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God is Good – All the Time

God is Good – All the Time

By Kerusso Founder and CEO Vic Kennett

Jesus tells us in the New Testament that “the thief” (not God) comes to steal, kill, and destroy – and that He (Jesus) came so that we may have life, and have it in abundance (to the full, till it overflows!)

When disaster strikes or personal circumstances are especially challenging, you may cry out in frustration, “God, where are you in all of this?” Rest assured – He is there. He hears your prayers, He knows your heart, and He knows exactly what you face. Even and especially in the midst of trouble, almighty God is there beside you, and He will not forsake you.

Do not assign blame in the direction of your Savior. Rather, praise God in all things, for it is by Him, through Him, and from Him that every blessing flows. When darkness falls, praise His holy name. During the storm, praise His holy name. When strength fails you, even then, praise His holy name.

God is the very author of creation, and amid our trials, we choose to thank Him for guiding our footsteps and giving us courage every step of the way.

• • •

Over the weekend, massive storms flooded our area of Arkansas and caused damage to the offices of Kerusso. By God’s grace, many things occurred that kept the damage from being much worse.

God is so good!

As soon as the flooding was discovered on Saturday afternoon by a painting crew that just happened to be working in the building (thank you God, for your good timing!), they alerted me to the situation, and a team of Kerusso early responders sprang into action and joined me to contain and mitigate the flow that was headed further into the building.

 

A team of about sixteen, including our dedicated painters, revved up shop vacs and brooms, hauled sandbags, undertook the massive task of unclogging the overflowing culvert, and prayed. By 11 p.m. on Saturday evening, the last of the crew called it a night, weary in body but confident in spirit that God would continue to redeem the situation.

 

God answers prayer!

Due to the amount of water that came through the office, the space had to emptied of all belongings, furniture, and dividers - a lot of stuff! Once again, Team Kerusso responded to the call; on Sunday, about 25 people came in to pack up and clear out cubicles and furniture to another building.

God’s people are steadfast.

What now? God will restore! Kerusso team members who normally work out of the affected building are ready to go this morning. Some have moved to different offices on campus and some will work from home. We will renovate the office and put it back together, even better than it was!

Thank you, God, for always being a good and restoring God!

Thank you, Holy Spirit, for being our teacher, our comfort, and our guide!

Thank you, Jesus, that you came to bring us abundant life!

• • • 

Friends, God is not the author of theft, death, or destruction! That’s the thief’s work. If we ever get confused about who should get “the credit” for stealing, killing, and destroying, we just need to remember Jesus’ words in John 10:10, and let him straighten out our thinking.

“The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

– John 10:10

For information on how to help individuals and families impacted by the recent storms and flooding in our area of the country, contact the Greater Arkansas Chapter of the Red Cross.

New Stuff Just for You, from Kerusso

New Stuff Just for You, from Kerusso

Four-Day-A-Week Inspirational Blog to Focus on Different Walks with God 

The mission of Kerusso is simple: Proclaiming the Good News to the world through products about Jesus. Christian T-shirts, hats, hoodies, jewelry, and gifts are the primary way Kerusso fulfills this mission.

So why does a T-shirt company write a blog? Because we are passionate about encouraging and uplifting those who believe in Jesus Christ, and we want to engage those who seek Him in a deeper discussion about God’s love. Also – we have a lot to say – and it turns out it won’t all fit on a T-shirt!

We’ve been blogging for some time and noticed that people like reading funny or poignant stories about God’s grace. Many of you have shared that you enjoy our encouraging blog, and in an effort to go tell it on the mountain just a little bit louder, our blog is growing! In the next few days, you’ll be able to read unique, Godly perspectives from a variety of voices four times a week – and we can’t wait to introduce several new ongoing series to you.

Why you’ll love the NEW Kerusso blog:

  • The Kerusso blog is a gathering place.

For where two or three are gathered in my name, there am I among them.

– Matthew 18:20 

  • We are ambassadors for Christ.

Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God.

– 2 Corinthians 5:20

  • We want the light of Jesus to shine through all we do.

Let your light shine before others, that they may see your good deeds and glorify your Father in heaven.

– Matthew 5:16

  • Our message is one of faith, hope, and love for all who seek Jesus.

We remember before our God and Father your work produced by faith, your labor prompted by love, and your endurance inspired by hope in our Lord Jesus Christ.

– 1 Thessalonians 1:3

We’re grateful for your readership and ongoing support of our work as a Christian apparel and gift company, and of our outreach efforts through our blog and social media. When you come across a post you enjoy, please share it with family and friends in email or Facebook. And if we can ever lift you up in prayer, let us know.

Team Kerusso is on a mission to do even more (more blogging, more giving, more sharing-the-love) with the blessings God has given us, and we’re so glad you’re here for the journey.

Monday's blog installment, “Faith at Every Age,” will be a special treat. We will visit with some senior believers as they share pointed insights on how faith has ushered them through more societal changes than any previous generation has witnessed – and the wisdom they've gained through it all. On the flip side, we’ll introduce you to some fascinating millennials who are leaning on their elders’ lessons while forging ahead in a world their grandparents barely recognize – a world that continues to change very rapidly.

If you know of a Christian senior or millennial (or anyone in between!) with a testimony to share, or someone with interesting life experiences and a faith that moves mountains, email us your idea at FaithAtEveryAge@kerusso.com. We would love to hear about believers making an impact around them in their jobs, communities, or churches!

Tuesday's blog, “Testimony Tuesday,” will offer a weekly peek into real-life stories about how God has visibly – irrefutably – used Kerusso products, retailers, and customers to spread the Good News and change lives for the better! Tuesdays will lift your spirits, further confirm your faith and hope in the Lord, and motivate you to consider how you can do more in your own life to spread God's love. 

Do you know someone with a story to share about how they use Kerusso products to spread love and light? Email us at TestimonyTuesday@kerusso.com!

Thursday's installment of the Kerusso blog, entitled “She Laughs,” will be a day for women – single women, married women, and moms – to spend a few minutes laughing and refreshing their spirits while being uplifted by God's message of grace and strength. It will frequently include video clips of our favorite Christian comedian, Kerri Pomarolli, along with weekly inspirational stories about God leading women to be joyful overcomers!

We want to hear your stories too! Women of God, send us your testimonies, prayer requests, anything that refreshes your spirit and makes you smile! Email SheLaughs@kerusso.com!

Saturdays’ blog series, called “Play Hard Pray Hard,” will be dedicated to the sports enthusiasts out there. Longtime sports journalist Nate Olson will bring us uplifting and encouraging looks into the lives of top Christian athletes and coaches from around the world, as we reveal how their faith has impacted their lives and their athletic endeavors, too.

We invite you to play along by sending us your ideas for athletes or coaches (whether you know them or not) that we should write about or interview for this blog. It's going to be fun! Email us at PlayHardPrayHard@kerusso.com!

Thank you for reading, and, more importantly, thank you for being a part of our mission to spread the Good News of God’s love. Please share this – and every future blog entry you like or can relate to – with your friends on social media! We are so grateful for your help in getting the word out about the new blog series, encouraging fellow believers in their daily walks, as well as sharing His grace, mercy and forgiveness with those who don’t yet know Jesus.

Jesus Has Risen! Now What?

Jesus Has Risen! Now What?

We Have the Biggest. Reason. Ever. to Stop Worrying

Do you ever lay awake at night, worrying about your job? Your bills? Your relationships? Your kids? Your health? Your past? Your future?

At the end of this worldly existence – whenever that hour comes – we can’t take any of it with us: not our possessions, our house, car, furniture, wardrobe; not our family, our pets, our loved ones. Not even the ever-present mantle of our earthly bodies will tag along into eternity. And the sum measure of all that time spent worrying over the temporary will fall away in an instant.

What, then, should we do with our limited time here on earth? For starters, we should stop worrying; instead, we must pray without ceasing and trust without fear that He is in control. To worry (and to do what usually follows, which is to try to “fix” those worrisome situations in accordance with our own will and plan) is akin to attempting to remove those things from God’s hands; it’s like pretending we know better, acting as though we can figure it out better, or that we can fix it better than our Lord can. We can’t! As believers, we know this and we have confessed this already – and we should not even try. And so, usually, worrying = trying to be in charge.

When you feel your worries pressing in; when you begin to feel fear or doubt that God is truly in control and working His perfect plan, consider the story of Easter. Consider, again and again as needed, His perfect timing. What would have seemed like three days too late to us – and what surely seemed to Jesus’ family and disciples as three days too late for God to “show up” and help His only son – was actually part of our Lord’s grand plan for our salvation. The people who were present the day of Jesus’ death could never have anticipated that plan; nor can we possibly predict what amazing works God has in store in each of His children’s lives.

• • •

Happy Easter: He is Risen!

He isn't here! He is risen from the dead, just as he said would happen. Come, see where his body was lying.

– Matthew 28:6

But God raised Him from the dead, releasing Him from the agony of death, because it was impossible for Him to be held in its clutches.

– Acts 2:24

Easter represents the fulfillment of the work of the cross: Jesus was crucified, rose, and ascended into Heaven. A story so miraculous, so glorious, so filled with loving sacrifice, that we still talk about it 2,000 years later. Jesus Christ, the son of God, gave His life in payment for our sins.

How do we repay that kind of grace? How do we thank our heavenly Father for loving us enough to send His only son Jesus to be born among men, to be tortured and killed so that we might have eternal life?  

Because of the cross, we have a future and a hope. But the work of the cross didn’t end when Jesus ascended into Heaven; for us, that is when our call to take up the mantle of Christ begins:

He has made it clear to you, mortal man, what is good and what the LORD is requiring from you — to act with justice, to treasure the LORD's gracious love, and to walk humbly in the company of your God.

– Micah 6:8

Easter Sunday marks the culmination of Jesus’ journey to the cross and his victory over death. For believers, Easter provides an opportunity to renew our commitment to follow Him, to fulfill the requirements He has laid before us:

  1. To act with justice.
  2. To treasure the Lord’s gracious love. (some translations read: “To love mercy.”)
  3. To walk humbly with God.

In light of Jesus’ death on the cross, all our petty worries — even our bigger troubles — fade away. Eternal perspective is a gift: how refreshing to set the nagging issues of our worldly lives aside and to simplify our to-do list. Act with justice, treasure His love, and walk humbly with God.

May God bless you and keep you on Easter and throughout the year. If we can pray for you, in petition or in grateful celebration of God’s blessings, please let us know.

• • •

Jesus saves! Do you want to know more about accepting Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior? Learn more here.

• • •

Read the full account of the death and resurrection of Jesus in the following Gospel passages:

Mark 15:21-41; 16:1-20
Matthew 27:32-56; 28:1-20
Luke 23:26-43; 24:1-53
John 19:1-42; 20:1-31

A Very Horrific but Very ‘Good’ Day

A Very Horrific but Very ‘Good’ Day

The Day of Jesus’ Death Marks the Beginning
of a New Life for Believers

The Friday before Easter has been recognized as holy since as far back as AD 230; about that time, a Christian document known as the Didascalia Apostolorum described activities to be undertaken during Holy Week, including a fast on Friday. A bit of detective work turns up various references from early Greek, German, and Danish texts that may shed further light on the history of the name Good Friday.

This kind of minutiae is the stuff the dreams of history buffs are made of – but for the rest of us, poring over dusty manuscripts doesn’t replace the simple act of opening our Bibles to the greatest story ever told: the birth, life, death, and resurrection of Jesus Christ.

Good Friday is the day we recognize that every blessing – including salvation and the eternity we will spend beyond this earthly existence – was purchased by the blood of Jesus of Nazareth, the son of God. There is no gift so rare, so sacrificial in nature, so abiding and filled with love, as the gift of God’s own son in payment for our sins.

Jesus was born of man, lived a sinless life and was crucified on a cross so we might have everlasting life. There is no word sufficient to the task of naming this kind of love, or a sacrifice of this magnitude. And so, being human, we call the day we recognize Jesus’ sacrificial act of love ... good. (To be fair, the first modern thesaurus wasn’t released to the public until April 1852.)

This Easter season, take the time to read the story of Jesus’ crucifixion and death on the cross. Talk to the children in your life about the meaning of Easter, and what it means to be redeemed by God through the blood of Jesus. Pray, thanking God for the gift of his son Jesus and for the grace and hope we receive through His redeeming love.

Details of the death and resurrection of Jesus are described in the following Gospel passages:

Matthew 27:32-56; 28:1-20

Mark 15:21-41; 16:1-20

Luke 23:26-43; 24:1-53

John 19:1-42; 20:1-31

Matthew 27:32-56 (NIV)

The Crucifixion of Jesus

32-37: As they were going out, they met a man from Cyrene, named Simon, and they forced him to carry the cross. They came to a place called Golgotha (which means “the place of the skull”). There they offered Jesus wine to drink, mixed with gall; but after tasting it, he refused to drink it. When they had crucified him, they divided up his clothes by casting lots. And sitting down, they kept watch over him there. Above his head, they placed the written charge against him: this is Jesus, the king of the Jews.

38-44: Two rebels were crucified with him, one on his right and one on his left. Those who passed by hurled insults at him, shaking their heads and saying, “You who are going to destroy the temple and build it in three days, save yourself! Come down from the cross, if you are the Son of God!” In the same way, the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the elders mocked him. “He saved others,” they said, “but he can’t save himself! He’s the king of Israel! Let him come down now from the cross, and we will believe in him. He trusts in God. Let God rescue him now if He wants him, for he said, ‘I am the Son of God.’” In the same way, the rebels who were crucified with him also heaped insults on him.

The Death of Jesus

45-56: From noon until three in the afternoon, darkness came over all the land. About three in the afternoon, Jesus cried out in a loud voice, “Eli, Eli, lema sabachthani?” (which means “My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?”).

When some of those standing there heard this, they said, “He’s calling Elijah.” Immediately one of them ran and got a sponge. He filled it with wine vinegar, put it on a staff, and offered it to Jesus to drink. The rest said, “Now leave him alone. Let’s see if Elijah comes to save him.”

And when Jesus had cried out again in a loud voice, he gave up his spirit. At that moment the curtain of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom. The earth shook, the rocks split and the tombs broke open. The bodies of many holy people who had died were raised to life. They came out of the tombs after Jesus’ resurrection and went into the holy city and appeared to many people.

When the centurion and those with him who were guarding Jesus saw the earthquake and all that had happened, they were terrified, and exclaimed, “Surely he was the Son of God!” Many women were there, watching from a distance. They had followed Jesus from Galilee to care for his needs. Among them were Mary Magdalene, Mary the mother of James and Joseph, and the mother of Zebedee’s sons.  

Thankfully, this story doesn’t end here. On Easter Sunday, we’ll continue by sharing the great news of Jesus’ resurrection! Won’t you join us, and share this with your friends in case they have never heard the whole story?

Until then, if we may pray with you about anything, please let us know here.

 

Let Us Not Grow Weary

Let Us Not Grow Weary

In the midst of “doing good unto others,” the feelings of gratitude, joy, and shared humanity that we experience remind us we are all God’s children, and we are in this thing called life together. Getting involved in efforts that help others often provides more in return than what we give; volunteering, donating, or other forms of giving just plain feel good. If you’ve experienced this natural high, you know: Lifting others up in Jesus’ name is addictive!

Beyond the “good feels” we immediately receive when we do anything to help others in need, scripture tells us that it matters. Matthew 25:34-40 says: “Then the King will say to those on His right, 'For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, I was sick and you looked after me, I was in prison and you came to visit me.’

World Vision each year helps millions of disaster survivors and refugees, transforms children's lives, provides clean water to millions and serves hundreds of communities around the world. For a limited time, for every single Kerusso T-shirt purchased online, two T-shirts will be donated to World Vision to give to men, women, and children in need around the globe. “Then the righteous will answer him, ‘Lord, when did we see you hungry and feed you, or thirsty and give you something to drink? When did we see you a stranger and invite you in, or needing clothes and clothe you? When did we see you sick or in prison and go to visit you?’  

"The King will reply, ‘Truly I tell you, whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

But what about those seasons when life circumstances have worn us down — when we don’t feel like we have anything to give? What about when our spirits (or bank accounts) are low, and doing unto ourselves feels like the most we can manage? God loves a cheerful giver, but the truth is he’ll take our begrudging efforts to help, too. Beyond the perspective we gain from recognizing someone else’s need or suffering, the act of helping to bear another’s burdens is a balm for our own soul, too.

And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up. – Galatians 6:9

When you find yourself in a challenging season, that may be the time when you most need to give. Spending time with a community or person in need as an act of service helps shift our focus from “Woe is me…” to “Whoa! Look at me! I made a difference.” We can’t control every circumstance, and we can’t avoid every challenge. But we have an incredible choice to impact and empower those around us in Jesus’ name!

5 Ways to Give When You’re Feeling Life’s Lows

  • Start small. If you are feeling frustrated about work or life or relationships, you may not be in the right place to plan a six-month mission to Africa! You don’t have to hop on a plane to do good: donate blood; ask your pastor to connect you with a lonely senior for a lunch date or a teen who could use a listening ear; volunteer for the nursery on just one Sunday or for story hour at the local library; or spend just one shift at a soup kitchen.
  • Do something outside your comfort zone. Sometimes an “out there” act of giving or service can snap us out of a spiritual rut and wake us up to new possibilities.
  • Find a partner. Ecclesiastes 4:9-10 says: “Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble.” Don’t go it alone! Find someone whose company you enjoy and ask them to join you in doing good.
  • Take a talent inventory. God created you, and there is not another person with your unique mix of talents, intelligence, inner beauty and YOU-ness! What are you good at, and what do you love? Who could benefit from your unique skills or talents? A mentoring relationship or volunteer opportunity that calls upon these skills is a wonderful way to thank God for the gifts he has given you.
  • Pray for the right opportunity. God has placed a neighbor or organization near you, or maybe even directly in your path, who needs your unique talents or gifts. Ask Him for eyes to see who you might bless.

To keep our hearts and minds mission-focused and share the blessings God has provided us, we like to mix it up here at Kerusso. Here are a few organizations we’ve been involved with recently—and the last one relies on your help so we can do even more:

Bright Futures Berryville

When kids are hungry or lack the basic necessities like food, clothing, or shoes, participating fully in the classroom is tough. This local chapter of the national Bright Futures USA organization works quickly to provide students with the basics they need so they can succeed in the classroom instead of worrying about unmet needs. This group as
ks mentors and donors not just for small treasures such as shoes, socks, clothing, and snacks, but also for time and talent to foster the growth of local kids.

New City Kids

Based in New York City and New Jersey, God uses New City Kids to invite young people to find their purpose in life and realize they have a calling—even in the midst of a dark and negative environment.

World Vision

For a limited time, when any Kerusso T-shirt is purchased, two T-shirts are donated to World Vision for their disaster relief and community service programs. World Vision partners with children, families, and their communities to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice, and they do it in Jesus’ name.

However you choose to “do more” in your own community, we encourage you to open your eyes, friend. Look around!

You might be in a rut, in a fog, in a “maybe later” kind of mood, but God can use your time, talent, and treasure right now to do even more.

• • •

About the featured (top) photo: This year, the theme for New City Kids is “Out of Darkness,” from 1 Peter 2:9. God uses New City Kids to invite young people to find their purpose in life and realize that they have a calling even in their dark and negative environment. New City Kids youngsters will perform fundraising concerts four times in the NYC/New Jersey area on March 26 and 30 and April 1, and once in Grand Rapids, Mich., on April 20.

About the second (smaller) photo: World Vision each year helps millions of disaster survivors and refugees, transforms children's lives, provides clean water to millions and serves hundreds of communities around the world. For a limited time, for every single Kerusso T-shirt purchased online, two T-shirts will be donated to World Vision to give to men, women, and children in need around the globe. Learn more here!