Monthly Archives: September 2008

Day Thirty


Scripture reference: Luke 7:23-30

I have recently thought about the words, “Fall away.” Beth explains in the devotion today about the Greek meaning of falling away. The word in Greek for it is: “skandalon” which means “a cause of stumbling.” When you put this in context of the scripture it means the following: “The Hand of God is at work directing divine purpose, or blessing, in all the affairs of the one who doesn’t let the perceived activity or inactivity of Christ trap him or make him stumble.” Beth states she feels it is pertaining to or “falling over a stumbling block into a trap.” Not “falling away from Christ.” The main thing is to follow Christ and listen to His voice and you won’t have to worry about it. The Bible says you are “blessed.”

This devotion joins hand in hand with Angie’s from yesterday. After seeing the doubt that John seemed to struggle with, but yet he held on. He was having a “I believe, but help mine unbelief” kind-of-day. John had his questions, but Jesus had patience with him.

Not many months ago we began a fierce spiritual battle in our lives, and I remember my teenage daughter making a simple statement to me. It gave me a gentle nudge that my God is bigger than any circumstance we may face. She said, “Momma, if God brings you to it, He’ll bring you through it.” I stopped dead in my tracks and was reminded, He knows the beginning and the end, and our circumstances did not catch Him off guard! Maybe you need to be reminded today: “He’s in the midst of your storm.” And maybe you need to know, His arms are underneath you holding you up!

Beth also mentioned that when Jesus said, “the least in the kingdom of God is greater than he,” Jesus was talking prophetically speaking. Comparing the “old Covenant with the new era unfolding in the kingdom calendar.” Paul says in Romans 9:26 “AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS THAT IN THE PLACE WHERE IT WAS SAID UNTO THEM, YE ARE NOT MY PEOPLE; THERE SHALL THEY BE CALLED THE CHILDREN OF THE LIVING GOD.” We are His children through adoption. Praise-the-Lord!!! I’m thankful along with Beth that “I live this side of Calvary!”

Let’s join in Beth’s prayer: “Lord Jesus, I pray that you will continue equipping us to live in a manner worthy of Your gospel–standing firm in one spirit, with one mind, working side by side for the faith, and not being frightened in any way by our opponents. For it has been given to us on Your behalf not only to believe in You but also to suffer for You(Phil. 1:27-29). May we do so with perseverance, humility, and eternal gratitiude.” In Jesus name–Amen.

Keeping the Faith,

Aimee


Prayer Requests….


Dear friends…I have some prayer requests to share. I KNOW that you are a praying bunch of women—and we SERVE a MIGHTY GOD! Who hears and answers all our prayers.

Sandy, niece of our dear friend Denise of Samaritan Women has just had a baby girl and is now facing open heart surgery. See Denise’s site for more details.

Also, I have a dear friend in Ohio who was just informed she has ovarian cancer. My heart broke for her as she told me. I prayed with her over the phone and KNOW that God heard our plea. I ask that you please join me in prayer for Judy in her time of need. The enemy is trying to worm his way in….but God is lifting up His banner over His beloved.

I will be glad and rejoice in Your love, O God, for You saw my affliction and knew the anguish of my soul. You have not handed me over to the enemy but have set my feet in a spacious place. Psalm 31:7-8 NLT


Day Twenty Nine

Faith and Doubt Inside the Four Walls

Scripture reference: Matthew 11:2-5

This one was mine. While I didn’t look ahead in the book and say, “I want this day”…when I read it, I knew it was laid out as mine for this “time”. Has the Lord ever just laid something out for you to read? Have you ever opened the Bible randomly and have your eyes fall on a passage of scripture that seemed penned just for your…for your circumstances? Has He ever painted you a picture in the sky and then whispered in your heart…”look up my child”?

Well, I am not sure what my personality “name” is…but I am a cloud watcher. I am a star gazer. I am a hopeful. But in all the cloud watching and star gazing…when life hits me in the face…doubt has come in at times. A hard issue to deal with.

Pardon me today…I may do a little wandering back a few months….to when my faith was sorely tested.

However, before the wandering begins, let me read you this passage from the Message. I will begin with verse 1. “When Jesus finished placing this charge before his twelve disciples, he went on to teach and preach in their villages. John, meanwhile, had been locked up in prison. When he got wind of what Jesus was doing, he sent his own disciples to ask, “Are you the One we’ve been expecting, or are we still waiting?” Jesus told them, “Go back and tell John what’s going on: The blind see, the lame walk, Lepers are cleansed, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, the wretched of the earth learn that God is on their side.”

I really wanted to read on…but Aimee will take that tomorrow.

Let’s get back to John’s predicament. He’s in a fine mess. Surrounded.

I can hear a whole message in Beth’s words, “Four walls closing in surely must limit your vision.”

Here was John, the wild man preacher who had roamed freely preaching to anyone with ears to listen, now surrounded by four walls with no glimpse of a future. The picture that rushes to my mind is a long-haired man standing out in the middle of nowhere yelling all the words from the prophets he had learned at his mothers knee of the Messiah. The One that he was related to…The description for John the Baptist comes from Mark 1:8 .

John had a job to do, and he didn’t know how long he’d have to do it…he was all about the Message and the Man and there was no room for himself. Then his time was up. Instead of being surrounded by listeners…he found himself in chains and surrounded by walls.

Beth talks about “head doubt and heart doubt”. I’ve had some. This is where I will be wandering around a bit. I went back to February 10th of this year. My prison. Aimee’s prison. Wanda’s prison. The four walls of a hospital room. I am only speaking for myself here…Aimee may not have had the feelings I had. My heart KNEW that God was a healing God. I knew that God could very easily heal Wanda. I knew the verse by heart. By His stripes we are healed. (“Who his own self bare our sins in his own body on the tree, that we, being dead to sins, should live unto righteousness: by whose stripes ye were healed. 1 Peter 2:24)

We had grown up hearing it…had experienced healing ourselves—we just KNEW. But we also believe that God has a reason and purpose in everything in our lives as we live according to His plan and will. We wanted His will. Not our own. We wanted our sister alive and whole—but we couldn’t pray against what God’s plan might be. That’s where the doubt crept in. The limited vision.

The enemy of our souls does NOT take a vacation when you are facing the hardest thing in your life. He feels no pity for your circumstances. But you know….as we clung to the garment of Christ for our help—He bathed us in His grace and mercy and the enemy’s plans were thwarted. Because we were clinging to Christ. With all the strength we could muster up. Although we couldn’t see—didn’t know—what God was about—He was about to either heal her or take her. This much we knew. Both by heart and in our heads. While we really wanted her healed…we wanted God’s will in her life more. Not our will Lord, but Thine.

That may be where John was. He knew that God was about to release Him one way or another. Either by freedom from his chains and walls….or freedom through his chains and walls.

Where are you today? Are you at a place where the problem seems bigger than the answer? Well, I can assure, the Answer is bigger. The answer is Christ.

Seeing and believing is one thing. But knowing and believing without ever seeing, is FAITH—even inside the four walls.

Father in heaven, there are some tough days ahead. We hear it everywhere we turn. Faith may be shakey for some today Lord. Renew our faith. Strengthen our walk through Your word. Help us to encourage others and stoke their flames of faith, instead of prodding the embers of doubt. We believe and trust completely in You. We thank you for taking our lives and creating useable vessels in each of us. Pour in us so that we may pour out on others—Your Holy Spirit. Go with each heart and life gathered here today. May we be ever watchful! In Jesus name we pray~Amen.

Keeping the faith,

Angie


Sunday Afternoon…

Yes, it is Sunday afternoon….and I am usually NOT on the computer on the weekends…but I just learned a sweet sister-friend has joined the ranks of the women—following the heart of Christ by way of Blogville!

Please help me welcome “Jensmere” to our little village of Blogging for the LORD! She is a super sweet Proverbs 31 Woman in every sense of the word! She was a great friend and prayer warrior for my sister, Wanda and her life and sweetness flowed into Wanda and Mark’s in such an incredible way. God is good.

Don’t forget, I will be over at the “Sisters of Faith” site—continuing in our Bible Study—90 Days with Jesus the One and Only! It has been AWESOME! AND don’t forget to go see my friend Jensmere!!!!!!!

Have a blessed week!


The CAR

I forgot to tell you all where I’d be today!

Here! At the Cafe`

I smile even now as I remember her face as I opened the door and the new red car shone like a bright polished apple behind her. You could have lit an entire city from the brilliance of her eyes and smile! I looked in amazement. “Who’s car Wanda?”

“It’s mine!” came the thrilled reply.

I really hope that my amazement…and confusion didn’t register on my face. I have the unfortunate disease called “talking face syndrome”. My face usually tells it like it is, whether my mouth does or not. So when she said that, my mind instantly thought, “But you don’t have a driver’s license.”

However, the mouth said “Wow! It is beautiful!”

To read the REST of the story….go click on the button!


Day Twenty six

Scripture text Luke 6:1-11

Criticism- a nasty word. My mother always said, “If you don’t have anything good to say, then don’t say anything!” Praise- is a beautiful word and to me, it’s the opposite of criticism. We all face critical people from time to time. These type of folks can really pull you down, lower than a snakes belly.

Some people will hide behind the false- negative of “constructive” criticism. Criticism is one thing, but Godly guidance and teaching is another. Christians should never be found being critical of another brother or sister. Have you walked in their shoes? Watch out! One day we might. Jesus faced critical Pharisees. They were always “straining at a knat and choking on a camel.

These particular Sabbaths in today’s text, were probably, only, some of the many times these Pharisees wagged their tongues. Jesus was ready for their comments. Look at vs. 9. He asked them the question “Is it lawful on the sabbath days to do good, or to do evil? to save life, or to destroy it?” I like to ask people who are afraid of what others might say about them this question: “How do you avoid criticism? The answer is simple. Say nothing- Do nothing- Be nothing.” I don’t know where I heard that, but it has stuck with me through the years.

I love the way Beth depicts the man with the withered hand. Her thoughts “behind the scenes” of possibly his life routine. It’s hard to do very much one handed. In those days, it would have doubled the work load for him. Jesus healed Him in front of the Pharisees very eyes, and vs. 11 said, “They were filled with madness; and communed one with another what they might do to Jesus.” Now that I don’t understand! What were they thinking? Why “bite the hand that feeds you?” I think, they realized, they were no longer in control, God was and still is today!

Now, I’m hearing the tune in my head: “Give up! Let Jesus, take o—0-ver….” That’s my song and now it’s time to pray! God bless all you sweet sisters!

Dear Lord, help us today to think before we speak, and if something critical comes up in conversation, help us reverse it and find some praise. You are always worthy of our praise. Touch all the ladies today that are in this study and continue to draw us closer to you. Surround them with your perfect love. Help us always to see the withered through your eyes of restoration and compassion. In Jesus Holy name- – Amen.

Keeping the Faith,

Aimee


Day Twenty-Five

Scripture references for today are: Luke 5:17-26“We have seen remarkable things today”. I’m beginning with the end. But it struck me.

When I see a sunset. I’ve witnessed the remarkable. A sunrise…remarkable. The birth of my number 5 grandson yesterday? Beyond remarkable! Everyday the Lord shows up and shows us the remarkable in His kingdom.

The most remarkable I’ve felt and witnessed was my forgiveness. But something that made a piercing mark on me was my forgiveness of another. I didn’t want to. But I needed to. I had to. For you see, I once had sin…that needed forgiving. Without forgiving another—I can’t be forgiven. (But if you refuse to forgive others, your Father will not forgive your sins. Matthew 6:15 NLT)

In talking with a dear friend recently, the pain etched on her face and in her eyes was intense–flowing from what was inside her heart. She had been betrayed. She in turn had lashed out. She was filled with the anguish of that betrayal. That marriage built from love and trust was now as confetti lying on the sidewalk. Just bits of something that had once been whole. That is what the enemy has set out to do to each of our lives. And without forgiving one another—it will remain confetti. Shreds of a previous existence.

I remember years ago when someone had inflicted a pain to my heart that was serious. I remember having conversations with the individual in my head—where I too lashed out. But that never seemed to bring any peace. Only further pain. The only thing I knew to do was take the pain to Jesus. So, on my face I cried out to him. Like a small child bringing a broken toy that had once been dearly loved, I brought my broken heart. A friendship and love was on the line. The Healer took it under His wing. The ointment of forgiveness and healing began to flow. Both in my heart and the individual.

Without forgiving one another—our lives will soon become paralyzed—and with a paralyzed heart…we soon will cease believing, trusting, loving —and even living. Our lives become stagnate. Christ died on the cross to GIVE life….to FORGIVE sins—bring hope and restore us to the relationship God intended from the beginning.

Instead of using every opportunity to reveal my gaping wound, I used opportunities in my pain to share the Word. I taped and mailed scripture notes where they would be found. Notes of love and forgiveness. Notes on the Peace that surrounds us and the Peace we cannot comprehend. It was as much for me as the individual. I was reminding my own heart where my peace was found. In accepting forgiveness for my own sin. In believing in Christ for my own salvation. In loving Him and relying on Him for all my needs.

I will share with you Beth’s closing thoughts for today, “Lord God, I behold Your face today with a shout of joy, knowing that You have restored Your righteousness in me. I can now tell others, “I have sinned and perverted what is right, yet, I did not get what I deserved. For the Lord redeemed my soul from going down to the Pit, and I continue to see His light” (Job 33:26-28)

Keeping the Faith,

Angie