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Showing content with the highest reputation on 07/28/2020 in all areas

  1. 6 points
  2. 3 points
    Oh, Johne! I feel your lament! This virus is ripping apart things that weren't meant to be ripped apart. It's so difficult to ride the fence of safety without falling into one side or the other and be separated from the other side. I'm so sorry this virus is dividing your church's congregants. I know it isn't what God desires. Praying for you, your wife, and your church.
  3. 2 points
    So a few months ago I re-dedicated my life to Christ. I’d been living in the world for a good four years and though I constantly felt guilt there were things I was not yet ready to surrender to the Lord. I think I adopted the theology many churches (In America) proclaim i.e. Jesus as the saviour of my life....but not the master. Now at last I have made him both! But I have been frustrated. I have so wanted that momentous moment where all the sudden glory overtakes you and you speak in tongues, and dream dreams and see visions and receive words of knowledge..... I can’t say any of those things have happened to me. Now I know comparing yourself to others is not a good thing but my apparent lack of supernatural encounters has made me feel like there must be something wrong with me? I’ve gone so far as to think that maybe I’d gone too far and God has rejected me after all? Am I seeking him in vain? Am I one of those people who will come before Jesus crying “Lord Lord look at the wonderful works I did in your name!” And Christ will respond saying “Get away from me I never knew you!” How terrifying! And yet he is here with me. Perhaps my journey with Christ is more of a slow burning process rather than a road to Damascus moment. Because day by day there is a magnetic energy around me. I constantly feel a pull coming from within and If I let myself relax from moment to moment I literally would not be able to stand. I even think that I have felt the Holy Spirit hugging me, always from behind.... as If to say “It’s ok to fall because I will catch you.” I’ve always been a person of action, thoughts racing constantly, always something else to complete or study - definitely more of a Martha than a Mary lol - and maybe just maybe the Lord is teaching me patience. Perhaps, the Holy Spirit is saying “cease your worry, everything you desire will come to you, I want you to know me more.... but first I need you to trust me.” After all, faith is the hope of things yet unseen....
  4. 2 points
    Update: This post is for lamenting, not debating. At Lynn's gentle suggestion, I'm opening the topic for comment. If it looks like the comments are skewing off into the tiresome mask / no-mask tangent, I'll close it again. Thanks. A year ago we had a guest speaker up from a Community Church from Chicagoland a couple of hours South from where I live in S. Wisconsin, and the place was packed (which for us was, like, 85 people). Church looks different this year - we're online with a vengeance but still trying to figure how to have church in person for those who want to attend while adhering to state safety guidelines so as not to spread the virus at church. This year's attendance was 13 people in person, and a number of people online greater than just our own in-person people because of YouTube and FaceBook Live. It feels like a lose / lose situation - how do we navigate these tricky waters while continuing to worship, to meet together (virtually and otherwise), to study together, to bear one another's burdens, to continue to love God, to love our neighbors as ourselves, to disciple people to Jesus Christ? On the one hand, we've gone from no streaming to a vigorous streaming presence (but the team responsible for much of this effort are going back to college in a month). On the other, our in-person attendance has fallen off a cliff due to pandemic considerations. One thing seems clear - the days are dark and filled with fear and violence and we need the ability to worship now more than ever, but this virus is almost insidious in the way its characteristics divides congregations. If we disregard safety guidelines and sing and hug, we run the risk of infecting congregants, which harms people instead of helping them, and the church looks cavalier and tone-deaf. If we are too vigorous enforcing these guidelines we run the risk of losing our people to other groups which are meeting or seeing our people stuck at home without the ability to interact, especially for those who aren't tech-savvy or don't have the ability to interact online. We've always said the church isn't the building, but gathering together is a big part of worshiping together, and this virus is testing our unity. How can we best care for each other while remaining separate? We have a small but vocal group of about four families (like, a quarter of our church, including a prominent deacon) who think the 'Rona is no big deal and want us to resume 'normal church' with windows closed, no masks, singing, and hugs and handshakes all around. They're making noises about going elsewhere if their preferences aren't serviced. We have another group of a similar size who wouldn't get back together in person out of an abundance of caution even if we wrapped ourselves in hazmat suits. There's a rebound of the virus in Wisconsin, the governor in Madison has made masked mandatory inside businesses and churches in Dane County, and the rest of the state is beginning to follow suit. Walmart and other local merchants say they're going to be more stringent about requiring mask use, which is causing stronger push-back from those who think their constitutional rights are being trampled or just don't like to be told what to do. I'm just so tired of it all, but this is the /easy/ season. Just wait until winter gets here and we can't open doors and windows and we're stuck with recirculating air everywhere. I'm frustrated. Linda and I have been very careful, but she works at Walmart, where people without masks regularly invade her personal space with wanton disregard for her safety. The church is teetering on the edge of a split because of this insidious virus and because people think things should be 'back to normal.' I feel they're in denial. There is no 'back to normal.' This is the new normal, at least for now, and we have to adapt, and we're failing. I wish I knew what to do. I know my own extended family is meeting in person with impunity without masks, and I'm already dreading the decision I'm going to have to make come Thanksgiving. Linda is a hardcore Introvert and not meeting with family is a reward for her, not a punishment. It's different for me. I'm already the family's black sheep, and fear being separated out of an abundance of caution makes me look like I'm drifting away from them when it's really the other way around. In this, I'm the cautious one, I'm trying to demonstrate love for my neighbor by adhering to state safety guidelines, and they think I'm falling prey to some Leftist plot. I don't have any wisdom here. I feel I've been trying to do the cautious thing, the right thing to demonstrate love, and am being punished by those who can't or won't extend grace during a global pandemic. Our church has survived many other threats, but this one feels like it has the potential to just overwhelm us, and I don't know what to do. We're still praying, we're still giving, we're still meeting online, but the sheep are restless and the enemy is circling. I guess I'm asking for prayer, for wisdom, for love, for grace, for the name of Jesus Christ to be glorified and for His Body to be renewed and restored.
  5. 2 points
    Thought I would share an inspirational message that came from my recent meditations on Revelation 2 & 3. I was researching and writing a chapter for my new book on peace. The chapter was to be on the letters to the seven churches in Revelation. When I got to the last one, Laodicea, I stopped. I lost my momentum. I had to force myself to search the web for commentaries on that seventh church. I also had to remind myself to write what God had to say from those verses, not what I had to say. Then I saw my life flash before my eyes. Every word and phrase of that dark letter applied to me when I was in my early twenties. Lukewarm. Aimless. Blind. Proud. Self-sufficient. Praise God, no longer! Reading those words reminded me of all the ways God has straightened me out and given me conviction and purpose. Then it clicked. From 1981 to 1985, I stopped going to church, seldom prayed, and only cracked open the Bible twice. Once was to read Psalm 23, the Lord is my shepherd... The other time was to read Revelation. It scared me. I couldn’t understand it and made no effort to ask anybody what it meant. I believe that those two passages saved my life. Yes, some Christians led me to the Lord in 1985, but how was I kept safe in the meantime during my journey through the valley of the shadow of death (severe depression)? Revelation told me what was wrong with me and the Good Shepherd set about guiding me to the people and church that would help me grow. The letter to Laodicea was a love letter from Jesus. He wrote it to those people because he loves them. He wrote it to me because it is not a mere scold, in his words are the power to overcome. The words did not make sense at first, but like mustard seeds, they miraculously grew, though I didn’t know how. I rejoice that I can now see the love of God pouring out even from parts of the Bible I don’t want to read. I encourage everyone to look in unusual places for unexpected graces. From 2016 to 2019, I felt God’s presence in ways I had not in decades. My thirst to read His Word exploded and my understanding of what I was reading shocked me day after day for over a year, enabling me to write a book on resilience based on Job. I expected that energy and zeal to subside. Then COVID-19 struck. Forced to work from home, I have twelve hours a week that I used to spend commuting that I now devote to research and writing, on top of what I was already doing. If anything, my zeal has increased and I continue to find new insights regularly. I never thought I would see such a season in my life again as I did as a new believer. Since March I have written 400 pages on the theme of peace, from Ecclesiastes and elsewhere, the most productive season of writing I have had since starting to write 16 years ago. “Repent, then, and turn to God, so that your sins may be wiped out, that times of refreshing may come from the Lord, and that he may send the Messiah, who has been appointed for you—even Jesus.” (Acts 3:19-20, NIV) If you are feeling dry, empty, anxious – times of refreshing can be yours, too. I do not remember doing anything special to deserve this. I just kept at it, day after day for years with not much to show for a long time except perseverance and hope. I have no idea if I will ever make a penny from it, but I understand myself and my savior more than ever and that is a great reward.
  6. 2 points
    Zee, This testimony is so inspiring! I can see God has blessed your work. I look forward to seeing what God does in the lives of other members I meet here. Self-published? Oh my goodness. That is just beyond my mental and emotional aspirations right now. I hope to just get through the first draft and edit it without throwing it in the fire. 😃 Good luck with your third work. You sound like you have the passion and discipline to get things done. May your work continue to be blessed!
  7. 2 points
    Welcome, E.T. I'm glad you found us. This site has been a huge benefit to me personally, and I think most of us here would say the same. Since joining ChristianWriters a little over two years ago, hoping to hone my writing skills, but without any real plans of writing a book, let alone publishing, I've given and received helpful critiques for dozens of writing pieces, self-published two fiction books, and am currently engaged in writing my third. So all kinds of exciting stuff may be up next, but you do have to be willing to work hard and participate a lot. Again, welcome!
  8. 2 points
    Welcome to our writing family, ET. Glad you joined us. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you like to write. This is a great site. But then again, I've been here for 13 years! LOL You'll find plenty of help, support, and encouragement around here, so roam around and make yourself at home. Blessings on your writing!
  9. 2 points
    "Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms. Therefore put on the full armor of God, so that when the day of evil comes, you may be able to stand your ground, and after you have done everything, to stand. Stand firm then, with the belt of truth buckled around your waist, with the breastplate of righteousness in place, and with your feet fitted with the readiness that comes from the gospel of peace. In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God. "And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. Pray also for me, that whenever I speak, words may be given me so that I will fearlessly make known the mystery of the gospel, for which I am an ambassador in chains. Pray that I may declare it fearlessly, as I should." (Ephesians 6:10-20)
  10. 2 points
    I think one thing we can all agree upon is wanting this to pass and for things to be back to safe and normal. Lately it feels like we're all living in a never-ending episode of the Twilight Zone. It's stressful for everyone. Praying for peace, safety, and unity. 🙂 It may sound cliche, but God is in control. There's peace and comfort in that.
  11. 2 points
    I'm praying for you and yours, Johne and your church as well.
  12. 2 points
  13. 2 points
    I woke up a few days ago with this faint echo in my mind. It went something like “fight tomorrow’s battle like yesterday’s war.” Being half asleep at 6 in the morning, I thought that sounded like a pretty catchy line, and I have to admit that I was rather impressed with my pre-caffeinated self. If a little puzzled. But the more I thought about this little sentence the more I realized that it carried profound meaning for me. Fight tomorrow’s battle like yesterday’s war.... because the struggles that you faced yesterday and today.... you will most likely face tomorrow or at least that Is how my long ongoing battle with depression and suicidal thoughts have been for me. Over the years the waves of melancholy that have clouded my existence have created a residual doubt in my mind. If I am so sad, am I even saved? If all believers are sealed by the Holy Spirit and joy is the fruit of the Holy Spirit and I am NOT joyful, how can I profess to know the Lord? Needless to say these thoughts have only fueled the sadness and worse still fed into the spirit of fear. Have I prayed for deliverance? You bet I have! Am I staying rooted in the Word. Confessedly, not always. But am I consistent now? You bet I am! Have I decreed that the spirits of oppression and depression have no power over me in the name of Jesus? Yes I have..... and still there are times when I can barely keep the constant flow of tears in my heart from pouring out of my eyes. But finally I seem to have come to a conclusion. It is OK to struggle and you know why? Because everyone has a thorn. It is Paul who related this when he stated that the Lord sent him a “thorn in the flesh” to “buffet” him (2 Corinthians 12: 6-7). This thorn troubled him continually until finally he too cried out to God for deliverance. And you know what the Lord’s reply was? “My grace is sufficient for you.” At first glance when you look at the Lord’s response it seems rather harsh. Surely the creator of the universe could come to the aid of his servant? Especially such a mighty man as Paul! But you know what God’s response means to me? It means that even in the midst of darkness we must keep out eyes fixed on the GRACE of God. Do you have a thorn? Do not condemn yourself for God has only grace and compassion for those in Christ. So comfort yourself in this....your inner turmoil does not dictate your salvation. Being saved does not mean that you are suddenly a finished work. Yes we should strive for perfection, the grace of God is not a free pass to sin or to let our “thorns” control our lives. But what it does mean is that “though we walk through the valley of the SHADOW of death” he is right there with us (Psalm 23:4). Once, while listening to evangelist Daniel Kolenda, he shared that early on in his ministry, he prayed to God offering him all of the assets he had to offer; any talents or money he had he would give to ministry. But in response to this “holy” prayer the Holy Spirit stated “I’m not interested in your assets, I’m interested in your weaknesses.” What a comforting thought! Much like evangelist Kolenda the prayers I have uttered consistently have been “use me God, if I have anything to offer, take it!” But....breakthrough has been illusive and the thought in my mind has been “I must not be good enough yet or I’m not truly ready to receive’: falling into the trap of believing that there’s some sort of checklist I need to complete before the Holy Spirit can rest upon me. When the truth is..... there’s absolutely nothing I can do because it’s already been completed by Jesus (see 1 John: 18-19). And I’ve realized that I have been trying to hide my weakness from Christ. I’ve said in my heart, “Lord I can do this and I’ve also got these gifts....but that stuff over there in the corner....just ignore that. But the whole time Christ has been saying “give me the stuff you wish wasn’t there” “Give me your brokenness and I will use it for my kingdom.” After all, when the Lord was looking for a man to lead the children of Israel into the promised land who did he choose? He didn’t select someone who’d been living among the people, someone they regarded with deference. No. He chose a vagabond living in the wilderness. Moses was an old man, slow of speech who had never really lived with the Israelites; in fact he was scorned by them. Not only was he an outsider, but he was a murderer. In his anger Moses killed a man and then he BURIED his shame before running away (Exodus 2:11). How many times have you or I tried to bury and run from our shame? And when God was searching for the man who would replace Saul as king. Who did he choose? A boy who was so insignificant that when the great prophet Samuel came to Jesse and commanded him to assemble all of his sons before the Lord, Jesse didn’t think to send for David his youngest. It wasn’t until Samuel asked if he had another son that Jesse remembered David (1 Samuel 16:8) and he must have remembered David with thoughts akin to “ Well yes but he’s just a boy who shepherds the flock. My older sons, these here are my assets!” But again here God expressed the fact that he’s more interested in weakness then strength. God says “send me the one you think is lowly and I will make him great.” And great indeed he made David. David was both a prophet and king, a man after God’s own heart, who went on to father the lineage of Christ. You see God works in us, not in spite of our weaknesses but because of them; because in our frailty God’s majesty is revealed. Look again at all the great men and women of the Bible. Abraham was a liar who put his wife at risk multiple times, Sarah a jealous woman who doubted God, Jacob a liar and thief, Rachel stole idols, Joseph a braggart, Rahab a prostitute, David an adulterer and murderer, Solomon a glorified philanderer, Peter denied Christ, James & John had such terrible tempers Jesus named them “sons of thunder,” and Paul was a wrathful persecutor of the Church!.... So if God can use all these problematic people, why can’t he use me? Why can’t he use you? Ultimately, what I’ve realized is that depression in itself is not a death sentence. Look at Isaiah 53: 3 “For he was a man of SORROW and acquainted with much grief. He felt it too. He felt lonely, isolated, overwhelmed. God felt overwhelmed! What a thought? Jesus himself prayed “Lord If possible let this cup pass from me.... but even so not my will but your will be done.” And even though God’s son cried out for deliverance, the Lord still brought him to the cross. “He was punished for our iniquities and bruised for our transgressions” (Isaiah 53:5). ALL of our sin was laid on him. Imagine the burden? But despite the good news of the cross, the best news is that God did not leave him on it. NO Jesus literally walked thought the fire - seized the keys of sin and death - and came out the other side alive again! Hallelujah! So I’m here to encourage all of us my friends. Myself as much as you. Victory is ours even whilst we are still fighting. Christ is bringing us through because he’s already won and his grace is more than sufficient for us. Hallelujah! Amen.
  14. 2 points
    Word of God Speak We tend to read too much, and not hear open your Heart let the Bible speak to you. Let’ all thoughts of the day be put aside, find a place in solitude and listen, feel comfort and eternal power within. Living within this world walking’ in righteousness. Sharing joy and peace brings others into the family. Our eternal home in heaven awaits are coming, give unconditionally, be the hands and feet of Jesus. We have a purpose in this life. God formed us for a reason. In his time we shall return home and dwell in The House’ of Our Lord. When are heart feels weak, who do we seek? Are we taken over by shame? Do we cry out his name! The Bible directs us to God’ by lighting the way with truth, to the one true Giver of all things. O Sovereign LORD, you are God! Your words are trustworthy, and you have promised these good things to your servant. - 2 Samuel 7:28 I pray you shall find joy and peace within’ Gods Word. Let His word speak, Listen with your heart. - debe
  15. 1 point
    So in my new book, the main character is a guy who is a believer, but at the moment he's discouraged and not very serious about his faith. As the story progresses, I want him to get serious, but I want to go about it in a way that doesn't seem forced or superficial. Any ideas for how I could do this? Or examples of where you've seen this done well? (Including in your own stories.)
  16. 1 point
    I just received acceptance for a story I sent to a magazine in Australia. (How do I make this big smile not so big???) Anyway, they are requiring "non-exclusive, ongoing print and digital rights" to my story, with the first right to publish. That makes sense to me. Does it to others?
  17. 1 point
    Hey I’m a new member here. I haven’t been on a forum like this before, but I’ve felt the need to write lately and more importantly to connect with other believers who I can relate to. Hoping to find that here! :)
  18. 1 point
    This is so cool! Israeli archaeologists have unearthed a 1300 year old church near the Mount of Transfiguration. The tiles they found are awesome!
  19. 1 point
    I think prayer and God's word is important to all of us right now during this time! I love how we can remind ourselves of that!
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  21. 1 point
    Congratulations!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
  22. 1 point
    Here. https://imagecompressor.com/ And congratulations!!! 🥳🥳🥳
  23. 1 point
    Welcome, it's nice to meet you.
  24. 1 point
    Faith, oh, so well named! Never forget that. There is certainly nothing wrong with you. Don't base your spiritual life on feelings or comparisons. Only on God's Word. He has created you to be you! Only you can do what He desires to be done first in you and then through you. But to do, you must first be! So, relax in who you are. You are a Masterpiece! You cannot go too far nor seek Him in vain. Don't believe the lies the enemy throws at you. The Spirit will be there to catch you, to uplift you, to be all that you need. Rejection is out of the question. You are planted in the foundation of Christ and you cannot get out. Those arms of the Spirit and Christ's shed blood keep you forever in Him. May the Lord bless you in all you do. 🧡
  25. 1 point
    Congratulations, Carolina! I think that rates the jumbo smiley face.
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  27. 1 point
    I write devotionals and inspirational stories in obedience to God's call. I've written for many sites and have been in several anthologies, including one about Billy Graham. I had a website for several years and closed it around the end of last year. Too much stress for me (I have fibromyalgia). I now have a weekly newsletter instead. I think I just stumbled upon this site. It's been so long, I don't remember!
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  30. 1 point
    Guilt "When the cool evening breezes were blowing, the man and his wife heard the Lord God walking about in the garden. So they hid from the Lord God among the trees" (Genesis 3:8). We have all experienced what Adam and Eve just experienced in this passage. We have all felt ashamed when we have done wrong and we ourselves have tried to hide. I have done people wrong a number of times and have tried to avoid them. I won't answer their calls, I won't open the door if they come and knock, and if I see them out, I will turn my head and pretend as if I didn't see them. That was the old me anyways. I now try to face the consequences of my wrongs and make them right. It isn’t right to play with people's feelings. See this is interesting. Even before I knew Christ, I still knew right from wrong. I knew when I wronged someone because I had the feeling of guilt. It just sits with you uneasily and drags you down. With me, it caused a feeling of anxiousness , stress, and anger. A mental cocktail that raised my blood pressure and soon, it overflowed into an angry outrage on some undeserving individual. I would become angry at other people because I was dealing with undealt guilt. 90% of the time we want to blame others for our guilt and sometimes we even try to blame God just like Adam and Eve did. Adam said, "Well, if you hadn't given me this woman, this would have never happened." And Eve said, "Well, it was the serpent's fault - he tricked me." When we know we are wrong and we accept and own what we have done and show general remorse - the outcome has a quite different effect. Remorse leads to genuine repentance. It seems that we could never recover from this horrible tragedy that took place on that day. Sin brings a violent hurricane along with it that impacts everything and everyone through its path. Life was changed that day for everyone. The consequences of sin became a living reality for everyone. Verses 14 - 24 further explain what had to be done because of disobedience. Everything that Adam did wrong that caused separation from God, Jesus did right and restored it! That is why we now can have a relationship with God! Jesus Christ is the 2nd Adam who became that curse in verses 14 through 24. Jesus Christ is the one who sweat great and mighty drops of blood in bitter agony. Jesus Christ wore the thorns on His head, and was hanged on a tree, until he breathed in last - and then he was placed in the dusty dust of death! Because of Jesus Christ, when we experience this guilt, we don't have to be completely separated from God. We can recognize what we've done, ask forgiveness, trust in what Jesus Christ has done, and be united with God - Amen! Be Encouraged, Chris
  31. 1 point
    Nice to meet you!
  32. 1 point
    Same. I had to write my first ending as I came to it before I could back and improve it. (It's much better now but I never would have seen that ending until I got close enough for the headlights to reveal it.)
  33. 1 point
    Welcome, Brandon!
  34. 1 point
    Welcome to our writing family, Brandon. Glad you joined us. Tell us a little bit about yourself and what you like to write. You'll find plenty of help, support, and encouragement around here, so roam around and make yourself at home. Blessings on your writing! And thank you!
  35. 1 point
  36. 1 point
    First time hearing both for me! I would like to know how they got that piano out there too. 🤔
  37. 1 point
    The Lord's long-suffering toward us is repentance for the fallen. The Lord's long-suffering towards us is salvation; for our restoration, being rebuilt through deep intimacy in Christ Jesus. God made us complete and fit for a position in His eternal kingdom. Because of death, we all are just fallen buildings to be rebuilt by Jesus. This is for a greater glory. We all are building blocks, a specific and unique part of God's kingdom building. We all are rooms in the Father's house to be prepared by our Lord Jesus Christ. However, intimacy, ( love ) is the only building material. How much do we love? Of what value is our love? We'll be measured in eternity by our love. How much we love God and how much His love is manifested through us unto others by His spirit of love will determine how much we become like God, because God is love. This is our restoration, to become more like Jesus, this is our eternal reward. How much we love God is measured by how much we spend time in fellowship, communion with Him in our heart; in prayers, thanks, In spiritual songs, in communion, every second in our heart. We talk to ourselves at all time, every second in your mind, but how much do we actually commune with God in our heart? How much God's love is manifested through us unto others is measured by our willingness to sacrifices unto the world according to whatever good spiritual gift, talents, ability God has given to us. When we love our neighbors, ( enemies, strangers ) willing to lay down our lives for the salvation of their soul, we love God. For the salvation of their soul, I don't necessarily mean from hell. Whatever God has given, use it in love ( sacrifice ). I don't know what God has given you, I don't know what He has predestined you before creation, but I'd always say; we all are given unique abilities and talents ( spiritual gifts ), but there's one thing we all have in common, a loving heart that prays for any and everyone. Nothing makes us love a person as much as praying for him. God's long-suffering is for our salvation, our restoration not necessarily from hell, no, but for a relationship, for intimacy. Intimacy is how much we spend in God's presence, in our heart and how much we sacrifice to be used by Him for His glory. Love Him, give Him your heart, your will, your all. This is our glorious restoration, this is our salvation, this is Love, God's will. This is God's long-suffering towards us, " Love," for our salvation, our restoration.
  38. 1 point
    Beautiful, Paul! This so signifies the importance of STUDYING God's Word, not just reading the words on the pages. When you dig, you find treasure. The more you dig, the deeper it gets. And God rewards those who dig and seek Him in His Word. His Word is so awesome! Praise the Lord for your digging deeper!
  39. 1 point
    The author of a YA book called A Handbook for Mortals used a similar strategy and made it to the NYT #1 bestseller spot for 24 hours before the NYT caught on and took the book off the list. I understand that the NYT list is curated to some degree and not fully based on sales, but however anyone feels about that, it's never okay to game the system.
  40. 1 point
    Hi Josie, it's great to meet you! Welcome
  41. 1 point
    Hi Josie, welcome to Christianwriters! It is great to meet you!
  42. 1 point
    Hi Josie!
  43. 1 point
    Lord, please provide healing and guidance to @William D'Andrea for a rash that he has. We know You will do as You promised if we ask but only ask in Your son's name, amen.
  44. 1 point
    Lynn, Come clean. There must be at least two of you. The site you linked is full of highly useful information, as are so many others you have linked or pointed us to. Where do you find the time to locate so much helpful information? Thanks for all you do for us on this site.
  45. 1 point
    Are You Self-Centered? "What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you are careful to tithe even the tiniest income from your herb gardens, but you ignore justice and the love of God. You should tithe, yes, but do not neglect the more important things. What sorrow awaits you Pharisees! For you love to sit in the seats of honor in the synagogues and receive respectful greetings as you walk in the marketplaces. Yes, what sorrow awaits you! For you are like hidden graves in a field. People walk over them without knowing the corruption they are stepping on" (Luke 11:42-44). The Pharisees were so self-centered. Everything they did was to point all the attention back toward themselves. I hate to say it, but that sounds like me in so many ways. I have done nice things for people before just to get recognition. I have given people things before just so I could be seen by others. Just to be the center of attention. Just to feel good about myself. To feel like I was a superior human being over the next. Just like me, the Pharisees were filled with pride. I am a way better rule keeper than you are. What good is keeping the rules without knowing the rule giver? That is the position that they were in not knowing the outcome. They were driven like an animal by instinct rather than a human by reason! I have lived my life like that in so many ways. Sin will do that to you. It will take you down and those around you that you love the most. Anything you do isn't really important unless you are doing it for the right reason. Yeah, if I return an elderly ladies buggy to the cart island for her at wal-mart it is a good and nice gesture. But if I do it only to be seen by the people in the parking lot, and maybe receive a - "Oh look at that nice young man. Sir, you are a great person and we need more people like you in this world." We need more self-centered, prideful, would turn my back on you in a second kind of people in the world? That is exactly the kind of person I was and the kind of person that I still struggle with to not be. Jesus reminds me that the things I do on the outside doesn't mean a thing if they aren't driven from my heart. If I do not do them for a genuine love for God and others, then they are as useless as a wet match! If I do them to boost my ego and just let my pride burn stronger and take over, then I have become as corrupt as the Pharisees. I thought making myself look good and feeling completely good about myself was my means to happiness. It is the complete opposite of that. Serving others is the means to true happiness. If you do not believe me, I challenge you to try it for yourself and then tell me how it changed your life! Be Encouraged, Chris
  46. 1 point
    I'm going to post a Youtube link to the prologue for the first Lord of the Rings movie. JRR Tolkien wrote the books during the mid 20th century is considered the king of worldbuilding (he was also a Believer!). This "prologue" that happens at the beginning of the first movie is an "infodump" that wouldn't work in the books (the reader learns the information over time), but you can see the depth of world that exists here. There is backstory, like you said, but there are also: different cultures/races with different traits different languages political alliances intrigue important artifacts (the Ring and the Sword That Was Broken) a large and well-filled out map with different countries/cultures (where we will travel during the movies) people who are "big players" in world events people who initially seem insignificant I don't know what type of worldbuilding you are trying to accomplish, but while these are fantasy people and places in this case, I believe that making sure a story has many of these sorts of things is good worldbuilding regardless of genre. (Warning for PG-13 fantasy battle imagery)
  47. 1 point
    “He (God) will render to each one according to his works…There will be tribulation and distress for every human being who does evil… but glory and honor and peace for everyone who does good.” Romans 2:6-10 ESV. Eternal life is the blessing for those that do good, but wrath and fury are the result of not obeying the truth and obeying unrighteousness (Romans 2:8). “Good” is translated from the Greek word “agathos” which means that which is good in its character or constitution. God is absolutely good, see Mark 10:18. Jesus counseled the rich young man in Matthew 19:17, “Why do you ask me about what is good? There is only one who is good. If you would enter life, keep the commandments.” The unrighteous do not honor God or give thanks to him, but become futile in their thinking, their hearts become darkened, and claiming to be wise, they become fools (Romans 1:21-22). Jesus said in John 14:15-17, “If you love me you will keep my commandments. And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another helper to be with you forever, even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him or knows him.” The Holy Spirit guides us to truth (God) and that which is good (John 16:13).
  48. 1 point
    I looked at my phone. The time said almost an hour and half. I could not believe I had been talking for that long. Time flies when the conversation is great! It was toward the end of the night. I had decided to walk my dog, Romans, and talk at the same time. Romans needed his nightly walk before bed, so it all worked out great. I finished the walk, and went inside. I went to my bedroom, and sat in my chair. I took out my bible, and nightly devotion. I sat there enjoying God’s word for the night. As I closed the bible, I looked around for Romans who usually joins me in bed. He was nowhere to be found. I did a quick search of the house, and found him by the door. He was staring at his leash, and was ready to go outside. I thought. How strange, there is no way he has to go out so quick after an hour and a half walk. I did not want any accidents though, so we went outside. Just as I thought. Romans really did not have to use the bathroom. I then began to piece it together. I had changed up my routine. Every night I read my bible first, and then walked Romans. Romans saw me reading my bible, and was just waiting for the usual routine. Without realizing it. Romans began to be trained by me. For two years my dog saw me read my bible every night, and then walk him. He thought when I read the bible at night, the next step, meant he goes for a walk. He was just following the nightly routine. Routines are developed daily, and then weekly. Weeks turn to months, and months turn to years. I have been guilty of the desire to prove “how Christian I am”. I need people to see this, or understand this about me. I need to tell people I do this. I need to show people I do this. Then they will see what a great Christian I am. I think I was way off track with these thoughts. I developed the habit of reading my bible every night for a lot of reasons, but I was determined to make that a goal that stayed with me for the rest of my life. It really was between me and God, this goal of reading the Bible. I knew that if His word was so important to me, I would have to make it a priority to at least read part of it every day. I praise God that the habit has been developed. The things we create that are consistent do not need to be shouted out. They speak for themselves. Even a dog figured out that I can be faithfully relied upon to read my bible every night. Others have watched you too. They can see what you are faithful about. You don’t have to list them. It will show itself to others. I love when I can talk, and show others what I have done, and accomplished. I think this night though God was showing me something else. He was showing me that just by seeking Him, others will notice. I don’t always have to be focused on who is seeing, and who is listening, and who understands. I read the bible that night and saw God words. But the Lord used my dog that night to understand what his words look like in action. Luke 12:2-3 Nothing is covered up that will not be revealed, or hidden that will not be known. Therefore whatever you have said in the dark shall be heard in the light, and what you have whispered in private rooms shall be proclaimed on the housetops.
  49. 1 point
    The Nature of Christ “Though he was God he did not think of equality with God as something to cling to. Instead, he gave up his divine privileges and took the humble position of a slave and was born as a human being. When he appeared in human form, he humbled himself in obedience to God and died a criminal’s death on a cross” (Philippians 2:6-8). As I was reading this, I was thinking, “How would I behave in this situation?” I would have been shooting lightning bolts at people and levitating them straight up off the earth that I created. We could not possibly control a position of such power. We would be completely overcome by it. Jesus, he did not selfishly grasp hold of the position he had like I would have. Instead, he was willing to give himself over to serving our needs. Maybe if Jesus would have behaved in a manner likewise, the Jewish leaders would not have been so infuriated with Him. He was claiming to be God but seemed as a weak little man. If Jesus would have blasted them with a lightning bolt or two, I am sure their minds would have quickly changed about Him. They probably would not have plotted to kill Him, but instead would have worshiped Him. But that is not the way God wants to gain our attention is it? Jesus set the example of what God is like – not a dictator, but a loving, serving, father. Jesus did something that is extremely hard for me to do. Verse 7, he emptied himself. He emptied himself of all self-interests. He came here to do one thing, and one thing only and that was the will of the Father. For God to become a man was extremely humbling, but he did not stop there. He completely took himself the extra mile and took the role of a servant. When Jesus came, we all should have fallen to our knees in complete worship and praise – our Lord is here. Instead, the Lord fell to his knees to serve us. The Creator served His very creation. Wow! Man, Oh man! A lot of days I ask myself, “How should I live as a Christian?” No better example of humiliation and a complete selfless attitude could possibly be given than that of Christ. That is the example the believers in Philippi were being encouraged to follow. That is the example we are encouraged to follow today. Verse 2 - be like minded – live humbly before God, and each other. God sent Jesus on a mission. This is His briefing – “1. That He should assume human nature by being born of a woman, and thus enter into temporal relations; and that He should assume this nature with its present infirmities, though without sin. 2. That He, who as the Son of God was superior to the law, should place Himself under the law; that He should enter, not merely into the natural, but also into the penal and federal relation to the law, in order to pay the penalty for sin and to merit everlasting life for the elect. 3. That He, after having merited forgiveness of sins and eternal life for His own, should apply to them the fruits of His merits: complete pardon, and the renewal of their lives through the powerful operation of the Holy Spirit. By doing this He would render it absolutely certain that believers would consecrate their lives to God” (Berkhof, L. (1938). Systematic theology (p. 269). Grand Rapids, MI: Wm. B. Eerdmans publishing co). Jesus perfectly accomplished all these things that we could not. So, what is your response to this. What is your response to Him? Be Encouraged, Chris
  50. 1 point
    Not really a writing job, but very similar. Not even sure if it's right for me to ask this of someone since I can't pay them, but was wondering if there was any interest out there.... I have a new fantasy book series I am working on. There are a lot of new and fantastic races that are introduced in my story (in fact, there aren't any normal races - no humans, elves, dwarves, etc.) and I was wondering if anyone would be interested in taking some of my descriptions and sketching out a general look for each race? If I ever publish, I would love to include a appendix with the concept art for each of the races for the readers to look at (that's probably a long way off, though). I love art, but have absolutely no talent for it. The backdrop would be comparable to a medieval type cultural setting (as far as clothing and technology, etc) Here are some examples - - The main protagonist is an Aygiff - Aygiff's can shape shift to different animals. Aygiff's have pointed ears that lay back against their heads, their hair is typically kept short with a rattail behind. The main protagonist has heterochromia with one eye emerald green, the other cobalt blue. aside from those descriptions, he'd look pretty typical. - oh, typically a more deep tan skin tone Alacrin is a race who have an affinity toward insects. They are a smaller race, perhaps 4' average. They have light green skin (perhaps mint or lime green), short pointy ears with tufts of hair at the top, and a mohawk array of hair on top of their head Cerateceans are a large, muscular race (roughly based on orcas) - no hair, a rounded skull with a slightly flat, but extended (but not elongated... if that makes sense) face with rows of sharp teeth in their large jaws, they have strong fins, or bony blades covered in skin that stick out from their forearms. dark, slimy, amphibian-like skin - many have white splotches in their skin of different designs. Evianians - Male Evianis are rather normal looking, but they have wings attached to their back and matted feathers for hair. The females can't fly and don't have wings, but they also have feathers for hair, but they also have feathers decorating their arms and upper bodies They are typically tall, slim, and refined. While the male feathers can come in many colors, they are usually one solid color and not as bright as the females colors which can be a bright array of different tints. - for example, two support characters are a male and female Eviani - the male has cyan colored wings, and the female, his sister, has predominantly cyan colored feathers, but also has some greener and some bluer feathers as well, all blended in in a spectacular way... (hopefully that description makes sense...) Just a few examples... so far, other races are - Faehin, L'entia, Vaelintry, Neulauhdian, Maunin, Loxor, Naksian, and Scyphozomian. If you are interested or think this might be fun, please let me know
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