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Showing posts from December, 2009

Today's Daily Devotional

Shout for joy, O heavens; rejoice, O earth; burst into song, O mountains! For the Lord comforts His people. Isaiah 49:13 05/13/09 Isn’t this a beautiful verse of scripture? Sometimes reading the same verse in another translation of the Bible helps to shed light on what the verse is really trying to say. For this verse, the New American Standard version adds that the Lord will have compassion on the afflicted. That is precious. The Hebrew for “have compassion” is “racham,” meaning to love, love deeply, have mercy, be compassionate, have tender affection, have compassion. I used to work with a woman who had a sign hanging in her office that said: Be Compassion. What a treasure! If you substitute the word “compassion” for the others in our definition, you have a reminder to “Be Love” or “Be Mercy” of “Be Tender Affection”. How lovely. Now I challenge you: Be Compassion.

Today's Daily Devotional

Create in me a pure heart, O God, and renew a steadfast spirit within me. Psalm 51:10 05/08/09 The word used to name God in this verse is elohim. It is the plural name for God that relates directly to the Trinity. Take a moment to let that sink in. The Father, Son and Holy Spirit all participate in creating a pure heart in you. The entire Trinity is responsible for renewing a steadfast spirit within you. That’s triple the power working in your life to mold your heart to look like that of Christ. That’s “phenomenal cosmic power” working in your “itty bitty living space” to renew your spirit. What a privilege. I’ve heard it said that a cord of three strands is not easily broken, indicating that the new woven cord is stronger. I wonder: can the same be true in God’s case?

Today's Daily Devotional

May the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. 2 Thessalonians 3:16 05/06/09 “At all times, in every way” may seem like isolated incidents, but the New American Standard version indicates the hope that the Lord would CONTINUALLY grant peace. And He does this. But we have to remain attached to Him. If we pull away when tragedy strikes, we will be in despair. We branches must stay attached to the Vine that is, Jesus (see John 15), to receive and bear this fruit. In fact, while I was unemployed for 13 months, I was closer to the Lord than I’ve ever been. I was scared and uncertain about my family’s future and resentful of the people who laid me off. But I clung to God! And because I did, He gave me peace. It wasn’t that I didn’t doubt or fear or get angry. I really felt like an oscillating fan. But I didn’t lose one moment of sleep during that time. And His presence was very evident to me. That’s peace!

Today's Daily Devotional

“Come to Me, all you who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.” Matthew 11:28 04/20/09 Are you burdened? The implication here is legalism, meaningless rituals. “Phortizo” means, to metaphorically load one with a burden of rites and unwarranted precepts. Luke 11:46 uses this word as well, talking about the reprimand by Jesus of one of the teachers of the law when Christ told him that the teachers of the law weigh men down with hard to bear burdens and don’t apply those same burdens to themselves! When you feel burdened by unnecessary rules and regulations in practicing your faith, take it to the Lord. I recently had to do this when a respected member of my church made some very legalistic comments about how events in a church should be treated differently than events involving the same group of people in a home or other venue. Do what I did. Take your burden to Jesus!

Today's Daily Devotional

“I know the plans I have for you,” says the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” Jeremiah 29:11 04/17/09 God wants you to prosper. Do you find this difficult to believe at times? Are you confusing your idea of prosperity with His? What comes to mind when you think of how you’d like to prosper? Making money? Having lots of stuff? Living in the biggest house on the block? Driving the best car? Donating lots of money to lots of charities? Now take a moment to think of it from God’s perspective. What do you think He means by prosper? He wants you to be saved, for sure. He wants you to grow and become like His Son, Jesus Christ. He wants you to love Him. He wants you to love your neighbor. Those things will make you complete. Those things will bring you peace. Those things will make you prosperous.

Today's Daily Devotional

I will praise You as long as I live, and in Your name I will lift up my hands. Psalm 63:4 04/10/09 I spent 13 months out of work in 2007-2008. Those 395 days were not days that I wanted to praise. But praise I did. Sometimes through my tears. Sometimes completely fearful of what was going to happen. Sometimes upset about my situation although I was not responsible for it. But always trusting that God was right there, arms wrapped tightly around me. He helped me to heal from the betrayal of my employer and actually forgive those who laid me off. The Lord removed anger and hatred that I felt for those who put my family in financial jeopardy. God drew me nearer to Him so that I saw Him as larger than I’ve ever seen Him before. And He was gargantuan compared to my petty problems. And what’s better is, He had it all under control. He not only blessed me with a new job. He’s allowed me to see a bit of the purpose of it all. Hallelujah!

Bible Study: As It Was In The Beginning - Genesis - Chapter 8

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Genesis. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material. Stacey Take a few minutes to savor Genesis Chapter 8. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations… 8:5-6 – is this a statement supporting capital punishment? 8:15-17 – God instructed Noah to come out of the ark with his family and the animals. He commands them to be fruitful and increase in number upon the earth. This passage reminds me of John 11, where Jesus’ friend, Lazarus, is sick and dies. When the Lord arrives in Bethany, He is met by mourners, probably wailing – whereas when the Lord approached the ark, there was silence because everything on the earth was dead. As Jesus approached Lazarus’ tomb, it probably grew quieter since the

Today's Daily Devotional

He will keep you strong to the end, so that you will be blameless on the day of our Lord Jesus Christ. 1 Corinthians 1:8 04/09/09 Isn’t the word “strong” a comfort in this passage? Isn’t it powerful? Doesn’t it inspire you and fill you with a sense of expectation? If not, just wait until you hear this. The Greek word for “strong” in this text is bebaioo. It means “to make firm, establish, confirm, make sure”. Take a few moments to savor that definition. What does it mean to you? As I ponder, I think solid, foundational, unwavering. That is amazing to me. And God promises to keep us that way. He will keep making us firm. He will keep establishing us. He will keep confirming us. He will keep making us sure. We serve a wonderful, gracious, hard-working God who loves us so much that He will continue to mold us and shape us and make us stronger everyday. Thank you, Papa!

Today's Daily Devotional

Praise God in His sanctuary; praise Him in His mighty heavens. Praise Him for His acts of power; praise Him for His surpassing greatness. Psalm 150:1-2 04/07/09 This is the day that the Lord has made! Praise Him for it! No, it doesn’t matter what day it is. He made them all! Hallelujah! Sing a song of praise to our Father. Choose your favorite Psalm and read it to Him like a prayer. Write Him a song or a poem. Spend an extended time with Him in prayer. Meditate on and memorize a scripture passage. Run to Him when you’re happy. Run to Him when you’re sad. THAT is how you praise! Lie on your back in the grass like you did as a child during the lazy days of summer and see the King of the Universe on His throne. Look at the trees, flowers, mountains, oceans and recognize the power and might of the One who created all of these things. Tell Him how beautiful He is, how awesome He is. THAT is how you praise!

REVIEW: Pentecost Revisited by R. Glenn Brown

Dallas/Ft Worth, TX—Few topics have divided the 20th century evangelical church as deeply as the study of speaking in tongues. According to Pentecostal doctrine and tradition, the manifestation of tongues is a necessary evidence to confirm the baptism of the Holy Spirit. Among other evangelicals, the gift of tongues ceased when the last apostle died. In some churches—and even some seminary classrooms—discussions about tongues are taboo. Author Glenn Brown has been an ordained Assemblies of God minister for over fifty years. A retired Navy chaplain, he served in the United States Army, Air Force, and Marines before pastoring churches for eighteen years. In his new book, Pentecost Revisited, Brown takes a fresh look at both the Pentecostal view and the opposing views of tongues, searching the Scriptures to resolve the conflict. His conclusion: the doctrines and traditions on both extremes of the debate are scripturally inaccurate, and both groups are missing God’s true purpose for spea

Today's Daily Devotional

The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26 04/20/09 This blessing sounds so final, doesn’t it? But at the same time, it sounds like a new beginning. Perhaps you are handing the reins over to someone else? Maybe you’re stepping down from a ministry position to allow someone else to serve. Are you taking a promotion and training someone to take your place? Is this happening because of your choice or someone else’s decision? Are you excited? Apprehensive? Are you wondering what I’m talking about because there’s nothing new on the horizon for you? Each day is a new adventure. God’s mercies are renewed each morning. Every day holds its own blessings and challenges and opportunities to draw nearer to the Savior who loves you enough to lay down His life for you. Go to Him, now. Allow Him to bless you.

REVIEW: The Lightkeeper's Daughter by Colleen Coble

At a lavish estate in Mercy Falls, California, Addie Sullivan finds danger—and quite possibly the love of her life. Growing up as the lightkeeper’s daughter on a remote island at the turn of the century, Addie Sullivan has lived a hardscrabble life. When a long-lost and wealthy relative finds her and enlists her to work as a governess at a lavish estate, she hopes to discover the truth of her heritage. But at Eaton Hall, nothing is as it seems. Not the idyllic family she hoped for, not the child she was hired to help, not even the aloof man she’s immediately attracted to. Soon she must turn for help to Lieutenant John North, a man who views her with suspicion. As Addie edges closer to the truth, danger threatens even as her romance with John blossoms and together they unravel a decades-old mystery. As Addie faces down her enemy, she discovers that faith in her one true Father is all she needs. Here is my review of this incredible work of historical fiction: First of all, I would

REVIEW: Why We Need Girlfriends by Frankie Sherman

(Laurens, South Carolina) – Most women would trade their designer handbag and stelleto heels for one really good friend. Why? Because God designed us to desire deep meaningful friendships with others. In funny lady, Frankie Sherman’s, Why We Need Girlfriends , Frankie takes women through a seven-week journey through the lives of Mary, mother of Jesus and her cousin/friend, Elizabeth, mother of John the Baptist. Packed full of practical insight from these two biblical women, participants will soon understand the significance of solid friendships between older Elizabeth-type women and younger Mary-type women. With Frankie’s background in the arts and comic relief, women need not feel intimidated by participating in a Why We Need Girlfriends Bible study. Its friendly format requires only fifteen minutes, four days a week. You can do it alone, with friends at lunch or over the phone with a girlfriend while wearing your jammies. There’s even a free downloadable leader’s guide on Frankie’

Today's Daily Devotional

“Praise and glory and wisdom and thanks and honor and power and strength be to our God for ever and ever. Amen!” Revelation 7:12 04/21/09 I have studied this word for power before. It is one of the coolest word studies a Bible student can do. The Greek word dunamis may even look familiar to you. A really popular English word is derived from this Greek term. Can you see the English word? Take a guess at what it might be. Think power. Maybe the definition will help: inherent power, power residing in a thing by virtue of its nature, or which a person or thing exerts and puts forth. Here’s another exciting bit of information. The inherent power of God resides in every Christian. When we accept Christ, we are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. When God comes to live inside of us, His power lives within us! Praise the Lord! So, do you know the word? The English word for “dunamis” is dynamite! Is that cool or what?

December CSFF Tour: Digital Dragon Magazine

Digital Dragon Magazine Several individuals have a hand in creating this website Here is my review of this interesting website: First of all, it's been a long time since I've read Dragon magazine. In fact, I'm not sure I ever read it. I was always too enthralled with Boris Vallejo's artwork to bother with the words. Besides, I was only making a less than half-hearted attempt to play Dungeons and Dragons, so it's not like I would have really benefitted from the information in the magazine. But those memories are what flooded my mind when I learned that this month's CSFF Tour stop would be "Digital Dragon", a monthly online magazine that made it's debut in July 2009. This online sci-fi mag is a different story - several different stories, in fact. The site contains standalone stories, a book review, and a work of serial fiction. Back issues reveal epic poetry, editorial articles and credit for some nice cover art - perhaps one day, a bud

Today's Daily Devotional

Cast all your anxiety on Him because He cares for you. 1 Peter 5:7 04/22/09 As our time on earth grows shorter, the anxiety on earth will increase. While we wait on Jesus to return and take us home, we must spend lots of time with the Lord, pouring out all of our concerns to Him. We must intercede for unsaved loved ones. We must go before the throne on behalf of the sick and weak and wicked. We must spend time with Him. Why? Because He loves us. Because He sent His Son to earth as a human being to spill His blood so that we could have restored relationship with the Father. Because He lives inside of us. Because He cares to meet our needs and never fails to exceed our expectations. We must cast all our anxiety on Him because He can handle it. And because He told us to. That should be enough of a reason.

Today's Daily Devotional

The Lord is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in Him. Nahum 1:7 04/27/09 The Lord is our refuge is times of trouble. He is a place or means of safety when the going gets tough. He is our source of protection when there is danger around every corner. He is our stronghold when we need to escape impending doom. The Lord is also a refuge for us when times aren’t so bad, but they’re not great, either. He is our safety when things just aren’t quite right. He is our protection when we are afraid. He is our stronghold when we doubt. The Lord is our refuge when we are weary. He is our safety net when we take a leap of faith. He is our protector when we are vulnerable. He is our stronghold when we just need to be held. He is there for us in the best of times and the worst of times. Spend some time with Him right now. Take refuge in the Lord.

Today's Daily Devotional

Sing to the Lord a new song, His praise from the ends of the earth. Isaiah 42:10 03/31/09 “Why, why are You still here with me? Didn't You see what I've done? In my shame I want to run and hide myself . But it's here I see the truth - I don't deserve You. But I need You to love me, and I… I won't keep my heart from You this time, and I'll stop this pretending that I can somehow deserve what I already have. I need You to love me. I, I have wasted so much time pushing You away from me. I just never saw how You could cherish me 'cause You're a God who has all things and still You want me… Your love makes me forget what I have been. Your love makes me see who I really am. Your love makes me forget what I have been.” I Need You To Love Me – Barlow Girl

Bible Study: As It Was In The Beginning - Genesis - Chapter 7

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Genesis. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material. Stacey Take a few minutes to savor Genesis Chapter 7. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations… 7:9-8:19 – what happened to the bodies of those who perished in the flood? Did the earth stink? Did they sink to the bottom of the sea? Did Noah bury or burn them? What attributes of God have you observed in your study today? How will this change your relationship with Him?

Today's Daily Devotional

God is able to make all grace abound to you, so that in all things at all times, having all that you need, you will abound in every good work. 2 Corinthians 9:8 06/01/09 An abundance of grace. I am so thankful for it, but at the same time, I don’t want to need it. I don’t want to misbehave. I don’t want to be disobedient. I don’t want to sin. I don’t want to have to ask forgiveness, because I don’t want to do anything that I need to ask forgiveness for. Unfortunately, until I get to heaven and everything is perfect, I will behave badly. I will sin. I will disobey. I will need my Heavenly Father’s abundant grace. I’m sure you realize that you will need this abundance of grace, too. And I’m glad that He offers that grace freely. I’m guessing that you are glad for its availability, as well. Maybe now would be a good time to take a minute to say thank you.

The Sheriff's Surrender by Susan Page Davis

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book! You never know when I might play a wild card on you! Today's Wild Card author is: Susan Page Davis and the book: The Sheriff’s Surrender Barbour Books (December 1, 2009) ***Special thanks to Angie Brillhart of Barbour Publishing for sending me a review copy.*** ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Award-winning author Susan Page Davis is a mother of six who lives in Maine with her husband, Jim. She worked as a newspaper correspondent for more than twenty-five years in addition to home-schooling her children. She writes historical roman

Today's Daily Devotional

Blessed are those who walk in the light of Your presence, O Lord. They rejoice in Your name; they exult in Your righteousness. Psalm 89:15-16 06/04/09 Do you rejoice in God’s name? Do you notice that it’s somewhat more acceptable to acknowledge God than it is to mention Jesus by name? Pay attention around you. Do you notice that people don’t become so offended when someone mentions that God did something in their lives? But at the mention of Jesus, crowds can become frenzied. People become hostile. Fighting begins. You cannot mention Jesus Christ without someone getting their feathers rustled. Someone always takes offense. But one day, that beautiful name will make every knee bow. That beautiful name will force every tongue to confess that He is Lord!

Today's Daily Devotional

“Never will I leave you; never will I forsake you.” So we say with confidence, “The Lord is my helper; I will not be afraid.” Hebrews 13:5-6 06/05/09 Jesus will NEVER forsake you. Forsaking is like leaving, but quite a bit more intense and pre-meditated and vicious. Jesus will NEVER abandon you. He will never discard you as if you were trash. Jesus will NEVER desert you. He will never run away and leave you all alone. Jesus will NEVER disown you. He will never refuse to acknowledge you. Jesus will NEVER renounce you. He will never reject you or deny that He knows you. Jesus will NEVER relinquish you. He will never surrender you from His care and control. Jesus will NEVER give up on you. He will never stop pushing you to finish this life strong. Jesus will NEVER turn His back on you. He will never take His eyes off of you. Jesus will ALWAYS love, comfort, forgive, acknowledge and treasure you!

Today's Daily Devotional

We know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose. Romans 8:28 06/15/09 God works. He is alive and active and moving in your circumstances right now whether you currently belong to Him or not! Some may see that He uses non-believers as negative, but let me tell you that God is perfect and merciful and loving! Nothing may touch those who belong to Him without it first being sifted through His fingers. He knows everything. He uses every situation and circumstance to draw all men to Himself. He moves in ways to glorify Himself by revealing Jesus Christ. His Holy Spirit that lives inside of every believer is constantly teaching and convicting and comforting us. God does not have a calm job sitting on His throne and saying “yes”, “no” or “wait” to our prayers. He is building and training an army of Christian soldiers for spiritual warfare.

Shadow Government by Grant Jeffrey

It is time for a FIRST Wild Card Tour book review! If you wish to join the FIRST blog alliance, just click the button. We are a group of reviewers who tour Christian books. A Wild Card post includes a brief bio of the author and a full chapter from each book toured. The reason it is called a FIRST Wild Card Tour is that you never know if the book will be fiction, non~fiction, for young, or for old...or for somewhere in between! Enjoy your free peek into the book! You never know when I might play a wild card on you! Today's Wild Card author is: Grant Jeffrey and the book: Shadow Government WaterBrook Press (October 6, 2009) ***Special thanks to Staci Carmichael of WaterBrook Multnomah Publishing Group for sending me a review copy.*** ABOUT THE AUTHOR: Grant R. Jeffrey is the internationally known prophecy researcher, Mideast expert, and author of Countdown to the Apocalypse, The New Temple and the Second Coming, The Next World War, and twenty other best-selling books. He is al

Today's Daily Devotional

You alone are the Lord. You give life to everything, and the multitudes of heaven worship You. Nehemiah 9:6 06/23/09 God gave life to everything. He gave life to all plants, to Adam, Eve, the first animals and fish and insects and lizards…everything. I still don’t understand the unique function of scorpions and mosquitoes, but I can ask about that when I see Him face-to-face. He gave me life. And He gave life to my two kids. That wasn’t my doing no matter how much I would like to take credit for it (or not). He gave life to the dogs I currently care for and all of the dogs I don’t feed myself. He will give life to all of the future generations until the day of judgment when all people enter where they will spend eternity. And all of us who enter heaven can be thankful every day that we are there because He gave us eternal life, too.

Today's Daily Devotional

You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in You. Trust in the Lord forever, for the Lord, the Lord, is the rock eternal. Isaiah 26:3-4 06/22/09 Trust in the Lord is of paramount importance if you are going to experience God’s perfect peace and have a steadfast mind. You cannot have trust issues with God and have His peace at the same time. You must trust that what He is doing is good, no matter how bad you perceive the situation to be. You also cannot have trust issues with God and a steadfast mind. The very nature of steadfastness implies trust! This verse even says that this person’s mind is steadfast because he trusts in the Lord! Trust doesn’t come easy for me. I tend to expect the worst and hope for the best. But Jesus has proven Himself to me over and over again. He has never left me, never forsaken me, and He’s held me tightest at my lowest moments. Trust Him.

My First TransSiberian Orchestra Concert

What a wonderful experience! Their music is amazing! Their showmanship, unmatched! As a native New Yorker, the Christmas season begins with Macy's Thanksgiving Day Parade and was marked at some point by The Christmas Spectacular at Radio City Music Hall. But I have been transplanted in the west for a very long time now. Many traditions have been lost solely by proximity. I have heard others rave about the TSO show in Las Vegas for years, but have never attended. I have loved their music for as long as I can remember, and have watched their Christmas special on PBS for several years, now. But since I've seen them live, I cannot go back. I now have my new Christmas tradition. Count on seeing me with tickets in hand, waiting to get in the door whenever they are in town! There was no bad seat for this show inside the Orleans Arena. But we had the BEST seats - 2nd tier, straight across the arena from the stage! A bit far away, but you saw everything without having to t

Today's Daily Devotional

Serve one another in love. The entire law is summed up in one command: “Love your neighbor as yourself.” Galatians 5:13-14 06/19/09 Serve one another in love. That is a powerful statement. We discussed serving last time. Who is “one another”? Everyone? Other Christians? When I read the word “neighbor”, I was reminded of the story Jesus told about the good Samaritan. Samaritans were considered half-breeds and Jews wouldn’t associate with them. But, if you recall Jesus’ story, the Samaritan man – an outcast – was the only one who stopped to help the man on the side of the road who was beaten. A few other statements come to mind: Christians will be identifiable by their love for each other; we are supposed to love our enemies and do good to those who persecute us. Serve everyone – especially Christian brothers and sisters – and honor the Lord by treating His kids – and prospective kids – well.

Today's Daily Devotional

I praise You because I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Your works are wonderful, I know that full well. Psalm 139:14 06/19/09 We are fearfully made. What does that mean? When I read this verse today, I was reminded that we are supposed to “fear” the Lord. No, this doesn’t mean that we are supposed to walk around constantly on eggshells afraid of God. It means that we are to respect Him. We are to be in awe of Him. So, if “fear” means awe and respect in that sense, maybe it means the same thing when we talk about being fearfully made. God respects His creation. He took great care in knitting us together. He planned every detail of our functionality. He made each of us unique and beautiful and wonderful. We’ll talk about that more at another time. Our Creator is a master craftsman. Take a few minutes to thank Him for how He made you.

Bible Study: As It Was In The Beginning - Genesis - Chapter 6

Please forgive this rough draft format, as these are my raw study notes on the book of Genesis. I felt a great sense of urgency to publish them rather than waiting until I had the time to pretty them up. Thank you and I pray that God blesses you through this material. Stacey Take a few minutes to savor Genesis Chapter 6. Then return here and ponder the thoughts, answer the questions, and be sure to leave comments about your own revelations… 6:4 – Nephilim (Numbers 13:31-33) had children with human women: heroes. These beings were wiped out in the flood. (See Genesis 7:22) 6:5-6 – we broke God’s heart. 6:9-7:4 – God gave Noah instruction on how to build and fill the ark. Once “Noah did everything just as God commanded him” (6:22), the Lord added a bit to the instruction: 5 more of each of the clean animals. (For sacrifices? For food?) After telling Noah to procure these new beasts, God gave Noah a deadline: seven days (7:4). Then, the Lord would open the floodgates! Notice the