Tag Archives: New King James Version

Spiritual Urges are Way Better Than Fleshly Urges

23 Apr

I’m often struck with various urges. Mostly, I get the urge to eat a bit of chocolate.  My love of the outdoors is why I believe I get the urge to take the kids to the zoo on a regular basis (if you’re going on a long walk, why not go where the scenery is engaging?)  But today I’ve been struck with an ongoing urge to pray.

What a great reminder — as I move from living mostly with my mind on earthly things to keeping my mind mostly on the things of heaven – that the Christian life is a supernatural journey.

Imagine if you were part of an entourage for a huge celebrity and as such got to see and experience things the throngs would consider once-in-a-lifetime thrills.  Now imagine being in the entourage of the most powerful Being in existence; perhaps the throngs don’t see the excitement in it, but I certainly do.  I’m trying to draw a distinction between earthly thrills and heavenly pleasures.

When I commune with God as a person who is free from unforgiveness and habitual sin, life is anything but commonplace or boring.  Experiencing the nearness of God is like turning my human existence into what in fleshly terms would be the equivalent of enjoying a chocolate sundae with homemade Blue Bell ice cream (available mostly just in Texas and the best in the world).

Indeed, today I find the urge to pray stronger than the urge to eat.  What am I praying about?  I’m not even certain why there’s such a powerful pull on me to drop to my knees.  I know that two of my children have job interviews today for positions which would improve upon their current work situations.  I also know that my second move in approximately a month is one week away; definitely need prayers for that.

It’s been a while since I’ve felt such a strong spiritual pull of any kind.  I’m not using a lot of words other than agreeing that God’s will be done in the situation prompting my Spirit to pray.  Whatever God is up to, I’m just grateful and excited to be in his entourage.

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Romans 8:26

New King James Version (NKJV)

26 Likewise the Spirit also helps in our weaknesses. For we do not know what we should pray for as we ought, but the Spirit Himself makes intercession for us[a] with groanings which cannot be uttered.

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How to Be Electrifying

22 Apr

I’m currently taping a concert by Adele which she is performing live for a public television program.  If you aren’t familiar with Adele, she is a singer/songwriter who has been breaking all kinds of records with her platinum albums.  She writes about the heartbreak of a breakup; my favorite song is “Someone Like You.”  Ironically, that title (though not the song’s meaning) is what I’m writing about here.  You are the only someone like you, just as I’m the only one like me.  There’s a place for us in this world which I believe makes the same kind of impact in some realm or another as Adele has made on the music world and in the hearts of millions who are enraptured by her songs.

There have been moments in my life which stand out because I was so aware that my life was making an impact on others as I was a part of a team.  Nothing I’ve ever experienced compares with being prayed up for my calling and fulfilling that calling with passion and focus.  Most of this type of experience occurred when I was ministering in prisons.  It was absolutely incredible to be used as an instrument of God.

And yet I believe that in my life right now I’ve been given the opportunity to create an even bigger impact on the world than all those times in the prisons put together.  These children I’m now raising are my mission field.  If I raise them in the nurture and admonition of the Lord and with all the love and wisdom I can muster, they’ll grow up to make significant contributions to other lives.

But my desire to impact children goes beyond my immediate family; I was powerfully reminded of this last night when I helped a lost little boy who was about 4 or 5 years old and wandering in a Walmart parking area by himself, looking for his mother.  I’ll probably never forget that encounter.  As I first saw the boy and realized he was definitely lost, two men were attempting to take charge of him; sorry, I just have a problem trusting that strange men will definitely do what’s right for a lost little one.  I stopped right there in the drive, put on my hazard lights, and made sure that a person in management at Walmart took charge of the boy, who only spoke Spanish.

The lost child, who my heart goes out to, served as a reminder that I believe God will give me the inspiration I need to write books for children that will bless, encourage, and empower them.  Most of all, the books will, in a subtle way, prove how incredible God is while making it clear that the children are highly valued and loved by God.  The books will make Christianity even more cool than Harry Potter made magic out to be.

I believe that the devil works very hard to help us forget that we have a thing we’re equipped to do unlike any other person.  If we don’t get off track and we do plug into that divine purpose, we become lights in a dark world.  Sometimes as we’re walking in obedience to God we’re actually giving off the most light while completely unaware that our lives are positively electrifying.

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Proverbs 22:29

New King James Version (NKJV)

29 Do you see a man who excels in his work?
He will stand before kings;
He will not stand before unknown men.

I’m Buried and I Can’t Dig Out

11 Apr

When I’ve needed a pep talk the most is typically when I have the most trouble giving one to myself, and that has been the case lately.  My situation has been so difficult and yet personal on several levels, I’ve had no words.  Even now, I don’t want to expose all the details of my struggle.  Don’t we all have at least a little something that we could complain about, if we really wanted to grumble?

Here’s the gist of my dilemma:  God hates complaining, and I have trouble knowing how to write sometimes without feeling that I’m partly airing grievances while tacking on a word of faith at the end.

And right now I don’t feel at all like a victorious Christian, although I believe that I am.  I’m clueless about how things are going to work themselves out, which is a very helpless feeling.  I don’t know what to do!

Česky: Kříže - symbol utrpení Ježíše Krista a ...

My hope is in Jesus and all He accomplished for me on the cross. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

Here’s one detail:  I just moved into this lovely, spacious apartment three weeks ago.  And because of the toxic air that even the landlord acknowledges, I must move.  Yes, they need to take responsibility; but if they don’t fully own it, I’m not capable of covering for their mishap at the moment.

And, Lord, where should we live?  I feel a little lost mostly for that reason.  I haven’t recovered from the recent move, and I’m physically disadvantaged because my arms and hands, which are permanently injured, are weakened and hurt more than usual.  So I don’t know where in the world to move and I don’t know how on earth I can achieve it apart from the management paying for me to be packed and moved, as I believe is only fair.

Here’s the pep talk part of this entry:  I have no doubt that this trial will ultimately work for my good because God is my Lord; I’m not trying to do my own thing.  (Right now I wonder if I have already somehow made a departure from God’s path; but since I’m not walking in any area of habitual sin that I’m aware of or trying to fulfill my own agenda, I’m inclined to believe I’m on the right track.)

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Romans 8:28

New King James Version (NKJV)

28 And we know that all things work together for good to those who love God, to those who are the called according to His purpose.

 

 

Read Any Good Books Lately?

3 Apr

My favorite part of any home is the bookshelf.  I’m among that group which delights in the feel of a book, takes joy in opening a book’s pages, and relishes in devouring a well-written volume.  Words are so powerful that I consider it a privilege to make a living writing.  I have quite a few books, but there’s one book I have multiple copies of – the Bible, of course.

Cover of "The Everyday Life Bible: The Po...

Cover via Amazon

I actually don’t have a count on the number of Bibles I have.  My favorite kind of purchase, which may be obvious, is a new type of Bible that will add a new dimension to reading God’s Word.  Among my Bibles are:

  • The Everyday Life Bible (Amplified Bible featuring notes and commentary by Joyce Meyer).  This one is large and maroon colored bonded leather and still smells like a new book every time I open the pages, which is a direct answer to what may be an actual silly prayer.  Did God answer my prayer, or does everyone’s copy of this Bible perpetually smell like a new book?
  • The Legacy Study Bible, New King James Version, which Hank Hanegraaff is the General Editor of.  The appeal with this book is that there is plenty of room in the margins to write notes.  It’s black bonded leather.
  • The Daily Walk Bible, New Living Translation, include 365 devotional helps that guide readers through the entire Bible in one year.  I love this paperback volume because it gives nice insights about the daily Bible passages.
  • My favorite small, portable Bible is from Tyndale and it’s bonded leather in brown and has a little latch to close it, though my latch is almost severed from the book.
  • There are more, but I’ll share that my only leather Bible is the Charles F. Stanley Life Principles Daily Bible, NKJV.  The soft, supple leather binding is delicious to the touch, and the insights provided by Dr. Stanley are excellent.

Yes, the Bible is absolutely my favorite book and a daily read.  But I also very much enjoy reading other types of books, which I’ll share in a future post.

What’s your favorite Bible?  And if you don’t own your own Bible, let me know.  I have some spares!

 

The True Test of Friendship: Help With Moving

23 Mar

My move is practically upon me, and all of the extra help fell through.  I’m a tad discouraged by this fact because of this new problem with my health, in that my hands in addition to my elbows hurt constantly.  I’m not just being whiny.  Tendonitis and debilitating arthritis combined would be a pain challenge for anyone.  But, anyway, I’ve lived long enough to know that anyone who makes the necessary sacrifice to help you move is usually a rare and fiercely loyal friend.  Now, help could still be forthcoming; the move hasn’t happened yet.

When the movers come, I’ve already decided that I’m going to allow the nature of Jesus Christ to shine through instead of my usual nervousness caused by some horrible moving experiences.  God is the one who provides for me, and my being upset and edgy about spending extra money on a move doesn’t help anything.  When I accomplish this goal, I will give all the glory to God because I think it’s impossible for me to do it myself.

Calm washes over me when I think about the fact that no matter what else happens with this move or in life, God is the most faithful friend.  He has never let me down, and I know that He never will.  He is Love; and I can trust that if anything bad has touched my life, He allowed it for a good purpose.  With God on my side, I’m never alone or without help.

Psalm 46:1

New King James Version (NKJV)

46 God is our refuge and strength,
A very present help in trouble.

 

Are You Ready for Life’s Fast Curve Ball?

20 Mar

Good thing I dabble in sports euphemisms because this one is perfect for the topic, which is about those times when life throws a practically impossible pitch that you weren’t expecting.  Such as a sudden death in the family or a diagnosis of cancer.  God has allowed me (though hasn’t caused me) to develop a debilitating condition in my fingers.  It’s most likely osteoarthritis, and I’ll find out officially from a doctor soon.  My digits have knots on the joints, and my right middle finger has already become slightly deformed.  My fingers gradually got worse and now my job of writing is sometimes excruciating.

Unless God decides to do a miracle, which I believe he might, I’m looking at a whole new level of chronic pain that will worsen until I finally go to sleep and wake up in the presence of Jesus.  This disease is so serious, I will qualify for disability; but I will continue to work and write no matter what.

God has blessed me with a lifetime of good health, though I did experience enormous pain for many years due to endometriosis.   When I finally had everything related to the pain removed, I felt like a little girl.  It was so freeing to be released from the prison of pain I’d been locked in for so long.

I believe that when God allows a hardship it’s because He has a blessing bigger than I would have been capable of receiving without having gone to that particular school of suffering.  Even though the pain is so bad that when I wrote my first article this morning, I experienced the strangest thing—tears just streamed constantly down my face because of the pain–I am as confident now that I’m in the palm of God’s hand as I was before my health took this devastating turn.

There’s a whole lot that I’m ignorant about, but two things I do know:

  1. Dipping your hands in hot paraffin wax greatly relieves joint pain, and I’m going to invest in a small paraffin bath tomorrow; and
  2. No matter what life throws at me, I’ll never catch God looking the other way when I need Him (which is every millisecond of every day).

Job 1:21

New King James Version (NKJV)

21 And he said:

“Naked I came from my mother’s womb,
And naked shall I return there.
The Lord gave, and the Lord has taken away;
Blessed be the name of the Lord.”