Tuesday, November 29, 2011

Guest Article -- Waiting

We asked a friend of Ella's, a young lady named Autumn to write a guest article for A Time To Dance about waiting. Throughout this article, you will find a bounty of wisdom from a girl a few years older than us about important things that we will be thinking about in the near future.

Thank you for your wonderful article, Autumn!

You will either waste your time waiting, or make the time worth the wait.

If you are in a season of waiting on God to bring the right person your way, remember that you are not alone. Don’t grow stagnant during this time because you aren’t getting instant results. Be productive. There will be no other season in your life like this. You are perfectly able to be completely sold out to the Lord and do his work freely without anything holding you back. God wants to use this time to mature and grow you. One of my life verses is, Psalm 37:4, “Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart.” This verse is definite! If you delight in Him your desires will become your reality. The Lord is not going to give you what you want if you are holding back and trying to do things (such as dating) on your own. You need to redirect your focus on your Heavenly Father and long for Him alone. Make Jesus your one true delight and find no greater delight than in Him. You might feel like the Lord is holding your desire right above your reach. I did. But God will use this time for good. During your countless prayers for a partner, think of Him saying, “How close will you come? How far will you fall in love with me? Will I still be your best friend and hold your heart if I give this to you?” My God is a jealous God. Our complete joy and satisfaction must be found in Him. It was not till I surrendered completely to Him and made Him my one true love, was I content with His will, single or not. Align your thoughts and desires with His. God knows more about you than you do. He created you and is the one who gave you these desires to get married one day. God put the longing for a godly man/woman in your heart because He has an amazing plan for you.
I know you’ve probably heard this a thousand times but….Don’t settle. I’m not gonna lie, being patient isn’t the number one character trait in the world today. Most surrender to what is temporary but we must hold out for what is real! Look what it says in James 1:4, “But let patience have its perfect work that you may be perfect lacking nothing.” Catch that? You will lack nothing! Meaning, if you are patient God promises to fulfill your every need. Growing up, I didn’t want to give my heart-- not even part of my heart-- to anyone but the man God had for me. I’m here to fulfill God’s purpose for my life and I know everything will work out in His perfect timing. I learned quickly that God’s timing is not our timing, but trust in Him. Having this mindset will help you during your season of waiting. The Lord is very smart and experienced in the dating industry and will not bring you someone that would pull you away from Him. . . remember, He is a jealous God. Jesus purchased you with His very own blood. You are too important to Him for Him to give you just anyone that comes your way. He’s going to protect you.
God’s plan for your life is to advance His kingdom on this earth. When we choose to react positively in the midst of a trial God will use it to perfect you and bring you closer to Him. Being patient and waiting is a trial with great results if you don’t give in. Truth is, your future spouse is out there somewhere right now and instead of aimlessly waiting for the day you two will meet, use this time wisely. Be praying for him or her. Every time you begin to get discouraged stop and start praying for your future spouse. You may not even know their name yet but your Father in heaven does. Speak protection and wisdom over their lives. Ask God to shape them to be the best helpmate for you. Pray for the Lord to show you specifically his/her needs for their life right now. Pray that they would keep themselves pure and wait for you as you are waiting for them. Realize that in this season, you are apart for a reason and that God will bring you together in His timing and will.

Thursday, November 24, 2011

Happy Thanksgiving!

"Give thanks in all circumstances; for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus for you."

~ 1 Thessalonians 5:18

"And let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, to which indeed you were called in one body. And be thankful. Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly, teaching and admonishing one another in all wisdom, singing psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, with thankfulness in your hearts to God. And whatever you do, in word or deed, do everything in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him."

~Colossians 3:15-17

"Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good; his love endures forever."

~ Psalm 107:1

~Give Thanks!~

Can you think of 100 things to be thankful for?

I thank God for. .

1. the sunrise

2. music

3. air

4. the rotation of the earth

5. a savior

6. friends

7. faith

8. the sky

9. the word of God

10. life

11. dreams

12. diligence

13. God’s creativity

14. That God is always in control

15. flowers

16. dancing

17. frost

18. that God never breaks his promises

19. stars

20. light

21. butterflies

22. a warm home

23. colors

24. so many ways to worship God

25. poetry

26. missionaries

27. birds of the air

28. green grass

29. challenge

30. teachers

31. a Bible in the English language

32. every new day

33. the ability to overcome

34. imaginations

35. snow

36. the ability to learn

37. the smell of rain

38. a free country

39. peace

40. animals

50. books

51. words

52. trees

53. a full moon

54. belief

55. roses

56. time to heal

57. food

58. oceans

59. shoes

60. grace

61. the love of a family

62. advice

63. violets

64. laughter

65. Rest

66. warm clothes

67. maps

68. blankets

69. waves

70. clouds

71. trials

72. Sunday’s

73. God’s logic

74. joy

75. prayer

76. immune system

77. comfort

78. decisions

79. happiness

80. Christianity

81. refreshment

82. the universe

83. enzymes

84. woods

85. eyes

86. health

87. deer

88. evergreens

89. mountains

90. wind

91. leaves

92. spring

93. instruction

94. literature

95. support

96. warm sun

97. gentleness

98. kindness

99. honey

100. a God who cares enough to send his son to save us.

~Please leave a comment and tell us what you are thankful for.

Saturday, November 19, 2011

Light Of The World

"You are the salt of the earth, but if salt has lost its taste, how shall its saltiness be restored? It is no longer good for anything except to be thrown out and trampled under people's feet. You are the light of the world. A city set on a hill cannot be hidden. Nor do people light a lamp and put it under a basket, but on a stand, and it gives light to all in the house. In the same way, let your light shine before others, so that they may see your good works and give glory to your Father who is in heaven."

~Matthew 5:13-16

Has your Salt lost its taste?

Are you living a lukewarm life, or is your life red Hot burning for Jesus?

Are you going to hide that light, or will you let it Shine?

Photo Copyright Sofia Collins 2011

Tuesday, November 15, 2011

Collection Week -- Operation Christmas Child

Pack a shoe box!

I see a beautiful smile of a little boy or girl as they open a box yielding probably the first gift they have ever gotten in their entire lives.

Collection week for Samaritan's purse Operation Christmas Child is this week. November 14th-21st. Make a child smile and share the love of Christ Jesus by packing a shoe box full of toys and goodies for a darling child less fortunate than yourself.

For more information, visit www.Samaritanspurse.org/occ

Sunday, November 13, 2011

Sunday Sermon Notes

What kind of People does God use as instruments to bring the gospel to the world?

* Pray-- People who gather together and pray continually.
* Sensitive-- people who are sensitive to His call on their lives
* Faith-- people who step out in Faith at His calling
* Understand-- people who understand what people really need
*Glory-- People who give all the glory and honor to God

Are you ready to become someone who God uses as an instrument to serve Him? Is this what you desire?

~Based on Acts 3

Saturday, November 12, 2011

Love Is....

"Love is patient, love is kind. It does not envy, it does not boast, it is not proud. It does not dishonor others, it is not self-seeking, it is not easily angered, it keeps no record of wrongs. Love does not delight in evil but rejoices with the truth. It always protects, always trusts, always hopes, always perseveres."
~1 Corinthians 4-7

Photo copyright Sofia Collins 2011

Tuesday, November 8, 2011

The Time of Our Lives

I can just picture it: a young teenager sitting on a leather couch, chips in hand with her eyes glued to the television screen. You know what’s coming. The mother of this unfortunate individual walks into the room, a tired frown poised on her face. “That is such a waste of time. Go do something productive.”
I could go into all the discourse that goes on at our house when our mom tells us to do something productive. “I’m bored, Mom. There’s nothing else to do.” But I’m sure you all know perfectly well the default answer received from your mom. “Well I’ll have no problem finding you some chores.” Suddenly you’re not so bored.
But what is my point with all this? To what form of spirituality does this compare? (You’re dying to know, right?) Well, I’ll tell you. Let’s compare the couch potato with your average Christian. The television screen can be compared to the world. Now do you see where I’m going? There are a lot of us out there today that are “Couch Potato Christians” (Ouch). We sit on the couch and watch the world go by, letting it take its course without bothering to do something about it. We don’t even think about changing the channel. We can’t get up to do something productive that will change something. We can’t spend the time. We’re too worried about what will happen if we try to lead someone to Christ and the embarrassment we will be faced with, so we just don’t bother. Some of us can’t take the time to get off the couch and immerse ourselves in the Word of God.
Just like the mother of the unfortunate couch potato, God is saying the same thing: “Get off the couch. You’re wasting your life. Do something productive for me. Lead someone to Christ. Start something big. Don’t let the world go by and do nothing about it. Jump in.”
So how do we “jump in” for God? It’s simple, really. You should start with prayer. Meditate on God’s Word. Don’t love yourself. By loving yourself you sit by and watch the world. By loving others as God has commanded us to do you jump in and do something about the thousands and thousands of lost souls out there. Another very important thing I would like to mention: when you have an opportunity to change the course of a conversation, or when you have an opportunity to share Christ with someone, don’t miss it. Don’t be afraid because you’re not alone.
In conclusion, what’s a little potential embarrassment when there’s a lost soul on the line? We need to get over our fears of people. We don’t want to wake up one day and say, “This life has been a waste. I haven’t done anything significant for God. What have I been doing this whole time?” Watching the show. Are you going to watch the show, or are you going to step up and do something?

Thursday, November 3, 2011

For Those Tears I Died

You said You'd come and share all my sorrows,
You said You'd be there for all my tomorrows;
I came so close to sending You away,
But just like You promised You came there to stay;
I just had to pray!

And Jesus said, "Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won't be denied;
I felt ev'ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died."

Your goodness so great I can't understand,
And, dear Lord, I know that all this was planned;
I know You're here now, and always will be,
Your love loosed my chains and in You I'm free;
But Jesus, why me?

And Jesus said, "Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won't be denied;
I felt ev'ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died."

Jesus, I give You my heart and my soul, I know that without God
I'd never be whole; Savior, You opened all the right doors,
And I thank You and praise You from earth's humble shores;
Take me, I'm Yours.

And Jesus said, "Come to the water, stand by My side,
I know you are thirsty, you won't be denied;
I felt ev'ry teardrop when in darkness you cried,
And I strove to remind you that for those tears I died."