Believing the Promises of God - in His Word

Against all hope, Abraham in hope believed… Without weakening in his faith… Yet he did not waver through unbelief regarding the promise of God, but was strengthened in his faith and gave glory to God, being fully persuaded that God had power to do what He had promised. ~ Romans 4 [selected 18-21]

Wednesday, May 30, 2007

Practicing the Presence of God

As I opened the Word this morning the Lord took me to these passages about David and Solomon and the fulfilled promise about the building of the temple for the Lord. My mindset was mostly on how faithful God is with His promises. He is a covenant God who always follows through with what He promises.

When I finished reading this I was reminded even more about practicing the Presence of God. That was the purpose of why David and Solomon wanted to build this temple - a place for God to remain with them - a place where they could enjoy His Presence through prayer.

They understood clearly that they could not "contain" God in a building - one made of human hands no matter how grand and how beautiful it was. Yet God, in His mercy agreed to dwell there because of what it meant to them. If you read all of chapters 6 & 7 you will find the conditions (of obedience) laid down for this - but all in all it was (once again) God's mercy and grace that allowed Him to dwell there.

2 Chronicles 6:12,14,16-20
Solomon's Prayer of Dedication

12 Then Solomon stood before the altar of the LORD in front of the whole assembly of Israel and spread out his hands. 14 He said: "O LORD, God of Israel, there is no God like You in heaven or on earth—You who keep Your covenant of love with Your servants who continue wholeheartedly in Your way. 15 You have kept Your promise to Your servant David my father; with Your mouth You have promised and with Your hand You have fulfilled it—as it is today. 16 "Now LORD, God of Israel, keep for Your servant David my father the promises You made to him when You said, 'You shall never fail to have a man to sit before me on the throne of Israel, if only Your sons are careful in all they do to walk before me according to my law, as You have done.' 17 And now, O LORD, God of Israel, let Your Word that You promised Your servant David come true.
18 "But will God really dwell on earth with men? The heavens, even the highest heavens, cannot contain you. How much less this temple I have built! 19 Yet give attention to your servant's prayer and his plea for mercy, O LORD my God. Hear the cry and the prayer that Your servant is praying in Your presence. 20 May Your eyes be open toward this temple day and night, this place of which You said You would put Your Name there. May You hear the prayer Your servant prays toward this place. [emphasis mine]

2 Chronicles 6:41-42

40 "Now, my God, may Your eyes be open and Your ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 41 "Now arise, O LORD God, and come to Your resting place, You and the ark of Your might. May Your priests, O LORD God, be clothed with salvation, may Your saints rejoice in Your goodness.
42 O LORD God, do not reject Your anointed one. Remember the great love promised to David Your servant."

2 Chronicles 7:12, 15-16

12 the LORD appeared to him at night and said: "I have heard your prayer and have chosen this place for Myself as a temple for sacrifices. 15 Now My eyes will be open and My ears attentive to the prayers offered in this place. 16 I have chosen and consecrated this temple so that My Name may be there forever. My eyes and My heart will always be there.

A promise made - a promise kept! God did His part and the results were blessings for those who kept His decrees and followed in His ways. The bonus to it all was the Presence of God Himself.

As we live in the New Testament church age we have the Holy Spirit of God living within our own hearts where He has access to us and more importantly, we have complete and daily access to Him - to the Presence of a Holy God. How awesome is that?

Do we practice the Presence of God? Or do we take that for granted every day? This OT passage should remind us the lengths and depths that David and Solomon went through to get that very thing. It should also remind us of how much God wanted to grant it to them (and to us).

May His Grace and Mercy - through His very Presence - bless your life today!

Choosing JOY,


Sunday, May 27, 2007

Two Very Special Hands

All my life I've had a fear of "mentally challenged" people – to put it nicely. It used to be that I would get physically ill when I came in sight of them – out of fear – out of the unknown – out of not understanding who they are and what their purpose is.

  • Luke 14:12-14

12 Then Jesus said to his host, "When you give a luncheon or dinner, do not invite your friends, your brothers or relatives, or your rich neighbors; if you do, they may invite you back and so you will be repaid. 13 But when you give a banquet, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind, 14 and you will be blessed. Although they cannot repay you, you will be repaid at the resurrection of the righteous." [emphasis mine]

When I read this passage earlier this week I told God that I wanted to do that – to prepare a luncheon or dinner and invite “those kinds of people” – whatever or whomever than meant. I asked him to show me how to do that.

Our church had a special Barbeque Beast Feast after church today and since it was too hot outside we had it in our basement fellowship hall where it was much cooler. After I had eaten my first plate of food (piled high and overflowing) I saw a young woman (Tabitha) from my church come in with about 8 mentally challenged adults, along with her coworker from the "group home"where she works. She had invited these women of all ages to share the Barbeque meal that was prepared. I ran up to her in line and exclaimed how thankful I was that she had invited them. I asked her if I could help with anything and her coworker responded immediately, “Can you take Mary’s hand and Ann’s hand while I get their plates of food?” As I reached out to grab hold of Mary’s hand she dawned a huge smile at me. My heart sank. I took hold of Ann’s hand who was a bit fearful. We walked behind the coworker as she asked them which foods they would like to eat. We then made our way to a table where each of them sat together as was their custom.

Recently, God has shown me that there are some He has chosen to be “so special” – their worship and trust in Him is so childlike, so pure, that they have no fear of raising their hands in praise to Him or shouting for joy or singing songs to Him. He finds joy in them – as well as in me (the so-called "normal" person... ahem... nothing 'normal' or 'pure' about me - UGH!)

  • Matthew 5:7-8

7 Blessed are the merciful,for they will be shown mercy. 8 Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God. [emphasis mine]

What a blessing just to hold two very special hands today and to see the smile of the "pure in heart"!

“For God so loved the world…” all of them!

Praise to His glorious Name!

Choosing JOY,


Saturday, May 26, 2007

Shield of FAITH

It's been a long and tiring day working out in the yard, mowing the grass and trimming bushes as well as putting down lime. I had to fix the spreader wheel that was broken. I'm getting to be a regular mechanic around here. I also removed the netting from the pond today. I'm praying that the Blue Heron doesn't eat my catfish for lunch tomorrow. It was nice that so many of you liked the Blog: Pond Scum... God is good.

Before I turn in I wanted to reflect back on Beth Moore's Shield of FAITH from her book and video series called: Believing GOD. This was the book that God placed in my hands when He was doing the amazing things in my life and in Bob's healing. I will be leading a new study beginning in June on this again. The principles are very simple - yet profound. Even Bob learned them and said them before he went with Jesus. And every one of them became real for him.

There are many scriptures that back up each one. My challenge to you is to find at least 3 for each one in your personal studies this week.

Shield of FAITH
  • 1. GOD is who He says He is!
  • 2. GOD can do what He says He can do!
  • 3. I am who God says I am [I'm His]. (brackets mine)
  • 4. I can do all things through Christ.
  • 5. God's WORD is alive and active in me.
The last one is the one that gives most people trouble. It is the very one that God taught me over and over. He showed me how important that last one is for me. You can't share what you don't know. I want to KNOW God's Word!

Deuteronomy 4: 32-35 The Lord Is God

32 Ask now about the former days, long before your time, from the day God created man on the earth; ask from one end of the heavens to the other. Has anything so great as this ever happened, or has anything like it ever been heard of? 33 Has any other people heard the voice of God speaking out of fire, as you have, and lived? 34 Has any god ever tried to take for himself one nation out of another nation, by testings, by miraculous signs and wonders, by war, by a mighty hand and an outstretched arm, or by great and awesome deeds, like all the things the LORD your God did for you in Egypt before your very eyes?
35 You were shown these things so that you might know that the LORD is God; besides him there is no other.

Blessings for your Sunday... may you set apart the day for HIM and His Word.

Choosing JOY,


"By the grace of God I am what I am, and His grace toward me was not in vain…" ~ 1 Corinthians 15:10
There is only one relationship that really matters, and that is your personal relationship with your personal Redeemer and Lord. If you maintain that at all costs, letting go of everything else, God will fulfill His purpose through your life. One individual life may be of priceless value to God's purposes, and yours may be that life. ~Oswald Chambers

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Sowing & Reaping

Sowing Generously

My son picked me up for Bible study at his church last night. It was a good 35 minute ride from my house. We talked about "giving" and I was sharing with him about memorizing this first verse from Luke. After I stumbled through quoting it to him he reminded me that it is not only with the positive things but also with things like mercy and judgment. He said, we also will be measured by the measure we use for those two things as well. That opened my heart and mind even more. God is so merciful and He is just - yet He chose to redeem sinners. How awesome! I need to show mercy more times than I do - just like Jesus. How generous will I be with that?

Luke 6:38 (Jesus speaking…)

“Give, and it will be given to you.
A good measure,
pressed down, shaken together and running over,
will be poured into your lap.
For the measure you use, will be measured to you.”

We went on to discuss some of this passage on sowing and reaping. Do you realize that everything that God does involves sowing and reaping? Think about it... everything! This passage shows the "why" as to our giving generously - it is the overflow of thanks to God. Others will praise God because of it. If our goal in life is to bring glory to God by enjoying Him
forever - what better way to do that than to put these two passages into practice? Not out of our love for the world but simply out of our love for God and His Word.

2 Corinthians 9:6-15

6 Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly,
and whoever sows generously will also reap generously. 7 Each man should give what he has decided in his heart to give, not reluctantly or under compulsion, for God loves a cheerful giver. 8 And God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 9 As it is written: "He has scattered abroad his gifts to the poor; his righteousness endures forever." 10 Now he who supplies seed to the sower and bread for food will also supply and increase your store of seed and will enlarge
the harvest of your righteousness. 11 You will be made rich in every way so that you can be generous on every occasion, and through us your generosity will result in
thanksgiving to God. 12 This service that you perform is not only supplying the needs of God's people but is also overflowing in many expressions of thanks to God.
13 Because of the service by which you have proved yourselves, men will praise God for the obedience that accompanies your confession of the gospel of Christ, and for your generosity in sharing with them and with everyone else. 14 And in their prayers for you their hearts will go out to you, because of the surpassing grace God has given you. 15 Thanks be to God for his indescribable gift! [emphasis mine]

Was God generous with us when He provided the way or restoration to Himself? It all comes down to the cross and God's grace - bottom line! Nothing more, nothing less, nothing else!

Choosing JOY,


Tuesday, May 22, 2007

Psalm 139

Psalm 139:1-18 (a portion of Psalm 139)
For the director of music. Of David. A psalm

1 O LORD, You have searched me and You know me.

2 You know when I sit and when I rise;
You perceive my thoughts from afar.

3 You discern my going out and my lying down;
You are familiar with all my ways.

4 Before a word is on my tongue
You know it completely, O LORD.

5 You hem me in—behind and before;
You have laid Your hand upon me.

6 Such knowledge is too wonderful for me,
too lofty for me to attain.

7 Where can I go from Your Spirit?

Where can I flee from Your presence?

8 If I go up to the heavens, You are there;
if I make my bed in the depths, You are there.

9 If I rise on the wings of the dawn,
if I settle on the far side of the sea,

10 even there Your hand will guide me,
Your right hand will hold me fast.

11 If I say, "Surely the darkness will hide me
and the light become night around me,"

12 even the darkness will not be dark to You;
the night will shine like the day,
for darkness is as light to You.

13 For You created my inmost being;
You knit me together in my mother's womb.

14 I praise You because I am fearfully and
wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful,
I know that full well.

15 My frame was not hidden from You
when I was made in the secret place.
When I was woven together in the depths of the earth,

16 Your eyes saw my unformed body. All the days
ordained for me were written in Your book before
one of them came to be.

17 How precious to me are Your thoughts, O God!
How vast is the sum of them!

18 Were I to count them, they would outnumber
the grains of sand. When I awake, I am still with You.

The Lord continually brings me back to this Psalm to remind me
that He knows me inside and out. He knows all of my fears, my
insecurities, my failures, my sin, and best of all, my hopes and
dreams. He knows my characteristics and chooses to use me with
those in mind. Before I can speak or even form a word - He knows it
already - completely!! Wow! Who else in your life does that? Who else
is familiar with every detail of your life? No one but the God
who formed you! Praise Him!

That's why He made each of us in a unique and special way. Not that
we can offer anything to Him, but He, by His marvelous GRACE
allows us to participate in what He is doing! What a privilege that
He gives us. Having God know me like that - makes me want to know
Him the same way. I want to know and love every detail that He has
revealed about Himself in His Word and by His Spirit, don't you?

Choosing JOY,


Monday, May 21, 2007

Psalm 25

Psalm 25:1-7 Of David.

1To You, O LORD, I lift up my soul;
2 in You I trust, O my God. Do not let me be put to shame, nor let my enemies triumph over me.
3 No one whose hope is in You will ever be put to shame, but they will be put to shame who are treacherous without excuse.
4 Show me Your ways, O LORD, teach me Your paths;
5 guide me in Your truth and teach me, for You are God my Savior, and my hope is in You all day long.
6 Remember, O LORD, Your great mercy and love, for they are from of old.
7 Remember not the sins of my youth and my rebellious ways; according to Your love remember me, for You are good, O LORD.

As I was reading this passage last night in bed, I thought it would be a good one to memorize. If most of us can memorize the 23rd Psalm with no problem, we should be able to memorize any scripture passage.

I bet you know the 23rd Psalm. You know why? Because it makes sense to you. The words come easy because you understand what they are saying. That's the key to memorizing any scripture. It is not so it can be spewed from the mouth - but from the heart - back to God... all for His Glory and His divine purpose.

Will you learn a new passage this week? Even just one verse? You never know when it may come in handy!

Choosing Joy,


Sunday, May 20, 2007

Pond Scum

Since my husband went home to heaven with Jesus seven months ago it has been my job to oversee all of the five acres of land here in Southern New Jersey. That also includes taking care of the few animals (I have left) as well as attending to the pond just off the back deck.

Each Spring it is time to clean the pond filter, remove the heater, clear away the leaves that have gathered around the netting that protects the pond during the winter. Yes, the netting is to protect the fish (Big Blue my 2 lb. catfish, and his 3 goldfish siblings) from the dreaded Blue Heron that has come to stalk my pond since it was put in seven years ago.

A few weeks ago the waterfall had barely any water coming out so I attempted a day of cleaning and gardening in the pond. I pulled apart the entire filter, sticking my hand down in the filter box not knowing what I might find. A one-pound bull frog made his way out as I stuck my hand in. I'm not sure who scared who more! Yuck. After 4o minutes of cleaning and such the water was barely trickling out. I had made it worse instead of better. Next, I tore apart the waterfall end, lifting heavy slates one by one until I uncovered the lava filter. I cleaned all of that and put it all back together again, plugged the pump back in and hoped for the best. NOTHING! UGH! Now the waterfall did not work at all. I began to cry. I was covered with pond scum, smelled like pond scum, and was wallowing in self-pity like pond scum.

I began to pray, "Lord, You know that I cannot afford to pay someone to come look at this pump. I know You can help me fix this. Please show me what is wrong with it and help me, Amen."

I walked back over to the pump filter and was able to weasel it out (something I had attempted and failed before). Ah ha! When I lifted it out - it was just a simple connection that needed to be put back together and placed carefully back into the filter box. God showed me, God helped me, God answered! Praise be to His Name! I plugged the pump in one last time and water came pouring out of the waterfall. The water was muddy and stirred up all the water in the pond and made it muddy and murky. After it ran for a while the water pouring into the pond was clear again but the pond remained muddy. I had to add a special powder of enzymes that over time makes the water clear and clean again. Later that afternoon the scum and mud had made its way back to the bottom and the pond water was fairly clear again.

All this to share with you what I learned from God from that one event:
  • When the muck and mire of our circumstances is stirred up and clogs the vessel we must begin the resolve and restoration with PRAYER, first and foremost.

Psalm 40:1-2

1 I waited patiently for the LORD; He turned to me and heard my cry.
2 He lifted me out of the slimy pit, out of the mud and mire;
He set my feet on a rock and gave me a firm place to stand.

  • God will instruct us when we are meditating upon His Word for direction. He is the divine teacher.
  • Like the netting over the pond He will watch over us and surround us with His unfailing love.

Psalm 32:8,10

8 I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you and watch over you... 10 Many are the woes of the wicked, but the LORD'S unfailing love surrounds the man who trusts in Him.

  • The clear water that settled the muck and mire in the pond is like the power we get from the Living water, through the power of the Holy Spirit in our lives. We must be empty vessels in order to get the filling.
  • We should be standing under the waterfall of the Holy Spirit at all times, longing to be filled.

Isaiah 44:3-4

3 For I will pour water on the thirsty land, and streams on the dry ground; I will pour out My Spirit on your offspring, and My blessing on your descendants.
4 They will spring up like grass in a meadow, like poplar trees by flowing streams.

Aren't you glad that even when we can't see the bottom of the pond through all the muck and mire we know that God has a purpose and a plan for the pond and the fish who live in it. Aren't you glad He gave us the gift of the waterfall? The Holy Spirit of God to live within us - giving us all the power and strength we need for life?

Just a few more verses to end this long one for today:

Romans 15:13

13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in Him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

Psalm 30: 11-12

11 You turned my wailing into dancing; you removed my sackcloth and clothed me with joy,
12 that my heart may sing to you and not be silent. O LORD my God, I will give you thanks forever.

Amen and Amen!!!

Choosing JOY,


Friday, May 18, 2007


How much do you believe God for what He has already purposed in your life? Start activating it with PRAYER. (Psalm 139:4 / Psalm 57:2)

What is it that you are wanting God to do? Does it seem impossible? Is it "over the top"? Is it too detailed?

Beloved, our God is an "over the top" GOD - not a lifeless, breathless, stone cold idol 'god' made of human hands.

The Bible says: Ask, Seek, Knock

Matthew 7: 7-8

7 "Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 8 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened.

What are YOU asking for, seeking to find, or knocking so a door can be opened? You ain't gonna get nothing if you don't ask.

The Bible says:

Luke 1: 37-38

37For nothing is impossible with God." 38"I am the Lord's servant," Mary answered. "May it be to me as you have said."

Will you believe God the way Mary did when the angel told her she was with child?

Psalm 84:11-12

11 For the LORD God is a sun and shield; the LORD bestows favor and honor; no good thing does He withhold from those whose walk is blameless. 12 O LORD Almighty, blessed [happy] is the man who trusts in You.

Do YOU trust God will not withhold from you if you are walking uprightly? You gotta do it God's way - and by His rules (it's not that hard, really).

Isaiah 45:11-13a KJV

11 Thus saith the LORD, the Holy One of Israel, and his Maker, Ask Me of things to come concerning My sons, and concerning the work of My hands command ye Me. 12 I have made the earth, and created man upon it: I, even my hands, have stretched out the heavens, and all their host have I commanded. 13 I have raised him up in righteousness, and I will direct all his ways:

Look at all this says He made, created, stretched out, commanded and will direct. Does this sound like a God who won't do what you are believing Him to do?

Are you walking in His ways, meditating on His Word, listening to His voice?

Are you obeying (slight catch but a good one) what He is teaching you in your heart?

Cross over to the "gift of faith" He has given you - and believe Him for it!

Praise, Honor, and Glory
to His mighty Name...

Choosing JOY,


Thursday, May 17, 2007

Word of God Speaks

It was such a blessed day flying home from FL and reading more of Desiring God by John Piper. The chapters I read today were filled with scripture about the Word and how important it needs to be in our lives if we are going to survive with JOY on this earth.

Hebrews 1:3

The Son is the radiance of God's glory and the exact representation of His being, sustaining all things by His powerful Word.

1 Peter 1:23

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring Word of God.

I want to take more time to share some thoughts but my first goal is to share what is on my heart about the Word.

· I want only to encourage the reading and meditation of God’s Holy Word in the lives of others because I know how powerful it is in my own life every day.
· I do not wish for others to use this “blog” as a substitute for the Word – or the individual time that must be spent in the Word.
· God speaks fresh to the heart through the power of the Holy Spirit each time the Word is opened – but it can only be received when a heart is meditating, pondering, listening and obeying what is being spoken – therefore it must be a personal thing for each believer – not something that someone else read for you.

John Piper says it best in his book, Desiring God:

People whose minds are saturated with God’s Word and submissive to His thoughts have a wisdom that in eternity will prove superior to all the secular wisdom in the world: “Happy is the man who finds wisdom, and the man who gets understanding” (Proverbs 3:13 RSV).
He goes on to say:
Satan’s number –one objective is to destroy our JOY of faith. We have one offensive weapon: the sword of the Spirit, the Word of God (Eph. 6:17)…. But we can’t draw the sword from someone else’s scabbard. If we don’t wear it, we can’t wield it. If the Word of God does not abide in us (John 15:7), we will reach for it in vain when the enemy strikes.
(Note: John 2:14 about ABIDE) [all emphasis mine]

Piper quotes from George Muller (1805-1898) who said:

After having dressed in the morning…I had to give myself to the reading of the Word of God… and to meditate on it, that thus my heart might be comforted, encouraged, warned, reproved, instructed; and that thus, whilst meditating, my heart might be brought into experimental, communion with the Lord.

The first thing I did and after asking the Lord’s blessing upon His precious Word, was to begin to meditate on the Word of God; searching, as it were into every verse, to get blessing out of it; not for the sake of the public ministry of the Word; not for the sake of preaching on what I had meditated upon; but for the sake of obtaining food for my own soul.
[emphasis mine]

I read much of this as I flew home from FL today and pondered one of the verses that I had taught my grandson, Drew, to memorize this week. He says this verse with such conviction, innocence, trust, and belief, that it brings joy to my soul even more – hearing from his tiny little 2-year-old voice. Try to imagine what it sounds like from a child who pronounces each and every word with complete faith.

The heavens declare the glory of God, the skies proclaim the work of His hands. ~ Psalm 19:1

We do a “high-five” after he completes even the reference. Drew knows (by heart) several other verses including their references. Do I sound like a proud grandmother? I am more in awe of how precious the Word is when spoken and memorized by a little child. If Drew can memorize it and allow it to abide in his heart, so can I, and so can you. I looked at the skies [God's glory, design and work of His hands] in a whole new light because of that verse.

Thanks for allowing me to share just a glimpse of my world (in Christ) with you! Feel free to post comments on the bog website or share truths with me as well. Let us encourage one another with the reading of God's Holy Word!

Choosing Joy,


Wednesday, May 16, 2007



Colossians 3:16 KJV

Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly in all wisdom; teaching and admonishing one another in psalms and hymns and spiritual songs, singing with grace in your hearts to the Lord.

Romans 15:2

Let each of us please his neighbor for his good, to help him be stronger in faith.

Proverbs 19:17

Being kind o the poor is like lending to the Lord. The Lord will reward you for what you have done.

2 Corinthians 9:7

Each one should give, then, what he has decided in his heart to give… God loves the person who gives happily.

Proverbs 13:12-13

12 Hope deferred makes the heart sick, but a longing fulfilled is a tree of life.
13 He ho scorns instruction will pay for it,
But he who respects a command is rewarded.

Each day while I am here the Lord continues to show me the things He wants for my life. He continues to show me His promise (that it will be fulfilled in His timing) and he gives me direction in giving cheerfully. He also has shown me the path for ministry and even had me answer a question that I did not know I would answer.