Thursday, January 31, 2013

Jesus Is the Cornerstone

Behold I am laying in Zion for a foundation a Stone, a tested Stone, a precious Cornerstone of sure foundation; he who believes will not be ashamed or give way or hasten away in sudden panic.
Isaiah 28:16 Amplified

Jesus is the Cornerstone
Came for sinners to atone
Though rejected by His own
He became the Cornerstone

Til the breaking of the dawn
Til all footsteps cease to roam
Ever let this truth be known
Jesus is the cornerstone.
Lari Goss

Wednesday, January 30, 2013

My God, In Whom I Trust

Corrie ten Boom told a story about being in an accident in her hometown many years after the war. The policeman who responded read her name on her ID,  and told her that he had been on duty the night her family was arrested by the Germans and sent to prison. With tear-filled eyes, the policeman quoted from Psalm 91, the verses that Father ten Boom had spoken over his children that night. 

An elderly widower, faced with losing everything for the sake of the gospel ( even his own life), Father ten Boom touched many hearts as he reflected the light of the Savior. He trusted in the living Word of God. 

 He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High
Will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.
I will say to the Lord, “My refuge and my fortress,
My God, in whom I trust!”



Tuesday, January 29, 2013

Bring God's Word to Remembrance

As I pray for my loved ones, I can ask God to bring His Word to their remembrance, even Bible verses, prayers, and songs they were taught from childhood. As my sister was visiting our sick elderly family friend, Mildred read to her familiar hymns, comforting scriptures, and prayed the Lord's Prayer with her. It brought this dear one a lot of peace.

Jesus said: "The Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in My name, He will teach you all things, and bring to your remembrance all that I said to you."
John 14:26 (NASB)

God promised: "So will My word be which goes forth from My mouth; it will not return to Me empty, without accomplishing what I desire, and without succeeding in the matter for which I sent it."
Isaiah 55:11 (NASB)

Monday, January 28, 2013

Bubbling Over!


I am thrilled to be able to spend time with my granddaughters. Does it seem that kids just seem to come into this world knowing that rain puddles are for jumping in, steps are for leaping off of, bath water is for splashing, and milk and straws are for blowing bubbles.

I couldn't help noticing yesterday, as I made trips up and down the stairs with the three-year-old, that I feel older and slower and have more trouble keeping up than in previous years.

However, this morning, this was the Bible verse that leaped out at me, letting me know I never have to stop bubbling over with hope in the Lord.

May the God of your hope so fill you with all joy and peace in believing [through the experience of your faith] that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound and be overflowing (bubbling over) with hope. Romans 15:13 Amplified

Sunday, January 27, 2013

Overdrawn?

Be devoted to one another in brotherly love;
give preference to one another in honor;
Romans 12:10 NASB

We had a couple speak at our church who talked about the huge change in their lives since they had chosen to forgive the offenses of the past.

They illustrated the process they had been through by comparing it to being overdrawn at the bank.

I could relate to that! Years ago when debit cards first came out, I bought an item for $30 and had insufficient funds to cover the debit. The bank did not notify me until several days later. By that time, they had charged me a fee for every day that the amount was not covered.

Now I had to replace not only the $30, but the penalties.

The couple said that forgiving the one who has hurt us is like depositing the $30. We then have to compensate for the consequences of our actions, and still, we are only at zero!

In order to get back in "the black", we have to not only forgive and make restitution for our reaction to the offense, but we must begin to HONOR the person.

Lord, Help me to see people through Your eyes, and to honor them because You gave Your Son that we might be forgiven.

Soften Our Hearts, Lord

I have had so many answers to prayer over the years, that I hope I am learning to go to God FIRST, and expect Him to answer in ways even better than I can imagine. I have family members, as many of you do, who mock prayer and faith. So I pray even harder! That God will soften their hearts.

And I will give them one heart [a new heart] and I will put a new spirit within them; and I will take the stony [unnaturally hardened] heart out of their flesh, and will give them a heart of flesh [sensitive and responsive to the touch of their God].
Ezekiel 11:19 (AMP)

The Wealth of the Wicked

The sinner's wealth is stored up for the righteous.
Proverbs 13:22b

I often quote Corrie ten Boom, one of my heroes of the faith! I read that she began to share a daily devotional message on TransWorld Radio in the 1950's, not many years after she was released from Ravensbruck concentration camp for helping the Jews in Holland.

What is so interesting is that the radio tower that was broadcasting forgiveness and peace through Jesus Christ, was built and paid for by Adolph Hitler. He spared no expense, intending to spread his message of hatred throughout Europe with the biggest and best radio transmitter of the day. He died before he ever got to use it.

There was Corrie, whom the Lord had given grace to forgive her captors and those who murdered her friends and family, spreading God's love to the German people and all of Europe on Hitler's tower!

It never ceases to amaze me that God answers our prayers in bigger better ways than we could have even known or imagined!!

Source: Messages of God's Abundance by Corrie ten Boom

Saturday, January 26, 2013

Reach Deep

Christ will make his home in your hearts as you trust in him. Your roots will grow down into God’s love and keep you strong. Ephesians 3:17 NLT

They are like trees planted along a riverbank, with roots that reach deep into the water. Such trees are not bothered by the heat or worried by long months of drought. Their leaves stay green, and they never stop producing fruit. Jeremiah 17:8 NLT 

I receive ministry letters from a couple in Israel, Dr. Daniel and Patty Juster (Tikkun International).

Dr. Juster wrote: " It is so important during the challenging days ahead, that we are so rooted in God's love that nothing can move us....Oh, to be unmoved by our circumstances and get to the place where we never question God's love for us....

So how do we get our roots down? Strangely enough, it is by being faithful during the small trials. As we are tempted to doubt, we press more and more into God and refuse the lies of the enemy. Then, when the really hard times come, our roots are already established and our faith will remain strong."

Father God, 

Grant us the grace to trust you moment by moment so that we go deeper that just "head knowledge" of You, and that we know for certain that You have made Your permanent home in our hearts.
 

Thursday, January 24, 2013

Walk On


The Lord God is my Strength, 
my personal bravery, 
and my invincible army; 
He makes my feet like hinds’ feet 
and will make me to walk - 
not to stand still in terror, but to walk - 
and make spiritual progress
 upon my high places 
of trouble, suffering, or responsibility!
Habakkuk 3:19 Amplified

Wednesday, January 23, 2013

Worth It?


Once, when I was in first grade, I swapped my silver dollar for a doll that was made out of pipe cleaners and empty thread spools.  Looking back with all the wisdom of my years :) and the increase in the value of silver coins, I would say it wasn't a fair trade!

As my Daddy commented, "I believe you got the short end of the stick!"

However, there is something I was given that is much more precious than silver, and it will never lose its value, or be lost.

A swap took place
when Jesus died in my stead.
He took my guilt and gave me His goodness.
He took my hurts and gave me healing.
He became poor that I might be rich.
He traded my shame for His glory.
He took my dirty ragged jeans,
and gave me His robe of righteousness.

Yes, it was a good trade for me, but Jesus also says to everyone who comes to Him,
"You are worth the price I paid."

Thank You, Jesus!

Tuesday, January 22, 2013

Settled in Heaven


Forever, O Lord, 
Your Word is settled in heaven. 
Your faithfulness 
is from generation to generation. 
You have established the earth, 
and it stands fast.
Psalm 119:89-90


Monday, January 21, 2013

Nothing Is Impossible

I've been reading some Christian biographies (Christian Heroes Then and Now). This series is for children, but my ten year old granddaughter loves biographies, so I am borrowing them!

It makes me realize how I have pictured God "too small" and troubles "too big".

The story of George Mueller and his wife opening an orphanage by faith (that through the years housed ten thousand children) reassures me that NOTHING is too difficult if God is in it!

As we wait in the long lines each afternoon to pick up her sisters from two schools, little Kaedyn loves to listen to a CD of the Brooklyn Tabernacle Choir.


Sunday, January 20, 2013

What Does Your Daddy do?

As kids, a question we were often asked was, "What does your Daddy do?" Well, for several years, our Dad was a mechanic on the city buses in Atlanta. From going out on service calls to repair disabled buses, he came to know the city streets like the back of his hand. When I grew up and began to drive, I knew I could call Daddy for directions to anywhere in metro Atlanta.

As children of God, we need to know exactly what it is that our Heavenly Father does. We also need to be CONFIDENT that He is on our side. He will help us when we call.

I want to tell you a story to show my point.

When I was six years old, our class took a field trip on the bus to Grant Park Zoo in Atlanta. I was excited on my first trip to the zoo and I ran ahead and entered the Lion House. Back then, the lions were housed in small cages. I walked right up to the bars of the cage, and the lion let out a ROAR that echoed through that stone building. I will never forget that deafening sound that paralyzed me with fear!

Sometimes, we face circumstances that are so overwhelming that we are afraid to stand up and do what we know is right. God gave me a picture that if I would stop running away from problems and stand up and face fear, that a hundred angels would stand up with me. Even better than that, my Savior Jesus stands with me, and He is the Lion of the tribe of Judah! Judah means PRAISE. Even when I feel uncertain, as I begin to praise, with my small voice, I have a Heavenly Choir of back-up singers.

Now, back to my question. What does my Heavenly Father do? He's a doctor, a lawyer, a righteous judge, a builder, a warrior, a singer, a dancer, a first responder, a counselor and best friend, just to name a few. He is always on my side, He answers when I call, and He knows which way I should go. His perfect love casts out fear. It is the only thing that does.

Saturday, January 19, 2013

Such a Friend!

My brother emailed me a page from our high school yearbook this week. A friend I grew up with had passed away at age 62. It was good to see old familiar faces and to remember childhood friends I had not seen in years.

My sister and I were talking about how "love" and even "friendship" have very different definitions now than when we were teenagers. Eventually, love grows to be more that goosebumps and good times!

I think this verse from the hymn "I've Found a Friend" sums up God's idea of friendship:

I've found a friend
Oh Such a friend
So kind and true and tender
So wise a counselor and guide
So mighty a defender!
From Him who loves me
Now so well
What power my soul can sever?
Shall life or death
Or earth or hell?
No, I am His forever. 

James G. Small


Friday, January 18, 2013

Lord of Hosts

When the Philistine looked and saw David, he disdained him; for he was but a youth, and ruddy, with a handsome appearance. The Philistine said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. The Philistine also said to David, “Come to me, and I will give your flesh to the birds of the sky and the beasts of the field.”  

Then David said to the Philistine, “You come to me with a sword, a spear, and a javelin, but I come to you in the name of the Lord of hosts, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have taunted. This day the Lord will deliver you up into my hands, and I will strike you down and remove your head from you. And I will give the dead bodies of the army of the Philistines this day to the birds of the sky and the wild beasts of the earth, that all the earth may know that there is a God in Israel, and that all this assembly may know that the Lord does not deliver by sword or by spear; for the battle is the Lord’s and He will give you into our hands.”
1 Samuel 17:42-47


The name of the Lord is a strong tower;
The righteous runs into it and is safe.
Proverbs 18:10 

Thursday, January 17, 2013

Jehovah Shalom - The Lord is Peace

When Gideon saw that he was the angel of the Lord, he said, “Alas, O Lord God! For now I have seen the angel of the Lord face to face.” The Lord said to him, “Peace to you, do not fear; you shall not die.” Then Gideon built an altar there to the Lord and named it The Lord is Peace.
Judges 6:22-24 

Peace, Peace wonderful peace
Coming down from the Father above
Sweep over my spirit
Forever I pray
In fathomless billows of love.
Warren D. Cornell

Tuesday, January 15, 2013

The Lord is my banner

Moses built an altar and named it The Lord is My Banner; and he said, “The Lord has sworn; the Lord will have war against Amalek from generation to generation.” Exodus17:15-16

The people of God need never surrender to the enemy. Never give up! When we stumble and fall, God will lift us up and put us back on the right path. Praise His name.

Monday, January 14, 2013

"I, the Lord, am your healer."

Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea, and they went out into the wilderness of Shur; and they went three days in the wilderness and found no water. When they came to Marah, they could not drink the waters of Marah, for they were bitter; therefore it was named Marah. So the people grumbled at Moses, saying, “What shall we drink?” Then he cried out to the Lord, and the Lord showed him a tree; and he threw it into the waters, and the waters became sweet.

There He made for them a statute and regulation, and there He tested them. And He said, “If you will give earnest heed to the voice of the Lord your God, and do what is right in His sight, and give ear to His commandments, and keep all His statutes, I will put none of the diseases on you which I have put on the Egyptians; for I, the Lord, am your healer.
Exodus 15:22-26
Thank You, Father, that every good and perfect gift comes from You. Healing comes from Your hand.

Sunday, January 13, 2013

The Lord Will Provide

I am studying the covenant names of God. Today I am reading Genesis 22:1-19. where God revealed Himself as Provider.

Isaac spoke to Abraham his father and said, “My father!” And he said, “Here I am, my son.” And he said, “Behold, the fire and the wood, but where is the lamb for the burnt offering?” Abraham said, “God will provide for Himself the lamb for the burnt offering, my son.”  So the two of them walked on together.

Then they came to the place of which God had told him; and Abraham built the altar there and arranged the wood, and bound his son Isaac and laid him on the altar, on top of the wood. Abraham stretched out his hand and took the knife to slay his son. But the angel of the Lord called to him from heaven and said, “Abraham, Abraham!” And he said, “Here I am.” He said, “Do not stretch out your hand against the lad, and do nothing to him; for now I know that you fear God, since you have not withheld your son, your only son, from Me.”  

Then Abraham raised his eyes and looked, and behold, behind him a ram caught in the thicket by his horns; and Abraham went and took the ram and offered him up for a burnt offering in the place of his son. Abraham called the name of that place
 The Lord Will Provide, 
as it is said to this day, 
“In the mount of the Lord it will be provided.”

Genesis 22:7-14

Thank You, Father God, that You made a way for me when there was no other way than to send Your only Son to die in my place. In mercy and compassion, You have provided for man's greatest needs - forgiveness for our sin, and a personal relationship with You as Father.

Friday, January 11, 2013

Brotherly Love

I remember a beautiful day when the grandkids (Damian was 8 and Skyler was 4) wanted to go to the park. When we arrived at the playground early that morning, the equipment was still wet from an overnight shower. Water puddled on the slide.

"Sorry, Skyler," I explained, "You won't be able to go down the slide." She looked so disappointed, but before I could finish my sentence, up the ladder went Damian, and down he came right into the puddle. I was just about to question his judgment when he took her hand and sweetly said, "There you go, Skyler; my jeans soaked up all the water. Now you can slide!"

Ephesians 5:2 tells us: "Observe how Christ loved us. His love was not cautious but extravagant. He didn't love in order to get something from us but to give everything of himself to us. Love like that."

Thursday, January 10, 2013

Jesus' Reward


Have you ever seen a bride-to-be with a new diamond on her finger? She turns her hand this way and that, so the facets of the stone catch the rays of light. She is mesmerized by the colors of the prism shimmering in the sun.

God gazes upon you with great pleasure. You are His many-faceted gem. Contained within you are many gifts that shine through to everyone around you.

You are a royal diadem in the hand of your God. You are Jesus' reward, His inheritance.
And He is your inheritance!

After this, the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision: "Do not be afraid, Abram. I am your shield, your very great reward."
Genesis 15:1

Wednesday, January 9, 2013

You Are God's Masterpiece!

God is so rich in mercy, and he loved us so much, that even though we were dead because of our sins, he gave us life when he raised Christ from the dead. (It is only by God’s grace that you have been saved!) For he raised us from the dead along with Christ and seated us with him in the heavenly realms because we are united with Christ Jesus.  

So God can point to us in all future ages as examples of the incredible wealth of his grace and kindness toward us, as shown in all he has done for us who are united with Christ Jesus.

God saved you by his grace when you believed. And you can’t take credit for this; it is a gift from God. Salvation is not a reward for the good things we have done, so none of us can boast about it.  

For we are God’s masterpiece. 

He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago.

Ephesians 2:4-10 NLT

Tuesday, January 8, 2013

You're HOW OLD?!

A while back I was teaching fifth grader math students who needed extra help, I found them reluctant to even open their books. Although I worked the first problem on the board for them, they still wouldn't even copy it on their papers.

The task for the day was coming up with strategies to solve word problems.

Finally, I set the books aside and gave them "real life" problems to come up and write on the overhead. I asked them, "In what year will you be my age, if I was born in 1950?" It made it a little easier that they were born in 2000 :)

They really got interested in asking and answering questions related to the ages of their family members. We ended up with a pretty successful lesson after all.

It amazes me that many of the kids don't know about measurements: cups, quarts, gallons, etc. Then I realized that a lot of families no longer "bake from scratch". Really, that is how we learn anything: DOING rather than just hearing or reading facts off a page.

James 1:22 says, "Be ye doers of the Word, and not hearers only."

Lord, teach me to love in word and in deed.

Monday, January 7, 2013

CHOSEN

Chosen

Yes, you!

Long before time

Called to be Mine.

My child

Tell of My goodness

Display My might.

You were rescued from darkness

To walk in the Light.


Karen


But you are the ones chosen by God, chosen for the high calling of priestly work, chosen to be a holy people, God's instruments to do his work and speak out for him, to tell others of the night-and-day difference he made for you—from nothing to something, from rejected to accepted.

1 Peter 2:9-10 Message

Sunday, January 6, 2013

Resting Place

I am looking forward to warmer days ahead and getting back out to a peaceful walking trail near me that winds around duck ponds and shady groves.

Half-way around, at the bottom of the hill, there is a charming gazebo where I can sit and rest. I can listen to the breeze rustling the trees, catch my breath, and then...I'm on my way again, up to the top of the next knoll.

Someone has said that everybody is either facing a valley, walking through a valley, or has come out of a valley. But it's good to know that along the way, God offers us a resting place and He renews our strength and courage.

He makes me to lie down in green pastures; He leads me beside the still waters . He restores my soul; He leads me in the paths of righteousness for His name's sake.
Psalm 23:2-3 

This is such a soothing song, sung by Bob Fitts: Constant Companion

Wednesday, January 2, 2013

Timely Word!

Sometimes we get all tangled up in the problems of life: bills to pay, chores to do, and people to get along with who don't always follow the golden rule!

One morning as I was getting ready to pray about my "mountain" of problems, I realized that I was sitting on a piece of mail. When I opened it, it was a message from Sid Roth, a Jewish believer in Jesus as Messiah.

This is what it said:

You are the generation to welcome the Messiah's return!

All the things that you have done in the past were only preparations for what you are going to do.

The greatest things and the things that will bring the most glory to God are yet to be revealed and yet to be done.

God wants you to prepare your heart so that you will not doubt Him when He speaks.

After reading that, my "mountain" didn't seem like such a big problem anymore!

Lord, I pray that I will have childlike faith to take you at Your Word.

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