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Apr

7

That Same Full Moon

By pastorbillwalden

I stepped out under the full moon again tonight.  That same moon illuminated the Garden of Gethsemane where Jesus prayed so many years ago.  It lit the dark paths where Judas and the Temple guards came to arrest Jesus.  It shined down upon the fire where Peter swore three times that he never knew Jesus.  It guided the Roman soldiers as they led Jesus from Pilate to Herod, and then back to Pilate again.

The next night it shined brightly again, as Jesus’ followers were afraid for their own lives, and began to go into hiding.  They were dumbfounded and shocked at Jesus having been killed and laid in a tomb.  They saw Him die, and their hopes came to a brutal end.

The moonlight probably still shined that resurrection morning, as Mary and the others went to the tomb of Jesus to anoint His body for a proper burial.  There at the tomb, as the moonlight waned and as the sun began to rise, He appeared to them, and the world change began.

I am part of that world change.  I am a follower of Jesus.  I believe that He was raised from the dead, and that He is alive.  Either I am correct, or I am deceived.  I don’t think I am crazy.  I do believe He lives, and that He has dwelt within me since I surrendered to Him 38 years ago.

I departed from Him for 6 years, but He never departed from me. I have walked with Jesus for 30 years this year.  I cannot shake Him, nor do I want to.

I succeed and fail.  I am hopeful and hopeless.  I understand and am confused.  I have holy desires, and unholy ones.  I am a redeemed soul in an unredeemed body.  The internal spiritual war is constant, but it has gotten better every year, every month.

I cannot shake Him.  I cannot disregard Him.  I cannot convince myself that He is not there, not that I try.  He is alive, and He lives in me, my wife, and many of my loved ones and friends.

I expect to see Him face to face one day.  It will be awesome and fearful, but it will be good. I will finally be home.

Words of thanksgiving flow from my mouth on a daily basis. ”Thank you for your love, your mercy, and your grace.  Thank you for your provision, kindness, patience, faithfulness.  Thank you for my wife, my kids, my parents, my friends, my church, and for this life you have given me”.

The words come like my breath.  I often don’t even plan on saying them, but they have become to me part of the fabric of my life.  They are not vain repetition, or a mantra.  They just flow.  They are real, because He is real.  It has become like breathing.

I cannot shake Him, not that I want to.  I cannot step out under that moon and not think of Him, especially at this time of year.  I cannot help but be amazed that I am a part of this grand plan for humanity.  I cannot help but be thankful.

I have not captured Him, but he has captured me.

I do not make Him promises.  I have never been a promise maker to Him.  I don’t think He asks me to promise Him anything.  He just asks me to keep trying and keep believing.  We talk, and somehow, I know He hears me, and somehow, I believe that He speaks back to me in the secret recesses of my soul.

I am a Christian.  I am a Christ follower.  I want no other name, title, or affiliation.

I invite you to consider Jesus.  The church has failed since the beginning, but Jesus doesn’t fail.  Jesus takes up residence within people that fail, and He brings great change.  He forgives, and renews.  I invite you to take an honest look at Jesus.  I may be right, or I may be wrong, but I believe that He is coming back.  I look forward to that day.  I pray that you will also.

I expect that as long as God gives me life on Earth, I will be enamored and intrigued at that same full moon.  It is something special that He shares with me.  I cannot help but be moved as I remember all He has done for me.

May God bless you this Easter season.  May you meet Jesus.

Mar

22

Easter Week In Review

By pastorbillwalden

Since tomorrow is Easter Sunday, and the early church gathered together on the first day of the week, that being Sunday, I now consider that Easter Week has come to an end.

A new week begins tomorrow, and the resurrection of Jesus certainly speaks of the newness of life.

This has been quite a week for me. I have learned a lot, and I have experienced a lot. I think I have grown spiritually.

For a few weeks prior to this week, God had burdened my heart about the Lost and the Prodigals. When I say “burdened”, I do mean it that way. I have had a heavy heart for those who live without Jesus, and who may die without Jesus.

I also had a heavy heart for those who have known the way of truth, but who have walked away, or who have seemed to walk away. I do believe that Christians can be backslidden. I believe that because of Biblical reasons, and because of personal experience.

My heart ached this week for those two groups of people. I actually felt it in my body. I can only imagine how our Lord feels over those folks for whom He died, knowing that they presently refuse His grace. My sorrow pales compared to His.

I was moved to pray, and to ask our church to pray, and to ask those of you who visit this site to pray. I was stirred to remember that there is a spiritual battle for the souls of men and women.

God reminded me of this verse:
Matthew 10:28 And do not fear those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. But rather fear Him who is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.

We hear less and less preaching about Hell these days. Jesus said that people should fear Hell, and fear the God who is able to destroy both soul and body in Hell.

So much of Christian preaching and teaching seems to avoid talking of sin and Hell. We need to be moved by the reality that people are on their way to Hell. Jesus loved the world, and came to die for our sins, to save us from Hell, and grant to us access to Himself and Heaven. We need to be people of prayer.

Satan hates humanity. He hates God, and he hates Christians. I am sure that Satan especially hates this week, and particularly Easter Sunday.

Our church gathered Monday-Wednesday to pray, and we prayed for a lot of people. I had had a sense that the week would include a lot of spiritual warfare, but it went way beyond what I ever imagined it would be. I don’t want to share in detail the battle of this last week, but between Satan, my emotions, my physical struggles, and more, this was a week of battling. I am sure some of it was the weakness of my constitution (as Spurgeon would say it). I am sure that some of it originated in Hell. I regret that some of my co-laborers had to suffer with my suffering. Such is Body life. They are great people.

I came to the conclusion that if you are going to seriously pray for the souls of men and women, it is going to cost you. If you are going to ache over what Jesus aches over, it will cost you. It was a costly week for me, but God is faithful, and the worst part of the battle seems to have passed.

I look forward to a tremendous time with our church tomorrow. Jesus is risen from the dead. He heard our prayers this week. He is risen indeed. I am confident that our prayers have made a difference, and that we will hear praise reports of some people’s lives being deeply touched by God.

Praying is like farming. The work is done in faith, and in hope, and the harvest so often comes at a much later date. But it is always worth the effort.

Shifting gears…

This week we travel to Vizcaino, South Baja, Mexico. We will be there for a week, reaching out to the local community, and spending time with Pastor Tacho & Lourdes & their kids, and the local Calvary Chapel there.

We will also take one day to see the gray whales calving in the bay at Guerrero Negro. Over 2,000 gray whales travel from Alaska to Guerrero Negro each spring. It is a great experience to see them up so close. We go out into the bay in 25′ wooden boats, and then they turn the motor off, and we drift with whales all around us. Sometimes they come right up to the boat. Wow!

We will spend some of the time doing construction on the missions base we are building. Our church owns 3 1/2 acres, and we are building a missions base for American groups to use for missions trips.

The base will also serve as a church, and a place for medical outreach, and even possibly as school. We have a lot of work to do, but the Lord is providing the finances and the workers, so we carry on.

If any of you or your churches ever want to join us, contact me. You can read about the work in Vizcaino at this link:
http://www.laposadaii.com/

Finally…

The Bible says that Jesus, though He was rich, became poor for our sakes, that we, through His poverty, might become rich. Jesus laid so much aside, so that you and I could be forgiven, and be able to know God, and be with Him forever.

If you have never asked Him to forgive you, do it now. Surrender your life to Jesus, and be born again. God’s Spirit will come into your heart, and you be will become a child of God.

Blessings all, and thanks to those of you who prayed. If you have any praise reports that come back as a result of prayer efforts, please share them with us, that we might be encouraged, and that God may be glorified.

This week I’ll check the blog as time permits. You all behave and love each other. ;)