A WORD FROM THE EDITOR
Finding True Intimacy
Those who know me are aware I am not a smiley person. My serious demeanor has often given people the impression I am unhappy, angry or depressed. I’ve had many conversations that tended to go something like this:
“Are you okay?”
“Um…yeah, I’m fine.”
“You sure? You look mad!”
(Laughs) “No, I’m just in deep thought.” Which I usually am, by the way…
“So you’re good? Anything you need to talk about?”
(Smiles) “Yeah, I’m good; I’m just thinking.”
“You should smile more—you have such a pretty smile!”
(Trying not to look annoyed) “Thanks, I’ll try.”
I joke, I love to laugh and be goofy, and kid around with my friends, but I am not one to go around smiling all the time; I don’t feel genuine grinning from ear to ear, cheesing and beaming when it’s just not in my nature to do so. When I feel I am being forced to show off my pearly whites, I start to feel oppressed. People may not realize it, but they are actually causing me to feel unhappy by forcing me to put on a smile…
…because now I’m having to be someone I’m not.
So, I got tired of having lengthy conversations in attempts to assure people I was all right or having to put on a smile to ward them off and I decided to start telling them, “If I’m walking around here smiling that much then you need to find out what his name is.” I truly believed that was the only way I would be that happy. I knew God gave us joy, but to have the kind of joy where you go about smiling everywhere? I always thought that was something people in love did.
And I wasn’t in love with anybody therefore I had no reason to smile like that.
Recently though God helped me to se what intimacy really is. For the longest time, my perception of intimacy was so distorted I believed it to be something you could only get through sleeping with someone or from being in a romantic relationship. Jesus had to teach me how sex and intimacy are two different things and He showed me how intimacy with Him contrasts from the carnal way I thought it to be. When I lusted after a guy or masturbated, the feeling was explosive—a rush that felt great to me but didn’t last. It made my loneliness worse because I would feel dirty, trapped and always in constant hiding because I knew what I was doing was a sin so I had to bury it. I was always weighed down by the guilt I carried.
After praying and asking God to show me what intimacy actually is, I didn’t get an intense rush. What He gave me instead were: peace, rest, happiness, joy; the feeling of being able to go and do anything; knowing God is proud to have me on His arm and show me off to everyone. I experience the sense of His love and Him loving me in spite of being a mess up. I could feel His love for me regardless of my shortcomings. I was overwhelmed by how I couldn’t stop smiling in that instant and how I was so full of giddiness.
Most of all, I was free. I didn’t have to hide anymore, I had nothing to be ashamed of or be guilty about because here was something I could share with everyone. I could be myself and bask in His presence all while being totally, absolutely free. Even now, I am still transitioning because it’s still new to me; it’s strange, yet welcomed. I am emotional about it because I’m sad it took me this long to finally grasp what God had been telling me for five or six years now. All that time, He kept saying that everything I was looking for in a guy I could only find in Him, but I didn’t understand until today.
I’m glad that I finally got it.
Intimacy with God is lasting. You don’t have to force it or keep having to go back and refill it over and over again. It is continual, and once you get it, I can honestly say it stays with you. I’m planning on sitting down and spending some more earnest quality time with the Lord tomorrow.
And this time I’m really looking forward to it.
It truly is an awesome place to be and I never want to leave it.
Local news in the area
No happenings as of yet, but the church is still currently raising money to finish the installation of our restroom. You can donate here: KTOR Radio
Sunday sermons, Wednesday messages
Sunday, March 27, 2016, “The Residue of Jesus (Luke 24:50-53)”
Jesus’s sacrifice had such a great effect on us that it still resonate today, “The cause and effect of a lot of things doesn’t have as great an impact on us until the event has passed…” The cause and effect is what we call the residue. Jesus’s residue continues to make an impact throughout time. “What residue are you going to leave behind and how will you allow His message to be yours?”
As believers we know about Jesus’s healing powers, how he brought a young child from death and raised Lazarus from the grave. We believe in His healing power to the point where if the doctor should give us a bad report, we will seek the Lord in prayer. “We also understand that Jesus is the power,” but we fail to understand why He rose, “…He rose because He knew man was on a one-way ticket to Hell… Man had become so predictable and lethargic in pleasing God that it left a bitter taste in His mouth.” The Lord could not find one man in all the earth who could go and tell the people of Him, so Jesus left the comforts of heaven and came through David’s bloodline. He experienced and felt all the pains we do every day.
When Jesus was betrayed He knew it was another part of the process. Jesus selected Judas knowing the role he would play in the restoration of mankind, “Sometimes you gotta let your Judases hang around so God can get the glory.” Everything in our life has a purpose—good, bad and ugly. When it gets rough all we have to do is grab a hold of His residue, “Jesus is not like man that He’s going to back down, renege or get too tired to show up… He gave us a gift: the Holy Ghost.”
At Calvary, what seemed like the end was only the beginning. They tried to break the Savior, but He couldn’t be broken. “When your enemy has you backed in a corner and makes you feel like it’s over, grab a hold of Jesus Christ…just because you shed a tear doesn’t mean you’re broken.” Tears are a way of letting go of the weight we held on to, “You don’t focus on everything that’s going on against you.” When they placed Jesus’s body into the tomb, they put a large stone in front of it to keep anyone from trying to steal it and set guards around it, “You can put the greatest force you think you can put together, but it won’t stop God from being God.”
Jesus rose again and when Mary and Mary Magdalene came to visit His grave they discovered an angel instead, informing them that He was gone but to give word to the disciples, “Jesus had to show them that death couldn’t stop Him…” He allowed Thomas to stick his hand in the wounds because Thomas needed confirmation that he was going to have some help when things got tough.
“[Jesus] did not rise for your new suit, denotation or to think you’re the only one. He rose for all of us, and because He rose, we all have this opportunity to serve the Lord.” Each of us has something we must rise from and when we allow God to be the head in our lives, then the things that once concerned us won’t affect us as much. Easter Sunday is a unique Sunday and “every day we rise is a unique day. It is another day that wasn’t promised to us, it is a gift from God and a total different day than yesterday.” Remember that nothing your enemy tries to set up against you will be effective because “the Blood covers us all and the residue of the resurrection of Jesus christ is going to carry us through. When you understand that, you can bless Him no matter what the circumstances.”
Visit KTOR Radio to listen to the sermon in full or hear previously recorded broadcasts on Sunday Morning Live.
Wednesday, March 30, 2016, “Renewed Health (Luke 7:1-10)”
The Centurion was a man of authority and influence, but among the church, people deemed him as unworthy. Although he was not permitted to come around them, he did not allow that to stop him when one of his servants had fallen ill, “You have to reach a point where you realize your money can only take you so far.” He heard that Jesus was in the area and sent someone to go and speak to Him, “[The Centurion man] knew he didn’t belong, but that didn’t stop him from asking God for what he needed.”
This man had so much faith that he only asked Jesus to speak a word in the direction of his house, “Every time the enemy tries to back us into a corner we have to have Centurion faith…bad news…challenges are all around us, but so is God.” We want God to stop everything and come to our houses straightaway, but the Centurion simply asked God to only speak. Jesus was amazed by this man’s faith because He had been performing miracles all throughout Israel and had yet to find anyone with a great faith as the Centurion’s, “The more your confidence increases in God, the more your faith increases.”
The Centurion was considered a heathen, yet still he believed. “Imagine what love and kindness will do for someone who’s not like you… When’s the last time you shared a word with someone else?” To be sure, we know at least one person who might desire to know or just even need a word of encouragement, but what we don’t need to do is preach at them; just share a word. It’s amazing though how we keep waiting for everything to line up before we move on what God has given us to do. The Lord might ask you to do something radical that causes people to look at you and wonder how on earth you’ll get it done, but God gets the glory when we move forward anyway because He shows them all nothing is impossible for Him.
THE ART GALLERY
Poems, shorts and other creative pieces
A Rendition of Stephen Curry (via Instagram)
by Julia Kuzmenko
This drawing of Steph Curry was done by another talented young lady named Julia Kuzmenko. This unashamed believer is 21 years old and enjoys doing mission work over seas. Julia occasionally does a few realism portraits, along with paintings as well. To see more of her artwork, you can follow her on Instagram: @justjuliagulia
Events, announcements for the month of April
- April 2: Mission Workshop, Temple, Texas
- April 7: Brother Philip Prince’s Birthday
- April 12-14: PVACF “Deadly Love” Series, PVAMU MSC Student Lounge, 7 p.m.
- April 24: “The Remedy” Talent Showcase, 5 p.m.
- April 28: Sister Erma Sadberry’s Birthday
**This issue has been edited**