Christian Training Center InternationalPosts

Is Jesus upset?

Is Jesus upset?

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Jesus sounds upset. The day before he went through an amazing experience. We call it the transfiguration.  

“While He was praying, the appearance of His face became different, and His clothing became white and gleaming. And behold, two men were talking with Him; and they were Moses and Elijah, who, appearing in glory, were speaking of His departure which He was about to accomplish at Jerusalem.” God spoke to Him saying, “This is My Son, My Chosen One; listen to Him!” Luke 9

To top things off, Peter, James and John had no clue what was going on. 

When Jesus said “You unbelieving and perverted generation, how long shall I be with you and put up with you?”, Jesus knew exactly how much longer He would be here. It would not be much longer. Jesus is going to complete every task His Heavenly Father has given. But still, there isn’t much time left. Tick tock, tick tock!

What is the key to continually being joyous?

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Joy is experienced naturally in many circumstances of our life in Jesus and most importantly in relationships we have with His followers. It is especially important in the life of God’s people, who experience joy in response to all that God has done for us.

Our joy should be a manifestation of God’s gift of joy to us. Jesus exhibited joy in His ministry on a constant basis. For the joy that was before Him, He suffered a cruel death taking our sins on Him, was raised from the dead in an incorruptible body and ascended back to heaven to take his rightful place of authority.

Jesus received great joy in His relationships. He gives us great joy in our relationships as well. Jesus is smiling!

Am I happy? Do you see my joy? Or am I just a grumpy old man most days?

In Acts we learn that “And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit.” Acts 13:52 (NASB) Note that it was not a sometime kind of thing. It was continual. They were always joyful and happy. It is just who they were, like Jesus.

Where is the joy? Are we excited about what Jesus is doing?

We need to see how much God cares. It is just who He is. We don’t need to look around. He is right here, right now.

Some questions for us to think about.

  • Do we have it in our heart and soul that God is good and in a good mood?
  • Do we know that God hears our prayers?
  • Can we jump for joy?
  • Can we shout?
  • Can we sing our thanks to Jesus?

Blessed be God — he heard me praying. He proved he’s on my side;
I’ve thrown my lot in with him. Now I’m jumping for joy,
and shouting and singing my thanks to him.

Psalm 28:6-7 (The Message Bible)

Let’s consider what Jesus has to say in His Manifesto. God has good things in mind for me.

Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for a loaf, will give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him!

Matthew 7:9-11 (NASB)

What should my response to the goodness of God be? It seems that there are days I miss the ecstacy of knowing Jesus and His Heavenly Father. Where is the emotion of it all? Where is the stunning response to His glory?

I should consider:

  • And the disciples were continually filled with joy and with the Holy Spirit. Acts 13:52 (NASB)
  • At that very time He rejoiced greatly in the Holy Spirit, and said, “I praise You, O Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that You have hidden these things from the wise and intelligent and have revealed them to infants. Yes, Father, for this way was well-pleasing in Your sight. Luke 10:21 (NASB)
  • And though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory. 1 Peter 1:8 (NASB)
  • Yet many of the priests and Levites and heads of fathers’ households, the old men who had seen the first temple, wept with a loud voice when the foundation of this house was laid before their eyes, while many shouted aloud for joy. Ezra 3:12 (NASB)
  • So that the priests could not stand to minister because of the cloud, for the glory of the Lord filled the house of the Lord. 1 Kings 8:11 (NASB)
  • And the sons of Israel, the priests, the Levites and the rest of the exiles, celebrated the dedication of this house of God with joy. Ezra 6:16 (NASB)

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

The lessons taught at CTCI are not designed to be learned just in the classroom. They are not simply taught in a week or a month program. Rather, they come through the furnace of daily living and are hammered into useful form on the anvil of unrelenting daily life and common struggles. The hammer must fall repetitively over and over before the shape takes form. This type of experiential learning is formative.

Learning is driven by an insatiable curiosity in God’s ways. The value of hard work and the merits of creative problem-solving are by-products of “fleshing out” Biblical principles and watching them come to life through God’s creative power. Families are transformed and young people are reformed.

When given the right conditions of sunlight and good soil, an acorn grows into a mighty oak. When the same acorn is crowded out by larger trees and the elements for health are lacking, the tree grows crooked and deformed.

When a family arrives tattered and worn, we provide the sunshine and nourishment of God’s word in daily life experiences – and the transformation is nothing short of remarkable.

When a young person arrives soiled in the mud and mire of worldly ways, we provide the nutrients which build character and integrity for future leaders – and the reformation is nothing short of miraculous.

This is what we do: Transformation and Reformation. Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

What does it take to be happy even when I am unhappy?

Jesus didn’t call me to be a Christian. He called me to be a disciple. Jesus is my Master teacher.

I will smile even when I am hurting. I will be happy even when I am unhappy. It’s called strength! It is called the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus counted it a great joy even when He went to the cross for me.

Jesus didn’t promise me a rose garden. He did guarantee that if I follow Him, I would have a joy no one can understand. Submission leads to happiness. Obedience leads to delight.

I can smile if I am hurting. I have Jesus. I have His strength. I can be happy in Him. I have Jesus and I have his courage.

Choose Joy

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There is power in prayer. We see it every day. Let us join with you in tapping into the Power of God. Click here to make a request.

The most effective way to learn a foreign language is through immersion. In complete immersion, students spend all their time hearing and speaking a new language in a sequential and cumulative format. The goal is to become not only a proficient speaker, but to acquire an appreciation and understanding of a new culture. This approach describes the training and experiential discipleship process at the Christian Training Center.

How do we make an impact?

  • We give a college age students (summer) a residential position as an intern. It is open to Christian candidates who want to deepen and develop their faith while experiencing the demands of day-to-day ministry. These individuals help serve and mentor during our summer programs.
  • We help impact college students during Heroes Semester. It is a 10-week semester program. This program is focused on personal and spiritual development for young adults. While immersed in a way of life that emphasizes the Word of God, prayer, relationships, family, servanthood and personal discipline, young adults are renewed, trained, and challenged to walk with God in a deeper way.
  • We help impact teens through Heroes of Today Week long summer program Teens learn new life skills and they will discover more about their identity in Jesus and what it means to live as one of God’s Heroes of today.
  • Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Your gift will help bring healing and restoration to families all around the world.

Learn more here.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Does joy come in the midst of suffering? What does that look like?

Does joy come in the midst of suffering? What does that look like? Sonny Ramsay leads us through examples from scripture.

This is eternal life: that they may know you, the only true God, and the one you have sent —Jesus the Messiah.

John 17:3

What does it mean to rejoice greatly?

Jesus rejoiced. Jesus is exuberant in the Holy Spirit. Jesus came to usher in the Kingdom of God in the power of the Holy Spirit. Jesus died for us but approached it in great joy.

Jesus knew how the story would end. Jesus was happy about it all.

Jesus does the happy dance. Seriously! Jesus “rejoiced greatly”. Jesus is smiling. Jesus is stunned with what God is doing.

God is in a good mood. Jesus knew it. I believe that, do you?

What is joy? Is there joy in deliverance?

Today I choose joy

I want the joy of the Lord. I want to be more than happy. I want to celebrate God’s victory in my life. I want to show the goodness of God. God promises, through the power of the Holy Spirit, it will grow like fruit. Now that is some good news.

The “fruit of the Spirit” is what happens when the Holy Spirit indwells us. The “fruit” is the product of the Holy Spirit’s cultivation of character in our heart. Galatians 5:22-23 describes what that fruit looks like; the second characteristic listed is joy.

What is joy? Is it a benefit and results from being a disciple of Jesus?

Joy is closely related to gladness and happiness, although joy is more a state of being than an emotion; a result of choice.  Having joy is part of the experience of being a disciple of Jesus. I want to have joy in my life. I want to be joyful.

Is joy a benefit of being a disciple of Jesus? Joy results from discipleship. Jesus asks very penetrating questions of us. Jesus is patient. Jesus is waiting for our answer. Will we accept His joy?

Who is the Holy Spirit? Does He bring joy to believers?

The Holy Spirit brings joy to believers, giving us an inner contentment and happiness which is not dependent upon external circumstances. The Greek word is χαρά chara, (khar-ah) meaning calm delight, gladness, and to be exceeding joyful.

  • Am I happy in Jesus?
  • Do I experience joy regularly?
  • If not, what is going on?
  • Do I have calm delight?

But to the degree that you share the sufferings of the Messiah, keep on rejoicing, so that also at the revelation of His glory you may rejoice with exultation.  If you are reviled for the name of the Messiah, you are blessed, because the Spirit of glory and of God rests on you.

1 Peter 4:13–14

What is joy? Does it make us more than happy?

Joy and happiness is essential in the Kingdom of God. The Beatitudes (aka The Jesus Manifesto) traditionally use the word “blessed”.

We have heard it a lot. “Blessed are …” Most translators agree the better translation is “Happy” or “More than Happy”.

For the joy that was set before Jesus, he endured the crucifixion. The joy of the Lord is my strength.

We are a people of hope and joy! We must shout it out. Jesus has defeated death and is King of God’s country. Stunning!

Is joy evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work in our lives?

When the Holy Spirit moves, it is a stunning thing to behold. It makes us want to glorify God. We want to shout. It is clearly evidence of Jesus in our lives.

If we’re not getting happy and joyful about what God is doing, then we know we are in trouble.

The power of the Holy Spirit convicts us to change our minds (aka repent) about missing God’s goals.

  • That leads to life.
  • That is amazing.

It is a stunning thing to be baptized in the Holy Spirit. It is a gift to believers. It is joyous beyond words.

It is truly a great gift. What an amazing God we serve. Our King Jesus is now sitting next to God and bestowing on us the power of God. I must sell everything to buy into that.

We can’t stand in God’s way. Many, it seems, want to get bogged down in the Cessationism versus Continuationism debate. I must ask myself, “am I standing in God’s way”? Peter asked it of himself. Peter asked it of the other disciples and Apostles. Peter had an answer.

God is God. Nothing, I repeat, nothing, is impossible with God. I need to be careful. God’s power, in the Holy Spirit and His precious Son Jesus, is not to be messed with.

Will I stand in God’s way? May God have mercy on my soul if I do.

Regardless, am I happy about what God is doing or resentful God hasn’t “visited me”?

  • Am I joyful about the power of the Holy Spirit?
  • Are people repenting and coming to Jesus?

Joy – Is it evidence of the Holy Spirit’s work? Does it prompt believers to rejoice?

The answer is YES and AMEN!

And as I began to speak, the Holy Spirit fell upon them just as He did upon us at the beginning. And I remembered the word of the Master, how He used to say, ‘John baptized with water, but you will be baptized with the Holy Spirit.’ Therefore, if God gave to them the same gift as He gave to us also after believing in the Master Jesus the Messiah, who was I that I could stand in God’s way?”

When they heard this, they quieted down and glorified God, saying, “Well then, God has granted to the Gentiles also the repentance that leads to life.

Acts 11:15–18

  • Matthew 13:44 — “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.”
  • Acts 12:14: The servant girl was so overjoyed that God had rescued Peter from prison that she forgot to let Peter in the house.
Holy Spirit Water

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Susan Pons Book – “And There Was Evening and There Was Morning…”

Have you read Susan Corbett Pons book “And There was Evening and There was Morning”? It will make you laugh, and it will make you cry. Check out Susan’s book here.

Susan Pons grew up in Valdese, North Carolina. Prior to her marriage, she performed professionally on stage and dinner theaters. The mother of four and grandmother of six, she and her husband, Larry, direct Christian Training Center, International, a ministry dedicated to the restoration of families. She has loved her life.

Check out Susan’s book here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Learn more here.

What is obedience? Why is obedience demanded of God’s people?

We know it. Obeying runs against the grain of what we want to do. Jesus demands that we be obedient slaves. That doesn’t sound like fun. It is demeaning. NO one wants to be a slave. I am not different in that regard.

There is good news. Jesus gives us all the power to be obedient. For the joy that was before Him, Jesus endured death and humiliation to set us free. Free to be obedient.

Who is God? How should we celebrate God?

We serve an amazing God. We celebrate His goodness, righteousness and holiness. God is good. God is good all the time.

We celebrate God. We are joyful. We are excited about what God is doing. God is stunning in His amazing beauty.

We will be glad in our Master Jesus. God has given us a new heart. Through Jesus, God has wiped out our debt for missing God’s goal. How amazing is that?

I will shout for joy! I am ecstatic.

Celebrate God. Sing together—everyone! All you honest hearts, raise the roof! | Psalm 32:11 (The Message Bible)

Consider this! Joy is our response for the great things God is doing. We will shout it out!

  • Isaiah 55:12  — “For you will go out with joy And be led forth with peace; The mountains and the hills will break forth into shouts of joy before you, And all the trees of the field will clap their hands.”
  • 1 Corinthians 2:9–10  — But just as it is written, “Things which eye has not seen and ear has not heard, And which have not entered the heart of man, All that God has prepared for those who love Him.” For to us God revealed them through the Spirit; for the Spirit searches all things, even the depths of God.
  • Isaiah 35:10  — And the ransomed of the Lord will return And come with joyful shouting to Zion, With everlasting joy upon their heads. They will find gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away.
  • Isaiah 51:11 — So the ransomed of the Lord will return And come with joyful shouting to Zion, And everlasting joy will be on their heads. They will obtain gladness and joy, And sorrow and sighing will flee away.
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Backlot BBQ & Movie

Come join us for our Backlot Barbecue Event at the Smoky Mountain Center for the Performing Arts on October 5, 2019. Learn more here.

Your ticket includes a delicious BBQ sandwich meal, a donut roast over an open fire, fun and games. Bring a lawn chair or blanket to enjoy DreamWorks “Madagascar” under the stars. All proceeds go to missions around the world.

DATES / TIMES:

Saturday, October 5, 2019

6:30pm – 8pm: Food, Games & Donut Roast

8pm: Outdoor movie featuring DreamWorks “Madagascar”

*BRING YOUR OWN CHAIR*

Learn more here.

Does joy grow in us when we experience being set free?

We want the joy of the Lord. We want to be more than happy. We want to celebrate God’s victory in our lives.

We want to show the goodness of God. God promises, through the power of the Holy Spirit, joy will grow like fruit. Now that is some good news.

The “fruit of the Spirit” is what happens when the Holy Spirit indwells me. The “fruit” is the product of the Holy Spirit’s cultivation of character in my heart. Galatians 5:22-23 describes what that fruit looks like; the second characteristic listed is joy.

Can we have joy even in the face of opposition?

Today I choose joy

Do disciples have joy even in the face of opposition? Absolutely we do. Jesus is kind and thoughtful. I know that. I am joyful. I am filled with the Holy Spirit who confirms it to me. I am growing joyful fruit. It is a wonderful gift from Jesus, my Master and Owner.

Note that it was not a sometime kind of thing. It was continual. The early disciples were always joyful and happy. It is just who they were, like Jesus. This is where I get to say one of my favorite things. God is in a good mood!

At the crack of dawn …

ResurrectionAfter Jesus was crucified, he was hastily buried as the clock was ticking moving toward the Jewish Sabbath. No work could be done.

So they had to wait. And wait. And wait.

It must have seemed like an eternity that long Saturday. On Sunday they were up and at it at the crack of dawn. When they got to the tomb, they couldn’t find Jesus body. And they were puzzled. I know I would have been as well. Probably more than puzzled.

But they moved on from being puzzled into belief. The angels explained it all to them.

They ask a stunning question. “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery?” Why indeed!

Are we looking for Jesus, the Living One? If so, we will find Him.

Jesus wasn’t there but raised up from the dead. And they remembered Jesus’ words.

Belief. Faith. Joy.

At the crack of dawn on Sunday, the women came to the tomb carrying the burial spices they had prepared. They found the entrance stone rolled back from the tomb, so they walked in. But once inside, they couldn’t find the body of the Master Jesus.They were puzzled, wondering what to make of this. Then, out of nowhere it seemed, two men, light cascading over them, stood there. The women were awestruck and bowed down in worship. The men said, “Why are you looking for the Living One in a cemetery? He is not here, but raised up. Remember how he told you when you were still back in Galilee that he had to be handed over to sinners, be killed on a cross, and in three days rise up?” Then they remembered Jesus’ words.

via Luke 24 The Message Bible

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Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Our programs are like an immersion into a new language – the language of living in Jesus.  The goal is fluency in the language of relationships.  Programs share a sequential vision, building an understanding of relationships and family culture.  The foundation is an encounter with Jesus.  This encounter is the means for both insight and vision.  Encountering Jesus leads a radical change in living and relationships.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

The Holy Spirit gives Joy to Jesus the Messiah and to Those who were Anticipating His Birth

The Holy Spirit brings joy to believers, giving them an inner contentment and happiness which is not dependent upon external circumstances.

The Greek word is χαρά chara, (khar-ah) meaning  calm delight:— gladness,  greatly, to be exceeding joyful.

It is easy to forget about joy. It is essential in the Kingdom of God. The Beatitudes (aka The Jesus Manifesto) traditionally use the word “blessed”. Most translators agree the better translation is “Happy” or “More than Happy”. For the joy that was set before Jesus, he endured the crucifixion. The joy of the Lord is my strength.

Is my heart in it?

Heart, dedicated, caring and committed

Heart, dedicated, caring and committed

Jesus challenges us to have our heart in the right place with God and everyone else. It is all about our relationships.

Just saying the right thing will not make a difference. Jesus demands that our heart be in it. Jesus knows that if our heart is in it, the results will come.

It isn’t the “big show” we make of saying things. Do we do the right God-things? Is our heart in it even if no one knows about what we do?

Another challenge is just going through the motions. We pray but is rote and meaningless. We’re just saying the words. We read the scripture but it doesn’t speak to us. We go to church and stand at the right times but are emotionally detached from our brothers and sisters in Jesus.

Emotion flows from the heart. Joy is a big deal. Jesus brings joy into our lives. Joy is a fruit of the Holy Spirit.

God’s goal for us is for us to guard our heart. Everything starts with our heart. God wants men and women of God who have a heart for Jesus.

May my heart be in it every day!!

“These people make a big show of saying the right thing, but their heart isn’t in it.” ~Jesus | Mark 7:6



If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

Heroes Semester is a 10-week residential, “family style” living experience like no other! | — Sept 2 – Nov 9, 2019 | Participants ages 18-26 come with one purpose – to go deeper with the Lord. ow.ly/Nhag30oRYRK

Strengthening & Restoring Family Relationships — Train to Reign Program — Oct 20 – Nov 2 | Family is the most vital relationship and the one under the most pressure and attack. Come strengthen your family in a strong relationship with God. http://ow.ly/l5SU30oS5pQ

 

Has God Forsaken Us? 

Long time friend of the Inn, Judy Ward, blesses us with her wisdom during our 2019 Appeal to Heaven Conference.

Scripture

Isaiah 49:13-16 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)

Shout for joy, you heavens!
Earth, rejoice!
Mountains break into joyful shouts!
For the Lord has comforted his people,
and will have compassion on his afflicted ones.

Zion says, “The Lord has abandoned me;
the Lord has forgotten me!”
“Can a woman forget her nursing child,
or lack compassion for the child of her womb?
Even if these forget,
yet I will not forget you.
Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of my hands;
your walls are continually before me.

Christian Standard Bible (CSB) The Christian Standard Bible. Copyright © 2017 by Holman Bible Publishers. Used by permission. Christian Standard Bible®, and CSB® are federally registered trademarks of Holman Bible Publishers, all rights reserved.

If you would like to donate to the Christian Training Center, please click here.

 

Check out our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.

 

What is God’s goal for us? Do I get it?

Good FridayJesus knew why He was here. He knew how it would end. He knew He would go through the worst time possible.

God’s goal for us is to be redeemed into a right relationship with our Father.

We have missed God’s goal. Jesus died to pay that price for us. He is resurrected to prove the power of God through that redemption.

What was the end in His mind?

Not the sorrow or the crucifixion. It was the glorification. He knew what He had to go through crucifixion to get to the glorification and for the sheer joy of it, he endured.

And so, we benefit from God’s new plan. We have gone through it with Him.

Jesus replied, ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified. Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds. Those who love their life will lose it, while those who hate their life in this world will keep it for eternal life. 

Whoever serves me must follow me; and where I am, my servant also will be. My Father will honor the one who serves me. ‘Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. | John 12:23-27

If you would like to donate to CTCI please click here.

Check our upcoming ministry programs for young adults and families. Please click here.