Monday, November 30, 2009


My husband and I walked into a large department store recently and the traditional bell-ringer was at his post. "Happy Holidays" he said to us as he continued ringing the bell. I commented to my husband Glen, "Happy Holidays? What happened to Merry Christmas?"

As I walked out of the store, I said "Merry Christmas" to the bell-ringer. He quickly responded with a "Merry Christmas to you, too." I realized if I let him know it was best to say "Merry Christmas" he would do so. I have a friend who has had buttons made which read "You can wish me Merry Christmas."

I came home and opened my e-mail to find I had received this poem.

'Twas the month before Christmas
When all through our land,
Not a Christian was praying
Nor taking a stand.
See the PC Police had taken away,
The reason for Christmas - no one could say.
The children were told by their schools not to sing,
About Shepherds and Wise Men and Angels and things.
It might hurt people's feelings, the teachers would say
December 25th is just a 'Holiday.'
Yet the shoppers were ready with cash, checks and credit
Pushing folks down to the floor just to get it!
CDs from Madonna, an X BOX, an I-pod
Something was changing, something quite odd!
Retailers promoted Ramadan and Kwanzaa
In hopes to sell books by Franken & Fonda...
As Targets were hanging their trees upside down
At Lowe's the word Christmas - was nowhere to be found.
At K-Mart and Staples and Penny's and Sears
You won't hear the word Christmas; it won't touch your ears.
Inclusive, sensitive, Di-ver-si-ty
Are words that were used to intimidate me.
Now Daschle, Now Darden, Now Sharpton, Wolf Blitzer
On Boxer, on Rather, on Kerry, on Clinton!
At the top of the Senate, there arose such a clatter
To eliminate Jesus, in all public matters.
And we spoke not a word, as they took away our faith
Forbidden to speak of salvation and grace
The true Gift of Christmas was exchanged and discarded
The reason for the season, stopped before it started.
So as you celebrate 'Winter Break' under your 'Dream Tree'
Sipping your Starbucks, listen to me.
Choose your words carefully, choose what you say
not Happy Holidays!*

Please, all Christians join together and wish everyone you meet during the holidays a MERRY CHRISTMAS. Christ is The Reason for the Christmas Season!

I realize that some of the specifics of the poem may be out of date, but the message is very accurate and will always be. The point is that we must speak up. This Christmas Season, let's be ready with a joyful MERRY CHRISTMAS.

Marilyn Heavilin

Friday, November 27, 2009

Do we have any Abrahams and Sarahs today?

One of my favorite magazines is called "Keepers at Home." I love the simplicity of it and the great articles and devotions for wives and mothers.

Recently I lost a good friend, mentor and a godly example of a woman. She was my first Sunday School teacher. I can remember her kindness even to this day after 40 some years. Janet was to me a woman of character, a woman of faith, a woman to be remembered.

Looking into the Scriptures there are many women we can reflect upon and learn from and be encouraged by....but what about someone today that we can look up to? Are you someone that a young lady can admire for being faithful, strong in the Lord and always showing God's love?

The article/devotion I read today asked the question....Do we have any Abraham and Sarahs today? Well, do we...?

As I was remembering my friend Janet today, and the challenge she left me with, I decided to pick up this very issue and here was another challenge for me. You see, Janet always told me over the years....even if you are washing the dishes, do it unto the Lord. She said you never know when He will take you home and you want to be serving Him at that very moment. The older I get the more I can understand and appreciate what she was saying and how much of an example this can be to others.

Have I been a Sarah to others looking at me and peering into my life? Can I honestly say that daily I show the light of Christ to all around me? For me it is easy at work. It is what I do. I work and minister at a Christian conference center. But at home.....well, isn't this where I can relax and be myself? Then the question I need to ask myself is...who am I in Christ. Am I only a godly woman at work? Do I only need to show Christ at my ministry/work? No....and I was strongly reminded of that by the devotion I ready today.

Psalm 127:1
Unless the Lord builds the house, They labor in vain who build it...

Live for the good of others, helpless, oppressed, and wrong;
Lift them from depths of sorrow, In His strength, be strong.
(Written by Grandmother Lois - Keepers at Home Summer 1999 issue)

We need some pillars in our society for our young women to have to hold onto for an example.

Revelation 14:13
Blessed are the dead which die in the Lord from henceforth, yea saith the spirit, that they may rest from their labors, and their works do follow them.

When you doubt what you do is worth something....remember doing an ordinary thing in an ordinary will never lack for work. This includes tending our homes, our children, our husbands and even doing the dishes.

Let me attach an article that touched my heart today that should summarize what I am trying to say. May the Lord show us today what we are called to do for Him.

Lynn Wilson

The HIDDEN Roy Lessin (Keepers at Home Magazine Summer 1999)

A woman once fretted over the usefulness of her life. She feared she was wasting her potential being a devoted wife and mother. She wondered if the time and energy she invested in her husband and children would make a difference. At times she got discouraged because so much of what she did seemed to go unnoticed and unappreciated.

"Is it worth it?" she often wondered. "Is there something better that I could be doing with my time?" It was during one of these moments of questioning that she heard the still small voice of her Heavenly Father speak to her heart. "You are a wife and mother because that is what I have called you to be. Much of what you do is hidden from the public eye, but I notice. Most of what you give is done without remuneration. But I am your reward."

"Your husband cannot be the man I have called him to be with out your support. Your influence upon him is greater than you think and more powerful than you will ever know. I bless him through your service and honor him through your love. Your children are precious to Me...even more precious than they are to you. I have entrusted them to your care to raise for me. What you invest in them is an offering to Me."

"You may never be in the public spotlight. But your obedience shines as bright light for Me. Continue on.

Remember you are My servant, Do all to please Me".

Thursday, November 26, 2009


The giving of thanks. All over the United States today, people are gathering with family and friends, or perhaps spending it alone, in honor of the holiday we call Thanksgiving. Sadly enough, few of them know to whom they are giving thanks, or even care for that matter.

Doesn't the very concept of giving thanks require that there is a recipient of that thanks? We are thankful for...but we are also thankful to... Doesn't receiving blessing imply the blessings have been given?

Let us be bold today, willing to say, "I thank God and my Lord Jesus Christ for the blessings He has bestowed upon me this year, this month, this day, this moment."

Be encouraged and let your heart smile with these words:

Psalm 100
Make a joyful shout to the LORD, all you lands! Serve the LORD with gladness; Come before His presence with singing.
Know that the LORD, He is God; It is He who has made us, and not we ourselves; We are His people and the sheep of His pasture. Enter into His gates with thanksgiving, And into His courts with praise. Be thankful to Him, and bless His name. For the LORD is good; His mercy is everlasting, And His truth endures to all generations.

Happy Thanks - giving,


Orignially posted 11.22.07

Wednesday, November 25, 2009

Spiritual Wellness

Yet again I have had to focus on my physical health. As is often the case, I had done well for a period of time, watching my weight and exercising, then came stress and with it some old habits. I finally got disgusted with how I felt and I began to discipline my eating and exercise habits. My motto has become "An hour of exercise is better then four months of getting it back off." The cooler seasons have come and I find myself facing temptations. The fresh fruits and veggies I like are harder to find and salads don't taste as good in the cold weather. It is the same for my spiritual wellness, too. I can do so well but then lose focus and soon I am feeling rotten because my devotions and disciplines have fallen by the wayside.

When I saw a study on Colossians, "A Women's Guide to Spiritual Wellness" by Rhonda H. Kelley, I was reminded again of how important it is that I take care of all aspects of my health. At the utmost is that my walk with Jesus be healthy and vital. Rhonda Kelley begins her study with this thought, "Physicians today are focusing medical interventions more on prevention than on treatment. Most prefer physical wellness for the body over treatment of illness."

How are you doing spiritually? Would an ounce of prevention be better than the cure? Would an hour with Jesus be better then trying to catch up or start over?

I look forward to sharing some things I glean from this study on Colossians. The first thing I learned is found in Colossians 1:1. "Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God..." Sam Storms comments "..all things in all of our lives at every moment in the twenty-first century must be attributed to the will of God. Have you paused to ponder the fact that who you are is 'by the will of God,' as well as what you do, where you live, how much you own, whatever you accomplish? Needless to say this excludes your sinful deeds and rebellious attitude and failure to obey the Scriptures." The first step to healthy eating is usually purging all the junk from the cabinets and fridge. The first day of exercise always causes a good deal of pain. Deciding to be spiritually well is similar. It takes purging the junk and beginning anew which sometimes can be painful. The first step to prevention and treatment for our spiritual wellness is to be sure we are walking "by the will of God" in all areas of our lives.

Kathy Withers

Kathy has recently joined the Development Team at America's KESWICK. She has been married to her husband, Dave, for 24 years and they have 2 adult children, Michael and Kerri.

Friday, November 20, 2009

Heavenly Mother

Ah, ha. I suspect you responded to my title the same way I did the first time it came to mind. God is our Heavenly Father yes, but our Heavenly Mother? Hear me out.

As difficult as it is for some people to grasp or accept that God is their Heavenly Father, there is at least some recognition that it is true.

For those with less than stellar, absent or flat out abusive earthly fathers they often struggle with embracing God as Father. They may transfer their experience and feelings of their earthly father to God.

But what about those with less than stellar, absent or flat out abusive earthly mothers? Isn't it true in one sense that God desires to be our Heavenly Mother?

Here's why I say that:
1. God desires to meet the deepest longing of our hearts and if it's for a mother, then that is where He will meet us.
2. "As one whom his mother comforts, so I will comfort you;" Is 66:13 God comforts like a mother.
3. "For my father and my mother have forsaken me, but the LORD will take me in." Psalm 27:10. Even if our parents forsake us, God never will.
4. John 1:12-13 "But to all who did receive him, who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God, who were born, not of blood nor of the will of the flesh nor of the will of man, but of God."5. "So God created man in his own image, in the image of God he created him; male and female he created them." Genesis 1:27 God is neither male nor female and though He has chosen to communicate Himself as Father, He does not negate His heart to comfort as a mother.


Thursday, November 19, 2009


Have you ever heard words come out of your mouth and you have gasped? My thought is frequently, "Oh, Lord, I shouldn't have said that. How could I have said such a thing?" Then my thought has quickly turned to, "How can I talk my way out of that one?"

As I read the verse in Proverbs: "If you have been trapped by what you said....Go and humble yourself" (Proverbs 6:2 and 3 NIV).

Oh, I have been trapped by what I said. So what should I do? Verse 3 tells me: "Go and humble yourself." You mean I have to admit I was wrong? Yes, that's what the Bible says. To whom should I go? The first person we must go to is the Lord. "If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just and will forgive us our sins and purify us from all unrighteousness" (1 John 1:9 NIV).

Once we talk to the Lord and admit our sin, we are better prepared to go to the person, humble ourselves, and say, "I was wrong." So is that it? No. We are expected to change. "Whoever would love life and see good days must keep his tongue from evil. He must turn from evil and do good" (1 Peter 3:10-11 NIV).

* Be Contrite

* Be willing to Confess

* Trust God to help you Change

Marilyn Heavilin

Wednesday, November 18, 2009

One-Two Punch

Romans 3:10-18 "None is righteous, no, not one; no one understands; no one seeks for God. All have turned aside; together they have become worthless; no one does good, not even one." "Their throat is an open grave; they use their tongues to deceive." "The venom of asps is under their lips." "Their mouth is full of curses and bitterness." "Their feet are swift to shed blood; in their paths are ruin and misery, and the way of peace they have not known." "There is no fear of God before their eyes."

Honestly, these verses have always troubled me. I understand them intellectually but in the back of my mind, I just didn't get it. As a child, I was fairly religious. I participated in youth group and even tried to read the Bible for a season (I usually fell asleep before long). I did good things like helping my mother or refrained from drinking at the high school parties. I prayed pretty regularly. In my mind, I was seeking after God. I was a "good girl."

One morning, I was reading and praying through Romans 3:9-30. All the care group participants from church are meditating on this Scripture for the month of November. As I was praying through it, I found myself saying, "Lord, I don't see how these verses really apply to me. I know they are true, but I don't get it. Forgive me, Lord, for thinking that I did seek you, that I did do good, that I did anything whatsoever that could be deemed righteous. But, Lord, it feels like I did; show me Your truth."

Later that afternoon, I was again reading Paul Tripp's book: Whiter than Snow*, when I came across this quote. "Why is Genesis 6:5 so hard to accept? [The LORD saw that the wickedness of man was great in the earth, and that every intention of the thoughts of his heart was only evil continually.-my insertion] Why do we spontaneously rise to our own defense? Why are you and I devastated when our weakness, sin, and failure are pointed out? ...Why do we erect self-justifying arguments for what we have said or done? ...We find this all so hard to accept because we studiously hold onto the possibility that we're more righteous than the Bible describes us to be. When we look into the mirror of self-appraisal, the person we tend to see is a person who is more righteous that any of us actually is...Each one of us needs grace that's not only big enough to forgive our sin, but also powerful enough to free us from the self-atoning prison of our own righteousness. We're not only held captive by our sin, but also by the delusion of our righteousness."

The Lord answered my prayer. He showed me His truth. I am held captive by the delusion of my own righteousness. The only way out of my captivity is the blood of Jesus Christ, the only True Righteous One.


* I highly recommend Dr. Tripp's book, which is available through the KESWICK on-line bookstore.

Tuesday, November 17, 2009


I have experienced more illness in the past few months than I have in the past ten years. With the illness came feelings of loneliness, frustration, weakness, and futility. I felt my prayers were not reaching the ceiling, let alone God. After a night of pacing the floor and crying out in pain, I prayed, "Dear Jesus, Please let me hear Your voice today. As I see it, first I need to call my pastors to prayer. Help me know how to do that. Second, I need a good doctor as my champion. Please lead Glen and me. Please show me what to do and how to do it. Please bring people to me."

Within an hour of that prayer, God brought a pastor and his wife to my door. I burst into tears and said, "I just told God I needed someone to pray for me, and I need a good doctor contact." The pastor prayed for me, and the wife called her clinic and had an appointment for me that afternoon! (It was a Friday, and the normal wait time for an appointment was over a month!)

Later that day I heard God's directions very clearly as He guided me to look over my e-newsletter mailing list. I was able to identify 16 ordained ministers. I wrote them all immediately and asked them to pray for me. The Lord had answered my prayer and had shown me how to call my pastors (all 16 of them) to prayer.

God reminded me of this verse, "My grace is enough for you. When you are weak, my power is made perfect in you" (2 Corinthians 12:9, NCV).

Are you feeling weak, lonely and frustrated? Turn to Jesus. Tell Him how you are feeling. He promises to hear us and to take action. "Call to me and I will answer you...." (Jeremiah 33:3, NIV).


Monday, November 16, 2009

Confess your righteousness...

Philippians 3:8-9: Indeed, I count everything as loss because of the surpassing worth of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord. For his sake I have suffered the loss of all things and count them as rubbish, in order that I may gain Christ and be found in him, NOT HAVING A RIGHTEOUSNESS OF MY OWN that comes from the law, but that which comes through faith in Christ, the righteousness from God that depends on faith (emphasis mine).

Isaiah 64:6: ...all our righteous acts are like filthy rags (NIV).

Galatians 2:21: I do not nullify the grace of God, for if righteousness were through the law, then Christ died for no purpose.

"Before you can ever make a clean and unamended confession of your sin, you have to first begin by confessing your righteousness. It's not just your sin that separates you from God; your righteousness does as well. Because, when you are convinced you are righteous, you don't seek the forgiving, rescuing, and restoring mercy that can be found only in Jesus Christ." [Paul David Tripp ~ Whiter than Snow: Meditations on Sin and Mercy]

I couldn't say it any better than that.


Friday, November 13, 2009


I was speaking to a group of people who had experienced various recent losses - a spouse, a child, a sibling - and was very surprised to discover that none of them were attending any support groups. One woman commented, "My children are my support group. Isn't that enough?" My mind immediately went to 2 Corinthians 10:12 "We do not dare to classify or compare ourselves with some who commend themselves. When they measure themselves by themselves and compare themselves with themselves, they are not wise" (NIV). If her children are supporting her, then I have to ask, "Who is supporting them?" And the next question is, "How will they know when their mom needs more help than they can give or that she is in trouble?"

The same theory goes for our Christian walk. Who are we using as our measuring stick? If we are a young parent or newlywed and our only measurement comes from other young parents or newlyweds, how do we know if we're not ALL in trouble?

God's Word should be our measuring stick. I learned this principle when I was building doll houses. When I cut a board the right length, I must always use that as my measuring stick. If I start to use the freshly cut board, my measuring stick will change and the boards will not be uniform. Their size will vary.

The same is true in our Christian walk. We must keep our eyes on Jesus and God's Word to make sure our results will be pleasing to God.


Thursday, November 12, 2009

In God We Trust - II

Just in case...just in case, I was misunderstood in yesterday's Victory Call, I want to make plain and clear today what I am NOT saying.

I am not saying that we ever be silent in the face of injustice and wrongdoing. Nor should we ever stand by and allow evil to prevail when there is something we can do about it. There are plenty of voices, strong Christian and secular voices standing up, speaking up and out so that their voices might be heard in all possible places and times that there are ears to hear.

With a loud AMEN I thank God for these men and women. I am grateful to them for giving me insight, knowledge and understand about the issues of our times which are having a gross impact, at all levels, upon the culture we live in.

Neither am I saying that we should not talk about the issues of our present time once we are informed about them.

What I am encouraging us to do as clearly as possible is to never, ever forget who we represent. We are never to be less than Christ Himself would be in the face of opposition. Let's look at it biblically shall we?

In Colossians 4:5-6 we read: Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the best use of time. Let your speech always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you ought to answer each person.

Therefore, having put away falsehood, let each one of you speak the truth with his neighbor, for we are members one of another. Be angry and do not sin; do not let the sun go down on your anger, and give no opportunity to the devil. Ephesians 4:25-27

Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear. And do not grieve the Holy Spirit of God, by whom you were sealed for the day of redemption. Let all bitterness and wrath and anger and clamor and slander be put away from you, along with all malice. Be kind to one another, tenderhearted, forgiving one another, as God in Christ forgave you.
Ephesians 4:29-32

One image which so clearly comes to mind is that of some in the fight for the lives of the unborn, who are shown in full vent of their emotions, spewing hateful and ugly words at those who are going in and out of an abortion clinics...all in the name of Christ.

I praise God that the opposite is true as well. There are many of us in the fight for life who stand firm against the evil of abortion without doing harm to the testimony of Christ in their lives and without malice or slander or any such thing.

May it be said of us that we were known by our love and our passion for Christ; that we fought the good fight, ruled by peace to the glory and honor of Christ, our risen Redeemer and Lord.


Wednesday, November 11, 2009

In God We Trust - I

In God we trust. Do we really? How do you know? In other words, what is the evidence at this moment in your life, that you are trusting in God?

We live in sad times. We live in evil times. We live in a time where there appears to be no moral compass beyond what an individual - any individual - thinks or feels is right at a given moment. In general, people appear to be floundering and groping around (as if in the dark) for something, anything, to attach relevance and significance to, as they grapple with all the issues life is hurling at them with force and speed.

On a good day, I can't keep up with all of the "stuff" that is going on in the world, in our country, "the land of the free and the home of the brave." However, in spite on any lack I may have politically or culturally, one thing I know for sure, there is a God and it ain't me!

What is my point? Too many of us are giving ourselves the freedom to speak against the current administration and I am seriously and deeply concerned. I can't help but honestly wonder whether the Lord is okay with this. Do we behave wisely and for Christ's sake when we slander or speak against people whom God has placed in authority over us? If I imitate the world in speaking against our current president as so many in the world did regarding the former, am I guilty of wrongdoing?

In God we trust. In God I trust!

Consider David. He was fully committed to Saul and sought to serve him in every way. He knew that it was unwise to undercut Saul's position of authority. Even after Saul became jealous and began to pursue David to take his life, David didn't speak against Saul or do harm to him, even though he could have.

Like Saul, we have a leader who is not seeking the counsel of God and it would therefore be ever so easy to speak against him at every turn. However, I sincerely believe that for disciples and followers of Christ, it ought not to be so.


Romans 13:1-7 Let every person be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and those that exist have been instituted by God. Therefore whoever resists the authorities resists what God has appointed, and those who resist will incur judgment. For rulers are not a terror to good conduct, but to bad. Would you have no fear of the one who is in authority? Then do what is good, and you will receive his approval, for he is God's servant for your good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword in vain. For he is the servant of God, an avenger who carries out God's wrath on the wrongdoer. Therefore one must be in subjection, not only to avoid God's wrath but also for the sake of conscience. For because of this you also pay taxes, for the authorities are ministers of God, attending to this very thing. Pay to all what is owed to them: taxes to whom taxes are owed, revenue to whom revenue is owed, respect to whom respect is owed, honor to whom honor is owed.1


Tuesday, November 10, 2009


Leviticus 13:45 Now the leper on whom the sore is, his clothes shall be torn and his head bare; and he shall cover his mustache, and cry, "Unclean! Unclean!"
According to levitical law, a person with leprosy was condemned to be an outcast not only by the world but by all his or her friends and family, never to be touched or included in any family or social activity. They were outcasts from the temple as well...never able to go and worship their God as was commanded. Wherever they went they were under the levitical law and had to cry out "Unclean!" as a warning to all. There was no way to hide it or disguise it. People would look upon them with fear, disgust and loathing. How heartbreaking.....

Jesus never shied away from anyone. He loved spending time with those others thought of as outcasts, sinners or those who were labeled "unclean." Jesus loved them, spent time with them, touched them and taught them. But He never turned His back on them.

Luke 5:12-13 And it happened when He [Jesus] was in a certain city, that behold, a man who was full of leprosy saw Jesus; and he fell on his face and implored Him, saying, "Lord, if You are willing, You can make me clean."
Then He put out His hand and touched him, saying, "I am willing; be cleansed." Immediately the leprosy left him.

As a matter of fact, these people where his favorite people to hang out with and He received a lot of condemnation for it from the Pharisees, Sadducees and religious leaders.

Luke 15:2 And the Pharisees and scribes complained, saying, "This man receives sinners and eats with them."

Jesus saw beyond the illness, the sin and the ugliness. He loved them and offered Himself to them through His love, His touch, His healing and His forgiveness. He was never too busy, too freaked out by what He saw, too disgusted by the sins that held them captive to give of Himself.

Who are the "Unclean" in our society today? The addict? The sex offender? The thief? The adulterer? The murderer? They are no longer under the obligation to cry out "Unclean!" yet don't we still treat them in the same manner as those in biblical times? If the "unclean" walk into our church, do we go to the opposite side of the church? Do we ignore them, shun them, or turn up our noses at them?

What if we put on biblical glasses and saw them through the eyes of our Savior Jesus? How different would they look? How would we minister to them? Would we love them with the love of Jesus? Would we embrace them and introduce them to Jesus?

What a different world this would be....want to try on a new pair of glasses?


MaryAnn and John Kiernan have been married for 35 years, have 2 grown/married sons and are the proud grandparents of two grandsons. She serves at America's Keswick as a Biblical Counselor and also as Intake Coordinator for the Colony of Mercy. Her life verse is Romans 8:28

Monday, November 09, 2009


After a few days of stomach problems, wondering if I might have a bug of some sort, the light gradually dawned that it was more likely what used to be called "nervous stomach." I think it basically is a result of forgetting the One who rules and reigns over ALL. OVER ALL the various circumstances that are part of my life right now.

Anxiety is not fun. It may be as simple as "nervous stomach" or a flat-out panic attack or anywhere in between.

Anxiety starts to wrap its tentacles around our heart ever so gradually through wrong thinking, worrisome thinking and fearful thinking ~ in other words, not God's thoughts. The "What-ifs" and "If-onlys" become more common than rehearsing the truths of God.

We forget.....I forgot....

My God reigns.

My God SOVEREIGNLY reigns.

My God is good.

My God is for me.

My God is in the process of conforming me to the image of Jesus Christ.

My God is working redemptively in my situation.

As I stood under the stars one chilly fall evening, I was reminded that He holds each star in place and calls it by name.

Psalm 147:4 He determines the number of the stars; he gives to all of them their names.

Jeremiah 31:35 Thus says the LORD, who gives the sun for light by day and the fixed order of the moon and the stars for light by night, who stirs up the sea so that its waves roar- the LORD of hosts is his name...

If He created, named and sustains every star in the universe - He can handle my problems.

How about yours?


Friday, November 06, 2009


Jesus said, "The one who comes to Me, I will certainly not cast out." John 6:37

The comfort in those words of Christ is huge! Come to Me, He says, and you will not be cast out, and to emphasize it, He uses the word "certainly." He communicated it to us in such a way that there would be no doubt whatsoever that we shall/we will NOT BE CAST OUT!!

Dear sisters, I don't have a clue where you are today in your faith walk, nor do I know where you are situationally or circumstantially, but this one thing I can assure you of, YOU ARE NOT ALONE!!

God is with you. In the midst of whatever failure you are feeling the weight of, whatever pit you feel yourself in, whatever war you are waging with sin or self, He is there and He is saying "come to Me." After you finish reading this Victory Call, pause and pray, talk to your Father; tell Him your troubles and give Him your burden. Don't carry it or them for another second!

In the words of Betsy Ten Boom, (from the movie, "The Hiding Place"), "there is no pit so deep than God's love is not greater still."

And in the words of our Savior Christ, "Come to me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest. Take my yoke upon you and learn from me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and you will find rest for your souls. For my yoke is easy and my burden is light." Matthew 11:28-30

"Do you not know?Have you not heard?The Lord is the everlasting God, the Creator of the ends of the earth.He will not grow tired or weary, and His understanding no one can fathom.He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.Even youths grow tired and weary, and young men stumble and fall;But those who hope in the Lord will renew their strength.They will soar on wings like eagles; They will run and not grow weary,They will walk and not faint." Isaiah 40:28-31


Thursday, November 05, 2009


Have you ever felt completely sidelined and totally useless for the Lord or for anyone else? This past summer, I spent a better part of the summer in our rig, not feeling well enough to participate in the conference activities. A little variety was added to this confinement by four visits to the ER in Toms River. I counted up, and during that time of illness, I saw ten (count 'em, 10) different doctors. My experience culminated with a four-day stay in the hospital. I remember sitting there thinking, "How in the world did I get here?" Talk about feeling alone and isolated!

Surely God needed me at Keswick. Surely the Colony of Mercy needed me. But there I was, stuck in a body that was extremely pain-filled and confined to a hospital where few people understood my frustration.

But as I look back, I realize that God used me, even in the hospital. He promised that He would. "Your work in the Lord is never wasted" (1 Cor. 15:58 NCV).

God brought to my mind the doctors, nurses, and patients who learned of my faith in God and our work at Keswick as well as the Keswick people with whom I was able to share what God was doing in my life during my set-aside time.

Have you ever felt your life or your talents were being wasted? Trust in God. He has a plan for you. "If ye abide in Me, and My words abide in you...-that is the way to keep going in our personal lives. Where we are placed is a matter of indifference; God engineers the goings."1

Marilyn Heavilin

1 Oswald Chambers, My Utmost for His Highest, (Westwood, NJ, Barbour and Company, Inc., 1963) 214-215.

Wednesday, November 04, 2009

Getting the Word Into You

"The advantages of a deep knowledge of the Bible are more than can be numbered here. It is the storehouse of God's promises. It is the sword of the Spirit, before which temptation flees. It is the all-sufficient equipment for Christian usefulness. It is the believer's guidebook and directory in all possible circumstances." F. B. Meyer

Here are F.B. Meyer's simple rules for studying God's Word for yourself:

  1. Make time for Bible study. "...we should aim at securing at least a half an hour each day for the leisurely and loving study of the Bible. is seldom difficult to find time for business or pleasure appointments. If we mean to, we can."
  2. Ask for understanding." No one can so well explain the meaning of his words as he who wrote them."
  3. Develop a plan. "It is sometimes helpful to read an entire book of the Bible at one sitting, devoting two or three hours to the sacred task. At other times it is more profitable to an epoch, an episode, or a life, and compare all that is written of it in various parts of the Scriptures. At other times it is good to follow one topic, as faith or love, by help of a concordance, from end to end of the inspired volume."
  4. Read with pen in hand. "None, in my judgment, have learned the secret of enjoying the Bible until they have begun to mark it."
  5. Seek your personal profit. "Do not read for others but for yourself. What does the Holy Spirit want to teach me?"
  6. Turn reading into prayer. "If an example of holiness gleams before you, ask God to do as much for you. If a truth is revealed in all its intrinsic splendor, entreat that its brilliance may ever illuminate your life. If a promise lies on the page as a blank check, cash it. If a prayer is recorded, appropriate it and launch it as a feathered arrow from the bow of your desire."
  7. Practice what you learn. "We are taught not for pleasure only, but that we may do."

"The whole of Christian living, in my opinion, hinges on the way Christians read the Bible for themselves. We may measure our growth in grace by the growth of our love for private Bible study; and we may be sure that there is something seriously wrong when we lose our appetite for God's Word." F. B. Meyer

Kathy Withers

Life Action/Revive magazine, Volume 40, Issue 3, page 8-9

Tuesday, November 03, 2009

Getting Into the Word

In a recent magazine I read an article about getting into the Word of God. The article was written by Dr. Howard Hendricks, a man I have long known to be one who encourages people to study the Bible for themselves. He opens with this, "The greatest problem in the church today is that we have an increasing number of Christians who are under the Word of God but not in it for themselves."

I have sat under the teaching of good and godly men. Often I would hear them give a challenge to read the Word for themselves. We were encouraged to take what they preach and examine it to see if what they say is true. I have also sat under good and godly teachers that encourage others to know that what a preacher/teacher does to prepare they can do, too. This advice has given me a deep desire for study. Joining many Bible Studies over the years has given me helpful tools and ways in which to study.

Dr. Hendricks gives 3 reasons why we should study the Word of God.
  1. Growth
  2. Maturity
  3. Guidance

You and I shouldn't study for the sake of knowledge alone. We must come to rely on the truths that are revealed to us. They must change us and transform us from the inside out. It doesn't matter the books on your shelf, the degrees on your wall or the hours spent at weekly Bible Studies if you do not see the above results in your life. The Word of God should cause you to see growth and maturity develop in your life. The Word should be the place you go for guidance, as well as peace, comfort and your marching orders for the day.

I write this because it is easy for me to be a Bible study junkie. It is easy to learn facts and find answers to questions and fill in the blanks. But is transformation taking place? Do you know Jesus more intimately? When you finish a Bible study are you different than when you began?

Dr. Hendricks believes that the study of God's Word is so important because "it is the process of seeing the Lord come into your life."

Today as you study I pray that the Lord will meet you there and reveal Himself to you and that you will be changed for having spent time with Him.

Kathy Withers

Life Action/Revive magazine, Volume 40, Issue 3, page 8-9

Monday, November 02, 2009

As we pass by...

"As he passed by, he saw a man blind from birth." John 9:1

Jesus, escaping for His life, stops to help a blind man. How do we know? The verse immediately preceding says, "So they picked up stones to throw at him, but Jesus hid himself and went out to the temples. As he passed by..." John 8:59 - 9:1

Ministry is not necessarily something we GO do. Going to the mission field is great. Going to help at the church breakfast for the homeless is great. Making a meal for a sick family is great. But there are many, many ministry opportunities "as we pass by."

I cringe to think of the many opportunities that I failed to capitalize on because I was so focused on self. I didn't even see the opening to speak a simple word of truth or hope except in hindsight.

Look around you today for opportunities to minister His grace, His love, and His truth ... as you pass by.