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Archive for May, 2012

Wizzley

“I pray, expecting an answer.” – Andrew Murray

 

The LORD has heard my supplication, The LORD receives my prayer. – Psalm 6:9

“Pray and let God worry.” – Martin Luther

You have some issues.  I mean, after all, your issues may require some serious attention.  To be honest, they may require more than you can offer.

Why not give God a chance?

He’s almighty.  He’s able.  He’s all-powerful.

Now unto him that is able to keep you from falling, and to present you faultless before the presence of his glory with exceeding joy, – Jude 1:24

God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble. – Psalm 46:1

Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you. – 1 Peter 5:7

Just give in.  Just go on and give Him a chance.

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2002 sales of books and products through all channels: just under $4.2 billion, up from $4 billion in 2000.
$2.4 billion sold through Christian retail outlets; $1.1 billion through general retail; and $725 million through direct-to-consumer ministry channels.

First 6 months of 2003: CBA member store sales were down 2%.

Books increased 8%, Bibles increased 2% but music and gifts decreased 9%.

–Christian Booksellers Association reported in Publishers Weekly, August 4, 2003

http://www.PublishersWeekly.com

(Cited from http://parapublishing.com/sites/para/resources/statistics.cfm)
 
In addition to studying book-buying habits, the project also explored what types of material people read. The results showed that evangelical adults (86%) and evangelical teens (97%) were the groups most likely to read Christian literature. Other segments with deep penetration by Christian publications included teens and adults who attend a Christian church regularly (65% and 71%, respectively).

(Cited from http://www.barna.org/barna-update/article/5-barna-update/114-half-of-all-americans-read-christian-books-and-one-third-buy-them)

Look at the statistics.  Christian literature, whether for study or otherwise, sells at enormous rates to a large following.  That makes sense.
 
What would really make sense would be for you to get yourself busy writing something for the Christian literary market.
 
Think on it.  Take some time and think it through.  You can make a real impression with some simple strategies for breaking into the Christian information market.
 
Christian Article Sites
Write on your business, ministry or industry.  Write about what you know and use your professional experience to help guide others with your lessons learned and best practices.  Use sites like Bukisa or Gather to publish online articles.

Blog
Make some noise in the blogosphere by posting pointers or mini articles on a variety of topics.  Look into WordPress and Blogger.  Beyond this blog, I also post to Rev Bruce’s Blog on WordPress that contains more inspirational Christian postings.

E-Books 
Support independent publishing: Buy this e-book on Lulu.If you have enough content on a particular subject matter, consider writing an e-book on it.  Self-publish your own e-book and place it on an online storefront and your website as well as your blog.  Make it available for download in multiple marketplaces.  Use Lulu or CreateSpace.  My e-book of inspirational poetry entitled Broken Pieces is available on iTunes through Lulu.  Self-publishing allows you to publish and promote your material, then profit from it as well. 

7276414-17971825Merchandise Your Material
Use some of the top online merchandise sites to sell customized products related to your writing.  These span from t-shirts to coffee mugs and iPad cases.  If you are going to build it, you better brand it, too.  Think about WWJD, Purpose Driven, and Jabez’s Prayer.  These all swept through the Christian marketplace with loads of merchandise like keychains and Bible covers to follow behind the success of the books.  Look into CafePress, Zazzle and Spreadshirt to launch your own merchandising craze.
I Love My Neighbor!! Button

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5 Have this mind among yourselves, which is yours in Christ Jesus, 6 who, though he was in the form of God, did not count equality with God a thing to be grasped, 7 but emptied himself, by taking the form of a servant, being born in the likeness of men. 8 And being found in human form, he humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross. 9 Therefore God has highly exalted him and bestowed on him the name that is above every name, 10 so that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, 11 and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.
– Philippians 2:5-11 (ESV)

If we are to become like Jesus, we will have to start to do like Jesus.


That sounds simple enough.  It sounds almost like a formula. Doing like Jesus = being like Jesus.

Really?

We can get wrapped up in a whole lot of theological theory or biblical-sounding babble that sounds good but does us no earthly (or, even eternal) good.  In the end, talk remains just as cheap in Christendom as it did in any secular sense.  At some point, we have to do more of Christianity than simply study about it and show up for church, Sunday school or prayer meeting.

Therefore, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us also lay aside every weight, and sin which clings so closely, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking to Jesus, the founder and perfecter of our faith, who for the joy that was set before him endured the cross, despising the shame, and is seated at the right hand of the throne of God.
-Hebrews 12:1-2 (ESV)

We need to do Jesus by doing like Jesus. That’s not as simple as it sounds.  Look at what Jesus went through, too.

Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself, so that you may not grow weary or fainthearted. – Hebrews 12:3 (ESV)
And because of their unbelief, he couldn’t do any miracles among them except to place his hands on a few sick people and heal them. – Mark 6:5 (NLT)
27 Again they entered Jerusalem. As Jesus was walking through the Temple area, the leading priests, the teachers of religious law, and the elders came up to him. 28 They demanded, “By what authority are you doing all these things? Who gave you the right to do them?” – Mark 11:27-28 (NLT)
No wonder you can’t believe! For you gladly honor each other, but you don’t care about the honor that comes from the one who alone is God. – John 5:44 (NLT)
2 Now when John had heard in the prison the works of Christ, he sent two of his disciples, 3 And said unto him, Art thou he that should come, or do we look for another? – Matthew 11:2-3 (KJV)

From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
– John 6:66 (NIV)
For even his own brothers did not believe in him. – John 7:5 (NIV)

Jesus went through a lot.  He went through a lot with many of the people who should have had His back.  He withstood unbelief and doubt, even an outright walk-out by some of His own disciples.  Even John the Baptist, in his last days in prison, sent two of his own disciples to find out if Jesus was really the Messiah or not.  Jesus had to deal with all of that.

The question is whether we can do like Jesus and endure the abandonment of family and friends. 

Can we withstand those who will walk out or walk away and never walk with us again? Can we endure the doubters and their disbelief?
Can we stand firm when we have to stand alone?

No, the Lord never forsakes us.  He is with us, but we have to understand that the Lord’s work can become lonely work in human terms.  We have to accept the fact that some folks just won’t stick with us or stick by us as we continue on a journey with Jesus.

If you aim to do like Jesus, just expect to be done like Jesus, too.  Let us not forget that it was Jesus who humbled himself by becoming obedient to the point of death, even death on a cross.  It was Jesus who took on the penalty of sin upon the cross for the sake of mankind’s salvation.   If that’s how people treated the Anointed One who healed the sick and performed miracle upon miracle, how do you think they’ll do you?
Consider him who endured from sinners such hostility against himself. . .

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He has shown you, O man, what is good;
And what does the Lord require of you
But to do justly,
To love mercy,
And to walk humbly with your God? – Micah 6:8 (NKJV)

The Lord requires something of us.  Yes, He wants to bless us.  Yes, He wants us to have the best that He has to offer.  But the Lord still requires something of us.

O Lord, open my lips,
And my mouth shall show forth Your praise.
16 For You do not desire sacrifice, or else I would give it;
You do not delight in burnt offering.
17 The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit,
A broken and a contrite heart—
These, O God, You will not despise. – Psalm 51:15-17 (NKJV)

God wants more than sacrifices and ceremonies.  God wants more than special feasts and festivals in His name only.  He wants our spirits held captive by His awesome power and presence.  He wants us serving in complete obedience.  He wants us doing just as He says.  He wants us to serve as living sacrifices as Paul urged us the other day.

Get out of your own way.  Give God what He wants.  See how He can bless you for you simply remaining obedient.

But why do you call Me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do the things which I say? – Luke 6:46

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God wants something for you.

11 For I know the plans I have for you,” declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future. 12 Then you will call on me and come and pray to me, and I will listen to you. 13 You will seek me and find me when you seek me with all your heart. – Jeremiah 29:11-13 (NIV)

God definitely wants something for you.

He does not want you to feel down and hopeless.  He has plans for you.  He wants you filled with hope.  He wants you positioned to prosper.  He has a future in mind for you.

It’s yours.  It’s yours for the taking if you will call upon the name of the Lord.  It’s yours if you will come and pray to the Lord.  It’s all yours if you will seek the Lord.

You can have what God wants for you, but you have to come on God’s terms.

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We know that in everything God works for the good of those who love him.

They are the people he called, because that was his plan.

– Romans 8:28 (New Century Version)

It is all due to His plan.  he has a plan and things work out in accordance with His plan.  Anything outside of His plan is outside of His will.  That’s how it works out with God.

God wants something, though.  He desires it both from us and for us.  In essence, God wants something for us and from us.  God wants us to be a blessing and to be blessed.  God wants us blessed, and God wants us blessing others.  God wants us getting all that He has to offer us.  God wants us giving all that He gives to us to offer to others.

Maybe you are having a problem getting what God wants for you because you refuse to give what God wants from you.  I know it sounds cold, but it’s a reality.  You cannot get what you need or want because you have not released what God has told you to give up or give away.  Maybe you need to make a change for the better and get back with God’s plan that it in His will.  That would get you back to the point where all things work together for good.

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This is what the Sovereign LORD says:
Woe to the foolish prophets
who follow their own spirit and have seen nothing!
– Ezekiel 13:3 (NIV)

Everyone who is speaking about vision isn’t being honest about it.  They claim to be prophets of profit or visionaries of victory.  It sounds good, but it seems worthless.  Some are called gurus.  Believe it if you dare.  They are false prophets.

They are able to lead people in a particular direction, but they do not seem to be able to accomplish true success.  Yes, they are able to have small victories and have moments of progress.  However, they have little beyond the rhetoric that they spew or the sound bites that they play repetitively throughout the airwaves.  According to Ezekiel’s prophecy, they are foolish and following their own spirits, having seen nothing at all or from the Lord.

Don’t be found in that category.  Lead as God leads you.  Whatever God gives you to do, articulate that vision.  Put it in words so that others can grasp the depth and the concept of the vision.  Put it in visuals where others can see the vision for themselves.  Articulate your vision with all that you have within you.

Most importantly, share the vision that God gave you just the way that God gave it to you.  Don’t abridge or edit it for political correctness or popularity, not even prestige.  It’s not about you or how you feel.  Your opinion doesn’t even matter.  You accept it from God and make others aware of what God gave you.  Confirmation will come from God through others who speak up and say that it sounds a lot like what God had been sharing with them or what they had been reading in their daily devotional reading.  Give it to others like God gave it to you.

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