Tag Archives: Hope

Know Him As Savior First

An excerpt out of Calling All Workers “The Harvest Is Ripe, the Worker Is You!” by Michelle E. Caswell
Get your copy on purelyhisministry.com, abooksmart.com, barnesandnoble.com, amazon.com or Evangel Bookstore.Screenshot 2015-03-09 20.12.02

The more you realize how much you have truly been forgiven for, the deeper you will be able to love. You are not any better than anyone else. We are all horrible sinners. The quicker you know that, the more deeply you can connect with the Lord and others. God knows how bad we are, how good we think we are, and He still chose us. God sees the end from the beginning. He saw all the sins you were going to commit, and He looked at you and said, “See that one? I’ll take her as my own.” Let that one sink in a minute.

God has so many names and titles, but you need to know Him as your Savior first, because the greatest commandment is love—and the key to experiencing that kind of love is realizing what you’ve been forgiven for.
Those who have been forgiven much, love much.
— Luke 7:47 (paraphrase of verse)

What have you been forgiven for? Reach into the depths of your painful past, and recount the things He has forgiven you for—in order for you to love better. This will also give you the joy of your salvation back! Keep in mind, it’s important to look at your sin without downplaying it by comparing it to someone else’s “worse” sin.

Real Life Example:
I had been in rehab for a few months at the time, and I remember holding onto the “fact” that I was a good person who happened to have a drug addiction. I mean, “Come on Lord…I would give my last cigarette, smoke my last bowl of marijuana with someone, make dinner for elderly neighbors, I was even nice when I turned a guy down who asked me to dance. I was a good person, and I still am.”

I was trying to make myself not feel so bad. In fact, I was justifying my behavior to the Lord, while trying to convince myself that my “good deeds” could cancel out my sin. I wanted to hold onto some shred of self-esteem. That’s when the Lord knocked me off my high horse and showed me my motives.

He said, “Look at the reasons that you chose to do those things for people…it was all about what they thought of you, not that you cared about them. You made dinner for those elderly women, because a guy was watching you—and you wanted him to think that you would be a good wife. Apart from me, you are nothing.”

I doubled over, holding my stomach and bawling. I realized that I had absolutely nothing to offer, and there was no good in me. That’s the day I really began to change. I was emptied of myself, and the Lord was able to start filling me back up with Him.

When you realize the sin in your own life—whether past or present—and recognize Jesus as your much-needed Savior, it will help you relate better to those the Lord calls you to work with, and will give you a deeper compassion for them. You don’t have to have a super crazy testimony to have a deep understanding and appreciation for God’s grace and how to love His people. You don’t need to experience the exact same trauma or sin in your past to be able to empathize with someone’s deep pain. However, when truly recognizing your own deep pains and horrible sin choices, you will be more equipped with compassion than if you don’t allow yourself to go there. So GO THERE. Take some time with the Lord, and ask Him to remind you of all the things He’s forgiven you for—and then begin to thank Him.

Too many times, we want to compare our sins to another, and decide for ourselves that their sin is worse than ours. That is not how the Lord weighs sin. You have been forgiven of so much, so take the time to recognize it, and watch the joy of your salvation return!

“Therefore, I tell you, her many sins have been forgiven—as her great love has shown.
But whoever has been forgiven little loves little.”
— Luke 7:47

Good Witch or Bad?

Screenshot_2013-11-11-18-35-17-1This blog was written by one of Purely His Mentors: Camille Trimmer.

As a kid, I loved going through my mom’s stuff. I remember being in her room one day; I saw this pretty little bag, colorful and decorated with shimmery stars. It felt like a deck of cards inside, so I loosened the draw string, which revealed that it was, in fact a, deck of cards. There were strange, yet intriguing pictures on each card. I knew enough to know that they were tarot cards. The ones that psychics used to tell the future. My mom walked in as I was looking at them and freaked out because now she had to “cleanse” them for a month before she could use them again. That’s right…. just because I touched them. I thought it was pretty goofy and dramatic, but still held an interest in them.

Freshman year, I met the lovely Nikki and her and I became friends and inseparable shortly after meeting each other. We were very much a part of “the weird group” in high school, consisting of your typical goths/punks/druggies/rebels. I spent the night at her house most of the time. Her mom was hardly ever home and let us smoke and drink. Now, I knew Nikki was into some weird stuff. She had already told me that she was Wiccan, “which was not to be confused with a witch!!” Heaven forbid I ever call her that. No, she explained that Wiccans had rules. Standards. Principles. Whatever.

Nikki and I got together at her place after school. She was teaching me to belly dance. After we were done one day, Nikki asked me if I wanted to call upon spirits with her. Well… why not? We already had the lights out, curtains closed, candles lit. I suppose I’ve always been perceptive to spirits, even before I got saved. I could sense energies, and I knew this was real and not just some fluke. Afterwards, I told her I wanted to become Wiccan. Then began my training process. She also began training my boyfriend at the time. It’s funny to think about it now… but he and I became very competitive throughout the whole thing. Witches vs. Warlocks?

My parents shipped me off to Arizona right before my sixteenth birthday. There I lived with my Grandma to learn not to be such a problem child. No more Nikki, no more Chris. I wasn’t even allowed to contact them. Living with my Grandma really brought my Wiccan activity to a halt for a while…. But after running away so many times, I landed up in foster care. There I had much more freedom to practice Wicca. My foster dad picked me up from Juvi and the first thing I did when I got my personal belongings was put on my pentagram necklace. It didn’t faze him. My foster mom said I was allowed to practice any religion I want without their judgment. Sweet, this was a first. So I made myself at home there and had my very own Wiccan altar in my room.

Wicca is an interesting religion. While I did believe in gods and goddesses and even felt a connection with certain spirits… I remember feeling that I was really my own God. My only true rule being “and these eight words the Wiccan Rede fulfill, and harm ye none, do as ye will.” Living in a very prominent Mormon town, I got into religious debates on the daily. Most classmates thought I was a Satanist and I thought they were stupid. I didn’t even believe in absolute good or absolute evil.

My practice continued for years, up until I moved again.

Now we’ll skip ahead to where I get saved, baptized, and start living for the Lord. I’m at a Ranch in the middle of nowhere Oregon. Life is good and I’ve left Wicca behind along with a ton of other junk. I was living with Michelle in her cabin and I woke up one morning very distraught. We had a Girl’s meeting that morning and right afterward I said “Michelle, I really gotta talk to you. Something happened last night and it’s hard to explain.” She replied with “I have to talk to you too. I have a feeling I know what you want to talk about.” Well, what happened is that I slipped into the astral plane. I suppose its best described as lucid dreaming, but not always being able to control what happens throughout the dream.

I explained to her that I was in the woods nearby and I could see the eyes of demons staring at me. I could feel them burning with hatred towards me. I knew they wouldn’t, and even couldn’t, attack me, but I was still fearful. They knew I wasn’t on their side anymore. After telling Michelle the dream, she told me that she had a dream about me and woke up with a loud thought “WITCHCRAFT.” Weird! It was definitely the Lord. I think He was preparing her for what I was telling her that morning, because here was Michelle who knew nothing of Wicca on a personal level, telling me that we need to close that door. We prayed that morning and I denounced Wicca aloud. I haven’t had any accidental slips into the astral plane or any desire to practice Wicca since that prayer.

Thinking back on it now, I can see how lonely I was practicing Wicca. I don’t know how to better explain it, but I believe this goes for most other religions as well, because you can’t have personal relationships with these gods and goddesses. There’s rituals and ceremonies and offerings that must take place and even then, you can only hope that they’re pleased with you. When you ask Jesus to be your Savior, you know that He died to have a relationship with you. That you are not just praying to a distant God, but to a loving Father who calls you His child.

You see, Purely His Mentors like myself come from all different backgrounds. Michelle has been mentoring me ever since I gave my life to the Lord, sharing the hope in Christ that SHE had, so that I may share the hope the hope I now have in Christ. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the old things pass away and behold a new creation.” 2 Corinthians 5:17 This scripture is an amazing truth to me and can be the same for anyone who gives their life to the one true God who laid down His life for you.