Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Christian Living

 Do Your Memories Empower or Restrict?

Author: John Tyler

The human memory is a powerful tool, engineered by a loving God who is determined to see us become everything he's called us to be.

Memories can be one of the most powerful instruments used to stir up our faith. Each of us can remember a time in our life when we felt painted in a corner by our circumstances, and only by fighting the good fight of faith we saw what once seemed impossible to our carnal mind become a reality.

Maybe it was a sickness, or family member running from God, and the Lord supernaturally came on the scene to change what seemed unchangable.

Those powerful memories of God's faithfulness and supernatural ability give us the strength and tenacity to keep believing for future breakthroughs.

The psalmist said it this way: "I will remember your miracles of long ago. I will meditate on all your works and consider all your mighty deeds" (Psalm 77:11,12).

After leading them from Egypt, God encouraged his people to keep the memory of his faithfulness fresh as they embarked on the daunting mission of taking the promised land.

"But do not be afraid of them; remember well what the Lord your God did to Pharaoh and to all Egypt. You saw with your own eyes the great trials, the miraculous signs and wonders, the mighty hand and the outstretched arm, with which the Lord your God brought you out" (Deut. 7: 18,19).
In essence, God was saying, "Don't sweat the small stuff. I brought you out once before. I'll do it again. Nothing is too hard for me."

While meditating on the great things he has done in the past is important, we shouldn't let the memory of the past limit him in our lives today.

God's wonder-working power is not limited to the box we often confine him to in our head.

Keep in mind, the reason Jesus could perform no mighty acts in his own hometown was the unbelief of the people.

In other words, the people of that town had tied God's hands. Their limited mindsets and inability to see beyond who Jesus had been to them in the past kept them from receiving in the "here and now."

For years, I prayed and prayed that the members of my family would come to Christ. However, most of the time I don't think I really brought my request to God in faith.

When I personally met Christ at age 14, several members of my family had responded negatively to my born-again experience and zeal for the Lord. Until a couple years ago, I took the memory of their resistance to the gospel with me every time I approached Jesus in prayer.

What I neglected to realize at the time was that Jesus isn't affected by what I perceived as their resistance. God is God, and if he wants someone to serve him, guess what? He can change their heart no matter how tall of an order my finite mind thinks it is.

The fact is that I finally started taking God at his word, and his word states that this salvation is for me and my household (Acts 16:31).

I simply changed my mindset. I began thanking God, each time I had a chance, that my family members were coming into his kingdom even though they hadn't yet. And, just like he promised, I looked up one day and I had four previously unsaved relatives sitting next to me in church...with more to follow!

How often do we pray for God's hand to move in our life, but take preconceived ideas with us to the throne?

Even after recounting one of the greatest physical miracles of history, the parting of the Red Sea, God said to his people in Isaiah 43 that it is okay to believe him for even bigger miracles in their lives.

"Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland" (Isaiah 43: 18-19).
Even as you read those words, I believe you do perceive it. I believe something is stirring within you to trust him at a greater level than you ever have before.

If we are looking for new levels of victory, we must reach new levels of expectancy.

Your family is coming into his kingdom!

God has supernaturally touched your financial situation!

You are healed no matter what the doctor's report has said!

He is giving you supernatural wisdom to make that tough decision!

Today, I believe he is tearing down your walls. These walls have kept him in a box and kept you confined by what you have or haven't seen him do in the past. Forget those former things. He is making a way in the desert you face today, and streams for you in your personal wasteland.

You serve a loving, supernatural God who declares to you today that nothing is impossible with him (Luke 1: 37).

No matter what adversity you face today, search your memory for times he's brought you through in the past, but never let what you've seen in the past set limits on your tomorrow.

Continually remind yourself this week that the same God who parted the Red Sea for his people and caused blind eyes to see is doing a new thing in your life.

He's tearing down the walls that have kept him confined and he's making a way where there seems to be no way.

It's time for a praise break. Take a moment right now, wherever you are, and thank him for his faithfulness and goodness in your past, as well as the miracle you are believing him for now.

Rest assured, more of his goodness and faithfulness is on its way!

About the Author

John Tyler is a Houston-based writer and public relations professional who publishes an online column on Christian living. Be Transformed! Vist


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Christian Dating

 Dating at Middle Age

Author: Laurel A. Aiyana

After several years of remaining single, and raising children alone, I contemplate entering the dating market once again. At 42, I�m expecting more challenges than previously encountered in my younger years. I�ve read the books on dating after age 35 years old, and it appears dating has been relegated to a marketing skill. I need to grow my hair long, because guys prefer longer hair, make sure I�m in shape, maybe a nip and tuck here and there under a surgeon�s knife would increase my chances. Women outnumber men significantly as we age, so one must strategize to beat the odds. As I read all of this, I seriously wonder, if I really want to go there.

Transforming self into a middle age Barbie doll somehow seems plastic, and so unreal. How does a person maintain their true self, while attempting to appeal to the available market? On-line Christian dating services appealed as a starting place. I carefully plotted out answers to basic questions to describe myself, and what I was seeking in a man � easy enough. I filled out the personality section, and posted a picture. For a mere $9.95/month, I began the journey down the road to romance. Responses to my posting came quickly. At first, men would send little flirts. Finally one wanted to correspond, and quickly progressed to lunch together. John seemed like a nice guy. We conversed for several hours over soup and salad. We parted ways, and John promised to call. Later that evening, he did call, but the conversation changed. Now that we had met, John wanted to rendez-vous at a hotel to get to know each other. Floored at first, I regained my composure, and nicely declined the invitation, and decided to move on with my search. Naively, I felt that a Christian dating service would postpone the sex talk a while � silly me!

After my first experience, I refined my personality responses to indicate that I wanted to spend time getting to know someone well � and nicely mentioned the fact that I didn�t want to relive a �fools rush in� scenario. Responses to my ad sharply declined. While not surprising, future opportunities, I hope, will be with men of a certain character. Maybe I�m deluding myself to think that I can find a person willing to spend time developing a deep spiritual relationship. Even if it means years of solitude, I plan to wait for the white knight in shining armor. If I have to be a Barbie doll, surely some of the men will be willing to assume the white night role.

Copyright (c) 2005 Laurel Aiyana. All rights reserved.

About the Author

Laurel Aiyana lives in Milford Center, Ohio with her two children. Retired at a young age due to illness, she seeks to reinvent herself as a writer, and hopefully touch others.


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