COCHREN: HOPE AND SECOND CHANCES

Michael Cochren of Cochren & Company is a singer, songwriter, and worship leader. It’s been said that his music represents hope, grace, and second chances.

One of his songs speaks to those who are in a common place. It’s a place from where they need to return… to church. If these lyrics don’t speak to you, then they may to your brother, sister, or neighbor. Make the opportunity to share it.

If you’re not in church, then I pray Cochren’s song will lead you there whether for the first time or the first time in a long time. You may find it’s right where you belong!

Listen to “Church (Take Me Back)” by Michael Cochren, Bryan Fowler, and Micah Kuiper. Lyrics are included below.

See ya in church!

CHURCH (TAKE ME BACK)

There was a time that I swore I would never go back.
I was blind to the truth; didn’t know what I had.
I was running, I was searching,
But every place I turned for healing
Left me more broken than the last.

Take me back
To the place that feels like home
To the people I can depend on
To the faith that’s in my bones.
Take me back
To a preacher and a verse,
Where they’ve seen me at my worst
To the love I had at first.
Oh, I want to go to church.

Tried to walk on my own, but I wound up lost. Now I’m making my way to the foot of the cross.
It’s not a trophy for the winners.
It’s a shelter for the sinners,
And it’s right where I belong.

Take me back
To the place that feels like home
To the people I can depend on
To the faith that’s in my bones.
Take me back
To a preacher and a verse
Where they’ve seen me at my worst
To the love I had at first.
Oh, I want to go to church.
I want to go to church.

Oh, more than an obligation,
It’s our foundation,
The family of God.
I know it’s hard,
But we need each other.
We’re sisters and brothers.

Oh, take me back
To the place that feels like home
To the people I can depend on
To the faith that’s in my bones.
Take me back
To a preacher and a verse
Where they’ve seen me at my worst
To the love I had at first.
Oh, I want to go to church.

Yeah, I want to go to church.
Oh, I want to go, want to go, I want to go.
Oh, I want to go to church.
Oh, I want to go to church.

(Cochren, Fowler, Kuiper)

“And let us consider how to stimulate one another to love and good deeds, not forsaking our own assembling together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another; and all the more as you see the day drawing near.” (Hebrews 10:24, 25)

“Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brothers to dwell together in unity!” (Psalm 133:1)

LGBT: HOPE FOR TRANSFORMATION

Although the percentage of people identifying themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or transgender is relatively low (according to Gallup Poll), they receive frequent press in both positive and negative ways. It is a sensitive topic to consider since many of us are impacted by at least one LGBT individual that we know, love, or identify with.

I think most Christian believers agree with a biblical view of sexuality. Brian Hobbs, Editor of “The Baptist Messenger,” wrote that it’s important that Christians are prepared “to uphold biblical sexuality but also minister with the Gospel.” *

Hobbs recently interviewed Laura Perry of Oklahoma, who lived almost 10 years as a transgender male before becoming a born-again Christian. You may go to www.baptistmessenger.com to hear that interview.

Laura also shares her story of redemption in her new book, TRANSGENDER to TRANSFORMED. She shares her past struggles and confusion, and she admits she did not find peace in the transgender life. What Laura did find was that only Christ brought her peace.

Laura shares that while her parents did not compromise biblical teaching, they maintained a loving attitude toward her. By sharing God’s grace and truth, Laura’s family was an example of Jesus Christ, Who is “full of grace and truth.” **

Her parents’ attitude helped make it easier for Laura to choose new life in Christ and freedom from the transgender lifestyle. When Laura came to Christ she came spiritually and physically and found the Peace she had been looking for all along.

If you are tempted to think that I’m a hater, notice I’m only sharing what the Bible says and sharing a real person’s transformation experience. Laura’s conversion brought her real peace and a healthier lifestyle (according to statistics). Where’s the hate in that?

God offers redemption in Christ for all, because He loves and not because He hates. I write this blog post not condemning but confessing I am “a sinner saved by grace.” ***

I find great hope in God’s power to transform any of us when we come to Him just as we are.

* The Gospel is the good news in the Bible that tells of our Hope in Jesus Christ that saves souls and transforms lives.

** “And the Word  became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, glory as of the only begotten from the Father, full of grace and truth.” (John 1:14)

*** “Sinner Saved by Grace” (lyrics by Gloria Gaither; music by William Gaither and Mitch Humphries).

“You shall not lie with a male as one lies with a female; it is an abomination.” (Leviticus 18:22)

“Or do you not know that the unrighteous will not inherit the kingdom of God? Do not be deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolators, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor homosexuals.” (1 Corinthians 6:9)

“Therefore if any man is in Christ,  he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.” (2 Corinthians 5:17)

POEM: HOPE IN HIS GRACE FOREVER

Hope may bring joyful attitudes and life-changing direction. Hopelessness may lead to wrong choices and destructive actions. Sometimes the difference is a matter of choice.

I think the following poem offers hope, because it shows the huge transformation possible when a life is redeemed by Jesus Christ.

IN HIS GRACE FOREVER

“Hope sometimes is lacking

In those without backing

Of someone to give them a hand.

And then one with no hope

May turn on to dope

And blinded, hear demons demand:

‘Just destroy your life;

Sow discord and strife.

Who cares if the gutter you’ll land?

Go to kill… go to steal;

Reap trouble that’s real;

Let hatred sift through you like sand.’

But no pit is so deep

That God’s love can’t keep

A life in His mighty strong hand.

When I came to rope’s end,

I found such a Friend,

Who holds me in His nail-scarred hand.

Now I trust and obey

Christ Jesus, the Way;

In His Grace forever I’ll stand.

In His Grace forever I’ll stand!”

(Judy Gillum Foy)

God bless you… and may your heart be open to the life-changing power and hope to be found in Jesus Christ. Salvation is freely offered to all, and the price has already been paid. The best deal in the universe!

“He paid a debt He did not owe; I owed a debt I could not pay. I needed Someone to wash my sins away, And now I sing a brand new song, ‘Amazing Grace‘ all day long. Christ Jesus paid a debt that I could never pay.” ( anonymous)

“Saved by His grace divine! Saved to new life sublime! Life now is sweet, and my joy is complete for I’m saved, saved, saved!” (Jack Scholfield )

“For by Grace you have been saved through faith. It is the gift of God not as a result of works so that no one may boast.” (Ephesians 2:8,9)

ANNIVERSARY: HOPEFUL for LOVE

Today’s blog is dedicated to my husband on our anniversary. You’re still the one! ♥

We began our marriage as two imperfect people with hope for a love that would last.  We’re still imperfect, we’re still hopeful for love that will last, and we’re both learning that the presence of the Author of marriage Himself is essential to a lasting (and happy) marriage.

Thankfully God’s unconditional love and amazing grace has made the difference to bless our marriage and allow it to last these past 31 years.

Here’s what the Bible says about love….

“Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres….

And now these three remain: faith, hope and love. But the greatest of these is love.”

(I Corinthians 13: 4 – 7, 13)

DENNIS JERNIGAN: A STORY of HOPE

In countless churches and worship gatherings across the planet you are likely to hear the song, “You Are My All In All” and other songs by Dennis Jernigan. He is a song writer, an author, a worship leader, a husband for more than 30 years, a father to 9 children, and a grandfather.

Dennis and Melinda Jernigan call their story a story of hope. Jernigan has experienced freedom from his former homosexual identity since 1981, and in sharing his story he shares God’s love and grace. His heart’s desire is for others to embrace their true identity in Christ.

If you are hurting… are needing freedom to live as God intended… are seeking His love and grace, then I invite you to visit Dennisjernigan.com for a story of hope!