Unwanted by the World; Cherished by Jesus: A K-Story: Part 2: Our Journey with the K-People

Hey guys. Hope everyone has been doing well. Sorry I have not been posting a lot this semester. I have been really busy with school and just really tired. But I wanted to give you an update on what is going on with the ministry up here in the area with the Kurd people.

We have not made it into the community quite yet but we have been growing a lot as a group. We are learning as a group what it means to put on a Kurdish shoe and learn what their life is like and really just want to develop relationships with these people. We have gotten a few contacts in our area and next Monday we will have our first opportunity to visit the community with this lady who makes regular visits to this community each year.

We’ve also had a chance to hear from a couple of former muslims, what Islam is like. We have heard their stories and they have shared with us their take on how we should do ministry. It has been super encouraging and has helped us in our ministry in so many ways.

Also in about a month, a group of us from the church up here, will be heading to Nashville, TN. Nashville has the largest Kurdish population in the whole United States. We will be there from January 3rd-9th.

Prayer Requests:

-Be praying that our team continues to grow together and that no pride, jealousy, enters into our ministry.
-Pray for our visit to the Kurd Community here in the area.
-Pray for our trip to Nashville.
-Pray for our leaders on our teams.
-Pray for us to genuinely love the Kurds.
-Pray for us to have boldness.
-Pray for us to stay focused on Christ.
Thank you all for joining in our journey as we do ministry and share the love of Jesus Christ with the Kurdish people. 
Blessings,
Joseph. 

Breaking Our Bad: Who are You a Slave to?

Recently I have been watching a tv show called Breaking Bad. You may have heard of it and disapprove of my decision to watch it. I will say, it could be quite violent at times, but it was real. It was a show about real life problems and real consequences to actions. It has reminded me that we are either, as Paul says, a slave to sin or a slave to Christ. And there are two roads that branch off from that decision: death and life.

If you have not seen this show, let me fill you in on a few essential details so that you will be able to understand where I am coming from.  The show is about a high school chemistry teacher, Walter White, that is diagnosed with cancer. If he dies, his family will have nothing. So he decides, along with the help of a former student, Jessie Pinkman, to start cooking meth amphetamines. The more you get into the show, you see how sin and a complete obsession with sin, leads these characters down some crazy roads. By the end of the show, the audience doesn’t even know who these characters are anymore. They have changed so much as they have continued down these depraved roads.

One of the most redeeming parts of the show for me was to see the paths that each character took. I will just focus only on Walt and Jessie though.

Walt, changed from a family man, teacher, to a murdering, lying, greedy man, who even used his own partner, Jessie and his own family,  for his own will. Walt, at the end of the show, died from a gunshot wound.

Jessie was just a kid. He was roped into this thing by “Mr. White.” Jessie though was dragged around throughout the show, pulled from place to place, being manipulated by several characters. He was even beaten and forced to cook meth, while chained up, like a complete prisoner. He was always in bondage and he was always being used. The last scene of the show, Jessie is the only one that comes out alive. As he unlocks the handcuffs he has been bound in and gets in the car and smashes through the chain linked fence, for the first time, he experiences freedom. A real freedom. A freedom that caused him to burst out laughing and crying in joy.

 “Don’t you know that if you offer yourselves to someone as obedient slaves, you are slaves of that one you obey—either of sin leading to death or of obedience leading to righteousness?” (Rome 6:16)

So the apostle Paul is saying that either a person is a slave to sin and death or a slave to Christ, which brings life. The next verse is one that any person that has been in bondage, for any period of their life, should take joy in this verse.

“But thank God that, although you used to be slaves of sin, you obeyed from the heart that pattern of teaching you were transferred to,  and having been liberated from sin, you became enslaved to righteousness.” (Romans 6:17)

Once we are set free from the bondage of our slavery to sin, we are given a new master. A master that loves us and has “plans to prosper us and not harm us” (Jeremiah 29:11). The results of our sins did not produce life, only death. 
“For when you were slaves of sin, you were free from allegiance to righteousness. So what fruit was produced  then from the things you are now ashamed of? For the end of those things is death. But now, since you have been liberated from sin and have become enslaved to God, you have your fruit, which results in sanctification—and the end is eternal life!” (Romans 6:20-22)

What an awesome reminder and truth….We are set free from our past bondage. We are enslaved to Christ, to His love, His passion, His plans. He wants to fulfill us in a way that sin never could. 
So my question is to you tonight, who are you serving? Are you serving sin and living in the flesh or are you living fully in the presence of an Almighty God? There are only two roads: death and life. Which one will you choose?
“For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” (Romans 6:23)

Have a blessed night ya’ll,
Joseph.