Lost and Found

My husband is a musician, so there are certain tools he is “particular” about. One of those things? His nice set of headphones. Not only is the sound crisp and clear, but the earpieces have a special piece on them that makes the fit even more comfortable.

Pretty important for a guy who needs to wear them for long periods of time.

So a few months ago when he lost that special piece while on a trip, I thought he’d be bummed for weeks.

We turned over beds, pulled furniture out from the wall, dug through all of our suitcases – we did the full sweep. And… it never turned up.

Sure the earphones still worked, but without the piece – they just weren’t the same.

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Lost … And Found.

Just this week, after returning from another weekend getaway, my husband ran into the room with excitement,

“Hey – guess what I found in my bag this weekend!? My earpiece!”

The little missing piece had fallen into a small compartment of his luggage that we overlooked on the initial hunt. He was overjoyed at the thought that he could once again use his headphones to their full ability.

It’s amazing how much joy that little piece brought him.

We are God’s Lost and Found

The Bible talks about how God views us in the same way my husband viewed his lost piece to his headphones. He searches for us like a shepherd goes after lost sheep. Or like my husband searched for his missing headphone piece.

When it was “found,” it brought immense joy.

Will You Be Found?

No matter where you’re at today, know that if you’re not walking with the Lord, he is searching for you.

This can mean coming to God for the first time, after never really accepting Jesus as God’s son. It can also mean coming back to the Lord after a time away.

When you are “found” by Him, both He and you will experience immense joy.

Have you experienced this Lost and Found spiritual principle? Wear the Word to tell others! All proceeds from our Christian t-shirts go to support a homeless ministry in Kenosha.

Faith that Heals

Does anyone else ever wonder what that room was like the day Jesus healed the man’s daughter? Or what about the scene when the bleeding woman touched his clothes and immediately stopped bleeding?

I would pay money to see the deaf man hear music for the first time thanks to Jesus. Or the paralyzed man get up and run a 5K.

I love these stories in the Bible that show that Jesus heals. And I am reminded that while it might come in new forms these days – He is still a God that heals us and provides miracles.

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God Still Does Miracles

Although the “scenes” might look differently, God is still very much a healer. Just take a look at some of the common ways he has healed friends and family members that we know of:

  • Healed bodies – Heart disease, wounds and chronic diseases are managed or gone!
  • Healed marriages – couples who almost divorced have restored relationships
  • Healed friendships – hard conversations and forgiveness lead to deeper friendships
  • Healed finances – Trusting the Lord with money has led to his provision and providing for all needs

When you’re walking with the Lord, you will see miracle after miracle. God is very much still a healer!

God’s healed us – our testimony

One example of God’s healing is in our lives at Rizzen. Our testimony motivated us to form this non-profit organization and sell Christian t-shirts. We came from a background of substance abuse. It took God’s healing in our lives to turn us around. He didn’t only heal our hearts from the wounds of our pasts – but he healed our body’s addiction. We’re free from alcohol and on the path to freedom!

We are healed!

God offers this same healing to you, whether you’re struggling with cancer, alcohol or bitterness. Jesus heals and he saves. He is the same yesterday, today and forever.

Will you be his next miracle?

Interested in Wearing the Word? Check out this Christian t-shirt that shows Jesus healing the sick woman. All proceeds go to help fun a homeless ministry in Kenosha.

God’s Love = Nails and the Cross

As a child, you don’t always understand parental discipline. Rules, spankings and groundings seem unfair at best – the notion that the discipline is out of love isn’t exactly welcomed.

It’s not until you become a parent that you realize loving your child is going to look differently than what they expect.

And when it comes to Christianity and having a relationship with God, the same holds true.

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God’s Definition of Love

The entire story of The Bible (EVERYTHING in it) talks about how much God loves us. Even the stuff about wars and laws at the beginning. An accurate understanding of The Bible reveals God’s love for humanity and the world He created.

Sometimes that love is understood – blessings, health, beauty and prosperity come from Him.

But sometimes that love is confusing – like when Jesus died on the cross. That’s not exactly how most of us would explain love to someone. But, that is precisely God’s definition.

Why Did Jesus Have to Die?

Without going into a long seminary paper or theology class… Jesus died in our place. The Old Testament sets up the story of how we, as humans, are sinners by nature. We cannot do anything to deserve God’s presence or heaven.

The sacrifices of lambs and animals in the Old Testament lay the groundwork. Priests couldn’t even enter the tent where God dwelled without a sacrifice. However, when Jesus came, he died in our place.

Our entire world works around the notion that “Someone has to pay for this!” When a sports team looses a season – the coach has to go. When the bomb goes off – the creator gets put in jail. For all bad things that happen in this world, we demand that someone or something pays the price.

And when it comes to humanity (we are sinners by nature) – Jesus paid that price for us so that we could be with God.

Accepting Love

Some people hear this story and accept it right away. Others struggle with believing Jesus died for them. And yet others reject it, thinking they don’t need a savior.

Regardless of where you are on the spectrum, one thing holds true:  Jesus loves you.

It’s not until kids grow up and become parents do they fully “get” their parent’s love.

And while we will never become God, as our relationship with Him grows, we will start to understand and appreciate the depth of His love for us.

Do you understand God’s love and want to share it with others? Consider a Christian t-shirt – Wear the Word! All proceeds help fund a homeless ministry in Kenosha!

Fight with the Armor of God

These days, those serving in the military wear hard helmets and camo gear. But back in Bible times, wartime armor looked a little bit different.

As soldiers suited up for war, they didn’t have ammunition belts or machine guns hanging off their shoulders. Instead, they wore several metal pieces that prepared them for sword fight.

The routine of gearing up for war in Bible times was used by Paul when he wrote Ephesians. Just like we fight wars here on Earth, there is also a spiritual war going on. Satan and sin are out to destroy … they wage war on all things good things from God. As Christians, we have the tools to fight back.

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The Armor of God

Here is what Paul encourages the Christian to “gear up” with when fighting a spiritual war:

Helmet of Salvation

The first way to counter spiritual attacks is to have faith in Jesus. That simple act of belief in Him (salvation) is a necessity.

Breastplate of Righteousness

The Bible isn’t a list of laws, rules or “do’s and don’ts.” But, it does offer advice for holy living, also called righteousness. Following God’s plan for your life and heeding to what the Bible says to do … or avoid … will help you fight off Satan’s attacks.

Shield of Faith

Even after you have salvation, your faith will be tested. Faith isn’t a one-time thing. Having the strength to pray for more faith will help get you through trials.

The Sword of the Spirit

In this war, we are not alone. In fact, God goes before us. As Christians, the Holy Spirit lives within us and fights on our behalf. Make sure to include Him in the battle.

Feet With the Gospel of Peace

Last but not least – be rooted in the Gospel. Know God’s word. Memorize verses. This will be great defense against the enemy.

Fighting the Spiritual War

The sooner we realize a war is happening and how to fight, the sooner we will experience victory in our lives. The war won’t be won until the the very last day when Jesus comes to redeem the world. However as we fight and carry His message, know He’s given us the tools to combat anything that attempts to stop us.

Want more? Check out the Armor of God shirts and Wear the Word! All proceeds go to help fund a homeless ministry in Kenosha.

 

Pluto May Change … But Jesus Is Still The Way

I taught Sunday School last weekend and had the opportunity to entertain upper elementary students as they drew pictures of ways they serve others.

Once they finished coloring, I began quizzing them on common facts like multiplication tables and capitol cities of the United States to pass the time. Then – the perfect question hit me:

How many planets are in the solar system?” I asked.

There are 8 planets!” the kids quickly informed me.

Really, because when I was in school – there were 9!” I retorted.

Well – not anymore! Pluto is a dwarf planet so IT DOESN’T COUNT! said the kids, nearly jumping out of their chairs to prove me wrong.

And while they were indeed correct … Pluto is no longer considered a planet … it gave me a great chance to teach them about how some things change … and other things will forever be the same. Like Jesus.

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Jesus is THE WAY…

A question as simple as numbering the planets isn’t so simple anymore. Most Americans were taught the solar system had 9 planets but new information is changing the way we all view the sky.

Even with discoveries, inventions, archaeological digs and things to come – the story of Jesus and God’s love for us will NEVER change. Jesus came telling us:

“I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” – John 14:6

This means that there is no negotiating that there is any other road to God regardless of what others might say or try to prove. God is the same yesterday, today and forever … He’s not changing.

But if the Planets Can Change…

If you don’t believe in Christianity, it can be a struggle to put trust in things we do not understand. After all, if science can change many years later, is religion up for the same possibility?

Without getting into a complex dissertation, we confidently say no – the message of Jesus and Christianity will not change. Jesus is THE WAY, THE TRUTH AND THE LIFE … nothing will ever surface to discredit that.

How do we know? We believe. We have faith.

We’d believe The Bible is true even if there was no additional “evidence” (which, by the way, continues to be uncovered to validate Biblical stories and claims.)

The way God’s changed our lives, the inspiration behind our Christian t-shirts and the faith everyone at Rizzen carries allows us to be confident in the truth.

While Pluto may no longer be a planet, nothing about Jesus has or will ever change.

Love the verse “I am the Way, Truth & The Life from John 14:6? Click on the link to see how you can Wear the Word!

Lights in Darkness at the Boston Marathon Bombing

Yesterday, tragedy struck once again. Most of us spent the evening watching replayed footage from the Boston Marathon bombings. Whether you heard the news through social media or the nightly broadcast, one thing was clear – something is very, very wrong with our world.

Outpourings of support for those hurt and impacted by bombings near the finish line filled up the feeds. “Prayers for Boston,” “We love Boston,” as well as photos and a famous quote from Mister Rogers went viral.

Tragedy is never a pleasant experience. But it certainly brings out the spiritual side of us all.

Lights in Darkness – Heroes that Helped

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This quote from Mister Rogers went viral after the Boston Marathon Bombings. Photo Source.

Amidst all of the news stories regarding the bombs, suspects, clues and even detonation tactics, one thing coming from the Boston Marathon tragedy is that many heroes helped the victims.

Story after story about those who risked their lives to help others flooded the news wires today. Not only are reporters covering injury updates and facts on the case, the overwhelming support from “average heroes” who responded after the bombs is taking center stage.

Just take a look:

It give us goosebumps to see this type of support so quickly rise out of such a tragic situation.

Light in the Midst of Darkness

In the days and weeks to come as details unfold regarding who, how and why the Boston Marathon Bombing took place, the stories of heroes will continue to be a light in the darkness.

Their heroic acts will forever shine hope when all else seems unfathomable, dark and dreary.

Just like how Jesus shines His light during our darkest days. God’s love is always enough even in the tragedy. He shines light into darkness.

Our team at Rizzen is praying for Boston and all involved in his horrific situation. May God comfort all who mourn and heal the wounds from another tragedy.

The Free Man and Prison Tours

My dear friend smiled with excitement as she told me about her upcoming trip to our state’s capitol and the opportunity to tour a prison.

Tour a prison?” I questioned.”

Yeah – it’s been on my wish list for years!” she said.

Although I’ve never shared similar aspirations, apparently my friend is not alone.

Some websites say high-profile prisons like the famous Alcatraz receive 5,000 visits each day, or one-and-a-half million visitors each year. CNN.com even featured the “10 prisons now open to travelers” on their homepage today.

There’s something intriguing about “behind bars” and prison tours to those of us on the other side.Freedom-in-christ-tshirtThe person who is NOT taking prison tours

While over 5,000 people may sign up for famous prison tours each day, I guarantee that those who served in prison do not join in. Inmates sentenced behind those famous bars will not share the excitement of picture-taking tourists who post their prison pics on Instagram.

For those who’ve been set free and released from the prison, going back for a tour is most likely not on their to-do list.

When God Sets you Free, You Don’t Go Back

The idea of prison tours and how a former inmate must feel reminds me of the story of Rizzen and the freedom our leadership team experienced. John 8:36 says:

So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.

In the past, our addiction to drugs and alcohol “imprisoned” us. But Christ set us free and released us from the sin.

We no longer struggle with addictive substances. We also have no intention of going back – just like the inmates who will not sign up for prison tours now.

The good news of the gospel is that when we accept Jesus into our lives (the Son), he sets us free forever. No need to go back into our sin – we are free men (and women.)

Our stories can be used to help others (which is why we sell Christian t-shirts to fund a homeless ministry.)

Our lives become like those empty prisons – now turned into tourist attractions.

No more life behind bars. We are free indeed.

Have you been set free? Want to Wear the Word? Check out our freedom t-shirts!

Teacher of the Year

I can say the Pledge of Allegiance in sign language. Not because I suffer from hearing impairment and not because I know sign language.

It’s because of my fourth grade teacher, Ms. Chalmers.

Although fourth grade was many years ago for me, her gentle instruction is forever ingrained in my memory.

What makes a great teacher?

Something about Ms. Chalmers was special. She spoke softly and smiled … a lot.

The day she stood atop her desk to get the classroom’s attention is my favorite. With a big grin, she waved her arms and motioned for us all to look at her. I’d never had a teacher climb on desks before.

She wore fun Keds shoes under her denim jumpers. She encouraged my creativity and gave me special projects she knew I’d love.

And because of that, her lessons have stuck with me over the years.

Even the ones on sign language.

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Jesus – the great teacher

I imagine that being taught by Jesus was a lot like having a fourth grade teacher like Ms. Chalmers – but even better.

Jesus probably spoke in the perfect tone so that everyone understood his message. He was gentle. Loving. Understanding.

He knew how to talk to people. Sort of like how Ms. Chalmers knew how to talk to me at age 10.

He preached in a way people understood. Matthew says He climbed on a mountain and began to teach. Not rule. Not reign.

Now when Jesus saw the crowds, he went up on a mountainside and sat down. His disciples came to him, and he began to teach them. Matthew 5:1

The way Jesus approached teaching would stick with people for hours … days … even years. It had life-saving power. People walked away changed.

People remembered his message.

Being taught by Jesus

Ms. Chalmers is no longer my teacher. But the great thing about Jesus is that his role as teacher never expires.

There’s no “end of the school year” when it comes to faith.

The Word of God is active and living. Jesus’ instruction and teaching continue to impact those who pick up the Bible and believe. He was, and is, a great teacher.

Jesus being our teacher is just one of the many reasons we Wear the Word and share the message of Jesus through our Christian t-shirts and hoodies.

Jesus is the great teacher. His words change our lives – words that we never forget.

 

Jesus is Coming Soon

Do you ever watch the news and think, “Wow – it feels like the end really is near.”

Tornadoes. Earthquakes. Snowstorms. Oh – and a meteor hit Russia a few weeks ago.

The Bible’s prophesies about the end times certainly hit home these days.

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Jesus is Coming Soon

While some may look at the crazy occurrences and fear, as Christians, we can rest assured. We know that God is in control.

Although the natural disasters certainly give us an unsettling feeling and bring sorrow and fright, we can trust that God saves and gets us through anything.

And, we can rest in the assurance that Jesus is coming soon.

Behold, I am coming soon, bringing my recompense with me, to repay everyone for what he has done. I am the Alpha and the Omega, the first and the last, the beginning and the end.” Revelation 22:12-13

Define “Soon”

As humans, it is our nature to want to know more. Jesus said he was coming “soon” hundreds of years ago. I know that’s not “soon” in my book.

But we must remember that our concept of time here on Earth is different than God’s concept of time. Our life is but a small mark on an infinite timeline.

And God’s view of “soon” means that he will readily return in His timing. Not ours. And according to Him – He is coming soon.

We might not think of His return as “soon” – or that it cannot come “soon” enough – but we must apply faith and rest in the security that God’s ways are not our ways. In fact, they are bigger and better than anything we can comprehend.

Wearing the Word

Find comfort amongst all of the chaos in the world that Jesus is coming soon.

If you’d like to Wear the Word and share this story of hope and comfort, take a look at our Christian t-shirts and hoodies proclaiming the good news.

Jesus is coming soon!

I know who goes before me – Whom Shall I Fear

Ever hear a worship song that just sticks with you? A song you know the angels in heaven sing right along with you?

Chris Tomlin’s latest hit – Whom Shall I Fear – is that song for us.

We cannot get these lyrics out of our heads. And we are totally OK with that.

Motivation to write Whom Shall I Fear

In an interview with Tomlin, he said the idea for Whom Shall I Fear (God of Angel Armies) came from his writing partner, Ed Cash, who prayed for his wife struggling with nighttime anxiety preventing her sleep. As Cash prayed over his wife, the lyrics to the song flooded his mind.

The song is based on a passage from 2 Kings:

2 Kings 6:15-18: And when the servant of the man of God arose early and went out, there was an army, surrounding the city with horses and chariots. And his servant said to him, “Alas, my master! What shall we do?” So he answered, “Do not fear, for those who are with us are more than those who are with them.” And Elisha prayed, and said, “Lord, I pray, open his eyes that he may see.” Then the Lord opened the eyes of the young man, and he saw. And behold, the mountain was full of horses and chariots of fire all around Elisha. So when the Syrians came down to him, Elisha prayed to the Lord, and said, “Strike this people, I pray, with blindness.” And He struck them with blindness according to the word of Elisha.

We can all apply Whom Shall I Fear  to our lives

I think we can all agree – this song hits everyone in some way. We all struggle with fear.

  • Fear of surrendering and accepting Jesus.
  • Fear of breaking the addiction once and for all.
  • Fear of trusting and obeying what God calls us to do (like starting Rizzen & making Christian t-shirts!)
  • Fear of stability (especially in this economy.)
  • Fear of death (and cancer and sickness.)

But the message of Rizzen and the good news of The Gospel is that we do not have to fear. As the song says:

I know who goes before me.I know who stands behind.
The God of angel armies
Is always on my side.

If you do not know who stands before you and want to know God, please – contact our team.

We would love to share our story of faith with you.