The two acronyms above were the topic of today’s message at church. One of our associate pastors delivered the message because our Pastor is out of town taking his youngest daughter to college.
Anyway, I know I won’t be able to deliver the message here on my blog the way he did at church, but I will do my best to get the gist of it across. It was a very empowering message, for me at least, because as I mentioned in one of my previous posts, I’ve been struggling in my walk with the Lord lately, just feeling dry and not feeling God’s presence in my life. I mean, I KNOW He is there and I know the issue lies with me, but there seems to be some sort of block there.
Well, today’s message sort of nailed it. The Pastor’s message started out on the topic of memories: we all have them, good or bad, we have various means of preserving our memories and studies have shown that if we could somehow extract all of our memories, we would be able to remember every single thing from our pasts, all the way back to the womb. I personally think it would be creepy to remember being in the womb, even more so being born. Could you imagine remembering being born??? I know how awesome and amazing it is to give birth, but I also know how traumatic it must be for the baby. But I digress.
So, after he talked about memories and how they affect us, the Pastor started talking to and about fathers. Many of us have grown up with no father or a bad father, while there are some amazing fathers out there. The way we view our earthly father is often the way we view our Heavenly Father. Coming from a very dysfunctional home and sexually molested by my step father, I did have a warped view of my Heavenly Father. I didn’t understand a father’s love and that he could love me unconditionally. Part of this also comes from being raised Jehovah’s Witness. Without going into all that detail, I’ve written a post about my past here.
After speaking to the fathers in the room, the Pastor then spoke to and about the ladies. Using Romans 8:14, Pastor pointed out that we are all “Sons of God” if we are led by the Spirit; both men and women. He also gave reference to the scriptures that talk about Christians as being the “Bride of Christ”; both male and female. It’s hard for us girls to wrap our heads around being called “sons” as it is for guys to be called “brides”. With that in mind, Pastor began to explain what ASNF is: A Son Never Forgets.
The Pastor also tied in the story of a teenage girl whose parents were noticing that she was more distant and withdrawn recently. As they searched her room time and again, they found evidence that she was involved in witchcraft, drugs and alcohol. They took drastic measures and began to intervene in their daughter’s life by limiting which friends she was allowed to associate with, setting boundaries such as time limits and locations, etc. Their daughter began to respond positively to the limits and boundaries her parents were setting and they began to notice her grades and attitude improving. Their daughter ended up attending a Christian retreat and at that retreat she gave her life to the Lord. Afterward, her mother reported that she stated to them on one occasion that she wasn’t afraid to die and knew where she was going. She really loved the Lord. A couple of days later, I believe, Cassie Bernall confessed her faith in God and was shot in the massacre at Columbine High School. It was later reported that her parents confessed in an interview that they weren’t sure how they would have answered. Cassie’s father, it is reported, is to have said something along the lines of “I think I would have begged for my life”.
RISK: Right view of God, Identity is settled, Sacrifice and Kingdom Building. Our lives should be about and involve RISK. And to be able to do this we should never forget our Father; who He is, what He is, and everything He is about. This can only be done though if we truly KNOW Him and the only way to do that is to dig into His word and speak to Him through prayer.
Pastor then had us all pray together and really repent if we have not been doing this, and of course the opportunity to accept Jesus into our heart if we have not done so yet. My prayer was that of repentance for not getting into the word like I need, want to and should and for not getting alone with God like I need, want and should. I felt like the message today was meant for me. And though I’ve let go and have forgiven my step father for what he did to me several years ago, it was good to do it again.
photo credit: jimwolffman