9.07.2006

Suddenly

Some of you will remember this picture. It's from an email that was sent to us from one of the John supporters:


I experienced a little bit of this kind of thing happening to me last night. I was talking with two of my good friends over the phone. (The three of us were on a "party line.") We were making all kinds of small talk, and then the conversation started turning deeper. And all of us were facing one kind of dilemma or another. And we were complaining, seeing no way out of our individual dire situations when all of a sudden, one of us said, "Wait a minute. The whole point of our Christian lives is to 'seek holiness.' That's the answer for me! I'm supposed to seek holiness, and not worry about trying to do a balancing act between living as a Christian and living in the world."

This, of course, had a ripple effect on all of us, and we were suddenly seeing the "solution" to all our so-called problems. We needed to focus on the truth that the Christian life is meant to be tough, and because of that we rely on the Holy Spirit to give us grace and strength to carry on.

Yeah, the three of us realized what had just happened: God had "snuck up on us" and had made His way into our conversation. It was amazing! I thought, this excitement was what Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego must have been feeling in the fiery furnace when they saw the "fourth man"--the preincarnate Christ--in the flames, with them.

I mean, suddenly He was there in our conversation--"without previous warning."

And is it okay if I believe, that just as suddenly, He'll make provision for John, as His people respond in giving of themselves for the saving of lives...through a "little" film called, The Gospel According To John.

So, let's keep on, in bringing about greater awareness of John throughout the body of Christ, because we'll never know what someone might do with a postcard we gave them; with a web address we gave them; or a DVD we showed them; or a brochure; or a web banner. We just never know. God can do anything.

14 comments:

Kris_in_WA said...

Ronald..you know it's funny, but I was just thinking the very same thing the other day...I'd gone to the park and put up a postcard...and when I went back a few days later, it was gone. At first, I was annoyed that someone had removed it! I mean this was important stuff, what are they doing removing it!? Aha - but I had another one...so I put it up again, and left. The enemy won't stop me from spreading this news, I thought to myself!

Then, I went to the store for some grocery items...now I frequent this store and I live in a semi-smaller city so I was surprised when, I found that yet again, someone had removed the postcard I'd posted up on their public bulletin board just days before - I'd posted it higher up, out of everyone's way to be considerate..just days before and it was gone... I again was a little annoyed...thinking again, "Why would they do this? It wasn't harming anyone, once again the enemy tries to foil our perserverance..." but aha - I had flyers with me this time! (I take them everywhere as "you never know when you may need to post one!" So alas, I re-posted this flyer...same spot...out of the way and up higher... and left.

Finally, as I was driving home, it came to me: Why be annoyed that they were removed...I don't know that they were removed by someone following the enemy leading.... in actuality, you never know who took it or what they may be using it for!!! Then of course, I just laughed at myself for being worried about it in the first place! Passion -- it'll get the best of us if we are not careful! :) And yes, Ronald...you just never know... where God is going to move those mountains or when He's going to move them or who He is going to bless in the process!

I listen to a fair bit of TBN broadcasting and for the last few days, it has been one show after another saying draw closer to Jesus, trust Jesus, He HAS a plan..he WILL work his plan...don't worry or let anyone get you to worrying about your past, or your qualifications you think you lack now...just trust that Jesus WILL work through you and He WILL use you and He DOES have a plan for your life... and he WILL do it..you just don't give up! Talk about hitting home in my life (and by the sound of it in you and your buddie's lives as well!)!!

Yes....my Redeemer lives..and yes, He has a plan...and yes, Ronald...we just need to hold on...as hard as that may be for us human beings...we just need to hold on and remain hopeful and wait...and keep perservering... and learn to wait for His timing which so oftentimes it seems, is "at the last second" (or so it seems to us!); and when He does a work in our lives, it so oftentimes is in such an astounding, rock-your-world, mammoth-sized waterfall of an out-pouring of blessings...that of mountains exploding and moving in our lives and in others lives around us...more than we ever imagined! Brother, I hear ya! I have seen it in my own life before, I expect I'll be seeing it in my own life again (hopefully soon! But there I go...being human! hee hee) And I especially know I'll be seeing it over JOHN -- and THAT my friend..brings a smile to my face!! THAT is so exciting!

Katie said...

Thanks for the word "...the Christian life is meant to be tough, and because of that we rely on the Holy Spirit to give us grace and strength to carry on."

I, too, was reminded of something similar just this past week: In public policy decisions, or in private matters, good choices will continually be opposed, and this is NOT a cause for dismay, because our God reigns. I am naive if I am surprised, dismayed, or even annoyed by the fact that evil keeps coming back for another round. (I'm not saying all opposition is evil, but some clearly is.)

The Lord did give us fair warning, "In this world, you will have trouble, but be of good cheer, for I have overcome the world." And He's also given us the Way to handle the adversary: in knowing Jesus, we have everything we need for life and godliness. (I love God's extreme statements!)

Opposition, like everything else, is used by God for our good. Troubles show me my utter need of a Savior (hallelujah!), and as He works it out, I learn and experience that my Savior is Faithful and True, that He alone deserves all the glory (double hallelujah!). I also learn that, for reasons I don't fathom, my endurance means a lot to my Heavenly Father.

So, thank you for your good cheer as you trust in Jesus. You are an encouragement to me. May the Lord continually be magnified in your lives of obedience, love, and joy in the Holy Spirit.

Revelation 11:17, "We give You thanks, O Lord God, the Almighty, who are and who were, because You have taken Your great power and have begun to reign!"

The Gospel According To John said...

kris_in_wa & katie,

thank you. your words encourage me so much. in fact, it's almost scary, because what you have said (by the Spirit) seems to penetrate my soul in giving me encouragement. God bless you!

Together, advancing His kingdom...

Marlena in Pa said...

It is kind of funny, the topic for this posting because, I too, have been facing some tough times, but know the great reward I have in Jesus, and the double blessings and encouragement that I get each and every time I read postings on this blog or visit the web sites.
In fact, many of you may have noticed that I have been absent this past couple of weeks. I had my internet shut off for a time. You know, you never know how much you miss something until it isn't there anymore. Thank the Lord that I was able to use the computer lab on the college campus to keep somewhat in touch here. I kept hoping someone would see me on the John website or Marchiano Ministries website and ask me what I was looking at but it never happened, even when I prayed and then I thought you have posters and flyers bring them to campus and post them. So I am going to start keeping them with me at all times. I was somewhat disappointed when I noticed that the posters that I had given to some area pastors were not yet placed in the church but my feeling and it goes along with one of my favorite worship songs, is this, "God will make a way, when there is no other way." As Ronald mentioned, while the Christian life is tough at times and Christ never promised it would be easy, the love, grace and mercy of Jesus is there to carry us through.
Praise Jesus!
I know that the only answer as Bruce has pointed out more than once. is to just draw closer to Jesus and to take that "on your knees" approach, with complete focus on Him.
May God Bless each and every one of you and see you through whatever tough times you might be facing. May His face shine upon you. Father, touch each one and lighten their loads that they carry. Bring about miracles and wonders in their lives and for this film, Lord. We call upon Jehova for the provision that is needed to bring about this film and to carry your Word to all nations. Thank-you Jesus for the people on this blog and around the world who are adopting this vision and working to bring it to fruition. Help, me to do more to see it realized and encourage everyone in their daily walks. And Father as the deer panteth for the water, help each one to draw closer to you as well.
In the most awesome name of Jesus,
Amen

Canada said...

Hello
As intercessors, we also need to hold each other up in prayer. Yes we will all face difficult times and it is such a comfort to know, that we are being prayed for as we
continue to live and serve the Lord. Be encouraged and know that, you are a child of a loving God, and that He will carry us through
everything. "Consider it all Joy!"
and we will be strengthened in Him!
His Love Endures forever!

Kris_in_WA said...

Amen, Marlena! And Amen, Canada! I myself have greatly appreciated the prayer ministry at MarchMin of late... (ya'll know who ya are!!!) and I also appreciate knowing that prayers go out every day, for all of us who are involved in the effort toward JOHN...holding each other up we pray....

I want to share something that some of you know of already...some don't! I listened to a preacher recently who talked of Boez and Ruth..and how God said, wash your face. And, change your garments. The jist of this was, regardless of how we "feel" or what external forces are against us or appear to be toward us... forget the "keep it real" technique of this world. Not to say deny feeling entirely, but, push beyond them, and wash your face -- with God. Put on the new face of peace and joy, and expectation and excitment toward His upcoming miracles, every day! Rise, with purpose, every day! Push beyond all the "junk" that flies at us each day as troubles come, and put on the new face - walk the new walk - and put on the new garment of being washed in His promises. Walk, with excitment; smile, with joy, breath, with peace. EXPECT He will do a work...no matter that you can't yet see it; just know that it will come. Rise with purpose, do with purpose, keep busy with purpose, and then wait on the Lord. Again in other words, be prepared for what He is about to do in your life! Be ready. When man opens doors, we have to hold them open --Let God open the doors, ...because when He opens the door, NO MAN can shut it. The preacher said something that I know to be true -- when God does a work oftentimes it is at the "last minute" and when he does, it is mind-boggling. So walk with purpose, every day. Regardless of how you feel. Don't let those negative feelings get the best of you. Don't get too warn down...walk with purpose. Wash your face! When you do this, with purpose, regardless of how you feel, what you consistently DO you will BE. God will make it so - he promises this to us.

This hit home with me, and I thought I'd share! After I finished listening to this preacher, I felt like jumping up! I tell you...but I knew I needed to wash my face first! So I have been working on that every day! Keep those prayers coming everyone...and remember, wash your face! :)

marlena in Pa said...

Kris -
That was one great message and hit home here as well. The funny thing is, I just bought facial cleaning cloths at Wal-Mart. So I am going to go and wash my face, and grab that joy. Thanks for sharing! God Bless!

Kris_in_WA said...

Hi everybody,

I just stopped by to hopefully send out a word of encouragement to those of you who may (and I have a feeling there are alot of you who are) be going through what seems like unending attacks of one source or another...such that you are feeling just so tired and worn down that you may even begin to wonder how on earth you will ever make it through as your strength feels entirely tapped out; your spirit so low it leaves you grieving with the depths of Job.... I have recently been under such trials in my life and I have asked for prayer, and personally just literally "collapsed" next to God asking Him to just stop the madness, the brokeness, the attack, if only for a time of peace to regroup - but asking for His blessings as I certainly was seeing not alot of happenings. Yet I was seeing alot of viscious attack -- for every what seemed to be "possible lift", another attack would come. Until, as I said, I just broke. I had nothing left in me. Yep - me, miss "gusto." Hey I'm the first to tell you, the Lord's got His hands full with me! I am a never ending project, to be sure. If I am this exhausted, imagine how much more He is with me! But - He is God and, I'm just a weak human who just needs Him.

So many lies we have thrown at us every day. We try, and we try to do what is right, we hang on, and we even may grasp moments of strength, or hope, or peace -- only to be attacked even more still. It is in these times when prayer of others means the world to us, I'd say. I have been very blessed by the MarchMin prayer team to have them standing by me in prayer..and others as well outside of this prayer team. We can never have too many praying for us, I know that!

Well, God has done it, He has come in, at the "nick of time" as they say, and once again quietly provided for our needs and quited down (if only for breathing and rest on my part) the attacks of the enemy. I knew He would, but nevertheless found myself in the position of many of the psalms - completely broken once again. I am not "home free" by any means, there still will be trials to come of this I can be sure -- but what I am is a few small steps closer to walking right toward Him without looking back (what He wants for all of us). I am reminded of when a toddler grabs onto a structure and, toddles along - falls, cries, gets up, toddles a little more...until one day, he/she just lets go and now able to have the idea, just "launches off" walking on his/her own faith that they can do it and that "something" will help them -- they don't know what yet, they don't know they have a God given gift of this ability, yet. But they know they've slowly gained their confidence. And yet, they will fall more, as we know. And again they will rise, and learn and grow stronger.

Just like a child who has to learn their way in this world, we adults still have much to learn and to grow. And just like the child, sometimes this growth can be painful and we may wonder, how will I ever...

But we, if we wait, will have a kind hand come along, and lift us and help us. He may use another person, or He may use all sorts of unexpected, unseen sources - but He will move in our lives. We just have to keep on walking, little by little.

As with JOHN we have to keep walking little by little, spreading the word, little by little; opening our hearts to speak when we may be laughed at or 'forgotten', we just have to keep walking with this beautiful film in mind....

So if you are struggling now - know that there are many in the world who are in the same boat right alongside you. And remember Peter, when they saw Jesus on the water...when they thought it was a 'ghost'... so afraid from the storms... even then Peter asked if it was really Jesus...asked for a sign..and then, when given those small steps, fell into the water for lack of complete strength of faith -- but Jesus helped him up and said, oh yee of little faith why do you not believe... yes, probably as in Matthew, with laughter and care in His voice... if Peter had just kept taking little steps... If you are a Job today.... I would encourage you to remember that I recently cried out to the Lord and told Him I had nothing left inside... and it was when I had truly hit bottom and fallen into the water that Jesus reached down and pulled me up and did a quiet work in my life. Yes - sometimes mountains move and crash in thunder so obvious for all to see and other times, so quietly and gently are His works...but they come. Yes, we are called to walk in peace - to wash our faces in expectation of His works in our lives. But if you find yourself unable to grasp that today; if you find yourself like Peter, in the water and crying out...know that He'll pull you up when you may not expect it and in ways you may not expect it...so hang on. And keep taking those small steps as He builds in you what He wills. His work will come. As with JOHN, His work will come. His work will come - His will will be done..and finally we will be in full awareness of receiving His blessings. Just hang on. I know you are out there, today,...as I have been -- just hang on. He's working. He's walking on that water...toward you. Quitely so...as is His way.

Canada said...

Hi Kris
Thankyou for that and yes, sometimes the battles we face are huge! For me the most difficult thing to do, is to be patient, and
wait on the Lord. Remember back a few weeks when someone mentioned
P.U.S.H.-pray until something happens! As with "Matthew", God will touch lives through "John".
It is so exciting knowing that God
will use this film and His Gospel,
to do what He has done and continues to do through "Matthew",
I have heard testimonies from people and it is such a blessing!
"The Lord will fulfill His purpose
for me; You love, O Lord, endures forever. Psalm 138:8

marlena in PA said...

Kris and Canada -
Thank-you for sharing and being so open, I could completely relate to what you were saying and the same thing has been happening around here.
I really liked the acronym of PUSH, pray until something happens.
Amen!! Along with the prayer team know that I am praying too.
I am happy to report that I had posted flyers up in the building that I have my doctorate classes in about the Gospel According to John, I put up two flyers showing both sides. One of them was taken down but one was left and I can only hope and think that is because someone was interested in the project and wanted to catcth the vision, as the other flyer was still there. In addition, I recently sent in what support that I could at this time.
I know that God is going to do great things, exceedingly above or beyond what we could ask or think. Not just for the film or the ministry but for each one of his children. The transference of wealth is going to happen and soon because Jesus wants us to be ready and wants us to gather the harvest for HE will be returning soon, Amen!!
Remember that whatever you are going through that it is only for a time and that joy will come. The fact is as Kris said is that we have to trust in God and remain close to him. God has his eye on the sparrow and I know He is watching each and everyone of us. Let us keep in prayer Marchiano Ministries as they are in Africa this week.
May God Bless each and everyone!
Marlena :-)

Marlena in PA said...

Hello everyone -
I am just asking everyone to pray as I meet over lunch with the campus ministry director of a local church about The Gospel According to John and Marchiano Ministries. One of my goals, besides gaining support, is to have Bruce come and speak on campus or at the church which is practically on campus anyway and well within walking distance. College students, as I am still one of them - currently working on my Phd - want something or someone real, and they are not going to accept Jesus in any other way, and as most of you know, Jesus is real, and Bruce is real in his approach in ministry. I think that they would definitely accept the message of Jessu coming from him. I believe God opened this door and will work things out to His good. Thanks everyone, God Bless!!
Marlena

Anonymous said...

Hi Marlena - I will pray about this for you - it will be wonderful if Bruce could speak to the students and to others at your church. You can count on me to be praying. Lots of love - Esme' in South Africa

Anonymous said...

Marlena,
I'll be praying too.

In His Grace... Karen

Marlena in Pa said...

Just to update everyone -
I met with Karen and she is very excited about this and others at the church are as well. It looks like this, in God's grace, is going to happen. We need prayer that the students involved in the ministry will want this as well, that we will be able to get a room on campus when we need it, and that everything will work out on the end of Marchiano Ministries.
In addition to my meeting with Karen, I just left some posters and flyers with a new Christian book store that opened up in our area, and no one there has ever heard of Bruce Marchiano, so I am hoping they will check things out. My father always says that God gave you a mouth, so use it, and that is what I am doing. :-)
God Bless everyone,
Marlena