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Change Comes First From Within !!!!!!

22 Aug

I will probably never forget this incident for as long as I live. Many years ago, while serving in Mexico City, a young girl knocked at our door. She looked to be about 12 years old, bare-footed with braided hair, and wearing a filthy wrinkled dress. I answered the door and she said “pan duro por favor” in a very soft voice which means “stale bread please”. Β I told her to wait a moment and I would see. I knew she wanted more than only bread.

I asked my wife if she had any extra bread, which we did. I gathered it up to take to the young girls bag. All of a sudden a thought struck me, why not offer this girl some fresh clothing and shoes and clean her up. I asked her into the house and expressed to her my thoughts. She seemed agreeable and my wife found her some nice clean clothes that fit. Fortunately our oldest daughter was her size in clothes and shoes.

After getting her cleaned up and ridding her of the lice in her mangled hair I asked if she would like to do some work around our house for money instead of begging for stale bread. She agreed, and I told her we would see her at the time we agreed upon.

I was surprised when around the set time she hadn’t shown up. She was late, even on Mexico time, which is much more than fashionably late. I looked for her for a few days and never saw her. Finally, a few weeks later, I saw her in another area begging for hard bread in her old filthy wrinkled dress and bare feet. I learned right then that it is impossible to change a person without first their heart and mind being changed.

Today, most Christians are trying to make our society conform to Christian values when it isn’t Christian anymore. We had the majority for a long time, but it has slipped away. Christians became lazy and comfortable and not about the Father’s business. Now, we are all up in arms in changing society back to its former glory,

Jesus was not the least bit set on spending His time trying to change the politics and society of His day, and it was in a big mess in His day. His time was spent on His Father’s business dealing with the souls of men and women. The most important change comes from within which then effects outward actions.

Don’t expect any change in our country, or any country, until Jesus rules in the hearts of its people. We can and should vote, but don’t be surprised how it all turns out politically while there is no change internally. When I see another ungodly agenda gaining a foothold in our country I’m not at all interested in protesting, but it motivates me more to share Jesus. He is the only One who can change the hearts of mankind, which will in effect change our society.Β Don’t trust in man, trust in Jesus!!!

Maybe something to think about today!

Until tomorrow, Lord willing,

Levi

 
51 Comments

Posted by on August 22, 2014 in Christianity, Faith, Religion

 

Tags: , , , , , , , , , ,

51 responses to “Change Comes First From Within !!!!!!

  1. InfiniteZip

    August 22, 2014 at 4:25 am

    What a beautiful tale Levi πŸ™‚ thank you for your guiding wisdom and have a wonderful weekend:)

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      August 22, 2014 at 6:23 am

      Hey Kim. Thank you. I hope your weekend is great as well. πŸ˜€

      Like

       
  2. Steve Rebus

    August 22, 2014 at 4:29 am

    Amen. Wow this is a fantastic post!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  3. paulfg

    August 22, 2014 at 4:56 am

    Levi. There are times when one-liners and t-shirts fall so short of expressing the depth of a thought or a word. This post is one of those times. Thank you.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  4. Karen Pickering

    August 22, 2014 at 5:12 am

    Thank you, Levi. Our focus must continue to be one heart at a time. Beautiful illustration.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      August 22, 2014 at 6:25 am

      So right. My pleasure, and I hope your weekend is a blessed one.

      Like

       
  5. lulu

    August 22, 2014 at 6:42 am

    Thanks, Levi, for the reminder that it is hearts and minds that first have to change.

    Liked by 1 person

     
  6. mzpresser

    August 22, 2014 at 7:05 am

    What a brilliant post! I love the Jesus in you, just pure gospel! Love knowing there are others out there like me with the same heart. Have a wonderful day my friend!

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      August 22, 2014 at 7:29 am

      It’s all about Him, Melissa. Hope you’re feeling better today! Have a great weekend!!

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • mzpresser

        August 22, 2014 at 7:30 am

        You too!!!

        Like

         
  7. Sharon

    August 22, 2014 at 7:11 am

    My sentiments exactly but don’t think I could have stated it any better. Thank you Levi for speaking the truth. To God be the glory.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      August 22, 2014 at 7:31 am

      My pleasure, Sharon. I’m certain you could have said it better. Have a wonderful day!!

      Like

       
  8. Linda Arthur Tejera

    August 22, 2014 at 7:30 am

    Wonderful post, Levi. So very true. Have a wonderful weekend!

    Liked by 1 person

     
  9. wingedprisms

    August 22, 2014 at 7:32 am

    Wonderful words Levi! My husband and I were talking about this the other night. Very well said.
    Thank you for the wake up.
    cate

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      August 22, 2014 at 9:18 am

      My pleasure, my friend. Have a great day!!πŸ˜€

      Like

       
  10. Paige Hamilton

    August 22, 2014 at 7:38 am

    Your story beautifully illustrated the truth of why we don’t see more change in our nation despite all of the protesting we as christians might do. Signing petitions, debating our neighbors, and even diligently voting aren’t realistically going to help … and deep down I have known this for a long time. Rather it is going to mean prayer and sharing the gospel and seeing individuals change first.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      August 22, 2014 at 9:27 am

      Many have been sidetracked to the symptoms and not the cause. Have a great weekend in La. Is it hot there like in Ok. We are at 100. Not good!!

      Liked by 1 person

       
      • Paige Hamilton

        August 22, 2014 at 10:57 am

        Yes, Levi … hot and muggy! No signs of an end to summer here along the Gulf Coast. Are you still having a drought there too? We are having a very wet August … so much rain we can’t mow down the weeds. Maybe we will catch a bit of a break soon, both here and up in OK. Enjoy your weekend, too! πŸ™‚

        Like

         
        • Levi Thetford

          August 22, 2014 at 11:00 am

          We have been blessed with some rain but are still in a drought. It is better than the last 3 years though. I got double the hay as last year. It’ll soon be cool. Plus, I’ll be in NY again soon and then to Oregon.

          Liked by 1 person

           
  11. atimetoshare

    August 22, 2014 at 8:14 am

    We are facing a lethargic attitude in our country. We’ve become complacent with our government as well as our faith. We need to don the armor of God and wage an all out war on the father of lies. Onward Christian soldiers.

    Liked by 1 person

     
    • Levi Thetford

      August 22, 2014 at 9:28 am

      Good morning, Kathy. We need to put first things first. I see that as our main problem for far too long.

      Liked by 1 person

       
  12. sage_brush

    August 22, 2014 at 8:40 am

    Reblogged this on The Vine Vigil and commented:
    Brother Levi is absolutely right! Only the Holy Spirit can change people – Not psychotherapy, 12 Step programs, the prison system, or the ballot box!

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      August 22, 2014 at 9:29 am

      Thanks for the reblog, Jim. May it provoke some thought and maybe action in some very small way. Lord bless you!!!

      Like

       
  13. msauthorette

    August 22, 2014 at 9:15 am

    Well said Levi!! πŸ™‚

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      August 22, 2014 at 9:31 am

      Good morning, Kristina. You are very kind to say this, I appreciate the encouragement. Have a great day and weekend,

      Like

       
  14. Zara

    August 22, 2014 at 9:49 am

    Fantastic post Levi! It really does make you contemplate πŸ™‚

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      August 22, 2014 at 10:06 am

      It’s something to think about during the dog days of Summer. Hopefully it’s cooler where you are than it is here. Have a great weekend!!!

      Liked by 1 person

       
  15. Heather

    August 22, 2014 at 10:05 am

    Amen Levi! Jesus was all about people and their heart conditions. Just as we should be as well!

    Like

     
  16. Karol Joseph

    August 22, 2014 at 12:21 pm

    Wow! We think alike 😎

    Sent from my iPhone

    >

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      August 22, 2014 at 1:10 pm

      Hey, Karol. So we may be “twinkies”?Lol. Hope you’re doing well! πŸ˜ƒ

      Like

       
  17. godisnotlikeyou

    August 22, 2014 at 2:52 pm

    excellent post!

    Like

     
  18. Garden Walk Garden Talk

    August 22, 2014 at 6:31 pm

    Could it be she was robbed of that which was nicer? Or do you think it was a con? It does not make sense she preferred to be dirty and disheveled. Oh well, you are right on not changing people without changing their heart and mind. I do not understand the course our country is taking. I just read of a girl getting suspended from school for saying “Bless You” after someone sneezed. You may not want to protest this change of direction, but even though I am not a religious individual in the manner of most of your readers, this offends my beliefs and understanding how this country came about. Little by little references to God are being eliminated and this sickens me. But it OK to praise Allah in another faith. Why the hypocrisy?

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      August 22, 2014 at 8:13 pm

      I think her father, or maybe parents, took the clothing and sold it. We live in a godless society that won’t change without an internal change. It is sad that we have slid so far that anything goes but the truth. It’s really hard to imagine that it has happened in our lifetime. It’s quite amazing to me.

      Like

       
  19. Loca Gringa

    August 22, 2014 at 10:12 pm

    This is beautiful!

    I was asked about a year ago if I was Christian. My response was, “not in the traditional sense.” To which this pastor rather rudely said, “why not?” Rather that requesting elaboration, he took it upon himself without question to decide that I was not Christian. To this day I am amazed how quickly people/Christians assume that I am not. Frankly, it insults me to no end. And, the air of superiority, wow, I cannot begin to describe that. Yes I was insulted, and lost respect early on for this pastor when he brazenly decided to burn a book of a different religion in the presence of his followers. I was always taught to respect others and their beliefs.

    What I’m getting at, is, some like me, don’t need that internal change. Change has already happened a very long time ago. So, what I’m getting at for your readers is, don’t be quick to assume that people don’t have Jesus in their hearts. Ask leading questions first.

    I have the pleasure and good fortune of living in one of the most Christ based countries in the world and have experienced my own miracles here. Will I become conventional? Absolutely not! Jesus loves me just as I am.

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      August 23, 2014 at 6:48 am

      You are refreshing to me because you aren’t conventional and neither am I. I shall not judge anyone as I can’t see that persons heart. You did say that you don’t need changing because that had happened years ago. I think it is quite clear that every person needs changing by The Lord at some time in their life. He is the one that performs the changing, not me or any other human being. Don’t judge Christians because of the actions of some named as such. You know as well as me that there are all types in everything. Your relationship to Jesus is the most important thing. Rest secure by knowing Him.

      Thanks for the great response. Have a great weekend!!!

      Like

       
      • Loca Gringa

        August 23, 2014 at 7:53 am

        πŸ˜€ When I wrote about change I had in mind “becoming” christian. We all change as we evolve as human beings even though some change is not visible. That is all by the hand of the divine.

        You are right in saying not to judge Christians because of the actions of people claiming to be Christian. It’s deeply saddening though when you see the dark side and are treated as though you are a pariah.

        My relationship with Christ here is very different. This is a country steeped in Christianity and he certainly feels much closer here … more attainable. I don’t preach, I will never preach nor spread the word of God. My function here on earth is more hands on. To do as Jesus did and he did not segregate on any basis. To love and help people. Where better to do that than DR?

        I had given up shen I moved here, I came here to die. I was very sick. Funny, he sent me here to live! And so live I shall. That in itself was a miracle. Going to die in a 3rd world country and ending up with the best doctor in the world!

        Several miracles later …

        So, now what? Well I have fallen in love with the simplicity of life here and it’s people. Maybe you and your readers can help me. Maybe if I have enough people praying, somehow I will be shown the way to achieve my dream for these people pueblo by pueblo.

        I’ve worked in education for years. I believe that education is the key out of poverty. Knowledge is power. Let me explain how it works here. There are two systems, private and public. As you can appreciate as is common everywhere, public education is the most used.

        What is different here is that there is no money for much of anything if you are among the 80% of the population, the poor. Here, public schools require a uniform and shoes, an inscription fee, supplies, and if you are in secondary school, transportation.

        Sounds simple enough right? Wrong! For example the average salary of a poor uneducated person here is maybe $200 USD a month, if they even have a job. A used pair of runners sell for $30 to $50 USD a pair. And, not many families only have one child to send to school. The government here does help, but it’s not much. Tax revenues in a corrupt country just don’t reach the people.

        So, if you and your readers can say some prayers to help me out to help them. Maybe another miracle will present itself.

        Uniforms, shoes, supplies, and transportation …. one more miracle please God.

        I won’t get started on the outhouses! Suffice it to say, I’m afraid to fall through the floor to disaster! Once the kids are taken care of, next … sanitation!

        Have a blessed day!

        Like

         
  20. Susan Irene Fox

    August 24, 2014 at 3:59 pm

    Levi, this reminds me of the story of the man on the beach thossing stranded starfish back into the sea. Another man approaches him and asks what he’s doing. The first man says that he is saving the starfish as he tosses another one back into the ocean. The second man replies, “But you’ll never make any difference. There are thousands of stranded starfish on the beach.” The first man picks up another starfish, and as he tosses it back into the sea, he say, “I’ve made a difference to this one.”

    One heart at a time. ❀

    Like

     
    • Levi Thetford

      August 24, 2014 at 4:09 pm

      Great story! I’ve never heard it before, Susan. That is usually Gods method, one heart and soul at a time. He can use us all. I want to recommend a site, ptl.org for a great source to you for witnessing. The Gospel of Johns are great to use. Take a look if you’re interested. Thanks for the story. Neat!!πŸ˜€

      Like

       
      • Susan Irene Fox

        August 24, 2014 at 4:19 pm

        And thanks for the site. I’ll definitely check it out. Bless you, Levi. ❀

        Like

         
  21. beverley

    August 25, 2014 at 3:45 am

    After years of believing that everyone should believe in Christ i have come to accept that it is not believing in Christ or not that is the problem but the fact that those who confess their beliefs, no matter what they are, do not live up to them. If all those who confess Christ to be their Saviour live lives that reflect their beliefs then life would be so much better. It is truly about changing the heart and not the outward appearance and no one but we, through the Spirit can do such a thing.

    Like

     

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