She’s Got a Way About Her

I’m just gonna write what’s on my heart today and I hope you’ll indulge me as I share.

I wish to make this particular post as little about me as absolutely possible but I must take a moment to share with you a snapshot of accomplishments so that I might help you understand the point of my writings today.

I’ve been blessed to accomplish a good bit of success in areas of my life. Singing tenor with Greater Vision, writing music that has been recorded by my peers, planting a church and growing it from a congregation consisting of my immediate to family to a congregation of 250+ at it’s peak and now back with the trio where my full time ministry began… Yes, I’ve been blessed.

Now, as impressive as my resume might be, I’ll have to be honest and tell you that every success I’ve enjoyed would have never been realized had it not been for a very special person in my life. I’m sure you’re guessing that I speak of the Lord. While I do realize that without Him my every effort would be in vain, my highest praise goes to Him for something other than a goal accomplished. If I could thank Jesus for one thing on this earth, I’d have to thank Him for Kim.

About to pop with our second child 24 years ago, she never hesitated as I told her we were driving to Tennessee so that I could chase my dream. Little did she know that my hitting the road would drastically change the landscape of her life. Raised in Burlington NC and hardly ever leaving Alamance County, now she would call Morristown her home where she hardly knew a soul and would spend the better part of every week alone with two kids in a duplex on Halifax Circle. Only as I express this by writing do I realize what a life-changer this must have been to a young twenty-one year old mommy of two. All of this with no complaints to me about what I had chosen to do with our life. Wow.

Those first five years with GV contributed quite a bit to growth beyond our years. When 1996 saw me making a change from tenor in a trio to a soloist, very few questions were posed, only support and the assurance that she was by my side. That particular road witnessed us moving from Morristown to Kingsport, the birth of our fourth child and more mountain tops and difficulties than I would have time or care to share. Our sixth year of solo ministry proved to be unbelievably challenging as we experienced the premature passing of my father. After we received the horrid news, within two hours we were in the van and headed for NC. If I were to take the time to write every emotion we experienced on that trip back to our hometown, I would never get this post published. Let’s just say, dad’s passing had a lot to do with our moving back to Burlington and what would come in our next chapter of life.

Did I say next chapter? Yep, as I mentioned before, we had recently gone through quite a bit that left us questioning where we were on this path called life. Very long story short… I answered the call on my life to preach the gospel and started a Bible study in my home that would eventually grow and move us to the local YMCA then on to the purchase of a warehouse in the downtown Burlington area that we would upfit  and grow our congregation to more than 250 people. Needless to say, this kept me rather busy and preoccupied but since I’ve realized that the giant steps we took in ministry there would have never been taken if it weren’t for a godly loving wife walking close by my side and supporting me in every step. So often she gave wisdom that I foolishly overlooked which has certainly cost me more than I care to admit.

Decisions were made by me that lead us down a road of hurt, anguish, confusion, heartache, disgust and regret and we found ourselves in the midst of a fight for our home. As I look back upon that time of our life, I still am filled with sadness.

Thankfully the sunrise follows the night. The love we have for one another has seen us through every trial we’ve endured and has made us stronger. Knowing that I can text my bride right now that I love her and know that I’ll receive a reply assuring me that she loves me too means more to me than you may realize.

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Told you 🙂

Now… I’m back on the bus that, twenty-four years ago was a van and trailer, and Kimberly is at home pouring herself into our youngest daughter, taking care of our home and being the wonderful supportive wife that she’s always been.

My every success is because of her. When you see me out on the road singing and the Lord uses the music to bless you real good, you need to realize that I’m only out here able to do what God has called me to because of the godly woman, He made for me, who is back at home sending her prayers and love my way.

Thank you, Kimberly. You are my hero.

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Feel free to send your appreciation to this godly lady! I’ll pass it along to her.

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Stay Put And Get There Quicker

How many of you have noticed that shortcuts hardly ever turn out to be… Shorter?

You’re under a time crunch and all of the sudden, traffic comes to a stand still. It seems as if something has happened up ahead and, unless you figure something out quickly, you are going to run late. You look to the left. You look to the right. Ah, there it is… Your way around all of this mess. You pull out of the pile, strategically cut through a parking lot to another road that will surely lead you around the mess and safely to your destination with time to spare! BAAAAAAAA! (That was supposed to be the sound of a very annoying buzzer indicating… “Wrong Answer!”)

Instead, the traffic that seemed would never move again is impeded no more and is now freely moving. You sit at a stop sign that was supposed to be the gateway to freedom and yep, there goes the car that was three behind you in the jam. That driver learned the lesson, that you just learned, a long time ago. It’s best just to sit still and be patient. Shortcuts just aren’t always… Shorter!

It’s a funny yet accurate scenario that not only applies to the pesky traffic jam but to every day life as well.

If you’ve been encouraged to set your goals high and that you can be anything you dream of being, I’d like to add some insight that might help you eventually reach those stars you’re reaching for. Write this down; study it; believe it; mark it down.

The only way to get where you intend to be is if you are content to be where you are.

The truth is, you generally aren’t trying to get from “A” to “B” regarding your dreams. “A” being the place where you are and “B” being the place where you long to be. That place at which you desire to arrive could possibly be “J” or “Q.” Where many get sidetracked, on the way to the goal they’ve set for themselves, is in their discontentment with B, C, or D, etc. It’s easy to see the stepping stones, on the way to that mark you’ve set, as failures when they are, in fact, the pathway to achieving “The dream.”

Take my advice and don’t get confused with what each step consists of. While your dream may be music, seven out of the steps in between may have nothing to do with music at all. Be content where you are and do whatever it is you’re doing to the very best of your ability. The Bible teaches us to do whatever we’re doing as unto the Lord.

Don’t expect to succeed where you long to be if you aren’t willing to succeed where you are!

I, for one, believe that we can each achieve whatever we wish to achieve if we apply ourselves. I’ve always been a dreamer and not even the worst of circumstances have been able to deter me from an optimistic outlook. With that said, what I’ve shared in this post is the result of what I’ve learned on my journey to “The dream.” I’ve learned that my patience and contentment with being where I am always leads to a higher rung on the ladder.

My prayer is for each of you to find success in life but never forget that this life is passing like a vapor. If you are climbing toward your goal without Christ as your personal Savior, the top of the ladder will find you feeling very empty.

Please leave a comment and thanks, as always, for reading!

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A Plea to Freethinkers

We’ve all been guilty of wanting to figure things out for ourselves. We’ve all been young and thought that we knew better (For some of us it’s been longer than for others). Yes, we’ve all been there. I understand that every person has to find his or her own way but let’s be honest about it, back in “our day” that path was pursued with a measure of what we’d learned from those who were our “Teachers.” I’m not speaking of only those who taught us arithmetic, writing, history and science. Anyone whom God placed in our lives as an authority figure gave us something to glean from. Even and especially our PARENTS!

(I place special emphasis on our parents because they are THE ones who have been given the role to raise, nurture and teach us the way we should go but these are also THE ones who usually  end up receiving less attention than any of the others in that long list of authority figures. And with that, let me formally apologize to my sweet mother and father, God rest his soul, for not literally consuming every word of wisdom they ever offered and applying it to my life thus making my path and the path for those who walk with me on mine much, much easier. So sorry! Let me also go ahead and apologize to my 5th grade teacher, Lois Dixon for that horrendous run on sentence.)

With that said, lets move on to what is really on my heart. Yes, we all have wanted things our own way but there seems to be a generation of young folks who have taken this idea to a different level. They have raised the bar, so to speak, when it comes to thinking for themselves. They call themselves “freethinkers.” Here’s the literal definition just so you don’t think I’m making this stuff up… Freethinker (n.) – One who has rejected authority and dogma, especially in his religious thinking, in favor of rational inquiry and speculation. -The American Heritage Dictionary

Now, I’m going to go on record and say that I always encouraged my children to think for themselves but I never meant for their process of thought to eliminate those things I’d taught them. I mean come on… Really?!

I suppose this post will be read by most who will stand with me in regards to this subject but I also realize that it may be read by some who have chosen to count themselves among the many freethinkers of the world. With that in mind, I want to take a second and be a daddy.

Here’s a little wisdom for you… Freethinking ain’t free! You may indeed feel liberated for awhile, knowing that your every decision has been free of influence but hear me as I tell you, with all of the love in my heart, you shall regret the day that you chose not to apply the wisdom that was passed to you, free of charge, by the ones who were strategically placed in your life to help mold you into the one you were meant to be. I can tell you out of my own experience that pushing back against the sound teaching you’ve received, from those who have longed to see you flourish, will cost you more than you can afford. To speculate based on nothing instead of trust based on experience is in itself foolish and irrational making this whole idea of freethinking an oxymoron to be reckoned with.

Is this a soapbox I’m standing on? No, it’s a platform I am choosing to use to prayerfully reach one, two or a hundred of those who have bought into the lie that their way has to be better than the way they were taught… Just because it comes from within instead of from without. Only the enemy would want you to buy into an idea that leaves you totally vulnerable to all that can harm you. After all, it’s the mind that he so diligently seeks to control. You may consider what your parents have tried to teach you “Bondage of the mind” when in fact it will end up serving as that which could save you from a life altering decision. Those who love you have sought only to protect you from what they’ve managed to survive.

I make a plea to each of you who have discarded the lessons of life, rather clinging to a prideful position of self indulgence, to reconsider. What you’ve believed to be an open minded point of view really couldn’t be more… Closed minded. You’ve been duped my friend. Good news for you, though… We’ve all made wrong turns but, as long as we have life, no failure is final.

This may seem like a strange subject for some of you but I know, for a fact, that there are those who need to read what’s been written.

There’s much more I could say to these who have been blind sided by Satan himself but instead I’ll spend the time praying. Won’t you join me?

Please leave your comments. Do you know any young ones that fall under this category?

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The Gift

I wrote a personal testimony entitled The Gift that, I believe, can be a blessing to someone.

You can find it at http://lynnschronicles.com/the-gift-by-chris-allman/

Happy Father’s Day dads.

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Somebody’s Watching You!

Although we know better, it’s our natural inclination to believe the old adage, “Out of sight, out of mind.”  We tend to think, in our privacy, that every emotion, thought and deed goes unnoticed but, of course, that is where we are grossly mistaken.

Those of us who were blessed to be raised in a home where church was the rule and not the option, were taught from a very early age that God sees everything.  Often our spoken  testimony reflects that we still believe that truth while our actions would never support such a belief.

I’ve been terribly guilty of behaving in such a way that would break the heart of God.  Although I knew He was observing, I behaved as if He didn’t have a clue.  Was it because I knew He would readily forgive?  Had I grown complacent?  I can’t give an answer for either of those questions but I can say, on this side of the sin, it pays to recognize how privy God is to the goings on of our lives.

The Psalmist wrote in Psalms 139:13a For thou hast possessed my reins… In the Greek, the word reins has both a literal and figurative definition.  The literal translation is kidneys or the inward parts.  In other words, God has created every part of who I am.  The figurative translation is seat of emotion and affection.  Matthew Henry sheds a very bright light on this portion of scripture…

“Thou art Master of my most secret thoughts and intentions, and the innermost recesses of my soul; thou not only knowest, but governest, them, as we do that which we have possession of;”

Be sure ladies and gentlemen that you are never alone.  That one who sees the very intent of your heart is the same one who deals the consequences for sin.  Every action that offends the Father begins in the mind.  I’ve often referred to the mind as a battleground where the enemy seeks to gain control and hopes to eventually cause each of God’s children to fall.  As our helper, God will never give up without a fight.  We may see His chastisement and allowance of repercussion as uncaring but it truly is that which He uses to shake us to our senses.

With that in mind, my prayer is that this friendly reminder of God’s evasive personality will cause us each to guard our thoughts!

Now, on another note… As you’ve noticed, I haven’t been posting as regularly as I once was.  Earlier on in my blogging I mentioned that I was working on a Daily devotional book.  That has diverted my attention and has taken quite a bit of my time away from this outlet.  prayerfully, I’ll complete the writing part of that book around September which means it could be available around the end of this year.  I hope its something that God can use to bless folks in their daily walk with Him while offering insight to the scripture in such a way as to help the reader face another day.

As always, thanks for reading!!!  Please leave your thoughts and comments for me and others to enjoy!  If you haven’t signed up to follow my blog via email, what are you waiting for???!!!  Do it now!  The button is to your right >>>>>>>>>>>>>>

 

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Will Your Children’s Children Know God?

I’ve often heard it told that history tends to repeat itself.  We see this truth represented in so many areas of life yet we seldom take the time to learn from what or past seeks to teach us.  We foolishly believe that things can be different with us!

As I’ve been blessed to be a part of the church in, what many would consider, the old days as well as the modern day church, I have realized a behavior that is destined to impact the church in a most negative of lights.

Allow me to share some scripture that I studied today along with what the Lord showed me in regards to how it relates to us today.

4. And Judah went up; and the Lord delivered the Canaanites and the Perizzites into their hand: and they slew of them in Bezek ten thousand men.5. And they found Adoni–bezek in Bezek: and they fought against him, and they slew the Canaanites and the Perizzites. Judges 1: 4, 5

I share this portion of scripture first to show you where the children of Israel were in regards to their obedience to God.  It was made clear by God, on several occasions, that the enemy was not to be spared.  Judah and Simeon followed this command and was blessed.

Let’s liken the church of the old days to these patriarchs who just followed God no matter what the world might have thought about their strong unapologetic stance against sin.  I remember when sin was called what it is… Sin.  Preachers, my father included, did not spare words as they assaulted the enemy as well as those who stood in his camp.  Their focus was to keep the house of God clean of what would tarnish her.  Sinners were loved but were met head on with a harsh word against the way they lived.  They would either get right with the Lord or get out!

If a couple living together came to the church house and the preacher knew how they were living, no doubt they would hear how their living arrangements were sinful and offensive to Holy God.  That is only one example.  I have no one in mind as I write this.  If it hit you, don’t bark at the messenger.

Now, let’s look on further in the text…

21. And the children of Benjamin did not drive out the Jebusites that inhabited Jerusalem; but the Jebusites dwell with the children of Benjamin in Jerusalem unto this day.
Judges 1:21
 

Does the word “Coexist” come to mind?  God said kill ’em but someone thought they could more godly than God Himself!  Surely God would smile on them just accepting these other humans.  Certainly the world would come flocking to these loving individuals because of the grace they’d shown the enemy.  It didn’t stop there.  Read on starting in verse 27 – 33.  Coexisting with the enemy became the new normal.

I can’t help but read this and see a snapshot of where the church is today.  That couple who lives together, in many churches, are not only allowed to join but are encouraged to do so.  Behavior that used to be seen as the threat that it truly is to the church is now skimmed over so that no one is offended.  Sinners should always be welcome to come in but they ought to always leave grieved by a spirit of conviction because their sin was targeted by the Holy Spirit as the preacher refused to pull any punches.

Let’s look quickly at where we are sadly headed unless there is a major awakening in the church…

10. And also all that generation were gathered unto their fathers: and there arose another generation after them, which knew not the Lord, nor yet the works which he had done for Israel. 11And the children of Israel did evil in the sight of the Lord, and served Baalim: Judges 2:10, 11
 
My father and grandfathers have been gathered unto their fathers in glory and this generation is quickly passing away.  I’m afraid that, just as happened to the children of Israel, there is coming a generation who is clueless as to whom the God we’ve served even is.
 
By choosing to just coexist and accept others “As they are”, this modern day church is guilty of lulling the generations coming behind us to sleep.  Will your children’s children know God?  If the answer is going to be yes, much has to be done to reverse this relaxed mentality that has plagued the church.  What will you do to help the church get back on God’s course?
 
Let me know what your thoughts are… Positive or negative.  Feel free to share this with your pastor.  May God be pleased and Him alone!

 

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Let It Go!

I just felt compelled to take a moment and share what’s laying on my heart this evening.

It’s a matter of forgiveness. If I had to guess, I would feel safe in assuming that most of you who will take the time to read this post have been harmed by another. Allow me to go a little further… I great portion of you still carry a very heavy load caused by unresolved circumstances.

Families are separated and friendships are severed all because we tend to allow the pain of what someone either said or did to rule over us. We can’t understand how someone, who would purposefully harm us, could possibly merit a reprieve. In our mind, that person could never deserve any sort of blessing from us.

I’m not going to go on and on about this. The bottom line is, we’ve all been hurt. Some have experienced deeper scars than others but nonetheless, we’ve all been on the receiving end of pain. While we each naturally view these episodes as tragedy, I’d like to encourage you to take a step back and try to see things differently. Could it be that what you’ve experienced is God’s opportunity for you to become a little more like His son? Could what you’ve had to endure be the gateway of fulfilling the Father’s will for your life?

Quickly take a look at Joseph… Betrayed by his brothers, sold into slavery, falsely accused of inappropriate behavior, thrown into prison and forgotten about. Yet all the while, he never harbored a grudge. His willingness to forgive resulted in the survival of his family; Not only physically but emotionally.

What could your decision to forgive a transgressor create in your life? Could it change the landscape of the holidays this year? Could your willingness to pardon a wrong begin much needed healing in your family tree?

Who do you need to call? What kind of letter do you need to draft? When will you decide that the enemy is going to be the loser?

Let it go…

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