Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Healing Death

This Sunday, my husband will be preaching on the Healing Death of Jesus. It may seem like an odd topic for the last Sunday in Advent, but then again, maybe not. The Advent Season is a time of expectant hope. 1 Thessalonians 4:13-14 says this:
"But we do not want you to be uninformed, brethren, about those who are asleep, so that you will not grieve as do the rest who have no hope. For if we believe that Jesus died and rose again, even so God will bring with Him those who have fallen asleep in Jesus."
If that's not expectant hope, I don't know what is! If we have received Jesus as our LORD and Savior, and we "fall asleep" (or die in the flesh), we will one day be completely healed! According to the verse above, we will rise again with Jesus! This is why we can say:
This is the message that sets us apart from all other religions. A message of hope, of victory, of healing. May God inspire all of us to share that message with someone this week.

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Victorious Life

"Everyone born of God overcomes the world." 1 John 5:4
I came across the following quote by Corrie Ten Boom, from her book, Not I, but Christ:
"A Christian's lifestyle must be one of victory, of joy, or abundance - a life given to us by Jesus Christ from God's fullness. We must not draw from our possibilities, but from God's possibilities, not from our limited strength, but from His immeasurable strength."
The verse I started with, from 1 John, says that everyone born of God is victorious. They overcome the world. This Advent season, my husband has been examining the life of Jesus - from his conception to His resurrection. This coming Sunday his message will focus on the victorious life of Jesus. His life was not victorious in the sense that He became rich and powerful. His life was victorious because He surrendered His self and drew on the unfailing resources of the Almighty God. In the book They Found the Secret, it is called "the exchanged life," and it is possible for everyone who is truly born of God. The following poem, called Himself, by Dr. A.B. Simpson describes this exchanged life.
Once it was the blessing, Now it is the Lord;
Once it was the feeling, Now it is His Word.
Once His gifts I wanted, Now the Giver own;
Once I sought for healing, Now Himself alone.
Once 'twas painful trying, Now 'tis perfect trust;
Once a half salvation, Now the uttermost.
Once 'twas ceaseless holding, Now He holds me fast;
Once 'twas constant drifting, Now my anchor's cast.
Once 'twas busy planning, Now 'tis trustful prayer;
Once 'twas anxious caring, Now He has the care.
Once 'twas what I wanted, Now what Jesus says;
Once 'twas constant asking, Now 'tis ceaseless praise.
Once it was my working, His it hence shall be;
Once I tried to use Him, Now He uses me.
Once the power I wanted, Now the Mighty One;
Once for self I labored, Now for Him alone.
Once I hoped in Jesus, Now I know He's mine;
Once my lamps were dying, Now they brightly shine.
Once for death I waited, Now His coming hail;
And my hopes are anchored, Safe within the vail.

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

Humble Birth

Last Sunday's focus was the Miraculous Conception of Jesus Christ. We learned that the seed that was planted in Mary is the same seed that is planted in us at our new birth. It is the Holy Spirit.

This Sunday we will focus on the Humble Birth of Jesus Christ. As always, Jesus' life - from His conception to His resurrection - is an example, a pattern for us of how we are to live out our lives here on earth. In John 3:5, Jesus told Nicodemus that "no one can enter the kingdom of God unless he is born of water and the Spirit." Jesus was born of a woman, born of water. He was also born of the Spirit.

We are also faced with the example of a God who would humble Himself to the extent of being born in the flesh, in a barn. What an example of humility! This makes us come face to face with our own pride and we are brought low. But we also come face to face with a God who saves the humble (Psalm 18:27). I have been born of water, but because of the example and mercy of Jesus Christ, I have also been born again. Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Tuesday, November 24, 2015

Miraculous Conception

Over the next 5 weeks, my husband will be taking a break from his Nurture series to focus on messages for the Advent Season. This Sunday is the First Sunday of Advent and he will focus on the Miraculous Conception of Jesus Christ. There will be one important thread throughout the sermon series and that is that the Holy Spirit is present in power at every crucial event in the life of Jesus - from his conception through his resurrection.

Matthew 1:18 tells us that Mary "was found to be with child through the Holy Spirit." This was confirmed to Joseph in verse 20 of the same chapter. So why is this important to me? This same power is present in the lives of those "who have received Him, to those who believed in His name." John 1:12

Perhaps that's why the following popular song on Christian radio means so much to me.  Here are the lyrics for "Same Power" by Jeremy Camp (I've italicized the words in the chorus for emphasis)

I can see
Waters raging at my feet
I can feel
The breath of those surrounding me
I can hear
The sound of nations rising up
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome

I can walk
Down this dark and painful road
I can face
Every fear of the unknown
I can hear
All God’s children singing out
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome

The same power that rose Jesus from the grave
The same power that commands the dead to wake
Lives in us, lives in us
The same power that moves mountains when He speaks
The same power that can calm a raging sea
Lives in us, lives in us
He lives in us, lives in us

We have hope
That His promises are true
In His strength
There is nothing we can’t do
Yes, we know
There are greater things in store
We will not be overtaken
We will not be overcome

Greater is He that is living in me
He’s conquered our enemy
No power of darkness
No weapon prevails
We stand here in victory

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Gratitude = the power to change the world

"Why bother to pray?" I have said this and others have said it to me. What we actually mean is "Why bother to pray when we don't get what we want?"

It's not IF we should pray that's the problem. Jesus prayed, so we, as Christ-followers, must also do likewise. Rather, it's HOW we should pray. Throughout my life, if I want to learn how to do something, I study. I read books about it. I watch people who are good at it. I ask questions. Then I practice what I've learned.

The Book of Daniel is one place to go for teaching on prayer. Most would agree that Daniel is a good example for prayer. Afterall, how many of us have been thrown into a lion's den and come out unscathed? Daniel 6: 10 says "Daniel prayed three times a day, just as he had always done, giving thanks to God." We can learn a lot about prayer from this one verse.

  1. He prayed three times a day. How many times do I pray faithfully in the morning and then by noon I am totally stressed out? What if I stopped and prayed at noon? And what if I took the time at dinner to give thanks to God, not just for my food, but for other blessings. Would my focus start to shift from my worries to a God who wants to bear my burdens?
  2. Just as he had always done. It's hard to start praying as an adult - or even after a 1 month sabbatical from prayer. That's why it's crucial we cultivate a habit of prayer in ourselves, our children and our grandchildren. This habit builds a foundation of trust in God. (see Daniel 6: 23) Are we doing that?
  3. Giving thanks to God. We tend to forget that Daniel was taken from his land, his people and his home. He was a refugee. Yet he didn't resist God's plan. Instead, he prospered in it. How? It has got to be linked to his prayer life and his heart of thanksgiving. 
Ann Voskamp, in her book, One Thousand Gifts, says "Because gratitude ushers into the other side of prayer, into the heart of God-love, and all power to change the world, me, resides here in His love."

Did Daniel change the world? Well, after he came out of the lions' den, King Darius issued a decree to every part of His kingdom that people must fear and reverence the God of Daniel. That's a pretty good start to changing his world.

Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Like God

It blows my mind when I read Ephesians 4:23-24 (our verse for this Sunday):
..."To be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness."
We were created to be like God. Not like the very best person we knew once. Not like our mother or father, but like God. Like God how? A few posts back (see October 14th), I mentioned that when I study God's character, I believe I am led where He wants me to go. Since that post, as I continue to read God's Word, there are two character traits that keep standing out to me. One is His unfailing love (Just to name a few places: Psalm 89:24, Psalm 92:2, Psalm 100:5, Psalm 108:4 NLT ) and the other is His faithfulness (Psalm 89:1-2; 8; 24, Psalm 92:2, Psalm 100:5, Psalm 108:4b NLT).

My husband has said over and over that Jesus Christ was born in the flesh, not only to show us the way to gain eternal life, but to also show us an example of what we were created to be like here on earth. Like God! And the same power that was present with Jesus on earth, is available to us - so we can be like God. Wasn't it God's unfailing love that drew me to Him? And isn't it His faithfulness that keeps me with Him? Then I am to take on a new attitude in my mind and put on a new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness.

Thursday, October 29, 2015

The perfect game

Wikipedia says that " A perfect game is defined by Major League Baseball as a game in which a pitcher (or combination of pitchers) pitches a victory that lasts a minimum of nine innings and in which no opposing player reaches base." Wikipedia also says that this feat has only been reached 23 times in MLB history.

When my son played baseball, he was often the pitcher. It was torture for me, to watch my son play this crucial position. I cannot imagine the pressure he himself felt to pitch "the perfect game." Like it or not, I'm sure every coach has hopes that his pitcher will indeed do that.

This Sunday we will be looking at Matthew 5:48. "Be perfect as your heavenly Father is perfect." Is God serious? Is that really His intent? I'm afraid so. But looking deeper into it, we see that the word "Be," is written in the future indicative tense, meaning "You will be perfect." By God's grace and through the transforming power of His love and His grace, He will make us perfect!

What does He mean by perfect? A life without mistakes? A life where my "opposing player" gets no runs on me? No, I believe God's goal is for me to reach a perfection of love. If we love one another, "God lives in us and His love is made complete in us." (1 John 4:12, but read verses 7-12) I'm not sure how many times that feat has been reached by Christians here on earth, but it should be our goal.

Wednesday, October 21, 2015

This is no game

"Be of sober spirit, be on the alert. Your adversary, the devil, prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8 (NASB)
When you play a game, in the end, you are either the winner or the loser; on the winning team or on the losing team. The life of a Christian is no game, but the Christ follower does have a strong adversary that is out to win. And not just win, but according to the verse above, he is seeking to devour the Christ follower.

Do we believe this? How so? It seems that people spend lots of time and energy on this fantasy football. I would imagine that knowing the strengths and weaknesses of your adversaries would be important to winning at that game. After all, there is a lot of money at stake. So do we Christ followers spend as much time getting to know our adversary? After all, our very lives are at stake! Do we know exactly what the Bible calls evil? Is Halloween evil? Is reading the horoscopes evil? What about going to a palm reader? Isn't it time to find out?

There is only one book that we can find out the answers to all that. The Bible will not only give us information about the enemy, but it gives us ways to win!

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

A thousand times I've failed

This morning as I poured out my heart to God over yet another failure to pray before I reacted (and then acted), the words to a song by Hillsong United came to mind. Here are the words to the first part:

From the Inside Out
A thousand times I've failed
Still Your mercy remains
And should I stumble again
I'm caught in Your grace
Everlasting, Your light will shine when all else fades
Never ending Your glory goes beyond all fame

My husband's last few sermons have been about sanctification and holiness. We talked about how it is God who does this in our lives (1 Thessalonians 5:24). So what then, is our part?

What God has been showing me, is that my part is to focus on the Father: His character and His promises. When I do that, He leads me where He wants me to go. For example, in Romans 2:4 we read that it is God's kindness that leads us to repentance. 

Mercy is another characteristic of God (mentioned in the song above). How many times has God not treated us as our sins deserved, but shown us mercy instead?  What does that do for us? I know for me, it makes me want to give Him praise and thanks! And isn't that what He desires?

So, today I choose to "flip it," as our good friend Eli taught us. I admit my failure, and I turn to the God of all grace, the everlasting God, and I give Him praise for His never ending mercy. To Him be all glory and honor and praise!

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

Dual citizenship

These quotes are from U.S. Government websites:
"If you decide to apply to become a U.S. citizen, you will be showing your commitment to the United States and your loyalty to its Constitution. In return, you are rewarded with all the rights and privileges that are part of U.S. citizenship. "
"The concept of dual nationality (emphasis added) means that a person is a national of two countries at the same time." 
I have dual nationality (or citizenship). I was born in the United States, so I am a citizen by birth. I also decided to accept Jesus Christ as my LORD and Savior, which made me a citizen of heaven as well. In doing so, I was rewarded with all the rights and privileges that are part of heaven!

However, in addition to being rewarded with those rights and privileges, I also have the responsibility to show my commitment to God and my loyalty to His Word. How? By obeying it. This morning I read in Philippians 1:27 (NLT):
"Above all, you must live as citizens of heaven, conducting yourselves in a manner worthy of the Good News about Jesus Christ. Then, whether I come and see you again or only hear about you, I will know that you are standing together with one spirit and one purpose, fighting together for the faith, which is the Good News."
There is one way to live as citizens of heaven and that is to live a life of holiness (2 Corinthians 7:1). That's what we'll be talking about this Sunday.


Wednesday, September 23, 2015

What counts

"It doesn't matter whether we have been circumcised or not. What counts is whether we have been transformed into a new creation." Galatians 6:15
This process of transformation is one that begins with regeneration (when we are born again) and continues until we go to heaven (and are glorified). This process is also known as sanctification. It is God alone who does the transforming, or sanctifying work. For people like me, who are "works oriented," it is hard to let go of control, but let go, I must. Our verse for this Sunday is from First Thessalonians 5:23-24:
"May God himself, the God of peace, sanctify you through and through. May your whole spirit, soul and body be kept blameless at the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ. The one who calls you is faithful, and he will do it."
Another group of people who has trouble letting God do the work of sanctification is intelligent people. People who we refer to as "smart." You know, the ones who excelled in school, have an impressive degree or two and even know about the Bible. The "smart" person accepts Jesus as their personal Savior by faith. They realize that they could do nothing to earn this salvation. But slowly, the great love they had for their Savior, and other believers, begins to turn cool as they combine faith with their "discernment". Slowly, it turns into a "co-op relationship," which eventually turns cold. I heard a quote today from D.A. Carson:
"There is a place in regard to exercising faith where intellect has to step aside."
Wow! that's powerful. I must realize that it is faith alone that saved me and faith alone that will lead me home.  Nothing I can do will add to it. And it is no co-op relationship. He is Master and Savior.

Wednesday, September 16, 2015

English lesson

"I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live in the body, I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me." Galatians 2:20
This is the verse we will be looking at on Sunday. It is a verse that every person who calls themselves a Christian should memorize and meditate on.

In the above NIV translation, there are 7 personal pronouns (I, me) used. Paul is saying that this relationship with Christ is one that can only happen when you accept Jesus as your personal Savior. Paul cannot do it for you. Your mother cannot do it for you. Your spouse cannot make it happen, etc.

In the same way, I cannot make my son or anyone else enter into a relationship with Christ. I can bring God to them, but it is God who brings people to Himself.

The fact that Paul uses the Present Perfect Tense "I have been crucified," is crucial, because it means that the action has been completed. It stands accomplished! This verse comes after Paul is telling how he had to correct Peter in front of everyone, because Peter was falling back into legalism and causing others to stumble. By his actions, Peter was showing others that Christ's work was not complete. Paul could not sit by and let this happen.

It is so tempting for me to fall back into the selfish pride of legalism. To try and control myself and/or others. I am thankful for this admonishment by Paul. By God's grace, I will try to live by faith and be obedient all that He shows me to do.

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Prayer + persistence = power

You might have heard it said that when God has something important to say to you, He doesn't just say it once; He usually says it two or three times. I've experienced this concept recently.

God got my attention when I watched the new film War Room (out in theaters now - watch the trailer at The concept of a "Prayer Closet" or "War Room," is not a new one, but I needed to be reminded of how important it is in our personal war against the sin and destruction that is wreaking havoc in us and around us. On the way home from the movie, God followed up what He was trying to say, by bringing Hebrews 12:4 to my mind:
"In your struggle against sin, you have not yet resisted to the point of shedding your blood."
Ouch! Truth hurts. But truth also can bring healing. I read God's Word diligently every day. I journal almost every day too. But do I have a battle plan for my prayer life? Have I resisted sin to the point of shedding blood? Sadly, no.

Then God spoke to me a third time. I was in my van and "happened" to catch the Revive Our Hearts program on the radio. Nancy Leigh DeMoss was interviewing a mother and son who co-authored a book titled Out of a Far Country. Subtitle: A Gay Son’s Journey to God and a Broken Mother’s Search for Hope. I listened intently to this soft spoken mother tell how her son broke her heart when he began using drugs, then selling drugs, and then entered into the homosexual lifestyle. Not only did she turn to God, but over the next seven years, she became a prayer warrior. Like the main character in the War Room movie, this mom turned a room in her house into her prayer closet.

I have included the link to the first one of these amazing broadcasts. There are 6 broadcasts in all (the last one won't air until tomorrow, September 4th). Listen and be inspired!

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Mark of the beast

If you've been around church for a while, you've probably heard some people mention "the mark of the beast." They are referring to Revelation 13:17. Apparently, in the end times, people will have to have some sort of mark to buy or sell. Now that I've gotten your attention, I'd rather like to focus on a different kind of mark. One that identifies us as God's adopted children.

Remember, God has no "grandchildren." You are either His child (because you yourself made a decision to accept Jesus Christ into your life) or you're not. How do we know if we are children of God? 2 Corinthians 1:22 says:
"and He has identified us as His own by placing the Holy Spirit in our hearts as the first installment that guarantees everything He has promised us."
So the Holy Spirit is the evidence. Now we need to go further. This Sunday's sermon will come out of Romans 8:14-17. In this passage, we see that those who are true sons of God:

  1. Are led by the Spirit.
  2. Are no longer slaves to fear. (They fear God, not man)
  3. Are heirs with God and co heirs with Christ.
  4. Share in the sufferings of Christ.
  5. Share in the glory of Christ.
Here is another helpful tool written by Philip Ryken. Answer these questions honestly. If you are not sure you are born again, make an appointment with my husband (Pastor John) so he can lead you through the birth process.

□Yes □No Am I living a life of radical Christian discipleship?

□Yes □No Am I finding deeper satisfaction with God in worship?

□Yes □No Do I have a growing hunger to pray and study God’s Word?

□Yes □No Is my heart growing more tender toward others, especially people I find it hard to love?

□Yes □No Am I serving my family and friends in ways that can lead them closer to Christ?

□Yes □No Do I have an increasing desire and ability to glorify God in my daily work?

□Yes □No Am I standing for Christ in my community?

□Yes □No Do I have a growing and tangible commitment to world missions?

□Yes □No Am I actively pursuing friendships with people who need to hear the gospel?

□Yes □No Am I becoming more patient with life’s difficulties and disappointments, both large and small?

□Yes □No Am I using my money in sacrificial ways that reflect my ultimate spiritual priorities?

□Yes □No Am I reaching out to anyone in mercy, seeking nothing in return?

□Yes □No Am I maintaining total sexual purity?

□Yes □No Am I thinking less of myself and more of others?

□Yes □No And most important of all, am I really growing in my love for Christ?

If we are not growing in these areas, then the Bible urges us not to be conformed any longer to the pattern of these post-Christian times, but be transformed by God’s renewing of our minds.

-from City on a Hill by Philip Graham Ryken

Wednesday, August 19, 2015


There is a lot in the news about Human Trafficking - and for good reason. This is not an overseas problem that we can ignore anymore - it's right here in our own backyards. The Human Trafficking Industry is the second largest and fastest growing criminal activity in the world, rapidly taking over drugs and narcotics! Our immediate thought is the rescue of these helpless victims. But how? While this is a noble thought, we must be careful to think through our ideas. What would we do with someone if we did rescue them? Are we prepared to help them through the post traumatic stress and the work it would take to assimilate them back into society? This is not something we can do alone.*

This Sunday, my husband's message will come from Colossians 1:13:
"For He (Jesus) has rescued us from the dominion of darkness and brought us into the kingdom of the Son He loves."
Our Almighty, Omnipotent God has already thought through His rescue plan. From the beginning of creation, He knew that He would send His one and only Son to make a way for us to go from a life of sin and darkness to a life in the kingdom of freedom and light!

*A friend told us about an organization that is in the business of rescuing victim from Human Trafficking. You can check them out at:

Wednesday, August 12, 2015


I watched a sad little movie about a boy who had no father and a poor mother who was so depressed she barely took care of him. I know it was just a movie, but I cried for that little guy. Shortly after that, I had a conversation with someone who told me about her very real childhood. She said she couldn't think of one good memory from it. How I wish I could have made things different for her. Wouldn't it be great if those who have suffered in this life could have a "do-over?" Wait! They can!

This Sunday we will be focusing on John 3:3, where Jesus tells a Pharisee named Nicodemus that no one can see the kingdom of God unless he is born again. Jesus goes on to tell him that to enter the kingdom, you must be born of water (physical birth) and the Spirit. So, while the young lady I spoke to was obviously already born of water, now she could be born of the Spirit. And with that new birth, will come so many wonderful experiences to make new memories. Praise God!

Wednesday, August 5, 2015

Are we ready?

A leaf fell right in front of me on my morning walk. A leaf! It's only the first week in August! Immediately my mind jumped to fall. Then to winter. "I'm not ready for winter," I thought.

A bit dramatic, I know, but then I began thinking about Revelation 3:20, the verse that John was going to be preaching on this Sunday.
"Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears my voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with that person, and they with me."
Jesus is saying this to the Church of Laodicea. Interesting. I've always thought it was a picture of Jesus knocking on the door of an unbeliever's heart, but looking at it again, I am beginning to think (in light of the fact that He is speaking to the church) that perhaps Jesus is speaking to those of us already in the church (which, of course, can include unbelievers). This verse in sandwiched in-between a warning to repent and a promise of eternal life to those who overcome. Either way, the invitation is not to be taken lightly. Just as fall and winter will be here before we know it, so will the second coming of Christ, ready or not.

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


I was in 2 Chronicles 24 today. Once again I read the account of Joash, one of the kings of Judah. He was 7 years old when he became king and reigned for 40 years. As long as Jehoiada the priest was alive to give this young king wise and godly counsel, Joash "did what was pleasing in the LORD's sight." (verse 2) But once Jehoiada died, King Joash was able to be led astray by some unnamed leaders. Despite prophetic warnings, King Joash not only continued to worship other gods, but by his order, he also had Zechariah, the Spirit filled prophet, put to death!

This Sunday, my husband will be preaching on John 3:16-17, a scripture many of us know well. "Nothing new" we say. "Heard it before."  So how can we look at it in a new way? How can we prevent ourselves from falling into the trap that Joash fell into? First, we cannot look to our priest (or pastor) to make us do what is pleasing in the LORD's sight. Second, we need to believe that God's mercies are new every morning (Lamentations 3:23) and His Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12). Let's approach the Book of John like it's new. Read it and mediate on it. Decide not to be led astray by anyone. What is God telling us about Himself? What is He instructing us to do?

"Behold I make all things new." Revelation 21:5

Thursday, July 23, 2015

A foretaste of glory

I know that everyone experiences times like these, when you feel like you have had too many deaths around you. In the past few weeks I've grieved the untimely death of a pastor's wife at age 53, the death of a second cousin who was only 41 and the death of a friend who was 62. The world says these women were all too young to die. Do I believe that?

I was reading Romans 8 this morning. Paul clearly says that all creation is subject to God's curse (of sin, suffering and death) (verse 20). He also says (verse 21) that "with eager hope, the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God's children in glorious freedom from death and decay." But verse 23 makes a distinction between all creation and we who are true believers and that is that "we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of the future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as His adopted children including the new bodies He promised us."

Continuing in the New Living Translation, verse 24: "We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don't need to hope for it. But if we look forward to something we don't yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)"

Wow! So having hope as an anchor for our souls (Hebrews 6:19) makes so much sense! It's like my soul is anchored in heaven while my body is here on earth being battered by the wind and waves. I will not fear death, but rather wait patiently and confidently for it. I already have a foretaste of the glory that awaits me. Praise God!

Friday, July 3, 2015

How much do you know about July Fourth?

We recently visited Independence Hall in Philadelphia. I've been there before, but was impressed once again with the knowledge of the Park Rangers and depressed by my horrible memory at all the important facts surrounding the founding of our country.

Did you know that on July 4, 1776 only 2 individuals signed the Declaration of Independence? Do you know who? It wasn't until July 8th that it was proclaimed to the city of Philadelphia by members of congress.

After the proclamation was read, the Liberty Bell was rung. Do you know what the inscription around the top the Liberty Bell says?

Read the following article from the National Day of Prayer website to find the answer to these questions. The final paragraph of the article says:
"Preserving American liberty depends first upon our understanding the foundations on which this great country was built and then preserving the principles on which it was founded. Let’s not let the purpose for which we were established be forgotten. The Founding Fathers have passed us a torch; let’s not let it go out."

Wednesday, June 24, 2015

One message

It seems like God gives each prophet one message to preach. I don't think those of us "average laymen" can truly understand the burden these prophets carry in communicating this one truth.

As I have sat under my husband's teaching all these years, I hear one recurring message. This is it:

  1. We were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:27), but the sin of Adam and Eve caused separation between us and God. (Genesis 3:23)
  2. From that point on, man was born in the image of his sinful parents. (Genesis 5:3)
  3. The Good News is that Jesus Christ came to show us what the original image looks like and He provided a way back to that image. Restoration. (2 Corinthians 3:18)
As the one person closest to this man of God, this is what I have observed and want others to know:
  1. The prophet fights a daily battle to fully understand this truth. His battle is "against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms." (Ephesians 6:12)
  2. The prophet is not released from his call, despite the resistance he faces from those he is called to preach to.
  3. The prophet is called to obey the Truth, even when he doesn't see the final outcome of the promise - in himself - or those around him.
  4. A prophet gives his life to this call.

Wednesday, June 17, 2015

The blame game

This Sunday the sermon will be based on Genesis 3:12-13 where first Adam, and then Eve took turns playing the blame game. My first thought was to look up the dictionary definition of the word blame. From there I looked at both synonyms and antonyms for the word. Not too surprising that the opposite of blame includes words like harmony, health and peace. Wow! Isn't that amazing? Somehow we think (and I guess Adam and Eve did also) that if we blame someone else, we'll feel better, but it appears that the opposite is true. Take responsibility and find peace.

In my search, I also came across an interesting series of four radio messages on Family Life Today. The guests on the program are biblical counselors Ed Welch and David Powlison. They focus on the popular chemical imbalance theory that many use to explain things like depression and ADD. Did you know that there is no test that can show a chemical imbalance? It is just a theory! You can hear these talks by clicking this link:

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

I am in a desperate situation!

"I am in a desperate situation!" That's what King David said when he sinned against God by taking a census of his fighting men and his conscience began to bother him (2 Samuel 24). He asked for God's forgiveness and God forgave him, however, David still had consequences for his actions. Not only would David suffer the consequences for what he did, so would his people. When faced with a choice of punishment, David said "But let us fall into the hands of the LORD, for His mercy is great. Do not let me fall into human hands." (verse 14) 70,000 people died as a result of David's sin! Yikes! Was that too severe?

Or how about Moses? Yes, he struck the rock instead of speaking to it as God had told him too (Numbers 20), but wasn't the punishment a bit severe? I mean not entering the Promised Land after 40 years in the desert with those grumbling Israelites would drive any sane person to hit the rock, right?

And what about us? We all sin and fall short of the glory of God and we all suffer consequences for our sins. Not only that, but other people sin against us too and we suffer consequences from their sin as well. Is any of it fair? We have a choice. Knowing that God is both loving and just, we can be angry at our situation or we can humble ourselves before our merciful God and let Him use what happened as a teaching time. That's what David and Moses did.

I love the song by Point of Grace, Heal the Wound. Here are some of the words:
"I used to wish that I could rewrite history / I used to dream that each mistake could be erased / Then I could just pretend I never knew me back then / I used to pray that You would take this shame away / Hide all the evidence of who I've been / But it's the memory of / The place You brought me from / That keeps me on my knees / And even though I'm free / Heal the wound but leave the scar / A reminder of how merciful You are /"
Yes, that's it...not only can God forgive...and heal...but in His mercy He can use our sin and the consequences to remind us how merciful He is!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Where we all go wrong

This Sunday my husband will be preaching on Genesis 3:1-6. I think it is the saddest chapter in the Bible because it is titled The Fall of Man. How did this happen? How did Adam and Eve go from walking with God in the garden, being united as one flesh with each other and feeling no shame - to being deceived into sin? Verse 1 says that the serpent was more crafty than any of the wild animals the LORD God had made, but he wasn't smarter than man. I believe that what the serpent knew, was that we humans have one major weakness and that is to TRUST God.

I've seen it in my own life and in countless others around me. I don't really believe that God loves me and has a perfect plan for my life. After all, if God loved me, He wouldn't deny me what I want. If he loved me, He wouldn't allow suffering in my life. Lies! All lies! The Bible does not say those things at all. Rather, it says:
"Trust in the LORD with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and he will direct your paths." (Proverbs 3:5-6)
Back to Genesis 3. My husband always says that the worst thing Eve did (and where we all go wrong) was to start a conversation with the serpent. Once he slithered up to her and asked her the question "Did God really say...," she should have not only not listened, but walked away. It never does us any good to "answer a fool in his folly." (Proverbs 26:4) This type of intentional, focused living is not easy. It means discipline. It means training our minds to hear TRUTH. If we hear anything else, we do not listen. We walk away.

Wednesday, May 20, 2015

He hates God

It's true. Satan hates God. Therefore, it stands to reason that if I love God, and have asked Him to come into my life, then Satan hates me as well. This is a sobering thought. There is part of me that knows that I must trust God and believe He will guide me safely home to heaven one day and yet there is also the undeniable truth of God's Word that says:
"Be self-controlled and alert. Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." 1 Peter 5:8
This is the reality I must live in everyday of my life here on earth. But can I do both? Can I trust God while at the same time stay self-controlled and alert? Absolutely! Just look at Nehemiah. Although the gracious hand of God was upon him (see Nehemiah 2:8), when he left the citadel of Susa to rebuild the temple in Jerusalem, the opposition from the enemy was immediate and very real (2:10). There was mocking and ridicule (2:19), the enemy became angry and incensed (4:1), and they plotted together to fight and stir up trouble for Nehemiah (4:7-8). We must be aware that the enemy is persistent (6:4), he uses fear because he knows this weakens us (6:9), and he tries to intimidate us (6:13). But Nehemiah shows us how to respond. First, he sees the enemy for who he is (6:11-13) and then he prays and asks God to strengthen his hands (6:9) and to take care of his enemies (6:14). Then he gets back to work trusting God! And what happens?
"So the wall was completed on the twenty-fifth of Elul, in fifty-two days. When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God." Nehemiah 6:15-16
Hallelujah! What a Savior!

Thursday, May 14, 2015

Someone has got to die

I took the title of this blog post from what I frequently say to women who have come to me about some trouble in their marriage. "Someone has got to die," I say. Then I add, "Preferably both of you." What I mean, of course, is that for a marriage to work, each of us must die to our sinful, selfish desires. It means we give up what we want, so our spouse gets what they want. Most often (not always) when we do that out of obedience to our LORD, our spouse responds by dying to what they want. A win-win. However, when we both choose not to die to our selfish desires, the relationship will likely dissolve.

This Sunday, my husband will be speaking on Romans 6:23 which says:
"For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our LORD."
In our relationship to Christ, someone had to die. He has already made the first move. He willingly laid down His life so that we may gain eternal life. We can choose to accept that, and respond by receiving that gift, or we can say "No thank you," and dissolve that relationship. Death or life - our choice.

Wednesday, May 6, 2015


I find it interesting that there is not much in the way of instruction for mothers in the Bible. There are clear commands for women in general, but not specifically for mothers. Of course there are examples of good and bad mothers in the Bible. We would all do well to take note of women like Jezebel (Ahaziah's mother) and Eunice (Timothy’s mother), and try to figure out what character traits we should or should not copy.

Proverbs 31:28 says that a mother’s child will arise and call her blessed  (and her husband will also). The older I get, the more meaning this has.

As a mother, those who know you best are your husband and children. So it carries a lot of weight if they are the ones who rise up and call you blessed, because they are the ones who have watched your life most closely.

In her book, The Shaping of a Christian Family, Elisabeth Elliot says “A mother is a chalice, the vessel without which no human being has ever been born. She is created to be a life-bearer, cooperating with her husband and with God in the making of a child. What a solemn responsibility. What an unspeakable privilege—a vessel divinely prepared for the Master’s use.”

Mothers are care givers, teachers, nurses and taxi drivers, but most importantly, we are models. We are each called to model faith, hope, love, obedience, discipline, determination, courage, holiness, etc. to our children. We strive to show them how we love to read and study God’s Word. We show them Who to turn to when trouble comes. We pray and never give up. We ask for forgiveness when necessary. We teach them the Word of God. We lead them to Christ when they are ready.

As Elisabeth said; what a solemn responsibility!

Wednesday, April 29, 2015


This Sunday my husband will be continuing his Nurture Series of sermons. He will focus on Genesis 2:25 which says "The man and wife were both naked, and they felt no shame."

This takes place before the fall of man into sin which is recorded in chapter three of Genesis. Adam and Eve felt no shame because they had not yet sinned in disobedience to God's command. Over and over my husband has been trying to drive home the fact that ever since the fall of man, we have been born in the image of those sinful parents (Genesis 5:3). However, God provided a way back to that beautiful relationship Adam and Eve once knew. It is through our relationship with Jesus Christ, and the transformational work He does in us, that we are able to stand before God unashamed!

Yesterday I attended a Global Missions Conference where a missionary who resides in Kenya told us about the horrific attack on Garissa University that occurred on the 2nd of this month. Four gunman stormed onto the university campus killing 147 and injuring 79 more. Their attacks were focused on Christian students. It was painful listening to the details of the attack. The missionary told us that at one point, the gunman had the girls come out from one dormitory and line up. The gunman told those who were Christian to step forward. Then they shot them. Would I have stepped forward? Would I have been unashamed of the Gospel of Jesus Christ? I need to settle that question now, not when I am at gunpoint.
"For I am not ashamed of the gospel, because it is the power of God that brings salvation to everyone who believes: first to the Jew, then to the Gentile." (Romans 1:16)

Wednesday, April 15, 2015

Take a different route

Yesterday I put my grandson in his stroller and went for a walk. I took the same route I usually take when I am walking by myself. I got about 3/4 of the way through when I realized I had dropped one of his burp cloths somewhere along the route. So, instead of completing the route, I turned around and retraced my steps. The most interesting thing was that I noticed so many "new" things, that several times I had to ask myself if I was going the right way! Could it be that I do the same thing in my life? Am I doing the same things, the same way so often, that I miss some fabulous things that were there the whole time?

As my husband and I are reading some books about marriage, we've been discussing whether or not people can really change; especially couples like us who have been married for 25 years. I just heard a statistic on the radio that most divorced people surveyed 5-7 years after their divorce said that if they had worked a little harder, they may not have gotten divorced. The speaker also said that most people drown 10 feet from shore! In other words, hope is not that far away! We just need a new perspective. Perhaps it's time to take a different route and notice some new things.

Perhaps the way we've been "doing church" needs to change. What the church (universal) has been doing isn't working. In fact, we're drowning. But what if we're only 10 feet from shore? What if the answer is close at hand? My husband challenged the congregation last Sunday to take a new route. He asked for 10 people to commit to a year of discipleship training for themselves, with the understanding that each person would then train someone else the following year. Will we move away from the route we've always taken, gain a new perspective and make it to shore?

Monday, March 30, 2015

What is Maundy Thursday?

We are in Holy Week/Passion Week. The time from Palm Sunday through Easter Sunday. This Thursday we will celebrate Maundy Thursday or Holy Thursday. You may have gone to church all your life and not known what Maundy Thursday is.

Maundy (pronounced: mawn-dee), is from the Latin mandatum which means to command. It is the name we give to the day on which Jesus celebrated the Passover with His disciples, known as the Last Supper. (Luke 22:19-20) At that supper, Jesus gave His disciples the command to love and serve one another. (John 13:34) Not a bad idea, but are we doing it? At that same supper, Jesus washed His disciples' feet. (John 13:3-17) He acted as a servant in great humility. This is the King of the Universe, God's own Son we're talking about. The Sinless One. He got down on His knees and washed the feet of all the disciples, even the one who He knew would betray Him.

Why would He do that? Once again it comes back to the Passion Week. Jesus was all about His passion for us, even those of us who betray Him. This week is an excellent time to reflect upon where we are at on the whole self denial thing. Do I have a passion for people? Am I considering others better than myself in humility? Am I loving and serving others? If not, am I truly a disciple?

Wednesday, March 25, 2015

Part of the crowd

This Sunday is Palm Sunday, a day I looked forward to as a child. In the church I grew up in, it was a day of celebration. You could see it the moment you walked in. It was no ordinary day. There were Palm branches everywhere! It was a day of rejoicing! I enthusiastically waved my palm branch along with everyone else in the crowd as the account of Jesus' triumphal entry into Jerusalem was read aloud.

I was part of the crowd then. Later, I would accept Jesus Christ as my personal LORD and Savior and enter into an intimate relationship with Him as one of His disciples. That's it. There are two groups. One group follows Jesus along with the masses, to be fed. The other, much smaller group become His disciples and choose to follow Him to the Cross. I read a sobering scripture this week. It is from the Gospel of Matthew, Chapter 7. Verses 13-14 say this:
"You can enter God's Kingdom only through the narrow gate. The highway to hell is broad, and its gate is wide for the many who choose that way. But the gateway to life is very narrow and the road is difficult, and only a few find it." (NLT)
Looking back, the act of taking the Palm Branch and making it into a cross wasn't just a simple act for us children. It was a teaching moment. This Palm Sunday, take your palm and make it into a cross. Explain to your children that as the masses celebrated Jesus' arrival on a donkey into Jerusalem, the joy and celebration would soon turn to sorrow as their King would be nailed to a cross. Tell them that it's OK to feel sad. The disciples felt sad too. Then tell them there's more to the story!

If you're a visual learner, here is a You Tube Tutorial on how to make a Palm Cross:

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

There is no music in a rest, but there is making of music in it.

This coming Sunday my husband will be preaching from Genesis 2:1-3. He will focus on REST. This is a crucial concept for all believers to learn. I've been wondering why I struggle with it so much. After all, God Himself rested. And not only that, He "blessed the seventh day and made it holy because on it He rested from all the work of creating that He had done." So what is my problem with rest? I believe that my perception of rest is that it has no meaning, no purpose. Sure, it may have some restorative powers, but not enough to take away the the fact that time is being wasted! Projects are piling up! Plus, how does resting make me look to others? Oh - and worst of all, is when I am forced to rest (like today because of another migraine)!

In reality, God's perception of rest is not like mine at all. He knows it has purpose. Perhaps even more purpose than work or why would He declare the seventh day holy? This morning I was reminded of something I had read in an Elisabeth Elliot Newsletter back in the year 2000. I include it below. Thank you LORD God, for reminding me of this article. May it be a help to others too.
"There are sometimes spaces in our lives which seem empty and silent. Things grind to a halt for one reason or another. Not long ago, in the space of a few days, the “music” in my life seemed to stop because of a rejection, a loss, and what seemed to me at the time a monumental failure. I was feeling rather desolate when I came across a paragraph written more than a hundred years ago by the artist John Ruskin: “There is no music in a rest, but there is making of music in it. In our whole life-melody, the music is broken off here and there by ‘rests,’ and we foolishly think we have come to the end of time. God sends a time of forced leisure—sickness, disappointed plans, frustrated efforts—and makes a sudden pause in the choral hymn of our lives and we lament that our voices must be silent, and our part missing in the music which ever goes up to the ear of the Creator. How does the musician read the rest? See him beat time with unvarying count and catch up the next note true and steady, as if no breaking place had come between. Not without design does God write the music of our lives. But be it ours to learn the time and not be dismayed at the ‘rests.’ They are not to be slurred over, nor to be omitted, nor to destroy the melody, nor to change the keynote. If we look up, God Himself will beat time for us. With the eye on Him we shall strike the next note full and clear.” So the Lord brought to me precisely the word I needed at the moment: there was ‘the making of music’ in what seemed a hollow emptiness. It’s His song, not mine, that I’m here to sing. It’s His will, not mine, that I’m here to do. Let me focus my vision unwaveringly on Him who alone knows the complete score, “and in the night His song shall be with me” (Psalm 42:8). The following was given to me many years ago by my dear Aunt Anne Howard. I wish I knew the author: Help me to live this day quietly, easily; To lean upon Thy great strength trustfully, restfully; To meet others peacefully, joyously; To face tomorrow confidently, courageously."

Wednesday, March 4, 2015


This coming Sunday my husband will be preaching from Genesis 1:26-28.
Then God said, “Let us make mankind in our image, in our likeness, so that they may rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky, over the livestock and all the wild animals, and over all the creatures that move along the ground.” So God created mankind in his own image, in the image of God he created them; male and female he created them. God blessed them and said to them, “Be fruitful and increase in number;fill the earth and subdue it. Rule over the fish in the sea and the birds in the sky and over every living creature that moves on the ground.”
We were created to rule our world, yet it seems that too often we are the ones being ruled. Drugs, alcohol and food rule too many of our lives. The lust for money and power drive average people to do unthinkable, horrific things.  What then, should we do?

  1. First we need to decide if we believe the scripture we just read. Am I really created in God's image and blessed with the ability to rule my world?
  2. If so, then I must begin to do what is right in God's eyes by obeying His Word. In Genesis 4:7, God says to Cain "If you do what is right, will you not be accepted? But if you do not do what is right, sin is crouching at your door; it desires to have you, but you must master it."
  3. According to God's Word, sin can be mastered! Hallelujah!
But how? How do we master something? It has been said that it takes 10,000 hours to master a skill. But this blog I have included the link to below says it's not just practice, but deliberate practice of a skill that is important. He uses Kobe Bryant as an example. Worth the read.

Wednesday, February 25, 2015

No regrets

My father passed on to glory this week. For the first 25 years of my life I was daddy's girl. My dad could do no wrong. Then he decided to leave my mom for another woman. My world was shattered. Over the next 25 years, there were times that I thought I wanted him to suffer for what he did, but when the time came that he actually was suffering, it didn't feel good at all. It took me many years to get over what he did, but eventually I made peace with him.

I shared the Good News of Jesus Christ's death and resurrection with him several times over the years. On one last occasion, before his dementia had really taken over, he told me he had accepted Christ. It's hard to describe the peace I had when I received the news that he was gone. Relief, yes, that the suffering was over; but joy too! Not only that he passed from this life to the next, but that God had mercifully changed my heart so that I could not only forgive him, but I could also share God's plan for his salvation with him!

Think of someone you know. If they died today, would you have any regrets?

Thursday, February 19, 2015

Why don't we communicate Christ?

The title of this post was the question my husband posed to the evangelism class that meets on Wednesday nights. If it truly is a command to "Go make disciples" (Matthew 28), then why aren't we doing it? The class came up with the following possible reasons:

  1. We don't see the seriousness of the command. (That it is a sin if we don't obey it.)
  2. We are not living like a Christ-follower ourselves, so we're ashamed to tell others they need to.
  3. We don't believe in hell. If we did, wouldn't we want to tell people we know the way to avoid eternal damnation?
  4. The enemy (Satan) keeps us off balance and distracted with our own problems.
So how do we begin? First we pray. Prayer helps to develop our confidence. We move from earthly possibility to the supernatural. We ask God to help us connect with the people He has put in our lives. We ask Him to help us to live real, godly lives in front of the people we come into contact with. I think that's a good start.

Read this quote by Charles H. Spurgeon:
“If sinners be damned, at least let them leap to Hell over our dead bodies. And if they perish, let them perish with our arms wrapped about their knees, imploring them to stay. If Hell must be filled, let it be filled in the teeth of our exertions, and let not one go unwarned and unprayed for.”

Thursday, February 12, 2015


God said:
"Let us make man in our image, in our likeness..." (From Genesis 1:26)
I'm working on a 1,000 piece puzzle this winter. I haven't done a puzzle in a while and now I remember why. It's a lot of work to get 1,000 pieces in the right places!

If you've ever done a puzzle, you know that the artist expects you to follow the picture on the front of the box and complete the puzzle so it is the exact representation of that image, right? I believe that God intends for us to become the exact representation of His image, His likeness. How? He sent His own Son, Jesus Christ, to be born, and to live on this earth to show us how. He modeled life for us. He modeled holiness for us. And He modeled love and sacrificial death for us.

I'm reading a very helpful (not perfect) parenting book called Parenting with Love and Logic. One of the main points that keep recurring in the book is the idea that we parents must model the behavior that we expect in our children. Christ did this for us. And while I was certainly an imperfect model to my son, I have a perfect model to follow (and point my son to) in Jesus Christ. If I follow Him, the pieces will fit together perfectly.

Thursday, January 29, 2015

Power struggle

We humans generally don't have too much tolerance for pain and suffering, let alone weakness. We'd much rather boast about how much weight we were able to lift at the gym than boast of how weak we were when tragedy struck our home.

In typical Jesus style, He turns weakness on its head when He says to Paul "My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness." (Part of our memory verse for this Sunday from 2 Corinthians 12:9) This goes against everything we want to believe.
  1. I have mistakenly believed: Christians don't get sick, but if they do, and they pray enough, they get healed. Fact: Christians do get sick - and don't always get healed. Jesus was talking to Paul in the above verse. We don't know exactly what Paul's infirmity was, but it must have been bad enough for him to ask God three times to take it away. Jesus was pretty clear that He wasn't going to heal Paul.
  2. I have mistakenly believed: There is no point to suffering. Fact: There is a point to suffering. First, Paul realizes that his illness was given to him to keep him from being conceited (12:7) In verse 9, Jesus plans to use Paul's sickness as a way to show His divine power. He was not going to take Paul out of this suffering, He was going to enable Paul to get through it. 
  3. I have mistakenly believed: Weakness should not be tolerated. Fact: We must realize that without Christ, we are weak, but once saved by grace and filled with the Holy Spirit, we have a supernatural strength that enables us to accomplish great things for the glory of God. Any weakness we then experience is signal to turn to God and look to Him for His power.
So there is a power struggle when we feel weak. We either give in and do something in our own strength so we feel less ashamed (because, after all, it is all about us and how we look to everyone), or we admit we are unable to accomplish the task before us and find Christ's power resting on us. Someone is going to get the glory. The question is who?

Wednesday, January 21, 2015

What are you sure of?

Our memory verse this week comes from Hebrews 11, the great faith chapter. In fact, in my NIV Study Bible, the tile of the chapter is By Faith. What exactly are we to do "by faith?"

I think we must not only understand by faith that there is only One God who created the universe out of nothing (verse 3), but that fact must also propel us into action, by faith. All the great men and women listed in Hebrews 11 were commended for their faith (verse 39), not because they just said that they believed in God, but because they acted on their faith.

The difficult part is that while our obedience is commended, it is not always rewarded in this life. You only have to read verses 32 through 38 to see two very distinct groups of believers. The ones that escaped the edge of the sword and the ones that were sawed in two. I don't know about you, but I'd like to pick the escape group! Any Hall of Fame here on earth was not worthy of them (verse 38).

We grow up dreaming of getting into one of the Halls of Fame. We put the ones who do get in up on a pedestal. Have we considered teaching our children that God has planned something better for them (verse 40)?  I find myself more and more challenged in my faith, even after all these years of following Christ. God asks me to not only believe in Him, but obey Him by faith - without knowing the outcome. But I also find myself more and more sure of what I hope for and certain of what I do not see.

Wednesday, January 14, 2015

Why bother to pray?

Many years ago I read Philip Yancey's book Prayer: Does It Make Any Difference? Yancey is the type of author that explores a subject thoroughly from every angle. I mean thoroughly and I mean every angle! One thing stood out to me from the book. After Yancey discusses all the seeming contradictions from the Bible about prayer, and shares disappointment from unanswered prayer, he makes the statement that despite all that, he prays because Jesus did it.

Brad Stine, a Christian Comedian, said in a skit "If Hitler did it, it probably isn't a good idea for us to do it!." Funny and true. Can we not say the opposite about Jesus? If He did it, we probably should do it! After all, if I am a Christ-follower, I will do what Christ did, right?

In our verse for this week (Mark 11:24), Jesus says:
"Therefore I tell you, whatever you ask for in prayer, believe that you have received it, and it will be yours."
Most people will focus on the getting what we want part. For this blog, I want to point out that by saying what He said, Jesus is assuming we will be praying. In Luke 11:2 He says "When you pray," and He goes on to give His disciples a template for prayer.

There is so much to say about prayer. Here is a good resource from Focus on the Family:

But for now, let's just start praying because Jesus did.

Wednesday, January 7, 2015

Benefits of discipline

We're back on track with a sermon series we started late last year called Nurture. It is a study for new believers, but it is also a study for disciple-makers (those who are training new believers). This week we are focusing on 2 Timothy 3:16-17:
"All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work."
Would I say that I am thoroughly equipped for every good work? Well, I can honestly say that I have diligently read, studied and tried to be obedient to the Word of God for over 30 years now. In the last 5 years I have made it my goal to read the entire Bible each year. Why? Because I believe the Word is God (John 1:1). And all scripture is God-breathed, not just a few verses from the New Testament. If I read it, I get to know Him. If I know Him, I know His will for my life. I know right from wrong. I know the way to heaven and eternal life! But, here is the catch - during my training I quite often need rebuking and correction. While that is not fun, I put myself in the hands of the greatest, most merciful, fair and loving Teacher of all time. His goal is that I will pass with flying colors!