Sometimes the thoughts in my head get so bored…

…they go out for a stroll through my mouth. This is rarely a good thing.

This quote that the thoughts in my head get so bored that they take a stroll through my mouth is meant to give a chuckle. However, a lack of control over our thoughts and speech isn’t funny when it causes us to think and say things that are harmful to ourselves and others.

This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.

Prior to becoming a Christian, I had little control over the thoughts in my head and my speech. My thoughts controlled me and consequently, I said and did many hurtful things that I’ve since asked God and others to forgive.

But, since becoming a Christian, God has taught me that I don’t have to entertain every thought or speak every idle word. I can ask the Holy Spirit to help me to think right thoughts and choose right words to speak.

In all honesty, it’s still a struggle and I am definitely a work in progress.

You are never too old to set another goal

…or to dream a new dream

This quote by C. S. Lewis is so encouraging for those of us, myself included, who have more birthdays behind us than before us. Indeed, we are never too old to set another goal or to dream a new dream as long as we are alive.

This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.

As I write this article, I can’t think of a better example of never too old to set new goals or dream new dreams than my mother. She committed her life to Christ 5 years ago, shortly after the passing of her husband. Since then, God has changed her life and she is a woman making up for lost time.

She has traveled to the Holy Land, helped plant a new church, served in multiple ministries, participated in Bible studies, made hundreds of new friends, attended prayer meetings and volunteered wherever she is needed. This week as she turns 80 years old, she shows no signs of slowing down as she prepares to leave in a few weeks to go on her first missionary trip to Panama!

We are never too old to set another goal and to dream a new dream.

As Psalm 92:14 says,

They will still bear fruit in old age, they will stay fresh and green,” (NIV)

The Bible says that believers can still bear fruit in old age

By God’s grace, we have made great progress in the fields of science and medicine. We also have access to more information, products and procedures to help us hopefully live longer and enjoy better health as well.  

In addition, we are never too old to set new goals and dream new dreams because God is not limited by age.

Exodus 7:7 says, Moses was eighty years old and Aaron eighty-three when they spoke to Pharaoh.” (NIV)

Luke 2:36-37 says, “There was also a prophet, Anna, the daughter of Penuel, of the tribe of Asher. She was very old; she had lived with her husband seven years after her marriage, and then was a widow until she was eighty-four. She never left the temple but worshiped night and day, fasting and praying.” (NIV)

No man can do me a truer kindness in this world…

…than to pray for me.

Charles Spurgeon was a man who knew how to pray and rely on the prayers of others as well. A gifted preacher and evangelist, he lived in the 1800’s and is considered one of the great orators of his generation. He is known as the “Prince of Preachers.” His masterful use of the English language and knowledge of the Bible is clearly evident in his poetic, passionate and bold prayers.

This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.

Please click here to read more about Charles Spurgeon.

Please click here to read some of his amazing prayers.

I was so inspired by Spurgeon’s beautiful prayers that I ordered one of his books appropriately titled, C. H. Spurgeon’s Prayers and I have enjoyed reading and praying through it.

God always gives His best…

…to those who leave the choice with Him.

This quote by Jim Elliot is simple and yet profound. His life was consecrated and surrendered to God. His words indicate his complete trust in God and remind us that God always gives His best when we leave the choice with Him.

This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.

Click here to read more about Jim Elliot.

During my 20’s, I looked for answers to life in the self-help section of the bookstore. Then on January 1, 1989 I attended a church where I heard the Gospel. I went home and prayed to receive Jesus Christ as my Lord and Savior.

Faith is taking the first step even when…

… you don't see the whole staircase.

This quote by Martin Luther King Jr., is a great analogy for faith. King lived his life by faith and ultimately sacrificed it by serving others. He is best remembered for his work as an American civil rights leader and activist during the 1960’s. His method of non-violent protest, based on the teachings of Jesus Christ, stood in stark contrast to the violent methods of those who opposed him.

This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.

My youngest brother took a step of faith when he received Christ as a teenager. But over the years he slowly drifted away. Then in 1998, he recommitted his life to follow the Lord. He began listening to Christian music, attending church and making amends with people. One day he called me and wept as he spoke of God’s love for us through Christ.

But, a couple of months after that phone call, he died suddenly in his sleep at the age of 29.

His Pastor spoke at his Celebration of Life and said it was quite impressive to see my brother worshiping. He would stand in the back with his imposing build, hands raised up high and tears streaming down his face.

He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep…

...to gain what he cannot lose.

Jim Elliott penned these words in his journal shortly before his death, “He is no fool who gives what he cannot keep to gain what he cannot lose.” Jim and four other missionaries paid the ultimate price when they were killed while participating in Operation Auca, during an attempt to evangelize the Huaorani people in Ecuador.

This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.

They gave their temporary lives, which were not theirs to keep, to gain what they could not lose, i.e. eternal life and the blessings of heaven.

Please click here to learn more about Jim Elliot.

I don’t know what it’s like to be truly persecuted, imprisoned, tortured or martyred for the Christian faith.

But, I do know the backlash that comes from not siding with the majority. I have been ridiculed in my defense of the Bible. I do know the painful separation of loved ones who walk paths I cannot follow. I know the sting of rejection from expressing unpopular viewpoints.

The shortest distance between a problem and a solution …

…is the distance between your knees and the floor.

Is the shortest distance between a problem and a solution found through prayer as this quote suggests? We all have problems and we are no doubt looking for solutions. But, why do we try to fix problems on our own or enlist the advice of others before we pray?

This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.

Maybe, we are looking for a quick fix. But as I think about it, prayer is the quick fix because God always answers prayer.

A few weeks ago, I encountered the problem of being locked out of my car at the grocery store. My key fob wasn’t working. As I began walking the mile home, praying and venting, I sensed the Lord asking me to thank Him for my blessings. So, I began thanking Him, though it was a little challenging at first.

Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows…,

…but only empties today of its strength.

This quote by Charles Spurgeon about anxiety is so true. Anxiety does not empty tomorrow of its sorrows, but it sure can deplete our strength for today.

This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.

Google defines anxiety as,

A feeling of worry, nervousness, or unease, typically about an imminent event or something with an uncertain outcome.”

I remember my first day of Kindergarten. I was five and anxious about making new friends, my appearance and whether my Mother would pick me up after school.

We have to pray with our eyes on God…

…not on the difficulties.

Do you pray with your eyes on God, or like me, do you sometimes pray with your eyes on your difficulties?

This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.

Life can be overwhelming and at times, it may be hard to look beyond our difficulties and focus on God. We might not even know how to pray when we are suffering.

Perhaps you’re dealing with the loss of a loved one, a financial crisis, an illness or another type of difficulty right now.

We can lose sight of the greatness of God when we focus on the greatness of our difficulties.

We need faith to pray with our eyes on God. Hebrews 11:1 says, 

All our fret and worry is caused by…

calculating without God.

This quote about fret and worry contains timeless and relevant truth. It seems like with each passing day and news headline there is more to fret and worry about than ever before.

This is a guest post by Beth Harris. She is a wife, mother, Bible study leader and volunteer editor for markalanwilliams.net.

But we’re not the first. People struggled with fret and worry during Biblical times.

Jesus Himself said: Therefore, do not worry about tomorrow, for tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.” (Matthew 6:34 NIV)

When we fret and worry, we are calculating without God and leaving Him out of the equation.

We may be concerned about all the “what if’s” and forget that God is in control and that He promises to be with us.