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]

Monday, June 29, 2009


2 Peter 2 [The Message]
Don't Put It Off
3-4 Everything that goes into a life of pleasing God has been miraculously given to us by getting to know, personally and intimately, the One who invited us to God. The best invitation we ever received! We were also given absolutely terrific promises to pass on to you—your tickets to participation in the life of God after you turned your back on a world corrupted by lust.
5-9 So don't lose a minute in building on what you've been given, complementing your basic faith with good character, spiritual understanding, alert discipline, passionate patience, reverent wonder, warm friendliness, and generous love, each dimension fitting into and developing the others. With these qualities active and growing in your lives, no grass will grow under your feet, no day will pass without its reward as you mature in your experience of our Master Jesus. Without these qualities you can't see what's right before you, oblivious that your old sinful life has been wiped off the books.
10-11 So, friends, confirm God's invitation to you, His choice of you. Don't put it off; do it now. Do this, and you'll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ. [emphasis added]


God's Word is full of instruction, warnings, food for daily living, and God's great and precious promises! Drink in all that is found here!

Choosing JOY,

[JESUS - the One I Worship]

Wednesday, June 24, 2009



Hosea 14:4-6

4 "I will heal their waywardness
and love them freely,
for My anger has turned away from them.
5 I will be like the dew to Israel;

He will blossom like a lily.
Like a cedar of Lebanon
He will send down His roots;
6 His young shoots will grow.

His splendor will be like an olive tree,
His fragrance like a cedar of Lebanon.

[emphasis added]

OK - I'm asking what can any of you [who are a child of God] tell me about this LOGO in relationship to Jesus Christ?

It seems that God has been decorating every part of SHEPHERD'S WALK and the Inside Prayer Room with this LOGO of the Fleur-de-lis. I know it is a sign of Christ and a sign of the Trinity and a logo for French royalty - but there must be more!

Tell me what you discover, please!

Choosing JOY,

[JESUS - the One I Worship]

Monday, June 22, 2009


Ephesians 4
Unity in the Body of Christ
1 As a prisoner for the Lord, then, I urge you to live a life worthy of the calling you have received. 2 Be completely humble and gentle; be patient, bearing with one another in love. 3 Make every effort to keep the unity of the Spirit through the bond of peace. 4 There is one body and one Spirit—just as you were called to one hope when you were called— 5 one Lord, one faith, one baptism; 6 one God and Father of all, who is over all and through all and in all.

I have truly been amazed this past week especially. As I have pondered this passage of Scripture as part of our prayer for the month for the upcoming Faith and Family Weekend in October, I have been seeing and hearing first hand what unity of the Spirit and Oneness in Christ is all about.

In the last two weeks God raised up people to help with a benefit yard sale for our Prayer Walk - SHEPHERD'S WALK at Sweetbriar.
Donations of items rolled in and I had enough help for each day [and we did two back to back weekends]. During the sale we would tell people about Shepherd's Walk and invited some of them to walk the prayer walk right then. They were amazed by it and often asked, "What church do you belong to?" I am sorry to say that I did not have the right answer each time I was asked that question because it was not my own church that sponsored this - it was the body of Christ - people from many area churches participated. I was also in awe of the people who just handed us money as a pure donation - especially after they walked the path.

The money was used to purchase the nice metal benches for each prayer station as well as 3 large ones for the Sanctuary Circle. We raised enough to cover all of that as well as other needs.

Why do I mention all of this now? Because God does not look down from heaven and say, "Oh, there is Stephanie, she is from ______ church." Or, "Yes, that's Claire, she belongs to ______ church." Or Donna, or Mike, or Kathy, or Bonnie and Tom, or Joan, or Dee, or Lina, or Bill and Annette, or any of us. He simply says, "Yes those are My children, who follow Me."
It reminds me of the one session in Beth Moore's Believing God Bible Study where she tells about an imaginary town called: "Lessthanland". As she groups different congregations representing churches among those present - she soon shows how God sees us as His children - 'those who have a heart for Him'... she then pulls away the ropes that section off all of those denominations and they join hands to represent the Body of Christ as God sees us. It is an amazing video - one that has a great impact on those who view it.
As we have been gathering for prayer now for months for Faith and Family Weekend, it was one person, my friend, Lori Carlin, whom God gave the vision to for this event. She chased a lion on this one and is following the Lord through this unknown journey and trusting God for what HE has planned for that weekend. It will be held in famous Ocean City, NJ, in October, and is an outreach for the FAMILY. America's favorite family resort is bringing back FAITH and FAMILY. This is close to my heart because when I was a young girl of 14, I received Christ as my Savior and Lord in Ocean City one night at a church youth group event.
God gave the vision to Lori, but many have stepped up to support and help her - and to trust God with her that He is faithful to fulfill what He began.
I know I've been all over the map with this post - but hear me out. If you know Jesus Christ as your personal Savior [saved from sin and death] and Lord [He is master of your life] then you are a child of God and part of the universal body of Christ in which this passage [above] applies.
Ask yourself, "What can I do to encourage, to be patient, to bring hope, to build up, to keep peace with my fellow sisters and brothers in Christ?"
I'm so thankful that I love and serve the ONE TRUE and LIVING GOD, JESUS CHRIST, the same yesterday, today and forever.... the God of Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.
AND... that Jesus Loves ME! When it's all said and done - it's our relationship to Him that counts for all eternity.
Choosing JOY,
[JESUS - the One I Worship]

Monday, June 15, 2009

GRACE for the Tattered and Worn

2 Corinthians 4:8-18
8 We are hard pressed on every side, but not crushed; perplexed, but not in despair; 9 persecuted, but not abandoned; struck down, but not destroyed. 10 We always carry around in our body the death of Jesus, so that the life of Jesus may also be revealed in our body. 11 For we who are alive are always being given over to death for Jesus' sake, so that His life may be revealed in our mortal body. 12 So then, death is at work in us, but life is at work in you.

13 It is written: "I believed; therefore I have spoken." With that same spirit of faith we also believe and therefore speak, 14 because we know that the one who raised the Lord Jesus from the dead will also raise us with Jesus and present us with you in His presence. 15 All this is for your benefit, so that the grace that is reaching more and more people may cause thanksgiving to overflow to the glory of God.

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 added]

I sat out on my front porch yesterday morning and I saw two small feathers on the floor by my rocker; one tan, and one gray one. I reached to pick them up when I spotted yet another one stuck between the decking. It was a white one, barely visible as it was slipping through the crack below. I fished it out and held all three in my hand. Each one was tattered, dirty, and worn. Yet there was such beauty in these tiny gems. I combed through them, one at a time with my fingers, brushing all the debris out of their little follicles. Then I pasted then into my journal as a reminder that no matter how worn out we feel, or how tattered our lives may become, sometimes feeling abandoned or forgotten, even crushed and in despair, GOD is still there holding us in the palm of His Hand, offering us His Grace for that moment, brushing and combing away the debris and reminding us not to lose heart.

May His Word bring a soothing bath of refreshment to your weary soul today.

Choosing JOY,


Friday, June 5, 2009


Matthew 14 [selected]
Jesus Walks on the Water
22 Immediately Jesus made the disciples get into the boat and go on ahead of Him to the other side, while He dismissed the crowd. 23 After He had dismissed them, He went up on a mountainside by Himself to pray. When evening came, He was there alone, 24 but the boat was already a considerable distance from land, buffeted by the waves because the wind was against it.
25 During the fourth watch of the night Jesus went out to them, walking on the lake. 26 When the disciples saw Him walking on the lake, they were terrified. "It's a ghost," they said, and cried out in fear.
27 But Jesus immediately said to them: "Take courage! It is I. Don't be afraid."
28 "Lord, if it's You," Peter replied, "tell me to come to You on the water."
29 "Come," He said.
Then Peter got down out of the boat, walked on the water and came toward Jesus.
30 But when he saw the wind, he was afraid and, beginning to sink, cried out, "Lord, save me!"
31 Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. "You of little faith," he said, "why did you doubt?"
32 And when they climbed into the boat, the wind died down. 33 Then those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, "Truly You are the Son of God." [all emphasis added]

This short little passage has so many power packed lessons in it for each of us that I think I could write about it for days - and still the LORD would reveal another new lesson. Here's what I've gleaned from it for the last few months of reading it over and over.

First, take note of Peter. When people read this passage most will say, "Oh yes, that's where Peter sank when he became afraid while walking on the water toward Jesus."

Next, look at the other disciples and their response to what is happening right before their eyes. They were terrified at what they saw. They thought Jesus was a ghost walking on the water.

Peter almost always gets the "bum wrap" in this passage and we see him as the failure because he took his eyes off of Jesus. As Mark Batterson points out in his book, In a Pit with a LION on a Snowy Day, it was PETER who WALKED ON WATER while the others sat in the security and safety of the boat. Peter's passionate love for the LORD Jesus led him into the unknown, unsafe, insecure place of darkness. But he saw the light [Jesus] at the end of the tunnel [even if he did take his eyes off Him temporarily].

So what held the disciples back?
What holds you and I back?
Were they more comfortable in the safe & secure place yet not experiencing the full presence of a holy God?
What safe & secure place are you and I hiding in - also NOT experiencing the full and abundant life that Jesus desires for us in His presence?

Batterson states: "There are people who get out of the boat and walk on water. And there are people who sit in the boat and criticize the water walkers. When everything is said and done, I think our greatest regrets will be the God-ordained risks we didn't take.... It is easy to criticize water walkers from the comfortable confines of the boat. But I think the other eleven disciples were haunted by this missed opportunity....When we get to the end of our lives, our greatest regrets will be the missing pieces... the regrets of inaction. A regret of inaction is not doing something that you wish you had done.... Inaction regrets haunt us because they leave us asking, 'What if?'" [my emphasis added]

So now I ask you, and myself, "How often have we 'sat in the boat' and watched another meet Jesus face to face and then say, 'Man, why didn't I move on it when Jesus said, 'Come'? That could have been me!' "

We'll pick more out of this passage later, but for now........ ponder it for all it's worth.
Dig deep - ask God what He wants you to see and respond to. Then share it if you can.

Choosing JOY,

[JESUS - the One I Worship]

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

In Hot Pursuit

Psalm 119:32 [NLT]
I will pursue Your commands, for You expand my understanding.

Proverbs 15:9 [NLT]
The Lord detests the way of the wicked, but He loves those who pursue godliness.

Proverbs 21:21 [NLT]
Whoever pursues righteousness and unfailing love will find life, righteousness, and honor.

Isaiah 58:13 [NLT]
“Keep the Sabbath day holy. Don’t pursue your own interests on that day, but enjoy the Sabbath and speak of it with delight as the Lord’s holy day. Honor the Sabbath in everything you do on that day, and don’t follow your own desires or talk idly.

1 Timothy 6:11 [NLT]
But you, Timothy [ your name], are a man of God; so run from all these evil things. Pursue righteousness and a godly life, along with faith, love, perseverance, and gentleness.

2 Timothy 2:22 [NLT]
Run from anything that stimulates youthful lusts. Instead, pursue righteous living, faithfulness, love, and peace. Enjoy the companionship of those who call on the Lord with pure hearts.

Deuteronomy 16:18-20 (The Message)
18-19 Appoint judges and officers, organized by tribes, in all the towns that God, your God, is giving you. They are to judge the people fairly and honestly. Don't twist the law. Don't play favorites. Don't take a bribe—a bribe blinds even a wise person; it undermines the intentions of the best of people.
20 The right! The right! Pursue only what's right!
It's the only way you can really live and possess the land that God, your God, is giving you. [all Scripture emphasis added]

Are we in 'hot pursuit' of God and His righteousness? It's a lifelong pursuit - until we reach glory in heaven with Jesus! Let us run THAT race - one of pursuing GOD [HIMSELF]. We will find righteousness in that journey!

Choosing JOY,

[JESUS - the One I Worship]