How to Know God Is With You

A little girl crawls into her grandfather’s lap.  In his arms, she doesn’t fear the semi trucks rushing by on the highway.  Even when he lifts her onto the front of his motorcycle seat and speeds down the darkened road; she’s not scared.

Benefits of God’s Presence

In this same way, we find comfort when we kneel in God’s presence. Creator of the Universe leaning down to listen to our prayers is truly one of the highest blessings we receive as his children.

God listens to our wants, and is faithful to provide for our necessities.  God will reveal himself to His people.  All we need to do, is seek Him.

God graciously has provided us with the right way to live our lives so that all may go well with us. But his presence is essential for us to be able to follow His path.

God’s presence purifies our thoughts, our feelings, and actions. He transforms us into a new creation. He slowly prepares us for our heavenly home. Through God’s truth we change day by day…each time we turn away from sin… we walk closer towards his Holiness.

Our Great Need

Just like the people in Exodus we also are on a long journey, encountering many trials and dangerous enemies.

At time during my own wanderings, I’ve often wished that God’s divine presence would be visibly with me too.  A cloud traveled with them by day and a pillar of fire comforted them in the long dark nights.

Now when I think of a cloud, I envision a white puffy cloud in a bright blue sky. Not a dreary cloud hovering over a  sad Eeyore. But to be honest, I don’t really think of following the cloud.  But of the cloud following me. Comforting me wherever I go.

This is a great need of my soul. I crave God’s presence.

“God with us”

In Exodus Moses had requested that God’s presence go with them. God satisfied his need by sending the pillar of cloud and fire so that His people would know He was with them.

The LORD replied, “My Presence will go with you, and I will give you rest.”  Exodus 33:14

God satisfies our need for His presence too. God sent Jesus to earth.  Tidings of great joy are found in God’s presence.  His name was Immanuel which in Hebrew means “God with us.”

In Matthew 28:20 Jesus told his disciples, “I am with you always, even unto the end of the world.”

In John 14: 15-17, Jesus says,  “If you love Me, you will keep My commandments. And I will ask the Father, and He will give you another Advocate to be with you forever the Spirit of truth.”

It can be difficult to grasp that the Holy Spirit dwells within the people that God chooses. But I’m so thankful. The Holy Spirit kindles celestial light in our darkness, removes discord, and restores the equilibrium of our soul (Stanford).

In 1 Corinthians 6:19 NLT  We are told that we do not belong to ourselves, but that our very body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who lives in us and was given to us by God.

The Sun of Our Soul

I love Payson’s phrasing, “God is the Sun of the soul. When He favours it with His presence and exerts upon it His influence, it is enlivened and enlightened, and made to glow with love, and hope, and joy, and gratitude.”

God is the Sun of my soul.  His presence breathes life into me each morning. Through God’s presence my heart swells with love, hope, joy and gratitude.

If you have accepted Jesus as your Savior, you can even rest in this world because sin does not have dominion over you. We can relax our anxious nerves. God’s wisdom and kindness will guide us.

By the power of the Holy Spirit we can still have righteousness, peace and joy even in a sinful world.

If your life is lacking peace, consider reading How to Find Peace. 

DO YOU KNOW THE PROMISES OF GOD?

Join this FREE Bible study from the comfort of your own home and connect with me in a private Facebook discussion group.

The study begins January 6th 2020.  Go ahead and sign-up today! Just click the link below to join, friend. I’ll see you there!

Join the FREE Bible study here. 

Connect With Me

  1. Follow Me on Instagram  for encouraging scriptures.
  2. Like my Facebook page and receive links to some of my favorite authors from the Hope Writing Community.
  3. Know someone battling cancer? Visit My Pinterest board for 21 days of encouraging verses to share with others.

Reference:

Payson, D.D. God’s special presence distinguishes His own people

Stanford, D.D. God’s presence realized

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Our society desires strength.  We munch energy Bars and slurp Protein Shakes in the hopes of increasing stamina. Men and women both pump iron for hours at the gym to build their muscles.

We often think of strength in the terms of inner character as well.  Strong women survive trials and tribulations.  Strong men never give up.

But sometimes circumstances sap our strength and leave us winded regardless of how many energy bars we devour.

How do we increase our strength?

We can start by not relying on our brawn but instead rely on our Heavenly Father to be our strength. In Exodus Moses sang, “The LORD is my strength and my defense; he has become my salvation. He is my God, and I will praise him, my father’s God, and I will exalt him” (Exodus 15:2).

Moses sang from uncontrollable triumph after seeing the Egyptians swept away by the Red Sea. When the Lord’s hand moves in your life sweeping away an enemy that threatens your life, rejoice! Give Him the credit for your deliverance and safety.

The enemy may be a terminal illness, fear, or unbelief. And when we recover do we chalk it up as a medical marvel? Or do we give glory to God?

When the Lord delivers us praise, wonder, and gratitude may overwhelm us. If this happens we can allow songs to express the melodies of our hearts.  Instead of struggling to find the right words, we can speak in psalms and hymns (Ephesians 5:19).

Public worship through songs that extol God’s goodness nourishes our soul. Bringing music  into your private worship time too will also strengthen your personal relationship with God. Just be certain to choose music that focuses on God’s attributes.

When you need strength turn to the One True God. He is the only one who in an instant and without effort can destroy the enemy.  Remember, All the might of Pharaoh’s military sunk to the sea bottom when God blew the wind to annihilate them (Exodus 15:10).

How To Increase Your Power

Perhaps you feel trapped between a dangerous foe that desires to enslave you and the unknown depths of a sea. Weary from running, you are exhausted and have no where else to turn.

Be still and be quiet. God will calm your soul. Stop depending on your own muscles.  Instead turn to the Great Almighty. His Power overcomes any enemy of your soul.

Since God rules all the elements of nature, ask Him for strength and power in whatever you are facing.

Our Heavenly Father and Lord Jesus Christ controls wind and water. Even terminal illnesses, unbelief, and fear all are swept away by His great power.

Expect to be awed by His presence and He will not disappoint.

It is true that God has the power to punish, but He is a merciful God.  He shows compassion and forgiveness towards us when we call out to Him in our suffering.

Increase Your strength by Doing what God commands you to do, when he calls you to do it.

Think about it.  If you do not allow fear to rule your heart, your task will not be so hard.  Believe God can deliver you  and He will conquer your opponent.

Admit your strength isn’t mighty enough to overcome your adversary.  Ask God to intervene, and then rely on His strength.

Eight Ways to Increase Your Strength

  1. Stop straining so hard and turn to God Almighty.
  2. Call out to God for strength.
  3. Be still and quiet.  God will calm your soul.
  4. Believe God can deliver you.
  5. Rely on God to be your strength.
  6. Give glory to God when He delivers you.
  7. Speak in psalms or hymns (Sing songs exalting God).
  8. Increase Your strength by Doing what God commands you to do, when he calls you to do it.

 Will you sing a song of praise?

Heavenly Father, We sing a song of thanksgiving to you. You are our strength, our song, and our salvation. We praise you Lord because you are mighty in power. When we call upon your name, you overtake our enemy. You redeemed us by your strength. Draw us closer to you. In Jesus name, I pray Amen.

DO YOU KNOW THE PROMISES OF GOD?

Join this FREE Bible study from the comfort of your own home and connect with me in a private Facebook discussion group.

The study begins January 6th 2020.  Go ahead and sign-up today! Just click the link below to join, friend. I’ll see you there!

Join the FREE Bible study here. 

Connect With Me

  1. Follow Me on Instagram  for encouraging scriptures.
  2. Like my Facebook page and receive links to some of my favorite authors from the Hope Writing Community.
  3. Know someone battling cancer? Visit My Pinterest board for 21 days of encouraging verses to share with others.

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My breathless husband murmured, “I’m not going to the emergency room.”

Should we refuse to listen to the doctor’s advice?

Sometimes we are like this with God, “I’m not going to…”

Fill in your own blank.  It may be an unwillingness to give financially, pray out loud, or invite people into your home.

We may refuse to listen to God because we fear losing comfort.

But if we refuse to listen to God we WILL eventually end up in a really dangerous situation, much more deadly than an uncomfortable waiting room.

God sees and knows all things.  He reveals just enough for his children to digest information slowly. The waiting process gives us time to process the situation instead of being overwhelmed with too much knowledge.

It doesn’t matter if we are reluctant. We just need to follow his advice, so any threats to our physical or spiritual health can be treated.

However, if we hop in our car and go home instead. We will face uncertainty, anxiousness, and risk a life threatening heart attack or stroke. Permanent brain and heart damage are consequences I hope we all avoid.

But if we follow God’s commands, we may still end up in an uncomfortable room for several days.  But we can trust that He is guiding the doctors, nurses, and medical test results. If God reveals it, He will be with us through the healing process. Not only will the deadly threats be thrust into the light, but God rescues us from them as well.

And on the day we return home, beaming smiles of gladness and joy will be clearly visible.  All the struggles of the past days will fade.  Songs of thanksgiving and praise will fill our hearts.

Imagine how much more we will rejoice when we return to our eternal home! Everlasting joy will crown our heads.

Anyone who has experienced spiritual battles and have been redeemed by the Divine Deliverer is thankful for escaping destruction! Afterwards, we walk confidently in perfect freedom.  When we begin the journey to our eternal destination, our souls sing with everlasting joy. A jubilant melody accompanies us wherever we travel. Even to a cold Emergency room.

How is Joy Different from Happiness?

According to Psychology Today, “a happy person is someone who experiences frequent positive emotions, such as joy, interest, and pride, and infrequent (though not absent) negative emotions, such as sadness, anxiety, and anger” (Lyubomirsky et al., 2005). Happiness is mainly based on other people, things, places, thoughts and events (Fearnley, 2015). This explains why happiness  often depends on your circumstances.

But Joy springs forth from the inner being.  It depends on who you are, why you are and how you are (Fearnley, 2015).

If you have accepted Lord Jesus Christ to be your Savior, then you are a child of God. You are created for His glory.   You are sealed by Him for the day of redemption.

Are you not certain if the Lord Jesus Christ is your Savior?

Well, you can choose today.  Right here, right now.  If you believe that God the Father sent His son Jesus Christ to come to earth in order to redeem His people.  That Jesus lived a perfect life and willingly died on the cross so that we could receive salvation…And came back to life on the third day and today reigns at the right hand of God the Father. That God alone is your salvation, then you can rest in the sweet victory that you are His child.

10 Reasons to Be Joyful

  1. Jesus Christ is our example of Divine Joy.  He modeled how we can experience the joy of harmony with the Father. Jesus tells us that we all have a Perfect heavenly Father who loves and tenderly cares for us while we are here on earth.  We are His children, so joy may spring forth from our inner being.

2. Another reason to be joyful is that we are never alone.  The Holy Spirit has been sent to comfort God’s children. No matter where we may wander, He is with us.

3. We have joy because the Holy Spirit gives us power to accomplish whatever “good” God has called us to accomplish.  We can’t fail if God has willed it.

4. We can also find joy in the anticipation of what God is going to do.  God delights in blessing his children when they are obedient in the same way earthly parents delight in giving their own children their heart’s desire (when appropriate and for their good).

We find joy in Hope.  Nothing is impossible for God and we can have joyful faces as we wait in hopeful expectation of the blessings that God has in store for us.

5. And there is great joy in seeing what God accomplishes because it is immeasurably more than anything we could ever have imagined!

If God hasn’t willed it, then it will fail.  This isn’t a reflection of us.  This is God’s choice and He has called us to trust that He knows what is best for our physical and spiritual health. He is our Great Physician.

6. Joy also comes to us in the fact that God hears our prayers and answers them.

7. Joy is the knowledge that we will abide in God’s love forever. Even when we face anxiety and sorrow, remembering “God loves me” blesses our hearts with joy that comes from the LORD.

8. We find joy in fellowship.  Our eyes light up when we see our friends and joy fills us as we spend time together.

9. Jesus lived his life to bless others. I believe the happiest people are the ones who bless others.  You can bless people with smiles, hugs, and encouraging words.

Recently members of Cornerstone Church blessed my family with a dinner.  I couldn’t help but notice their smiles were even larger than our own as we rejoiced in the special blessing. Joy can be found in blessing others.

10. There is joy in obedience. Victory of overcoming the temptation to go your own way brings joy. And there is joy in knowing that God rewards his obedient children.

DO YOU KNOW THE PROMISES OF GOD?

Join this FREE Bible study from the comfort of your own home and connect with me in a closed Facebook discussion group.

The study begins January 6th 2020.  Go ahead and sign-up today! Just click the link below to join, friend. I’ll see you there!

Join the FREE Bible study here. 

Connect With Me

  1. Follow Me on Instagram  for encouraging scriptures.
  2. Like my Facebook page and receive links to some of my favorite authors from the Hope Writing Community.
  3. Know someone battling cancer? Visit My Pinterest board for 21 days of encouraging verses to share with others.

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Reference:

Fearnley, R. (Sept, 2015). Joy vs. Happiness.  Psychologies. retrieved from https://www.psychologies.co.uk/joy-vs-happiness

Knoddam, R. (June, 2015). What’s Your Definition of Happiness. Psychology Today. retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/intl/blog/the-addiction-connection/201506/whats-your-definition-happiness

 

 

My toddler sons refused to nap while the sun blazed high in the sky. If they didn’t rest, our afternoon would be doomed to explode into cranky tears, tantrums, and excessive whining.

After settling them into their beds and reading a story, I would gently close the door. No sooner had the door clicked, I would hear their tiny feet pitter-pattering out across the carpet to the window.  The crunching of the Venetian blinds alerted me that they were staring out at the sunny world outside.

When I returned to check on them twenty minutes later, I would often find their little bodies collapsed in the middle of the floor with toys or books strewn all around.  Scooping them up, I would gently lie them back in bed so they could rest well.

My body also needs rest or else  a tantrum brews under my skin, excessive whining rolls off my tongue, and I explode into cranky tears.

Science Says Our Brains Need Rest

According to Psychology Today, time away from work, school, and a busy life style is crucial to the health of our brain. When we are tired, we can’t think creatively or tackle complex problems.

Dr. Chapman states, “The scientific explanation for this: The frontal lobe brain networks—responsible for reasoning, planning, decision-making, and judgment—work for you in creative ways when the brain is quiet, not while you are effortfully trying to find a solution to a problem.”

Adults and children alike need rest. But why is it so hard to rest even though the Lord commands us?

Any other day of the week when my boss allows me to have a day off- I’m eager to celebrate a holiday.

So why don’t we approach the Sabbath day in the same way?

God gives us a holiday every week to rejoice and celebrate the glory of our Creator.

Our bodies, mind, and soul need continual refreshment. Doctors and scientists are in agreement, but Our Creator is the one who has gifted us with the Sabbath.

Apparently God wants us to physically rest instead of cooking. Don’t laugh, I’m serious.  Listen to what he says below:

Exodus 16:23 He  told them, “This is what the LORD has said: ‘Tomorrow is a day of solemn rest, a holy Sabbath to the LORD. So bake what you want to bake, and boil what you want to boil.”

So, what is so hard with cooking extra the day before and then eating left-overs the next day?

I’m all for it, but I know my sons won’t enthusiastically embrace left-overs unless it’s pizza. So while, I’m on the subject on unenthusiastic people.

Solemn doesn’t mean gloomy.  Our rest should be joyful.  Since we are resting physically, we can focus on our spiritual well-being which is often neglected or pushed aside in our sometimes chaotic lives.

I don’t know about you, but I find it very difficult to “commune” with God while I’m in the office.  I always need to go for a walk to separate myself from my work in order to relax and focus.

Apparently, I’m not the only one who is tempted to break the fourth commandment by doing whatever I want to do.  Read what the Lord says in Isaiah:

If you turn your foot from breaking the Sabbath,

from doing as you please on My holy day,

if you call the Sabbath a delight,

and the LORD’s holy day honorable,

if you honor it by not going your own way

or seeking your own pleasure or speaking idle words,

then you will delight yourself in the LORD,  Isaiah 58: 13 – 14 BSB

Sabbath Activities are a blessing

The Sabbath blesses us with the opportunity to meet with God without having to watch the clock. To be able to meet with other believers, and rejoice together in the glory of our Creator is a blessing.

The only true rest for our body, mind, and soul is found in Christ Jesus.

Remembering everything that He has done for us in the past, encourages us to trust in Him.

On the Sabbath you can read your bible taking time to think about the verses, investigating it, and then applying it to the current situations in your life. Not mindlessly reading, but carefully study the word which requires time for prayer and deep reflection.

Other worthwhile Sabbath activities could be writing about the bible, talking to people about scripture, and even writing encouraging letters to family, friends, and co-workers.

To relieve your mind and eyes from the strain of studying,  lift up the Lord with songs.  Music melts away worry, tension, and anxiousness.

Be careful not to fall into the legalistic trap of the Pharisees and accuse others of not following the Sabbath. Because some things classified as work can be done on the Sabbath.

Luke 6:9 BSB Then Jesus said to them, “I ask you, which is lawful on the Sabbath: to do good or to do evil, to save life or to destroy it?”

Jesus healed the man with the withered hand on the Sabbath.  He taught in the synagogue, walked through a grain field, and was resurrected all on the Sabbath. Doing good is allowed.

So next week, cook twice the amount the day before and eat left-overs on the Sabbath. Do all your work in six days and even if you don’t finish the list…leave it until Monday. Teach your sons, daughters, and employees to do the same.

For the Lord said:

Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God, on which you must not do any work—neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant or livestock, nor the foreigner within your gates. Exodus 20:9 BSB

Will you Pray With Me?

Heavenly Father we Praise you for being our True Rest. Thank you for scooping up our exhausted bodies, minds, and souls when we push ourselves to utter physical, mental, and emotional exhaustion. Heal us Lord. Forgive us when we do not view the Sabbath as holy, or set it aside as a day to spend with you. Help us Lord to Delight in You, there we will find rest. In Jesus Name, I pray Amen.

Connect With Me

  1. Follow Me on Instagram  for encouraging scriptures.
  2. Like my Facebook page and receive links to some of my favorite authors from the Hope Writing Community.

DO YOU KNOW THE PROMISES OF GOD?

Join this FREE Bible study from the comfort of your own home and connect with me in a closed Facebook discussion group.

The study begins January 6th 2020.  Go ahead and sign-up today! Just click the link below to join, friend. I’ll see you there!

Join the FREE Bible study here. 

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Reference:

Chapman, S.B. (2014). Why Your Mind Needs A Break. Psychology Today. Retrieved from https://www.psychologytoday.com/us/blog/make-your-brain-smarter/201406/why-your-mind-needs-break

I am a Hope Writer

FIVE FIERCE TRUTHS is a new five-part series for your Fierce Calling journey… FIERCE TRUTH #4 – YOU Have Been Entrusted with Fierce Spiritual Gifts “…for God’s gifts and His call are irrevocable.” Romans 11:29 It was just your average weekday morning–grumpy kids, cold breakfast, missing socks. The usual chaotic routine of working motherhood going……

via FIVE FIERCE TRUTHS About You Part IV – Spiritual Gifts — Doris Swift

As a public school teacher I worked with children to teach them how to read, write, think mathematically, and ask questions like a scientist. The students learned about the importance to vote, the constitution and the Bill of Rights.  All important topics for students to grow up to be productive American citizens.

But the biggest part of our instructional time was spent preparing for the FCAT or FSA. The students contrasted themes, wrote evidence from the text to support their reasoning, and explained why their solution to the math problem was reasonable.

But there was one thing that I did not teach.  One thing that I was not allowed to teach.

During my internship, my university mentor advised me after a first grade math lesson that I should not point out to the children the words, “In God We Trust” even though I was teaching them how to distinguish different coins. It might jeopardize my future employment.

So, next time, I didn’t. I never mentioned God or Jesus Christ to my students until….

One day while supervising the bathroom line before recess, a third grade boy looked up at me with watery eyes and asked, “Mrs. Jollie, is it true?”  Intrigued, I leaned towards him listening carefully to his question. “Is it true, are people in heaven dead?”

His earthly Father had died earlier that week in a motorcycle crash and his mother simply told him, “your father is in heaven.” To an eight year old boy who never attended church before, he thought heaven was a city or a town in Florida.  Until his best friend told him heaven is a place where dead people are buried. Tears dripped down his cheeks.

But I’m not allowed to comfort him by explaining that Heaven is a real place where a real God, the Father, and his Son Jesus Christ live along with all the people who love him.  And that one day He will see his earthly Father again in Heaven.

And if the teacher can’t, the best friend doesn’t know, and the mom can’t speak the words…Who will answer him, “Is it true?”

Are Public School Teachers Teaching Wisdom or Knowledge?

When students define, describe, and identify objects, they are remembering previously learned material otherwise known as knowledge.  According to Bloom’s taxonomy, this is the lowest level of learning and most students usually do well with these skills. But even though the children work hard to remember “knowledge” that doesn’t make them wise.

Think about it. Satan and demons have knowledge of the scripture.   Satan probably has scripture memorized albeit slightly wrong and he even speaks it…usually to accuse us.  Maybe memorizing scripture and rotely speaking scripture are not wisdom either.

Can Wisdom be the same as defining Christianity, describing Jesus Christ, and identifying bible verses?  Hmmm….

John Newton describes a person who pronounces the name of a broom in many languages like Latin, Greek, Dutch, and Spanish.   Is that wisdom or knowledge?

Then compare that task to the custodian who actually uses the broom to clean the floor.  Is that wisdom or knowledge?

So….in the same way just knowing the name of the broom and just knowing the scripture verses may not be wisdom after all.

According to Bloom’s Taxonomy applying knowledge in real life situations is application, a higher level of knowledge.  Could that be wisdom?

Can Wisdom Be Taught?

In the same way students need to practice reading, writing, and calculations every day to be prepared for the big test, we need to practice making wise choices. But how do we know which choices are wise?

Wisdom comes from God.

Carrying my High School diploma at graduation, I looked wise. But my actions of walking through a vacant lot late at night, proved me to be quite foolish.  Even someone with a doctorate’s degree can act foolishly.

On the other hand, pre-schoolers who don’t have much knowledge are capable of making very wise decisions. For example, my young sons have boldly shared their faith with other children and adults despite being in a public school setting.

My young children believed without a doubt that God heard their prayers, listened, and answered. They prayed expecting results and kept praying until they received an answer.  Where did they learn that?

But the wisdom from above is first of all pure, then peaceable, gentle, accommodating, full of mercy and good fruit, impartial, and sincere. James 3:17 BSB

Wisdom comes from above. Thank you Heavenly Father. 

Discernment to Make Wise Choices Comes From God

Faithfully obey these laws. This will show the people of the world your wisdom and insight. When they hear about all these laws, they will say, “What wise and insightful people there are in this great nation!” Deuteronomy 4:6 GWT

In case you are wondering what laws are being referred to in the above verse, the laws are the Ten Commandments.  What? You haven’t heard of the Ten Commandments?

Well, if you were born in 1995 or later, attended a public school, and weren’t raised in a home that attended church, then it is very likely that you have never heard of the Ten Commandments.  After all, they aren’t allowed in the public schools or even in the courthouses for that matter.

Here are the Ten Commandments in case you haven’t ever had the opportunity to read these “unconstitutional words”, or even more importantly if you need a refresher to guard your mind.

#1 Know therefore this day and take to heart that the LORD is God in heaven above and on the earth below; there is no other. Deuteronomy 4:39 BSB

#2 Be careful that you do not forget the covenant of the LORD your God that He made with you; do not make an idol for yourselves in the form of anything He has forbidden you. Deuteronomy 4: 23 BSB

#3 You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not leave anyone unpunished who takes His name in vain. Exodus 20:7 BSB

#4 Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is a Sabbath to the LORD your God, on which you must not do any work—neither you, nor your son or daughter, nor your manservant or maidservant or livestock, nor the foreigner within your gates. Exodus 20:9 BSB

#5 Honor your father and mother, so that your days may be long in the land that the LORD your God is giving you. Exodus 20:12 BSB

#6 You shall not murder. Exodus 20:13 BSB

#7 You shall not commit adultery. Exodus 20: 14 BSB

#8 You shall not steal. Exodus 20: 15 BSB

#9 You must not testify falsely against your neighbor. Exodus 20:16 NLT

#10 You are not to covet your neighbor’s house. You are not to covet your neighbor’s wife, his male or female servant, his ox, his donkey, or anything that belongs to your neighbor.” Exodus 20:17

Does “In God We Trust” Belong in Public Schools?

According to the Washington Post, “Florida is one of seven states this year that passed laws requiring or permitting schools and other public buildings to post “In God We Trust.”

So, if you are a Florida Teacher in 2018 it is okay to point out to first grade children our National Motto, “In God We Trust.” In fact, it can even be tacked on the bulletin board.

Should the Ten Commandments Be Posted in Public School Classrooms as a Historical Document?

I was surprised to learn that back in 2000 during the “Hang 10” movement, the Ten Commandments were allowed to be posted in public classrooms along with other historical documents like the Declaration of Independence.

I’ve taught in 5 different schools during that decade and do not recall any having the ten commandments posted anywhere on campus.  Only a few even had bibles in the school library for students to check out.

According to the University of Nebraska, “Even though there may have been a secular purpose to promote moral values in schoolchildren, to accomplish such a purpose by posting the Ten Commandments was determined to be an unconstitutional religious
practice.” And this is why young Americans who attended public schools may not even be able to identify the Ten Commandments from a line up of historical documents.

So How Will Our Children Learn True Wisdom?

Only be on your guard and diligently watch yourselves, so that you do not forget the things your eyes have seen, and so that they do not slip from your heart as long as you live. Teach them to your children and grandchildren. Deuteronomy 4:9 BSB

God has tasked parents, aunts, uncles, grandmothers, and grandfathers the responsibility to teach “true wisdom” to the next generation.  And if the family can’t, or don’t know, then it is our responsibility to teach “wisdom” to the next generation.

So the real question is not Are The Public Schools Teaching Wisdom?  The real question is Are you Teaching the next generation True Wisdom?

Will You Pray for the World’s Children?

Heavenly Father, You are the True Wisdom that our hearts, souls, and minds desperately need. Thank you for your word where we can find true wisdom. We confess that we as voters have not been on guard and your commandments have slipped from America’s public schools. However it is the responsibility of every family member and neighbor. Help us Lord to have courage and teach our children and our neighbor’s children your word which is “true wisdom.” In Jesus name we pray, Amen.

Connect With Me

  1. Follow Me on Instagram  for encouraging scriptures.
  2. Like my Facebook page and receive links to some of my favorite authors from the Hope Writing Community.

DO YOU KNOW THE PROMISES OF GOD?

Join this FREE Bible study from the comfort of your own home and connect with me in a closed Facebook discussion group.

The study begins January 6th 2020.  Go ahead and sign-up today! Just click the link below to join, friend. I’ll see you there!

Join the FREE Bible study here. 

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I am a Hope Writer

How God Satisfies His People

“But you would be fed with the finest of wheat; with honey from the rock I would satisfy you.” Psalm 81:16

These are words of a musician named Asaph who reminds us the Lord doesn’t fed left-overs to those who love and serve him. He provides the finest ingredients and turns the hardest non-edible items into the sweetest taste.

Perhaps Asaph meant God can even draw the sweetest moments out of our most difficult seasons when all seems lost (Noyes, C).

What Have you tried to Satisfy?

One advantage gifted to me has been education.  Many American children find it difficult to believe that not all children in the world can attend a public school with air conditioning, books, and supplies. Although I have a master’s degree, the world whispers to me: you know Suzy in the office next door has her Ph.d. Education does not satisfy.

As an American I have also been gifted with wealth as compared to people in many other countries. Even though my  bills are paid each month, I think “Wow my dwindling savings accounts needs “a little more!” Money does not satisfy.

Many friends celebrate birthdays, graduations, and anniversaries. God has even blessed me with good health for the majority of my life. But even with all these blessings my attention is often diverted to other interests. My soul still hungers.

Why can’t I ever say, I have enough!

We want more friends and better health. As soon as we master one hobby, our attention turns to another trend. A bigger boat, an updated phone, or that next promotion. In my case, my next vacation! The reason is because the only thing that truly satisfies our soul is God’s mercy (Wilson, J.H).

Only God’s mercy alone can meet our deepest cravings. For only God can remove guilt, sin, and fear which causes dissatisfaction (Conway, S). And only God provides acceptance, victory, peace, and hope which provide happiness.

Satisfy us in the morning with your unfailing love, that we may sing for joy and be glad all our days. Psalm 90:14

This verse reminds us that the first step to satisfaction is seeking God’s blessed mercy every morning.

sun rise

“Nature seems to be ever calling to him with a thousand voices, to be glad and rejoice; and yet he is unsatisfied” (Merry, C.M).

God satisfies not only your heart, but also your mind. Christ nourishes your brain. Just as the sun is the center of our galaxy, satisfaction comes from Christ being the center of your life.

“The soul of our prayer must be the prayer of our soul” (Spurgeon, C.H.)

If we pray, “Satisfy our soul;” God will answer.

“You open your hand and satisfy the desires of every living thing.” Psalm 145:16

Is there a time when God doesn’t Satisfy?

People with evil desires will never be satisfied. Anyone who refuses to confess their sin will never be satisfied.

Another time when God does not satisfy the desires of his people is when they are fool hardy. Or when the outcome will not be good for us (Conway, S.).

What desires will God Always Satisfy?

Any desire that God created you to accomplish will be satisfied. God provided you with a working mind and a body to do His will. He even pours energy into you, that living force, that accomplishes all our work.  It is all from God (Conway, S).

If your desire is to love God more, He will satisfy. If you desire to know God, He will reveal himself to you. If you desire righteousness, He will introduce you to Christ. If you ask God for these desires, He will strengthen your faith.

Unfortunately there are no shortcuts to satisfying our deepest desires. God has a great deal of work to do in our minds, hearts, and soul. He breathes aspirations of love to us. He removes fear and prunes all our branches that do not bear fruit. He digs deep into our soul and plants a longing for righteousness that only He can fulfill.

The best gifts on earth cannot be found apart from God. God is our salvation.  Christ is our righteousness and the Holy Spirit is our Counselor.

God does not simply open His hand and give us peace, righteousness, and growing knowledge of Himself. Instead He gives us Jesus Christ.

We find our satisfaction in Christ, and whether we find it depends on us. If we expand our prayers to Christ himself, we will find Him.

But the measure of our prayers limits how much satisfaction we will receive.

God has provided all that we need in Christ, and He has revealed Him to us. If we do not have satisfaction, it is because we haven’t asked. And if we ask,  we will receive in abundance (Maclaren, A).

  1. God will always provide a path for you to follow in your life.
  2. God will provide your daily bread.
  3. God always sends a soft dew when the flowers droop.  He will provide relief from life’s weariness (Tuck, R.).

What Does the Promise of Satisfaction Look Like?

God himself carries the weight of everything that hinders our peace, blocks our path, or makes our soul empty. He forgives us of our sin and reconciles us to Himself.

God blesses us with inward satisfaction. He satisfies our soul which runs deep with His love. He gives us promises that can not ever be broken. God changes times and seasons, but He does not change.

The LORD will guide you always; he will satisfy your needs in a sun-scorched land and will strengthen your frame. You will be like a well-watered garden, like a spring whose waters never fail. Isiah 58:11

May I Pray for You?

Heavenly Father, we praise you for your unfailing love, your joy, and mercy. We thank you for providing us relief from life’s weariness. Our soul’s prayer is for you LORD to satisfy us with your promises that can never be broken. In Jesus name, I pray. Amen.

Connect with me:

Visit My FB page, Abiding in Christ’s Love where you will find a community  who encourage each other as well as  blogs written by other Hopewriters.

DO YOU KNOW THE PROMISES OF GOD?

Join this FREE Bible study from the comfort of your own home and meet new friends in the online discussion group.

The study begins January 6th 2020.  Go ahead and sign-up today! Just click the link below to join, friend. I’ll see you there!

Join the FREE Bible study here. 

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References:

Conway. S. (sermon). The Opening of God’s Hand. 

Conway, S. (sermon). The Secret of Satisfaction. 

Maclaren, A. D. D. (sermon). The Satisfier of all Desires.

Merry, C.M. (sermon). Satisfaction. 

Noyes, C. D. D. (sermon). A little but wise teacher.

Sprugeon. C.H. (sermon). A Happy Christian. 

Spurgeon, C.H. (sermon). The Young Man’s Prayer.

Tuck, R. (sermon). Guided, Provided, and Refreshed.

Wilson. J.H. D.D. (sermon). The Prayer and the Plea.

Are You Interested in Writing?

I am a Hope Writer

Take the Writer Quiz

If you’ve thought about it, then you may consider taking the quiz to discover your writing stage!

If you’re curious about publishing, but don’t know how to maneuver the vast information available on the internet, or where to start…

If you wished there was a path to follow, you are in luck!

There is a step by step process through the publishing process, so you don’t have to feel overwhelmed.

If you are a blogger, then you are in the “publishing process,” because publishing is placing your writing into the hands of a reader.

I am developing my writing skill by publishing blogs, but hope one day to actually publish a book too.

This process can be a bit of struggle, so we need to gather encouraging friends to help us along the way.

I have discovered a wonderful community of writers who help me maneuver this path and they can help you too!

The hope*writers have created a short, fun quiz for you to take to discover where you are on the writing path and how to move forward.

To access it all you need to do is click on this link right here

You’ll discover the writing stage you are in and also receive some valuable tips to help you take the next step.

Hope you enjoy it!

Answers to Writer’s Questions

f you’re a writer or have ever thought about writing a book, you probably have more questions than you can keep track of –

“How do I find time to write?” (I write in the evening instead of watching tv)

“Who am I to call myself a writer?” (This was a hard one for me)

“What’s the secret to getting my writing published?”

“What platform do publishers consider most important?”

“How do I know if I’m ready for an agent?”

Wouldn’t it be nice to have the answers to questions like that all in one place?

Well, my author friend Emily is a co-founder of hope*writers, and to teach their members they interview dozens of writing and publishing experts every year. They’ve compiled the best answers to the most asked questions and put it in one simple free pdf download.

It’s short, super helpful, and it ends your random google searches.

Expert Answers to the Top 20 Questions Writers Ask is only available for a couple of days – grab your copy here! 

The Newbie’s Pocket Rulebook of Publishing

From writing a book proposal to finding an agent and a publisher, the steps can be overwhelming no matter what stage of the writing life you’re in.

My friend Emily, author and co-founder of hope*writers, has created a free downloadable e-book to help demystify the publishing process.

It’s short, it’s simple, and it explains each step of publication.

The Newbie’s Pocket Rulebook of Publishing is only available for a couple of days – grab your copy here!

Free Online Training for Writers Next Monday Sept 30th

This Monday my friend Emily P. Freeman, co-founder of hope*writers, is hosting an online training for writers called “How to be a Working Writer Without Losing Your Mind.”

Emily is a Wall Street Journal bestselling author who knows how to hustle. And good news! She loves talking to writers about writing.

If you’re a writer but you struggle to share your work in a way that feels like you, then you don’t want to miss this free training.

Click here to save your spot! 

I hope you enjoy it.

April

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The Holy Spirit

Hushing my anxious thoughts, I wait for quiet calmness.

A hidden treasure protected by high steep walls.

Listening to the silence breathe

A tiny voice whispers within my soul.

In the stillness of the early morning light, He sings to me.

Simmering beneath the ashes, He waits.

A precious spark reveals a rich legacy

Fanning the tiny flame, encouraging it to grow

The warmth of God’s love desires to be shown.

What Does The Holy Spirit Do?

According to R.C. Sprouls, The Father, Son, and Holy Spirit agreed together on the plan to redeem God’s people. God sent Christ. Jesus agreed to be obedient to God’s will. And the Holy Spirit weaves Christ’s work into the hearts of God’s people. The Spirit magnifies God’s truth, renews new life in us, reveals Jesus to us, and draws us near to God.

Who Can Receive the Holy Spirit?

And Peter said to them, “Repent and be baptized every one of you in the name of Jesus Christ for the forgiveness of your sins, and you will receive the gift of the Holy Spirit. For the promise is for you and for your children and for all who are far off, everyone whom the Lord our God calls to himself.” Acts 2:38-39 BSB

If you are a sinner like me, then Jesus offers salvation to you too. God the Father requires His people to have faith in Jesus to be saved. God promises to give the Holy Spirit to those who will receive eternal life. And while we are here on earth, the Holy Spirit strengthens us to live according to God’s will instead of our own.

What Does Full of the Holy Spirit Mean?

Jesus, full of the Holy Spirit, left the Jordan and was led by the Spirit into the wilderness, Luke 4:1

Ellicots described “full of the Holy Spirit” to mean that Jesus’ eyes saw invisible sights, and his ears heard God’s voice.

Does the Holy Spirit Lead Us into Temptation?

When I read this verse, my eyes see Holy Spirit led Jesus into the desert.  Tiny hairs raise on the back of my neck because the Holy Spirit may lead me to a desert too.  When I’m lonely, I think of Jesus in the desert. When I’m cold, I remember Christ. When my stomach rumbles, I’m thankful for Jesus’ victorious obedience to follow the Holy Spirit into the desert. And the best thing is that I’m not ever alone, for He is with me.

Jesus was “full of the Holy Spirit” when He needed Him most. The Holy Spirit strengthened Jesus, so that He would overcome the temptations.

Grosart D.D. warns if even the “beloved son” of God is exposed to temptation, then any one who makes a public profession of Christianity will be tempted too.  But do not fear, the Holy Spirit will strengthen you and you too can overcome temptations with scripture.

How Do You Pray in the Holy Spirit?

Jude 1:20 But you, dear friends, by building yourselves up in your most holy faith and praying in the Holy Spirit,

When you pray, the Holy Spirit assists you even if you can’t speak. Even when you can’t think, the Spirit works on your behalf.  He reveals your deepest needs to the one who provides.

The Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us through wordless groans. Romans 8:26

God reveals Himself to the one who prays in the Holy Spirit.  When we  alert our senses to the nearness of the God of the Universe who joins with us in prayer, we are praying in the Holy Spirit. God whispers heavenly secrets to our soul and we are introduced to a new life because nothing is too hard for the LORD. Victory over all enemies inspires hope in us all.

G. Selby advises us to, “Never grieve the Spirit who holds in His hand your very power to pray. He can sever at will your communication with the throne of all grace and power.”

Will the Holy Spirit Enable Me to Speak in Other Tongues?

Acts 2:4 All of them were filled with the Holy Spirit and began to speak in other tongues as the Spirit enabled them.

Ellicot explains that “speaking in other tongues” meant they were thinking thoughts and words that weren’t their own. This was a joyous gift.

Matthew Henry describes The Spirit, like fire, melts the heart, burns up the dross, and kindles pious and devout affections in the soul.  The Holy Spirit comforted them and their fears were extinguished because the Spirit told them what to speak.

Again Jesus said to them, “Peace be with you. As the Father has sent Me, so also I am sending you.” When He had said this, He breathed on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. If you forgive anyone his sins, they are forgiven; if you withhold forgiveness from anyone, it is withheld.” John 20: 21 – 22 BSB

Bp. Andrewes believes that the Holy Spirit gave them courage because they received a new spirit. When Jesus was arrested, Peter’s tongue faltered when a young lady asked him a simple question. But after receiving the Holy Spirit these same men who had run away in the garden were not fearful to testify before Kings.

Do We Need the Holy Spirit?

We are like an artist’s chisel. The artist needs a chisel to carve. But even though the chisel knows its purpose is to carve. It can not carve alone, no matter how long it struggles. It lies still against the uncut marble because it does not have the strength to move. Even when the chisel cries out in disappointment, it still cannot carve the stone.

But once the artist holds the chisel in its hand and if the chisel is obedient. Then the artists’ thoughts, feelings, imagination, and skill flow from the artist’s soul to the chisel’s edge. The sculptor and the chisel become one as they work together to carve a masterpiece. The chisel does the work, but it can’t create on its own power.

In the same way, we must surrender to Christ and allow Him to hold us tightly. Then His power, His love, and His wisdom will flood our soul (Bp. Phillips Brooks).

Are you willing to Pray in the Holy Spirit?

Heavenly Father I praise you for You are our Salvation. Jesus is our Redemption and the Holy Spirit draws us close to you.

Thank you for giving us the gift of the Holy Spirit who strengthens us to do your will. For the Holy Spirit who comforts us when we are lonely, cold, and hungry. Who builds us up and enables us to overcome temptations. Drawing us near to God, you remind us that nothing is too hard for the LORD. No matter what our circumstances are, no matter how bleak, God breathes new life into dead things. Victory belongs to you. Our fears are removed and we surrender our hearts to You alone.

Hold us tightly. We ask for your power, love and wisdom to flow through us.

In Jesus Name, we pray, Amen.

Connect with me:

Visit My FB page, Abiding in Christ’s Love where you will find a community  who encourage each other as well as  blogs written by other Hopewriters.

DO YOU KNOW THE PROMISES OF GOD?

Join this FREE Bible study from the comfort of your own home and meet new friends in the online discussion group.

The study begins January 6th 2020.  Go ahead and sign-up today! Just click the link below to join, friend. I’ll see you there!

Join the FREE Bible study here. 

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References:

Andrewes, B.P. (sermon). Filled With The Spirit.

Ellicot’s Commentary. BibleHub.

Grossart. D.D. (sermon). The Back Strengthened for the Load. 

Henry, M. (commentary)

Selby, T.G. (sermon). The Inspirer of Prayer. 

Sprouls, R.C. The Promises of God: Discovering the One Who Keeps His Word.

 

 

Our Own Path to “Freedom”

According to the National Runaway Safeline approximately 2 million teenagers run away from home every year in the United States.  Youth as young as ten years old decide to leave their parents’ home.  Some may have parents who tell them to leave, but other may be escaping from sexual abuse or neglect. Most don’t believe their parents care, so they wander the streets seeking a better life. Only 7% of  missing teens ever return home.

During my first year of high school, I packed up my bedroom and stomped out the front door angrily.  Selecting my own path of “freedom”, I actually stepped forward on a treacherous climb over the “dark mountains.”  I didn’t believe my mom cared for me or would even miss me. But thankfully during my long walks, I sought Jesus to guide me. Like a lost sheep, danger to destroy me lurked at every street corner.

During this confusing time, I often read a little booklet called, The Daily Bread. But other than sporadic attendance at youth group and Sunday service, my attentions were unconcerned about “His healing stripes.”  I didn’t even believe that I needed to be healed.  What I sought from Jesus was protection, financial provisions, and wisdom to graduate from high school. All my time was spent working so that I could pay for movies, youth trips, and a prom dress. I did not have a slavish fear of God, but I was completely ignorant of my corrupt heart.  I did not even feel weak, but felt like I was a strong woman completely competent to find my place in the world. I remember having a bumper sticker on my car that read:  Heaven doesn’t want me and Hell is afraid that I’ll take over.

I had no idea that my soul was suffering from a grave sickness.  My joyless spirit rotted every moment of high school and I hated it. But there was hope. Sin eventually melted my heart to sorrowful tears. Sorrow for what I had done was my first stage in the healing process.

Jesus is the cure for the grave sickness of our soul.

According to C.H. Spurgeon Jesus himself is the cure for the following:

  1. The mania of despair.
  2. The stony heart.
  3. The paralysis of doubt.
  4. A stiffness of the knee-joint of prayer.
  5. Numbness of soul.
  6. The fever of pride.
  7. The leprosy of selfishness.
  8. Anger.
  9. The fretting consumption of worldliness.
  10. 10. The cancer of covetousness.

It wasn’t an overnight transformation but a long wrestling match to overcome my stony heart, numb soul, and waves of anger that unleashed from my tongue in violent bursts.

But once the power of the Holy Spirit reveled the truth, I believed in Jesus. He slowly healed my soul. Gratitude, love, and obedience followed God’s merciful grace to me.

isaiah53_6

We all go astray during the frenzied moments of our day and sometimes lift our heads to discover once again we have wandered into the wilderness of sin.  View the nightly news to discover that the whole race of mankind, no matter what race or culture, have wandered from the truth. We all need redemption because we always turn to our ways. Individually we sin. And as nations we sin.

In Corinthians 5:21 Paul writes that God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in Him we might become the righteousness of God.  Jesus Christ covers our sin with His own righteousness so that we might we made right with God.  Jesus’ mercy and loving-kindness for us was the reason He willingly accepted the burden that was laid on him by God, the Father.   God desires to redeem mankind and Himself fulfilled the requirement for a “perfect sacrifice” so that we all can be forgiven.

We all have at least one “beloved sin” of which we may not even view as sin.  But our Heavenly Father knows that even what we perceive as the smallest sin deserves our sorrow of repentance.  God saves us from our destruction by laying our sins on Christ. Jesus is our only way for salvation.  According to T.  de W. Talmadge D.D, “Our sins were the thorns in Christ’s head, the nails in his hands and feet, and the spear in his side.”

He willingly suffered to the point of death for our offences. He earned for us the Spirit and grace of God.  Compared to what Jesus suffered, our present circumstances seem much lighter.

T. de W. Talmadge, D.D. describes this event: “But suppose you and I were in a regiment together, and I was fearfully wounded in the battle, and I fell unconscious at your feet with gunshot fractures and dislocations, five bullets having struck me at once — you would say to your comrades, “Here, this man is helpless. Let us carry him to the ambulance; let us take him out to the hospital.”

Perhaps God views us as so spiritually wounded in our daily battles, unconscious of sin with gashes of pride and despair but still under the delusion that we can deal with our own sin. But God waits patiently until like a drowning sailor we are at the helpless point of dying on the field if God does not  immediately send His divine intervention, Jesus Christ to carry us to safety.  How amazed when we awake to find Jesus himself binding up our wounds.

Isaiah 53:7 He was oppressed and treated harshly, yet he never said a word. He was led like a lamb to the slaughter. And as a sheep is silent before the shearers, he did not open his mouth. NLT

“You have the right to remain silent.” We all know that the guilty remains silent in today’s society.  And Jesus was silent before the judging crowd, so they probably viewed it as an admission of guilt. It’s hard to imagine Jesus who calms the wind and the waves does not use his power. He knows his impending fate, but accepted it.

With one word He could have made the world tremble, but He did not open his mouth. Even though His enemies accused Him of making Himself equal with God, He did not reject the charge but seemed to welcome it ( J.I. Blackburn).

C. H. Spurgeon relates how Jesus was like a lamb by describing how a sheep in the hands of shearers experience all the wool clipped off its back. But the shears never cut its flesh.  The reason is because the sheep lies perfectly still.

I agree with him that we should learn from Jesus’ example as we endure our own trials. Do not kick or struggle, but lie perfectly still so that we won’t wound ourselves. Instead trust our Heavenly Father’s skillful hands.

May I Pray for You?

Heavenly Father, You are our Hope, the very essence of love, and our Confidence. We thank you for pursuing us when we stray from the path of your son’s footsteps. Thank you for revealing to us what causes our soul sickness. We welcome your son, Jesus Christ to heal our souls. We confess the sin that we love and ask that you break the stronghold it has over our minds. Give us a trusting spirit to remember that you are our merciful LORD when we are “being sheared” with difficulties.  In Jesus name, I pray Amen.

Video about Redemption

View this video to learn about God’s history of Redemption from the fall of Adam to the promises of Abraham and Moses, to Jesus Christ. It answers the question Does God’s promises extend to all mankind.  The reference books are the bible and  Promises of God by R.C. Sproul.

Connect with me:

Visit My FB page, Abiding in Christ’s Love where you will find a community of women who encourage each other as well as  blogs written by other Hopewriters.

DO YOU KNOW THE PROMISES OF GOD?

Join this FREE Bible study from the comfort of your own home and meet new friends in the online discussion group.

The study begins January 6th 2020.  Go ahead and sign-up today! Just click the link below to join, friend. I’ll see you there!

Join the FREE Bible study here. 

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References:

National Runaway Safeline. (website). 

Our Daily Bread, devotional booklet. (website).

Sproul, R.C. The Promises of God. Discovering The One Who Keeps His Word. (book).

Spurgeon, C.H. The Universal Remedy (sermon).

Talmadge. T. de W. D.D.