Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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Jim Hughes
Ps. 37:7 Be still in the presence of the LORD and wait patiently for him to act. Don’t worry about evil people who prosper or fret about their wicked schemes.

Be still in the presence of the Lord. For some of us, this may seem nearly impossible to do. We cram our lives so full of stuff that we don’t have time to be still. We are on the go all the time and the Lord gets shoved off to the side. Some of us are simply wired in such a way that stillness just doesn’t fit well with our make-up. For some, there is a sense of guilt associated with being still. Yet, we are told to be still.

Stillness before God is absolutely necessary if we are going to benefit at all from being in His presence. Stillness quiets the soul so we can hear the heartbeat of God. It changes our focus from ourselves and busyness to the Lord. It enables us to appreciate who our Father is and our relationship to Him. It enables us to worship the Lord instead of using Him. It enables us to appreciate what really matters in life. It makes the concerns of our lives pale in light of His glory and grace.

Wait patiently for Him to act. If you struggle with this, ask the Lord to help you. We have to learn that God doesn’t live within our time constraints. He is in no hurry. He acts when it is the right time to act and He will not be pressured to act any sooner.

When we spend quality unhurried time with the Lord, we are not as likely to worry about those who don’t share our faith. We understand that whatever they may do or say doesn’t really matter. The Lord gives us the strength to overcome. He helps us to keep things in perspective and to realize that when all is well with Him, that is all that we need in life. Whatever happens on earth pales in light of what is going to happen for those who are still in the presence of God and wat patiently for Him to act.
C Through Marriage
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This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
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Why Some Tension Is Best Left Unresolved by Keely Brooke Keith

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Last week while shopping at my local bookstore, a new release caught my eye. The book is in a genre I rarely read and the story sounded as dull as kindergarten scissors. Still, I picked it up. Before I knew it I’d read 6 pages… then 14.

How had the author lured me into a story I was sure wouldn’t interest me?

Tension.

Subtle opposition haunted each sentence. Dialog revealed the characters’ yearnings for the unattainable. Careful nuance in the setting assured me the plot was strung between the pillars of exquisite despair and triumphant grace.

So if I crave tension in story, why do I try everything I can to resolve it in my Christian walk?

This tension I’m referring to is not strife between individuals, but the felt angst when wrestling with Biblical concepts and this life’s demands.

For example, I know this world is not my home and yet I cling to this life. I fall prey to the lie that something earthly can satisfy the eternal longing God has placed in my heart. My soul is focused on the One I will spend eternity with and yet my fingertips chase click bait across the Internet in search for ways to make my life feel better and last longer.

Or what about the fact that the Bible teaches Jesus is fully God and fully man? A non-Christian acquaintance once verbally harpooned me because I couldn’t convince him it was true. I felt I should’ve been able to, as though a witty explanation could resolve this centuries-old theological tension.

And how about this one: in John 14:6 Jesus says, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life; no one comes to the Father but through Me,” yet I live in an intolerance intolerant society that calls me a hater if I repeat my Savior’s words. How can I make the tension go away when my unsaved friends say my salvation in Christ is simply my truth and they have their own truth? I can’t.

And I shouldn’t try.

I’m not called to ease the tension. I’m called to pray without ceasing (1 Thess. 5:17). I’m called to walk in a manner worthy of the Lord, fully pleasing to him (Col. 1:10) and to honor Christ the Lord as holy, always being prepared to make a defense to anyone who asks for a reason for the hope that is in me (1 Peter 3:15). But the tension that comes with living in a fallen world while waiting for a perfect eternity… that tension is best left unresolved.

About the Author

Keely Brooke Keith

Keely Brooke Keith, author of the Uncharted series, is a bass guitarist and plays on worship teams and for solo artists. She is married to singer/songwriter John Martin Keith, and they frequently perform and tour together. When she isn’t writing stories or playing bass, Keely enjoys dancing, having coffee with friends, and sifting through vintage books at antiques stores. Keely resides on a hilltop south of Nashville with her husband and their daughter.

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Up In My Father’s Arms by Staci Stallings

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At church one morning I noticed a small boy in front of us. He was probably just older than two. Petite in features and sippy cup in hand, his little form toddled back and forth between his parents. His older brother had to keep backing up to let him pass. Back and forth he went and with the backs of our chairs so high, he could see most of nothing.

Then he toddled back across and lifted his little hands to his father who looked down and swooped him up. In that flash of a moment, I realized something. I spend far too much of my life toddling back and forth in my little limited world. I see a lot of pant legs and shoes, chairs and floor.

In my limited view, life is rather confusing and quite uninspiring. It really doesn’t make much sense because everything looks so similar. I only see half the story, if that much. But then, when I think to, I can look up at my Father and lift my hands to Him. When He swoops me up into His arms, that’s when I see a world I never knew existed. And what a world it is!

There are whole rooms and lots of people, and everything looks very different from up there with my Father.

The other thing I noticed as I watched this father-son combo was how the little boy held on. It was not with a death-grip like “please don’t let me fall.” It was with a trust that his father would not even think of dropping him. True, he was holding on, but the real truth was him being up there to see was at the pleasure of his father, not of his own will. Had his father wanted to drop him, the child would’ve had no choice but to get down.

But his father’s pleasure with him being up there was evident. The father looked over at the child and smiled with love and pride as the child gazed around the room in wonder. The little boy smiled back as if in awe of the point of view his father was able to share with him.

I love this lesson. It’s so simple but yet so profound. How many times do we insist on doing it ourselves, on going on our own limited viewpoint, insisting on toddling around at our Father’s feet? That’s always an option of course. But if we’ll just lift our hands to our Father, He will lift us up to a whole new point of view. As we look around and see our world, not as we see it, but as He sees it, He will no doubt smile at our awe and hold us there in His strength as we relax and enjoy the view.

Copyright 2008, Staci Stallings

Staci Stallings, the author of this article, is a Contemporary Christian author and the founder of Grace & Faith Author Connection. Free Today from Staci…

To Protect & Serve AudioCoverHouston firefighter, Jeff Taylor is a fireman’s fireman. No situation is too dangerous to keep him sidelined if lives are on the line. However, when control freak Lisa Matheson falls for him, she quickly realizes she can’t control Jeff or the death wish he seems to have… To Protect & Serve The Courage Series, Book 1 To save other’s lives, they will risk their own Get it FREE on Amazon Kindle! http://www.amazon.com/Protect-Serve-Courage-Series-ebook/dp/B008391QB2/ref=sr_1_22?s=digital-text&ie=UTF8&qid=1337091378&sr=1-22 “To Protect and Serve will hold you prisoner to its pages until the final one is turned. Prepare to cry, laugh, wish, love and maybe even cry again as you become enveloped in the hopes and feelings of Lisa and Jeff.” -Cindy Reiger

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Going Off the Grid– Would You? Could You? Should You? by Mary C. Findley

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Recently I have been giving a lot of thought to the idea of being off the grid. First, as I understand it, people believe less contact with the outside world and less technology will mean one or all of the following: less stress. less government interference, more safety, and/or more spirituality. Sometimes there are religious reasons, not necessarily Christian. Sometimes there’s a fear of some type of world-scorching event (Zombie apocalypse, anyone?) or a police state takeover. Sometimes it’s just a desire for simplicity and bringing your fragmented family, friends, or church back together.

Many Sundays we stop in at a Truckstop Chapel. We bring our Kindle and tablet as Bibles, and sometimes even our laptops. We get some strange or merely uncomprehending looks. Many traditional Christians have computers but they use them like typewriters. Sometimes they send emails. (I might note that I put our email on every chapel visitor card we have gone to but have never, ever had anyone respond, nor do they have a way to contact them online that ever gets a response. Call us, they say.)

So many believers still use print Bibles and hand out paper study materials and spend very little productive ministry time online. If we get as far as telling people we have a blog and talk to a lot of people online about our books and about spiritual issues, that blank look comes back.

They know about websites. They know about blogs. Sometimes they might look up something bible-study related. But when it comes to everyday interaction and use of technology for studying and sharing, they just don’t do it. I thought maybe it was a generational thing — we are a little unusual for being in our late fifties and active online. But many people our age are comfortable online and with digital devices. And many young truckstop preachers still have no concept of going digital. They’re already off the grid, I guess, but should they be?

So I have to ask … What is it that makes some Christians already in ministries ignorant about technology and digital opportunities to minister? Why do they barely understand what a Kindle or a tablet is? Why do so many good people still say things like “What do you do on there? Look at pictures? Play games? Are you messaging each other with your two laptops there?” And when we respond that we write books and have a blog and get into spiritual discussions online, that blank look comes back.

Many people are active online with a cause like the ones I listed at the beginning of this post. You’d think they’d be offline, off the grid, afraid of the government or the distractions or whatever … but they consider online communication important enough to risk staying on the grid. Some of these people have great, needed messages. Some of them are crazy, unimportant, or heretics.

So maybe it’s Bible believers who need to step up their game and understand that they might have dwindling church attendance or few truck drivers visiting their chapels because they appear so limited in knowledge and message. Yes, you can get online and get caught up in more heresies and cults and crazy wrong ideas. You can also waste time looking at cat pictures and pithy sayings.

We don’t want to be monks or hermits or have cultic compounds. We want to go where the people are. We want to reach out and touch lives. So we pound the pavement, or staff the chapel, or outreach center, or whatever we do to physically connect with people and invite them in. But they blow us off. They don’t come.

I don’t know why. But I know I’m going to go online, where some of them are, and write books that are available in digital format, and meanwhile, try to stay on the grid and keep the lines of communication open. I want to “Speak a word in season” in a digital world.

About the Author:

Mary J. Findley

 

Wife of a crazy smart man, mother of three kind of grownups, traveling the US and Canada in a tractor-trailer. Best-selling historical fiction author of the Benny and the Bank Robber Adventure series, Send a White Rose, and Chasing the Texas Wind. Highly-rated nonfiction and homeschool titles also available.

Praise for Benny and the Bank Robber: “Looked like a kids book. It really surprised me with a lot of interesting twists and being deeply spiritual.”

Doctor Dad: “Real life situations, mystery and suspense along with a little comedy keep you wanting to keep on reading. SUPERB!”

The Oregon Sentinel: “This has been an excellent series. As a family, we have thoroughly enjoyed “meeting” Benny and his family and going along with him on his adventures which have been truly amazing.”

Antidisestablishmentarianism: “This book will give you all the ammunition you need to get yourself straightened out and those you know and love. I recommend you get it and read it.”

The Baron’s Ring: “disability should not hinder you from accomplishing the things you want or desire to do in life and that we must always trust, believe and depend on God.”

Hope and the Knight of the Black Lion: “Findley is one of those authors who stands a head above the rest in her effort to achieve perfection.”

Our “tough but you need it” blog is http://www.elkjerkyforthesoul.wordpress.com
visit us on facebook at http://www.facebook.com/Elkjerkyforthesoul
Our YouTube channel is http://youtube.com/user/ElkJerkyfortheSoul

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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Ps. 37:3-4 Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. Take delight in the LORD, and he will give you your heart’s desire.

If you are really trusting in the Lord, what you are doing will be good. You cannot be right with the Lord and not do good. Don’t doubt the good that you are doing. Whether you recognize it or not, goodness is a natural by-product of the life that lives in trust in the Lord. The Lord promises safety for those who trust in Him. Satan cannot snatch anyone away from God who are trusting in Him.

The key to the Lord giving you what your heart desires is to delight yourself in Him. It sounds easy enough, but is it? If it is, then why then do so many desires go unfulfilled? Could it be that we aren’t actually delighting in Him? What does it mean to delight ourselves in the Lord?

A simple answer would be that we align ourselves up with the heart of God and desire what He desires for us. It is agreeing with Him that what comes our way is, including the bad times of life, good and that our Father knows best in all things. We cannot delight in the Lord until we first understand and accept the fact that it is not about us or our comfort, it’s all about the Lord and His will for our lives.

We cannot know how to delight in the Lord unless we are regularly spending time in the Word of God and in our prayer closets. Only as we linger in the Lord’s presence do we understand God’s heart and will for us.

When we delight in the Lord, we will want what He gives to us and take pleasure in it. We will not waste our desires on that which the Lord withholds from us. When we find ourselves longing for something that is bad for our souls, we will turn to the Lord and let Him change our desires. We will make the Lord the priority of our lives.
C Through Marriage

About the Author:

Jim Hughes

Spending his formative years in Ft. Wayne, IN, Jim followed the love of his life to southeast Iowa where they married and have spent the majority of their lives. Jim has pastored several churches throughout his life and has worked many years in local factories to help support his family. The father of two married adult children and one son still at home, Jim is a first-time author.

C Through Marriage came into being through many years of pastoral and life experiences. The book first took on a life of its own over 20 years ago when I sought to address the much publicized moral failures of prominent leaders in the church. In the chaper on Chasity, I include the guideliness that I developed then to protect one’s self from such failures.

I am a firm believer in order to make sense out of life you have to use much common sense. We need to get back to the basics of what has worked for many, many generations. If is isn’t broke, why try to fix it? I strive to return to the basics of what really works in all my writings.

This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.

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The Mayonnaise Jar – Anonymous

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When things in your life seem almost too much to handle, when 24 hours in a day is not enough, remember the mayonnaise jar and two cups of coffee.

A professor stood before his philosophy class and had some items in front of him.

When the class began, wordlessly, he picked up a very large and empty mayonnaise jar and fills it with golf balls.

He then asked the students if the jar was full. They agreed that it was.

The professor then picked up a box of pebbles and poured it into the jar. He shook the jar lightly. The pebbles rolled into the open areas between the golf balls.

He then asked the students again if the jar was full. They agreed it was.

The professor next picked up a box of sand and poured it into the jar. Of course, the sand filled up everything else.

He asked once more if the jar was full. The students responded with a unanimous YES.

The professor then produced two cups of coffee from under the table and poured the entire contents into the jar, effectively filling the empty space between the sand. The students laughed.

Now, said the professor, as the laughter subsided, I want you to recognize that this jar represents your life. The golf balls are the important things – God, family,
children, health, friends, and favorite passions. Things, that if everything else was lost and only they remained, your life would still be full. The pebbles are the things that matter like your job, house, and car. The sand is everything else — the small stuff. he said.

If you put the sand into the jar first, he continued, There is no room for the pebbles or the golf balls. The same goes for life. If you spend all your time and energy on the small stuff, you will never have room for the things that are
important to you… he told them.

So… pay attention to the things that are critical to your happiness. Worship with your family. Play with your children. Take your partner out to dinner. Spend time with good friends. There will always be time to clean the house and fix the dripping tap. Take care of the golf balls first — the things that really matter. Set your priorities. The rest is just sand.

One of the students raised her hand and inquired what the coffee represented.

The professor smiled and said, I’m glad you asked. It just goes to show you that no matter how full your life may seem, there’s always room for a couple of cups of coffee with a friend.

Stolen from a friend

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What is Fellowship? by Lynn Mosher

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Is it just Wednesday night supper at church? Is it just gathering to enjoy the company of other believers?

What is the meaning of fellowship in the New Testament? The Greek word used most often is koinonia, which means partnership, joint participation, to share in common, community, communion, communication, distribution, contribution, intimacy, and so on.

Here are a few scriptures using koinonia

  • joint participation
  • “They urgently pleaded with us for the privilege of sharing in this service to the saints.” (2 Cor. 8:4 NIV)
  • sharing in common
  • “All the believers were together and had everything in common. Selling their possessions and goods, they gave to anyone as he had need.” (Acts 2:44-45 NIV)
  • communication
  • “As you share your faith with others, I pray that they may come to know all the blessings Christ has given us.” (Philemon 6 CEV)
  • contribution
  • “For it pleased those from Macedonia and Achaia to make a certain contribution for the poor among the saints who are in Jerusalem.” (Rom. 15:26 NKJV)

These scriptures describe fellowship in terms of outward expressions of action. Another one describes the gathering of believers in the early church, “They worshiped together at the Temple each day, met in homes for the Lord’s Supper, and shared their meals with great joy and generosity—all the while praising God and enjoying the goodwill of all the people. And each day the Lord added to their fellowship those who were being saved.” (Acts 2:46-47 NLT)

But there is another side to fellowship. It is not only an act but also an experience. It is having an intimate relationship with the Lord, as Paul said, “God is faithful, by whom you were called into the fellowship of His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.” (1 Cor. 1:9 NKJV)

Paul wrote of his desire, “That I may know Him, and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being made conformable unto His death.” (Phil. 3:10 KJV) We share in the intimacy of Christ’s fellowship, participating in the benefits of what He accomplished at the whipping post, in the judgment hall, on the cross, and through His resurrection.

  • But what happens when life’s events, trials, and sorrows invade our hearts, straining that scarlet cord of fellowship?
  • Do we loosen our hold on that cord, putting a distance between God and us and hindering our flow of intimacy with Him?
  • Or do we shorten that cord, drawing closer to Him?
  • Do we draw near to Him with our lips while our hearts yearn for other things?
  • Does God then say to us as He did to the Israelites, “These people come near to Me with their mouth and honor Me with their lips, but their hearts are far from Me.” (Is. 29:13a NIV) If we do this, we miss out on the most precious of all relationships and all it offers us.

What keeps the passion and intimacy going? Sound like a marriage? Guess what? It is! A holy marriage. We are the Bride and Jesus is the Beloved Bridegroom. Just as it is necessary to keep the communication door open in our earthly marriage, it is necessary, and even more so, to keep the communication door open in our heavenly marriage.

Is intimacy with the Lord missing in your life? Do you long for those tender whisperings of the Holy Spirit?

Spend time sitting at your Beloved’s feet, fellowshipping with Him, for only then will love deepen, resulting in that intimate relationship with Him.

I pray you will draw in that scarlet cord of intimacy that you may experience the Lord’s presence in a new and special way this glorious Christmas season.

From His feet, Lynn

Lynn MosherBio:

At a time of physical upheaval in 2000, Lynn Mosher felt led of the Lord to take up her pen and write. With this new passion, she has embraced her mission to reach others through Christ-honoring literature, encouraging them in their walk and offering comfort through the written word. Lynn lives with her hubby (since 1966) in their Kentucky nest, emptied of three chicklets, and expanded by three giggly grand-chicklets, and an inherited dog. You can find out more about Lynn by visiting her website http://lynnmosher.com

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How to be a Christian? by Naty Matos

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Sometimes as Christians we get hung up on religion. We hold on to a single scripture that may be out of context. Or better yet, we think that if we say the right things at the right time we’re part of the “club”. For those of us, especially those who are new to the faith, that’s not enough. We want to know what really pleases God. We want to be doers of the word, so what’s the answer?

I’m sure there’s a tons of scriptures that guides us into God’s will. However I found a letter from Paul to the Romans that basically sum it up for me. In this letter we get to see the distinction between living by the law like Pharisees, and living by the love of God as Christians are called to. If you allow me, I would like to spend the next few days going through this scripture thoroughly. I’ll be using the New International Version on these posts.

A Living Sacrifice

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. 

This is a very powerful thing to read. We should know that our bodies are the temple of the Holy Spirit. A lot is heard about how men or women are owners of their own bodies and can do as they please with them. Well, that doesn’t seem to be the case. Our bodies are supposed to be a living sacrifice to please God.

What does that mean?

  • Do I take care of my temple properly? (rest, food, exercise)
  • Do I partake in high risk endeavors that could place my body at risk? (risky ventures, drugs, alcohol)
  • Do I utilize my body outside of God’s will? (Yes, I’m talking sex)

It continues to say. Do not conform to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God’s will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will.

There are two things that catch my attention on this verse. First we need to recognize that although we are in this world, we are not of this world. You can laugh, but yes we are kind of aliens. We belong to God whose kingdom is way beyond this earth. As adopted children, His home is our home.

I tend to see life, like an out of town work related trip. When you’re outside of your home you may have some of the things that you have at home. You may have a television, a bed, a bathroom and many amenities depending on the hotel. You get as comfortable as possible but you don’t bring all the things you have because you know that eventually you’re going home. You enjoy the time, but know for sure that after a few days you’re missing your own bed.

We don’t change our mailing address to our hotel room, that’s because that’s now where we live, that’s just where we are staying. Life it’s not too different.

We have the tendency of conforming to what society is doing. We tend to forget that we were sent here with a mission. Just like our work trip, it was not a vacation. Yes we may go roam this new city at night, but during the day we’re here to work.

Imagine this work trip again, in which you decide to maybe stop by the office every now and again but not every day as you’re supposed to. Instead you go touring the city, sleep late, and do any or very minimal of the work you were sent to do.  Just like life, this trip has an expiration date. When you get back home, how is your boss going to receive you?  How are you going to account for the time you were entrusted to do your job?

Talking about things to account for, let’s say you have a business credit card. Can you go and buy yourself new clothes, gifts for your friends, have a spa day on your business credit card? Isn’t the company paying all your expenses? In life, God is providing for you to fulfill the mission that he commanded you to do. How are you going to account for what you did?

The second part of this that really caught my attention was the way we are to be transformed is by renewing our minds. It’s been said that we are what we eat. But we eat a lot of things mentally and spiritually too. What are we feeding our spirit and our mind will determine how we allow the Holy Spirit to do a transformation in our lives.

About this author:

Naty Matos

Naty Matos was born in the city of New York. She grew up in the beautiful Island of Puerto Rico and now lives in the city of Atlanta.

She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Clinical Psychology with a Minor in Mass Media Communications and a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling.

Naty writes Christian fiction and non-fiction. She maintains a blog on Christian Living Topics at http://www.therisingmuse.com

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Gems from Pastor Jim by Jim Hughes

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Jim Hughes
Ps. 34:19 The righteous face many troubles, but the LORD rescues them from each and every one.

Anyone who says that the righteous can live trouble free lives is not reading their Bible. God’s Word is full of accounts where the godly endure all kinds of trouble. The way to heaven is a difficult one and very few actually walk it. Why? Because we don’t like troubles. We want as little trouble as possible in our lives. We want everything to go smoothly and for everyone to like us. We want as much as possible heaven on earth.

Life is full of trouble for the righteous because we live in a world that is not our home. We are on Satan’s turf and there is conflict everywhere. Satan is a master at harassing God’s children and he is relentless in doing it. If we stay true to Christ we will always be at war with Satan. If you live a trouble free life you are not living a life that is pleasing to God.

The good news is that we don’t face our troubles all alone. The Lord is with us and saves us from all of our troubles. He doesn’t let us alone in our struggles. If He did, we would not make it; we would crumble underneath the pressure and stress of it all. The Lord helps us through our troublesome times. He uses people and His Word to give us the strength to overcome. He whispers to our hearts to reassure us that He is near and we will make it.

The troubles of life are good for the soul. They cause us to turn to the Lord. They help to develop our faith and make us stronger. They help us to appreciate the Lord and his people more. They help us to know even more deeply that every promise of God is true and that He never leaves or forsakes us.

Yes, the righteous face troublesome times. Life sometimes gets very messy and complicated. Sometimes we are so troubled that we see no way out. Yet, the Lord’s promise for the righteous is that He will save us from our troubles. We may stumble our way through them, but we will never crumble if we trust in Him.
C Through Marriage
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This site contains Third Party Advertising, using online behavioral tracking technology. Some of the links in the post above are affiliate links. This means if you click on the link and purchase the item, we will receive an affiliate commission. Regardless, we only recommend products or services we believe will add value to our readers.
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Write-offs by Sherry Chamblee

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Have you ever written someone off? Said to yourself, “They’re not worth my time, why waste myself on someone like that?”

I think many of us would claim not to have done this, and others would say, “Yes, I have, and with good reason.”

Please consider with me whether or not this is the Godly response. I mean, as Christians we’re supposed to strive to be like Christ, right?

So who did Christ write off?

I can hear you now, saying ‘Pharisees!’

I contend that Jesus did NOT write off the Pharisees. He confronted them, told them exactly who they were, and what they needed to do to get right. That’s not writing someone off, that’s being invested in them.

Jesus cared for, and invested Himself in the lives of the Pharisees. Weird to think of, isn’t it? I mean they were His enemies. Always trying to trip Him up, purposely trying to make Him look bad, conspiring about Him behind His back to take His very life. Yet He took the time to confront them with their sin and try to make them see what was right. He remained invested, at least enough to tell them what they needed to hear. Even to the point of meeting one late at night, in secret.

You know that verse, John 3:16For God so loved the world… Probably the most well-recognized verse in the world. That verse was first uttered to a Pharisee.

So, thinking about that, who do we tend to write off? And for what?

I’ve seen big, scary-lookin’ biker dudes humbly take a gospel tract and politely listen to little ole me as I try and tell them the gospel.

That’s just one example of something in another person that might intimidate us.

But what about the person who offends me? The one who annoys me? The one whose personality just clashes with mine? The one who refuses to understand why I vote the way I vote, or why I dress the way I dress, or why I raise my kids this way and not that?

Do we write those people off? Our critics? The ones who don’t like us?

I live in one of the most ‘written-off’ areas of the United States…the Hollywood, California area. Where many of the movies and TV shows are made. They influence the world from here, and Christians have decided it’s not worth their time to get invested here.

Everyone is worth our time.

Everyone is worth something.

Everyone is just as worthwhile as you are.

Everyone is just as valuable to God as you are. Everyone. Even the people I don’t like. Even the people you don’t like.

I’m not saying you have to hang out and go shopping and pretend to be best buddies. Just that everyone is worthy of a smile. Of hearing the Good News of Christ. Of help when they need it.

Everyone is worthy of John 3:16.

About the Author:

Sherry Chamblee

Sherry grew up in various cities around northern and central California. This gave her all sorts of stories that sat and festered in her brain, waiting to be let loose. She eventually went to college in Wisconsin, where she met her equally frenetic husband, Rich. They have six (yes, count them) children, two dogs and a cat, and currently reside in a madhouse in the southern California area. As a family, they enjoy being active in their local church. Sherry spends her time writing when not caring for Granny, the kids, the dogs, the cat and any number of strays in the neighborhood.

Sherry Chamblee can also be found at http://www.sherrychamblee.weebly.com or her Facebook page, Author Sherry Chamblee.

You can also follow her on Twitter @SherryChamblee

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