The True Church

I think many Christians would agree that life can be difficult and that we will all struggle with something at one time or another, but often people do not realize that those “in the ministry” suffer from the same struggles.

To some degree, those in ministry suffer from depression, anxiety, fears, etc. Most times, people in ministry will not admit that they struggle because they are afraid of what people will think about them—that maybe they will think less of them.

The truth, though, is that there are people in the Bible who struggled—for example, Elijah the Prophet, and Paul the Apostle. Experiencing some of the struggles that people in the congregation encounters is a great way for those in ministry to connect. I think it also helps the congregation to realize that they are not the only ones struggling, and that just because they are struggling it doesn’t mean that they are less of a Christian.

We are told to “carry each other’s burdens” (Gal 6:2) and to “encourage one another” (2 Thess 5:11). These Scriptural passages would not be in the Bible if personal struggles were not a part of our lives. So in our struggles, we should turn to one another for encouragement and support. We should also draw closer to God: “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (Jn 16:33). We have to do both—draw closer to one another and to draw closer to God.

Perhaps if people were more open about their struggles and we supported one another through these struggles then we can have the True Church—“All the believers were one in heart and mind… And God’s grace was so powerfully at work in them all” (Acts 4:32-33).

Be the “True Church”!

Copyright © 2016 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

GOD IS GREATER

I’ve read James 1:2-3 several times before, “Dear brothers and sisters, when troubles of any kind come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow,” but I never really understood what it meant until now.

Our family is under major attack—it feels like the gates of hell have opened and Satan’s minions are in full force, but even though we are going through these trying times we know that God is greater. In fact, we are now even closer to God than we were several days ago.

I believe that there is a spiritual battle taking place in our churches, and some of our loved ones have been taken captive by the enemy, “We are not fighting against flesh-and-blood enemies, but against evil rulers and authorities of the unseen world, against mighty powers in this dark world, and against evil spirits in the heavenly places” (Eph. 6:12).

With the strongest conviction I have ever had, I keep shouting within my being, “GOD IS GREATER!” Those who are spiritually dead in Him can be raised from the dead— dry bones can live again. Those who have shut their eyes, ears, and heart to God can again see, hear, and know Him. No one is too far lost that he/she cannot be found by Him.

We need to pray, “It is true that I am an ordinary, weak human being, but I don’t use human plans and methods to win my battles. I use God’s mighty weapons… to knock down the devil’s strongholds… Pray in the Spirit at all times… Stay alert and be persistent in your prayers…” (2 Cor 10:3-4, Eph 6:18).

I don’t know what you are encountering today, but know that you are not alone: “Therefore I tell you, do not be anxious about your life… Fear not, for I am with you; be not dismayed, for I am your God; I will strengthen you, I will help you… Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go” (Matt 6:25, Isa 41:10, Joshua 1:9).

GOD IS GREATER!!!

Copyright © 2014 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

Simply blessed

It started when our friends/in-laws (our son is married to their daughter) suggested we camp together at Brown County Indiana. They really love the state park there, but when we looked for a camping spot none was available. They really wanted us to see the place so they found another campground close by.

It seemed like a nice place. We got there when the sun was just starting to set.

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We stepped out of our vehicle and were surrounded by mosquitos and other insects. We backed into the wrong spot and had to move over to another one. After my husband was in the right spot, he thought he would adjust the camper so that it was more leveled but when he tried to put the car into gear, nothing happened. It was like the gear was loose and it wouldn’t go into a gear.

He contacted AAA, and after upgrading our policy, someone was out to tow the car the next morning.

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We realized that now we had a camper with no car to pull it. My husband contacted a friend and the friend contacted a friend who volunteered to drive the 2+ hours up and back (for a total of 4+ hours) to bring us back home. We found out, though, that AAA also has a policy for campers, so we upgraded our policy once more.

Our camper was towed this morning.

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We thought about the fiasco of the past couple of days. Some would call it “dumb luck,” or “bad luck,” but I think we were just simply “blessed.”

Why? The state park is huge– our camper may not have made it to a camping spot, but the other campground is smaller. The gear was stuck on “Park,” so we had no worries that it would roll down the hill. We had “plant-based” insect spray that actually worked!

Our car could have broken down on the highway as we were driving to Brown County, or it could have broken down in the middle of the campground as we were checking in. Instead, it broke down after we backed into our camping spot.

We could have broken down while it was just us—my husband, my son, and I—how would we have made it back home without a car? If we rented a car, it would have cost more for the rental since it would be “one way,” but our car broke down when our friends were with us. They were able to drop us off at our house.

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Even though our plans did not turn out the way we had expected, God knew everything that would happen and made an alternate plan for us— we were still able to spend time with our friends.

ImageImageEven though we had no idea how things would turn out, we knew that God would take care of everything, and He did.

“…I tell you not to worry about everyday life… if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you… So don’t worry… Seek the Kingdom of God above all else, and live righteously, and he will give you everything you need” (Matt 6:25, 30-31, 33).

God is so good!

Copyright © 2013 Dr. M. Teresa Trascritti

Troubles

My husband and I will be going to Disney World in a few days and we found out that the pool at the hotel is heated and has underwater speakers. Although I am very excited about spending some time in the pool, I am also very anxious because I don’t know how to swim.

My father tried to teach me how to swim when I was about 5 years old, but instead of floating on the surface of the water, I sank to the bottom. I can still remember the inability to breathe and the feeling of panic that I had.

Sometimes when I get overwhelmed I feel like I am drowning.  I know that some people might feel worried, anxious, or nervous when they go through certain situations. The Bible tells us, “…you know that we are destined for such troubles” (1 Thess 3:3), “…when troubles come your way, consider it an opportunity for great joy. For you know that when your faith is tested, your endurance has a chance to grow.  So let it grow, for when your endurance is fully developed, you will be perfect and complete, needing nothing” (James 1:2-4).

Don’t let the troubles of life drown you! Realize that God is testing you—so do all you can to pass the test!

Copyright © 2013 M. Teresa Trascritti