Prayer Challenge


I want to ask you to say this prayer out loud, if possible.

“I belong to God. I am a holy vessel because I have the Holy Spirit of the Living God. The Lord of Heaven and earth has said to me; “I declare you holy!”. I commit to start believing what He says. I AM HOLY! Remind me daily, Spirit of the Living God, to treat myself as holy, open my eyes to every scheme of The Enemy to treat me as if I'm not. You, God, are Holy. Your word is the truth. This day Father, I chose to believe you! I ask this in the mighty name of your son Jesus Christ, who died on a cross for me so that I could be a coheir to the kingdom of God. Amen”



Thursday, August 16, 2018

Preaching During a Controversy by C.H. Spurgeon

"If we are to survive and go on preaching in an atmosphere of controversy, there comes a point where you have done your best to weight the claims of your critics and take them to heart and must now say, "By the grace of God, I am what I am." And bring an end to the deranging second-guessing that threatens to destroy..."  C.H. Spurgeon

Sunday, August 12, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:15-16



What did we believe in Christ for? Was it not that we might be justified by the faith of Christ? And, if so, is it not folly to go back to the law, and to expect to be justified either by the merit of moral works or the influence of any ceremonial sacrifices or purifications?         Matthew Henry's Complete Bible Commentary
  •  I Paul, and you Peter and Barnabas, and the rest of the Jews at Antioch. 
  • Some are Jews by grace, in a spiritual sense, as all are that are Christ's, that are true believers in him, that are born again, and have internal principles of grace formed in their souls, of whatsoever nation they be; see Romans 2:28
  • Others become Jews by being proselytes to the Jewish religion: such were the Jews, devout men, out of every nation under heaven, that were dwelling at Jerusalem, when the Spirit was poured down on the apostles on the day of Pentecost, Acts 2:5
  • these here spoken of were such as were Jews by birth; they were born so, were descended of Jewish parents, and from their infancy were brought up in the Jewish religion, and under the law of Moses, and in the observance of it. Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible






Tuesday, August 7, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:14

Last Week I Wrote
Paul felt he was standing up for the gospel of Jesus against the hypocrisy of the apostle Peter who was a pillar of the Jewish Christians. 
The hypocrisy Paul spoke of was that Peter had been eating with the Gentile believers on a regular basis, but had stopped when the men sent by James arrived in Antioch. 

Paul stated earlier in Galatians that Peter was afraid of the Jewish circumcision group sent from James in Jerusalem and the other Jewish believers followed his example. I don't understand this because in Acts 10:11-29 Peter was given a vision or dream from God to teach him that nothing God creates is unclean or impure. He even stated this to Cornelius the Centurion when he arrived at Cornelius' house. 

While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”
No wonder Paul thought Peter was a hypocrite!

We are living under grace through Jesus Christ, not legalism.
The phrase "in front of them all" tells me that Paul wanted everyone to hear what he had to say and for there to be clarity on his position about the issue of Gentile believers being required to follow Jewish law and for Jewish believers to continue to follow Jewish law in the matter of eating or "hanging out" with the Gentile believers. Paul had already emphasized that "His authority was from Jesus by revelation." (Galatians 1:12)

The authority of Jesus, as expressed in the Bible must be the guide I use in all situations.

What was Paul's "thorn in the flesh?"
No one knows what Paul was referring to. Scholars think it was a vision issue or some other physical problem. As for me, I think it could have been his regret for being a great persecutor of the church. (Galatians 1:13) After all, he was going to Damascus to search for Christians to put in prison when he met Jesus on the road and had his personal revelation. (Acts 9) 

I am basing my opinion about Paul's thorn in the flesh on what I know about my own life before Jesus. I love Jesus. I know Jesus loves me. Still, I find it hard to forgive myself for my before-Jesus-life of sex and drugs. 

Paul put men and women in prison for following Jesus. I can't imagine how awful it was for those people being in a cell with no sanitation, no beds, and meager amounts of food. I am sure he regretted having done these things just like I feel regret over having been a party girl who liked to work hard and play hard. 

Yes, I think Paul lived the rest of his life trying to make up for having been such a zealous persecutor. I believe that is why Jesus chose him to be the apostle to the Gentiles. Saul was educated, focused, and committed to following his beliefs. The qualities that made him such a zealous persecutor also became his greatest strengths as an apostle for Jesus. 



Saturday, August 4, 2018

A Prayer Warrior Week

Whew! This week has been an on-the-knees, pray the word aloud week! 
Bill and I went to the 4 way stop in the center of town Thursday evening to pray for our community. This is the third month and three of us showed up. Bill and I wore our eye-catching Christian Motorcyclists Association colors so that passing folk would know we were there for Jesus. Bill, Sundi Jo and I received a lot of looks from people as we prepared to pray on the east corner of the 4 way for our community and the surrounding communities. It is my hope that someone will ask one of us," I saw you at the 4 way stop. What were you doing?" When this happens we can have a conversation about prayer and Jesus. Yep, this is evangelism outreach and/or discipleship my friends.
This is also spiritual warfare. 
What do you believe about spiritual warfare? I believe we live in Satan's world and that we are in a battle to bring people to Jesus Christ. This is the great commission: to go and tell people about Jesus Christ in the world around us. When we follow this way of life, we will run into the enemy, the ruler of this world whom even Jesus had to face and defeat. Our enemy's mission is to keep people from coming to know Jesus Christ as their Lord and Savior. He wants to keep you in the dark, literally and figuratively. To this end, he places obstacles in the paths of believers to try and separate us from our Jesus by keeping us busy, swamped with drama, and overrun with temptations. Satan also places obstacles in the paths of unbelievers who are beginning to see the light of Jesus and begin walking toward him. 
Grabbing my Shield and Sword
 I have been grabbing my shield of faith and Sword of the Spirit all week to extinguish the flaming arrows of the enemy who is trying to discourage a sister in ministry, trying to keep a lamb of God from completely breaking free of Satan's chains, and to stop the umbrella of prayer from being lifted within the center of our community. 
Yes, I have been engaged in spiritual warfare all week AND I believe my prayers are answered. Did you catch that? My prayers ARE answered - maybe not today, tomorrow, or a month from now, but they will be answered in God's timeframe. This is faith in action. This is submitting to God. This is knowing who I am; I am a child of God and he is always good. 
Yes, I know that I sound like a crazy person to many of you.
I don't care. I know who I am through Jesus Christ and I believe the Bible is the inspired word of God. Yes, I am a spirit-led, redeemed follower of Jesus Christ and I know who I am through Jesus Christ. 
  • I am a coheir of the kingdom
  • I have the mind of Christ
  • I have a wise counselor
  • I can send Satan fleeing
  • I am a prayer warrior in the kingdom of God
  • I am a fervently dedicated servant of Jesus Christ
Do you know who you are in the kingdom of God? 
The New Testament tells us who we are through Jesus Christ. The Old Testament tells us the history of God's people and why he sent Jesus as the Messiah. If you don't know Jesus or who you are as a Christian, read the New Testament to discover the truth of letting Jesus into your life. 
  • 1 Corinthians 1:18
For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved, it is the power of God.
  • Hebrews 12:2
fixing our eyes on Jesus, the pioneer and perfecter of faith. For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.
  • John 14:16-17
16And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you.
  • Ephesians 6:11-12
Put on the full armor of God, so that you can take your stand against the devil’s schemes. 12 For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the authorities, against the powers of this dark world and against the spiritual forces of evil in the heavenly realms.
  • Ephesians 6:16-18
16 In addition to all this, take up the shield of faith, with which you can extinguish all the flaming arrows of the evil one. 17 Take the helmet of salvation and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God.18 And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord’s people. 
  • 1 John 4:4
You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world.
  • Galatians 4:7
So you are no longer a slave, but God's child; and since you are his child, God has made you also an heir.
  • James 4:7
Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.




Sunday, July 29, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:13



What is popular isn't always right and what is right isn't always popular. 
This slogan is what I thought of as I read Galatians 2:13. I use this slogan to teach kids to stand up for what is right, not for what is popular. 
Paul felt he was standing up for the gospel of Jesus against the hypocrisy of the apostle Peter who was a pillar of the Jewish Christians
The hypocrisy Paul spoke of was that Peter had been eating with the Gentile believers on a regular basis, but had stopped when the men sent by James arrived in Antioch. 

Paul stated earlier in Galatians that Peter was afraid of the Jewish circumcision group sent from James in Jerusalem and the other Jewish believers followed his example. I don't understand this because in Acts 10:11-29 Peter was given a vision or dream from God that nothing God creates is unclean or impure. He even stated this to Cornelius the Centurion when he arrived at Cornelius' house. 
While talking with him, Peter went inside and found a large gathering of people. 28He said to them: “You are well aware that it is against our law for a Jew to associate with or visit a Gentile. But God has shown me that I should not call anyone impure or unclean. 29So when I was sent for, I came without raising any objection. May I ask why you sent for me?”
No wonder Paul thought Peter was a hypocrite!


I note how Paul wrote,"...even Barnabus was led astray." 
Barnabus had been with Paul for years. Yes, years!  He knew what Paul taught concerning eating with the Gentiles. Barnabus had been eating with the Gentile Christians from the moment he began accompanying Paul. Paul must have felt abandoned and all alone when he penned those words.

Satan must have been doing a happy dance when Barnabus decided to follow Peter's example and stop eating with the Gentile Christians too. 

What could cause Peter to back away from eating with Gentile Christians after being given a revelation from God?  
After searching, I found a commentary, the InterVarsity Press commentary, at biblegateway.com that suggests conflict between the Zealots and Jewish Christians in Jerusalem was the cause of Peter's fear.  Fear of causing the Jewish Christians in Jerusalem to be punished by the Zealots because of his actions in Antioch could have been the cause of Peter deciding to not eat with the Gentile Christians. Barnabus and the other Jewish Christians would have had to make this decision too. 

If you knew your friends and family would suffer because of your actions, what would you do? Would you follow the gospel or back off from the gospel? 

Division in the Church
Division in the church isn't new; it goes all the way back to the division between Gentile Christians and Jewish Christians in the churches at Jerusalem and Antioch.
Division is a tool that Satan uses to distract Christians from being a servant of Jesus and carrying out the Great Commission of reaching out to people who haven't heard about Jesus. In short, Satan is trying to stop the number of people who come to know Jesus as their Lord and Savior. This has been and still is Satan's mission today. 


Monday, July 9, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:11-12


Typed error in the picture: circumcicion should be circumcision 
Paul opposed Peter because he wouldn't take a stand. 
Peter had been following Paul's example of eating with the Gentiles and fellowshipping with them. However, he changed when the strictly Hebrew faction or circumcision group arrived in Antioch. 
Paul was 100% about sharing Jesus' teachings with the Gentiles and he wasn't happy with Peter for changing his actions and behaviors to make the circumcision group happy. 
Paul said Peter was afraid. 
Peter hasn't changed much, has he? He is still the disciple who said he would NEVER fall away from Jesus or deny him. However, Peter fulfilled Jesus' prediction and denied Jesus three times before the rooster crowed after Jesus was arrested. Matthew 26:34  Peter's experience didn't change his later actions did it? He knew Jesus personally and was one of the first disciples to be chosen, but this just illustrates to me how the Lord chooses a weak vessel to accomplish his will. 

Monday, June 4, 2018

Sitting Idly in Park - A Poem About Waiting on the Lord

Sitting Idly in Park

God often takes a lot of time,
As he prepares an amazing new door,
For each of his heirs to walk through.
Doors that will lead to a new adventure in life,
Doors with the purpose of keeping his people,
Moving toward His heavenly throne.
Who doesn't want to arrive,
In front of God's throne to hear,
“Well done, good and faithful servant.”?

As God has us sitting idly in park,
Sandwiched between two doors,
One behind us firmly closed,
One in front of us being prepared to swing wide.
There is no sense in knocking on the front door,
Because God won't answer until he,
Has set the scene and we,
Have prepared ourselves by,
Imprinting His teachings upon our heart,

Then, we will be ready to finally embark,
Upon a carefully planned, exciting journey,
A patiently prepared black belt warrior,
Overflowing with the Spirit of God.
A master of the Sword of the Spirit,
Ready to begin a new task for our Lord.
That is why God often takes a lot of time,
As he prepares an amazing new door,
For each of his heirs to walk through.



Wednesday, May 30, 2018

Love the Story of Joseph and My Bible Study

A paragraph from my morning reading that I just love.
The story of Joseph is a favorite story that I have read and reread. There are so many lessons to be learned from this story. Bold print is my addition to the quote.
"By the time Joseph married and assumed his new position of leadership, he had spent 13 years in slavery. Was slavery part of God’s plan for him? Proverbs 20: 24 says, “A man’s steps are directed by the LORD.” How then can anyone understand his own way?” Joseph knew that God had a plan for his life, and he accepted God’s sovereignty regardless of what happened. He knew that God had directed his steps into that pit his brothers had dug for him just as He had directed his steps into a place of power. God had shown Himself faithful from the pit to Potiphar to prison to power. Joseph’s sons, in turn, became a living testimony to his conviction that God was with him every step of the way.
TerKeurst, Lysa. What Happens When Women Walk in Faith: Trusting God Takes You to Amazing Places (p. 84). Harvest House Publishers. Kindle Edition. "
Unlike Lysa, I don't believe God directed Joseph's steps into the pit.
Satan caused that to happen because he is the prince of this world, BUT God brought the blessings out of the situation because Joseph continued to honor God with his attitude and godly choices. No matter what happened to Joseph, God was with him and brought blessing out of each situation.
John 12:31-32
31 Now is the time for judgment on this world; now the prince of this world will be driven out. 32 And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.”
Ephesians 2:2
in which you formerly walked according to the course of this world, according to the prince of the power of the air, of the spirit that is now working in the sons of disobedience.
1 John 3:8
the one who practices sin is of the devil; for the devil has sinned from the beginning. The Son of God appeared for this purpose, to destroy the works of the devil.

Ellicott's Commentary for English Readers                                                        The title "Prince of this world" was the regular Rabbinic title for Satan, whom they regarded as the ruler of the Gentiles...Jews, as well as Gentiles, have been subjects of the prince of this world the world itself, as opposed to Christ...The world's condemnation is followed by the casting out of its ruler.

Tuesday, May 29, 2018

Asking in Prayer - Stumbling Blocks and Solutions

Sometimes the Lord just wants us to put ourselves in park, or neutral and wait on his timing.
I have learned that stumbling blocks to answered prayer can be unbelief, sin and wrong motives
Stumbling Block 1 - Fear Causes Unbelief
Do you believe that you will receive what you are praying for? If you don't then you are praying in fear and unbelief. Nothing is too big, too small or too difficult for God. Nothing! God loves you and I. He wants to give us what we pray for when we ask him correctly. The first step in asking correctly is believing we are going to be given what we ask for. He wants us to believe that we are going to receive what we ask for in the name of Jesus.
Fear comes from Satan. Remember this acronym: False Evidence Appearing Real. You and I are the beloved children of God. We are good enough to be given what we ask for in prayer. With God, the impossible is possible. Satan loves to whisper that we aren't good enough, or that God can't possibly give us what we ask for. That is false evidence! Kick it out of your thoughts the minute you catch yourself thinking it.
Stumbling Block 2 - Sin
The sin stumbling blocks can be anger, idolatry - loving someone or something more than God, indifference to need, hypocrisy, unforgiving spirit, and broken relationships.
As a practicing alcoholic addict my personal stumbling blocks, wrong motives, and solutions were and still can be:
  • Anger - Memorize, read, and recite scriptures on anger. Pray with a prayer partner before I blow up (My husband)
  • Idolatry - Nothing comes before God. Not spouses, children, drugs, alcohol, food, job, nothing. God is #numberonepriority 
  • Unforgiving spirit - Forgiveness comes from unconditional love. I might not like someone's actions, but I still have to forgive the person. Occasionally, this requires praying for the person you are unforgiving about to receive what they need to be happy. Do this daily for 2 weeks. 
  • Broken relationships - Yes, I have to apologize for my behaviors and actions towards my fellow human beings. Courage in action is being loving and forgiving regardless of the other person's actions and behaviors. Think of Jesus stopping the stoning of the adulterous woman. Stephen asking God to forgive those stoning him to death, and Jesus on the cross asking forgiveness for those who sent him to the cross. 

How to ask in prayer - Ask with...
  • Perseverance - Perseverance means having faith in and focusing on God to make sure of what He wants and what you want to ask for.
  • With sincerity - Sincerity means from the heart - in love.
  • With humility - Submitting to God in all areas. 
  • In faith - Belief with no doubt that the power of God is present in your life.
  • While abiding with Christ - Letting Jesus into your whole life, not just part of it. He is the vine and you are a branch of the vine. 
  • In Jesus' name - All things come to us through Jesus. We ask in the name of Jesus and ask as Jesus would ask. What would Jesus ask for? 
  • With the mind - Use your ability to phrase your prayer in a manner that is to the point, or "short and sweet." 
  • In the Spirit - No selfishness or self-centeredness. 
#prayerlife #askingJesus 
"Ask and it shall be given you: seek, and you shall find: knock, and it shall be opened to you" 
John 14:6
"Jesus answered, "I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
John 14:14
"If you shall ask anything in my name, I will do it." 
John 15:7
"If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, you shall ask what you will, and it shall be done unto you" 
John 16:24
"Hitherto have you asked nothing in my name: ask, and you shall receive, that your joy may be full"
James 4:7
"Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you."
1 Peter 4:1-2
"Therefore, since Christ suffered in his body, arm yourselves also with the same attitude, because whoever suffers in the body is done with sin. As a result, they do not live the rest of their earthly lives for evil human desires, but rather for the will of God"
Ephesians 6:18
"And pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests. With this in mind, be alert and always keep on praying for all the Lord's people."

Resources
1. Prayer Guide 9, Principles of Asking, Walking in Fellowship with God - Disciple's Prayer Life by T.W. Hunt & Catherine Walker
2. Big Book of Alcoholics Anonymous
3. NIV Disciple's Study Bible


Monday, May 28, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:10




















The apostle showed his charitable disposition, and how ready he was to own the Jewish converts as brethren, though many would scarcely allow the like favor to the converted Gentiles; but mere difference of opinion was no reason to him why he should not help them. Herein is a pattern of Christian charity, which we should extend to all the disciples of Christ. Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary

Sunday, May 27, 2018

A Saturday Morning Miracle - The Lord Saved My Husband From a Bike Wreck

Saturday, May 5, 2018, wasn't just Cinco de Mayo this year. 
The first Saturday in May is Christian Motorcyclists Association's " Run for the Son" fundraiser. This annual fundraiser just happened to coincide with Cinco de Mayo this year. Rather than ride with our CMA chapter, Bill and I decided we were going to ride by ourselves this year. We didn't have a specific reason. We just wanted to ride and enjoy a day together; couple time on bikes. We had no idea that the day was going to bring a close encounter with disaster for Bill.
Saturday morning was sunny, but a little chilly whenever the sun was shaded by a cloud. 
As Bill and I rode down the highway toward Cuba, MO, each of us began to regret not wearing long sleeves under our riding vests. However, the day was gorgeous when the sun was out. The fields and trees were vibrant shades of green in contrast to the bright blue sky overhead with big, puffy white clouds staggered across it. It was a beautiful day to be riding motorcycles down the highway.
Bill was riding his Roadglide ahead of me.
I slowed my Softail Custom and began to lag behind a little bit as I admired the spring beauty of the rural countryside spread out in the sunshine like a quilt. When I realized I was getting farther behind than I wanted to be, I rolled my bike's throttle and began to catch up to the hubby as we came around a curve and entered a long straight stretch. Toward the end of the straight stretch, I noticed an older, beat up,  brown truck stopped in the northbound lane without a turn signal on, but also saw a graveled road on the right and figured the truck was waiting to turn left. Briefly, I  also noticed a white SUV was stopped behind the beat up truck. My attention returned to the distance between Bill and I  as I slowly closed the distance between our two bikes and my relaxed hubby who was riding with his feet up on his highway bars, cruising along at 55 mph.
The next second is branded on my memory.
The sight that no biker wants to see. The front tires on the beat up truck turned left and the truck began to move forward and left. I couldn't believe that the truck driver was beginning a turn that would place the truck directly in the path of my husband's Roadglide! My actions and what I was seeing seemed to go into slow motion and seconds turned into minutes as I noted several things almost instantaneously. First, I checked my right rearview mirror to see if anyone was behind my bike. There wasn't. Then I grabbed my front brake, downshifted and watched my husband on his bike at the same time. At least it seemed like the same time.
Sallee's Perspective
My eyes took in a sight that shocked me and made me say something. I still don't know what exactly I said. Probably, "Oh My God!, or Oh, Jesus!" I watched Bill's Roadglide come down on its front forks as he squeezed his front brake lever and got his feet off the highway bar pegs and onto his floorboards so he could hit his rear brake. Next, I saw his 800+ pound Roadglide literally squat down as he applied the rear brakes. I was horrified to realize I could see him and his bike framed against the side of the brown pickup truck. I couldn't see anything except brown truck to his right and left. He isn't going to make it! I thought. Oh, Jesus, he isn't going to make it! The truck never gained speed as my husband atop his Roadglide closed distance with it. I could clearly see Bill and his bike closing on the rear of the truck and Bill's squatting Roadglide's exhaust pipes seemingly, skimming the road surface. Bill had moved his bike left until it was on top of the centerline as he continued to apply his brakes, attempting to slow down and miss hitting the side of the creeping, snail-like truck. Incredibly, I saw Bill ride between the back end of the truck and the stopped white SUV that was still sitting in the northbound lane of the road without any visible space showing between my husband's bike, the truck's tailgate and the second stopped vehicle. Relief was short-lived as I realized the I was quickly closing distance with the truck that was STILL moving incredibly slow. However, as I began to slow and move left, the truck FINALLY shot forward and cleared the road ahead of me. As I looked at the pickup truck, I could see that the driver wasn't even looking in my direction.
Bill and I waited to stop until we rode about 5 miles up the road and arrived in Cuba, MO at Dottie's Truckstop.
My hands had stopped trembling by then and Bill said his heart was beginning to beat normally. We attempted to act normal in the aftermath of the extremely close call. However, neither of us wanted to ride all afternoon anymore. Instead, we decided to ride the short distance between Cuba and St. James, eat at the Mexican restaurant there,  and then return home.  We were both still fairly shocked at what had happened and we talked about it with each other at the restaurant. Bill shared the incident with me from his perspective.
Bill's Perspective
When I saw the truck start to turn, I couldn't believe it! Then I couldn't believe how slowly it was turning. I grabbed my front brakes and I'm not sure when I got my feet on the floorboards, but I remember using the rear brake. I seriously didn't think I was going to make it. I clearly saw myself hitting the truck and flying through the air over the truck bed. I could see through the open truck window and see the driver and the woman sitting by him. Neither of them EVER turned their head to look at me. Just when I knew I wasn't going to make it because I was very close to the rear of the truck, I don't remember anything until I was in between the truck bed and the white car. I believe God reached down and slowed my bike. There just isn't any other explanation. I KNEW I wasn't going to be able to stop in time. My bike is so wide and I saw the back of the truck to my right and wondered how I was fitting in between the two. I received a miracle from God. There is no doubt in my mind that the Lord intervened and performed a miracle that let me miss that truck. It took a long time for my heart to slow down. I didn't see the truck speed up. I saw you and your bike behind me and the truck wasn't on the road anymore. I believe the Lord saved me. There isn't any other explanation. He reached out and slowed my bike enough for me to clear the end of that truck.
Both of us agree that the Lord intervened and prevented Bill from having a serious accident. Bill and I have discussed this incident multiple times. Yes, his new tires helped slow him down and the fact that he was going the speed limit, 55 mph. Yes, he reacted quickly and did everything he could to miss the truck. After riding a motorcycle for 50 years, Bill knows exactly how long it takes him to stop his bike. He is positive that there is no physical way that his bike should have missed hitting the rear of that truck. We both were sure he wasn't going to be able to stop because of the extremely slow speed of the truck.  We both are convinced that Jesus intervened and prevented a serious accident on Cinco de Mayo - "Run for the Son" day.
Psalm 91:9-12;14-16
9 If you say, “The Lord is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling,
10 no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent.
11 For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways;
 12 they will lift you up in their hands so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.
14“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.
15 He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him.
16 With long life, I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”
Isaiah 52:12
But you will not go out in haste, Nor will you go as fugitives; For the Lord will go before you, And the God of Israel will be your rear guard.
Psalm 9:10
Those who know your name trust in you, for you, LORD, have never forsaken those who seek you.
Psalm 106:1
Praise the LORD. Give thanks to the LORD, for he is good; his love endures forever.

Friday, May 25, 2018

Are We Hung by Our Own Tongue?

I was watching Andrew Wommack's television broadcast awhile back with Bill. 
Andrew was teaching from Proverbs 18:21,"The tongue has the power of life and death, and those who love it will eat its fruit." Andrew's question was this, "What if the words we speak actually caused someone to live or to die?" How would it change your life?" Immediately, I felt as if I had been struck by an unseen stone somewhere inside my head and my heart. I know I sometimes speak words that would cause death and now I was being convicted by the Holy Spirit. It isn't a good feeling to know I have fallen short and my heavenly Father is bringing it to my attention in an unmistakable manner.
You see, this is an area in which I struggle every day.
Speaking only good about others is not my strongest character trait. I am being kind and not calling myself a slanderer or a gossip. I don't mean to be either of these things. However, if others are speaking unkindly about someone, I usually find myself joining the conversation.
God brought this to my attention through the question spoken by Andrew Wommack.
This isn't the first time he has brought this to my attention, but it is the first time I felt as if I had been struck by an unseen stone from the inside out. No matter how much I desire to not gossip or speak unkindly of others, I am still doing it. That is what brought this sense of being struck, or convicted. I cannot do it anymore. Through the Holy Spirit, I have been corrected and in the aftermath of that correction I am meditating on Proverbs 18:21 and thinking about my words as having the actual ability to cause life or death. Proverbs 18:21 is my tool to combat this area of weakness within myself.
Additionally, I've been given another tool to use, Psalm 15. 
This tool reached me through a bible study of Lisa TerKeurst's book, What Happens When Women Walk in Faith. Psalm 15 was part of the personal Bible study for the "Famine" chapter's first lesson. Psalm 15 says,
"Lord, who may dwell in your sanctuary?
Who may live on your holy hill?
He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous,
who speaks truth from his heart and has no slander on his tongue,
who does his neighbor no wrong and casts no slur on his fellowman,
who lends his money without usury and does not accept a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things will never be shaken.
who despises a vile man but honors those who fear the Lord,
who keeps his oath even when it hurts
The bold print is my addition.
These are the phrases that sank into my head and heart as I read the psalm. These are the phrases that I KNOW are my second tool to use in my battle to keep my tongue speaking words of life. I do not believe this psalm just happened to be part of a bible study that just happened to coincide with the conviction that I received from God through the Holy Spirit. In faith, I choose to believe that I am being given another tool by the Lord to continue meditating upon so that I may dwell in His sanctuary and live on His holy hill.
This is part of God's plan for me. 
I am being shaped and molded into a better vessel to be used by the Lord. I am a branch having the weak and dead areas pruned from it so that I may flourish and grow stronger. You see, my heart's desire is to be the best me I can be for Jesus and to stay squarely in the middle of God's plan for me. To do this, I have to accept truths about myself that hurt. The sting will lessen as I persevere and grow, and now I have two tools to use in my battle to keep my tongue speaking life. Amen?

Ephesians 4:30
30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, with whom you were sealed for the day of redemption.
James 1:2-4
Consider it pure joy, my brothers, and sisters, whenever you face trials of many kinds, 3 because you know that the testing of your faith produces perseverance. 4 Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete, not lacking anything.
John 15:1-2
1“ I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener. 2 He cuts off every branch in me that bears no fruit, while every branch that does bear fruit he prunes so that it will be even more fruitful.
Romans 9:20-21
20 But who are you, a human being, to talk back to God? “Shall what is formed say to the one who formed it, ‘Why did you make me like this?’ ” 21 Does not the potter have the right to make out of the same lump of clay some pottery for special purposes and some for common use?

For additional reading and bible verses on this topic go to:
https://joyfilledwoman.blogspot.com/2014/08/dont-get-hung-by-your-tongue.html 

Tuesday, May 22, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:9

God had a plan for each of the disciples. 
Paul and Barnabus were to go to the Gentiles to preach Jesus' message and the other disciples were preaching to the Hebrew people. 
God has a plan for me today.
Today, I am reaching out to my sisters-in-faith and encouraging them to pray and listen for the guidance of the Holy Spirit. Jesus promised this wise counselor would come so that we would not be orphans. Amen? Part of God's plan for me is to help my sisters stand firm in their faith. I know this.
Additionally, I am called to write.
I don't know why, but I am being obedient. I may not be the greatest writer of all time, but I am being obedient. My writing is based on my faith and how I arrived at this point in my faith journey. Anytime I don't write for a week or two, the Holy Spirit calls me back to it. Yes, I feel discouraged at times, but my husband reminds me that what I am doing isn't about reaching masses of people. I am writing to be obedient to God. Hopefully, what I write will help someone but the point is----I am being obedient when I can't see a reward for my commitment. I am being obedient when I don't understand the plan. 
John 14:16-18
16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another advocate to help you and be with you forever— 17 the Spirit of truth. The world cannot accept him, because it neither sees him nor knows him. But you know him, for he lives with you and will be in you. 18 I will not leave you as orphans; I will come to you. 
Psalm 27:14
 14 Wait for the LORD; Be strong and let your heart take courage; Yes, wait for the LORD.

Monday, May 7, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:8



















The Spirit of God
The Spirit of God can be seen in the works that Peter was able to perform because he had the Holy Spirit. Peter had the Holy Spirit working through him because it is confirmed by his works.
  • curing the man that was lame from his birth
  • striking Ananias and Sapphira dead for telling lies
  • raising Dorcas from the dead
  • communicating miraculous gifts by the imposition of his hands
  • the conversion of 3,000 people by one sermon 
Paul knew the Spirit of God worked in himself in the same way that it did in Peter because he was also able to perform many miracles too. 
  • striking blind Elymas the sorcerer
  • healing the cripple at Lystra
  • raising Eutychus from the dead
  • with many other signs and wonders wrought by him among the Gentiles, 
Paul knew the same Spirit also accompanied the Gospel preached by him due to the conversion of multitudes, by which means many famous churches were founded and raised among the Gentiles; and this is another reason which induced the apostles at Jerusalem to take Paul and Barnabas into an association with them.
adapted from Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible at biblehub.com 

Wednesday, April 25, 2018

Faith of a Child


The Kingdom of Heaven Belongs to Children
On the way to work last week, I was thinking about Jesus telling the disciples to let the little children come to him for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these. Jesus was not happy with his disciples when he said this. The disciples had been telling the grownups that they shouldn't have brought children to Jesus. I wonder if they thought Jesus was too busy to pay attention to children? I do know that Jesus quickly let the disciples know that they were in the wrong.  As I thought on this I had a "God moment" of realization, Jesus was telling us to have the faith, focus, and trust of children if we want to follow him. 

My grandson is two years old and he repeats everything he hears at least five times. When I show up at the door, he says,"Hi Grammy!I happy to see you!" and then repeats it four more times. His little face is all smile and lit up from the inside out with his happiness at my arrival. He throws open his arms and runs to me for a big hug and a kiss.  It is humbling to be greeted like this. What a precious gift that little boy is giving me. Unconditional love and joy at seeing me. 

Can you imagine Jesus showing up for a visit and saying,"Hi Jesus!I'm happy to see you!" with a face that is all smile,  lit up from the inside out, and running to hug him in greeting?
That is the joy Jesus wants us to have in our relationship with him. Unconditional love, joy, and trust is a precious gift that can be given to Jesus as each of us lives in the moment, trusting him to take care of us, and finding joy in his presence through the indwelling Holy Spirit. 

How many times have you watched a child playing with complete concentration, totally absorbed in what they are doing? 
Children live in the moment. They aren't worrying about yesterday or tomorrow. Nope, small children live in the moment and trust their parents to take care of their needs.  Can you imagine what would happen if grownups focused on Jesus and his teachings in the same manner? Life would be lived without stress while trusting Jesus to take care of every outcome. 

Sunday, April 22, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:7




















...was entrusted to me, as the gospel of the circumcision was to Peter...

  • as the preaching of the gospel to the Jews was committed to Peter, and not to him only, but to James and John. 
  • It must not be so understood, as if Paul might not preach to the Jews, or Peter might not preach to the Gentiles, for the contrary is evident from Acts 9:15, as to Paul, and from Peter’s preaching to Cornelius, Acts 10:1-48
  • God designed the Gentiles to be more especially the province for Paul to exercise his ministry in, Acts 26:17, and accordingly he was specially sent out by the church, Acts 13:3
  • Peter’s chief work was among the Jews.         adapted from Matthew Poole's Commentary at www.biblehub.com

Sunday, April 15, 2018

Verse of the Week: Galatians 2:6



  •  Though Paul conversed with the other apostles, yet he did not receive any addition to his knowledge, or authority, from them. 
  • Perceiving the grace given to Paul, they gave to him and Barnabas the right hand of fellowship, whereby they acknowledged that he was designed to the honor and office of an apostle as well as themselves. 
  • They agreed that these two should go to the heathen, while they continued to preach to the Jews; judging it agreeable to the mind of Christ, so to divide their work. 
  • Here we learn that the gospel is not ours, but God's; and that men are but the keepers of it; for this, we are to praise God. 
adapted from Matthew Henry's Bible Commentary at biblehub.com 

Sunday, April 8, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:5


Memorizing an entire book of the Bible is a daunting task at which I am not succeeding.
However, this is NOT a failure because I am staying immersed in the Word of God. This immersion in the word is helping me to deepen my spiritual roots and I am sure Jesus is happy about that!

Additionally, I find myself speaking from the Bible as naturally as I breathe air. I don't mean I am quoting scripture, I'm not. What I am doing is speaking sentences and phrases from the Bible. I may not be quoting it, but the parts I have read and reread are appearing in my thoughts and speech automatically. I don't know how else to explain it. Is this as clear as mud?
Today I reread my study Bible's introduction to Galatians and Galatians 1:1 - 2:5. 
  • In these verses, Paul makes the point that the truth of the gospel is free. Salvation is not earned, it is free. 
  • If anyone shouldn't have been able to be forgiven, it was Paul because of his persecution of Jesus' followers.
  • Jesus paid the price for all mankind. 
  • Paul received the gospel from God, not man and he had to be bold in proclaiming it.
  • The apostles he met in Jerusalem didn't disagree with him. The trouble was being caused by false followers who slipped into the church and gave the appearance of holiness. 
  • These false followers were also adding rules to the gospel of Jesus. There are no rules in the gospel of Jesus Christ.
Jesus' gospel is simple - admit to God that you are a sinner, believe that Jesus is the Son of God and receive his gift of forgiveness from sin. Confess your faith in Jesus as Lord and Savior. 

Sunday, April 1, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:3-4

Paul shares that this was a crucial case because Titus was a Gentile.
In fact, Titus' parents were both Gentiles, unlike Timothy who had one Jewish parent and was therefore capable of being identified with the Jewish people. 

On the other hand, Titus was an uncircumcised Greek Gentile who was accompanying Paul and assisting in his ministry. 

"The "false brethren," Ga 2:4 ("certain of the sect of the Pharisees which believed," Ac 15:5), demanded Titus' circumcision. The apostles, however, constrained by the firmness of Paul and Barnabas (Ga 2:5), did not compel or insist on his being circumcised. Thus they virtually sanctioned Paul's course among the Gentiles and admitted his independence as an apostle: the point he desires to set forth to the Galatians." Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Paul brought Titus about with him as a living example of the power of the Gospel upon the uncircumcised heathen.   Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary

Monday, March 26, 2018

Verse of the Week - Galatians 2:2






I went in response to a revelation 
  • Paul states this is, to show that he had not received the gospel from human beings. 
  • He is careful, therefore, to state that he went up by the express command of God. 
  • He did not go up to receive instructions from the apostles there in regard to his own work, but he went to submit an important question pertaining to the church at large. 

Meeting privately with those esteemed as leaders
  • Paul made a private explanation of his motives and views, so that they might understand it before it became a matter of public discussion. 
  • The point on which Paul made this private explanation was not whether the gospel was to be preached to the Gentiles, for upon that they had no doubt after the revelation to Peter Acts 10; but whether the rites of the Jews were to be imposed on the Gentile converts. 
  • Paul explained his views and his practice on that point, which were that he did not impose those rites on the Gentiles; that he taught that people might be justified without their observance; and that they were not necessary in order to salvation.

I presented to them the gospel that I preach among the Gentiles.
  •  He stated fully the principles on which he acted; the nature of the gospel which he taught; and his doctrine about the exemption of the Gentiles from the obligations of the Law of Moses. 
  • He thus satisfied them in regard to his views of the gospel; and showed them that he understood the system of Christianity which had been revealed. 
  • The result was, that they had entire confidence in him, and admitted him to entire fellowship with them; Galatians 2:9.
I wanted to be sure I was not running and had not been running my race in vain.
  • Paul feared that if he did not lay the case before them privately, they would not understand it.
  • Others might misrepresent him and when the case came before the assembled apostles and elders, a decision might be adopted which would go to prove that he had been entirely wrong in his views, 
  • In order to secure a just decision, and one which would not hinder his future usefulness, he had sought this private interview, and thus his object was gained.
adapted from the Barnes Notes on the Bible for Galatians 2:2