Tuesday, December 29, 2009
Wednesday, November 4, 2009
When I was a little girl I prayed for a fairy. I got right down on my skinny, scuffed up knees, squeezing my eyes shut, clasping my hands, and I would plead "Dear God, please, please may I have a fairy?" I had the feeling, at the beginning of each day, of something wonderful about to happen.
I rose very early, before the rest of my family, and after my fairy prayer, sometimes still in my nightgown, I would walk through the woods behind my house, or around the block, hoping to find a small creature who might need me. I had many invisible animals called "those animals" who followed me everywhere. I prayed for them to become real, I prayed to find lost or lonely toads, or birds, or rabbits, so that I could care for and companion with them. My prayers came straight from my child heart, as sincere as can be, filled with expectation.
As I have grown and matured my prayers have taken many shapes and forms. Venturing from spiritual path to path, searching scripture and metaphysical literature,practicing energy work, delving into the study of angels, I have gradually moved to a place of peace, and still hold a childlike sense of wonder, with God, Spirit closer to me than my breathing. How did I do this? Where am I now?
What I have found is that prayer, for me, is not about asking. It is about listening.Through a consistent practice of reflection, contemplation, and meditation I have changed completely my method of prayer. I consciously listen for the "still small voice"within my own being. And oh, the response! The songs I write come from this listening, the joy I feel, the smile in my whole being! There is a tangible presence, a leading, a loving that permeates me and, as long a I come back to it over and over,stays with me through my days.
Certainly I know what it is to struggle, to have deep sorrows, disappointments and loss.Who of us in this world does not experience these in a degree? But I know, now, there is a way through what appears to be a dark and stormy time. These words from a song I wrote reflect how I navigate the waves..
"Teach me how to love,
Show me which way to go,
Help me learn to listen,
So Thy thoughts are all that I know."
I open my heart with the same sincerity I had as a child on my knees, and I wait with the same expectation. The difference is that I am not asking for something outside of me to come into my experience. I am waiting to behold what will be revealed from the quiet of my soul. It may come as a whisper, a feeling, a nudge, a song.
"Oh sweet Soul, awaken me,
Let me know myself as Thee,
Shining bright in all I see,
Singing through eternity."
I study, diligently, writings from The Infinite Way, by Joel Goldsmith. It has become my way home. And I listen and listen some more. Even in the midst of my busiest day I step aside to listen. I still rise early, and venture into the woods near my home to wait with wonder what will unfold. And that little girl in me skips ahead and sings, grabs fistfuls of wildflowers and watches all the fairies smiling...
My newest song is "I Am Here". It came straight from God. You may listen to it, and others on my website http://dustydogcreations.com
"I Am Here" is on the stargirls cards page.
And I'd love to hear how you pray.
In our waking and listening, Caroline
Monday, November 2, 2009
John 10:10 says that Christ came to give us life and life to the full. What is this life? It is the life that can be lived only through the righteousness which God gives. It is righteousness that is by faith. In Romans 1:16-17 Paul the apostle said, 'I am not ashamed of gospel, because it is the power of God for the salvation of everyone who believes: first for the Jews, then for the Gentile. For in the gospel a righteousness from God is revealed, a righteousness that is by faith from first to last, just as it is written: "The righteous will live by faith."'- (NIV).
It is the life that God has and lives, it is called eternal life. Remember that in Genesis 2:16-17 God told Adam, the first man, not to eat of tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil. That the day he did he would surely die. We recall Adam did and died, and yet he was physically alive. It was this life of God that left him. The same way today, many are physically alive but spiritually they are dead. That is why they are bound by sin and Satan, and they are looking for a way out. That is why Jesus came to die for us, that we may have that life again, that we may be free. That's what it means to be born again.
In John 3:14-16 Jesus made it clear to Nicodemus that He would have to die a shameful death for those who believe in Him to have eternal life, 'Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the desert, so the Son of Man must be lifted up, that everyone who believes in him may have eternal life. For God so loved world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life.' -- (NIV). It was out of love that Christ came. Jesus is the Christ. It was love that compelled Him to the cross because we were legitimately condemned. But he decided to die in our place so that we may not be eternally lost but rather that we may have a full life in Him, in God.
And now He has purchased this life for us. By our own righteousness we could not and cannot attain this salvation. That is why God says it is by faith. Adam the first man did not have this life by works and when he lost it and all mankind with him nobody could gain it by his works. No one could qualify for this gift. Our only qualification is by faith in Christ Jesus.
If you shall confess with your mouth Jesus Christ as Lord believing in your heart that God raised Him from the dead you will be saved, Romans 10:9. "For it is with your heart that you believe and are justified, and it is with your mouth that you confess and are saved." -- Romans 10:10(NIV). God raised him from the dead that you truly may have life in Him forever.
If you want to receive Jesus Christ and be saved from sin, destruction and all the works of Satan pray this prayer with your whole heart: Lord Jesus, I thank You for letting me hear Your word for salvation. I acknowledge and confess my sins to You. God I thank you for raising Jesus from the dead that I might have eternal life. Forgive me. Lord Jesus I welcome you into my heart this day. I confess You as my Lord and Savior. Thank You for your mercy on me. Thank You for saving me today from sin, from destruction and from all works of Satan. I am now a child of God. Thank You Lord Jesus.
If you have prayed that prayer from the bottom of your heart here are some things you are do to grow in God.
1. Endeavor to read your bible and pray to God every day in the name of Jesus. This God requires of us to be successful and prosperous -Joshua 1:8. 2. Worship and fellowship with other believers in a bible believing church or assembly -- Hebrews 10:25, and 3. As you have the opportunity tell others about the good news of this new life and if they are willing lead them to Jesus Christ.
Go ahead and enjoy your life in Christ now that you are a new creature in Him -- 2 Corinthians 5:17.
Sunday, November 1, 2009
From a historical perspective, I suppose we would regard as the most notorious of criminals - the greatest sinner of them all - to be someone like Hitler or Stalin from modern-day history or Nero from ancient Roman history. It may then come as a shock to realize that the most notorious criminal as well as the greatest sinner of all time was actually Jesus of Nazareth. Sound appalling? Stunned to hear such an accusation? Nevertheless, it's true. God never turned his back on Jesus. At the cross, however, sin took precedence and for a few hours on a Friday afternoon God turned away from his Son (Habakkuk 1:13). From the standpoint of salvation, Jesus, for a moment in time, was the worst person that ever lived.
To the Jews, Jesus' sin consisted of what was to them the brazen, uncensored claim that he was the Son of God, something no Jew would ever claim to be and live to tell others! To the Romans, Jesus was simply a man detested by his own people. The Jews wanted him dead and offered him in the place of a robber and murderer named Barabbas. This first act of sin-transference initiated a chain reaction wherein all sin was determinedly placed on the head of Jesus. He became retribution for the sin of man for all time. The burden of this indictment and the separation it caused was so great that Jesus screamed out to the heavens, "My God, my God, why have you forsaken me?"
Jesus' internal conflict at the cross accounts for his struggle in the Garden of Gethsemane. Jesus, the righteous one, is about to become Jesus, the most evil person that ever lived. Because he is marked by sin, Jesus must face a temporary dissolution from his Father. There is no way any of us can fathom the intensity of this moment for one who was as incredibly close to God as Jesus was. The Father must now turn his face away from the Son, the one who has experienced the Father's generous love and adoration for over thirty years. One cannot help but be deeply touched by the terrible anguish Jesus suffered. Imagine being the apple of your father's adoring eye and in a blink of that same eye you are in the throws of despair, rejected because of sins you never committed! This is what Jesus knows will happen to him and none, least of all his apostles, is close enough to God to comprehend the magnitude of his suffering. Gethsemane says it all (Matthew 26:36-46).
Reading the gospels, we learn that Jesus is the legitimate Son of God, but on the cross, he was, for a brief moment in time, the rogue Son of God. Jesus was illegitimatized in order to legitimize sonship status for all those that would one day seek reconciliation with God. Do not let such vigorous and descriptive language intimidate you. Instead, receive its full impact, as together we comprehend that moment in history when God disowned his Son, but would later reclaim him. This is the power of God! He can dismiss what is his and then reclaim it forever! Jesus' illegitimacy was only temporary, but so significant was his death in God's plan to save fallen man that Isaiah 53:10 in prophesying of this event states "Yet it was the Lord's will to crush him and cause him to suffer" (NIV).
In one fell swoop the righteousness of Jesus - before the cross - became the righteousness of future believers - after the cross - as well as vindicating faithful believers from past generations. Our legitimacy as sons of God was established at the cross. Jesus' legitimacy was reinstated after his death, for now the price had been paid in full for the sins of man. Jesus' resurrection from the dead is a permanent witness testifying to his sovereign place in eternity as the Christ (Romans 1:4). Thus, Christ's sonship is permanent and can never be taken away:
• At the cross, Jesus is the sinner; at his resurrection, Jesus is the Righteous One!
• At the cross, Jesus is a man; at his resurrection, Jesus is the Christ!
• At the cross, Jesus is the rejected teacher of the Jews; at his resurrection, Jesus is the accepted Teacher of all who will seek his wisdom!
• At the cross, Jesus is the pretentious son of God - a liar; at his resurrection, Jesus is the established and vindicated true Son of God!
• At the cross, Jesus is a soldier; at his resurrection, Jesus is the great Conqueror!
• At the cross, Jesus is the lamb of sacrifice; at his resurrection, Jesus is the Lamb that brings life!
• Before the cross, Jesus rode a donkey's colt into Jerusalem; after the tomb, Jesus rides a great white steed before all the nations of the earth!
We need to observe with great care the planning that went into the life, death, burial, and resurrection of Christ. (As well, there is no shortfall of planning concerning his magnificent return into the earth). In Christ, all things are redefined in accordance with their true meaning. In view of such a lofty design, we need to see that the shallowness of our commitment to God along with our relentless pursuit of false religious works has placed us off guard. We are not ready for Christ's return! Have we forgotten that eternal life promises nothing for those who call on God yet remain immersed in the material contraband of this life? Do we not know that in order to truly know Christ we must totally rid ourselves of all worldliness, that we must be as Christ in order to be legitimate sons of God? Have we yet to learn that the act of Christ to save humankind is legitimized only in the believer's commitment to be as Jesus was?
We are crucified with Christ (Galatians 2:20). We died too.
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Wayne_Arthur_Alexander
Saturday, October 31, 2009
"Immediately after the tribulation of those days the sun shall be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken: and then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming on the clouds of heaven with power and great glory." --Matthew 24:29-30
In his book The Second Coming of Christ, Paramahansa Yogananda interprets the return of Jesus in the above passage as Jesus appearing to individuals in a spiritual form, not in a physical body (Volume II, pp. 1312-1314). However, he does not refer to this as "the Second Coming of Christ". Yogananda sees the Second Coming of Christ as the awakening of each individual soul, in the course of its spiritual development, to unity with the Christ Consciousness - God as the omnipresent, guiding intelligence in creation. First, one experiences the Christ Consciousness; then one can merge with it. Thereafter, the soul is able to ascend to oneness with God as the Supreme Being, the ultimate Source of all that ever was and will be.
In commenting on Matthew 24, Yogananda says that, immediately after great tribulations and upheavals in nature, even greater troubles will ensue: the sun and moon will be darkened, great "falling stars" of meteors will enter the earth's atmosphere, and the many seas will be roiling with upheavals and tidal waves. Then those who become sufficiently developed spiritually will be able to "see the embodied Christ Consciousness (Jesus) coming out of the ethereal clouds of the darkness of closed eyes into the Christ light of the spiritual eye, his form radiant with luminous heavenly power and great glory."
The spiritual eye is the sixth chakra - the astral organ of spiritual sight. By deep, devotional meditation, with the eyes turned upward and one's concentration focused at the midpoint between the eyebrows, it is possible to see the light of the spiritual eye. Yogananda speaks of this wondrous light in his writings. He says that being born again (being born in Spirit) means seeing the Christ light of the spiritual eye, entering through it into Christ Consciousness, and finally, by further development, merging into Cosmic Consciousness. This is the kingdom of God - the blissful state of oneness with God as the Supreme Being, the Source of all beings and all creation.
As in the above prophecy of Jesus, many of the prophecies that have been received in our times speak of enormous changes coming to our earth and solar system, with the earth being enveloped in darkness for several days. Some of them explain that these changes are part of a long-awaited process for the purification and regeneration of the earth and its life forms and for beneficial changes in our galaxy. They speak of opportunities for spiritual growth, which already are all around us. They advise us that, in order to take advantage of these opportunities and cope with what is coming, we need to open our hearts and minds. They tell us we should make every effort to participate in the spiritual transformation that is taking place ... that God and divine beings are there to help us every step of the way.
In Messages from Jesus, by Mary Ann Johnston, Jesus spoke to the author about his return. Among other things, he said that, although many like her had already experienced his return, when he would return for all mankind, "all shall know." He told her that he would come "in Christ Consciousness, for all people everywhere, with the glory of the heavens and earth", and "the highest heavens and all of nature rejoicing." (Third Edition, 2009, pp. 46-47)
George Johnston lives in the Clear Light Community at Song of the Morning Retreat with his wife, Mary Ann, who authored Sustained by Faith & Messages from Jesus. As a team they work to spread the messages of Jesus, Paramahansa Yogananda, and other great beings. George graduated in 1956 from Yale University, with an honors major in philosophy, and has taught the spiritual principles of yoga and led meditations since 1962.
See website to find out more about George & Mary Ann's spiritual writings:
Thursday, October 15, 2009
"John the Baptist said he was a crying voice because he was a Baptist," says Kaylin, 11.
I wonder if Kaylin's assertion should be considered for a vote at the national convention of the Southern Baptists.
"John did not want them to think he was Jesus," said Morgan, 9. "Jesus was his cousin."
the religious leaders asked John, "Who are you?" he could have said,
"I'm not the Messiah, but he's my cousin." John and Jesus were probably
cousins. The Bible says John's mother and Mary were relatives (Luke
1:36). John resisted the temptation to call attention to himself.
was trying to say to the Jews, I am just a person coming to tell about
Jesus," says Jessica, 8. "I am no one important. I cannot save you from
your evil ways. Only Jesus can. I have been chosen by God to come and
speak to you."
Humility is what we can learn from John the
Baptist. In a sermon, Pastor Jerry Hoffman made several interesting
observations about the questioning of John the Baptist as it relates to
us. Hardly a day goes by when we aren't asked in one way or another,
"Who are you?"
We often identify ourselves in terms of our job,
profession or family relations. Not John. He gives all honor to the
Lord Jesus. He knew the buzz from Jerusalem was that he might be the
Messiah. "I am not the Christ," he said.
Next, they wanted to
know if John was Elijah. In the last two verses of the last book in the
Old Testament, God promises to send Elijah "before the coming of the
great and dreadful day of the Lord" (Malachi 4:5).
About John the
Baptist, Jesus said, "And if you are willing to receive it, he is
Elijah who is to come" (Matthew 11:14). In other words, John the
Baptist came in the spirit of Elijah. Through his prophetic message and
miracles, God sent Elijah to turn the nation of Israel and its leaders
back to the Lord. Similarly, God sent John the Baptist to announce the
Messiah's coming to Israel and the impending judgment if they failed to
By 70 A.D., Jerusalem lay in ruins. Although Jewish
Apostles and converts started the early church in Jerusalem, they soon
found themselves persecuted by their countrymen. Like John the Baptist,
Jesus warned of coming judgment. As Jesus accurately predicted, the
temple and Jerusalem were destroyed within a generation (Matthew 24).
summarize John's ministry, Hoffman writes: "Christ is the Word of God.
We are simply the instruments (voices) through which the Word flows to
the world. John the Baptist, more than any other individual who walked
this earth since his time, had the right to heap accolades upon himself.
was related to the Lord, he was the fulfillment of Old Testament
prophecy, and he had a band of disciples who followed his teaching.
Yet, the cry of his heart and voice was 'Make straight the way of the
Lord.' In other words, it's not about me, the King is coming, prepare
your hearts to receive Him. Remove all of the obstacles in your life
that would prevent him from coming to you."
Think about this:
True ministry points others to Jesus Christ, not to ourselves. Memorize
this truth: "I am 'the voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Make
straight the way of the Lord"'" (John 1:23). Ask this question: Is your
voice pointing people to Jesus Christ?
Kinsolving is a syndicated columnist, producer, author, speaker and
website developer. To see more material like this, visit http://www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org.
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Bible quotations in this Bible lesson are from the New King James Version.
Copyright 2009 Carey Kinsolving
Wednesday, September 30, 2009
Christians are called to live godly, holy lives. That
is the mandate from our Lord. Pretty simple, right? Yet all too often,
we lose sight of why we do what we do. I know I have/do. Why do we do
the things we do, regardless of what it is we do, what is the motive?
would expect the things we do are as varied as we are. Yet the motive
behind it should be the same. I doubt, however, that it is. The Gospel
is simple. Jesus lived a sinless life, died on a cross to pay the
penalty for our sins, and rose from the dead to defeat Death and Satan.
We are saved by faith in His substitutionary death on our behalf. With
this marvelous gift, you'd think we would "get it." (But we don't.)
I said, the motives that Christians have for what we do are as varied
as we are, but it shouldn't be the case. Some people do things for
Jesus to earn their place in heaven. Others do so out of guilt. Others
try to merit rewards. Others to please men. Yet none of these please
God. As it is written: "Be careful not to do your 'acts of
righteousness' before men, to be seen by them. If you do, you will have
no reward from your Father in heaven. "So when you give to the needy,
do not announce it with trumpets, as the hypocrites do in the
synagogues and on the streets, to be honored by men. I tell you the
truth, they have received their reward in full. But when you give to
the needy, do not let your left hand know what your right hand is
doing, so that your giving may be in secret. Then your Father, who sees
what is done in secret, will reward you." (Matthew 6:1-4 NIV) Those who
do things to be seen by men have received their reward on earth. They
shouldn't expect anything further.
What then should be our
motivation? Gratitude. We should live to please God. That alone should
be the reason why we do what we do. Paul tells us, "Finally, brothers,
we instructed you how to live in order to please God, as in fact you
are living. Now we ask you and urge you in the Lord Jesus to do this
more and more." (I Thessalonians 4:1 NIV) Whatever we do should be done
out of pleasing God. Doing whatever He has called us to. Doing it out a
heartfelt gratitude for what He did for us.
When we have a right
understanding of the Cross, we will have the right motivation. Anything
else has its reward only on the earth.
Roach is an Evangelical Christian. An Elder-at-Large with The Potter's
House, John is an author of Christian discipleship books, and is a PhD
candidate in Theology at Trinity College and Seminary.
Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Meditation has gotten a bad rap. For decades Christians have been led to believe that meditation it is unscriptural or ungodly. I have talked to many believers who thought that if they become still and focused on their breathing or tried to quiet their minds that they were sure to be invaded by unclean spirits. But this could be farther from the truth. First of all, where did our very breathe come from? Just read Genesis 1 and it says that God breathed life into Adam's body. When my grandson was born 2 years ago, it took almost 5 minutes for him to start breathing. We were all praying in the background for God to fill his lungs with life.
Secondly, it is only through a renewing and weeding our mind of deceptive and negative thinking, faulty mindsets, and incessant thoughts that God's word and as well as his voice can get through. If the cup it filled to the stop with mental garbage there not much room for anything else. If we want to embrace more of God's truth we need to do some mental gardening and one of the best methods is through meditation.
Meditation is a tool used to quiet our minds. It means to ponder, pray, contemplate, and ruminate. Christian meditation is when we fill that quiet mind with God. There are many forms of meditation just like there are many types of music, it's just as important for believers to discern one kind from the other.
Scriptures tell us that when we abide with Christ, he abides with us, and without his living and guiding spirit, we can do nothing. (St. John 15) One form of meditating on the Lord is to abide with him; to sit at his feet and to wait in his presence, just like the child who sits in his mother or father’s lap to be comforted.
This can be accomplished by carving out time each day to just sit quietly before the Lord where you are free from distractions. The ocean or secluded areas of nature are great places to meditate, but a quiet area in your home works just as well.
Initially, meditating on the Lord by abiding may be difficult because your mind will tend to be restless and wander profusely; but with consistency you’ll gain more and more control over your thoughts. Many meditators select a scriptural passage or word to focus on and anchor their attention, often called a mantra.
Your mantra or sacred words can be “the Lord is my Shepard,” “I walk by faith,” “the joy of the Lord is my strength”, “I cast my cares upon the Lord,” or “Peace be Still.” The late John Main, one of the most influential spiritual teachers in the Christian meditation tradition encourages believers to use the mantra, “Maranatha” that means, “Come Lord Jesus.” This mantra is suggested because of its relevance in scriptures and its lack of an emotional or mental references, which inhibits our minds from creating a mental attachment to the word.
You can also select a whole scripture or just one word, like “Jesus” or “Jehovah” to meditate on. Meditate in silence or record music to play in the background. It’s best to time the music or use a timer so that you’re not worried about being late for work or missing an appointment. As you meditate, become fully present by paying attention to your breathing or your sacred word. You can silently repeat your mantra in alignment with your breathing or anytime your mind begins to wander off. You can also create a mental picture in your mind to focus on like a cross or God's light filling your heart. As you practice being still and calming your thoughts, you’ll sense a greater feeling of God’s presence and a greater sensitivity to hearing his voice.
As a result of consistent meditation you will also begin to sense the yearnings of the Holy Spirit as he drops words or impressions on your heart. One time during a meditation I had a vision of me and all my family members standing in a circle and sharing our desires for the coming year. Several days later I shared my vision and we set aside a time to dedicated the New Year to the Lord and touch and agree on our heart’s desires in prayer. As you practice this form of meditation, you’ll find old weights and worries seem to disappear. No evil thing can stand in God’s presence.
The great thing about meditating on God is that anyone can do it. The more you spend time with God the more you will want to spend time with God. It is like a drink of cold water on a hot muggy day.
Rhonda Jones is the author of 22 Christian meditation and affirmation Cds. Get Free Daily Meditations at http://www.thechristianmeditator.com. Need to lose weight, get recommendations at http://www.shedthosepounds.com.
Thursday, August 6, 2009
I would like to share with you an incident from the
New Testament, where Jesus extended grace and mercy to a woman caught
in adultery, when others around her wanted to judge her, stone her,
condemn her. This woman could be me or you or anybody who has sinned.
woman was brought to Jesus by the Jewish leaders, dragged before him,
so they could trap him. She was to be judged by their religious
Others judge us by their standards, by religious laws
or principals, by culture and tradition. Jesus looks at us with
different eyes. People wanted to stone this woman to death, to pour
judgement - to make her look bad and themselves look good. They showed
no care or mercy for the woman involved. She did not matter - not to
them. They put the law above mercy, but Jesus said he desires mercy,
not sacrifice (Matthew 9:13). They did not care what circumstances led
her to this or why. She too was aware that she was a sinner. She knew
where she stood. Although she did not matter to these people, she meant
a great deal to Jesus. He knew her story. He could read her heart. He
spent his time with the outcasts of society - the unrighteous, the tax
collectors, the prostitutes, because these people mattered to Jesus.
questioned about what to do, to stone her or not? Jesus replied
(eventually) "let him who has never sinned cast the first stone" (verse
7). He extended GRACE to her. Grace is undeserved mercy and
forgiveness, kindness and generosity. Grace accepts us where we are
now, acknowledges our weakness and sin and offers mercy and forgiveness
in the place of punishment we deserve. Grace releases us from justice
and judgement. He, our God and Father is gracious and compassion,
ABOUNDING in mercy (Psalms 145:8). It's because of His compassion that
he offers us grace! He turns justice to mercy, and mercy to grace and
compassion. And He pours that over us when we come to him and ask for
But people wanted to judge her and condemn her.
Jesus said in Matthew 7:5, that we are not to be hypocrites! We are to
take the log out of our own eye first before we take the speck out of
our brothers! We may have huge logs in our own eyes/hearts and they
have blinded us so we can not see our own failings. We may accuse
others but fail to see ourselves as we are. 'Logs', if unconfessed,
causes spiritual blindness, and causes us to have callous hearts - that
are unyielding, judgemental, unforgiving, selfish, ungracious. Is this
the kind of heart we want? Is this what God sees when he looks at us?
God He is merciful. Thank God He is the one who takes away the heart of
stone and gives us a heart of flesh (Ezekiel 36:26). We may try to hide
in the darkness but his light WILL shine on our lives, our thoughts,
our deeds and actions. (1 John 1:5-7). Thank God that through
repentance and confession we are made new. He opens the eyes of our
hearts and gives us understanding (Ephesians 1:18). He gives us eyes to
see ourselves as we truly are, then he shows us a way out of the
darkness into the light and truth. The people in the crowd, ready to
throw stones and to judge the woman, had a revelation of their own
hearts that day. They saw for the first time their own hearts were
sinful, therefore they were not in a place to judge. They had to put
the stones down. The only one left standing there was Jesus, who could
throw a stone, if he wanted too. He was the only one had the right to
judge her, to condemn her or to stone her. But that was not the reason
he came. The reason he came was not to judge and condemn the world, but
to be it's Saviour (John 3:16-17). He said, "Where are your accusers?
Is there no one left to condemn you? I do not condemn you either... go
and sin no more." He came to bind up the broken hearted! He came to
proclaim freedom for the captives! He came to release the prisoners and
release us from darkness! (Isaiah 61:2)
Some of us have said and
done things that you are really ashamed of. Some of us have felt really
condemned and judged by others. Some of us have condemned ourselves.
Some of us have been accused and condemned by Satan, who has constantly
whispered lying thoughts in your ears and mind, telling you that you
are bad, no good to society etc. Some of us have felt condemned because
of things that have happened to us - may be you have been abused,
raped, or forced into prostitution, or forced to steel and lie, so you
have felt ashamed, dirty and naked.
Some of us, for the first
time, have felt a real sense of conviction, of knowing that we have
sinned and need God's forgiveness and mercy. This is the work of the
Holy Spirit convicting us of sin. We have all sinned and fallen short
of the glory of God (Rom 3:23). It is the work of the Holy Spirit to
convict of sin, not man. If this is happening to you, then the Holy
Spirit is calling you to 'come' and confess your sins and turn from
them - then to go and sin no more.
To those who have felt
condemned and ashamed by things that have happened to us, and convicted
of sin, Jesus says, I DO NOT CONDEMN YOU..... BE RELEASED. He knows
your story and he reads your heart. He offers forgiveness, cleansing
and healing. He offers reconciliation. He offers peace. He offers
release. He offers freedom. He offers grace.
He offers CLEANSING
from all our sins - our actions, words, and deeds. He offers release
and cleansing. He offers cleaning from accusing words and curses and
condemnation put on us or spoken over us. He offers cleansing from self
condemnation. He offers cleansing from the enemy's accusations through
our conscious thoughts, and sub-conscious thoughts and dreams. He
offers cleansing from self-hate and self-harm. He offers cleansing from
the pain and sin committed against you. He offers cleansing from the
past and cleansing in the present. He washes us thoroughly and
completely and heals us when we COME to him and ASK him. We need to
COME. Anyone CAN COME. Anyone who comes to Him, He will NEVER turn away
He takes us through the CLEANSING RIVERS and then
the HEALING RIVERS.* Those of us who have been wronged, sinned against,
need to release forgiveness to those who have hurt us. By releasing
them, it releases us from pain and torment, and it releases the Holy
Spirit to come and work his cleansing and healing within us.
I would like to share a vision that I had, which is relevant to cleansing and healing rivers.
saw a river and God asked me to put my feet in it. As I put my feet in
the river joy started to rise right up through my feet and over me!
Then this rapid torrent of a river came down stream, over my feet,
and I was right in it. The river, He said, came directly from his
throne. A scripture came to me: "There is a river whose streams make
glad the city of God." (Ps 46:4)
He showed me other rivers. He
showed me a deep and dangerous river that I will have to walk through,
I may even go 'under' but He will be guiding me through and bring me
out. Then he showed me a cleansing river, where sin, pain and sickness
is cleansed and released. I need to enter the cleansing river before I
could go through the healing river. He showed me healing rivers, where
I am restored, healed, strengthened and renewed. He showed me a quiet,
almost still river where I receive peace (Psalm 23). He said I will
take you through many rivers and the Holy Spirit will guide me along.
showed took me back to the rapid torrent, and he said, 'jump in the
river of joy!' Others were jumping in also. There were shouts of joy
and praise. He called us to "Come, come into the river".
"you will take this river with you - it will proceed you and follow
you." "Call my people to come into the river. The enemy cannot touch
you in the river - he won't get in!" He showed me that Jesus walks in
the river with us.
He spoke to me and said, that in the river
there is liberty, freedom, there is joy unspeakable, abundance life,
peace, grace and truth. Let the rivers flow into the land. He said,
"Call my people to soak in the river! The river is released."
you need God to touch you, all you need to do is call out to him, and
tell him what is on your heart and mind in your own way, using your own
words. He will hear you and answer you. If you want the Lord to forgive
you, you just need to ask. If you feel or have been condemned and
judged, release forgiveness to others then you will be released. The
Lord wants to give you grace and mercy and the fullness of His love.
Ask Him and he will hear you. Draw near to Him and he will draw near to
"Father I pray for anyone who has been judged,
condemned or accused and has felt dirty, sinful, unaccepted and is
seeking you now. I pray you will show them your great mercy and love
and that as they call on you now, you will hear their cry and you will
answer them, and that you will pour out your love, your passion on them
and heal their hearts. I pray they will know you as Lord and Saviour,
healer and King, and I pray you will release them from all curses, all
condemnation, all judgment, all fear and all sin as they come close to
you. In Jesus name, Amen.
If you have prayed this prayer, I
strongly recommend that you seek out a Christian church and Christian
people for further guidance and counsel, so that you may begin your
journey with the Lord.
Please visit http://www.releasingwords.com for further teaching and prayers.
We live in a confusing and changing world. With so
much discord and unhappiness swirling around it can sometimes feel
impossible to lead a truly Christian life. When our political and
social leaders are making great missteps and failing to succeed as
being an example of good Christian living, it is easy to get
discouraged. Despair not though, as a Christian you need not look to
those around you to feel God's love or for a good example. Know that
your heavenly father wants only the best for you as a Christian youth,
and that He provides you with all that you will ever need to succeed.
"For I know the plans I have for you, says the Lord.
They are plans for good and not for disaster, to give you a
future and a hope."
-- Jeremiah 29:11
The times that Jesus Christ lived in were
no less tumultuous than the times we live in now. Through his actions
and great love for man, God showed the people of that time what it
meant to be a Christian. God sacrificed his only begotten son, so that
we would be able to love one another as God loves us and that we would
fulfill his wishes by leading a good Christian life. The Christian
youth of today is blessed with the opportunity to live in a time that
you can do so much good in sharing God's word. Know that you are
blessed and have the power to help others by setting a good example of
"I can do all things through him who strengthens me."
-- Philippians 4:13
Living your life as a good Christian
means accepting others even though they may be different. The Christian
youth of today can make a radical and lasting difference in the world
by living their lives as God would want; by leading by example and by
demonstrating that a good Christian life is a full one. Family, friends
and God's word are the greatest gifts that one can ever share and are
all the rewards that come from Christian living. We are so blessed to
have God's great love in our lives. How better to honor that love than
to share it with others who may be living in darkness?
"Be strong and bold; have no fear or dread of them, because it is the Lord
your God who goes with you; he will not fail you or forsake you."
Armed with the great love of God, there is
no obstacle that you cannot overcome. Being a Christian offers you so
many opportunities to share God's word and God's love. Don't be afraid
to be overjoyed at the great gift you have as a Christian youth. Know
that, no matter what trial you are facing, God's love will see you
through. Stick to your beliefs, and live your life as God has commanded
and you will reap the rewards of a good Christian life. Even in your
darkest hour your great faith and Christian living will light your soul
and fill you with a great peace, knowing that you are never alone.
"The Lord will guide you continually."
-- Isaiah 58:11
Moment is an innovative forward-thinking Christian business and
marketing coach, speaker and author of God Will Always Be There For
You. Robert is passionate about empowering individuals on how to
experience God's love, power, joy, peace and prosperity. Visit http://www.ChristianInspirational.org and sign-up for the FREE Christian Living e-course. Follow me on Twitter http://www.twitter.com/ChristiansFaith
Faith is most often referred to as a seed and for
good reason. As I began studying about nutritional seeds, I learned
some interesting and very faith-building truths that apply to both
types of seed.
The term "seed" refers to anything that can be
sown. I don't know about you, but when I hear the phrase 'sowing seeds'
I immediately picture a farmer moving down neat rows of tilled soil and
methodically planting. Spiritually, that phrase tends most often to
refer to financial seed. However, just as there are many different
types of plant seeds, there are also many types of spiritual seed as
I learned that there are three basic parts to seeds in the
natural: an embryo, a supply of nutrients for that particular seed and
a seed coat. The embryo is the immature plant that needs the proper
conditions in which to develop into maturity. The nutrients vary
depending on the type of plant to be grown. The seed coat protects the
seed until it arrives at the right time and place for it to be sown.
found the similarities between faith and natural seed to be remarkable.
Our faith is immature and in its embryonic stage until it is sown. It
must arrive in the right place for sowing and have the necessary
conditions. Natural seeds need to be sown in fertile, mineral rich soil
and receive water and sunlight in order to grow. Spiritual seeds need
the soil of a receptive heart, cultivated with the "nutrients" of
worship, praise and prayer, the water of the Word and Son-light in
order to grow.
Seeds - both spiritual and natural - are living
food! They contain life within them that will be released under the
right conditions. I soak my quinoa overnight before I cook it. Quinoa
is a seed-like grain. When I look at the little seeds the next morning,
they have begun to sprout! The life contained within them is activated
and released by soaking them in water. In very much the same way, when
we want to develop our faith in a particular area, we must "soak" it in
the water of the Word!
Just as each seed contains the specific
nutrition it needs within itself, spiritual seed has its own specific
nutrients. For instance, if you are trying to develop seeds of faith
for salvation, you must speak and meditate on salvation scriptures; if
seeds for healing, then healing scriptures; if prosperity, then
prosperity scriptures. The water of the Word is the catalyst that
activates and releases our faith to grow and develop into maturity. It
can then be sown and produce a harvest.
Seeds are spiritual and
nutritional powerhouses. Seed faith is the substance of everything!
Hebrews 11:1 tells us faith is "THE" substance of things hoped for, the
evidence of things not seen. Nutritionally, seeds are highly
nutritious, compact superfoods in themselves. Within each tiny kernel
are vitamins, minerals, fiber, essential oils, phytonutrients and
antioxidants. It's amazing to realize that each tiny chia, flax,
sesame, sunflower or pumpkin seed contains within it, not only the
plant in its embryonic stage but all those nutrients as well, but it
It's just as awe-inspiring to realize that God has placed
in each one of us a kernel of His own faith (Romans 12:3). It is
protected until there are favorable conditions for it to be sown.
Physical seeds are sown by planting them in soil. Spiritual seed is
sown by speaking it. Jesus tells us in scripture that if we have faith
as a seed, we would 'say.' We speak the Word to sow it in the soil of
our hearts because faith comes by hearing the Word. Once it is sown in
a receptive heart, warmed by the light of God's Son and watered with
the Word, all the spiritual vitamins and minerals it absorbed from the
soil sprout to life. Just as an apple seed produces an apple tree,
faith seed produces the specific harvest it is sown for. Healing seed
produces healing. Peace seed produces peace. Wisdom seed produces
God's Word tells us not to despise the day of small
beginnings, and I believe that applies to our faith as well. While
today your faith in a particular area may be small, all faith begins
that way! You must water it and give it the proper conditions in order
for it to grow, develop, mature and produce. And it will. God promises
us that while the earth remains, seed, time and harvest will not cease.
And He cannot lie.
If you think you have no seed to sow, consider
these: thoughts, words, money, kindness, love, respect, faith, honesty,
peace, discipline, integrity, prayer, patience, encouragement,
compassion, understanding, generosity, excellence, grace, mercy,
forgiveness, joy, obedience, ideas, expectation, dreams, gratitude,
liberty, praise, worship, consistency, talents/gifts, sincerity, a
smile, truth, faithfulness, loyalty, action, perseverance, tenacity.
you consider your seed, think about this: anyone can easily count the
number of seeds contained in an apple. Only God knows the number of
apples contained in just one seed! The same is true of your spiritual
Speak and sow your seed today. Water it, allow the light
Jesus provides to warm it and give it time. Before you know it, it will
sprout! It will not fail - it cannot.
Musico is a certified Biblical health coach and independent nutritional
consultant. She has developed a "3-D Living Program" to assist her
coaching clients in achieving vibrant health and wholeness - spirit,
soul and body. Visit her website at http://www.threedimensionalvitality.com
to learn more about the "3-D Living Program" as well as the coaching
packages she offers. Subscribe for her free monthly newsletter and
weekly email messages. Health is more than just the absence of illness.
Let Ann show you how to create a life of passion and purpose, wholeness
Monday, August 3, 2009
Disciple-making requires time. When my daughters Carey and Crystal attended Asbury College in Wilmore, Kentucky, I occasionally visited them. While at Asbury, I loved to browse through the college library. One day, I stumbled onto a book entitled, Why Jesus Never Wrote a Book. The book was actually a series of sermons that an old time preacher compiled in the 1800's. The first chapter was a sermon called, "Why Jesus Never Wrote a Book." The chapter began, "Throughout history, almost every religious leader wrote a book, so why didn't Jesus?" The preacher's answer; "Because relationships change people, not books." His point was that if you want to fill someone's head, give him a book; if you want to change someone's heart, make him your friend.
"Jesus" was God's method to change the 12 apostles -- and he didn't give them a book -- he gave them himself. Jesus created a small group environment that gave his disciples a natural sense of belonging, care and accountability.
In his book, "What Wives' Wish their Husbands Knew about Women", Dr. James Dobson says, "The reason the average woman would rather be beautiful than smart, is that she knows that the average man can see better than he can think." The truth is, we all see better than we think. Jesus knew that and that's why he wanted his followers to be with him in a variety of life settings.
Use your imagination. What lessons did his disciples learn when they saw Jesus let sinful people touch him? Or hold children on his lap? Or weep at Lazarus' tomb? Or rebuke the Pharisees? Or get alone to pray? Or wash their feet in the upper room?
The idea of making life the classroom is the way Jesus prepared the twelve apostles. Who are you discipling? Do you spend time together in a variety of life settings? People can see better than they can think.
Paul Schlieker disciples internationals and business professionals. He attends Christ Community Church in Omaha, Nebraska. Professionally, Paul is an agent with Prudential. He and his wife, Peggy have written several easy to use discipleship tools and Bible studies that train believers, introduce Christianity to seekers, and ground believers in Biblical fundamentals. Learn more about these resources and subscribe to a free monthly newsletter at http://www.christianbiblebasics.com/
I work with people who love God, want His plan for their lives and are actively trying to walk with Him.
When confusion swirls through their life, challenges push them to the wall, and they feel as though He's deserted them, them come to me.
As a Christian Life Coach I ask, "What is God telling you?" or the variation, "Have you asked God about it?" Undoubtedly I hear, "Yes, I've asked God."
To which I reply, "What did He say?" I usually get a blank stare and some stuttering variation of "I don't know." As they look at me as if I was crazy.
Can you really communicate with God?
Yes. It's not hard to hear God. He's speaking to you daily. Because you are His greatest treasure, He's committed to help you fulfill your life purpose- what He created you do to here. And He paid for it with the life of His Son, He can't be much more committed than that!
I've found there are 5 Common Barriers to Hearing God.
Barrier 1. Never listening for His answer.
Many people treat their time talking to God like a wish list. They unload their wishes on Him in a long litany of begging and pleading. Then walk away without listening for His reply. That's just rude. Prayer is not a monologue, it's a dialog. Talk to Him about your life and LISTEN FOR HIS ANSWERS.
It's easy, just get quiet for a minute, expecting Him to answer you. That one step alone will transform your prayer time into an amazing journey of intimacy with the One who loves you more than you can comprehend.
Barrier 2. Not wanting to hear His answer.
Often people are afraid that God's answer will be something they don't want, some horrible thing they must do or give up. As if God wants bad, ugly things for you! Do you know better than God what will bring true fulfillment?
Stop trying to be your own god and run your own life by your own plans... He knows better than you do! And He only wants good for you! Trust Him.
Barrier 3. Not knowing Him.
If you don't know Him, you don't recognizing His voice. If you don't know me, you won't recognize my voice either! When you don't know how He talks, you might be waiting for a big booming voice to part the clouds and thunder out directions! That's not how He talks!
Take some time to get to know Him and how He talks.
Barrier 4. Your own head.
When you are looking for answers you come up with your own. You spend hours and hours thinking about how to fix your problems. The problem with that is God's not in your head and not in those plans! He dwells in your heart, in your heart is where He'll lead and guide you.
Learn to get out of your head and listen to your heart. (That's where He talks!)
Barrier 5. Sin.
I know you were waiting for this one, but it's not what you think.
Sin doesn't stop God from talking to you. After all, we are all sinners; Jesus is the only one to live a sinless life. So, sin couldn't stop God from talking to you or He wouldn't have talked to anyone in the history of the world. It's your focus on sin and your assumption He can't hear you that stops God in your life. There is no sin too big for Him to take care of, to forgive, to get you through. When you focus on your sin you won't go to Him for your deliverance or answer, you can't hear Him if you don't go to Him.
Refocus on Him, He's talking to you today... are you listening? Blow past these common barriers and let God lead you into His magnificent plan for your life.
If you'd like more help, I invite you to get the FREE Seminar: Your Life on Purpose
For more questions or personalized help, schedule your private life coaching session, e-mail me at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Her story inspires such emotions in us, such a desire to bring ourselves to Jesus and His Mother Mary as pure buds, ready to flower into whatever vocation They desire for us, whether it be religious, lay people or as in the case of little Maria, Saints who gave their lives as martyrs rather than stain their immortal souls by committing a sin. And in that way, Saints like Maria Goretti become role models for young people in these modern times. We know the story of Maria Goretti with surface knowledge.
She is famous for what she obviously did, die rather than allow her relationship with Jesus to be compromised by giving into a sexual temptation. This is the obvious cause for her Sainthood, much as St. Maxmilian Kolbe's obvious reasoning for Sainthood was taking the place of a fellow prisoner in the death cells of Auschwitz during the Second World War. But these are only the apparent.
There is so much more to each life which calls for us to venerate them as special servants of God, true role models. We have written about St. Maxmilian Kolbe in two different books, trying to tell the story of this powerful man in the Church.
There were two other virtues of St. Maria Goretti which are so subtle, they get lost in the shadow of giving her life. One of them was selflessness. She cared more about her eternal soul than her bodily safety. And possibly even more than that, she cared about the soul of her attacker more than her own life.
As we get into the woeful story of her life and death, we can't help but realize that part of the reason for her determination not to give into Alessandro Serenelli was for his salvation.
Maria Goretti was a good little girl, a pure little girl. At eleven years old, she had such a love relationship with Jesus that she would rather die than allow her chastity to be compromised, rather die than take a chance on breaking relationship with Jesus. But how can that be? How could she possibly understand what path her Yes to Jesus would take her down? We're not talking about St. Agnes or St. Cecilia or Saints of the early Church who gave up their lives for Jesus.
This was the Twentieth Century. She was a product of that century. Where have we gone, how low have we become, that our young people can't possibly understand how a girl from their own century could sacrifice her life for her morals? Girls as young as eleven, are "sexually active," have become pregnant, have had abortions often with help of their own mothers, in many instances, and those who did not die on the abortionist's table, have died of AIDS in many instances.
We're at a time in our society when there are virtually no morals being taught or practiced either in the classrooms of our schools, in the pulpits of our churches, or in the homes by the parents of these children.
Our schools are giving children condoms and parents are putting girls on the birth control pill. We're being taught safe sex in an effort to avoid the spread of dangerous diseases and to keep the world population down.
Last on the list of priorities is the prevention of the spread of moral decay of a civilization, which in its final analysis will be much more deadly than any physical disease our children may contract. Maria Goretti is definitely a contradiction in terms. She is surely a paradox. She could not possibly exist in the last decade of the Twentieth Century, the end of the second millennium, and yet she is a product of our century.
Either she is completely out of sync, or we are condemned for the apathy we portray to our children by our behavior. Either Maria Goretti is wrong or we're wrong. Is it possible that we could be wrong?
But we're getting way ahead of ourselves. To begin at the beginning of this short, but brilliant life in the Lord, we have to go to the far north and east of Italy, to the Marches, the harsh area around Ancona and the Adriatic Sea. For those of us who visit the Holy House of Loreto, it seems a most pleasant place to be.
The month we usually choose, July, is not yet hot. The warm breezes off the Adriatic make it a most desirable time to visit our Lady of the Holy House there. But that's July in Loreto. Not too far away in Corinaldo, where our little Saint was born, things are not quite the same.
The winters are brutal. The howling winds coming off the Adriatic Sea pound against the rock-hard land, making it next to impossible to do any work on the farms. If this is not enough, the Spring and Fall bring hard rain and flooding, ruining any small amount of crops which could be planted. No matter how hard the farmers tried, this was not a good place to make a living. For the parents of Maria Goretti, Luigi Goretti and Assunta Carlini, it was home. They had lived here all their lives, as had their parents before them and their parents before them. But that didn't make their lives any more bearable. It was just consistent.
And this is where our little Saint was born on October 16, 1890. She was the second living child of the Goretti family, the first boy having died as an infant. She had an older brother, Angelo, and would have more brothers and sisters as time went on. When we wrote of the Little Flower of Lisieux, St. Thérèse, we said Saints beget Saints. Maria's mother in particular, Assunta, was a saintly woman. She had no formal education, but she was taught powerfully by her Church and given, we believe, infused knowledge by the Holy Spirit.
This love for God and her Church was passed on to her children, especially little Maria. She was baptized the day after her birth. Assunta did not want to have her child carry the stain of Original Sin any longer than necessary. Under the tutelage of Assunta and Luigi, Maria grew up a very selfless, giving girl. She cared more about pleasing others than for her own comfort. Little things had great meaning to Maria.
Perhaps because the family had always been and would always be financially very poor, she had no great need for possessions. They were not available to the family; Maria didn't think about them. Instead, she tried to do whatever she could to make her family's life more pleasant. She was a very normal girl, enjoying games and running through the fields. But her mother noted a strong spirituality in her from an early age. It never left her; it just became more intense. Little Maria and her family lived a happy life in Corinaldo, but they were always on the edge. The land was too small and difficult to farm. Luigi did the best he could, but it was not good enough. He insisted that he could not take care of his family in the proper manner under these conditions. He argued they would have a better chance in some far-off land, perhaps the big city, Rome. The grass was always greener somewhere else. Besides, anything was better than they had.
Assunta, on the other hand, was determined to not leave the place of her birth and that of her children, especially for a decadent place like Rome. But Luigi was resolved to give his family a better life. To make his case stronger, their very close friends and neighbors, Domenico and his sister Teresa Cimarelli, were planning to leave also. This gave Luigi courage to convince Assunta that they and their children should leave Corinaldo and head towards Rome.
The lure of the big city always attracted the people from the farms. But it had not helped those who left in most instances. Although there was work, very often there was no life. The wages were just above slave labor; the living conditions were impossible; the whole family had to work in different factories. The work of St. Don Bosco in the slums of Torino in the last fifty years of the Nineteenth Century had been proof positive that there were no streets lined with gold in the big cities, only heartbreak and very often the breakup of families.
Reference "Holy Innocence"
By: Bob and Penny Lord
Bob and Penny Lord are renowned Catholic authors and television hosts on EWTN, Global Catholic television. They are prolific writers about the Catholic faith, especially the Saints. Their website is www.bobandpennylord.com
Thursday, July 30, 2009
Sometimes I find it a challenge to teach kids biblical facts in a way that is easy for them to understand; a way that won't get confused or jumbled or mixed with all of the other things that they're trying to learn about the world in which they live. However, it's always fun to hear kids' responses to what you've taught them. Sometimes you want to laugh at their interpretations, especially when they're so very serious, and I've found that it's a good idea to keep a notebook of their innocently jumbled definitions:
"Adam and Eve had a son, Cain, who hated his brother as long as he was Abel. Pretty soon all of the early people died off, except for Methuselah, who lived to be like a million or something."
"Samson slayed his enemies by pulling down the pillows of the temple."
"One of Jacob's sons, Joseph, gave refuse to the Israelites."
"Moses died before he ever reached Canada."
"The greatest miracle in the Bible is when Joshua told his son to stand still and he obeyed him."
"In the gospel of Luke, they named Jesus Enamel."
"Jesus gave the golden rule which says, 'do one to others before they do one to you.'"
"Jesus' followers were called the 12 decibels."
"Jesus had many arguments with sinners like the Pharisees and the Republicans."
"The worst of the disciples was Judas Asparagus, and he was so bad they named a terrible vegetable after him."
"Jesus healed many leopards and preached to some Germans on a mount."
"David was a Hebrew king skilled at playing the liar."
"Moses led the Hebrews to the Red Sea, where they made unleavened bread, which is bread without any ingredients."
Anyone who works with kids could probably add many more definitions and opinions like these to the list, and although at times it's hard for children to understand the full meaning of some Bible stories, there is one thing that they should understand without confusion-- the way of salvation through the shed blood of Jesus Christ. When they truly understand what the Bible is all about, they'll be so excited to share with others! Imagine, a child's enthusiasm combined with an understanding of the truth of God's Word! Now that is hard to resist!
But the question is: How does one help children understand the message of the Bible? Is there anything specific that can be done? Since much of the curriculum for teaching children the Bible is presented in intriguing story form, why not try telling the Bible stories in order from beginning to end, with one overall theme? If children can be taught how that Jesus was promised from the time of Adam, and how He fulfilled (and will fulfill) everything that was promised to Adam, Abraham, Isaac, Jacob, etc., they will begin to understand the history and purpose of their world, and even their own lives.
One young girl shared a book about the Bible's message (from creation to Christ) with a friend who came to spend the night. By the following morning, the friend had believed in Jesus as her Savior. If this young girl didn't understand the Gospel or its importance, she would have had no interest in sharing it, or if she had, it would have been even more confusing to her friend. Take the challenge of making sure kids around you understand exactly what the Gospel is, and how to share it with others.
Sunday, July 26, 2009
True salvation inevitably brings with it some level
of true repentance toward a transformed mind, goals, and manifest
behaviours. We not only think differently, we start to act differently
too, as we seek to live in a more morally-accountable way.
repentance is not always connected with true (or new) salvation. Anyone
can truly repent. All it seems is required (to draw on God's power and
grace) is sufficient humility in response to the exposed truth, which
engenders deep reflection at the heart level, toward a turning from
one's old ways to the new.
I said to someone only recently, I
have more problems at sin than most. This is because I see myself from
my own God-revealed state--though not condemning--a resultant
bliss-filled benefactor of his rich portions of grace. I currently have
two known areas of self-acknowledged sin (which to some might be that
minor they'd hardly warrant reflection--but to me, a child of a holy
God, these are to be worked on until completion i.e. eradication by
God's grace one moment at a time).
I read recently a beautifully
incisive description of what true repentance is, and this explains in
part why it's so hard. It describes repentance as being beyond simple
regret, and that for us is easy to explain. Regret is sorrow over an act whereas repentance is sorrow because of an act; two quite divergent responses on the moral plane.
furthermore, is split into two forms. And this is the key to uncovering
why at times, when we're frustrated by ongoing sin, we don't become
delivered from it.
Repentance is engaged by sorrow rooted in us hurting relationships
by our acts and omissions, not the least of which our relationship with
God. It starts viscerally--from deep within. It's manifest sorrow for
the hurt caused to another, even to God directly.
The power of
true repentance toward a transformed mind, heart and hence, behaviour,
is the resurrection power of the risen Lord Jesus Christ.
truly repent at the heart level (reaching the deep emotions because we
begin to comprehend the impact of our behaviour on relationships) and
not simply leave it at the intellectual level of the act itself, the
power of God's Spirit sweeps powerfully through us, giving us
confidence and poise to do the thing he wishes us to do, one day at a
We hence become intrinsically motivated to make our
relationships right; to restore the virtuous balance. We're prepared to
pay whatever restitution is required.
And this is why the Lord's
discipline in the form of resonant life consequences is so critically
important; though we like it not! The consequences force us to decide.
Do we submit in humility or reject the rebuke in pride (our default is,
of course, the latter).
Consequences and restitution also
propound the lesson, helping us truly learn so we don't make the same
mistakes again or as much.
The sign of true conversion, the witness of the 'circumcised heart' then, is the willing and almost enthusiastic response to all
life rebukes, in an honourable and dignified way, and not from excess
guilt or shame. (God's got no interest in us feeling excessively guilty
or shame-ridden; that's the lot of the enemy.)
This is the
resonant echo of the risen Christ in us as we bear our respective
crosses over the whole lifespan. For repentance is as much a part of
the Christian's journey as any other part, and possibly more. It's
uniquely inherent in the Christian walk.
And this is the best
sign of true conversion; does resurrection life flow through the person
in these circumstances or not? That's got to be the test question.
the person's been Christian 80 minutes or 80 years, the same fact
remains. Can they call upon the power and grace of God to truly repent
unto life eternal?
Copyright © 2009, S. J. Wickham. All Rights Reserved.
 Gary & Anne Marie Ezzo, Let the Children Come, Along the Virtuous Way: Growing Kids God's Way (Happy Valley, South Australia: Growing Families Australia, 2002), p. 205, 210.
Wickham is a Registered Safety Practitioner (BSc, MSIA, RSP) and a
qualified, unordained Christian minister (GradDipBib&Min).
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Steve_Wickham
Tuesday, July 21, 2009
The abducted or the abductor?
The Spirit of God is in us all.
When we get nervous and upset, anxious and afraid, filled with hate and losing the feeling of love, who shall we pray for?
we know that something bad has happened and our stomach gets tight, our
feelings are close to the surface, and we are fast losing hope, who
shall we pray for?
When something is not going our way and we are raising our voices against injustice, who shall we pray for?
should we pray for? We should pray for ourselves. How? May the words in
my mouth and the feelings in my heart be acceptable to You, Oh Lord.
Then act accordingly.
People react differently. If you are feeling the love of God in you, you act and react divinely.
someone who didn't know you saw what you were going through, even as a
bystander, who would they tend to pray for? You. Because in those
times, you've lost sight of God.
The Spirit of God is in us all.
that God is taking care of the world, because -- and get this straight
-- He is. None of our anxiety, hatred, or hopelessness is going to
change that. Change what you can -- change how YOU feel.
FEEL the love of God when you are facing difficulties. Let Him heal YOU.
that sound selfish? If we have bitterness in our heart, how can we take
care of others? If we have hatred in our hearts, well, how can we help
with hatred? Is that God's way? I don't think so. If we have LOVE, we
are spreading what? LOVE! And doesn't that feel grand?
taking care of the world -- why should we get nervous or upset, anxious
or afraid, filled with hatred or lose the feeling of love?
taking care of the world -- why should our stomach get tight, our
feelings be close to the surface, and we be fast losing hope?
is taking care of the world -- why, when something is not going our
way, should we be raising our voices against injustice? It would be
like raising our voice against God. That isn't the path we have sought,
Do not we trust God to make everything all right? And when we feel that trust, don't things actually turn around?
has their own path to walk. Let them walk it. Let them walk it with
your prayers as you take care of yourself. God and the Angels will take
care everyone else. Know that in place of sending your anxiety,
bitterness, or hatred to the situation, you have now decided to send
When the situation is over, ask the person you have
prayed for if they felt the flutter of little wings. Know that God is
everywhere. His messengers, the Angels, are with us always.
Do you want to meet your Angels? Jan Tincher, Angel Writer and award winning author, has a web site http://www.angelsarewithus.com and has been writing about Angels for over nine years. You can read some of her articles here: http://www.angelsarewithus.com/articles1.htm Jan helps you bridge the gap between you and your Angels. This will definitely change your life.
Thursday, July 16, 2009
In God's word it states that there is life or death in the power of the tongue, but it is our Father that puts power behind the words! Just as He watches over His Children, He also watches over words that are spoken against us! He has given us a wonderful text for our mental comfort, a cushioned pillow text to sleep on "No Weapon Formed Against Us Shall Prosper, Every Tongue That Rise Against Us, We Shall Condemn"!
The true purpose of "No weapon formed shall prosper" is to protect the mind of the person being targeted by the enemy, whether it is the enemy gossiping, manipulating, using false insinuations to the mind, or the enemy using an individual while in casual conversation to tear down the spirit of another. The main tool as stated previously in this book is that the enemy uses gossip to destroy the mind of mankind. The enemy loves to try to bully God's beautiful children, and the main way is through gossip of the mind.
From the beginning of time, the enemy has tried to use gossip of the mind, manipulation and insinuations of the mind to removed God's children off the path designed by God. This fact is evident when he cunningly convinced one third of the angels to turn against God in Heaven. It was even more evident when he deceived and convinced Eve that disobedience to God would be more profitable to her, then obedience to God.
The powerful phrase, "No weapon formed against you, shall prosper," has been given as the answer key for mankind to walk in victory physically, spiritually and mentally. This powerful phrase is designed to be the cushioned pillow of peace, to sleep at night. It is the mental medicine of the mind, body and soul.
The enemy has unfortunately tried to convince mankind that there is no power in speaking with authority God's words for us, "No weapon formed against you shall prosper." The tactic he used, was to have mankind feel as though such powerful words stated in the Bible, given by God, Our Creator, were made simply for those in the Bible at that time, and that any passage stated in God's word, holds no weight of power now. This is another deception of the enemy, to try to handicap God's children, so that we will feel that there is no hope. This is his way of being a bully to the mind. This is the very reason why God created this verse, so that we would have a weapon to fight back against the enemy, to protect our mind.
How many times in conversation, have you been sharing with someone something great in life you would like to do? Some healing you would like to receive; and somewhere in the conversation, the enemy has used that person to tell you that your desired plans will not work, or your healing may not come, or will not come. Recognize that is the spirit of the enemy using that individual without them even knowing it. God has promised in His word, that He has already conquered the world, and all that we need to be victorious, through His blood. So all things are attainable in Him, wisdom, knowledge, healing, our desires, whatever we seek to allow us to progress forward, has already been conquered through Him.
So words only have power, when our Father puts the power behind it! This is great comfort for all!
God Is Love,
Author Mia F. Stubbs shares her experience of gossip, and how it affected her life. She shares how gossip is a disease that most overlook. Her personal experience with gossip has given her the gift of sharing to many, her expressions of thoughts in writing. She points out how most people do not communicate what they feel verbally due to their inner silence. Through sharing her personal life experiences of gossip, it will result in being a warning or a comfort to another. She shares how a lot of the times, people do not share their pain with others, due to their feelings of being embarrassed, feelings that no one would understand, or the feelings of being judged. Not sharing your experiences can prevent the growth of another. In writing "Stop the Gossiping" book, it has been the bandages for her open wounds inflicted by others through gossip! Her openness in her book about gossip has opened a pathway of healing that has been long overdue and has given her the victory over her inner silence!!!
Article Source: http://EzineArticles.com/?expert=Mia_Stubbs
God is waiting for you with open arms. If He hasn't
appeared in your life as much as you would like, it could be because of
one of three reasons.
You might have a misunderstanding of the will of God.
You might have a tendency toward self-denial.
You might have a victim consciousness.
instance, many people practice blind acceptance of their circumstances
because they feel it is God's will. They may use the excuse that karmic
debts are being repaid and that there is no escape from the conditions.
How long do you think retribution continues? Any action producing
adverse circumstances can be neutralized by right action. If you
produce right action, then Karma, the Law of Cause and Effect, is
Knowing this, why let it continue? Why not make
amends and get on with your life the way you want it? God is waiting
for you with open arms.
Each individual controls his or her own
destiny, and to blame your difficulties on God's retribution is a
travesty. God IS love. Errors can be transformed into freedom from the
negative effect through the same law, and the transformation is
essentially immediate. Why not make amends, and get on with your life
the way you want it? Again, God is waiting for you with open arms.
into life knowing what you want and capture all the happiness and joy
you can handle. Forget the past with its self-imposed limitations.
People do not have to 'bear' anything, and life is magnificent for
those who escape from the unwanted situations of their own
construction. Why not make amends, and get on with your life the way
you want it? Again, God is waiting for you with open arms.
only works through like mind of one accord. God's mind is never of
helplessness, remorse, unhappiness, hatred or inadequacy. If you raise
your mind to God's you can conquer all your old feelings and start
feeling the power.
Thanks for reading.
Do you want to meet your Angels? Jan Tincher, Angel Writer and award winning author, has a web site http://www.angelsarewithus.com and has been writing about Angels for over nine years. You can read some of her articles here: http://www.angelsarewithus.com/articles1.htm Jan helps you bridge the gap between you and your Angels. This will definitely change your life.
Monday, July 13, 2009
How often have we judged people, conditions, or
events based upon what we know about them? On the other hand how much
do we really know about the people we meet, the things we see, the
events and circumstances of life? If we are really honest with
ourselves we would have to admit that we don't know nearly as much as
we want people to think we do.
If truth be told the more we live or interact with our closest
relatives and friends, the more we realize that we don't know them like
we thought we did. An even frightening reality is; "the longer we live the more we find out about ourselves."
Thus having judged people, and situations based upon what we
thought we knew about them and later found we were all wrong, can we
honestly evaluate anything based on what we know about them? How can we
judge fairly when we are so limited in our knowledge and understanding?
The answer is that we can't.
In order for us deal with people or circumstances objectively and
appropriately, we must have precise knowledge about them. Ah, but you
may say that is impossible for anyone, and I say that you are right.
However what things that are impossible with men are possible with God.
Only He is infinite in wisdom and knowledge.
The apostle Paul wrote; "To live is Christ," and thus we do all
things through Him. This means that our lives are lived in union with
Jesus in total dependency upon Him. Therefore as we abide Him and He
lives in us, we are able to rightly deal with life and all its
circumstances, as well as interact with people through Him.
If that is so; "why do so many believers struggle to live the Christian life even with Jesus living within them?"
The answer is clear. Jesus said; "Abide in Me, and I in you. As the
branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine,
neither can you, unless you abide in Me" (John 15:4). We were created
to live in union with Christ just as the branch lives in union with the
vine. This means that Christ is the center of our lives. Thus all things are of Him, through Him, and to Him, and not us.
However when we are self-centered (walking after the flesh),
we will become unproductive and discontent in life. Consequently by
operating independently of Christ who is the source of our
fruitfulness, by default leaves us barren.
Jesus is our contentment, not people, conditions or things. Jesus
plus nothing is our all. As we abide in Him, He satisfies us
independently of people or circumstances. Jesus said in Matthew
11:28-30 from the Message Bible; "Are you tired? Worn out? Burned out
on religion? Come to me. Get away with me and you'll recover your life.
I'll show you how to take a real rest. Walk with me and work with
me-watch how I do it. Learn the unforced rhythms of grace. I won't lay
anything heavy or ill-fitting on you. Keep company with me and you'll
learn to live freely and lightly."
As simple as this may sound; "When we are not trusting in Jesus we are trusting in ourselves, and thus to trust in ourselves is to be selfish." So as long as we trust in ourselves we will never enjoy rest because it can only be experience when Jesus is our center.
Selfishness has been the dilemma of mankind since the fall. Yet few of us (saints or sinners) would dare to admit that we are selfish. Yet all the while we see ourselves as God in the center of our universe, i.e. (in control of our own lives),
and thus we view and deal with life from that standpoint. This is the
reason for much of our frustration with people, circumstances, or
events when they don't agree with our point of view.
It is from this limited standpoint that we worry when it seems like
there is not enough money. It is from this same center that we are
easily offended as well as despise those who don't see life the way we
do, when in reality God (who is love) is the core of our new life. What's more, from this center we perform all types of religious activities, i.e. praise, give, worship, fast and pray, and go to church etc. to get God to bless us.
Dear friend we are (already) blessed because Christ
is the center of our being; "for in Him we live, move and have our
being." In Ephesians 1:3 Paul writes; "Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places in Christ." This is what is, and not what will be after we have "did this or did that."
Jesus is our sufficiency right now! Thus as we abide in Him, the Holy
Spirit lead us in all the activities and circumstances of life - "to live is Christ."
By: Theo Stringer
Stringer is the Pastor of the Community House of Prayer, and president
and founder of Cherubim Communications. He is the author of 4 books
that are designed to help ordinary people experience the abundant life.
Find out more about how you can get your Christian manuscript
published, as well as read the many articles available at: http://cherubimcommunications.com
Monday, June 29, 2009
Jesus Christ left all His glory in heaven and came down on earth to die for the sins of the human race. He willingly laid down His life to redeem us from both the consequences and penalty of sin. People of all races and ages can find new life in Him if they chose too. For God so loved the world that He gave His own son that whoever believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life (John 3:16). Below are the 5S's of Jesus Christ
Search- Jesus searches every sinner where he/she is on the face of the earth. He uses different means including: His word, the Holy Spirit, circumstances around us, dreams and many more so that every individual will not have an excuse for not hearing from God.
Save- Jesus saves every one who accepts Him after being found. The saving grace of Jesus is such that none of the human race will perish but have everlasting life. He saves us from both the consequences of sin such as sicknesses, poverty and misery as well as the penalty of sin, which are death and the everlasting suffering in hell. Because He formed you, He is able to transform you.
Sustain- Jesus is the creator and provider of all our needs. If he feeds the birds and wild animals which are of less importance, what about you who is made in His likeness and was given the ability to look after the rest of the creatures? He tells us not to worry about what to eat or feed on but to pray and put our trust in Him because He cares for us.
Satisfy- Jesus Christ provides the peace and satisfaction that cannot be got from anything else in this world. Believing in Him gives everlasting joy and comfort despite the hardships that may be prevailing in our environment. He fills up the vacuum in every heart that usually yearns for more and grants satisfaction in all situations.
Send- Jesus does not only save you to remain in the comfort of your home but to go and tell others about what he has done for you. This sharing will bring medicine to the many who are undergoing many forms of suffering resulting from sin and this will give you credit before God hence rewards.
The author is an education officer, Science teacher, Evangelist and businessman. If you would like to learn more from him feel free to follow the links below:
When you are filled with insight and you know all the answers to the world's problems, do you find it hard not to shout it from the rooftops? If this describes your everyday life, perhaps you would consider taking a look at the example Jesus set for any Avatar who would follow in His steps.
When you look at the life of Christ as noted in the Canonized group of books, called the Bible, you will find that the man who was and is God, chose not to cram down the throats of the many, His knowledge. So much so, that it seems as though many of His followers of today, believe they are the only ones who know the righteous way of delivering this message!
When you sit in a group of believers, are you ofttimes reminded that there are only a very limited number of people who will be joining Christ after they leave this world? Are you aware that those same people who are professing these words, believe they are some of the very limited number and that another denomination down the street is almost all destined for Hell?
Ever wonder how you got so lucky as to be in this group of eclectic followers who most often give God credit for calling to them, yet must take credit for their own obedience to procure such a position?
What if God has given the call to any who will obey? What if He has said He desires that none should perish? What if He says all we have to do is believe that Christ is the Son of God and that He came to show us the Way? Would that be enough for the group to comprehend that only He can know who will be saved?
I wonder what it would be like to have Him grab me by the throat to squelch the judgment I am so willing to share with others about who and how they are to be saved?
I truly hope I can sit in quiet instruction from my Lord, in the depths of my being and hear Him say, "Well done thou good and faithful child", this because I listened and comprehended the fact that He does not need me to reach a lost land, He is God, He can make worshipers out of the rocks, why should I think I have any more right to Gods blessings than any other.
As a matter of fact, I don't have any more of a right than any other, nor does anyone else! Peace, love and hope are offered for all, the beauty is, at any given moment we can open the channel of this Almighty love, be filled with the greatness of its being, and know peace beyond comprehension. Simply by asking, He freely gives His blessing to any!
Cheryl G Burke
If you believe that God encompasses everything, is it not true that His spirit also resides within you? It has to be somewhere in us, but where does the spirit reside within?
Charles Crooks is a shaman and healer/teacher. In his teaching he asks, "What is the component of breath that we find so valuable to ourselves?"
The vital life force is a concept often discussed and many times portrayed in various forms in movies. Do you suppose your breath contains this force? Could the vital life force include the spirit of God, whose light encompasses all?
When you are born, until you take your first breath, you are lifeless. Without that breath, there would only be an unresponsive, physical body. This is why breathing is induced by some means immediately after birth if you do not begin to breathe on your own. It may be as simple as cutting the umbilical cord or slapping you on the butt. Since every human consists of both a physical body and God's light, it is easy to conclude that the breath contains not only yourself and character, but also the light of God within.'
Words of John 4:24 (KJV) give solid evidence to support this fact: "God is a Spirit." The original Greek word for "spirit," used in this verse, is pneuma, which literally means "breath" or "current of air." Since the breath is life, you can deduce that life is a component of your breath. However, how does one define life? The dictionary's definition of life is "existence" or vitality." But, what exactly gives you vitality or brings you into existence?
Charles asserts that the breath consists of multiple components. Most everyone would agree that one of these components is the various gases required to allow the body to function on a physical level. But could there also be a spiritual component?
We have already established that God is everywhere, including living within you. We have determined that breath contains life, and that without breath, there is only a physical body. Therefore, does it not stand by reason that God may live within your breath, giving you your existence?
Copyright Statement: This article was written by Cindy L. Herb and may be reproduced on any related website provided the text is not changed in any form and this copyright statement is displayed unedited in its entirety at the foot of the article and you use the exact same HTML code to ensure a clickable link back to the author's site. Further articles are also available. Contact the author for more information. Copyright 2009 Cindy L. Herb, http://www.cherbchronicles.com. All Rights Reserved Worldwide.
About the Author: Cindy L. Herb, author of Awakening the Spirit: The Open Wide Like a Floozy Chronicles, specializes in Mind, Body, and Spirit healing, and Physical/Sexual Abuse Recovery. As an inspirational speaker, Cindy L. Herb offers others an alternative approach to healing from any trauma, allowing people to view life's tribulations as an opportunity for spiritual growth. http://www.cherbchronicles.com. To download your FREE report, Some Helpful Steps to Healing, please visit the author's website.