Faith Messages to build your faith

Wednesday, October 31, 2012

Drop Your Hands

Joe Stowell tells us, "You'd think I would have my mother's fingerprints embedded in my knee from all the times she squeezed my leg in church and whispered in no uncertain terms, 'Be Still.'

Like any boy; I had a bad case of the wiggles in places like church. So for years, when I read, "Be still, and know that I am God' Ps. 46:10, I thought of it in terms of not being antsy.

   But the Hebrew word for still means 'to cease striving.' It's the concept of putting your hands down and letting God intervene in your situation without your interference.

   This word picture is interesting, since we often use our hands to push things out of our way, to protect ourselves, or to strike back.

   When we drop our hands, it makes us feel defenseless and vulnerable—unless we can trust that "God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble" (v. 1), and that "the LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our refuge" (v7). In other words, stop struggling and wait on God to do His work!

   In the face of all of life's circumstances, we can know the peace of trusting the presence and power of God in the midst of trouble as we wait patiently and prayerfully for His deliverance. So drop your hands, for God's hands are busy on your behalf! Joe Stowell

Be still and know that He is God
For pathways steep and rough;
Not what He brings but who He is
 Will always be enough.Anon
When we put our problems in God's hands,
He puts His peace in our hearts."
Oct. 6, 2012
"Confessing our sins to God and forsaking them brings a sense of freedom to our souls and the awareness that we have nothing to hide. David McCasland
Lord Jesus, help me come to You
When I would rather run and hide
My sinfulness and foolish ways;
Forgive and make me clean inside.Sper
Whenever we're ready to uncover our sins,
God is ready to cover them."
Tomorrow’s post: Living Temples that Carry Glory: Prayer Note #86  Dutch Sheets
Today’s treasure truth #21: If you are “born again”, you are blessed coming in and blessed going out. (Deu. 28:6)
Our thought for today: There's no "pat answer" for your problems. Seek God's answers.
Samples of Jean's crafts  

Tuesday, October 30, 2012

Dutch Meets Goliath on Bourbon St.: Prayer Note #84

Dutch Sheets shares with us, “I led an outreach of 200 students from Christ for the Nations Institute to Mardi Gras in 1979.
We focused most of our ministry on Bourbon Street. Where the biggest portion of the partying occurs. I have seen few places where darkness rules so dominantly as it does at this continuous celebration of evil. 

   We had many hours of prayer and preparation before going on this outreach, and were assured in our hearts that we had established victory in the Spirit. The light had preceded us. We felt we were going physically only to reap the spoils. 

   We saw dozens of people come to Christ and experienced many dramatic events as time and time again light triumphed over darkness. It was not without its tests, however. One of the events that impacted me greatly was an encounter we had with a demonized man who intended to do some of us bodily harm—kill us. 

   One evening my partner and I crossed the street to speak with two of our students, who happened to be carrying a sign that read, ‘God Loves You.' 

   As we stood talking, a giant of a man, whom we’ll call Goliath, came at us seemingly out of nowhere. He was about 10 feet tall (at least 6’ 6’), weighed 500 pounds (at lease 260 pounds). He was dressed from head to toe as a Roman soldier— or maybe as a Philistine soldier—and carried a long whip he was cracking as he came up to us. His lips were covered with bloody froth and blood was trickling out of the corners of his mouth. 

   He approached us cracking the whip and growling like a mad dog. The area around us cleared as people back off and watched. Goliath then began to shout in a deep, raspy voice, ‘God is love, huh? I’m gonna kill you!’ "

  [Dutch decided not to say and do what he thought!]. "As we stood and bound the powers of darkness in this man in the name of Jesus, within seconds he began to change. His countenance changed, his voice changed and his attitude changed.
   The demons controlling him had been overcome. Light prevailed. The man actually appeared confused. He looked at us with a strange expression, muttered something about going ahead with what we were doing and walked away slowly as the crowd watched in amazement. 

   Light overcame darkness. God’s power ‘struck the mark,’ (paga quieting the evil spirits and saving us from embarrassment and probable injury.”

Prayer Note #85- Dutch Meets Goliath on Bourbon St. -taken from Dutch Sheets’ book, Intercessory Prayer (188, 189) 

The next Prayer Note, Living Temples that Carry Glory, on 11/1
Tomorrow’s post:  Drop Your Hands  Joe Stowell
Today’s treasure truth #20: If you are “born again”, you are  and doing the Lord's commandments. Deu. 28:12
Our thought for today: When there's demonstrations of God's love, people are drawn to Him.
Samples of Jean's crafts 
Crafts order blank link 
So You Plan to Marry a Man  A devotional book for women contemplating marriage and looking for godly advice.  my home page

Monday, October 29, 2012

The Forever People

Mary Southerland tells us, "Life is a marathon – not a fifty yard dash. When the psalmist says, “I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever,” he is reminding us that we were created for eternity.

But instead of focusing on eternal things, we waste precious emotional energy and priceless spiritual power by fixing our gaze on the here and now. I am not saying that we need to ignore what God gives us to do today because the truth is that each step on each day’s path is filled with God ordained opportunities.

What I am saying is that much of our stress comes when we measure life and hold it up against the wrong backdrop

 When our son was a little boy, he was photogenic and a full-fledged ham in front of just about any camera. I will never forget the day that a simple photo session turned into a holy moment for me.

 Christmas was just around the corner which meant that it was time for new pictures. It seemed like everyone was having a special - you know the ones I’m talking about – where you get a ridiculous number of pictures for $2.99.

When we arrived for our appointment, I was amazed to find that we were the only ones in the studio. The photographer took one look at the blue outfit Jered was wearing, and began to move props, pull down a different backdrop and rapidly snap pictures. Jered laughed, called out to the audience of shoppers strolling by and in general, put on quite a show. I was so proud!

 When the session was done, the photographer asked if he could take some extra shots for his studio walls. Now I ask you, what mother is going to refuse that offer? Certainly not this one! For over an hour, Jered was framed against different colored backdrops as the photographer worked his magic. I began to notice a pattern.

The blue backdrop made Jered’s bright blue eyes dance while the red backdrop heightened his jet black hair. With every backdrop, Jered’s appearance changed slightly. In was then that God quietly unveiled an extraordinary truth in an ordinary moment.

 We must be very careful to choose the right backdrop against which we live our lives. Our backdrop is eternity – not the tyranny of urgent demands made by a relentless world. Our backdrop is an old rugged cross and an empty tomb – not the temporary trials or painful circumstances we face in this very fleeting life. We are 'forever' people. Like the old song says, 'This world is not my home. I’m just passing through.'

My favorite words in the Bible are “but God.” Those two words create an eternal backdrop that changes everything. Everything looks different when He comes. Everything is made different by His presence. To survive and succeed in life, we must stop and take the long look, refusing to fix our gaze on the 'little things' that are meant to divert God’s plan. If we want to live a life of victory, our glance must be on the circumstances and our gaze must be on Him.

 A beekeeper once told pastor and evangelist, F.B. Meyer, how young bees are nurtured to ensure their healthy development. The queen lays each egg in a six-sided cell which is filled with enough pollen and honey to nourish the egg until it reaches a certain stage of maturity. The top is then sealed with a capsule of wax. When the food is gone, it is time for the tiny creature to be released.

However, the wax is so hard to penetrate that the bee can only make a very narrow opening. In fact, the opening is so narrow that in the agony of exit, the bee rubs off the membrane that encases its wings.

When the bee finally does emerge, its wings are strong enough to fly. The beekeeper said that a moth once got into the hive and devoured the wax capsules. The young bees easily escaped the capsule but they could not fly.

 Choosing an eternal perspective is a spiritual discipline that makes stress yield to God’s peace. Does that mean we will float through each day without facing trials, defeats, enemies or impossibilities?

No – but it does mean that the backdrop against which we view those dark moments will be replaced with the truth that there is an eternal purpose in every pain and that is through the struggle out of that darkness that we gain the strength to fly and become all God created us to be – now and forever.

"Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me all the days of my life; and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever" (Psalm 23:6, NIV).

Let’s Pray

 Father, thank You for the eternal life I have in You. Forgive me when I get so caught up in the things of this world that I forget who I am and where I am going. I am Your child. I am Your daughter [son] and my home is in Heaven with You. Praise God!

 In Jesus’ name,

Now It’s Your Turn

 Does your life reflect the truth that you were made for Heaven?

 Against what backdrop are you living your life?

 Read Philippians 3:20. “But our citizenship is in heaven. And we eagerly await a Savior from there, the Lord Jesus Christ, who by the power that enables him to bring everything under his control; will transform our lowly bodies so that they will be like his glorious body” (NIV).

 Where is your eternal citizenship?"

 Mary’s weekly online Bible Study, Light for the Journey, will help you learn how to understand and apply God’s truth in your life. Need a friend? Connect with Mary on Facebook or through email.

The Forever People by Mary Southerland with Today’s Truth May 8, 2012

The following is a song from Linda Bonney Olin's book, Songs for the Lord)

Only Then
Relentless storms of life
raged all around the path I trod.
Deafening claps of thunder,
harsh words of hate came crashing on my ears.
I pressed my hands against my head
and made a silent place to be instead.
Only then could I begin to hear
the still, small voice of God.

Amid life’s glare I groped
to find the narrow path I trod.
Blinding bolts of lightning,
the bright lights of temptation dazzled me.
I closed the shutters on my heart
and slowly grew accustomed to the dark.
Only then could I begin to see
the faint, pure light of God.

Emotions surging over me
submerged the path I trod.
Cold, torrential downpours,
fresh sorrows flooded, close to drowning me.
I struggled to a higher place
and dried the water streaming down my face.
Only then could I begin to feel
the tender tears of God.

A hurricane of changes
blew me off the path I trod.
Chaos loomed before me,
the wreckage of my dreams lay strewn behind.
I sought a shelter from the wind
so I might get my bearings once again.
Only then could I begin to find
my way back home to God…

to the voice,
the light,
the love
of God.

— Linda Bonney Olin
Songs for the Lord)
Today’s treasure truth #19: If you are “born again”, you are heir to the blessings of Abraham. (Gal. 3:13, 14)
Our thought for today: God's looking for those who are "sold out" to Him. 

Samples of Jean's crafts 
Crafts order blank link  Paper crafts with pressed flowers and fall leaves. Check out the link above to view samples. Keep in mind that gifts and cards will be needed for special occasions, as well as for Christmas gifts.
So You Plan to Marry a Man  A devotional book for women contemplating marriage and looking for godly advice.  my home page Where authors and readers come together!

Sunday, October 28, 2012

Go Ride a Bike

Ride with Determination

Delton de Armas shares with us, "For me, there’s so much more to gain than to fear."

"I have a deep passion for cycling. Recently, I did something I’d never done before. I rode my bike to work. 

Commuting on a bicycle is peppered with hazards—automobiles, potholes, broken glass, gravel, unyielding pedestrians, uncompromising dogs, and the Florida sun.

For me, there’s so much more to gain than to fear. 

In addition to the health benefits and pure enjoyment of riding, I also experienced a route to work I’d never seen. 

courtesy of free image gallery

In an effort to avoid traffic, I plotted a route on roads far less traveled and, at 15 to 20 miles an hour, I noticed details I’d never have seen at a higher speed.

I saw ivy twining delicately on an old, unhinged gate. I smelled the fragrance of fresh cut grass on a breeze. I observed horses walking lazily by a fence and could actually hear their neighboring cows chewing cud.

I also noticed cigarette butts and empty bottles breaking up the beauty. I looked with great pity at a neglected yard and house; seemingly empty of care and love. 

I also saw vehicles driving intently, almost angrily, but not really going anywhere.

I wondered if I noticed all these details while on my bike, how much more would I have perceived if I’d been walking? 

I stopped my bike, got off, and leaned against a board fence. I quietly held my ground and snapped mental pictures in every direction. 

Even today, I think I could take you back to the very spot where I stopped. I can still see it that clearly.

I wish I could do that with my life. 

I wish I could slow to a walk and, instead of speeding through life, slow down.

 I’d like to take in every detail of my life. If asked, I could take you back and live it again. I’d be encouraged by some events, reliving the joy and delight. 

I might be cautioned by others, remembering to take care in times of trouble.

God is present everywhere. He’s in the grandest scenes and the smallest details. 

He lives the most wondrous epochs in the darkest of days. Sometimes, we fail to notice Him, perhaps because of our speed. 

Maybe, if we try, if we’re deliberate, we can slow down. We can stop, and know that He is God.

It’s really not that hard. In fact, it’s just like riding a bike."

"Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Psalm 46:10 NIV

Go Ride a Bike – Delton de Armas
Photo courtesy free image gallery

Delton de Armas was born in Orlando, Florida.

 He moved with his family to Carrollton, Texas in 2010 to attend Dallas Theological Seminary where he is pursuing a Master of Arts in Media and Communication (M.A./MC). 

He married his high school sweetheart Pam, and has three children: Amber, Alden, and Abram. 

Delton loves cycling, snowboarding, reading, and writing.

Read Delton’s devotions.
Receive a daily devotion on your Kindle!

Used by permission-

Tomorrow's post:  The Forever People  Mary Southerland

Tuesday’s post: Dutch Meets Goliath on Bourbon Street: Prayer Note #85  Dutch Sheets

Today’s treasure truth #18: If you are “born again”, you are heir of God and a joint heir w/ Jesus. Rom. 8:17 

Our thought for today: Don't miss something great by failing to pursue God's leading.

"Father, allow me today to rest in You, to walk with
Your Son, and to lean on Your Spirit.
Thank You for Your never-failing presence,
Helping me in all the challenges of life. Amen
The Spirit within us gaurantees that we're never alone."
Our Daily Bread 

Samples of Jean's crafts
Crafts order blank link  

So You Plan to Marry a Man gives the description of my book.   presently my home page

Saturday, October 27, 2012

Carry Me!

Janet Morris Grimes shares with us, "I was deathly afraid of escalators, though no one knew it at the time.

That changed, one particular Saturday morning at Harvey’s Department Store.

Harvey’s, known for its golden-saddled carousel horses hanging above the front entrance, was the largest store I’d ever stepped into as a four-year-old shopper.

Colorful displays of bedspreads, dishes, and dresses enticed us from every corner. Clasping my mother’s hand, I stepped into what was sure to be an exciting adventure.

But then came the escalator; a moving black mountain that stretched all the way up to Heaven. Flat steps rolled out in front of us, and the black handrail squealed underneath my hand, as I tried to slow it down.

Mom tiptoed onto their steps with ease, but my feet locked into place. She turned toward me but her hand slipped out of mine.


Her eyes widened as she mouthed words I could not hear. Her face reddened as each step opened in front of me, separating us further.

“Mooooommmmmmmmyyyyyyyy!” My cries grew louder.

A crowd gathered behind me, my legs spread, blocking the entrance. I screamed even louder. Mommy paced back and forth. The solution, the down escalator, would take her completely out of my sight; a terrifying idea for both of us.

Suddenly, a man scooped me up from behind, silencing my cries with an even bigger jolt of fear.

“It’s ok,” he spoke; his voice, so deep, it vibrated inside my body.

Conquering the slippery steps, two-at-a-time, he placed me into my mother’s arms. Her voice cracked as she thanked him. I buried my head into her neck, wiping my tears on her clothes. By the time I looked up, he was gone. My unseen hero remained unseen.

After that day, all I knew was it felt great to be carried, especially in the scariest of situations.

This is just what I need from God. Every day. Every slippery step of the way.

To be carried is effortless. The carrier does all the work. To be carried is to rest, trust, and wait, and the sooner we surrender, the sooner He can deliver us to safety.

Let Him carry you."

For it is written: “He will command his angels concerning you to guard you carefully; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone. Luke 4:10 – 11

Carry Me – Janet Morris Grimes

Posted on September 30, 2012 by Senior Editor, Cindy Sproles of

Janet Morris Grimes is the author of the book, The Parent’s Guide to Uncluttering Your Home, released in May of 2011. 

She currently writes on such topics as faith, family, writing, teen issues, and of course, the process of uncluttering.

Janet launched Abandoned Ministries late in 2010, which leads others through speaking and writing to seek God as Abba during times of abandonment. 

For additional information, visit her websites at or

Read Janet’s devotions.

Receive a daily devotion on your Kindle!

Used by permission

Sunday’s post: Go Ride a Bike Delton de Armas

Monday's post: The Forever People Mary Southerland

Tuesday's post: Dutch Meets Goliath on Bourbon St: Prayer Note #85 Dutch Sheets 

Today’s treasure truth #17: If you are “born again”, you are doing all things through Christ Who strengthens you. Phil. 4:13

Our thought today: Keep your relationship with God strong.

Samples of Jean's crafts

Victory in Our Spiritual Battles


 From Our Daily Bread, we are challenged:  “On the basis of the salvation God has provided for us, the Scriptures lay out practical guidelines by which we can have victory in our spiritual battles.

·       Have Confidence in God. The first decision we must make to be freed from Satan’s power is to choose to trust God.

We must acknowledge our helplessness, sinfulness, and lost condition: “For all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God” Rom. 3:23. Then we must accept the free gift of salvation He has offered us in Christ and stand before God clothed in His son’s righteousness.

“For the wages of sin is death but the gift of god is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord” (Rom. 6:23). God’s Word tells us, “Not by works of righteousness which we have done, but according to His mercy He saved us, through the washing of regeneration and renewing of the Holy Spirit” Titus 3:5.

“I also count all things loss…that I may gain Christ and be found in Him, not having my own righteousness, which is from the law, but that which is through faith in Christ, the righteousness which is from God by faith” Phil. 3:9.

·       Submit to God and Resist Satan. Although Christ has given us authority over Satan 1 John 4:4, we can exercise it only as we submit ourselves to God and resist the enemy Eph. 6:11; James 4:7; 1 Peter 5:8-9.

·       Be Aware of Satan’s Strategies. Satan can take advantage of us if we are “ignorant of his devices” 2 Cor. 2:11.  For example, by harboring anger, we “give place to the devil” Eph. 4:27; by depriving our marriage partner of sexual intimacy, we give Satan an opportunity to tempt us 1 Cor. 7:5; by placing an unqualified man in a position of leadership in the church, we take the chance of making him vulnerable to pride and to “fall into the same condemnation as the devil” and “the snare of the devil” 1 Tim. 3:6-7.

·       Put on the Armor of God. Using the metaphor of a well-equipped Roman soldier, Paul told us how we can be prepared for spiritual warfare Eph. 6:11-18.

The belt of truth. Since Satan depends on deceit to maintain his power, our first line of defense is to be truthful. We must never distort or misrepresent the truth, regardless of any advantage we might gain by doing so. 

The breastplate of righteousness. Any sin in our life leaves up open to Satan’s attack. Even though we are given the righteousness of Christ 2 Cor. 5:21, we must still continually put on the protection of holy living. 

The shoes of the gospel of peace. With our feet firmly planted on the truth that we are at peace with God and that He is on our side, we can sand firmly against Satan’s attacks. 

The shield of faith. In order to quench the “fiery darts” of Satan’s temptation, we must trust and believe what God has said about every area of our life. 

The helmet of salvation. This is the confidence that there is coming in the future a great victory celebration. It’s also referred to as “the hope of salvation” 1 Thess. 5:8. This helmet protects us against Satan’s two-edged sword of discouragement and doubt.          

            The sword of the Spirit. Since the Word of God is the basis of our faith, we need to learn how to wield it with authority. Scripture is our best offensive weapon against the devil Matt. 4:1-11.

After he described the armor, Paul said that we are to be in constant prayer. Prayer expresses our dependence on God. We can fight against Satan only “in the [strength of the] Lord and in the power of His might” Eph. 6:10. In the power of Christ with the armor of the Spirit we will be victors."

OUR DAILY BREAD Sept. 2012  [in the back of the book].
This afternoon's post: Carry Me!  Janet Morris Grimes

Sunday, the 28th:  Ride  a Bike   Delton de Armas
Today’s treasure truth #17: If you are “born again”, you are doing all things through Christ Who strengthens you. Phil. 4:13

Our thought for today:  Keep your relationship with God strong.

Samples of Jean's crafts 
Crafts order blank link  

So You Plan to Marry a Man  A devotional book for women contemplating marriage and looking for godly advice.   presently my home page


Friday, October 26, 2012

His Hand Reaches Down

His hand reaches down

Cindy Sproles of, tell us about a scary experience she had when she was sixth grader:

"I moved my hand and Carla wrapped her fingers around mine. She groaned and went limp.

A scream resonated from the depths of my soul as panic filled me. From somewhere deep inside me…amazing strength. 

The girls on top of me fell to one side as I moved. Our station wagon lay on its side. The car was silent. 

It took a minute before I realized what happened.

Our Girl Scout troop was returning home from an art museum. I sat in the rear end of the station wagon surrounded by four other girls. 

When the drunk driver hit us head on, I remember a sense of weightlessness as the car went airborne and careened down a steep embankment. 

The sound of metal squealed and crunched as the car landed on the train tracks and slid to a halt.

Was I the only one alive? Carla fell to one side as I pushed my way from the middle of stacked bodies. 

She was quiet. Not a peep. Tonya was in the floorboard of the backseat.

It was a moment of sheer terror as I stared at my friends folded like sheets of paper in a pile inside the car. Their bodies had protected me. 

When I screamed, no one…not a soul…moved. No one answered. It was dark outside and I knew for an instant…I was alone.

I banged at the back window, trying to free myself from the twisted pile of rubble, but to no avail. 

As a 6th grader, I wasn’t really sure what it meant to plead with God, but I do remember screaming, 'God, save us! Help us!'

Photo courtesy of free photo gallery

I’ve heard folks talk about spiritual experiences, but when a huge hand slammed against the back glass, I thought it was the hand of God. 

He’d heard my screams and extended His hand to save us.

As I look over my life of 50+ years, I can’t count the times God has extended His hand to me. 

From that car accident to a near death experience during childbirth. From a divorce to near financial disaster, through a prodigal to the death of loved ones.

Every time I feel I can’t take in another breath, God, without fail, extends His redeeming hand. 

Over and over He has calmed me in disaster, whispering, 'Do not fear, I will help you.'

In the hardest of times, I never fail to find comfort in the promise my Father has made. 

Like a child, I’m not sure how or why…only that I am safe in His arms. Held tight in His promise.

The hand that smacked the rear window belonged to my friend Peggy’s dad. 

'Cindy, kick the window with your feet. Kick.' 

He continued to bang the window with his fist until a crack formed. 'Kick the window. Kick.' And I did. I kicked harder than I ever thought I could.

When the glass split and fell to the ground, his giant hand rammed through the stack of bodies and grasped hold of me. 

Within seconds I was tight in his arms. It was hard to turn loose of this tower of strength. The comforting part…he, like my Father in heaven, saw no need to let go of me, even when the EMS worker tried to pry me from his arms.

God’s hand stretches down to us daily. 

And though we do not physically see Him, He is a God of promise…and He never breaks them. 

Take hold of the hand that extends to you through everything. Grasp hold and know He’ll never turn you loose."

**The driver of our car, her friend and three of the girls were critically injured. Fortunately none were killed. The hand of God scooped us up and protected us. The recovery for these women and girls was over two years…and the drunk driver who hit us — walked away from the hospital that night with a scrape on her knuckle. The story is still true…Don’t drink and drive."

"For I am the Lord your God who takes hold of your right hand and says to you, Do not fear; I will help you." Isaiah 41:13 NIV

His Hand Reaches Down – She Said  by Cindy Sproles
Read Cindy’s devotions.

Photo courtesy of free image gallery

Do you sense something vital missing from you relationship with your spouse, children, and God?

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This compilation of 54 devotions includes scripture verses, space for journaling, individual prayers and words of wisdom from two of today’s funniest and insightful Christian authors.

This heart-warming collection of stories will inspire you to reach for the true source of joy: a life lived for and through God. These deeply personal devotions offer biblical insights and spiritual truths from the perspective of one man and one woman.
Print version $9.95
NOOK eBook $2.99
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Receive He Said, She Said on your Kindle!

Used by permission of

Tomorrow’s post, morning: Victory in Our Spiritual Battles  Our Daily Bread

Tomorrow evening's post: Carry Me!  Janet Morris Grimes

Today’s treasure truth #16: If you are “born again”, you are  in the Lord and in the power of His might. Eph. 6:10
Our thought for today: God's looking for those who are "sold out" to Him.