Archive for James

*Poetry Corner- “Ego”, greed

Ego

If there’s not time today
There will never be time

How come we’re the richest
Acting like we’re poorest?
Our egos are the biggest
And the sorest

Won’t open up our wallets
Because we are afraid
Having EVERYTHING is not enough
To make a change

How come we’re the richest
Acting like we’re poorest?
Our egos are the biggest
And the sorest

And the acidic greed inside our hearts
Burns away at our souls
Devouring everything it sees, it feeds
Until all that’s left are holes

Some people have what’s very small
Some have nothing at all
Very few are filthy rich like us
Have EVERYTHING and not enough
People suffer
And we wanna see change
But we ourselves are the problem
Standing in the way!

Making the world feel small
We have to have it all
And the bigger we are
The harder we fall
Why is the world
Callous and unfair?
‘Cause we don’t see greed in the mirror
But that doesn’t mean it isn’t there

If times are hard today,
They will never be easy
If there’s no money today
There will never be enough money

Can’t set broken hearts free
Starving and empty
While our endless greed
Only feeds and feeds
Can’t look them in the eyes
And see all their pain
If we keep living only for us
Then there will never be change

How come we’re the richest
Acting like w’re poorest?
Our egos are the biggest
And the sorest

-Jennifer Clayton
—————————-
I get so frustrated with countries like America. It’s not just us, but we definitely are super guilty of this. We hit hard times, like when the economy is going crazy and we’re afraid we will lose our jobs and houses and everything. But even at our worse, we are so much better off than other countries. Billions of people around the world live off less than $2 a day. And we are upset? I guarantee those people would take living in our difficult economy any day over living the way they live. At our worse, we are living better than most of the world. Our worse is better than their best.

Perry Noble once said that “only in America can you be obese and poor at the same time.” And he’s so right! People act like they broke, but they still have means of getting the things they need. I recognize that even when times are hard here, it doesn’t change the fact that we are born with silver spoons in our mouths. Perry also was talking about how we have storage houses for our cars. People in other countries could live with their whole family in one of our car garages. We have houses and then houses for our cars.

Only in America will we complain about how hard times are getting, and then you still see all these commercials about getting your dogs the best food and grooming them and treating them like they are just like people. It’s like, “yeah, these are hard times, but we still somehow have money for this stuff” It’s ridiculous! We’re struggling but we can take care of ourselves and our pets… when people in others places don’t have anything to feed their families, and they wouldn’t even think about pets!

We get so blinded by how much stuff we have. The poem is saying that we have big and sore egos. They are big because we constantly want more and more stuff, and sore because we sit and complain about everything we don’t have, even though we have everything. “If there’s no money today, there will never be enough money” means that if we have so much stuff, but still can’t find it in our hearts to give, because we feel that we don’t have enough, then we will never find it in our hearts to give.

There won’t be enough for everyone if we only want more. There will only ever be enough for everyone if we realize that we do have everything, and others desperately need our help and our generosity, so that they can survive, too.

This is why we need humility. Why Christ calls us to be humble and to give to the poor.

“But God gives us even more grace, as the Scripture says, ‘God is against the proud, but he gives grace to the humble.'” James 4:6

“Jesus answered, ‘If you want to be perfect, go, sell your possessions and give to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.’” Matthew 19:21

Humility and serving others gets rid of our blindness, pushes away our greed. And this is what we need. Loving people like this by giving and serving shows the world that Christ is real, because acts such as these truly show how he loves. When we are greedy, nobody can see Christ in us. People think we are liars and fake. Don’t put on an act. Get out there and do your job, show genuine love, and I guarantee people will change, and ultimately the world will change.

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2011 New Year’s Resolutions: HAPPY NEW YEAR!!

HAPPY NEW YEAR’S EVERYONE!!! 😀

Okie doke. I am SUPER PUMPED to write this post. Last year, I made 8 New Year’s Resolutions:

1. Get job, keep for at least 3 months
2. Finish bible
3. Learn to play and sing 10 songs on the piano
4. Learn to play and sing 9 songs on the guitar
5. Draw 15 pictures
6. Still have this blog up and running at end of the year
7. Write and be able to play and sing 1 song by me
8. Heal (with relationships) emotionally

I planned these at the beginning of last year. I wrote them all down, and broke them down into smaller steps. And for each small step I achieved, I rewarded myself by doing something I loved. Buying myself a treat, watching something I love, going out, etc. This served to motivate me. And behold! I achieved all of these goals, to a T. Now I trust myself to succeed in all my various endeavors. I ‘m not afraid to step out and go after my dreams. I know Jesus fuels my strength and optimism and will. This year, I added more God-centered goals:

1. Tell 40 people about Christ
2. AJ blog: 200 posts this year
3. Play music in 12 places this year
4. Try to find band/people to play with for awhile
5. Get half way through the bible again
6. Draw 4 pictures about God
7. Basically have poetry book finished
8. Heal emotionally
9. Social network more
10. Write/learn 4 songs on electric guitar.

The reason 8 is still there from last is year is because even though I did heal a TON last year, I want to keep improving until I feel absolutely perfect. I did awesome before, and I want to do it again. 🙂

I wholeheartedly believe I can do it. I am trying to please God, and I am certain he is behind me in these goals. It is important for us to set goals in our relationship with Christ, and to go after them with all our hearts. This helps us to become better Christians. We need to be constantly seeking to improve, attempting to become more and more like Christ. We are never finished with this; we are supposed to become more and more like him all our lives.

“Our faces, then, are not covered. We all show the Lord’s glory, and we are being changed to be like him. This change in us brings ever greater glory, which comes from the Lord, who is the Spirit.” 2 Corinthians 3:18

“My brothers and sisters, if people say they have faith, but do nothing, their faith is worth nothing. Can faith like that save them? A brother or sister in Christ might need clothes or food. If you say to that person, “God be with you! I hope you stay warm and get plenty to eat,” but you do not give what that person needs, your words are worth nothing. In the same way, faith by itself—that does nothing—is dead.

Someone might say, “You have faith, but I have deeds.” Show me your faith without doing anything, and I will show you my faith by what I do. You believe there is one God. Good! But the demons believe that, too, and they tremble with fear.

You foolish person! Must you be shown that faith that does nothing is worth nothing? Abraham, our ancestor, was made right with God by what he did when he offered his son Isaac on the altar. So you see that Abraham’s faith and the things he did worked together. His faith was made perfect by what he did. This shows the full meaning of the Scripture that says: “Abraham believed God, and God accepted Abraham’s faith, and that faith made him right with God.” And Abraham was called God’s friend. So you see that people are made right with God by what they do, not by faith only.

Another example is Rahab, a prostitute, who was made right with God by something she did. She welcomed the spies into her home and helped them escape by a different road.

Just as a person’s body that does not have a spirit is dead, so faith that does nothing is dead!” James 2:14-26

People act like you can say that you belong to God, that you have faith in him, and then do nothing. But faith and doing good works to reflect that faith, those 2 things work hand in hand. What you do helps with your faith. To say you have faith, but live like an island, not willing to influence anybody with it in any way, to change them and shape them and help them be on better terms with God, this doesn’t reflect faith. Your faith should influence what you do. And what you do will influence your faith. It not only will help others, but it will make you stronger and closer to God, too. You can’t change the world for Christ by sitting on your butt and doing nothing. Don’t say you have faith in him but then be willing to do nothing. That faith is dead!

Without this strong faith in Christ, I would have never been able to obtain my dreams. It is the new found strength that he has given me that allows me to work so hard and have a will so strong. Before I accepted him into my life, I would still be struggling just to achieve 1 or 2 of these goals. But the strength I have gained in him is so exponentially greater than my strength alone, that my success is a lot greater, too.

Good luck with your New Year’s Resolutions! Comment and tell me what they are, and I can pray for you. 🙂 Make sure to have some that will help improve your walk with Christ. HAPPY NEW YEAR!!! Woohoo, 2011!

Don’t Talk the Talk, Walk the Walk!!

It breaks my heart to know that some people think that if they just believe in Jesus, just believe in God, they are doing enough. But it is not just enough to say you believe. When people doubt my faith in Christ, I don’t like to sit there and argue with them. I could argue about my faith all day, win an argument, but by my actions, show that I was lying and that my faith was false.

Like I could convince someone I was sweet and loving and giving, but never give a dime to anyone, never offer help to anyone who needed it, and just be incredibly selfish. Yeah, I won the argument, but that didn’t mean anything.

The same is true with faith in Christ. Anyone can discuss all day how good a Christian they are, but if they say that, and then never do anything to prove that their faith is as great as they claim it is, then as far as I am concerned, their faith is dead.

One thing I learned about being a true Christian, with a truly changed heart for Christ, is that if you love him and have really accepted him as Lord and Savior of your life, putting him first and putting yourself second, you will yearn to do things for him.

Like when you love your husband or wife or boyfriend or girlfriend, you want to do whatever you can in your own power to make them as happy as possible. You want to buy them gifts and do what they say and shower them with love. Well, Christ is the same way. I know in my life, I love him with every ounce of love in me, and so I constantly desire to pray more, and help others more, and write more about him to affect more people, and to give money in his name, and to trust him, etc.

My actions show that I love him. I work, I go to church and tithe, I sing about him in my music, I draw him in my art, I write about him in my poetry. In doing everything I love to do, I try to make sure he is a part of it. Because I live to glorify him and make his name famous, not mine.

When people question my faith, I don’t argue because I don’t like to talk the talk, I like to walk the walk. By walking and walk, and doing what God tells me to do, people will see what I do and there will be no need to argue. They will see I am truly faithful to God and my faith will affect them in a positive way.

“If one of you says to them, ‘Go in peace; keep warm and well fed,’ but does nothing about their physical needs, what good is it? In the same way, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.

But someone will say, ‘You have faith; I have deeds.’

Show me your faith without deeds, and I will show you my faith by my deeds.” James 2:16-18

Faith without works is dead. If you truly believe the message of Christ, and do nothing, how will other people truly believe? Someone had to act to reach out to you, so you could be touched and changed in your heart by the message of the Gospel. They had to ignore doing other things they wanted to do and focus on doing what God wanted them to do, and that was to act on his behalf. And by acting, they introduced many people to Christ, and many people had their lives changed.

To say you believe in Jesus, and then not tell a soul about it or live the way he tells us to, means you are a deadbeat in the body of Christ. If I go out and preach and write more about the powerful turth of the Gospel, more people will change.

I feel like, if we don’t do anything for Christ through our actions, we are just a story in a book, we are just pictures on a page, flat and 2-dimensional. But by committing the words of God to our heart and letting that eventually transform into what we do and how we live, we are no longer a 2-dimensional story, but we are alive..

like instead of watching a movie on a flat screen, we become a live play on a stage, living a life devoted to Jesus on it. The difference between a movie and a play? A story in a book and real life? One is a lot more real, a lot more genuine, personal, reaches people a lot more effectively.

We shouldn’t let the world see us as hypocrites. We should practice what we preach, so when people say crap about us, it won’t be true. We, as the church, should sparkle and shine as the bride of Christ with no blemish, no defect. People should see us and not think we are a bunch of hypocrites and liars, but think, ‘wow, this is an amazing group of loving people with hearts for God, and I want to be a part of it’.

Practice what you preach! Commit the words of the Lord to your heart, and let that transform how you live your life. 🙂

What do I think Jesus wants his followers to do?

Pray; trust him; be obedient; listen to everything he says; love unconditionally, him and everyone else, with every ounce of love in our hearts.

Work hard in his name- meaning in everything we do, we should do it in the name of Christ. Commit to excellence for him, in everything we do, so people will see us and should be blown away with how awesome he is. He wants us to give, be selfless, be humble, be involved with our Christian family, inspring each other.

Always, always, always find ways to improve as a Christian, trust ourselves less and trust him more, never give up, never lose heart, depend on his strength to get us through literally anything and everything. Never get tired of working hard. Hold tight onto the faith. Show our faith is true through our actions!

I’ll admit, I don’t pray nearly enough, I get tired and don’t feel like doing it. I get sick of people from time to time, not feeling like showing them the love I am supposed to show them. But Christ has called us to action. So I will grow from my weakness, and let my actions prove my faith, not my words.

God bless, Jennifer

Relationship Trouble vs. Christ

LOL I’m not going to lie. I am not a perfect person (What- you thought I was!?!) I have flaws. I am often so reluctant to reveal my weaknesses because I feel people will judge me or misunderstand me. I fear people will get really mad at me or blame me or call me names. But I will humble myself. God uses our weaknesses for his glory, because in whatever area in our life we are weak, we find strength in him:

“But he [the Lord] said to me, ‘My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.’ Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong.” 2 Corinthians 12:9-10

God likes this because then we are more forced to depend on him when we are weak. So I will give God the glory in my constant weakness. Here is one of them: romantic relationships are the death of me. Like boyfriends and girlfriends, marrage, etc. I spend so much time alone and I feel the constant need for this sort of companionsship. I see babies and moms together and I get sad. I see Lacey Mosley and her husband and my heart breaks. I wince at the thought of weddings because I am lonely. It’s not that I’m afraid to pursue a relationship, it’s just that I feel God calling me in a different direction now.

I’m not entirely sure where, I’m not entirely sure what to do. But in ways, I feel like I just shouldn’t go after a relaitonship now. And I get angry at God because he does not want me to be like everyone else. I want to be in love, and I feel like I am watching half of my life just pass me by. I scream at him and constantly want to push away from him- it’s not pretty, but it’s true.

At the same time, I’m not willing to compromise our entire relationship because my feelings are really hurt. If he did that to us, every time we really hurt his feelings, I gurarantee he would dump us every day. So it’s not fair I do this to him. What do I do, then?

First, I pray that he will give me peace. I pray that even while in pain, he will comfort my heart and give me the strength to not be angry. The bible says:

“My dear brothers and sisters, always be willing to listen and slow to speak. Do not become angry easily, because anger will not help you live the right kind of life God wants.”James 1:19-20

“Don’t get angry. Don’t be upset; it only leads to trouble.” Psalm 37:8

I know the above quotes are true because when I get angry and find myself yelling at God over and over, I stop and think about it. After doing it multiple times, I never feel any better.I feel like it’s worthless and stupid to yell. I only feel more anger and no peace. I feel like my heart is gross for ever doing such a thing. Who am I to yell at God? The point is that anger only leads me to be more angry. God is consistantly opening my eyes to show me that being peaceful leadsd to more peace.

It’s true for everything in life. For example, I work at Chick-fil-A and I get paid every 2 weeks. I want clothes and shoes and guitars and art supplies and books, etc. But mostly, I deny myself of these things. Being completely selfish and only indulging in pleasing myself with all of my money would be completely selfish. No one else would benefit from it. Then I would start to be like this in all areas of my life- selfish of my time and engery, only wanting to please me.

But I do the opposite with my money- titheing more than 10%, making gifts for kids and sending them around the world, knowing they will come to know about the love of Christ in the process, I’m donating to charities that also spead the Gospel, buying things that will help me spend more time with Jesus. And this is because I am loving others like Christ loved me. He loved me and rescued my sould and life from destruction, and took away my pain.

The love was very real, and I am dedicated to making that love real to others. When they recieve the gifts, they will also feel loved because of Chirst, and then tell others about the love. So this is proof that love causes more love, selflessness and compassion beget selflessness and compassion. Anger begets anger. So I am trying to be peaceful with the Lord in my time of sorrow with relationships, and hopefully he will be peaceful with me.

I try to remember Jesus has awesome plans for me- more awesome than I could ever imagine! He has caused everything else in my life to look up- so why not believe that he will take care of me when it comes to relationships? I am defusing my bomb of anger and am ever-seeking peace in the Lord.

“Wait for the Lord’s help. Be strong and brave, and wait for the Lord’s help.” Psalm 27:14

“So our hope is in the Lord. He is our help, our shield to protect us.” Psalm 33:20

“But the people who trust the Lord will become strong again. They will rise up as an eagle in the sky; they will run and not need rest; they will walk and not become tired.” Isaiah 40:31

“All living things look to you for food, and you give it to them at the right time.You open your hand, and you satisfy all living things.” Psalm 145:15-16

“I wait for the Lord to help me, and I trust his word.” Psalm 130:5