Jesus

Accentuate the Positive

Growing In Grace

@creationswap/beccalee

Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

by Sheldon Bass

“And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.” (Philippians 4:8 NLT )

Ever notice how powerful our thought life is? For example, dwelling upon the wrongs someone has perpetrated against me tends to produce bitterness and strife, anger and resentment within. These resulting negative emotions, eventually are manifested in my words and actions. They lead to sin. Or if I allow myself to become irritated by the inappropriate attire of others (perhaps at church), a judgmental attitude develops. This will cut off the blessings of a pure heart that God intends for me.

In a sin cursed world, there’s an abundance of negative things to ponder. However, there’s also good things as listed in this verse. Directing our thoughts toward the wholesome and good, sows unto a beautiful harvest of joy and peace. Searching out the positive in people, places and circumstances births within us the happy and healthy virtues of godliness.

We can displace the negative, by filling up on the positive, resulting in an out pouring of praise to God for all of His goodness. And we reap the bountiful stores of wisdom, happiness and better health. Searching out the silver linings and rainbows, obscured by a dark world, and thoughtfully dwelling upon them, returns rich dividends to our lives.

Perhaps you remember a song from years ago that said, “Accentuate the positive.” Christian, shine on for Jesus!

Sheldon Bass is a Minister and Writ er, published in various Christian magazines and creates content for three web-sites. Watch for his devotional book coming soon: “Forty Days on the Mountain”. Contact

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Why Christmas Again?

A Stable Influence

@creationswap/hollywilliams

 

By Ngozi Nwoke

Christmas again is here. What is special about it? Why should it be a big holiday time? Some people really ask these questions and they want answers. This article is to answer the question “why Christmas again?”

For my eyes have seen Your salvation. Which You have prepared before the face of all peoples, A light to bring revelation to the Gentiles, And the glory of Your people Israel.”… Then Simeon blessed them, and said to Mary His mother, “Behold, this Child is destined for the fall and rising of many in Israel, and for a sign which will be spoken against – Luke 2:30-34 (NKJV)

Many people remember Christmas only for the holiday, giving and receiving of gifts, and a time to have fun and relax. But it is more than that. It is very significant and so must be observed with understanding and appropriate actions.

The date is significant enough that Anno Domini (AD) and Before Christ (BC), which are designations used to label or number years, are based on the birth of Jesus Christ. Also, all over the world, this date is recognized and respected. School calendars are scheduled with this date in consideration. Businesses and offices close on that day. Really, it is an important date.

Christmas again is remembered as the day Jesus Christ, the savior of the world was born. Jesus came as God’s salvation plan for humanity. Through Christ, God reconciled man back to himself. All man has to do to activate this perfected reconciliation is to accept Jesus as his personal Lord and savior.

In addition, it was a day one of God’s prophesies were fulfilled. God prophesied the birth of Jesus in the Old Testament and fulfilled it in the New Testament. The fulfillment of this is a proof that whatever God says He does.

Jesus is the glory of God’s people and He came to bring revelation to humanity. He is the way, the truth and the life. Through Christ we have access to God, the father and all that He has to offer: including His blessings. Furthermore, Jesus is for a sign and many people either rise or fall because of Him.

Why Christmas again?

It is a time to reflect and examine your status with God. Have you accepted God’s salvation? How much revelation have you received of God from Jesus? Is Jesus’ glory evident in your life? Have you risen or fallen? How much of God’s word concerning you are fulfilled in your life?

Therefore, Christmas holiday is a time to evaluate your walk with God and take some steps towards fulfilling the essence of Christmas in your life. So as you make out time to visit loved ones and to enjoy the holiday, also make out time to be in God’s presence to receive instructions and be empowered to rise more.

Ngozi Nwoke Is a teacher and a counselor. A product and distributor of love. She has a passion to teach people how to enjoy God’s love and fellowship for more fulfilling life. Want more fulfilling life? subscribe for free email updates today. http://stepswithgod.com

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

You Have The Victory

Above All

@creationswap/johnemery

By Irma Green

You have been liberated; you have been emancipated; you have been set free!

Scripture says: “Thanks be to God, which giveth us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  The noose has been loosed, removed and you can walk in victory.  It’s time to claim your emancipation; you have been given a bill of rights.

You need to claim your victory.  You need to claim victory over your life, victory over your circumstances, over your situtions.  You can claim your victory because it is already yours.  It’s already yours beacuse of what happened on the cross.

Satan has no hold over you – you have dominion over him.  You are the victor – not the victim.  You have victory through Christ Jesus; that means you have victory over every area of your life.  It is victory over  all the power of the adversary.

Luke 10:19 I give you authority (power) to trample on serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy, and nothing shall by any means hurt you.

How much power did God give you over the enemy? “ALL”!!  You have been given ALL power and authority to walk in victory.  There’s nothing to hold you back.
Psalm 124:7 – Our soul is escaped as a bird out of the snare of the fowlers; the snare is broken and we are escaped.

Our souls are set free because of what happened on the cross. There is no longer a snare of Satan, or sin, or fear that can hold you.  You are free from the power of darkness.  you are free to live the abundant life Jesus came to give you.
______________
About the Author:
Rev. K. Irma Green, retired pastor; Motivational Speaker/Bible Teacher
www.birthinganewyou.org  irmagreen8@aol.com

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

Poisoned Minds (poem)

By Jackson  Vusaka

What was formed and born pure
Has been corrupted by the lure of the dark
Naivety engulfed, oblivious of misguided intentions
Unaware of its godly potential
What was destined for eternal glory
Has been turned, fashioned for destruction
A distraction from its normal actions

The rule of fear
Has veiled the hearts of men
Not to perceive the love of God
Selfishness is condemning us
Slowly snuffing out the concern we have for each other
A man for a man society has erroneously transformed to a
A man eats man society

The poison has been crafted purposefully
Cunningly infused to our system
To become the norm
It’s only the wise who see it
The bold who question its existence
and the strong who prevail the onslaught of its fury

It’s truly a potent war
Waged in the immortal realm
With weapons that defy mortal logic
Yet it’s very simple to the over-comers
The survivors of the dire age
Who deploy power invisible to the eyes of men
To break strongholds of unimaginable magnitude

Only one name purifies the poisoned mind
Only one name pierces the darkness with light
Only one name mediates between man and God
The name is Jesus Christ
The antidote

About the Author:
a born again christian email address: jacksonvusaka@gmail.com

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Because of You

Prayer

@creationswap/jenniferpowell

Because of You By Steve Countryman

Because of you Lord I am made perfect.  Because of you Lord I am redeemed and saved.  Because of you Lord I am blessed beyond measure.  Because of you Lord my life has purpose.  Because of you Lord I am not the person I used to be.  Because of you Lord I am delivered, set free, healed and restored.  Because of you Lord I walk in your victory everyday.  Because of you Lord I don’t have to stare at my problems instead I get to stare at you, my answer.  Because of you Lord my past does not dictate my future, you do.  Because of you Lord I have a future.  Because of you Lord I am the righteousness of Jesus who dwells in me.  Because of you Lord my walk is an upright and righteous walk.  Because of you Lord my Christian life is exciting and NEVER boring.  Because of you Lord I will never be the same.

2 Corinthians 12:9-10 9 But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.  In my prayer time recently I was thanking God for Him being made strong in my weaknesses.  Then I saw a vision of being clothed in amour.  This amour was nothing special and looked common, not flashy like you see in the movies.  As I looked closer at it I saw “chinks” in it.  “Chink” means an opening in a suit of armor that allows a weapon to penetrate it.  Chinks are a sign of weakness in a suit of amour.  These chinks were caused by the weapons used against me by the enemy to hurt and destroy me.  Each chink represents one of my many weaknesses.  I used to wonder why God picked me with all of my weaknesses.  I know now it was because He gets to shine brightly through them in me!

To my amazement something spectacular started to happen.  A glowing light began to shine through my chinks.  The light became brighter and stronger.  There were so many chinks that the light that shined through it reminded me of a dance floor mirror ball.  What the enemy did not realize until it was too late was that the light shining through my chink filled amour was God being made strong through my weaknesses.  Because of you  Lord I am empowered with authority from on high!  For I can do all things through Jesus Christ who strengthens me.

Because of you Lord being made strong in my weaknesses my boast and my bragging is all in you!  Because of you Lord I am more than a conquer.  Because of you Lord I am the head and not the tail, I am above and not beneath.  Because of you Lord my strength is renewed like the eagle.  Because of you Lord I do not grow weary or weak.  Because of you Lord my walk of obedience and faith is made firm and secure.  Because of you Lord all my battles are won.  Because of you Lord I am not afraid for if you are for me then who can be against me?  Because of you Lord my successes and victories are found in you.  Because of you Lord there is less of me and more of you.  Because of you Lord I am saturated in your love.  Because of you Lord I am saturated in your prosperity.  Because of you Lord I am saturated in your Holy Spirit fire.  All I am and all that I will be is all because of you Lord!

My name is Steve and I was born and raised in a good Christian home in Phoenix Arizona.  In 2004 God spoke to me to let me know that He would start sharing things with me that I would share with others. Little did I know how powerful and meaningful those things would be! Thank you Lord!!

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The Lighthouse

Lighthouse and Palm Tree

@creationswap/paulbudde

 

By louis gander

What draws the eye to the lighthouse?
Oh say, what could it be?
Now how could a light on a mighty ‘Rock’
forgive lost souls at sea?
There are no ropes to pull them in,
no maps of where to go –
and we hear cries from crashing waves –
under the beacon’s glow.

Relentlessly, the wind blows –
the noise, as a million drums!
The angry sea will swallow scores,
as the weak in faith succumb.
Through rain and hail and deadly fog,
sins weather strangely mixed –
a faint, but ‘Guiding Light’ shines through –
if eyes are firmly fixed.

The lighthouse sounds its fog horn,
proclaiming Christ is King.
Our voices chime in harmony
as we rejoice and sing!
We find all comfort in the ‘Rock’
as the faithful lighthouse calls.
It’s then that storms surrender and,
receding darkness falls,

What draws the eye to the lighthouse?
Oh say, what could it be?
How can a Man on an old rugged cross,
help souls still lost at sea?
Secure in the ‘Rock’, we understand –
as the beacon lights the sky.
And as long as we see the halo –
forgive. “They know not why.”

And tell them –
tell them if you dare!
Tell them when they’re troubled.
Tell them with a prayer.
Tell them Christ is waiting.
Tell them God is fair.
Tell them Jesus loves them.
Tell them if you care.
Tell them God still loves the world.
Now go, and gospel share.
_________________________________
Copyright 2004-2013 louis gander ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
http://www.ganderpoems.org/
Written 9-27-13 by louis gander.   FREE to print and use, but only with copyright information included – NOT for resale.  Thank You!

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Changing the Conversation (Please read this!)

people of the presence

@creationswap/jeffbrown

By Norm Cannada

When I think of the First Century church, my mind immediately jumps to the story in Acts 2 where the church — about 120 men and women at the time — are gathered together in one place focused on the resurrection of Jesus and the call to tell others.  The Holy Spirit takes control of the meeting and God comes forth in a mighty way.  I imagine people from the city peering into the windows, trying to get a glimpse of what was happening.

No one is peering in the windows in the church today, and they haven’t for a long time.   Most people in my inner city community in Charleston, WV are not just unchurched —they don’t give the church any thought. They say they do not believe the church has anything relevant to say to them.
In many homes throughout America, the name “Jesus” is not heard in a typical week unless someone hits themselves with a hammer or stumps their toe.  We are raising a generation of children who have little or no knowledge of who Jesus is and how much He loves them.
It is my heart to see Christians work to “Change the Conversation” with the people we see in our communities.  There are many ways to share the love of Jesus in everyday life.  One of my favorite ministries is as simple as eating out in a restaurant.  I learned from conversations with waiters and waitresses that the one shift people do not like to work is the Sunday lunch shift.  They say the people are rude and do not tip well.  When I first heard that, it broke my heart.
I was especially sensitive to this because I had seen the effects of Christians who were rude to waiters and waitresses.  We had a team of volunteers come to West Virginia from North Carolina for a long weekend of ministry.  After a busy day, the team went out to a local restaurant.  The service was not very good and one woman on the mission team began complaining about the waitress to the management.  Her complaints eventually led to the waitress being fired.  Before the team left, the woman who had complained went to the waitress and continued to complain, saying the waitress did not do her job well.  She then pulled out one of my business cards and, instead of a tip, handed it to her and said, “you need to talk to this man.  You need to change.”
It turned out the waitress lived just blocks from my house and she came to see me the next day.  But, she didn’t want my help.  She was angry and hurt.  Nothing I said to her then, or in the years to come, could convince her that I, or anyone else, cared about her.  The damage was already done.
So, we began praying for waiters and waitresses to let them know God loves them, making sure that we act in a way that matched our words.  Anytime anyone went out to eat, they were to order their meal and then say to the waiter or waitress, “We are going to pray over our meal.  Is there anything we can pray for you about?  They were also to be friendly, tip well and not complain about anything.  I reminded people they were not there for the service.  They were there to serve the Lord.

This simple act has changed lives.  Yes, some said they didn’t have any prayer needs, but often the requests led to a good exchange about faith.  I have also seen wait staff sit down at the table, share needs and ask if we would pray right then in their presence.
On December 7, 2010, 10 churches participated in a “Change the Conversation” event.  People from the 10 churches were assigned to eat at one of six Mexican restaurants in the area.  They were asked to do three things — ask the waiter or waitress for prayer needs and pray for them by name, be friendly and tip well (at least 20 percent).  There was a tip given to the kitchen staff and another tip was given to the waiter or waitress.  Each group of people was given specially made Christmas Cards, written in Spanish, to give along with the tip.  The cards explained the reason for Christmas and offered the name and phone number of the man who led the Hispanic ministry.  By the end of the night, our Hispanic Ministry leader had received a call from a man who was overwhelmed by the love of the people who prayed for him.  They met the next day.

________________________

About the Author:
Norm Cannada has worked as a newspaper editor and writer as well as an inner cty pastor and church planter.   He lives in Charleston, WV.

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

Jesus Died for You…What are you doing for Him?

JesusTribe

@creationswap/ryanharmon

 

By: Arlene Price

 

2 Corinthians 5:14-15 (New International Version (NIV))

14 For Christ’s love compels us, because we are convinced that one died for all, and therefore all died. 15 And he died for all, that those who live should no longer live for themselves but for him who died for them and was raised again.

If someone told you today that tomorrow they will die so that you might be saved what would you do for them, what would you say to them? Meditate on this and really imagine how you would respond.

Jesus did this very thing for you already; he died on the cross so that you may be saved. Are you waking up each morning and thanking him? Are you asking him each and every day “What can I do today Lord to serve you?” Is going to church your only sense of obligation for such a great sacrifice? Why would you not put God first in your life? Christians are Christians because they put Him first – that is what a Christian must do. Have a grateful heart, pray continuously – not just when there is a need or emergency – praise his name throughout the day for all you have, forgive quickly and often. Serve your church – it is the house of God.

Philippians 2:12-13 (New International Version (NIV))

Do Everything without Grumbling

12 Therefore, my dear friends, as you have always obeyed—not only in my presence, but now much more in my absence—continue to work out your salvation with fear and trembling, 13 for it is God who works in you to will and to act in order to fulfill his good purpose.

Everyday adopt the attitude that firmly says “I will do something spiritually meaningful today.” Do you think you have not talent, no skills, nothing to offer? God has given you all you need to give back to him.  Do you often ask yourself “How can I help my church?” You should be doing this each and every day; it’s you real “job” on earth once you are a Christian. If you ask your church if they need your help, what will they say? I can tell you it’s a resounding “Yes!” No matter what you think you can do or can’t do you can always do something. Whether it’s one large project or little things every day, you have what God needs and he is asking you to use your gifts. So close your eyes and ask the question: “God, what would you have me do for you today?” then LISTEN…the answer is sometimes instant and other times it will suddenly hit you during a conversation, a car ride, or numerous other activities you could be doing and you will “know” what you can do. Here are things God says you can do for Him and his church:

I can …

…write spiritual poems, essays, articles, stories.

…paint a picture for the enjoyment of the lonely or to raise money for charity.

…make house repairs for those unable to do for themselves.

…put together a gift basket or care package for the needy.

…give my testimony; someone needs to hear it today.

…help my neighbor, my friend, a family member, a co-worker with a problem.

…cook a meal, a desert, a casserole for someone in need.

…hold the hand of dying child or elder and let them know I care.

…read the bible to someone blind.

…invite a friend or neighbor to church.

…take someone outdoors who is unable to walk and let them enjoy beauty of the day.

…sing a song for the Lord. I can praise his name aloud.

…assist with church activities: take photos, make video of church events and sermons, submit items to our website and/or newsletter, help with an event, make phone calls, talk to the community, decorate, draw, play an instrument, join the choir, teach, volunteer my time wherever needed. The list is endless…

I can develop into a real Christian today by praying, studying my bible, asking questions of those who can help me grow.

I can do all things through Christ today.

I can serve…

I will serve…

I am serving the Lord.

EVERYONE CAN DO SOMETHING

Any of the things above or something you know will help. There are no excuses when it comes to serving the church and serving the Lord. There are no excuses to wait until tomorrow; there are no reasons not to do your part – no other obligation in you your life means more than your service. When you become a Christian you must let Christ live within you and guide you, if you try  to do it alone or are only on Sunday Christian, you will get off track and things will start going wrong in your life fast. Let Him show you the way. Believe in yourself because you are a child of Christ and through him you CAN NOT FAIL. Do not live life for your desires or for the world; it’s about HIM and his sacrifice for YOU. Do all these things in His name and you will receive so much joy and you will live in wonderment at your many blessings. You will go to bed satisfied — knowing that today you have served the Lord first.

Galatians 5:24  (New International Version (NIV))

24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires.

How to know what you must do?

Step 1: Pray for guidance

Step 2: Meditate on those things you enjoy or are good at doing. LISTEN for the answer.

Step 3: Go forward and take action asking God to go before you and make your way smooth.

Step 4: Repeat steps 1-3 every day.

Why wait another minute? Get busy with God’s work now. He made the ultimate sacrifice for you by giving his Son to die upon the cross for your sins. There is no sacrifice you could make of your time that could be greater than what has been done for you. As a Christian you put away worldly things and put Christ at the center. His will is now your will, not the other way around. Wake up! Take up the cross and do the work you were called to do.

Galatians 2:20 (New International Version (NIV))

20 I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

Arlene Price©2013, All Rights Reserved

Relevant and Revived

Rejoice1

@creationswap/sandraLee

By Pam  Ford Davis

Some things simply go together: ham and cheese, peanut butter and jelly, eggs and bacon, or repentance and revival. The words repentance and revival don’t pop-up in casual conversations at the water cooler. Yet; they are as relevant as today’s weather forecast, predicting storm clouds and showers of blessings. Christ, John the Baptist and the apostles extended an urgent invitation to repentance.

Jesus shared a story about repentance and the safe return of lost sheep. “I tell you that in the same way, there will be more joy in heaven over one sinner who repents, than over ninety-nine righteous persons who need no repentance (Luke 15:7 NAS).” We repent when we admit we have lost our way, and make a U-Turn; turning around, we run into God’s open arms. As followers of Christ, we easily lose our fervor and faithfulness. I need revival.

“Revive me according to Thy loving kindness, So that I may keep the testimony of Thy mouth (Psalm 119:88 NAS).” Where did the psalmist go when seeking revival? “If Thy law had not been my delight, Then I would have perished in my affliction. I will never forget Thy precepts, For by them Thou hast revived me (Psalm 119:92-93 NAS).” The call to repent is heaven sent. The progression is clear. Repentance leads me to revival and rejoicing!

About the Author:

With God all things are possible!  Published articles in Mature Living Magazine, Secret Place, Daily Devotionals for the Deaf, Light from the Word Daily Devotional. Available now in book store: FORGET-ME-NOT DAILY DEVOTIONAL http:/ebooks.faithwriters.com/ebook-details.php?id=520

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Names Have Been Changed to Declare the Righteous

Background art:@creationswap/wagnerdanial Typesetting:Arlene Price

Background art:@creationswap/wagnerdanial Typesetting:Arlene Price

By Abby Kelly

“I love everything about her life!”

The barista’s comment startled me as I left Starbucks. I knew she was talking about me. We had just been giggling together, discussing our dogs and exchanging first names.

I almost turned around said, “No you don’t! You don’t know anything about my life!” But instead, I just smiled to myself and walked into the sunshine. I think I know what she loves about my life, it’s what she can see. I pray she can see that God has blessed me with joy and a peace beyond understanding.

It hasn’t always been this way. I used to spot a girl across the room and wish to trade her places. I used to pray each night that God would just kill me because I didn’t want to do my life anymore. In the midst of a 15 year battle with anorexia and a troubled marriage, it seemed as if my life couldn’t get any worse. I even feared that my loved ones had given up on me after pouring thousands of dollars into my treatment, only to still see a starving, depressed woman.

Looking into my heart, I hated what I saw. I perceived my identity as intrinsically linked to my long list of failures.

Maybe Jacob did, too. The Biblical character of Genesis lived up to his given name, “Deceiver”. In fact, when God asked him in chapter 32, “What is your name?” Jacob was forced to reply, “I am Deceiver.”

At that point in Jacob’s life, he believed the end was near. In mere hours, he would be face-to-face with a man who once wanted to kill him. Already, Jacob had a long list of mistakes to feel guilty for. I wonder if Jacob hated who he had become.

But God is in the business of changing identities. Over and over throughout the Bible, when God did a massive work in someone’s life, He also changed their name, giving them a new identity, a new way to refer to themselves, a new way to see themselves and a new way to present themselves to the world.

For Jacob, God told him, “Your name will no longer be Jacob. You have wrestled with God and with men, and you have won. That’s why your name will be Israel.”

Another definition of the name Israel is, “Prince of God”.

According to 2 Corinthians 5:17, our identity changes too, when we accept Jesus as our salvation. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!”

Isaiah 62 tells us that God changes our name to reflect the new identity that we receive when we accept the sacrifice of Jesus for us and the gift of His righteousness to us.

“The nations shall see your righteousness, and all the kings your glory, and you shall be called by a new name that the mouth of the LORD will give. You shall be a crown of beauty in the hand of the LORD, and a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You shall no more be termed Forsaken, and your land shall no more be termed Desolate, but you shall be called My Delight Is in Her, and your land Married; for the LORD delights in you, and your land shall be married.”

As I sank into a chair on the patio at Starbucks, the sun’s afternoon rays painted my feet a soft yellow, then shadows encroached and swept me into the early evening hours. I smiled again. I love who I am. I love the one who gave me His identity in Christ, and I dearly love the name, Jesus.

I am a Christian blogger and freelance writer living in Georgia. My husband is an Army officer, so our frequent moves pepper my writing with a wide variety of experiences and observations.

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