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First There Comes Bitterness – J.R. Miller

March 2013
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Dr. Richard & Loryann Schnitker

C2TV ministry is designed to strengthen your spiritual walk. This ministry newsletter began in 1999, first known as the Family Tree Ministry. The goal is to be a connection builder, serving as a spiritual connection between people and matters of faith. Our mission is simple: Connecting men and women to life-changing faith in Jesus – encouraging them to impact their community with His values, ethics and love. In the age of technology the newsletter has transformed into a blog with many more features that the old paper format couldn't provide. In November 2012, The Family Tree Ministry was renamed to "Connect to the Vine - (C2TV)" based on the Book of John, Chapter 15, where we are told to remain connected to Christ. In October 2016, this blog was renamed to "Connecting Champions to the Vine - C2TV." This change came about with the adding of the ADVOCARE bar at the top of the blog site. Originally focused on a ministry outreach to family members, C2TV has expanded to reach all those whom we come into contact with. Our prayer is that this blog becomes a means of illuminating God's work in our culture and encouraging one another to stand firm in Him! At the heart of the spiritual journey is the understanding that it is a journey. None of us are perfect. Once we become believers, we are not expected to achieve instant spiritual maturity. Rather, the Christian life is a process involving both our attention (2 Corinthians 7:1) and God’s work in us (Philippians 1:6). And it has more to do with opportunity and intentionality than with age (1 Timothy 4:12).

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1jesus_savesLet us fix our eyes on Jesus . . . who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God!” Hebrews 12:2

Christ Himself had humiliation, darkness, and the shame of the cross–and then exaltation, power, and glory. In Christian life, the same law holds: First there comes bitterness–but out of the bitterness, sweetness flows.

There is the deep sorrow of penitence–but this gives way to the blessed joy of forgiveness.

First there are self-denial and cross-bearing–but out of these experiences comes a holy peace which fills all the heart.

Sorrows are to be endured–but the good wine of comfort is poured into the empty cup.

There is also a constant progression in the blessings of the Divine life. We never get to the end of them; indeed, we never get to the best. There is always something better yet to come. Heaven will make amends for all!

Weeping may endure for a night–but joy comes in the morning.” Psalm 30:5


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