Monthly Archives: December 2013

We Can Do Nothing Against the Truth

The Lord gave us the privilege of sharing a nice Christmas meal, centerpiece of bacon-wrapped turkey, with a great family of the faith. We were welcomed in and had such great fun and fellowship with them. This was our first Christmas away from our physical family, but we were elated to spend it with such great spiritual family. As we were talking, Robin was talking about Fenwick’s window. (Here in Newcastle, this store spends copious amounts of money to decorate their window, and people stand for hours to see it. It is big part of the Christmas season here). He commented that in a previous year, one of the displays had been a Nativity. Apparently, a child looking at the window asked what this had to do with Christmas. For us, this was an unthinkable tragedy. The real meaning, the Truth about Christmas, had been taken out of the season. The way the world celebrates Christmas, we might as well rename this season Mas-presents or some such nonsense. In reading this week, I came across these verses from the final chapter of Corinthians.

2 Corinthians 13:8-10 For we can do nothing against the truth, but for the truth. For we are glad when we are weak and you are strong. And this also we pray, that you may be made complete. Therefore I [Paul] write these things being absent, lest being present I should use sharpness, according to the authority which the Lord has given me for edification and not for destruction.

As Followers of Christ, we must live by these verses. We must be careful not to ever do anything against the Truth, but for it. The world has launched a concentrated attack on Truth and are trying to replace it with personal relativism (whatever is right for you). It seems that it is the mission of some to exhaust themselves in service of the Truth so that many more might be made strong in it. No one can ever be whole or complete without the Truth, which is Jesus. We stand and battle for the Truth with all that we have in us, but at the same time, we cannot use or authority or knowledge to destroy or bring destruction. We must always bring the Truth in a way that encourages. Everyone knows that if you bring the Truth and beat someone over the head without, it does not help them. It can be likened to an ambulance driving up to someone who has been injured backing up and running over them. It is there to help them, but can cause a lot of damage to them if it is not properly handled. We must do all that we can to stand for the Truth and speak it in Love!!!

Do not forget to apply this to yourself as we also seek to. Ask Holy Spirit to reveal any area in your life that you may not be fully standing in the Truth. Seek to stand wherever He reveals. Also, ask Him to reveal how you can stand and speak the Truth in love and encouragement and not cause harm to those who need it the most.

We continue to love and pray for the Family of God as a whole and pray that you are blessed and encouraged by everything that we are a part of. If these blogs have been an encouragement to you, think about following them and sharing them with friends so that others may be encouraged and experience the Truth in a new way.

Blessings of Jesus, the True Reason for the Season!!!
Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

True Ministers of God

Are you a True Minister of God? Read on to find out everything this entails…

This morning, while reading in 2 Corinthians, I stumbled across some very interesting verses that are important for us to dwell on that our lives may be lived as God desires. For those of you who have decided to become a True Follower of Christ, you are called a minister of Christ (2 Cor. 3:6). Although you may never be called to be a full-time minister or pastor as I was eleven years ago, you are a minister right now!!! In His letter to the Corinthians, Paul gives each one of us an idea of how we should be living, and what we should expect as we follow Him!!!

2 Corinthians 6:3-4a “We live in such a way that no one will stumble because of us, and no one will find fault with our ministry. In everything we do, we show that we are true ministers of God.”

This is something we must always be wary of. Our lives as representations of Who God is must not give Him a bad light in anything that we do or do not do. We must be always living as His children. No pressure! I am thankful that the grace of God covers my failures, but I must be open and say that I am not perfect…and neither are you. So I am in good company ūüôā Our openness and transparency about our faults allows others to grab ahold of the truth of grace working in us.

4b “We patiently endure troubles and hardships and calamities of every kind. 5 We have been beaten, been put in prison, faced angry mobs, worked to exhaustion, endured sleepless nights, and gone without food.

Most of us have experienced at least some of these, but we have much more to expect if we are truly following in the footsteps of Christ!!!

6 We prove ourselves by our purity, our understanding, our patience, our kindness, by the Holy Spirit within us, and by our sincere love.

How are you proving yourself this week? Ask Holy Spirit to help you be the proof of Christ in the midst of every negative situation.

7 We faithfully preach the truth. God’s power is working in us. We use the weapons of righteousness in the right hand for attack and the left hand for defense.

The Truth of God radiating from us, the power of God working through us, and His righteousness working in us are the weapons and defense against the enemy and his forces!!!

8 We serve God whether people honor us or despise us, whether they slander us or praise us. We are honest, but they call us impostors. 9 We are ignored, even though we are well known. We live close to death, but we are still alive. We have been beaten, but we have not been killed. 10 Our hearts ache, but we always have joy. We are poor, but we give spiritual riches to others. We own nothing, and yet we have everything.”

It does not matter where we are, what we are doing, what people’s response to us, or accusations against us are. Our situation does not dictate how we are to act or conduct ourselves. As we rely fully upon The Lord, He will give us the ability to triumph in any circumstance and shine forth His glory in every trial.

Remember, that no matter where you are or what you are doing, you are being a minister of Christ!!! Are you proclaiming the Truth of who He is and what He is doing for you no matter what is going on around you? Are you being a light of hope in a dark world? Are you giving and accurate representation of who He is? Or are you causing others to view Christ falsely or making Him seem powerless and puny?

You are a minister of Christ and I bless you with the ability to radiate His truth, walk in His righteousness, and bring glory to God through the working of His power and sharing of His love!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

My Weakness Becomes His Strength

I know that it has been a while since I have written, but I praise the Lord that we continue to get great ministry opportunities to be a part of and press into all that God has for us on this trip. A few days ago, we got to fellowship with one of the friends I made in Harpenden last year at Circuit Riders, the leader of the Youth With a Mission (YWAM) Discipleship Training Schools (DTS) and his wife. As we talked and later prayed together, I got the opportunity to share a recent testimony that encouraged and spoke to him, and I pray that it encourages you as well!!!

Two weeks ago, I got the privilege to speak at the church of one of my friends here in Newcastle. I had met him last summer during the Circuit Rider outreach here. This was right before he became the pastor at Gateway Church and was at St. Luke’s where we were based out of. On one of our many days to go out and do evangelism, Sam joined me and we went around looking for where God was moving and trying to talk to people. We tried many times to start some sort of conversation with people but were seemingly blocked at every turn. Finally, we did get to talk to two gentlemen for a while even though they were obviously just wanting someone to talk to and did not really care about what we were saying. Apparently, Sam went out later with Jedidah and Heidi who have a gift of evangelism and talked to many people.

Sam shared with me, while we were eating lunch with him and his wife this year after I had preached, that he was rather encouraged when he went out with me. I found this very odd since it seemed hard and laborious and is definitely not my gifting. However, it seems that God was able to speak to him through this weakness and encourage him. He saw how even though this was not my gift, I was still being obedient. This led him to be obedient and lead many street evangelism teams with his church even though this is not his gifting either.

For me, this was an amazing testimony because all last year during Circuit Riders, I never got the privilege of leading anyone to The Lord. However just like Jesus said to Paul “my strength is made perfect in weakness” (2 Cor 12:9) He spoke this to me as well. Even though this was an area where I was obviously weak, I had a desire to be obedient and grow. Even though it seemed like I was failing and every outward indication was that there was no fruit from my efforts, God used it. God used my weakness to encourage a man who was about to become a pastor to lead his church on continuous evangelistic outreaches. In a way, God used my weakness and obedience in a manner that allows me to take part in every salvation that comes out of Sam’s church. God is awesome, and if Sam had not told me this, I would never have had any idea that God had used my weak obedience in such a mighty way.

My encouragement to you is to be obedient in every area. Even in the places that you feel weak, unqualified, like you have failed, or are just no good, be obedient!!! He is able to do “exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask for, hope for, or even imagine” even with our weaknesses!!! He is able to turn every one of your weaknesses into strengths and every one of your supposed defeats into great victories if you are completely obedient and submitted to Him!!! Ask Holy Spirit right now where you can be completely obedient and submitted to Him and move into that place no matter if you feel weak or strong in that area. He will make His name great so do everything to please Him completely!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

Busy For the Kingdom

A couple days ago, we got to preach and minister at my friend Sam Douthwaite’s church (http://www.gatewaynewcastle.org/). ¬†We were able to do the kind of ministry that everyone sees and appreciates. ¬†After that, we were at St. Lukes for a Christmas Carol service and were able to pray and encourage several people there as well. ¬†Sunday morning and evening at the church, this is what immediately comes to mind when we we think of ministry.

The very next day, we were able to do ministry of a different sort.  Some may not call it ministry, but it is what Followers of Christ should be doing all the time.  We set out with the intention of buying some Christmas presents at the local shopping center for my Sister and her Fiance.  We will be visiting them this weekend and celebrating Christmas a little early.  While we were here, we had two encounters that could have easily gone by us if we were too busy to take the time.

The first happened mainly because of me.  As we were passing an Apple store, I wanted to go in and look at the new Ipad Air.  This was an extremely silly thing for me to do, because I do not have the money, nor could ever justify it if I had the money, to buy one.  I just thought I would look at it.  Well, while we were in this shop, we ran across Steve who we had met at church two weeks ago.  He works for Compassion International helping others to learn about how they can be a part of change in the lives of needy children.  We were able to talk with Him a little more and meet his wife and almost 2 year old son.  This was an encouragement to me and I believe was good for them as well.  If we were busy or just attending the business at hand, we would have very quickly passed by and never taken the time to chat with these wonderful people and make that valuable connection with them.

A little later, as we struggled through the increasing crowd, we were stopped by a man named Carlton.  He had a sleeping bag thrown around his shoulders and was obviously a homeless man.  We could have easily passed him by like so many others, but we stopped and talked with him.  We even got the opportunity to pray with him and just talk about the Lord.  Even though we did not have the time and not really any money to give him, we were able to be an encouragement to him just by talking to him and giving him our time.

As the busy Christmas season is around us and we are attending parties and buying presents and fighting the madhouse of crowds just to get to wherever we are going, lets be conscious of where God is moving. ¬†Let us never be to busy to join Him in His work. ¬†My encouragement to you, is to not be busy!!! ¬†Busyness means that what I am doing is more important that what you are doing and causes us to lose track of the One who is really important. ¬†One of my earliest and favorite memories of Christmas is my Dad singing “Jesus is the reason for the season, Jesus is Lord Emmanuel. ¬†He can’t get the glory without the story, Jesus is Lord Emmanuel.”

Always remember that Jesus is the reason for the season.  If we get so busy that we do not even take time to do what Jesus did and bless the people that need it most, with time, money, just talking to them, or something more, how can God ever get the glory?  Let us put away the busyness of the season that says me and mine are more important than anything and lets put on Jesus who humbled Himself and became obedient, looking out for the wellbeing of others rather than Himself.  We cannot be selfish with what we have if we truly recognize what Jesus gave up just so that we could live!!!

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!

What’s in a Name?

While we have been here in Newcastle, things have been different than anywhere else we have been. I guess I have come to expect that though. Last week, we got to go and pray with the YWAM Newcastle team and give them some encouragement. They have been here for more than two years now and there is only three of them. Although they are small in number, we know that “the fervent effectual prayers of a righteous person bring about great things”!!! We also know that persistence pays off. It was a good time of being with them and God gave us several words, but the main thing was that He was incredibly proud of them. I was brought to tears at the pride that Father takes in His children here.

God has also given me the first opportunity for me to preach in a church setting since we started this trip. I felt led to speak about the promises of The Lord coming about with faith and patient perseverance. This encouraged many people and was effective in doing what God wanted it to.

I have the privilege of speaking once again this week at another church. It was totally God that He was speaking to me a message and the passage The body is studying is goes with this message.

“What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.” This is a very popular quote from Shakespeare in his play Romeo and Juliet. It is somehow appropriate for God to speak this to me while I am here, while i am in England. In Luke 9:18-20, Jesus asks two questions. The first is “Who do people say that I am?”. If we answer this question today, there is no end to answers. There will be anything from not believing that He ever lived to believing that He was some sort of disembodied spirit. However, the disciples only answer a few things, some say John the Baptist (a radical preacher), some say Elijah (a miracle worker), some say a resurrected prophet (a teacher, righteous man). Every one of these answers is lacking in different ways. Is Jesus a preacher but have no power? Is Jesus a miracle worker, this does not mean He knows God (Matt 7:21-23)? Is Jesus a good teacher that says nice things?

When Jesus asks who these disciples, the closest ones to Him, said He was there was only one response. Peter says “the Christ, Son of the Living God.” If we truly believe this statement, which Jesus commends Peter for, our lives will be different. What we believe about Jesus will always determine how we think, act, and live!!! If we believe Him as any less than the Son of God, God in flesh, we will not live in pure devotion to Him! If He is our end, our only desire will be to please Him completely and totally in our thinking, our speaking, and our doing!!!

How do you really see Jesus? Is He the One Desire in your life? Is He above all else? Are you living like it? Ask Holy Spirit to reveal how you see Jesus and How you need to be changed more and more into His image! Seek Him with all that you are and come to know Him as He truly Is!!! John 14:12 reminds us that that “to him who believes in Me (Jesus), the things I have been doing and greater he will do”!!! I believe and am trying to live in pure devotion to Him. What do you believe? How are you living as proof to this belief?

Jeremiah, Man on Fire!!!