The UnOfficial Christian Newsletter for 10/18/04
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And it shall come to pass, that before they call, I will answer; and While they are yet speaking, I will hear. Isaiah 65:24
TABLE OF CONTENTS
1. About this Newsletter
2. Letter from the Editor and Bible Study Combo!
3. Editor's Picks - Links to Check Out!
4. Music, Books, and sites also to check out!
5. Prayer Requests!!! We are Praying People!!! Amen!
About this Newsletter and Bible Study
We are here to serve God, and serve our Community of Believers. Each of us desire to be instruments of God's handiwork. We each have something that God has put on our hearts to teach, and preach the Good News of the Gospel!Always lifting Him up. Expect from Him to meet your needs! With His anointing, we pray the Holy Spirit has His way in ourlives. He has placed this in my heart to say, that here in this newsletter, there will be no watering down of the Word, or teaching a social gospel. I care nothing for political correctness! I care about scriptural correctness! My pastor says, "God uses many "pots and pans" to feed His sheep!" I am just one more "pot" with a few cracks in me, hopefully...that lets more of His light ...shine out.
Letter from the Editor
A New Heart
Greetings from the desktop of Cole Hunter. This is my first opportunity to be with you as a member of the editors team. I am honored to be here. I reside with my beautiful wife Melody, my best friend and prayer partner. We are both on second marriages, and have been married for a year. Between us, we have seven children ranging from the ages of twenty-six to thirteen. We both have new hearts. We have both been healed of our past. Jack Hayford says, "We can't gain any momentum moving toward tommorow if we are dragging the past behind us." I am in full agreement. For many years I did just that.
I will not give you a lot of my story. If you want to know more about it, you may check out my portfolio and read the manuscript entitled "Dreams Lost, Dreams Recovered." I do not consider myself a preacher or even a great teacher. I will not try to dazzle you with theology nor with my knowledge. I will offer only the work of a loving God in my life. I will never be able to understand how God does things, but I can show the results. I will not burden you down with long articles, because I do not want to wear you thin. I am a "life application" person, who likes to share what God is doing in my life. I am also a heart person. My heart has been set free, and I am able to share from the depths, without fear of what may be hidden there. I have found that honesty with God and myself is always the best policy.
I believe that life is about relationship and that life is to be lived fully from the heart. In Ezekiel 11:18-20, the Word of God says, When the people return to their homeland, they will remove every trace of their detestable idol worship. And I will give them singleness of heart and put a new spirit within them. I will take away their hearts of stone and give them tender hearts instead, so they will obey my laws and regulations. We get a new heart so that we may obey. Jesus says that we believe with the heart, and by faith are saved. That new heart gives us the ability to love God and is no longer the evil heart of stone. It is good. It still has to battle sin, but it is no longer evil, but new. Jesus takes this heart and transforms us into new people.
It is with this heart that we have been brought into relationship with the heavenly Father by the loving sacrifice of Jesus. No other thing is more important to God than relationship. In Mark 12:29-31, Jesus says The most important commandment is this: 'Hear, O Israel! The Lord our God is the one and only Lord. And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.' The second is equally important: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' No other commandment is greater than these. That puts relationship with God and with each other on the top shelp with Jesus. Nothing else, he says, is more important.
In John 13:34-35 Jesus says, So now I am giving you a new commandment: Love each other. Just as I have loved you, you should love each other. Your love for one another will prove to the world that you are my disciples. Jesus says that it is that love we show for each other that will show the world that we belong to him. We try to make it about so many different things, but our love for one another is the ultimate sign of our Christianity.
Galatians 5:13-14 says For you have been called to live in freedom - not freedom to satisfy your sinful nature, but freedom to serve one another in love. For the whole law can be summed up in this one command: 'Love your neighbor as yourself.' We have been given new hearts to live in freedom, and that freedom has a purpose. God wants us to learn to not only love him but to serve one another, to give of ourselves. In my relationship with Melody, I have to be concerned about what interests her, about what is important to her. If I am concerned only about my desires and needs and forsake hers, our relationship will be in serious trouble. God wants this of us, to give of ourselves to one another. Jesus says this is the way we will be recognized as Christians.
Throughout the whole of the New Testament, we are called upon to love one another, to encourage one another daily, to lay down our lives and to give of ourselves. As a matter of fact, in the book of I John, the Word says that we cannot love God who we do not see if we do not love our brothers and sister who we can see. I have heard it said that relationships are something that we will be able to take with us to heaven... and there is a heaven.. and Jesus is coming back for us .. and maybe sooner than we think. Since I have been given a new heart, I have seen more and more the importance of relationship. I have found a relationship with God as such I never thought possible. I am still just a man, with troubles and I fail still, but God still loves me and never leaves me. There is no safer place than in his Presence, and Jesus made a way for us to be just there!
The Christian life is not an easy life, it was not meant to be. This is not our home. We are pilgrims here, on a journey, a journey with many ups and downs. F.B. Meyer says, "If I'm told that I'm in for a hard journey, every jolt along the way reminds me that I'm on the right road." Charles Swindoll says, "The avoidance of legitimate suffering means we also avoid the growth that problems demand of us." C.H. Spurgeon says, "Great hearts can only be made through great troubles." In John 16:31 Jesus says, I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world." So in your journey in this life, as a Christian, you encounter many problems, know that you are in very good company, and that you are still on the right track. Stay the Course.
All praise to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ. He is the source of every mercy and the God who comforts us. He comforts us in all our troubles so that we can comfort others. When others are troubled, we will be able to give them the same comfort God has given us. Sometimes, if not most times, there is a reason for troubles and suffering. Our hardest days will somewhere down the road become compassions for helping others. They have for me and for many others. Oswald Chambers says, "To be a disciple means that we deliberately identify with God's interest in other people."
I came to Writing.com about one month ago. I have written about twenty poems since coming here. Prior to that I had never written poetry in my life. In the past, before my new heart, I would take up pen and paper, doodle a little, then walk away. I had nothing to share. Now I have been set free to share the depths of my heart. I am so proud of my wife Melody. Due to some past hurts, she always had trouble with commitments. Now she is my most avid fan. She is a leader among the women in our church, and she does so with great enthusiam and vigor for the Lord. When we first met, she was very timid to pray. Now she is a prayer warrior, and I am glad she prays for me. I say these things because they are evidence. Evidence of a new heart. Evidence of the power and love of God.
Thank you for allowing me to share with you. If I accomplish nothing else in my remaining years upon this earth, I hope it is to show that we can have a relationship with our Heavenly Father, that we can love one another.
I want to leave signposts for those who follow on this journey. I am just a man as each man is, an earthen vessel. Oh but God stores up such treasures in these old vessels... Risks are not so hard to take now, because I know that I have One who accepts me no matter what. I know that to try and to fail is so much better than never having tried. I have but one life to live for the Lord, I want to live it fully and for his glory... God does so passionately love us!
"I recognize power passing mine, immeasurable God." Robert Browning
God Bless.... Cole Hunter
Links to Check Out!
Please read this link by Lobelia. It is very original. Some may thing it too graphic, but it is shows the pain that Mary went through to birth Jesus, much like the movie The Passion of the Christ showed the pain of his birthing our salvation. Thanks Lobelia
This link by Bellerouge so reminds me of the comfort that God gives... a warming piece...
Gentle Ben gives us a prayer offered by a gentle and humble man, who understands entering into the Presence of God...
This link tells the findings of a godly woman who loves the Lord..
Music and Books/Sites/
Got a Christian Artist or CD that God has used to touch your heart? Why not share it here? Just send the Editorial Team details of your recommendation and a blurb (50 words or less) on how it has blessed you.Or just send the site!
Wanting to expand your Christian Music collection but not sure where to begin? Follow this link to find reviewed Christian Music:
Prayer Requests and Answers
Pray for the upcoming elections
Pray for our nation and it's leadership, regardless of your political agenda -- we are asked in the Word to pray for our leaders
Pray for our military... our young men serving in harm's way..
Pray for your local church... Pray for your pastor.... pray for your family ...
In all things give thanks and offer praise to the Most High God...
Come into his gates with thanksgiving and into his courts with praise
Please do not hesitate to send your prayer requests to the editorial Team so that it can be included in the Newsletter - we are here to pray for one another! In the same way, please let us know if you believe God has answered prayer requests that you have shared with us - we all can be built up in Christ with your answered prayer!
Thank you for taking the time to read through another edition of the UCN. We hope that you have been challenged, blessed and inspired! Please do not hesitate to provide feedback or raise questions on the content of this Newsletter.
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A prayer request for the Body of Christ to intercede for, and put in the Newsletter?
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