Monthly Archives: September 2015

Olympic Competition (Fear Not #19)

Joshua 10:25    And Joshua said unto them (men of Israel), Fear not, nor be dismayed, be strong and of good courage: for thus shall the LORD do to all your enemies against whom ye fight. (KJV)

Joshua is now giving those under his authority the pep talk he received from the LORD.  See one.  Do one.  Teach one.  Passing along the lessons he has learned.  By example, he leads. Joshua gets down and dirty with his men.  Joshua has leadership skills and passed Dale Carnegie with an A+.

“Don’t let them see you sweat.”  “Don’t act scared, BOW UP.”  “Failure is not an option.”   As a mom and a swim coach I have said this.  Times when my chicks were afraid, and I was trying to infuse courage.  No, not always the best choice of words but the same heart as Joshua.  FEAR NOT!  THE BATTLE IS THE LORD’S!

If we know we are going to win, it shows in our confidence, demeanor, swagger.  If you know the gold medal is yours you still have to show up at the Olympics and compete.  Only then do you get to go to the podium to receive your Gold Medal.  They don’t send it in the mail!  

Your Coach has done the preparation:  purchased the plane tickets, filed the paperwork, ordered the uniforms, spent hours with you honing your God given skills.  But, if you don’t get on the plane, compete in your sport, and give it your very best effort, it has all been for nothing!  Instead of a sure win, you get nothing.  

The Lord calls us to do the seemingly impossible.  He asks us to face our greatest fears with courage and confidence in HIM.  To do this, we must BELIEVE that HE will do through us what we cannot do in our own strength.  The fear rises out of our fear of a change in conflict, change of venue, a change, any change.

What change are you facing today?  This is what the children of Israel were facing.  A change in competitor (enemy).  The unseen leader was the same:  He never changes.  This is the reminder of Joshua!  “The LORD shall give you the victory!” (Psalm 20:6, 1 Corinthians 15:57) He is the reason for you to have courage (NO FEAR), to have confidence (not dismayed, anxious, or confused).  

Can I be real honest?  I H-A-T-E conflict!  Conflict/change is the only certain thing in life. The good news is that as a child of the King I need not “fear nor be dismayed” for the LORD GOD King of Israel will take care of my enemies (whatever/whoever this may be) for me.  I must simply stand behind Him and trust in His providential guidance and believe His promises.

So today, get off the couch.  This is no spectator sport.  WE must climb up on the starting block.  Take our positions.  Listen for the starting gun and at the sound of its crack, GO……….The GOld medal is waiting at the finish line.  Your Coach and a gallery of witnesses are cheering you on to victory. (Hebrews 12:1-2)

 

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Lead on oh King Eternal…………..

(youtube video)

Yvonne

Promises of God

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In the last few days, my Father has reminded me of the promises from His Word concerning  our children and grandchildren.

“As for Me, this is My covenant with them,” says the LORD, “My Spirit that is upon you, and My Words that I have put in your mouth SHALL NOT DEPART out of your mouth, or out of the mouth of your offspring, or out of the mouth of your children’s offspring,” says the LORD, “from this time forth and forevermore.” Isaiah 59:21 ESV

Yes, today we are holding on to the Promises of God; for you see, our family is going through a time of crisis with one of our grandchildren.  He has made some unwise choices, and now there are consequences to suffer.

In our rebellion, “there is no fear of God before his eyes” Psalms 36:1 NJKV  We have thought, talked, and acted like the fool who says in his heart, “There is no God.” Psalm 14:1 NKJV  We are big on ME but little on God.  We have made decisions like: I can rule my own heart and life, I don’t have to yield myself to anyone not my Father or Mother, not my teachers or boss, not anyone, and especially NOT GOD.  I’m my own man or woman. I alone rule this person.

But what we do not realize is there are only two masters in this world. There is Jehovah God, who made heaven, earth, you, and I. He wants to bless us with amazing abundance in our life in Jesus!  And Satan, who has come only to steal, kill, and destroy our lives bringing total darkness and hopelessness to us..

“No man can serve two masters, for either he will hate the one and and love the other, or else he will be loyal to the one and despise the other. You cannot serve God and mammon” (things of the world Satan uses to entice us).  Matthew 6:24 NKJV

Our choice to rebel against God and His ways have opened up the realms of hell and its consequences of judgment upon our lives.

How many of us have done the same thing???

But Praise God, our merciful God does not give up on us.  He continues to pursue us until He draws us up out of the filthy mire of our sins, washes us clean by the blood of the Lamb Jesus Christ and sets our feet on a path leading us down His narrow Way.  He will do the same for our loved ones!

Thank you, God.  You did not give up on me.  I know You will not give up on our children and grandchildren.  I thank You that Your Word and Your Spirit will rest on our families forever.

Father, help our families to walk only in your Godly counsel not the world’s. Help us to stand before You in purity and holiness, not in the sinner’s way. Help us to sit with great honor and respect of You as our Mighty God not sitting with the scornful. Let our hearts delight and meditate on your Holy Word every day and every night.  Make us to be like a tree planted by the waters, having deep roots, bearing much good fruit by your Spirit, prospering in all we do unto You. (Psalm 1:1-3)  

(youtube video)

Trusting in Your Promises,

Tricia

Fear Not PEOPLE (#18)

Joshua 10:8    And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear them not: for I have delivered them into thine hand; there shall not a man of them stand before thee.  (KJV)

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Have you noticed what I am seeing in these “fear nots”?  Most of our fear is of people!  Not disease.  Not financial ruin.  Not loss of life, limb, livelihood.  Our fear is–fear of PEOPLE!   People, a urn or hinged box full of dust with breath gone wrong sitting on a mantle or placed in a mausoleum.  The them are the ones in your circle causing you great distress.

Will Smith, the actor of Fresh Prince of Bel Air fame, said, “Stop letting people who do so little for you control so much of your mind, feelings, and emotions.”  I wish someone had told me that at the age of twelve!  (Sorry, if you now have the rap of FPBA in your head for the day!)

Basically, people are who we fear because their decisions affect our lives, causing us the most discomfort (ok let’s be honest–gut wrenching pain).  Our feelings and emotions are so tied to our relationships and what others think of us.  Our fear rises from deep within our soul and this fear has a name:  Not Enoughness (“not pretty enough, strong enough, smart enough, rich enough, educated enough, athletic enough, tall enough, thin enough, ad nauseum”)  according to gifted writer Brene’ Brown.

Do you have a people problem?  Sure you do, if you still have a beating heart!  Listen to your Heavenly Father, He is telling you He has it under control and He will deliver into your open and waiting hands the answer to the problem with them.  Notice I said open and waiting, not clenched and controlling.

Instead of wanting to hire a hitman to eliminate the “problem,” hear Him whisper, “They cannot stand before you.  They are going down.” (paraphrase mine)

FYI:  I am preaching to self. Just need to get this picture of dust in a box in my head!

Treading hard today,

Yvonne

 

Let It Go

(our guest treader, Karly, returns this week)

let it go

I think stuff that I shouldn’t.  I worry about stuff I shouldn’t.  I am not perfect.  I am human.

In the beginning we were created in God’s image as the perfect man.  When we inherited our sin nature from Adam and Eve, we could no longer be perfect.

Do you have times when you are so wrapped up in something you don’t notice anything else?  It’s called worry.  I worry myself so much I create even more worry and then I get paranoid over that.

I don’t like to give my worries to God because I think I can handle them myself.  The truth is I can’t!  There’s this saying we can all apply to our lives…

“let go and let God”

We have to let our worries go and move on with life!  I even get paranoid about what I’m worried about.  It’s no fun, take it from me?

Sometimes we just have to be like Elsa in Frozen, when she was scared she let all her worries go and forgot the storm inside. She was free!

God will break the chains made of worry that you let control your life!  Ask God….
“Lord free me from the chains of bondage, built by worry and fear!  Free me to be yours!”

Sin is driven by the one and only Satan!  Worry is a sin even though we don’t realize it!  Don’t be serving Satan and living in chains!

LET GOD BREAK THEM TODAY!

(Exhale by Plumb)

-Karly

Living in a Foreign Land

Psalm 137

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They hung their harps on a willow tree
So longing to be set free
There dwelling in a foreign place
Heads now hung in their disgrace

They had long neglected right
Now this had become their plight
The captors jeered, “why don’t you sing?
But no song would their hearts bring

They were longing for their homeland
On this then they will stand
We’ll sing again when we’re gathered home
Until that time, our hearts just cry “Shalom”

For us the enemy  mocks and jeers
Our eyes at times are filled with tears
Our hearts still long to praise
Jesus our Lord the one who saves.

One day we will worship, Holy, Holy, Holy
With all the angels and saints in glory
Healing of wounds and joy unspeakable
Today let us rest looking forward to that which is inconceivable.

The Israelites found themselves exiled and living in a foreign land.  A land whose people did not worship the Lord God of Israel.  A land where they had no temple in which to worship the Lord their God.

They longed for the city of Jerusalem as they knew it.  They wanted to hear the bleating of the lambs reminding them their sins were forgiven.  They yearned to hear the temple singers as they sung their songs of worship to their God.

But now they are far away from their homeland in a strange country with strange customs.  They were tempted by foods that were forbidden for Jews.  They were tempted by pleasures forbidden by Yahweh Jehovah.  

They were homesick!!! Homesick!!  They had hung their harps on the willow tree.  A picture of the sadness they felt. The instruments silent that had once brought praise and joy as they worshipped their God. The Israelites were living in the land of heartbreaking memories.  Circumstances had brought them to this place.  The last verses in this psalm speak of great loss and overwhelming grief.  Jerusalem had been destroyed. Their babies had been dashed by stones. Singing was the last thing they wanted to do in front of their enemies.  

Yet there was hope!  God had promised to bring them back into the land they loved.

One day in God’s time they would return and once again be able to take up their harps and sing praises in worship.

But until that day came, they would stand up firm in their resolve to not follow the world, the culture, and the paths leading away from God. They would speak “Shalom” or pray for the peace of Jerusalem to one another.

God will bring justice to the injustice.  He will restore what the locust have eaten away.  We will rejoice in the promises given.  

Hold fast!! The new Jerusalem is coming, and we will have a new song to sing.  Look up; keep your focus.  Soon we will see “The Lights of That City”  

(youtube video)

Freda

Fear Not the Battle (#17)

Joshua 8:1  And the LORD said unto Joshua, Fear not, neither be thou dismayed:  take all the people of war with thee, and arise, go up to Ai:  see I have given into thy hand the king of Ai and his people, and his city, and his land:

 

This was one of my Marine Corp Dad’s favorite hymns right behind The Old Rugged Cross.  The words came to mind as soon as I wrote the verse we focus on today.  I see him in my mind’s eye standing and listening (he never sang) to the words intently.

I keep hearing the LORD say, Get up. Go.  I have given you victory.  Is this a scratched vinyl record or CD (you’ll just have to guess how old I am now)?

Not hardly!!!  See, when the Lord wants to get something across, He repeats it over and over again like any good Teacher, and He calls us by name when He does so!  So read this again, and insert YOUR name………..It really is personal.

The Lord said to me, (insert your name), Fear not, neither be dismayed (caused to feel distress, appalled, horrified, daunted, apprehensive, etc, i.e., I am clueless how to deal with this situation) for I (The Lord God of Heaven) have already WON this battle (sickness, relationship, finances, prodigal, marriage, church, whatever)!

I have a few skirmishes that need to know this.  This promise is not for everyone.  It is for “Little Much Afraid,”  “Chicken Little,” Shaking in my boots, me!  

Take some people of war into the battle with you:  Prayer warriors who pray believing, and march right up to the problem and let the King of Heaven take back from the self- proclaimed ruler of the earth what the Lord has given to YOU (insert your name!).  See the victory before the battle.

If hearing Him call you by name and giving you this direction is not a shot of encouragement into your battle weary soul, then STAY PUT until it is!

Fear not, neither be dismayed………..He has given into your hand the victory!

Hinds Feet for High Places by Hannah Hurnard is a classic and the main character is a shepherdess by the name of Little Much Afraid.  A great read!

Prayers for your battle,

Yvonne

Lights on a Hill

Several years ago the Lord sent a word to my family that in the last days before He returned,  He wanted to use us as Lights on a Hill.”  In fact, over twelve plus years have passed, and we are closer to His return than ever before.

But, what degree of Jesus’ Light are you and I allowing to shine out of us into this world?  Is it a dusty color of “light,” lacking any depth? Is it tarnished because of our impure walk? Do we look more like the world around us than like our Lord Jesus?

Romans 13:12 “The night is far spent, the day is at hand, Let us therefore cast off the works of darknessLet us put on the “Armour of Light“ (which is Jesus).”

Today, the words “Armour of Light” just jumped off the pages as I read this verse. Not only is Jesus the marvelous Light of God that has changed our dark lives into amazing brilliance, but also He is a shield of protection in the process, covering and equipping us for what He has ahead of us.

“BE THE LIGHT!!!”

Shine brightly in the radiance of Jesus. Our lives are to be the “Bling,” the “Sparkle,“ the “Glory“ revealed to the world around us.

Isaiah 60:1-3 “Arise, shine, for thy Light is come, and the “Glory of the Lord“ is risen upon thee ………(2b) the Lord shall arise upon thee, and his glory shall be seen upon thee. And the Gentiles shall come to thy “Light,“ and kings to the brightness of thy rising.”

Hey, Dear Ones, did you notice that the Lord repeated twice that “He would arise with His Glory shining upon us?”  Does that mean that we are not to “be and look like ordinary, everyday people???”

The Lord wants us to know once we choose to become His child and give Him control of our lives, He will do the rest. He will fill us with His Light, His Glory. (Colossians 2:9 “The fullness of the Godhead will bodily be dwelling in you and I.”)

“BE THE LIGHTHOUSE“

You and I have a “God Assigned Hill,” a territory of hearts that the Lord is sending us to.   As His Lighthouse, we are to let Him shine the powerful light of Jesus out to warn and protect others of danger and to guide those sailing through life to safety at His shore.

“BE LIGHTS ON A HILL“

These Lights are visible a long way off; they cannot be hidden. They give Light to all around them, revealing a Christ-like walk that glorifies our Father in heaven (Matthew 5:14-16). They don’t hide from others or behind others, they are not ashamed of the Lord, and they don’t give excuses as to why they are not being pure reflections of Jesus.

 

“Oh, Father,“ let the match be lit to the kindling of our loved one’s hearts, that they may burst forth with flames of love and adoration of You, that their hearts ignite to burn after “You“ from now throughout eternity.

“Oh, God,” give them ears to hear, eyes to see, hearts to obey, mouths to speak, hands to minister, and feet to powerfully walk out their faith in “You.“

“Oh, Father,“ let your beaming marvelous “Light of Jesus shine forth in our hearts to all mankind, may it never flicker, but as  “Lights on a Hill“ shine forever out of them.

 

Always loving “You,“

Tricia

P.S…. Daniel 12:3 “And they that be wise shall shine as the brightness of the heavens, and they that turn many to righteousness (shall shine) as the stars forever and ever.”

(video – Kari Jobe – We Are)