Tuesday, January 31, 2012

A Prayer in a Time of Difficulty by C.L. Glover

Lord, today we come to You seeking refuge in Your Word because incidences are happening to us that we do not understand. We know in our hearts that You only want what is best for us and You will exalt us in due time.

However, our minds are confused because we are struggling to solve our own problems. So Lord, we ask You to give us the peace that surpasses all understanding as we cast our burdens on You.

In Your Word You said You would never leave us nor forsake us. Your presence means everything to us. So help us to focus on You while we are going through our challenges.

Despite the consequences, we give You the praise, the glory, and the honor You so rightly deserve. We praise You because You know all things and nothing is hidden from Your sight. Since we are praying according to Your will, we know You hear us and You will grant us what we asked for.

So now we have all confidence in You and believe You will do just what You said. In Jesus' name, we pray. Amen.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITERS

Friday, January 27, 2012

He is My Sunny Day by Kathleen Angell

Some time ago, I had been going through really difficult times mentally.

Most of my life my emotions had been low, and this particular year had seen many difficulties, and I was in a particular low, a darker time than I had known in many, many years, if ever. Both in situations, and also within myself. I had no where to go inside.

I was sitting and writing one day, and I heard the Lord speak to me. I hadn’t heard him in so long, but I knew it was him. It was an inner voice, but with it came a wonderful change and joy.

He said to me that he was my Sunny Day.

I had been writing to someone about the weather here in Oregon. All my life I grew up where it was hot and sunny and I was known to love sunniness. Weather that was hot didn’t bother me, I just loved it.

I was affected by moving here because it is always rainy, and I was speaking about this to someone in a letter.

It had cast a darkness and gloom over me, the weather, but the Lord with that word, split it aside.

The weather, the natural weather became the happiest thing in my life. The more rain, the happier I felt. I loved it.

Dark for days? No problem, I loved it.

The weirder, the hazier, the gloomier, the sweeter it became for me, as that word remained in me, and I knew the natural weather was not my sunniness, Jesus was.

And it was a lot more than just knowing that, he made it that way.

It’s now about a year later. I woke up this morning with the Sunshine of Jesus Christ all over me. The joy of the Lord filled my being.

I thought, oh Lord, what it is like for people that don’t know you. More than that, I felt for people, I felt what it is like for people who do not know Jesus, and as I lay in my bed upon awakening, I knew what it is like for people who are blessed with his precious presence.

The Light of God surrounds me. The Sunshine fills my air. Dew and mist gently are there.

More than anything, Jesus is my Sunny Day and today as I see him there, his light, his presence, it is a wonderfully Sunshiney Day.

I can feel his warmth all over me. Warmth and healing, peace and joy. I know if there is anything wrong, it is okay, it is in his hands. I am utterly at peace as if basking in the sun, without a care in the world, peacefully resting and getting my rays.

When I felt the Lord that way, I could realize how people who don’t know him, need him. So I wanted to write about life with him.

Life without him is a dark and gloomy day. Storms without him are furious and turmoil.

But when we have asked Jesus to come into our lives and we believe the best we can and keep turning to him, we’ll see his day. He’ll become our Sunny day.

When the Lord touched my life with his word about him being my Sunny Day, it didn’t take long to figure out that that was the natural day, but also in the day within me.

My moods and emotions, people’s actions and situations, all make up an atmosphere that affects my day.

Life can provide problems on-going that seem like clouds are forever over me, but I am here to tell you that Jesus is all in control of my days.

He is my Light, and the clouds of circumstance part at his appearing.

If they are present, I still know from within who the Sunshine is, and that he will appear, so I always have hope. I praise Him.

It is overcast outside but my joy wells up within me. My Sun shines all around me. My feelings come from him.

He parts the atmosphere of circumstance and we walk out in another Day. And the Light on us is not the circumstances of gloominess, but the Light of our God and his Son, his joy and peace, and healing.

It is okay in my world. My failures are not my burden. The One who made this very Day I am in also has everything else in his hands.

I awoke this morning and am still at wonder of our Wonderful God. That he would give me something so wonderful as his precious presence.

Nothing in my life is worthy of him. Yesterday was a day full of tensions and difficulties and problems.

The clouds he has parted, none of it affects me, and I just find, I love Him. It is not an effort, I can’t help but love Him.

If your life seems to overwhelm you, ask Jesus to come into your life. Ask him to come into your very heart and live there forever.

We give over a life that can not make us happy, and by asking him in, we receive a life that is from him and we share his happiness with him.

We have fellowship with our Creator. And he loves us and he walks with us and we aren’t alone.

Nothing in this world is like that. Jesus is my Sunny Day.

And he didn’t just give himself to me. He gave himself to all of us. I can’t help but want to share about him.

It is not for just a few to know him. I didn’t do anything to deserve the Lord. But he gave himself to me, and to you, and for all of us, and he is there for all of us to turn to no matter what our circumstances are, no matter how big, no matter how we feel about them or ourselves, he wants to share his life with us.

He wants us to come to him. And he wants to be our Sunshining Day

My name is Kathleen Angell. My life was dramatically changed when the Lord made Himself real to me. My website is christiannews.highpowersites.com. We take testimonies out door to door and feed the poor as the Lord provides.

Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com-CHRISTIAN WRITERS

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

Pain Along the Journey by Elizabeth Marks

Finally, brethren, pray for us, that the word of the Lord may run swiftly and be glorified, just as it is with you, 2 and that we may be delivered from unreasonable and wicked men; for not all have faith. 3 But the Lord is faithful, who will establish you and guard you from the evil one. 4 And we have confidence in the Lord concerning you, both that you do and will do the things we command you. 5 Now may the Lord direct your hearts into the love of God and into the patience of Christ. 2 Thessalonians 3:1-5 NKJV

It’s all about the Lord, isn’t it? Everything is the Lord’s. He rules over it all. He is the one guiding our hearts toward Him. He gives us our very breathe. He provides for our every need. He guards us against the evil one. We do none of this on our own.

God is faithful. He will establish you. This section of scripture reminds me of 1 Peter 5:10: “But may the God of all grace, who called us to His eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after you have suffered a while, perfect, establish, strengthen, and settle you.” After you have suffered a while it says. We can conclude suffering is part of growth journey. There are some things we can never learn without suffering.

In my own journey, I had to suffer the consequences of poor choices. I had many expectations in life, none of which came out the way I envisioned. I was disappointed most of the time. Then, again, I believe most perfectionists are disappointed constantly. It’s a sad condition to live in. As I became more critical of others and cynical about life, I resented everyone and I allowed bitterness to take up residence in my heart. I didn’t handle things well before and it brought me more pain, than I ever imagined.

During times of suffering, God is there, eager to show himself faithful, loving and kind. All He asks is for us to turn to Him, trust Him and He will lead us out of the difficulty, whatever it may be. I can say He was there for me. When I finally could stand no more of my life, sobbing in the shower one morning, I prayed “Jesus, I’ve messed up my life! Help me! The bible says You died for my sins and rose again to give me a new life. Please come into my life and give me a new life. Amen.” I didn’t know how my life could ever be good again, but a wonderful peace came over me anyway. He was there waiting for me to turn to Him. He was faithful to answer my prayer.

Lord, thank you for wanting to come into our lives and heal us from our poor choices. Thank you for your faithfulness to answer our prayers. Thank you for dying for our sins and rising again to give us a new life in Christ Jesus. Amen.

God will perfect, establish, strengthen and settle you. The Bible teaches us this, but the Spirit of God living in us, confirms it in our own lives. He did for me. He will for you. Are you trusting God today? If not, ask Him to convince you how good He is. He will not disappoint!

Copyright Elizabeth Marks, author of ThinkOnIt Devotions, has a heart for encouraging believers with God's Word. Please visit http://www.ThinkOnItDevotions.com for more devotions, bible studies, book reviews and more!

Friday, January 20, 2012

Joy During Times of Tribulation by Michelle Goodwine

 When we are going through trials and tribulations, often times it is difficult to have joy in our hearts.  Even as believers, when we are going through those "valley moments",  many of us find it difficult to be happy.  But, unlike those in the world, Christians have a reason to rejoice while we are going through tough times.  We have God on our side.  We have the Lord to count on.  And we can depend on the promises of God to never leave us or forsake us to give us strength.  

James 1:2-3 says:
Consider it pure joy, 
my brothers and sisters, 
whenever you face trials of many kinds, 
because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance.

I am so grateful to God for showing me that no matter what my current circumstances, I have no reason to be sad.  God is always in control.  God is always on the throne.  So, even when we feel out of control, we can feel assured that God is concerned about our well-being. As the song goes, "Trouble don't last always." No matter what struggles we are experiencing, joy does come in the morning.  

In order to feel joy during hard times, we just need to remember that God will work everything out for His good in the end.  If we pray for His will to be done (and not ours), have faith in God, and patiently wait for His response, God will answer our prayers.  Now He may not give us want we want, but He will give us what we need if we trust Him.

As someone who prayed for a particular outcome, and was blessed with God granting me what I wanted, I have learned to pray for God's will.  When I received what I wanted, I soon learned that what I wanted, was not what God would have wanted for me.  Over the years, because of this prayer, I have experienced a great deal of hurt and pain.  So for those of you who have a desire in their heart, whether it is for a certain job, love interest, or material good, ask and you shall receive, says                    .
So for those Christians who are going through trials, let us remember that a New Life Today is possible.  Having the confidence that God will answer your prayers is the reason why you can praise God in advance, and why we can be filled with joy and peace on the inside, even when the wold around us may seem chaotic and out of control.

Below are a few Bible verses that will inspire you 
during times of trials and tribulations:
1 Peter 5:10 

And after you have suffered a little while, the God of all grace, who has called you to his eternal glory in Christ, will himself restore, confirm, strengthen, and establish you.

Romans 12:12 

Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.

Philippians 4:6-7 

Do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Joshua 1:9 

Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Psalm 34:17-18 

When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Monday, January 16, 2012

Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. - Greatness Starts with Service by Michelle Goodwine

Today, January 16, 2012, we celebrate the life of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. It is only fitting that America honors this extraordinary individual.  Many of us know that Dr. King received the Nobel Peace Prize, played a key role in the March on Washington in 1963, where he delivered the amazing "I Have a Dream Speech", and was instrumental in getting the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed into law. (Read more about Dr. King's life here.) Throughout his life, Dr. King used his talents to serve others.  He even paid the ultimate price  - his life - to help all Americans achieve equality.

Dr. King once proclaimed in a speech that "Everybody can be great, because everybody can serve." Dr. King's greatness comes from what he did to advance the civil rights of all Americans, not from the speeches he made. Today is a perfect time for us all to reflect on our lives.  We should all think about how and who we can serve.

We may never experience the level of fame and celebrity that Dr. King has.  However, as someone one shared with me, one person can make a difference.  Think about what you can do today to serve others.  Think about how you can help yourself and others have a New Life Today!

1 Peter 4:10 New International Version (NIV)

10 Each of you should use whatever gift you have received to serve others, as faithful stewards of God’s grace in its various forms.

Saturday, January 14, 2012

Love is Not Fear by Michelle Lawson

Recently I began watching the Jeremy Kyle talk show.  What I like about it is that the host candidly tells his guests what he feels about their immature, irresponsible, and stupid behavior. In other words, he is real with them.  He doesn't sugar coat how much damage to their children these guests  who are on the show to find out the paternity of have caused.  Or, in the case of yesterday's show, Jeremy Kyle showed clear disdain for this couple. They had lost custody of their children because of evidence of child abuse.

 What was most disturbing about this situation was the fact that the mother was totally delusion about the husband's obvious lack of respect for her and their children.  The husband, who was an admitted drug addict, had persuaded his wife to prostitute herself while she was pregnant with their youngest child.  And the sad thing about the whole scenario was that when asked why she continued to stay with her despicable husband, she replied, "I love him."

What touched me about this woman's response was that I know there are so many women in this world who believe they love a man who obviously does not love her.  Oh yeah, the man may say he loves her.  And from time to time, he may treat her nice, buy her something, take her out, whisper sweet nothings in her ear, etc.  But it's not love.  

1 John 4:16-18 talks about what love is...
 16 And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. 
Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in them.  
17 This is how love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment: 
In this world we are like Jesus.  
18 There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. 
The one who fears is not made perfect in love. 1 John 4:16-18 (NIV)

The Bible tells us that love is not fear.  In the case of this women on the Jeremy Kyle Show, it was obvious that this woman "loved" this man out of fear. How do  we know this?  Because his actions clearly showed that he did not love her.  And yet, despite these obvious signs of disrespect and  lack of love, she continued to "love" this man.  It was apparent that she feared the unkown of leaving him more than the fear of staying. But Love is not fear.

I believe people who have a misguided view about it believe that love is a feeling.  They believe they are in love because their hearts patter when they see that special person, or when they hear someone else's name.  But I have grown to realize that love is an action verb.  If you are in love with someone, your actions will show it.  You will do positive things for that person as a sign of your love.  You will want the best for that person because of the love you have for that person.  And that love in actions will be returned. A person that loves you will not ask you to prostitute yourself, or to do drugs, or to commit a crime, or force you to have sex against your will, or to hit you.  A person that does those things to you does not love you, no matter what he or she says.  A person that loves you will treat you with kindness, respect, and show care and consideration at all times. 

So what do you do if you realize that your relationship is not a loving one? How about if you are married to this person? Well, your course of action depends on what part you have played.   You have to evaluate the relationship and be honest with yourself. Perhaps you have been the one of the relationship who has been unloving.  If so, what do you need to do to actually love the other person?  Do it starting today! Or do you know deep in your heart that you will never love that person. Then what you need to do is find a way to leave this person.  If you have any compassion at all as a human being, why would you be so selfish to continue in a loveless relationship.  That is so unfair to the other person!
Anyone who is in a relationship because of fear, wake up today and realize this is not love.  I know this realization may be a very painful one, but isn't the state of your relationship hurting you anyway?  As David says in Psalm 27:1

 1 The LORD is my light and my salvation—
   whom shall I fear?
The LORD is the stronghold of my life—
   of whom shall I be afraid?

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

The Dark Space by Pastor DeChard Freeman

The Dark Space
by Pastor DeChard Freeman

So I often wonder if I will ever behold this deep valley of disappointment, despair and desperation through the rear view mirror of LIFE…  My humanity often screams, “Give up, you will not survive (let alone thrive) so why try?”
My spiritual self is anemic because I have starved him due to the hustle of “working for the LORD”, yet I know the feeble amount of time I’ve invested in my relationship with Him and reading His Word.
I slip into traps I’d normally avoid and shun the people I truly adore.  I inflict harm on innocent hearts because my pain won’t allow anyone but me to be cared for.
I try to pray because I hear it’s the right thing to do…  Down on my knees-- with empty, void words for I feel I’ve lost my connection with You.
It seems all of my challenges are far greater than my will, over whelming bills, sickness and desertion have me wondering if You are even real?
If you are so powerful and You love me best, how can you allow me to suffer and hurt with such unrest?  Do you really care for me or is my LIFE for you just amusement?  Do you revel in my struggle?  Are you concerned about my pain? Or is this all, for You, mere entertainment?
Even if I have not reached the point of suicidal thoughts, I contemplate a new LIFE so frequently, my reality has been lost.
So when the season has lasted so long and cold that I have no expectation of change.  When every night I lay down depressed and expect to awaken the same…  Then a beacon of hope or a ray of light appeals to me in the least likely way, from the words of a friend or a song in worship that seems to initiate a new day.
A collision on the interstate that could’ve been me, a child being born when it seemed unlikely, a phone call from an enemy seeking amends or just the return of a relative soldier from foreign lands.
Being invited to dinner when the pantry is bare, a hug from a companion you thought no longer cared…  All are just ways God makes us aware, we may pass through the dark space but He won’t leave us there.

It is true that the darkest hour comes just before day break and the darkness you’ve endured---a stronger soldier it will make.  God’s allowing you to travel through these tunnels of tearful trials, were never to break you, only to make you so He remains right by your side.
Yes, at times it’s so dark as you as you try to proceed that you struggle to see Him and follow His lead…  You pray the sun shines soon to help you to see, but the sun will not shine until you’ve mastered trusting completely.
And when you do, when you’ve trusted God to the point of no return…  When you’ve turned from your grief and self-pity and sought the lessons to learn.  When you’ve determined God knows best even if it means enduring more tests and that all you endure is still by God’s grace, for we all are deserving of death.
When you have learned to be grateful in spite of great lack.  When you’ve learned to forgive those who have stabbed you in the back.  When you’ve lost the drive for revenge and pray for those who hate you… THEN and only THEN…
The SON has your full attention and you know He never stopped shining.  Not a minute of your pain was because of His negligence.  No, WE only chose to look away and leave behind His radiance.  Hallelujah, there all the while He was waiting for our about face…  So the glow of His glory would rescue us from the Dark Space.

Monday, January 9, 2012

10 Inspirational Quotes about Faith

10 Inspirational Quotes about Faith

Now faith is the assurance of things hoped for, the conviction of things not seen.
-Hebrews 11:1

Have no fear of moving into the unknown. Simply step out fearlessly knowing that I am with you, therefore no harm can befall you; all is very, very well. Do this in complete faith and confidence.
-Pope John Paul II

Faith is taking the first step even when you don't see the whole staircase.
-Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

Be faithful in small things because it is in them that your strength lies. 
-Mother Teresa

A little faith will bring your soul to heaven, but a lot of faith will bring heaven to your soul. 
-Dwight Lyman Moody

Faith moves mountains, but you have to keep pushing while you are praying. 
-Mason Cooley

Faith is a reasoning trust, a trust which reckons thoughtfully and confidently upon the trustworthiness of God
-John R. Stott

The smallest seed of faith is better than the largest fruit of happiness. 
-Henry David Thoreau

The only limit to our realization of tomorrow will be our doubts of today. Let us move forward with strong and active faith. 
-Franklin D. Roosevelt

Miracles happen to those who believe in them.
-Bernhard Berenson

Friday, January 6, 2012

God's Inspiring Words
2012 is a New Year. God has given us another chance to have a New Life.
Here is a video meant to inspire us all. I pray that you are blessed from watching this video.

Wednesday, January 4, 2012

Jabez's Lessons for the New Year by Michelle Lawson

Jabez's Lessons for the New Year
by Michelle Lawson

What is interesting when reading 1 Chronicles 4 is that until verse 9, it is a genealogical account of the tribe of Judah - it tells who is related to whom.  But when we get to 1 Chronicles 4:9,  the Bible takes the time to give a brief biography about Jabez.  

In verse 9, the Bible says that when he was born, Jabez caused his mother great pain.  So, although she gave birth to several children, what sticks out about her child Jabez is that his birth was a difficult, painful one.  The pain must have been particularly excruciating if it was so severe that it was the reason his name was chosen.  In Hebrew, one word for pain is Jabez.  

I once heard my pastor, Pastor Dechard Freeman of Abundant Life Church in Austin, Texas preach a sermon about Jabez.  And what Pastor Freeman made the congregation visualize is a child growing up with a name meaning Pain.  Can you imagine the burden that child must have felt - the shame, the guilt?

We all know people who have felt worthless since childhood.  Often times these children have been told that they would never amount to anything - that there were good for nothing.  But as the story of Jabez illustrates, there is hope for each and everyone of us.  Jabez did not let the circumstances of his birth determine his entire life.  Even though it looked as if he would lead to a life of despair and sorrow, the Lord made Jabez' life a great one.  Why did that happen?  Let's look at the text for the reason:

 9 Jabez was more honorable than his brothers. His mother had named him Jabez,[c] saying, “I gave birth to him in pain.” 10 Jabez cried out to the God of Israel, “Oh, that you would bless me and enlarge my territory! Let your hand be with me, and keep me from harm so that I will be free from pain.” And God granted his request. (NIV)

Note that in verse 10, Jabez cries out to God.  Jabez knows that the only one who can help him, the only one who can change his circumstances is God.  Despite the difficulties of his birth and his life, Jabez has faith that the Lord can change the outcome of his life.  

From birth, Jabez was labeled a loser - someone who had caused his mother pain, someone who would amount to nothing.  His prayer shows that Jabez realizes that God is the one who blesses.  Jabez knew he could not make it on his own.  Jabez could have become angry and bitter and ambitious to satisfy his feelings of selfworthlessness.  But he didn't.  Remember, the Bible starts by saying that "Jabez was more honorable than his brothers." (verse 9) What that means to me is that before he prayed, Jabez was already living a life of obedience to God.

What the Prayer of Jabez teaches us is that the Lord will bless us if we are honorable.  However, we must ask the Lord to bless us so that His name, not ours, is glorified. Jabez did not just ask God to bless him.  Jabez asked that the Lord continue to guide his life.  Jabez knew that it was not enough to receive the Lord's blessing - he needed the Lord's continued guidance and direction.  Jabez knew that even within his blessing that there were going to be challenges, trials and tribulations.  And he also knew that in order to thrive, he would continue to need the Lord's help.

So how can Jabez's prayer help us all live a New Life in the New Year?  Well, first we have to strive to be honorable.  We have to be obedient to God's Word in all things.  If there are any areas of our life where we are disobedient to God's Will, let this year be when we become who God wants us to be.  It will not be easy, but it will definitely be worth it.

The story of Jabez demonstrates to all of us that it doesn't matter how we start out.  Through our obedience to God, and for His purpose, we can achieve anything.  Let us all make 2012 the year that God grants us our request - not for our own selfish reasons, but to glorify the name of the Lord. We should ask ourselves these questions: 
  • Am I living a life of honor?  If the answer is No, what must I do to live an honorable life? 
  • What does enlarging my territory mean in my life?

This year we should focus on how we can serve the Kingdom of God more?  Enlarging our territory does not necessarily mean increasing our financial wealth.  Enlarging our territory could mean expanding the number of people we witness our faith to, or increasing our volunteer efforts, or simply strengthening our personal relationship with God.

The Holy Spirit guides us in the way we should go.  All we have to do is abide by what the Holy Spirit is telling us, and 2012 will lead us to a New Life!!