Friday, August 29, 2008

Every Thought

Every Thought

"The world is unprincipled. It's dog-eat-dog out there! The world doesn't fight fair. But we don't live or fight our battles that way-never have and never will. The tools of our trade aren't for marketing or manipulation, but they are for demolishing that entire massively corrupt culture. We use our powerful God-tools for smashing warped philosophies, tearing down barriers erected against the truth of God, fitting every loose thought and emotion and impulse into the structure of life shaped by Christ. Our tools are ready at hand for clearing the ground of every obstruction and building lives of obedience into maturity." ~~ 2 Corinthians 10:4-6 (The Message)

Today is one of those days when I feel myself becoming annoyed by little insignificant things. I feel myself broody and pensive and I don't like it. It's in these times that WE ALL HAVE, where God's Word is capable of setting things right...if we choose to follow and obey.

It only takes one thought to get off track and lost in stinky thinking and it only takes one single moment to STOP AND TAKE THE THOUGHT CAPTIVE.

Whenever I am reminded of this scripture passage (as I so gracioously was today...again) I instantly visualize a cowboy(girl) pulling out their lasso or lariat, twirling it in the air, then releasing it to capture a stray cow and pull it down, causing to it submit to whatever the cowgirl's will is.

Can you picture it? So, when it comes to our stinking thinking, any loose emotions or warped philosophies that we may have running around in our heads -just like the cowboy- we need to take that stuff captive. We need to take the Word, which is Christ, and make 'all that stuff' obedient to Him -His will and His way. Taking our spiritual lariats will enable us to draw down and take captive whatever we have given free access to roam through the valleys of our minds.

After all, it ain't about us, is it? The main thing is to keep the main thing, the main thing. Stephanie Paul is the Director of Addiction Recovery Ministries at America's KESWICK

Thursday, August 28, 2008

Red Sea/Jordan River

Red Sea/Jordan River

God delivers His children in various and different ways. When the Israelites were backed up against the Red Sea, Moses was told to raise his staff and the Red Sea opened up before the throng of people. Before the first person stepped foot into the sea it stood up on either side with walls of water, they entered on dry ground. So even though it took great faith and trust to step into the rocky, but dry seabed - God's work preceded their step of faith.

Exodus 14:16, 21-22 "But lift up your rod, and stretch out your hand over the sea and divide it. And the children of Israel shall go on dry ground through the midst of the sea...Then Moses stretched out his hand over the sea; and the LORD caused the sea to go back by a strong east wind all that night, and made the sea into dry land, and the waters were divided. So the children of Israel went into the midst of the sea on the dry ground, and the waters were a wall to them on their right hand and on their left."

On the other hand, when the children of promise were blocked by the raging waters of the Jordan River at flood stage, instead of performing the miracle BEFORE they stepped out, God told them to step out FIRST.

Joshua 3:14-17 "So it was, when the people set out from their camp to cross over the Jordan, with the priests bearing the ark of the covenant before the people, and as those who bore the ark came to the Jordan, and the feet of the priests who bore the ark dipped in the edge of the water (for the Jordan overflows all its banks during the whole time of harvest), that the waters which came down from upstream stood still, and rose in a heap very far away at Adam, the city that is beside Zaretan. So the waters that went down into the Sea of the Arabah, the Salt Sea, failed, and were cut off; and the people crossed over opposite Jericho. Then the priests who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD stood firm on dry ground in the midst of the Jordan; and all Israel crossed over on dry ground, until all the people had crossed completely over the Jordan."

AFTER their toes got wet in the waters of the Jordan River, THEN God performed His miracle and divided the River, making a way to enter Jericho.

So here's my question to you: Are you resisting change in your life, refusing to surrender fully in an area of struggle or sin because you are waiting for a Red Sea miracle when God is sending you a Jordan River miracle? Are you waiting for God to do the miracle BEFORE you obey or are you willing to step out in faith and obey BEFORE you see the fulfillment of God's promise? If so, you may be sitting on the river bank a very long time. Don't be afraid to get your feet wet. -- Diane Hunt is the Director of Addiction Recovery Ministries at America's KESWICK

Wednesday, August 27, 2008

Just Point Them to Jesus

Just Point

Them to JesusI recently spent some time with a hurting friend. Our circumstances are similar. I tried to help the best I could and shared what I know God had been teaching me lately. I even told my friend that just because this is what God has clearly shown me to do I could not tell her this is what she has to do. I don't have all the answers. I just know what God has told me. My final advice was for her to hear Jesus on the matter and do what He tells her to do.

When I have conversations like this. I tend to replay them in my mind and wish I had said something different, something more profound, something with more depth, something that would be the answer to the problem. I feel so inadequate at times. But I was reminded that my "job" is not to always have the answers but to always point others to Christ. He is the answer! I felt that I had done that and I regained peace about my conversation.

Who do you know that is hurting? Do you know it is okay not to solve their problem but show them the Solution? It is good to listen, to give of your time and to pray without having to have the answer. Don't belittle your acts of friendship and kindness. I am sure if my friend knew I had these thoughts she would tell me she didn't want the answer, just the encouragement and support.

"A friend loves at all times..." Proverbs 17:17 NKJV"A man who has friends must himself be friendly, but there is a friend who sticks closer than a brother." Proverbs 18:24 NKJV

Regardless of what you know, and how much you know, in the end it only matters Who you know. Point them to Jesus!

Kathy Withers is on staff full-time at the Keswick Book and Gift Shop. She is married to her husband, Dave and has two adult children. Kathy is active in her local church. Her passion is the Word of God and encouraging women to dig deeper into the truths of the Bible



Isaiah 66:2: But on this one will I look: On him who is poor and of contrite spirit, and who trembles at My word.

When was the last time you trembled at His word? Ever?

Diane Hunt is Director of Addiction Recovery Ministries at America's KESWICK

Monday, August 25, 2008

Tell All

Tell All

Psalm 38:18 "I confess my iniquity; I am troubled by my sin."Hosea 14:2 "Take words with you and return to the LORD. Say to him: 'Forgive all our sins and receive us graciously, that we may offer the fruit of our lips.'"

What do you do after the Lord has convicted you of sin? When the Word has penetrated your heart and shown you an area that needs to be cut out? The Word of God tells me it's not enough to be convicted of sin in my life...the next step is to confess it.

It can be argued that...well... I've been convicted of sin and I have acknowledged it in my life, isn't that enough? Why do I also have to confess it to God? Scripture is filled with verses that tell me I must confess my sin to God. It is His requirement.

In the book of Hosea we are told to "take words" with us when we come to the Lord in confession. The Lord wants to hear how deeply sorry I am for my sin. I am acknowledging that I have sinned against a holy God and that His Son Jesus paid the price of my sin. It is very humbling to stand before a righteous and holy God and confess my sin. There is something that happens when you begin to "take words" with you to the throne of God, there's an unburdening that takes place that can't happen any other way.

Along with confession is repentance. If I have truly confessed and repented there will be a change that will happen in me. I can't remain the's impossible. And change is never easy but impossible in my own strength.

Repentance is a turning away from sin and going 180 degrees in the opposite direction. Today, for me, this means Jesus will be a part of my conversation...intentionally... when I speak with lost family and friends. What if they reject me? Well, I should expect it...Jesus was rejected by family and friends first. Sharing Jesus with those I love, sowing seeds of faith, outweigh the possibility of rejection...their very souls may depend on it. Mary Ann Kiernan is the Intake Manager at the Colony of Mercy

Friday, August 22, 2008

The Counsel of Peers

The counsel of peers

I have heard many ministers tell the story from John 8 of the woman caught in adultery. They quote Christ, "If any one of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." They follow with verse 9, "At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there."

Most speakers make the obvious point of the parable that we should not judge others but we should tend to our own sin. However, there is a phrase in verse 9, that I have never heard discussed. "The older ones first." The older ones were the first to realize they were not without sin. The youngest ones were the slowest to leave. Perhaps they were looking to their peers rather than their elders for guidance. In "Emotional Purity," the author quotes author Christopher Schlect as asking why, as a society, we have this idea of "separation of generational influence." '

Grandville Stanley Hall taught that each generation is, or should be, superior to the previous one, and therefore needs to break free from those which precede it.' Schlect writes. "G. Stanley Hall was a pupil of Horace Mann, an evolutionist. Years later we can see how that has played out in all spectrums of life. Most people believe they can gain more insight from their peers than from their old-fashioned parents or grandparents. Because most of us believe this idea that Hall presented, we have looked to our peers, and not our parents, for spiritual growth and emotional guidance." 1

The Old Testament tells of many young kings who failed because they were looking to their peers for advice rather than seeking guidance from their father's advisors. If we only get guidance from our peers, we do not have a trustworthy measuring stick. We are most likely all in the same boat of needing someone to lead us, to guide us."Listen to your father, who gave you life, and don't despise your mother's experience when she is old" (Proverbs 23:22, TLB).

Marilyn W. Heavilin is a speaker, author and summer Counselor-inResidence at America's KESWICK
\1Emotional Purity: an Affair of the Heart by Heather Arnel Paul

Thursday, August 21, 2008

Accessory or Necessity?

Be sure and join us today via the internet for our concluding services of this week. 9:30 AM -- Dr. Roger Willmore, and please note 6:30 PM with Dr. Bob Alderman --

Accessory or Necessity?

I did it again! I changed my hairstyle! I have seen television shows where women are put on the spot to change their hair after 25 years. I will never be one of them! Hair is just an accessory!

Unfortunately, over the past years rock stars, celebrities, fashion designers have made an accessory out of the Cross. What is the cross to you?The Cross of Christ is not an accessory. It isn't shiny; it is stained with the blood of Christ. It isn't studded with diamonds; it was pierced where Jesus had nails driven in his hands and feet. It isn't beautiful (as we may think beautiful); it is where all our sins in all their ugliness were paid for. (Surely, we have the beauty of God's limitless love and grace because of the Cross!)

What does the Cross mean to you? Do you view it as an accessory? Just some component of Christianity? Do you go by the Cross quickly or have you ever lingered there? Do you only visit at Easter? Do you know the ending but have never given consideration to the process of what was done there? "If you think for a moment that the truth of the cross is something you've already adequately understood- if you suspect your life is already cross-centered- allow me to bring to your attention some symptoms that arise from not being cross-centered.

Do any of the following describe you?
1. You often lack joy.
2. You're not consistently growing in spiritual maturity.
3. Your love for God lacks passion.
4. You're always looking for some new technique, some "new truth," or new experience to pull all the pieces of your faith together." 1

"Too many of us have moved on from that glorious plan. (The Gospel of Jesus Christ and him crucified.) In our never-ending desire to move forward and make sure that everything we think, say and do is relevant to modern living, too many of us have stopped concentrating on the wonders of Jesus crucified."2

Again, I ask you, has the Cross become an accessory or is it a necessity?

Kathy Withers is on staff full-time at the Keswick Book and Gift Shop. She is married to her husband, Dave and has two adult children. Kathy is active in her local church. Her passion is the Word of God and encouraging women to dig deeper into the truths of the Bible.

Wednesday, August 20, 2008



When we think of redemption we immediately think of our salvation and God's saving grace that has rescued us from well-earned, well-deserved eternal damnation.

Yet there are so many other works of redemption in our daily lives of which we need to stop and take notice. Redemption is to buy back, to get or win back, to free from what distresses or harms, to change for the better; to offset the bad effect of; to make worthwhile.1 When we consider this definition it is easier to see how that which we consider bad actually can have redemptive value.

For example, suffering in which God's purposes are accomplished by further conforming us to the image of Jesus Christ, "offsets the bad effect and makes the 'suffering ' worthwhile." Being pushed beyond our personal limit can be redemptive when it causes us to cease trying and start trusting God. Not being able see the big picture can be redemptive when it causes us to walk by faith rather than sight.

Sharing our story of struggle and sin can be redemptive when it provides us the opportunity to share with others the transforming grace of God in our lives. Our own history of pain and hurt can be redemptive when we share God's comfort and encouragement which we experienced with others that are hurting. Conflict can be redemptive when it causes us to look at the sinfulness of our own hearts and compels us to run to the cross.

There is nothing beyond the redemptive power of Jesus Christ. ABSOLUTELY NOTHING. So no matter how desperate your situation looks today, you are not without hope because God can redeem anything. Diane Hunt is Director of Addiction Recovery Ministries at America's KESWICK accessed 7 7 08

Tuesday, August 19, 2008

You Are Not Alone

You Are Not Alone

Someone I dearly love is in pain today. Once again her heart has been broken and discarded as if it had no value or worth. Once again she sheds tears of grief as she feels the loss of another dream crushed under the weight of sin.What is she to think or feel? What does she do? She does the one thing she knows will make the difference between life and death. She falls on her already calloused knees and through weeping eyes she looks toward heaven, reaches out her arms and cries out for Abaa Father."

Daddy, hold me," she cries. "Father, help me to resist the tempation to turn my pain and suffering into bitter hate." This is her prayer, her heart's deepest desire for the preservation of her soul and spirit. It is here, in His Presence that she is reminded, and where she knows that she is not alone.

You see, she has been the other way. She has taken the seemingly easier path and turned her back on this One True Love in her life and felt the ensuing separation.What are you doing today with your pain? Are you reaching up and out to the Perfect One? He alone is able to see you through and preserve you. He collects your tears. He bears your sorrows. He knows your inmost parts and He has you safe and secure under the shadow of His wing. He has given us a Comforter who testifies to our hearts and reminds us that we are not ever alone.

"You've kept track of my every toss and turn through the sleepless nights, each tear entered in your ledger, each ache written in your book." ~~ Psalm 56:8"

Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows..." ~~Isaiah 53:4"

And I will pray the Father, and He will give you another Helper, that He may abide with you forever- the Spirit of truth, whom the world cannot receive, because it neither sees Him nor knows Him; but you know Him, for He dwells with you and will be in you. I will not leave you orphans; I will come to you." ~~John 14:16-18"

Be merciful to me, O God, be merciful to me!For my soul trusts in You; And in the shadow of Your wings I will make my refuge..." Psalm 57:1a

Dear one, go to Him. He alone is able. He is the one who will never, no never, ever, let you down. Allow Him to take up residence and fill every crack and crevice and lead you onward and upward toward visible victory.

Stephanie Paul is the Director of Women's Addiction Recovery Ministries at America's KESWICK

You can now enjoy the conference services at America's KESWICK right from your own home. Join us for our daily webcasts 9:30 AM and 7:00 PM. Go to and allow God to speak to your heart and transform your life!

Monday, August 18, 2008



Hebrews 4:12, "For the word of God is living and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart"

Ouch! There are times when you hear a message from the Word of God and you can feel the sharpness of the sword as it cuts into your heart. The double-edged sword doesn't haphazardly enter your heart and begin to hack away at it with the purpose of destruction. God's Word is designed to work as precise as a surgeon's scalpel and go to the area that needs to be cut out.

Have you felt the Surgeon's knife? I have and last night at the Colony of Mercy Chapel, Chaplain Jim Freed delivered a message from God's Word straight into my heart. His message was from Acts 16 called "The Night the Jailhouse Rocked."1

I always pray for my lost friends and family and I pray for opportunities to share the Gospel with them. But if I am really honest, I hope others will do the job for me. Truth be known, just as Jim said, I'm afraid of being rejected by them and so I hope someone else might do the witnessing for me. Chaplain Jim's challenge was to look to Paul and Silas and follow their example. There in the midst of unjust imprisonment, beating and humiliation, they sang their hearts out while shackled in chains in a dark and cold jail cell. They rocked that jailhouse!

It took great courage for these men to continue to sing their hearts out for Jesus. It also took hearts of great compassion for the lost and dying in the jail who didn't know Jesus. The result of their courage and compassion was the conversion, not only of the prisoners, but also the jailer and his family!

Where is my courage? Where is my compassion for those that are without Jesus today? I say I love them, but it seems my own fears outweigh my compassion. Lord, cut away and do through me what I can't do in my own power and strength!!!

God's Word is sharper than any double-edged sword and I need to open my heart willingly and continually to allow His scalpel to cut where it needs to. Even though messages like this one are difficult to hear because they are very convicting, my heart longs for more of them. Although there is pain when that sword penetrates my heart, it IS the only way to grow in grow more and more into the image of Christ.

Mary Ann Kiernan is the Colony of Mercy Intake Manager. Her son, Dan, is a graduate of the Colony of Mercy

1 "The Night the Jailhouse Rocked," Jim Freed, message given at the Colony of Mercy Chapel, Whiting, NJ, July 13, 2007.

Friday, August 15, 2008

Who Will You Follow?

Who will you follow?

"Find someone whose product you like and follow them." This advice was given to my husband and me when we were still in college. It is great advice.

Many of us find ourselves thrust into the middle of raising a family, working with a spouse, and trying to be successful in a profession with very little hands-on training.When Glen and I were teachers of a young couples' Sunday school class, we asked the couples to write down what they hoped to learn in the class.

I expected the answers to include the books of the Bible they wanted to study. Instead, the women shared, "I don't know how to cook or prepare for company. Can you help me?" The men stated, "Should I have a will for my family? I'm not sure how to set up a budget. Can you teach me how to trim my shrubs?"On Saturdays, I invited the ladies to come to my house, and I taught them how to prepare recipes for company. On Sunday evenings, the couples came over to enjoy the food we had prepared. We often invited someone to speak, such as a financial planner or an estate planner.

As Christians we should be ready to teach our children and others the Christian way as well as teaching them skills for general living. My dear friend Eva Brandt was willing to help me become the Christian mother I wanted to be. She even stayed with my children from time to time and often left me encouraging notes. She encouraged me and urged me not to be weary in well doing. I have had several Christian mentors: Marva, Florence, Eva, Henry, Cedric and John have taught me much about raising children, studying God's word, and becoming God's woman.

Are you willing to find someone whose product you like so that you can learn from them? Are you willing to invest in someone else by transmitting what God has taught you on to them?"Likewise, teach the older women teach the younger women" (Titus 2:3) "And the things you have heard me say in the presence of many witnesses entrust to reliable men who will also be qualified to teach others." (2 Timothy 2:2) Marilyn Heavilin is an author, speaker, and counselor-in-residence at America's KESWICK

Thursday, August 14, 2008

My Ways, My Thoughts, My Preferences

My Ways, My Thoughts, My Preferences

"Judge not, that you be not judged. For with what judgment you judge, you will be judged; and with the measure you use, it will be measured back to you." ~~ Matthew 7:2

Why are our ideas and plans, the way we see and plan them, the only way we think a thing can be? Why do we persist in only seeing and processing the world as we ourselves are? I grow weary of this very human trait as I see it in myself and as I see it in others. In fact, on a daily basis life affords me numerous opportunities to observe and judge this in others. Thereby, providing many opportunities to see how that "thing" lies in me.

Today someone sent me an email with the following encouragememt:"Jesus is concerned that we not have a critical spirit toward others, especially about their motives as to why they did something. We can't assume to know another person's heart; only God can. When we are unfairly critical, overly harsh, or unduly judgmental, we need to remember that God will use that same standard on us. I don't know about you, but I need grace. So do those I love. I'm going to try very hard to be as gracious toward others as I'm trusting that God is going to be gracious with me." (Source unknown)

I need grace! You need grace! We all need grace! Everyone we look at to judge, criticize or disdain for some untoward deed done, etc., etc., etc., needs grace. I may prefer or like Christian contemporary-southern-gospel-praise and worship music with a jazzy twist, while you prefer music which is more classical in nature. What I like may hurt your ears and make you cringe inside. Your particular preference might make me yawn. Is it possible that God's grace is big enough to remind us of the bigger picture? I believe so...I know so! Therefore, may it lead us to extend the grace we have received to one another ALL THE TIME!

"Marvelous grace of our loving Lord,
Grace that exceeds our sin and our guilt!
Yonder on Calvary's mount outpoured,
There where the blood of the Lamb was spilled.
Grace, grace, God's grace,
Grace that will pardon and cleanse within;
Grace, grace, God's grace, Grace that is greater than all our sin."

Stephanie Paul is Director of Women's Addiction Recovery Ministries

Tuesday, August 12, 2008



Criticism is the act of finding fault with... Oswald Chambers: "The average Christian is the most penetratingly critical individual. Criticism is a part of the ordinary faculty of man; but in the spiritual domain nothing is accomplished by criticism. The effect of criticism is a dividing up of the power of the one criticized; the Holy Ghost is the only One in the true position to criticize, He alone is able to show what is wrong without hurting and wounding."1

The dividing up of the powers of the one criticized. This is a powerful word picture. Basically, we are "cutting a person into pieces" by criticizing. Criticism overflows from a haughty heart. How can I say that? When I criticize another person, I am saying "I know better than you do." "I think so highly of myself that I must tell you how and why you are wrong." I know of what I speak, because by nature I can be very critical. I am learning to be less critical, but I have a long way to go. I still have a critical spirit even if I'm keeping it more to myself. The best cure for a critical spirit is a good dose of humility. "Before destruction the heart of a man is haughty, and before honor is humility." Proverbs 18:12

If criticism serves to divide one's powers, then Biblical encouragement should serve to strengthen them. Rather than criticizing others, let us choose to encourage them. "Therefore encourage one another daily, as longs as it is called today..." Hebrews 3:13 -- Diane Hunt is the Director of Addiction Recovery Ministries at America's KESWICK

Monday, August 11, 2008


Do all things without complaining and disputing... Philippians 2:14

Complain: to express grief, pain, or discontent. 1

When we complain are we not expressing discontentment with a situation in our life? In a functional sense, are we not denying the truths in Philippians 4:19: "And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus" and 2 Peter 1:3-4 "as 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, by which have been given to us exceedingly great and precious promises, that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust? Isn't complaining an expression of unbelief?

Isn't complaining a statement of doubting the sovereignty and sufficiency of God? If complaining is evidence of a discontented, unbelieving heart, how do we pursue godliness with contentment because it is great gain? (1 Timothy 6:6)

Three quick thoughts:

1. Meditate on Christ: Psalm 36:8 They are abundantly satisfied with the fullness of Your house, And You give them drink from the river of Your pleasures.

2. Practice gratitude: Psalm 63:5 My soul shall be satisfied as with marrow and fatness, And my mouth shall praise You with joyful lips.

3. You can CHOOSE to not be a complainer.Will you choose today to take God at His word? Believe in His sovereignty. Believe in His sufficiency. Today, at every opportunity, put off grumbling and complaining and put on gratitude and graciousness. Diane Hunt is the Director of Addiction Recovery Ministries at America's KESWICK

Friday, August 08, 2008

Election Year

Election year

I am amazed at how little truth we hear in our world, especially in a campaign year. We have been inundated with campaign claims and promises in every town where we stop and can watch TV. Everyone from the presidential candidates on down to the local council candidates have promised to stop the war, end unemployment, improve schools, increase medical benefits for seniors, and protect social security. Yet it is obvious that no one, not even the president, can accomplish these feats alone. Of course each of them has promised to do these things without raising taxes, except on the wealthy. We listen to the various speeches and then wonder if the TV reporters heard the same speeches because their reports are so distorted. I can assure you this problem is not isolated. It happens everywhere.

So what can we do as those who want to make well-informed decisions, and as we exercise our right to vote? We have to search for the truth, and that means work. Unfortunately, we are not safe in simply deciding to support those who claim to be Christians. Christian politicians can tend to be single-minded on one issue. So we know how they will vote regarding abortion or homosexuality, or gay marriage. However, can we trust them to vote wisely on other issues such as social security, economy, and the war in Iraq? Should we put them in office because they will vote right on certain issues? I can't answer that for you. You must make that decision for yourself. All I can tell you is having the opportunity to vote at all is a privilege and I believe it is a God-given blessing. Have you researched the issues? Have you listened to any of the campaign speeches? Do you know your chosen candidate's record as an employee, an employer, a politician, a spouse, and a parent?

I would end this by saying "See you at the polls," but Glen and I will be using absentee ballots this year. Be faithful. "I looked for someone who might rebuild the wall of righteousness that guards the land. I searched for someone to stand in the gap in the wall so I wouldn't have to destroy the land, but I found no one" (Ezekiel 22:30, TLB)."When there is moral rot within a nation, its government topples easily. But with wise and knowledgeable leaders, there is stability" (Proverbs 28:2, TLB). Marilyn Heavilin is counselor-in-residence during our summer season, as well as an author and speaker

Thursday, August 07, 2008



One of the most basic things we need to grow in love, grace and truth is quiet time with God. No matter how busy we are -and let's face it, most of us are busy and at times stressed beyond ourselves. Quiet time with God is therefore critical. Our souls and spirits languish for lack of His care and love. We need Him!!

We want time with Him and yet, more and more there seems to be less time in a day to do the "have to" stuff, let alone the "want to." So what happens? Little by little, the "have to" pushes out the "want to" and before you know it your "want to" time with God becomes "have to." Without notice, QTWG becomes one more thing to check off our mental or literal "to-do" list. And yet, in spite of that, we are distinctly aware of something missing. We are weak when the source of all strength abides in and near us. Let's choose today to keep God first in our hearts and lives so we can get to know Him more.

I'll put it like this: Whether you are married or not, most of us have been in love. Our hearts have swooned over and been captivated by the attention and love of a man. There is nothing on earth like it. God knew exactly what He was doing when He brought man and woman together, making them one. There is a completeness that can exist in the bonding that is a taste of true intimacy.

Do you remember that feeling? Do you remember all the changes you went through to be with your man? You'd arrange your day a hundred different ways just to be with him. And if you couldn't be with him in person, you were definitely connecting with him by phone. Ya'll know what I'm talking about, don't you?!And when you knew he was "the one," nothing in your day would keep you from him if it was in your power to control it. Do I need to say more? Selah...."

Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good; blessed is the man who trusts in Him!Oh, fear the LORD, you His saints! There is no want to those who fear Him." ~~Psalm 34:8-9

But those who wait on the LORD shall renew their strength; they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint. ~~ Isaiah 40:31-32 My soul, wait silently for God alone, for my expectation is from Him. He only is my rock and my salvation; He is my defense; I shall not be moved. ~~Psalm 62:5-6 -- Stephanie Paul is Director of Addiction Recovery for Women's Ministries at America's KESWICK

Wednesday, August 06, 2008

I Am Who I Am


When Moses asked God His name, God told Him I AM WHO I AM.

Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?"

And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"1

When Christ came ~ God in the flesh ~ He identified Himself as I AM. Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, before Abraham was, I AM."2

I AM WHO AM made 8 "I AM" statements:I am the bread of life.3 ..I am the light of the world.4 I am the door. If anyone enters by Me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture.5 I am the good shepherd; and I know My sheep, and am known by My own. 6 I am the resurrection and the life. He who believes in Me, though he may die, he shall live.7 Jesus said to him, "I am the way, the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through Me. 8 I am the true vine... 9 I am the Alpha and the Omega, the Beginning and the End, the First and the Last.10 I AM makes me think of God in the perpetual present.

Be blessed today. Remember I AM WHO I AM is the same yesterday, today and forever. 11 Diane Hunt is the Director of Addiction Recovery Ministries at America's KESWICK

1 Exodus 3:13-142 John 8:583 John 6:384 John 9:55 John 10:96 John 10:147 John 11:258 John 14:69 John 15:110 Revelation 22:1311 Hebrews 13:8

Tuesday, August 05, 2008



I just finished reading Dina Seaton's Victory Call entitled "Flying Fish" in which she recites the story of a friend who was speeding so fast that her Flying Fish (symbol of Christianity) came right off her car. I then started thinking about Marilyn Heavilin's Victory Call this same week in which she ended with the statement, "If you were arrested for being a Christian, would there be enough evidence to convict you?"

Boy, do I stand convicted. Not because of my speeding, but because I really do wonder if I were arrested would I be convicted on the preponderance of the evidence (see, I do watch Judge Judy) that my life belongs to Christ, and I am a new creature because He lives in me and motivates what I say, and think, and do.

How easy it is to have that old spirit of mine rear its ugly head in my life every day. I wake up late, so I'm running late to get to work, so I'm impatient with the person driving oh-so-slowly in front of me. As he turns off, I honk my horn loudly at him to express my displeasure at him. Stupidly, I feel so much better because I let him know how bad his driving was. I get stuck in the slowest line at the grocery store and shift impatiently from one foot to the other as the person in front of me unloads 20 items in the "10 items or less" lane. You know how it works - you don't need to say a word (OK, maybe a loud sigh). The impatient, angry attitude can be tangibly felt.

And then I go to prayer meeting and sit in absolute hypocrisy, praying with my group, that God will give me opportunities to share Christ and His transforming work to those with whom I come in contact.

Well, guess what? God did just EXACTLY what I asked Him to do. He gave me opportunities, and I failed to make the most of them. Not only would no one I met be able to convict me of being Christ-like, there was nothing in my attitude to make them even WANT to have what I have.

My prayer before God and you all today is that I will be convicted AND more importantly, CONVICTING, as I go through my day. "God make me the witness to my co-workers, acquaintances and friends that you are the One who gives me joy, peace, and victory over the actions in my life, and that they will KNOW I am a Christian because of the preponderance of the evidence." Lynn Randall is the Director of Human Resources at America's KESWICK

Monday, August 04, 2008

Hell -- Revisited

Hell - revisited

Last month I wrote a weeks series on the topic of a literal hell. It has been very interesting to me to hear the comments, both negative and positive, mostly positive. It is incumbent upon me to perhaps clarify what I was trying to communicate that in some ways I may have failed.

I am NOT suggesting we become rude, Bible-thumpers that people flee from when they see us coming. I am NOT suggesting we move on ahead of God and take things into our own hands and speak over people to get them to hear the truth. I am NOT suggesting we become like bulls in a china shop. I AM suggesting we embrace God's will and work so we are prepared to speak truth at every opportunity and to persuade people not trample them. I like what Henry Blackaby said in "Experiencing God," pg 13 ~ Jesus watched to see where the Father was at work and joined Him."

But Jesus answered them, 'My Father has been working until now, and I have been working...' Then Jesus answered and said to them, 'Most assuredly, I say to you, the Son can do nothing of Himself, but what He sees the Father do; for whatever He does, the Son also does in like manner. For the Father loves the Son, and shows Him all things that He Himself does; and He will show Him greater works than these, that you may marvel.'" John 5:17, 19-20

So, all that to say, may we never run ahead of God nor lag behind but walk with Him prepared to speak every time He opens the door of opportunity. May we speak truth from a heart of passion for lost souls. Diane Hunt is Director of Addiction Recovery Ministries at America's KESWICK

Friday, August 01, 2008

How Great is Our God

How Great is our God

Recently, as part of our daily staff prayer time, Bill Welte has challenged the team to come prepared with Scripture that extol Who God is. Not what He, but Who He is. It has been an exciting journey as each morning I go through my mental database thinking of Scriptures I can bring to the group to share. I find that even my preparation time is a time of worship and I begin to be overwhelmed with God. Let me share some of the recent scriptures I selected:

Our God is a Jealous God:Exodus 20:4-5 You shall not make for yourself a carved image-any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them. For I, the LORD your God, am a jealous God,

Our God is the Ancient of Days:Daniel 7:9-10 I watched till thrones were put in place, And the Ancient of Days was seated; His garment was white as snow, And the hair of His head was like pure wool. His throne was a fiery flame, Its wheels a burning fire; A fiery stream issued And came forth from before Him. A thousand thousands ministered to Him; Ten thousand times ten thousand stood before Him. The court was seated, And the books were opened.

Our God is the Great I AM:Exodus 3:14 And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'"

Our God is a Consuming Fire:Deuteronomy 4:24 For the LORD your God is a consuming fire, a jealous God.

In my meditation, I recalled a song by Chris Tomlin, "How Great is our God." I love this song. I make a joyful NOISE when I sing. Here is the Chorus: "How great is our God, Sing with me How great is our God, and all will see How great, how great is our God."So, come on friends, sing with me How great is our God. -- Diane Hunt is Director of Addiction Recovery Ministries at America's KESWICK