Friday, March 23, 2012

Waiting for God to intervene

We need to remember that while we are waiting, God is working. He sees the entire picture and is active behind the scenes, arranging everything according to His will. But perhaps His most important work is the deepening of our relationship with Him as we learn to love and trust Him in the wait.


God is sovereign over delays

No one likes to wait, but have you ever wondered why?  It's because delays show us that we are not in control.
In the Christian life, learning to wait is vitally important because until you do, you'll never be able to walk in obedience to God, have an effective prayer life, or experience the peace of resting in His loving sovereignty.


Monday, March 19, 2012

Under His wings

Psalm 91:4,14-16
He will cover you with His feathers;
you will take refuge under His wings.
His faithfulness will be a protective shield. 
Because he is lovingly devoted to Me,
I will deliver him;
I will protect him because he knows My name.
When he calls out to Me, I will answer him;
I will be with him in trouble.
I will rescue him and give him honor.
I will satisfy him with a long life
and show him My salvation.

Saturday, March 17, 2012

Oh if I were a bird and could fly away...

Psalm 55
God, listen to my prayer
and do not ignore my plea for help.
Pay attention to me and answer me.
I am restless and in turmoil with my complaint,
 because of the enemy’s voice,
because of the pressure of the wicked.
For they bring down disaster on me
and harass me in anger.
 My heart shudders within me;
terrors of death sweep over me.
 Fear and trembling grip me;
horror has overwhelmed me.
I said, “If only I had
 wings like a dove!
I would fly away and find rest.
 How far away I would flee;
I would stay in the wilderness.
   I would hurry to my shelter
from the raging wind and the storm.”
 Lord, confuse and confound their speech,
for I see violence and strife in the city;
 day and night they make the rounds on its walls.
Crime and trouble are within it;
 destruction is inside it;
oppression and deceit never leave its marketplace.
  Now it is not an enemy who insults me—
otherwise I could bear it;
it is not a foe who rises up against me—
otherwise I could hide from him.
 But it is you, a man who is my peer,
my companion and good friend!
 We used to have close fellowship;
we walked with the crowd into the house of God.
 Let death take them by surprise;
let them go down to Sheol alive,
because evil is in their homes and within them.
 But I call to God,
and the LORD will save me.
 I complain and groan morning, noon, and night,
and He hears my voice.
 Though many are against me,
He will redeem me from my battle unharmed.
 God, the One enthroned from long ago,
will hear and will humiliate them
     because they do not change
and do not fear God.
 My friend acts violently 
against those at peace with him;
he violates his covenant.
 His buttery words are smooth,
but war is in his heart.
His words are softer than oil,
but they are drawn swords.
  Cast your burden on the LORD,
and He will sustain you;
He will never allow the righteous to be shaken.
  God, You will bring them down
to the Pit of destruction;
men of bloodshed and treachery
will not live out half their days.
But I will trust in You.
Somedays are like this.
Choose to trust in God.

Friday, March 16, 2012

Believer, you have joy!

We so easily forget to just be thankful.  

From Ruthi on Granola Sentiments:  

News flash America: tons of people survive every day 
without half the BALDERDASH you buy. So how about 
you try remembering that the ultimate price was paid 
for you. So no amount of BALDERDASH will ever make 
you happy.

Believer, you have joy, happiness, 
peace and contentment in Christ. 

So try seeking it in Christ today, rather than 
in the isle you just turned down as you read this on 
your smart phone with your cart full of BALDERDASH 
you simply don't need.

"I thank God for this day/for the sun in the sky/for 
my mom and my dad/for my piece of apple pie/for 
our home on the ground/for His love that's all 
around/that's why I say thanks everyday/because 
a thankful heart is a happy heart/I'm glad 
for what I have that's an easy way to start/for 
the love that He shares/'cause He listens to my 
prayers/that's why I say thanks everyday."

Such a simple melody and words. But how often 
we forget them. 

There's grace for you. 

And thank God Almighty there's grace for me. 
Lord knows I need it.

Real Manhood

From Albert Mohler's Blog of September 23, 2010

A true masculinity is grounded in a man’s determination to fulfill his manhood in being a good husband, father, citizen, worker, leader, and friend — one who makes a difference, fulfills a role for others, and devotes his life to these tasks. Most of our fathers went to work early and toiled all day because they knew it was their duty to put bread on the table, a roof over our heads, and a future in front of us. They made their way to ball games and school events dead tired, went home and took care of things, and then got up and did it all over again the next day.

Thursday, March 15, 2012

God's silence

A quote from my very dear friend who has seen God move and work when everything was darkness:

In times of silence God is preparing His best.

As humans we sometimes tend to think of waiting in wrong ways and become frustrated. There is waiting in traffic, waiting for the mail to come, waiting for a child to finally stop an annoying habit, but then there are serious waits. 

...waiting for an illness to be healed, waiting for a wayward loved one to come to their senses, waiting for life changing decisions to be made, waiting for any job to open for you, ...

Waiting can be agony.  We cry out to God who certainly hears us!

I waited patiently for the LORD;
And He inclined to me and heard my cry.
Psalm 40:1

Waiting can be very long suffering; full of patience.  For a handmaiden of the LORD, waiting is actually extremely active for us.  We must always capture our thoughts, control our worry, and run to Him in our agony while we wait; even if these waitings are for years.

God's patience:
do you think lightly of the riches of His kindness and tolerance and patience, not knowing that the kindness of God leads you to repentance?
Romans 2:4

The Lord is not slow about His promise, as some count slowness, but is patient toward you, not wishing for any to perish but for all to come to repentance.
2 Peter 3:9

So, dear handmaiden of God, if you are still waiting, if your agony only continues, do not lose heart!

God hears you, He sees you!

In times of silence God is preparing His best. Continue to wait in Him.

For all things are for your sakes, so that the grace which is spreading to more and more people may cause the giving of thanks to abound to the glory of God.

Therefore we do not lose heart, but though our outer man is decaying, yet our inner man is being renewed day by day. 

For momentary, light affliction is producing for us an eternal weight of glory far beyond all comparison, while we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen; for the things which are seen are temporal, but the things which are not seen are eternal.
2 Corinthians 4:15-18

Let us not lose heart in doing good, for in due time we will reap if we do not grow weary.  So then, while we have opportunity, let us do good to all people, and especially to those who are of the household of the faith.
Galatians 6:9-10

Wednesday, March 14, 2012

What does God want me to do?

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

"Whatever you do, do your work heartily, as for the Lord rather than for men, knowing that from the Lord you will receive the reward of the inheritance.  It is the Lord Christ whom you serve."
Colossians 3:17, 23-24

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

God looks at the heart

God's love is not performance based.  There is nothing you can ever do in which He is grading you.  As humans we base so much on performance so it is easy to misunderstand how God will not judge us in our performance, abilities, and quantities.

But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at the height of his stature, because I have rejected him;

for God sees not as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7

 God's love is unconditional.

For God so loved the world, that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him shall not perish, but have eternal life.  For God did not send the Son into the world to judge the world, but that the world might be saved through Him.
John 3:16-17 

His love is unconditional, so when you realize your need for Him your desire will be to please Him.  This is when you choose to lay down your life in Jesus as your Savior.

If you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved;  for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation.

For the Scripture says, “WHOEVER BELIEVES IN HIM WILL NOT BE DISAPPOINTED.”  For there is no distinction between Jew and Greek; for the same Lord is Lord of all, abounding in riches for all who call on Him;

Romans 10:9-13

Sunday, March 11, 2012

Love is unconditional

God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.
Romans 5:8

If someone were to ask you, "Why do you love your wife?" or "Why do you love your husband?"---what would you say?

Of all the things you would and could say about why you love your spouse, most of them would be qualities which can and will suddenly or gradually disappear.  You can not base the love for your spouse on qualities.

The only way love can last a lifetime is if it's unconditional.

The truth is this:

Love is not determined by the one being loved but rather by the one choosing to love.

In the Bible there are different words for "love".

Phileo:  Friendship love
Eros:     Sexual love
Agape:  Selfless and unconditional love

Phileo and Eros love can fluctuate based on feelings and will wear thin as time goes by.  Agape love is "in sickness and health" love, "for richer or poorer" love, "for better or worse" love. 

Agape love is really the only kind of love that is true love.  Agape love is how God loves us.

He doesn't love us because we are lovable but because He is so loving.  The Bible says, "In this is love, not that we loved God, but that He loved us and sent His Son to be the propitiation for our sins" (1 John 4:10). 

If He insisted that we prove ourselves worthy of His love, we would fail miserably.  But God's love is a choice He makes completely on His own.  It's something we receive from Him and then share with others.  "We love, because He first loved us" (1 John 4:19)

Marriages built on phileo and eros love are based on feelings and circumstances which is not a strong, lasting foundation.  In this kind of love you can say, "I've fallen out of love with you"  and what this really means is, "I never loved you unconditionally".

Unconditional love, agape love, will not be swayed by time or circumstance.

Love which began with phileo and eros love can be restored and redeemed, but only when we choose to begin to love with agape love, unconditional love as the foundation.  When your foundation is unconditional love, you will find that the phileo and eros love is even more precious to you.

But you will struggle and fail to attain this kind of marriage unless you allow God to begin growing His love within you.  Love that "bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things" (1 Corinthians 13:7) does not come from within.  It can only come from God.

The Scriptures say that "neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor things present, nor things to come, nor powers, nor height, nor depth, nor any other created thing, will be able to seperate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord"  (Romans 8:38-39).  This is God's kind of love.  And thankfully---by your choice---it can become your kind of love.  But first you must received it and share it.

And don't be surprised, when your spouse begins living confidently under its shade, if he or she doesn't become even more lovable to you than you remember.  You will no longer say, "I love you because..." 

You will now say, "I love you, period."

Excerpted from The Love Dare, by Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick, day 10, emphasis mine.

Saturday, March 10, 2012

Greater is He who is in you!

"Life" can be extremely overwhelming sometimes, but you must remember that it is not all about you!  Run to Him for His safety, His strength, His wisdom, His peace.  Your situations may not change, but He will change you in your inner person.  God's children can live in His wonderful peace which passes all understanding even among great chaos.

Exodus 14:14
The LORD will fight for you; you must be quiet.

Deuteronomy 31:6
Be strong and courageous; don’t be terrified or afraid of them. For it is the LORD your God who goes with you; He will not leave you or forsake you.

1 John 4:4
You are from God, little children, and have overcome them; because greater is He who is in you than he who is in the world.

Friday, March 9, 2012

Love makes good impressions

You can tell a lot about the state of a couple's relationship from the way they greet one another You can see it in their expression and countenance, as well as how they speak to each other.  It is even more obvious by their physical contact.  But how much importance should you give a greeting?

The Bible has more to say about greetings.  It is not just about greeting your friends, but even your enemies.  So how do you greet friends, enemies, coworkers, neighbors, and strangers?  You may greet everyone nice and politely out of courtesy, and so how much more should you acknowledge your spouse?

It's probably something you don't think about very often---the first thing you say to him or to her when you wake up in the morning, the look on your face when you get in the car, the energy in your voice when you speak on the telephone.  But here's something else you probably don't stop to consider---the difference it would make in your spouse's day if everything about you expressed the fact that you were really, really glad to see them.

When someone communicates that they are glad to see you, your personal sense of self-worth increases.  You feel more important and valued.  That's because a good greeting sets the stage for positive and healthy interaction.  Like love, it puts wind in your sails.

The prodigal son in Luke 15 did not expect a nice and polite greeting from his father after he had hurt him so terribly.  But even the son's well rehearsed apology was not heard or needed as his father greeted him with great compassion, running to embrace him with no reservations, and kissing him.  The son did not expect or deserve this kind of greeting.  No doubt he must have felt greatly loved and treasured once again.

What kind of greetings would make your mate feel like that?  How could you excite his or her various senses with a simple word, a touch, a tone of voice?  A loving greeting can bless your spouse through what they see, hear, and feel.

Think of the opportunities you have to greet each other on a regular basis.  When coming through the door.  When meeting for lunch.  When saying good-night.  When talking on the phone.

It doesn't have to be bold and dramatic everytime.   But adding warmth and enthusiasm gives you the chance to touch your mate's heart in subtle, unspoken ways.

Think about your greeting.  Do you use it well?   Does your spouse feel valued and appreciated?  Do they feel loved?  Even when you're not getting along too well, you can lessen the tension and give them value by the way you greet them.

Remember, love is a choice.

So choose to change your greeting.  Choose love.

Excerpted from The Love Dare, by Stephen Kendrick & Alex Kendrick, day 9, emphasis mine.

Thursday, March 8, 2012


Redeemed, how I love to proclaim it! 
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed thro' His infinite mercy,
His child and forever I am.

Redeemed and so happy in Jesus,
No language my rapture can tell;
I know that the light of His presence
With me doth continually dwell.

I think of my blessed Redeemer,
I think of Him all the day long;
I sing, for I cannot be silent;
His love is the theme of my song.

I know I shall see in His beauty
The King in whose law I delight;
Who lovingly guardeth my footsteps,
And giveth me songs in the night.

Redeemed, redeemed,
Redeemed by the blood of the Lamb;
Redeemed, redeemed,
His child and forever, I am.

Fanny Crosby praising God

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

It's on my "to do" list

Even though "life " can be so overwhelming sometimes, 
I am thankful for the work He which sets before me.

Psalm 90:17
Let the favor of the Lord our God be on us; 
establish for us the work of our hands— 
establish the work of our hands!

Monday, March 5, 2012

Walking in Faith

Most of life is grey areas. 
If you walk in faith you will be in God's will. 
You will be choosing "this good thing" or "that good thing" and still be walking in faith to the next decision.

This is a quote I found just inside my Oswald Chambers, My Utmost For His Highest.  I am thinking it is from the devotional. 

Saturday, March 3, 2012

Rejoicing for one sinner who repents

The following is from a missionary mom.   I found it so very significant as hospitality in any form is rare these days and yet this is how God uses us to reach the lost and to encourage the saved.

As handmaidens of the Almighty God, let us find our own unique ways to reach out and encourage those around us.  The world is not kind, compassionate, or thoughtful.  But we can be these things to the people in our sphere of influence.


    We woke up Tuesday morning to another blanket of snow. For some, snow means fun, 
but for us, it means a lot of extra work--especially when we have to get our herd wrapped and booted and mittened to travel downtown by tram to music school. 

It reminded me of Jacob's recent mitten adventure. One very cold day in December he called from music school to say that one of his mittens--super warm, real leather, from a special care package that we had received a year ago--was lost. He was sure that he had left it on the tram. He happened to remember the tram's 4-digit serial number, so Tracy called the central transportation office to find out when it would next arrive at the end of the line. At the scheduled time he went there, found the tram, gave the driver some chocolates and a copy of his evangelistic booklet, The Gift and the Prize, and searched all around the area where Jacob had been sitting. No mitten. 

    When the kids got home a couple of hours later they remembered a slightly different serial number. So Tracy called the central office again and went back to the end of the line again, this time with Jacob. They found the other tram, gave more treats and a copy of the booklet to its driver, went to the exact seat where Jacob had been 
five hours and hundreds of passengers before, and...there it was! Stuck between the seat and the heater. It was amazing to all of us how through persistence and an obvious working of God's grace we got the mitten back.

    Evangelism here is much like looking for that lost mitten. We have to be persistent and committed and pray for people faithfully and 
trust God to graciously work. 

 I will be glad when spring arrives, and we can pack away the mittens, scarves, boots, heavy coats, and snow pants. But in the meantime, each time I see Jacob's mitten, I am reminded to keep persevering, looking, and praying--like the woman who lost her coin and searched all over the house until she found it. 

"I tell you, there is rejoicing in the presence of the angels of God over one sinner who repents" (Luke 15:10).

In Christ,

Friday, March 2, 2012

What is holding you back?

Are you confused about salvation?

Isaiah 64:6
All of us have become like one who is unclean, and all our righteous acts are like filthy rags; we all shrivel up like a leaf, and like the wind our sins sweep us away.

Romans 6:23
For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Are you a "wanna' be" but just can't get it?  You must realize that you can't just go to church and you can't just "get in" under your mother's faith just because she does live for the LORD.  You also can't just choose "this and that" from God's word like a dinner buffet.

Romans 10:9
If you confess with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

Romans 10:13
For everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

Romans 12:1-2
Therefore, brothers, by the mercies of God, I urge you to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and pleasing to God; this is your spiritual worship.  Do not be conformed to this age, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind, so that you may discern what is the good, pleasing, and perfect will of God.

Look at the riches available for you:

God's grace
God's forgiveness
God's mercy

To KNOW your sins past, present, and future are forgiven
To KNOW God chooses not to remember your sins
To KNOW you are saved and safe with Him

Hebrews 8:12
For I will forgive their wickedness and will remember their sins no more.

Psalm 103:12
As far as the east is from the west, So far has He removed our transgressions from us.

Romans 5:8
But God proves His own love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us!

Psalm 116:5
The LORD is gracious and righteous; our God is full of compassion.

Your plan A, B, C, and D aren't getting you "in" and plans E, F, and G could only take you farther from His truth.  You must come to a point and realize you are a sinner destined for a separation.   This is not annilation, but a separation which will be between you and the Almighty God of the Bible. 

You need to transfer your faith and dependence from yourself and your life, or from any other person or any other plan.  You must transfer your faith and dependence all onto Jesus Christ.

Jesus is the One and Only.  He is the One whom God used as our payment for all of our sins.  Jesus is God's one and only Son who chose to lay down His life as the ultimate sacrifice for your sins.

John 1:14
The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth.

Your two choices:

1.  You can choose to put your faith in Jesus for your life, which is your salvation; your life here on earth and your life for eternity with Him.  

2.  You can choose your own plans to live your life here on earth, and in the end lose your life - which is eternal separation from God.

His choice to save you is your one and only chance for true salvation. 

Today is a mist, a vapor, smoke...

James 4:13-14 
Come now, you who say, “Today or tomorrow we will travel to such and such a city and spend a year there and do business and make a profit.”   You don’t even know what tomorrow will bring—what your life will be!   For you are like smoke that appears for a little while, then vanishes.

What is holding you back?

Thursday, March 1, 2012

God knows what He is doing

January 2 Oswald Chambers, His Utmost for His Highest.

Will you go out without knowing?

"He went out, not knowing whither he went." Hebrews 11:8.

Have you been ‘out’ in this way? If so, there is no logical statement possible when anyone asks you what you are doing. One of the difficulties in Christian work is this question—‘What do you expect to do?’ You do not know what you are going to do; 

the only thing you know is that God knows what He is doing.

Continually revise your attitude towards God and see if it is a going out of everything, trusting in God entirely. It is this attitude that keeps you in perpetual wonder—you do not know what God is going to do next. Each morning you wake it is to be a ‘going out,’ building in confidence on God. “Take no thought for your life, . . . nor yet for your body”—take no thought for the things for which you did take thought before you ‘went out.’

Have you been asking God what He is going to do? He will never tell you. God does not tell you what He is going to do; He reveals to you Who He is. Do you believe in a miracle-working God, and will you go out in surrender to him until you are not surprised an atom at anything He does?

Suppose God is the God you know Him to be when you are nearest to Him, what an impertinence worry is! Let the attitude of the life be a continual ‘going out’ in dependence upon God, and your life will have an ineffable charm about it which is a satisfaction to Jesus. You have to learn to go out of convictions, out of creeds, out of experiences, until, so far as your faith is concerned, there is nothing between yourself and God.

As God's child our responses really matter.  As we learn to trust God more and more our responses will become better and we will glorify His name.

We do not know God's plans for us, but we can change our thinking.  When our attitudes are to trust Him in the "unknown" He will be able to use us in more awesome ways for His glory.

So you love the God of the Bible.  You have accepted Jesus' sacrifice for your sins: past, present, and future.  Now you love for God.  How are your responses?

Money troubles?
Job issues?
What to do next?
Your sins?
Fear of the unknown?
Being willing for Him?

Just as Oswald Chambers says, we need to "Continually revise [our] attitude towards God and see if it is a going out of everything, trusting in God entirely"