Saturday, November 12, 2011

Vision on the Battlefield

1 Samuel 17:26 And David spake to the men that stood by him, saying, What shall be done to the man that killeth this Philistine, and taketh away the reproach from Israel? for who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should defy the armies of the living God?
17:27 And the people answered him after this manner, saying, So shall it be done to the man that killeth him
There he stood alone, in the shadow of a mighty giant. He was young and armed only with a sling shot and five stones to sling. He knew his enemy was feared by all, and he might also have been afraid as he stood face to face with the mammoth being. But David was not feeling fearful of Goliath.

David focused not on his enemy. He focused not on the fact that he wore no protection or that his weapon was small and perhaps inefficient against the mighty sword, heavy spear and the armor of the giant. He focused not on the fact that he stood against odds that were greatly against him. He focused not on fear. Why not, when the battalions of soldiers shook at the presence of the nine feet, nine inches tall Philistine? How could he stand, without perspiration of stress and palpitations of fear in his heart?

David was not pleased to hear the mocking of his God and his people by this bully. He asked " Who is this uncircumcised Philistine, that he should taunt the armies of the living God?" In essence he was asking, "Just who does this guy think he is?" David wasn't going to tolerate this situation. He knew that God was on his side. David knew that his God was present in the situation at hand. He knew, therefore he trusted. He stood firmly and with conviction. He saw only his God. He looked the problem in the face and he ran toward it, while others had fled. Goliath laughed at the sight of this young man, taunting him further. David loaded his slingshot and slung one stone. It hit its target, and Goliath fell dead to the ground.

I came to realize as I read and reread this account that Goliaths are in our lives all the time. Sometimes they are quiet, and the SON shines in such a way that we don't see the shadows. We go on without much notice of them. Other times they are huge and noisy, and the shadows overtake us and they lay across our lives, darkening our days. It's then that we must get ourselves out of the shadows, by making a leap of faith into the Sonlight. We need to LOOK for God in those times... We need to do battle with Goliath, using the strength provided by God. One of those strengths, no matter how weak it 'feels', is TRUST. Another is surrender to the knowledge that God never fails us, and no matter where we are, no matter what our circumstance, God knows best where to take us and how to take us through to work things out for our best and for His glory. We must remember that God is bigger than any problem.

A line from a recently-watched movie was " You must look beyond the obvious to see the truth." Let us look beyond the problems, the hurdles, the fears. Let us look to GOD. Let us go forth into today, with our focus on our God, clad in the full armor of God (Eph 6). We will be ready to look the enemy in the eye and to slay those Goliaths in our lives.

Wednesday, October 19, 2011


I've heard it said, rather tongue in cheek, that we should never pray for patience, for if we do, we will be given situations that develop patience in us as we deal with them.  Let me say here that I have NOT prayed for patience, but I certainly have been plagued with situations and people who try the measure of that virtue that I've developed thus far.

When I was raising my children, I thought I had a good deal of patience. Apparently, these days,  the Lord thinks that I should be developing even more.  Either I'm not learning very well, or I'm meant to be the most patient of all people on earth.

Lord, I'm lifting these 'spiritual weights'. I'm really trying to be strong in You! It's often hard to bridle my tongue and not scream at those who are frustrated or are frustrating me!  Forgive me for my failures and fill me, I pray, with things that please you. For every negative in me that is so easy to practice, You have a positive that You would like to replace it with.  I need those positives, I know....but I'm really not happy that I have to work so hard with these weights to build that spiritual muscle. I guess I'm a lazy Christian sometimes.

Please, just stand beside me, Lord...and don't let me lose these rounds in this battle.  I'm not going to give up, but please continue to encourage me to hang in there. You are my spiritual 'trainer'....and I can't do it without You.  Help me through the challenges, until I've met the goal of becoming as patient as You want me to be.

Thanks, Lord!

Friday, September 9, 2011


It seems, sometimes, that when we are at our highest and best in our Christian walk, that we are attacked. Our family is under many such times these days.  I have resolved that, though I am annoyed, even upset, that I will not cave. I claim verses from the Word of God that get me through those moments when I feel nearly overcome. "The Lord is my strength and shield ",  "A very present help in time of trouble." "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".   

If I did not have the Word of God to remind me that my God is always watching over me with His love and protection, to encourage me to keep going, to enlighten me when I've seen the darkness fall upon our lives, I don't know what I'd do. 

Yes, this is all a spiritual battle. These attacks come from the enemy. He's hoping to destroy our walk with Jesus, his intent is to weaken our witness for our Savior.  But, knowing that this is not flesh and blood that we contend with, no matter who it is that appears to bring the torment, is a help in being able to deal with it!   If family members or friends stir up difficulties, even if they disown us, it has been foretold in the Word.  They are not the attackers, but are being used by one who truly causes the trouble or discention. 

No matter what, God is greater.  And again I say, 'It's not too big for God.' 

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

Not Too Big...

Sometimes something or someone will come along, and I feel a bit overwhelmed. It is my natural inclination to jump up and fix whatever the problem is, but boy! I learned a long time ago that some things are not fixable, and most things are not my job to fix.  So I bring them to the Lord.

I have adopted a line which I say to myself when someone is living in a way that I know is displeasing to God. "He's not too big for God to handle."   I pray for them...and whenever the person's name pops into my head, I do it again. 

Similarly, when a problem shows itself, and it's a biggie, I turn it over to the Lord to unravel, or to show me how to work it through. But, while it's irritating me, instead of fussing and fuming, I say to myself..."It might be too big for you, but it's not too big for GOD!"

It's  a real comfort to know that burdens can become lighter when we have help to carry them!
Thank you, Lord for always being available to lift the weight from me...and for knowing how to deal with everything from small to great. Thank you for reminding me at just the right time that NOTHING is too big for YOU!

Tuesday, June 28, 2011

Building Blocks

Lord, there is so much in my life that was not pleasing in your sight. You know what those things were, and when I asked, you forgave me for them all. That has not been overlooked. I am so grateful for forgiveness and for your guidance and instruction that will make me a better Christian.

This morning I pray that you will search me and know my heart. If there are things or thoughts that displease you, please reveal them to me, that I might confess them and find forgiveness. Then, Father, I ask that you would replace these stumbling blocks with building blocks!

For every negative in life, you hold within yourself, a positive. As you build me upon your strong foundation, it is my desire that you would show me which are the strong blocks of faith. Build me, oh Lord, into the best and strongest follower that I can be. Let my own walls tumble down, but replace those walls, I pray, with a tower of strength in you!

Thank you, Lord God!  For all that YOU are, for all that I can grow to be in YOU, thank you!

Saturday, May 21, 2011

No Time Like The Present...

It is Doomsday, according to some. It is the day of Judgment according to others. It is the day the world will end according to still others.  Of course, they are all entitled to their own opinions, beliefs and thoughts. As for me, I say, "Hogwash."  Today is Saturday, May 21, 2011...and it as special a day as any other more, no less (unless of course, you have a family event happening today.)

If the world truly ends today, a lot of people are going to be surprised.  Those without any spiritual beliefs at all may find that they should have had some. Those with beliefs in gods other than the only true and wise God may wish that they'd listened when they were told about worshipping false gods.  Those with beliefs that they've lived for as long as they've known their Savior will be the ones who reap the benefits of living a life for Him. I happen to believe that I'll be one of the latter. Whether I'm gifted with rewards or not, according to my works, is my least concern. Being with my Lord Jesus will be my greatest reward, whenever that occurs and however it does.

All this talk of 'the end of the world' on any specific date, is in my opinion, false teaching. My Bible, which I believe to be the perfect and infallible Word of God, tells me to turn a deaf ear when told to go this way or that, but to keep my eye on the goal.  My eyes are ever upon Jesus, and if they stay there, I won't be swayed by false teachers or untruths. 

For those who do not yet know the truth of Jesus Christ, I pray that they will come to know Him and all that He stands for. I pray that they will yield to Him and His teachings, that they will be ready to meet Him when that day comes. It may be morning, maybe noon, maybe in the evening. We will know, when we see Jesus, whether our beliefs were truths or falsehoods.  I just hope that we're all ready to meet Him. If you aren't, and you know you aren't,  please make it a priority. There's no time like the present to get things right with God.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

The Right Words...

My daughter is feeling sadness during this time when a member of her husband's family is going through a stressful time of ill health. They live many states apart, and when the reports come from family in Pennsylvania, they are often conflicting. Their words tend to take my daughter's household on a rollercoaster ride, because they aren't there to see for themselves what the truth is.

This morning I offered all the comfort that I could, but my words have no real wisdom or comfort to offer, try as I might.  However, I also gave her the scripture, Phil 4:6-7.  Later she wrote to say thank you for that, and that she would pass the words along to the Pennsylvania folk, for she was sure they'd find comfort in the scripture too.

It gave me pause for thought.  When our hearts are hurting for someone else in their situation, we want so much to say the 'right' thing.....something that will cause their stresses to ease and their pain to lessen.  We feel compassion, and yet there are times when there's absolutely nothing one can say that will help.  The Lord, however, knows how to reach down and give His ultimate soothing.  His voice will speak to the depths of hearts and minds, and His words will speak "Peace, be still" to those whose lives are being battered by life's storms. 

Aren't we blessed to know a Savior who cares for us with the deepest love? Isn't it wonderful to have the knowledge that He knows every single detail of every single situation, and that not one speck of our emotion goes unnoticed?  Isn't it a tremendous relief to know that the God of all creation has time to speak just the right thing at the right time?  And, what joy it is to know that He has given us a Book full of His comfort, and all we need to do is to pick it up in order to hear Him speak?!

Though we may flounder in our efforts, God always has just the Right Word!

Saturday, March 19, 2011

Following Directions....

God leads, always. I follow...mostly.  I'm learning to do that, more and more, rather than to turn and run in another direction, as a rebellious child might do.  Life is not a  game of Risk. It is serious stuff, and I've come to learn a few lessons along the way. One of them is that there is much danger in taking the wrong route.

One very practical lesson was given to me one evening. I was fairly new to the area and was learning my way around. One evening, I had to attend a meeting in a neighboring city. I took the wrong route, thinking that it was the correct road. After a quick phone call to a church member who also would be attending, she met me along the way, and I followed behind her to the meeting place. At the end of the evening, she asked if I knew the way home, if she got me to Hwy 8, and I told her that if she got me to Main St, I'd be just fine.  So, I followed her to the light at Main St, a four  way intersection. She went left, over the railroad tracks, and I thought she was taking another way home, so I turned right, thinking I was going toward Hwy 8.

Within a few minutes, I realized I was not where I should have been. This road was narrow and very dark, and seemed to be heading into a rural area. rather than a business district. As I passed a school, in the dim street light, I could see some young men in a group on the sidewalk.  At the next turn, I steered the car into the lane, and then into the driveway at a rundown house. The road was so narrow, with a drainage ditch on the other side, so I had to do multiple maneuvers to get the car turned around.  By the time I was able to drive the 50 or 60 feet to the corner, one of the young men was standing on the dark corner. He began to yell at me, and walked in front of my van in the light of my headlights. He then turned and began to walk toward my drivers side door. Fear gripped me. My doors were locked, but still, I was aware that if he wanted to, he could break the glass and I would be at his mercy.  Knowing that he was not in line for me to mow him down, I turned the wheel and sped the car as fast as I could, back toward  Main Street.

About then, my cell phone rang. I couldn't get to it, as I hurried away from a potentially dangerous situation. When I got back to the intersection where I'd made the wrong turn, the phone rang again. It was Becky asking if I'd turned right, when she turned left.  "Yes" I answered. She gave me the correct instructions, and I followed them, getting myself back on the right path toward home.

I'd prayed from the moment I realized I was not where I was meant to be, and all the way back to my own neighborhood. God was with me through the whole thing, but anxiety causes my heart to race when I think of what might have happened that night.

When the Lord tells us to go a specific way, He is telling us that for a reason. He is directing us in safety. He is sending us where He knows we belong. When we head off on our own, there is no telling the danger that we might encounter. Yes, He will be there with us, but disobedience always has it's consequences, and would I be rescued from danger if I've not followed the direction?  I can only hope so, but why take the chance. 

My lesson has been learned. He leads. I will follow.

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Lessons from Children's Thoughts

There is a saying, "out of the mouths of babes". I don't know what the actual finish is of that quote, but the gist of it is that children tell it as they see it. We can learn much from them if we listen.

Spiritually speaking, there are none as innocent as children, and so their belief in God and the lessons they speak are purely from their innocent minds and accepting hearts. They mull things over in their heads when we have no idea of it, and they bring it out when they feel that it is appropriate.

The other day my daughter reported that her seven year old made an announcement during their evening meal. She said something to the affect that when we pray, the every word adds power and energy and when we say Amen, the prayer shoots up to God. I believe she's right. Our power and strength are increased through our conversations with God, the Father. Our lessons come from Him as we listen to His voice.

When one of my children was about the same age, she looked very pensive, and then asked, "Mommy, does God have a wife?" Her sister, who is nearly three years old, answered before I could. "God doesn't have time for a wife." That is true as far as we know about wives. Human wives take a good deal of time and effort for men. But, God is not man, thankfully! He is God, and He has all time in His hands to do with as He chooses. In His time, He will come for His Bride, the church, and we will live eternally together with Him.

Another of my daughters, at the age of ten or twelve years, was in a basement room when she caught sight of a little frog on the other side of the window glass. He was in the window well, a walled 'hole' that allowed access through the window. There was a garden snake that had slithered down into the well and was hungrily looking to have the frog for lunch. The little frog kept hopping and hoping escape being the menu special of the day. He tried and tried, with all his might, to escape from that hole and find his salvation. Eventually his perseverance paid off and he hopped away leaving a disappointed predator. When the ordeal was finished, my daughter came upstairs and told me about the drama she'd just watched. She thought it was like the devil who was always trying to 'get' us. She finished up by saying to me, "Mom, do you know what the moral of the story is?" I had no idea what to expect, but asked, "What is it?" Her answer? "Good always overcomes evil." Amen!

Don't you love the way that children see things? Perhaps they have things exactly right, but their thoughts provoke our own, as evidenced by my remembering of these stories. They also give us opportunity to give God's lessons to them, that their thinking as they grow would be in spirit and in truth.

Saturday, March 12, 2011


Today you will notice a transformation in the blog's appearance. It needed it. I was not pleased with that blotchy bright red. It was not the 'real' me, and it was displeasing to my eye whenever I looked at it.

Hmmm....Am I pleasing to the Lord's eye? Or do I, myself, need transformation? Is my heart clean and pure, soft and compassionate as He desires it to be? Or, does He see it as hard, uncaring, blemished with dark sin?

What about my words? Are they what His ears would care to listen to? Are they praises and worship and songs of thanksgiving? Are they gentle in dealing with others, and truthful? Do they speak of God and His grace? Or are they full of my thoughts, my ideas, myself? Are they words that come from a love for God or from my own selfish nature? And my do they appear before the Lord? Are they heavily motivated by His Spirit and His love, are they done from an inspiration to share Him in my being? Or are they to bring myself into the spotlight?
Are they done for self-satisfaction and to be complimented?

As Christians, Christ should be our reason and our purpose. He should be our focus and our life.
We should do everything for Him, as He directs. When we look in our spiritual mirrors, do we see ourselves or do we see a reflection of Him? If we see anything that looks remotely like our self, we need to do some of clean up. Perhaps it's time for some examination...and some transformation.

Friday, March 11, 2011

Count Your Many Blessings...

This song always brings me a new outlook. "Count your many blessings, see what God has done."

So often we are wound up in our disappointments to such a degree that we don't see our blessings. There is no doubt that we're all subject to things that upset us, and sometimes rightfully so, but to let them control us is beyond reason.

We have a God who is totally in control, no matter what we feel, think, or see. He never slumbers, nor does He sleep, but is ever at work to bring about His plans for us. He doesn't leave us alone to deal with disappointments. He's right beside us through everything we encounter in life. What a blessing!

Nothing is as bad as it seems. God works all things to the good, if we love Him and are called according to His purposes. We often need to shift our perspective and see things from a more positive vantage point. If we look around us, we are surrounded by blessings. When we begin to give thanks for them, the things we were worried about or complaining about look small in comparison.

I'll end with this chorus. "Turn your eyes upon Jesus. Look full in His wonderful face, and the things of earth will grow strangely dim in the light of His glory and grace. "

Thursday, March 10, 2011

Words of Hope

For as long as I've been a Christian, there have been favorite verses of scripture. One is Romans 5:8..."But God commended his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us." It always brings to mind the words of the folk hymn, " What wonderous love is this that caused the Lord of bliss to bear the dreaded curse for my soul?" It really strikes my heart with the knowledge that God is so forgiving and loving that He would die for a person so undeserving.

That verse is such a message of hope! When we are locked in sin, the soul often is wracked with pain, knowing that there are things which aren't right in our lives. But, do we know how to dig out of it? Most of us don't. Until someone comes with a message of Hope in Christ, there seems no way out. When the Spirit of God brings it home to our hearts as truth, and we yield to it, life has a whole new meaning.

Another verse that brings me great joy is 1 Thess 4:16 & 17. This verse speaks of the return of our Lord Jesus, in the clouds...coming to take His believers to be with Him forever! This message of Hope and Promise holds us together when we are bombarded with difficulties on this earth. We know that 'this, too, shall pass' and we will be rescued, in God's own time, from all that we know as we live here. We will be taken up...and 'thus we shall ever be with Him in the air.' What greater Hope is there to look forward to than the living, face to face, with Christ through all eternity?!

What words of Hope do you cling to, and why? I'd be interested to hear them.

Be a blessing...and be blessed!

Wednesday, March 9, 2011

Facebook Ministry

Social networks like Facebook and MySpace can be abused, and I've heard complaints of people who have been 'stalked' and attacked by those who they'd accepted as friends. But, this posting will address the good things about these websites.

My involvement with Facebook came late into being. My adult children were constantly discussing it and who they'd reconnected with on the site. I thought it would be a good idea to join myself, to see who I might reconnect with from 'back home'. I had no idea then, what this website would mean to me.

It wasn't long before I found some friends from my childhood, and we spent time catching up on each other's lives. I found cousins and neices with whom I'd lost touch for one or another reason, and daily speak there to my daughters, hearing of their activities and of my grandchildren's accomplishments. It is a blessing to me to have this tool!

One morning as I was praying for some special needs for someone on my Facebook friends list, the Lord spoke to my heart, and I knew this was something He was urging me to do. So, that very morning, when I signed on, I sang as I typed the verse of a hymn into my status. I did this every morning for months. I knew it was a good use of Facebook, and that the message of Jesus and God the Father would make it's way to many eyes who otherwise would not 'hear' it. It was always an encouraging word to those who know Christ as Savior, or those who think they do, even if they've not yet truly made that decision. (and only God knows the heart!)

After having many tell me how the appreciate the 'uplifting words' I'd place there each day, I was being nudged in my Spirit to add a scripture verse each day as well. After all, the hymns, as wonderful as their message is, are words written by man. GOD's own Words needed to be shared! So...each day now, I think and pray about a verse to share. Often it is already on my mind upon waking; other times I think of a subject, and search for a verse that is perfect to share on that subject.

It is my belief that God is using Facebook as a tool for evangelism, one of encouraging the Saints and to edify the lives of others. I am grateful for His Spirit speaking to me about this, and am pleased to be used in this way. If you are reading this, I pray that you would pray for me as I minister in this way, that I'd have the right answers when those who are seeking come to question me about God and my faith. I also ask that you would pray for those who need the Lord to have their hearts pricked by the Word of God, and that they would choose to submit to His perfect will for their lives. Thank you all!

Monday, March 7, 2011


No one knows as well as I how much I owe to our Lord for His gift of salvation and newness of life. I do attempt to do the things I know that would please Him. Every now and then, however, I am reminded that I might not be all that I should be as a Christian.

I am grateful that His Still Small Voice speaks, by His Spirit and through His written Word, to my heart. As a shepherd with an errant lamb, my Good Shepherd gently leads me on the path to a better way. He is patient with me, knowing my silly reasons for thinking and doing all that I do. His hope is that I will grow to be more like Him as I walk with Him. It is my hope, too.

Recently a new reminder was presented. I have been reading a number of new blogs, one of which is written by a young woman who was formerly a member of an Amish community. She writes with such honesty and humility and conviction! As I read of her hardwork, her bright attitude, her gentleness and lack of judgement and complaint, I think how I must look in comparison. Much of what she was raised with in her faith are so foreign to me, and I'm sure she could say the same about my life. It has led me to examine my ways, to hold my tongue, to rethink the thoughts that form judgements of others.

I'm not saying that I'm comparing myself to this woman, I don't need to do that. What I need to do is to look at myself and try to see where I'm falling down in my life as a child of God. If comparison is done, it should be Jesus that I need to measure up to.

Lord, please forgive my failings. Help me to keep my eyes on You, and to grow closer to You in my efforts to measure up to all that You would have me to be. And...thank you for all the reminders you send my way to help me to please You.