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 21, 2010


We may only have a window of time to walk through a door that God has opened to us. Sometimes there is a pleasant treasure waiting on the other side. Sometimes the door will lead to a difficult task that God has asked of us. Yet still - there is only that window of time to accept or reject that open door.

1 Samuel 3:14-20 (The Message)
11-14 God said to Samuel, "Listen carefully. I'm getting ready to do something in Israel that is going to shake everyone up and get their attention. The time has come for me to bring down on Eli's family everything I warned him of, every last word of it. I'm letting him know that the time's up. I'm bringing judgment on his family for good. He knew what was going on, that his sons were desecrating God's name and God's place, and he did nothing to stop them. This is my sentence on the family of Eli: The evil of Eli's family can never be wiped out by sacrifice or offering."
15 Samuel stayed in bed until morning, then rose early and went about his duties, opening the doors of the sanctuary, but he dreaded having to tell the vision to Eli.
16 But then Eli summoned Samuel: "Samuel, my son!"
Samuel came running: "Yes? What can I do for you?"
17 "What did he say? Tell it to me, all of it. Don't suppress or soften one word, as God is your judge! I want it all, word for word as he said it to you."
18 So Samuel told him, word for word. He held back nothing.
Eli said, "He is God. Let him do whatever he thinks best."
19-21 Samuel grew up. God was with him, and Samuel's prophetic record was flawless. Everyone in Israel, from Dan in the north to Beersheba in the south, recognized that Samuel was the real thing—a true prophet of God. God continued to show up at Shiloh, revealed through his word to Samuel at Shiloh. [emphasis added]
I visited a very old church building this past Sunday night, probably about 100 years old, in the old seafaring town of Tuckerton, New Jersey. This door beckoned my entrance to the Sanctuary, though I had no idea what to expect inside. As I opened it and stepped across its threshold - the words over that door spoke to me like fresh wind from the spirit.


God held the sun in the sky just long enough for me to gasp at the beauty and wonder of many stained glass windows that lined each side of this old 'holy of holies'.

How many old hymns were sung in this place?
Did the people who worshiped here really know that JESUS NEVER FAILS? Do we really believe that? In the core of our being? In our marrow? Do we understand the depth of His love for us in the sacrifice He made in order to redeem us and give us access back to the Father? Do we understand His pure act of obedience to the Father - the same as Isaac to Abraham - and Abraham to God - when they trekked [slowly and laborously] up that mountain together so long ago?

Isaac trekked with Abraham - and Abraham trekked with God. Each had stepped through an imaginary door to which there was no turning back. Just like Jesus did with His Father. Each was willing to enact the part He was asked by God! Each was triumphant in the end.

Samuel's obedience was painstaking, yet God honored that obedience and blessed Samuel for the rest of his days for carrying out His instructions without a flaw!

What is your 'window of time'? What door of obedience is God asking you to walk through at this season of your life. Will it make a difference for all eternity?

Like Abraham, Isaac, Samuel and Jesus, are you willing to walk through it without looking back trusting that Jesus Never Fails?

Choosing JOY, Stephanie

Wednesday, June 9, 2010

The GIFT - Not Always Easy to Give = A True Story

OK, Lord. I’m ready ! Take me to the beach and let’s get started. I really did think this would be an easy task. God was bringing me ‘full circle’ to the very place where I received my own salvation over forty years earlier. Ocean City, NJ just 20 minutes from home! How hard could it be? Wouldn’t everyone be thrilled to get one of these books? You clearly said today was the first day – so off we go. I’m smiling and content with the Lord’s leading.

June 7th , 2010 ~ 1PM.
Spreading out my beach blanket on the windswept sand, I opened my beach chair and sat down facing the afternoon sun and waves. OK, Lord, show me who they are. Open my eyes that I might see who You are drawing to Yourself. I’m ready and willing to hand these out. [Not].

There’s a row of teenagers lying on their towels near me, just above the shoreline.
I could pick any one of them. The two closest were embracing each other in an intimate manner. Would your mother be proud of this moment if she saw you here doing that? A maternal spirit arose within me. Or was it a judgmental one? Remember, they don’t know any better. That’s why they need the Gift -The Message made clear. I reasoned in my mind that there were too many to tackle in that bunch so I decided not to give one
to any of them.

A man came walking along, seemingly looking for a place to buy a cool drink. He had a wallet in his hand and just as he got closer he turned in my direction as though he were going to come right up to me. Is this one, Lord? Him? What do I say? How do I approach him? After asking the Lord too many questions the man walked right past me and I missed the open door.
A wave of fear came over me. What are you afraid of? You have the Gift of eternal life in your hands. These people will never see you again. Are you going to let the fear of rejection paralyze you? It already had.

Lord? I prayed. There was nothing else I could do except pray at this point. I was already defeated in my mind. I’ll do it. The next person You bring to me, I will surely give the Gift to. Please give me another chance? I promise. I won’t fail You again. Never make a promise you cannot keep.

Before the last word was out of my mouth a young platinum blonde woman was walking right toward me [again]. She was carrying a very large tote bag on her shoulder and holding her sandals in her hand as she walked across the billowing sand. She didn’t look like she had come prepared to go to the beach; more of an afterthought perhaps. The closer she got to me the more the fear arose within me. She was carefree and happy. She probably already knows You, Lord. Can we skip her? As she walked past me a quizzical look doned on her face, like she was pondering something joyful in her life. As she crossed over the jetty rocks onto the next beach a feeling of desperation came over me. Lord, I need to go after her. How can leave my stuff and go? Again, I missed another one. How can this be? Maybe she’ll turn back and I can have another chance. Please, Lord, make her turn around? But with each passing step her frame got smaller and smaller in the distance. I wept over this one. She never returned my way again.

A woman seated behind me was all alone in her beach chair reading a summer novel. I’ll give her the Gift for sure, Lord. Leave it to me. I’ll catch her before I leave. I looked back several times waiting for the ‘perfect’ opportunity. Then, I looked back once again and she was gone. Vanished. Into thin air. How can that be? I wept again. Another one bit the dust.

Next, an unusual young couple came walking along the shoreline holding hands and smiling at one another without a care in the world, so it seemed. Again my mind reasoned away the Gift that awaited them.

Then a couple my age [that's over fifty] walking together near the water suddenly broke apart as the wife spotted the rest rooms behind me on the boardwalk. The husband, a larger man who walked with an unusual step in his stride, shouted to the wife, “I’ll meet you in the next block along the water.” How sweet to make sure she would know where to find him. Maybe she had fears too. Fears of being ‘lost’? His voice making sure she would be ‘found’. Is He sick, Lord? Cancer perhaps? Their last chance to be together? Maybe I should leave them alone. Maybe I should not hand them the Gift. What if no one has told him about the Gift. What if he dies without the Gift? That’s exactly why I’m here today. By Divine appointment. Isn’t that what You said, Lord? Today was going to be a day of 'Divine appointments'?

He was waiting for his wife as she emerged from the rest room. Taking her hand in his they walked on. The Gift was still sitting in my bag. Ugh! What is wrong with me? You picked the wrong person to do this, Lord? Why is this so hard?

Now the teen couple was alone. The others had toddled off in search of a snack. Now they are getting more serious in their embrace. Does he have any respect for this young woman? Does she have any respect for herself? Apparently not. The ‘petting’ has now gone a bit too far, right here on the open beach. I turn my head from their shame. Perhaps the Gift is too convicting……… offered in the midst of their sin? I could do nothing.

The hand-holding younger couple had returned from the way they had gone. Still, no boldness arises within me. He’s a God of ‘second chances’. But I’m already doomed and defeated in my heart. I let these pass me by.

People need the Lord . The song [by Steve Green] rolled through my mind like a broken record.

Everyday they pass me by,
I can see it in their eyes.
Empty people filled with care,
Headed who knows where?

On they go through private pain,
Living fear to fear.
Laughter hides their silent cries,
Only Jesus hears.

People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize, people need the Lord?

We are called to take His light
To a world where wrong seems right.
What could be too great a cost
For sharing Life with one who's lost?

Through His love our hearts can feel
All the grief they bear.
They must hear the Words of Life
Only we can share.

People need the Lord, people need the Lord
At the end of broken dreams, He's the open door.
People need the Lord, people need the Lord.
When will we realize that we must give our lives,
For peo-ple need the Lord.

People need the Lord.

There were more people than I can count that day. But the last two were the most impacting. An empty beach chair drew me with all its owner’s belongings strewn around it. OK, Lord. I’m choosing the coward’s way out. I’m gonna leave the Gift on that empty chair if it kills me. But what if someone sees me drop it on the chair? What if the person returns just as I’m about to leave the Gift? What if……….? I shut up – packed up and headed home.

Snapping a picture of the empty chair seemed like the only desireable memory that was safe to take with me. At least there was hope in that empty chair. Was I brave enough [or coward enough] to leave the Gift on its seat?

Arranging the Gift on the top of my bag so I can get to it easily and without much ado, I trudged back toward the boardwalk with all my gear in tow. As I approached the empty chair, I glanced around quickly to see if anyone was looking. Coast seemed clear – but my heart pounded out of my chest. I almost fumbled the Gift taking it out. Plop. Right on the chair it falls. Whew! Coward. You chose the easiest one….with no confrontation necessary. Now all you can do it pray over the owner of that chair.

Thinking my defeated day was done and that’ failure’ was the label of the day, I scurried up the steps onto the boardwalk. What about him? The man in the wheelchair hung his head low as I approached. This time I was bold. This time I would not fail at my task. This time………..

“Excuse me Sir. May I give you a Gift?” Taking the book out of my bag I held it up for him to see.
“What is it?” he asked hesitantly.

"It’s the Gospel of John – a modern day paraphrase of the Bible. There’s a story at the end that I hope you will read…..”

My words were cut short as he shook his head saying, “No. No. No,” over and over, he repeated the word as if to stab me with it.
“No, Sir?” I ask in disbelief. “Are you a Christian, Sir?”
“No. No. No,” he repeated again, still hung his head as he shook it back and forth. He answered no more questions. Silence. I just stood there. Tears welled up inside of me. Failure. Defeat. But, Lord, what about His heart? I want to give him hope for his future!

“Have a blessed day, Sir,” I said softly and gently, as I turned and walked to my car. I breathed in the gentle ocean breeze. That man must have some deep seeded hurts in his life to be so opposed to God. Did the disciples of Jesus have it this hard, Lord, when offering the Gift of eternal life?

John 6:40-48
40For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
41At this the Jews began to grumble about Him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven." 42They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?"
43"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered. 44"No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.'Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to Me. 46No one has seen the Father except the One who is from God; only He has seen the Father. 47I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. 48I am the bread of life.

Sometimes - even in our desired attempts to obey God - we fail Him miserably. But He knows our heart. That was part of the lessons learned that day. It may take me all summer to get it right - but I am willing to do it all over again - the next time. I desire to share the HOPE that is within me. It's all part of coming 'full circle' in my earthly Promised Land.

Will you join me in prayer for the person in the empty chair? That the Gift fell where the Father was drawing - and that it fell on eyes and ears ready to recive it?

Choosing JOY, Stephanie

Friday, June 4, 2010

Meet Christina Weyman

Meet Christina Weyman. Christina is a brand new friend to me and a fellow sister in Christ. She is a wife [to Adam] and a mother of two [to Cody and Chloe]. She has a degree in nursing but is presently a stay at home mom - working just one day a week in the office at her husband's business.
We met a few weeks ago when God ordained we pray together one Friday morning after a Titus 2 meeting we both attended. God made the connection and the rest is history! Our mutual love of Jesus drew us to one another in prayer. Now we speak often and desire to grow more in love with Jesus as we share all that He is doing in our lives.
This summer [beginning today] I will introduce several guest posts from others out there whose voice needs to be heard- shared for God's kingdom purpose. Christina's voice is one of those, and you will be intrigued to learn that her name on Facebook [where she posts devotionals] is:
"Avoicecrying Inthewilderness"
Please welcome Christina on TRUTHSHARER today and leave your comments here for her below. The guest post she has chosen to write is called:
If you're facing a difficulty that seems too much to bear, remember that God is more than able to sustain you, uphold you, and carry you through it! There's no circumstance that He can't unfold for His greatest glory and for your greatest interests as well. There is no whimpering of cry or prayer lifted up that is too small or too big for His disliking or discomfort... no!, God loves you too much to leave His good will undone! His love IS you, is FOR you, and it is ingrained in your heart with every detail of love expressed for your taking. God is in complete control of every circumstance that is brought into your life with the only thing left on your lap to do... to be obedient to Him.
Think about the story of a man who approached Jesus one day. His disciples drew closer as to ear in on what this man had to say. It was evident that he had everything going for him. He was a young, wealthy ruler who aimed for excellence in all he did. As Jesus proclaimed to him all the commandments that he should be keeping, he confidently replied, "All these things I have kept from my youth. What do I still lack?" Sadly, the young ruler walked away not being able to fulfill Jesus' response. Then, as Jesus turned to His disciples He said, "it is easier for a camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter the kingdom of God" (Matt.19:24). But, "when the disciples heard it, they were greatly astonished, saying, 'who then can be saved" (Matt. 19:25)? I can picture them almost to a point of panic. They must have thought, for sure, that here was a man that did it perfectly. Confusion must have set in as Jesus said it was STILL nearly impossible for such a man to enter into heaven. And being people that grew up learning about salvation being gained through do's, don'ts, and sacrifices, their hearts must have sank within them with a great sadness, knowing full well that indeed, they too would also be unworthy for heaven.
See, all along God knew the whole picture. He saw something His disciples couldn't even imagine at that point. He saw that HIS sacrifice and blood offering would cover anyone's sin if they would give over their lives to Him, whether rich, poor, good or bad. Jesus saw that it was no longer about works of righteousness but about a free gift He wanted to give. While His friends were focusing on the "now," God was seeing the later. Isaiah 55:8 states, "for My thoughts are not your thoughts, nor are your ways My ways." God knows better than us and He "knows the thoughts that I think toward you.. thoughts of peace and not of evil, to give you a future and a hope." Oh! but still... obedience, obedience, obedience! Remain faithful to Him through difficulty. Stay steadfast in prayer and obeying His voice and surely "all these things will be added unto you" (Matt. 6:33). Psalms 145:4 says, "the Lord upholds all who fall, and raises up all who are bowed down." I don't know about you, but I have done my share of falling, plenty of it! But in the end, I hope that I have done more of my part in bowing!

With Much Love,
Christina Weyman
"I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being, so that Christ may dwell in your hearts through faith." Ephesians 3:16

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

COME TO THE TABLE = Pathway to the Words of Jesus

"COME TO THE TABLE" = Pathway to the Words of Jesus
by Stephanie K. Brower © 2010

5-week Bible Study
The Cost of Being a Disciple_____LESSON 1

Luke 14:25-35 [NIV]
25 Large crowds were traveling with Jesus, and turning to them He said: 26 "If anyone comes to Me and does not hate his father and mother, his wife and children, his brothers and sisters—yes, even his own life—he cannot be My disciple. 27 And anyone who does not carry his cross and follow Me cannot be My disciple."

Over the last 6 weeks we have been studying the Words that Jesus spoke while here on earth. My Bible study group traveled deep into the word of God - walking hundreds of miles with Jesus over the course of our study. We not only found ourselves in the gospels as you would consider the place to find Jesus' words - but we journeyed back in time to dig out backgrounds of why He said what He said.
The thing this study was meant to reveal was setting our hearts in a place to RESPOND to those Words that Jesus spoke to them - then - and to us - now! We saw these Scriptures in a new light - trying to feel what Jesus felt. We studied others as well - like John the Baptist - a figure that most people [believers and non-believers] know very little about and even if they do - they just don't consider much about him. Yet when we read about him [John the Baptist] through the words that Jesus spoke of him, we learned about the committed and devoted life that he lived - one that became a prime example and pattern for us to follow. Just like when Paul said, "Follow me as I follow Christ." We could say the same of John the Baptist in terms of his devotion to Jesus.

Jesus said this of John the Baptist:

Matthew 11:1-15
1After Jesus had finished instructing His twelve disciples, He went on from there to teach and preach in the towns of Galilee.
2When John heard in prison what Christ was doing, He sent his disciples 3 to ask Him, "Are you the one who was to come, or should we expect someone else?"
4Jesus replied,
"Go back and report to John what you hear and see: 5 The blind receive sight, the lame walk, those who have leprosy are cured, the deaf hear, the dead are raised, and the good news is preached to the poor. 6 Blessed is the man who does not fall away on account of Me."
7 As John's disciples were leaving, Jesus began to speak to the crowd about John: "What did you go out into the desert to see? A reed swayed by the wind? 8 If not, what did you go out to see? A man dressed in fine clothes? No, those who wear fine clothes are in kings' palaces. 9 Then what did you go out to see? A prophet? Yes, I tell you, and more than a prophet. 10 This is the one about whom it is written: " 'I will send my messenger ahead of you, who will prepare your way before you.' 11 I tell you the truth: Among those born of women there has not risen anyone greater than John the Baptist; yet he who is least in the kingdom of heaven is greater than he. 12 From the days of John the Baptist until now, the kingdom of heaven has been forcefully advancing, and forceful men lay hold of it. 13 For all the Prophets and the Law prophesied until John. 14 And if you are willing to accept it, he is the Elijah who was to come. 15 He who has ears, let him hear. [emphasis added]

We also saw how John's life tied the Old Testament to the NT with prophesy of his coming in Malachi [the last book of the OT] and the fulfillment of his life in the opening of the NT. God connected many dots for us through this study. We viewed special video clips [from simple truths®] which God gave us each week that tied in with our lessons. God's Word came alive in a new way because we saw, heard, smelled, tasted and touched a LIVING JESUS in our midst.

We ended our last [6th] week with our Bible study dinner last night. After we ate - we headed out to the Sanctuary Circle and ate a Communion meal together [following the example of Jesus] and reading from 1 Corinthians 11 - partook of the elements.

A thundershower came through before we headed out there around 8PM - and some had seen the rainbow that had appeared with it. The air was awash with freshness and newness of life. The earth had taken a long deep drink of the water poured down from heaven - reminding us of Isaiah 55:8-11.

Here are some other pictures of the sights and sounds of our last meal together:

Some of my girls!
A Dogwood Tree was Planted in Shepherd's Walk today as a Memorial
Thanking God that He completed this work!

This Memorial [Tree Planting] and the placing of 12 Stones of Remembrance
is significant to God's covenant and it also marks this day -
June 1st, 2010
as a New Season Beginning! ********************************
Along the Pathway = Before the Rains came down!
Our Communion Meal Prepared in little Napkin Envelopes!
One last pose! Back Row left to right: Lynne, Joan, Chris, Stephanie, Gwen, Claire

2nd Row: Mary D.

Seated: Donna A. Bonnie, Peggy, Donna P.

Not shown: We missed you Annette!