Lord

What if There Were No Christmas?

Christmas

@creationswap/ Bettine deKruijf

by Deborah Ann Belka

What if there was no Christmas,
no Babe lying in the manger
what if the Savior wasn’t born
to heal the world’s hurt and anger?

There would be no Good Friday,
no Palm Sunday or Resurrection Day
there would be no souls to show
the truth, the light or the way.

What if there was no Christmas,
no freedom from our strife
no hope or any anticipation
of having a blissful eternal life?

There would be no everlasting joy,
no chance of a never-ending love
there would be no glorious meeting
with our Savior one day above.

What if there was no Christmas,
no trust, no faith, no peace
no virgin birth, no babe born
so our pain and tears would cease?

There would be no Prince of Life,
no eternal Lord and King
there would be no rational
in the Christmas songs we sing.

What if the baby Jesus wasn’t born,
on Christmas Day?
What then would be the reason
to even celebrate today?

~~~~~~~~~~~~

Isaiah 7:14
King James Version

“Therefore the Lord himself shall give you
a sign; Behold, a virgin shall conceive,
and bear a son, and shall call his name
Immanuel.”

Merry CHRISTmas Everyone!

Copyright 2013
Deborah Ann Belka
bdebby@hotmail.com
www.hiswingsshadow.com
http://poetrybydeborahann.wordpress.com/

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!!

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

What Motivates You?

artwork:@creationswap/jondavis

artwork:@creationswap/jondavis

By Steve Countryman

oes your goals motivate you? Does getting older and not being able to do what you used to do motivate you? Does your anger motivate you? Does your love motivate you? Does your rage and hatred motivate you? Does getting even motivate you? Does your feelings motivate you? Does your addictions motivate you? Does your social life of partying, bar hopping and one night stands motivate you? Does your hobbies or your favorite sports teams motivate you? Does your friends motivate you? Does making friends or being liked motivate you? Does your family or spouse motivate you? Does your boyfriend or girlfriend motivate you? Does your job or boss motivate you? Does the bad report from the doctor motivate you? Does serving time in prison motivate you? Even a hermit living in a cave is motivated by nature, by hunger, by survival and by necessity.

All motivation comes down to two areas that affect everyone everyday. These two areas are also at the center of your daily walk and relationship with Father God. How you handle them or how they handle you is where you will find your future. One can build you up and the other can tear you down. One brings hope and the other despair. One leads to a brighter future and the other to death and destruction. One will mobilize you and the other will paralyze you. I am speaking of faith and fear.

I was once again reading 1Kings 18:20-45 and 19:1-4. I am troubled every time I read this story. There is Elijah who had Ahab summon all 850 prophets of Baal and Asherah. He told them to take their bull and prepare it for sacrifice but not to set the wood on fire. They were to call down fire from their gods to light it. Hour after hour went by and no response from their gods. So Elijah took his bull and prepared it for sacrifice but he did not light the fire either. He went so far as to have the bull and the wood dowsed in water 3 times, so much so that it filled up a trench around the alters. After Elijah finished taunting the prophets about their lame gods and after watching them shout, cry out, ceremonially cut themselves and still no response from their gods, Elijah called on Jehovah God. 1Kings 18:38 Then the fire of the Lord fell and burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones and the soil, and also licked up the water in the trench. Notice that God’s fire from heaven did 5 things, 5 represents God’s grace in scripture, it burned up the sacrifice, the wood, the stones, the ground and licked up all the water from the trench.

Then Elijah prayed for rain to break the years of draught. After praying seven times a cloud formed over the sea and a heavy rain was coming. Elijah warned Ahab to leave before the rain stopped him. Ahab got into his chariot and left. The power of the Lord came upon Elijah and he ran ahead of Ahab 15 miles out running a horse drawn chariot. Then Ahab told his wife Jezebel about all that happened and Jezebel sent a threatening message to Elijah that his life would soon end.

Isn’t Jehovah God the same God who just performed these powerful miracles? Isn’t this the same God who brought the Israelites out of Egypt by parting the Red Sea and they crossed over on dry ground? Then since this is the same powerful God, didn’t Elijah believe that God could protect him from Jezebel?

Elijah had just participated in three huge miracles and awesome displays of God’s mighty power. The fire from heaven, the heavy rain and out running a horse drawn chariot for 15 miles. When Elijah received Jezebel’s message the Bible says that he became afraid and ran off to the dessert to hide. That is where my dilemma is found. Elijah with tremendous faith, a mighty man of God filled with courage and boldness had God’s power flow through him to do these mighty things but yet became afraid of a threat from an evil and wicked woman who had killed lots of God’s prophets. God did not tell Elijah to go to the dessert and hide as He had him do before. Elijah didn’t bother asking God what he should do. Fear had gripped and motivated Elijah so badly that he just ran off to hide, or as he told God, that he wanted to die!

Fear will motivate you to make bad decisions. Faith is where courage and boldness is found. Peace is found in faith not in fear. That is why it has always been a bad idea for Israel to give land away to their enemies to appease them in trade for peace. That peace has yet to come even after years of giving away land that God told them not to do! For they were giving away their inheritance. The joy of the Lord is our strength and that joy of the Lord is loaded with powerful faith. Deuteronomy 32:4 He is the Rock, his works are perfect, and all his ways are just. A faithful God who does no wrong, upright and just is he. Psalm 89:8 Who is like you, Lord God Almighty? You, Lord, are mighty, and your faithfulness surrounds you. 2 Thessalonians 3:3 But the Lord is faithful, and he will strengthen you and protect you from the evil one.

God’s faithfulness is not just to His Word and it’s completion but also represents His faithfulness in YOU! God has faith in you! You carry the faith of Jesus in you as the Bible says you have been given a measure of faith. It is the same faith that Jesus had in the Father. As Christians we have what the mighty men and women of the Old Testament never had. We have the same Holy Spirit that raised Christ from the dead living and dwelling in each of us, quickening our mortal bodies. That same powerful Holy Spirit that is home to Jesus in His temple our bodies has made ALL power and authority of our heavenly Father God available to each of us ALWAYS and in ALL THINGS! John 14:12 Very truly I tell you, whoever believes in me will do the works I have been doing, and they will do even greater things than these. So don’t let fear motivate you but turn to the author and finisher of your faith, Jesus and let faith motivate you and your life every day!

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.comCHRISTIAN WRITERS

 

Hope in the Waiting

photo:creationswap/ Charise Orozco

photo:creationswap/ Charise Orozco

By Stephanie Reck

What have you been waiting for God to answer, or what promises are you waiting for Him to fulfill? Waiting is most difficult, and if we are not careful we can grow weary and despondent as we wait. Sometimes we may even lose hope, as hope deferred can make our hearts sick. What lies have you believed about God and His love for you because you are tired in the waiting?

Here are some practical steps that you can take as you wait:
1.    Enjoy your time as you wait. So many of us do not enjoy our lives as we are waiting for things in our lives to be fulfilled.
2.    Stop being all wrought up, anxious, and worried all the time. Have peace as you wait, peace that God does hear and know your prayers and desires.
3.    Stop fretting. Stop feeling sorry for yourself and stop your self-pity. It will only make matters worse. CHOOSE to be thankful for the things that are good in your life, and don’t CHOOSE to reflect on what you don’t have. Actively look, seek the good in your life.
4.    Revive your hope and stir up your dreams and desires again. Take time to ask and seek God for a new vision for your life, and to rekindle the promises that he has already given you.
5.    Seek God first above everything else you desire, you want, or you are waiting for. Simple, but so many of us just don’t put God first. Time in His presence will fill you up and bring answers to your thirsty soul.
6.    Stay away from desiring to have someone else’s life. You are unique and God has a unique plan for your life, so don’t compare your life to others or want what they have.
7.    Be content with the lot you have been given and the lot you are currently in. Contentment breeds peace and joy.

Here are some scriptures that have helped me personally get through the waiting times:

Wait for the Lord,
Be strong and take heart and wait for the Lord.
Psalm 27:13-14, NIV

Because of the Lord’s great love we are not consumed,
For His compassion never fails.
They are new every morning;
Great is your faithfulness.
I say to myself, “The Lord is my portion, therefore, I will wait for Him.”
The Lord is good to those whose hope is in Him, to the one who seeks Him.
Lamentations 3:22-25, NIV

Though He brings grief, He will show compassion, so great is His unfailing love.
For He does not willingly bring affliction or grief to the children of God.
Lamentations 3:31-33, NIV

Here are some things to meditate on from the above scriptures and to replace any lies that you have been believing about God and His love for you as you are waiting:
1.    God encourages us to wait for Him.
2.    The Lord has great love for us and His compassion for us never fails.
3.    The Lord is faithful.
4.    The Lord is good to those who hope in Him, and to the ones who seek Him.
5.    Though God does bring grief, He shows us compassion and great is His unfailing love.
6.    God does not willing bring affliction or grief to His children.

About the Author:
To order a copy of author’s book, Wilderness Mentality, Stop Your Stinkin’ Thinkin’ go to www.createspace.com/4036785

Stephanie Reck, LMSW, LBT,BCCC. Christian coach & counselor, author, speaker, and teacher. Stephanie has a passion to bring hope and encouragement and to see people made whole.  
Contact Stephanie @ http://www.christianhopecounseling.com
Copyright@2013, Hope Counseling Ministry. All Rights Reserved.

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

 

Mind Your Language

artwork:@creationswap/LuisGarcia

artwork:@creationswap/LuisGarcia

By Tesh Njokanma

What we say probably affects a person more than any other action we take. Words are potent tools in the hands of the speaker which can be used for either building up or tearing down, healing wounds or creating scars, killing dreams or fulfilling destines. Your words could make a whole lot of difference to each person you meet. What kind of words are you known for?

The Sharp Tongue

Whenever Anita walked into a room, she could within a few minutes kill all the warmth and laughter in the air with her sarcastic and nasty remarks. She always had something unpleasant to say about everything and everyone. No matter how hard you tried, she would find the perfect words to run down your efforts and make you look like a complete fool. It was no wonder that her husband who had had it up to his neck with her nagging and harsh criticisms, recently moved out of their house to give himself a breather.

Proverbs 12:18 tells us that “Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing”. We need to daily apply the same degree of care to the words we speak as we do to our driving, or we may end up causing some emotional accidents with our tongues.

The Talebearer

“The words of a talebearer are as wounds and they go down into the innermost parts of the belly” (Proverbs 26:22).

It’s really amazing the way some people seem to always know everything that’s happening in other people’s lives. Not only are they experts in getting the latest gist in town, they are highly skilled in adding spice to the stories they spread around. There are two main reasons why you need to beware of such people. Firstly, everything they say has to be taken with a pinch of salt as you never know which part of the conversation they are having with you has had some pepper and special flavorings added to it. Secondly, your secret would become the talk of the day if you make a mistake of confiding in them.

The danger in being around such people is that if you are not careful and discerning, they can easily create wrong impressions in your mind about other people. Unconsciously, you find yourself believing and then responding to someone based on what you have been told by the talebearer that the person did or said. But for all you know, the poor fellow may never have said or done that thing.

The Vision Killer

“Don’t you think you are better off selling just fabrics?” It was just a suggestion from a friend after she made an outfit for her, but it put an end to Tracy’s life-long dream of becoming a fashion designer. The more she reflected on those words, the more incompetent she saw herself. And now because of that snide remark, her tailoring shop has been shut down while she’s busy pursuing an administrative job she neither enjoys nor gets fulfillment from.

God has uniquely created each of us with special skills, potentials and talents. We all have different ways of handling problems and projects. In expressing our personal views about someone else’s personality, work, or idea, we need to ensure that our words are helpful and constructive not discouraging and destructive.

Foul Talk

You are ten minutes late for an important job interview in one of the leading oil companies in the country. It’s bad enough that you are stuck in the middle of a traffic jam, then from nowhere, some reckless bus driver comes along to cause confusion on the road and delay you even further. The next thing you hear coming out of your mouth to the bus driver is ‘Are you crazy? What kind of idiot are you? You must be a really big fool’.
When we exchange such strong language, it’s easy to give excuses such as I was provoked, angry, or irritated. Or the driver was obviously in the wrong. But do such excuses count before God? As far as God is concerned, our tongues are meant for praises and every other thing that is noble, pure, lovely and admirable (Philippians 4:8). The tongue is not for cursing, swearing or for any kind of obscenity. “With the tongue we praise our Lord and Father and with it we curse men, who have been made in God’s likeness. Out of the same mouth come praising and cursing. My brothers, this should not be” (James 3:9-10).

The Sensitive Speaker

“There is a time for everything and a season for everything under heavena time to be silent and a time to speak (Ecclesiastes 3:1, 7).

I can’t begin to count the number of times I have said something to a friend or relative, only for me to regret it the very minute the words were out. Most times we are too quick to speak; too quick to blurt out what is on our mind. But a truly wise person considers the consequences of one’s words before speaking. A wise speaker is sensitive to the moods, temperaments and feelings of those he or she is conversing with. A sensitive speaker knows the right words to say at the right time. A sensitive speaker knows when to give a soft answer, when to rebuke sternly, when to bring up a matter, and when to just let sleeping dogs lie.

The Encourager

Everything that meant something to this woman had been taken away from her. Her husband, her sons, her hopes and dreams for the future were all gone. Her first daughter-in-law had just left and the second would probably leave any minute from now leaving her as a poor, lonely, empty woman with no one in the world to turn to. But to her utmost surprise, Ruth, her daughter-in-law, drew near to her, held her hands tightly and said, “Don’t urge me to leave you or to turn back from you. Where you go I will go, and where you stay I will stay. Your people will be my people and your God my God”(Ruth 1:16-17).

Ruth was actually trying to tell Naomi, her mother-in-law, not to give up, not to lose hope. That the fact that she had lost her husband and sons didn’t mean life was over. It didn’t mean she was a failure and had nothing good to offer anyone. Ruth was saying, I love you for who you are, not for what I can get from you. You are special to me and I can’t walk away from you.

Those words made all the difference to Naomi. They were warmer and more comforting than any hug could be. They made her feel special. They made her feel like a person of worth. They helped her to stop focusing on her situation and to focus on God. They brought hope back to her. They gave her the strength to wipe away her tears and start living again.

People all over are struggling with different kinds of fears and pains. The words we speak matter a great deal. They could make a person either give up in despair, or move on to become a person of relevance and value. And so we need to daily yield our tongue to the Lord, so the words we speak build up not tear down and make us real sources of joy and blessing.

About the Author:

www.teshnwritings.com
Tesh Njokanma is a lawyer by training whose heart is in writing. She is a prolific writer with over 15 years experience as a magazine Editor. She is a pastor in the Redeemed Christian Church of God with a prayer and teaching ministry. Tesh is married with children. She is based in Lagos, Nigeria.

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

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

Time to get out of the boat – By Maria Egilsson

Matthew 14:22-36… the boat was buffeted by waves.. “It’s a ghost,” they cried out in fear”Lord, if it’s you, Peter replied, tell me to come to you on the water.” Peter got out of the boat heedless of the waves and walked on the water toward Jesus. “But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, Jesus reached out his hand and caught him. “You of little faith,” he said, “why did you doubt?”

love hope faith

On a stormy sea your boat does sail.
The wind is strong and your ship does fail.
The waves are high and the storm is long.
You don’t think that you can last for long.
You’ve tried your best to no avail
As strength is gone and hope is frail.
When you think that life is through
It is then He comes to rescue you.
You are not sure of what you see,
Is it a ghost that calls to thee?
The thrashing waves obscure your view
But you are sure He has called to you.
You take a step out of the boat
And faith in Him keeps you afloat.
But all at once the wind does blow
And your feet begin to slow;
Sinking in the briny flow.
He lifts you up and calms the sea.
Only you He does rebuke.
What is this? Your heart does ache.
Peter, He is readying you

For a task which He calls you to.
This is His training ground for you.

God calls each of us to a very personal walk with Him. He will deepen the call that He has put within your soul. He will test you and prove you before He will use you further. There will come a time though when He is ready to enlarge that which you have already been proven faithful in. Then comes your time of testing, just like it was for Peter. God wants to do something new; something that you may sense in your spirit but you are not quite aware of the details yet or if this really is God nudging you to step out of your “boat”. Just like Peter was unsure at first, not recognizing who was coming towards him on the water. It is wise to make sure it is Him by asking, like Peter did, “Lord, is it You?. Then, if you are sure it is Him, step out of that boat no matter what you see around you. Your faith may be unsteady because you have never walked this way before but He is with you and He will steady you. His plan He will make known to you more clearly as you begin to walk this new journey with Him.

 

About the Author: To know Maria Egilsson is to know someone who is passionate about issues women face, their relationship with themselves, with God and the world around them. Maria can be contacted through her blog at http://thewoman2woman.blogspot.ca/ Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com CHRISTIAN WRITER

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

Sitting on the Fence

Sitting On The Fence By Mick Alexander

“Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.”
(James 4:4 NIV)

Some churchgoers are quite happy being in church and in sin at the same time. They are very comfortable, thinking that they can have the best of both worlds; they are enjoying the lusts of the flesh and will one day enjoy the pleasures of heaven also … so they think!

However, the Bible makes it clear that we cannot be in sin and in Christ at the same time. James 4:4 makes this very obvious where it says, “Anyone who chooses to be a friend of the world becomes an enemy of God.” We can’t be a friend of God when we have one foot in this sinful world and one foot in Christ, like someone sitting on a fence. The following story brings out this truth:

There was a crowd of people standing in a field with a fence dividing them into two groups. Jesus came and took the little group of people who were on His side of the fence and then the Devil came and took the larger group. After this, there was one man left sitting on the fence. The Devil came back and told the man to come with him but the man said, “I don’t belong to you, I’m sitting on the fence.”

The Devil replied, “Oh, but you do belong to me. I own the fence.”

We are either saved or lost, there is no in between. Either Jesus is our Lord, keeping us from continuing in sin and preparing us for heaven, or the Devil is our lord, helping us to enjoy the pleasures of this sinful world before we are taken off to hell. We can’t be in sin and in Christ at the same time. Let’s be like Joshua who told the Israelites that they had a choice of serving the Lord or the gods of this world and then he said, “… as for me and my household, we will serve the LORD” (Josh. 24:15).

Mick Alexander
leeandmick@gmail.com

Mick Alexander likes to spread the gospel and encourage believers in their faith.
He has a website at http://www.christianissues.biz
His Christian blog is at http://www.christianissues.biz/blog/wordpress/
His YouTube videos are http://www.youtube.com/user/christianissues

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