Tag Archive | God’s promises

Life Message

Life may have

taken a body part,

broken my heart,

discouraged my

spirit, & tested

my faith but I am

still here. Why?

Because my God
is

stronger, better,

greater,
more

enduring and totally

undefeatable! I am

His daughter, His

hier and after

this life I have

a whole new life

with Him
in eternity!

So LIFE bring

it on, in the end

God wins!

Advertisements

Wheeltracks in the Sand

During worship yesterday the poem by Mary Stevenson Zangara “Footprints in the Sand” came to my mind. Since her original poem is copyrighted I will not repeat it here and besides many of you will have read it numerous times. However, I offer a poem that I hope will also be inspiring.

Though inspired, in part, by Mary Stevenson Zangara’s poem, “Footprints in the Sand” this poem below is my own work and from a different perspective.

 

I’ve no doubt I’ve come thus far

Through all life’s ups and downs

Because when I was unable to go on

Jesus helped me get around.

One set of wheeltracks,

One set of footprints.

Into His arms He’s lifted me

And carried me through the fight

Soothed my weary soul and heart

Through many day and many night.

        One set of footprints.

 

When death came knocking at the door

Jesus held me close to Him

And death has passed me for now

This time, that time and time again…

        One set of footprints.

The road ahead I cannot see

I trust in God to see me home

The wheelchair now shows its use

And Jesus footsteps show the way.

        One set of wheeltracks,

        One set of footprints.

 

Yet shining clearly in the evening sun

Is a beach at Heaven’s shore

And just at the ocean’s edge

I can see Heaven’s door.

        One set of wheeltracks,

        One set of footprints.

The wheelchair tracks are clearly seen

Deep grooves dug in the sand

Then Jesus steps and takes my hand

And at last there are two sets of footprints

Two sets of footprints in the sand.

 

As Heaven’s door swings open wide

My last earthly breath a brief goodbye

Then our feet walk through the door

Two sets of footprints left in the sand.

And on the other side, just out of sight

With tears rolling from my eyes

I’ll kneel at my Savior’s feet

Before Him prostate I will fall

 

Then when He bids me rise

A look of joy on His face

He’ll give His nod of consent

And I will dance, and run for Him.

I know in Heaven I won’t look back

To this earth again

But if I should I know I’d see

An empty wheelchair on the shore

And at the end

Two sets of footprints in the sand.

 

Till we’re all home together,

-Faye

Wrong Words of Encouragement

These words are so often spoken when someone we know is going through a difficult time or a course of trying events, “Remember, God doesn’t give us more than we can bear.” I think we’re wrong about that.

Before you stop reading in a statement of disgust at my statement I offer you this challenge. Find the verse in the Bible where it says that. Where does it say “God doesn’t give us more than we can bear.”?

The thinking is flawed, though this “wisdom saying” has good intentions (And need I remind you of the wisdom saying, “the road to hell is paved with good intentions”?). People when in pain, physical, emotional, mental or spiritual crave comfort and we who are witness to their pain want to offer words of comfort, encouragement, inspiration. But there are some reasons we have to take a second look at a waving banner for encouragement that is incorrect.

One, God does not “give us” life’s troubles. We suffer in this life, as Jesus told us we would, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world.” (John 16:33 NIV) Life has trouble because life is flawed due to sin. When Adam and Eve sinned humanity gave up paradise and perfection until we come into God’s presence in Heaven after our physical death. Yes, God is in control but He does not force His will upon us. This world is corrupt but that corruption is due to Satan and humanity’s sins, Jesus is in the business of redeeming man. God does not bring us trouble. As in the case of Job, God allows trouble, but He doesn’t cause trouble.

Two, we suffer in this life because we sin and there are consequences to our actions even when forgiveness is given. Our own sins can bring us suffering, but so can the sins of other people. Regardless of what we’d like to believe none of us live without our lives impacting someone else. The unfaithful spouse causes suffering to their spouse and family. The wayward child causes suffering to his or her parents. The thief his victims. The drunk driver his own family and the family and actual victims of his accident.

Three, we have pain in this life because we love. We love our spouses, our children, our friends, our extended family and church family. Most of us share a sense of love for the mass of humanity around us, at least we share sympathy or empathy with those in life who suffer in natural disasters, terrorism, poverty, hunger and war. So when those we love suffer, we suffer too.

But we can offer very real and very Biblically accurate words of encouragement to those who suffer and even to ourselves.

“Come to me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light.” (Matthew 11:28-30)

“To keep me from becoming conceited because of these surpassingly great revelations, there was given me a thorn in my flesh, a messenger of Satan, to torment me. Three times I pleaded with the Lord to take it away from me. But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” (2 Corinthians 12:7-9)

“I am not saying this because I am in need, for I have learned to be content whatever the circumstances…I can do everything through him who gives me strength.” (Philippians 4:11, 13)

“No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful, he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it.” (1 Corinthians 10:13)

“He himself bore our sins in his body on the tree, so that we might die to sins and live for righteousness; by his wounds you have been healed.” (1 Peter 2:24)

In times of sorrow and trouble we are right to offer hope, to offer comfort but let us offer them in truth.

-Faye

A Poem/Prayer Blog This Morning

No regular blog this morning,
I’ve been so long in prayer
Not seeking fame or fortune
But truth and solace there.
Many needs for many folks
Are recorded in my book
I couldn’t write a real quick prayer
These deserved a deeper look.
For some stand in need of healing
For spirit, body, soul and mind
Others needs are quite different
Special intercession they must find.
One father in need of salvation
One father whose temper needs control
A daughter faces breast cancer again
A mother witnesses this battle foe
My daughter has some issues
My friends have needs I do not know,
Yes the prayer list was quite lengthy
For which I praise the Lord
Was time well spent with Jesus
On behalf of His children He adores.

Prayers for you!
-Faye

Pouring Out – Part 2

Samuel King stood 6’4 in his worn jeans, long-sleeved dark blue work shirt with his long weathered face crowned by a greasy black hair comb over, eyes as black as his hair and his 283 pounds was solid from years of manual labor.  His feet were planted a foot apart shod in cowboy boots caked in so much grease, mud and red Georgia clay that the color was hard pressed to be named.  He towered like an angry thundercloud in the front counter area of McDonald’s, totally out-of-place among the bright yellow, white and red decor.  Sam didn’t care.  He didn’t care that he didn’t fit in, he didn’t care that people were moving as far away from him as he could and he didn’t care that the 21-year-old red-haired frail looking manager was telling him that he had to leave.

“Shut up, I ain’t leavin’ ‘til Becca gits on home.”  The man shouted, blasting spittle on the managers head.

Kevin Engle was the youngest manager McDonald’s had in this restaurant and he was frantically wishing one of the other managers was on duty instead of him.  He was rightfully frightened by Sam King and suddenly aware of why Rebecca King worried when he switched her shifts or had her work late.  She had tried to explain that her father was difficult and didn’t understand she couldn’t always get off right on time or had to work a different shift than expected.  Kevin remembered her request to use the phone one more time during the last hour of her delayed departure and his own refusal to allow her.  Well, tomorrow, Kevin decided, tomorrow Rebecca’s difficult father wouldn’t be his issue anymore because he had all intentions of letting her go.

“Sir, you can’t act…” but that was as far as Kevin’s quaking voice got as tried to regain some of his authority.  Sam’s large baseball size hand reached out from the end of his leg sized arm, seized Kevin by the collar of his uniform and tossed him aside.  Before anyone could react he had swept over the front counter, uncaring of the displays he knocked down and landed beside the terrified cashiers.  “Becca!  Becca you best be gittin on out here girl ‘cause when I find you you are in for one more whoppin’!”

Kevin recovered enough to scramble to his feet and he shot out of the restaurant with a speed the coach would have admired as he ran for the fire station less than a football field away.  When he burst into the bay, panting and panicked the firemen had a hard time understanding what Kevin’s emergency was but once they heard the name of Sam King they knew it was trouble.  One of them called the police while three others went back with Kevin to McDonald’s.  Maybe they could calm Sam down although not one of them believed it possible.

Hanging back Kevin let the firemen go in first, feeling braver standing behind them than in the lead.  The customers had cleared out and so had the employees except for the ones Sam had either pushed down or knocked out.  One was laid out visible just beneath the swinging gate leading to the back of the counters, another midway down the aisle at the grill.  Sam could be heard still calling and threatening his daughter somewhere in the back, his curses loud and ugly.

One of the firemen used his walkie-talkie to request for paramedics and the other two went to help the victims.  Leaving the walkie-talkie fireman to also deal with Sam.  “Anything back there like a gun or knives?” he asked Kevin.

Kevin’s negative response helped the fireman quickly decide to wait for the police unless Sam became a threat to someone instead of property.  Already in the distance police sirens were heard.

Sam King slammed out of the McDonald’s back door and walked right into the path of Officer Macon who had his gun out and aimed.  He was subdued after only a little resistance and handcuffed before being left in the back of the patrol car.  His anger seethed within him and he added the weight of the last half hour’s events into Becca’s account.  Although some might think him to be illiterate he was shrewd.  He knew he could not afford to allow anger to pour from him now, he would wait until he had Becca in hand before venting that, but it was hard to pull himself back into control.

Twenty minutes later on the way to the police station Sam remembered that his wife was responsible for taking Becca to and from work today and he had the impression Martha had told him something about needing to stop at her mother’s to help her with something or the other.  That meant the reason Becca wasn’t home yet was because her mother had made that extra stop.  That was okay, Sam reasoned, then they would both pay.  They would both pay dearly.

To be continued…

Silence

The silence is welcome and it is comforting

Just the tick-tocking of the clock nearby

The soft glow of the laptop screen quieting

The buzzing of tasks and mind at ease.

No thoughts competing for one another

Just a soft comfort in silence woos the heart

Speak in this silence as You have to the others

Abba Father, Holy Spirit You are welcome here.

The pages of the Bible are soft to fingertips

Scripture passages underlined from times past

As reminders of Your presence previously sipped.

Of prayers prayed and answers sought.

Evidence of I Am speaking and revealing

Testimonies’ of Believers left for prosperity

Recorded evidence of God speaking

Of the insistence our lives be ones of true belief.

Into this silence comes the brush of Spirit wings

As welcome then as it is welcome now

For it is in here the Spirit speaks and sings

The whispers of Abba Father are surely heard.

Where heart is tune to gentle reprimand

Stern reminders of the price of sin

Hope is offered and takes my hand

Heart is opened to the Father’s love.

Silence yes from earthly things has fell

So can be heard what Heaven joyfully sings

With His touch heart and soul are well

Silence so sweet from earthly noise.

-Faye

image

Assignment: God Stuff

HPIM1136

Our daughter is at that age where she is no longer a “child” but not yet a teenager.  Her special “friend” Charlie, is still as alive and real in her world as we are, and people in our life know not to refer to him as a “stuffed animal”.  Yet boys are starting to become interesting creations and a bad hair day can ruin an otherwise bright morning.  So when I’ve requested prayer for “What is it God wants me to write?” her answers, I’ve thought were well, suggestions from my eleven-year-old.  The same child who begs me to tell her stories about “squirrels being crazy funny” and “princess who love squirrels” also suggests:

 “Christian writing Mama, what else?”

“Angels and God things Mama.”

“How many times do I have to tell you?  You write “God stuff”!”

On the way to school this morning I was silently praying for our daughter when I had a clarifying moment for my own question.  Suddenly I heard her voice suggesting what I write and in the same moments I remembered one of the things I’ve been told in a multitude of ways which is “write what you know”.  If I take that with what my daughter’s advice is my direction to write would be to write “about God stuff, about the times I’ve encountered God and angels in my ordinary life”.

Returning home I pulled out my favorite Bible and prayed for as clear a direction from scripture as what I believed I had received as I drove away from school.   I started in I Corinthians 13 but it was chapter 14 that held my attention.  I read it over and over for I knew something was calling to me to pay more attention and verses 9-12 kept drawing me back.

“So it is with you.  Unless you speak intelligible words with your tongue, how will anyone know what you are saying?  You will just be speaking into the air.  Undoubtedly there are all sorts of languages in the world, yet none of them is without meaning.  If I do not grasp the meaning of what someone is saying, I am a foreigner to the speaker and he is a foreigner to me.  So it is with you.  Since you are eager to have spiritual gifts, try to excel in gifts that build up the church.”

I Corinthians 14:9-12 N.I.V.

Paul was writing about the desire the Christians in Corinth were having for spiritual gifts and how those gifts they desired should be ones that build up the church.  These particular verses are about orally conveying the message of Christ in a language that the audience members can understand. (At least to the way this layperson understands them.)

Would God direct me any differently today than He did through Paul those early Corinth Christians just because my venue is the written word?  After all God did not intend that Paul’s letter would be one to encourage and instruct just the Christians at Corinth.  Even then God knew that His message through Paul would one day be devoured by Christians all over the world.  Yes, I believe even then God knew I would be in need of His words to the Corinth church.  Should I not convey the message of Jesus Christ’s love for us?  That Jesus Himself became the mediator between God and us?  Should this message not be written in a language people can understand?  Should I not be writing so that God’s people are encouraged and the body of believers is built up?

Or in a more direct understanding, should I not write about my ordinary life and encounters with God and angels with words that people understand?

Maybe this blog is my assignment at this time whether I have many followers or not.  God must have His plans and as long as He keeps inspiring me I’ll keep writing “God stuff” and pray that I use words that people understand so He is edified.

-Faye

I Believe

I believe in The God

The Alpha and Omega

The Author and Creator

Of all life

Of all that is good.

I believe in the resiliency

Of a Believer’s heart

Of a Redeemed soul

For they seek God

For they heed His voice.

I believe in Love and its power

Love that transcends

Love that extends

Itself in grace

Itself in mercy.

I believe in God’s Word

From Genesis to Revelation

From Creation to Christ’s return

Every word a piece

Every piece a whole.

I believe life has value

Value to God

Value to humanity

What He gives is

What only He should take.

I believe in marriage

One woman, one man,

One vow, one team

Two spirits united

Two cords bound in three.

I believe in children

Who need love and direction

Who need guidance and prayer

To receive the inheritance

To walk in God’s light.

I believe even when I forget

To focus on Jesus

To trust in God’s provision

When the storm rages

When darkness falls.

I believe in faith

In faith that hopes

In certainty of the unseen

Because God is here

Because He is alive.

I believe what matters

Is not what I believe

Is what YOU believe

In this moment

In this day.

-Faye at fvbf (faith view by faye)

Follow Your Heart? Follow Your Mind? Follow Your Faith?

On the surface it seems like the best advice to tell someone making a big decision in their life.  One suffering in grief.  One anxious over a job situation.  One in the midst of their first attraction to a member of the opposite gender.  One fearful of how decisions today will effect tomorrow.  So we say, “Just follow your heart!”

I’m old enough to have learned a few things and one is that the heart is filled with feelings and feelings can be deceiving.  I’ve also come to understand that as a Christian faith is not always logical.  This means I’ve learned one more thing, to seek the answers in the place I know the answers are honest and steadfast – the Word of God.

My NIV dictionary tells me that the heart (for modern usage) is the seat of the affections (Gen. 18:5; Ps 62:10) and the seat of the intellect (Gen 6:5) and of the will (Ps 119:2).  According to  Genesis 6:6 it also signifies the innermost being.  The word heart is used over 900 times in the Word, almost never literally with the exception of Exodus 28:29.

As Christians we encourage and seek people to “let Jesus come into their heart”.  We use the analogy that Jesus is knocking on their hearts door waiting to come in.  Faith, we know, often defies logic – for that is the wonderful and freeing part of faith.  And of the 900 plus references to the heart in scripture I found:

  • Mans heart has got him in trouble (or her) since before Noah.  Genesis 6:5-6 “The Lord saw how great man’s wickedness on the earth had become, and that every inclination of the thoughts of his heart was only evil all the time.  The Lord was grieved that he had made man on the earth, and his heart was filled with pain.” (NIV)
  • Deuteronomy 4:29 reads, “But if from there you seek the Lord your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.”
  • The Lord doesn’t look at how we look outwardly but at the person we are on the inside in our hearts. “But the Lord said to Samuel, ‘Do not consider his appearance or his height for I have rejected him.  The Lord does not look at the things man looks at.  Man looks at the outward appearance, but the Lord looks at the heart.” (I Samuel 16:29)
  • Proverbs is rich in instruction about the heart including 4:23 “Above all else, guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life.”
  • Jesus said, “For where your treasure is, there your heart will be also.” Matthew 6:21 and in 15:18 “But the things that come out of the mouth come from the heart, and these things make a man unclean.” as well in 22: 37 “Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind.”

As believers in Jesus we can’t “just follow our hearts” alone for clearly a heart out of sync with God is going to lead us to decisions that are outside of His will.  To keep a heart capable of knowing and acting upon the word of God we must fill it with the same.  That means not merely giving lip service to Him but having a RELATIONSHIP with Hm and yielding to His guidance.  We also can’t approach our faith life from an intellectual viewpoint alone either.

Faith defies logic.  Faith says wait when our hearts say go.  Faith holds on in the storm when our hearts seek the first possible refuge whether it is of God or not.  Faith is walking the other road when society walks another.  Sometimes our faith conflicts with our heart and it is those times we must cling to our faith-based on what our heart knows and not on what our minds tell us.

I’ve gone through such a faith crisis many times and I once wrote, “Faith is walking into the largest, darkest room with your fear because you know there is a light on the ceiling and a switch on the wall.  But I got 1/2 way across the room and simply can’t go any further.  It’s not the absence of God it is the absence of me.”

Had I listened merely to my heart’s emotions I would have given up.  Had I listened to logical thinking I would have given up.  But in listening with faith in my heart entwined with God I found myself belly crawling across that dark room until I reached the wall and though I floundered, God guided my fingers to the light switch.

To each of those who stumble through a faith crisis I urge them to not stop seeking God’s answer in His Word.  I remind them that God can handle our questions and our doubts.

What about you?  Where does your heart and your faith meet?

A Prayer

Hand ReachingAbba Father:

You are Holy and I praise Your name.

You are the I Am and I worship You for who You are.

You are the Shepherd and I seek You.

You are Abba Father and I need You.

You are the Author of our lives and the Creator of all that is good on earth and in Heaven and I long for You.

Allow me to humble myself in Your presence and praise You as one of Your children.  Grant me audience that You may speak to me, guide me, instruct me so my life is an honor and glory to You, Your power and Your might.

There are so many reasons to seek You Abba Father.  Prayer requests come from all sides every hour and second of our days.  Needs are great, evil is rampant but our hope and our help are in You.

Accept this prayer on behalf of those who are mourning the loss of fathers, brothers, mothers, sisters, grandparents, aunts, uncles, cousins, children and friends.  Comfort their hearts.  If they know You, if they have a personal relationship with You, draw them to You, cover them with Your wings and hold them in their sorrow.  Strengthen them in their pain.  Guide them through their valley.  If they don’t know You, if it is You they need most of all, then I pray that somehow, someway, someone will be Your instrument to show those mourning of an opportunity to know You as their God, their Creator, their Abba, and their Savior.

Hear this prayer on behalf of those struggling in pain, discomfort and even life and death in hospitals, homes, shelters and life’s pathways around the world.  Comfort them.  Heal them Lord in the way You find fit.  Impart to doctors, nurses, lab technicians, and all the hosts of other medical staff the knowledge You have allowed mankind to know so that it can be used to help these children of Yours in physical pain.  Soothe their fragmented emotions.  Calm their fears.  Intervene Father with miraculous healings if that is Your will.  And for those Father for who this is a time to come face to face with the end of their lives, wrap them in Your embrace, show to them Your love and mercy and guide them home.  For any Lord who are facing these moments whose relationship with You is non-existent or broken, I plea with You to have final mercies and give them one more chance before their souls leave this earth, this life and face eternity with their choice.

Father I call upon You to help us be better stewards of all You have given us.  Whether we are blessed with little or much Abba Father help us use our allotment to honor You.  Where there are needs in personal and family finances God I call upon You to be for us the God who provides.  Where needs exist in Your work, whether that be local ministries or foreign missions, across lines of denominations, race, gender, economic status or anything else, grant us the privilege of being Your hands to provide with, where You are working to woo people to You please allow us some way of helping, of being used for Your glory.  Grant us the opportunity and the wisdom to seize those opportunities to further Your kingdom.

Abba I pray for my country.  For the United States of America I plea.  Open our eyes Lord to the selfish and self-serving nation we have become.  Cleanse us of self-appointed pet projects and return us to the One upon who our country was founded, was blessed by and who waits for us as one people to call upon Your name.  Our leaders God who know You, who try to walk with You and in the ways You would have them walk I plea for their strength, I plea for their endurance, I plea that their voices will be heard in a din of noise that creates chaos and discontent.  For our leaders who are not Your servants, who lead us or try to lead us, in ways that bring dishonor to You, that shame us before You I pray Lord that these leaders will come face to face with the reality of Your existence and fall prostrate before You.  Raise up in our country Christian men and women to lead us.  Call upon all Your children to pray for our country, for our leaders and dear Jesus, to pray that the decline of our morality be slowed and even halted.

Abba Father lift me beyond myself, above my circumstances, out of my situations into Your ways, Your paths, Your presence.  I am Your child and You are my God and help me cling to these facts in this world that seems to have gone mad.  Grant to my sisters and brothers in Christ the same.  Collect us together so that we might draw strength from You and one another.  Gather us from the far corners of this world under Your arm and hold us in the night and daytime hours of our fears, our needs and our work.

Amen