She Stands Alone

 “For many are invited, but few are chosen.” Matthew 22:14 (NIV, 1984) Can you sense the Spirit of God moving, dear one? My soul has come alive with expectant anticipation! He summons His body to rise, to awaken from our complacent slumber and stand for the glory of His great Name. Our Lord desires to be witnessed throughout the earth, and He chooses to reveal Himself through you. Will you accept His invitation? Will you yield your heart to become one of His chosen? Last week, I read this devotion by Glynnis Whitwer, and I felt compelled to share it with you today. Her words stirred my heart; I pray they will stir yours as well.       "She Stands Alone" Glynnis Whitwer “Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” 1 Corinthians 15:58 (NIV)           I wiped beads of sweat from my forehead as I pushed the shopping cart towards my car. Unloading my groceries as fast as I could, I hopped in my car, hoping for quick relief. But the triple digit temperatures had seeped inside. Blasting the air conditioning, I pulled out of the parking lot on to a back street. That’s when I saw her. Standing alone. A petite figure stood on the sidewalk in front of a brick building. A black covering draped her head, leading to a black dress, black hose and sturdy black shoes. Though she faced the building, I could see she held a Bible. Her head bent over the cradled book as she stood in the sweltering heat. [...]

More than a Conqueror

No temptation has seized you except what is common to man. And God is faithful; he will not let you be tempted beyond what you can bear. But when you are tempted, he will also provide a way out so that you can stand up under it. 1 Corinthians 10:13, NIV (1984) In two and a half weeks I will have the remarkable privilege of sharing Jesus Christ with hundreds of women at the new “Women of Purpose” conference in St. Petersburg, Florida. It astounds me to think of the plan God has chosen for my life. One particular verse comes to mind as I consider my story. Romans 4:17 celebrates “the God who gives life to the dead and calls things that are not as though they were.” Recently, Karen Hickam, the founder of Strive for Greatness who is hosting the conference, challenged each of the speakers participating in the event to consider the raw, painful moments of their journey. I prayerfully asked the Lord to take me back to some of my own struggles and allow me to feel them again. I asked Him to help me describe them in a way that others might feel them too and relate to my experience. Here’s where the Lord led me. I sat under the shelter of my covered porch watching the rain wash over the earth around me and wondered briefly if God had opened the skies to match my tears. Thunder shook the sky, literally rattling the chair beneath me. I felt each crack shudder through me, every pounding blow echoing the ache in my own fragile heart. Doesn’t obedience bring protection and blessing, Lord? Could I have been wrong about Your will [...]

. . . In With the New!

Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!  2 Corinthians 5:17 With faithful certainty, January rolls around each year offering the promise of a new start.  If you’re like me, you’ve probably had your share of New Year’s Resolutions.  Looking forward to a new beginning, we make promises to ourselves that we’re fiercely determined to keep.  And we actually believe we have the power to make each year different by the exertion of sheer will.  Sadly, instead of glowing triumphs, we soon slip into the comfort of those old, familiar patterns and realize with disappointment that the life we’re living this year bears a remarkable resemblance to the one we thought we were leaving behind.   What if this year became the year that everything really did change?  Imagine the joy of living out the promise of 2 Corinthians 5:17 and discovering you have indeed become a new creation, “The old has gone, the new has come!” For once, what is being held out to you is an attainable goal.  In fact, if you have approached the throne of grace and received Jesus as your Lord and Savior, it’s a guarantee.  That’s the very reason He came to the earth and bore our sins on a cross.   He died so that all who turn toward Him in repentance could leave behind who they’ve been and become a new and holy creation through the power of His Spirit.  It sounds good on paper, but you may have discovered it’s a much more difficult thing to live out.  I can relate.  I spent 20 years under the banner of Christianity striving to be what God desired me [...]

Prince of Peace

Happy 2012! Christmas morning has come and gone, and now we rise to the dawn of a new beginning. Hope fills our hearts as we look to the potential of the year ahead, yet the uncertainty of its future reigns in our expectation to cautious optimism. We can’t allow ourselves to expect too much. Experience has left us a little gun-shy. Dear one, when Jesus is the source of our hope, we can always expect greatness. “And hope does not disappoint us, because God has poured out his love into our hearts by the Holy Spirit, whom he has given us.” (Romans 5:5, NIV 1984) Let us look to the Lord of Glory with unguarded expectation and allow Him to surpass our wildest dreams! (1 Corinthians 2:9) We have reached the final week of our Christmas series exploring the four Names of God associated with Jesus’ coming from His prophetic birth announcement in Isaiah 9:6. Let’s review the entire verse and view it in context with verse 7. “For to us a child is born, to us a Son is given, and the government will be on his shoulders. And He will be called Wonderful Counselor, Mighty God, Everlasting Father, Prince of Peace. 7Of the increase of His government and peace there will be no end. He will reign on David’s throne and over his kingdom, establishing it and upholding it with justice and righteousness from that time on and forever. The zeal of the Lord Almighty will accomplish this.” Isaiah 9:6-7 Notice that the first thing we are told about this child to be born is that government will be on his shoulders. Our ability to experience Jesus by every one of these names [...]