Christianity

Smile! God Loves You!


artist:@creationswap/michalhickman

artist:@creationswap/michalhickman

Zephaniah 3:17 The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with loud singing.

“Smile! God Loves You!” I said it as a child and submitted these words to go on a shirt our teacher was having made for our class . Yes, this was before God was taken out of school! I created big, puffy happy words and colored them and handed to my teacher. Guess what? My submission won along with another student who had drawn the “perfect” smiley face! I remember seeing the finished shirt for the first time and smiling. Too bad I never kept it, at the time it was still just a shirt to me – even if it was a little special.
Those were simple words with a powerful meaning that would somehow get me through the toughest times in my life. No matter where life took me – or where I allowed it to take me – my core belief was that God loves me – I have value, even when I devalued myself. I ultimately would not destroy that love that God bestowed upon me, no matter what I did to destroy myself. As I grow older and realize that all those tough times were the times when I leaned on Him, when I looked to Him, when He pulled me from the danger and set my feet back on solid ground. He’s truly shown more love to me than I could ever deserve. The good news is: He loves us all this way!
There is nothing in your life that God’s love will not see you through. You can go to Him with any problem and ask Him for guidance with a sincere heart – and He will guide you. He will make the rocky road smooth and give you strength to carry on. He alone knows the plan He has for your life, the direction it will go. He will reveal that plan as you seek Him out in prayer and meditation. Our problems are meant to make us turn to Him in prayer and understanding. He wants to get our attention and sometimes we don’t listen too well, so before you know it we have problems. This is why it is so important to keep Him close every day – not just in days of troubles. If you do, your troubles will be few because He already knows you are dependent upon Him.

Proverbs 8:17 I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Love is powerful, it is important, it is true faith. He loves you no matter how you feel about yourself or how your neighbor, spouse, friends, co-workers, or anyone else feels about you. You can accept that love and start radiating it outward onto those people who may not have those same feeling for you – and watch the miracle unfold! It is that love that He instills in you that you give out to others that will make you complete. You will reap the love you sow and He is the seed you need – so ask Him to fill you with His love – and you will get more than His love back, you will get your life back. A good, loving life that He wants you to enjoy.
So remember to “Smile! God Loves YOU!”

1 John 3:1 See what kind of love the Father has given to us, that we should be called children of God; and so we are. The reason why the world does not know us is that it did not know him.

Dare To Be a Real Christian

Take the Dare!

Jeremiah 7:23 (NCV)

23 I also gave them this command: Obey me, and I will be your God and you will be my people. Do all that I command so that good things will happen to you.

Do you remember the day you were saved? How did you feel? What motivated you? Why did you decide that this was the path for you? Remember the lost feelings and how you finally found salvation. Remember your relief in knowing your sins was forgiven and you would never have to face life’s challenges alone. Remember the love you felt from those around you, the acceptance, and the power of the moment. Re-capture those feelings and those reasons again. If you haven’t been serving God – only going through the motions – then you need to realize God has a purpose for you and he’s waiting for you to call on Him to get started

Somewhere along the way, you may have gradually, unintentionally lost your focus. You became passive and uninterested, putting your energy into worldly interest and daily problems. Yes, you called on Him during times of real trouble, but not daily. And you occasionally go to church, to make an appearance. Your enthusiasm has become excuses. You devotion has become practically non-existent, but yet you call yourself a “Christian” when asked. You think you are bound for Heaven, so why do anything more.

Today dare to be the Christian you ask God to make you that day you were saved. Ask Him to renew in you your passion and to reveal to you your purpose. Look for ways to help the needy, the lost, and the poor in your community or in the world – think big even if you do small things at first, dream big knowing there is no limit what God can do through you, focus on God at all times. Remember to be a Christian is to be “Christ-like” not “Man-Like” or” Woman-Like”, it is to be so much more than what you thought you could ever be! You cannot be too busy for God, get busy helping God and He will get busy helping you!

He will take those problems that take up your time and solve them every one, meanwhile you must put your focus on doing his work and not those problems – release them to Him so you might be released. Why would you want to be the prisoner of the world around you when you have the opportunity to be so much more? You have talents, love, skills, knowledge that is needed by your church and your community. The more you give of yourself the more your receive from Him – more blessings, more time, more love, more money, more everything – you are provided for and taken care of when you stop holding back what He has given you to give to others.

If you are afraid you will not have time for fun or just cannot have fun while being a Christian – well, I’m here to tell you how wrong you are in that way of thinking. Some of the most precious, fun, memorable moments are those when I knew I was doing what God wanted me to do – not what I  wanted to do. If you think you have nothing to offer, you do – you have love, mercy and knowledge. Be creative and use whatever you have, even if it’s just a smile or a helping hand.

Here is your challenge:

Dare to give of yourself before you give to yourself.

Dare to look for the needy, poor, and lost around you. Pray you will be led to them, so you can help them.

Dare to let go of your problems and let God handle them, so you will be free to handle what He has planned for you.

Dare to spread His word, so all the people you encounter know the wonders he has bestowed upon you.

Dare to praise Him for all you have, for all you are able to do, for all you can do for Him.

Dare to stop complaining, making excuses and blaming – instead stand up and accept responsibility for what God has in store for you to do – ask Him for guidance and support, and go forward with confidence.

Dare to learn your bible by reading a chapter per day and studying its meaning. Don’t just read it – apply it and share with others.

Dare to pray for all those who need his healing, salvation and guidance. Watch in awe as those prayers are answered. It’s truly incredible!

Dare to put the “Christ” back into being a “Christian” and then the next time someone ask if you are a Christian you can say “yes” with confidence – you really are “Christ-Like”, because you are walking the walk and talking the talk.

It’s not always easy letting go and letting God take the lead, we want to be in control and we want our will to be done, but if God is telling you to do His work, it’s time for you to listen; and if you don’t know what His work is, then it’s time for you to pray about it – and I guarantee you will get the answer. Telling God you don’t have time, you don’t know how, you are afraid to do it wrong or worrying about what people will say will lead you away from everything you wanted so much for yourself the day you were saved – and once again you may find yourself lost.

Just pray and He will direct you. As I write this I know it’s His directive and His will that moves my hand. How can I be so sure you ask? it’s my lunch break, I went three places trying pick up a Wi-Fi connection on my iPad, but the connections didn’t show up on my iPad at all – yet they showed up on my phone – which was odd – no, there’s nothing wrong with the iPad. I wasn’t able to use my phone as a connection, since I’m low on data usage for the month – which rarely happens. So, a little frustrated – I sat in my van and ask “What do you want me to do Lord?” and the answer came immediately “Write!”…I had no idea what to write, so I jotted a few bible verses on paper, but suddenly I just turned to a new, blank page and wrote what you are reading here, no prior plan or topic, nothing related to the verses I jotted down – He took me in His direction to do His will. So if you have been directed to read what is written here, perhaps that too is His will and His direction for you. So move into action – you have received the message –  and dare to save yourself from yourself!

God Bless!

Romans 12:1-2 (NIV)

A Living Sacrifice

12 Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

Author: Arlene Price (indirectly J)copyright©2013

Living our Purpose and Passion

 

Jeremiah 29:11 (ESV)

For I know the plans I have for you, declares the Lord, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.

As a Christian, God has chosen a purpose for each of us. He already knows the plan he has for us. Our job is to listen to the voice within and allow the plan to unfold. Everyone’s purpose will be different, since God made us all unique; our purposes fit who we are in Christ’s eye. If you take the time to assess your strengths and determine what makes you feel good about yourself, you will discover your purpose.

Create a list of things you feel you are good at or like to do. Ask yourself “How can I use this gift in a positive way to serve my God?” Some of us will have a long list and some of us will have one item on the list. If you have one item, then you know for sure what your purpose is in life, now start praying for direction on how to use the purpose. If your list is long, then you need to pray for guidance on which purpose is the true calling – there could be more than one. You could be a great cook and love it and also a very good writer. So you may be called to use your love of cooking combined with your Christian writings of devotions and sharing your recipes and tips. Also, you may cook for the needy or volunteer for church events. Combine your passions or concentrate on one, it doesn’t matter, what matters is your reasons for doing them.

Romans 8:28-29 (ESV)
And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to his purpose. For those whom he foreknew he also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that he might be the firstborn among many brothers.

Let’s assume you’ve determined your purpose(s) and you want to share that purpose with others. That purpose must now become your passion. You must always be thinking of what more you can do to grow in your purpose. Start out little and let your purpose grow each day. Learn more, do more and become more through Christ. Ask Him continuously for his guidance. Do not be afraid to do it wrong – He will teach you as you go and part of teaching is correcting you when your go the wrong direction. You will know when it’s wrong when you just don’t feel right about it or you get a negative vibe. Listen closely to your inner voice. You must always remember to not do anything for your own success, but to do it for Christ – to spread his word through your works and then success will come naturally.

Always be grateful for the talents you have, whether you can hammer the best nail this side of Memphis or you can bring people to tears with a speech. Your talent is from God and it needs to always be centered in Him.

I love creativity whether it’s painting, writing, computer graphics, decorating, crafts, love it all! My passion is just to be able to CREATE something inspiring. I never planned to be writer, but I’m writing out of necessity – the church needs a writer, I tried to recruit writers, with little response. By writing, it has helped me grow as a Christian – so maybe that was God’s plan all along. I only dreamed about being able to build a website and do graphic design – now I am doing it and am amazed at all it has taught me about faith, prayer and Christ.

Another example of living with purpose and passion is my brother – Pastor Eugene Whited. His road has been rocky and he has climbed to unimaginable heights due to his search for purpose his desire to teach God’s word with passion. He had his share of naysayers along the way, but once he was focused on Christ – there is so much power in God’s word that he overcome and no one would doubt his communication abilities now.. He’s my inspiration and I know that if Christ can work through him in such a miraculous way he can also work through me.

Thankfully, our church has a very dedicated, passionate member who can write wonderful stories and poetry and she is using her talents for God – I have posted some of those here on our blog. Although she doesn’t want her name printed, that is perfectly fine, as long as she’s sharing the gifts God has given her – that’s between Him and her.

 We have others in the churches that are blessed with similar talents, but no passion. They don’t seem to understand the necessity to share their talent. Perhaps it’s lack of confidence, fear of judgment by others, or just not wanting to put forth the effort. The excuses vary, but the fact remains the talent that God has given you is to be shared. I understand the feelings listed above, I never knew how to use my talents either, but that changed when I prayed for guidance. You can find your purpose and your passion by asking God “What would you have me do Lord? Guide me today to serve you with the talents that you blessed me with and I will work wonders for you through you.”

Live today with purpose and passion as Christ lived with purpose and passion and you will be content, happy and blessed. Pray about all things and you will find you path is lit and your way is much smoother.

God bless each of you who read this that you may find your purpose and live passionately starting today!

Ephesians 1:11 (ESV)

In him we have obtained an inheritance, having been predestined according to the purpose of him who works all things according to the counsel of his will,

 Author: Arlene Price ©2013