The Greatest Gift

Hello to one and all. It has been a while since I have written in my blog. Life has been catching up with me and I have been doing my best to keep up with it. I believe that I am doing a fair job of it and thought that it was time that I got back to doing more of what I enjoy, and that is being with you.

I want to take a few minutes to talk with you about the greatest gift that the Lord has made available to one and all. It is the gift of salvation. Salvation is God’s rescue plan for the hearts and souls of mankind. Before the world was made, God saw us all lost in sin and in bondage to satan, the enemy of our souls. And in God’s perfect wisdom, He implemented a plan that redeemed us from the hand of that enemy..

The Good News has been preached and talked about for over two thousand years and that news is still good! Jesus Christ has paid the price for every living soul to receive the free gift of salvation and I encourage one and all to accept the gift that God has offered to you. His Hand has been outstretched since the beginning of time and now is the day of salvation for you. Now is the time for you to accept the atoning death of Jesus Christ on the cross for the saving of your soul.

Without Christ, you are lost. You may be walking around, thinking that you do not need God in your life and that you are doing quite well without Him. Well, let me tell you this one thing. If your sins have not been washed away by the blood of Jesus, you are still on the hook to pay for every last one of them and that price is a high one. It is your soul. We all will spend eternity in one of two places: heaven or hell. If Jesus Christ is not the Lord of your life, you will spend eternity in hell. And eternity is a very long time.

Heaven is real. And so is hell. Mankind has spent thousands of years denying the reality of hell and this world is full of people who are merrily going about their way blind to its existence. But playing blind will not alter the facts.

The Good News is that you do not have to go to hell. Jesus Christ came so that you would have life and that more abundantly. (John 10:10) He does not want you to be lost. He came to seek and to save that which was lost and He is looking for YOU. You were so important to Him and to God that God sent Him to this earth to die for you and Jesus gave up His life so that you might live. If you have not received the gift of salvation, I urge you to do so. The Lord cares for you and so do I.

Salvation is the greatest gift that this world has ever known. What good would it do if you gained the entire world, but lost your soul? (Matthew 16:26) There is nothing that this world has to offer that is worth your soul.

Don’t take your life for granted. Jesus Christ died so that you can live and have a life full of love, joy, and peace. He came to free you from the monsters of your past. He came to free you from the prison within your mind. All you have to do is say, “Yes.” He is waiting with Arms open wide. Walk into those Arms. You will be free. Take that freedom. It’s all yours.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.

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My Testimony

My name is Cassie. This is my testimony:

I was born November 3, 1968 in Rock Island, Illinois. I am number nine of thirteen brothers and sisters. We endured a life of horror at the hands of our father. Beatings were often and severe. We were frightened all the time.

I was molested by my mother’s boyfriend from the time that I was seven until I turned sixteen. He watched me as I slept, his silhouette outlined by the light in the hallway.

Loneliness was my constant companion. I didn’t have any friends. In fact, I was bullied all through my school years. I was never invited to parties or dances or football games. I spent my days alone in my room. staring at a poster that I had on my wall. My childhood and young adulthood were miserable years.

My father took my son away from me when he was ten years old and I didn’t see him for eight years until I drove two thousand miles to see him graduate from high school. I didn’t see him for several years more after that. I wasn’t invited to his college graduation.

I lived with a debilitating illness called chronic fatigue syndrome that left me bedridden for 23 hours per day for eight months. I was imprisoned within my own body for four years. I also endured severe chronic pain for five years. There was no part of my body that was not impacted by the pain. I would wake up screaming in the middle of the night from the sheer agony. I begged God to take the pain and to deliver me from the CFS.

I was homeless for two years on the streets of Montana, two thousand miles away from my nearest relative. The stress of being homeless only exacerbated the CFS. No one would help me. I lived in a homeless shelter three times and was always threatened with losing my bed. I cried out to God many a day.

My beloved husband of thirteen years left me in a motel room with no money. He broke from not being able to care for me and ran to save his life. I don’t blame him for leaving. If I could have left myself, I would have. But, alas, wherever I went, there I was. I have not seen or heard from him for six and a half years. I miss him terribly. I wonder if he even remembers our life together. We shared the kind of love that most people only dream of or even hope to find. And life tore us apart and left me to live the rest of mine away from the love of my life. It is as though I am surviving without a vital part of me. Each day without him is as a thousand years. His loss is the worst part of living.

I have suffered for most of my life, enduring things that would break your heart and even your spirit. Just the things that I have shared here were horrendously heartbreaking and it was all I could do to get through the days and nights on my own. Only I was not on my own. There was One Who was always with me, even during the times when I felt all alone.

My life is just like a tapestry. On the back side, there are snarls and kinks and knots and wayward threads blowing in the chill winds of fate. It is this back panel that I spend most of my time seeing. It has seemed as though the Maker of this tapestry had no idea what He was making, or even doing. But He is a Master Artist and has been at work all of my life creating a masterpiece. Every once in a great while, He turns over the tapestry and allows me to glimpse the beautiful creation on the other side and I am amazed at the exquisiteness wherewith the Master has performed His task.

I could go on and recount the many and varied forms of suffering that I have been through in my life and I could explain how they left scars on my heart, but I will not. Instead, I will point you to the One Who took the shattered pieces of my life and made them into a marvelous conception. That One is Jesus. He dried my tears and provided meaning to the pain. Some of that pain I have received insight into and some of it yet remains a mystery, but I trust Him to someday reveal to me why I had to walk the road of suffering for so long. In the meantime, my hope and peace is in Him.

I want you to know that God will take your pain and heartache and make something beautiful out of them. You may not understand right now why you suffer and you could even be angry with God for allowing them. But I assure you that He is not responsible for your pain, yet He is at work in your life, engaged in seeing to it that what you are experiencing will ultimately work out for something good in your life, if you will trust Him and place your life in His Hands.

I want you to see and experience the God that I know. And that is a good God. One full of compassion, mercy, and love. Sure, He chastises His children, but what good parent does not? And yes, there is a side of God that is judgment, but that is reserved for the disobedient and the wicked. The very first step of repentance brings about the mercies of the Lord. He does not want to see even one person in hell, which is why He sent His Son to die for every one of us. Jesus satisfied the holiness of God and God’s justice for sin. He paid the price for sin so that we would not have to and we would be brought back into fellowship with God. For that is what the Lord wants with all of us: fellowship. He wants to have an intimate relationship with us all. So, I will continue to encourage you to come to Jesus.

There is going to come a day when the Lord stops calling. He said to seek Him while He may be found and to call upon Him while He is near. I urge you not to wait until it is too late to reach out to God. Because if you do, you will be eternally regretful and will suffer the consequences. Eternity is too long for you to take your life so lightly and you not to take the Lord seriously. The Lord said that if you are willing and obedient that you would eat of the good of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.

God has put before you life and death, the blessing and the curse. He urges you to choose life, that it may be well with you and your family.

I may have seemed to take a turn from my testimony, but in all honesty, I have not. My life is about turning people to the Lord now. He took a life that was completely messed up with severe depression, anxiety, and a broken mind. One whose life was shattered, marred, and scarred and made something beautiful out of the pain. He delivered me from all of my fears, and I was one who was filled with fears of every kind. He set me free from the prison that was my mind. For, you see, I was a person who walked around as though I was free, but I was imprisoned by my hang-ups and fears. I may as well have been in an actual prison with bars and doors because my life was very much the same as that of prisoners. And Jesus Christ opened the doors of my prison and set me free.

Now, I live a life of peace. The inner turmoil that went on inside of me has been gone for a long time now. I have joy in my life no matter the circumstance. Yes, I go through trials and endure tribulation, but I am not alone. I have the grace of God to help me and the love of the Father to encourage me and root for me as I deal with this thing called life. And I want the same for you. I am not talking about religion. I am talking about a real-life, true relationship with God. God is real and He has a Personality. He loves and laughs and enjoys the time that we spend together. He is Our Father and He loves us more than I could ever possible express to you in mere words. He wants you in His life. But He will not force Himself on you. Even though that might ultimately cost you your eternal soul if you reject Him and His ways. Don’t do it. I plead with you. I pray for you and ask God’s mercy for you before it is too late.

The Lord said that today when you hear His voice, harden not your heart. (Hebrews 3:15) Don’t just read these words and then go on about your life as though you are fine if you do not know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior. You will regret it for all of eternity if you will not accept His sacrifice for you that He made on the cross. Life is short and time is running out. Jesus Christ is on His way back very soon. Do not allow unbelief or pride to keep you away from the greatest love that you will ever know. He loves you. He does not want you to be lost. Give your life to Him. You will forever be glad that you did.

I am happy now. All because of Jesus. All because of the Father and the Holy Spirit. But I am not content  just to be happy myself. I want the rest of the world to be happy, too, and that includes you. Reach out to God. I promise that He will reach back to you.

Blessed be the Name of the Lord.