Tag Archives: Grace

God is Good!

We often hear the phrase – God is good. It is usually followed up – All the time. Then, we hear it said a different way – All the time, God is good. But what does that mean?

Too often, we have these cliches, that may be spoken with the best of intentions, but are they – spoken with any intention at all? I say this because it is so easy to say simple phrases like – I’m good or I love you or something else and they become statements that are said without meaning or real intention. In fact, in those moments, they can actually be a lie.

But when we use God’s name this way, what are we really saying? Are we trying to tell our friends, spouse or even the world that we believe that God is indeed good. Heck, in todays economy of language and word usage – what does the word good even mean? I mean when someone asks you how you are doing, what is your typical response?

“I’m good!” or “All good!”

But is that the truth? I would venture a guess that most of the time we use that phrase, it is really saying – I don’t really want to talk about. So, when a word like “good” is caught up in that kind of usage and it has become so common that it has become meaningless, how does this reflect on our statement – “God is good”?

Here is something to consider – if, in the course of our normal conversations, we have ascribed no value to a word, like good, its usage can be described as “vain” or useless, pointless – producing no result. Wouldn’t that lead us to conclude that we may be taking the Lord’s name in vain?

Or let’s go one step further. If we say that we are Christian and yet, we do not act in accordance with Christ, are we not taking His name in vain there too?

My goal here is not to condemn but to get us thinking and maybe have us to change the way we use certain phrases. Maybe we stop and think and then intentionally say – God is good, oh so good. He has done for me, what I cannot do for myself. I realize that it may be difficult to get that out in every situation. But if we are thinking that, it therefore becomes the intention of the statement. I believe that people can tell the difference but more importantly – God knows our hearts and our intention.

One last thing – God truly is good and He makes our lives matter by His goodness, love and empowering Spirit. He calls us His Masterpiece, even when we feel like we are nothing but a mess. He has a mission for us, even when we feel lost, with no purpose. Your life matters – no matter what, no matter where you are and no matter how many mistakes you have made. God is just that good!

If you get a chance, check out my books – Your Life Matters, The Toolkit To Change Your World and Transformed – A Memoir of a Life Changed By God. Both are available on Amazon or at http://www.yourlifematterstoday.com

Also, check out the new radio show/podcast on VoiceAmerica beginning 5/17/22 at 9am called – Your Life Matters Today by Dr. Cliff Robertson, Jr. My first guest is my long-time friend – Cesar Cantu, the current Executive Director of The Warriors Refuge.

God Bless You!

Dr Cliff

Love Yourself!

Jesus tells us to love our neighbors, as ourselves. Great! But how do we do that, when we do not first love ourselves? And for that matter… how do we love ourselves? Is it about a pampered day at a spa?

No – unless of course you plan to love those around you that way, and you believe that is what Jesus had in mind.

I believe we love ourselves by taking care of our minds, bodies and souls. Beginning with the soul – we give our hearts, our faith, to Jesus. We feed that soul with His word. We feed our soul with good music that moves us to a closer relationship with Him. We are involved in church – His body. We talk with Him – daily. We cherish the gifts from God – our spouse, children… all of it.

Loving our bodies is easy to define, but hard to do. We eat better and exercise – this is love. We go to the doctor for check ups – this is love. There is more here but that’s the basics.

Loving our minds can be a bit tricky. The main ways we love our minds is through positive mental health and controlling the things we allow into our heads. Mental health includes the depression and anxiety we deal with. The grief that we often ignore due to busyness. The need to speak to a professional because it is overwhelming. Unpacking the past – the tragedies and neglect, the hurts and the hang ups. All of it. The truth is that unless we deal with it, one day it will deal with us. And how can we love someone else, who is going through the valley of the shadow of death, when we refuse to deal with our own?

Finally, we love our minds by controlling the inputs. The world has a message for you that may not be healthy for your mind to hear. They could be selling you things that are a lie. Social media can be good and can be bad. Too much of it has been shown to be bad for our mental health. They portray images of perfect families, on perfect vacations and leave out the pain and challenges – they leave out “the rest of the story.” I recommend taking a social media fast. Make it a week, minimum. See how you feel about it at the end of the week.

When we do these things- and for the record, this is not a comprehensive list – we will be loving ourselves. Now- go love your neighbor as you have loved yourself.

#yourlifematters

God bless you!

Dr Cliff

Good Friday? What exactly is so good about it?

When I hear the word “good”, I think of things that bring a smile, or something that is positive in my life or the world. I think of a light rain that waters the grass. I think of a beautiful sunrise or sunset. I think of the embrace of my wife and her kisses. I think of how God describes His creation…

It is difficult for my human brain to understand how a day filled with severe, disfiguring pain can be good. Two beams of wood, three large spikes, and a long walk to Golgotha… can’t be good, right? To think of these spikes, driven into the hands and feet of Jesus Christ as he is nailed to the cross…

To imagine him placed on this cross, where He struggled to breathe, until He breathed His last… All of this while He is forgiving His executors, and inviting the one next to Him to join Him in paradise… how can we describe this as anything but horrific and tragic?

And yet… it was good.

This is Friday and all appears to be lost… but Sunday’s coming… to use all the pain and suffering for the good.

Jesus was placed in a tomb by Joseph of Arimathea. Along with Nicodemus, they wrapped Jesus’s body in burial cloth. They rolled a big stone over the front of the tomb, and walked away… Their thoughts are not recorded but can you imagine what they were thinking? Burying someone who had taught and performed miracles before them…

Guards were placed outside the tomb for fear that someone might come and take the body.

His disciples hid for fear that His fate would be their own. Women wept and planned to come back to the tomb and give His body the traditional burial treatments.

In their grief, everyone thought it was over… But God…

In God’s economy, the word “good” is not used often. The first time it is used was when God described His creation. So if we take that meaning and apply it to this day of events, we can see He is calling it Creation Level Good! What He is saying is that what has happened on Friday is about to change the world! And change the world in a way that is beyond anyone’s capacity to comprehend.

You see, what appears to be over and impossible… does not necessarily make it so. With God… all things are possible.

Stay tuned for the rest of the story…

Dr. Cliff

#YourLifeMatters

#YourLifeMatters – The Transformation Project

“Who gives this woman to be married to this man?”

See the source image

Two Questions I always ask those who are assembled –

  1. Is there anyone that can see any reason why these two should not be married, if so speak now or forever hold your peace?
  2. Who here will be willing to support this marital union with the love and support they will need on this life long journey?

Marriage is an institution created by God – We find this in Genesis 2:24 where God says –

“Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife; and they shall be one flesh.”

(Talk about the meaning of leave & cleave)

Instructions for Husbands continue –

1 Peter 3:7 – Likewise Husbands, dwell them according to knowledge, giving honour unto the wife, as unto the weaker vessel

(Talk about knowledge – come back to weaker vessel in the Unity Heart)

Then finally – Ephesians 5:25

               Instructions for Wife –    Ephesians talks a lot about marriage – one of the main things I want to mention is the idea of respect – Which is the greatest need of men – to be respected and Eph 5:33 tells us this clearly. Earlier it also talks about submitting to your husband, as to the Lord, as the head of the house. While I realize that some of these concepts are not popular in todays society, I can tell you that if you have a marriage filled with the love of God for one another, it is as natural as breathing, especially when we look at a previous passage that tells you guys to submit one to another in the fear of God.

After hearing all of that – let’s proceed with the vows.

“Will you (Gary Ken Briden, Jr./Amanda Lee Cosby) have this woman/man to be your wife/husband, to live together in holy marriage? Will you love her/him, comfort her/him, honor, and keep her/him in sickness and in health, and forsaking all others, be faithful to her/him as long as you both shall live?”

Then Repeat after me

“In the name of God, I, ______, take you, ______, to be my wife/husband, to have and to hold from this day forward, for better, for worse, for richer, for poorer, in sickness and in health, to love and to cherish, until we are parted by death. This is my solemn vow.”

Exchange of rings

Rings are a symbol of love and the nature of love that has no beginning or end. You see I believe that this kind of love is a gift from God, that was ordained from long before and was therefore just waiting to be discovered and it just continues through eternity.

Ken – repeat after me – “With this ring, I thee wed.”

Amanda – repeat after me – “With this ring I thee wed.”

UNITY HEART

Prior to this wedding we had two hearts here – and they are represented by these two sculptures. The grooms is the outer and the brides is the inner. The grooms is representative of a sturdy sense of strength, protection and security but by itself is empty. The brides heart is represented here as an intricately carved piece of artwork, beautiful but by itself is left unprotected  – I want to talk a moment about the Biblical Idea of the “Weaker Vessel” and what this means…

When we put these together, by themselves they are beautiful but still there is a third element that ties it all together and makes them one – the power that created the Universe, who invited love and marriage – God Almighty.

I now pronounce you husband and wife – you may kiss the bride.

Ladies and Gentlemen, may I be the first to present to you – Mr. & Mrs. Briden!

This weekend, I was asked to perform a wedding, as an ordained minister, it isn’t my first time but it was really special – this was my first time back in this role in almost two years and it was for a good friend who works for me. I have seen this friend of mine go from homeless to hopeful to hopelessly in love and it has been a beautiful transformation to watch. The pain of a past relationship/marriage breakup, whose wounds were still fresh, seemed to be soothed and healed by the refreshing balm of love. This is beautiful – transformative.

I included my notes from this wedding just as a backdrop to a larger truth – if we set out with our hearts open to what God has for us, we too can experience the beautiful and transformative love of our Creator. It may not be in the form of a wedding, a new relationship but it will always be miraculous.

In this life, we see so much… but the two constants are the unchanging love of God and the fact that everything else around us is changing. So with everything around us changing at the speed of technology, social media and the general craziness this world brings to us everyday, I believe that having a firm foundation in love of God, whom is unchanging, is essential.

With so many hurting people in this world that are in dire need of love and positive change in their lives, along with a positive self-image, that is not drive by social media or the trends of the day, I am modifying the name of this blog to – #YOUR LIFE MATTERS – The Transformation Project. My goal is to change the world, one story, one life, one heart at a time.

But I will let you in on a little secret – I can’t do it by myself. Will you help? Will you share the stories, commit to helping one person have a better life this year and encourage others to do the same? If so, together, we can create a movement that truly does change the world.

With much love,

Dr. Cliff Robertson, Jr.

Why Pastors Need to Stop Preaching What People Want to Hear – Joe McKeever Christian Blog

Why Pastors Need to Stop Preaching What People Want to Hear – Joe McKeever Christian blog and commentary on Crosswalk.com.
— Read on www.crosswalk.com/blogs/joe-mckeever/why-pastors-need-to-stop-preaching-what-people-want-to-hear.html

I Am Not Alone – Neither Are You!

When we are at our lowest, God promises to be there. In the 23rd Psalm, David says,

“Tho I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for thou art with me. Thy rod and thy staff they protect me.”

The song that is included in this post was written by a man acquainted with the valley of the shadow of death but not his own – His wife and little unborn child. Tommy Dorsey was leading the music at a revival south of his hometown Chicago when he got the telegram that his wife had died in childbirth.

He got home as soon as he could, only to find that the child had died as well. It broke Tommy in ways that few can get their arms wrapped around. He told everyone that he was walking away from God and leaving gospel music forever.

A few weeks later a friend came to visit him. He was worried about his grieving friend. So he went in and convinced him to take a drive with him. His friend was a Christian but he knew better than to begin preaching at Tommy. So he took him to a school and they walked into the music room. His friend walked over to the piano, Tommy Dorsey’s long time companion in writing literally thousands of gospel tunes. Tommy followed him and sat down on the piano bench.

He began to cry almost instantly. He opened the cover and began to play the tune that this post began with. He later recalled that it was like the Holy Spirit came to him in that moment and poured that song into him.

When we are in the valley of pain and loss, we can be assured that God knows it and is coming to lead us through it. If you are in the pit today know that you are not alone – God is there with you. Call out to Him and I know there are tears and pain now but He promises to wipe away all those tears. Listen and enjoy this next song and let it encourage you as well.

He Knows Your Name!

I love this song. What inspired this post was my morning Bible Study where I am beginning in the book of Ezra and God, speaking through the prophet called out Cyrus by name to deliver the people of Judah and rebuild the temple is Jerusalem. This Kings name was foretold in the book of Isaiah over 150 years before this man was ever born.

God knows your name and cares deeply for you. He sent His Son to bring us salvation. He gives us grace for daily living through the power of His Holy Spirit. This gives us the privilege to be called sons and daughters of the Most High! Matthew West has a video that helps put this into perspective as well.

 

Hello My Name is by Matthew West

Let me ask you a question –

book_of_life111111There will be some that Jesus will have to say to –

“… I never knew you, depart from me…” Matthew 7:23

For a long time I would have told you that I was saved and I even did very religious and churchy things. Yet, it was an act. I had no hunger for His word. I lived like hell Monday through Saturday and put a mask on for Sunday. I may have fooled the people around me but I didn’t fool God. Then one day my choices brought me down to the lowest point I could ever imagine. I wanted to die – I wanted out but it took that for me to realize that I needed a Savior that was real and I turned my life over to Him.

Since that moment, a very real transformation has begun. I am not where I need to be but glory be to God I am not the man I use to be. I know the risen Christ and my name is written in His Book of Life – Is yours? If it is, great!!! I shout, “Praise God” and I know that I will see you one day in glory. For those of you who are unsure, you don’t have to be any longer. Ask Jesus to come into your life and heart today. Just say –

“Jesus Christ, I know I need You, come into my heart, forgive me of my sin and help me to become the child of God you have called me to be.”

If you truly believe and place your trust in Jesus your name is now written in the Book of Life and the Holy Spirit has sealed you! Now get involved in a good Bible teaching and Holy Spirit filled church in your area. Share your decision with the Pastor and be baptized. Then share your new found faith with those that you love. Some won’t accept it but there will those who do. And maybe one of those you share it with, will give their hearts to Christ as well! The Angels in heaven are already warming up for their shouts of victory that one more person has given their hearts to Christ.

 

Is Real Change Possible?

Transformation“But you don’t know how bad I am …. I have ___________________! There is no hope for me – I am doomed, helpless and hopeless.”

I have heard this many times and even said it myself. Our society can be pretty unforgiving of the mistakes of the past. A record can follow you forever.

But what is interesting is that some of the most famous, interesting and successful people have a record. They have been to the pit. I remember hearing T.D. Jakes preach one day about a Pastors conference he had attended. He was recalling the Pastors stories of faithfulness and many had only been married once and had served the church all their life. He said –

“While all those stories were great and I am very happy for them, they had nothing to say to me. You can’t help me if you have never been through anything.”

Bishop Jakes story rang really true to me. Then I recalled the story of the Maniac of Gadares. Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee just to see him and it changed everything. This man couldn’t live with the rest of the people. They tried to chain him but he was so crazy that he broke the chains. He lived in a cemetery, probably waiting to die – wanting to die. Anybody been there?

After one touch – one word from Jesus, his life was different. In fact, he was so different and the change so radical, that it scared the people of the closest town. The man wanted to leave with Jesus but Jesus knew that this man had a mission. Jesus told him –

“Go home to thy friends, and tell them how great things the Lord hath done for thee and had compassion on thee.” Mark 5:19b

Do you know what the man did? – exactly what Jesus told him to do. Yet, not only did he go home, on the way there he…

“…and began to publish in Decapolis [Ten Cities] how great things Jesus had done for him: and all men did marvel.” v. 20

Real change is possible! Jesus can take you from insanity to peace. This transformation is what Paul describes as “You are God’s Masterpiece, created anew in Christ Jesus…” (Eph.2:10 NLT). But you are not saved to sit. You are not transformed to be placed upon a pedestal and pose. You are saved to serve – transformed to testify. The Maniac of Gadares published, which means to spread the mission far and wide, and the people all marveled. His life now made a difference, where before he only wanted to die and he had to be locked away. Now that he was free on the inside, he shared it with all who would listen.

You too have a mission – Paul continues to tell us in that same verse,

“created anew in Christ Jesus for the good works ordained for you from the beginning.”

God has a plan for you and it is a good one. God had Jeremiah, the prophet, tell people in “captivity” aka -Jail, this:

“For I know the plans I have for you, saith the Lord. Plans for good, not destruction. To give you a hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11Past-Lesson

There is more here but I want to stop and hear from you. Let me know what you think and if you want to talk more about this reach out to me. I would be honored to hear from you. Maybe you want to share your story of transformation – this is a good forum to do so. I will accept guest blog posts about this topic as well. Have a blessed day and let not just talk about – let’s be about it!

Praise Him!

Cliff Robertson, Jr.

2 Timothy 4:2,5

Anybody Smell Smoke? There Is Fire & You & I Started It

ashes - remain

 

Before Ashes – There Was A Fire

fire ragesbeauty-for-ashes

In the passage – Isaiah 61:1-3 – we all want to rush off to the “Beauty… and the oil of joy… and the garment of praise’

Before there could be an exchange for beauty – there had to be a fire to create the ashes. That means that something went horribly wrong. Yet, Christ has an answer for that to. In order to get to that we must begin with the ….

tough part-

We have to

  • Jesus Came to Preach the Good News to the meek
  • To bind up the brokenhearted
  • To set free those that are bound
  • To open the prison doors and set the prisoner free

 

The meek are

The broken

The destroyed

The One’s whose lives are just not want they ought to be and they know they need a change.

Some of the Meek in Jesus day were the Tax Collector’s, the prostitutes, the people that no one else wanted to have anything to do with – because they knew they needed help.

The Meek are really you and me – He came for us! Sinners in need of a Savior. But if we miss that then we can miss the greatest gift the universe has ever seen or will ever see.

 

To bind up the broken hearted

Anybody here eve have their heart broken?

Anybody here ever lost anything precious to them?

Loved One

Friend

Anybody here ever been lied to by the person they are supposed to be able to trust?

 

Christ came to deal with those hurts in a way that only He can – I call it Holy Heart Surgery.

The passage says He came to bind up the broken hearted – so that means that He is reaching inside of us, at the point where the pain is greatest, where the need for healing is the greatest and where if healing doesn’t come, all the rest will be wrecked.

He isn’t just touching it, He is binding – hearts take time to heal so He binds them so that they can.

 

 

 

To set free those that are bound

  1. Addictions
  2. Depression
  3. Money problems
  4. Pride
  5. And More

 

These things can be more oppressive than any prison.

 

To set the prisoner free

 

  1. The Bible is full of examples of this chainbreaking freedom
    1. Peter
    2. Paul
    3. Joseph
  2. To me the greatest example was the thief on the cross – He wasn’t set free from the penalty that the worlds system had imposed upon him but he was set free from a far greater eternal punishment – He was in paradise that day!

 

 

 

Beauty for Ashes –

  1. Before there were ashes – there had to have been a fire.
    1. What caused the Fire
  1. Bad Choices
  2. Personal Tragedy
  • Addiction
  1. Fill in the blank
    1. Why didn’t the fire get put out sooner?
  1. Why did it burn to the ground
  2. Why did it get out of control
  • What was the trigger
  1. What fueled it

 

  1. It happened
    1. What do we do with the mess?
    2. Did anybody Notice?
    3. Can hide it?
    4. How do I begin again?
    5. How can I put my life back together?

 

YOU CAN’T – HE CAN!

  1. This Fire/Tragedy
    1. Didn’t Surprise God
    2. Ashes can’t be restored – they blow in the wind
    3. Jesus will take those ashes and give you something new – Beauty
  1. The beauty is Himself
  2. The beauty is the indwelling of the Holy Spirit
  • The beauty is an eternal home
  1. The beauty is an everlasting hope
  2. The beauty is healing
  3. The beauty is transformative
  • The beauty includes the gifts of the Spirit
  • The beauty gives us the confidence to say “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil 4:13
  1. The beauty tells me that I am more than a conqueror
  2. The beauty tells me that I am not my own any longer – I am a child of the King – saved by grace – adopted into the family of God
  3. The beauty means that I am now “ God’s Masterpiece – created anew in Christ Jesus for the Good Works that He ordained since the beginning of time.”
  • The beauty means that I have a job – “ the good works” “ to build, raise up & restore”
  • The beauty give me double for my trouble.
  • The beauty restores my family

YES – REAL CHANGE IS POSSIBLE! THE WORST THING THAT EVER HAPPENED IN YOUR LIFE DOESN’T HAVE TO DEFINE YOU!

Jesus Christ will perform this Great Exchange & do for you what you cannot do for yourself.

 

THE OIL of Joy for mourning!

  1. If there is mourning, there is loss
  2. Loss takes on many forms
    1. Loss of a loved one
    2. “   “ friend
    3. A job
    4. Financial stability
    5. A relationship
    6. More

 

  1. Christ understands – He wept when he saw the mourning of the people who loved Lazarus
  2. He promises the Oil of Joy for Mourning
    1. Oil is thick
    2. Oil sticks with us
    3. Oil soaks in and goes down deep
    4. Oil becomes a part of who we are

SINCE IT IS THE OIL OF JOY –

  1. His joy is thick
  2. His Joy can stick to us like glue
  3. His Joy can sink down into our hearts and change everything
  4. His Joy becomes a part of who we are

 

But we have to be willing to say – LORD, I’m hurting and I need healing – my heart is broken and only you can heal it.

Binding – Oil – And a touch from the Masters Hand – The Great Physician.

THE GARMENT OF PRAISE FOR THE SPIRIT OF HEAVINESS

Depression – The worries of the world weighing you down? This is one of the greatest problems in America today. Many have a general sense of hopelessness because there is a general decline in the morality of America, a decline in the family unity and way more problems than we have the time to go into here. The common denominator with all of them is the fact that each day, God is being taken further and further out of this society.

The answer is Jesus Christ – when we turn to Him and give Him our lives to Him, we can put on the garment of praise. Depression cannot remain when we are praising God.

I can tell you from experience that this has happened to me. I could feel depression like an 800lb guerilla on my shoulders. I gave my life to Christ at the lowest point in my life and the ugly monster of depression got up off my shoulders and walked out the door.

You need to know that sometimes depression has come back to visit to me. When it does, it sneaks in like a thief, trying to steal my joy and make me not want to praise. I find myself praying and wondering what is wrong. What I learned is that, on my own, I cannot win but if I will turn to God, depression will flee. So let’s get practical – how do you do that? What I will do is pray and then put Christian music in my ears as I go about my day. When I do this, before I know it, I am praising God and depression is no where to be found. I have put on the garment of praise and there is no room for anything else.

 

Where does this leave us?

 

Christ has a great plan for you and me. He came for us – at our worst – He came for us. He came to bring healing, to set us free and cut us loose from the pain of our past decisions. When we turn fully to Him, we get the exchange of beauty for the burned out shell of an existence that we had before – aka “Ashes”. We get the oil of joy for mourning over the past destructions of life and peace that we experienced. Then we get the garment of praise, for the weight of the world we use to carry around with us. He does all of this because He has a plan for us.

  • He wants to be planted by the river so that we can be examples of grace – for His glory.
  • Then He has a job for us –

 

  • “And they shall build the old wastes, they shall raise up the former desolations and they shall repair the waste cities, the desolation of many generations… For your shame ye shall receive double; and for confusion they shall rejoice in their portion; therefore in their land they shall possess the double: everlasting joy shall be unto them.” Isaiah 61:4 & 7

 

You have a job – a divine mission that has a specific reward.

Let’s live His Mission & Receive His Reward!

The Great Commission In Action – The Living Bread Story

At the end of Christ’s journey here on earth, He issued a command that has been the battle cry of Christianity since the very beginning.LBM - PHOTO

“Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you; and lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. AMEN” Matthew 28:19-20MissionTripPageSlider

As we study scripture and Church history, we see how the mission has been carried out in the past. Men and women with great zeal and faith have done the amazing. But the work is not done as long as there are those who have not heard the “Good News” of the saving grace of Jesus Christ. This command is far more than just going and preaching an evangelistic crusade and moving to the next venue. No, it is marching orders that require that leaders and teachers be hands on with believers in a community, that Christ called His Body throughout the world.

In modern cities this is part of the normal missions of local churches and they are doing a good job. But what about the poor cities, states and countries where there is no running water, much less electricity? What about the global poor who have no advocate, no money but whom Jesus Christ died for nonetheless?

Jesus never said that His path would be easy. In fact, a number of times He told us that it may cost us everything to walk His well-lit narrow path. So as we look at the challenge presented by the Great Commission and the huge need of the global poor – what is our response? Yet, the problem doesn’t stop there. The command of Christ was that they not only hear it but that they be engaged in a church teaching environment so that they can grow in Christ. This is essential so that the new Christian can get to the point where they can begin to teach and spread the Good News even further. This isn’t an easy call to answer but…blog picture - living bread

One man and his wife did answer this call – Patrick and Barbara Hubbard began Living Bread Ministries in 2004. Patrick tells us that “our heart was to spark a movement to plant churches among the global poor. Even more, we wanted the movement to be comprehensive in nature, planting churches and equipping them to minister directly in their communities.  Finally, we wanted it to be a movement that is participated in by the whole Church working together.”

Eleven years later, this ministry is working in Africa, Southeast Asia and South America. Here is a quick video from their website that tells a far greater story than my words can do it justice:

<p><a href=”https://vimeo.com/95570758″>Our Mission</a> from <a href=”https://vimeo.com/livingbread”>Living Bread Ministries</a> on <a href=”https://vimeo.com”>Vimeo</a&gt;.</p>

This is only a small sampling of what this awesome ministry is doing. Recently, I had a chance to ask Mr. Hubbard a few critical questions about this church planting movement among the global poor. Without further delay – let’s hear from the founder.

– Mr. Hubbard, thank you so much for your time. Can you please tell me about this incredible ministry?

Living Bread Ministries (LBM) has a very unique vision. As far as I know, LBM is the only ministry whose sole focus is comprehensive church planting among the global poor. This is unique in two regards. First, our focus is church planting among the global poor. It is uncommon for organizations to church plant among the impoverished. These communities are usually engaged through humanitarian or development ministry. However, this is often done outside a local church context and typically by a Western organization.

This brings me to the second unique aspect of our approach. Our church planting efforts are comprehensive in nature. This means we do not differentiate between the physical and spiritual. Rather, we work to proclaim and manifest the implications of the gospel today and in eternity. Practically, this means that as we are making disciples and planting churches among the global poor, we actively equip these local members of the body of Christ to identify needs and implement solutions in their communities through the local church. The result is that we plant churches and equip these churches to implement many of the humanitarian and development ministries other organizations do, while actively proclaiming the gospel and calling people to repentance and faith. You can learn more at www.livingbread.org/vision.

– It sounds like you guys get down to the “nitty gritty” of the fulfillment of the Great Commission. While there have to be some amazing stories of God’s grace being poured out, can you share with us your greatest joy?

My greatest joy is seeing lives transformed and the kingdom of God manifested in some of the darkest, most forgotten places on earth. Often when I attend worship services at our church plants, I find myself standing in the back of the room, listening to praise being lifted up to King Jesus from people who seemingly have no earthly reason to do so. I can’t help but praise him myself, through tears.

– Ok, now that we have discussed your greatest joy, let’s turn the page and ask the tough question: What is your greatest burden?

 

My greatest burden is to see Christ glorified. I believe transformed lives and the local church ministering to their own community in a comprehensive way, just as Jesus did, brings him tremendous glory.

 

– I have to say that your answers are humbling and challenging. Too often we get stuck on numbers and the insignificant. Sir, your answers have caused me to do a double-take on my own motives, burdens and what is truly the greatest burden on my heart. The truth is, for every believer, our burden should be to see Christ glorified in our words and deeds! If our focus is anywhere else then we are simply missing the mark.

– I know many people reading this and going to your website are going to be moved and desire to help in some capacity. What is your greatest need from the Body of Christ?

 We, of course, need prayer. Our churches are ministering in some of the darkest most dangerous places on earth. The enemy has held earthly dominion over urban slums for a long time and he has no desire to surrender it, but we rejoice that he who is in us is greater than he who is in the world.

 

I don’t like to talk about it, but the reality is there is a cost to this work. We have counted the cost and are willing to pay it, but we need others to help us. We need the church to invest in comprehensive church planting among the global poor to help us expand our work throughout South America and Southeast Asia. If anyone would like to partner with us they can do so at give.livingbread.org.

 

Anyone who would like to keep up with our work can sign up for our updates, and we will send them a thank you gift. www.livingbread.org/coffeesleeves

 

Thank you so much for your time and your heart. I look forward to hearing more about what is going on this ministry. Personally, I will contacting your office to see how I can get more engaged.

 

So now I have question for each of you that read this brief interview about Living Bread Ministries – What are you going to do about it? If you have been moved, as I have, I encourage you to reach out to them today. I like this approach – GET UP! Give, Engage, Tell – Undertake, Promise!

GIVE what God puts on your heart! You have TIME, TALENT & TREASURE – Why not give some of all three?

 

ENGAGE in this mission at some level – pray, volunteer, seek opportunities where you are.

 

TELL everyone you know about it! Get your church involved. Light up social media with all the information you can get. The livingbread.org has more media to share than you can imagine.

 

UNDERTAKE to make your involvement, at whatever level God puts on your heart, to be part of your daily walk, prayer and meditation.

 

PROMISE! It’s a big word but if you will make a commitment, giving this commitment to God, you will be amazed at how God will open doors for your. This is a ministry right at the very center of his heart and I believe He will move mountains for those who are sold-out for His causes!

 

So, GET UP Today! Do the next right thing and see how Christ will be glorified in your life.

Thank you Jesus for this incredible opportunity to share your story being lived out through this ministry! Amen