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“It’s A Darn Shame!”

Lou Coleman

Lou Coleman

By Lou Coleman

It’s a darn shame that some of us have to hit rock bottom before God can get our attention. But it is only when the bottom falls out that we finally look up and cry out to God in desperation. Years ago I heard it said this way: “You’ll never know if Jesus is all you need until Jesus is all you have. When Jesus is all you have, then you will know that Jesus is all you need.”  Man do I know that all too well. I have hit rock bottom several times throughout my lifetime, and I am sure many of you have too. Those times when sorrow seems to overpower, or self-pity has you in its clutches. Those times when you feel the most helpless to benefit those you love, or yourself. Those periods when you sense that trying to rectify your circumstances is pointless, and you lose all hope. You understand the feeling. We all have moments when we have that devastating desire to throw in the towel and give up. That feeling that being happy is impossible, and accepting that life is too difficult seems like the solution. After striving and vowing in your own strength… then failing… after piously telling others how to act …then failing…after judging others… then failing. Times when it seem like everything goes wrong and the bottom falls out of life. I tell you, Hitting rock bottom is hard! And when you’re at the bottom, life is not quiet and peaceful, serene and orderly; life is crowded and dark, scary and disordered. 

We expect life to have a few bumps, but not constant roller-coaster rides full of pain, misery and bruises, one after another, after another and another. Suffering and sorrow are a part of life, but knowing this, however, do not make it any easier to cope with when you find yourself in the midst of the deepest, darkest trials of faith. If you are suffering to the point of despair, let these words of encouragement help you hang on to your faith. The good news is in the Scripture. God says, “I have observed the misery of my people… I have heard their cry… I know their sufferings, and I have come down to deliver them” (Exodus 3. 7-8).

God’s word is full of examples of men and women who hit rock bottom: David, Elijah, Manasseh, Jonah, Judas, The Rich Young Ruler, Tax Collectors and Sinners, the Sinful Woman, the Prodigal Son, Job, Peter and Paul just to name a few. Elijah’s rock bottom was different from Jonah’s, which was different from the Prodigal’s Son, which was different than Paul’s. You know, when I was in a pit, I thought that if I could just get my act together I would be okay and just snap out of it and be healed. That process took over 3 years and the whole time I was too stubborn to surrender it all to God, but the moment I let go, life became so much more joyful and finally I saw the worth in living life again. In those times when your joy or abilities are stripped away and you realize that all you have left is Jesus, you’ll discover, as I have, that Jesus is all you need. When I was so far down that all I could do was look up, I always found that God was there with me. Perhaps this is the only answer I have to offer to the perplexing question of God’s presence in the tragedies of our lives. Scriptures affirm that God will always compassionately respond. But we want miracles. We want answers. We want all those things which seldom seem to come our way. Until we step back; until the emotions have been rescued from anxiety; until confusion has been transformed into calm; only then will we realize, even at the bottom of our barrel, God was, and God is, always there.

When God finally got a hold of my heart and opened my eyes I saw the situation in a whole new way and realized that although it was a hard few years, He had still protected me and I came out stronger, knowing the purpose and mission in ministry He had for me. {When a person hits rock bottom, and they reach the lowest point in their lives, they are awakened to the reality that their lives must change}. God brought beauty from ashes. And the amazing thing about God is that His power is never ending and has no limits. He will go through everything with us, so if you take a leap of faith and turn the moments of weakness into moments of total surrender, God will use you to do awesome things to further His kingdom! So rather than being discouraged, be encouraged, remembering the promise of God, that He will work all things together for good for those who love Him.

Today, if you’ve hit rock bottom, call out to God. If you have not come to Jesus, let today be your rock bottom. If you are weary, tired, discouraged, need a fresh start, if you know your life is going nowhere, if you want your sins forgiven, if you want to know God, drop what you are doing and surrender to the Lord. Don’t delay, don’t put it off, and don’t make any excuses. Drop everything and do it now!  Do it right now!  You do not have to be like the Manasseh or the Prodigal Son; you do not have to go that low before you open your eyes to Christ. You can be like Paul or the Philippians Jailer, have a crisis of conscience, and give your life to Christ today.

I want you to know that my journey contains glimpses into the most real places of my heart as it intersects with God, others, and the world around me. My paths have often taken unexpected twists and turns. As I walk those paths, I deeply long too share in such a way that will strengthen and encourage those who travel with me. Hope you’ll join me on the journey. I invite your comments and love it when you recommend www.wssnews.com to your friends.

Triple Crowns Summer Softball Blast

LtoR-Natia Martin, Sydne Soloman,Chelsey Gore of Nashville ,Tenn-Nighthawks

LtoR-Natia Martin, Sydne Soloman,Chelsey Gore of Nashville ,Tenn-Nighthawks

Photos and story Earl Heath

FORT COLLIN, CO-As summer seasons brings out the best in most of us, Triple Crowns Sports brings together the best young softball from around  the country and  the world. The Sparkler tournament for ages 16U and 18U had more than 500 teams from the USA, Guam, Canada and Australia.

The Junior Sparkler (14U and 12U) took place in the Fort Collins, Loveland and Greeley area. It had more than 200 teams from 38 different states. The tournament had some of the most talented young people anywhere. We will bring you some of the highlight of the Junior Sparkler.

The Players included The Nashville Night Hawks 14U who had a trio that would make many college coaches take notice. Shortstop Chelsey Gore made back handed plays, threw runners out from deep in the hole and on offense had several stolen bases.

“The tournament gives me a chance to play with my friends,” said Gore. “We get a chance to be together and show what we can do as a team.”

Gores father has a horse farm with some 15 horses and she likes horseback riding during her spare time.

 “The game is fun for me” said 14 year old Syde Soloman. “I really like playing with my friends, we all help each other out.” Soloman plays catcher and third base for the Nighthawks. She bats clean-up and is a true leader- her teammates look up to her for inspiration. She already has plans for the future. “I want to play college softball. I like Florida I’ve seen them on TV I think it would be a cool place to play.”

Nataia Martin is the third member of the fantastic trio. The athletic center fielder excelled on offense and defense. She played center-field like a seasoned pro. She chased down line drives that appeared to be hits. In two games she threw out two runners headed to third base and gunned down two more headed for home.

 “I practiced long tossing  with my 12 year-old sister,” said Martin. “That helped me make accurate throws in a game.”

She has jackrabbit speed – She scored all the way from first base on a single to the outfield. She’s is extremely athletic as a freshman played on the girls varsity basketball team at Bowling Green (KY) High School.

 “I want to play softball and basketball in college. This tournament gives all of us good exposure”.

Thank You For Your Service: Chief Victor Hugo Moreno

Chief Moreno

Chief Moreno

SAN BERNARDINO, CA- After 24 years of dedicated service to the United States Navy and years of helping to preserve our freedom, Chief Victor Hugo Moreno, 42, will retire on Friday, July 18. Moreno dedicated his life to the service at the young age of 18, and due to being away for work he missed the birth of his four children, their first steps, their first day of school, and the birth of his first grandchild; however, he will not get to spend time with them, who are all now adults.

Prior to his military days, Moreno and his family moved to California from Mexico in 1976 and settled in San Bernardino in 1984. He then graduated from San Bernardino High School in 1990, and from there he joined the Navy. After his basic training he went home and married his wife the former Conna A. Turner.

During his years of service he served as a Logistics Specialist where he completed two Western Pacific Deployments (WESTPAC) “91-92” and “93”. In October of 1994, he transferred to his first Shore Duty at Naval Sub Base Pt. Loma, San Diego.  Picked up SK2 during this time, but more importantly his youngest son, Emmanuel A. Moreno, was born.

In July of 1997 he reported to PCD (Pre Com Detachment) Pearl Harbor and in January of 1998 he went to Avondale, New Orleans along with his crew to take the USS PEARL HARBOR (LSD-52), a Harpers Ferry class Amphibious Assault Ship, from the shipyard. It was there that he completed two more  WESTPAC’s, “00” and “01-02”. He also finished his Enlisted Surface Warfare Specialist qualification (ESWS) during this time, and was meritoriously promoted to SK1 under the Command Advancement Program (CAP) in Jun of 2001.

Moreno has received several awards for his service, which include the Navy Commendation Medal (three awards), Navy Achievement Medal (four awards), Good Conduct Medal (seven awards), and various unit and campaign awards.