Category Archives: christianity

Is It Okay to Ask For Prayer?

Not only is it okay to ask for prayer, but if we don’t we are not availing ourselves of one of our greatest tools as Children of God. No matter who you are, or how together you think your Christian life is you still have human factors waging war against you all the time. Do you think Billy Graham asks for prayer? What about David Jeremiah or Charles Stanley?

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I think choosing what you want to write about on your blog can be fascinating. Now certainly there are cases when the scope is narrowed, such as when I take on the regular weekly fiction challenges where a photo subject gives you a loose frame. Also, when I post a Flower of the Day photo I have to excuse the furry squirrels from the equation.

But today when I returned from lunch I saw this tag and it sent my metaphorical wheels in my head turning like wild! If I could figure out a way to charge my phone a little every time I took a photo with it I would never have to worry. But it is because I find so many things interesting that I not only want to capture the image, but share the thoughts tied to it.

There is a set of verses in the bible that talks about the “stiff-necked people”. It is Acts 7:51 and while it more accurately relates how stubborn and obstinate folks are when it comes to allowing the Holy Spirit to lead them I cannot help but draw a comparison in my mind to those who do not think prayer is important.

At my church we have frequent occasions where we share the prayer requests on our hearts and minds. Predominantly these are requests relating a need of someone who is not present or is a relation or friend. Just this week I asked for prayer for our friends in Belize, where we do a significant amount of ministry because a potential hurricane was brewing in the Caribbean Sea.

But, on occasion, someone will ask for prayer if they feel the need. Now you must understand as in most churches we are a close-knit group and know quite a lot about each other and feel comfortable sharing our weaknesses or needs. I understand that is not the way everyone is made. some people are private and do not share, even when the need is great.

Leaving the opportunity to be blessed by the prayer of another or a group of others behind is to surrender one of God’s greatest blessings. We are in this mortal life together and need others to survive and thrive. So my answer to the question at the top is YES. I feel it is perfectly acceptable to ask for prayer.

What about you? Will you ask for prayer when you need it? How do you feel when someone prays aloud for you?

 

 

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HE AROSE!!!!

IF you are a Christian you should be celebrating today. NO WAIT! YOU MUST! YOU MUST CELEBRATE TODAY. Today is the day the greatest promise in the history of time itself was realized. Jesus the Christ shared with his disciples and everyone he met that one day he must suffer, be put to death and after three days in the tomb rise from the dead.

Today is Easter, the day each year Christians can rejoice in the promise Christ made during his brief time on earth. He told his disciples this and explained it multiple times, but yet they had not the ability to comprehend. Sure, it sounded pretty fantastic. I am sure no one else they ever knew claimed this to be their future or actually realized the feat.

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The tradition at our church is to place a purple cloth on the middle of three crosses that fronts our church on Good Friday. Purple has a royal connection so it relates to the kingship of Christ. The Roman soldiers nocked this possibility, even creating a sign to hang above Christ on the cross that named him King of the Jews. They thought they were humiliating Him even more than stripping him naked, lashing him across his body and driving steel spikes through his hands and feet.

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On Sunday the purple cloth is replaced by one that is white. The white represents purity and the victory of resurrection. There is also the connection to the white linen clothes that were found neatly folded in the tomb when Mary and Mary Magdalene came to the tomb on third day to Check on Jesus’ body.

Today people will celebrate the most important day in the life of a Christ follower. Without the truth of today nothing else in Christianity matters. Christ voluntarily chose to sacrifice His life for our sins. If we do not choose to sacrifice one day to acknowledge and rejoice we are a sad lot.

Let this day be the greatest chance to connect with the truth of Christ’s Love. Who would you willingly give your life for? Your spouse, child, parent, a good friend? What about a complete stranger? A thief. A murderer? Jesus gave his life for ALL. To balance sins not even committed yet. For all sins from the beginning of time. Jesus covers it all.

If you have never given your life to Jesus I have many posts on this blog about the process and I would love to lead you through it. Congratulations to all of you today, you are blessed beyond your wildest dreams if you have met Christ!

 

 

Denial – the easy response when you see sin in your life

DenialI know anyone who has ever been alive longer than a couple of years has heard about sin. It is the product of many of this mortal life’s good and bad experiences. Sin comes in many forms. There is purposeful sin, accidental sin, ignorant sin and more. But in the end it is all against God’s instructions for how to live a Christian life. Do you think God hides any of this information? He doesn’t. He puts it out front and center for our consumption. If we do not know its because we don’t care to look for it or ask about it.

What is the first human reaction when we are faced with the thought we may have committed a sin? I think it is denial. We think “oh no, not me!” “I didn’t sin. If so I didn’t mean to.” But if we are honest with ourselves many times we do indeed sin. I have been a Christian for more than thirty years and I still sin way too often. Thankfully my knowledge of the difference between sinful acts and those that aren’t sinful has increased, but the sin nature is still present.

I used to try the denial route. It is easy to deny and try to blame your actions on the situation, the weather, the stock market or anything else. But all this does is prolong your feeling of conviction that comes from wanting to please God with your actions. The best thing you can do when you realize you are sinning is to remove yourself from the situation and confess your sin.

Accept that you are mortal, that sin will always be a challenge and try to learn how to head it off before it gets tis claws in you. Isn’t it better to not have to dive into the denial pool? God loves you, will accept you wherever you are and will change your life, including how you deal with sin, if you will just follow his lead.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/denial/

Elixir – Finding eternal life

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Humans have sought the magic of eternal life for centuries. All the way back in 1535 a Spanish explorer and conquistador named Ponce de Leon poked around Florida seeking a magic elixir to prolong his life. Hundreds of millions of dollars flow out of bank accounts every month on creams, lotions, treatments and the promise of  extending the scope of our mortal existence.

But truly none of these mortal offerings will translate into much more than a band aid kind of help. For a lasting kind of change to the possibility of an eternal life you have one solid option: trust in Christ.

16 For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16 King James Version

There is no doubt why this verse is quoted more often than probably any other verse in the Holy Bible. It is the kind of thing that everyone needs to hear. Notice the keyword whosoever. It does not say the rich, the poor, northerners, southerners, westerners, Americans, Europeans or Africans. There is no qualifier of young or old, black, white or brown. No, God’s promise is to whosoever is willing to take the step. I don’t know about you, but that is my kind of elixir.

The water of life can wash away your sins, those in the past, present and to come. How can that possibly be? Because God is involved and God has already done everything He chooses, is doing so now and will do so in the future. When you follow the teaching of John 3:16, you lock in your reservation in Heaven where eternal life awaits.

How long is eternal life? You can’t measure it in terms the human mind can grasp. Try to think of the worst lecture you ever attended, one you thought would never end. Then imagine the flip side where you never want it to end. That is somewhat like eternal life except it will NEVER end. I choose this as my flavor if elixir.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/elixir/

Record – Can you be convicted?

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Okay so let’s talk about this Daily Post topic, record. I suspect many people will choose to talk about the spinning disc that holds music. I hope so, I will be looking to see what songs people choose to write about. I am taking a different approach. What I have in mind is directly tied to the blog I chose to host this post, Living the J.O.Y. Principle. That’s right I will apply this to Christian faith.

One of the greatest questions I have ever heard from the pulpit goes similar to this: If you were accused of being a Christian would there be enough evidence to convict you? In other words what does you Record show? Can you be held accountable for what you do for Christ?

I suppose there is a dichotomy in how we answer that question. On the one hand we are to do things for Christ without looking for praise. But on another we need to know from others if what we do meets the requirements of service God puts before us. Perhaps one of the most basic things we can do to ensure we are building a valid record is to at least follow the Great Commission.

18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth.

19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost:

20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you always, even unto the end of the world. Amen.

Go and tell. Pretty basic instructions that are easy enough for anyone to follow. In truth when all the dust settles this will be the piece of our record that will mean the most. Tell everyone you encounter about what God has done for you so they can have the opportunity to enjoy the same.

 

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/record/

 

Oversight – God sees, but you control

There are many reasons identified as to why people will not trust in God to give them life-saving salvation. The promise of eternal life seems pretty sweet to me, but I have been a Christian for more than three decades, so my belief in the concept has been solidified by many hours of learning from men of God teaching from the Holy Bible. Also, I benefit from the experience of seeing God’s movement in my life as I keep his truths as my guide.

Perhaps the most halting thought for those stopping at the deciding line for trust in Jesus is the concept of oversight. It may be  due to the knowledge that God is omniscient, meaning he sees everything: past, present and future.

O lord, thou hast searched me, and known me.

Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off.

Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways.

Psalm 139 1-3 King James Version (KJV)

We live in a culture where more is known about us than ever before. Credit cards, online shopping, store loyalty cards, surveys and any number of other subtle devices are used to track any and every aspect of our lives. Yet people will hesitate on what I consider the most important decision of their life because they don’t like the thought that Jesus will see what they are doing or thinking.

I have lived with his knowledge for a long time and I find it very comforting. Why? Is it because I know He will keep me from doing something I shouldn’t? No. It is not like that. God blessed/cursed us with free will. We are blessed because we get to make our own choices. But we are cursed in the same way. God lets us decide what we want to do. But if you choose God to guide your life you should also want to do the kind of things that please Him.

I like the fact that God has oversight. I know he will gently tap my conscience when I am doing or thinking about doing something inconsistent with my faith. Then the burden is on me to make an effort to either step away from the thought or situation. He has oversight, but we still maintain control. It is when people understand that his offer seems more palatable I guess.

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/oversight/

Overworked -Jesus Will Give You Rest

Who isn’t overworked in 2017? The race to achieve and keep up with everyone drives so many people to overextend. But I want to focus on a different aspect. I want to talk about being overworked trying to maintain your Christian witness in this busy, mortal world.

Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. Matthey 11:28 KJV

Jesus already knew we would need someone to take on the burdens of our life, whether work, illness, family issues or whatever accumulates on your mind, heart and body. Let’s face it, sometimes going through a day of life can seem so much like work. Throw in a speed bump are too and we can feel overworked really quickly.

Nowhere in the Holy Bible does Jesus say directly or promise through his heavenly inspired book authors that the path would be easy when you become a Christian. What He promises is that you will not be alone, that He will guide you, under gird you and show you how to complete your life with Christian love and His strength. Will you still have the same situation? Maybe. But you will have the comfort of knowing you are not alone and He can do all things to assist as you navigate your troubles.

The rest he promises will be something you can bank on. A promise you will not get from any other person that means so much. Not to say all of us do not have friends we can count on, but God is there 24x7X365, which is usually when we need the assistance. His promises are more solid than we can comprehend.

Maintaining your Christian witness while you live in a world quickly pulling farther away from biblical values is challenging. But thankfully there are still men of God and churches delivering important instruction on how to keep your witness solid. We just have to be willing to submit to the instruction as we guard our hearts and minds.

I have been able to enjoy this promise for many years and can attest to the richness of Jesus’ promises. Won’t you trust Him with your concerns today?

https://dailypost.wordpress.com/prompts/overworked/