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I cry to you, O Lord- I say, “You are my refuge, my portion in the land of the living.

We’d attended the quaint, family-oriented church for years. I’d joined Bible study groups, attended morning meetings for young mamas, and participated in Sunday school. Still, loneliness gnawed at my insides. Somehow, I just didn’t fit. One day after the traditional morning greeting, I once again watched as the women flitted from one pew to the other laughing and hugging each other while I stood awkwardly waving and smiling. I felt like the gangly little girl I’d once been-the last one to be chosen to play on the kickball or softball teams.


That afternoon, I spoke with my husband about looking for a different church. It’s terrible to feel invisible when you’re surrounded by people.


King David also experienced isolation. Having been handpicked by God, he’d slain a giant, married royalty, and had a meteoric rise to fame. Unfortunately, Saul was bent on murder. In an effort to escape, David found refuge in the cave of Abdullum along with 400 desperate men who followed him there. (1 Samuel 22)

Still, David felt alone. Unseen. Unnoticed. Was he? Was I? Are you?

The Secrets of the Cave

I’d been living in a cave. Unlike David, my cave was imperceptible. Its walls weren’t made of limestone or located in a barren desert, but they were real. My cave was called Anxiety and Depression.

My cave was called Anxiety and Depression. Click To Tweet


Some of you may have a cave, as well. Perhaps yours is named Trial, Difficulty, Sorrow, or Illness. It could be Divorce, Trauma, or Loss. We all find ourselves stumbling into desert caves at some point. While residing in the cave often feels uncomfortable, there are some secrets we can learn from David and his time in the cave of Adullam.

While residing in the cave often feels uncomfortable, there are some secrets we can learn from David.. Click To Tweet


• Caves Make Us Better Prayer Warriors
A musician and poet, David penned Psalm 142 as well as other poems and prayers during his time in the cave. He learned to “pour out”, or spill, his heart before God and set an example for future believers. While God already knows our needs, anxieties, and troubles, he longs to communicate intimately with us.


• Caves Help Us Realize Our Condition
David was surrounded by the enemy with Saul on one side and the Philistines on the other. He saw no way of escape. But God provided a route of victory. Even when we’re confused or uncertain of our future, God clearly sees the way. He is never unsure of His plans for us.

Caves remind us that God is constant. Click To Tweet

• Caves Remind Us That God is Constant
While David felt as though nobody cared for Him, the maker of heaven and earth heard his prayers. Isn’t that incredible? God hears every cry that spills from our hearts. Oh, what blessing to be known and loved that intimately.

Caves aren't our home. Click To Tweet


• Caves Aren’t Our Home
Something comes after the cave. When God brought David out of the cave, he’d prepared him for battles, victory, and then kingship. Perhaps you, too, are being prepared for a battle. Or, perhaps your cave is the battle and afterward, you’ll experience victory. Whatever the case, the Lord will bring you out the cave with purpose, fully prepared that “[you] might give thanks to [His] name”.


Peace and grace,
Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

 

_...whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life.” - Copy

The throbbing is real but intangible. Painful but unseen. It’s the shattering of a heart already broken experiencing one more journey in the wasteland. Have you been in this place before? In the same sort of circumstance where your dreams are dashed by reality and hope drifts away like dust in the wind? Are you searching for solace, but coming up dry? Does it seem as if even God is unreachable in this desert place?

The Wasteland

The wasteland is almost uninhabitable; barren of comfort, it lacks nourishment and sanctuary is difficult to find. Even your spirit seeks aimlessly, searching for rest but finding none; lying in the pale sand only to rise up again up with the residue of silt  clinging to it-a a reminder of your unchartered journey.

Some of you may be in a spiritual wasteland or on its horizon; others remember trials you’ve recently experienced-difficult circumstances that led you deep into the arid places of the heart bereft of comfortable routines or reassuring normalcy.

If you’re passing through the refining heat of the desert, there is comfort in knowing those of great faith have also journeyed along the same gritty path.

A King in the Wasteland

Imagine being a man of great wealth and power only to discover your oldest son has betrayed you. Charming and deceitful, he’s convinced some of your closest advisors to turn against you and, as a result, you lose everything-your position, possessions, and prestige.

Discovering a plot against your life, you gather a few trusted men and escape to the wilderness. Nourishment is scarce and the enemy, your son, haunts every weary step. Battle weary, you’ve managed many losses and setbacks. Undeserved hatred. Depression. The death of a beloved child. This is a new heartache…the betrayal of a precious son and separation from your place of holy Hope. The one sanctuary of your life.

While encountering his own wasteland, the shepherd-turned-king cried out to God and scribed his words into song as a testimony for us.

O God, You are my God;
Early will I seek You;
My soul thirsts for You;
My flesh longs for You
In a dry and thirsty land
Where there is no water.
So I have looked for You in the sanctuary,
To see Your power and Your glory.

Because Your lovingkindness is better than life,
My lips shall praise You. Thus I will bless You while I live;
I will lift up my hands in Your name.
My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness,
And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

When I remember You on my bed,
I meditate on You in the night watches.
Because You have been my help,
Therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice.
My soul follows close behind You;
Your right hand upholds me.                                                                                                                                   But those who seek my life, to destroy it,

Shall go into the lower parts of the earth.
They shall fall by the sword;
They shall be a portion for jackals.

But the king shall rejoice in God;
Everyone who swears by Him shall glory;
But the mouth of those who speak lies shall be stopped. (Psalm 63-NKJV)

 

Are you struck by David’s description of His parched soul? By the yearning he has to be in God’s presence? In these few, beautiful verses the believer reveals a path to joy in the most difficult of situations.

Focus on God’s Character

When I’m surrounded by the brokenness of the wasteland, I often fail to notice the stark beauty of the desert stars shining in an inky sky or the shifting shadows along the face of the rocky terrain. I’m consumed by the situation and begin to compare my unfair circumstances to other believers. Why this issue? Hadn’t I prayed enough? Why does God allow this suffering? The questions keep coming, but there aren’t any satisfactory answers.

Perhaps David felt the same way, but he didn’t resort to comparing or even complaining. Instead, he turned his thoughts heavenward and called out to the one who is unbound by circumstances. David cried, “O Elohim (the one true God), You are my El (the mighty One).”

Neither the barren surroundings nor the lack of protection garnered the king’s attention. God’s character was his focal point. When we find ourselves confused or fearful in unwelcome circumstances, our strength comes from the presence of the all-knowing, ever-loving El Elohim. Removing our eyes from the temporary and redirecting them to our Eternal horizon is the first step in rediscovering hope in difficulty.

Quench Your Thirst

As king, David knew the pleasures of fine feasts, silken fabrics, and celebrations. He was accustomed to being addressed with respect and surrounded by family members and doting servants. Now, David and a few loyal men were rushing from one cave to another without the simplest of comforts, and when crying out for his most basic needs what did he request?

More of God.

Despite his clear physical needs, David’s spiritual needs were far more acute. Body and soul, he longed to commune with God. Lamenting at being separated from the holiness of the sanctuary where he’d witnessed God’s glory, earth’s mighty king bowed before heaven’s King in humble submission asking that the Lord alone would quench his thirst.

What does your soul thirst after, friend? Is it His word? Worship? Communing with Him?  Go to Him for we need never thirst. Jesus said, “whoever drinks of the water I will give him will never be thirsty again”. (John 4:14 ESV)

Remember and Rejoice

Even though David is fleeing for his life, he recalls all of the good God has done for him. He recounts the joys, victories, and protection. Maybe David thinks of his best friend Jonathan, the rags-to-riches story of shepherd boy to king, the unexpected win of teenaged-boy over a ruthless warrior, or the birth of his son, Solomon.

Praise flows like a river from David’s mouth. As he thanks the Lord, gratitude wells up from inside his spirit and joy spills out.

Remembering God’s goodness leads to rejoicing. And don’t we all need more rejoicing-especially when we’re walking through the wasteland?

 

Leaving the Wasteland

Eventually, David was rescued from the wasteland. You will be, too, friend. Our Father promises to be your shield and protector, your rescuer and redeemer. He will quench your thirst and lead you by still waters.

Like David, we can cling to our Lord with steady perseverance and take refuge from any challenge in El Elohim-the one true God, the strong and mighty One.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jimmy Evan’s book, I Am David: 10 Lessons in Greatness from Israel’s Most Famous King, is a call to live for Christ despite challenges, difficult circumstances, and ploys of the enemy. It is a reminder to stay on the battlefield in the mix of life’s struggles as we engage through faith for our family, friends, and communities.

Evan’s book is a countercultural view of greatness, one that “has little to do with fame or how much money a person has earned. No one is truly great who doesn’t serve Jesus Christ. True greatness has everything to do with how many souls we take with us to heaven and how honorably we serve the Lord Jesus Christ, not only in front of people but also behind the scenes.”

True greatness has everything to do with how many souls we take with us to heaven...#iamdavid Click To Tweet

Straightforward and practical, I Am David is written for men and women who have believed God won’t use them because of mistakes or wounds in their past, but long to be used of God. Evans invites the reader to consider the sins and mistakes in David’s own life as well as the ways in which the shepherd-king turned to and relied on God and became known as “a man after God’s own heart”.

Offering ten lessons from David’s life, Evans presents steps toward Biblical greatness as he shares examples from scripture. I Am David is filled with scriptural references and includes both a leader’s guide as well as a study guide.

Evan’s book is encouraging and particularly powerful in the first several chapters. While some readers I know will disagree with the author’s choice of presenting Joel Osteen as someone to admire, this book is theologically sound and a great read for those who are afraid to step into their calling or for Christians who need to re-engage their faith.

If you would like a copy of your own, just leave a comment below and you’ll be entered in a drawing to receive your own hardback copy. (US addresses only, please. Thank you for understanding.)

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

 

Shadow of Shame

 

Your parents had to get married. Her words, rife with condemnation and mockery, penetrated my third-grade heart. I felt the stares of the other children. I blinked hard, forcing my humiliation to be quiet. Undetectable. But shame rose fast and unrelenting like floodwaters. Tears blurring my vision, I bowed my head and hurried toward the school cafeteria. That day, every bite of food tasted like shame.

That day, every bite of food tasted like shame.#shame #powerofwords #identityinChrist Click To Tweet

My struggle with shame began long before elementary school. It festered and grew in a home where words were weapons and hurtful labels were accepted without question. I was a burden, not a blessing.

(To continue reading, please visit my friend, Katy Kauffman’s blog, where I am guest posting this week.) http://lighthousebiblestudies.com/katy-kauffman-blog/christ-who-conquered-shame.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

 

Psalm 46:1

Before color kissed the sky, I awakened-already weary from a series of imagined twilight horrors. Matching the tempo of my husband’s rhythmic breathing, releasing the fear trapped inside. His arm, heavy with sleep, draped across my waist like a rope strung between a boat and its mooring.

This has become my Holy Spirit hour; a time of communing, listening, interceding, rejoicing, and weeping. Five weeks of pre-dawn wakefulness coupled with a knowing within-this is part of my calling, my equipping, my serving.

The terror of the night seeks to invade from within but loses its battle when whispered words of truth penetrate the inky space. Click To Tweet

The terror of the night seeks to invade from within but loses its battle when whispered words of truth penetrate the inky space between physical and spiritual. The enemy is shrewd, his bloodlust an open cavity for the unprepared. Palms open and eyes closed, I release the anxieties that lead my thoughts directly toward fear and utter, “Lord, help my unbelief.”

I meditate on Psalm 46, the familiar words of the Psalmist reminding me of my position. “God is our refuge and strength, an ever-present help in trouble.”

God is my refuge. 

He is my refuge from inner turmoil. He is a refuge from the haunting memories of childhood. He is my refuge from the silent illness crafted by my own body.

He is your refuge, too. 

Only six letters, the word seems simple. Benign. And maybe I’ve just read or heard the words too often to allow them to penetrate deep. Refuge.

To the Psalmist, a refuge would have been a watchtower, a pillar of stones positioned on a hill above the fields of a town or in the mids of ripening vineyards. From his vantage point, the watchman guarded the livelihood of his people from marauders and animals scavenging for food. Gathering family to live within the safety of the fortress; the sentry stood watch-his dear ones far from threats of impending danger.

God is our refuge.

An unshakeable pillar, God who is our strength is the one to whom we can flee. In Him, we are raised to a position of strength and encircled by safety.

The refuge stands, unmoving and Almighty. Click To Tweet

The enemy may rattle his saber and destruction may batter the stronghold, but their roar is useless. The refuge stands, unmoving and Almighty. Neither the abuses of men nor the sword that pierced His side defeated the Rock and we, cradled in heaven’s watchtower, discover the love and security of our rescuer.

God is your refuge. 

Are you distressed? Brimming with worry as Death travels where it will? Has isolation brought you to the end of hope? Do you long for relief from the world’s trials? Seek Him, Friend. Move into the security of your Salvation and rest. He’ll watch over you, nourish you with His strength, and shelter you until time fades into eternity.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

P.S. I’d love to have you join me tonight as we meet to discuss and consider how to be set free from fear. I hope to see you online!

Refresh

 

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers-

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

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It’s time for another round of book reviews and I have several to share! I hope you’ll enjoy them as much as I did.

 

 

The Marriage Ark

The Marriage Ark is a solid, practical book for couples who want to grow and develop together throughout marriage. Easy to read and apply, each chapter ends with reflection questions that a couple can discuss and apply. Phillips guides the reader through such important topics as communication, intimacy in relationship, and grace. If a couple or group would like to engage in a quick study together, The Marriage Ark would be a great place to start.

 

 

MyHeart

A lovely book of poems by a trusted, faithful woman of God, My Heart, Ever His: Prayers for Women is a book ladies can turn to again and again for encouragement and hope. Without shying away from difficult topics, the author emphasizes God’s character and reminds the reader of His enduring faithfulness in every circumstance. This is a book worth keeping yourself and one you’ll want to purchase for those you love.

 

Stop

 

Stop Calling Me Beautiful is a powerfully written reminder that Christian women need more than just “milk” in order to grow in their faith; they require ‘solid food’. Masonheimer convincingly argues that women are taught the less important truth-that they are beautiful-without being taught the fundamental truths about Christ. As a result, women are leading empty lives attempting to earn their way to heaven, overcome anxiety, or bear the burden of sexual sin without understanding the basics of the faith.

An honest, insightful book for the woman struggling with questions about her faith, legalism, or particular areas of sin, Stop Calling Me Beautiful is also a call to Christian women’s ministry leaders to go deeper with the women they serve.

I couldn’t stop highlighting the pages of the ebook I was reading and I plan to order a hardcopy. This book grabbed me; it’s about actionable faith rather than getting caught up in competitive Christianity. I highly recommend this book!

 

RubysWorry

 

Although Ruby’s Worry was published a couple of years ago, it’s the perfect read for little ones who are struggling with big worries. The character in this book discovers her worry grows bigger and takes up more space in her life until she learns to talk about it with someone. Tom Percival has provided a wonderful tool for children to begin to identify and discuss anxiety or worry.

 

I hope one or two of these books make their way into your reading pile and challenge the way you think, stir your thoughts, or encourage your heart.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I sometimes link up with the following wonderful bloggers:

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and MicheleKingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend Fresh Market Fridays

Cup of Suffering

 

He knelt alone beneath the branches of the trees, holy features twisted by the agony of foreknowledge. Mocking spirits seemed to luck behind every tree, but the three men sleeping nearby remained unaware. Still, the man prayed.

“Father, if you are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from me. Yet I want your will to be done, not mine.” (Luke 22:42)

Flesh warring with spirit, the one they called Christ waged a personal battle as heaven responded with silence. The call to sacrifice remained. He would exchange purity for imperfection, holiness for degradation, the Father’s love for Satan’s hatred, and life for death.

Not even his three closest friends remained to support him as the time of crisis neared. Alone, isolated, and betrayed, the Miracle Worker bent in submission to the Father’s will.

The Miracle Worker bent in submission to the Father's will. Click To Tweet

While the first garden, Paradise, served as the seat of man’s defeat, the second garden, Gethsemane, served as the beginning of man’s hope for here Christ conquered flesh and willingly gave himself into the hands of those who held no power over the creator of all.

I imagine Jesus rising as the sounds of the mob fill the space where angels had tread. Resolute with purpose, his will steeled for the suffering that lay ahead, our Lord wiped sandy ashes from his tunic and pauses.

They are only dust; Father forgive them.

Jesus, the holy and blameless Lamb, offered himself as the final and complete sacrifice to satisfy the cost of sin. He walked into the pit of hell that we might be rescued from it; no longer captive to the schemes of our Enemy.

Jesus, the holy and blameless Lamb, offered himself as the final and complete sacrifice to satisfy the cost of sin. . Click To Tweet

The God “who owns the cattle on a thousand hills” (Psalm 50:10) stepped out of eternity into time and embraced poverty and pain. The One who breathed life into creation experienced betrayal and bloodshed. The Almighty who healed others with a word chose ridicule for our redemption.

Above all, the perfect and powerful perseverance of Christ led to victory over death for all who believe. He is risen!

Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers-

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

 

 

These are a few of the books I’ve enjoyed the last few weeks. They’ve all enriched my life in their own way and I highly recommend them. I’d love to know what you’re reading. Please let me know in the comment section. My list grows longer, but one can never read too many books.

Peace and grace,

Tammy


 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Strength of a Woman: 31 Days to Celebrating Your Place in Proverbs 31 is the most unique, interesting study of the Proverbs 31 woman I’ve ever encountered. Author Lauren Crews delves into the historicity of the acrostic proverb by examining the meaning of each Hebrew letter that introduces each line of the poem.

Lauren reveals a different perspective of the Proverbs 31 woman than the one I’ve come to expect. Instead of a woman with impossible standards, she becomes an exemplar. Rather than a woman against whom I’m compared, she becomes a woman of encouragement. A woman of spiritual strength and wisdom clothed with heavenly power. A woman to admire and emulate.

For those who are lovers of words and etymology, you’ll discover a wealth of information about original meanings as well as how those definitions practically apply in today’s world to the married, single, divorced, or widowed woman.

Strength of a Woman is a book that exhorts, uplifts, and educates while encouraging the believer to follow after the Lord. This wonderful Bible study, written with questions for reflection at the end of each chapter, is one every woman should read.

Lauren reveals a different perspective of the Proverbs 31 woman than the one I've come to expect.#Strength@LaurenCrews Click To Tweet

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Anjuli Paschall’s book, Stay: Discovering Grace, Freedom, and Wholeness Where You Never Imagined Looking, is a lovely, flow-of-thought look at life as one woman grapples with identity within the context of faith. Plucking scenarios from her life, Anjuli creates beautiful prose to illustrate the importance of staying with the difficult emotions, the hard places, and the God who loves us in order to become the woman we were created to become.

The book is so lyrically captivating and emotive that it is worth the read.#stay #anjulipaschall Click To Tweet

Ephemeral and airy, Stay is more philosophical and poetic than practical. It is inspiring, not empirical. There are no action steps, prayers, or points for consideration. However, the book is so lyrically captivating and emotive that it is worth the read. Anjuli will pull you into her world with rich, captivating words that cause you to explore the depth of your own pain, joy, and faith.

You won’t be disappointed.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Written by pastor Keion Henderson, The Shift: Courageously Moving From Season to Season, is penned for those who are living “between”. Men and women who are grappling with the challenge of change; the movement of life. Whether they’re experiencing the shift from parenting as a couple to single parenting, living on a steady income to a fixed income, or surviving in the time of a worldwide pandemic, The Shift is a book that transforms hopelessness into opportunity.

This is one book I'll be adding to my Christmas list-especially for the men in my life.#powerful@WorthyPublishing Click To Tweet

Having grown up in the inner city and abandoned by his father, Keion Henderson knows about hardship. But he is also familiar with the change in perspective a person can have when we’re sure God has a purpose for our lives.

This book is one I’ll be adding to my Christmas list-especially for the men in my life. It’s powerful and timely.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A new Easter favorite.#honorsChrist @JillRomanLord Click To Tweet

Jill Roman Lord has penned another delightful rhyming read for the littles in your life. If you’ve been searching for a new Easter favorite, consider this sweet padded book. Not only does this book honor Christ, but your bundle of joy will be wriggling with delight as you share words that slide off the tongue from this favorite children’s author.

 

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers-

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

The last few weeks are unlike any I’ve experienced; I know you’re feeling the same way. We’ve adopted unfamiliar phrases like ‘social-distancing’ and ‘Covid-19’ into our vocabulary as reporters share the grim news of a relentless enemy decimating the lives of families across the world; forcing people behind doors as government leaders scramble to avoid economic collapse and healthcare workers deal with a shortage of ventilators and protective gear.

The Destroyer marched into the territory of our home; dark and frightening. But, my husband, son, and I knew the truth- “the One who is living in [us] is far greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4 TPT).

Just as the Coronavirus began ravaging the United States, my young adult son was in crisis. Another Enemy, one against whom we’d battled for years, threatened my boy’s life. The Destroyer marched into the territory of our home; dark and frightening. But, my husband, son, and I knew the truth- “the One who is living in [us] is far greater than the one who is in the world” (1 John 4 TPT).

As I spoke words of hope and life over my son, I prayed God would guide us to the right people. That He’d provide funding where none existed. That each impossible detail and insurmountable obstacle-distance, despair, international disease-would not hamper us as we trusted Him to pave a way where none existed before.

This must have been how the Israelites felt when they saw the Red Sea in front of them and Pharoah’s army advancing from behind.

But God never left His people unprotected. Unguarded. Unsecured.

God never left His people unprotected.Unguarded.Unsecured.#fightfear#spiritualbattle#hope Click To Tweet
While the people quaked in fear and even raised up in anger against Moses, God remained steadfast. He knew the plans of the wicked pursuer was to " to steal, slaughter, and destroy", (A thief has only one thing in mind—he wants to steal, slaughter,a]">[a] and destroy. But I have come to give you everything in abundance, b]">[b] more than you expectc]">[c]—life in its fullness until you overflow!) but the One who transforms impossible to possible and the vain to victorious would make Himself known in and through nature.

One week before our city shutdown, God placed my son in the care of people able to help him engage in the battle of his young life. God split the Red Sea, moving him across the other side to safety.

The Church stands at the edge of our own Red Sea; the sea of Faith.#equippedtostand #prayforothers Click To Tweet

I believe the Church stands at the edge of our own Red Sea; the sea of Faith.

Exodus 14: 13-16 reads-

But Moses told the people, “Don’t be afraid. Just stand still and watch the Lord rescue you today. The Egyptians you see today will never be seen again. The Lord himself will fight for you. Just stay calm. Then the Lord said to Moses, “Why are you crying out to me? Tell the people to get moving! Pick up your staff and raise your hand over the sea. Divide the water so the Israelites can walk through the middle of the sea on dry ground.

Fear lurks outside the door, but it isn’t from the Lord. Friends, fear is our Enemy and we know he has come to “steal, kill, and destroy”. While this assault is unexpected to us, God isn’t surprised. He’s equipped up through Christ to stand! Those in Christ who are weaker need us to stand. Those who don’t yet know Jesus need us to stand. Our children, nation, and a hurting world need us to stand.

Fear lurks outside the door, but it isn’t from the Lord. Friends, fear is our Enemy and we know he has come to “steal, kill, and destroy”. While this assault is unexpected to us, God isn’t surprised. He’s equipped up through Christ to stand! Those in Christ who are weaker need us to stand. Those who don’t yet know Jesus need us to stand. Our children, nation, and a hurting world need us to stand.

There are several important points we need to pull from the scripture above.

  • The Lord Will Rescue-We may not know how, but we know Who.
  • The Church Must Move-Pray for revival. Serve with love.
  • Be Faithful-Watch how the Lord will move.

Be encouraged, Friends. He will provide a way to the other side.

Peace and grace,

Tammy

Ladies, it’s an online get-together and you’re invited! I’m hosting a Zoom chat and prayer time on Tuesday, March 31st @ 5pm MST (7 pm EST,  4 pm PST) if you would like to join me. Just respond with your email to tammy.kennington@gmail.com and I’ll send you an invite. Feel free to forward this email to other women who might like to participate. (Ladies only, please. Thanks for understanding!)

Ladies, it's an online get-together and you're invited! I'm hosting a Zoom chat and prayer time on Tuesday, March 31st @ 5pm MST (7 pm EST,  4 pm PST) if you would like to join me. Just respond with your email to… Click To Tweet

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5 ways to Manage Anxiety pdf

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers-

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

 

Is not this laid up in store with me, sealed up in my treasuries?

Deuteronomy 32:34

 

The context of Deuteronomy 32 lets us know the “this” of verse 34 is God’s justice and judgement. Verse 35 says, “Vengeance is mine, …and their doom comes swiftly.” Although commentators have differing opinions of who God is saying he’ll judge, it will be upon Israelites’ enemies or the Israelites themselves. In effect, he is saying, “Don’t you understand judgment is stored up and will be released at the right time?” It may seem God is delaying or refusing to bring justice, yet here he declares he has not forgotten the actions of sinners because he is a just God.

Most of Deuteronomy 32 gives the reasons for judgment. Verse 32 gives us an interesting visual of one of those reasons.

For their vine comes from the vine of Sodom

and from the fields of Gomorrah;

their grapes are grapes of poison;

their clusters are bitter.

Some commentators have varying ideas about the “vine of Sodom” which the Bible refers to only this once. Over the years, many have tried to identify the exact plant God refers to. The most obvious are the grapes. Yet researchers have wondered if there is any other kind of what some call “apples of Sodom.”

The other fruit might be a candidate, appearing like a delicious, smooth, soft, yellow apple or orange. But when grabbed or bitten, the fruit disintegrates into a puff of air, a thin rind, and a few fibers. What seemed so fulfilling offers nothing of value.

That’s the point. God’s people are depending upon empty, ineffective, worthless things that become idols. Idol worship deserves judgment because the Israelites are putting their hope into a “puff of air.” The hollow “vine cluster” seems to give a tiny spiritual taste of satisfaction but doesn’t last.

Think of some of the ways we experience a spiritual “puff of air.”

A woman marries her Prince Charming, expecting he will always make her happy. But he expects her to always give him respect. When she expresses an opinion other than what he thinks, he gets angry, feeling weak.

Someone is finally promoted to their dream position, but the friend who is passed over now brings all sorts of troubles.

An infertile wife finally becomes pregnant expecting a delightful experience until her child seems to cry twenty-four hours a day.

Only God can offer long-lasting fulfillment, both here and for eternity. Click To Tweet

Every single person and experience on this imperfect earth will disappoint us at some point. Only God can offer long-lasting fulfillment, both here and for eternity. Of course, we still won’t receive everything we want, but God knows what is best and promises to meet our true needs (Philippians 4:19).

For any who seek fulfillment in earthly sources, God knows such vain worship turns them away from dependence upon him, the perfect source. No wonder our just God judges in order to motivate people to turn from unfulfilling sin.

  • What is your opinion about God being just and therefore responding in judgement?
  • When has it seemed God has delayed judging those who have harmed you? How have you dealt with that?

 

God of the Universe, I praise you for you are always motivated by being just.

Thank you for always judging rightly and thoroughly.

 

The Millers have been in ministry since 1978 as speakers, authors, and lay counselors. They married in 1970 and God empowered them to overcome the dysfunctional marriage and family they had developed early in their marriage. Larry is a retired police lieutenant from Huntington Beach Police Department. Both individually and as a couple, they have authored over 55 books and spoken in nine foreign countries. They live in Southern California and are parents and grandparents. Visit them at www.KathyCollardMiller.com

Kathy is making a copy of God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature available to the winner of a book drawing. Enter to win by Thursday, March 26th by leaving a comment below. The winner will be drawn on March 27th (US addresses only, please. Thank you for understanding.)

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This guest blog is adapted from God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature

Order God’s Intriguing Questions: 40 Old Testament Devotions Revealing God’s Nature at:

https://www.amazon.com/Gods-Intriguing-Questions-Testament-Devotions/dp/195197008X/

Connect with them at:

www.facebook.com/KathyCollardMillerAuthor and https://www.facebook.com/larry.miller.3532?

Twitter: @KathyCMiller and @LarryMiller

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Peace and grace,

Tammy

I often link up with the following wonderful bloggers-

Mondays   InstaEncouragementsAnita Ojeda, Mandy and Michele, Kingdom Bloggers,

Tuesdays RaRa Linkup /GraceFull Tuesday / Tell His Story/Anchored Abode,

Wednesdays   Worth Beyond RubiesRecharge Wednesday Welcome Wednesday /LetsHave Coffee/Porch Stories

Thursdays Heart Encouragement  /  Tune In Thursday  /Salt and Light /  Five Minute Friday

Friday Counting My Blessings, Faith on Fire, Blogger Voices Network, Grace and Truth Linkup,best-of-the-weekend

 

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