The top of the day to you, because this is the day that the Lord has made!
Have you any scars? Scars always tell a story; some are good scars, and some are not so good. I have scars from my youth. When I graduated from High School in my senior year, the annual listed the colors that defined me; saying my colors would be black and blue. That tells you a little bit about me. I have scars on the back of my head, scars in my mouth and lips where it took 90 stitches to sow me back together. I have a scar on my lower back from two different invasive surgeries along with several scars on my abdomen. If that is not enough, I have a scar on my left arm where they had to place two metal plates in my arm when it was necessary to repair a compound fracture as the result of a boating accident.
This is nothing compared to my cousin Bobby. He was with my Uncle Elec when he hit a bridge head on, resulting in the car catching on fire and causing my uncle’s death. My cousin was burned over 75% of his body and he was only eight years old. He lost toes and flexibility in his one leg as the result of heavy scaring. He was so badly burned they took him to Shriners Burn Institute in Dallas and did numerous surgeries. His scars became my Uncle Ellsworth’s scars. They took the skin off my uncle’s back and surgically attached it to Bobby’s legs to replace the skin that was burned off him.
I was speaking in Cincinnati one day to a group of pastors, shortly after I came to the tri- state region. I was speaking about the fact that I had been here for a couple of years, and I had never heard of them. One preacher was insulted. He was a great brother, but I learned a long time ago that the dog in a pack that gets hit is the one that yelps. I told the story of King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table gathering at Exeter. When they met, they would take off their armor and all identifications, to sit bare-chested at the King’s Table. This way they were able to proudly show the scars they bore for their King. I plowed on through the message and at the end of the meeting a young man came up to me and introduced himself. He had been called to go into the mission field and was praying for God to show him a sign that it was the will of God. His father, who was not a Christian, was opposed to his son going into missions. He said, “Pastor Cleddie, the place
that I am going to is Exeter, England.” He served there for several years.
Paul wore his scars as a reminder of his determined end. I love the way Eugene Peterson
14-16 For my part, I am going to boast about nothing but the Cross of our Master,
Jesus Christ. Because of that Cross, I have been crucified in relation to the world,
set free from the stifling atmosphere of pleasing others and fitting into the little
patterns that they dictate. Can’t you see the central issue in all this? It is not what
you and I do—submit to circumcision, reject circumcision. It is what God is
doing, and he is creating something totally new, a free life! All who walk by this
standard are the true Israel of God—his chosen people. Peace and mercy on
17 Quite frankly, I don’t want to be bothered anymore by these disputes. I have far
more important things to do—the serious living of this faith. I bear in my body
scars from my service to Jesus.
18 May what our Master Jesus Christ gives freely be deeply and personally yours,
my friends. Oh, yes!
My cousin Bobby lived despite the scars. He played football and softball with us. He even took part in the fireball toss our family played on Christmas family gatherings. He walked with a limp all his life, but he never allowed his scars to hold him back. You can rise above your personal life situations, and you can live with scars. Bobby was and still is an inspiration to me then and now. Scars did not dictate the story of his life. It may be a good life example to you as well; don’t let your scars define who you are.
Jesus swore His scars. When doubting Thomas questioned the reality of who He was, Jesus said, “Here, feel my scars.” His scars were for us; on His back, His feet, His hands, as well as the thorn printed scars in His brow. These scars were for you... Last week we closed Kingdom Business 23. It was a highlight of many people’s lives.
The fruit of the meeting will be seen in years to come. As people left the conference, they left with a Kingdom Mindset and fire in their souls. Thank you to all the home folks who worked so hard to host those who came and worshipped with us.
This Friday, join us for our Winter Bible Camp Meeting with Dave Jones and Nick
Chanda from Great Britain. Friday 10 am - Saturday 10 am
Your loving Pastors,
Cleddie and GayNell