Say No (poem by me)

When he advances
Even in subtle ways,
Be ready with your “no.”

Even if it’d help your finances,
Say no to the raise,
When he advances.

When it seems innocent though,
Business travel for a few days,
Be ready with your “no.”

Stand firm and take your chances,
Reject his invitation always,
When he advances.

In your heart you know,
You see it in his gaze,
Be ready with your no.

Regardless of the circumstances,
Don’t delay or tiptoe,
When he advances
Be ready with your “no.”

“Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power.”—Ephesians 6:10

How To Answer Your Call

phil

A calling from God is different than a dream because it originates with God and not our own hearts. A calling happens when Christians feel inspired by God to serve Him in some way. Unfortunately, Christians sometimes feel unsure how to answer His call. Worse yet, some feel certain there is a call and an urgency to answer—yet they are unsure what God wants them to do! It’s okay. Relax. We’ll take it step by step.

1. Prepare yourself for service. This includes studying your Bible, attending church regularly, and letting go of sin. Regularly pray for God to prepare you for service.

2. Offer yourself. Open up your schedule to allow God to use you. This may mean giving up some entertainment or cutting back work hours. Regularly request an anointing on yourself to serve God.

3. Be flexible. You may have several callings instead of one single calling. Every time you hear the Lord asking you to do something (no matter how small), respond in obedience. Obey every small command as if it was your calling. Luke 16:10 states, “Whoever can be trusted with very little can also be trusted with much, and whoever is dishonest with very little will also be dishonest with much.”

4. Seek your calling. Whether you feel unsure or completely confident, seek your calling with action. Begin by taking opportunities that are offered to you. You may feel in your spirit a sense of fulfillment and exclaim, “This is it!” Alternately, you may still feel that probing feeling that you need to answer your call and this is not it!

5. Practice. If God is calling you to be a missionary overseas, practice telling your coworkers and friends about God. If God is calling you to do something that requires skill, then practice doing it over and over again to improve your skill level. Practicing may require you to reach out to other Christians for training, advice, and prayer.

In God’s timing, He will reveal what He wants you to do and open up the opportunity for you to do it. I pray you will hear God’s voice clearly, obey His voice, and fulfill your calling with the valor of a saint. Consider praying this prayer with me right now: “God, Thank You for calling me to service. I offer my body as an instrument for Your purposes. Make known to me Your desires so that I may answer my call. I praise You for all of Your wonderful ways. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”

If you are not a Christian, consider praying this prayer with me right now: “God, I accept Jesus as my Savior. I believe Jesus is the Son of God. I believe He died on the cross and rose from the dead. I believe His death is the sacrifice that paid for my sins and His resurrection is a promise of eternal life. I choose to commit my life to You, Lord. Thank You for my salvation. In Christ’s Name, Amen.”

©2015 Kim Bond

*Kim Bond writes and edits Christian literature for Draw Near Christian ministry. Click FREE EBOOKS to read more.

On Writing & Editing

This is a blog for Christian writers….writers who feel God’s call to write yet have been rejected….writers on the verge of giving up on a dream….writers who desperately want to know why editors, agents, and publishers keep rejecting their masterpieces. Don’t give up! There is hope.

While working as an editor for Draw Near’s latest forever free ebook Spiritual Citizens: A Christian Fiction Anthology (found HERE), I was able to pinpoint some strengths of good writing. I selected the inspiring stories for this anthology based on three primary criteria: message, clarity, and emotion.

1. Good writing conveys a message. The stories within Spiritual Citizens communicate a clear message to readers without necessarily spelling it out. The authors assumed their readers were intelligent enough to derive the message themselves.

2. Clarity is mandatory for all fiction. Skilled authors write detailed movements by every character. I must have rejected dozens of stories for Spiritual Citizens even though they seemed to have clever and unique plots because the action in the story was unclear.

3. Emotion plays a major role in every memorable piece of art. Excellent writing inspires some feeling. If an author writes well, the reader will be moved either by joy, sorrow, humor, fear, or some other emotion. Several of the stories in Spiritual Citizens literally moved me to tears with one of these emotions.

I am certainly not the best author in the world, but the knowledge gained from being an editor makes me a better writer. My hope is that it will help you refine your fiction as well so that one day an editor, agent, or publisher will recognize your talent for writing and put it on a lamp stand for all to see. Have a good day and God bless!

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Deliverance From Addiction

psal

We fool ourselves into thinking we only harm ourselves when we give into addiction. I’m not sure what your habit is, but evil tends to radiate and multiply. Crooked people are in the business of perpetuating addictions. By consuming porn, we drive the sex trafficking industry. When we pay for cigarettes, tobacco farmers use our dollars to hire pre-teen prostitutes on the other side of the world. Even the most innocent-sounding addictions ruin relationships with the people we love the most.

So now we have given the pain in our hearts to God for healing. We have chosen to chase negative thoughts away with the truth of God’s Word. Additionally, we chose healthier ways for us to fulfill our need for comfort, rest, adventure and escape as we draw nearer to God in our daily life. Now it’s time to wrestle against the addiction itself.

Every time we don’t give into an addiction, we are stronger for the next time we are tempted.
 In Matthew 4:1-11, Jesus was tempted by the devil in the desert. Satan tried over and over again until Jesus had resisted every temptation. Then the devil left Jesus alone. When the devil realizes we are not giving in, he too will leave us.

We are prideful creatures. Some part of us is still sure we can give up on our own even though we have failed so many times. Somehow our soul must try until it is broken. Then it will cry out for God in some mysterious uttering, and God will rescue all those who need and want His rescuing. He is our Deliverer! So try your very hardest over and over again until God shows up. This may include signing up for porn blockers, joining support groups like Celebrate Recovery, or something else. Just don’t give up until you are delivered from your addiction. Earn your victor’s crown. God is right beside you.

I know the Lord as my Deliverer from my cigarette addiction. (If you are interested, the link to my testimony about God’s deliverance from smoking is on Christian Chat: http://christianchat.com/testimonies/66033-nonsmoking-please.html)

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Healing for the Addicted

m

An addiction could be your heart screaming, “Pay attention to me! I am hurt and wounded.” Yet you refuse to deal with the memories and emotions from the past because they seem too painful to handle. Good news! You don’t have to handle your emotions….just hand them over to our loving Father.

What memories have you buried? Take a second to ask God to remind you of pain you have hidden away from God and yourself. As He brings them to your mind, ask Him to take them for you. Ask Him to heal you of that pain. If necessary, ask God to forgive you or someone else.

This is a process. It may take several times, or the help of a family member, or even the services of a Christian counselor. The important thing is that you trust God with your pain and stop trying to bear the burden of it in your heart. Your heart cannot handle it and was never meant to carry that weight. That could be the reason your physical body constantly desires the soothing of something other than God…something that has now become an addiction.

When Peter saw Jesus walking on the water in Matt. 14:28 Peter said, “Tell me to come to you on the water.” Jesus said, “Come.” And Peter went. Now it’s your turn. Make things right with your heart and the rest of your physical body will eventually realize it has been SET FREE.

Feel alone in your struggle? Your’e not! Click here to read a poem called “Just One More.”

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Forget Suicide

MM

It’s time to choose life and happiness over suicide. Let go and trust God with your depression, worries, and pain. I am reminded of the story in Matthew 14 about Peter. The disciples sat in a boat and watched Jesus walking on the water. Peter walked out to Jesus, but then he saw the wind and began to sink. He called out, “Lord, save me.” Then Jesus reached out His hand to save him.

You may feel all alone—as if you are sinking into depression and your soul is giving up. Call out to the Lord today (just like Peter) to save you from depression. Ask Him to give You hope for a better future.

Art reaches our soul in ways our mind cannot. Take a moment to consider this video of artistic images set to a song called “Don’t Give Up” by Calling Glory. Click here: http://youtu.be/pBzCNAZm5mw.

Dear Lord, Give us the strength to hold on until You have given us new people to love and be loved by. Rescue us from our enemies, provided new ways for us to prosper, and heal us of our depression. Thank You, Lord, that You faithfully save Your children when they reach out to You. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

God loves you and we love you! Don’t give up! 

God inspired Third Day to write this awesome song, and maybe He did it just for you! Click here to listen to “I Need A Miracle” on GodTube.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!

Truths for the Suicidal

pr

Everyone would mourn you and miss you if you chose to take your life. Your family would be devastated for the rest of their lives. Old friends would wish for you to be alive another day. Your neighbors would mourn you. Everyone who hears about your death would be sorrowful. Don’t listen to the depression that is telling you that no one will miss you or that they’ll just get over it. The truth is some people would be haunted by grief for the rest of their lives by your death.

Your courage is displayed by your continued life. Persevering through depression shows valor. Battling suicidal thoughts and letting go of emotional pain require a lot more bravery than taking your own life. Don’t listen to that suicidal spirit daring you to go through with it. It is tricking you. God gave you life because He loves you. Hold on tight to this precious gift.

You will stop feeling this way one day. I can’t say how it will happen, but one day you are going to feel happy again. It might be as you close the cover of an inspirational self-help book, as you finish talking to a loved one or counselor, or after you wake up tomorrow morning. Don’t listen to the voice that is telling you that you will feel like this forever. It’s a lie. What you are now feeling is temporary. Just hang in there!

Dear Father, Deliver your people from emotional pain and depression. Help them to accept these truths and the truth of Christ’s everlasting love. Let them feel Your embrace. Thank You, Lord, that care so deeply for us. In Christ’s Name, Amen.

When you are feeling low, it is hard to imagine a bright new start. Maybe this poem will help: click here to read “Unlived Things.”

Many people leave suicide notes to communicate their last thoughts. It’s ironic that no one can ever read their loved ones’ replies because it is just too late. I will bet a reply to your suicide note would go something like a poem I wrote. Click here to read it.

© 2015 Kim Bond

Draw Near exists to glorify God and help others draw near to Christ by providing free resources. Click here to learn more about God and here to access free Christian ebooks. Thanks for visiting. Stay blessed!