Category Archives: Stories of Hope

Oh to be a reckless ragamuffin!

I’m always amazed to see that deep down, we really are on a journey to accept ourselves and to learn to unleash the “ragamuffin” inside. Jesus is in the reckless ragamuffin.

RagamuffinWhatever is “religious” the reckless ragamuffin is the complete opposite. I want to be like that all the time. I want to be fully me because in that love and acceptance of myself, I hear Jesus whispering, be brave, be yourself, then people will see me. It seems like a strange paradox because we can’t really be fully ourselves until we’ve emptied ourselves of ourselves. Jesus is the cup that overflows in me. The true nature of God breathes in the person willing to boldly walk like Jesus walked and love like Jesus loved. We are the ones that from a distance people say, that’s one unusual chick! I’m ok with that. Up close and personal people say you inspire me to be more like Jesus. That’s a legacy worth living. So, it’s worth it when people don’t get me, to know the ones that do, experience the love of Jesus. The ragamuffin’s are the free spirited Christians who will not conform to religion, but are willing to be totally transformed by the miraculous grace of Jesus Christ.

Rich Mullins was the best at being a reckless Ragamuffin for Jesus. He left you wanting more of Jesus and more of life lived spirited and in the moment. The story of his life is playing around the country now. I’m pretty sure it will be playing on the Big Screen soon. I am so glad. He was a walking living testimony of God’s incredible poetic nature in a simple man. Watching this musician on stage pour himself out and Jesus right along with him is exhilarating! He leaves you wanting more. Truth is, we want to be like that, don’t we? We want to get beyond being held back. It’s a journey to realize that fame, fortune, money, fitting in and all that stuff is a facade that keeps the true you bound up. However, Jesus came to set the captives free.

When Jesus captivates us we will captivate others and the freedom cycle of making disciples lives on. That’s what the apostles were all about. Jesus had something special to offer and nothing could compare. That kind of spiritual freedom was worth their life. They were glad to lay down their lives for the message of Jesus’s grace. Fame and fortune won’t bring honor or glory that lasts. I hope this musician man, Rich Mullins touches this new generation of youth. He was ahead of his time, but I believe the youth of this day are ready for him. Rich unveils the Truth that making Jesus famous has deep implications that last an eternity all the while touching humanity on every level. He removes all boundaries and perceptions of who is worthy to be loved by the Lord Jesus.  What a legacy! I wish I would have known him personally, surely I would have called him brother. Watch the trailer here and Amy Grant as well as other people’s testimonies of what an extraordinarily unique Christian he was, here. You will be so inspired to just let go and let Jesus work miracles in your life.

Inspired by a High School Student

by guest blogger Nicole Banks

My name is Nicole Banks and I am a senior at Bella Vista High School. We have a Christian club called Revive at school and we meet every Tuesday at lunch. As one of the four leaders of the club it was my turn to speak in our group. I knew exactly what I wanted to talk about. Over the summer, the verse Hebrews 13:5 really impacted me. My youth pastor had shown me this verse and it is forever in my heart. I felt that this verse could help others the way it had helped me. When it came to speak I was ready and so excited to hopefully relieve someone else of the struggles that God had taken from me.

Tuesday, at lunch God stood beside me as I spoke of his love. The verse Hebrews 13:5 was such a powerful verse but I had never acknowledged its importance. I heard it so many times but until it was applied to my life I didn’t appreciate its peace. Hebrews 13:5 says “I will never leave you or forsake you.” I have struggles with something my entire life that I know a lot of other people do to…That feeling of being alone.

Things in life that happen to us make these feelings more prominent. Many people struggle with this. Life throws us down constantly and most of us just take it. Things like: stress, guilt, lost relationships, illnesses, death of a loved one and much more can sometimes make us feel alone in this world. BUT WE ARE NOT. When you are in that moment, where it feels like no one is around to hear you out. That fear of rejection or judgment. Like no one cares… We couldn’t be more wrong. God cares and He’s listening without judgment. God has our backs, he has your back.

We question if this is true when we physically can’t see Him. Just because we can’t see Him doesn’t mean he isn’t putting his arm around your shoulder and holding your hand through it all. And when we feel alone, we like to feed that sadness. You know what I mean. Listening to that beyond depressing song, watching that heartbreaking movie, isolating ourselves from everyone else, or even surrounding ourselves with people we know will disappoint us. When we are at THAT breaking point because everything in our day just went wrong… you were late to school or work and someone was rude to you. You failed that test you stayed up all night studying for. Someone shoved by you in the hallway and you just kept moving forward. When you got home it wasn’t an oasis because your family was at war with each other or there’s financial problems you can’t solve. And you just can’t seem to find peace and you feel alone. In this moment you pray. God is listening and He is begging you to just TRUST in Him, so that He can grant you that peace and take those hurtful feelings away.

We feel alone sometimes and this affects us in such a harsh way. But none of us deserve that feeling. God is standing by your side waiting for your call…He has no judgment and He loves you so much. Hebrews 13:5 is God saying “I will never leave you or forsake you…” He is telling you; I will never leave your side, I am here. Through it all. I will never forget about you and I will always love you.