faith

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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Are You Persuaded?

All You Need is Love

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Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

 – by R. Marie Thompson

Who shall separate us from the love of Christ? Shall tribulation, or distress, or persecution, or famine, or nakedness, or peril, or sword? Yet in all these things we are more than conquerors through Him who loved us. For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord. Romans 8:35-39 NKJ

This passage of scripture reminds me that no matter what, God loves me! It also reminds me of how much I love Him! My favorite words, “I am persuaded.” I am persuaded that I am a conqueror in times of tribulation because I know that He loves me and He is with me! I am persuaded that I am a conqueror when I am distressed because I know that He loves me and He will help see me through! I am persuaded that I am more than a conqueror during persecution for His name sake because I know that He loves me and that He honors those who honor Him! I am persuaded that I am a conqueror in times of famine and nakedness because I know that He loves me and ‘He knows what I have need of’ which means He will provide for all my needs. I am persuaded that I am a conqueror in times of peril because I know that He loves me, He is my sword, ‘my shield and my buckler.’

There is nothing that can separate us from His love for us. It is constant and ever present. He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. His love for us, His creation, never changes. His love is the lifeline that sees us through and it is the one thing that we can always count on! His love for us is more powerful than death, life, angels, principalities, powers, heights, depths, or any created thing.

I too, am persuaded that nothing can separate us from His love and so – me and my house, we will LOVE the Lord!

R. Marie Thompson is a Youth Pastor from New Hampshire who has a love for God and a passion for sharing His Word. Contact

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Conversations with Jesus ~ Thomas

Prayer

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Inspired by Rev 7:9-12

By Cheryl Harrison

John 20:29: “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”

In the midst of grief and fear, a small group of people hid behind locked doors.  Unseen enemies lurked in the darkness awaiting the opportunity to sow seeds of doubt.  One seed of doubt can weaken the focus of an uncertain heart, and since things did not happen the way Thomas expected, his heart was fertile ground.

The disciples were overjoyed when Jesus appeared.  But, Thomas, who was not present when Jesus came, refused to believe the truth. He proclaimed, “Unless I see the nail marks in his hands and put my finger where the nails were, and put my hand into his side, I will not believe it.”

One week later, Jesus returned to visit his doubting disciple.  This time, Thomas was present, and Jesus spoke directly to him. “Put your finger here; see my hands.  Reach out your hand and put it into my side.  Stop doubting and believe.”  Jesus knew how to alleviate Thomas’ unbelief and chose to reveal Himself in a way that Thomas could understand.

Only God can move us from unbelief to faith.  Unlike Thomas, we haven’t seen Jesus with our own eyes, nor have we touched his wounds.  But, as promised, there is a blessing for those who believe without seeing.  We walk by faith and not by sight, trusting the Lord will reveal himself to us in ways we can understand.

Today’s writer has a passion to write for the Lord that she cannot escape.  She lives in Texas, USA.  Contact

The Valley of His Perfect Love

Honduras Mountain Side

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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

Accentuate the Positive

Growing In Grace

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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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Think About What You Are Thinking About

By Irma Green

Be careful what you think!!  Most of us do not think about what we are thinking about.  We just let our minds idol on anything.  if we don’t think about what we are thinking about Satan will inject his thoughts into our minds (idol mind is the devil’s workshop).

Most of the time, we spend time thinking about things not worth thinking about.  Think about what you are thinking about!  Is it really worth your time thinking about it?

Some of us spend so much time thinking all the wrong things.  Some of us are addicted to wrong thinking.  We get up in the morning thinking wrong thoughts; we go all day thinking wrong thoughts; we go to bed at night still thinking wrong thoughts.  And wonder why we are so miserable.

LEARN HOW TO CHOOSE THE RIGHT THOUGHTS!  YOU MUST SAY: “I choose NOT to think that.  I choose not to allow that thought to fester in my mind.  It is shocking how many believers are pulled down simply because of the thoughts they allow to fester in their minds.  You can have victory simply through changing the way you think, and by controlling the thoughts that flow through your mind.

You need to stop sometime and think about what you are thinking about.  Watch what you think about during your every waking hour.  You have authority over your thoughts.  You must choose what you think about.  The Bible says, “If it is not true, noble, just, pure, lovely, of a good report, if it is not virturous, or praiseworthy, do not even think about them.

The reason for pure thoughts is to get Satan out of your mind.  There is a proverbial saying, “You can’t stop a bird from flying over your head, but you can stop him from making a nest in your hair.”  By the same token, you can control your thoughts!  You can’t stop them from coming into your mind, but you can stop them from staying there.

We are told to, “Set our minds on things above, not on things of the earth.”  In other words, think Godly thoughts.  Instead of exercising our minds on negative things and worrying over things we can’t do anything about.

Instead of thinking about the problems in our lives, let us think about the solutions. Get the solution you want in your mind and hold that thought; make it your dominate thought.
Let me ask you something? If you would take inventory of the thoughts you’ve been thinking the past week, what kind of thoughts were they? Were they negative? Were they focused on your problems? Or, were they positive?

How much time have you spent over the past week thinking about the goodness of God? How He is your healer, your deliver, your provider, etc. Or, were they problem focused thoughts?

You need to be careful how you think about people.  That person that you are holding an evil or negative thought against is a bondage, it’s a stronghold that Satan has you in and it is blocking your blessing.  Not only that, that person is controlling you, your happiness because you are constantly thinking about that person – morning noon and night.  I want you to know that, the thoughts and feelings you send out to this person are going through you.  And what goes through you returns to you.

You cannot hold negative thoughts against someone and expect God to bless you.  That negative thought is more harmful to you than the person.  Think about what you are thinking about!! – God bless

Rev. K. Irma Green, retired pastor; Motivational Speaker/Bible Teacher
Reality Life Coach for Women
www.birthinganewyou.org  irmagreen8@aol.com

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

Who You Are Not!

Worship

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By Steve Countryman

That is a statement that you must always keep in mind when Satan attacks your mind.  For he will always try to remind you who you were and what you used to do.  He wants to drag you back into your past and keep you there.  It is one of the many lies that he tells you as he tries to deceive you into believing it.  But God has delivered you and set you free from your past and from your past sins.  YOU ARE NO LONGER THAT PERSON!  It is easy to forget who you are now when you slip up and commit a stupid sin like one from your past.  You have to remember that you are not that person but are now the King’s child, adopted into God’s family, an heir to the thrown and a child of the Most High God.  You have been set apart, made Holy and righteous.  You are deserving, worthy and covered in His glory.  All the power and authority of heaven lives and resides in you daily and His name is Jesus!

Once you were lost living a life without purpose and meaning.  Having the hope of the world trusting in man and man’s wisdom.  But the very best man can do is to let you down.  For the truth and wisdom that man relies on is his own not God’s.  A truth that is always changing and wisdom that is based on situational circumstances.  Not on what is right but what is right for now.  As a child of God you have a hope and a future that the average person lacks.  You get to rely on God’s wisdom and never changing truth.  You are not who you used to be.  Who you used to be is now part of your testimony.

The Bible declares who you are.  You are more than a conquer.  You are more than an over-comer.  You are a believer.  You are above and not beneath.  You are the head and not the tail.  For you can do ALL things through Jesus Christ who strengthens you.  You are a Holy Spirit filled believer who walks by the leading of the Spirit and has all spiritual blessing and gifts made available to you.

You are not who friends say you are.  You are not who your parents say you are.   You are not who family says you are.  You are not who schoolmates say you are.  You are not who co-workers say you are.  You are not who teachers, professors, bosses or clergy say you are.  You are not who Satan says you are.  You are not who your past says you are.  You are not who doctors say you are.  You are not who the authorities say you are.  You are much, much more than all of that.  Though “who you are not” may be a big list it is not near as important or as meaningful as who you are in Christ and who Christ is in you!  That is who God says you are!  Who you used to be is not who you now are and is not why you are here!

______________________

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>

Relevant and Revived

Rejoice1

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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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Living Under the Influence

Radical Living

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By Steve Countryman

Driving under the influence means that your ability to operate and maneuver a motor vehicle is greatly impaired.  Those who try believe a lie and are deceiving themselves.  Trying to drive while under the influence will cause you trouble.  It will hurt you, those around you and those close to you.  It will bring destruction, destroying your life, your job, your finances, your family, your friends and perfect strangers who get in your way.

Living under the influence refers to those things that influence your daily life and decisions either good or bad.  The sinner lives under the influence of the ruler of this world, Satan.  All decisions the sinner makes are affected, one way or another, by the influence of sin and temptation.  Even when it seems to be a worthy cause or good intentions there always seems to be a hidden reason for the decision.  For example expecting something in return for doing a good deed if only recognition.  Or being deceived into thinking that by doing good deeds they will qualify to enter into heaven.  Driving drunk or high is an indicator that the person could have an addiction problem and is living under the influence of the kingdom of darkness.

Even Christians live under the influence of this world to some degree because we live here surrounded by sinful influences daily.  It is when you allow those influences into your thinking that trouble begins.  Romans 12:2  Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind.  Allowing the little things is where it starts.  Your friends start complaining about their job, their spouse, their sickness, their finances you name it and the next thing you know you are doing the same thing.  Seemed harmless enough just blowing off steam right?  Wrong!  Your words carry power and by confessing with your mouth your complaints you are pronouncing curses over yourself and your situation.  Take your concerns to the Lord not to your friends.

Fear, doubt and worry are all opposites of faith in your God which leads to complaining and murmuring that leads to poor decisions, more curses and more trouble!  It shows a lack of trust in God’s ability to provide for you and is contrary to being a child of the Most High God.  You must choose to put on the mind of Christ daily and ask God for wisdom.  James 1:5 If any of you lacks wisdom, you should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to you.  But you say you don’t have enough faith Romans 10:17 So then faith comes by hearing, and hearing by the word of God.   Being a Christian is not an honorary title but requires commitment and dedication to God and His Word.  You have to spend time with God daily and develop an intimate walk to know Him better.  Spending time with God and in His Word will build your faith.  Like anything else you only get out of it what you put into to it, like what is means to be a child of the Most High God as revealed in your daily walk.

You can’t have the victory in your life trying to survive on the prayers of others.  You can’t have the victory over your problems, troubles and fears by going to church every once in a while.  You can’t have the victory if you can’t forgive others who have sinned against you, your family or your friends.  You can’t have the victory by going on the words of a preacher and not read the Word of God yourself.  You can’t have the victory by listening to the advice of this world and ignoring what God’s Word says.  You can’t have the victory if you don’t know who you are in Christ and who Christ is in you.  You can’t have the victory in your life without faith in your God.  Faith is the bridge that joins the known of this world to the unknown of God’s kingdom.

Being a Christian is more than wearing a cross around your neck.  Being a Christian is more than being a Sunday pew sitter.  Being a Christian is more than carrying a Bible.  Being a Christian is more than having a Christian bumper sticker.  Being a Christian is more than being just a survivor, more than an over-comer, more than a warrior and more than a conquer.  Being a Christian means that your life brings glory to God.  Being a Christian means that you are a child of the Most High God and you represent His kingdom everywhere you go.  You proclaim His goodness in your life instead of complaining to others.  Your decisions, actions and words all reflect His influence in your life as you conduct yourself daily with the mind of Christ.  By doing this you bring glory to your God.

It is His will that is manifested in you, with you, to you, for you and through you.  It is His will that you are healed and in good health.  It is His will that you prosper as your soul prospers.  It is His will that you walk in ALL power and authority of heaven.  It is His will that all spiritual blessings and spiritual gifts are made available to you.  It is His will that you have abundant prosperity in every part of your life.  Think about it, how does it reflect on God for one of His children to be sickly, complaining, grumpy, sinful, hateful or destitute?  Where is the glory of God in that person’s life?  How do they bring God glory?  What kind of testimony is that?  We are God’s witnesses and He is our testimony.  “If I can only hang on until Jesus comes back” is a defeated shameless statement that too many Christians use.  Where is their victory and how do they bring glory to God?

The fullness of Christ lives and dwells in us at the time of salvation.  We Christians spend years grasping what that all entails.  We have what no other powerful men and women of God had in the Old Testament.  When God worked through them the Word said that the Spirit of the Lord came upon them.  Because of the finished work of the cross of Jesus we have the Spirit of the Lord in us always!  That is why His Word says that the latter house will be greater than the former house.  And why Jesus said that we would do greater things than He did.  We are the latter house!  Knowing who you are in Christ and who Christ is in you is found through faith.  The fullness of Christ is made known through your faith.  It is through faith that you are able to do all things through Christ who strengthens you.  It is through faith that you walk being led by the Holy Spirit.  It is through faith that your salvation is made possible.  It is because of your faith that God is pleased with you.  And it is by studying the Word of God that your faith is founded, perfected, put into action and grows strong.  By faith the influence of God’s kingdom is manifested in your life daily.  Living under the influence of God’s Word, commands and love will impact your surroundings and those around you everywhere you go!  The time is ripe!!

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>

Word of God

Rays of Roses

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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.