Keeper of His Home

by Chelsea McCafferty

A Letter of Hope to Celebrities

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MARQUINAM via photopin cc

Dear celebrities, stars, actors, athletes and musicians. To anyone who is in the spotlight often and has a name that draws a crowd. To the rich and powerful, the famous and adored, on the screen, camera and stage. This message is for you. I pray, as I write this, that somehow these words from this unknown blogger/mother/humble music teacher will find their way to you and bless and encourage you and give you hope.

I confess that much of my life I have believed a lie. You see I grew up in humble surroundings. We weren’t in poverty, by any means, but also never quite had enough to pay the bills comfortably. I vowed to become a doctor or lawyer and to have bank accounts with endless possibilities. I didn’t. I became a private music teacher – a job that I find most fulfilling and rewarding. In other words, I may not have a BMW or be able to flit off to Europe whenever the mood takes me, but I do have the joy and honor of staying home to raise my precious daughter, as well as investing in the enriching of the lives of the many wonderful children I work with. I get to teach them to love music, to express themselves through perfectly-appointed notes, and to see the pride in their eyes when they make music. At the same point, we continue to live modestly, without much extra than the basic needs being met, and grateful for those provisions.

Why am I sharing this? We were talking about a certain lie. There is a lie that is believed by many, including this writer for a time, that money, riches and fame brings happiness and joy. We see the materialism of a lifestyle we can’t personally possess and imagine how good it would feel to be famous, adored and, most of all, have all of the fine pleasures that money can buy. We see the beautiful clothes, cars, mansions and jewelry. On the screen, celebrities seem so happy and care-free. We are buying into an illusion that having all of these “things” will make us as happy as it seems to make you. Alas, it’s an illusion.

While materialism can bring temporary pangs of fulfillment and excitement, these are all passing experiences. While the sparkling smiles of beautiful people on the red carpet seem so alluring, for many celebrities, it is nothing more than a continuing act. Many are merely putting on a show. How do we know? We know because we see the news reports and the chaos and pain that so many celebrities are dealing with in their real lives.

A few days ago we lost the beloved Robin Williams. His suicide hit me hard. I was just so very sad to know he was gone and that he was in so much pain that he chose to take his life. Depression. He was adored by millions of fans, loved by his family and every person who ever knew him, and had all of the material “things” that we think makes people happy, but in the end it wasn’t enough. It didn’t satisfy. I think of all of the stars who have died due to drug overdoses, or who spend so much time in rehab. I recall the young celebrities and singers who rise to fame quickly and end up burning out. They start out so fresh and innocent, but they spiral out of control. We hear of rapid divorces, heartbreak, loss, suicide, addiction and criminal activity and we wonder “why”? Why would these people – who seem to have everything the world calls good and fulfilling – why would they do this to themselves? Why aren’t they just happy?

Now, I know many of you celebrities are happy and content and not struggling with these problems. By no means would I want to overgeneralize. Many of you have wonderful marriages, a satisfying life, health, etc. However, there are many of you who, just like us, are struggling day by day with the demons in your life. And perhaps it is because of the “lie” that you suffer more. Perhaps no one sees your pain because they are blinded by the flash of the cameras and the sparkling of the jewelry. Maybe you are afraid to open up about your hurt because you want us to see the magazine-cover version of you and you’re afraid we’ll be disappointed if we see the truth. It could be that, in believing this lie, we have assumed you must be happy and healthy, and therefore not offered you the compassion, concern and support you’ve desperately needed. Sometimes the loneliest people in the world are those who are “known” by everyone but really known by no one.

To those celebrities who are suffering, and even to those who are not, I want to encourage you. You may have plenty of money, material things, fame, popularity and power, but what you really need is hope. True hope isn’t found in there. True, lasting joy isn’t acquired with money or fame. Those things will let you down. They will fade away. They will leave you empty. True hope is found only…..in Jesus Christ.

That’s right. Jesus Christ. I’m not talking about religion or rules or man’s tradition. I’m talking about Jesus. Right now there are Christians being martyred and persecuted around the world, who have no riches and barely enough to eat, who are more satisfied and fulfilled and overflowing with joy and hope than most of the uber-wealthy living in the mansions in Beverly Hills. Why? Jesus! They have Jesus. They Him and are known by Him. It’s not religion…it’s freedom. Freedom from the sin, the evil and the self-centeredness that leaves people feeling so empty, depressed and self-loathing in the end.

Please don’t dismiss this as just another religious diatribe by some wack job. If you can see past the lie and let go for a minute of whatever beefs you have with the concept of “religion”, you may feel the subtle tugging at your heart. Are you hurting? Are you struggling to find hope? You have everything that money can buy and are adored by millions and yet you are hard-pressed to find a reason to get out of bed everyday? The answer is simple….Jesus.

I am here to give you a message of hope. Jesus is hope. Jesus is love. He can bring you complete and total healing, fulfillment and purpose. Let go of pre-conceived notions about what religion means and just seek Jesus. Find a Bible and read through the book of John. Call a Christian friend. Write me…I’d be happy to talk to you in complete confidence about Jesus and how He can bring meaning to your life that you never imagined.

I’m praying that this letter somehow reaches whomever it needs to and anticipating God doing great things. You know, in the end, nothing else matters but Jesus. Fame, fortune, materialism….it’s all fleeting. It’s all temporary. It doesn’t matter. What matters is that Jesus is real, He’s the Son of God, He died to give you new life and free you from the chains of sin and death, and He is calling out to you now. Answer Him.

****Please feel free to contact me at chelsea_mccafferty @ yahoo.com (without the spaces). Every email I receive it kept completely confidential. I would just like to encourage you and answer any questions you may have. God bless!
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Raised Up with Christ

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photo credit: Fr. Stephen, MSC via photopin cc

Happy Resurrection Day! Praise the Lord Jesus Christ for His sacrifice on the cross, his suffering and pain. Praise Him that He bore the weight of our sin and faced the death that should have been ours. Praise Jesus that on the third day He was victorious over death and rose from the grave! What joy! What wonder! What glory and majesty! What love!

As I celebrate Resurrection weekend with my family, we keep Jesus as the center and focus of our festivities. Even in Easter egg hunts and baskets, we are always reinforcing to our daughter what we celebrate and worship the Lord for what He has done. We praise Him because He’s alive and because He’s alive, we too shall live! That’s the thing that hits me hard as we meditate on the cross and resurrection. You see, when we celebrate Christ’s resurrection, we are also celebrating our own. We too will be raised up with Christ! We too have new life in Him. We were dead in our sins and transgression and we crucified the flesh and was buried with Christ. The old, dead person was buried in that grave, but as Christ broke the chains of death and rose in glory, we experienced His glory washing over us and giving us newness of life.

We were buried therefore with him by baptism into death, in order that, just as Christ was raised from the dead by the glory of the Father, we too might walk in newness of life.” Romans 6:4

If the Spirit of him who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, he who raised Christ Jesus from the dead will also give life to your mortal bodies through his Spirit who dwells in you.” Romans 8:11

Yet a little while and the world will see me no more, but you will see me. Because I live, you also will live.” John 14:19

And God raised the Lord and will also raise us up by his power.” 1 Corinthians 6:14

Oh friends, how can we read these verses and not praise Him? How can we read these words and not weep for joy and fall on our knees before our God? Look what Jesus has done? He faced death, conquered the grave and rose from the dead so that we too may live!

If you don’t have a relationship with Jesus Christ, then the Bible says you are dead in your sins. We have all been there. Before I committed my life to Jesus I was dead inside. Then I gave my life to Christ, He washed me clean from my sins and I was born again as a new creature in Him. Because He lives, I live! If you don’t know Jesus, I pray that this Easter you will turn your heart towards Him. Here’s what the Bible says to you:

* Jesus loves you, even before you love Him. “God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8

* You are a sinner. “Therefore, just as sin came into the world through one man, and death through sin, and so death spread to all menfnbecause all sinned—” Romans 5:12

* The wages of sin is death. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Romans 6:23

* You need forgiveness. “From that time Jesus began to preach, saying, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” Matthew 4:17

* Jesus offers salvation to the repentant. “Because, if you confess with your mouth that Jesus is Lord and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.” Romans 10:9

* You are born again in Christ. – “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation.fn The old has passed away; behold, the new has come.” 2 Corinthians 5:17

* You have eternal life. ““For God so loved the world,fn that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” John 3:16

 

Today I’m filled with hope. I know that no matter what hardships I face, no matter how many times I mess up, no matter what comes my way, I am saved in Christ Jesus. He has died for me and rose again, and in His resurrection I am raised up as well. I am no longer that old, dead soul with no purpose and no hope. I am new and alive and will live forever with my Lord. I am so blessed. If you don’t know Jesus Christ today, don’t wait another minute to turn your heart to Him. Believe. God is real and He wants a relationship with you. Pray. Speak from your heart. There are no magic words. You just confess that you believe, that you are sorry for your sins, that you want new life in Him, and give Him the reigns of your life. Trust me, you’ll never be the same again and you will know the joy and peace of Jesus Christ.

Jesus is alive! My Savior lives! Because He lives, I live! I’ll never stop proclaiming it! May you have a wonderful Resurrection celebration and may the Lord God of the Bible be glorified!

 

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An Incredible & Convicting Experience

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Something incredible happened to us tonight and I really felt it was worth sharing, so here it is. My family and I had been working late on a project, so we went out to eat a late dinner at a local restaurant. We shared the restaurant with only one other group. A few tables away was a man and two women, and I could tell from the moment we sat down that we perhaps should have chosen a different location further away.

The reason I say that is that the people were drinking quite heavily and speaking so vulgarly that it was hard to even enjoy our meal. The words out of their mouths were disgusting. The “F” word was used in every sentence and for every possible meaning. It wasn’t just the cursing but the topics of their discussions that were offensive. I wouldn’t even want to repeat what they talked about but I will say the majority was them making sexual plans as a group and so forth. They were loud about all of it, even knowing that my four year-old daughter was sitting there with us.

I tried to distract my daughter and we focused on speaking about the Lord, praying and enjoying each other. I tried not to look at their table, not wanting to catch their eye. I just prayed they would leave, and I admit that my heart was filled with judgment and disgust. I had not one ounce of compassion or grace for these people who were polluting our meal with filth. I didn’t see them as anything but a nuisance and a problem. I say this with shame and regret.

About ten minutes before we were done, they got up and left. Before leaving the man stopped and smiled at us and gave Tabitha a friendly smile. We smiled back but gave him little attention. He and his group then left and there was finally peace. We finished up and I went up to the register to ask for the check and pay. The waitress apologized for the way the people had behaved and spoken in front of our daughter. She then told me that our dinner was covered and already paid.

I was surprised. Assuming the restaurant owner had decided to bless us with a free meal because of the disturbing circumstances, I assured her that it was fine and that I was perfectly happy paying. That’s when she stopped me and told me what happened. I couldn’t believe my ears.

The man, whom I had been hating in my heart, had paid our bill and the woman with him covered the tip. I was in shock! How could this be? Why would he do that? I wasn’t kind to them or even friendly. I’m sure that the expression on my face showed clearly my feelings about their behavior and language. Why would this man decide to bless us this way?

I was moved to tears. I couldn’t even speak. My emotions were so mixed but the predominant feeling was one of conviction. I realized without a doubt that the Lord had used this man and his party, even in their sin, to convict me of my own. I felt instantly blessed and convicted all at the same time. God had spoken to me clearly and visibly because He knew my heart and loves me. My Father had corrected me with an act of kindness.

As I reflected on what had happened, I saw myself in retrospect and how cold my heart was towards these people. I looked down on them with disgust. I didn’t see them for who they really were…lost people who desperately need Jesus. They need Jesus! They are dead inside without Him! What do we expect from the world? They live their lives this way because they are empty inside and need Jesus, and I have Jesus. I have what they need, but instead of being kind, merciful, graceful and lovingly showing them Jesus, I hardened my heart. That’s why God had to break it, and He did. Tonight He broke my heart.

Being broken can hurt, but it can also be incredibly uplifting. As I sit here, still in tears over the events of this evening, I thank God that He loves me enough to have reached out to me tonight. He reminded me of who I am in Him, how He wants me to see the lost and that I never want to pass up an opportunity to shine the light and love of the Savior into the lives of hurting people who need Him. I’m so grateful and so blessed.

I don’t mind confessing these shortcomings because I know fine well that God is not finished with me yet. I am a sinner and I need Jesus every hour of every day to walk according to His ways. I know that these corrections make us stronger in the Lord and I am so very encouraged that God would bless me and my family in the very unexpected way He did tonight. Thank You Jesus and I pray now for the salvation of the man and women we encountered tonight. I pray that they will come to know you, repent and be transformed by the washing away of their sins and their new life in You. In Jesus’ name I pray, amen.

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