Friday, July 31, 2015

Christ Delivers

What glorious words! Deliver means 'to set free
from captivity, rescue, release, save.'

Paul says:
"He delivered us from such a deadly peril, and
He will deliver us. On him we have set hope
(trust, confidence) that He will deliver us again. 
(2 Cor 1:10)

Hallelujah! When we are pressed down,
burdened, overwhelmed spiritually,
emotionally, physically, God will deliver!
Paul's hope lies in God's promises, not
some, 'Oh, I hope so!' Reader, do you see
the difference? Christ our sure foundation
will deliver us. Even in death we have hope
of deliverance. It is called resurrection...

Thursday, July 30, 2015

Paul's Afflictions

He says to the Corinthians:
"We experienced affliction in Asia
We were utterly burdened beyond strength
We despaired of life itself
It felt like a sentence of death"

"But it was to make us rely not on 
ourselves, but on God who raises
the dead." (2 Cor 1:8,9)

Reader, I have a question for you. Does
God give you more than you can handle?
Absolutely! He wants us to lean into Him,
so He pulls out all the props.

There is a chorus that I loved as a child:

"Learning to lean, learning to lean
I'm learning to lean on Jesus,
I need more power than I ever dreamed!
I'm learning to lean on Jesus.

Below is a very old quartet,
but it is an old song

Wednesday, July 29, 2015


I don't know about you, but I love the word,
unshaken, which means: steadfast, stable, firm,
sure. Paul says in verse 7, "our hope for you is
unshaken, for we know that as you share our
sufferings, you will also share our comfort."

Paul is absolutely positively sure that these
believers will share in comfort even as they
share in sufferings. That they will not draw
back from Jesus, that they will be a comfort
to others on the same journey,

How can Paul be so sure?
He was sure of the God
who dwelt within the Corinthian Believers!

Reader, does the living God dwell in you?

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Patiently Endure

"If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort and
salvation, and if we are comforted, it is for 
your comfort, which you experience when you
patiently endure the same sufferings that we 
suffer." (2 Cor. 1:6)

"the same sufferings as we do?" Ouch!
Read this again. Persecution did not stop with
the leadership. There was plenty to go around:
family, friends, jobs, government, religion.
Some lost their lives. Paul's hope is not that
they will escape persecution but that they will
enter into comfort in the midst of persecution.
He says in the next verse: "Our hope for you 
is unshaken, for we know that as you share 
in our sufferings, you will also share in our 

Reader, I did not intend to take these verses on.
I quickly chose three verses at the end of a gals
study a couple of weeks ago, as an assignment.
I knew I needed to do what I had asked them
to do. But I was not prepared for their impact
on me. I knew that I needed to dig deep--to
pass it on to you!

Monday, July 27, 2015

Affliction and Comfort

Affliction, comfort will not quite lie down. There is so
much in 2 Cor 1:3-7. I am barely scratching the surface.

Paul writes: "If we are afflicted, it is for your comfort
and salvation..."  (verse 6)

What? In what way does Paul's affliction bring comfort
and salvation to the Corinthians? I spent the better part
of the weekend wrestling with this question though my
readers would probably get the drift right away!

In Paul the Corinthians had an example of Christ. They
were not unfamiliar with affliction. Many were slaves,
but never in their short lives had they experienced a god
who was merciful, good, strong, and, who loved them.

In  Paul they saw Jesus.

Paul walked the talk. They watched his reaction to
persecution: peace and courage. His willingness to
suffer physically on their behalf, broke them and
brought them to Christ; gave them courage in the
face of their own afflictions. His life comforted
them in ways we cannot imagine.

Affliction is coming to all of us. Scripture is very
clear on this point. Are your roots deep into Christ?
Do you understand what it means to be IN Christ?
It is so important to soak in scripture. How did the
early saints do it? What was it like to be a Christian
in those early centuries? What holds the Christian
together in Iraq, Iran, Syria?  The future looks grim
to many.We cannot say, "It won't happen here."

Friday, July 24, 2015

The Suffering of Christ

Yesterday I looked at the scripture one more time and
asked, "what were the afflictions of Christ?"

God immediately took me to Isaiah 52 and 53:
  • Marred beyond human appearance
  • No form or majesty
  • No beauty 
  • Not desired
  • Despised 
  • rejected
  • Man of sorrows  
  • acquainted with grief
  • His own did not esteem Him
  • Stricken
  • Afflicted
  • Smitten by God
  • Pierced
  • Crushed
  • Wounded
  • Oppressed 
  • Cut off from the living
  • It was the will of the Lord to crush Him
  • John said He was unknown by the world
  • His own did not receive Him
Christian, this is your God! He went through all
of this just for me, for you.  We are given the 
privilege of joining Him in His afflictions. So,
why do I murmur when I can't get a cup of
Starbucks coffee? More importantly, why do
I feel that persecution and rejection should not,
will not come to me?

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Abundant Sharing

Abundant sharing of what? Good question!

"For as we share abundantly in Christ's suffering,
so through Christ we share abundantly in comfort
too." (2 Cor 1:5)

Paul's affliction and deep suffering came from the
terrible rejection and physical abuse he suffered.
"He despaired of life itself."

The early church was a church that was continually
persecuted. It reminds me of the suffering being
experienced in Syria, Iran, Iraq today. I once read the
story of a woman who was slated to be fed to the
lions very soon and was in the process of giving
birth to a child. She cried out in pain. The soldiers
mocked her and asked her how she planned to
go into the lions den with her baby if she could
not tolerate the pain of childbirth. She retorted that
this was her pain, but the lions and that suffering
would be carried by her Lord Jesus.

Tuesday, July 21, 2015


Is there hope in affliction? What good can come out
of it? Paul's words in 2Cor 1:3-11 are full of contrasts:

Mercy and Comfort vrs Great Affliction and Suffering.

Paul discovered through experience that his terrible
sufferig gave him the ability to comfort these
believers with tenderness and mercy. Something
had to take place within Paul in the midst of the trial
for him to be able to come alongside and lift them
up. There is nothing worse than to be "comforted"
by bitterness or ignorance!

So, what has to happen for us to walk through a
trial in such a way that we are a blessing instead
of a curse to one who is suffering. Well, have
you ever tried to comfort a flailing child? All arms
and legs and loud noises. If I refuse to be
comforted by God, then I have nothing to say.
But, if I surrender to a God I know and trust and
I experience His comfort in the midst of the pain,
then I can point others to a God who is full of
mercy, compassion and comfort; a God who is

Monday, July 20, 2015

Merciful Comfort

I must go back and look more closely at what Paul
wrote: "Blessed be the God and Father of our 
Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of mercies and the 
God of all comfort"

I want to sit here and wrap myself up in the blanket
of comfort. No! I want Him to pull me into His lap
and wrap me into the warmth and comfort of His
arms. I have been running, running, trying to get life
under control, to settle down. Today I took a deep
breath, took the dog for a walk and felt the crisp air
flowing around me as I walked into a shady place.
I took the time to check the vegetable garden and
found that the Squash Bugs had decimated my
Zucchini--overnight! Sigh. I don't have the power
to protect a plant let alone control my life, or the life
of my family.

The God who purchased me by His blood, the God
of mercies, and the God of all comfort, is well able
to handle the stresses of my life. When the ocean
roars and the waves crash against the light house--
His Dwelling Place--I can run in, shut the door and
be safe. I can take all of my problems with me into
the place of His dwelling.

Thank you Papa, that You don't withdraw or scold
when we are independent and distant with You,
but You draw us into your lap and cover us with

Thursday, July 16, 2015

The God of ALL Comfort

We have been going through some trying times the past
few weeks as our four year old grandson has developed
some symptoms of weakness that has turned out to be of
major concern. We have seen a God who has provided
for him and his parents at every turn. It is called CIDP--
google it--but to a little boy it means the loss of strength
in his hands, especially his fingers--and pain. Fortunately,
there is treatment and he has been diagnosed and put
into treatment in less than a week!

I want to give this tribute to my God:
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of mercies and God of all comfort, who
comforts us in our afflictions, so that we may be able to
comfort those who are in any affliction, with the comfort
with which we ourselves are comforted by God. For
as we share abundantly in Christ's suffering, so, through
Christ we share abundantly in comfort too."
(2 Cor 1:3-5)

Reader, Please stop and pray for Noah that his body
will accept the treatment and bring complete healing
to the nerves that are involved. Thank you, dear Ones!

Wednesday, July 15, 2015

A Stormy Night

Do you remember lying on your back looking up
at the sky and finding a variety of shapes? "Look,
there is a turtle! I see a fish. Over there is a mountain."

A few nights ago we had a thunder storm and out
of that storm came some women who had gathered
to study the Bible. Each of the women came in
different cars from different directions. Three of
them reported that there was a large angel over our
house right in the midst of the storm. Wings spread
out across the sky; his robe coming down to the
ground, his face full of light. The picture taken did
indeed show the figure of a huge angel, but did not
do it justice according to the reports.

So, what was that all about? At the very least it is
a picture of God's power and that He does indeed
send angels to protect us, to keep us safe in times
of danger. Sometimes I need a visible expression of
his care and I will not soon forget what three women
saw as they came to our house on a stormy night.

Tuesday, July 14, 2015

Stormy Weather

Some days it is so difficult to shelter under His wings.
That is our set position but emotions go wild when our
world crashes in. I would like to be that light house
keeper leaning against the door frame as the waves crash
against the lighthouse, but it usually takes me awhile...

Psalm 93:3 says it all:
"The floods have lifted up, O Lord,
the floods have lifted up their voice;
the floods have lifted up their roaring."

I usually stop there, but verse 4 is key:
"Mightier than the thunders of many waters
Mightier than the waves of the sea,
The Lord on high is mighty!"

So many of you out there feel that you are about
to go down for the third time as you swallow
water and cry for help. KNOW that the Lord,
your Lord, is mightier than the waves of the sea.
His hand is not shortened and He will rescue you.

I love the song 'Still.' If you need a lift at this
moment in time, take a few minutes to listen:

Friday, July 10, 2015

Remain, Settle, Tarry

"He that dwelleth in the secret place of the most High,
shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty."
(Ps 91:1)

Here are some synonyms for "dwelleth" from Strongs:
To remain, settle, abide, continue, be still, tarry

Last evening our little group met to discuss this verse.
How do we dwell continually in the secret place? The
New Testament tells us that we are IN Christ. It means
that my position is stable, fixed, even if my emotions
are not. They lie. The truth is that as a Christian I am
dwelling in that secret place and the result is that I
shall abide under or in his shadow. What it boils down
to is the KNOWING that I dwell in Him continually,
regardless of circumstances.  With that revelation,
comes peace.

I found a picture that tells it all. I will try to post it
to the blog but if it doesn't stick I will put it on my
FB page. (Didn't work!) It is a picture of a lighthouse
that has stood for centuries. The surf is crashing all
around it and in the doorway is a man leaning against
the door jam with his hands in his pockets. The fury
of the waves do not cause him anxiety because he
knows the safety of his dwelling place.

I encourage you to  look up pictures of Lighthouses,
and find the one that meets this description. Let
me know if you know how to do this.

Thursday, July 9, 2015

Family Fun Fourth

How grateful I am for family. Each year for the past
42 years, Glen's family has gathered together at his
parents house, now his Mom's house, to celebrate
the Fourth of July. It started with two couples and no
kids and morphed into four couples and nine kids.
But this year saw four couples, seven grandchildren,
and four great grandchildren plus a few odd cousins.
Twenty two in all. It was a blistering time, literally,
so the only outside we had was the holiday itself.
The rest of the days were packed into one small
house. Three puzzles, three batches of chocolate chip
cookies, three berry pies, countless sodas and ice tea,
board games and Skip Bo filled that space.

Sunday came and people began to leave so that by
Tuesday afternoon we were left with only dirty
dishes, dirty linens and some terrific memories!

I thank God for the present and look forward to
the future with great anticipation when the word,
'goodbye' will be left behind and forgotten.

Wednesday, July 8, 2015

Christ as Life

"When Christ, who is your life, appears then you also 
will appear with him in glory." (Col 3:4)

I have always thought that this was only future but
now I'm not so sure: Listen to this!

"God delights to bring to us a new understanding of
this verse. Suddenly one day we see that Christ is our 
life.That day everything is changed. After that, nothing
can make us see ourselves outside of Him. It alters
everything. Then also there is a day when we see that 
Christ within us is our life. That too alters our whole
outlook. They may be different days with an interval
between, or both may come together. But we must
have both; and when we do, then we begin to know 
Christ's fullness, and to marvel that we have been so
stupid hitherto as to remain poor in God's storehouse."
Watchman Nee

I am in Christ; Christ is in me and He is LIFE.
The scripture plainly tells us this.
I need a far greater revelation of this truth.

Reader, what about you?  

Tuesday, July 7, 2015

The Study of Paul

Thessalonians is not only the study of the people
and what they experienced as Christians, it is a
study of Paul. I am amazed by the man. He is
completely focused on one goal: declaring the
gospel in all its fulness to the gentiles so that
churches would be planted and grow. He had
no money of his own and refused to accept free
room and board. It was some time before the
early church thought to give money to Paul for
his journeys. Often there was no time to do so.
This highly educated Jew, full time Apostle,
was a seasoned tentmaker. Paul was unique in
at least two ways: he focused on the "unclean"
gentiles; he used his hands to support himself in
a common trade.

Today, in places where the west does not send
money overseas, the leadership finds ways to
support themselves. I am not suggesting that we
stop sending money or ask our pastors to become
tent makers, but can the western church today
learn something from Paul?

Sunday, July 5, 2015

Labor and Toil

'For you remember, brothers, our labor and toil:
we worked night and day, that we might not be a
burden to any of you, while we proclaimed the
gospel of God...We exhorted each one of you
and encouraged you and charged you to walk
in a manner worthy of God, who calls you into
his own kingdom and glory.'

These men not only shared the gospel but they
worked so they could pay their room and board.
Not only did they not want to be a burden but
they wanted to be an example to them. Paul was a
tentmaker and one of the first things he did in every
town was to set up his trade in the market place.
It gave him opportunities to share the gospel. He
also preached mornings and evenings.

Paul lived his life under the power and authority
of God, being very careful to honor Him in all he
did. The fear of God was on him to get it right.
He represented the living God.
He only got one chance.

Has the church in the west lost its edge?

Thursday, July 2, 2015

Venus and Jupiter

Tuesday was the beginning of a wonder in the heavens
not seen for 2,000 years. Jupiter and Venus appeared
to merge. Because the joining of these planets is so
bright, it is thought by some that this was the
Star of Bethlehem. The planets are visible for eight
days just after sundown in the western sky.

Beginning in 2014 and finishing up in September of
2015, the sun has turned to sackcloth and the moon
to blood. The latter has/is happening four times on
Jewish Feast days. A full eclipse of the sun will herald
the Feast of Trumpets and a full eclipse of the moon
will herald the Feast of Tabernacles in September. The
blood moons will not occur again like this on Jewish
holidays for another 400 years.

What does Jesus say?
"'And there will be signs in sun and moon and 
stars, and on earth distress of nations in perplexity 
because of the roaring of the sea and the waves. 
People fainting for fear and with foreboding of 
what is coming on the world. For the powers of 
heaven will be shaken. And then they will see the 
Son of Man coming in a cloud with power and 
great glory. Now when these things begin to take 
place, straighten up and raise your heads, because 
your redemption is drawing near.'"
(Luke 21:25-28)

Reader, we are that generation that will see these
things. We are seeing these things. We are coming
to the end of this age. It is time to get serious about
God. Jesus took your sin into Himself on the cross
and gave you His righteousness 2,000 years ago,
but it does no good unless you acknowledge that
you are a sinner and believe that His death on the
cross is enough to give you Life Eternal. The
gift is free, so open it all ready!