Good and Stubborn

Acts 19:9, TPT But some of them hardened their hearts and stubbornly refused to believe. When they spoke evil of the Way in front of the congregation, Paul withdrew from them and took the believers with him.”

Proverbs 3:35 (TPT), Stubborn fools fill their lives with disgrace, but glory and honor rest upon the wise. “

Psalm 32:8-9 (TPT), I hear the Lord saying, “I will stay close to you, instructing and guiding you along the pathway for your life. I will advise you along the way and lead you forth with my eyes as your guide. So don’t make it difficult; don’t be stubborn when I take you where you’ve not been before. Don’t make me tug you and pull you along. Just come with me!””

Normally, being stubborn is a bad thing. When we are stubborn, we are going our own way–and/or the devil’s–and no matter what we think or feel, we are not free. (Ask me how I know!) The LORD says that true freedom comes from following Him and loving others:

“Beloved ones, God has called us to live a life of freedom in the Holy Spirit. But don’t view this wonderful freedom as an opportunity to set up a base of operations in the natural realm. Freedom means that we become so completely free of self-indulgence that we become servants of one another, expressing love in all we do. Galatians 5:13, TPT

However, I just want to put in a plug for “good stubbornness”– for God first; He “stubbornly” refuses to quit loving us–even knowing we may never love Him, may even curse and scorn and refute Him. As 2 Timothy 2;13 says, “if we are faithless, he remains faithful— for he cannot deny himself.”   Also Jeremiah 31:3 says, “The LORD appeared to him from afar, saying, I have loved you with an everlasting love; Therefore I have drawn you with loving kindness.Jeremiah 31:3, ESV 

And there are some other examples of “good stubborness” that I have come to appreciate much more: The “stubborn” Covenant love of my husband through the years; the “stubborn” love of my parents and daughter through the years; and the “stubborn” insistence of my 2014 Toyota Camry in not locking when I’ve (1) left the engine running (it’s so quiet I can barely hear it); (2) left the gear in something other than park; or (3) left the keys in the car. (Yes, I’ve tested this blessed vehicle on all three of those–and thank goodness for it’s “good stubborness” in not allowing itself to be locked! Rather, I give the thanks to my “stubbornly” faithful Daddy God!)

Perhaps the LORD also continues to be “stubborn” in politely insisting you do a certain thing (or stop doing a certain thing). This is good. He knows all things. He created you and loves you and has only your best interest in mind. If you are being stubborn and not obeying Him (This is bad.), ask Him to help you be courageous and obey. He will, and you’ll be so glad you did.

Ask me how I know! Great is the faithful “stubbornness” and goodness of our God, always leading us to our BEST selves!!

Forgiven

“So if the Son sets you free, you will be free indeed.” John 8:36, ESV

New American Standard Bible 
And if you belong to Christ, then you are Abraham’s descendants, heirs according to promise. Galatians 3:29

“Just as Moses lifted up the snake in the wilderness, so the Son of Man must be lifted up,  that everyone who believes in Him may have eternal life. For God so loved the world that He gave His one and only Son, that everyone who believes in Him shall not perish but have eternal life.” John 3;14-16, Berean Study Bible

The man driving the semi truck in front of us was sharing the good news, that he was “FORGIVEN”! The fish symbol Ichthys used by Christians throughout the world containing this one huge word says it all: If you have believed on Jesus Christ as the Savior of the world, and that He shed His blood to pay for the sins of every person, and received Him as your personal Savior and LORD, then you also are FORGIVEN–FREED. You don’t have to pay for your sins!

How can it be that simple? Don’t ask me. Just be glad that I’m not God. I am sure I would have made it much more complicated to be free and get to Heaven to live forever in Paradise with God!

But the LORD is good, and His mercy endures forever (Psalm 129:4). He created mankind, then, when man betrayed God and bowed to the devil, He sent Jesus to die and give His life to buy mankind back, forever (Galatians 3:13) .

The Gift of true Life is yours. Choose Christ today, and live! (John 10:10)

Son or Sin?

I John 5:1-5, states: “Whoever believes that Jesus is the Christ is born of God, and everyone who loves Him who begot also loves him who is begotten of Him. By this we know that we love the children of God, when we love God and keep His commandments. For this is the love of God, that we keep His commandments. And His commandments are not burdensome. For whatever is born of God overcomes the world. And this is the victory that has overcome the world—[a]our faith. Who is he who overcomes the world, but he who believes that Jesus is the Son of God? And verses 11 and 12 from the Word of God state, “11 And this is the testimony: that God has given us eternal life, and this life is in His Son. 12 He who has the Son has [d]life; he who does not have the Son of God does not have life.”

Do you have the Son–Jesus Christ? If not, then you have sin, you are without God’s protection, and your spirit will go to hell forever when your body dies (Matt. 7:21)

God makes things simple: We either agree with Him and come into the Royal Family and enjoy His blessings and benefits–including amazing protection from evil–or we stay outside and try to do this complicated, pressure-filled life on our own. If we do not know the LORD Jesus as our Savior and become friends with His Son (Jesus), then God is not our Father, and we don’t have relationship with Him. We are on our own.

But thank God this earthly life is NOT all there is!

So there are two choices: God, or not God; Son, or sin.  Today, you choose–life, or death. The LORD Jesus Christ and the abundant life (John 10:10), where “the Good Life” truly does happen (and all the more as we learn God’s ways and follow them, for He is good, and His mercy endures forever! Psalm 118)–or doing life on your own, where things get harder and harder, and you wind up at the end of it all, going to literal hell (Luke 12).

But the LORD is ever ready to pardon, to forgive; that is why He sent Jesus! God is a good God. He is Love (I John 4:8). He made the way for all to know Him and have a wonderful life–then literal Heaven after the body dies on earth (Acts 26:18), with freedom from everything negative, the loving wonderful Presence of God with you always, interesting and productive things to do, and a beautiful, literal home all your own!

He says in John 14:1-3 (NKJV), “1 Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father’s house are many [a]mansions; if it were not so, [b]I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also.”

You can choose to remain as you are, in your sin, separated from God. But why would you do that? The God-life is amazing, and it just gets better. God is all good, and very kind and gracious and merciful! He is holy; His Standards are high, and no person can meet them, except to be covered by the Blood of Christ, which covers us when we receive Jesus (Rev. 12:11.

Jesus the LORD is returning to earth soon, to claim and receive and take to Heaven all of us who are His. Will you be going with us? If you think the earth-life is bad now, understand this: Without Christ and true Christians in the world, there will be no light. You must choose for yourself; no one can choose for you.

Even if you’re not sure this is real, don’t you want a better life than you have? Call to God and ask Him to help you find Him and know Him. Ask Him to prove to you that He and His good life are real. He will, for all who call upon the name of the LORD will be saved (Romans 10:13)!

JESUS Felt It!

Hebrews 13:8 (ESV) says, “Jesus Christ is the same, yesterday, today, and forever.” He never changes.

Praise Him! That being said, I believe in healing, for the LORD Jesus is alive today as much as ever. He healed on earth, and now lives in every Believer as the Holy Spirit, the Comforter Whom Jesus sent back to help us when He ascended into Heaven. He works His healing miracles through us who truly Believe and cooperate with Him in His multi-faceted ministry on earth.

A few years ago, I went up to our pastor, an apostle who operates in signs and wonders and healings, and received my healing for my back. He laid hands on me and I thought, Why didn’t I feel it? I had felt the healing power go into me on other occasions–like a warm pleasant electricity.

Then I immediately repented to the LORD for even thinking that. It didn’t matter–I was healed!

My Father Who knows all things–even every thought before we think it–graciously and quickly said, “You don’t have to feel it. JESUS felt it!”

When you consider Good Friday and our LORD’s Resurrection, remember, JESUS felt every lash, every slash, every sin, every burden, every pain–all for you. All for me. All for this world’s humanity.

He took the curse and paid the price so we could be free. His Kingdom is eternal, and not of this earth–He leads us to freedom, celebration, and to full restoration. He is the good King Who will soon return, and His mandate is Love!

If you are tired of this world’s pressured mess, there is something so much more: JESUS! He is the kindest, most patient, most loving, most thoughtful, most gracious, most generous Man and most faithful Friend there is-all God and all man–Who died and rose again to give YOU the life you heart has always wanted! (John 3:16)

If you want to have Him as your fearless Leader Who will never lead you wrong, just say this prayer out loud: “Dear Jesus, please forgive me of what I’ve done wrong. Thank You for dying on the cross for me to pay for all my sins. Thank You that You rose again to give me new life! I need You in my life to be my LORD and Savior and to teach me how to live to please you and enjoy the wonderful life You died to give me. I received You now and thank You. Amen!”

If you just said this prayer, an eternal spiritual transaction just took place: You are now a child of the King of kings, with a Blood Covenant that gives you many excellent and powerful rights that you did not have before! And you did NOT have to work for it–it’s a gift from God by faith (believing) through grace (the gift of God Who WANTS you to enjoy this new abundant life! John 10:10)! The next step is to ask God to direct you to the right Bible for you, and to the right Body of Believers (church) where you can continue to grow in the Truth and have friends who also follow Christ!

I’m the Money!

  • “And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, tI AM hath sent me unto you.” – Exodus 3:14 NASB

A few weeks ago, my daughter needed some work shoes for her new job. I had already decided I’d spend about $50 to save her money. When we got to the shoe store, she told the associates that she was there to get shoes. “I’m the money,” I told them.

It felt good to be able to say that. I love to bless my daughter, and it’s the love I have for her that, when she’s around, just flows up from my heart and wants to give and give and give to her–and a lot of that involves money.

Even though she is 22 and almost a college graduate and making her own money, I still just want to lavish her with blessings.

She tried on a couple of kinds, and then eyed the top-of-the-line work boots (Timberline, I think). “Those are soooo comfortable,” she said. “That’s what I really want.”

I looked at the tag. They were twice what I intended to pay. I had a weak moment, and said, “You could get those later, and let me get you some about $50 for now.” I felt a little guilty. Where was my faith? I was thinking about getting them for her anyway. I really wanted to, and I knew they would last for years, being such a good brand. It would be worth it.

I had been listening to messages about breaking out of small thinking, and extending my faith to think more like the Covenant woman that I am, through my faith in the Blood of Christ Jesus. My daughter tried on a couple more pair, and, still eyeing the boots, said, “Hey, can you get them for me today and let me pay you back half?”

I was thrilled! I was pleased with her using her faith in my love for her— in my desire to bless and help her—to go for what she really wanted, and to be bold enough to ask!

“Yes, Baby,” I said, and smiled. “You are using your faith and that is great! Good for you!”

She smiled and pulled the boots she wanted off the shelf. When the clerk brought the other boot, she put them both on. “Aaaah, that feels good!” she said. I had her walk a bit to make sure they were just what she wanted.

“Mom, can I have some socks too?”

“Of course, Baby,” I said (She still likes those endearments, after all these years.). “I’ll pay for the socks, and you just pay me half the boots when you can, okay?”

“Thanks!” she said, and happily went off looking for the socks. I knew she was thrilled that, since she had a job, could pay for half the boots herself, and that we would not pressure her for the money.,

If I had this much pleasure in being able to provide something my darling daughter wanted–even though she just needed something not that good–that would be a blessing to her, then how much more does our amazing loving Daddy God–the Great I AM Who owns all things and has provided all things for us through the Covenant of Blood with His Son, Jesus get satisfaction our of providing for us?

Our delight is in our giving. And I Timothy 6:17 (NASB) says, “Instruct those who are rich in this present world not to be conceited or to fix their hope on the uncertainty of riches, but on God, who richly supplies us with all things to enjoy.”1

Psalm 37:4 says, “Delight yourself in the Lord; And He will give you the desires of your heart.”: (NASB)

Every good and perfect gift is from the LORD. He gave the LORD Jesus Christ, His only Son, to die for us so we could have abundant life! (John 3:16)

It is actually Him–the Great I AM–Who is “The Money,” “The Peace,” “The Joy,” “The Strength,” “The Wisdom,” and everything else that is good in us and through us.

He is the One Who supplies us with everything we have to give. He supplies, leads us to give, them blesses us for giving. HOW GREAT IS OUR DARLING GOD!!!

No Doubt!


20 No unbelief or distrust made him waver (doubtingly question) concerning the promise of God, but he grew strong and was empowered by faith as he gave praise and glory to God,
21 Fully satisfied and assured that God was able and mighty to keep His word and to do what He had promised. — Romans 4:20-21, AMPC

John 11:40  Jesus said to her, Did I not tell you and promise you that if you would believe and rely on Me, you would see the glory of God?

After powerful services at my church and online the past few days, during which my faith leaped and I know that I know that God is doing greater things this year than we’ve ever experienced before, doubt and unbelief and after-the-holidays heaviness has tried to creep in. I rebuke these things in Jesus’ name!

Our God is FAITHFUL! He can never lie. He IS the Truth and HE has been waiting more than all of us. It is HIS Time for Him to pour out HIS Glory–and we get to be part of it. HALLELUJAH!

Father, we bless You, and we thank You that You have chosen us to work with Jesus in these Last Days to complete Your work on earth, amen! What an honor and privilege! Help us to hear and obey Your loving Voice, and as we obey, we will be satisfied, prospered, and extremely effective in expanding Your Kingdom. Amen and amen!

RainWater – A refreshing drink of the Spirit!

Let this poem the LORD inspired in me almost a decade ago wash over and refresh you!

Jesus answered her, If you had only known and had recognized God’s gift and Who this is that is saying to you, Give Me a drink, you would have asked Him [instead] and He would have given you living water.

 

Water is a Living Thing   by Tonja K. Taylor, 2009

Water is a living thing

A necessary brook or spring

To cleanse, to nourish

to bring new life.

Ever moving, ever giving

All its fountains lithe and living

Smooth as glass or capped with white

All are drawn to its refreshing sight

Peaceful as a zephyr breeze

Bringing souls to bended knees

To pray when raging in the storm

Sculpting mountains into form

Cleansing beaches, changing lands

Washing humanity’s hands

Thrilling seekers with a fountain

Drop by drop, eroding mountain

Nourishing a dying man

Oasis in a sun-scorched land              

Habitat of many creatures

Full of ever-changing features

Warring wells; muddied by strife 

 Symbol of a brand new life

Cleansing wounds made from strife

Flowing free to wash and give

New strength for weak ones now to live.

 

Water is a living thing

An ever flowing mountain stream

That represents the Holy One

JESUS–Water of Life, the Son

.

Joy Ride!

Galatians 5:22-23 TPT)
But the fruit produced by the Holy Spirit within you is divine love in all its varied expressions: joy  “that overflows, peace that subdues, patience that endures, kindness in action, a life full of virtue, faith that prevails, gentleness of heart, and strength of spirit. Never set the law above these qualities, for they are meant to be limitless.”

Psalm 5:12 (TPT), “Lord, how wonderfully you bless the righteous. Your favor wraps around each one and covers them under your canopy of kindness and joy.”

Psalm 9:2 (TPT), I will jump for joy and shout in triumph as I sing your song and make music for the Most High God.”

Psalm 13:5 (TPT), Lord, I have always trusted in your kindness, so answer me. I will yet celebrate with passion and joy when your salvation lifts me up.”

Psalm 16:9 (TPT), My heart and soul explode with joy—full of glory! Even my body will rest confident and secure.”

Psalm 19:8 (TPT), “His teachings make us joyful and radiate his light; his precepts are so pure! His commands, how they challenge us to keep close to his heart! The revelation-light of his word makes my spirit shine radiant.”

Psalm 25:8 (TPT), “When people turn to you, they discover how easy you are to please—so faithful and true! Joyfully you teach them the proper path, even when they go astray.”

Wow, I just had a “Joy Ride” (NOT stealing cars, of course (Where did they get that? Silly people!))! And you can have it too!

A TRUE Joy Ride is what I call a great time in the LORD–usually while I drive, windows down and hair blowing freely, singing and praying in the Spirit, and just rejoicing in HOW GOOD GOD IS!!!), while doing a search on these Scriptures and reading them to post! It has been hard not to list all 250 that came up (Search for yourself in www.BibleGateway.com!), but there is one more that came to mind —

3 John 1:4 (TPT): “It is the greatest joy of my life to hear that my children are consistently living their lives in the ways of truth!”

Another thing: I’m not just talking about our joy, but the joy of the Father God Who delights in us when we seek and serve Him. He gets pleasure out of ours. He is glad when we believe and receive and enjoy all that Jesus His Son died to give us (John 3;15-17, John 10:10; Eph. 3:20)!

Rejoice in the LORD always–if you are feeling down, just start asking the LORD to help you remember all the good things He has done for you, and you will start feeling better in no time! There is power in joy. Things may have gone wrong–but let us remember ALL that has gone right! And the LORD is so good; He is continually protecting us from much harm, that we may never realize till Heaven! (If you do these things and are still “down,” then you need to seek pastoral help, or help from a counselor whom you are sure is a Believer in the LORD Jesus Christ! There may be deep-rooted issues from which you need deliverance. Ask me how I know!)

“And it’s true: “Everyone who calls on the name of the Lord Yahweh
    will be rescued and experience new life.”
(Romans 10:13, TPT)

– Ask the LORD Jesus to reveal Himself to you today! You need the New Life of Joy, and Jesus is Joy! Trust me, when you side with Him, you will begin the greatest Joy Ride of your life!!

Stirred to Give More

Psalm 9:4 (TPT), “For you have stood up for my cause and vindicated me when I needed you the most. From your righteous throne you have given me justice.”

Psalm 20:6 (TPT), I know God gives me all that I ask for and brings victory to his anointed king. My deliverance cry will be heard in his holy heaven. By his mighty hand miracles will manifest through his saving strength.”

2 Corinthians 8:10, 11 TPT), “So here are my thoughts concerning this matter, and it’s in your best interests. Since you made such a good start last year, both in the grace of giving and in your longing to give, you should finish what you started. You were so eager in your intentions to give, so go do it. Finish this act of worship according to your ability to give.”

John 1;16, AMPC, “For out of His fullness (abundance) we have all received [all had a share and we were all supplied with] one grace after another and spiritual blessing upon spiritual blessing and even favor upon favor and gift [heaped] upon gift.”

“Giving is God-like,” I heard one minister say years ago. I agree. When we give, it is Love Himself flowing through us!

This morning, I was studying for an exam, but I kept thinking of my friend, whom I’d just discovered had many needs. She’d been in my church for months, and I knew she was a single mom, a cancer survivor, and not on top of the world, so to speak. She had made me an exquisite necklace for Mother’s Day, and I treasured it. But I didn’t know the hardships she’d been experiencing. When we were able to finally spend time together, I learned and close to finishing her degree in art, but she’d also shared with me that the LORD had told her to slow down, take less classes, and spend more time with Him.

I could identify with some of her challenges and struggles. It had been along hard road, but the LORD had brought me far from the past and I had started living in the Blessing of the LORD. That is His Plan for all people, and we who are His kids are promised that Life (John 10:10) when we do things His way. He loved us all so much that He gave the Best of Heaven–Jesus the Christ, God’s only Son–so we could live the “above and beyond” life. All we have to do is learn His Word and listen to Him. He is such a loving, giving Father, and so patient and kind and merciful. He wants us to succeed and enjoy what He gave!

Several times, I tried to overcome distraction today and study, but thoughts of my friend and what I could give would not go away. I got up and gathered a few household goods. “Thank You, LORD, You have given us soooooo much! Thank You that we have something to give! Thank You LORD for giving me generous parents who taught me to give!” I told Him. So I gathered a few things and put them by my purse, intending to take them to her tomorrow.

I tried to study again, and after about four rounds of this, I kept being stirred to give more. So I rose to gather more and more things that He showed me to give her–with the joy increasing–I finally just texted her and told her I was bringing it today. I did, and she and her son were thankful. I gave her quite a bit of stuff, but I really wanted to give more! It is the heart of God to give, and He answers that cry of our hearts to help us be like Him.

After that, I just spent some time worshiping and thanking the LORD, and praying in the Spirit. It was a lovely day–and made more lovely by the fact that I allowed the LORD to give through me! Okay, finally, I will be able to concentrate, I thought, and sat down at my desk.

I have been overwhelmed many times realizing that Christ has given me so much–and that billions (with a B!) of people through the earth would love to experience just one day, just one part of my abundant life! I don’t mean I live in a mansion nor drive a Lamborghini (yet, anyway), but I have so many priceless things money can never buy–because the LORD our God was so faithful and loving to give Jesus His Son for me, and for you, and for all who will just agree with Him.

My search of “give” in The Passion Translation (TPT) revealed 618 verses–more about how God gives to us that we give to Him or others. But to experience the highest reward in life, ask the LORD to show you how to give (Acts 20:35: “…it is more blessed to give than receive.”). He will. And on top of the fact that He gives us the desire to give to bless others, He provides the money and resources, time, energy, skills, and everything else that we give others–then He gives even more to us by giving us sublime satisfaction of sharing–and He causes our giving to be multiplied and come back to us, so we have even more to give the next time (2 Cor. 9:8)!!

He is and forever will be stirred to give more! We can never outgive God, and truly, all that we have, as King David says, comes from Him and we give Him and others only what comes from Him! (I Chronicles 29:6-18)

How amazing and wonderful and beautiful and good is our truly awesome Daddy God (Psalm 34:8)!

Are You Grafted In?

Romans 6:5 (TPT), For since we are permanently grafted into him to experience a death like his, then we are permanently grafted into him to experience a resurrection like his and the new life that it imparts.

  Romans 11:17 (TPT), However, some of the branches have been pruned away. And you, who were once nothing more than a wild olive branch in the desert, God has grafted in—inserting you among the remaining branches as a joint partner to share in the wonderful richness of the cultivated olive stem. “

John 15:1Jesus the Living Vine ] (TPT), “I am a true sprouting vine, and the farmer who tends the vine is my Father.”

 (TPT) John 15:4, So you must remain in life-union with me, for I remain in life-union with you. For as a branch severed from the vine will not bear fruit, so your life will be fruitless unless you live your life intimately joined to mine.”

The LORD is so funny–He has a great sense of humor, and He knows just how and when to comfort us. One of His names is, after all, The Comforter. Some versions use this term. Otherwise, BIFF (Best Invisible Friend Forever, as Princess Pearl, P.O.W.E.R. Girl calls Him, will work!)

John 14:16-17 “And I will ask the Father and he will give you another Savior, the Holy Spirit of Truth, who will be to you a friend just like me—and he will never leave you. The world won’t receive him because they can’t see him or know him. But you will know him intimately, because he will make his home in you and will live inside you.”

For some reason, I was thinking about hurtful things people had said about how slim I was. Being tall and slim has served me very, very well. It really is a blessing from the LORD. However, I’ve had some people through the years actually hate me for it, and some say hurtful things to me about my slimness–while some of them, at least, I knew were trying to achieve the same slimness. Sigh. Don’t you wonder how the LORD ever puts up with the carnality of us humans?

Anyway, I have learned to overcome through the years, and not be distracted by such temporal things (an excellent article on this is at Jesus Online), although it has not always been easy. (First, forgive those making fun of you; they know not what they do, so to speak…).

So I recognized these fiery darts (although slight, they were still darts), and spoke out loud (you cannot fight thoughts with thoughts; you must speak the Word, or Word-based truth, to shut them down. If they keep coming, you may need to check your heart to see if you have truly forgiven. Ask me how I know! But the enemy has no new tricks, so he’ll try to use the same things on you, even if you are free!), and said out loud, “Interesting that those who have called me a “twig” have been trying to become a “twig” themselves!” And I kept peeling my potatoes.

“A twig on the right Tree!” my sweet Daddy God said immediately to my heart. Joy bubbled up and I laughed for several seconds, with happy tears. “Yes! I am a twig that’s part of the Right Tree, amen!”

The Spirit of Truth is the Spirit of Joy, Who is the Comforter, Who is the Savior Jesus Christ, Who is our BIFF. Why would you try to do life without Him? Get a real Life (John 10:10) today–just ask Jesus the LORD to forgive you of your sins and come into your life and do something with it. He will! (John 3:15-17, Ephesians 3:20).

The Road Less Traveled

Psalm 119:105 [Full Chapter]  TPT 
[ Truth’s Shining Light ] Truth’s shining light guides me in my choices and decisions; the revelation of your word makes my pathway clear.

Psalm 25:12, (TPT) “Who are they that live in the holy fear of God? You will show them the right path to take.

Psalm 25:8 (TPT) When people turn to you, they discover how easy you are to please—so faithful and true! Joyfully you teach them the proper path, even when they go astray.”\

TPsalm 25:9, (TPT), Keep showing the humble your path, and lead them into the best decision. Bring revelation-light that trains them in the truth.”

Our Father God is so faithful! I was in another city headed home, but it was about 5:00, time for rush hour traffic. I had planned to return the faster way via interstate. But the LORD impressed me that I really did not want to be on that road at this time. So, I took the road less traveled–and was I ever glad!

It turned out to be a delightful, relaxing trip, with a much slower pace, rare traffic, and a wonderful time of worshiping and just fellowshipping with the LORD. I enjoyed His sweet Presence in some high praise, the lovely sunshine, blue sky and fluffy clouds, and the serene and verdant farmlands. God is good!

The book of this same title by M. Scott Peck is famous. I have not read it, but from reading reviews it seems based on real Christianity–facing and working through problems; part of human existence. I do not know if the author credits the Word of God, Jesus Christ, as the Answer.

As far as this world goes right now, Jesus Christ IS the “road less traveled,” although HE ALONE is the True Path to all you ever need and want; He alone is the Door to eternal Life.

22 Jesus ministered in one town and village after another,[a]teaching the people as he made his way toward Jerusalem. 23 A bystander asked him, “Lord, will only a few have eternal life?” Jesus said to the crowd, 24 “There is a great cost[b] for anyone to enter through the narrow doorway to God’s kingdom realm. (Luke 13:22-24, TPT)

John 3:15 (TPT), “…so that those who truly believe in him will not perish but be given eternal life”

John 3:36 (TPT), “Those who trust in the Son possess eternal life; but those who don’t obey the Son will not see life, and God’s anger will rise up against them.”

But I know in Whom I have believed–and it is Him! He is real, He is good, and He is Truth.

You don’t have to believe me. Ask Him to reveal Himself to you. He will!

Victory Rests

30 There is no wisdom, no insight, no plan that can succeed against the Lord.31 The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord. Proverbs 21:30,31 (NIV)

Every time I see a hawk soaring, it reminds me of this verse. “Yes, I have the victory, and victory rests with the LORD!” I say. I see these hawks often–no matter where I travel in this region!–and I believe the LORD puts them directly in my path overhead, causing them (or one) to glide directly over me as I pass down the road. God’s timing is impeccable.

Once while I walked with my husband in a local park, we saw a hawk perch on the pole close to us. As he sat there, smaller birds dived at his head. He ignored them, serene and undisturbed. That is how we are when we dwell in the Secret Place of the Most High (Psalm 91); the true peace and confidence that we are right with God when we have believed in and received His Son, Jesus (John 3:15-17).

He is our Victory! He commands and helps us to trust in Him, and not ourselves (Proverbs 3:5,6). He is our faithful loving Daddy, and responsible for us. He delights in us because we hope in Him and fear Him. He is the Way, the Truth, and the Life, and always makes a way, where there seems to be no way. AMEN!

We have the power to “just choose to believe,” as I heard Minister Jeremy Pearsons state years ago. So I ask the LORD to help me to choose to believe, and He does!

Psalm 33:4 (TPT), “For God’s Word is something to sing about! He is true to his promises, his word can be trusted, and everything he does is reliable and right.”

Psalm 13:5 (TPT), Lord, I have always trusted in your kindness, so answer me. I will yet celebrate with passion and joy when your salvation lifts me up.

Psalm 21:7 (TPT), For the king trusts endlessly in you, and he will never stumble, never fall. Your forever-love never fails and holds him firm.”

Psalm 31:24 (TPT), So cheer up! Take courage all you who love him. Wait for him to break through for you, all who trust in him!”

The Winning Coach

Jesus is the ultimate winning Coach–and the Bible is the ultimate “Play Book”!

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in his love he will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.” Zephaniah 3:1,NIV

1 Timothy 2:2 (TPT), And pray for every political leader and representative, so that we would be able to live tranquil, undisturbed lives, as we worship the awe-inspiring God with pure hearts.”

“Life is simple unless you make it hard,” the LORD told me months ago. He is our fearless Leader, our Good Shepherd, our all-knowing Coach Who always has the Strategy for victory! His Strategies always and forever will come from the Word of God, the Book!

He is our Good Shepherd Who always leads us in right paths, for our best and His glory. He is good, good, good, and only good, and will never lead us wrong.

In other words, if we follow Him, we will win–every time. Circumstances and the enemy’s lies may may it seem like we are not winning, but the LORD is the Master of turning messes into miracles; ask me how I know!

17 Thus says the Lord, your Redeemer, the Holy One of Israel, “I am the Lord your God, who teaches you to profit, Who leads you in the way you should go. 18 “If only you had paid attention to My commandments! Then your [h]well-being would have been like a river, And your righteousness like the waves of the sea.” (Isa 48:17,18 NASB)

We need coaches. Some call them mentors, or spiritual mothers or fathers. There are differences that technically distinguish those roles from one another. But we can know this: Jesus is the Winning Coach, and if we listen to Him–through prayer (which sometimes involves just listening!), reading His Word, worshiping Him, making corrections as He leads us to, and otherwise doing what we know He is leading us to do, we win too! Jesus the LORD will never–and I mean never–coach us to do anything that does not align with His Word, for He and His Word are One!

This article forwarded to me by Larry from JesusOnline.com (a cornucopia of resources to teach you how to know and love Christ!) will serve as a vessel through which The Coach Himself will speak to you–simply and effectively, to help you win! https://jesusonline.com/keeping-an-eternal-perspective-in-a-temporal-world/

Check it out!  

My Brother, My Sister

As you do not know the path of the wind,
    or how the body is formed[a] in a mother’s womb,
so you cannot understand the work of God,
    the Maker of all things.
Ecclesiastes 11:5, NIV

“Grace to you and peace from him who is and who was and who is to come, and from the seven spirits who are before his throne, and from Jesus Christ the faithful witness, the firstborn of the dead, and the ruler of kings on earth.” (Revelation 1:4)

Matthew 23:8, (TPT) “But you are to be different from that. You are not to be called ‘master,’ for you have only one Master, and you are all brothers and sisters.”

Matthew 25:40, (TPT)And the King will answer them, ‘Don’t you know? When you cared for one of the least important of these my little ones, my true brothers and sisters, you demonstrated love for me.’”

If you believe in Jesus, you are my Brother or my Sister! Yes, none of us have it all together–but all together with God, we have Him, and the eternal Covenant (unbreakable agreement through faith in the shed blood of Jesus Christ on the cross to forgive sins and cleanse and restore people to relationship with Him) of protection, abundance, freedom, fullness, strength, direction, favor, mercy, grace, success, and more!

I thought again this morning about the two siblings I have in Heaven–that I have not yet met. They died in my mother’s womb. They were very loved and wanted. Although they did not live on this earth, I know they are alive in Heaven–they have been with Jesus, our Covenant God. Because they did not live on earth, my parents tried again–and God sent me.

I have a Covenant with my parents (and Dad has been in Heaven a couple years, getting to know his first two children!), and, when I turned 9, the Holy Spirit introduced me to Jesus. I now have a Covenant with Him. The benefits of this blood Covenant have amazed me, protected me, and are retoring to me all of my rights and benefits as a Child of the King!

In this world where families are unstable and the term is loosely defined, you need a Covenant with Jesus; you need Him to always have your back and be looking out for you, providing for you, directing you. Once you receive Him, He becomes your Big Brother—and you get a family of millions of Believers who are now your Brothers and Sisters in Christ!

Psalm 106:44-45 (TPT), Yet even so, you waited and waited, watching to see if they would turn and cry out to you for a father’s help. And then, when you heard their cry, you relented and you remembered your covenant and you turned your heart toward them again, according to your abundant, overflowing, and limitless love.”

(TPT) Proverbs 10:30, God’s lover can never be greatly shaken. But the wicked will never inherit the covenant blessings.

Acts 3:25, (TPT), And you are heirs of their prophecies and of the covenants God made with your fathers when he promised Abraham, ‘Your descendant will bring blessing to all the people on the earth.’”

Thank you!

1 Corinthians 15:57, (NIV), “But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.”

As my pastor, Apostle Tracy Harris, says, “When we receive a gift, the proper reply is, ‘Thank you.'”

2 Corinthians 9:10-15 The Passion Translation (TPT) 10 This generous God who supplies abundant seed[a] for the farmer, which becomes bread for our meals,[b] is even more extravagant toward you. First he supplies[c] every need, plus more. Then he multiplies the seed as you sow it, so that the harvest of your generosity[d] will grow. 11 You will be abundantly enriched in every way as you give generously on every occasion,[e] for when we take your gifts to those in need,[f] it causes many to give thanks to God.”

12 The priestly ministry[g] you are providing through your offering not only supplies what is lacking for God’s people, it inspires an outpouring[h] of praises and thanksgiving to God himself. 13 For as your extremely generous offering meets the approval[i] of those in Jerusalem, it will cause them to give glory to God—all because of your loyal support and allegiance to the gospel of Christ, as well as your generous-hearted partnership with them toward those in need.”

We are made to give thanks and praise and glory to God. When we do good things for others, especially with a heart of love, the LORD gets the thanks–which is one of our highest goals in our lives on earth!

As my husband Clayton and I have discovered, just being as polite to each other as to anyone else, by saying, “Thank you”–even for the smallest help or thoughtfulness–is a powerful tool of grace and strength for marriage, the most precious of relationships that should mirror our walk with Christ.

“32 Marriage is the beautiful design of the Almighty,[q]a great and sacred mystery—meant to be a vivid example of Christ and his church. 33 So every married man should be gracious to his wife just as he is gracious to himself. And every wife should be tenderly devoted to her husband.”  Ephesians 5:32, TPT

To me, being gracious and tenderly devoted definitely include expressing our thanks to our spouses, and to everyone to whom we owe that honor. I am so thankful that my dear parents taught me to be thankful for every good thing, and to write notes and emails and call to tell people I appreciate them! I have amazed several people just by sending a written card of thanks!

Being thankful is a choice, and will bring great joy. As I Thessalonians 5: 16-18 state, ” 16 Let joy be your continual feast.[d] 17 Make your life a prayer. 18 And in the midst of everything be always giving thanks, for this is God’s perfect plan for you in Christ Jesus.[e]

I dare you to do an experiment: Ask God to help you be more thankful and to express it, and experience your joy and relationships improve!

Living Water

Song of Songs 4:15 (TPT) “Your life flows into mine, pure as a garden spring. A well of living water springs up from within you, like a mountain brook flowing into my heart!”

John 4:14 (TPT) …but if anyone drinks the living water I give them, they will never thirst again and will be forever satisfied! For when you drink the water I give you it becomes a gushing fountain of the Holy Spirit, springing up and flooding you with endless life!”

Revelation 21:6 (TPT), “Then he said to me, “It has been accomplished! For I am the Aleph and the Tav, the beginning and the end. I will give water to all who are thirsty. As my gracious gift, they will continuously drink from the fountain of living water.”

Revelation 22:17 (TPT), “Come,” says the Holy Spirit and the Bride in divine duet. Let everyone who hears this duet join them in saying, “Come.” Let everyone gripped with spiritual thirst say, “Come.” And let everyone who craves the gift of living water come and drink it freely. “It is my gift to you! Come.”

Just reading these verses soothes us, refreshes us–waters us.

May this poem written years ago refresh you now: http://riverraincreative.com/index.php/2018/09/

There is nothing like the Living Word of God. Truly, His Word is life, and if we allow Him, He flows to us and through us and nourishes and renews us and others. There are no TDS (Total Dissolved Solids) in this water. When purity is rare in this world, the Living Water always is, so, as He says, “Come and drink freely!”

“Just Do It”

“He who has knowledge spares his words, and a man of understanding has a cool spirit,” says the LORD, in Proverbs 17:27 (AMPC)

To me, this includes the self-talk we can sometimes give ourselves–that can express doubt, unbelief, and/or fear. Sometimes I’ve had to literally say to myself–and others, “I’m just going to shut my mouth!” And I do. (Thank You, LORD, for that help!)

Isaiah 26:4 (AMPC), says, “So trust in the Lord (commit yourself to Him, lean on Him, hope confidently in Him) forever; for the Lord God is an everlasting Rock [the Rock of Ages].

Amen. When we spin (by that, I mean worry, fret, doubt, analyze, be double-minded, be earthly-minded instead of spiritually-minded, etc.), we are not trusting, not resting.

Proverbs 21:31 (NIV), says, “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the LORD. “

The LORD often uses birds to speak to me, and, for the past few years, I often see a hawk soaring, just resting, just gliding on the breeze, perfectly at peace. When I see one, I immediately think of this comforting verse in Proverbs.

That goes along with what He’s told me a few times over the years–to help me get victory and stop spinning when making decisions. Bottom line is, I want to please the LORD–as does anyone who loves Him. But the root of fear is not of God, and we have to reject that and trust our Daddy Who loves us so much He sent Jesus to make everything –including us–right!

So, the LORD–Who was here WAYYYYY before the shoe company who has adopted the slogan in my title today–has told me, “Take the emotion out of it, and just do it.” He reminded me of that today, when I was thinking about some important decisions–after spending too much time yesterday spinning about them.

I trust Him. He is my life. If I’m going in the wrong direction, He–my good, faithful Father–will redirect me, as He has before! We do not fear even missing it, which brings me to another favorite verse: Psalm 25:12, which I’ve had posted on my bathroom mirror and have quoted to myself for years: “Who is the man who fears the LORD? He will instruct him in the way he should choose.” (NASB)

The LORD is faithful to guide us–so let’s “go and do and do and go”–and win this world for Christ!

Flow and Go

1 O God, make the king a godly judge like you
and give the king’s son the gift of justice too.
2 Help him to give true justice to your people,
honorably and equally to all.
3 Then the mountains of influence will be fruitful,
and from your righteousness
prosperity and peace will flow to all the people.
4 May the poor and humble have an advocate with the king.
May he consider the children of the poor
and crush the cruel oppressor. — Psalm 72, TPT

I had the leading to look up “flow” in the Word, and found 72 verses with those words. A few had “flower” but most had to do with water; God’s spirit flowing.

When His Spirit flows, He brings life, for He is the Living Water (John 4, John 7)!

If your life seems dry and thirsty today, ask the LORD to refresh you with His living water.

Truth Treats

The Truth will Set You Free    (John 8:30-32): “As Jesus spoke these things, many believed in Him. So He said to the Jews who had believed Him,“If you continue in My word, you are truly My disciples. Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free.”… Berean Study Bible

from Acts 4:19, 20: “…Whether it is right in the sight of God to listen to you rather than to God, you must judge, for we cannot but speak of what we have seen and heard.” 

For short Christian children’s stories, humor, Bible studies, and encouragements otherwise, check out these recently posted podcasts:

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/rain-water/id1460709284?ign-mpt=uo%3D4

I’d love to hear your comments! I am currently in the process of recording The Adventures of Princess Pearl, P.O.W.E.R. (Purposeful Operations With Eternal Rewards) Girl! Book One, as chapter-by-chapter podcasts. Please spread the word!

Fear, You Don’t Exist!

2 Timothy 1:7: For God gave us a spirit not of fear but of power and love and self-control. Amen! (ESV)

Years ago, I was really stressed about finances.

I had a nightmare that I lost my job, and had to run and hide because not having a job was against the law. I had gone to a friend’s home, secretly, and sat down to rest. Two bad guys from ‘the government’ burst in and the taller grabbed my leg and stuck a huge needle in it, supposedly as punishment for not having a job.

(Listen to the audio version of this at https://anchor.fm/rainwater )

But instead of screaming or writhing in pain, I just looked at the guy and calmly said, “Fear, YOU DON’T EXIST!”

The guy jamming the needle in my leg looked totally shocked, and almost choked. “What?!” he said–then disappeared!

The smaller guy looked shocked as well. “If he doesn’t exist, then I don’t either!” he said, and disappeared as well.

The LORD has not given us fear. Jesus has given us the spirit of POWER, and LOVE, and of a SOUND MIND (DISCIPLINE)! And The Govenment is upon HIS Shoulder (the Church! Isaiah 9:6)

Hallelujah!

Student Rights in School

Psalm 24:1 (The Passion Translation) David’s poetic praise to God[a] “\God claims the world as his. Everything and everyone belongs to him!”

Even as a teacher in public schools, many of these rights were hidden from me–till very recently. The couple I knew about and tried to operate in were definitely met with resistance from some people in direct authority when I taught. But JESUS IS LORD, and THE EARTH IS HIS AND THE FULLNESS THEREOF, AND ALL THE PEOPLES THEREIN–INCLUDING IN PUBLIC SCHOOLS (Psalm 24:1)–THAT ARE FUNDED BY OUR TAX MONEY!!!

Here are 10 rights of students in public schools, from the Truth for Youth Bible!

  1. The right to meet with other religious students and to form Bible Clubs.
  2. The right to express your religious beliefs through signs, symbols, and clothing.
  3. The right to talk about your religious beliefs and share your faith with other students on campus.
  4. The right to distribute religious literature (Bibles) on campus during non-instructional time.
  5. The right to pray on campus alone, with others, and during graduation.
  6. The right to carry or study your Bible or other religious literature on campus.
  7. The right to do research papers, speeches, creative projects or talent programs on religious themes.
  8. The right to be exempt from activities that contradict your religious beliefs.
  9. The right to celebrate or study religious holidays on campus.
  10. The right to study religious themes, religious literature, and religious history.

If you have any questions about these, please contact 800 REFIRES, or 800-733-4737!

P.O.W.E.R.* Girl Creed

Calling all P.O.W.E.R.* (Purposeful Operations With Eternal Rewards) Girls! Check out this Creed to see if you are a true P.O.W.E.R.* Princess!

As a Princess of P.O.W.E.R.*, I believe in the Lord Jesus Christ, Who is the Son of God, the Savior of the world, and the righteous King of the universe. He was born of the virgin Mary (Matthew 1:18-25), lived a perfect and sinless  life on earth 33 years (Hebrews 4:15), preached and taught and loved all humanity (Luke 1:1), was crucified  for the sins of the world, died, was buried, and rose again the third day to live forever (John 3:16).

I believe Jesus appeared in bodily form to many on earth after His resurrection (Acts 1:3), then ascended to Heaven (Acts 1:10) where He sits at the right hand of God the Father (Acts 2:33) and continuously intercedes (prays) for us (I Tim. 3:16, Heb. 5:5, Heb. 7:26).

I believe He is coming again soon as the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, to  gather to Himself those who have asked forgiveness for their sins and accepted Him into their hearts (John 14:28, Acts 1:11).

As a Princess of P.O.W.E.R.*, I agree to do these things:

  • Read my Bible daily, thank God for it, memorize it, speak it, and share with others what God teaches me from it!

(Suggestion: Read a Psalm and a chapter in Proverbs every day and take notes. John is also a very good book to read, about the Love of God. You will be amazed at what the LORD will show you, and certain verses will jump out at you and become very POWERful in your life! But if He leads you to read other places in the Word, that is great, for He is leading you by His Spirit. Go for it!)

  • Invite my dear Father God to be involved in every part of my day and my life
  • Thank Him every day for all the wonderful things He does for me
  • Listen often to music that glorifies Him, and sing along and regularly attend a Bible-believing church and other Christian activities
  • Ask God how to use my gifts, talents, strengths, opportunities, dreams and possessions to advance the Kingdom of God – for everything I have is His
  • Live my life in a way worthy of one who believes in Jesus by not doing things I know are against God’s Word
  • Encourage other young princesses to dare to know King Jesus, read His Word, and become a POWER Princess

If you agree, please print this agreement and sign it, and put it where you can see it daily!

_______________________________________________________________ sign your name, and the date, P.O.W.E.R.* Princess!

“For the kingdom of God consists of and is based on not talk but power (moral power and excellence of soul).” –I Corinthians 4;20, AMPC

GOD BLESS YOU, Princess of P.O.W.E.R.*–Purposeful Operations With Eternal Rewards! Now GO FORTH and CONQUER, for The KING is with you!  (Matthew 28:19,20)

Who Needs a Man?

James 5:17 (TPT), Elijah was a man with human frailties, just like all of us, but he prayed and received supernatural answers. He actually shut the heavens over the land so there would be no rain for three and a half years!”

About 15 years ago, I read a “joke,” that said something like, “I have a job, email, and pizza delivery. Why would I need a man?”

That is the way a person who doesn’t know God and how He has made us to depend upon Him and one another may think. But that person really does depend on “a man”–if only the “man” who supplies the job, the email service, who built the computer and lines the email comes through, and the one who delivers the pizza, to name a few.

The LORD God of Heaven and earth has chosen to need “a man” and by that, I mean a person–man or woman, boy or girl, who will hear His Voice and work with Him to bring about His Kingdom in this earth.

In Ezekiel 22:30, He says, “I sought a man among them who should build up the wall and stand in the gap before Me for the land that I should not destroy it.” Wow–the LORD is so very patient and gracious, that the prayers of just one person coming earnestly and respectfully before the LORD can save a whole nation! There are many instances in the Bible about this.

Who needs a man? God does. Romans 5:19 is one Scripture the LORD has continued to bring to my awareness through the past couple years, to remind me that, when I–one man–obey Him and lift Him up, He can and will perform His Word and reach people: “For as by the one man’s disobedience the many were made sinners, so by the one man’s obedience the many will be made righteous.”

Jesus, The Man–Who left His diety and became a man to live among us, that He may understand everything that tempts us yet not sin, was one Man.

Hebrews 4:15 (ESV) states, “Therefore, since we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus the Son of God, let us hold firmly to what we profess. 15 For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but we have one who was tempted in every way that we are,yet was without sin. 16 Let us then approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace to help us in our time of need.… “

What can one–just one man (person) do? Much. There have been rulers that were wicked and accomplished much evil. The LORD never makes mistakes (Romans 11:29) and can use us to accomplish much good. He promises in John 12:32, “And I will do this when I am lifted up off the ground[a] and when I draw the hearts of people[b] to gather them to me.” 

When we lift up Christ, by letting Him live through us, first of all–and also by telling others about Him, He draws other people to Him. When His Holy Spirit convinces them of their need for Him and they agree, they will be saved.

So, as the song says, “This little light (life) of mine; I’m gonna let it shine.”

Who needs a man? GOD does. He needs YOU! He put you on the earth to know and enjoy Him and help others know how good He is. So just ask Him what your part is, or do what He has already told you to do, and He will work through you and multiply your efforts in marvelous ways!

“He who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will supply and multiply your seed for sowing and increase the harvest of your righteousness.” 2 Cor. 9:10, ESV



Your Prayers Change Things!

1 John 5:14-15 The Passion Translation (TPT) says, “14Since we have this confidence, we can also have great boldness before him, for if we present any request agreeable to his will, he will hear us. 15 And if we know that he hears us in whatever we ask, we also know that we have obtained the requests we ask of him.

Today, May 2, 2019, is the National Day of Prayer. There are many groups meeting around the country, but you can just take a few minutes and pray to the LORD wherever you are, for you are never alone! “And he answered, Fear not; for they that are with us are more than they that are with them.” (2 Kings 6:16, ASV)

It’s easy for us to think that our prayers are not doing anything. But that is not correct. When we pray in faith–believing that God is, first of all, alive in us; then, hearing us (as a father hears his beloved child); next, wanting to answer our prayers; and finally, able to answer them–then we know that (even if it takes a while in human thinking) He will do it!

There are various factors that can affect those answers, such as other people’s free wills–but we can ask the LORD to influence their wills–and our own hang-ups that can sometimes prevent Him from answering prayers as fast as we would like, or as totally as we’d like. If things are not changing noticeably, we need to ask Him if we need to correct things, and to give us the grade to persist.

But our Father is faithful. Thank the LORD He is a good God, slow to anger and abounding in Love, remembering that we are weak, and dust (compared to Him!), yet with Jesus the Christ in us if we have received Him as Savior and LORD. Our Father God loves us and wants us to trust in Him and ask Him to change things. In fact, He is waiting for us to do that!

So let us get busy. On this National Day of Prayer, let us lift up the United States of America, our President, all the Government, and our spiritual leaders, to name a few!

Somewhere I read or heard this short prayer, which I will repeat here: Father God, please give President Trump the wisdom he needs to lead this nation so Christ can be preached throughout the world! Amen and amen!

Spill Your Guts and Rest

Psalm 34:18 (MSG) says, “If your heart is broken, you’ll find God right there; if you’re kicked in the gut, he’ll help you catch your breath.”

 Here’s the same verse in The Passion Translation (TPT): “The Lord is close to all whose hearts are crushed by pain, and he is always ready to restore the repentant one.”

I’ll take both of those. I’ve been both–kicked in the gut (even by those very close to me, including leaders from whom I least expected such!), and repentant. It has amazed me how, even though I felt totally like I was the one to whom others should repent–that the LORD had me be the “bigger man” and approach others first to apologize for “being rude” or “whatever you think I’ve done wrong.” It usually took Him a couple days to get me to agree with Him, but He knows all things and I’m sure that was part of my overcoming healing process!

If anyone knows what it feels like to be “kicked in the gut” emotionally, and betrayed by leaders and those closest to Him, it’s Jesus! Even though the Disciples spent three years with Him, there were still many things recorded that He told them that they just didn’t get. I doubt He “spilled His guts” to anyone but the Father–especially since He only did what Father God told Him to say (John 12:49).

Don’t we feel better when we “tell all”? Sometimes–many times–it’s flesh, our carnal nature, just wanting the satisfaction of talking negatively about someone or something. It’s a kind of “vindication,” even if we don’t do or say anything directly to that person.

And it’s hard not to do that, especially when we feel righteous indignation, and have no idea of what we did or may have done wrong. I’ve gotten much better through the years about not sharing all the junk with anyone, not even my spouse (although he is a good and patient and understanding listener), for it really doesn’t do much but drag us both down. It doesn’t solve the problem.

Also, as sometimes has also happened, more offense can occur, which can create more problems!

The LORD tells us to set our mind on things above–good things–for a reason. He knows us better than we know ourselves!

And, He tells us in Psalm 62:8 (ESV) to “Trust in him at all times, O people; pour out your heart before him; God is a refuge for us. Selah.” 

Jesus has experienced every emotion, rejection, and torment that anyone ever has or will experience, so He totally understands. So “spill your guts” to Him, and He will comfort you in amazing ways. Trust in Him (Proverbs 3:5-6) to work everything out for your best and His glory, and He will. Ask Him to help you relax in His faithful love!

Dead or Alive?

Proverbs 18:21 (NASB), says, “Death and life are in the power of the tongue, And those who love it will eat its fruit.”

The LORD has been helping me be more aware than ever of what I’m saying, and the power of it. So many things I’ve said wrongly most of my life have come to my attention, and He is helping me correct them.

I have a question: Why do we say, “deadlines” instead of “lifelines”? I have become aware that, even as Christians, we have spoken this. The other day, it occurred to me when I read that word about a Believer having to meet a “deadline” to get a book finished, that we should exchange that word for “lifeline”–which is exactly what a book truly born of the LORD is–a lifeline to the abundant life of Christ (John 10:10)!

On this same subject, especially as a teacher of elementary-age kids for the past 30 years or so; Why do kids play “hangman” instead of “build-a-man?” With a few minutes of free time one day at the end of class, one student asked if they could play that game. I told them that was negative, but they could play “build-a man” (which is really what they are doing anyway; drawing blanks for someone to guess the word, and putting part of a “person” on the board every time the guesser got a letter right.

“...1speaking the truth in love, [g]we are to grow up in all aspects into Him who is the head, even Christ,” says Ephesians 4:15. Love is the key word here, and the LORD is helping me with that too. I can see so many ways I have not walked in Love in the past–including through wrong words.

But we can do all things through Christ Who strengthens us, praise the LORD. As Gloria Copeland says, (quoted recently by Sarah Pearsons), we just “keep on walking,” and allowing the LORD to speak words of life to us–and through us.