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]

Tuesday, September 30, 2008

You Are Still Good

Genesis 6 (selected)
8 But Noah found favor in the eyes of the LORD.
9 This is the account of Noah.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked with God.
10 Noah had three sons: Shem, Ham and Japheth.
11 Now the earth was corrupt in God's sight and was full of violence.
12 God saw how corrupt the earth had become, for all the people on earth had corrupted their ways.
13 So God said to Noah, "I am going to put an end to all people, for the earth is filled with violence because of them. I am surely going to destroy both them and the earth.
14 So make yourself an ark of cypress wood; make rooms in it and coat it with pitch inside and out.
15 This is how you are to build it [deltails]: The ark is to be 450 feet long, 75 feet wide and 45 feet high. 16 Make a roof for it and finish the ark to within 18 inches of the top. Put a door in the side of the ark and make lower, middle and upper decks. 17 I am going to bring floodwaters on the earth to destroy all life under the heavens, every creature that has the breath of life in it. Everything on earth will perish. 18 But I will establish My covenant with you, and you will enter the ark—you and your sons and your wife and your sons' wives with you.

Can you really imagine what Noah must have felt like when God spoke to him about what was to come? But God laid out every detail for Noah - he obeyed - and for 120 years he built a vessel much like a giant cargo ship of today. He told his family and his neighbors what God had told him. He warned them to repent - yet only his three sons and their wives did so - and even at that we only know that Noah obeyed God and perhaps because his sons knew their father's relationship with the LORD was an intimate one - they obeyed their father, Noah... even if at that point they weren't quite sure about what God was doing.

God WAS Who He said He was... and God DID what He said He was going to do! God does not lie. Everything about God is good - in Him there is no darkness. He is faithful to carry out His plans.

Genesis 8 (selected)
1 But God remembered Noah [and took action] and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and He sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded.
15 Then God said to Noah, 16 "Come out of the ark, you and your wife and your sons and their wives. 17 Bring out every kind of living creature that is with you—the birds, the animals, and all the creatures that move along the ground—so they can multiply on the earth and be fruitful and increase in number upon it."
18 So Noah came out, together with his sons and his wife and his sons' wives. 19 All the animals and all the creatures that move along the ground and all the birds—everything that moves on the earth—came out of the ark, one kind after another.

I have asked the LORD recently what "thank offering" I could bring to Him for keeping my life in His hands - for saving me - and to thank Him for just WHO HE IS! I'm so glad that the LORD is showing me in great detail exactly what my "thank offering" is. No, I'm not building an ark.

Genesis 8 (continued)
20 Then Noah built an altar to the LORD and, taking some of all the clean animals and clean birds, he sacrificed burnt offerings on it. 21 The LORD smelled the pleasing aroma and said in his heart: "Never again will I curse the ground because of man, even though every inclination of his heart is evil from childhood. And never again will I destroy all living creatures, as I have done.
22 "As long as the earth endures,
seedtime and harvest,
cold and heat,
summer and winter,
day and night
will never cease." [all emphasis mine]

I'm building Him an altar - a place to worship Him - in all the earth!
Stay tuned... there is more to come! Praise His Holy Name - My JESUS!
Let me end with a song from Point of Grace new CD = How You Live

You Are Good
Clint Lagerberg, Nichole Nordeman
When the sun starts to rise and I open my eyes
You are good, so good
In the heat of the day with each stone that I lay
You are good, so good
When every breath I take in
I’ll tell you I’m grateful again
When the moon rises high before each kiss goodnight
You are good
When the road starts to turn around each bend I’ve learned
You are good, so good
And when somebody’s hand holds me up, helps me stand
You are good, so good
With every breath I take in
I’ll tell you I’m grateful again
‘Cause it’s more than enough just to know I am loved
And You are good
So How can I thank You
And what can I bring
What can a poor man lay at the feet of the King
So I’ll sing you a love song
It’s all that I have
To tell You I’m grateful
For holding my life in Your Hands
When it’s dark and it’s cold and I can’t feel my soul
You are still good
When the world has gone gray and the rain’s here to stay
You are still good
With every breath I take in
I’ll tell You I’m grateful again
And the storm may swell even then it is well
You are GOOD

Choosing JOY,

[Led Home by the Shepherd]

Monday, September 29, 2008

When the Mighty Waters Rise

Yesterday as I was preparing to leave for church I turned on the dishwasher to run a load through. Just before walking out the door I noticed some water on the floor and then realized that the water sound coming from inside the dishwasher had an added hissing sound that was not usual. I am so thankful that God gave me an ear to notice when things aren't quite right. I grabbed a towel but the water kept coming. I ran downstairs to my finished basement only to find the ceiling tiles on the floor and water pouring down the walls like a waterfall. I tried turning off the dishwasher - nothing. Then tried turning off the water cut-off under the sink - nothing. By this time there is water covering the kitchen floor. Finally I shut off the breaker to the water pump - but the water did not stop until all the water was drained from the water heater and the water tank of the pump. Gallons and gallons were overtaking me. I cried out to the LORD and kept saying part of the verse as I remembered it from Psalm 32, "when the mighty waters rise they will not overtake me..." - LORD, please go before me and help me know who to call and how to proceed for help.

Psalm 69
For the director of music.
To the tune of "Lilies." Of David.
1 Save me, O God,
for the waters have come up to my neck.
2 I sink in the miry depths,
where there is no foothold.
I have come into the deep waters;
the floods engulf me.
3 I am worn out calling for help;
my throat is parched.
My eyes fail,
looking for my God.
Psalm 32
6 Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to You while You may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him. 7 You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

Isaiah 51
1 "Listen to me, you who pursue righteousness and who seek the LORD : Look to the rock from which you were cut and to the quarry from which you were hewn;
2 look to Abraham, your father, and to Sarah, who gave you birth. When I called him he was but one, and I blessed him and made him many.
3 The LORD will surely comfort Zion and will look with compassion on all her ruins; He will make her deserts like Eden, her wastelands like the garden of the LORD. Joy and gladness will be found in her, thanksgiving and the sound of singing.

Psalm 32
6 Therefore let everyone who is godly pray to You while You may be found; surely when the mighty waters rise, they will not reach him.
7 You are my hiding place; You will protect me from trouble and surround me with songs of deliverance. Selah

Psalm 29
9 The voice of the LORD twists the oaks and strips the forests bare. And in His temple all cry, "Glory!"
10 The LORD sits enthroned over the flood; the LORD is enthroned as King forever.
11 The LORD gives strength to his people; the LORD blesses his people with peace.

God was faithful. He was in complete control. On a Sunday morning I was able to reach my home owners insurance company right away with a live person calling me back. Through tears I was able to relay what had happened and she walked me through what to do. Then my phone rang and a friend had called to ask a question about Bible study. She heard my tearful voice and asked what was wrong. "Stephanie, don't you remember when my kitchen was flooded and I went through the same thing a few months ago. I can help you. Let me make some calls." Within minutes she made the calls and the men came from the Emergency Fire and Water Restoration Co. I didn't even know such a company existed. The culprit was a hot water hose connection under the dishwasher that had burst. A friend came and changed that out and I had water back on. Now the restoration begins. There are machines everywhere in my basement and kitchen to dry out the floors and ceilings.

It could have been so much more of a disaster - had I left for church and not noticed the water on the floor or heard that unusual sound. But God had His eye on all of it. He took me through yesterday and He will take me through every day of my life - not matter what comes! He is faithful! I praise Him! He promises to take us through!

Choosing JOY,

[Led Home by the Shepherd]

Friday, September 26, 2008

HE Has Not Forgotten

Isaiah 49 (selected)
Restoration of Israel
8 This is what the LORD says:
"In the time of My favor I will answer you,
and in the day of salvation I will help you;
I will keep you and will make you
to be a covenant for the people,
to restore the land
and to reassign its desolate inheritances,
9 to say to the captives, 'Come out,'
and to those in darkness, 'Be free!'
"They will feed beside the roads
and find pasture on every barren hill.
10 They will neither hunger nor thirst,
nor will the desert heat or the sun beat upon them.
He who has compassion on them will guide them
and lead them beside springs of water.
11 I will turn all my mountains into roads,
and my highways will be raised up.
12 See, they will come from afar—
some from the north, some from the west,
some from the region of Aswan. "
13 Shout for joy, O heavens;
rejoice, O earth;
burst into song, O mountains!
For the LORD comforts His people
and will have compassion on His afflicted ones.
14 But Zion said, "The LORD has forsaken me,
the Lord has forgotten me."
15 "Can a mother forget the baby at her breast
and have no compassion on the child she has borne?
Though she may forget,
I will not forget you!
16 See, I have engraved you on the palms of My Hands;
your walls are ever before me.
17 Your sons hasten back,
and those who laid you waste depart from you.
18 Lift up your eyes and look around;
all your sons gather and come to you.
As surely as I live," declares the LORD,
"you will wear them all as ornaments;
you will put them on, like a bride. [all emphasis mine]

May God's Word speak to your heart this day!

Choosing JOY,

[Led Home by the Shepherd]
[Day 7 of 365]

Wednesday, September 24, 2008

TO HIMSELF - One Year Later

A year ago today - I knelt down beside my bed and committed my life [with the LORD] to full-time "ministry". I had felt the LORD'S call to that -and wholeheartedly pledged myself to Him. At that time I wrote some things down and tucked them into my treasure box and asked the LORD whether or not I should tell my Pastor or the elders about my commitment. The LORD spoke this to my heart, "I hear your prayer of commitment to 'ministry' and I know you mean what you say, but you really have no clue what ministry is or what it will entail. So I will show you. I do not call you to a 'task', nor to 'do' anything. First and above all, I call you to 'MYSELF'. Once you understand that - we can move on in all that I have called you to."

Over the past year the LORD has shown me that ministry means HIMSELF - before anything else. When I allow HIM to pour HIMSELF into me through prayer and His Word - then I have something to pour out - but only then. If I do not spend time with HIM - I have nothing to give. If I attempt to give of myself [without Him] then what I give is useless. But if I fill myself with HIM - then everything that pours out of me is the overflow of HIM - and not me!

The LORD told me that life with Him would be an adventure. He bought me a pair of hiking boots this week and as I trotted off the teach Bible study early this morning I wore the boots for the first time. I guess I'm now ready!

Last night the LORD gave me this 1st Scripture - and then again this morning.

1 Peter 2:21
To this you were called, because Christ suffered for you, leaving you an example, that you should follow in His steps.

At 1:30am He awakened me - I got up got some water and went back to bed. It was 1:32am. I looked at the numbers on the clock and heard God whisper, "Those are the two Psalms I have for you to read in the morning when you awake.

Psalm 130:1-5
A song of ascents.
About HOPE
1 Out of the depths I cry to You, O LORD;
2 O Lord, hear my voice.

Let Your ears be attentive
to my cry for mercy.
3 If You, O LORD, kept a record of sins,

O Lord, who could stand?
4 But with You there is forgiveness;

therefore You are feared.
5 I wait for the LORD, my soul waits,

and in His word I put my hope.

Psalm 132
A song of ascents.
1 O LORD, remember David
and all the hardships he endured.
2 He swore an oath to the LORD

and made a vow to the Mighty One of Jacob:
3 "I will not enter my house

or go to my bed-
4 I will allow no sleep to my eyes,

no slumber to my eyelids,
5 till I find a place for the LORD,

a dwelling for the Mighty One of Jacob."
6 We heard it in Ephrathah,

we came upon it in the fields of Jaar:
7 "Let us go to His dwelling place;

let us worship at His footstool-
8 arise, O LORD, and come to Your resting place,

You and the ark of Your might.
9 May your priests be clothed with righteousness;

may Your saints sing for joy."
10 For the sake of David Your servant,

do not reject Your anointed one.
11 The LORD swore an oath to David,

a sure oath that He will not revoke:
"One of your own descendants
I will place on your throne-
12 if your sons keep my covenant

and the statutes I teach them,
then their sons will sit
on your throne for ever and ever."
13 For the LORD has chosen Zion,

He has desired it for His dwelling:
14 "This is my resting place for ever and ever;

here I will sit enthroned, for I have desired it-
15 I will bless her with abundant provisions;

her poor will I satisfy with food.
16 I will clothe her priests with salvation,

and her saints will ever sing for joy.
17 "Here I will make a horn grow for David

and set up a lamp for my anointed one.
18 I will clothe his enemies with shame,

but the crown on his head will be resplendent." [all emphasis mine]

The LORD spoke to my heart after reading both of these Psalms. He showed me that over the last year [and longer] I have lived my life each day - in HOPE [Psalm 130] - of Who He IS and what He can do - and all the promises He holds out for me here on earth.

He showed me from [Psalm 132] that living IN HOPE - can only be done through total obedience to His Will, to His Word, and to His plan - for what HE is doing for His kingdom purposes. It really had nothing to do with me - it's what He's doing that will bring Him glory. He has invited me [and you] to participate in all of it. As a result I [we] get to share in the glory and all the splendor of Who God Is!! There is no greater reward!

As I was preparing to publish this blog Point of Grace new CD played this song . The song is called BECAUSE YOU ARE and here are just a few of the words that spoke to my heart:

You are I AM - and I am - because YOU ARE
Holy, unbreadkable, infinite God
Every unchanging in all that You are
Light of the World and the sun and the stars
You are I AM
and I am
because YOU ARE!

Choosing JOY in the journey,

[Led home by the Shepherd]
[Shepherd's Walk = The Sanctuary at Sweetbriar = Dedication of God's Dwelling Place = Earth is His Footstool]

Monday, September 22, 2008

Through the DOOR

As I was reading my Bible early this morning the LORD directed me to 1 Peter where I read again that very familiar passage - the same one that my husband, Bob, claimed over his life right after he was diagnosed with cancer in 2001. It became a reality for him as he is now in heaven with his salvation made complete.
Later in the morning I was reading a book about faith and Peter's name came up. The book described Peter's life - one of flaws and failure and wrong choices, and then showed what he became when he was transformed by the Living Resurrected Christ.
It made me ponder what my life would be like today without the transforming power of Christ. It reminded me of when I have made wrong choices - and the long road back - with consequences in tow that hovered like a thick cloud. Then - I remembered making a conscious choice to follow hard after Christ - daily - taking up my cross - choosing to please only HIM - not myself - not others - just HIM! It made all the difference! How about you? It's never too late to choose to walk daily with Christ - never too late to choose HIS WAY over your own - never too late to experience HIS transforming power in your life! What is it that hinders you?

1 Peter 1: 3-9
Praise to God for a Living Hope
3 Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ! In His great mercy He has given us new birth into a living hope through the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead, 4 and into an inheritance that can never perish, spoil or fade—kept in heaven for you, 5 who through faith are shielded by God's power until the coming of the salvation that is ready to be revealed in the last time. 6 In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. 7 These have come so that your faith—of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire—may be proved genuine and may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed. 8 Though you have not seen Him, you love Him; and even though you do not see Him now, you believe in Him and are filled with an inexpressible and glorious joy, 9 for you are receiving the goal of your faith, the salvation of your souls. [emphasis mine]

Matthew 7:7
"Ask and it will be given to you; seek and you will find; knock and the door will be opened to you.

Revelation 3:20
Here I am! I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in and eat with him, and he with Me. [emphasis mine]

May we feast together at the LORD'S Table!

Choosing JOY,

[Led Home by the Shepherd]

Saturday, September 20, 2008


How often do we stop to recount the steps the LORD has taken in our lives to bring us to where we are today - and celebrate in true worship with thankful hearts ?

If we are living living in loving obedience to His Word and His will - then it should be quite often. That is why He calls us to CELEBRATION! The Israelites marched the hill to Jerusalem several times each year - singing as they went - repenting, worshiping, recalling the blessings, dangers and help, security, joys and promises that the LORD had done.

Exodus 12 (selected)
14 "This is a day you are to commemorate; for the generations to come you shall celebrate it as a festival to the LORD - a lasting ordinance.
17 "Celebrate the Feast of Unleavened Bread, because it was on this very day that I brought your divisions out of Egypt. Celebrate this day as a lasting ordinance for the generations to come.
24 "Obey these instructions as a lasting ordinance for you and your descendants. 25 When you enter the land that the LORD will give you as He promised, observe this ceremony. 26 And when your children ask you, 'What does this ceremony mean to you?' 27 then tell them, 'It is the Passover sacrifice to the LORD, who passed over the houses of the Israelites in Egypt and spared our homes when He struck down the Egyptians.' " Then the people bowed down and worshiped [this is how we celebrate].

Exodus 23:16
"Celebrate the Feast of Harvest with the firstfruits of the crops you sow in your field.
"Celebrate the Feast of Ingathering at the end of the year, when you gather in your crops from the field.

These same passages can also be found in Leviticus 23, Numbers 9 and Deuteronomy 16. They must be pretty important if God speaks of them all through these first books [the Law of Moses].
Yes, we live under grace today - but these are still the commands and the ordinances of the LORD to be observed from the heart. If we are the "spiritual seed of Abraham" - then these apply to the believer in Christ as well.

Check out what Phillip W. Keller says about the word "house" in his book:

"This Psalm opened with the proud, joyous statement, "The Lord is my Shepherd."
Now it closes with the equally positive, buoyant affirmation, "And I will dwell in the house of the Lord forever."
Here is the sheep so utterly satisfied with its lot in life, so fully contented with the care it receives, so much 'at home' with the shepherd that there is not a shred of desire for change.
The word 'house' used here ... has a wider meaning than most people could attach to it...
It must be kept in mind that the Psalmist, writing from the standpoint of a sheep, is reflecting on and recounting the full round of the year's activities for the flock.
[The Shepherd] has taken us from the green pastures, still waters, up the mountain, to the high tablelands of summer... Fall has come with its storms and rain, sleet and drives the sheep down...back to the home ranch, for the long, quiet winter...
The sheep is deeply satisfied with the flock to which is belongs, with the ownership of this particular shepherd... It is as if it had finally come home again and was now standing at the fence, bragging to its less fortunate neighbors on the other side. It boasts about the wonderful year it has had and its complete confidence in its owner."

Truly the LORD is MY SHEPHERD - is He yours?

Choosing JOY,

[Led Home by the Shepherd]
[Day 1 of 365]
PHOTO Taken: 9-19-08 Lancaster County, PA

Thursday, September 18, 2008


[God has provided so many beautiful days this week but we need rain. It is amazing how dry and parched everything is when it is thirsty for water.

We can look good on the outside for only so long without the living water to fill us and quench our thirst. The Holy Spirit is an oasis from which we can drink at any time. We need to remain under the waterfall of His outpouring in order to be refreshed and carry on all that God has for us. ]

I wrote those very words almost a year and a half ago in May 2007. The Lord brought me back to them today to show me how much my own life has grown [after being watered] because of heeding those words so many months ago. I am no longer dry and parched, or thirsty, because I have remain under the waterfall of grace and mercy through the outpouring of the Holy Spirit. I drink in daily - as much as my [spiritual] body can absorb. God does this - not me. I just stand under the waterfall with my mouth open - ready to receive it.

Jeremiah 2:13
"My people have committed two sins:
They have forsaken Me,
the spring of living water,
and have dug their own cisterns,
broken cisterns that cannot hold water.

John 4
10Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked Him and He would have given you living water."
11 "Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12 Are You greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?" 13 Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14 but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
15 The woman said to Him, "Sir, give me this water ..."

John 7
37 On the last and greatest day of the Feast, Jesus stood and said in a loud voice, "If anyone is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink. 38 Whoever believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, streams of living water will flow from within him."

Revelation 7
16 Never again will they hunger;
never again will they thirst.
The sun will not beat upon them,
nor any scorching heat. 17For the Lamb at the center of the throne will be their shepherd;
He will lead them to springs of living water.
And God will wipe away every tear from their eyes."
Until then..... stand under the waterfall He pours out daily - and drink!

Choosing JOY,

[Guided by the Shepherd]

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Stubbornness Iced in GRACE

Isaiah 48 (selected)
Stubborn Israel
3 I foretold the former things long ago,
My mouth announced them and I made them known;
then suddenly I acted, and they came to pass.
4 For I knew how stubborn you were;
the sinews of your neck were iron,
your forehead was bronze.
5 Therefore I told you these things long ago;
before they happened I announced them to you
so that you could not say,
'My idols did them;
my wooden image and metal god ordained them.'
6 You have heard these things; look at them all.
Will you not admit them?
8 You have neither heard nor understood;
from of old your ear has not been open.
Well do I know how treacherous you are;
you were called a rebel from birth.
9 For My own name's sake I delay My wrath;
for the sake of My praise I hold it back from you,
so as not to cut you off.
10 See, I have refined you, though not as silver;
I have tested you in the furnace of affliction.
11 For My own sake, for My own sake, I do this.
How can I let Myself be defamed?
I will not yield My glory to another.
12 "Listen to Me, O Jacob,
Israel, whom I have called: I am He;
I am the First and I am the Last.
20 Leave Babylon,
flee from the Babylonians!
Announce this with shouts of joy
and proclaim it.
Send it out to the ends of the earth;
say, "The LORD has redeemed His servant Jacob."
21 They did not thirst when He led them through the deserts;
He made water flow for them from the rock;
He split the rock and water gushed out.
22 "There is no peace," says the LORD,
"for the wicked."

John 15:5
[Jesus speaking]
"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. [all emphasis mine]
Both then and now - it's still about....
Choosing JOY,

[Taking Possession of the Land]

Sunday, September 14, 2008


There are many places in Scripture where it says: "Then, God remembered..." Does that mean that He forgot something? Not at all... it simply means: when GOD REMEMBERS - HE TAKES ACTION - usually to complete whatever it was that He had promised. Here are some examples [note the remembering and note the action God takes]:

Genesis 8
1 But God remembered Noah and all the wild animals and the livestock that were with him in the ark, and He sent a wind over the earth, and the waters receded. 2 Now the springs of the deep and the floodgates of the heavens had been closed, and the rain had stopped falling from the sky. 3 The water receded steadily from the earth.

Genesis 19
29 So when God destroyed the cities of the plain, He remembered Abraham, and He brought Lot out of the catastrophe that overthrew the cities where Lot had lived.
Genesis 30
22 Then God remembered Rachel; He listened to her and opened her womb. 23 She became pregnant and gave birth to a son and said, "God has taken away my disgrace." 24 She named him Joseph.

Exodus 2
23 During that long period, the king of Egypt died. The Israelites groaned in their slavery and cried out, and their cry for help because of their slavery went up to God. 24 God heard their groaning and He remembered His covenant with Abraham, with Isaac and with Jacob. 25 So God looked on the Israelites and was concerned about them.

Revelation 16
16Then they gathered the kings together to the place that in Hebrew is called Armageddon.
17The seventh angel poured out his bowl into the air, and out of the temple came a loud voice from the throne, saying, "It is done!" 18Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since man has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake. 19The great city split into three parts, and the cities of the nations collapsed. God remembered Babylon the Great and gave her the cup filled with the wine of the fury of his wrath.

Psalm 105
41 He opened the rock, and water gushed out;
like a river it flowed in the desert.
42 For He remembered His holy promise
given to His servant Abraham.
43 He brought out His people with rejoicing,
His chosen ones with shouts of joy;
44 He gave them the lands of the nations,
and they fell heir to what others had toiled for-
45 that they might keep His precepts
and observe His laws.
Praise the LORD.

Prayer: LORD - Thank You for Your faithfulness to us as believers. Thank You for Your covenant love for us that covers a thousand generations [including us] in all the promises that You have made to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob as well as many others in the Bible who longed to know You - the Living God! Many believed You as we believe You today. Help us, LORD, to remember - 1st Who You ARE and 2nd to be thankful for all You have done, given and blessed us with! You are an awesome and faithful God. We will remember this day to Give You Thanks!

Choosing JOY,

[Taking Possession of the Land]

Friday, September 12, 2008


During a women's ministry meeting earlier this morning held in Ocean City [NJ] I was blessed to hear what God was speaking to me through each and every person that shared a word. On my drive over to OC I passed the "CIRCLE" sign just before entering the causeway to OC [those of us who live in NJ know what a traffic circle is - and hopefully how to enter and exit one]. When I saw the sign the LORD spoke the words FULL CIRCLE to my heart. So I asked Him - why OC? What's here? I have no real connections here. Show me why, LORD!

Not only did God answer clearly but through several who actually used the words "Full Circle". Later the speaker said to me, "Yes, remember about our Gilgal [referring to a Bible study we had done together] - the part of the promised land that meant full circle?" She smiled brightly!
Then, on my way out of the city I saw the sign once more and it dawned on me that I was saved in Ocean City over 38 years ago. That is the very place I came to know Christ as my personal Savior - just down the street and around the block from where I was this morning. A complete Full Circle for me! I think the LORD has fun with me because sometimes it takes me longer [than most] to 'get it' - !!! I get surprised more often that way!!! Praise God for His surprises.

Have you come full circle with the LORD? Are you living in your own Gilgal? [Your own earthly "Promised Land" - right in the center of God's will?] If not - what is stopping you? What do you need to do to get back on track? God didn't move and His path still remains the same.

Deuteronomy 11 (selected)
8 Observe therefore all the commands I am giving you today, so that you may have the strength to go in and take over the land that you are crossing the Jordan to possess, 9 and so that you may live long in the land that the LORD swore to your forefathers to give to them and their descendants, a land flowing with milk and honey.
29 When the LORD your God has brought you into the land you are entering to possess, you are to proclaim on Mount Gerizim the blessings, and on Mount Ebal the curses. 30 As you know, these mountains are across the Jordan, west of the road, toward the setting sun, near the great trees of Moreh, in the territory of those Canaanites living in the Arabah in the vicinity of Gilgal. 31 You are about to cross the Jordan to enter and take possession of the land the LORD your God is giving you. When you have taken it over and are living there, 32 be sure that you obey all the decrees and laws I am setting before you today.

Joshua 4 (selected)
19 On the tenth day of the first month the people went up from the Jordan and camped at Gilgal on the eastern border of Jericho. 20 And Joshua set up at Gilgal the twelve stones [as memorials] they had taken out of the Jordan. 21 He said to the Israelites, "In the future when your descendants ask their fathers, 'What do these stones mean?' 22 tell them, 'Israel crossed the Jordan on dry ground.' 23 For the LORD your God dried up the Jordan before you until you had crossed over. The LORD your God did to the Jordan just what he had done to the Red Sea when he dried it up before us until we had crossed over. 24 He did this so that all the peoples of the earth might know that the hand of the LORD is powerful and so that you might always fear the LORD your God."

Joshua 5 (selected)
A Cutting of the Heart
9 Then the LORD said to Joshua, "Today I have rolled away the reproach of Egypt from you." So the place has been called Gilgal to this day.
10 On the evening of the fourteenth day of the month, while camped at Gilgal on the plains of Jericho, the Israelites celebrated the Passover. 11 The day after the Passover, that very day, they ate some of the produce of the land: unleavened bread and roasted grain. 12 The manna stopped the day after they ate this food from the land; there was no longer any manna for the Israelites, but that year they ate of the produce of Canaan. [all emphasis mine]

The Israelites had come to Gilgal. God had rolled away the reproach for all their past sins and they had come FULL CIRCLE into the Land Promised by God to their fathers Abraham, Isaac and Jacob - and that day they ate of it's fruitful produce. Only by the Hand of our God!

What impossible circumstance has God called you to "cross over"? Will you take possession of the land? Have you come full circle - to your Gilgal?

Choosing JOY,

[Led by the Shepherd]

Wednesday, September 10, 2008


Joshua 1:5-9

5 No one will be able to stand up against you all the days of your life. As I was with Moses, so I will be with you; I will never leave you nor forsake you.
6 "Be strong and courageous, because you will lead these people to inherit the land I swore to their forefathers to give them. 7 Be strong and very courageous. Be careful to obey all the law my servant Moses gave you; do not turn from it to the right or to the left, that you may be successful wherever you go. 8 Do not let this Book of the Law depart from your mouth; meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do everything written in it. Then you will be prosperous and successful. 9 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."

Are the waters around you up to your neck? Many people think that being a "believer" exempts you from troubles and trials and hardships in your life. They think that if those come along - you must be doing something wrong. God's Word does not say that. What God promises to us in our walk of faith with Him - is that HE WILL WALK WITH US and NEVER LEAVE US. He will always be there to go through any and all of the joys and sorrows of life - the ups and downs - the good times and bad. He commands us to "Be strong and Courageous - not to be terrified (and He knew we would be). I love the word "DISCOURAGED" because inside that negative word is the positive outcome of God's Presence: COURAGE!

What is it you are facing today? Are you waiting for God's promised land to be conquered? Are you barely hanging on with illness racking your body? Are you disheartened because of rejection of a loved one? God says that HE [HIMSELF] will be with us in whatever it is we are going through. The key word is : THROUGH - He will see us through - no matter where the path may lead. Will you be strong and courageous? Will you TRUST God's HEART?

Choosing JOY,

[Led by the Shepherd]

Monday, September 8, 2008


Isaiah 43 (selected)
Israel's Only Savior
1 But now, this is what the LORD says—
He who created you, O Jacob,
He who formed you, O Israel:
"Fear not, for I have redeemed you;
I have summoned you by name; you are Mine.
2 When you pass through the waters,
I will be with you;
and when you pass through the rivers,
they will not sweep over you.
When you walk through the fire,
you will not be burned;
the flames will not set you ablaze.
3 For I am the LORD, your God,
the Holy One of Israel, your Savior;
5 Do not be afraid, for I am with you;
I will bring your children from the east
and gather you from the west.
7 everyone who is called by My Name,
whom I created for My glory,
whom I formed and made."
8 Lead out those who have eyes but are blind,
who have ears but are deaf.
9 All the nations gather together
and the peoples assemble.
Which of them foretold this
and proclaimed to us the former things?
Let them bring in their witnesses to prove they were right,
so that others may hear and say, "It is true."
10 "You are My witnesses," declares the LORD,
"and My servant whom I have chosen,
so that you may know and believe Me
and understand that I am He.
Before Me no god was formed,
nor will there be one after Me.
11 I, even I, am the LORD,
and apart from Me there is no savior.
12 I have revealed and saved and proclaimed—
I, and not some foreign god among you.
You are My witnesses," declares the LORD, "that I AM God.
13 Yes, and from ancient days I am He.
No one can deliver out of my hand.
When I act, who can reverse it?" [all emphasis mine]
Choosing JOY,

[Led by the Shepherd]

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Grasshoppers and Eagles

I have been reading through the book of Isaiah (again) and came to this passage on the airplane on Thursday, just after I had explained to my oldest grandson, Justin who is 4 1/2, that the cars and people and trees will look like 'bugs' from way up in the sky. As I read verse 22, a smile came over my face. God gives us a glimpse of His view from heaven and we look like "grasshoppers" to Him. Yet - in the end - the often quoted verse comes through giving us His confidence, His power, and His strength. God is faithful!

Isaiah 40
Comfort for God's People

1 Comfort, comfort My people,
says your God.
2 Speak tenderly to Jerusalem,

and proclaim to her
that her hard service has been completed,
that her sin has been paid for,
that she has received from the LORD's Hand
double for all her sins.
3 A voice of one calling:

"In the desert prepare
the way for the LORD ;
make straight in the wilderness
a highway for our God.
4 Every valley shall be raised up,

every mountain and hill made low;
the rough ground shall become level,
the rugged places a plain.
5 And the glory of the LORD will be revealed,

and all mankind together will see it.
For the mouth of the LORD has spoken."
9 You who bring good tidings to Zion,
go up on a high mountain.
You who bring good tidings to Jerusalem,
lift up Your voice with a shout,
lift it up, do not be afraid;
say to the towns of Judah,
"Here is your God!"
10 See, the Sovereign LORD comes with power,

and His arm rules for him.
See, His reward is with him,
and His recompense accompanies him.
11 He tends His flock like a shepherd:

He gathers the lambs in His arms
and carries them close to His heart;
He gently leads those that have young.

21 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
Has it not been told you from the beginning?
Have you not understood since the earth was founded?
22 He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,

and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
and spreads them out like a tent to live in.

25 "To whom will you compare Me?
Or who is My equal?" says the Holy One.
26 Lift your eyes and look to the heavens:

Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one,
and calls them each by name.
Because of His great power and mighty strength,
not one of them is missing.

28 Do you not know?
Have you not heard?
The LORD is the everlasting God,
the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
and His understanding no one can fathom.
29 He gives strength to the weary

and increases the power of the weak.
30 Even youths grow tired and weary,

and young men stumble and fall;

31 but those who hope in the LORD

will renew their strength.
They will soar on wings like eagles;
they will run and not grow weary,
they will walk and not be faint. [all emphasis mine]

Choosing JOY,

[Led by the Shepherd]

Thursday, September 4, 2008

RED Sea Crossing

Two years ago Bob and I took a Red Sea Crossing to FL - the very same week almost to the day as I am leaving today. That was a trip that seemed like an impossibility at the time as it was 6 weeks before the LORD took Bob home to glory. Yet, as I spoke to the LORD, saying, "We can't do this, it's impossible." The LORD spoke back to me saying, "You will go - you will cross because I will go before you. I have given you every detail and I will make a way. Trust ME to take you."

We did - and Bob got to see our 5th grandchild (our first and only girl - Tessa Hope) just after she was born. That was another promise that God was faithful to fulfill.

Now, two years later I am going again to see my newest grandson, Braden, for the first time. God is faithful in all His ways.

As you read this scripture and ponder it - don't miss the details that God gives - that don't seem to make sense to the Israelites at the time - but they obeyed and did it anyway - and the "why" answers were shown later. God knows what HE is doing. We just need to TRUST Him.

Exodus 13

14 "In days to come, when your son asks you, 'What does this mean?' say to him, 'With a mighty hand the LORD brought us out of Egypt, out of the land of slavery. 15 When Pharaoh stubbornly refused to let us go, the LORD killed every firstborn in Egypt, both man and animal. This is why I sacrifice to the LORD the first male offspring of every womb and redeem each of my firstborn sons.' 16 And it will be like a sign on your hand and a symbol on your forehead that the LORD brought us out of Egypt with his mighty hand."

Crossing the Sea

17 When Pharaoh let the people go, God did not lead them on the road through the Philistine country, though that was shorter. For God said, "If they face war, they might change their minds and return to Egypt." 18 So God led the people around by the desert road toward the Red Sea. The Israelites went up out of Egypt armed for battle.
19 Moses took the bones of Joseph with him because Joseph had made the sons of Israel swear an oath. He had said, "God will surely come to your aid, and then you must carry my bones up with you from this place."

20 After leaving Succoth they camped at Etham on the edge of the desert. 21 By day the LORD went ahead of them in a pillar of cloud to guide them on their way and by night in a pillar of fire to give them light, so that they could travel by day or night. 22 Neither the pillar of cloud by day nor the pillar of fire by night left its place in front of the people.

Exodus 14 [God's details highlighted]

1 Then the LORD said to Moses, 2 "Tell the Israelites to turn back and encamp near Pi Hahiroth, between Migdol and the sea. They are to encamp by the sea, directly opposite Baal Zephon. 3 Pharaoh will think, 'The Israelites are wandering around the land in confusion, hemmed in by the desert.' 4 And I will harden Pharaoh's heart, and he will pursue them. But I will gain glory for myself through Pharaoh and all his army, and the Egyptians will know that I am the LORD." So the Israelites did this.

13 Moses answered the people, "Do not be afraid. Stand firm and you will see the deliverance the LORD will bring you today. The Egyptians you see today you will never see again. 14 The LORD will fight for you; you need only to be still." [all emphasis mine]

Choosing JOY,

Led by the Shepherd's Staff

Tuesday, September 2, 2008


I took this picture over a month ago at Lake Lenape in Mays Landing and put this Revelation verse with it. Then, today - I came to Isaiah 60. Oh - how I love God's Word!!

Isaiah 60 (selected)

The Glory of Zion

1 "Arise, shine, for your light has come, and the glory of the LORD rises upon you.
Nations will come to your light, and kings to the brightness of your dawn.
11 Your gates will always stand open, they will never be shut, day or night,
so that men may bring you the wealth of the nations— their kings led in triumphal procession.
13 "The glory of Lebanon will come to you, the pine, the fir and the cypress together,
to adorn the place of my sanctuary; and I will glorify the place of my feet.
19 The sun will no more be your light by day, nor will the brightness of the moon shine on you,
for the LORD will be your everlasting light, and your God will be your glory.

Revelation 21

22 I did not see a temple in the city, because the Lord God Almighty and the Lamb are its temple. 23 The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. 24 The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it.

25 On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there.
26 The glory and honor of the nations will be brought into it. 27 Nothing impure will ever enter it, nor will anyone who does what is shameful or deceitful, but only those whose names are written in the Lamb's book of life.
[all emphasis mine]

Choosing JOY,

[Led by His Staff]