Stop beating me.

By Toni Rittenhouse

Time is one of life’s best teachers. But even time can’t change some people. I use to think that pointing out the sin in others lives was my way of helping. How wrong I was, I saw the effect it had on them, they ran from me. The Holier than thou attitude does right the opposite of what Jesus intended. Look at the woman they brought before him for adultery. He didn’t jump and grab a stone to hit her, instead he made those who were about to stone her aware of their own failures. Then he said, neither do I condemn you. The story of the shepherd leaving the 99 to go find the one stray sheep says it all! We’re not to worry about those inside the church, but those outside. Those whose life has been turned upside down by choices and circumstances.

The world has dished out enough pain and sorrow, folks who don’t know God don’t need a sermon. What they do need is love, compassion and understanding. They don’t need judgment, they need to know that there is a seat reserved for them beside you at church. They don’t need to worry about what they have to wear or to drive. Jesus didn’t invite just those with fine things to come follow him, as a matter of fact, many of his followers were thieves, murderers, adulterers etc. They were people that society would have looked down on. Jesus saw their true value.

The only job we have is to lead others to Jesus through love, the condemnation should not even be found in our mouths. Sermons are to be taught at church by a man called of God. We can share what we know if asked, but we shouldn’t shove it down anyone’s throat. Jesus knows best how to bring the truth to them without hurting feelings. So let’s just get them to church and let Jesus do what he does best, love them and teach them.

I am a Sunday School teacher and run three websites for different ministers. I am a mom of two boys and married to a wonderful, loving, forgiving man. I am blessed.
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http://www.tkrittenhouse.com

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Faith a Proper Response To a Loving God

By Joseph La Valley

God’s hand is not a clinched fist to be pried open by our spirituality, but a loving hand of grace extended to us through Christ. What God requires of us is faith. But what is faith? My wife and I have been walking with the Lord for over forty years, and in that time we’ve heard a lot of teaching about faith. Some of it has helped and some not so much. As we have studied the Bible and put together the verses and context regarding this subject one thing has become clear- Faith is a proper response to what God offers. It is He, God, who is the prime mover.
John 3:16 KJV
For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life.
That’s how it all begins, with a loving God extending His hand. When a person is born, he or she is physically alive, and has body and soul. But that person is as dead as a door nail spiritually. Hence the need for the new birth. None of us knew our zombie state until we got a gander at God’s word and believed what it said. So once you saw your need you then cried out to God for help. He said, “Let’s see what I can do for you. I’ll be getting back to you, take a number.”
Not so, not so. That provision was made long ago. Immediately after Adam and Eve disobeyed God and chose darkness over light, they died spiritually. They’d lost God’s nature and took on sin nature which is the source of all the evil we see today. On the very day that it happened, God promised that someday the seed of the woman would bruise the head of the serpent (Genesis 3:15). We know that it’s the man that contributes the seed to a birth so what was meant by the phrase “seed of the woman”? It’s the promised seed that God would create in Mary’s womb that would bring forth Jesus Christ (Luke 1:26-38). Through this promise seed, God’s plan of redemption will be fully carried out. God was the first to move, He set his plan in action and guarded and fought for its fulfillment. He sent His son who paid for the sins of all people, past, present and future.  All that would believe could receive eternal life and the grace to live the more abundant life in the here and now. (John 10:10 KJV) If you believe this offer is true the proper response is faith- You confess Jesus as your Lord believing that God raised him from the dead. Everything was paid, in full, long ago.
Faith doesn’t move God, He has already moved in Christ, on your behalf. Thank God that’s the truth. I don’t want the task of trying to move the Creator of the heavens and the earth. In fact it’s just the opposite, He’s trying to move the Christian to faith so He can energize these spiritual realities into fruit in your life (read the two prayers that pertain to all Christians in Ephesians 1:15-23 KJV & Ephesians 3:14-20 KJV).  We don’t move God, we simply respond to God. We are free will agents that God wants to “love on”. 1 John 4:9-10 KJV   In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him. Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.
Another trap I fell prey to in the early years of my Christian walk was seeing faith as some sort of immutable principle that God set up in the universe. If I was to see answers to prayers as well as signs, wonders and miracles, I’d better hone my spiritual skills in order to extract these goodies from God. The major problem with this thinking is that you become the focus. God’s not an ATM machine nor is Jesus Christ your ATM card. Faith is relational. We are to respond to our loving heavenly Father’s gift. Once we know what’s ours in Christ we can trust God to bring it into manifestation in our lives. If it doesn’t happen right away we just need to ask for wisdom (James 1:5 KJV). Then we keep stepping because, if it pertains to salvation wholeness in Christ, it’s a prepaid, now promise. God’s not trying to hold back, but He freely gives.
1 Corinthians 1:20 KJV
For all the promises of God in him [Christ] are yea, and in him Amen, unto the glory of God by us.
Romans 8:31-32 KJV
What shall we then say to these things? If God be for us, who can be against us?
He that spared not his own Son, but delivered him up for us all, how shall he not with him also freely give us all things?
As we go to the Pauline epistles, Romans, Ephesians, Thessalonians to mention a few, we’ll see what God did for us in Christ and what He’s committed Himself to do in us through Christ. His grace has already provided it. When we respond by faith to Him we’ll taste and see that the Lord is good.
In the early years of our marriage my wife and I felt called to a Christian training program. We’d gotten sponsors, others who believed in what we were doing, to help us fund the training. We’d gotten some of our money together but we were still shy a good amount. The deadline was fast approaching and at that point we didn’t know what else to do. What we did know was that we had a promise that in Christ our needs are met. Our God has declared this in His word.Philippians 4:19 KJV  But my God shall supply all your need according to his riches in glory by Christ Jesus.

This being the case our prayers were laced with thanksgiving for what God had already provided us in Christ. We did our best to agree with God and see with our spiritual eyes. Did our flesh and the devil have the “anti” suggestions? Yeah. Suggestions such as-“This isn’t going to happen.” One thing you can say about the devil, he’s an equal opportunity tempter. As for our flesh, we just told it to shut up. No one wants advice from a dead guy!
At the time we were living in an apartment complex. We were on the ground floor and a Christian friend of ours lived on the floor above. He came running downstairs one day to tell us that a Mr. “Somebody” was on the phone and wanted to talk to me (these were the ancient days of land line phones only. We hadn’t gotten ours turned on yet). The gentleman calling was a grandfather type who traveled the country and ministered God’s word to many. He was fairly well-known in our circles. But how he knew where we were living or how to get a hold of us had to be God.
Even more surprising was what he said, “Hey Joe I hear you guys are going into a Christian training program.” He that asked if we had all our money together. I told him that we were working on it. He said that someone had given him $1,500 and he felt that the Lord was wanted him to give it to us. That was a good amount of money back in the 70’s. As it turned out that was exactly the amount we needed. With all the variables involved the conclusion is evident of how this need was met: “Not by might, nor by power, but by my spirit saith the Lord of hosts.” Our God wants to Father us, so confess His Son as Lord, then take your Father’s hand and walk through life relying on Him every step of the way. Faith is your proper response to a loving God.

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My name is Joseph. I became serious about walking with the Lord back in 1972.  My wife and I have been married since 1975, and have two grown daughters.  We  live in Idaho. Visit our website at http://www.comewalkwiththefather.com. Our e-book  “Come Walk With The Father” available at amazon.com.

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

How to Accept Your Life Just the Way It Is

By stephanie reck

Have you ever told yourself, “Life is not fair?” Have you struggled with the reality of the way your life has turned out? Did you have different dreams and hopes for your life?

One of the best ways to deal with the unfairness of life is acceptance-accepting that this is how things are and how you can find ways around it to thrive better. You have to learn how to navigate your life differently. If what you are doing is not working, such as, hoping and wishing things were different in your life; you need to change the direction in your thinking and responses to these adverse events in your life. Acceptance may seem harsh, but living in the cycle of continual dashed hopes is exhausting. Your life plan will not look like everyone else’s life plan. Stop comparing what other people have and you don’t.

Living in a continually state of surrender, and letting go of control can be a challenge; especially if life has not quite worked out the way you thought it would. You can try and control your environment, other people, but you will end-up frustrated. Letting go of things that are out of your control is a key step to acceptance.

We must accept finite disappointment, but never lose infinite hope.
Marin Luther King, Jr.

Focus on you. It is not your job to fix everyone else’s drama. Accept the fact that some people may not want to change, and you have to accept this reality. You may need to accept that some people are not good for you, and learn to release them fully into God’s care.

Learning to let go of things that are not in your best interest can ease stress and lift your mood. Trying to change people or continually trying to fix them, will cause you to live in a state on continually unrest.

When you begin to ACCEPT your life as it is there will be benefits. Does this mean you should stop praying, believing, and hoping? Absolutely not! However, you may need to step into the reality of how things are right now, but always keep the door of hope open. If you are living in a state of looking at others’ lives wanting what they have, or wanting a different life; then you are in jeopardy of discontentment. Acceptance of your lot in life can bring less stress, you will be able to let go of past trauma, your mood will improve, your sleep will be better, you will be more content, depression will decrease or maybe even completely lift, and you will feel more control over your life.

When you have things in your life that linger or that bother you daily, it is time for a change. Many people linger on about things that are out of their control, this can bring stress, depression, and anxiety. Learning to count your blessings every day is a start to accepting your life. In other words, what is right in your life? REFOCUS. Instead of reflecting on what you do not have, start choosing to see what you do have. Keep your mind off the situations in your life that cause you the most depression and anxiety. Instead cast your cares on God (1 Peter 5:7). Cast your cares, and then go do something else, don’t stew over them over and over.

Not that I am speaking in need, for I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content. Philippians 4:11

And He said to them, “Take care, and be on your guard against all covetousness, for one’s life does not consist in the abundance of possessions.” Luke 12:15

What are some things that you may need to let go of?
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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@2015, Hope Ministry. All Rights Reserved.

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By blackeybaptistchurch Posted in Faith

I RUN INTO HIS ARMS

By Lewis E. Thomas

Do you remember as a child the comfort of your Father’s arms?
When you ran into his arms you felt “safe from all harm.”

Thats the way I feel now when I run into the arms of God!
I run into His arms when I get frightened on this path I trod!

When I am hurting with pain that is too severe.
I run into His arms because He is always nere!

I run into His arms when “I have lost my way!”
I run into His arms when “I realize I have gone astray!”

I run into His arms where I melt into His Amazing Grace!
He forgives all my sin and wipes the tears from my face!

I run into His arms because thats “the only place I feel secure!”
I run into His arms when I feel Satan trying to “hook me” with his lures!

I run into His arms every time I kneel and pray!
I run into His arms because “thats where I want to stay!”

I run into His arms because “there is no better thing!”
Than to be “embraced by my savior” Jesus “THE KING OF KINGS!”

Lewis E. Thomas
As given by God on 8/18/2015

1 Chronicles 16:27

27 Glory and honour are in his presence; strength and gladness are in his place.

2 Samuel 22:3

3 The God of my rock; in him will I trust: he is my shield, and the horn of my salvation, my high tower, and my refuge, my saviour; thou savest me from violence.

Psalm 91

91 He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

2 I will say of the Lord, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

3 Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

4 He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

5 Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

6 Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noonday.

7 A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

8 Only with thine eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

9 Because thou hast made the Lord, which is my refuge, even the most High, thy habitation;

10 There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

11 For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

12 They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

13 Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

14 Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

15 He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honour him.

16 With long life will I satisfy him, and shew him my salvation.

I am now 61 years of age and I began writing poetry in the mid eighties to present. I became a Christian in the mid eighties. Poem content often comes to me in a matter of moments and sometimes over several days. The majority of my poetry is God/Bible based for the Glory of God.

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By blackeybaptistchurch Posted in Faith

Believing is Seeing

 – Karen Pourbabaee

“Did I not say to you, if you believe you will see the glory of God?” John 11:40 NAS

Jesus was speaking to Martha in this scripture, admonishing her for her unbelief and focus on the facts of the matter, that her beloved brother Lazarus lay dead in a sealed tomb, when Jesus had clearly said in verse 23, “Your brother shall rise again.” Belief precedes vision. In John 11:40 Jesus is essentially saying that believing is seeing.

Lord, help me to believe.

The moment of belief is the birth of faith. And that faith is the vehicle that transports us into our future. Paul told the Corinthian disciples to“…walk by faith not by sight.” (2 Corinthians 5:7) We must walk blindly along our journey, not considering the circumstances surrounding us, only considering our belief, our faith.

Lord, I believe. I will walk by faith into my future.

Can we walk in peace? With joy? Yes! The psalmist testifies, “I would have despaired unless I had believed that I would see the goodness of the Lord in the land of the living.” (Psalm 27:13) Belief keeps us from despair and allows us to experience God’s goodness.

Lord, I will keep on walking, peacefully and joyfully.

How long do we walk by faith? As long as it takes. Psalm 27 concludes this way: “Wait for the Lord. Be strong and let your heart take courage. Yes, wait for the Lord. (verse 14) Note we are asked to wait twice in one verse! God’s got it.. Wait on Him. Your faith will yield a beautiful sight.

Lord, I believe I will see both Your goodness and Your glory. Amen.

Karen is a Christian author and former nurse. She uses God’s word to heal. Contact

 

CHEER UP

 by Robert Valleau

Jesus said in John 16:33 (NIV), “I have told you these things so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart. I have overcome the world.”

Jesus had just finished telling His disciples some things that, at that time, they could not fully understand. But, He didn’t leave them clueless. He made a statement of fact: “In this world you will have trouble.” He doesn’t say our troubles will go away. He doesn’t say we will no longer be plagued by fear or doubt. Instead, our solution to a troubled heart, is to find peace in Him. But, He takes that a step further by saying something strange. He tells us to, “take heart,” or, “cheer up.”

So, when we are lonely or depressed, have doubts about our faith or feel the weight of the world pressing us down, we are to “cheer up”? This makes no sense until we read our Lord’s last statement: “I have overcome the world.”

We win our battles when we surrender to Jesus who has already fought them for us. We free ourselves from a bag full of burdens when we lay it at the cross and leave it there. We find peace, in the midst of life’s storms, when we rest in the One who walked upon the water and said, “Peace! Be still.”

He, who was rejected and despised of men, is now our Overcomer. That is definitely something we can all cheer about.

Today’s Writer was once named Christian Writer of the Year by the American Christian Writers Association. Hire This Writer   

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By blackeybaptistchurch Posted in Faith

“Seeds Grow”

 by R. Marie Thompson

Then He said, “What is the kingdom of God like? And to what shall I compare it? It is like a mustard seed, which a man took and put in his garden; and it grew and became a large tree, and the birds of the air nested in its branches.” Luke 13:18-19 (NKJ)

Jesus stopped and asked himself the question, “What shall I compare it?” Once He decided on the answer He tells us that the man took it and planted it. From there it took root, and it grew until it was big enough for the birds to nest in it. Jesus uses this small little seed and its ability to grow and to provide shelter for the birds, as an important lesson that we all need to take note of.

The kingdom of God is the seed that is planted. The garden it gets planted in is you and I. We need to remember that seeds grow and we need to be planting daily from His word. If we will allow even the smallest glimpse of the things of God to take root in our lives, then growth is guaranteed! It will grow, and it will keep growing, not just to the point were we are sustained but to the point where He will use us to touch the lives of others!

Marie is a Youth Pastor, first grade teacher, and a foster mom. She loves God and His Word.

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Accept Jesus Today!

THE ANSWER

 by Susan Allen

Jeremiah 33:3—Call to me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

Sometimes it is hard to distinguish what the answer to prayer was.  It is possible to have an answer right away, but not usually.  We know when we put something in God’s hands, He will answer.  He is in control and will answer everything in His own way and timing.

We must ask for His assistance.  We know God could take care of our needs without our asking; but when we ask, we are acknowledging that He alone is God and that we know that we know we cannot accomplish the feat in our own strength.  It is humbling to admit that we cannot do something ourselves when we like to be independent.  This could be about pride if we don’t include Him, watch out!  He will answer us beyond what we expect.

After some time, we wonder if He is going to answer—when He already has.  He said, “No.”  We will know because nothing worked out or gave us any peace about the request, so He didn’t want us to proceed or pursue that venture.  We accept His answer and thank Him for stopping us from making a mistake.  No matter what His answer is, be thankful.  Pray in His will and the answer will most likely be “Yes.”  Accept His answer obediently, knowing His answer will be from His unconditional love for us.

Susan enjoy’s writing about Christian values and about our awesome Lord and Savior. Contact

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Miracles Happen Today

by Lynn Gipson

John 11:4 – But when Jesus heard it he said, “This illness does not lead to death. It is for the glory of God, so that the Son of God may be glorified through it.”

Some say miracles of the bible don’t happen anymore. I beg to differ. I am a miracle, having survived the past four years after I was told I was certain to die soon.

But that’s not the real miracle. No, the real miracle happened in the hospital room after I woke up from brain surgery. A warm, comforting, loving presence that enveloped me and told me not to worry, everything was all right. The real miracle is God’s saving grace, and the fact that I found Him.

I am a miracle because after a life of fear, anxiety and resentment I am today without those things. I am today full of hope, love, mercy and faith. I live to love God and accept His love in return. I am happy for the first time in my unhappy life.

The real miracle is that Christ is alive in me so that I might live to tell others of His miracles, and testify to all He has done for me and will do for others.

Lynn lives in Mississippi and loves the Lord. She has one amazing son and two grandchildren. Accept Jesus Today!      Christian Writers Wanted      Free Christian Content        DaybyDay.org                                                                 

“Sufficient”

Inspired by Rev 7:9-12.

 by Janet Kelly

“And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities that the power of Christ may rest upon me”  2 Corinthians 12:9 (KJV)

As the anniversary of my dad’s home going approaches, I think of today’s verse and the comfort that I gleaned from it during that difficult time. Pulling into the parking lot of the funeral home to make arrangements, with tears streaming down my face, I wondered how I would ever get through this. As I sat there for a few more minutes to compose myself, I felt the Holy Spirit bring to mind “My grace is sufficient for thee.” I could not handle this on my own; the Lord was there to remind me that I didn’t have to. His grace would be sufficient to get me through this time.

In this passage Paul is talking about the thorn in the flesh he had asked the Lord three times to remove. The answer that he got was the same one that I got on that difficult day. Paul’s thorn did not go away, my dad did not come back to life but God’s grace was there. When we are weak, HE is strong. When we go through trials and difficulties it is so that God may be glorified. May others see the power of Christ resting upon us in hard times!

Janet Kelly lives in Murfreesboro, TN.  Devotional free at FaithWriters.com.  DaybyDay.orgChristian Writers Wanted  – Accept Jesus as Lord and Savior Today!

By blackeybaptistchurch Posted in Faith