Tag Archives: Christians

God is The Potter

Today is my birthday, and I’m thankful to God for giving me life, and offering me the gift of salvation through Jesus Christ. Because Jesus lives in me, The Holy Spirit changes me every year, molding me to become more like Jesus. 

When you’re a Christian, getting older is a reason to celebrate, for we gain wisdom, and we get closer and closer to living eternally in Heaven with our Savior.

God, you are my Potter. I am your clay. I’ve been dropped, broken, and repaired. But the silver lining is that Your light shines through the cracks. Thank you for creating me. Let my life inspire others as you shape me into a beautiful masterpiece. 

“Yet you, LORD, are our Father. We are the clay, you are the potter; we are all the work of your hand” (Is. 64:8).

Two are Better than One… The Healing Joy of Friendship

Today I am one month into my recovery from back surgery. While I still have pain, I’m getting around a lot better. I love my home, but I start to go stir crazy if I don’t get outside to breathe in some fresh, clean air. I’ve been getting that slightly overwhelming feeling of wondering how I will ever catch up on things that were never caught up on in the first place; especially when it’s still too early in my recovery to even begin the catching up! 

But I’ve been faithfully sharing God’s love with others. I’ve been meeting some wonderful people in the process, following where God leads me, and learning a bit more about the direction of my ministry; along with the plans God has for me and my family for the future. All this is because God has provided me with rest. 

This week God said it was time to get outside! He immensely blessed both my daughter and me with a sunshiny day at the park! It was one of those “God Moments” where you just know He has his hands all over it, so you can have a slice of joy! 

With a last minute weather check, on a whim we invited several friends to join us, and were delighted to find that almost all of them could meet us there! Since I’m unable to drive yet, one of my friends kindly picked up half of us at my house. My other friend had dropped her girls off at my house, so they could come too. Even though she couldn’t stay, I was blessed by her smile and huge hug. My sweet friend who was the driver, patiently waited as we searched for shoes, because we couldn’t find the ones my daughter needed for the playground. She also carried my cooler and my other bag, insisting I didn’t need to be handling them. 

She cheerfully got all the girls into the car, and still doesn’t know how grateful I am that she was such a good sport about us not being ready to go when she arrived. She just smiled and chatted, as my daughter made her jelly sandwich for her little picnic treat. My friend didn’t seem phased at all by the mess of toys and shoes, which had been slowing building over the last two days. It felt like a fresh spring breeze had just entered my home, and her joy gave me a peek at the fun day we were going to have at the park. I felt myself relax, as my friend patiently adjusted the seats in her car, so we could all fit. I wasn’t able to help, and just felt incredibly grateful for her willingness to go out of her way to pick us up out in the country. 

We were late to the park, but thankfully I managed to remember to check my phone, because my other friend wasn’t sure which park was the meeting place. I told I was sorry we were running late, and we were happy to find her already waiting for us when we arrived. I cherished her warm hug, and as an added bonus; she had brought me two dozen fresh eggs from her farm! 

Soon my other girlfriend was pulling up with her energetic, lovable crew! She lives farther away, and we’d been wanting to get together for a while now. I had ordered some of her beautiful handcrafted soaps; because pure,  handmade soaps are the only kind I use. They are a tiny slice of happiness, because they’re good for my skin, look pretty, and smell wonderful! I decided to see if my friend would be able to bring her girls to the park the next day. She could bring the soaps with her. My daughter and I were so excited when they said they would be coming!

As my friends got to know each other, our children did too. They played in the beautiful sunshine; climbed ladders and flew down slides, chased each other, blew bubbles, and giggled as they tried out the baby swings! We moms talked about homeschooling, family life, friendships, and farming. Everybody said they wanted to meet again soon, and have another day like this together. It was finally time for my friends to go to soccer games, prepare dinner, and attend to farm chores. Even though I had arranged a ride home, each busy friend still offered to make herself available to drive my daughter and me back home. This made me feel loved and cared for, in a way they probably don’t even realize. 

I was incredibly grateful for my husband, making his way through town, doing some errands for me, before he came to pick us up at the park. He was making sure prescriptions were filled, and grocery runs were complete. He even offered to pick up take-out, though he’d offered to make dinner already. So many times he has done these things for us, but it seems so much sweeter, when he’s doing it to help me heal, and so we can enjoy some time out with friends. 

I still have this deep sense appreciation and awakened joy for all the little things that add up to make a God day, into a great day. I know it’s from God; the silver lining of sweet joy to keep me going through the pain and redundant routine of recovery.  I thought about how some people don’t even have cars. They have to navigate rides all the time. I felt so grateful that God had navigated all my rides for me, so my daughter and I could enjoy a perfect day at the park. We’d had fun giving out packages of colored chalks and bottles of bubbles to our friends. They were leftover prizes from our church’s  Easter in the Park. For me it was a small way of continuing the celebration and joy of Easter with the precious little people in our lives. For, aren’t we always ministering to each other in our friendships, as we seek to be all Jesus calls us to be?

My husband who always takes care of us, picked us up in perfect timing, and assisted my daughter with some tricks on the monkey bars. We went home tired and happy, with sun-kissed cheeks. The joy of friendship filled my heart, and my daughter’s eyes were bright with happiness from all the fun with her girlfriends. She’d even met a new friend, before we left. She’s like that; she makes friends wherever we go.

When I got home, I was hit with a migraine. I’ve been battling them for the last two months. And unfortunately, I get them after spending time in the sun. The pain was intense, and it wiped me out. Though I was now toast for the rest of the evening; it did not take away from the joy of our wonderful adventure that day. We had come home with a stash of farm fresh eggs,beautiful handcrafted soaps, plans for additional fun homeschool classes with friends for next year, and a reminder of our lovely day with treasured friends in our small town. More healing occurred in a day with friends, than could happen in a week without them! Thank you God for friendship!

“Two people are better off than one, for they can help each other succeed. If one person falls, the other can reach out and help. But someone who falls alone is in real trouble” (Eccles. 4:9-10 New Living Translation).

Be a friend; gain a friend!

                                 

                              ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

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Related blog posts:

Surgery Day: Trusting God Through Trials
Recovery Week 1: The Family That Prays Together…
Recovery Week 2: The Unexpected Joy of Rest
Recovery Thoughts: Healing is a Journey
Recovery Week 2-1/2: It’s Palm Sunday! Rejoice!
Recovery Week 3: The Healing Love of Strawberry Rhubarb Pie 

It’s Palm Sunday! Rejoice!

Happy Palm Sunday! Here’s my crooked little cross made from a palm branch. It’s far from perfect; just like me! But I’m redeemed, and Jesus lives in my heart! Therefore, I am forgiven; washed in the blood of the lamb, as clean as purely white, fresh fallen snow! 

I am 2-1/2 weeks into recovery from a lumbar spinal fusion, and I joyfully went to church today! I was so thankful to participate in Holy Communion with my own precious family, and with my church family filled with my brothers and sisters in Christ.  It was wonderful to be surrounded by so many loving people, who have supported and encouraged me through this time of healing. I truly cherish every single prayer, hug, and meal which has come my way!

Thank you, Jesus, for dying on the cross for my sins, so I can live eternally in Heaven with you, and my loved ones who know you. Let me be a living testimony to how you can taken someone’s broken painful past, and change it into a joyful love story! Thank you for being my King!

“They took palm branches and went out to meet him, shouting, ‘Hosanna!’ ‘Blessed is he who comes in the name of the Lord!’ ‘Blessed is the king of Israel’ ” (Jn. 12:13)!

An imperfect being; saved by a King on a cross!

Queen Bee Gossip: Sweet as Honey or a Toxic Sting? (Series: Toxic People and Situations)

What can be done when annoying bees buzz gossip into our ears, casting doubt about a friend or loved one’s character? How do you handle it?  Do you accept the information as valid and true, or do you go directly to your friend for his or her side of the story? Have you let a good relationship go to waste, simply because you accepted a story that caused you to side with the gossip, or did you consider something may be wrong if you only heard from one party?

When we think about the times we have found ourselves in these situations, do we discover that we’ve taken sides with the gossip, without knowing all the facts; or have we given our loved ones the benefit of the doubt?  Did we ever allow the person being gossiped about, to come to his or her defense? Did the person even know about it? Did the person give up? Why or why not? Was the person being gossiped about… you?

At one time or another, we’ve all found ourselves in a sticky situation when someone suddenly starts talking about someone else. In that moment, we have a choice to participate, or not participate. It can be uncomfortable to speak up about it, but the person who should really be feeling uncomfortable is the gossip herself. If we choose to participate, we will find ourselves stuck in a hive, wondering how to escape a sticky situation. Those who engage in gossip are often afraid to fly away from the queen bee, because they’re usually fearful of getting stung themselves!  And they will… get stung… because if a gossip is sharing info with you, the gossip will share info about you. To think this is false, is to live in denial about the spirit of gossip and how it works.

A gossip’s tasty little bits of information may initially seem to be sweet as honey, but there’s something to be said about food that is sickeningly sweet. When a gossip shares her irresistible story, people willingly eat it up. This is because the gossip falsely makes you feel special; as if it’s an honor to have been chosen to be trusted with her private little story. But it’s kind of like having a chocolate chip… you can’t eat just one. Each tasty morsel gives you a desire for another, and a little bit isn’t enough to satisfy. Eventually the listener wants a whole cookie, something to fill the belly:

“The words of a gossip are like choice morsels; they go down to the inmost parts” (Prov. 18:8 New International Version).


If the gossip is really experienced, she or he will work hard to turn you away from her enemies, from the very people God intended for you to have in your life… truthful, compassionate, loving people. Why would a gossip do this? Because the gossip has an agenda: It’s an agenda to get attention from you, no matter what the cost is to anyone else. If the gossip is successful at getting you to stop talking to your friends and loves ones, and you don’t even really know how it happened, you may want to consider the fact that this busy bee body is downright toxic.

By definition, toxic means poisonous! Who wants to be near poison? Wouldn’t we want to separate ourselves from it? Of course! The gossip knows this, so the gossip creates the division first, to distract you from the real problem… the gossip herself! However, instead of you being separated from the gossip, you are instead craftily separated from the friends and loved ones who are a positive influence in your life. A gossip separates friends out of spite, jealousy, low self-esteem, selfishness and self-centeredness.

“A perverse person stirs up conflict, and a gossip separates close friends” (Prov. 16:28).


The Bible condemns gossips; even grouping them into the same category as liars, slanderers, and God-haters!  God is not referring to this group with favor. A gossip is always a liar too. Why? Because the juicier the story, the larger the gossip’s audience will be, and embellishment means that more attention will be bestowed upon the gossip.

“They have become filled with every kind of wickedness, evil, greed and depravity. They are full of envy, murder, strife, deceit and malice. They are gossips, slanderers, God-haters, insolent, arrogant and boastful; they invent ways of doing evil; they disobey their parents; they have no understanding, no fidelity, no love, no mercy. (Rom.8:29-31).

Try this experiment: Watch a gossip in action. Observe how people engage with her. They move in closer to her, and shut out those who are their targets. The gossip whispers for dramatic effect. People “oooh” and “ahhh” over her phrases. The news is always negative, and it is usually shocking. Bits of truth are thrown in to make the story seem true, and to make the gossip seem like a credible witness. The audience reacts by mimicking the gossip’s emotions. If she’s angry, they are “righteously” angry for her. If she’s having a pity party, her audience gladly pats her on the back and agrees that the person being gossiped about is truly thoughtless, unforgiving, and unChristianlike.

The gossip is the center of attention and the gossip wants to keep it that way. The focus will be on her and how much better she is than someone else, how she’s been mistreated by someone else, and how she is concerned about someone else. In essence, the gossip is an expert know-it-all about the person who is not even there to defend himself.  A genuine Christian should use discretion when concerned about a loved one;  and should seek to keep quiet about things that could hurt someone else or damage relationships among friends and loved ones:

“Hatred stirs up conflict, but love covers over all wrongs” (Prov. 10:12).

Gossip is like having a  judge rule over a court case without allowing the defendant to speak. It’s like a football game when the offense runs forward to make a touchdown, but the defending team isn’t even there to try and intercept the ball.  If you challenge the gossip with questions to  verify how she got her information, her feathers will get ruffled, and she will become offended. She will become uncomfortable, and only then will she make an effort to change the subject.

In the worst case scenario, the gossip has no empathy, yet displays fake empathy by manipulating her captive audience into believing that she is concerned about the person being discussed. She is now in control of the situation, by having played on people’s emotions. Meanwhile the person being gossiped about is living a normal, healthy productive life, and usually has no clue about how much damage the gossip is causing behind his back. Yet slowly, bit by bit, people drop out of his life, all because of the gossip’s made up stories! Rarely will a good and fair man or woman come forward and say, “I heard this about you… is it true?” But why shouldn’t we do this? Why would we accept a one-sided conversation as truth? The Bible itself tells us this is a very naive thing to do:

“The naive believes everything, But the sensible man considers his steps” (Prov. 14:15 New American Standard Bible).

Most people can’t imagine how someone would play with real human lives in such a manner. But the truth is, it does happen, and it’s more often than we’d like to think. It happens when a gossip is at her very worst; and becomes a completely self-absorbed, self-centered, narcissistic person: Everything will be about her… everything. Not all gossips are narcissists; but ALL narcissists are gossips!  Beware the self-centered sting of narcissism!

If you’ve been caught up in the sin of gossip, the silver lining is that gossip is forgivable and escapable!  Repent of participating in gossip, and ask God whether He wants you to apologize to those who have been hurt by your participation in it. God makes good out of all things, when we come to Him with a repentant heart. Though it may take a while, God can heal broken relationships, and He can repair broken hearts. One small act of repentance can bring about a lifetime of beautiful gifts. God is a God of restoration. He can even replace many years which were lost due to the sin of gossip, and heal all the hearts involved. Ask God to remove gossip from your life today!

” ‘I will repay you for the years the locusts have eaten– the great locust and the young locust, the other locusts and the locust swarm — my great army that I sent among you. You will have plenty to eat, until you are full, and you will praise the name of the LORD your God, who has worked wonders for you; never again will my people be shamed. Then you will know that I am in Israel, that I am the LORD your God, and that there is no other; never again will my people be shamed” (Joel 2:25-27 New International Version).


If you’re the one being gossiped about, remember that God is your protector. The Holy Spirit is at work, convicting the hearts of those who accuse you. You’re not alone. Jesus knows exactly how you feel. He chose not to defend himself, even though He was, and is, God’s beloved Son. He knew God had a better plan, and he trusted His Father. When we are unjustly slandered, by those who gossip about us, we can rejoice in the fact that we are taking part in the suffering of Jesus for his namesake. Not only do we take part in the suffering, but we will also take part in the great joy of God’s Kingdom! God will judge all of it, and make it right. Don’t waste your time with a queen bee, when you belong to the KING!

“Now if we are children, then we are heirs–heirs of God and co-heirs with Christ, if indeed we share in his sufferings in order that we may also share in his glory. I consider that our present sufferings are not worth comparing with the glory that will be revealed in us” (Rom. 8:17-18).


Stay tuned for these upcoming June posts from the Series: Toxic People, Toxic Situations… 
Is She a Gossip? … 10 Red Flags

10 Ways to Escape Gossip

The Self-Centered Sting of Narcissism

The Jezebel Spirit

Flying Monkeys… What are They?

Jezebel’s Chess Game… Win or Lose?

Good Trees, Bad Trees, and Fruit

“Buy the truth and do not sell it– wisdom, instruction and insight as well” (Proverbs 23:23 New International Version).

I write The Silver Lining, because I want to share God’s truth freely with others. I don’t buy into false, worldly teachings; no Christian should. But sometimes Christians start looking and listening to what’s out there in the world, instead of to The One living within our hearts. Some Christians take a little detour, because they think they’ve found a better, easier way. But the Bible says, “Enter through the narrow gate. For wide is the gate and broad is the road that leads to destruction, and many enter through it. But small is the gate and narrow the road that leads to life, and only a few find it. Watch out for false prophets. They come to you in sheep’s clothing, but inwardly they are ferocious wolves. By their fruit you will recognize them. Do people pick grapes from thornbushes, or figs from thistles. Likewise, every good tree bears good fruit, but a bad tree bears bad fruit” (Matt.7:13-16).

If you’ve been tricked by a false prophet, fake teachings, prosperity gospel, a cult, or a narcissist pretending to be a Christian; you’re not alone. When you find yourself a bit lost in a wild, enchanted forest; look for the silver lining: If you pursue Jesus, he will set you back onto the path of righteousness. Look how much he loves you; he even tells us the signs to look for, which differentiate a believer from a non-believer!   A good tree bears good fruit: This means that real, genuine Christians witness to others, and do their best to live lives that are pleasing to God, which results in other people being led to Christ.  A bad tree bears bad fruit: This means there are people out there who may walk and talk like “Christians,” but they are only pretending to be believers, while secretly living unrepentant lives. 

Whether you have fallen for a trick of the enemy out of sin, or whether you were deceived by an evildoer; God wants to plant your feet back on solid ground! Turn your face towards him; call on the name JESUS. He is righteous to save us! “Dear children, do not let anyone lead you astray. The one who does what is right is righteous, just as he is righteous” (1 Jn. 3:7).

Genuine Christians bear good fruit!

The Heart of a Child Seeks Wisdom

Last night, while praying with my family, and discussing the Proverbs, my seven-year old daughter reminded me that she wanted to read the Proverbs too! Convicted, I realized this was the second night in a row that she had mentioned it to me, and that I had not included her when I had invited my family, friends, and readers; to read a Proverb a day during Lent. Though we were reading her bible stories, I had not thought about taking her on this journey of gaining wisdom through my favorite book of The Holy Bible: Proverbs.  

My heart was touched by my child’s yearning to grow even more in wisdom, knowledge, and understanding. She wanted to learn more about God’s promises,and His commands which protect us, and keep us from going down the wrong path. I read a few to her and explained them, while promising to find her a children’s book of Proverbs, because she also likes to read by herself. My young artist’s eyes lit up, as her little fingers reached for the thin pages of my coloring bible, as she realized she could also draw and color, while reading her way through the scriptures. I realized I needed to get her a coloring bible too!

I was filled with joy, as I took in the truth: Even with all my imperfections, my child is watching me walk with Jesus, and making the choice to walk with him too. Our family found out she knew Jesus, and already had a relationship with him, while she was yet only the tender age of three years old. My daughter showed a gift for discerning and understanding scriptures, forgiving easily, and  comforting others by perceiving their pain, along with ability to melt it away; even before her preschool years. She has wisdom beyond her years, and it is not credited to me; it is because God has given her these beautiful gifts. I marvel at them, just as I do at the gifts he has given to my twin boys, who are now young adults, and just as I see gifts within the children of my friends, and the children who have attended my Sunday school classes. 

The Proverb I read to my daughter last night happened to be: “These proverbs will give insight to the simple, knowledge and discernment to the young. let the wise listen and add to their learning, and let the discerning get guidance–for understanding proverbs and parables, the sayings and riddles of the wise” (Prov. 1:4-6 New International Version). Never assume someone is too young to follow Jesus, for the innocence of children is clean and pure. They don’t have the dirt and lies of the world to spoil their view, so they can see truth and love more clearly. Share God’s wisdom, truth, and love with a precious child today! 


“My child, listen to what I say, and treasure my commands.  Tune your ears to wisdom, and concentrate on understanding. Cry out for insight, and ask for understanding. Search for them as you would for silver; seek them like hidden treasures. Then you will understand what it means to fear the LORD, and you will gain knowledge of God” (Prov. 2:1-5 New Living Translation).

*Bible page pictured from Inspire ~ The Bible for Creative Journaling ~ NLT



Let God be Your Affirmation… not Fools!

Sometimes I get discouraged, and doubt creeps in. I wonder if my blog is making a difference in other people’s lives. There are times of great response, with comments and sharing; and other times there are personal affirmations from others (my favorite) and sometimes silence, when my heart remains grateful to my most encouraging friends! But God keeps giving me words to write! The words rain down upon me, and I can’t write them fast enough, because I know The Silver Lining is coming; and a whole bunch of people need to see God’s miraculous promise of a rainbow! 

There have been times people have come to me, saying they did not know where to turn, but had thought of my blog; The Silver Lining, and decided to contact me. What an honor to be sought out specifically by hopeful people, who reach out, believing their questions and problems will be received with God’s grace! This makes my heart sing! Sometimes the issue has been sickness; at other times marriage, children, or a friend. Someone may need prayer for depression, lonliness, or to battle the stronghold of a sin. It might be just a quick question about scripture interpretation, or best of all; the opportunity to lead someone to Jesus Christ. 

I don’t have all the answers; I’m still continuously learning myself. But I’m God’s willing servant, wanting to help others where I can. Sometimes I receive a one-time message or phone call. Other times there are several meetings over coffee; where I’m trusted to listen, offer biblical counsel, and pray for precious souls. 

God has also created opportunities for friendships to evolve and grow. I consider it such a joyful privilege, to have been chosen by God to bless others, through both the written and spoken word. This morning, as I read Proverbs 10, I was given a gift. God showed me how valuable my encouraging words really are, regardless of the feedback:

For the Bible says, “The words of the godly are like sterling silver, the heart of a fool is worthless. The words of the godly encourage many, but fools are destroyed by their lack of common sense”  (Prov. 10:20-21 New Living Translation). God is saying my words are valuable! 

As if that weren’t already a beautiful blessing, God is saying my words encourage many, whether I am aware of it or not! God is talking about godly people in those verses. That means God is talking about me! I’m not godly because I’m perfect; I’m far from it! I’m godly because Jesus lives inside of me! I daily repent, seeking forgiveness for my sins. I pursue Jesus, seek God’s wisdom, and ask the Holy Spirit to fill me. I am godly, because I’m a child of God!

But when God’s gives gifts to His children, He blesses abundantly. As I reflected upon His promises, and the truth that my godly words are valuable and an encouragement to many; He showed me something else: The words of fools are worthless.  Fools will even be destroyed, because they don’t have common sense! God obviously really, really means it, for there’s more:

“The godly will never be disturbed, but the wicked will be removed from the land. The mouth of the godly person gives wise advice, but the tongue that deceives will be cut off. The lips of the godly speak helpful words, but the mouth of the wicked speaks perverse words” (prov. 10:30-33).


Wow!  Not only is God further verifying that my godly words are helpful to others, He is reiterating the fact that foolish people’s words are useless. God tells us the words of a fool are deceitful and perverse. In fact, God hates foolish talk so much, that He promises to cut it off. He promised to remove wicked people from the land and leave us godly people happily undisturbed

Do you realize what this means for genuine Christian bloggers, evangelists, street ministers, pastors, youth leaders, and more? It means God has our backs! God is not fooled by copy cats and knock-offs. God knows the difference between fool’s gold, and solid 14k treasure. God is going to take care of the fools, the deceivers, the false prophets, the fake teachers, the pretenders, and the wolves in sheep’s clothing! No matter what it looks like right now, which kind of fools or obstacles try to stand in your way; they are nothing compared to the great plans and callings God has for His children, the godly ones!

So be encouraged, all you godly children! Keep on doing whatever you are doing to grow the Kingdom of God, knowing and trusting that your work is greatly valuable, and encouraging to others. Don’t let any slanderous fools lie to you and tell you you’re unworthy to share the gospel; or that your ministry is no good, or that you’re not making a positive, godly difference. Foolish words from foolish people don’t mean a thing. For GOD is the ultimate authority over all things. God’s got this!

“Therefore encourage one another with these words” (1 Thes. 4:18 English Standard Version)





Guest Post by Edith Ohaja: DO NOT NEGLECT THE “LITTLE” THINGS

It is very easy in Christendom today to major on the minor as people say or neglect the things that really count. Some believers don’t feel they are really serving God or doing anything important simply because their names are not seen on billboards or neon lights. They feel God is not pleased with them because they have not recorded miracles like raising the dead and opening blind eyes. They struggle to play in the major leagues of Christian ministry where they can found a church or fellowship with thousands of members or acquire relevance by some other contemporary standards.

Are you majoring on the minor, child of God? 

While I encourage every believer to seek the anointing for amazing supernatural impact, we should not in its pursuit despise the fundamentals which define our relationship with God and which will ultimately gain us admission into His kingdom when the Lord Jesus returns. When asked to identify the greatest commandment in the law, Jesus in Matthew 22:37-40 said it was love for God and love for our fellow man. You may ask, “Is the preoccupation with supernatural manifestation not a reflection of love for God?” The answer is, “Not necessarily.”

Dear believer, love for God and people matters more than fame as a preacher. 

If it was a good criterion for adjudging closeness to God, Jesus would not have given the teaching in Matthew 7:22-23:

“Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”

We should spend quality time with God, appreciate Him and listen to His counsel. There are things that burden and excite God and He wants those that can be intimate with Him to share them with.

Desperation and impatience for outstanding spiritual power can lead one into temptation. 

If we become too desperate and impatient for power, we just might get it from the wrong source or we might get intoxicated with power from God and elevate it in an unwarranted manner or abuse it. In the ministry of Jesus, when his disciples were going on and on about how they subdued demons after an outreach, his response was:

“Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you. Notwithstanding in this rejoice not, that the spirits are subject unto you; but rather rejoice, because your names are written in heaven” (Luke 10:19-20).

So, child of God, continue to serve God where you are. Magnify the basic disciplines of the faith – personal devotion (including ample prayer and bible study time), abiding in the presence of God – for by these, you will soak in and reflect the character of God in your daily life. That is what is referred to in 2 Corinthians 3:18, “But we all, with open face beholding as in a glass the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory, even as by the Spirit of the Lord.”

Also, do not neglect to share the gospel and care for people around you. God values you, He is taking note of your faithfulness, He rejoices over the fruit you are bearing, be it little or much, because it is fruit that will abide unto eternal life.

God values your service to Him whether the fruit be little or much. 

If you do the foregoing, when the anointing for signs and wonders comes, it will be authentic and it will not derail you in your walk with God. You will not be deluded by fame, wealth or influence. Rather, you will do only that which God has called you to do, not what others are doing, what will make you popular or what is lucrative. You will remain under the authority of your Father and return all the glory to Him.

More importantly, when the Lord Jesus returns, you will be counted among the sheep who will receive His kingdom. And He will say to you:

“Come, ye blessed of my Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world: For I was an hungred, and ye gave me meat: I was thirsty, and ye gave me drink: I was a stranger, and ye took me in: Naked, and ye clothed me: I was sick, and ye visited me: I was in prison, and ye came unto me” (Matthew 25:34-36). And while you will be wondering when you did all that to Him, He will say, “Inasmuch as ye have done it unto one of the least of these my brethren, ye have done it unto me” (Matthew 25:40).

With the love of Christ in my heart for you, dear believer, I pray that you stay blessed and rapturable.

~ ~ ~

The scriptures used in this post are from the King James Version of the Holy Bible.

“I said I am a bouquet of grace (right under my pic). You’re probably wondering what that means. It means my life has been decorated and is filled with the grace of God. It also means that you will find me exuding grace, even in the secular meaning of the word.” ~ Edith Ohaja

Edith Ohaja has been a born again follower of Jesus Christ since the tender age of 10. She is a lecturer in Mass Communications, teaching writing courses at the University of Nigeria, Nsukka. Edith is happily married to Richard, who is also a university lecturer. Edith loves to share the gospel, and it shows! Her radiance and joy show on her beautiful face, and through her written words. She shares stories, poems, articles, and insightful graphics on her blog. Edith will strengthen you and stir your emotions. This is because her wisdom and grace are gifts from God; and Edith gives all the glory back to God, right where it belongs!

Click here for Edith Ohaja’s original blog post: Do Not Neglect The “Little” Things.

You can subscribe to edithohaja.com to receive updates of new posts (inspirational, educational and entertaining articles, poems, quotes and graphics) in your mail. Subscription is free.

From edithohaja.com, you will find a link to Edith’s Facebook page: Aunty Edith, along with links to follow her on Instagram, GooglePlus (1), GooglePlus (2), Twitter (1), Twitter (2), Pinterest and StumbleUpon. Plus, you can connect with her on Linkedin.  Jesus is Lord!


10 Questions for Christians Marching for Causes (Series: Social Media Sadness, Badness, and Madness) 

Who’s right? Who’s wrong? As a Christian, how do you know which causes to support, or if you should participate at all? So many people are going in so many different directions, including our brothers and sisters in Christ. There are genuine believers, wandering believers, young believers, old believers, sincere believers, rebellious believers, passionate believers, laid-back believers, well-intended believers, entitled believers, people who falsely believe that they are believers, dangerously lukewarm believers, evil people pretending to be believers, and lost non-believers. These people are all loved by God, but they are not all Christians, just because they claim to be so.

A genuine Christian believer is one who has received Jesus Christ, and has a relationship with him. Many genuine, yet imperfect, Christian believers are living in confusion, conflict, and chaos because we listen to lies. If we do not engage in prayer, bible reading, and the pursuit of Jesus, we become more susceptible to being deceived, just as a non-Christian does. Unengaged Christians still have salvation, protection, rights, and authority in Christ, but they are living as if they do not. They cause confusion among their brothers and sisters in Christ, who seek to obey God and live by His Laws. With some claiming to be Christians, yet not living out a Christian lifestyle, it’s easy to see why people are led to march down so many false paths in the name of “Christianity.” Upon closer inspection, it’s not so difficult to find out why we are not all on the same page. The only pages that will truly unite believers, are those in the Bible.

As Christians, we have an innate desire to share truth, and fight for just causes. After all, we are fighting a spiritual battle every day. Most causes have political ties, with both liberal and religious undertones. We are living at a time where corruption is around every corner, with our country split right down the middle on whether we should respect and follow the godly laws upon which America was founded. Christians need to make sure we are not trying to “create our own truth.” For God IS Truth, and Only HIS truth is true. We must place our own hopes, dreams, and fears, into God’s hands, while trusting Him to care for them. We should then ask The Holy Spirit to speak truth to our hearts about the causes which ignite passion in our hearts. Then we must exercise wisdom and discernment, before marching forward.

There are many wonderful causes, and we are proud to participate in movements which could bring important changes for our country. But when a cause gets elevated over and above God’s truth, or attempts to replace God’s authority, we are definitely marching to the beat of the wrong drummer. Even the devil masquerades as an angel of light. Satan will deceitfully lead Christians down a path of distraction, danger, and eventually destruction if we do not keep our focus on God. Does your cause line up with scripture, or does it deceive you into believing your cause is the exception to God’s Laws? “We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ” (2 Cor. 10:5 New International Version).

Ten questions, Christians can ask ourselves, when deciding whether or not to get involved with a cause:

Does your cause…

1.  …Lead others towards God’s commandments and laws, or draw them away from God’s safety and protection?

2.  …Honor and respect God, or pay homage to your own selfish wants and desires?

3.   …Promote a peaceful bible-based message centering on goodness, nobility, and purity, or a false religion stirring up evil, chaos, and vulgarity? 

4.  …Spread Christ’s good news of hope, truth, and love, or ungodly shouts of anger, hopelessness, and hate?

 5.  …Involve prayer and possibly fasting, or involve impulsive acts based on flaring tempers and quickly-changing emotions?

 6.  …Come about after seeking God’s wisdom and discernment, or after being persuaded by the media, and opinions of others?

 7.  …Stem from a solid foundation on biblical truths, or from getting caught up in passing trends and fads? 

8.  …Stem from a passion to follow Jesus, or from a desire to further the agenda for separation of church and state?

 9.  …Come backed with proof and prophecy from the scriptures, or from worldly influence and ideals?

10.  …Give you peace that you are doing God’s will by following Him and listening to His voice, or leave you with the unsettling, smug satisfaction of using your own voice, while leaving God and Jesus out of the picture?

Christians who stand, march, and fight for causes which do not align with God’s Holy Laws, are hurting themselves and others. In a world drowning in deceit, there will be times that Christians with good reasons and well-meaning intentions, will support and participate in causes without realizing the evil motives of the enemy moving underneath. When a Christian discovers that the cause does not please God, he or she will experience conviction, seek forgiveness, and choose a different path. Christians need to understand that our emotions will deceive us; we can’t trust in a cause just because it makes us feel good. We need to ask Jesus to lead us to the truth, which will bring us peace. A cause without God in the middle, is quite simply, a lost cause!

The Silver Lining is God knows the hearts of His children. God knows whether we are truly seeking Him, or whether we are willfully engaging in the sins of stubbornness, rebellion, and pride. But God can use everything for our growth and His glory! Our job is to view situations with discernment and call out the sin, without judging our brothers and sisters in Christ, whom we are called to love. We can disagree with others, but demeaning fellow believers with threats, insults, name-calling and other forms of abuse does not display the character of Christ. Instead, we should pray for each other to grow, and in humility, acknowledge and understand that we all come from different walks of life.“Don’t speak evil against each other, dear brothers and sisters. If you criticize and judge each other, then you are criticizing and judging God’s law. But your job is to obey the law, not to judge whether it applies to you” (Jas. 4:11 New Living Translation).

The most important question is: Are we willing to walk, march, and run for GOD’s cause…in order to grow the Kingdom of Jesus Christ? No cause is more worthy of our valuable time and energy. Eternal lives depend on us! There will be many times when people oppose, fight, and insult us as Christians for sharing the truth. We will be judged, as others seek to take over, hoping to drown out the message of righteousness in Jesus Christ. God has revealed in the scriptures, that our compassionate, truth-filled words will fall on deaf ears. The spiritually blind cannot see what the eyes of the spiritually discerning can see. People cannot receive truth until they elevate God above their own agenda and causes. But God promises us victory in Jesus! People can march for their causes, but the battle has already been won for us. The victory is ours, and our freedom is in Christ Jesus!

“But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”  (1 Cor. 15:57 English Standard Version)

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“Rejoice in the Lord always. I will say it again: Rejoice! Let your gentleness be evident to all. The Lord is near. Do not be anxious about anything, but in every situation, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your requests to God. And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.

Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable—if anything is excellent or praiseworthy—think about such things.”
(Phil. 4:4-8 NIV)

Oh Christmas Tree… Let YOUR Lights Shine!

The pre-lit Christmas tree promises “lights that stay lit, even if one goes out.” It doesn’t tell the truth. We’re all familiar with stressful holiday preparations. Everyone knows that a dose of irritation is included, for free, in every box of Christmas tree lights!

A few years ago, our family purchased a pre-lit, artificial tree with tightly wound lights. No longer would we have to face the hassle and anguish of stringing up lights. This tree would offer quick, instant set-up, and instant sparkle. But nothing man-made lasts forever. When Christmas came, we were disappointed to find multiple lights burned out on multiple strings.

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We spent several days dealing with our problem. We talked about replacing the lights, but it was impossible to find out which ones were attached to others. Our family looked for a new tree, but didn’t like the ones we found. They were either too tall, or too skinny. Almost all of them came… pre-lit. We finally found one for a great price, without lights. Yet, it didn’t seem to make sense to buy such a similar tree, when the money could be used to buy one for somebody else.

We went back home without a tree. My husband now had a migraine. This meant my teen boys and I needed to figure out what to do. Otherwise, December would be gone. One of them suggested we just cut the lights off of the tree, and put up new ones. I resisted. Couldn’t we just replace individual strings? No. It wasn’t possible. The strings were tangled, and lights were everywhere. After we unplugged the lights from the outlet, my son began cutting the crazy maze. I was wound as tightly as the light strings. We hadn’t we started this a week ago?

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Twin teenagers were doubly helpful. It took two days to remove all the light strings! Finally, we were ready to add new lights. As I began to string the bottom of the tree, I realized we didn’t have enough lights to finish! The next day, my husband was still recovering from his migraine. Yet, he headed to the store with one of the boys to get more lights, and do some important errands. During this time, I had developed severe bronchitis, and didn’t feel like doing much of anything. This was truly a holiday headache!

Discouragement breathed heavy lies into my ear. New boxes were brought home. “Surprise!” The lights inside were twinkling lights. The boxes had looked similar. How could I judge my husband, when I’d purchased garland lights only a few days prior, which didn’t match either! Ornaments were strewn everywhere. They were also disappearing… because ornaments and toys look the same to a six-year old.

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Every year, I expect the rush, and try to plan early. Each year, I fail. But new trials had been difficult, and God doesn’t see me as a failure! I began to look at the big picture. In spite of holiday stress and annoyances, my family was together. We irritated each other and argued, but we were together. My family pitched in on that last night, and decorated the tree… together. Tree decorating isn’t my family’s favorite tradition, because it’s a lot of work. But we do love the beauty, memories, and excitement of Christmas. It wasn’t about the tree. My family had cooperated, and brought me happiness, simply because of their love for me.

Our family knows to pull together, even in the small things, because God has pulled us through the bigger trials. He answers our prayers, providing us with everything we need. He draws us closer to Him, sharing wisdom about the world around us. It’s comforting to know God can make good out of everything, bringing healing and bringing us freedom in the process. “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose” (Rom. 8:28 New International Version).

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Old lights, which have burned out, are useless for brightening a room. To be able to see clearly, we need new lights. When we leave our old selves behind, we become born again, brand new in Jesus. We can choose to take a step of faith, believing Jesus was born to die for our sins, and that God miraculously resurrected his body from the dead. Pray to God, and ask Jesus to come into your heart. Admit you are a sinner, and ask God to forgive your sins in the name of Jesus. Go in peace, knowing you will spend eternal life in Heaven with Jesus. “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal life” (John 3:16).

The light of Jesus shines through those of us who belong to him. When we let our lights shine, we become hope for those living in darkness. We all have light to offer, if Jesus lives within us. We can encourage others to shine, by seeking God, and sharing what Jesus has done for us in our own lives. As brothers and sisters in Christ, our lights will shine even brighter as we come together. Others will be drawn to the light, because God is light.

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A string of lights, with a burned out bulb, needs a replacement. A lost person, living in darkness, needs brand new life, and light, in Jesus. If a light has grown dim, we need to minister to that brother or sister in Christ. We must endeavor to encourage the brokenhearted and hurting, and help those who have lost their way because of pain.  An uncooperative light string needs tending. So do stubborn people. They need love, wise counsel, and healing in Christ. Those who receive salvation will always remain plugged in to Jesus, our eternal light source.

God is an everlasting light. His light never goes out, because He is light! “This is the message we have heard from him and declare to you: God is light; in him there is no darkness at all. If we claim to have fellowship with him and yet walk in the darkness, we lie and do not live out the truth. But if we walk in the light, as he is in the light, we have fellowship with one another, and the blood of Jesus, his Son, purifies us from all sin. If we claim to be without sin, we deceive ourselves and the truth is not in us. ” (1 Jn. 1:5-10).

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“When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, ‘I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life’ ” (John 8:12).