#3 — THE SHELTERED LIFE

#3 — THE SHELTERED LIFE
“Those who live in the SHELTER of the Most High, will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.” (Psalm 91:1 NLT) So, let me ask you something, “Have YOU ever been taken to a shelter, in a hurricane?” This was a first for me. And for some reason, I had an image in my head of all those people trying to get in the Superdome, when Hurricane Katrina ripped through, Louisiana. It looked like total mayhem when I saw it on the news. FYI, I don’t handle mayhem very well. My whole body tightens up when I’m in a place of mayhem. Thankfully, mayhem didn’t show up.

When Margie, our granddaughter, Adalie, my electric power-chair with all my breathing equipment, and I were rescued, they loaded all of us into the front seat of a dump-truck. The guy driving was from Pennsylvania. He told me his boss urged all of his employees to go out and help anyone they can, even though they wouldn’t get paid. He said, “So, since I can’t work, I think I will go out and save some people!” And that’s exactly what he was doing when he picked us up. The shelter was a local school and he made sure we had all of our “stuff” with us. Things were looking up.

The rain was pouring down as we made our way to the inside. People were giving us towels and blankets and even had a nurse come over in case I needed anything. A high school girl was volunteering at the shelter and quickly made friends with Adalie. She asked me if it would be alright to take her several tables down where they had shoes, clothing and toys for children. I forgot that Adalie was still in her pajamas with no shoes. As she scooped up Adalie in her arms I tried my best to hold my tears back. It’s no coincidence that she was there at the time Adalie needed some normalcy.

BUT WAIT, THERE’S MORE… After a couple of hours they made an announcement that everyone was being shuttled to several other shelters. By then, I had already seen the Hand of God at work on our behalf. I have learned, if we can “recognize” when God is doing something outside of our comfort zone, it’s best if we follow His plan instead of fighting Him for ours. So, that’s what I did. They loaded us, and all our stuff, on a brand-new bus that had an awesome wheelchair lift. We went to a much larger shelter at the Bay Harbour United Methodist Church.

By now it’s late afternoon on Sunday. These wonderful people (volunteers) directed us to a room that was helping people with medical issues. They allowed Margie to give me a breathing treatment because I was exhausted. As I was doing that Margie made a phone call to her good friend who lives out-of-state. When she began to describe our flooded house she lost it. She was crying and tried her best to be discreet, but a paramedic across the room saw it. She walked over to Margie and gave her a big tight hug until she could gather herself together. All eyes were on them and when the paramedic walked away she said, “Sometimes, all they need is a hug.” And right after that, little Adalie, who hadn’t slept in hours and hours, crawled up in Margie’s lap and said, “MiMi, don’t worry. It’s gonna be alright!”

GOD’S PLAN!

In Him, Pastor Kevin Kinchen

There is more to the story of Easter…

THERE IS MORE TO THE STORY OF EASTER….
There’s an unnoticed part of the Easter story that I think is important. At every Passover festival the governor would free one prisoner that the crowd wanted. When Jesus went before Pilate, a man named Barabbas was also on trial. Barabbas was a well-known criminal who was in prison for rioting and murdering. This was no coincidence. It was a divine setup.

The name, Barabbas, is a combination of two words, Bar, which means “son of” and abba, which means “father.” But, “abba” also shows intimacy, similar to us saying, “daddy.” So, Barabbas was not just “the son of the father,” he was “the son of his dear father.” In fact, Jesus had just used the word “abba” in the Garden of Gethsemane when He cried out, “Abba, Father, everything is possible for You. Please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will to be done, not Mine.” (Mark 14:36)

The crowd of angry people shouted for Pilate to release Barabbas and crucify Jesus. And that’s what Pilate did. Barabbas, the prisoner and murderer, was released AND Jesus Christ, the one who was innocent, was sentenced to death by crucifixion. Though it seems so wrong and unfair to us, Jesus was obeying the plan His Father had given Him. So, what’s the unnoticed part of Easter? Read this carefully………

HERE YOU HAVE BARABBAS, the “son of his dear father” that was a sinner, to the extent of rioting and murdering, and deemed guilty; who deserved to be crucified.
THEN YOU HAVE JESUS, the “Son of His dear Father“ that had never sinned, to the extent of loving everyone, and innocent; who did NOT deserve to be crucified.

So why did these two men end up in “each other’s shoes” so to speak??? LOVE. YES, LOVE. It was all about love. It was about His love for you and me. As Barabbas walked toward his freedom, Jesus walked toward his death. Barabbas didn’t deserve freedom, Jesus didn’t deserve death. But, Jesus chose death so you and I would never forget….. no matter how much we’ve sinned, no matter how much we deserved, we are always a “Son (or daughter) of our dear Father“ because of Jesus. He “wore our shoes“ so we wouldn’t have to wear His…. to the cross. And when we invited Him into our heart, He forgave our carnal life, as natural men and women, so we could embrace His spiritual life as children of God.

So, be thankful this Easter Weekend, that OUR FREEDOM, OUR NEW LIFE, didn’t come from an angry crowd shouting for our release. Our freedom and our new life, came because a passionate loving Father, and His obedient Son paid the ultimate price… for everyone who believes in Him.

“So you have not received a spirit that makes you fearful slaves. Instead, you received God’s Spirit when He adopted you as His own children. Now we call Him, ‘Abba, Father.’ For His Spirit joins with our spirit to affirm that we are God’s children.” (Romans 8:15-16)

In Him,
Pastor Kevin Kinchen

How to make America great again…

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HOW TO MAKE AMERICA GREAT AGAIN….

NEWS ALERT! There is no politician, no socialist, no entrepreneur, no congressman, no senator, no democrat, no republican, no Supreme Court judge, no president, and no king that can make America great again. No bill, no law, no amendment, no policy, and no ballot can make America great again. When something is “broken” you take it back to the one that manufactured it, the creator. The one who made it is the one who can save it.

In America, a “broken” America, we need to turn the clock back to the people who created it. The Declaration of Independence, written in 1776, ends with this sentence: “And for the support of this Declaration, with a firm reliance on the protection of Divine Providence, we mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.” THAT is what we must do; return to the FIRM RELIANCE on the protection of DIVINE PROVIDENCE. Divine Providence means: The governance of God by which He, with wisdom and love, cares for and directs all things in the universe, and He, God, is in complete control of all things. ALSO, we must mutually pledge to each other our lives, our fortunes, and our sacred honor.

The KEY to making America great again is up to YOU and ME, and the 323 million people who are living in America. We must offer our broken America to the Creator who first created it, like our forefathers did in 1776. Once we believe, accept, and surrender our lives to God (through Jesus Christ) we need to honor God and His Divine Providence. It’s time for REAL CHRISTIANS to mirror Jesus. That means when people look at you they SEE Jesus. When they hear your conversation they notice you’re different. And when they get to know you, they know your a Christian because they FEEL your love. The true, sincere, and passionate love of God is contagious. RISE UP Christians! RISE UP Body of Christ! It’s time to bring in this colossal harvest so America can become great again!!!

In Him,
Pastor Kevin Kinchen

Pay Attention

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Jesus sent Peter and John and told them, “Go, prepare the Passover lamb for us to eat.” They asked him, “Where do you want us to prepare it?” He told them, “Go into the city, and you will meet a man carrying a jug of water. Follow him into the house he enters. Tell the owner of the house that the teacher asks, ‘Where is the room where I can eat the Passover meal with my disciples?’ He will take you upstairs and show you a large furnished room. Get things ready there.” The disciples left. They found everything as Jesus had told them and prepared the Passover. (Luke 22:8-13)

As you and I journey through our Christian life on earth we must always PAY ATTENTION. Jesus gave Peter and John specific instructions for someone they had never met. Plus, He told them this “mystery” man would provide a place and everything they would need to prepare the Passover meal. Thankfully, Peter and John KNEW JESUS well enough to TRUST HIM and believe He already recruited everyone and everything necessary….from others who KNEW HIM.

I believe Jesus still creates divine encounters with the right people, at the right time, who can help us fulfill “His” will for our lives. Personally, I have had a number of these encounters that have launched me in leaps and bounds towards God’s calling on my life. Sometimes, we are on the “Go into the city…” side, and sometimes we are on the “man carrying the jug of water side.” Either way, our responsibility is to KNOW Jesus well enough to TRUST and OBEY Him. Stay close to Jesus, through the Word of God, through prayer, and through worship. And remember, the goal is not the encounter. The goal is an intimate, upfront, personal RELATIONSHIP with the One who “creates” the encounter! He is the One we can trust…

In Him,
Pastor Kevin Kinchen

 

 

This is what the Almighty LORD says…

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I can’t seem to get this verse of Scripture out of my mind.

This is what the Almighty LORD, the Holy One of Israel, says: “You can be saved by returning to me. You can have rest. You can be strong by being quiet and by trusting me. But you don’t want that.” (Isaiah 30:15 GW)

Let’s seeeeeeee, salvation, rest, and strength……..But you don’t want that? Are you kidding me? It sounds like a good deal to me! Oh……. wait a minute, you mean I have to be quiet and trust You? Hmmm, better think about that one….

Folks, we need to get real with God today. Stop saying, “I will tend to that later,” because “later” is not guaranteed. Nowadays, many people don’t even know how to be quiet. They don’t know how to sit still and LISTEN to God. But I have found that when I am still and quiet that’s when I feel God’s salvation, rest, and strength the most. More of Him….. less of us, only then will we entrust every part of our life to Him that gave us life in the first place.

In Him,
Pastor Kevin Kinchen