What I Thought God Wanted

Family

Photo by Matt Gruber@creationswap

By Abby Kelly

A man stood before God listening intently; he wanted to catch every single word of instruction.

“Do you see that boulder there?” God asked. “The one on the very edge of the precipice. I created it and placed it exactly there with you in mind. This is your mission, your calling. I want you to push that boulder.”

“That’s all God?” The man glanced down at his puny physique and felt a flush of shame redden his cheeks. It doesn’t seem like a very important job, he thought. At the same time, doubt clashed with his indignation. What if I’m not strong enough to move that huge rock, he wondered.

“That is exactly what I made you to do,” God affirmed. “I will always be with you. Don’t worry, you can do all things through my strength.”

So the man set his shoulder against the stone. Day in and day out, night after long night, he pressed on. Over time, his shoulders broadened with sinewy muscle. His skin grew dark and tan at first, then weathered and ruddy. His shoulder bruised. Once or twice, he pulled back and looked at the massive rock. It hadn’t moved a millimeter.

The voice of doubt reached a fevered pitch in his mind: I’m failing. The one, seemingly insignificant thing God gave me to do and I can’t even manage that. And where is God? I thought He was going to help me be my strength! Maybe I didn’t hear Him right. Maybe He’s not even pleased with all my work. I only wanted to be obedient. I’m sure someone else could do a better job.

Just then, he felt a presence behind him. His Lord stood there, quietly assessing the tired man and the stone. “I’m sorry, God,” the man whispered. “I couldn’t move it even one tiny bit.”

Jesus reached out a scarred hand and tipped the man’s face up to look Him in the eyes. “What are you talking about?” He asked gently. “I never asked you to move the stone. I only asked you to push it.”

My pastor told that story in a message about finishing well. He quoted Paul in 1 Timothy 4:7, “I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.”

My heart perked up with his words. I’ve felt like that! In particular, I have prayed and prayed and prayed for my husband to love the Lord with all his heart and to lead our family spiritually. (I’ve also employed some unsuccessful tactics like pleading and bribing.) Now, 15 years later, I’m tired, I feel like a failure and I want to quit.

As a Christian wife, I know that my most important assignment on earth is to help my husband become the man God created him to be. God brought us together; He created me to be my husband’s helpmate. Sometimes this appointment seems mundane and unimportant compared to world-wide evangelism and other lofty callings. Other times, it seems like much more than I can handle; it feels like I have sweated and struggled to no avail.

As I listened to the sermon, I felt Jesus’ presence. I turned my heart to listen.

“Daughter,” He said. “I never told you to change your husband. I assigned you to be his helpmate. You put a great burden on yourself when you expect a specific outcome or result. You are only to obey me; be his helpmate. I will be the one to move and change him in my time. But, do you see what good has come of your labor? You, yourself have grown strong. When you were tired and weary, you learned to rest in me. You’ve gained some calluses and bruises, but now you are wiser, too.

Whether it be our hopes and dreams for a certain type of marriage or something else, our lives and sanity depend on understanding specifically what God has called us to do. He has not called us to bring about an outcome, only to allow Him to use us in the process.

“So we tell others about Christ, warning everyone and teaching everyone with all the wisdom God has given us. We want to present them to God, perfect in their relationship to Christ. That’s why I work and struggle so hard, depending on Christ’s mighty power that works within me.” Colossians 1:28-29 (emphasis added)
____________________________
Learn more about me on my website: http://predatory-lies.com/about-me/

Please find my book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Predatory-Lies-Anorexia-Kelly-ebook/dp/B00HFGMBJA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389645006&sr=8-1&keywords=predatory+lies

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

A Believing Heart

Children in Asia

Photo by Justin Knight@creationswap

- by Susan Ferguson

 

Jesus said to him, “If you can believe, all things are possible to him who believes”. (Mark 9:23 NKJV)

 

Jesus had a special love and appreciation for children. He taught the disciples that to enter the kingdom of heaven they must become like little children. (Matthew 18:1-3)

 

Young children are open and honest and have the faith to believe. They are humble, teachable, and eager to learn about Jesus. Untarnished by the world, they love and forgive easily. If they have a fuss with another child, the next day they are playing happily together. Valuable lessons can be learned from children.

 

As children grow into adulthood, the cares and worries of the world gradually chip away their believing hearts. Skepticism replaces trust when they learn that people aren’t always honest and trustworthy. Their once pure hearts become tainted by the troubles of a fallen world.

 

As adults, we dare not become so “grown up” that we can’t take God at His word and trust Him. As Christ followers, we must guard our hearts against unbelief. When Jesus returns, will He find faith on earth? (Luke 18:8) Let us take a look at Mary, the mother of Jesus, and see how she responded when the angel Gabriel told her she would give birth to the Son of God. (Luke 1:26-33) Mary was frightened, and she questioned how it could be. (Luke 1:34) But she had a believing heart and a willingness to obey God.

 

Today’s freelance writer is a bookkeeper by day and a writer by night. She lives with her husband in Madison, MS, USA. Contact

 

Christian Writer Training Receive Devotional by Email or Post on Site- Find Articles for Church’s and Christian Publications - Read New Christian Books for FreeEnter to Win a Christian Book Publishing Package

 

The Game Changer

Scrabble Series 2

Photo by Mathew Grubber @creationswap

by Mathetes Disciple  

I have loved things,
I have loved places,
I have loved people.
Yet the moment I met you everything changed.

How can I ever describe what you are,
How can I ever describe who you are,
How can ever describe what I feel for you.

You confound me with your goodness.
Your greatness my mind never fathoms
You are a mystery that no finite mind can ever comprehend.
Your circle of love,I feel in the rays of the sun.
Yet you remain the great game changer.

The moment you stepped into the scene,the game changed.
In my hearts of hearts I know that I can never love like this
Nor will I ever be loved as completely as you love me.
Your love branded my heart with infinite possiblilities,the knowledge that I am yours and
You remain true.

Mathetes is a modern day disciple,who is passionate about God,his word and all he continues to do in the world today.He is alive … can you hear him speaking to you?

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITERS

Weapons of Our Warfare

Fearless.psd

Arwork by Jordan Battani@creationswap

 

By stephanie reck

We are in an unseen spiritual warfare. There is a battle taking place, and you may not know who or what is behind this. You may feel alone, maybe your church has never discussed this topic. Perhaps you need to know what you are going through is part of the Christian walk, however, God has given us some instructions for the warfare.

The enemy wants to destroy your walk with God, and will make attempts to do so. It is not a matter of if you will engage in this battle, but when. You must be prepared and guarded for this time. Victory is yours, but sometimes you will go through battles of the unseen world. Be of good courage, because the Lord will see you through. Just don’t give in during the warfare. The struggle may seem endless and hopeless, but that is a lie of the enemy; keep pressing through until triumph.

For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Ephesians 6:12

Those who are not “flesh and blood” are demons over whom satan has control. We don’t fight with people, but these unseen forces. They are a powerful army whose goal it is to defeat Christ’s church. When we believe in Christ, these demons try and turn us away from Christ and back to sin. Although we are assured of victory, we must engage in the struggle until Christ returns.

We need supernatural power to defeat satan, and God has provided this by giving us His Holy Spirit within us and His armor surrounding us. We do not fight alone, nor must we try and engage in this warfare alone.

Above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one. Ephesians 6:16

What we see are satan’s attacks in the form of insults, setbacks, and temptations. But the shield of faith protects us from satan’s fiery darts. With God’s perspective, we can see beyond our circumstances and know that ultimate victory is ours.

What are some weapons of warfare:

1.    Prayer. Ask The Lord to dispatch His Warrior, guardian angels.
2.    Praise; play worship music in your home continually.
3.    Stand still and allow God to battle for you.
4.    Trust God and have faith that the victory will come.
5.    Use the authority you have in Christ to command the enemy to flee.
6.    Plead the blood of Jesus over yourself, your family, home, and children. The enemy knows what Christ’s blood represents.
7.    Close any “open” doors that you may have opened to the enemy, such as unconfessed sin.
8.    Watch what you say. Don’t get into agreement with that the enemy is showing you. Confess God’s Word instead. Speak what God says. Satan fights with lies that sound like the truth, so we must speak and know God’s Word.
9.    Know who you are in Christ. Satan will attack your self-worth, and your emotions. In other words, what does God say about you.

Read Ephesians 4:14-18

Stephanie Reck, LMSW, LBT,BCCC. Christian counselor, author, speaker, and teacher. Stephanie has a passion to bring hope and encouragement and to see people made whole.
Contact Stephanie @ http://www.christianhopecounseling.com
Copyright@2014, Hope Ministry. All Rights Reserved.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

Well Aged by Seasons

Greater Things Have Yet To Com

Photo by:  Craig Hatting@creationswap

By Abby Kelly

“Be careful, parents! One day the little ones whose diapers you’re changing will be changing yours!”

I heard that humorous warning about aging in a sermon once. I don’t recall the rest of the lesson at all. That line was so catchy, I kind of got stuck there. But recently, the gravity and art of aging has intrigued me.

Maybe it’s because my refrigerator is camouflaged in pictures of my nieces and nephews. Kylie, the oldest, isn’t quite three; baby Acelynn hasn’t even had her first birthday. Right alongside images of first steps, yogurt-smeared chins and sparkly, wide eyes, is a photo of my grandmother. She turned 91 this year.

Granddad died a few years ago. Since then, almost spry as ever, she has lived alone a few hours from my parents’ house. The only signs of her age are fading hearing, a tremor when she tries to hold her head perfectly still and she walks a bit slower than she used to.

Or maybe, I’m contemplating these seasons of life because I volunteer doing pet therapy with hospice patients. I heard of a man who recently decided he’d like a visit. It took them months to convince him he would benefit from a few hours with a dog. Stubborn, he kept telling his son and nurses that he wants his own dog, not simply a visitor. He knows what they say is true, that it wouldn’t be fair to the dog. He’s too old and ill to care for it properly. He may not live much longer and then who would take care of his furry best friend? Brave and I will meet Mr. Thurston next week for the first time.

Or maybe it’s because a few weeks ago Brave and I attended a grief camp for children who have lost a loved one in the last two years. However unfair, they were thrust into an unexpected season, one with a stark awareness of death. For many of them, the loss will mean a drastic change in their lifestyle. Who will tuck me in at night?

I might be thinking about birth, aging and dying, youth and the elderly, old and new because a friend just told me that he and his wife are finishing their basement so that his father can move in with them. It’s only been a few short years since they tenderly cared for his mother in her final days.

Whatever the reason, the seasons of life are turning in my head. But it’s much more than a solemn observation of finite lives. It’s more of an interest in how these season change us, not just our appearances and abilities, but change the way we live our lives. Passing years change our lifestyles, our priorities, our waking thoughts and unremembered dreams.

In 1 Corinthians 13:11, Paul says, “When I was a child, I spoke like a child, I thought like a child, I reasoned like a child. When I became a man, I gave up childish ways.”

It’s not surprising that Paul includes that sentence in, “The Love Chapter”. The most important way that time changes us, that age matures us, that the end sobers us, is that we fall more in love with the timeless. Time as we know it nears its finale, and our attention is swept up by the eternal. Our love shifts to things of an infinite naturethe promises of our Creator, the surety of seeing His face, the eternal spirits of our loved ones. Our lives necessarily change to accommodate these newly found truths.

Our bodies slow down as God allows age to limit our lifestyle, to force us to take closer, longer looks at what really matters. It is in the slowness, even the stillness, that we know He is God. And in that knowing, we are so much closer to all we’ve ever hoped for–to be fully real, fully known and fully loved.

“For now we see in a mirror dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I have been fully known.” 1 Corinthians 13:12

Learn more about me on my website: http://predatory-lies.com/about-me/

Please find my book on Amazon: http://www.amazon.com/Surviving-Predatory-Lies-Anorexia-Kelly-ebook/dp/B00HFGMBJA/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1389645006&sr=8-1&keywords=predatory+lies

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

Joy in Suffering?

blackeybaptistchurch:

Lovely Poem!

Originally posted on CHRISTian ~ poetry by deborah ann:

whatjoy ~ CHRISTian poetry by deborah ann ~ used with permission IBible Verses

How could there be joy in suffering,
what good can come from pain?
How can there be rejoicing,
when there’s only loss, and not gain?

How could there be thanksgiving,
what good can come from tribulation?
How can there be gratefulness,
when there’s only deep affliction?

How could there be praise,
what good can come from misery?
How can there be worship,
when there’s no longer liberty?

How could there be gladness,
what good can come from persecution?
How can there be happiness,
when there’s some facing execution?

How could there be joy in suffering,
what good can come from all this pain?
Ah, is it because we believe . . .
one day, Jesus will come to reign?

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

1 Peter 1:6-7

“Wherein ye greatly rejoice,
though now for a season,
if need be, ye are in heaviness
through manifold temptations:

That the trial of your faith,
being much more precious

View original 32 more words

Overcoming Fear

Fear

artwork by Caleb Minear@creationswap

 

By stephanie reck

God tells us in the Bible over 100 times, “Do not be afraid.” Yet, we can be paralyzed and overcome with fear. There is a lot of things we can fear, the unknown, the future, change, people, failure, and rejection. If we allow fear to rule in our lives, we can become overtaken by it; and live by fear instead of faith.

It takes trust in God not to let fear rise up. We do not always see what is happening, and as humans we can become gripped by the unknowns and what ifs. We can hear the enemy whispering to us, “What if?” We can then start o be preoccupied by the scenarios that the enemy shows us. We can get in agreement with the lies of the enemy, and believe what the enemy shows us is factual. The enemy always magnifies our circumstances, and makes them appear impossible to overcome and to find a solution to. Fear overwhelms and is rooted with worry and anxiety. If the enemy can get us to live in fear, then he knows we cannot possibly live by faith.

In this fallen world and the times and seasons we live in, there can be a lot to fear. Our only real security is in Christ. We must understand that fear is not implemented by God, and the enemy is the source of all fear. We will all experience fear in our lives, but God does not want us debilitated by them.

You can overcome fear by believing what the Bible says, and meditating on these truths daily, as well as reading Psalm 91. You can also overcome fear by not agreeing with what the enemy says, but instead trust God and His faithfulness. You can overcome fear by believing that God is with you, and He will strengthen you. Believing that fear is not of God, you can take the authority that Christ gives His true believers, and tell that spirit of fear to leave you in the name of Jesus Christ. It is not God’s will that His children live fearful, weak, and intimidated by the enemy. God wants us to be strong and courageous, and not to be afraid.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you, He will never leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

“Peace I leave you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” John 14:27

Cast your care on the Lord and He will sustain you. Psalm 55:22
“So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand.” Isaiah 41:10

Believe what the Word says!

Stephanie Reck, LMSW, LBT,BCCC. Christian counselor, author, speaker, and teacher. Stephanie has a passion to bring hope and encouragement and to see people made whole.
Contact Stephanie @ http://www.christianhopecounseling.com
Copyright@2014, Hope Ministry. All Rights Reserved.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

A Pink Lemonade Sky (Poem)

Boats

Photo by Matt Gruber @creationswap

~ By Deborah Ann Belka

Give me the sun on the horizon,
a pink-lemonade sky above . . .
give me a clear, cloudless day
and I’ll tell you why ~ Jesus I love.

Give me the shade of the elm,
the Good Book for me to read
give me something cool to drink
and I’ll have close to all I need.

Give me the creek’s soft humming,
chirps coming from a mother’s nest
give me the green grass to lay in
well ~ you can picture the rest.

Give me a Scripture to mediate on,
a soft breeze blowing across my face
give me a day dwelling upon
God’s amazing, wonderful grace.

Give me the aromas of a barbecue,
my mom’s homemade apple pie
give me laughter around an open fire
the warm sounds of a summer’s sigh.

Give me a day in the radiant Son shine,
so I can reflect on God’s perfect love
give me a day to spend basking . . .
in the goodness that comes from above.

~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Psalm 31:19
King James Version

“Oh how great is thy goodness, which thou hast laid up for them that fear thee;  which thou hast wrought for them that trust  in thee before the sons of men!”

Copyright 2014
Deborah Ann Belka
bdebby@hotmail.com
http://www.hiswingsshadow.com

http://poetrybydeborahann.wordpress.com/

TO GOD BE THE GLORY!

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com <a href=”http://www.faithwriters.com”>CHRISTIAN WRITER</a>

It`s Not Always The Devil, Sometimes It`s Us!

The Choice

Artwork by Jonathan Carone
By: Calvin Moss

Ephesians 4:27 states: Neither give place to the devil.

I believe that we as Christians have to do our part in our walk with Christ. Although no weapon that is formed against us shall prosper, they will if we allow those weapons to proceed. We cannot place all the blame on the devil because sometimes we are our own enemy. The truth is that satan cannot conquer what we do not allow him to conquer. Many of us go through things and then say the devil is responsible. I am not defending the devil at all. Obviously the devil is the author of evil and responsible for many things that do occur in the world. I am just saying that if we do something and blame it on the devil we are liars. The devil cannot make us do anything. We know what`s right and wrong.

We can cast out the devil but not our flesh. We must begin to crucify it. Everything is not always the result of a demon. Christians fighting against each other is not always the activity of the adversary. Our flesh is the culprit. Many times we develop certain sickness because we eat all the wrong foods all the time. Twenty-four hours, seven days a week eating bad foods but the only solution is the devil. We never eat anything healthy and then blame the devil saying he made me sick. The devil also does not have anything to do with our credit cards being over the limit, it is our doing. We need to check ourselves because some of our problems result from our own negligence and ignorance (I know this for sure). It is time we admit our own shortcomings and failures.

The Apostle Paul mentioned: “in this flesh dwelleth no good thing”. The bible declares those who are in the flesh cannot please God. The bible also mentions that in the Spirit is life and peace. Not many of us are experiencing peace simply because we do not want to listen to the truth. The Word of God tells us to put on the Lord Jesus Christ. Being disruptive at work and church does not identify us with Jesus. I have also come to the realization that many of us are addicted to doing things and living life the hard way. I know very well the struggles of the flesh but I am accountable for the things that I have done and so are you not the devil. I thank God for the blood of Jesus because the blood has truly rescued me.

So in essence, I cannot say oh the devil made me do it. I did “it” because I wanted to do it. I fell for the trick. I have to repent and straighten up not the devil. I am not uncompassionate and do understand that not all of us are as strong as others. But unless we accept responsibility for our sinful actions we will continue to point the finger at the devil instead of ourselves and remain immature. Amen.

In Faith, In Pain

 

God is Faithful 

Artwork by nathan vanhorn

by Stephanie M. White

 

Be not afraid of them [their faces], for I am with you to deliver you, says the Lord…And they shall fight against you, but they shall not [finally] prevail against you, for I am with you, says the Lord, to deliver you. Jeremiah 1:8, 19 (Amp)

 

Did you ever feel like you were experiencing more problems because of the Word? Did you ever feel as if the promises that God gave you were the very cause of the trial you were experiencing? Jeremiah felt “persuaded and deceived” (Jeremiah 20:7 Amp). He felt as if God had talked him into believing something only to keep him from receiving it. Perhaps God has “persuaded” you to believe something from His Word and instead of moving forward and receiving it, you feel as if you’re going farther away from the promise. You may feel deceived – you may feel like what God said is not the truth for your life. You may feel misinformed, mislead, and maybe even betrayed, but understand that God cannot deceive us! Whatever He says will come to pass!

 

When God’s promises take time to come to pass that’s when many give up and may even begin to feel like they were deceived, but we must press on; we must take root in the Word. If we can look past our trial to the end result, then we’ll be able to press past the pain of the trial through the power Christ has bestowed upon us. Jesus despised the shame of the cross, but he set the joy of the cross before Him – He focused on the outcome of this trying time, not the trial itself (Hebrews 12:2). Look to Christ; focus on His promises of deliverance for you!

 

Stephanie is a Bible teacher and the author of four books. Find her books and contact here HERE.