Don’t Stop Believing….
WCFN Ministries goes to people from around the globe. Many people in other lands do not share the freedoms that we enjoy here in the United States of America, but they share our faith in the God of the Bible, and our Lord Jesus Christ. WCFN wants to let them know that they are not forgotten for their sacrifice, and many times putting their lives on the line for their Christian beliefs. Our message to them is that no matter how hard it gets and whatever that sacrifice, it is worth whatever they go through to stand firm on their belief in the King of Kings and Lord of Lords and that He is a rewarder of those that diligently seen Him, and whatever happens, “Don’t Stop Believing”……
I ran across “Fathers Love Letter” from visiting one of my followers on WCFN who has a website named “Hidden Manna” and thought it was a great presentation… Although I had nothing to do with this presentation I would like to do something like this as this is really an inspiration to me… I hope you like it as much as I did…
By John Armes
Know your Bible, for as we approach the end times, Satan and his angels will disguise themselves as angels of light. You must not be led astray by false teachings. You have to know Gods Word because the Bible will be the major indicator of wither we are being told the truth or not.
I can tell you this directly from the Lord: We who are still living when the Lord returns will not rise to meet him ahead of those who are in their graves. For the Lord himself will come down from heaven with a commanding shout, with the call of the archangel, and with the trumpet call of God. First, all the Christians who have died will rise from their graves. Then, together with them, we who are still alive and remain on the earth will be caught up in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air and remain with him forever. So comfort and encourage each other with these words.
The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? When the wicked came against me to eat up my flesh, my enemies and foes, they stumbled and fell. Though an army may encamp against me, my heart shall not fear; though war may rise against me, in this I will be confident. One thing I have desired of the LORD, that will I seek: That I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life….
It seems as though the gospel of Christ has been watered down more as time goes by. People change it here and there to satisfy their idea of what they want it to provide for them, so they can make things a little more comfortable. They bend and reshape rules and ideas that are not appealing to them. They promise prosperity and good health, fame and fortune, miracles, wealth, “hocus pocus” and magic to entice prospective Christians. They try and act and talk like the world in order to coax people to join, focusing on entertainment instead of a real live church service with a well studied gospel massage. There is no “meat” or meaning in the songs or the message. After a while new Christians fall off from that church into a place of disillusionment because they didn’t receive the things that the church promised and they see no difference between Christians and non-Christians. The church lacks the truth and righteousness of God and the Bible and eventually it is seen as a vague resemblance of what it should be. The true concepts and feelings of Christianity and the word of God are not there. Worse still is because of this exposure to a vague and lifeless Christianity when the true gospel comes around, than they say that they have already tried Christianity and it doesn’t work for them. Too late because they are already “tuned out”, “turned off”, “burned out”, and frustrated thinking that they have already been there when in reality they have not, and don’t even know it. Those that do end up staying, believe that they will be saved by “association” and all they have to do is go to church and live a good life. They have no idea what a close relationship with Christ is and if they don’t see a problem than they will not hunt for a cure. If you talk to them they say “I’m a good person, I pay my taxes, take care of my family, and go to church” and because of this they think they are saved. The Bible says in Matthew 7:22 – Many will say to Me in that day, “Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in Your name, cast out demons in Your name, and done many wonders in Your name? Matthew 7:23 – And then I will declare to them, “I never knew you; depart from Me, you who practice lawlessness!”
If we want to be a Christian there are certain facts we must face. Consider the following:
ALL ARE SINNERS
“As it is written, There is none righteous, no not one.” (Romans 3:10)
“For all have sinned and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23)
YOU NEED TO BE SAVED
“… Except a man be born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God.” (John 3:3)
YOU CANNOT SAVE YOURSELF
“Much more then, being now justified by His blood we shall be saved from wrath through Him.” (Romans 5:9)
ONLY JESUS CAN SAVE YOU
“Jesus saith unto him, I am The Way, The Truth, and The Life: No Man Cometh unto the Father but by Me.” (John 14:6)
HOW YOU CAN BE SAVED
“That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth The Lord Jesus and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.” (Romans 10:9)
ALL OF US ARE SINNERS…
Jesus says that if you lust after someone that you have committed adultery with them already and that is a sin… If you have ever taken anything no matter how big or small that doesn’t belong to you, than that is a sin… That if you hate your neighbor that you have committed murder in your mind and that is a sin…
Have you ever told a lie ? The Ninth of the Ten Commandments is “You shall not lie.” Telling just one lie, according to God’s standards, makes you a “liar.” In Revelation 21:8, God says, “…all liars, shall have their part in the lake of fire…
Have you ever used “God”, “Jesus” , or “Christ” as a curse word ? The Third of the Ten Commandments is “You shall not take the name of the Lord in vain.” If you’ve ever used the name “God,” “Jesus,” or “Christ” as a curse word, what you’ve done is take the name of the God who gave you life, and you’ve used it as if it were a “four-letter” filth word to express disgust. That offense is called “blasphemy,” and according to God’s standards, you are a “blasphemer.” In Leviticus 24:16 , God says, “he that blasphemes the name of the LORD, shall surely be put to death…”
Have you ever looked at someone and had lustful thoughts ? The Seventh of the Ten Commandments is “You shall not commit adultery.” If you’ve ever looked at another person with lustful thoughts, according to God’s standards, that makes you an “adulterer.” Jesus said, “You have heard it said, You shall not commit adultery: But I say to you, that whoever looks on a woman to lust after her has committed adultery with her already in his heart.” (Matthew 5:28) In 1 Corinthians 6:9-10, God says that no adulterers “…shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
Have you ever broken the first commandment ? The First of the Ten Commandments is “You shall have no other gods before me.” That means that we should love God with all of our heart, mind, soul and strength. The Bible tells us that no one has kept this commandment (see Psalm 14:2-3) — if you said you had, you have also broken the 9th Commandment by lying.
Have you ever stolen anything no matter how big or small ? The Eighth of the Ten Commandments is “You shall not steal.” Stealing just one thing (regardless of it’s size or monetary value), according to God’s standards, makes you a “thief.” In 1 Corinthians 6:10, God says, “No thieves… …shall inherit the kingdom of God.”
Have you given to a charity, gone to church regularly, or read the Bible regularly ?… Giving money to charity, going to church, and reading the Bible are all good activities–but none of them impress God. The Bible says, “and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.” (Isaiah 64:6) That means, all our “righteous acts” — these “good deeds” that we do — can never make up for the fact that we’ve broken God’s Holy Commandments. Think of it this way. If a person was guilty of a serious crime… such as murder… but he gave money to charity, does that make up for his crime? No. The person’s crime hasn’t been paid for because he gave money to charity. This “good deed” will mean nothing to the judge when he passes sentence. The murder must still be punished.
So looking at just 5 of the 10 commandments, how do we fare ? Would we be guilty or innocent ?…If we are guilty, than would we go to Heaven, or Hell ?… Does the fact that you’re headed for Hell concern you?
It should concern you. Would you sell one of your eyes for a million dollars? How about both eyes for ten million? No one in their right mind would! Your eyes are precious to you… but they are only a “window” for your soul. Your soul (your inner being, your life, your personality) looks out through those eyes. Consider how precious your eyes are… then realize that Jesus said that Hell is so horrible that you would be better off tearing out your own eyes than ending up there for all eternity (Mark 9:43-48).
Do you know what God did so that you wouldn’t have to spend eternity in Hell?
What God did…
|Think of it this way… Imagine you’re in a courtroom again, you’re guilty of many serious crimes. The judge says, “It’s a fine of $500,000, or prison.” You don’t have anywhere near that amount of money, so the bailiff begins to walk you out of the courtroom when someone you don’t even know appears. He runs up to the judge with a check and says, “I’ve paid the fine for you.” Now that the fine has been paid, the law no longer has any hold on you. You’re free — because of the gift you were given.
This is what God did for you by sending Jesus to die on the cross in your place. So that you wouldn’t have to go to Hell, God sent his only Son, Jesus, to die on the cross — suffering the punishment that justice demands. Then He rose from the grave, forever defeating death! The Bible tells us, “For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth on Him, shall not perish, but have everlasting life.” (John 3:16) If you will repent of your sins and put your trust in Jesus, God says he will forgive all your sins and grant you the gift of everlasting life. Just like the court case we just talked about, if you repent (that means to confess and forsake your sins) and put your trust in Jesus, then you will not have to suffer God’s justice in Hell because the payment for your crimes was made by Jesus on the cross.
If you’re not sure what to pray, read Psalm 51, and make it a model for your prayer. The words are not “magical,” what God cares about is the attitude of your heart. When you pray, it should sound something like this, “Dear God, I repent of all my sins, such as (name them). I put my trust in Jesus Christ as Lord (to say Jesus is your Lord means you are now making Jesus the master over your life) and Savior. Forgive me and grant me your gift of everlasting life. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.”
Now read your Bible daily, and obey what you read. God will never let you down.
We now suggest that you read “Save Yourself Some Pain” which contains 10 very important steps for new and growing Christians.
Please also listen to Hell’s Best Kept Secret which is a free online message that will give Biblical direction to your Christian life.
We don’t know when Christ is going to return, and when he does he will come not as a lamb, but with a sward. The first time he came to earth as a loving savior to save the lost, but the second coming is when he will claim his church and punish the wicked. It will be a bitter sweet time and Christ will come back with his angels and in all his glory. Every knee shall bow and every tongue confess that he is Lord of all. If you haven’t made a decision, by that time it may be too late. Some plan more for a vacation than for their own lives. Now is the time to receive him and his free gift of salvation. Do not procrastinate my friend. Today is the day and now is the time of your salvation. Won’t you come… He is waiting… Come now…
Country recording artist Steve Daniel is back in the studio again to finish his album… He was temporarily disposed due to surgery on his arm, but he is back again with Mark Ellis to finish recording his album “Brand New Home” beginning August 15, 2016 …
We are still looking for a home for WCFN… It has taken us longer than we had originally expected… We have to find enough space for HiVision Entertainment (video studio) and New Dream Media (audio studio) that comprise WCFN Studio’s and we have to find it at the right price… Do not give up on us because we have big plans for WCFN Ministries… Once we are settled we plan on providing much more consistent and interesting content… Here is an update on our progress and plans to all you faithful viewers and associates from WCFN Manager John Armes…
Armes & Associates and Worldwide Christian Family Network would like to present the Steve Daniel Band with the title song of the new album “Brand New Home” … It was recorded here at WCFN Studio’s… Hope you like it…
We must support the bills that are before the senate and house here in Indiana because there are some who want to open up the women’s restrooms to men. We need to protect our mothers, daughters, and children… Please click on the following link and check out this video at Advance America… Call your senator and spread the word to everyone… Senate Bill 35 and House Bill 1031 will protect girls in the public schools, at rest areas, and wherever there is a public girls restroom here in Indiana!… We must all act now… Check out advanceamreica.com…
We are back to looking for property for WCFN studio’s… Worldwide Christian Family Network will be moving into a new office at the beginning of 2016 and we will be planning a space to house the audio/video studio’s … New studio’s will be built in the summer of 2016… We are planning space to house HiVision Entertainment video studio and New Dream Media audio studio… When we purchase the property and close we will be providing pictures on Armes & Associates web site, of the new WCFN office… We may have a manager/PR/studio musician for New Dream Media and also a studio manager and engineer… There may also be a guest writer for WCFN who will carry on the story phase of the ministry… These people will be added to the “About ” page on the Armes & Associates website after the move and when they formally accept the positions… Once we are set up at the new building we will continue to record Christian artists on our New Dream Media record label and seek to expand HiVision Entertainment to provide interesting and compelling audio/video presentations… We are looking for a director, producer, crew members, and actors… If you are around the Indianapolis Indiana area and would like to volunteer to help with video or audio presentations, send me an email at firstname.lastname@example.org…
New Christian Country Recording Artist Steve Daniel
Armes & Associates, Worldwide Christian Family Network and New Dream Media is proud to announce the new Christian Country recording Artist Steve Daniel in the studio recording his new album “Brand New Home”. Accompanied by the amazing and talented Mark Ellis and the legendary Charles Ellis we have all worked hard to craft and record an outstanding country album… The album is being produced by John Armes of Armes & Associates on the “New Dream Media” label and should be released to the public early next month… Below you will see a montage of our combined efforts in the form of a slide show… Our effort is characterized by hard work, and lots of fun… Click on the video and you will see…
We are all called out upon the water… Peter was called out upon the water when he was crossing the Sea of Galilee with the other disciples to meet with Jesus on the other shore. As they neared the middle of the sea a storm began to rage and they saw a figure from afar off coming toward them. They became frightened, but as the figure came closer, they realized that it was Jesus walking on the water toward them. When Jesus came near to the boat he told Peter to come meet him out on the water. Peter stepped out of the boat and was on the water when he looked back and sank, because he had taken his eyes off Jesus…. But this is exactly what the disciples needed to see, Christ doing a miracle to help their doubting minds… God gives us opportunity to reach beyond what we think we can do… So he sets the goal out a little further than we think we can reach… And in doing so he teaches us to be more productive in him than we could ever be in ourselves… It is then that we are blessed and he is glorified… God can take just plain old me and make me more than I could ever be alone… Alone I am nothing, but in him, I am a new creäture and he gives me strength and guides me on to his perfect plan… “For I can do all things thru Christ who strengthens me”…
As long as we keep our eyes on Jesus and our mind on the tasks he gives us to do we can reach beyond our mortal boundaries and succeed where we should have failed. It doesn’t mean we will succeed the first time always, but we must be persistent in our search for answers. We must “labor to produce” and that doesn’t always come easy. God sometimes treats us like the spiritual children that we are and lets us scrape our knees and get a few bruises in order to learn a lesson but he doesn’t leave us hanging. He promises “seek and ye shall find” … As a loving father, he is there to help us but we must seek… We have to put out the effort and do our part. He has sent us a help mate who is the Holy Spirit … And our King and Savior Jesus Christ who talks to the Father in our behalf. God has given Jesus all power and we cannot come to God except thru him… We get strength thru Jesus who is our example and our leader… He will help us as we weather the trials and minister unto others of his truth and righteousness… He is the Son of God… Therefor, Jesus, I am and always will be, forever yours… Amen…
By John Armes
I am one… I am one man.. I am one man, a voice crying in the wilderness, prepare the way of the Lord. Make His paths straight. For there is one who comes after me that I am unworthy to unlatch His shoes. “I indeed have baptized you with water: but he shall baptize you with the Holy Ghost.” “The time is fulfilled, and the kingdom of God is at hand: repent ye, and believe the gospel.” The gospel message is that the people should repent (change their minds and forsake their sins) in order to receive the remission of sins. Otherwise they would be in no position to receive the Lord. Only holy people are able to appreciate the Holy Son of God. Repent and be holy and you will see the glory of God. Jesus came to earth over 2000 years ago in love and peace, and gave His life a ransom for many. He is coming again, but this time He will set on the judgment seat and will separate the righteous from the unrighteous. He will send the righteous on to their reward and the unrighteous on to eternal damnation. And Jesus spoke to his disciples and the multitudes in Matthew 23:33… “Ye serpents, ye generation of vipers, how can ye escape the damnation of hell?” So, in this day and age is this considered “hate speech”, or is it just a warning of impending doom for those who reject the one true Christ, the Son of God. Do we hate our fellow man by telling him that there is a large open pit which he cannot see and he is walking right into it, and he will be consumed in it. That he is heading to a place of pain and torment and there will be “wailing and gnashing of teeth” it is so terrible. Or, do we tell him he is doing ok and there is no problem… Everything is fine. You will have great riches, good health, miracles and never have to worry about anything ever again. What happens when he falls in that pit. When he looks at us and screams “why didn’t you tell me that pit was there”?… The gospel tells us that it is because we have sinned against God and we are heading for hell that we need to accept Christ as savior. It is because of our wicked fallen state, our blatant disregard of Gods law, and an uncontrollable urge to sin that we need redemption. That is the time old message, not promises of wealth and prosperity.
Our world is slowly deteriorating into a world where good is becoming bad and bad is becoming good. To be “politically correct” simply means to be incorrect and act as though it is correct. Where it is easier to do evil than good. Are these not signs of the end times. Christ will come back and judge man when man is no longer redeemable. When man no longer tolerates the gospel of Christ. When man revels in his sin and wants to cease the words of truth that condemn him. We Christians are a reminder of that truth and the world will grow to hate us because of it. But I am one man crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord. One man with a message for the world. Not a new message, but the same old message that was presented to my father, and his father, and his father before him. Give me that old time religion, it’s good enough for me. Make straight the way of the Lord. Repent and be baptized. The message has not changed, yet in churches today it is watered down, made more “tolerable” , changed “according to our liking”, into something less than it was originally intended. Today in some churches, there is more emphasis on entertainment than learning, evangelism, and salvation, and we think that we have to look and act like the world to convince the world of their need for a savior. The way we dress, our words, and even our music has been formed in such a way that it mimics the world. It even seems like the church has lost it’s way. We went from “black and white” to simply “shades of gray”. What was wrong in our parents generation is still wrong today, because God, His truth, and His law never changes. It always stays the same.
No wonder the world is confused. When they look at us do they see a people “set apart” or are we just a mirror image of them and not any different than what they are. How can you convince someone of a change if they see no change in you. It is true we have all sinned and no man is better than the other, we have all sinned in Gods eyes, but when the world sees us Christians they should see a repentant sinner, no better than them, but redeemed by the blood of the lamb and saved only because of the grace of God. Someone that God has reached down and picked up out of the miry clay, brushed off and set on the rock. Someone who God has drastically changed, cleaned up their lives, and set them on a new journey, shaping them into the person that God intended us to be. Someone who will go back and stand outside the pit and help pull others out so they too can experience the awesome grace and salvation that our risen savior has offered to mankind for the past 2000 years. We don’t need a new gospel, we just have to follow the original message. Anything different than Christ’s original gospel and his true message, becomes a false gospel. To follow the true Christ you have to know who He is. If you are following anything other than the Jesus of the Bible, you are following a false God.
“Study to show thy self approved.” If you don’t have a Bible, get one and read it. If you do have a Bible, take it off the shelf, dust it off and begin reading. Don’t let someone else tell you, let God speak to you thru His word. When you read your Bible, God talks to you. When you pray, you talk to God. Keep the communication lines open. Stay connected with God, He wants to connect with you. And when you have read and learned the Bible you will begin to see the error of false doctrine and be able to tell the true from false. You will be able to see when someone is trying to lead you astray. For there will be many false teachers and false religions in the last days and you need to be able to spot them. The Bible may be your only guide to keep you from falling in this pit. “All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned every one to his own way; and the LORD hath laid on him the iniquity of us all.” Do not be led astray. “This is a faithful saying and worthy of all acceptation. For therefore we both labour and suffer reproach, because we trust in the living God, who is the Saviour of all men, specially of those that believe. Trust in the LORD with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understanding. Trust in the Lord and He will guide all your paths.
God will lead you and work with you but you must take that first step. You must put your trust in the Lord and have faith that he will deliver. How many times do we pray about something and ask God to “make it happen”, and than continuously worry about it. It’s like God is saying “I will take care of it”, and we keep worrying and doubting and than when he does do something about our request we act surprised that everything worked out. What does that tell God about our faith? Could God be saying to us “oh thou of little faith” as Jesus said to Peter. Do we have the faith of a mustard seed, the smallest seed there is? Jesus said that if we had just a little faith we could move mountains. How much faith do we really have?
God is so wonderful that if someone could see where God has worked in my life they would think that there is a lot of “coincidences” where things worked out for me, but I know better. I can see the hand of God working with me as I look back on my life as I am sure some of you can. It doesn’t mean that everything goes my way all the time. It doesn’t mean that I don’t have any rough spots in my life. It just means that when the storms rage, and the heartaches come, that Jesus is there with me, beside me, leading me out of the storm, but sometimes I have to go thru the storm to see God better. To see where he is working in my life and reminding me that he is still there… He wants us to go to him with all our needs. You see, we fail him… He doesn’t fail us. He is always there to pick us up when we fall, and to brush us off and set us on our feet. But, just as we do with our kids when they are growing up, he has to let us fall so he can pick us up. He is omniscient, omnipotent, and omnipresent, which means that he is all knowing, all seeing, and able to be everywhere at the same time. So when we think we know better than him, that is when we fall. But when he picks us up he shows us that he knows better than us. As a patient and loving father to his kids. Not saying “I told you so”, or pointing an accusing finger at us, but holding us in his arms of love. Someone who is great doesn’t have to tell anyone they are great, they don’t have to prove anything or defend themselves because people already know they are great. And often great people have a respect and compassion for all people. Christ did, and as we become more mature Christians than God changes us over time to be more like Christ.
“So I tell you to make straight the way of the Lord. Believe in the gospel of Jesus Christ, for we are in the business of saving men’s souls, and we should be about our fathers business. God’s kingdom is at hand. Repent and be baptized, for now is the season of harvest, now is the day of salvation, and the fields are plenteous, but the laborers are few. Brothers and sisters, now is the time to take up your cross and follow Him. The end time is drawing nigh, this day will never pass this way again and we are not guaranteed tomorrow. Yes, you are only one, but you are not alone. You and God make a majority. What you have to do for the Lord, do now. Be that one crying in the wilderness, make straight the way of the Lord. Be set apart from the world, for we are in this world but not of this world. Lean on God’s understanding and not your own because he can do far better than we can. I am one, but we are one in the spirit, together redeemed by the blood of Christ, and saved by the grace of God. So now there is you, me, and God and together we can be strong. Together we have true purpose. Together we can help change lives. And together, me you and God can change the world. The world is waiting.. Now is the time, today is that day… What are we waiting for?……..
By John Armes
Over 2000 years ago a baby was born who changed the world, and He grew into a man that has captured the hearts and changed the lives of billions of people thru the ages and all over the globe. That man was and is Jesus Christ, and He came to save the world, but also to be an example for us. As Christians, we must also be examples to the rest of the world as ambassadors for Christ and tell the world who He is and what His purpose was for coming to earth as the Son of God.
The last thing that Christ said to His disciples before He ascended into Heaven to be with His heavenly father was “go preach and teach the gospel to all nations”. With the internet this is possible today more than ever. Billions of people can be reached for Christ across the world now as a result of today’s technology. The gospel message and examples of true Christian community can be shared with those people who may not otherwise have access to it. It can be delivered right into peoples living rooms across the world.
My name is John Armes and I am the CEO and founder of Armes & Associates and Worldwide Christian Family Network. My web site ArmesAssociates.com now goes to over 54 countries where people can read my articles and stories about Christian faith and hope. I trust that this web site has blessed many lives thru this online ministry, but now we hope to expand our efforts to reach more people with the gospel and Christian programs that will touch peoples lives in a very special way. In a way that they can relate to, and in a way which would allow the Holy Spirit to have full sway in which to work in the lives of many.
I know that many of you lead busy lives with family, work, and personal goals, but I would like you to be a part of this ministry thru your prayers and donations, and help pass the word about this new station to others who may wish to be involved in the great commission and it’s support. The name of our station is going to be Worldwide Christian Family Network. It will contain “video on demand” with music, talk-show programs and movies, as well as streaming programs 24 hours a day and 7 days a week, but we can’t do it without you. We need a building where we can have a studio with 3 or 4 sets to create the video and programs for the station. We also need some additional broadcast and video production equipment in order to compete in the industry and to present programming at a professional level. Some content will be from other sources, but we wish to do some of the programs at the station using pastors, churches, and Christian volunteers in the local area. It is our belief that we can present interesting and professional content thru local Christian talent that would be both informative and entertaining yet true to the word of God. You can donate by going to armesassociates.com and selecting the donate page at the top middle and than clicking on the donate button on the donate page. Click Here To Donate
Please help us with your donation to expand our reach to more people with God’s word and the Gospel of Christ to those who may not otherwise have access to it. You can be part of this ministry, God’s ministry to all people by supporting Worldwide Christian Family Network. Won’t you pray about it and search your heart to help us in the most important undertaking of all time – to spread the gospel of Christ thru this tv station. Worldwide Christian Family Network – a station for Christians and the world, by Christians dedicated to spread the gospel of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. Please visit ArmesAssociates.com, read the stories, leave a comment and consider supporting Worldwide Christian Family Network. Thank You.
By John Armes
Sometimes I feel like John on the Island of Patmos… Alone, abandoned and mostly on my own. It seems like the whole world is moving one way and I am moving in the opposite direction. I no longer join in on the worldly amusements, the concerts, the libations, or the distractions that the world has to offer, but live out my life in a different way than I used to. I can be in a crowd of people and still feel alone. Alone in ideas, alone in purpose and just alone. My doctor even put me on a diet so I can’t have some of the indulgences that I used to have to brighten my day so even my diet of food is limited now. I used to have ice cream, and pies, but no more. I go to a job every day where I see lots of people and say “hello” and they say “hello” back. I am there 8+ hours a day for 5 days a week. While not at work or taking my parents to places where they need to go, I am at home here in my “castle”. I spend a lot of time in these walls that surround me. Television, computer and radio seem to be my only friends. Oh, I have lots to do so I am not short on work and I do have a mission that fills my head with ideas and tasks. My television and my dvd player provide access to learning thru the learning dvd’s that I have purchased. My radio gives me access to Moody Bible Radio which I listen to religiously (no pun intended). My computer gives me access to you, my website, my Facebook page, my email, and many other learning experiences thru software and the internet. My library provides reading materials to ponder over and things to learn. It is my intent to live out the rest of my life on this Island of Patmos doing the work of the Lord to the best of my ability. I am resigned to that. Just like John in the Bible I mean to be a faithful follower of the one who made me and to give my life back to the one who gave me life many years ago when my parents were starting their own family. I am alone, but for a reason.
Yes, I am alone, but not alone. I am alone to spend time with God, which I do more and more each day. My thoughts are on Him most of the time. He speaks to me thru radio programs on Moody, and things I read in the Bible and also thru other people. Being alone He gives me time to compose these stories for my readers and new friends who might read this print and gain an insight on who God is and how to get closer to Him. If my readers take away a more clear idea of God, His Christ, and the Holy Spirit, than I have done my job. I haven’t got the direct distractions that most have because my kids are grown and even though I make contact with them whenever I can, they are raising their own families. I love my parents, kids and my grand kids very deeply and appreciate every one of them. I spend time with them every chance I get. But I must stay on topic here, because when I get started talking about my kids, and grand kids, well that is another book entirely. I know my work mates have herd from time to time about how wonderful my mom and dad, kids and grand kids are and how blessed I am because of it. But, I am alone so God can speak to me thru my Bible as I read it again. I don’t know why I don’t have holes in my knees as often as I neal to pray for my own impending problems and situations as well as for family, friends, this ministry, my homeland and to thank God for the life and opportunities that He has given me. Opportunities that I would not have if I were caught up in the things of this world. Opportunities I have because I am alone and not distracted. We must all seek to be good stewards of what God has given us and find ways to spread Him to others who may not know of Him. We all must take up our crosses and follow Him, no matter what burdens we are given to bare. We should go about as lights in a dark and dying world, praying for those who do not know Christ or can’t see him because they are blinded by the things of this world and are distracted by it’s follies. Grasping the opportunities that God sends us to be a light in someone’s dark world of despair, and there are people we know who are in despair, though we might now know all the details. We must always remember that Christ came to save those who are lost, and to find that one who has wondered away and not the one who is found. Christ came for the drug addict, the one lost in pornography, those lost in a sinful and adulterous lifestyles, the drunk at the bar, the widow alone and afraid, the young child with abusive parents, the mistreated, the shunned and neglected, the hated and despised, the afflicted and oppressed. He came to set the captive free and to heal the sick. In the Bible, when Christ was here on earth, these were the type of people that were drawn to Christ because he was their only hope and He healed them and set them free. He is still doing the same today. God never slumbers nor does he sleep, but He is on the job 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. He is so moved with compassion by those who are downtrodden that He wants to help them. He wants to help us…
So, if we are the eyes and ears of God here on earth, than we should let Him work thru us. My heart goes out the those churches that have missions to help those in addictions and chains as well as those who are helpless, poor and homeless. If that was Christ’s ministry when He was here on earth, than shouldn’t that be our mission too? As we get closer and closer to God we become more like Christ. Have you ever noticed people distancing themselves from you when they find out that you are Christian or because of something you said that is close to the word of God. We are supposed to be a peculiar people. Our ideas and world view is not the same as others who do not share our appreciation of God and the Bible. If I tell everyone how I talk to God every day and He answers me thru the Christian radio and thru his word the Bible and how I am trying to be a good steward with what God has given me and how I am an ambassador for Christ, don’t you think they would think I am peculiar. I am peculiar because I am not spending my time at the bar, or trying to seduce every female that walks by. Peculiar because I don’t cuss or tell dirty stories like the rest of the guys. Perhaps I am a little more humble because I realize that Gods grace extends to me and others who don’t deserve it. Perhaps I remember that I came out of the same slimy hole that they are in now, and I did the same things they are doing before Christ changed my life. We have to realize that sinners sin, but God loves the sinner and hates the sin… Why, because sin robs us of our rightful place that God intended for us to be. Adam and Eve, in the Garden of Eden were sinless until they did what God told them not to do. When Adam ate of the apple from the tree of good and evil, the curse of sin entered the world. If Adam had chosen to obey God, than we would be enjoying a closer relationship with God. But because Adam sinned, than Christ, God’s only Son had to come to earth to right that wrong that Adam did, by giving His life as a sacrifice. Christ became the second Adam and made it possible for us to be saved thru Gods grace. Christ was Gods gift of love and righteousness to us, a world cursed and dying in sin. For God so loved the world, that He gave His only Son that whosoever believes on Him should not parish but have everlasting life. That is our promise that we can hold on to…
Wide is the way to destruction and narrow is the gate to salvation and there are very few that find it. So if we look around and are alone, perhaps that doesn’t mean we are on the wrong road. The Christian life is often called the road less traveled and we must toil to find it. We must be actively searching to find it and studying (the Bible) to show ourselves approved. When we enter thru the gate and onto that road we have to leave everything behind. God may take us in a direction altogether different from the one we think we should be on and others may not understand. We have to take up our cross and follow Jesus wherever he leads us. We must not lean onto our own understanding but take up the cause of the word of God and follow in the footsteps of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. As we read the Bible and pray to God we develop a mindset more like that of Christ and closer to the will of God. We also develop a thirst for righteousness and realize the need to win souls for God’s kingdom. Sin begins to bother us more and more and we begin to realize just how sinful a state this world is in and how black our own sin is. Like Paul said, “that which I should do, I do not, and that which I do, I should not “and ” I am the chief of sinners”. Jesus was preaching in a nearby city when a man caught up with Him and asked to follow Him, Jesus replied “the foxes have holes, and the birds have nests, but the Son of Man has no where to lay His head”… I don’t necessarily think we should give everything we have to the poor, but I do think we should give to the poor and use everything that God has given us for His advantage and to further His kingdom.
Taking that road less traveled is not easy, but it is more fulfilling and rewarding. It takes sacrifice and courage but the rewards are many. It may seem like you are alone, but Jesus is right there with you. You are actually never alone because Christ sticks to you closer than a brother, and He intercedes for us before Heaven and His Father God. And there seems to be a satisfaction in doing things right. There is just something right and Godly about it. After all, we have a righteous God. But He is also a loving and graceful God. We all fall short of God’s expectations, so God gives us grace where we fail. Just as a father wants a son or daughter to make it thru life and find the right way, He wants us to succeed too, and we can thru His grace. God’s grace stretches out to those who do not deserve it and who otherwise would not make it in this world. But we have to accept what Christ did on the cross and that He died for our sins. For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes on should not parish, but have everlasting life with Him…
So here on the Island of Patmos, I live out my life. Alone but not alone. And from this island I send out my stories, the stories God has entrusted me with. I will plant the seeds of how He has changed my life and the lives of countless others who have found Him while walking on that road less traveled. Although I may not see the results of this work, it is up to Him to send water so the seeds may grow. There are many dangerous obstacles to overcome along the way, but if I keep my eyes and mind on Jesus than perhaps I won’t be dashed against the rocks or fall into a pit. His rod and staff protects and comforts me along the way as He can see things that I can’t. When I am weary He leads me besides the still waters, replenishes my spirit and there is rest for my soul. When I am walking along the path and grow tired as though I can’t take another step, He picks me up and carries me along the way. He gives me strength to make it thru another day. And when life seems to overwhelm me to the point where I seem like I can’t go on, my Lord and King that died for me in my place will never let me down and He will take up my battle for me when I cannot fight it. And though I am alone here on this Island of Patmos, and about my Fathers business, I am alone but not alone. I know He is with me and I know that victory is mine thru Christ who selflessly gave Himself for me. Though I am alone on this Island of Patmos, I’m right where I need to be. And if this is the lot that God intends for me, I will live it to the fullest, never looking back, and always looking ahead. And when I am at the end of my journey and all is said and done, I will ask Him one more time “Lord, what do you wish me to do” and after that, I will be with Him…
A true story told by John Armes…
In the mid 1950’s New York City was a cesspool of drugs, prostitution, and crime. The streets were ruled by vicious gangs and gang wars rose up all over the city. Rival gangs would fight for “turf” (land) to expand their gangs physical presence and to prove who was the toughest. The law of the fight was the only law these gangs understood and when two gangs went out to face each other, some did not return. Only the toughest would survive on the streets and don’t be caught on a rival gangs turf or you may be beat up, knifed, or shot. The weapon of choice was the switchblade, although they would use whatever they could find including pipes, baseball bats, zip guns, whips and chains, etc.
It was during this time that a young man named Nicky was sent from Las Piedras, Puerto Rico to live with his brother in New York City to begin a new life. His old neighborhood was the worst in Puerto Rico yet they were happy to see him go because he was always getting into trouble and fighting. When Nicky arrived in New York City and stepped off the plane, he felt a new found freedom and decided to run the streets. However, not having a coat and it being winter he decided to go to his brother’s after 3 days. Shortly after, Nicky was walking down the street when he had his first encounter with a gang. Someone pushed Nicky up against a wall and pulled a switchblade knife on him. Even though this gang member was bigger, Nicky put up a good fight but got beat up in the end. It took a few weeks for him to recuperate. Than he went out to find his attacker and beat him with a baseball bat and drug him down the sidewalk. The word on the streets was “don’t mess with Nicky, he’s crazy”. Already Nicky began to create a reputation on the streets as a tough guy.
As time went by, Nicky made a friend with the member of a gang and decided it was time for him to join a gang. He asked his friend to introduce him to the gang leader and he did. The friend brought Nicky to the gang clubhouse of the most notorious gang in New York City, the Mau-Mau’s. Nicky waited to be introduced to the leader. When they came and got him and took him into the room where the leader was, the leader ignored Nicky. Nicky finally asked “what do I have to do to join the Mau-Mau’s”? The leader said “there are two ways to join the Mau-Mau’s. The first way is to stand against a wall and I will take 20 steps from where you are, turn and throw a knife at you. If the knife sticks somewhere in your body and you survive, than you will be a member.” Nicky says ” I don’t like that way, what is the next”. The leader says “the second way is for you to stand against a wall and 5 of the toughest Mau-Mau’s will beat you all over your body until you are unconscious and if you survive, than you will be a member.” Nicky says “I’ll take the second one”. The leader says, “Nicky, you can’t fight back”. Nicky says “that’s not fair”… Nicky was beat from head to toe and when they got done, he couldn’t stand and laid there for almost an hour. It took Nicky a few weeks to recuperate, but at least he was a member of a gang. For once he had backup when he needed it. Nicky quickly rose in the gang to the position of “warlord” after six months, and then later he became leader of the Mau-Mau’s. Nicky’s reputation preceded him wherever he went, and his name brought fear to everyone who heard it. He had gone from running the streets to ruling the streets.
In 1958 a young preacher named Dave heard about the rough gangs in New York and after much prayer decided to go and approach these gangs and tell them about Jesus Christ. He got a little money from his church and it was enough to get him there but didn’t last long. He ended up living in his car on the streets. During the day he would preach on the streets to those passing by and that was the first time that Nicky met him. He was the leader of the Mau Mau’s then and had his war lord with him. Pastor Dave told Nicky that “Jesus loved him and would never stop loving him”. Nicky responded by slapping Dave and threatening to kill him. Dave realized that if he could get to Nicky, he could get to anyone, so he set out as his mission to win Nicky to Jesus. Later, Pastor Dave came to a place where the gang was hanging out and asked to talk with Nicky. Nicky told Dave to leave or he would shoot Dave with his 32 pistol if he came any closer . Dave just kept on coming, so Nicky pushed him and hit him. His fellow gang members held Nicky back and said “you can’t beat him up, he is a preacher”. Pastor Dave told Nicky again how God lived him and Nicky was becoming more and more convicted. The only religion that Nicky knew was that of his mother and father who practiced spiritism and voodoo. His parents had mentally abused him and called him “Son of Satan”. Nicky wanted no part of religion, but somehow this was different. No one had ever told him that God loved him. Pastor Dave was interested in reaching others for Jesus too. He arranged to get all the gangs together at an arena in New York so he could preach to them and try and reach them. Little did he know that the Mau Mau’s and a rival gang had decided to have a gang fight at the arena the night of the crusade to settle once and for all who was the toughest gang and who would control the streets.
The night of the crusade came and arrangements for busses were made to transport gang members to the arena. The Mau Mau’s sat on one side and the rival gang set on the other. When Dave started preaching, he could feel the spirit of the Lord move across the arena. The gangs were rowdy and frightened a young girl singer off the platform. The gangs were taunting each other, but Nicky was feeling conviction for the things he had done. Dave asked the leaders of both gangs to come up front and take the collection plates and collect money for the service. Nicky and the other leader and a few other gang members collected the offering and Nicky talked them out of taking the money and leaving. After they went back to their seats, Pastor Dave started preaching. He told them that they didn’t have to live the way they are living and that there is a better way. He told them about how tough Christ was to die on a cross for their sins, and how God loves each and every one of them. All of the sudden the rival gang member jumped up and made a run at Nicky. The other gang members prepared to fight but all eyes were on the two gang members. Nicky had the other gang leader down on the floor with his switchblade engaged and ready for action. But Nicky was overcome with conviction. He let the gang leader go and the fighting stopped. It was at that point that Pastor Dave began preaching again. At the end of the service Pastor Dave gave an altar call and many gang members were saved that night including Nicky. After it was all over, the gang members took their weapons and turned them in at the police station. The police said that if they would have seen them coming, they would have opened fire and shot them down thinking they were trying to take them over.
It just shows that when people hear the real gospel of Christ under the conviction of the Holy Spirit, than God works and people are saved. The Holy Spirit helps to convince the hearer of the truth that is being said. There is no other religion that promises what the God of the Bible promises, and non other can deliver as He does. Those of us who have been lifted out of the deep sinful hole that we came out of remember what it was like and we don’t want to go back, and as we grow in Christ, we are more and more compelled to reach the souls that are down there where we came from. The same grace that we received is also available to them. God can lift us out of that situation that clouds our minds where we don’t see the light, and he can bring that light down on us so we can finally see our situation, our sin, our need for a savior. As we grow closer to Christ we begin to change and become more Christ like and like the song goes “the things of this world will grow strangely dim” because we are spending more time looking at things above than things below. Our sights are on God and Heaven and others and less on ourselves. We no longer have to manipulate others to get what we want. God supplies all our needs.
You can see the movie about Nicky Cruz’s life and Pastor Dave Wilkerson. It is called “The Cross And The Switchblade”, and visit his website online. He has a few more video’s out. Another movie about Nicky Cruz is “Run Baby Run”… Nicky went to Bible college, studied the Bible and is a pastor now and has gone back to New York and recruited gang members for Christ. He talks to gang members all the time. Pastor Dave Wilkerson went on and kept preaching too.
From the desk of John Armes…
Friends and readers… It is my wish that you come to know Jesus as your savior… Why? Because at anytime, anyone of us could die and if we are lost in our sin we will go to hell… There is no other way to say it and I would be misrepresenting my faith and God by telling you anything different. The Bible says that in hell there is constant torment and “gnashing of teeth” and eternal separation from God. It also mentions it as a “lake of fire” reserved for the devil and his demons… Gods judgment will come and those who remain in sin will be judged and sent to hell and those who have repented and accepted Christ as their savior will go to heaven. I have provided the following information from a gospel tract entitled “God’s Simple Plan Of Salvation”, from Lifegate Incorporated in hopes that you will see the need to accept Christ and live a Christian life… All my stories lead to this conclusion. The road to salvation is narrow and few find it, but the way to destruction is broad and many go that way. Don’t go the way to destruction, but join me on the journey to salvation. It doesn’t mean that everything will be perfect from now on… There will still be trials and temptation. I am not going to promise you miracles… You may not gain riches, good health, or go around happy all the time, but you will begin a relationship with Him that made you, and He can provide you with a victorious Christian life. A life riddled with true purpose and meaning…He doesn’t want anyone to parish, but promises life more abundantly. Many try and make God into someone he is not, but read your Bible and see who God really is. He wrote it for you. And He wishes you to come to salvation in Christ… I made that decision and am happy I did. You will too… Don’t put it off… Do it now…
Gods Simple Plan Of Salvation
From Lifegate Incorporated…
My Friend : I am asking you the most important question of life. Your joy or your sorrow for all eternity depends upon your answer. The question is : Are you saved? It is not a question of how good you are, nor if you are a church member, but are you saved? Are you sure you will go to to Heaven when you die?
God says that in order to go to Heaven, you must be born again. In John 3:7, Jesus said to Nicodemus, “Ye must be born again.” In the Bible God gives us the plan of how to be born again which means to be saved. His plan is simple! You can be saved today. How?
First, my friend, you must realize that you are a sinner. “For all have sinned, and come short of the glory of God.” (Romans 3:23) Because you are a sinner, you are condemned to death. “For the wages [payment] of sin is death (Romans 6:23). This includes eternal separation from God in Hell. “… it is appointed unto men once to die, but after this the judgment” (Hebrews 9:27).
But God loved you so much He gave His only begotten Son, Jesus, to bear your sin and die in your place. “… He hath made Him [Jesus, Who knew no sin] to be sin for us… that we might be made the righteousness of God in Him” (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus had to shed His blood and die. “For the life of the flesh is in the blood” (Leviticus 17:11). “… without shedding of blood is no remission [pardon]” (Hebrews 9:22). “… God commendeth His love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us” (Romans 5:8). Although we cannot understand how, God said my sins and your sins were laid upon Jesus and He died in our place. He became our substitute. It is true. God cannot lie.
My friend, “God … commandeth all men everywhere to repent” (Acts 17:30). This repentance is a change of mind that agrees with God that one is a sinner, and also agrees with what Jesus did for us on the Cross. In Acts 16:30-31, the Philippian jailer asked Paul and Silas: “… Sirs, what must I do to be saved? And they said, ‘Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and thou shalt be saved… .’ ” Simply believe on Him as the one who bore your sin, died in your place, was buried, and whom God resurrected. His resurrection powerfully assures that the believer can claim everlasting life when Jesus is received as Savior. “But as many as received Him, to them gave He power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on His name” (John 1:12). “For whosoever shall call upon the name of the Lord shall be saved” (Romans 10:13).
Whosoever includes you. Shall be saved means not maybe, nor can, but shall be saved. Surely, you realize you are a sinner. Right now, wherever you are, repenting, lift your heart to God in prayer. In Luke 18:13, the sinner prayed : “God be merciful to me a sinner.” Just pray : “Oh God, I know I am a sinner. I believe Jesus was my substitute when He died on the Cross. I believe His shed blood, death, burial, and resurrection were for me. I now receive Him as my Savior. I thank You for the forgiveness of my sins, the gift of salvation and everlasting life, because of your merciful grace. Amen.”
Just take God at His word and claim His salvation by faith. Believe, and you will be saved. No church, no lodge, no good works can save you. Remember, God does the saving. All of it! God’s simple plan of salvation is : You are a sinner. Therefor, unless you believe on Jesus Who died in your place, you will spend eternity in Hell. If you believe on Him as your crucified, buried, and risen Savior, you receive forgiveness for all your sins and His gift of eternal salvation by faith. You say, “Surely, it cannot be that simple.” Yes, that simple! It is scriptural. It is God’s plan. My friend, believe on Jesus and receive Him as Savior today. If His plan is not perfectly clear, read this message over and over, without laying it down until you understand it. Your soul is worth more than all the world.
“For what shall it profit a man, if he shall gain the whole world, and lose his own soul?” (Mark 8:36). Be sure you are saved. If you lose your soul, you miss Heaven and lose all. Please! Let God save you this very moment. God’s power will save you, keep you saved, and enable you to live a victorious Christian life. “There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, Who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it” (1 Corinthians 10:13).
Do not trust your feelings. They change. Stand on God’s promises. They never change. After you are saved, there are three things to practice daily for spiritual growth: Pray – you talk to God. Read your Bible – God talks to you. Witness – you talk for God. You should be baptized in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ as a public testimony of your salvation, and then unite with a Bible-believing church without delay. “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord…” (2 Timothy 1:8). “Whosoever therefore shall confess [testify of] Me before men, him will I confess also before My Father which is in heaven” (Matthew 10:32).
A story by John Armes…
The year was 1968, and the place was downtown Indianapolis, Indiana. A young 13 year old boy and his 16 year old brother were attending a meeting to hear a special speaker. The older boy had just gotten his drivers license and had driven them to the meeting. To the younger boy, Market Square Arena was the largest building he had ever been in. As he looked around at the sea of people his anticipation grew and he thought to himself that this must be a very good speaker to bring so many people. Finally the speaker appeared at the podium in front of the arena. The boy carefully listened to every word. At the end of the meeting, the speaker offered an invitation for whoever wanted to come and join, to come up front. What this man was offering, the young boy wanted. As he made his way to the front, he was wondering if he could find his way back to his brother in this large packed auditorium. It seemed to take forever to get there. As he got to the front there were several men there and began asking him questions which the young boy answered and than the men began to gather around him and pray for him. The boy accepted Jesus Christ as his personal savior on that night, and as the boy rose from the altar he was filled with a new purpose, bigger than anything he had ever done. He had a thirst to learn more. When the two boys got home to their parents the young boy said nothing. The older boy later began to tell his parents what had happened. The older boy was my brother Lex, I was the younger boy, and the speaker was Billy Graham. That was the start of my long and bumpy journet to God, and the beginning of his plan for my life. Billy had planted a seed…
As I began to grow, I became involved in my church. I played bass guitar for church choir and church ensemble and also played bass for my school choir and a school ensemble. I remember the little old ladies and older gentleman who would greet me after the church service and tell me how they enjoyed my guitar playing in the service. You see they were planting seeds. All thru high school I was required to learn bible verses that stuck with me thru life. There, my teachers were planting seeds.
As I graduated from high school and got closer to college, I began getting into things I should not have. I tended to give in to temptation and find trouble. I had picked up drugs and drinking as I veered off course and slipped away from the path I should have taken and into a rock-n-roll lifestyle. It is a good thing that my mother didn’t know because it would have broken her heart. Even though I went to Christian universities, I managed to find the wrong friends and the wrong things to do as I was in a rebellious state. Drugs and alcohol followed me thru school until the day I got married and than I semi-mended my ways and straightened up a little. The real life changer was when my first daughter was born. Her name is Rachael, and when she was born and I held that little innocent child in my arms, I then decided to mend my ways to an even straighter path and began to truly reform. I wasn’t going to influence her in the wrong direction. Little eyes are watching. Than later we had her precious sister. Her name is Stephanie. Rachael became a mother hen to Stephanie when she was a baby. She loved her sister. Consequently I became a “chip off the old block”. When I was a child my mom would get me and my brother up to go to church every Sunday. One Sunday when she woke me up for church, I told her that I am not going to church today. When she asked my why I told her that if my dad was going to sleep in, I was too. When my mom told my dad what I had said, he never missed a day of church after that. My dad began to plant a seed. If it weren’t for the seeds my parents planted in me and the constant prayers they prayed for a prodigal son, I don’t think I could have survived the stormy parts of my life. But, because of my parents I believe that even though I strayed off my path, that God had his hand on me all thru my life. So, me and my dad both changed our ways because of our children. As countless other fathers and mothers have done in the past and will do in the future. Having kids is a life changer. However, it was not enough to keep mine and their mothers marriage together and after 15 years of being married, their mother and I got a divorce because of irreconcilable differences.
After my divorce I picked up drinking again and went from woman to woman slipping back into my previous state and trying to fill the hole that was left in my life from my divorce. I never seemed to find the right woman. Later on I found that it was God who would fill that hole in my life and as he, over time took away my desire for drugs, than drinking, than sleeping around, than smoking, and finally rock music, he has continued to mold my life to be more Christ like. As the song goes, “the things of this world will grow strangely dim” , as it has for me. My goals and outlook on life has been changed from what it used to be into a better and more responsible purpose in life, yet I fall back on that phrase that we used to say in church when I was young “be patient with me, God is not thru with me yet”… I finally found the true meaning of those words and how true they are. And so the Christian life has been a lifetime journey. Now Jesus is not my co-pilot, but my pilot. Where he leads I will follow. I have found that all the experiences of my life add up to one thing. The most important cause worth fighting for is the cause of Christ, and all the other things will fall into place when my life is surrendered to him. He is the only one that deserves my praise. And as we live day to day life in our small world, there is a whole big world out there and God’s plan is unfolding all around us. A much bigger purpose and meaning than all of us put together. And, we all have a chance to be part of it. As I get older, the importance of my place in family has increased with aging parents and now grand kids. My kids are having kids. They are and always will be family and God commands us to care for our families. My two little grandchildren now two and three years old now regenerated that need for me to be there and lend a hand whenever needed. However, spending time and cash on the little ones becomes more of a blessing than a responsibility. I am the classic grandpa and tend to go overboard on my grandkids. I can’t help it, I just get carried away. I love my two daughters and my mom and dad because they are easy to love, as well as my grand kids.
As with my family, I want to be like “Johnny Appleseed” and plant seeds. Billy Graham planted a seed in me when I was a boy, the elder people at my church when I was growing up planted a seed as well with their encouragement, my teachers in high school planted a seed thru having me learn bible verses, my mom and dad planted a seed in having me attend church regularly as a young boy, I in turn plant seeds in my kids and now grand kids, and with these stories I intend to plant a seed in you. Many people planted seeds in my life and it became obvious to me that God was the origin of the good seeds. He continues to plant seeds in me and I will in turn plant good seeds in others. Never pass up a chance to plant a good seed in those you come in contact with during your day to day life. You may never know how far that seed will go. I hope that my life as an example to you shows you how seeds planted in someone’s life grow up with them. People will stray, but those seeds can come back and influence them in the right direction. It has happened to me countless times. Memories can help shape our lives. There are countless times that a bible verse has come to me out of nowhere that has shaped a decision I was pondering or given me encouragement along the way. God uses seeds to plant in your life because he loves you. Let God use you to plant seeds. You may not be there to see the seed grow, but if you plant the seed, God will send the rain. Billy Graham has planted lots of seeds around the world, and you can too. Now plant that seed. Let God use you. Always encourage others of all ages to do good. Good should be rewarded and can be with just a little encouragement. The greatest cause you could ever encounter is to be used for the purpose of God thru Christ Jesus. Can I hear an “amen”…
The WordPress.com stats helper monkeys prepared a 2014 annual report for this blog.
Here’s an excerpt:
A San Francisco cable car holds 60 people. This blog was viewed about 840 times in 2014. If it were a cable car, it would take about 14 trips to carry that many people.
By John Armes
We are all born the same way no matter when or where we are in the world. We all come out naked, screaming, selfish, hungry, and craving attention and affection and not able to take care of ourselves, even before we know what these feelings mean. At that time in our lives, a warm blanket, warm milk, and being clean and dry make all the difference in the world to us. We cost our parents a lot of money and grief as we are growing up and we hope that they will always love us even when we are at our worst. Sometimes we keep them up late at night worrying because they don’t know where we are or if we are all right. So, why do people have kids anyway since they are so much trouble and cost so much money? Because we are not only beings that crave love and attention, but we also want to give love and attention and kids can also be a blessing. Not much different from God. We are all made in God’s image… But we as people of the world reject, ignore, and sin against God in spite of all that he has done for us. God was lonely and that is why he created man (and woman)… His love for us is like your love for your son or daughter. He loves us like a father. Not only that, but he wants to be loved, just like us… He also has a unbeatable, gigantic, unmatchable, never changing capacity to love, and he is looking for those to whom he can direct that love. God is concerned about the path we take, the condition of our soul, our attitude and outlook we have on life, as well as how we treat our families… Yes, he is concerned very deeply with us and in every way, patiently watching and waiting for us to do the right thing so he can bless us. Kind of sounds like a father doesn’t he. Perhaps that is why he is called our Heavenly Father. And, oh what a great love he has. Nothing outreaches the love of God. Even when God sent his Son Jesus to die on the cross, and he was beaten, despised, rejected, and finally put to death, God still loves us. “He stands at the door and waits…” God wishes that every man come to him so he can meet all our needs… Even after we continuously sin, and God hates sin, but he still loves us. Did you catch that… God hates the sin, but loves the sinner… So, we should do the same. We all should hate sin, but love the sinner. We are all sinner’s and bound for hell, but God loved us so much that by his grace, we are saved thru Christ Jesus. Since Jesus died on the cross, God now sees us thru the blood of his Son so that we who have accepted Christ as our savior, are seen by God as pardoned. My friend, it is only by the grace of God that we are saved. And because of God’s grace to us, we should show grace and love to our fellow man. It is really hard to show someone God’s love and grace, when they can’t see it in you. We are his eyes, ears, and mouth, if we let God speak thru us.
We must be “reborn” in God’s world, which is to be in this world, but not of this world. We must repent of our sin, and follow his commandments. The Bible calls us a “peculiar people”, meaning that we are not motivated by the “normal” things that worldly people are concerned with. We are more concerned with God, and heavenly things. The Bible says that faith without works is dead. That means that if we are “authentic” Christians and true followers of Christ, it will show by the things we do, and in our lives. When we go thru life, we should ask ourselves “what would Jesus do?” It is my sincere hope that all of you that read my stories will acquire a true, “authentic” Christian walk with God and Christ so we can all meet with God and Christ in heaven one day. Wherever you are in the world, it is Gods will that you become a follower of Jesus of the Bible. Put all your cares on him and he will guide all your paths. Lean not unto your own understanding but have faith in God and who he is and what he can do. We can never understand the full concept of God or his capabilities. Our minds are just too small, but God is more than we could ever imagine. We could never understand all there is about God, so we have to rely on faith. God promises you that if you seek him, you will find him, and that he will never leave or forsake you. You seek him thru praying to him for all your needs, and reading the Bible. He has preserved his word, the Bible for over 2000 years to give you a roadmap leading to him. If you want to have a glimpse of the mind of God, than read your Bible. It has been the same for over 2000 years and has not changed. When someone comes to you with a “new” religion, I would suggest that you not give into it. There will be many false religions in the end days, so you need to be familiar with the Bible so you can tell truth from the false. God has preserved his Bible thru the ages so you can have knowledge of him, and your mission here on earth. Do yourself a favor, read it. And when you do find him, and he reveals himself to you, you will never be the same again… I promise you… You will begin a journey that will change your life for the better. Who knows better about you than the God that made you. And, he wants to communicate with you…
I spent a lot of time in my life asking over and over “God, what do you want me to do”, and all the time it was staring me in the face. My friend, the gospel has not changed… Christ was sent to give hope to a lost and dying world. He gave us our orders when he said “go and preach and teach the gospel to all people”. We need to pass that on to others. There are people in this world who are suffering and starving physically and spiritually and we need to help provide relief to both. Don’t ask for a sign or a miracle, because the word has already been given. When you get to know God and study Gods word, than you don’t need a sign or a miracle. You begin to see him in everything. When I walk out my front door, I see him in the green grass, and the tall trees. Look at this world that God has given us to live in. mountains, valley’s, rivers, seas, and streams, and all of it’s colors and wonders. God has provided us a wonderland to live in. Without God, we wouldn’t have cars to drive, houses to live in, work to go to, kids, or us… God made everything. And you of my friends out there that claim to be “scientific” and therefor cannot believe in God, than you can ask God all about any questions you have about science (about 1 minute after you die), since he is the author of science too, but I would guess that when you meet him, the question of where you will spend eternity will overshadow any scientific questions you may have. Science is just one more way that validates God’s existence, because we haven’t even touched the surface of God’s magnificent science yet. We as man think we are so smart, and have advanced so much, and God says (paraphrased) “you ain’t seen nothing yet”…
Yes my friend, God is more than anything you could ever imagine. He wants to know you. He wants you to come to him thru prayer and the Bible. He stands at your door and knocks, waiting patiently for you to open the door of your heart so he can come in and change your life for the better. He has come for those that suffer, thirst, and are hungry. He provides hope for a lost and dying world. He has promised to love and never forsake you. He is there in your good times and your pain. Cast all your cares on him and he will supply all your needs. And as you search for him, and find him, may his love shine down on you in a way that supersedes all your expectations. May your glass of your life be full, running over, and abundant. May you find the one true God. And when we all get to heaven I can say “welcome home brothers and sisters” and we can live together forever, with God… And truly, what a wonderful God we serve…
By John Armes
When God sought out Moses to go to Egypt and talk to the Pharaoh about “letting his people go”, he was somewhat reluctant. Moses gave all kinds of excuses about how he was not an eloquent speaker and how Aaron was a much better speaker than he was. Furthermore, Moses said “what shall I say ?”. He told God that the Pharaoh would not listen to him, because he had been thrown our of Egypt for killing a Egyptian guard and would not be well received. He was in exile from Egypt, forbidden to reenter Egyptian land. But God said, “Moses, I want you to go, and I will tell you what to say”. Moses finally consented to do what God had asked him to do. God told him what to do, and Moses did exactly what God said for him to do.
How many times do we say, “But God, I am not capable to do what you want me to do”. “There are others that can do it much better than I can. I have had no training, I didn’t finish college, I have too much to do with my family.” “I just can’t do the job justice”… But no, God says “I want you to do the job”… So, why did God choose me ?
The same reason he chose Moses, Abraham, Jacob, Isaac, and the list goes on. See, if you were well trained in something and were a pro at it, than people would expect you to be able to preform the task. If you had a degree in that subject, than expectations would be high as far as the end product you would produce. Then you would receive the glory for your works. But, we that do not have a degree in the subject, or no training in this task that God is asking us to do, and we succeed than people would wonder how it is that we succeeded at something that we should have failed at. As Christians, it is obvious that we couldn’t have done the task without God working thru us. God receives the glory for being the true resource that has produced this outstanding achievement, and we must remember to give God the glory. “For, I am all things thru Christ which strengthens me”. When we allow Christ or God to work thru us, we glorify God. Without God, I am nothing, but with God, I am everything… The same goes for you. The Bible says that “whosoever gives up his life will find it”. So, whenever we give up our lives to Christ, than Christ working in us makes us all that we can be. We have divine guidance. Whereas, if we “keep our lives” intending to be the master of our own destiny, than we screw up our lives because we become the center of our own thoughts, and we make the wrong decisions based on what we want instead of what God wants. By nature we are born into sin and are a selfish lot. Christ is our only redeeming salvation. Fellowship with God is our intended destiny, and when we veer off course because of our own whim’s and desires, than we set our self up to fail. God can change all that.
Sometimes we begin thinking about our busy lives and how we need to make more money for this and that, and making money to take care of your family is biblical, but it shouldn’t be the soul reason for our existence. The worldly man who just thinks about himself and how he can manipulate someone to get what he wants, and the only time he is happy is when he is getting what he wants, then he has no regard for God. Chances are he is a unhappy man. It makes him an unthankful, manipulative, selfish, uncaring, person that hasn’t got a kind word to say to anyone. Real Christians realize that it is all about God, and not about us. They realize that when you put your life in God’s hands that he can do far more with it than we can do ourselves. As Christians, we must think about God and than others. We must take care of our families, sure but we must always put God and what he wants first. Than all other things will fall into place. If you are doing God’s will, than you will be taking care of your family, and God will receive the glory. Being a Christian is not just a one day a week thing. Christianity is a way of life. You live it 24 hours a day and 7 days a week. That doesn’t mean that we won’t make mistakes. I know I have made plenty. But, when you fall, you have to pick yourself up, brush off your clothes, and keep on going. And when you can’t pick yourself up, than God will reach down and pick you up.
One of my favorite stories is about “footprints on the sand”. It goes… There was a Christian walking along the beach, and everywhere he went, he could see where his footprints were and he could see Jesus footprints right beside him. He went on for a ways and as he went, he noticed that in some places there were only one set of footprints. So, he said to Jesus, “I noticed that sometimes in my life there were only one set of footprints in the sand. Lord, why did you forsake me ?” And the Lord said “as we went along together, there were times when you grew weak and were unable to walk, so when you see one set of footprints, that was where I was carrying you.” It is the same for us. Christ promises that he will “never leave us or forsake us”, but will be with us “always even till the end of the world”… Reach out and embrace your destiny… Seek God and you will find him… And, when he reveals himself to you in a way which you cannot deny, than you will receive renewed strength, and you will understand that it is all about God and his Son, and not about you, but it is for you… “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son that whosoever believes on him shall not parish but have everlasting life”-( John 3:16)… Amen…
By John Armes
I am a slave, but you don’t have to save me. I am not a captive, but have been set free thru my slavery. I am a slave by choice and not by force. I am ruled by a loving master who has my best interest at heart. He does more for me than I can do for myself. He is watching my back as well as my front, sides, and top and bottom. He prepares my place for me. He watches over me day and night. He is always beside me. He will never leave me. He stood at my door and knocked until I opened it than, he came in and took me out of the mess that I made of my life when I was in control of it. Than he made something wonderful of my life. I am a part of his church and the gates of hell will not prevail against me. He has set me free from my captivity to liquor, drugs, cigarettes, and a permissive lifestyle. He trusts me and empowers me. He gives me “peace like a river” especially when I need it the most. He loved me before I knew him. He prepares my way before me. He allows me to share in his inheritance with Jesus. “He lays me down beside the still waters, he restores my soul”… With Jesus stripes, I am healed. “Surely goodness and mercy will follow me all the days of my life”. And, I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever.” Now, ask me again why am I slave, and why am I a Christian?
God promises us things, and He can make them happen. Friends, we have a whole eternity after this life is over. I would rather be a slave in Gods army than a high ranking official in Satan’s army any day. You may say our future depends on it. We are all made with a choice. We are not puppets. We are all made in God’s image. Even the US Constitution says that we are all endowed with rights from God our creator (paraphrased)… I am a willing slave to Jesus Christ, yet this “Lion of Judah will break every chain, and give to us the victory again and again”. And, thru this slavery “my chains are gone I have been set free, my God my Savior has ransomed me, and like a flood his mercy reigns, unending love, amazing grace.”-the song “Amazing Grace, My Chains Are Gone”…
Jesus said go and tell all men of all nations about the Gospel of Christ. It is for every man, woman, and child on this earth. There is nothing else to be done for salvation, Christ has already paid the price for our sins, we just need to accept this free gift. We are able to do nothing for our situation, so we can only find salvation thru Christ Jesus… All of those promises are for those who accept, and decide to follow Jesus. He said “I have come that you may have life, and that you may have life more abundantly.” Only God knows what true satisfaction in life is. He is our maker, so he knows how we work and think, and he is equipped to deal with any situation. What better master is there that you can put your life in their hands and come out with a fuller richer life. Yes, I am a slave… And loving every minute of it… Come and join me… Be committed to his purpose… Enrich your life… Be the person you were created to be…
By John Armes
“When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.” – The Hymn, “It Is Well With My Soul”
We sang this song in church for as long as I can remember. Little did I know the true story of the circumstances surrounding the life of it’s author until just lately. Horatio G. Spafford , a lawyer, his wife Anna, four daughters and one son lived in Chicago Illinois in 1860 and were supporters of the pastor D.L. Moody. In 1870, the first of several tragedies struck the Spafford family, beginning with the death of their 4 year old son who died of scarlet fever. One year later Spafford lost his life savings due to the Great Chicago Fire. In 1873, the Spafford family was going to join D.L. Moody and help him on a evangelistic crusade in Great Britain, but before the ship sailed out of New York, Horatio was called back to Chicago to attend a last minute business development so the family sailed without him. The ship they were on collided with another ship, and the ship sank in 12 minutes and only Anna was saved. All four daughters died. Horatio boarded the next ship out of New York to join Anna, and when they neared the spot where his four daughters had perished the captain called Horatio to the bridge and told him. Than Horatio returned to his cabin and wrote “It Is Well With My Soul”…
- “When peace, like a river, attendeth my way,
When sorrows like sea billows roll;
Whatever my lot, Thou has taught me to say,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
It is well, with my soul,
It is well, it is well, with my soul.
- Though Satan should buffet, though trials should come,
Let this blest assurance control,
That Christ has regarded my helpless estate,
And hath shed His own blood for my soul.
- My sin, oh, the bliss of this glorious thought!
My sin, not in part but the whole,
Is nailed to the cross, and I bear it no more,
Praise the Lord, praise the Lord, O my soul!
- For me, be it Christ, be it Christ hence to live:
If Jordan above me shall roll,
No pang shall be mine, for in death as in life
Thou wilt whisper Thy peace to my soul.
- But, Lord, ’tis for Thee, for Thy coming we wait,
The sky, not the grave, is our goal;
Oh, trump of the angel! Oh, voice of the Lord!
Blessed hope, blessed rest of my soul!
- And Lord, haste the day when my faith shall be sight,
The clouds be rolled back as a scroll;
The trump shall resound, and the Lord shall descend,
Even so, it is well with my soul.”
Horatio Spafford went thru tragedy after tragedy, life altering events, but he was given “peace like a river”, from God at the time he needed it the most. Peace enough to write the words to this great song after suffering catastrophic hardships. But he kept his eyes on Jesus, his mind on Gods word, and his heart true to what God had taught him. And, that made all the difference!
Sometimes when we go thru different events in our lives God doesn’t always take the tragedy away from us, but allows us to go thru it. He never promised that we wouldn’t have tragedies in our lives, but he promised that he will be there with us, and sometimes he gives us “peace like a river”… Also known as “the peace that passes all understanding”, or “the peace of God”.
Another example of this peace is when Christ was in the Garden of Gethsemane and he prayed to his Father (God), asking him to “take this cup from me”. Actually, Christ was not asking that God not make him to go thru the awful punishment that was ahead of him, or even save him from dying on the cross. He was already resigned to the task that was before him. He knew well from the beginning what he was here on earth for and how terrible his situation was going to become, but he also knew how important it was to finish the task to the very end. What Christ was concerned with in the hour before he was going to be betrayed and taken captive by his accusers was that when he would be nailed to the cross and lifted in the air, he was literally going to take on the sins of the world (including yours and mine) and God, his Father was going to turn his back on him, his son, because God cannot look on sin. So, Christ who had not sinned, was going to take on our sin, who from the beginning of time had always felt his Fathers presence with him, would have to experience the cold shoulder of God while he was rejected by all. Then we hear him saying while on the cross “Father, why hast thou forsaken me”, and before he died, “it is finished”. God cannot look on sin. So, where is the “peace like a river”? After praying this prayer in the Garden of Gethsemane, and after praying so earnestly, sweating drops of blood, when he was finished, he rose up a stronger, bolder, more determined vessel to do the task God had given him. He was riddled with purpose, because his Father had given him “peace like a river”. God did not take the “cup from him”, but he gave Jesus the extra strength he needed to finish his task as well as the peace he needed. And God does the same for us in our hour of need. He doesn’t always take away the problem, but he does give us the courage and the strength to get thru it, and Christ, well, he is right there with us. Christ was the “man of sorrows”, so he is no stranger to pain and sorrow. He didn’t just tell us what we should do, he became our example. And the song goes “… that Christ has regarded my helpless estate and hath shed his own blood for my soul”. When I am going thru a trial or a tragedy, I just think about what he went thru for me. He went thru rejection, agonizing torture, death on the cross, being hated and despised but he didn’t go thru it for himself. He took all of this because of us. Oh, what a wonderful and glorious God we serve. And Christ is really the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords, and he is coming back. Then “every knee shall bow, and every tongue confess, that he is Christ the Lord”. May God give you strength to complete the task that is ahead of you. May he make you a new creature, riddled with purpose strong, willing to finish the task he has given you in his perfect plan to further his Kingdom. May you have God’s speed as you go along life’s way with Heaven in mind and God’s Word on your heart, and may God impart to you “peace like a river” when you need it the most. Never give up, never quit !!!
By John Armes
I recently started this web site… I put a lot of Christian stories there that I write and than direct my friends and acquaintances there by telling them about it or handing out my business card and tell them to go to my web site. I know I have startled some because they aren’t Christian, didn’t know that I was Christian and I feel that some avoid me because of it. I knew that would happen, but I had to resolve in my mind that if someone avoids me or doesn’t speak to me because I am a Christian, than I can deal with it. I consider myself an ambassador for Christ, so I am bound to do right even when others don’t… Also, if I have to go it alone, than it is me and Christ and that is always enough… Because “He that is in me is greater than he that is in the world.” So, I shake the dust off my sandals and go on. Don’t be ashamed of the gospel of Christ…
I was trying to reason how that I could lead people toward Christ and do it in a balanced, truthful manner. I don’t want anyone deciding on being a Christian based on enticements to try and convince them to believe in God and Christ, and than later on be disappointed when things didn’t happen. God does promise that he will be with us always, and he will help us get through our tests and trials, but God doesn’t promise us wealth, excellent health, and never a worry from now on. As a matter of fact, Christ said that we would be hated, despised , and rejected, just as he was… The world will not understand us… Some will like what we have to say, and some will hate our every word. If Christ indicated that when we follow him, the world will hate us and despise us just as they did him, than why become a Christian and follow Christ. Since I am usually compelled to stress the good as well as the bad in a situation, than I had to ask myself this question. It finally came down to why Christ was hated, despised and rejected when he was here on earth. Well, he reminded man that man is sinful and will be judged by God. Man will also reject us because we bear witness of the light (Christ) and we remind man of his sin and his need of a redeemer. If man doesn’t believe in God, than he can make himself a god. He would have no one to answer to. There world be no law. There would be no sinful stain. But there is sin and man doesn’t want to face it. Man is comfortable hiding his sin and the last thing he wants is someone revealing his dirty past. In fact, man has become arrogant with his situation.
So, why did Christ do it. Why did God send his Son to die on a cross? Because, man could not, and cannot save himself. Man is in such a helpless state, that Christ’s love for man far outweighed the hatred and rejection he would suffer by telling man the truth, even when man didn’t want to hear it. Like the song says, “Christ has regarded my helpless estate and shed his own blood for my soul”. Here in this life, on this earth, is but a short time when compared to eternity. We tend to sacrifice our futures on the here and now instead of storing up treasures in heaven. That is why we need to be bold yet humble. That is why we need to tell our fellow man about the gospel. The Bible says:
1 Peter 3:15 “But sanctify the Lord God in your hearts, and always be ready to give a “defense” to everyone who asks you a reason for the hope that is in you, with meekness and fear.”
Jesus has pointed the way with his life. Of all the fruits of the Spirit, the greatest is Love. Also “greater love hath no man than to lay down his life for his brother.” So, when love for our fellow man becomes more important than what someone will thank of us, and in the face of hatred and rejection we choose to tell God’s truth, that man is sinful and cannot save himself from death and hell, than perhaps we can convince someone to turn around and go the right way, accept Christ’s free gift of salvation, and be heaven bound instead of hell bound. This is why we must go and tell. We will be hated, rejected, and despised by some, but eternity is far more important than anything we could go thru on this earth. In the end, it will all be worth the pain. I am no longer afraid of death, because when that moment comes, I will have discovered the place that Jesus has gone and prepared for me. And live with him forever, and it will all have been worth it. Seek the truth of Christ, because “if you seek righteousness, you will be filled”…
Blessed Assurance, Jesus is mine… I am not my own, but I am bought with a price… That price is the precious blood of Jesus… Now I belong to a loving God who alone deserves my praise… Therefor I must submit myself to his will… And as a result he will rain down his grace and his love… Grace because I cannot remedy my own sinful situation because I fall short every time… But he loves me so much that he made a way for me to enjoy the splendor of his glory and to be able to join him at his home for an eternity of blessing and fulfillment… It is this blessed assurance that gives me purpose in life and fulfillment that exceeds all my expectations… Truly what a wonderful God we serve… I’m filled with his goodness and lost in his love…
It is truly amazing grace that an almighty God would send his only son to die on a cross that we may have a way to live with him in heaven. Jesus said that there is no greater love than for you to lay down your life for someone else and yet he did it for the whole world. He could have called 10,000 angels to come and take him away to heaven at any time, yet he endured painful persecution and gave up his own life, a ransom for many… Putting his deity and glory aside, submitting to the will of God, and taking on a cruel cross he loved me before he knew me… And now I am found when I once was lost and my chains are gone… He has given me the victory thru him and changed the course of history… He is my shield against the storms of life and relieves my fears thru his amazing grace… Amazing grace how sweet the sound… I once was lost but now I am saved….
221 B Blaker Street, blood, fingerprinting, forensic science, gaslight, Halloween, Jack the Ripper, London, London Police, Mary Jane Kelly, murder case, Scotland Yard, serial killer, Sherlock Holmes, strange
A story by John Armes
This being October and the month of Halloween, I thought that I might try my hand at a story more fitting to the season. It is now time to get that favorite beverage and sit down in your most comfortable easy chair and think about something else for a while. Well, lets get started shall we…
It is London in the late 1800’s and close to the turn of the century. Friday November 9, 1888 to be exact… You are a constable on night shift walking the streets of the Whitechapel district keeping the peace and watching over your section of town . You are armed with a small whistle and a club for your protection and to defend others. The London fog is thick and visibility is limited to a short distance. As you look up at the flickering gas street light, it causes eerie shadows to dance across your path. As you pull up your collar to the cold night air and step out onto the cobblestone streets, you have to watch your step. The dimly lit streets offer little help in guiding your way and most of the businesses along the main section of town have closed their doors, and turned out their lights for the night. There aren’t many people out and about at this time of night with only a few pubs open. As you round the corner you see a strange dim light off in the distance and hear a woman scream. You rush closer and see the few people that are left on the street begin to gather where the faint light once was. As you move closer, you see something huddled on the ground before you. Than you notice that it is the body of a woman who has been brutally murdered. Blood is oozing from the lacerations and onto the ground. You immediately begin blowing your whistle alerting other officers in the area that there is trouble. As the first officer arrives you send him to get the town doctor and you try to keep the small crowd back. By this time you notice the lights coming on at residences nearby and there are more people coming. A few more officers show up and shortly , everyone in the East End of London will know that Jack the Ripper has claimed his next victim. Her name was Mary Jane Kelly, and according to Scotland Yard she was his last victim.
Jack the Ripper was also credited with 4 other murders prior to this one which all took place in a one mile radius in the London districts of Whitechapel, Spitalfields, Aldgate, and the city of London proper. Some believed he could have committed 4 or 5 other murders besides these, but it was never proven. The 4 murders he is credited with all took place in 1888 and ranged from Friday, August 31 to Friday, November 9 (all on weekends)… He was not the first serial killer, but probably the first to appear in a large metropolis among a thriving press and much political turmoil. For these reasons Jack the Ripper became both popular and somewhat romanticized. At the time there were no forensic science or fingerprinting and the only way to convict a murderer was to actually catch him or her in the act or get the suspect to confess. There were two police forces involved in the Ripper murders which were the London Police, and Scotland Yard. Other than taking statements and autopsies there was not much that could be done, so most people didn’t blame the local law enforcement. Actually local police took notes, drew diagrams and took pictures of the victims and crime scenes. However, Jack was never found out and the case was never solved. Even though there were several suspects, no one was ever arrested for the crimes, and Scotland Yard officially closed the case in 1892.
Literature was beginning to thrive at that time and people were becoming interested in books and stories. Another memorable subject was born around this time. His name is Sherlock Holmes and he is remembered to this day. In fact lately there have been a few new movies about him appearing at the cinema, and countless movies, radio stories, and television series now and in the past. (I happen to be a huge fan.) Holmes was created by Sir Arthur Conan Doyle, and first appeared in print in 1887 (the year before the Ripper murders) and was featured in 4 novels and 56 short stories. The stories cover a period from about 1880 to 1914.The Holmes stories were also featured in 3 of the popular magazines circulating in London at the time, including Beeton’s Christmas Annual, Lippincott’s Monthly Magazine, and The Strand Magazine. His birthday (even though he is fictional), according to information in the stories is calculated to be January 6, 1854 and in 1881 Holmes had lodgings at 221 B Baker Street, London.
I find it strange that the greatest detective that ever lived began his career one year before the Ripper murders and the police at that time were so far behind in crime analysis and investigation that the most famous villain of all time was never caught. Holmes ability of using astute logical reasoning, to adopt almost any disguise, and his use of forensic science to solve difficult cases was the beginning of forensic science and pioneered some techniques that are still used today. If the police of that time had used Holms methods, than there is a good chance that Jack the Ripper would have been caught. So, the greatest detective that ever lived, and the most famous serial killer of all time, lived at the same time, and in the same area, and the bad guy got away…
A story by John Armes
I was wondering if any of you out there are like me. I have been watching superhero’s since I was a kid. First it was superman, and than batman. They all have superpowers from some kind of experience or from some place where they came from. Superman came from Krypton, and inherited superpowers from the people that lived there. He was faster than a speeding bullet, more powerful than a locomotive, and able to leap tall building, etc. Batman became a superhero to avenge his parents death, fight the bad guys and save Gotham. Their purpose was to uphold good and vanquish evil. Why do we like superhero’s? Perhaps they show man at his best. Always the good guy. Someone to take up for the “little guy’s”. Someone for the kids to look up to. A role model. But we know that they are just fantasy. But what about the real one. You know… The one who came to earth from a place far above that came not just to save a city, but to save the whole world. One who is more than just a man, and he can do miracles too… Would you like to hear that story… Ok…
Once upon a time, in a land far away and long ago a baby was born. His parents didn’t have a lot of money and he wasn’t born into a royal family, but people came from miles around just to greet him. They were told a King was coming and he was the chosen one. He ate what everyone else ate and drank what everyone else drank and grew up as a normal boy of that time. He loved his mother and father and was a good boy. As he got older he began to learn the customs and the teachings of that time to prepare him for the journey ahead of him. He learned and applied himself and became a teacher himself and than later a preacher. He became very popular among many people. His preaching’s became very powerful to the point that the rulers of that day became frightened of his power and the religious rulers became jealous of his knowledge. He was more different than anyone they had ever seen and the people would come for miles just to hear him speak. It was said that he was the “messiah” and he would be the savior of his people. At this point he had done a number of miracles. He had even brought a man back to life after he had been dead for three days. He had a small group of men that went with him everywhere. These were his closest friends. But one of them betrayed him. When he was turned over to the religious rulers of that day, they falsely accused him of blasphemy and sentenced him to death. But he didn’t lift a hand to defend himself. He had all the power of his father’s kingdom at his command, and yet he did not use it. He had miracles he could have used in his defense, but did not use them. He could have called 10,000 angels at his command to save him, but he didn’t. Even when they hit him and abused him, and beat him mercilessly, he said nothing, and never raised a hand in his own defense. When they nailed him to a cross the only thing he said was “Father, forgive them for they know not what they do”. His name was Christ, and he was the Son of God…
But I digress… When Christ was born here on earth, that was not the beginning of his existence. He was there in Heaven when God created the heavens and the earth. He was also there when God created man. The Bible says “in the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God, and the Word was made flesh and dwelt among us”. Obviously, the Word was Jesus Christ, and he was there since the beginning of time. So, he came down from his kingly throne in the wonderful splendor of this heavenly paradise where there is no hunger or thirst, where he had multitudes of angles to do his every bidding, a place that never gets dirty or dusty, a place where you don’t have to breathe and never get tired or out of breath. So, he came to earth. A place where we get dirty, have to breathe to live, get hungry and thirsty every day, and being a carpenters son sometimes he probably got splinters. Even worse, he was born in a smelly old stable. All to come down here to visit his Fathers creation, and grow up as a poor boy and die on a cross so God’s manly creatures will have a way to spend eternity with him. Well, do you think God loves us? When Pilate called for Jesus to be brought before him, do you think he knew he was addressing his maker. These men who were flogging him were also in the presence of their creator. Yet, Christ still did nothing in his own defense. When Christ was on the cross, or any time, God or Christ could have sent an army to fight for him. God could have laid out Christ’s persecutors, and the whole Roman army with the back of his mighty hand and whisked Christ up into heaven. But he didn’t…
So, why didn’t he do something to save his own life, you say? Because he had “bigger fish to fry”… He saw them as puppets and he was waiting for the puppeteer. These people who were mistreating him were the ones he came to save. He had to go thru this for them and us, because man is in such a fallen state and we cannot help ourselves so that God had to send down Christ to die on a cross and pay the price for our sin which would give us a chance to live with him in heaven. The Bible says “there is no remission of sin without the shedding of blood”… That is why he took all that punishment, it was for you and me because with all our sin, we deserve death and hell… But he loved us so much and wants us to come and live with him when we die that he sent his own son to die on a cross, which made a way for us to join him in heaven. If there was another way where man would be saved from himself, God would have found it, but there was and is only one way, and that is his son, Jesus. As far as “bigger fish to fry”, Jesus died and went and had it out with the most ruthless villain that ever was and ever will be… The villain to top all villains… He gave Satan the boot. To paraphrase, I think the conversation might have gone something like this. Satan – “now Jesus, you know our bargain, John has been a bad boy and I want his soul…”, and Jesus says “no, Satan, I have paid the price and John has accepted my gift… You can’t have him… He is mine… I have purchased him with my blood”…
Oh, but it doesn’t end there… Christ, when he was thru with Satan, came back to earth and rose out of the tomb. That’s right, he brought himself back to life. I have never seen a superhero do that, have you? Not only that, he appeared to over 500 people over the period of a few months before he went back to heaven where he lives with God today. Here it is important to point out that when Christ was on the cross that the Roman soldier pierced his side with a spear making sure he was dead. Also, Christ had been dead for three days which according to custom of that time was essential in declaring his official death, so God orchestrated this task so no one could deny that Christ really died, and since he was viewed by over 500 people after he rose from the tomb, no one could deny that he had risen from the dead. If Christ would not have risen from the tomb, we wouldn’t be following him today. The death and resurrection of Christ validated him and proved that he was who he said he was. As Peter said” (Jesus) you are the Son of God”.
God has always tried to make a place down here on earth where he could be with us. First, in the garden of Eden when God talked to Adam just as you and I would talk. When the children of Israel were in the wilderness, God had them to build a temple among their tents where he could dwell. Could you imagine, someone comes up and asks where can I find God… And someone else says, yes you just go down there about 5 tents and turn to your left. He lives in the big temple just ahead. Also, God sends his son down here on earth to dwell with us. That is more proof that God wants to live among us…
In all reality, God doesn’t need us. He can do fine without us. But, he wants to be with us. He created us and since we couldn’t live up to what we are supposed to be, he sent his Son down here to save us. And he stands at our door and knocks, waiting patiently to communicate with us. God is so big that he holds the universe in his hands and yet he knows us so well, that he knows the number of hairs on our head. God is so big that looking down on the earth, it must be a little speck compared to the universe, and we must be a speck on a speck, yet he knows us better than we know ourselves. What an amazing love God has for us. We need to tell everyone.
Superman came to save Metropolis, and Batman came to save Gotham, but Christ came to save the World and all people for all time. That is why I love him, and why Jesus Christ is the greatest superhero of all time, and He lives…
By John Armes
Sometimes we as Christians make promises to God, than we stumble and fall… We sin and we begin thinking we let God down… We start thinking what is the use… We want to give up… However, even though we have done wrong, and we shouldn’t do wrong, sin in itself does not defeat us… We can still go on and live up to the promise we have made to God… The only thing that can defeat us is if we at that point give up and walk away… If we do that than we are defeated… That doesn’t mean we have an open license to sin whenever we want to… We should always try not to sin, but it is a struggle… Just know, that if you have made a promise to God to do something for Him, than the enemy will be at your feet… The enemy will do or say anything to get you to throw the towel in and walk away… But don’t stop believing… Look in the Bible at all those saints that God loved… The Bible is clear to show that they were sinners, and yet God loved them and used them in His plan and for His purpose… Some of them guilty of atrocious sins, and God used them… God can use you too… He has a plan for you and will reveal it to you as you go… Your job is to honor Him now in your everyday life… Do what you should this day, this hour, this minute and believe in Him and He will guide your paths…
Trust in God and seek Him, because when you seek Him, He reveals Himself to you… The Bible promises “seek, and ye shall find”… Stay connected to the Bible, Christian teaching, Christian music, Christian radio, Christian TV, in prayer, Christian friends, church, but stay connected until you think about God every day, every hour… Strive to be an authentic Christian… If you are following God, than He is on your side… You sometimes see Him working, and sometimes you don’t, but He is always there in the background working with us… He never slumbers, nor does He sleep, but is always working diligently at the task… Remember the verse, “all things come together for those that love the Lord”… That is not just a statement, it is a promise from God to us… We as humans don’t always understand the ways of God, but we must have faith in Him and in His Word…
Here in America we have the privilege to worship and testify to God without fear of retribution… We are free to believe the way we want as long as it doesn’t transgress the law or hurt someone else… But, there are those who would like to take our rights away from us… We must work to preserve our freedoms in this great land… In some countries, they don’t have the freedom to believe the way they want… There are fellow Christians that are being mocked, harassed, jailed, tortured, and some even dying for their faith in Christ… Some have to worship in secret for fear of their lives… My heart goes out to these brothers and sisters in Christ… God loves them and will never forsake them… We may not know them by name, but we must never forget them… My prayers go out to them… Their sacrifice is not in vein.. Jesus said “Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness sake”… God can use anyone for His purposes… He has a plan and it is going to come about no matter what… His Kingdom will come as it says in the Bible, and “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess the Christ is Lord”… There is only one answer that makes any difference and that is do you believe in Christ or not… It is a big question and it will determine where you spend eternity… You must accept Him as your personal Savior if you want to go to Heaven… People don’t just accidentally find themselves in Heaven… The Bible says “broad is the path to destruction and narrow is the gate to salvations and there are few that find it”… It also says that there are men who will say “but Lord, didn’t we prophesy and cast out demons in your name, and He will say depart from me , I never knew you”… Seek God while He may be found for there will come a time when you may no longer find Him… When we are born, God breathes eternal life into everyone… Only question is will you spend eternity in Heaven or Hell… Will you trust in God or not… Christ said “I am the way, the truth, and the life, No man comes unto the Father but by Me”… Believe in Christ and accept that He died on the cross for you and He will set you free… The last thing Christ said before He ascended into Heaven to be with the Father was “go ye therefor and preach and teach the gospel unto all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and the Holy Spirit”…
So, brothers and sisters, wither you are in the USA, or any of the countries this blog reaches to, no matter where you are, don’t stop believing… We here in the United States are praying for you… We don’t know your name, but God knows… And He loves you and will never forsake you… Just, don’t stop believing… Don’t stop believing! ……
actors, actresses, camera persons, Christian productions, directors, editors, gaffers, grips, hair and makeup, Independent Filmmaking, multi camera production, producers, production switchers, script writers, set construction, sound engineers
By John Armes
Calling All Christians Interested In Christian Video Production !
In new studies, it has been found that movies and video productions can reach people who would never darken the doors of a church. Churches are picking up on this as seen by the movies that have been produced by Sherwood Church and now more churches are beginning to produce movies. Some of the things on TV leave a lot to be desired in this day and time. I believe that with the resources available today that weren’t available years ago, and since production equipment has become more affordable, an independent filmmaker has now more of an opportunity to make a visually compelling and entertaining story, and even has access to the “magic” of effects that weren’t available in the past. Imagine making a movie where the clouds separate and Jesus descends from the sky, or the sea opens up for Gods people led by Moses to cross the sea and flee the Egyptians. Watch as Jesus is talking to His disciples and than is whisked up into the clouds as he ascends to Heaven, or watch Peter walk on the water to Jesus. You can reach a lot of people thru video. God’s church needs to be involved. We as Christians can’t let this medium of expression pass us by. There is definitely a need, now more than ever for Christian video. Don’t stand on the side lines, be apart of the action!
I am looking for fellow Christians who are interested in being part of Christian productions, short stories, projects, full length movies, talk shows, and programs. Those who have an interest or a willingness to learn, experienced or not who want to be involved in a multi-camera production. I am also looking for :
Actors and Actresses
Gaffers and Grips
Camera Men and Women
Sound Men and Women
Hair and Makeup
If you are interested in any aspect of video production, please contact me thru this web site by leaving a “reply” at the bottom of this page…
By John Armes
The Words of the Profits are written on the subway walls, and tenement halls… (The Sound of Silence – Simon & Garfunkel)
Often times, people prefer to make up their own God or Jesus and bring them out when it is convenient to promote their own ideas and for their own goals. I say, instead of taking others “word” as to who God or Jesus is, we should go to the source and read for ourselves who they are and what they did. That source would be the Bible.
Martin Luther was a catholic priest during the Holy Roman Empire. At that time, the pope of the catholic church and the Roman government shared power. Martin Luther set out to seek God on his own which led him to the Bible. He wasn’t going to take the word of the catholic church on who God is and what he expects. Many people back then just did and believed whatever the catholic church told them to do and believe. Luther wanted a closer walk with God and the answers that the church gave just weren’t helping. He began to seek God and His will. He began reading and memorizing the Bible and found that the church contradicted what the Bible was saying and he did not keep quiet about it. He wrote many papers on the contradictions that he found, even though they reprimanded the church, and even the pope. It was not long before Luther was accused of heresy, and brought before the church council and the pope to answer for these accusations, especially when Luther spoke out against the church selling “indulgences”. “Indulgences” were letters of forgiveness for past sins of those living or dead, forgiving them from their sin, and paying them out of purgatory and into heaven. This made lots of money for the catholic church and infuriated Martin Luther. When Luther was asked to recant his writings at the council, he would not and therefor the church refused him protection and Charles V made him an outlaw which made it very dangerous for him. Luther’s friends and fellow believers helped save his life. We must do like Luther and stick to the Bible when man’s ways go one way, and the Bible goes another.
It seems that when one chooses to do God’s work, it requires a “step of faith”. Perhaps that is why the Bible says multiple times “fear not”. To take that “step of faith”, we must step out and leave our comfort zone. After all, isn’t that what God wants us to do. Depend totally on Him and stop holding onto those securities that we have been hanging onto all these years. Could it be that we need to take that “step of faith” and do what He wants us to do in order to receive that blessing that He so wants to give us, Him being our loving Father. The Bible says we are to be in the world, but not of the world. The world won’t understand us. They won’t see what we are trying to do. The more we learn about Jesus and the more we allow the Holy Spirit to change us, the more Christ like we become. Jesus said that the world didn’t accept Him, and so the world won’t accept us. It is only through faith in Christ and the grace of God that saves us from our sins and sets us on the path of righteousness. There is no other way to salvation than through our faith and belief in Christ and His death on the cross in our place for our sins. It requires a “step of faith” and trust. We are required to have faith in God, and God is responsible for the outcome.
When I was a young child early in grade school, I would run and play all day, come home and eat supper with my parents and my brother, watch some tv and than off to bed. I wasn’t ready to sleep, so I would sneak out of my room and go down to the end of the hall where I could see the television and my parents would never know (I thought). I would set there on the floor with my pillow and blanket and lean up against the wall above the heat register and when that old furnace would come on, it would vibrate the wall and the warm air would come out and put me right to sleep. In the morning I would get out of my bed and get ready for school, never questioning how I got in bed the night before. Night after night I thought my parents didn’t know but I always was in my bed in the morning. I never thought about it, but my parents would wait a little while late at night and would come in and pick me up and put me back in the bed. Night after night this would happen, but I never knew it. I don’t ever remember my parents picking me up and putting me in my bed and they never said anything. They were working in the background with my welfare in mind and looking after me because they knew that I would get a better rest in my own bed so night after night they would collect me and put me there but in my little mind I never knew it. Never even thought about it, yet it was happening constantly. That is how God is with us. He is always working in the background with our best interests at heart. He picks us up and puts us on the right path and we don’t even know it is happening because in our human minds we cannot comprehend the ways of God, but He is there, loves us and is taking care of us. That is why he tells us not to fear, because he is always there looking after us. When we come to finally understand and believe this, than we can truly have faith. We must have the faith of a child without fear and always believing in the might God that created us and everything around us. When you truly believe, without fear, than you will have faith. With the tiniest faith of a “mustard seed” than you can move mountains.
Remember when the disciples were out on the Sea of Galilee and the storm came up and they saw Jesus walking on the water. Peter began that “step of faith” . Jesus told Peter to come to him on the water, and Peter began walking on the water. He fell when he looked back at the storm and away from Jesus… Jesus said “oh Peter, thou of little faith”. If Peter would have only kept his eyes on Jesus, he could have walked to where he was. How about you, what is your “step of faith”. Will you keep your eyes on Jesus or on the storms of life that surround you… All we need is the faith of a mustard seed, as Jesus said…In your journey with God through life, will you have the nerve and the faith to keep your eyes on Jesus and trust in Him to give you strength for the task that is ahead of you? Will you pass the test and walk on the water?
Bible believing, Bible literally, Camby, church, church project, church projects, churches, Indiana, Jesus, preach, projects, scripture, scriptures, teach, video, video production, video productions, video projects
By John Armes
Right now we are doing video projects for churches in the Indianapolis, Indiana area. If you have a short video project you would like us to do we would be more than happy to discuss it with you. We mostly work with Bible believing churches who take the Bible literally and preach and teach about God and Jesus as found in the scriptures. If you are interested, please fill out the short form below or leave a reply.