Monday, October 24, 2016

I Should be Writing

God's word is, of course, in written form. I am drawn to penned work. I take them in and create some of my own. I should be writing...every single day. If I am not with my children, studying God’s word, doing school work, doing chores around the house, grocery shopping, taking a walk, exercising, etc...I should be writing.

Stories play in my mind. Their characters are imprisoned and dying to get out. The great commission beckons me, daily life stories burden me, fictional escapades entice me. Incase I have not said it before, I really should be writing.

The sounds rose and were carried by the wind. Shouts of delight, squeals of whimsy, and roars of excitement danced about on the breeze. The trees rested quietly. All was peaceful save the occasional guest that blew through and caused the leaves to rustle and contort. Patches of sunlight penetrated the branches of the canopy and bounced along the ground. Small feet pounded against the earth like tiny hearts in little chests. The game was afoot.

But wait…

1 Now there was a man of the Pharisees named Nicodemus, a ruler of the Jews. 2 This man came to Jesus by night and said to him, "Rabbi, we know that you are a teacher come from God, for no one can do these signs that you do unless God is with him." 3 Jesus answered him, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born again he cannot see the kingdom of God." 4 Nicodemus said to him, "How can a man be born when he is old? Can he enter a second time into his mother's womb and be born?" 5 Jesus answered, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless one is born of water and the Spirit, he cannot enter the kingdom of God. 6 That which is born of the flesh is flesh, and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. 7 Do not marvel that I said to you, 'You must be born again.' (John 3:1-7. ESV.)

And there is so much more that remains to be said…

Yet, my Psychology paper is taunting me.

Who has the energy to sleep, I’d much rather be writing.

(Photo information.)

Friday, October 07, 2016

Hurricane Matthew: This Far You Shall Come and No Further

As Hurricane Matthew began its pounding on the state of Florida, my stomach was nearly in knots. Throughout the day my prayers, at the throne of God’s grace, were for His mercy. Hurricane Matthew had already tormented Haiti, Cuba, Jamaica, the Dominican Republic, St. Vincent and the Grenadines, and the Bahamas. The death toll is up to at least 276...precious souls that are gone from here...all because of this monstrous storm.

As the hours marched onward, yesterday, and into the early morning hours, I watched social networks and the weather channel website for any clues as to how the storm was affecting those I hold dear. Standing on the sidelines for this one was, at times, indescribable. In a weird way, I wanted to be there with my family and friends. More so, I wanted them here and safe with me! Moments in the day, tears stung my eyes as I allowed myself to be swept away by thoughts of the sheer size and power of the storm. It could have demolished everything. But, by the grace of God, as a friend of mine in south Florida said, they "dodged a bullet".

All was quiet after 3am EST (eastern standard time) which told me there was nothing to report. The social networks and weather channel website stood relatively silent as Hurricane Matthew made its way through during the night hours. Some, who did not have to evacuate, slept on their couches, others on air mattresses, and all were uncertain what the morning light would reveal. I doubt anyone directly affected got much sleep. My hope is always in the Lord but fear did creep in as to what the morning would hold.

With much thankfulness and praise, many south Floridians sound as though they are doing well. They made it safely through the night, praise God! Now, I wait to hear from family members in north Florida as they ride out the hurricane. My family members on the east coast of the state have evacuated west and I pray their home is still standing, with minimal damage, when they return to it!

Thank you, God, for Your mercy!
8 "Or who shut in the sea with doors
when it burst out from the womb,
9 when I made clouds its garment
and thick darkness its swaddling band,
10 and prescribed limits for it
and set bars and doors,
11 and said, 'Thus far shall you come, and no farther,
and here shall your proud waves be stayed'?
(Job 38:8-11. ESV.)

(Photo Information.)

Thursday, October 06, 2016

Praying Through Hurricane Matthew

Heavenly Father, please be merciful! Pictures from space show Hurricane Matthew as it sweeps through the Atlantic Ocean making its way toward land. Its size consumes relatively small islands in its path. Video footage is coming in from Cuba, the Bahamas, and Haiti. From space this elegant, silent mass of white is all but graceful and restrained as its brute strength, merciless winds, and ruthless downpours destroy everything in sight. From a distance, all looks quiet and beautiful.

Lord, please be with those who are in danger and those who are recovering from it. They need your mercy and grace! This storm, which only You can control, bears down with great might and takes whatever it wants from those unfortunate enough to be in its way. Please, Lord, quiet this storm.

22 One day he got into a boat with his disciples, and he said to them, "Let us go across to the other side of the lake." So they set out, 23 and as they sailed he fell asleep. And a windstorm came down on the lake, and they were filling with water and were in danger. 24 And they went and woke him, saying, "Master, Master, we are perishing!" And he awoke and rebuked the wind and the raging waves, and they ceased, and there was a calm.25 He said to them, "Where is your faith?" And they were afraid, and they marveled, saying to one another, "Who then is this, that he commands even winds and water, and they obey him?" (Luke 8:22-25. ESV.)

A particular pang of heartache strikes within me as my family, friends, and acquaintances prepare and wait. Some of them could easily lose everything at the hands of Matthew. With its unforgiving power and long arms which stretch great distances, it throws out tornadoes as it creeps slowly and pounds the land and sea for hours. Pictures display the devastation which has already occurred to strangers I have never met. Men, women, and children who only managed to escape with their lives. Others, do not even have that, anymore. The survivors must now rebuild and bury their dead.

I look to You, Heavenly Father, in and through all of this…my eyes unwavering and my focus undeterred. I pray the same for those who need You now, desperately! Please fill them with a peace beyond all understanding that comes from knowing You.
The Lord is at hand; 6 do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God. 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. (Philippians 4:5-7. ESV.)
I beg You for Your mercy and grace, Heavenly Father…please!

(Photo Information.)

Wednesday, October 05, 2016

Fighting Battles

Have you heard or read this message by Francis Anfuso? He stated,
All of us are called to face enemies and fight battles we don’t want to fight. It was one of the primary mistakes the Children of Israel made when God called them to conquer their promised land. The Bible says in Judges 1:28, “…when Israel grew strong, they…did not drive…out (their enemies) completely.” They didn’t do what God told them to do: drive the enemy out of their inheritance… their future….Over and over again, they put off absolutely essential, crucial battles. They didn’t realize a fact of life: the enemy you refuse to fight today you’ll have to fight tomorrow. What enemy of your soul are you unwilling to face and fight?

It is enough to get the wheels in your mind turning. What battles do you knowingly face that you REALLY do not want to fight? Well, here is what happens when we do not address these and drive the evil completely away…Judges 2:2-5 says,
But you have not obeyed my voice. What is this you have done? 3 So now I say, I will not drive them out before you, but they shall become thorns in your sides, and their gods shall be a snare to you." 4 As soon as the angel of the LORD spoke these words to all the people of Israel, the people lifted up their voices and wept. 5 And they called the name of that place Bochim. And they sacrificed there to the LORD.

Repeatedly, God gives the people of Israel directions on what to do and time and again Israel does not respond and do as He says. Then, when things get intolerable, the people cry out to God who sent individuals to deliver them from their distress, suffering, affliction, and oppression. God’s word says He brought them judges, then Othniel the son of Kenaz, then Ehud the son of Gera, the Benjaminite, a left-handed man, then Shamgar the son of Anath, then Deborah, Jael and Barak, then Gideon the son of Joash, and so on and so forth. Albeit, this was over the course of generations but how easy is it, in our own lives, to continually disobey God’s commands?

God calls us to be faithful, to trust Him, and to follow His instructions. When we do not, we make things difficult on ourselves. Then, of course, we run to God crying out for His mercy and grace. Which, He gives. The people of Israel, described above, allowed evil to swirl around and consume them. They did not fight against it or drive it out from their place. I believe all of us deal with this, today. The people of Israel continuously engaged in toxic relationships with individuals who oppressed them and caused them great distress. How often do we get ourselves into bad situations, despite God’s guidance, and then cry out to Him for deliverance?

32 For God has consigned all to disobedience, that he may have mercy on all.

33 Oh, the depth of the riches and wisdom and knowledge of God! How unsearchable are his judgments and how inscrutable his ways!
34 "For who has known the mind of the Lord,
or who has been his counselor?"
35 "Or who has given a gift to him
that he might be repaid?"
36 For from him and through him and to him are all things. To him be glory forever. Amen.
(Romans 11:32-36. ESV.)

"Satan’s Ten Strategies Against You" by John Piper

One of the most sobering facts about life is that all humans have a supernatural enemy whose aim is to use pain and pleasure to make us blind, stupid, and miserable — forever. The Bible calls him “the devil and Satan, the deceiver of the whole world . . . the accuser” (Revelation 12:9–10), “the ruler of this world” (John 12:31), and “the god of this age” (2 Corinthians 4:4). Click here to continue reading.

Monday, October 03, 2016

A Little Bit of FanFiction

Where we left off…

As the ship cuts through the water toward England, the night air is brisk and whips through the hair of Constable Adelaide Stratton. The events of the past couple of days weigh heavily on her like a boulder upon her chest. She leans over the hand rail, looking out at the stars and listening to the water splashing against the vessel. The moon plays upon the dark abyss and dances on the ripples. The truth of her husband being a spy and his recent death fills her mind. She thought she had lost him years ago. She mourned him every single day since then, desiring to have him once again in her arms. But not like this! She fights to reconcile it all in her mind and in her heart.
Click here to continue reading at!

Monday, September 19, 2016

Wednesday, August 17, 2016

Prayer in the Holy Spirit: Part Seven

Getting into the mindset for this study and flushing out all of the stresses of current life events:

3. Prayer in the Holy Spirit (continued)

What does God’s word say about the Holy Spirit?
9 Then he said to me, ‘Prophesy to the breath; prophesy, son of man, and say to the breath, Thus says the Lord God: Come from the four winds, O breath, and breathe on these slain, that they may live.’ (Ezekiel 37:9. ESV.)

16 And I will ask the Father, and he will give you another Helper, to be with you forever,... 26 But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you. (John 14:16, 26. ESV.)

17 even the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees him nor knows him. You know him, for he dwells with you and will be in you. (John 14:17. ESV.)

16 The Spirit himself bears witness with our spirit that we are children of God, (Romans 8:16. ESV.)

30 And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. (Ephesians 4:30. ESV.)

11 All these are empowered by one and the same Spirit, who apportions to each one individually as he wills. (1 Corinthians 12:11. ESV.)

When I pray, it is with the belief that though my words and thoughts are inadequate, the Holy Spirit intercedes and speaks on my behalf with “groanings too deep for words”. So, I never worry that God will misunderstand what I am trying to say or that my heart’s desire will not be conveyed.
26 Likewise the Spirit helps us in our weakness. For we do not know what to pray for as we ought, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groanings too deep for words. 27 And he who searches hearts knows what is the mind of the Spirit, because the Spirit intercedes for the saints according to the will of God. (Romans 8:26-27. ESV.)

Grudem states, “It seems more likely that the ‘sighs’ or ‘groans’ here are our groans. When Paul says, ‘The Spirit helps us in our weakness’ (v. 26), the word translated ‘helps’ (Gk. sunantilambanomai) is the same word used in Luke 10:40, where Martha wants Mary to come and help her. The word does not indicate that the Holy Spirit prays instead of us, but that the Holy Spirit takes part with us and makes our weak prayers effective.” (Systematic Theology, p. 382.)

So, back to the question, what does God’s word say about “praying (or being) in the Spirit”?
18 praying at all times in the Spirit, with all prayer and supplication. To that end keep alert with all perseverance, making supplication for all the saints, (Ephesians 6:18. ESV.)

20 But you, beloved, building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit, (Jude 20. ESV.)

10 I was in the Spirit on the Lord's day, and I heard behind me a loud voice like a trumpet (Revelation 1:10. ESV.)
2 At once I was in the Spirit, and behold, a throne stood in heaven, with one seated on the throne. (cf. Revelation 4:2. ESV.)

21 In that same hour he rejoiced in the Holy Spirit and said, "I thank you, Father, Lord of heaven and earth, that you have hidden these things from the wise and understanding and revealed them to little children; yes, Father, for such was your gracious will. (Luke 10:21. ESV.)

21 Now after these events Paul resolved in the Spirit to pass through Macedonia and Achaia and go to Jerusalem, saying, "After I have been there, I must also see Rome." (Acts 19:21. ESV.)

1 I am speaking the truth in Christ—I am not lying; my conscience bears me witness in the Holy Spirit— (Romans 9:1. ESV.)

8 For through him we both have access in one Spirit to the Father. (Ephesians 2:18. ESV.)

8 and has made known to us your love in the Spirit. (Colossians 1:8. ESV.)

Grudem states, “To pray ‘in the Holy Spirit’ then, is to pray with the conscious awareness of God’s presence surrounding us and sanctifying both us and our prayers.” (Systematic Theology, p. 382.)

For this study, I used Systematic Theology by Wayne Grudem as secondary authority and God’s word, the scriptures, as primary authority on the matter. (Side note: This investigation is to answer questions I have regarding my faith. I encourage all who may read this to research this themselves, also, in the scriptures. The answers you seek, and the understanding, might be different from my own.) To catch the other parts of the study, click below:

Part one
Part two
Part three
Part four
Part five
Part six

(Source: Grudem, Wayne. Systematic Theology: An Introduction to Biblical Doctrine. 1994, 2000. Grand Rapids, MI.)


Related Posts with Thumbnails