• May 21, 2016 /  Uncategorized

    chose

    Living with a head injury has been an unexpected challenge.
    A challenge I never thought I would have to face because head injuries happen to other people, not to me.
    14 months of doctors and therapists.
    14 months of daily debilitating symptoms.
    14 months of no driving, and minimal out-of-house activities.
    14 months of assisted walking and talking.
    Yeah, this drama is for the movie theaters, not my living room!

    I have recently come to terms with the fact that barring a miracle;
    I will have to continue facing challenges and making accommodations for some time. I will need to listen to my badly botched brain and heed its voice. I must remember my triggers and pay attention to my body’s warning signs. I am going to have to learn some more tricks of the brain-injured-trade and apply them to my daily living for awhile.  And that’s just the physical stuff!
    Since I am a creation of body, soul, and spirit…I got two other parts of me that need attending to also!

    I have been inspired by an internal challenge.
    One I bet most disabled persons face at one time or another.
    It is a challenge I have just stumbled over.
    A challenge that presented itself upon the realization that,
    “This head injury ain’t going away anytime soon.”
    And the challenge is……….
    HOW DO I LIVE WITH THIS DISABILITY AND NOT LET IT BECOME MY MASTER?

    The dilemma remains a real one for me since my brain tells my whole body what to do. Every single part of me is under the influence of the magnificent control center lodged in my head and how it processes, analyzes, computes, and puts-out………….
    effects not only my every waking moment but all my sleepy time too!
    I just can’t seem to get away from….my brain.

    So amidst my vision therapy and my vestibular therapy and my light therapy.
    Along with my 10-minute strolls and lengthy rest periods, I am contemplating how to maneuver my life physically, mentally, emotionally and spiritually like Jesus Christ is my Master….not my brain injury.

    When I am talked about behind closed doors, or when I enter a room, I want the buzz about me to be, “Hey, there’s Kim! She is a lover of Jesus! A preacher of His Word! She prays like there is no tomorrow and she has blessed the socks off of many around her. She has a heart of compassion, and she is a generous giver. She is a wonderful daughter, sister, and friend. She is completely in love with each of her kids and their relationships prove themselves. Oh, and by-the-way, did you know she has a head injury?”

    I want my head injury to be the “Oh, by the way.” Not the topic of the discussion.
    I want my head injury to be an after thought, not the conversation starter.
    I want my head injury to take a back seat. And Christ to take the steering wheel.
    My head injury has the power to re-define me and my standard of living
    BUT it does not have the power to become my identity.
    That spot has already been filled by my position as a child of the King.
    My identity has already been hidden in Christ Jesus.
    The who-I-am has already been sealed. It’s settled for all eternity, and I plan to work it out, brain injured or not, all the days of my earthly life.

    So while I muddle through and figure, while I sigh and cry, while I play and pray, I am reminded that although everything has changed, the core of who I am, the very essence of my beings stands sure, fixed and immovable.  This brain injury will not define me…the definition of “me” has already been written down in the Lord’s Book for all eternity. And I am convinced now more than ever that,
    “My light momentary affliction is preparing for me for an eternal weight of glory beyond all comparison.” (2 Corinthians 4:17)
    Where head injuries don’t exist, and disabilities can’t live. Where my foot will never slip, nor will it stumble. Where my words will flow freely, my speech will be clear, and my walking will be steady.  Where no trace of pain can enter. No inkling of suffering can stand. These truths cause me to smile with relieved reassurance.  They help me to look towards Heaven and state, “Yeah, this brain injury cannot define me, nor is it my destiny. I already know who I am. I already know where I am going. I have one Master in Heaven who controls all the universe, and that would include my teeny pea brain.”

    My brain injury may try, but it can not become my master.
    It will never be my identity.
    Jesus Christ defeated that notion 2,000 years ago on the Cross.
    The battle for the prime spot in my life was fought at Calvary.
    Brain injury was defeated. Jesus Christ won.

    Now…….I get the privilege of walking that truth out.
    I have the joy of sharing in His suffering.
    The honor of entering into the deepest of His fellowship.
    The responsibility to suffer well.

     

     

     

    Y

     

     

  • May 16, 2016 /  Uncategorized

     

    scott

    By Ol’ Mama Scott……(Pastor Scott Van Kirk)

    Last month we looked at the OT canon and, the
    Apocrypha aside, it should be noted that there
    really is no longer any significant debate about
    which of the 39 books belong. Not so for the New
    Testament. Its authenticity is constantly under
    attack and, as Christians, we need to understand
    the source of those attacks. It may come through
    the pens and tongues of men and women but, as Paul
    wrote, “We do not wrestle against flesh and blood
    (that is, human beings), but against
    principalities, against powers, against the rulers
    of the darkness of this age, against spiritual
    hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Eph
    6:12) The battle for the Bible is a battle for the
    Gospel itself, which is relentlessly and violently
    opposed by the enemy of men’s souls, Satan
    himself.
    How can we know that the words we find in our
    Bibles, from Matthew to Revelation, are truly the
    inspired words of God?  Knowing the history of the
    debate within the early church helps:
    First we need to understand that, according to all
    available written documents and other
    archaeological evidence we have from the early
    church period (which is a lot, by the way), 19 out
    of the 27 NT books were never questioned. In the
    first 300 years after Christ’s resurrection the
    church, governed by the Holy Spirit, showed
    remarkable unity – complete unity – over all books
    except  six: Hebrews, James, 2Peter, 2John, 3John
    and Revelation. We have written, publicly
    published lists of the NT canon by prominent
    church fathers of the day, so that there was a
    remarkable lack of controversy speaks volumes.
    In 180 a.d. Irenaeus was adamant that the four
    gospels we have today were the only authentic
    gospels. Origin, in the early 200s, published a
    canon of 27 books identical to the one now in use.
    An identical list of unknown origin was published
    in 195 a.d. In the year 367 Athanasius, Bishop of
    Alexandria, published an Easter letter that
    claimed these 27 books were “canonized,” that is
    they were universally accepted by the church. In
    Jerome’s original Latin translation (the Vulgate,
    405 a.d.) the canon is the same.
    There still remained, however, lingering
    controversy over the six books already mentioned,
    so the church realized the need to officially
    distinguish between those books which were clearly
    inspired and those which were not. To that end a
    Council of all church bishops was called in 393 in
    the North African town of Hippo Regius (in modern
    Algeria). The records of that Council are lost,
    but its decisions were recorded in another council
    in the same place in 397, for which we have
    complete original records. It was the Hippo
    councils that included and confirmed the six
    questionable books mentioned already.
    What’s important to note is that concerning the
    canon of Scripture the Holy Spirit gave
    supernatural unity to the huge and diverse body of
    Christ, comprised of dozens of cultures spread
    over three continents. Except for a flurry of
    controversy just before the Hippo councils there
    was a remarkable absence of any serious debate in
    the church about what books belonged in the New
    Testament. In other words, the councils at Hippo,
    Jerome’s compilation and further edicts from the
    church down through the centuries were simply
    confirming what had already been accepted
    throughout the church body.

  • May 14, 2016 /  Uncategorized

    thorns

    Because of the surpassing greatness of the revelations, for this reason, to keep me from exalting myself, there was given me a thorn in the flesh, a messenger of Satan to torment me—to keep me from exalting myself! Concerning this, I implored the Lord three times that it might leave me. And He has said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for power is perfected in weakness.” Most gladly, therefore, I will rather boast about my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may dwell in me.  2 Corinthians 12:7-9

    Thorns…I don’t like ’em…never have.
    If anyone knew anything about pesky, annoying, painful thorns, it was the Apostle Paul. So I went there. Through the pages of the Good Book, I visited Paul in one of his miseries, and I sat me down and stayed a while. I wanted to learn about thorns, and I figured he could teach me a thing or two.

    Paul’s thorn, it seems, was placed there by God Himself. That thorn, divinely planted had a purpose. It had a mission. It had a destiny far bigger than anyone could see. This thorn was designed to do a specific job and do it well. Paul’s thorn was ordered by God to keep Paul from exalting himself, from becoming prideful. Brother Paul had received great revelations from the Heavenly Kingdom. And Father God knew pride was lurking around the corner in Paul’s life waiting for a crack in the door to press its way through.
    Our All-knowing God, being loving and kind, did not want that ugly spirit manifested in His child’s life.
    God knew that He must oppose the proud.
    He also knew He would give grace to the humble.
    God needed Paul humble.
    Paul needed Paul humble.
    We needed Paul humble.
    The thorn was the humbling agent.

    Paul prayed three times that the Lord might take this thorn away.
    Paul had seen the Lord work miracle after miracle in his life and in the lives of the people he ministered to.  Obviously, it wasn’t a lack of faith on Pauls part that kept the thorn embedded in his flesh. It wasn’t for lack of asking. Nowhere do the Scriptures imply Paul was living in a habitual sin that would warrant his current suffering. No, Paul had a designated thorn placed in his life, at this time, and according to God, it wasn’t going away soon.

    There came a day…a moment in time… when Paul stopped asking for the thorn to be removed and started speaking out loud the answer of God.
    Yep, Paul stood in his suffering place, with a painful, inconvenient, nuisance of a thorn lodged in his person and declared to anyone with ears to hear….
    “God’s grace is sufficient for me! His power is made perfect in my weakness!”

    Paul recognized his thorn came from God. He realized it was designed for a bigger purpose than his own immediate comfort. He acknowledged it was sent for his ultimate good.  Paul continued to believe in God’s goodness, His wisdom, and His power…a thorn in the flesh couldn’t change his mind on that!
    Paul also recognized that this thorn attracted demons. Suffering always does.
    Demonic forces smell pain and anguish miles away and come running.
    They take their stand, set their faces, look for an opening, and begin their badger.
    They torment, they buffet, they harass.  They desperately attempt to get the suffering child of God to believe the lies that will give the demonic forces further entrance into that suffering place. The messengers of Satan have strategically planned a disease that will bring an infection into that open wound. If successful that infection will greatly multiply the pain and suffering of the thorn.

    Pauls love for his Savior…. His trust in God’s wisdom…. His joy in this suffering…
    coupled with speaking out loud the word of God to him, did battle against those demonic intruders. It wasn’t easy. The messengers were always there waiting, whispering, mocking, questioning God’s goodness, smirking at his faith, interrupting his sentences when he wrote or when he spoke of God’s grace.
    But they never succeeded. The victory they never gained.
    Paul boasted in his weakness. He was well content in his suffering.
    If this thorn meant the power of God was going to be multiplied in his life…if God was going to be made strong in this hurting place…then glory to God!

    The power of God given to Paul to endure this thorn suffering was supplied by Jesus Christ. The strength of God to withstand the onslaught of the enemy during his time of trouble was also provided by Jesus Christ. The hope of God that all of these thorns (trials and afflictions) would be worth it, in the end, was again furnished by Jesus Christ.
    The same Jesus that once wore the Crown of Thorns for us… furnishes us with every ounce of grace we need to brave our thorn.