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Focusing on God’s Presence

“I can never escape from your Spirit! I can never get away from your presence!” (Ps. 139:7 nlt) Do you sense you’ve lost your way in your spiritual journey? I walk through one door and find the next door padlocked. Yet, as I turn around, the door behind me has closed, too. I find myself plagued by indecision and doubt. How did I get here, Lord? When I finally get past my distress and ask this question, I’m reminded that the Lord promises to always be with me. In Matthew 28: 20, Jesus promised, “I’ll be with you as you …

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Experiencing the Power of Praise

“Let us give thanks all the time to God through Jesus Christ. Our gift to Him is to give thanks. Our lips should always give thanks to His name.”  Heb. 13: 15 How can we praise God in the midst of a threatening storm? As I prayed for my mother and the circumstances surrounding her illness, I didn’t always “feel” like praising God. In fact, I wasn’t thankful during this difficult season at all—my family was desperate for a miracle. Lord, please help us! Jesus promised his followers that he would send an advocate to help them: “If you love …

Jesus Died For Me

  Twenty-five years ago, a timid young woman sat in her Sunday school class listening to her teacher’s lesson. During the lesson she slipped out the door and hurriedly went to find her pastor. This young lady realized without a shadow of a doubt that the Holy Spirit was speaking to her heart – she was not saved. She thought back to a time when she was thirteen and supposedly prayed a sinner’s prayer. She didn’t know what she was doing. Now she knew she wanted to know Jesus and have a personal relationship with Him. That young lady was …

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The Cross-Mercy, Plan, Purpose and Grace

  Paul was persecuting Christians, and God wanted him to stop. When light flooded from heaven and blinded the Jew, he obeyed, and his sight was restored. At that moment, Paul experienced God’s mercy. The converted Pharisee immediately went to work. He stopped murdering Christians and began proclaiming God’s grace, winning new converts all across the Roman Empire. God’s plan was in full motion. Paul led an adventurous life as a missionary. He understood the need to fulfill his duty at any cost and tried to live in a way that would encourage others to have a relationship with God. …

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At the Cross-Clothed in Grace

  Many years ago, my husband, Larry, and I bought the old family home from his sister. There was just one condition. His elderly grandmother came with the house. It was fine with us. Mrs. Jennie Bennett, in her eighties at the time, had a sweet temperament, and was surprisingly able to maintain it when two adults, three teenagers, and a kitten seized the house. She was gracious when I took over the kitchen. She was even more gracious complimenting the meals I prepared. I couldn’t cook macaroni and cheese like she did, or so my husband said. Once in …

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At the Cross-God’s Perfect Provisions

If you are my sibling-in-Christ, then I know you had a meeting with God at the cross. With mercy, he stripped off the dirty, ugly, often tattered and worn-out life clothes, and as Psalm 103 says, he removed those rags as far as the east is from the west. At that moment, you became clean. And vulnerable. I can’t speak for you, but I know I don’t do clean well. By the end of the day, I will have evidence of everything I’ve eaten and a lot of what I’ve said, all over me. And vulnerable? When I find myself …

In His Word

  Have you ever thought about how a Bible verse becomes popular?  I Have.  Did you know that there are 23,145 verses in the Old Testament and 7,957 verses in the New Testament, making a grand total of 31,102 verses in the entire Bible?  Each is just as important as the next or God would not have included them in His book. Some verses are more popular than others i.e., John 3:16, Philippians 4:13, Genesis 1:1, I John 1:1 are just a few.  On occasion someone will make a t-shirt with a verse printed on the front or on the …

God Has More Grace Waiting for You

Paul said, “I know what it is to be in need, and I know what it is to have plenty. I have learned the secret of being content in any and every situation, whether well fed or hungry, whether living in plenty or in want. I can do everything through [Christ] who gives me strength.” Philippians 4:12-13 (NIV) The art of being content is a very difficult lesson to learn. Very few people are really content for longer than a few hours at a time. By that I mean you will say you are content and have all you need then …

Abundant Grace

  Okay, I admit it – I am a people observer.  My cousin, Stephen Smith, is a professional photographer and lives in Alaska one day he posted this to his Facebook page and I was immediately drawn to the sign the man is holding.  It is a piece of cardboard with the following written in Magic Marker – “Need 13¢”. I began going through a gauntlet of questions in my mind and kept asking why just 13¢?  The photo was taken in Alaska and that amount of money will not go very far in today’s economy.  Driving around town on …

Jesus Is The Way

Jesus is the Way Your spiritual journey begins when you accept Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior.  Your journey begins with a relationship.  He is Your Guide.  Remember, you have never been this way before!  You need a guide.  You need to get to know your guide so you can trust Him and follow Him. Has there ever been a time when you encountered Jesus Christ and acknowledged Him as your personal Lord and Savior?  For me – on my 31st birthday, sitting at my kitchen table, all alone studying my Sunday School lesson.  God impressed on me that …

The Wrath of God

The Wrath of God I grew up in a time when there were no full time sports channels on television. We discovered international sports, such as alpine skiing, figure skating, and gymnastics, by watching a Saturday afternoon program called ABC’s “Wide World of Sports.”  Remember the introduction, “the thrill of victory and the agony of defeat?” That’s what we have in the story of the Israelites and their victory at Jericho followed by their defeat at the Battle of Ai.  In Joshua 6 and 7, we discover two contrasting characters for study, Rahab and Achan. Let’s be honest.  We have …