“Facing Your Giants” by Max Lucado Continued

Chapter 3:

Saul’s anger puzzles David.  What has he done but good?  He has brought musical healing to Saul’s tortured spirit, hope to the enfeebled nation.  He is the Abraham Lincoln of the Hebrew calamity, saving the republic and doing so modestly and honestly.  He behaves “wisely in all his ways” (18:114)  “all Israel and Judah loved David” (18:16)  David behaves “more wisely than all the servants of Saul, so that his name became highly esteemed.”  (18:30)

Yet, Mount Saul keeps erupting, rewarding David’s deeds with flying spears and murder plots.  We understand David’s question to Jonathan: “What have I done?  What is my iniquity, and what is my sin before your father, that he seeks my life?” (20:1)

Jonathan has no answer to give, for no answer exists.  Who can justify the rage of a Saul?

Who knows why a father torments a child, a wife belittles her husband, a boss pits employees against each other?  But they do.  Sauls still rage on our planet.  dictators torture, employers seduce, ministers abuse, priests molest, the strong and mighty control and cajole the vulnerable and innocent.  Sauls still stalk Davids.

How does God respond to such cases?  Nuke the nemesis?  We may want him to.  He’s been known to extract a few Herods and Pharaohs.  How he will treat yours, I can’t say.  But how he will treat you, I can.  He will send you a Jonathan.

God counters Saul’s cruelty with Jonathan’s loyalty.  Jonathan could have been as jealous as Saul.  As Saul’s son, he stood to inherit the throne.  A noble soldier himself, he was fighting Philistines while David was still feeding sheep.

Jonathan had reason to despise David, but he didn’t. He was gracious.  Gracious because the hand of the Master Weaver took his and David’s hearts and stitched a seam between them.  “The soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.” (18:1)…

Oh, to have a friend like Jonathan.  A soul mate who protects you, who seeks nothing but your interests, wants nothing but your happiness.  An ally who lets you be you.  You feel safe with that person.  No need to weigh thoughts or measure words.  You know his or her faithful hand will sift the chaff from the grain, kep what matters and with a breath of kindness, blow the rest away.  God gave David such a friend.

He gave you one as well.  David found a companion in a prince of Israel; you can find a friend in the King of Israel, Jesus Christ.  Has he not made a covenant with you?  Among his final words were these: “I am with you always, even to the end of the age.” (Matt. 28:20)

Has he not clothed you?  He offers you “white garments, that you may be clothed, that the shame of you nakedness may not be revealed” (Rev. 3:18).  Christ cloaks you with clothing suitable for heaven.

In fact, he outdoes Jonathan.  He not only gives you his robe; he dons your rages.  “God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2 Cor. 5:21 NIV).

Jesus dresses you.  And, like Jonathan, he equips you.  You are invited to “put on all of God’s armor so that you will be able to stand firn against all strategies and tricks of the Devil” (Eph. 6:11 NIV).

From his armory he hands you the belt of truth, the body armor of righteousness, the shield of faith, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the Word of God (vv. 13-17)

Just as Jonathan protected David, Jesus vows to protect you.  “I give them eternal life, and they will never perish.  No one will snatch them away from me” (John 10:28 NLT)

You long for one true friend?  You have one.  And because you do, you have a choice.  You can focus on your Saul or your Jonathan, ponder the malic of your monster or the kindness of your Christ.

Beverly chooses to maximize Christ.  Isn’t easy.  How can you shift your focus away from the man who raped you?  He entered Beverly’s home under the guise of official business.  She had every reason to trust him; personal acquaintance and professional associate.  He worked for the state and requested an audience with Beverly.  But he took more than her time.

He denied and successfully covered up the deed.  As he continues to move up the political ladder, Beverly spots him on the evening news, encounters him at parties.  While he feigns innocence, she churns within.

But not like she used to.  Two years after the rape she met her Jonathan.  A friend told her about Christ – his protection, his provision, and his invitation.  She accepted it.  Memories of the rape still dog her, but they don’t control her.  She isn’t left alone with her Saul any more.  she seeks Christ rather than revenge; she measures choices against his mercy, not her violator’s cruelty.  Beverly ponders and praises the living presence of Jesus.   Doing so heals her soul.

Major in your evil emperor, if you choose.  Paint horns on his picture.  Throw darts at her portrait.  Make and memorize a list of everything the Spam-brain took; you childhood, career, marriage, health.  Live a Saul saturated life.  Wallow in the sludge of pain.  You’ll feel better, won’t you?

Or will you?

…to be continued.

He makes his point very well, doesn’t he?!  I think it all boils down to something I thought of quite a while ago, we can be bitter or we can be better! Just my thought.

Love and hugs, 

Terri

More From Max Lucado’s “Facing Your Giants”

Chapter 2:

… The Son of God will be called the Son of David.  The greatest psalms will flow from his pen.  We’ll call him king, warrior, minstrel, and giant killer.  But today he’s not even included in the family meeting.  He’s just a forgotten, uncredentialed kid, performing a menial task in a map-dot town.

What caused God to pick him?  We want to know.  We really want to know.

After all, we’ve walked David’s pasture, the pasture of exclusion.

We are weary of society’s surface level system, of being graded according to the inches of our waist, the square footage of our house, the color of our skin, the make of our car, the label of our clothes, the size of our office, the presence of diplomas, the absence of pimples.  Don’t we weary of such games?

Hard work ignored.  Devotion unrewarded.  The boss chooses cleavage over character.  The teacher picks pet students instead of prepared ones.  Parents show off their favorite sons and leave their runts out in th field.  Oh, the Goliath of exclusion.

Are you sick of him?  Then it’s time to quit staring at him.  Who cares what he, or they think?  What matters is what your Maker thinks.  “The Lord does not see as man sees, for man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (16:7)

Those words were written for the haqqatons of society, for misfits and outcasts.  God uses them all.

Moses ran from justice, but God used him.

Jonah ran from God, but God used him.

Rahab ran a brothel, Samson ran to the wrong woman, Jacob ran in circles, Elijah ran into the mountains, Sarah ran out of hope, Lot ran with the wrong crowd, but God used them all.

And David?  God saw a teenage boy serving him in the back woods of Bethlehem, at the intersection of boredom and anonymity, and through the voice of a brother, God called, “David!  Come in.  Someone wants to see you.”  Human eyes saw a gangly teenager enter the house, smelling like sheep and looking like he needed a bath.  yet, “the Lord said, ‘Arise, anoint him; for this is the one!'” (16:12)

God saw what no one else saw; a God-seeking heart.  David, for all his foibles, sought God like a  lark seeks sunrise.  He took after God’s heart, because he stayed after God’s heart.  In the end, that’s all God wanted or needed… wants or needs.  Others measure your waist size or size of wallet.  Not God.  He examines hearts.  When he finds on set on him, he calls it and claims it…

Chapter 3:

Sharon checks her rearview mirror… again.  She studies the faces of other drivers… again.  She keeps an eye out for him, because she knows he’ll come for her… again.

“Nothing will keep me from you” was the message Tony had left on her voice mail.  “I’m your husband.”

Her ex-husband’s paroxysms of anger and flying fists and her black eyes had led to divorce.  Still he neglected warnings, ignored restraining orders, and scoffed at the law.

So Sharon checks the rearview mirror… again.

Down the road, around the corner, an office worker named Adam does some checking of his own.  He peeks in the door of his boss’s office, sees the empty chair, and sighs with relief.  With any luck, he’ll have an hour, maybe two, before the Scrooge of the dot-com world appears in his doorway, likely hung over, angry and disoriented.

Scrooge Jr. inherited the company from Scrooge Sr.  Running the business frustrated Junior.  He reroutes his stress toward the employees he needs the most.  Such as Adam.  Junior rants and raves, gives tongue-lashings daily, and compliments with the frequency of Halley’s comet.

Sharon ducks her ex, Adam avoids his boss, and you?  What ogres roam your world?

Controlling moms.  Coaches from the school of Stalin.  The pit-bull math teacher.  The self-appointed cubicle commandant.  The king who resolves to spear the shepherd boy to the wall.

The last one comes after David.  Poor David.  The Valley of Elah proved to be boot camp for the king’s court.  When Goliath lost his head, the Hebrews made David their hero.  People threw him a ticker-tape parade and sang, “Saul has slain his thousands, and David his ten thousands.”  (I Sam. 18:7)

Saul explodes like the Vesuvius he is.  Saul eyes David “from that day forward” (18:9).  The king is already a troubled soul, prone to angry eruptions, mad enough to eat bees.  David’s popularity splashes gasoline on Saul’s temper.  “I will pin David to the wall!”  (18:11)

Saul tries to kill Bethlehem’s golden boy six different times…

Wow, Goliath was way easier to deal with than Saul!  At least he was straight up, in your face, challenging David.  But Saul, he was a back stabbing, jealous, evil, psychopath.  David did everything that he could to please him but Saul was having none of it.  Why do you suppose that is?  

Do you think it might be related to his feelings of guilt and he was striking out at David because David was who Saul wanted to be, but was not?  That is the kind of impression that I get from this story.

Those who desire to have a connection to God but don’t are usually very jealous of those who do have it.  Just like anything , we want what we don’t have.

What do you think about this excerpt?

Love and blessings to all,

Terri

Some Excerpts From “Facing Your Giants” by Max Lucado; Food For Thought

I started reading this book over the weekend and thought that I might share some of it as I go.  If you have never read any of Max Lucado‘s books, I highly recommend that you do.  He is extremely insightful and easy to read.

Chapter 1:

Goliath stares down from the hillside.  Only disbelief keeps him from laughing.  He and his Philistine herd have rendered their half of the valley into a forest of spears; a growling, bloodthirsty gang of hoodlums boasting do-rags, BO, and barbed-wire tattoos.  Goliath towers above the all; nine feet, nine inches tall in his stocking feet, wearing 125 pounds of armor, and snarling like the main contender at the World Wide Wrestling Federation championship night.  He wears a size 20 collar, a IOI/2 hat, and a 56-inch belt.  His biceps burst, thigh muscles ripple, and boasts belch through the canyon.  “This day I defy the ranks of Israel! Give me a man and let us fight each other” (I Sam. 17:10 NIV)  Who will go mano a mano conmigo?  Give me your best shot.

No Hebrew volunteers.  Until today.  Until David.

David just showed up this morning.  He clocked out of sheep watching to deliver bread and cheese to his brothers on the battle-front.  That’s where David hears Goliath defying God, and that’s when David makes his decision.  Then he takes his staff in his hand, and he chooses for himself five smooth stones from the brook and puts them in a shepherd’s bag, in a pouch that he has, and his sling is in his hand.  And he draws near to the Philistine. (17:40)

Goliath scoffs at the kid, nicknames him Twiggy.  “Am I a dog, that you come to me with sticks?” (17:43 NASB).  Skinny, scrawny David.  Bulky, brutish Goliath.  The toothpick versus the tornado.  The minibike attacking the eighteen-wheeler.  The toy poodle taking on the rottweiler.  What odds do you give David against his giant?

Better odds, perhaps, than you give yourself against yours.

Your Goliath doesn’t carry sword or shield; he brandishes blades of unemployment, abandonment, sexual abuse, or depression.  Your giant doesn’t parade up and down the hills of Elah; he prances through your office, your bedroom, your classroom.  He brings bills you can’t pay, grades you can’t make, people you can’t please, whiskey you can’t resist, pornography you can’t refuse, a career you can’t escape, a past you can’t shake, and a future you can’t face.

You know well the roar of your Goliath.

David faced one who fog-horned his challenges morning and night.  “For forty days, twice a day, morning and evening, the Philistine giant strutted in front of the Israelite army: (17:16 NLT)  Yours does the same.  First thought of the morning, last worry of the night – your Goliath dominates your day and infiltrates your joy.

How long has he stalked you?  Goliath’s family was an ancient foe of the Israelites.  Joshua drove them out of the Promised Land three hundred years earlier.  He destroyed everyone except the residents of three cities; Gaza, Gath and Shadod.  Gath bread giants like Yosemite grow Sequoias. Guess where Goliath was raised.  See the G on his letter jacket?  Gath High School.  His ancestors were to Hebrews what pirates were to Her Majesty’s navy.

Saul’s soldiers saw Goliath and mumbled, “Not again.  My dad fought his dad.  My granddad fought his granddad.”

You’ve groaned similar words.  “I’m becoming a workaholic, just like my father.”  “Divorce streaks through our family tree like oak wilt.”  “My mom couldn’t keep a friend either.  Is this ever going to stop?”…

Pretty thought-provoking, isn’t it?!  I love the way he writes.  

I’ve had my Goliaths in my days; alcohol, shop-lifting, lying, abuse, drugs, etc.  None of them were easy battles either!  My Goliaths chased me for 40 years before I had the courage to fight back.  When I was at my lowest point in my life, when I had nothing to lose, I finally realized that I had EVERYTHING that I ever needed to win, God!

What about you?  What are your Goliaths?

I’ll give you some more pieces of the book as I go, but I truly do suggest that you get a copy for yourself ’cause I have a feeling this is one of those books that I will read through more than once, with highlighter in hand!

Love and blessings to all,

Terri

This Week’s Sermon From The Ranch – A Picture Of Healing

(Each Sunday, This Day’s Thought is blessed to share Eric Elder’s sermons from his wonderful ministry, “The Ranch“)
The Ranch: A Place of Healing and Restoration
A Picture Of Healing

 By Eric Elder

 

Dear Friends,

 

The words “thank you” just don’t seem enough to convey to you how very much we appreciate all of your thoughts and prayers and words of encouragement over these past two weeks since I shared with you that my wife was diagnosed with Stage 4 breast cancer.  How could we not cry and be touched when we get letters like this one from a man we’ve never met, but who is literally rallying the troops to pray for us from a naval ship in Japan

 

“Hello Eric and Lana,

 

I just want to start this email off by thanking you for your “this days thoughts” messages. My Mom has been sending these to me daily and your messages have not only been helping me get closer to GOD but also helping keep in contact with my mom. You see I am currently stationed out in Japan and i can say that i do not get to go to services as much as i would like too but your messages help me out in major ways. It is very stressful out here sometimes but i can honestly say that within this last few week things have gotten a lot better for me and i have no doubt that it is because of your messages. So once again. Thank You.

 

When i read the message about how Lana has breast cancer i immediately stopped what i was doing and began to pray. I can only imagine how difficult it is to for you two to deal with that. I told your story to some of my fellow sailors and soldiers out here and asked them to also pray for you both. They agreed without thinking twice about it. We plan on sending your ministry some donations and as well as little care package for you two. Many times when we are out to sea or deployed we have had many churches and people send us care packages to help lift out spirits. Believe me when i say that it really does lift out spirits. So we decided that we would get some things together from here in japan to lift your spirits. Also i am currently getting the sizes of some people who want to wear the t-shirts(if any are left) and we are going to get a photo of it and send that to you too also.

 

You said that prayers came from Kenya, Ghana, Malaysia, the Bahamas, Qatar and Dubai. Well you now have prays from the troops in Japan too. We hope that our efforts encourage you to stay strong. GOD is going to take care of you. I, and the sailors and soldiers, will pray for you everyday just as you all pray for our safety day in and day out.  Once again thank you for your messages you send out daily! Take Care and God Bless You Both.”

 

Wow! What a perfect picture of the body of Christ in action…people lifting each other up in their time of need.  Here’s another one from a woman from South Wales who was praying for us while waiting for a flight in Hong Kong:

 

“I am sitting here in Hong Kong airport waiting for a flight to Bangkok and thought I would check your developments – Lana your courage and faith take my breath away. I said my prayers for you on the plane yesterday and I keep praying although I am not as familiar with the bible as the other folks! When my holiday is over I am faced with some tests but you have helped me already by your strong commitment to God. As we say in the South Wales valleys (UK) ‘fight the good fight with all thy might’. God Bless and keep you safe.” 

 

Or this short note from a man in South Africa whose three short lines spoke volumes to me on our day of prayer and fasting for my wife’s healing…

 

“Your wife will live.

He is Jehovha rapha [the God who heals]! 
greetings from South Africa.”

 

In fact, my faith was so touched by these words that I wrote them down on a piece of paper and took them to bed with me that night.

 

Right below those lines on my piece of paper, I added these words from Psalm 21, which another friend here in Illinois had sent me later in the day.  She said she had been listening to Psalm 20 on her “Listener’s Bible,” praying through the words of this Psalm for Lana, as I had asked people to do.  She was praying that God would give Lana “the desire of her heart,” which is not just to live, but to live long.  She said she wasn’t paying attention to stop the Bible reading at the end of the chapter, and when it read these verses in Psalm 21, the next chapter, she shouted for joy.  The words record what God did for King David when he first prayed that prayer almost 3,000 years ago…

 

“How great is his joy in the victories You give! You have granted him his heart’s desire and have not withheld the request of his lips. 

 

“He asked You for life, and You gave it to him–length of days, for ever and ever” (Psalm 21:1, 2, 4).

 

Then on Tuesday morning, when our 24 hours of prayer and fasting were just ending, I added one more word to my paper.  It was Merriam-Webster’s “Word of the Day” for Tuesday February 28th, which I’ve been getting in my inbox daily for many years.  The words are totally random each day, but the word for that morning was anything but random!  The word in my inbox was this:

 

“LIVELONG”

 

Praise God!  I’m holding onto each of these three thoughts as special reminders to me that my wife can live, that God can give her the desire of her heart, and that she can “live long.”

 

Some people might worry that I’m holding onto false hope.  But with God, there is no such thing as false hope.  With God, there is infinite hope!  As the Bible says:

 

“For nothing is impossible with God” (Luke 1:37).

 

Believe me, I’m not naive enough to think that this cancer doesn’t have the power to kill my wife.   It does.  The first person I prayed for when I started this ministry seventeen years ago died three weeks later.  And twenty-two years ago today, on March 4th, my own mother died of breast cancer.  I know it’s a killer disease.  Believe me when I say that I cried for 24 hours straight when I first heard the news.

 

But believe me, too, when I say that God gave me a picture of healing last week that renewed my faith and hope in Him that He could do the impossible in this situation still.

 

When Lana and I first found out the lump in her breast was cancerous, we scheduled an appointment with a breast surgeon to meet with him and talk about doing surgery.  The appointment was three weeks away, as he was going to be out of town and his schedule was full.  So we prayed during that three weeks that by the time we met with the surgeon, the lump would be gone and she wouldn’t have to have surgery at all.   Since the biopsy showed that this was a solid mass in her breast that was growing aggressively, the chances of the lump shrinking at all, let alone disappearing completely were little to none.

 

Every day, Lana could feel the lump in her breast, about the size of a marble.  And every few days, she would anoint it with oil and pray that God would take it away.  But every day, it was still there.  Then we got the report that the news was worse than we thought:  the cancer had already spread from Lana’s breast to her lungs, liver and spine.  The oncologist said she was going to cancel our appointment with the surgeon for the next week because it was no longer necessary.  The tumors were now too numerous for it to make any difference to take out just the one lump in her breast.  The news was devastating.

 

That’s when I sent out my note for prayer to all of you, and you began to pray for us. The next day, we went in for a bone biopsy and another conversation with the oncologist.  She reconfirmed the diagnosis that she had told us before, and reiterated that our appointment with the breast surgeon the next day was no longer necessary.

 

But later that night, just before going to bed, Lana went to pray for the lump in her breast as she had done all along.  When she went to find the lump, it had shrunk to the size of a BB, smaller than a pea.  When she woke up again at 4 in the morning, she went to feel it again, and she couldn’t find it at all!  It was completely gone…just as she had prayed it would be, as that was the day we were to meet with the surgeon!  She woke me up to check it out, and I couldn’t find it either!  Perhaps the words of the oncologist weren’t as dire as we had thought, but that they were prophetic:  that she had cancelled the appointment with the surgeon because it really was no longer necessary!

 

I began to cry and praise God, saying that I wasn’t sure if I could even believe it or not, and not knowing what it meant about the other tumors throughout her body.  But it gave me a picture of healing that matched the picture of healing I get from the Bible where the blind see, the lame walk, and the lumps are gone.  I began to pray for Lana’s whole body, that God would take away every lump from everywhere and that He would complete this incredible work that He was doing.

 

I also put my hand on my own forehead, where I had had a mild but constant headache for the previous three weeks.  I assumed it must be from the stress of the diagnosis.  I rarely get headaches, and if I do, they last for a few hours at most.  But this headache had persisted day and night for three straight weeks.  It didn’t cause me severe pain, but enough to be noticeable, and it got worse when I leaned forward or put on my glasses.

 

After praying for my head, I returned to praising God with Lana.  Unsure if we could believe this had really just happened, or if we might find the lump again in the morning, or what might be happening with all the other tumors in her body, we finally laid down to try to sleep again. As I laid down, I took out my Bible to read and put on my glasses.  When I put them on, I expected to feel the pain in my eye again.  But there was no pain.  I leaned forward in the bed, and there was still no pain.  I got out of bed, and leaned my head way down to my toes and there was still no pain.  None whatsoever. The headache that I had felt for three straight weeks was gone, completely gone.

 

I began to cry again, not because of what God had done for my headache, but because it gave me yet another picture of healing and what that would mean for the tumors throughout Lana’s body.  I finally fell asleep, praising God that no matter what, He had restored my faith that He could do anything, absolutely anything.  I finally believed again that with God, nothing is impossible, even the healing of my wife.

 

When we woke up the next morning, we felt for the lump again, and after some time searching, we think we might have found it, much, much smaller than it had been for almost two and a half months straight.  We contacted the doctor to ask if this was normal, for the lump to shrink like this.  The doctor said that the biopsy from three weeks earlier could have caused it to become inflamed, and now the inflammation had gone down.  When I heard those words, the pain in my head returned. I prayed:

 

“God, no matter what’s going on, thank You for giving me a picture of healing, a picture of what it can be like when you heal someone, suddenly and miraculously.  I believe, Lord, that You can heal Lana in an instant, just as You’ve healed me in an instant of other things in the past, and just as I’ve seen You heal others.  Thank You Lord for giving me a picture to hang onto no matter what happens next.”

 

Over the past week, my headache has come and gone, fading in and out, but no longer continuous as it had been.  The lump in Lana’s breast has also seemed to come and go, some days she can find it, and it’s so very small, other days she can’t seem to find it at all.  We’ve scheduled an ultrasound on the lump for tomorrow (Monday, March 5th) with the doctor who originally did the biopsy to see if the technology confirms what we are seeing:  that the tumor has indeed gotten smaller or gone away completely.  I, for one, can’t wait to see the results!

 

But I can also say that my faith this week has soared to the point where it doesn’t much matter what the doctor’s report says.  What matters is that God has shown me that He can do anything, absolutely anything.

 

If you’ve been reading my messages for the past several months, you know that we’ve been studying the book of Romans and looking at the topic of “renewing your mind.”  While I hope to return to our study of the book of Romans again soon, I must also say that this whole experience has been one intense crash course in the importance of getting our thinking in line with God’s.  Every time we get a doctor’s report, or read an article on the internet, or hear a story from someone else who’s died of cancer, we have to take our thoughts captive, and ask God to replace our thoughts with His…that He’s the only one who truly knows how this will turn out in the end.

 

It’s not like I need God to heal Lana for me to continue to believe in Him.  It’s not like He has to keep doing miracles for me to continue to believe in Him.  I’m already in.  I’m fully committed.  I’ve signed on the dotted line and given my whole life to Jesus.  And it’s not like I’m troubled of what will happen to Lana if she dies.  I know she loves Jesus with all of her heart, soul, mind, and strength, and she’ll be with Him forever in heaven and I’ll be with her someday there myself.

 

But what God has done for me these past two weeks, thanks to His help and your prayers, has been to renew my mind and believe in Him again that He can do ALL THINGS.  That truly nothing is impossible with God.  That God can work all things for good for those who love Him and are called according to His purpose.  And that God really can give Lana the desire of her heart, at any time and through any means: to live a long and full life here on earth, and then on into heaven forever.

 

What do the coming weeks hold for us?  I can’t say for sure.  But I can say this:  I’m looking forward to the weeks ahead more than ever before, because I know I’ll be going through them with a God who loves me, and loves Lana, and loves you, more than any of us could possibly imagine.

 

I pray this week that you would know this love of God as well, and if you haven’t put your faith in Christ, that you would do it now, for the forgiveness of your sins so you can live with Him forever, and for everything else in your life, so you can live the abundant life He’s called you to live here on earth.  Like the Apostle Paul, I pray for you, that you would know His immeasurable love and His remarkable power.  As the apostle Paul said:

 

“And I pray that you, being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.  

 

“Now to Him who is able to do immeasurably more than all we ask or imagine, according to His power that is at work within us, to Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations, for ever and ever! Amen” (Ephesians 3:14-21).

 

I look forward to sharing another update again with you next week, then I hope to return to our study of Romans again with renewed vigor of the importance of “renewing our minds.”

 

Will you pray with me?

 

Father, thank You for being Jehovah Rapha, the God who heals, and for giving us a picture of healing that we can hang onto.  Lord, we pray that You would continue to heal Lana’s body, completely and gloriously, and through it all, that Your name would be glorified in ways that go beyond all we could ask or imagine.  We pray also that You would use this situation to spark our faith to believe once again that nothing is impossible with You, no matter how dire the circumstances, and no matter how bleak the reports.  We trust and believe that Your report is always good, for You truly can work all things for good for those who love you and who are called according to Your purpose.  In Jesus’ name, Amen.

 

Joshua 1:9 T-ShirtP.S.  My friend who helped organize the day of prayer and fasting for us still has some T-Shirts left that she’d be glad to send you as a reminder to pray for Lana, and also as a reminder that God is with you wherever you go as well.  The shirts have a verse printed on them from Joshua 1:9 that says: “Be strong and courageous.  Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the LORD your GOD will be with you wherever you go.”  Our friend would be glad to send you one of these special T-Shirts anywhere in the world for a donation of any size to our ministry.  If you’d like to make a donation and get a shirt, just click the link below.  Your gifts help us to reach out with the message of Christ in very practical ways every week, and our friend is glad to send you this gift as her way of saying thanks!

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Lenten Journey Day 10; Circumcision

*image source: google.com/images

2-Mar-12:  Romans 4:1-12

What then are we to say was gained by Abraham, our ancestor according to the flesh? 2 For if Abraham was justified by works, he has something to boast about, but not before God. 3 For what does the scripture say? “Abraham believed God, and it was reckoned to him as righteousness.” 4 Now to one who works, wages are not reckoned as a gift but as something due. 5 But to one who without works trusts him who justifies the ungodly, such faith is reckoned as righteousness. 6 So also David speaks of the blessedness of those to whom God reckons righteousness apart from works:

7          “Blessed are those whose iniquities are forgiven,

and whose sins are covered;

8          blessed is the one against whom the Lord will not reckon sin.”

9 Is this blessedness, then, pronounced only on the circumcised, or also on the uncircumcised? We say, “Faith was reckoned to Abraham as righteousness.” 10 How then was it reckoned to him? Was it before or after he had been circumcised? It was not after, but before he was circumcised. 11 He received the sign of circumcision as a seal of the righteousness that he had by faith while he was still uncircumcised. The purpose was to make him the ancestor of all who believe without being circumcised and who thus have righteousness reckoned to them, 12 and likewise the ancestor of the circumcised who are not only circumcised but who also follow the example of the faith that our ancestor Abraham had before he was circumcised.

http://beccagivens.wordpress.com/2012/02/21/7454/

http://cloakedmonk.com/2012/02/20/join-me-in-a-lenten-journey/

This Day’s Thought From Monday

This Day's Thought

Prayer Requests

Once we begin to flee the things that threaten and burden us, there is no end to fleeing.  God‘s solution is surprising.  He offers rest.  But it’s a unique form of rest.  It’s to rest in him in the midst of our threats and our burdens.  It’s discovering, as David did in seasons of distress, that God is our rock and refuge right in the thick of our situation.

Mark Buchanan


This Day's Verse

Yet I will rejoice in the LORD, I will joy in the God of my salvation.

Habakkuk 3:18
The King James Version


This Day's Smile

Sometimes we’re pushing on the door we want God to open, while his sign says “Pull.”

Martha Bolton


Wait

Wait on the Lord: be of good courage, and he shall strengthen thine heart, wait, I say, on the Lord.      Psalms 27:14 (TLB)

So please, “wait on the Lord”
as this great king once said.
Let his wisdom to you afford
how not to lose your head.

Get started early in the morn’
while the day is yet new.
When the sun has been re-born
and the grass is covered with dew.

Now “be of good courage” too
it’ll make your burden much lighter.
So allow me to encourage you
live on the side that’s brighter.

Know you not fear’s a disease
that is painful to go through?
Where will you find your ease
when the devil is tormenting you?

Well, “he shall strengthen thine heart.”
Keep your focus on God above,
who does set his people apart
to receive His blessings of love.

Do you suppose it’s too hard?
Do you believe there’s no way?
Do you just give no regard
to what David had to say?

“Wait I say,” what’s the hurry?
Don’t you want to find out,
why you don’t need to worry
and free yourself from that doubt?

All fear grows like a weed
That got started in fertile ground,
on your worry it does feed
before you know it’s all around.

On the Lord you can depend
He will come to you anywhere,
as the close and loyal friend
that never fails to be there!

On Jesus you can always rely,
lift up your hands and pray.
If with your heart you do cry
He hears every word that you say.

Come to Him with all humility,
ask that He will forgive you.
For only Jesus has the ability
to cleanse your sins away too!

Teresa Marie   5/24/09