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]

Sunday, April 5, 2009


Psalm 104:1-4
1 Praise the LORD, O my soul.
O LORD my God, You are very great;
You are clothed with splendor and majesty.
2 He wraps Himself in light as with a garment;
He stretches out the heavens like a tent
3 and lays the beams of His upper chambers on their waters.
He makes the clouds His chariot
and rides on the wings of the wind.
4 He makes winds His messengers,
flames of fire His servants.
The LORD our God never ceases to amaze me or surprise me!

I've been away this weekend on a retreat with another church. Last year I had the privilege of being their speaker for their 1st annual ladies retreat held in PA. This year my friend, Dianne, was the speaker. The theme topic of the weekend was:

A Weekend Under the Stars

In keeping with the topic the committee arranged for us to be able to have a bonfire in one of the outside pavilions at Blackrock Retreat Center in the Lancaster area of Pennsylvania. Our host, Leon, stoked a blazing fire for us in a huge stone fireplace while Dianne shared the word of God from behind us. We were to remain focused on the warmth and beauty of the fire. When it was all over we sang one last song and the next thing I knew my friend Lynn [the pastor's wife from CCC] whisked me off to a corner to pray with someone.

First, I must remind you of one year ago - at the same retreat when a young woman came to receive Christ. Her name was Lisa. Click here: TRUTHSHARER: HANDS TO BEHOLD . A week later Lisa's husband, Bill, also came to receive Christ as Savior.

As Lynn and I sat down last night on rickety benches, I knelt down in front of Diane, Lisa's own mother! She was smiling from ear to ear and after I shared a few words and asked her some specific questions, she was ready and willing to surrender her life to Christ as Savior AND Lord of her life! I explained to her that it was not enough to receive Him as Savior alone - that she must make Christ Lord of her life from that day forward and allow Him to rule and reign on the throne of her life. She took that simple step of faith and invited Jesus into her heart!

Lynn helped us up and we all sang "Happy Birthday" to her. Lynn shared with her that the angels in heaven were rejoicing with her along with us because of the gift of eternal life that she had just received! What a powerful moment.

Today as we all said our goodbye's I pulled Diane aside and told her that Jesus would never let her go... but that she had to hold on tightly to Him and never let go of Him. She agreed!

God did His work this weekend! There were amazing testimonies given from Kim, Pat and Sandra as well that stirred our hearts to follow hard after Christ. Our speaker, Dianne, brought great messages to challenge us to Shine like Stars for Jesus!

Philippians 2:14-16
Shining as Stars
14 Do everything without complaining or arguing, 15 so that you may become blameless and pure, children of God without fault in a crooked and depraved generation, in which you shine like stars in the universe 16 as you hold out the word of life—in order that I may boast on the day of Christ that I did not run or labor for nothing.

Here are some pictures of the weekend I wanted to share with you because I know all of you reading this who know Christ as your Lord and Savior - will also rejoice with Diane.

Here are a handful of God's shining stars!!

Stephanie ********* Diane *************Lynn

Lisa is seated just behind me [in the red sweater] and her mom, Diane is behind her two rows back in the blue shirt. Our speaker, Dianne, is in the bright pink/purple front and center!

Kim was one of the winners of the book giveaway. She began reading it the moment I put it in her hands!

Looking UPward and Choosing JOY,
[In Flight]


Pam said...

Praise God Stephanie! That is wonderful that Diane accepted the Lord. Are you going to stay in touch with her? I love how Dianne gave the message from behind you guys as you looked at the fire! Do you feel regenerated? I know coming home was like coming off of the mountain top! What a wonderful weekend! God is Good! Love, Pam


Thanks for praying, Pam! So many of you girls were praying and God was working big time. Even satan tried to thwart the whole bondfire thing last night - but Lynn knew that God wanted us to do it! She stayed the course when the voices of the enemy came calling. Actually, Diane might come to my church and my Bible study - because she lives very close to me and my own church and lives far away from the other one. Lisa moved to Maryland but still comes home often. Please pray for this whole family to GROW in Christ and now I am adding Diane's husband, Jack, to my prayer list - to come to Christ. I had Diane on it for 11
months. God answered when all of YOU started praying with me!! All I can say is WOW! Go God! PRAISE HIM!

Love, S

B His Girl said...

Stephanie...You had a bonfire of hearts! Blessings to Dianne as she begins her journey. The pictures are great! Joy!

elaine @ peace for the journey said...

Sounds like an incredible time of fellowship with God and with others beneath the stars! What beauty and joy your pictures tell. So thankful for your time away and for Diane's surrender to Jesus Christ. Nothing makes the heavens shine more than when a sinner comes home to God.

Be blessed in your Easter pilgrimage this week.


Yolanda said...

God is just The Best!

I love how you encouraged Diane that she is in the family of God but she needs to allow Him to be the Lord of her life. I think often we get so giddy and caught up in the moment that we tend to forget that there is more to come. ;-) And oh how awesome it is, to be found walking with Him, forever.

Love to you,

LisaShaw said...

I BUST out crying reading this. I felt as if I were there. I am always in awe of our LORD. I wish I could have seen her surrender to the Lord but I'm so grateful that we were praying.

Obviously everyone had a wonderful time. You are such beautiful sisters in Christ in those photos.

The Lord is always filling us up with His love and mercy. Amazing!!

I love you sister friend.

Katedagr8 said...

I am so thankful for our moments to connect! It was special meeting this nice bunch of sisters!! I knew God had something extra-special for you! I'm praising Him Too! By the way, He showed me where my credit card was! I had it with me all the time!! LOL! I just put it in a hiding spot & forgot! The God who knows the secret things, showed me this morning! <3

Teresa @ Grammy Girlfriend said...

What a special story. I love your blog. I will be back often.

Hope you will stop by my blog .
I am going to have a "card box" giveaway every month. With so many comments, I decided this must be a prize that bloggers wanted.
This drawing will be the last day of April.
Every comment you leave throughout the month will enter your name in the drawing.
This NEW blogger was so touched by all the comments I got on the Blog Party, that I decided to make this a monthly GIFT...
Also, if you mention my blog, telling about the monthly giveaway, you will have your name entered 10 extra times...How is that for an incentive?
I was so blown away by all the responses that I wanted to email each person personally, but TIME... just has not permitted..but I did love reading all of them..I am continuing to introduce my family members and then there will be some fun blogs coming up from Disney World in May. I am so thankful for all my new friends.

Joye @ The Joyeful Journey said...

Praise God! What a wonderful testimony! This is what we live for, isn't it? The greatest joy of all--to see others become filled with the love and mercy of our Jesus!!

Have a glorious day!

kimberly said...

The retreat was awesome especially at the moment when Diane receive Christ as her savior. It was an overwhelming feeling of just pure love. I cant imagine how our Father must feels when someone accepts HIM. I was literally crying and wanting to kneel with you all. What an amazing feeling and sight to see. The picture is beautiful. It just brings back the serenity and tranquility as the speaker was reading the story from behind us. Although, i could not hear every word but i was filled with the Holy Spirit.



You could have knelt down right there with us. You knew what God was doing - everyone did! Next time don't hesitate to pray with us - or to even add to the number that surrounded her because it grew bigger as people began drawing inward - like a huddle - mostly becasue of the noise of the cracking fire and people talking afterward. There's always room for more to join their hearts in prayer for a dear sister... especially in the moment of salvation! We rejoiced together with all of heaven!!