Disciples Who Can Stay Afloat

22 “Immediately Jesus told his followers to get into the boat and go ahead of him across the lake. He stayed there to send the people home.23 After he had sent them away, he went by himself up into the hills to pray. It was late, and Jesus was there alone.24 By this time, the boat was already far away from land. It was being hit by waves, because the wind was blowing against it. 25 Between three and six o’clock in the morning, Jesus came to them, walking on the water.26 When his followers saw him walking on the water, they were afraid. They said, “It’s a ghost!” and cried out in fear.

27 But Jesus quickly spoke to them, “Have courage! It is I. Do not be afraid.”28 Peter said, “Lord, if it is really you, then command me to come to you on the water.” 29 Jesus said, “Come.” And Peter left the boat and walked on the water to Jesus. 30 But when Peter saw the wind and the waves, he became afraid and began to sink. He shouted, “Lord, save me!”

31 Immediately Jesus reached out his hand and caught Peter. Jesus said, “Your faith is small. Why did you doubt?” 32 After they got into the boat, the wind became calm.33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped Jesus and said, “Truly you are the Son of God!”

Matthew 14:22-33, New Century Version

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When I am in the storm, when the waves are breaking into my boat, my faith is shaky, and I feel abandoned, I turn to Matthew 14.

Jesus sees his disciples in mortal danger.  The overloaded boat has been caught in a ferocious storm.  It is 3 a.m., and the darkness just makes their situation that more desperate. The idea of imminent drowning has passed through their thoughts. They are terribly afraid.

Suddenly Jesus comes near, he is walking on the water!  Their fear turns to stark terror, they want to bolt but there is no place to go.  They are thinking that Jesus is a ghost, and that he is coming to escort them to the grave.  So Jesus calls out through the raging storm, “It is just me.  Do not fear!  Have courage.”

Brash Peter (bless him, Lord) yells to Jesus, “If it is you, really you, let me come to you, on the water!”  The word ‘if’ is very telling, and it explains much. Peter is soon on the edge of frantic hysteria when he begins to sink while walking to Jesus.

If it was me, I would have let Peter drown.  (What an object lesson to teach the 11 sitting in the boat.  “See what happens when you have weak faith, you drown!”)

But Jesus is not teaching here, He is loving.  He grabs Peter and pulls him out.  I find it interesting that the rock on whom Jesus is to build his Church upon sinks like a stone. Peter shows his faith for a brief shining moment, and when he falters and sinks, Jesus catches him.

aabryscript

Brokenbeliever’s Announcement

As of July 30, 2014 we have surpassed a half of a million (500,000) views. Brokenbelievers.com started in September 6, 2009 when I made that first post, “Sunday Funnies”. You can see it here, http://www.brokenbelievers.com/2009/o9/06/sunday-funnies/. We have reached a lot of people, and I look forward to reach even more brokenbelievers.

This site really grew once I understood what God’s heart was. As you can see at the very beginning, I haven’t a clue. There was no focus; I blogged simply to stay out of the hospital. Many early posts were written while under some serious clinical depression, and were my therapy. But the Holy Spirit redeems our failure and feeble attempts to His glory.

Thank you to each who prayed. Thank you for visiting brokenbelievers and your (almost) always kind comments. Thank you to each who passed on BB to others in need. I’m very much humbled by your kindness. Our by-line remains:

“For the Struggler, the Rascal, the Mentally Ill, and All Who Follow Jesus With a Limp”

Thank you for your support. “May it be the real you who encounters the real God.” aabryscript

 

 

“Who is this sweeping in from the desert,
    leaning on her lover?” Song of Solomon 8:5

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Karma, Grace and Bono

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Bono/U2 360 Tour 2011

Bono, on God’s grace:

“At the center of all religions is the idea of karma. You know, what you put out comes back to you: an eye for an eye, a tooth for a tooth… It’s clear to me that karma is at the very heart of the universe. I’m absolutely sure of it. And yet, along comes this idea called grace to upend all that “As you reap so you will sow” stuff. Grace defies reason and logic. Love interrupts, if you like, the consequences of your actions, which in my case is very good indeed, because I’ve done a lot of stupid stuff.”

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I think ‘fallen men’  automatically try to convert God’s grace to a thing more palatable. We gravitate to making it work; we feel that He expects us to do this, at least. Grace is not logical, and that makes it hard to explain. The fact that we have received a gift of grace grates at our very core.

But we can only enter His kingdom by grace alone.

We deserve nothing, but are made sons and daughters anyway. Karma is what we want. We understand it; It makes logical sense. We have settled on this in our minds. We have the hardest time accepting this grace. For the most part, we believe we are saved by grace through faith, but we often think we must work things out ourselves. He saves us, and we ‘reason out’ we now have got to crank out something acceptable with the ‘rest of our lives.’

We want to prove we are worthy, by our good deeds. But God’s grace is radical, and we are saved by grace– being saved, and we will be saved by grace alone. We will start and finish by His mercy and grace, “not of works, lest anyone should boast.”

8 “God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.”

Ephesians 2:8-9, NLT

We can only enter His kingdom by grace alone.

I desperately want grace, and not karma. To a massive degree, I have this atrociously bad habit of sinning. I can find no comfort in sanctification by my effort. I’m not consistent enough, strong enough, or good enough to enter in on my own merits. I must have God’s grace or I’ll be lost. What can I offer the Lord for all he has done for me?”

Psalm 116:12

The person who has been serving the Lord for 70 years still must come into the Kingdom by grace and mercy. All of their accumulated good deeds, and saintly demeanor cannot purchase their salvation. God’s grace through faith is the ‘narrow way’ to life. Just give me Jesus.

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Promises that Give Me a Workout

a-cheerful-heart-is-good-medicine-christian-message-card-copy What a difficult struggle the last several days have been.  I have tried to function but have been broadsided by several things at once.  I have asked God to draw near, He has made me a promise that He would never leave me, or forsake me.  I hold on to this and will not let go.  Where would I be without them?

The Bible is full of God’s promises, especially the Psalms. I believe the Psalms have a special meaning for those who struggle with issues (like a mental illness.)  Many times when troubles have been abundant, I have opened my Bible and found a precious promise waiting for me that has proven to be a great comfort.

But we don’t have to go through troubled times to appreciate God’s promises. His blessings are new every morning. Thank God! The Lord has promised us freedom from anxiety, along with His peace that passes all understanding. Here are the ‘top five’:

  1. If we simply trust Him with everything (Philippians 4:6-7).
  2. He promised to supply all our needs (Philippians 4:19),
  3. With supernatural joy to His followers (John 15:11),
  4.  an abundant life (John 10:10)
  5. answered prayers (John 14:14)

“How I relate to the promises in the Word often we will determine the dimensions of my depression.” 

Its length, and depth, and width are determined by my action with the promises.  By squeezing out His promises I can find hope to continue on with life. For me, the Word is more important than life.

Some have described depression as the ‘common cold’ of the mental illness world.  If that is true, then God’s Word is the Vitamin C.  I can’t prevent a cold, but I sure can reduce its impact.  How severe will it get this time?

I woke up this morning, and before I even opened my eyes I could feel the oppression of depression.  I want to die, why did I wake up?  Maybe if I close my eyes I will be able to go back to sleep, and not wake-up. To the depressed, sleep (death’s cousin) is easiest way to escape. It provides a profound release from the anguish of depression. But there isn’t a 24 hour sleeping pill yet.

I find I want to deal with my depression in two ways: Escape or deny.  Both avoid the real world.  And both have a tremendous impact on the way I function.  God’s promises to help you are real and profound.  Properly administered, they offer hope and life beyond taking an anti-depressant.  Consider them to be the medicine your soul needs!   aabryscript

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