My heart is grieving. This joyous Jesus who I came to broken down by life is one many will never know. In people’s zeal they maybe forget how they came to know Him. Or maybe they never had that experience.
Before I knew God, I seriously thought gay people weren’t allowed to come to church.
From the encounters I had, it was only perfect people allowed in the churches.
Wow I had it wrong. God is for you. All of you! Whatever you think, feel, love, hate, act, smoke, do drugs, abused, weary from the fight? God loves you.
And he wants you! Right now, exactly as you are!
I was sharing with a friend how before I met God and had a relationship with Him, I loved the Oliver Stone movie, “Natural Born Killers.” Loved it! I went to the theatre at least three times to see it. I couldn’t get enough.
Years later after being saved, I saw the movie on television. I couldn’t stomach getting through the opening credits.
It wasn’t me. I hadn’t changed. I didn’t have anyone telling me it was awful. I didn't have anyone scream at me or picket the theatre. I just was simply changed by Him.
Have you ever truly been convicted of a sin or something you thought was fine and suddenly you were sure it wasn’t ok anymore?
I ask God. He leads me. A friend I visited with said, “More of Him, less of me.”
I am so glad so many of you are standing up for your beliefs and what you believe God wants.
But how are you presenting it?
Are you demanding others do what you think is right? Is it getting someone closer to God?
I don’t respond well to someone in my face telling me what God wants.
I can honestly tell you that I have failed in more ways than I ever have won.
And thank God, He didn’t show me all my sins at once or I would have been crushed.
No, His love is gentle and kind and merciful.
It says in the Bible, Matthew 18:21-22 - Then Peter came to him and asked, “Lord, how often should I forgive someone* who sins against me? Seven times?”
22 “No, not seven times,” Jesus replied, “but seventy times seven!*
I don’t know about you but after the second time of letting someone off the hook, I am pretty close to done.
I can’t give that kind of forgiveness without Him.
And more importantly I forget how much He has forgiven me.
Is that what you bring to the table when you tell others about the goodness of God?
From many social media posts, it doesn’t seem that way.
There seems more a “Let me tell you what” attitude.
People are watching us. Are they wanting what you have or are they running away?
The Jesus I met on the side of the road was pure unconditional love.
There were no demands. There was no conditions. It was a beautiful warm love that changed me.
It made me softer, kinder, more filled with grace and mercy. All at once? Nope. But slowly.
Zach Williams song lyrics speak to me in Less Like Me -
“Somebody with a hurt that I could have helped
Somebody with a hand that I could have held
When I just can’t see past myself
Lord, help me be
A little more like mercy, a little more like grace
A little more like kindness, goodness, love, and faith
A little more like patience, a little more like peace
A little more like Jesus, a little less like me”
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Dale Lee Simmons passed away on July 30, 2022, in Colorado Springs, Colorado, at the age of 81. He was born on February 23, 1941, in Pratt, Kansas, to John and Theda (Carr) Simmons.
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Dale is survived by his wife, Frances Simmons of the home; four children, Denise (Bob) Fazzino of Canon City, Colorado, Dennis (Jackie) Simmons of Hartman, Colorado, Dean (Jessie) Simmons of Hartman, Colorado, and Donna (David) Woodward of Port Orchard, Washington; eight grandchildren, Melissa Swope Woodward, Jeremy (Lindsey) Woodward, Dustin (Grace) Simmons, Kayla (Jason) Kirkpatrick, Dawn (Sean) Kelley, Sean (Krissy) Woodward, Gayle (Clay) Tatum, and Erin (Burley) Jerina; 18 great grandchildren; brother, Robert (Mary Rita) Simmons of Lamar, Colorado; sister, Ginger (Andy) Pittman of Arkansas; many other relatives and a host of friends.
He was preceded in death by his parents; sister, Karen Cook; and stepfather, Herschel Melton.
Memorial contributions may be made to Holly Fire and Ambulance or the Town of Hartman in care of Valley Memorial Funeral Chapel, P.O. Box 950, Lamar, Colorado 81052. To leave online condolences, please visit www.valleymemorialfc.com.
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