To the Suffering Church

Written by Joyce C. Lock

Continued from page 1

God temperedrepparttar body so there would be no schism, but that members would finally realize 'havingrepparttar 138320 same care, one for another,' is not negotiable. We're to haverepparttar 138321 same care forrepparttar 138322 custodian asrepparttar 138323 preacher,repparttar 138324 same respect forrepparttar 138325 follower asrepparttar 138326 leader,repparttar 138327 same love forrepparttar 138328 sinner as our most cherished friend.

Therefore, those members ofrepparttar 138329 body whose service we think to be less honourable ~ upon these we bestow more abundant honour. And, once we do so, we will begin to discover one shouldn't have thought more highly of themselves than they ought (Romans 12:3). But also, ministries will begin to flourish wherein all members will rejoice!

~ * ~

Is not thisrepparttar 138330 fast that I have chosen? to looserepparttar 138331 bands of wickedness, to undorepparttar 138332 heavy burdens, and to letrepparttar 138333 oppressed go free, and that ye break every yoke?

Isaiah 58:6

Until then, we mourn for The Suffering Church.

2005 by Joyce C. Lock This writing may be used in its entirety, with credits in tact, for non-profit ministering purposes.

Joyce C. Lock is a published author, poet, and columnist. In addition, she founded and maintains the email ministries "Heavenly Inspirations" and "Share a Smile" Joyce's writings encourage us in our relationship with God and each other.

The Sheltered Life

Written by Joyce C. Lock

Continued from page 1

Having personally declared war on Satan (which is another story), he usedrepparttar corruption ofrepparttar 138319 church to try and destroy me.

With scripture quoted every which way but up, in order to validate positions of authority and their agenda, I began searching to 'know'repparttar 138320 truth. And, having declared this war on Satan, even more so, absolute understanding of God's intent was required (on every given subject matter) ~ so my walk and service would always be underrepparttar 138321 umbrella of His protection.

Thus,repparttar 138322 more they persecuted,repparttar 138323 more I ran to God. Then, as I searched and researched,repparttar 138324 more I learned, andrepparttar 138325 stronger I grew ... 'til my faith became my own. Only, through this, God didn't make it any easier, as He kept gifting me for more areas of service thought only men could do.

Then, having once shared ofrepparttar 138326 incredible growth and learning I had discovered with my Heavenly Father, that had been shown to and also rejected byrepparttar 138327 church, dad said if I had been a male having brought this to church leadership, they would have set me up as some awesome teacher/leader, to sayrepparttar 138328 least, to be highly respected and learned from.

Dad was silent for a moment, then shook his head and said this never would have happened had I been male. And to this day, it brings tears to my eyes to remember my dearly departed daddy for this ... as a reminder, when no one inrepparttar 138329 whole world did, apart from God, my daddy believed in me.

None-the-less, life became harder, still, mostly because legalists don't stop until 'til they destroyrepparttar 138330 body; which turned out to be a good thing because death finally puts an end torepparttar 138331 curse ofrepparttar 138332 law.

So, yes, I, too, knowrepparttar 138333 mourning of being separated from one's mother's womb, rejected by church and family (all I had ever known, loved, or placed any additional faith in) in order to follow a higher call. And though most are not visible except torepparttar 138334 spiritual eye, my body bearsrepparttar 138335 marks of having given God all.

The signs ofrepparttar 138336 times are in God's children. Isaiah 8:18 But if your wounds were not to that degree or you thought such as a wheel chair had separated you from your church, thank God you were so spared!

The righteous perisheth, and no man layeth it to heart: and merciful men are taken away, none considering thatrepparttar 138337 righteous is taken away fromrepparttar 138338 evil to come.

Isaiah 57:1

Like most of you who are reading this, I am amongrepparttar 138339 Persecuted Church, longing to be 'welcomed' home ... also knowing that, once truly welcomed, captives will finally be free; including you and me.

However, I would not changerepparttar 138340 fellowship that came in knowingrepparttar 138341 sufferings of Christ. I would not change having discovered God to such a degree He is my life. I would not change having overcome battles that were intended to keep me from knowing whose I am, who I am, andrepparttar 138342 purpose of my creation. And, I would not have changed my time here with you, all my fellow brethren (wounded and, if there be any, whole); my church and my family.

We built websites. We planted church communities. We developed, grew, and sometimes transformed ministries. We reached out torepparttar 138343 world. We valued our aged. We welcomedrepparttar 138344 handicapped into service, again. We embraced people from aroundrepparttar 138345 world and welcomed whatever each had to offer;repparttar 138346 only requirement being having a heart for it. We opened doors; providing opportunity, skills, tools, and labor.

We proved Christians can serve in unity, regardless of doctrine, for a greater good. We liftedrepparttar 138347 fallen. We mended wounds. We offered unconditional love. We shared truths to help others overcome, too. But mostly importantly, we learned to listen from our heart instead of our eyes or ears. In such, we became heavenly cheerleaders;repparttar 138348 universal church ... sheltering each other fromrepparttar 138349 rudiments ofrepparttar 138350 world.

Having way surpassedrepparttar 138351 structural church, we did sooo good! And now, inrepparttar 138352 end times, we arerepparttar 138353 ones most trained for Kingdom building. Matthew 5:10

It isrepparttar 138354 structural church our lost sheep;repparttar 138355 ones with no shelter or sure foundation. And for allrepparttar 138356 true sob stories we can share (enough to make us all cry wererepparttar 138357 details known), Jesus still thoughtrepparttar 138358 structural church was worth saving, worth dying for.

We are exhausted beyond reason, for a reason; pulling us away from our universal shelter because our calling isn't finished yet. It is time to rest in God until we're rejuvenated and ready to go again. Only then, we have a new assignment,repparttar 138359 one we were created for ... to bring God's children home.

If that means returning torepparttar 138360 hurtful church of our past or learning to love a new one, follow God's leading. And no matter what you see or hear, if it isn't love, it isn't true and you arerepparttar 138361 one most qualified to knowrepparttar 138362 difference. 1 Cor. 6:4

It's your turn to be a shelter. Don't accept, receive, or give anything less than love ~ as love is God. Then, when persecution comes, shakerepparttar 138363 dust off your feet and keep going. Only, this time, it won't hurt so much ... because it was your choice.

2005 by Joyce C. Lock

This writing may be used in its entirety, with credits in tact, for non-profit ministering purposes.

Joyce C. Lock is a published author, poet, and columnist. In addition, she founded and maintains the email ministries "Heavenly Inspirations" and "Share a Smile" Joyce's writings encourage us in our relationship with God and each other.

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