Quote for the Day: Psalm 63:8, "My soul clings to You; Your right hand upholds me."

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

Facing Any Giants? Part 1

image_thumb25May, 2010 I was diagnosed with stage 3, follicular lymphoma. I was tired, and had lost ten pounds (which I was ecstatic about) but I didn’t have any reason to think anything was the matter. Then I found a lump on the back of my neck that would not go away. The biopsy confirmed it was indeed cancer but appeared to be slow growing.

So, my husband and I decided to not do anything until school started. I just didn’t want to deal with it during the summer. The doctor told me to get another PET scan in August and we would start treatment in September. After the scan, the oncologist office called me and wanted me in right away. The cancer had become aggressive and they wanted to start treatment the next day. Wow! I didn’t see that coming either.

The doctor decided on an aggressive “recipe” of chemo and how many I needed, which were eight, 8-hour treatments. I was scheduled for one every twenty one days. I got my “port” put in and started treatment the next day.

After the first treatment, my hair started falling out. I know it sounds vain, but the chemo didn’t make me sick, losing my hair made me sick to my stomach. At times I would withdraw to my room and cry. I even screamed into my pillow one time, “I hate this!”.

Then I settled down. I never looked in the mirror at my bald head and never let my husband or anyone see me without a hat or a wig, even while sleeping. Call it vanity, but I just couldn’t deal with it. I really admire women who are brave enough to go out in public with no wig or hat. I just didn’t have that courage.
After losing all my hair during that first month, I was a little fearful of what else the chemo was going to do to my body. The Lord knew my heart and anxieties. He gave me a scripture verse to hang on to and I did – Romans 8:11. The way it came to my mind, through the Holy Spirit, was in the King James version, which in itself was amazing to me.
It said, “But if the Spirit of Him that raised up Jesus from the dead dwell in you, He that raised up Christ from the dead shall also quicken your mortal bodies by His Spirit that dwelleth in you.”
My personal paraphrase was, “The same Spirit that raised Christ from the dead dwells in you. And that same Spirit who raised Christ from the dead, will quicken your mortal body.”
I wasn’t sure what the “quicken” process meant, but I hung onto it. I thought maybe He would hurry the process of healing, but, I really didn’t know.
The story continues tomorrow – Part 2


Tuesday, February 28, 2012

Facing Any Giants?

Beginning Wednesday, March 1st, I want to share the story of the slaying of my giant in a four-part series called, Facing  Any Giants?

In sharing what the Lord has shown me through the journey of my particular trials, I hope you will glean some important insights to help you. 

This isn’t a story of cancer, but one of giants. Please don’t stop reading because you do not have cancer.  The giant in my life was not the cancer, but God used the cancer to help me focus on other issues He wanted to deal with in me. Once I dealt with that, the cancer was healed.

What the Lord showed me can be applied to your life and give you the peace you may be looking for in the midst of your trial.

This is a unique story and I know not all cancers are caused by giants, or lack of faith. Nor that they are all healed by getting rid of the giants.  But, some are.  Mine was and I praise God for it.

In His Hands,

Wednesday, February 22, 2012

Hands of Hope

We have a wonderful group of women in our church who have a ministry called, “Hands of Hope”.  Starting over three years ago, these women have used their gifts of knitting, crocheting and quilting to bless others.  They have made hundreds of hats, scarves and gloves for little ones in elementary schools, who could not afford them, prayer shawls for women who need comforted, and lap quilts to keep the elderly warm in their wheel chairs. 

They have been so faithful to use their talents to glorify the Lord and have given them all in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ to wherever He leads them.

I just wanted to show you a few of the women in Hands of Hope meeting in our Fellowship House. They have become so close over the years through some of the trials each one has gone through. 


Joann, the director of the ministry, had a vision for this group before it started.  We set a time and place for them to meet and sent a newsletter out inviting over 200 women in the community to come.  We were amazed at how many came that first year. 

Women came with their yarn and needles and just started working and talking.  It was such a confirmation that the Lord had led these women to be in this ministry.  They pray together and talk about the Lord as they work on their projects.  They are indeed examples of things the Proverbs 31 woman accomplished. 
Blessings, Pat

Monday, February 20, 2012


I know this post isn’t too inspiring, but this is what I have been doing over the weekend and I thought I would share it instead of just not putting anything.  Hope you enjoy it.

My two grandDSCN1182daughters (Katie 11 (right) and Haley 10 (left) just left after having been here since Saturday. No school Friday or Monday. They were so excited to see their cousin Allie (middle), my 18-year old granddaughter who is staying with us for a while. I am so blessed to have such a close-knit family even though we are hours away from each other.
We got into sewing while they were here. They both wanted to design a bag to carry their hobbies in. 
Katie is into string art for bracelets and has so much thread she didn’t know what to do with it.  So, we went to the fabric store and picked out vibrant fabrics they liked. 
Katie wanted something to put all her strings in, so she designed this little bag that folds up.  It took a while to figure out how to do it with no pattern, but it was fun to work with her. 
It has twelve pockets and folds up into thirds and then in half so she can easily carry it.  It is also lined.

Haley wanted a bag to put her art supplies in. She had a big drawing pad that she couldn’t find anything to carry it in.  So, she designed this. DSCN1194

What a joy to be able to pass on my “once love” for sewing.  I don’t have much time or desire to sew much anymore, however, it is a wonderful skill to have and I’m tickled that four of my granddaughters want to learn.

 DSCN1179Even my eighteen year old granddaughter is learning to make her own summer dresses while she is here.

It takes a lot of energy and time to teach them, but I feel it is important to pass those things along that we have been taught, whether it is sewing, or my first love – Jesus Christ.
Blessings,  Pat

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

What do you think it means?

See the question at the end of the post.

My eighteen year old granddaughter was baking cookies yesterday and out of the blue said, “Grandma, I want to read you something I read this morning that really made me think”. 

She went to get a book who quoted A.Z. Tozer.   He wrote,

“Sometimes God gives us the desires of our hearts to teach us that it is possible to famish while we feed, that these desires gratify self but send leanness to the soul.  In fact, if we ask God for anything, only desiring to get pleasure out of it, we are asking on a low level.  For prayer is God answering His own desires: that is, desires begotten in the soul by God the Holy Spirit which are presented in the name of God the Son and answered by God the Father”. 

First, I was so thankful that she understood it and that it made her pause and meditate on it.  I had to have her read it again. It is pretty deep and I was a little slower than she was to get it. It helped me to break it up into separate sentences. 
1)“Sometimes God gives us the desires of our hearts to teach us that it is possible to famish while we feed, that these desires gratify self but send leanness to the soul.
2)In fact, if we ask God for anything, only desiring to get pleasure out of it, we are asking on a low level.
3)For prayer is God answering His own desires: that is, desires begotten in the soul by God the Holy Spirit which are presented in the name of God the Son and answered by God the Father”.
How profound. 

1)That the Lord gives us what we “our” desires are to see that they don’t satisfy like we thought they would.

2)That when we ask for things we want to get pleasure out of, we are asking on a “low level”.
3)That our desires need to line up with His desires and they will be answered.

How do we get out desires to line up with the Lords? 

Matthew 6:32-33 says to, For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.

Seeking God and His righteousness. 

Question:   What do you think that means?  How would you go about seeking Him?
Please send a comment!  I will share it with our readers.   Thanks so much! 

Blessings,  Pat
A.W, Tozer, “Missing Jewel,” Essays on Prayer (Downers Grove, Ill.A: Inter Varsity, 1968),9-10

Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Thy Will Be Done

                                                                Written by Becky Smith
The small prayer group that my husband and I belong to, that meets daily on the steps of Midland County Courthouse, has been blessed by God in so many ways. The greatest blessing is being able to spend an hour in His presence, and knowing that He is in our presence, “For where two or three come together in my name, there am I with them” (Matthew 18:20).

As I said, our prayer group is small, but we have become closer to each other than many families are. We represent different churches, different areas of our community, different generations, different life experiences, but we all share the same passion for the Lord and the need for His presence in our lives. We also share the belief that what is written in the Bible, from the first word in Genesis to the last word in Revelation, is true… God’s Truth revealed to man through the Holy Scriptures. “I, the Lord, speak the truth.” (Isaiah 45:19). This we can stake our very lives on.

And we share the same concern for our nation. In Ezekiel 22:30 our Lord says “I looked for a man among them who would … stand before me in the gap on behalf of the land so I would not have to destroy it, but I found none.” That was then… this is now. God has called those in our prayer group to do just this… to stand in the gap for this nation, to intercede for our country and people, to seek His forgiveness for the collective sins of our nation and citizens. When the Lord looks today, He will find several willing to stand in the gap.

We in our prayer group are ordinary people, we were born into sin, and we each have times when we slip and fall. But through God’s grace and mercy He draws us back to Him. Through His love and in His strength, He enables us to continue to stand in the gap. But over the course of these two years, we have also come to understand that regardless of what the future holds, whether our nation survives or not, that all will play out according to His Story as written and prophesied, and in His perfect timing. We finally reached the point of submission to His Sovereignty, a crucial step in our faith walk with Him, a step that He had been tenderly and patiently leading us toward.

The step of submission, of relinquishing our cares and concerns to Him is not always easy for us human beings, but Jesus did teach us to pray “Thy will be done.” Sometimes when we pray those words we do it offhandedly. But when we truly mean those words, Thy will be done, a great peace awaits us. When we trust in the Lord in the face of adversity we can rejoice in Him, knowing “that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose” (Romans 8:28).

David, in Psalm 37:7,20 says “Be still before the Lord and wait patiently for him; do not fret when men succeed in their ways, when they carry out their wicked schemes. [For] the wicked will perish: The Lord’s enemies will be like the beauty of the fields, they will vanish – vanish like smoke.” Those who know the Lord, those in whom dwells the Holy Spirit, need not fear what men may do, even if that means the loss of one’s life here on this earth. Jesus says, “Do not be afraid of those who kill the body but cannot kill the soul. Rather, be afraid of the One who can destroy both soul and body in hell.” (Matthew 10:28)

We must put our faith and trust in the Lord. Thy will be done.

Monday, February 13, 2012

Lost in His Presence

Yesterday, Sunday, I was weepy all day, with no apparent reason.  Even during the sermon, which was my husbands’, I just couldn’t focus.  My heart was heavy and the tear level was just about ready to overflow with every song. 

My 18-year old granddaughter is staying with me for a while and we have gotten into some wonderful conversations about the Lord. She loves the Lord with all her heart.   It is such a joy having her.

Last night, I started crying when we started talking about the Lord and getting close to Him. I was a little surprised, but realized I was longing to be lost in the presence of the Lord.  Just to sit in His presence and soak in His love and peace.  Knowing at the same time, she needed to do that also. 

We talked about how during our quiet time with the Lord or our reading the Bible, we focus so much on “what we need to do” and not on “who He is”.  The world of needs swirls around us (everyone) so much that we tend to get lost in it, instead of the Lord

Yet, throughout the Bible, the Lord says to seek Him, with all our heart…” and that will be where we find peace.  Peace is not in a situation.  Peace is the person of Jesus Christ.  We need to get to know Him, not so much what He wants us to be or do. 
Colossians 3:2 (NKJV) reads,  “Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth”. 
Hebrews 12:2 (NASB) - “fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfecter of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
It has been a while since I have turned worship music on softly and just sat and let my thoughts be focused on the Lord and who He is and tell Him how much I love Him.   When I have taken the time (sometimes in the wee hours of the morning), the Lord has been so sweet to meet me.  I am missing that and need to take time again soon. 

It is a lot like our marriages.  We go along day to day, loving each other and talking about what happens during the day.  We hug and kiss each other daily.  We know things are okay.  But, then there are times when we just long to have those moments when we just enjoy each other, locking the world out.  We don’t talk about the kids, or the church, or anything else accept each other and our love for each other.  Just holding hands and looking in each others’ eyes.  Words don’t need to be spoken. 

When we have those moments with the Lord they are so precious.  The difference is, we are with the King of kings, the Creator of the Universe, Lord of lords who sits on His Throne.  Our God!  How awe-some in the real sense.  My heart is overwhelmed with His majesty and most of all His love. 

I am so thankful He puts that longing in our hearts.  That just tells me He wants to spend time with us also.  He longs for our fellowship.  

Lord Jesus, thank you for never giving up on us and drawing our hearts towards you.  

El Roi – “The God who sees me” – (you).  Who knows everything about us.(Genesis 16:;13-14)


Saturday, February 11, 2012


                                                                                           Written by Becky Smith

My Mom passed away January 17, 2006. For several years prior to that she had been declining, and for me, trying to cope with two aging parents was quite trying. We tried in-home care for them, which didn’t work out. Finally, in November of 2005, my brothers (both from Texas) and I had to make the decision to move Mom to an assisted living facility. I think she gave up after that.

Mom hadn’t communicated much in those final years. And she became “beige.” Red had always been her favorite color to wear, but when illness (dementia) overtook her and she lost herself and her personality, she chose to wear only beige clothing. I think this was a reflection of the retreat into herself.

And yet there were moments of sparkle, of her former self. I remember when another resident wandered to her room and she called out “Come on in!” Two days before she died, when I walked into her room, she flashed me two of the most beautiful smiles that I had ever seen. Smiles were not something I had seen for quite a while, and I treasure that gift from God, that glimpse of my real Mom to hold in my heart until I see her again.

But God was not through with the gifting. In December of 2006 I was given the sister I had never had. Mom was gone, but God gave me a piece of her to fill the void. It turned out that Mom had given a baby girl up for adoption back in 1940. I might never have known this but for a letter my cousin found in a cookbook. The Lord knew just how to cook up this miracle for me!clip_image002
My sister and I first met each other just before Christmas 2006. What a gift from God! With both of my brothers living so far away, He gave me my very own sister right here in Michigan! The night we met was incredibly special and we share a very definite resemblance to one another. Finally I am taller than someone!

I had made a scrapbook of photos of our Mom for Ione. As we were sitting together looking at the pictures we heard a sudden “thwack” and looked up to see a red Christmas ornament propelled from the tree. It bounced and rolled toward us! Was this a sign from God that Mom was happy at our coming together? I like to think so!

Some months later, as I was dealing with the aftermath of cleaning out my parent’s home, I became very emotional. It felt as though I was literally shredding their very lives and existence. Through tears, I cried to God “I need Ione.” Moments later the phone rang. Yes, it was my sister!

We’ve shared much since then, and we love each other dearly, like… well, sisters!

If you’ve never experienced the incredible love, the extravagance, the deep caring of our Lord, I urge you to call upon His Name. Ask Him into your heart and your life. He wants to work miracles in our lives, but it is up to us to invite Him in.


Thursday, February 9, 2012


When I think of the word abiding, I think of a period of quiet time in communicating with the Lord, or simply sitting quietly in His presence.  It means being intentional in being with Him and Him only.

It is not always easy for me to accomplish this because of many distractions, many just in my mind, like thinking of things I "should" be doing, the schedule of the day, fears or hurts to be worked through, and visual or noise distractions.  I call it my wandering mind and it must be tamed in order to truly abide.

Some ways that help me find that abiding time is: meditating on scripture, voicing words of thankfulness, sometimes having softly played worship music, finding a quiet place, and a designated place, and a prayer shawl to shut out visual distractions.  Praying out loud is especially helpful for me.

There is immense value in abiding time with the Lord.  It brings joy, contentment, security and protection from worldly problems, and a deep satisfaction.  Most of all, I know it pleases my Lord.          

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

When God Calls

                                                           Written by Becky Smith

Almost two years ago my husband and I attended a Tax Day rally on the steps of Midland County Courthouse. You might expect that this was a political rally, and you would be right, but it was more… so much more. We saw no one we knew, and while there was probably a wide cross-section of citizens in attendance, what struck us the most was the tone of the gathering. People were there to stand for our Nation and they did so enthusiastically and respectfully. But they were also there to stand for our Lord and were not afraid to show it.

At the close, the young woman who had organized the event shared with the crowd that she felt led by the Lord to enter into 40 days of prayer for our Country. That was the beginning of an amazing journey in faith. We joined with a group of concerned citizens that we did not know, to pray together daily for an hour, rain or shine. Wow, what just happened? We, whose prayer life could be deemed rather paltry and who were totally unaccustomed to praying out loud in front of others, were doing what? What were we thinking? This was not who we were. This was not our comfort zone.

Forty days. We missed a week early on while visiting our grandson in the Army while he was stationed in Georgia. It would have been an easy out. But God had other ideas and this one was out of our control and under His. Remember the old television show, “Father Knows Best?”.  In this case it was “Our Heavenly Father Knows Best!”.  We could have ignored His call… or could we? I’m thankful that we didn’t, and I praise His Holy Name for what He has done in our lives. We will never be the same. But then, that’s exactly what He had in mind!

A funny thing happened on the way to the forum… oops, that’s a different story. What actually happened was a spiritual awakening. Who would have thought that forty days was only the beginning? At least for a small group of us that did not feel release from God. And so our motley crew continued on.

August 28th, the date of the Restoring Honor Rally in Washington D.C., which my husband and I attended, was set as the new end date. The crowd numbered close to 500,000 and again we were bolstered by the patriotism and faith exuded by those in attendance. Back home, home to the small prayer group that was becoming “family,” there was still no release from our gathering daily to pray for our Nation, our State, our City, our churches, our people, our families, our World.

A new end date was set for November 2010. Did I say end date? What was I thinking! But praying in the out-of-doors through the summer and autumn was one thing, and a Michigan winter was looming before us. Would we really be crazy enough to continue through the frigid cold, snow and ice of winter? Who in their right mind would consider such a thing? Oh sure, many people have no problem playing outside in the winter and can spend hours skiing, riding snowmobiles, sledding, etc. But praying? For an hour? Was the Lord really expecting this of us? Was this a test of our faith and commitment? Originally from Texas, and not much of an outdoor person let alone a snow bunny, my husband thought I’d never make it. Just watch me, I told him. Who said that?

And so we continued gathering each day despite the cold, the blustery winds, the snow, the slush. And what a fashion statement we each made! Wearing my husband’s camouflage bibs, a hooded sweatshirt, and a fleece jacket I looked like the Pillsbury doughboy on steroids. But we persevered, sometimes huddling in the doorway alcove, sometimes gathering within the Nativity stable, and sometimes enjoying the bright winter sunshine out in the open, but all the while glorying in God’s creation and presence, and glorifying our Creator.

And before long we were relishing in the freshness of Spring, followed by another bright summer, colorful Fall and a second harsh winter. Wait a minute. Isn’t this Michigan? Isn’t winter supposed to be harsh? What is going on? Has anyone ever seen a winter like this one? Little snow; almost balmy temps; gorgeous blue skies; green grass! But then, why not? Our Lord, the Maker of heaven and earth, the One who is in control of all things can certainly pull this one off! It’s when we answer His call, when we submit our lives to Him, that we see His hand at work in all things!

Monday, February 6, 2012

Cast in Stone

                                                         Written by Terry and Becky Smith

Most people are familiar with the Biblical story of David and Goliath found in 1 Samuel 17. The story of how a young David brought down the Philistine Goliath, a giant of a man over nine feet tall, with a stone thrown from his sling and an undeniable faith in the Lord.

Recently the subject of David and Goliath came up in our prayer group. Someone pointed out that the instant the stone left David’s sling, that the Lord took control of its flight and directed it precisely at Goliath’s forehead to achieve the desired outcome. Another of our group suggested that among all the stones formed during the Creation, that God had pointed to this one particular stone and declared that “This is the one to bring him [Goliath] down.” Knowing that our Lord is the Alpha and the Omega, the beginning and the end, the creator of all things, it was easy to agree with that assumption. We imagined that smooth stone among the four others, placed precisely in that brook to be available within David’s reach for just this day and time.

Later that evening, while listening to Family Life Radio, the pastor’s sermon included the story of David and Goliath. He pointed out that the armor and weapons of David’s time, specifically Saul’s shield and sword, were just too cumbersome to be effective for the great mission, and that David chose to march into battle with only his belief in God and a crude weapon that appeared would be entirely ineffectual.

Again, that same evening, another prayer group member attended a service where the pastor pointed out that for every giant (“Goliath”) that we face in our lives that there is a special stone for the battle. Are you seeing a repetitive theme here?

The following night my husband lay awake in bed thinking of several “giants” in our world today… abortion, pornography, homosexuality, poverty, starvation, among many other evils. He realized that yes, there is a stone to utilize for every “giant” and that these stones are still available in the brook… the brook that is the source of Living Water provided by our Lord. Some giants require stones larger than others, but all are designed for the task, and all are within our reach. As the pastor on Family Life Radio said, when each of us, in faith, has done all that he or she can, the Lord will take it from there.

God speaks to us in many different ways. That over the course of a few days this message about fighting giants was delivered to members of our prayer group by multiple methods was no coincidence. The Lord was driving the message home, that we each need to do all we can to bring down the giants in our lives, our society, our world. We cannot sit idly by and think that God will take care of everything for us. He expects us to actively work with Him, and this requires a strong faith in Him, and a reliance on Him that goes far beyond the modern weaponry of our time. Only with God are all things possible.

Written by Terry and Becky Smith

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Our Dwelling Place

I love classic Christian books. There is a simplicity to them, yet, they are so profound. Authors such as Charles Spurgeon, Andrew Murray, Watchman Nee, E.M. Bounds, and so many others who are now in the presence of the One they wrote about – Jesus Christ.

I recently stumbled onto two such books in our church library, written in the early 1930s. They were beautiful, though, unlike the modern graphics and sharp colors we use today, the covers were muted and faded. The pages yellowed with time; old enough to be in public domain.

The first book was Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secrets. It is about the clip_image002remarkable journey of faith at a very young age. Taylor was only 17 years old when the Lord called him to a life of service to China. Before he went, he spent four years learning how to depend on the Lord for everything. He felt giving up his life of luxury and living in poverty would strengthen his “spiritual muscles” preparing him for the hard years ahead in China. At 21 years old, he sailed to his mission field - Shanghai. His is a remarkable story for such a young person.

Within the pages of the book, I found a small treasure - a brownish, small scrap of paper approximately 3 x 2 inches. On that piece of paper, someone penned the struggles of their heart and faith.
The note read, clip_image002[4]
“Just a sip of the new life that is in store for me. Oh, for the tiredness of body, and the terrific temper. The will to do thy will is ever present. But the faith that I have is so defective and how I pray that my faith might be a more effective faith. My longing and my prayer is to be a bright shining Christian, instead of a toiling hindered Christian. Oh, if only I could abide in Christ, but either I cannot or will not, though it is my whole desire. Instead of getting stronger, I am getting weaker and subject to temptation and sin.”

On the other side of the note the person had a different tone. It read, “He is our Life. He is our Strength and our Salvation. He is also our Wisdom and our righteousness. He is our power for service to Him. Oh, God, to be a fruit bearing Christian.”

As I read the note, exactly as it is above, written in both pen and pencil, I felt I was looking into the soul of so many Christians today, including myself. Constantly striving to please the Lord and be good, yet, falling short and feeling frustrated and weary.

Hudson Taylor also struggled so much to please the Lord that even in his youth, his face showed signs of years of exhaustion from “trying” so hard. However, in the middle of the book there was an amazing transformation in Mr. Taylor. He had found the secret of rest, peace and joy. He found it in surrender.

This is what Hudson Taylor wrote:
“I am no longer anxious about anything…for He (Christ), I know, is able to carry out His will, and His will is mine. It makes no matter where He places me, or how. That is rather for Him to consider than for me; for in the easiest position He must give me His grace, and in the most difficult His grace is sufficient. . . It little matters to my servant whether I send him to buy a few cash worth of things or the most expensive articles. In either case he looks to me for the money and brings me his purchases. So, if God should place me in great perplexity, must He not give me much guidance; in positions of great difficulty, much grace; in circumstances of great pressure and trial, much strength? No fear that His resources will be unequal to the emergency! And His resources are mine—for He is mine, and is with me and dwells in me.”

The authors of the book (Taylor’s relatives) wrote in the next paragraph: “Surrender to Christ he (Taylor) had long known, but this was more; this was a new yieldedness, a glad, unreserved handing over of self and everything to Him (Christ). It was no longer a question of giving up this or that if the Lord required it; it was a loyal and loving acceptance, a joyful meeting of His will in things little and great, as the very best that could be for His own. This made the trials an opportunity for God’s grace to triumph, turning ‘the valley of weeping’ into ‘a place of springs’ from which streams of blessing are flowing still.” He had buried two children and his wife while in China, yet he found peace. How do you find this place of peace?

John 15:5 reads, “I Am The Vine, You are the branches. Apart from Me you can do nothing”. clip_image002[6]
Andrew Murray wrote in his book, True Vine, (the second book I found) “You are the branch. You need be nothing more. You need not for one single moment of the day take upon you the responsibility of the Vine. You need not leave the place of entire dependence and unbounded confidence. You need, least of all, to be anxious as to how you are to understand the mystery, or fulfill its conditions, or work out its blessed aim. The Vine will give all and work all”.

“The Father, the Husbandman, watches over your union with and growth in the vine. You need be nothing more than a branch. Only a branch! Let that be your watchword; it will lead in the path of continual surrender to Christ’s working, of true obedience to His every command, of joyful expectancy of all His grace.  The character of a branch, its strength, and the fruit it bears, depend entirely upon the Vine. And your life as branch depends entirely upon your apprehension of what our Lord Jesus is. Therefore never separate the two words; I the Vine –you the branch” Murray also said, “Christians must take up this position...that not one of the principal temptations and failures of the Christian life is not met here. The nearness, the all-sufficiency, the faithfulness of the Lord Jesus, the naturalness, the fruitfulness of a life of faith, are so revealed, that is is as if one could with confidence say, Let this enter into my heart and all will be right. “

What does it mean to Abide?
Dictionary definition:  to remain, continue; to dwell; reside to continue in a certain condition; remain steadfast or faithful.
"The Sovereign Lord, the Holy One of Israel, says, 'Only in returning to me and waiting for me will you be saved.  In quietness and confidence is your strength”. Isaiah 30:15
Worship and trust Him; let Him be your one desire and the one occupation of our heart.

Written by Pat Mulder
References: Taylor, Dr. and Mrs. Howard -  Hudson Taylor’s Spiritual Secret, Chicago: Moody Press Public Domain; Murray, Andrew. The True Vine, Chicago: Moody Press Public Domain

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Learning to go with the flow.

I got up this morning and went to the blog after my devotional and prayer time with the Lord. Somehow, the format had changed on the blog. It was blank.  “Oh, no! How do I change it back?”  So, I went to the template design and couldn’t find the background with the daisies that was on it before and the fonts were different.

I’m embarrassed to say, with all the big things we deal with and see going on in the world, panic hit me about this little thing. I am not very good at this blog design yet.  My daughter helped me set it up when she was here over Christmas. But, she is not here and I need someone to show me not tell me.  Panic, panic! 

Then, the still small voice of the Lord, calmed me right down.  “Be still, and know I am God.” Even in the small things, like this, that seem to derail us, He is God. He cares. He is there to help.  If we are in Christ, we can say what Philippians 4:13 says, “I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me”.

Okay. Back on target. Peace!

I still didn’t find the daisies, but found something that would do until I can get ahold of my daughter.  And…that’s okay.  There is a lot more important things to take care of than the background of a blog, though I do really enjoy it. 

Why is it that we panic first, then pray last?  I want to get to the point that no matter what blindsides me, my first instinct is to pray, not panic.  I’m so thankful the Lord is patient with us. 

Blessings and Peace,