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Wednesday, November 22 2023

You Give, He Gives

By Susan Gahan

My whole life, I've taken and taken. I have prayed about it, received it, and taken it. Now, it is time to return it. Somewhere in your family, church, work, or community, somewhere, someone needs something.

What have you done for Jesus today? Yesterday? Have you given your money (Yes, money!), time, a listening ear, or open arms for a hug needed? It takes you to give, and then He will provide. Somehow, He always makes a way. Maybe not in the way you think, but there is always an answer.

I have always been fearful about not having enough money. My thoughts are that I cannot give because I cannot pay the bills. What would happen if I couldn't make the house payment because I gave it to God or someone who needed it? It has taken me several years to figure out that He makes sure that my bills are paid if I give either with my time or tithes. You must realize that you only have money to pay your bills because God gave you your job to make money. He is there for you, but to receive, you must give. Pray about this today and give back some of what was given to you.

Listen, if I can do this by faith (all it takes is a little mustard seed worth), you can, too. You can’t be any more scared than I was!

Love,

Susan

“One man gives freely, yet gains even more; another withholds unduly, but comes to poverty” (Proverbs 11:24).

Posted by: Rev. Molly Painter AT 05:29 am   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, October 24 2023

My Talk with God

"Lord, I am the one who sang "Jesus Loves Me" each night before going to bed when I was young. Do you remember that?

I am sorry I haven't been very faithful recently. It’s just that I've been so busy; you do understand, don’t you?

I am older now and have a wife and son of my own. Out of the blue the other day, I asked my son if he knew the song "Jesus Loves Me."

He said, "What are you talking about, Dad?" Suddenly, it was as if a knife struck me right smack dab in the heart, and deep down in my soul, and I realized I hadn't done my job as a father. Lord, forgive me. What have I done?

My son doesn't know who you are because I didn’t think telling him about you was important."

Soon after my conversation with God, I tucked him in bed, turned off his lights, and kissed him on his forehead. Then, without thinking, I knelt beside his bed and began to cry from somewhere deep within.

"Please, oh Lord, may I have another chance to make this right?

I've been so busy making a living for my family that I forgot where my treasure truly always has been."

My son reached over, placed his young hand on my face, and asked why I was crying.

I told him I hadn't taught him about the most important person in heaven and on earth. Then, I wiped the tears from my eyes and began to tell him the old, old story and how God sent his one and only Son to earth to die just for him so that he could live free and walk in victory while he was here. And that He would grant you peace in your heart and rest for your soul until you come to be with Him again in eternity. 

He leaned over and kissed my cheek, and we hugged and said our first prayers together as a Father and son.

Posted by: Rev. Molly Painter AT 01:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, August 10 2023

Checklist for the Heart

    • Forgiveness: If you cannot forgive yourself, you cannot truly forgive others. You do not only have to forgive as a follower of Christ, but you have to forget. It will take time and patience, sometimes a lot, but don't give up.

    • Trusting God is a relational building process. As you grow, one rung at a time, through the power of the Holy Spirit, a greater understanding of His nature will shine through in your heart, and your mind will follow. It's about believing by faith to receive.

    • Respect the process of God. After accepting Christ into your heart, life is not what you are doing through God; it is what He is trying to accomplish through you so that your purpose and His kingdom's purpose can be realized. Remember: He is God, and you are not. Step down off the throne, be submissive to His will, and let Him wear the crown.

    • Learn to love yourself. Why do you think others will love you if you do not love yourself? Being downtrodden within your mind can cause defeatism in facets of your life, which, I guarantee you, will trickle down to those around you, especially children. Go to God with your issues and allow Him to help you be set free. Let Him deliver you from you.

    • "Clean Hands" before God. If you have anything against any man, go to the source and tell them asking for forgiveness, then repent of it. Your heart before the Lord needs a daily cleansing.

    • Attitude is crucial. When you get fussy, and we all know when we get fussy, it's time to lay down, zone out for an hour or two, take a mental break, or do some physical activity to refresh yourself. You will like yourself better, and those around you will, too.

    • Words you speak. The enemy of your soul will use your own words against you. Be wise in what you say. We will give an account for every idle word we speak.

    • Do not point fingers at anyone! Remember: Judge not.

    • Do not ever run from confrontation. God is your shield and buckler. God will be with you if you stand for truth and justice (Psalm 91:4).

    • Be congruent. Mean what you say and say what you mean; let your yes be yes and your no be no so the power of the Holy Spirit can freely flow through your spirit. Know who you are in Christ, and stand up for that.

    • Have "bulldog" faith. Grab God with your teeth, and never let go, just like a dog with a steak bone.

    • Stop focusing on others, what they have, what they are doing, and where they are going. Focus on Christ and delight yourself in Him, and He will give you the desires of your heart because by the time you delight yourself in Him, then His desires become your desires, and He gives them to you. Simple!                       

    • Thank God continually. I have to work on this one, too a lot! But, when I stop to recall what the Father has done for me in the past, I can genuinely and sincerely thank Him for all He has done for me in the here and now. I do it out of a grateful heart, not to get something. I truly love Him.

Posted by: Molly Painter AT 05:48 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 23 2023

Forgive-ability!

By Susan Gahan

Now is the time to get real with ourselves. One cannot be whole until one searches one's heart. Many are trying to do the right thing. We try to be compassionate, loving, and caring (all good biblical things), but we have things in our lives that need attention. One cannot live in the past or dwell on things that have happened. You know, the things that can haunt our thinking, things we have done or said. These issues must be dug out of our inner spirit and let go. From experience, I have learned over the years that there can be things that linger, causing great harm.

Deep-seated issues can be buried deep within that lie dormant. As they grow and take on greater roots with age, they can consume us even to the point of lacking concentration on anything but what is eating us alive. The issue might be something that happened in our childhood or something that happened as recently as last year, but it is buried. However, to be set free from these emotional strongholds, they must be confronted and confessed to God, for it is how He sets you free.

For example, one must forgive those who have hurt you, whether intentionally or not. One cannot possibly function fully (in life or for God) if one cannot forgive. The issue might be terrible and continues to fester in your heart, but do not allow the one responsible (don't give them the power) to keep you bound. You change. The person who has wronged you might see the change in you, which, in turn, might produce some kind of change in them. Remember: Forgive as you have been forgiven! That is a biblical truth. The individual journey to this freedom, though, lies with each one of us. Face the big, bad wolf inside and pray for God's guidance.

Give it all to Him at the Cross and feel your freest in years. Many (me) have wasted a lot of life thinking and dwelling on things that only God can heal.

Ephesians 4:32 "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (NIV).

Posted by: Molly Painter AT 05:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, March 23 2023

Forgive-ability!

By Susan Gahan

Now is the time to get real with ourselves. One cannot be whole until one searches one's heart. Many are trying to do the right thing. We try to be compassionate, loving, and caring (all good biblical things), but we have things in our lives that need attention. One cannot live in the past or dwell on things that have happened. You know, the things that can haunt our thinking, things we have done or said. These issues must be dug out of our inner spirit and let go. From experience, I have learned over the years that there can be things that linger, causing great harm.

Deep-seated issues can be buried deep within that lie dormant. As they grow and take on greater roots with age, they can consume us even to the point of lacking concentration on anything but what is eating us alive. The issue might be something that happened in our childhood or something that happened as recently as last year, but it is buried. However, to be set free from these emotional strongholds, they must be confronted and confessed to God, for it is how He sets you free.

For example, one must forgive those who have hurt you, whether intentionally or not. One cannot possibly function fully (in life or for God) if one cannot forgive. The issue might be terrible and continues to fester in your heart, but do not allow the one responsible (don't give them the power) to keep you bound. You change. The person who has wronged you might see the change in you, which, in turn, might produce some kind of change in them. Remember: Forgive as you have been forgiven! That is a biblical truth. The individual journey to this freedom, though, lies with each one of us. Face the big, bad wolf inside and pray for God's guidance.

Give it all to Him at the Cross and feel your freest in years. Many (me) have wasted a lot of life thinking and dwelling on things that only God can heal.

Ephesians 4:32 "Be kind and compassionate to one another, forgiving each other, just as in Christ God forgave you" (NIV).

Posted by: Molly Painter AT 05:46 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, February 23 2023

The Jesus Movement

The Asbury Revival

The time was the early seventies. I was a sophomore at St. Albans High School in St. Albans, W. Va.  At lunchtime, students gathered in small groups on the front lawn to talk about Jesus and learn more about the Bible. My best friend from Junior High invited me to come and sit in with a group, but time after time, I refused until she stopped asking. I thought to myself very adamantly; I grew up in Church and Sunday school. I know who God is. My church is where Jesus lives! Why aren't they keeping this activity in a Church setting? It seemed kind of hippie and weird to my heart. But after years of struggling and fighting against God, I completely surrendered my life to Christ. Several years after my conversion (at thirty-nine), I was led to search out any information I could about the Jesus Movement. I discovered through my research that God had a bonified move at that time in America.

At the writing of this blog, there is a movie getting ready to hit theaters, on February 24, 2023, about the movement entitled Jesus Revolution. Those touched by the presence of the Holy Spirit impacted not only their lives and a generation of youth but many others who were led to repentance and renewal. It was one of this nation's first significant collective "trickle" effects.

Don't be hard-headed or harden your heart when the Holy Spirit comes knocking on your door, for today is the day of salvation. Hindsight (Good 'ole 20/20) revealed that the Holy Spirit knocked on my door through my best friend. We parted friendship due to my pride. The Jesus Movement wasn't fabricated or conjured up. It was a grassroots movement of the Holy Spirit to help quell the nation's racism (Yes, that was prevalent then too.), unrest due to the Vietnam war, drug-riddled youths (Marijuana, LSD, Cocaine), and murders. Sound familiar? With the writing of this blog, I have once again cried sorrowful tears at my past ignorance with a renewed sense of purpose and repentance. And as a side note: I wrote to my ninth-grade friend, who lived in France then, and I apologized for not listening to her turning down her dear friendship. 

In Christ, thank God, finally,

Molly

"The wind blows wherever it pleases. You hear its sound, but you cannot tell where it comes from or where it is going. So it is with everyone born of the Spirit" (John 3:8).

The Asbury Revival began on February 8, 2023. Is this another outpouring of the Holy Spirit and move of God Almighty to help revive us again? Is the Holy Spirit wooing you to the Father? Please don't be foolish like I was. Answer the call for the lives that will depend on your willingness to surrender all. God is calling those of us who will listen to repentance and renewal. Don't miss this boat! Your life depends on it.

Dedicated to the Pioneers of the Jesus Movement 

I pick up my pen. I begin. I want to tell you the story of a brave and courageous group of kids. 

They loved the Lord so much that they gave their hearts to sing "the songs."

They would tell of His mighty grace, forgiveness, and love that abounds.

It didn't matter what others would say.

It didn't matter that most places turned them away.

They would sing praises to their King anywhere, anytime.

It wasn't for the money or for their glory.

It was because God Almighty had called them to tell a story of how much He loves us all, of salvation, of the redeeming power of His only Son's spilled blood, of the highest price ever paid by anyone so we could come home one day.

Walking by faith, they set out to fulfill the call on their lives to give the honor to God, not mankind.

Where are they now? They are still singing "the songs," those still alive, to anyone who will listen and anyone who comes along.

What did they receive for such obedience? Eternal life with the author and finisher of their undying faith.

That was 25 years ago. The pioneers of the Jesus Movement.

Eve of Destruction rolls through my mind as I put down my pen.

Tears start rolling down my face as I realize what an excellent time in America it was but how I hardened my heart to it all.

But, more importantly, how a group of kids just wanted to sing about their Lord and King.

And how they would give everything for the Son of Man because He had died for them.

Posted by: Molly Painter AT 06:13 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, January 12 2023

His Eyes

By Susan Gahan

If you would look into Jesus' eyes, what would you see? I would see kindness, passion, and love. I picture them blue like the ocean, and I can see the happiness that makes me smile from the top of my head to the soles of my feet—such joy. Sunshine. Warm and cozy. Safe. Loved. Right now, typing this, I am smiling. I feel secure. I have no worries. I don't have a care in the world. I don't need anyone but him. I want to fall into his arms. I know, there, that I will be safe. That he will take care of me. I don't need anyone else but him. I want him to kiss my forehead and tell me I've done a good job. Don't we all want this?

Then I look in my mirror and look at my eyes, and what do I see? I should see the same thing. When we accept Jesus into our hearts, we are born again, and we are to be like him. When I look into the mirror, do I see his eyes? Do I see the world as he sees it? Do I have the same compassion and kindness in my eyes for others? Would I put a smile on someone's face just by making eye contact? That is what I strive for. I dig deep into my soul to find something good in everyone. It doesn't matter if you are a friend, a relative, a stranger, or an enemy. He treated people the same way, no matter who they were. He healed people that most people thought did not deserve to be healed. Think of people in the Bible that he blessed. I want him to look at me like that. I want him to know that I'm trying. I want him to love me like no one else ever has, for his love is unconditional. His love overlooks all my faults. His passion goes above and beyond.

Allow the Bible, God's holy Word, to mirror back to you how you should not only be seen by others but how we all are to behave as Jesus did. He is our mirror. Please pass this on.

Rev. Molly & Susan

Jesus Without the Junk.com

Posted by: Molly Painter AT 04:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 27 2022

Another New Motto.

By Susan Gahan

People always tell me thank you so much. I don't know how I could ever repay you. Payment is not an option for me because it came from my heart, and you know my first motto is to do the right thing. My new one is payment is not necessary, but prayers would be appreciated. As I'm sitting here after all the presents are opened, and it's another Christmas that is over, I think about how many people need presents. I personally don't need anything. God provides all. It is a learning curve for me to rely on him totally, but that's what I need to do every day. It's a new thing and not an easy thing, but I'm learning. Could we not use a prayer or two in place of a present? Our greatest gift was Jesus. Something that you cannot wrap or put a bow on. Someone who can and is willing to answer our prayers.

I have heard many people say that we all have a gift from God. After all this time (and many years), I am finally figuring out my gift. I'm a giver. I do not want one thing in exchange, but I would take a prayer or two. It warms my heart to help someone or give someone something. I have learned that very few things mean anything to me. I can live without a lot of things. But one thing I cannot live without is Jesus. Many people say, "Jesus is the reason for the season." Jesus is the reason for everything. I don't know what I would do without him. I can tell you that I know what I was like before I had him in my heart. I am so happy being a giver. I am thankful that I have something to give. It doesn't have to be money, and it doesn't have to be a gift. Give someone an ear to listen to their issues and problems. It could be a shoulder for them to cry on. It could be a hug, and if any of you know me well, I am not a hugger. But I'm learning. It could be a text message or a phone call, or a card in the mail. Just reminding someone that they are special. Let me tell you something: a prayer will suffice for me any day. I can always use one or two 😊

Happy New Year, everyone!

Thank you all for the positive feedback on these blogs. It makes a difference.

Posted by: Molly Painter AT 05:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Tuesday, December 27 2022

Another New Motto.

By Susan Gahan

People always tell me thank you so much. I don't know how I could ever repay you. Payment is not an option for me because it came from my heart, and you know my first motto is to do the right thing. My new one is payment is not necessary, but prayers would be appreciated. As I'm sitting here after all the presents are opened, and it's another Christmas that is over, I think about how many people need presents. I personally don't need anything. God provides all. It is a learning curve for me to rely on him totally, but that's what I need to do every day. It's a new thing and not an easy thing, but I'm learning. Could we not use a prayer or two in place of a present? Our greatest gift was Jesus. Something that you cannot wrap or put a bow on. Someone who can and is willing to answer our prayers.

I have heard many people say that we all have a gift from God. After all this time (and many years), I am finally figuring out my gift. I'm a giver. I do not want one thing in exchange, but I would take a prayer or two. It warms my heart to help someone or give someone something. I have learned that very few things mean anything to me. I can live without a lot of things. But one thing I cannot live without is Jesus. Many people say, "Jesus is the reason for the season." Jesus is the reason for everything. I don't know what I would do without him. I can tell you that I know what I was like before I had him in my heart. I am so happy being a giver. I am thankful that I have something to give. It doesn't have to be money, and it doesn't have to be a gift. Give someone an ear to listen to their issues and problems. It could be a shoulder for them to cry on. It could be a hug, and if any of you know me well, I am not a hugger. But I'm learning. It could be a text message or a phone call, or a card in the mail. Just reminding someone that they are special. Let me tell you something: a prayer will suffice for me any day. I can always use one or two 😊

Happy New Year, everyone!

Thank you all for the positive feedback on these blogs. It makes a difference.

Posted by: Molly Painter AT 05:16 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email
Thursday, December 22 2022

I wrote the following poem one day after encountering a homeless man on the street. The stoplight happened (?) to turn red right at the place he was sitting, so my car was right beside him. I couldn't ignore him, look away from him, or run away. There he was, staring me right smack dab in the face. I felt a rush of heat flow over my body. I couldn't believe that I didn't have any money. I think I had some change that had dropped in the bottom of my purse, but I thought to myself, by the time I scramble for it, the light will turn green, and the car behind me will be anxious for me to go and begin honking., at least that is what ran through my thoughts.

I drove off, praying that God would send someone to help. I felt awful. The poem below began flowing out of me, and I knew I must use it somehow. So, this is the way I choose to use it. Through prayer, I knew that I was going to propose to keep a specific amount of money in my side purse for anyone who sat on the side of the street begging. I wasn't going to judge or curse them for being there; I was going to help them.

I have heard all sorts of people condemn people who beg on the side of the road. Yes, some are doing it unjustly, and God will deal with them, but it takes more time to complain about someone than just opening your purse and giving the poor fellow a dollar. We don't know what happened to get them there. Sometimes we have a person summed up before they can even speak. And we say, many of us, that we are followers of Christ.

Therefore, the next time you see someone on the side of the road, I challenge you to help them. Don't judge them. Who knows, maybe it is a test from God!

Please Don't Pass Me By

I held up a sign.

You passed me by.

Little did you know I'd just lost my home.

I had a job, but it wasn't enough.

I wanted to give up.

I wanted to quit.

But something said no, not yet.

So I stand on the street with a sign in my hands.

I've been reduced to this even though I have tried as hard as I can.

I just got so I couldn't fight anymore, you know?

Surely, there is someone when they see I wrote "God Bless You" who would help me, isn't there?

Isn't there someone who won't judge me?

Everybody needs help sometimes, haven't you?

Isn't there someone who will help me get back on my feet?

Or even give me enough so I can eat?

Please. Please. Please.

Merry Christmas!

Posted by: Molly Painter AT 02:50 pm   |  Permalink   |  0 Comments  |  Email

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