What is the Gospel?

We are fast approaching the time of year when we will discuss at length the meaning of the gospel. Afterall, Easter is coming. (smile) For our friends that think it only involves painted eggs and pretty new dresses, we need to have our response ready.

Sure, all year long, you are to live holy. Your life is being watched by said person year-round. But in just a few weeks, you will have the increased responsibility (we are to witness and evangelize daily) to make sure that you are letting everyone know your good news.

The gospel message is the good news. How will you share it? What will you say? If you were going to write the gospel in a paragraph and send it to a friend or family memeber, what would the contents be? Are you confident? Do you know what the gospel is? Well, if not, let me give you a start. Check out 1 Corinthians 15:1-8. Now, would you give me and the other readers of this blog a clue as to what you might say about when sharing the good news of Jesus Christ – His birth, death and resurrection by posting your comment below?

Don’t be afraid to post – you can even post anonymously.

Share the gospel – and you can start right here – right now.
Looking forward to your insights!
Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Blank Stares, Mute Responses

Is anybody home? That’s what I want to say sometimes when I am talking to someone and they seem to be ignoring me. Of course, this is bound to happen. Our minds are so full of “this and that.” It’s not that “this and that” aren’t important items – I wouldn’t dare to say that they are not. But, I am beginning to wonder, “is it worth the lack of communication?”

In our culture, we generally stay hooked up to something – whether it’s our computer, cell phone with texting capability or email – we are always communicating by typing. What happened to communication by speaking? I think we need more of it! Speak people!

I guess I’m still a little puzzled by the response that I got from one of my students recently. I asked the student a question that only he could answer and he simply went mute. He refused to answer me or the question that I posed to all of the other classmates. Maybe I should have asked him via text message. Maybe then I would have gotten a response.

All jokes aside, I am concerned about this student. I believe this student is just one of many suffering from the same syndrome. We need to be able to speak our convictions. The first step is a de-cluttering of “this and that” coupled with a right focus. Let me give you a quick example: Ask anyone in America what is going on with Britney Spears and you will get an answer and an opinion. Ask anyone about the Ten Commandments or God’s covenant promise to Abraham and you may just get that mute response that I got from my student.

This is just something to ponder. I’m finishing my lunch…and communicating by typing… Add me to the list. We all need prayer.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Material Wealth Does NOT Equal Peace

Yesterday in my Sunday School class, I, along with the other instructor informed our students that the pursuit of material riches would not grant them peace. In fact, this same pursuit would probably cost them their peace. They only need to take a look around to see modern day living examples of such. Brittany Spears is rich but does not have peace. Shaquille O’Neal is rich and the same is true – the radio stations are talking about how much he spends each month for his mortgage, clothes, gifts etc. That much public attention concerning your lavish personal finances can’t leave you with much peace. This was an especially important point for our class because one student remarked that their ultimate desire was to be rich and popular.

As teachers, of course, we had to pursue this road. We had to explain the sufficiency of Christ and the dangers of the love of money and those details. We did this. But, I don’t know that we got all the way through. We’re going to have to reinforce this teaching. Kids think that having money equates to having an easy life. But, the richest man that ever lived didn’t have any easy life. I’m talking about our Savior, Jesus Christ.

How will we turn this titanic lie that says that wealth equals happiness and peace around? We have to start on our knees. I ask that you pray with me that our children – indeed our future – begin to have an earnest desire for the things of God. I don’t desire for them to live their days in pursuit of things that will leave them restless – instead, I want them to pursue the things that will grant them peace. This can only be found in a strong relationship with the Lord.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Book Meme

Angela at Refresh My Soul tagged me for a meme. Sad to say, but I had to look up what that meant! Thank God for Google and wikipedia! Anyway, it reminds me of those emails that we all used to send to our friends trying to find out more about them – their favorite color, hobbies and other list items etc. Well, I liked this meme – it’s on books. And, as a nation, of course, my stance is that we should all read more. What a wonderful way to share some great books. Soooo, here goes.

1. One book that changed your life –Battlefield of the Mind by Joyce Meyer. Boy oh boy did I have some wrong mindsets! I’ve since purchased this book for SEVERAL of my friends and it has helped them too!

2. One book that you have read more than once – The Bible, no surprise there.

3. One book you would want on a deserted Island – The Bible – no matter how many times you read it, you always find something new within the pages.

4. One book that made you laugh– Hmmm – nothing springs to mind at the moment.

5. One book that made you cry? – I’m reading several books on the spiritual disciplines – one chapter in this book about Mabel made me cry – it’s The Life You’ve Always Wanted by John Ortberg.

6. One book that you wish had been written– the one that I keep writing and revising!

7. One book that you wish had never been written – When good things happen to bad people – bad theology but I had to read it for a seminary class that I was taking.

8. One book you are currently reading– Spiritual Disciplines for the Christian Life and The Life You’ve Always Wanted

9. One book you have been meaning to read – too many to mention.

10: 5 people to tag: I’m not going to tag anyone – they may all be like me…slow to get this back out! Sorry Angela! <3>

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Who needs sleep? I do!

I feel as if I didn’t sleep a wink last night. I went to bed on-time. I tried to sleep but there was an annoying little noise that kept waking me. About every four minutes, there it was. I finally got up to investigate. I’d just had some repairs done to my commode. Apparently, more repairs were needed. I decided to turn off the water supply to the commode to no avail. It didn’t work. I tossed. I turned. The commode ran. We both had very active nights.

I finally got up – put on my “Calm Mind” CD. Afterall, in the midst of all that tossing and turning I was having a few thoughts about the day. I prayed. I asked for peace. I waited. I was still up…So, I got up – again. This time, I prayed, read my Bible, took some rather good notes and then read this other Scripturally-based book, which made me cry. Fantastic author. Now, I’m spiritually convicted and emotionally spent. I thought that after some time of this study and reading that I would surely sleep. I turned off the light, laid down. Heard the commode – still running that marathon – couldn’t sleep.

At some point, the Lord took mercy on me and I feel asleep. Of course, just in time to see the sun rising. And, to hear the ringing of my alarm. I’m exhausted. Pray my strength today!
(Oh, and yes, I did call the plumber – I have an appointment today!)

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

When we have patience, we have peace

There was I time that I would say this: “I’m just not the kind of girl that has oodles of patience.” I can look over some aspects of my family history and see exactly where I have picked up this – shall we say – character trait. Now, having asked God to change me and grow me into someone that is Christlike, this little impatience thing has got to go.

Recognizing that a change is needed and implementing the change are two birds of a different feather. On somedays, I can feel that my flesh is struggling against what it would naturally do and say and what God would have me to do and say. It’s a battle that I’m determined to win — but it would seem that sometimes I just don’t have the patience to carry it through! See, there’s that patience thing again.

Yesterday was a tough day for me. I really wanted to tell somebody exactly what was on my mind – but the teachings of the Lord were flooding my mind and overtaking my mouth. (Thank God for that!) I had to come to grips yet again with the fact that as a messenger of the Lord, I just can’t say everything that I want to say or do it either. No, I’ve got to be about my Father’s business. That’s a patience thing with me. I can’t exact my own justice. I have to give it to the Lord and let Him handle those folks that are trying to handle me! I do know this – nobody exacts punishment like the Lord. So, I’ve got to go on about my day and wait on the Lord to do whatever He will to the one that is offensive to His kingdom.

That brings me back to patience. When I took a close look at that work, I found the following: “in t peace”. Those letters make up the word patience. And, if I just dazzle it up at little bit, I get, into peace. With patience, we can get into peace. It is the sweet knowing that we can do nothing but trust God. We therefore, should just wait on Him to avenge those that wrong us and have the compassion to love them just the same – much like our Lord continues to love us. And, we have to lay down our own imperfections and allow the Lord to work on us. I am still on the operating table – and the Lord is building my patience spiritual bank account. Yesterday, I had to make a withdrawal, but after a talk with my Father, today, I’m ready to make a deposit. I deposit patience today! When we have patience, we have peace.

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Take the Battlefield!

I’ve just been talking to a friend who is burdened with unnecessary drama. I listened intently while the situation was clearly explained to me. And, I have to say, as I have said to my friend, that we have a choice. We can wallow in the traps of the enemy or we can let him know that he is defeated! We are victorious in Christ!

Ever wonder why the enemy is hitting you with everything he’s got? Because he already knows that his time is drawing to a close and he has already lost the war. He may win a battle or two along the way while fighting against us (if we let him), but the war is won! Satan IS DEFEATED! He’s just trying to drag you down with him. So, when he comes, just let him know to back up! Move out! Move on! In the name of Jesus!!

Get up warrior Christian and fight. We have all the aid we need if we would only tap into it. Become a disciplined student of the Word of God, and train in it daily. And, then you will be prepared to take the Battlefield!

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Change – A Fantastic Thing

It’s Monday. And, it’s a Federal Holiday – It’s the day that we celebrate the accomplishments of Martin Luther King Jr. It’s amazing to me to look back on how times have changed – and they have. That’s a fantastic thing.

I was watching the news and saw a partial interview. The interviewer was asking what people thought that Martin Luther King Jr would think of the fact that the Democratic party has two minority front contenders (Clinton and Obama). I don’t know what he would think but I think that change, in the right direction, is good. In fact, it’s a fantastic thing.

So, desiring to continue on with change, in the right direction – looking back on everything that has happened over my life, I am going to really focus on moving forward in the right direction. And, that’s a fantastic thing. That for me means more discipline. I don’t know what it means for you, but I know what I need to do.

By the way, if you were wondering if I got the nod from P31, nope. Sure didn’t. But, that’s alright too. God used that ministry to pull three women into the spotlight. I will be looking forward to reading their articles. If you get a chance, drop by Lysa’s blog – her link is to the right.

Sanya

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

P31 Posting: Weeds!

To the Proverbs 31 staff,

Welcome to my blogsite! I am submitting this post for your contest consideration. It’s entitled “Weeds!” and it is about spiritual dryness. I pray that you will find it a joyful read.

Yours and His,
Sanya


Weeds!

I’ve got weeds y’all. Anyone that knows me will tell you that I put a lot of time and effort into maintaining a nice, green, lush lawn. I got that trait from my Dad. He would say, “If you make the investment in a house, you should also make an investment in the yard. It frames the house.”


Well, where I live, we are experiencing an “exceptional drought.” Apparently, that’s the worst category. Pray for rain! Due to the drought, my lawn is parched. The grass is no longer nice, green and lush. In fact, in some spots, the lawn is bare. The grass died due to the harsh conditions: extreme heat with little nourishing and cooling rain. And now, I see weeds encroaching in my grass!

Surveying my lawn, I began to ponder – could it be that my spiritual life is being played out in my lawn?

There are extremes in my spiritual life. I can be “red-hot” for God or I can be a “lazy” Christian and sometimes I fall somewhere in between. Don’t gasp. I’m not alone. My “status” in this area all depends on how much quiet time I spend alone with God.

Lately, I’ve been slack. I’ve put several other “important” and well-intentioned things before my devotional time with God. Don’t get me wrong. I’m still praying and studying. But, I’m talking about real quiet time – where I am still enough – long enough to hear my Father speak to me. Quiet time!

As a result of neglecting my quiet time, the “harsh” circumstances and conditions of my life have presented a drought-like situation for my soul. I need the nourishing rain of a long conversation with my Father.

Can you relate? The drought in my state spans multiple counties. And, although you may not physically live where I do, if, when you take a spiritual survey, you discover weeds, I urge you to seek the nourishing rain that is available. I pray that the ground of our hearts is saturated with praise for God. I finally understand the saying “My soul thirsts for thee.”

I’ve got weeds in my yard but I don’t want weeds in my soul. I know that grass – having a personal relationship with God – is the best defense against weeds. Take the steps with me now to return to being a woman of God that sits at the feet of our Lord, listening and learning, in intimate fellowship with Him – sans weeds. Spend time alone with him, practicing the discipline of Solitude. Enter a noise-free period designed for communing with Him. Afterall, He comes first! But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33 KJV)

My God, let it rain!

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.

Survey the Bench

We are a nation of plenty. We have a boatload of talent nearly everywhere we look. So many of us are gifted in different areas. Yet, so many of us refuse to use or discover the gifts that lie within us. Instead of activating our gifts, they lay dormant, being utilized by no one. Therein is the problem. We were not given gifts by God just to have them. We are to use them to benefit the Kingdom. Are you using your gift? Is it benefiting the Kingdom of Heaven?

There is something else to consider. I am finding that often times, when our gift is recognized and activated, we are “held back” from opportunities to practice our gift. Unfortunately, I see this happening in some churches. Let me give you an example: some ministries would much rather go outside of the church looking for a resource than to use the resources that exist within its very walls. Why don’t we give our own the opportunities to grow and develop? Why do we not lend our support and cooperation? I could suggest many things but I want you to ponder that question. What is it about us, as a people, as a church, and in some cases, as a gender, that we would much rather cheer the non-member than to support the member? I suggest the answers lies in a close examination of our heart.

If this happens to be you, and you are in a position where your spiritual bench is being overlooked, be encouraged. God has a great plan for you. BE OBEDIENT to Him. He will continue to develop the gifts that He has given you – and at the right time, in the right season, your gift will come forth and be made known – it will overtake you (Deuteronomy 28:2) and there is nothing that anyone can do to stop the plans of the Lord!

Visit us at http://www.beamsoflightministries.org for more content on dealing with emotional wounds through the power of God’s Word.