I felt the need to preface this to avoid misunderstanding. I want you to know that I understand salvation is a free gift, by grace, completely apart from works. No one needs to clean up their life before coming to Christ, and no one can offer Him anything to gain His favor. Continue reading Christianity Costs
Great Expectations and Freedom from Fear
The prosperity gospel has impacted most of us more than we think, even us who recognize that it’s false. Too often, I find myself thinking that I “deserve” something from God. It is pride on my part to believe that God has to work my life out the way that I think He needs to. God’s plans for my life are higher and greater, with more lasting value than mine are, though He often uses painful means to accomplish His will and make us more like Christ. Continue reading Christian Hope and Freedom From Fear (Part 2)
Some Hopes Perish
I have plenty of hopes. When one is fulfilled another steps in to take its place. I have one child, I hope for more. I have a small home, I hope for a larger one. My husband and I have achieved the hope of running a business- we hope for greater success.
Some hopes go unfulfilled for a long time- some maybe forever. Some hopes seem to betray us, and once they are fulfilled we find they are not what we imagined. Some hopes are gained, only to be quickly lost, and we feel the pain of having once had it to be greater than to have never seen it fulfilled at all. Continue reading Christian Hope and Freedom From Fear (Part 1)
How would we live if we really believed God alone was our portion in life and in death?
Much of my time the last several months has been spent near those who are dying, and their loved ones. In heartache and pain I have witnessed this, yet it has done much spiritual good for my soul.
Death is a reality that we don’t often like to consider. In our minds, we set up our lives as if they are permanent. We don’t want to face death- not our own, and not the death of those we love. Continue reading The Day of Death is Better
Repentance is not only a part of our conversion to Christianity, but a daily part of our Christian lives. I mentioned that I would come back to the idea that we are not only to repent of obvious sins but also of self-centered living, which we are all guilty of and naturally accustomed to. Can I say that I am writing this to myself as much as to any new Christian or others? Jesus Christ’s call to a radical, self sacrificial, willing to die for Him kind-of- living is practically unheard of in our culture. A Christian who does the bare basics is applauded. The believer who lives a moral lifestyle, attends a bible study, and isn’t embarrassed to confess they attend church on Sundays is considered a good example of the faith. I’m not trying to demean anyone. I understand that everyone is in a growing process, and for some this may be the point in their Christian walk they are meant to be at. But how many of us are actually growing in radical self sacrifice for the sake of reaching lost souls with the gospel of God? I am truly speaking to myself. So many of us are stagnant, complacent, and lacking in passion. It ought not to be this way!
Continue reading Part 7: Give Your Life To Follow Him
I have never slept well. Even as a kid I don’t think I can remember having an easy time getting to sleep or staying asleep. Sometimes this can be a very discouraging problem. There are so many things a person wants to accomplish, and it can be very difficult to do with little (or sometimes even zero) sleep. It is physically, emotionally, and mentally draining. I know I’ve written about this before, but I thought I’d remind myself of a section of scripture that has always helped me, and if you have struggles to sleep it might help you too.
One scripture that I tend to read every morning after a hard night’s sleep is found in 2Corinthians 11:23-29 where the apostle Paul boasts in his weaknesses and sufferings. He describes being lashed by the Jews and beaten with rods. He was stoned and he was shipwrecked. He was “in danger from rivers, danger from robbers” and danger from all the different people groups who would have loved to have him killed. Then we see in verse 23 that he was “in toil and hardship, through many a sleepless night, in hunger and thirst, often without food, in cold and exposure.” Continue reading "Through Many A Sleepless Night"
My greatest, and most overriding desire in all forms of trials I face, is no longer that they would be removed but rather that they would not be wasted. If God would be pleased to use suffering to make me more like my Lord Jesus Christ, and if He would refine me in the fiery trials in a way that would bring Him glory and draw men and woman, boys and girls to Him, then I will rejoice in my sufferings. I might trip and fall along the way, and find myself in doubt and sorrow, but this I know: by Christ’s power He will be certain to bring me back to a place where I can rejoice and thank Him, even for my pain. This I know, because He has done it for me time and time again and because His word assures me it is true.
I may sound bold, and strong to say this, but I can assure you I am the farthest thing from it. If you knew how fiercely I have fought in the past against temptation, and how close I have come to caving in to it and heeding the advice of Job’s wife “Curse God and die (Job 2:10),” then you would know that I am nothing but a weak and empty vessel, in desperate need of God. The only reason I can say such things as above is because of the slow and painful work God has done in me.
How pleased I am that God saw fit to bring trials into my life, when I thought that I was strong, and when I stood in shallow faith. What a gracious and awesome God I serve, that He would treat me like a daughter! I thank God that He would not withhold from me that which “for the moment…seems painful rather than pleasant, but later…yields the peaceful fruit of righteousness to those who have been trained by it” (Hebrews 12:11). Continue reading What I’ve Learned Lately Through Suffering: Speaking Openly and Honestly From The Heart
I think I wrote this poem around the same time last year, when I was going through very difficult times. I thought I’d post it as I haven’t had time to work on anything new lately. I hope that it may encourage someone who is in the midst of trials to perservere in their faith, and to remember that God has a good purpose for all that comes our way.
Where does my contentment lie?
In what do I most gather peace?
In need of nothing, satisfied
From endless craving to find release.
Continue reading In The Midst Of Trials