Spiritual Power (blog by me)

There are lots of young people turning to Wicca, “white” witchcraft, Reiki, Kundalini, psychadelic drugs, angel/tarot cards, crystals in search of spiritual power. They may have pure motives like wanting to help or heal people. What perplexes me is why they do not turn to the living God to seek power in the Holy Spirit. How much more powerful the Holy Spirit is than any other spirit!

While all of these other practices require something of you like shadow work or meditation or things that risk your own health and investments of time and money, God has already paid your way with Jesus’ blood! And since we receive G.R.A.C.E. (God’s Riches At Christ’s Expenese), how offensive it is to God when we turn to other things for spiritual power!

God only wants you and your heart. Give the Lord your new attitude that is to seek Him only and get rid of everything else. He does not want to share you with any other thing. He loves you and can pour out His healing ointment on you and will hear your prayers to heal others and you will see results! He is the One with all of the power in the universe, and His children walk with Him in ultimate power as well. Nothing can stand against the blood of His precious Son and our Savior Jesus.

Spiritual Sight (blog by me)

Have you ever been looking for your keys? You became incredibly frustrated. Then it occurred to you to pray. Then you looked up and just saw your keys! Why couldn’t you see them before? God answered your prayer by opening your eyes. In Luke 24, the disciples could not recognize the risen Savior. It would seem His resurrected body was somewhat different, perhaps more glorified than before. Then in verse 31, we are told “…their eyes were opened and they recognized him…” God gave them spiritual eyes to see Jesus was standing right in front of them!

He can open your eyes in a spiritual way too. He can reveal ideas to you in Scripture, help you see the right path for your life, and open your eyes to see ways you can pray for your friends and family. Do you want to have your spiritual eyes opened? Let’s pray!

PRAYER: Lord, You give sight to the blind and open eyes to see. Forgive me for having eyes that are always focused on me. Thank You, Lord, that You are willing to help me change. We ask You to give us spiritual sight. Open our eyes to see Your personal messages to us in Your Word, our clear path for our calling in the kingdom of God, and the prayer needs of our friends and families and whatever else You want us to see. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

Who Is Your Elected Prince? (blog by me)

Even in the spiritual realm, we have elections. Adam was our first representative, and he elected Satan the prince of mankind when he ate of the fruit God commanded him not to eat. Really? Satan is the prince of earth? Yes, that’s what Jesus said in John 14:30, when He states, “I will not say much more to you, for the prince of this world is coming. He has no hold over me…” Satan has not died, and his term has not yet ended so he is still the elected prince of mankind to this day. His objectives are to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10). He has already been condemned and sentenced to an everlasting fire by a just God (John 16:11). Common sense tells you a crew goes down with the captain in his seeking ship. Individuals will suffer the same fate if they remain under his rule (Matthew 25:41). Yet, there is hope.

There is another kingdom—a place of refuge that is waiting for those to seek asylum in it. Not only that, but we can become spiritual citizens of this kingdom right now. God has named His own Son the prince, and He is called “Prince of Peace.” We can cast our vote for Him to be our Lord by putting our trust in Him. Unlike the prince of this world, the Prince of Peace has come to give life abundantly (John 10:10). He wants to prosper us and give us hope and a future (Jeremiah 29:11). Are you ready to cast Your vote for Jesus Christ, the Son of God and Prince of Peace? Are you ready to seek asylum in His kingdom? Will you be willing to live with Him eternally in heaven instead of going down with the prince of this world? If yes, then call out to Him!

Prayer: Lord, Yes! Yes, we name You lord of our lives. We choose You! I trust You that You paid for my sins with Your precious blood. This is only possible because You are the perfect Son of God. Yet, You rose from the dead and conquered death for me. Send Your Holy Spirit to live in me so I can have eternal life with You. Thank You for hearing my prayer. In the Risen Christ’s Name, Amen.

The Christian Journey (poem by me)

(Inspired by Pilgrim's Progress)

When we begin our long journey,
sin makes it hard to stay on track,
in the muddy swamp of despondency,
it's ever so tempting to just turn back.
Stand firm in the faith, my friend!

We can make it about rule-keeping,
and find that challenge too tough,
we can forget it's Jesus we're seeking,
and that His sacrifice was enough.
Rest in grace, my friend!

So much fun to have under the sun,
we can forget the journey altogether,
daily life can be a distraction,
we can lose sight of the treasure.
Be content, my friend!

Pride spins a powerful web,
it binds us to our own image,
don't drink in every compliment said,
it could stall your soul's pilgrimage.
Stay humble, my friend!

Take hold of your Shepherd's loving hand,
He stands at the gate of the Promised Land.

 

Who is Jesus? Genesis 1 (blog by me)

Although Jesus was not yet born in Genesis 1, He existed in heaven. We can know this because of Jesus’ own words in John 17:5 (NIV) when He says, “And now, Father, glorify me in your presence with the glory I had with you before the world began.” In John 1:3 (NIV), it is made clear that “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.” Therefore, we can safely conclude that when God says in Genesis 1:26 (NIV, emphasis added), “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness…” that the “us” includes Jesus.

The Bible communicates to us that Jesus is a part of God in ways that are difficult for us to understand. Jesus is clearly different than other men. He is not just a good man or wise teacher. He is not an ascended master. His existence before the creation of the world and integral part in creation makes it clear He did not achieve greatness but He has God’s nature. Jesus has God’s nature in a way that no one else does for the same reason no blade of grass has God’s nature the way He does…because no other human or blade of grass existed when Jesus does!

Jesus asks an important question in Matthew 16:15 (NIV), “Who do you say I am?” If someone says Jesus was a good man, wise teacher, or ascended master, then they do not have all of the facts. Now that you have the facts as presented in the oldest book of all time….the most read book of all history….the book that is illegal in over 50 nations…Yes, now that you have those facts, “Who do you say Jesus is?”

When I First Became a Christian… (blog by me)

How would you finish this sentence? “When I first became a Christian, I ______________.” One thing that comes to mind about life right after I became a Christian is how little I felt like I fit in. God would send men and women of all ages and all different backgrounds, but I would think none could understand me. When God would send me Christians from wholesome families, I would say they wouldn’t understand because I come from divorced parents. When God would send me Christians from dysfunctional families, I would say they don’t understand because they are in such a struggle to overcome the problems from their upbringing.

Like the Israelites who wandered through the wilderness for forty years, my failure to trust God with my whole heart caused me to enter a time of spiritual wandering. My sanctification process was slow. Yet, it finally happened! I had finally begun to yield to the Holy Spirit regularly. Suddenly, I no longer saw how different I was from every other Christian. In fact, I started to see the only thing we had in common was Christ—yet, it was the most important thing! We are bound together even closer than biological sisters or than a sister to a biological brother because we are bound to the Spirit of God. What an amazing breakthrough!

I have to confess that at this point in time, I am still a little uncomfortable with people in church calling me “sister.” Due to my long connection with the world as a non-Christian and mainstream media’s influence, “sister” brings up an association with either cults or nuns. (To me, saying the full “sister in Christ” is much more appealing.) God is still working on me.

Verse: “…being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” —Philippians 1:6 (NIV)

Prayer: Lord, I praise You for the Holy Spirit in Christians! Forgive me for failing to trust You with everything. Thank You that You never gave up on me. I pray for my readers, my family, and friends that they would begin to see themselves as You see them. You are are our Father, and we are Your children. That makes us all sisters and brothers in Christ! Open our hearts to feel that close bond with each other. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

At My Door (poem by me)

It wasn’t the shadowman’s mysterious face,
that made me desire him more and more,
It was the warmth of his familiar embrace,
that convinced me to open the door.

Truly, it was willfull ignorance,
the scarlet banner I would raise,
woven with rich red threads of sin,
with it, I obstructed my gaze.

Woops! I let the banner slip,
I completely lost my firm grip,
A splendid light poured in,
That day, I was completely smitten.

The Lord that I love was at my door,
I love the Lord that was at my door,
There’s no end to the love that was at my door,
Our love is deeper than the ocean floor.

He unmasked the shadowman,
My old lover with no name,
His true identity: Satan,
I’m nauseated with shame.

Now the Lord’s banner is over me,
Each joyful step is brightly lit,
Every street is made of gold,
Each day our vow, I recommit.

Share Your Faith (blog by me)

Do you share your faith? It can be extremely unnerving. Lots of anxious questions might run through your mind. What if they reject me? Do I know my faith enough to share it? How can I share my faith when I have no idea what they believe? What will I do if they actually do believe? This blog will address your concerns so you can be at ease the next time you feel called to share your faith.

What if they reject me? Expect rejection. Jesus faced rejection and so will you. Remember when they reject you for their faith, they actually are rejecting Jesus—not you (see Luke 10:16). Most of the time, people will reject a friend’s faith but still be happy to carry on a relationship with you. Even if they don’t immediate believe, you have still planted the seeds. Just pray and then say. Then let God do the rest.

Do I know my faith enough to share it? Certainly, you should be reading your Bible and spending time in prayer every day. Yet, you can still share your faith even if you a new believer or someone who is not as devoted as others. There a few basic things that every Christian should know: 1) Jesus is the Son of God who died and rose again, 2) Jesus’ death paid for your sins, 3) Trusting Jesus for salvation is acceptance of eternal life, and 4) The Holy Spirit lives in believers. If you know those facts, you are qualified to share your faith.

How can I share my faith when I have no idea what they believe? Even if you studied all of the religions in the world, you would not necessarily know the details of what an individual believes. In fact, it can be presumptuous and offensive to assume you know what someone of a particular faith believes. Your love and curiosity for the person is your greatest tool. Ask them what they believe! And not just about anything—ask them what they believe about Jesus! Here is your in: So you’re _____________, right? What do you believe about Jesus? After carefully LISTENING, share what the Bible states about Jesus. Most people are savvy enough to know the Bible contains some truth. Tell them your story of how you believed. Most polite people will listen to a first-hand experience without much objection.

What will I do if they actually do believe? If the person you have shared your faith with wants to become a Christian by the grace of God, there is no need to panic. You do not have to memorize any prayer, but it would be a good idea to pray in that moment so the person can make an official commitment of acceptance of their eternal salvation in that moment. God will give you the words to say if you pray from your heart. It could be something like this, “God, __________ wants to accept you as their Savior because they trust Your Son died for their sins. Send Your Holy Spirit to help guide them through their lives. We thank You and praise You that they have received eternal life. In Christ’s Name, Amen.” You might want to talk to them about how they can maintain their relationship with God (by prayer, reading the Bible) and live in obedience to His Word (getting baptized, living in Christian fellowship with other believers). Offer to be there for this person. God may have chosen you to disciple him or her so don’t just walk away without an offer of support.

Sharing your faith gets easier the more often you do it. Your rejection is not yours—it’s Jesus’, and the rejection of your faith will probably not mean the end of your friendship. You only need to know the basics of your own faith to share and show curiosity and respect for the other person. Be ready to follow the Holy Spirit living in You in prayer if the person chooses to put their trust in Jesus Christ. If the person is wise enough to accept your words, you will become to them the most marvelous of all friends! As Romans 10:15 says, “How beautiful are the feet of those who bring good news!”

Song of Solomon 8 (blog by me)

In Solomon 8:11, we read a reference to a vineyard that is let out to tenants. The arrangement is simple. The king rents out the vineyard, and the tenants pay him in silver for its fruit. Recall that Jesus taught a parable about a vineyard let out to tenants in Matthew 21:33-46. However in the parable, the tenants did not keep their end of the bargain. Instead, they beat and killed his servants and eventually his own son. The parable suggests the corrupt religious leaders had beaten and killed God’s prophets and were plotting to kill His one and only Son. After Jesus spoke the parable, He let the hearers guess the fate of the one that had rejected His Son and the mercy He represented. The listeners supposed the landowner would bring the tenants to their end and find tenants that will fulfill the arrangement.

Since the corrupt religious leaders have rejected God’s Son, the Lord has rented His vineyard to us, dear friends. We are to “produce fruit in keeping with repentance” (Matthew 3:8). In other words, we must turn from our sins and change our hearts and minds. We must yield to the Spirit living in us! He will bring forth fruit in the form of “love, joy, peace, forbearance, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness and self-control….” (Galatians 5:22-23). Then when we meet Him in heaven, He will say, “Well done, good and faithful servant!” (see Matthew 25:23).

If we are ever to doubt God’s deep impassioned love for us, we can refer to the beautiful and very true words from Song of Solomon 8:6-7. It says, “Place me like a seal over your heart, like a seal on your arm; for love is as strong as death, its jealousy unyielding as the grave. It burns like blazing fire, like a mighty flame. Many waters cannot quench love; rivers cannot sweep it away. If one were to give all the wealth of one’s house for love, it would be utterly scorned.” Nothing can quench the love God has for you. He has placed His seal (the Holy Spirit) inside of you to let you know that you are forever His (see 2Corinthians 1:22). May you always know the depth of God’s love. God bless you, my friends!

New Release! Blessings & Curses (Free Ebook)

blessingsNew Release! Do you believe blessings and curses exist in modern days? Blessings & Curses examines that question through multiple compelling personal narratives by over ten authors. Click this link Blessings & Curses to read this free ebook online right now or download it to read later. Keep reading on this page to learn more about the talented authors who contributed their work to this inspiring publication.

Armand Ruci moved to the United States in July 1998 after receiving a B-2 tourist visa to play a basketball tournament in Chicago, Illinois. This was his only opportunity to leave his war-stricken country that had a Civil War just a year before. He is a History Teacher at the New York City Department of Education and teaches in the South Bronx, specifically to high school dropouts in the GED program. He has always been passionate about writing and won a second prize in the PAL- Police Athletic League back in 2001 for Stores that his Grandparents told me. He has published a short book that details his experiences under the pen name, Aaron Brooks. It is named Immigrant Life and this is the link: https://www.amazon.com/dp/B08PRSZCGX

Dominique M. Carson is an award-winning activist, freelance journalist, author, & massage therapist. Last year, she published her first book, Jon B: Are You Still Down, a biography on R&B legend, Jon B. Her words has been featured in well-known publications & interviewed over 100 notable people in entertainment. She was recently nominated for the Woodrow Wilson Higher Education Media Fellowship.

DT Richards is the writing name of a Canadian Author who lives and worships in Singapore where he teaches Game Design and Data Analytics. His work has been published in numerous anthologies and magazines, including an upcoming piece in Bez & Co. You can read more of his fiction at dtrichards.wordpress.com. He will do house blessings, if asked.

Erika B. Girard is currently pursuing her M.A. in English and Creative Writing with a concentration in Poetry through SNHU. Originally from Rhode Island, she derives creative inspiration from her family, friends, faith, and fascination with the human experience. Her work appears or is forthcoming in The Alembic, Delta Epsilon Sigma Journal, Edify Fiction, Sandhill Review, Wild Roof Journal, and more.

Judy K. Haught, Christian 48 years. She began with short stories, and poetry. She discovered her writings were always ending with Christ as Victorious, showing Him as the “Great I Am.”

Kaisha A. Girard is a graduate of Saint Leo University pursuing her Master’s in English and Creative Writing with a focus on Fiction through Southern New Hampshire University. She has had her work accepted to Delta Epsilon Sigma Journal, Sandhill Review, Ember Chasm Review, and Dots Publications. A native Rhode Islander, Kaisha loves reading, writing, and correctly guessing Jeopardy! questions and is inspired by her faith, her family, her friends, and the world around her.

Ramelle T. Lee– poet, author of 6 books, speaker, businesswoman, staff newsletter writer, Christian leader, founder of Touching Your Heart Ministries and eleven ministries to bring others encouragement and joy.

Sandra Hickman is an Australian Christian author, a prolific writer, poet, and songwriter. She is blessed with two adult daughters, two sons’ in-law, and fifteen gorgeous grandchildren and a soon to be great grandmother. Sandra is a Missionary… having served in Africa, India and China. She is an Evangelist, church leader and intercessory prayer leader. Sandra graduated Bible school in 2005. She is the Australian Headquarters Ministry Leader and Staff Writer for the Lamp Newsletter in De-troit Michigan. A contributing author to twelve Anthology Publications. Sandra plans to publish her first book entitled “The Letter”. Contact: sandrevival@yahoo.com.au and Facebooksandra.hickman.503

Wanda J. Burnside is an Award-winning writer, poet, and author. She is also a playwright of 12 performed plays. Wanda is a teacher of grades K-7. She graduated from the University of Detroit in 1972 with a BS in Humanities/Education. Founder: Write the Vision Ministries and Media Productions, International. Founder and publisher: The Lamp Newsletter International with staff and offices in the USA, the UK-London and Australia. She is the author of 12 books and a contributor to over 80 publications. Wanda has received Christian certification in numerous ministries from: Detroit Bible College, William Tyndale Bible College, Charles H. Mason Bible College and other institutions. Wanda married Mr. Simmie Lee Burnside, Jr. in November 1972.