Tuesday, November 27, 2007

REMEMBER THIS............

The next time you find yourself in the midst of a storm, remember this....

" Extraordinary afflictions are not always the punishment of extraordinary sins, but sometimes the trial of extraordinary graces. Sanctified afflictions are spiritual promotions!"---Matthew Henry

Monday, November 26, 2007


Last night we celebrated the 93rd birthday of my sweet mother-in-law!! She is the most vibrant, energetic, funny 93 year old you would ever want to meet. She is currently preparing for a craft sale next weekend, busily baking banana nut bread and frying pies! She will be there all day selling her wares, but the part she will enjoy most is talking to everyone who comes by. She is so personable and LOVES people! She never meets a stranger and always sees the good in everyone. This woman does not have a mean bone in her body!

Up until last spring, she was still driving. Someone asked us when we told them that one day "You mean on the road?!!!" HA! Yes, on the road! While still driving, she made regular visits to the shut-ins, taking them a loaf of her banana nut bread and visiting like folks used to do back when she was young. She can't understand why people don't' do that any more. She has the gift of mercy, without a doubt. She can go to a nursing home with no qualms at all, sit by the bedside and tenderly care for a family member or just visit with those she sees who look lonely.

When our kids were growing up, she rarely scolded them and couldn't stand it when we did. She baked homemade cookies and made play dough and would sit and play with them at her big kitchen table. She would tell them funny stories about when she was a girl. Our son loved to dig in the dirt. He would dig in her back yard, making a huge hole. She didn't fuss at him for messing up her yard. She would just say, "Son, I don't care how big a hole you make, just fill it up when you are done." Needless to say, our kids LOVED going to her house.

When they went off to college, she rarely missed coming to our house to see them off when they would return, usually bringing them some of their favorite cookies. She missed them and prayed for them, worrying about their long drives and often calling us later to be sure we had heard they were back to school safely.

She has had numerous heartaches, losing a husband, a son and a grandson through the years as well as most of her brothers and sisters. She has nursed many family members through sicknesses, caring for them as lovingly and unselfishly as anyone possibly could. It never seemed an imposition to her.

She loves hugs (don't we all?), but if you have not hugged her quick enough she will grab you and say "You better give me a hug!" She's going to be sure she gets one even if she has to give one first.

Her smile and those twinkling blue eyes light up a room. She is beautiful even at 93 and always well-groomed with her make up on and her jewelry selected to match whatever outfit she is wearing. No one can ever guess her age, which is a source of great delight to her!

God has blessed her with 93 years of life, but He has blessed us much more by allowing her to remain on this earth this long. I've said before that I believe He has continued to leave her here because she is always doing so much for others. Nothing gives her more pleasure than doing for someone else.

She is a great blessing to our family and on this her 93rd birthday, I thank God for her and ask His richest blessings on her life. Not many people are blessed with the mother in law that I have and I truly thank Him for that.


Saturday, November 24, 2007


Sometimes as adults we try to be so profound or, as my sweet husband says "use too many $5 words!" God's message is a simple one as is described in John 3:16 "For so God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son that whosoever believes in Him shall not perish but have everlasting life.

Please listen to this child's interpretation of the Gospel. If this doesn't touch you, something is VERY wrong!!

Thursday, November 22, 2007


Last week I discovered a new delight...Hershey's Chocolate Cordial Kisses! They are like chocolate covered cherry kisses!! YUM-YUM!!!!!!!! My 18 month old granddaughter has also discovered them. She likes them almost as much as she likes York Peppermint Patties! Yes, I think she is going to be chocoholic like her Mimi!!

After all the delicious food we've indulged in the last 2 days (we had our "feast" yesterday), this devotional from Proverbs 31 ministries just seemed too fitting not to share. It is based on one of my favorite verses..."O taste and see that the Lord is good!" HAPPY THANKSGIVING!!

Taste and See

Rachel OlsenCo-Editor of Online Devotions, Proverbs 31 Speaker Team Member

Key Verse:Psalm 34:8, "Taste and see that the Lord is good." (NIV)

Dagoba dark 59%... it's the bomb as far as I'm concerned. It's pure, semisweet, organic dark chocolate I get from my local health food co-op. Just a few bites after dinner almost always satisfies my notoriously big sweet tooth. This, by the way, is a very good thing as I work to shed those excess holiday pounds.

You give me a Hershey's milk chocolate bar, however, and I'm likely to consume the whole thing, lick the wrapper and ask if there is more where that came from. For me, anything less than rich dark chocolate sets into action a cycle of craving, consuming and craving more.

I am so happy God created chocolate. If anyone should doubt that God loves us, they need only to examine the cocoa bean … well, that and the coffee bean! I'm certain that God understands the pleasure chocolate can give a gal. King David also knew such wonderful tastes were a gift from the Lord. He said, "Bless the Lord, O my soul… who satisfies your mouth with good things, so that your youth is renewed like the eagle's." (Psalms 103:2, 5, NKJ) I'm thinking King David must've been a chocolate-lover! It was also David in Psalm 34:8 who encouraged all to, "Taste and see that the Lord is good." (NIV)

God is like the perfect blend of dark and milk chocolate. He simultaneously satisfies my soul, and yet in this state of fulfilled satisfaction I desire more of Him - to go farther and move deeper in our relationship … deeper into the river of God.The apostle Peter described what should follow our tasting of the Lord's mercy, love and grace: "Therefore, rid yourselves of all malice and all deceit, hypocrisy, envy, and slander of every kind. Like newborn babies, crave pure spiritual milk so that by it you may grow in your salvation, now that you have tasted that the Lord is good." (1 Peter 2:1-3 NIV)

Milk - the perfect accompaniment to chocolate! So what is pure spiritual milk? It is the Word of the God. The King James version translates this way, "As newborn babes, desire the sincere milk of the word, that ye may grow thereby." (1 Peter 2:2)The Bible promises we will be satisfied when we seek God, and act according to His commands. Psalms 37:3-4 says, "Trust in the Lord, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness. Delight yourself also in the Lord, And He shall give you the desires of your heart." (NJK) Jesus said, "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." (Matt 5:6, NIV)

Chocolate and milk go hand-in-hand. So does God's love and God's law. By consuming plenty of both on a regular basis, we grow in our salvation. By laying aside our envious and deceitful ways for the ways of love, we display Christ's righteousness and experience a deep satisfaction like no other. Bon Appetite!

My Prayer for Today:

Dear Lord, Thank You for the enjoyment of life's little pleasures like chocolate. But thank You even more for the milk of Your Word. May I hunger and thirst to understand Your laws and Your ways. And may I stand for Your justice in a world of corruption. Fill me with Your presence and love today. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Saturday, November 17, 2007


Satan has a plan against the saints of the Most High which is to wear them out. What is meant by this phrase, "wear out"? It has in it the idea of reducing a little this minute, then reducing a little further the next minute. Reduce a little today, reduce a little tomorrow. Thus the wearing out is almost imperceptible; nevertheless, it is a reducing. The wearing down is scarcely an activity of which one is conscious, yet the end result is that there is nothing left. He will take away your prayer life little by little, and cause you to trust God less and less and yourself more and more, a little at a time. He will make you feel somewhat cleverer than before. Step by step, you are misled to rely more on your own gift, and step by step your heart is enticed away from the Lord. Now, were Satan to strike the children of God with great force at one time, they would know exactly how to resist the enemy since they would immediately recognize his work. He uses the method of gradualism to wear down the people of God. --Watchman Nee

Don't let Satan "wear you out"!! His goal is to steal, to kill and to destroy and he will use any and every method to accomplish his purpose. But, as believers, we have our own arsenal with which to fight back. First, put on DAILY the whole armor of God...Ephesians 6: 10-18.
Second, keep the lines of communication clear and your heart clean before God....Psalm 51.

Yes, Satan is a formidable foe. BUT...."He that is in us is greater than he that is in the world" and "If God be for us, WHO can be against us!!!!!!!!!!!" Press on, dear Saint...press on!!

Friday, November 16, 2007



MY MOTHER....a woman who has persevered through many hardships and heartaches...a woman whom you cannot outgive.... a woman who has loved me unconditionally all my life....a woman who loves the Lord and who stands on His Word...a woman who has ALWAYS been there for me. I am blessed!

MY FRIENDS....I have a circle of friends that have been part of my life MOST of my life. It is a special, unique group and we share a bond that is unique and unusual in this transient time we live in. We meet monthly for dinner to share time with one another and to oooh and aaah over each other's grandchildren and to rejoice in children's successes and joys and to hold one another up and pray for one another when there are crises. But the one thing I guess I love the most about this group is that they are not just my friends...they are my sisters in Christ. Just this past week, we met for dinner. Talk around the table was how good God is!! Afterwards, one of those friends and I stood outside the restaurant for at least 30 minutes and our entire conversation was on the goodness of God. I also have friends who do not live here and who I only get to see once in a while, but who are SO dear to me. We keep in touch via email and how I thank God for that technology!! Our relationships have spanned many years, and though separated by many miles, we have still prayed each other through many things, wept with each other, rejoiced with each other and laughed with each other. How I praise God for them! And last, but not least, are the new friends I am making at church. Though they are in the "bud" stage, I am nonetheless excited about them and looking forward to all that God has in store for me through my relationships with them. Friends are a gift to be cherished and nourished.

I AM THANKFUL FOR MY HEALTH: Though the aches and pains of age are creeping upon both me and my husband, we enjoy good health overall and I am SO thankful for that, for I am reminded almost daily of how quickly that can be gone. In the last few years we have seen good friends go through a life-changing accident, another friend lost his mother to a stroke and she was a few years younger than us! Others our age are on numerous medications and suffering from various illnesses, some quite serious. So as one of our neighbors recently said "If I can get up and draw breath in the morning and get out of the bed, I'm thankful!" AMEN!!!!!!!

I AM THANKFUL FOR MY CHURCH: I am SO thankful for the wonderful people I've met this year, for the opportunities to be involved in Bible study, to teach again, to be involved in Women's Ministry and to be able to serve the Lord through this body of believers. I am thankful for the wonderful people I've met in our Sunday School class....such a diverse group of individuals, but all lovers of our Lord. I am thankful for our pastor...for his fire and his passion, for his relentless energy and enthusiasm. I am thankful for the opportunity to worship with my daughter and her husband and the joy of watching them kneel together in prayer every week!! How blessed we are to live in a country where we are privileged to worship as we choose, without fear of imprisonment, torture or death. That could all be gone in a heartbeat and it is a freedom that I fear we take way too lightly.

I AM THANKFUL FOR SO MANY THINGS!!!!!!!! I am thankful also for the Word of God, so fresh and so relative every single day as God reveals His will and His way to us. I am thankful for those who teach and who lead us closer to Him, for ministries like Focus on the Family, In Touch, Family Life, Love Worth Finding and many more. I am thankful for all the Christian resources we have to help us grow in our walk with the Lord. I am thankful for a neighborhood of wonderful people..a safe place where we can walk and fellowship without fear. I am thankful to live in the South....there is NO place like it! I am thankful for clothes to wear, food on our table, vehicles to drive, a wonderful home, computers, cell phones, digital cameras and photographs to preserve our memories. I am thankful for fun times with our family, making memories, laughter, and shared jokes. I am thankful for seeing my sweet granddaughter come running through the door with a huge smile on her face, with arms open wide as she says "MIMI!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!" as if she had not seen me in 1,000 years!!!!!!!!!!

Those are just a FEW of the many things I am thankful for! How about you? What are YOU thankful for? A tradition we started, courtesy of Hallmark, a few years ago, was to keep a Thanksgiving journal. On Thanksgiving when our family gathers, we will again pull it out and each person there will write what they are thankful for. What a joy it has been to go back and read the past year's entries. I pray it will be a tradition that we will continue and that will be carried on long after we are gone. It is important to stop and count your blessings.

GOD IS GOOD ALL THE TIME AND ALL THE TIME GOD IS GOOD!! Thank Him today and name YOUR blessings, one by one.

Thursday, November 15, 2007


As Thanksgiving is one week from today, I'd like to focus a little on what I am thankful for....



The Gaithers used to sing a song entitled "The Longer I Serve Him, the Sweeter He Grows". I think that could become my anthem. I have found that He continually reveals new aspects of His character to me and each one is more precious than the last. Funny...as I wrote that, another song just came to my mind...a song I have not sung in years and years!

Evey day with Jesus
Is sweeter than the day before
Every day with Jesus,
I love Him more and more.
Jesus saves and keeps me
And He's the One I'm living for...
Every day with Jesus
Is sweeter than the day before.
Such truth! And just like Him bringing that song to my mind at just the precise moment I was writing is just one example of how PERSONAL my God is! I think lately that has been the single most important thing that I have learned about Him. He truly is my best friend! He is with me moment by moment of every day. He hears the cries of my heart and He responds. He guides me. He protects me. He ministers to me. He reveals Himself to me in a thousand different ways. He is nearer than breathing, closer than hands and feet! I cannot imagine my life without Him and I am SO grateful to Him for loving someone like me. And, not only loving me, but dying for me so that I could have eternal life!
Some 37 years ago, God brought two unlikely teenagers together in a Guidance Office (we were the "helpers") and three years later they were married! I am SO blessed to be married to a Godly, hard-working country boy who still loves me after all these years! I am honored to be his wife and proud to bear his name because he is a man of integrity and character. I talk to women all the time who are in relationships that have caused them great grief. They are not loved or cherished, protected or cared for. I do not take that for granted. God has blessed me and I am SO thankful!!
Out of that union, God blessed us with two precious children who are the joy of my life! How grateful I am to God for giving us both a son and a daughter, for I've gotten the pleasure of both worlds. Our son is a hard worker just like his dad and shares his passion for deer hunting. What joy it gives me to see the two of them heading off into the woods together. It takes me back to when he was a little boy. He and his dad would head out for the day in Dad's old blue pick-up truck, son standing beside his dad on the seat, with his arm around Dad's neck. (Yes, I know that was terribly dangerous and he should have been in a carseat, but it was an OLD truck which did not have seat-belts!) I can see that picture in my mind's eye as clearly as if it were today. It brought tears to my eyes then; it still does today.
Our daughter is a neonatal intensive care nurse. Babies have been her passion since she was a little girl. She has a gift when it comes to children! She also has a heart for the Lord...a keen God-awareness that blesses my heart! She is the mother of my granddaughter and it has brought me immense joy to see her as a mother! She is so much better at it than I ever was.
God doubled our blessings when He brought our children's life partners to them. I count my blessings every day to have the daughter-in-love and son-in-love that I have! They have not only been a blessing to our children, but also to our family. They are each an answer to prayer.
And, finally, there is our precious granddaughter. She is such a joy and delight to both of our lives! Her smile lights up a room and she truly is "the sunshine of my life". She is beautiful, adorable, sweet, funny, busy as a bee and I could kiss her face off!! I guess you get the picture.
Those are just a few of my blessings! More tomorrow!
Count your blessings
Name them one by one
Count your blessings
See what God has done.

Vice President Cheney says Flag Recitation with References to God, OK

Vice President Cheney stated in a speech at the Indiana War Memorial, that a September 27th Veterans Administration directive prohibiting honor guards from using references to the "God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob" and to the "Father, Son and Holy Ghost," was a mistake by the "federal bureaucracy." The Vice President said that a flag-folding recitation with religious references can be part of military funerals at the nation's 125 veterans cemeteries. The September 27th order prohibited the references to God as part of the flag folding ceremony and created a storm of protest from around the country. Thousands of concerned citizens contacted the ACLJ expressing outrage over the VA's actions.

Faulting “the federal bureaucracy” for what he called a “confusing order." The Vice President assured the American Legion that its honor guards at military funerals can include the recitation in “any service where the family requests it.”

We are pleased with the resolution of this matter. (American Center for Law & Justice)

Monday, November 12, 2007


I entered the sanctuary, excited to be alone with God. As I walked farther and farther into the interior, I was immediately overwhelmed with the beauty of my surroundings. The walls of this sanctuary were ablaze with color....deep crimson, burnt orange, shades of yellow and gold. As I looked above me, the ceiling was a soft blue punctuated by pillows of pure white.

I was not in a building of stained glass, made with human hands.....I was standing in the midst of the woods. There was such a stillness....such a peacefulness...that it caused me to stop and just drink it in. As I stood just basking in being alone in God's presence, I realized that as I looked around, that all my eyes could see was untouched by human hands. It was all His...all created by His hands in His amazing, masterful design!

All week I had been feasting on the beauty of His handiwork! On my way to the farm, I could hardly keep my eyes on the road, the landscape was so beautiful!! It is a 45 minute drive that goes through softfly rolling hills and lots of farms and pastureland with only a house here and there to dot the otherwise untouched landscape. The trees were magnificent in their beauty, as if God were shouting to the world "CAN'T YOU SEE? I AM GOD!! I CREATED ALL OF THIS!! MAN HAD NOTHING TO DO WITH ALL THIS BEAUTY!!!" I was struck by the magnificence of the colors and thought of how creative God is...another of His many attributes! Have you ever taken the time to really look at the many beautiful colors in the fall leaves? They are just amazing!! And each one of those originated with GOD!! (Now for some of you that may come as a shock, but colors did NOT orignate with Mr. Crayola!! )

"And he answered and said unto them, I tell you that, if these should hold their peace, the stones would immediately cry out." Luke 19:40 Every leaf on every tree was crying out in worship of the Master Designer, Holy God!! What a testimony to His awesomeness!!

As I stood there, truly worshipping our Creator God, I was keenly aware of the stillness and silence....yet it was not void of sound. The silence of the woods is unique. It was so still that you were keenly aware of even the slightest sound. I heard something and turned just in time to see a leaf dance softly to the ground. A crunch! I looked and as I peered through the trees in the distance I could see movement. A deer's body slowly making its way through the trees. I stood as still as a tree, wondering just how long I could fake him (or her) out as I stood there in the middle of the path in my blaze orange jacket and hat! Then another crunch to the other side of me, then a rustling in the leaves. A rabbit? A squirrel? Another deer? I saw something move, but was not sure what. I was an intruder in their home. I was a visitor in this holy sanctuary.

I understand perfectly why our guys LOVE the woods so!! It is their sanctuary too. They have each spoken of how God speaks to them there...how they sense His presence in such a real way in that holy place.

I could have stood there for much longer, but the beauty beckoned me to travel deeper into the woods and down the leaf strewn path. Each step of the journey was met with new sights and sounds and that ever-present stillness. Each bend in the road provided new scenery, smells and delights. How I thanked God for the opportunity to be in that place, to drink in the beauty He had created for my pleasure, and to sense His delight as I enjoyed all that He had created.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

November 6, 2007

I have never understood how ANYONE can NOT believe there is a God! He is all around us. He has magnified Himself in so many different ways that it is impossible NOT to see Him!

The Master Designer has given us so many masterpieces to display His majesty and His splendor!! I wrote a few weeks ago about just one of them...the ocean. Aaaaaaahhhhh.....NOTHING in creation compares to it!!!!!! But, having said that, there is a close second and that is being in the woods in the fall!

The leaves are turning and the palette of colors is just amazing! There is a hickory tree that is absolutely brilliant it is so yellow! The dogwoods are turning a deep crimson....almost as beautiful in their red coat as they are when they blossom with their ivory flowers in spring. Then there are a myriad of hues in between on the other surrounding trees. It is just breathtakingly beautiful to behold!!!!!! The handiwork of a great and powerful God!

One of my favorite parts of being in the woods this time of year is listening to the wind rustle through the trees. It sounds like the ocean. (Yes, I know you must think I am obscessed with the ocean, but it truly does sound just like it!)

As I sit on the porch drinking my morning coffee, wrapped up in a fleece throw to ward off the chill of the fall morning, it can be incredibly still. So still, that when one leaf falls, you can hear it. That stillness is priceless! How often can you get THAT still and THAT quiet!? I think that is why our guys love hunting so much! They perch themselves in the tree stand to watch for deer, but in the process they are so still and they have a bird's eye view of the splendor before them. They ALL love it!!

Suddenly, out of the stillness, you will hear a sound in the distance... As it approaches, it increases momentum and the sound gets louder. As you watch, the trees to the far left begin to gently sway and then, just like a wave, the wind blows through from tree to tree. Just as that wave dies down, and the trees begin to still, another in the far distance will begin again and here comes another wave! It is so amazing to listen to and to watch.

It reminds me of how God sweeps across our lives when we will just get STILL before Him! We fail too often to do that. Our lives are SO busy! Sometimes I feel like I'm on a merry go round and want to just get off, but there is no "getting-off" spot! So for me, to be able to sit and just soak in the quietness and stillness of the woods is a gift beyond compare. The presence of God just sweeps over me and I drink in the beauty of His handiwork and listen to Him speak as He sends the wind through the trees. There is a peace....a calmness....a quiet reminder that HE IS GOD!!!!!!!!! And this amazing GOD is not just A God, He is MY God!!! He knows ME by name. This Master Designer desires an up close and personal relationship with ME!! I just find that so incredible!!

Unfortunately, I cannot go to the beach or the woods every day. But I CAN get still and alone with God. He encourages us to do just that numerous times in scripture. Jesus modeled in for us as He often got alone to pray. David, called by God "a man after God's own heart", knew how to get alone. In my favorite Psalm in the Bible, Psalm 91, he writes "He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty".

We all need our "secret place" where we can get alone with God. He beckons us to do so:


Today, I encourage you to find a place you can call your "secret place". Make time to get alone with God. If possible, get outside...take a walk or sit on your porch. Drink in this magnificent fall beauty. Recognize the ONE who designed it all and who desires to spend time with you, to speak to you, to calm you, to pour out His love on you. Make the time....He is waiting.

Friday, November 2, 2007

November 2, 2007

"And He walks with me and He talks with me. And He tells me I am His own. And the joys we share as we tarry there...none other has ever known". (In the Garden, C. Austin Miles 1912)

I recently read that someone has written a book that is getting a lot of attention entitled GOD IS NOT GOOD. How sad. That person obviously does not know God.

God is not an impersonal deity high in the sky, totally removed from our daily life or one who is peeking through the clouds, watching us humans run around and destroy ourselves. Quite the contrary.

He is a BIG, BIG God who knows each of us intimately and personally. After all, He created us! He desires for us to have a close, personal, intimate relationship with Him. That is the one thing about God that sets Him apart from all other "gods". There is no other religion where the object of worship has a relationship with the worshipper.

I am daily blown away by just how personal He is, how much He cares about the smallest details of my life. I think if there is any one aspect of His character that I am most drawn to it's the fact that He is so very personal and so very, very precious in His great love for me.

And the more we look for Him, the more keenly aware we are of His presence in our lives, the more we will see the evidence of that. In the Bible study I have been a part of, the author of the book we were studying said that she put a dry erase board on her refrigerator and wrote I SPY GOD on it. Then every day she would write where she had seen God moving and evident that day. Neat idea!

We have a good friend who was in a terrible accident several years ago. He has been in and out of the hospital with various problems since then. Not quite a year ago, he was in for some serious complications and was battling for his life. His daughter had been there all day and was on her way home around 11:00 pm. She was tired, she was agonizing over his condition, her heart was heavy. She had a long drive home and about half way there, as she was approaching a church she saw one of those lighted signs next to the road. She could not believe what it said. It read "Michelle....God loves you". Her name is Michelle.

Now some would argue that was just a coincidence, but Michelle and I both KNOW better! When she relayed that to me, she said "I KNOW that God put that there just for me...to encourage me and remind me that He was in control." I have no doubt she was exactly right. That is just how personal our God is!

And, because He is so very personal, he desires to communicate with us. He wants us to know and do His will for He has good plans for us, plans to prosper us and give us a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) Sometimes, however, we struggle with knowing His will, with being sure that we are correctly hearing His voice, and not our own or that of the enemy.

Priscilla Shirer shares the Five M's of Correctly Hearing God in her Bible study, Discerning the Voice of God. This has blessed me and helped me SO much. I pray that it will be a help to you as well:

1. Look for the message of the Spirit: Listen to the Holy Spirit. Don't just casually ask God for guidance. Consciously turn your attention inward to see if what you are sensing carries the weight of God or if it is the unsure, unsteady voice of your own conscience.

2. Live in the mode of prayer: Submit what you hear back to God in prayer. Throughout the day when the issue comes into your mind, don't spend time worrying; spend time handing the issue over to God.

3. Search out the model of Scripture: Carefully consider the Scriptures. Does what you think you're hearing in any way contradict the character of God or the Word of God?

4. Submit to the ministry of Eli: See the counsel of a wise, more mature believer who can discern God's leading in his or her own life.

5. Expect the mercy of confirmation: Ask the Lord for confirmation. God desires for you to know His will. He's not hiding it from you. When I ask the Lord to confirm what He is saying to me through the Holy Spirit so I can be sure He is indeed speaking, He allows the Holy Spirit to speak to me and verify His message through His written Word, circumstances, or even another person.

In the same way we love our children and desire a close, intimate relationship with them, God loves us and desires that closeness with each of His children. He is waiting for us to come into His presence, to seek Him, to walk with Him and fellowship with Him. Open your eyes today and ask Him to show Himself to you. You will be amazed at just how close He is !!

Thursday, November 1, 2007

November 1, 2007

"For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." II Timothy 1:7


Satan has many weapons in his arsenal designed to slay or at the very least, to disarm the Christian. When he finds it an effective weapon on an individual, he will use it again and again. He is merciless.

Fear paralyzes. Fear cripples. Fear robs you of your joy. Fear diminishes your faith. According to the above verse, fear is NOT from the Lord!

Do you want to know what fear REALLY is? Fear is :

F alse

E xpectations

A ppearing

R eal

Isn't it interesting that the first word is "false"? Why? Because Satan is the father of lies! Lying to us is his specialty. That is how he works on us. He whispers lies in our ears, causing us to fear.

"Appearing" means it looks like...not that it IS! How many things have you worried about in your life that actually happened?! I know that I have wasted countless hours worrying over things that....thankfully....never came to be. If we are focusing our attention on our fears, we have taken our focus off of Jesus and that is just exactly what Satan wants.

Fear robs us of our joy. It causes us to forget how awesome our God is! It causes us to forget how faithful He is, how much He loves us and that we can trust Him. It is an insidious weapon that wraps its tentacles around our minds and our hearts and grips us til we cannot function at all.

But, dear friend, be of good cheer! God has an arsenal that is bigger and better than anything Satan could ever hope to have. It is the Word of God! It is sharper than a two edged sword and it is available to each of us 24/7! For me, the most effective of those weapons is found in the book of Psalms. I camp there with David often. Listen to what David has to say :

"Hear my voice, O God, in my prayer. Preserve my life from fear....Hide me from the secret counsel of the wicked [Satan and his demons]...Psalm 64:1

"Hear my cry, O God; attend to my prayer. From the end of the earth will I cry unto thee when my heart is overwhelmed; lead me to the Rock that is higher than I." Psalm 61: 1,2

"My soul, wait thou only upon God; for my expectation is from Him" Psalm 62: 5 [Our expectation is to be from the Lord...not from man or any other source.]

"Trust him at all times, you people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge to us." Psalm 61: 8

Listen in this Psalm at how David begins in fear and ends seeking the Lord:

"Give ear to my prayer, O God and hide not thyself from my supplication.....My heart is sore pained within me and the terrors of death are fallen upon me [Saul is pursing him to kill him]. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me and horror hath overwhelmed me.....As for me, I will call upon God; and the Lord shall save me. Evening, morning and at noon shall I pray and cry aloud and he shall hear my voice." [David found the prescription for his fear...he prayed!] Psalm 55: 1,2; 3,5; 16, 17.

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. THEREFORE....we will NOT fear though the earth be removed and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea!" Psalm 46: 1,2

Today, if you find yourself gripped with fear, call upon the Lord. Turn your face toward Him and away from the fears that are plaguing you. Ask God to take captive all those fearful thoughts. Go to the Word and submurge yourself in it. Put on a worship CD or turn on the radio to a Christian station and turn your focus from whatever is worrying you to the God who has all the answers, to the One who loves you with an unquenchable love. He will set you free from the chains that bind you!!!!!!!!!!!!!