The First Pilgrims

Here is a Thanksgiving week guest post from my good friend Mitchell Wellman.  Enjoy!

Imagine spending 65 days on a boat with nothing but prayer, wind, and a current to determine the destination. With but one trunk to contain everything for their entire family they surely have left behind some things that were once called valuable. Near death, little food left, sickness ravaging their bodies and finally off in the distance they saw a glimmer of green on the horizon. Land! This wasn’t just any land but it is the promised land of freedom! This was the very thing they sacrificed everything for and finally it was within their grasp. 41 seeking religious freedom, 61 seeking to stake claim to prominence and 30 hired sailors, had made a trip thought by many to be impossible.

Quickly the excitement dwindled as a harsh winter wind began to blow and sickness swept through the group of settlers. By spring nearly half were dead, failing to get the opportunity to enjoy the fruit of their labor. So it was that the first celebration of a thanksgiving feast on American soil was celebrated in the shadow of 40 shallow graves only a few hundred feet away.

Photo by joiseyshowaa

These though were not the first pilgrims; that distinction is given in scripture to a group of great heroes in the 11th chapter of Hebrews.

Hebrews 11:13 These all died in faith, not having received the promises, but having seen them afar off, and were persuaded of them, and embraced them, and confessed that they were strangers and pilgrims on the earth.

I encourage you to read this chapter- these all includes Able, Enoch, Noah, Abraham, Sara, Isaac, Jacob, Moses, Rahab, Gedeon, Barak, Samson, Jepthae, David, Samuel and the prophets. The promises that they didn’t receive didn’t hinder their faith, but it was the substance of it. It was who they looked unto- yes, notice I said who and not what- they were looking unto the promise of a coming king who would break the curse of sin! Make note that Able, Enoch, and Noah were before Abraham’s promise of a descendant. Their promise was that of one who would restore fellowship between man and God. To those following Abraham was given the promise of a descendant- not a lineage as we often think;

Galatians 3:16 “Now, God made his promises to Abraham and to his descendant. The scripture does not use the plural “descendants,” meaning many people, but the singular “descendant,” meaning one person only, namely, Christ.” (TEV)

It is so that not only did these die without receiving the promise, but the evidence in their faith is that they saw Him afar off and were persuaded of Him. They were so convinced of the validity of the promise that they embraced it; even though it was afar off; as if it were within close reach! Because of this faith they were able to declare themselves Strangers- i.e. no longer citizens of, and Pilgrims- temporary, or sojourners through this world.

I want first pilgrim faith! I want to realize the temporal nature of my life and declare the promises of God are within my reach as I focus my attentions to the promise of a soon coming Jesus!

Start a journey, BE A PILGRIM!

In Spite Of The Donkey Chase

The following is a guest post written by a good friend of mine, Jonathan King.  He is also a contributing writer for the www.theonenessbridge.com.

1 Samuel 9:2-3 (From the Amplified Bible)

2 Kish had a son named Saul, a choice young man and handsome; among all the Israelites there was not a man more handsome than he. He was a head taller than any of the people. 3 The donkeys of Kish, Saul’s father, were lost. Kish said to Saul, Take a servant with you and go, look for the donkeys.

The Bible tells us about the day that the donkeys of Saul’s father were lost.  In those times, much like today, donkeys were among the least desirable animals to have. Lets be honest… Donkeys are a pain! They never seem to want to go where you want them to go, and they rarely will do what you want them to do. And yet when they were lost, Saul is sent to find them.

Saul, as described here in 1st Samuel, is a man wrapped in an incredible heritage. Seven generations of Saul’s family is traced out and history would tell us that success surrounded his lineage. Not only did he have the heritage, but the Bible says that he was the most handsome man in all of Israel! Saul had it going on! But today, he is sent to find some lost DONKEYS!

 
 

Photo by h.koppdelaney

 

If we were to be honest, most of us become slightly irritated when we are sent on donkey chases. You know what I’m talking about… Its those tasks from the Lord that even though I may not say it, I am definitely thinking “Seriously Lord? Don’t you have somebody else to do this?” I’m sure that Saul wasn’t thrilled about going to hunt down those donkeys. He would never have said it to his father, but you better believe when he got out of hearing distance, that servant heard his frustration!

Donkey chases have so much in common with my life it seems. How?

  • Did you know that most donkeys are sterile? They are incapable of producing ANYTHING! Have you ever been given a task that didn’t seem as though was capable of producing any thing of value?
  • A donkey is almost always associated with being a pain and hard to be around. Have you ever been given a task from God to love someone who maybe was a little difficult to be around?

I think you get the picture. The reality is that any of the servants of Saul’s’ household could have easily been sent to find these ignorant donkeys, but daddy sent Saul. And so Saul departed on his donkey chase.

Have you ever realized that it was while Saul was in the middle of a job that someone else SHOULD have been doing that he met the Prophet who anointed him as King of Israel? You see, God is able to do AMAZING things in spite of the Donkey Chase!

I encourage you to never be discouraged about the tasks that you find yourself performing. Who knows what the Lord is trying to show you. You very well could find the greatest calling of your life… In Spite of the Donkey Chase!

Coloring Inside The Lines

The following is a guest post from my little brother, Jeffrey Bryant.  Jeff is incredibly intelligent and talented and has a knack for writing and story-telling (not to mention the fact that he is dangerously funny).  I have been trying to convince him to start a blog for some time now with no luck.  Leave a comment and help me convince him!

From the beginning of time, people have always been told to “color inside the lines.”  If we go outside the boundaries, the picture just will not look good anymore.  But what happens when we are coloring the picture of our life?  It becomes a situation where we must set our own boundaries.  Every person we come in contact with is  a different color, and every thing that happens is a page in the coloring book.

So we go through our lives, coloring this and coloring that, trying so hard to decide where we belong.  And we do our best to organize our lives – to sort all the different crayons in the box.  We may do it one color together.  Or maybe even by which colors we use the most.  And sometimes other colors hurts us.  But more often, we hurt other colors.  We may try to blame them for the scribbled mess that is our life, but everything that happens is a result of stepping outside the boundaries.

Coloring outside the lines is a bold step to take, but it is still one that must be taken.  If we color inside the lines, like we have always been taught, then new knowledge, new pain, new joy – these things will never come.  But when we step outside our boundaries – outside our comfort zone – things start to happen, and new pictures are created.  They are the things of our imagination, not someone else’s.

When we color outside the lines, it is a picture of ourselves – a portrait of what we have been through; our insecurities, our fears, our secret desires, our hopes, and our dreams.  So a challenge has been placed before each of us.  But it is more than a challenge; it is an opportunity.  Are we going to stay inside the lines and be “comfortable”? Or are we going to step outside our boundaries – risking ridicule, pain, fearing everything and everyone around us in order to reveal our very essence and creat a true portrait of ourselves?  As for me, I choose to always “color” OUTSIDE the lines!

I’m The Best Failure Ever

Too soon for my first guest post?  I think not.  I would like to introduce you to a friend of mine.  His name is Brad Titus.  He is an inspiring writer, a preacher of Truth, and he has a great mind.  You should read his blog if you don’t already.  Enjoy!  Leave Brad a comment.

I’m not perfect.

Most people aren’t.

A friend of mine has started blogging and he recently talked about one of those types of days where you just want to reboot … as he put it, an epic fail day.

I was thinking about my failures – there are a lot of them – and what I’ve learned from them over the years.

I learned that receiving the Holy Ghost doesn’t mean that you won’t fail again. Two days after I first received the Holy Ghost, I lied to my German teacher and forged my dad’s signature on a test. God doesn’t write us off when we disappoint Him.

I learned that God can take dead, dry bones and make them live – following a three-year period where I couldn’t reach God, a late-night prayer meeting brought a refilling of the Holy Ghost that started an entire new season of spiritual growth.

I learned that a righteous man isn’t righteous because he never falls, but because he keeps getting up. After crying out for grace and then turning to spit  in God’s face time and again, I reached a point of total brokenness. God opened doors and placed me in a rehab program in California, where I was tested, tried, equipped, and restored. Since that time, God has opened doors in my life and used me in ways that I never dreamed possible.

I’m not perfect, but I do my best to walk after Christ. When I fall short, I don’t stay down. I rise up again.

If this post blessed you in anyway, please leave a comment for Brad.  Thanks for Reading!