Love God

The Lighthouse

Lighthouse and Palm Tree

@creationswap/paulbudde

 

By louis gander

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

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

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

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

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

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

Names Have Been Changed to Declare the Righteous

Background art:@creationswap/wagnerdanial Typesetting:Arlene Price

Background art:@creationswap/wagnerdanial Typesetting:Arlene Price

By Abby Kelly

“I love everything about her life!”

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Living Under the Influence

Radical Living

artwork@creationswap/willwallace

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>

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.