What Can I Do to Share My Faith?

If you’re a Christian today, you can rejoice. You are standing in the middle of a wonderful opportunity to share your faith. Never before have people been more desperate for words of encouragement and hope.

You can sow seeds of love and grace by being kind to those around you (including those you encounter in the grocery store and at the doctor’s office).

You can show Christ’s love by refusing to hoard supplies or even better by sharing your resources with those who don’t have any. You can share God’s peace by choosing to remember God’s care and provision in times past.

A Prayerful Response to the Coronavirus

“Peace I leave with you; my peace I give you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid.” – John 14:27

We’re living in troubled times. The Coronavirus is a globally spreading pandemic, affecting people from every continent and every walk of life. The young, the old, and everyone in-between is at risk.

It’s easy to panic right now. Maybe you are tempted to hoard supplies, anxiously watching the news, or fretting over all the horrible things that could happen to you and your loved ones.

These are natural and normal human reactions to chaos. But just because panic is a tempting reaction doesn’t mean it is your only choice. There’s another option that you may be tempted to overlook—peace.

What Is Peace?
Often, we think of peace as a blessing that we get every once in a while. Maybe you felt peace when you took a day off in the middle of the week to go spend time at the beach or when you heard the news that a loved one’s cancer hadn’t returned.

But peace isn’t just an unexpected blessing.

It’s also a choice.

Peace is something we can choose to experience, even in the middle of the Coronavirus. Even in the face of a global pandemic. Even when we fear losing our jobs. Even when we worry about feeding our families.

How you ask? It starts with turning your eyes towards God.

In Psalm 47:8, the Psalmist proclaimed, “God reigns over the nations; God is seated on his holy throne.” Just as these words were true over 2,000 years ago, they’re still true today. God is still on the throne. He still reigns. He is still in control

Think about that truth for just a moment. Despite the chaos, pain, and heartbreak we are encountering in the world today, God maintains absolute control.
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Grow Closer to God through Journaling

Do you long to get to know God better? Why not try writing Him letters?

How? You ask.

Through journaling!

Growing closer to God through journaling can be a wonderful adventure. It will nurture a deeper relationship, give you insight into God’s character, and teach you how to truly bring your burdens to Him.

But getting started can be difficult if you’ve never tried creating a spiritual journal. Here are a few tips to help you along the way…

Start by Choosing a Time

Many people enjoy spending time with Jesus first thing in the morning. This can be a wonderful habit but it isn’t ideal for everyone. Maybe you work odd hours, have a newborn baby, or a medical condition that makes morning rituals difficult.

Don’t beat yourself up over it. God delights in meeting with you – whether that’s at 6am or 6pm or any time in between! Just pick a time when you can show up and give God your full attention.

Pick a Location

Besides choosing a time, it can also be helpful to pick a location. When Dan started journaling, he was a work-at-home dad. The noise of his children made it difficult to concentrate so he would often go onto the back porch to read his Bible and pray. His kids knew not to disturb Dad when he was spending time with Jesus.

You can pick any location that’s comfortable and enjoyable to you. You could start your journaling practice at your local library, a coffee shop, or even from your favorite chair in your living room.

Remember David prayed to God in many locations – in caves, on mountains, during battle, in the Temple, and in his palace. God showed no preference over the location. He just cared that David came to Him.

Use a Guided Journal

When you’re new to journaling, it’s hard to know what to write. That’s why it can be helpful to grab a guided journal. A guided journal typically includes prompts or questions (usually faith-based) to help you get started.

Of course, you don’t have to use one. There’s nothing wrong with grabbing a blank journal and starting your letters to God. But if you’re having difficulty with the practice, you might benefit from a guided journal.

Show Up Consistently

You can’t grow a deep relationship with someone if you only see them once or twice a year and never speak the rest of the time. If you want true intimacy, you have to cultivate it. In our human relationships that means phone calls, text messages, Skype sessions, Facetime, silly videos, and even exchanging GIFs.

In our relationship with our Heavenly Father that means stopping in to pray, read our Bibles, or journal. Of course, you may not journal every day, especially not at first. But if you keep working to make it a habit, you will get there eventually.

Don’t Focus on Your Emotions

When you feel the presence of God during your journaling sessions, it’s amazing. It feels like you’re sitting down with the Holy Spirit and sharing special secrets. Like you have a unique relationship no one else can see (and you do!).

But not every journal entry will be fascinating. Not every journal session will feel like you’re standing on the mountain. In fact, those may be on the rare side. Most people just feel rather ho-hum about their journaling, especially when they’re first starting out. Don’t let this discourage you.
Instead, focus on meeting with God and spending time with Him. The more you do, the more you’ll learn to recognize His voice and feel His presence.

Remember, your journals don’t have to be filled with perfect grammar and punctuation. God isn’t grading your penmanship. He’s listening to your heart. He’s delighted that you’ve made the decision to spend more time with Him and He can’t wait to hear from you!

Here’s a link to a beautiful journal to inspire you. http://www.lulu.com/shop/ruthie-spoonemore/journal/paperback/product-24062427.html
You can see my other journals on my author page at. Ruthie Spoonemore Author Page at Lulu

Faith Through the Storm

A squall came down on the lake, so that the boat was being swamped, and they were in great danger.” – Luke 8:23

Normally, the rocking rhythm of a boat on the water would put Peter right to sleep. A fisherman before he gave it all up to follow Jesus, he was use to rough nights on the water.

But there was something different about this storm. There was an eerie feeling in his gut that Peter just couldn’t shake. He glanced around to see the other disciples talking among themselves.

Through the driving rain, Peter began to wonder where Jesus was. When he’d looked everywhere, Peter went below deck and was astounded at what he saw. There was his Jesus, sleeping as peacefully as a baby! Didn’t He see what was happening?!

He wastes no time, grabbing onto Jesus’ shoulder. He shakes him forcefully. “We’re about to drown here!” His urgency is unmistakable.

Jesus immediately rises and calms the storm. “Where is your faith?” he asks in the sudden silence.

When we encounter storms in life—like a serious diagnosis, the death of a friend, or the abandonment of a loved one—it can feel like we’re going to drown. The pain is threatening to take us under and we doubt we’ll survive that rip tide.
It’s in these moments that we’re tempted to doubt and say, “Where are You, Jesus?”

But just as Jesus proved He was in control of the wind and waves that night, He’s in control of your storm, too. The pain won’t last forever and the skies will clear again. God is holding onto you. He hasn’t forsaken you and left you stranded.

God, help me when I’m tempted to freak out. Sometimes, I focus on the storm rather than on Your power. Help me to rest in Your embrace today. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

Give Thanks (Repost)


I thought a lot about what I wanted to write about this Thanksgiving week. After much consideration, I decided to repost this post from several years ago. I pray it inspires you to take a moment out of your busy lives to reflect on God’s Blessings and give Him thanks.

Thank you for your encouragement and support throughout the years.

 

Happy Thanksgiving!

 

Psalm 136:1
Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good. His love endures forever.

The aroma of turkey, stuffing, and pumpkin pie, the laughter of family and friends, and the warmth of a cheery fire, fill our homes.  This week is the beginning of the holiday season and Thursday is Thanksgiving in the United States.

Too often, the festivities become our main focus, especially on Thanksgiving.  Some even go so far as to call it “Turkey Day.”  We tend to forget the real purpose of the day is to give thanks for all the things in our lives.  I know many of you pause to say a prayer—or go around the room and have everyone tell something they are grateful for—before the meal.  But then what?  The food, the fun, and the football game takes center stage.  I’m not saying that’s wrong, however, many times that few minutes of gratitude become the only time through out the year we consciously say thank you to God for what he has provided us.

The Bible tells us to “Give thanks to the Lord.” By doing so, we acknowledge that everything we have comes from Him. Not only does this make Him happy, but, according to some studies, it also improves our sense of well-being.

I challenge you to spend a few moments everyday giving thanks for something in your life.  It doesn’t matter whether you write in a journal or express your gratitude aloud.  One way is to start with this simple prayer:

“Thank you, God for the gifts you give me everyday. I am grateful for your generosity.”

Then add a couple of specific things you feel grateful about from your day.  The more you do this, the more you see how much you really have.  A deep sense of well-being and gratitude will invade your life.

Until next time, God Bless You.

God’s Faithfulness Saves

For God so loved the world, that he gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life. John 3:16

As God increases your faith, He sometimes increases the time between a “crisis” and His rescue. By allowing a longer time span between crisis and aid, God helps you believe in, rely on, and depend upon His faithfulness. Although doubt of God’s faithfulness may raise its ugly head from day-to-day, you can say that He has never been unfaithful.

We know that everything will be all right and that whatever happens to us will be for our own good. He says that “all things work together for good to them that love the Lord.” (Romans 8:28) And if you are His child, you’ll know that everything that is happening in your life now is allowed by Him and is somehow for your good! You may not know how, but you can trust that His faithfulness will save you.

Remember the story of Rahab? She lived a long time ago, in a city called Jericho. Jericho was so wicked God decided to punish the people and totally destroy it. But within the city was a woman named Rahab who was kind and helpful to God’s children. And because she was good to God’s people, God was good to her!

The wall that protected the city of Jericho was very secure. It ran wide and high; so wide that many people actually had their houses on the wall, including Rahab. When the day of God’s judgments came, the city was shook from top to bottom causing the entire wall to collapse to the ground! Except for one little part of it that remained standing all alone. That was Rahab’s house. Because she had faith, had received and been good to God’s children the entire city was destroyed and everybody in it  except her house. She and her family were spared and protected! They were saved. (Joshua 2, 6)D

Rehab’s story reminds us to stand firm in your faith and in God’s promises. With God on your side, you have nothing to fear. His faithfulness will save you.

God’s Faithfulness Forgives

For if we confess our sins He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness. –1 John 1: 9

God is righteous and God is faithful. When we doubt that our sins are forgiven after we have confessed them we question God’s righteousness and His faithfulness, as well as His authenticity.

We are considered to be faithful when we keep our promises, when we do our duty. It is the same with God. Every time we confess our sins, He quickly forgives and cleanses us from them because He said He would. He is full of mercy and goodness.

God is faithful and just to forgive us, when we confess our sins, because that is His promise. The keeping, the forgiving, the cleansing day by day is all a part of God’s covenant with us. All a part of what was purchased for us on Calvary and has been promised to every child of God. So God is simply keeping His promise to us.

God faithfully forgives, because God cannot lie and this is His promise to us who believe and trust in Him. ‘Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; old things have passed away; behold, all things have become new.’ (2 Corinthians 5:17)

Once we have repented, we are fully forgiven and free to let go of our past sins, including all the guilt associated with them. He forgives because He is faithful. As Romans 8:1 reminds us ‘And there is therefore now no condemnation unto them who are in Christ Jesus our Lord.

When you accept Jesus, God wipes your slate clean…as if they never existed. He lets them go and so should you. Don’t dwell on your sins once they are forgiven.

God’s Faithfulness Delivers

God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape, that you may be able to bear it. 1 Corinthians 10:13

Why do we worry? Why do we allow our spirits to be broken when we know we are His children? We know that as His children we live in a charmed circle of His protection; a special force-field through which nothing is allowed to touch us without His permission. We know He will take care of us!

When we are in the midst of a terrible storm, we are assured that His strong, loving, and capable arms will keep, protect and take care of us. When life has grown dim and dark we can still know the light of His Love – a rainbow of blessings and peace from within, a peace that will pass all understanding.

This doesn’t mean that the Lord will never allow us to be tested. However, He’ll never allow us to experience insufferable or unbearable harm. He promises to always be there to lift us up out of our troubles because His faithfulness delivers. Psalm 89:24 tells assures us that His faithful Love will be with you and through His name your strength exalted!

Trust and wait upon the Lord. His help will strengthen you throughout your whole day.

Trust! Trust that His faithfulness delivers. Then watch Him move in the presence of your praise.

Wait! And as you wait let your heart continue to rejoice in His presence.

He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. Psalm 91:4

If God brings you to it, He’ll give you a way through it.

 

God’s Faithfulness is His Promise

For you have need of patience, that, after you have done the will of God, you might receive the promise. Hebrews 10: 36

As Christians our goal is to become “mature” in faith. This is a lifelong process. We will come in contact with many doubts and obstacles throughout each day. Count it a blessing to go through the experiences of this ‘growth process’ while standing firm in faith. The testing and risk God takes is all part of the promise. When we respond with obedience it brings us in line to receive His faithfulness.

You depend upon God’s power working in your life, making it possible for you to stand on His strength alone.  This is what it means to stand on the promises of God; to trust only in Him and believe in His competence. The knowledge of God reveals His promises. It is through these promises you discover life as God meant it to be.

Pray and watch for His faithfulness. Go to Him, and remind Him of His promises, of what He said He would do.

Don’t try to twist His arm and persuade Him to do something He’s not inclined to do. Don’t say, “Well, You probably don’t want to do this for me, but I would like to ask You anyway.” It brings joy to His heart when His children come to Him humbly and say, “Please fulfill this promise for me today Lord”, and then simply wait, watch, and believe that since He said He will, He will.”

He has given you His great and precious promises, so that through them you may participate in the divine nature and escape the corruption in the world today. Hold steadfast to the knowledge that your God is faithful. He has given you many comforting promises to remind you that He will never leave you nor forsake you.

If He says He will…He WILL