Monday, December 2, 2013

Facing the Enemy . . .

“The Lord gives victory to His anointed.
He answers him from His heavenly sanctuary
With the victorious power of His right hand.”
Psalm 20:6

I came face to face with the devil this week.
I saw the eyes of the enemy staring back at me…

Accusing me
Cursing me
Defying me

I wasn’t expecting it –
maybe I should have been.
But that’s how he operates  . . .

Without warning.

Many years ago the Lord gave me a dream.
In this dream,
I came face to face with the enemy;
I actually had my hands cupped around
the face of someone when it changed
into the face of the evil one.
 In a snarling voice, he said to me,
“Who do you think you are?”

I’ll tell you who I am . . .
I’m a daughter of the King!


This time I wasn't dreaming.
And instead of asking me 
who I thought I was,
he told me 
who he thought I was.

A failure

There was just enough truth to get my attention.
But he’s forgotten that it’s all covered.
A red fountain of blood has washed over
each and every one of them
until they have become pure white.

Today at church we participated in communion,
remembering Jesus’ precious blood, 
poured out for just that purpose –
to wash us clean.

We sang a song:

Blood of Jesus shed for me.
Precious blood, my covering be.
The only view God has of me
Is through the blood of Jesus.

I came face to face with the enemy last week.
And no doubt I will face him again in the future.
He may wound me,
but he will not defeat me.
For this I know:

"In all these things we are more than conquerors
through Him who loved us."
Romans 8:37

Tuesday, November 5, 2013

Sweet Friendships....

Life has been so busy - full of unexpected events, financial crises, family issues.
This time in my life find me leading three women's Bible studies, taking Psychology in school (ugh) and contemplating another book.
Then there is the regular day to day stuff: take kids to school, pick up kids from school, take kids to work, pick up kids from work. Oh wait.... what's for dinner? Do I have any clean clothes to wear? When was the last time this floor was vacuumed?

Today I was determined to get some things done. Nothing was going to take my focus off of getting my house in order and then spending some time reading my Bible and resting my brain before picking up the Psychology book again. I turned up the praise music and started in on the living room, no wait the kitchen, oops... need to start laundry. Focus, girl, focus!

Then I received a text message.... from a very special friend.

To be totally transparent for a moment, friendships don't come easily to me. I'm cautious and shy and very protective so as not to be hurt. And God has put some very important and special friends in my life that have carried me through some really hard times and some outrageous victories.

But then God sent me a very special friend. I can't even begin to explain or understand our friendship. You see, she and I have never met face to face. I was introduced to her through a blog she wrote; turns out she is related to some friends from church. For about a year, I read about the journey God was taking her through on the pages of a website. As we communicated back and forth, we soon became Facebook friends and then shared phone numbers. We shared some tears and some triumphs and kept saying, "One day we should meet; I mean, we do live in the same town."

Last year, she and her family moved to Arizona - and we never got the chance to meet. But our friendship has remained active through facebook and text messages. Today I was feeling a bit overwhelmed with all that is going on and the approach of the first anniversary of my sister's death. Silly me, I was just going to buck up and push through. Until that text message....all she wanted was a question about a recipe, but it turned out to be a bright spot in my day and strength to my soul.

I'm sharing this because I don't think we completely realize the importance of friendship, nor do we realize that sometimes what we think may be a simple question turns out to be a divine appointment. God nudges us in small ways to make a call, or give a hug, or just smile, not knowing that this one "simple act" is exactly what the other person needed.

I had to stop vacuuming today to write this and just say, "Thank you, Jetta... you were exactly what I needed today. And whether you know it or not... you were used by a merciful Father to show His love to another of His children. And one day.... we really should meet face to face! I love you!!!"

"A sweet friendship refreshes the soul."
Proverbs 27:9 

©Be Still and Know

Tuesday, September 17, 2013

When Storms of Life Assail...

"Be merciful and gracious to me, O God, be merciful and gracious to me,
for my soul takes refuge and finds shelter and confidence in You;
yes, in the shadow of Your wings will I take refuge and be confident
until calamities and destructive storms are passed."
Psalm 57:1 (amplified)

This year has been full of challenges for my husband and I and our children. Each one of us have experienced disappointment, turmoil, financial difficulties, stupid cars and sometimes even stupid people. This past week has been especially hard for me with a number of things crashing down around me; add to that waking up yesterday sick with no voice and I'm just feeling done...

Today as I was waiting for my son at the high school, my phone chirped with a Facebook notification. I pulled up my Facebook page and a friend from my high school days had posted a picture. She lives in Colorado and as you may know, they have been pounded with storms and deluged with rain. But this photograph, taken from an airplane as someone flew over Colorado, was an amazing example to me of the hope we have in God when we are facing overwhelming storms.

This picture shows the fiercely dark clouds and torrential rains falling on what appears to be an isolated portion of the landscape; these buckets of rain coming straight down out of the clouds with such force you can almost see the rain bounce back up off the ground. And yet, in the midst of this storm, bright rays of sunlight break through the clouds, streak across the sky and slice right into the rain.

While I was waiting for my son, I had been praying and asking God to show me once again where He was in all of the storms we were battling. And in a moment, through a simple photograph posted by a friend I haven't seen in 35 years, He reminded me that He is there all the time. In the midst of our storms, His love and mercy and unending faithfulness breaks through even the darkest clouds and shines down, bringing warmth, love, comfort and HOPE.

And I was reminded of a song...
When storms of life assail
When I an feeling frail.
I place my trust in You, O Lord,
You never fail.
(Geron Davis)

As you look at this picture, do you notice that the rain is isolated, the storm focused on one area? Do you feel that way? Does it seem that your life is a perpetual storm and yet those around you are experiencing sunny days? Do you feel alone and find yourself asking God, "Where are You?"

Rest assured He is there right with you. He will be your shelter in the storm, your place of refuge...your safe haven. And the light of His love will break through the storm and give you peace. 

©Be Still and Know

Wednesday, July 31, 2013

Faithful....No Matter What

I was reading Deuteronomy this morning, where Moses was near the end of his life and was telling this new generation of Israelites all that had transpired over the last 40 years. He told them of God's faithfulness in delivering the Israeli nation from the grip of Pharaoh and the Egyptians; he reminded them of God leading them by a pillar of fire by night and a cloud by day. He spoke of the manna provided each day and the water that came from a rock.

He also reminded them of the disobedience and faithlessness of that first generation of Israelites. God had promised to give them the land...all they had to do was take it. But they allowed fear and uncertainty to cloud their vision; they didn't have faith in their God to do what He said He would do. He told them of his own disobedience that would prevent him from entering the Promised Land.

As I read, I realized that Moses led these disobedient wanderers for thirty-eight years after God told him he would not allowed to enter the Promised Land. He led them after God told them they would die in the desert and not be allowed to enter the land He had promised to give them...only their descendants would enter.

And I thought..."Why would Moses continue to lead a group of people that he knew were going to die in the desert? Why would he continue to lead them when he knew he himself would not be able to see the finish line?"

"Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt? And with whom was He angry for forty years? Was it not with those who sinned, whose bodies perished in the wilderness? And to whom did God swear that they would never enter His rest if not to those who disobeyed? So we see that they were not able to enter, because of their unbelief."
Hebrews 3:16-19

I called a friend to verbalize my thoughts and told her, "To me, this is the ultimate example of faithfulness!" Perhaps even the definition of faithfulness.... to complete the task to which you were called, knowing that you will not be able to see the fulfillment of the promise. Moses knew he was going to lead this generation of Israelites into a pointless journey as they wandered in the desert for thirty-eight years. Why didn't he just throw up his hands and say, "Fine then, I'm done!"

My friend reminded me that he also was thinking of the next generation. Yes, this generation was faithless and sinful, but there was hope for the next. Joshua was being raised up to lead this next generation and Moses had thirty eight years to disciple him, train him, and teach him to listen and obey the Word of the Lord. It also showed the integrity of Moses that he would complete the task set before him.

Moses is included in the "Hall of Faith" in Hebrews 11. He lived each day by faith, even when he knew the final outcome would not be accomplished by him. God did allow him to see the Promised Land.

Do I have that kind of faith? Do I care enough about the next generation to live each day walking and doing what God has called me to do, even if I may not see the finished product?

"Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, 
let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, 
and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us."
Hebrews 12:1 (NKJ)

Faithfulness and Integrity...until we finish the race.

©Be Still and Know...