October 31, 2008

SWF #2: The Heavens Open

And when Jesus had been baptized, just as he came up from the water, suddenly the heavens were opened to Him and he saw the Spirit of God descending like a dove & aligthing on Him. ~Matthew 3:16

Happy SWF! :)

October 29, 2008

He Who Sings, Pray Twice

I've told you that i am on a booklet called Miracle Hour to guide me into a deeper conversation with God, right. As I pray, I sing along. It has been said that, "He who sings, pray twice".

"Come, let us sing for joy to the Lord; let us shout aloud the Rock of our salvation. Let us come before Him with thanksgiving and extol him with music and song." ~Psalm 95:102
Don Moen - Give Thanks

DON MOEN - At The Foot Of The Cross (Ashes To Beauty)

Don Moen - I Offer My Life

October 28, 2008

The Power of Encouraging Words

by Renee Swope

“Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified; do not be discouraged, for the Lord your God will be with you wherever you go." Joshua 1:9 (NIV)


I hate open heights. I can’t stand balconies and when driving across a bridge, you’ll find me hugging the rail along the inside lane.

Some friends tried to help me conquer my fear of heights by inviting our family to an indoor rock-climbing center. My heart stopped as we entered the doors and I scanned the highest peak at 25 feet! The instructors assured me that a web of ropes and harnesses would hold me tight. Before I could say “no thank you,” I was strapped in and signing an injury waiver.

Towards the end of the day, our friends John and Laura encouraged their eight-year-old son Steven to climb to the highest peak – promising tokens and ice cream if he did it. Steven was afraid of heights, too, but he loved a dare. The promise of reward, mixed with the challenge and faith of his father evoked courage in him.

I watched with admiration as Steven started the climb with confidence. He made it to 10 feet, then 15, then 20. But as he inched past the next face of the wall, he saw how far he still had to go. In fear, he looked down with tears and claimed he couldn’t do it. Then he cried out for his daddy’s help.

By this time, Steven’s dad was holding their very tired 3-year-old and his mom was feeding their hungry baby girl. I don’t know where my brave husband was, but I quickly realized I was the only one standing there who could do something.

Suddenly courage and strength surged through my body and I called out, “Don’t give up buddy. You can do it. I’ll help you!”

In record time, I reached the 20-foot marker, crossed over the peak and up beside Steven to encourage him, reminding him of how far he’d come. I told him he could do it with God’s strength and that it would be worth it if he’d persevere. With my words and my confidence in him, I helped Steven turn his thoughts towards a higher goal, an inner peak, a reward much greater than ice cream and game tokens – the reward of getting to a place he had stopped believing he could reach.

Funny how I stopped thinking about my fears when I was focused on helping someone else overcome theirs. I realized that the same promises I had claimed for Steven were true for me, too. I could do it with God’s strength and I did!

Each day we have the same opportunity. Like God did with Joshua in today’s key verse and like He does with us, we can come alongside each other in some of life’s hardest challenges and highest peaks and say, “Don’t give up, you can do it. I’ll be with you and help you.”

When we take our eyes off our fears, our doubts, our struggles and focus on someone else's needs, we somehow forget our own, for a little while. In believing the power of God’s promises for others, our confidence in His promises for us seems to grow as well. And that my friend is the power of encouraging words!

Lord, Thank you for the power of Your Words that give me courage to become who You’ve created me to be – to go to places You’re calling me to go and climb spiritual heights that are out of my reach without Your help. Give me Your encouragement today, and help me encourage someone, too. In Jesus Name, Amen.

Disclaimer: Article taken from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Don Moen - God is Good

[click to play]

October 24, 2008

SWF#1: Sunset On Our Way Home

This picture was taken in the car, while we were on our way home. Too beautiful to be missed!

And God called the light Day, and the darkness he called Night. And the evening and the morning were the first day. ~Genesis 1:5
Happy SWF! :)

October 22, 2008

Rejected Again?

by Glynnis Whitwer

"This is the same Moses whom they had rejected with the words, 'Who made you ruler and judge?' He was sent to be their ruler and deliverer by God himself, through the angel who appeared to him in the bush." Acts 7:35 (NIV)


Rejection is never fun. Most of us avoid situations where we know we'll be rejected, and sometimes we give up too soon. Parents, worn down by the defiance of children, give in rather than discipline in love. Friends avoid giving biblical advice when it's rebuffed repeatedly. Many of us just stop sharing the good news of the Gospel when someone seems uninterested. We may know God asked us to do something, but trying repeatedly is just too hard when we've been rejected before.

There is wisdom in knowing when to press on and when to back up. Only the Holy Spirit can give us direction on what to do when we meet resistance. But many times, I wonder if fear, insecurity or exhaustion drives our decision to stop obeying God's requests. Unless God specifically tells us to stop, we should consider our past marching orders as standing orders and face that possible rejection again.

Moses is an example of someone God called to help people who had already rejected him. In Acts, chapter 7, we read Stephen's final sermon. It included the story of Moses, an Israelite, who was raised in the Egyptian Pharaoh's house, full of wealth and privilege. At the age of 40, Moses visited his fellow Israelites who were enslaved by the Egyptians, and in his anger he killed one of them. When other Israelites discovered the murder, Moses fled to the wilderness for 40 years. That was when God asked Moses to return to Egypt to free His people.

Moses was an unwilling servant in the beginning, full of excuses. In Exodus, chapter 3, Moses begins the list of reasons why he shouldn't go back to Egypt: That he was nobody, that he wouldn't know the name of Who sent him, the Israelites wouldn't believe him anyway, and that he wasn't eloquent. Quite an inventory of excuses, wasn't it? Stephen, over 1,500 years later, cuts to the heart of the matter when he said Moses was sent to the people who had rejected him.

Moses was just like you and me. I think he loved God, but he didn't want to open himself up to criticism and rejection. And so he quickly identified the list of reasons why he couldn't do what God had asked. But God had important plans for Moses. Moses was the one God chose to bring freedom to the Israelites. God saw value and worth in Moses, and God sees that same worth in you.

With God's help and power, Moses returned to the Israelites and led them to freedom. Obedience wasn't easy, but the end result brought God glory, and freedom from slavery to a million people. Sometimes God may send us back to speak truth and freedom to someone who has rejected us before. When that happens, we can trust that God sees our potential and that pressing through rejection will be worth it in the end.

Dear Lord, thank You for including stories in the Bible of people who faced rejection. Obeying Your will isn't always easy. Thank You for being with me always, for being my courage and for working miracles every day around me. Help me not to give up too soon. In Jesus' Name, Amen.

Disclaimer: Article taken from Proverbs 31 Ministries.

Claire Cloninger and Don Moen - Lord, I Offer My Life To You

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October 21, 2008

Praying, Communicating With God

Whenever you pray, do not be like the hypocrites; for they love to stand and pray in the synagogues and at the street corners, so that they may be seen by Trult I tell you, they have received their reward.

But whenever you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who sees in secret will reward you. ~Matthew 6:5-6
I believe praying is essential in our relationship with God. Just like communication is important in a happy marriage. Praying is like talking to our Father in heaven. You do not need to have flowery words or bombastic words. Pray in your own language and in your own words. God sees through your heart and not at how well said your prayer is.

If you have not been praying to God often, and do not know how to start. You can start with this prayer which Jesus has taught his disciples:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name,
Your kingdom come,
Your will be done,
on earth as in heaven,
Give us today our daily bread,
And forgive us our debts,
as we also have forgiven our debtors,
And do not bring us to the time of trial,
but rescue us from the evil one. ~Matthew 6:9-12
I am currrently on a booklet called: Miracle Hour by Linda Schubert. In this booklet we are taught of a method of prayer that will change your life. I've found this booklet to be useful as it guides you into a deeper communication with God. There are twelve sections of 5 mins, and I've only gone up to the third section. For me, it is not easy to spend an hour daily in prayer but I am determine to do so.

October 18, 2008


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