Love

Your Baggage

By Steve Countryman

All of your cares, troubles, problems, addictions, worries, character traits, past sins, flaws, faults, failures, grudges, unforgiveness, offenses, health issues and financial woes are all part of your baggage.  Just like baggage you carry it with you everywhere you go.  Most people are known by their baggage.  Though we all try to conceal our baggage the best we can by putting on our best face, our baggage always cones to the surface sooner or later.

Your baggage is your burdens that you bare.  They are always before you and you cannot escape them.  Satan uses them against you to trap you and keep your attention on them.  Always reminding you of your past mistakes and failures.  He loves to wear you down with them. But you don’t have to bare them alone.  You don’t have to allow them to define who you are.  They are only part of your past and now are part of your testimony!  Matthew 11:28-30 “Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. 29 Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. 30For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.”  Even with all of your baggage it never scares God off.  God doesn’t ask you to take care of your baggage so He can love you.  He loves you with all of your baggage.  In fact God wants to take all of your baggage and help you fix them.

Proverbs 16:3 “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.”  Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; 6 in all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.”  1 John 3:1 “See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God! And that is what we are! The reason the world does not know us is that it did not know him.”  Romans 6:13 “Do not continue offering or yielding your bodily members [and faculties] to sin as instruments (tools) of wickedness. But offer and yield (surrendering) yourselves to God as though you have been raised from the dead to [perpetual] life, and your bodily members [and faculties] to God, presenting them as implements of righteousness.”

God’s love is so powerful that not only does He love you baggage and all and wants to be involved in your daily lives but wants to take care of your baggage too!  It is a matter of trust.  Do you trust God enough to surrender all of your baggage over to Him?  Do you think that the God of all creation knows something about fixing problems?  Can you submit and commit your baggage all over to Him?  Can you surrender, commit and submit your life over to your creator?  Surrender to God’s will, Word and ways.  Commit your baggage into His hands and trust God enough to leave them there.  Quit going back and picking them up again trying to fix them by yourself.  Leave them with the Master.  It amazes me that God wants my baggage and has plans to bless me besides.  Wow, I’m blown away!  Thank you Lord for loving me so!!

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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Love Your Neighbor

I heart U

Artwork by: David Sunnock@creationswap

By Faith Noles

John 15:9-13, KJV ‘As the Father hath loved Me, so have I loved you: continue ye in My love. If ye keep My commandments, ye shall abide in My love; even as I have kept My Father’s commandments, and abide in His love. These things have I spoken unto you, that My joy might remain in you, and that your joy might be full. This is My commandment, That ye love one another, as I have loved you. Greater love hath no man than this, that a man lay down his life for his friends.’

In this passage of scripture, Jesus gave us the great commandment to love one another even as He has loved us. What greater love can a man show than to lay down his life for another person? Yet Jesus died for us while we were yet sinners. But we are not only commanded to love our brothers and sisters in Christ we should also love our enemies. “We are no nearer God than we are to the person or group of human beings for who we care the least.” (author unknown)

I John 4:20, KJV “If a man says, I love God, and hateth his brother, he is a liar; for he that loveth not his brother, whom he hath seen, how can he love God, whom he hath not seen?’ Love without loving deeds is empty and without meaning as are acts of kindness without true love as the motivation.

Jesus had every cause possible to reject mankind; yet He loved us with a long suffering love. Jesus didn’t love us because of what we could offer Him, but He loved us because of what He could offer us. Ask not how someone can benefit you, but ask how you can benefit them. Love is longsuffering and patient; love is forgiveness. Matthew 6:15, KJV ‘But if ye forgive not men their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.’

I took my plea before God’s throne, to seek the Master’s face;
Yet I could not find forgiveness nor God’s amazing grace,
For I had hatred within my heart towards a fellow man,
I had refused to forgive this friend, to lend a helping hand;
So I left my plea before the throne and sought this fellow’s peace;
Now God accepts my heartfelt prayer and offers sweet release,
The love of God shines through me to reach each and every man,
Now, by the grace of God, I lend a helping hand.
For the love of God is shed abroad, it can’t be kept within.
If you allow hatred in your heart, then in your heart you’ve sinned.

Faith Noles is a Registered Nurse, mother and grandmother who is passionate about spreading the gospel.

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Grace to Overcome

Grace

artwork by: Jomayra Soto@creationswap

By Faith Noles

There is no question about itlife is hard. We live in a world of sin that brings death, poverty and sickness. Rich or poor; No one is immune to the effects of sin in their life. Our struggle through the torrential hardships of life often leave us feeling helpless.

The helplessness you feel may stem from a recent loss of a loved one or a change in your financial situation. David cried, “Our soul waiteth for the LORD: he is our help and our shield. (Psalms 33:20, KJV). The book of Psalm is such a comfort when one is distressed. David had more than his share of problems, for King Saul hunted him down like an animal. In desperation David, along with his companions, spent many days hiding in a dark, dank cave. David was in trouble, but he trusted God for his deliverance. In Psalms 27:5, KJV, David declares, “For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock”.

John Calvin, a prominent Theologian during the Protestant Reformation, said, “Seeing that a Pilot steers the ship in which we sail, who will never allow us to perish even in the midst of shipwrecks, there is no reason why our minds should be overwhelmed with fear and overcome with weariness.”

God is bigger than any mountain; He’s greater than any foe.
God reigns with might and power for from him all life flows;
His eye is on the sparrow. Don’t you know He sees your tears?
He knows your every thought and he sees your inner fears.

God longs to break the chains and from your fear set free;
By the precious blood of Jesus, we have sweet liberty.
Give your all to the Fathernot just a portion or part;
To be an overcomer, you must give Him all your heart
.
Don’t’ trust in your own goodness or might;
Let God be the Captain of your soul; Let Him your battles fight.
For in God’s perfect love, you’ll find grace to overcome;
Victorious in Christ Jesus so He will speak the words “Well done”.

There is no circumstance in heaven or earth that can separate us from the love of God. We must always remember we serve a Mighty God: John 1:3 (KJV) “All things were made by Him; and without Him was not anything made that was made”. One man and God make up the majority!  I Samuel 2:9 (KJV) declares, “He will keep the feet of His saints, and the wicked shall be silent in darkness; for by strength shall no man prevail”. We must always depend upon the Lord to lead us through every valley and to give us strength to climb every mountain.

Paul sought the Lord three times to remove his ‘thorn in the flesh’; yet, God responded, “…My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness.” My prayer is for our trust in Jesus Christ to grow to fullness so that we would depend on Him for all our needs.

Faith Noles is a Registered Nurse, mother and grandmother who is passionate about spreading the gospel.

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The Valley of His Perfect Love

Honduras Mountain Side

@creationswap/carloslemma

I love the Lord, because He hath heard my voice and my supplications. Because He hath inclined His ear unto me, Therefore will I call upon Him as long as I live…(Psalm 116:1-2 KJV)

It’s natural for issues to crop up during one’s lifetime, to be fair; it wouldn’t be life without spending time in the valley. It’s all part of growing in the Lord and being a faithful follower of Christ. We can grow in adversity, and get closer to God in the process. It’s how we handle the cards in our hands that’s key to our optimal health and overall growth.

It’s how we purpose our lives in accordance to His will and not ours. It’s how we handle the stress that will ultimately define our faith and course of action. We must wait upon the Lord.

He’s watching and knows our situation. He’s waiting for our growth in Him. He wants us to learn before He brings about a solution. Sometimes, long delays are part of God’s overall plan…and part of His agenda on a larger scale. These delays don’t destroy us but fulfill God’s purpose, thereby making us stronger in Christ.

We need God. His timing is perfect, ours imperfect. His way is superior, ours inferior. We need to be patient and wait. We’ll gain insight and the fortitude in which to grow as we listen, and wait. We’ll reap the rewards of such diligence and loving obedience in due time. Above all, be still and know that He is God… (Psalm 46:10 KJV)

Lord, help us to be patient and to seek Your face for all things. In Jesus name, Amen.

Today’s writer is in love with God. She has been happily married to her best friend for over thirty years and they have one son. She has written over fourteen books. Contact

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

If Tomorrow Never Comes (poem)

dovewater.psd

artwork@creationswap/sadmonkydesign

By Jenna Fernandez

there is hope
beyond tomorrow
if tomorrow never comes

there’s a joy
deeper than sorrow
light greater than the sun

there is peace
beyond all suffering
and hope beyond despair

there’s life
beyond all mourning
an end to every tear

there’s a future
that’s more certain
than this earth could ever give

beyond death’s
dismal curtain
there’s a promise that will live

the hands
that made the heavens
hold the gift of life

of peace
that is unending
and love that never dies

there is an end
to sorrow
when life ends, we’ve just begun

there is hope
beyond tomorrow
if tomorrow never comes

Copyright Jenna Fernandez
www.eternalencounter.com

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Heavenly Eyes

What the Heaven?

artwork@creationswap/jeffboriss

By Steve Countryman

As you go through each day you are constantly looking at what the world is and has to offer.  You do so through your natural eyes.  You “see” your needs, wants, troubles, problems, cares and worries.  That is what everyone does.  The mindset of today’s society is to “take care of number one” because nothing else matters and no one else cares.  What is important is what you want!  “What is in it for me?”  “What do you have to offer me?”  “What can I get from you?”  Don’t worry about anyone else but yourself.  You are the most important person you know.  Only you matter.  The problem with that mindset is that it will drive you to isolation, desolation and destruction!  Your inner child becomes the little spoiled brat that is ill tempered, ill mannered, mean spirited and extremely self centered.  Hopefully you get to the point that you want to take that spoiled brat and slap some common sense into him/her!

There is an answer and His name is Jesus!  When you have heavenly eyes you see things differently.  You see others as Jesus sees them, with unconditional love and with an everlasting love!  You see yourself differently too.  You are no longer self-important.  Your needs, wants, troubles, problems, cares and worries of this world are no longer controlling your thoughts.  Those thoughts that are fear and doubt driven are replaced with heavenly eyes of super faith and trust in a God who is your Jehovah Jireh, God who is able and willing to do immeasurably more than you can ask, think or imagine will provide ALL of your needs!  Your external needs such as your daily life, family, spouse, job and finances.  Your internal needs such as your physical and mental health and the healing of your body and relationships.  Your eternal needs such as your heavenly rewards, your heavenly mansion and ever lasting life with the Father!

Your heavenly eyes are those eyes that you receive when you keep your eyes on Jesus!  It is part of dying to self and crucifying the flesh daily.  Each day you choose Jesus and sacrifice the fleshly selfish natural you to the Father.  You choose to put on Christ daily.  You choose to have the mind of Christ daily.  This is all part of your heavenly eyes.  Keeping your eyes on Him!  When you allow the world to distract you, your attention then falls onto your life and all of your cares and worries.  That leads to arrogance and pride because you have traded your heavenly eyes for your natural eyes instead.  You have now taken your eyes off of Jesus!  It will negatively affect your walk with the Father, your level of faith and your level of trust.

In the natural your judgment and decisions are governed by what you know, what you see and what the world tells you.  A veil now covers your vision and filters all that you see with your natural eyes.  It is a very limited vision that points your gaze downward and inward.  That will cause you to automatically throw limits and restrictions on your God and His ability to bless your life!  You can choose to live your life differently by letting the Holy Spirit lead and guide you He will change your vision by changing your “eyes”.  It starts by how you choose to view things that you “see” everyday.

You can choose to be a blessing to someone that crosses our path or you can choose to ignore them as usual.  You must be determined to “see” the good and the many ways to be a blessing to others.  It is your choice and it does take daily practice!  Your heavenly eyes will improve your walk with the Father and help to elevate your walk to a walk of habitation!  When your walk is that of the Father you walk in His Word, His ways, His promises and in His kingdom here on earth!  John 5:19 Jesus gave them this answer: “Very truly I tell you, the Son can do nothing by himself; he can do only what he sees his Father doing, because whatever the Father does the Son also does.  John 12:49 For I did not speak on my own, but the Father who sent me commanded me to say all that I have spoken.  That is oneness and completeness with the Father, that is a walk of habitation!  That is what heavenly eyes will do for you!    Are you ready?!?

About the Author:
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!!

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

He Lives in Her

Jesus Christ

photo: @creationswap/krystainJaskula

By: Arlene Price

In her heart-felt laughter
In her eyes that softly twinkle
In her loving hug
In each well-earned wrinkle

In the sweet words she offers
of both comfort and of praise.
In her grace and humbleness
In her righteous ways

In her simple prayers
In her healing touch
In her faith so mighty
In her abundant love

In her every footstep
trod on life’s demanding road.
In the souls she’s brought to God
through the Truth she told.

Christ lives in her heart
His Word sings in her soul
His message is fresh upon her lips
She’s glorious to behold!

__________

Arlene Price©2013 ALL RIGHTS RESERVED

Free to reprint and share, but copyright information and links must be kept with poem.

http://www.blackeybaptistchurch.wordpress.com
blackeybaptistchurch@gmail.com

http://wp.me/p3sB33-6M

Word of God

Rays of Roses

photo@creationswap/lisarees

By: Lisa Burks

The other day I went outside to weed around my roses, when I noticed beetles all over the shrubs. Normally they produce big beautiful, pink and red flowers that I enjoy looking at, instead they were unsightly to me. I knew what had to be done. I retrieved my bug killer and drenched the roses from top to bottom. In no time the bugs were falling to the ground, a week later the roses were back to their old selves.

While spraying the rose’s God gave me a thought, people are like roses if you let bugs, (anything not of God) into your life it starts to show from the inside out. Instead of soaking in pesticides we arm ourselves with the word of God. Luke 10-19 states I have given you authority to trample on snakes and scorpions, and to overcome all the power of the enemy nothing will harm you however do not rejoice that the spirits submit to you, but rejoice that your names are written in heaven. Hebrews 4-12 for the word of God is living and active sharper than any double-edged sword it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joint and marrow it judges the thoughts, and attitudes of the heart.

If we let the devil in, even though we may not see it with sinners eyes he starts to change us. We can become bitter, negative, abusive, worried, hopeless, helpless etc. We are hard to look at or be in the presence of, just like a beetle infested rose, but if we use the word of god to overcome evil, we can be an inspiration for others, and a pleasure to be around.

If your heart and mind are empty there’s more room for the devil to occupy. Filling that empty space with scripture is a good way to ensure he doesn’t move in. As Christians we should stop negative thoughts, feeling or actions as soon as they begin, remember the word of god is sharper than any double-edged sword, when the devil makes a visit, send him packing with the word of God.

Philippians 4:8-9

8 In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable. 9 Put into practice what you learned and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you.

Your Word (Poem)

bible

photo@creationswap.com/brucejennings

By louis gander

Why can’t I write one poem, Lord,
that gathers people ’round,
that opens eyes and opens hearts
to all Your truths I’ve found –
among the pages of Your Book,
which tells me how to live –
which tells life’s truths, both good and bad –
and how I should forgive.

Why can’t I write one poem, Lord,
that brings the people ’round,
and opens hearts so they forgive
so that Your peace is found –
Your peace of dulcet harmony
which flows from day to day,
which brings us closer to Your Word –
and shows us how to pray.

Why can’t I write one poem, Lord,
that calls all wicked, wild,
the selfish men, bad women too –
and every sinful child –
who desecrate Your garden, Lord,
who desecrate Your laws,
who desecrate Your truth and love…
and then wait for applause.

Why can’t I write one poem, Lord,
that brings the people ’round,
so they’d forgive the other folks
and hopefully be found –
sitting on the many pews
inside these hallowed halls,
inside our humble churches where –
a still, small voice still calls.

Lord, You are so much greater than
my sorted words can brag,
coming from this shaky hand
attached to this old rag.
But maybe this reminder here
can make us humbly look –
at not a bunch of rhyming words,
but rather at Your Book.

Copyright 2004-2013 louis gander ALL RIGHTS RESERVED
http://www.ganderpoems.org/
Written 9-15-13 by louis gander.   FREE to print and use, but only with copyright information included – NOT for resale.  Thank You!

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