When Words Aren’t Enough

WordsNOTEnoughSometimes mere words aren’t enough. Sometimes what we’re facing escapes the bounds of language and human description. Sometimes what we face defies our ability to make any sense. It’s in moments like this that our hearts are broken, our faith is challenged, and we’re so crushed that to even pray seems impossible.

Likewise the Spirit also helpeth our infirmities: for we know not what we should pray for as we ought: but the Spirit itself maketh intercession for us with groanings which cannot be uttered. Romans 8:26

In another portion of scripture we learn we have a high priest which can be touched with the feeling of our infirmities (Hebrews 4:14-16). How could something like this even be possible? Jesus didn’t just teach and preach compassion, He was and is the embodiment of it.

Jesus, upon the death of His friend Lazarus, and seeing Mary weep, “He groaned in the spirit, and was troubled.” (John 11:33)

For the man, Christ Jesus, mere words could not describe the grief He was experiencing in that moment of loss. Let the irony, transparency, and humanity of that moment sink in; the ONE whom John said was THE WORD (John 1:14), had no words. He wept. He groaned. He was troubled.

Why is Jesus so qualified to come to your aid? He doesn’t sit idly by and witness your pain and suffering, He too groans in earnest empathetic pain, and He’s ready to do something about it.

Have any hopes and dreams that are “3-Days-Dead” and you fear smell so bad you couldn’t bear the sight of even thinking they could be brought back to life? Not only is your pain real, your God is real. His creative and regenerative powers are ready to swoop in and remedy your hurt! His resurrection power can and will breath new life into those long-forgotten dreams, hopes, and God given promises!

Before God’s Spirit would eventually intercede with unutterable “groanings” that were too great, too intense, too overwhelming, and too painful for words, Jesus groaned and wept with humanity, committing to never leave us nor forsake us. Praise God…now we can boldly say, “The Lord is my helper!

When words aren’t enough – God’s love is always enough!

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Inspirational Sermonettes, Devotionals, and Sermon Ideas for Busy Christians, Pastors, Teachers, and Bible Students!  Visit our ABOUT PAGE  for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you.  ~ RD Mangold

Fostering an Adoption Mindset

Adoption MindsetI won’t pretend to even begin to say I know what it is like growing up in the foster care system. I’ve had friends and even some family members who tell stories of what it’s like when you’re on the receiving end of being a foster kid in the system and longing for the day you will have a “forever home.” In fact, many can’t even relate to the concept of having a forever home because they’ve been bounced around from place to place, and family to family. You’re always in a state of flux and you’re always bracing yourself for when the rug is going to be pulled out from beneath you.

When I was younger my grandparents fostered a sister and brother and they fought like mad to be able to adopt them. These particular children were my age and I had grown to love them like my own sister and a brother. When the fateful day came for them to be reassigned, it devastated our family because we had grown to accept them and were willing to adopt them as our own flesh and blood, but the “System” wasn’t having it. The tears streamed down all our faces. It was one of the saddest days of my childhood. The relationships we had quite literally “fostered” were abruptly and tragically ended. In the words of Little Orphan Annie, “It’s a hard-knock life,” don’t even begin to describe the nightmarish life of these children.

While we all may not be able to relate to the hardships of foster life, there’s a generation out there right now that lives this kind of life in a constant state of spiritual, emotional, and relational flux; always bracing themselves for the next big break-up. We get bounced from broken relationship to broken relationship, longing for stability, love, and a forever home. But friends, in this world, it’s just not meant to be. God did not send His only begotten Son just to scoop up a bunch of foster kids. Christ came that He could adopt us all!

Herein lies the distinction. Christ doesn’t just want to be a foster parent. He doesn’t expect His church to just be a foster family. And, He’s certainly not in the market for relationships that come and go. God is committed to being your forever Father. He wants His Church to be your forever family, and He most certainly wants Heaven to be your Forever Home.

This world, at best, can only offer to be your foster parent, but Jesus wants to adopt you into the Family of God through His supreme sacrifice at Calvary. He paid the dearest price to ensure you were not only adopted but that you become an heir with Him for Eternity.

In the grand scheme of things, being adopted may not sound like the optimal outcome for children in this life. Some grow to feel their birth parents abandoned them. So Christ takes it one step farther. He not only adopts us, He allows us to be “born into this family” through His Death, Burial and Resurrection, we become the Sons and Daughters of God!

This is bigger than “foster-care” or adoption; this is about a New Birth experience, where your old life is buried with Christ, and you arise to become a New Creation in Him as well. Your old life is passed away, and all things are made new!

Ephesians 1:3 – 6, “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ: 4 According as he hath chosen us in him before the foundation of the world, that we should be holy and without blame before him in love: 5 Having predestinated us unto the adoption of children by Jesus Christ to himself, according to the good pleasure of his will, 6 To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Inspirational Sermonettes, Devotionals, and Sermon Ideas for Busy Christians, Pastors, Teachers, and Bible Students!  Visit our ABOUT PAGE  for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you.  ~ RD Mangold

The Gift Wrap and The Jewel – Wanda Goines

Special Edition of Serminutes

The Gift Wrap and The Jewel
Audrey Mangold (my Daughter-in-law) with her Nan and Audrey’s Daughter Piper (my granddaughter) with her Great-Nan

This Special Edition of “Serminutes” is dedicated to the memory of a precious lady from our church and family that passed away yesterday, August 29, 2018 at 8:00 a.m. Sis. Beverly Tackett, affectionately called “Nan” by all who loved her.

In the Fall of 2015, Kathryn Wilson, caretaker for 92-year-old Wanda Goines, recorded what would be come an internet sensation for the sentimental at heart. Kathryn was able to capture this precious poem on video as the author, Ms. Wanda, recites it. As if it weren’t sentimental enough, Ms. Wanda chokes up slightly toward the end which gives the viewer a clear picture of the sweetness and sensitivity of this dear soul.

Our dear sweet Sis. Nan was having a personal struggle after starting to attend our church. Her husband, George, Sr., had recently passed, and she felt she had outlived her usefulness in life. Without even realizing this powerful poem was out there, my wife Shannon was impressed by the Lord to tell Sis. Nan that she was a jewel to our church and family. Sis. Nan blushed, but was deeply touched by this description of her.

Not long after we returned home from service, Sis. Nan called us and was so excited to have discovered this very poem as it put to words exactly how the then 80-year-old Nan was feeling at the time.

We will sorely miss you Sis. Nan, but the inspiration and love you leave behind will long out live you for generations to come – we’ll see to that!

Below is the poem written by Wanda Goines who has herself passed as well, but like Nan, she was struggling to process how quickly her life had come to this present state. Please enjoy this poem entitled, “The Gift Wrap and the Jewel.”

I looked in the mirror and what did I see?
But a little old lady peering back at me
With bags and sags and wrinkles and wispy white hair
And I asked my reflection, how did you get there?

You once were straight and vigorous
And now you’re stooped and weak
When I tried so hard to keep you from becoming an antique
My reflection’s eyes twinkled and she solemnly replied

You’re looking at the gift wrap and not the jewel inside
A living gem and precious of unimagined worth
Unique and true, the real you, the only you on earth

The years that spoil your gift wrap with other things more cruel
Should purify and strengthen and polish up that jewel

So focus your attention on the inside, not the out
On being kinder, wiser, more content and more devout
Then when your gift wrap’s stripped away
Your jewel will be set free, to radiate God’s glory throughout eternity!

We will miss you Sis. Nan, but your memory will never be far from us, and we’re honored to continue your legacy of love. See you on the other side of Glory!

Your broken-hearted, but eternally grateful pastor, Rodger Mangold

For the actual video as recorded by her dear friend and caretaker, Ms. Kathryn Wilson, go to Youtube.com

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Inspirational Sermonettes, Devotionals, and Sermon Ideas for Busy Christians, Pastors, Teachers, and Bible Students!  Visit our ABOUT PAGE  for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you.  ~ RD Mangold

The Thread of Resilience

But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you. I Peter 5:10

Throughout the rough course that is our life, there is a thread of resilience carefully woven into the fabric of our existence. Viewed in the right light, that is the light of God’s love and grace, that thread takes on a hue of compassion and tenderness. In the absence of God’s light, that very same thread of resilience exhibits bitterness and resentment.

Resilience is borne out of resistance, hardship, and even tragedy. Some of what we endure is brought on by our own selfishness, but other times we are being chastened, or corrected by the Lord. Hebrews 12:11 encourages us that, “Now no chastening for the present seems to be joyous, but grievous: nevertheless afterward it yields the peaceable fruit of righteousness unto them which are exercised thereby.

Were it not for God’s loving, yet firm Hand, we would be as a fatherless child Hebrews tells us. In fact, God corrects those He loves. Were we left to our own devices, appetites, and affections, we would find ourselves miserable and lost. Knowing, that when God corrects us it builds resilience, should bring us peace of mind. Because God’s motive for correcting us is borne out of love, not some selfish desire to manipulate. God is ultimately cultivating us, if we allow Him, so that one day we can spend eternity with Him.

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute.  One Minute Spiritual Sermonettes and Sermon Ideas  for Busy Christians, Pastors, Teachers, and Bible Students!  Visit our ABOUT PAGE  for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you.  Rev. RD Mangold

"The Kingdom of Heaven" Brought to You by Jesus

And as ye go, preach, saying, The kingdom of heaven is at hand.  Matthew 10:7

When Jesus Christ showed up, He quite literally brought the Kingdom of Heaven to mankind. Blinded eyes were open. Deaf ears unstopped. Handicapped made to walk. The dead brought back to life. Though taking place in the physical first, after the infilling of the Holy Spirit He would also open the spiritually blinded eyes, deaf ears, create a new walk, and give us life eternal! Indeed, the Kingdom of Heaven was attainable!

The Sadducees and Pharisees thought they had the Kingdom of Heaven on lockdown with their rules and regulations, fines, tariffs, and penalties, but Jesus said, “except your righteousness shall exceed the righteousness of the scribes and Pharisees, ye shall in no case enter into the kingdom of heaven.” (Matthew 5:20)

Jesus came to pay the dearest of all prices – He gave His life to redeem you and me. Making the Kingdom of Heaven achievable! Friend, if you’re looking for love, hope, and purpose in your life, the Kingdom of Heaven is closer than you think…it’s at hand. Christ came to bring us life and that life more abundantly. Hope in this life and in the life to come, saying He went away to prepare a place for YOU!

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold

Weakness = Perfect Strength (Part 2 of 2)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Ephesians 6:10

Weakness reveals areas where strength is needed. Later, as weaknesses are revealed, those that are wise build support around those areas of their life, shoring them up and guarding them, where others hide them or behind them. Of course, try as we may, hiding our weaknesses from God is futile.

Our strength is imperfect, where God’s strength is perfect when we allow Him full reign. See, God can use our weaknesses to better reveal deeper facets of His Grace and Mercy. Rather than curse our weaknesses, we should glorify in them as the Apostle Paul in 2 Corinthians 12:9…Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

Rather than hide from them, or behind them, Paul allowed the sources of weakness; his embarrassment, shame, and perhaps even his past, to be a source of glory, not that he was proud of them, but rather than bring him down, Paul allowed those “flaws” to remind him, and others, as long as they were there, Christ’s power was resting upon him, as if to say, Paul had Christ’s undivided attention.

If you are weak, stop hiding behind, or even from your flaws; allow God’s infinite omnipotent power to equip you in every way possible to overcome your weakness and become strong, not in your power or might, but in the Lord’s!

Link to Part 1 – Weakness = Perfect Strength

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold

Weakness = Perfect Strength (Part 1 of 2)

Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might. Ephesians 6:10

Whether genetic or social, it seems engrained in us to want to please our parents. With few exceptions, we take great pride in gaining the approval of our parents. We want to show our independence and strength almost as if to say, “Hey Mom and Dad look what a great kid you raised.”

Ironically, this same display of “strength and independence” is viewed quite differently by God. Our text indicates the source of our strength should come from…The Lord and the power of his might (my emphasis). In fact, Apostle Paul learned this lesson while facing perhaps the most difficult time of his ministry. God’s answer to Paul’s request, “My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me (2 Cor. 12:9).”

When we “grow up” our inclination may be to want to take the reins. Not so with God. We become God’s “poster child” of perfected strength when we gain a proper perspective of our weakness. Weakness, borne out of humility, builds a strong reliance on God. His perfected strength revealed through our weakness brings God optimal Glory, and for us ultimate victory!

“Serminutes” – Sermon in a Minute. A one minute spiritual pick-me-up for busy Christians!  Visit this POST for details on what exactly that is. Thank you for visiting today! May the Lord richly bless you. Rodger Mangold