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, February 22, 2010


Isaiah 53
1 Who has believed our message

and to whom has the arm of the LORD been revealed?
2 He grew up before him like a tender shoot, and like a root out of dry ground.

He had no beauty or majesty to attract us to Him,
nothing in His appearance that we should desire Him.
3 He was despised and rejected by men,

a man of sorrows, and familiar with suffering. Like one from whom men hide their faces
He was despised, and we esteemed Him not.
4 Surely He took up our infirmities

and carried our sorrows,
yet we considered Him stricken by God, smitten by Him, and afflicted.
5 But He was pierced for our transgressions, He was crushed for our iniquities;

the punishment that brought us peace was upon Him,
and by His wounds we are healed.
6 We all, like sheep, have gone astray,

each of us has turned to his own way;
and the LORD has laid on Him
the iniquity of us all.
7 He was oppressed and afflicted,

yet He did not open His mouth;
He was led like a lamb to the slaughter,
and as a sheep before her shearers is silent,
so He did not open His mouth.
8 By oppression and judgment He was taken away.

And who can speak of His descendants?
For He was cut off from the land of the living;
for the transgression of My people He was stricken.
9 He was assigned a grave with the wicked,

and with the rich in His death,
though He had done no violence,
nor was any deceit in His mouth.
10 Yet it was the LORD's will to crush Him and cause Him to suffer,

and though the LORD makes His life a guilt offering,
He will see His offspring and prolong His days,
and the will of the LORD will prosper in His hand.
11 After the suffering of His soul,

He will see the light of life and be satisfied;
by His knowledge my righteous servant will justify many,
and He will bear their iniquities.
12 Therefore I will give Him a portion among the great,

and He will divide the spoils with the strong,
because He poured out His life unto death,
and was numbered with the transgressors.
For He bore the sin of many,
and made intercession for the transgressors.

Luke 24

25 He [Jesus] said to them, "How foolish you are, and how slow of heart to believe all that the prophets have spoken! 26 Did not the Christ have to suffer these things and then enter His glory?" 27 And beginning with Moses and all the Prophets, He explained to them what was said in all the Scriptures concerning Himself.
28 As they approached the village to which they were going, Jesus acted as if He were going farther. 29 But they urged Him strongly, "Stay with us, for it is nearly evening; the day is almost over." So He went in to stay with them.
30 When He was at the table with them, He took bread, gave thanks, broke it and began to give it to them. 31 Then their eyes were opened and they recognized Him, and He disappeared from their sight. 32 They asked each other, "Were not our hearts burning within us while He talked with us on the road and opened the Scriptures to us?"
[all emphasis added]

"Come to the Table...
feast on the Bread..."
You've heard them........ phrases that mean more than the naked ear can hear.

It amazes me to see that Jesus' simple invitation to us - to

'come to the table and feast'

is so often rejected by many. Yet, He will Hand-Feed us if we do.

He will ...

  • dine with us

  • explain to us

  • reveal Himself to us

  • take up residence with us

[NOTE HERE: If you've read this far but skipped over the Scripture passages because they are long -PLEASE go back and read them Word for Word, or you will miss the entire point that God desires for you to hear. PLEASE.... let what Jesus did for you soak in! ....thank you.]

He will do that for any Jewish person as well, on the face of this earth today . I recently heard a testimony of a Jewish woman , who shared her story of coming to Christ. She was a widow at the time. Her husband was about 30 years old. She had a young daughter about 2-3 years old. Then.......her husband [who was a believer] died suddenly! After his death, her mother-in-law, who was also a believer, led her to Christ. She remained a widow for several years. During that time she poured her heart INTO Christ and He poured Himself INTO her life through the Scriptures. Jesus became her [husband]. Then a few years after that God brought a Jewish Believer to be her new [earthly husband] as well. They have served together in ministry ever since.

She explained in her testimony that as a young girl going to Hebrew school, no one was ever permitted to read Isaiah 53. And worse... they were not even allowed to ask, why?

It was through Isaiah 53 that her mother-in-law had shared Christ with her. She told us that, 'immediately her eyes were opened and she saw Christ for Who He Was'! It was there all along. She had questioned the Rabbi..... she had asked the right questions.......she even asked 'why?'.

She encouraged us that day to share this passage from the Old Testament with any Jewish people we know. Those of us who study the Scriptures daily, know that all of Isaiah is a prophesy of Christ. But , for the Jew, that chapter is the very key to unlocking the door where the Messiah is found.

I encourage you to share Christ with your Jewish friends and neighbors, co-workers, and even family members. The Jews awaited the coming Messiah - but they missed it. Why? For some, there was a link broken, missing and removed.........and it still is today. Let's tell them about it....let's give them back the KEY. Then, let GOD do the work in opening their eyes to see the TRUTH of [Yeshua HaMashiach] Jesus Messiah revealed.

Then... will come the day .... when they



Choosing JOY, Stephanie

JESUS ONLY in 2010

Friday, February 19, 2010

It's Just the FEAR Growling

Psalm 64:1 NKJV
1 Hear my voice, O God, in my meditation;

Preserve my life from fear of the enemy.

Psalm 64:1 NIV
1 Hear me, O God, as I voice my complaint;
protect my life from the threat of the enemy.

Psalm 64 [The Message]
A David Psalm

1 Listen and help, O God. I'm reduced to a whine and a whimper, obsessed with feelings of doomsday. 2-6 Don't let them find me— the conspirators out to get me, using their tongues as weapons, flinging poison words, poison-tipped arrow-words. They shoot from ambush,
shoot without warning,
not caring who they hit.
They keep fit doing calisthenics
of evil purpose,
They keep lists of the traps
they've secretly set.
They say to each other,
"No one can catch us,
no one can detect our perfect crime."
The Detective detects the mystery
in the dark of the cellar heart.
7-8 The God of the Arrow shoots!
They double up in pain,
Fall flat on their faces
in full view of the grinning crowd.
9-10 Everyone sees it. God's
work is the talk of the town.
Be glad, good people! Fly to God!
Good-hearted people, make praise your habit.

The Bible tells us to 'beware' and 'to be on guard' against the schemes of the enemy - but never are we to 'fear with dread' our very lives in any situation or circumstance. Those are hard words to swallow if you are the one in the middle of a [seeming] attack.

How many times has the enemy asked you the "What if..." question?

  • "What if ......... he dies?"
  • "What if ......... I lose my job?"
  • "What if ......... he walks out on me?"
  • "What if ......... he takes my kids?"
  • "What if ......... I get sick?"
  • "What if ......... [___you fill in the blanks___]?"
The 'tag' line to each one of these is the fear for survival. Add this 'tag' to any one of the above and you've named the fear:
"...How will I [we] survive?"
Are you 'biting the hook' or sinking your own teeth into the 'fear' of that? [So it's not always the enemy - but the FEAR of the enemy that paralyzes us.]

There is nothing the enemy can do to us without the permission from a Sovereign God.... but often our 'fear' of him and his treats is where we fall short in trusting the God who has already given us the victory.

When those challenges come today or next week or next month [and they will] ask yourself the same question, "What if...?" but instead of being paralyzed by the dreaded answers , [which is where the enemy wants to take you] follow.... your own answer to the finish line? And when you come to the end of it, say to yourself, "Then what.....?"

Usually you will find a phrase like one of these.........

"But GOD...!"

"Then GOD did...!"

IF our hearts are fully engaged in trusting God's Heart, then these 'fears' can be 'put to death' when they are smashed in the palms of His Almighty Hands!

Will we let go of the 'grip of fear'... and let God Himself quiet the 'roar' to a mere growl?

Choosing JOY,
JESUS ONLY in 2010

Monday, February 15, 2010


Genesis 8 [selected verses]

1 But God remembered Noah... 3 The water receded steadily from the earth. At the end of the hundred and fifty days the water had gone down... 8 Then he sent out a dove to see if the water had receded from the surface of the ground. 9 But the dove could find no place to set its feet because there was water over all the surface of the earth; so it returned to Noah in the ark. He reached out his hand and took the dove and brought it back to himself in the ark. 10 He waited seven more days and again sent out the dove from the ark. 11 When the dove returned to him in the evening, there in its beak was 'a freshly plucked olive leaf'* [*Noah's first 'sign' that the hope of God's promise was sure]! Then Noah knew that the water had receded from the earth. 12 He waited seven more days and sent the dove out again, but this time it did not return to him. [insertion mine]


Taken from my personal study time of this chapter today - where God is teaching me the INSIDE ~ OUT of His Heart. Do you see it here in this very passage? A true portrait of Christ and us = Noah and the Ark!


Now~ will you join with me today at the feet of a great man who enveloped himself in a life of Faith and Prayer with our God?

E.M Bounds On PRAYER _____

Prayer and Faith
[Excerpts from Chapter 1 - with my emphasis added]

"In any study... of PRAYER... first place, must be given to FAITH. It is the initial quality in the heart of any man who essays to talk to the Unseen. He must out of sheer helplessness, stretch forth hands of faith.

He must BELIEVE, where he cannot prove.

PRAYER is simply FAITH, claiming its natural yet marvelous prerogatives---faith taking possession of its illimitable inheritance....

When faith ceases to PRAY it ceases to LIVE.

Faith does the impossible because it brings God to undertake for us, and nothing is impossible with God.

PRAYER projects FAITH on God, and God on the world. Only God can move mountains, but FAITH and PRAYER move God."


Several years ago the Lord gave me a saying which was this:

"PRAYER ACTIVATES... what God has already purposed in your life." ~~~~~~~~~ skbrower © 2007

And that saying was based on these two verses of Scripture:

Before a word is on my tongue You know it completely, O LORD. ~Psalm 139:4

I cry out to God Most High, to God, who fulfills {His purpose} for me. ~Psalm 52:2

We can see here, how important our FAITH is, being the very foundation of our PRAYER life.

As we go on with our study.... E. M. Bounds says:

"In His cursing of the fig tree our Lord demonstrated His power. Following that, her proceeded to declare, that large powers were committed to FAITH and PRAYER, not in order to kill but to make alive, not to blast but to bless.

'Therefore I say unto you, What things soever ye desire when ye pray, believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.' [Mark 11:24]

There is a need to emphasize [this verse], since it is the very keystone or the arch of FAITH and PRAYER.

We should ponder well that statement--- 'Believe that ye receive them, and ye shall have them.' Here is described a FAITH which realizes, which appropriates, which takes. Such FAITH is a consciousness of the Divine, an experienced communion, a realized certainty."

He goes on to ask these questions:

"Is FAITH growing or declining as the years go by? Does FAITH stand strong and foursquare, these days, as iniquity abounds and the love of many grows cold? Does FAITH maintain its hold, as religion tends to become a mere formality and worldliness increasingly prevails? The inquiry of our Lord, may, with great appropriateness, be ours.

'When the Son of Man cometh,' He says, 'shall He find FAITH on the earth?'"

How do you see and understand these truths about our FAITH being the very foundation of our PRAYER LIFE?

Will you join me on The Prayer Walk today? click here: SHEPHERD'S WALK at Sweetbriar


Stephanie ___ JESUS ONLY in 2010

Saturday, February 13, 2010


Psalm 19
For the director of music. A psalm of David.
1 The heavens declare the glory of God;
the skies proclaim the work of His hands.
2 Day after day they pour forth speech;
night after night they display knowledge.
3 There is no speech or language
where their voice is not heard.
4 Their voice goes out into all the earth,
their words to the ends of the world.
1 John 4:13-16 [The Message]
This is how we know we're living steadily and deeply in Him, and He in us: He's given us life from His life, from His very own Spirit. Also, we've seen for ourselves and continue to state openly that the Father sent His Son as Savior of the world. Everyone who confesses that Jesus is God's Son participates continuously in an intimate relationship with God. We know it so well, we've embraced it Heart and soul, this Love that comes from God. [emphasis added]

It's Heart Month and God is showing off His Heart for all to see!

What is God's Heart speaking to you from His Holy Word - from His Spirit and even from the heavens that pour forth His Speech? He wasn't kidding when He said that as David penned those words that God put in his own heart!

Choosing Great JOY in His Intimate Presence,


JESUS ONLY in 2010

Saturday, February 6, 2010


There are now blizzard conditions here
in this quiet Southern NJ town.
The above photo was taken early about 8AM just off my front porch.
I fed the birds before I fed myself! They came from nowhere and there were large blackbirds that were disturbing many of my regular little cardinals, titmice, sparrows, juncos, chickadees, and wrens. My cat, Griffin, was in heaven watching all of this from the window.

I looked out my window a little after noontime and some masked man was plowing my driveway with a small red tracker with a bucket loader on the end. It turned out to be my next door neighbor, who I never see or talk to - just because there is never an occasion to do so. I thanked him with Chocolate Chip Cookies that I had baked last night... and invited him and his family to come and stay over here if we lose power again because they did not have heat [but I did because the Lord provided that for me]. He was grateful and said he would bring them over if it goes out again because he has a little grandson living with him. Our electric was out here for 7 hours and could go out again with 5-8 more inches of snow falling as I type this. The wind has picked up and is drifting in every corner of the yard.
My home is open to the stranger, the friend,
and anyone who God would bring to find shelter here...
all because He is my provider!

On days like this it is hard living alone. "Manly" jobs like shoveling, plowing, and fixing things around the house are not my cup of tea....... yet the last word my husband spoke before he passed into glory - just five minutes before he died was:
our Grandson's name which means:

[ The LORD will Provide!]
Genesis 22
14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said,
"On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided." ________________________________
My God is FAITHFUL and GOOD! Bless His Holy Name. Bob's last word was really 'the Word of the LORD' spoken to me that day because God Himself continues to provide for my EVERY NEED!
How do you see the Lord's provision in your life this day?

Choosing JOY, Stephanie

JESUS ONLY in 2010

Friday, February 5, 2010


Lisa Smith Glad Chatter

It is with a full heart that I first and foremost ask you to PRAY for our dear blogging sister, Lisa Smith.

She has been diagnosed with a rare type of cancer [Soft Tissue Sarcoma of the breast]. In addition to your prayers for her life - there is a desperate

Call to Action! Please click on this LINK to go to Lisa's site where you can be informed how to best pray and participate on her behalf. Thank you in advance for your prayers and your faithful call to action on Lisa's behalf!

Febrary is HEART Month - so let's give Lisa the full support of our hearts, prayers, and actions.

UPDATE JUST IN from Tracy Smith:

*UPDATE*We've already had success! We're asking everyone to hold off any more phone calls, faxes and letters. S&WHP has just approved TWO VISITS for Lisa at MD Anderson. This is a fantastic and amazing first step. For now we'd like people to hold off on more contact with Scott&White Health Plan. We made need you again in this capacity soon but for now let's all celebrate this small victory!!!THANKS EVERYONE!

Choosing JOY in a God sized Victory,


JESUS ONLY in 2010

Tuesday, February 2, 2010


Exodus 33:13-19
God's Presence and Glory
[Moses said]...13 If You are pleased with me, teach me Your ways so I may know You and continue to find favor with You. Remember that this nation is Your people."
14 The LORD replied, "My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest."
15 Then Moses said to Him, "If Your Presence does not go with us, do not send us up from here. 16 How will anyone know that You are pleased with me and with your people unless You go with us?
What else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?"
17 And the LORD said to Moses, "I will do the very thing you have asked, because I am pleased with you and I know you by name."
18 Then Moses said, "Now show me Your glory."
19 And the LORD said, "I will cause all My goodness to pass in front of you, and I will proclaim My Name, the LORD, in your presence.

2 Samuel 6:12-15
12 Now King David was told, "The LORD has blessed the household of Obed-Edom and everything he has, because of the ark of God." So David went down and brought up the ark of God from the house of Obed-Edom to the City of David with rejoicing....14 David, wearing a linen ephod, danced before the LORD with all his might, 15 while he and the entire house of Israel brought up the ark of the LORD with shouts and the sound of trumpets. [all emphasis added]

On Christmas a year ago [2008] I presented my children with this family quilt that my own mother had hand-stitched in 1991. It had been put aside in a closet somewhere and was rarely used or even brought out for any particular occasion. It is bright and colorful. She had made it when living in Arizona so the colors were more Southwest - than Eastern Shore! But there was something about that quilt that I loved. It always reminded me of Joseph's 'coat of many colors'. It also reminded me of the 'blessings of Jacob' when God gave him the new name, Israel and blessed his family line.

I dug out the old quilt for the first time on a hot sunny day back in the summer 2008. It was a Sunday afternoon, after I had come back from my first day of teaching a ladies class in another area church. I changed out of my 'dress' clothes and carried an armful of books, my Bible, and my journal outside. I laid the quilt out on the grass and began to just stare at it for awhile. I spent a peaceful afternoon laying on that quilt in the shade of the large oak trees, reading my Bible, writing in my journal, and in a time of deep prayer. Afterward, as I got up I looked down at the quilt again. In all the years I had that quilt I never realized that it was made up of 12 basic squares - all 12 STARS - yet each star was unique in its design. Immediately I thought again of Jacob and his 12 sons - the 12 tribes of Israel. I was compelled to take pictures of the quilt from every angel and view. I photographed many other items around the yard that day as well.

But only later, when I downloaded the photographs onto the computer a strange thing appeared over each picture of the quilt. It was just a slight haze - like a white mist above the quilt. "So what is she saying," you ask? Was it God showing His presence - His Glory? Maybe. Stay with me here. My God is able [and desires] to show His glory if He so chooses!

I do ask for God to 'show me His glory' quite often. He had done it before and I was learning the many ways that God reveals His glory both through His creation [Romans 1:20] - through His Word - or through prayer. Before you get all hung up on whether this was or was not God's Glory, don't miss the point of this post: HIS PRESENCE!

What are the things that you describe as "blessing" in your life?
Are they 'things' like: a house, a child, a car, a vacation, earthly wealth, a spouse, a grandchild, a scholarship to Harvard, a recognition award? Indeed we can and often ARE blessed by any and all of these things.

Look back at the text in Exodus for a moment and examine the two back to back questions that Moses asks the LORD: "How will anyone know that You are pleased with me and with your people unless You go with us? What else will distinguish me and Your people from all the other people on the face of the earth?" [my emphasis added]

For Moses, there was no greater blessing than God's Presence in his life. From the first day that God spoke to Moses from the burning bush, God's Presence in his life was what He craved, loved and lived for. Even when he wandered in the desert - God was there. God's Presence had been with Moses since before he was born and we all know the story of how his mother hid him in the marsh to protect him from being killed. God was with him every step of the way - yet it was not until God revealed His Presence in the burning bush - that Moses recognized Him as God.

Where was your burning bush? How do you recognize God's Presence in your life?
Once we get a taste of God's presence in our lives - even in the simple most unannounced ways - we are changed forever. There is a longing for more of Him. And nothing - no person - no award - no amount of wealth will ever fill that void except God Himself.

Do you crave Him? Do you love Him so? Do you know that you know that you know - Who God IS? Do you know how much He truly loves you and calls you His Beloved Child?

As we've been studying the life of David in Bible study here on Monday nights, passages from 2 Samuel 6 and 7 came into play just prior to an unexpected arrival. I had told each child/family to keep that family "blessings" quilt for 4 months and then pass it on to the next family and then back to me after it had resided in each home for that time. They were to use it for picnics, the beach, the park, to lay a newborn on in the house or even as a cover on a bed. This past Sunday when we held our good-bye dinner for my oldest daughter and her family who are going to Haiti as full-time missionaries - Becky came over to help me with some last minute preparations before everyone else arrived. When she walked in she was holding a large plastic box with a purple lid. She blurted out, "Mom, I'm so sorry I didn't get this to you sooner - I know it was supposed to come back to you a while ago and I had it here for the last month but I forgot to bring it over..... and.....", at which I smiled from deep within my heart and said back to her, "It's OK - today is the perfect day for its arrival." It was my first day in the "Promised Land" [after wandering in the desert for 40 years! What better gift could God bring my - than a symbol of His Presence? All I could think of was Obed-Edom from our lesson - how that blessing had been in his household when the Ark of God's Presence was there. David first waited... and then rejoiced to bring the 'Ark' [representing God's Holy Presence] back to where it belonged!

ONLY GOD! Only God's timing! Only in GOD'S PRESENCE!

Choosing GREAT JOY in God's Presence,
JESUS ONLY in 2010