Tag Archive | Christian

The Gift of Hardships

Advent 2014

Day 23

When he heard this, Jesus said, “This sickness will not end in death. No, it is for God’s glory so that God’s Son may be glorified through it.” (John 11:4)

I’ve sailed on the ship called Hard often enough. And I seldom, if ever, viewed the experience as a gift from God. Both my daughters were born with birth defects. To this day, that term grates my spirit even though I know the outcome of their struggles. I felt as though I had done something terribly wrong to have had two daughters with special problems. Some people took it upon themselves to point out that such things come from hidden sin. And as if that wasn’t harsh enough, they added the reason why God didn’t heal Melinda and Rachel immediately was because their father and I lacked faith. Talk about making waves on the sea on which my Hardship was sailing.

Likewise, the disciples must’ve felt like they were in the midst of the worse storm …

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Tomorrow, we’ll consider the gift of perseverance. Prepare by reading and meditating on James 1:2-8.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

The Gift of Sacrifice

Advent 2014

Day 21

Therefore, I urge you, brothers and sisters, in view of God’s mercy, to offer your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God—this is your true and proper worship. (Romans 12:1)

The Gift of Sacrifice

The Gift of Sacrifice

Sacrifice? What do I know about sacrifice? I’ve sacrificed designer jeans for Christmas presents for my daughters. But I’ve never sacrificed to the point of wearing thread-bare Levis. I’ve sacrificed dining at high-class restaurants. But I’ve never gone hungry. I’ve sacrificed traveling abroad. But I have enjoyed a few national parks.

What I’m trying to say is we often talk about sacrifices, but many of us have little clue what true sacrifice is. What have our sacrifices cost us?

Until we’ve given up the comforts of home to live in a third-world country so they can hear the gospel, our sacrifices haven’t cost us much. Until we’ve poured ourselves out on a daily basis ministering to the needs of others without expecting anything in return, we haven’t experienced sacrifice. Until we’ve suffered persecution, betrayal, and desertion because of our faith, we haven’t felt the anguish of sacrifice.

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Tomorrow, we’ll take a look at The Gift of Love. In review of this week’s meditations, I’ll post another art video. Prepare by reading and thinking about John 15:12-14

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

I’m a Prisoner and so are You

Spiritual Warfare

Part 21

So the Lord God banished him from the Garden of Eden to work the ground from which he had been taken. (Genesis 3:23)

Prisoner #0213Remember high school? Fun, excitement, zeal for life mingled with the longing to be free—free from books, rules, teachers, principals, and parents. We thought we’d be our own bosses after the completion of our education. Some opted to take four or six more years of the drudgery of school. Some dove head first into the real world.

No matter what path we followed after graduation, we all eventually discovered freedom from school only imprisoned us in some other form of institution. At work, we are accountable to those above us. Even if we’re self-employed, we conform to the demands of those who patronize us. At home, we answer to our spouses, our children, and even the dog. On the road, we succumb to traffic regulations.

Add to that our health, finances, and emotions and we hear the clank of the prison door slamming shut, the tumblers on the lock falling as the key turns. We are incarcerated in a world of shame, suffering, sin, and death.

No wonder there is such a longing for freedom.

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Next Week:

We’ll look at Joseph’s response to prison. Prepare by reading, pondering, and praying about Genesis 39:19-23.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

One Reason to Blog

A Writer 3Many people within the writing industry insist that writers develop an online presence. One of the first things they suggest is to write a blog.

My question is why. Why blog when there are already millions if not billions of blogs on any given topic you dare to imagine. Follow the link to read some of the answers I’ve received.

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See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

 

The Only Good Christian is a Dead Christian

Spiritual Warfare

Part 3

Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the flesh with its passions and desires. (Galatians 5:24 NIV)

Crucified with Christ

Crucified with Christ

To the enemy, the only good Christian is a dead Christian. He commands that no soldier of the cross be left alive. Should one survive, the gospel of Jesus Christ will continue to spread.

Don’t panic! Satan has no authority to kill any of us before our appointed time, which God determined before our birth. Satan can, however, kill our testimonies. When we act like the world in our speech, in our dress, in our temperament, our testimonies are deadened and worthless. He strangles our joy when we allow grievances to overpower us and refuse forgiveness to others.  He suffocates our enthusiasm for the things of God when we permit temporal self-gratification to rule our lives. Thus, we become complacent prisoners of war.

Most Christians in a complacent state don’t seem to realize they are being held hostage. In fact, some become quite comfortable in chains with no desire to be free. They become “By The Way” believers who sit back not wanting to get involved. They never dream of sharing their faith outside the church. They claim to respect other religions. Tolerance becomes their new doctrine.

If they remain complacent long enough…

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How about you? Are you a “By the Way” believer, an “In the Way” believer, or an “On the Way” believer? What’s your plan of attack?

Next Week:

Prepare by reading, pondering, and pray about Ephesians 6:10-17. Yes, again. We will study the armor of God at His appointed time.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Authorities, Powers of this Dark World, Spiritual Forces of Evil

Spiritual Warfare

Part 2

Finally, be strong in the Lord and in his mighty power. Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. (Ephesians 6:10-11 NIV)

Jesus Casts Out Demons Mark 5:1-20

Jesus Casts Out Demons
Mark 5:1-20

Before we discuss the full armor of God, establishing our beliefs about the enemy seems beneficial and necessary. After all if we don’t believe there is an enemy, why bother with armor?

If I asked one hundred Christians, do you believe in God the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit? I’d get an emphatic YES, of course.

If I asked one hundred Christians, do you believe in angels? I’d get a majority to respond with absolutely.

If I asked one hundred Christians, do you believe in demons, spiritual forces of evil, powers of this dark world, and Satan?

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Next Week:

Prepare by reading, thinking about, and pray about Ephesians 6:10-17.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Follow the Leader

Do not be conformed to this world (this age), [fashioned after and adapted to its external, superficial customs], but be transformed (changed) by the [entire] renewal of your mind [by its new ideals and its new attitude], so that you may prove [for yourselves] what is the good and acceptable and perfect will of God, even the thing which is good and acceptable and perfect [in His sight for you]. (Romans 12:2 AMP)

Follow 4 webFollow the Leader, a simple childhood learning game, creates havoc in Christians’ lives when we apply the same principles to everyday life.

As adult, mature Christians, we should not follow the standard. We should set the standard. The only One worthy to be followed and imitated is Jesus Christ. However… read more