Prepared For A Mission

“God has a purpose and a plan for each of us, and in Christ, He has already given us all that we need to fulfill that plan.” –Mike Walters
May 11, 2008


madetofly_niv

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**For more Christian cartoons by Mike Walters, visit:  joyfultoons.com

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Always Be Prepared…

…for a fight…and don’t be surprised or caught off guard!
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Word-Filled Wednesday, 2/25/09

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I sure can tell when I’m unprepared to face the day. The day starts to truly wear on me, when I don’t start out by renewing my mind! I can try to go on about my day without spending time in God’s Word, but I need NOT think that the devil takes a holiday! 🙂

Lately, when I’ve started to get frustrated, I’ve caught myself thinking things like:

–Why does this have to happen?
–Why do things have to be SOOOO difficult?
–Why is it so hard stay on track?

Well, it’s not that I’ve just started having these thoughts…it’s more like I’ve become more aware of them. Most importantly, the Lord has been making it clearer to me how very silly these questions really are! It’s not that I should expect the trials to stop coming, but that I need to learn how to handle them better with the Lord’s help! Of course, I cannot improve with this “spiritual warfare” thing, if I go out totally unarmed and unprepared!

I found this cartoon that truly illustrates this point so well. I just love it! It’s another one by Michael Waters, from a few months back. He states:

The Christian life is not a trouble-free life. We should be mentally prepared to face the challenges that we will have to face.
–August 24, 2008

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**To view more WFW participants, you may visit: http://the160acrewoods.com/

**Also, my daughter, Sarah joined WFW today! Please go by & check out her post too at: http://loveofthecross.wordpress.com/

Walk On Faith

The past several days, “Walk On Faith” has been my theme song. I’ve been playing it over and over…on my computer and in my mind. Every time I start to get a little discouraged, I say a prayer, and I recite a line or two of this song (along with Bible verses). I especially love the line “just keep putting one foot down in front of the other,” and I find that acting on it is very helpful! )

I can really identify with the line “when everything inside wants to give up.” No matter how much I may feel that way, I must press on (Phil. 3:14). I’m definitely walking on faith, stepping out and trying new things; trusting in the Ultimate Love. I’m depending on my Savior to carry me through, and He gives me a stronger, deeper love for my family. He challenges me to give more, to do more, and to put my love into action!

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Walk On Faith

By: Mike Reid

We have come to this place in our love
Where faith must be stronger than fear
For if true love is our destination
Through every storm it must always be clear
The surest way to get there from here

CHORUS
Is to walk on faith
Trust in love
Just keep on putting one foot down
In front the other
When the valley so wide
We stumble in stride
And everything inside wants to give up
Walk on faith; trust in love

Farther on beyond the shadows of our doubts
We will live where true love never dies
Though the road we must travel is uncertain
There is a truth in our hearts that never lies
It is by such grace we are bound to arrive

Is to walk on faith
Trust in love
Just keep on putting one foot down
In front the other
When the valley so wide
We stumble in stride
And everything inside wants to give up
Walk on faith; trust in love

Come on walk on faith when the valley is wide
And everything inside is telling you to give up
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**You-tube video here.
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**P.S.  There's another Bible verse that we've had on our bulletin
board this week that has been a great source of encouragement 
for me. As I've been going along throughout my day, I've looked up 
at it several times. Colossians 3:17 says, "...And whatever you do
in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks 
to God the Father through Him." This scripture reminds me to keep 
trying and to give my best in all that I do...whether great or small; 
giving God the glory.

Mountain…What Mountain?!

On this spiritual journey through life, who can’t use a little humor and encouragement? I praise God for the gift of laughter and for uplifting messages I receive all along the way. Today, a friend sent me an email containing several Christian cartoons by Michael D. Waters. I especially LOVE this one:

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godcartoon

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Did you enjoy that as much as I did?! What a simple, yet very effective visualization! When we step out in faith and trust in God, His awesome power will be unleashed!! That mountain doesn’t stand a chance!

**For more Christian cartoons by Michael D. Waters, check out his website at: http://www.joyfultoons.com/

The God Who Holds The Universe…

…is the God who is holding you.

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“What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it? And when he hath found it, he layeth it on his shoulders, rejoicing.” —Luke 15:4-5

“He shall dwell between His shoulders.” —Deuteronomy 33:12

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Last week, I was getting frustrated with myself that I wasn’t more productive. I had so many things I needed and wanted to get done, but I just couldn’t seem to muster up the energy. Of course, after a couple of days, I realized that I had been “fighting” getting sick, and I finally lost that battle. I was sick with a stomach virus and a cold virus there for 2-3 days. I’ll spare you any more details than that.

Well, I was starting to feel soooo run-down physically, that I wasn’t up to doing much of anything. However, I realized that I could NOT ignore the spiritual side. I’ve actually become aware that when I’m down spiritually, everything else starts to fall apart too! You see, when my soul is neglected, I’m bound to become physically ill. When I don’t spend time alone with my Lord, I begin to worry about things again. Then, the stresses of life easily overtake me and quickly take a toll on my body.

Of course, not only does spiritual malnutrition affect me physically, it also affects me mentally and emotionally. Without the constant loving guidance of God’s Word, I’m an easy target for the enemy’s lies. It only becomes that much harder to avoid succumbing to the devil’s taunts, ridicule, and tricks.

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You know, as Christians, we’re on a journey…one that can be perilous and treacherous at times. Often our vision gets hazy, and we can’t see the way. The surroundings are rugged and cruel. With the heavy fog, we can only see the big, scary obstacles right in front of us. We’re not able to see any way around them…They seem unsurmountable.

Each morning, as we set out on the road of life once more, we MUST check in with our “Tour Guide.” He knows the territory…His vision is always clear. Our Guide is also very mighty…He will go before us and be our protector. The “obstacles” are nothing to Him…”mountains” are merely ant hills. Furthermore, He’s not intimidated by or subject in any way to any foe who seeks to harm us or lure us off the right path. He knows the road better than anyone and will never be sidetracked by deceptive bypasses that look like short-cuts.

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Yes, like a little child must cling to his mother when crossing a busy, dangerous street…We must always hold on to our Savior. We must stay close to Him at all times. Sometimes on this difficult journey, He will even have to carry us. However, we need not worry, because His strength will never run out.

Not only does He know how small the obstacles really are (with His help), but He also knows all the many joys that lie ahead, along the way. No matter how hard this road of life may seem at times, there’s always more good times ahead as well. In fact, if we stay close to Him, we can find joy all along the way, even in the “midst of the storms.”

Of course, the greatest rejoicing comes at the journey’s end…a time at which we will definitely know it was all worth it!! We will spend our days praising our Savior forevermore…the One who led us safely Home.

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Ask the Savior to help you,
Comfort, strengthen, and keep you;
He is willing to aid you—
He will carry you through. —Palmer

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**This devotional was inspired by “Our Daily Bread,” and you may also read it here.

What I Need Most

Well, as usual, I find what I need most is a good quiet time with the Lord (see previous post). Today, the key verse in “Our Daily Bread” says:

“Walk circumspectly, not as fools but as wise, redeeming the time, because the days are evil.” —Ephesians 5:15-16

The ending caption reads:

When you find time on your hands, put them together in prayer.

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Well, not that I often have a lot of time on my hands. It seems there’s always plenty I could be doing. However, the last couple of mornings, the kids have slept in a little later since it’s turned colder. They must have slept especially well last night…all snug in their warm, little beds. This morning, once they got up, they actually dressed promptly. Before long, Sarah was bundled up in a coat, hat, and gloves and asking if she and Kerry could go outside. [ O.k., how could I argue with that?! I wasn’t moving too fast this morning, and I certainly don’t get much quiet time to myself nowadays! Besides, that IS one of the major perks of homeschooling…having a flexible schedule! ]

Anyway, with this “extra time on my hands,” how would I spend it? Was sitting down to reading the Bible the FIRST thing I did? Well, quite honestly…”No,” but that’s what I always NEED to do foremost! You know, it’s quite often a great indicator when we don’t feel like opening God’s Word…Well, that’s when we definitely need to more than ever!! [ Why should we EVER go by feelings anyway? I mean, talk about fickle, unreliable, and deceiving!! ]

With the mood I woke up in this morning, what better message could I have read? What better use of time is there than spending time in God’s Word and prayer? Yes, my friend, the flesh is still weak, but HE is strong. When we feel we don’t have the strength to face the day, we haven’t yet tapped into our greatest source of strength!

Wait and, in waiting, listen for His leading;

Be strong, thy strength for every day is stored.

Go forth in faith, and let thine heart take courage;

There is no disappointment with the Lord. –Anon.

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**To read today’s devotional from “Our Daily Bread” in its entirety, you may click here.

Get On Up!!

I was praying this morning for help and strength, while struggling to get on up this cold and dark morning, when a fantastic “oldie, but goodie” came to mind! I haven’t heard or thought of this song in more than decade, but I believe God gave it to me this morning, and oh, what a gift! It was just what I needed!

Our Daily Bread for today is actually entitled, “The Most Depressing Day.” The key verse comes from Matthew 14:7, which says, “Be of good cheer! It is I; do not be afraid.” The key line in bold at the bottom says, “When you feel hopeless, look to the God of hope.” The writer, Julie Ackerman Link, says:

“Scientists in the UK have calculated that the most depressing day of the year comes in the third week of January. Winter days are dark and cold, holiday excitement has worn off just as Christmas debts are coming due, and New Year’s resolutions have all been broken. The celebrations, gift-giving, and good intentions that once made us feel happy now press us down and leave us feeling hopeless.”

Can you identify? I sure can. The tendency toward depression is something I’ve always struggled with, and it’s particularly difficult this time of year. Furthermore, certain very trying circumstances still continue to loom over our heads, but we don’t have to just look at the situation. Instead, we must look to God for strength to carry on and to keep fighting the good battle of faith, until He says, “It’s enough.”

So, without further ado, here’s my song for the day:

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Walk Right Out Of This Valley

By: Hazel J. Trubee

Chorus:
Well I’m gonna walk right out of this valley
Lift my hands and praise the Lord
Said I ain’t gonna let old Satan get me down, down, down
Why should I sit here till I die?
Heaven is a waiting up a little bit higher
I’m gonna walk out of this valley with my Lord

Now the Lord let down the hedge on Job to try him
Took all of his children and everything that he owned (all he owned)
But no Job didn’t sit down and cry
No he lifted his head up high, and came out of that valley
Praised God with a whole lot more!

Repeat Chorus

Well now the road that we’ve got to travel to that city
Well it won’t always be on the mountaintop (mountaintop)
But you know the valley that we’ve got to face
God said He’s gonna give us grace
To come up on the hill where the sun is shining bright

Repeat Chorus (x2)

Well I’m gonna walk right out of this valley
Lift my hands and praise the Lord
Said I ain’t gonna let old Satan get me down, down, down
Down, down, down
I’m gonna walk out of this valley with my Lord

Scriptural Reference:

“After Job had prayed for his friends, the Lord made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before.” Job 41:10
“Now there were four men with leprosy at the entrance of the city gate. They said to each other, ‘Why stay here until we die?'” 2 Kings 7:3

**Note: To read today’s devotional from Our Daily Bread in its entirety, you may visit here. Also, you may listen to the above song, here.