Category Archives: 15 Habits of Great Writers

Day 3. Initiate – I Am A Christian Communicator & Prayer Specialist.

I am a Christian Communicator & Prayer Specialist.

I am writing this for Day 3 of 15 Habits of Great Writers.  On Day 3 we are getting personal, if we haven’t already by saying that we are all writers.

What am I? Well for starters I am a Christian.  It is an integral part of who I am, and I hope comes through in all that I do whether overtly Christian or not.

What am I? Am I an author? Am I a blogger?  Am I a tweep?  I would say that I am a communicator, in that I do not want to limit myself to any one platform, or type of media.  People have different learning styles, and to engage with everyone I will need to engage as many of their senses as possible, and some people will only learn by doing what they are learning.

All forms of communication are equally valid, technology in itself is generally neutral (there are some exceptions), it can be used for good or for ill.  How can I use Twitter or a blog to share my life and my faith?  And how can I use the internet as a tool for growing prayer in the Kingdom of God.  This is journey I am still exploring, and leads me onto my last statement about myself.

I would class myself as a prayer specialist.  What do I mean by this? I mean that for me prayer is at the heart of who and what I am.  My longing is for Christians and the church, personally and corporately, to grow in prayer, as the two go hand in hand.

I do not see a church in all its facets, I see it through one lens, that of prayer.  If you ask a youthworker you would think the most important thing in church life would be the youthwork or lack thereof, and it would be quite rightly so as that is their area of responsibility and calling.  That is how I am with prayer.  I long to see churches grow in their prayer-lives and turn their prayer outwards with them advancing in Kingdom focused prayer, then they will find that God meets all their other needs as well.

Well, ‘That’s me’ to quote the title of an Abba song.  You can take me or leave me, that is up to you, but I am me.  I will not apologise for what I am, as that is what God has made me.  I am still growing, and I will only worry if ever I feel that I no longer need to grow.  Until then I am on a journey, a pilgrimage to a better place because of my relationship with the Author and Creator of all things, with God himself.

To God be the Glory! Amen!

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More Effective Prayer

#15habits Guest post Thanks to Theresa for allowing me this opportunity to guest post on The Bountiful Reaper, and may you be abundantly blessed by God!

More Effective Prayer

James 5:16 (NKJV)

Confess your trespasses to one another, and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much.

I would like say at the outset, that I am on a journey, the desire of my heart is to become everything in Christ that it is possible to become, to know God intimately and live in his presence 24 hour a day, so that God is glorified in everything I do.

This post is part of that journey, a journey to deeper intimacy, and discovery of God and his righteousness, that we have in Christ.

I have been going around the mountain for years, and circumstances have forced me into seeking a deeper relationship with God, a relationship that I have been asking God for for years in prayer, though I have never made the effort to go deeper, I have been waiting for God, and have never waited on God until now, I have plenty of head knowledge, but not enough heart knowledge, and this journey is about getting the knowledge from my head to my heart.

When I look at the scripture above, I absolutely believe in the truth of what it says, we read in 2 Timothy 3:16-17 (NKJV)

All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.

And it is that particular word righteousness in both of these scriptures that I would like to explore, and encourage a renewed zeal for the righteousness of God. If scripture is profitable for instruction in righteousness, then I believe there is profit found in a deeper righteousness!

Before I continue a quick definition of what righteousness is and what righteousness allows.

The simplest definition is Right Standing or relationship with God, allowing us to enter his presence.

I have been of the understanding for many years that we are the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, the bible does tell us that. I do not dispute the evidence of positional righteousness, as seen in Romans 3:22a (NKJV)

even the righteousness of God, through faith in Jesus Christ, to all and on all who believe.

And in Philippians 3:9 (NKJV)

and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith;

And also in 2 Corinthians 5:21 (NKJV)

For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

However I have come to believe through much searching and seeking God, that although there is a positional righteousness by Grace through faith alone in order for our salvation to occur, it does not stop there, I believe that there is also a deeper relational righteousness, not our own righteousness, which will profit us nothing and is as filthy rags, please read on, and discover this relational righteousness that we as Christians need to seek after.

In my opening scripture from James 5:16. I believe that the righteousness referred to there is a relational righteousness, not something we are but rather that we are able to become.

If we look at the Philippians 3 verse in context, see below Paul talks about the relationship he desires in order to fully experience the positional righteousness so that it becomes a relational righteousness by faith, in Christ from God. In other words, the more I become conformed to the image of Christ, through deeper relationship, the more I become the righteousness of God in Christ.

Philippians 3:7-10 (NKJV)

But what things were gain to me, these I have counted loss for Christ. Yet indeed I also count all things loss for the excellence of the knowledge of Christ Jesus my Lord, for whom I have suffered the loss of all things, and count them as rubbish, that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith; that I may know Him and the power of His resurrection, and the fellowship of His sufferings, being conformed to His death…

The same is true of 2 Corinthians 5:21

If we look at the context, bearing in mind that these were Christians Paul was speaking to, we read

2 Corinthians 5:20-21 (NKJV)

Now then, we are ambassadors for Christ, as though God were pleading through us: we implore you on Christ’s behalf, be reconciled to God. For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

It clearly shows a relational focus rather than a purely positional one, as a result of our reconciliation with God we are able to BECOME the righteousness of God in Christ, as we seek his face, God wants that deeper intimacy with us, and I absolutely believe that signs and wonders will follow.

Jesus teaches us in Matthew 5:6 (NKJV)

Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.

Also Jesus says in Matthew 6:33 (NKJV)

But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

I look at it like this, if the presence of God had to be present in this room right now, would I feel as if I was going to die because of the sin in my life?

Right here right now in my life the answer is a definite yes to that one. So what do I do about it?

I keep pressing in and keep seeking his face, keep praying, and confessing my sins as he reveals them to me, reading his word, waiting on him, listening, praising and worshipping. Seek, Seek, Seek, those who seek him with their whole heart and mind and strength will find Him!

So does this mean that, my prayers are currently ineffective?

The answer to that is no, all prayer is effective, there are just in my understanding degrees of effectiveness, The more we pray the will of God the more effective our prayers are, the prayers of Jesus were 100% effective, He tells us that he did nothing that the Father had not told him to do, and there are many out there who have the same 100% rate, and they are impacting the world, yet even those people seek to get deeper with God every day. Put on Christ daily, the Full Armour of God, immerse Yourself in Him, daily, all day, we need to become like Jesus, a reflection of Him, complete death to self!

God is limitless, and we have not even scratched the surface of what is available to us in terms of blessing when we become the righteousness and holiness of God in Christ Jesus. I have an absolute hunger to get as much of God as I can get, so that he can be glorified through me, we are all labourers called to the harvest!

We all can attain,  and I know I will attain that level of righteousness mentioned in the opening verse, I have made a choice, and I am not going to stop seeking more of God everyday, until I die or he returns, and I have to choose to do that everyday, it is my choice, God will never force me to do it, it is a decision of my will every single day, his mercies are new every morning, and it is my prayer that every Christian will attain it, in the meantime I thank God for his mercy and Grace and for the Gifts of healing from the Holy Spirit, yet I long to see the day when we will start to operate fully in the righteousness of God in Christ Jesus, with signs and wonders that follow, doing the things that Jesus did and the greater things he said we would do. I pray for a unity of spirit, and of mind as we put on Christ daily, that the Church the bride of Christ may present herself Holy and Glorious in his sight! And pray effective fervent prayers that avail much! So be it.

One Question remains to be asked. How much do You want it?

Shalom Rav
Glory to God
Richard
speaktothismountain

Day 2. Believe – To Get Up Early … Or Not!!!

The challenges for Day 2 were twofold.  The first was to believe that I am a writer, you can see my response in Day 2. Believe – I Write Because I Am A Writer.  The second was to get up 2 hours earlier than normal to write.

Before I say anything else I must say a BIG CONGRATULATIONS to everyone who did both of these.  I take my hat off to you! Or at least I would if I was wearing one!

I, however, did not do the second challenge.  I do not fall into the group of people who did not do it out of sloth, indolence or indifference.  I did not get up early due to a situation out of my control, and I am quite sure that there others who fall into this category.

My son, Isaac, had a cough and cold, and although it went a while ago he still sometimes wakes up coughing in the night – which he did last night.  Also recently my asthma has been really bad and I had to take oral steroids for 5 days to help sort it out.  I had minimal side effects (thanks to God who answers prayer), but it still disrupted my sleep patterns a bit.  Putting the two together getting up early this morning ended up not possible.

To everyone else in a similar position, be encouraged.  You are not a failure, you can still get that time later in the day.  I shall be honest that I may not be able to set the time aside first thing in the day.

I mainly write either first thing in the morning or last thing at night, although I can sometimes get some done during the day.  I often find the late evening the best time and push myself to stay up then even if I would like to be in bed!  Other mornings God wakes me up at about 4a.m., but not all the time.

It would be nice to have a set place to work (which I currently don’t as we live in two bedroom flat we have seriously outgrown), and to be able to schedule set working times (with a 3 yr old son and a husband who works irregular hours) it is difficult.

I am, by no means, less committed to these 15 days than anyone else and nor are those others who are in similar situations.  Let’s encourage one another on, and perhaps more importantly encourage ourselves on!  If we cut ourselves some slack in areas where we have to make compromises, then we will be able to keep going if things get really tough in other areas.

Let’s stop be our own worst enemies and greatest critics, and start being our own best friends and greatest encouragers.  Let’s do this and see what we can accomplish!!!

Day 2. Believe – I Write Because I Am A Writer.

I write because I am a writer.  This may seem obvious, but so often we think the converse is true.  I am a writer because I write.

The question is, ‘What defines me?’, is it what I do, or what I am?  Here is another example.  Does going to church or praying make you a Christian? No!  But if you are a Christian then you will go to church and pray.

If you or I take our definition and identity from what we do, then we are never secure.  We are like butterflies, we may seem beautiful, but we are fragile and are easily blown around by what is going on outside us, we have no real inner strength.  It is true from Chaos Theory that there is the butterfly effect where one wing beat could cause a hurricane, but there is no intentionality or real control of the situation.  You are like a ripple in a pond, just a part of the larger whole.

If, on the other hand, I know who I am regardless of what I am doing then I am always secure.  Then I am like a mighty eagle.  I am strong and powerful, and it will take quite a lot to blow me off course.  I know that I have an effect on things, but what I do is not just by accident; it is intentional, it is planned.  I am like a pebble cast into the pond.  I initiate things, I make waves!

So I write because I am a writer.  I am a Christian, saved by the grace and mercy of God.  Like Richard Teasdale this is central to my writing, it has been ever since I became a Christian which is now over 22 years ago.  I am a writer. Yes, I am!  But I am only a writer because that is how God has made me.  I want to use this gift for the encouragement and edification of others and to the glory of God!

Day 1. Declaration – I Am A Writer.

I am a writer!

I have been since I wrote a fantastic story in first year senior school about an ancient ruined city and the volcano Popocatépetl which had an explosive finish as I recall!  I forgot it for a while when I got distracted by theoretical physics, but that should have been an aside, not the main focus.  I started to write again when I became a Christian, but only recently have had the confidence to refer to myself as the WRITER that I have been all along.

I declared it on Twitter to @richard_tea who is also taking part by simply referring to him as a ‘fellow writer’, as I am one I do not need to be apologetic about it!  Within an hour a fellow tweep asked me if I had ‘ever thought’ about writing my testimony for him to read on the breakfast show on UCB UK.

I am a writer, as I say in my Twitter profile, so I had better get to work!