~ Prayer and Faith ~

Prayer and faith, those two words sort of go hand in hand don’t they? As a Christian, I should have these two down pat right? I shouldn’t struggle with my prayer life, or with my faith and what I believe. At least that is what I grew up thinking. As a young child, I thought that when “I get older it’ll all make more sense and be easier” boy was I wrong! Just recently God showed me very clearly how much I tend to underestimate the power of prayer and honestly, it was embarrassing. Here I am living and breathing every day without any thought of not waking up when I go to sleep or being worried about the chair I sit in breaking on me and yet I lack the faith to believe that the One who gives me the air to breath will take care of my needs and wants.
When I received an answer to my prayers that were not always prayed with belief or trust, I was shocked and also ashamed that I was not believing in my Lord and Saviour. I didn’t believe that He could answer my prayers even though it already seemed like the answer was a no. I realize now that He was testing my faith, He was testing me and I nearly failed the test.
I say “nearly” because I honestly do not believe that I failed. I would have failed if I walked away from that experience without learning anything. But I did learn something and I believe I learned what God wanted me to learn.
I could apply the “o ye of little faith?” ( Matthew 8:26 KJV) to me and I didn’t like that.
As a Christian, my faith should be growing every single day. I shouldn’t have to stress about what tomorrow holds. I shouldn’t have to worry about what could happen in my future.
 
This past weekend I went on a short camping trip, which ended up being much shorter than originally planned. I was hoping to write this out while sitting beside a campfire with a view of the Rocky Mountains in front of me and a cup of hot coffee beside me but unfortunately that didn’t happen but that didn’t stop me from stopping and just listening to the nature and animals around me and think of how to word this post. As I stood there looking out at the water and mountains I started thinking about the word faith. The word “Faith”  means “complete trust or confidence in someone or something” “ strong belief in God or in the doctrines of religion, based on a spiritual apprehension rather than proof.”
To me, faith means following blindly but willing to accept whatever happens to be for my own good. My God is not a mean God and you would think that by now I would have the whole faith and trusting thing figured out. But I’m only human just like everyone else out there and I am so thankful that God doesn’t give up on me but sends things my way knowing that if I would just focus on Him and not the issues in front of me, “ I shall come forth as gold” and it is my goal to come through in the end.
Looking at the mountains and the details of the rock faces and peaks the thought occurred to me “how can you NOT trust in a God that created all of this?!” it seemed so silly that I would have doubted Him and His abilities. This world will leave you frantically rushing here and there in attempts to keep up with the times or keep up with your responsibilities. It’ll drain you from all motivation and hope if you let it. I know so because I’ve been there. This world will leave you dry even though it looks lush and appealing.
The song goes “my faith has found a resting place…” and that is what my faith needed to do.
I was resting in my own abilities and once again I was relying on myself to get me through the next day, to “untangle this mess” to get my future all lined up and in perfect order. But I could not do it and it wasn’t until God gave me a small wake up that I realized, my faith was not resting in Him. I’ve found that resting place and I’m sure I’ll have to find it again down the road but for now, it is resting in His never failing and unending love.
Where/ what is your faith resting in?
This whole experience also really changed my prayer life.
Which is a question I want to ask you, how is your prayer life?
Is it just something you say before every meal and before you go to bed at night?
Is it just something you do because you are a Christian? Why do you pray?
When I asked myself these same questions the one answer that kept coming to mind was that “I pray because I want to know Him, I want to have a relationship with Him.” and I know when I’m struggling with my prayer life. There is a lack of closeness, of friendship and I long for that closeness. But you cannot get close to someone if you don’t talk to them. You don’t get to know someone if you don’t spend time getting to know them and that is by talking to them.
So, how is it? Are you even making an effort to strengthen and grow your prayer life and your faith?
Prayer and faith, they go hand in hand but you can lose both if you don’t work on it and long for that relationship.
 
This might not make sense to some of you, but I hope that it is of a help and maybe even an encouragement to you. These are just thoughts that come into my mind and I hope they make sense.
God Bless,
Sharon
Advertisements

Burdens

Hey, so it’s been awhile since I’ve written anything on here so I decided to add a little encouraging note to fellow Christians that read this blog.

Sometimes we get discouraged in our fight against the spiritual battles that seem to over-power us every day. Fighting under the banner of Jesus Christ, no matter what enemy we’re facing, is a serious thing and there will be rebuttals thrown against you. I often feel like just knowing about all the diverse evils of our age can be overwhelming in and of it’s self.

It’s times like these that I think it’s important to remember that God isn’t going to ask of us something that we can’t handle. That includes the knowledge of evil in the world. And the command to fight against that evil.

I Cor. 10:13 “…But God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above that ye are able;”

II Timothy 2:3-4 Thou therefore endure hardness, as a good soldier of Jesus Christ. No man that warreth entangleth himself with the affairs of this life; that he may please him who hath chosen him to be a soldier.”

Jesus Christ chose us to be a soldiers. Let’s not forget that. It may be a burden to continue on our march against sin but “Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.I Thess. 5:24.

Our ways of confronting sin and helping people to find Jesus may be different, but we fight under the same banner. We fight for the same King. It’s hard knowing there is suffering in the world, but we aren’t helpless against it.

Whether it be the hundreds of people contemplating suicide, the murderers, thousands of teens locked up in jail with no one to tell them about Jesus, the everyday Joe or Jane (and list goes on and on) they need hope. Hope that every saved follower of Christ has. Hope that Christ has commanded for you to go and share with the world. Share with the victim. Share with the perpetrator. Share with your fellow sisters and brothers in Christ. Be encouraged by this.

Joshua 1:9 Have not I commanded thee? Be strong and of a good courage; be not afraid, neither be thou dismayed: for the Lord thy God is with thee whithersoever thou goest.

Psalms 31:24 “Be of good courage, and he shall strengthen your heart, all ye that hope in the LORD.”

 

Abundance or Living?

~ Are we giving our “Abundance” or Living”?  ~
Mark 12:44, “For all they did cast in of their abundance; but she of her want did cast in all that she had, even all her living.”
I am sure we have all read or heard this story preached about. The woman who gave her all. I know I’ve heard it many times and it’s been linked to how we should be willing just like her to give what we have and to give it willingly.
One thing jumped out at me though while I was reading this passage, not so long ago.
The words “abundance” and “living”
Now we have many things that we could say we have an “abundance” of. It could be, money, food, clothes, gadgets, talents etc. and those are all good things to have and there is nothing wrong with having an abundance of that but in this passage, I don’t think that God was just saying that He wants just our tithe or talents. He doesn’t necessarily want just our “abundances” instead, He wants our “living”.
Our lives are made up of all the things I listed. In the world we live in, for us here in the luxury and wealth that we have, there are not many of us here that can say we lack these things. But are we giving any of it for the Lord?
I don’t mean going out and giving away all our clothes and food but…what about giving God our living?
The lady in the Bible did and she did it “of her want”. She wanted to do it.
That lady cast in her two mites and that was all she had. That was her living.
We have more then two mites, we are blessed beyond measure no matter what condition we may live in. We are blessed in so many ways and yet we are only willing to give God what we are abundant in.
God doesn’t just want that, He wants our living.
We may be abundant in the ability to play an instrument, sing, write poetry, draw, talk to people and the list goes on and on and those are all good things but, God wants our “living.”
He wants it all and He deserves it.
It is not for us to keep because it is rightly His.
The other people cast in what they were abundant in. They “have more where that came from” and they were fine with giving it because they knew they had more elsewhere but this lady gave it all and she knew that was all she had.
The other people gave theirs willingly because they were abundant in it but she gave hers willingly because she wanted to.
 What are we giving God willingly because we know we are abundant in it?
What about our living? Are we willing to give God everything even if that means giving Him all that we have?
The Bible doesn’t tell us any more about that woman but I am sure that she never regretted giving away all that she had.
This lady had the faith to know that even though she was giving all she had…. her living, she knew that God would provide and He always does.
At times, it is hard to see that but in the end, He always comes through true to His word.
Proverbs 3:5 “Trust in the Lord with all thine heart; and lean not unto thine own understandings.”
This is blog is short but it is something I want people to think about, if they haven’t already. I know it left me thinking. It made me wonder what was I giving the Lord freely because I knew in my heart it was something that I had lots of. Whether it was a talent that I have or money. I used my talent freely because I knew that I could do it again. I gave money willingly because I knew I had more in the bank. I gave someone the clothes that I no longer wanted because I had more in my drawer and closet.
But, am I giving God my “living”? Am I giving Him my all?
Yes, it is good to use talents for Him and tithe and help others out but…is that all I’m going to do?
Is that all you’re going to do?
Are we giving God our living?
Are we trusting Him to bring us through and provide for us?
Are we willing to give Him our all even if that means having nothing left and all we can do is trust that He will take care of us?
Are we giving God our “abundance” or our “living”?
(S.W)

God’s Law vs Man’s Law

As a guest writer, I’d like to say that I like debating theological issues. Now there are many posts that I’d like to write concerning interesting topics, but the one in which I am going to write about today is a subject that I have personally been researching and studying recently.

That is human abortion, and why human abortion ought to be abolished. I use the word ought to signify the moral obligation we have to eradicate and completely destroy the wicked practice of abortion. Now there may be many people who would agree with this idea. Many people who think abortion is wrong, but I want to take a step deeper, and look at the reason why abortion is wrong.

Abortion isn’t wrong because the Declaration of Independence stated: “We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness.” Abortion isn’t wrong because the Constitution stated that: “nor shall any state deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws.”

See people, governments, religions, churches, laws, non of theses things give people “right to life”. The only reason why we are living today is because God, in is great mercy, saw fit to create us and to continue to give us each breath we take. And the only reason why we have any worth as human beings is because we were made in the image of God. Gen. 1:27 “So God created man in his own image, in the image of God created he him; male and female created he them.”

The reason that abortion is wrong then, is because God is the giver and taker of life. Not man. God is the Creator, and he told us not to murder. Ex. 20:13

Definition of Murder: the unlawful premeditated killing of one human being by another.

So, what is abortion? By definition: the deliberate [premeditated] termination [killing] of a human pregnancy [the developing of a living, existing human being].

Abortion by definition meets the criteria for the definition of murder except for one thing. Abortion is “lawful”. And what I mean by this is in the Roe v Wade case it was decided that, “In short, the unborn have never been recognized in the law as persons in the whole sense.” This took care of the problem (for the pro-aborts) of “unlawful killing”. Now it is lawful for anyone to murder the unborn, because the unborn are not recognized by the law as human beings, with the same rights as human beings. Abortion is no longer murder in man’s eyes, not by man’s law.

This is the problem with following man’s law as opposed to following God’s law. Acts 5:29 “We ought to obey God rather than men.” The Supreme Court doesn’t have the right to give or take life, to give or take worth of life. Only God does.

Am I saying that we shouldn’t obey any of the laws that govern our nation? Not necessarily. That is another discussion for another time. This post was just meant to show the importance of knowing why abortion is murder, and why murder is wrong.

The Birds still Sing

Have you ever sat with your window open during a storm and just listened to the noises outside? Recently I had the opportunity to do just that and a thought struck me. It was during a lightning flashing, thunder roaring, wind blowing and rain pouring storm. The storm was so strong that it uprooted tree’s, ripped off shingles from some of our sheds, and sadly it came pouring in some of our bedroom windows. By the time the storm had died down and we no longer had to fight the water that was gushing into our rooms I was tired and discouraged. I went to sit down and take a couple of minutes to rest. After opening the living room window to receive some fresh air I leaned back and listened. The sounds that came to my ears both amazed me and encouraged me.
As the thunder roared and the lightning lit up the sky with rain still coming down in a steady pace the birds were singing. In the distance I could hear the birds chirping from the tree’s.
During the storm it was raining so hard that visibility was so limited we could hardly see our yard but after things settled down a little bit and the chaos died down the birds went right back to chirping and it was still storming.
I sat down on the floor by the window and just listened. It was such a refreshing time. The fresh air, the cheery chirping of the birds and the reminder that even through the storms we can be just like those birds and still sing. Those birds had the possibility of losing their nests which are their homes. They had the possibility of losing each other in the wind of the storm. In reality, they had it worse then we did.  They survived the storm from the outside, we survived the storm from the inside and we are much, much bigger then the birds. But yet, they still sang even during the rain and thunder.
It was such a beautiful sound to be honest. To hear the thunder roaring a few miles away and still have cracks of lightning here and there and all the while the occasional chirping of birds. I thought of what an example those little birds are for us humans. No matter the seriousness of the storm or the loss that may happen because of it, they still sing.
We can apply that to our lives, we face many storms in our lifetime.
The storms could be, loss of a loved one, job, home, etc. It could be the storm of bad or digressing health. The storm could be in our education and the struggles that are there with all the deadlines, peer pressure and the stress.
It’s true these storms can wear us down and drag us to the point where all we want to do is give up. I’ve been there and I’m a saved person. Just because I am a Christian does not mean that my life is easy. I’m just as human as you are and it’s something that so many people forget at times because we tend to hide behind this facade and we refuse to let the world see that we are just as human as they are, but that is a whole different topic. Back to what I was originally saying.
We face many storms and the question that I want to ask you is, do you sing when it’s storming? Birds sing, they chirp, that is what they do aside from building nests, dig up worms and take care of their young…. kind of like humans eh? But one thing I’ve noticed from my bird watching is that, they sing before the storm, they sing during the storm and they sing after the storm.
Do we?
I know it’s hard to sing during a ‘storm’. Especially when it’s painful and all you have are questions of “why is this happening to me?” or “what is the meaning of all this?” but it’s during times like these when our faith is exercised. The birds still sing, do we still sing? Do we dance in the rain? Do we have songs in the night?
The Bible says that God looks after the sparrows. He see’s if one falls to the ground, He knows when one is hurt.
Matthew 10:29 – 31 “Are not two sparrows sold for a farthing? And one of them shall not fall on the ground without your Father.” 
“But the very hairs of your head are all numbered.”
“Fear ye not therefore, ye are of more value than many sparrows.”
 Listening to those bird’s chirp during that huge storm really encouraged me and made me realize that I can sing during the storm. I can sing before, during and after. It’s up to me. If they can sing during the hard times, why can’t I?
It is easier said then done, but it’s not impossible.
It’s having that “song in the night.”
It’s praising God during the storm.
The birds still sing.
Do you?
Psalm 42:8, “Yet the Lord will command his lovingkindness in the daytime, and in the night his song shall be with me, and my prayer unto the God of my life.”