Jan 272013
 

Silhouette of the beautiful statue of Christ the Redeemer at sunset in Rio de Janeiro, BrazilCatch the Vision 2013

When I look at our world, I am overcome with amazement at the beauty God has made.  When the flowers are blooming, the garden is growing, the monsoons are bringing their rains, the sun is setting on cliffs and mesas, when trees are weighed down with heavy wet snow, when a child snuggles to my side with a whispered, “I love you Dad!”, when I savor a great chili relleno, or a freshly baked chocolate chip cookie, or when worship songs lift me into His presence, I think, “this is a small taste of Heaven.”  How can I be so blessed?

Then I am also reminded of the brokenness and pain, I would rather ignore.  When I look into the lonely, desperate eyes of a brother asking for a quarter for the next drink, when foster children come into our home, crying because everything familiar has been ripped away, when I see the lines of men and women along 491 flying a dollar, hoping to get out of the cold or heat just to get home, when I hear a friend has been diagnosed with cancer, another says his marriage is in trouble, a single mom is trying to provide for her family, working day and night for her family.

How can this pain and struggle exist side by side with the amazing beauty we enjoy?  The beauty is no less beautiful, but the pain is almost unbearable.  We live in such a broken world?  God, how can this be?  How can you stand it?  You can’t? That’s why you sent Him, love unbounded, your very own son, to pay, to die for the brokenness that causes such pain.  You shed your very own blood for me that I may experience your forgiveness, your wholeness and seek your plan for my life.

So what is our response?  Jesus lives in us, we are His hands and feet in a hurting and broken world.  We are ambassadors of light, called to share His love.  How do we do that?  It’s how we live our lives, how we work, how we speak, how we offer hope, how we seek His face in worship, how we seek guidance in His Word, how we lead our families and share with those in need.  But even more than that, God has given each of us a special task – to join Him in helping others to grow in our spiritual journey – he called it, making disciples.  Let’s pass our faith on to others significantly.  People are hurting and they just need an invitation “Would you like to get together to help each other grow in our walk with God.”

Catch the Vision 2013:  Sharing Jesus’ Light and Love with a Hurting World!

Brian Kruis

Author of Real Grace: Disciples Making Disciples

www.realgrace.org

 

 January 27, 2013  Posted by at 9:29 am Discipleship, General No Responses »
Dec 262012
 

Book Real Grace FrontReal Grace:  Disciples Making Disciples

by Brian Kruis

Share your burdens and celebrate your joys as you learn from Jesus and experience His life-changing grace. Real Grace will help you invest significantly into your walk with God and into the lives of others.  Enjoy Jesus’ overflowing presence in your life as you live out His passion to make disciples.

“I pray that you may be active in sharing your faith, so that you will have a full understanding of every good thing we have in Christ.” Philemon vs 6

$10 per book for 2 or morebooks

 

 December 26, 2012  Posted by at 1:14 pm General, Store No Responses »
Dec 122012
 

This letter was taken from the book, Real Grace, helping to share the greatest news, the greatest gift!

Dear Joe and Belinda,

It has been a joy to have you in our home. We will pray for you as you go on your way to be a blessing to many more families and children. I woke up this morning having a desire to share with you what we believe because our walk with God is the most important thing in our lives. You had shared how many people in your country go to church but it doesn’t affect how they live. I am concerned that many people may be going through the motions of a religion rather than having a living relationship with an awesome God.

Christianity has gotten a bad reputation in the world as a list of “dos and don’ts,” but in reality, God wants to bless us in every area of our lives as we enter relationship with the Creator of this universe.
I am going to share with you what we believe—that we have learned from God’s Word, the Bible—which has changed our lives:

God is real and He loves us more than we can understand. He created us to be in relationship with Him. In the beginning, God gave people a choice to follow Him or not. Sin came into the world because we chose not to follow Him. Each day, even though I do a lot of good things, my independent self wants to do my own thing and I don’t always honor God.

Here is the problem. God is a God of justice and holiness. He hates sin even though He loves me. I cannot be in true relationship with God because of sin in my life, unless that sin is forgiven—just like if I hurt Sheila, our relationship hurts until we find forgiveness. I will never enter Heaven unless my sin problem is taken care of. So what do I do? That is why God came to earth as Jesus. It is so amazing! He took my punishment. He died and suffered the pain of Hell for me so that my sins could be washed away. All I need to do is realize that I need His Gift, that I am a sinner. I need to ask God to forgive me and come into my life to be my Lord and Master. (In other words, I need to step out of the control seat.)

God loved me so much that He gave His life for me! Even when I mess up, I thank God that He has forgiven me and I can live in freedom. All of my sins, present, past and future have been forgiven because of Jesus’ blood shed for me. Now my role is to live joyfully before Him and to share this message of hope with others. If you don’t have a personal walk with God, talk to Him about it. Ask Him to show you if He is real and to show you His plan for you. Let Him be the Master of your life—He has great plans for each of us.

Our time on this earth is pretty short and then what? God has a beautiful plan for us here on Earth and after we die. In the meantime, we get to share God’s message of hope with a world that is hurting. If you want to learn more, let me know. I will give you a call to see if you have any questions.

“For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

May God bless you as you seek Him!

Blessings!
Brian
Share His love with the world!

 December 12, 2012  Posted by at 4:24 pm General, Sharing the Good News! No Responses »
Dec 072012
 

Would you like to hear either of the following news items?

1. You just won $50,000,000 in the lottery!
2. You are on the 5th floor of an office building and the 1st floor is engulfed in flames!

I think you would be very interested in hearing either item of news. In fact, you would be very upset if nobody gave you either piece of information. And you should be upset as both would affect your life tremendously.

The Bible contains information even more important than news item #1 above. In Christ, we are children of the most High God! Our inheritance is literally beyond this world. Fifty million dollars is a drop in the bucket compared to what Jesus has given and is preparing for us. We cannot even imagine what God has in store for us in Heaven.

News item #2 is frightening, and God’s Word shares that there are even worse consequences for people who choose to live a life separate from God’s love. People who choose not to accept God’s gift of salvation and grace will be eternally separated from His awesome love, which is Hell. The sad news is many people think they’re good enough to get to Heaven or that their good works will get them there. They don’t know the truth about what God says. They’ve probably heard of Hell, but they’ve never heard the truth about their situation. And they won’t know unless we tell them.

How do we share the most important news ever? Check it out!

 December 7, 2012  Posted by at 2:06 pm Sharing the Good News! No Responses »
Nov 282012
 

Does God care what we watch, what we see, what we do? He created everything, right? So if it is interesting to me and I enjoy it, what could be wrong with it? We live in a society where it is not too cool to set standards for our lives. There is pressure on kids and parents to allow a lot more “junk” to influence us.

Can I watch that movie? Can I listen to that song? How should I act on a date? What kind of guidelines should I give my children? These are very difficult questions. If we all thought the same way—everything was clearly right or wrong—life would be simpler. Your neighbors down the street, and your brothers and sisters in Christ from church may have very different standards when it comes to media, entertainment and dating. That can make life very difficult. How can Christians who read the same Bible and have the same Spirit believe so differently and how do we deal with each others’ differences?

Here are some important principles to remember when we consider controversial issues.

1. God is interested in unity. We don’t have to let issues that are not spelled out clearly in scripture divide us.
2. Be careful not to offend others. God is very clear about this.
3. God works with people differently when things are not clear in scripture. For example, God may give a mature Christian freedom to read or see something that may be harmful for a new Christian or young person.
4. God doesn’t base right and wrong on our opinions. God does give us guidelines in His Word. We can lay our thoughts and opinions before God and ask Him to lead us as we pray and seek guidance through scripture.

To learn more about what God has to say in his Word about life’s issues, click here.

 November 28, 2012  Posted by at 2:57 pm Current Issues 1 Response »
Nov 192012
 

by Shashi DeHaan The Banner
Nov 16, 2012 — After church members filled the first workshop on discipleship last June, Classis Red Mesa approved further funding for another workshop this fall.

Participants in Classis Red Mesa’s Real Grace workshop.
The workshop “Real Grace: Disciples Making Disciples” was developed by Brian Kruis, the son of missionaries to the Navajo. Since then it has been offered twice more in varied formats. More than 35 people have attended the workshops and groups.

Workshop participant Tim Eisenga said, “Real Grace is a great tool to deepen your spiritual friendship in Christ with a fellow believer, new believer, or seeker through discipleship.” Eisenga said he is actively using the skills he learned in the workshop as he “continues passing on grace to others.”

Kruis, who also facilitates the workshops and groups, said, “The purpose of the workshops is to expose Christians to the reality that disciple-making can be simple and doesn’t need to take a lot of time and preparation.”

Real Grace Ministries has developed DVDs that churches can use to host their own workshop for their community,” said Kruis.

Classis Red Mesa approved $500 for the workshop to include lunch and child care for participants, books at reduced rates, and technological support. Theological Education And Ministry Skills (TEAMS) Classis Red Mesa receives its funding from ministry shares paid by churches, and friends of Classis Red Mesa. Additionally, when Southwest Missionary Bible Conference disbanded, they designated funds to TEAMS for training Native American leaders.

“Brian has developed a well-reasoned and prayerful approach. TEAMS was glad to sponsor a second Real Grace event,” said Pastor Rob Byker, TEAMS chair.

Kruis plans to offer the workshops as long as churches continue to express interest.

 November 19, 2012  Posted by at 2:32 pm General No Responses »
Nov 082012
 

Have you ever been really dirty? Not just on your hands, but dirt and grime from the top of your head down to your feet? So dirty you could taste it; like after cleaning a dirty shed or working on your car. It can be really nasty. But then, have you also experienced the delight of a long shower, and the feeling of being completely washed clean? It’s an amazing feeling.

I want to share with you about two young boys who experienced a different kind of dirty. Their parents were out for the evening and they thought they’d enjoy a game of “no touching ground tag” on the living room furniture. In just a few minutes, one of the boys jumped right in the middle of the antique love seat that had been passed down to their family from their grandmother. There was a loud crack and the whole frame of the love seat broke in two.

The boys spent the rest of the evening filled with guilt and fear, not knowing how to tell their parents what a foolish thing they’d done. They knew there would be a price to pay and they greeted their parents at the door with tears and their piggy banks, not knowing that they could never cover the cost to repair or replace the piece of furniture. Even though these boys had to face their punishment, they also faced parents who loved them and forgave them. What an amazing feeling it was to be forgiven and feel the weight of guilt removed. Since I was one of those boys, I can clearly remember the relief of being forgiven.

When we experience the love and forgiveness of our heavenly Father and we know the price Jesus paid to wash away our sins, we can face life and the challenges of life in freedom. But forgiving others when they sin against us is still difficult—it costs us something.

Forgiveness can be defined as accepting the pain that someone else has caused you. Forgiveness is not easy. It takes work, but it brings healing and freedom in relationships. Holding on to grudges or anger eats away at our insides. Forgiveness allows us to go on with life, realizing that we can be washed in the blood of Jesus. Take a look at God’s guidelines for healing and wholeness in our relationships.

 November 8, 2012  Posted by at 2:07 am Forgiveness and Reconciliation No Responses »
Nov 022012
 

Would you think it was strange if you enlisted in the army and when you got to boot camp you found that it was like a five-star hotel? All you you would do every day was swim in the pool, sit in the hot tub, play cards in nice air-conditioning, call room service to bring you wonderful meals, watch TV, and sleep. Doesn’t that sound like a luxurious boot camp? Would that prepare you for the challenges of battle? What would happen when you faced your enemy? Would you be prepared?

As long as we’re on this Earth, our Christian walk isn’t going to be a luxury cruise. We still live in a world broken by sin. There’s not only a battle between our old nature and our new selves, but Satan and his demons want to destroy the work of God in our lives to keep us from sharing the Good News with others.

We are in the middle of battle. We can choose to ignore the battle and live our lives as peacefully as possible, forgetting that it’s our mandate to bring light into the darkness, to bring peace where there is trouble, and to minister to the least of these. When we ignore the battle, we choose not to be on the front lines for our faith. In Christ’s strength, we are responsible to share His life-giving news with the souls of this generation. Battle isn’t easy. But whether we like it or not, we will face trouble in this world. The great news is that we can face our battles with God’s strength and in His armor.

 

Real Grace: Disciples Making Disciples shares with believers what God’s Word says about our battle and how to be prepared. Take a look at the lesson on “Victory in Spiritual Battles”.

 November 2, 2012  Posted by at 5:57 am Victory in Spiritual Warfare No Responses »
Oct 252012
 

Aren’t mission trips great? A time to refocus our talents in the service of others, being the hands and feet of Jesus! I love to support this kind of ministry, because these mission trips, not only are a way to share Jesus with the world, but our kids’ have life-changing experiences that can change the direction of their lives!

What is it about a mission trip that can be life-transforming? I think it is because those who go, are making a difference in someone else’s life, they see life from a different perspective, they are stepping out of their comfort zone, they are seeing God’s Word applied to life and living out their faith in new and different ways, and they experience ongoing fellowship. It is a mountain top experience. And often it is difficult to adjust to regular life upon returning home.

Why not bring the mission trip “difference” to our ongoing spiritual journey? In Matthew 28, Jesus told us to go and make disciples (followers of Him). He wasn’t only talking about the occasional mission trip that some can take, but he was inviting us to an ongoing adventure in our journey with Him. Jesus invites us to step out of our comfort zone and make a difference in the life of someone else, to see His Word applied to everyday challenges, and to experience ongoing fellowship with other believers.

This is not about asking someone: “Will you be my disciple?” That’s awkward. Instead it is about asking a friend, neighbor, relative, or co-worker, this question: “Would you pray about getting together once a week to grow together in our walk with God and grow together as disciples of Jesus?”

If they say, “Yes”, (and I have found that most people will) then what? Where do you start, what do you do? Unfortunately, most of us who have been “churched” most of our lives, have not been taught about disciple-making. Therefore, our pastors and church leaders do most of this work.

I want to invite you on a mission trip to share with you how simple and life-changing disciple-making can be: Set up a simple, low cost, training event for you church and community to share in this great adventure! Encourage your young and your elderly to join this mission of fulfilling the Great Commission!

 October 25, 2012  Posted by at 11:08 am General No Responses »
Oct 182012
 

Sick and tired of all of the brokenness around you? I sure am. Sometimes I feel wiped out, THEN GOD…restores my soul and I remember His promises to me- to turn my bad into good, that His light will shine through me, that with Him all things are possible. Read this and know your identity as a restorer:

Have you ever walked into a house, maybe your own, and it looked like it had been hit by a tornado? It was a terrible mess and something needed to be done. You put things away, you got out the cleaning agents and the vacuum, and slowly, step by step, room by room, you put the house in order. When you were done, you took a deep breath, put up your feet, rested, and you felt like a new person.

Our world is like a messy house—it has been broken by sin. Family members die from terrible diseases; aging people lose their abilities to function normally and need special care; families break up; people live with the destruction of addictions. We look at the world around us and we can become exhausted and disheartened, wondering if there’s any hope. It’s not as easy to heal a broken world as it is to clean a house. But if we start where God places us and bring His healing Words and share His hope with others, we become restorers. He will bring about the changes. It may take way too long from our perspective, but we find out that as God uses us to bring hope to the world, He’s also changing us to be more like Him!

“. . . do not be discouraged, for the LORD your God will be with you wherever you go” (Joshua 1:9b).

 October 18, 2012  Posted by at 1:14 pm Brokenness and Justice No Responses »