Refuge 

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.”—Psalm 46:1

In July I had the pleasure of spending a week in beautiful San Juan, Puerto Rico-in the Condado Beach area to be exact. One morning I decided to take an Uber and go to old San Juan. I heard it was a sight to see and indeed it was. I fell in love with the colorful buildings and the blue-yes blue, cobblestone streets. 



I wanted to take a picture or two of myself but it was hard to get a good shot solo. I saw a group of ladies on a corner and approached one of them to take my picture. She happily agreed and they all participated and turned it into a photoshoot.  


Afterwards I asked where I could go for breakfast which is where they were heading and they invited me to tag along. The ladies ranged in ages 61-68 and had been friends since they were small children. Maria and Frances still lived on the island. Nell lived in New Zealand and was there to visit friends and her ailing parents. Mary lived in San Antonio and was there for the same reasons as Nina. 


I spent about five hours with “the girls” who treated me to breakfast and taught me a lot about Puerto Rican history and culture as they graciuosly took me on a walking tour. They dropped me back off at my hotel and I left them transformed by their kindness to a stranger. I hoped that we would stay in touch.


Sometimes our lives intersect with strangers and we are richer for it. In light of the hurricanes that hit both Puerto Rico and Texas, I have not stopped thinking about my new friends. I have been trying to get in contact with them to no avail. I pray that they are okay. Through my church we have sent more than $100, 000 in funds to Texas, Florida, the Caribbean, and Puerto Rico. But I wish I could do so much more. I have agonized over this and today God told me to write this post and pray. 


So I ask you all to please help me stand in the gap for “the ladies” as well as the thousands of others suffering due to the storm. Let’s gather in His name on their behalf. Let us pray that they remain hopeful and faithful in their time of trouble. Let their needs be met and take comfort because Help is on the way!  The Bible says that the prayer of the righteous availeth much! 

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Shut Your Mouth 

“Death and life are in the power of the tongue. And those who love it will eat its fruit.”  ~Proverbs 18:21

When things are not going well in my life, out of fear, I have the tendency to complain, gossip and resort to a negative mindset. It’s like I already know the terrible outcome based upon “evidence”- the very antithesis of faith. 

 It took me a while to realize that this behavior is merely a display of faithlessness. It shows that I don’t believe in the omnipotence of God. If I did, I would “be still.” I quickly forget that His promise is that ALL things will work for the good of those who love Him and are called according to His purpose. I surely love Him and believe that I have been called by Him. So what’s my problem?!

I’ve concluded that sometimes we just need to shut our mouths. The Lord has everything under control. He has already told us that the battle belongs to Him. All we have to do is hold our peace in the midst of it. 

And when we don’t shut our mouths, He will shut it for us. The angel Gabriel tells Zachariah the priest he’s going to have a son. But the priest needs proof.  

“How can I be certain? My wife and I are well passed childbearing years.”  
The angel responds “Your mouth will be shut because you did not believe the good news.” Luke 1:5-23

This week I plan to be quiet. I want to hear every message that God has for me. I AM going to trust Him to guide me through the challenging situation I am currently navigating. I need His guidance and I can’t afford to let my mouth get me in trouble. It can’t be done without HIM. I’m leaning on Him for what He promised. 

My lips are sealed! 

Even the Wind Obeys

“He brings the wind out of His treasuries.”~Psalm 135:7

As part of my recovery I am required to walk several times a day. My little son is very good about reminding and escorting me as well. 

Some days I am reluctant to walk because of the heat. Today was such a day. When we made it to the corner, I had to pause for a spell because it was blazing. I told my son how hot I was. 

And would you believe that right then and there, God sent a glorious refreshing breeze?! I stood in the shadow of the tree which was gently fanning me, soaking it in and praising God for His goodness. 

 

Testimony Tuesday

“But You, O Lord are a holy shield for me, My glory and the One who lifts up my head. I cried to the Lord with my voice, And He heard me from His holy hill.” Psalm 3:3-4

God has been my shield. He has heard each of my cries as He sits on High looking low. Thank You Father! Today I received some good news from my doctor, another battle won in the war He’s fighting on my behalf. 

It’s no coincidence that the Lord gave me a word for 2015, “still.” Still as in “Be still and know that I am God” Psalm 46:10 and “The Lord will fight for you; you need only to be still.” Exodus 14:14. He knew in advance the magnitude of what I would be facing. 

Despite His faithfulness, I continue to struggle with whether or not I deserve His goodness. But I came to the conclusion today that I don’t. However God “remembers that we are dust” and covers us with His grace and mercy daily. Thank You Lord! 

He Loves Me

“The wisdom that comes from heaven is first of all pure; then peace-loving, considerate, submissive, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere” ~James 3:17, NIV

God spoke to me today via one of my church members. He knows that I have a heavy burden pressing on my heart and sent this message to comfort me. 

I felt a tap on my shoulder and turned around and received this note: 

 It reads ” For you this week “Peace Be Still.” Well, God Himself might as well have penned it! I felt so grateful and emotional. If I may be candid for a moment, I still struggle with the notion of how much God loves me. I don’t deserve it yet He is still crazy faithful and loves me with an everlasting love. 

My God. 

Father, how grateful I am that you have found me worthy of your favor, mercy, and lovingkindness.  You know everything about me-even down to the amount of hairs that I have on my head, and yet you love me anyway. I thank you Father for seeing my pain and wanting to provide comfort. I thank You for Your compassion. I thank You for this message that I know was from You. Thank you for using such a sweet lady to send it. Thank You for Your reassuring Word Abba. In the healing blood of the Lamb, Amen. 

 

On Goodness

“I do not set aside the grace of God; for if righteousness comes through the law, then Christ died in vain.” Galatians 2:21

“They have all turned aside; They have together become unprofitable; There is none who does good, no, not one.” Romans 3:12

I want my Christian light to shine. I don’t want to be a person in which others can’t tell that I am a follower of Christ based upon my deeds and words . However, it’s been hard for me. It’s true that you have to die to self daily. As Paul so eloquently said in Romans 7:15, “For what I am doing, I do not understand. For what I will to do, that I do not practice; but what I hate, that I do.  If, then, I do what I will not to do, I agree with the law that it is good.  But now, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.  For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh) nothing good dwells; for to will is present with me, but how to perform what is good I do not find.  For the good that I will to do, I do not do; but the evil I will not to do, that I practice.  Now if I do what I will not to do, it is no longer I who do it, but sin that dwells in me.” I truly want to do good and be a good person, but my flesh is so weak.

I had a conversation via text with a close friend the other day about this very topic. She is of the opinion that one can be good on their own merit. I disagree strongly. We cannot be good on our own strength. If that’s the case, we would have no need for a Savior. And the Bible clearly states “For by grace are you saved through faith; and that not of yourselves: it is the gift of God: Not works, lest any man should boast.” Ephesians 2:8-9. I know that I can not make it without God’s grace and mercy. I depend on this. Without Him I am a MESS. I can’t trust myself to do the right thing at all times. I need to be covered in the Blood of the Lamb and dressed fully in the armor of God. Even on my best day, I am not worthy. Simply put, I can’t function without Him.

The mentality that being good is enough outside of Jesus is one of Satan’s deceptive ploys. He tricked Eve with this same strategy. Don’ let the devil fool you into believing otherwise.The truth is that we need God. For everything. Period. The End.