Step Out of the Boat

     by J. C. Corcoran

 

Almost two months ago I began work on a new book – a cookbook.

I have been living alone for two years now and I have become a fairly good cook. I even bought a Slow Cooker and a bread machine which I use at least once a week.

I have a good friend in England and, when I told her about the cookbook, she thought it sounded like a good idea and even agreed to send me some recipes. And, all of a sudden, I’m making crumpets and curry, and Yorkshire pudding among other things.

Now, here I am, almost two months later; I have dozens of recipes logged into my computer but, there are dozens more stacked on top of my dining table,  and another dozen on my desk, and I’m not doing a thing with them. I have come to a screeching halt and I don’t know why.

It’s been at least a week now since I have done any work at all; just moping around the apartment doing nothing. It might have been last Sunday, I’m not sure exactly, but I do remember walking from room to room praying; asking God to help me to break through this thing….whatever this “thing” is that’s weighing me down. Then I stopped walking; closed my eyes and started crying; and then I screamed, “God, I’m scared.”

I looked around at the stack of papers on the table and desk and I began to reason with myself. I have two complete manuscripts (novels) shoved into the bottom drawer of my desk. I’ve been unable, thus far, to find a publisher and I cannot afford to self-publish. And I scream to the empty room…”That’s why! What’s the point? Why should I do all this work to just watch it gather dust in the drawer?”

Now, fast forward to today…Sunday, November 26, 2017. I’m sitting in my chair, thinking about these things and remembering what my friend in England said just a few moments ago “You need to go and do something.”  And while I’m thinking about all of this, suddenly, these words interrupt my thoughts….”You’re afraid to step out of the boat.”

And in my mind I see this picture. The disciples are in a boat; it’s late at night and suddenly they see Jesus walking towards them on the water. It says in Matthew 14:26 that they…”cried out in fear.” Peter got out of the boat but the others huddled in fear, and I saw myself; afraid to step out of the boat.

Fear comes from a lack of faith and we are told in Romans 1:17 to live by faith; and Jesus tells us in Matthew 17:20 that with faith as small as a mustard seed, we can move mountains.

The people of Israel had to put their feet in the water of the Jordan River before God parted the waters and allowed them to escape certain death. They had to step out in faith.

I’ve learned my lesson and now I feel it’s my duty to share it with you. God can’t do a thing for us until we step out in faith. Oh, He can, but He won’t, because He wants us to trust Him. We need to step out in faith; step out of the boat and put our feet in the water. In other words, like my friend said, “go do something”.

And so, I ask all of you, who read this, to please pray for me as I step out of the boat, begin to write, and conquer my fear through faith. Thank you all and may God bless you.

  1. J. C. Corcoran
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Read the Word

by J C Corcoran

7/20/2017

 

LifeWay Research is a Christian resource Center for equipping church leaders and a recent survey conducted by LifeWay says that 80% of Churchgoers Don’t Read the Bible on a Daily Basis. LifeWay surveyed more than 2,900 Protestant churchgoers and found that only 19% read their bible every day.

I think the key word in the above research is “Churchgoers” because not all churchgoers are Christians and not all Christians are churchgoers so, perhaps the statistics might be different if they had surveyed only confessed born again believers.

But I still believe that many born again believers don’t read the word on a daily basis. Why is that? Why don’t Christians read their bibles? Are they really so busy in their everyday life to spend a mere 15 minutes with the God who created them? The God who sustains them? The God who allowed His only Son to suffer and die for them to save them from His wrath?

Did you know that was what you are saved from? I remember telling someone once that I had been saved – it was way back – shortly after I surrendered to Christ. I told him that I had been saved and he asked me…… “saved from what?”

I didn’t know what to tell him! I stuttered and mumbled and said something like… saved from my sins. We are saved from God’s wrath! 1 Thessalonians 5:9 says… “For God did not appoint us to suffer wrath but to receive salvation through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

What is God’s wrath? Do you know? Well, I’m going to tell you. Three minor prophets, Zephaniah, Nahum, and Malachi give us a glimpse of God’s wrath .

Zephaniah says in the chapter one and verses 14 thru 17… “That day will be a day of wrath, a day of distress and anguish, a day of trouble and ruin, a day of darkness and gloom.”
Nahum says in chapter 1, verse 6… “His wrath is poured out like fire.”

And Malachi says in chapter 3, verse 2 … “Who can stand when he appears? For he will be like a refiner’s fire.”

Now remember, these are all prophecies being made of the end times and then in the Book of Revelation, the book that shows us the fulfillment of those prophecies, in 21: 6-8. “He said to me: it is done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End. To him who is thirsty I will give to drink without cost from the spring of the water of life. He who overcomes will inherit all this, and I will be his God and he will be my son.”

And again in verse eight, we will see what God’s wrath is… “But the cowardly, the unbelieving, the vile, the murderers, the sexually immoral, those who practice magic arts, the idolaters and all liars – their place will be in the fiery lake of burning sulfur.”

So now you know about the wrath of God. Now you know that when you say you have been saved, you really know what it is you have been saved from. And you would have known that, without me telling you, if you would just make it a habit to read the bible.

How much time can you spend in a day with God’s word?

Just Because

     He Loves Me Just because

by J. C. Corcoran

My relationship with my earthly father was one that I would never wish on my worst enemy. I don’t know why, or what I ever did to my earthly father but I’ve always felt as though he hated me for some reason. I remember the many beatings I received from him; and I remember all the names he called me, i.e. “stupid”, “birdbrain”, and, excuse my language but, his favorite name for me was “shit for brains”. I cannot remember, one single time, ever hearing him tell me he loved me.

So, when I was told that God loved me, I had a whole lot of trouble accepting it. But now I can truly say that I know that I know that God, my heavenly Father loves me. Even with all the things I’ve done to be undeserving of His love. Like Saul of Tarsus, I’ve been a chief among sinners. I’ve broken every one of God’s laws several times over. And yet, He loves me so much that he allowed His only Son to die for me (John 3:16).

My earthly father never told me he loved me, but my heavenly Father tells me, and shows me, time after time, after time.

My earthly father called me terrible, filthy names but my heavenly Father calls me “good and faithful servant”.

I don’t know why my earthly father hated me so and he’s gone now so, I guess I’ll never know. But I know my heavenly Father loves me and He will go on forever, which means that love will go on forever. He promises to never leave me nor forsake me. He loves me unconditionally.

I tried and tried to gain my earthly father’s acceptance and it’s just the opposite with God, my heavenly Father. There is nothing I need to do, or can do, to receive His love. He loves me just because…..

Can you feel the love I’m talking about? Just go to Him. He’s knocking at the door of your heart…(Rev.3:20) In Romans 10:9-10, He says “confess with your mouth Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead and you will be saved.”

Believe me when I say He loves you just because.

Search the Scriptures

119

“….follow the instructions of the Lord…”

“…obey His laws…”

Do you read the Bible?

Do you claim to love God? Do you claim to be a follower of Christ Jesus? If you’re not reading the Scriptures, following the instructions and obeying His laws, then I would have to say that your claims to loving God and following Jesus are not the truth; at least not the whole truth.

Have you ever read Psalm 119? No less than ten times in the first sixteen verses we are told that we should read the Scriptures. If we want to know God, and why wouldn’t we if we say we love Him, then why wouldn’t we read the book He sent us?

In Matthew 7:21 Jesus tells us that “only those who obey the will of God can be His disciples.” How can you obey the “will of God” if you don’t know what it is? And how can you know what it is if you don’t read it?

Are you married? Do you love your spouse? Did you learn all you could about them before you married, or did you just jump in and hope for the  best?

119:15 says it so plain… “I will study your commands and reflect on your ways.” Not just read it, but study it and reflect on it. You cannot expect to be close to God and learn His words merely by listening to a weekly sermon. Acts 17:11 tells us that the people “…searched the Scriptures daily…” to make sure they were being told the truth.

How can we do any less? I urge you to do like they did and like I, myself, do. Search the Scriptures daily. And please don’t use the excuse that you don’t have time; especially if you spend several hours a week in front of the television. What’s more important to you; NFL scores or your soul?

Begin today to read daily and you might start with Psalm 119. The writer of Psalm 119 must say it a hundred times in one form or another:

“revive me by your word”

“encourage me by your word”

“Teach me your decrees”

“I obey your instructions.”

Verse 97 says, “I love your instructions; I think about them all day long.” Now, that’s a man who loves God.

So, I’ll ask you again; do you claim to love God? Then study His words and learn His will.

I pray that God will fill you with the knowledge of His will; with wisdom and understanding. And to God be the glory. Amen