Christian Articles

The "I Want" Attitude
How to Pray
Volunteer and Take Classes
Artifacts of Proof?
Un-ending Easter
The Question of Faith
The Story of Twins - Are You Scared of Death?
What is Christmas About?
Does God Answer Prayers?
Miracles - the "Coincidences" Man Doesn't Give God Credit For
Lent is Upon Us

Any article written by P. Roe may be reprinted as long as the resource box and the article are kept intact. Formatting changes are allowed - other changes must be approved - Email to discuss.

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Christian Articles

The "I Want" Attitude

By P. Roe, http://www.abetterlife.net

Why is our generation all about "me" - the "I" syndrome? People always want for themsleves, want more, want, want, want, never able to be happy with what they have. Not happy with the face or body God gave us. Not happy with the toys and things we have - always wanting more and bigger and better. Wanting everything for oneself, forgetting others in need?

I had a recent experience with a person - everything had to be centered around her and her needs. Walking by a store she'd say "I want." When we came to a photo spot, she'd jump in front and say "take picture of me." When there was a little bit of drink left in a bottle at dinner time, if I said "I can use a little more" - she'd say "I'll take it" and down the rest. When frustrated with someone, she'd expect allegiance to her and want the others to follow her to her avoiding place. When someone would try to hand me a card, she'd grab it and said she'll keep it (then never give it to me - lost it or threw it away). If we had a plan to go see someone, she'd say that it's her turn to decide, and didn't want me to meet with the person we'd made the appointment with. I finally said this meeting is important and has been planned, so she got angry with me and let me go see this person, and then she avoided me for days. It got so annoying. I didn't know how to handle it - she is so strong willed.

I do know that I do not want to be that kind of selfish. I saw the "me" attitude to a high degree and I didn't like it. I keep trying to track myself to make sure I do not follow this attitude, that no one else can see it coming from me. And then I think of society - it's such a me-oriented society. People just want, and want, and want. They think they are entitled, and privileged. They are owed an opportunity, or a job, or something. They think their mindset will get them to high places - but that negates the fact that God is in charge, and we need God to help us in life. We can't control our lives - God does. If you think you have everything under control, You might find out that God is running the show, and things may not turn out as you wish.

Try thinking of others, not of yourself. Think of how you can help others, and pray for guidance. Get rid of the "me" attitude. Think of how God is in control, and ask Him to guide you to the path He wants you to follow. He knows best, and perhpas your thinking isn't what God wants for you. Follow God, not "me."


How to Pray

By P. Roe, http://www.abetterlife.net

When you pray, think of things you want to say to God. Jesus was asked by his disciples how they should pray, and He said "When you pray, say: Father, hallowed be your name, your kingdom come. Give us each day our daily bread. Forgive us our sins, for we also forgive everyone who sins against us, And lead us not into temptation." Luke 11:2

This outlines the parts of prayer, and our prayers should include these main points.
Praise God, and thank God for His blessings on you
Ask for what we need - not selfishly
Ask Him to forgive us our sins, and admit we've sinned - you can specifically list ones that trouble you
Forgive others, bless those we're close to and the others in need
Ask God to help us know and follow God's path
End with something like "If this is Your will, then let it be so. In Jesus' name I pray, Amen."

If you use these points in talking to God, you should find peace and feel better. Pray with a selfless attitude, not an "I want" attitude. Ask for your needs, and don't be selfish.


Volunteer and Take Classes

By P. Roe, http://www.abetterlife.net

If you just go to church once a week or less, and feel like you are doing a good job as a Christian - think within your heart and see if you can truly feel what it means to be Christian. Do you do anything for your church (other than perhaps a small offering or tithe)? Do you do anything with the other people? Do you help when asked (even if the asking is going to many people)? Do you do anything other than that which you enjoy? Do you help others enjoy, and do things for the sake of Jesus?

I see people in our church who never go to classes, never talk about Christian topics, never volunteer at anything that resembles "God's work" - just easy stuff they enjoy but don't really think on a Christian level about them. They act important, but never read the Bible. They don't understand what being Christian means. It is sad for me to see them massaging the Christianity they proclaim into exactly what it does for them. No sacrifice, no understanding of the Word. They seem to think they don't need God - unless something goes wrong.

Get involved in your church. Help with church work, take classes (immensely helpful for understanding the Bible). Join a study group and discuss the Bible. Talk about Jesus, talk about how He affects your life. How He protects you and comforts you. Perhaps you haven't gotten to know Jesus yet - see what you can find out about Him and His life and teachings and when you study long enough, you'll know Him - He's inside of you if you unlock that part of your self.

When you get more active in church and with the congregation, you'll be so much more enlightened and become happy. You'll be able to find people with similar interests, and start letting others know you are in a good place in your life. Being a Christian can be infectious - go infect others and get them to want to be involved!


Artifacts of Proof?

By P. Roe, http://www.abetterlife.net

Have you noticed in recent years that more "artifacts" are being found that "proves" or "disproves" what is written in the Bible? Some items prove that things said in the Bible actually are grounded in fact. Some items "prove" things are not as the Bible says - but those are not on solid ground.

It is generally agreed upon that the Bible contains true history - the coins used in those days are found to be the same ones found in digs of the time. The fertile lands described existed and certain ones are still fertile. There are countless facts that can be proven, although there is no solid proof about Jesus other than the Word - so many different people have documented Jesus' life and doings - shouldn't that be enough proof, since so many other facts are all correct?

The recent finding of a tomb that "says" the names of "Jesus, son of Joseph", two Mary's, and "Judah, son Jesus" - and people were quick to conclude this as Jesus the Savior's tomb. The Bible tells us he was put into a tomb of his own, while his mother was still alive, and He rose from that tomb - there should be no bones that existed to place in a tomb. Jesus, Joseph and Mary were all quite common names back then, and could have belonged to any family of the time. In fact, investigators are at odds about the actual name - it might not even say "Jesus" but rather, some other name - it is, after all, in an ancient language.

So - would you rather believe those people who spend so much time trying to tear down the Bible, or would you rather have faith that God is, was and always will be, and Jesus was a real person? The fact that there is no solid "proof" is no indicator that He isn't real - no one knew of his purpose until the last three years, and they were amazed with him, not picking up mementoes to keep, as we would these days. Even if they did get a memento, would they have labeled it as being from Jesus, or perhaps kept it close to their hearts and know it was special to them, and the next of kin would have no idea of its significance. The fact there are no bones to show are due to Jesus being risen from the dead.

I personally put no faith in the findings of the tombs, or other finds that are so warped in trying to discredit the Bible. These are just stretches made by non-believers. I have faith in our God and in our Jesus that the Bible is true.

Of course, there is a huge amount of history in the Bible that can be substantiated - from the timelines of rulers, to the coins of the times, to the descriptions of the foods grown at the time, to the areas as they are still named, and much more. You can't discount the Bible as a great source for ancient history.


The Question of Faith

By P. Roe, http://www.abetterlife.net

Can we receive grace from God form doing works, or by faith alone? James 2:26 tells us: "For just as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is also dead." Lutherans have struggled with this, as Martin Luther proclaimed that we are saved by faith alone. However, it's not a contradiction - the prior passage does not talk about "faith by works" - it's "faith that works."

When one has faith in the Lord, and lives life for glorifying Him, the automatic results become works. Love and faith in the Lord cause us to do good toward people and our world. In this way, we can understand that we must rely on both faith and works (as long as the works are done to glorify God, not to glorify ourselves).

When we have faith, we aren't sure if the outcome will work out for us. It is faith to know that the uncertainty we may be thrust into will be part of God's plan, even though it may not be what you envision as the plan. No matter what we do, we can't change God's plan. Did Hitler, with all his bad decisions, actually change the course of God's overall plan? No! If faced with a difficult decision, discard the definite bad choices (ones you know God would not approve of), and then pray over the other good choices. If you get no clear direction, just choose something - God won't be upset with a lesser good choice. If the course of action must change, you will probably get a message about it (perhaps in a strong dream, or some feeling that nags at you) - again, pray about a change in direction until you feel a comfort in it.

Faith shows we trust God. Faith gives us confidence in God's character - good and just. Faith is knowing God, building your life up to Him. We may have to work through very tough, very uncertain circumstances - showing our faith in the process. Faith doesn't mean it will all work out the way you think it should. Faith gives you courage to step up to the task, to stand up for what is right and just.

The above content came from my classes at church, as well as my own belief - it all makes sense to me.

Previously Published Christian Articles

Read how a faith-based life can be the answer you've been looking for. Learn about choices, faith, risk, uncertainty, call to action and more!


Un-ending Easter
Easter Doesn't Need to End

Jesus died for our sins, and was resurrected back to life on Easter. We don't need to forget that now that the holiday is over. Remember every day that sacrifice Christ made for all of us. Go out into life and start over - do your work and priorities with the purpose of glorifying God. Be thankful for all God gives us. And give back to God.

How wonderful is the promise that we may follow Jesus in the resurrection when we die. We can live again, though not in the same dimension or body as we know now - there is much more we'll never understand until after we die. Live your life as if it is the last day you'll have - and make it count in God's eyes. You should want to follow God's people into eternal life.

Whatever you do, do it for God. Take care of your kids and your home, do your job at work, use your talents and skills - all for the glory of God. Let others know you are a Christian - plant little seeds in others to think about what it means to be Christian. If you plant the seeds, let God water them - maybe the seeds will grow if these other peoples' hearts will be opened and more acceptance will begin. Show you are a caring, happy Christian - when others see what they are missing by seeing what you have in your heart - they'll want to be part of it! Be excited and keep Christ alive all year long!

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P. Roe writes "Christian Thoughts," http://www.doubleii.com/christianthoughts.html - articles and thoughts on faith. Free to Subscribe: http://www.doubleii.com/subscriptioninfo.html.
More articles http://doubleii.com/articlesreports.htm


The Story of Twins - Are You Scared of Death?

Do you ever wonder what life is all about? Why we're here? Where we go next? Are you worried about the future? Do you think you can find a way to be happy? A way to explain your life? I heard this wonderful story and felt it should be shared with others.

There were twins inside a pregnant mother-to-be and they were contemplating their lives. They thought it was wonderful to have such a warm and cozy home that was so comfortable and took care of all their needs. After awhile, they figured out that they must have a wonderful mother who gave them all their food and water through the cords they had - "What a loving and good mother we must have for her to take care of us so well." And as they grew, and they loved each other and their mother very much.

One of them was always happy and trusting, but the other began wondering if this was real. "How do we know there is a mother?" he asked. The girl answered, "Of course there is a mother - how else can we be so well taken care of?" The boy replied, "Have you ever seen her?" She answered. "No, but surely she is there - look what she provides for us."

Then they realized it would soon be time to be born - what would that be like? "I'm scared," said the boy. The girl asked, "Scared of what?" "I don't know what it will be like out there - I don't know if there is a mother - I don't know if we will exist after we're born!" "Of course we will," said the girl. And they tried to imagine how it would be. Will there be others? Will there be a mother? Will anyone like them? Oh, they wanted to stay right there forever, where it was safe and comfortable and wonderful.

As the time of birth came nearer, they were both somewhat scared, not knowing what would become of them, or what they would find. Then the miracle of birth happened - and guess what? They found the most wonderful place they could ever think of or imagine. It was better than anything they had ever thought about was. What were they ever so scared of? Life after birth was miraculously wonderful, and there was complete love and acceptance for them. And they were happy.

Think about this - do you approach life and death the same way? Do you wonder how it can be after death? Are you scared? Do you think it can be something so wonderful that you need not worry? Do you also have any imaginable idea of how it could be? We cannot imagine the next existence until we get there - we are not equipped to understand what our next life will be like, or what heaven looks like - it's another dimension we cannot yet relate to. Just think about itů... and wonder what are we so afraid of?

~~~~~~~~~~

P. Roe writes "Christian Thoughts," http://www.doubleii.com/christianthoughts.html - articles and thoughts on faith. Free to Subscribe: http://www.doubleii.com/subscriptioninfo.html.
More articles http://doubleii.com/articlesreports.htm


What is Christmas About?

By P. Roe, http://www.abetterlife.net

It's that season again, when everyone buys, buys, buys. When people try to outdo each other in decorating. When people fight about what to call the season - Christmas, Happy Holidays, or whatever else feels right to them. It's a season people feel more alone and sad if things aren't going well. It's full of stress and deadlines, full schedules and more. And the food and sweets - the weight gain and the clogged arteries! Everywhere is Frosty the Snowman, Rudolph, Grandma under Santa's Sleigh.

Did we all lose sight of what Christmas is all about? It's about celebrating the birth of our Savior, Jesus Christ. And even if you know that part of the story - do you know about the man He was? The gentle person who was brilliant beyond anything man can be. Teaching forgiveness, love, and how to live your life according to His New Covenant. He taught so much - it can't be summarized in one sentence. And the most important part of the story - His Resurrection. The gift He gave us in taking on all our sins - and being raised from the dead on the third day. That is the most important part of the story.

No matter how you celebrate Christmas (and I will wish people a "Merry Christmas" because I am Christian - I should let people know what I am about) - think further about the life of this man Jesus. Think of the greatest gift He gave to us. Then feel it in your heart to give back to others less fortunate than you. Donate your time or money, or gently used items to people who need it. Make extra treats to hand out at a shelter or a children's hospital. Show others how you can show that Jesus is within you. Make his death count for something, and celebrate that he was born - but remember WHY this is such a big birthday. To shower love on Jesus is to shower love on others, on the poor, on those who are in need.

Celebrate His birthday by learning lessons from Him, and do for others as they are in need of from you. Accept, love, tolerate, respect and give of yourself to others who are in need.

~~~~~~~~~~

P. Roe writes "Christian Thoughts," http://www.doubleii.com/christianthoughts.html - articles and thoughts on faith. Free to Subscribe: http://www.doubleii.com/subscriptioninfo.html.
More articles http://doubleii.com/articlesreports.htm


Does God Answer Prayers?

By P. Roe, http://www.abetterlife.net

I believe God answers our prayers. The thing is, we don't recognize it as being answered positively because it may not go our way. It may be that God's plan for us doesn't include what we are praying for.

A good explanation of God's answering prayers is - yes, He answers all prayers. The answer, however, may be "yes" or "no" or "wait" - you see, what we want may not be part of God's plan. Our God may have a bigger picture in mind with a different purpoe than that which you are praying for and about. Perhaps you will get a "yes" - in the future, after other circumstances take place.

I remember hearing a remark someone made, after which she had been praying for something, and at some point met up with another person who had been praying for something different. The two actually, unexpectedly, met each other's needs. The second person asked how this cold work out as such - the initial person said "I think we are victim's of our prayers" - because, in actuality, both found what they had been praying for, but it came about in a totally different type of manner than expected.

When you wonder if God hears your prayers, realize He does, but you may be asking for something that doesn't really go along with God's big picture, and perhaps the prayer will be realized later, or in a different way, or perhaps you are asking for something that has no fit, and would not be granted.

When praying, remember to ask for forgiveness for your sins, and to help guide you to repent. Ask for that which is important, not trivial or material. Ask for blessings for your family and friends. Ask all this in Jesus' name, and make sure to mention "if this is Your will" - so you realize who is in control, and acknowledge that. You recognize that God will decide to answer your way, if it is His will.

Be patient - not all prayers are answered immediately. Often there are other building blocks which must take place to get your particular request to the point where it can work. Sometimes your request just isn't in the big picture and you have to let go of your quest. Recognize that God knows best, and go with it. Most life situations have a lesson for us - we just have to look for it and see it.

~~~~~~~~~~

P. Roe writes "Christian Thoughts," http://www.doubleii.com/christianthoughts.html - articles and thoughts on faith. Free to Subscribe: http://www.doubleii.com/subscriptioninfo.html.
More articles http://doubleii.com/articlesreports.htm


Miracles - the "Coincidences" Man Doesn't Give God Credit For

By P. Roe, http://www.abetterlife.net

I truly believe that God talks to us, but we usually don't listen, or we pass it off as a "coincidence". Well, the messages came to me are much more than what can be a "coincidence" - I experienced a definite message from God. The trick is to recognize it - my pastor tells me "A coincidence is the miracle man does not give God credit for."

My story:

This began when my mother passed away. She had been suffering from dementia at too young an age, then developed some complications and became gravely ill. She had a stroke, and was largely paralyzed. She hadn't known us for the past year, but near the end, her mind cleared up to know us. She could not talk, barely could move, but she REACHED for us, and her eyes connected fully with us, showing us her love, and showing us she followed us. She could understand us more than in the past three years. This was a blessing for all of us, and I know it was by God's grace that she was allowed to think more clearly. Also, someone at the nursing home had brought a radio into her room on the evening of her death, and had placed a Christian station on. I thank that person.

After she was gone, we had to make funeral plans, and we needed to find passages and hymns. We weren't totally sure which hymns she would like, but we chose "A Mighty Fortress is Our God", since it is the "theme song", if you will, of Lutherans. We knew she KNEW that hymn, so it made sense to use it. My then 5 year old daughter chose "Jesus, Remember Me, When You Come Into Your Kingdom". That had meaning and was sweet - for my little 5 year old to choose for her Grandmother. Then we didn't know which other hymn. My father remembered a hymn in Finnish that she liked, but he had no idea of its English words or tune. He said some of the words in Finnish, did a rough translation, and my sister (who did not go to church, was absolutely not familiar with a Lutheran Book of Worship, and probably had never opened one up) picked up the Lutheran Book of Worship, flipped straight to a page, and began reading the words of a hymn, "For the Beauty of the Earth." She showed the book to my father, and asked if that was the song. He read it and said it was the English words of the hymn. How she flipped right to it with no clue is a testimonial of God's direction. The song was a very appropriate song. The service was beautiful.

In the meantime, we decided to cremate her, to set her free and not locked in a box. She had been locked up in that body, trapped in the dementia for too long. We wanted her to finally be free. The dilemma we had is where to place to her ashes. My sisters and I thought of places she loved. In Colorado Springs, in the mountains near our old cabin, in Finland (her birthplace). They felt perhaps in the mountains, near our cabin we grew up at. On the way to the funeral, while driving, very, very strong images were put into my mind. They showed the place in the mountains, on a cold winter day, snow melting, cloudy, gray, and very, very lonely. It told me she was not to be placed there. Then I saw images of her friends, us, sunny days, her homes over the years, and Pikes Peak. It was very strong. It told me she was to be on Pikes Peak, overlooking her homes and her friends, and her family (one sister still living there). She would be remembered, not forgotten. We can visit the spot, but more importantly we can look at that majestic mountain and identify it with her. I can see it nearly every day in the distance on my drive. My other sister, who is out of state, has so many photos of Pikes Peak that she can look at those and think of Mom. Plus, there are quite a few photos in different places of Pikes Peak and that will allow us all to think of Mom as we see them. Her friends will remember her when they look at the mountain. So I told my sisters, before the funeral, that Mom needed to be on Pikes Peak, and why. One sister said she was "pushed" to think about Pikes Peak that morning, as well, but didn't connect it. So it was unanimous - her ashes would be placed on Pikes Peak, in a good place to overlook her familiar areas. It felt right. It felt like she would be at peace.

Then, our church had its annual Thanksgiving pie social on the eve of Thanksgiving Day, one year later. It was one year on the night that Mom died. I decided church would be a place of comfort that evening, so we went. What happened that night gave me amazing peace. During the service, the bell choir played a song on the bells, "For the Beauty of the Earth". I was moved, and looked at my watch - the time was THE time they Mom's estimated death. I knew it was a message, to tell me she was at peace. It was too peaceful and too much to be any coincidence.

It was a message. When I told my sisters, one of them reminded me that Mom used to collect bells (and she had a passion for bells), so how appropriate the song was, to be played by the bell choir (not to mention sparing me having to sing the words on such an emotional evening). I know there were messages from above - there is no question in my mind. It is NOT "coincidence" - not this many times, andall those specific things.

Later, on Mother's Day, at church, the first song of the day was "For the Beauty of the Earth" - a strong reminder of my mother and her peace. Then also "Jesus, Remember Me" was played and sung in the service. I think it was another message to make me think of her, and to let me know she is at peace, and may be watching over us.

On the service just prior to her birthday, the readings, the gospel lesson, and Sunday school class, were all in some way relating to the story of Lydia (which was my mother's middle name, Lyydia). I thought it might be another push of a message for me, to think of her, and to know her birthday is coming. To let me know she is in some way with us.

That year, Thanksgiving fell on the day my mother passed away - and we went to the Thanksgiving Eve service on the evening prior. In that service, the choir sang "For the Beauty of the Earth" and it was done differently but the words were the same, so I received comfort once more. Then it occurred to me - the "push" we got to use that song in the funeral - what was the reason? Is it a custom that our church presents that song in some way every year? Was that why there was a "push" for it, so I will be reminded and comforted each year? Or is it that the choir director gets a "push" each of the last two years to include it in the service? I know it's a miracle either way, and still a sign of comfort. I did bring it up - and was assured it was not a regularly planned song.

I am convinced there are many more messages for us, if we listen and notice. We discount so many messages, but they are there. You might have to try to be more aware, and get that "coincidence" thinking out of your head. Once you accept, I think you'll notice more. It's there, if you accept and notice and listen (sometimes using other senses, as well). There is no way anyone will convince me this wasn't a message.

~~~~~~~~~~

Paulina Roe has a Christian site with thoughts and miracles at http://www.abtterlife.net/Christianpage.html If you have a great story of a miracle or message, send it to mailto:abetteryou@...?subject=Iheard! and it will get posted, if it's appropriate. If you would like to read a pet story in which God's Hand was involved, here are more: http://abetterlife.net/testament2.html


Lent is Upon Us

Lent has begun - this is a time to focus on Jesus. What will you give up? Make it something that seems to be a hardship - not just chocolate or soda - even though it may seem rough for you, you aren't suffering or doing anything that is really a sacrifice. Make it sting - and think about this - perhaps you can make a difference in your life - you might get rid of a bad habit. Give up smoking - that is difficult for a smoker. Give up all sweets - not just sodas and chocolates. Quit teasing your sister, quit maoning and complaining. If you can't think of something to give up, start to do something - smile at atrangers, read the Bible daily, do something good and nice to someone every day. Somehow make some other people's lives better by something you do for others. And through any and all of this - think of Jesus and what He taught, what He sacrificed, what He went through for us. Lent is a time to think of all Jesus did for us, and what He was all about. He fasted, He was tortured, He was ridiculed. He didn't deserve any of it, and he did it for our sakes - so what is the big deal about giving something up to show our empathy and respect for Jesus? He make the ultimate sacrifice!

The Word for the Season of Lent (Matthew 25:31-46):

"When the Son of Man comes in his glory, and all the angels with him, then he will sit on the throne of his glory. All the nations will be gathered before him, and he will separate people one from another as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats, and he will put the sheep at his right hand and the goats at the left. Then the king will say to those at his right hand, 'Come, you that are blesed by my Father, inherit the kingdon prepared for you from the foundation of the world; for I was hungry and you gave me food, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you welcomed me, I was naked and you gave me clothing, I was sick and you took care of me, I was in prison and you visited me. And when was it that we saw you a stranger and welcomed you, or naked and gave you clothing? Andwhen was it that we saw you sick or in prison and visited you?' And the king will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did it to one of the least of these who are of my family, you did it to me.' Then he will say to those at his left hand, 'You that are accursed, depart from me into the eternal fire prepared for the devil and his angels; for I was hungry and you gave me no food, I was thirsty and you gave me nothing to drink, I was a stranger and you did not welcome me, naked and you did not give me clothing, sick and in prison and you did not visit me.' Then they also will answer, 'Lord, when was it that we saw you hungry or thirsty or a stranger or naked or sick or in prison, and did not take care of you?' Then he will answer them, 'Truly I tell you, just as you did not do it to one of the least of these, you did not do it to me.' And these will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life."

How can you help others in this season of Lent? Take on some mission work to serve, as above.

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