How deep the Father’s Love

Before I get into the meet of this blog post, take a listen to this song. I really think it will put us all in the right mood for this post which follows below.

How Deep the Father’s Love by Selah

A good friend of mine sent me a very moving story this morning which I would like to share with all of you. I’m paraphrasing here what they said with their permission. I hope that I do this story justice.

Basically, when they were little, they helped to take care of a dog which they loved and cared for deeply, more than words ever can express.

By the way, this is a true story. One night, a thunderstorm came through their area. The way that the story was handed down to me, it sounded like the thunder was quite bad, and quite noisy.

This poor dog, as you probably can imagine, crawled under the bed, and would not come back out. He was scared like crazy of the thunder, and was in a complete utter pannick.

At the time, my friend was the only one there who was small enough to crawl under the bed, and retrieve the dog.

the story could very easily just end here, but there is a very beautiful part to this which actually occured instead. My friend, (we’ll just call her Jennifer, not her real name, but to keep things orderly, I’ll give her an alias,) crawled under the bed, but instead of coming back out with the dog in hands, she spent the whole night under the bed with the dog, speaking softly to it, curling up beside it, holding it in her arms, etc. I’m even told that she sang lullabyes softly to the dog until it finally stopped shaking, and calmed down, which resulted, if I’m understanding this correctly, in both the dog and she falling asleep, again, both under the bed.

Wow! Just wow! Think about this story for just a moment. Think about the parallels we see here in relation to how this clearly illustrates God’s love for all of us children.

First of all, God loves us with a love which passes all of our understanding. Jesus says, “Come to me, and I will give you rest.” (Jeremiah 29:11.) Isn’t that exactly what this story about “Jennifer” and that dog represents?

God could very easily require us to come to him when we’re scared, lonely, full of anxiety, heartbroken, mad, tired, the list just goes on and on! But instead, he’s always there. Hebrews 13 verse 5 sums it up perfectly by saying, “For the Lord has said, I will never leave thee nor forsake thee.” Also, in John chapter 14, Christ tells us, “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in the Father, trust also in me.” What a beautiful thing! God comes to us during the thunderstorms of our life.

Just as the dog trusted in my friend, surrendering itself to her fully, is this not exactly what we should do when we feel like that dog certainly had to have felt?

At times, we just want to run and hide. The noise of the storms in our life get too loud. They’re scarey! Maybe it’s that you’re moving. Maybe it’s you being unsure of certain friendships. Maybe it’s your job… Maybe it’s the fear of this whole pandemic with Covid19 that we’re currently in the midst of. Readers, I’m here to tell you, it’s hard! Real hard! But praise be to our loving Father in Heaven above that we can have this same comfort which was given to that dog.

You know… we call this ministry “Genuine Safe Haven” Ministries. When God meets us in that place, the storms can be calmed. Look at what Jesus did with the twelve disciples. They were in a boat with Jesus when a storm raged through the sea.

Now, think about this for a minute. Imagine you were Peter, James, John, one of those twelve men. Here you are out to sea, your in a boat, probably not a very big boat either. All of a sudden a big storm approaches. Scientifically speaking here, wouldn’t you think for someone in a boat in the middle of the sea, this would be very scarey? You could capsize, and be killed!

Now, here are these twelve disciples. They weren’t just scared… they were terrified, and reasonably so! They went to Jesus, but goodness gracious, he’s over here snoring away sound asleep. Now watch this though.

Once Jesus was woken, what did he do?

That’s right… he rebuked the winds, and the storms. He said, “Be still!” In the storm, Jesus… God… met all of them in their need. And alas, the storms indeed were calmed.

When my friend extended her compassion to this pet, she might not of used those exact words, “Be still, doggy,” but through her gentleness, love, mercy, grace and compassion for him, she brought rest, joy, and peace to him.

If *she* could bring that much love to a pet dog, think how much more love, joy, and compassion Christ brings to his children who choose to believe, and receive.

Maybe that’s something you’ve never done before. Maybe you’ve gone to church, maybe you’ve carried out the moves with your parents, your family, others in your congrigation, etc. Maybe you’ve thought, “I go to church, I try to do good as much as I can. Surely God will reward that, and let me into heaven when I die.”

My friends, the time has now come. We need to boldly profess our faith in the one and the only God almighty, the one messiah. Jesus never said things on earth would be peeches and cream. He never promised joy all the time. In fact, he assured us of quite the oppisit. Here pon earth, this is a sinful world. But Christ came to take the penelty for our wrong doings. You see… All of us have done wrong. We’ve all sinned. If you think you’ve not done so, let me ask you something.

Have you ever raised your voice at your parents when you were younger? Have you ever called someone a fool, or a jerk, stupid, etc? Have you ever lied about something, even if you think it was just a small little fib? Maybe it was so, but the point is, you lied, did you not?

Jesus paid all of this. The punnishment concequences for all of these actions is death! I don’t mean to scare you by saying this, but we all should die because of what we’ve done. That even includes me, so don’t think I’m singling you readers out here! Both children, and adults deserve that punnishment. But!!!!! and here’s the big, “but!!!!!”

Jesus came to this earth as man in flesh, basically no different than you and me. He was on this earth, and lived a perfect life. That’s not something any of us have done, nor ever can do! But Jesus did it. Even through people hating him! He was brutally made fun of. Have you ever in school had people call you names? Jesus was called names. “King of the jews!” He was accused of the unpardonable sin of blasphamy against the Holy Spirit. Have you ever been hit or punched by another person? If not, well, thast’s good, have you ever as a child been spanked? That’s still getting hit! Call it what you will, the point is, not to trigger anything in you, I hope I don’t, but, the point is, if you were as a small child, even just a small little pop, the point is, you were hit.

Guess what!? Jesus not only was hit, he was stripped naikid of all his clothes in public mind you, and was stuck in his side with a sharp spere. I won’t go into the graphic nature of this more to say, do you like going to the doctor, and getting a shot? Now, imagine that, times literally infinity!

As if that wasn’t enough, we spat on him, we cursed him, we made fun of his Father, we taunted him, we mocked him, we percecuted him, and ultimately in the longrun, we took 3 feet long sharp nails, rammed them through his hands, and through his feet, all the way through from one side to the other, and nailed him to a wooden cross. Then, while he was bleeding to death dying, we stood back and laughed, like this was a joking matter. Oh Father forgive us! Jesus himself even said, “Father forgive them, they know not what they do.”

Do you think Jesus was scared like this dog was under that bed? Pardon the crude pun, but, oh heavens was he ever! At one point the night before he was crucified, Jesus went out alone. He was so scared with anguish, he practically bled from his brow. If you don’t know what a brow is, basically, think your forehead, essentially, right above your eyes. He was so scared, that this happened.

Face literally in prostration to the ground, he prayed, “Father, if this be thy will, please take this cup from me.”

Now, obviously, he wasn’t talking about an actual physical drinking cup/mug. He was symbolicly referring to taking away this fear, but more so, taking away what he knew inevitably was coming. Go back to the doctor for a minute. Have you now, or as a small child ever begged your doctor to not stick you with a needle? OK, imagine that, times a hundred million trillion times more scared than that!

But, Jesus loved you so much, my friend, dear reader, that he sacrificed. He layd down his life willingly for you, and for me. He took exactly that death punnishment we deserve. Remember I said a bit ago that because of the things we’ve done, we deserve, children and adults both to die? Well, not anymore! Jesus did it for us. Jesus laid down his life. He died for you, and for me. “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only son, that whosoever believes in him will not parish, but instead have eternal life.” (John 3:16.”

But that’s still not the end. Jesus rose 3 days later! That’s why you and me celibrate Easter, Pascha, call it what you will. That day isn’t about an Easter bunny, all fluffy giving us candy jellybeans on Sunday morning. It’s a time to celebrate this miraculous gift which Christ has given to us. By his reserection, we now have the ability to be saved from death. Sure, we’ll die here, no way around it, but nothing! not even death ever will separate us from God’s mighty love!

So think about this a moment, my friend loved that dog so much, she gave it her everything! She stayed with him all night. She held him in her arms, and spoke/sang words of peace to him. “Be still.” If she has that much compassion for a little dog, think about with her only being human how much more, God being so much beyond humanity in spirit and truth, think about how much God loves that dog! Now, if he can love a dog, a sparrow, a butterfly, a fish, heck, a small little cockroach for goodness sake, a dung beetle! OK, now, I’m getting gross! Ewww! Disgusting! Right? Anyway, my point is, if he could love those creatures yet that he created so much more than my friend even loved that dog, if he loves us so much that he sent his son, his only son, to die for me, for you, isn’t that a friend that you want to know forever, and spend your whole life loving, and thanking?

Friends, don’t miss this beautiful opertunity. You have right now a chance to make the best and most important disision you’ll ever make. God didn’t say things would be happy happy joy joy after you do so… I’m just telling you that now. If anything, things will get harder. It’s scarey, I know! But, you now have something you didn’t before! You don’t then have to fight these battles yourself! You don’t have to even fight them at all! The victory already is won! Jesus Christ has concored death! He’s paid for everything you’ve done.

Please dear friend, will you today put your trust in him, and ask for his forgiveness?

If you are willing to do that, then I want to talk to you personally. You can reach out to me through the contact link on this website.

Are you ready to make that decision? If so, then will you read this prayer quietly aloud. You don’t have to shout it. You don’t have to even verbally speak if you get choked up. And you know what? Jesus whept! Do you not think Jesus cried when he was treated so horribly?

Let Jesus wipe those tears from your eyes. Precious child of god, come to him today. I pleed with you, and so does he! Softly and tinderly Jesus is calling, calling for you and for me, see on the portles he’s waiting and watching, watching for you and for me. Come home, come home! Ye who are weery, come home! Earnestly tenderly, Jesus is calling. Calling, “Poor sinner! Come home!”

Will you pray this prayer with me? Just repeat it out loud if you can. If you can’t, God knows your heart. Pray it then silently, but really try out loud, if you can. Again, don’t neglect to e-mail me if you do so. I mean it! I wanna hear about it that you made this decision!


God, I know I am a sinner.

Thank you Jesus for loving me.

Thank you for coming to this earth, dying in my place, and saving me from all my filthy sin.

Lord Jesus, I have messed up in the past so badly! Please have mercy on me.

Forgive me Lord. I am so sorry!

Thank you for dying on the cross to take my place.

Thank you for shedding your blood so that I may know you, and spend forever more with you in your kingdom.

Accept me today Lord, as your precious child.

I love you, Lord Jesus!

Please come into my heart right now. Save me, Lord.

You are my savior from this point forever more forward,

Now, and into the ages of ages,

Glory to the Father and the Son, and the Holy Spirit.

I pray this in your name…

Amen.

My dear friend, if you prayed that prayer, and fully believe and meant what you just said, then you did it! You are now saved forever more, and I personally want to then welcome you to the family!

As I said, reach out to me, e-mail me! I want to hear about what you just did. Whether that’s on Facebook, Twitter, via e-mail, just somehow, contact me!

Glory be to god in the highest!

Who is better? Who should we support?

At Genuine Safe Haven Ministries, we aim to answer real questions with real life answers. Sometimes, these questions might be difficult to discuss, or may cause some controversy amongst believers. However, we strive to bring you the best content based not on feelings, but instead on what is written in God’s word.

In this post, I’d like to address a concern which causes a lot of people to head down a worldly dangerous path.

I see all the time on the news, on social media, hearing people publicly speak, etcetera, saying how bad our government is right now. I can’t deny that our government is in a rough place right now. Further, this current pandemic we are facing with Covid19 certainly is not helping matters.

All this said, I am constantly seeing/hearing comments which are directed towards certain political parties, or worse, certain people in the political field.

I’m not hear to repeat things which I have heard verbatim word by word, as that is not only irrelevant to this topic at hand, some of the things said are extremely inappropriate!

Before we go any further, here are a few questions you may be asking:

  • So, Chris, are you a republican, or do you instead support the democratic party?
  • Do you think Donald J Trump is doing a disservice to our country and us citizens?
  • Are you glad that people are speaking out about the heinous things which were both said and done by the Clintons?

Let me just be up front with all readers. These are questions which I do not feel at all comfortable answering, and therefore, I won’t so directly. However even if I did so, that isn’t the point, if I had to be completely blunt.

Let’s look at what the scriptures say about this. In Romans chapter 13 verse 1, we are told, “Everyone must submit to governing authorities. For all authority comes from God And those in position of authority have been placed there by God.

Now that said, you might be thinking, “Goodness! All authority is from God? So, are you telling me, Chris, that these countries who are under dictatorships or comunism trying to put their authority on citizens is from God?” Whooo! Good! question! I’m glad that you not only saw this, but also asked this question, as it definitely is one which people can get very confused about based on the previous verse mentioned. I therefore offer to you the following verse to further explain:

The verse can be found in the book of Jude. Jude chapter 1, verse 8. “In the same way, these people, who claim authority from their dreams live immoral lives, defy authority, and scoff at supernatural beings.”

In other words, there is such thing as authority which is abused/misused. That is exactly what these people leading comunist governments are doing. Rather than seeking God for wisdom, they instead look to their own logic of thinking.

Before we go any further, I want to give you one more scriptural reference. Let’s look at Acts chapter 5, verse 29. This is very important, as it explains what we are to do with this authority given by God.

“But Peter and the apostles replied, we must obey God rather than any human authority.”

So, what does this say about our government? What does this say about Donald Trump? What does this say about Bernie Sanders? What does this say about Bill Clinton, etc? I’m not here to make that call, nor answer that question. The constitution of the United States gives each citizen the right to make his or her own beliefs on this subject.

I think, however, that what we must be very careful about here is to not fall into the worldly trap of making opinions about certain people who are higher up in authority based on what nationality they may be, what sex or race they mmay be, etc.

Look, no one is perfect… no one except for Christ alone. Has our president made mistakes, goodness gracious yes! Have previous leaders in the Church, (notice the capital C,) messed up? Have previous government officials, soldiers, etc. made mistakes? Absolutely so! But quite frankly, we live in a world of the flesh. Ever since the time of Adam and Eve, we’ve lived in a crewel and fallen world. We all have fallen to the misfortune of sin. And the price of sin is death. But again, Christ came as the Lamb of God to set us free. Because of this, we can not only be a free country, but we further can be a free world.

But that isn’t going to happen unless people turn their eyes to what really matters, and that is the one, the only true messiah, Jesus Christ. I could go on about how that’s never going to happen, given the nature of our world being in such corruption, but that’s for another blog entry altogether. My point is, let’s not get hung up on asking questions like, which political party is right or wrong, who is better, who is worse.

Instead, let’s be asking the harder question of is God being honored through the actions of certain people/groups. If you can turn in your bible to God’s word and identify beyond a shadow of a doubt that God’s commandments and teachings are being obeyed, then that is the people/groups of authority that we need to respect.

This year you have the opertunity as a US citizen to give your vote/input on our next US president. What will you do? Are you going to base your decision soly on your heart, and what it tells you, or will you instead embrace the truth according to scripture? I urge you over this weekend coming up on Memorial Day to really think about this, and further, as we draw closer to the day of elections that you continue doing the same.

Helping those who are questioning

Often, people ask me what the first place is in the bible that I direct people to if they are clearly not a christian, but are seeking with various different questions.

At first, I thought maybe John 3:16 would be appropriate, as it explains very clearly how one must gain salvation by believing in the son, Jesus Christ, and accepting him as your Lord and savior.

The more however I thought about it, I realized that at the end of the day, some people may not understand this concept if they have not previously been involved much in the christian faith. So what to do?

Finally, I came up with the idea to gently explain the story of the prodigal son, or as some call it, “The Lost son.”

For those who don’t know much about this, let me explain.

Jesus was talking to Peter, James, and John. Isn’t it interesting how they are usually the ones who are always with Jesus? Jesus tells a story of a man who is the son of a father.

This man, one day, comes to his father asking for all the father’s money… basically, his entire inheritance.

You can imagine how hurt this must have made the father, though we really don’t know his reaction at first; the bible doesn’t disclose that information.

What we do however know is that the father accepts the request, and gives his son the money.

So, OK, pause. Let’s take a moment and reflect on this. You’re a man with a child. This child comes to you one day, totally out of the blue sky and asks you for all your money. You already have told your son, “I love you so much, I’d give you anything in the world to make you happy.” So naturally, what would you do? Do you not most likely trust your son? Most likely, you’d oblige.

Well, that’s exactly what the dad did in this parable spoken by Jesus. He gave his son all the money he had; he kept none to himself! Are you seeing the connection here yet? In other words, the dad sacrificed everything he had. He gave everything.

Now, fast forward a short period of time. This son goes out of the land, spends all the money… every single penny of it, very foolishly.

Now, a famine overtakes the land. People are hungry, resources are limited. You don’t have to be a rocket scientist to know that even back in those times, resources took money to own. You want property, money needed. You want food? Usually, money needed. OK, you may get a good samaritan along the way who freely helps you, don’t get me wrong, but I’m saying usually, key word, it took money. – Indulge me here, and hear me out.

Needless to say, the son in this story had blown it all. I mean, epicly! He misused all the money, and now couldn’t afford anything when he urgently needed it. The son was overwhelmed with guilt and shame. He had planned this big speech to give to his father.

So, the son goes back to his father, and gets ready to tell him: “Father, I’ve wronged you terribly! I’ve sinned against thee. I am unworthy to be called your son…” etc.

Now before reading further, if you’re this father, what would you be tempted to do. Remember here, you gave your son say, half a million dollars, let’s just say for sake of example. That’s a wappin’ lot of mĂșla! My guess is, you’d be pretty irritated, or at the very least, you’d probably be quite hurt, wouldn’t you? I know I sure would be. I mean, let’s just be very real here with each other.

Instead however, this father opens up his arms wide, even before the son gets close enough to audibly be heard most likely by his father even if shouting at the top of his lungs. But, and this is the huge “but” that I want you the reader to see here that is so beautiful! With open arms, the father doesn’t demand any explanation, no speech… nothing. Instead, he draws the son in close into his loving arms, “Oh son! Oh! Son!” He is so happy to see his son, he doesn’t give a hoot one way or another about what the son has done.

“But, Chris,” you say, “he zpent all the dad’s money!” Yes. He did. I know that. I’m perfectly aware of that. But that’s not the point here. The point is, regardless, the father not only forgave his son, but you know what he also then did? He called to the highest survant and commanded, “Go kill the fattest cow, bring him something to drink, let’s have a party! For my son was once lost, but now, he’s been found!”

The story doesn’t end here, believe it or not. Now, we have another man, who was the brother of the son who just came home that we’ve previously been discussing. This brother always had worked hard for his dad, always had done exactly what his dad told him, never tried cheating his dad out of land, money, crop, or anything. At the end of the day, you couldn’t have asked for a better son.

When the father sees the brother also coming home, he tells the brother, “You’re brother is home! Your brother is home!” I’m sure I can just see the father jumping in the air and shouting for joy.

However, the brother is filled with resentment, and most likely hurt, and probably even, if I had to guess, anger. Can you blaim him? I mean think about this. Here’s this man who never has gone against his father… never! Yet, then parallel over here, we have the brother who just spent the dad’s whole entire wealth of money for something incredibly foolish. He basically just threw all the money away like it was dirt. The dad is welcoming home the first son, but the second son, all he’s concerned about is telling the brother, “Your brother is home!” No “Hello son. It’s so great to see you as well,” or anything. Wouldn’t you no doubt be hurt? I sure would be!

The brother says to the father, “Dad, you were never pleased by me. You never seemed to care when I did good. Or at least if you did, you never commended me for my efforts,” etc. But dear reader, this is the part I want you to see if you see nothing else in this blog post.

The father turns to this second son and says, “Yeah, but son… your brother is home! We have to throw a party! I love and care about you too, son. I may not have commended you every time you did something good, but you know what son? You had me, and I had you. We never left each other, did we?”

For new christians, I think telling this story is so beautiful, as it completely represents Christ’s love for each of us.

First of all, we don’t deserve Christ’s love. None of us do! But thanks be to our loving Father in Heaven who came and shed his blood on the cross for us to pay the price of our sins, I am forgiven… you are forgiven, the person who is seeking is forgiven! All it takes is for us to be that prodigal son… Come home to the Father. He never demands an answer from us trying to explain why we did, or didn’t do what we did/didn’t do. He only commands a repentant heart… that’s all! If we believe that Christ rose from the dead three days later, shed his blood at Calvary for you and for me unconditionally though undeserved, gave us a reserved ticket to Glory Land to spend eternity with him in Heaven, and finally, if we except him as our Lord and savior, then we’re saved.

Now there’s a second part to this. The person seeking might then do exactly what the second brother did. They may tell you that they have prayed countless times, they may have asked over and over, “God, I don’t see you, where are you?” This is where you tell them the second part of the story about the lost son. You tell them about the second brother, and how the father responded to him.

You may not see God walking along side you because guess what… you’re not walking. God is. God is carrying you the whole time in his loving arms, and is there with you always! Therefore, you’re only gonna see one set of footprints in the sand. What a beautiful beautiful illustration of the gospel!