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, February 29, 2008


Give God your LEAP (extra) DAY!
Leap into PRAYER today as you take a leap of FAITH. TRUST God for something huge and wait in expectation (Psalm 5:3) for Him to deliver it - then leap with JOY! Last but not least - leap into PRAISE for our God - burst into song and let your heart LEAP!

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.

Psalm 40:1-4a

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

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.
3 He put a new song in my mouth,
a hymn of praise to our God.
Many will see and fear
and put their trust in the LORD.
4 Blessed is the man
who makes the LORD his trust.

Choosing JOY,


Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Out of the Mouths of Babes

A woman in one of my Bible studies was relating an incident in her life from several years ago. She was driving in her car and crying over something she had prayed about thinking what's the use? From the back seat of the car her nine year old son spoke up and said, "Mom, you have to believe in your prayer." She said his words hit her like a ton of bricks because he was so right. She needed to believe that what she was praying for would happen. If she didn't believe that God could, should or would answer her prayer then there was no sense in praying it at all. God's answers are either "yes", "no", "wait" or "I have something better!"

James 1:5-8

5 If any of you lacks wisdom, he should ask God, who gives generously to all without finding fault, and it will be given to him. 6 But when he asks, he must believe and not doubt, because he who doubts is like a wave of the sea, blown and tossed by the wind. 7 That man [the one who doubts]should not think he will receive anything from the Lord; 8 he is a double-minded man, unstable in all he does. [emphasis mine]

Luke 11:8-10

8 I tell you, though he will not get up and give him the bread because he is his friend, yet because of the man's boldness he will get up and give him as much as he needs.
9 "So I say to you: Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you. 10 For everyone who asks receives; he who seeks finds; and to him who knocks, the door will be opened. [emphasis mine]

There are no if's, and's or but's with prayer........... take it to the heavenly realms and..............

Pray in FAITH........Believing!

Choosing JOY,


Monday, February 25, 2008


I see over and over again that when God is getting ready to do a “new thing” in our lives – He does not allow “old things” to go with us. He shows me that I cannot take those old things to the new place He’s taking me. Only He knows the way so I must depend on Him for His direction. TRUST in the biggest issue – it’s where our FAITH becomes reality in the heavenlies – even before we see it laid out on the topsoil of earth. We often hold onto the old things out of fear of the new. But over and over God tells us not to be afraid. He knows our fears are real - He's asking for our trust in exchange. That's a deal of a lifetime!

Isaiah 43:18-19

18 "Forget the former things;
do not dwell on the past.
19 See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up; do you not perceive it?
I am making a way in the desert and streams in the wasteland. [emphasis mine]

Joshua 1:5-7,9

As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you. Be strong and courageous. Be strong and very courageous. Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go. [emphasis mine]

Joshua 3:1-5

Crossing the Jordan

1 Early in the morning Joshua and all the Israelites set out from Shittim and went to the Jordan, where they camped before crossing over. 2 After three days the officers went throughout the camp, 3 giving orders to the people: "When you see the ark of the covenant of the LORD your God, and the priests, who are Levites, carrying it, you are to move out from your positions and follow it. 4 Then you will know which way to go, since you have never been this way before. But keep a distance of about a thousand yards between you and the ark; do not go near it."
5 Joshua told the people, "Consecrate yourselves, for tomorrow the LORD will do amazing things among you." [emphasis mine]

Choosing JOY,


Saturday, February 23, 2008

3 Strikes - More Grace

Today ends a "sifting season" that has lasted over a year where I have come to bat and now struck out three times - in denial of My LORD. Oh, not in so many words did I deny Christ - but my actions and my choices denied His will for me and what I knew He desired in and for me. Yesterday, He showed me that if I made that same choice one more (3rd) time - His Presence would not go with me. That scared me so much. I even felt Him remove His Presence from me for a few hours. I hated the thought of it - let alone the action of that. The LORD has been so close to me and remains my Protector, Judge, Defender and Father.

I am thankful that He has more grace and more good things ahead as this has now come to its end. I've been examining the life of Peter and the other Disciples this week.

Luke 22:60-62

60 Peter replied, "Man, I don't know what you're talking about!" Just as he was speaking, the rooster crowed. 61 The Lord turned and looked straight at Peter. Then Peter remembered the word the Lord had spoken to him: "Before the rooster crows today, you will disown Me three times." 62 And he went outside and wept bitterly. [emphasis mine]

I don't think that look that Jesus gave Peter when their eyes met was one of judgment or condemnation - on the contrary it was one of compassion and mercy - as Jesus' eyes may have said, "It didn't have to be this way."

Fortunately for Peter, the LORD had already told him what would happen and Jesus even knew that Peter would turn back in repentance. That's why Christ gave him the command, "when you turn back strengthen your brothers."

Luke 22:31-32 [Jesus speaking to Peter]

31 "Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to sift you as wheat. 32 But I have prayed for you, Simon, that your faith may not fail. And when you have turned back, strengthen your brothers."

Oh, may our faith not fail us when Jesus prays for us in our own crisis situations. And may we remember to repent - and then strengthen our brothers with what He's taught us.

Have you been through a "sifting season" in your life recently? Then there was something that needed sifting. Let the Holy Spirit blow away the chaff and may only the whole kernels of wheat remain.

Turn on the oven - because now you are ready to bake the bread of life!

Choosing JOY,

Thursday, February 21, 2008

A Thankful Body

A friend sent this passage of scripture to me in a card yesterday. I wanted to pass it on to all of you out there who are called to the body of Christ - as a prayer for your lives.

1 Corinthians 1:4-9

Thanksgiving [Paul writing to the Corinthians]

4 I always thank God for you because of His grace given you in Christ Jesus. 5 For in Him you have been enriched in every way—in all your speaking and in all your knowledge— 6 because our testimony about Christ was confirmed in you. 7 Therefore you do not lack any spiritual gift as you eagerly wait for our Lord Jesus Christ to be revealed. 8 He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 9 God, who has called you into fellowship with His Son Jesus Christ our Lord, is faithful. [emphasis mine]

Praying God's Word:

Thank you for my brothers and sisters in Christ. Because of Him they overflow in every way - the way they speak and think - because of what we share in Christ - the very thing that seals us to Him. May they participate by using the spiritual gifts He has given them until Jesus comes - for "kingdom" purposes. May they depend on Him for strength so they can walk in Him - always choosing what is right before Him. Thank you God, for calling us into fellowship with Jesus, You are always faithful in all Your ways! We praise You!

Choosing JOY,

Photo: God's glory - confirming my pledge to get up at dawn to pray. (He knows how much I love purple!!)

Tuesday, February 19, 2008

Jehovah Shammah

Ezekiel 35:10, 14-15 [speaking to Edom]

10 " 'Because you have said, "These two nations and countries will be ours and we will take possession of them," even though I the LORD was there... ' ”

14 This is what the Sovereign LORD says: While the whole earth rejoices, I will make you desolate. 15 Because you rejoiced when the inheritance of the house of Israel became desolate, that is how I will treat you. You will be desolate, O Mount Seir, you and all of Edom. Then they will know that I am the LORD.' "

In His presence lay the special security of the chosen land - but God still calls us to hand-to-hand combat where our enemy is concerned. God will not give us - what we are not willing to fight for. When we are willing - HE promises to be right there with us. Then ALL will know that HE IS THE LORD!

Jehovah Shammah = The LORD is THERE!

The LORD is there to insure the victory - so that all will know that HE is GOD!

Choosing JOY,


Sunday, February 17, 2008

In the Beginning... GOD

In case you need more than the title of today's devotional to inspire the AWE of our Creator - let me share further some blessed truths from God's Word.

Job 38 (selected)

The LORD Speaks

1 Then the LORD answered Job out of the storm. He said:
2 "Who is this that darkens My counsel

with words without knowledge?
3 Brace yourself like a man;

I will question you,
and you shall answer Me.
4 "Where were you when I laid the earth's foundation?

Tell Me, if you understand.
5 Who marked off its dimensions? Surely you know!

Who stretched a measuring line across it?
6 On what were its footings set,

or who laid its cornerstone-
7 while the morning stars sang together

and all the angels shouted for joy?
12 "Have you ever given orders to the morning,
or shown the dawn its place,
13 that it might take the earth by the edges

and shake the wicked out of it?
32 Can you bring forth the constellations in their seasons
or lead out the Bear with its cubs?
33 Do you know the laws of the heavens?

Can you set up God's dominion over the earth?
36 Who endowed the heart with wisdom
or gave understanding to the mind? [emphasis mine]

Job 40 (selected)

1 The LORD said to Job:
2 "Will the one who contends with the Almighty correct Him?

Let him who accuses God answer Him!"

Job's reply to the LORD

3 Then Job answered the LORD :
4 "I am unworthy—how can I reply to You?

I put my hand over my mouth.
5 I spoke once, but I have no answer—

twice, but I will say no more."

Job 42 (selected)

1 Then Job replied to the LORD :
2 "I know that You can do all things;

no plan of Yours can be thwarted.
3 You asked, 'Who is this that obscures My counsel without knowledge?'

Surely I spoke of things I did not understand,
things too wonderful for me to know.
4 "You said, 'Listen now, and I will speak;

I will question you,
and you shall answer Me.'
5 My ears had heard of You

but now my eyes have seen You.
6 Therefore I despise myself

and repent in dust and ashes."

Deuteronomy 13: 3b-4

The LORD your God is testing you to find out whether you love Him with all your heart and with all your soul. 4 It is the LORD your God you must follow, and Him you must revere. Keep His commands and obey Him; serve Him and hold fast to Him. [emphasis mine]

Let's do it with JOY undending! Praise the LORD of all Creation!

Choosing JOY,


Friday, February 15, 2008

In Step

The other day I took my golden retriever, Chloe, out for her daily walk. As we headed out the back door she pulled me so hard I almost fell down. I pulled on her collar and yelled, "Walk, Chloe, just walk." It took that hard yank to get her attention which made her walk more in step with me. Things were good for awhile and then she began doing the opposite. She was so busy sniffing all the good smells around her that she became distracted by them and she was lagging behind when I wanted to move forward.

All of that reminded me of our walk with the LORD. When the Holy Spirit is leading us we often want to pull ahead and run - sometimes with our own ideas and agenda. We step out in front of the LORD and before we realize it we have missed the very plans He has for us. Or, we lag behind because we are so busy fussing with all the other "stuff" in our lives that we don't pay any attention to where He's leading us.

  • Galatians 5:24-25
24 Those who belong to Christ Jesus have crucified the sinful nature with its passions and desires. 25 Since we live by the Spirit, let us keep in step with the Spirit. [emphasis mine]

  • Romans 8:5-7
5 Those who live according to the sinful nature have their minds set on what that nature desires; but those who live in accordance with the Spirit have their minds set on what the Spirit desires. 6 The mind of sinful man is death, but the mind controlled by the Spirit is life and peace;

The closer we abide - staying in step with the Spirit's leading - the more direction the LORD will give us. The end is life and peace. I want that!!
Choosing JOY,

Tuesday, February 12, 2008


I've been studying today about two wealthy men in God's word - the rich man and Zacchaeus. Jesus spoke to both of them and offered them the way to eternal life. Only one chose Jesus. It wasn't the one most would assume would respond in joyful faith.

Matthew 19: 16-22 (NLT) The Rich Man

16 Someone came to Jesus with this question: “Teacher, what good deed must I do to have eternal life?” 17 “Why ask me about what is good?” Jesus replied. “There is only One who is good. But to answer your question—if you want to receive eternal life, keep the commandments.”
18 “Which ones?” the man asked.
And Jesus replied: “‘You must not murder. You must not commit adultery. You must not steal. You must not testify falsely. 19 Honor your father and mother. Love your neighbor as yourself.'”

20 “I’ve obeyed all these commandments,” the young man replied. “What else must I do?”
21 Jesus told him, “If you want to be perfect, go and sell all your possessions and give the money to the poor, and you will have treasure in heaven. Then come, follow me.”
22 But when the young man heard this, he went away sad, for he had many possessions. [emphasis mine]

Luke 19: 5-6, 8-10 (NLT) Zacchaeus

5 When Jesus came by, He looked up at Zacchaeus and called him by name. “Zacchaeus!” He said. “Quick, come down! I must be a guest in your home today.”
6 Zacchaeus quickly climbed down and took Jesus to his house in great excitement and joy. 8 Meanwhile, Zacchaeus stood before the Lord and said, “I will give half my wealth to the poor, Lord, and if I have cheated people on their taxes, I will give them back four times as much!”
9 Jesus responded, “Salvation has come to this home today, for this man has shown himself to be a true son of Abraham. 10 For the Son of Man came to seek and save those who are lost.” [emphasis mine]

Both men were offered the same deal. One went away in sad, downcast despair. The other responded joyfully with full abandonment of his possesions. Zacchaeus found that the heavenly possession [Jesus] was greater than anything he held in his hands.

How often do we respond to Jesus' requests - with walking away in sadness, and utter despair? We list in our minds - all that we must give up - rather than the rewards that come with obedience.

How often do we respond to Jesus - quickly or in great excitement and joy? How often do we show ourselves to be a true son or daughter of the King?

Hebrews 10:35-36 (NLT)

So do not throw away this confident trust in the Lord. Remember the great reward it brings you! Patient endurance is what you need now, so that you will continue to do God’s will. Then you will receive all that He has promised.
[emphasis mine]

Choosing JOY,


Sunday, February 10, 2008

A Sunday Psalm

  • Psalm 111
1 Praise the LORD.
I will extol the LORD with all my heart
in the council of the upright and in the assembly.
2 Great are the works of the LORD;

they are pondered by all who delight in them.
3 Glorious and majestic are His deeds,

and His righteousness endures forever.
4 He has caused His wonders to be remembered;

the LORD is gracious and compassionate.
5 He provides food for those who fear Him;

He remembers His covenant forever.
6 He has shown His people the power of His works,

giving them the lands of other nations.
7 The works of His hands are faithful and just;

all His precepts are trustworthy.
8 They are steadfast for ever and ever,

done in faithfulness and uprightness.
9 He provided redemption for His people;

He ordained His covenant forever—
holy and awesome is His Name.
10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom;

all who follow His precepts have good understanding.
To Him belongs eternal praise. [emphasis mine]

May we ponder His Word and His works and EXTOL Him together in praise!

Choosing JOY,


Friday, February 8, 2008

Healing Balm

Isaiah 58:8

Then your light will break forth like the dawn, and your healing will quickly appear; then your righteousness will go before you, and the glory of the LORD will be your rear guard.

  • Malachi 4:2-3 The Day of the LORD
But for you who revere My Name, the sun of righteousness will rise with healing in its wings. And you will go out and leap like calves released from the stall. 3 Then you will trample down the wicked; they will be ashes under the soles of your feet on the day when I do these things," says the LORD Almighty.

  • Matthew 9:35
Jesus went through all the towns and villages, teaching in their synagogues, preaching the good news of the kingdom and healing every disease and sickness.
  • Acts 3:15-15
15 You killed the Author of life, but God raised Him from the dead. We are witnesses of this. 16 By faith in the name of Jesus, this man whom you see and know was made strong. It is Jesus' Name and the faith that comes through Him that has given this complete healing to him, as you can all see.
  • Revelation 22:1-7 The River of Life
1 Then the angel showed me the river of the water of life, as clear as crystal, flowing from the throne of God and of the Lamb 2 down the middle of the great street of the city. On each side of the river stood the tree of life, bearing twelve crops of fruit, yielding its fruit every month. And the leaves of the tree are for the healing of the nations. 3 No longer will there be any curse. The throne of God and of the Lamb will be in the city, and His servants will serve Him. 4 They will see His face, and His Name will be on their foreheads. 5 There will be no more night. They will not need the light of a lamp or the light of the sun, for the Lord God will give them light. And they will reign for ever and ever. 6 The angel said to me, "These words are trustworthy and true. The Lord, the God of the spirits of the prophets, sent His angel to show His servants the things that must soon take place."
Jesus Is Coming
7 "Behold, I am coming soon! Blessed is he who keeps the words of the prophecy in this book." [emphasis mine on all verses]

Sometimes we just need a dose of the Word for our healing. There's nothing like a glimpse of our future to put our hearts at rest.

Choosing JOY,

Wednesday, February 6, 2008

Cut Down

I am reminded today about my own pruning. The evergreen tree that stands in the backyard has been losing many branches again. Some days I wake up and there are 4-5 fresh branches severed from the main trunk – all from the bottom of the tree. It dawned on me today that this is how God is relating His pruning in my life. Apparently there were branches that needed to go.

  • John 15:5-7

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. 6 If anyone does not remain in Me, he is like a branch that is thrown away and withers; such branches are picked up, thrown into the fire and burned. 7 If you remain in Me and My words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

  • Isaiah 18:4-5

4 This is what the LORD says to me: "I will remain quiet and will look on from my dwelling place, like shimmering heat in the sunshine, like a cloud of dew in the heat of harvest."
5 For, before the harvest, when the blossom is gone and the flower becomes a ripening grape, He will cut off the shoots with pruning knives, and cut down and take away the spreading branches.

  • 2 Corinthians 7:5

Since we have these promises, dear friends, let us purify ourselves from everything that contaminates body and spirit, perfecting holiness out of reverence for God. [emphasis mine]

Choosing JOY,


Monday, February 4, 2008


I am not always a fan of paraphrase versions of the Bible but today as I pondered the NIV and the NLT passage below, I turned to the Message [a paraphrase] for a deeper impact. I call this version, "the everyday, plain English, make it practical" version. See if it helps you to understand how to "live the thing out" - as it did for me!

Philippians 2:12-16 [The Message]

Rejoicing Together [Paul speaking]
12-13 What I'm getting at, friends, is that you should simply keep on doing what you've done from the beginning. When I was living among you, you lived in responsive obedience. Now that I'm separated from you, keep it up. Better yet, redouble your efforts. Be energetic in your life of salvation, reverent and sensitive before God. That energy is God's energy, an energy deep within you, God himself willing and working at what will give Him the most pleasure.
14-16 Do everything readily and cheerfully—no bickering, no second-guessing allowed! Go out into the world uncorrupted, a breath of fresh air in this squalid and polluted society. Provide people with a glimpse of good living and of the living God. Carry the light-giving Message into the night so I'll have good cause to be proud of you on the day that Christ returns. You'll be living proof that I didn't go to all this work for nothing. [emphasis mine]
I came away asking myself these questions:
  • How often do I respond in obedience to Jesus and anyone in authority over me [Pastors, Elders, bosses, co-oworkers, partners in ministry]?

  • Am I redoubling my efforts to please God?

  • Am I energetic and enthusiastic about the salvation I have received - or do I just complain and barely get by?

  • Do I possess the proper reverence and sensitivity that God deserves?

  • What affect does my life have on those around me?

  • Am I living proof of Who God Is - and what He is doing in my life?

Choosing JOY,


Friday, February 1, 2008

Our Calling

Something that God has been teaching me over and over in the last few weeks is that God's "calling" is upon every child of God. Not just some - but on every believer who has receieved Jesus into his/her heart.

When God calls us - He doesn't call us to a "task" - of 'doing' - He calls us to Himself. The overflow of that will result in an abundance of fruit in our lives that will be for His kingdom purposes! It's how our active faith participates to produce our good works.

2 Thessalonians 1:10-12

10 ...on the day He comes to be glorified in His holy people and to be marveled at among all those who have believed. This includes you, because you believed our testimony to you.
11 With this in mind, we constantly pray for you, that our God may count you worthy of His calling, and that by His power He may fulfill every good purpose of yours and every act prompted by your faith. 12 We pray this so that the name of our Lord Jesus may be glorified in you, and you in Him, according to the grace of our God and the Lord Jesus Christ.

John 15:4-5, 8

4 Remain 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.

8This is to My Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be My disciples. [emphasis mine]

Fruit - shows we belong to Jesus! It's the evidence of our close and abiding relationship with Him! The closer we get - the more fruit we bear!

Choosing JOY,