Sunday, December 27, 2009

Good Lessons to Learn

Written By Regina Brett, 90 years old, of The Plain Dealer, Cleveland , Ohio

"To celebrate growing older, I once wrote the 45 lessons life taught me. It is the most-requested column I've ever written. My odometer rolled over to 90 in August, so here is the column once more:"

  1. Life isn't fair, but it's still good. 
  2. When in doubt, just take the next small step. 
  3. Life is too short to waste time hating anyone. 
  4. Your job won't take care of you when you are sick. Your friends and parents will. Stay in touch. 
  5. Pay off your credit cards every month. 
  6. You don't have to win every argument. Agree to disagree. 
  7. Cry with someone. It's more healing than crying alone. 
  8. It's OK to get angry with God. He can take it. 
  9. Save for retirement starting with your first paycheck. 
  10. When it comes to chocolate, resistance is futile. 
  11. Make peace with your past so it won't screw up the present. 
  12. It's OK to let your children see you cry. 
  13. Don't compare your life to others. You have no idea what their journey is all about. 
  14. If a relationship has to be a secret, you shouldn't be in it. 
  15. Everything can change in the blink of an eye. But don't worry; God never blinks. 
  16. Take a deep breath. It calms the mind. 
  17. Get rid of anything that isn't useful, beautiful or joyful. 
  18. Whatever doesn't kill you really does make you stronger. 
  19. It's never too late to have a happy childhood. But the second one is up to you and no one else. 
  20. When it comes to going after what you love in life, don't take no for an answer. 
  21. Burn the candles, use the nice sheets, wear the fancy lingerie. Don't save it for a special occasion. Today is special. 
  22. Over prepare, then go with the flow. 
  23. Be eccentric now. Don't wait for old age to wear purple. 
  24. No one is in charge of your happiness but you. 
  25. Frame every so-called disaster with these words ''In five years, will this matter?". 
  26. Always choose life. 
  27. Forgive everyone everything. 
  28. What other people think of you is none of your business. 
  29. Time heals almost everything. Give time, time. 
  30. However good or bad a situation is, it will change. 
  31. Don't take yourself so seriously. No one else does. 
  32. Believe in miracles. 
  33. God loves you because of who God is, not because of anything you did or didn't do. 
  34. Don't audit life. Show up and make the most of it now. 
  35. Growing old beats the alternative -- dying young. 
  36. Your children get only one childhood. 
  37. All that truly matters in the end is that you loved. 
  38. Get outside every day. Miracles are waiting everywhere. 
  39. If we all threw our problems in a pile and saw everyone else's, we'd grab ours back. 
  40. Envy is a waste of time. You already have all you need. 
  41. The best is yet to come. 
  42. No matter how you feel, get up, dress up and show up. 
  43. Yield. 
  44. Life isn't tied with a bow, but it's still a gift.
It's estimated 93% won't share this. If you are one of the 7% who will, share this with the title '7%'. I'm in the 7%. Remember that I will always share my spoon with you! Friends are the family that we choose for ourselves.

Mary Hennigan
Executive Director
Texas Occupational Therapy Association

Wednesday, December 16, 2009

"Daniel's Gloves"

A good friend sent this to me as an e-mail and I have seen it before, but it is such a good story I just had to share it with you.  I hope you will enjoy it as much as I did.


A terrific story for all the time, but especially as we celebrate the Savior's birth. Take a moment to think about what's really important.....Merry Christmas

"Don't let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God, and trust also in me"
(John 14:1 NLT)

An Anonymous Story called "Daniel's Gloves"

(Author Unknown or is it? Please. Read on.)

I sat, with two friends, in the picture window of a quaint restaurant just off the corner of the town-square. The food and the company were both especially good that day.

As we talked, my attention was drawn outside, across the street. There, walking into town, was a man who appeared to be carrying all his worldly goods on his back. He was carrying, a well-worn sign that read, 'I will work for food.' My heart sank.

I brought him to the attention of my friends and noticed that others around us had stopped eating to focus on him. Heads moved in a mixture of sadness and disbelief.

We continued with our meal, but his image lingered in my mind. We finished our meal and went our separate ways. I had errands to do and quickly set out to accomplish them. I glanced toward the town square, looking somewhat halfheartedly for the strange visitor. I was fearful, knowing that seeing him again would call some response. I drove through town and saw nothing of him. I made some purchases at a store and got back in my car.

Deep within me, the Spirit of God kept speaking to me: 'Don't go back to the office until you've at least driven once more around the square.'

Then with some hesitancy, I headed back into town. As I turned the square's third corner, I saw him. He was standing on the steps of the store front church, going through his sack.

I stopped and looked; feeling both compelled to speak to him, yet wanting to drive on. The empty parking space on the corner seemed to be a sign from God: an invitation to park. I pulled in, got out and approached the town's newest visitor.

'Looking for the pastor?' I asked.

'Not really,' he replied, 'just resting.'

'Have you eaten today?'

'Oh, I ate something early this morning.'

'Would you like to have lunch with me?'

'Do you have some work I could do for you?'

'No work,' I replied 'I commute here to work from the city, but I would like to take you to lunch.'

'Sure,' he replied with a smile.

As he began to gather his things, I asked some surface questions. Where you headed?'

' St. Louis '

'Where you from?'

'Oh, all over; mostly Florida ...'

'How long you been walking?'

'Fourteen years,' came the reply.

I knew I had met someone unusual. We sat across from each other in the same restaurant I had left earlier. His face was weathered slightly beyond his 38 years. His eyes were dark yet clear, and he spoke with an eloquence and articulation that was startling. He removed his jacket to reveal a bright red T-shirt that said, 'Jesus is The Never Ending Story.'

Then Daniel's story began to unfold. He had seen rough times early in life. He'd made some wrong choices and reaped the consequences.. Fourteen years earlier, while backpacking across the country, he had stopped on the beach in Daytona. He tried to hire on with some men who were putting up a large tent and some equipment. A concert, he thought.

He was hired, but the tent would not house a concert but revival services, and in those services he saw life more clearly. He gave his life over to God

'Nothing's been the same since,' he said, 'I felt the Lord telling me to keep walking, and so I did, some 14 years now.'

'Ever think of stopping?' I asked.

'Oh, once in a while, when it seems to get the best of me But God has given me this calling. I give out Bibles That's what's in my sack. I work to buy food and Bibles, and I give them out when His Spirit leads.'

I sat amazed. My homeless friend was not homeless. He was on a mission and lived this way by choice. The question burned inside for a moment and then I asked: 'What's it like?'


'To walk into a town carrying all your things on your back and to show your sign?'

'Oh, it was humiliating at first. People would stare and make comments. Once someone tossed a piece of half-eaten bread and made a gesture that certainly didn't make me feel welcome. But then it became humbling to realize that God was using me to touch lives and change people's concepts of other folks like me.'

My concept was changing, too. We finished our dessert and gathered his things. Just outside the door, he paused He turned to me and said, 'Come Ye blessed of my Father and inherit the kingdom I've prepared for you. For when I was hungry you gave me food, when I was thirsty you gave me drink, a stranger and you took me in.'

I felt as if we were on holy ground. 'Could you use another Bible?' I asked.

He said he preferred a certain translation. It traveled well and was not too heavy. It was also his personal favorite. 'I've read through it 14 times,' he said.

'I'm not sure we've got one of those, but let's stop by our church and see' I was able to find my new friend a Bible that would do well, and he seemed very grateful.

'Where are you headed from here?' I asked.

'Well, I found this little map on the back of this amusement park coupon.'

'Are you hoping to hire on there for awhile?'

'No, I just figure I should go there. I figure someone under that star right there needs a Bible, so that's where I'm going next.'

He smiled, and the warmth of his spirit radiated the sincerity of his mission. I drove him back to the town-square where we'd met two hours earlier, and as we drove, it started raining. We parked and unloaded his things.

'Would you sign my autograph book?' he asked. 'I like to keep messages from folks I meet.'

I wrote in his little book that his commitment to his calling had touched my life. I encouraged him to stay strong. And I left him with a verse of scripture from Jeremiah, 'I know the plans I have for you, declared the Lord, 'plans to prosper you and not to harm you; Plans to give you a future and a hope.'

'Thanks, man,' he said. 'I know we just met and we're really just strangers, but I love you.'

'I know,' I said, 'I love you, too.' 'The Lord is good!'

'Yes, He is. How long has it been since someone hugged you?' I asked.

A long time,' he replied

And so on the busy street corner in the drizzling rain, my new friend and I embraced, and I felt deep inside that I had been changed.. He put his things on his back, smiled his winning smile and said, 'See you in the New Jerusalem.'

'I'll be there!' was my reply.

He began his journey again. He headed away with his sign dangling from his bedroll and pack of Bibles. He stopped, turned and said, 'When you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?'

'You bet,' I shouted back, 'God bless.'

'God bless.' And that was the last I saw of him.

Late that evening as I left my office, the wind blew strong. The cold front had settled hard upon the town. I bundled up and hurried to my car. As I sat back and reached for the emergency brake, I saw them.... a pair of well-worn brown work gloves neatly laid over the length of the handle. I picked them up and thought of my friend and wondered if his hands would stay warm that night without them.

Then I remembered his words: 'If you see something that makes you think of me, will you pray for me?'

Today his gloves lie on my desk in my office. They help me to see the world and its people in a new way, and they help me remember those two hours with my unique friend and to pray for his ministry. 'See you in the New Jerusalem,' he said. Yes, Daniel, I know I will....

'I shall pass this way but once. Therefore, any good that I can do or any kindness that I can show, let me do it now, for I shall not pass this way again.'

My instructions were to send this to people that I wanted God to bless and I picked you. Please pass this to people you want to be blessed.

This prayer is powerful and there is nothing attached. Please do not break this pattern. Prayer is one of the best gifts we receive. There is no cost but a lot of rewards. Let's continue to pray for one another. God bless and have a nice day!

'Father, I ask You to bless my friends, relatives and e-mail buddies reading this right now. Show them a new revelation of Your love and power. Holy Spirit, I ask You to minister to their spirit at this very moment. Where there is pain, give them Your peace and mercy. Where there is self-doubt, release a renewed confidence through Your grace, In Jesus' precious Name......Amen.'

I sent this to more than four, but this story is so touching I felt each of you would enjoy it greatly.


Monday, December 07, 2009

Thank You For The Miracles

by Chet Nowlen

Lord, You deserve all the thanks and praise I can think of for you have for you have blessed me beyond my wildest dreams. Oh, by the way, the word deserve reminds of the phrase I hear some people use, “I have been blessed more than I deserve.” I never really understood why people would say that to me, but now when I look back on my life I find that I too have been blessed more than I deserve.

Do you believe in miracles? I don’t know about you, but I do because I’ve seen several in my life time. I cannot go into a lot of detail about each miracle, but I will tell you as much as I can at this time. The first miracle happen when I was in my twenties. There was a very troubling issue at church with a person that had threatened me because he thought I had stolen his position in the church. The Lord came to me in a dream and said, “Do not worry, everything will be alright!” I found out later the man that had threatened me was killed in a car accident, but the good news he had accepted Christ shortly before his death. My faith was uplifted to the next level as I knew then God does hear and answer our prayers.

The next miracle was my Father’s salvation experience. My Dad was, on the outside, a rough and tough John Wayne type. He could out cuss and out drink everyone around. My Dad hated Christians because of what some mean spirited Christian woman said to him. I had prayed for my Dad for years and it looked impossible for him to every accept Jesus as his personal Lord and savior. One Sunday morning Dad woke my Mom and told her she has to pray for him right now. He told her they must get on their knees and she must lead him in the sinner’s prayer. My Mom was shocked as she had never heard him talk like this before. She did as he asked the best she could and then he said something else that shocked her. He asked her, “What time does church start?” She could not believe her ears. They went to church and when the invitation was offered my Dad was the first one down the isle to make his profession of faith.

I don’t know what happened that caused my Dad to repent, but I have a feeling the Lord came to him in a dream and warned him that he had to be ready for what was coming. Two weeks later my Dad suffered a brain aneurism which caused some brain damage. He was no longer mentally able to handle his affairs and had to retire at age 62. My Dad lived to age 83 and spent most all of the last 20-years of his life in a VA nursing home, but he always made sure my Mom is she was still going to church.

Shortly after my Dad’s brain issue my Mom kind of went off on the dark side for a while. I guess she couldn’t take the stress with dealing with my Dad and she was easily seduced by some predators into the night life. I could not believe have my Mom had changed into someone I didn’t know. I called my Mom my “Prodigal Mother” because she had wandered away into a life that was just totally not her. I kept praying for her and God heard my prayer and delivered her so she was miracle number three.

There were two other miracles that I didn’t mention before that I must not forget to mention. These two are the births of my two sons, Eric and Tim. I think we take the miracle gift from God of our children for granted. Our children are a gift of Love from our Heavenly Father and I thank Him for blessing me with these gifts.

I wish there were no such thing as divorce, but sometimes it happens whether we believe in it or not. When my divorce happened I thought my world had come to an end. When you allow yourself to not stay connected with God you open yourself up to the snare of the evil one and that’s what happened in my marriage that failed. We both have accepted our responsibility for the failed marriage and have asked each other’s forgiveness, but life must go on.

After the divorce I dated several women and the relationship got kind of serious, but failed because I think I the Lord was protecting me. He was keeping me for the right person and this brings my next miracle. One day a friend girl of mine told me she wanted me to meet a lady that would be perfect for me. She described her as tall, trim, blonde, and very pretty. She said that this lady is not ready yet because she is going through a divorce, but she will call me when she is ready. I didn’t take it to serious so I sort of forgot about it.

After a few weeks my friend girl called me and told me that this lady, Gale, is ready now and gave me the Gale’s name and phone number. She said it was up to me to call her and ask her out. It took me a while to work up the courage to call this lady, but when I did I could not believe how much fun it was to talk to her. The month was July and I stood out in the blazing sun and talked to this wonderful lady for two hours. My shirt was ringing wet with sweat from the heat, but I enjoyed every minute of the conversation. She tested me with a few choice questions to see if I qualified and then she tried to discourage me by saying that she weight 210 lbs. I knew that was not the way my friend girl had described her and I didn’t care if she did because I enjoy talking to so much I asked her out on a date.

We scheduled the next Saturday for our date and I took her to Amerigo’s Restaurant in Ridgeland, Ms. When I knocked on her door I was so taken with her beauty I could not speak without stuttering. She was just as my friend had described her and she did not weight 210 lbs. I was so impressed with Gale that while waiting outside to be seated at the restaurant I asked her for a second date and to my surprise she accepted and we’ve been together ever since.

What a joy my life has been since Gale came into my life. When God decides to bless you He does it in such a tremendous way. Gale and I are so much alike in so many ways and in the ways and where we are not alike we compliment one another. We’ve been married 16-years, as of this writing, and I thank God everyday for the joy and happiness I have because of the many wonderful gifts of love God had given to me. I call them my miracles because even though I may not deserve them God gave them to me as a Father gives good gifts to his children.

To Him that gives to His children exceeding and abundantly beyone all we can ask for think of deserves all my praise and thanks.  Ephesians 3:20

Sunday, November 29, 2009

Who Am I?

by Chet Nowlen

Some have said of me that I do not matter because I am not a real person.  They say I'm just a blob of matter –

Some have said its okay to kill me because I’m not alive-

I don’t know who my father is, not sure if my mother knows either-

I wonder why my mother did not protect me from the jaws of death-

I moved and squirmed to avoid the jaws of death that were after me-

I fought as hard as I could, but the jaws of death pulled me apart into several pieces-

Mother how could you not know that our Heavenly Father had a plan for me even before the foundation of the earth?  How could you not know that I was created in His image and you were chosen to bring me into this world so that I could make a difference?-

Mother how could you not know my coming into existence was not by accident?-

Mother how could you not know that I was here for a purpose, for God had sent me to you?-

I asked the Lord to forgive you because you didn’t did not know my existence was real. You were deceived by the evil in the world.-

Please do not weep for me as I am not alone, for I am with billions of others, just like me.-

God has prepared a special place in Heaven us and I talk get to the Father everyday about you. I tell Him and I miss you and want you to be with me.  I asked Him to forgive you, as I have, and to bring you to me.-

I want you to hold me and love me as it was meant to be, for you see the reason I was created in the first place was to be a blessing of joy to you. You were always are my mission - I was His gift to you because He loves you-

I know you must think of me and wonder about me and what could have been. I know you secretly grieve for me because as a mother a part of yourself died when I died. Mother forgive yourself as I have forgiven you. Seek the Father and He will give you peace. -

Mother I also pray for my earthly father, whoever he may be, because I miss you both and pray for you every day. I cannot wait for us to be together as it was meant to be.-

The current earthly laws says you have a legal right to make your own choices and I respect your right to make a choice.  I wasn't given any legal rights because I am not considered a person, but as for me my Heavenly Father gave me the choice to love you or not to love you.  Therefore I am excercising my heavenly legal rights and I choose life.  I choose you to live life with me eternally, but you have to make another choice.  You must decide to accept His love and forgiveness.  I pray you will make the right choice this time.  I will be waiting for your decision. I love you Mom.

"Who Am I”
Your Son

Friday, November 27, 2009

The Greatest Gift a Father Can Receive

by Chet Nowlen

Ephesians 3:20 is one of my favorite scriptures I use to worship and praise our Heavenly Father in my own paraphrased version is as follows: “Lord you have blessed me exceeding and abundantly beyond all that I could ask for or even think of.” I give thanks to my Heavenly Father every day because He has made me so rich in a family that is filled with love, joy, and peace, which is worth more than material wealth and possessions. The Father loves the thanks and praise that His children offer Him.

As a father I too love thanks and praise from my children. Praise and Thanks are the greatest gifts that a child can give their parent. My Christmas gift has already arrived as both my sons have shared with me that the life that I lived before them was the inspiration that shaped their character of who they are. The both shared this message separately that their fondest memory of me was, as children growing up, they always found me at the kitchen table studying the Bible when they got up in the mornings.

I remember thinking that I had not done much in my life that the Lord would be proud of, but now I know that’s not true. The Lord said to His disciples that they would do greater things than He did. Now I think better understand what He meant. I think He was talking about our seed as in the parable of the sower. He was talking about our planting our seed in fertile soil and new life would burst forth through the crust of that soil and produce an abundant harvest. My seed’s seed has been planted and has burst forth new life, which is a perpetual, never ending, seed time and harvest. (Genesis 8:21-22) As you can see I have a lot to be thankful for.

The Greatest Gift a Father Can Receive is the gift I received from my two sons, the gift of thanks and praise. The Greatest Gift you can give your Heavenly Father is the gift of thanksgiving and praise for the free gift of sacrifice He made for us on the cross. He gave it all to deliver us from the curse of sin and death so that we might have life. No matter what your circumstances are right now, no matter what you’ve done in the past, give Him thanks for what He has done (Ephesians 5:20). Give Him thanks no matter how bad things may look. Give Him thanks even though you think you do not deserve His love. Give Him thanks even though your flesh is still holding on to sin. Give Him thanks because your spirit, the real man, was reborn and lives forever, not your flesh.

Spend time with your Heavenly Father every day. He’s waiting to hear from you. Tell Him about your hurts and disappointments. Tell Him about your needs. But, more importantly take the time to tell Him about the things He’s already done for you and when you do you will find the joy and peace that you long for.

The Re-Birth

By Chet Nowlen

Recently I was driving to work and for some strange reason I was thinking about the term rebirth or born again. I think “born again” is a term that has been worn out in the media ever since the Jimmy Carter days so I didn’t like to use that term.

The Holy Spirit spoke to my spirit with a picture I had never thought of before. He revealed to me that the spirit man is changed from death to life as if he passed through a womb and came out a new spirit man. The old spirit man of sin is dead and the new spirit man is a new creation and is alive forever more. The new spirit man is no longer under the curse of the law of sin and death.

The change or this re-birth takes place the moment that one accepts the free gift that Jesus provided. His free gift was paying the price (once and for all) for our redemption through His shed blood, death, and resurrection. All one has to do is accept that free gift by believing that Jesus paid that price for us and by faith believe that we heirs and joint heirs with Jesus.

I said to the Lord, “Sometimes I do not feel saved.” And He said, “The good news of the gospel is not based on our feelings (mind, will, and emotions). If it was then no one would be worthy of salvation.” He said the spirit of a man is changed, but the body and the mind of a man are still of this worldly system. When the body dies it goes back to the dust of the ground, but the spirit man lives forever and is transferred to heaven to await the resurrection. At the resurrection the body will be re-created from the dust of the earth and reunited with the spirit man, but this time the body will be a glorified body. This glorified body is necessary so that the spirit man can be active here on earth just as Adam was in the beginning. You see we will have an active job to do here on this earth for eternity. Our bodies will also be glorified bodies therefore we will also be able to be active in heaven and all the universes of the heavens.

I cannot imagine why anyone would not want to accept the free gift that Jesus has for us, but unfortunately some will reject His free gift. Some have said, "I do not believe a loving God would create hell and do not believe there is such a thing as hell. God did not create hell for mankind. He created it for the future punishment of the fallen angels. Because of the fall of man, man too will receive this punishment at the great white throne of judgement. God does not want anyone to go to hell, but rather He has no choice for those that have heard the gospel and have rejected His Son. Those that reject Jesus send themselves to hell, not God.

Some religions have tried to make His gift complicated and difficult, but He made it easy just by accepting His free gift in faith. When you do your spirit man will be changed even though you may not feel a change in your mind or body. Your mind and body will notice the change as you get to know Him through reading and meditating on His Word.

I am so excited to think about Jesus will someday soon come back to earth and rule and reign here on earth for 1000-years and I’m going to be a part of His Kingdom. I cannot wait to find out what my eternal job will be. I look forward to seeing you there.

Letter from Jesus about Christmas

It has come to my attention that many of you are upset that folks are taking My name out of the season.  Maybe you've forgotten that I wasn't actually born during this time of the year and that it was some of your predecessors who decided to celebrate My birthday on what was actually a time of pagan festival. Although I do appreciate being remembered anytime.

How I personally feel about this celebration can probably be most easily understood by those of you who have been blessed with children of your own. I don't care what you call the day. If you want to celebrate My birth, just GET ALONG AND LOVE ONE ANOTHER.

Now, having said that let Me go on. If it bothers you that the town in which you live doesn't allow a scene depicting My birth, then just get rid of a couple of Santas and snowmen and put in a small Nativity scene on your own front lawn.  If all My followers did that there wouldn't be any need for such a scene on the town square because there would be many of them all around town.

Stop worrying about the fact that people are calling the tree a holiday tree, instead of a Christmas tree. It was I who made all trees. You can remember Me anytime you see any tree. Decorate a grape vine if you wish: I actually spoke of that one in a teaching, explaining who I am in relation to you and what each of our tasks were. If you have forgotten that one, look up John 15: 1 - 8.

If you want to give Me a present in remembrance of My birth here is my wish list. Choose something from it:

  1. Instead of writing protest letters objecting to the way My birthday is being celebrated, write letters of love and hope to soldiers away from home. They are terribly afraid and lonely this time of year. I know, they tell Me all the time.
  2. Visit someone in a nursing home. You don't have to know them personally. They just need to know that someone cares about them. 
  3. Instead of writing the President and complaining about the wording on the cards his staff will be sending out this year, why don't you write and tell him that you'll be praying for him and his family this year. Then follow up. It will be nice hearing from you again. 
  4. Instead of giving your children a lot of gifts you can't afford and they don't need, spend time with them. Tell them the story of My birth, and why I came to live with you down here. Hold them in your arms and remind them that I love them. 
  5. Pick someone that has hurt you in the past and forgive him or her. 
  6. Did you know that someone in your town will attempt to take their own life this season because they feel so alone and hopeless? Since you don't know who that person is, try giving everyone you meet a warm smile; it could make the difference. 
  7. Instead of nit picking about what the retailer in your town calls the holiday, be patient with the people who work there. Give them a warm smile and a kind word. Even if they aren't allowed to wish you a "Merry Christmas" that doesn't keep you from wishing them one. Then stop shopping there on Sunday. If the store didn't make so much money on that day they'd close and let their employees spend the day at home with their families. 
  8. If you really want to make a difference, support a missionary-- especially one who takes My love and Good News to those who have never heard My name. 
  9. Here's a good one. There are individuals and whole families in your town who not only will have no Christmas" tree, but neither will they have any presents to give or receive. If you don't know them, buy some food and a few gifts and give them to the Salvation Army or some other charity which believes in Me and they will make the delivery for you. 
  10. Finally, if you want to make a statement about your belief in and loyalty to Me, then behave like a Christian. Don't do things in secret that you wouldn't do in My presence. Let people know by your actions that you are one of mine.
Don't forget; I am God and can take care of Myself. Just love Me and do what I have told you to do. I'll take care of all the rest. Check out the list above and get to work; time is short.  I'll help you, but the ball is now in your court. And do have a most blessed Christmas with all those whom you love and remember:


Picture taken in 2003 at the Holy Land Experience in Orlando

Wednesday, July 22, 2009

My Resume

By Chet Nowlen

One day I was talking with my Heavenly Father like I would be if I were talking to my best friend. I said, “There is something that I do not understand.” He asked, “What is it you want to know.” I said, “One day I will stand before you and you will open the books of my life and I dread the thought of all the bad things that I have thought, said and done, which I don’t even remember much less asked for forgiveness. I dread the thought that others will hear all those things written in the book of my life.”

He said, “My son, what is written in the books of your life is not what you think. ‘Think of it this way, when you are ready to change jobs you type a nice resume with all your work history showing your experience and accomplishments. You did not type any of your past failures or disappointments did you?” I said, “Well no, no one would hire me if I did that!” He said, “Well think of what is written in the books of life is your Resume listing your experiences and accomplishments which will determine the job you will have for eternity.”

I said, “Now I’m really confused. Are you saying that when the books of my life are read my faults and failures will not be read?” He said, “That’s true because when you, by faith, accepted the fact that my Son, Jesus, paid the price and redeemed you from the curse of death and delivered you from the penalty of sin the spirit man, the eternal you, was changed from death to life eternal. The spirit man was saved from death but the soul (mind will and emotions) of man is still subject to the fleshly cravings of the body and is in constant battle with itself. The soul and body of man needs to be renewed daily. It must be trained in order for the spirit man rule the body as it did before Adam sinned.”

I said, “I think I better understand now, but how do I elevate my spirit man to rule over my mind and body.” He said, “You cannot do that yourself. You need to allow the power of the Holy Spirit to make those changes for you.” I said, “How do I do that?” He said, ”When you accepted Jesus My Spirit came to live within your body within your spirit. My Holy Spirit is inside you and He is constantly talking to your spirit and He speaks to your mind through thoughts, dreams, and meditating on my Words. The problem is enemy is also speaking to your mind through thoughts, dreams, and meditation on his words. Your job is to learn to know who is talking to you and to reject lies of the enemy.”

I asked, “Lord, by my worrying about my faults and failures am I listening to the enemy more than to you?” He said, “Yes, the enemy’s job is to keep your focus on the wrong things in your life and therefore reduce the good things written about you in the book of your life.”

I said, “Lord, what things are written in the books of my life?” The Lord told me about many different good things that are written in my “Resume of Life” that I was not even aware of or I didn't think that He would even notice. My heavenly eternal job is based on the good things that are written in my “Resume of Life.”

He asked me to share with you that no one can ever be good enough to earn eternal salvation. Jesus is the only one that was ever “Good enough” and we are only worthy of heaven because we are in Him and He is in us. We are justified in God’s eyes only because of our relationship in Jesus.

There will come a day when we will all stand before Jesus and the books of our lives will be opened. For some He will open the book and nothing will be there. They will say to Him, "I have healed the sick, cast out demons, and raised the dead." He will say to them, "Depart from me because I never knew you . . ." My prayer is that Jesus will open your book of life and He will say to you, "Well done, you have been faithful over a few things and I will make you ruler over many things and enter into my rest."

Sunday, July 12, 2009

Wear a Smile and Wear it Out!!!

Fyodor Dostoyevsky, Nelson Mandela, Victor Frank, Gerald Coffee,

The men listed above are famous for 1. having been in prison - usually solitary confinement, and tortured.. for long periods of time. 2. Writing about the one Freedom that they never lost and that we all have.

The last bastion of freedom we have is our minds and our ability to make choices, etc. These are rights we are all born with and are ours to use. While even today there are those who want to have control over our thinking....the truth is only you have control of your thoughts.

So how do you go about deciding to change your ANTs (Automatic Negative Thoughts)?The first and important step is deciding what you want to change, and WHY. Sometimes there is something you want to do differently, sometimes something you want to do better. But first consider "why" you want to change. Because the "why" goes to the reason, the motivation, and of how strongly you desire the change. The strength of your desire is a key factor!

Very often, we want to change to please someone else and often this isn't considered in the process of change. Since we get feedback from others about our behavior, how do we decide which behaviors to change? So what criteria do you use to decide? What is your criteria for information? Where do you get it, from whom, when and how?

If someone else decides to provide you with feedback about some behavior of yours, what is the feedback? Is it accurate? How are they deciding that it's something for you to know? Is their feedback based upon fact or fear? (All too often the ones closest to us fear that when we "change" they will somehow lose their relationship with us.) Does the feedback they're giving require a change and how would you know?

All of these questions connect to decision strategies you have and can be decided by yourSelf. While I agree that it's certainly useful get additional information from outside oneself, it certainly isn't necessary to rely on others to help you to change yourSelf, your behaviors or your results.

It's important to remember that the more you exercise your personal freedom, the more you can enjoy it. The more you learn to help yourself, the more you will. The more you learn to be better at something than the time before, the more you will. So today when you say the script;

Wear a Smile and Wear it Out!!!

Saturday, January 31, 2009

True Wealth and Prosperity

by Chet Nowlen

Remember the story of the rich young ruler that came to Jesus asking what he could do to gain eternal life! Jesus mentioned six out of ten commandments and the man replied that he had kept these all of his life. Jesus knew the man's wealth was his most valued possession, the treasure of his heart. Jesus advised the man to sell all he had and give it to the poor and to follow Him. The man went away sad because he did not want to give up wealth. It is believed that this man did have a change of heart and is later mentioned in the Bible as one of the missionaries that traveled with Paul, his name was Barnabas.

Jesus was showing Barnabas he needed a change in his heart. The change he needed was to know the God kind of love. Jesus is the perfect example of living the God kind of love and He wanted Barnabas to follow him and learn this way of love through His teachings. It is not known whether Barnabas ever sold all his possessions or not, but we do know that he followed Jesus and later became a disciple (disciples were first known as Christians at Antioch).

Jesus gave us the secret to living a happy, successful, and prosperous life and its two fold; first is to love God, and second is to love others. Paul was able to explain love in his letter to the Corinthian church:

1 Corinthians 13 (Amplified Bible)

1. IF I [can] speak in the tongues of men and [even] of angels, but have not love (that reasoning, intentional, spiritual devotion such as is inspired by God's love for and in us), I am only a noisy gong or a clanging cymbal.

2. And if I have prophetic powers (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), and understand all the secret truths and mysteries and possess all knowledge, and if I have [sufficient] faith so that I can remove mountains, but have not love (God's love in me) I am nothing (a useless nobody).

3. Even if I dole out all that I have [to the poor in providing] food, and if I surrender my body to be burned or in order that I may glory, but have not love (God's love in me), I gain nothing.

4. Love endures long and is patient and kind; love never is envious nor boils over with jealousy, is not boastful or vainglorious, does not display itself haughtily.

5. It is not conceited (arrogant and inflated with pride); it is not rude (unmannerly) and does not act unbecomingly. Love (God's love in us) does not insist on its own rights or its own way, for it is not self-seeking; it is not touchy or fretful or resentful; it takes no account of the evil done to it [it pays no attention to a suffered wrong]. (My own added comment on this is love hardly even notices when others do it wrong.)

6. It does not rejoice at injustice and unrighteousness, but rejoices when right and truth prevail.

7. Love bears up under anything and everything that comes, is ever ready to believe the best of every person, its hopes are fadeless under all circumstances, and it endures everything [without weakening].

8. Love never fails [never fades out or becomes obsolete or comes to an end]. As for prophecy (the gift of interpreting the divine will and purpose), it will be fulfilled and pass away; as for tongues, they will be destroyed and cease; as for knowledge, it will pass away [it will lose its value and be superseded by truth].

9. For our knowledge is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect), and our prophecy (our teaching) is fragmentary (incomplete and imperfect).

10. But when the complete and perfect (total) comes, the incomplete and imperfect will vanish away (become antiquated, void, and superseded).

11. When I was a child, I talked like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child; now that I have become a man, I am done with childish ways and have put them aside.

12. For now we are looking in a mirror that gives only a dim (blurred) reflection [of reality as in a riddle or enigma], but then [when perfection comes] we shall see in reality and face to face! Now I know in part (imperfectly), but then I shall know and understand fully and clearly, even in the same manner as I have been fully and clearly known and understood by God].

13. And so faith, hope, love abide [faith--conviction and belief respecting man's relation to God and divine things; hope--joyful and confident expectation of eternal salvation; love--true affection for God and man, growing out of God's love for and in us], these three; but the greatest of these is love.

After reading these words I think you will see that for one to enjoy life to the fullest there is a need to change the way we look and think about life and living. Learning to love, the God kind of love, frees us to enjoy life like we've never known before. Having love is true wealth and prosperity.

I hope you will meditate on these words. It will change your life.

If you have not seen the movie "Fireproof" I think it is a must see. Please click on the link below for more information.

Fireproof Now Available on DVD

Sunday, January 18, 2009

Love Is Never Having To Say You're Sorry - Battle For The Mind Part 2

by Chet Nowlen

"Love Is Never Having To Say You're Sorry" is a tag phrase from the 1970 movie "Love Story" staring Ryan O'Neal and Ali McGraw. This tag phrase is true in the sense if you really have love in you, you will not ever say or do anything that would hurt anyone, and need to say "I'm Sorry." Jesus is the only person that ever walked this earth that never had to say I'm sorry. He never hurt or offended anyone out of selfishness, jealousy, or anger. He did display righteous indignation towards the religious hypocrites, but he never offended anyone. He loved and had compassion on all.

In our natural carnal bodies our mind and emotions rule our lives therefore causing a constant battle within. As a Christian we are taught to renew our minds daily with the Word of God because our selfish nature is controlled by feeling and emotions that drag us around like ragdolls. We tend to be offended easily and we also tend to offend others when emotions of selfishness, jealous and anger surface.

We sometimes hurt those we love because we let selfishness have its way we tend to blame everyone else but ourselves. We do not feel the need to say I'm sorry because it’s not my fault, it’s his or its hers.

Adam did the same thing after failing to take responsibility for what he had done. Eve at of the forbidden fruit first but Adam is given credit for the sin because Adam had the authority to take control of the situation and stop the sin in its tracks. When God asked him about it he blamed everything on Eve. Adam never once told God he was sorry, nor did He ask God to forgive him.

Adams failure as a man, the head of the family, caused his family to endure much hardship. He was kicked out of the garden to struggle on his own and he took his family down the road of hardship. God had cursed the ground for Adam's sake. God made life tough for Adam (Gen. 3:17) and also for Eve (Gen 3:16). He did that because man has become like God and could no longer live in the garden where the tree of life is located or he would live forever in his sinful state.

Adam once knew the love of God but now he didn't need God any longer. He stubbornly wanted to do it on his own. Eve bore Adam two sons and one was very stubborn and self centered (selfish) like Adam and the other had a tender heart for God. The older son, Cain was a farmer and the younger son Abel was a sheep herder. They both offered to give a tithe of their labor to God but one of the two had a greedy and wicked heart. Cain gave a tenth of his harvest to God but instead of giving God the first fruits he gave what was left at the end of the harvest, which was the worst of the crop. Abel on the other hand gave his best to God as he love God more than his business.

Cain was jealous because God honored Abel but didn't honor him. God was not pleased with his offering. Cain could have said, "I'm sorry for my poor offering." He could have repented and done it right next year. But, instead Cain hated his brother because he blamed his brother for his own failure. He decided to kill his brother rather except responsibility for his disobedience.

Satan tried to destroy the first family and today he is still trying to destroy the family using the same tactics he used in the garden. Man was once governed by his spirit, but after the fall man's mind, will, and emotions took over. Satan uses our natural mind, will and emotions battle with us and attempt to lead us away from love into selfishness.

Satan can do nothing in this earth because he is a spirit. He has to work through man to do his dirty deeds. He has to trick man into thinking the way he thinks to get his evil plans done. God put man on the earth to be the steward or manager of the earth. That's why Jesus came, he had to enter earth as God, but he was man too. God came down to earth to destroy the works of Satan and did that by going to the cross as a man and taking the curse of death for us. Jesus won the victory and now we no longer have to be slaves to sin.

Love is saying, "Lord I'm sorry for my sin and I repent of my sin. Thank you for forgiving me of my sin and restoring me to my rightful place in my relationship with you Father. I confess I believe Jesus died for my sins and I put my trust in His shed blood that I am washed in the blood and cleansed from all unrighteousness in Jesus name. Lord help me to overcome the deeds of my flesh by the daily renewing of my mind and help me to live in love my brother as you have commanded in your word. In Jesus name Amen"

Actually Love is having to say "I'm Sorry" to those we have hurt or wronged. True Love is the ability to admit when you did it wrong and ask for forgiveness. True love is also at the same time being able to forgive those who have wronged you, even when did not care to for forgiveness; Luke 11:4, 2 Corinthians 2:10, Matthew 6:14, 14, Mark 11:25, Matthew 18:35, Luke 23:34, 2 Corinthisan 2:7