Just Like Jesus?

Posted in Bible Topics on September 7th, 2014 by Danna Gesellchen — 7 Comments

Hebrews 10:16

“It’s not a salvational issue.”, “That’s works!  We are saved by grace!”, “It was done at the cross!”, “That’s nit-picky.”, “It doesn’t matter what we eat. Jesus loves us!”,  “It doesn’t matter what we wear. Jesus loves us!”, “I’ve studied that issue out and I’m not convicted…!”, “I’m not going to die on that hill!”, “Don’t talk about standards, you’ll discourage people.  People just need Jesus!”, “We don’t need doctrine.”

The above and other questions sort of haunt me these days.  Honestly, they make me ashamed.  Do we “have” to obey?  Really? Having come into the faith in a very conservative environment, I naively thought all Seventh-day Adventists were like those around me.  It doesn’t take much exercise of the imagination to grasp my chagrin as I learned the truth.  But the conservative environment I was surrounded by was not a focus on Jesus, but on “do’s and don’ts”.  I became a really good legalist.  But in His mercy, God sent me a very dear friend who really loved and knew Jesus, to help me become thoroughly grounded in the faith–the faith of Jesus. (John 8:29).

Dawn loved Jesus like no one I had ever met before or sadly, since (may that change).  As we studied together, new scenes from the life of Jesus were presented in such a way that I HAD to know this Man (2 Corinthians 2:2).  Dawn had a gift for sharing from the Bible and Desire of Ages such scenes from the life of Jesus–in my flesh and blood–that I began to see how much He is identified with my struggles. (Hebrews 4:15).  She would be so happy as she shared that her joy was almost palpable!  Sadly though, my journey took some unfortunate byroads of self-endeavor because of the mindset I’d already adopted.

As the contrast between my own life and that of the loveliness of Jesus, presented and lived out before me day by day in the life and character of my friend, became more and more apparent I began to become very angry.  Why couldn’t I live like she lived?  Why couldn’t I love Jesus like she did?  Dawn was a faithful friend, and I knew she loved me because she would tell me the painful truth about myself, but stuck with me, always offering hope.  (Revelation 3:19).   I was determined to obey if it killed me…and it almost did.

My anger became violent.  So violent that my friends began to wonder if I was possessed, or at least oppressed by demons.  I wanted to do right but I couldn’t and it seemed it would drive me insane.  Then one day we got the diagnosis of breast cancer for Dawn–late stage 4 with three weeks to live.  I was devastated.  I really loved and cared for my friend, and the thought of her dying seemed to me to cut off my last hope of knowing Jesus.  But God knew better.

Shortly after we got the horrible diagnosis I was bringing in some things I’d purchased to help in caring for Dawn when something life changing happened.  Dawn was still able to walk and held the door for me.  As I entered, she said something to me and my response was the usual angry rebuff.  I turned to look at her and saw a tear in her eye and a gentle shaking of her head, followed by the words, “You are so selfish!”  (Luke 22:31-32).  I flew into a rage, but what came out of my mouth surprised us both.  “I don’t want you to be sick!”, “I don’t want you to die!”, and then I turned and pounded the wall so hard that I broke my finger.  I was angry with myself that I could not treat someone I cared so much for with kindness.  And now she was dying.

The air still thick with emotion and trembling from head to foot, I looked at Dawn and said, “I can’t do this!  I can’t live this life!”, and I fell to my knees.  For the first time in my life, I broke.  For the first time in my life I fully realized my helplessness.  For the first time in my life I fully surrendered.  I begged God to come in and help me.  He did, and my life did “a 180”–I am not that angry woman anymore, and haven’t been since.

As I looked up I could see in Dawn’s eyes that she recognized this was genuine. Thank God, He changed me!  He gave me “power steering” to go in the way of His commandments.  But it wasn’t until I was brought face to face with my own helplessness and wickedness that I finally broke.  (Jeremiah 3:12-14).   Until then, it was easy to blame circumstances, people, the standards, and even God for my failure.  It was the raising up of the standards–doctrines– that showed me my need.  The law brought me to Jesus. (Galatians 3:24).

Three weeks later I attended the funeral of this dear lady–somehow even mustering the courage to sing.  But those last three weeks taught me so much about the character of Jesus.  See, for more than thirteen years my friend had put up with my shenanigans and unkind treatments.  For more than thirteen years she showed me Jesus.  I had a living witness of the power of God for all those years, but do you know where I saw the greatest manifestation of His power?  It was in the final scenes of my friend’s life, when she suffered most.  Sound familiar? (Desire of Ages 83.4).   Now, don’t get me wrong, I give no power or real credit to my friend.  I know better.  She was made of the same stuff as me.  So was Jesus, Who is our Example.

As Dawn lay dying, what dumbfounded me the most was that she wanted ME to care for her.  It was me, the one who gave her the greatest grief, that she wanted to be there with her.  (Matthew 26:37,38).  My friend had become very much like Jesus, Who wanted His friends, including Peter, who hurt Him the most, near Him.  The light finally came on for me.  It was the realization of such complete forgiveness–from Jesus and beautifully reflected by Dawn–that deepened my repentance, set me free and empowered me to obey like I’d never imagined possible.  That’s Jesus.  Do you know this Jesus?  He is wonderful!  He not only transforms, He empowers.   And He wants us near Him–so we can be just like Him.

Light, Precious Light!

Posted in Bible Topics on August 26th, 2014 by Danna Gesellchen — 3 Comments

The following presentation was shared by Kalon Gesellchen at his home church in Goodrich, ND, August 23, 2014.  It was a blessing to be there to hear what he had to say and then the following evening to listen to the appeal by our General Conference President essentially “backing up” everything Kalon just shared.  What a blessing indeed!!  Hear it for yourself:

Urgent appeal to SDA’s from Ted Wilson

Posted in Bible Topics on August 25th, 2014 by Danna Gesellchen — 1 Comment so far

Fiber

Posted in Health and Healing on August 19th, 2014 by Danna Gesellchen — 1 Comment so far

How many of us gets enough fiber in our diets? Some? A few? Most? Where do you fall? Do you suffer from the lack of fiber? Do you know how much you need on a daily basis? Join us for this presentation by our friend, Linda Oswald to learn the answer to these questions and more!

Christ and HIS Bride

Posted in Bible Topics on August 19th, 2014 by Danna Gesellchen — Be the first to comment!

Bring Forth Your Witnesses

Posted in Bible Topics on August 11th, 2014 by Danna Gesellchen — 4 Comments

Isaiah 43:9 “Let all the nations be gathered together, and let the people be assembled: who among them can declare this, and show us former things? let them bring forth their witnesses, that they may be justified: or let them hear, and say, [It is] truth.”

Over the past month we have been sharing on the topic of Christian Dress in the series, “Let Me Think”. Closing this topic, we want to share this study presented by Kalon Gesellchen, dealing with the man’s perspective on this issue. After Kalon’s presentation there is a testimony by our dear friend, Julie Grote. Julie shares her very touching experience as the Lord brought her through her personal struggles with the dress issue.

Let Me Think–Modestly

Posted in Bible Topics on August 3rd, 2014 by Danna Gesellchen — 1 Comment so far

Does it matter what we wear?  Whose business is it?  What are God’s thoughts on how we dress?  Who is responsible for the change in fashion that has taken place over the past decades?  Where did pants come from?  All these questions and more are addressed in our study on modesty, the last in the “Let Me Think” series.  Below the video, I will share from the book Covered, by Amy McKnight, (downloadable at www.coveredwithchrist.com), the history of where pants came from.

May you be blessed as you prayerfully consider this information and we pray you will see how very much God cherishes His children and wants to protect them.

“…the pattern of dress for men and women were skirted garments without a division between the legs. This was true almost universally across nations and in different cultures. For men, the length of the skirted garments varied from knee to ankle. For women, the length was a relatively constant ankle or longer. Any short skirts and bifurcated (divided) garments were generally associated with men, with some notable exceptions. One of these exceptions was the nation of Gaul. “The Gauls were a Celtic people living in Gaul, the region roughly corresponding to what is now France, Belgium, Switzerland and North Italy, from the Iron Age through the Roman period . . . They were conquered by Julius Caesar in the Gallic Wars in the 50s BC, and during the Roman period became assimilated into a Gallo-Roman culture.” It was from the Gauls that the Romans – and Western civilization by extension – were introduced to uncovered trousers. “Braccae is the Latin term for trousers, and in this context is today used to refer to a style of pants, made from wool. The Romans encountered this style of clothing among peoples whom they called Galli (Gauls)…Braccae were typically made with a drawstring, and tended to reach from just above the knee at the shortest, to the ankles at the longest, with length generally increasing in tribes living further north. When the Romans first encountered the braccae, they thought them to be effeminate (Roman men typically wore tunics, which were one-piece outfits terminating at or above the knee). However, braccae eventually became popular among Roman legionaries stationed in cooler climates to the north of southern Italy.” Those Roman legionaries didn’t abandon their new types of clothing when returning to Rome. Slowly, this article of clothing was adopted into the Roman attire, but it was far from being seen as a sign of progress; rather, it was seen as a sign of the end. “Republican Romans viewed the draped clothing of Egypt, Babylon, Greece, and Minoan (Crete) culture as an emblem of civilization and disdained trousers as the mark of barbarians.” Also, “trousers – considered barbarous garments worn by Germans and Persians – achieved only limited popularity in the latter days of the empire, and were regarded by conservatives as a sign of cultural decay”. Isn’t it interesting that up until the fall of Rome in 476 AD, God’s original design for dress, which was undivided skirted garments, was considered to be the mark of culture and civilization. It would take some time for that mark to be erased, but satanic powers were able to do it in about 1,260 years. Covered, Amy McKnight, pgs. 68-69

Caffeine and Chocolate

Posted in Health and Healing on August 2nd, 2014 by Danna Gesellchen — 1 Comment so far
caffeine

caffeine

Seems chocolate and these days, even coffee, are somewhat of sacred cows to many professing Christians.  We just wanted to share this brief presentation given at our Bible study recently by our friend, Judy Meier.  Listen to see what surprising facts Judy has to share!

Let Me Think–Healthfully

Posted in Health and Healing on July 27th, 2014 by Danna Gesellchen — 2 Comments

The topic of healthful and modest dress is a very touchy one, to say the least.  It is relatively easy to change the way I eat, for I want to be well!  It is relatively easy to change where I live, for I want my privacy.  But when it comes to dress, it is harder.  And it is harder, I think, for at least two main reasons.  One, dressing differently makes me stand out from everyone else–I can’t “blend in” any more.  Two, we are told that dress is an index to the mind and the heart, so it is evident by the way one dresses what is in the heart.   While we here at Closure for Jesus do not believe in making our “gospel” the issue of dress, we do believe that it is a vital topic that must be addressed by each individual who wants to follow the Lord fully.  God wants us to be healthy, and dressing correctly can either hinder or hasten the accomplishment of this goal.  There are principles in the Bible and Spirit of Prophecy to guide us, and I don’t know about you, but I want to hasten the Lord’s work not only in my heart, but in this world.  God bless you as you join us for this study, part two in the “Let Me Think” series.

Let Me Think–Absolutely!

Posted in Bible Topics on July 20th, 2014 by Danna Gesellchen — 8 Comments

In our study yesterday here with the Bismarck Bible Study Group, we discussed the importance of thinking in harmony with “it is written”. But we also emphasized the importance of LIVING in harmony with “it is written”, for Jesus will not say, “Well thought, thou good and faithful servant…”, but “Well DONE…” I want to hear those words, don’t you? Amen! We pray this presentation will bless you to that end.