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Through The Wringer Together

August 5, 2014

Greetings,

“Be joyful in hope, patient in affliction, faithful in prayer.  Share with God’s people who are in need.  Practice hospitality.  Bless those who persecute you; bless and do not curse.  Rejoice with those who rejoice; mourn with those who mourn.  Live in harmony with one another.  Do not be proud, but be willing to associate with people of low position.  Do not be conceited.”  Romans 12: 12-16

One of the best things about being part of a fully functioning Body is that you never have to go through any of life’s challenges by yourself.  I thank God every day for the great people He has placed in my life.  People with who I have had deep, rich and rewarding fellowship.  Dear sisters and brothers who did not bail on me during the last 15 years of PTSD hell.  Our bonds have been severely tested at times, but whenever the dust cleared we were right there for each other time and time again.

Because of Christ in them I was given hope and with their support I have been able to be patient in my affliction.  Regardless of our circumstances we have managed to remain faithful in prayer for each other  One sister here has MS and another an autoimmune disorder.  We have been able to share with each other from both our heights and our depths.  We have practiced and lived hospitality.  With open hearts and open homes we have shared everything.

The passage I quoted above tells us to live in harmony with one another.  My friends..harmony cannot be achieved alone.  It takes multiple voices.  In all respects our faith is a team activity.  We simply need each other in the Body of Christ.  Everyone has an important portion to share and when each one of us adds to the mix our share… it is then we are made complete, whole and mature.

We are more than just friends and siblings. We are peers.  We are each part of one another and together we thrive under Jesus The Head.  When we allow ourselves to be assembled under Christ miracles happen.  I have not had a PTSD episode in nearly a year now. Because of that I can indeed say I am a walking miracle.  Many of my peers sowed in tears and prayer for over a decade, desiring that I be totally set free from the emotional bondage of my childhood.  Now with Janet at my side and in my heart I feel better than ever.  Today, I can say with all confidence that I am well on my way to that total freedom.  

Those I am in fellowship with have rejected any and all positions and instead we have chosen to contend as one man for the faith.  Where that kind of unity lives Jesus is able to fully manifest in us the gifts of the Spirit.  Because we have been accepted we can now be accepting of all others regardless of their current station in life or related problems.  In short we have been through the wringer together and we have not been found lacking in love or compassion.  How many traditional “churches” can say the same?  Simple, organic, relational, Spirit led fellowship works.  “A tree is known by its fruit.”

Love and…..

Kirk Out !

 

 

 

 

 

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6 Comments
  1. Janet permalink

    Thank you Father for continued miracles! My new relationships with you and the others in your fellowship have been life changing and life giving to me as well. I feel the power of prayer and the fruit of those prayers. In my life right now what could crush me is somehow manageable. It doesn’t mean there is no stress, but it is not totally destroying my life. It’s peace and rest IN the storms.
    I was struck by the passage about living in harmony. It struck a “chord” as a musician, and being in tune and having a “feel” for harmony. It is so uncomfortable to have discord. I never looked at that verse in that way. Thank you for your continued work sharing what God puts on your heart! I’m glad to be by your side!

  2. Pam Smith permalink

    Chris, thank you for this blog. I know for us it’s been quite the ride. Sometimes watching someone go through “stuff” and knowing that the only thing that can be done is to pray is really difficult. Not that I don’t have faith and confidence in the power of prayer, I do, but for most people they want to “fix” it. And sometimes we have to go THROUGH the storm to find out where, and what the Lord is going to to do next. I wrestle sometimes with the fact that distance and health prohibits us from participating more, but we enjoy the times we can be present and we treasure the relationships built over the past 28 years. The type of relationship that has been built have stood the test of time, fire, blessings, and sometimes even a seeming nuclear attack. But it’s those times that have strengthened it and added the flavor and the true value to them. We wouldn’t have missed it for the world. “Ohana means family; and family means nobody left behind”. It really would seem like we had lopped off a leg if we bailed on these friendships. Love you! (and we are looking forward to getting to know Janet better and seeing where the Lord leads).

    • "BK" permalink

      I like what you say here about sometimes we have to go THROUGH the storm. It reminded me of a precious brother of ‘yester year’ who the Lord once told not to think he was going backward after a time of peace in the storm. The eye of a storm is peaceful, quiet place; but when you walk out the OTHER side it’s all tumultuous again but you are still GOING FORWARD….and then you come out the other side. I just thought that was a pretty cool thought; then and now. Love, “BK”

  3. Janet permalink

    I am also reminded of a time when I realized that the passage about Jesus sleeping in the boat during the storm sometimes gets cut off when we focus on the storm part. I decided to check the passage for where they ended up. I think Jesus expected the storm because HE had an important ministry on the other side.

  4. Dyesebel barbecho permalink

    It is wonderful passage,it tells that we need to be as one together for jesus christ,as one happy family…loving and caring for each other…i believe in saying that” a tree is known by its fruit”voz it relates in saying that “do not do to others if the others want you to do to you too.”…”if others throw you a rock, throw him a bread”god bless…

  5. Love this one Chris, and also the last one (Silence). Just major Amen. Only caveat is that I know (and have truly experienced) deep, intimate and in fact long-term relationships with others in the Lord in larger as well as small groups of believers. And of course “show” (pretense) is not only something we see in ic’s but in hc’s and for that matter marriages and in one-on-one relationships. There is that yielding to and faith in the Spirit working in and through us- or not, regardless of gathering or style of being local assembly. I’ve long lamented the possibility of how we are each able to both grieve and/or quench the Spirit just as we’re able to yield to Him in any setting. Youch! Then I think of how many years you and I have been friends my bro.!! Wow. Love, hugs and thanks 🙂 -Glenn

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