Thursday, June 28, 2007

Road Noise/Life Noise

Road noise/Life noise
"Watch, stand fast in the faith, be brave, be strong." 1 Corinthians 16:13

Hovering around the speed limit of 65, a warm and sunny day, the radio keeping me company, windows open, singing at the top of my lungs, all was well with my world. One of my favorite Christian songs came on and I sang along.

The traffic on Route 287 can get heavy at times especially when the trucks go whizzing by. With my car windows open the road noise periodically drowned out my voice so I couldn't even hear myself. Undeterred, I kept singing. Soon the traffic subsided and once again I could hear my voice. The traffic ebbed and flowed through the duration of the song, I just kept singing. Sometimes I could hear the song, other times I could not. I kept singing.

I couldn't help but ponder how much like life road noise is. Sometimes life-noise around us is so intense we can barely hear ourselves think yet at other times it quiets and we regain awareness of our voice.

What is important is not whether we can hear our voice or not, but rather that our heart continually sings and that it sings truth.

Are you singing truth to yourself, steadfast and immovable, whether you can hear your voice or not? Are you singing God's song as life-noise ebbs and flows drowning out your voice yet knowing that even when you can't hear it, it is still there strong and vibrant? Stand firm, sister, and sing your heart out whether you can hear it through the noise or not.

Wednesday, June 27, 2007

Sensitive To God's Leading

Sensitive to God's Leading....
Proverbs 3:6 "In all thy ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct thy paths."
Are you there with me....are you sensitive to God's hand leading you to comfort someone, pray for them, share a moment with them etc...
One day I came to work and found a pretty little card left on my desk with a poem and a teddy bear pin on it. The card read....
"Hang - In - There Bear"
When you're bearly getting by,
And you have a beastly day,
When life is hard to bear
And it rubs you the wrong way....
Here's a little friend -
Who comes with love and prayers
That God will lift you up and help you HANG IN THERE!
I thought this was just so cute. Little did I know we would have a tense moment at work that day and later when I read this card again, it was just what I needed to hear.
How did she know to give this to me that day? She was off from work that day and had come in before I did just to leave this on my desk.
Her sensitivity to the Lord and his leading was such an encouragement to me that day. It reminded me that I need to do the same and allow the Lord to lead me and encourage His people.
We don't always know why God places someone on our hearts but we do know that it is for a reason and should act upon it. Ask God to direct your paths.
Lynn W

Tuesday, June 26, 2007

Are There Degrees of Death?

Are there degrees of death?

I know it sounds like a silly question. Are there degrees of death? Can a person be a little dead? I'm no doctor, but I'm pretty sure dead is dead.
I have often heard and even said the phrase, "The ground at the foot of the cross is level." What does that mean? It means that sin is sin. Any sin, every sin, all sin required the blood sacrifice of the cross. "In fact, the law requires that nearly everything be cleansed with blood and without the shedding of blood there is no forgiveness." Hebrews 9:22 So every time you and I go to the cross, seeking forgiveness for our sin may we not be guilty of self-righteousness like the Pharisee in Luke 18, "Also He spoke this parable to some who trusted in themselves that they were righteous, and despised others: "Two men went up to the temple to pray, one a Pharisee and the other a tax collector. The Pharisee stood and prayed thus with himself, 'God, I thank You that I am not like other men-extortioners, unjust, adulterers, (addicts, drunks, gamblers, unwed mothers, angry, inappropriately dressed) or even as this tax collector. I fast twice a week; I give tithes of all that I possess (I pay my bills on time, I save money, I am educated, I dress well, I don't drink or use drugs). (Parenthesis added for emphasis). This Pharisee thought he was only partially dead but the others were fully dead. See the Scripture says, "The wages of sin is death...." Romans 6:23 "But each one is tempted when he is drawn away by his own desires and enticed. Then, when desire has conceived, it gives birth to sin; and sin, when it is full-grown, brings forth death." James 1:14-15 Sin brings forth death. That means what we would consider even the slightest sin results in death. The greatest sin results in death. All sin results in death. So before we minimize our own sin, we need to consider the cross was required for all of it. You and I were saved through the work of Jesus Christ on the cross. The person standing next to you is saved through the work of the cross. That brother or sister in Christ has been saved by the cross. The ground at the foot of the cross is level.

Monday, June 25, 2007



Proverbs 3:5-6 "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not unto your own understanding, in all thy ways acknowledge him and he shall direct your paths."

Last week I sat and listened to Gloria Gaither talk about how she has seen God work in her life through interruptions. As I sit here today I have to say that God has worked in my life more through Detours than interruptions. As a child I thought I knew what I wanted to be when I grew up - a TEACHER. Then, I started substitute teaching during my early college years and a teacher friend of mine told me not to go into teaching - I didn't fit into the four walls of a classroom. DETOUR 1. So, I decided to go into the Behavioral Sciences and Psychology so I could still work with children in some capacity. I graduated from College and started my masters while working at a children's home. Then I met someone working at a university in student development and she suggested I move into this new and exciting field of work with college students. DETOUR 2. So, I finished my Masters and went to work in the college setting as a counselor. Then I fell in love with the leadership development and community service. DETOUR 3. Next thing I knew I was a Director of Community Service and a Leadership program at a College in Kentucky. While there I started to do workshops, seminars and conferences and then I began teaching. DETOUR 4. OK, so now I'm teaching.... While not having any plans except to continue working in the university setting God came along with another DETOUR - number 5 placing me back in counseling and service work in the Church Setting. Now, I'm working with Adults and doing major bible study programs. Thinking God has now brought me to a wonderful place allowing me to teach, counsel and work in community service all together I was ready to settle in for awhile. Along came DETOUR 6 when a series of family events took me to another job in the Addiction and Homeless field. Again I'm saying OK now I'm not just teaching people how to serve I am teaching and counseling those in direct need of compassion.

Are you still along for this ride? I certainly was because I found out again God wasn't ready for me to settle in. Because of the ongoing family situation God choose to move me out of OHIO and move me back to NJ. Yes, you guessed it this was the move to KESWICK. DETOUR 7 was really a detour because I came to KESWICK and basically did nothing of what I had been doing my entire life. This detour brought me to the front desk in Guest Services where many of you met me for the first time. Interestingly enough at that location nothing was stagnant for very long, soon Robert Hayes had me doing seminars and workshops and then I started TEACHING again for the Biblical Institute. Then came DETOUR 8 - I decided to leave KESWICK and go back to my work with the homeless and addicted. It's been just over a year since that Detour and God has allowed me new opportunities including a job that enabled me to get a lot of my Doctoral work done on company time and pay. This brings me up to DETOU R 9 - with all my class work done for my doctorate God is bringing me back to KESWICK. This time around I'm still teaching and doing workshops, but now I'm Directing two different departments at KESWICK - the Bible Institute and Guest Services.

Whew... I look back and see that every detour has added to my life and my ability to do the next thing God had in store for me. Does your life ever feel like a bunch of detours and you wonder if you'll ever get back on the road you started on? I've learned that as long as I am listening to HIM - his detours have been better than anything I could have ever designed for my life. Sit back and enjoy the ride.... God knows the BEST ROUTE to your DESTINATION.

Jeremiah 29:11

Friday, June 22, 2007

The Most Valuable Gift

The most valuable gift

Job 6:11- 14 "What strength do I have, that I should still hope? What prospects, that I should be patient? Do I have the strength of stone? Is my flesh bronze? Do I have any power to help myself, now that success has been driven from me? A despairing man should have the devotion of his friends, even though he forsakes the fear of the Almighty."

Do you have a family member or a friend who is going through a crisis? How have you responded in the midst of it all? Have you avoided them because you don't know what to say or do? Maybe you have come to them and given them an "I told you so." Perhaps you have tried to comfort them but your words and deeds have only added salt in the wound and now you just stay away. When a crisis comes there is a feeling of helplessness and hopelessness. Most often the feeling of loneliness is overwhelming. It may feel as if no one cares or understands the pain. The stress in the midst of crisis may seem like it is more than anyone could bear.

We know that God is always there in the midst of the pain the midst of the struggle (Isaiah 41:10). As the Body of Christ and I.....are also called to minister to those who are hurting. 2 Corinthians 1:3 & 4 ...the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. Job needed his friends in the midst of his suffering and pain. He was despairing, he was feeling hopeless and he needed his friends. Job's friends did rally around him and for the first week they gave Job exactly what his aching heart needed...their time, presence, comfort and a listening ear. Unfortunately in the time that followed they opened their mouths. Your valuable time and a listening ear is what you can give to those who are hurting. It is timeless and priceless.

Has God placed a friend or family member on your heart? Are you telling yourself you will take care of it later? Do you think there are others who will make the call, make the visit, take the time to listen? God is calling you and me. Don't ignore the voice of God and reach out to the person who has been on your heart and mind. You may be the only person who is answering the call. A time will come when you too will need the most valuable gift you are lovingly and obediently giving away.......your time.
Mary Ann

Thursday, June 21, 2007

Meditation ... My Last Word on the Subject Last Word on the Subject

I recently read a magazine side-bar on the topic of meditation and the author, Nancy Christie offered the following for you to consider...

"The word meditation often conjures up images of saffron-robed monks in faraway mountain retreats- but the age-old practice is actually much more accessible than that. Even in the simplest forms, it can drop your blood pressure and heart rates significantly." (Hey, that's benefit enough to give it a try!)

In the article she suggests 10-20 minutes, but as I can already hear your collective shouts, I would propose beginning with 2-3 minutes. I know it doesn't seem like much, but if you are going nonstop in your day, making the choice to stop, sit still and breathe for 2-3 minutes is a big step.

Dr. Herbert Benson, Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and author of The Relaxation Response, offers the following as "a simple routine to get started:
Find a chair where you can sit comfortably and quietly. Keep your legs uncrossed, feet flat on the floor; hands loosely in your lap. Close your eyes. Take a few deep breaths to begin. Then slowly and gently breathe into your abdomen."

Okay all you faith-sisters out there, you can do this! Just in case you don't know how to breathe; take note, your tummy should expand with each inhale and flatten when you exhale.
Dr. Herbert says to, "Concentrate on your breath and remove your focus from the chatter in your mind. Don't try to stop thinking, just don't attach your attention to it. Each time you get swept up in your thoughts, move your attention back to breathing."

Trust me when I tell you, this will take some focused practice, but the benefit to your body is immediate. And it will be from this relaxed state that you can move forward and meditate on the Word the one sure thing we have to bring restorative peace to our soul and spirit.

Just in case you're wondering if it's biblical to relax, here is something for you to consider:

"Thus the heavens and the earth were finished, and all the host of them. And on the seventh day God finished His work that He had done. So God blessed the seventh day and made it holy, because on it God rested from all His work that He had done in creation." ~~ Genesis 2:1-3

Wednesday, June 20, 2007

More on Meditation

A Little Bit More on Meditation

One of the components of meditation that almost every woman I know struggles with is stillness. Most of us are so busy doing that sitting still can seem an almost insurmountable task. So today we're going to focus on the physical aspect of meditation.

In my ministry here at Keswick, stillness and quiet is something which is encouraged often. As women who are more like Martha than Mary, the suggestion to sit still and breathe is often met with a bit of resistance. "How can I take time to sit still, breathe and relax when I have so much that needs to be done?" I totally understand the question because I am what my Mom likes to call "a busy little bee" - or is a beaver?

Anyway, over the years my precious Mom has encouraged me to rest, relax and to just stop the busyness of my life long enough to regroup and refresh. So much so that she'll send me off on a retreat. A few years ago she provided for a weekend at a very nice hotel by the ocean. It was a packaged weekend titled, "Creative Escapes", and believe me I thoroughly enjoyed it. I felt rested and calmed for the first time in quite awhile. In fact, I didn't know how stressed and tense I actually was until I relaxed. The difference I felt in my body was tangible.

If we were to start today, sowing the seeds of "quiet and stillness" into our own lives -in preparation to meditate- what would it look like? I recently read a magazine side-bar on the topic of meditation and the author, Nancy Christie offered the following for you to consider...

Come back tomorrow for the conclusion.

Until then, may the joy of the Lord be your strength. May you seek and find shelter under the shadow of His wing.

"When I remember You on my bed, I meditate on You in the night watches. Because You have been my help, therefore in the shadow of Your wings I will rejoice. ~~ Psalms 63:6-7 NKJV


Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Meditate Part 2

Meditation 2

Yesterday we took a step toward reclaiming the word "meditate". My intention was to motivate my own sluggish heart to remember the things of old.
In times of trouble it is often easy to get so caught up and almost entranced by our distress that we all too quickly forget our God and the history in which He has proven His faithfulness to all generations.

As I pushed forward after yesterday's writing I was wholly encouraged by the following text from Psalms and I share it with you in the hope that you too will remember the God of your salvation; the One who stood with you in times of rejoicing and times of trouble. Jeremiah 29:13 says, "You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart."
Psalms 77:1- 20
In the Day of Trouble I Seek the Lord

"I cry aloud to God, aloud to God, and He will hear me. In the day of my trouble I seek the Lord; in the night my hand is stretched out without wearying; my soul refuses to be comforted. When I remember God, I moan; when I meditate, my spirit faints. Selah You hold my eyelids open; I am so troubled that I cannot speak. I considered the days of old, the years long ago.
I said, "Let me remember my song in the night; let me meditate in my heart."
Then my spirit made a diligent search: "Will the Lord spurn forever, and never again be favorable? Has His steadfast love forever ceased? Are His promises at an end for all time? Has God forgotten to be gracious? Has He in anger shut up His compassion?" Selah Then I said, "I will appeal to this, to the years of the right hand of the Most High."
I will remember the deeds of the LORD; yes, I will remember Your wonders of old. I will ponder all Your work, and meditate on Your mighty deeds.
Your way, O God, is holy. What God is great like our God? You are the God who works wonders; You have made known your might among the peoples. You with Your arm redeemed Your people, the children of Jacob and Joseph. Selah When the waters saw You, O God, when the waters saw You, they were afraid; indeed, the deep trembled. The clouds poured out water; the skies gave forth thunder; Your arrows flashed on every side. The crash of Your thunder was in the whirlwind; Your lightning's lighted up the world; the earth trembled and shook. Your way was through the sea, Your path through the great waters; yet Your footprints were unseen. You led Your people like a flock by the hand of Moses and Aaron."

Dear ones, whatever your trouble, cry out to God, remember Him and offer Him praise; praise to the one who is in the wind, the waves and whose Spirit is in you.
Through it all, in the midst of it all, let your heart meditate on Him.

Monday, June 18, 2007


What do you automatically think of when you hear the word "meditation"?
In my experience, more often than not, when the word "meditation is mentioned there is an almost automatic frown that comes across the face. The reasons why are, I'm sure, as varied as are the individuals. The most common is its associate with "The New Age Movement". And the last thing any born-again believer wants to be associated with is something as extreme as new age.

I think it's time that we reclaim the word and make it our own in thought and in practice.
Let's begin with the definition - simply put, meditation is:
1. the act of meditating
2. continued or extended thought; reflection; contemplation 3. devout religious contemplation or spiritual introspection 4. a devotional exercise of or leading to contemplation1

Let's take one further step and define contemplation. The act of contemplating is:
1. full or deep consideration; reflection 2. thoughtful observation or study 3. a long and thoughtful observation 4. a calm, lengthy, intent consideration So, what shall we say then? As believers in Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, King of Kings and Lord of Lords, we are blessed with the awesomeness of God's written, inspired Word; the most scared Book of books. We have in our midst something worthy of deep consideration, contemplation, observation and continued reflection.

I think it's safe to say that meditation is far above and beyond the redundant and ridiculous contemplation of one's naval. In addition it's something every one of us could begin to practice today and discover a type of devotion to God that our souls have longed for. Can I get an Amen!

To be sure, mediation is not something that is unmentioned in Scripture. If I read and discern correctly, it is something that was indeed common. Check out the following Scripture:
Psalms 19:14: "Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart be acceptable in your sight, O LORD, my rock and my redeemer."
Psalms 119:97, 99: "O how I love your law! It is my meditation all the day. I have more understanding than all my teachers, for your testimonies are my meditation."
Psalms 1:1-2: "Blessed is the man who walks not in the counsel of the wicked, nor stands in the way of sinners, nor sits in seat of scoffers; but his delight is in the law of the LORD, and on His law he meditates day and night."
Oh, I love this one:
Joshua 1:8a: "This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, so that you may be careful to do according to all that is written in it...Stephanie

Friday, June 15, 2007


Pick me UP...

During the course of my career I have spent time with, or worked with people that have struggled with depression. Unfortunately, it is one of the most common struggles in the life of Christians. I would suspect that those of you reading this either have struggled yourself or know someone close to you that has dealt with bouts of depressions.

If you were to study counseling you would find that there are a multitude of theories out there on how to "get over it". Let me just say here - you don't just "get over it". The slide down is gradual, so is the climb out.

"What makes depression so powerful is the totality and the intensity with which it takes over the whole person. It isolates, drains physically, burdens emotionally, afflicts mentally, pollutes the imagination, obscures the vision, and overshadows hope; it enslaves you to its wishes as it weakens the will. In addition, it continues to serve you lies and, if allowed to progress long enough, develops poisonous habits, making death its ultimate triumph." (Fincher)

Scripture gives us examples of people that have found themselves in this kind of despair. If we were then to look to scripture we might just unpack the "key" to unlocking the "chains" depression can have on us. Depression is totally opposite of everything God intended us to be and to do. Depression becomes the opposite of God's goal for us: to Glorify and Worship Him.

Therefore, we can conclude that Worship becomes the prescription for depression. Romans 12 tells us to be "transformed through the renewing of our mind" ~ Worship transforms. Let's take Psalms 77 as an example. In verses 1-6 we see Asaph talks frankly about his condition, in verses 7-10 he gives us his thoughts about his condition. Asaph then tells us of his resolution in verses 11-20: to meditate, to remember, and to consider all the deed of the LORD.

Are you struggling with depression? Do you find yourself feeling Blue? Do you need a pick me up? You can start now to Praise the LORD! Begin by reading and meditating on Psalms 104 to 106. Those three Psalms allow us to focus on "our creator" (104), "His faithfulness" (105), and "our salvation" (106). It won't be instantaneous, but God promises it will transform!


Nino Fincher "Depression RX"

Thursday, June 14, 2007

The Battlefield of the Mind Part 2

The Battlefield of the Mind 2

As we continue to consider practical ways to win the battle for our minds, let's pick it up where we left off yesterday...

"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:2 The most effective way I know of to accomplish this is to:
1. Know God's truth and promises
2. Be ready for battle
3. Persevere

We need to "Know God's truth and promises" or else we will have no ammunition in our arsenal. "For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds, casting down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ"
2 Peter1:3-4, "His divine power has given to us all things that pertain to life and godliness, through the knowledge of Him who called us by glory and virtue, but which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature"
We need to "Be Ready for Battle" or else we will be easily overcome and discouraged. If we are not suiting up and ready for battle be will be caught unawares and unprepared. Knowing we are in a battle will give us the attitude necessary to fight. "Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil. For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand." Ephesians 6:11-13 We need to "Persevere". Oh, sister, how I know, I mean I really know, how easy it is to give up. When those unwanted thoughts press in, they feel powerful and overwhelming -don't believe it, not for one moment. Our thoughts only have power if we give it to them. Our propensity is to 'try' battle but surrender as soon as we realize our enemy is not going to give up easily. We must press-on. We must persevere. The battle was not won on our behalf without a fight. Jesus had to persevere through the first slash of the whip, the first stroke of the hammer, to the very end when He surrendered His Spirit into the Father's Hands. Yet, the victory came when He rose again, conquering sin and death. Because He rose, you can persevere. Don't give up. Don't give up. Don't give up. Ever.


Wednesday, June 13, 2007

The Battlefield of the Mind Part 1

The Battlefield of the Mind 1
War is raging on the battlefield of your mind. In the past few days/weeks I have had the privilege of ministering to some seriously hurting people. In various ways, they are battling to regain control of their thoughts. It is no place that you and I have not found ourselves at times in our lives. Perhaps you are in one of those times yourself right not. It seems as if there are times our thoughts are on a runaway train that we can't keep on the track let alone stop. Oh, how powerful our mind is.
Because we live in a fallen, sin-sick world, our mind is much more likely to dwell on fleshly things rather than things of the Spirit. Have you ever noticed that when you want to sit and mediate on the Word that your mind flits hither and yon to everything BUT the Word. Yet, when you try not to think about something it seems as if that is all you can think about!!
"Set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth." Colossians 3:2 How are we to do this? I know from experience that sometimes it feels impossible to tear our thoughts away from the negative, fearful, worrisome, angry, bitter, etc. So how do we "Set our minds?" Set means: "to direct with fixed attention; to place oneself in position in preparation for an action; to apply oneself to some activity"1 To direct, to place, to apply - all three imply intentional action, choice. This scripture could say - choose to set your mind on things above, not on things on the earth. The most effective way I know of to accomplish this is to:
1. Know God's truth and promises
2. Be ready for battle
3. Persevere

Tomorrow, I'll go into some detail as to how these 3 things help in the battle for our minds.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

The Worship of Heaven

The Worship of Heaven

Revelation gives us a glimpse of the worship in Heaven:

Revelation 4:10-11
"the twenty-four elders fall down before Him who sits on the throne and worship Him who lives forever and ever, and cast their crowns before the throne, saying:
You are worthy, O Lord,
To receive glory and honor and power;
For You created all things,
And by Your will they exist and were created."

Revelation 5:8-10
"...the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb,...And they sang a new song, saying:
You are worthy to take the scroll,
And to open its seals;
For You were slain,
And have redeemed us to God by Your blood Out of every tribe and tongue and people and nation, And have made us kings and priests to our God; And we shall reign on the earth."

Revelation 5:11-12
"...and I heard the voice of many angels around the throne, the living creatures, and the elders; and the number of them was ten thousand, and thousands of thousands, saying with a loud voice:
Worthy is the Lamb who was slain
To receive power and riches and wisdom, And strength and honor and glory and blessing!"

Revelation 5:13
"And every creature which is in heaven and on the earth and under the earth and such as are in the sea, and all that are in them, I heard saying:
Blessing and honor and glory and power
Be to Him who sits on the throne,
And to the Lamb, forever and ever!"

Revelation 7:11-12
"All the angels stood around the throne and the elders and the four living creatures, and fell on their faces before the throne and worshiped God, saying:
Amen! Blessing and glory and wisdom,
Thanksgiving and honor and power and might, Be to our God forever and ever. Amen."

Revelation 11:16-18
"And the twenty-four elders who sat before God on their thrones fell on their faces and worshiped God, saying:
We give You thanks, O Lord God Almighty, The One who is and who was and who is to come, Because You have taken Your great power and reigned.
The nations were angry, and Your wrath has come, And the time of the dead, that they should be judged, And that You should reward Your servants the prophets and the saints, And those who fear Your name, small and great, And should destroy those who destroy the earth."

Revelation 15:2-4
"...and those who have the victory over the beast,...They sing the song of Moses, the servant of God, and the song of the Lamb, saying:
Great and marvelous are Your works,
Lord God Almighty!
Just and true are Your ways,
O King of the saints!
Who shall not fear You, O Lord, and glorify Your name?
For You alone are holy.
For all nations shall come and worship before You, For Your judgments have been manifested."

Revelation 22:9
"Now I, John, saw and heard these things. And when I heard and saw, I fell down to worship before the feet of the angel who showed me these things.
Then he said to me, "See that you do not do that. For I am your fellow servant, and of your brethren the prophets, and of those who keep the words of this book. Worship God."


One Day Ladies, one day, we will join our voices with those of the elders and angels and worship Him, forever. Let's make certain we have lots and lots of practice.


Monday, June 11, 2007


Under the Influence

Romans 15:13 May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace as you trust in him, so that you may overflow with hope by the power of the Holy Spirit.

When someone is "under the influence" it's not usually a good thing. But as Christians we should be under the influence....of the Holy Spirit that is!

What a comfort and what a joy when we are filled with the Holy Spirit! We have hope, we have power, we have peace and we have joy available to us though the Holy Spirit. What a shame that so many of us try to manufacture all those qualities on our own. The sad thing is no matter how hard we try, we can never accomplish any of this on our own.

In Romans 8:14 Paul said, "As many as are led by the Spirit of God, these are sons of God" Being under the influence of the Holy Spirit also means we can rely on the Him for decisions we need to make in our lives in general. We don't have to go it alone. God has given us His Spirit to help us along life's pathway.

Wouldn't it be great if people could point to us and say "Wow, look at her! She's under the influence!" and they knew we were filled with the Holy Spirit! That is something we would never be ashamed of!

Mary Ann

Friday, June 08, 2007

Redeeming the Time

Redeem the time

There are 1440 minutes in this 24 hour period.
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend thinking about yourself?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend thinking about money and bills?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend thinking negative thoughts?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend thinking about things you want but do not have?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend worrying?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend gossiping?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend grumbling and complaining?

How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend serving others?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend loving others?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend being kind to others?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend being a doer of the word and not a hearer only?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend obeying God?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend walking by faith and not by sight?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend believing God and taking Him at His word?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend resting in the care of God?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend living as if you are in Jesus Christ rather than in the world?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend living in resurrection power?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend meditating on the Word of God?
How many of those 1440 minutes will you spend worshiping Jesus Christ?

At the end of the day will you have spent more time living for Jesus Christ or for self?

Ephesians 5:15-16, "See then that you walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil."


Thursday, June 07, 2007

What Do You Do With The Word

What do you do with the WORD?

James 1:22- 24 “But prove yourselves doers of the word, and not merely hearers who delude themselves. For if anyone is a hearer of the word and not a doer, (she) is like a (woman) who looks at (her) face in the mirror; for once (she) has looked at (herself) and gone away, (she) has immediately forgotten what kind of person (she) was.”

As a counselor I see many people that claim to be Christians yet continue to live defeated lives. As a Christian there are times I struggle with the same syndrome as Paul - doing that which I don’t want to do. Do you sometimes feel like changes aren’t really happening - that you are not really experiencing all the blessings and victories God promises? I’m going to ask you the same question I must face myself… Am I truly “doing” the word? Am I really applying scripture to my life, or am I just reading and proclaiming it without living it? Below are some verses that if we really “do” them we will find Victory. When you read these verses – ask yourself… what am I really doing with these truths?

God’s mercies are NEW every morning: Lamentations 3:22-23 We are more than Conquerors: Romans 8:37-39 God is in CONTROL: Jeremiah 31: 11 We have a Spirit of Power: 2 Tim. 1:7 Our Flesh Crucified: Gal. 5:24 Sins are no longer Remembered: Isaiah 43:25 I Forget that which is Behind: Philippians 3:15 The battle is God’s: 2 Chronicles 20: 15 I will fear no evil: Psalms 23: 4-6 Christians are VICTORIOUS: 1 John 5:4-5

That’s just the start – there is so much more. My prayer for you is that you (and I) will each day learn how to truly TRUST IN THE LORD. (Prov. 3:5-6)


Wednesday, June 06, 2007

What is Truth?

What is Truth?

What is Truth? In this Twenty-First century we hear it all the time "All truth is relative. What is true for you isn't necessarily true for me." In our politically correct society each person's "truth" is to be respected and accepted as "truth". But how can this be? How can I, as believer in the One True God and in Jesus Christ His Son, accept all other so called "truth" and remain silent when I hear the lies of Satan or when my faith is challenged?
I don't know about you but I grow weary with all this politically correct "truth". I either have to reject the Truth of the Bible or accept's all or nothing. Jesus said "I am the Way the Truth and the life. No one comes to the Father accept through me." John 14:6. I can't comprise or pick and choose the Scriptures that I think God "really intended" for our modern day. The Bible leaves no room for compromise of Truth.
2 Timothy 3:16 tells us "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness." 2 Peter 1:21, "For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit."
The Bible, from Genesis to Revelation, is God's Word given and preserved for us so that we would not have to guess what Truth is or be easily led astray. We don't have to guess about the character of God. We don't have to guess about what God expects of us, the way of salvation and eternal life. It's all in the Book. When I think about the Bible I'm truly in awe of it and of my God. God inspired men to write (40 different authors) at different times in history, over a 3,000 years plus time period, and yet the message remains the same. Who but an eternal and all knowing God could do this for us?
If I truly believe this, I would never sit back and keep silent. I would never use politically correct language but would say along with the Apostle Paul "I am not ashamed of the gospel..." (Romans 1:16) I pray for strength and courage for me and for you that we might always stand up for Truth and never compromise our faith.

Mary Ann

Tuesday, June 05, 2007


A Moment Frozen in Time

"This is the day the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it" (Psalm 118:24, NIV).

We recently visited Graceland in Memphis, Tennessee, the home of the late Elvis Presley. He died on August 16, 1977.

While we were there the unveiling of the special edition of the Harley-Davidson motorcycle was unveiled. The special, limited edition of thirty bikes was presented to help raise money for diabetes research and to commemorate thirty years since Elvis's death.

The man who purchased the first bike of the limited edition was present at the ceremony. He paid $60,000 for the bike and donated $40,000 for diabetes research. He spoke very briefly, but I will always remember what he said. "On August 16, 1977, as I walked into the house, I found my mom who has diabetes, crying. When I asked why she was crying, she told me 'Elvis is dead.' That was a moment frozen in time for me. Today, I have bought a moment in time."

Most of us have moments frozen in time. For me, now I know I am revealing my age, the moments started when FDR died, when Kennedy died, when MLK died, and many more. Of course the deaths of my boys, Jimmy, Nathan, and Ethan, will always be frozen in time, but there is one more moment, even more special, I trust we can all remember.

Can you remember when you received Jesus Christ as your personal Savior? If for some reason you don't remember; perhaps you have never actually invited Christ into your life, or you just can't remember for sure when it actually happened, make that moment right now. I was only four years old. That is more than 65 years ago, but I still remember kneeling with my mother in the hallway of our home. That is a moment most definitely frozen time, and I didn't have to buy it. That moment is free.

"Now is the day of salvation" (2 Corinthians 6:2, NIV).

Marilyn Heavilin

Monday, June 04, 2007

Sticks and Stones

Sticks and Stones

It's all about sensitivity. Remember the old phrase we used when we were kids: "Sticks and stones may break my bones, but names will never hurt me." But in fact names DO hurt us, and sometimes much more than any broken bone ever could. You see, broken bones will mend with time, but words spoken in anger or frustration sometimes leave scars that never heal. Oh we may say we are OK, or all is forgiven, but many times those scars run very deep and often rise to the surface in times of yes - anger or frustration.

And, of course, leave it to us human beings to be sensitive to all of the things that don't matter for eternity. Yes, the unkind words hurt, the thoughtless comments wound, and we agonize over those things. But what about our sensitivity to our Heavenly Father? How careful are we that our thoughts, words, and actions don't wound and grieve our God, who continues to forgive - and forget - time after time. We allow ourselves to hold on to those old feelings and nurture and feed them until we truly have made mountains out of molehills. "As far as the east is from the west, so far hath He removed our transgressions from us." (Psalm 103:12).

Think about it - as far as the east is from the west. A space that cannot be measured, a space that is limitless - and that is how far our sins are taken away from us. Talk about "out of sight, out of mind." When God looks at our sins, all He sees is the blood of His beloved Son covering every part of them. Nothing is left to stick out and
mar the view of our sinlessness before our God.

So the next time you are tempted to give in to the sensitivity and hurt feelings game, think about what God has forgiven you. How He looks at you and only sees you as spotless under Christ's blood. That should cause us to forgive and not dwell on the perceived wrongs that have been done to us and rejoice that because of Jesus' sacrifice all is truly and forever forgiven.

Lynn R.

Friday, June 01, 2007

Law of Love Part 4

Happy 2nd Anniversary to our Victory Call team!!!

The Law of Love V

"You, my brothers, were called to be free. But do not use your freedom to indulge the sinful nature; rather, serve one another in love." Galatians 5:13

I know this week of Victory Calls have been straight forward talk on a sensitive subject. I need to warn you today's will be the toughest yet.

For many of you reading this, the topic may be foreign to your thinking but I assure you it is a very real issue. I want to talk today about the power a woman has via her body.

Some women dress sensually to attract attention. For a few, it may be perfectly innocent but I am going to suggest (and you may choose to disagree) that for the majority of these women they are dressing with intention. I don't mean that every day they get up and say, "Today, I'm going to turn heads", but rather the selection of clothes in their closet betrays their heart.

I gave very little thought to this whole area before I came to AK. Through the ministry to hundreds of wives, I have made some observations and offer this conclusion: Women enjoy the sense of power they get from turning men's heads. It feels good to be noticed. Now, I'm not talking about all women, I'm talking about women in general. You may be quite offended by my conclusion but in the world of counseling I live in, it is very real.

Is there really power? Whatever you want to call it, men react to women. God made men visual. They are wired to be sexually aroused through what they take in through their eyes. But Satan has taken that which is good and twisted it so that men (in general) are confronted with the temptation to lust.

Let me share a quote from "Every Man's Battle" by Stephen Arterburn and Fred Stoeker (this is written by men to men):

"Males Receive Sexual Gratification Through the Eyes: ... We have our eyes and can draw sexual gratification through them at any time. We're turned on by female nudity in any way, shape, or form. ... We have a visual ignition switch when it comes to viewing the female anatomy. ... Visual sexual gratification is no laughing matter in your fight for sexual purity. Given what the sight of nudity does to the pleasure centers of our brain, and these days it's pretty easy to see many naked or near-naked women, it's no wonder our eyes and minds resist control."

As I am writing this the thought occurred to me that lust may look different in women than in men. I'm going to throw this thought out for your consideration. Is it possible that lust in women is manifested through their dress and the sense of power to entice? That sense of excitement that can come from showing a little skin. My sister shared an illustration with me from a trip to Wendy's one afternoon. Standing in line waiting to order the young, well-endowed teen-aged girl in front of her discretely, but distinctly reached into her shirt and readjusted her breasts to expose more skin above her shirt line. This is what men and women alike are faced with daily.

Ladies, knowing that men are prone to lustful temptation, the law of love warrants that we as women, seek to love them by being mindful of our attire so as to be a blessing rather than a temptation.

Phew!! I'm glad this week is over.