We Have Food and Jesus: A Guide for Doing Holy Work

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You have just committed yourself to the Lord. Like for real this time and now you do not know what to do.

This faith is not about doing.

It is about faith plus works. And I do not mean career and toiling the earth-although it’s included.

You could become a Christian Monk, you know;  sit around and pray to God and meditate (my dream actually) and live in peace and quiet forever.

You could start developing some skill for the local church: singing, praise dancing, teaching, preaching, cleaning- whatever.

Or you could try the famous route, which for some take years: televangelism. Need I say more?

But if you are not ready for all of that, what can you do now to show God’s love to the world?

You do not need a bus load of money and you do not need to cloak the truth by calling it “tithing”. In fact, God has already equipped you to do something that is uniquely natural(oxymoronic, I know). You were born for this anyway.

Some Faith With Works Examples

Donating Time

This can be as simple as spending time with people who either knew God at some point or do not know Him at all.

You know the ones: The woman you see crying in the break room all the time. Or the gossiper who just happens to smell bad and look forlorn at the bus stop…

You talk with them in casual conversation, allowing the Holy Spirit to be your lead. You do not need to preach and criticize the person, just talk with them. Requires no Ph.Ds, no titles or camera sets.

Advice: Just be a natural. Care about the person’s needs and go from there. If they do not want to hear you, move on.

The Power of Words

Some authors make a living writing and amazingly it translates to  public speaking engagements. Whatever turns your fancy, writing for God is one of the best positions on earth.

What will you write?

Write poetry. Write psalms. Write good books. Write movies and plays. Tosca Lee, Ted Dekker, WM. Paul Young, are shining examples as well as those we do not know.

Some of the best books and plays I have experienced were written by Christians and they blessed my socks off.

Advice: If you want to be published right away, try Lulu and Createspace to get started with publishing. Google other places too!

Look in Your Cabinet

I am not talking about the presidential cabinet at the White House.

Your house.

You do not need to have a formal title and a building to pass out can goods and ready made food(see your state laws for restrictions though).

Get a bag together and start passing out food to people. Make sure you are reaching them with the Word as well. In this way, you are bypassing the channels that will diminish direct contact with the lost sheep.

Advice: Choose fresh foods. Not anything you wouldn’t give to your own children- or dog. Give the lost sheep, fresh stuff.

Your Profession May Open Doors

When I worked in the hospital as a nurse aide, I found that it wasn’t the cleaning and blood taking that I liked(no sir!), I enjoyed conversation with my patients. I liked feeding them. And if I knew then what I know now, I would have prayed over them and for them. Some I still remember and hold dear to my heart.

Maybe you are a teacher? A lawyer? Nurse? Cashier?

God has placed someone in your path to speak to. Yes, man have created laws to try and restrict us from reaching the lost, but who can stop such a creative and powerful God?

No one!

Many of these suggestions takes nothing more than stepping out on faith.

What plans has God set in your heart? If you feel comfortable enough to share, please do. We welcome them!

Evidence to Solidify or Shake My Faith Starts Here…

Christianity Poster

I don’t know about you, but do most children or teenagers think philosophically about a religion before they choose one? Before baptism and acceptance…?

Okay, save for those child prodigies out there.

But seriously, when I was fifteen and stood on that church stage under glowing hot lights with hundreds of other church members, there was only one thing on my mind. Two at the most:

  • I really don’t want to go to hell and,
  • I really do love God(should that have been first)?

See what I mean?

A Play Set My Faith in Order

The play the church put on called “Heaven’s Gates and Hell’s Flames” was so moving with black robed demons dancing around snatching loved ones and flaming yellow and red ribbons everywhere represented fire-while tall, white robed angels stood proud and wore radiant expressions.

I wanted to go to heaven. That was all I knew. And from then on I began the practice of daily bible reading and fellowship along with Sunday church attendance.

Which is all good.

But for those who have not fallen in love with Jesus– those investigating Him to see if He is worth the time, is it wrong to seek the Dead Sea Scrolls for ultimate proof? Is it wrong to hunt down the annals of time to see who else knew Jesus 2500 years prior?

Is it wrong to question the validity of the Bible?

Evidence of Christ

I am reading (and will review later) Lee Strobel’s The Case for Christ and he asks a question:

After finding all the corroborating evidence and archeological proof of Jesus having at least existed somewhere on earth, does it solidify or shake my faith?

Personally, my faith has been waning in the last few years. Intact, but totally weakened by my lack of hope in human beings. The news and personal circumstances can make anyone feel like God is perhaps sitting back and keeping watch- doing nothing more.

But while reading Strobel’s book I feel confident that I have chosen the right religion. I know religion sounds strict but it is used in the Bible.

Reverent Mind of God and the Honest Theologian

Here is an interesting Scripture which is kind of hard to forget…

“For the foolishness of God is wiser than man’s wisdom, and the weakness of God is stronger than man’s strength”- 1 Corinthians 1:25 NIV

What a statement!

All of the philosophies and theology we learn are beautiful jewels if projected in the right direction, however it befuddles me when I wonder if we are even close to explaining how Great God is to have left His son here full of His divinity and power wrapped in baby skin only to mature and build and perform miracles we do not deserve.

So, if you are on your quest like Lee Strobel was, to finding out if this faith is the real thing, I pray you rely on the best resources and scholarship available.

However you come to know Christ, the angels rejoice anyhow because your name will be in the Lamb’s Book of Life.

And if you are like me, already in a relationship with God, then learning more about Him doesn’t hurt- it has solidified my faith in Him. I have chosen the right belief.

Have you?

~Erica

Ghar wapsi

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Created by Tambako The Jaguar for Flickr.com/Design by EJ Smith

It is called ghar wapsi or “coming home”. 30 Christians last year re-converted to Hinduism and this year at least 40 families converted to Hinduism just to receive benefits from the government. You can read the rest on Christian Headlines.

The saddest part I fear, is that India may not be the only place this is happening. In fact, I know in my spirit it is EVERYWHERE.

But look deeper.

What is happening? People feel forced to rely on governments that goes against their faith to receive the help they need.

Is this happening in America?

Before you say no, I implore you to take a look at these Scriptures:

“If someone has enough money to live well and sees a brother or sister in need but shows no compassion–how can God’s love be in that person?” (1 John 3:17 New Living Translation)

“But you have insulted the poor. Is it not the rich who are exploiting you? Are they not the ones who are dragging you into court? Are they not the ones slandering the noble name of him to whom you belong?”(James 2:6-7 New International Version)

Here is a brief quote from Gotquestions.org,

In both the Old and New Testaments, we see God’s desire for His children to show compassion to the poor and needy. Jesus said that the poor would always be with us (Matthew 26:11; Mark 14:7). He also said that those who show mercy to the poor, the sick, and the needy are in effect ministering to Him personally (Matthew 25:35–40) and will be rewarded accordingly. Read more: http://www.gotquestions.org/giving-to-the-poor.html#ixzz3gfKc2As8

Again I ask, have you seen this America? Have you seen or have you been that person who had the resources to help but showed zero compassion? Have you belittled the poor? Have you walked by Jesus without ministering to help, because you and I both well know what Matthew 25 talks about…

What is happening in India is happening all over the country. Church goers and other conservatives have shut their doors or made it so hard for the poor to receive help that the Wolf has come and he offers benefits, stating all you need to do is pledge allegiance to him.

My husband and I do what we can with what we have and we understand we cannot save the world, and yes there are people content with their living situation but that represents the few not the many who want comfortable shelter, fresh clothes and food.

Here is comforting Scripture for those who are going through it financially, spiritually, and mentally:

“Listen my dear brothers: Has not God chosen those who are poor in the eyes of the world to be rich in faith and to inherit the kingdom he promised those who love him?”(James 2:5).

Lets come together with the riches and talents God bestowed upon his people and be a blessing to others.

Shalom! 🙂

The Conservative, the True Believer, and a Much Needed Conversation

This post is dedicated to all Believers who find themselves having to defend their faith to Conservative Churchgoers.

To understand the difference, let me help you out. A Believer is Born Again and have the biblical faith in Jesus the Word emphasizes. There is either God’s way or no way. Yahweh or the highway. Get it?

Conservative Church Goers regularly attend church. They tend to boast about money, power and politics. Jesus’ teachings are cast aside as mere moral thoughts and ancient at best. Those who are followers of Christ are put under the bus by Conservatives because they may have less. Conservatives are your modern day Pharisees.

Where can you find these conservatives? In the news talking about politics, money, and business. You may even find them on the silver screen helping others who are as affluent as themselves.

Let me back up a sec.

I stand as a sinner who has been Born Again and am deserving of punishment. And I believe in the power of the Redeeming Blood and thank God for the gift of Repentance.

And I also know that people will see my fruit and ask if I am really who I say I am.

Our fruit(Matthew 7:16) is how people will know where we stand. God took the guesswork out of learning who is for Him. It does not take being a psychic. It is really simple. If I see your actions, then I know your character. If I know your character, I know your thoughts.

Why am I writing this?

To some people, my husband and I appear to be “monks”(and we are far from it) but the fact that we love Christ and try to walk like Him we are persecuted verbally.

And so I write this to inform you, beloved that your battle will not just be against the powers and principalities of this world. There are those who proclaim to be in the faith but are instead false teachers. Wolves in sheep clothing. Stand on the Rock. Continue to watch and pray and worship the one true God over all.

Blessings 🙂

Charleston, NC Shooting: Skin Syndrome, or the Sin Syndrome?

As funeral plans begin for the nine souls slain at the Emanuel Episcopal Church in Charleston, NC. The whole horrific ordeal poses questions and sparks debate about one issue in America.

Race.

The gunman, a young white male, took the guessing out of the issue. He blatantly stated he wants a race war to happen. And in my opinion, the only difference between him and the others shooting blacks, is that he said it out loud what he wanted to do.

Yes, People Do Kill People, but…

Bill O’Reilly (I usually like listening to him but even he made slip ups last night). He states,

“Black Americans’ problems stem more from poverty and high crime rates in their own communities. This is not a war on blacks by the whites”(paraphrased).

True.

But what is troubling here in America,  is when you are killed because of something you cannot control: Your skin color. Your history. Your culture.

And this is what makes America so sick and in need of Jesus. This is a country labeled as “united” states, but we are only united when terrible things happen to us from outsiders. Why can’t we be united at all times?

So is this just a sin problem? What is the root of it all?

If you are a believer then you know that hate, lust, greed and all other kinds of bad fruit stem from bad roots.

And let us be very real and clear. America does have a sordid history: Slavery. Capitalism. Rich gets richer, poor get poorer- get the picture?

And then the random police shootings of African Americans…

Geesh. If you are brown then you can’t possibly step back and say “ Hey. They are just doing their jobs.”

And if you are brown you have to also acknowledge some of your part in this.

It is sin, then skin. We should not be shooting each other. And African Americans need to learn to help each other out; feed one another and encourage one another to do great things and promote peace.

What that sociopath pulled at the church was wicked.

And wickedness is birthed in all our hearts. It is only because of love we have for Christ and each other why we don’t pull craziness like that.

So let’s try not to look at this as 100% race, although it is clear what it is.

What is the root?

Pull it up and what will you see?

From The Rising of the Sun…

Let the morning bring me word of your unfailing love for I have put my trust in you. Show me the way I should go, for to you I lift up my soul. Psalm 143:8 NIV

I was jumping from Scripture to Scripture today just reading these gems of wisdom because I love it. So, when I came across Psalm 143. The Psalm of David. I was tickled.

David was definitely in a reflective mood- and more than likely being chased by someone. I don’t claim to know what inspired every psalm, but I do know that there is something about the morning that is special. And David knew this as well.

And I am NOT a morning person. I am a Night Owl.

But this powerful verse pinched my spiritual elbow because we are supposed to want God like our very next breath. We wait anxiously for a Word from him. For his justice. And for his mercy. We already have His love.

But David says, “I have put my trust in you.”

And I say I don’t want the sun to go down on my anger(Ephesians 4:26), because when it rises again, I want to face the Lord having  fully repented and washed perfectly clean from any sin.

I know.

It can be a hard task to follow. As a wonderful pastor said this past Sunday, David certainly had his faults but he was still after God’s own heart. He loved God and fully repented. Turning away completely from his sin.

But the morning always have good news when we wake up, doesn’t it?

There is this one bird that sings the same, beautiful song every morning near our window(is it the same bird though? I don’t know) and the squirrels are out playing, running around the bushes and under people’s cars.

And there is that new breath, fresh from sleep- opening my eyes again to a BRAND. NEW DAY.

A new day to worship. A new day to work. A new day to meditate. To pray. To have fun.

Partaking in God’s unfailing love.

Copyright 2015 Erica Jean Smith

Africa: To Be, Or Not to Be…Secularized

“Brighter Brains Institute is interested in secularizing Africa because we believe this would tremendously benefit the continent intellectually, socially, and economically”[See Brighter Brains Interview with Jd Otit]

Africa

Here are some reasons(paraphrased)they feel Africa should be secularized:

  • Christianity and Islam are worse and more evil than worship of African gods.
  • Christianity and Islam have divided Africa.
  • The people are no longer labeled as “African” but either Christian or Islamic.
  • The Ebola crisis: If Africa would stop praying and start studying, they can prosper…

Has this gotten you mad yet?

I cannot comment on what atrocities Islamic forces or “false Christians have committed upon Africa. I do not live there. I can only go off news reports and bad guesses.

But when it comes to these “free thinkers” and atheistic top heads, they should remember that believing in Christ is not the bad part. It is bad people who make bad decisions and getting rid of a religion is not the first step.

I am not saying that the article is wrong on all counts. Sure people should educate themselves and study what is wrong and make sound economic decisions. But to say that Christianity is part of Africa’s problem and then lump it in the same group as Islam is plain foul and illogical.

Another point I agree on in the article is that there is a “greedy top few” who control the resources and unfortunately this rips Africa apart. However, since when is praying about that situation the wrong thing to do?

And America is not too far behind either with its greedy top few and denouncement of Christian ideals, promotion of sexual immorality and the swiping of bibles out of the school system. In fact the separation here seems to be Us versus Them.

There is only one true religion which beats out modern, Westernized Christianity, Islam, Atheism, etc. Check it out:

John 14:6(ESV)-“Jesus said to him, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Micah 6:8-“He has told you, O man, what is good; and what does the Lord require of you but to do justice, and to love kindness, and to walk humbly with your God?

1 John 3:8-“Whoever makes a practice of sinning is of the devil, for the devil has been sinning from the beginning. The reason the Son of God appeared was to destroy the works of the devil.

Brighter Brains Institute may make sense to some who wants a radical healing and adjustment for Africa.  I know I would like Africa and everyone across the globe to become better, but letting go of pure ideals set by Christ and telling people praying is wrong is not the way to win a battle. We must lean on hope and wisdom- and wisdom will lead the way.

Because without hope, what are we left with?

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