Picture of eagle's head with text, "Bible studies"

How Can God Help When Trials Come?
Part 1

(Newest ones are last)
Why do trials come? Why Do Trials Come?
No fear No Fear
What's bothering you? What's Bothering You?
Call on God Call on God
God's Word doesn't change God's Word Doesn't Change
Oh, God, help me! Oh, God, Help Me!
As near as your heart As Near As Your Heart
Be encouraged Be Encouraged
God knows God Knows
Strengthened with MIGHT Strengthened with MIGHT
I shall not be moved I Shall Not Be Moved
God help me! God Help Me!!
Thirsting for God Thirsting for God
Let God hold your hand Let God Hold Your Hand
I shall not be moved I Shall Not Be Moved
God provides weapons God Provides Weapons
Trusting God Trusting God
Where is my help? Where Is My Help?
I Have a BAD Habit! I Have a BAD Habit!
God's Virus Checker God's Virus Checker
You Can't Be Kept Down! You Can't Be Kept Down!
God is Faithful God is Faithful
No Matter What Happens No Matter What Happens
Suffer a While Suffer a While
He IS! He IS!
Part 2 How Can God Help When Trials Come?


11/30/98 Why Do Trials Come?
"Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who hath blessed us with all spiritual blessings in heavenly places in Christ:"
Ephesians 1:3
God, our Heavenly Father, loves us. He wants good things for us. He wants us to be happy and successful. He doesn't want us to have to suffer and be sad.

"So, why do bad things happen then?" you are probably asking. Well, I don't pretend to know all the reasons. I only know a few. One reason is because we are not walking with the Lord. If we are doing what we want to do and ignoring Him, why does He have reason to bless us? Do you bless your children when they are walking in disobedience? Think about it.

I believe that some bad things that happen are to bring us in line with His will. We learn from our mistakes and we learn from trials. Romans 5:3-5 tells us, "And not only so, but we glory in tribulations also: knowing that tribulation worketh patience; and patience, experience; and experience, hope: and hope maketh not ashamed; because the love of God is shed abroad in our hearts by the Holy Ghost which is given unto us." If we love God, then the trials we go through are learning experiences.

Always keep in mind the scripture in Romans 8:28, "And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." No matter what, if you love God, the things that are happening are happening for good. We may never know what the good was. The good may be for other believers, or even for the salvation of non-believers. We just have to have faith in God that He is in control.

According to the scripture in Ephesians 1:3 God has blessings for us in heavenly places in Christ. We need to get some of those blessings out of the spiritual world into this world. Get closer to God. Turn your mind on Him. Do all things for Him as it says in Colossians 3:23. Spend time talking to Him throughout the day. Find out what He wants you to do.
Link to 11/30/98 welcome message


8/17/99 No Fear
"For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind."
1Timothy 1:7
God has not given us the spirit of fear. Think about that. Fear is a feeling you get when you feel you have no control over a dangerous situation. The reality is that you actually don't have any control over any situation. You might think you do, but you don't. God is the only One who has complete control over any situation.

What does it take to not have fear? It takes faith. We need to have faith that God is with us. We need to have faith that God can and will protect and help us. We also need to have faith in the Word. 1John 4:4 tells us, "Ye are of God, little children, and have overcome them: because greater is he that is in you, than he that is in the world." That means the Holy Spirit in us is greater than any situation that confronts us.

Our Bible verse also says that God has given us the spirit of POWER and LOVE and of a SOUND MIND! Notice it doesn't say will give us, but has given us! We have them already! Are you tapping into those things or are they sitting there unused? You have the power to conquer fear and situations! Love, itself, can conquer situations! You are not meant to be paralyzed with fear! You have been given a sound mind. Use your sound mind to understand that God has given you a multitude of weapons to be used against things like fear!

Worry is related to fear. You are not to worry, either! What problems has worry solved? Does worrying about your child bring them home safely? Does worrying about your health heal you? Worry takes your mind off the Lord and places it on your situation. Turn your mind on the Lord. Place your situation in His capable hands. Ask Him if there is anything you can do. If there isn't then just rest in His loving arms and allow Him to do His thing!

I think I've shared this before, but it is worth repeating. A long time ago I envisioned myself taking my sons, one at a time, to Jesus and placing them in His lap. I "gave" them to Him and asked Him to watch over them. After all, He gave them to me in the first place. He can see them and protect them every minute of every day and I can't. He loves them more than I do. Do you think I made the right choice? Of course I did! I don't spend sleepless nights wondering if they are OK. It isn't necessary.

Remember. . .POWER and LOVE and a SOUND MIND!!
Glory Hallelujah!!
Link to 8/17/99 welcome message


11/29/99 What's Bothering You?
"But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you."
Matthew 6:33
What is bothering you today? Do you have bills you can't pay? Is there not enough food to last until payday? Are your children's clothes falling apart?

The verse above tells us that if we seek the kingdom of God FIRST then all those things will be handled. Let's see, how much time do you spend thinking about the problem compared to how much time you spend seeking the kingdom of God? Which is coming FIRST?

I'm serious about this and so is God. Seek Him, seek His will, seek seek seek. Turn your eyes, heart, and mind on Him. Read about Him and talk to Him. Seek Him.

Remember, God cannot lie. Keep that in mind when you read, "Ask, and it shall be given you; seek, and ye shall find; knock, and it shall be opened unto you: for every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened." (Matt 7:7-8) Glory hallelujah!!

Seek and YOU WILL FIND!! So, if you seek the kingdom of God FIRST then YOU WILL FIND IT and then ALL THOSE THINGS SHALL BE GIVEN TO YOU!

The bottom line is having the faith in God to believe Him. Is lack of faith your problem? Cry out to the Lord like the father of the child with an evil spirit, "Lord help thou mine unbelief." (Mark 9:24) He is faithful and just and He will help your unbelief if you are serious about it.

What is there to lose? Are you in complete control of your situation or your future? Wouldn't you rather be able to lean on someone who is? You can, but you have to want it bad enough to follow up on it.
Link to 11/29/99 welcome message


3/14/00 Call on God
"In the day of my trouble I will call upon thee: for thou wilt answer me."
Psalm 86:7
I am never alone. I never have reason to despair. I do not have to depend entirely on my own devices. God is right here with me. I only have to speak and He hears me. I only have to whisper and He is hearing what I say.

God is my strength. He is my comforter. He is my wisdom. He is my daddy. He is always by my side. If I am feeling sad or alone I just have to rest in His unconditional love for me. I can rest in His arms and know that I am not alone. He cares about every single thing in my life. Like I said, He is my daddy.

He wants to do the same for you. Do I need to say any more?
Link to 3/14/00 welcome message


4/18/00 God's Word Doesn't Change
"Wherein I suffer trouble, as an evil doer, even unto bonds; but the word of God is not bound."
2Timothy 2:9
We suffer difficulties. We suffer troubles. Problems crop up on the left and on the right. We might even be afraid to open our mail. Trials are going to continue coming. The more technical the world gets the more problems we are going to have. People's attitudes are changing. Many don't take pride in what they do and mistakes are the result. That's the bad news.

Now for the good news: THE WORD OF GOD IS NOT BOUND! God and His Word are not affected by the world and what's in it! No matter what is happening around us God does not change. No matter how crazy things seem, His Word stands strong and will not change. We can be assured that God still loves us and still wants to help and comfort us. Everything He has said WILL NOT CHANGE!

How do you take comfort in God's Word if you don't know what He says? You have to be reading His Word and allowing it to soak into your brain and heart. You have to spend time in your Bible. You have to spend time in prayer. There is no other way. You can do all the listening to preachers that you want, but the Word has to be alive for you as an individual! You can't develop a personal relationship with your Lord through another person. It just isn't possible!

God has everything you need. He has made plans for every thing that can happen. He has made provision for your happiness and your peace. He's done His part. If you don't do yours then you will not be able to access the things that will help you. God won't force Himself on you. He won't force you to read your Bible. He has made it available and it is your responsibility to see what is in it. He won't force you to communicate with Him. He has made Himself available to you 24 hours a day. It is up to you to take advantage of what He has already provided.
Link to 4/18/00 welcome message


5/9/00 Oh, God, Help Me!
 "Give us help from trouble: for vain is the help of man.  Through God we shall do valiantly: for he it is that shall tread down our enemies."
Psalm 60:11-12
It seems that every day there is some kind of trouble that arises. You paid big money to have your car fixed and the problem is still there. The gas company is over billing you. Your watch needs a new battery. Your dog is sick and needs to go to the vet. Your garden is getting overgrown with weeds. You fill in the rest.

I cannot handle day-to-day living without the help of the Lord. I need the peace and strength He gives me. I cannot imagine getting up out of bed thinking that everything that happens that day is in my hands. I cannot imagine thinking that there is no control other than what I provide. I cannot imagine totally relying on the skills and knowledge of humans.

We are not alone. We are not expected to be able to make wise decisions all the time. God is offering His help. He is offering His advice. He is wanting us to seek Him and to accept the things He has for us.

Don't be fooled into thinking that you don't need God. Seek a relationship with Him so that when times get rough you'll know the help He can give. Many people wait until they have exhausted their resources and have nowhere else to turn. Don't wait, as they do, and cry out, "God, help me!" when you hit bottom. Don't wait until it is to the point of no return and wonder if there really is a God and if He hears and will answer.

God sees you now. He knows your situation. He knows what your future holds. Get to know Him. Ask for help on the little day-to-day things. Ask for advice for the decisions you have to make today. Talk to Him. He listens.
Link to 5/9/00 welcome message


6/6/00 As Near As Your Heart
"But now in Christ Jesus ye who sometimes were far off are made nigh by the blood of Christ." Ephesians 2:13
Do you feel like God is far away? Do you feel like you have pulled away from Him? He's not and you can't. Did you get that? I said CAN'T! He is as near to you as is your heart. You only FEEL like He is far away.

When Jesus died the curtain in the temple that separated the people from the area known as the Holy of Holies or the Most Holy Place was torn from top to bottom. This signified the removal of any barriers between God and man. It was an invitation, written to us in Jesus' blood, to enter into the throne room of God. We have permission to kneel at His feet and to speak to Him directly.

Hebrews 10:19-20 explains it as we now have, "...boldness to enter into the holiest by the blood of Jesus, by a new and living way, which he hath consecrated for us, through the veil, that is to say, his flesh." It is through Jesus we have been granted permission to approach God. Jesus is the only way. It is because of His sacrifice, His total sacrifice of self, that we have become able to be near to God.

Not just near, but ****NEAR****!

He is as near as our heart is to us. It doesn't matter how we feel about how close He is. The fact is that He is close!
You don't have to yell to be heard by Him. You don't need to go to a quiet place, close your eyes, and fold your hands. You don't need to perform some kind of ritual. Whisper, "Thank you." He hears you. Whisper, "Help." He hears you.

He loves you. He wants to be close to you. He won't leave. He won't. That's all there is to it. It doesn't matter how you feel or what you think. What matters is what God feels and thinks and has said. Don't dwell on your feelings and on your opinions about God. They are less valuable than a grain of sand.

Don't take my word for it. Ask Him yourself.
Link to 6/6/00 welcome message


7/18/00 Be Encouraged
"And David was greatly distressed; for the people spake of stoning him, because the soul of all the people was grieved, every man for his sons and for his daughters: but David encouraged himself in the LORD his God."
1Samuel 30:6
David, who was not yet the king of Israel, just found that the place where he and his followers had hidden their families had been burned by their enemies. Their wives and children had been taken captive.

David was also in danger of being killed by King Saul, the current king of Israel. David and his men were out fighting the enemies of Israel and were hiding in the wilderness to stay away from Saul. The scripture says David was greatly distressed. That probably is an understatement. At that point, even his own followers were conspiring to stone him to death because they felt it was his fault their families had been taken captive. He had no friends or supporters at that point in time. He was everyone's enemy.

What would you do in that situation? I can't say for sure, but I imagine I would be feeling sorry for myself, for one thing. I would probably be planning an escape and deciding where I could hide from everyone. I would be imagining myself living alone for the rest of my days.

David encouraged himself in the Lord, his God. He got comfort, strength, encouragement, direction, and who knows what else. Remember when David went out against Goliath with only a slingshot and KNEW that God would help him kill Goliath? David had a close relationship with God and he knew, beyond a shadow of a doubt, that God would protect him.
David knew how to communicate with God. 1Sam 23:4 says, "Then David enquired of the LORD yet again. And the LORD answered him and said...." David knew how to listen and that enabled him to be encouraged in the Lord.

Do you feel like God is in some distant universe called Heaven? Do you scour the scriptures looking for answers to your prayers? Do you feel like you are going through trials alone? God is willing and able to encourage you on a personal basis. You might have to learn how to listen. There are some hints on how to listen on the page Praying More Effectively as well as in my Prayer Closet.

How wonderful would your life be if you were encouraged by God on a daily basis? He will. You only have to seek Him.
Link to 7/18/00 welcome message


12/5/00 God Knows
"O LORD, thou hast searched me, and known me. Thou knowest my downsitting and mine uprising, thou understandest my thought afar off."
Psalm 139:1-2
God might be the only one who can know every single thing we've done and thought and still love us! He knows us. He knows ALL about us! Verses 3 and 4 say, "Thou compassest my path and my lying down, and art acquainted with all my ways. For there is not a word in my tongue, but, lo, O LORD, thou knowest it altogether."

Now we are going to do a little jumping around in chapter 139. Look at verses 13-14, "For thou hast possessed my reins: thou hast covered me in my mother's womb. I will praise thee; for I am fearfully and wonderfully made: marvellous are thy works; and that my soul knoweth right well." God created our internal organs and then covered them with our outer bodies while we were still in our mother's womb. He knew all about us before our own mothers even saw us!

In verses 15-18 we read, "My substance was not hid from thee, when I was made in secret, and curiously wrought in the lowest parts of the earth. Thine eyes did see my substance, yet being unperfect; and in thy book all my members were written, which in continuance were fashioned, when as yet there was none of them. How precious also are thy thoughts unto me, O God! how great is the sum of them! If I should count them, they are more in number than the sand: when I awake, I am still with thee."

God created our bodies. Then He let us have the freedom to make our own decisions. He knows all about everything we've ever done or thought. Yet, when He thinks about us, His thoughts are precious towards us. He is thinking about us all the time! The best part is, HE STILL LOVES US!!!

Let's go back and read verses 7-12, "Whither shall I go from thy spirit? or whither shall I flee from thy presence? If I ascend up into heaven, thou art there: if I make my bed in hell, behold, thou art there. If I take the wings of the morning, and dwell in the uttermost parts of the sea; even there shall thy hand lead me, and thy right hand shall hold me. If I say, Surely the darkness shall cover me; even the night shall be light about me. Yea, the darkness hideth not from thee; but the night shineth as the day: the darkness and the light are both alike to thee." Even though you can't always feel the presence of God, He is still there. We couldn't get away from His presence even if we tried.

This means that no matter where you are or what you are doing you can speak and God hears. You can ask for help and your help is near. You can ask for wisdom and your wisdom is readily available. You can ask for comfort and all you need to do is receive it because your comfort is right there with you. When you feel alone, you aren't. When you feel unloved, you are loved.

Last, but not least, let's look at verses 5-6, "Thou hast beset me behind and before, and laid thine hand upon me. Such knowledge is too wonderful for me; it is high, I cannot attain unto it." Don't try to understand how God does what He does. It doesn't matter how He does it. What matters is the fact that He does it! God knows what you need and desire.

Open your mind to the fact that God is everywhere. God wants you to be thinking about Him as much as He thinks about you. He can provide every single thing that you need. He just might be holding out His hand and you are not receiving what He has for you. It is your "receiver" that is on the blink, not His "giver." Seek a personal relationship with Him. Learn how to be sensitive to Him. Find out all you can about Him. Read your Bible and pray. Don't just do it once or twice. Keep seeking. You can never get too close to God!
Link to 12/5/00 welcome message


6/4/01 Strengthened with MIGHT
"That he would grant you, according to the riches of his glory, to be strengthened with might by his Spirit in the inner man; that Christ may dwell in your hearts by faith; that ye, being rooted and grounded in love, may be able to comprehend with all saints what is the breadth, and length, and depth, and height; and to know the love of Christ, which passeth knowledge, that ye might be filled with all the fulness of God. Now unto him that is able to do exceeding abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that worketh in us, unto him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus throughout all ages, world without end. Amen."
Ephesians 3:16-21
I just couldn't separate any portion of this scripture away from the rest. As a result, we have a long Bible study this week, but it's a good one!

God is the "he" in the "he would grant you." Paul was praying that the Ephesians be strengthened by God's Spirit in the inner man according to God's riches in glory. You see, God has riches for us that are other than monetary riches. He has strength for our inner man, which would include peace that enables us to survive trials. Strengthened by might is more than just peace. Instead of a feeling of helplessness or hopelessness we can be strengthened with a feeling of power over a situation. We can stand on the strength God gives us and either wait for the outcome or step out and conquer the situation with God's help. We are strengthened with MIGHT!

Paul prayed that they be able to comprehend the love that Jesus had for them. The love that Jesus has for us has more dimension than any love you've been given by a person. His love has width, length, height, and depth! It is beyond knowledge. It can only be experienced and not described.

You can know in your head that Jesus loves you. You can know in your head that He loved you so much that He chose to suffer and die for you, but that isn't really knowing His love. You have to feel it in your heart. You have to allow Him to fill you with His love. You have to surrender yourself to Him and allow Him to show you the love He has for you.

You can't be rooted and grounded in that love until you feel it. You can't love other people with that love until you experience it. You can't love God back with the depth of love He desires unless you allow Him to fill you with the love He has for you.

What I am saying may sound like a difficult concept and may sound somewhat vague, but most people settle for having head knowledge about the things of God. They know, in their heads, that God loves them unconditionally. They stop there and don't seek to experience that love. It is similar to reading the description of what a hug feels like and stopping there, thinking you now know everything there is to know about a hug. There are no words that can take the place of the actual experience.

I was content to remain in my head knowledge for a long time, not knowing there was more. It never occurred to me that God could touch me from heaven and make me feel it! Nobody I knew ever shared any experiences they had with feeling God's love. I had stopped midway through the race, thinking I was across the finish line!

Knowing the love of Christ will fill you with all the fullness of God! There is more more more of God than we will ever experience, yet we will have His fullness within us! We will be able to spend the rest of our lives searching out and experiencing the things of God which are already in us! We can be on a treasure hunt, digging up wonderful spiritual treasures!

God is ABLE to do exceedingly abundantly above ALL that we ask or think according to the POWER that works in US! We are filled with all the fullness of God and the power of God works in us! Once we focus on God and find out what He wants us to do and say then we have all the power necessary to fulfill what He has designed. We just need to be obedient to do what He tells us.

We have what it takes to complete whatever miracle, healing, or task He gives us to perform. It is as simple as that and it is as difficult as that. Christ has to dwell in our hearts by faith. We have to have the faith that God can and will do these things through us.

It all begins with love. God first loved us. He pours His love into us. Everything else is a by-product of His overpowering, magnificent, awesome, unconditional love.

Father, open our spiritual eyes. Help us to be sensitive to You. Help us to let go of the things in our lives that hinder our walk with you. Continue to draw us closer and closer to You. Help us to realize the tremendous depths of Your love for us. Help us to see everything through Your eyes. Help us to move in unison with You. Help us to be guided by Your eye, to be obedient to Your every whisper. Help us. Guide us. Teach us. In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.
Link to 6/4/01 welcome message


9/17/01 I Shall Not Be Moved
"He only is my rock and my salvation: he is my defence; I shall not be moved." Psalm 62:6
If you have ever been to the beach you will know what it is like to stand on the sand at the edge of the water. The incoming waves wash up and over your feet and, as the water retreats, it takes particles of sand out from under your feet. If you stand there long enough you will find yourself standing in a hole. What first felt like fairly firm ground proved to be unstable and unreliable.

There are homes built along the edge of hillsides. A home at the edge of a cliff is usually an expensive home as the reason for building it at that location is probably because it has a spectacular view. In cases of heavy rainfall, or of water mains bursting underground I have seen news coverage of million dollar homes crashing to bits at the bottom of the hill because the dirt wore away beneath them. What seemed to be solid ground was unstable and unreliable.

There are things that we have taken for granted as being rock solid and reliable. Many citizens of the United States had complete confidence in airport security. They also had complete confidence in our military to defend the buildings in Washington D.C. from any attacks. People who went to work in the World Trade Center buildings that fateful day were confident that they would be able to go home as usual that evening.

When a young child gets hurt or scared they cry out for their mommy or daddy. They feel that mommy and daddy can protect them and help them from all things. It is a natural thing to want to feel safe and protected. It is also a natural thing to want to trust other people and public safety organizations to protect us.

Everything that we see in this world is unstable and unreliable. We can only hope that they will be able to help us in time of trouble.

There is only one thing that is ROCK SOLID, IMMOVEABLE, AND DEPENDABLE! The Creator of the universe, the One who is the same as He was when He created all things out of nothing, the One and only Living God is the Rock. He is always going to be near us when we need Him. He is always going to be capable of protecting us, comforting us, and helping us to stand when all else around us is sinking sand. In Him there is no fear. In Him there is comfort and peace. In Him there is rest for the weary. When we stand in Him and in His promises
Link to 9/17/01 welcome message


9/24/01 God Help Me!!
"For in the time of trouble he shall hide me in his pavilion: in the secret of his tabernacle shall he hide me; he shall set me up upon a rock"
Psalm 27:5
A friend of mine made a comment the other day that has stuck with me. She said we need to stay focused on the Lord and listen for His voice because times are going to get tougher and it will be harder to hear Him. It's very true. It is easy to focus on the Lord when all is quiet and peaceful around us. When we are sitting in our prayer closet, undisturbed, we can easily focus on Him.

In our scripture David is talking about in time of trouble. In the next verse he says his enemies are all around him. That is the time that it is the most important to be able to focus on God! We need to continually practice being in His presence in order to obtain the wisdom, strength, guidance, peace, and everything else He can give us in times of trouble.

Times of trouble come and go. We need to be prepared. It is no different than when schools physically practice evacuating classrooms as if there were a real fire. Practicing during calm times gives us a head start on which way to turn when disaster or trouble strikes. When a crisis occurs we generally have no time to think, we can only react.

Many people know where their help lies in times of trouble. Have you ever noticed what people cry out when they don't know what to do or when they are in a crisis situation? They scream out to God. They scream out, in most cases, because they aren't sure where He is. They haven't developed a close relationship with Him. They know He's there somewhere, but they can't feel Him or hear Him because they have distanced themselves from Him during the non-crisis time of their lives. With a close relationship you will be able to receive His direction, comfort, and wisdom in a split second. Instead of reacting out of fear and confusion, you will be able to know exactly what to do.

God didn't plant us in the world and say, "Good luck in your life, you're going to need it!" He placed us carefully, and lovingly here. He formed us individually and purposefully. Then He just waits for us to reach out to Him. He stands by, waiting for us to want to have a relationship with Him. He longs to have a personal relationship with each of us, but won't force Himself on us. He longs to provide us with help, but allows us to struggle along alone if that is what we choose.

In the time of trouble He will hide us in Himself if we allow Him. He will guide our steps if we allow Him. He will replace fear with peace if we allow Him. However, if we don't learn how to hide in Him during quiet times then we probably won't be able to recognize the hiding place He has for us in times of crisis. If we don't learn how to hear His voice during quiet times then we will certainly miss it in times of trouble. The world makes distractions that will easily drown out God's voice.

Don't wait until you are stranded out in the middle of the desert with a flat tire and wish that you had made sure your spare tire was in good condition! Seek God's face now, while it is fairly quiet. Learn more about Him now, while you have the opportunity. Choose wisely.
Link to 9/24/01 welcome message


11/20/01 Thirsting for God
"O God, thou art my God; early will I seek thee: my soul thirsteth for thee, my flesh longeth for thee in a dry and thirsty land, where no water is."
Psalm 63:1
I like this scripture because early is when I seek time alone with Him. I've tried setting aside time later in the day, but end up not keeping my appointment more often than not. The only way I can assure that I spend time with the Lord is to set my alarm to go off earlier.

The world does not satisfy me. No matter what I did I ended up being unhappy. People just couldn't give me what I desired. Nobody gave me enough attention or enough love. God is the only one who can satisfy. However, until I sought Him hard enough I only had a casual relationship with Him. I knew about the unconditional love He had for me, but I hadn't experienced it. I got to the point where I got serious about seeking a closer relationship with Him. I chose to spend more time in prayer and in the Word. I chose to spend time listening for His voice.

Now the rest of this chapter is becoming more and more real to me. I know now for a fact that His "lovingkindness is better than life" because I have felt it. My soul is satisfied because He really does satisfy it.

He has been my help and His right hand does uphold me! I have felt His presence and His touch in the midst of turmoil. I do feel myself to be in the shadow of His wings and I do rejoice. I know, beyond the shadow of a doubt, that God will protect me, comfort me, and hold me up no matter what happens.

There is nothing else that will do that for me. My soul DOES follow hard after Him! I want MORE of Him! I can never get enough!
Link to 11/20/01 welcome message


12/11/01 Let God Hold Your Hand
"Fear thou not; for I am with thee: be not dismayed; for I am thy God: I will strengthen thee; yea, I will help thee; yea, I will uphold thee with the right hand of my righteousness."
 Isaiah 41:10
God does not want us to fear anything. We have no reason to fear if we are allowing Him to have our problems. He will help us and strengthen us when we encounter trouble. He will IF WE LET HIM!

If we don't have a close relationship with Him then we will forget to lean on Him when we are in need. We won't have the faith to allow Him to do His thing while we rest in Him. We have to have developed a relationship with Him so we know that we know that we know that God is willing and able to handle things.
Read on in chapter 41 and see that God will handle things so well that we will look around and be able to ask, "What troubles? What enemies?" They will be gone.

Verse 13 is the best one of all, "For I the LORD thy God will hold thy right hand, saying unto thee, Fear not; I will help thee." God takes us by the hand to lead and protect us! Isn't that marvelous? We only have to believe that He will and then we have to let Him.

Unless we spend time with Him on a regular basis we will not be able to tap into the things He can do for us when troubles come. We will probably panic. We will probably be fearful. We may make hasty and wrong decisions on the spur of the moment.

I want to be able to have God handle things for me. He can do an excellent job and the outcome will be perfect as only He can make it. I don't want to live in fear of what might happen tomorrow. I don't want to be feeling intimidated by people who don't like me. I don't want to be at the mercy of every crazy driver that is on the road. I want peace in the midst of storms. I want to be strong when others around me are weak.

"The LORD will give strength unto his people; the LORD will bless his people with peace."
Psalm 29:11
Link to 12/11/01 welcome message


1/21/02 I Shall Not Be Moved
"I have set the LORD always before me: because he is at my right hand, I shall not be moved."
Psalm 16:8
If God, the Creator of the Universe, is at my side what should I fear? Is there anything that He can't handle? NO! Is there anything that takes Him by surprise? NO!

God has what I need. When I need joy, He fills me with joy. When I need peace, He fills me with peace. All I need to do is ask Him for it. He is with me all the time. However, if I am not seeking a relationship with Him I don't feel His presence and I can't hear His voice.

It is so very important that we seek a personal relationship with God! He has everything that we need. How many times have you heard someone say that? He has everything that we need. Take a minute. Stop and ponder that statement, "God has everything you need." I can't stress enough the fact that you need to have a personal relationship with God. You need to spend time with Him! There are no short cuts! You can't trick God into thinking that you are trying to develop a relationship with Him.

There are so many many things that face us each and every day. I don't look forward to the mail any more. Every day seems to bring something that needs me to make a decision or to do some work. At the very least, I have to find a place to file some information I received. I get phone calls from places telling me that I can save money or that I need to vote for a particular person or thing. Life gets more and more complicated! More and more of my time is requested. The more time I spend on other things, the less time I have for God.

I have had to force myself to spend time with God. In my case, if I don't spend one-on-one time with God the first thing in the morning then I generally find the day has flown by and I haven't spent the time. Plus, spending time with God the first thing in the morning creates an open channel between me and God. It reminds me that He is right here with me. It places my mind on Him and it becomes easier to focus on Him throughout the day.

He wants to be always before us, as our scripture indicates. How can we make sure that He is always before us? If we concentrate on taking care of the things the world throws at us it won't happen. We have to examine our own life and find out what will cause it to happen. Each of us needs to make it happen based on our own lifestyle. Each of us is different and what works for one won't necessarily work for another.

You have to find a way to make God your top priority. You need to make time to spend with Him. You need to put Him on your calendar before you add anything else. It might help to think of Him as an appointment that must be kept at all costs! You may need to set your alarm for an hour earlier in the morning. Like I said, each of us is different and each of us must find a way to place God always before us. There is a way, you just have to choose to do it.
Link to 1/21/02 welcome message


4/16/02 God Provides Weapons
"The angel of the LORD encampeth round about them that fear him, and delivereth them."
Psalm 34:7
When I was pondering on the happenings at the beach, where my son confronted the obscenity-spewing young man (as described in today's welcome message) the Lord gave me this scripture. I did the Bible study for our study group this week and this is the scripture He had me use for that as well.

The word "angel" means ambassador. So, the ambassador for God was with my son last week. That angel encampeth around him. That angel was surrounding my son and was camped there with him for the duration of my son's trouble. The word delivereth had many meanings. It basically meant to extricate... get a person out of difficulty. It also meant to arm someone for battle. My son was armed with the peace that can only come from God. If the guy had actually attacked my son I believe my son would have had the strength and skill to disable him.

Neither my son nor I felt any fear at the time. After the incident was over my son took off on his skates to calm down, leaving me in the camper. My first thought was to get things put away in case that guy came back with his buddies to cause trouble. The thought was in my mind for only a split second. God is able to protect us. As a matter of fact, not only did I know He would protect us, I was sure He was working on that young man! I believe that guy went away changed!

We are never alone and are never at the mercy of "fate" or of the world! We just have to appropriate the things of God. He has the peace and strength that we need. He sends His angels to minister to us. We can choose to fight the battles of this world in our flesh, under our own power, or we can choose to allow Him to be in control.

It sometimes takes a huge effort on our part to let God take control. We have to know enough about Him to have the faith necessary to not react until we receive direction from Him. Our flesh cries out to be allowed to protect ourselves. In our minds, we often automatically know what seems to be the best solution based on learned experiences.

God sees what will happen. He already knows about what is happening at the moment. He knows the best solution. He has everything it takes to rescue us as well as to cause the best results for every person involved.
Think about it. Who has the best weapons and tools for any situation, you or God?
Link to 4/16/02 welcome message


11/12/02 Trusting God

"And he said unto me, My grace is sufficient for thee: for my strength is made perfect in weakness. Most gladly therefore will I rather glory in my infirmities, that the power of Christ may rest upon me."
2Corinthians 12:9

God was speaking to Paul and told him that His grace was sufficient for Paul. Paul was asking that a physical problem he had be healed. God told him, "No." He told Paul that through the infirmity God would end up being glorified.

I don't always understand why God does what He does. One time my mom and I went to a mother/daughter weekend retreat and my mom got sick and had to stay in bed. As I walked around by myself (since I didn't have my mom with me I couldn't participate in some of the activities) I prayed and prayed and prayed for God to raise my mom up with a miraculous healing. I knew that my mom didn't have a close relationship with the Lord and that the activities we were to attend would get her thinking about God and her relationship with Him.

Well, she was very ill for 24 hours and missed most of the activities. I didn't understand what was wrong with God. I knew He could heal her, but it didn't make any sense to me why He didn't! I got angry and argued with Him.

I still don't understand, but I am not mad about it like I was. Now I know that there are other circumstances that I don't see that affect situations. God can see the big picture. He knows what the results of things will be and what went on before.

There are times we feel totally inadequate to serve God. Paul probably thought he could do a better job if he was totally healthy. God knew otherwise. God had appointments already set up for Paul where God would be able to shine through Paul's infirmity and would be identified as the source of Paul's actions and teachings because of Paul's infirmity.

God has been teaching me things about healing. There are a lot of times when the answer is, "No." God is more willing that our minds be healed and our relationships with Him be healthy rather than our bodies be healthy. As I read the New Testament stories about Jesus healing people I see evidence where the healings and miracles were a way to get people to listen to Him.

It is our beliefs and our relationship with God that open the door to our salvation, not the condition of our bodies. God has priorities and our physical healing isn't always on His list.

It is most important to turn our eyes toward God and find out where He wants us to focus our attention. Once we get our hearts and minds in line with His will then everything else is just frosting on the cake. If we are to continue on in some kind of infirmity then He gives us the strength and peace we need.

It is important not to give up on God or get mad at Him because things don't go the way we want or expect. After all, God is God and He sees our future and knows what things will hurt us and what things will help us. He also knows what things will cause our ministry for Him to be the strongest. He is God! We must place our trust in Him and leave it there!
Link to 11/12/02 welcome message


6/17/03 Where Is My Help?

"God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore will not we fear, though the earth be removed, and though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea; though the waters thereof roar and be troubled, though the mountains shake with the swelling thereof. Selah"
Psalm 46:1-3

Sometimes, as I am driving past a serious automobile collision I try to imagine what it would be like for those people. One minute they are traveling toward their destination, minds set on what is going to be happening that day, and the next they are on their way to the hospital and perhaps months or years of therapy, pain, or heartache.

Over and over I have planned out my day and have something unexpected happen. Sometimes it is a small thing like the notification I mentioned saying someone installed a phone somewhere and the bills were going to come to us. Sometimes it is a large thing.... sickness, death, or disaster of some kind.

I often feel like one of those spiders that walks on the surface of the water. When the water is smooth I have no problem walking on the surface. However, the water often gets rough. Sometimes it turns into a hurricane situation where the waves are 50 feet high. What can I do?

There is only one thing to do. I must turn to God. I don't have to look for Him or wait for Him. He is right by my side all the time. He has what I need. He can change the situation or He can carry me through it. With His help I will be able to survive.

I won't just survive, either. I will be able to experience joy where there is no joy. I will be able to have peace where there is no peace. Notice the scripture doesn't just say God is a help in trouble, He is a VERY PRESENT help! So often, as we thrash about trying to survive, we forget that He is standing next to us with His hand out saying, "Take My hand. I will help you. Lean on Me."

It has taken me many years to be able to see Him in the midst of trouble. It is my own fault. When times were good I wasn't communing with Him every day. I wasn't searching the scriptures to find out more about Him and His Kingdom. Once I developed a friendship with Him where He is in my mind all the time then I found that He was my first thought when things happened. I moved Him up in the priority list of my mind to the top place. He became my best Friend. He became my daily Companion. It was only me that was hindering that relationship, not Him.

Can you handle ANYTHING that happens today? I guarantee you that, with God's help, you will be able to handle whatever comes along.

Link to 6/17/03 welcome message


3/10/04  I Have a BAD Habit!

"The LORD is my rock, and my fortress, and my deliverer; my God, my strength, in whom I will trust; my buckler, and the horn of my salvation, and my high tower."
Psalm 18:2

COMMENTS:   Why why why do I continue to try to accomplish difficult things on my own when God is ready, willing, and able to help?  I do not consider myself a stupid person but why is it that I keep forgetting to include God in things? I see a problem, I decide the best way to handle it, and I jump in it with both feet and fists a-flyin'. 

When I was attempting to get my broken glasses problem fixed (as described in this week's welcome message) I actually did include God in it at the very beginning.  However, all I asked Him to do is to help me keep my temper under control and to be able to love the people that I encountered.  I asked Him to help me to behave like a Christian.  Yet, it wasn't until later on in the day that I finally asked Him to help me solve the problem!

For the past few weeks I've been struggling with different things.  The enemy was trying to keep me off balance.  Just when I'd get one thing handled he would throw another.  While the problems were occurring He had people treating me rudely and it was all I could do to not react in the flesh.  I was doing OK, but  the stress was beginning to get to me.  I began transposing numbers and spelling words wrong.  I kind of retreated from conflict instead of facing it.  Then, when he saw I was not losing my cool as quickly as he would have liked he broke the lens in my glasses.  He knew how important it was for me to be able to read.

So, if God is my Rock why was I sinking into the quicksand?  If God is my Fortress why wasn't I hiding in Him?  If God is my Deliverer, why wasn't I giving Him my problems and allowing Him to handle them?  If God is my Strength then why did I feel drained of all strength?  If God is my Buckler (Shield) then why wasn't I hiding behind Him?  If God is the Horn (Container) of my salvation (deliverance) then why was I not pouring it out on the situations?  If God is my High Tower then why the heck wasn't I up high in Him looking down on everything????

I have to quit leaping out in the flesh.  It is something I've done all my life and it is something that the world expects me to do.  It is a BAD HABIT!  I must make myself hand everything (EVERYTHING!) to God and not do anything until He hands it back. OK, that's enough about me.  How has your week been?

Link to 3/10/04 welcome message


2/23/05  God's Virus Checker

"Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked."
Ephesians 6:16

This is God's virus checker.  Just as viruses can enter a computer and mess up it's operating system, there are things that can enter into our minds and hearts and mess up our operating system. If we don't put on that shield of faith every day then we are leaving ourselves open to all sorts of problems. 

First off, we are putting ourselves out there as our first line of defense.  How capable are we of seeing what is coming our way each day and being prepared for it?  Doesn't it make more sense to set ourselves behind the shield of faith and let God be in front?

Once you know the value of having a computer program that protects your computer from viruses, you won't go online without it.  The shield of faith is something that we should keep between us and the world all the time. The shield of faith means we are allowing God to have control.  We are allowing God to protect us from those fiery darts that come our way from every direction.   Instead of handling every problem alone we will benefit from God's help and God's direction.

Sounds easy, doesn't it?  It's not.  It isn't like a virus checker that silently works in the background without you having to do anything but turn it on in the first place.  The shield of faith must be constantly maintained.  We must choose to stand behind it every moment of every day.  We must give each thing that comes along to God.  We must be aware of His presence and allow Him to be in control.  It takes a conscious effort.  The good news is that the more we do it, the easier it becomes.

I can't give you too many details about God's virus checker because He customizes it to fit each of us.  You have to allow Him to show you how it works for you.

I have a friend who puts on her spiritual armor every morning.  She visualizes herself putting on her loin protection which is truth, her breastplate of righteousness, her shoes which are the gospel of peace, her shield of  faith, her helmet of salvation, and her sword which is the Word of God.  She won't get up without them.  Not a bad idea!

Link to 2/23/05 welcome message


4/27/05  You Can't Be Kept Down!
"Rejoice not against me, O mine enemy: when I fall, I shall arise; when I sit in darkness, the LORD shall be a light unto me."
Micah 7:8
Take comfort!  No matter what happens God will place us back up on our feet.  No matter how bad things seem, God is standing beside us and is our strength!

Be aware of His presence!  Just because you feel alone doesn't make it so.  He is there.  Ask to feel Him.  Ask for peace.  Ask for strength.  Ask for wisdom.

With the Almighty God who created the universe on your side why should you despair?  What more do you need? Go read 2Samuel chapter 22.  You will be blessed abundantly!

Link to 4/27/05 welcome message


6/13/05  God is Faithful
"Then they cried unto the LORD in their trouble, and he delivered them out of their distresses."
Psalm 107:6
This must be a good Bible study.  I got it all finished and my computer froze up and I lost it.  I've been trying for days to get focused and to finish this and all sorts of things have popped up to distract me.  When I lost it I almost threw my arms up and put off re-doing it until tomorrow.  That's when I realized the enemy is trying to prevent it from being done.  So, here we go again....

In the 107th chapter of Psalms this verse repeats itself four times in verses 6, 13, 19, and 28.  The people were suffering from the consequences of their actions and still God helped them when they cried out to Him.

This last month I was having trouble finding time or places to spend alone time with God.  Yet, He didn't condemn me for it.  He didn't punish me for it.  He didn't get mad at me about it.  He knew what I was going through.  He just patiently stayed right by my side and helped me when I needed rest, wisdom, strength, or anything else. I felt guilty because I wasn't spending time with Him, but He understood.

Also in chapter 107 the verse, "Oh that men would praise the LORD for his goodness, and for his wonderful works to the children of men!" shows up four times in almost the same exact wording in verses 8, 15, 21, and 31.  Since God is so forgiving, patient, understanding, and wonderful we need to be praising Him. He wants us to not run from Him when we feel guilty or ashamed, which is what we have a tendency to do as humans because that's what we expect from other people when we treat them the way we treat God.

God loves us even when we are messing up and when we are ignoring Him.  He always has time for us even when we don't have time for Him. Our God is an awesome God.  There is none like Him.  Isaiah 46:9 says, "Remember the former things of old: for I am God, and there is none else; I am God, and there is none like me." 

We need to read our Bibles and find out Who God is.  We need to spend time in communion with Him to find out His nature and His ways.  That way, when we are going through rough times, we will know beyond a shadow of a doubt that God is going to remain with us and will continue to assist us, no matter what. Praise to our God for His goodness and for all the wonderful things He does!! 


Link to 6/13/05 welcome message


9/20/05  No Matter What Happens
"And the rain descended, and the floods came, and the winds blew, and beat upon that house; and it fell not: for it was founded upon a rock."
Matthew 7:25
No matter how hard the rain (pain, disappointments, frustrations, etc.) descends...no matter how high the floods (disaster, distress, unbearable burdens, devastating illness, etc.) rise... no matter how hard the winds (job loss, wayward children, financial problems, etc.) blow... if you are standing on the Rock (have total faith in God) then you will barely be moved.  You may dip and sway a bit, but you will still remain standing.

God knows what we are going through and He is capable of handling everything.  He can make it go away altogether, He can use it for His purposes, or He can carry us through.  We just have to allow Him to have His way and know that He is right by our side.

How can we get to the point of trusting Him that completely?  We have to know Him.  We have to experience Him on a day-to-day basis in our good times.  We have to allow Him to be a part of our hearts and minds so that, when rough times come, we don't start "looking for Him".  If we don't have that personal relationship with Him then we are likely to thrash about in our flesh trying to solve our problems instead of just turning to Him for what to do. 

He is our Rock.  He cannot be moved.  No matter how bad of a trial we are experiencing, no matter how out of control the world seems, NO MATTER WHAT... He is the Solid Rock. He is available and willing to be our Rock.  Why would we choose anything else? I know that my feet are on the Rock.  Even when it is too dark to see, even when the flood waters are up to my knees, even when my legs are numb... I know, that I know, that I know the Rock is still under my feet. 

I encourage you to take hold of that reality and become a part of that Rock. You can stand tall and strong in the midst of disaster.  It is truly amazing to feel that power, peace, joy, and wisdom bubbling up through you when everyone else is crumbling to the ground and falling apart.

Link to 9/20/05 welcome message


12/21/05  Suffer a While
"But the God of all grace, who hath called us unto his eternal glory by Christ Jesus, after that ye have suffered a while, make you perfect, stablish, strengthen, settle you."
1 Peter 5:10
What what what?  After I have suffered a while?  No!  I don't want to suffer!

Wait, I have been suffering.  I've had all sorts of things happening to keep me from spending time with God.  I've been sick, too, and that keeps me focused on myself and not on God.

Backing up two verses I read, "Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour: whom resist stedfast in the faith, knowing that the same afflictions are accomplished in your brethren that are in the world." 

Satan is busy trying to keep us from doing what God wants us to do.  That's a fact.  He doesn't want us working on Godly things because that will result in more people coming to the Lord and stronger commitments to God.  He's going to try to keep us occupied and distracted. Yet, I need to resist his efforts.  I need to embrace the things that are going wrong in my life because then I can help others who are going through the same things. After I have suffered a while God will make me perfect.  He will strengthen me.

The most important way I have to resist is with my mind.  I can't allow the enemy to fill my mind with nonsense.  He will try to convince me that I am a failure.  He will try to convince me that God is mad at me so I might as well quit trying to do what God calls me to do.

He has tried to tell me that my Clarion Call ministry is worthless because I have had trouble updating this Bible study regularly. I refuse to listen to him.  I choose to listen to God.  I choose to believe that I just need to stand strong throughout all the things that are happening to me and I will have victory.

Link to 12/21/05 welcome message


3/19/06  He IS!
"Are not five sparrows sold for two farthings, and not one of them is forgotten before God?  But even the very hairs of your head are all numbered. Fear not therefore: ye are of more value than many sparrows."
Luke 12:6-7
I was saying how three dogs are too many for one person with two arms to handle.  I love my dogs and they love me.  When I go outside the first time in the morning they are all very excited to see me.  All three of them want to kiss me and they want me to hug and pet them.  The two taller dogs can reach my face easily when I bend over so I concentrate on petting the shortest one the most while they are kissing me.  Then I keep one hand petting the short dog while I take turns petting the other two with my other hand.

Then I give hugs as they circle around.  When the taller two aren't right by my face I bend over farther for kisses from the short one.  I've been head butted, had my glasses knocked off, and gotten fat lips from the dogs accidentally bonking me, so I am careful when my head is near theirs.

When I had two dogs I could use one arm and hand for each.  It still wasn't always easy, but it was easier than with three.

God has more than three dogs.  He has a whole bunch of animals, but, more importantly, he has six and a half billion people.  He knows what happens to each and every sparrow as well as what happens to each and every person.

God doesn't have a problem paying attention to the six and a half billion people in the world.  There is enough of Him to enable Him to spend quality time with each of us.  He doesn't have to share time with me and with you.  He can give each of us full attention 24 hours each day!

We don't have to hope that He hears us or has time for us. 

When we wake up in the morning He is loving us... ALL of us!  When we are feeling lonely He is reaching out to comfort us... ALL of us!  When we are [ -----fill in the blank---- ] He is there for us... ALL OF US!!

God sent the Holy Spirit to live in us.  That means God, Himself, is inside each of us.   We have all we need of His time and His attention.

How can that be?  Don't try to understand it using human terms.  God is God and is not a man.  He knows how many hairs you have on your head and you, yourself, don't even know that information about yourself.  Think about how He called Himself:  I AM.  What does that mean to us?

He just IS!  He IS Everything we need.  He IS Endless!  He IS Always Everywhere!  Often when I am worshipping Him and cannot think of any words that are great enough to describe Him I simply say, "You ARE!"

Link to 3/19/06 welcome message

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