It is amazing what God has done for me in the last three years or so. My entire attitude has changed, my heart has softened, my need to live for God has developed into a natural way of life now. I know longer wonder weather my needs will be met, because I know they will. My prayers are answered. Sometimes not right away, or exactly the way I thought they would, He understands my needs and knows I love Him as a child would love a Father. He is my Father, my heavenly Father. And I am in awe of Him. I adore Him, He loves me in spite of myself. The self that is still a sinner. I struggle to be his disciple, I lack the needed discipline to tear myself completely away from the world and surrender all to Him. This is where Discipleship class teaches me that as I give up the worldly desires and confess my sins and ask for forgiveness and repentance and pick up my cross daily and follow Him, He will take away those things of the world for me. My struggles become easier as God draws me nearer. As we end our time together in discipleship class I happily look forward to Sunday!
However,when the sermon is over on Sunday and the song of invitation is sung and the Pastor says the prayer that ends the service, each Sunday I’m suddenly sad, I do not want to leave the Lord’s house. Im not ready, I’ve been away from my church family much of the week save for thursday’s discipleship class. I want to visit! I want to greet each and every member or non-member of our church and ask how they are and let them know I pray for them each and everyday. Not to make me feel better, but to feel closer to all of them and in doing so to bring us all closer to God. I try hard to make eye contact with everyone but at four feet eleven and a half that is a little tough sometimes! I’am discouraged once again and take my little ole self back to the fellowship hall with others to make sandwiches to deliver to the poor. There I console myself and say well this is for the good of the church. And I do love all the people that stay and we enjoy each others company.
I would love to see the people of the church gather more frequently and really get to know one another. The short time we are at church is not long enough to know more about each other and benefit from the new friendships we may make. Let us all pray that God will touch our hearts and open them to others. I just know there is someone out there that needs a loving christian friend.
Yours in Christ’s love, Heartfulandhopeful
“The spirit of the Lord God is upon me; because the Lord hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound: 2 To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord, and the day of vengeance of our God; to comfort all that mourn; 3 To appoint unto them that mourn in Zion, to give unto them beauty for ashes, the oil of joy for mourning, the garment of praise for the spirit of heaviness; that they might be called trees of righteousness, the planting of the Lord , that he might be glorified.” Isaiah 61:1-3
These passages should be, in my opinion, the very words that every Disciple prays that the Lord will help him each day to carry out according to His will.
For just a little over a year I have been in a discipleship class as I have said in an earlier blog. One of the first thoughts in my mind as we started the class was how does God want me to serve Him? I went through all the ways almost every day since January of last year. I have prayed on it as well. I thought well maybe He wants me to clean the church or sing in the choir or perhaps look after the little ones in the nursery… what if He wants me to serve on this committee or that committee? I did sign up to help on the fellowship committee and I will continue to serve there with love, but while all these things were available to me, I just couldn’t feel what God wanted from me besides the obvious, to go out and make more disciples.
I began a new year of discipleship classes and yet I had no answer. I still work outside of my home, so my hours of availability are a little restricted. I also have my Mother here with me; I have her needs to consider. So I have to say I was wondering where I was going to find time to evangelise to others, and, above all where?
I received an email recently asking for counselors. Online counselors for Christ. I must say I gasped. I said thank you Lord for allowing me to receive this email. I really felt He had opened up a door for me! So I have begun the process of qualifying for the volunteer position and hopefully in a few weeks God will use me as he sees fit to witness to others around the world.
I have received the green light and am starting the training later this week. I am so excited to be doing this for the Lord, please pray with me that I will find the right words to say to these people who are looking for Jesus.
Yours in Christ, heartfulandhopeful
A fellow blogger (Utterly Dependent) wrote on prayer in schools which reminded me of a discussion in my Discipleship class on prayer. I have learned so much from this class in the last year and it has enriched my life and love for my Saviour and my church family in abundances!
What it also has taught me is your prayers can come at any time and place. I often pray on my way to work. Yes, I have my eyes open, the Lord hears me and I him. At class we do a group prayer, where each of us pray about what is on our hearts and when we are finished the next persons starts and so on. I like this prayer, for one I learn what is on the hearts of my fellow classmates and two, when I am alone again I can pray for their needs as well. Sort of a built-in reminder for me. Another prayer type is a one sentence prayer. For a large group this works well. Another place I pray is the storage closet at work. “When you pray, go into your room, and close the door and pray to your Father who is unseen, Then your Father who sees what is done in secret, will reward you.” Matthew 6:6
But no matter what type of prayer you do, God does hear you if you are in a good relationship with him. ” If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.” John 15:7 Ask not for what you want but what God wants for you. Praise God because of who he is, not because of what he does.
When I was young I did not feel God heard my prayers. Now i am sure he did, but because of my sinful life he choose not to respond until I was acting like his child again, in awe of Him. ” If I had cherished sin in my heart, the Lord would not have listened.” Psalm 66:18 Now, with my life turned around living for Him and his will, I hear him daily. ” Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my anxious thoughts. See if there is any offensive way in me, and lead me in the way everlasting.” Psalm 139: 23-24
Prayer is pleasing to God, it is one of the ways we worship him, do this often and he will reward you. You need not stand on a stage to say a prayer to be heard, just a whisper will do.
In Christ’s love, heartfulandhopeful
Sheep trust their shepherds entirely. Did you know that a shepherd will lay across the threshold of where his sheep are resting each night if no gate is there? How much the sheep must have trusted that shepherd, And how much the shepherd cared for his sheep to protect them with his life. John 10:7 Then Jesus said unto them again, Verily, verily I say unto you, I am the door of the sheep.
If Jesus is your shepherd, how much do you trust him to take care of all your needs? John 10:14 I am the good shepherd, and know my sheep. We must remember to follow the good shepherd, not the bad, the ones who influence us to do wrong against our Heavenly Father. There are many shepherds of this world, you have a choice of whom to follow. John 10:8 All that ever came before me are thieves and robbers: but the sheep did not hear them.
Jesus lays in the threshold of your soul to protect and love you. John 10:9 I am the door: by me if any man enter in, he shall be saved, and shall go in and out and find pasture. As sheep we have the responsibility to seek out others who do not know the Lord and show them the way. Trust in your shepherd to show you the way and help you to speak the words you need. Call upon him, show your faith and love for him. John 10:16 And other sheep I have, which are not of this fold: them also I must bring, and they shall hear my voice: and there shall be one fold, and one shepherd.
Yours in Christ’s love, Heartfulandhopeful
At an alarming rate I am discovering more and more articles in the news about Atheists and their desire to compete with Christians. The latest one is a letter written to the President asking him to consider leaving the “so help me God” out of the oath along with hey while you’re at it why not place your hand on the constitution instead of the Bible?
They go on to giving the President some numbers such as: in 1990, 8% of Americans were nonreligious. In 2008 there were 15%, now they are 20%. One in three Americans under 30 now identify as nonreligious. This is the demographic that, by a wide margin elected Obama in 2008 and again in 2012. In his second term election he got 70% of the Atheist’s vote. I will not be surprised if he does do as they request. Nothing this man does now is a surprise to me. Some say he claims to be a Christian, I don’t see it or feel it.
So how often do any of us tell people that we are a Christian? How serious are you about showing your colors? Or in this case bearing and wearing your cross? Personally I plan to wear my cross everyday where it can be seen. I always have my senses honed for that question, “are you a Christian?” Yes are you? What are you willing to do to stand up for Jesus?
Corinthians 4:4 ESV
In their case the god of this world has blinded the minds of the unbelievers, to keep them from seeing the light of the gospel of the glory of Christ, who is the image of God.
Standing up for Jesus always, Heartfulandhopeful