A You-Sized Hole

Your church needs you…even if you don’t go to church. God has a church out there for you, and they are suffering from a you-sized-hole right now. You could be the one who helps out with the kids….the one who writes notes to encourage the pastor…the one who always remembers to bring food for the food pantry…the one who always welcomes new people with a warm handshake…the crazy one. I’m not sure which one you are, but you are an important puzzle piece in the kingdom of God.

You may have a very good reason not to go to church. A church may have hurt you in the past. I’m sure you did not deserve that, but it’s time to forgive and find a new church. Maybe you have to work Sundays. What if you told your boss you have decided to get serious about church attendance and request Sundays off? Or you could visit a church on Wednesday evenings.

Keep trying new churches until you feel certain God has placed you there, but rest assured that God is placing you somewhere. Church is for every believer. We need to pray for one another and encourage one another in God. We can do more together than separately. What? You don’t know God? You belong in church too. God’s house is a great place to be introduced.

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What’s Your Sign?

Seriously, what is your sign? You probably know without looking it up, don’t you? Astrology has become part of culture. Some look to it for hints about the future and for guidance. In today’s society, we can read our horoscope just about anywhere. If someone is really desperate, they can hire a roadside psychic. It is easy to think we can make better decisions for ourselves if we know the future, but I want to challenge that way of thinking.

Life is what happens to us when we are making other plans. It’s a famous quote first noted in Reader’s Digest 1957, but it has been repeated in multiple variations in songs and movies. Think about it. What great parts of your life happened to you unintentionally? In general, it is not good for us to know the future. If there is something we need to know, God can communicate it to us since he is the only one to clearly and perfectly see the future. If we need guidance, wouldn’t it be best to ask the Lord?

Sometimes you may not sense a clear answer and feel lost, but you can trust God for peace and to ask him to show you the steps. If you still feel lost after a time, then talk to a Christian friend. Another person with the same Holy Spirit in them that is inside you can draw out some deeply hidden God spoke to your heart and confirm what you think you have heard.

A close relationship with God will put you on the right steps for your best happiness in God’s perfect will for your life. If you have never committed your life to Christ, you are on a path away from God and may be feeling despair. It is never too late to turn that around. Give God the reigns of your life by accepting Christ into your heart and receiving the gift of the Holy Spirit inside you.

A Little Buddha for Good Luck

Do you have a little Buddha statue in your home for good luck? Let’s talk straight. If that little statue is bringing you any luck (good or bad), then it is more than a statue. We both know statues are made from cement or other common materials. They have no power in and of themselves. If your statue is endowed with power, then it has a source and God is not it. How can I be sure?

Buddha’s claim is contradictory to Jesus’ claim. The ancient man called Buddha claimed to know a different way than Jesus. Yet Jesus specifically said, “I am the way.” He did not say one of many ways. He said “the way.” Millions of people have adopted Buddhism as their religion instead of accepting Jesus Christ as their Savior. Buddhism and all of its ways are in opposition to Christianity.

What about you? Have you accepted Jesus as your Savior? If yes, then stop advertising a false way. Stop trying to gain fortune outside of God’s will. Toss out the statue. Pray to God for the blessings you want in your life. If that is what is best for you, our powerful God will delight in bestowing the blessing and provision you want in your life because He loves you.

I’m a Good Person

You may think you are a good person. I don’t doubt it but only by comparison to other people. Compared to God, you are not a good person. Let’s take a look at some of the standards God set forth for mankind, also known as the Ten Commandments.

  1. Have no other gods but God.
  2. Do not worship statues.
  3. Be careful with God’s name. (Only when you are talking to or specifically about God with reverence—never saying OMG or using the Savior’s Name as a cuss word.)
  4. Remember the Sabbath. (Rest from work and dedicate the day to worship).
  5. Honor your father and mother (yes both of them).
  6. Do not murder.
  7. Keep your marriage vows (all of them.)
  8. Do not steal (not even a pen).
  9. Do not lie (even little lies).
  10. Do not covet (or wrongly desire what belongs to someone else).

Even if you kept some of these, you did not keep all of them perfectly. Even if you did, there are many more wrongdoings that qualify as sins. Even knowing the right thing to do in a circumstance and failing to do it is a sin according to God.

Yet somehow Jesus kept every commandment perfectly. How? Because He is the Son of God. The good news is He died to pay for your sins and the sins of the whole world. If you die, please don’t try to justify your sins by saying “I’m a good person.” Your best bet is to simply say, “Jesus died for my sins.” In God’s eyes, Jesus is a good person.

A New Type of Prayer

A few years ago, I edited a free ebook called Never Forsaken: A Testimony Collection. Something miraculous happened as I read the submissions. My own faith grew. Of course I had faith God exists, but I did not necessarily know how to apply all of the promises God has for us in the Bible.

I learned one such promise and application when I read one of the testimony submissions by a woman named Kristen Nelson. She shared a testimony of how God healed her wrists and included a Scripture from John 10:10. It says, “…I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.”  She didn’t have inoperable brain cancer. She simply wanted a fuller life.

Sometimes people are afraid to pray for God to help us in little ways as though He were too busy or something. Other times they are scared to ask God to help people on their deathbed because we are all destined to die. This is my new prayer for people on their deathbed. “Dear Lord: All of our days are numbered, but You came to give us life abundantly. While this person is here on earth, give them life to the fullest.  Thank You for being our Healer. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”

A few days ago, I prayed it over my elderly cat who has not been well. That particular day she would not eat and could hardly stand. We were all preparing our hearts for her death. Then I prayed this prayer over my cat. Guess what? The very next day she was eating and walking around. She even ran upstairs! She may die tomorrow, but today she is living life to the fullest because God is good.

Christian Hypocrites (?)

Skeptics might accuse Christians of being hypocrites because we do not follow Old Testament laws. In answer to that accusation, please know the Bible is clear that those laws were written specifically for Abraham’s descendants. In fact, the New Testament says Christians are free from the Old Testament laws.

Many Christians find wisdom in the Ten Commandments and try to keep them. One such command is to observe the Sabbath. To Abraham’s descendants, observing the Sabbath meant resting on a specified day to remember the Lord set them free from slavery to Egypt. They did not free themselves. God did it. However, Christians observe the Sabbath to remember the day Jesus Christ rose from the dead. We did not save ourselves. God did it.

I hope that explains some things. If you have not trusted Jesus as your Savior, please consider saying this prayer now:

“Lord, thank You that You died for my sins so I do not have to do any other work other than believing and trusting that You paid for my sins with Your blood. I believe that You rose from the dead and will put Your Spirit in me to guide me to holy decisions. Thank You that I will be live eternally with You in heaven because You saved me. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”

Anxiety (testimony)

“For to us a child is born, to us a son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And he will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace.” —Isaiah 9:6

For most of my life, I have dealt with a great deal of anxiety, stress, and a genuine lack of peace. It seems genetic to some degree because a large number of my family members suffer from those things also. However, those negative feelings have increased over time due to some traumatic situations . For instance, I was involved in two bad car accidents. God miraculously saved me from death or serious harm, but the memory of the accidents have caused me extreme anxiety while riding as a passenger in cars.

When I first accepted Christ as my Savior, a great peace settled on me. I stopped suffering from anxiety and could go to sleep almost anywhere without worrying about a thing. As time passed and negative thoughts encroached, the worry and anxiety had returned. Any time a pastor mentioned “peace” or I read a Scripture about peace, I would talk to God saying things like “The Holy Spirit lives in me. Where is my peace?” or “If you want me to have peace, then give me peace.”

One day, I opened a daily supplement I had been taking to promote stress reduction. I heard the Lord say, “I will heal you.” Lightning did not strike at that moment. In fact, I pondered it in my heart during the next two days. Then I woke up and noticed something had changed. God’s wonderful, all-consuming peace had settled on me. It has been about a month now that I have enjoyed the fruit of the Spirit called peace. God did exactly as He promised and healed me.  If you suffer from anxiety, please join me in the following prayer.

PRAYER: Lord, We come before You today with the knowledge You can and will heal Your children. We ask that You would lift off anxiety, stress, and worry from anyone reading this blog right now and their friends or family members. We ask that You replace it with Your wonderful and all-consuming peace. Thank You, Jesus, that You are willing and able to do this for me and others because You love us so much. We welcome Your Holy Spirit into our bodies and yield to His leading. We praise You, oh God. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

25 Reasons You Doubt Christianity

There are many reasons people doubt Christianity. How many of the following reasons apply to you? Answer true or false.

  1. People consider me a rebellious person.
  2. Friends think I have too much pride.
  3. I avoid certain situations because I am fearful.
  4. I suffer from deep emotional pain.
  5. My family says I am stubborn.
  6. I hate conformity.
  7. I have not forgiven someone for abandonment/death/divorce.
  8. I have not forgiven persons for neglect/abuse.
  9. I have not sought healing/counseling for neglect/abuse.
  10. It is hard for me to accept my own vulnerabilities/weaknesses.
  11. I think I should be the master of my own life.
  12. I do not think God is loving.
  13. I do not think Jesus is the Son of God.
  14. My identity is in my family.
  15. I often worry and have anxious thoughts.
  16. I have not sought information about God.
  17. I depend on my physical beauty to gain approval.
  18. I depend on my skills/success to gain provision.
  19. I depend on wealth to protect me.
  20. I depend on indulgence/pleasures to make me happy.
  21. I depend on intellectualism to make all of my decisions.
  22. Righteousness seems boring to me.
  23. I enjoy my sins.
  24. No one has taken the time to explain the deeper things of Christ.
  25. I have never asked Christians about God or to visit their church.

Even one single reason can block you from knowing the true God. You need God’s help to see He is loving, and Christ is His only Son. Ask God to show you if He is real. Ask Him to tell you if Jesus really is His Son that died on the cross for Your sins. When you discover all these truths, do not waste a moment! Tell God you trust Him to save your soul. Tell Him you do want to live eternally with Him in heaven. Today, you have been invited into the kingdom of God.

MY PRAYER FOR YOU: Lord, I pray for any person reading this list and their loved ones to overcome these blocks to salvation. Bring about healing for the ways in which they have been wronged. Open their eyes to Your true character and the true nature of Your Son. Inspire forgiveness, wisdom, and righteousness in their hearts. Deliver them from any thing that keeps them from accepting Christ fully into their lives. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Ask, Seek, Knock

“Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.” —Matthew 7:7

Back in the 1990s, there were Magic Eye posters everywhere. Magic Eye posters look like a patterned image, but there is a hidden 3D image inside that pattern. It is some type of stereogram optical illusion. For some reason, everyone around me saw the 3D image immediately. They talked about how cool it was to see. Meanwhile, I could not see it no matter how hard I tried. I stared at it and tried their tricks and tips to no avail. Then one day, I finally saw it without really trying hard at all. Suddenly, I could not help but see the hidden images.

I have often thought how much this mirrors my walk with God. Everyone had talked about how great Jesus was, but I saw absolutely nothing. Then one day, I met Him for myself. In fact after that point, it would have been impossible to unsee Him. Now I am in agreement with the others. God is beyond great and well worth serving.

If you keep hearing about how Jesus is so amazing, but you haven’t seen anything so far….don’t give up seeking Him. Tell the Lord you want to meet Him. Seek Him out in prayer. No one will be able to stop you from becoming a committed Christian.

Follow the Spirit

For the flesh desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the flesh….” —Galatians 5:17

When I was a young girl, I dreamed of getting married and having children. As I grew into my teen and young adult years, that dream faded. A new dream of an accomplished career emerged. I felt fulfilled by intimate relationships without marriage and no longer wanted children. Then I became a Christian, and the Holy Spirit birthed in me a desire for His will for my life.

I felt the Spirit redirect my life focus. God wanted me to remove the career from the lofty place it held in my heart and allow that original dream of marriage and children to re-enter. This was not an automatic shift in my heart! I was in conflict with God, but I prayed that the Holy Spirit would change me. I prayed for God to send me a husband and for a desire for children. Years later, my prayers were answered. I am currently happily married with two wonderful teenagers, and I could not imagine life without them. I should also mention that God has given me a distinguished career as well, but it is so much less important than my family. Now it seems hard for me to understand how I ever prioritized career so high in my life before Christ. God is good and knows our innermost desires. He delights in giving us good gifts. Our greatest joy will be found in His path for our lives.