Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Feeling Sluggish in Faith? Ask for a System Restore!

I left work Friday a little frustrated with technology.  It’s hard to imagine that one small change in a network could wreak such havoc on everyone, but it can.  One computer “died” so I replaced it with another one we had.  Suddenly neither of the network printers could be used by anyone. It was as though they’d never been there.  By Monday evening, we finally had the host computer and one other networked computer able to use the printers. In the meantime I had gone to a website looking for the recliner Danny wanted for Christmas and found a lovely present – a lovely fake anti virus malware infection! I turned my computer off and went home.

This morning as I turned on my computer I was expecting more trouble. Then I remembered one of the state office computer techs saying that if one could get to system restore, then that virus malware could be defeated. I tried it before my computer finished booting up and yes, thankfully I was able to restore the computer to last Saturday and my crisis was nipped in the bud!

System restore is a greatly needed item for humankind as well.  Even those of us who have given our lives to Christ can get malware running in the background.  The Word says it best - the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes and the pride of life – these things can overtake us. As they do, we find our spirit life running slower and slower, bogged down by earthly things that tend to catch us and hold us captive.  We still may attend church, may join, and may get very involved, but all the time that “stuff” is running in the background.  We find that we must go to our Manufacturer for a full system restore, daily, to keep the virus of our flesh at bay. 

Oh beloved, maybe you have been feeling a little sluggish lately. Everything seems fine, but you just don’t seem to feel the thrill of faith anymore. Or you’ve let your mind wander to things that aren’t of faith.  Run to God’s Word, the Ultimate Technology and let Him give you a system restore! He loves you so much that the Holy Spirit will do this for you without fussing or fuming or lecturing you! He’ll just take you in His arms and revive your spirit. In turn, you will begin to feel revived in your body and mind as well! Oh thank Him this morning that His Restoration is instant and His promises are all True! He is your Maker, so He is your Guide and your Sustainer all the days of your life! Hallelujah! What a Savior!

I John 2:16 For the world offers only a craving for physical pleasure, a craving for everything we see, and pride in our achievements and possessions. These are not from the Father, but are from this world.

Psalm 13:3 Turn and answer me, O LORD my God! Restore the sparkle to my eyes, or I will die.

Psalm 51:12 Restore to me the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You.

Lamentations 3:23 Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Busy Day Ahead? God Can Make it Magnificent!

I gave my son a ride to work and as we were coming into town we were both talking about what it would be like not to have to work every day. I talked about how my retirement fund is growing but not enough for me to retire yet. Jason agreed that it would be nice, some days just to stay home. And then we spied him. The middle aged man who rides a bicycle to work and home, about 5 miles, every single day. Rain or shine.  Cold or hot. He gets on that bicycle and goes to the restaurant and washes dishes and busses tables.  As I saw the bicycle man I said, “never mind”. And my son said, “yeah”.   We both knew and God had spoken. Attitudes adjusted.

When I got home that day, there was a small padded envelope on the couch. Danny asked me to open it and I realized it was probably the necklace I had ordered online.  I was so excited to see it! I opened the padded envelope and pulled out the contents.  It was indeed the necklace and I quickly wrapped it around my neck twice.  I touched the necklace to my chest and was choked with tears. I had “surfed the net” looking for one thing and came upon a website of a young woman, a YOUNG woman from America who had heard God call her to Uganda. She runs a home and helps feed children daily.  Her website says they “help to educate and empower the people of Uganda with God’s love”.  The beads are magnificent, oh they are just made of magazine pages and wire and small plastic spacers, but they are magnificent! By buying that string of multi colored beads, there are little children in Uganda who will go to bed with a full belly.  The mothers in Uganda make the beads by hand. So each time I wear this necklace I will be reminded of many things, not the least of which is to pray for the people of Uganda, especially the mothers.

Oh beloved, as you begin to perform the small things you may be asked to do this day, remember always that you are loved, you are cared for and your life can have purpose.  Whether it’s riding a bicycle to work or making beads to help feed your children, everything we do can be done for Christ. All we have to do is open our morning and give it to Him.  Run to His glorious Words of love and read: all His promises have your name written on them. He dances over you with joy and He speaks sweet words into your heart as His desire is to give you what you never knew you even needed. And look around as you return thanks to Him. For He is worthy of your praise, of your adoration, of your entire heart turned towards Him. Can you hear Him this morning as He sings over you?  It is truly a good day with the Lord now isn’t it?

Proverbs 16:3  Roll your works upon the Lord [commit and trust them wholly to Him; He will cause your thoughts to become agreeable to His will, and] so shall your plans be established and succeed. AMP

1 Peter 5:7 Casting the whole of your care [all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all] on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and cares about you watchfully. AMP

I Peter 1:3 For His divine power has bestowed upon us all things that [are requisite and suited] to life and godliness, through the full, personal] knowledge of Him Who called us by and to His own glory and excellence (virtue). AMP

Psalm 67:3 Let the peoples praise You [turn away from their idols] and give thanks to You, O God; let all the peoples praise and give thanks to You. AMP
(photo used with permission from Amazima Ministries/Kelsey Harrison Photography)

Monday, October 29, 2012

God's Love For You Endures No Matter What!

There’s an old joke about the husband and wife, married many years. One morning the wife says to her husband who is busy reading the paper, “You never tell me you love me”. To which the husband replies, “I told you the day we got married.  If anything changes I’ll let you know” as he resumes reading the paper.  Obviously he was content with that. Obviously she was not.

There are some things we need to hear over and over. A statement from the heart about love is one of them. Kids thrive on it. Adults respond to it. Even pets enjoy the master saying in baby dog talk, “I wuv you!”

There are some things we need to know are true no matter what else goes on in our lives. One of the greatest things to know, to cherish in your heart, regardless of what life throws at you is that God Loves You! He says it often. He speaks it into your heart every chance He gets.

His True love is not indifferent. It is not apathetic, unresponsive or unconcerned. God’s love takes you personally. His nature is love, so that everything about you is loved. And everything about Him speaks love to you. 

I know we live in a world where apathy is rampant and forever is impossible! But God is True! And His Word shows His feelings about you! Although He is not bound by His feelings, He certainly feels incredible perfect love for you.  Love created you before you were known in your mother’s womb. Love made a way for you when Christ went to the cross. Love gives you purpose and freedom to be all that He intends for you to be! Love comes after you when you go astray. Love steps in to guard you when other things try to distract you.  Love is perfection that covers your imperfections.

Oh beloved!  Rejoice this morning as you talk with the Love of your life! He’s always on your side, always with you and always speaks in Love! Take His Love Story for you from the bookshelf this morning and read! All of His love songs were written for you! Daily He says “I love you!” and daily He yearns for your response for His love is active! His love will take you through the pain, the sorrow, the mourning and give you a fresh start every single day. Although His love is forever and it never changes, He still speaks it into your life always! The King of Kings and the Lord of Lords is your Jehovah –Nissi, your Banner of Love!

Exodus 17:154 Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”).

Psalm 121:5  The LORD himself watches over you! The LORD stands beside you as your protective shade.

Isaiah 52:12  You will not leave in a hurry, running for your lives. For the LORD will go ahead of you; yes, the God of Israel will protect you from behind.

Psalm 69:16  Answer my prayers, O LORD, for Your unfailing love is wonderful. Take care of me, for Your mercy is so plentiful.

Psalm 136:1-3    Give thanks to the Lord, for He is good! His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the God of gods. His faithful love endures forever. Give thanks to the Lord of lords. His faithful love endures forever.

Lamentations 3:22-23  The faithful love of the Lord never ends! His mercies never cease. Great is His faithfulness; His mercies begin afresh each morning.

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Feeling Rejected? Never Fear God will Always Be With You!

Danny and I were sharing things about our life with friends last week. He said, “We would have gotten married immediately if she’d been more than 16!”  It blessed my heart to know that he felt that way.  Those words were spoken because of love. The love he has for me is different from banana nut bread love or sci-fi movie love. He loves both of those! But he LOVES me.  I am set apart from any other love he has. He took me as his own and I took his name as mine.  He made a home and brought me to it.  Everything he owned became mine too. There was no question.  He never said, “no that’s mine” or “you can’t have that” or “don’t touch it”.  Rather he gave it all freely to me.  Because he loves me , he’s never taken one thing back.  Still freely given.  To this day. As he said that day so long ago, “From this day forward…” To experience true love, real love, is quite amazing. To know that a person would give themselves so completely to you is astounding. I didn’t bring a dowry, I didn’t own a thing. I had nothing to bring into the marriage but me and yet that was enough for Danny.  

I know that you may have experienced rejection at the hand of one you loved, or the hand of a family member, a boss or a spiritual leader. Rejection hits at the core of our being. It says to the one who is rejected, you are not good enough, you are a problem, you caused this…and more. You may be dealing with the rejection of a friend who you thought would be there forever. Rejection can come in the form of denial, denunciation or dismissal. It can come privately or publicly.  Rejection could be recent and feeling like a fresh cut needing stitches or it could be a festering wound from childhood.  You may find sorrow in the rejection but you can find joy in the fact that you are betrothed to the One Who will never leave you or forsake you!

Oh beloved, how God loves you! He has called you to be His own. He has set you apart for His purpose.  He has a Home reserved just for you and He will take you there. In the meantime your home is His heart! Everything, yes, everything is yours, In Him. His Word is full of the blessings of the bride of Christ. As a bride you have been made complete, you are given the keys to the Kingdom and your future is totally secure.   Run to His Word and read your Marriage Certificate! It’s signed and sealed by the Blood of the Lamb! No force on earth can block it, no spirit in the air can quench it and no foe can defeat it! Halleujah to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords!

Isaiah 54:5 “For your husband is your Maker, Whose name is the LORD of hosts; And your Redeemer is the Holy One of Israel, Who is called the God of all the earth.

Ephesians 3:19 May you experience the love of Christ, though it is too great to understand fully. Then you will be made complete with all the fullness of life and power that comes from God.

1 John 4:18 There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves punishment, and the one who fears is not perfected in love.

Ezekial 16:60 Nevertheless, I will remember My covenant with you in the days of your youth, and I will establish an everlasting covenant with you.

Ephesians 1:3 All praise to God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ.

Psalm 118:29  Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever

Psalm 94:14 The LORD will not reject His people;  He will not abandon His special possession.

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Don't Sweep It Under the Rug - Give it to the Lord

Blake announced to his mother that Monday was his last day of school.  He no longer wants to go. She asked him to elaborate. He asked her if she remembered him telling her he missed her during nap time the first week? She said she remembered and then he said, “I don’t want to miss you again”.  They had a great time spending 4 days at Iron Mountain CMA Campground.  Out of his usual routine he wasn’t sure he wanted to return to the daily grind.

Again on Tuesday he reminded her that he was finished with school. Nap time bothers him. He says that’s when he misses her the most.  I told his mother that it was probably because it got quiet.  In the rush of playing, working and eating, there’s no time to think about missing his mother or any other problems he has.

We’re like that aren’t we? We have issues. So we get busy. There, like sweeping dirt under the rug, it’s gone again.  We have a problem so we get busier. We’re reminded of hurts, so we try our best to avoid that hurtful thought.  That mound of dirt underneath the rug of our lives gets larger and larger until we can long longer stuff it down, or beat it away. But in the quiet we are forced to review the things that bother us.

Oh beloved, God is speaking into your life this morning and He says Don’t fear the past, the troubles, those things which disappoint, discourage or depress you – I have gone with you.  Don’t fear the present, I am now with you and I will stay with you. There’s no need to fear what’s yet to come for I have gone ahead of you to give you hope and a future.  I AM your spiritual antidote for what ails your heart. I care more about your heart condition than you can imagine and I will heal it for you!

Run to the Lord this morning and open His Book of Healing! Remember always that this amazing book, written by the hand of the One Who loves you and put the stars in orbit, contains everything you need for your past, for your present and for your future! His love and His mercy have come to give you a fresh start for your day and a fresh anointing for your ministry. It’s time to let the Lord have every problem and move on with Him as He gives you His ministry of reconciliation as He reconciles you to Him. He loves you with total abandon and He’s for you forever and that’s truly all that really matters!

Psalm 119:28  I weep with sorrow; encourage me by Your word.

Psalm 119:172  Let my tongue sing about your word, for all your commands are right.

John 17:17 Make them holy by Your Truth; teach them Your Word, which is truth.

Isaiah 58:8  “Then your salvation will come like the dawn, and your wounds will quickly heal. Your godliness will lead you forward, and the glory of the LORD will protect you from behind.

Psalm 28:7  The LORD is my strength and shield. I trust him with all my heart. He helps me, and my heart is filled with joy. I burst out in songs of thanksgiving.

Psalm 118:15  Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things!

Deuteronomy 31:8 Do not be afraid or discouraged, for the Lord will personally go ahead of you. He will be with you; he will neither fail you nor abandon you.

Friday, October 26, 2012

In the Dark? God Wants to Light Your Way!

I woke up in the night to find that the electricity is off in our neighborhood. It’s dark out! Not even a street light has been left on. Diona texted me to see if I was awake. She said Blake woke up crying because it was so dark. Pitch black is hard to deal with any time. Fortunately for us, the power has returned just now and we can move on.

I know you may be waking up this morning feeling totally in the dark. You’ve been hit with a power outage and you can’t see when it’s ever going to lighten up. Darkness seems to loom all around you and you grope to find the way. You try to make sense of the situation you’re in but it’s hard to when you’re hurting and reeling in the dark.

Oh beloved, run to the Lord, the Father of Lights! There is no shadow or turning in Him for He is the Light of the World! Yes, hard times can come on us as surprisingly as a power outage, but with the Lord as our light we never have to experience true loss of power! Our power for living is found in Him! He is the source of all answers to life’s dark times and He is the restorer of our power when things go dark. He not only goes with us, He lights the way so that even the darkness is dispelled before us. He says to you this morning Give Me your darkness – those areas of your life that make no sense or that you cannot control – I will make them as bright daytime for you as you lean closer and closer to My Light. I will never leave you in the dark or forsake you as you try to walk through those hard places. I AM trustworthy faithful and true. You are my beloved and I AM your Lord. One day you will see what I already know – that your good and My Glory are the outcome of every situation of life for you are Mine.

Run to His Word and see! All His promises are yours for you are bought with a price and cared for by the Creator of the Universe! Rejoice in Him regardless of the dark and wait in peace until the light returns! He loves you and He’s for you and that’s all that matters!

I John 1:5 This is the message we heard from Jesus and now declare to you: God is light, and there is no darkness in Him at all.

Job 12:22 He uncovers mysteries hidden in darkness; He brings light to the deepest gloom.

Psalm 18:28 You light a lamp for me. The LORD, my God, lights up my darkness.

Psalm 112:4 Light shines in the darkness for the godly. They are generous, compassionate, and righteous.

Isaiah 49:9 I will say to the prisoners, ‘Come out in freedom,’ and to those in darkness, ‘Come into the light.’ They will be My sheep, grazing in green pastures and on hills that were previously bare.

John 12:46 I have come as a light to shine in this dark world, so that all who put their trust in Me will no longer remain in the dark.

Thursday, October 25, 2012

Pest Problems? Let Christ Be Your Remedy

When we returned home from the CMA Rally last week, we found that we had ants on the kitchen cabinets, lady bugs on the ceilings and moths were hanging here and there.  There was also a big spider web in the corner of the living room. Pests had taken up residence while we were gone!  We left our home locked and safe, yet intruders had gotten in.  It took some doing, but we got the ants under control, vacuumed the lady bugs and swiped the cobwebs from the corners.  We could have left them alone and let nature take its course, but we’d have had a bigger problem on our hands.  Even though we had mounds of clothes to wash and loads of camping equipment to put away, we took care of those little problems first.  Pests come when we least expect them. Even at camp, although our camper was snug and our zipper stayed closed, as we closed our camper up, we found a black widow spider crawling right at the doorway. 

Are you living with the pests of life? Regrets meeting you at every doorway? Are there cobwebs of sorrow lurking in the corners of your mind? Thoughts of unrealized hopes could be hanging from the ceiling of your life.  Fears dance across the counters on a daily basis. Every time you try to wipe them away they reappear as though you’ve done nothing about them!

Oh beloved, run to the Lord! He has the best Pest Control Guidebook in the universe! He has a remedy for every problem you’ve encountered in the past. What’s more, His control takes care of the present and the future! His Word limits the greatest enemy of your heart, the devil, and makes your life sound, sealed and delivered! His love for you is limitless, His care for you is round the clock and His plans for your future are laid out for you to receive! Let Him be all that He is for you and rejoice as He reminds you daily that you are loved and He is with you forever!

Psalm 32:5 I acknowledged my sin to You, and my iniquity I did not hide; I said, “I will confess my transgressions to the LORD”; And You forgave the guilt of my sin. (NAS)

Psalm 104:34 May all my thoughts be pleasing to Him, for I rejoice in the LORD.

Psalm 18:2 The LORD is my rock, my fortress, and my savior; my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety.

Proverbs 19:23 Fear of the LORD leads to life, bringing security and protection from harm.

Psalm 31:19 How great is the goodness You have stored up for those who fear You. You lavish it on those who come to You for protection, blessing them before the watching world.

Wednesday, October 24, 2012

God is On Your Side and He Adores You!

My father was an independent man. He left home at age 16 and joined the Navy. He visited home occasionally but never returned to stay. I was born when he was 56 years old. He had traveled the world and showed up in the drug store of the Driscoll Hotel in Corpus Christi Texas where my mother worked.  He swept the 41 year old woman off her feet and the rest is history.  Not all of my father’s history was good. Looking deeper into the layers of his life you’ll find a father who was distant and unforgiving.  My father’s mother died after giving birth to him. My grandfather held it against him all of his life.  One of his most sorrowful moments as a child was when, in anger, his father hit him in the head with a well pulley. My father was out for days and the family wasn’t sure if he’d survive. But survive he did. His grandmother protected him while she was alive but eventually she died and he was left to fend for himself. As soon as he could he escaped.

I know the past can be hard to overcome. You may have been too sheltered and find it hard to deal with life. You may have been abused physically, emotionally or verbally.   You might never have been told that God even existed, much less that He loves you and has a marvelous plan for your life. You may have turned your back on your raising because it was just not good. Just as my father became independent, you too may have vowed “I don’t need anyone”. 

Oh beloved, it’s time to escape! Escape to the One Who can heal you of all scars, protect you from all harm and see you through all troubles!  His Name is Abba Father and He knew your name before you were born! His plan for you began before the world was formed.  Although life can be harsh, trials and tests can appear for a while, you have nothing to fear for your Father God is watching over you.  Your independence will not get you where you really want to go, for without the Lord of Heaven and Earth guiding your steps you will continue to fall short.  Let Him love you today! Let Him heal you in every way! Let Him hold you close as He whispers to you: I AM the Lord Who heals you and I will take whatever happened in your past and turn it out for your good and My Glory! All you have to do is give Me the opportunity by turning it all over to Me. I love you and I AM on your side and that’s all that really matters, in the past, right now and in the future!

1 Chronicles 29:11 Yours, O LORD, is the greatness, the power, the glory, the victory, and the majesty. Everything in the heavens and on earth is yours, O LORD, and this is your kingdom. We adore you as the one who is over all things.

Revelation 4:11 “You are worthy, O Lord our God, to receive glory and honor and power. For You created all things, and they exist because you created what you pleased.”

Exodus 6:7 I will claim you as My own people, and I will be your God. Then you will know that I AM the LORD your God who has freed you from your oppression in Egypt.

Psalm 75:3 When the earth quakes and its people live in turmoil, I AM the one who keeps its foundations firm.

Isaiah 45:3 And I will give you treasures hidden in the darkness— secret riches. I will do this so you may know that I AM the LORD, the God of Israel, the one who calls you by name.

Isaiah 57:19  bringing words of praise to their lips. May they have abundant peace, both near and far,” says the LORD, who heals them.

Tuesday, October 23, 2012

Rescued to Live Loved Forever!

My grandchildren love super heroes! There are so many to watch. Movies to cartoons have the characters that come to the rescue, help the distressed and deliver the captives.  They also do their best to destroy the bad guys.  Super heroes have infinite power and unstoppable strengths.  They are awesome and available for any situation.  It’s great to have a few movies and shows left where there is a definite bad guy and definite good guy.  The lines have been blurred in our society so that no one is very bad or very good. 

My brother was my first super hero.  He has always been a blessing to me, but as a child I looked up to him for protection and hugs.  He was tall, handsome and strong. Although he was 13 years older than me, he always took time for his little sister.  He made a snowman for me when we had a rare Houston snow, brought me a doll for Christmas when he was in the Navy and we continue to love one another whenever we get the chance.  We talk often and well, he’s just “super”!

Super heroes abound in the world of faith as well. From Billy Sunday to Billy Graham and Smith Wigglesworth to Beth Moore, there are super heroes for any personality or problem.  I find myself reading quotes from them occasionally and finding great solace in their words.

I think though that brothers (and sisters) in Christ are the greatest super heroes. Those folks who stay by your side, speak love and encouragement into your life and walk beside you when times are hard.  They are average citizens by birth but giants of the faith by re-birth.  They hang in there, they are approachable and they stick with you when others walk away or speak negatively.

Oh beloved, I pray this morning that you have super hero friends in faith! But above all I pray that you know that Christ Himself is our perfect Super Hero! He will always be with you. He can always be trusted. His ways are perfect for any way you find yourself in – whether it’s the way of pain, suffering, discouragement, or abandonment. You may be kicked to the curb, left to the wolves, placed in the trash or told you are unwanted.  But the King of Kings says you are made perfect, have a new start, generously loved, greatly needed, always remembered and eternally cared for. An ordinary king might consider you beneath himself, but not Our King! He left the Throne of Heaven to grant you ultimate Victory! Rejoice this morning that you live loved forever! Rejoice that you are part of His Kingdom! Rejoice that you are never alone! His plans for you are wonderful and as you cling closer to Him, His plan will unfold before you! Oh what a Savior, oh what a friend!

Isaiah 42:13 The LORD will march forth like a mighty Hero; He will come out like a warrior, full of fury. He will shout His battle cry and crush all His enemies.

Acts 2:25 King David said this about Him: ‘I see that the LORD is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.

Romans 10:12 Jew and Gentile are the same in this respect. They have the same Lord, who gives generously to all who call on Him.

Psalm 109:21 But deal well with me, O Sovereign LORD, for the sake of Your own reputation! Rescue me because You are so Faithful and Good.

Psalm 68:4 Sing praises to God and to His name! Sing loud praises to Him who rides the clouds. His name is the LORD— rejoice in His presence!

Monday, October 22, 2012

You Can Trust God When You're "Done"

Children’s Hospital was the location for two year old Caleb’s procedure last week.  They were not looking forward to him being put to sleep. It also concerned them because he has separation anxiety – he never wants to be away from his mother.  Diona said that after she told the nurses that, they brought Caleb a little pink medicine and sure enough it did the trick! He began to relax and no longer care what was going on. They wheeled him away on the gurney without incident and put him to sleep.

The procedure was done quickly and when he began waking up Diona and Eddie were able to go back to the recovery room.  They found Caleb trying to wake up. It took a few minutes but sure enough he got wide awake.  Then he began to attempt pulling out his iv and taking off the oxygen from his nose. Then he wanted loose from the oxygen monitor on his toe! He kept saying “socks” and “shoes”.  He repeatedly said “Done!” He was done with it and he was ready to leave.  “Done.”

Oh beloved, are you done? Are you tired of the situation and ready to just throw your hands up and say “Done”?  You’ve prayed, you’ve hoped, you’ve relaxed, you’ve recited Scripture and yet things are a tangled mess.  You’re tied up in knots and you’re ready to just walk away.  You feel you’ve given it enough time and now it’s just time to go. You’re disappointed, concerned and worn out. 

Run to the Word and drink freely of His Truth! It will calm your nerves, cure your fears and keep you hanging in there until the situation is over.  God says to you this morning that He can untie those knots and release you from the tangles if you’ll just give it all to Him. He says, I Know what you’re going through and I AM with you! While circumstances seem hopeless, with Me nothing is ever hopeless. 

Trust in the Lord and let Him love you to victory. He will go before you and lead you where you need to go. He will also keep you while you’re on the gurney of life! No separation anxiety with the Lord for He loves you and He’s always with you and that’s all that matters!

Psalm 40:3  He has given me a new song to sing, a hymn of praise to our God. Many will see what he has done and be amazed. They will put their trust in the LORD.

Psalm 91:14  The LORD says, “I will rescue those who love Me. I will protect those who trust in My Name.

Psalm 59:9  You are my strength; I wait for you to rescue me, for you, O God, are my fortress.

Isaiah 30:18 So the LORD must wait for you to come to Him so He can show you His love and compassion. For the LORD is a faithful God. Blessed are those who wait for His help.

Jeremiah 14:22  Can any of the worthless foreign gods send us rain? Does it fall from the sky by itself? No, You are the one, O LORD our God! Only You can do such things. So we will wait for You to help us.

Sunday, October 21, 2012

In the Dark? Learn to Carry the Light with You!

It’s been a great week. There’s been some of the most awesome preaching ever. We’ve had excellent fellowship with wonderful friends. We’ve made new friendships as well. We’ve had truth sown into our lives and we’ve sown truth into others’ lives. Some of the CMA’ers participated in the 5K walk/run. A couple of CMA’ers are regular runners and they did that every morning.

Before daylight it’s quite dark around here. There is the occasional streetlight that pours out bright light nearby and everyone can see there. Those bright lights don’t go out very far though. Unless the runners carry a light with them to light the way, they have a hard time seeing. They could, I guess, just run around near the streetlights but they wouldn’t get anywhere. Without their own flashlight, the draw to the big lights can disorient and cause you to veer off your path.

Coming to Christian rallies and going to revivals is a lot like hanging out under a streetlight. We could spend all our time here. We don’t want to leave. Like the disciples, upon seeing Jesus, we say, this is great, let’s build a city here! But we’re given the mandate to go into all the world. How can we see in the dark unless we carry the light with us?

Oh beloved, run to the Light of God’s Word. Let Him sow Truth into your life. Let Him speak words of love, encouragement and faith into your heart! Go,whenever you can, to hear great speakers and Bible teachers. They are there for your benefit and are an incredible blessing. But when you go, go in the Power of the Lord! He will light your path daily with His wonderful Word and He’ll help you stay on course with His loving instructions. He knows that you may be going home to hard times or tough circumstances, but as you shine His light on your path, you will find strength for the journey and relief for the road you are on. He loves you, beloved, and He’s for you and that Truth will light your way, even when you are going alone. For truly, you are never alone as long as you carry the Light of His Word!

Isaiah 42:16 I will lead blind Israel down a new path, guiding them along an unfamiliar way. I will brighten the darkness before them and smooth out the road ahead of them. Yes, I will indeed do these things; I will not forsake them.

Psalm 89:15 Happy are those who hear the joyful call to worship, for they will walk in the light of your presence, LORD.

Isaiah 2:5 Come, descendants of Jacob, let us walk in the light of the LORD!

John 8:12 Jesus spoke to the people once more and said, “I am the light of the world. If you follow me, you won’t have to walk in darkness, because you will have the light that leads to life.

Colossians 1:12 always thanking the Father. He has enabled you to share in the inheritance that belongs to his people, who live in the light.

Friday, October 19, 2012

Life Can Get out of Adjustment! Time to Apply His Word.

My mother went to the chiropractor whenever she felt her back bothering her. He explained to her the importance of the spine being in alignment for your overall health. Poor posture could cause other problems. She wasn’t sure what he did on those visits, but she knew she felt better. The results were worth the trip to the next town for a visit.

Life can get out of adjustment. Things can begin to look out of kilter and cause us problems. Sometimes it’s just life itself that has us troubled. Maybe you’ve prayed and prayed for a situation but you’ve seen no progress. You’re about ready to give up. It could be that you are hearing bad reports about your life. Someone may have told you you’re worthless, useless, hopeless or more. You’re beginning to feel bent over from the weight of the things you’re carrying. It’s hard to get up and get out of bed because you’re just frazzled and tied in knots inside as you try to figure out how you got here, why you’re having trouble and when there will ever be relief.

Oh beloved! It’s time to run to the Great Physician for an adjustment! Let Him speak Truth into your life and get back in alignment with that Truth so that you can walk with power and continue on to Victory! God’s Word is your source of healing for your health, your heart, and your emotions. The Physician says that He hears your prayers and He delights in answering them according to His Word, so find the Word for your situation and cling to that! His Words to you are always full of love and He says you are beautiful, you are important and you are His! He will lovingly adjust your thinking as you take in His medicine, the Word of God. And each time you begin to falter, if you turn to His Word, the adjustment will come every time.

Unlike going to the chiropractor which requires traveling there and getting an appointment, hoping that you might be able to get a visit, the Lord is always on call and He’s only a prayer away! Thank Him this morning that He loves you and He’s on your side, for that’s all that really matters.

Psalm 119:25 I lie in the dust; revive me by Your Word.

Psalm 119:28 I weep with sorrow; encourage me by Your Word.

Psalm 119:172 Let my tongue sing about Your Word, for all Your commands are right.

John 17:17 Make them holy by Your truth; teach them Your word, which is truth.

Psalm 139:17 How precious are your thoughts about me, O God. They cannot be numbered!

Ephesians 4:23 Instead, let the Spirit renew your thoughts and attitudes.

Philippians 4:8 And now, dear brothers and sisters, one final thing. Fix your thoughts on what is true, and honorable, and right, and pure, and lovely, and admirable. Think about things that are excellent and worthy of praise.

Wednesday, October 17, 2012

Duct Tape Can't Fix Everything, but God Can!

It usually rains during the Changing of the Colors Rally. In fact it used to rain so much that in the 80’s we had rally pins in the shape of rubber boots, umbrellas and raindrops. It became nicknamed “the rain rally”. This year was no different. On Saturday night it came a deluge, along with high winds and thunder and lightning. We went to bed in the comfort of our bunkhouse but Danny woke up about 3am to check things out. He found that we had a huge weight of water in one area of our roof and that the canopy we had out front had totally collapsed along with the metal frame. When we got up the next morning, Danny removed the folded up the ruined frame and pitched it in the trash. It had wind damage before as it was one of the flimsier type of canopies, but I noticed the two places where we’d repaired the frame previously with duct tape had still held.

Duct tape is pretty awesome. It now comes in fashion colors and prints as well! From fluorescent pink to black with skulls you can find a duct tape to meet your needs both in function and fashion. Even our oldest granddaughter wants some of the stuff. No matter what design you use, there is an intended use for the stuff that everyone employs. It’s used to re-attach loose parts, splint broken pieces and cover holes. Things that are messed up and need to be discarded can be made usable again with a simple application of a simple “tool”.

Oh beloved! This morning you may feel that your life is coming apart at the seams. Is there brokenness that you feel may never be fixed? Maybe you have been discarded and told that you are no longer of any use. With all that life has thrown at you, you may be feeling torn in the heart or ripped to the core. You may even be thinking that you’re ready for the junk heap. But hold on! Run to the Lord and let Him apply His Word to your life. The Word is able to cover every problem. Unlike duct tape, the Word is no temporary fix!

God says to you, I AM total restoration! I AM able to make all things new! My repairs are permanent because I AM able! My love for you is permanent and My Word is a stronger bond than anything life has to offer. Run to Me and let Me love you through your problems and on to victory! I will never leave you or forsake you for you are Mine!

Jeremiah 30:17 I will give you back your health and heal your wounds,” says the LORD. “For you are called an outcast…”

Joel 2:25-26 “Then I will make up to you for the years That the swarming locust has eaten, The creeping locust, the stripping locust and the gnawing locust, My great army which I sent among you. “You will have plenty to eat and be satisfied And praise the name of the LORD your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; Then My people will never be put to shame.

Psalm 71:20-21 You have allowed me to suffer much hardship,but you will restore me to life again and lift me up from the depths of the earth. You will restore me to even greater honor

and comfort me once again.

Jeremiah 32:27 I AM the LORD, the God of all the peoples of the world. Is anything too hard for me?

Tuesday, October 16, 2012

Dangers Abound! But God is Greater!

A rattlesnake, 2 tarantulas and a scorpion have been found in areas across the CMA Campground. Our little Caleb picked up a stick by our campsite and got stung by a wasp. Sounds like a dangerous place to be! There are hidden dangers as well – old stump holes, piles of leaves, potholes and more.

If we concentrated on the dangers we’d just pick up camp and go home. Why take the chance? Go find a safe place and hide out there. The only problem with this thinking is the same risks are found at home. All I have to do is look around and see: spiders in the corners, wasps on the eaves and snakes in the grass. I can spend all my time looking for these and more. No matter what I do, dangers still abound.

Oh beloved, what are you concentrating on? If you concentrate only on troubles and seek to avoid them, you will be frustrated and sleepless. But if you will look to the Lord and seek His face these barriers will no longer seem so big. Rather, God will increase your faith and make your way less fraught with concern. He says to you this morning Turn your eyes on Me. Yes,there are dangers lurking everywhere but I AM over all and I AM your source of safety for all your spiritual, emotional and physical life. I AM the One who sets your feet upon the Rock and gives you sure footing throughout your life so that you can live for Me free of the fears that keep others from moving on to higher things. Your heart and your soul belong to Me so let Me teach you how to be fearless and overcome!

Run to His Word today and read for it is the Ultimate Safety Manual! God loves you perfectly and watches over you continually. His plan for you is magnificent as you turn your eyes away from worldly cares and look full in His Wonderful Face!

2 Samuel 22:3  my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence.

Job 11:18 Having hope will give you courage. You will be protected and will rest in safety.

Psalm 16:9 No wonder my heart is glad, and I rejoice. My body rests in safety.

John 16:33 I have told you all this so that you may have peace in me. Here on earth you will have many trials and sorrows. But take heart, because I have overcome the world.”

Isaiah 41:10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you. Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you. I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.

Ezekiel 34:31 You are my flock, the sheep of my pasture. You are my people, and I am your God. I, the Sovereign LORD, have spoken!”

Sunday, October 14, 2012

Whisper His Name! He is with You Always!

When we got ready to leave for the Rally our 5 year old grandson wanted to come with us. Since they’ve moved across the street, we get to see each other every day. He enjoys grandparent time, especially wowaw, as he has her wrapped around his little finger! We were packed up and ready to get in the car and I was hugging the babies one more time. Blake came up to me and whispered, “Wowaw, don’t left me.” Well, of course my heart wanted to say, come on boy, let’s go! Leave school behind! Who cares? Instead I reminded him that he had school and that he’d see us at the end of the week. He seemed to be okay with that and we came on to the mountain.

There are times in our lives when we don’t want to let go of those people places or things that bring us comfort. We’re attached emotionally and it’s comforting. There are other times when we go through hard places and we just want to cry out to God, “Don’t leave me!” Or we wonder, “Have you left me Lord?” We wonder as God leads us to make decisions that mean giving up something or moving away from someone, why do we have to do this? While God doesn’t always “make” us give things up, He can. He has every right to lead us wherever He needs us to go.

Oh beloved, whenever you whisper His Name He is there! Whatever you have to turn loose of or say bye to, He’s with you. While people, places and things are subject to change, He is not! He is Unchangeable! His love for you is extravagant and enduring and yet He’s not bound by emotion. He can be trusted! Whatever it is that you’re going through, whatever it is that He’s speaking into your life right now, you can know it’s for your best and His glory! He says to you this morning, trust Me! I will tell you where to go but I never expect you to go alone. I will lead you by the way you knew not, but when we arrive, you and I together, I will show you the beauty of My will. I AM that I AM and you can always rely on Me!

Seek His face today! He’s showering you with affection and joy! He loves you and He’s for you and His plan for you is Heavenly!

Psalm 40:5 Oh Lord My God, You have performed wonders for us. Your plans for us are too numerous to list. You have no equal. If I tried to recite all your wonderful deeds, I would never come to the end of them.

Psalm 57:2 I cry out to God Most High. To God who will fulfill His purpose for me.

Psalm 43:3 Send out Your light and Your truth; let them guide me. Let them lead me to Your Holy Mountain, to the place where You live.

Psalm 84:12 O LORD of heaven’s armies, what joy for those who trust in You.

Friday, October 12, 2012

To Sail on with the Lord You Must let Go of the Shore

Stella is getting sturdier on her feet. While she’s not walking alone all across the floor yet, she will let go of one piece of furniture and take a couple of steps to the next one. It takes her a moment. She will hold on with one hand and spy her next spot. Then after careful consideration, you can see her little mind working, she lets go and goes for the next one.  It’s cute and we all applaud and whoop! Sometimes she doesn’t quite make it and down she goes.  When she first started, she cried every time she went down. Now she just plops and readjusts.  Sometimes her brothers get right in her way just as she steps and down again she goes.

We often want to set out into uncharted waters. We’re certain in our hearts that something is over there. But by our calculations it’s a pretty wide chasm. We wonder about the dangers ahead. We wonder about the things that could get in our way.  We think we hear the Lord beckoning us to let go of the shore, but it’s a daunting process.  Can we trust ourselves? What if we get loose and go down?

Oh beloved, it’s time to set sail. It’s time to reach beyond your present circumstances. It’s time to move out of your fears, your mistakes, your troubles and move on into the future. If you belong to the Lord, your life is no longer your own.  He says to you, let Me take you beyond yourself. Let Me relieve your fears and show you how to live free of the ropes that hold you so tightly to your present shore. It’s beautiful ahead and I am choosing to use you to follow Me. Unless you’re willing to let go of your present comfort, you will never truly set sail with Me.

Yes, the waters may be deeper, there may be obstacles ahead, but with the Lord’s applause as you go, what else is needed? He loves you and together you and He will do marvelous things with your life! He’s on your side so every worry is taken care of, and every fear is calmed. Set sail today for this is the day you have!

 John 10:4 After He has gathered His own flock, He walks ahead of them, and they follow Him because they know His voice.

Hebrews 10:23  Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.

Psalm 121:3 He will not let you stumble; the one who watches over you will not slumber.



Thursday, October 11, 2012

From 10/10/12 Remembering Matt Turner

This is from a post on Remembering Matt Turner Wall on Facebook. For those of you who would like to see it or share it, here you go. 

As I wake up this morning and ponder all the things going on in my life, I just have to sit and mourn for a moment with one of our local families. Today is the day they will lay to rest one of our own. Matt Turner, Awana member and later youth member with my own kids, lost his life in a car accident on Saturday evening. People all across America lose family members every day. And this young man was no more loved than anyone else’s father, son, husband…but for us in Arkadelphia and in Arkansas, it is especially tragic. His father, who was our pastor for many years, lost his battle with leukemia a few years ago. His mother, a fellow Sunday School member, was always a perfect pastor’s wife.

I watched the news shows about Matt’s life. Matt wasn’t just our kid in our town, he was a newscaster in Arkansas. One story especially touched my heart and made me laugh. His little daughter, 10 months old, got to see a monkey in real life. The monkey touched Matt’s head and then began licking the hairspray from his hands. I chuckled as I remembered that Gary Turner’s hair was never messed up! We even did a skit at church camp where we sold special hair spray – the Gary Turner brand.

Lisa came by my office not long ago and I shared with her that everyone thought Gary was the strong one, but it was actually Lisa who was strong. She responded that you just do what you have to do and you trust God to get you through it. Her strength in God is showing through yet again.

For those of us in Arkadelphia, we are mourning the loss of our pastor again through this tragedy. We mourn for the little girl who won’t remember her daddy. We mourn for the young wife whose marriage was cut off too early and I especially mourn for the mother who is never expected to outlive her children. We mourn for things we cannot hope to understand this side of heaven. Bro. Gary himself told us that in the video he made before he passed away. Live for Jesus.

Oh beloved, today is all we have. It’s fleeting. It’s short. I hope you will settle your arguments. I hope you will forgive your mistakes and those of others. I hope you will mend fences and break bread. I hope you will look beyond one another’s faults and see that everybody is worth knowing, worth loving and worth forgiving. For Christ forgave us when we were surely unforgiveable.

Won’t you make that call today? Won’t you give that hug you’ve been withholding? Won’t you just let it all go and run to the Father’s Arms and let Him hold you and console you. Let Him make all things new and fresh. His mercies are renewed daily. And, let Him guide you to make today be your best day ever. You are loved by God, you are important to Him and that really is all that matters. (((HUGS)))

2 Corinthians 4:7 But we have this treasure in earthen vessels, so that the surpassing greatness of the power will be of God and not from ourselves;

Romans 14:8 for if we live, we live for the Lord, or if we die, we die for the Lord; therefore whether we live or die, we are the Lord’s.

7.2 Corinthians 5:15 and He died for all, so that they who live might no longer live for themselves, but for Him who died and rose again on their behalf.

Colossians 3:12-13 So, as those who have been chosen of God, holy and beloved, put on a heart of compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience; bearing with one another, and forgiving each other, whoever has a complaint against anyone; just as the Lord forgave you, so also should you.

Ephesians 4:32 Be kind to one another, tender-hearted, forgiving each other, just as God in Christ also has forgiven you.

Hijacked by Malicious Thinking? Run to God's Word for Protection!

One of my friends was telling me yesterday that when she got home from work she discovered a pop up on her computer.  It read that it was a warning from the FBI, something like this “Warning. Your computer has been blocked due to illegal downloads of music.” It went on to give detailed instructions to go to the local discount store, purchase a $200 money card and go to their website. Enter that money in the website for the fine and the owner of the computer would then have their computer unlocked. Imagine the person who has been downloading music finding this on their computer. The hijacker who built the program desires to get rich at the expense of an unwitting computer owner.  

Malware. Malicious programming appearing real that hijacks your computer. Some malware is fairly benign. Other programs are serious business. From minor irritation to complete ruination of the hard drive, malware is rampant. If we don’t keep our virus software updated and turned on anyone one of us is subject to succumbing to this nuisance.

We too as believers are subject to malicious programming.  The enemy of our souls wants to speak lies and half truths into our hearts. His desire is to strike terror and make us believe we have to pay over and over again for things in our life that we try to overcome.  If he can hijack our faith he can render us useless in the Kingdom of God.

Oh beloved, are you feeling tortured by past regrets and future fears? Are they playing over and over in the screen of your mind and heart? Have you tried to pay up only to find that the cost is way too high? Run to the Lord this morning and tell Him all your troubles. He will restore you to right standing with Him and He will wipe your life clean by His atoning blood.  Not only that, His Word is your best protection against the viruses of life that will try to come back on you.  His love is your complete protection, His Word is your soul survival and His promises are your road of blessing. Unlike computer hijacks that can wipe out your computer, God’s Word always restores and always covers so that we can always walk in the Light of His Word! What a Savior! What a Protector! Thank Him today for His unspeakable gift!

2 Samuel 22:3 my God is my rock, in whom I find protection. He is my shield, the power that saves me, and my place of safety. He is my refuge, my savior, the one who saves me from violence.

Psalm 31:4  Pull me from the trap my enemies set for me, for I find protection in You alone.

Psalm 91:4  He will cover you with His feathers. He will shelter you with His wings. His faithful promises are your armor and protection.

Proverbs 30:5  Every word of God proves true. He is a shield to all who come to Him for protection.

Isaiah 33:21  The LORD will be our Mighty One. He will be like a wide river of protection that no enemy can cross, that no enemy ship can sail upon.

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

You Don't Have to Run on Empty - Fill Up with God's Word.

Last night I went to one of my grandson’s football games. He didn’t play until 7:30, so by the time I left the house it was dark. Another grandson, Blake, went with me. He was excited to get to see Lucas play.  As we traveled through town and out towards the sports complex, I remembered that I had been needing to stop and get gas for a couple of days.  For some reason, I drive right by our favorite station everyday yet often don’t remember or don’t take the time to fill up.  Then I find myself, like last night, with the red needle all the way down.  As we entered the road leading to the football and soccer fields, we wound on through the baseball fields that were well lit and full of activity. We turned the bend in the road and found ourselves in the woods! Suddenly Blake said, “Ooh it’s dark in here!” We had left the comfort of the light and I was on a road I’d never driven. I agreed and hoped again that I had enough gas to get me through the dark and on to the fields.  After the awesome game, of course with #56 being my favorite player, we got our chairs and headed for home. On the return out of the complex roads and onto the main street, I realized there was a huge hill up ahead. Did I have enough gas to make it through the line of cars in front of me and behind me? Did I literally have enough steam to get where I needed to go?

As we got to the gas station, I breathed a sigh of relief. As I opened the gas cap, I heard a huge exhale of pressure and I knew that I was running on empty. As I filled the car up I vowed to not let it go so long. It’s not safe to be out at night and take the chance of running out of gas. It wasn’t like I didn’t have plenty of gas stations in town to fill up at; it was just that I hadn’t taken the time. I was busy. I got the needed petrol to make it on home and to more events the next day. But I cut it awfully short.

Are you running on empty today?  Are you busy with everyday events, trying to juggle the house, the office, the church, the family and more? Are you running around on fumes, hoping that last month’s or last quarter’s Bible study is enough to get you where you need to go?

Oh beloved, run to the Lord this morning and take freely of all He has for you! He beckons you to come and fill up on His Word, so that you have the steam to make it through the day. There will be mountains to climb in the faith and you may encounter things you’ve not mastered before. You will need all God has to get you through!  How marvelous that God is standing there beckoning you to stop and fill up each and every day.  All of His promises, all of His fuel for living, is readily available, free for the asking and never in short supply.  Oh how He waits for you to stop and drink freely of His living water! Oh how He watches over you even while you let yourself run on empty.  All you need to fill up your heart completely with His power for living is to stop and rest in Him. Oh how He loves  you! Oh how He’s on your side! Oh what a Savior!

Proverbs 19:20-21 Get all the advice and instruction you can, so you will be wise the rest of your life. You can make many plans, but the LORD’s purpose will prevail

Isaiah 55:1 Ho! Everyone who thirsts, come to the waters; and you who have no money come, buy and eat.

2 Thessalonians 1:11  So we keep on praying for you, asking our God to enable you to live a life worthy of His call. May He give you the power to accomplish all the good things your faith prompts you to do.

Psalm 107:9  For He has satisfied the thirsty soul, And the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.

Psalm 143:8  Let me hear Your lovingkindness in the morning; For I trust in You; Teach me the way in which I should walk; For to You I lift up my soul.

Acts 2:28  You have shown me the way of life, and You will fill me with the joy of Your presence.