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Our Church just finished a 4 week series called “16 Words” those words were “Wake the World up to Jesus” “Show them His Love” “Tell them His Truth” and “Involve them” which leaves me wondering, who is “my World” or better yet, who is “them”? Is it possible that you are part of my “them” and I have neglected to share with you what Jesus has done in my life? If so, I would love to share it with you! Is it possible that 16 words can really make a difference? Let’s see…

Out of 342 Facebook friends, 36 are family, 34 are from NorthRidge Church, 53 are my brothers from Edge Venture, 76 are from High School, and the rest of you are friends I have worked with, met online, or have met by chance somehow and somewhere. Many of you I almost never talk to, or haven’t talked to since High School. Many of you probably think I’m some kind of Jesus Freak. Many of you know that I’m some kind of Jesus Freak J. I know that some of my closest friends wonder what happened to me, the answer is simple really….Simply Jesus….that’s what happened to me and I hope it happens to everyone!

Truth is, I’ve been a believer nearly all of my life, I was raised in a Catholic Church, went to Catechism, made all of my “firsts” in the Catholic Church. But I really didn’t understand what was done for me or ever really accepted Jesus in to my heart until I was about 13 at Hillside United Methodist Church in Horton. After that I ended up going back to the Catholic Church but I no longer “bought in” to the bureaucracy and manmade rules and regulations, so I kind of created my own religion that was part Catholic, part Methodist, part Baptist and a whole lot of Bernie (this was the most messed up part of my religion). I found so many ways to accept my unbelievably bad behavior as “ok” because I wasn’t as bad as those “other” people.

My life was full of darkness with the death of my Dad to some type of brain disorder, my Mom to Alzheimer’s, my oldest brother to suicide and my middle brother to alcoholism, a close friend murdered and another lost to alcoholism, two divorces, issues with my children, I could go on but we’ll just go with etc. here. All of these were opportunities to turn to God but I stayed on my own path of destruction, don’t get me wrong, most of the time I went to Church, my 1 hour a week for God and I could check that off my list, my duty served.

Then about 4 years ago, Angil, my “soon to be wife back then” took me to her Church where I heard Brad Powell talk about how most religions were about manmade rules, traditions and ceremonies and that what was really important was a personal relationship with my Savior, Jesus Christ and it started clicking. I started reading the Bible and realizing that I could always make myself look good by finding those “other” people to compare myself too, but when I started comparing myself to the one that I am supposed to be most like, I fell extremely short. And you know what? I still fall short, every day, but by the Grace of God and through my Lord, Jesus Christ, I am forgiven and given another day to try to be more like Him.

I realized that the hole I had been trying to fill all my life with “stuff” could never be filled with anything other than what that hole had been created for, God! He created the emptiness in us, hoping that we would use our free will to seek him with all our heart, and He would fill that emptiness when we open our heart to Him and let Him in! “You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart” – Jeremiah 29:13

So like I said, I have been a “Believer” most of my life but I have only been a “Follower” for a short time, but by understanding what God did for me, and the amazing gifts he brings in to my life every day, I will always be willing to share what He has done for me.

Are you searching? Do you have that emptiness that never seems to be filled? I would love to talk to you about it, feel free to contact me!

Cheerfully in Christ,
Bernie
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