Wednesday, April 30, 2008


In the spring of 2003 when American soldiers infiltrated and moved upon Baghdad, Lt. Carey Cash, Chaplain of the First Marine Fifth was present to witness the hand of God firsthand on the battlefield. Carey is the son of my good friend and author, Billie Cash. From the sands of Baghdad came the story of how God moved and how God protected our fighting men and women as they fought for our freedom. A TABLE IN THE PRESENCE was written by Lt. Cash and released in 2003, endorsed by Oliver North and Chuck Colson.

As a result of this book, a documentary is being made entitled MILITARY MIRACLES. It is the story of what God did and is doing daily as our brave men and women defend this country.

It is so easy for us in the comfort of the USA to go about our daily lives without ever giving these soldiers another thought. The war has become fodder for political debate, but the reality is there are REAL men and women...husbands and wives, moms and dads, sons and daughters...who are laying their lives on the line even this very moment for our freedom.

Yet as we are complacent in our remembrance, God is ever watchful, ever present. This documentary is a phenomenal opportunity to catch a glimpse of just how awesome our God is. Men and women have been flown back to the desert of Iraq to recreate some of the events that took place there that showcase just how BIG our God is!

Here is a just a sample to whet your appetite. I pray that you will watch for this documentary and will recommend it to family and friends so that we may praise God for His goodness, AND use it as a reminder to pray DAILY for those who are giving so much for us.

Tuesday, April 29, 2008


Some days you just find yourself in the pit.

The pit is a place of darkness and uncertainty. You feel totally alone. The future is full of fears and unknowns and you don't know which way to turn.

"My heart is sore pained within me and the terrors of death are fallen upon me. Fearfulness and trembling are come upon me and sorrow hath overwhelmed me. I said "Oh that I had wings like a dove, for then I would fly away and be at rest.!" Psalm 55:4-6

Have you ever felt like that? God understands.

"Behold the eye of the Lord is upon them that fear Him, upon them that hope in his mercy. Our soul waits for the Lord; he is our help and our shield. For our heart shall rejoice in Him because we have trusted in His holy name. Let thy mercy O Lord be upon us according as we Hope in Thee." Psalm 33: 18, 20-22.

In the darkness of the pit, the one thing we need is light. God will lighten our darkness. He IS our light. If we will draw near to Him, He will light the way.

"For thou wilt light my candle; the Lord MY God will enlighten my darkness." Psalm 18: 28

"The Lord is my light and my salvation. Whom shall I fear?" Psalm 27: 1

"The entrance of thy words gives light; it gives understanding unto the simple." Psalm 119: 130

When I go to God through His word....especially in the Psalms...I draw near to Him and He comforts me.

"Thy word is a lamp unto my feet and a light unto my path." Psalm 119:105

"Then they cried unto the Lord in their trouble and he saved them out of their distresses. He brought them out of darkness and the shadow of death and broke their bands asunder." Psalms 107: 13, 14

"He makes the storm a calm so that the waves thereof are still." Psalm 107: 29

"Thou which has shewn me great and sore troubles shall quicken me again and shall bring me up again from the depths of the earth. Thou shalt increase my greatness and comfort me on every side. " Psalms 71: 20-21

Yes, if we lean on the Lord, seek Him in the midst of our darkness, He will be our light and He will bring us out of the depths of the pit and cause the sun to shine again!

"Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you will revive me; you will stretch forth your hand against the wrath of my enemies and your right hand shall save me. In the day when I cried, you answered me and strengthened me with strength in my soul." Psalm 138: 7, 3

"Happy is he who has the God of Jacob for his help, whose hope is in the Lord His God." Psalm 146: 5

Friday, April 25, 2008


One List

He that overcometh, the same shall be clothed in white raiment; and I will not blot out his name out of the book of life, but I will confess his name before my Father, and before his angels.” Revelation 3:5 (KJV)


A crowd of girls were frantically searching the list, squealing with happiness when they found their name on the new team roster. It was a happy scene, but one which abruptly ended. One girl was left standing, peering through the names on the list over and over, but her name could not be found. No matter how badly she wanted to be on the team, and despite all her hard work, her name was not on the list. The scene quickly turned to one of sorrow, as sympathetic hugs and tears were offered from the same girls who were jumping with joy just minutes before. One list… many names… one name missing.

Seeing the hurt and pain of this young girl brought tears to my eyes. I wanted to say something to comfort her, but no words seemed sufficient. I remembered how painful it was to want something so desperately, but know that I had no power to change the outcome. God spoke to my heart in the midst of that scene, and I began thinking about all the people whose lives had come to an end, who had stood face to face before the Almighty God as he flipped through the book of life, only to realize that their name was not on the list. They may have tried to remind the Father of all the hard work they had done, all the good deeds they had performed, all the people they had helped. They desperately yearned to walk through the pearly gates, but no longer had the power to change the outcome. Their window of opportunity to accept Jesus Christ as the One and only Savior had passed. One list… many names… one name missing.

Revelation 20:15 says, “And whosoever was not found written in the book of life was cast into the lake of fire.” This verse is not meant to scare people into accepting Jesus, but instead to share two very important facts: First, we must recognize our need for Jesus today. Life is full of joy and happiness; hurt and pain; disappointments and fear. We need a heavenly Father to hold our hand, guide us down the right paths, and comfort us when we are hurting. Second, knowing that life is short and unpredictable, God wants us to understand that Jesus is the only way into heaven. Once our earthly life is over, we will each be faced with the consequences of our earthly decisions, and at that time, we will have no power to change the outcome.

But today, you still have the power to decide where your soul will spend eternity. Today is your window of opportunity to accept Jesus into your heart, and praise Him for who He is. Today could be the day that the Holy Spirit comes to dwell within you, and your heart is forever changed. Today could be the day that you not only gain eternal life with Jesus, but a joyful and fulfilling life on earth through the grace and love of Christ. Today could be the day that your name is forever written into the holy pages of the book of life. One list… many names… and when your time comes, you could be assured that the Father would see your name.

If you know Jesus as your Savior today, your name is already recorded in the book of life. But is your friend’s name there? Your co-worker? Boss? Mother-in-law? Sister? Mother? Husband? Enemy? Would God find their names in the book of life if they were to come face to face with Him today? Jesus can provide the courage you need to reach out to them. Will it be easy? No. Will it be worth it? Absolutely! You could be the one God wants to work through to lead them into the arms of Jesus. You could be the one to rejoice with them as their names are written in the book of life by the holy Hand that gives life. One list … many names … is one name missing?

Dear Lord, I praise you for who You are, and for the sacrifice you made so that my name could be on the list for eternal life with You. Open my eyes to recognize the people in my life who need to find You, and how I can point them to You. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.
from devotion

Wednesday, April 23, 2008


I used to tell my kids "It's always right to do the right thing." David tells us in Psalm 19 just how true that is!

Walk with me through these verses and let God's Holy Spirit speak truth to you:

"The instruction of the Lord is PERFECT, reviving the soul; the testimony of the Lord is TRUSTWORTHY, making the inexperienced wise." vs 7Holman Christian Standard

Instruction may be translated 'law', meaning the Word of God, God's commands. Whichever word you choose, the unmistakeable truth is that it is PERFECT...flawless, without error! How can you go wrong if you obey and follow that which is PERFECT?!

The Lord's testimony, i.e. witness, is TRUSTWORTHY. Aren't we all looking for someone today who is trustworthy? Someone who will tell us the truth. Someone we can REALLY believe? In the midst of this political season, wouldn't that be refreshing?! This verse tells us that God's witness is true, it can be trusted and when we listen to it, it will make us wise! You can't go wrong with that!

"The precepts of the Lord are RIGHT, making the heart GLAD; the commandment of the Lord is RADIANT, making the eyes light up." vs 8

Precepts may be also translated statutes. Again, God's laws, rules or commands. They are RIGHT! No questions asked. Do you ever struggle with what the right thing is? These days there are so many voices telling us what "right" is, from politicians, to Hollywood, to New Age gurus, to Oprah Winfrey! But, if you really want to know what is 100% RIGHT without a hint of error...turn to God's word. What will be your reward? If you DO them (reading them is not enough), the result will be gladness of heart. Now that is something everyone could use a good dose of.

And what a novel thought to consider that the commandments are 'radiant'. I take that to mean that they light the way. We live in a dark world and if we are going to walk in the right path, we need something to light the way. God's Word will light your way and when you see where you are going, your eyes will just light up with gladness.

"The fear of the Lord is PURE, enduring forever; the ordinances of the Lord are RELIABLE and altogether RIGHTEOUS. They are more desirable than gold--more than an ABUNDANCE of pure gold; and sweeter than honey---honey dripping from the comb." vs 9,10

"Fear of the Lord" is not a negative thing, rather it is a healthy reverance recognizing who God is and why He deserves our adoration. Pure reverance for God will last forever for once you get a glimpse of BIG your God really is, you will never be the same. It is truly something that is more valuable than the purest gold or the sweetest honey. Just to realize that THE God of the universe, the CREATOR God who spoke this world into existence desires a relationship with ME just takes my breath away!!!

"In addition, your servant is WARNED by them ; there is great REWARD in keeping them!" vs 11

God doesn't expect us to just blindly wander through this life. He clearly tells us in His word what we need to know to stay on the right path. He puts out warnings to us to show us what NOT to do and He rewards us when we obey. Everyone is looking to win something today. Look at all the TV shows where people are trying to win BIG....Deal or No Deal, Smarter than a 5th Grader, not to mention the various lotteries that beckon to you from every gas station in town. Yet God tells us that if you really want a genuine reward, to open up His word and OBEY!

Why do we have such a hard time with that? It is such a clear-cut formula for blessing! I think the reason is that it means we have to give up OUR agenda and doing things OUR way. We don't like that. We don't like to relinquish control. We don't like to admit that someone could have a better idea than we do about how to live our life! But the truth is, He does!

It really is as simple as the song we sung when I was a child:

When we walk with the Lord
In the light of His word
What a glory He sheds on our way
What He says we will do
Where He sends we will go
Never fear only trust and obey.
Trust and obey
For there's no other way
To be happy in Jesus
But to trust and obey.
---D.B.Towner, 1921

Sunday, April 20, 2008


This morning in my quiet time, I asked God to speak in our worship today. And speak He did! Our pastor has been preaching a series on Nehemiah and rebuilding the broken walls in our life. Today he was focusing on the plans and preparation that Nehemiah made before undertaking his project. He challenged us to seek God's plan, God's vision for our life at whatever stage we were in and then to begin to plan and prepare to carry it out. Like the saying goes..."if you fail to plan, you plan to fail."

So my mind took off! Last month in our Christian Writers Circle one of our guest speakers said that if our dream was to write, then to keep the dream alive you must have someone to share your dream and be your cheerleader or support person along the way.

All of these thoughts center around one thing: what is your dream and what are you doing to live out that dream? Or, put another way, what on earth are you here for??????

Most people seem to find themselves just plodding through their daily life, just trying to survive.
When I was a kid and I called my mother at work, I'd ask "Whatcha doing?" She always gave the same reply "trying to make eight" (just trying to get in her eight hours so she could come home). How many of you are just "trying to make eight" or twelve or twenty four? Or said another many of us are just killing time til time kills us?

If you are in your twenties or thirties, you are probably trying to get your career off the ground and possibly starting your family. As the kids grow and get more involved, the crazier life becomes. You may feel that you don't even have time to dream, that all you can do is figure out how the bills are going to get paid, who is taking which kid to which activity at what time and cleaning up the messes everyone leaves behind.

If you are in your 40's or 50's, you are probably getting tired of the rat race and may even begin to feel like the rats are winning! Maybe your dreams for what you thought your life would be like have not turned out exactly as you had planned when you were in college. The dream job is not as "dreamy" as you thought it would be and the people you are working with are anything but dreamboats. Maybe your dream mate isn't quite as dreamy as he or she was when you fell in love. A few more pounds have been added, a few more gray hairs, too much work, too many demands, too many responsibilities and very little romance have dimmed the flame that once burned so passionately. Not quite what you imagined married life would be.

Maybe those sweet babies have become obnoxious teens and you are worried about how they are going to turn out. Or worse, maybe they have left home and gotten into things you prayed that they never would. How did all this happen?

Or maybe you are nearing retirement and what you always thought would be the time you'd FINALLY get to relax and enjoy a time to travel or do things you'd always looked forward to doing is instead a time of multiple health problems or you've lost the spouse you had always seen yourself spending retirement with. You are alone and life has lost its joy. Maybe financial problems are looming as you realize that you may not have enough to live on in these later years.

Sound like gloom and doom? Well, it doesn't have to be that way. The good news is that God says He has a plan for our lives...a good plan...a plan to give us a hope and a future. (Jeremiah 29:11) So the question is how do we get there?

I think we must realize first that we need to consciously SEEK that plan! I think sometimes we miss the plan because we are looking for something that it isn't. For instance, if you are a young mother at home with two or three small children, you have about all you can handle. You don't have time to"dream". But think about it. For this season of your life, maybe this IS the plan. Those children and that home and that husband IS your mission in life! I truly believe with all my heart there is no higher calling in life than to be a mother. You have the awesome responsibility and privilege of pouring good things into the lives of those young impressionable little people. They are watching your every move, listening to your every word. They are wet cement and the imprints you are making upon their lives during these foundational years will last a lifetime. What could be more important than that? To teach them about Jesus. To teach them His word. To show them how a person follows Jesus. As you are taking care of your home, your are providing a safe haven for them and a place of refuge for your husband when he returns from "slaying the dragons" all day. You are there to encourage him, to be his cheerleader and to share life and his dreams with him. All of those things are very important and no one else in his life can do them like you. God wants to use you in his life "at this season" of your marriage. Don't go looking for the Hollywood version of marriage and family life. Seek how God wants to use you right now in the midst of your plain, ordinary life!

Maybe you see your career as boring or as just a job to provide an income to put food on the table and a roof over your head. Nothing exciting. But God has provided you that job. He has placed you there at THIS time for a purpose and with THOSE people for a reason! You are there for "such a time as this". Don't waste it! Ask God how He can use you there and how you can make a difference until He chooses to move you elsewhere.

How about your neighborhood? What are you doing to impact the people who live around you? Have you made any efforts to get to know them? You don't have to beat them over the head with your Bible. Just love them, care about them, reach out to them when they have a need and be a good neighbor. Then wait for God to open the door for you to be JESUS to them!

So you're retired now. What are you doing for the Kingdom? You have all this extra time on your hands. How are your using it for Him? Are you involved in any ministries at your church? Are you reaching out to anyone with the hands and feet of Jesus? Or are you just playing around with your hobbies, "killing time til time kills you"? There was a widely publicized article in recent years that circulated about a couple who made a lot of money, took early retirement and bought a house on the seashore just to spend their days collecting seashells! Now don't get me wrong, I LOVE the beach and I enjoy collecting seashells as much as anyone. BUT....there is more to life than that! And lest you think "Well, they are retired. They've worked hard all of their life and they've earned the right to do nothing but collect seashells." I challenge you to find in scripture where it says God has a social security plan! On the contrary, I believe God expects us to be living for Him right up until we draw our last breath.

I challenge you today, at whatever season you are in, to stop for just a few seconds after you read this devotional and ask God "What is YOUR vision for me right here, today, in the season of life I'm in?" And don't quit asking til you get an answer! Once you determine what He desires of you, then begin to plan and prepare HOW you are going to accomplish that vision. God does not have plans just for a select few. He has plans for each of His children and that includes YOU! What is His vision for YOU?

Thursday, April 17, 2008


Wanted: Dead or Alive!

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1
by Os Hillman

Thursday, April 17 2008

"For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms" (Eph 6:12).

In the old west it was common to see a poster on the wall of the town jail or post office with a man's picture below the words: Wanted: Dead or Alive! These were the most notorious criminals who posed the greatest danger to society.

Let me ask you a personal question. Is there a "Wanted: Dead or Alive" poster in hell with your name on it? Are you a real danger to hell? Do you cause problems for Satan's legion of demons? Are you pushing back Satan's agenda on planet earth?

Are the unsaved in danger of receiving salvation through you? Will someone receive healing because you dared to pray for them? Will someone's life be impacted because you chose to pray for them in your workplace during a difficult time? Will a city be impacted for Jesus Christ because of you?

Millions of believers sit on the sidelines everyday having no impact on the Kingdom of darkness. Their names will never appear on a Wanted poster in hell because Satan sees that they are no threat. However, God wants you to be a threat to Satan's kingdom.

What are some things you can do that will pose a threat to Satan's agenda? Perhaps you can begin praying for one of Satan's most notorious talk show personalities. Or maybe you are called to visit an elderly home to bring the love of Christ into a lonely place. There are many ways you can earn a reputation in hell.

Are you willing to be a force to be reckoned with by Satan's legions?

Wednesday, April 16, 2008


Several years ago, I learned something that has come to mean SO much to me....praying scripture. Taking a verse of scripture and personalizing it for yourself or for the one for whom you are praying. We always want to pray in God's will. When we pray scripture, we can be sure that we are doing so.

Here's an example: When my daughter first began work as a neonatal intensive care nurse, she often had to work nights. Her system just could NOT adjust to that shift. She could not rest or sleep during the day, her digestive system would give her fits. It was a nightmare! One of the verses that I prayed for her was Psalm 127: 2b "...he gives his beloved sleep". I would pray that God would give her sleep during the day so that she would be able to do her job. I also prayed Psalm 4: 8 "I will both lay me down in peace and sleep, for thou, Lord, only makes me to dwell in safety. " I would pray that He would give her peaceful sleep.

After learning that concept, I began to pray verses for my children. They were in their late teens and early adult years and being faced with many temptations and decisions that would affect the rest of their lives. Recently, I have talked with several mothers who are in the same place with their children. Our children are our heart and we desire nothing more than God's very best for them. Yet when they become adults, it is out of our hands. We must place them in God's hands.

Today I'd like to share some of the verses that I have prayed for my children in hopes that these will be verses that you can pray for YOUR children as you lift them up to the Lord each day in prayer:

Try ________'s heart Lord. Visit him in the night. Hold up his goings in YOUR path, Lord. Do not let his foot slip. Psalm 17: 3, 5, 18

Help ______ to acknowledge her sin and not hide it from you. Help her to confess all of her sins so you can forgive her and renew a right relationship with her. Psalm 32:5

Help ______ to depart from evil and do good always. Psalm 34:14

Lord, give ________ a companion who knows and fears you and who obeys your word. Either turn _________'s heart to you or chase him/her away. Psalm 119:63

________ has gone astray like a lost sheep. Seek her Lord. Remind her she is yours. Psalm 119:176

Bring _________'s soul out of prison so he may once again praise you. Deal bountifully with him Lord. Psalm 142:7

O Lord search ___________'s heart, for you know her like no other. You know every move she makes and every thought she has. You are acquainted with all of her ways. There is not a word she speaks that you do not know it, Father. Enclose her behind and before and keep your hand upon her this day. Where can we go and be apart from you? There is no place we can go where you are not....from the highest of highs to the lowest of lows. Wherever we go your hand will lead us. The darkness cannot hide you. Wherever ________goes, you are there. She is your possession. You covered her when she was still in my womb. She is fearfully and wonderfully made by you....marvelous is your creation! All her members are written in your book. How precious are your thoughts toward __________. How great is the sum of them. Therefore, search her O God and know her heart. Try her and see if there is any wicked way in her and show her YOUR path everlasting. Psalm 139

May ________ walk not in the counsel of the ungodly...but may his delight be in your word and may he meditate on it day and night. Psalm 1: 1, 2

Show ________ your ways O Lord; teach her your paths. Lead her in your truth for you are the God of her salvation. Psalm 25: 4, 5

God may you always be ________'s hiding place. Preserve him from trouble. Psalm 32: 7

Keep _______'s tongue from evil and her lips from speaking perversely. Psalm 34: 13

May _______depart from evil and do good. May he seek peace and pursue it. Psalm 34: 14

Let those who seek to pull _________away from you be confounded and put to shame. May they be turned back....let the angel of the Lord chase them away. Psalm 35: 4,5

Father, help ________ to fret not, but to trust in you. May she delight herself in you so that you may give her the desires of her heart. Help her to commit her way unto You, rest and wait patiently for you. Psalm 37: 1-7

Order _______'s steps Lord in your way. When he falls, pick him up and uphold him with your mighty right hand. Psalm 37: 23, 24

Hide not your face from ________, Lord. When they are in trouble, hear them speedily! Psalm 69: 17

May _______ be blessed because her strength is in you and may her heart be set on you. Psalm 84: 5

Help _______ to behave him to walk within his house in a perfect way. May he set no wicked thing before his eyes. Psalm 101: 2,3

May she seek you with her whole heart....may she not wander from the commands of your word. May she hide your word in her heart so that she will not sin against You. Psalm 119: 10, 11

Let ________always hope in the Lord for with the Lord there is plenteous mercy and with him there is plenteous redemption. Psalm 130: 7

Maybe these will give you a start on choosing verses for your loved ones...not just your children. Praying God's word is a powerful tool in our arsenal of weapons of warfare.

Monday, April 7, 2008


Following on the heels of my last post, this devotional by Os Hillman just expressed so well how important it is that we have a relationship and NOT a religion, that I couldn't resist sharing it with you. I hope you will examine your life and see where you are today. Knowledge OF Jesus is great, but if you do not have a RELATIONSHIP with Him, you only have a fat head and an empty heart!

Faith Experiences

TGIF Today God Is First Volume 1 by Os Hillman
Monday, April 07 2008

"These have come so that your faith-of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire-may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed." - 1 Peter 1:7

One of the great tragedies of the Christian life is that if we fail to enter into a relationship with God that is born of the Holy Spirit, we are left with a religion, not a relationship. Many a person today lives with an intellectual belief in God, but without a relationship that is based on two-way communication. This is the greatest tragedy of all. It's like having a brand-new car but never having the gas to run it. It can't move you anywhere. It only looks pretty, but one cannot enjoy the ride or smell the newness inside.

Peter tells us that until our faith is proved genuine, we will never be able to give praise, glory, and honor to Jesus, because until such testing He will not be revealed in our lives. Peter describes this in the verse before: "In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials" (1 Pet. 1:6). Trials are designed to bring us to a level of trust and experience with God that we would never know otherwise. These "faith experiences" with God allow us to know firsthand the faithfulness of God, the love of God, and the personal nature of God. If you cannot recount several instances when God has met you personally, then chances are your faith has not been born of the Holy Spirit into a living relationship with God. It is easy to fall prey to a relationship to God that never experiences His real presence; rather, it is based on knowledge only. This is a tragic place to be.

If this is where you have been in your Christian experience, ask God today to make Himself real to you. Ask Him to show you His personal nature and love. He desires to do this. Those whom He has called know His voice. He will show Himself to those who are His. "He who loves Me will be loved by My Father, and I too will love him and show Myself to him" (Jn. 14:21b).

Saturday, April 5, 2008


There is something within each of us that yearns for relationship. We need to be loved, cherished and know that we are valued by another human being, that we matter to someone.

The longer I live the more lives I see that have been so wounded and so affected by relationships gone wrong. Sexual abuse, verbal and emotional abuse, rape, incest, divorce, neglect, abandonment....just to name a few. I truly believe there are more DYSFUNCTIONAL families than there are what we would term "normal" families. Just further evidence of the havoc the sin nature wreaks in our lives.

Yet in the midst of all of this mahem stands ONE who loves us unconditionally. "For God SO LOVED the world [you and me] that He gave His only Son, that WHOSOEVER [includes you and me] believeth in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life." John 3:16 KJV

What's more, He longs to have fellowship with communicate with have RELATIONSHIP. God is not so much interested in what religion you are affiliated with...or what denomination you favor. What He IS interested in is a RELATIONSHIP with you!

Bob Sorge, author of SECRETS OF THE SECRET PLACE, explains it this way:

Nothing is deadlier to the secret place than a false idea of how God views you....When you gain ownership of the fact that God is smiling on you, that He is desiring your company, and that He longs to be intimate with you,, the truth of that reality starts to touch your emotional chemistry and you actually begin to feel attractive to God. When you know you're attractive to God, you come into His presence with boldness. You come into His presence the way He wants you to, with a lifted face, with expectant eyes, with a delighted smile, with an eager voice and with a burning heart.

He doesn't enjoy you any less because you struggle. He knows your weakness. He sees your failures, but yet He owns you as His child and enjoys you even when you fall! He loves it when you pick yourself up and keep stepping forward again into His arms. How comforting to know we can bring the entire package of our inadequacies and shortcomings into His presence and know that He lovingly embraces us and delights in us! He enjoys us at every stage of the maturity process.

Does that not just blow you away?!!! It does me. If you can just catch a glimpse of the fact that our Holy and AWESOME God is waiting for you each morning...waiting for you to come and spend time with Him because He loves you and wants to spend time with you, you will RUN to your secret place to spend time with Him! Do not miss out on all that He has in store for you today. Jesus, the lover of your soul, awaits!!!!!!!!!!

Friday, April 4, 2008


Max Lucado

In the shop of a blacksmith, there are three types of tools.
There are tools on the junk pile: outdated, broken, dull, rusty.
They sit in the cobwebbed corner, useless to their master, oblivious to their calling.

There are tools on the anvil:melted down, molten hot, moldable, changeable.
They lie on the anvil, being shaped by their master, accepting their calling.

There are tools of usefulness:sharpened, primed, defined, mobile.
They lie ready in the blacksmith’s tool chest, available to their master, fulfilling their calling.

Some people lie useless: lives broken, talents wasting, fires quenched, dreams dashed.
They are tossed in with the scrap iron, in desperate need of repair, with no notion of purpose.

Others lie on the anvil: hearts open, hungry to change, wounds healing, visions clearing.
They welcome the painful pounding of the blacksmith’s hammer, longing to be rebuilt, begging to be called.

Others lie in their Master’s hands: well tuned, uncompromising, polished, productive.
They respond to their Master’s forearm, demanding nothing, surrendering all.

We are all somewhere in the blacksmith’s shop. We are either on the scrap pile, in the Master’s hands on the anvil, or in the tool chest. (Some of us have been in all three.)

From the shelves to the workbench, from the water to the fire…I’m sure that somewhere you will see yourself.

Paul spoke of becoming “an instrument for noble purposes.” And what a becoming it is! The rubbish pile of broken tools, the anvil of recasting, the hands of the Master- it’s a simultaneously joyful and painful voyage.

And for you who make the journey—who leave the heap and enter the fire, dare to be pounded on God’s anvil, and doggedly seek to discover your own purpose—take courage, for you await the privilege of being called “God’s chosen instruments.”
From On the Anvil:Stories On Being Shaped Into God’s ImageThis is a new edition of Max’s first book. It contains an updated forward, written by him, as well as thoughtful questions for each chapter.© (Tyndale House, 1985, 2008) Max Lucado

Tuesday, April 1, 2008


Rick Warren wrote in the Purpose Driven Life that everything is either a trial or a test. Sometimes we get confused between what is a trial and what is a temptation or test. Adrian Rogers, former pastor of Bellevue Baptist Church in Memphis, TN, wrote the following in his Love Worth Finding devotional:

BIBLE MEDITATION:“That the trial of your faith, being much more precious than of gold that perisheth, though it be tried with fire, might be found unto praise and honor and glory at the appearing of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:7


James 1:13 says, “Let no man say when he is tempted, I am tempted of God: for God cannot be tempted with evil, neither tempteth He any man.” Now, some people get confused between temptations and trials, and the difference between the two is this. Trials are sent by God to cause us to stand. Temptation to sin is sent by the devil to cause us to stumble. One is meant for our maturity. The other is meant for our misery. James used this word interchangeably. While God does not cause both kinds, God allows both kinds, and He will use both to make us more like Jesus.

ACTION POINT:Are you in the furnace of affliction? Do you feel you’re being tempted? Trust in God to see you through.