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Archive for the ‘Victory’ Category

GPS and God


psalm-37-23-frozen-treeHappy New year!!!! The end of 2016 and the beginning of 2017 have been a whirl wind for me. I haven’t been able to sit long enough to write a blog until now.  With the New Year came an arctic front that brought just enough snow and ice to this southern location to cause a commuting mess. Needless to say long commutes got a lot longer because of ice on the roads.

Leaving work early is usually a treat but this afternoon it was not. Bundling up in my heaviest jacket and gloves I headed into the cold. With the GPS already telling me it would take at least 2 hours to get home, which is only 36 miles, I settled my mind for a long slow drive. Before leaving the parking lot I set the GPS and briefly checked the unusual route, knowing that it would probably change a few times before I made my way home. After speaking to Bob briefly I started on the trip.

The parking lot was ok, no ice. I looked at my first road and realized that there was a long line—which I have never seen before. A truck let me onto the road and immediately my car began to slide.  Calming myself I began to repeat to myself, don’t touch the brakes on ice, don’t accelerate quickly. I love my little mustang but it has a tendency to slide easily on wet pavement, so I knew ice would be a problem.

Usually I get a bit nervous when the GPS keeps changing my route and at first this was the case however I believe it took me the quickest route. There was a lot of ice on bridges and overpasses and on streets, under trees and ramps. My route changed several times and I drove on some streets in the city that I have never taken. I passed near the interstate a few times and even got on once just to get right back off onto another side street that was moving faster.

In the two hours it took to get to my house I saw several wrecked vehicles on the slick roads. The first one I saw was a pickup truck with a trailer that had jackknifed in the left lane, then there was the car turned backwards at the beginning of a high ramp and many others as I drove on. Each incident made me a little more cautious.

As I drove I prayed for safety for myself and Bob. I wanted us both to make it home safely and relax. Despite high stress levels while driving in these conditions we both made it home safely and for that I praise God.

Spending that intense time just listening to the GPS for further direction to get me through that tough drive is like what we should be doing with God. We have all had tough times where we feel danger lurking and see the carnage of life all around us. In these times it is important that we do like I did to get home, get in the driver’s seat, turn on our engines and move forward while listening to God to show us the best path to get to our desired destination.

Psalm 37:23 (NASB)

23 The steps of a man are established by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.

Enjoy your winter wonderland and I will be back next week with more.

Victory over the Thief


whisp-of-smoke

John 10:10 (NKJV)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.

It started like a whisper bringing doubt and fear. It was a little thought, a small idea that could have quickly been pushed away. It entered my mind like a vapor of smoke in the air. A quick rebuke would have pushed it away like a fan could move smoke. I tried on my own to make it leave but the more I tried the more I engaged it and began to accept the doubt and fear. I knew I needed help. I reached out to my husband because I did not want to miss a whole night’s sleep to this thief.

He listened and gave advice but words weren’t helping. He prayed for me. I believed God would answer the prayer and took my bible and my phone and walked away. Then another thought came. This thought inspired me and gave me direction. I opened the wordpress app on my phone pulled up my blog and began to search “worry”. I knew through God’s inspiration I had written some articles on worry. As I began to read what God had put in my heart to write I began to feel comfort.

Then I began to marvel at God and how He used what I hoped would be out there to help others to once again help me. Even if no one else in the world was ministered to by these blogs I thank God that He has used them to help me. I know that by sharing what He has taught me I am laying the groundwork for a brighter future in Him for anyone who finds what they need in these words.

I am thankful that God once again showed Himself faithful to show me how to quash fear and doubt and walk in His abundant life. I won this battle with the thief and I know that there will be battles in the future. I am thankful that I have a tool and weapon that will allow me to win the battles. I thank God for His word and His love.

Join me this week in holding our ground against the thief who would try to steal our peace. Join me in living more abundantly. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

What to do? Psalm52


PSALM 52 8 9Psalm 52:8-9 NKJV

8But I am like a green olive tree in the house of God;
I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.
I will praise You forever,
Because You have done it;
And in the presence of Your saints
I will wait on Your name, for it is good.

I have been meditating on Psalm 52 for a few months now off and on. My main focus is the ending with verse 8 and 9. You will notice that I have focused on the verbs related to these verses. Sometimes we read scripture and do not know how it applies to our lives. While praying one morning it hit me that if I focused on the actions I would know what to do to apply the Word to my life.

So here goes. “I am like a green olive tree in the house of God.” Why would I desire to be like an olive tree? I could think of some reasons but I believe the passage here relates to the fact that olives trees create olives and from olives come olive oil and olive oil has many uses in the house of God. So the take away from this part is that I am useful to God and must allow God to use me as He wills.

“I trust in the mercy of God forever and ever.” Trust is very important because without trust I will not follow God. In order to trust I have to remove all doubting thoughts and dwell on the truth from God’s word. The things that He has done are so enormous and all move toward the same purpose that they become trustworthy. God will never leave or forsake me. God can heal, deliver and save. When we talk about God’s mercy to me it means that if I mess up He will allow me to repent and be made right with Him.

“I will praise You forever, because You have done it.” Praising God is easy in the good times. But the real test is how to praise God when everything is going wrong. I have learned the only way to do this is to step back out of the circumstances and realize that God is in control and I can trust Him. Sometimes I need to look at my past and remember what He did before in order to believe what He will do again. And if I trust Him I will praise Him.

“And In the presence of Your saints, I will wait on Your name, for it is good.” I wondered what waiting on God’s name meant. But then I broke it down and realized that God’s name is His character. In the bible there are many names of God and each one has to do with what God has done and who He is. To me waiting on His name is waiting to see the manifestation of what He has done in the past and will do in my future.

I believe there is a lot more to get out of these verses and this is only a start on that revelation. We serve a good God and serving Him means we should be useful, trust, praise and wait. Over the course of my life I am striving to attain this purpose. I am walking daily to make my way to the ultimate meeting with the creator of the universe. Won’t you join me in the quest?

I will be back next week with more.

When All Hope is Gone


when all hope is goneWhen your life hasn’t gone your way, what do you do? The answer can be found in John 20. This takes place after the suffering and death of Jesus. The disciples and women who followed Jesus were in mourning. The disciples plan was for Jesus to become King of Israel on this earth now, to deliver them from any and all oppression of the Romans, to set the Pharisees/Sadducees straight on doctrine, to continue to heal and deliver people from their personal issues. Their plan failed and Jesus died on the cross and was buried in a tomb with a big stone and guards. All their dreams had ended. They were mourning and confused how this happened.

Before we go any further, let’s explore our own lives. Have you ever had a situation where you put everything you had into what you were doing and then suddenly had it all taken away from you?

This is what happened to the disciples. They had it all and were living the dream. Healings and deliverances followed Jesus and His disciples.

  • Maybe your dream is a certain job. You are at the top of your game. You are putting everything into what you are doing. You work extra hours to complete all that is before you and you don’t complain because this is what you want to do. You pour 100% of your energy into what you are doing. And suddenly, out of nowhere—it seems—you get fired. Maybe they say it is downsizing, maybe they have another excuse, but those things don’t matter, they have taken away your dream. What do you do?
  • Maybe it is your life. Suddenly out of nowhere you have been falsely accused of a horrible crime and your freedom has been taken away from you. You know you are innocent, but it seems no one who is has the power to help you will believe you. You have been framed and suddenly your life is over—or so it seems.
  • Maybe it is a relationship that has gone bad. One day you are happily married and what seemed to be overnight you are divorced. Life is hard and you are mourning the loss of the relationship. Or maybe the person you were in a relationship with suddenly died. Your life is filled with grief and suffering because a part of you is missing. You don’t know where to turn.

I believe that most of us have suffered great losses in our life, whether the losses were people who are no longer with us, or jobs or our reputation. They are all losses. What matters when we experience a loss is how we react. What can we do?

Lets look at John 20:1 “Now on the first day of the week Mary Magdalene went to the tomb early, while it was still dark, and saw that the stone had been taken away from the tomb.”

Mary had unfinished business that she was going to do at the first opportunity. So she went to the tomb early so she could put the embalming oils and spices on Jesus’ body. She had a purpose that was brought on by the death of Jesus. But she couldn’t complete her duty. Her purpose had not changed since Jesus’ death. She was still serving Him as she did when He was alive. This was to be her last act of worship of her savior. Honestly she wasn’t sure how she was going to get the stone moved when she got there. And then she saw that was not a problem, the stone was rolled away. Good, one problem solved, but now there was no body. How could she complete her duty, if there was no body?

Verse 2: “Then she ran and came to Simon Peter, and to the other disciple, whom Jesus loved, and said to them, ‘They have taken away the Lord out of the tomb, and we do not know where they have laid Him.’”

Ok. She overcame the stone obstacle. Now she has gone for help to overcome the missing body obstacle. Do you ever have days like this? You know it is going to be rough and then things just keep getting worse. You have your heart set on finishing well even though things have ended abruptly and not in the way you planned. You set out to finish, but someone changes the game. Suddenly your plans once again have been rendered useless. What do you do?

Mary goes for help from some people who are in the same condition she is. Maybe she thinks they will be able to figure this out better than her.  It is great to get advice and help when you are in a situation that has really thrown you out of your comfort zone.  But you need to look outside the area of people who are experiencing the same thing you are.

In verses 3-10 her help comes and goes. They came, they saw and they left. They gave her no explanation and no help in finding Jesus’ body. She found herself, once again standing and weeping. Do you ever get into that position? You are confused and grieving. All the people that come around you offer you no real help, they just come and go. They seem to be just as confused as you are. They bring no comfort into your situation. You are once again left by yourself to weep and wonder.

Look at Verses 11:-18. But Mary decided not to just weep; she decided to look inside the tomb. She looked to the last place she knew her savior had been seen. And when she sought, she found her answer. Mary tried to get help from people, but they left her short of her answer. So in her wondering and wandering she stumbled onto the answer. She didn’t know that looking into the tomb would answer her question.

She saw the angels and explained her problem to them; someone had taken her Lord’s body. And as she turned she found her answer. Jesus didn’t tap her on the shoulder. He made no move to call her to Himself. But she turned and saw Him. Sometimes we need to go where we know God was last time to get our bearings and then turn in order to find where God is now. Looking to the past will not always take you to the future, but if you retrace your steps and then turn you can go the right way.

She didn’t recognize Jesus when she turned. She was so focused on finding His dead body she didn’t recognize His live body. She didn’t even recognize His voice. (Jesus said my sheep know my voice. She was so distraught that she didn’t recognize the voice of her master. She was not expecting His voice—but the voice of a gardener.) So she asks if He has removed the body. Now Jesus must reveal Himself to her, he sees her anguish and her confusion—to the point of not recognizing Him. (John 10:4 &27)

Sometimes we get so confused that we cannot recognize the Lord when He stands right in front of us. We let the fact that our plans have been destroyed send us into such anguish on how we will accomplish our goals that we don’t see Jesus in our midst.

I have been in this position. It is very difficult to find your way when this happens. You cry out to your friends because the pain you feel is so intense. They come around, look and leave. They may say a few words, but they can’t remove the pain and anguish. They don’t help you navigate through the confusion. Your mind gets so caught up in what your plans were that you can’t see Jesus, even though He is standing right aside of you. You cry out and weep and mourn because the old is gone. You cannot see the possible good of the new. All you can do is look at the past, when things were the way you wanted them to be. Now things just hurt and you feel disappointed. You used to feel appointed—anointed and set in place, but now that is over. You just hurt and you turn from person to person to try to get your bearings on life. But life keeps sending you into more confusion.

Then comes the moment in verse 16 when Jesus says her name, “Mary.”  This makes all the difference in the world. The confusion is gone. She found what she was looking for, but now her sorrow and confusion has turned into joy, unbelievable joy. Personal recognition from the Master changed her whole perspective and brought her out of her confusion. She had a clear direction. She spoke “Rabboni” which acknowledged that she recognized Him. Then she clung on to Him for dear life. She wasn’t about to lose Him again.

Encouragement from others and prophetic words that confirmed what I felt in my spirit, let me know that I was hearing God’s voice. All the confusion in the world is gone when God speaks. When Mary heard Jesus, her heart melted. Then Jesus gave her clear direction on her next step. There was to be no doubt in her mind what to do. Jesus made sure He gave her specific directions. She had been confused and lost but now she knew exactly what to do.

It is time to clear the cob webs from our minds and hear the voice of God. He has never left us or forsaken us (Hebrews 13:5). He has been right by our side all the time. Today is the time for the confusion to leave and the voice of the Lord to come. One word from the Lord will drive away all confusion. We must remember that the plan that we live by must be His plan. If we live by a plan that we conceive we will end up in confusion. Jesus is the Lord, we are His servants. Servants do not tell the Lord what to do, the Lord tells the servants. Mary may have had her plan, but that was not what Jesus’ plan was. Jesus plan had to do with life; Mary’s plan was contingent on there being a dead body.

God’s plan always has to do with life. God’s plan has to do with abundant life. Abundant life is multidimensional it includes body, soul and spirit.

Join me in this prayer. Father today, this moment in time, we want to give up our plans and take on your plan for our lives. We acknowledge that any plan that was not birthed in your Spirit is not a plan of life but a plan of death. We ask that you give us clear direction and life. Forgive us for our failed plans. Help us to walk in your strength and peace. Forgive us for walking only in our strength. Lead us in your path and open our eyes to your direction. We pray this in the mighty name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth. Amen.

Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

 

Future


IMG_2857Many things are swirling around in my head these days. I am studying for another certification and have all those facts and figures running around in my head. All this study related to elderly people has caused me to think about my retirement. My husband and I are thinking about our future and where we want to be and how we want to retire. I understand that some people actually have retirement funds and know where their money will come from in order to retire. Unfortunately this is not the case in our family. I started a retirement account years ago but when the markets went down so did the account. Eventually it closed because there was not enough money to keep it open.

Through the grace of God we are still kicking and paying our bills. Our goal is to find a way to live on very little income and have the land produce a lot of our sustenance. We are beginning our research now and hopefully in a few years we will have it all figured out and be able to retire.  The bible tells us that tomorrow is not guaranteed and that storing up riches does not produce security. That is a good thing because a store of riches appears to be missing from my equation.

I have always been someone who believed that God would supply what I need when I need it. I trust that He has my best interest in mind and have done without many things over the years because they just were not supplied with the income we had.

1 Timothy 6:17-21 (NKJV)

Command those who are rich in this present age not to be haughty, nor to trust in uncertain riches but in the living God, who gives us richly all things to enjoy. Let them do good, that they be rich in good works, ready to give, willing to share, storing up for themselves a good foundation for the time to come, that they may lay hold on eternal life.

O Timothy! Guard what was committed to your trust, avoiding the profane and idle babblings and contradictions of what is falsely called knowledge— by professing it some have strayed concerning the faith.

Grace be with you. Amen.

I think this has taught me how to be happy with little, but it hasn’t stopped me from trying to plan my future a bit. There is not a problem with planning for the future as long as we do not lose sight of God, who holds our future in His hands.  We make the plans and God orders our steps.

Psalm 37:23 (NKJV)

The steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord,
And He delights in his way.

God gave us this earth to produce food and sustain our lives and we should learn how to do just that. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Soaring with Blessings


eagle in flightI am blessed:

  • to have a husband that loves me and enjoys dreaming with me
  • to have wonderful children and grandchildren who I love to be around
  • to have a new car that is fun to drive
  • to have a home to live in
  • to get an income tax refund
  • to have a job that God is helping me do my best at
  • to have a God that loves and takes care of me, forgives me of my sins and saved me from eternal death, hell and the grave
  • to experience some soaring like an eagle with the help of my Father in heaven

I heard a teaching on the radio this week from Dr. David Jeremiah. He was talking about waiting on the Lord and soaring. The teaching was great and just what I needed to hear. He went into detail on how the baby eagle has to be made uncomfortable to get it out of the nest. But this doesn’t always work and so the mother eagle will do what she needs to get him to move. Then the baby eagle gets on her back and she soars with him and then drops him so that he begins to tumble and fall. She watches and swoops under him to catch him and soars with him again and then drops him again. The baby eagle eventually spreads his wings and begins to soar unassisted. The eagle can catch the wind currents and soar without flapping its wings.

In an instant I saw myself as the baby eagle and felt that sometimes I look around too much at circumstances and allow the stress of life to take over and I just flap my wings and cannot fly. I decided that I wanted to change this and really soar in life.  I do not want to be that baby eagle that does not know how to fly. I want to be the eagle that knows how to wait on the Lord through every circumstance and catch the updraft and soar. As Dr. Jeremiah spoke I said a prayer asking God to help me soar. I want to feel that draft of wind lift me up and soar.

I find it amazing how God answers those prayers. At work I relaxed my mind and put off the stress that comes from meeting specific goals and soared.  I was able to exceed my goal for the day. It was amazing. I soared all the way home from work, living off of that high. I want to soar every day.

Join me in putting on blinders to circumstances and stress and soaring on the wind that God provides. Enjoy your week and I will be back next week with more.

Tests


James 1:2-8(NKJV)

My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing. If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him. But let him ask in faith, with no doubting, for he who doubts is like a wave of the sea driven and tossed by the wind. For let not that man suppose that he will receive anything from the Lord; he is a double-minded man, unstable in all his ways.

test pattern
This is a test. This is only a test.  Since 1963 the emergency broadcast system has been operating periodic tests of the system in case of catastrophic emergency as a way to get instructions out to the general public for safety. I remember these tests.

In society we are required to pass many tests in order to move forward. The purpose of the tests we take in school is to identify gaps in education and make sure students retain enough information to move to the next level. In jobs we have to pass tests also. The first test you have to pass is the job interview where someone is trying to assess whether you can handle the job being offered. In my job there were several courses that I had to pass tests on before I was certified for my position. And after passing all the tests I am required to continue to educate myself and earn certain credits to stay certified.

This life that God has given us is full of tests of our faith. Not only do we have to take all the tests to get and keep jobs and get drivers licenses, etc… but we have to do it all while being tested in our faith daily.  My faith in God should permeate every aspect of my life. There are times when my faith could conflict with demands on my life.

Like any test there are options. And sometimes in daily life the options are clear but the best answer is not always clear.

Here is my master plan to pass all the tests:

  1. Determine to follow God with my whole heart
  2. Learn from God’s Word regularly
  3. Spend time listening to God in prayer regularly
  4. Spend time talking to God in prayer regularly
  5. Trusting the Holy Spirit to guide me during the test as an ongoing process

My determination to follow God causes me to read and study the Word of God, pray, and listen to the Holy Spirit as the supernatural result. This sets me up well for passing all the tests thrown at me in life. Some of those “trials” as James 1:2 puts it, will be more difficult and I will have to rely on every ounce of faith and trust that I have to get through but God will bring me through faithfully. This is not to say that I am perfect, but I am putting in the effort and forgiven when I fail.

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