Tag Archives: hard times

Resisting Temptation

Resisting Temptation
This entry is part 23 of 23 in the series WWJD?

In two subplots in the movie Courageous, we see examples of integrity – one man who had it and one who didn’t.

Courageous, the movie

How's Your Integrity?

Sheriff’s Officer, Shane Fuller, played by Kevin Downes, is a Christian, divorced dad struggling to pay his child support and alimony.

Javier Martinez, played by Robert Amaya, is Christian, married, father of two struggling to feed his family and pay the rent and bills. He hears about construction jobs, but when he gets there, they have enough men and he’s sent home.

Javier later gets a job at a factory and after a month, is presented with an offer. The company’s president tells him he can be promoted to a managerial position with increased pay if he would just fudge the inventory a bit.

Shane, is also tested daily. As the Sheriff’s Office arrests drug dealers in the city, Shane is in charge of getting the recovered drugs to the evidence locker. He is tempted to take one or two packets thinking that they wouldn’t be missed.

Which one do you think passed the test? Which one do you think stuck to the integrity and moral values of his Christian faith? Which one do you think fell to desperation and greed?

The answer is surprising. Sheriff Officer, Adam Mitchell, played by Alex Kendrick (who also co-wrote and directed the movie), notices that the amount of drugs collected doesn’t match the amount in the evidence locker. He suspects his partner, Shane, who is later caught in a sting and sent to jail.

Javier, after thinking it over and talking to his wife, tells his boss, that no, what he was asking him to do, lying on the inventory sheet, is dishonest and it goes against God’s Word. As it turns out, it was a test and Javier passed. They were looking for the honest, man of integrity to promote. They had tested many other people and Javier was the only truly, trustworthy person.

Read the rest of this entry

When Everything is Heading South…

When Everything is Heading South…
This entry is part 1 of 3 in the series The Story of God

Excerpt from Chuck Foreman’s sermon 1/15/12 given at First Christian Church of Phoenix

Usually when things begin to go south in our lives, it’s not because we’ve had nothing to do with it. But we often look for someone else to blame. Those “downward spiral” times when everything in our lives just starts to hit the fan are precisely the times when we need to stop and take a long, hard look in the mirror. We need to get on our knees alone with God and honestly ask Him, “How am I doing, Lord?” What do you want to teach me right now? Not so-and-so, not my mate, not the government, not my bank—but ME!?

Christ's ArmsA couple of ‘spiritual tune up’ suggestions:

Memorize James 4:8 and take it like big boys and girls as if God were getting right up in our faces. It goes like this:

Come near to God and he will come near to you. Wash your hands, you sinners, and purify your hearts, you double-minded. ~James 4:8

We also need to understand and really believe that God is looking lovingly, deep into our hearts for something. He’s not looking for perfection; He’s just looking for openness to Him, a willingness to repent and change, and a desire to be used by Him.

Have you ever wondered what God does in his spare time?

Here’s what he’s up to:

For the eyes of the LORD range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him. You have done a foolish thing, and from now on you will be at war.~ II Chronicles 16:9a

God’s looking for a reason to rescue us, help us out of our downward spiral! He’s looking for some sign from us that we really want Him!

We’re going to see as we journey thru The Story of God this year together that rescuing His lost & fallen creation is THE PLOT in God’s Story—in Our Story.

Next: In the Beginning…

If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

Additional Reading: The Devil Made Me Do It

4 Misperceptions of the Christian Life

4 Misperceptions of the Christian Life
This entry is part 20 of 21 in the series Christianity

In 2 Corinthians 4:7-18 we read:

Cracked clay jarBut we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus’ sake, so that his life may also be revealed in our mortal body. So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

It is written: “I believed; therefore I have spoken.”Since we have that same spirit of faith, we also believe and therefore speak, because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you to himself. All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen, since what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal.

Sometimes as Christians, we get complacent with what we know and what we think we can do. Here are 4 misperceptions of the Christian life:

1: Misperception: I can rely on my own power to live the Christian Life

Reality: Jesus’ glory is revealed in my weakness and as I’m transformed.

But we have this treasure in jars of clay to show that this all-surpassing power is from God and not from us. 2 Corinthians 4:7

Just like jars of clay, we are vulnerable, breakable, but we hold invaluable messages. Any power that we have is from God not from ourselves.

For the Spirit God gave us does not make us timid, but gives us power, love and self-discipline.~2 Timothy 1:7

You can trust God – You’ve seen Him work in your life so you believe and speak accordingly. The same God who raised Jesus will raise you up, too!

We are wasting away outwardly, but inwardly, we are being renewed (transformed) day by day.

2. Misperception: Once I’m saved, I can do what I want and play it safe

Reality: I need to die to myself and be a witness for Christ

We carry the death of Jesus in us so His life may be revealed in me, as I dei to myself.

Paul faced a lot of hazards on a very regular basis: threatened, hardships, beaten, people trying to ruin his ministry, etc. But he had given up his life for the sake of Christ. the death and life of Jesus are present with us all the time. Death through baptism, and life by the Spirit living in us.

Romans 6:3-11; Galatians 2:20; Matthew 16:24

We die to ourselves and He lives in us. We have new life – Born Again!

3. Misperception: The better Christian I am, the easier life is and the more God is please with me.

Reality: God’s power sustains me through hardship and distress and as I endure, I become more like Jesus.

We will all face trouble to some degree. Hard-pressed, perplexed, persecuted, struck down.  Our light and momentary troubles strengthen us.

Romans 5:3-5; James 1:2-4; James 1:12

The futre glory is being achieved now through our troubles. We fix our eyes on what is unseen (eternal) and not on what is seen (temporary).

4. Misperception: life is about this world and the here and now. What can I get in this life? It’s all about me.

Reality: It’s about God’s Kingdom coming to the earth through us!

  • It’s about Jesus’ glory revealed in my weakness as I’m transformed to be more like Him.
  • It’s about our need to die to self and to be witnesses for Christ
  • It’s about God’s power sustaining us through hardship and distress and as we endure, we become more like Jesus.

Adapted from “Misconceptions Message” delivered by Pastor Jon Taylor, 2/14/10, First Christian Church of Phoenix

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Check out these other great blogs:
Enlightenment, Encouragement & Enrichment by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning Christian Author
Deo Volente (God Willing) – covering writing, Christian church history and Christianity

If you enjoyed this, you’ll love Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author & Inspirational Speaker
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

God will meet all your needs

God will meet all your needs
This entry is part 9 of 10 in the series Don't Worry

…my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus. ~Philippians 4:19

Faith in God will not get for you everything you may want, but it will get for you what God wants you to have. The unbeliever does not need what he wants; the Christian should want only what he needs. ~Vance Havner

WWJD? Reflection: Did Jesus have all He needed while He walked on the earth? Of course. His Heavenly Father saw that He had His needs met. For us to ask: “What Would Jesus Do?” we must realize, no matter what our financial status, that we are very, very, very rich. Our Father has for us “glorious riches in Christ Jesus.” In Him we have all we need to live life.

What else could we possibly want?

Excerpt from

Follow WWJD on Twitter

Check out these other great blogs:
Enlightenment, Encouragement & Enrichment by Giselle Aguiar, Award-Winning Christian Author
Deo Volente (God Willing) – covering writing, Christian church history and Christianity

Check out Giselle’s award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – no matter what format, benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

Grieving the loss of a job

Grieving the loss of a job
This entry is part 8 of 10 in the series Don't Worry

Losing one’s job is sometimes like losing one’s identity. When you’re gainfully employed, you introduce yourself as your job title. When that’s gone, what do you have? Nothing?

No, you still have you.

But you’re angry, bitter, resentful, vengeful. You are lost. You feel like a failure.

If you hold on to all those bad emotions, you’ll just bury yourself in a deep depression finding it difficult to move on.

Your anger translates into aggression when interviewing for a job. That’s not good.

You need to release that anger – but not onto your friends and family! Yell at God. It’s ok. He’s heard it all before. He knows what you’re going through. Go ahead and ask, “Why me, Lord? Why now?”

Let go and let God. God is in Control. Trust God, it works!

You will not be able to move forward if you keep looking behind you. The past is past – let it go and face the future with confidence. Read: Fear vs. Faith

Here are some bible passage that will help you through the tough times.

Psalm 40
Matthew 6:25-27
1 Peter 1:6-7
1
Peter 5:6
Jeremiah 29:11
John 16:33
James 1:2-4
Philippians 4:13-14
Philippians 4:4-7
James 5:11
Psalm 121:1-2

Like what you read? Then you’ll love my award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out! $1 from the sale of each book – not matter what format benefits StreetLight Phoenix to help eradicate child sex slavery. www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1

Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award-Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar or http://twitter.com/wwjdrevival

 

 

 

God is in Control

God is in Control
This entry is part 7 of 10 in the series Don't Worry

The world is under the influence of the devil, but it is not under his control. God is in control- now and always. ~Charles Stanley

God is involved in every moment of your life if you acknowledge Him or not.

God is a part of all things – He is the creator, sustainer and orchestrator of everything that is.

God gave humans free will and he will never override it.

God’s ultimate purpose will be accomplished. In the end, God will have His way. His will will be done!

God does not always manifest “control” when or how we think He should. God, however, knows precisely which method to use in which circumstance. He knows what is best for each life. And He knows precisely when to employ His chosen method. Our role is to trust Him implicitly. ~Charles Stanley

God is in control of the situation, and He will accomplish His purpose.
You can put yourself on God’s side- the side of victory.

You can trust God to act in precisely the right timing and with precisely the right method to accomplish the ultimate good in any situation and in any life.

Consult God always: 2 Chronicles 15:2, Isaiah 55:6, Psalm 63:1, Romans 8:28, Deuteronomy 28:1-2, Deuteronomy 28:25, James 4:7-8, James 4:10, Psalm 145:17-18

Like what you read? Then you’ll love my award-winning Christian novel: Deo Volente! (God Willing): Love in the First Century a historical novel about the early church check it out: www.giselleaguiar.com/novel1


Great Blessings!
Soli Deo Gloria!
Giselle Aguiar
Award Winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter
https://twitter.com/giselleaguiar

Getting through the storms

Getting through the storms
This entry is part 5 of 10 in the series Don't Worry

 

The monsoons bring haboobs – dust clouds
that move over the city covering every inch.

Summers in Phoenix bring not only the heat, but monsoons. And some of them can be fierce – like mini hurricanes, which do their fair share of destruction. But it’s comforting to know that they are short and in an hour or two, the storm will be gone.

Hurricanes can last all night and do a 100 times the destruction of a monsoon. When you’re hunkered down, it seems like the storm will never end. But somehow you know that it will. The wind will die down and the sun will come out again.
Many people these days are going through storms of their own. And it may seem like there’s no end. It’s scary, you worry if you’ll make it through. You cry out – “Stop! Why can’t things be back to normal?”
Back in the summer of 2004, Florida’s “Treasure Coast” suffered two hurricanes, Frances and Jeanne, two weeks apart. After Jeanne, I took a walk on the what was left of the beach and saw beautiful, expensive houses and condos with half of their foundations washed away.
It reminded me of this passage from the Gospel of Matthew: Right after speaking the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said,

“Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.” ~Matthew 7:24-27

Read these passages and feel the comfort in the storm.



Hang in there, God loves you
Giselle Aguiar
Award-winning Christian Novelist
Debut Novel Now Available!

Nothing is too hard for God

Nothing is too hard for God
This entry is part 4 of 10 in the series Don't Worry

Today’s daily word from Crosswalk:

Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you.~Jeremiah 32:17

Nothing is too hard for God, NOTHING. Not even whatever problem, trial, struggle, frustration, issue, roadblock, brick wall, He can handle it!

Just like you ask WWJD? when before you react, you should ask WWJD? when you find yourself with a problem. How would Jesus handle this? Ask, Jesus, I need a little help with this what would you do?

Then be quiet and let God. The answer may come as a thought or idea that just pops into your head. It may come from a friend or another outside source.  Ask God to help you recognize the answer when it comes.

Let go and Let God!

Many blessings,
Giselle Aguiar
Award-winning Christian Author
Follow Giselle on Twitter

Nothing separates us from God’s Love

Nothing separates us from God’s Love
This entry is part 3 of 10 in the series Don't Worry

And I am convinced that nothing can ever separate us from God’s love. Neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither our fears for today nor our worries about tomorrow – not even the powers of hell can separate us from God’s love.~ Romans 8:38

Sometimes even we Christians feel that God is far away. It’s because we let the world and our worries get between His Love and our minds.

We may think that because stuff is happening to us, to those we love or just people around us: trials, hard times, financial trouble, foreclosure, job loss, inflation, death of a loved one, illness, etc., we may want to yell, “God, why?! Where are you? Why don’t I feel your presence?”

We manage to get ourselves deeper into depression and worry. God gives us a tool to get ourselves out of the funk – the Bible. Here are a few passages that help:

Matthew 6:25-34 (the don’t worry passage)
Romans 5:3-6
Philippians 4 (yeah, the whole chapter)
James (yeah, the whole book)
You can also just start reading the book of Psalms, but here are a few that stand out:
Psalm 40
Psalm 42
Psalm 121

Listening to uplifting Christian radio also helps.

Joyce Meyer’s book Battlefield of the Mind  helps us fight all the worldly “mind-chatter” or “stinkin’ thinkin’” that separates us from God, His love and His guidance.

I highly recommend it.

God Bless
Giselle Aguiar
Soli Deo Gloria!
www.giselleaguiar.com

Dealing with Afflictions

Dealing with Afflictions
This entry is part 1 of 10 in the series Don't Worry

He was oppressed and afflicted,
   yet he did not open his mouth;
he was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
   and as a sheep before its shearers is silent,
   so he did not open his mouth.
~Isaiah 53:7

Why do we complain when we’re afflicted? Jesus didn’t. We are society of complainers.

Ok, sometimes, if you don’t complain, wrongs don’t get righted and things don’t get fixed. But that’s not the afflictions we’re talking about here. It’s the stuff that we have no control over – like the weather. We complain when it’s too hot and we complain with it’s too cold.

What about the stuff that God throws at us? We yell, “Why me, God?” It’s usually because He wants to teach us something. For us to turn to Him for help. To be purified not burned when walking through fire (1 Peter 1:6-7). To persevere and build character (Romans 5:3-5). To make us mature and complete (James 1:2-4).

The Lord gets his best soldiers out of the highlands of affliction. ~ Charles Spurgeon

So when faced with affliction, think not so much What Would Jesus Do? but think of What Jesus Did and stop complaining.

God Bless,
Giselle Aguiar
Soli Deo Gloria
www.giselleaguiar/wwjd
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Fight the Good Fight

Fight the Good Fight
This entry is part 3 of 21 in the series Christianity

Timothy, my son, I am giving you this command in keeping with the prophecies once made about you, so that by recalling them you may fight the battle well, holding on to faith and a good conscience, which some have rejected and so have suffered shipwreck with regard to the faith. ~1 Timothy 1:18-19

This has been a tough year for a lot of people – me included. “Holding on to faith and a good conscience” isn’t easy.

We easily get angry and frustrated at obstacles, issues, government, the weather, evil people and other “things” beyond our control. Many times we react with anger, agression, in ways outside of our normal character.

We have to realize that yes, these things will always be around – usually when you least expect it or need it – and they are beyond our controll. We just have to deal with it and not let our frustration show never mind take it out on innocent people.

Know that God is control. Life happens. God is there 24/7.

In all this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. ~1 Peter 1:6-7

God gives you TESTS so you can have TESTIMONIES.

“I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” ~John 16:33

Stop and think before reacting – WWJD?

God Bless
Giselle
Soli Deo Gloria
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www.giselleaguiar.com/wwjd

Fear Not! For I am with you, says the Lord

Fear Not! For I am with you, says the Lord
This entry is part 2 of 21 in the series Christianity

I will fear no evil, for you are with me. ~Psalm 23:4

Fear is a greater evil than the evil itself.

As we approach the end of the year, we begin to wonder what lies ahead for us next year. It’s time to settle now that we will enter the enw eyar with even greater anticipation than we did this past year. We will fear no evil. We will continue to ask, “What Would Jesus Do?” We will look for God in others. We will allow Christ to minister through our lives.

We will look forward to good things next year.

(From 365 WWJD: Daily Answers to What Would Jesus Do?)

God Bless,
Soli Deo Gloria