Women In The Bible Rock

The women of the Bible are our archetypes. Jesus was theirs, as He is ours today.

~ Lisa Blair

This was written by Wendy Lim-Ferrero, a Bible Study Fellowship leader. She posted this on FB. Worthy of sharing.

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To All Women of Faith in Christ

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Be an Esther, bold and courageous enough to stand for the truth, to voice your opinion and fight for the good of others, even when it means to sacrifice yourself. If God has put you in a position, it is for a purpose. Never be afraid to heed to that inner voice.
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Be a Ruth, loyal in all your relationships, walk the extra mile and don’t quit when things get tough. Someday, you’ll see why it was all worth the effort.
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Be a Lydia, let your homes be open, let your hands be generous, let your hearts be big enough to help anyone in need. Joy is greatest when shared.
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Be a Hannah, never cease to pray. It will never be in vain.
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Be a Mary, humble and submissive. You don’t have to be great for God to use you, you just need to obey.
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Be a Dorcas, use your talents, however small it may seem to bring a smile on someone’s face. You’ll never know how much it can mean to someone.
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Be an Abigail, remember how each decision can turn your life around for good or bad. Be wise.
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Be an Elizabeth, never doubt what God can do. Miracles do happen.
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Be a Mary Magdalene, never let your mistakes and judgments of other people stop you from experiencing true joy in Jesus.
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Be a Rebekah, never forget that true beauty lies within. Draw your man closer to God through your character.
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Be a daughter after Gods likeness;
Be pure hearted;
Allow your inner Beauty to overshadow your outward appearance.
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“And we know that for those who love God all things work together for good, for those who are called according to His purpose. For those whom He foreknew He also predestined to be conformed to the image of his Son, in order that He might be the firstborn among many brothers. And those whom He predestined he also called, and those whom he called he also justified, and those whom He justified he also glorified.”
Romans 7:28-30

God Is Our Protection

God is faithful through the storms and the beach days in the sun. He is our protection

~ Lisa Blair
Roger Coles. Bible.com

I remember being a child and frightened of thunder, very young, or having a nightmare, a little older, my first response was to run into the arms of my mother. She was my harbor, my rock, and my safety. The waves could roar and toss me to and for, but they could not break me or crush me. As I grew into adulthood, I always felt her strength and safe harbor when speaking to her on the phone about issues I was experiencing. She always had a calming effect, an aura of peace that extended to me.

Just think, if we feel safe from the love of a parent, how much more pronounced the experience when we run to God brokenhearted and feeling crushed. He is our Savior, our rock, and our remedy for the attacks of uncertainty.

Thank God, when this world attempts to break our heart and crush our spirit, we can rest in Him and faithfully know He has surrounded us with His love, and through this, His strength.

God is faithful through the storms and the beach days in the sun. He is our protection, and we should run to Him. He is our refuge. We are not a people who remain brokenhearted or crushed. His love is greater, and like our human parents, shields us from the monsters under the bed.

Stay Faithful–Stay Focused. Brenda Walsh Ministries

Today is the day the Lord has made; stay focused, stay present, stay faithful.

LAB Photos

God never promised that if you would follow Him, your life will be perfect. He never promised the sun would always shine or that you would never experience pain. The truth is, this journey here on earth is difficult and challenging. There are so many twists and turns to life and through it all it is critically important to stay focused on Jesus.

The devil would like nothing better than to separate you from the only One who can save you, and he will stop at nothing to get your attention. He loves to plant seeds of doubt–especially when you are going through a crisis and are the most vulnerable. Satan loves to whisper his lies, encouraging you to blame God for your troubles. But Satan is the creator of sin and he gets all the credit for pain and heartache–not God!

Stay focused on your heavenly Father who loves you more than anyone else ever could! When you are in trouble–call upon Him for help. The Bible says in Psalm 34:17-19, “When the righteous cry for help, the Lord hears and delivers them out of all their troubles. The Lord is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit. Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the Lord delivers him out of them all.”

You don’t have to be afraid of life’s challenges, heartache, and pain because you are never alone! Stay faithful–stay focused on the only one who can save you from all your trials, misery, and suffering–Jesus Christ, your Lord, and Savior.

Text: Deuteronomy 31:6, Isaiah 41:10, Psalm 147:3, Psalm 55:22, Isaiah 42:16

Prayer and Freedom Go Hand-In-Hand

We are commanded to pray for our leaders and in that thank God for our freedom, especially in trying times.

~Lisa Blair


Crosswalk.com posted this prayer today,

Dear God, 

Thank you for freedom, and the price that was paid by Christ so that we could live free.  Thank you for establishing the foundation of our land on the truth that a nation under God is blessed and secure.  

Thank you for godly leaders who have gone before us, and led faithfully and humbly before you.  We pray for our President, for all those in authority who lead today, and for those who will lead tomorrow.  Give them your wisdom, fill them with courage, help them to press in close to you to hear your heartbeat for our nation.

Today, we are free to worship you. We are free to pray.  We are free to read your Word.  We are free to speak.  We are free to share. And for this, we are incredibly grateful.  

Thank you Lord that your Presence is with us in whatever we face today, and in the future, and that your power goes before us.

In the Mighty name of Jesus,

Amen.

“Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord…” Psalm 33:12

Crosswalk.com

Not In Control Of Our Lives

Circumstances outside of our control often undo expectations and plans. Life is outside of our control. The pandemic is changing our lives. Life, as we planned, no longer exists.

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Dreams have been dashed. Jobs and career positions have been lost, and the unknown remains bleak. That is the world nonbelievers live in; they created their own destiny and have nothing to rely on but themselves. However, believers rest on God’s Word. We did not create our own destiny; God gave us life and a path. Scripture declares, “Commit to the Lord whatever you do, and he will establish your plans.” Proverbs 16:3. If we trust in the Lord with all of our heart and lean not in our own understanding and submit to Him, He will make our paths straight. Proverbs 3:5-6.

Be strong and courageous. Do not be afraid or terrified because of them, for the Lord your God goes with you; He will never leave you or forsake you. Deuteronomy 31:6

I am not saying that we will not experience hardship and loss; we will. The difference between nonbelievers and believers is that we find comfort in knowing that God provides. Loss is temporary. Paths can be forged, and we do not fear death because we possess eternal life.

So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous hand. Isaiah 41:10.

Our God sees us through the darkest moments, He directs our way, and carries us when we can no longer withstand the pressure. He told us He would never give us more than we can bear, though what we think we can carry and what He believes we can bear are two different things. It is during these moments He challenges us to be courageous, to have courage.

In times of great distress, we are challenged to grow. We are challenged to put His Word into practice. He tells us to depend on Him and not what we see. He tells us, all things work for the good for those who love Him and have been called according to his purpose. Romans 8:28.

All believers are called according to His purpose. Knowing this assures us that the darkest days are numbered, and we will once again see the light of day. This assurance proves our faith is stronger than our circumstances. It is stronger than our losses. Faith determines our new path, and can sure up the old. We are victorious. We have victory through our faith in Jesus Christ.

Now faith is confidence in what we hope for and assurance about the things we do not see. Hebrews 11:1

We are overcomers. As long as we trust God, we can live in peace amid the storms of life. Internal peace is spiritual peace. You will keep in perfect peace those whose minds are steadfast because they trust in you. Isaiah 26:3 We can face the loss and setbacks through the struggle. We can see God operating in our lives as minute details become visible of the signs He presents. When we put the pieces together, we can begin to see the bigger picture, much like viewing a crossword puzzle. Will all of the pieces arrive numbered like a do-it-yourself piece of furniture, no. Will we experience setbacks, yes. Will we give up and give in to the circumstances that many would say are crippling and can not be overcome, no. Philippians 4:13 affirms we can do all things through Him who strengthens us.

The author of 1 John 5:4 wrote For everyone born of God overcomes the world, and we achieve this victory through our faith.

Pandemics are outside of our control, but its outcomes are not outside of our Lord’s authority. This is the time we are called to stand, and as Ephesians 6:13 declares, having done all stand. 2 Corinthians 12:9-10 tells us, God’s grace is sufficient for us, His power is made perfect in our weakness, and we should boast about our weaknesses so that Christ’s power may rest on us. Paul tells us when we are weak; we are strong.

Scriptures – Biblegateway.com; Images – Google Images

Choose To Walk In The Light

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God tells us there will be dark times, but we do not have to allow the dark to absorb us; nor do we need to enter into a state of darkness and depression. Yes, these are dire times, how many thought we would live in a global pandemic, isolated due to sheltering-in-place, and uncertain of the future? Not many I would imagine, especially if we live in the United States, where we feel immune to all of the world’s woes.

Non-believers live in a state of darkness, but (the) believers who find themselves in a catatonic state caused by the pandemic, also find themselves in a state of darkness. Do you depend entirely upon God, or do you speak the words but rely on your wisdom? Those who live in the Light, live with God who is in the Light, and is Light. John writes in I John 1:7, ESV, “But if we are living in the Light, as God is in the Light, then we have fellowship with each other.”

The Light removes the sense of isolation that sheltering-in-place causes. Being in the Light means that God is with you in the Light. He is present in your life and in constant communication with you. He cleanses you from your sins. Sin is anything that is not of God, such as depression (not diagnosed), timidity, feelings of failure, uncertainty, and more. Satan likes nothing more than separating us from our Father and curtailing our fellowship with other believers.

If you watch the news, people are finding ways to communicate and find a sense of light, but are they really in the Light, or is it an imitation of Light manufactured by the carnality of needing to be with others. Pure Light comes from God, and despite our circumstances, we remain in the Light. His Light provides peace and a sense of calm amid the global pandemic we find ourselves in today. His Light is truth that He is always with us and will not forsake us in any situation that evolves.

When we allow ourselves to doubt God because we are overwhelmed by the darkness that pulls us in, we are in effect calling God a liar. The gospel truth is – God is truth and truth ensures our salvation. If we know we are saved and abide in the Word, we are abiding in His Light. We are not controlled by the desires of this world. “If we say we have fellowship with Him while we walk in darkness we lie and do not live according to the truth.” (John Piper) No pandemic can separate us from God.

Think of this pandemic as our testing ground. We proclaim to be Christians but does our behavior confirm our relationship with the Lord, or suggest that there is no relationship? We either have a relationship with Christ or we do not, it is black and white, no grey areas. Do we falter or do we stand? Do we allow the uncertainty of death and destruction to overpower us or do we rest in the truth that God is all power and all truth? Do we stand in the Light or do we watch the darkness slowly engulf us?

One certain way to remain in the Light is to maintain fellowship with other believers, who can support us when we doubt or fall from the truth joining those who live in fear and a state of desperation. Truth gives us hope not to despair, our faith ensures us that there is life after this one we are currently experiencing.

“If we have truly accepted Jesus as our Savior, we have done so by taking His Word into our hearts and accepting it as the agent of our salvation (James 1:21). We must be prepared on an ongoing basis to use it to make necessary ‘course corrections’ and keep us in His Light – or as the case may be, get us out of Satan’s darkness as quickly as possible.” (Hal Hammons)

The Light will give you peace in the darkness. Choose to walk in the Light.

Image – Google Images

Scripture – Biblegateway.com

Resources – Let Us Walk in the Light of God. John Piper. desiringgod.org. February 1985; God Is Light. Hal Hammons. Bible.com. February 2010

Closure Is Part Of The Journey

Life is a journey, and along the way, we are blessed to have good, loving experiences, and some we would rather forget, but all of them have purpose.

~ Lisa Blair

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I finally have closure after seven years. Closure from what, you ask? Closure from the dissolve of the school, I reopened, and separation from the people I came to call family. We were a community that cared for and educated over 300+ children (living in an underserved community) annually over fourteen years. When the school closed, everyone scattered, and wounds were deep. It felt that our very lives had been stripped away from us.

[ Fourteen years, seven times two] Something just came to mind as I was typing, seven is a divine number and represents closure, completion, and something finished. This Post is about closure and what it means.

Facing closure is difficult. It requires introspection and forgiveness, not so much about forgiving others, though that is part of it, but forgiving myself because I felt I failed. The reality is I helped many people who have since shared that fact with me. Many of our students graduated from high school with honors and completed college with advanced degrees, students whose destinies were changed because of the school, staff, and caring adults.

Why am I sharing this, you may ask? Everything in life has purpose. Whether it is as grand as opening a school, or due to a perfect storm, closing it. 

Life is a journey, and along the way, we are blessed to have good, loving experiences, and some we would rather forget, but all of them have purpose. God designed our paths long before we were born. He knew our experiences and what it would take to become mature Christians. He knew when and where we would stray off the straight and narrow pathway and when we would return. He knew when we would avoid closure because it hurts, and when we would address it, ready to move on. He is like a loving parent patiently awaiting our return, like the prodigal son.

Does this sound confusing? Well, it is not. The take-aways are: There is a time for everything. Ecclesiastes 3:1-8 declares, “For everything there is a season, a time for every activity under heaven. A time to be born and a time to die. A time to plant and a time to harvest. A time to kill and a time to heal. A time to tear down and a time to build up. A time to cry and a time to laugh. A time to grieve and a time to dance. A time to scatter stones and a time to gather stones. A time to embrace and a time to turn away. A time to search and a time to quit searching. A time to keep and a time to throw away. A time to tear and a time to mend. A time to be quiet and a time to speak. A time to love and a time to hate. A time for war and a time for peace.”

* ‭‭Everything has purpose. Ephesians 2:10, “For we are God’s handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do.” Philippians 2:1 TNTV, “God Himself is at work in you inspiring you to want those things which please Him and to work for them.” God leads us you placing His desires in our hearts.

* Some things in life are for a season, others for a reason, and yet others for a lifetime. Proverbs 16:4, “The Lord works out everything to its proper end.” “Before I formed you in the womb I knew you, before you were born I set you apart.” Jeremiah 1:5

* We are here to be God’s servants, spread the Word, and impact others’ lives. Romans 8:28, “And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love him, who have been called according to his purpose.” The road is not always straight and narrow, and like Paul, God may redirect us in the middle of our travels to assist others before we reach our destination. “Facing a ’closed-door’ can be extremely frustrating. The apostle Paul knew exactly how that felt. On his second missionary journey to share the gospel in Asia, he repeatedly found the way blocked by the Holy Spirit. Eventually, the apostle was stuck in Troas with the sea before him and closed doors behind. How strange it must have seemed to Paul that God would prevent him from spreading the gospel. But he knew this wisdom from the book of Proverbs: The Lord will make a straight path for anyone who chooses to trust God rather than himself (Proverbs 3:5-6). Instead of getting angry or trying to force his way into new territory, Paul got on his knees.” (Charles Stanely, Christianity.com)

So, in the end, closure is another phase of our lives. We begin and end episodes only to start anew, refreshed, and wiser from the experiences we acquired as we live and grow older. We become wiser through studying the Word. The wiser we become, the more mature we become, and when we look back at what we once referred to as a failure, in truth was a gift from God that came to an end. In hindsight, all life events serve a purpose. Our events have a beginning and an ending (closure) and lead us down our path to our destiny. 

“Psalm 37:27 declares that: the steps of a good man are ordered by the Lord, and He delights in his way. Be encouraged that you can fulfill your destiny by trusting in Him and charting Your course based on how He leads, not your own understanding. As You let Him be the One who orders your steps, you will fulfill your destiny.” (Fulfilling your Destiny. WalkingbyFaith.com)