Who I Am and Why I Am Right Here

I am Garrett Rankin, a man who has been changed by the Grace of God and has been moved to do His Work for His Will in my life.  When God called me, I was at first reluctant like Moses to God’s cause.  But after I opened my eyes to God’s calling for me, my heart was ready to change and so my heart did this, for Him and for those I can help along this way.  I truly love you all and may God Bless You, Keep You, and Draw You Close every day of this life He has given us!

In Jesus’ name I pray,

Amen!

Encouragement through Christ

Jesus Christ is my Savior from my old life, a life that I used to live full of sin, selfishness, and overeating. While I sometimes forget that I am in Christ and go back to old habits, I have found newfound freedom when it comes to giving other people the grace and good message of the Gospels to my fellow co-workers or friends or believers, and that in turn has provided me a path for me to take in order for my life to truly begin: once I’m ready for my career and my personal life to meet through God’s will for my life. And once God deems me ready for the life He has planned for me.

While I still have moments and temptations to return to that old life while I’m living my new life in Christ, I do my best to remain faithful to my faith and to my freedom that God has granted me from my past struggles when I was isolating myself from my problems.

I am a child of a divorced family, and I had a hard time growing up.  I was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome at age 13, along with a learning disability and a case of serious depression.  On top of that, before I was 13 I didn’t know how to be social or be sociable with my classmates.  So, I was labeled and considered weird and all kinds of other names/labels.  I started to believe those labels were true after awhile, and that’s when my parents decided that I needed to start seeing a psychologist and psychiatrist, who helped make a good impression on my life at the time.  I’ve always had an inclination to befriend mentor figures or adults in my life, of course my Mom and sometimes my Dad.  I still went to church on a regular basis, yet I wasn’t always present mentally or spiritually because I am a naturally slow learner and grower in a lot of areas in this life.  I learned a lot of life lessons from my music teacher too, not just about music but about life.

They really helped me to see life from a new point of view, how I could make the world a better place by putting my talents to good use and to be a good, kind, caring person in the face of adversity or hate.  I believe God put these figures in my life to point me to Him in the times that were to come.

When I moved off to college three hours away from my hometown, I started to move away from the lessons I learned from my mentors and from my church growing up.  I started to live in sin, do things that were not healthy, and to engage in activities that were unsafe and not right.  For me or for anyone I knew there, yet I didn’t care and didn’t know any better at the time.  After my third year in college, my Dad and I had a serious talk about what I wanted to do with my life, if I wanted to throw my life away buying things or doing things I shouldn’t be doing and not working for a living.  That’s when we decided to look for a place that could teach me skills on how to be a good person and a good worker.  He thought his home state of Texas would be a good place to start, and once we found a Center for Higher Independence, called Providence Place, it fit the bill for my needs and we immediately jumped on the opportunity.

They were and are a Christian-based work and life-focused organization that helped students and young adults with autism or Asperger’s Syndrome how to be a good worker and good person in a year and a half program format.  I gave my life to Christ, in 2014, and have rarely looked back since.  I had another mentor enter my life around that time, and was in my life for about a year as a frequent help for keeping the faith and staying true to God’s will for me.

That is, until late 2015, when one selfish and hurtful decision drove the two of us apart, and I am thankfully changed from the decision I made.  So, I lived and still do on a small budget.  I was so looking forward to spending money on presents and things I really wanted instead of focusing on God, the significance of the Christmas holiday,and what he now means ever more to me, was a hard-won yet ultimately rewarding lesson that God is greater than our circumstances and our habits and our desires in this life.  God is always steadfast, patient, and kind in his love and quick to forgive.  How do I know?  Prayer and listening to God’s voice in my spirit.  He deserves praise and his Son gave his life for our past, present, and future sins on the Cross.

I have to confess, I still fall into sin and shame and guilt every so often, but I am in a relationship with God and know he forgives me when I repent and rebuke those attacks from the Enemy that are all-too-real as Christians face daily, for we stand for God on the Enemy’s territory.  God’s territory is in Heaven, and the Enemy’s territory is where he was banished after the Enemy, a fallen angel-turned dragon, to Hell below and on the Earth.

So, spiritual warfare is something that I went through heavily for two years as a new believer.  It’s real, because my testimony and the testimony of my fellow Christians share that same constant message of the spirit and message of God clashing with the spirit and message of this world we live in.

TV and the media say we need this, need to say that, need to live here, need to do this, want to go here, want to buy this, on and on.  God says we need to live in his rest, his presence, for us to be truly happy and free from the things that keep us bound to the things of this world.  Romans 12:2 (New King James Version) tells us that: “‘And do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, that you may prove what is that good and acceptable and perfect will of God'”.

God created us in his image, so we could live according to His Word and His Will for our lives, that “‘Your Kingdom Come, Your Will Be Done, On Earth as it is in Heaven'”(Matthew 6:10, the Lord’s Prayer verses 9-13).  So I say to you, I encourage you through our Lord Jesus Christ, to take up his cross daily and follow Him, as I do.  Matthew 16:24-26 tells us that: ‘”Then Jesus told his disciples, “if anyone would come after me, let him deny himself and take up his cross and follow me.  For whoever would save his life will lose it, but for whoever loses his life for my sake will find it.  For what will profit a man if he gains the whole world and forfeits his soul?  Or what shall a man give in return for his soul?'”

It’s not an easy road, as I’m talking from personal experience, yet it’s a worthwhile road for the long run.  The long run, meaning this life we lead in the here and now and also in the eternal life God has planned for us; if we stay true to His plan for our lives, here and now.  Can I get an Amen?

A Prayer for Thought, in Closing:

God, we ask in your name for your Will be done on this Earth, as it is in Heaven.  Your grace and your forgiveness of our sins and our transgressions is something we don’t deserve, but when your Holy Son died on the Cross, he sacrificed his perfect life so we could live one ourselves, for you alone God.  Please God, help us to live out the Promise and Purpose you have ready for us to live, daily.  Help us to take up your Son’s Cross and follow you daily, God.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

In the New Testament, Ephesians 3:13-14 tells us that: “In him you also, when you had heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation, and had believed in him, were marked with the seal of the Holy Spirit.  This is the pledge of our inheritance toward redemption as God’s own people, to the praise of his glory.'”

Thank you for reading and God Bless You.

 

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