Saturday, November 3, 2012

Continuing “Knowing God” by J.I. Packer with comments by Lynne Farrow

What will be some of the themes we will be thinking on as we continue this study? Well, the Godhead of God involves the qualities of the Deity of God. GLORY! The qualities and attributes of the Holy One are so awesome to think about let alone putting them all together in one study and then pondering them, as Mary did concerning the little things of Christ as she saw them happening. How wonderful it must have been for her to have many precious memories of her own to keep in her heart. Well, we can do the same thing here as we contemplate His wonderful attributes and qualities. Let’s begin a list:

His self-existence and infinity, His eternality, His unchangeableness! I do not know about you, but I can “think” ahead @ God always will be! But…to think back, even though I know the truth of “always,” I cannot fathom back, that He always was…my mind seems  to want to bend when I try to think of “always was” and had no beginning! It is just more than my poor, human mind can “get.” So, I just accept it as true. The line of infinity stretches from all the way back to before there was probably nothing but the Triune God, then forward to …to when?????  I remember a Star Trek episode from Deep Space Nine where there were beings that kept saying to each other, pertaining to the humans they were encountering, “they are linear.” They meant in time…I understand that eternity has no time, it just “is.”  Again, my mind wants to bend. So, we can think of our Father as “always” and be content to ponder that. Unchangeableness…that is a powerful image…no change, always the same, unmoved by circumstances. That comforts my heart like little else. I can go to Him and know there is no change in Him, the way He loved me yesterday is the way He loves me today.

He is an Almighty God, omniscience and omnipotent…Almighty says to me in the natural or physical realm, He is indeed an Almighty God…think in terms of all the wonderful, powerful physical things He has/is does…the Red Sea, the Resurrection, fulfilling prophecy to the letter, Jesus and the fig tree, feeding the 5,000, and on and on. His Almightiness is wonderful to behold! His omnipotence on the other hand, I view as more personal His quality of omnipotence. Jesus raising the dead, the demoniac in the cemetery, all the little things He does for us individually that others may not even know about but YOU know it…as a single senior citizen who lives along and makes her own decisions, I love that I can lean on Him for aiding me in decisions and at times, make them for me. I love it, truly. We know He is Spirit, Jesus said so and I do not really understand that but I believe it entirely. His wisdom is beyond anything we can possibly understand. A godly man from the past, Charles Hodge, said this: “What is God? the answer read as follows…God is  Spirit, infinite, eternal, just, wise, good, unchangeable and truth in HIs very being.  Few today, to our shame as teachers, are taught simple, straightforward messages on the nature of God.

There are so many wonders concerning our God and Father, that it is difficult to tell just a few. He is beyond fully describing and for me personally, beyond telling. I have journaled most of my Christian life. I have recorded many of the wonderful happenings that God was behind or just, plain did! I learned as the years went by that I could trust Him with anything…anything at all! There have been times when I did not know what to do, could not make a decision, and turned to Him and asked Him to make the decision for me. He did…how do I know? His Spirit bore witness to my spirit with the peace of Christ and I just, plain KNEW! How do I love Him???? In too many ways to count or tell but I will tell you this. You can trust Him! You can count on Him. Practice it, and you too can know the “peace that passes all understanding,” I promise.

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Excerpts from Knowing God by J. I. Packer and comment by Lynne Farrow

Many times we are tempted to ask if studying theology is necessary, will it be time well spent???? Well, the answer is some people will indeed benefit, others will not…it is up to the individual how much of God we individually desire. Some would think it irrelevant to our lives today when in reality…and I speak from personal experience…nothing could be more important to how we should and can live our lives. Our era is very, very complex. It seems to me, only God can lead us in a clear, firm path. There is so much confusion, so much noise from all kind of sources, almost NO place to quiet ourselves just to think. God says in His Word to “be still, and know that I am God.” In past generations, life was much more simple, more difficult and hard on the people who were living it, but there was not the confusion and noise that we have today. And, it is constant! I personally enjoy the evenings, in my room, quiet, comfortable and I find God is there waiting for me to quiet me. It might be a good idea to start this journey by stating five basic principles of our faith:

1. God has spoken to man, and the Bible is His Word, given to us to make us wise unto salvation.

2. God is Lord and King over His world; He rules all things for His own glory, displaying His perfections in all that He does, in order that men and angels may worship and adore Him.

3. God is Savior, active in sovereign love in all that He does through the Lord Jesus Christ, to rescue believers from the guilt and power of sin, to adopt them as sons and daughters, and to bless them accordingly.

4. God is Triune; there are within the Godhead three persons, the Father, the Son, and the Holy Spirit. And the work of salvation is one in which all three act together, the Father purposing redemption, the Son securing it, and the Spirit applying it.

5. Godliness means responding to revelation in obedience and trust, faith and worship, prayer and praise, submission and service. Life must be seen and lived in the light of God’s Word. This, and nothing else is true religion!

We are going to take a journey and examine these basic and very relevant truths about our Father. We’ll learn deep and revealing truths about Him and how he acts toward us and shows His incredible love toward us. The better we understand Him and His character, the more we will grow ourselves and become like Him. That is the object of our salvation…clear our slate, so to speak and grant us a new start. Then we start on the path of sanctification, which  is what we are doing here, the way to move to Christlikeness. It is a long and at times difficult trip. But again, I will speak from personal experience, surely very worth the effort it takes. God is a great God, and a wonderful Father. He wants the very best for each one of us. If we are willing, He will move Heaven and earth to make us like His dear Son, the first born among many brethren.

Tomorrow, we will look at the “why” of studying the Godhead…why are we doing it…what is our motivation. That’s tomorrow’s blog.

Tuesday, October 30, 2012


There is a relatively  old book called “Knowing God” by J.I.Packer that I have enjoyed a few times over the years. I like re-reading books that impacted my growth and this one surely did. I am re-reading it now and have decided to share some excerpts from it with you. Lately, due to a new, painful and chronic condition I have developed, I have neglected posting blogs, even reading at times let alone writing or typing has been quite painful. But, thanks to a new, caring doctor and a procedure he uses, I am now more comfortable and able to get “back to business.” Hurricane Sandy has just let our area, I am at Bill’s in Valley Forge..and discovered my copy of that very book is here in my room in the parsonage. So of course I picked it up an thought about re-charging my batteries, so to speak, read and share this wonderful book…I trust you will enjoy it as much as I know I will and if you have any questions or dialogue on the book, email me or message me on Facebook and we will talk.

Knowing God, by J I Packer, excerpts from it directly, and personal, additional comments from personal application by Lynne Farrow

THE STUDY OF GOD, chapter one

It has been said by someone that the proper study of mankind is man. I will not oppose this idea but I believe it equally important and true is that the study of God’s elect is God. The proper study of the Christian is studying the Godhead. The highest science, the loftiest speculation, he mightiest philosophy, which can ever engage the attention of the child of God, is the name, the nature, the person, the work, the doings, and the existence of the great God whom we call Father. There is something exceedingly improving to the mind in a contemplation of the Divinity. It is a subject so vast, that all our thoughts are lost in it’s immensity; so deep, our pride is drowned in its infinity. As we contemplate other subjects, we can come away feeling a kind of self-content and go on our way thinking, “I am wise.” But, when we come to this master-science, finding that our plumb-line cannot sound its depth, and that our eagle eye cannot see its height, we turn away with the thought that vain man would be wise, but he is like a wild ass’s colt.; and with solemn exclamation say “I know nothing.” In contemplating our God…our minds are more than humbled…we are indeed nothing.

Nothing has brought my mind and spirit “low” then soaring, is thinking on the great words of Scripture concerning the attributes of God. I did a study for my men a few years ago, and each attribute in turn just made me feel so insignificate…then privileged, to be called and chosen by such a great and wonderful God, and He allowed me to call Him Father!  (LF)

While this subject humbles the mind, it also will expand it. He who often thinks of God, will have a larger mind than the one that simply plods along this narrow globe. The study will also expand the soul! Nothing will so enlarge the intellect, nothing so magnify the whole soul of man, as a devout, earnest, continued investigation of the great study of the Deity. The contemplating of God can also be a balm for every wound, a quiet spot for every grief, and the Holy Spirit will ensure a balm for every sore spot on the heart.Plunge yourself into the contemplation of God and you will find yourself in the deepest sea, lost in HIs immensity, and you will come forth rested, refreshed and invigorated. I know nothing that can so comfort the soul, so calm the swelling of grief and sorrow, speak to the winds of trial, as a devout musing on the subject of the Godhead.

I have spent years teaching and counseling inmates, and learning “on the job.” The Lord Himself taught me, and as I look back now, I am amazed and humbled to think I ever did such a thing, and according to my superiors, became quite good at the understanding of said subject. I came to the job with a pretty good understanding of the Scripture, but the application of it to this particular group of people was new to me. This I know, devoted love for my Savior and the desire and determination to follow the path He was taking me, caused me to cling to Him and search His heart and mind for the understanding and encouragement of others, that I needed. When you cling to Him, yield to Him continually until there is nothing of “me” left…He shows you His point of view. Couple that view with the spiritual gifts He gave me at salvation, encouragement and mercy, I was able to listen empathetically…and learn…and comfort. You know, there is nothing humanly speaking one can do for a prisoner, but there is much you can do to instruct in the Word and how to personally feed the soul from that Word, to encourage the reading and study of it on a continuing basis. God alone can do for him/her what is needed in His own way, but we have the responsibility to offer the soul-tools to facilitate that end. I cannot tell you here, all that I learned of the God I love and serve, but one of my main reasons for writing a blog and posting on Facebook is to share with others some of the wonders God has taught me over the years.  (LF)



to be continued…

Wednesday, September 26, 2012


From the devotional, The Word For You.

From Andrew Murray’s classic book on prayer, With Christ In The School Of Prayer, a pupil needs a teacher who knows his work, who has the gift of teaching, who in patience and love will descend to the pupil’s needs. Blest be God, Jesus is all this and much more! When we have questions such as 1) I’m not sure God’s listening to me, 2)I don’t understand why some prayers go unanswered, 3) Am I praying right? I’m frustrated with my prayer life. 4) If you want to feel more connected to God and have confidence that you prayers really do matter, say Lord, teach ME to pray!

There are some principles for prayer but we really need to understand that God will lead each of us individually. He wants to take us just as we are and develop in us a “rhythm of prayer.” He wants to develop in each of us a style of prayer that maximizes our own personal relationship with Him. He wants prayer to be an easy, natural, life-giving way of communicating as you share your heart with Him and allow Him to share His heart with you! Prayer is so simple…it’s nothing more than  talking to Him and taking the time to listen to what He has to say to you. God has a personalized prayer plan for you, a way for you to communicate most effectively with Him. We begin by saying, “Lord, teach me to pray.”

One of the dangers of being involved in God’s work is that you go weeks or even months without praying. In a survey of 1,000 pastors, half acknowledged that they often went long periods of time without taking time to pray except for the functions in the church. They preach sermons on it but didn’t practice it themselves. Can you relate? Jesus rose hours before dawn to spend time with His Father, sometimes He prayed all night, and it showed. His incredible success flowed out of His very rich relationship with His Father. He made deposits every morning so that He could make withdrawals all day long.

We can start by taking small amounts of time in the morning, and adding small amounts of time praying throughout the day as things come to my heart and finally ending my day by talking with Him as I fall asleep. When Paul said to pray without ceasing, this is what he meant. You can move from sporadic prayer times to measured. disciplined times without being legalistic. The more you put into it, the more pleasant it becomes and you enjoy the time spent with Him. It is no longer an obligation but a pleasure and privilege. I now realize I cannot survive a day without and be satisfied. I no longer approach God timidly, but I now approach Him boldly, as His Word teaches me to do, and with great expectation. Put it into operation, you will be very pleasantly surprised, pleased, and satisfied.

Monday, September 24, 2012

Walking for the Lord

Reading Psalm 119 is a great experience…there is so much excellent advice for us it warrants re-reading many times and perhaps in various versions, just to get “good flavor.” I love reading in NKJV, then NIV and topped off by reading in The Message. Try it, it’s amazing how much you can gather for later pondering.

The first verse almost stops you…”Blessed are they whose ways are blameless…” have you ever given any thought to being “blameless?” Whenever I think about standing before the Lord at the Bema Seat, I want over- whelming to be blameless. More than anything, I want to hear from Him, “Well done!”  With no reproach. More than anything…

The next verse gives a way to go…”Blessed are they who keep His statues and seek Him with all their hearts.”  Precepts and statutes are given to us to be instruction for character and conduct based on divine principles. This particular Psalm is full of those kinds of instructions. Reading and re-reading, meditating and pondering the messages are very profitable if you are serious about your relationship with the Lord and have that intense, burning desire to please Him. To please Him we must be willing to pay attention to His written Word, put it into practice by living it…in so doing, we become like Him. Reading Galatians 5 teaches us what NOT to incorporate into our character and then follows  those qualities we ARE to incorporate, and they are not for choosing, we are to develop them all and live them. It would be impossible to do this without the Word and the Holy Spirit actively teaching and encouraging us to move forward in our quest. Seeking Him with the whole heart is pretty much a 24 hour a day proposition…one can only imagine attaining that level of intimacy with the Savior!

Sunday, September 23, 2012

Thinking out loud about end times…

I’ve been reading a series of books by Joel Rosenberg, an amazing writer of mainly but not exclusively, end times novels.  His understanding of the Scripture and end time events is uncanny, possibly due to the fact that he is what we call a “completed Jew.” I have known and read many completed Jews that are extremely gifted in understanding and explaining Scripture. I would urge you to avail yourself of Joel’s wisdom and read his books. Today I am finishing his last one, “Implosion” which is not a novel but an expounding of his very real premise that the time of Jacob’s Trouble is “on us.” I use quotation marks because I know that time period cannot begin until the church is gone in what we refer to as the Rapture, the snatching away of true believers by the Lord, to remove us and of course, the Holy Spirit…He who restrains according to 2 Thess 2:5-12. (Good reading)…then the man of lawlessness can be revealed and the tribulation begin. Following is a few paragraphs from Implosion for you to consider.


Our current challenges are too large for political and business leaders alone to solve. To be sure, Washington, Wall Street, and Main Street have critical roles in play in our nation’s recovery, and I wish them Godspeed in making the fundamental economic and fiscal reforms this country so desperately needs. But we need more than tax reforms to save us. We need more than spending and entitlement reforms in Washington. We need more than better jobs and stronger economic growth and truly balanced budgets. These are crucial to our survival, but by themselves they are insufficient. What we urgently need is a national u-turn. We need a wholesale national turning from our current path of pride, materialism, narcissism, selfishness, unkindness, and vulgarity. We need to turn away from violence against the unborn and rampant pornography and the assault on traditional marriage and the family. All of us as Americans need to turn away from our sins and plead for the grace and mercy and forgiveness of Jesus Christ. e need once again to make a solemn national commitment to walk in the power of the Holy Spirit from this day forward.

At this point, nothing less than a Third Great Awakening will save us. These are not normal times. We are not facing normal problems. We dare not continue with business as usual. We cannot continue tinkering around the edges and procrastinating and living in denial. We are in mortal danger as a nation. We are on the verged if seeing God’s hand of favor removed from us forever. We are on the brink of facing god’s fair but terrifying judgment. Yet some deny God even exists, others concede He exists but deny that we really need Him. Some give lip service to being a “Christian nation” but deny Christ’s power, refusing to live holy, faithful, fruitful lives. And now the hour is late. The clock is ticking. God certainly can save America. He has the power, and He has done it in the past, but He has made us no promises…and we dare not assume that because America has been such an exceptional nation in the past, she will forever remain so. The time for personal and national change has arrived, or we as a nation are doomed.

Personally, I agree with all Joel has written. the time has come for us to be honest with ourselves and with the Lord. What are we personally to be doing at this time in history, doing for Him, to share and teach and alert others to where we are in history and urge them to be ready!

Sunday, July 22, 2012

reader, studier, snatcher…which are u?

This am I was looking for my concordance, and realized how often I reach for my “tools” during my time with the Lord. Thought I might share with you some of my tools in case you are interested in a deeper relationship with the Master. You know, developing an intimate relationship with Him is optional…if you look carefully, particularly in John 14-16, His urging to OBEY is preceded by IF because He does not want anyone in His inner circle that truly does not want to be there, it is up to each of us to say yea or nay. Let me tell you from experience, when you say yea, you’ll never regret it! He becomes more and more precious every hour, as you discover things about Him, His character, personality, and love you never dreamed possible.

TOOLS…I mentioned concordance. A concordance is a book of words, listed alphabetically and subdivided into verse addresses. ever, single listing.  If I remember right, the first word study I ever did was on the word WALK. I found it in my Crudens concordance, and was pretty excited at how many places in Scripture the word walk was used. I wrote them all down, read them, re-read them, and was tickled at just what they all said to me about my personal walk with Christ. Try it! Don’t go for a Strong’s at first, it will discourage you with TMI!

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of NT Words, a great reference book. Every word in the NT is listed alphabetically, an a definition of it each place where it is used. The Greek language (language the NT was written in) is very “wordy”…probably why God chose to have it the language of the Roman Empire at the time the NT was written. Lots of Greek words that may be one word in English. You will find it absolutely fascinating.

Handbook, Haley’s or other work, gives background and detail about the NT and is handy to “round out” a study.

Biblical Atlas, a good book to have but not critical as your Bible will have several. However, an atlas gives you more maps. I used an atlas to define the lines of Israel according to what God gave Abraham. Very enlightening in light of the Arab claim that the Israeli’s are “occupiers.” No way according to Scripture and world maps.

John MacArthur’s Bible Commentary, single volume commentaries are bulky but also handy. MacArthur happens to be my favorite author and from my perspective the most reliable Bible expositor today. An expositor “opens up” Scripture word by word, verse by verse. He is awesome at this. I love Charles Stanley, a fabulous teacher with a different style, he expounds on meaning from a heart perspective, a little different than Dr MacArthur but just as profound. You can also get multi-volume sets of commentaries by some excellent authors but you must be careful whose work you “feed” on especially if you are a new believer. Get advice before buying.

That’s a good start. As you grow in the faith, you’ll want to add to you books. So much is available right here on your computer and on tablets, everything in one place. And don’t forget to avail yourself of more than one version of Scripture. Start with a NKJV or NIV, very reliable, then go to paraphrases like The Message.

Saturday, July 21, 2012


My constant companion these days is the realization that we are soooooo close to the return of the Lord, and few people know or care, at least that is how I see it. I do not know how many times I have read in Matthew 24-25 where Jesus talked about these days…the ones we are living in…in detail. One of the things He said was “as it was in the days of Noah, so shall it be in the days of the Son of Man…” and…” when the Son returns, will He find faith on the earth?” Sadly, very sadly, the days of Noah are upon us and we are ever so casually going on with our lives as if all is well. It isn’t well, not at all and we need to be about our Father’s business. I’m not talking about silly, overdoing kind of things, but none of us spend enough time with the Lord on our own, praying for souls and opportunities to share Christ. Places like FB, Twitter, YouTube, etc are excellent places to share and there are resources all over the place. Wallbuilders have plenty of very accurate historical FACTS about our Founding Fathers and their faith, biographies of great men of the faith. American Heritage Association has loads of info well worth sharing. I could go on and on. All you have to do is look, and ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to places where you can share their material with others. Noah preached for 100 years while building the Ark, he did not stop his daily activity but used opportunities presented to him to share what he was doing and more important…WHY! Every week Hal Lindsey preaches for 1/2 hour on Friday night about current events and prophecy. He is on the TBN network. He gives chapter and verse so you can check it out for yourself. Jack Van Impe does the same on the big Fox network late Sunday night, goes over the why’s and wherefore’s, chapter and verse. Hard to close your eyes to the truth but many,many are doing it. I get tired of the lame reasoning that doesn’t even make sense, something like the talking points of the far liberal left…no sense at all. Then there is His finding faith on the earth…an excellent question since you must look far and wide to find “christians” that have true Biblical faith that stands up under the scrutiny of solid exposition of the old kind. The so-called neo-orthodoxy, is sick…the Scripture says what it means, and means what it says…flat out, no wiggle room, just plain old fashioned truth. The problem is so-called believers do not want to accept it for what it says and means. I cannot read/re-read John 15 without thinking of the many people I know and love that constantly make excuses for their bad behavior mainly because most “accepted theology”… today lets them interpret it any old way they want, so they do. They do not stick to the real text and it’s meaning and obey it. Result: no growth. Jesus said “Abide in Me.” What did He mean? Clear…He is the Living and Written Word so abiding in Him is to know experientially and completely and obey what He says…not wiggle to suit yourself, but be Totally and completely His and live accordingly. I am especially upset with those I know and love, see a lot and just seem to go blithely on their way not even realizing we both have to answer to the same Lord one day and that one day is coming sooner than we think.

Monday, June 11, 2012

Posts taken from Dr John MacArthur’ book on Extraordinary Women. This is part one on Eve.


Eve must have been a real beauty! The crown and pinnacle of God’s amazing creative work. The first female of Adam’s race was the last living thing called into existence, actually fashioned by the Creator’s own hand in a way that showed particular care and attention to detail. Eve was not made out of the dust like Adam...but carefully designed from living flesh and bone. ADAM WAS REFINED DIRT, EVE WAS A GLORIOUS REFINEMENT OF HUMANITY ITSELF! She was a gift to Adam, a necessary partner who made his existence complete. Additionally, her existence signaled the completion of all creation.

Eve was a marvel...created by God from the living tissue of another creature. God composed a vast universe from nothing, then he made Adam out of nothing but a handful of dirt. But nothing in the whole expanse of the universe was as spectacular as this woman, made from a handful of Adam! If the man represented the supreme species (a race of creatures made in the image of God), Eve was the living embodiment of humanity… glory…God had saved the best for last! Just imagine in her original state, undefiled by any evil, unblemished by any disease or defect, and unspoiled by ANY imperfection, Eve was indeed feminine excellence, magnificent in every aspect. She was the only woman to come unfallen into a curse-free world, she had no equal in grace, charm, virtue, ingenuity, intelligence, with absolute innocence. Physically she must have been full of strength and beauty, the living picture of sheer radiance. Scripture gives us no physical description of Eve. Her beauty is never mentioned or alluded to. The focus of the Biblical account is on Eve’s duty to her Creator and her role alongside her husband. This is significant, reminding us that the distinguishing traits of true feminine excellence are not superficial. Women who focus, on the point of obsession, on image, cosmetics, body shapes, and other external matters have a wrong view of femininity...Western culture, including the church, seem hopelessly confused about this. We need to go back to Scripture to see what God’s ideal for a woman is...the Biblical account of Eve is an excellent reminder of what a woman’s true priorities should be. Eve is obviously a major character in history’s record of the fall and redemption. But we only read her name 4x’s. We have very few details about her, no physical description or how many children she had. We don’t know how long she lived, where or how she died. Scripture tells her story in such a fashion, that we can dwell on the aspects of her life that are the most significant. Even though there are many things about Eve we’d like to know, we will look at what details we have, the account of her creation, her temptation and fall, her curse, and the hope she clung to.

A. HER CREATION…God performed a surgical procedure on Adam. He was anesthetized, not artificially of course, God simply caused him to fall asleep. Considering this was before the fall, in the state of slumber he would feel no pain. Think about the pure, passive restfulness of Adam’s sleep. A beautiful illustration of HOW the grace of God is ALWAYS received. Grace is never set in motion by any effort or activity on our part, but always flows freely from the sovereign will of God. NOTE...there is nothing to indicate that Adam ASKED God for a wife. God Himself initiated this whole event and single-handedly brought it to pass. It was an expression of sheer grace and benevolence to Adam. All Adam did was contribute a rib...but he was asleep while it was done. The work was wholly and completely God’s. Sound familiar??? God took a redundant bone that Adam would never miss and made for him the one thing he lacked...a soul-mate!! He lost a rib, but gained a loving companion, created for him by the Giver of every perfect gift. The Hebrew expression for how God “made (the rib) into a woman” denotes careful construction and design. Literally, it means God built a woman. He carefully assembled a whole new creature with just the right set of attributes to make her the ideal mate for Adam, suited to him in every way. She answered his need for companionship, she was a source of joy and gladness to him and she made possible the procreation of the race. Eve made Eden paradise for Adam. It seems the moment Adam saw her, he loved her...and felt a deep personal attachment to her and embraced her as his own. There are a few crucial truths about womanhood in general in the unique method of her creation. 1. Eve was fundamentally equal with Adam, they shared the same essential nature...she was not different in kind but exactly the same essence as Adam. She was in no way inferior and was his spiritual counterpart, his intellectual equal, his perfect mate and companion. 2. The way Eve was created reminds us of the essential unity that is the ideal in every marriage relationship. God’s plan for marriage was established at the very beginning. Jesus tells us marriage from the beginning of human history was based on the principles of monogamy, solidarity, inviolability. The one-flesh principle is perfectly illustrated in the method of Eve’s creation and where the principle finds its true origin. 3. The circumstances of her creation illustrate how deep and meaningful marriage is meant to be...not just a physical union but a union of heart and soul as well. She was designed to be Adam’s complement, his ideal soul-companion and the intimacy of relationship with her husband derives from her being literally taken from HIS SIDE! Puritan writer, Matthew Henry wrote these familiar words…”the woman was made of a rib out of the side of Adam, not made out of his head to rule over him, nor out of his feet to be trampled upon by him, but out of his side to be equal with him, under his arm to be protected, and near his heart to be loved.” The symbolism reminds us again how Scripture exalts women. 4. Eve was spiritually and intellectually Adam’s peer, they were both of the same essence, therefore equals in their standing before God. They ranked above al other creatures. There was none the less a clear distinction in their earthly roles...BY GOD’S OWN DELIBERATE DESIGN! Eve was made to fill a void in Adam’s life, he was created first. Then Eve, to fill the void. He was the head, she was the helper. Adam was designed to be a father, provider, protector and leader. Eve was designed to be a mother, comforter, nurturer, and helper. God had ordained these different functions for man and woman. We do not possess equal physical strength, there are bodily hormonal differences and there is a mountain of empirical and clinical evidence to strongly suggest that men and women are also dissimilar in several other ways: socially, emotionally, and psychologically.  CONTINUED NEXT TIME!!!!

Sunday, June 10, 2012

“…many are called, few are chosen…”

I’ve been a Believer for many, many years, lost count of how many times I have read through the Word but that particular verse always made me stop andwonder/think…what exactly does it mean. I thought perhaps it meant God calls many to serve, but not all respond. Another thought was that salvation was “free” to all, not all would respond.

In April this year as I was again reading through, I read a commentary by Dr John MacArthur that presented this as the answer to my years old query:

Matthew 22 is the scene. The Marriage Supper of the Lamb is portrayed, vividly telling how the King invited many to the feast for His Son, all made excuse. Then He sent his couriers out to invite less prominent persons who also declined. Then the King told His servants to gather in common folks, street people, just ordinary folks…THEY came. Dr MacArthur puts the finishing touches on this wonderful parable of the Lord…the common folks did not have time or the means to dress for the wedding supper, so the King  and the Bridegroom, His dear Son, clothed them all!

However, one man appeared with the guests improperly attired in the provided garments and was put out! And the story ends with the guest being sent to Hell!!!! Applying this scenario to us, ALL are offered the Gospel, not many accept the offer of the Father’s provision, only the elect/chosen are clothed for the marriage supper in the righteousness of Christ as our wedding garment. The one not properly clothed, “crashed the party,” and was thrown out. He was not a recipient of the righteousness of Christ. The early verses of the story speaks of the past centuries of Jewish history…using the Pharisees and Sadducees as representative of all Jews and the burning of the city in vs 7 speaks of the victory of Titus in 70AD!


Friday, June 8, 2012


Do you have goals for your life? I was pretty amazed in my teaching time at Southern, that most inmates had no goals at all, and in fact had never given it any thought! In my material, Healing For Damaged Emotions there are two chapters on setting goals and how to go about it. It even speaks to why we all should have goals for life. I really cannot think of a time in my own life when I did not have some goals…they may not have been consciously thought of as goals but they were there, and I was working toward them. I had an old friend who use to say, “you can’t get lost if you don’t go anywhere…” It is kind of a silly statement but when reflected on, true. You won’t get lost, but you also won’t accomplish anything. Human beings need goals, we need to be reaching for something, and some of our time with the Lord should be spent on asking and listening for Him to show us where He wants us “go.” When we neglect that dedicated time, we risk not hearing His direction.  James tells us “if any among you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all men liberally.” It doesn’t get much better than that…direction from God Himself.

So why don’t we seek answers from Him? I think primarily because we really are afraid of the answers!!!!! What will He want from me? Where will He want me to go? What kind of ministry will He direct me to? And apprehension sets in and we close our minds and hearts to His voice. Some times we do not ask Him early enough, we end up in a bad relationship, or a lot of debt or some other situation we do not think we can get ourselves out of. True, in many cases we cannot get ourselves out of situations, but if we are sincere and willing to follow, God will show us a way forward. He never will deny a willing heart. In the Old Testament, He tells us “God’s eyes roam to and fro, searching for some that will follow His lead.”

We need to set some short term as well as long term goals. Short term could be getting your affairs in order, perhaps getting  little more training or education. It could be a matter of spending some time serving in your local church to gain some experience. And, it helps to have Christian friends and mentors that can give you godly advice. Long term goals could be purchasing a home, or getting married, or going to college for the first time. All of these things are important and needless to say, they go along with seeking God’s input for your future. Another thing to ponder…goals are not set in stone, so be willing to be flexible, and do not be fearful of change. Lots of people do not like change at all, but it is an ongoing thing in life. If you resist it too much, you may really stunt your growth, so give it some thought…and good Providence!

Wednesday, June 6, 2012


Perhaps the better question is WHOSE are you? After many years as a believer, studying the Word, counseling men in prison…I finally have come to understand that obedience to God is a matter of will, not tears and emotion or even the desire to be faithful to Him. It is a matter of turning the will over to Him and meaning it, realizing He will never require something of us He is not prepared to do through us. The primary hang-up as I see it is that we seriously want to do our own thing, most of us do not want even God to tell us what to do! Consequently, our faith and trust level stay about the same. God’s desire is that both of those qualities grow in us. Philippians 2:12-13 says this, “…work out your own salvation with fear and trembling; for it is God who is at work in you to will and do for His good pleasure.” That says tons!!!! But, what always hung me up was the beginning, “work out your own salvation.” Understanding came slowly as I studied and applied…it had nothing to do with our involvement in our salvation but everything to do with making our belonging to Christ real in our lives…that takes time, but primarily willingness to be obedient to what He teaches us. Oswald Chambers says this: “You have to work out with concentration and care what God works in; not WORK your own salvation, but work it out, while you base  resolutely in unshaken faith on the complete and perfect Redemption of the Lord. As you do this, you do not bring an opposed will to God’s will, but one completely in line with the Father’s will and your life becomes one as natural as breathing.” And, the greatest part of all, God is in me working out the meshing of my will and His. Those who have that “obstinate” streak in them end up wasting a lot of time. Sooner or later, if one is faithful to learning all that’s possible about the Lord we serve, the dawn will break and understanding will come. Then we/you will want to kick yourself in the pants for wasting time. But…remember, God is in no hurry, He wants totally committed soldiers and ambassadors. He will wait. He is a good God, wonderful Father, who loves us enough to wait for us…to catch up! So…WHOSE are you? The choice is yours, use that will to make a decision now!

Tuesday, June 5, 2012

FIVE KINGS…from a devotional article

Israel was at the “door” to the Promised Land…interesting words God used, Promised Land, promised by Whom? Promised by God Himself, and we would do well to remember that these days. On the other side of the “door",” were five kings with their armies, determined to stop them. God led them to victory and the five kings ran and hid in a cave. Joshua told his men to go and bring the kings out and put their foot on each of their necks. God had a special word to His people that day, and it beautifully applies to us also. He told them, “Be strong and of good courage, for thus the Lord will do to all your enemies against whom you fight,” Jos 10:25. What an outstanding promise…think about it! Are the forces of the enemy taking up residence in your mind today? Your mind is the control tower of your life you know, and every event in your life begins in your mind…are you fearful, doubting, overly cautious, afraid to step out, etc., etc., and are these factors keeping you from moving out into the life God has planned for you? Don’t feel like the lone ranger…we all go through this, usually much more than once. Well let me tell you, with God, victory is assured, but you have to take part in the solution…each of us most do what those Israelite soldiers did, go into that dark, smelly cave and bring each king out place your foot on his neck and put them to death. These five kings represent our five senses, seeing, hearing, smelling, tasting and touching, and God do not want us to live according to their dictates. We must remember our senses are susceptible to every kind of negative thing going on around us but our faith can lift us above it and bring victory. We cannot be passive because that gives them the right to rule, and they can only have as much power as we give them…so we must put your foot down and destroy them! Another interesting word God uses here is “dismayed…” it indicates being torn down by fear and falling apart. Our enemy delights in tearing us down, filling us with fear, destroying our joy and confidence, all the while trying to make us fall totally apart! Satan works through our five senses but God has given us another sixth sense: faith. Remember, the Bible tells us “we walk by faith not by sight,” and faith tells us in spite of what I am “feeling,” all will be well as God is with me! Our senses are faith-killers! Put them under you foot and don’t let them steal your dream and shatter your confidence. Emotions are problem driven, but faith is purpose driven. And God’s in the drivers seat!

Sunday, June 3, 2012


I remember a time when I was a young Christian and having a difficult time with my circumstances. I do not remember what they were but I do remember I was not a happy camper. I knew enough Scripture to know a bit about trust and faith, and that I should be trusting the Lord in this matter, but I just could not get past being a gloomy gus. I was reading in one of my favorite sections of Scripture, John 13-17, and I came across this verse, “Peace I leave with you, My peace I give to you; not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your heart be troubled neither let it be afraid,” John 14:27. That statement from the Lord blew me away! He was hours away from the cross and all the suffering that would go with it and He was concerned about the peace of His followers. Later in John 17 He made it clear that He was not praying for only those closest to Him at the time, He was praying for us…those who would come after, in verse 20. As I thought about His situation then, and that He did indeed have peace, I was ashamed of myself since I was facing nothing like He was and I was acting like a wet dishcloth. Now I have talked about peace, when the topic is joy…can we have joy without peace? I would say yes and no…no because it is very human to lack peace and feel sad with no joy when your circumstances are lousy. BUT…look at the situation Jesus was in and He was talking to His disciples (and us) about peace, and joy..BOTH…and in the same teaching session, His last. And I say yes because He had it in the face of HIs own death. A verse from Nehemiah came to mind, “the joy of the Lord shall be your strength, 1:9. The Psalms are full of statements of joy from David the King, most of them when he was facing adversity. David always seemed to find strength to endure by being joyful about His God and His God’s love for him. I think we can do no less…take joy in God Himself! Someone once told me that the difference between happiness and joy is that happiness is controlled by our circumstances, joy is a gift from God! In thinking about that, we must be joyful and appreciative of God’s great love for us and all the wonderful promises in His Word. One fact can stand out in great difficulty: “while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” Romans 5:8. It doesn’t get any better than that!

Saturday, June 2, 2012

Character quality of self-control…

I always found it interesting that the very last “fruit of the Spirit” which is the character of Christ…was self-control. Possibly because it so difficult to understand and “do.” ????  I have given this item a lot of thought because it seems to be such a difficult quality to master. Webster’s defines it as restraint over one’s own impulses, emotions, or desires. Not everyone has restraint…I have had a LOT of inmates describe to me how they believed they had no “restraint” or control over their actions and their incarceration showed they knew what they were talking about! Another word the dictionary used was will…will power, self-control, self-constraint…self-self-self! Well I’ve discovered after years of Biblical counseling with any and all types of persons, it’s not self-anything that controls us, it’s God! SPIRIT CONTROL!!!!! No more, no less! All through the New Testament God speaks to us of Spirit control, of yielding to Him, of “taking up your cross to follow Him…” which means to give up our right to ourselves and our own life, to Him. In doing that, we are also doing something very important, giving over our will. We can give up to Him by an act of our will, based on our very real desire to do so. Not an emotional decision but a thought-through, deliberate yielding of the will…and the life. I know from my own experience we tend to “forget. “ But let me reassure you, He will remind you. And also, let me tell you you will not ever be sorry.

My journey to total yieldedness started in the 70’s, had a disagreement with someone important to me and reached for the phone to call my pastor for advice, and I sensed a voice speaking to me internally, “and immediately I conferred not with flesh and blood…” and stopped, dead! I had no idea God could speak to you in an non-audible way but very strongly. Strong, yet as Scripture says, “in a still, small, voice.” I was overwhelmed at such a thing happening to me…God Himself had let me know and understand His desire for me at that particular moment. Needless to say, I sat down and quietly spent some time with Him to find out what He wanted me to know…and He did! It was an awesome experience, one I will never forget, (as you can tell) and I have had others since. But that one was special, and I’ve wondered what would have happened had I NOT listened and obeyed? Do not even want to think about that!

Before I close this blog, let me say to whomever is reading this, do not be afraid of yielding and asking the Lord to Spirit-control you. He knows everything about you, all of your wants, needs, desires and even your “dreams” for the future. And best of all, He can bring them about if it is within His plans for you. But no matter what, He will give you a happiness you never dreamed possible, a sense of contentment that surpasses anything you could desire. And thinking eternally, the best is yet to come!

Sunday, May 27, 2012


What do you think, is there anything greater or more important in our Christian lives or to our testimony that o be faithful? And part of faithful is being consistent! Very important concept for believers. Wings of Eagles is 31 years old, one of the primary compliments we hear all the time is that they love us because we are consistent, they can count on us to “be there.” Whether it is our monthly mailing “Outcast” or the devotionals quarterly, notes, letters. What ever they ask of us they know they are going to get an answer. Believe me when I tell you that means the world to Sara and me. They recommend us to others in their prison and other prisons also, confident we will include them. Perhaps part of the reason is we are small and very “hands on,” something I’ve asked the Lord about over the years…why do we stay so small when the need is so great. I think the men themselves gave me the answer…consistent and faithful. I think doing a thing right has been with me most of my life…when I married, my husband was very much about consistency. In our business, he insisted on fairness and graciousness. To me, all these “heart'” qualities are part of being faithful. Of course faithfulness TO God and FOR God is even more important! Jesus said it best, “he who is faithful in what is least, will be faithful also in much,” Luke 16:10. We do lots of things “for the Lord.” But……… we? Are we just doing busy work in His name or are we truly spending enough time with Him to hear His heart? Are you keeping yourself so busy, you can’t “hear” Him? That is a big part of faithfulness, spending quality time alone with Jesus. You cannot possibly know what He would have you do or the direction you should take if you do not give Him the quiet time alone to communicate. Another part of faithfulness is doing everything to the best of your ability. The Bible uses a funny word for lazy, “slothful”…Jesus had no kind words for laziness, but at the same time, He emphasized the fact that He is not a hard taskmaster…He will only ask of you what He will equip you to do, so laziness cannot be used as an excuse. The parable of the talents speaks well to this matter. QUALITY…the Master is interested in our very best, even to the point of giving us what we need to do the job. Our spiritual gifts are meant for this purpose also, they are part of our “enabling” from Him. I had a good friend, a CO at one of the prisons I volunteered in, who gave his life to the Lord as a young man, didn’t follow through and shortly after got the job at the prison, making really good money and that was it…put aside his commitment to the Lord. He led a miserable, single, lonely life and died very young. He knew he was wrong but could not bring himself to give up the job and money. This is a major part of faithfulness…doing what you promised the Lord you would do. My story along these lines concerns a time long ago, perhaps 1975, ill a I remember it, lying on the couch listening to the radio. A song came on, I think it was called ‘To Be Used of God” by MaryJane. I listened, and started to cry…I said to the Lord, I’m here, and I’m Yours. You can do what You want, I just want to serve You. Well, most of you know what happened…some 5-6 years later, after I had taken care of straightening out our business financial affairs, the Lord started to show me what He wanted me to do, a little at a time. And good thing too, since I would have been very frightened at first if I knew my ultimate destination…prison chaplaincy! But, being the Faithful, loving God He is, it took me through it slow and easy, taught me, trained me, gave me mentors in other Chaplains. He is a good and faithful Father. Please do not be afraid to do what He asks. It is a wonderful life, full of surprises. ups and downs, high places and valleys. But He is our constant companion and faithful Father…trust Him and GO!

Thursday, May 24, 2012


We all know what knowledge is, and generally speaking, we all promote it. We also know it comes with age, experience and teaching in various forms. What we don’t seem to get is that not all knowledge is good…not true, or wholesome, worth while, worth “keeping” in our brain/computer. Our public school system today is pretty much a horror if you look at it from a Christian, conservative, Biblical point of view. the idea of separation of church and state, which is a false statement, has run way with those that put it forth. The founders wanted us protected from the government to worship as we feel appropriate for us. After all that is why the original immigrants escaped from…religious persecution in Europe. So where long the way, the words were twisted to say “from” instead of “of”…big difference yes? But liberals do not get that distinction, or maybe do not want to. The incidences of religious persecution in our school systems is appalling, and it gets worse and worse. I fully understand what the Lord had to say about the last days, and finding faith. About it being like the days of Noah. I get that…but that does not mean I and hopefully you, do not have to lie down and let the atheists and agnostics run right over us. No, we are expected to voice our concern, be supportive to those who are fighting these things on our behalf and share truth where we can. Knowledge alone will not enable us to sort out these things, but wisdom will. How? Scripture says wisdom is a gift from God…it comes from reading His Words, applying them personally and living them out. This enables us to “know” God in a deeply, more intimate manner, understand Him a tad better and gain insight into HIS character. that way we will be able to compare our ideas with His Words and character. Knowledge may tell us one thing but when we apply wisdom from the Lord, we come to a different conclusion and decision. That’s why our public school system in general and higher education across the board tell falsehood or neglect to teach a subject altogether, such as American History, American exceptionalism, social studies, current events, etc. Many parents today are home schooling because of these things. But the powers that be are coming against that also. Bottom line…our young people are not being taught the things forr life they need! If they do not come from a good, Bible believing family and church, they will flounder. There is too much political correctness, instead of truth. Too many people,even Christians accusing those of us who endeavor to teach, admonish and correct with a loving attitude, of “judging.” the true meaning of judging in the passage in Matthew frequently used, is “do not condemn…” any reasonable person knows we make judgments all the time, every where we go or about everything we do, it is part of life. but, if we step on toes, we are accused of condemnation when the truth is, we are trying to get them to “think” about what they are doing or saying. We older folk are suppose to teach and share with the younger folk. However, they are in general, not interested in the  the truth if it does not suit their views or lifestyle. They would rather remain “like the world.” Only wisdom from God Himself can enable us to see the truth and make the changes in their lifestyle that are needed.


Strictly in a Biblical sense, Knowledge is the ability to assimilate understand and learning. Wisdom is the God-given ability to apply that kind of knowledge to your life so as to become like Christ and take on His mind, and eventually be like Him in everyway. In my view, true and pure knowledge, wisdom and truth can only come from God. If we are not rightly related to Him, and spending lots of time with Him in prayer and meditating and pondering His Word, we will never be able to “get it.” Jesus Himself said in John 17 that God’s word is truth, and also, that His Father is the one true God! Not my words, God’s Words, read it for yourself in John 17. If you are a believer, ask God to give you His wisdom…James 1 tells us that if we ask, He will give to us liberally! So go get yourself some wisdom…God is faithful!

Friday, May 18, 2012


In my experience, most people including Christians think of meekness as being wimpy or a doormat…letting people push you around or ridicule you, even and sometimes especially when you are correct. It doesn’t have anything to do with backing down physically, but it is a matter of character and attitude. At times, the hardest thing to do is listen to someone berate or belittle you and remain composed and perhaps…silent. Because of my involvement with prisoners and former prisoners and family members, I been criticized, scorned, shunned, and never been able to garner much support for our work. I have stood, with my hands clasped behind my back and listened to some rant, usually groundless, and remain “meek.” I have to say to myself…the Lord Himself, “answered not a word,” when scorned. my exit line is generally, “thank you very much for sharing…” and walk away. I also have encouraged my men to do the same thing rather than get into a useless, baseless exchange of words. Nothing is sillier than carrying on a “discussion” with a know-it-all who doesn’t know anything. Jesus did exactly that and He is our example. We show meekness and gentleness when we have a patient and humble attitude toward others, especially those who look down their noses at us. The definition of meekness is to be pliant, gentle, patient, mild, not inclined to anger or resentment, humble. That is the very attitude of our Lord and we are to emulate it all the time. I think that may be what Paul meant when he said, “My strength is made perfect in your weakness…” 2 Cor 12:9. Further, realizing how difficult this quality, I think it must please the Lord a lot when we express to Him the desire to have this quality…and I am sure, He is glad to enable us to achieve it in our everyday lives. It is definitely a quality to desire and it is badly needed in the society we live in…the “every man for himself” culture of “me first.” To be like the Lord as much as possible is the highest to which we can aspire…so go for it!

Monday, May 14, 2012



Might be the most unpopular character quality in the list! NOBODY likes the idea of putting up with something unpleasant for an unspecified amount of time. We do not care to learn patience, I hear people saying, “don’t pray for patience, ‘cause you’ll get trouble.” Probably true, but the question is, how do we grow more like Christ and put away our poor-to-bad character qualities without circumstances designed by God to do away with them? I doubt we can…when everything goes well, we go along our merry way and give little thought to what we are portraying to the world around us. We are urged all through the Scripture to be different, not to reflect the things the world does that do not meet God’s standard. Sometimes, it becomes  matter of choice, do we want growth and godliness in our lives, or not? And let me quickly add, no one is exempt…if you have responded to the Lord’s call to discipleship in the positive, we have signed on to His dealing with us to meet His standard, not ours. Patience plays a big part in this because it does not come naturally to us, being the impatient humans we are. As I understand it, longsuffering is patience carried to a greater degree than patience alone. Ask any woman who has lived with an unsaved husband (and vice-versa) for any length of time…THAT is longsuffering!!! Those little everyday annoyances, disputes, looks, digs, criticisms…test every bit of patience you may have. IF we can accept all these tests of our ability to be patient and suffer long, our character WILL be modified, exactly what God is driving at. Many times I have wondered why things happen the way they do, and why they last so long, and I admit God does not always tell us…He does sometimes, but not always, it’s His call. The object is refinement of our character and He will do that anyway He must. If we do not respond, we will stand still in our growth until we do! I cannot tell you how many inmates have told me that if God had not brought them to prison, they would have never come to know Him, and become the person they are becoming. Harsh things at times, but if we want to be all God wants us to be…critical. And…obviously He would do it an easier way if it would accomplish His goals in our lives. He is a wonderful, loving, patient and compassionate Father and will not cause/allow one minute’s pain unnecessarily…remember that!


The next quality is one that is considered to be out-of-date now, but I don’t think it is out-of-date with the Lord. You can let me know what you think, ok? The definition of virtue is this: general moral excellence, right thinking and action, merit, value and can be specific moral excellence. I like that, excellence at anything is terrific but in moral matters it is especially noteworthy. Why? Because we are living in a time period when morals mean next to nothing, god moral conduct makes you a nerd or worse. Sexual morality is definitely considered out of date and old fashioned. Immorality starts very young these days, ad young as 8 or 9 years of age. And being promiscuous is commonplace. Multiple partners are something to brag about which of course leads to the spread of sexual diseases, unwanted multiple pregnancies, abortions, baby murders and many other things I have not listed…yet. I personally believe this is one of satans most prized weapons! And why? because it strikes at the heart of one of God’s most prized institutions, the family. In my career teaching inmates, it took awhile for me to adjust to the very idea that many, even most of my men had multiple children by multiple women, and generally were not married to any of them. This was new to me when I started 35 years ago, and frankly, I was shocked at first. Then as I began to listen and think about their situations growing up I realized that’s all they knew. That’s what they saw around them plus in many cases there was incest in their homes and among their extended family and friends. So immoral behavior to them, was the norm. I guess the biggest shock came when I understood most of them were raised “in the church” and among others including the pastors who had no problem with immoral behavior. In some areas a man would have one woman, usually married her, who would bear his children and keep his home and others for “other” reasons. Shocked doesn’t really tell the story, but I knew I had to get help from the Lord for myself spiritually/emotionally to be able to deal with these unfamiliar traits. Without understanding from the Lord, as well as instruction I could not cope, let alone teach and counsel. Of course He was faithful, and showed me “the way” for which I will be eternally grateful. It is possible to move forward in an area where every fiber of your being cries…cries because it has become clear just how great God was/is to bring men like these, raised in such circumstances, to Himself and enable them to grasp at an older age what being moral is all about and why God values it so highly. Marriage vows come into play here also…one man, one woman, for life is what I always taught them, knowing most of them had already transgressed that one. And so would come about conversations concerning the why’s, what’s such as God’s forgiveness but at the same time expecting purity of living in the future. That one was difficult to swallow also. But, I recognized I am not God’s policewoman, my job is to tell, and let the Holy Spirit take it from there.

Proverbs 31 tells of the virtuous woman…and she is highly commended. A good concordance can lead you to many characteristics of virtue but let me stress to you that it is an extremely important character quality to God…it has so many outworkings, but I think one of the primary ones is godliness, holy living! An unknown quality today, and even in the church, it is misunderstood. We have gotten so far away from godly living we do not even recognize when we are transgressing the holiness of God. Language, drinking, disfiguring our bodies, allowing our children and young people to hang out with and date unsaved individuals, dressing inappropriately for a Christian…I could go on and on but I won’t, I think you get the picture. God wants us to be different…different from the world in all these areas. Our “different” may bring criticism to us but it will bring glory to God. Remember, He is a jealous God and wants you to be like HIm…”be holy, for I am holy…” Lev 20:7-8.


Friday, April 27, 2012


Character…just what is it? My understanding is that character is who/what you really are, and the part of you that you take with you into eternity…the only thing we take with us. That being true, what an awesome responsibility that puts on us to be the very best we can be.

After 35 years of counseling, and teaching inmates the wonderful course on Healing for Damaged Emotions, I have to say I have truly learned a bushel about what we are by nature and what we can and should become as we allow the Spirit of God to sanctify us. The “old man” is naturally bent toward being and doing wrong, to be about anything that is anti-God, basically to live for self and satisfy the flesh. A good list of “fleshy” character read Galatians 5:19-21. That portion of Scripture is talking about living and acting “after the flesh.”  It goes on to urge us to walk “after the Spirit.” Then follows a list of Godly character qualities that will be evident in the life of a Spirit-led believer. That’s what I’d like to blog about for a few days.

In Galatians 5, the first quality mentioned is love. We all have knowledge of what “love” means, to some degree or another. Most of we believers know the Bible uses three words for love, eros, phileo, and agape. the meanings are pretty evident, eros is physical even erotic love, phileo is brotherly love one to another and agape is unconditional love, such as God has for us. As simply as possible those are the definitions. Eros does not really need much commentary, it speaks to physical or sensual love, pretty self-explanatory. Phileo is alittle more complex, but basically it is the type of love we should have for brothers and sisters in Christ, close friends, extended family members, etc. Agape is more complex and covers a good bit more emotion that the others. Romans says that God loved us before we loved Him. In most cases we were not even thinking about Him and yet He was watching over us, caring for us and keeping us safe and even alive. It is not in our nature to love unconditionally…the closest thing to it is possibly a mothers love, but even that because of our fallen nature can be conditional. We just naturally attach conditions to our love. In my experience with inmates, it is the one that  causes the worst damage to emotional growth because it sets up a series of re-actions to the “feeling” of not measuring up. Most of my men related that they spent most of their lives up to that point trying to please parents, or one parent. Usually it was dad, and in many if not most cases, the emotion they felt toward dad, they also felt toward God…it is an acknowledged fact psychologically that we all get our initial view of God through our relationship with parents/parent. Many of us have a difficult time trusting God…if we examine ourselves, we find we did not always trust that parent, and that emotion goes back to unconditional love…”if you don’t please me, I will withhold my love.” Consequently, it takes along time of walking with the Lord to learn just how trustworthy He is. Let me add, parents do not usually set out to handicap their children, it is a function of the fall, our old nature. Unless we are mature believers and have developed a good Spirit-controlled character, our parenting will be imperfect at best. More mature believing parents, controlled by the Holy Spirit will convey a much more complete loving attitude personally and a more loving and affirming home life. I once heard it said, “the best gift a father can give his children is to unconditionally love their mother.” I believe that to be a tremendous statement, and very, very true.


Tuesday, January 24, 2012

NAMES OF GOD, (con’t)

Isn’t it interesting that to show all of the wonderful character qualities of God we have all these names to think about??? Here are a few more:

JEHOVAH-SHALOM…means “The Lord our Peace, “ or “Peace Giving One,” as used in these verses: “I am the God who gives you peace,” and in Jude, “You comfort my soul.” Gideon was the first to call God Jehovah Shalom in Judges 6:11. It indicates giving peace in the midst of conflict. The well known word Shalom translates to the concept of “total peace and well being, “ Phil 4:7. ”SAFETY IS NOT THE ABSENCE OF ADVERSITY OR CONFLICT BUT THE PRESENCE OF GOD!”

JEHOVAH-TSIDKENU, “The Lord our righteousness…”I am the God who teaches you justice,” Matt 5:13-16 and Jer 23:1-6.

JEHOVAH-JIREH, “The Lord our provider. “  One of the most commonly used and known names of God, one we are pretty much all familiar with. Here are some verse that speak about that name: Gen 22:13-14; Jn 3:16; 1:29; Rev 5:6-12; Rom 8:28; Phil 1:6; Job 3:14; I Thess 5:14; Phil 4:8; II Tim 1:7; Matt 6:25; Phil 4:13; Prov 18:24; and Matt 28:20.

JEHOVAH-ROPHE, ”The God who heals, “ Ex 15:26 speaks about the God who heals all there diseases.

JEHOVAH-NISSI, “in Ex 17:8-16 I am the God who leads you to victory,” also in I Tim 2:8.

JEHOVAH-M’KADDESH, “The Lord who sanctifies,” Ex 17:31:13, God requires holiness but had to provide it Himself…Heb 10:10; Jn 17; Lev 20:7-8; I Pet 2:5-9

JEHOVAH-SABBOATH, “The Lord of Hosts, “ I Sam 1-3; 17:51, speaks of warfare, service and power. This name of God is used in the Prophets, in Jeremiah alone, 80 times, in Israel’s times od great needs. “Host” refers to heavenly bodies, hosts god can marshall at any time because: “The battle isn’t yours, it’s the Lords.”

EL-ROI, “The God who sees.” Gen 16; Psa 121:3-8. Hagar was Sara’s maid, an Egyptian who had her own Egyptian household gods, stoney-faced idols that had never comforted her. Here was Abrahams God, the Living God, seeing her and intervening in her life. There was a rebuke, for Hagar had forgotten her place, that she was a slave girl. Her bad attitude toward her mistress is what caused the problem, and El-Roi told her to go back and submit to her mistress. In another illustration, Jacob in Gen 31:25, lamenting his 20 years in his uncle’s boot camp tells Uncle Laban “except El Roi  God, who has seen all my afflictions, that God who knows my 20 years of trouble, rebuke you, you would have sent me away empty handed. El Roi has seen my affliction and taken my part.”  Yet again, Moses in Ex 3:4-9 is told by El-Roi that He has seen the affliction of His people and has come to deliver them. It seemed to Moses, after 40 years of sheep-tending in Midian that God had forgotten His people. MANY TIMES WE FEEL FORGOTTEN, BUT EL-ROI SEES! We get one more look at El-Roi in Revelation, where John sees Him in glory with “eyes like a flame of fire, eyes that pierce and penetrate, from whom nothing is hidden.”

EPHESUS…”I know thy works, labor and patience…”

SMYRNA…” I know thy works, tribulations and poverty. “

PERGAMOS…”I know they works, and where thou dwellest and that thou holdest fast My Name and hast not denied thy faith.”

THYATIRA…” I know they works, and love and service and faith and patience.

For me as an older, single woman, it is a great comfort to know that I have a Heavenly Father that “sees” me, wherever I am, whatever I am doing, wherever I am going, and He is watching over me.

Sunday, January 22, 2012

Names of God, con’t

EL SHADDAI…One of the most beautiful names of God,and my personal favorite is “El Shaddai.” It means “almighty, all-sufficient One…”but it also means “father-mother God.” I read years ago that this meaning of the name shows that God had to create two humans to reveal His full character, a male and a female. I don’t know absolutely if that is true or not but in many ways it makes sense. Adam and Eve were created very different on purpose. They were to compliment each other and perhaps…to fully show God as He truly and completely is. It is an interesting thought to ponder isn’t it?

God uses these frail vessels of ours to accomplish His work and will chasten if if we can bear more fruit through discipline, Hebrews 12:1-6 makes this clear. A good illustration is the story of Ruth. Elimelech, Naomi, and their two sons went to Moab to escape famine and and “forget” God. Moab was a land cursed by God because of the incest of Noah and a daughter. The daughter had a child by her father, named him Moab and was cursed forever by God. Noah had another daughter who also had an incestuous relationship with her father, producing a child named Ammon. He too was cursed by God for the same reason, and his descendants, the Ammonites carried the curse. Elimelech died,  the two two sons married Moabite women. The two sons also died so Naomi decided to return to her people. Daughter-in-law Ruth went with Naomi because she loved her and her God. Ruth met and married an Israelite named Boaz whose story concerning Ruth is a picture of Christ as our Kinsman-Redeemer. It is a truly beautiful story, full of solid biblical truth…read it for yourself! Ruth is only one of four women named in the lineage of Christ. It clearly illustrates god’s dealing with individuals…Israelites were forbidden marriage to Moabites but because of Ruth’s heart attitude, God showed her mercy. All of this shows that God is loving, merciful and has so many wonderful character qualities two humans were needed to full explain Him.

JEHOVAH-SHAMM’AH…meaning, “the Lord is there,” “I am God who is there,” the present One, the One who delights to be where His people are.

The great desire of the heart of God is to dwell in the midst of His people. This is not just words, it is an integral part of the character of God. He could not fellowship with His creation until He made man…made in His own image, (1) one who could understand God (2) one who could talk with God (3) one who could fellowship with God (4) one who would desire to fellowship with the Creator who made him. God wanted someone who could walk and talk with Him, be appreciated and learn to appreciate God. He made man to be WITH Him!!!! In Gen 3, it was God who sought Adam and Eve. God always does the seeking, Jesus said so in John 6:44.v God does the seeking, man runs and hides. Enoch “walked with God”…that’s it! Abraham was “a friend of God.” Can He say that about you?  Abram had to break all ties and relationships in order to truly develop a strong reliance on God and learn to walk with Him. Jehovah-Sham’mah wants that kind of relationship with us very, very much. A friend shares your hopes, dreams, desires, problems and cares. Between true friends there is agape love! Love where you seek the will of God for the object loved. The tragedy of human history is that there are too few humans willing to be that intimate with God. Jehovah Sham’mah reaches out today wanting us to come, walk and talk with Him, but we are too busy. To Israel God revealed Himself visibly ad the “Shakinah Glory.” We read about this through the Old Testament. In the New Testament He is known to us as the Holy Spirit.

God is awesome, no doubt about it. The more you understand, the more you want to understand…and the more you love Him!

Thursday, January 19, 2012

Names of God, con’t

The names of God are a rich treasure, meant for us to “dig” out! Most young Christians are not too interested in digging deep… that comes from knowing the Lord for awhile an wanting “more.” The first two or three blogs gave you the pieces you can refer to get the most out of these names, most of which are combinations. Many begin with “el” which means “strong one.” You’ll see as we go along.

EL-OLAM…eternal, everlasting, indefinite in time, forever and ever, hidden secrets. In Joshua 24, Joshua told the people about their forefathers serving other gods in “olden times.” Olam means way back when…The Hebrews searched for a word to use for the idea of eternity, hidden time, secret and yet unrevealed things. Bottom line?…”From everlasting to everlasting, Thou art God…from Olam to Olam, Thou art God!”

EL-ELYON…”The Most High God”…Possessor of All, The Strongest, The Distributor of Blessing. In Genesis 14, we find the first mention of El-Elyon, as Abraham meets Melchizedek, King of Salem, who uses this name: El-Elyon, Most High GOD, Possessor of Heaven an Earth. There are two special characteristics of El-Elyon: (1) He faints not, He never wearies, He lives forever, He never ages. (2) We cannot search His understanding, we cannot reason Him out. We can only know “El Elyon” as He chooses to reveal Himself to us. Remember, “eye hath not seen,nor ear heard”…1 Cor 2. In the New Testament we have ‘SECRETS”…(1) The Church revealed at last, (2) the Rapture, (3) parabolic teaching. Down through the ages we have mysteries and secrets revealed to us as El Elyon sees fit!

When life is a mystery to you, and life is taking a course you do not understand, remember El Elyon, Who does not always show us the way when we think He should…He is sufficient and His names alone should be reassuring to us that He is in control and is working things around to His glory and our good.


Wednesday, January 18, 2012

Names of God, con’t

ADONAI…Any study of the names of God is a real adventure into his true character, which we shall see as we discuss the names themselves and the meaning behind each one. He Himself revealed and gave the writers these names so we could better understand Him. We will see revealed for us His Divine Attributes and all the richness of His personal character, the very character we are destined to “put on” and become. God makes very clear in His Word what He is like, He gives us specific illustrations and stories of His dealings with men made in His image. By this, we can know He is a trustworthy God and if all else fails around us, He CANNOT!

The meaning of Adonai is Lord, Master, Sovereign…and refers to God and His relationship to us as our Master. Jewish history and especially during the time of the Romans, tells us the story of the “bondservant.” If a slave serves his time according to Levitical law, and is happy with his relationship with the master, he can tell the master he will become his bondservant, and work for him for the rest of his life for no pay, but the master will take care of him as he has in the past. The master will then take him to a wooden doorpost and put a hole in his ear and a gold earring through it to tell the world that this man is “free” and has chosen to belong to his master. It is a relationship of love and devotion. It is born out of loving respect, and obedience is given heartily. In return for the obedient service, the servant expects and receives direction, supervision, an provision. In Exodus, Moses argued with the Lord about going back to Egypt, but the Lord prevailed in His love and Moses called Him ADONAI, signifying that he understood and received the commission. Disobedience was out of the question. In Joshua 5 we read that Joshua encountered ADONAI and fell on his face! The master has the right to expect his needs to be met.

Studying the character of God is like examining a fine diamond. The various hues and points are all beautiful but when you put them together, you see a jewel so fine it has great value to the one to whom it belongs. So it is with our God!

JEHOVAH…REVIEW, this is His most used name, it signifies redemption and covenant-keeping…it is a very holy name. Remember back in Genesis after Adam and Eve sinned and hid from god? Who did the searching? God did, He sought the sinner and so it is until this day…if God does not draw us to Himself, we would not come! John 6:44. As redeemer, Jehovah revealed His holiness and His just demand for righteousness on the part of His creature. Then…he hastened to display his love for us by providing the sacrifice that covered sin with perfect blood. He did it all…He even knew before the foundation of the world what was going to happen, the Triune God declared the plan among themselves and proceeded with creation. Proof????  Where did your immune system come from? Think about it…you were born with it, right? Guess what, Adam and Eve were CREATED with it, because God knew they would need it after sin entered the world! I think that is awesome! Thanks to my son Pastor Bill for that fact, preached in  message at his church last month. Now salvation is prerequisite to full appreciation of the blessing God and His names bring to our lives. Until we become part of God’s family by accepting and acknowledging His plan of salvation, we do not have the Holy Spirit to teach and enlighten us to these wonderful character qualities of the Triune God. He is a wonderful God and Father!!!!