Friday, December 25, 2009

Merry Christmas!

DC's mtn home







This was where we stayed last weekend…snowed in at my uncle’s mountain getaway without cell phone coverage or internet for five days!  It was awesome!  The kids got to sled…first time ever on a real sled!

Now, back at home on this Christmas morning before the family awakes, I am reflecting on the blessings God has bestowed upon our family this year.  Like the opening lyrics to the classic carol, Oh Come All Ye Faithful, I am choosing  to be named among the faithful who are joyful and triumphant!

Faithful – Full of faith! Faith is the evidence of things not seen. God has been so real to me through the years, that I don’t need “proof” that athiests are looking for…I am proof! Yes, it is nice when I read a report that science has found another “proof” that goes along with what we already know from the Bible, but that is definitely not what I base my worship on.

Joyful – Full of joy! Unlike happiness, joy is not dependant on what “happens” in our circumstances. This “joy unspeakable and full of glory” that the Bible talks about can be attained in the midst of the harshest of trials. In fact, that makes the joy all the more joyful when it’s tested by fire and comes out without even the smell of smoke! This joy can only be mine because God sent His Son that first Christmas day so that mankind could be reconciled to their Creator! Wow! No wonder we celebrate this season by proclaiming, “Joy to the world! The LORD has come!”

Triumphant – According to, this means “having achieved victory or success.”  Now, I know I haven’t “arrived” yet, and I make mistakes daily, but the neat thing is that my “position” of triumph has already been sealed because of what Jesus did on the cross and in His resurrection!  Colossians 2:13-15 (NIV) says, “13When you were dead in your sins and in the uncircumcision of your sinful nature, God made you alive with Christ. He forgave us all our sins, 14having canceled the written code, with its regulations, that was against us and that stood opposed to us; he took it away, nailing it to the cross. 15And having disarmed the powers and authorities, he made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them by the cross.”

YES!!! Let the celebration continue!  Merry Christmas, friends!!

Friday, November 27, 2009

Continuing to Give Thanks

Oh, give thanks to the LORD, for He is good!
For His mercy endures forever. Psalm 107:1 (NKJV)
Thanksgiving Day has passed, but the reason we can be so thankful endures forever! What is that reason? God's mercy. Another verse says that His mercies are new every morning. Talk about second chances! We have offered to us a fresh start every day, if we'll just take it.

The whole chapter of Psalm 107 is a great read. It goes on to talk about redeemed, how before they cried out to God, they wandered aimlessly in a wilderness with hunger and thirst. However, when they finally cried out to God, He delivered them from their despair and fulfilled their deepest longing.

The chapter even talks about those who knew better, but rebelled against God. They were "bound in affliction and irons" because of their rebellion. Even then, when they came to their senses and came back to God, He "broke their chains in pieces" and set them free! That's mercy!

The next part of the chapter talks about fools drawing "near to the gates of death" and even then the Lord saved them when they finally surrendered to Him. Another Psalm says that a fool is one who says there is no God. I am so glad He is there at the point the atheist gives up and realizes there is a God. There's not only a God, but there's a Creator who loves him/her even when he/she denied Him and is more than ready to bring that true satisfaction that only comes through His free gift of redemption through Christ's sacrifice on the cross.

As Christians, are we living our lives in such a way that desperate people are drawn to the Christ in us? Are we showing that unconditional loving kindness that loves and receives all--even those who deny Christ? Lord, help us to be ready to bring those who don't know You to You when they are ready to come, and not condemn or push them away! We need to keep in mind that we didn't always know that He was there for us either, but now we do, and it is GOOD! That's why we should be ready to share with others when they are ready to listen what verses 8-9 of this chapter say:
Oh, that men would give thanks to the LORD for His goodness,
And for His wonderful works to the children of men!
For He satisfies the longing soul
And fills the hungry soul with goodness.

Wednesday, November 11, 2009

Meet My Parents!

This is a picture of my mom and dad, Lorene and Don Barron, on their recent cruise. Dad came home and shared what he learned at a workshop on editing and posting pictures online.  This is my first attempt!  It worked!  You may see more pictures now!


Thursday, November 5, 2009

Obedience - Better than Sacrifice

Obedience is better than sacrifice. In my mind, the word sacrifice has two connotations. 1. (noun) a burnt sacrifice to the Lord (as in the Old Testament animal sacrifices), and 2. (verb) giving something up that is dear. Both of these meanings can be a precious aroma in God’s nostrils, but they can also be a stinch if 1. they are not necessary, 2. they are done by rote as a religious “duty,” 3. they are done to be seen of men and not God.

More is to come on this in the unit on obedience in the book I'm writing, God's Chain Gang: Links in the Chain to Freedom. Any thoughts on this from the gallery? I'd like your feedback on this. Please leave comments.

I will leave you with one thought about #3 about doing "sacrifices" to be seen of men and not God. If God wants others to see the sacrifice you make for Him, He will show them, but if you do it with that in mind, then it is not truly a sacrifice to God. It is just a performance to gain approval of men. Hmmm...much more on THAT in future blogs and in the book, too!

Tuesday, November 3, 2009

Meditation - the Key to Obedience

This morning I felt that “nudge” of the Lord to wake up before the family. I knew He wanted me to do something. Was I to pray for someone, as that wake-up call often means? Was I to exercise and take care of my body I have been neglecting far too much lately? Was I to write something before the distractions of the day commence?

I prayed, “Lord, what do You want me to do? Why did you wake me? I want to follow Your leading. I want to obey You.” Obedience. For a split second I thought, “I’m so sleepy, and I don’t have clear direction as to what God wants me to do, so maybe He just wants me to go back to sleep!” No. I knew better. Then I prayed the scripture I so often pray, “Let the words of my mouth, and the meditation of my heart (and I added my actions), be acceptable in thy sight…” Why didn’t God included “actions” in that scripture? I think because if we truly take the time to meditate, we will automatically want to do what pleases Him. After spending time considering the Lord, His Word, His character, and His promises, we will know what He wants us to do.

When we act on impulse, we usually get into trouble. Granted, sometimes something happens in an instant that we have to act on immediately, but more times than not, we can take time to meditate on what God wants us to do before we act prematurely. Besides, if we have made it a lifestyle to meditate on God's Word day and night, then we will do whats right on impulse when those instances arise.

Meditation. It keeps us out of trouble! Psalm 119, the longest chapter in the whole Bible, is all about that. Verse 11 states, "Your Word have I hidden in my heart, that I might not sin against You." (NKJV)

After meditating on these truths this morning, I realized my act of obedience was to write this entry! This is going into my new book, God's Chain Gang: Links in the Chain to Freedom. You get the first sample! Please pray for me as I delve into writing this book. I hope to publish it in 2010. (Anyone want to pre-buy a copy?! :) )

Have a great day meditating on God, His Word, His character, and His promises!

Tuesday, October 20, 2009

Wilderness of Busyness

5:29. That's what my clock radio said when I woke up just now with the words, "Early will I seek you," running through my head. I have been telling God that I need to invest some time with Him in the morning when there seems to be a halt to all the busyness. There's no time like the present, right? It's actually a present that I can give to God and that He loves.

I went to and found that verse in Psalm 63. Before the Psalm begins, it says, "A Psalm of David when he was in the wilderness of Judah." That already says a lot to me! Judah represents praise in the Bible. I want my life to praise God. From the rising of the sun until it goes down, I am truly thankful to the Lord, my refuge and strength. But, sometimes--many times--life gets so hectic, I feel like I'm in a wilderness of busyness. So much goes on around me that sometimes the remembrance of God's presence gets lost in the shuffle. As soon as I recognize that, I want to come back to sit at His feet!
Psalm 63:1-5
O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
2 So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

3 Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You.
4 Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.
Join me today as we just pause and reflect on God's mercies that are new for us this very morning. As we seek Him, He will see to it that everything else will be taken care of. What security! What satisfaction!

Thursday, October 8, 2009

Check out our October Newsletter for Legacy Ministries!

Simply click the link below to see our October Newsletter for Legacy Ministries. See what God did in September and what is in store for October. Ladies, also see about our 2010 Ladies Conference.

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Sunday, September 27, 2009

Inside the Storm

I cannot believe it has been 20 days since I posted a new entry for this blog! I must say that I have been so busy I feel I've been in a whirl wind. Since posting I have spoken at two ladies retreats (Minneapolis, MN and Dawsonville, GA) and a Wednesday night service at a church (Riverdale, GA). Besides that I have been a long-term substitute teacher HS band director as well as continued house duties for the family and kept the Legacy Equipping Center going. Phew! Praise God a new band director has been hired, so I can get my life back!

During that time, God gave me a revelation about storms. I had never thought this before, but I felt that God was saying that He wants us in a storm. What?! Actually what I mean is that He wants us to be moved in the middle of the storm where there is peace in the storm's eye. What He doesn't want is the storm inside us!

Jesus said that in this world we WILL have tribulations but to be of good cheer, because He has overcome the world. He also said that He has a peace to give us that the world cannot offer. Basically, what He is saying in those two statements is that we will have storms in life, but we can move into the center of the storm and have peace while the winds are hurling around us. We can also allow Him to speak to the storms inside us and say, "Peace, Be Still!" This kind of security only comes through Christ. I know you can have that in Christ, because I do! Experiencial truth! You can have it, too! Thank God, there is enough to go around to all the multitudes of people who will accept it! I pray you will experience His peace in the midst of your storms today!

Monday, September 7, 2009

Self-control - Two Different Ways

As I was waking this morning, the thought came to mind that there are two totally different kinds of self-control. Of course the good kind is part of the fruit of the Spirit found in Galations 5:22-23.
"But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,gentleness and self-control. Against such things there is no law."
Self-control in this context is not so much me controlling myself as it is me allowing the Holy Spirit to have control of myself. Notice where it is in the order of the fruit of the Spirit. If the other characteristics of the fruit of the Spirit are in order (love, joy, peace, etc.), then it will be so much easier for self-control to happen.

This kind of self-control only comes through the spirit. The other kind of self-control comes through the soul. What's the difference? Man has three parts. The spirit is that core of us that communes with our Creator. The soul is made up of our mind, will and emotions. Our bodies are what we are walking around in. When sin entered the equation with Adam and Eve, their spirits died. Since then, all of us are born in sin. So all of us have a void where our spirits should be until we are "born again" by having that spirit come alive within us when we accept Christ's sacrifice that actually reconciles us to God again. How awesome that Christ's Spirit, the Holy Spirit, actually comes in to make residence within us!

Before that happens, self-control happens in the soul--our mind, will and emotions. This is when it is more me controlling myself, my way, and has tendency to end up in seeking control and manipulation over others as well. What I see happening in this is that the will sinks down, and the mind and emotions rise to the top. When this happens, the person makes decisions with their will based on their thoughts and how they feel. The outcome can be disastrous! That's probably another blog post if we were to get into what influences thoughts which influence feelings. Let's just say without being transformed by the renewing of the mind (as Romans 12 says), self-control ends up being much more bondage than freedom.

If we look back up to the scripture listing the fruit of the Spirit, we notice that it starts with a "but." That is a conjunction. We have to see what precedes it to get the full comparison of these two types of "self-control." Let's look at Galatians 5:19-21:
"The acts of the sinful nature are obvious: sexual immorality, impurity and debauchery;idolatry and witchcraft; hatred, discord, jealousy, fits of rage, selfish ambition, dissensions, factions and envy; drunkenness, orgies, and the like. I warn you, as I did before, that those who live like this will not inherit the kingdom of God."
Wow! That's what self-control without the Spirit leads to, and that is bondage. Read over those two scripture passages again (Gal. 5:22-23 and Gal. 5:19-21). Which would you rather have? Which would you rather those with which you have close relationships to have?

How do we do it? How do we get the freedom of self-control that brings peace and joy and not live in the bondage of control and manipulation? We have to look at the verses that precede and that follow the verses we've already read. First, let's look at the preceding verses of Galatians 5:16-18.
"So I say, live by the Spirit, and you will not gratify the desires of the sinful nature. For the sinful nature desires what is contrary to the Spirit, and the Spirit what is contrary to the sinful nature. They are in conflict with each other, so that you do not do what you want. But if you are led by the Spirit, you are not under law."
Now let's look at the verses that follow all this by reading Galatians 5:24-25.
"Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit."
I pray that reading this post will help to spark a desire deep within the readers to want the kind of self-control that is from Galatians 5:22-23 and not the kind in Galatians 5:19-21. It's an awesome journey that leads to abundant life! One in which you can relax and take deep breaths of relief instead of hiperventalating trying to control your world!

One more thought...remember we are three parts? Spirit, soul and body? Well, our bodies benefit or suffer depending on which self-control you allow yourself to have. There are many reasons for sickness. I venture to say, though, that a big portion of our sickness is due to messed up thoughts, emotions, and wrong decisions. Remember? That's the soulish self-control. Sometimes we pray for people to be well, but we forget to pray for them to let go of the selfish kind of self-control so that they can be well! I pray that for you today! (and me!)

Tuesday, August 25, 2009

Time to Laugh!

I'm branching out and joining this Blog Hop group. I'm new to all this, but from what I understand, this will link to many other blogs. This time we are supposed to list something funny. Everyone is invited to post comments that will make us laugh!

Here's my funny story for the day. When my oldest daughter, Amy, was 2, she was quite the talker indeed! She overheard me talk about a series I was teaching about the 7 Last Words of Christ. One day, out of the blue, she asked, "Mommy, when Jesus was dying on the cross, why did He say, 'My God! My God! For Pete's Sake!' "

MckLinky Blog Hop

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Wednesday, August 19, 2009

Courage to Speak Up

Today's post is written by a friend who came to our writer's group at the Equipping Center last night. The assignment was to write a devotional with a scripture, application, prayer, thought for the day and prayer focus. I thought it was great! Here it is:

Read Ezekiel 3:17-21

“When I say unto the wicked, Thou shalt surely die; and thou givest him not warning, nor speakest to warn the wicked from his wicked way to save his life; the same wicked man shall die in his iniquity; but his blood will I require at thine hand.” Ez. 3:18

How many times a day do you see someone who is very clearly doing wrong? Either hurting someone, stealing, vandalizing, lying – all these things seem to be more prevalent every day.

Now the tough question – how many times do you speak up and tell that person what they are doing is not right? Whether we hold back out of fear (especially of a stranger) or hold back because we love the person (and don’t want to hurt their feelings or make them not like us), we are still doing the perpetrator a grave disservice, possibly to the cost of his own life.

Lately I have begun to make people angry because I just can’t sit around and watch this happen anymore. I can’t enable someone to continue on in their sin by not saying “I see you, don’t you think God sees you, too???” At best, I am called blunt. At worst… well, I can’t write that word here. I just know that I don’t want anyone’s blood required at my hand. I have enough of my own transgressions to be held responsible for.

Prayer - “Dear God, give us all the courage to speak up in the situations that you lead us into. Gives us the wisdom of not only what to say, but how to say it and to only speak your will. Give us the integrity to speak only out of love and never out of judgment. Amen”

Thought for the Day - Think back to a time when you felt like you needed to speak up, but you didn’t. Maybe that was the Holy Spirit giving you a nudge. It’s called conviction.

Prayer Focus - Pray for the ones who do speak up and are persecuted for their courage.

Monday, August 10, 2009

Are You Riding On Coattails?

From a very young age I have experienced God to be real in my life. I have the privilege of the Christian faith being passed down to me from both my father and mother's side of the family. Even so, I had to make a choice myself to accept God into my life. Those who just go through life on the coattails of their parents' faith (or anyone else's faith for that matter) without making it personally their own, end up falling away when the storms of life blow. The winds of opposition are so strong in this world that no one can keep a grip on someone else's faith to see them through. On the other hand, if that faith is ignited within their own heart, it doesn't matter where that storm may take them, they are firm and get right back up!

Monday, August 3, 2009

What is the Opposite of Love?

Any thoughts on that question? Most would probably say "hate." I'm here to say I disagree. "Hate" is not the opposite of "love" is a by-product of the opposite of "love." I think the opposite of "love" is "self-absorption."

This might be contrary to the world's view of "love." To many, "self-absorption" is a synonym of the word instead of an antonym. Think about it. One might say, "I love ice cream." "I love to party." "I love sex." They "love" all those things because of what they bring to themselves. That type of "love" quickly leads to obesity, addictions, sexually transmitted diseases, depression (when they can't get what they "love"), and anxiety (when they do what they can to try to get what they "love.") Ultimately it could also lead to hate when one sees others with what he "loves," but he does not see them doing anything to help him get it. How futile! What ends up being a journey to get all the gusto for self (because after all, we only live once!), ends up leading to self-destruction.

True love brings freedom from that downward cycle of destruction. John 15:13 says, "Greater love has no one than this, than to lay down one's life for his friends." That's exactly what Jesus Christ did for us. He is our example. "By this we know love, because He laid down His life for us. And we also ought to lay down [our] lives for the brethren." (1 John 3:16) If we truly love others, we will put aside our desires and do what we can to give the other person what pleases them. Then, because we love them, we take pleasure in seeing them fulfilled. If they truly love us, they will do the same for us. Then our "self" ends up getting fulfilled in an unselfish way...with fulfillment and life instead of destruction.

I challenge you today to find ways to forget about yourself and show a random act of kindness for someone else. Think about your actions this week. See if you are acting out of "self-absorption" or unselfish, true love.

Friday, July 24, 2009

Summertime, and the Livin' is Easy!

Can you believe it is all ready July 24? Summer is practically over. For my daughter, Amy, who just entered High School marching band, it is over. As I look back over the last couple of months, I am especially grateful for my family.

Three weeks ago, we took a vacation to the beach with the girls and my parents in-law. Cape San Blas, FL just outside of Port St. Joe on the Gulf of Mexico...if you like a place where the water is clear, the sand is soft and white, the shells are plentious but the people are few, you would love it there! It is so secluded that the closest grocery store, Piggly Wiggly, is 15-20 miles away! Our townhome for the week was about 20 yards from the pool and 30 yards from the beach. It was everything a vacation should be! I enjoyed my husband, girls and in-laws. We read books, took naps, swam, walked the beach, had bon fires on the beach at night and made s'mores, enjoyed quiet times with God, and capped it off the last night watching multiple 4th of July firework shows on the sea shore.

Last week my husband, Bill, and I were privileged to go off to a cabin in the North Georgia mountains while our girls were at different camps...all by ourselves for 4 days! We celebrated 23 awesome years as husband and wife. God had a theme going of seclusion, rest and relaxation for the second time within 3 weeks! Besides enjoying some great romantic times (of which I'll keep private!), Bill and I enjoyed the hot tub, walks in the mountains picking wild blackberries, naps, tubing down the Toccoa River, reading, and quiet time with God. When we got back, someone said to me, "You mean you're not tired of being with each other?" The thought had never even entered my mind. I thank God for blessing our marriage and being in the center of our union. Bill and I are so compatible and love being with each other. When one of us has "issues," the other just backs off and lets the spouse have space. It works!

As I blog about these two summer vacations, I am so thankful for the incredible time of bonding I had with my family. God blessed me with great family ties...both with our immediate family and extended family. I do not take that lightly. With God's help, we will continue the legacy of passing the faith along until Jesus comes again!

Saturday, July 18, 2009

Is Harry Potter harmless?

Some of you will probably disagree with this post, but if you are a Christian, I challenge you to pray about this and ask God if what I say is right. This morning I went to to login and read my daily Bible reading on my journey to read the Word straight through. I was grieved when I saw a movie review for Harry Potter. I clicked on it hoping it would tell Christians to stay away from it. I was wrong. It actually was a positive review for the movie. I posted a comment. Here's what I said:

I want to know why the site I go to read God's Word posts a review for a Harry Potter movie. Harry Potter is a wizard. Some will say that it's harmless, because he practices "white magic" against the evil one who does "black magic." Doesn't satan disguise himself as an angel of light? Look what the Bible says...

"There shall not be found among you anyone who …practices witchcraft, or a soothsayer, or one who interprets omens, or a sorcerer, or one who conjures spells, or a medium, or a spiritist, or one who calls up the dead. For all who do these things are an abomination to the LORD, and because of these abominations the LORD your God drives them out from before you. You shall be blameless before the LORD your God. For these nations which you will dispossess listened to soothsayers and diviners; but as for you, the LORD your God has not appointed such for you." Deut. 18:10-14

I don't want to have anything to do with what God calls an "abomination to the LORD". Do you?

As I post this in my own blog, I'm also thinking that I sure don't want my children dabbling in witchcraft. We need to pray that our children will be hungry for the Bible and want what pleases God.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

It Comes With the Territory!

Have you ever had a time when God was speaking to you about a subject and everywhere you turned you ran into it? It seems as though every sermon you hear, every book you pick up, conversations you have, songs you hear, scriptures you read from the Bible and even thoughts you have in your head are all about the subject. Well, that has been happening to me lately, and the subject is "spiritual warfare." I would have to be dumb to not see that God is trying to teach me something!

Of course we need a balance on the subject! On one side there are people who seem to look for demons under every rock. On the other end of the spectrum there are people who stick their head in the sand and don't even acknowledge the existence of demonic strongholds. To those in the first group I want to say, "Who are you magnifying--the devil or God Almighty?" To those in the second group my words are, "Wake up! There is a realm beyond what we see with the natural eye that is just as real (if not more) than what we experience with the five senses."

Yesterday someone asked me, "I keep hearing all this talk about expecting attacks of the enemy if you do anything for the Lord. Why does it have to be that way? Can't it be that I'm just protected and don't have to experience that?" I have been pondering the conversation ever since. In fact, I woke up this morning with some insight that might help answer that question.

Last week our family took a vacation on the beach at Cape San Blas, FL. We met a man who has just recently had a house built there. He told us that the house was built to resist hurricanes. The windows in the house are specially built to withstand a 2 x 4 board being hurled at them at 160 miles/hr. Why do they do that? Because they know storms WILL come, because that's where hurricanes hit--on the sea shore. It comes with the territory! If you don't want to weather through a storm, don't build a house at the beach! I don't know how much more a window like that costs than the standard windows that are in my house, but I can assure you that when the next storm comes, it will be worth the cost to the owner.

This reminds me of the what Jesus said in Matthew 7:
24."Therefore whoever hears these sayings of Mine, and does them, I will liken him to a wise man who built his house on the rock:
25.and the rain descended, the floods came, and the winds blew and beat on that house; and it did not fall, for it was founded on the rock.

To answer the question, "Do the storms have to happen if I step out and work for the Lord?" Yes! It comes with the territory! The enemy is not going to sit idly by while we are out rescuing the perishing. If you don't want to weather the storm, don't do anything to advance the Kingdom! The better question would be, "Can I be protected from storms and not be harmed just as much as if they didn't happen?" YES!! I'll give you an example...

Remember the three Hebrew children who were in exile in Babylon. They were warned that they would be thrown into the fiery furnace if they didn't fall down and worship a golden idol. Their response was, "Our God is able to deliver us from the fiery furnace, but even if He doesn't, we will not bow our knee to anyone or anything beside the One True God!" (my paraphrase) So, they were wrapped with material to bind them and were thrown into the furnace. When they were in the fire, Jesus appeared with them. While they were with Jesus in the midst of the fire, instead of being bound, they were walking around free and not even hurt! They not only didn't burn up, but when they came out of the fire, the only thing that was burned up was the material wrapped around them to bind them! In fact, the Bible says that the smell of smoke was not even on them! Were they just as protected as if it never happened? Absolutely! Really, they were BETTER than if it never happened! Think of how much their faith had to have strengthened! Think of the level of getting to know Jesus they experienced that they would not have if they didn't have to go to the furnace. (See Daniel 3 in the Old Testament.)

Back to Jesus' words in Matthew. The wise man had to prepare for the storm ahead of time to be ready. You cannot just wait for the storm to come and then start building. How do we prepare? Hear what God is telling you and do it! Read His Word so you can know what He wants you to do. Spend time with Him in worship, prayer, Bible study. He knows what is ahead. He can SO prepare you if you just give Him the time of day to do it! You will start knowing His promptings and have a desire, no matter what the cost, to follow His lead.

Those who build houses on the beach have so many advantages. They get to see awesome sunsets over the ocean (or sunrises depending on which ocean); they get to experience times of relaxation laying out in the sun, or times of excitement riding the waves; they get to be lulled to sleep at night with the sound of the waves crashing into the shore; they get to find awesome shells as they walk along the shoreline. Bottom line: they get so many perks by living in the territory of the storms that is it well worth the sacrifice to be prepared for the storms.

God has proven that time and time in my life. A life of ministry for God can be hard...VERY HARD at times! However, the rewards I experience are so much greater than even the toughest times! God knows when we need respite times of rest off of the front lines. We need to take those times and allow Him to pour into us so that we will be ready to go back out to battle. Then when we go back to fight and we win with Him, He will also give us time to enjoy our winnings before going out again! Keep your eyes on Him and remember what God says..."Thus says the LORD to you: 'Do not be afraid nor dismayed because of this great multitude, for the battle [is] not yours, but God's."

Monday, June 22, 2009

His Mercies Are New Every Morning!

This morning I woke up before my alarm went off with the thought, "His mercies are new every morning!" I got up to go find out exactly where that is in the Bible. I found out that it is right in the middle of the book of Lamentations. Lamentations is a book written by the prophet Jeremiah that records his grief over the captivity of Israel. He grieves almost to the point of despair. However, in the midst of that despair, he recalls God's mercies and thus has hope. Look at the passage with me:

Lament. 3:22-32
Through the Lord's mercies we are not consumed,
Because His compassions fail not.
[23] They are new every morning;
Great is Your faithfulness.
[24] "The Lord is my portion," says my soul,
"Therefore I hope in Him!"

[25] The Lord is good to those who wait for Him,
To the soul who seeks Him.
[26] It is good that one should hope and wait quietly
For the salvation of the Lord.
[27] It is good for a man to bear
The yoke in his youth.

[28] Let him sit alone and keep silent,
Because God has laid it on him;
[29] Let him put his mouth in the dust--
There may yet be hope.
[30] Let him give his cheek to the one who strikes him,
And be full of reproach.

[31] For the Lord will not cast off forever.
[32] Though He causes grief,
Yet He will show compassion
According to the multitude of His mercies.

So many times we mull over in our minds thoughts of how bad things are. With each toxic thought, we spin deeper into despair. That is exactly why this passage basically tells us to stop, keep our mouths shut and wait on God. Think about it, no matter how bad your situation is, you have not been consumed if you are still breathing and reading this blog! That's because of His mercies that are new every morning!

When you wake up tomorrow, think about this. Thank God for His mercies that give you a fresh start each day if you only accept it. Wow! Thank you, Father God!!

Sunday, June 14, 2009

Graduation Send-Off

I had the awesome privilege of hosting girls from the class of 2009 and their moms at the Legacy Equipping Center yesterday for a brunch. I gave them my testimony of being a Christian in culture shock at secular college. My pastor's wife and youth pastor's wife also encouraged the girls to stay strong in the faith when they go off to college or out in the work force.

I told the girls that when people go to college, something happens to most of them and they go absolutely wild! No curphews! No parents! No rules! Those who think like that end up with many regrets.

I encouraged the girls to stay strong in the Lord no matter who falls away around them. Yes, God's mercies are new every morning, and those who make bad decisions in college can be forgiven and restored in their walk with God. I have seen people in prayer sessions finally being set free from regrets they made 20-30 years ago in college. However, what a better choice to go God's way from the beginning of college and not have any regrets!

Let's take house cleaning as an illustration. If you spill food on the kitchen counter and let it sit there overnight, it will be harder to wipe up tomorrow. The longer you leave it, the harder it gets. Soon you will have to use cleaner and use elbow grease to get it off. You may have to use a scraper to get it off. It is much easier if you wipe it immediately. You don't have to work hard at all. Just get a wet rag and wipe. Now, you can get it just as clean either way, but which way would you choose? It's the same with our lives. When we make a bad decision we need to give it over to God quickly and not let it "sit" on our hearts making a crust that will have to be scrubbed.

I pray that the girls will remember that message when they are faced with multiple temptations that will hit them head-on at college.

Wednesday, June 3, 2009

EQUIPPED: Ready for Battle!

That is the title of our VBS going on this week at the Legacy Equipping Center. What a blessing it has been! Just to see the excitement on the kids' faces as we learn about the Armor of God is worth all the many hours we have put into it. One mom told me that her son said, "I can't wait to see what part of the Armor we learn about today!"

We started at the top and are working our way down:
1st day: The Helmet of Salvation
Yesterday: The Breastplate of Righteousness
Today: The Belt of Truth
Tomorrow: The Shoes of Peace and the Shield of Faith
Friday: The Sword of the Spirit and a PARTY!

The kids made Gospel Bracelets and learned how to share their faith with their friends. They also made Breastplates of Righteousness out of brown paper bags and foil. They loved it! They learned lessons about doing what is right. I wonder who is getting more out of this, the kids or the workers! What a blessing to pour into young lives how they can put on the Armor of God and STAND STRONG! (Read Ephesians 6 starting in verse 10.)

Pray and ask God how to reach children in your life. According to George Barna, 85% of Christians in America come to Christ between the ages of 4 and 14. Wow! Do you want to reap a harvest? Consider children's ministry!

Saturday, May 23, 2009

Daily Audio Bible....a MUST Listen!

Some of you know that I am a big fan of the Daily Audio Bible. It is a daily podcast that has the Bible read (with nice music in the background) from the Old Testament, New Testament, Psalms and Proverbs read by a record producer from Nashville. If you listen every day, you will hear the entire Bible read to you in a year. Brian (the narrator) also gives his comments and prays after he reads. He also posts comments from listeners who call in prayer requests and praise reports. You can get the podcast downloaded to your mp3 player or ipod every day for free. You can also just go to the website and listen.

Today I heard a praise report at the end of one of the podcasts that you HAVE to hear! It is on the April 4th broadcast. (OK, I'm a little behind, but that doesn't stop me from getting it all!) It is one of the most exciting testimonies I have ever heard. As those of you who know me know, that's saying a lot! I've been in this journey with God a LONG time and have seen Him do MIGHTY things! I see it in the inner healing prayer room at the Legacy Center almost every day...people getting set FREE from addictions, wounds they've been carrying for years, etc. I say, "God, you NEVER cease to amaze me!!" Anyway, I'm not going to say anything more about this testimony you are about to hear...I'll let you hear for yourself.

Here's what you do:
1. Click on the title to this blog post to go to the Daily Audio Bible website.
2. Scroll down to the bottom of the home page where it says "Listen Now."
3. Click on the red box that says "Daily Audio Bible."
4. Scroll down to April 4 and click on it to listen.
5. Start listening! The testimony is about the last 8 to 9 minutes of the podcast. Those of you who are computer savvy and know how to drag the player to the end can start the player at the testimony, but I recommend listening to the whole thing. It's only about 30 minutes and you'll be able to hear what I'm talking about that happens on this daily podcast.

Listen and let me know if you get as excited as I did when I heard it!

Thursday, May 21, 2009


What comes to your mind when you read the title to this blog? Are you facing change in your life? Are you changing? Is someone trying to change you? Are you trying to change someone else? Do you need a little pocket change to buy something? I looked up "change" on and couldn't believe all the sermons that await me! It intrigued me so that I decided to blog about it and link the title to this post to its definition. (Click on the word "change" above to read it's definitions.)

If you go to the link you will notice that there are 8 definitions for "change" as a verb used with an object and 9 definitions for the word as a verb used without an object. The very first definition under "verb used with an object" is "to make the form, nature, content, future course, etc., of (something) different from what it is or from what it would be if left alone." The 4th definition is "to give and take reciprocally; interchange." Think about that. God made each of us to be different. If we get stuck in our perspective, that way God created us to perceive issues, people, etc, then we will try to change others to be like we are. On the other hand, each of us has positive traits in which others lack that can have a positive influence on them for productive changes to be made in their lives. I don't know about you, but I personally don't want to change someone to be something that God did not create them to be. If they change to be just like me, they won't need me anymore! I like the 4th definition better. I want to view other people God brings to me in a positive light. I want them to see me in a positive light. Let's focus on each other's strengths and not focus on the weaknesses we would love to change. Let's give reciprocally to promote positive change and stop trying to force someone to live in a mold God did not create for them.

We all have people in authority over us and under us. This works both ways. If we try to force change in someone in leadership over us, it is a sign of rebellion. If we try to force people to change that answer to us in authority (employees or children), it is a sign of control and manipulation. Wow! Sometimes that is not our heart's intention at all, but that is what others perceive. Ouch! I am challenged now to pray that God will show me my perspective, the other persons perspective, and more importantly HIS perspective about how we are made and what needs to change. I want God to show me how to pray for the other person. I will then start seeing change in their life from the inside out and not because I forced it. I will also start seeing those things God does not want to change in them, because He did not make them for the change I want them to have. Then I will change! Remember that there are definitions for "change" that are a "verb used with an object" and "verb used without an object." A couple of definitions under "verb used without an object" are "to become different" and "to become transformed." I like that! When we spend time with God in close communion we can't help but to be changed. That change will be the way HE wants it...transformed by the renewing of our minds that we may prove what that good and acceptable will of God is for our lives. The chapter in the Bible where that comes from (Romans 12) goes on to tell us that we are all different and we need each other. It warns us of not thinking too highly of ourselves than we ought (that someone has to change to be like us). The Apostle Paul also urged us in verse 10 of that chapter to "be kindly affectionate to one another with brotherly love, in honor giving preference to one another."

Lord help us to seek You in this area of change. Show us how to love each other in spite of our differences. Remind us that what we think is a strength, someone else thinks is a weakness. That's because You created us to take care of different things in the body of Christ. Help us to respect that in others and trust you to bring the change in each of us that YOU want us to have...from the inside out...change that shows spiritual growth and the development of the Godly character You want in each of us. I pray You will use my personality to edify and build up those you place in my life and not tear them down. In Jesus' Mighty Name, AMEN!!

Sunday, May 10, 2009

Mother's Day...What a Blessing!

Happy Mother's Day to all of you mothers out there! Whether I am thinking about my own precious mother or my children, I smile with gratitude on this day! I am also blessed to have my 92 year old grandmother on my mom's side still around. In fact, today I get the privilege of cooking a meal for my mom and grandma. Grandma loves God with all her heart. She has passed that passion down to my mother, who in turn has passed it to my generation. I thank God for the awesome privilege of now passing that insatiable desire for God down to my daughters. (On a side note, I just looked up the word, "insatiable"...that's not the word I'm looking for, because it means "not satiable; incapable of being satisfied or appeased: insatiable hunger for knowledge". Hmmm....with God we DO get completely satisfied, yet we always want more! There is always more for us, and we never get a hang over! Any suggestions for a word I can use!)

This is a day I always count my blessings. I am one of those women who knows what it is to desperately desire a child. Bill and I walked through a season of infertility for four years. Our first child was born 8 years after we got married. Looking back, I wouldn't trade it. God taught me SO MUCH during that time. I learned how to wait on a birthing! That has carried over into ministry as well. Amy and Amber are such jewels! What a blessing they have been and continue to be to Bill and me! I will never take them for granted. Just remember, we can plan our life all we want, but God knows what's best! Proverbs 16:9 says, "A man's heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps."

Wednesday, May 6, 2009

When to Say "I'm Sorry!"

When is it right to say "I'm sorry!"? When we make a mistake, disobey God, or hurt others we need to apologize for sure. God is pleased with a truly repentant heart. However, how often do we say "I'm sorry" over and over again? Why wasn't the first time enough? Do we think God will not forgive us the first time? Do we have a problem forgiving ourselves? We need to remember 1 John 1:9, "If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive our sins and cleanse us from all unrighteousness." God forgives us the first time we ask forgiveness. When we do not forgive ourselves we are putting ourselves above God. God is God. If He says someone is forgiven, they are forgiven!

Another time we say "I'm sorry" when we shouldn't is when we apologize for doing what is right. This has been brought to my attention recently. If I have convictions to do what is right, I shouldn't tell someone "I'm sorry." We do not have to apologize for God. If He works through us, we should not apologize for it. We need to just obey His promptings and leave the rest to Him.

I've seen people apologize for acting in a way that their natural personality functions. That is not something to be sorry about. God made us all different to fill different needs. Of course we all have strengths and weaknesses. God will show us those weak areas of our personalities that we need to surrender to Him to bring maturity. When we fall into the weaknesses, then an apology may be in order, but we need to trust God that He will use those times to fine tune our strengths. We should never apologize for using strengths that others do not have. They need us! We need them! When we realize that, we will not be offended or feel that we have to always say "I'm sorry."

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

As Much as Lies Within Us...

"If it is possible, as much as depends on you, live peaceably with all men." Romans 12:18
That verse has been ringing in my spirit quite a bit lately. Another version says, "as much as lies in you..." I like that translation. Think about it. If we indeed are the temple of the Holy Spirit (1 Cor. 6:19), and if indeed we are filled with the fullness of God (Eph. 3:19), what if we allowed the God in us to shine forth in our time with other people? Wow! He is the Prince of Peace! (Isaiah 9:6) Our problem is that we get in the way. We become self-absorbed, thinking about our own perspective without a thought of the other person's perspective, or more importantly, without a thought of God's perspective.

Let's think for a moment about what peace is. One might think it is the absence of strife, division or pain. Is that peace? No. Peace is not the absence of anything. On the contrary, It is the presence of something. Ultimate peace is the presence of God. There is nothing like the peace you can experience when you are in the manifest presence of Almighty God! The Bible says that it is a peace that "passes all understanding." (Phil. 4:6-7) If we remember that it is the presence of something instead of the absence of something, we will realize that we can have true peace in the midst of all kinds of turmoil around us. If peace were really the absence of strife, we would only have peace in the good times. In this world, that would sure limit how much peace we can have! Paul got it. That's why he could say in Phillippians 4:11, "I have learned, in whatever state I am, to be content."

The enemy sure wants to rob families, churches, communities, schools, and workplaces of peace. We cannot do anything about how other people react to issues that arise, but we can do more on our part to bring peace to a situation. I challenge you to take this to prayer. Every day this week, start the day by asking God to help you to remember to take Him to people with whom you come in contact. Pray that you will line up with Him. I like to say, "Lord, I place myself under You today. Let people see You and not me. I want to be a conduit of your love, peace, and healing to everyone who crosses my path. Help me remember that I take You with me wherever I go!"

I would love to hear from anyone who takes this challenge. Please come back and leave a comment about how this changes things in relationships in your life. You will more than likely notice a change within you first. You will start to see that you can experience peace even if the other person is not showing peace to you. Prayerfully, they will start seeing the peace in you and want it for themselves. I also suggest to read Ephesians 4:20-32 and Romans 12 and ask God to help you put this to practice. May God's Peace become real to you today!

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

I thank God upon every remembrance of you!

This past weekend I had the awesome privilege of going to 1st Assembly of God in Caldwell, TX to speak at a women's conference on Saturday and the church on Sunday morning and evening. It was like going to Mayberry! Now I understand totally what Paul meant when he said, "I thank God upon every remembrance of you in my prayers!" The people at 1st Assembly were so sweet! They showered me with love and received the word God gave me for them with joy. God's presence was so real in worship and during the messages. I will treasure that weekend for years to come. I thank God for the opportunity and I thank all of you at 1st AG! Get ready, God's bringing great increase your way! I look forward to the great reports. I look forward more to coming back and seeing for myself! :)

Feel free to click on the title to this post and see pictures of the conference in Caldwell.

Sunday, April 12, 2009

Happy Resurrection Day!!

"Jesus said unto her, 'I am the resurrection, and the life: he that believeth in me, though he were dead, yet shall he live.' " John 11:25

This was the verse that God laid on my grandmother's heart August 4, 1955, the day my grandfather met his maker just two weeks after he made Jesus the Lord of his life. That morning, my Grandmother Barron was scheduled to speak for a women's meeting at a church. While she was in route to the meeting, she couldn't get John 11:25 off her mind, so instead of delivering the message she had prepared, she talked to the women about Jesus being the resurection and the life. Little did she know that my grandfather's flight had a fire in the engine and crashed at the same time she was with the ladies.

While Grandpa was going down, he recited the Lord's prayer over the radio to the control tower. Though I do not understand why his time to go was that day before I ever came into the world to meet him, I am so grateful to know he surrendered his life to Christ and that one day I will meet him in Heaven--all because of Jesus' death and resurrection on the third day that we celebrate today!

Only God knows the length of our days on this earth. On that same flight was supposed to be one of the superintendents of the Assemblies of God. He was told right before take off that he had a phone call and if he were to take it he would miss the flight. He chose to take it. God was ready for my grandfather to come home, but he had more for this minister to do on earth. Either way, it was all because of Christ's resurrection!

Praise God for a lifestyle of Christian living that reminds us that we have hope because of that day over 2,000 years ago when our Lord and Savior conquered death, hell and the grave! That's a whole lot better than bunnies, candy and eggs!

Thursday, April 2, 2009

Grace and Peace be Multiplied to You!

I had a dream recently that I was asked to speak to a large women's convention. When I got behind the mic, I exclaimed, "Grace and peace be multiplied to you!" When I woke from the dream I began to research that in the Bible. I found out that Peter opened both his letters with that exhortation in 1 Peter 1:2 and 2 Peter 1:2. He was writing to believers who were facing conflict in the form of persecution from outside the church as well as division from within the church. He put them in the right order because you cannot have peace until you have grace. Grace is God giving us the free gift of salvation that we do not deserve. That is what brings true peace!

With all the present-day conflicts we are facing, we will do good to delve into this a little bit deeper and see how it applies to us today. I researched the meaning of the Greek words Peter used for grace and peace. You're going to love this!

The Greek word for "grace" is "charis" which according to means:

1) grace

a) that which affords joy, pleasure, delight, sweetness, charm, loveliness: grace of speech

2) good will, loving-kindness, favour

a) of the merciful kindness by which God, exerting his holy influence upon souls, turns them to Christ, keeps, strengthens, increases them in Christian faith, knowledge, affection, and kindles them to the exercise of the Christian virtues

3) what is due to grace

a) the spiritual condition of one governed by the power of divine grace

b) the token or proof of grace, benefit

1) a gift of grace

2) benefit, bounty

4) thanks, (for benefits, services, favours), recompense, reward

The Greek word for "peace" is "eirene" which according to means:

1) a state of national tranquillity

a) exemption from the rage and havoc of war

2) peace between individuals, i.e. harmony, concord

3) security, safety, prosperity, felicity, (because peace and harmony make and keep things safe and prosperous)

4) of the Messiah's peace

a) the way that leads to peace (salvation)

5) of Christianity, the tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and content with its earthly lot, of whatsoever sort that is

6) the blessed state of devout and upright men after death

Wow! As I've been known to proclaim before, "That'll preach!" I want to proclaim that same blessing on you today, that all you just read be MULTIPLIED to you!

Sunday, March 22, 2009

The Brain: What an Incredible Creation!

Yesterday we had a workshop at the Legacy Equipping Center using a DVD series offered through James Robison's ministry, Life Today! The series is called Your Body, God's Temple. We watched the first 4 sessions by Caroline Leaf, PhD, author of Who Switched Off My Brain? I highly recommend this series and her book. I've linked the title of this post to the order form for this series.

Did you know that there is a place in your brain where scientists actually believe our free will is housed? When a thought comes into your mind, you have a choice. Will you reject it or accept it? Thoughts don't become a stronghold (good or bad) until you decide to accept it, meditate on it and act on it. I also learned that 87% of illness is attributed to our thought life and 13% is attributed to genetics and environment. Wow! That certainly motivates me to have a positive attitude and watch what I let my mind dwell upon.

Once a negative memory is implanted in the brain, it stays. However, God can heal us by giving us His transforming truth to cover that negative memory. Before the healing takes place, one can think about a memory and experience a great deal of pain. After God heals the individual, he can think about the memory but will experience peace and joy instead of pain.

I learned a great deal about stress from these DVDs. When we are stressed, the chemicals released in our brain that are needed in small amounts begin to be released in greater unhealthy quantities. That is why when you are stressed, you are more susceptible to colds, headaches, digestive problems, etc. Continued stress causes attacks on the heart and arteries, followed by the immune system and finally the brain. Stress in children has an even more negative affect than on adults. Dr. Leaf said that allowing your child to continue to be in stress for an extended period of time is a form of abuse. Think about our community and how much is expected out of our children. The homework level I've seen put on my daughters is at times extremely overwhelming, with levels of learning that I don't remember ever even learning when I was their age. Besides that, children have so many extra-curricular activities that are pulling them in so many different directions. And with half the marriages ending in divorce and the stress of parents in financial strains because of the economy, you know that has to add to the stress level in our children.

I am thankful that God's Word lets us know that we can have peace that passes understanding and joy unspeakable and full of glory! We need to heed to that and teach our children to trust in the Prince of Peace. The answer to stress is allowing our thoughts to stay on God. We have to model for our children times when we pull away from the business of life and get alone with Him.

Isaiah 26:3 NKJ
You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

Saturday, March 14, 2009

Are You Sure You're Willing?

I had the privilege of attending 3 of the 4 nights of Bruce Wilkinson's conference on his new book, You Were Born For This! this past week at Operation Mobilization in Tyrone, GA. He will be back Monday through Thursday night this week, too. I highly recommend attending to those of you who are anywhere close to Tyrone! It is 6:15-9:00!

One of the things he pointed out was that God is not looking for willingness and availability; He's looking for action! His message was that you can be willing to your grave and still not do much for God. When Isaiah saw the Lord (Isaiah 6) he was changed. When God said, "Whom shall I send, and who will go for Us?", Isaiah responded, "Here am I! Send me!" Notice he did not say, "I'm willing." He said, "Send me!" When you do that, expect God appointments!

I challenge you to pray each morning this week for God to send you. Keep a tally. See how many people God sends your way to show His love, peace, joy and freedom. When you do, your awe of God will be multiplied! You may just become addicted and ask God every morning! Come back and leave a comment. I'd love to know!

Sunday, March 8, 2009

Willing Heart

"Then everyone came whose heart was stirred, and everyone whose spirit was willing, and they brought the Lord's offering for the work of the tabernacle of meeting, for all its service, and for the holy garments. They came, both men and women, as many as had a willing heart,..." Exodus 35:21-22

This is another verse that seemed to jump out of the page to me on my journey through the Bible. What would happen if all Christians would pray for a willing heart? No longer would it be 20% of the people doing 80% of the work in churches. A slow economy would not affect the ministries when people willingly give time, money and prayers. There would be a revival of lost souls coming to know the Lord!

A willing heart leads to deep inner healing in one who trades a hard heart for a soft heart. Not only that, but others will also be drawn to God as they witness the difference God is allowed to make in the person's life. I long for a willing heart to hear God's voice and do what He calls me to do. Lord, please soften our hearts!

Monday, March 2, 2009

Anointed Workmanship

I have decided that this is the year I will not only start reading the Bible straight through, but this time I will actually complete it! Even though I am behind in my schedule, I'm not giving up! This morning I read something that goes along with the desire God has given me to encourage Christians that they are in ministry whether they are officially in the "clergy" or not.
"And Moses said to the children of Israel,
'See, the Lord has called by name Bezalel the son of Uri, the son of Hur, of the tribe of Judah; and He has filled him with the Spirit of God, in wisdom and understanding, in knowledge and all manner of workmanship,to design artistic works, to work in gold and silver and bronze,in cutting jewels for setting, in carving wood, and to work in all manner of artistic workmanship. And He has put in his heart the ability to teach, in him and Aholiab the son of Ahisamach, of the tribe of Dan. He has filled them with skill to do all manner of work of the engraver and the designer and the tapestry maker, in blue, purple, and scarlet thread, and fine linen, and of the weaver--those who do every work and those who design artistic works.' " Exodus 35:30-35

See how God gave special grace and anointing for Bezalel to be an artist? Imagine anointing on designing, engraving, tapestry making and even an anointint on teaching all that! What is an anointing? It is when you do what God has gifted you to do at the time He calls you to do it. Remember that whatever you are called to do, God can give special blessing for you to get it done with joy, without frustration, and yet all for His special purposes! Then you can step back and say, "Lord, only You could have helped me accomplish that for Your glory. Thank you for the gift!"

Sunday, March 1, 2009

Snow in Georgia!

A little break from the "serious" blogging...

Can you believe it? It snowed about 4 inches or more at our house today! It's already melted, but the kids had a blast! They made a "gorilla" snowman and sledded down the hill in our yard. They're even more excited now, because since it's going to get in the 20's and refreeze all the slush, school is closed tomorrow! I'm so glad...more for Bill, my teacher husband. He needs a break!

It's nice to have one afternoon of a winter wonderland post-card view in our own yard! All this happened on March 1, no less! It's supposed to be in the 70's in a few days. Go figure!

Tuesday, February 17, 2009

Hurt Versus Suffering

Has God ever asked us to hurt? Has He asked us to suffer? I've never really thought of this before prayer time with a friend yesterday, but there is not a scripture where God tells us to hurt. There are plenty of scriptures where he warns us that we will suffer. What's the difference?

I started a word study this morning on "hurt" versus "suffer." The Hebrew and Greek words for hurt are tied to evil, distress, calamity and adversity. Most of the verses that have "hurt" are actually God telling us that He will protect us against hurt. Luke 10:19 says, “Behold, I give unto you power to tread on serpents and scorpions, and over all the power of the enemy: and nothing shall by any means hurt you.” In the Old Testament when the three Hebrew boys in exile would not bow their knee to the gold statue that King Nebuchadnezzar commanded everyone to worship, he had them thrown into a fiery furnace. It was then reported to the king in Daniel 3:25, "I see four men loose, walking in the midst of the fire; and they are not hurt, and the form of the fourth is like the Son of God." (emphasis mine)

Scriptures that warn us that we will have to suffer have a more eternal perspective. There are actually quite a few Greek words for "suffer," but the one used the most often is "pascho" which means - to be affected or have been affected, to feel, have a sensible experience, to undergo. Jesus tried to tell the disciples before his crucifixion that he would have to suffer. He had to feel pain for us. He asks us if we are willing to share in that suffering so we can be more sensitive to the pain of others. “For unto you it is given in the behalf of Christ, not only to believe on him, but also to suffer for his sake;” (Phil. 1:29) Our problem is that our finite minds get stuck on the suffering instead of the end result. When God asks us if we are willing to suffer for Him, the destination is not the pain. The destination is that JOY of eternity with Him on the other side of suffering!
The Spirit itself beareth witness with our spirit, that we are the children of God: And if children, then heirs; heirs of God, and joint-heirs with Christ; if so be that we suffer with [him], that we may be also glorified together. For I reckon that the sufferings of this present time [are] not worthy [to be compared] with the glory which shall be revealed in us.” Romans 8:16-18

I challenge you to do your own word study on hurt and suffering. There are so many more scriptures on this subject. Next time you experience some pain, ask God for His perspective. When you learn to "dwell in the secret place of the Most High" during a time of pain, the enemy will not be able to hurt you. (Ps. 91) You will start experiencing a deeper level of intimacy with God that you would not have had without the time of suffering. God will prove Himself Faithful and True!

Tuesday, February 10, 2009

Word Check!

This morning I was woken from a deep sleep stirred to pray for some dear friends and their marriage. As I sought the Lord on how to pray for them, I was prompted to go on a journey through the scriptures about abiding in His Word. My prayer is that this husband and wife would each have a tremendous desire for God's Word that will penetrate through the temptation to focus on the bleak outlook the enemy has for their marriage.

The book of John has so much to say about the pros of abiding in God's Word and the cons about not making room for His word. In John 8:31-32, Jesus tells us that if we abide in His word, then we are disciples and we will know the truth, and the truth will set us free. If that's true (and we know it is!), then why are so many Christians walking around defeated? Could it be that the truth we know to be right is being choked out by the cares of this world? I think of the parable of the sower and the seed. The seed that fell among the soil with thorns got choked out. Jesus said that the seed was the Word of God. He said that "he who received the seed among the thorns is he who hears the word, and the cares of this world and the deceitfulness of riches choke the word, and he becomes unfruitful." (Matt. 13:22) I don't want to be an "unfruitful" Christian. No fruit means no harvest of souls, but first it means no fruit of the Spirit in my own life that would in turn lead to a harvest of souls for His Kingdom.

So, today I challenge you to do a Word check. How much love do you have? How about joy? Peace? Patience? Kindness? Goodness? Faith? Gentleness? Self-control? If any of these are lacking, then you need to pray for a deeper desire to abide in His Word. Is it possible to have all these in the midst of adverse circumstances? Absolutely! I call it being in a God-bubble! It's like that movie from the 70's, "Boy in the Plastic Bubble." John Travolta played a boy that could not go outside of his house because the germs he could acquire in the world could kill him. Finally, they made a suit like a space suit he could wear so he could go out in the world and be protected from all the germs. If you start abiding in God's Word and allowing His Word to abide in you, you will find yourself in the midst of all the mess of your life, but it will be like you are in a protective bubble. Instead of despair, depression, or anxiety, you'll have faith, hope and love! I dare say that you will also start seeing that the circumstances that once weighed you down will start changing. Instead of the state of the affairs of your life influencing you, your new out-look will start influencing them! Relationships will be restored! Bills will be paid! Bodies will be healed!

Lord, thank you for your life-changing Word! I pray for a deeper desire for Your Word. Help me to abide in Your Word today. Even when I cannot stop to physically pick up the Bible to read, please remind me of a verse to meditate upon. I pray that Your Word will take root deep in my heart, in Jesus' Name! Amen!

Monday, February 2, 2009

Lighten Up! Going Deeper! report

God truly showed up and showed out at the Lighten Up! Going Deeper! women's conference this past Saturday! What a kick off as the first conference Legacy Ministries has ever put on. Boy, did we ever have obstacles leading up to the conference! The enemy sure did not want it to happen! He lost, though! BIG TIME!!

Reports from attendees are starting to come in. One lady told me that she did not know what to expect, but she is so glad she went. She said that everything led to the next. Every song, speaker, testimony, etc. kept building up to the next thing all for God's purposes. Another said, "Your conference was awesome the whole day. Sometimes I get bored at other women's conferences, but not this one!" Yet another said,
"It took me a while to understand the "lighten up" part of the conference but once I did I think a shed a few spiritual pounds of judgement! Your style of communicating what God had given you was relaxed and oozed with love for God and His women. I would highly recommend this conference to those that are thirsty for more and want to experience freedom from past hurts and prejudices."

I am going to post some pictures on my website. You can get there by clicking on the title to this blog entry. If they are not there yet, check back. If any of you attended the conference, please leave a comment to this blog. I'd love to read what God did for you!

Thursday, January 29, 2009

3 Day Devotional Posted Online

I'm so excited that the Lighten Up! Going Deeper! women's conference will be here in less than 2 days! I challenged the registrants to join me on a 3 day fast of their choosing to prepare for what God wants to do in thier lives at the conference. I posted devotionals on my website for them to read each day of the fast. Day 1 - "What is Weighing You Down"; Day 2 - "Are You Willing to 'Let Go and Let God'?"; Day 3 - "Preparing to Go Deep"

Whether you are a participant of the conference or not, you may print the devotionals for yourself. You can get to them by simply clicking on the title to this blog post above. Feel free to then come back and leave me a comment. I'd love to hear from you. Please be in prayer for our conference. I'm sure I'll have great reports to blog about after Saturday!

Wednesday, January 21, 2009

Fasting -- Returning to a Foundational Discipline

Fast. What comes to your mind when you see that word? Some might think of it in terms of speed. Others will think of not eating. Our society is so fast-paced that we often times don't have time, or don't take time, to even think about taking time out of our schedule to seek God on a genuine fast. As Christians need to get back to the discipline of fasting. It is becoming a necessity if we want to be stripped of clutter that keeps us from hearing God's voice clearly. Sadly, many Christians have never even fasted one meal. Are we not willing to sacrifice even one meal to find the heart of God?

As I prepare for our women's conference coming up on January 31, God is stirring me to fast. The theme of the conference is Lighten Up! Going Deeper! What better way to get rid of junk that weighs us down and prepare to draw closer to God than to go on a fast? I'm not talking about merely skipping meals to show some kind of "super Christian" label. I'm talking about seeking God. In fact, this time God is leading me on a different type of fast. Rather than going on a certain type of fast, I am to seek Him each day for what to fast that day. It might be dessert or it might be the whole meal. It might even be the computer! This way the focus is not on the fast itself, but it is on merely seeking God and learning to hear His voice more clearly.

Isaiah 11:3-4 (talking about the Messiah) says, "...He shall not judge by the sight of His ears, nor decide by the hearing of His ears; but with Righteousness He shall judge the poor, and decide with equity for the meek of the earth..." Jesus makes decisions with righteousness. Righteousness, right-standing before God, is extended to us. Prayerfully during this fasting time we will let go of some junk that has built up in our lives that keeps us from realizing that righteousness God offers to us. Then we will be able to make decisions with His direction--His righteousness.

Will you join with me on a fast? How many days? That's up to you and God. What will you fast? That, too, is up to you and God. I pray it will be a time that our focus will be on God and we will learn a new level of trusting God. Is. 26:3 says, "You will keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You." May His perfect peace be yours as you seek Him!

BTW, I found a great blog post about fasting at my friend Julie Ferwerda's website. If you click on the title of this post, you will be taken to it.

Also, if any of you ladies in the Atlanta area would like to come to the Lighten Up! Going Deeper! women's conference, go to my website to find out more information or to register.

Wednesday, January 14, 2009

Trust God...BYSSIW

Lately it seems that God is bringing up the topic of trusting Him quite a bit. I know it's on our money (at least for now!), "In God We Trust," but do we? I have many friends who are going through circumstances of monumental proportions that consequently are bringing them to a test of their trust in God. The circumstances I know of include court hearings, cancer, wayward children, possible foreclosures, divorce, death of loved ones, and on and on the list goes.

One of my friends I am asking you to pray for, Dick Bowley, has a blog on which he journals his journey through leukemia. God is pouring through him as he writes his entries. I feel as though I'm praying for a miracle for my daily devotional author. He calls those of us who read the daily posts and pray for him his POP team (power of prayer). (You can join the POP team by going to I read it to see how to pray for him, but I find myself encouraged and ministered to each time. On today's entry, he retold the story of Jesus telling Peter who had just toiled all night fishing and catching nothing to launch out into deeper waters and cast his net. Peter responded with BYSSIW - Because You said so, I will!

Then I read a blog entry by another friend, Amy Woods, about the same subject. (You may read it, too by going to On the blog post, she talks about Psalm 27:5 -"For in the day of trouble he will keep me safe in his dwelling; he will hide me in the shelter of his tabernacle and set me high upon a rock." There it is again...a reminder that we can trust HIM! He is our only sure foundation TO trust. Thank God, we have Him!

As I go about God's assignments for me today, I will be praying for you and all my friends to be strengthened to go through the trusting test. Please join me in prayer for one in particular, my good friend, Claude Parent. He has recently found out that cancer that he got through once has returned. Thank you for joining with me to pray for wisdom for treatments, endurance for the race and healing for every fiber of his body.

Lord, all our hope is in YOU! We proclaim today that in You, and in You only, we place our trust!!

Thursday, January 8, 2009

God Is Working When We Don't Even Know It!

I think this is the first time I have posted on my blog for the second time in less than 24 hours. The reason is I am so excited about what God is doing in my life right now, I cannot sleep! It is 1:33 AM. Anyone who knows me knows I am not a night owl. I usually start shutting down at 9:30 or 10:00.

Rather than continue lying in the bed with a thousand thoughts racing, I decided to get up and go to to read my assignment for my daily Bible reading plan. Today's scripture included the story about Jacob having the dream about the ladder going up to Heaven with angels going up and down it (Gen. 28). It goes on to say, And behold, the Lord stood above it and said: "I am the Lord God of Abraham your father and the God of Isaac; the land on which you lie I will give to you and your descendants. Also your descendants shall be as the dust of the earth; you shall spread abroad to the west and the east, to the north and the south; and in you and in your seed all the families of the earth shall be blessed. Behold, I am with you and will keep you wherever you go, and will bring you back to this land; for I will not leave you until I have done what I have spoken to you." Then Jacob awoke from his sleep and said, "Surely the Lord is in this place, and I did not know it."

As I read I thought, "That's it! I know how he feels!" Lately God has shown me that He has been working when I did not even know it. I can think of recent examples about Him doing this concerning contacts about my book, Loving God With All Five Senses, my ministry (Legacy Ministries), and the 1st Women's Conference Legacy is presenting on the 31st of this month called Lighten Up! Going Deeper!

If you would like to see what all is going on with any of these things, I invite you to visit my website at Thank you for allowing me some time to unload some of my excitement so I can go to sleep now!

Wednesday, January 7, 2009

Pray for Gaza!

This morning I went to to read my assignment for the day in my Bible reading plan, and my eyes fell on a link about a Baptist Church being damaged in the midst of the bombing between Hamas and Israel. (If you click on the title of this blog, it will take you to the article.) As a born-again Christian so many thoughts race through my mind as I think about what is unfolding before our very eyes! Wow! Think of it!

Growing up I used to hear sermons all the time about the rapture of the church. I remember reel to reel movies being shown at church all about the Lord's soon return. Since then I have not heard much about getting ready for the Lord's return. Now things are changing. At least they better! All those things they used to preach about are actually happening, and they are increasing at an alarming rate. I don't mean to scare anyone. If your heart is right with God all this news should excite you. If you are not sure, it is time! (I recommend going to Remember, Jesus' return to take His bride, the church, to Heaven is our "Blessed Hope." (See Titus 2:13.)

Let this blog be a reminder to you to do as the Bible commands us and "pray for the peace of Jerusalem." The only way there will be peace is when the "New Jerusalem" is set up. That means when we pray for peace in Jerusalem, we are actually praying for the Lord to come! In the meantime, let us also remember to pray for the Christians in the area, like this Baptist church that happened to be right in the midst of the crossfire. We need to also pray for the Jews and Muslims to find the true Prince of Peace as we have. Jesus is the world's only HOPE!

Saturday, January 3, 2009

New Year - Fresh Start!

Can you believe it is already a new year? I'm looking forward to what God has in store for us in 2009! I'm so glad God gives us new beginnings. Now is the time to re-evaluate. How is my relationship with God? with Bill? with the girls? with fellow believers? with others? How do I manage my time? How much time do I waste? Where do you draw the line between relaxing and wasting time? many questions go through my mind every January.

Here are a few things I'm going to try to follow through on for this year...

1. Give God first fruits of my time.
2. Pray for people as soon as God brings them to my mind.
3. When I win, I'll praise God; When I lose, I'll praise God! (This taken from the movie we watched on New Year's Eve, "Facing the Giants"...I srongly recommend this movie!)
4. Don't jump to conclusions as soon as something happens!
5. Keep hugging my of my favorite things to do!
6. Get in shape. (Read my January column for more thoughts on this one. My article, "A Tasty New Year's Resolution" can be read at
7. Read the Bible through. I listen to the DailyAudioBible podcast, which I recommend:, but this year I also want to read straight through. I recommend You can register for free and have a daily reading plan with whatever version you choose. You check when you've read the reading assignment, and it keeps track of your progress.
8. Focus!

I could go on, but that's enough!

May God bless you as you re-evaluate at the beginning of another great year! Happy 2009!