Now (Guest Post on Southern Ohio Christian Voice)

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Some words get thrown around like confetti in January— “Happy New Year! What’s your New Year’s resolution?”

But what about when it’s not happy? What about when you don’t know which way is up, and what if you can’t see any resolution for issues in your life, much less make a resolution? While some began the new year with fireworks and hope, others look out on the future through the fog of uncertainty. What then?  Continue reading “Now (Guest Post on Southern Ohio Christian Voice)”

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Threats to the Church & Keys to Revival

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The onset of the year is a good time to acknowledge the challenges we face, the changes needed, and to look to Jesus through whom we are more than conquerors. The last two articles in my 2018 series of interviews with pastors and pastor’s wives—have bled over into 2019. So, please, grab your favorite hot cup of comfort, pull up a chair, and let us listen to the words of wisdom offered by these mighty ministers.  

How do you feel about the spiritual and cultural climate where you are pastoring?

Pastor Kevin Obermeyer:  I think there is a huge spiritual battle going on, and Christians are losing ground rapidly.

Pastor’s Wife, Janet Foley:  I feel like the Gospel is often misunderstood and disrespected. I feel a bit intimidated here to share the gospel, more than other places. There is a lot of witchcraft, new age religion and political correctness here. A lot of ex-Christians, a lot of drugs too. Pot has been legal here for a few years so many people are hooked on it as well as methamphetamine. There’s also a lot of spouse-swapping, (married people who exchange for fun), which really freaks me out. Ugh.

Pastor Pablo Catala:  I think it has been diluted and stained with perversion and sin unimaginable.

Pastor’s wife, Sophie Foley It’s a breath of fresh air where we are pioneering. This is such a culturally diverse area, that most people have either not been exposed to Christ and so have no formed opinions and are open. Others have been raised with a respect for church so they are receptive and respectful of both the church and the role of the pastor.

What do you see as the biggest threat to the church today?

Anonymous Pastor, Kathmandu, Nepal:  Complacency.

Pastor Tim Schmoyer:  Consumerism is the biggest threat. Seeing church involvement as one of the many choices in the buffet of life.

Janet Foley:  Political correctness, compromise, complacency. Too much activity without true relationship with Jesus.

Pastor Kevin Obermeyer:  Secular worldviews, worldly attitudes, Biblical illiteracy, and ignorance.

Sophie Foley:  Emotional indulgence. People are so very fragile now, and when it comes time to speak a bit of caution or direction, the confrontation of it is no longer acceptable and they leave for churches that never confront.

Also, media. We are a generation so connected to our devices, and yet we are steeped with loneliness and depression, which causes us to withdraw and avoid dealing with the social interaction of church services. We have several people who want to come but are easily distracted, or too emotionally distraught, so they stay home and binge movies, and then feel terrible and it becomes a vicious cycle.

Pastor Pablo Catala:  The biggest threats to the church today are dead religion and homosexuality. Why do I say this? Continue reading “Threats to the Church & Keys to Revival”

Wishing You a Holly, Jolly, Holy Christmas (Guest Post on Southern Ohio Christian Voice)

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Thanks to Janet Foley for my snowy portrait graphic.

I’ve been trying to figure out how to juggle writing, family, and church, without dropping the ball before Christmas got added to the list. My first impulse is to run and hide from this whole messy madness called Christmas in America. Right now, I’m busy procrastinating  to avoid it all…

Honored to have my article published on Southern Ohio Christian Voice. Please click HERE to continue reading, Wishing You a Holly, Jolly, Holy Christmas.

Continue reading “Wishing You a Holly, Jolly, Holy Christmas (Guest Post on Southern Ohio Christian Voice)”

Seize the Night! Do You Know What’s Scarier than Ghosts, Goblins, Witches & Horror Movies & Scarier than the Recent Tragic Headlines? (Bonus: The Reformation, Pastor Appreciation, & Halloween Freebies)

Tattoo_it_On_Your-Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Seize_The_Night_The-Reformation_Halloween_Pastor_AppreciationSeize the Night! 

Today is a day of great opportunity. Sadly, many Christians do not seize the opportunity. Many lock their doors and turn off the lights, as if in hiding from the very people who need the gospel message who would come right to their door if the lights were left on. Many get caught up in the revelry of Halloween and blend in with the dark way the world celebrates it and seem to forget we are called to be light to a dark world. May I encourage you to seize the night? Every year I hand out candy to all who show up at my door along with the message of salvation through Jesus Christ. I also believe it’s fine to use this opportunity to dress up as something wholesome and/ or portray a positive message in costume, (such as Christian themed, patriotic, heroes), while handing out Gospel tracts and church flyers. The right costume could start conversations to share the Gospel. What other night do multitudes of households in America willingly throw open their doors to the knock of a stranger or even for a neighbor?

Below are two free downloadable tracts for Halloween, one for small children and the other for older children and adults. I invite you print them to hand out with candy,or as you go door to door,or elsewhere in your travels tonight.

(Scroll past, A Special Announcement, for a bit on The Reformation and a bit more on Halloween and scary things and places.)

Pastor’s wife and writer Rachel Schmoyer is sharing her free #Halloween #gospel kids tract for you to distribute. You can access the PDF download here:  https://rachelschmoyerwrites.com/2017/10/06/trick-or-treat-gospel-tract/

Please feel free to print and distribute my handout for Halloween also. Here is the PDF for it: Scarier tract

What if we seized every night and day as an opportunity to share the Gospel and encourage others?

A Special Announcement!

Happy Reformation Day and happy Pastor Appreciation Month to all pastors and their wives!

How then shall they call on Him in whom they have not believed? And how shall they believe in Him of whom they have not heard? And how shall they hear without a preacher? Romans 10:14 (NKJV)

November is the month we celebrate thanksgiving here is the USA, a holiday commemorating the pilgrims who fled to America so they could freely preach and practice their Christian faith. Thanksgiving commemorates the day on which the Plymouth colonists invited their Wampanoag allies to a shared celebratory autumn feast in thanks for their first successful harvest and God’s provision. Today we also use it as a time to acknowledge all we are thankful for.

I am most thankful for my salvation through Jesus Christ, and I am grateful for the men and women who answered and are faithful to their call to be pastors and pastor’s wives— those dedicated to harvesting of souls for the Gospel.  So, I will be continuing my series of interviews with pastors and pastors wives throughout November. The articles are many and varied in content. Don’t miss their stories and their wise counsel. It’s okay to be thankful for  pastors and wives in November too, right? How about if we showed our appreciation all year long? 🙂

Here are the links and some excerpts to the first three parts in my 2018 pastors and pastor’s wives interviews, followed by those for the prior two years.

Part 3 of 2018 Pastors & Pastors Wives Interviews: Life as a Pastor’s Wife

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What has being a pastor’s wife cost you?

Compared to Christ, there’s no match. —Nicole Catala

This is a tough question. I feel that on one hand, it’s such a relief to see this question posed, and I want to dive right in. On the other hand, I’m somewhat afraid to… —Anonymous

What is the hardest thing about being a pastor’s wife?

Living in a fishbowl. Having people place impossible expectations on you.. Anonymous

Having to share my husband’s time with so many people. —Angelica Obermeyer

What is your favorite thing about being a pastor’s wife?

The effect this has on our family is profound. We are…

Part 2 of 2018 Pastors & Pastors Wives Interviews: The Call: Why Did You Become a Pastor?

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I realized that following Jesus meant devoting my entire life beyond church attendance…I realized that God wanted all of me…During the message it was as if a lightning bolt sent a message saying, “This is what you are going to do for the rest of your life.” —Pastor Chad

I just wanted what my Pastor had, and ran with it… —Pastor Eric Quiles

Part 1 of 2018 Pastors & Pastors Wives Interviews: If My People

Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_It_On_Your_Heart_2ndChronicles714_If_My_People_It seems like the church has become uninvolved. It has become inward focused—More focusing on efficiency of services as opposed to efficiency of outreach and any outreaching toward the lost..The church can’t be ashamed to preach the gospel because it’s the solution…

Part 1 of 3 of 2017 Pastor & Wife Interview: Dragon Slayer, Disciple Maker~ A Preacher Wages War, Wins Souls & Saves Children from Prostitution & Poverty in Nepal

“I am an Anglo-Indian. My ancestry is a mixture of the colonizer and the colonized. I look Indian and I am most at ease in an Indian culture but I speak and think with the English language…

Highlights from Interviews with Pastors & Pastor’s Wives from Around The World 2016 (You may need to pause the video to give yourself more time to read some of these slides)

Part 1:

What has being a pastor/ pastor’s wife cost you?

It has cost me nothing yet everything. There is no price too great when serving the Lord.   -Pastor Wayne Shaffer,  New Life AG, Altoona PA

My will for the will of God.  -Pastor Patrick Jordan, The Door CFM,  Jamaica West Indies

What do you see as the biggest threat to the church today

People who like to wear the Christian badge, but that’s it. It’s part of their Facebook profile, but not part of their personal profile. They are not converted. -Pastor Chip Ganiear,  Victory Chapel CFM, Cape Cod, MA

Continued at: Shepherd Princes & Sarah’s Daughters~ A Series of Interviews with Pastor & Pastors Wives from Around the World

Part 10 poems & link to post: What God Said

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I felt like he could look right through me. I couldn’t stand him….  My pastor is not perfect; he’s just a man, as are all preachers. But he’s the man God provided to shepherd my soul….  I’m not speaking of blind following. Pastor worshipers don’t do well in their walk with God, because sooner or later they wake up and realize the god they created has failed them, or offended them and they derail as their reference was on the man and not the God the man represents. Likewise, those who are like a horse who shies from his groomer when his bridle is reached for, refusing to be led, don’t fare well…  Continued at: I Call Him Pastor

Part 16:

What do you believe is the biggest threat to the church today?

Tolerance. Christians should be discriminating. They should exercise sound judgment; not no judgment. -Anonymous

What do you believe is the biggest threat to the church today?

Cultural relativism,

Biblical illiteracy,

Prayerlessness,

Fat baby syndrome from so little exercise,

Lack of spiritual curiosity,

Gun shy evangelists. -Pastor Bruce Hanlon, Forrestdale Church, Sandwich MA

If you could tell your church anything about yourself, your family, or anything else what would it be? What’s on your heart?

I love the LORD Jesus and He is my rock and salvation, that what you “feel” in your heart might not be what is real in God’s word, that truth conquers lies and light dispels darkness and there is no sin that cannot be overcome by grace. This I would tell them… and so much more. -Pastor Michael Duncan, Author, Speaker, Pastor, Mountain View Baptist Church, Darrington WA

Continued at: A Fire in My Bones

Halloween and the Reformation and Free Downloadable Halloween Gospel Tracts

Did you know that the day known by many as Halloween is also Reformation Day? On October 31st 1517, a young Augustinian monk by the name of Martin Luther,  posted his 95 theses on the church door in Wittenberg, Germany, challenging several Roman Catholic practices and doctrines. This year, 2018, marks the 501st anniversary of this event that sparked the Protestant Reformation.

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The movie,  Luther by Torchlighters, tells His story and includes a documentary on Luther and the history of the Reformation. It was made for families and recommended for ages 8 and up.

Pastor’s wife and writer Rachel Schmoyer is sharing her free #Halloween #gospel kids tract for you to distribute. You can access the PDF download here:  https://rachelschmoyerwrites.com/2017/10/06/trick-or-treat-gospel-tract/

Please feel free to print and distribute my handout for Halloween also. Here is the PDF for it: Scarier tract

Scarier

Do you know what’s scarier than Halloween? What’s scarier than ghosts, goblins, witches, and horror movies? Scarier than your worst day ever. Do you know what’s scarier than the recent tragic headlines?

It’s spending eternity separated from the God who loves you so much. He put on human flesh, was born, and lived, and gave His life on the cross to pay the penalty for your sin.

For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God, Romans 3:23 (NKJV)

Jesus answered and said to him, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” John 3:3 (NKJV)

Jesus was born to die so we could live. He rose victorious over Hell, so you don’t have to go there, so you can know Him, to offer you salvation and Heaven as your eternal home.

For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 6:23 (NKJV)

For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. John 3:16 (NKJV)

Do You Know Him? Do you want this?

Salvation is there for the asking. If you’re ready, you can pray like this:

“Jesus, I believe you shed your blood, died on the cross, and rose from the dead for me. I repent of my sin. I ask you to forgive me and come into my heart. Help me to live for you in Jesus’ name, amen.”

that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved. Romans 10:9 (NKJV)

If you prayed, it is important that you find a church home that preaches the full gospel, so you can grow in your faith and have the fellowship and support of other believers. Rachael_M_Colby_Tattoo_it_on_Your_Heart_Christian_Fellowship_Ministeries_CFMThis site may be able to help you find one:      http://www.worldcfm.com/

You can also link to my page Redemption Center for more on salvation and to my post where I respond to the often asked question: How can a Loving God Send People to Hell?

Pray for Your Pastor Text Campaign

Text the word PASTOR to 74574 to sign up to receive either daily or weekly prayer reminders with suggestions for praying for your pastor and a matching scripture reference via text message. 

Next up: More exciting and heart challenging interviews with pastors and wives!

© 2018  Rachael M Colby                          Tattoo It On Your Heart

CLICK HERE to sign up for the TATTOO IT ON YOUR HEART NEWSLETTER to receive my blog posts, occasional notifications of special events, offers, and free downloads by email.

Wishing You a Holly, Jolly, Holy Christmas

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I’ve been trying to figure out how to juggle writing and family and church without dropping the ball before Christmas got added to the list. My first impulse is to run and hide from this whole messy madness called Christmas in America. Right now, I’m busy procrastinating  to avoid it all.

While everyone’s out there writing about mistletoe and away in a manger, my prior post was,”How Can A loving God Send People to Hell?” So, in case you missed it, here ya go! Hope you’ll drop by for a visit and say hi. Feel free to invite some other folks over too. Here’s the address: https://tattooitonyourheart.com/2016/12/08/in-answer-to-the-question-how-can-a-loving-god-send-people-to-hell/

I know, not exactly the holly, jolly fare everyone expects, but that’s okay.

“Lord? I obeyed you. Only you can give the increase. Amen.”

It’s expected, so I thought I should put another piece out there with a pinch of merry and a dash of jingle before the big day. But then again, I can’t think of any greater gift to give than truth wrapped in love, especially when that Truth and Love is God incarnate, born to die so we could live.

The Prophecy:

For unto us a Child is born, Unto us a Son is given; And the government will be upon His shoulder. And His name will be called Wonderful, Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. Isaiah 9:6 (NKJV)

The Fulfillment:

And she will bring forth a Son, and you shall call His name Jesus, for He will save His people from their sins.” So all this was done that it might be fulfilled which was spoken by the Lord through the prophet, saying: “Behold, the virgin shall be with child, and bear a Son, and they shall call His name Immanuel,” which is translated, “God with us.” Matthew 1:21-23 (NKJV)

For there is born to you this day in the city of David a Savior, who is Christ the Lord.And this will be the sign to you: You will find a Babe wrapped in swaddling cloths, lying in a manger.” Luke 2:11 (NKJV)

Wrapped in white and tied with red ribbon, Jesus offers the gift of Himself, His mercy, grace, forgiveness, and unconditional love. He won’t force Himself on us. Even if we put Him off or reject Him, Jesus leaves the gift of Himself on the table.

What a trade- our sin for the Savior’s salvation! He spent Himself to purchase our forgiveness. That’s costly- living and giving and dying for others, laying down His life from first to last breath.

“The Spirit of the Lord is upon Me, Because He has anointed Me To preach the gospel to the poor; He has sent Me to heal the brokenhearted, To proclaim liberty to the captives And recovery of sight to the blind, To set at liberty those who are oppressed; Luke 4:18 (NKJV)

Hallelujah and amen. Happy birthday, Jesus. But I have no gift to bring, pa-rup-a-pum-pum.

Do you know, the only things we can actually give Jesus are bad and broken things? We can give Him our anger, our hurt, our bitterness, our broken  hearts, broken promises, broken  lives and dreams- our sin.

Any good things, any abilities I have to offer are gifts from God. The only good in me, is Jesus working in and through me.

Every good gift and every perfect gift is from above, and comes down from the Father of lights, with whom there is no variation or shadow of turning. James 1:17 (NKJV)

Even repentance is a gift from God.

Him God has exalted to His right hand to be Prince and Savior, to give repentance to Israel and forgiveness of sins. Acts 5:31 (NKJV)

No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. John 6:44 (NKJV)

“Thank you, Lord.”

All I am really offering when I do anything of value, is giving back to God what is already His which He graced me with.

So, I was thinking, what if we gave our self fully to Christ? Our self will, our selfishness. What if, as we remember the miracle of the babe laid in the manger, we laid ourselves at the foot of the  cross? Are we willing to gift ourselves to others? What if we brought the gift of another soul to the cross, to Christ for Christmas?

The perfect gift is Christ Himself. The next best thing to give is of ourselves- our time, an understanding ear, an open and forgiving heart, and not just for a day. In all the hurry and scurry of the season it’s easy to get caught up stuffing ourselves and our loved ones with more stuff and still come up empty, because the only really fulfillment is found in Christ. Amidst all the hustle and bustle of finding presents, I must remember to pause and enjoy His presence. Hey; don’t forget to throw a little jingle in the kettle as you rush home with your treasures, and don’t forget Who the real Treasure is.

But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, that the excellence of the power may be of God and not of us. II Corinthians 4:7 (NKJV)

Believing for a white Christmas for you and me.

Come now, and let us reason together,” Says the Lord, “Though your sins are like scarlet, They shall be as white as snow; Though they are red like crimson, They shall be as wool. Isaiah 1:18 (NKJV)

Then Jesus spoke to them again, saying, “I am the light of the world. He who follows Me shall not walk in darkness, but have the light of life.” John 8:12 (NKJV)

A, holly, jolly, holy, Christmas to you and yours. God bless. 

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© 2016 Rachael M Colby

Knock, Knock

Tattoo_it_On_Your_Heart_Rachael_M_Colby_Red_Door_Knock_Knock_KNOCK, KNOCK.

“Who’s there?”

“Jesus”

“Jesus who?”

That’s a problem if you said, “Jesus who?” It’s no joke. Jesus wants you to know Him. He wants a personal relationship with you.

I let Him in in 1987. It’s been quite a ride. I’m glad He’s driving. Life can be tough, whether you are a Christian or not. We can go through the muck and mire of life with or without Him. I chose with Him. We can rest assured when we rest in Him.

Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.     ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:4‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”     ‭‭Matthew‬ ‭11:28‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

KNOCK, KNOCK.

“Who’s there”

“It’s Jesus. Let me in?”

“Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.”     ‭‭Revelation‬ ‭3:20‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

What an invitation! To dine with The King; breakfast, lunch, and dinner. And I get to walk with Him in between. Sometimes He carries me.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters. He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness For His name’s sake.  ‭‭Psalms‬ ‭23:2-3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

KNOCK, KNOCK.

“Who’s there?”

“Distraction, Fear, Doubt, Compromise, Selfishness, Willfulness, Love of Money, Greed, Lust, Pride, Anxiety, Anger, Unforgiveness…”

KNOCK, KNOCK.

“Who’s there?”

“Jesus.”

“Jesus? What are you doing out there? I already let you in.”

“You did. But I gradually got pushed out by all that other stuff you let in. Can I come in? I’d like to help you clean house.”

KNOCK, KNOCK…

(Let Him in)

There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.     ‭‭I John‬ ‭4:18‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

“For what will it profit a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul?”     Mark‬ ‭8:36‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus.     ‭‭Philippians‬ ‭4:6-7‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

This High Priest of ours understands our weaknesses, for he faced all of the same testings we do, yet he did not sin. So let us come boldly to the throne of our gracious God. There we will receive his mercy, and we will find grace to help us when we need it most.                    ‭‭Hebrews‬ ‭4:15-16‬ ‭NLT‬‬

 

Reasons Aren’t Excuses

DSC_0895-001Reasons aren’t excuses. God is fully aware of all my circumstances, but He doesn’t believe in situational ethics. He wants me to keep my attitude and responses in alignment with His Word, regardless of who is right or wrong.

I hear Jesus say, “Do you want Me to defend you, or do you want to defend yourself?” He lets me choose. Why do I  struggle with this? Why do I rush in and react, instead of waiting on God?

I know The Lord  is my defender,  and if I keep my heart right and stay out of the way, He will fight for me. In His time, He will right the wrong and truth shall prevail.

“But Lord,” I say, “this is hard, I just can’t seem to do this. I keep tripping over myself.”

Life is hard. It is bigger than I. I can’t bear it on my own. I’m nothing on my own, but His Word says,

My grace is sufficient for you, for my strength is made perfect in weakness.     2 Corinthians 12:9 NKJV

Jesus knows me, with all my failings, and loves me anyway. He expects me to fall. That’s how I’ll learn to walk. When I call, He hears my cry. He picks me up and says, “Lean on me. Try again.”

Set a guard, O LORD, over my mouth; Keep watch over the door of my lips.     ‭Psalms 141:3‬ ‭NKJV‬‬

Keep your heart with all diligence, For out of it spring the issues of life.‭‭     Proverbs‬ ‭4:23‬ ‭NKJV