Nine Reasons I Didn’t Share My Faith

When the Lord first used a broken fountain in Detroit to stir my heart to share my faith, fear paralyzed me for a season. But the hope of Christ burning within me overcome my fear.  However, other fears quickly replaced the first and for a while halted my willingness to share my faith. If you have ever struggled with sharing your faith, I’ve been there way too long. Here are a nine reasons I didn’t share my faith. My hope for you is that you may not linger long in some of the briery paths I stumbled into.

Go into the world and preach the gospel. Mark 16:15 NIV

Excuse Number 1: I don’t even know what the Gospel is exactly, so I can’t preach it!

Christ commissioned the apostles to go into the whole world and preach the gospel, but what exactly does the “gospel” represent?

According to Martin in his sermon, Christ’s Commission to the Apostles, the gospel “represented facts in the eternal past and in the eternal future — promises, predictions, His (Jesus) own history, dispensations of the grace of God, and certain aspects of the government of God.”

Any facts you discover in the bible about God’s promises, predictions, the life of Jesus, and God’s grace is all part of the “gospel.”

So, if you share what you know….that Jesus, God the son, came to earth as a baby, lived a sinless life, willingly sacrificed his life on the cross, so that we could be forgiven, and rose on the third day, and still reigns in Heaven…that is the gospel.

Excuse Number 2: I still can’t preach the gospel, after all, I’m not qualified like the Apostles were! What if someone asked me a question I couldn’t answer?

Christ himself came to this earth to fulfill the divine work that God himself began. In today’s world if I were to select men who would fulfill divine work, I would certainly look for well-educated ones who have the finest seminary degrees. I would be extremely impressed by those who could answer all the tough questions.

But that’s not who Christ chose!

Christ chose men who did not already possess much education at all.

In fact, their jobs weren’t even related to ministry work. But Christ chose them anyways. And he chose you too!

Excuse Number 3: There are so many people already preaching the gospel, they don’t need one more!

The interesting thing is that all the apostles were chosen to continue the same divine work. They all had different backgrounds, personalities, and did not all present the gospel in the same way.  But Christ chose them because they had compassion for people with different backgrounds, personalities, and who need to hear the gospel presented in different ways.

So, whatever your background, your personality, and the way you present information to others…there are people who just may connect with you in a way they can not connect with me. And that’s why we are ALL needed!

Excuse Number 4: I can’t preach the gospel because my faith is not strong enough!

It makes sense to me that the perfect man was called into the world to preach the perfect message.  Christ fulfilled this work, but then he called the apostles to continue the divine work that he began.  And despite what you may already have heard about the apostles, in the beginning of their service the apostles did not have a strong faith.  I know this because right before Jesus sent them out into the world to preach, He had “rebuked them for their unbelief and hardness of heart, because they did not believe those who had seen Him after He had risen (Mark 16:14).

So obviously these apostles who Christ chose clearly weren’t as strong in faith as I previously believed them to be. They were people perhaps a lot like you and me. Someone who isn’t in ministry. And even if you have struggled with believing that Christ was risen, apparently that doesn’t disqualify you either.  Even the apostles, struggled in the beginning with believing that Christ had risen after dying on the cross.

But God did rise Jesus Christ from the dead and in his tender loving kindness, Jesus extends grace to those who struggle with unbelief.

Excuse number 5: I just don’t have enough energy, I’m wiped out!

Although the apostles were far from having a STRONG faith, they had received “promises of power.”  They received the presence of Christ himself and the Holy Spirit remained with them as they continued their divine work.

And dear one you have received a “promise of power” too. Every time you bow your head and invite Christ into your daily life, you receive his presence.  And the Holy Spirit works in you as you continue the divine work that began so long ago.

Excuse number 6 : But I can’t preach!

And did the apostles really preach? Or were they called to repeat what they seen, heard, and experienced?  The essential message that Jesus Christ came into the world to save sinners like us (Martin).”

I may not be able to preach, but I can tell everyone what I’ve seen with my own eyes, heard with my own ears, and experienced within my soul.

I have seen God change people’s minds, heard Jesus saves, and experienced how he removed my anger, fear, and unbelief.

Excuse number 7: But I’m too scared to try!

There have been many courageous men in history who overcome perils and dared to do the impossible because they believed they were part of a “Divine Call.” Think about the dauntless pilgrims who braved unforgiving seas to sail to a new world.

They were victorious because they encouraged themselves with the words, “I am here because God commanded me to be here and the Lord Jesus Christ is my hope!”

This same hope burned in Jeremiah’s soul as he stood against furious opposition as he rebuilt Jerusalem’s wall (Nehemiah 4:1 NIV). It comforted Daniel as his actions defied the King’s wrath. This same hope gave Elijah strength to stand fearless before a murderous King.

Excuse number 8: But I don’t know what to do!

If you have viewed a military movie on Memorial Day, you have seen how every soldier, every brigade, and every regiment remains vigilant until they receive the commander’s orders to move. If one battalion moved without orders, this weakens the line of defense. It may even thwart the future actions that the General has so carefully planned.

In the same way we need to wait until we hear God’s command to move.

By day we train our eye to watch the pillar of cloud and by night we follow the fire that leads.

Although we agree it is disastrous to lag behind the regiment’s movements. It is foolish and equally disastrous to run ahead. We may unknowingly run into danger.  Or even worse our own eagerness may even spoil a blessing the Lord has planned for us. Instead remain with the troops and wait for God to move (The Presbyterian).

Excuse Number 9 : But, what if?

What if you are rejected? Well, even Jesus was rejected. But what if your obedience to Christ changes a person’s life?

You may never know if the seed you plant ever grows to bear fruit, but your obedience will forever change your own life!

With the Lord Jesus Christ firmly planted in your heart as your hope, hurricanes may blow, but you will remain standing firmly upon the rock. By grounding our feet in the hope of Christ, our soul anchors to the firm rock that guards the seashore. No matter how long the Tsunami may roar, our souls are secure in the arms of Jesus (Martin).

May I pray for you?

I praise you, Christ, for anchoring our soul to you, the firm rock that guards us. I thank you for being our hope so that we can withstand all fear to share our faith. I confess this fear to you, forgive us for our unbelief. I ask that you train our eyes to look to you as we await to see you move in our lives. In Jesus name, I pray Amen.

May I offer you a gift?

I’m a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m married to a firefighter, am a mother of two college age sons and one lovable rescue pup. My new day job is as an Instructional Designer but my background is teaching Elementary school.  I love learning and sharing with my friends.

So, I’m looking for online friends to grow spiritually alongside me. As my online friend, I spend time praying for you everyday. My goal is to specifically design encouraging gifts to help you know deep in your soul just how dearly loved by Jesus you are.

If you would like a free digital image of  “Trust in the Lord”,  click the link to join my email list.  

Every week you will receive a new image to encourage you!  

  1. Feel free to comment below about what may keep you from sharing your faith. Or share how you have overcome one of the above reasons.
  2. You may also connect with me on Instagram.
  3. Consider following my Facebook page to view more blogs from Hope Writers.

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Where is God at Work?

Did you grow up in the 1980s, the Me! Me! Me! Generation?   Did you watch the life of the rich and famous on television, and your heart yearned for the enormous mansion, fancy sports car, and sequined evening gowns? Are you listening to the world whispering You can have it all!   

Labels like Calvin Klein were extremely important in our 80’s materialistic culture. But I bought my prom dress at a thrift store. A rusty Toyota Corolla dropped me off at high school, and Wal-Mart labels were my primary source of insecurity.  Instead of having my identity grounded in being a daughter of the LORD,  I was looking for the approval of my friends, family, and teachers.

God is at work in our minds, hearts, and souls.

But God had a plan for my life and opened my ears to hear the word of truth about Jesus. I received his gift of salvation and at that moment God began working in my mind, heart, and soul. He became my security, my confidence. God has a plan for your life too and I pray that He opens your ears to hear the truth and receive salvation.

God is at work enabling us to live a worthy life

Once you accept Jesus to be your Lord and Savior, then God is at work to enable us to live a life worthy of the Lord and to please him (Colossians 1:10 NIV).  The only person I’m really good at pleasing is myself. It doesn’t come naturally to me to seek God’s approval instead of mine, family or friends. But when you feel yourself reaching for the cell phone to call a friend for advice, pause and pray instead.

Christ gives us His strength, courage, and perseverance to do the right thing, to choose the actions that are good for us, and for our families’ well-being. We need his wisdom to know what is truly important and what lasts.  For example, that sequined evening gown’s zipper is busted, the sports car is scratched by the Wal-mart carts, and the mansion has way too many rooms to clean!

But what’s important is the relationship with the Lord that is cultivated through meditating on his word.  The Holy Spirit uses the Lord’s word to teach us the difference between godly character and the world’s ways.

The Lord is at work growing fruit and giving knowledge.

And not only is God only teaching us, but the Lord is at work growing fruit from the work that He inspires us to plant.  And a sure fire way of knowing that the Lord is at work is when the knowledge of God increases in us (Col 1:10 NIV).

The Lord is at work giving you great endurance and patience.

I don’t know the difficult workplace you will face tomorrow morning.  Your boss may be demanding, the customers may be overly critical, and your children are prone to be disobedient. But no matter what you will face today, God strengthens you with all the power according to his glorious might and will give you great endurance and patience if only you ask (Col 1:11 NIV). And when you ask, you must believe and not doubt that He has the power to do what you ask (James 1:6 NIV).

God is at work qualifying us to share in the inheritance.

God is also at work qualifying us to share in the inheritance of the saints in the kingdom of light (Col 1:12 NIV).  He rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought you into the kingdom of the son he loves, in whom we have redemption, the forgiveness of sins Col 1:13).  So when the news looks mighty dark, look up to the light above. When guilt and shame of your past looms in your memory, remember Jesus has chosen to forgive you.

God is at work reconciling us to Christ.

God was at work when he reconciled you by Christ’s physical body through his death to present you holy in his sight, without blemish, and free from accusation (Col 1:22 NIV). How can we doubt that God is at work when he created a plan for you?

But the question is when we labor, are we struggling with all his energy that works powerfully in us (Col 1 :29 NIV)? Are we seeking him daily and allowing him to encourage our hearts and unite us in love?

God is at work forgiving us our sins.

God made us alive with Christ and He forgave us all our sins (2 Col 13 NIV).  So when we find ourselves feeling insecure, fearful, and dependent on the approval of others, we will feel trapped. But when we choose Jesus, He gives us security, removes our fear and makes us worthy.

In the little Golden Book about God, the work of God in us is described:

“He gives us a small, still voice in our hearts to help us tell wrong from right. God gives us the hopes and wishes and dreams, plans for our years ahead. He gives us memories of yesterdays, so that happy times and people we love we can keep with us always in our hearts. For GOD IS LOVE.”

God is not just working in our two lives, but is working all over the world. Wherever the name of Christ Jesus is being preached, people are hearing. The message is growing, just as it has been since Jesus’ resurrection.

One example is the Children Evangelism Fellowship which teaches bible lessons for children in 195 countries around the world.   CEF also train adults to teach Good News Clubs here in the United States as well.  According to their website they have sent 800,000 Wonder Devotional Books to Africa and their plan is to reach 500,000 children in Asia with the books as well.  God is moving in the hearts of tens of thousands of trained volunteers who help children grow in their relationship with the Lord.

May I Pray For You?

Heavenly Father, we praise you for being our salvation, security, confidence, and truth. We thank you for working in our mind, heart, and soul. We confess that our hearts are divided when we look to our family, friends, and ourselves for approval of our actions. We ask for Christs’ courage, strength, and perseverance to do your will. Help us to see you at work not just in our lives, but in everything. In Jesus name, we pray. Amen.

A Song you May Enjoy

In  Toby Mac’s song, he sees God Everywhere! :

“It’s in the boom of the thunder, it’s in the cool of the rain.
And everywhere I turn is a reminder
I see You in everything, all day
And every beat of my heart keeps reminding me
No matter where I go I know Your love is finding me”

 

May I offer you a gift?

I’m a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m married to a firefighter, am a mother of two college age sons and one lovable rescue pup. My new day job is as an Instructional Designer but my background is teaching Elementary school.  I love learning and sharing with my friends.

So, I’m looking for online friends to grow spiritually alongside me. As my online friend, I spend time praying for you everyday. My goal is to specifically design encouraging gifts to help you know deep in your soul just how dearly loved by Jesus you are.

If you would like a free digital image of  “The Lord is Trustworthy”,  click the link to join my email list.  

Every week you will receive a new image to encourage you!  

  1. You may also connect with me on Instagram.
  2. Consider following my Facebook page to view more blogs from Hope Writers.

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3 Blogs that Spoke to Me

If you enjoy lounging at the beach with a good book, then you may also like reading blogs.  One of the best features of reading a blog is connecting with the writer as well as other readers. If their writing sparks a memory, feeling, or resolution to something you have been contemplating; then you can comment at the bottom of the article.  If you don’t have time to dilly dally, you can just press the like button. However if someone pops into your head who would be blessed by reading the same article, then you can even share on Facebook or Instagram.  If one person would benefit, then there are likely more people out there who may also be interested.

Since my collection of blogs is piling up, I thought I would share three that spoke to me.  So grab something refreshing to drink, and get comfy…we have some reading to do.  Enjoy!

A Few of my Favorite Blogs

Many years ago I remember waking up in the middle of the night and picking up my bible to read because it was a sure fire way to make my eyelids droop.  For some reason the bible just seemed dry, difficult to read, and not applicable to my life.

If you are in that dry season right now, then you need to read, “What to Read In the Bible When You Don’t Know What to Read.” Jazmin Frank discusses how she relies on the Psalms because they are short emotion driven prayers. She even has a 150 day guide to reading the Psalms that you can download. I love to read the Psalms, clip out parts that speak to me and then rearrange them into what I call a Found poem.

My Found Poem Inspired From the Psalms

Heavenly Father, my thoughts ponder your goodness.

My fear is cast out.

Your righteousness covers my sins.

Shine your heavenly light, for I’m struggling to follow you.

The brush is dense and vines trip my feet.

Forgive me Lord for not uprooting the sin as soon as it sprung in my path.

Weeds quickly branched out in all directions and now my path is completely overgrown.

Tall trees tower over me.

Your light seems so far away, so dim.

The path behind appears wide, clear, and safe.

But, I hear your urgent pleas calling me forward.

When I turn my head towards your direction, your strength presses me closer.

Jesus, you are the light of my whole world.

I need you to shine brilliantly into my mind and heart.

Block out this darkness.

Show me your truth.

Give me your wisdom so my reactions align with your love.

Where I see a tragedy, you see an opportunity to display your goodness.

I acknowledge that I am helpless without you Lord.

Only you can soften my heart.

Unleash your amazing power.

Open my unseeing eyes and draw me close.

I can trust you, only you can see dangers around the bend.

Help me Lord to react in a way that honors Christ.

To find a clear spot to rest.

To know which direction to turn.

I’m fearful step forward, so I close my eyes tight.

And I hear your words rebuke the fierce wind and the pelting downpour.

Once the wind quiets, I dare to speak.

I praise you Lord.

You are my healer.

You restore me.

Thank you LORD

How to Overcome Temptation Like Jesus

I don’t know about you but I love chocolate, so it is really difficult for me to stop my hand from slipping into the candy dish whenever I pass. I think temptation sometimes works the same way, we say we won’t do it anymore.  But then as we attempt to walk past the temptation, we reach out instead.  Why? Because that’s what we’ve always done.

In order to overcome temptation, we need Jesus which is why I really enjoyed reading Ashley’s blog about how Jesus overcame Temptation. She gives biblical examples of how Jesus rebuked Satan’s lies with scripture. She reminds us that if we believe that Jesus is the Son of God, then we receive the Holy Spirit. The Holy Spirit has the power to overcome temptation.  By hiding scripture in our heart and speaking it out loud, we can overcome temptation.

Growing Our Faith

I doubt that many people actually like taking orders.  For some reason, I like to think about it and only do what I think is a good idea too.  Yeah, I didn’t last long in the U.S. Army.  If they tell you to dig a hole, you dig it.  No questions asked.  No thinking involved, just do it!

You know you have a problem when you don’t even trust GPS.  Seriously, SIRI and I had a full blown out argument the other morning as I braved the interstate on the way to work.  However, I have marveled at the way some people just follow the travel directions.  Cassie Lynn Douglas speaks about how people of faith should pay attention where they are headed, instead of just moving on auto-pilot.

Cassie gives four ways that we can water our spiritual relationship, but one in particular really spoke to me.  She suggested to grow our faith by allowing more Godly influences into our lives, and remove the bad influences.

In the same way that we are what we eat, we are what we listen to.  We are what we watch.  We are who we hang out with.

But what if I keep the candy dish empty?

I found that I needed to be mindful of what I’m listening to.  If the radio, songs, or person’s message doesn’t align with God’s truth, I turned it off. Yes, I know what you are thinking.  I rarely watch television anymore and I’m listening to Christian music more.

I also took the same approach with social media.  If people post things regularly that aren’t good for a child to view, then I hide their posts.  And you what?  I feel better!  The heaviness is gone.  My spirit is calm and joyful.

If you are feeling overwhelmed, stressed out, then try it…maybe it will work for you too.

If  any of these blogs have “clicked” with you, then please share it with a friend. That would be a blessing to both your friend and the writer.

Which Topics Spoke to You?

Please take a moment and share which blog or sentence spoke to you.   I’d love to hear from you!

May I offer you a gift?

I’m a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m married to a firefighter, am a mother of two college age sons and one lovable rescue pup. My new day job is as an Instructional Designer but my background is teaching Elementary school.  I love learning and sharing with my friends.

So, I’m looking for online friends to grow spiritually alongside me. As my online friend, I spend time praying for you everyday. My goal is to specifically design encouraging gifts to help you know deep in your soul just how dearly loved by Jesus you are.

If you would like a free digital image of  “It is better to take refuge in the Lord”,  click the link to join my email list.  

Every week you will receive a new image to encourage you!  

  1. You may also connect with me on Instagram.
  2. Consider following my Facebook page to view more blogs from Hope Writers.

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6 Songs to Add To Your Playlist

2017 was a hard year for me. So difficult that I turned off the foggy blather of the news, avoided the Hallmark channel like the plague, and even turned off my favorite radio station Z88.3.  Why?  Because they all contained “triggers” that sent my mind swirling into areas that I had decided for my own good I wasn’t going to dwell on anymore.

That is easier said than done, but music helped turn my focus back to the Lord and keep my eyes on him.  I’m sharing with you today some of those songs that ministered to my heart.  I hope they are a blessing to you!

Mercy Me  Shake 

Lyrics

“Ain’t no explanation
How I saw the light
He found me and set me free
And it brought me back to life”

Mercy Me Shake song is a dance song to remind you that Jesus has brought you back to life! The rhythm lifts your feet and shakes your hips even early in the morning.  It’s impossible to sit still while listening.  If your soul is downcast or you are having a difficult time believing that today is a glorious day…then play this song.  It lifts my spirit every time!

Mandisa Overcomer

Lyrics

“The same man, the great I am
The one who overcame death
Is living inside of you
So just hold tight, fix your eyes
On the one who holds your life
There’s nothing he can’t do”

This video will really inspire you because there are so many people in this world who are fighting the battle every day just to breathe! So, if you are able to breathe today… praise God.  But if your chest is tight and it hurts to inhale….remember Christ Jesus, “the great I AM, the one who overcame death is living inside of you.” He is the Overcomer, so cling tightly dear one.  All you have to do is sit still, because He will fight for you!

Mandisa Unfinished

Lyrics

“He started something good
And I’m gonna believe it
He started something good
And He’s gonna complete it
So I’ll celebrate the truth
His work in me ain’t through
I’m just unfinished”

Mandisa wrote this song as she was battling doubt, depression, and shame.  Hear her story behind the song  on 955 the Fish radio station. For me, this song reminded me that God is still molding me into something beautiful. I may feel broken beyond repair but God resurrects the dead. He breathes life into seeds, nothing is too hard for him!  Where we see a seed as lifeless, God sees life beginning. He is still working in you too, so celebrate the truth!  His work in us ain’t finished, but when it is finished…we will be His masterpiece.

Take a look at this broken dish that has been repaired with gold. Kintsugi means “golden repair” and that reminds me of the work the LORD is doing in me.

Mandisa Good Morning 

“Now I’m smiling, and I’m kissing all my worries goodbye
Got the feeling, if I spread my wings I might even fly
You are my truth, my way
Give me the strength to say”
Get up, get up, get up
‘Cause it’s a good morning, hey”

If you don’t want to open your eyes to face the new day because the responsibilities of the new day just seem so overwhelming, then this song can help you get out of bed! It lifts your spirit and reminds you that the LORD gives you the strength.  He will be with you no matter what the day holds.  And it’s a good morning! Even the birds are singing, if we will just get up early enough to listen.

Mandisa Born For This

“Feels like I’ve been holding my breath, trying to still my restless heart
Everything hangs on my next step, finding my nerve, playing my part
I found shelter underneath His crown, found favor inside His eyes
Rock this boat, and I just might drown, honesty seems to come with a price
There’s a time to hold your tongue, time to keep your head down
There’s a time but it’s not now
Sometimes you gotta go, uninvited
Sometimes you gotta speak when you don’t have the floor”
This song was written about Esther, but it really spoke to me.  We can’t allow fear to stop us from stepping into the room God gave us the authority to enter. If He sends us, He will go with us, and His will always succeeds. If the LORD has called you to Him, you have found favor in His eyes, and shelter under His crown. When the LORD calls us to speak truth, we have to be bold even when we might feel like we don’t have what it takes.  HE does!

 

Mandisa Press On!

“When I’m alone, when I’m afraid
When I have had all I can take
Losing my grip, I start to slip away
When I can hear the voice of doubt
Inside my head, screaming loud
Strengthen my faith, and help me say today
Today
I will follow, I will press on
Even when the walk feels long
Your hands hold me together
Your love is with me forever
Through the broken, through the victory
I will praise You through it all
And run hard ’til the race is done
I, I’m gonna press on, press on”
Press On reminds me that I am not alone.  It reminds me to be strong and courageous, to not be afraid for the Lord my God goes with me (Deuteronomy 31:6). I remember to take my thoughts captive and cling to Jesus. Tightly holding on to his robe, I can walk through the darkness.  His love is with me forever.  Even if my body is broken, He will deliver me safely into His kingdom. And I have the awesome opportunity to praise Him through all the events of my earthly life until my race is done.  I may be limping across the finish line, but He is by my side cheering me on to victory!

 What Songs Lift Your Spirit?

Please take a moment and share a song that always lifts your downcast spirit.  I’d love to hear from you!

May I offer you a gift?

I’m a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m married to a firefighter, am a mother of two college age sons and one lovable rescue pup. My new day job is as an Instructional Designer but my background is teaching Elementary school.  I love learning and sharing with my friends.

So, I’m looking for online friends to grow spiritually alongside me. As my online friend, I spend time praying for you everyday. My goal is to specifically design encouraging gifts to help you know deep in your soul just how dearly loved by Jesus you are.

If you would like a free digital image of  “In You Lord, I Put My Trust,  click the link to join my email list.  

Every week you will receive a new image to encourage you!  

  1. Feel free to comment on this blog about a song that means something special to you. I’d love to hear from you!
  2. You may also connect with me on Instagram.
  3. Consider following my Facebook page to view more blogs from Hope Writers.

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Singing Melodies in our Hearts

On Father’s Day, I skipped church to go fishing with my husband.  While feeling incredibly guilty about not attending the local worship service, the musical chirps of the birds reminded me of a much larger worship service. That all of creation worships His name. So while I worshiped the Lord quietly in solitude. The lapping of the waves,  swaying of the reeds, and the shrieking of the circling hawk reminded me how beautiful is a musical life.

Speak to one another with psalms, hymns, and spiritual songs. Sing and make music in your heart to the Lord, always giving thanks to God the Father for everything, in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Ephesians 5: 19 – 20 NIV

Singing is Worship

If you believe Jesus sacrificed his life to save you from your sin, was resurrected on the third day, and now lives at the right hand of God the Father; then Christ gives you joy.

I (Jesus) have told you these things so that My joy may be in you and your joy may be complete (John 15:11 NIV).

Singing is “making melody with our heart,” it is the “echo back the glad tidings of God’s love (Adeney).

Singing is Sacred

We use words to communicate what we are thinking, but we use songs to communicate our feelings. “Singing is the natural language of the heart (N. Emmons).”

Music cheers us up when we are sad, exhilarates our spirits at sporting events, and inspires soldiers with the “spirit of courage, fortitude, and patriotism (Emmons).”

When we direct our holy affection of our inner being towards God through song, our music is sacred. That may be hard to believe since we do not all have the lovely notes of a nightingale, but a loving father cherishes his children’s’ voices.  After all He created us all, some with deep baritone and some to hit the high notes.

Singing in the Bible

God created nature to sing. Every morning the world is wakened by song birds and on warm summer nights the whippoorwill says goodnight. Nature itself sings in the bubbling brooks, ocean waves crashing on the beach, as well as the night sounds of insects.

David sang to the Lord while in the desert.

I will give thanks to the LORD because of his righteousness; I will sing the praises of the name of the LORD Most High Psalm 7: 17 NIV.

Make a joyful noise to the LORD,

all the earth.

Serve the LORD with gladness;

come into His presence with joyful songs.

Know that the LORD is God.

It is He who made us, and we are His;

we are His people, and the sheep of His pasture.

Enter His gates with thanksgiving

and His courts with praise;

give thanks to Him and bless His name.

For the LORD is good,

and His loving devotion endures forever;

His faithfulness continues to all generations.

Psalm 100 Berean Study Bible

The Angels sang after telling the shepherds where to find baby Jesus, “Praise God in heaven! Peace on earth to everyone who pleases God. (Luke 2:14 CEV).”

Heaven sings with music of Moses and the Lamb:

“Great and wonderful are Your works,

O Lord God Almighty!

Just and true are Your ways,

O King of the nations!

Who will not fear You,

O Lord,

and glorify Your name?

For You alone are holy.

All nations will come and worship before You,

for Your righteous acts have been revealed.”

Revelation 15: 3 BSB

How to make melody in your heart

  1. Consider what words you actually sing instead of just singing stanzas that have no meaning.
  2. Sing with affection directed towards God.
  3. Sing with joy that comes from Christ.
  4. Sing with Faith that God’s promises are true.
  5. Ask God this his word that we sing will cleanse our inner being.
  6. Sing to Praise his name and give thanks for all our blessings
  7. Sing when suffering

Sing when Suffering?

At the last Supper Jesus sang hymns with his disciples which prepared all of them for the trials that lay ahead of them.  Paul and Silas after being beaten with rods from the Roman soldiers chose to sing.  They turned a dungeon into a chapel.

When we choose to sing songs of praise during our suffering, our hearts are being transformed from a dark cold prison into a heavenly dwelling where the Holy Spirit dwells.

On Z88.3 radio, I heard a story about a woman who had been captured by Indians.  They bound her with ropes and set fire to her.  She responded by singing.  Her husband heard her singing and was able to follow her voice through the forest.  He saved her because, she sung in the face of danger.

The Lord hears our songs of praise, thanksgiving, and especially the ones we sing during times of suffering.

May I Pray for You With a Psalm?

God is our refuge and strength,

an ever-present help in times of trouble.

Therefore we will not fear,

though the earth is transformed

and the mountains are toppled

into the depths of the seas,

though its waters roar and foam

and the mountains quake in the surge.

There is a river whose streams delight the city of God,

the holy place where the Most High dwells.

God is within her; she will not be moved.

God will help her when morning dawns.

Nations rage, kingdoms crumble;

the earth melts when He lifts His voice.

The LORD of Hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Come, see the works of the LORD,

who brings devastation upon the earth.

He makes wars to cease throughout the earth;

He breaks the bow and shatters the spear;

He burns the shields in the fire.

“Be still and know that I am God;

I will be exalted among the nations,

I will be exalted over the earth.”

The LORD of Hosts is with us;

the God of Jacob is our fortress.

Psalm 46 BSB

May I offer you a gift?

I’m a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m married to a firefighter, am a mother of two college age sons and one lovable rescue pup. My new day job is as an Instructional Designer but my background is teaching Elementary school.  I love learning and I love sharing things I learn with my friends.

So, I’m looking for online friends to grow spiritually alongside me. As my online friend, I spend time praying for you everyday. My goal is to specifically design encouraging gifts to help you know deep in your soul just how dearly loved by Jesus you are.

If you would like a free digital image of  “In You Lord, I Put My Trust,  click the link to join my email list.  

Every week you will receive a new image to encourage you!  

  1. Feel free to comment on this blog about how songs have influenced your life. 
  2. You may also connect with me on Instagram.
  3. Consider following my Facebook page to view more blogs from Hope Writers.

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References:

Adeney W.F. Christian Worship. [sermon]

Emmons, N. Sacred Music. [sermon]

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I am a Hope Writer

What about the Horrible things I’ve done?

In her bible study, Entrusted, Beth wrote, “You have no idea what I’ve done! Jesus might wish to counter with this; Actually, you have no idea what I’ve done.”

All these thoughts and feelings of long ago rushed into my mind yesterday as I read through Beth Moore’s study of 2 Timothy.

Why would God bless me after all the horrible things I’ve done?

Why would Jesus choose to take the punishment for my sin?

Whipping myself with scorpion tails of guilt, my eyes can’t see why God would concern himself with me.  An insignificant speck of dust.  I knew the punishment that I deserved.

I felt the huge chasm between us that I created with my own angry words and unrealistic expectations. It seemed impossible  God should forgive me when I had deliberately hurt him.

My own strength could never survive the agony of plucking out the broken shards that pierced my own soul. It’s much easier to curl in a ball and give myself over to despair. This ache feels as vast as heaven itself. All the hurt, anger, and confusion is an  impenetrable stronghold.

I can’t even stomach the sight of my own face in the mirror? How can I appeal to Him again?

The dry knot in my tight throat stops the words from forming into a prayer. But I can’t stop my silent tears from calling out to the one who can heal me.

I may barricade my hurts deep inside my heart, but God unlocks what I intend to hide even from myself. Jesus reminds he has forgiven me and he has forgiven you.

It seems impossible that the battle raging inside me would ever cease. That the anguish of my soul would ever be transformed into praise.

Is it possible to be glued together, to be whole and healthy once more?

Would I ever be acceptable again?

Could Jesus fill this yearning ache?

Instead of relying on my own strength, I turned to Jesus that day.  And I continue to turn to Jesus every day since.

In the same way that Jesus was resurrected and brought back to life, even I could be glued together again.  To be whole and healthy, to be acceptable to Him.

And yes, only Jesus fills the yearning in my soul and he can fill yours too.

You will be shocked and awed that our Heavenly Father will bless you with forgiveness, salvation, and righteousness. He will place truth in your mind and bless your soul with peace.  His word will protect you from lies. I know because he has done all this things in my own life.  If he can heal me, he can heal you too!

Jesus didn’t only die for me but he chose to die for you too. He declared you to be significant.

He allowed his blood to be poured out because He loves you. On the cross, he forgave you for all the thoughts, words, and actions that sin again Him.

Jesus came back to life on the third day so that you may believe that He is the Resurrection and Life.

All you need to do is to accept his gift.  By accepting his forgiveness, he has blessed you with the Holy Spirit.

Allow Beth Moore’s encouraging words to seep into your soul, “Your back is tired, Beloved. Lay down the heavy burden of your guilty conscience. Jesus has sprinkled your heart clean.”

May I pray for you?

Christ Jesus, you are Life.

You are righteousness.

 

You are the light of men shining in the blackness.

Your word illuminates my stony heart.

 

You are the truth.

Empower me with understanding.

 

Shine in my gloomy heart to kindle your knowledge.

Enlighten me Lord.

 

Your word warns me that Satan disguises himself as your goodness.

That I invite the darkness when I rely on my own strength.

 

Readjust my eyes to focus on you alone.

Give me courage to invite your radiance into life every morning.

In Jesus name, I pray, Amen.

May I offer you a gift?

I’m a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. I’m married to a firefighter, am a mother of two college age sons and one lovable rescue pup. My new day job is as an Instructional Designer but my background is teaching Elementary school.  I love learning and I love sharing things I learn with my friends.

So, I’m looking for online friends to grow spiritually alongside me. As my online friend, I spend time praying for you everyday. My goal is to specifically design encouraging gifts to help you know deep in your soul just how dearly loved by Jesus you are.

If you would like a free digital image of  “In You Lord, I Put My Trust,  click the link to join my email list.  

Every week you will receive a new image to encourage you!  

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5 Things To Do When a Friend is Sick

Most likely sometime this year you or someone you love may encounter sickness.  No matter how healthy you eat or the amount of time you spend exercising, at some point your body will fight off the common cold or worse, the dreaded flu.  Everyone hates having to slow down our schedule while our body fights off the annoying germs.

Even when we face a temporary illness, a week to 10 days of uncomfortable wheezing, fever, and sleepless nights drives us all crazy. Not to mention the cost of doctors’s visits, prescriptions, and physical therapy makes it difficult to arrive to work on time.  Sick time becomes necessary and co-workers schedules may be affected which causes even more stress.

Sickness itself may cause anger, discouragement, and loneliness to take hold in our mind.  We may be angry at our poor choices, discouraged that we aren’t healing quickly, or lonely due to a hospital stay. When we are sick we may lash out at our loved ones and be more likely to think about unhealthy topics. If we are not careful, hopelessness and bitterness may take root in our souls. We may feel helpless and life may seem out of control.

There are may people in the bible who also suffered from sickness. Miriam suffered from leprosy for seven days (Numbers 12: 10 – 13 BSB) while Naaman may have suffered from it even longer.  However, both were healed. Job suffered and was restored to health too.  However Lazarus died but was later brought back to life by Jesus (John 11:43 BSB).

Jesus cared for many people suffering from blindness, withered limbs, and fevers. He even healed people on the Sabbath. By his example, he showed Christians that we have a responsibility to care for our sick loved ones.

Almost as soon as the physician utters the diagnosis, the next question is , “Why did this happen?”

We want to know how we can prevent sickness, but not all sickness can be prevented.

Sometimes people jump to the conclusion that God must be punishing them for their sin. However sickness does not always result from sin. Jesus shows us this in John 9 when he explained that it wasn’t the sin of the parents or the blind man that caused the blindness. He explained that this occurred so that God’s work could be displayed in the blind man’s life. God wants to display his power in your life too.

Sickness is the part of life that we would rather avoid, but there is no avoiding it. Even the amount of faith you have does not protect you from future illness.

When we are sick we cling to the hope that Jesus will heal us or our loved one like he healed the woman who touched his cloak.  She believed Jesus could heal her and she was healed (Mark 5:30). But there are other times in the bible when a healing occurred when someone else had faith like the Centurion (Luke 7:6) who asked Jesus to heal his servant. But in the Garden of Gethsemane, Jesus healed the soldier’s ear. Obviously the soldier didn’t believe in Jesus ability to heal him, but his ear was healed nonetheless (Luke 22:51).

However, sometimes great faith doesn’t result in healing. Paul was a man of great faith and had already experienced Jesus’ ability to heal him from blindness.  But he suffered from a “thorn” in his flesh, and even after pleading to God about it… God revealed to him, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is perfected in weakness.” ( 2 Corinthians 12 : 9)

You don’t have to suffer for very long to realize that being sick humbles us.  Nothing is more embarrassing than having to rely on complete strangers to help us with basic life functions like going to the bathroom.  Sickness tests our faith. It can refine it, burning off all our doubts and fears through the recovery process.

Sickness also teaches us to be patient as Christ restores our body, slowly gaining strength little by little, day by day. Illness teaches us perseverance, to continue to rely on His strength to make it through each day. But most importantly, sickness teaches us to have compassion for other people who also suffer.

During illness, it may be helpful to remember that your sickness may be temporary. But even a temporary loss of our strength, our mental abilities, or speech can send a person questioning whether this may be forever.

Did you know an estimated 50 million of U.S. adults suffer from chronic pain? This may be from back injuries, arthritis, or migraines. Many people deal with this on a daily basis while they attempt to carry out their normal job responsibilities.

So what can our loved ones do?

It is not always pleasant to see our loved ones in pain and we may tend to avoid visiting.  However our sick loved ones still need respect and dignity from people they care about. Dignity may be difficult to achieve especially if you are the one wearing a flimsy hospital gown that won’t stay closed no matter what type of knot you tie.

However, these five tips may help your visit to a loved one be a little more comfortable for both you and them:

  1. Avoid being overly sad, but instead remain cheerful.  Your loved one needs encouragement, they shouldn’t be the one to comfort you. Allow the person you are visiting to determine whether to give you a hug, kiss, or handshake.
  2. Give your friend time to talk and listen carefully. This provides comfort.
  3. Don’t ask them if they want prayer, but rather suggest that you would like to pray for them. If you are prompted by the Holy Spirit to pray for them in person, keep it short!
  4. Leave an encouraging bible verse, card, or devotional with them to read when they are feeling up to it.
  5. Don’t promise God will heal them. But rather direct them to seek God and leave the rest up to him!

May I pray for you?

May your path intertwine with Jesus.

He leads out of darkness.

He teaches you to sing in The Father’s presence.

May a joyful melody lift your spirit.

Jesus speaks life into your mind.

May he light your path.

All you need to do is follow Jesus’ footsteps.

Run into his loving arms.

May the Lord restore your hope,

and repair all your hurts.

May Jesus shine brightly in your thoughts and emotions.

Fill your soul and spirit with healing.

May you praise Lord Jesus

and Peace fill your heart.

In Jesus Name, we pray Amen.

May I offer you a gift?

If you would like a free digital image of  “In You Lord, I Put My Trust,  click the link to join my email list.  

Every week you will receive a new image to encourage you!  

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I am a Hope Writer

April

I’m a servant of God and the Lord Jesus Christ. Married to a firefighter, a Mother of two college age sons and one lovable rescue pup. I’m a Instructional Designer.My background is teaching Elementary school so I’m a Thinking Math Enthusiast, a Write from the Beginning Believer, and Technology junkie.