Tuesday, January 09, 2007


Matthew 10:27, "Whatever I tell you in the dark, speak in the light; and what you hear in the ear, preach on the housetops."

Fellowship. I think often we associate fellowship with food and that can be a component of Biblical Fellowship but it does not constitute it. Food is not required for fellowship.
Our verse for today reminded me of two very dear friends of mine. Two women, vastly different but with this in common - they speak often of the Lord and what He has been teaching them. I can't remember a conversation with either that they did not refer to the Lord in some way. One woman my mentor-Joanne taught me in words and actions what it means to love Jesus. The other woman a close friend -Sherrill-has taught me that in spite of life's circumstances and a broken heart through the recent loss of her husband, Jesus is all she needs. These two women have demonstrated Matthew 10:27 to me. What Jesus has spoken to them in the dark they have shared in the light.
Isn't that Biblical Fellowship? Sharing life. Sharing what Jesus has spoken to you, has taught or is teaching you. Sharing in another's walk with the Savior can inspire, teach, encourage, admonish and challenge us.
In many ways, that is what Victory Call is about. What we hear we share. I, for one, can attest to the fact that God has much work to do in my life yet and I am thankful that He continues to lead, teach, guide and change me. I am committed to speaking that in the light.
Are you sharing with others what God is teaching you? What is Jesus whispering or perhaps even shouting in your ear? Speak it in the light.


Monday, January 08, 2007

The small stuff

The small stuff

Friday I wrote about lifting all our concerns to God and that nothing is too small to bring to His throne because Jesus loves us. Have you ever gotten an "I love you" from God in an answer to your prayer? Recently the Lord showed me how much He loves me through a "small" prayer request. When God gives me these little "I love you" answers to prayer, I feel like a child and want to skip around and sing "Jesus loves me" and just tell everyone of my Father's love for me.
I was recently asked to give the children's message at church in my pastor's absence. I was terrified. This is not an area that I feel the Lord has gifted me in. My pastor had given me an idea that I thought was great but I just wasn't sure what to do with it.
"Being a Christian is like being a pumpkin. God lifts you up, takes you in, and washes all the dirt off of you. He opens you up, touches you deep inside and scoops out all the yucky stuff-- including the seeds of doubt, hate, greed, etc. Then He carves you a new smiling face and puts His light inside you to shine for all the world to see"
This was a great way to present the gospel to the children but I wasn't sure how to put it all together for them. So I kept lifting it up in prayer, my small prayer of "help me Lord, help me to relate your message of truth to your children." Well, God answered my prayer long before Sunday morning and I just didn't know it.
In Sunday school the morning of the children's message I asked Gail our teacher to pray for me. I had prepared but was still uncomfortable with what I had. After prayer I sat down and began to think of other things while someone else spoke with Gail. I wasn't paying attention until I heard the words "Pumpkin Gospel book". I walked over to see Dee with a children's book with that very name! Dee didn't know why she picked it up at Barnes and Noble the day before...but I did. God had answered my prayer. I used that little book in my message to the children. This seemingly small prayer wasn't too small for God's concern and for His loving answer.
I wanted to buy that "pumpkin Gospel" book for my grandson Elijah, so I went to the store that afternoon. I was told that for the entire store only one book had been ordered and it was sold the day before...to my friend Dee! God is so amazing! That message for the children was all God, He was glorified in and through it. It had nothing to do with my ability or my gifts. That was the message that God wanted His children to hear and He provided it. Praise His name!
Ps. 62:5-8 "Find rest, O my soul, in God alone; my hope comes from him. He alone is my rock and my salvation; he is my fortress, I will not be shaken. My salvation and my honor depend on God; he is my mighty rock, my refuge." From my salvation to a prayer for help in a message for the children and everything in between, God alone is my rock and I must trust, believe and walk in obedience to Him in all my ways and then if I'm listening I will hear "I love you!" from Jesus (no matter what the answer to prayer might be). My soul can find rest in Him in all things!

Mary Ann

Friday, January 05, 2007

Jesus love me

Jesus love me

I love this simple, beautiful hymn. Although this is a hymn that seems to be sung with children, it is a hymn that I love because there are so many times I need a simple reminder that "Yes Jesus loves me."
Why is it so hard sometimes to grasp this truth? 1 John 4:9-10 says "This is how God showed his love among us: He sent his one and only Son into the world that we might love through him. This is love: not that we loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son as an atoning sacrifice for our sins." God loved me so much that He sacrificed Jesus, His Son for me. And this has nothing to do with me and my love for Him because He died for me when I was nothing but an unrepentant sinner. When I sit and meditate on this, it is just too overwhelming and difficult for my brain to comprehend because apart from Jesus, I'm nothing, I'm unworthy and I'm a sinner.
Yet, Jesus loves me. He loves me and hears my prayers...all of them. Have you ever felt that because His gift of salvation is so huge that some prayer requests are too minor to bring before the throne of God? Why bother God with the small stuff in my life when there are so many huge struggles and problems in the lives of others? Well it's because Jesus loves me and He wants to hear from me. You can't have a deep loving relationship with someone if you aren't communicating with them on many levels and this is true...even more so....with our Lord.
Phil. 4:6 says "Do not be anxious for anything, but in everything, by prayer and petition, with thanksgiving, present your request to God." We are to lift all our concerns to Him. An important key component to our prayers is in our giving thanks for whatever God is doing in our lives...the blessings and the struggles. He is never too busy to hear my prayer no matter how big or small.
Ps. 66:17-20 "I cried out to him with my mouth; his praise was on my tongue. If I had cherished sin in my heart, the LORD would not have listened; but God has surely listened and heard my voice in prayer. Praise be to God, who has not rejected my prayer or withheld his love from me!"
Thank you Jesus! YES Jesus loves me.

Mary Ann

Wednesday, January 03, 2007


Worship: reverence offered a divine being or supernatural power; also: an act of expressing such reverence; a form of religious practice with its creed and ritual; extravagant respect or admiration for or devotion to an object of esteem 1

As I was searching for a definition of Worship in a Bible Dictionary, I came across the following statement: "Yet truly defining worship proves more difficult because it is both an attitude and an act." 2

I was struck the other day by a simple truth. Jesus Christ is worthy of our worship. He just simply is. Not because He healed the sick (Mt. 8:14-15), made the lame walk (Mt. 9:6-7), the deaf hear (Mt. 11:5), the mute speak (Mt. 9:32-33), blind see (Mt. 9:29-30), raised the dead (Mt. 9:24-25), the waters still and the wind cease (Mt. 8:26), the water wine (John 2:7-8), or the demons leave(Mt. 8:31-32). Not because He suffered, was crucified, died and rose again (John 19-20). Not because He sits at the right hand of the Father interceding on our behalf (Romans 8:34). Although, all those things are true and cause us to give praise, adoration and thanks, they are not why Jesus is worthy of our worship.
Jesus is worthy of our worship because He is the second person of the Holy Trinity, the only begotten Son of God. He is God, the self-existent One. He has no beginning, and will have no end. He was with the Father before the creation of the world. John 1:1-2, "In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. He was in the beginning with God." He was worthy of our worship before He came to earth or did a single thing recorded in the Gospels. He was and is worthy. Revelation 4:12, "Worthy is the Lamb who was slain to receive power and riches and wisdom, and strength and honor and glory and blessing."
The verse that caused me to reflect on this truth was Matthew 2:11, "And when they had come into the house, they saw the young Child with Mary His mother, and fell down and worshiped Him." The wise men worshiped the Christ Child before He performed any of the aforementioned miracles. Jesus is worthy of worship because of who He is not what He has done.
Do you love Jesus because of who He is or what He does for you?

1 Merriam-Webster Online Dictionary accessed 12 28 06.
2 Elwell, Walter A. "Entry for 'Worship'". "Evangelical Dictionary of Theology". <http://www.biblestudytools.net/Dictionaries/BakerEvangelicalDictionary/bed.cgi?number=T745>. 1997. accessed 12/28 06.org

Tuesday, January 02, 2007

Distractible Times

I would not consider myself to be a person that is easily distracted; however, my most distractible times are during Bible reading, prayer and worship; personal or corporate. Why is that? It seems to be a continual battle to stay focused and honestly I fail more than I succeed. I'm afraid I have grossly missed true worship.
In light of that, I have already begun to ask the Lord to teach me not only to worship but to be a worshiper. I've been a believer about 23 years and I'm just now getting around to asking God to develop this area of my life. Perhaps I am just now coming to the realization that I am not a true worshiper.
It is my desire to be a whole-hearted, true worshiper of the One True God -Father, Son and Holy Spirit. Won't you join me on this journey? If so, begin by asking God to teach you to be just that-a true worshiper.

John 4: 23-24, "But the hour is coming and now is, when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth; for the Father is seeking such to worship Him. God is Spirit, and those who worship Him must worship in spirit and truth.

Diane @lists.americaskeswick.org

Monday, January 01, 2007

New Years resolutions

As we are staring down a new year, 2007, my mind wanders again to New Years resolutions. In past years, I have made many, but not kept a single one.
I was pondering this over the past few days and it occurred to me that God does not encourage or expect New Years resolutions; rather He wants us to make new day�s resolutions, or new moment resolutions. Better stated, God wants our obedience today.
He is in the continual process of making us more like Jesus, moment by moment. When we blow it, He doesn�t want us to wait until the beginning of a new year to get back on track. In my mind, New Years resolutions are just a way of delaying obedience. The same goes for starting diets on the first of the month or starting again tomorrow since I already splurged today or committing to stop watching a particular TV show at the end of the season, or to quit smoking when my job is less stressful, or to start showing my husband respect when He starts deserving it, etc. I think you get the idea.
I am prone to do this�set up a line in the sand a few days, weeks, or months away to stop a bad behavior or begin a new good one. By doing this I am basically giving myself permission to continue doing what I want until that time, which seems to continually get moved further into the future. I continue in my sin with less guilt because, after all, I am going to do something about it. I�m only deceiving myself.
God�s grace is sufficient. It will not become more sufficient in a week or month. Obedience does not become easier; it becomes more difficult with every choice of disobedience. Don�t wait for the start of a new year or a new month. As soon as you become aware of sin, confess it, repent and turn back to God, now not next week.
God�s mercies are new every morning. Great is His faithfulness.

2 Corinthians 3:18, �And we, who with unveiled faces
all reflect the Lord's glory, are being transformed into
his likeness with ever-increasing glory, which comes
from the Lord, who is the Spirit.� NIV

Lamentations 3: 22-23, �Through the LORD�s mercies
we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not.�
They are new every morning; �Great is Your faithfulness.

Happy, Healthy and HOLY New Year.