Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble, and he brought them out of their distress. He stilled the storm to a whisper; the waves of the sea were hushed. They were glad when it grew calm, and he guided them to their desired haven.~ Psalm 107:28-30~
Music/Interview with Christian Hip-Hop artists Beatlab7
Music meets the Truth Listen online!
~Christian Faith~ Positive and Encouraging Online Publication of Hope
Inspirational Stories & Links to help you "Stay in the Rain"
So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed It doesn't matter where you come from or what you've done, Jesus loves you and will set you free.
Creators of Embracing the Rain
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Writer and Editor
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Wayne Auman Bio
Hope for the Helpless Articles, songs, and poems (particularly teens), and encouraging, enabling words to victims of cruelty. Lisa Freeman Bio
May-June Lives storms 2011 In this issue we bring you stories of how others made it through lifeâ€™s storms and found hope in God. Plus encouraging poems, art and articles. Deuteronomy 32:1-3
Listen, you heavens, and I will speak; hear, you earth, the words of my mouth. Let my teaching fall like rain and my words descend like dew, like showers on new grass, like abundant rain on tender plants. I will proclaim the name of the LORD. Oh, praise the greatness of our God!
Abuse Bites Hope and Encouragement for those who have been abused.
I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13
Embracing the Rain is here to show you that God loves everyone and He created everyone with a purpose. No matter what you've done, God loves you. Are you hurt, broken hearted, feeling helpless and lost? We are here to share in God's great love for us and to help you to find hope and learn to how to receive God's blessings! Christian’s share their faith in stories, art, poetry and testimonies. Come and share in His blessings!
We are an online publication for people who are hurting and looking for hope. Christians share their faith and hope you too can not only make it through the storms of life, but learn to Embrace God’s Rain. Our prayers and thoughts are with those who were affected by the terrible storms that ravaged many states. Please pray for the friends and families and to help in any way you can. Check states news online for donation needs.
May/June Issue Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honest, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things. Philippians 4:8 Copyright© 2007-2011 Embracing the Rain All Rights Reserved Contact webmaster - Jackie Dennis Photos in articles and used in web design are from Fotolia or copyrighted by perspective owners and are not to be copied or reproduced in anyway. Copying these photos is a violation of the law! Articles may not be copied, reproduced, distributed or publicly displayed without the consent of the author or copyright owner. copyright© 2007 Embracing the Rain. Some articles are from FaithWriters All rights reserved.
My Hungry Heart Nancie Armstrong What is your heart hungry for? page 8
Feature funny story Not everyone is a Martha Stewart
Confessions of an Anti- Martha page 12
Three legged race A look at marriage Lisa Freeman page 18
The Skinny On Teenage Body Image and Spiritual Health True beauty begins on the inside by Angie Lewis page 22
3 letters 1 profound word by Wayne Auman Page27
Special Interview In memory of Rev. David Wilkerson founder of Teen Challenge and author of The Cross and Switchblade Jody and how Teen Challenge helped change their life page 6
Music: Christian Hip-hop artist Beatlab7 Interview and music by some very talented young Christians. Where music meets the â€œtruthâ€? (listen online!) page 24
What is temptation Debbie McManus
Art Featured Artist Tami Dykes page 30
Poetry Reader Submitted Poetry page 18
Rev. David Wilkerson, pastor of the Times Square Church, founder of Teen Challenge and author of The Cross and Switchblade has been killed in a car accident April 28, 2011. He was 79. In memory of his ministry, we are re-running this article on how Teen Challenge helped Jody. Please keep Rev. Wilkerson’s family (his wife was also injured in the accident) in your prayers.
Jodi’s Testimony and Teen Challenge I grew up with what you would call a dysfunctional family. My mother being a church going woman and my father was a drinker as well as one who liked to run around town with whoever would have him. This caused my mom to become extremely stressed out and eventually ending up having a nervous breakdown. My father lost both his parents very young and my mom grow up in a very large family so both my parents were lacking communication skills which made it hard on all of us kids to communicate. My parents always seem to be mad at us or each other and that effected on how us kids were raised. Dad worked at Oldsmobile and mom worked off and on but her main concern was keeping the family together the best way she knew how. Dad had tried his best to show us love but didn’t really know how and mom was so busy with all of us kids as well as trying to work we ended up being raised by my oldest sister Merry. So needless to say when she moved out of the house I felt abandoned. When I was thirteen I started experimenting with drug and beer. Because mom stopped going to church to try and save her marriage us kids went wild. They divorced about a year or so later and us kid were basically on our own. My three older sisters all got pregnant and I really felt alone then so I started running away from home and hanging out with bikers. I was smoking cigarettes and doing drugs on regular bases. I thought people always looked like they were having fun when they were parting so I started trying to fill that void that only God could fill. Well one thing led to another and I found myself hitchhiking to Florida. At the age of seventeen alone again I hooked up with this guy from Mexico got pregnant then married him thinking I was in love. After a couple of years of him using me as a punching bag I left him and tried to go back home. That didn’t work out so I bummed around for a while and got right back in with the bikers where I got introduced to cocaine and crystal meth. While all this was going on I lost my son and bad got worse I got all strung out and ended up back down in Florida again this time I was taught how to smoke crack. Well it wasn’t long when I lost everything and I was living in a tent in the palmettos. Well I was working enough to support my habit when I met this guy who told me I could move in with him so I did. Shortly after moving in with him I found out I had cancer with only six months to a year to live. That was in1988, so my mom and sister Merry came down to Florida and got me then took me to Missouri were I underwent chemotherapy. When I came through that (only buy the grace of God), mom and I couldn’t get along so I moved back to Michigan to live with my sister Merry. While living with Merry I went right back out and started parting with my old friends again trying to fill that void that only God could fill. You see if you want to stop playing you have to change your playground. Finally at the age of thirty-nine I found myself strung out so bad I lost everything and everybody that I ever cared about or that ever cared about me. And if that wasn’t bad enough this time I screwed up so bad I was facing some hard time in prison for some crimes I had committed while getting high. That’s when I learned about Teen Challenge. Not only was it a year long program that would help show me how to get clean and stay clean, but it was Christian based and that’s what I needed. When I went to court the judge sentenced me there with the understanding that if I left I would serve the full term of my sentence. Well it was the hardest thing I ever did in my life but it was the best thing I could have done for myself. As soon as I realized I had sinned against the creator of the universe it finally sunk in. All I had to do is confess my sins and turn from my evil ways and God forgave me. But let me tell you change did not come easy. I was so use to doing things my way
its taken years to try and get it right. I thank God He’s a patient God because man would have given up on me years ago. I’m still under construction but I’ll never quit quitting (to God be the glory). God has to work on me day and night but that’s okay because I’m a new creation the old is gone and all those sins are cast in to the sea of forgetfulness never to be remembered again. So if you or someone you know is struggling with addiction contact Teen Challenge it’s not for teens it’s for adults. There are five locations in Michigan alone and it’s a nationwide organization that focuses on your main problem “sin”. You’re the one who has to want a serious change in your life and what it takes is commitment and total surrender to the Lord Jesus Christ. So make the call and start living free today. If God can change me He can change anyone. To God Be the Glory Jody Holtz Interview with Jodi: 1. What do you think is the greatest challenge young people face in society today? Peer pressure 2. What do you think is the greatest accomplishment you faced in teen challenge and how did you overcome it? Submitting to authority was the hardest thing I ever had to do but with God’s grace I came through. 3. What is your favorite bible scripture and how has it influenced your life? Jeremiah 29:11 & Proverbs3:5&6 God knows the plans He has for us so if we trust in Him with all our heart He will direct our path. 4. What do you hope to encourage young people with today based upon your experiences at Teen Challenge? Never give up. Life is to short so enjoy every second of it. Don't make the same mistakes I did it isn’t worth it. 5. How do you feel teen challenge influenced your life as a young teenager? When I was about 10 my mom took me to see David Wilkerson and he was promoting the book "The Cross and the Swichblade". He talked about this young man named Nicki Cruse and how he was in a New York gang, well Nicki tried to kill David and by the time it was over Nicki had given his heart to God and that’s how Teen Challenge got started. Never in my wildest dream did I think I'd end up there 30 years later. 6. What was the greatest thing you learned in Teen Challenge? I learned that God was the creator of the universe and I was a sinner headed straight to hell if I didn’t change my ways. 7. What do you hope to portray in your family today based upon what you have learned in Teen Challenge? I want them to see Jesus in me. 8. How do you feel you can be an inspiration to other young people dealing with the problems you have experienced in society? With the words of my testimony I've been there I know how it is out there 9. Who is your greatest Christian mentor and how have they influenced you in your walk with the Lord? Joyce Meyers because she's been there and God brought her out of darkness into His wonderful light. 10. How do you feel the Lord helped you in Teen Challenge? It was the hardest thing I ever did but God showed me life's to short and there's hurting people out there how needs to know the truth.
For more information on Teen Challenge check out their web site at Teen Challenge
My Hungry Heart By Nancie Armstrong If you are reading this right now it is no accident. It is God appointed. You got on the internet looking for answers. You are problem ridden and full of madness. Maybe you were abused either physically, sexually, emotionally or all of the above. You are hungry for relief from your pain. Where have you been looking to get fed? Have you found solace in the bottom of a bottle? What is your pleasure? Heroin, marijuana, crack cocaine, or prescription drugs? Maybe you’re addicted to pride, pornography, work, relationships, food, sex, gambling or gossiping. I have to tell you I have been there. Sin is sin whatever shape or form it is in. In the end the addictions have swallowed me up and spit me back out. My addiction, your addiction they are all clothed in sheep skin. We are like sinking ships on a raging sea. When the pain gets too much we start on another journey to try to keep from sinking. Where have you gone? Was it AA, NA, Gamblers Anon, Sex Anon, maybe even Weight Watchers? Did you seek help from a counselor, psychiatrist, hypnotherapies, or life coach? Did you contemplate suicide? Have you cut yourself, starved yourself, hated yourself? Then slam bam thank-you ma’am you come up with a brainiac idea. You want to try church. You walk through those doors for the first time and what do you see? A congregation of a million eyes glaring at you. As they check out your clothes, hairstyle and even your tats. They are like the hypocrites, scribes, Pharisees which the bible spoke clearly against them. The ones who think they are so righteous and you don’t quite measure up to their standards. So where will you run to, in the middle of the night, and feel safe again? We are too embarrassed to go down the altar. Our hearts have to be fixed first. The psychiatrist couldn’t fix it; the psychologist didn’t even know how to fix his own problems; Weight Watchers couldn’t heal the hunger. No, you’ve got to put it all down. You are not strong enough to change anything on your own. The only way out of it is to RUN to JESUS!!!
How do you get to the next level? Demonic forces are sucking the life right out of you. That’s right. I’ll say it again. If you don’t deal with your problem you are going to die. God has more for you in the future than you ever had in your past. But God is about to deliver you out of everything that has been holding you back. You are going forward now. What has been holding you back? What is not working for you? God doesn’t have a problem. We do. What is not in alignment with God’s word? Sometimes it is too painful to examine our lives and look at the junk. But it is time to get the junk out of the trunk. God has so much planned for you. Jeremiah 29:11 says, “I know what I am doing. I have it all planned out--plans to take care of you….plans to give you the future you hope for.” It is time to claim everything that the kingdom of God has to offer. Why is that so unattractive to
humans? Don’t we deserve it? We certainly do because we are royalty. Because of God’s grace (unmerited favor) we are His adopted children. What would you do for your children? Would you stretch out your arms and die for them? Our God is a good God and He loves us. Even though I have a past that I am so ashamed of, God still chooses to bless me every day. God is no respecter of persons. Don’t you let anyone lie to you and tell you that God doesn’t have good things for you, that you have no future and that you are limited because of you past. The only limitations we have are the ones that we put on ourselves. With God’s strength there is nothing we can’t accomplish. But you have to get out of your comfort zone. You are the mouth, the hands and the feet of Jesus. So why are you moaning and groaning and feeling sorry for yourself? Why are you in tears? Stop it right now!!! Your past doesn’t control your future. Don’t be that victim anymore in any situation. Get out your sword and fight. “Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the spirit, which is the word of God.” Ephesians 6:17 Jesus died on the cross to let the devil know he has been defeated. It’s over. Jesus is sitting on the right hand of the Father in heaven. He took up the fight for you. “You will not need to fight in this battle: set yourselves and stand still, and see the salvation of the Lord with you, O Judah and Jerusalem: fear not, nor be dismayed; tomorrow go out against them: for the Lord will be with you.” II Chronicles 20:17. You have been going to the counselor for 5 years now and nothing is changing. Get yourself together. Don’t wallow in the pigpen any longer. You need your faith right now and you need to stand up and fight. Do something about your situation. You might not have seen it before but God let you get into your situation. You were a little too smug and comfortable. You were in the same place that Satan was in when he said,” I will ascend above the heights of the clouds, I will be like the Most High.” Isaiah 14:14. Yes, now God can work with you. You are hurting, and broken and bleeding. You have been backed into a corner. Now God can be God. You can get out of the driver’s seat. “Look up into Heaven where your help comes from.” Psalms 121:1,2. It’s time to dial God’s telephone number. Jeremiah 33:3, “Call unto me, and I will answer you and show you great and mighty things, that you never knew.” All through the Bible there are examples of individuals who were promoted in one day. A good example is the story of Joseph. In one day he went from rags to riches. He went from being a slave to one of the highest ranking positions in the kingdom of Egypt. God is getting ready to promote you. Quit doubting it. “ Is anything too hard for the Lord?” Genesis 18:14. God takes a daily inventory of the hairs on your head. Matthew 10:30. Does that sound like He is rejecting you? He is going to give you beauty for your ashes. Isaiah 61:3.
Are you tired of being on that old rocking chair? Going back and forth and going nowhere? Then please pray this simple prayer with me. My Father in Heaven. Your name is above all names. May your will be done in my life. May I be an instrument in solving the sin problem. Give me all of my needs according to your will. You know what they are before I even ask for them. You care for me so much you have even numbered the hairs on my head. Thank you for your love and mercy. Help me forgive myself as well as forgiving others for abusing me. Help me to let go of all the pain and turn my ashes into beauty. Forgive my sins and help me to do what is right. Guide me from this day forward wherever you want me to go. Thank you for the great sacrifice of Jesus dying on the cross for me. I surrender all to you. In Jesus name. Amen.
May God bless you today and everyday. After you have prayed this prayer with me please get into the word of God and find a Bible-based, spirit- filled church to worship with other believers. Find peace and serenity.
Remember when you were a child and you loved to play in the rain? Well, you are Godâ€™s child and He enjoys when you embrace His rain. Go ahead, Embrace the Rain!
Recommended Reading NIV from Biblegateway
Promises in Scripture Belief John 12:46 "I have come as Light into the world, so that everyone who believes in Me will not remain in darkness." Christian Fellowship Colossians 2:2 "That their hearts may be encouraged, having been knit together in love, and attaining to all the wealth that comes from the full assurance of understanding, resulting in a true knowledge of God's mystery, that is, Christ Himself." Strength Isaiah 40:31 "Yet those who wait for the LORD will gain new strength; they will mount up with wings like eagles, they will run and not get tired, they will walk and not become weary." Waiting on God Psalm 27:14 "Wait for the LORD; be strong and let your heart take courage; yes, wait for the LORD." Temptation 1 Corinthians 10:13 "No temptation has overtaken you but such as is common to man; and God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will provide the way of escape also, so that you will be able to endure it." Peace John 14:27 "Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Do not let your heart be troubled, nor let it be fearful." Never Alone Isaiah 58:9 Then shall thou call, and the LORD shall answer; thou shall cry, and he shall say, Here I am.
Confessions of the Anti-Martha by Jan Ackerson
Jimmy knew when he proposed to me that he wouldn’t be getting a typical pastor’s wife. No piano playing, for example, and there’s nothing—except the audible voice of God—that would induce me to teach Sunday School. The thought of hosting a Ladies’ Tea makes me break out in hives. “I don’t care about any of that, Nicky.” Jimmy reassured me often during the first years of our marriage. “I just need you to support me, and pray for my ministry, and love the church people.” Well, it’s been a pleasure to do those things for Jimmy—and for God. If the Women’s Missionary Guild gasped when I attended meetings in hot pink capris and a tee-shirt that read “Some Day My Prince Will Come,” they soon adjusted. I like to think I won them over with my charm. Still, there’s a certain amount of work that must be done, and I’ve tried to be a good pastor’s wife—practicing hospitality, for example, when I’d rather be writing another chapter of the Next Great Christian Novel. I’ve developed some shortcuts over the years; just call me the anti-Martha. Here are some ways that I’ve survived parsonage life: Housecleaning: Closets are my friends. Happily, I have one in every room. When Mrs. Postlethwaite calls to say that she’ll be by in ten minutes with six boxes of quilt squares for Africa, I open the closet doors and start tossing. (When my children were little, they were very enthusiastic about having visitors if it involved what I called The Closet Game.)
Also, my living room has several small, portable pieces of furniture. I move them often, to cover any new splotches or stains. Jimmy occasionally trips over a newly repositioned end table. He just chuckles. “Did you have company today, dear?” Ironing: When Jimmy needs a wrinkle-free shirt for the Trustees meeting and his dress shirts have been sitting in the dryer since Tuesday, I don’t panic. I simply run the shirt under the basement faucet until it’s slightly less wet than the sacrifices of the prophets of Baal. Then I run it through the dryer again for twenty minutes. Sure, I could iron it in five minutes. But that’s five minutes better spent with a cup of coffee and Max Lucado. Gardening: Isn’t it lovely to have your own fresh produce to can and freeze and preserve? In short—no. Here are two of my favorite words. Grocery. Store. Yes, I could plant tender young tomato seedlings, and weed them, and pick off those horrid fat green tomato worms. I could spend several afternoons in a sweltering kitchen with a pressure cooker and five dozen Mason jars. Or…I can buy a can of delicious tomatoes for $.79, without all that perspiration. Furthermore—it happens every year—every family in the church experiences an abundance of garden-grown tomatoes and peppers and, God help me, zucchini. Jimmy likes to say that they try to pay his salary in vegetables every September. Eventually, we have to beg people to stop being so charitable. Baking: This hasn’t come up often; the Mother-Daughter Banquet Committee knows that Dottie Stouffer makes the best cakes. But the year that Dottie had surgery, the task fell to me, and my creation was a big hit. I went to the kitchen supply store and bought a platter big enough for two turkeys. Next stop—the supermarket, for an assortment of small snack cakes. Little Debbie, bless her soul, has several varieties of hexagonal cakes with various icing designs. I spent a few minutes artfully arranging the desserts, making lovely patterns with the icing. The resulting cake was as intricate as a parquet floor. The ladies are still buzzing about that cake. I could go on and on: hints for gift-wrapping (paper bags), centerpieces (dandelions in a jelly jar), clothing repair (masking tape, safety pins, buy new). Last night, Jimmy sat beside me on the couch and handed me a bowl of fresh, sliced peaches. I was suddenly aware of the cluttered living room (no Mrs. Postlethwaite that day). “I’m sorry, hon. I guess I didn’t do much work today.” Jimmy rubbed my neck. “Did you do any kingdom work?” I thought about the devotional I’d written for the bulletin, and the coffee I’d shared with my lonely neighbor June, and the dozens of prayers I’d launched God-ward. “Well, yes, Jimmy. I sure did.” We finished the peaches in happy silence. Jan is a Christian who has traveled though sorrow and depression, and has found victory and grace. She dedicates all writings to her Heavenly Father. Contact Jan for writing projects at email@example.com Copywrite Jan Ackerson--2006 Article Source: http://www.faithwriters.com
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Poems to encourage Submit your Poems All work is copyrighted by the poet. Please do not redistribute, copy, or use in any other way without contacting and getting permission from the poet or the webmaster of this site. Thank you.
-Just RememberWritten by Tami Dykes Held prisoner by your many, many sins, At a loss, you cry out for Jesus to come in. You know for your sins someone must pay, But Jesus says, "Let it be Me this very day". He approaches you with the one and only key, Whispers, "I forgive you", and quickly sets you free. He softly touches your crying face, Then slowly turns to take your place.
Just before your debt is paid, This is the testimony Jesus made. "Don't doubt if my love is true, Just remember, I did this for you".
Works of Elizabeth Frasier This poem Wedding Bells was chosen for the Editor's Choice award for February, 2006 from Poetry.com Wedding Bells Listen! Do you hear what I hear? I hear wedding bells ringing, "Here Comes The Bride" The Bridegroom is waiting with arms open wide. The Father is waiting to give Jesus His bride The table is set, fit for a King Oh, can't you hear those wedding bells ring The bride's not quite ready She's being washed in the blood Getting pure and holy before she meets her Love Soon He'll call for her with an angelic shout Arise My love, church come out! She'll rise to greet Him, they'll meet in the air Together they'll reign, Heaven they'll share The angels are poised, ready to sing Oh, can't you hear those wedding bells ring?
This next one, The Cross was chosen for the Editor's Choice award for February, 2007 from Poetry.com.
The Cross On a cross fashioned from a tree They hung my Love and took Him from me My heart breaks at the look in His eyes Stop! Don't do this! Don't make Him die Don't take Him from me, don't do this thing He is my Beloved, my Everything I cried oh, God, let me take His place As I watched the blood run down His face What are you doing? What have you done? Can't you see He's God's own Son I screamed at the soldiers to let Him go You don't know what you're doing You just don't know He looks down at me with so much love And says I have to go to the Father above This is what I was born to do To break the chains of sin off you You see this blood flowing from Me It's all for you, to set you free I love you and that love will never die So dry your eyes, please don't cry I must go but when I do I'll prepare a place for you And when it's finished, when I am through I promise I will come back for you And we won't really be apart For I'll be living there in your heart Now, I know it won't be the same But I'll be as close as the whisper Of My name http://www.geocities.com/mercybought
Dear Child, I love you
WISH I COULD Wish I could change places with you and alleviate your pain for a day or two. Wish I could give you a pain free day. For you this is what I often pray. Wish I could dry your each and every tear. To me you are special and very dear. Wish I could have anything I choose. It would be for you never to have the blues. Wish I could lighten your heavy load as you travel down lifeâ€™s difficult road. These things I cannot do. Instead I send love. One thing you can never have too much of. I do know a way to brighten your day and chase your dreary cares away. I can offer you a big dose of hope to help with your heavy cross cope. I need only to remind you God loves you and really does care. He will never give you more than you can bear. I do the only thing I know how to do. And that is to pray often just for you. Richard Funnell
Three Legged Race Lisa Freeman Published in The War Cry
you slow down!” I asked for the third time. “Honey, I’m only going the speed limit,” John said, lowering his eyes to the speedometer. Shaking my head, I sighed. The patchy ice on the road terrified me. It seemed as though every stretch of highway was lined with accidents or overturned cars. And I didn’t really want to be the ice storm’s next victim. Why couldn’t John ever see things my way? An uncomfortable silence filled the air. But, by no means did he slow down. His excuse was always the same, “Well, we’ve got to get there.” If it were up to me, I’d rather be late and safe, then risking our lives to be on time. The road looked worse. Now a solid glare had covered both lanes. “Let’s just turn around,” I suggested, staring at the disaster ahead. “We’ll be fine. I’ll slow down.” It’s about time! I fumed silently. But this wasn’t the time or place for an argument and I knew it. John gripped the steering wheel with both hands and held steady, releasing his foot from the gas. I just knew we were going to spin out of control and end up in the ditch. Grasping on to the dash, I closed my eyes and braced myself for the worst. Again, I suggested, “Can’t we please just turn around?” “If we turn around now, the other side is just as bad and we’d have just as far to go to get home.” I opened my eyes and turned my head for a quick glance to the opposite side of the highway. John was right; it looked even worse than our lanes. Oh God, I whispered, Please keep us safe. Still angry with John for not turning around way back there, a Bible verse came to mind. It says that we are to be heirs together so that our prayers will not be hindered. I Peter 3:7 (KJV) Suddenly, I knew God wouldn’t honor my prayers. But, still, so angry with John, I stifled my apology. It was obvious; he was to blame. Yes, I wanted to attend the writer’s group, but had I known the roads were solid ice I would have never ventured out. He had just returned home from work, which was out of town. He had to of known how dangerous the roads were, and yet he said nothing. And he promised me before we even left, “Honey, if we get out there and the roads are too bad, we’ll turn
around.” This is his fault. Why should I apologize? I reasoned with God. However, the overwhelming guilt lay heavy on my heart, like wet cement. My chest felt so heavy, I could barely breath. But still, I couldn’t bring myself to say those two words, “I’m sorry.” Finally, the road cleared. Although there were patchy ice spots, there was enough dry pavement to keep our vehicle stable. Breathing a sigh of relief I sat back. But then John sped up again. “Careful around the curve,” I said, studying the road like a child wandering into the path of danger. Surprisingly, he slowed down a little and didn’t say a word. But I could feel the tension building between us like hot lava bursting out of the center of a volcano. I knew that any minute we would be the victims of another heated argument. John continued to drive faster than I liked. And I continued to get angrier. Finally, unable to contain myself any longer, I spewed, “You never think about me! You drive like a maniac!” “Yeah, well if I went as slow as you wanted me to, we’d still be in the driveway!” “The way you’re driving we could end up in the ditch or even worse!” “I’ll slow down, okay? I’m sorry.” He always did that. I hated it. He gave in to me, said he was sorry, but still thought in his own mind he was right. Ewe, that irked me! His apology didn’t sound any more believable than Martians landing on the earth. Again, I silently blamed him. This wasn’t over by a long shot. I’m not letting this thing die without a fight. I stewed just thinking about it. God kept flashing scripture and thoughts before my mind, making me want to give in. But I just couldn’t. I sat there silently, thinking of a logical way out of this. I wanted John to own up to his fault, more than just a simple “I’m sorry” to appease me. But he didn’t. We rode in silence. Although the roadway was much clearer, my mind was clogged with all kinds of thoughts. I couldn’t relax. Finally, I rationalized. “Okay, you like to drive like you’re on the Daytona 500, and I like to go a little slower.” He listened. “Couldn’t we at least have some balance?” Still nothing. As I sat there waiting for a reaction, the Lord began speaking to my heart. It was like a mercury light flicked on in my head. I wasn’t being any different than the first couple who set foot on the earth—Adam and Eve. When they sinned, they blamed someone or something else. Here I was angry with John, shoving the blame onto
him. God showed me that Satan would love for me to be angry with John all the time, because then he would have a mighty foothold in our lives. When I’m upset with John, it separates our oneness. So, instead of working together and reaching the goal, we’re knocking each other down, and not gaining any ground. Wow, what a revelation! Of course, I couldn’t just give in. I had to question God. “Okay, God,” I uttered under my breath. “But John’s completely lunatic when he drives. We’re so opposite. I’m careful and like to go slower; he’s fast and presses on without a thought for what lies ahead. How can I agree with that? How can we reach common ground?” God seemed almost pleased I had asked. Because He didn’t hesitate a minute to give me a resolution. He brought to my mind a three-legged race. As the familiar summer reunion game flashed before my eyes, I noticed something I hadn’t been aware of before—the rope. In a three-legged race, there are two people, tied together, with a rope around their ankles, competing against other people to win the race. However, one person can’t just speed ahead without the other, or they’ll both drop to their knees and fall behind. And at the same time, one can’t go too slow. They have to learn to focus on the leg with the rope, go at a pace that they both can handle, and then they will make it safely to the finish line. God showed me that John and I are in a three-legged race. John only sees the finish line, so he goes as fast as he can to get there. But I see the obstacles in the way and I know we can get hurt if we’re not careful, so I just want to hobble along. However, God is the rope that ties our legs together. He’s telling us that if we focus on Him (the rope), instead of everything around us, we’ll be going the proper speed, and we’ll reach our goal and win the prize. After I shared this new revelation with John and apologized, the weight lifted from my chest, and so did John’s foot from the gas pedal. Although we are opposite about many things, we now realize that we’re this way for a reason. If John drove like me, we’d never get anywhere—at least not on time. And if I drove like him—we might not be safe—or at the very least we’d get a ticket for speeding. But if we’re allowing God to be that rope that joins us together, and we’re sensitive to His Spirit, we’ll be going at just the right speed for a triumphal victory!
Heard it @ Church Many times we hear jokes, household tips or a good recipe at church. Here are a few things we would like to share. If you have a joke, tip or recipe to share, let us know Contact Embracing the Rain
It seems there was this minister who just had all of his remaining teeth pulled and new dentures were being made. The first Sunday, he only preached 10 minutes. The second Sunday, he preached only 20 minutes. But, on the third Sunday, he preached 1 hour 25 minutes. When asked about this by some of the congregation, he responded this way. The first Sunday, my gums were so sore it hurt to talk. The second Sunday, my dentures were hurting a lot. The third Sunday, I accidentally grabbed my wife's dentures... and I couldn't stop talking!
Quick and Easy dish for potlucks
Fun with nature!
1 large ripe tomato diced 1/2 pound sharp Cheddar shredded 1 large onion, diced 1 head iceberg lettuce, washed, drained and shredded 1 pound lean ground beef, browned, crumbled and drained 1 cup salad dressing Thousand Island 1 small can of sliced black olives 1 bag Doritos taco flavored chips, crushed
Directions Combine the tomatoes, cheese, onion, lettuce, olives and ground beef in a large bowl. Add the salad dressing and mix well. Just before serving, add the taco chips, tossing to combine with other ingredients.
Kids love taking pictures and nature, here is a project that will help them learn about God’s wonderful world! Take a digital camera out to a local park. Have your children take photos of birds, tree, bugs, frogs or whatever else they may see. Be careful not to touch things that may hurt you. The fun part is learning to identify what they saw! eNature.com is one of our favorite sites to identify what you saw. Don’t know what type of bug you saw? You can check out whatsthatbug.com and ask. Have FUN!!!
The Skinny On Teenage Body Image and Spiritual Health by Angie Lewis Many young women and teenagers are placing great value on looking like the latest Cover Girl model, and placing little or no value on spiritual health. I agree, it is important to feel good about the way we look, but I think the culture is going a bit too far. It is far more important for young girls to feel good about who they are on the inside, wouldn’t you agree? What are we teaching our youth of today? Have we, as parents contributed to this selfindulgent need to look perfect, be thin as a rail, and wear expensive adornment to be somebody? Have we taught our children that beauty starts on the outside? Are we telling them that it is more important to “look” good rather than “be” good? I also want women to dress modestly, with decency and propriety, not with braided hair or gold and pearls or expensive clothes, but with good deeds, appropriate for women who profess to worship God. (1 Timothy 2: 9, 10) It is not a sin to get a nose job, and wear expensive clothing and jewelry, but as we all know, real beauty comes from the inside of a person, not what they are wearing or how beautiful they look. A modest, kind teenager will gain more respect and kindness from others than one who dresses in expensive clothes and is stuck-up and hateful. It all begins in the attitude. The standards of what society deems important is not what God deems important. As a teenager, I strived to be accepted by others, but I never really loved myself. Because of this, I never became the young person God created me to be. I wasted my teenage years trying to impress others, but that wasn’t who I was. It wasn’t until I was in my thirties that I realized God’s love for me. It is never too late to become the person God intends you to be, but if you wait, it may be too late. It is important to wear clean clothes and be well groomed, but it is not important to have big breasts, a twenty-five inch waist, full lips, and a perfect nose. God made you the unique and special young girl that you are. Your nose, eyes, lips and chin is your uniqueness that sets you apart from looking like everyone else. Accept what God has given you and be content to be who it is you are. …Instead, it should be that of your inner self, the unfading beauty of a gentle and quiet spirit, which is of great worth in God’s sight. (1 Peter 3:4) It’s easy to be beautiful on the outside, but it is not an easy thing to be beautiful on the inside. Being beautiful on the inside is a bit more difficult to accomplish. It takes great wisdom and understanding to realize the special person you are regardless how much money you have, how skinny you are, or what you wear. Those things don’t make someone be great. Those things do not make someone successful. Those things are only a cover up to hide the true self. To be great and to be successful is to know God! Your true value in God is what’s important not what others think of you. Please don’t fall for the “appearances trap”, and become too obsessed with fashion and looking like the latest cover girl model. Dress to please God not others. Of course, hygiene and neatness is always
important, but even more important is your inner spiritual self and attitude towards others and God. od wants you to be not what the world is enticing you to be. o not conform any longer to the pattern of mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what Godâ€™s will is â€“his pleasing and perfect will. (Romans 12:2) Angie Lewis is the author of three marriage books http://www.heavenministries.com/
Dear Child, I love you! I shed my own blood for you to make you clean. You are clean now, so believe that it is true. You are lovely in my eyes, and I created you to be just as you are. Do not criticize yourself or get down for not being perfect in your own eyes. This leads only to frustration. I want you to trust Me - one step one day at a time. Dwell in My power and in My love and be free! Be yourself! Don't allow other people to run you. I will guide you, if you let Me. Be aware of My presence in everything. I give you patience, love, joy, peace and life. Look to Me for your answers. I am your shepherd and will lead you. Follow me only! Do not ever forget this. Listen to Me and I will tell you My will. Let My love flow from you and spill over to all you touch. Do not be concerned with yourself. You are My responsibility. I will change you, and you will hardly know it is happening. You are to love yourself and love others simply because I love you. Take your eyes off yourself! Look only at Me! I change...I create..., but not when you are trying. I won't fight your efforts. You are Mine. Let Me give you joy, peace, and kindness. No one else can! Love, Jesus
MUSIC MEETS THE TRUTH Crucial's #1 goal is to take his gifts and talents in hip-hop to glorify our Father in Heaven. Christ-centered, Christ-driven, and Christ-focused; all without compromise. Crucial has been annointed with a gift to draw the youth and other generations to a solid understanding of Truth and Life, using a language and form of music which is widely accepted among our society today. Crucial delivers an awesome and inspiring performance that has already grabbed the attention of many lost and confused souls. Crucial entertains while heavily involving the audience to restore a sense of "family" that should be present in the gathering of all God's children. If you would like to have Crucial come speak, perform and/or minister at your event, contact Rock Solid Record's promotions agency at 704-9951183. Crucial is available to minister at youth events, conventions, rallies, group homes, prisons, chruches, camps, concerts, or retreats. Due to Crucial's specific and full time calling, this is an honorarium-based ministry. Any love offering above and beyond the requested honorarium would be greatly appreciated.God bless you and we ask that you keep this young ministry in prayer as we continue to grow and seek the will of our Lord. Gripped by His Unfathomable Grace, Rock Solid Records "Bringing solid music to a crumbling world"
Embracing the Rain’s Interview with Crucial of Beatlab7 ETR: Can you give us a brief background on how your group/CD came about?
Crucial: Referring to the BeatLab 7 Compilation “Music Meets the Truth” 2007: My co-producer (saint jon) and I decided to put out an album that would feature all of our production, along with some awesome artists in ministry from around the country. I am an artist under Rock Solid Records in Charlotte, NC. I also head up BeatLab 7 Productionz with my partner, s.a.i.n.t. Jon. We tour and perform at a lot of events and being so heavily involved, it’s hard to put out stuff for “free”. So we decided that this would be something that we could put out free of charge. “Music Meets the Truth” can be downloaded at www.beatlab7.com. No strings attached, just a FREE ALBUM!
Rock Solid Records Entourage (from left: Proklaima, Echo, Saint Jon, Crucial, Valerie, Ben, J-Real)
ETR: How many people were involved in the making of the CD and where are you all from? Crucial: Well, each of the artists did their part by writing their own verses and recording in professional studios in their areas. We, the producers, provided the beats. I mixed and mastered the entire album in my recording studio here in Charlotte (CrossWorks Studio). ETR: Your words and music are powerful what kind of response have you had to your CD? Crucial: The response has been ABSOLUTELY AMAZING! We just released the album 15 weeks ago (released February 7th, 2007) and have already accumulated over 12,000 downloads now (They just keep going up and up and up, GOD IS DOING GREAT THINGS!) We continue to receive emails and phone calls from people all over the country and in different parts of the world, who have been truly blessed by the production. Youth Pastors continue to email us, confirming that they liked the album so much, they’ve downloaded copies for their entire youth! We have been getting played on many podcast shows and other internet radio stations across the United States, as well as some minor rotation on a few MAJOR radio stations. People seem to really love the music. People that don’t even like “rap” are saying that they truly love it and that it has changed a lot of their perspective on Christian rap. We really wanted to break through barriers with this project, and by the grace of GOD, we have! ETR: Do you plan on coming out with another CD in the near future? Crucial: BeatLab 7 plans on doing this every year. Look out for “Music Meets the Truth” 2008! As a solo artist, I am working on a new album. S.A.I.N.T. JON is working on a new album as well. . . ETR: In the music industry it is mostly about making money. You all have amazing talent and could easy cross over into the secular world of music, how do you resist that temptation? Crucial: We’ve been resisting it for YEARS now. We’ve already had multiple opportunities to cross over and sell out. To pursue this kind of “calling”, you really have to know Who it is that you serve. Once you lose sight of that, you’ll lose sight of everything. We’ve proven several times over and over again that we can’t and WON’T be bought. I’m sure we will continue to have offers and temptations so we continue to be in daily prayer about what God is doing with our ministry in music. ETR: Do any of you have any other ministry work that you do or support? Crucial: As solo artists, we all go out and perform at youth rallies, conferences, camps, retreats, prisons, the streets, etc. We are a unified body, we all support each other in the best way we can. ETR: What do you think is the greatest issue facing young Christians in today’s world? Crucial: Struggling with how the world is trying to mold them as opposed to how the Lord is molding them. The influence is strong these days and it’s getting harder and harder for the younger generations. There are so many “shades of gray”, it’s kinda hard to figure out what’s considered good and what’s not. That’s exactly why we gotta stay in that WORD!
ETR: Is there any testimony or other word that you would like to share with our readers? Crucial: Be encouraged because the Lord has an AMAZING work to complete in each and every one of us. God doesn’t waste time. There is no man or woman alive who is not supposed to be here. We are all here for a reason; to fulfill a divine purpose. In everything we do, we should always first consider the will of God. He knows the desires of our hearts better than we do! That’s why “It’s better to trust in the Lord than to put confidence in man”. Psalms 118:8
Listen to Beatlab7 Music on Embracing the Rain CGF Outreach
Embracing the Rain's Review of Beatlab7 CD: Beatlab 7’s Christian rap CD “Music Meets The Truth” has tight beats with a positive message about the Truth of God. I feel Beatlab 7 has at least 4 hit songs easily: Who Iz Christ, Peace, Don’t Stop, and G-up. Also, I let my brothers and sisters check out this CD, and they really like the songs (This is the 1 st Christian rap CD we have ever listened to). If they get on a major record label and have the right promotion, they could become big and crossover like Kirk Franklin. Furthermore, the music is very uplifting, inspiring, and encourages the believer to stand firm in the faith and keep your head up. For the nonbeliever, Beatlab 7’s music (especially the song Who Iz Christ) does a great job explaining who Jesus is and why it’s so important to become saved. So, check out this CD because it’s hot and you will be blessed by their music. I hope the best for the Beatlab 7 production team and the various artists. (You can listen to Beatlab7 here and download their cd free!)
Tina Ashford writer/co-creator Embracing the Rain Detroit, MI
Download your own copy or share it with someone who needs to know who Christ is! Embracing the Rain Christian Hip Hop/Rap Where truth hits the mic Psalm 28:7 The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart trusted in him, and I am helped: therefore my heart greatly rejoiceth; and with my song will I praise him.
By Wayne Auman
Three little letters. One profound word. This simple little word, in the proper context, has the power to change your life. To change your eternal destiny, if directed correctly. To give you your heart’s desire. In fact, not using this word virtually guarantees you a dismal, bleak existence in this life, and eternal torment in the next. This simple verb is one of the first actions you are taught as a child, yet so many people fail to grasp the immense power in it’s implementation. We do it habitually, many times without thinking, yet for the most crucial decisions in our life, we sometimes simply forget to do it. Non-believers can never be saved without doing it, while Christians needlessly flounder in their daily walk for neglecting to do this exceedingly elementary task. In fact, the word rhymes with task.
ASK Yes, ask. How can this be, you ask. (I couldn’t resist.) Consider the following: Usually nothing occurs until a question is asked first. “May I have a cup of water, Mommy?” “May I borrow the car, Dad?” “Could I have this job?” “Will you go out with me, Wendy?” “Will you marry me, Wendy?” “Lord Jesus, I ask you to forgive me of my sins and come into my heart.” With me so far?
?????? For something positive to happen in your life, you must first ask, then await the answer. If you never ask the question, you’ll most likely never get the answer, and never get your heart’s desire. It takes courage to ask some of life’s big questions, for there’s always the possibility of receiving a negative response. Here’s where fear raises it’s ugly head. Fear of rejection. Fear of ridicule. Fear of the realization that this precious thing you’ve hoped and dreamed of will never come to pass. You know where that fear comes from. (For those of you who don’t, I refer you to my previous column, “The Voice.”) When I was a child, I was terribly intimidated by my father, the prototypical strong, silent type. I could never figure out what he was thinking, or when it was safe to approach him. In my fearful state, I would inevitably avoid asking even the simplest of questions unless he was in a rare, talkative mood. My fear wasn’t about making him mad, or fear of any physical retaliation. It was simply fear of rejection. I didn’t want to face the prospect of my father telling me “No.” Consequently, I missed out on many opportunities to spend quality time with my Dad, and now that I’m grown and a father myself, I’ve resolved to encourage my sons to ask me anything, anytime, and I’ll make the time to answer their questions. I wish my father was still alive so I could do the same with him… All because of fear. It is that fear that causes us to not ask the tough questions, but instead to assume. (We all know what happens when we “assume” something, don’t we?) By my silence, I’m sure my Dad thought I was content, while all that time I was yearning for a deeper, closer relationship with him. In relationships, sometimes we assume our partner will magically know what we need. When your partner inevitably fails to read your mind, you wind up disappointed, hurt, or angry. All because you assumed they knew you well enough to perceive your unspoken hints.
As Christians, we often assume that since God is omniscient (all-knowing), that He knows the desires of our heart, so asking Him to fulfill those desires isn’t necessary. Au contraire. God’s Word is replete with exhortations to ask, ask, ask. Let’s take a look at some examples: John 16:24 Ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full. Matthew 7: 7-8 Ask, and it shall be given you: seek, and ye shall find: knock, and it shall be opened unto you. Everyone that asketh receiveth. John 16: 23 Whatsoever ye shall ask the Father in my name, He will give it you. Matthew 21: 22 Whatsoever ye shall ask in prayer, believing, ye shall receive.
Holy Scripture is filled with encouragement for believers to ask God for His help, wisdom, power, and blessings. The good Lord saw fit to give mankind freewill, so that we could choose whether to follow Him or the devil. Even though God knows every desire of our heart, He yet commands us to pray and ask, believing in faith, and He will answer our prayers. Now before you ask Him for the winning Powerball digits, realize one very important fact: God knows the underlying reasons for your request. Consider this: James 4: 2-3 You want what you don’t have, so you scheme and kill to get it. You are jealous for what others have, and you can’t possess it, so you fight and quarrel to take it away from them. And yet the reason you don’t have what you want is because you don’t ask God for it. And even when you do ask, you don’t receive it because your motive is wrong-you only want what will give you pleasure. New Living Translation
When you prayerfully ask the Lord for something, examine your motives. Are you seeking personal pleasure or convenience? If so, I wouldn’t count on the Lord to “grant your request.“ God isn’t a magic genie in a bottle, and He will not be treated as such. I don’t believe in a “name it and claim it” theology, nor do I ascribe to a prosperity gospel. Our Lord is not an order-taker or our servant. We, as His followers, are to serve Him. However, if you have a pressing need, a dilemma, or just want to draw closer to your Lord, He will always answer your prayer if you trust Him to do so. If you pray in faith, according to God’s will, He will most definitely answer your prayer, in His time. God delights in giving His children the desires of their heart. But first, you must ask. Matthew 7: 9-11
Or what man is there of you, whom if your son ask for bread, he will give him a stone. Or if he asks for a fish, would give him a serpent? If ye then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more shall your Father which is in heaven give good things to them who ask Him? God longs to bestow His blessings and gifts to His children who draw near and ask expectantly, in child-like faith. In fact, more often than not we limit God’s outpouring by not praying for abundant blessings, which is often called, “putting God in a box.” There is literally no limit to God’s generosity and magnitude of giving, except our feeble, narrow-minded view of His providence. Pray LARGE ! Expand exponentially your expectations of what God will do in your life when you simply ask, believing absolutely that God is in control and He will answer your prayer in amazing ways. Always remember to give God all the glory for His goodness, and pray for His will to be pre-eminent in your life. And prepare for an incredible, faith-building experience! If you want God to change your life for the better-ASK! You’ll be glad you did. If you’re unsure of where you’d be if you died tonight, and you want to be absolutely assured of spending eternity in Heaven, then you need to sincerely, with all of your heart, ask the most important question of your life: Lord Jesus, I am a sinner, and I’m lost without you. I confess my sins to you now, and I turn from them to follow you. I believe you died on the cross to pay the price for all my sins, and for that I thank you. I ask you to please come into my heart, fill me with your Holy Spirit, and be the Lord of my Life. From this day on, I surrender my will and I will live for you. Thank you for saving me from Hell. I love you, Lord Jesus. Amen. The Lord Jesus Christ is the only Hope for the Helpless. You may e-mail Wayne at firstname.lastname@example.org Be sure to check out www.wayneauman.com , coming soon. Embracing the rain ©Wayne Auman 2007
Embracing the Rain asks you to please support the artists by visiting their websites. We thank you all for blessing us by sharing your wonderful talent with us all! All work is copyrighted by the artist. Please do not redistribute, copy, or use in any other way without contacting and getting permission from the artist. Thank you.
Tami Dykes is a very talented freelance artist whose work will touch your heart in a marvelous way!
I have recently been inspired to create more art through a dream I had. It was so different I had to get it on paper. The first one is a 18X24 pastel, titled~ "Sent Out" showing a large black horse running as fast as it can through a huge castle. In my dream I felt it was being sent out and as it ran past me I turn to watch it leave. As I turned I noticed there was a red horse running further on ahead of the black horse. This is in the second drawing I made and it is a 18X24 pastel and I title it~ "On their way". My drawings were as close as I could get them to my dream. Then I drew a 10X12 pastel drawing of a white horse that I titled "The horse" I read a verse (Job 39:19-25) in the bible that described the horse and I had to make a drawing with the scripture incorporated into the drawing.~Tami Dykes Also, please check out Tami Dykes poetry in this issue.
Tami Dykes "Lift up your eyes to the heavens". It is followed with this scriptures: Isaiah 51:5-6 5) My righteousness draws near speedily, my salvation is on the way, and my arm will bring justice to the nations. The islands will look to me and wait in hope for my arm. 6) Lift up your eyes to the heavens, look at the earth beneath; the heavens will vanish like smoke, the earth will wear out like a garment and its inhabitants die like flies. But my salvation will last forever, my righteousness will never fail.
Tami Dykes "This precious life", 17X11 done in Perisma colors, is a drawing of Jesus that is just born. Hidden in the image is His future of about 6 other images (nailing his hand, Thorns on his forehead, View of Jesus' back caring the cross, His name, three crosses and then him being whipped on the back showing the slashes.)
Acts 2:17 In the last days, God says, I will pour out my Spirit on all people. Your sons and daughters will prophesy, your young men will see visions, your old men will dream dreams.
WHAT IS TEMPTATION? Debbie Mcmanus
According to the Greek derivation temptation is the act of trying to test us by use of a trial. An example of temptation in the Bible is of Adam and Eve. These trials come to all believers and enhance their walk with God as they go through their tests we must perform. For example we may be tempted to go to a nightclub and if we go we will be following Satan but if we follow God our walk with him will be enhanced in the future. Satan however; wants us to walk with him and not follow through with Jesus. Now that we know what temptation is where does it come from? Temptation doesn’t come from God it comes from Satan. As it states in James 1:13 “Let no one say when he is tempted. “I am tempted by God.” For God cannot be tempted by evil. Nor does he himself tempt anyone.”
The situations of life do not cause temptation they are only trials; and how you react to these trials is the temptation. For instance if someone wants you to try something like a drug, this is not the temptation. The act of what you do is the temptation. An example of this in the bible is in 1 John 2:16 it states; 1 John 2:16 “For all that is in the world the lust of flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life is not of the Father but is of the world.”
Temptation comes in many forms through the eyes or temptation of personal things; such as money, or temptation through the flesh such as lust or temptation through pride such as greed, and these are all temptations to ACT. Now temptation can come in forms of REACT such as anger, hostility, bitterness, fear, worry, anxiety, resentment, avoidance, withdrawal, apathy or escape. So where does temptation come from? Temptation comes from Satan the devil the tempter who is seeking to activate his selfish evil character. He can do this through using people such as employers, advertisers or friends. He wants to turn Gods people toward his evil ways thus to deny God the glory. As
it states in the bible we are to give all the glory to God who created us. If we are all created in Gods glory why does God allow temptation? God will never allow Satan to tempt beyond what we can handle and he knows how much we can handle. Also God allows Satan tempt because he gives us free will. Why? God wants to perfect us; or make us like him but to do that, we must go through trials. We have the choice we can either yield to the temptation and give into sin or follow God and don’t give in to the temptation. However, we know that those who follow God’s grace will have a crown of life waiting for them. And if we give into sin and let the temptation take over the end result is death. Now that we know why God allow temptation how can we overcome it? We can overcome temptation by faith. As stated in “1 John 5:4 For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world our faith.”
We can also overcome temptation by staying in the word of God daily and praying. It is important to know that children of God don’t fight against flesh and blood, but against principalities, power, the rulers of darkness, and against spiritual hosts of wickedness. Jesus was tempted in the wilderness. He was tempted just like we are but without sin. As stated in “Hebrews 4:15 For we do not have a high Priest who can not sympathize with our weaknesses, but was in all points tempted just as we are, yet without sin.”
Therefore, Jesus understands everything we go through, and we need to know we can turn to him with any situation in times of trouble. “1 Corinthians 10:13 “No temptation has overcome you except such is common to man; but God is faithful who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able but with the temptation will also make the way of escape that you may be able to bear it.”
A cheerful heart is good medicine, but a crushed spirit dries up the bones. Proverbs 17:22
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A Christian is not just a religious person or merely a member of a church; a Christian is one who has been forgiven of his or her sin and has an ongoing personal relationship with God. Not only this, a Christian is someone that Jesus Christ lives in, one that has been born again (John 3.3) and lives in the assurance that Jesus paid the price for them to be right with God and go to heaven. The Good News of Jesus Christ is . . . 1) God loves everyone and wants them all to live forever in His presence. John 3.16 says, “For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life.” 2) We are separated from God by sin. The Bible defines sin as things we do that are displeasing to God. As humans, not only have we done things that displease God, we cannot stop doing those things on our own. This is why the Bible calls us “sinners.” Many sincerely believe that performing good works or religious acts will cause God to cancel out the wrong things that they have done. Spiritual and physical death came into our world because of sin. Physical death is a separation from loved ones on earth; spiritual death is separation from God. Romans 3.23 says, “ . . .for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.” 3) Sin brings death. Romans 6.23 tells us that “ . . . the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” Physical death is separation from loved ones on earth; spiritual death is separation from God. 4) Through Jesus, God has provided the way for us to come to Him and be forgiven of our sins. Romans 5.8 says, “But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.” God sent His Son, Jesus, to die and pay the price in full for all the wrong things we have done. We no longer have to be separated from God! 5) We must individually admit to God that we are sinners and in an attitude of repentance, personally ask Him for forgiveness, the free gift of eternal life and to come into to our lives. Simply talk to God and say something like this: “God, I know that I have sinned and have done things that have hurt You, others and myself. I am a sinner; please forgive my sins. I turn away from my old life and ask you to give me the gift of eternal life. Please come into my life and save me from the punishment that I deserve. I put my full trust in what you did for me on the cross, Jesus and I take you as my Savior. Amen.” If you have prayed this prayer, then we rejoice with you and welcome you to the family of God! As a new Christian, we encourage you to obtain a Bible and get baptized You should be baptized in obedience to the Lord Jesus Christ as a public testimony of your salvation, and then unite with a Bible-believing church without delay. “Be not thou therefore ashamed of the testimony of our Lord...” (2 Timothy 1:8). Start talking to God and reading the Bible at a regular time every day (morning works best for many people). We would also strongly recommend that you to find a church in your community that shares the Good News of Jesus and is making disciples. , We encourage you to begin attending a growing church that is making an impact in your community. Taken from www.pcg.org
About us: Embracing the Rain is a positive and encouraging online publication for Christians. Embracing the Rain is created for and by people who were set free by Jesus Christ. We now live with hope, love and joy in our lives. We want our light to shine for all the world to see! The walk sometimes is not easy. But that is why we are here. To encourage one another and maybe show someone else that they too can be set free. Free to enjoy life, free to enjoy Godâ€™s rain! Could you use an encouraging word? Or a scripture for a job interview, or just express yourself in poetry. Embracing the Rain is Christian publication where all can share their testimonies on how God changed their lives! We share in word, poetry, music and art to show you that God is real! We invite you to see how God's rain is falling in people's lives!
What is God's Rain? God's rain is His mercy, blessings, love and all gifts that God gives his children. We need to embrace these gifts and encourage one another to by sharing what God has done in our lives. Staying in the joy of the Lord is sometimes not easy, here at Embracing the Rain you will find stories and articles that will keep you in the joy of the Lord and learn to embrace the Holy Spirit! We want to embrace God's living waters that come down like the rain. We should share the good things that God has done in our lives with others! We hope you enjoy our pages and maybe submit your testimonies or any God given talents that you have to share with everyone! Hosea6:3 "Let us acknowledge the LORD; let us press on to acknowledge him. As surely as the sun rises, he will appear; he will come to us like the winter rains, like the spring rains that water the earth."
I was lost you called my name; you came and rescued me. My soul was dry, you sent the rain, and you poured it over me. You gave me new life, and made me your own; and sent living water from your throne. Let your rain fall, let it cover my soul; let your living water make me whole. My spirit is sustained by that living Holy rain; I thirst for nothing plain, let your rain fall Endless Worship
We thank you for checking out Embracing the Rain. We hope that people who share stories, testimonies, art, music or poetry will encourage you to believe that if God did it in their life, God will do it in yours! We hope these articles help you find what you desire in a relationship with God. Some people donâ€™t attend church and maybe the internet is the only way they can learn that God loves them no matter what they have done. As Christians we need to reach out and tell of the good works the Lord has done in our lives. That knowing Jesus Christ will help you in times of trouble, doubt, and sadness. He is with you always. If you have anything you would like to share with others, then we would love to hear from you. If you have a gift of a story, testimony or art/poetry to Glorify God, drop us a line. We pray this publication hopes to touch the lives of so many hurting and looking for answers. We want to thank all of the sisters and brothers who help with the creation of this publication and for submitting their stories. God Bless you all. To God Be the Glory.