Something to Think About
Go... Make a Difference

Let us not become weary in doing
good, for at the proper time we will
reap a harvest if we do not give up.
(Galations 6:9)

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Entries in Relationship (5)


The Family of God

By Pat

The daily devotional I like best consists of short devotions written by people all over the world, regular, ordinary people just like me. Many of their thoughts and feelings echo mine, and I can relate. Others write about things I have not encountered, and from them I can learn. Some of the stories submitted include pictures of the writers. They are men and women, young and old, black, white Asian, name it. I don't know them, but yet I feel a kind of kinship with each one, a bond I cannot explain.

We are all different, but yet the love of God, the blood of Jesus makes them feel so familiar to me. They are my brothers and my sisters. The common bond of faith makes them dear to me. The blood of Jesus is like that-it turns strangers into family. This love unites us in a way unlike anything else I know. It's nothing I can really even explain coherently, but I feel it just the same.

Jesus took twelve strangers in different classes, occupations and walks, and just by being Jesus, He joined them together and created a force. The common sharing of their love for Him enabled them to change the world. And we, too, by joining with our brothers and sisters around the neighborhood or around the world, can make a difference, for it's not the blood running through our veins that make us family. It's the blood of Jesus covering us all. What an awesome power-what an awesome love!

"For whoever does the will of my Father in heaven is my brother and sister and mother." (Matthew 12:50)

Pat is a good friend who is passionate about her faith and her family. She works from home supporting a family business, and loves to read, write and garden when she can, and spends every spare moment with her grandkids.


Invisible Cross

By Pat

Ash Wednesday was last week, the day that marks the beginning of Lent. In churches worldwide, Christians receive the mark of a cross on their forehead and wherever they go, they are seen as followers of Christ.

I hope the world around me can label me a Christian after I have washed off the remnants of that cross, because it takes a lot more than that to show your faith and to proclaim your Christianity. In fact, the things most effective are not visible at all, but yet they speak volumes and can change the world.

Let me have the invisible cross of loving-kindness, generosity and gratitude. Let me give love unconditionally and forgive without hesitation. Let me be quick to hold another's hand, and just as quick to hold me own sharp tongue. Let my actions, words and thoughts be Christ-like. Let me be an empty vessel, ready and willing to be used by my Lord every moment.

The cross on my forehead on Ash Wednesday is nice, and I like it. But the unseen cross, the one I carry in my heart and soul, is the one that really matters. Nothing can wash it away. I pray that God will help me to be more like Jesus, so that people know I am a Christian not by what is on my forehead, but by how I live my life.

"Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by what I do." (James 2:18)

Pat is a good friend who is passionate about her faith and her family. She works from home supporting a family business, and loves to read, write and garden when she can, and spends every spare moment with her grandkids.


God Says... "I will come near to you."

By Kely Braswell (Dangerous Breeze)

Far away, so close...

So, all my preacher friends tell me that God is everywhere. And I pretty much believe that.

But what about when it don't feel like it?!

What about when things ain't exactly goin' swimmingly, and the ends don't meet at the end of the month, and the people you love are sick of you, and it's been four days since I read any Psalms and I haven't even remembered the really weak prayers like "Oh, God, please bless my mashed potatoes, and make 'em really creamy?"

What about then?

What about when I'm standing in a wide expanse of nothingness, and I'm yellin', "God. Where ARE you?"

"Well, God's close. As close as your skin."

That's what people will say, those who know the proper theological, churchy, St. Francis and the Pope type answers to these things.

But does it matter if He's close, even if I don't feel Him? 'Cause sometimes "close" sure seems "far."

Click to read more ...


Dialogue or Monologue?

By Pat

One of the ways in which we get to know other people is to listen to them. In fact, being a good listener is crucial in any relationship, and although I am quite the talker, I do try to be a good listener. And yet, the one I fail at the most in that area is in my relationship with God. I find inactivity difficult. And so, I find that what I do is talk AT God, not WITH God. It's no wonder I get frustrated when God's answers are sometimes so unclear to me. I am faithful in prayers, but I am realizing that me time with God should be a dialogue, not a monologue. I have no trouble at all talking TO God, but I rarely sit still long enough to hear FROM God.

Jesus knew that in order to be in a right relationship with God, He had to listen for him. When He prayed, he put all other things away and made listening a part of the process. He got away, found a quiet place, and had a dialogue with the Father. "Very early in the morning, while it was still dark, Jesus got up, left the house and went off to a solitary place, where he prayed." (Mark 1:35). Now, although the scripture doesn't say so, I feel quite confident that Jesus didn't just make these prayers a one-way communication. He needed to hear from God, and He made sure he was in a position to do so.

God, to the best of my knowledge, does not text message, nor does He send emails. He speaks directly to us, in whatever way He chooses, and it's up to us to be alert for whatever God has to say to us. Maybe instead of presenting God with my long, rambling prayers, I should be more like Jesus...stop waiting for a text message that's not going to come, and say, "God, what do you have to tell me?" instead of, "Lord, hear my prayer!" Perhaps I would have a better dialogue if I would shorten my monologue.  

Pat is a good friend who is passionate about her faith and her family. She works from home supporting a family business, and loves to read, write and garden when she can, and spends every spare moment with her grandkids.


God Says... "You are not alone."

By Dusty (Reflections on the Life of a Christian)

Alone. Image by SSpivak. Courtesy of stock.xchng.

Have you ever felt alone? Have you ever thought you were swimming against the current of life? Have you ever said: "No one understands me." or "No one wants me around." or "No one cares."

I have, and I would venture to say most everyone has at some point. Maybe it was during your childhood or teenage years. It could have been as you were going through a very difficult situation. Or perhaps, it is because you seem to struggle with what others take for granted.

This may seem like a pat "Christian" answer, but you are NOT alone. No matter the circumstance. God cares for you, and He is there with you.

"Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you.” (Deuteronomy 31:6)

"Keep your lives free from the love of money and be content with what you have, because God has said, “Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” (Hebrews 13:5)

Some may respond and say, "God is not a 'real' person. He's up there, and I am down here going through 'xyz' all alone." Others might feel as though God has never been there for them or done anything good for them.

I'm sure Job could have felt that way when he lost his farm, his family, and his health. I imagine Daniel may have wondered about it as he was thrown into a lion's den after being caught praying. Maybe Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego feared such just before they were thrown into the fiery furnace....Or even Paul as he was imprisoned.

There are so many accounts in scripture of God's people going through trials, standing alone, and needing Him. In every one of them, God was there and He came through for them. But I would say none of them would have elected to suffer as their preferred method/solution. I am sure every one of them would have chosen to skip the bad situations all together, but that did not happen... but they were not alone... and God had a plan... and His plan was good.

I don't know what you are facing. I don't know what it is causing you to feel as if you are all alone. Whatever it is, I encourage you to trust God with it. He is there for you. The problem may not disappear. You may still struggle and suffer, but He will see you through... and His outcome will outshine your expectations.

It has for me. More than once. Never how I would have chosen, but always in a manner that has brought me further along in my journey. He has strengthened me, matured me, and blessed me. I have come to know: I am not alone for He is there with me.

Will you trust Him? Will you seek His companionship? Will you allow Him to see you through to the other side... even when things are not going your way?

Dusty Rayburn is a lay minister and fellow blogger. He lives in Locust Fork, Alabama, has been married six years and has one amazing daughter. In his words: "I am a Christian. I am not perfect, nor do I imagine I ever will be. My God is perfect. I am forgiven. I am loved. I am His." You can find him on Twitter and at Reflections on the Life of a Christian.