Tag Archives: God

The Power of Moving in Faith

16 May

auschwitz-2559130_1920

The Hiding Place by Corrie Ten Boom (a book and movie) is a riveting true story of a devoted Christian family in Haarlem, Netherlands, that helped many Jews to survive the Holocaust. What’s most incredible about what happened to Corrie is the way God’s light shone through unimaginable darkness. Starting with the German occupation of the Netherlands, their lives went from disturbing to difficult to excruciatingly painful to impossible to survive.

Although other family members ended up dying in concentration camps, Corrie survived, as did most of the Jews she and her family helped to feed and hide. What she went through was a triumphant expression of not only the existence of a loving God but also the supernatural power that comes with moving forward in faith.

On my own Christian journey, I’ve experienced that God can and does do the impossible, but His amazing acts happen in response to faith and obedience.

A stark example is what Abraham, the father of our faith, did. He waited a very long time for his miracle child of promise, Isaac. Then one day God clearly told him to go and sacrifice Isaac on a mountain. This is in Genesis 22:1-18. Abraham did not delay in obeying what the Lord told him to do. He literally believed God wanted him to kill his son but at the same time he knew God would bring his son back to life because of the promise.

He didn’t understand but he obeyed; and God stopped him from sacrificing his son, just as the knife was raised in the air. He provided a ram as a substitute sacrifice. And God’s promises to Abraham were fulfilled and are still being fulfilled. (Later, Jesus, God’s own Son, actually was the sacrifice paid for all of our sins.)

Do you want your life to be filled with wondrous acts of God? It can be! To make it happen: Live a God-focused life–put God first! Then cooperate as God leads you on what may seem to be a completely indirect path to the desires of your heart. He’s always up to something good! If you’ve been blessed to see a vision of what God has for you, don’t fall into the trap of thinking it’s now up to you to make it happen. Steps of faith and trust that God will bring miracles to pass are the only ones that keep you on the path.

Anytime you find yourself having to do a very hard thing in order to live a life of faith, be encouraged! By obeying at such times, you advance the kingdom of God. You are getting closer to a time when life will be lived in a continuous stream of God’s power and favor to accomplish His wonderful purpose for your life. Nothing the world has to offer could ever begin to compare with the wonders of a life of faith.

The Russell Brand “Type” Discovery

30 Sep

Jesus typeI just accidentally discovered that by pressing Control-N on my keyboard, I instantly get a fresh, new document page. There have probably been thousands of occasions over the years when I’ve been frustrated that it required so many steps to accomplish that task. I don’t know if this was part of my latest Microsoft update or if it was always there, but I can only imagine how much time I’m going to save from here on out.

This time-saving discovery is nothing to compare with what a notoriously vulgar actor recently said he figured out. Russell Brand, who can be extremely offensive to a Jesus lover like myself, recently announced, after being in rehab, that he believes, “We have been tricked into not believing in God.” He then expounds quite eloquently about the futility of life without religious belief. When I had a similar epiphany, it turned my world upside down in the best possible way. I mean, way better than an instant new document!

Have you encountered God yet? Because God doesn’t want anyone to die without knowing Jesus, I’m completely convinced that everyone gets a nudge from God at some point in their lives. There may be a question, like, “God, is that you?” When it is God, it’s potentially an eternal mistake to turn a deaf ear or push the “pull toward God” away. Because what’s really happening is that Someone wonderful you don’t know personally yet is trying to change your life for the better. You have to say yes to God to experience the awesomeness of being part of His family. He, not the world system, is why we were created. That’s why life is crazy-empty without Him, which Russell Brand apparently now agrees with me about.

Back to my new keyboard function — I discovered it when I kept hitting the wrong key to make a capital “N”—over and over. Suddenly I snapped! Hey, what did I just do there? A mistake led me to the light! It’s often a mistake or tragic loss that leads people to God, by the way. A fitting analogy, though probably not really. In any case, don’t ignore the unusual voice popping into your head, when God’s trying to show you a New Way. You’ll be so glad you paid attention!! I guarantee it.

The Jackpot Deadline

21 Mar
DSCN0517 (2)

Aubrianna in her Winter Princess look – Christmas 2016

Aubrianna aka Aubrie, my 8-year-old granddaughter, asked me to write a book about God for her. The next day, she asked me to read some of it to her. She’s waiting! Little does she know:  I needed this! Deadlines are my juice.

My job is writing, but I’m writing for others. So glad to make a living this way, and it’s a dream come true. I just keep forgetting that my real dream of writing involves pointing to God in a way that can draw people to our wonderful Savior. This is my true heart’s desire.

So Aubrianna agreed that, specifically, I should write a book that helps her and other kids understand about God and know Him better. The ideas I have no shortage of. Over the years, I’ve had literally hundreds of inspired ideas about writings that point people to God.

Here are a few possible chapters for Aubrie’s book:

  • Because of God, we have Breath
  • God has Written You a Letter
  • God Gave Just 10 Rules of Life – Here’s 1 (times 10)
  • God is Right There With You
  • God Fit Himself into a Tiny Package
  • God Gives us Amazing Peace
  • Jesus Loves You the Most

At the same time Aubrie challenges me to write this book, I am also compelled to pick back up on writing Daily Pep Talk.

Even though God is awesome and He is here with us, giving us His peace, most of us could use a pep talk every day. The best kind of pep talk, in my opinion, is one that directs us to focus on God. Nothing is too hard for Him, and He gives us abilities beyond what we think possible. Yes, I can translate my dreams into reality. You can, too! Let’s move in that direction by setting goals. For me, that means spending time every day working on writing that book and this blog.What steps should you take toward your God-given dream?

 

 

What to Do When the Devil Dogs are Nipping at You

19 Dec
Demon Dog

Demon Dog (Photo credit: Sam Cockman)

Anybody besides me feeling increased daily pressure?  For me, it feels like being haunted by regrets, mistakes, missed relationships, and discouraging revelations of my general lifetime cluelessness as a person.  But after giving in to a consistent urging to spend more time praying every day, I realized that a spiritual battle is raging all around me as well as inside of me.

At this point, I can relate my struggle with being chased by pit bulls who are taking bites out of me as I rush on.  Then suddenly I have stopped and knelt to pray.  As I lift my eyes to the heavens, acknowledge the greatness of God, and begin praying for needs of my loved ones, my city, my country, and the world, the noisy barking stops and the dogs are gone.  Turns out they were just shadows.

I may have dropped the ball on writing Daily Pep Talk this year, but I have read the New Testament through, one day at a time.  I’m in Revelation and have been getting a sober reminder that there is an end to the world as we know it, and it is coming.   Rather than getting sucked in to worldly trends and trinkets, there has never been a better time to get hyper-focused on being a person who prays to God and obeys his every prompting.

The world needs Jesus.  I think the real pressure that’s going on is an escalation toward God’s secret timeline when the Truth will be revealed and eternity for heaven or hell begins for everyone.  Knowing Jesus as Lord and Savior is what makes the difference in what our eternal destination will be.

Have you felt increased pressure, too?  What do you think it is?

The Beatitudes Versus the World

4 Jan
Jesus is considered by scholars such as Weber ...

(Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I read the Sermon on the Mount today.  As always, it’s especially uplifting to read Matthew 5:1-26.  I may not be the most dynamic example of  a Christian, but I do seek the Lord and what He cares about.  These verses remind me that friendship with God is enmity with the world.  Must be fewer people who are friends with God making an impact because not much in the world today points to Jesus.

 

If you read the Beatitudes with worldly success in mind, it seems that nothing in those verses would look good on the resume of someone looking to get to the top of the ladder of success.  God’s ways are certainly not the same as the world’s, which is why “Jesus freaks” like myself who want God to have His way are so often perceived as an oddity.  Not a complaint…just an observation.

“14 You are the light of the world—like a city on a hilltop that cannot be hidden. 15 No one lights a lamp and then puts it under a basket. Instead, a lamp is placed on a stand, where it gives light to everyone in the house. 16 In the same way, let your good deeds shine out for all to see, so that everyone will praise your heavenly Father.”

Matthew 5:14-16

New Living Translation (NLT)

Snowball Effect

3 Jan

I’ve always noticed that when I make a grand step toward God, He answers my gesture with all kinds of evidence that He noticed.  My commitment to God’s Word for this year produced a growing hunger today — but not for a grilled cheese sandwich or my favorite Doritos.  Instead, I was flooded with a hunger to delve into more of God’s Word.  I really love the Truth.  For instance, when I read a story about the Bible but the story doesn’t get the facts quite right, it bothers me a lot.  The pure Truth is a lot more interesting than altered story details produced by inattention.

Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich

Grilled Ham and Cheese Sandwich (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For example, I read the story of Noah to Aubrianna out of her new Bible today, and the storyteller missed one of the most interesting things about Noah’s story.  It had never rained before — ever, in the history of the world — when he built the ark in the desert.  (When reading the story in a true translation of the Bible just now, I realized that it was through prior study that I learned this.)  So, anyway, Noah was trusting God for an event that had never taken place while being laughed at by the entire population of the world.  But because Noah was trusting in God and obeying Him explicitly, He was rewarded with life, not to mention that his family repopulated the earth!

I want to be sure and mention that part of the snowball effect I experienced today was better balance and productivity.  It was a full and satisfying day, and I do mean in the non-stomach type of way (which is progress).  Practically counting the hours until the new Bible arrives.  There’s no purchase that usually ever excites me as much as a new Bible, and that’s definitely true this time.

From my reading in Matthew today (virtually the same message Noah preached as he built the ark):

From then on Jesus began to preach, “Repent of your sins and turn to God, for the Kingdom of Heaven is near.[a]”

Matthew 4:17

New Living Translation (NLT)

 

 

2013 Resolution: Balance

2 Jan

Happy New Year!  Are you excited about 2013?  I needed and found something to get really excited about, and it’s linked to my First Love.  On the way to my mailbox is a new Life Application Bible.  I’ve had one before, but I think I gave it away.  This is a wonderful study Bible — some say it’s the best.  I’ll be reading all the way through the new Bible, though it will no doubt take me more than a year.  I want to do more than read.  I want to study and meditate and write about God’s Word.

I’ve just finished reading the New Testament through in 2012.  It was great!  I read it on my phone every morning before I do any solitary other thing and will continue to do that.  BibleGateway.com has handy reading plans, and there are several you can choose from, not to mention that you can read it in your favorite Bible translation.

The Word of God reminds me that the Almighty is so powerful.  I know that God gives me the grace to accomplish balance in my life, and that’s my resolution for 2013.  I want it to become a way of life.  Common sense dictates that I should have already achieved balance a long time ago, and it should already be a habit.

But I’m talking about a balance with everything.  Food, activities, what I do with my time, etc.

It’s important to me to spend a lot of time in the Word of God because I daily watch the news and other shows, almost none of which feed my spirit.  The most important part of balance is to allow God’s Truth to have an input in my life that’s more compelling than the input the world has on my mind and heart each day.

I also need to establish daily ways to get more exercise, since I work in my den.  I’m gonna feel so much better as I do a better job of achieving balance.  And I’ll leave a few notes on Daily Pep Talk every day about something from my Bible reading.

I’m going to wait and delve into the Old Testament when the new black Bible with ivory flowers and my name imprinted arrives.  Til then, I’m reading the New Testament.

What impressed me today from Matthew 1 was that there were 14 generations dividing the major moments in the history of God’s chosen people.  God is very orderly (as well as Creative), and He has chosen a time when life as we know it will forever end on this earth.  Every day of our lives impacts eternity in a positive or negative way, and eternity isn’t all that far from any of us.

 All those listed above include fourteen generations from Abraham to David, fourteen from David to the Babylonian exile, and fourteen from the Babylonian exile to the Messiah.

Matthew 1:17
New Living Translation (NLT)