God's Will for Us

I Have No Idea Where I am Going (Prayer)

MY LORD GOD, I have no idea where I am going.
I do not see the road ahead of me.
I cannot know for certain where it will end.
Nor do I really know myself,
and the fact that I think that I am following your will
does not mean that I am actually doing so.

But I believe that the desire to please you does in fact please you.
And I hope I have that desire in all that I am doing.
I hope that I will never do anything apart from that desire.
And I know that if I do this you will lead me by the right road
though I may know nothing about it.

Therefore will I trust you always
though I may seem to be lost and in the shadow of death.
I will not fear, for you are ever with me,

Is it possible for a Christian to live without sinning?

Is it possible for a Christian to live without sinning?

I could say that I don't sin-but then I would be lying! There is no way that a person could live free of sin. Pride, selfishness, deceit, greed, lack of faith, or lust... all of those things are sin. But, remember, sin is not always what you do wrong; it is also what you fail to do right. Sin includes the needs around you that you ignore: It is the neighbor to whom you have not witnessed, it is the sick friend whose children you have not offered to baby-sit.

That Unquenchable Thirst for FulfillmentPremium Content

From that magical moment of birth, we all set out on a life consuming quest to satisfy an unquenchable thirst for fulfillment. It was then that we filled our little lungs with air; oh, what an overwhelming experience that must of been! In fact, we loved it so much that we have never intentionally stopped doing it.

Then came our need for nourishment and comfort, which in turn triggered a God inspired train reaction of magical events We instantly learned a beautiful reality, which was that the inhaled air (filled with oxygen) in our lungs not only insured a healthy body, but we could use the exhaled (void of oxygen) air to stimulate our little vocal cords and have our needs met. David the great Psalmist of Israel was so right on when he pinned this revelation of his God and maker:

I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully made; Wonderful are your works, my soul knows it very well. Psalm 139:14

You see, it only took a mere whimper and our world stood at our command. Mom would come running into the room and filled our empty tummies or some one would answer the call and have our soiled diapers changed, and to add icing on the cake, the louder we cried, the higher people jumped. It seemed that life couldn't get any better.

THE WORLD WAS OUR STAGE
Then it did get better; can you remember your adolescence years? You know, the year when mom & dad were placed on the back burner and now it was all about that prince charming/goddess who sat next to you in class. Wow, if I could just get her to notice me and maybe fall madly in love (our limited knowledge of it) with me. Then this unquenchable thirst would be filled and for a season it did just that. But sadly, some one ended up with their first broken heart and OUCH, it sure did hurt.

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Do You Have a Broken Wing?Premium Content

It is quite probable that someone reading my words this moment is fighting an inner battle with a ghost from the past. The skeleton in one of yesterday's closets is beginning to rattle louder and louder. Putting adhesive tape around the closet and moving the bureau in front of the door does little to muffle the clattering bones. You wonder, possibly, "Who knows?" You think, probably, "I've had it... can't win... party's over."

The anchor that tumbled off your boat is dragging and snagging on the bottom. Guilt and anxiety have come aboard, pointing out the great dark hulks of shipwrecks below. They busy themselves drilling worry-holes in your hull and you are beginning to sink. Down in the hold, you can hear them chant an old lie as they work: "The bird with the broken pinion never soared as high again. . . ."

Allow me to present a case in opposition to these destructive and inaccurate accusers. It may be true that you've done or experienced things which would embarrass you if they became public knowledge. You may have committed a terrible and tragic sin that was never traced back to you. You may have a criminal record or a moral charge or a domestic conflict that, to this moment, is private information.

You may wrestle with a past that has been fractured and wounded by a mental or emotional breakdown. Futile attempts at suicide may add to the previous scar tissue and increase your fear of being labeled "sick" or "nervous." It is possible that you live with memories, covered now by the sands of time, of an illicit relationship or a financial failure or a terrible habit or a divorce or a scandalous involvement. You feel that any one of these things might mar or cripple your reputation if the dirty details ever spilled on the table of gluttonous gossipers.

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Integrity: Watching What We Say

Integrity is as much what we say as what we do.

We have tried, in our culture, to separate what we say from what we do. "Do as I say, not as I do" is a phrase I heard periodically growing up. But the fact is, we are what we say. Our words, in fact, are often predictors of our actions and are certainly revealers of our hearts.

Proverbs 19:1 NRSV
Better the poor walking in integrity
than one perverse of speech who is a fool.

This proverb compares two people, one who "walks in integrity" without wealth and one who is "perverse in speech" and a fool. The inference, of course, is that the one who is perverse in speech has more material wealth than the other. The writer tells us that it’s better to be poor and have integrity than to be wealthy and a fool. And what makes a fool? Someone whose speech is perverse.

To be perverse means to turn away from what’s good and right. Think about that. Are our words good? Do they glorify the Lord? Or are they hurtful... or mean... or simply degrading? What are perverse words anyway?

Consider the Consequences

Have you ever wished you could be somebody or have something? Of course! It’s within every human heart to dream, to wish, to fantasize about what might have been. The problem is, we often don’t become, don’t have because we haven’t paid the price. Even more importantly, how often do we get ourselves into a situation (because our wanting) without first understanding what it will cost us? And then, in the midst of everything, we regret where we are but are so enmeshed, we can’t extract ourselves.

Desire without knowledge is not good,
and one who moves too hurriedly misses the way.
Proverbs 19:2 NRSV

"Desire without knowledge..." To want something without understanding what it will cost. The Lord Jesus taught about this very plainly:

"For which one of you, when he wants to build a tower, does not first sit down and calculate the cost to see if he has enough to complete it?"Luke 14:28 NASB

Hard to Make Ends Meet? Your Budget is the Plan!

1. A budget is nothing more than a plan for saving and spending money. It includes where the money will come from and how much to expect, as well as what expenses that same money will be used to meet. A good budget takes care of all the regular and important bills — like rent or mortgage, utilities, food, gasoline and insurance — and allows for the unexpected or occasional expenses.

2. With budgeting, when the paycheck comes in, the family already knows how much of this check needs to be set aside to meet the bills coming due, and how much is available for extras — perhaps dinner out and a movie. Everything is planned for and covered.

3. To live without a budget often leads to short-sighted decisions:
"If I have money right now, I can spend it right now. So if I want new clothes today, and I have the money today, why not spend it? The rent isn’t due until next week, so I’ll worry about that then.”

What Our Anxiety is Trying to Tell UsPremium Content

1. We tend to reject anxiety's milder forms and are really terrified by its intense moments, like with panic attacks. It’s difficult to see when we’re fighting with anxiety that it can have any benefit, but it does.

2. Anxiety comes with some great treasures hidden inside, and they can be yours if you know how to get to them. First, you have to stop fighting and listen to the anxiety for clues.

3. Its methods of stopping us are varied and some of the common ones are: spinning thoughts, feeling disassociated, heavy breathing, and a racing heart. Whatever works so that we’ll finally pay attention, it will customize for us.

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Hold Your Hands OutPremium Content

Can you hold out your hands in front of you, open, palms up, with all that you have and all that you are or will ever become held in them?

Can you keep them open like this, open to the Lord?

Then you are beginning to know THE TRUE FAITH!

Will you refrain from grasping, self-promoting, or gloating? Will you love those He gives you to care for, as they continue on their journey, passing through your hands? Or will you have your own agenda for them, push and manipulate by fear or condemnation and guilt?

Will you give what He tells you to give, and let go what was never yours in the first place? All is His!

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“What if I can’t be fixed?”

“What if I can’t be fixed?”

You ask a bunch of guys about their biggest fears, and you hope for some open dialogue. You don’t really expect someone to whisper from the depths of the fog.

“What if I’m hopeless? This addiction killed my dad and my grandma. My sister’s relapsed over and over for fifteen years. And I’ve prayed and done everything I can for a decade, but I keep falling into the same pattern.

“What if I’m broken so bad that even God can’t fix me?”

How are you gonna respond to that? Think carefully, because whatever you say better not rhyme. It better not be some platitude or theological truism. He’s heard them all, and they’re salt rubbed in an open, bleeding wound.

We don’t want to hear “God can’t.” Our first reaction is to argue — God can do anything! And when that fails — you can’t argue your way out of the fog — we’re tempted to retreat to the safety of the Christian cocoon where the light’s bright, the fog’s clear, and people don’t talk about the hopelessness of addiction and depression.

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