Author: Jennifer Harris

Home / Articles posted by Jennifer Harris

I have observed over the last few years that Pentecost is intimately connected to each of us who have chosen to really follow the Risen Jesus Christ. As the apostles and the first Christians truly became like-minded to the Risen Jesus Christ, they became the recipients of a plethora of gifts, talents, and charismas which most dramatically transformed each of them in unique ways. This grew into a very personal relationship with the Risen Jesus Christ. He became their greatest, most cherished and closest personal friend. Yes, each of the apostles changed from being a group of fearful, traumatized, weak, shameful and devastated people to a spirit-filled, courageous, and energized people now absolutely committed in a like-minded way to their God and their leader, the Risen Jesus Christ. This transformation became a “game changing forever event” (often referred to as the sacrament of Confirmation.) This empowered each of the apostles, and each member of the early church, to commence their unique and remarkable journey of evangelization. They were now filled with spiritual gifts including wisdom, understanding, counsel, fortitude, knowledge, piety, and fear of the Lord. This is often understood as a most unusual personal relationship with the Risen Jesus Christ. 

The metaphor that comes to my mind is that of a great marathon like race that we partake in  such a way that the Risen Jesus Christ offers each of us the baton and as each person CHOOSES to accept the “baton“ from Jesus Christ there are two profound results. 

The first is that they immediately and profoundly realize that they personally become “the runner“ with the Risen Jesus (“I shall always be with you“) and their lives become so transformed that their behaviors  become authentic with the transparency of the 

Risen Christ. They also embrace the power, the inspiration, and the mission (Evangelization) for the first time understand the consistent assertiveness, confidence, courage, and perseverance of the Risen Jesus Christ. As all are filled with a quest for truth which permeates not only the inner environment/spirit of the person but the external outer environment and courageous behavior very much congruent with the apostles and early Christians who chose to accept for the first time the Risen Jesus Christ within themselves. They initially became first evangelized and fearlessly stepped out of their “comfort zone“. As each of them chose to do this they became empowered by the Metanoia (Greek meaning “deep and lasting conversion“) which most powerfully transformed each person “to go forth and evangelize the world”. 

In this like-minded spirit early times of the early church in the persona of the apostles with the first Christians went forth into a world that was absolutely non-Christian. Our present world is barely 1/3 Christian and the vast majority of the world, 2/3 have not been introduced to Jesus Christ. Each of them went out of their “comfort zones“ to their mission. Peter traveled throughout the entire region of the holy land and eventually to Rome. Paul, the apostle to the Gentiles, went to Athens and found several churches along the Mediterranean and eventually also went to Rome. Andrew, one of the first apostles recruited by Jesus, evangelized along Asia Minor and eventually to Greece, Scotland, and Russia. Thomas traveled throughout what is now known as Afghanistan and eventually into India. James the greater made it all the way to Spain and ironically pilgrims today still walk the “Way of Saint James in Spain”. Philip travelled throughout what we know today as Turkey and evangelized many as Simon the zealot evangelized the people of Persia. All of the apostles, and most of the early Christians died as martyrs. Most notable as each of them, in their own way accepted the “baton”, they further grew in the like-mindedness of their leader, with whom they felt a great personal, everlasting, and genuine friendship with their Lord and God, the Risen Jesus Christ. 

May I offer you the “baton”?

Written by parishioner, Tim Lynch D. Min, PhD.

written by Tim Lynch D.Min, PhD.

In the first Book of Kings we are told:
“There is no one who has preceded you in life that is exactly like you…. after you are gone there is no one who will follow you in life that is exactly like you.”

Many years ago in the late 1970s, I attended the first ever Success Seminar, held in Nashville. It was at this seminar I met the most unusual person so far in my life, though I was still in my 20’s. This individual had survived a series of tragic and sad events including addictions which left him hopeless, penniless and suicidal. Fortunately this individual had traversed through these traumas and now “arrived” in life as a most gifted, profoundly talented, and successful entrepreneur who had just authored The Greatest Salesman In The World, which was so successful that it’s sales had already placed this book immediately behind the Bible as the number two most purchased book throughout the world, retaining this recognition even today!

This most unusual person was Og Mandino. True to form, most “mentors” arrive in our lives at critical moments along our journey and always provide an unusual understanding and perspective which is often very short but impactful with a much-needed insight or two, but at times it can be a plethora of knowledge, insight, and wisdom which often become a game-changer for that individual at that particular moment. Og Mandino was definitely one of those people for me and I had the privilege to receive both his teaching and mentorship for several years. Fast forward, many years later, I had become a clinician psychologist and consultant two days each week at the Tennessee Christian Hospital addiction and eating disorder program and I had completed my certification as a nationally certified addictions counselor. I requested from my mentor, Og Mandino, his permission to use a significant amount of his unusual insights, understandings, and expertise of what God has given to each of us, particularly as it was put together in Og Mandino’s inspired and profound writing: God’s Memorandum (originally published earlier in Og Mandino’s book: The Greatest Miracle In The World) which for most of us is the first time we become cognizant of the incredible value we most uniquely possess which connects each of us to the passion, the charisma, and the metanoia of the early Christians.

As this transformation takes place in our personal evangelization, coupled with Og Mandino’s most profound explanation and understanding of God’s greatest miracle, we experience for the first time a pulsating, uniquely present in time energy which moves us to not only follow the Risen Jesus Christ but to for the first time be emerged into the persona of the Risen Christ in such a way that we NOW become intensely united in the Risen Jesus Christ. This will charismatically lead ALL people to encounter to Him!

Og Mandino begins his thesis in the first person of God, talking to us…

“You are my greatest miracle… I love you and I am with you…. are you blind? No, you can see because there’s over 100 million receptors that I placed in each of your eyes enabling you to see all the magic of life from the snowflake, to a child, she’s a soaring eagle, and the look of love. Are you deaf? No, you can hear a baby laugh because I have built into each of your ears 24,000+ fibers which vibrates to the wind and yet you hear my breath and then you go to your favorite Opera house and Handle’s Messiah is playing and you are mesmerized. As you leave the theater children are at play…. and you hear, I love you!

You can move and travel the world and do great things to make the world better because you can stretch and run and dance and work for within you I have designed over 500 muscles with 200 bones and miles upon miles of nerve fibers which are synchronize to do magnificent things within. As you place your hand on your chest and feel the pulsating rhythm of your heart day in day out 36 million beats each year year after year. I, your God, put this heart in each of you and your heart pumps 600,000 gallons of blood each year through more than 600,000 miles of been any capillaries and arteries in each person. Within the 5 quarts of blood in each person are 22 billion blood cells and within each cell are millions of molecules and within each molecule there is an atom oscillating at more than 10 million times every second and with each second 2 million of your blood cells die to be replaced by 2 million more blood cells since your life began.

As you’re taking a deep breath of air you become cognizant that the breath of life is filtered through the 600 million pockets of folded flash which filter the toxins out of the air allowing you to have life. Furthermore, your brain manages and control of your body through the 4 million pain sensitive structures along with 500,000 touch detectors and more than 200,000 temperature detectors.

If not so you would not be in touch with yourself or your life and you would die if we were not touched by life and love through the over 4 million pain sensitive structures we are to be cared for and lovingly touched.

Are you feeble of mind? Can you no longer think for yourselves? I think not. Your brain is the most complex of my creations and within this 3 pounds is over 15 billion nerve cells more than twice the number of cells than there are people on earth. Therefore you can file away every experience you have in life including every sound you hear, every sight you see, and every experience you have from the first day that you were born to the last day of your life.

I have implanted in your life every sound you hear, every taste you smell, every reaction from birth till death so that I have implanted within each of cells more than 1000 billion billion protein molecules so that every incident in your life is there waiting only for your recall, providing you with endless capabilities of growth and learnings.

You are the most valuable treasure in the face of the earth what are you know who created you and there is only one of you. Never in all the 70,000,000,000+ human being to ever walk on this planet there has never been one exactly like you. Really never, until the end of time, will there be another such as you. From your father, and his moment of supreme love, flowed countless seeds of love more than 400 million and only one Infinitesimal cell joined within your mothers womb and these two cells now united in the miracle each containing 23 chromosomes and hundreds of genes which governed all your characteristics from the color of your eyes to the charm of your personality to every dimension of life I could have created 300,000 billion humans each different from each other but you are the priceless treasure the rarest of the rare.

You are more than a human being, you are a human becoming. Enjoy this day, today…. and tomorrow, tomorrow. Remember, then, the four laws of happiness and success.
Count your blessings.
Proclaim your rarity.
Go another mile.
Use wisely your power of choice.

Choose to love…. rather than hate.
Choose to laugh….. rather than cry.
Choose to create…… rather than destroy.
Choose to persevere….. rather than quit.
Choose to praise…. rather than gossip.
Choose to heal…. rather than wound.
Choose to give…. rather than steal.
Choose to act…. rather than procrastinate.
Choose to grow…. rather than rot.
Choose to pray…. rather than curse.
Choose to livee… rather than die.

Does this not ironically bring us back to the first sentence of this article on Evangelization quoting from the Book of Kings…
“there is no one who has preceded you in life that is exactly like you and after you have gone, there is no one who will follow you in life that is exactly like you.”

written by Tim Lynch D.Min, PhD.