His Truth Will Set You Free

Listen to what Jesus says; “Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.” (John 8:32)


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The Spirit Speaks – of Dechurched Christians Living in Fear

Dechurched2

I, the Spirit of Jesus Christ, see many of God’s children living in fear of judgment. Oh, they don’t fear my judgment; they fear the judgment of other Christians. Dechurched Christians, those who no longer attend a church yet still believe, fear the judgment of churchgoing Christians.

There are two victims in this: those who are judged, and those who do the judging. But my plan for my church and my children does not include judgment and guilt. Look, I don’t judge dechurched Christians because they no longer attend church. And I don’t judge churchgoing Christians who may have a hard time understanding and accepting dechurched Christians.

What’s most important to me is where your heart is, not where you’re sitting on Sunday morning. My desire for all of you is the same: that you have a personal and intimate relationship with me, Jesus Christ. Your relationship with me is more important than your relationship with a church.


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Book Challenge Day #94 – Deadline Done, But Book Isn’t

Deadline

Zero days left in my personal challenge to write a book, from concept to self-publish, in 3 months. The first draft isn’t even done. Oh well. But now that the first draft is almost finished, I’m starting to think about what to do next. Of course I’ll immediately start on the second draft. But I’d also like to get this blog more involved. Here are some ideas for upcoming blog activities. Please take a look and let me know what you think. Do you have other cool ideas that you could share with me?

  • Blog about a summary of the story, finally letting it out from the confines of my notebook. I haven’t mentioned much about the story yet, just because it’s been evolving. But now that it looks solid, I’d like to share it with you.
  • Ask for book cover ideas. Then I could take some of these cover ideas to my artist niece and see what she would do with them. Then, post the artwork for the ideas and have a vote to select the one to use.
  • After I hire an editor to do the final copyediting and I type up the final draft, I’d like to start posting the book on this blog, one chapter at a time. With sixteen chapters, and posting a chapter every day, in a little over two weeks you could read the entire story. And each chapter is short.
  • Hopefully, people who read the story on the blog will post some critique comments. I could then use those comments to make the story better.
  • And then, with the final cover and story, I’ll put the book on Amazon Kindle for free. I will then ask all of you who download and read it to leave a review. Then, after there’s a good collection of reviews, I’ll see what the consensus is. If people perceive the book as poor, with little value, then it will not be worth putting a price on it. If people see value in the book, then I’ll basically set the price based on how may stars it gets – more stars equals higher price. In this way, those who first read and review the book, will set the price for the book. After all, it’s the readers opinion that counts, not mine.

So what do you think? Thanks a lot, CJ

 

(October 18, 2015: day 93 down, 0 more to go, of The Challenge… to write a book, from concept to self-publish, in 3 months.)


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Jesus is my Rock

Jesus rock

Sometimes. No, make that several times a day… I feel stressed out, especially at work. Even now, in the peace of the early morning, I can feel the stress, usually from anticipation of work. This stress feels like a liquid poison, poured into this vessel named CJ Penn. Sometimes it’s just a bit of poison; other times it feels like I’m overflowing.

Until I remember Jesus. He is like my Rock, dropped into this vessel CJ, pushing the poison of stress out. I feel Him enter into my thoughts, and the poison flows away. When Jesus fills me, there is no room for the poison of stress.

Stress is indeed a poison, for it can make our life sick. But even when surrounded by a stressful day, with Jesus on the inside, the stress remains on the outside, unable to poison my heart and mind and soul.

Thank you so much dear Jesus… my Rock.


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Gift Exchange

Today, Good Friday, we recognize the sacrifice Jesus took upon Himself for all of us. He gave His life for us. Because I’m so grateful, I’d like to give Jesus something in return. As He did for me, I’d like to do for Him – I’d like to give Jesus my life.

To surrender my life to Jesus – how can I do that today? What does this look like? How about this: I’ll give Jesus my thoughts today, as often as I am able.

Are you grateful for what Jesus did for you? Give Him your thoughts today. Focus your mind on Jesus as often as you are able.


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Dear Jesus

surrender

Dear Jesus, you gave your life for me,

you suffered for me, you died for me.

And then your Spirit came back to earth,

and now you live within me, sharing my life with me.

I’m not alone.

You’re always here, within.

Yet I fear I may be too accustomed to your presence.

Do I take you for granted? Oh, I hope not.

Dear Jesus, please help me feel the true meaning,

the true power and peace of living with You within me.

I long for a tear.

Those moments when my heart gets a clear glimpse of you within me –

those moments when an un-looked-for tear swells within my eye.

When my heart sees you clearly, my eyes become blurred.

Dear Jesus, oh how I long to see you more clearly;

oh how I long to see the true meaning of You within me;

oh how I long to weep a bucket of tears, for you.

Tears of joy, tears of gratitude, tears of love.

Tears that soften my heart and open me up, to you.

Dear Jesus, I love you more than my dry eyes show.

I long for the moments when I see your true love,

and then my tears show you my true love.

Dear Jesus, thank you for this day, a good day, a Good Friday.


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Mind of Christ

mind of christ

I’m in the middle of reading “The Power of the Spirit,” by William Law (which you already know if you’ve read my recent posts). I REALLY like and recommend this book. But I’ll warn you… it’s not a light read. It’s not mothers milk, but rather deep red meat; a thick, juicy steak (if you’re a carnivore like me).

Anyway, I came across the following verse: “The person with the Spirit makes judgments about all things, but such a person is not subject to merely human judgments, for, ‘Who has known the mind of the Lord so as to instruct him?’ But we have the mind of Christ. (1 Corinthians 2:15-16)

I’ve read this verse many times, but for some reason it struck me more profoundly this morning. We have the mind of Christ. THE MIND OF CHRIST!!! Holy cow! I can’t truly comprehend the magnitude of what that means. But here’s a thought: having the promised mind of Jesus Christ will make the meaning clear to me.

Do you seek better understanding of Gods words? Do you desire a more intimate relationship with Jesus? Then please, look no further than the Holy Spirit. Let Him into your heart and soul. And He will share with you His thoughts… the mind of Christ.

And I’m so grateful.


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Love is God

Where love there is God

My adopted brother turned his back on my parents, ran away from home, and spent most of his life in prison. Yet even with all their pain and suffering, my parents never stopped loving their lost son. But their love for my half-bother is only a faded image of Gods love for His children.

To know true love is to know the nature of God. The primary trait of Gods character is love, for as John said, “God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him.” (1 John 4:16).

Love is so much a part of God and God so loves, that He and love are the same. Love is not a description of God – God is a description of love.

Applying God to Paul’s picture of love in chapter 13 of his first letter to the Corinthians, we have a vivid portrait of the true character of God…

“God is patient, God is kind. God does not envy, He does not boast, He is not proud. God is not rude, He is not self-seeking, He is not easily angered, He keeps no record of wrongs. God does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. God always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres. God never fails.” (1 Corinthians 13:4-8, paraphrase)

Where there is love, there is God.