Archive for November, 2009

Painful Commitment

This morning I came across a very interesting scripture. Pslams 15:4b says “who swears to his own hurt and does not change.” My husband was sitting across from me reading his own bible, but I had to share it with him!

This chapter is what some would call the”ideal worshiper of God.” If you want to know what pleases Him, read the whole thing. Obviously we know as New Testament believers that we do not have it within or flesh without the blood of Christ to be “ideal” but yet it is quite obvious that God still not only honors obedience, He demands it, if we are to have a right relationship with Him and our fellow-man. 

The principle in this verse along with many of these in this chapter are almost non-existent in our culture today, even in the church. To commit to something, a ministry, a job, a family, a spouse, is done very loosely these days. Oh, we act like we are committing, we say all the right words, using all the right facial expressions and body movements, we really know how to play the part. But, when it comes down to the pain of that commitment which I believe to be discipline, we too often wiggle out and use our “freedom in Christ” to do so.

Discipline is a yucky word, isn’t it? And yet we have to have it  if we are to make it in life. We cannot expect a good job, unless we discipline ourselves to be there on time, take instruction and act upon it.

We cannot have health unless we discipline ourselves to eat healthy foods, excercise, and get adequate sleep.

We cannot have a healthy marriage unless we discipline ourselves to put the other spouse first, denying our flesh, dying to our own selves over and over.

We cannot have healthy relationships period unless we discipline ourselves to spend the time that is needed, and give of ourselves.

We cannot have a healthy ministry unless we discipline ourselves to spend ample time with God, and give out what we take in….

And yet, at times all of this is painful. True? But the rewards…. are so worth it!

I am convinced after reading Psalms 15 that we are so easily moved in all of these areas because we lack self-hurting commitment. May we crucify our flesh today and worship an Almighty God with our lives!

 Who Shall Dwell on Your Holy Hill?

A Psalm of David.15:1 

O Lord, who shall sojourn in your tent?
Who shall dwell on your holy hill?
 2 He who walks blamelessly and does what is right
and speaks truth in his heart;
3 who does not slander with his tongue
and does no evil to his neighbor,
nor takes up a reproach against his friend;
4 in whose eyes a vile person is despised,
but who honors those who fear the Lord;
who swears to his own hurt and does not change;
5 who does not put out his money at interest
and does not take a bribe against the innocent.
He who does these things shall never be moved.


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Till This Trial Ends

I struggle during this time of your grief.

I want to be there

To hold your hand,

No matter just how brief.


My heart breaks each time I hear

Your sweet voice shaking

As you tearfully share


All of your pain,

All of your fears.

I ponder again this new life pain


Why does this have to happen?

Seems that the enemy gains!


I know that the Word says,

“Temptations must come”

But I do not believe

He meant for us to wander from home!


I try to stay strong for you

As I hear all of your pain

But honestly, honestly

Why does the enemy gain?


Why do we give him all of this ground?

How can God’s people

Refuse to turn around?


I get the straying part

I too have a fleshly heart

What I don’t seem to understand

Is why we don’t turn back to

Jesus, the God-Man


The Bible says He was tempted in every way,

I wonder if we truly believe,

For if this is so, then please

Tell me, why we don’t talk to Him about our flesh, today?


I am trying to be strong,

To take your pain to Him

I do not want to also do wrong

Nor myself against Him sin.


Please know I am with you right now

In the soil of life

I am placing my plow


Choosing to plant the seed of prayer deep,

So that sheaves of joy

I will with you reap!


Please know, even though

I am not there holding your hand

That I am with you in Spirit

Praying always and with Him I stand!


For in this Spirit I can trust

That when words will not come

And prayer is a must,


That He is speaking the Father’s heart

As mine with yours is torn apart.


I love you, my sister, and my friend

I will love you during this trial

Until the day the Lord says, “END”.

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Our second year of Thanksgiving

Has brought much peace

Much hope, much joyful living.

I thank my God for you my dear,

My sweet husband

Who holds me near,

You are my breath

You are my life

Until my death

I am thankful to be your wife.

Last year at this time

Our current home

Became yours and mine.

We are blessed beyond reason!

No matter how you look at it

This is our joyful season!

Both of us have had sorrow,

Grief, Tears,

Yesterday’s fears.

We both wondered in the past

How much all

Of this pain would last

There were times we could not lift our head

Moments of deep despair

Seemed to be our daily dread.

Still to His word we held

Trying to rest in the fact

That He had never failed!

Never failed His ancient children

No matter how light

Or how heavy their burden.

In the seasons of our lives

He was always there

No matter how dark

Or how big the fear!

Looking back now

On these days gone by

Tony, I would not change

The things that made us cry.

For we cried out to an Almighty God

Who grew us, molded us

Not for here but for

Heavenly sod!

No matter how long

Together we spend

No matter how long

We must still depend

On this Gracious Living Jesus

Who has given you and I

The blessing of us!

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Grace- Filled Tears

 1 Timothy 3:15 if I delay, you may know how one ought to behave in the household of God, which is the church of the living God, a pillar and buttress of the truth. 16 Great indeed, we confess, is the mystery of godliness: He was manifested in the flesh,
vindicated by the Spirit, 
seen by angels,
proclaimed among the nations,
believed on in the world,
taken up in glory.

The man sat in the back

of the dimly lit room

trying to take it all in,

the others would be here soon.


Three days ago,

he was on his way here

walking down the Damascus road

he was someone, they all  had feared.


Now, as he sat on the wooden bench

and thought of all he had done

with his life, O, the stench!


He had knowledge, power and zeal

he was doing the work of God,

no matter how he made the people feel!


His work was serious,

it must be done!

This people, “The Way”,

they were the ones most dangerous!


And so, he lived his life to kill

this thing they called faith

that all started on Golgotha’s hill.


He did this for years,

tortured these people,

caring not in the very least

 for their tears.


But, on the road here,

something happened, something changed!

He who had never known such a thing,

had met a greater fear!


A holy God had stopped him that day!

Had stolen his sight, his strength, his zeal,

as he walked along that way.


This God told him that He must stop!

You are persecuting Me, Saul!

As to the ground,

the mans pride, and knees did fall!


And as he sat in the room,

broken, no longer pius 

he thought of his new friend,

the disciple named, Ananias.


This man had a vision from Jesus

came to the place he lay

placed his shaking hands upon him,

and began to pray!


The Lord returned his sight

a miracle for sure!

He ate, he cried, he prayed,

for his soul had met its Cure!


Now he sat on the bench,

thinking about the Lord,

people started coming in,

for they had surly heard, the word.


Word had quickly spread abroad

about this man they all did dread!


He was now one of them?

We shall see,

whispers said as they looked at him.


Tears ran down his face

as he heard the song they sang.

He had heard it before,

but never in this place.


Now he knew the words were true,

they were life, comforting,

and yes, even due.


To this Mighty God,

they sang, their voices becoming as one.

And the most amazing thing of all,

is that Saul, now Paul,

was also God’s son!


His message became clear that day,

No matter, what you have done,

No matter where you have strayed,

God’s mercy will find you where you are

and in His grace, He will

shine truth upon your heart!


Accept this truth,

as Paul surely did!

God’s grace is for you,

His truth still remains,

Just on Him believe,

as you call on His name!


Rejoice now as you live,

In this freedom

He freely gives!


No more questioning,

no more fear,

no more soul-ache,

just grace- filled tears!

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Have you ever had the experience of going through life and its seemingly never-ending hardships, the painful actions of others have gotten the best of your thought life, and you feel rather justified in your “righteous anger” against them? Maybe this is making it hard to pray for them any longer, maybe this is making you wanting to jump up and down screaming with frustration like a two-year old; And then, in the quiet, early morning hours, while reading the Word to your slipping down the self-righteous path soul, God just absolutely aggravates the heck out of you with a life lesson reminder to LOVE AS CHRIST LOVES????? OH!


As you probably have guessed, I am there. Yes, I have dealt with this irritating, rubbing the flesh right off of my heart, Word this morning. I feel the need to share simply to make sure Deanna gets it!

Gal 5:6 truly just speared me through the flesh this morning.

“For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision nor uncircumcision counts for anything, but only faith working through love.”


2 Cor 5:7 ” For we walk by faith not by sight.”

And of course

1 Cor 13:4 Love is patient and kind; love does not envy or boast; it is not arrogant 5 or rude. It does not insist on its own way; it is not irritable or resentful; 6 it does not rejoice at wrongdoing, but rejoices with the truth. 7 Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things. 8 Love never ends.


“But God, Am I not right in feeling anger towards the pain that sin causes?”

 “Deanna, if it stays there, yes. But I am afraid child, that it hasn’t, you have let anger seep in to even steal the joy I have given you, and this must stop! You are walking a thin line right now, and I need you to step back over into my grace and walk this out by faith.”

“But God…..”

“No, Deanna, I have given my Spirit to you so that I may be glorified by you, and I am most glorified when you are doing what only I can do through you, loving the ones you are angry with, pouring my love into your heart so that you may act it out by faith and that this action does not bring me or you shame. Now, my daughter, it is up to you on the choice; Will you choose to bear the fruit of my Spirit or your flesh?”


“Oh Father, I choose You. Thank you for Your discipline that brings the  comfort along with the rebuke. Thank you for your grace on and in and through my life, I choose to love, by faith.”


Romans 5:1 Therefore, since we have been justified by faith, we  have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ. 2 Through him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice  in hope of the glory of God. 3 More than that, we rejoice in our sufferings, knowing that suffering produces endurance, 4 and endurance produces character, and character produces hope, 5 and hope does not put us to shame, because God’s love has been poured into our hearts through the Holy Spirit who has been given to us.

6 For while we were still weak, at the right time Christ died for the ungodly. 7 For one will scarcely die for a righteous person—though perhaps for a good person one would dare even to die— 8 but God shows his love for us in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us. 9 Since, therefore, we have now been justified by his blood, much more shall we be saved by him from the wrath of God. 10 For if while we were enemies we were reconciled to God by the death of his Son, much more, now that we are reconciled, shall we be saved by his life. 11 More than that, we also rejoice in God through our Lord Jesus Christ, through whom we have now received reconciliation.

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How I love the life that the Word gives!

Last night my husband and I retired rather early in the evening  for us and it gave us time to read a little before sleep claimed us. I flipped to Romans 15 where I had read earlier in the day but never finished. I love Paul’s passion for people. I am  also challenged by his passion for people, deeply challenged. In Romans 15 he spends a good amount of time ending his letter on Endurance, Hope, and Encouragement. These are all things that Deanna needs on a daily basis. At the end of the chapter he starts telling them that he wants to come and visit in person. He has to make a trip to Jerusalem to deliver things that a couple of Gentile churches have gathered up for the poor in the holy city. I am uncertain if he ever made it to Rome (something to investigate) after the posting of this letter, but after reading chapter 16, I am convinced his love for these dear people must have made the desire to return something that burdened heavy on his heart.

I read the chapter out loud to Tony after reading it myself. Boy these names will trip you up! However, I was even more moved by reading it out loud than I had been before. I could imagine the people sitting in a room together, maybe an hour of reading had gone by, they hung on every word that this apostle was saying to them. They were Gentiles just like me, so his writing of justification for them must have made them want to shout! When the reading came to a close and they began to hear the different familiar names being called out, don’t you just know that their ears perked up for the calling of their own? Mine would. I imagined a young man who struggled with approval his whole life, learning in Romans 8 that he was not condemned anymore. His mind still swirling with the knowledge of how much love the Father had for him. Always seeing himself as beneath everyone else in a way that left his shoulders stooped with discouragement. As he began to hear his “co-workers in the faith” marvel at the words given to them, he smiled, never imagining for a moment that the great apostle would say something to him.

Then… it happened. ” Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ.” How the tears must have sprung up in his eyes as they did mine last night and again this morning as I type these words! How he must have wondered if the reader made a mistake! Can you imagine? Me? Approved in Christ? As others smiled at him and patted him on the back, would he have sat up straighter or instead fallen to his knees in thankfulness?

I don’t know where you are in your life’s journey right now. But, I can tell you that I needed, and my husband needed to hear the words “You are approved in Christ.” Maybe take the time today to struggle through this chapter of names and see how God may speak to your heart. Be encouraged, “The God of peace will soon crush satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.”

Romans 16

Personal Greetings

16:1 I commend to you our sister Phoebe, a servant of the church at Cenchreae, 2 that you may welcome her in the Lord in a way worthy of the saints, and help her in whatever she may need from you, for she has been a patron of many and of myself as well.

3 Greet Prisca and Aquila, my fellow workers in Christ Jesus, 4 who risked their necks for my life, to whom not only I give thanks but all the churches of the Gentiles give thanks as well. 5 Greet also the church in their house. Greet my beloved Epaenetus, who was the first convert to Christ in Asia. 6 Greet Mary, who has worked hard for you. 7 Greet Andronicus and Junia,  my kinsmen and my fellow prisoners. They are well known to the apostles, and they were in Christ before me. 8 Greet Ampliatus, my beloved in the Lord. 9 Greet Urbanus, our fellow worker in Christ, and my beloved Stachys. 10 Greet Apelles, who is approved in Christ. Greet those who belong to the family of Aristobulus. 11 Greet my kinsman Herodion. Greet those in the Lord who belong to the family of Narcissus. 12 Greet those workers in the Lord, Tryphaena and Tryphosa. Greet the beloved Persis, who has worked hard in the Lord. 13 Greet Rufus, chosen in the Lord; also his mother, who has been a mother to me as well. 14 Greet Asyncritus, Phlegon, Hermes, Patrobas, Hermas, and the brothers who are with them. 15 Greet Philologus, Julia, Nereus and his sister, and Olympas, and all the saints who are with them. 16 Greet one another with a holy kiss. All the churches of Christ greet you.

Final Instructions and Greetings

17 I appeal to you, brothers, to watch out for those who cause divisions and create obstacles contrary to the doctrine that you have been taught; avoid them. 18 For such persons do not serve our Lord Christ, but their own appetites, and by smooth talk and flattery they deceive the hearts of the naive. 19 For your obedience is known to all, so that I rejoice over you, but I want you to be wise as to what is good and innocent as to what is evil. 20 The God of peace will soon crush Satan under your feet. The grace of our Lord Jesus Christ be with you.

21 Timothy, my fellow worker, greets you; so do Lucius and Jason and Sosipater, my kinsmen.

22 I Tertius, who wrote this letter, greet you in the Lord.

23 Gaius, who is host to me and to the whole church, greets you. Erastus, the city treasurer, and our brother Quartus, greet you. 


25 Now to him who is able to strengthen you according to my gospel and the preaching of Jesus Christ, according to the revelation of the mystery that was kept secret for long ages 26 but has now been disclosed and through the prophetic writings has been made known to all nations, according to the command of the eternal God, to bring about the obedience of faith— 27 to the only wise God be glory forevermore through Jesus Christ! Amen.

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Deut 8:3 And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.

Deut 8:16 who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.

I love the Word. You may already know this, but I have been reminded of the fact this morning, the Manna in the wilderness was a picture of Jesus.

During this past week,  I have been revisiting segments of my life. This morning I revisited one of the hardest. Ages 16-23. There were many, many things packed into those years, unforeseeable hurts that still wish to haunt me to this, day, many trials that I would like to say never happened. But, if I could do that, than I would also have to leave out  some of the sweetest moments I have had with my Christ.

 See, one of these moments of horrible pain, God made His Word come alive inside of me so fully burning with fire that I still can’t get enough today! He came during a moment of time that extreme pain was tattooed on my very countenance and wrote His Word on my heart and mind so strongly that it made me hunger for more!

The first verse I used this morning, is so dear to me, it causes a lump in my throat and tears to burn in my eyes. God caused me, Deanna, to hunger. When I look at just that fact, I am humbled by His activity in my life. During those dark times, He was making me hungry!  And then, He fed me with Someone, not just something, but rather with Jesus. Even though I had been saved 4-5 years before, I had never feasted on the Living Word, Jesus Christ, as I began to do during that time.

As my life swirled around me faster than a speeding bullet, and my children and I were taken on a rollercoaster ride, which we didn’t buy tickets for, God kept me in a protective bubble of sorts, by keeping my focus on Him! Being so consumed with His Word, and His Presence that I was able to have joy to the fullest, hope in a Mighty God, and faith that He knew what He was doing. I was able to love my children and watch as He protected them from perversity, and so much more.

I love the last part of verse 16. “to do you good in the end.” I do not believe I am at the end of my life right now, but I can tell you that God has brought good out of that situation. He gave me a hunger for Him, and fills it every day! I would not exchange that even if I could.

My heart for my children is to instill the principles that are in this chapter.

 God has given us the safety of obedience.

Disobedience always leads us to pain.

God has given us the power through Christ to be obedient and therefore blessed children.

May I continue to frame all the memories of my past and future, with the frame of His eternal goodness.

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