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Thursday, January 05, 2006

Back In The Fire

Why is it that in times when we should be praying the most, we spend more time worrying than we do praying? Then we start wondering why we don't feel like reading our Bible, why we don't find enjoyment in working on building up our talents, why we don't feel like blogging and how we could be happy that our phone got disconnected. Trust me it had nothing to do with rejoicing in my trouble. Praying is the only thing that helps me be able to do that and praying was the last thing I felt like doing.

I think sometimes we reach a point where we think we've become invincible from anything bad. What we don't seem to realize is that we are our worst enemy. I was doing everything I should and felt like I was overcoming all my troubles by believing that God is going to get me through it. I prayed for almost an hour straight on Tuesday. I prayed for everybody I could think of, all the missionaries I knew of that were overseas, everyone I could remember on my prayer list, the people in Israel and my own needs which I got tired of saying over and over again and then saying over and over again that faith was my choice and I made the choice to believe. And then I started waiting. I felt like I had thrown the ball in God's court and it was His turn to do something. Well, He hit it back and I didn't even see it.

In 1 Thessalonians 5, he's talking to the church, to us. When I read this verse, it confirmed that because I felt like it was written with my address on it.

Now we ask you, brothers, to respect those who work hard among you, who are over you in the Lord and who admonish you. Hold them in the highest regard in love because of their work. Live in peace with each other.

-1 Thessalonians 5:12-13

Needless to say, I was a tiny bit frustrated with a couple of pastors because they had promised me an article and didn't deliver. Now I know why I let it roll off my back. Instead of getting angry, which used to be my normal response, I naturally just thought it's okay I'm supposed to put something else there. I'm still not sure exactly what, but I'm sure I'll have it figured out by Friday.

Then I read these verses and it pretty well cinched it for me to get up and go look for that ball.

Be joyful always; pray continually; give thanks in all circumstances, for this is God's will for you in Christ Jesus. Do not put out the Spirit's fire; do not treat prophecies with contempt. Test everything, Hold on to the good.

-1 Thessalonians 5:16-21

I feel now like I've chased that ball down and I'm getting ready to hit it back over to his side. Maybe this time I'll be more alert when he makes His move.

The one who calls you is faithful and he will do it.

-1 Thessalonians 5:24

I was excited that I was going to have some "quality alone time" being that things are getting down to the know where you really want to grab the reins and say, whoa...let me take over for a little while and get things back on track and then I'll let you take over again. Let me just say, if it gets any worse, it'll be a best seller on how I was able to drag myself up off the floor and write it.

God, I really don't want to be a novelist, but if you want me to, lets hurry up and make me a really great one right now! It can be about You and how You're working in other people's lives besides my own.

Truly, I believe that is what He wants me to do. To help others tell their stories about how they found God and why they got saved. At first I thought I was supposed to provide the pastors of the local churches a way to reach out to the community, but after testing out that idea, I've come to the conclusion that's not it.

A similar thought about what I was supposed to do with my life had occurred to me earlier. I tested out the idea of sharing for free, my knowledge of computers and programs, etcetera, but there weren't any takers. However, because I still want to offer my knowledge to other believers, I'm adding a new feature (another test idea) to my blog that will show you when I'm online. I will also be happy to lead you to Christ if you're ready to be saved. I'll let you know now, at first I probably won't be as good as people that do it on a regular basis, but be it by me or by someone with more experience, you'll come out with the exact same result. If the feature works like I think it should, you should be able to click on it and ask me to allow you on my friend's list. You must type a message saying that you want to be saved or that you are saved and your computer question.

I feel that God is calling me to provide a way for others to share their story. Sure pastors are awesome for believers to grow spiritually, but it usually takes someone like you and I for them to even want to get in front of the pastor. Also, the pastor isn't the only one that is supposed to lead people to Christ, we can too. By telling our stories to others who are feeling just like we felt, we might touch the life of just one person who's at the place where we were when we got saved.

This is a huge step of faith for me, but I'm testing another idea as well. At first I thought about a contest, but then I another idea came to me, why not offer to let you be a part of the newsletter and let you reach out to people in your community too. Anyone can submit their story, article or poetry for me to publish for free, but for $25, plus $4.05 shipping, I will send you 25 copies of Hope, Love & Good News that will also feature your story and a Sponsorship Ad (you can advertise your blog, church, or whatever). You can buy just a Sponsorship Ad without submitting a story. The dollar amount will determine the ad size and how many copies you get and I will throw in the shipping. For more information on that you can look on the site by clicking here.

The next issue will be online on Friday for you to see. I'll be sure and post the link on my sidebar when it's up. If you'd like to distribute Hope, Love & Good News in your area, you can either print it from the website or please let me know how many copies you would like. All I ask is that you pay for the shipping which would probably be around $5.

Tonight at church, the pastor mentioned a verse in 1 Corinthians. I underlined it to remind me, but then I had to go search for it online to find it again. I need to memorize it.

His work will be shown for what it is, because the Day will bring it to light. It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man's work.

-1 Corinthians 3:13

The whole chapter is good to read especially if you're "in the fire" like I am. I've heard it said that Baptists believe once saved, always saved, but as for myself, I believe that my salvation is my foundation and even a foundation can become weak and crumble. Our salvation is our strength and we should always remind ourselves of that by giving thanks in prayer every day if just for that alone. If we do that, then what we can keep testing what we are building on our foundation. What is good will withstand the fire.


Anonymous handmaiden said...

The truths are reaching out. Continue to stretch your arms toward heaven, for God will reach down toward you to lift you up higher.

Monday, January 09, 2006 3:01:00 PM  

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