Excellent interview of Dr. Richard Bartlett, a Midland, Texas, doctor using science in the use of inhaled anti inflammatory meds against COVID. Very good information, alleviating the fear of COVID with successful treatment using Budesonide. Scroll to the bottom of the article linked below and watch the video. Well worth your time. Take this to your doctor.
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May Focus on Darlene’s Ponderings, Prayers, and Praises (FB)
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The Secret place
“You hide them in the secret place of Your presence from the conspiracies of man; You keep them secretly in a shelter from the strife of tongues.”
Psalms 31:20 NASB
“But when you pray, go into your [most] private room, and, closing the door, pray to your Father, Who is in secret; and your Father, Who sees in secret, will reward you in the open.”
Matthew 6:6 AMPC
I stopped seeing the secret place as a physical closet long ago, when God began bringing me deep into understanding of my body, His Temple. Within that temple, the Holy of Holies, flung wide open to me by Jesus, my Lord, King, and Savior. There I meet heart to heart with The Triune.
Practice meeting Him there produces a deep, abiding relationship, making entering and remaining in the Secret Place easier, and faster; more complete and eternal – here and now Kingdom Living. There Peace that passes understanding resides. There Life finds its Umpire, and Love sparks the flames of freedom from all fear in His evident Power and Presence.
That is where we need to be in this season. That place allows full and effective function in Christ, bearing the image of God in the earth as we minister peace and love on earth. That place is ever sure, real, and readily available as we learn to rightly use the keys to it’s Secret unfolding.
Praying for the USA
Is anything too difficult for God?
“These United States in God’s hands: peaceful, unified, and powerful, with God as our One Wisdom.” #DeclareIt
“The king’s heart is (or national leaders hearts are) in the hand of the LORD, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.” – Proverbs 21:1 NKJV (added thought)
A Little Hug from Heaven
You may not be able to see him/her well, but turn the volume up and you will hear the hummingbird barking at me. It’s the first one in our area that I’ve heard bark. I didn’t know that they did that until Steve Cook told me about it.
It was his last trip stateside from his Jericho mission field, just weeks before God took him. Several weeks after he went back home, I got the news of his passing while I was at a Heart Quest women’s retreat. It was our first morning and we were about to head out for a day of solitude with God in prayer. Johnny offered to come get me so I could tend to Steve’s business, but Steve had been so excited when he heard I was going on that retreat, I knew he would want me to stay.
Several months before that retreat, I developed a horrid case of sciatica. It was so bad, I was leaning heavy on a cane to walk. Temptation came to cancel my trip or postpone to another, but I knew I was to go, and Johnny felt so too, so he ordered a scooter for me to use on our wilderness day. On that day, heavy hearted over Steve and sad that I had to stay close for the restroom and couldn’t head out into the land, I parked under a huge tree to get into the study for our day and to pray.
Talking to Father about being sad I couldn’t get out and see some of the wildlife we were told about, I heard a huge bee flying at the back of my head. Sitting very still, I prayed it would go on, which it did. Shortly I heard it again, up and to the left of me, but I ignored it and continued praying.
Suddenly it started barking at me! Looking up at “the bee”, I found instead the biggest, pinkest hummingbird I believe I have ever seen. He kept barking as if he was telling me something very important. I just know he was saying how pretty my bright, pink hat was and how much he liked it, but that it wasn’t very nice of me to wear something that looked so flower like and trick him that way. Message received, he flew away.
Remembering our conversation when I learned that they barked from Steve and hearing that for myself on the day we learned of Steve’s passing was like a hug of comfort from heaven. Now, to hear it again here at home on a day I had to comfort my husband as his last day of work has arrived, don’t you just know that Jesus (with Steve nearby giving his “amen” to every word) is interceding on our behalf and standing with us as we head into a major change of life. God is good all the time, and today I give Him glory for a little hug from heaven.
By the way, at the end of that retreat, I went home swinging that cane as I walked. That is another story of God’s work in life.
“Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our affliction so that we will be able to comfort those who are in any affliction with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For just as the sufferings of Christ are ours in abundance, so also our comfort is abundant through Christ. But if we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and salvation; or if we are comforted, it is for your comfort, which is effective in the patient enduring of the same sufferings which we also suffer; and our hope for you is firmly grounded, knowing that as you are sharers of our sufferings, so also you are sharers of our comfort.” (2 CORINTHIANS 1:3-7 NASB)
Temporary Happiness or Permanent Contentment?
I agree wholeheartedly, Aqua. Thanks for sharing God’s Truth.
(11) Not that I speak in respect of want: for I have learned, in whatsoever state that I am, therewith to be content. (Philippians 4:11 KJV)
Something has been bothering me these past few weeks. I love to read other people’s blogs and get a sense of their personalities. Some bloggers inspire me to keep writing but here’s what bothers me. It saddens me that Christian Bloggers who teach God’s word barely get any views/likes. While those who blog Ten Steps to Happiness gets hundreds of views/likes. Here is why this makes me sad 95% of these self-help blogs leave God out of it completely. I begin to realize that their preaching temporary happiness. It’s disguised as self-improvement and there is nothing wrong with self-improvement but my problem is why not seek the one who created you. Why not seek the one who knows you better than you know your…
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Time to Praise
Today’s school shooting is not time to question and doubt God’s love and power. It’s time to realize the true battle and our most powerful weapon of war, our praise and worship of God.
Day of Prayer for the Night Seasons
The next Day of Prayer Event is posted on Facebook at Darlene’s Ponderings, Prayers, and Praises Day of Prayer in April. I hope you will join me there on April 26, wherever you are. We are praying for those in overwhelming situations that just seem unending, called Night Seasons. Those in a Long Night need prayers for perseverance, wisdom, hope’s assurance, and God’s response. Who just came to your mind? Come join us and let’s cover them in prayer together.
“Then they cried out to the LORD in their trouble; He delivered them out of their distresses. …” Psalms 107:6, 13, 19, 28 NASB
Below you will find a pdf file for a flyer and participation info you can share to invite others to participate. Hope you will join us wherever you are.
Tomorrow We Pray for School Security
I’m so excited for this first Day of Prayer focus, and so excited for you all joining us in it. I really appreciate all those sharing the event, inviting friends to join us (to help with that, see the links below). There are many more participants than evident in reported numbers. I am amazed at the move of God, calling His kids to join His heart for our schools. Praise His Holy Name!
If you are not following my page – Darlene’s Ponderings, Prayers, and Praises on Facebook – I hope you will become part of this branch of God’s army. The foci for future events are already coming together, and I would love for you to join us.
I hope you can follow posts today as we prepare our hearts for tomorrow. Tomorrow we will worship through the day together with songs and scripture thoughts for prayer posted about every hour. For those wondering how to participate while walking through the demands of your busy lives, here’s suggestions and encouragement for ways to be faithful through the day.
Prayer Reminder Tips for Busy Lives
With all the demands on our lives, many people struggle to give themselves to a day of prayer (and fasting). It is good if we are in a position to lock ourselves away from the outside world and give full focus to the Word of God and focused prayer. If you are able to do that, please do; and pray for the prayer warriors while you are at it.
For those who can’t do that, here are some suggestions to give yourself some focus in your participation with us:
1. Trust God! Trust Him to draw your focus and direct your heart and protect your time.
2. Find a physical reminder: set something nearby that can be used to prompt prayer when it catches your eye; set a timer to go off every hour; put a ring on a finger you seldom wear a ring on – it will draw your attention to prayer when you bump it.
3. When your reminder gets your attention, go to the next verse or series in Ps. 27 and let it’s Words inspire your prayer. Or come to our FB page to see the scriptures and/or listen to the songs with a prayerful heart.
4. Remember to BREATHE: Prayer is exhaling to God’s ear the faith and belief that He is the solution; and inhaling the peace and hope He gives. Give every breath to Him and watch Him do it!!!
Father, we are willing. Make us able by Your all-sufficient grace. In Jesus, BREATHE through us for the good of our schools. Amen.
Thanks again for joining in! Yay!
Day of Prayer Flyers
I hope you join us as we pray for Schools, Students, Faculty, and Staff on on Tuesday, March 27. To help you spread the word and involve others in your community and Church, here is a link to a PDF file. It includes a flyer and materials meant to unite us in heart as we pray in a scattered group.
A Day of Prayer
Join us Tuesday the 27th for a day of prayer (fasting) over our schools, focusing our prayer thoughts on the wisdom found in Psalm 27. #prayerchangesthings
Darlene’s Ponderings, Prayers, and Praises.
What in the world is going on? Catastrophic hurricanes, earthquakes, floods, terrorism, nuclear threats. Is God trying to tell us something? Yes.
This is truth. Church, put on the cloak of Christ (Colossians 3) and the armor of God (Ephesians 6:10-18); and take a knee (2 Chronicles 7:14). Fight the good fight of faith and take your stance in Christ.
What in the world is going on?
Hurricane Harvey drops 33 trillion gallons of rainfall on the U.S. Experts say the floods are a once-in-a-thousand-years event. Now Hurricane Irma is bearing down on Florida. Historic, sustained winds of at least 185 miles-per-hour. Devastation in the Caribbean has been catastrophic. Experts say Florida and other American states could face the same.
At the same time, Mexico experiences the worst earthquake in a century. Record-breaking floods are devastating Asia. Half of Bangladesh is reportedly underwater. 100,000 homes have been destroyed. Forty million people face severe and potentially life-threatening food and water shortages. Russia is preparing to mass upwards of 100,000 troops on the borders of three NATO countries for a massive series of war games that some fear is a prelude to war in Europe. The genocidal slaughter continues in Syria. Terror attacks are occurring around the globe. North Korea threatens to…
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Backside of Glory
Trust In The Lord and Be Established
13 Days of Trust in the Lord and do good. Day 2: 2 Chronicles 20:20
“…put your trust in the Lord your God and you will be established. Put your trust in His prophets and succeed.”
The Lord will “establish” the person who truly and fully trusts in Him. There is no need to feel like you cannot fit in, like there is no room for you, no place or position that is yours to possess, when you wholeheartedly trust the Lord to establish you. He has your spot ready, and He wants to prepare you for your spot. To fully comprehend this promise, let’s look at what it means to be established, and then we will touch on steps needed to get there.
Established means to set up on a firm or permanent basis; to cause to become regular or usual; to receive permanent acceptance or recognition; to cause to be able to grow or thrive; to show something to be true or certain by determining the facts.
God establishes us by growing us up in Christ, by training us and making us faithful to Him as first in all things, causing us to stand out in the gifts, talents, and abilities He is establishing in us. So our first responsibility in cooperating with Him is to be the best student of His flock.
As we show ourselves faithful students and servants of God, He causes us to stand out to those in authority, whether in a church or secular setting. These call on us as the one God has ready to meet a need. No matter how small the opportunity may look, if God inspires us to take it as an assignment from Him, our responsibility then is to jump in wholeheartedly, doing the work as unto the Lord, with joy of heart, putting our best effort into it, knowing we represent Him in all we do.
These are the things that make us known in His Kingdom work and in life. Whether our job is within a Christian organization or in the secular workforce, we represent Him in all we do. All He puts in our heart to do, every opportunity He leads us to, prepares and establishes us.
God’s promises are backed by the honor of His name. We can trust Him in all things to fulfill His promises for His Name’s sake.
In like fashion, we are to be people of reputation, having a good name as being a trustworthy person of notable character, integrity, and work-ethic, rightly representing Him wherever we are. These are the things that lead to promotion, establishing us as the people of God, keeping Him first in all things.
Psalm 37:23-24 “The steps of a man are established by the Lord, And He delights in his way. When he falls, he will not be hurled headlong, Because the Lord is the One who holds his hand.”
God Blesses Those Who Trust Him
13 Days of Trust in the Lord and do good. Day 1: Jeremiah 17:7
“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.”
God blesses us in every way as we trust in Him: Body, Labors, Emotional/Economic, Social, Spiritual. That is the promise I see in this introductory verse to our look at the subject of trusting God. As we begin, the fist thing we need to grasp is what trust truly is, so that we know that we are truly trusting.
First: trust is in God, He is our hope.
One mistake I see over and over is people decide what they want from God and inadvertently put faith in their desire instead of in God to do what is best. Trust in God sees a need and knows God, Himself, is the answer. Disappointment comes when our desired outcome overshadows trust in God’s sovereign will.
Second: full confidence is in God.
In this past year, God is teaching me greater depth of confident trust. My husband is in a fight with prostate cancer – stage 5. Even before we had a diagnosis, God began bringing my heart to confidence in Him.
I know God CAN heal Johnny if He is willing, and the Spirit says to my heart that He is willing. I just don’t know if that healing will be this side of eternity. Why? The confident hope God led us to grasp is Acts 17:24-28.
“The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since HE Himself GIVES TO ALL PEOPLE LIFE and BREATH and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, HAVING DETERMINED THEIR APPOINTED TIMES and the boundaries of their habitation, that they would seek God, if perhaps they might grope for Him and find Him, though He is not far from each one of us; for IN HIM WE LIVE and move and exist, as even some of your own poets have said, ‘For we also are His children.’”
My confidence is the truth that it is God who gives life, breath, and all things, empowering us to live move and exist, and He long ago laid out the course and habitation of Johnny’s life. Knowing God can heal and is willing to do so is my confident hope. Trusting God, who has determined our appointed times and the boundaries of our habitation to accomplish His will in Johnny’s course, is the test of faith’s trust before me. It is confidence in God that empowers one to pray as Jesus did, “Lord, this is too hard a cup to drink. Please spare me if possible. Yet not my will, but Thy will be done.”
Confident trust knows God can give us our desire and prays with hope for it, while simultaneously knowing God is working His eternal purpose. Bowing to His will, it trusts His best to be done. Waiting patiently for it, this trust walks confidently into God’s will, God’s way.
“Blessed are those who trust in the Lord and have made the Lord their hope and confidence.”
Comforted by God
Have you ever heard a hummingbird bark? I didn’t even know they did such until our dear friend, Steve Cook, last visited us. He was a missionary in Jericho, West Bank (or Israel, dependent on who you ask). When he came home for a respite, he would stay with us as a home base. He told us his last visit here about the hummingbird’s bark.
Several weeks after he returned to Jericho, I went on a Christian Heart Quest retreat. The morning after our arrival to the retreat site, they put me through to a call from my husband, who let me know that Steve passed away from an aortic aneurism. He offered to drive down to get me, so I could tend to needful things, as I was Steve’s stateside office manager. Steve was so excited when I told him about the retreat, I knew he would want me to stay, so I did.
While our retreat leadership was setting things up for our week, we were tasked to go out into the countryside for a time of fasting and prayer. I was crippled by sciatica at that time, leaning heavily on a cane, so Johnny ordered me a scooter for that day. I didn’t go far, but was able to get out a ways.
Sitting under a group of trees, letting the Lord minister to my grieving heart as I prepared for a week of intense study of His Word and seeking His face, I hear what sounded like a huge bee, behind my hot pink hat on my head. I ignored it, keeping my thoughts Godward. Shortly I hear the same, rapid-wing noise above and to the left. Looking up, there is a beautiful hummingbird hovering over me. As I catch site of Him, he starts barking at me as if to say, “That’s a beautiful color on your head, but it’s not nice of you to trick me so.”
I laughed for joy over the sound of a barking hummingbird that came to me as a hug of comfort from my God.
All That I Am
“The Lord has established His throne in the heavens, And His sovereignty rules over all. Bless the Lord, you His angels, Mighty in strength, who perform His word, Obeying the voice of His word! Bless the Lord, all you His hosts, You who serve Him, doing His will. Bless the Lord, all you works of His, In all places of His dominion; Bless the Lord, O my soul!” (Psalm 103:19-22, NASB)
This is my greatest need, to bless the Lord in all things, praising Him with all that I am: to seek after, search out, and know my God. There is no greater need I have than to seek Him, find Him, and serve Him with a “yet not my will, but Thy will be done” heart. With this fulfilled, no matter the storms all around me, “it is well, it is well with my soul.”
Upon This Rock
“I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Matthew 16:18
The name “Peter” means rock. Some believe that Jesus is telling Peter that he is the rock upon which He will build His church, but that is not what Jesus is saying here. The true meaning of this statement is found both in the context of the passage and the subtle differences in the words Jesus used for “Peter” and “rock”.
“Now when Jesus came into the district of Caesarea Philippi, He was asking His disciples, “Who do people say that the Son of Man is?” And they said, “Some say John the Baptist; and others, Elijah; but still others, Jeremiah, or one of the prophets.” He said to them, “But who do you say that I am?” Simon Peter answered, “You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.” And Jesus said to him, “Blessed are you, Simon Barjona, because flesh and blood did not reveal this to you, but My Father who is in heaven. I also say to you that you are Peter, and upon this rock I will build My church; and the gates of Hades will not overpower it.” Matthew 16:13-18
In this passage, Jesus is checking the understanding of His followers concerning who Jesus is. To Peter’s correct answer about Jesus being the expected Christ, promised by God, Jesus responds with a proclamation meant to deepen His followers comprehension of who He is and their vital relationship with him:
“I also say to you that you are Peter (Petros – a piece of rock), and upon this rock (Petra – mass of rock, complete boulder) I will build My church….”
Peter was part of God’s plan for building Christ’s church, and yes, Peter was a main leader in that. But I believe Paul defines what Jesus meant by His proclamation.
“And He came and preached peace to you who were far away, and peace to those who were near; for through Him we both have our access in one Spirit to the Father. So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints, and are of God’s household, having been built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus Himself being the corner stone, in whom the whole building, being fitted together, is growing into a holy temple in the Lord, in whom you also are being built together into a dwelling of God in the Spirit.” Ephesians 2:17-22
The apostles and prophets are the foundation, each one being a piece of The Rock; but Jesus is The Rock upon which the foundation is secured, the cornerstone upon which all is secured as one. Then each of us who are firmly secured into our place in Christ form the building blocks of His church. Together we are ONE in CHRIST, each part of the whole.
The apostles and prophets of the foundation signify the Word of God sent through them. Jesus being The Word makes the foundation one whole with the Cornerstone. Each one of us who are firmly seated on the foundation of truth taught through these founding fathers, are secured by Christ, the Cornerstone. He will not let us fall or fail. The more we become one with Christ and The Word, the greater our unity as The Church.
Added thought: Jesus called Peter “Simon Barjona” when he responded correctly to His query. Simon was Peter’s birth name. Barjona means “to stab” as with a Sword. May we be Swords in the Lord’s army, stabbing hearts with the truth of God so others may be secured to the firm foundation.
The Practice of Focus
MY sweet husband, in pain, says, “This is the worst day yet,” as he struggles to move. Then he begins thanking me for my care for him. That’s my husband: realize the struggle, but focus on the blessings in the midst of it.
The Apostle Paul of the Holy Bible encourages us to realize the importance of contentment in all circumstances (Philippians 4). One of the greatest aids to contentment when trouble screams for our attention is the practice of focusing on the blessings all around us, being grateful for the good that trouble seeks to rob from us. Learning to see the beauty in life and taking time to smell the roses helps us walk a life of contentment in the midst of pain.
Oh, Those Bath Days!
Today is Missy’s bath day. She is too big to bathe in the sink, and too heavy for me, getting her out of the tub: plus, my knees don’t handle that well any more, so off she goes to the vet for a spa day every 2 weeks.
Getting her ready to go is not a problem. She hears her leash come off it’s hook, and the excitement is on. She loves a good road trip and pulls me readily to the car. Seated happily in Johnny’s lap, she eyes every site and takes in all the smells.
This morning, as I pull into a parking spot, she starts sniffing the air vent like crazy. Obvious recognition in her eyes, her happy face drooping with every breath, she glares at me, “I don’t like where you parked!” I know that’s what she said.
Getting her reluctant body out of the car, I sit her down and the battle is on. She wants back in the car immediately! When that doesn’t happen, her goal becomes that of getting me to change course. Fighting her over the threshold, she wearily follows me to the desk. While I take care of business, she stands like a pointer, leash taught, making sure I know where the door is and begging, “Please! Help me.” Little does she know that she stinks, and my nose keeps me pointed toward her bath.
This morning, as our ritual dance at the desk plays out, she suddenly grabs my attention with some extra exuberant tugs on the line. Looking back, she points intently at the door. A woman, just stepping to the door, reaches the handle and pulls. Missy’s excited eyes and joyful tug scream, “Hurry! The door is open. Now’s our chance.” 😂
Missy is a lot of laughs for us. She is so expressive and so smart. But there are times when we know what is best for her, so we fight to get her where she needs to be. It is the same with God and us mere mortals. We so often tug against something God is leading us to, not liking the discomfort of getting there. I wonder if He laughs at us like we do Missy.
Jeremiah 29:10-11 “For thus says the Lord, ‘When seventy years have been completed for Babylon, I will visit you and fulfill My good word to you, to bring you back to this place. For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the Lord, ‘plans for welfare and not for calamity to give you a future and a hope.'”
I don’t know if you have ever read Jeremiah. It is worth the read, if not. In it, God calls His people to willingly go into captivity, promising those who do will find His faithful presence and provision while going through a designated timeout from their destiny because of corporate sin. Many, the prophet Daniel being one, went willingly and found God’s faithfulness. Others, like the King of the day, refused to willingly follow God’s path. Most of them lost their lives the King lost his eyes, his freedom, and his throne. Kicking against goads God sets in our path only hurts our feet. And, as Missy will tell you, fighting the Master’s pull only chokes us down. Better we go willingly into the Father’s plan.
Proverbs 3:5-6 “Trust in the Lord with all your heart And do not lean on your own understanding. In all your ways acknowledge Him, And He will make your paths straight.”
That’s a promise. God is faithful to His Word. Question is, do we believe and trust Him, even when the road gets rough? If we choose faith and a willingness to walk His way, we will find ourselves shining like gold and smelling like a rose on the other side of the difficulty we dread.
Greetings, Mighty Warrior of God
“…The LORD is with you, mighty warrior…. Go in the strength you have…” – Judges 6:12-14.
“The Lord with you” is the strength of the mighty. Nothing will be impossible with God. Even contentment in every circumstance is empowered in those who remember “the Lord is with you”. He will get you to His plan for you as you trust in the Lord and do the good He strengthens you to do. So press forward, Mighty Warrior, and have a BLESSed day!
People say we are all made in the image of God. That was true in the beginning, but then came sin that distorted the image. From Adam on, all are born with this birth defect that is only healed in Christ.
I wish I could learn everything with ease and readily cooperate with God’s Spirit as He works to make in me that image made new through Christ. I must admit that some days are a struggle when I fail to remember the old me is dead, and live in the new creature Christ quickened in me. One thing I have noticed, in hard times that come, God’s presence in it makes the truth of who He is most evident to me. In those times, I learn of Him, and with greater surrender to the seed He is growing in me, desiring to be a faithful image bearer in Christ, more of me looks more like Him day by day.
As He changes me, I find greater ease in responding as He desires to the challenges found on the path of life. Never has that been more true than now, as I watch my dear husband fight a cancer that is out for his life. The peace I have in this season has me rested in my God who instructed me to trust His Word of promise:
Acts 17:24-26 “The God who made the world and all things in it, since He is Lord of heaven and earth, does not dwell in temples made with hands; nor is He served by human hands, as though He needed anything, since He Himself gives to all people life and breath and all things; and He made from one man every nation of mankind to live on all the face of the earth, having determined their appointed times and the boundaries of their habitation.”
This cancer is not in control. God is. He gives life and breath and all things to us, having determined our appointed times, setting in place the boundaries of our habitation. Nothing can move the boundaries set by God one second before the time appointed by Him, except our failure to trust and follow Him. Sin kills.
Our only care is to live each day, trusting in God, and making the most of the life and breath and all things He so graciously gives, while surrendering to His healing of our birth defect, making us to bear His image more clearly each day. I am grateful for the good and the hard, where God reveals Himself; and for Jesus, who paid the price of sin so I can be healed; and for His Spirit that heals the Image in me. Surrendered faith in God quickens for life more abundant and full.
For Joy, Endure
God is at Work
God has me reading the book of Philippians each day to the end of this month. He really has me meditating on 1:18-2:8. Then today, 2:12-13 stands out.
“So then, my beloved, just as you have always obeyed, not as in my presence only, but now much more in my absence, work out your salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”
All going on in my life right now coming to heart as I read it, God inspires me to consider whether I truly believe verse 13 to be true in the midst of all these trials and the struggle they bring to a life of faith.
“…for it is God who is at work in you, both to will and to work for His good pleasure.”
Do I truly believe this? Then, in whatever circumstance I am in, rejoice, trust the Lord, and do the good that is before me.
Here am I, O God.
Walk in Newness
I have been thinking about the song that says, “You (person) see broken; I (God) see mended.” (Mended, by Matthew West – https://youtu.be/JdIW0El0VBU) It is a very encouraging song, full of truth that strengthens the weary soul.
The song artist speaks of us “becoming new creations,” which is true if we fail to realize and walk in the fact that, in Christ, we ARE ALREADY a new creation, even now. If God has placed His Holy Spirit in us, like filling wine skins, we must be new skins made ready to receive Him.
God sees “new”; and so must we, if we are to be fitting skins for His Holy Presence within. As we put off the old by realizing we are in Christ, we become the new God already sees by the blood of the Lamb.
2 Corinthians 5:17 Therefore if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creature; the old things passed away; behold, new things have come.
Read 1 Peter 1:1-9.
“…In this you greatly rejoice, even though now for a little while, if necessary, you have been distressed by various trials, so that the proof of your faith, being more precious than gold which is perishable, even though tested by fire, may be found to result in praise and glory and honor at the revelation of Jesus Christ; and though you have not seen Him, you love Him, and though you do not see Him now, but believe in Him, you greatly rejoice with joy inexpressible and full of glory, obtaining as the outcome of your faith the salvation of your souls” ~ verses 6-9.
The thing that stands out to me as I read this is the word “necessary”. It says the trials God allows are only allowed IF NECESSARY, and that necessity has a glorious purpose: that some greatly needed “revelation of Jesus” come out of the fire with us.
The trials and tribulations God allows to touch the lives of His people He only allows out of necessity, in order to reveal Christ to and through us. For that to happen, does that not mean that Jesus is in the fire with us, even though we can’t see Him for the smoke and heat burning our proverbial eyes, and the flames blocking our view?
Take courage, Beloved of God. You, who are the “chosen according to the foreknowledge of God the Father, by the sanctifying work of the Spirit, to obey Jesus Christ and be sprinkled with His blood” are not alone. God will bring Glory’s good out of the flames of adversity.
Look at what this says and be filled with the confidence of Christ.
“And we know that God causes all things to work together for good to those who love God, to those who are called according to His purpose” ~ Romans 8:28.
“I AM THE LORD”
Call to the Prayer Warriors: Choose Sanctified Living
Wednesday, November 12, 2014
“As you sent Me into the world, I also have sent them into the world. FOR THEIR SAKES I sanctify Myself, that they themselves also may be sanctified in truth” (John 17:18-19).
This truth about Jesus’ choice to live a sanctified life for our sakes speaks example to me for my life today. Will I bow the knee, choosing to live the sanctified life for the sake of those in my sphere of influence, or not? That is our choice, and Jesus sat the example.
Pray today for your life of sanctification. How can others follow if we leave no visible path for them through our example? We are set apart to be His witnesses, bearing testimony through our visible lives, expressive of His glory. He chose sanctification for our sakes. Now is our chance to fulfill God’s purpose for our being by choosing to live sanctified lives for the sake of those in our sphere of influence.
(For more, read today’s Ponderings: https://darlenesponderings.com/2014/11/12/sanctified-for-their-sakes/)
Be Thou My Vision ~ Noel Richards: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6CMclLT_Hjg&index=2&list=PLfiEjLIYhJ9D5uO8HPNrboor4Oa8LaJdA
Recognizing and Defeating a Factious Spirit ~ Part 8
“These are grumblers, finding fault, following after their own lusts; they speak arrogantly, flattering people for the sake of gaining an advantage” ~ Jude 1:16.
Thus far, in covering actions and heart attitudes that cause divisions because of our being worldly-minded and devoid of the Spirit in an instant of action, we see that grumbling and faultfinding must be overcome by gratitude to God for the good in others and for His purpose fulfilled in times of trouble.
I read a quote yesterday that said, “God tests our obedience while the devil tests our faith” (Kristina Seymour). Trouble allowed by God comes to test our obedience to Him, while the devil intends it to prove the weakness of our faith and to tear down what we do possess of it. When discord hits our relationships, if we look closely at our hearts in the leading and power of God’s Spirit, at the center of every argument we will find ourselves given-over to some area of lust: God testing, proving, and disciplining us in areas of sin that easily entangle us.
In 1 John 2, God’s Word warns us, “Do not love the world nor the things in the world. If anyone loves the world, the love of the Father is not in him. For all that is in the world, the lust of the flesh and the lust of the eyes and the boastful pride of life, is not from the Father, but is from the world. The world is passing away, and also its lusts; but the one who does the will of God lives forever” (verses 15-17).
How does this fit our topic? I believe that in every argument each party involved believes they are completely right because they desire to be right (lust of the flesh). Their desire to be right colors their way of looking at the issue so that they cannot see full truth and admit to themselves how they are adding to the discord; instead, they see what they want to see (lust of the eyes). That leads to speaking out arrogantly, believing their position to be righteous and the other’s position set completely on falsehood (boastful pride of life). Statistics reveal that in most all controversy there is a right and a wrong on both sides of the issue. Failing to see where our understanding and actions are false, we speak out arrogantly, hurting our relationship with God and man, doing harm to our witness as a child of God in the process.
Believe me, this is a major struggle in my life. As one who struggles with a fear of rejection, I hate when I do something worthy of rejecting. A person who struggles with this issue I’ve heard called “a spirit of rejection” will go one of two ways in life: they will be a person who participates in the rejection by accepting all blame and beating themselves down in agreement with their accuser; or they will stand up and fight even when they are wrong. I stand up and fight when what I need is to…
“Be still, and know that I am God…” ~ Psalm 46:10.
Scripture tells us that the heart is deceptive above all else (Jeremiah 17:9). Because of our desire to be right and seen in a good light, we tend to lie to ourselves rather than seek the Father, who alone knows the hidden things of our hearts and can lead us to truth, repentance and the “still more excellent way” of love (1 Corinthians 12:31 ~ Read on through chapter 13). We can avoid much controversy and argument if we will get still before the Lord, trust our heart to Him, let Him speak truth to our heart, and trust Him to direct our path and our mouths to a right and true response. In this way, we come into the leading and power of God, avoiding actions and words that are devoid of Spirit.
“Guard your heart above all else, for it determines the course of your life” ~ Proverbs 4:23.
I can tell you from experience that I can truly turn to seek the Lord, and in the same step / breath, stumble over my flesh. In the midst of a controversial issue, standing guard over ones heart is vital to success in saying and doing the righteous things. This is the struggle, one Paul portrayed so well in his discourse found in Romans 7, “O unhappy and pitiable and wretched man that I am! Who will release and deliver me from the shackles of this body of death? O thank God! He will! through Jesus Christ our Lord! So then indeed I, of myself with the mind and heart, serve the Law of God, but with the flesh the law of sin” (verses 24-25, AMP). Thus my heart cries out day and night…
“Search me, O God, and know my heart; Try me and know my anxious thoughts; And see if there be any hurtful way in me, And lead me in the everlasting way” ~ Psalm 139:23-24.
Walk as Children of Light
Like a sun dog, shining bright to make the sun’s presence known,
so the children of God shine.
Have you ever seen a sun dog, or a picture of one? I have seen them but didn’t know what they were called until my husband sent me some excellent pictures of the phenomenon. Here are two he sent that are just spectacular, each speaking volumes to my heart.
In the first I see the brilliance of God shining forth in the center of the darkness. His rays radiate out to us on either side through Jesus Christ and the power of the Spirit of God, and through us to the world that cannot see because of the darkness.
In the second, the sun cannot be seen well because of the clouds. The spots radiating out on either side of the sun are what is truly visible…
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