VIDEO The Touch 2005

Apr 18, 2017

What happens when someone actually cares?

In life, everyone’s just trying to feel connected. But in this cold and lonely world, what we all need is The Touch.

Hannah Moore knew real life. The daily fight to build an existence on her own terms sustained Hannah and held at bay the grief of being used as a plaything first by her father and then by a succession of boys and men. As far as Hannah knew, this world offers no handouts. Her struggle to find work that wouldn’t be affected by a previous stint in prison began to seem an impossible dream.

At the same time a nearby church was bitterly divided by a proposal to provide practical assistance and shelter to homeless women. The Touch doesn’t sugar-coat the attitudes of those opposed to the project or the difficulties faced during the process of establishing and administering the shelter. Hannah’s fighting spirit wouldn’t entertain the idea of seeking help at such a place, but after losing hope and trying to finish herself off with a concoction of pills and vodka, Hannah is referred by social services to the church’s shelter.

Just as she did while in prison, Hannah initially looks only for the quickest way of escape from the refuge. Her journey toward discovering grace and a love that isn’t bound by “give and take” is hesitant, and something she’s slow to comprehend as a possibility.

Inspired by the true experiences of the First Baptist Church Leesburg, Florida.

God Hates Abuse

 

Read the preface to the book

“God hates divorce!” (Read the rest of the verse…)

Christian wives frequently hear this first part of Malachi 2:16 as though the institution of marriage trumps the lives wrapped up in it. Rarely quoted is the second part of the verse which says:

“along with the one who conceals his violence by outward appearances.”

Christian wives often think they have only two options: endure abuse or face condemnation by God for not obeying the Bible. As a result, guilt, despair, internal conflict and heartache cloak every moment as they cling to survival, trying to please both God and their husband.

The future looks hopeless, and their identity and value obscured. Children grow up as secondary victims of domestic abuse, desensitized to God’s ways and primed to continue the cycle of abuse as adults.

A few years ago, I was in a dangerous toxic “Christian” marriage and couldn’t take it anymore!

After months of agonizing over whether to stay or leave, I finally made a plan of escape. I loaded up my three little girls, three cats, a pet chicken, and every possession I could discreetly pack into my car. We drove across the country to what I hoped and prayed would be a better life. I was very frightened, but believed that if I stayed, I would possibly be dead by my husband’s hands within a year. My close circle of confidants feared daily I would be the victim of a fatal “accident” by my husband on our small isolated farm. I had even started mentally composing a letter to leave behind to be found in the event I was murdered.

If you are reading this, it is likely that you or someone you care about is in a painful, and perhaps dangerous intimate relationship.

To make things even more confusing, the abuser may consider himself religious, and justify his behavior with religious text and teachings. Deeply ingrained faulty religious beliefs compound a victim’s ability to get away from an abuser.

This is a direct insult to the Bible, to Christianity and to God.

A woman should never fear going to hell for refusing to be submissive in a dangerous relationship.

It was the number one thing I struggled with – I was more afraid of disappointing God than I was of being murdered.

The one thing that finally overrode that fear, was the frightening realization one fateful day of what would happen to my children if I wasn’t there to protect them.

It was after I left, that God was able to help me see the truth about him, and that he had never wanted me to stay in that dangerous situation. I had stayed far longer than I ever needed to. Thankfully, I did find the courage to leave when I did, and God helped us through many difficult days ahead as we rebuilt our lives.

jimrohn147498

If you consider yourself a Christian, and your spiritual beliefs combined with wedding vows makes you feel there is no hope – I’m here to show you that there absolutely is!

God does not condone abuse. You don’t have to feel spiritually conflicted when facing the decision to stay or leave.

If you have powered through prayer and remained in an abusive relationship because you believe the Bible says it should be so, then I implore you to learn the TRUTH about what the Bible says about love, marriage and submission. Find the answers you need and enjoy the abundant life that God meant for you to have.

This book will give you hope in the midst of despair, clarity in the fog of confusion, and inspiration to step out courageously and live the joyful and fulfilling life God meant for you to have.

I will help you along the way, and there will be others to come alongside you also. God did not intend for you to walk this path alone. He has led you here to help you get the answers you need, and find the peace that you crave. Don’t give up!

Read the preface here…

Click here to see exactly what the God Hates Abuse Project does!

 

God Hates Abuse Project is a nonprofit entity fiscally sponsored by SocialGood Fund, a 501(c)(3) organization (EIN: 46-1323531).

https://godhatesabuse.com/god-hates-abuse

When We Face Accusation – Forever Loved

When We Face Accusation

Matthew 26:7-13

From time to time, undeserved criticism is the lot of every Christian. On occasion, it comes when we offer our best to the Lord and our good intentions are misunderstood or even ridiculed by those who should know better. Such an event is described in today’s Scripture reading.

The passage describes a woman who took a bottle of precious perfume and poured it on Jesus’ head as He reclined at the table. There is no record of any great results coming from this loving gesture. No lives were saved, no converts were made, and nothing measurable was obtained. Worse still, the woman was scolded for her actions. Her efforts were viewed as extravagant, unreasonable, and irresponsible. Jesus, however, thought otherwise. The Lord’s commendation for this woman’s loving sacrifice was astonishing. In His mind, it deserved to be memorialized—He said, “What she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (Matt. 26:13 NIV).

We sometimes wonder how much God is noticing our efforts to please Him. At times some of our greatest sacrifices seem to bring nothing but misunderstanding or even criticism from our family members and friends. Voices from others—and even from within our own heart—rise up to condemn us for godly choices that now seem to be incapacitating us.

But Jesus Christ, who knows the depths of our soul, sees and understands the torment we face. He hears the condemning voices of our accusers. When our sacrifices for the heavenly Father make little sense to the inhospitable world around us, it is His voice that will prevail on our behalf.


Forever Loved

Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself. Psalm 4:3

It’s almost impossible for us to get through a day without being snubbed, ignored, or put down in some way. Sometimes we even do it to ourselves.

David’s enemies were talking smack—bullying, threatening, pummeling him with insults. His sense of self-worth and well-being had plummeted (Ps. 4:1–2). He asked for relief “from my distress.”

Lord, thank You that You assure us that we are loved forever.

Then David remembered, “Know that the Lord has set apart his faithful servant for himself” (v. 3). Various English versions try to capture the full essence of David’s bold statement by translating “faithful servant” as “godly.” The Hebrew word here, hesed, literally refers to God’s covenant love and might well be rendered “those whom God will love forever and ever and ever.”

Here’s what we too must remember: We are loved forever, set apart in a special way, as dear to God as His own Son. He has called us to be His children for all eternity.

Instead of despairing, we can remind ourselves of the love we freely receive from our Father. We are His dearly beloved children. The end is not despair but peace and joy (vv. 7–8). He never gives up on us, and He never ever stops loving us.

Father in heaven, the words of others can wound us deeply. Your words to us heal and comfort, and You assure us that we are loved forever.

The true measure of God’s love is that He loves without measure. Bernard of Clairvaux

INSIGHT:How could we not care what others think or say about us? So much in life seems to depend on how others regard us. Maybe David wrote his fourth psalm after hearing rumors that he still thought he had gotten away with murder and with his scandalous affair with Bathsheba. Maybe he was told how others accused him of using his false humility and self-centered spirituality as a cover for his lust for power. As if knowing our own weak points he wrote, “How long will you people ruin my reputation? . . . How long will you continue your lies?” (v. 2 nlt).

The answer doesn’t seem to be what we might have expected. Without explanation, the songwriter seems to be like a television viewer changing channels. Suddenly the issue is no longer how long others are going to say thoughtless things about him, but rather how long his God is going to love him unconditionally—forever. The thought is better than warm milk and a soft pillow. With the love of God filling his heart, the words of enemies fade into silence. How does God’s unconditional love comfort you?

To read more about God’s love go to God Is Love at discoveryseries.org/q0612.

 

Christ the Foundation

“For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (1 Corinthians 3:11)

The only sure and lasting foundation for either a Christian institution or an individual Christian life is the Lord Jesus Christ. No other foundation will endure in that coming day when “the fire shall try every man’s work of what sort it is” (v. 13).

It is vital, therefore, to build on the foundation that Christ Himself has laid. This is laid in three courses, each of which is essential for its permanence. First of all, we must acknowledge with the apostle that “Thou, Lord, in the beginning hast laid the foundation of the earth; and the heavens are the works of thine hands” (Hebrews 1:10). He is the Creator of all things, and therefore Lord over all.

Second, we must acknowledge with Peter that we have been “redeemed . . . with the precious blood of Christ . . . who verily was foreordained before the foundation of the world” (1 Peter 1:18-20). His foreordained work of redemption thus was foundational even to the foundation of the world!

Then there is the Word of God, which is foundational to everything beyond creation and redemption. “Whosoever cometh to me, and heareth my sayings, and doeth them. . . . He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock” (Luke 6:47-48).

The Lord Jesus Christ is the true foundation, for He has Himself laid every sure foundation. He created all things, His shed blood is the price to redeem all things, and His written Word, by His Holy Spirit, reveals all things needed to build a beautiful, fruitful Christian life or ministry. No other foundation will last, and “if the foundations be destroyed, what can the righteous do?” (Psalm 11:3). HMM

“He remembereth that we are dust.”

 

Psalm 90

This Psalm is the record of Moses feelings when he saw the people dying in the wilderness, and it ought not to be read as exactly descriptive of the feelings of godly men, whose death is not a judgment of God’s wrath, but a falling asleep in God’s arms, that they may depart out of this present evil world to be where Jesus is.

A Prayer of Moses the Man of God

Psalm 90:1

We wander in tents, but, like our fathers, we dwell in thee. Sweet thought, in every age God is the home of his people.

Psalm 90:2

Though men. die, Thou ever livest; though nature itself expire, Thou art the same.

Psalm 90:3

One word from thee is enough. When thy fiat has gone forth, the spirits of men return to thee.

Psalm 90:4

What are ages to eternity? The drop is more in relation to the sea than time to the life of the Eternal One.

Psalm 90:5, 6

Men flourish and decay: the meadow grass is not more frail than they. Where are all the ancient generations? Are they not as undiscoverable as the generations yet unborn? Like the grass which grew when Jacob fed his flocks, the people of the past have disappeared.

Psalm 90:7

Not we at this time, but that generation of Israel. We enjoy Jehovah’s love, but Israel in the wilderness melted away before the Lord’s hot displeasure.

Psalm 90:8

Glory be to God, as believers, our sins are pardoned, and put behind the Lord’s back, but it was not so with that generation. This verse can now only be applied to the ungodly. Are there any such in this household?

Psalm 90:9

Our days are passed in peace, for the Lord has given us rest, but as for Israel in the desert it was sadly the reverse; and upon the ungodly at this day the curse is resting.

Psalm 90:10

The very strength of age is sorrow. What then is its weakness? Covet not extreme old age; but know that if it comes God must be our portion, or else life will be a burden.

Psalm 90:11

May we never know the power of God’s anger. The dread of it is awful, but the reality is beyond conception.

Psalm 90:13

Be gracious to those whom thou hast doomed to die.

Psalm 90:15

Balance our woes with a weight of mercy. Give a joy for every sorrow.

Psalm 90:16

They would accept the toil of the wilderness with cheerfulness because their children would obtain the joys of the promised land. So long as God’s church is continued in the world, we who now bear the burden and heat of the day are content to die.

Psalm 90:17

The labour of Moses’ lifetime had been very great in building up the Jewish commonwealth, and therefore he is prayerfully anxious that he may not have laboured in vain. Nor was it so, for a great nation was formed, and its mission has been fulfilled, unto this day. Fear not, servants of God, though death should seem to sweep away your life-work: true service for the Lord will outlast the pyramids.

 

Jesus Appears to Mary Magdalene

John 20:11-13

When Peter and John left the garden, Mary Magdalene remained behind. She had followed the two men, possibly hoping to obtain a clearer understanding of what she had experienced that day. All she knew was that her day started with a desire to come to the tomb to anoint the body of Jesus. But when she arrived, the stone was rolled away, and an angel was sitting on top of the great stone (Matthew 28:2)! Then when she entered the tomb, she first discovered another angel (Mark 16:5) and then suddenly found herself in the presence of two angels inside the tomb (Luke 24:4)!

The angels had told Mary, “He is not here, but is risen…” (Luke 24:6). But if Jesus was risen as the angels had said, where was He? How could she find Him?

Feeling dejected and alone, Mary stood outside the tomb weeping. The Greek tense means continually weeping, highlighting the fact she was extremely troubled about the inexplicable events that were happening. Most of all, she wanted to know what had happened to Jesus. John writes, “… she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre….” The word “stooped down” is parakupto, the same word used in John 20:5 to portray John taking a peek into the tomb. Now it was Mary’s turn to bend low and peer into the empty sepulcher—but when she looked inside, she saw something she didn’t expect!

John tells us, “… She stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain” (John 20:11, 12). The word “seeth” is the Greek word theaomai, which tells us assuredly that Mary fixed her eyes on the angels and determined to look them over and to take in the whole experience. First, she saw that the two angels were “in white.” This agrees with all the other experiences of angels that eventful day. All of them had been dressed in shining white with a lightning-bright appearance. All the angels seen that day also wore the same type of robe—like the long, flowing regal robes worn by warriors, kings, priests, or any other person of great power and authority. The usage of the word theaomai (“seeth”) tells us that this time Mary visibly studied every single detail of the angels she saw in the tomb.

John goes on to inform us that Mary saw these angels “… sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.” This statement is in perfect agreement with the interior of a rock-hewn tomb during biblical times. Past the entrance of such a tomb, a smaller separate room with a table-shaped pedestal, also carved from stone, was usually located to one side. On this rock slab the body was laid to rest after being dressed in burial clothes and perfumed by loved ones. The head would be slightly elevated, causing the trunk of the corpse to lie in a sloping downward position with the feet resting against a small ledge or in a groove, either of which were designed to keep the body from slipping from the slab.

When Mary saw the angels, she noted that one was seated at the top of the burial slab and the other was seated at the foot. In between these angels, she could see the empty place where she had personally viewed Jesus several days earlier. Luke 23:55 tells us that after Jesus’ body was placed in the tomb, Mary Magdalene and other women who came from Galilee “… beheld the sepulchre, and how his body was laid.” The word “beheld” (theaomai) means to gaze upon, to fully see, to look at intently. These women inspected the tomb, gazing upon the dead body of Jesus to see that it had been honorably laid in place. Because Mark 15:47 uses the imperfect tense to tell us how the women looked upon Jesus’ dead body, it means these women took plenty of time to make certain He was properly laid there. Now Mary saw the same spot where she had so carefully labored days before, but the dead body she cherished was no longer there.

As Mary looked and wept, the angels asked her, “… Woman, why weepest thou? She saith unto them, Because they have taken away my Lord, and I know not where they have laid him. And when she had thus said, she turned herself back, and saw Jesus standing, and knew not that it was Jesus” (John 20:13, 14).

Stricken with sorrow, Mary withdrew from the tomb just in time to see a man standing nearby. Due to Jesus’ changed appearance, she was unable to recognize Him. Verse 15 tells us what happened next: “Jesus saith unto her, Woman, why weepest thou? whom seekest thou? She, supposing him to be the gardener, saith unto him, Sir, if thou have borne him hence, tell me where thou hast laid him, and I will take him away.”

At that very moment, Jesus tenderly said, “Mary.” Upon hearing that voice and recognizing the old familiar way in which He called her name, “… she turned herself, and saith unto him, Rabboni; which is to say, Master” (v. 16). Although Jesus’ appearance was different now, Mary knew Him by His voice. This reminds me of John 10:27, when Jesus told His disciples, “My sheep hear my voice….” Mary knew His voice and recognized that it was her Shepherd who stood before her.

In Revelation 1, John tells us about his vision on the island of Patmos. In the midst of this phenomenal divine visitation, he says, “I was in the Spirit on the Lord’s day, and heard behind me a great voice, as of a trumpet…. and I turned to see the voice that spake with me…” (Revelation 1:10, 12).

Like Mary, when John heard that voice, he recognized it as the voice of Jesus. This is why John writes, “… I turned to see the voice that spake with me.”

Of course, it is impossible to “see” a voice, but John recognized the sound of that voice and turned to match the face with the voice he heard. He knew it was Jesus. But as Mary had also discovered, Jesus’ physical appearance looked radically different from the Jesus whom John had known in His earthly form. But the voice of Jesus never changed, and John immediately recognized it.

It appears that Mary reached out to cling to Jesus with her hands, but Jesus forbade her, saying, “… Touch me not; for I am not yet ascended to my Father: but go to my brethren, and say unto them, I ascend unto my Father, and your Father; and to my God, and your God” (John 20:17). With this one statement, Jesus let it be known that everything had changed because of the Cross. Now a new relationship with God was available to the apostles and to all who would call upon the name of Jesus Christ! John 20:18 goes on to say, “Mary Magdalene came and told the disciples that she had seen the Lord, and that he had spoken these things unto her.”

Today we rejoice that Jesus is alive! Because of what He did for us at the Cross, now we have access to God the Father. This was the purpose of the Cross: To redeem mankind and to put man back in right relationship and fellowship with his Heavenly Father. Jesus paid it all! He finished the work of redemption so that today we can be in right relationship with God by accepting the work of Christ on Calvary by faith.

I encourage you to be bold in recognizing the voice of Jesus. If you belong to Him, then you do know His voice. Mary knew His voice; John knew His voice; and your born-again spirit knows His voice. If you’ll take the time to listen, you will hear the voice of Jesus calling out to you just as He tenderly called out to Mary that day in the garden. He knows you by name, and He wants to enjoy close fellowship with you. So take the time to listen!

MY PRAYER FOR TODAY

Lord, thank You for being my Good Shepherd! I am so thankful You speak to me and lead me through life. I’m sorry I haven’t listened to You so many times when You have tried to warn me, help me, and guide me. I have lost so much because I didn’t listen when You spoke. But rather than focus on my past losses, I determine to do everything within my ability to hear You now and to obediently follow what You tell me to do!

I pray this in Jesus’ name!

MY CONFESSION FOR TODAY

I boldly confess that I know the voice of Jesus! He is my Shepherd, and I am His sheep. He promises that I will know His voice and that the voice of a stranger I will not follow. Therefore, I declare by faith that I recognize the voice of Jesus when He speaks to me. I am not hesitant to follow, but I am bold and quick to obey what He speaks to my heart.

I declare this by faith in Jesus’ name!

QUESTIONS FOR YOU TO CONSIDER

  1. How long has it been since you heard the voice of Jesus tenderly speak to your heart?
  2. It takes time to develop any relationship, so are you giving time to your relationship with Jesus so you can get to know Him better and allow Him the opportunity to speak to you about your life?
  3. Are there certain times or places in your daily routine when you are able to hear Jesus speak more clearly to you than at other times? For instance, do you hear Him best when you’re alone at home, driving your car, worshiping at church, or having a private time of prayer?

This was the purpose of the Cross: To redeem mankind and to put man back in right relationship and fellowship with his Heavenly Father. Jesus finished the work of redemption so that today we can be in right relationship with God by accepting His work on Calvary by faith. Jesus paid it all!

 

Creating “Margin” In Our Lives

Each page in this book has a margin. You wouldn’t read this “Fact” if the print ran to the edges of the paper because it would offend your sense of proportion. In similar fashion, our lives also need margin. They need proportion.

 

Margin is:

  • “The gap between rest and exhaustion…
  • “The leeway we once had between ourselves and our limits…
  • “Something held in reserve for contingencies or unanticipated situations… “

If you are running thin on margin these days, my guess is you are on overload in at least some of the following areas:

  • Too many commitments.
  • Too much competition.
  • Too much debt.
  • Too many expectations.
  • Too much ministry.

Here are six steps we can take to insure margin is built into our lives:

  • Learn to expect the unexpected. Because most everything takes longer than anticipated, learn to build margin into your planning.
  • Learn to say no. Contrary to your perception, you are not indispensable.
  • Cut down on the activities as they have a way of self-perpetuating; of multiplying.
  • Practice simplicity and contentment. Choose to live with less.
  • Get less done but do the right things. Assess all your activities as to their spiritual authenticity.
  • Decide to live the life of Jesus… whatever the cost:

Let your sweet reasonableness, your forbearance, your being satisfied with less than your due, become known to all menStop worrying about even one thing, but in everythinglet your requestsbe made known in the presence of God, and the peace of Godshall mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Philippians 4:4-6 – Wuest Translation)

 

 

%d bloggers like this: