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Posts Tagged ‘Jesus Christ’

When I decided to go on a 10-day fast in January of 2014, I expected to grow closer to God and to be able to understand His will for me with greater clarity. I asked myself what I needed most from Him at that time, and my answer was two-fold: I needed clarification and guidance. I wanted to hear His soft, undeniable voice internally whispering His will for me. I wanted to feel His spirit and confirmation.

 I began my fast hoping to receive clarification about a situation that I had been feeling guilty about. It was a circumstance that I had no control over. Still, I could not shed the burden of guilt and I continually tried to make amends for the ill behavior of others. I was reminded by my sister in Christ not to force doors open that God had shut. Yet, somehow I felt it was my duty to make everything right for everyone.

 During the first day of my fast, God blessed me with a revelation. He showed me that the burden had never been mine to carry. Although I knew this to be truth, somehow I had been unable to grasp the concept. While fasting and praying, God helped me to realize that if He had wanted me to take care of it, He would have made the provision for me to do so. But He hadn’t. I understood. Not only was the door shut, it was locked. And finally, I was able to relinquish an unnecessary burden.

 There was another kind of guilt that resurfaced while I was fasting. This one revolved around a particular television series. I had allowed it to entertain me with all of its profanity and behavior. For one hour each week, I found myself firmly planted in front of the television set ready for the drama the show was sure to bring. I was so attracted to the performance that I made sure I had my DVR set to record the entire series in case I missed an episode. That was my vice. It was like a soap opera, always ending on a cliff-hanger. But it was an ungodly cliff-hanger, and deep down inside I knew better.

 This type of guilt did not require fasting. This one simply required me to obey the word of God and diligently protect what my eyes see and what my ears hear. Watching the weekly program had always produced a twinge of guilt in me, and I would promptly try to eradicate the feeling by justifying my actions. But how do you justify not obeying the word of God? The guilt would not recede, and I questioned myself – did I really want to invite this negativity into my home every week? I had to confess that I did not, so I made the decision, while fasting, to stop watching it.  

 The guidance I sought from God was of a financial nature. Although working part-time, I pondered if I should decrease my hours even more. My logic was that this would give me more time to dedicate to my love of writing, and explore other avenues of the craft as well. The answer did not come quickly. As a matter of fact, it did not come at all while I was fasting. But God had a plan. It just hadn’t been revealed to me yet.

 Eighteen days after the fast had ended, I reached out to a literary agency inquiring about an intern position as a content editor. The owner told me that she had recently received several projects and had been praying to God, telling Him that she needed more help. There was my guidance. God, in His omnipotence, had devised the master plan! I had my answer. There was no need to decrease my hours, and I could still expand my writing and explore other avenues of my craft. 

 Through fasting, I found peace of mind, deliverance, and direction – everything I was seeking. I know my path is determined by wherever God leads me. My only desire is to recognize when He is leading and to follow Him. Much like spring is a time of renewal, so too is fasting. And by the grace of God, I will be renewed, reviewed, rejuvenated, and improved – not just once a year, but whenever needed through the power of prayer and regular fasting.

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I’ve had several jobs during my life time – dish washer, waitress, data entry clerk, surgical technician, and a career as a registered nurse. With each of these positions, there was always something lacking. I felt a yearning for something more, a feeling that I was meant to be doing something else. Deep down inside I knew what it was. I knew because I had been doing it since the age of ten. The something else I was meant to do was write.

It began with poetry, and then progressed to short stories – just a page or two. I remember walking into bookstores and seeing the selection of books displayed on the tables. I told myself that one day my book would be displayed on one of those tables as well.

By the time I was in my early twenties, I was a data entry clerk by day and an aspiring freelance writer by night. I submitted short stories to various magazine publications on a regular basis – and was rejected by them just as often. I also freelanced for a local newspaper for a brief period of time.

I tried to remain faithful to my purpose. I enrolled in the university and majored in mass communications. But life has a way of distracting you. At the time, I was a divorced mother of three with a full-time job (that had nothing to do with writing by the way). I became exhausted trying to juggle school, family and work so I chose to discontinue my education.

After working for eight years as a data entry clerk, I returned to college and became a surgical/ob technician, later graduating with a degree as a registered nurse (again…nothing to do with writing).

In 2008, my youngest child graduated from high school. I continued working as a nurse until the restlessness began two years later. I realized that my dream of becoming a published author remained unfulfilled. Sure, I had freelanced for a local newspaper briefly, but I wanted to write a book. My unfulfilled prediction of seeing my own book sitting on a table in a bookstore began to nag at my soul.

I had worked as a nurse for sixteen years, and maintained an on again/off again relationship with writing that had lasted for more than forty-one years. I began to ponder why I had pursued a career as a registered nurse instead of pursuing my dream of becoming a writer.

I looked to God for the answer and for His guidance, and I found it in Revelations Chapter 4, Verse 11: “Thou art worthy, O Lord, to receive glory and honour and power: for thou hast created all things, and for thy pleasure they are and were created.” Through these words of wisdom, I came to understand why my purpose had remained unfulfilled.

Although God had instilled the gift of writing in me, it had not been my time to use it. I had strayed away from Him, and had abused the gift He’d given me by using it to write about ungodly things. Once I rededicated myself to Jesus Christ, the new me began to infuse itself into my writing.

After eight months of prayer, I ended my nursing career and fully embraced my God- given purpose. I began writing for the glory of God. My affirmation that I was on the right track came when my debut novel Yesterday’s Eyes was published in 2012.

Today, as I journey through the second half of my life, I continue to fulfill my purpose. I have a part time job that involves writing ninety percent of the time, I am a freelance content writer, and I have recently expanded my purpose to include the world of content editing which I discovered I enjoy a great deal.

Trusting in the Lord has become a lesson in faith and a victory for me. With God’s help, I am able to identify and remove anything that threatens to distract me from my true purpose. I now reject the toxicity of phrases like ‘later’, ‘one day’, and ‘when I retire’.

Today is the day!

Through my writing, I can be used by God for His glory over and over. Fulfilling my purpose has not made me financially rich, but I am rich in spirit and I am doing what I was meant to do. Even though it took forty-one years for me to embrace my true purpose, I can say quite happily, “Better late than never”.

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Proverbs 4:23

“Keep thy heart with all diligence; for out of it are the issues of life.”

 

Someone said, “What goes into the mind comes out in a life.” What kind of life are you living? Is it a life that puts Jesus Christ first?

How we live is a direct reflection of what we think and how we feel. A tree is known by the fruit it produces. And a bitter tree never produces anything sweet. Our private thoughts and feelings don’t lie.

But we do.

Some folks try to put on a warm and loving façade, but if their heart is cold, it’s just a matter of time before an icy chill begins to infiltrate the space around them.

Sometimes, it only takes seconds. Because a cold heart can not emit anything warm.

Today. It’s time for a change. It’s time for YOUR change.

You are still here, and God is still waiting. You don’t know what tomorrow is bringing, so don’t let your life be in vain.

Today. Understand that what you need is deliverance, deliverance from a cold heart, deliverance from dark and unkind thoughts, deliverance from unforgiveness, deliverance from bitterness – all rotten fruit.

Take the first step to freeing yourself. Surrender to the Saviour, and He will set you free.

Jesus tells us He is “the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.” John 14:6 (KJV)

Come out of the rotten ruins of darkness. Step into the light. Be healed. And be free.

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Unnecessary Pain

Across the bordered line of emotion, beneath the settled pain, in his heart lies an evil easily swayed towards destruction, and ready to be seduced by pain.

This evil, better known as the master’s dragon, is supposedly under lock and key; quietly serving a life sentence of memories while waiting for the moment of rejuvenation.

Yet the dragon would be nil were it not for the master who constantly fuels the fire of which it breathes.

Who constantly remembers the pain of a past that’s been allowed a space, though dark is this place, in his heart.

Then enters a light – just a flicker at first, and the dragon’s pace quickens as its master recalls the hurt.

But The Light grows brighter, and It does not burn. And to feel It warms his soul – for this light is Jesus Christ.

And He has not come empty-handed.

Nay, He is heavily equipped with love.

So, with one painless thrust, He pierces into his heart. And the dragon standing guard cries out.

But the master does not hear, and his heart is elated for alas, unto him comes the Dragon Slayer.

© 2013 Catherine Flowers

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To Be Continued

We all have a story to tell. Never mind the beginning chapters; how will your story end?

Will it end with you being the same way – broke down, lost and confused – that you were at the beginning of the book? Or will you end on a triumphant note, standing tall, knowing at last who you are, why you were created, and where you’re headed.

The first few chapters of your novel may be painful, filled with all sorts of emotional issues and baggage weighing you down. Page 119 might take us with you on your treacherous journey through quicksand, but page 207 might find us standing along side you on solid, not sinking, ground.

That’s your story.

Someone else’s story might take them a little longer to reach victory. We may have to suffer with them through 300 pages of stumbling across rocky ground. And page 305 might find them still stumbling.

To those I say, put on the whole armour of God. The enemy is not playing with you. You need to get geared up.

Ephesians 6:13-17 tells us, “Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand. Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness; And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace; Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked. And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:” (KJV)

Can you see the metaphor? The whole armour of God – that’s the protection of God in the form of His truth, righteousness, peace, faith, and Word (Bible). Clinging to all of these becomes our armour, our protection. It’s no wonder that we are told in Isaiah 54:17, “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper;…”

How will your story end? How do you want it to end? Surrender yourself to Jesus Christ. Trust and obey Him. He will grant you everlasting life – and that’s what I call a happy ending!

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Are You Ready?

This is a thought provoking video that I wanted to share with those of you who may not have seen it. It’s something to consider…

http://www.myspace.com/video/vid/2333115

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