaven. However, there evidently was something that I needed to do while here on life’s journey, so Christ saved my physical life. Although life would not be as easy as before the accident, I would grow every day closer to God.

The third time I was saved by Christ was when I gave up on my physical life, not because I was depressed, but because I could no longer handle the excruciating pain that I had to deal with every day of my life. We all have moments of despair, but this was more than despair. This moment in time was the sudden realization that I could no longer physically handle the pain that I had to deal with on a minute by minute basis. So early on the quiet morning of December 18th, 1992, I decided to take my own life, because I could no longer stand the unrelenting pain.

 I had grown up being told that suicide was wrong and against God, Who was the only One Who had the right to take a life. So, suicide had never been on my radar. Although I had many times been discouraged in dealing with the terrific and unrelenting pain in my back and legs, I had never come to the point of thinking of suicide. However, on this day as I sat there in the pre-dawn hours trying to read a magazine to take my mind off the pain, I suddenly realized that I could no longer take the pain.

The decision was so quick and instant. Actually, it was just the simple thought: “I am finished! I will take my life so the pain will go away.” I immediately had a sense of peace and calm about my decision even though I had not thought it throughand I had no idea how I was going to do it. In my mind it was just a done deal!

 However, within seconds of making that decision an even greater sense of peacefulness came over me. But, this was a different kind of peace than that one that I had experienced just moments before. This was an all encompassing peacefulness that I had never felt or encountered before, and it permeated my whole being. I looked up from the magazine article I had been trying to read, and I quickly realized that my great room/living room was enveloped in a shimmery cloud of fog. As I looked intently through what appeared to be an iridescent fog, I suddenly saw the figure of Christ across the room about fifteen feet from me. Although Christ did not say the same words to me, I am sure they must have been similar to what the prophet Isaiah must have heard and felt when God told Isaiah, “Do not fear, for I am with you; Do not anxiously look about you, for I am your God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you. Surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.” -- Isaiah 41: 10. NASV. For I knew that Christ was there to strengthen me and help me.

Some people will not believe that I saw Christ. But, yes, Christ visited me personally that day; coming into the great room/living room where I was sitting. Without using spoken words but by simply using mind to mind communication, Jesus Christ spoke to me clearly. Christ said that He came to tell me that He had promised me that He would never give me more than I could bear, and He had come to remind me of His promise to me. Jesus said He would always walk beside me giving me strength, and I would indeed be able to handle the pain even though all of the pain would not completely go away. He told me that I would not suddenly be healed that day, however, I would have some relief from the pain until I could get the intra-thecal pain pump implanted. 

You see, for the last few days my husband and I had been contemplating whether I should have a pain control device, an intra-thecal morphine pumpimplanted in my body with a catheter that would run around to my spine. This pump would block the pain signals in my spine going to my brain and thus help to control the pain. But there were many risks and safety issues to consider with many pros and cons. I was having a hard time making a decision as to what to do. So, I asked Jesus whether I should go ahead with the surgery to implant a pain pump. Jesus knew my fears, and He told me I should not fear, but go ahead and have the surgery to implant the intra-thecal morphine pump to control the pain levels. Jesus said the pump would help, but it would not take away all the pain. However, for those times when the pain would not be covered by the pump, Christ assured me that He would always be there for me, and He would not forsake me nor allow me to have more pain than I could bear. 

We talked mind to mind about what I would do with the gift of the rest of my life. I told Christ that I wanted to be the best Christian that I could be and that I wanted to be the best wife and mother that I could be. Indeed, I would be given the opportunity to live for Him and to shine the light of Christ on my part of the world now that I was no longer contemplating taking my life. Then, during what seemed like only seconds, and after Christ had again reassured me that I was going to be able to handle the trials of this life, He disappeared. 

Gradually, the iridescent fog faded away too, and I was again able to see everything clearly in the room. I was so excited, stunned and humbled, though, that Christ had come to me that morning. The joy of my encounter with Christ brought to mind verse 5 in Psalm 30 which says, “Weeping may last for the night, but a shout of joy comes in the morning.” --NASV. I was certainly shouting for joy that morning! For, not only had I seen and spoken to Christ, but the unrelenting pain had finally faded away to almost nothing.

For the next month (it would take that long before I could have the surgery to implant the pain pump), the pain levels were at a tolerable level. However, I no longer was overwhelmed with the constant pain. The pain only began to return to the previous high levels just before the surgery. This was probably to show me just how much pain the pump could cover, for once it was implanted and turned on it really made a tremendous difference in my life. 

I will always remember that it was Christ Who gave me the strength to endure! I Peter 5:10 says, “And the God of all grace, who called you to His eternal glory in Christ, after you have suffered for a little while, will Himself restore you and make you strong firm and steadfast.” That is just what the Lord has done in my life. He has made me strong, firm, and steadfast, even though I have now just had my 50th surgery. Most, but not all of those 50 surgeries, were to correct or fix the damage from what a car did to my body. This 50th surgery, though, was to replace that intra-thecal pain pump for the fifth time since 1993. This is because the pump only has a certain battery life, and when the battery wears out, the pump has to be removed and a new one placed in my body. 

Christ, my Lord and Savior, has been there with me through all of the surgeries and beside me each and everyday that I have had to endure pain. Christ has given me the strength to endure. The one constant assurance I have is that I know God will never allow me to have more pain than I can bear. With that assurance I can live my life with hope and joy.

Who I Have Become

When Christ was there that morning speaking to me, He also gave me a mission. It seems that without my realizing it, over the years my service to the Kingdom of God was relationally mentoring others for the Lord. I realized that besides helping children through my teaching and besides working as a library media specialist for 17 years, God had also put many women in my path who needed Christian mentoring on many different topics including the Gospel message, and that I had stepped forward to mentor them. Throughout the years I had actively and relationally mentored other women to help them in their time of need. Now, though, I was going to be given even more opportunities to mentor others for the Lord and to help women on all kinds of topics. 

Actively and relationally mentoring other women was to be my mission and my continued service for the Lord. So, over the last twenty five years I have continued to mentor many women. I know those ladies have made a difference in my life, and I hope I have made a difference in their lives as well. I have learned a great deal from being a mentor and I know that it is a very rewarding experience and great service for the Kingdom of God. I also know that Active relational Christian mentoring can make a difference in the lives of both Christians and non-Christians. In fact, because of the many benefits and rewards received from active relational mentoring, God asked me to write a book on Active Relational Christian Mentoring to help other people and churches understand the importance of relational mentoring on all our lives, as well as to help them learn how easy it is to speak into the lives of those who need help.

The one thing that I can say about the trials and tribulations that I have had to endure is that even when I was hurting and feeling down, I could always feel better when helping others. Although I can no longer work in my career, God has encouraged me to continue to help others through Christian mentoring. My disability eventually ended my teaching and library media specialist career, but in many respects I was given another and just as great a career by the Lord. I was given the job of mentoring other women and of eventually writing a book on Active Relational Christian Mentoring in order to share with the world the benefits and rewards of Christian mentoring. 

Christian mentoring is the one service for the Lord that almost all people can participate in. Reaching out to actively encourage or support others who need help in different areas or to share the Gospel message during fellowshipping times can be easily accomplished if weas Christians, give up some of our personal time and energy to reach out to others. If we can get rid of the “selfish me” and replace it with a willingness to share our gifts, talents, information, etc. with others, we can overcome many of our problems with our simple love of others. For, whether, we are sharing a skill, a talent, a gifting from the Lord, information, personal knowledge on a needed topics, or resources, or whether we are supporting another through counseling or coaching, we all have a service or ministry for the Lord to perform, which we can offer in order to help others. This ministry is called Active Relational Christian Mentoring.

I have now been married to a wonderful Christian man for 47 years, and my husband and I have one son, our miracle childas I was not supposed to be able to have children after the accident. God, however, gave us yet another miracle in that we were blessed with what in the physical world seemed impossible to have, a child to love. Remember, I said that along with the trials and tribulations that lead to our refinement for the Lord that God has given us miracles and support along the way? Well, God has, indeed, been with us every step of the way. I say “us” because anytime a person goes through something as life changing as being struck by a car, the fiancé or spouse and eventually the whole family unit of that person deals with not only physical and emotional trauma of the one that was hurt, but they have to deal with the many continuing problems that arise from a loved one having to go into yet another surgery or from having to deal with insurances and other financial issues that arise as a result. The emotional trauma of the entire family can only be handled through Christ Who gives us the strength we need to endure and overcome. 

My husband, my son, and I have been able to have a marvelous life in spite of all my health problems, because God and His Son, Jesus Christ, have been a major part of our lives. Indeed, we could not have gotten through all these years with grace, love and happiness, if not for the personal Salvation that each one of us has received and the constant love that God has bestowed upon each of us which continually envelops us.
Along the way, all three of us have grown ever more in our faith and our love of God. We have learned what is important in life and have discovered what our purpose is here on earth. Our purpose is to love and glorify God as we tell others about the Good News of Jesus Christ. We are to love other people just as we love ourselves, and that means if we love ourselves and if we have accepted Christ as our Savior, we should want others to receive that Salvation as well. 

In loving others, I have discovered that I want to share with the world what kind of service to the Kingdom of God each of us can perform just by just actively and relationally fellowshipping with others to witness for Christ and to help others when in a need. Saying that we love other people is very easy to say. However, expressing that love through service and in kindness is something entirely different. 

If we say we love people and do not help them, then we are lying. Christians need to step up and actively mentor others. But first we have to form relationships in order to develop an active mentoring relationship. We also need to mentor non-Christians in the Truth of the glorious Salvation that is offered to all through the mercy and grace of God Who sent His Son to die for our sins and then to be raised from the grave on the third day conquering eternal death for all who will believe. But, again, Christians have to step forward to develop a relationship with that non-Christian in order to share the Gospel message. Very seldom does that non-Christian suddenly come up to us and ask for information about Christ. Therefore, we must follow the words of Great Commission and reach out to non-Christians to share the Gospel message. That is showing that we love others!

As Christians we can be there to help others learn skills, develop talents, gain information, knowledge and wisdom or to help them in some emotional need. Above all we can help other Christians and ourselves gain even more spiritual maturity through the study of the Word of God and then by applying God’s Word to our lives. Sometimes it is the application of God’s Word to their lives that presents an opportunity for actively mentoring Christians to help both Christian and non-Christian mentees.

Producing Fruit for the Kingdom of God 

The ultimate outcome from our service of mentoring is the production of fruit for the Kingdom of God. In fact, all Christians are to become fruit producers for the Kingdom of God. Active relational Christian mentoring is just one way to be of service to the Lord and to others and at the same time be able to produce fruit for the Kingdom of God.

Sometimes our humanness, though, makes us afraid to tell other people about Christ and God the Father. But if we care about people,we should want everyone we encounter to have the same opportunity as we have to spend eternity in Heaven with God, so we have to find a way to share our faith and the Gospel message. 

One of the easiest ways to share Christ with others is through our lives lived for Him. Our lives lived for Christ tell the story of His offered redemption and His love. When people see how happy Christians areeven though we have been through great trials or even tragedies and when they see how we care about other people, they will want to hear our story about God’s love and how they, too, can have eternal peace and happiness. Indeed, it is often through the story of our life that we can share the Gospel message. For, it is through our daily living for Christ that people can see that we have something different than what the world around us has.

There is no greater source of strength and hope than knowing Christ as your personal Savior. Christ is the One who gives me the strength to get through each day and each trial. Moreover, I know that someday I will get to spend eternity with Him, and that these trials on earth will be forever gone. I pray that if you are not "Saved", that you will reach out to Christ no matter what your problems are or no matter how good you think your life is today, because there is nothing like the peace, happiness, and love that comes from you knowing Christ as your Savior. Yes, you may still have trials and tribulations in life, but if you have Christ in your heart you will be able to face each trial and tribulation with the assurance that you are not alone and that God is there for you as He pulls you through each situation. God will be holding your hand and Christ will be in your heart encouraging and uplifting you in even your darkest moments. Never again will you have to face anything alone. Reach out to Christ and He will come to you!

For those who know Christ and are “Saved,” it is time to step up and use your life for service for Christ and the Kingdom of God. We don’t all have to be missionaries, evangelists, pastors, and teachers. However, we all are to be of service to the Kingdom of God. Our service can be the easy service of Active Relational Christian Mentoring. Active relational Christian mentors are those Christians who take the time to help other people in whatever way they can; whether it is just listening or actually giving instruction or help.

 Remember, that time is growing short for this world, and we cannot think only of ourselves and our own trials and tribulations. Instead, we must think of all those people who still need to come to know Christ as their Savior. We should not focus solely on our own personal situations in life, but rather focus on how our experiences can be used to help another person get through similar trials and tribulations while being surrounded in Christian love and help. I pray that more and more Christians will reach out to people around them to actively pursue and actively engage in godly relationships with other people for the purpose of empowering other individuals for the Lord. For, no matter what type of problems we each encounter, we are all able to reach out in service to the Lord and are able to help others if we just step forward to do so. You can do it! You can overcome your trials and tribulations with God's help and then you, too, can become a fruit producer for the Lord.

If you do not yet know Christ as your personal Savior, I encourage you to turn to Christ. It is very easy to ask Christ for help and to turn your life around. All you have to do is truly believe that Christ died and arose for your sins. The Bible tells us, “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” -- Romans 3: 23. There is no one who is not born a sinner. But we do not have to remain a sinner who goes to hell when he/she dies. For, God has given us a way to come before Him and spend eternity with Him after our life on this earth is finished. God’s Scripture tells us, “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” -- Romans 6:23. It is our choice, though! We can choose eternal death or eternal life. But how do we receive eternal life? Well, Jesus said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the Kingdom of God.” -- John 3: 3.

How can we be born again? Well, Jesus said, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me.” –John 14: 3. Jesus also said that we must repent of our sins which means we are to realize that we are not only sorry for our sins, but confess that we want to turn our life around and no longer be controlled by our sinfulness. If in repentance for your sins, you want to do that which is right and true, you can ask God to forgive you of your sins and He will. For, Jesus said, “I tell you unless you repent, you will all likewise perish.” – Luke 13: 5. So repent and then “… if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.” -- Romans 10: 9-11. It is that simple! In fact, God wants all to come to Him and to repent; asking Christ into their heart. Once you have believed, repented, and ask Christ to come into your heart you are a new creature, for the Scriptures tell us, “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” -- II Corinthians 5: 17.

***If you are not yet a child of God’s you have a choice to make. Doing nothing is a choice, just as much as answering the door and asking Christ to Save you is a choice. Christ said, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock; if anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to Him and will dine with Him and he with Me.” --
Revelation 3: 20.

I pray that if you have not yet asked Christ into your heart, that you will believe on Him and repent of your sins. For, without Christ in your life, you are truly lost both in this world and in eternity to come. If you make the choice for Christ, you will not have to face life’s trials and tribulations alone, and you will have a peacefulness that comes from knowing Christ as your Savior. Then, you will always have the strength to endure and overcome through Christ your Lord.
Vicky Thomas

1 comment: