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Godly Relationships 85: Your GiftsYou've got an array of talents that need to be refined. All people possess special gifts-bestowed from the Father above-and you are no exception. But, your gift is no guarantee of success; it must be cultivated-by you-or it will go unused...and God's gift to you will be squandered.
Today, make a promise to yourself that you will earnestly seek to discover the talents that God has given you. Then, nourish those talents and make them grow. Finally, vow to share your gifts with the world for as long as God gives you the power to do so. After all, the best way to say "Thank You" for God's gifts is to use them.
Godly Relationships 79: Praise Him!If you're like most folks on the planet, you're a very busy person. Your life is probably hectic, demanding, and complicated. And when the demands of life leave you rushing from place to place with scarcely a moment to spare, you may not take time to praise your Creator. Big mistake.
The Bible teaches it clear: it pays to praise God. Worship and praise should be a part of everything you do. Otherwise, you quickly lose perspective as you fall prey to the demands of everyday life.
Do you sincerely desire to know God in a more meaningful way? Then praise Him for who He is and for what He has done for you. And please don't wait until Sunday morning-praise Him all day long, every day, for as long as you live...and then for all eternity.
Godly Relationships 69: Enthusiasm for LifeAre you "burning" with enthusiasm about your life? If so, congratulations, keep up the good work! But, if your spiritual batteries are running low, prehaps you're spending too much energy focusing on your losses and too little time planning for future victories.
Writer Sara Jordan has this simple (but effective) advice: "Every day give yourself a good mental shampoo."
So if you're feeling tired or troubled don't despair. Instead, take time to count your blessings as you focus on things positive. And while you're at it, seek strength from the Source that never fails. When you sincerely petition God, He will give you all the strength you need to live victoriously through Him.
Godly Relationships 97: Get Wisdom, Be HappyThe world has its own brand of wisdom, a brand of wisdom that is often wrong and sometimes dangerous. God, on the other hand, has a different brand of wisdom, a wisdom that will never lead you astray. Where will you place your trust today? Will you trust in the wisdom of fallible people, or will you place your faith in God's perfect wisdom? The answer to this question will determine the direction of your day and the quality of your relationships.
Are you tired? Discouraged? Fearful? Be comforted and trust God. Are you worried or anxious? Be confident in God's power. Are you confused? Listen to the quiet voice of your Heavenly Father-He is not a God of confusion. Talk with Him; listen to Him; trust Him. His wisdom, unlike the "wisdom" of the world, will never let you down.
Godly Relationships 66: Live TriumphantlyAre you living the triumphant life that God has promised? Or are you, instead, a spiritual shrinking violet? As you ponder that question, consider this: God does not intend that you live a life that is commonplace or mediocre. And He doesn't want you to hide your light "under a basket." He wants you to "Let your light so shine before men, that they may see your good works and glorify your Father in heaven" (Matthew 5:16 NKJV). In short, God wants you to live triumphant life so that others might know precisely what it means to be a believer.
The Christian life should be a triumphal celebration, a daily exercise in thanksgiving and praise. Join that celebration today. And while you're at it, make sure that you let everybody know that you've joined.
Godly Relationships 76: A Relationship with GodAre you willing to place God first in your life? And, are you willing to welcome God's Son into your heart? Unless you can honestly answer these question with a resounding yes, then your relationship with God ins't what it could be or should be.
As you think about the nature of your relationship with God, remember this: you will always have some type of relationship with Him-it is inevitable that your life must be lived in relationship to God. The question is not if you will have a relationship with Him; the burning question is whether or not that relationship will be one that seeks to honor Him.
Thankfully, God is always available, He's always ready to forgive, and He's waiting to hear from you now. The rest, of course, is up to you.
Godly Relationships 87: Fear of GodDo you possess a healthy, fearful respect for God's power? Hopefully so. After all, the lesson from the Book of Proverbs is clear: "The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge, but fools despise wisdom and instruction" (1:7 NKJV). Yet, you live in a world that often ignores the role that God plays in shaping the affairs of mankind. You live in a world where too many people consider it "unfashionable" or "unseemly" to discuss the fear of God. Don't count yourself among their number.
God maintains absolute sovereignty over His creation, and His power is beyond comprehension. As believers, we must cultivate a sincere respect for God's awesome power. The fear of the Lord is the beginning of knowledge. So today, as you face the realities of everyday life, remember this: until you acquire a healthy respectful fear of God's power, your education is incomplete, and so is your faith.
Godly Relationships 89: Overcome the WorldWe live in the world, but we should not worship it-yet at every turn, or so it seems, we are tempted to do otherwise. As Warren Wiersbe correctly observed, "Because the world is deceptive, it is dangerous."
The 21 st-century world we live in is a noisy, distracting place, a place that offers countless temptations and dangers. The world seems to cry, "Worship me with your time, your money, your energy, your thoughts, and your life!" But if we are wise, we won't fall prey to that temptation.
C.S. Lewis said, "Aim at heaven and you will get earth throw in; aim at the earth and you will get neither." That's good advice. You're likely to hit what you aim at, so aim high.
Aim at heaven.
Godly Relationships 58: Let God Guide The WayThe Bible promises that God will guide you if you let Him. Your job is to let Him. But sometimes, you will be tempted to do otherwise. Sometimes, you'll be tempted to go along with the crowd; other times, you'll be tempted to do things your own way, not God's way. When you feel these temptations, resist them.
God has promised that when you ask for His help, He will not withhold it. So ask. Ask Him to meet the needs of your day. Ask Him to lead you, to protect you, and to correct you. And trust the answer He gives.
God stands at the door and waits. When you knock, He opens. When you ask, He answers. Your task is to seek His guidance prayerfully, confidently, and often.
The Hope of the CrossThe Hope of the Cross
When we are at our end
The pain crushing
The sorrow suffocating
When we can’t see
Anything good in it
And there is no simple answer
When grief and numbness
Surrounds our heart
And a fog surrounds our vision
There isn’t always
But there is an anchor
Is the cross
That brings hope
Jesus went through
So much pain
He knows our pain
He knows our heart
He knows we can’t go alone
It can’t be bought
He gives it
For those who follows Him
And leans on Him
We can’t do this
But we aren’t alone
He is there
And He is Hope
Overcoming ObstaclesRecognize Your Vulnerability
The Lord has a beautiful plan for each believer’s life. But to thwart God’s purposes, Satan sprinkles obstacles in our path.
There are many types of hindrances, such as a difficult boss, contrary family members, and financial trouble. Anything that blocks a desired goal can cause anxiety and great frustration. But remember that no obstacle can touch you without God’s consent.
Consider Joshua’s army, which was no match for Jericho’s military. And the great wall protecting that city was an impossible barrier to cross. Yet God had promised the Israelite
Godly Relationships 72: ConcernsThe Bible promises this: tough times are temporary but God's love is not-God's love endures forever. So what does that mean to you? Just this: From time to time, everybody faces disappointments and broken relationships-so will you. And when tough times arrive God always stand ready to protect you and to heal you. Your task is straightforward: you must share your burdens with Him.
As Corrie ten Boom observed, "Any concern that is too small to be turned into a prayer is too small to be made into a burden." Those are comforting words, especially during difficult days.
Whatever the size of your challenges, God is big enough to handle them. Ask for His help today, with faith and with fervor. Instead of turning things over in your mind, turn them over to God in prayer. Instead of worrying about your next decision, ask God to lead the way. Cast your burdens upon the One who cannot be shaken, and rest assured that He always hears your prayers.
Abandoned ChapelThe parish waits now,
the loneliness of corners
crawling outward on walls--
chipped away by the wind,
and held together
by silk spindles;
cobwebs align them like the membranes of memories,
the cut of a jewel in an broken window
against the sun
where beads of rain
gather in a mesh of strands
a new Mosaic
against the backdrop of a cemetery;
My eyes seek out the sermon
in close proximity,
paint no distance
between headstone and cloud;
elegies topple each other
in their climb to heaven
as light trickles
over the shade,
breathes a new glow over snuffed candles.
I feel the weight in these empty rows,
how a breath couldn't cease to be breath
in the midst of prayer.
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