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, August 29, 2007

There's Nothing Like Forgiveness

Two hours after I stepped off the plane back in NJ - I was greeted with total forgiveness by another human being. A few days earlier I had done all that I knew how to do to make a situation 'right' - even though I mentioned how the 'tongue' leaves a cut so deep that it is often hard to undo. Only God could heal this.

The feeling of forgiveness is something like this:

Forgiveness is like the fragrance
a flower gives off
when it has been trampled under foot.

Colossians 3:12-14

12 Therefore, as God's chosen people, holy and dearly loved, clothe yourselves with compassion, kindness, humility, gentleness and patience. 13 Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. 14 And over all these virtues put on love, which binds them all together in perfect unity. [emphasis mine]

It would be humanly impossible for us to forgive any other human being if it were not for the example of God's forgiveness through Christ's death on the cross.

Like the words from the song entitled: Above All

Crucified... laid behind the stone.

You lived… to die…. rejected and alone.

Like a rose ….trampled on the ground,

You took the fall …….and thought of me

Above all!

Choosing JOY,


Saturday, August 25, 2007

The Word Made Flesh

This is one of the most amazing passages - a fulfillment of OT scripture. How is it that the Living and True God would care to dwell in the hearts of men and women - like you and me? I'm sure glad He did! It was the Father's Plan - made perfect!
  • John 1:1-14
The Word Became Flesh
1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning.
3 Through Him all things were made; without Him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In Him was life, and that life was the light of men. 5 The light shines in the darkness, but the darkness has not understood it.
6 There came a man who was sent from God; his name was John. 7 He came as a witness to testify concerning that light, so that through him all men might believe. 8 He himself was not the light; he came only as a witness to the light. 9The true light that gives light to every man was coming into the world.
10 He was in the world, and though the world was made through Him, the world did not recognize Him. 11 He came to that which was His own, but His own did not receive Him. 12 Yet to all who received Him, to those who believed in His name, He gave the right to become children of God— 13 children born not of natural descent, nor of human decision or a husband's will, but born of God.
14 The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us. We have seen
His glory, the glory of the One and Only, who came from the Father, full of grace and truth. [emphasis mine]

Choosing JOY,


Tuesday, August 21, 2007

Cooking Skills

I love being a grandmother. I am here in FL
these two weeks for the most important job of all - cooking for these two little ones (and their father). Rob would starve or be eating pizza every night and who knows what these kids would get. Since I love to cook - these pictures are precious to me. Each day I talk with Drew (the 2-year old) about Jesus. He now knows 4 Bible verses that I have taught him and we sing songs about Jesus and talk about why Mommy is in Guatemala - to tell people about Jesus!!!

I love this passage because it is such a privilege to pass on our inheritance in the LORD - to bring these little ones to saving faith in Jesus! I can't wait!!!

  • Deuteronomy 6: 4-9
4 Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God, the LORD is one. 5 Love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength. 6 These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. 7 Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. 8 Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. 9 Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. [emphasis mine]
Choosing JOY,

Sunday, August 19, 2007

All About JESUS

The Pastor's message today down here in FL was back to the basics of evangelism and discipleship... It comes down to one question, "Who do YOU say that I am?"
  • Matthew 16:13-16
Peter's Confession of Christ

13When Jesus came to the region of Caesarea Philippi, he asked his disciples, "Who do people say the Son of Man is?"
14They replied, "Some say John the Baptist; others say Elijah; and still others, Jeremiah or one of the prophets."
15"But what about you?" he asked.
"Who do you say I am?"
16Simon Peter answered, "You are the Christ [[Greek] Cristos - meaning the Messiah ]], the Son of the living God." [Italic mine]

We can talk about everything under the sun with those around us, including the 'sun', 'God', the 'Creator', church, worship... but what our LORD and Father wants us to share with others - is simply JESUS!!!

Choosing JOY,


Friday, August 17, 2007

Painful Pruning

I am here in FL taking care of two of my grandchildren while my daughter, Becky is on a medical missions trip to Guatemala. Today was the first day I had the kids all day by myself (ages one and two) - so you can imagine how my hands were full. We had a great day all the way around and they were two little angels for Mom-Mom.

After dinner tonight my son-on-law, Rob, went out to cut the grass. Drew (the 2-year old) took his little lawn mower out too. Tessa, the 1-year old was eating grass and mulch and whatever else she could put in her mouth.

Rob asked me if I would be willing to prune some of their flowering bushes in the front of the house. He knows how I love gardening and some of them were overtaking the rest of the shrubs.
I got the clippers and took one look at these beautiful flowers. I swallowed hard. They are in full bloom with gorgeous blue/purple flowers all over. I began to prune with the heavy shears. UGH! At one point Rob yelled over to me, "Go deeper - prune them back more."

Then it hit me... It is just like with God. Just when we are in full bloom (or think we are ) - He prunes us back so severely that we look like ragga muffins. It killed me to prune those bushes taking off many of their lovely blooms - but I know in the end it will produce even more beautiful ones. Just like with God - I trust that His pruning in my life right now will bring forth even more fruit. I have to believe and trust that of Him - since the pain of this pruning hurts so much.

This brings me back to a very important passage of scripture that the LORD has been showing over and over (I wonder why).

  • John 15:1-5
    The Vine and the Branches 1"I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit He prunes
    so that it will be even more fruitful. 3You are already clean because of the word I have spoken to you. 4Remain in Me, and I will remain in you. No branch can bear fruit by itself; it must remain in the vine. Neither can you bear fruit unless you remain in Me.
    5"I am the vine; you are the branches. If a man remains in Me and I in him, he will bear much fruit; apart from Me you can do nothing. [emphasis mine]

Choosing JOY,


Thursday, August 16, 2007

The Tongue

After facilitating a Believing God (Beth Moore) 10-week Bible study this summer I said to the girls on the last night, "Now that we are Believing God, be cautious because satan is going to come after each one of us with a vengeance." I told then, "It could be on your way home, tomorrow morning or even a week or a month from now - but he is coming after us." I warned them (and me) that he would come in an unexpected manner and blind side us (me). He did just that...only two days later.

Have you ever said something to someone that you wish you could take right back because when the words ran out of your mouth you realized the negative affect it would have? That is how satan came after me. I allowed my tongue and my mouth to react to a frustrating situation last Sat. and the repercussions are still ringing loudly.

I have spent much time on my knees over this - in prayer - and reading everything from God's Word that is said about the tongue, the mouth, wisdom and peacemaking .

Here are a few that I found. I am meditating on all of them and praying that God can turn this around for GOOD and heal it. It's one of those things that is impossible to "make right". Only GOD can do that. All I can do is plead for forgiveness and allow God to heal the wounds I inflicted.
  • Psalm 39:1
I said, "I will watch my ways and keep my tongue from sin; I will put a muzzle on my mouth as long as the wicked are in my presence."
  • Proverbs 12:18
Reckless words pierce like a sword, but the tongue of the wise brings healing.
  • James 1:26

If anyone considers himself religious and yet does not keep a tight rein on his tongue, he deceives himself and his religion is worthless.

  • James 3:17
But wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial and sincere. Peacemakers who sow in peace raise a harvest of righteousness

If only I had put a muzzle on it. If only I had shown grace and mercy. But "if only" is only in fairy tales. That's the thing about the tongue - the "if only's" always come too late.

I don't like sharing my faults with all of you - but if it helps someone else NOT to make the same mistake that I did - it is worth it. Please pray for me.

Choosing JOY,


Monday, August 13, 2007

Strength in Weakness

So many friends and family members are in distress this day... I wanted to write some verses about strength, weakness, peace and TRUST...Words of encouragement from God Himself!

Psalm 31:9-10

9 Be merciful to me, O LORD, for I am in distress; my eyes grow weak with sorrow, my soul and my body with grief.
10 My life is consumed by anguish and my years by groaning; my strength fails because of my affliction, and my bones grow weak.

  • Psalm 28:7
The LORD is my strength and my shield; my heart TRUSTS in Him, and I am helped. My heart leaps for joy and I will give thanks to Him in song. [emphasis mine]

  • Psalm 22:19
But You, O LORD, be not far off; O my Strength, come quickly to help me.
  • Psalm 59:9-10
O my Strength, I watch for You; You, O God, are my fortress, 10 my loving God. God will go before me and will let me gloat over those who slander me.
  • Ephesians 3:16
I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being...
  • 2 Thessalonians 2:16-17
16May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word.
  • Isaiah 26:3 KJV

Thou wilt keep him in perfect peace whose mind is stayed on Thee; because he trusts in Thee.

Choosing JOY (even in weakness),


Friday, August 10, 2007

Shut him Up!

  • Psalm 8

For the director of music. According to gittith.
A psalm of David.

1 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth! You have set Your glory above the heavens.
2 From the lips of children and infants You have ordained praise because of Your enemies, to silence the foe and the avenger.
3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, the moon and the stars, which You have set in place,
4 what is man that You are mindful of him, the son of man that You care for him?
5 You made him a little lower than the heavenly beings and crowned him with glory and honor. 6 You made him ruler over the works of Your hands; You put everything under his feet: 7 all flocks and herds, and the beasts of the field, 8 the birds of the air, and the fish of the sea, all that swim the paths of the seas.
9 O LORD, our Lord, how majestic is Your Name in all the earth! [emphasis mine]

When we bring praise to our God we not only give Him the honor and glory He deserves, we also silence the mouth of the evil one.

  • PRAISE GOD = SILENCE the devil
Are you being attacked this week?? Try STOP, DROP & PRAISE! Works every time! Let's do all that we can to stop him in his tracks... it starts with PRAISE to our God!

Choosing JOY,


Tuesday, August 7, 2007

Psalm 126 - Our JOY

God asked me to memorize Psalm 126 almost two years ago. I, in turn asked my children to memorize it not knowing "why" at the time.

Now I know why - as it has now become our family's testimony! Praise God! Now you know why I choose JOY daily!

Psalm 126
A song of ascents.

1 When the LORD brought back the captives to Zion,
we were like men who dreamed.

2 Our mouths were filled with laughter,
our tongues with songs of joy.
Then it was said among the nations,
"The LORD has done great things for them."

3 The LORD has done great things for us,
and we are filled with joy.

4 Restore our fortunes, O LORD,
like streams in the Negev.

5 Those who sow in tears
will reap with songs of joy.

6 He who goes out weeping,
carrying seed to sow,
will return with songs of joy,
carrying sheaves with him. [emphasis mine]

Choosing JOY,


Monday, August 6, 2007

Who Is He?

Some scripture just speaks for itself - as God speaks to the hearts of those who hear it. Let the Word of God fall on you afresh today.

  • Psalm 5:1-3

For the director of music. For flutes. A psalm of David.

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD, consider my sighing.
2 Listen to my cry for help, my King and my God, for to You I pray.
3 In the morning, O LORD, You hear my voice; in the morning I lay my requests before You and wait in expectation.

  • Jeremiah 33:3 KJV

Call unto Me, and I will answer thee, and show thee great and mighty things, which thou knowest not.

  • Romans 11:33-36

33 Oh, the depth of the riches of the wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable His judgments, and His paths beyond tracing out! 34 "Who has known the mind of the Lord? Or who has been His counselor?" 35 "Who has ever given to God, that God should repay him?" 36 For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things. To Him be the glory forever! Amen.

Choosing JOY,


Saturday, August 4, 2007

Ah, Sovereign LORD!

Is there anything that you are going through right this moment that you think is too hard for your God? Just in case you have any doubt...
  • Jeremiah 32:17-19 (selected)

"Ah, Sovereign LORD, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for You.... O great and powerful God, whose Name is the LORD Almighty, great are Your purposes and mighty are Your deeds." [emphasis mine]

If you still have one iota of doubt...

  • Romans 8:28 KJV
And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to His purpose. [emphasis mine]
Choosing JOY,

Wednesday, August 1, 2007

Hangin' on HOPE!

Last night in my MSP class (Ministerial Studies Program) we learned how to write an "epistle" like Paul wrote to the Philippians, the Ephesians, and then to the Thessalonians. We found several elements necessary:
  • Thanksgiving for their ministry
  • Reflections of their past ministry
  • Encouraging Report on what we are doing
  • Encouragement to continue what they're doing right
  • Instruction in teaching the truth (living to please God)
  • HOPE - the goal of why we do what we do - and no longer do

2 Thessalonians 2:13-17

Stand Firm

13 But we ought always to thank God for you, brothers loved by the Lord, because from the beginning God chose you to be saved through the sanctifying work of the Spirit and through belief in the truth. 14 He called you to this through our gospel, that you might share in the glory of our Lord Jesus Christ. 15 So then, brothers, stand firm and hold to the teachings we passed on to you, whether by word of mouth or by letter.
16 May our Lord Jesus Christ Himself and God our Father, who loved us and by His grace gave us eternal encouragement and good hope, 17encourage your hearts and strengthen you in every good deed and word. [emphasis mine]

It all seems to hang on HOPE - without it we die! The "hope of our calling" - the "hope of eternal life" - the "hope that lives within us" - all by God's grace!

Praise, Honor and Glory to our God!

Choosing JOY,