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]

Friday, November 30, 2007

Joseph - A Man of Emotion

After studying the book of Genesis (again), I came to the last few chapters earlier this week and was reminded by the LORD how much Joseph loved his God and trusted Him with his very life. He is a portrait of Christ. The thing that impressed me the most was how emotional he was. He "wept" a lot. If you look at the context he gets emotional when he realizes HOW God had been working in his life all those years. It's as though Joseph is in awe of God's working - and it causes him much emotion over and over.

  • Genesis 45:1-2

Joseph Makes Himself Known

1 Then Joseph could no longer control himself before all his attendants, and he cried out, "Have everyone leave my presence!" So there was no one with Joseph when he made himself known to his brothers. 2 And he wept so loudly that the Egyptians heard him, and Pharaoh's household heard about it.

  • Genesis 49:22-26 [Jacob's blessing on Joseph]

22 "Joseph is a fruitful vine, a fruitful vine near a spring, whose branches climb over a wall.
23 With bitterness archers attacked him; they shot at him with hostility.
24 But his bow remained steady, his strong arms stayed limber, because of the hand of the Mighty One of Jacob, because of the Shepherd, the Rock of Israel,
25 because of your father's God, who helps you, because of the Almighty, who blesses you with blessings of the heavens above, blessings of the deep that lies below, blessings of the breast and womb.
26 Your father's blessings are greater than the blessings of the ancient mountains, than the bounty of the age-old hills. Let all these rest on the head of Joseph, on the brow of the prince among his brothers.

  • Genesis 50:1, 15-17, 19-20

    1 Joseph threw himself upon his father and wept over him and kissed him.
    15 When Joseph's brothers saw that their father was dead, they said, "What if Joseph holds a grudge against us and pays us back for all the wrongs we did to him?" 16 So they sent word to Joseph, saying, "Your father left these instructions before he died: 17 'This is what you are to say to Joseph: I ask you to forgive your brothers the sins and the wrongs they committed in treating you so badly.' Now please forgive the sins of the servants of the God of your father." When their message came to him, Joseph wept.
  • 19 But Joseph said to them, "Don't be afraid. Am I in the place of God? 20 You intended to harm me, but God intended it for good to accomplish what is now being done, the saving of many lives. 21 So then, don't be afraid. I will provide for you and your children." And he reassured them and spoke kindly to them.

What a portrait of Christ! What forgiveness, emotion, compassion and mercy! Oh that God would continue to work and move in our individual lives the way he did in the life of Joseph.

Have you ever had moments when the LORD spoke through His Word to you and all you could do was respond in abandon emotion - face to the floor - nose hairs in the carpet? I have had a lot of those moments lately! Praise God He continues His purposes in my life - in spite of me!

Choosing JOY,


Wednesday, November 28, 2007

This City

Jeremiah 33:1-9

Promise of Restoration

1 While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the LORD came to him a second time: 2 "This is what the LORD says, He who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it—the LORD is His Name: 3 'Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.' 4 For this is what the LORD, the God of Israel, says about the houses in this city and the royal palaces of Judah that have been torn down to be used against the siege ramps and the sword 5 in the fight with the Babylonians: 'They will be filled with the dead bodies of the men I will slay in my anger and wrath. I will hide my face from this city because of all its wickedness.
6 " 'Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal My people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. 7 I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. 8 I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against Me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against Me. 9 Then this city will bring Me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.' [emphasis mine]

Am I that city? Are you that city?... Ones who have been forgiven, redeemed and restored and now bring renown, JOY, praise and honor to the Name of our King Jesus?

I pray we ARE!

Choosing JOY,


Sunday, November 25, 2007

Here a Grumble - There a Grumble!

After listening to several messages this weekend about being thankful to God it was interesting the scriptures that were shared and how much they apply to us today. I'm so glad that scripture is TIMELESS!

After God had delivered the Israelites from Egyptian slavery - it took only three days later for them to begin grumbling and complaining all over again. We probably grumble and complain about many things much more than we'd like to admit. Perhaps if we spent more days praising and being THANKFUL to God for who He is and what He does - we would spend less days grumbling.

Exodus 14:29-31

29 But the Israelites went through the sea on dry ground, with a wall of water on their right and on their left. 30 That day the LORD saved Israel from the hands of the Egyptians, and Israel saw the Egyptians lying dead on the shore. 31 And when the Israelites saw the great power the LORD displayed against the Egyptians, the people feared the LORD and put their trust in Him and in Moses His servant.

Exodus 15:22-24

22 Then Moses led Israel from the Red Sea and they went into the Desert of Shur. For three days they traveled in the desert without finding water. 23 When they came to Marah, they could not drink its water because it was bitter. (That is why the place is called Marah.) 24 So the people grumbled against Moses, saying, "What are we to drink?" [emphasis mine]

How often in our lives do we stand in AWE of the miracles that God performs daily on our behalf - and then five minutes later we complain about a simple provision that we KNOW He can and will provide?

Perhaps we need to take a little advice from Paul as he wrote to the church of the Colossians all about being thankful:

  • Colossians 1:3 [Thanksgiving through PRAYER]
3 We always thank God, the Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, when we pray for you...

  • Colossians 2:6 [the overflow of thankfulness]
6 So then, just as you received Christ Jesus as Lord, continue to live in him, 7rooted and built up in him, strengthened in the faith as you were taught, and overflowing with thankfulness.

  • Colossians 3:12-17
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.
15 Let the peace of Christ rule in your hearts, since as members of one body you were called to peace. And be thankful. 16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God. 17And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him. [emphasis mine]

Thank you for your inspiration from scripture, Pastor Jeff Conley and Dr. David Anderson.

Choosing JOY,


Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Thanks to Our God!

Jeremiah 33 [selected verses]

Promise of Restoration [through Jesus Christ]

1 While Jeremiah was still confined in the courtyard of the guard, the word of the LORD came to him a second time: 2 "This is what the LORD says, He who made the earth, the LORD who formed it and established it—the LORD is His Name: 3 'Call to Me and I will answer you and tell you great and unsearchable things you do not know.

" 'Nevertheless, I will bring health and healing to it; I will heal My people and will let them enjoy abundant peace and security. 7 I will bring Judah and Israel back from captivity and will rebuild them as they were before. 8 I will cleanse them from all the sin they have committed against Me and will forgive all their sins of rebellion against Me. 9 Then this city will bring Me renown, joy, praise and honor before all nations on earth that hear of all the good things I do for it; and they will be in awe and will tremble at the abundant prosperity and peace I provide for it.'

10 "This is what the LORD says… there will be heard once more 11 the sounds of joy and gladness, the voices of bride and bridegroom, and the voices of those who bring thank offerings to the house of the LORD, saying,

"Give thanks to the LORD Almighty,
for the LORD is good;
His love endures forever."

For I will restore the fortunes of the land as they were before,' says the LORD.
14 " 'The days are coming,' declares the LORD, 'when I will fulfill the gracious promise I made to the house of Israel and to the house of Judah.

15 " 'In those days and at that time I will make a righteous Branch sprout from David's line; He will do what is just and right in the land.
16 In those days Judah will be saved and Jerusalem will live in safety. This is the Name by which it will be called: The LORD Our Righteousness.'
17 For this is what the LORD says: 'David will never fail to have a man to sit on the throne of the house of Israel.
22 I will make the descendants of David my servant and the Levites who minister before Me as countless as the stars of the sky and as measureless as the sand on the seashore.' "

In response to the gift of our salvation through Jesus Christ.

  • Psalm 27:4

    One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek Him in His temple.

Happy Thanksgiving!

Choosing JOY,


Monday, November 19, 2007

Treasured Word

Get a little help from our friend Job... if he could believe God for God's best - how much more can we - who have the power source of Christ (His Holy Spirit) living within us?

  • Job 23:10-12

10 But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold.
11 My feet have closely followed His steps; I have kept to His way without turning aside.
12 I have not departed from the commands of His lips; I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread. [emphasis mine]

Do you and I treasure the words of God more than our daily intake of physical food?

  • Romans 5:2b-5

And we rejoice in the hope of the glory of God. 3 Not only so, but we also rejoice in our sufferings, because we know that suffering produces perseverance; 4 perseverance, character; and character, hope. 5 And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out His love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom He has given us. [emphasis mine]

Choosing JOY,


Saturday, November 17, 2007

Care of Widows

Today a few men came to my rescue [as God provided] to help with yard work. Some were friends from church - others I had never met - and many did not know each other - yet they were able to work together to accomplish all that had to be done... like the body of Christ was meant to function.

With five acres to care for and a riding mower on the fritz - I was in much need of help. They tackled ever project I gave them and all I had to do was feed them home cooked food [something I love to do]! God certainly cares for the widow and the orphan as HE has been so faithful to me over this last year especially!

  • Exodus 22:21-22
22 "Do not take advantage of a widow or an orphan. 23 If you do and they cry out to me, I will certainly hear their cry.
  • James 1:27
27 Religion that God our Father accepts as pure and faultless is this: to look after orphans and widows in their distress and to keep oneself from being polluted by the world.

Thanks - to all those who have helped me over this last year - both before Bob's passing on to glory and after. God is faithful and Bob's last words keep ringing true: "God will provide"!

Choosing JOY,


Wednesday, November 14, 2007

Out of Focus?

What do you think of when you hear the word "focus"? Has God been trying to get your attention to a place of focus on Him and His Word?

That's exactly the place He has brought me to in the last month or more. I am finding that, rather than fighting it with staying 'busy", I am trying to surrender to it. In doing so, God has been able to speak to me (so I listen), show me things (so I will follow) and teach me how to walk one day at a time - where He leads every step of my path. It's an awesome place to be. The peace of God has been the result. Here are just a few verses I want to share. What do you see?

  • John 16:29-33
29 Then Jesus' disciples said, "Now you are speaking clearly and without figures of speech. 30 Now we can see that You know all things and that You do not even need to have anyone ask You questions. This makes us believe that You came from God."
31 "You believe at last!"
Jesus answered. 32 "But a time is coming, and has come, when you will be scattered, each to his own home. You will leave Me all alone. Yet I am not alone, for my Father is with Me.
33 "I have told you these things, so that in Me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world." [emphasis mine]

  • Ephesians 1: 17-18
[Paul speaking]

17 I keep asking that the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, the glorious Father, may give you the Spirit of wisdom and revelation, so that you may know Him better. 18 I pray also that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened in order that you may know the hope to which He has called you, the riches of his glorious inheritance in the saints... [emphasis mine]

  • 2 Corinthians 4:16-18
16 Therefore we do not lose heart. Though outwardly we are wasting away, yet inwardly we are being renewed day by day. 17 For our light and momentary troubles are achieving for us an eternal glory that far outweighs them all. 18 So we fix our eyes not on what is seen, but on what is unseen. For what is seen is temporary, but what is unseen is eternal. [emphasis mine]

  • 2 Corinthians 2:14
14 But thanks be to God, who always leads us in triumphal procession in Christ and through us spreads everywhere the fragrance of the knowledge of Him. [ emphasis mine]

Choosing JOY,


Monday, November 12, 2007


2 Samuel 22
David's Song of Praise

1 David sang to the LORD the words of this song when the LORD delivered Him from the hand of all His enemies and from the hand of Saul.

2 He said: "The LORD is my rock, my fortress and my deliverer;
3 my God is my rock, in whom I take refuge, my shield and the horn of my salvation. He is my stronghold, my refuge and my savior— from violent men You save me.
4 I call to the LORD, who is worthy of praise, and I am saved from my enemies.
5 "The waves of death swirled about me; the torrents of destruction overwhelmed me.
6 The cords of the grave coiled around me; the snares of death confronted me.
7 In my distress I called to the LORD; I called out to my God. From His temple He heard my voice; my cry came to His ears.
8 "The earth trembled and quaked, the foundations of the heavens shook; they trembled because He was angry.
9 Smoke rose from His nostrils; consuming fire came from His mouth, burning coals blazed out of it.
10 He parted the heavens and came down; dark clouds were under His feet.
11 He mounted the cherubim and flew; He soared on the wings of the wind.
12 He made darkness His canopy around Him— the dark rain clouds of the sky.
13 Out of the brightness of His presence bolts of lightning blazed forth.
14 The LORD thundered from heaven; the voice of the Most High resounded.
15 He shot arrows and scattered the enemies , bolts of lightning and routed them.
16 The valleys of the sea were exposed and the foundations of the earth laid bare at the rebuke of the LORD, at the blast of breath from His nostrils.
17 "He reached down from on high and took hold of me; He drew me out of deep waters.
18 He rescued me from my powerful enemy, from my foes, who were too strong for me.
19 They confronted me in the day of my disaster, but the LORD was my support.
20 He brought me out into a spacious place; He rescued me because He delighted in me.
21 "The LORD has dealt with me according to my righteousness; according to the cleanness of my hands He has rewarded me.
22 For I have kept the ways of the LORD; I have not done evil by turning from my God.
23 All His laws are before me; I have not turned away from His decrees.
24 I have been blameless before Him and have kept myself from sin.
25 The LORD has rewarded me according to my righteousness, according to my cleanness in His sight.
26 "To the faithful You show Yourself faithful, to the blameless You show Yourself blameless,
27 to the pure You show Yourself pure, but to the crooked You show Yourself shrewd.
28 You save the humble, but Your eyes are on the haughty to bring them low.
29 You are my lamp, O LORD; the LORD turns my darkness into light.
30 With Your help I can advance against a troop; with my God I can scale a wall.
31 "As for God, His way is perfect; the Word of the LORD is flawless. He is a shield for all who take refuge in Him.
32 For who is God besides the LORD ? And who is the Rock except our God?
33 It is God who arms me with strength and makes my way perfect.
34 He makes my feet like the feet of a deer; He enables me to stand on the heights.
35 He trains my hands for battle; my arms can bend a bow of bronze.
36 You give me your shield of victory; You stoop down to make me great.
37 You broaden the path beneath me, so that my ankles do not turn.
38 "I pursued my enemies and crushed them; I did not turn back till they were destroyed.
39 I crushed them completely, and they could not rise; they fell beneath my feet.
40 You armed me with strength for battle; You made my adversaries bow at my feet.
41 You made my enemies turn their backs in flight, and I destroyed my foes.
42 They cried for help, but there was no one to save them— to the LORD, but He did not answer.
43 I beat them as fine as the dust of the earth; I pounded and trampled them like mud in the streets.
44 "You have delivered me from the attacks of my people; You have preserved me as the head of nations. People I did not know are subject to me,
45 and foreigners come cringing to me; as soon as they hear me, they obey me.
46 They all lose heart;they come trembling from their strongholds.
47 "The LORD lives! Praise be to my Rock! Exalted be God, the Rock, my Savior!
48 He is the God who avenges me, who puts the nations under me,
49 who sets me free from my enemies. You exalted me above my foes; from violent men You rescued me.
50 Therefore I will praise You, O LORD, among the nations; I will sing praises to Your Name.
51 He gives His king great victories; He shows unfailing kindness to His anointed, to David and his descendants forever." [emphasis mine]

Don't ever let me lose my wonder, LORD, of Who You are!

Choosing JOY,


Saturday, November 10, 2007

Praying It Through

It's been a long, busy week filled with JOY along with some decision making. I am on a 30-day Prayer Vigil with the Lord as to a specific "decision" that I need to make. I wanted to be completely trusting in the LORD for His will (not mine) in this. I've never done this type of praying 'process' for something specific (not talking about it - just praying it through). Listening to the LORD is key - but He has been faithful in speaking - through His Word and through His Spirit. He also put a new CD [In Christ Alone] in my path with a song that has spoken volumes - about where my heart needs to be in this process.

Here are just a few of the words:

Speak, O Lord (by Keith Getty & Stuart Townend)

Speak, O Lord. as we come to You
To receive the food of Your Holy Word.

Teach us, Lord, full obedience,
Holy reverence, true humility;
Test our thoughts and our attitudes
In the radiance of Your purity.
Cause our faith to rise; cause our eyes to see
Your majestic love and authority.
Words of power can never fail---
Let their truth prevail over unbelief.

Speak, O Lord, and renew our minds;
Help us grasp the heights of Your plans for us----
Truths unchanged from the dawn of time
That will echo down through eternity.

Speak, O Lord, till Your church is built
And the earth is filled with Your glory.

I could not help but think of this scripture passage......

  • Isaiah 6:1-3
In the year that King Uzziah died, I saw the Lord seated on a throne, high and exalted, and the train of His robe filled the temple. Above Him were seraphs, each with six wings: With two wings they covered their faces, with two they covered their feet, and with two they were flying. And they were calling to one another:
"Holy, holy, holy is the LORD Almighty;
the whole earth is full of His glory." [emphasis mine]

Praising the Lord of Heaven and Earth - the Faithful One!
I long for that Day when we behold Him in all His GLORY!

Choosing JOY,


Tuesday, November 6, 2007

A Puritan Prayer

1 Peter 4:11

If anyone speaks, he should do it as one speaking the very words of God. If anyone serves, he should do it with the strength God provides, so that in all things God may be praised through Jesus Christ. To Him be the glory and the power for ever and ever. Amen.

[Quoted from: The Valley Vision a Collection of Puritan Prayers & Devotions edited by Arthur Bennett ]

God the ALL

There is no comfort in anything apart from enjoying Thee
and being engaged in Thy service;
Thou art All in all, and all enjoyments are what
to me Thou makest them, and no more.

I am well pleased with Thy will, whatever it is,
or should be in all respects,
And if Thou bidst me decide for myself in any affair,
I would choose to refer all to Thee,
for Thou art infinitely wise and cannot do amiss,
as I am in danger of doing.

I rejoice to think that all things are at Thy disposal,
and it delights me to leave them there.
Then prayer turns wholly into praise,
and all I can do is to adore and bless Thee.

What shall I give Thee for all Thy benefits?
I am in a strait betwixt two, knowing not what to do;
I long to make some return, but have nothing to offer,
and can only rejoice that Thou doest all,
that none in heaven or on earth shares Thy Honour;
I can of myself do nothing to glorify Thy blessed Name,
but I can through grace cheerfully surrender soul
and body to Thee,
I know that Thou art the author and finisher of faith,
that the whole work of redemption is Thine alone,
that every good work or thought found in me
is the effect of Thy power and grace,
that Thy sole motive in working in me to will
and to do is for Thy good pleasure.

O God, it is amazing that men can talk so much
about man’s creaturely power and goodness,
when, if Thou didst not hold us back every moment,
we should be devils incarnate.
This, by bitter experience, Thou hast taught me
concerning myself.

May this Puritan Prayer bless you as much as it did me.

Choosing JOY,


Sunday, November 4, 2007

Up the Mountain

2 Samuel 15:16-17, 23, 30-32

16 The king [David] set out, with his entire household following him; but he left ten concubines to take care of the palace. 17 So the king set out, with all the people following him, and they halted at a place some distance away.

23 The whole countryside wept aloud as all the people passed by. The king also crossed the Kidron Valley, and all the people moved on toward the desert.

30 But David continued up the Mount of Olives, weeping as he went; his head was covered and he was barefoot. All the people with him covered their heads too and were weeping as they went up.

31 So David prayed...
32 When David arrived at the summit, where people used to worship God, Hushai the Arkite was there to meet him, his robe torn and dust on his head.[emphasis mine]

  • Psalm 3:1-4
A psalm of David. When he fled from his son Absalom.

O LORD, how many are my foes! How many rise up against me!
Many are saying of me, "God will not deliver him." Selah
But You are a shield around me, O LORD; You bestow glory on me and lift up my head.
To the LORD I cry aloud, and He answers me from His holy hill. Selah
[emphasis mine]

Are you facing utter despair today in the circumstances of your life? PRAY. Cry out to the LORD YOUR GOD, as David did - with what little strength you have. Look how God sends one to meet him at that place - where they used to worship. You can WORSHIP God . See and hear the LORD - who meets you there to find the HOPE that David found. Christ walked that same path many years later. You can fit your feet in both of their tracks.

If you're not in that place today - one of utter despair... then pray for someone who is.

  • PRAY

Choosing JOY,


Thursday, November 1, 2007

Jehoshaphat's Prayer

2 Chronicles 20: 5-12

Then Jehoshaphat stood up in the assembly of Judah and Jerusalem at the temple of the LORD in the front of the new courtyard and said:

"O LORD, God of our fathers, are You not the God who is in heaven? You rule over all the kingdoms of the nations. Power and might are in your hand, and no one can withstand you. O our God, did you not drive out the inhabitants of this land before Your people Israel and give it forever to the descendants of Abraham Your friend? They have lived in it and have built in it a sanctuary for Your Name, saying, 'If calamity comes upon us, whether the sword of judgment, or plague or famine, we will stand in Your Presence before this temple that bears Your Name and will cry out to You in our distress, and You will hear us and save us.'
"But now here are men from Ammon, Moab and Mount Seir, whose territory you would not allow Israel to invade when they came from Egypt; so they turned away from them and did not destroy them. See how they are repaying us by coming to drive us out of the possession You gave us as an inheritance. O our God, will You not judge them? For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are upon You."

Wow - what a prayer... He reminds God of who HE is and what HE has done and he directs all of Israel to seek the LORD in this prayer saying, "All eyes are on YOU, O God."

Now look at God's response:
  • 2 Chronicles 20:15, 17-18
He said: "Listen, King Jehoshaphat and all who live in Judah and Jerusalem! This is what the LORD says to you: 'Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God's... You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the LORD will give you, O Judah and Jerusalem. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. Go out to face them tomorrow, and the LORD will be with you.' "
Jehoshaphat bowed with his face to the ground, and all the people of Judah and Jerusalem fell down in worship before the LORD.

Do we allow God to do battle for us (even in prayer)? Do we worship - even before the battle has begun? Read the rest of the story and see where the singing and praise comes in - so cool.

I'm off to a conference this weekend so I'll have more on Sunday night! Hope you are benefiting somehow from this 'Devotional Blog' that is dedicated to the LORD and His WORD!

Choosing JOY,