Good News

By Allison Myers

I read something a few days ago that told me that there were periods of time that ask questions, and periods of time that answer them. As I wrap up my last semester of college, I’m noticing that I’m transitioning from a time of answers, into a time questions. About four years ago, I was moving into the time that would ask the questions that these years have answered. Questions like, where will I go to college? What will I study? Will I make friends? Will I have an internship somewhere like my cool college friends? Will I be able to handle the pressures of college? What will the workload be like? Do people really stay awake all night studying? Will I actually graduate someday?

The idea of actually graduating college was such a far off concept four years ago. I thought that maybe only a lucky chosen few were able to do it. Honest. I thought only the best and the smartest made it this far. Now, of course, I see that some real dimwits have done it. I’m not the best or the smartest, but I’m definitely not a dimwit. I think I land somewhere in the middle. Anyway. The end is in sight. I never imagined Continue reading

Prayer

By Jordan Guerra

Prayer is the most powerful action that a believer can do. This is how we become children of God and this is how we lift each other up; however, the most important aspect of prayer is the definition of it: communication with God.

When you communicate with a physical person right in front of you, you’re not the only one that talks. Even when I talk to my dog, I pause as if he’s going to answer me. A conversation has two sides. Prayer is just as much about receiving as it is expressing. We all want to tell God our problems, but do we ever stop talking to let Him tell us that He’s got it under control?

I remember as a student in Jr. High, a drama ministry group from Southwestern Assemblies of God University came to my church to minister for a weekend. Before we ate our meals, their staff advisor prayed, but first he was silent. He listened to what the Holy Spirit was telling him, and THEN he prayed. He actually let God talk to him first. I remember thinking, “I never let God talk first. That’s just selfish.” That was when my thought process of prayer life changed forever.

You know how the big thing with Christians lately is to say “it’s a relationship, not a religion?” Well, tonight I decided that I want more than a relationship. I have a relationship with my friend/editor, Cody, who invited me to start writing for this website. When we see each other, we know who the other is. We greet each other when we see each other, but because our lives are so busy, that’s about the extent of our relationship. With God, I want FELLOWSHIP. I want to be able to say “Hi, Jesus!” and He say “Hey, Jordan!” and we keep taking turns talking to each other. It’s the back and forth that is important. Without hearing God’s direction, we will never have more than just a simple relationship. God wants to have a deep fellowship with each and every one of us.

The second part of this post is HOW to pray. I’ve been told twice in the past month that I “pray good.” So, I want to give you guys my strategies for prayer. When Jesus was on the Earth, He gave us instructions on how to pray. We call this The Lord’s Prayer that is found in Matthew 6:9-13 (NKJV):

“In this manner, therefore, pray:
Our Father in Heaven

*Identify who you’re talking to. Praise Him.

Hallowed be Your name
Your kingdom come
Your will be done

*Be open His plans for your life while you’re on Earth.

On Earth as it is in Heaven
Give us this day our daily bread.

*Thank Him for what He’s provided you.

And forgive us our debts

*Ask for forgiveness for the sins you committed today.

As we forgive our debtors.

*Don’t lie, you know you do every day & need forgiveness.

And do not lead us into temptation,

*Ask God to guide you to the right way.

But deliver us from evil,

*Tell Him what’s going on that you need help with.

For Yours is the Kingdom and the power and the glory forever
Amen.”

*You enter with praise, you exit with praise.

I know it’s popular to close your eyes to pray. In public, totally do this so it’s just you and God. But when it’s your bedtime prayers, keep your eyes open so you stay focused.

I don’t use big words. Seriously, if it makes sense to me, it makes sense to God. He knows my heart. It’s just me and Him. You don’t have to talk like you’ve studied theology for 8 years and use Hebrew and Greek words that are in the Bible. And if you do, make sure you know what you’re saying first. Bible glossaries and Google are great tools if you learn a foreign word from the Bible or in church.

Also, I ALWAYS back up my prayers with scripture. This is so I know that it lines up with God’s will, and as His Word says, it WILL BE DONE.

I hope this helps anyone who finds it hard to pray. You don’t automatically become an expert at what to say when you become a follower of Christ. It’s okay to be simple. I know it’s something that I’ve struggled with for a long time, and prayer life can always grow.

Gaining Intimacy

By B. Williams

Imagine this:

Four years ago. In a quiet room, there sits a glossy, stained wooden dining room table. The room is well-lit and inviting. There’s two chairs facing each other. In one chair, sits Jesus.

He sits there awaiting me. Excitingly awaiting me to come, to know him and him to know me. He’s ready to overwhelm me with His character and communion.

I enter the room.

I somewhat eagerly walk towards the table. I am anxious to get to Him, but I have brought a lot with me. Overflowing out of my hands are the piles of garbage I have brought in. It smells. It’s gross to look at. It’s distracting.

I sit at the table and spread out the garbage before Him.

At these communions, I haven’t brought this garbage to surrender at His feet. I’ve brought it in to lay out in front of me. I’m distracted by it. It’s in front of me and has my attention more than He does. In fact, at most of these dinners, I have piled up the trash so high, I can’t even fix my eyes on Him.

This stuff isn’t really bad stuff. It can be turned back into good if I decorate it a little,” I tell myself. “I don’t want Him to have it, I know He will throw it away. I want to keep it, because my life won’t look the same without it.

I don’t enjoy dinner or our conversation, the little that we had, and I blame Him for it.

“But whatever gain I had, I counted as loss for the sake of Christ. Indeed, I count everything as loss compared to the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ, and be found in Him…” Philippians 3:7-9

4 years ago, I hadn’t considered anything in my life as garbage compared to knowing Christ. I wasn’t ready or even willing to lose any of it for the sake of gaining fellowship with Him.

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