Monday, August 31, 2009

Gaither Vocal Band - Find Us Faithful

The Power of Faithfulness

"His master said to him, 'Well done, good and faithful slave; you were faithful with a few things, I will put you in charge of many things; enter into the joy of your master.' Matthew 25:23 NASB
Have you ever heard of a man named John Egglen? I never had until today and I was so blessed to read his story that I wanted to share it with you. He lived in Colchester, England and was a deacon at his church. One Sunday morning he got up to find it had snowed. It was going to be hard to get to church; but John went. He thought about not going; but he went because he was a deacon and knew he should try his best to go. He walked 6 miles to the Methodist church that he attended. Apparently lots of members decided to stay home that day as there were only 12 members and one visitor present. The preacher was completely snowed in and did not make it. Being the only deacon present, it fell to John to bring the message. He had never in his life preached a sermon. The sermon was less than 10 minutes long and he wasn't sure he made any point at all. However, with uncharacteristic boldness, John felt that he needed to speak directly to the visitor, a boy. John said, "Lad, look to Jesus, Look! Look! Look! The boy heard John and apparently he did look to Jesus. That young teenager was Charles Haddon Spurgeon. Four years after his conversion he began to preach. He is known as the Prince of Preachers. He became the man God used to bring revival to England.
John Egglen was faithful to fulfill his obligations and faithful to step out and step up when the opportunity arose. Faithfulness may sound like a dull and plodding word, but it is the word that Jesus chose to commend the righteous servants in his parable in Matthew 25. I love it when I work with people and find that they are faithful and that I can count on them to do what they said they would do and be where they say they will be.
Could John have ever dreamed that his faithfulness would one day bring such a rich harvest? Do you suppose as he plodded through that snow that the enemy tried to discourage him? Maybe it was his own flesh that battled him. I know that is source of most of my battles with faithfulness.
Oh let us not be weary in well doing because in due season we will reap if we don't faint and keep being faithful.
MY PRAYER: Lord, help us to wait on you and renew our strength to keep on keeping on. Help us to mount up with wings like eagles so that we can run and not be weary and we can walk and not faint. We want to hear your "well done good and faithful servant." Thank you for leaving us John's example. Help us to be an example to others. In Your precious name, amen.
MY CONFESSION: I am called, chosen and faithful. I stand on Your Word! Revelation 17:14

Wednesday, August 26, 2009

Casting Crowns: Slow Fade Video

Don’t Give Him an Opportunity

And do not give the devil an opportunity. Ephesians 4:27 NASB

I once heard Bill Gothard say that what we allow in little our children will allow to excess. This principle is seen in Abraham’s life. (Abram speaking to Sarai) and it will come about when the Egyptians see you, that they will say, 'This is his wife'; and they will kill me, but they will let you live. "Please say that you are my sister so that it may go well with me because of you, and that I may live on account of you." Genesis 12:12-13

Abram is gripped with fear. This new God follower doesn’t trust God’s power to preserve and protect him so he tells a half truth thereby obscuring Sarai’s true identity. She was his half sister but more importantly he neglects to mention that she is his wife. He has just given the devil an opportunity. Ephesians 4:27 Satan is the father of lies and the master of deception. While he isn’t mentioned in Abram’s story, his finger prints aren’t hard to find.

Watch this sin get a foothold and grow in and through the generations of his family.

· Abram obscures Sarai identity with a half truth. Genesis 12:12-13
· His son, Isaac, lies about his wife Rebekah’s true identity. Genesis 26:7
· Rebekah and Jacob scheme and lie to Isaac and fake Jacob’s true identity to steal Esau’s blessing. Genesis 28:5
· Jacob’s sons sell their brother, Joseph, into slavery and lie to their father about what happen. They let him assume he is dead.

Trust me when I tell you there is no such thing as a “white lie.” We often hear talk of victimless crimes, but when it comes to the spirit world there is no such thing. When the Lord asks us to abstain from certain actions He is in fact saying, “Don’t hurt yourself and don’t hurt others.” Through the apostle Paul he is also saying, “Don’t give your enemy an opportunity.” But what if we have?

We must repent and ask for mercy. If we have been a bad example we must ask our family for forgiveness. We need to forsake the wrong and embrace what is right through the power of the Holy Spirit.

MY PRAYER: Lord, we ask for your mercy and grace to not only cover our sin, but to give us complete victory. We don’t want to grieve your Spirit or give the enemy a foothold. In the mighty name of Jesus, amen.

MY CONFESSION: Sin will not be my master because I am not under law, but grace. All my children will be taught of the Lord and great shall be the peace of my children. I stand on your word! Romans 6:14, Isaiah 54:13

Friday, August 21, 2009

Celtic Woman - A New Journey - You Raise Me Up

Gifts That Differ

I am repeating this because I think it is good to be reminded of these truths.
And since we have gifts that differ according to the grace given to us, let each exercise them accordingly: if prophecy, according to the proportion of his faith; if service, in his serving; or he who teaches, in his teaching; or he who exhorts, in his exhortation; he who gives, with liberality; he who leads, with diligence; he who shows mercy, with cheerfulness. Romans 12:6-8 NASB

Recently I went to a wonderful retreat. We looked in depth at the motivational gifts of Romans 12. Each gift was assigned a color. God is light and as light goes through a prism the light rays are bent in such a way that the seven component parts of light are seen. The raindrops in a cloud do the same thing and we see a rainbow with its beautiful colors.

We were taught that each of us has one of the gifts that is dominant and is our motivational gift. However, as we mature because we have the Holy Spirit of God, we have a deposit of each of the gifts within us. As we grow and yield to the Holy Spirit these other gifts can grow.

As we spent time looking at the strengths and potential weaknesses of the seven gifts I found my appreciation of each one growing. God's design is as beautiful as any rainbow. That thought called to mind a wonderful song by the late Keith Green.

Stained Glass

We are like windows, stained with colors of the rainbow,
Set in a darkened room, till the bridegroom comes to shining through,
Then the colors fall around our feet, over those we meet,
Covering all the gray that we see,
Rainbow colors of assorted hues, come exchange your blues,
For His love that you see shining through me.
We are His daughters and sons,
We are the colorful ones,
We are the kids of the King,
Rejoice in everything.
My colors grow so dim,
When I start to fall away from Him,
Then up comes the strongest wind
That begins to blow me back into his arms again,
And the colors fall around my feet, over those I meet,
Changing all the gray that I see,
Rainbow colors of the Risen Son, reflect the one,
The one who came to set us all free.
We are like windows, stained with colors of the rainbow,
No longer set in a darkened room,
cause the bridegroom wants to shine through you,
No longer set in a darkened room,
cause the bridegroom wants to shine through you.

Near the end of the retreat we were asked to close our eyes and have a time of quiet meditation on what we had been taught. Immediately in my mind's eye I saw Joseph's coat of many colors torn and bloodied. My reaction was, "What was that all about?" The next morning as I awakened I sensed the answer to that question in my spirit. The Lord seemed to be saying that jealousy and misunderstanding of the gifts that He has bestowed to His people had left many bloodied and torn.

As I shared that with the group a woman immediately spoke up. She obviously has a strong teaching gift and she shared that God had shown her the same thing. She had been deeply wounded by the jealousy of others in her Christian community. Joseph was one of 12 and had been so horribly treated by his brothers. Their jealousy over their father's favor toward Joseph represented by his beautiful coat exploded into vindictive rage. God showed her how his 12 disciples spent an embarrassing amount of time in competition and contemplation over who we be greatest. However, God had taken her to Revelation 4:4 "And around the throne were twenty-four thrones; and upon the thrones I saw twenty-four elders sitting, clothed in white garments, and golden crowns on their heads." Who these 24 elders are was not the point the Holy Spirit was highlighting. It was the words "around the throne." That word around comes from the root word for circle. What God was speaking to her heart was that in a circle there is equal access. No need to vie for position and their focus was on Him who sits on the throne. I think all of us left the retreat with a deeper commitment to honor what He has done in us and others.

God places each one in the body as it pleases Him. 1 Cor 12:18 This is a season like no other when we need to celebrate the gifts that God has given to His body. If we are to be effective and faithful we must learn to deeply appreciate the giftings of others. According to Hebrews 10:24 we are to stimulate one another to love and good works.

MY PRAYER: Lord, I want to earnestly contend for the faith and not compete. What do any of us have that was not given to us by your blessed Holy Spirit? Our gifts are not for ourselves but to be used in serving others. Help me to celebrate what you have given your body to enrich us and impact a lost and dying world for you. In Jesus name and for His glory. Amen.
MY CONFESSION: We have gifts that differ according to the grace given. We will exercise them according to the proportion of our faith, with liberality, diligence, and cheerfulness. I stand on Your Word!

Wednesday, August 19, 2009

A Few of My Favorite Things

I had the joy of meeting Jason Richardson, son of my dear friend, Julie. What a treat to have the sounds of an exhuberant four year old enjoying life in our home for a few days. Proving the cliche' that my favorite things aren't things.
Here is my HGTV version of the bounty from my garden, but for those who prefer real life....

here's what my counter really looks like and there is much more still on the vine. I am waay behind and the rain this week was great, but put everything in hyper productivity.
I am grateful to the Lord for these simple pleasures of life that would never be enough without His presence.

Friday, August 14, 2009

Hillsong - From The Inside Out - With Subtitles/Lyrics

Put Off and Put On

"Therefore bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance. Matthew 3:8
You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; to be made new in the attitude of your minds; and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness. Therefore each of you must put off falsehood and speak truthfully to his neighbor, for we are all members of one body. Ephesians 4:22-25

I wish I could remember who first taught me the principle of true repentance and renewal. I owe them a debt of gratitude. Their remark that captivated me was this, “You haven’t repented of being stingy until you are generous.” It sharpened for me what John the Baptist meant in “bringing forth fruit in keeping with repentance.

Paul in Ephesians further demonstrates this principle by telling us to put off the old and put on the new in the attitudes of our minds. Then he gives the example that we are to stop lying and start speaking truth. I have been in a situation before where I didn’t tell a lie, but through silence allowed people to think I agreed with them when I didn’t. That isn’t demonstrating the virtue of being truthful. Don’t just stop the negative or sinful, but the replace it with the positive virtue.

Put off a critical attitude/Put on a loving attitude
Put off a complaining attitude/Put on an attitude of gratitude
Put off a doubting attitude/Put on an attitude of faith

Paul encourages us to be made new in the attitude of our minds. We’ve all heard the cliché that attitude determines altitude. Are you feeling low? Check it out. It could be there is something hanging on from our former way of life. We need, by the grace that He is so willing to supply, to put it off and put on the new. We are created to be like Him. Pray for me and I will pray for you. Leave me a note if you need support with a negative attitude. If you prefer private communication email me with your request at

MY PRAYER: Lord, help us to bring forth fruit in keeping with repentance. Help us to put off the old and destructive ways and put on the new. Lord, your ways are right and we embrace and desire to walk in the fruit of your Spirit. In Jesus’ name, Amen.

MY CONFESSION: I will be made new in the attitude of my mind and I will put on the new self, created to be like You in true righteousness and holiness.

Tuesday, August 11, 2009


Mat 20:32 And Jesus stopped and called them, and said, "What do you want Me to do for you?" Luke 11:2b And He said to them, "When you pray, say:

When I was a young a mother I heard a sermon that really challenged me to teach my children to pray for specifics and not just in generalities. The pastor was very pointed in his analysis of why parents are hesitant. We don’t want our children to be disappointed if God doesn’t answer, so we foster low expectations with non-specific requests. He stepped on my toes, but more importantly he convicted my heart. I asked the Lord for opportunities to encourage my children to pray for specifics. Of course He came through.

My daughter overheard my concerns that the lack of rain was hurting our large garden. Big brown eyes looked earnestly into mine and said, “Mommy, let’s ask God to bring rain today.” I swallowed hard because I knew that there was no rain in the forecast all week. We joined hands and prayed that God would bring the needed rain to our garden. She happily and confidently went outside to play in the bright cloudless day with her brother. I had my own prayer session asking God to deal tenderly with her young faith. Imagine my delight when a couple of hours later the kids were dashing to the front porch to get out of rain shower that was falling as the sun shone almost as brightly as her little face. There was no doubt in her mind or mine that the Lord of the universe had stooped to hear and to answer her request.

Of course she had to grow in her relationship to God in prayer. There is so much to learn. She had to learn patience and perseverance and how to stand on His promises. But I would say she learned one of the most important aspects up front…when you pray say….be specific. The Lord hasn’t changed He still asks, “What do you want Me to do for you? Remember to say, “Thank you.”

MY PRAYER: Lord, thank you for the privilege of bringing all our concerns to you in prayer. Help me to be clear, help me persevere and help me to have high expectations because of who You are.

MY CONFESSION: I will be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving I will let my requests be made known to God. Your peace will guard my heart and mind. I stand on Your word! Phil. 4:6-7

Sunday, August 9, 2009

Busy Summer

We've had an exciting summer, full of family, friends and new adventures.
We went to our family reunion in Maryland and toured DC with our son and daughter-in-law.
We got to meet the newest family member our great niece Ava Louise Gray.

We stayed in a cabin in Pigeon Forge with our daughter, son-in-law, and granddaughters.

Spent the day on a pontoon boat on Lake Douglas

And explored the wonders of nature at our swimming hole.
I feel blessed!