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Untrained Servants


I may indeed be untrained as a speaker, but I do have knowledge. We have made this perfectly clear to you in every way. II Corinthians 11:6 NIV

Paul and the other apostles made it clear that Paul was untrained as a speaker. When he spoke it was of his personal knowledge and relationship with Jesus. I speak of my personal relationship with Jesus through my writing. I don’t have the first hand and physical knowledge Paul had of Jesus. Paul and the other apostles were plain everyday people passing the message on the best way they could. That is what they were led to do. Now days, people who look plain, ordinary and even boring are looked over. We miss the knowledge and love that lies in their hearts. Paul would have been overlooked by our modern standards for spiritual leaders. People look for talent to entertain, instead of content to touch their souls.You know the preachers that can yell the loudest and have the biggest cathedrals. By commingling my knowledge and understanding, I pray I am successful in my small endeavors. For me that means I would like some spiritual nugget I possess to grow into a boulder for someone else and be passed onto others.

Through your writing or speaking you can only hope and pray that someone’s heart is touched. Whether we are children’s writers, spiritual writers, anthology writers ,we all want to speak to or touch someone’s heart. That’s what writing is all about. We are untrained servants too and no matter what we intend to pass onto others,we need to do this with some knowledge in our genre. If we are intimidated by our lack of knowledge, we should keep searching and learning. I know this keeps me searching and learning in my spirituality and writing endeavors. Just like Paul, our way of communicating may not always be the most eloquent, but if it’s coming through with love and discernment, people’s hearts will be touched.

Lord help us to always to communicate our knowledge to the best of our ability. Help us to communicate and touch people’s hearts and spirits through prayer and love. Amen

The Spirit Dwells Within



 

If the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you, the one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit dwelling in you. Romans 8:11 NIV

I lingered over this scripture, when I read it. As I reread it I realized that in this a scripture is a great promise. In the Spirit of the one who raised Jesus from the dead dwells in you. To think the same spirit who raised Jesus from the dead also dwells in me. The one who raised Christ from the dead will give life to your mortal bodies also, through his Spirit dwelling in you. Now I have Jesus through the Spirit dwelling in me, who is giving life to my body. We all know this, but it’s one of those moments, when God reminds me he is dwelling with me each moment. 

He is working in each one of us in a different way. Does this verse speak to you in a different way? I’m sure it may.  Mine may seem silly, but that’s the great thing about scripture it’s supposed to speak to us in a personal way. I may not be explaining it the way it touched me, so don’t be confused. Let the scripture sink into your heart, soul and spirit. I have to admit, I haven’t in a while. I guess that’s why this one spoke to me. For personal reasons I been lax in my faith walk. God and I were keeping in touch, but my heart was sad. He knew and accepted and helped me through. I know most who may follow this blog read scripture, t but for those who don’t, we aren’t walking alone, He gives life to us. Now that’s strength.

Lord, when we are sad and feel alone, remind us you are there. Speak to our hearts through scripture, as only you can. Thank you for being there, even when we forget you are there.

But Lord, Forgiving is Hard



 

 

 

 

“Lord, if another member of the church sins against me, how often should I forgive?” —Matthew 18:21

I try to be a forgiving person because I know I definitely need be forgiven at times. Right now I need forgiveness from a dear friend. I hurt her heart and it doesn’t seem to be mending. I have come the conclusion it may never heal. I will have to accept that and remember the good memories I have of her. I do not want to harbor anger toward her. However, no matter how hurt we may be, we are called to be a forgiving people.

If you have been hurt by someone and are harboring anger and hurt, please reach out to them. If distance is a problem like mine because I live in NYS and she in Washington State, try hard, but distance makes it harder. She will always be part of my family and long distance separation has caused a break in our communication. Speaking on the phone doesn’t give us the opportunity to read into another person’s feelings. Opening our hearts and hands to others automatically leaves us susceptible to misunderstandings, but shouldn’t lead to breaks in a life long relationship. God understands that forgiving is hard, but is important for people, that’s probably why he asks it of us. He forgives our sins, can we do any less?

Lord help us to give the compassion that we expect from others. Help us to be a forgiving people and to forgive others without reservation. Help us to show the love for others that you showed on the cross, as you forgave the thief on the cross and those that crucified you. Amen

Serve Wholeheartedly


“Serve wholeheartedly, as if you were serving the Lord, not people.”  Ephesians 6:7

When I sat down to write, I used to worry a lot about the words I wrote. Will they hurt or touch someone’s heart? Will they make someone angry or happy? Will I find the right words to put on the paper. Sometimes, I wrote an article or passage over and over trying to find just the right words. It’s in my nature, I am predominately a people pleaser. I don’t want to make anyone angry, hurt or confused by what I say or write. If I continually change my writing, who am I serving? Am I serving God with my writing? Am I doing God’s bidding or am I people pleasing?

Do you find yourself in this dilemma? It’s a demobilizing state for any writer. Thinking and changing words continually is non- productive for you, as a writer. Later in my writing and faith journey, I’d offer my writing, as a sort of offering to God. I felt some comfort with the belief he would guide me.  He helps when we reach out to Him in times of need. It’s a battle, when I sit down to write. Do you feel the tingling of stress mounting in your body? I used to. I would get so nervous, my head would be swirling. I would realize I was almost hyperventilating. Sounds silly, but it was true. Ask and God will give you the words. Allow Him to lead your fingers on the page. He wants to be in charge, let Him. You will make Him happy and you will be happier, too.

Lord help us to remember in those times we lose the words we need to allow you to give us the words you want others to hear. We are your servants. We offer our hearts and words to you.

Workmanship of Good Works


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For we are God’s workmanship, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do. Ephesians 2:10

When I read this scripture, I had an “Aha” moment.  I thought Wow, I am the results of God’s workmanship. I always knew God created me, but being the result of His workmanship struck a different note. I still struggle with this thought because of many health issues, I certainly don’t measure up with the human vision of good workmanship. I know how much workmanship Jim puts into his wood burning and I in my writing. I realized how much time and care God used to complete me. God fashioned something special in me to enable me to accomplish things that only I’m uniquely gifted to do.

Did you know the Greek word for workmanship is poem?  To be a poem is special because poems touch another person’s heart. As writers, we like our writing to touch others. God  empowered us all to do good works, as writers. He led us to be writers and each day he desires us to use our gift as writers. He wants to do something special through us. Touch another’s heart and be a poem to those around you.

Lord, help us to remember despite our frailties, we do measure up. Help us to realize what greatness Your workmanship has created in us. Help us to use those our special talents to become Your poem to those around us.

Go Red For Women


In place of my writer’s post I am posting the following. Tomorrow Friday, February 7, 2014 is the tenth anniversary of the wear red campaign for heart disease. Even though I am retired, I will be wearing red tomorrow. Ask your kids and friends to wear red. I’m sure they must have a red shirt in your drawer or closet. I’m also sure there is someone in your family that has a form of heart disease.

High cholesterol ran in my family history and we never knew. My father passed at the age of 49, just shy of his 50th birthday. Since I’ve had five angioplasties, I know how important it is to take care of your heart health. Thanks to the doctors I have lived 20 years beyond my father. Please wear red tomorrow to raise awareness in the fight against heart disease in women. You can go to https://www.goredforwomen.org/wearredday/resources/ to receive more information. America Goes Red Challenge is asking Americans to paint the nation red in support of women.

Faithfulness


bible-computerNow it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.” 1Corinthians 4:2 NIV

 Do you sometimes feel that what you write isn’t as important as the more seasoned writer? I do. Even as this devotional is being written, I feel that whatever I’m going to say has probably been said before. However, if it’s in my heart and on my mind, God trusts me to share the wisdom gained from my life experiences with others.

 When I pray before starting a project and ask for guidance, God makes my words as important as He needs. Being faithful to what God requires of me, He helps me produce writing that renews the hearts of other people.

 If only one person in the world relates to my experience, I have proved myself faithful. My requirement is for God’s love show in what I write.

 Prayer: Lord,  As I sit down to write, help me feel Your presence and know You are guiding my fingers while I write. Open my heart to the words You want written. Help me to be as faithful to You in my writing, as You are to me in my life. Help others to experience Your love through my life and writing.

Losses and Gains of a Writer


Bible ComputerIf you sit back and do nothing, what do you gain? If you stand up and try, what do you loose? (Unknown)

I’ve been writing for years, yet I remained unpublished because I had been sitting back; making wrong choices. I was never happy with what I wrote, so I kept revising. I didn’t think anyone would care about what I wrote, so I didn’t submit. My inner censor pointed out everything that was wrong with my writing. All these choices gave me reasons to put off any possible rejection. Are they good reasons not to submit? No. But they are human reasons. I gained nothing from these choices. I gained neither publication nor self-esteem because of fear.

I came to a turning point in my writing because my words were coming easier, I stood up for myself, tried harder and submitted. God is perfection; my writing wasn’t, it just had to come from my heart. God  placed people and other guidance in my path. God didn’t give me a spirit of fear; I did that myself. If I didn’t submit my work, I lose God’s respect and my self-respect. These were losses I didn’t want to experience. I didn’t sit back out of fear anymore and kept submitting. I am now a published writer.

Jesus, always  guide my heart and my words. Help me to accept the guidance of others with grace and I will do the rest.

(This is not a bible verse, it’s just a quote I used.)

Prove Yourself Faithful


“Now it is required that those who have been given a trust must prove faithful.”  1Corinthians 4:2   NIV

 Do you sometimes feel that you aren’t as important as others? I used to. Even while I was praying, I felt that whatever I had to say isn’t as important as someone else’s need. However, if God put the words in my heart and mind, He trusts me to ask for His wisdom and guidance.

When we pray all we need to do is to ask for guidance. God then makes our life as important as He needs. When we are faithful to what God requires of us, He helps our lives to be vessels that renew the hearts of other people. Our life experiences are used by God to help us relate to others. When this happens, we prove ourselves faithful. The greatest requirement is that we have is for God’s love show through our lives. God patiently waits for the proof that we are faithful to His trust in us.

Lord, help us to open our hearts and be faithful to You. Help others to experience Your love through our lives.  Your trust in us, guides our trust in You.

A Clean Heart and Spirit


  Create in me a clean heart, O God, and renew a right spirit within me.   Psalm 51:12

As I read those words this morning, I felt renewed. It is comforting to think that all I have to do is ask God and He will renew my heart. As I go through my day, many things interrupt my walk with the Lord. Perhaps I have words with another employee, spouse, or my child. My heart isn’t right with God. I know this and feel bad about myself.

However, just as our children ask us for forgiveness and their hearts become lighter, we can ask God for forgiveness. He will clean our hearts of the old transgressions and renew our spirit. It’s a new day. Just as they start all over again and walk away from us, with forgiveness in their heart. We can walk away from our prayer time, starting out renewed. We will have a new lightness in our heart, as our heart is cleansed. No matter what we do, we should touch people and cause them to reach for new ways to live their lives. Our lives should help others have gentle spirits as they go on with their walk.

Lord, Clean our hearts and renew our spirits. Help our lives be a tool for forgiveness. We want our words to be gentle words that will help renew others.

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