Tuesday, December 7, 2010

GRACE ON WHEELS

When I first met Allen Bradley, we were both just kids. My family was moving into my Grandma's house after she passed away. Allen's cerebral palsy and extreme poverty forced him to have to scoot himself along the sidewalk on the seat of his pants using only his very strong arms and understandably dirty hands. We didn't have much money ourselves, but my parents immediately took up a collection around the neighborhood and bought Allen a little red wagon at cost from my Uncle Bob's hardware store. That sure saved wear and tear on the little guy's pants!

My own brother, Dick, had recently died also, from the Muscular Dystrophy that had put him first in a wheelchair and then in a hospital bed; so to me, it was almost like God gave us Allen to love and protect in Dick's place. Coincidentally or not, as I grew up and moved to different parts of the city, Allen never lived far from me, although he also moved.

When I married my husband John three and a half years ago, I didn't realize it, but I was giving Allen the best friend he ever had! John is retired and it is truly his pleasure to drive Allen to the doctor, grocery store, bank, do his laundry, and even take him with us to our grace church followed by lunch at a restaurant. The two of them have an almost Laurel and Hardy (or Abbott and Costello) comedy act going on all of the time!

Al, who has the IQ of maybe a twelve-year-old, may not know a lot about theology or right division, but he does treasure having God's word in his lap in his big old King James Bible with extra-large print. During the message at church, he does his best to flip to the right passages and sometimes cheers when he finds one. He especially loves fellow-shipping with the saints, holding his large hand out and saying in his falsetto voice, "Hi, I'm Al! What's your name?" And he more often than not will remember it! (Which is more than I can say!)

If you haven't met him here on earth, don't worry, you'll meet him in heaven; for, since he was a little boy on the sidewalk, he's been waiting for the Lord Jesus to come and get him, transform his weak and wasted body into a glorious body like unto his own, and show him the beauties of the universe. He's known since then that the Lord Jesus Christ died for his sins and rose again just for him. When he sees injustice or unkindness in his fellow men, Allen likes to say, "They don't know the Lord Jesus!" Well, Allen sure knows him and trusts him with his life with a childlike faith that comes straight from his heart...and he's not afraid to make him known!

Whether he gets there first, or you get there first, there will come a day when he'll say to you, "Hi, I'm Al! What's your name?"


Sunday, August 8, 2010

TONGUES, HEALINGS & PROPHECIES -- WHEN AND WHY DID THE GIFTS CEASE?



I've been remiss in the fact that I've never posted anything on the controversial subject of the gifts of the Spirit such as were exhibited by the grace churches such as at Corinth. Paul wrote about these gifts and the assemblies he established did exhibit them, so are they still for us today or did they cease at some point? If they ceased, why did they cease?

Here I'm going to defer to Pastor Dennis Kiszonas of Grace for Today Ministries who wrote an article on the subject for the Berean Bible Society's Searchlight Magazine a few years back. There's simply no way that I can improve on his logical and simple explanation regarding this divisive subject. Here's the link:


Read, learn, and enjoy!

Wednesday, July 28, 2010

SOMEONE NEEDS YOUR TESTIMONY!


We who've been saved by simply trusting that the Lord Jesus Christ has done everything necessary for our salvation love to share that news with those who so desperately need to hear it! So, here's a great way to get your testimony down pat in your own mind and put it somewhere where somebody who needs it can find it: my new grace testimony site!

Please consider sending me a couple of paragraphs (or more) sharing under what circumstances you got saved by Paul's gospel of the grace of God, and how and when you became aware of the need to rightly divide that gospel from the gospel God had for his covenant nation of Israel. For some grace saints, the two things happened simultaneously; for others, it took years to recognize the divine boundaries in God's word.

My own testimony will go on the site shortly, but I hope you will visit and take time to read through the testimony of a man who recently contacted me to share with me his joy in finally understanding the true mechanics of his eternal salvation in Christ.

Please help me put together a source of encouragement for seekers on the Internet to access when they search for the truth of which gospel we're saved by today: Peter's...or Paul's?

Send your grace testimony to me at deborah.kuzenski@gmail.com, and I'll publish it to the site after checking for spelling, etc., if you'd like. Also, please feel free to provide a link to your own site and/or your church's site.

Thank you for taking the time to be an encouragement to someone who needs it!


Saturday, February 27, 2010

TO FATHER MIKE, WHEREVER YOU ARE



Dear Father Mike,

I was very sorry to hear of your death this past week. I realize that you probably won't be reading this where you are right now, but thinking of you has brought back so many memories from when I was a member of the Roman Catholic Church that you pastored that I thought I would write.

You were a good and gentle man, Father Mike. You always had a smile for everyone, and you were there to lend a helping hand. When I asked for a discount on my kids' Catholic education, you agreed to it in a heartbeat. Several years later, after first communions and confirmations for the kids, as well as a conversion to Catholicism by my then-husband, you agreed to see me on short notice when I came to your office and told you that I had placed my faith in the Lord Jesus Christ alone, based on what I had read in the Letter to the Romans, and that I could no longer remain a member of a church that did not preach the simple gospel of salvation as a free gift for simply believing that Christ died for the world's sins, was buried, and rose again. I was hoping that you would see this great truth as well, and the light would dawn in your eyes; and you would follow me in trusting the Lord Jesus Christ for your salvation, and stop trusting the teachings of your church. But it was not to be.

As a brand new believer, I was no match for the sophistry of a priest who had been thoroughly schooled in the works of Augustine, Aquinas, and Ignatius of Loyola; and you had me weeping with frustration in no time. You, of course, went back to the gospel of Matthew, chapter 16, and reminded me that Jesus said, “thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against it. And I will give unto thee the keys of the kingdom of heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt bind on earth shall be bound in heaven; and whatsoever thou shalt loose on earth shall be loosed in heaven.” (Matt. 16:18-19). “Which of the thousands of Protestant denominations was this church,” you asked me, “if not the Roman Catholic Church founded nearly two thousand years ago?” She may make some mistakes but she's the only church with the successors of Peter, and see how she has endured the test of time?

I had no good answers for you that day, Father Mike. I gathered up my husband's King James Bible and my other books and papers and thanked you for your time; but despite my feeling that I'd been bested by the best, I never again set foot in your church to worship, but only to attend a funeral or two. Your advice that I should perhaps consult a psychiatrist to help me deal with my “obsession” still stings after all these years.

Seventeen years and much study of God's word later, I've come to realize that the words of Christ in the four gospels are addressed exclusively to the nation of Israel, as the Lord himself proclaimed, “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.” (Matt. 15:24). Our own apostle to the Body of Christ, Paul, wrote, “Jesus Christ was a minister of the circumcision [Israel] for the truth of God, to confirm the promises made unto the fathers.” (Rom. 15:8). The church that Christ founded upon the rock of Peter's confession that Jesus was the Christ, the Son of God, the Messiah sent to save Israel was set aside following that chosen nation's rejection of him and his kingdom. (Acts 28:28). The Roman Catholic religion, based on these interrupted promises and doctrines, was on a mistaken path from its inception, leading countless souls from the truth of the no-strings-attached gospel given to Paul. The church which is his body,” has an inheritance in the heavenly places in Christ according to the revelation of the mystery the risen and glorified Lord Jesus Christ from heaven gave exclusively to Paul for us today found in his post-Acts period epistles.

Father Mike, wherever you find yourself this day, do you remember, either with thanks or with regret, that tearful housewife armed with the simple gospel of faith for salvation? I came to see you that day, not just to tell you that I quit your church and all its man-made traditions and commands, but to give you the key to escape from it yourself. Only God knows your heart, Michael; but the fact that you said the Sacrifice of the Mass and administered the Catholic sacraments to the “faithful” every day since that time speaks volumes about whether you ever used that key. Like the rich man in Hades, do you now long to send a message to those who wrongly trusted in the doctrines you taught? Abraham's declaration still holds true today, that if men don't heed the scriptures, "neither will they be persuaded, though one rose from the dead." Jesus Christ told Israel, “the truth shall make you free,” and that's a truth for all ages, but only for those who are alive when they hear it, and not for those whose fate is now sealed.

Farewell, Father Mike, wherever you are.
Here's the whole story of my conversion.