The Eternal Good Friday

As our grand cathedrals burn to the ground

leaving only the cross of Christ to stand,

as our coastlands are washed away in torrents

and our cities crumble under wasted lives and deep divisions,

Christ Jesus hangs in an eternal sacrifice for any one

willing to accept Him as Savior.

On this side of eternity we cannot see

the value of a single soul who chooses to accept

His free gift of eternal life.

The eternal Good Friday reaches out to us today

with the horror of the only innocent son of man hanging on a cross

of unfathomable pain and suffering.

God chose and His Son Jesus chose

to come here to earth to save each one of us

knowing most of us would reject that sacrifice

as merely ridiculous, and throw away our only hope

of making it out of here alive.

But He came and suffered and died

for the one who would choose to accept her need

for a Savior to bring her back home,

knowing she had no other way.

But glorious mystery of wonder

that no one can fully explain:

that choice awaits each of us in our eternal soul–

accept salvation or live on your own.

You have the choice to believe you have found another way

because He values the one who chooses Him

above all.

Hope Swims Upstream

I have several friends and family members who struggle with drug addiction. It is a wicked disease that too often completely takes over a person’s life, destroying relationships, wrecking physical and mental health, and ruining careers. Even when an addict manages to avoid the most dire consequences of the disease, depression and hopelessness tend to seep in unnoticed until they pull you under where you can’t breathe without the drugs.

Addicts have the most amazing ability to find each other. It’s as if there’s an underground stream they swim in, unnoticed by those not gripped by addiction. In that underground stream, which began as nothing more than a sewage ditch, the enemy provides addicts with special radar for finding other addicts and the drugs to support their addictions. As each new addict enters that underground sewage stream, the current becomes stronger, sucking all life out of everyone in it as they daily become weaker and less able to pull themselves out to safety. The stronger the current, the harder it is for those who take one step toward it not to fall down the slippery slope of its banks. Over time, as more and more addicts are pulled into that wicked current, the banks get steeper, more slippery, and far more treacherous.

But what if the current of that underground stream were reversed? What if the addicts were blocked from finding out where to get drugs because they kept running into ways to get help? What if there was another mighty river with a current so strong addicts began to be swept upstream to islands of hope where they could find help to overcome their addictions? Where they realized they could be free, once and for all, from any desire for drugs?

God is moving in a mighty way in our little town of Benton, Illinois. He is connecting people from all over Southern Illinois who are passionate about seeing the strongholds of these addictions broken. As God knits our hearts and prayers together, He is increasing the strength and volume of the river of living water that flows from our hearts out to the lost and dying world.

What is happening right now in the spiritual realm will soon be seen in the natural world: the sewers that the enemy causes addicts to swim in is about to meet the river of living water, and a new channel will be formed. The addicts (of drugs, sex, power, food, envy, jealousy, rage, you name it) will see the beauty of the glory of God and want to be washed clean and set free in His river. When those who’ve been caught up in the current of the devil’s sewer start choosing to change course, what has formerly drawn addicts to find each other will draw many other addicts to find the hope of God’s redeeming mercy and grace. As many as choose to will begin swimming upstream toward the light and against the sewer’s current, and those who haven’t yet seen the light will see them swimming upstream, and, as they turn to watch them swim upstream, they too will see the light.

There is Hope Over Heroin and all other addictions.

If you are interested in finding out more about Hope Over Heroin, please contact me or New Life Church of God, 707 N. DuQuoin St., Benton, IL, 62812, phone 618-439-3833,