“I AM the Way, the Truth and the Life.

No one comes to the Father

except through Me”

John 14:6

Pastors Noreen & Henry  Kevern

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Psalm 42

As the deer pants for streams of water, so my soul pants for You, my God.
My soul thirsts for God, for the living God. When can I go and meet with God?
My tears have been my food day and night, while people say to me all day long,
    “Where is your God?”
These things I remember as I pour out my soul: how I used to go to the house of God
    under the protection of the Mighty One
[d] with shouts of joy and praise
 among the festive throng.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him my Savior and my God.

My soul is downcast within me; therefore I will remember You
from the land of the Jordan, the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.
Deep calls to deep in the roar of Your waterfalls, all Your waves and breakers
    have swept over me.

By day the Lord directs His love, at night His song is with me—
    a prayer to the God of my life.

I say to God my Rock, “Why have you forgotten me?
Why must I go about mourning, oppressed by the enemy?”
10 My bones suffer mortal agony
    as my foes taunt me, saying to me all day long,  “Where is your God?”

11 Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him, my Savior and my God.

GOD uses us completely when we are broken completely. Have you even been broken so completely? Are you a vessel for GOD’s love?

Kris Kristofferson wrote this song back in 1972. He was not a church goer but a friend invited him to go to Rev Jimmie Rogers Snow church and he heard Larry Gatlin sing,” Help me, Lord”. After the song, Pastor Jimmie made an altar call. Kris found his hand going up and the next thing he knew, he was walking to the altar. Pastor Jimmie asked him if he was ready to accept Jesus and he answered honestly that he did not know. Pastor Jimmie prayed over Kris, he doesn’t remember the words, but Kris describes the moment of complete love and forgiveness. And out of that love of GOD he wrote “Why me, Lord”.

What were the words that Kris heard that made him realize that he needed more in his life, more than money or fame?

Lord, Help Me Jesus

Lord, Help me walk

Another mile, just one more mile,

I'm tired of walkin' all alone.

Lord, Help me smile

Another smile, just one more smile,

I know I just can't make it on my own.

I never thought I needed help before,

I thought that I could do things by myself.

Now I know I just can't take it any more.

With a humble heart, on bended knee,

I'm beggin' You, please, Help Me.

Come down from Your golden

Throne to me, to lowly me,

I need to feel the touch of Your tender hand.

Remove the chains of darkness

And let me see, Lord let me see,

Just where I fit into your master plan.

I never thought I needed help before,

I thought that I could do things by myself.

Now I know I just can't take it any more.

With a humble heart, on bended knee,

I'm beggin' You, please, Help Me.

Written by: LARRY GATLIN

What agony must have Larry been feeling to write such a song and what agony Kris must have felt to bring him to his knees and to come to the knowledge that he needed Jesus. Kris was doing very well in music and did not realize that he needed GOD. His story reminds us that GOD plants in each of us the need to know Him and to love Him. And Help me Lord was the tool which GOD used to show Kris the way.

Have you had any experience that has brought you to your knees, broken completely and like clay, ready to be molded into a vessel to be used by GOD? Would you like to share that experience? It is through our experiences that GOD speaks to others.  They are our testimonies to what GOD has done for us and to be able to tell others about His amazing love.

Like you, Henry and I have had many experiences in our lives that have brought us to a closer walk with GOD. Over the years I have kept thinking that I had surrendered all to GOD, but sadly I have found that too many times I have thought I had but life threw me a curve and I tried to fix on my own what was wrong. And even now, I still seem to find myself wanting to do it my way, but the LORD gently reminds me to trust in Him alone. One of the most terrifying times in our lives was when Henry sneezed one day and blew out his lower back. All of a sudden, he could not walk. GOD had told me to trust Him but as I was worried about what to do. I was a stay at home mom and Henry was the bread winner qand we had four children. So I took a job something I knew GOD did not want me to do but I had to be in control. I have suffered with manic depression since I was a teenager, and in taking this job, GOD seemed to have left me. I did not feel Him or hear Him any longer and I was afraid. But instead of quitting, I doubled down and when GOD gave Henry back his ability to walk again, I did not quit but continued to work. I was scared that Henry would not be able to work again as he was in extreme pain even though he was now able to walk. The extent of his damage to his spinal cord and back had the doctor telling him he would be in a wheelchair by age 50 which was 10 years away. So I felt I had to keep working because he would not be able to. I plunged into a pit of depression, spiraling down so far that I would come home from work and take a couple of shots of rum and then drink wine the rest of the evening. I could not remember my kids names, and slowly I descended to the point I wanted to kill myself. I functioned outside by inside I was dying. I worked, kept house, was youth minister at church, but inwardly I needed help. For over 5 years I worked all the time refusing to let go and let GOD. But GOD never let me go. One Wednesday morning as I was lying in bed, crying, I told Henry I could not go to work any longer. He told me to quit and I did. Just called and told them I quit. Suddenly I felt GOD, His forgiveness, His love flowing over me. I quit my job, drinking, anti-depressants and gave GOD my life again.

Acts 26:17-18 New International Version (NIV)

17 I will rescue you from your own people and from the Gentiles. I am sending you to them 18 to open their eyes and turn them from darkness to light, and from the power of Satan to God, so that they may receive forgiveness of sins and a place among those who are sanctified by faith in ME.’

Praise the LORD, O my soul. I praise YOU, LORD for rescuing me from myself, for never giving up on me. And I thank YOU for using me for YOUR will and for YOUR glory.

GOD continues to teach us and HIS Word is our daily bread. I have found that by reading it daily, it fills me and teaches me. We are never too old to learn and I have found that even though I have read through the Bible many times, it still continues to open up to me and teach me. Because the HOLY SPIRIT lives in me, GOD opens more and more of HIS incredible love as I go through HIS Word.

What has GOD created you for? Are you living your life for GOD and giving Him the glory? Even when things go wrong, do you still praise GOD? Remember Job? He lost his children and the devil inflicted him with painful sores from the top of his head to the bottom of his feet. But Job did not curse GOD but accepted it. As time went on and things did not get better, Job wanted to justify himself to GOD. How often do we justify ourselves to GOD, thinking we are doing all we need to do, to be in His will? Job wanted to come before GOD and tell GOD how good he was. His friends told him that it was his fault these things happened, that he had to have done something wrong for GOD to punish him so. Have you ever felt that in times of trouble? Why me, LORD? I do good things, I pray to You. So why are these things happening?  In the end of the book of Job, he repents of his righteousness because it was not GOD’s righteousness and GOD forgave him and blessed him again.

Kris was brought to his knees, not knowing why, but knowing something was missing in his life. And GOD did not leave him alone, but sent many people to show him he needed GOD. Kris saw how blessed his life was and wrote this song to thank GOD and so that it could be used to bring others to the knowledge that they too need GOD. We are each vessels to be used by GOD to show others His light and love. We need to use our brokenness, our blessings and let our lives be all that GOD wants it to be.

Larry Gatlin now sings Help me, LORD as a prayer, as his gift for singing has been compromised with vocal cord problems. But He trusts GOD.

Why, my soul, are you downcast? Why so disturbed within me?
Put your hope in God, for I will yet praise Him my Savior and my God.

Psalm 42:5

And GOD is still teaching me. It has been a year of living with diabetes but GOD has got this. HE has my whole life and HE is still teaching me every day with HIS Word, His way, His truth and His life.

I was reading the book, And No Religion Too by Edward Goble from Taylor County, Kentucky and these words that he wrote spoke to me.

They knew me, loved me, and wanted the best for me. If I could tell pastors and leaders one thing it would be that people are still looking for that.  all people see of the church of Jesus Christ are mega campuses and light shows, slick, professional bands and polished, type-A leaders that insulate themselves like they are running a country, not a community of faith, then we will continue to effectively hide that which is our greatest strength,

and people will continue to seek relief elsewhere. All that other stuff is crap, it really is. We don’t need to be the best and we don’t need to be slick. We don’t need to be right all the time. We have so much more to offer. What people need, what people really want, is to be loved, appreciated, valued and listened to.

Sometimes you want to go, where everybody knows your name, and they’re always glad you came. Edward Goble, Taylor County, Kentucky July 2008

He goes on to talk about the show, Cheers, where everybody knows your name and that is truly what we want in the body of Christ. We want a church that teaches us about Jesus because we need to know, to be loved, appreciated and valued for our talents and gifts that GOD has given us and where we listen to each other. He sees that church has strayed from what Jesus came to do and how the early church was in the book of Acts.

We were created by GOD and for GOD. HE gives us freewill to choose HIM and when we do, HIS love and forgiveness covers us and through His HOLY SPIRIT brings us to everything that we need in our lives when we surrender all. We are called to share with others because we are His disciples today to bring JESUS to a hurting world.

Jesus loved people and His goal was and is to teach people to love GOD and others. In Mark 12:29-31 Jesus says, “Love the LORD your GOD with all of your heart and all of your soul, with all of your mind and with all of your strength and to love one another as you love yourself.” It is pretty simple how we are to live. Years ago when I was teaching 6th graders and we were talking about the 10 Commandments, I taught them that Jesus wanted to make it really easy for us to know GOD. He took those ten commands and combined them to make it simple enough for everyone. Jesus came to show us a simple life, full of love and faith and trust in GOD.

“But I fear, lest somehow, as the serpent deceived Eve by his craftiness, so your minds may be corrupted from the simplicity that is in Christ.” 2 Corinthians 11:3 We have to not be afraid of the world and what people say to us. We have to stand firm in CHRIST and be His ambassadors to the world. Our lives should be simple, choosing CHRIST and walking in the way of the LORD. There are only two choices, the LORD’s way or the devil’s way. We cannot sit on the fence, take the easy way and walk in sin. We have to stand firm in the LORD and not let the lies of the devil corrupt. We have to be on fire for the LORD and not let the lies of the devil be the truth of the world. We have to praise GOD and show others HIS light and love in all that we say and do. We have to be what we were created to be and not let the flesh be our lives but HIS SPIRIT be our lives. We have to be one with GOD and put HIM first in our lives and to live HIS love and be HIS love.

Pure and undefiled religion before God and the Father is this: to visit orphans and widows in their trouble, and to keep oneself unspotted from the world.” James 1:27 We must worship in Spirit and in truth, GOD’s SPIRIT and GOD’s truth, learning each day to be perfect as the FATHER is perfect and when we fail, we confess to GOD  and we continue learning and growing in HIS grace and mercy and love. GOD wants us to love one another and not to let the devil’s lies to confuse us and to stand firm in HIM. That is why we need HIS Word every day in our lives.

So let us be amazed and thankful that GOD uses us to show others HIS love. Let us be humble and ask “Why me, LORD?” that YOU would use me to show others YOUR love. Each day is a new day to learn and to love GOD.

FATHER, teach us to be humble in our spirit and to let YOUR SPIRIT be on fire in us. We ask that YOU would let our lives be a testimony to YOUR amazing love and that YOUR light will shine out of us. O GOD we humbly want to be perfect but we can only do so in YOU. Let us be the clay and YOU be the potter and mold us into perfect vessels of YOUR love. We ask this in JESUS’ NAME. Amen.

So let us now sing the song together and let the words flow over your heart.

"Why Me"

Why me Lord what have I ever done
To deserve even one of the pleasures I've known
Tell me, Lord, what did I ever do
That was worth lovin' you or the kindness you've shown

Lord help me, Jesus, I've wasted it so
Help me Jesus I know what I am
But now that I know that I've needed you so
Help me, Jesus, my soul's in your hand

Try me, Lord, if you think there's a way
I can try to repay all I've taken from you
Maybe Lord I can show someone else
What I've been through myself, on my way back to you

Lord help me, Jesus, I've wasted it so
Help me Jesus I know what I am
But now that I know that I've needed you so
Help me, Jesus, my soul's in your hand

Lord help me, Jesus, I've wasted it so
Help me Jesus I know what I am
But now that I know that I've needed you so
Help me Jesus my souls in your hand
Jesus, my soul's in your hand.

By Kris Kristofferson