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The Bible

He said to them, “This is what I told you while I was still with you: Everything must be fulfilled that is written about me in the Law of Moses, the Prophets and the Psalms.” Luke 24:44

As I’ve progressed in the study of the Bible, I’ve learned that the entire Bible teaches us about one subject – Jesus.  From beginning to end Jesus appears.  He is part of the creation team, the angel of the Lord speaking to Hagar, the prophecy of Isaiah, and so much more.  So, when Jesus, after His resurrection, reminds the disciples that His death fulfilled all that the Old Testament taught us we should be spurred to investigate further.

He told them, “This is what is written: The Messiah will suffer and rise from the dead on the third day, and repentance for the forgiveness of sins will be preached in his name to all nations, beginning at Jerusalem. Luke 24:46-47

You can buy a Bible that only includes the New Testament.  But that would be like getting dropped into the middle of a battle not knowing why it started and which side you should be on!  And while there are so many great lessons and the message of salvation in Matthew, Mark, Luke and John the full weight of those gifts lies in the cornerstones set in Genesis, Exodus, Deuteronomy, Psalms, Isaiah and more.

It’s believed the first book of the Bible written was Job, around 2000 BC. After that the 10 Commandments and then the Book of the Law were placed in the Ark of the Covenant around 1000 BC.  The New Testament books were written about 50 AD.   Emperor Constantine commissioned the Codex Vaticanus, considered the original entire Bible, in 312 AD.  And in 1381, John Wycliffe defied church authority and began translating the Bible into English and distributing handwritten books to laypeople.  With the advent of the printing press in 1455, the Bible began its journey to being one of the most popular books ever printed.

I’m so thankful God took His Word and through man put it in this book we call the Bible.  With it we can learn about His character, His promises and fulfillment of them, His expectations, His plans for us.  My Bible sat for years gathering dust, not respecting its long history and those who died to make it accessible to all.  It seemed unwieldy and confusing.  Through the work of the Holy Spirit, teachers and the fellowship of Christians I’ve come to see the beautiful story, the amazing truth of Jesus, Son of God.  The Bible is a living document, one which grows with us as we dig deeper into our faith.

Today on this great day of Thanksgiving in the United States I want to spur you to open your Bible.  To read the history of our broken world.  To read the entire, true story of a God who loves us.  Of a God who never leaves us.  Of a God who promises to deliver us from our sins.  Of a God who sent His son to be sacrificed so that we will be brought home, cleaned and forgiven.

bible study, Christian, Christian Church, christian encouragement, christian men, Faith, Jesus Follower, Uncategorized

Faithful Healing

I have seen their ways, 
but I will heal them; 
I will guide them and 
restore comfort to 
Israel’s mourners.
Isaiah 57:18

In our lives we all have had instances of brokenness, despair and desolation. Those times when we feel we are on our last leg, at the end of the rope about to lose our grip and fall on our last gasping breath before we give up and begin to drown.

Where we go from that point and what we do next speaks volumes about your current state of faith.

Do we lash out and blame those around us and our circumstances for the state of our woundedness? Or do we reach down into our inner core and summon the power of God’s promise to deliver us to a better place?

What I have learned about myself from facing trials in the workplace is that my faith, when strong, protects me with an armor of perspective. When I am weak and not connected with my faith, I am vulnerable to believe false accusations and claims of harm and wrongdoing. I recognize it, I know the feeling and know the damage it can do if I accept and embrace the crushing doubt.

When we are hurt we can reach in or reach out to God

What my defense mechanism triggers is a quick accounting of the facts: what do I have control of and what do I not have control of? Next, I better get right with God and do it quick. I remind myself — I am not in control, He is. Then and only then can I respond and act. Any other process, for me, is futile and ineffective.

One of my favorite scripture verses I lean on in times of introspection and self-assessment is this one:

And which of you by worrying 
can add a single hour to his 
life’s span?
Luke 12:15

Uhhhh, guilty!

And if I am on my game and thinking clearly my first response is to slow everything down and pray. Asking for discernment, clarity, and focus surprisingly works like a gem. Once we slow our racing mind, cool our sweaty brow and take control of our breathing in an effort to focus on who is in controls then the problems diminish, and the solutions come into clearer perspective.

God is that lens of clarity we all need. We are many times our own problem. But as Jesus promises, we –as in me and Jesus together– are the solution. “Don’t be afraid; just believe”- Luke 8:50

He said to her, “Daughter, 
your faith has healed you. 
Go in peace and be freed 
from your suffering.”
Mark 5:34 

Time after time in scripture Jesus proved and made examples of the power of healing through faith in the Lord. Jesus was the conduit, but faith was the pathway to the healing and rebirth.

Then your light will break 
forth like the dawn, and your 
healing will quickly appear; 
then your righteousness will 
go before you, and the glory 
of the Lord will be your rear 
guard.
Isaiah 58:8

It’s a partnership of pulling together. It is not a miraculous anointment from heaven, a surprise cleansing. It takes suffering, acknowledgement, surrender and faith.

Together, bound by faith and confidence, we are everything and anything we want to be. Alone, divided and broken we are only a sum of the remaining pieces–weakened by trial and doubt.

We all can heal, but only if our belief in the Lord is strong and steadfast.

30daysofpraise, christian encouragement, Uncategorized

Dirty Knees, Bountiful Harvest


Is there someone in your life you are praying for – praying they will know God and surrender to Jesus?  I have a few friends and family members on my prayer list that I lift up continuously to the Lord.  He is our great Harvester but as He says in Luke 10:2,

“The harvest is plentiful but the workers are few.”

Luke 10:2

 We don’t know who is on God’s list of the “elect” so it’s our job as His field workers to get on our knees and pray for those around us.  For when we pray, we are then opening ourselves up to direction from the Almighty.  It’s one thing to pray for ourselves – our sins, our hurts, and our needs – but those of us who have offered up ourselves to God are already saved.  Our eternal place in heaven’s field of flowers is set. So, when we plead with God for those we love, it brings about something new.


When you Google the words “Harvest Celebration” you get to the Wikipedia page, “Harvest Festival.”  It says, “Ample food and freedom from the necessity to work in the fields are two central features of harvest festivals: eating, merriment, games, music and romance are common features around the world.”  Just think how much grander the harvest festival is in the spiritual world!  God celebrates each time a new seed is planted, nurtured and brought into His ample basket.  And, as His field workers we are called to play small parts in each of those steps.


I chose this topic today to send up praise of thanksgiving to our God who loves us bountifully.  He answers our prayers fully that reflect His will.   Here’s how I know this.  This answered prayer starts with a reflection on my family.  My mother is the daughter of a Baptist minister.  She has a tenuous relationship with God, at best. Unfortunately, there weren’t field workers willing to nurture her through questions and feelings of mistrust.  She saw Christians show up to church each week and act devout then leave the church doors and sin.  My father is an atheist.  He had no upbringing in the church and no friends who shared their faith.  What little exposure they’ve had to God was through my mother’s sister who had many mental and family issues.  In spite of this, I always believed in God.  I had a friend that I occasionally attended church with but the majority of the people around me never spoke of their faith – if they had any.  I married into a devout Presbyterian family.  Boy, were they worried about me!  Funny enough, my own parents were concerned when I told them I was going to church.  Fast forward to the last few years.  My parents and I never talk about my beliefs.  I don’t hide them.  But we just have not had another conversation centered around faith since I announced I was attending church.  I asked a pastor once when I should just give up on some people – like my parents.  He said, “Oh, you never give up!  Just like God never gives up on you!”  And so, as I have surrendered my life over to Christ, I’ve started praying more for others.

After watching the amazing movie, War Room, I set up a prayer area.  On my wall I have cards filled with prayers for other people.  One of those is for my parents:

“Lord, you are the only one who can break the bonds holding my parents down.  With all your heavenly might break the tall and strong walls they have built around their hearts and minds.  Lord, grab a hold of them and pull them from the fire!”

I’ve been praying this prayer now for about a month.  The other day I added to the prayer, “Show me what part, even the smallest part, I need to do to help you accomplish this.”  That very afternoon I stopped by their house to check in on them.  My dad started talking about a book series he’s reading called, “The Saxon Series.”  It’s an historical drama set in England.  He shared that he had never understood what the “Holy Ghost” was or how the trinity worked until he read these books.  Apparently, there’s a character in the book who refers to Jesus as “the nailed God” and priest who refers to the trinity as, “Father, Son and the other guy.”  What ensued was a conversation about the role of the divine in each part of the trinity.  I shared how when Jesus was crucified, he let the disciples know that another would come in his place to be with us always – the Holy Spirit.  We talked about how much of the New Testament is written to churches who were either going astray or who needed support due to persecution.  We also talked about the roles in the Old Testament of pagan gods versus The Almighty God.  It. Was. Amazing.

Here’s the thing, I had written off my father as someone who would never come to know Jesus because he is an atheist.  I thought my mom would possibly come around because of her faith background.  But it was my father with whom I was having this conversation!

When I left the house I was stunned.  I praised God for answered prayers.  And, I thanked God for this: I was prepared.  If this conversation had come up five or ten years ago, I would not have been able to speak so confidently and easily about these topics.  God was preparing me for that day, that moment.  I know the salvation of my parents is not my responsibility.  I was just the field hand, who had been on my knees praying and pleading for God to help them.  And if I needed to play some small role, I was ready to do the work.  I will keep praying for them until either the day of their passing or the day of their surrender.

We can never know the hour God will gift us with answered prayers.  Just like I really have no idea when my green tomatoes will finally turn red and be ready for harvest.  Until then I get my knees dirty working in His name.

30daysofpraise, christian encouragement, Uncategorized

Code Blue: God Needed In Room 1


Have you ever felt like your entire world is falling apart?  Sometimes everything just feels broken.  Marriages, children, health, finances – all the pieces of our life that can take turns for the worse. At times we might just need a little physical therapy on one part of our life.  Or some psychotherapy.  During smaller crises an aspirin will do the trick.  During any of these large or small life emergencies one doctor is always on call – God.

Charles Stanley’s Life Principle # 8 advises, “Fight all your battles on your knees and you win every time.”  It’s based on 2 Samuel 15:31. King David’s family was a mess.  His one son, Ammon, rapes David’s daughter, Tamar.  His other son, Absalom kills Ammon.  Had it stopped there they might have been able to work out their issues.  But David forgot the one action that managed to resolve so many issues – turning to God.  What ensued was brewing hatreds, deceit, more murder, and kingdoms in peril.   David needed to call the doctor, on his knees.  In fact, after so many hurts and misunderstandings that’s what he finally did.  And God began working out David’s trials for his good.

Praise God that he is the ultimate diagnostician.  When we get on our knees first when facing life’s problems, it puts Him in charge of helping us fix them.  We have such a limited view of solutions at times — our emotions and fears direct us rather than say, grace, mercy and forgiveness.  God sees the whole body and what we really need.  That doesn’t mean there’s always a quick fix.  In fact, God frequently uses our brokenness to gain greater peace in our lives.  I love what Joyce Meyer, who was physically abused by her father for many years, once said about God’s healing spirit:

“God has done so much in my life, and my desire is to help others who are hurting to receive his love and get the healing they need – mentally, emotionally and spiritually.  I know the Word works and total restoration is possible in Christ because I’ve experienced it myself.”

Joyce Meyer

Jesus, God’s earthly partner in His medical practice, came to heal all our deep wounds.  Yes, he physically took away some afflictions but he came primarily to heal our souls and hearts.  When he sat and ate at Levi’s house, along with a large crowd of the famed, evil tax collectors, the Pharisees chastised him: “Why do you eat and drink with tax collectors and sinners?”  Jesus’ poignant response was: “It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick.  I have come not to call the righteous, but sinners to repentance.”  When we come to him with our sins about money, unforgiveness, lack of humility, anger, infidelity, and so much more he brings out the ambulance to rescue us.  But if we never call 911 we are left to our own meager and, at times, more destructive treatments.

What if, in the midst of your trial, your life emergency, you drop to your knees and call up the ultimate doctor?  He might give you an answer you would’ve never expected.  And just like our worldly antibiotics routines, we need to take all His medicine faithfully.  

Enjoy this great song by Matthias Worship called “Every Bone.” Please share with us today how God has rescued and healed you.

30daysofpraise, christian encouragement, Uncategorized

The Sweetest Name…..

I’m a doer. I consider Martha from Luke 10:41 my Bible spirit. My “Love Language” is definitely acts of service. I’m working on being Martha’s sister Mary — loving Jesus in pure love and adoration. We frequently compare ourselves to others we admire and usually find ourselves wanting. I told a sweet friend of mine the other day that I realize I surround myself with a lot of “Marys” — women who I consider a lot nicer and kinder than myself. She responded with, “You are such a compassionate person.” That’s because she’s so nice.

So here I am in the midst of something that doesn’t come naturally to me — singing words of praise and love for God. He always manages to put our flaws front and center, doesn’t He? I’ve come to just look up and laugh along. The Martha in me kicked into high gear with this “project” He set on my heart. I started researching what famous pastors have said about praise. I gathered songs that spoke to loving God. I’ve discovered poetry and art which praises the Lord. I’ve also started following other blogs. One such blog is by Carol Congalton. I really don’t know much about her except she is a Mary. She has a great gift for words in expressing her love and joy and wonder for God. She’s also very funny. She posted this beautiful little essay on God’s sweetness that I had to share with you. Enjoy!