Category Archives: Hope

Face Your Facts With Faith

The last Sunday of June, Doug Clay, General Treasurer of the AG, brought a message that struck and stuck.

If you would like to listen, go to the church website and click on “Hanging Out In God’s Waiting Room”.

The audio/video quality is not the best–but the message was spot on.  My interest was highly piqued when he started asking the question, “how many of you feel like you’ve been in or are in God’s waiting room?”

I don’t know if you remember, but that was the only blog post my sister, Wanda, and I wrote together.  It was originally on our site, Sisters of Faith, with the title “God’s Waiting Room“, and it was also featured on her funeral service guide.

I had created that blog site so in hopes that it would revive her weary heart with something fun and inspirational to do before her last hospital visit–but God had other plans.  Although our lives were dramatically altered, we know His plans are always best…His timing and order always flows in the right direction.  And we carry with us, the faith that bore her on.

Sorry to side track–it happens at my age, more often than not….But back to the message by Bro. Doug.  It was one of those that resonated in my spirit.  I heard– as much as felt the vibrating of the strings as my heart was plucked along with the words, as God began to remind me of the journey we began.  I had almost forgotten.  No, not really, but as I told a friend  — there are days that the memory of what He called me out for is faint–covered with a mist- or fog–like your bathroom mirror after a hot shower–wipe it off.
Now.  Can you see…and remember.

I can’t re-preach his message–but I do want to share what God has been reminding me of since that day:

  • His promises are true.  What He said He will do–He will do.  
  • If He has called you to a place–He expects you to follow Him.  No dawdling on the road side.  
  • Time is short.  Get busy with the gifts He has given you and be contentious with His resources.
  • Faith is believing without the basis of proof.  A missionary cannot prove to you that God spoke to their heart and called them to serve Him in a foreign land (foreign to them, may not be foreign to you)…but they believe and therefore they put their belief into action.

By faith Abraham, when he was called, obeyed and went out to a place he was going to receive as an inheritance.  He went out, not knowing where he was going. (Hebrews 12:8)  By faith even Sarah herself, when she was unable to have children, received power to conceive offspring, even though she was past the age, since she considered that the One who had promised was faithful.  therefore from one man–in fact, from one as good as dead–came offspring as numerous as the stars of heaven and as innumerable as the grains of sand by the seashore. (Hebrews 11:11-12) (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

You and I can have power to conceive…that dream…that promise…
Maybe the facts are not in your favor…but Faith is. 
Face your facts with faith*.  Watch God in action.
*Statement from Doug Clay’s message, “Hanging Out In God’s Waiting Room”.
Photo:  2012 Retreat-Panama City Beach. © Angie Knight.  Used by permission.

© 2014 Angie Knight- The Knightly News. All rights reserved.


Foggy Faith

A few years ago, I wrote a devotion for Internet Cafe` called “Faith in the Fog”…it may be worth a re-visit if you have time (click on the link)…here are some new thoughts on that–which came to me after a drive to Tallahassee…and reading a post by my dear friend Marsha Harwood on Facebook…and like Marsha, I will borrow from a writing of Corrie Ten Boom.

“When a train goes through a tunnel and it gets dark, you don’t throw away the ticket and jump off.  You sit still and trust the engineer.”

I’ve been in the dark before…when you don’t know where you are–it can be pretty scary. 

And sometimes, even when you are very familiar with your surroundings…it can still be a bit discomforting.  However, there are those “real life” instances when the snuffing out of the lights happens so suddenly, we are taken completely by surprise.

This past Saturday I was driving on the interstate with a favorite passenger of mine.  We were talking about what God is doing in our lives and in the churches in our area–and all of a sudden–from out of nowhere, we were engulfed in a fog so thick everyone hit their brakes.

This particular fog looked like a dense cloud of smoke that had settled on the highway.  It completely covered the two lanes we were on–but not the opposite side of the road.  Afraid that perhaps someone had a wreck and the smoke was the result–my guts clinched in a knot. 

We both stopped talking. 

Time for concentration…and we prayed.

As we entered the great expanse of darkness–I was amazed at the fact there was no smell of smoke…I decided then–it was “fog”.  The thickest–[way past the pea-soup stage]–fog I had ever encountered.  It caused me to suck in air–as if that alone would help me get through the murky road.

As we went along, the semi-truck in front of me seemed to lurch to one side suddenly as I noticed he avoided a car that was trying to pull back onto the highway.  (That one was a NUT.)

Let me tell you what I discovered just by watching the actions of other drivers on the road that day….

  1. Fog happens.  It can happen to anyone–at anytime.  A good day or a bad day.  It can happen early–or late;
  2. Do not leave the roadway.  You will cause much confusion to those coming along behind you if they see you pull off the road.  They may even think YOU are the cause of the fog;
  3. You will have to slow down…but don’t stop.  Once inside the fog, it’s a bit easier to navigate if you don’t stop suddenly.  Stopping suddenly will definitely cause a wreck.  If not a wreck…a severe tongue lashing that you won’t be able to actually hear–but will FEEL;
  4. When inside the fog–keep your lights on.  It’s just one of those things I like to do even on a sunny day–I drive with my lights on.  Let the LIGHT shine is what I say;
  5. Remain steady–and focused.  Talking to anyone other than God–is completely out of the question;
  6. Remember, it won’t last forever–and there are things to learn while in the fog.  No, you didn’t make the fog…but remember Who did…and the fact that as long as you keep HIM as your Navigator and Guide–you will come out on the other side…just keep going on.

You may be thinking…this is not a “devotional” post here, Angie.  But–I beg to differ. 

Re-read.   Turn that interstate highway into your walk with God.   Perhaps you have just stepped out in faith–or maybe, you stepped out awhile back…and there have been more foggy days than sunshiny ones…and maybe you have grown a bit discouraged by what you’ve not seen–even though you are seeking…and expecting…and yes, even believing!  (Been there.)
 
Can I tell you that just because we don’t see the “results” we may have expected…and just because things have become dark at times…that is no reason to stop.  No reason to pull off the road until things clear up a bit. 

Friend, there have been some “doozy days” in my own life in the past 4 years…but I wouldn’t trade a second foggy second–for the clearest-brightest day. 

In the fog, Jesus taught me how to trust.  How to lean on HIM and not my own understanding.

In the fog, Jesus taught me how to “see”k Him first–and continually.

In the fog–He showed me His power–HIS strength would become mine–because in the fog–at times I was weak.

Can I encourage you today?  If you were here–or I were there–I’d hug you and tell you very clear–our God is bigger than the fog is thick.  Don’t hang back.  Keep doing the things He has placed in your heart to do…you already know what they are–and you are sitting there right now thinking, “but I can’t”.

But HE CAN.  (And He will–through YOU!)

And hey, as long as I’m handing out advice here–I learned it’s okay for the tense knots to build in your belly…it reminds us that we are NOT in control of a single second of our day…God is.  And as long as He is…then you can relax in HIS arms.  Sometimes though, He sends the foggy reminders just to let us know “He’s got this”…

© Angie Knight- The Knightly News


Givers and Takers—Movers and Shakers

Matthew 25:31-46 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)

 “When the Son of Man comes in His glory, and all the angels with Him, then He will sit on the throne of His glory.  All the nations will be gathered before Him, and He will separate them one from another, just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats. He will put the sheep on His right and the goats on the left.  Then the King will say to those on His right, ‘Come, you who are blessed by My Father, inherit the kingdom prepared for you from the foundation of the world.

For I was hungry 100_3225
and you gave Me something to eat;
I was thirsty
and you gave Me something to drink;
I was a stranger and you took Me in;
I was naked and you clothed Me;
I was sick and you took care of Me;
I was in prison and you visited Me.’

“Then the righteous will answer Him, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry and feed You, or thirsty and give You something to drink? When did we see You a stranger and take You in, or without clothes and clothe You?  When did we see You sick, or in prison, and visit You?’

“And the King will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers of Mine, you did for Me.’ Then He will also say to those on the left, ‘Depart from Me, you who are cursed, into the eternal fire prepared for the Devil and his angels!

For I was hungry
and you gave Me nothing to eat;
I was thirsty
and you gave Me nothing to drink;
I was a stranger
and you didn’t take Me in;
I was naked
and you didn’t clothe Me,
sick and in prison
and you didn’t take care of Me.’

“Then they too will answer, ‘Lord, when did we see You hungry, or thirsty, or a stranger, or without clothes, or sick, or in prison, and not help You?’

“Then He will answer them, ‘I assure you: Whatever you did not do for one of the least of these, you did not do for Me either.’

“And they will go away into eternal punishment, but the righteous into eternal life.”

 

I know which side I want to stand on. But to be found standing on that side, we must be found “doing” –or LIVING—working with all that we have for Jesus. If we focus only on the “task”…and not Him, then it becomes our god…HE alone is to be worshipped.

· When we get caught up in the details we lose sight of what we are here for…not for us…but for HIM…and others.

V 35: For I was hungry…

What is the world hungry for? Let’s roll back the clock to a year in your teens…what were you hungry for?

SB_496465683Most of us could and would answer—attention.

To be noticed

to matter.

To be valued.

Too often we discover all around us are people who struggle living daily—feeling that they have no value—they are starving to death for someone to share a piece of life with them. Most of the time—they want more than a smile. They need an ear—a shoulder.

Sunday afternoon—I was sitting on my porch—the birds chirping—the ceiling fan stirred the warm air—and I hear the rustling of leaves.

Scurry—stop. Scurry—stop.

I hear it…but I don’t see it.

I don’t get up. I continue doing what I set out to do…

That’s what we do. Day after day—we hear them.

The people.

We even sometimes smell them. We know they’re there.

Some of the time we even may acknowledge them—but there are days when they are a bother.

Their noise and needs and even existence seem to interrupt whatever nice flow of life we have.

I had gone out to my porch to soak up HIM. I wanted to be alone with Him. My head leaned back on the padding of my chair—and all of a sudden—HIS creation interrupts my quiet. ……………My private world…Honduras_2010-Wednesday_Night-Thursday_Leave_Day_055

They are hungry…

They thirst…

They have questions…

We have answers…yet we are so tucked inside our world…with a nice “do not disturb” sign on the door of our hearts and minds—refusing to answer.

We may not wear a visible sign, but the very fact that we “look away”—tells the tale.

We know in our hearts—although—to admit it to another—we would never do…

but God knows. He’s not deaf, nor is He blind.

They have needs—just as we do—and what if the one He sent to be the ear or shoulder—passed them by as a nuisance….a bother.

Refusing to hear…

Refusing to help…

Yet there are those individuals who look for opportunities to help. Who don’t mind the interruption to their day…thinking that possibly here is a chance to serve God by serving another. Here is a chance to love God by loving another…here is a chance to feed God…by feeding another….VISIT with God—by visiting another.

I cannot presume to label you—sheep from goats…although, the label is clear to His eyes…but just as quick as you can change your mind—you can change your label—with the HELP of God. God knows who and what each of us are—HE knows the hidden places of our hearts…and whatever we are today…HE can change tomorrow…If you’re a taker—He can help you become a giver…

If I were to pen this same passage today—this is what it might say:

“All the nations—every tribe and tongue—man-woman-teenager—boy or girl will be gathered before Him and HE will separate them one from another. Just as a shepherd separates the sheep from the goats.

He will put the givers on His right…and the takers on His left…Then the King will say to those on His right, “Come, you who are blessed by my Father-inherit the Kingdom—which was prepared for you from the very beginning of the world…

…For I was a runaway teenager, 2011-02-16 Prodigal's Past 002

Lost in my own world of “self”

Without clothes or food—and no one to help.

Yet you fed me plenty and clothed me clean,

Loved me without judgment—treated me like a queen.

I was the mother of the runaway teenager…

On no shoulder could I cry,

When that same teenager still full of strife,

Turned up months later—

Yet now carrying life.

You pulled me to you and let me cry….

Then wiped my tears until they dried.

I was the sister—who had nothing to drink—2011-03-14 Morning Walk 3-14-11 028

Parched from life of sin on the brink.

My heart bore the scars of neglect and abuse—

With calluses of a lifetime and feelings of no use.

You opened your heart and your home so free

You poured me a drink—Living Water it was, all for me.

My sin took me far—stripped me bare—dumped me out

Yet in my cell you reached in—because you had no doubt

That the One who died for you…did the same for me

And because of your love…today I am free.

Then the righteous will answer Him, Lord, when did we see you as a runaway, as one of pain, starving, homeless and hopeless? When did we clothe you or visit you in prison’s chains…

And the king will answer; whatever you did for one of my beloved daughters…you did for me.”

Babyfeet-conniePicture with me two scenes:

1) A 14 year old girl, sweaty and fearful. Tears streaming as pain after pain grips her young body. Her mother nearby, her father perhaps waiting outside—head hanging—there’s no one to call. Her body tenses as each pain tears at her for release, when finally a small life struggles out—to be held and gazed upon by those who are not sure they can handle this red, wrinkled life. Tears flood the older mother’s eyes as she sees with clarity all that her young daughter, now a mother will have to give up. Years of teenage antics and fun have just been replaced by wee morning hour feedings, burp cloths and dirty diapers. The older mother wears guilt like a cape, heavy and scratchy like rough wool around her drooping shoulders. Who will help?

2) A young couple in the next room, hands clasp tight as the final push brings forth new life. A wriggling, screaming baby emerges into a world of lights. Excitement and tears of joy rush the room—as they snap pictures of her exquisitely fluid arrival taking place. The calls begin to go out and come in, announcing with great delight—the Joy that was born today.

Both births took place…on the same day—somewhere in USA. One full of joy—one less than the ideal situation…One needed help… the other…most likely had more help than they knew what to do with.

What do we do? There are those in our cities, in our communities, neighborhoods and even churches…in need.

Hurting. Hungry. Hopeless. What can we do for them?

Here are just a few things we can do:

1) Pray for them.  They need to KNOW someone is praying—and they need to know you care.

2) Give. Of your time, your money or other resources and your love.

a. Maybe you can sew. Sew baby blankets. Sew burp cloths. Wrap them up in pretty packages and give them to your local Pregnancy Crisis Center—or health department that works in the school system with the pregnant teens. Or give towel/wash cloth soap sets to your local homeless shelter.

b. Maybe you are gifted in having a “listening ear”. They need counselors in crisis centers and homeless shelters—those who they will screen and feel qualified to be there for them. People need to know other people care.

3) Think of creative ways to bless them. “Diaper month.” “Bib and Blanket” month. For homeless shelters, think beyond that—soap, hand sanitizers, toilet tissue, tooth brushes and toothpaste, combs, hairbrush, the list can go on and on…WHAT ABOUT BIBLES? What if you placed some Bibles in every shelter—they don’t have to be expensive— give them hope of life…LIFE.

Every donation makes a difference.

4) Get involved.  That’s the biggest thing.  Maybe you don’t have an area you feel particularly gifted in…

show up…show interest…show CHRIST.

What would HE do? 

He would be a “giver”…a mover and shaker…

2012-02-25 mother daughter retreat feb 2012 026

© Angie Knight—The Knightly News 2012.  All rights reserved.


The Old and the New

When I worked at the law office in Dothan, I had certain a routine for closing out the year and beginning a new one.  Same when I worked at the high school.  New files were made…certain old ones were filed away…and in some cases, a purging happened.

Sometimes–that needs to be done in our lives…a purging.

When we moved in November–I knew in advance that there would be some things that just would not “fit” in this sweet little house.  The couch for instance.

Now friend…I loved my couch.  We spent a LONG time searching for the right couch…with Bible Study and Prayer times in mind….and it was well used for those purposes–as well as snuggling with grandkids and watching a good movie.

Our Common Grounds girls loved it too…I remember several of them making the comment the first time they came over to pray–“oh I sure wish I had THIS!”  Unfortunately, it didn’t fit in the house.  But God supplied another for us to use that does fit.

The “prayer” couch, where I met with Jesus every morning in one certain spot–will STILL be used as  a place to meet with God–and learn of Him though–it will reappear soon–and I will show you where and tell you how….later.

In the moving–and purging–and cleaning out of all the “clutter of life”–I discovered something about me.  I would have a tendency to be a hoarder if I wasn’t careful.  I mean–I kept every sweet note every person mailed me–and those darlin’ cards that lifted my heart–tucked in a cedar chest. 

There came a time though–that the cedar chest had to be used for it’s original intent.  To store “quilts and blankets”.  so I took a few hours and cleaned it out–going through every single card….

I’ll be honest–I had a hard time parting with some of the cards–and some of them (those that had a scripture verse and special note) I kept.  But in comparison, it was just a  few reminders of where God has brought me.  As I re-read the cards–I saw the hand of God moving in my life through encouragement of others.  I knew that in many girl’s shoe boxes or a drawer was perhaps a card or note with  my signature–and a prayer.  I know the value of the written word–and a prayer of faith in a desperate time of need…. I’ve been there.

In the purging process–God showed me that if I’m not careful, I will tend to hold on to what He’s done in the past–satisfied with that–yet knowing that there is SO MUCH MORE that He wants to do in the future!

Can I share a secret?  He’s got more.  MORE than you could even imagine is in store for this next year!  I feel it in my BONES!

Isaiah wrote about the LORD reminding him of what He had done in the past and letting him know that the future  held even greater promise for the Children of Israel!

(Isaiah 43:15-19 NLT)
I am the Lord, your Holy One,
Israel’s Creator and King.
16 I am the Lord, who opened a way through the waters,
making a dry path through the sea.
17 I called forth the mighty army of Egypt
with all its chariots and horses.
I drew them beneath the waves, and they drowned,
their lives snuffed out like a smoldering candlewick.
18 “But forget all that—
it is nothing compared to what I am going to do.
19 For I am about to do something new.
See, I have already begun! Do you not see it?
I will make a pathway through the wilderness.
I will create rivers in the dry wasteland….

We cannot begin to comprehend what HE is about to do in our midst!  BELIEVE.  TRUST.  DO NOT WAVER in your heart about HIS LOVE.

I want to live this gift of 2012 with such intentional devotion to Christ that I see Him at every turn.  I want HIS presence to feel as it does today–and has for the past several days…thick–sweet as honey.
I intend to make a mark for HIM.  So that HE will be glorified.  I am willing to go through the purging process–and let HIM direct me at all the things that are unfit–the things that are choking the life out of me–so that there is ROOM for HIM to  dwell without any hindrances.

I discovered though with the move–it is an intentional process.  Friends can’t help you with this.  YOU must desire this–and make the necessary changes on your own.

I have helped others move before–and if you’re not careful–you will simply take everything that is in the “past” house and move it right into the “NEW” house.  And it just won’t fit. 

Moving is best done with a clear mind on what you really NEED….not what you want. 

As 2012 dawns–take some time and  evaluate the “unnecessary” of your life…see what things are “time stealers”…and what throws your mind and heart into a pit of dispair.  Get rid of those things.  I can only tell you from my experience….you will be amazed at how you will feel…

A fresh rain is getting ready to fall on God’s people…and I don’t want anything to hinder me from feeling every single drop.  The road ahead holds great promise….don’t be left standing around…be ready.

© The Knightly News 2007-2011
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Are We Battling in the Pit—or Succumbing?

2011-02-25 Sisters Retreat 2011 Feb 030 I have to ask myself this very question going through every situation that seems to knock the very breath out of me—spiritually speaking.

Years ago, while in the middle of a particular “battle” as it were, I remember a phone call with my mother.  I was firmly planted in a pit. 

I had done pretty much like Beth Moore described in her book, “Get Out of That Pit”.  I had decorated it…tried to make it pretty….but that didn’t change what it was, nor what it was doing to me.  I had a party going on all the time!

A “pity party”.  Or, say it like this:  “A Pit for me Party”.

And I wasn’t budging anytime soon.  Mother tried her best motherly advice—all her cajoling, her “peppy words”, everything a good mother could and would say to a child (no matter the age), firmly entrenched in the depths of her personal pit.

2011-02-25 Sisters Retreat 2011 Feb 043 Finally, in desperation to get her to leave me alone I said, “Mother.  Stop.  I’m having a pity party-and I’m not done.  When I’m done, I will get out.  Please let me finish”.

That is pretty much how parties in my pit went.  When I had had enough…and the prayers of a faithful mother—who refused to let her daughter continue—but sought God on her behalf had been ushered up to Glory and heard by the King (Psalm 34:1-7), I would come to my senses and seek God for myself and –HE reaching down—the hand that had always been extended, would help me “out” of the pit.

This morning, my pit experiences came to mind as I prayed for and thought of some others who are current pit dwellers.  Be it either by way of a stronghold of the flesh, mind or spirit…it can be a place so deep—that we cannot see the light of day…Nor the LIGHT that permeates every dark place.

What I did was succumb.  I was satisfied that this was the place I would dwell the rest of my days.  In a battle of the mind.

Others battle things that many of us are familiar with.  Be it tobacco, drugs, alcohol, perversions of the flesh, depression, anxiety, panic attacks, the list goes on and on…they are all life affecting, life altering and life diminishing existences in a pit.  Satan desires to destroy us…God desires to bring us out of those times and places and restore our purpose and vision greater and brighter than before.

Many things I have experienced that others have not.  MANY things I have NOT experienced that others have.  Each life has it’s own exposure to plots created and planned by the enemy—who knows our weakness and that is the very tool he uses to try and bring about our demise.

BUT we don’t have to stay in that battle—and when we realize that as a child of the Most High God—this not our battle to fight, but His—then we are on steady feet—and the path is clearer.  2 Chronicles 32:7-8 records these words by Hezekiah.  “Be strong and courageous!  Don’t be afraid or discouraged because of the king of Assyria or  his mighty army, for there is a power far greater on our side!  He may have a great army, but they are merely men.  We have the LORD our God to help us and to fight our battles for us!”…(NLT)

Tell me, if after reading those words from Hezekiah, don’t you feel strengthened?  Don’t you feel a Source greater than your own might envelope you with might and strength?  I do.  I see more clear.  The dust from the battle ground settles and I see more clear the plot and plan of the enemy—and I know now what to do.

Pray. Fight.  Suit up with the armor that is laid out in the Word in Ephesians 6:12-18.

People.  We’ve got a battle to fight—and it must be fought daily.  There is not a single place where we can lay aside our sword, helmet or breastplate and take ease.  This war will continue until the Day of Christ’s Return. (Revelation 1:7)  The walls of the pit will get higher—more slippery—harder to scale, while we sit idly by and not do our part.

Complacency in the pit will lead to eternal death and damnation.  Complacency leads to a lukewarm existence…and that existence nauseates God to the point of vomiting.

Get up.  Get out.  Gear up!  Arm yourself (I say this to myself as well!) with the weapons that we are instructed to use against the enemy! (Ephesians 6:14-18)

In 2 Corinthians, Paul addresses the spiritual war. (10:3-6 NKJV) “For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ, and being ready to punish all disobedience when your obedience is fulfilled.”

An excerpt from NKJV Study Bible footnotes:  “strong holds…high thing:  Overlooking ancient Corinth was a hill 1,857 feet high.  On top of it was a fortress.  Paul used that imagery as an illustration of the spiritual warfare he waged.  He destroyed strongholds, cast down towers, and took captives.  The fortress, towers, and captives represent the arguments, thoughts and plans that Paul was opposing.  Paul cast down all rationalizations.  He took captive to the obedience of Christ every perception and intention of the heart that was against God.  Our actions reveal our thoughts.   We should not cling to thoughts that do not conform to the life and teachings of Christ.  Paul did not walk according to the flesh.”

Our actions reveal our thoughts. Paul said in 1 Corinthians 9:24-27  “Do you not know that those who run in a race all run, but one receives the prize?  Run in such a way that you may obtain it.  And everyone who competes for the prize is temperate in all things.  Now they do it to obtain a perishable crown, but we for an imperishable crown.  Therefore I run thus:  not with uncertainty.  Thus I fight:  not as one who beats the air.  But I discipline my body and bring it into subjection, lest, when I have preached to others, I myself should become disqualified.” (emphasis  mine)

Thinking defeated thoughts is allowing the enemy to plant seeds of doom.  Seeds that will not grow and become what God intended when you began your journey with Him.  You can’t give in to the enemy in your thought life and win a battle.  It just won’t happen.

I speak from experience in this!  Too many times I allowed thoughts of defeat, doubt, fear, or flesh to enter in the picture God was working on in my life.  At those points I think He halted His brush strokes—in mid-air.  I think perhaps He was saying, “Angie, until you settle “who you are in Me, We can’t finish what We started.”

2011-02-25 Sisters Retreat 2011 Feb 044 What are you trying to settle in your heart and mind?  Do you know who you are in Christ?  Are you aware of the armor that has been made available to you—to enable you to fight well and WIN?

I encourage you today, dig into the Word.  That is where the answers lie to all the issues we face.  Every single one.

You can win the battle instead of succumb….determine today to do so!

 

© Angie Knight—The Knightly News—Giving Him All 2011.  All rights reserved.


Are You Feeling Surrounded?

One of the attorney’s I work for is a weekend diver. Nothing thrills him more than a clear day and some deep water.

Well, I take that back…one of Jeff’s cakes does cause him to stumble a bit…but I am talking about a really good day. The kind of day you anticipate the night before.

I remember when my baby sister, Aimee and I went to North Carolina for the She Speaks Conference last summer. We both had trouble sleeping the night before.

Mine was due to the fact I was busy crossing the “t’s” and dotting the “i’s” on the material we were to have ready….Aimee was busy “thinking”…packing, and most likely cooking for the family she was leaving at home. She left them with “reheating” instructions and a solemn promise of her soon return.

The trip was filled with excitement and incredulity. We were first AMAZED that we made it through Atlanta unscathed. Or, to be more specific…that we didn’t scathe anyone else. Secondly, it was incredible to find ourselves in the same room with the “best” Writers, Speakers and Women’s Leaders in the world! Well, maybe not the world—but at least in the Southeastern United States. How’s that?

However, upon coming back home, life invaded our dream world. Our world of where we could buy that little house or bookstore and turn it into an inviting Tea Room, filled with books, soft music, Jeff’s cakes, cookies and the best hot coffee or cup of tea, and always a friend or a soon to be friend browsing the shelves in search of the next best read.

Yes, life resumed. Actually, I think it picked up pace. As in every one’s life…there are days when we feel surrounded.

Just when you think you are swimming serenely alone, you find yourself suddenly surrounded by a cloud of Baitfish. Just as this picture of the Sea Turtle, he was minding his own business and became enveloped by the Baitfish. The Baitfish are EXACTLY what the name implies. Bait. For bigger fish.

Finding himself encompassed by Baitfish will cause the heart to quicken it’s beating, the diver explained. The “cloud of Baitfish” is so thick, you lose your vision. You lose sight of where you are. It becomes a vertiginous dive. Dizziness overtakes you and you don’t know which end is up.

You know that you must get out of the overwhelming cloud—somehow—because you know what could be coming. A hungry fish. Very hungry. Hungry enough to possibly chomp on a hand—arm—foot—even part of your face.

Isn’t that what sometimes happens in our lives? We are surrounded with feelings of doubt, insecurity, and many times the overwhelming desire to “give-up”—a feeling of hopelessness.

In talking with a young mother months ago, the feeling of a life filled with emotional vertigo was overtaking her. I could clearly see what she needed to do. I could give her immediate instructions which way to paddle her swiftly sinking boat. But she was so surrounded by the Baitfish in her life she couldn’t see or hear me. It wasn’t until the predator fish was about to overtake her did she comprehend the whereabouts of her help.

I lift my eyes to the hills–where does my help come from?
My help comes from the LORD,
the Maker of heaven and earth.
He will not let your foot slip–
he who watches over you will not slumber;
indeed, he who watches over Israel
will neither slumber nor sleep.
Psalm 121:1-4
There are many days when it seems life is running faster than I am. I have to press on—and press in to have my time with the Father–to keep the “things” of this world from crowding out that precious time. My time with Him—keeps everything in proper balance—the baitfish will not loom as a dark cloud when He’s the CENTER of my attention.
What about you?
What are you distracted by this week?
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© The Knightly News 2009
Credit for the photo—Diver/Attorney—Thanks R. E. C.! Credit for any big words I use–Attorney/English Professor—Thanks D.J.

Mediocre Life

What kind of life is that? Sometimes—many times it is what we settle for instead of perservering before the throne—or pushing ahead and believing God for what He wants for us in the first place! He does NOT want mediocre for His blessed children!

Jeremiah 29:11 says “For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you a hope and a future”. (NIV)

This morning at 2:34—well, probably just a few minutes before that, the Lord woke me from a deep sleep. I woke, rolled over and snuggled deeper, only to hear Him in my heart/head beckon me from that nestled postition. Well, old flesh immediately says, “I hate it when You do that…wake me up from sleep…YOU know how much I love sleep….” I was instantly rebuked, “No, Lord, I’m sorry, I don’t hate it…. You know I love YOU more than sleep.”

So, I rolled over on my back, as if to ready myself to “listen”. His instructions are clear. “Get up-go to your prayer room, lay before me in prayer.” I try just for 2 seconds, to reason with Him, that I can pray here….but no I can’t. I pray out loud when He instructs me like this…and I KNOW already that this will be an outloud prayer. Not a whispered or silent type.

As I roll the covers back, my thoughts begins to “wander” down the corridor of my mind filled with pictures of family. Is someone in distress? The brink of disaster? A fire? A tornado? (There was that one time of the tornado—an old post…don’t remember which one–you’d have to hunt back to last year sometime…)

I go to the bathroom, then on through the dining room, where the Bibles, books and computer is arranged, just as I’d left them hours before…walk into the kitchen and look at the clock, thinking surely it must be almost “getting up time” anyway. Not so. Only 2:34. Good sleep being missed. Girls you have no clue how much this youngin loves to sleep!

I walk into the prayer room/library. Small room. Only big enough for the “granddaddy chair”, two book cases and a desk. Just enough floor space that I can lie down and meet the Master of the house. So I take my place. Same place everytime.

As I began, I told Him, “I don’t know what You’ve called me here for ….but that’s okay. I don’t have to know.” My prayer began slow, as He blew the sleep from my heart, I began to weep before Him with the urgency of NEEDING Him to hear my plea. Not knowing who or what I was praying for, I left it up to Him. Many of you were prayed for. Many of you that I converse with on a daily basis via e-mail or a visit to your blog were on my heart. So, your name was called.

The Lord prompted my spirit….”it’s not about the numbers, Angie. It’s about the message.” I asked for the message. For the annointing. For His Spirit to rest upon me and pour into me what needs to be said. To the hurting. To the damaged. To the brokenhearted. To you and, yes, to me. He pours it in….I pour it out.

I can’t tell you how many times a day I think about what the Lord wants to use my life for. What He’s up to. But girls, it is all up to Him. Whatever He wants to do with me, use me for I am His. Totally.

I love my precious family. My sweet darling man. My girls, their husbands, their children, my parents, my siblings…but I belong to the Lord. For His work….I don’t know what it’s to be. It may only be to get up at 2:34 a.m. and pray for someone I don’t know. Someone I’ve never had the pleasure of a neck hug. But that’s okay too. If the Lord crosses our paths here….then it is for a reason. I question Him not.

Dear sweet sister-in-Christ, it is not about the number of visitors I have or you have. Nor about the comments or who they come from. It is about the message of Christ….and getting it out to the lost and dying. It’s about Him. All about Him.

Now, I am off to bed again. I have prayed. Laid back down, couldn’t get you off my heart and mind. So I got BACK up and went to the computer. I needed to tell you that we don’t have to live a mediocre life. That He has a plan and purpose for EACH ONE OF US! YOU and me! All we need to do is be obedient. (I’m not even checking this one for boo-boo’s…so please excuse—I am tired—I’ve never posted this early.)