Jesus Suffering Paid for My Pain

The Sovereign Lord has spoken to me, and I have listened; I have not rebelled or turned away. I offered my back to those who beat me and my cheeks to those who pulled out my beard. I did not hide my face from mockery and spitting. Because the Sovereign Lord helps me, I will not be disgraced. Therefore, I have set my face like a stone, determined to do his will. And I know that I will not be put to shame. (Isaiah 50:5-7; all verses from New Living Translation.)

Father, I have several problems in my spine and I know a number of other people who have back pain. 1 Peter 2:24 says that by His stripes we were healed. That means that when Jesus’ back was beaten, He was paying the price for my back pain and for the issues others have as well. Jesus conquered death when He rose again and in verse 5 He overcame the pain and sickness Satan puts on us. Continue reading

Doubt or Confidence?

A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course of victory,” said Arthur Golden. “I never seek to defeat the man I am fighting,” he explained. “I seek to defeat his confidence. A mind troubled by doubt cannot focus on the course to victory. Two men are equals – true equals – only when they both have equal confidence.” Continue reading

The Highest Way of Love

What can I do to show God I love Him? Various actions demonstrate our love, like reading the Bible, praying, serving however He asks, and giving our tithes and offerings. Trusting God, however probably is the highest way we prove our love. I don’t mean trusting Jesus as our Savior; that’s only the beginning when we grasp that Father God loved us enough to let His Son Jesus die in our place for our rebellion against God. Continue reading

Hidden Diamonds

A friend gives me a beautifully wrapped present, a 4″x4″ square but quite heavy. Why did she give me a gift, I wondered? It’s not my birthday or anything special. Excitedly, I open it and know she can see the disappointment on my face. But I can’t help it; I’m almost crying. Inside the gorgeous box was a dirty, ugly rock. I wished she had not given me anything rather than something like that. What must she think of our friendship?

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Yet Will I Praise Him

Famine, near starvation. What could be worse? That makes my problems seem not quite so bad. How about yours? Yes, they don’t go away because someone else’s are worse; they don’t even lessen. But it does help me gain perspective. Poor Habakkuh. His situation could not get any worse, but look at what he did! Continue reading

The Terrible Waiting Time

“Lord, I don’t care which way we go, just move us!” I prayed one day after my husband and I talked about putting our home on the market and moving. After two years passed, I didn’t really care if we moved or not, I simply wanted off that fence. Many pros and cons made us undecided which would be the better course for our family. My husband was unhappy in his job and didn’t find similar work in Austin. We were looking at other options out-of-town and even considering moving back to our hometown where our four parents lived and we had a few rentals. The more we looked the more confused the picture became. Sitting on the fence for so long became unbearable. I simply wanted a decision, at that time not really caring what the consequences were. Continue reading

Faith Requires a Decision

A victim of your circumstances? Yes, some things about our situation we can’t change. But we can change how we think about and react to that problem. We can have a victim mentality or we can have winner thinking. What do I mean by that?

In Luke 4:24-25 when Jesus spoke to the paralyzed man lying on the mat and told him to get up, the man had to choose to obey. He could have chosen not to believe Jesus and stayed lying there and been bedridden the rest of his life. But he chose the winner’s way. Jesus put mud on a man’s eyes and told him to go wash in the pool of Siloam (John 9:6-7). The man made a choice. He could have said, “Here’s water that’s closer, I’ll just wash in it,” but he wouldn’t have been able to see because he didn’t obey Jesus’ word to him. Again, faith required a decision. Continue reading

The Fight of Faith

Stepping out in faith never comes easily, but sometimes the battle turns long and drawn out. I think faith costs more dearly during those times. Look at Abraham, “the Father of Faith,” for an example. Abraham’s father Terah with Abraham and Sarah left Ur of the Chaldeans, where his family had lived for generations, to go to Haran. There they made their home and Terah died after a number of years. God told Abraham to leave there and go to a land He would show him. So Abraham took all his servants and all his possessions, including many cattle and sheep, and left without any idea of where he was going. Taking giant steps of faith, Abraham started walking. Continue reading

Am I Like Harry Houdini?

Phillip Baker, in his Daily Move, sent out this short message:
Harry Houdini once failed to unlock a door. He had never failed to pick a lock. So, what happened? The door was already unlocked. All he had to do was kick it open. Many times Christians believe a door is locked to them, when all they have to do is kick it open. What took place at Calvary unlocked everything. Continue reading

Bulldog Faith

Luke 18:35-41 tells the story of a blind man who shouted at Jesus when he heard the Messiah was coming into Jericho. Although the crowd told him to stop and tried to ignore him, the man yelled louder still until Jesus noticed him. When asked what he wanted, the man replied, “I want to see.” Immediately Jesus said, “Receive your sight; your faith has healed you.” This kind of faith demonstrates the bulldog principle because the man had to ignore the crowd and continue shouting until Jesus heard him. An even better example is in verses 1-5 of the same chapter where Jesus tells the parable of the woman crying out for justice before the unjust judge. After repeated requests from the woman, the judge finally gives in simply to get rid of her, admitting that he didn’t care anything about the laws of God or the rights of people; he grew tired of putting up with her. Now the point is that our heavenly Father is nothing like the unjust judge in not caring about us. He loves us more than we can imagine; however, sometimes for reasons we don’t understand, God will delay answers to our fervent prayers. Continue reading

Aggressive Faith

What is Aggressive Faith? Do we simply believe and patiently wait, or do we need to go after it and do something to help that faith be accomplished? Definitely I think there are times we need to patiently wait on God. Psalm 27:14 tells us: Wait on the Lord; Be of good courage, And He shall strengthen your heart; Wait, I say, on the Lord! This is like a little child eagerly awaiting a special birthday present; though he wants the day to quickly come, he must wait until it does. Sometimes God has set times to manifest the answer to whatever we’re praying for in faith. Whether He has to work with other people or other circumstances, we may not know, but in His time, it will come without any help from us. Continue reading

Circumstances against You? Keep on Trusting in Your God!

Isaiah 50:10-11 (Amplified Bible) states: “Who is among you who [reverently] fears the Lord, who obeys the voice of His Servant, yet who walks in darkness and deep trouble and has no shining splendor [in his heart]? Let him rely on, trust in, and be confident in the name of the Lord, and let him lean upon and be supported by his God. Behold, all you [enemies of your own selves] who attempt to kindle your own fires [and work out your own plans of salvation], who surround and gird yourselves with momentary sparks, darts, and firebrands that you set aflame! — walk by the light of your self-made fire and of the sparks that you have kindled [for yourself, if you will]! But this shall you have from My hand: you shall lie down in grief and in torment. [Isa 66:24.]” Continue reading

Faith versus Hope

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen (Hebrews 11:1 NKJV[1]).

He [Peter] came to the house of Mary, the mother of John whose surname was Mark, where many were gathered together praying. 13 And as Peter knocked at the door of the gate, a girl named Rhoda came to answer. 14 When she recognized Peter’s voice, because of her gladness she did not open the gate, but ran in and announced that Peter stood before the gate. 15 But they said to her, “You are beside yourself!” Yet she kept insisting that it was so. So they said, “It is his angel.” 16 Now Peter continued knocking; and when they opened the door and saw him, they were astonished (Acts 12:12-17). Continue reading

Rules and Faith

At the end of “The Three Chickadees” I stated I wished I had rules so that if you were a chickadee, every time you went to my feeder, you’d be guaranteed to get seed. In this case, however, the chickadees are believers and the feeder is God. Let’s consider the difference between living by rules and living by abiding in our Lord Jesus Christ. Rules are easier, I think, because then you can check off the boxes and be assured you’ve done all you need to. The Pharisees of the New Testament kept all the outward rules but didn’t have compassion for anyone and were the ones Jesus rebuked most because of that. They liked to be highly praised by men but that was all they gained from their religion. They didn’t have a clue about what God wanted from them. And they had no joy. Continue reading

The Three Chickadees

           As I watched my bird feeder at breakfast, I saw three chickadees trying to get some seed, which they were sure was inside the feeder. They went all around the tray on the outside but to no avail. Then two of them even pecked at the plastic sides of the feeder. They could see the seeds inside, but they would not come out. Why not? Continue reading

Between a Rock and a Hard Place

Sometimes life is simply hard, isn’t it? Email prayer requests come daily, and some cause me to realize anew just how hard life can be. But take heart! The NIV Bible on my phone sends me a chapter early every morning, and today’s was Isaiah 43. This chapter has been dear to my heart for years and at the end of this message you’ll find a poem I wrote a long time ago. Today, however, I turned on my computer and read that selection from The Message Bible[1]. How directly it speaks to us when life’s hard places hit us and try to overcome us! Continue reading

Going Deeper in the River

If you had grown up in Galveston on the Gulf Coast like I did, you would have gone to the beach often as a child. We still live near Galveston and our grandchildren have enjoyed going to the beach and playing in the water. Often my husband and I simply drive there and watch families take their small children wading so that the water comes up only a little ways. Older children go in deeper, of course, and surfers like to go still further out to ride the waves into shore. Shrimp boats certainly aren’t within swimming distance but are easily visible, while the oil tankers and container ships are out very deep so they are barely seen on the horizon. I thought of this last week while I was reading in the book of Ezekiel. Continue reading

Making Something out of Nothing

Sound impossible? It is for us but not for God because Luke 1:37 tells us, “Nothing is impossible with God.” The context is important: An angel has just announced to Mary, a virgin, that she will have a son; furthermore, her older relative Elizabeth, who was considered barren, is in her sixth month of pregnancy. Then the angel pronounces Nothing is impossible with God.

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