Thursday, April 30, 2009

Resisting Temptation

We need to take responsibility for our actions and for our failures. But we can't wallow in them. We need to look for God's way to escape.

From Turning Point devotion -
But God is faithful, who will not allow you to be tempted beyond what you are able, but with the temptation will also make the way of escape. 1 Corinthians 10:13b

The source of one of the greatest insights about temptation is debated, though it is often attributed to the Protestant reformer, Martin Luther: "You can't stop the birds from flying over your head, but you can stop them from building a nest in your hair." If the birds are temptations, we can't prevent their presence in this world. But their presence should never be equated with the obligation to give them a place of residence in our life.

The apostle James gives the clearest description in the Bible of how temptation leads to sin: "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death" (1:13-15). It's clear that we are responsible for allowing ourselves to be "drawn away" from righteousness by our own carnal desires. It is a process—temptation, yielding, birth, spiritual death—that we can stop with God's power.

It's not a sin to be tempted, but it is a sin to follow after temptation and not take the way of escape God provides.

Holiness is not freedom from temptation, but power to overcome temptation.
G. Campbell Morgan

Tuesday, April 28, 2009

Spiritual Bracings

From Turning Point devotion today:
My soul melts from heaviness; strengthen me according to Your word. Psalm 119:28

When designing a bridge, the engineer must take into account three different, but equally important loads: the dead load, which is the weight of the bridge itself; the live load, which is the weight of the daily traffic it must carry; and the wind load, which is the pressure of the storms that beat on the bridge. The engineer then plans for bracings that will bear all three loads.

As Christians, we need bracings for the dead load of self, the live load of daily living, and the wind load of emergencies and trials. The only bracings strong enough to withstand all three loads are found in Scripture, and they are available to us at any moment; all we have to do is open the Bible and seek the Lord.

How strong are our bracings? Every time we commit a verse to memory, read the Word of God, or ask for wisdom, we are strengthening our spiritual bracings so that during daily struggles or life-altering trials, instead of aimlessly searching elsewhere for solace and strength, we know exactly where to turn, seek wisdom, and take comfort.

Within the covers of the Bible are the answers for all the problems men face.
Ronald Reagan

Am I chasing the right stuff?

Matt 6:25-34 - Is life not more important that food and the tody more important than clothes? We so often get our priorities mixed up and worry about the external or the temporal. I forget that my life and how I live it and how I serve my God are so much more important than the house I live in and the stuff I accumulate.

If I wonder how much God really cares for me I just look at nature. I see the beauty and splendor He gave flowers and trees and birds and fish and I'm reminded that I am so much more important to Him. I know He wants me to have so much more - but my "more" is not always the same as His "more".

Seek first His kingdom and His righteousness...not stuff, not money, not food, not external, temporary things, but the everlasting Kingdom and His everlasting righteousness.

Friday, April 24, 2009

Speak Out.....Cry Out

Psalm 107:1 Give thanks to the Lord, for he is good!
His faithful love endures forever.
2 Has the Lord redeemed you? Then speak out!
Tell others he has redeemed you from your enemies.

SPEAK OUT. We were saved from a terrible future. We have the knowledge to share with others so they can be saved from a terrible future. SPEAK OUT!

This Psalm goes on to say: 4 Some wandered in the wilderness,
lost and homeless.
5 Hungry and thirsty,
they nearly died.
6 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he rescued them from their distress.
7 He led them straight to safety,
to a city where they could live.
8 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
9 For he satisfies the thirsty
and fills the hungry with good things.

10 Some sat in darkness and deepest gloom,
imprisoned in iron chains of misery.
11 They rebelled against the words of God,
scorning the counsel of the Most High.
12 That is why he broke them with hard labor;
they fell, and no one was there to help them.
13 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
14 He led them from the darkness and deepest gloom;
he snapped their chains.
15 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
16 For he broke down their prison gates of bronze;
he cut apart their bars of iron.

17 Some were fools; they rebelled
and suffered for their sins.
18 They couldn’t stand the thought of food,
and they were knocking on death’s door.
19 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
20 He sent out his word and healed them,
snatching them from the door of death.
21 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
22 Let them offer sacrifices of thanksgiving
and sing joyfully about his glorious acts.

23 Some went off to sea in ships,
plying the trade routes of the world.
24 They, too, observed the Lord’s power in action,
his impressive works on the deepest seas.
25 He spoke, and the winds rose,
stirring up the waves.
26 Their ships were tossed to the heavens
and plunged again to the depths;
the sailors cringed in terror.
27 They reeled and staggered like drunkards
and were at their wits’ end.
28 “Lord, help!” they cried in their trouble,
and he saved them from their distress.
29 He calmed the storm to a whisper
and stilled the waves.
30 What a blessing was that stillness
as he brought them safely into harbor!
31 Let them praise the Lord for his great love
and for the wonderful things he has done for them.
32 Let them exalt him publicly before the congregation
and before the leaders of the nation.

What is the theme? They cried, "LORD, help" and He saved them. Our God is good and faithful. CRY OUT. He will save you too.

Thursday, April 23, 2009

Whose teachings do I follow?

Matthew 15:8-9
'These people honor me with their lips,
but their hearts are far from me.
They worship me in vain;
their teachings are but rules taught by men.'

Tuesday, April 21, 2009

Who's in the boat?

Matt 8:23-27 - the story of Jesus calming the storm while His disciples panic. Jesus can calm any storm but what happens to our faith when He doesn't calm the storm we are in right now?

Our faith needs to be in Jesus even if He lets the storm rage around us. We need to remember that regardless of what is happening around us, He is in the boat with us!

Wednesday, April 15, 2009

happy birthday, Dorothy

Today is my sister's birthday. I miss you.

Saturday, April 11, 2009

Creation is waiting

Romans 8:18 Yet what we suffer now is nothing compared to the glory he will reveal to us later. 19 For all creation is waiting eagerly for that future day when God will reveal who his children really are. 20 Against its will, all creation was subjected to God’s curse. But with eager hope, 21 the creation looks forward to the day when it will join God’s children in glorious freedom from death and decay. 22 For we know that all creation has been groaning as in the pains of childbirth right up to the present time. 23 And we believers also groan, even though we have the Holy Spirit within us as a foretaste of future glory, for we long for our bodies to be released from sin and suffering. We, too, wait with eager hope for the day when God will give us our full rights as his adopted children,[j] including the new bodies he has promised us. 24 We were given this hope when we were saved. (If we already have something, we don’t need to hope[k] for it. 25 But if we look forward to something we don’t yet have, we must wait patiently and confidently.)

What a beautiful picture. I love thinking of nature waiting for God to restore everything to perfection. I look at flowers and trees and birds and fish and animals and see the beauty - can you imagine what these will look like when all is restored to perfection.

Friday, April 10, 2009


This is from my Turning Point devotion today: He said to His mother, "Woman, behold your son!" John 19:26

Faith is the capacity to keep going between Good Friday and Easter Sunrise. It's the God-granted ability to trust God during black Weekends and hard times. Without faith it's impossible to please God, but that implies hardship. Trusting God during good times is a little like riding a bike downhill; sometimes we can almost "coast." But when the path is uphill, faith has to flex its muscles, knowing sooner or later we'll arrive at the mountaintop with its far-reaching vistas.

When Gabriel visited Mary with news about the Christchild, she said, "Let it be to me according to your word." A few months later, old Simeon warned her that a sword would one day pierce her heart. No one could have foreseen how deeply the sword would pierce on that Good Friday. But approximately 39 hours later, her heaviness was lifted, her faith was fulfilled, her hope was realized, her joy was restored, and her Son was risen. Our Good Fridays aren't always so good; but they are good for our faith, and with faith it is very possible to please Him.

Wednesday, April 8, 2009


I spent a long weekend in Louisiana visiting my nieces and nephew and my Mom's husband. It was a good weekend - well, except for the car accident (not our fault)! I miss my mom and sister. Even though we didn't see each other or talk on the phone enough, I did love them so much.

This trip confirmed how important my other sisters are to me. We may fuss and fight but we are sisters and friends. Nothing will break that bond. I love you, Terri and Debbie.

Seeing my mom's house was not as hard as I thought it would be. A few times I caught myself alone in a room and the tears threatened as I thought about Mom. I'm sure when I sit down and start using the craft things I got from her house, I'll feel heavy emotion - touching things she touched.

We were hit from behind by a young girl who had her license a whole month! Not much damage to either car and no injuries save sore muscles. I didn't have my proof of insurance on me (and I'm an insurance agent :) I had it emailed to me and then had to print it off (fortunately we were right in front of an office supply store). The lady asked what service my phone card in my computer was. I told her Verizon. She was very surprised - "No one can get Verizon service on their computers here - you must have had an angel watching over you." I have Someone better than an angel - I have the Creator and Master of the angels watching over me (wished I would have thought to say that to her as a witness).

God is so good.

Friday, April 3, 2009

The Journey Home

This is from the Our Daily Bread devotion today: Hebrews 11:1-10

Bill Bright, founder of Campus Crusade for Christ, stated "Knowing that heaven is our real home makes it easier to pass through the tough times here on earth. I have taken comfort often in the knowledge that the perils of a journey on earth will be nothing compared to the glories of heaven."

The devotion goes on to say: "Abraham, the friend of God, illustrates this same other-worldly orientation: "By faith he dwelt in the land of promise as in a foreign country...for he waited for the city which has foundations, whose builder and maker is God" (Heb.11:9-10). His sojourn was that of a traveling foreigner, who by faith sought an eternal city constructed by God.

Whether death is near or far away, let's exhibit a faith that focuses on our eternal home.

This put a lot in prospective for me. This life on earth is not the end-all, it is simply a passing-through. I need to stop living as if the gains/successes on earth are the prize.

Wednesday, April 1, 2009

Dropped Calls

This is the title of my Turning Point Devotion today.

If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear. Psalm 66:18

Most of us are all too familiar with the phrase "dropped call." It's the common term for a wireless phone transmission that ends abruptly, often while the caller is traveling between towers. It's odd to be talking away on the phone only to realize that no one is listening on the other end.

In a way, the same thing can happen in prayer. The old book The Kneeling Christian says: "No sin is too small to hinder prayer, and perhaps to turn the very prayer itself into sin."

In Daniel 9, the prophet Daniel—about whom nothing negative is said in Scripture—was praying to the Lord and making confession. He said, "We have sinned and committed iniquity…," and he prayed with deep contrition and earnestness. In response, the Lord gave him the great prediction of "seventy weeks," which is a cornerstone of biblical prophecy.

Prayer is our greatest weapon, our sweetest occupation, and our highest privilege. A tender conscience, a zeal for purity, and a habit of confession will keep the prayer lines open so that no calls will be dropped.

It is amazing that any should try to retain both sin and prayer. Yet very many do this. Even David cried long ages ago, "If I regard iniquity in my heart, the Lord will not hear." From The Kneeling Christian