Thursday, January 26, 2012

Who's Talking Now?

Remember when a few years ago everyone would make a statement and then say “Not!” after it? Like, “I just won a million dollars! Not!” or “I really like those jeans! Not!”
Well, I think when it comes to fear, God’s encouragement to us is Fear? Not!
Fear is the proverbial rain on the parade of faith.
And nothing busts a faith filled balloon quicker than a fiery dart of fear.
Joshua and the next gen. Israel were poised on the border of the land of Canaan, ready to conquer all that God had promised them some 500 years prior, in His promise to Abraham. 
Besides disobeying God, the only thing that could really stop them from moving forward and possessing all that the Lord had for them was fear.
Fear of the enemy that had to be conquered.
Fear of the fight. This land was taken through many battles, one city at a time. 
And lastly, fear of the people. The people he was leading and in company with.
Not that unlike us.
The good news is that Jesus has conquered our enemy, the devil and his spiritual army of darkness. They no longer can have dominion over those of us who cling to the cross.
“And you, being dead in your trespasses and the uncircumcision of your flesh, He has made alive together with Him, having forgiven you all trespasses, having wiped out the handwriting of requirements that was against us, which was contrary to us. And He has taken it out of the way, having nailed it to the cross. Having disarmed principalities and powers, He made a public spectacle of them, triumphing over them in it.” 
Colossians 2:13-15
As a defeated foe, his strategy against those that are now in the kingdom of light is to hinder our spiritual progress through such weapons as doubt, discouragement and fear.
Everyone has to face these enemies at one time or another in their lives. And they don’t place nice.
Doubt and discouragement are bully’s of the grandest sort! Like the mean girl in school that caused havoc, chaos and drama wherever she went....and she liked it! In fact, she fed off of it! Growing more and more full of herself with each wave of her tumult.
These enemies are bent on your destruction. 
They want to wipe you out spiritually by making you weak and introspective. 
Causing you to want run away from the battle.

Yes, Fear and her friends come to your front door bringing dark clouds of despair and self pity that threaten to hide the face of the One, Who has promised to never leave you and Who loves you unfailingly.
So what do we do to clear away the clouds?
We run all right.
We run to the One whose very Name is a fortress against the enemy. Speak it! Shout it! ”Jesus!”
We hide indeed, We hide in Him. Through prayer and clinging to the truths in His Word.
We proclaim loudly and boldly our own weakness signaling utter dependence in the One, Who is mighty to save and whose power and strength are made perfect in weakness.
We learn to listen and move to the sound of His voice alone.
Though often very well meaning, some can hold us back, “What? You can’t do that!”
Or push us too fast. “Go, Go, Go!”
EIther way, the results are battle fatigue and defeat, for we are fighting in our own strength.
And we lift our eyes off of ourselves and get them firmly onto Him.
As Keith Green said,  “It’s so hard to see when my eyes are on me.”
(True, and a rather boring landscape at that!)
Fear will come.
Courage is looking that bully “fear”, straight in the eyes knowing that Jesus is standing right behind you.
Then,  we can truly say Fear?...... Not!
Psalm 31:1-5
In You, O LORD, I put my trust;
Let me never be ashamed;
Deliver me in Your righteousness.
Bow down Your ear to me,
Deliver me speedily;
Be my rock of refuge,
A fortress of defense to save me.
For You are my rock and my fortress;
Therefore, for Your name’s sake,
Lead me and guide me.
Pull me out of the net which they have secretly laid for me,
For You are my strength.
Into Your hand I commit my spirit;
You have redeemed me, O LORD God of truth.
Loving the lyrics to this song..
Check it out!
“Battle” by Chris August

Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Oh Yes, You Can!

Ever have one of those days (or weeks) that feels like you’re crawling through quicksand?
When accomplishing seemingly simple tasks seems insurmountable and your efforts to move forward are met with small annoyances and inconveniences that threaten to test  your stamina to the breaking point?
At times like this you may be tempted to throw up your hands and shout out  “I quit, I give up! I can’t do this! ”  Or elicit the primal scream, “aghhhhhhhhhh!”
I had a day like that last week. In an attempt to move forward physically in my life ..I was met with a sudden blow. 
No seriously.
Here’s the scenario....It was a cold and rainy day (no, really) I had gone to the gym and was carrying a water bottle with me. I had my hands full with other things and when I entered, the bottle slid out of my hand and I went chasing it like a dog after a duck.
Having retrieved it, I stood I mean c’mon I’m at the gym, we’re supposed to look cool right? ha ha!)
On doing so, I had completely forgot that there was a very solid wood counter under which I had ventured in my high speed water bottle chase.
But my head instantly reminded me ..
Now........I have hit my head a lot in my life (no comments, ok?)
But I have never heard it say “cruuunnccchhh”.
After a few dazed moments hand to head revealed the bloody truth.
Grabbing a wet paper towel, I headed out to my car to drive home and had a meltdown.
I mean seriously, all I need now is a cracked head!
After assessing the damage, Robert came home and drove me to the ER.
After triage, I was walked down the hallway and put in the very same room that I had been on Aug.29th. The day they discovered the mass in my lung.
I just looked at Robert and said, “well maybe that was the beginning and this is symbolic of end.”
After a normal CT scan, I was on my way home, battered and bruised, but otherwise in tact.
The next day, I just felt overwhelmed.
As I began to sink into the pit of despond, I had a thought..”Are you gonna fight or what?”
That thought energized me and I was reminded of a statement that Lenya Heitzg had made on her blogsite when she began to lose her hair due to chemo.
“I am not a victim, I am a victor!”
I believe this mentality is essential for us as Christians.
Beginning a study in the book of Joshua reminded me that though God GAVE Israel the land before them through His promise to Abraham, they had to go in and take it. Fight to get it and to keep it! Still to this very day.
Its the same with us. God has given us great and precious promises in His Word that are not for the chosen few, but for every single believer in Christ.
They are not trite notions simply meant to hang on a wall or a adorn a coffee mug. No. These promises are our ammunition as we wage war on fear, doubt or any other enemy that would keep us from having everything that God has freely granted us in Christ

“For all the promises of God in Him are Yes, and in Him Amen, to the glory of God through us”. 2 Cor. 1:20
When people used to talk about fighting cancer I was unsure what they meant, I mean beyond doing what is medically and physically available how do you ”fight” it? 
By mustering up a strong will or a positive attitude? By reciting “Yes I can, Yes I can” ?
Though these things may be helpful temporarily, they often fade with the circumstances into the shadows of our frail humanity.
No. I can’t do all things. But “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.” Phil. 4:13
I have found that I fight by clinging to Him. By resting In His arms. By trusting in His Word and His power. He is a mighty Warrior and I’m proud to be in His army.
(Sorry Dad, I mean Marine Corp. My Dad is a retired Lieutenant Colonel in the Marines. Booyah!)
Today, whatever invader you are facing that tries to rob you of the joy, peace and all surpassing love and care of your Father God, fight back by refusing to believe those fear driven threats. Instead arm yourself with His arsenal of powerful promises.
Now, if you feel so led, help out your fellow comrades on the front lines by posting your favorite promise from the Bible.
Here’s one to get us started:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and of good courage; do not be afraid, nor be dismayed, for the LORD your God is with you wherever you go.” 
Joshua 1:9
  • I saw my doctor yesterday. I am to continue on the medication, as I am currently.
I have another PET scan on Feb 9th. As always, I covet and am so very grateful  for you staying in the fight with me with your prayers!

Wednesday, January 11, 2012

At Home

I have a friend who has needed to travel a lot in the past few years for her job. She has often remarked how people will comment about traveling being so exciting, but in reality, she has found “life on the road” far from glamourous.
The endless cycle of packing and unpacking, living out of that suitcase, LONG layovers, and staying in hotels that are often downright scary to say the least, have left this girl yearning for more time at home!
There’s just something about home isn’t there? Never mind the size or location. Having a space of our own, familiar surroundings, and the freedom to relax and be ourselves brings a sense of comfort and calmness to most of us.
Jesus used this idea of being “at home” to describe an ideal relationship with Him in John chapter 15.
“I am the true vine, and My Father is the vinedresser. Every branch in Me that does not bear fruit He takes away; and every branch that bears fruit He prunes, that it may bear more fruit. You are already clean because of the word which I have spoken to you. Abide in Me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in Me.
“I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing. If anyone does not abide in Me, he is cast out as a branch and is withered; and they gather them and throw them into the fire, and they are burned. If you abide in Me, and My words abide in you, you will ask what you desire, and it shall be done for you. By this My Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit; so you will be My disciples.
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love. If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love. John 15:1-10
The word abide carries with it the meaning of dwelling and remaining in one place with something or someone.
The fact that Jesus wants us to live with Him continually is just so amazing to consider.
That this One, who is Love Himself, bids us to stay close to Him is a humbling invitation of magnificent proportions.
But He does. 
I have a friend whose religious views are listed on his social media site as “Abide in Jesus.”
A simple statement with profound implications.
Staying connected to Him is the essence of Christianity.
Branches firmly attached to the Vine live abundant lives bearing much fruit.
Depart from Him, and we wither up and die spiritually.
That’s it.
So how do we do abide in Jesus?
It really comes down to His love. Remembering it. Receiving it. Respecting it. 
“As the Father loved Me, I also have loved you; abide in My love
If you keep My commandments, you will abide in My love, just as I have kept My Father’s commandments and abide in His love.
Consider for a moment the Father’s love for Jesus.
Eternal. Faithful. Passionate.
Jesus says He loves you and I with that same depth of love.
What season of spiritual growth do you find yourself in today? Is it the unpleasant pruning of winter that holds the promise of new life budding forth in the spring? Or a summer season with bountiful branches of fruit, so heavy they are cascading over the neighbor’s wall?
In every season, stay close to Jesus. You’ll never be more at home.
“If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word; and My Father will love him, and We will come to him and make Our home with him.” John 14:23
Satisfied in You
by Scott Cunningham
I’m satisfied in You my God
I will abide in You, in the vine
I want to live to live for Your pleasure
I want to run, to run for Your fame
I want to dwell in Your house forever
To seek Your face, as You call my name
To hear You say
“Well done”
For I am not my own 
You bought me with You’re blood 
Your precious blood.
Heres a link to listen:

Monday, January 9, 2012


WIth the New Year often comes new resolve to eat healthier. In fact, the number one resolution is to lose weight. 
So, ok.... how many of you are hating that decision right about now and having day dreams of junk food? 
After all, it has been a week!
But how many of you even in a week’s time of ingesting more nutrient rich foods are already seeing and feeling a positive difference?
God’s Word is likened to food.
For some, the BIble may seem sour or restrictive, like trying to follow a diet of only wheatgrass and kale. (bitter!)
But, just like a balanced diet of healthy food will eventual curb (most) of our appetite for junk food, as we consistently feed on God’s Word, the junk that we have been feeding our hearts, minds and souls becomes less appealing. For, we find our spiritual cravings truly satisfied.
In Psalm 119:103, a fellow Biblical culinary student exclaims:
How sweet are Your words to my taste,
Sweeter than honey to my mouth!
Simply ...Delicious!
I have found that we can get really hung up on just how to get God’s Word into our lives.
We set time limits, chapter amounts and so on, approaching it somewhat like a diet plan: “Just make sure you get those 5 fruits and veggies in no matter what!”
But the goal of reading the Bible is knowing Jesus.
Listen to His words to the religious ones of His day
“But you do not have His word abiding in you, because whom He sent, Him you do not believe. You search the Scriptures, for in them you think you have eternal life; and these are they which testify of Me.” John 5:39-39
Searching the Scriptures is great! Digging deep into the goldmine of God’s Word is time well spent.
But if we are doing it just to check it off our list or gain intellectual knowledge, we will surely become spiritually malnourished.
Here’s a process to ensure absorption of all the life-giving nutrients found in His Word.
Firstly, the Bible is a spiritual book. We cannot understand what is spiritually inspired unless we pray for the Holy Spirit to illuminate the text for us. So before beginning, pray  and ask Him to open your spiritual eyes, every time you approach the Word.
1.Read it - Get it into your head and heart by taking time to ingest it verse by verse, chapter by chapter and book by book. If you are an audio learner, you can listen to it being read. Audio Bible is available online at
I love reading the Bible in historical order. If that interests you, you can do so by choosing a chronological study Bible.
2.Understand it -This happens as we chew on His word by prayerfully thinking about it over and over. I believe that understanding what we are reading is more important than than how much we read. If you are new to the Bible, try reading a portion, beginning with the book of John,  just until you grasp a truth,  Be careful though, this will only whet your appetite for understanding more. God’s Word is addictive!
3.Obey it -After we understand the principles and promises we discover, we exercise our faith by choosing to apply them to our specific situations. As a result, our relationship with God grows closer for we experience His faithfulness to His Word in our very own lives.
Eating a balance diet is important for physical health. Consistently skipping meals weakens our bodies. How much greater to have steady diet of God’s eternal Word which strengthens us for all of life’s challenges!
Dig in today! You won’t be left hungry.
"I have not departed from the commandment of His lips;
I have treasured the words of His mouth
More than my necessary food. " Job 23;12

Tuesday, January 3, 2012

Staying in Your Lane

A couple of days ago I decided to take advantage of our amazing weather (75 degrees in January, really?!) and go for a walk. I found a high school football field with a track surrounding it that looked somewhat daunting; but nevertheless curiously beckoned me, so I pushed through the turnstile and set off around the track.
As I began to walk, I noticed that lanes had been carefully created by strong white lines to contrast against the black-gray asphalt. Each lane was given a number ranging from 1-8. Number one was closest to the field, while number eight was on the outer perimeter.
I imagined that if I was a runner I would want number 1, the inside track, because it seemed that tighter turns and less distractions would make it easier to cross the finish line first!
The Christian life is likened to a race. But unlike a earthly footrace, we are not competing against anyone else to finish first.
Jesus emphasized the importance of keeping our eyes on Him instead of others as we make it down life’s path, a few days after His resurrection from the dead.
On the shores of the sea of Galilee that bright morning, Peter was just getting his footing back after his denial of the Lord, when he was reunited with and recommissioned by Jesus.
As together, they began making their way down the beach, the text says:
“Then Peter, turning around, saw the disciple whom Jesus loved following, who also had leaned on His breast at the supper, and said, “Lord, who is the one who betrays You?” Peter, seeing him, said to Jesus, “But Lord, what about this man?”
Jesus said to him, “If I will that he remain till I come, what is that to you? You follow Me.(John 21:20-22)
Peter was concerned about what John was going to do, but Jesus redirects Peter,  by basically telling him: ”leave the details of John’s life to Me. You, just focus on following Me, Peter.”
It can be easy to get distracted by others as we set out to follow Jesus, especially if we are unclear as to what lane we are to run in.
God has given each of us gifts, talents, abilities and even seeming disabilities that create a unique racetrack, perfectly marked out for us according to our Coach’s will.
We only create stumbling blocks and setbacks for ourselves and possibly others, when we try to run in someone else’s shoes.
Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 10:12 that those who compare themselves to others are unwise.
And in the very next verse he elaborates with this statement:
“We, however, will not boast beyond measure, but within the limits of the sphere which God appointed us- a sphere which especially includes you . ( 2 Cor 10:13)
We each have a specific, God designed sphere of influence.
So, what has God called you to do? Where has He called you to go today? Who has He placed in your path?
Whether it’s working in or out of the home, going on a missions trip or a trip to the local grocery store, though you may not feel like it, as you are faithfully running your race with Jesus, He is using you to impact those He has strategically placed around you in the arena of life.
On that day, when you reach the finish line,.... you’ll see.
But today, don’t trip by looking at someone who might appear to be running more swiftly or gracefully than you are
Stay in your lane by using all you have been given, with all your heart to build the Kingdom of God.
And run for His glory by keeping your eyes on Jesus.-That’s the inside track!
“Therefore we also, since we are surrounded by so great a cloud of witnesses, let us lay aside every weight, and the sin which so easily ensnares us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, 2 looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” Hebrews 12:1-2
  • As for me, I am continuing to take the medication daily. Many of the side effects have alleviated. Praise God! I will see the doctor again on January 16th. I’ll keep you updated, and as always appreciate your prayers,
*As we continue on this race of faith together, I’ll keep sharing my thoughts, as the Lord allows, through this blog. -
Waiting for Jesus, 

Sunday, January 1, 2012

Looking Forward

Perhaps after all the activity of the holidays, the thing you are most looking forward to is a nap on the couch!
But, ever had a rough spell, a dry patch or an uneventful season and then get invited to an event and think “oh good,..something to look forward to”?
As the door of 2011 swings shut on it’s rusty hinges, no matter what the circumstances of our lives are today, we have something incredible to look forward to.
An event that will super cede any social gathering you could ever attend this side of heaven.
Only the A-listers’s will be there: 
Those who know they are A sinner saved by A Savior who hung on A splintered Roman cross, to show the world A love that would never die.
A mighty Savior who blasted off the gates of hell and death with His triumphant resurrection from the dead.
A victorious King who will soon return with A trumpet blast, calling home His faithful ones.
“For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord. Therefore comfort one another with these words. 1 Thess. 4:16-18
Today I hope you are comforted with the expectation that 2012 could be the year of the rapture.
The moment when all life’s sorrows and mysteries become crystal clear as you turn and get your first glimpse of His glorious face.
“Then I turned to see the voice that spoke with me. And having turned I saw seven golden lampstands, and in the midst of the seven lampstands, One like the Son of Man, clothed with a garment down to the feet and girded about the chest with a golden band. His head and hair were white like wool, as white as snow, and His eyes like a flame of fire; His feet were like fine brass, as if refined in a furnace, and His voice as the sound of many waters; He had in His right hand seven stars, out of His mouth went a sharp two-edged sword, and His countenance was like the sun shining in its strength. And when I saw Him, I fell at His feet as dead. But He laid His right hand on me, saying to me, “Do not be afraid; I am the First and the Last. I am He who lives, and was dead, and behold, I am alive forevermore. Amen. And I have the keys of Hades and of Death. 
Rev 1:12-18

Here comes the King!! Listen and Look up!