Friday, May 31, 2013

Things Crumbling Around You?


When Danny decided to take the wall out between our living room and dining room, I was concerned about the support for those 16 feet of open wall.  He assured me that it was not load-bearing and that things would be fine. He beefed up the opening at the top with a couple of extra boards, so that it all matched. But the true support for the ceiling is due to the structure above you cannot see. 

There is no uneasiness in me when I walk underneath the opening. I don’t duck or dodge, thinking that any moment the ceiling will fall in. I can see no sagging or lowering of the ceiling or the support.  I don’t spend all my time worrying if this is going to work in the long run.  I don’t lay awake at night wondering if I’ll wake up in the morning and the support will have given way.  I just trust what my husband told me and live in the light of his knowledge about what I cannot see.

I know there are times, you may be going through it right now, where the support of a loved one or a friend or a pastor has given way. Maybe your own problems have caused you much sorrow and dismay. You may be hurting even now that it has all crumbled on top of you. Your heart is aching, your belief system is swaying and your faith is hanging in the breeze. You trusted and you believed in them, in yourself, but you were caught in the demolition anyway.  

Maybe you’ve been waiting for the answer found in God’s Word. You lie awake at night hoping, praying, seeking and yielding. Keep trusting Him for His Word is true and His care is complete.  He always answers and His answer is perfect for you no matter what your eyes may tell you and no matter what your heart may fear.

Oh beloved, God is your support! Even when no other person on earth supports you, you will remain standing if you trust in what you cannot see! He is the strength for your journey, the bearer of your load and the true support in every situation.  Demolition may be going on all around you, the foundations of the world may be crumbling, but you can trust God. He’s speaking to your heart this morning isn’t He? He whispers love words into your heart as He says go ahead and walk this walk of faith with Me. I AM the way, the truth and the life.  I AM able to hold you up like no one else. I AM your protection, I AM your guardian and fearless leader. What I say is true. What I AM is faithful. Wherever you go, whatever falls around you, I will be there to keep you strong so that you can endure all the way. I AM your trustworthy Savior and I love you.

Rejoice in His love today, beloved! For your foundation is solid and your way is safe as long as you trust in Him and walk in the light of His Word!  He is for you and that will let you rest in His promises and trust what you cannot see forever!

Psalm 46:1-2 &11 God is our refuge and strength, always ready to help in times of trouble.  So we will not fear when earthquakes come and the mountains crumble into the sea.  The Lord of Heaven’s Armies is here among us; the God of Israel is our fortress.

Psalm 81:1 Sing praises to God, our strength! Sing to the God of Jacob!

2 Samuel 22:19  They confronted me in the day of my calamity, But the Lord was my support. (NAS)

Psalm 33:21 For our heart rejoices in Him, because we trust in His holy name.

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.

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 27:1 The LORD is my light and my salvation--so why should I be afraid? The LORD is my fortress, protecting me from danger, so why should I tremble?

Psalm 4:8 In peace I will lie down and sleep, for You alone, O LORD, will keep me safe.

Thursday, May 30, 2013

Keep in Touch with Your Best Friend!


Yesterday I had a real treat at lunch. I met at a local restaurant with one of my oldest and dearest friends. That in itself would be wonderful. But I had a double delight. We were joined by one of my newest friends! My “old” friend and my “new” friend are friends, so that just made it extra special. It was a wonderful visit. The food was so good. But the fellowship, now that was out of this world.

We talked about pets, friends, homes, and the Lord. We laughed and reminisced and found out more about one another. We caught up on things and shared important information – some things we can pray about for one another. It was all good.

The encouragement of the saints is such a spiritual and eternal delight. Without friends in the faith, it would be hard to make it. Their testimonies, their words of encouragement, their commitment and their joy spread from one to another like the wind fans flames. I feel refreshed, renewed and recommitted to taking more time for these little visits.

Even the Bible tells us that we need one another. In these days, when everyone is doing whatever they want, when Christians and their beliefs are being made fun of and ignored or cursed, it’s very comforting to have real friends.

If things were to change tomorrow and for one reason or another we could no longer visit I would be sad. I can’t predict what might happen, but I know the One who holds us in His hands. And I know the One who has caused our fellowship to be so sweet. I can trust Him to be my friend when others walk away or move away or pass away. Whatever the circumstances are, it is enough to know that God promises to be with us always.

Oh beloved, maybe you’re yearning for the sweet fellowship you once had. You long for the old days when friends remained friends forever and most everyone held the same values, hopes and ideals. God cannot promise you that you can return to your childhood world, but He does promise that in Him you can find all the joy, comfort and delight you need. He is your encouragement in sorrow. He is your joy in troubled times. He is your constant companion, no matter who comes into your life or who walks out. He promises to be with you always and to keep in fellowship with you by His Spirit and by His Word. He is a friend who lives forever, He is a confidante who never gives up, He is the King who will never turn you away from His kingdom!

Your very best Friend loves you and He’s for you and that’s worth keeping in touch!

Philemon 1:6 …and I pray that the fellowship of your faith may become effective through the knowledge of every good thing which is in you for Christ’s sake.

Proverbs 27:9 Oil and perfume make the heart glad, so a man’s counsel is sweet to his friend.

Psalm 16:8 I know the Lord is always with me. I will not be shaken, for He is right beside me.

Hebrews 10:22-23 Let us go right into the presence of God with sincere hearts fully trusting Him. For our guilty consciences have been sprinkled with Christ’s blood to make us clean, and our bodies have been washed with pure water. Let us hold tightly without wavering to the hope we affirm, for God can be trusted to keep His promise.

Wednesday, May 29, 2013

How's It Going in the Game of Life?

It took me a while to figure out how to snap my fingers when I was a little girl. My niece had no problem snapping her fingers and since we were practically the same age I got frustrated because she could do that before I could! Winking was easier for me but even then as with most kids, both eyes blinked at the same time until coordination kicked in. Playing jacks was another milestone maker for most of us baby boomers. Bounce the little ball and scoop up the jacks was easier said than done. Playing jacks was one of the harder to learn games and required more skill. Hand to eye coordination was learned by all three of these little childhood games.

Some things are pretty easy in the game of life. Most of us are used to snapping our fingers and getting most of what we want, from fast food to TV channels. From buying clothes to furnishing our homes - with a snap of the finger, it’s all done for us. All we have to do is pick something out, pull out the plastic and it’s done. In the blink of an eye we can change our hair, change our mate, change our homes and change churches. We can decide with hardly a moment’s notice to make major life changing decisions. Some things in our lives require a little juggling to coordinate, but with a little practice we can do whatever we want to do.

There are things we can do that God wants us to be careful about – one of them is wink. He doesn’t want us to wink at sin, at mistakes, at failures or at things that don’t line up with His Word. When we don’t give our failures to Him, then He will bring them to the mind of the believer in the form of conviction so that our fellowship with Him can be restored. But when we do come to Him for restoration, with the snap of His spiritual finger our fellowship is restored. We may have consequences of our actions, but His love never fails, He never gives up on us and His mercy comes in like a flood, renewing our heart and helping us start over. It may seem at times that God is playing jacks with our lives – picking up some of us quickly and restoring order. Other times it looks like He isn’t taking care of us – the wait is long as our hearts desire to be scooped into His loving arms. But God’s way is perfect and His longsuffering is precise as He covers us with His atoning sacrifice and His generous mercies.

Maybe you’ve grown tired of going the right road. You may have looked around and thought that others, who don’t live for the Lord, have it better than you. You may be wishing for a new set of rules with which to play the game of life. You might have even tried to do what everyone else is doing; only to find that you are more lonely and alone as you don’t feel God’s closeness like you used to.

Oh beloved, run to the Lord! Let Him show you His life skills! His blessings, glory and honor come to you when you seek Him first. No matter where you’ve been, no matter what you’ve done, He is waiting with open arms to restore fellowship and start anew! His Spirit is calling you to stay close, oh so close, to Him. He reminds you today that He is the Great I AM. And that in His Name is found the most talent, the most ability and the greatest blessings a heart can yearn for. Never regret living for Him, even when it looks hopeless, for in a moment His blessings will shower down on you and His return will scoop you up and take you home with Him.

Trust Him, obey Him, worship Him, live for Him – for He loves you and He’s for you and that’s all you need to succeed in the game of life!



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

Micah 6:8 No, O people, the LORD has told you what is good, and this is what He requires of you: to do what is right, to love mercy, and to walk humbly with your God.

Psalm 37:3 Trust in the LORD and do good; Dwell in the land and cultivate faithfulness.

Psalm 136:23 He remembered us in our weakness. His faithful love endures forever.

Tuesday, May 28, 2013

Take Frequent Rest Stops Along Life's Highway


Every Memorial Day Holiday and others as well, CMA chapters across the nation put up tents and wagons to greet travelers and give them cold water and spiritual refreshment of some sort. If you ever see one of these “rest stops” please stop and meet them. If you ever need a helping hand you can always stop where CMA members are and get help.

Most of the rest areas, at least in Arkansas, have been closed. It used to be that everyone knew the rest stops along the way very well. My own family stopped just outside of Texarkana on our trip to visit family in Arkansas from Houston and Tyler. My mother cried the first time she drove past that rest area after I married. She said she could see me running there just like when I was a little girl.

Rest stops are important when taking trips. You can ask any biker and they’ll tell you, even in cooler weather it’s easy to get dehydrated in the wind and get tired sitting in one place for very long. Even people in cars know that if the weather is bad it’s tiring to drive. Driving rain, sleet, hail, windstorms, sandstorms are liable to show up without warning. I remember often through the years Danny pulling in under awnings or old abandoned house carports to wait out the onslaught.

Just as people must rest from their travels, their jobs, their lifestyles, believers must find rest as well. For the child of God, worship is the greatest rest stop we can find. Worship gets our mind of our troubles, gets our heart off ourselves and gets our spirit reconnected to the power source – the Lord Himself.

Oh beloved take a rest stop this morning! He knows you’ve been through some hard places and may be going through a hard spot even now. He understands how hard things can be, how rough the road is and how much you need a rest. Pull over before the day gets too busy and spend time with the One Who loves you always and cares for you eternally. His rest stops are generous and plentiful and He will always be there for you! Trust Him and lean on Him for He’s just what you will always need!

Psalm 91:1 Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

Psalm 23:2 He lets me rest in green meadows; he leads me beside peaceful streams.  

Mark 6:31 And He said to them, "Come away by yourselves to a lonely place and rest a while." For there were many people coming and going, and they did not even have time to eat.

Monday, May 27, 2013

Celebrate True Freedom, God's Way!


For most of us, the main thing about this week-end is three days off. That’s pretty wonderful. The rarity of three days off in a row and especially slowly getting up and moving around at our leisure on Monday mornings makes three days off a real treat.  Often we forget about the real reason for the holiday; we take them for granted really.

There are other things we take for granted. Freedom to enjoy life. Freedom to meet together in groups. Freedom to protect our country. Freedom to own homes, buy groceries and make friends. Freedom to marry whom we choose. Freedom to have children. Freedom to change jobs. Freedom to drive a car, a motorcycle or a truck.  Freedom to protest. Freedom to worship. Freedom to own a Bible. Freedom to share the Gospel.

Every freedom you and I enjoy as American citizens is given to us without reservation and is confirmed in our bill of rights. But the protection of those rights has been kept because our military have fought to keep us free. My own father served in World War I and World War II. Uncles fought in Korea and Viet Nam. While you and I have enjoyed this wonderful freedom, many have died for that freedom.

There is One Who gave His life to set every human being on the face of the earth free. His name is Jesus. He is the King of Kings and the Lord of Lords and His destiny was to live, to promote and to die for freedom. If it was simply to die, though, we’d be memorializing Him right along with every other conqueror, leader, hero and demigod across the span of time. We’d be decorating His grave with the myriad of soldiers who have flags and patriotic flowers dotting the cemeteries.

But this One rose again! And because He came out of the grave, fully alive, He dismembered death and made a public show of it! Because He lives we can, as the song says, face tomorrow, all fear is gone, and we know Who holds the future. He is more than a hero, He’s our Savior. He’s more than a Soldier, He’s our King! He’s more than a conqueror, He’s our redeemer! He’s our everything, for His Name is the great I AM!

Oh beloved, before you go out for the day’s festivities, won’t you take a moment to honor the One True God, who lives making intercession for you? He celebrates you every day as He rejoices over you as His beloved, He protects you as His child and He prays for you always. He has granted you True Freedom – to live for Him, to worship Him, to honor Him and to look to Him for everything for life and godliness. His resurrection is your reassurance that – no matter what you are going through, no matter what you have been through and no matter what life brings you – He will be with you! Even in facing hardships, annoyances, sorrows, fears and death itself – you are watched over by the Eternal Light of the World!

Rejoice this memorial day in all it means, but most especially that you are a child of The Most High God! That you are loved beyond measure by the Lord of Heaven and Earth! That you are a soldier of the cross and protected by His watchful care all the way to your reward!

Philippians 4:4 Rejoice in the Lord always; again I will say, rejoice!

Hebrews 7:24-25 but because Jesus lives forever, He has a permanent priesthood. Therefore He is able, once and forever, to save those who come to God through Him. He lives forever to intercede with God on their behalf.

2 Corinthians 5:21 He [God] made Him [Jesus] who knew no sin to be sin on our behalf, so that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.

Romans 8:37 No, despite all these things, overwhelming victory is ours through Christ, who loved us.

I Corinthians 2:12 And we have received God's Spirit (not the world's spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

Sunday, May 26, 2013

What's In a Name?


What’s in a name?

There is not a lot of information about my Warren family ancestors. While I was searching recently I discovered that my grandfather and his father in law both had the same first and middle names. Benjamin Franklin Warren married Benjamin Franklin Reagor’s daughter. As I looked around on that genealogy site I noticed there were multiple Benjamin Franklins as well as George Washingtons. It appears that many people liked using the names of founding fathers for their children.  Those names seemed to carry much clout. One of my hubby’s childhood buddies is G. W. and you guessed it – he’s named after our first president.

There are countless books and websites on the meanings of names. There is even a website on the etymology and history of first names. Names mean a lot to us and family names are carried down throughout the history of families. My own son’s middle name is Warren. Since I was the last Warren in my family line, I wanted that name to be carried on beyond me. When we got married, I took on Danny’s family name. I’ve been a Beene for nearly 40 years. I cannot imagine now being anything but a Beene. It’s part of my nature and identity to be in the Beene family. After all these years I would not go back to being a Warren. I am a Beene.

Just as we can do a genealogy study on family names, we can also do a study on the name of Jesus. We can look into the perfect law of liberty and see everything we need to know about the Savior of the World.  We can find out His background, His nature, His identity. We also can see what clout His name carries for us who believe. If all our needs are met in Him and the Word tells us they are, then we need to know everything we can about our Savior.

Have you been struggling with your identity? Do you know, are you intimately acquainted with the One Who gave you new birth? Do  you understand that you have a new name in glory and that you are no ordinary person, but rather you are a child, a joint heir, with the King of the Universe? You may have been struggling with your past, your sorrows, your troubles or the future of your world, but when you look into the Name of the Lord, you will find that everything you need for life and godliness is found there. Your true identity is found in Him. While another may have written you off, cursed your name, driven you away, God has pronounced you His child, His heir, His recipient of great riches and honor and more.

Oh beloved, run to God’s genealogy book, the Word of God and learn all about the Lord! Find all the mercy for your past, all the power for your present and all the promise for your future! God says to you this morning that you belong to Him. He has given you His name so that whenever you need to call upon His name you will be safe, you will find power and you will be able to stand. His name is your safety, His name is your strength, His name is your focus and as you focus more and more on Him and less and less on your circumstances, pain or problems – you will find that you are more than a conqueror, you are always victorious and you will be full of His joy, His peace and His nature.

Your Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ, has given you His name to call upon because He loves you and He’s for you and that’s more than wonderful, more than enough and more riches than you can ever contain!

I Corinthians 16:11 Such were some of you; but you were washed, but you were sanctified, but you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and in the Spirit of our God.

Proverbs 18:10 The name of the LORD is a strong tower; The righteous runs into it and is safe.

Psalm 20:7 Some boast in chariots and some in horses, But we will boast in the name of the Lord, our God.

Colossians 3:17 Whatever you do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks through Him to God the Father.

Isaiah 50:10 Who is among you that fears the LORD, That obeys the voice of His servant, That walks in darkness and has no light? Let him trust in the name of the LORD and rely on his God.

Saturday, May 25, 2013

Run to the Mailbox and Open that Invitation!


We get lots of invitations in the mail. There are invitations to attend something, win something and try something. Some of those invitations are great and we get involved with gusto. Others are not so wonderful and we often tear them up. Credit card applications, funeral plans, getting something for nothing ideas. We could apparently win a car, win a boat, win a fortune and more. It gets ridiculous sometimes. Invitations to participate in events and belong to groups and fraternities come to us as well. With every invitation comes something to sign and generally something to buy. It can get overwhelming to decide what you need to participate in and what you need to leave alone.

The Word of God sends us invitations that are incredible and out of this world! We are invited to participate in the simplest plan of salvation ever recorded. But it doesn’t stop there. We are invited to join God’s fraternal organization known as the family of God. Through this organization we are members of one family, children of one Father, partakers of God’s divine nature and more. It costs us nothing except willingness to participate. If we had to pay to participate in it, we could never afford it. It has been paid for us along with all the benefits.

Wonderful things are included in God’s Word for us! We get invited into fellowship with God! We get invited to pray, seek His face, live in His Light, walk His paths, and learn His precepts. Each invitation to participate in God’s activities is good for us and worth the effort. Responding to God is always in our best interest and for our highest good. Giving towards our faith is met with a tenfold response into our spirits. It’s just plain good for us.

There are other invitations sent to our hearts on an ongoing basis: unforgiveness, animosity, fear, anger, resentment, discontent, discouragement, disappointment, frustration, bitterness, wrath, malice, wrangling, worry – just to name a few. Every invitation that doesn’t line up with God’s Word and doesn’t match our new life in Christ should be torn up and thrown out. Don’t even think about participating in these things, for they promise a lot but only deliver more trouble to our heart, mind and spirit.

Oh beloved, God has delivered to you His invitation to all you will ever need! He has made a way for you to be free of junk mail and to have delivered to your heart all the wonderful blessings you will ever need! His invitation is free and it carries all the hidden delights your heart longs for – grace, peace, contentment, blessings, love, faith, joy. He knows you’ve gotten lots of invitations in the past. Some of them you opened and found that they were meant for your harm. Toss them in the trash heap and renew your fellowship with the Lord! He speaks to your heart and says Trust Me. I AM everything you need. In Me is fullness of all you are looking for – topped off with extreme joy! I AM your road to success, your way to riches and your trip to heaven!

Run to God’s mailbox, His Word, this morning and reach in and take freely and participate fully in all He has for you. It’s all sent to you from the Lord of Heaven and earth stamped with His incredible, magnificent love and sealed with His abiding care!

1 Corinthians 1:9 God will do this, for He is faithful to do what He says, and He has invited you into partnership with His Son, Jesus Christ our Lord.

2 Peter 1:3 By His divine power, God has given us everything we need for living a godly life. We have received all of this by coming to know Him, the one who called us to Himself by means of His marvelous glory and excellence.

Isaiah 55:2 Why do you spend money for what is not bread, And your wages for what does not satisfy? Listen carefully to Me, and eat what is good, and delight yourself in abundance.

2 Corinthians 1:20 For all of God's promises have been fulfilled in Christ with a resounding "Yes!" And through Christ, our "Amen" (which means "Yes") ascends to God for His glory.

Friday, May 24, 2013

What's That Written on Your Heart?


In the 1969 film, The Illustrated Man, is about a man who is tattooed over His entire body. Each set of tattoos tells a different story and the movie unfolds one character after another with one story after another. One of the tales in the movie is The Highway which centers on a husband and wife living by a highway in rural Mexico. Their normal, idyllic lives don’t change even as the highway fills with people fleeing a nuclear war. The story ends with some young travelers they help telling them about the nuclear war, and how the world is ending. After the travelers leave, the residents briefly wonder what "the world" is, and then continue on with their lives.

 

Although I watched that movie as a teen, I don’t remember ever knowing exactly what it was about. To think that vignettes of stories were written in the character’s tattoos is pretty amazing. His body carried the evidence. The movie protrayed the tattoos.

 

While Jesus had no tattoos there was evidence of the Greatest Story ever told written on His body. Two ragged horrendous nail holes through the palms of His hands and the bones of His feet along with the sword wound in His side tell an amazing tale of love, intrigue and death.  Although His story on earth was a mere 33 years, it does not end with death. His story is ongoing because of the resurrection and the life. It is a never ending tale that began before the foundation of the world and continues to this day and will go on throughout eternity. What a wonderful story to tell, what a wonderful message to hear, what a magnificent gift to receive.

 

As a believer you have a wonderful story to tell as well. Your story begins before you were ever born. God says He knew you before you were even formed in your mother’s womb.  God says that He has plans for your life to give you a future and a hope. God says that you were predestined to give your heart to Jesus – that it was His plan that you belong to Him and that you be sealed by the Holy Spirit and kept in the love of God forever.

While we don’t get tattoos to prove we belong to Christ or to tell our story, we do have something more wonderful for the movie of our lives. The Word tells us that we are Christ’s letter and that the proof is written on our hearts. He goes on to tell us to write His Word on the tablet of our hearts. These words are not mere tattoos but rather the hand of God writing on our hearts, right in the center of all that we are, so that we will remember who we are in Christ and what He did for us always.

Oh beloved, God sees your heart. He sees where man wrote castoff, diseased, unworthy, worthless, imperfect, done for and more. For many, the finger of man points to every mistake, every problem, every trial and every storm. The finger of man may have written you off, but behold beloved! God Himself has written your name on the Palm of His hand! No mere pencil print this is –you are engraved on His hand! You may have been erased from someone else’s heart, but you will never be erased from God’s heart. He says you are My beloved and I will never leave you or forsake you. Others may taunt you, dismay you, reject you and walk away, but I AM your sure foundation. I AM your rock of ages. I AM the One who will always stay with you . My Word is my bond and your bond as well. I have written on your heart: redeemed, renewed, regenerated, reborn, reconciled. There are other words as well. As you pick up My love story, the Word of God, and learn of Me you will find that you are beloved, beautiful, destined, cared for, watched over and more.

Your life and mine, as believers in Christ, are beautiful illustrations of the One Who gave it all for us! Rejoice beloved, as the King is calling you and writing the most amazing story of your life all on your heart and for the world to see! He loves you and He’s for you and that’s the most beautiful story of your life!

2 Corinthians 3:3 being manifested that you are a letter of Christ, cared for by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God, not on tablets of stone but on tablets of human hearts. (NAS)

Psalm 139:16 Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not one of them.

Isaiah 49:16 Behold, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands…

Psalm 40:8 I take joy in doing Your will, my God, for Your instructions are written on my heart.

Jeremiah 31:33 But this is the new covenant I will make with the people of Israel on that day, says the LORD. I will put my instructions deep within them, and I will write them on their hearts. I will be their God, and they will be My people.

Thursday, May 23, 2013

Fan or Follower?


We’ve read and shared the book, Not A Fan. It’s a very good take on the difference between fans and followers. I learned my lesson on this from of all things baseball.  I fell in love with the game and especially the Braves through spending time with one of my teenage daughters. I began to watch games with her. I was a fan, especially of some of the players. Mark Wohlers was one of my all-time favorite players. He had an arm like no one I’d ever seen- until he lost it. I watched the team try to keep him playing, try to help him get the pitch back and ultimately send him to the minors to try to help him recover. To my knowledge, he never did. Then there were the great players who would get traded to other teams. Then there were the players I didn’t know who came in to play for the team I enjoyed.

I found it hard to keep watching because the players changed all the time. Just as I had a favorite pitcher or hitter to follow, they’d be gone and another would replace them. I had just about decided I didn’t like baseball anymore when one of my cousins said, “you just have to pick your team and stay loyal to them because everything else is subject to change”. People come and people go. So instead of being a fan of a couple of players I became a follower of the team.

In the believer’s life, we are all on the same team – Team Jesus. But some of us are merely fans while others are completely committed followers. It’s hard to tell the difference in a fan and a follower until a real commitment is needed. When the going is tough, a fan will move on. When the thrill is gone, fans leave the stadium. When things don’t go their way, a fan will quit the team and begin to do their own thing. Followers look for a spot to plug into, while fans look for what makes them feel good. Followers are servants. Fans like being served.

We must pray for our pastors. They are over a team of followers and fans. It’s a rough place to be. Pray for our churches, they are filled with followers and fans.  Pray – that you and I will always be a completely committed follower of the Lord Jesus Christ, so that no matter what and after having done all we will stand. Pray for one another – that God to keep us all from straying when the heat is on, when the stadium is empty, when the money is low and the commitment level is lower.

Oh beloved, God knows what you’re going through. He knows you may have been slighted, ignored or pushed aside. It may have been intentional or accidental, but God was with you when it happened. You may have talents you want to use, gifts you want to give, blessings you want to share – but always remember, even when your talents, gifts and blessings are low you are needed on Team Jesus. God doesn’t need your abilities, He just wants your commitment. He reminds you to look into His Word and see: Caleb and Joshua were the only two who stood with God yet they were powerful men who stayed on God’s team, even when everyone else quit. Moses stood on the mountain with God while the rest of the group made an idol to worship. Mary Magdelene let Christ change her life completely and she was rewarded by being one of the first to view the empty tomb! Rejoice, beloved, in your commitment to Him and watch as He takes you beyond your wildest imagination! He will fix what’s wrong, He will bless what’s lacking, He will minister to you in your deepest hurts and use you for His Kingdom and His glory! 

He loves you and He’s for you and that’s worth all your commitment forever!

Isaiah 26:4 So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages]. (Amplified Bible)

Titus 2:14 He gave his life to free us from every kind of sin, to cleanse us, and to make us His very own people, totally committed to doing good deeds.

Galatians 2:20 My old self has been crucified with Christ. It is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me. So I live in this earthly body by trusting in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.

John 6:66-68 At this point many of His disciples turned away and deserted Him. Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?” Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life.”

 

Wednesday, May 22, 2013

Lord, Teach Us to Pray!


I’ve noticed something about kids. They pick up words and habits so easily when they’re little.  I remember the time that our pastor was kneeling down front at church.  Our grandson Blake might have been three and he slipped out of the pew and knelt down beside him. It was priceless.  Recently I’ve noticed that Stella will say Amen when she hears someone say it in church. So cute to hear a toddler amen the pastor’s message.  No one will let us forget to ask God to bless our meals. The habit of prayer is learned so quickly.  I can remember being asked by grandchildren to “pray over it!” when they had a scraped knee or other injury.

For the believer, we need to build habits into our lives as well. The habit of fellowship with like minded believers. Nothing sweeter than talking about the Lord together and reminiscing about His wonderful works among us.  Amening the pastor. He needs the encouragement of agreement and we need the reinforcement of the agreement as well.  As we live in the habit of adoration of God, reading of His Word and studying the Bible, we just naturally gravitate to one of the most wonderful habits a believer can have and that’s the habit of prayer.

God has granted all of His loved ones an open invitation to prayer. We can pray about everything and we can pray any time we want to.  What a beautiful habit to develop! This access to the Heavenly Father is no light thing. We are granted the benefit of coming into His presence with requests and intercession always. And we learn about prayer from His time in the garden, His response to satan and His fellowship with people. Everything we need to know about prayer we can find in His Word.  It is always the right time to pray. We can pray about the big things and pray about the little things. This Wonderful Savior wants you to talk to Him about every aspect of the life He shares with you and to keep you thriving in the very center of His will.

Oh beloved, God knows the issues of life can weigh heavily on you. He knows you’ve been through the mill, run through the ringer and left high and dry. He knows you have been at the end of your rope,  left between a rock and a hard place and been under the gun.  He knows you want to please Him, but without fellowship with Him in prayer, it’s going to be hard to get over things, solve problems and move on in your life. He’s got your entire life covered.  There is nothing in your life that is too great for His power. There is nothing going on that is too small to need His help.   He speaks so lovingly this morning as He woos you to come into His presence and give your hurts, your needs, your hopes, your desires, your problems and your successes to Him.  Tell Him everything. Hold nothing back. For He is the One who can be trusted with your most intimate details. He knows all about you and He knows all about those things that not even your best friend knows.

God is your Prayer Warrior. God is your Loving Father. God is your Way Maker. He loves you and He’s for you and that’s why you can come to Him in prayer for everything and any time.

 Luke 11:1 Then He was praying in a certain place; and when He stopped, one of His disciples said to Him, Lord, teach us to pray, [just] as John taught his disciples. AMP

I tell you, you can pray for anything, and if you believe that you’ve received it, it will be yours. Mark 11:24

Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. Philippians 4:6 AMP

James 5:16b  The earnest (heartfelt, continued) prayer of a righteous man makes tremendous power available [dynamic in its working].

Tuesday, May 21, 2013

Summer Vacation? Not From God...


Our pastor was talking Sunday about the drop in attendance at church which usually occurs in the summer with all the vacations and fun times people partake of during those couple of months, it gets easy after missing a Sunday to fall out of the habit. He encouraged us to call one another if someone misses, because it means more to get a call from a friend than to get a call from the pastor. The pastor is supposed to call. But if we do the calling it’s not something that’s generally expected of us. He encouraged all of us to keep in fellowship with one another.

It reminded me of our tendency in the good times, summer days if you will, to leave God’s presence.  We have hard times and we cling ever so closely to Him. But come a warm breeze and joyous occasions and we tend to drop the spiritual emphasis. Whether it’s Church or Bible Study or Christian fellowship, these things are important to our spiritual welfare. Yet these are generally the first to go when times are good.

Somehow we think we are safe to relax our relationship with God in the good times. We may have survived a storm where we called out to Him. Then He rescued us and made things right. Now it’s summer time and the living is easy. The only problem with this kind of thinking is that we don’t know when another storm of life may blow in suddenly, finding us out of fellowship and weakened from not having daily quiet time and Bible reading. As long as the lovely days of summer are in our lives everything looks rosy. You can’t really “see” a person’s spiritual relationship in the easy times. It’s when the storms come in that the strength or lack thereof in the person is found.

Oh beloved, summer’s arrived but winter will return. Won’t you take a few moments everyday just to thank the Lord for His benevolence. And then look into His wonderful Word and see how He has plans to take care of you, prepare you for hard times and bless you in good times? His amazing love will carry you through the seasons of life. His amazing care will keep you throughout all the changes that come your way. Even when you find yourself out in the storms, He will come after you and rescue you and return you to His loving arms. He knows your problems, He knows your history and He knows the weather ahead. Trust Him, for He is your everlasting God. He loves you and He’s for you and He will guide you always in His loving ways.

Psalm 27:4-5 The one thing I ask of the Lord the thing I seek most—is to live in the house of the Lord all the days of my life, delighting in the Lord’s perfections and meditating in His temple.   For He will conceal me there when troubles come; He will hide me in His sanctuary.
He will place me out of reach on a high rock.

Psalm 148:14 He has made His people strong, honoring His faithful ones— the people of Israel who are close to Him. Praise the Lord!

Psalm 25:4-5 Show me the right path, O Lord; point out the road for me to follow. Lead me by your truth and teach me, for you are the God who saves me. All day long I put my hope in You.

Monday, May 20, 2013

God Never Forgets You Not for a Moment!


I attended the All school Reunion for Blevins and it was their 100 year anniversary. The oldest alumnus present was James Thurman, 91 years old. Old friends and new alike were there. It was a great time and between all the laughter and reminiscing, it was a rousing success.

There were classmates and teachers there. There was even a lady who lives in my town and visits my office regularly. We were surprised to find each other at the same reunion. Both of us graduated from Blevins. We all wore name tags and it was a good thing! There were old neighbors who had gotten older, just like me. When we get older, it’s hard to realize who a person is, because time changes a lot of things. I didn’t recognize a couple of people, but when they spoke and we talked about it, I remembered them well.  I talked with one of my school teachers and he didn’t realize at first who I was either. All of the figuring out who people were and who spouses belonged to was lots of fun.

Already planning for next year’s reunion, the committee is looking at different places to have the event and different ways to cater it. We all agree that a little cooler air conditioning would be nice, but it was fun to have it in the elementary cafeteria where the students drew artwork and had it posted everywhere!  I am hoping that more of the “kids” my age will attend next year so that we can visit and reacquaint ourselves with one another. It’s been a long time for many of us between visits.

While recognizing folks doesn’t always come easy, there is One who never forgets who we are.  The Lord Himself knew us before the foundation of the world.  He knew us as infants, He knew us as youth and He still knows us – even though some of us have hair that is turning white and faces that are changing with age.  He can’t lose us in a crowd even if it’s a while between visits. His greatest desire is to keep sweet fellowship with us through His Son Jesus Christ.

Oh beloved, why not stop for a moment and have a little reunion with the Lord this morning? Run to His Word and see how much He loves you, how greatly He values you and how incessantly He desires to fellowship with you? In His eyes you are beautiful, you are perfect and you are just the way He remembers you. For He looks at you through eyes of eternal, unchanging, immutable love.  What a blessing to know that you don’t have to worry about a thing when spending time with the Lord. He accepts you just the way you are, He always knows you and He delights in your fellowship every chance He gets. Look into your yearbook, His Word, and see. All of His promises for every aspect of your life are there for you to receive. He loves you and He’s for you and that’s why a reunion with Him is so incredibly wonderful!

Psalm 139:1-3 O Lord, you have examined my heart and know everything about me.  You know when I sit down or stand up.  You know my thoughts even when I’m far away.   You see me when I travel and when I rest at home.  You know everything I do.

1 Corinthians 13:12 Now we see things imperfectly, like puzzling reflections in a mirror, but then we will see everything with perfect clarity. All that I know now is partial and incomplete, but then I will know everything completely, just as God now knows me completely.

Isaiah 49:15 Never! Can a mother forget her nursing child? Can she feel no love for the child she has borne? But even if that were possible, I would not forget you!

Psalm 118:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good! His faithful love endures forever.

Sunday, May 19, 2013

Full Protection Comes With Knowing God


Yesterday morning I had a friend request. I didn’t know the fellow but the name sounded familiar. I was on my phone so I just accepted his request.  Within moments I got a private message thanking me for friending him. I replied with a “God bless you”.  Within a few moments I had another private message, asking me to email him so we could get to know one another better.

Immediately I felt a chill.  I looked on his profile and found that he was friends with all women. He was friends with no one I knew. We had no mutual interests. I quickly unfriended him and blocked him from seeing me. I knew protection was needed, not just for me but for my friends, who he might try to friend as well.

A crisis was averted. And I can rest again. The only problem is this type of scenario will come again. Unfriendly people with hidden motives will try to friend us. They may appear to be great friends, with mutual interests, but given time their true heart and motives will surface. 

We must always be willing to friend everyone, for everyone needs the Lord. But not everyone is looking for Him. The Word tells us that satan himself masquerades as an angel of light. Not only that, but he’s referred to as a roaring lion, seeking whom he may devour.  There’s no way to look at the word devour without realizing just what that means: overwhelm, demolish, dispose of. It’s a no win situation if we don’t know the Lord of Heaven’s Armies and we aren’t acquainted with what God’s Word says. We have to have our credentials secure – we must know who our God is, who we are in Christ and who our true enemy is in order to quickly respond to attacks wherever they come from.

Oh beloved,   there is One who will watch over you wherever you go. There is One who knows your needs and answers each call before your voice rings out. There is One who is your protector, your deliverer and your strong tower. No foe can defeat Him, no enemy can wound Him, no pretender can deceive Him. Even if you’ve let yourself get into a situation full of mistakes and harm, our God will come in and deliver you! Call on Him this morning and let Him stand between you and the enemies of your soul. He is the Great I AM and He is able to do exceedingly abundantly beyond all we ever ask or think. He loves you and because of His great love, He will watch over you all your life.

I Samuel 2:9 He will protect His faithful ones,  but the wicked will disappear in darkness.  No one will succeed by strength alone.

Psalm 10:16-18 The Lord is king forever and ever!  The godless nations will vanish from the land. Lord, you know the hopes of the helpless.  Surely you will hear their cries and comfort them.  You will bring justice to the orphans and the oppressed, so mere people can no longer terrify them.

Psalm 91:14-15 Because he has loved Me, therefore I will deliver him; I will set him securely on high, because he has known My name.  He will call upon Me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble; I will rescue him and honor him.

Saturday, May 18, 2013

Turn From the Mess and Look to the Lord!



As I came over the hill that’s just before the turnoff to our house, I saw a devastating sight. Someone must have had an accident.  My son in law’s truck was parked on the side of the road and their 4-wheeler was in the ditch. There were muddy tracks all over the road. I whispered Jesus’ name as I slowed down and came around the truck.  I just knew they’d wrecked the 4 wheeler and I just couldn't bear the thought that one of my kids or grandkids was riding when it happened.

As I drove slowly around the truck and I peered into the front seat, my daughter was driving. She turned and smiled at me. With a few words exchanged it turned out to be not nearly the devastation that it appeared to be.  They had actually just ridden through the ditch and got stuck! Relief flooded through my heart and mind as I drove on to the house.

There are times when we suddenly find ourselves in a tough situation. It looks bad. Everything was fine just moments before, but abruptly the whole scene of our life changes.  What we see with our eyes convinces us that there’s been devastation, disaster or worse.  Our hearts beat wildly and tears escape as we try to calm ourselves.  When we find that it’s not what it appears, we let out a sigh of relief.

It’s true that the 4 wheeler was messed up. They had to pull it out of the muddy ditch where it had buried up to its axles  They had to make a mess to get the thing unstuck. It was hard work and it took time. But it was not the terrible scene I had just witnessed with my own eyes.

Maybe you’re going through a rough spot right now. It looks awful. It caught you by surprise. You’ve tried blinking your eyes to make it go away. You’ve tried holding your breath. You’ve whispered a prayer and tried to talk yourself down, but it looks bad. You don’t know if it’s a little trouble or a total disaster because you’re right in the middle of it. It’s a mess and you’re trying to hold on for dear life. You weren’t expecting it, but it’s happened. You didn’t ask for it or deserve it, but here you are in the muddy ditch of life and you don’t know how it’s going turn out.  You came upon your circumstances with no warning and you’re reeling. It could be the messiness of rejection, dejection or abandonment.  The very person you thought would stick with you has left. The job you felt so secure in has played out. The fellowship that was so sweet is over.
Whatever your circumstances, there is One Who will walk with you through it. He will pick up the pieces. He will clean up the mess. He will dust you off, bandage your wounds and set you securely on the road again. He will hold you until the storm cloud passes, He will watch over you as you survey the circumstances. As you whisper His name, He is already with you.

Oh beloved, do you hear that still small voice? He speaks words of love and encouragement. He says I AM with you. He says you are never alone. He shields you from total devastation as He holds you securely in His loving arms. I AM always going to get you through everything you face. I AM the one who can make the greatest disaster turn out to be a momentary light affliction. If you will hold onto Me, I AM going to take you beyond the present situation you see with your eyes and provide new vision for the road ahead.

Listen to the Father’s heart. He will always always always love you. He will always always always be with you. He will forever make what looks bad, turn out for your good and His glory. For you are His and He is yours. For you are more than the sum of your mistakes, you are more than the disasters seen with your naked eye. You are bought with a price, redeemed with love and set for glory in eternity. Trust Him today, right in the middle of your mess. Together, as you hold tightly onto God’s hand and look away from the situation and focus on His Word, the disaster will fade into peace. God loves you and He’s for you and that’s what will always get you through.

Psalm 94:18-19 I cried out, "I am slipping!" but Your unfailing love, O LORD, supported me. When doubts filled my mind, Your comfort gave me renewed hope and cheer.

Psalm 69:13-14 But as for me, my prayer is to You, O Lord, at an acceptable time; O God, in the greatness of Your lovingkindness, Answer me with Your saving truth. Deliver me from the mire and do not let me sink.

Micah 7:7 As for me, I look to the Lord for help.  I wait confidently for God to save me, and my God will certainly hear me.

2 Corinthians 4:16-18 That is why we never give up. Though our bodies are dying, our spirits are being renewed every day. For our present troubles are small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us a glory that vastly outweighs them and will last forever!  So we don’t look at the troubles we can see now; rather, we fix our gaze on things that cannot be seen. For the things we see now will soon be gone, but the things we cannot see will last forever.

Thursday, May 16, 2013

Connect to God's Presence!

When I arrived at the 4H Center for inservice training yesterday evening, the first thing we found out was that the internet connetion was not working. That meant that neither my laptop or my phone could connect to wi-fi. It was frustrating and I was concerned that I wouldn’t be able to get on to check emails or facebook.


I realized as well that I couldn’t call my husband! Not only was I gone for a couple of days, I might not be able to talk with him.

I made a quick calculation on how far it was to the nearest fast food restaurant. I knew if I got up early enough, I’d be able to run into town and connect. But I wanted to talk with my hubby and I sure didn’t want to wait until morning.

My roommate and I tried a couple of different things and finally she could connect her kindle. I tried the laptop and I too could connect! We were both thrilled. I could call and talk with Danny and we could do the things we need to do on the internet.

This age of instant connection makes for a whole new kind of stress. We want things to be instant, we don’t want to be disconnected and many folks can’t go for even a day without connecting. I’m not sure I can.

I do know that I miss my husband and want to be within range of speaking with him any time I need to. When I travel alone, which is rare, I often will call him to ask for directional help. I just feel better being able to hear his voice whenever I feel the need.

Internet connection is awesome. You can find information quickly, seek out answers within moments and even learn where the best places to eat can be found. But within a moment you can be disconnected through no fault of your own. But absolutely nothing can be found without the connection. You can’t seek, you can’t talk, you can’t do anything. If internet connection were all we had to make it in life we’d be in real trouble every time there was an issue with service. Our fear and worry levels would shoot through the roof whenever the internet was down.

Thankfully we have a connection that is beyond this world! All our questions can be answered, all our fears can be put away and all our needs can be met. Even when we can’t talk with those people we love, we can talk to the One Who gave us life. With God, He is always available, ever present and right on time. There’s no lag, no wait and no disconnection. The more you connect to the Holy Spirit, the more of God’s presence you will carry. The more of His presence you carry, the more power you will have.

Oh beloved, run to the One Who has everything you need! His Word is your connection to all the power, knowledge, wisdom and faith you will ever need. He will walk you through your problems, speak softly to your heart and grant you riches beyond your wildest imagination! He says to you this morning, I AM the One Who woke you up this morning. I AM the One Who has given you purpose and meaning. I AM with you always and you will always have your every need met completely when you connect with Me.

God loves you and He’s for you and that’s all the connection you will ever need.

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.

Zephaniah 3:17 For the Lord your God is living among you. He is a mighty savior. He will take delight in you with gladness. With his love, he will calm all your fears. He will rejoice over you with joyful songs.

Psalm 116:2 Because He has inclined His ear to me, Therefore I shall call upon Him as long as I live.



Wednesday, May 15, 2013

God's Packages of Love Come Signed, Sealed and Delivered to Your Heart!


There are two couriers that deliver packages into our office complex. They come pretty much on a daily basis. They bring equipment, office supplies and even things that someone bought online.  Occasionally a package will come that we’re not expecting.  Sometimes I have to sign for other offices when they’re at lunch or running errands.

We sign for the things they bring, so that the couriers will be able to give proof that the package was indeed delivered to the right person. These guys are busy running all over town, all over their route and around the state to get the goods delivered quickly and to the rightful recipient.

For some of us, there have been packages delivered to us that we never asked for. Rejection. Condemnation.  Judgment. Revenge. These four packages come because someone else ordered them for us. While we can’t change how others feel, we don’t have to accept the package. It isn’t a gift worth giving and it isn’t a gift worth having. Inside of these four items comes a time bomb. It will blow without warning and we’ll be left to pick up the pieces.

If you’ve gotten one of these packages, always remember: you don’t have to sign for them, you never want to open them and you aren’t the rightful recipient.  No matter what you’ve done, no matter where you’ve been – not one of these packages comes from the Lord.

The Lord is your only courier. What He brings will astound you, bless you, protect you and cause you to grow in His knowledge and favor.  The Lord Himself is a courier of grace – God’s Riches at Christ’s Expense. He is a courier of Blessings – divine favor from God Himself.  His greatest delivery comes daily and it is perfect love – He first loved us.  There are other packages God sends that we can freely partake of as well. No fear in opening, unpacking and it is guaranteed to fit every time.  Salvation, Sanctification, Acceptance, Forgiveness, Wisdom.  The Holy Spirit Himself will deliver to you His magnificent fruit: always fresh and enjoyable, free of charge and without limits: love, joy, peace, kindness, gentleness, faithfulness and self-control.

Sign for, open joyfully and use and share without concern every good and perfect gift that comes from God’s own hands. For His packages are always available, His supply never runs low and everything He sends you is sent with love. 

Oh beloved, if you’ve taken ownership of things that weren’t meant for you, throw them out! Give that package to the Lord for He knows what to do with it. He promises you daily that there is no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, so you can refuse delivery.   The Lord Himself will never send you fear, worry, turmoil, or any of those other packages. His gifts are sealed with love, delivered with love and remain with love. God says to you this morning I AM your source of life. I AM your courier of all blessings in the heavenly places. I AM your deliverer, your redeemer and your guide. Trust Me more as you learn to discern the difference between old packages that need refusal and blessed gifts that need to be opened and enjoyed. 

God loves you and He’s for you and He wants you to accept His gifts freely and fully!

 

Numbers 6:24-26 May the Lord bless you and protect you.  May the Lord smile on you and be gracious to you. May the Lord show you his favor and give you his peace.

James 1:17 Whatever is good and perfect comes down to us from God our Father, who created all the lights in the heavens. He never changes or casts a shifting shadow.

Ephesians 2:8 God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God.

I John 3:1 See how very much our Father loves us, for he calls us his children, and that is what we are!

1 Corinthians 2:12 And we have received God’s Spirit (not the world’s spirit), so we can know the wonderful things God has freely given us.

Tuesday, May 14, 2013

Good Morning Overcomer!

Every special occasion, including Mother’s Day, is always met with some type of feast. This year for Mother’s Day my husband and son in law planned the cooking. This will always include grilling something and that’s great! We’re always concerned that there won’t be enough food, so we naturally over plan. We plan for huge servings for everyone. Whether it’s sausage links or salad or baked beans, there’s going to be a large quantity.




There are favorite dishes that have been handed down in the generations. Mother’s recipe for potato salad. My mother in law Betty’s recipe for chicken and dressing. We make certain recipes over and over because our ancestors did it that way. Although I love my Dad, I prefer the way I make spaghetti and meat sauce over his recipe. I would venture to say that most of us have things that have been handed down through the generations that may need tweaking or revamping altogether.



There are other types of things handed down through the generations. Anger, fear, unforgiveness, addictions and more. There are good things as well. Faith, joy, love to name a few. Family talks can center around Uncle Bob’s drinking problems being just like his father’s. Or we can remember fondly the grandmother who always knew her Bible verses and prayed without ceasing. One type of situation gives families grief into the 4th and 5th generations. Other more pleasant memories.



If you are a believer, you no longer have to accept everything that can be inherited from your family line. And you don't have to give your children what your ancestors gave you. With Christ, you have been given a more excellent way. You’ve been redeemed from the curse. You’ve been set free from bondage. You are free to be all that Christ has planned for you to be. Just like family recipes, God’s recipe for your life has been tweaked by the Lord Himself. When God says you’ve been set free and you are a new creation, He means it. Old things are indeed passed away and behold, all things have become new. God says you’ve died and your life is hidden in Christ.



Oh beloved, run to the Word this morning and read all of God’s promises. Take them in as yours, for He gave each one to you. Even if you have struggled and even if you have failed, time and again His mercy is new! You may have been wearing hand me downs in your heart and mind for years. The sorrows, the troubles and the anguish of your family lineage weigh heavy on your heart. You’ve tried to overcome them, rebuke them and do things differently, but they resurface over and over again to give you grief. Hold on! It’s time to step to limbs of your family troubles and say no more! He says to you this morning, live in My blessings instead of your past. Rejoice in My freedom instead of sorrowing over the things of other generations. I AM your road to freedom, your path to right living and your guidepost for all you need to overcome every obstacle set before you.



God loves you and He’s for you so you can be an overcomer and a victor in all things!



Galatians 3:13 But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When He was hung on the cross, He took upon himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, "Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree."



John 10:10 The thief’s purpose is to steal and kill and destroy. My purpose is to give them a rich and satisfying life.



Colossians 3:3 For you died to this life, and your real life is hidden with Christ in God.



Ephesians 4:24 Put on your new nature, created to be like God--truly righteous and holy.



Psalm 118:14-16 The LORD is my strength and my song; He has become my victory. Songs of joy and victory are sung in the camp of the godly. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things! The strong right arm of the LORD is raised in triumph. The strong right arm of the LORD has done glorious things!

Monday, May 13, 2013

Bent Over in the Winds of Life?

I’m not sure if the wind ever quits blowing in West Texas. It may settle in the night, but by mid-morning it’s roaring again. You can tell by many of the trees, who seem bent over permanently that the wind has blown for many years. Although the trees are bent by the wind they aren’t completely blown over. Especially the mesquite tree. Its roots grow deep. They can reach 200 feet beneath the surface. For a tree that grows a maximum of 30 feet tall, that’s a lot of root system. Because of the tap root of each tree, they are able to survive even in drought. The constant wind combined with little average rainfall would take its toll on the average willow tree, but the mesquite is equipped to handle the adverse growing conditions.




There are times when we feel bent over in the winds of life. Tragedy, disappointment and fear coming blowing through and we don’t know if we can stand. A friend called me and she literally said she didn’t know if she should hang on or just let go. I understand. This world is getting dryer and dryer and the winds are howling at the very foundations of our hearts and souls. If we don’t have a root system of truth to keep us grounded, we will break loose like tumbleweeds and be blown by any wind that comes along.



The Word of God is our root system. Without it as our foundational truth, we have no strength to hang on in trouble. We have no way of pulling up the nutrients we need to live and thrive. Droughts of faith come along and we feel parched and wilted. Winds of trouble, trials and tyranny blow in and without our tap root running deep into the Word, we’ll be plucked out of the good ground and left with no hope, no strength and no health.



God knows our needs. Every single one of them. He understands that we must be watered regularly with prayer, faith, hope and love. Without the basic elements of the Word we won’t make it. Without the foundational truth of who we are in Christ and how He provides for us, we won’t thrive in the desert times that come to all of us. We must know God, realize who we are, what we believe in and how we are to live in order to live with purpose and strength in a land of adversity and hopelessness.



Oh beloved, run to God’s Word this morning and take it in. Drink deeply of all that God has for you. Study it closely for it is your very life’s blood. God has made a way to keep you rooted and grounded for all of your needs. As He calls you this morning He speaks with love and care. He is your stronghold in trouble, your shade in the heat and your water in the drought. He sees your troubles and He knows you are in desperate need. His Word will replenish your provisions, replace your nutrients and revive your entire being. He calls from the depths of His love and He beckons you to sit beneath the shade of His Word. Every Word is written with your needs in mind.



The winds of trouble won’t always howl the way they may be right now in your life but you will find that as you seek the solace of His Truth in troubled times you will be stronger when the storm is over. His Word is love and His Truth is your only source of strength. Keep it close to you always, for He loves you and He’s for you and His Word will always remind you of that love and care.



Psalm 18:1-3;30 I love you, Lord; You are my strength. 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. I called on the Lord, who is worthy of praise, and he saved me from my enemies. God’s way is perfect. All the Lord’s promises prove true. He is a shield for all who look to him for protection.



Isaiah 40:29 He gives power to the faint and weary, and to him who has no might He increases strength [causing it to multiply and making it to abound]. (Amplified)



Psalm 1:2-3 But they delight in the law of the Lord, meditating on it day and night. They are like trees planted along the riverbank, bearing fruit each season. Their leaves never wither, and they prosper in all they do.