Archive for November, 2010

What Is The Most Important Prayer of All?

Why do we pray? To get the things that we want, the perfect boyfriend/girlfriend, perfect job, perfect life? Do we pray that other people heal? Do we pray that we get what someone else wants?

People pray for all kinds of things. Sometimes we pray for ourselves and sometimes we pray for others. How do we determine what we should pray for? Prayer is basically asking God to fulfill some wish for something you have in your heart. The problem is, we as people are not perfect, and so we can pray selfishly or hatefully and end up not praying for the right things.

At Anderson University, a man was speaking at Chapel one day and he said, ”instead of praying for what we want, we need to let Jesus have a prayer to us that we can fulfill for him.” In other words, when we pray for what we want, we may pray for the wrong things. But because God is so much greater than us, he knows what needs to happen for true miracles to take place. We can pray for things that get us nowhere, but he could pray for us to do things that help truly change the lives of people.

So let him ask for what he wants from you, and let that be his ‘prayer’ to you. Fulfill his dreams by listening to him. And by fulfilling his dreams, we ultimately fulfill our own. This is all because God has good plans for our lives.

Listen to what he asks of you, and be obedient enough to do it. As a father, he wants what is best for us. Listening to him leads to what is best for us. Don’t listen to his prayers and we end up screwing ourselves over. Pray the Lord allows his will to be done- that he accomplishes everything he needs to accomplish through us.

My friends, the most important prayer of all is the Lord ’s prayer, of course.

Another note on prayer: If your prayer is not contradictory to his word (ex. Praying to get lucky and have sex when you aren’t married, when his word says we need to wait until we are married), he is often very willing to fulfill a prayer. But when you pray, you must have one thing: faith! He feels this way: if you are bold enough to pray to him, at least have enough respect for him to believe that he can fulfill your wishes. You need to trust him. He says that with faith as small as a mustard seed, you can move mountains. So he will move your mountains if you have some faith in him!! 🙂

It’s important to try not to pray selfishly, for like a million dollars, but be humble and care for others more than you care for yourself, and he certainly will hear your prayers.

Finding Beauty in Negative Spaces

“Find Beauty in Negative Spaces” is a CD by the band Seether. I actually have this CD. But I am using the name to show how Jesus “finds beauty in negative spaces” when it comes to us.

God can make me feel so beautiful at any given moment. Even in the midst of a horrible day, where I just wanna cry and go to sleep. Even when someone is a total jerk to me and makes me feel useless. Even when I feel unloved, and like I’m in desperate need of someone to make me feel special.

I get so vulnerable, but he always covers up the pain with peace. I like to block out the world from time to time and only think about him. Many people don’t know this, but he truly can heal like no one else can heal. All I really had to do was put more and more trust in him, and the more I trust him, the more I feel him taking care of me.

 

I drew this picture of a girl. I didn’t sit there and think “I’m going to draw a girl in a white dress, blood, wings” I simply thought, “let me draw out the worse pain I feel in my heart at this moment”

And this is what came out. I was just drawing until I felt better. And I feel a million times better. I am so fascinated that in all the pain I’m in, that makes me want to cry, I can find such great beauty in a work like this. My heart feels so liberated. x3

But I know this is the work of God. Whenever I feel pain, I never let it keep me down becasue I simply know this: Christ is bigger than this, stronger than this. He said “I told you these things so that you can have peace in me. In this world you will have trouble. But be brave! I have defeated the world!” John 16:33 ERVSo he has already overcome the world, he has already faced all my demons for me and won all my battles.

Basically, with Jesus, he helps make everything ugly that I feel seem more beautiful. Any time I feel worthless, he lets me feel love. It spreads through all of my heart and he shows me the beauty in me. For example, I might think my face, my body, my personality, and my life is ugly and stupid. So metaphorically, I look at my heart and see a bunch of ‘dirt’. A bunch of ugliness. Jesus says I am beautiful throughout, and so he finds my ‘diamonds in the dirt’. He takes anything I think is ugly and makes me see that it’s beautiful.

Girls shouldn’t let boys abuse them. And really, no one should let anyone abuse them. Friends shouldn’t let friends abuse them- and a real friend won’t abuse you. When you let people abuse you, a lot of times, you gain a sense of worthlessness. It feels very real and very much like the sky in your world is black- that you are not important. But it’s not true!!! These people look at themselves and only see dirt; they see themselves as not important or beautiful. However, Christ looks at them and always sees diamonds in the dirt, he always see beautiful things that are hidden to us. Don’t let people get in your heads or your heart and let them cut you down, telling you you are nobody.

Christ always thinks you are somebody. Someone to be loved and cherished and made to feel special. He is our father, and he sees his daughters as priceless and more beautiful than diamonds and more valuable than gold. He loves us and wants us to have good influences in our lives- good parents, friends, boyfriends and girlfriends. Christ thinks his sons are handsome and priceless, also.

Why should we settle for less? Do we deserve to feel less than we are, that we are just dirt, containing no diamonds? Heck no!!

I struggle with emotional abuse. No one physically hurts me, but people will tell me I’m not worht anything. In the back of my mind, I know I am incredibly valuable, but it doesn’t mean that insults don’t hurt. I was talking with my friend, and we both agreed that we can’t handle a bunch of meanness from total strangers- when people only know one thing about us, and based off that, they judge us and call us bad people for one little thing we do.

Some people truly make you feel like you could die. But Jesus wants to wrap up us in so much love that we never feel such pain again. We are important to him. He doesn’t see a moron who can’t do anything right, someone who is totally useless or someone who doesn’t deserve to be alive.

He sees us as his precious, priceless, hurting children that he wants to heal. He sees the tears we cry; he wants to wipe those tears. He sees the battles we fight; he says call on him for help and we will learn that he has already fought and won these battles for us. He sees that we grow weak; we have strength in him. He is an unfaltering love, an unending hope, like eternal sunlight.

I pray that he shields us when we get abused and torn down. He sees we should have security and peace in him because there are so many people who will hate us in this world and he wants nothing more than to protect us from that. Sometimes I see images of people hitting me, yelling at me, cutting me open, because they abuse me so much. Sometimes, I see boys making me feel ugly and ripping off my wedding dress because I feel like I don’t deserve to be married. But none of this is true!!

The same way parents look at their newborn baby as beautiful and breathtaking, heart breaking, wonderful, Jesus looks at his children (US!) the same way. Except he sees infinite more beauty than we could ever see in a baby. He loves us much, much more than we could ever love ourselves.

Jeus died for us on the cross because even though we can be sinful, cold, cruel, selfish people, he sees past all that and sees the beauty in us. He loves us and is always “finding beauty in negative spaces”.

The picture I drew was about all the raw ugliness and grossness I feel, how I felt being treated like shit. But despite showing all the ugliness I feel, one can see the beauty in my heart because of how beautiful the piece of art turned out. It was about disaster but was breath taking and heartbreakingly beautiful. We see the ugliness and he sees the beauty. I know my self-esteem may suffer because of people, but I have learned to differentiate what is true and what’s fake. His love his true and cruelty from bullies is fake; don’t believe them.

This is why he is the best friend I’ve ever known. He knows howo to heal me, how to love me, how to help me “find beauty in negative spaces”. A genuine and heartfelt friend can always see beauty in you, even when we fail to see it in ourselves. Christ is a great friend. Trust in his compassionate and loyal heart.

Sister, and Map of Your Life

My sister can be really cruel. She will yell at me when I haven’t really done anything. She will ignore me just like I am not there. I remember that all the time, we used to argue about something. I would calmly try to explain what was wrong in the situation, and she would just go “LA, LA, LA, LA, LA!!!” over me, trying to ignore what I said. She would just argue, claiming she was right without explaining herself.

She would always expect me to listen to her, but would not have the decency to listen to me when I responded. For months, this would be how we lived, me trying to be nice and her being too obnoxious to care. Not trying to say I am perfect, but she definately starts most of the drama in the house. She has always been very loud and abrasive.

I have to wonder if Jesus feels this way. He tries so hard to be nice to us, and then we don’t listen when he tells us to do stuff. When we aren’t obedient, we are being like my sister: stubborn and unreasonable. He knows what is best for us, so we should listen to him. Instead, we shut him out and do what is “right in our own eyes,” which may not be right in his eyes.

He’ll try to explain how important it is that we do waht he says, and basically, we go “LA, LA, LA, LA, LA!!!”

The way I see life is this:

He designed people so that we only see the road right a head of us and the road right behind us. So when we think, we think about only the immdediate future, focus on tomorrow, only on the very next step we take. God is all knowing and all seeing, so he sees the map of the world.

He knows all the roads we need to take and all the ones that lead to disaster. All the ones that lead us to where we need to go and all the ones that lead us to nowhere.

For example, if he tells us to get off one road w’ere on, which just means he tells us to stop whatever we are doing at that point in life and focus on something else, if he tells us to get off that road, it’s because he knows that if we continue to take that road, it will lead us to disaster or lead us nowhere, so we get lost.

He may say go on a different road, but we can’t see the future like he sees it. The road he tells us to travel on will lead us to have success and much joy in this life.

This is why it’s so crucial to trust in Christ to lead you wherever he needs you to go. It’s important to be disciplined and understand that he is greater than us, so that we become less to ourselves. We only see a couple feet infront of us. So he needs to become greater and we need to become less.

We need to have faith in him and start to see the greatness and awesomeness of his power. His plans won’t always make sense at first, and that’s okay, because we should have faith that through listening and being obededient to him, he will lead us to live the most fulfilling and blessed lives- rich in love and joy and spiritual peace in our hearts. Who doesn’t want that?

I close my eyes to the ignorance of this world and trust in him. I put him first, trusting him before I trust all men. Men only see what is right infront of them and right behind them, and they get confused.

I try so hard in my heart to not treat him like my sister treats me, with disrespect or rudeness. Want to avoid being this way to him, avoid being nasty and cold? Be obedient. Listen to him when he tells you to do something. Remember he has the map of the world, of our lives, while we only see a mere road. Replace the selfishness to please yourself with respect for him. Respect that he will certainly always lead you where you need to go.

I once heard:

”A leader takes people where they want to go. A great leader takes people where they don’t necessarily want to go, but ought to be.”
– Rosalynn Carter

By putting up with my sister, I showed that I loved her, even when she was being stubborn. Jesus puts up with us when we are stubborn and want to follow misleading roads. Change your heart and follow the roads he says to follow. In your life, do what you tell him and you will gain most joy in life.

Good to Trust in Jesus, Accepting Him

“‘I know what I am planning for you,’ says the Lord. ‘I have good plans for you, not plans to hurt you. I will give you hope and a good future.’” Jeremiah 29:11 NCV

“You, LORD, give perfect peace to those who keep their purpose firm and put their trust in you.” Isaiah 26:3 TEV

“Let’s keep focused on that goal, those of us who want everything God has for us. If any of you have something else in mind, something less than total commitment, God will clear your blurred vision—you’ll see it yet!” Philippians 3:15 The Message

But you must truly believe in Christ in your heart to obtain this the blessings he has stored up for you; he has blessings stored up for each and every one of us. Belief is such a loose word, but that’s a WHOLE DIFFERENT story for another time. To truly accept Christ, you have to believe that he is alive in spirit and around still today to do the things he said and promised he would.

I believe this in my own heart, even more so than the air I breathe—than the sure oxygen that fills my lungs. You must trust him, and through doing so, learn to know him in your heart. You need to confess that Jesus is Lord of your life, realize that he loves you and that he lived for you, died for you, and rose from the grave—so that you might live with him and his father in heaven, in his big house with many rooms, and have eternal life! Realize that by Christ lived the perfect life and sacrificed himself to take away your sins.

If you confess these things, truly believing them in your heart, you will know that you have accepted Christ, and will get into heaven and live with him. Pray for this in your heart, even say it out loud, and Satan and hell will have lost their foothold on your soul. And then, welcome to the new life.

Always feel free to contact me deadwednesdays@yahoo.com . Or leave a comment if you have questions or anything. 🙂

Check out NewSpring church, which is a place for any and all imperfect people, REGARDLESS OF THEIR PAST!! Everyone is welcomed by the kindness of true children of fricken’ AWESOME JESUS!! You don’t need to be all dressy and can come in casual clothes, and you can actually understand what the preachers are preaching about. It’s a very much home away from home feel, and it is really quite enjoyable. It’s the way church needs to be, for there to be any life change (and there is here, all the time!).

The site is here: http://www.newspring.cc. Check the site for info on locations (http://www.newspring.cc/newhere/locations). If you don’t live near one currently, watch videos on the web campus, visit the senior pastor’s blog: www.perrynoble.com, which is packed with loads of useful info, and get in touch with people who attend this church.

*Poetry Corner- I Won’t Apologize

When people say I’m a weirdo for believing in Jesus, I look at them like they are stupid. I feel like this: Why on earth will I give up on a love that has made me feel completely whole? If I listen to their ridiculous opinions, I will loose the greatest love I’ve ever known, the most freedom in joy I have ever felt, and this is what I have to say about that:

I Won’t Apologize

I don’t care who laughs at me for loving Jesus
Who mocks me for believing in “fairy tales”
But I won’t apologize for committing my life
To something that rescued me from the hell
I once lived in every day, on my own
Standing on the edge of everything I’ve known
About to fall over into the sketchy blackness
Through the power of his love
I could feel him pull me back

I won’t EVER apologize
For allowing my heart to heal,
For the very first time in my life
I won’t apologize
For going from a passive life
To an active one
Where I can achieve my dreams
By any means

Why the hell should I be sorry
For being happy, being complete
Learning what it’s like to be a whole person
For the very first time
In an ocean of worry,
I use to sink to the bottom to drown
But by trusting Christ
Look at the love I’ve found
Condemned to be free
Learning to breathe
Learning to breathe

White-hot passion fills my bones
Commitment to the realest love I’ve ever known
Walking in his footsteps
I won’t dare to fall back
Into a world that gave up on me
I will follow in his footsteps
And try to reach
The broken heart
The hurting child, the outcast,
The left-out
The down-trodden, the left-behind,
The forgotten about
I will reach the hearts that
Never before
Have been reached, all this time
I’ll show them that he loves their abandoned hearts
I know this his true,
Because he has loved mine

—————

So when people say you are a freak for loving Christ, let them call you a freak. Is it so freaky to want to feel fulfilled in your life, to feel loved by someone who is looking out for you? So freaking to grow past the fears and worries and anxieties of the world, because you have peace in Christ? Is it so weird to feel more incredible than you ever have before? If people say it is, refuse to apologize!! 🙂 Don’t give them what they want. Love you all~

-Jennifer Clayton

Operation Christmas Child, Donating, and Sponsoring a Child

So earlier, I posted about Operation Christmas Child. This organization that sends gifts to children around the world who live in poverty and maybe areas of war, etc. People make gifts and put them in shoeboxes or plastic containers, and when the children get the gifts, they also get to hear about Christ. So you are spreading the Gospel and the love of Christ is shown to them, for he loves them enough to bless them with gifts, and they learn that he loves them.

There is nothing that breaks my heart more or anything more beautiful. Last year I made two boxes, and I am in the process of finishing up 5 this year. I may want to do a couple more… I really am not sure. But the reason I choose to give to these children is because they get to hear about Christ.

There are plenty of organizations to give to, and while they are extremely important, because people need help all over the place, some organizations don’t really allow you to share the gospel with people. And as Perry Noble said one time about doing this: “You can free people from hell on earth, but that won’t free them from eternal hell.”

So basically he is saying we need to do both. Give them the necessities they need by donating and giving gifts, but also tell them about how true Jesus’s love is and how he saves people from pain, despite them being in poverty; how he allows them to get into heaven. He gives them peace and allows them to live above their circumstance, and even when the world around them is bad, they feel a sense of fulfillment in Christ.

If I don’t give to charities that share the gospel, my heart gets so broken because I feel like I am only doing half my job. I will still give to all kinds of charities, even when they don’t tell about Christ because these people still need to be taken care of. But I have to promise myself to also do charities that do share the gospel because these truly save souls. I know the difference between the two types of organizations, and I understand why one is so crucial in my heart.

Anyway, I did save up a hundred dollars for the boxes, and I did spend all this on my shoebox gifts! Actually, I spent around $120. I also plan on spending $100 to another Samaritan’s Purse cause (Samaritan’s Purse is the organization that started the Operation Christmas Child thing).

Samaritan’s Purse is all about rescuing people from hell on earth and from hell for eternity. So they have all kinds of things you can donate to, and I’m donating to them. So I’m spending around $200 on gifts for people this year, and these people will also learn about Jesus. That’s my absolute favorite part!

I tell Jesus that these are my “Christmas gifts to him”. For Christmas, people are always asking for what they want and sometimes they get really selfish. But Christmas is about the gift of Christ to the world. So I know what he would want for Christmas is for me to do something that truly honors him, by letting people know about Christ. By being selfless and giving up my dreams of having clothes and technology stuff and giving to children who truly need it most. If I get nothing for Christmas this year, it would truly be okay. Because I have already been radically af

fected by the message of Christ. I have peace of mind, despite my earthly circumstances, and this is because I am certain I will get into heaven because I truly have faith that Jesus has saved me from my sins in my heart.

So I’m done with my shoebox gifts and I turn them in on November 14 to my church, so they can send them to children on Christmas through Samaritan’s Purse. And then I’m spending money on donations. And one more of my ‘gift’s to Jesus’: I am thinking of sponsoring a child through a program called Compassion. It is an organization that lets you send money to a child each month, around $37, and you get to help their family and tell them about Christ. They form a relationship with you and get an opportunity to experience the love of Jesus and his Father and the Holy Spirit.

There was another organization where I could sponsor a child, and it costs about $10 less a month, but I couldn’t really tell them about Jesus and how he saves. They said we could not try to change the child’s faith with this organization. It was a tough decision to decide to pick another organization. It broke my heart because I know both children despeartely need love and to be taken care of, but I just couldn’t imagine only doing half my job by giving them heaven on earth but hell for eternity.

It seems so unfair because both children do need to be sponsored, even when you can’t tell them about your faith and how awesome it is. I truly pray that those children do get sponsored, but I would be too heart broken to go through with it, thinking about how I am not telling them about the true joy of life. But I am willing to spend $10 extra each month if it means I can talk about Jesus.

Jesus is freakin’ awesome. I plan on sponsoring a child through Compassion for a long time, because they are going to be dependent on me and my job. In a way, I get to be there mommy and I just can’t wait. I feel Jesus is leading me to sponsor a child, even though I am only 18 and have only had my job at Chick-fil-A for 7 or 8 months. I plan on actually sponsoring them on Christmas day. That’s my last gift to Jesus this year.

Haha, I can’t wait to see what I will do for him next year for Christmas. All I really want for Christmas is to please him. 🙂

Why am I doing this? Because Jesus has loved me with all his heart, given me all of his love. I only understand a teeny, teeny, tiny fraction of it. And with the little I understand, I do this kind of stuff. All of his love is really too great to understand. But it absolutely rocks my world and blows my mind what he can do through me with this little bit of love. Could you imagine how he can change the world with all his love? I’ll never understand why people act like Jesus is so horrible.

He uses us to change the world. People can only change by him if us Christians are willing to go and tell the people of the world about him. The responsibility falls squarely on our shoulders. If we don’t move, he can’t get his message out. He loves us so much and he trusted us so much by giving us this responsibility.

People so often have misconceptions about God and Jesus and heaven, or don’t even know about them at all, because we are so irresponsible as Christians a lot of the time. I give this love to these children because Jesus has loved me first. It is his love reaching them, not really my love. I freakin’ refuse to be an irresponsibilty Christian.

I want these children to feel the love I have experienced through Christ. He rocked my world in such a beautiful way when he saved me, letting me know that he loves me more than anyone else could ever love me. And I’m just letting these children know this.

Christians need to wake up and smell the coffee. Get off their behinds and realize people are hurting and dying every day because we aren’t being sevrants to Christ and spreading his message. We have to minister. People can’t change without our help. Heck yeah, I want to be like Billy Graham and Franklin Graham, going up and beyond for Jesus. ‘Cause Jesus says that this is what life is all about! 🙂 This is only the beginning of my ministry, barely touching the surface…

What Drives Your Life?

I reflect on a quote from Daily Inspiration for the Purpose Driven Life.

“Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love.” 1 John 4:18 The Message

This is superb!! Fear is so crippling, and don’t pretend or shy away from that—people fear things every day! Judgment is a huge thing people constantly fear! In the backwards society where people follow the crowd, judgment is a huge thing people fear. People are like this all over the place! Take time to reflect all day on the things that cause you that crippling fear. Even pray that God would lead you and make very clear to you those things. As you come to take notice of them, see how God is missing in that area of your life.

You can’t be fearless, confident, and truly wise, and if you don’t trust God in those areas of which you have fear. Only God can fulfill you and take away such unnecessary fears and every day worries if you trust him.

Before I got saved, I noticed this fear all throughout my life. Fear of people and what they thought of me, thinking I had to put on this fake attitude that truly wasn’t like me. Now I am much less afraid of going after my big dreams because the fears of the world do not control me. I get over fear of judgment easily by realizing that it does not matter how the world judges me; by listening to them and their crappy opinions, I will not be fulfilled and truly succeed in life.

Only when I realized that God is always looking out for my best interest and that he never judges me in unfair ways, only then did I realize that it’s okay to not live like the world does. He is trying to lead me to the most fulfilled, happiest life. Before I met Christ, I listened to people all my life, and they could never lead me to be fulfilled. Now, I am very bold in Christ because he is very bold for me, giving his life so that I may live in true freedom.

You really have to realize that the more you trust in Christ in all areas of your life, the more you feel his love. The more you feel his love and how comforting and strong it is, the less you fear things as the world does. Truly, you need to only fear one thing, and that is the Lord, and through fearing him, he banishes all other fears.

Someone can achieve worldly ‘success’ for a few days, weeks, short years… But you can never reach you full potential without trusting God, letting him take away the unnecessary fears, so you live life more boldly and in a way that’s perfect for you. This is so critical to take into consideration, into your own heart.

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