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heavens

Though he slay me, yet will I hope in Him. (Job 13:15)

When all hope seems lost, remember that it is not all lost to the God of the impossible. He can take you through your weariness and pain and bring you to a place of peace. We are in a fallen world and not all things will work out as we hoped.  We do not know the future or what is going to happen. Therefore,God has promised that in spite of your struggle, he will work out all things for your good. That is truth.

Your cirucumstance, however painful it might be, is only the path that God is using to reveal more of himself to you. Your troubles cannot defeat you. They may appear to be taking you down but actually they are helping you to rise above them. You are made stronger for having gone through them.  Nothing can be taken from you without God’s permission. It is His to give and His to take. But remember, no good will God withhold from those who love him. (Psalm 84:11)

Dear friends, what God removes from your life is part of his plan to give you so much more.  You have to learn to trust him. You must stand in faith no matter how great the storm that overwhelms your life. The Lord brings the tide in and he takes it out. He controls the wind and the rain. The sun rises at his command. He certainly can perfect his purpose for your life and provide for what you need.

 Don’t let your weariness make you think that God does not care when your prayers seem unanswered.  His mercy and love are with you even now. He knows what he is doing in your life. He sees your tears and he holds them in a bottle. He does not forget your name or where you are.  He is the God of all possibility and ultimately all things must bow to his will for your life.

The days are growing short and evil is abounding. Take joy knowing that even through the tempest, the hand of God is in full control. He will never fail you nor will he let anything in this world destroy.

don't give upBe strong, my friends. Jesus died to give you peace no matter what happens here. Even the death of a loved one cannot impede the purpose he has for you. He knew your name long before the foundation of the earth. Trust that even in death that God will be with you.  That is the hope that separates believers from the rest of the world.

 The article below was found posted in the blog Standing for God.   A.B. Simpson was a man of God who understood that the problems of this world are the tools to mold the believer into the purpose of God.

THIS IS GOD’S HOUR

by A.B. Simpson

Cast down, but not destroyed2 Corinthians 4:9

How did God bring about the miracle of the Red Sea? By shutting His people in on every side so that there was no way out but the divine way. The Egyptians were behind them, the sea was in front of them, the mountains were on both sides of them. There was no escape but from above.

Someone has said that the devil can wall us in, but he cannot roof us over. We can always get out at the top. Our difficulties are but God’s challenges, and many times He makes them so hard that we must get above them or go under.

In the Providence of God, such an hour furnishes us with the highest possibilities for faith. We are pushed by the very emergency into God’s best.

Beloved, this is God’s hour. If you will rise to meet it you will get such a hold upon Him that you will never be in extremities again; or if you are, you will learn to call them not extremities, but opportunities. Like Jacob, you will go forth from that night at Peniel, no longer Jacob, but victorious Israel. Let us bring to Him our need and prove Him true.

This world is perishing but God still holds your future!

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We are living in times of evil.  The hearts of most have grown cold and trouble abounds everywhere.  Marriages are disintegrating before our eyes and homes are broken leaving only pain and confusion in it’s place.  Children are being sold down the river with lies from hell being taught in the very schools we support with our taxes.  There is no creation, everything just evolved from nothing.  Homosexuality has become a choice that you better agree with or face the consequences for your intolerance.  Sometimes that consequence may include imprisonment for your belief that homosexuality is an abomination to God, the Creator of mankind! His design for a man and a woman doesn’t fit in with the will of the people who clamor for their “right” to do as they please even when it includes redefining marriage! God is homophobic it has been said.  Imagine the audacity of the created to shake their fist at the Creator and tell him to get lost!

Abortion is another choice.  It is my body, right?  Well how about the innocent child whose only crime was to be conceived by  selfish, irresponsible people who have deemed that this child does not fit in with their agenda.  The fetus is just a clump of unformed cells, you might say.  The truth is that at the point of impact of the sperm and the egg, all the DNA that the child will ever have is now present! The hair color, the eye color the sex of the child are set at that point.  God told Jeremiah in Chapter 1 that, “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you.”  That wasn’t just a statement for Jeremiah. That is a truth for all those conceived in the womb.  We have decided now that God cannot tell us to keep a child we don’t want.  And as evil as that is, there are children who live through the abortion only to be killed off or left to die!  In  the Old Testament, Gehenna was a valley by Jerusalem, where apostate Israelites and followers of various Baalim and Caananite gods, including Moloch, sacrificed their children by fire.  That evil practice of sacrificing their children to the false god, Moloch, is no worse than ripping a child from its mothers womb during an abortion!  That is a fact whether you like it or not.

As nation rises against nation and famines, earthquakes and wars increase, the enemy is spewing hate and lies to make people think that God does not care or else that God is dead!  I assure you by the holy word of God that Christ is alive and making ready his plans to return in judgment and to make all things new.  Whether you bid him to come or not, He is coming back!

No matter what struggle you are facing, remember that if you belong to Christ, it is all working his purpose and his plan for your victory.  It might not seem like it but God has promised to withhold no good from those who love him.  Let your heartache and pain work out that for which God has allowed it in your life.  He is not uncaring in all that you endure.  This world is not heaven.  One day you will see the reason for your struggle.  You will also know that God was with you every step of every day.  His eyes never left you. He grieves with you in your pain but he sees the end result of your suffering.  He knows you intimately.  He will not fail you.  Never surrender up your heritage in the Kingdom of God to a defeated enemy of hell.  Christ put all your enemies beneath his feet. He rendered them powerless to defeat you.  The devil himself knows that.  It is my prayer that you will understand it, too.

Please watch the trailer of the movie God’s Not Dead. It will be coming out this spring and we all need to support such an awesome movie.  Keep the truth in your heart and hold on.  This world is perishing but God still holds your future!

My prayer is for all who come to this site.  May you know that the peace of Christ is yours for the asking.  There is nothing he cannot or will not do to help his people.  Your strength may wane but the power of God is always greater than your biggest storm.  He is with you right now.  No matter what you are facing, he will take you through. 

If anyone needs prayer, please know that I am here to pray with you.

Nativity-Picture-14

“I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people” (Luke 2:10)

Christmas is the season of joy and peace yet sadly there are many people who are feeling hopeless, weary and alone.  During a time when hearts should overflow with love and giving, for some it is just a greater time of pain and sadness.  The troubles of this dark and perishing world can overwhelm even the strongest believer.   

The joy that the birth of Christ brings can get lost among the commercial aspects of the season.  That is truly sad for when God sent his one and only Son to this earth, he did it to bring light and salvation to a lost and dying world.  He sent Jesus to walk this earth with us to give us his strength to overcome our problems.  Jesus came to give us an abundant life that lacks no good thing.  His birth brought us a promise that can never be taken away.  It is a promise that those who believe in him would have a life with a purpose and a reward that will never end.  Pain and struggles can never destroy those who have been set free through Christ.  He alone can open doors to your impossible situations and cause all things to be used for your good.   

Believers now have authority in Christ over all obstacles from the enemy.  Through Jesus you are now more than a conqueror because he has overcome the world.  You only need to trust that he can and will be with you in all of your problems.  Your failures do not stop his love and your troubles can never hinder his perfect plan for your life.  His birth signified a pledge to bring you peace no matter what you may be going through.  Jesus is the Word of God and the light of this world who will never fail you.  He willingly left the splendor of heaven to come to this earth knowing that we would reject him.  Yet his love was so great that he chose to walk with us and be crucified to bring us peace with God and eternity with him forever.  

If the joy of this season is overcome by a heartache or struggle in your life which is causing you pain and sadness, please remember that the hope that Jesus brings is not just for some situations.  The peace he promised to leave us is sufficient to meet any need and to take you through any storm in your life.  His power is strong enough to safely take you through all circumstances and to give you joy in the midst of your struggle.  He knew your name and loved you long before you were born.  He has plans to prosper you and give you a future despite your weaknesses.  He is faithful to make a way for you even when the road is closed.  Most importantly, he will never leave you to carry your burden alone.  In Matthew 28:20, Jesus says, “And surely I am with you always, even to the very end of the age”.   

Your situation is never hopeless when you have Christ in your heart.   He is able to heal any sorrow your have and give you the assurance that his love will comfort you in your pain.  This season, keep in your heart the truth that Jesus is the only gift that you need. He is the source of your strength and the power to restore you in all ways.  His gift of life is free for the asking.  His love will never fail you and his peace will keep you as you begin a new year.   Take heart, dear friends, for the Savior of this world is born!

Dear Jesus,

I am lifting up to you those who are suffering the pain of trials of every kind and who are feeling weary and troubled.  I know that this time of year is supposed to be one of family and joyful celebrating but there are some who are experiencing heartaches from a broken home, overwhelming financial troubles,  or serious health issues.  There are those who are dealing with addictions, depression and loneliness.  For these and all the troubles that your people are facing, I pray for you to give them peace.  Let them know they have hope despite their pain.  Lift them up and meet them where they are.  Show them your mercy as you give them the strength that they need to stand in faith.

Father, we are living in a time when truth has been exchanged for a lie. There is darkness everywhere and persecution of Christians is increasing.  War is imminent as the middle east heats up to a point of no return.  Famines, earthquakes and extreme weather is signaling your return.  We have a reason to hope.  You, dear Jesus, are coming back to make all things new.  You have not forgotten us.  Our pain and brokenness is preparing us for a kingdom that will never end.  Your eyes are always on us.  We are never alone and never without your protection.  I pray that you will show those who are hurting that you are with them to the end.  I pray that they will know that they have a future no matter how bad it may look now.  May you have mercy on this country and open the eyes of our leaders to turn back to the God who blessed us and made us a great nation.  May you bless and protect Israel and give wisdom to her leaders.  I pray for you to comfort and help those who are going through persecution of every kind for their faith.  Be with them, Lord Jesus.  Protect them and bring them joy that surpasses understanding in the midst of their suffering.  I also pray for Pastor Saeed who is imprisoned in Iran.  Keep him safe, dear Lord, and please bring him back here to his family.

Keep our eyes on you, dear Jesus.  Help us to know that no matter what battle rages in our lives, you are always in complete authority over it all .  You alone have suffered the price for our victory.  We humbly bow before you  in praise and honor for there is no way to repay you for all you have given to us.  Amen

Merry Christmas to all of my friends here on this site.  I pray for you all  and remember that you can email me if you need to talk.

light through the tunnel

Of what value is faith that has not been tested?

It is not always possible to see the light at the end of the tunnel when the darkness of your troubles overwhelms you.  How quickly your dreams and hopes can slip away when an impossible situation sends a crushing blow.  Will you ever recover? Tough times bring forth tested faith.  It is easier to see God in the brightness of day than it is to trust him in the darkness of night.

You are not going to understand why God allows storms and heartache in your life but that should not make you doubt his love.  During those times when you are stopped by the furnace of affliction, the sea of trouble and the mountain of despair, remember that it is not a holding place but a resting place.  God is keeping you near to his heart and revealing more of himself to you. Only there can you understand that at the end of your weakness is his limitless strength.

In Scripture, we read about the life and struggles of David.   Although he was anointed by God to be King, David first had to fight against those who were trying to kill him.  For years he was forced to wander throughout the desert and seek shelter in caves.  That time of struggle brought David to the understanding that his future was ordained by God and no one could stop him from accomplishing what he started.  David wrote in Psalm 28:7,  “The LORD is my strength and my shield; in him my heart trusts, and I am helped.”  In the midst of David’s troubles was a faithful God providing all that he needed for victory.  The same is true for us today.

God’s plans sometimes work in mysterious ways. A friend and I went to visit a death row inmate this past week whose execution date is set for next month.  He told us that he had become a believer shortly after he got to prison. He then explained to us through tears that on the day that the judge imposed a death sentence for his conviction, someone had given him a package.  When he opened it he found an engraved bible along  with a letter from the mother and sister of a man he had killed.

gods-love-doesnt-leave-usThe writer explained to this inmate that although his actions had taken away her only brother and the only son of her mother, they both had forgiven him.  Even while their hearts were  still crushed with unbearable pain of loss, they had enough love of Christ within them to not only forgive him but to pray for him to come to the knowledge of salvation!  They implored him to seek Christ and receive the gift of eternal life that could never be taken from him.

Imagine the power of that forgiveness!  Because of their faith,  this family was able to surrender up to God any bitterness toward this man and instead share the hope of Christ with him.  It was that amazing love that brought this inmate to his knees, broken and submitted to Christ. For him, he had received a gift of mercy he did not deserve.   Such depth of  forgiveness can only come through Christ.  I cannot remember a more powerful testimony!

When I read the letter that these women had written, it was clear that this all surpassing power was from God working through them.  It was faith tested to the limit and yet shining through like light from heaven.  That day a new life began in the heart of that inmate all because two believers decided to let the will of God guide them to bring unconditional love to a man who was condemned to death.

There is nothing that God cannot do in your life if you are willing to submit to his will.  All the pain and struggles you face are simply the elements God uses to mold you into greatness.  He has not forgotten you.  Your trial is set for a time and soon your tears will turn to joy.   There are no losers in the body of Christ. We are all on a path designed by him long before we were born.  He has the plan and it cannot fail.  Are you ready to give up your control to get God’s divine blessings?   Don’t worry over your circumstance for the outcome has been decided in advance.  For believers, the war is won and we are the victors.  The devil himself knows that.  You now need to know that too.

Dear Lord,  I am praying for all who are going through a fiery trial and who may be filled with pain and uncertainty as to whether you will be there for them.  I pray that you will draw them near to you and bring them your peace.  Please help them to know that their grief is before you and you are working it all out despite the fact that it seems like it will never end.  Comfort them, dear Jesus.  Show your love to them in a very real way.  Give them hope that can only come from you.  Amen.

May God’s wisdom and  peace be with Israel and her leaders.

 The heavens declare the glory of God  (Psalm 19:1)

Whatever you face, God will make a way to take you through it!

God’s word stands true and he fulfills every promise despite the problems we face. This world is not our final destination but only a place of preparation for what is to come. In this life, we are going to endure hardships of every kind until Jesus returns to make all things new.  He has defeated death and made us victors in all that we endure.  No matter how fierce the battle, believers cannot be defeated by the fiery slings and arrows of the enemy.   I trust in the promises of Christ.  He is my stronghold and my very present help in time of need.  I believe in prayer and know that my God hears my every plea.

With all that said, I have to share with you that my faith has been severely tested and stretched to the limit during these past months as I face a powerful battle in my life.  There are times when I feel completely overwhelmed.  Yet no matter how weary I may be, God has given me the grace to endure. I will never give up or lose hope.  All the trials that  I have faced in my life only taught me that God has been my help through every single one of them.  He sees my tears and knows my pain.  He is not far away leaving me alone.  Scripture says, ” The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit”(Psalm 30:18).  I don’t have to see Christ or feel him to know that he is my hope and strength to get me through anything I must endure in this world.

Sadly, for quite some time I have been living with the pain of a failing marriage.  Despite doing all that I could,  it is apparent that I cannot change the outcome. Even though I have been praying night and day for God’s strength and guidance, things have gotten worse.    All I can do now is to continue to pray and surrender my will to Christ. He alone knows the outcome.  It breaks my heart to say that I cannot make someone stay and love me when he has chosen not to. I feel betrayed and hurt facing an uncertain future. But as difficult as this has been for me, I know that God still has a plan for my life.

I want to make it very clear that without any doubt,  God has authority over all that we face.  He can and will do mighty things to help his people and that is why I always advise those struggling in failing marriages to pray and not give up.   I am still praying for all who are going through troubled marriages. We have good reason to hope that God can  reach the wayward or unbelieving spouse. Sometimes he takes them to the end of their own strength so that they have nowhere to turn but to him. However, I know that it is hard to understand the times when that doesn’t happen.  It does not mean that God doesn’t care.  The truth is that he cares much and he grieves with us in our pain. Unfortunately, we are living in a lost and  perishing world and the enemy has blinded most to his schemes.  His main target is to break up homes and destroy families evidenced by the fact that over half of all marriages end in divorce. What a sad statistic that is.  Yet God  still has the power to give you a future with hope.

 When you do all that you can and it seems like you are being hard pressed on every side, remember that in Christ, you cannot be crushed. He will take  your broken heart and your fallen dreams and use them to build you up for his purpose. It may not seem like you will ever recover from your pain or that your tears will never end – but that is not true.     King David wrote in Psalm 69 “Save me, O God! For the waters have come up to my neck, I sink in the deep mire, where there is no foothold; I have come into deep waters and the flood sweeps over me.  I am weary with my crying out; my throat is parched. My eyes grow dim with waiting for my God.”  And yet David kept trusting his God even when all hope seemed lost.

Our problems and struggles do not dictate our future.  It is planned out by Christ Jesus who will not fail to help those who trust in him.  I know that my pain has no power to destroy the hope I have through Christ.  Despite what I face in this life, my God will always be bigger.

And then, in spite of all I have been going through, I recently discovered that my one cat, Bella,  has cancer.  I am always rescuing animals and my pets are like family to me.  I am tearful and saddened by this diagnosis for I know that she does not have long to live.  In a time when my heart  is broken over my marriage, this just added more pain to my life. Is the will of Christ even in the death of a pet I love? The answer is “Yes!”  Christ has a plan for all things! Nothing happens apart from his knowledge and permission.  Each day, the enemy wants me to believe that God has failed me or that he doesn’t care.  He tries to convince me that I am alone. Yet, I know by faith that I will never be alone.  Psalm 23 reminds us that, “Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me.”   All of our enemies, our struggles and our pain has been rendered powerless to destroy us.  Christ has a way to heal and make us whole no matter how broken we are.  I trust him.  My Bella may be gone soon, but  I know that even then that Christ will be with me and help me through it.

My friends, I pray you understood all that I said.  No one wants to go through a divorce but  unfortunately that is not always a choice.  If you get to that point, you need to draw even closer to Christ and rely on his strength to get you through.  All of your trials and struggles were known to God even before you were born.  He can use all things and cause them to be used for good and the purpose he has for your life.  Nothing is impossible for him. If you can keep trusting him despite your struggle, you will not be conquered.  You will have the victory in everything even through your pain.

I am praying for all who are facing a similar situation and don’t know where to turn.  You future is uncertain and it is difficult to understand how you are going to ever get through this.  It is only in knowing your God that you can have peace despite your heartache.  When people ask me what they can do for me during this painful time, I ask for their prayers.  I know that this battle is going to be tough but it is not my own strength that is going to take me through it.  I take hope from Hebrews 4:16, “Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need”. 

God’s promises of mercy and grace are new to us every morning.  He does not fail us and he never leaves us.  No matter what trouble you have in life, there is always going to be the help that you need through Christ.

My dear friends, I pray for all of you who come to this site.  I thank you for your understanding during this difficult time in my life and I appreciate those who are praying for me. Because I belong to Jesus, I will not drown in my tears. He will help me.  

 I am  humbled that God continues to give me his messages to write.   God bless you and please keep his  truth in your heart.  There is no pain that you have that the touch of his hand cannot heal.

UPDATE ON MY CAT, BELLA

 As I wrote, I had found out during the time of my divorce that my cat, Bella, had bi-lateral kidney cancer and would not live long. Kidney cancer like hers kills quickly. I would hold her every night and pray that God would let me keep her just two years longer. I was in the middle of a painful divorce. I was watching my marriage die and at the same time I was watching Bella die. I kept praying but I trusted that God could take me through it.  No pain we suffer is beyond God’s ability to help.  I knew that and I believed that but I prayed for more time with Bella.

Sadly, my divorce went through. That does not mean God did not answer my prayers. It just meant that in this fallen world, he was allowing my spouse to have free will in his choices. It was tough on me but I never felt that Christ was not with me. I surrendered my brokenness to him daily. He was all I had and he was more than enough. I was not destroyed but made stronger for what I endured.

The strange part is that after I wrote this article, my Bella started to eat again. She gained weight and seem happy and comfortable. Each morning I would go see how she was doing. Each morning I would praise Christ.  Two years after my divorce, Bella became ill again and died peacefully in my arms.  As sad as I was to lose her, I knew that Christ was the one who gave her the two years more of life that I asked. The Vet said he could offer no explanation as to how she lived that long with cancer.  I knew exactly Who allowed her to live two additional years.

The bible says all of our days are numbered before one of them come to be. Jesus said not a sparrow falls to the ground apart from the will of the Father.  God has a will and a plan not only for us but for all that he has created.  Cancer could not take my Bella until Christ ordained it to happen. He is merciful and he knows what is best. Even the sting of death is under the authority of Christ who conquered its power. He will either heal you or allow you to die to be with him. Either way, if you are a believer, you can’t lose. He has the perfect plan.

Take heart, dear friends. This message is meant for you. I am praying for all who come to this site. You are loved so much more than you could ever know.

              You who have made me see many troubles and calamities will revive me again. (Psalm 71:20)

The battles we face in this world are making all of us weary.  The enemy’s attacks are getting stronger as the forces of evil seek to wound and discourage those who belong to Christ.  Many believers are crying out for Christ to return soon and save them from all this darkness.  We are indeed in the devil’s crosshairs and he is not backing down.  His plan is to kill your hope, steal your joy and destroy your future.  His arsenal is filled with weapons of lies and discouragement aimed toward every believer.  His fiery darts of fear and doubt can pierce the hearts of struggling saints causing some to wonder if God really hears their prayers.  We are all suffering the effects of a fallen world as we endure hardship of every kind.  As difficult as it may seem, the truth remains that the victory of Christ is at the core of a  believer’s every trial.

I read a great quote by Christian singer Wintley Phipps which said:

It is in the quiet crucible of your personal, private suffering that your noblest dreams are born and God’s greatest gifts are given, in compensation for what you have been through.”

That  profound truth should give hope to those who are going through serious trials.  Keep in mind that all  we fear is under God’s sovereign authority and plan.   Our battles have been won, and although we still must fight the good fight, believers are guaranteed the victory.  Those who belong to Christ are already standing in the winner’s circle surrounded by God’s angels.  We are not alone nor left to fend for ourselves.  We are a chosen people who will one day rule with Christ in heaven.  The forces of hell and the darkness of this world cannot stop the royal future that Jesus died to give us.  He has gone to prepare a place for us so wonderful that our finite minds cannot begin to comprehend the beauty that awaits us.

 As great as that promise is, it may sound hollow right now when all you want to do is cry.  Your painful trial is causing you to bow your head in sadness. Trouble seems unending.  But true believers must trust their God no matter how impossible their situation seems.  The Apostle Paul tells us in Romans 12:12 that as we face trials we are to “Rejoice in hope, be patient in tribulation, be constant in prayer.”   That is what sets us apart from the world. We have faith that in all things, our God is enough.  He will not leave us alone or allow us to perish.  In the book of James, we are told, “Blessed is the man who remains steadfast under trial, for when he has stood the test, he will receive the crown of life, which God has promised to those who love him. ”   You can have peace even when it seems that all hope is gone when you understand in your heart that in the end, God has the plan!  He is not waiting for you to be stronger, wiser or holier before he will help you.  He already has the plan worked out.  Tomorrow is in his hands and he will accomplish his purpose for you.

In Exodus 14,  God led Moses and Israelites away from Egypt as Pharaoh and his army pursued them.  As the army approached, the people of Israel feared greatly.  They had come to the bank of the Red Sea and had no way to cross . Moses saw the enemy too but he told the people, “The Egyptians whom you see today, you shall never see again. The LORD will fight for you, and you have only to be silent”.   God then told Moses to lift his staff over the sea and divide it. After that, God did something amazing.  All through the desert, the Angel of God, who was Jesus, led the Israelites by going in front of them as a pillar of cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night.  However, when they got to the Red Sea, the Angel of God, who was in front of the Israelites moved and went behind them. The pillar of fire also stood behind them coming between the army of Egypt and the people of Israel.  God had the Israelites back!  He protected them as the enemy drew near. There was no way that Pharaoh was going to destroy God’s people.  In the end, God led his people to safety from between the parted water and used that same water to destroy the Egyptian army.  God made a way where there was none!

Wounded warriors, never doubt that God is going to make a way for you too. He has your back covered!  Your impossible situation is under his authority and he knows how to make it work out in his perfect plan for you.  I don’t care how bad it seems right now, there is always hope if you will surrender it to Christ to do as he pleases.  Be strong and believe.  Remember discouragement is a lying spirit which ushers in doubt.  Take your thoughts captive and line them up with the truth.  We are so close to the glorious appearing of Christ.  He is with your right now – you have only to be silent!

Dear Lord,  make this truth clear to those who need your help now.  Give hope to those who are facing battles that leave them wounded and feeling alone. Strengthen those with serious medical issues.  Comfort those who are having marriage problems and relationship issues.  Bless and provide for those with financial problems.  I know, my Lord that you are in every one fo these struggles and you have the plan to work them out according to your purpose.   Please Jesus,  keep our eyes on you and not on our circumstance.  Our hope is in you!  Amen

                  Blessed is the nation whose God is the LORD.

This is the fourth of July and all around America people are celebrating this holiday with fireworks and family picnics.  That is a good thing but I sometimes wonder how much we all know about our heritage?  I recently visited  CyberWord of Truth by Charles Woodruff, who is a special friend and a man on a mission to bring the truth of Christ to the world.  I read the article he posted below and felt that it is a message we all need to see.  Please take the time to read this powerful story about the strength and faith of Patrick Henry and pause to think about how it applies to our country today. 

FOR PREACHING THE GOSPEL OF THE SON OF GOD

 
A true story of Patrick Henry. Adapted by Charles Woodruff.
 
Over 30 years ago I came across this account of Patrick Henry, that great champion of liberty, of his defense of some Baptist field preachers, who were being threatened by the government authorities. Since we are approaching Independence Day, July 4th, 2011, I felt it would be a good time to republish this article that has blessed me and others. I have revised and expanded some things  that complement the story. Be sure and follow all the links for some interesting reading. Our America is not as it once was. I am praying for revival. But, in this day we see many things that Christians and American patriots have held dear disappearing before our eyes. Only God can change this pattern if He is pleased to do so. If He is not, soon the “land of the free and the home of the  brave” will be a memory. Pray with me, in Jesus name, that God will turn the tide. Amen!
 

Spotsylvania County, Va.-June 4, 1768. Patrick Henry, in defense of three Baptist preachers, John Walker, Louis Craig, James Child, dragged before the magistrate and indicted with disturbing the peace.

Patrick Henry heard about it and decided to defend them and aid in their acquittal.  The indictment brought against them was “For preaching the Gospel of the Son of God contrary to the statutes in that case provided and, therefore, disturbers of the peace.
 
The clerk was reading the indictment in a slow and formal manner. . .”For preaching the gospel”. . . when a plain dressed man entered the courtroom and sat at the bar. He was known to the court and lawyers, but a stranger to the mass of people who had gathered on the occasion. 
 
This was Patrick Henry. He had ridden some 50-60 miles from his Hanover County home to volunteer his services in their defense. He listened to the reading of the indictment with marked attention.  The first sentence which had caught his ear was “For preaching the Gospel of the Son of God”. (1)
 
When the indictment had been read and the prosecuting attorney had submitted a few remarks, Henry arose, stretched out his hand and received the paper and then addressed the court.
 
“May I please, your worship, I think I heard read by the prosecutor as I entered this house the paper I now hold in my hand.  If I have rightly understood, the King’s attorney of this colony has framed an indictment for the purpose of arraigning and punishing by imprisonment three inoffensive persons before the bar of this court for a crime of great magnitude as disturbers of the peace!
 
May it please the court. . . What did I hear? Did I hear it distinctly or was it a mistake of my own? Did I hear an expression as of a crime that these men whom your worship is about to try for a misdemeanor are charged with what?”
 
(Low and heavy tone)
“. . For preaching the Gospel of the Son of God!”
 
Pausing amidst the most profound silence and breathless astonish­ment of his hearers, he slowly waved the paper three times around his head and lifted up his eyes to heaven with extra­ordinary and impressive energy exclaimed “Great God!”
 
The exclamations, the action, the burst of feeling from the audience were all over powering.
 
Mr. Henry continued: “May it please your worship in a day like this when truth is about to burst her fetters, when mankind is about to be raised to claim their natural and inalienable rights, when the yoke of oppression which has reached the wilderness of America and the unnatural alliance of ecclesiastical and civil power is about to be dis-served. . .a period when liberty, and liberty of conscience is about to awake from her slumberings, and enquire into the reason for such charges as I find exhibited here today in this indictment.”
 
Another fearful pause with the speaker alternatively casting his sharp piercing eyes on the court and the prisoners and resumed: “If I am not deceived according to the content of the paper I hold in my hand, these men are accused of preaching the Gospel of the Son of God! (looking up to heaven again).
 
Great God!”
 
Another long pause during which he again waved the paper three times around his head while a deeper impression was made on the audience.
 
Resuming the speech “May it please your worship, there are periods in the history of man when corruption and depravity have so long debased the human character that man sinks under the weight of the oppressor’s hand and becomes his servile, his abject slave! He licks the hand that smites him!  Bows in passive obedience to the mandates of the despot! And in this state of servility he receives his fetters of perpetual bondage. But may it please your worship such a day is passed away.  From the period when our fathers left the land of nativity for settlement in these American wilds; For liberty, for civil and religious liberty, for liberty of conscience to worship their creator according to their concepts of heaven’s revealed will.  From that moment they placed their feet on the American continent, in deep imbedded forests sought an asylum from persecution and tyranny.  From that moment despotism was crushed.  Her fetters of darkness were broken and heaven decreed that man should be free – free to worship God according to the Bible. But may it please your worship; permit me to enquire once more, For what are these men about to be tried? This paper says for preaching the Gospel of the Son of God.
 
Great God! For preaching the Saviour to Adam’s fallen race!”
 
Another pause . . . loudly-“What law have they violated?” Then for the third time in a slow dignified manner, he lifted his eyes to heaven and waved the indictment around his head. , .

The pitch was at its height . . . The judge said: “Sheriff-discharge those men!

(From the original article in Western Voice, July 29, 1949. This magazine is no longer published).

 

Come to me all of you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. (Matthew 11:28)

As this new year begins, I am praying for all who visit this site.  I don’t have to know you to understand that God has a purpose in leading you here.  I have learned in my life one important fact and that is that God hears our prayers and answers.  For whatever reason he brought you here, I welcome you with love. It doesn’t matter who you are or what your  need is, God’s strength is powerful enough to cover it all.  Your pain, your struggles and your broken heart cannot stop the perfect plan God has for those who seek him.  At some time in our lives, we all make bad choices and fall; but to those who take hold of the hand of Christ, there can be no failures. The truth is that there is no limit to what God can do through you and for you if you are willing to surrender your brokenness to him.

I want to share something that happened to me a few years ago that impacted my life.  My elderly father had been living with me and my husband in our home.  Almost four years to the month, my father got ill and I had to take him into the emergency room.  I felt weary and alone sitting in dad’s  room waiting for tests to be done when I heard the nurse talking to a man on the other side of the curtain.  Apparently the young man tried to commit suicide when he found out his wife and kids were moving out.  He sounded sad as he told the nurse that he felt like foolish for attempting something like that.  After talking to him a bit, the nurse left to get his discharge papers.  I had some of my faith articles with me and I felt strongly led to go over and give them to this stranger.  I hesitated and decided to think it over before letting this man know I overheard his story.  What if he got angry that I listened in? What do I even say to him?  I panicked! After a few seconds, I just got up and went over.  I turned back the curtain a little and quietly said to him, “Hi, I am so sorry but I overheard what happened and I want you to know that I care.  More importantly, God cares, and he has a future for you even if your marriage ends.  He can give you hope and healing no matter what you are feeling.  I will be praying for you and I have some articles I wrote that I think may help you, if that is okay with you.”  The young man simply looked me in the eyes with tears and said, “Thank you!”  I went over and hugged him and he told me his name and I told him mine.  We talked for a little and I tried to encourage him. Then he said something that truly humbled me to my soul.  He said, “I know you don’t realize it, but you just saved my life today!”  Amazing. Even though I was dealing with my seriously ill father, God still wanted to use me to bring his love and  hope to someone who was ready to give up. 

The next day, my daughter and I were with my father at the hospital when he passed away.  It was a crushing ordeal for me, but somehow in all of my pain I remembered how Christ  had used  me to show his love to a stranger.  God’s power was with me even as my father was dying.  His peace just filled me as I understood without a doubt that God was now taking care of my father in heaven!  His perfect plan did not fail me.

Life here on earth is not easy.  We are still on the battle ground of  a perishing world awaiting the final call of Christ.  Our momentary problems are working out eternal ramifications. They are preparing us for royalty in a kingdom that will never end.  We are always  going to have struggles and pain, but we must never lose our focus for God’s is always with us on the path that he has prepared for our lives.  

My hope for every believer  is that you understand that the storms in your life have no power to destroy you because God will always be bigger.  No matter how devastating it may seem, there is a purpose and plan for all that you must endure and he knows how to work it out for your good.   I am praying for you now.

 

                I HAVE COME THAT THEY MAY HAVE LIFE, AND HAVE IT ABUNDANTLY

( John 10:10)

We were all born sinners in a lost and perishing world. Our rebellion made us enemies of God and the price was eternal separation from him. Yet despite our weaknesses, the bible tells us: “For God so loved the world that he gave his one and only Son, that whoever believes in him shall not perish but have eternal love” (John 3:16) That is love beyond measure! Christ left the splendor of heaven to walk among us and give us hope for a life with him. The night that Christ was born, we read in Luke 2:8-11 :

And there were shepherds living out in the fields nearby, keeping watch over their flocks at night. An angel of the Lord appeared to them, and the glory of the Lord shone around them, and the angel said to them, “Do not be afraid. I bring you good news of great joy that will be for all the people. Today in the town of David a Savior has been born to you; he is Christ the Lord.”

What an awesome message to receive! Imagine being in that lonely field and seeing the the glory of God shining all around. Shepherds were considered low class, they were not trusted as witnesses in a court of law, and they weren’t well educated. They lived and worked outdoors, they typically were not able to keep the ceremonial law the way the priests did in the city. As a result, they had a reputation for being unclean. Yet God deemed them the perfect ones for him to witness the birth of the Savior of this world.

Christ became flesh to walk with his creation. He came to bring hope and joy despite the fact that there are many troubles in this world. His birth was the greatest gift that this world has ever known. Jesus came to defeat death and bring new life. He came to shine  a light in a dark world. And he came to show profound, amazing love to a world that would reject him.

There is nothing else that we need in this life for Jesus brought us the free gift of salvation and friendship with God. We no longer have to be imprisoned to sin and destruction. He offered us power over all the storms of this life and the promise of glory in heaven. Struggles and pain can no longer defeat those who accept Christ as Savior. It doesn’t matter where you are or what you have done, Jesus brought forgiveness and abundant life for all who seek him.

The enemy wants you to believe that you can live your life apart from Christ and still be okay. That is a lie from the pit of hell for you will face destruction if you reject Christ as Lord and Savior of your life. You will never have victory any way other than the path that God prepared for you before the foundation of the earth. Jesus is the only way to eternal life.

I pray that you will understand that despite what you have done, you can still have a life with promise if you start now to put your trust in Jesus. You have to want to live according to his ways and to turn from the ways that keep you in bondage. Your weakness can be made strong in Christ, and by his power you can overcome all obstacles in your life.   But time is growing short and you need to choose to live for Jesus now!

Let this Christmas be the one where you decide to live in the victory of Jesus! That will be the best gift you could ever get and it is one that will last into eternity! 

Merry Christmas to all who read this.  Whatever you are going through, your God is already there, willing and able  to help.  Please know that I am praying for you!

    Though I walk in the midst of trouble, you preserve my life (Psalm 138:7)

Have you ever been in a painful trial in life which made you feel like you were all alone?   The storms you face in this world can sometimes make you feel isolated and without hope.  And, although well-meaning friends want to help you, there often  is little that they can do.  You really want to believe that God is with you in that battle, but that may be hard to do when the enemy surrounds you on all sides!  When you come to these lonely places, it is then that you must take all thoughts captive to the truth of the promises of Christ!

In Scripture, David told King Saul that he would go against the giant  Goliath who was threatening to kill the Israelites.  Although he was only a young man alone, David knew that the force and strength of his God would be with him.  As David ran toward the giant armed only with a sling and 5 stones, he was confident that he would be victorious against the enemy – and he was.  David won this battle before he even started because his hope was steadfast in his faith that God would not fail him.  He never hesitated by allowing worry to have entry to his mind.  He knew the God that he served enough to take him at his word.

All of the battles that you face as a believer are fought on holy ground because the power of God is with you.  You are in the company of the army of heavenly forces who know well how to deal with the enemy. You are never left to fight alone.  As David understood that God was giving him his victory, so must you know that you are a conqueror against all that comes against you.  You must never let your situation cause you to be anxious.  Worry is nothing but the whispers of lies from a defeated enemy!   Satan wants you to make you feel alone and hopeless so that he can get a foothold into your mind.  Don’t give him access.

The truth is all the force that you need to defeat your feelings of hopelessness.  Your financial struggles, marriage problems,  health issues, addictions or heartaches are all under the power of a Sovereign God who knows how to take you safely through them. Your weaknesses are not hidden from the eye of an omniscient God who offers you his strength when you have none of your own.  He is never limited by the scope of your impossible situation.  His power is not confined to boundaries and it supersedes the scientific laws of this world.  Most importantly, your painful struggle was seen by God long before you were born and he prepared a way to take you to victory.  He has not forgotten you now and he never will.  

It is the lonely places that put you next to the heart of your God.  For it is when you have nowhere else to turn  that you realize that God’s power was all that you ever needed.  Jesus paid the price so that those who believed would be made more than a conqueror in all the battles of this world.  Never surrender your joy no matter how bad the problems in your life seem.  Though you may not understand it now, Christ is working it all out to fit into the perfect plan that he ordained for your life.  The One who keeps all your tears in a bottle will not let you drown in despair.  Jesus said “Are not two sparrows sold for a penny? Yet not one of them will fall to the ground apart from the will of your Father.  And even the very hairs on your head are numbered.  So don’t be afraid: you are worth more than many sparrows”.(Matthew 10:29-31)  There is nothing you must face that will not be measured and timed by God’s own hand. 

Whatever is overwhelming you in your life right now has a purpose to bring you closer to God.  The winds of trouble and the storms of  your life must all submit to the will of God for you.  Your battle will never be stronger than the refuge and strength of your God!  The bible tells us, “Weeping may remain for a night, but joy comes in the morning”. (Psalm 30:5)  That means that every painful struggle has a timing for it to end.  And it is only then that you will understand the power of  God whose love for you  never failed.

  

I pray that those who are struggling or in a painful trial will know the peace of God that surpasses understanding.  No matter what is going on in your life, please remember that it will never be bigger than your God!

                       lifting-up-hands                                                 Knowing that God will rescue you

Where is God in all of our struggles?  We are living in unbelievably difficult days and it does not appear to be getting any better.  Trying to hold on in faith while the darkness surrounds our situation can literally seem impossible.  In our finite minds,  it doesn’t make sense that God  appears to wait so long to come to our rescue.

The pain of a trial in life can be overwhelming.  A troubled marriage can turn your life upside down.  Financial problems seem to have no end in sight.  A serious illness can interrupt your life in a big way.  Addictions to alcohol, drugs, pornography or  any bondage can bring total havoc in your life.  There are just too many problems to deal with as utter darkness covers the earth.  Where is the peace that surpasses understanding that Jesus promised us believers?  Sometimes it may take all the effort you  have just to get out of bed in the morning and face life.  Without a doubt, we are living in troubling times.  So what can we do?

We are told in God’s word that then enemy prowls around like a roaring lion looking to devour you.  He is seeking to kill, steal and destroy all that you have.  But, the truth is that the enemy cannot take anything from one whose faith is in the finished work of Jesus Christ on the cross.  All that he can do is convince you of a lie that his power to destroy you is bigger than God’s power to rescue you.  You must remember that the tomb could not hold back the Holy Spirit’s power to raise Christ from the dead and that same power is living in you!  For that reason, you cannot be defeated no matter how wounded you are in the battle you are fighting.  Christ has conquered death and the power of evil.  Though the enemy can wage war all around you,  you will not be a casualty of a battle that has already been won.  Don’t look at your circumstances –  look at your God!  Our weakness comes when we take our eyes off the Source of our power.  Jesus does not take cover in the attacks of the enemy.  He is our fortress and a very present help to us.  The weary can find safety in his shadow and experience peace in his never-ending love.

By knowing and understanding the God you serve, you are able to rest and trust  him to get you through the storm.  If Jesus tells us to take joy despite our problems, he must have a way for us to do so.  We know by all that is true that God cannot lie.  In every one of our troubles, God is present and working them out.  You don’t have to feel him or see him working to know that he is causing all things to be used for your good.  It is by faith, which is greater than silver or gold, that we trust despite our pain.  My friends, you must understand that while this earth is not heaven, it is here that God is getting us ready to be royalty in a glorious place that will never end!  It is difficult to endure the hardships that surround us each day, but it is not impossible.  The sacrifice of Jesus on the cross gave us hope that our future is secure.   If he has the hairs on your head numbered, he surely is not going to forget to help you when you need him.  In his timing, you will understand that he never left you for one second!  The Apostle Peter took his eyes off of Jesus when he was walking on the water and began to sink.  But understand this – JESUS NEVER TOOK HIS EYES OFF OF PETER!  Jesus was able to lift Peter up from the sea because his power did not cease even when Peter doubted him.

God’s love and power for you are real.  If you are struggling it is because you are listening to the lies of the enemy and have taken your eyes from Christ.  I know that your financial problems are real and that your marriage may be in serious trouble.  All that I am saying is that God is not going to fail you.  You may think he is not with you now in your pain but the truth is that he is.  Even in your fear and weakness, he is not going to abandon you.  His love is just so amazing that it will meet you wherever you are.  He knows how to lift you from your sea of trouble and he will not let you drown.  God can make a way even when there is none.

Let the amazing love that Christ has for you be your strength in the battle you are facing.  Get into his word and let him fill you will the knowledge of his power so that you will not be afraid of what the future holds for you.  The words that God gave to his people long ago are for you today: “For I am the LORD, your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you”. (Isaiah 41:13)

                                                            

 

The hope of victory in all of the battles you face in this world starts with absolute surrender to Jesus Christ.   It is only when you are willing to trust him with your weaknesses that he can make you strong in his power.  Paul tells us in 2 Corinthians 12:10, “For when I am weak, then I am strong-the less I have, the more I depend on him”.  Paul understood that he could not endure on his own all the persecutions and hardships he suffered.  His strength came from knowing that Jesus was using the pain he suffered to overcome his weaknesses.  Paul was made stronger with every battle that Jesus took him through. He knew that even death had no power over him.  For that reason Paul was able to say in Philippians 1:21, “For me to live is for Christ and to die is gain.”

 

It is only by the strength of Christ who lives in us that we can overcome all the forces of evil that try to defeat us everyday.  There is no stronghold in your life that can destroy you when you have put your faith in Jesus.  He is all that you need because he alone can do all things.  By his death and resurrection, Jesus has freed you from the chains of bondage to sin.  You now can have peace in the midst of a storm because you know that God’s purpose for your life cannot be stopped.  The enemy cannot steal your joy when you are in a painful trial because Jesus is always with you and he has promised you a reward that far outweighs all that you are going through.  Although we live in a lost world, we can stand firmly in the hope that Christ has made us joint heirs with him in a kingdom that will never be destroyed. 

 

The struggles of this world may make you weary but they are no match for the promises of God who has made us more than conquerors.  The enemy roams this earth trying to fill you with his lies of hopelessness and defeat.   But Jesus came to bring light and truth to a dark world so that we can live without fear knowing that he will bring us through all of our problems.  You need to know that you have an eternal hope in Jesus Christ and he will never fail you.  It does not matter what heartache or pain you are in, his love is able to heal and comfort you.  The peace that God brings can sustain you in even the darkest storm if you are willing to trust him. We read in 2 Chronicles 16:9, “For the eyes of the Lord range throughout the earth to strengthen those whose hearts are fully committed to him”.  Jesus is the only force you need to stay strong in the battle because his blood on Calvary paid the price for your victory

 

The best thing about the love of Christ is that he is willing to meet you where you are. He wants to give you his power to overcome your weaknesses.  He wants to restore your life and give you a future. He wants to give you victory over all that comes against you. And most importantly, Jesus wants to give you eternal life with him in heaven. Your problems and failures can never stop God from restoring you to wholeness and giving you a future despite the hopelessness of your situation.. He will always make a way when there is none!

 

Salvation is found only in Jesus. There is no other name under heaven given to men by which we must be saved. (Acts 4:12)  It is my prayer that you will call upon his name today. His love will be sufficient to do the rest. 

 

 

 

                                              Promises of Christ

 

All things in this earth will pass away and only the kingdom of God will endure forever.  Each day of your life you have to decide if you will serve the temporary pleasures of this fallen world or store up riches in the never ending kingdom of heaven that is to come.

 

Those who endure until the end will receive the unspeakable reward which Christ has prepared for those who love him.  We are given only a glimpse in Scripture of what it will be like to be in the presence of God in heaven forever because our finite minds could not possibly comprehend the magnificent beauty that awaits believers.

 

For now on this earth, we must face the battles that each day holds as we continue to trust in the unfailing strength of our God who provides all that we need.  We serve a God who alone has the power to turn a curse in our life into a blessing (Deuteronomy 23:5).  No stronghold has power over your life as a believer but what you give it. You only grow weary in the battle when you empower your situation instead of magnifying your God who has the power to crush all of your enemies. You can believe the lie that says your situation is hopeless, or you can walk in the truth that says by faith you can literally move mountains.

 

No struggle or trial is beyond the strength of the Creator who spoke all things into existence.  He who breathed life into your body can assuredly breathe new life into your broken dreams and restore what the enemy took from you. Your situation can never separate you from the love of God in Christ Jesus.  Have no fear when it seems like the ground all around you is crumbling.  You are not standing on the sinking sand of this earth but on the promises of Christ who will hold you and keep you standing while those around you are perishing. 

 

Every believer is given a future with promise and a plan to succeed in all that God has called you to do.  You cannot be robbed of your inheritance as a child of the King of Kings.  Jesus came to this earth to die for us so that we might have eternal life with him in heaven.  Your weaknesses and failures cannot stop the promise of God who reconciled us to himself in Christ not counting men’s sins against them   Through Christ, we have become the righteousness of God.  God’s word tells us in 1 Cor. 6: 11, ”But you were washed, you were sanctified, you were justified in the name of the Lord Jesus Christ and by the Spirit of our God”.  We were made clean and right standing not by anything that we could do, but only by what Jesus did for us on the cross.  He paid the price that gave us victory over death and set us free from the bondages of this world. We only need to believe that Jesus alone is the Way, the Truth and the Life. 

 

If you are unsure of your future and want assurance of eternity with God in heaven, now is the time to call upon the name of Jesus and ask him to reveal himself to you in a personal way.  He is only a prayer away and his great love for you will do the rest. 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Marianne Bernard

Marianne Bernard

I seek first the kingdom of Christ because everything else in this world is perishing. All that I have is from God who is always faithful. I have worked hard all my life and will continue as long as God lends me breath. The mistakes and bad judgments I made in my life all stemmed from me trying to work things out by myself. I have learned the hard way that the victory over all of my problems and the answers to all of my desires lie solely in my Savior, Jesus Christ. It is now my desire to share the words that God gives me to encourage and give hope to others who need the strength that only faith in Christ can give.

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