Tag Archives: Battle

My Cause for Christmas

It’s unbelievable to me that it is the first week in December! And while my table is decorated for Christmas, my heart hasn’t quite caught up. And I for certain haven’t “caught up” with the average Christmas shopper, I’ve barely started. And so yesterday morning I sat down on the first Advent Sunday to prepare my heart for the month of December and more importantly the Christmas season  Perhaps you could uses some assistance in this matter as well.

The word “Advent” is derived from the Latin word adventus, meaning “coming,” which is a translation of the Greek word parousia. Scholars believe that during the 4th and 5th centuries in Spain and Gaul, Advent was a season of preparation for the baptism of new Christians at the January feast of Epiphany, the celebration of God’s incarnation represented by the visit of the Magi to the baby Jesus (Matthew 2:1), his baptism in the Jordan River by John the Baptist (John 1:29), and his first miracle at Cana (John 2:1). During this season of preparation, Christians would spend 40 days in repentance, prayer, and fasting to prepare for the celebration. Originally, there was little connection between Advent and Christmas. But by the 6th century Roman Christians had tied Advent to the coming of Christ. But the “coming” they had in mind was not Christ’s first coming in the manger in Bethlehem, but his second coming in the clouds as the judge of the world. It was not until the middle ages that the Advent season was explicitly linked to Christ’s first coming at Christmas. 1

So, for my first Sunday of this wonderful season, I wanted to steer my mind in the direction of the anticipation of Christ’s return the second time by thinking about the anticipation that would have been felt by God’s children when waiting for the Messiah the first time.

The Curse

Genesis 3:15

And I will put enmity between thee and the woman, and between thy seed and her seed; it shall bruise thy head, and thy shalt bruise his heel.

The curse was on Satan, and it reminds us that he is still hurtful to man; but like the serpent he can’t get above the heel unless we allow it because we are victorious through the Christ Jesus.

I often give Satan too much credit and allow him to come upon me higher than I should. I allow him to bind my feet and prevent me from going in the direction that God would desire me to go. I allow him to put a knot in my stomach from fear of things that may or may not happen, and even if they do, they’re most always less than Satan would have me believe. I allow Satan to tie my hands and fail to use them for the Glory of God by feelings of inadequacy, time restraints, or just a flat out failure to follow through on something God has laid on my heart.

Romans 16:20 is the counter verse to Satan’s curse:

And the God of peace shall bruise Satan under your feet shortly. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you. Amen.

How awesome to have that promise when I am tempted to throw my hands up in the air and let Satan have his Victory. From the days of Adam and Eve they were waiting for their Savior. He came in the form of the Christ child, but because of the Man called Jesus we can live in Victory!

But for a moment imagine the sickening feeling in the pit of Adam and Eve’s stomach when they realized the magnitude of their mistake. It’s the same feeling I get in mine when I fail God now knowing the sacrifice He was willing to make.

The Christmas Cure

Galatians 4:4-5

But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth His Son, made of a woman, made under the law to redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.

What Adam and Eve couldn’t fix, and what the blood of animals couldn’t cover, Jesus did. But it was a long time coming.

What must those years have been like all the days that Adam and Eve lived, knowing that every time an innocent animal, one which God created, died in sacrifice, it was because of their mistake. Adam had named those animals and spent time with them in an entirely different setting. He wasn’t a shepherd over them, he roamed the earth with them without there being any fear on either the side of the animal or him. But sin changed that forever.

How much greater should it be for us to realize that every time we sin, we’re taking for granted the sacrifice that Jesus made on the cross, and when we allow Satan to bruise us above the heel that he bites, we’re giving him dominion that he’s not entitled to. Christ died so that he wouldn’t have it. We need to stop giving it back.

So for my first week of Christmas I’m going to think on the curse and the cure, and with a grateful heart I’m going to thank God for His sacrifice and hopefully, with all I can muster I’m going to stomp down the lies Satan fuels my doubts with. Amen! What are you allowing Satan to have dominion over you with? Take back that dominion through prayer and the Word of God.

The Christmas Cause

David said to the men cowering down to Goliath, “Is there not a cause?” I have to ask myself that same thing when it comes to the battle with Satan, “Is there not a cause? Is this not a worthy fight to take back the dominion that I’ve allowed Satan to take from me?” Peace. That’s what Goliath had taken from the army of the Israelites. They had no peace that God could win the battle, they trusted in themselves; and that is what I’ve allowed Satan to steal from me, often I just hand it to him without a fight. The peace of God.

In verse 50 of First Samuel 17 it says that David prevailed over the Philistine with a sling and with a stone, and smote the Philistine, and slew him; but there was no sword in the hand of David. David had said in verse 47 that the Battle was the Lord’s. He didn’t bring a sword, just a rock. I have to go to the Rock… ironically a new song that I wrote last week titled “I’ll tell you where I stand”… coincidence? I think not.

Let’s make this a Merry Christmas by remembering Satan is cursed, not us. Christ was the cure that lifted it from us. Today… there is a Cause!

1https://www.christianity.com/christian-life/christmas/what-is-advent./ht/ml

 

Finding the “O” in Overwhelmed

finding the O

It’s not every day that I feel overwhelmed, else my bones would not survive! It’s amazing how the pressures of life can have a physical toll on our bodies. I’m sure the medical professionals would tell us that it was so, but we don’t have to go see a doctor to know that it is; the Bible tells us it is when David said in Psalm 22:14 ~ I am poured out like water, and all my bones are out of joint: my heart is like wax; it is melted in the midst of my bowels.

There are many other mentions of the aches of his bones caused by the pressures within and without. Times when David was so overwhelmed, far greater than anything we’ve likely experienced and before us as an example that we’ll make it! Psalm 77 is one such Psalm that commentary is unclear if this was a personal heartache or a national heartache, but I’m pretty sure we too have both concerns, at least I do. Are you feeling overwhelmed today? Read on!

77:1-6

I cried unto God with my voice, even unto God with my voice; and he gave ear unto me. In the day of my trouble I sought the Lord: my sore ran in the night, and ceased not: my soul refused to be comforted. I remembered God, and was troubled: I complained, and my spirit was overwhelmed. Selah. Thou holdest mine eyes waking: I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I have considered the days of old, the years of ancient times. I call to remembrance my song in the night: I commune with mine own heart: and my spirit made diligent search.

It’s Okay to Complain

David said I cried to my God with my voice. Complaining to God isn’t for the purpose of alerting Him we have an issue… He already knows. It’s for the purpose of letting our troubles know… I told God on you! As a kid I was not a tattletale, I hated to see someone get into trouble! But when it comes to Satan and his merry minions who wreak havoc in my life continually I do not mind taking my plight to God. It encourages my soul to know that my worries and heartache are in much more capable hands than mine. God wants to hear from His children, He wants to know it is He Whom we depend upon and not ourselves, but don’t stay in a state of complaint. David couldn’t sleep or speak, his heart was consumed with concern. I’ve seen time and time again where people reject the peace of God and continue wallowing in grief and concern over the issue. I’ve done it!

It’s Opportunity to Commune

Talking to God is an opportunity to encourage your soul and reap the peace that He offers. David communed with his own heart and it is there that he felt overwhelmed. Listen to the questions he was asking… Verse 7-9

Will the Lord cast off for ever? and will he be favourable no more? Is his mercy clean gone for ever? doth his promise fail for evermore?Hath God forgotten to be gracious? hath he in anger shut up his tender mercies? Selah.

David had all but given up when communing with himself! Make sure when you’re praying you’re not just praying to hear yourself complain. I’ve done it. I just wanted to whine! And all I managed to do was heap more despair in my soul. It is God we should be hearing from, not our own heart! David finally realized this when he said in verse 10 “And I said, This is my infirmity: but I will remember the years of the right hand of the most High.”

He essentially said, “I’m making this my problem. And it’s not.” He started reminiscing on what the Most High God had brought him through.

It’s the “O God” of Comfort

Vs. 11-20

 I will remember the works of the Lord: surely I will remember thy wonders of old. I will meditate also of all thy work, and talk of thy doings.  Thy way, O God, is in the sanctuary: who is so great a God as our God? Thou art the God that doest wonders: thou hast declared thy strength among the people. Thou hast with thine arm redeemed thy people, the sons of Jacob and Joseph. Selah. The waters saw thee, O God, the waters saw thee; they were afraid: the depths also were troubled. The clouds poured out water: the skies sent out a sound: thine arrows also went abroad. The voice of thy thunder was in the heaven: the lightnings lightened the world: the earth trembled and shook. Thy way is in the sea, and thy path in the great waters, and thy footsteps are not known. Thou leddest thy people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron.

When David started thinking back on what God had not only brought him through, but the people of his Nation, it was then he got to the “O God” of comfort. Who is so great a God as our God? The God that doest wonders! Our redeemer, the wind and waves obey You, O God!

Are you feeling overwhelmed? Go ahead and complain! It’s okay. But don’t stay there long. Start thinking back about what God has brought you through and it won’t be long until you too will be saying “O God that doest wonders! You got this!” I wrote myself happy today. God is so faithful…

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The Best Weight Loss Program Ever!

Ready2Run Chick

If you’re like myself, who constantly battles weight gain, that headline caught your attention! Or perhaps you seen right through my ruse and knew that it would likely be a spiritual application; either way, I’m glad you’re here. Because I believe my words today will help us all, thin, thick or in between people. The Word of God is one size fits all… really. Not like the apparel size which is anything but truth. Our scripture toda y is found in Hebrews 12:1

Wherefore seeing we also are compassed about with so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which doth so easily beset us, and let us run with patience the race that is set before us,

Let me say I’m not a runner and I have no desire to run. It wears me out just thinking about it and runners wear me out talking about it. I love that quote that says, “If you see me running you should run too because something is obviously chasing me, and it can’t be good.” True story. I’m not a runner in the fitness sense of the word, but spiritually speaking, its game on! I’ll run that race. Apostle Paul was a runner… a spiritual fitness buff. I want to wear his line of apparel which no doubt would be done in the coolest of colors because his eyesight was poor so he’d love the bright shades. The fabric would be just the right blends of materials, it would have appeal to the Jew as well as the gentile and would no doubt be made by the prison population with all proceeds going to the Rock of Ages ministry. I know Paul was a tent maker but in these modern times he’d have branched out. And he was a tent maker, so plus size apparel would have most likely been his niche. Just sayin’. Okay… I may have over thought that point.

But back to the race…One of the reasons I don’t like to physically run is the same reason that stops many of us from running the spiritual race, or at least slows us down. It’s the weight! When you’re carting around unnecessary baggage it’s impossible to run with proficiency and good health.

The word beset is not a word that you’ll find us using too much in today’s vocabulary but its synonyms are very familiar – problem, difficulty, afflict, torment, oppress, trouble, worry – sounds like an average day in the neighborhood to me. And not the Mr. Rogers kind of neighborhood. Those are the things that hinder my race, most of which are brought on by me. Just like the weight that clings to my midriff, the things that beset me both physically and spiritually were brought on by poor decisions and lack of discipline. Not all… but most.

So how do we lay it aside, not that I’ve laid it on every side?

We have to run…that means move. We can’t un-sin any more than we can un-eat that bag of chips. We can only move forward to hopefully better choices with better results. What’s hindering your ministry? I know what’s hindering mine… bad decision making in the past. I need to move forward and run with patience… meaning to take my time and do it right. See… Paul didn’t think going fast was a good idea either. I love that guy!

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Managing Your Mission

chick mission

If you’re a child of God, the second you step your foot to the floor  in the morning you’ve entered the mission field. The mission field varies from child to child but it’s a full time job wherever you are or whatever you do. Look around you right now, and look around yourself later… there you are on the mission field. God has a plan for you in that place and at that time, and Satan has his own strategy… foil God’s plan.

My mission for today is to create a battle plan that is road worthy. One that I can take on the road via this blog and share with other leaders to encourage them and myself as well to be prepared for this day of battle. I found the battle plan in Deuteronomy 20

You’re going!

Like it or not, if you’re in the leadership of the church, meaning you carry a position of any sort, you’re the enemy of Satan and his minions. But God says “Be not afraid.”

Deuteronomy 20:1 – When thou goest out to battle against thine enemies, and seest horses, and chariots, and a people more than thou, be not afraid of them: for the Lord thy God is with thee, which brought thee up out of the land of Egypt.

Forget the numbers and forget their method of transportation. It doesn’t matter if the enemy out numbers you or if they have greater means of getting to their destination, they’re not in charge. Oh my, how I needed to hear that today! I get overwhelmed when I start counting what needs done, or what obstacles are in my path. But then I read the Word of God and I am quickly reminded that my Commander and Chief sits high and looks low and He can orchestrate this army of enemies to part down the middle and allow my pathway to be straight, or He can give me strength for the battle, but either way my destination has been established of old provided I stay on the path. Oh… I’m going!

Your Pep Talk

Deut.  20:2-4 – And it shall be, when ye are come nigh unto the battle, that the priest shall approach and speak unto the people, And shall say unto them, Hear, O Israel, ye approach this day unto battle against your enemies: let not your hearts faint, fear not, and do not tremble, neither be ye terrified because of them; For the Lord your God is he that goeth with you, to fight for you against your enemies, to save you.

Your High Priest, Jesus Himself comes nigh to you today and tells you… let not your heart faint. Is it not the Holy Spirit that dwells within your heart, Who has the original battle plan that was drawn up by God Himself in His hand? He’s right there with us on the battle field. He’s not sitting in some office passing out orders, He’s got His hands right in the thick of what we’re in working through it for our good. God says  don’t faint now, you’ll miss the victory party! The victory party starts before the battle is over. We celebrate each step along the way as we watch God’s providence have its way again and again. Everything we’re going through will be a testimony of  His presence in our life. Don’t faint!

Your Orders

Deut. 20:5-7 – And the officers shall speak unto the people, saying, What man is there that hath built a new house, and hath not dedicated it? let him go and return to his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man dedicate it. And what man is he that hath planted a vineyard, and hath not yet eaten of it? let him also go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man eat of it. And what man is there that hath betrothed a wife, and hath not taken her? let him go and return unto his house, lest he die in the battle, and another man take her.

Dedicate – when I get a new instrument I dedicate it to the service of the Lord.  I want that instrument to be an instrument of the gospel through music and ministry. I don’t want it used for vain purposes of building myself up but rather a tool of my trade. In verse 5 the scripture says that our entire home should be dedicated to the Lord. Have you dedicated your home to His service? I’m asking the Lord to use my home in whatever capacity He chooses. This morning it’s an office, this afternoon it may be romper room if my grandchildren are around, but may God be glorified through it. Amen!

Plant – Vs. 6, What’s in your vineyard? And will you enjoy reaping what you’ve sown? I pray that we are all sowing seeds of the gospel along the way, but as well as those seeds I’m also sowing things into my life and into others. If I want to harvest abundantly in my life I need to sow the right seeds in the right soil. Be it financially or spiritually I need to make sure that what I’m planting is what I want to harvest. I don’t want a job, I want to harvest a ministry, but I also need provision for my family so that I am not a burden. So I’m headed to the seed store to see what God wants to plant that will provide a crop of provision. What are you needing to harvest? And are you planting the right seeds?

Marry –verse 7 speaks of betrothal. That’s a commitment. Are you committed to the cause? It’s going to be a battle, you’ll be spending a lot of time together, and if you’re in it for the long haul you better be married to it. Get to know God’s plan for your life inside and out and don’t walk away from your destiny.

You’re Ready

Deut. 20:8-9 – And the officers shall speak further unto the people, and they shall say, What man is there that is fearful and fainthearted? let him go and return unto his house, lest his brethren’s heart faint as well as his heart. And it shall be, when the officers have made an end of speaking unto the people that they shall make captains of the armies to lead the people.

In closing, God says if you’re not ready, go back to the house before you discourage someone else. But if you’re ready, God’s got people that need you for a leader. These are exciting times! What’s God going to do with you today… Lead on!

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How to shush Satan on Failures

CHICK SHSH

Listening to a Perry Noble Sermon the other day, he spoke of a man going through a time of rebuke. He said that what he discovered was, when he rebuked himself, it was harsh and angry; but when God rebuked him it was with an arm around his shoulder, and words of kindness as God drew him close to show him what needed corrected in his life. That’s so true in my own life. I constantly have feelings of failure in every realm of life…being a wife, parent, grandparent, friend, teacher, servant of God, housekeeper, cook… oh the list goes on. If we received certificates of failure my wall would be filled!

Side note: Certificates of failure do not have God signature on them. That’s an interesting thought is it not?

2 Corinthians 10:4-5

(For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal, but mighty through God to the pulling down of strong holds;) Casting down imaginations, and every high thing that exalteth itself against the knowledge of God, and bringing into captivity every thought to the obedience of Christ;

Thoughts of failure are a stronghold in my life and I’m pretty sure that I’m not alone. What an awesome weapon for Satan to use ourselves against us. He cannot occupy the space within but he can occupy the space without; whispering imaginations in our ear against the knowledge of God. I can look about my messy house and unfinished projects and Satan spews “you failure.” But if I shush his lips and listen to the Holy Spirit I hear, “Look how blessed you are! Those guitar picks strewn across the floor are there because of the gift of music and the gift of grandchildren (who strew them across the floor), the dirty dishes in the sink are there because of the gift of food and the joy you receive from cooking and serving, that laundry is there because you have clothes on your back… really cute ones and cute boots on your feet! Those unfinished projects are joy in the waiting because I’ve gifted you with the ability to create… oh my stars I just wrote myself happy! I “almost” don’t care that my house is wreck… but Satan still spews. You can’t shut him up forever. But God will one day!

Revelation 20:1-3a ~ And I saw an angel come down from heaven, having the key of the bottomless pit and a great chain in his hand. And he laid hold on the dragon, that old serpent, which is the Devil, and Satan, and bound him a thousand years, And cast him into the bottomless pit, and shut him up,

Shush Satan…

5 Ways to Chase Your Dreams

CHICK DREAM

  1. Get God’s approval

1 Samuel 30:8 ~ And David enquired at the Lord, saying, Shall I pursue after this troop? shall I overtake them? And he answered him, Pursue: for thou shalt surely overtake them, and without fail recover all.

Pursuing a dream is in many ways like going to battle, especially in American where we have so many options to dream about. Young people today have choices galore to wade through and determine the right choice for them. Even with a little age, we have choices. So how do we know the right direction? David “enquired at the Lord,” whether or not to pursue the enemy. Times and options may change, but the methods of the Lord have never changed. Before pursuing the enemy, or a career, time in prayer should be at hand, and even that may be a battle. For five years I’ve known the direction God wanted me to go, but circumstances and indecision has kept me from pursuing it to the degree I believe is God’s design.

A friend once said, pray and make a decision, if you have peace, it’s right; if not, pray again and listen more intently. For five years I’ve ever only had peace doing two things, writing and speaking, and yet I’ve continued to attempt every other avenue. Crazy right?

  1. Family First

Genesis 14:14 ~ And when Abram heard that his brother was taken captive, he armed his trained servants, born in his own house, three hundred and eighteen, and pursued them unto Dan.

God had blessed Abraham, Genesis 13:2 says that “And Abram was very rich in cattle, in silver, and in gold.” He was living the life. God had given him more than he’d ever imagined. He had given Lot far more than a fair share as well; but Lot’s dream turned into a nightmare when he ended up in the Bible’s version of Vegas and held captive by the enemy. Abraham would have been within his rights to tell Lot “You got yourself into that mess, get yourself out.” But he did not. He gathered an army and went and went on a rescue mission. Abraham put family first.

Even in the will of God it’s easy to get caught up in the dream and leave a line of casualties of war at the house; especially if you’re a success driven person. Only to realize later that success cost far too much, and those that mattered most suffered greatly in your absence or at your hand. Family is too high a price to pay for success, and it will never be God’s will.

  1. Expect opposition

Exodus 14:8

And the Lord hardened the heart of Pharaoh king of Egypt, and he pursued after the children of Israel: and the children of Israel went out with an high hand.

It was certainly the will of God for Moses to lead Israel out of Egypt. He had the signs and a “high hand” leading the way! But that didn’t stop the opposition. To think that the will of God is smooth sailing is to set yourself up for an unprepared attack. Moses kept going, never looking back with a desire for Egypt, and keeping an ear to God’s guidance, trusting that each step had been planned by God in advance for success.

Psalm 37:23 says that “The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord: and he delighteth in his way.”  God’s plan is in action, we just need to follow it. The enemy is there, but God has a plan for him too: 1 Samuel 25:29 ~ Yet a man is risen to pursue thee, and to seek thy soul: but the soul of my lord shall be bound in the bundle of life with the Lord thy God; and the souls of thine enemies, them shall he sling out, as out of the middle of a sling.

  1. Keep your eye on the Prize

Proverbs 28:1

The wicked flee when no man pursueth: but the righteous are bold as a lion.

When you’ve discovered the will of God for your life, and He’s set that desire deep within your heart, don’t fear. Someone out of the will of God will be in constant fear that someone or something is going to take away what they’ve worked for (or perhaps haven’t worked for.)  But in the will of God, when you know that the Lord is on your side, you can roar with the boldness of a lion knowing that you may not be king of the jungle, but you know Who is. God’s will is a confidence builder, regardless of what anyone else says or believes. God believes in you!

  1. Never Sell Out

Psalm 34:14Depart from evil, and do good; seek peace, and pursue it.

You’ll never have peace in ill-gotten gain and God will never lead you into something immoral which would ruin your testimony. If something like that is before you, you’re definitely going the wrong direction! The world would have you believe that getting there is the goal, regardless of the method. But the goal is n getting there, it’s the mission field along the road. And when you get “there”, there’s still another “there,” that God has intended. He never stops moving you forward with a purpose in life.

At the worst time in Job’s life he shared a wealth of wisdom that the world would be better for. He’d lost his family, and his three friends were battling for the “worst friend of the year award.” But he gave them this advice: Job 13:25  ~ Wilt thou break a leaf driven to and fro? and wilt thou pursue the dry stubble?

Along your road to success, take care of the weak. Don’t knock them out of your path or break them like a twig to get yourself into a better position. God won’t bless that either. But what He will bless is the testimony of a child of God who has the compassion of Christ all along the journey.

This study did my soul good this morning! I hope it did yours too! Let me know if it did, I’d love to hear from you.

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Sunshine for a Rainy Day

reagan's sunshine

I don’t think a day goes by that I have not heard the “C” word. Cancer. A word that can bring even the mightiest warrior to their knees asking for mercy. It is no respecter of age, gender, or socioeconomic status. Saint and Sinner… it has claimed both.

As I listened to a devotion on Periscope this morning from a sister in Christ Jesus in Pennsylvania, she always closes her broadcast with prayer requests and prayer. There too the “C” word popped up. And as I listened to her sweet prayer she said something that sent my mind here… this place I’m at today. She asked God to heal those who He had created the blueprint for. The Creator. We just don’t give Him His just dues do we?

1 Peter 4:19

 Wherefore let them that suffer according to the will of God commit the keeping of their souls to him in well doing, as unto a faithful Creator.

Them that suffer

I cannot say that I have not questioned God’s divine wisdom when it comes to the diagnosis of someone I love. Even someone I don’t know! I see on social media post after post of heartache and my heart breaks. I see images that almost rip my heart out of my chest and I weep and pray and ask God to heal them and sometimes He does… and sometimes He takes them home and I’m left to pray for a heartbroken family; and again I ask God why? Why must these people suffer? It doesn’t seem right.

And then I am confronted with the truth that I am not the judge of what is right, only the Creator of all has that privilege. God’s plan was never that man would suffer. He created us in perfect health, in a perfect place with a perfect plan and then along came sin.

So rather than blame God for the suffering, which is what the world tends to do, we skip past the fact that Satan brought all of this into the world when he wanted to play God. And the human race is still allowing him to play god, the only problem is God is good, Satan is not. And this suffering that is in the world has an agent, Satan himself.

Suffering His Will

So why then is it the will of God that we now suffer? I do not know. Everyone’s blueprint for life is laid out differently, except for the fact that everyone is born with a sin nature, even the most innocent of child has been born into sin. That is why the bible says it rains on the just and the unjust. Everyone’s life is designed to point them and those around them to the Creator and that perfect life that He will afford His children one day in Heaven. A time when we will look back on this tidbit of life in the scope of eternity and think… wow… so that’s why it happened.

Committing the keeping of our souls to Him in well doing

How do you do well when life is not well? How do you sit beside someone who is suffering and tell them that God loves them? You commit them to Christ and then start looking for the work He’s doing through them.

The countless times that I have watched a child of God suffer, and yet still find the strength to praise God, I have also watched the blueprint unfold before my eyes. As hard as it was there was purpose.

I have many friends suffering right now, but there is one little girl on my mind especially who has suffered again and again because of Juvenile Arthritis. Last weekend she went into crisis having to have multiple surgeries and my heart ached as I watched for updates by her mom. She came through and so did Christ. Because she didn’t get to go outside a merciful nurse brought her some window paints and let her paint on her hospital window. The image above is her artistry. And there it was even in her darkest hours she was sharing the love of Jesus.

Her mom is a child of God. She has committed her child to Christ as they go through these hard times. I pray and believe in the Creator that holds her blueprint in Heaven, that He can guide the doctors to a cure for her disease. But until that day He continues to use her for His glory. And one day she’ll look back on these rough days and God will show her the souls that she touched for Him.

Just hold on… God is faithful.

Glory!!!!

Please pray for the sunshine girl. Her name is Reagan.

IT’S THE SEASON OF VBS!

chick crayonThere is for certain a soldier within me, and if you strive to serve the Lord there is no doubt one within you too. Every day – day in and day out we’re on the battle field; however some days our weapons are crayons and glue. Those are serious tools in the ministry if you are a Sunday School Teacher. The subtle words that are uttered during a coloring session in the preschool class are the foundation for which ministry leaders are born. As we advance into early elementary we’re introduced to scissors and it is there that the Lord begins to cut a servant from the cloth of ministry. Markers are mayhem for middle-schoolers but as they create with newly discovered boldness it is also a time that they become vocally bold, for good or bad… they   want to be heard. Crayons and markers are childish tools in the hands of Junior and Senior High, or so they think until you show them that they no longer have to stay within the lines but can cast their own vision on the paper and go places they’ve never been before.

These are my thoughts as we prepare to go into Vacation Bible School at Victory Baptist Church this week. I’ve once again been on the edge of exhaustion and was about to give way to it today until these words rallied my mind. Exhaustion is a dangerous thing. It allows Satan to bully his way into your mind and get your mind off God’s intended purpose, sucking the creative fun right out of your world like a giant vacuum. Thursday of this week I was to the point of going through the motions of ministry as we so often to do because it has to get done. But Friday came and I’d had a little rest under my belt and renewed my vision as the stage was set for VBS! Suddenly my adrenalin was moving again.

The puppets were stage center. Their little lifeless bodies, or in the case of Kodijack the Bear’s big body, were propped up into position for the children to see on Sunday morning and like a kid with my first box of markers I found myself ready to make stuff happen! This is a week that we rally the troops; people who generally don’t teach, do. And kids who generally don’t come, get to and it’s an opportunity to stir hearts for Jesus and hopefully by week’s end our people will come to life like those puppets do when someone takes control.

Bring on the Holy Spirit and let’s have church! Yes I have big expectations! The battle is raging when Satan sees the church getting excited for any reason, even crayons and markers.

1 Corinthians 1:27

But God hath chosen the foolish things of the world to confound the wise; and God hath chosen the weak things of the world to confound the things which are mighty;

The world sees no power in crafts and crayons. But put it in the hands of a child and not only is their soul touched for Christ, but quite possibly the adults in their life will see Christ through the eyes of that child and have a desire to know Him as Savior.

And the weak things might just be the VBS leaders who have come home from their day job tired and exhausted and have two hours of rowdy VBS children before them and they’re not sure it’s going to end well. But it does! Because in their weakness they are made strong in the eyes of a child who may not have ever known love until a VBS worker introduced them to the love of Jesus.

Yes I have big expectations because I serve a big God, and I want the VBS workers of Victory Baptist Church, (or your church) to know that crayons and markers may be washable but the blood of Jesus is eternal and so is the difference you will make in their lives. I hope you’ll pin 1 Corinthians 1:27 on your wall this week and that you’ll act like a fool for Christ!

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I was in the wrong spot!

chick tetelestai

Do you ever get so tired of the battle that you’re ready to throw your hands up in the air and cry uncle, or aunt, I surrender or Calgon take me away! The Lord knows I’m there. Everyday there are decisions. I understand the words of Joel when he said in Joel 3:14

Multitudes, multitudes in the valley of decision: for the day of the Lord is near in the valley of decision.

Those who had come to fight against God’s people would meet with the Lord’s decision, but in the meantime…the Lord’s people are still caught in the decisions of others and perhaps decisions of their own. Which way to I go?

A friend from church gave me a bracelet yesterday with the Greek word “Telelestai” on it. That is to say “It is Finished!” Christ’s final words on the cross of Calvary. Joy floods my soul to think of the meaning of those three words, a song fills my heart; I strummed it for a while on the guitar last night. I’m not sure if it will be a song for the ears of others, or just from my heart to God’s, but I needed it. I needed to hear those words… for I am in the valley of decision. I need to know, and perhaps today you do as well, that “IT IS FINISHED!”

The decisions that lie before me are old news to God; He knows the end result. What stresses me out is that I am in the valley and the enemy may or may not lie in wait on the other side of the hill. I just don’t know. Because that’s how Satan and his band of warriors work, in the dark shadows of the mountain. We’re not only not promised a rose garden, we may have a few briar patches to fight our way through. When God is about to do something amazing the powers of Hell work to thwart it, God works in the Light and His work is made manifest to all who desire to know. If you can’t see God at work you’re probably not looking in the right spot.

I’ve realized today the valley of decision is not mine. That’s the enemies spot. My spot is just below the crest of the hill, right under the Lord’s wings as He makes way for whatever lies ahead. I’ve read and heard that “valley of decision” verse forever and a considered it a passage for the life of a Christian, for we too have decisions to make, but not from a valley vantage point.

It is finished! The battles that we fight are but sign posts along the route to victory. Stick with the plan… His plan!

John 19:30 ~ When Jesus therefore had received the vinegar, he said, It is finished: and he bowed his head, and gave up the ghost.

There’s a Rumor Goin’ round… and the Lord started it!

CHICK VICTORY

Turn on the news, listen in on any number of conversations or watch the trending topics of the internet and it’s bound to be there…any number of headings meant to incite fear or at the least cause alarm; end time warnings, antichrist theories and terrorist threats. Our minds are pummeled with images of destruction and yet those of us in America are blessed to live on a soil of peace, at least for today. I’m dumfounded by either the ignorance of leadership or their willingness to hand over the keys of freedom to a liberal, ungodly lot who have no conscience of evil. That’s a pretty harsh statement, but I’d argue its truth and win. I’m not saying that everyone in Washington is on board… but if they’re not, where in the world are they?

For quite a while it’s been on my heart to blog on this incitation of fear that my own heart has fell to upon occasion, but the words didn’t come until today.

2 Timothy 1:7 says “For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.” So how is that we can have a sound mind in this chaotic world? Only through the Word of God because it is the only true peace on earth.

In the book of Obadiah, in it’s one and only chapter we find the continuing saga of two brothers at odds; Jacob and Esau. A story that began in the book of Genesis and continues through to today, with Edom (the descendants of Esau) being viewed as an example of the antichrist and Jacob (Israel) the chosen nation of God. A little piece of ground that God chose as His own and is still desired to be the possession of anyone at odds with God. And at the root of it all – the pride of men.

Obadiah 1:1-4

The vision of Obadiah. Thus saith the Lord God concerning Edom; We have heard a rumour from the Lord, and an ambassador is sent among the heathen, Arise ye, and let us rise up against her in battle. Behold, I have made thee small among the heathen: thou art greatly despised. The pride of thine heart hath deceived thee, thou that dwellest in the clefts of the rock, whose habitation is high; that saith in his heart, Who shall bring me down to the ground? Though thou exalt thyself as the eagle, and though thou set thy nest among the stars, thence will I bring thee down, saith the Lord.

One thing for certain is if God starts a rumor, it still truth. The antichrist, the “heathen’s ambassador” is for certain in our path. Much speculation has occurred on who it is or will be, but he has yet to be revealed. We are however primed and ready to accept the god of lies because we’re allowing ourselves to be engulfed in this fear that the world would have us fall to. The world is looking for a Savior, Who’s been there all along, yet they desire one with cape and crown that they can see. And Satan will provide it. He’ll provide it by two methods: Fear and Pride.

Fear will come to those who do not know the Word of God. And they outnumber those who do. Pride is the political hierarchy that believe that “they” are the solution.

God says of pride in Proverbs 6:16-17 – These six things doth the Lord hate: yea, seven are an abomination unto him: A proud look, a lying tongue, and hands that shed innocent blood,

The pride of man says “I am in control,” but the wisdom of God says, “I know Who’s in control.”

It was pride that caused Lucifer to be kicked out of Heaven, caused Eve to want to be as smart as God, caused the tower of Babel to be built which got the nations scattered, caused Herod to kill all those innocent babies trying to exterminate Christ, and will cause the antichrist to demand to be worshipped in the end times. But it is the humility of the Christian faith, that acknowledges the power of almighty God and His sovereignty that will bring peace to the soul in this world of woe.

Obadiah 1:18 – And the house of Jacob shall be a fire, and the house of Joseph a flame, and the house of Esau for stubble, and they shall kindle in them, and devour them; and there shall not be any remaining of the house of Esau; for the Lord hath spoken it.

History has proven God’s word again and again and will continue to do so. Yes we live by faith, not sight. But we also have the historical facts as evidence.

When God said that there would not be any remaining of the house of Esau He meant it. The Edomite extinction began around 300 A.D. when a group of Arabs conquered their capital city Petra and continued through other tenemies until they were completely destroyed by the Romans around 70 A.D. And no one today can tell where an Edomite is located.

The spirit of fear that the world would desire Christians to have shouldn’t be there. If we read and understand the Word of God we can know, regardless of what appears to be going on in the world, God still has FULL CONTROL. And there will come a day that the pride and arrogance of those in the world who desire evil against the nation of Israel and the people of God will be as Esau. None remaining. Amen.

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