Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Posts Tagged ‘Holy Spirit’

The Trials of Life

By Amber Leggette-Aldrich

 

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you.” (1 Peter 5:10)

“…May your character not be a writing upon the sand, but an inscription upon the rock! May your faith be no “baseless fabric of a vision,” but may it be builded of material able to endure that awful fire which shall consume the wood, hay, and stubble of the hypocrite… May your whole life be so settled and established, that all the blasts of hell, and all the storms of earth shall never be able to remove you. But notice how this blessing of being “stablished in the faith” is gained. The apostle’s words point us to suffering as the means employed–“After that ye have suffered awhile.” It is of no use to hope that we shall be well rooted if no rough winds pass over us. Those old gnarlings on the root of the oak tree, and those strange twistings of the branches, all tell of the many storms that have swept over it, and they are also indicators of the depth into which the roots have forced their way. So the Christian is made strong, and firmly rooted by all the trials and storms of life. Shrink not then from the tempestuous winds of trial, but take comfort, believing that by their rough discipline God is fulfilling this benediction to you.” (Spurgeon’s Devotionals)

Suffering. Not so pleasant a thought. Certainly it is not something that anyone would desire. Yet it is through the suffering that we, as Christians, are made strong. Think about a chunk of coal. After many years of tremendous pressure, it becomes a beautiful diamond. It is from the pressure put on us during our times of trials and suffering that we are being perfected for God’s Kingdom. It is through our faith and trust in God that we have the strength to go through the storms, knowing that there is victory on the other side.

In my book, “Faith, Hope & Miracles”, I shared some of the toughest trials a person could go through. But my faith gave me the strength to go through it all. I endured the suffering because God gave me hope in the knowledge of His eternal love. There were times when I said, “In spite of the storm, I am strong”. But now I know that it is because of the storm that I am stronger.

After the storm comes the rainbow. God gave me the privilege of witnessing and sharing in a precious miracle. It has been a privilege and joy for me to see the impact in people’s heart in sharing that miracle. What a blessing it is for me to share God’s love and goodness, not only when life is good, but even more during the trials!

“Faith, Hope & Miracles” is available at  http://www.amazon.com/dp/B008J0Z2FQ

Read Full Post »

For Jason

By Amber Leggette-Aldrich

The temperature outside was in the 90’s, something I was not accustomed to. The air inside was much cooler, but I did not want to go in. I remember the room was filled with so many people, ranging in age from 7 to 70 plus. They were all very kind and most seemed very caring and friendly. Some I knew, others I did not. Music was playing softly, but I did not hear it. My eyes were focused on the floor as I was led to my seat, I didn’t want to look.

A man began to speak, but I couldn’t focus on what he was saying at first. My thoughts were drifting somewhere else. A flood of memories was filling my head, memories of the first time I saw you, and the last. It seemed like it had been forever, so many things had happened. My head began to clear a little and I began to look around. The faces were all very somber now.

The man speaking was the youth pastor. He was talking about what a treasure you were to the youth group, and how your smile would light up a whole room. He spoke about how enthusiastic you were, not only in the group, but in the services too. He said your dedication to serving the Lord, the church and the community was inspiring to all who knew you.

Next, the pastor got up to speak. He was an older man with a soft and gentle way about him. He talked about how it had always touched his heart to see you at the door greeting the congregation as they entered. He said you were always one of the first to arrive, and one of the last to leave. He shared a story from just a few weeks earlier, when you told him you were looking forward to going home. He said it was apparent you were speaking about Heaven, but he said he smiled and told you that you still had many years to come. Tears began to fill his eyes as he said, “but looking back, I think Jason knew”. He couldn’t speak anymore, and the choir was asked to sing.

A short while later we were all gathered outside. It was a beautiful setting, and there were lots of flowers. One arrangement that caught my attention had been made in the shape of a saxophone, your instrument of choice. I remembered the private “concert” you and Daniel had put on for the family when you were first learning to play. As hard as I tried, I could not swallow the lump I felt in my throat.

Standing there beside your final resting place, I could not fully absorb the fact that my firstborn son was gone. I was consoling myself with knowing that you were in Heaven, but it still felt as though I was in a bad dream and I kept waiting to wake up.

From the moment I had received the news of your death until after the funeral, everyone around me seemed so concerned about the possibility of my grief causing me to lose the unborn child I was carrying. For their sake, your brother Daniel’s, and your unborn brother’s, I tried to be strong. I even managed to smile as people came up to me to give their condolences. But in truth, I had just gone numb inside, and I wanted to stay that way. I didn’t want to think about anything.

After the funeral I was kept busy. There were still unfinished projects to get ready for the new baby, and the salmon runs were beginning. That meant it was time to get all the smoking and canning stuff out and ready. Even though I hate salmon, I looked forward to filling the jars and the smoker. It kept my mind occupied. I worked until I was too exhausted to stand anymore, and then stayed up half the night on the computer. I didn’t want to sleep because I didn’t want to dream.

Just over a month after your funeral, your brother Christian was born. And when I looked at his shining little face the first time, I saw you. The last words you had said to me the day before you died were, “I’m really looking forward to meeting my new little brother”. As I was thinking about those words, a feeling came over me and it was like you were there with us. I felt peaceful for a moment, filled with such a strong love. It was overwhelming.

I never told anyone but the night Christian was born, when no one else was around, I cried for you even harder than I had when you died. And part of me felt guilty. I was being torn between the extreme sadness of missing you, and the extreme joy of having this precious new baby. I didn’t know what I was supposed to feel, but my insides felt scrambled. I thought about some things that I regretted not doing with you or not saying to you when I had the chance. It taught me to never miss an opportunity to say “I love you”.

Ten years have passed as of today, and I still miss you. But I know I will see you again. When Christian died and came back, he told me he met you in Heaven. I have no words to describe how that made me feel, but something tells me you already know. God has given me strength when I didn’t know how to go on, and He’s given me comfort and a peace that only He can give.

God blessed me with 3 beautiful boys, and I am thankful to have had the gift of being your mom, even if only for a little while. I am glad beyond words that you found Jesus and hung on to Him in faith, and that you are there with Him now. I know that you are alright, and it helps make me alright. You brought so much joy to so many, and inspired many more with your love for Jesus. I will treasure that always.

Jason, you were my precious firstborn, and you will always be in my heart. Not one day in 10 years has gone by that I haven’t thought of you, and loved you and missed you. It took a while for me to see it, but God has taught me that you have always belonged to Him. He only let me borrow you for a time. He sent you here for a purpose, and then He called you home. While I may wish that you could have stayed longer, I have come to accept that things must be in God’s time and in His ways. I believe His ways are perfect, even if I can’t always see it. In your own way, you helped me to learn about what real faith and real love means. And I am thankful for that. And I am doing the best I can, with God’s guidance, to help pass that faith and love on to your brothers. I will love you always Jason! – Mom

Read Full Post »

Are You Prepared

by Amber Leggette-Aldrich

Have you ever been in a situation where you were planning for a very special occasion, something like a first date or a special anniversary? Or perhaps a long awaited vacation or weekend getaway? Did you plan and spend time preparing, desiring that everything be just right? Most of us would try our very best to be prepared, to look just right and have everything in it’s place, ready for the event, wanting everything to be just perfect. In fact, we make plans and preparations for many things in our daily lives. And most of us have at least on a few occasions gone through a good deal of time and effort, preparing to look and be our best for someone. But do we do that for Jesus? Are we prepared to meet Him?

The bible gives us pretty clear instructions on what we must do in order to prepare ourselves (our hearts and souls) for Him:

In Acts 2:38 it says, “…Repent and be baptized, every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the remission of sins, and ye shall receive the gift of the Holy Ghost“. (KJV)

Ephesians 2:8 tell us, “For by grace are ye saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: ” (KJV)

And Acts 4:12 says, “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.” (KJV)

Of course this is only a small part of the bible’s instructions for our preparation. The bible also makes it very clear what will happen to us if we are not ready.

The LORD is known by the judgment which he executeth: the wicked is snared in the work of his own hands. Higgaion. Selah. The wicked shall be turned into hell, and all the nations that forget God.” Psalms 9:16 & 17 (KJV)

Let death seize upon them, and let them go down quick into hell: for wickedness is in their dwellings, and among them.” Psalms 55:15 (KJV)

Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” Matthew 23:33 (KJV)

And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” Revelation 20:15 (KJV)

All too often the thought of where our souls will spend eternity is put off, not taken seriously, or just not thought about at all. We use excuses of being too busy with everyday life, saying things like, “I’ve got more important things to do right now; I’ll take care of it later, when I have time”. But this is something that simply cannot wait until later! What if there is no “later”?

We have all heard stories of how things can happen in “the blink of an eye”. Think about that phrase for a moment. See how long it takes to blink; it doesn’t even take a full second of time. But that is how fast life can end! And most of the time we never see it coming. My son Jason was young, strong and healthy, but was struck without warning with a massive heart attack and died instantly. One minute Christian was an active 8 year old boy having a good time riding his snowmobile, a minute later he was pinned under the tire of a truck being crushed. A while back a friend of mine was killed when the engine of a car he was working under fell on him. Another man recently died suddenly in Big Lake of an embolism. We hear stories like these all the time, but somehow still manage to deceive ourselves into thinking, “that won’t happen to me”. But I ask you, why not? I don’t mean to be morbid or a doomsayer, but the truth is we will all die, sooner or later! And none of us knows the day or the hour, or the where or how of it.

So are you ready to meet Jesus? Is your heart right with Him? Have you been baptized in Jesus name and received the gift of the Holy Ghost? If so, halleleujah! Now what are you doing to reach out to others and helping them to get ready? And if you are not ready to meet Jesus, why not get ready right now? Don’t put it off any longer and risk finding yourself at His feet saying, “I want to do it now” and hearing Him say, “now it is too late”!

Read Full Post »

The Straight and Narrow

 Amber Leggette-Aldrich

Enter ye in at the strait gate: for wide is the gate, and broad is the way, that leadeth to destruction, and many there be which go in thereat: Because strait is the gate, and narrow is the way, which leadeth unto life, and few there be that find it. Beware of false prophets, which come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ravening wolves. Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles? (Matthew 7:13-16 KJV)

Sometimes I make mistakes, or fall down, as I am walking on the path of Jesus. Those are the times when I am tempted by the ways of the world to sin. If I am not careful to pay attention to where I put my feet, I stumble and fall. There have been times when it seemed easier to give in to the temptations, to walk in the ways of sin.

A thought that came to mind was an analogy of walking a tight rope. While it is true that walking on a rope may not be an easy task, it is much better than the alternative of falling off to your death! God’s path is like that tight rope, it is straight and narrow and may not be easy to walk on. But it leads us to Him and His Kingdom. The ground beneath the tight rope is much wider and appears easier to walk on. But it leads us to eternal hell, and all too often it is marked with a sign that says, “Heaven”.

Sadly, there will be many who blindly follow that wider path right into hell. The bible tells us to “beware false prophets”. They will appear harmless, even good and righteous. But they will be full of misleading lies! They may intend in their hearts to do good, but if they do not know the truth themselves, how can they teach it? Many will unknowingly follow them to hell. We must remember what the bible says about testing the truth, to see for ourselves if what we are being told is really what God’s word says. That is why it is so important to read and understand God’s word, and to have our own personal relationship with Him through prayer.

There will be more people who will intentionally lead other people astray from God’s path. The bible warns us of “ravening wolves”, evil hearts consumed by satan to lead others to be devoured and destroyed. They will use tools such as fear and pain. They will outright lie and use trickery. Such things as using “science” to explain how the possibility of God cannot exist, and that everything can be explained and recreated by humans with science and technology, will create doubt and confusion. Appealing to man’s innate pride and lust for pleasures will be another effective device used to disillusion many, by means of empty promises of power, wealth and personal gain. Phrases like, “You gotta take care of yourself because no one else will” or “it won’t hurt anyone, nobody cares” or “everyone lies sometimes”, will cause calloused hearts that will not receive God’s word.

And still more souls will be lost, being consumed by the things of this world, things that do not appear as harmful at all. In themselves, these things may not be harmful or sinful. But they can end up consuming our minds, then our hearts and souls. Anything that we spend more time and energy on than God, becomes a god to us. It can be food, clothing, money, TV, video games, other people, work, anything we think about more than we think about God! In our busy world, with so much “in your face reality”, it is quite scary to think about, but we’ve got to ask ourselves, honestly, is our heart and mind more focused on loving and serving God than anything else in our life? (But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6:33 KJV)

In some ways it may seem difficult to follow God’s path, the straight and narrow one. But when our hearts are truly open to His guidance, it is much easier than it may appear. With His help to guide us along the way, the truth of His Word and His promise to never leave us or forsake us, it gives us a renewed hope and spirit to continue walking in His ways. When we keep our hearts and minds focused on Jesus, instead of ourselves, day by day it becomes a way of life to us and it creates a deep sense of joy in us.

The ability to follow the path of Jesus comes directly from His Holy Spirit living inside of us and giving us His strength to do it. This is why it is so important to repent, and be baptized, to have our sins washed away. The Holy Spirit will not live inside an unclean, sinful heart. But once we are made clean for Him, then if we open the doors of our heart to Him, He will enter and live there. His Spirit will lead us and show us the way. God’s ways are good and righteous, and the blessings that come from staying on His straight and narrow path are too many to be numbered. Most important of all, His path leads us home where He is waiting for us.

Read Full Post »

%d bloggers like this: