Mariane Doktor, servant and writer

A journey in creativity and faith

Tag: Faith

The Spirit of Love

The mud of rotten flesh seduces
Lying shadows build castles in the air
the castles are prisons
sinners are prisoners…..How is it possible for sinners to learn to love?

A slave of the law

I grew up with the commandments of love. My parents taught me the values of helping and loving other people, but in many ways, it was impossible for me to follow the commandments of love. I believed there was a God, but that was I all I knew. I didn’t love myself and it was hard for me to love other people, because I didn’t know Jesus.

When I was 17 years-old, I met Jesus and became a Christian, but for many years, I did the evil, which I didn’t want to do. “For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.” (Romans 7:19). I often read my Bible, but I couldn’t understand why Paul all the time said I was not allowed to sin. I mourned that it was impossible for me to stop sinning. How was I a new person and how had my old person died? (Ephesians 4) How could I live in the Spirit, and what were the fruits of the Spirit? I tried, I tried and I tried, but I failed. I tried by my own strength and thoughts to love my neighbor, and I never succeeded. Why?

Mark my words! I, Paul, tell you that if you let yourselves be circumcised, Christ will be of no value to you at all.  Again I declare to every man who lets himself be circumcised that he is obligated to obey the whole law. You who are trying to be justified by the law have been alienated from Christ; you have fallen away from grace. For through the Spirit we eagerly await by faith the righteousness for which we hope. For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision has any value. The only thing that counts is faith expressing itself through love. (Gal 5:2-6)

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Meet your fears with faith: Guest post by Jayna Coppedge, a Woman Trusting God (Episode 3)

This is the final episode of my series on fear. I’m very honored to host a fantastic testimony by Jayna Coppedge, who shares how her faith in God helps her endure fear. Please welcome her and write a comment to her.


 

“I have been following the news this week and praying for your daughter. I guess you are praying she will be moved out of there.”

“Thank you, so much for praying for her. Your prayers are probably one of the reasons Steve and I have no fears or worries about her. Although we do pray for her protection, we also pray she can stay.”

A light in the dark I am the second person in the dialogue. I have this conversation numerous times a week, especially now that the United States is sending in air strikes to fight terrorism. For security reasons, I must be vague. My single 29 year-old daughter serves with a faith-based organization in a country where tanks and soldiers with machine guns are normal. Following God’s call, she disciples national believers, explains the gospel in Arabic to the persons with whom she has a relationship, and meets the needs of the refugees that have flooded her country.

This story, though, is not about the young woman. This story is about the God who supplies peace beyond human understanding to me, her mother. Even though believers are martyred in my daughter’s country, I am not fearful.

To understand the magnitude of the miracle, I must give you some history. When I was in seventh grade, my mother worried over my safety so much, she insisted that I carried mace. By the time I was 21, my mother convinced me that I would be a crime statistic. On the nights my husband traveled, I was certain would be attacked if I slept. I laid in bed, clutching a brass candlestick, and reciting every Bible verse I knew. This was the early 1980’s, there were no cell phones, so when he was late coming home, I concluded that he was dead. Fear was my constant companion.

I was always aware of God; salvation came to me very naturally in first grade. Active in my church, I chose a career in the church. Although a minister, I did not believe unconditional love, joy or peace were possible before heaven. Studying diligently, I could teach about God’s love, but I did not feel loved. Satan took all the sermons and examples of God giving peace in the midst of suffering; then rearranged the words to say, “If you trust Jesus, God will make you pay your dues by causing you to suffer”.

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Interview with Christian Poet Billy Charles Root. Come to love Christ for who he is

motif: wire post looking like a cross set against a rising sun

“Build me a bridge/and make it strong/make it stretch from here to heaven/and then paint it with a song […] I will lay myself upon the bridge/and carry the weight of hell/and when it’s over/I will come back.” © Billy Charles Root

I’ve decided to stop writing many times, but my pen will not let go of my hand – or my heart. I love to compose different symphonies of words and letters. Sometimes a creature pops out of my document, and I have to remind myself that words are not alive. It’s not the words that matter, but the life we breathe between the lines. I often ask myself

Why do I write?

Tim Grahl, the president of out:think, a firm that helps writers, says every writer must have a “why”. In his article I hate self-promotion Tim Grahl says a writer must know why he writes. It’s not about the writer, but his writing, the message he wants to share.

I agree with him. My writing is not about me. My WHY is not about becoming famous or rich, neither about my passion for writing. I write because I want to share God’s love with the world. However, I fear myself “For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I” (Romans 7, 15). I abominate my ambitions, pride, and desires for compliments. I fear losing my direction. If I forget my “why”, I must quit writing.

How can I be a Christian writer in 2014? How can I keep my focus?

With those questions in my mind, I called a Christian author on Skype. This September Billy Charles Root won a writing contest at CTU Publishing Group, and published his first book, Pressing On, a collection of Christian poetry, a collection of Billy’s heart of hearts, which he call his poetry. A poet from Oklahoma’s afternoon and a fellow poet from Denmark’s evening met to talk about faith and Christianity, and what it’s like being a Christian writer. Continue reading