“Jesus, Jesus, Jesus,” I spoke over and over from the back seat as my hands rested on my teenage daughter’s shoulders My husband, a seasoned law officer, drove us to the emergency room after my daughter woke up in a stupor and blinded from what we later found out was a migraine triggered by a viral infection. It was a WiLd RiDe to say the least. I had no words for my prayer. My baby was sick, couldn’t see, and we were going way too fast for my precarious driving style. The whisper of His name brought comfort and peace. Jesus heard my cry; my daughter’s sight was restored, and we arrived safely without harming anyone else.
There is power in our words. I believe there is super natural power in God’s word. If you know me, you know that I love family, home, and sunsets. I often walk around the farm I grew up on and pray over my loved ones’ homes using scripture, written on my heart from years of study, to pray over my loved ones and their homes. Some days I speak His words over my classroom and touch each desk before my students arrive for the day. There is just something about the name of Jesus. When words fail you, speak His name over and over. Let His peace envelope you in an indescribable way.
I asked God to speak to me, and He did. You know that saying. “Be careful what you ask for. You might get it?” Lately, I have been feeling distant from God, and I do not like that feeling. I know that He will truly never leave or forsake me, so I knew that it was I who had moved not my Jesus. As I have been digging into His Word and praying, I thought He might reveal Himself like a warm hug. Nope. It did not happen that way. The Holy Spirit has really convicted me, and I am so thankful for that.
I was convicted listening to sermons from faithful pastors and through His Word. I have noticed that I have been spending my time on lesser things like scrolling social media and painstakingly cleaning the house. Yes, I will bury myself in business until I make it an idol. I am very aware that I have to be really careful with the use the time God gives me. The good thing is not always the best, and I have just learned that it is important that I seek out Jesus. He loves me, sees the whole picture, and will always protect me.
I can also let fear and worry rob me from Jesus’ peace if I am not careful. Our family has been struggling some this summer. You know those “spells” in life when everything wants to tear up around the house, and it ain’t cheap to fix it. Yeap-stuff like that. Satan trying to rob our joy. Nope-I won’t let you do it, evil one.
I have been convicted that it is not just time that I do not always use in His obedience but monetary blessings as well. Y’all I love lit tea, but it is expensive. I also love “plundering” at the dollar store and buying some things that I really do not need. I am truly thankful that I am convicted. Now, I must pray hard for Jesus to help me be obedient. It is a struggle for me.
As I began really trying to study the nature of who God is and how Jesus lived His earthly life out as an example for us, God used faithful servants and His Word to speak into my life. One of those faithful servants is my pastor, John Durden. This past Sunday, John preached from 1 Peter 3:1-7. Let me tell you where my ears really perked up-the last part of chapter 7 reads “so that nothing will hinder your prayers.” Well now, my husband and I do our best to live out our lives for Jesus and lead our family in His will, but we fall short. Lately, I have just taken my shortcomings as part of being human and telling myself that God understands. Yes, He understands. Yes, He forgives me when I truly repent (turn from my ways). Could my ways be hindering my prayers? I have been doing a lot of soul searching-just sitting and listening to Jesus, and as I explained earlier in this post I can see where my ways could be hindering my prayers.
God also spoke to me in my quiet time with Him. Going back through my journal, here are some of the scriptures that I specifically wrote down.
“Whoever would love life and see good days must keep their tongue from evil and their lips from deceitful speech. They must turn from evil and do good; They must seek peace and pursue it. For the eyes of the Lord are on the righteous and his ears are attentive to their prayer but the face of the Lord is against those who do evil. ” 1 Peter 3:11-12.
“In the days of His humanity, He offered up both prayers and pleas with loud crying and tears to the ONE able to SAVE Him from death, and He was HEARD BECAUSE OF HIS DEVOUT BEHAVIOR”Hebrews 5:7-emphasis mine. That verse breaks me to pieces every time I read it. My Jesus was obedient. He did not have to come to Earth. He came so that you and I could be in right relationship with Him and spend eternity with Him. The Creator of the universe loves you and me. It just plain gives me chills that the Maker of the universe was tempted in everyway that I am, so I must do my very best in this fleshly body to be obedient, and I have not been doing my very best. Father, forgive me.
“For we do not have a high priest who cannot sympathize with our weaknesses, but One who has been tempted in all things just as we are, yet without sin. Therefore, let’s approach the throne of grace with confidence, so that we may receive mercy and find grace for help at the time of our need. Hebrews 4:15-16
“He was a son, He learned obedience from the things which He suffered.” Hebrews 5:8
My prayer life can always use improvement, and in Luke chapter 6, I was reminded that God prayed all night before choosing His twelve disciples. Then Mark 1:35 reads, “And in the early morning while it was still dark, Jesus got up, leff the house, and went away to a secluded place, and prayed there for a time.”
I am so thankful for His conviction. I am reminded that I must seek Him out. He will draw close, and He does forgive me. I cannot imagine living on this earth without His presence. After being in His Word, having faithful people speak life into me, and praying in the Spirit, I do feel like I have been brought to a closer relationship with God. His word tells me to be obedient. Jesus, my Lord and Savior, was obedient when He walked the earth as a faithful example for us. I see where I need to change my direction. I had veered off the path and was going the wrong way. He is faithful to guide me and lead me when I truly seek Him and listen to what He has to say to my heart.
We cannot serve God and the world. We are either “in Christ” or “ in the world.” In Joshua 24:15 the Lord tells us to “choose this day whom you will serve….”
While I love to start my day with a steaming hot cup of coffee, my daughter prefers hers ice cold. I suffer from terrible musculoskeletal pain, the result of several auto-immune diseases that remind me of what possibly could have been “Paul’s thorn in the flesh.” Alternating warm, moist heat and cool refreshing cloths help ease my pain. However, when the cloths become lukewarm, they are no benefit to me, and on a hot day in southeast Georgia, I run into the house from a hard day of “yard work” and come back out to offer my husband an ice cold glass of water to refresh his body and soul. Then, I enjoy jumping into the cool waters of our our swimming pool to cool off after a hot day of work in the sun. As you see water can be cool and refreshing or warm and healing.
Have you ever read our Father’s words to the seven churches in Revelation? God revealed to John in a dream to address these words to the church at Laodicea The name of this city strangely enough means “the opinions of the people.”
“I know all things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one of the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot nor cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” Revelation 3:15-16 In other words, they made Jesus sick to the point of vomiting them out of His mouth? Friends, are we living any differently in 2021?
Are we any different from the church of Laodicea which was known for its wealth? An earthquake destroyed the city in AD 60, but the invincible city turned down Rome’s offers to help her people rebuild. After all Laodicea was self-sufficient, right? Was the people’s money their god, the reason for their pride? They produced beautiful wool envied by their neighbors and were known for “Phrygian powder,” a treasured product used to create a healing ointment for the eyes. But yet, God wanted to vomit them out of His mouth.
However, one resource the “affluent” city lacked was a sought after water supply. You see the aqueduct that carried water from hot mineral springs from five miles south became “lukewarm” or tepid before entering the city. On the other hand the Lycus River that joins the Maeander River fueled the city of Hierapolis with hot springs known for its “healing” warm water and mineral baths. I can’t help but laugh and think of the scene in one of my favorite movies War Room. Miss Clara fixes Elizabeth a cup of lukewarm water of which she almost spits out of her mouth and complains of its taste. When asked if she likes her coffee room temperature, “Miss” Clara replies, “No, baby, mine is hot.”
So you see cool and warm water both have a purpose but what about lukewarm water? What about us, friend? What are our motives for serving our Lord and Savior? Do we play “footsie” with the world? Do we straddle the fence? We must be ALL IN FOR JESUS and live for Him or live in and for the world. I don’t know about you, but I do not want to make my Savior sick to His stomach. I want my works to show that I truly love HIM. I want my motives to be pure love for my Savior and nothing else. Simply going to church, sitting on the pew and checking off the boxes is not good enough. While I am full aware that we are not saved by works but by faith alone through grace as a sure and true gift from Jesus Christ, I want to show my love for Him by living for Him-ALL IN FOR HIM AND NOT SIMPLY ENJOYING WORLDLY DESIRES. Do I struggle with this? Of course, I am human and live in a day and age where most things can be obtained instantaneously with the push of a button. Therefore, I must stay rooted and grounded in His Word daily.
“I know all things you do, that you are neither hot nor cold. I wish that you were one or the other! But since you are like lukewarm water, neither hot not cold, I will spit you out of my mouth.” He goes on in the third chapter of Revelation, “Because you say, ‘I am rich, and have become wealthy, and have no need of anything,’ and you do not know that you are wretched, miserable, poor, blind, and Naked, I advise you to buy from Me gold refined by fire so that you may become rich, and white garments so that you may clothe yourself and the shame of your nakedness will not be revealed; and eye salve to apply to your eyes so that you may see.” Revelation 3:14-18
I am guilty of literally showing “hospitality” to videos on my phone, catching up with my friends on social media, floating in the cool pool and soaking up the sun, and busying myself with chores in the house. Yes, hospitality, letting these “other things” to come in and “commune with me” and “enjoying the company of these things.” But what is the true thing or actually the true and best relationship that my soul needs and craves? I know what it is because I know how “refreshed” I am after sitting in His presence-studying and meditating on His word-and praying to Him and then, sitting still and listening for what He may want to say to me that day.
Oh Father God, may I not “sit on the fence” and “play footsie but the world,” but I want to be HOT-ON FIRE-CRAZY IN LOVE WITH YOU, FATHER GOD, ALL IN FOR THE ONE WHO DIED ON THE CROSS FOR MY SINS. THANK YOU, MASTER, FOR SUFFERING FOR MY SINS SO THAT I MAY SPEND ETERNITY WITH YOU IN HEAVEN.
If you do not know the One who will never leave or forsake you, I will be glad to share what He has done for me. He is worthy. He is the reason for breath in me. I am easy to find on FB, (Karen K Moxley) Instagram, (@kkmoxley), or email (email@example.com). Feel free to keep scrolling down and reading the testimony of how richly He has blessed me and changed my life. God Bless You!
I just sit here in my cozy robe in awe, praising Him, the One who loves me. Who am I that He would even be mindful to create me, but He did for His good pleasure. He knew every detail of my existence before the creation of the world. The one who set the Earth in the sky decided that He wanted me for this time and purpose to love.
He knew that I would be flawed and sin and do all kinds of bad things. Even still, He loves me. He made a way so that my sin would not separate me from communion with Him. He sent His Son to take on flesh. His blood made atonement for mine and your sins so that once we repent and accept His gift of salvation, He looks upon us as righteous. We are now perfect in His eyes. All of this is too grand to take in! What love is this! May I praise you Father God for ever and ever!
So thankful that none of all the “messes” behind me are futile. To Him, they are fertile ground-ready to be tended, to be shared for His Honor and Glory! ❤️ He doesn’t see them as messes at all! His blood has covered them, making them clean and ready to be used!! He is a good, good Father! I hope you all have a wonderful day!
March 27, 2021 is celebrated as Passover. In Hebrew the word is Pesach or to jump over. Y’all, He loves us so!! He truly leaps over mountains for us.
He is always with us, and He is always for us. When the Israelites were enslaved to harsh taskmasters in Egypt, “The Lord said, ‘I have indeed seen the misery of my people in Egypt. I have heard them crying out because of their slave drivers, and I am concerned about their suffering. So I have come down to rescue them from the hand of the Egyptians and to bring them up out of that land into a good and spacious land, a land flowing with milk and honey'” (Exodus 3:7-8).
See!! He tells us in His Word!! He sees us; He hears us. He knows how we feel! Like any good Father, He longs for His child to cry out to Him, and He will rescue us. Actually, He already has, but we must accept this freedom and walk in it daily.
Yes, we are free in Christ, but we must exercise this rightful privilege that he paid for on a cross for each of us over 2,000 years ago. He tells us to set our minds “on things above” and to “take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ.” Therefore, do not live in a prison with invisible bars because He has redeemed us with an “outstretched arm” (Exodous 6:6). We can be guilty of letting so many things imprison us such as wondering what others think of us, being people pleasers, even the legalisms of religious systems.
The sheep were considered gods in Egypt during the Passover. Therefore to kill the sheep and paint the blood on their doorposts was dangerous because it would truly anger their “owners.” The Israelites who obeyed God and killed the sheep, painted the blood on the doorposts and fled Egypt truly trusted God over what they could actually see. Ein Od Milvado means “There is nothing but Him” in Hebrew. There is no other explanation, BUT GOD!!! It was a miracle from God that parted a sea and took the exiles into the land “flowing with milk and honey.”
So as we celebrate Passover and go into Holy Week, let us celebrate Our freedom in Christ knowing full well that He keeps all His promises, and He is coming back one day soon. Let us accept His gift, live for Him, and one day soon we will be in His presence in Paradise.
Self-confidence is overrated! Way overrated! This may sound like a very strange statement from a mom of three, grandmother, and seasoned middle school teacher, but it is true. We can do nothing without God. Can we even make our own hearts beat? No, the One who created us does! Who allowed us to awaken from slumber this morning? Who has blessed us with our cognitive abilities to reason?” The answer to these questions is certainly not us frail humans. For in Him we live, and move, and have our being.” (Acts 17:28)
“It is God that works in us, both to will and to do His good pleasure.
Before surrender, there must be humility, faith, and trust that God is more than able to meet your every need and use you for His honor and glory as He created us to do.
I was a total control freak for 44 years of my life, and I was miserable trying to take care of everything! 🙂 I was carrying so many loads that God never intended for me to carry. It took my then, 8 year old daughter being diagnosed with bone cancer, grueling chemotherapy, more surgeries and blood transfusions than I care to remember. We were told on two different occasions that she had relapsed according to those fear invoking scans every three months.
I accepted Jesus as my Savior on my knees on the floor of my bedroom at 10 years old. I know I was saved, but I struggled with anxiety and depression. I finally surrendered all control and began totally to trust God. The surrender was again on the floor of a room. This time it was the restroom next to the scan room where I prayed every scan that the scans show no evidence of disease. Exhausted and laying on a cold and dirty floor crying, God told me that I was praying the wrong prayer. (No, I did not audibly hear His voice, but I sensed it in my spirit.) I knew I had to pray that whatever the scans showed, whatever happened that He was to be exalted-that all glory was due to Him-that He was in control! I thank God He showed me. I surrendered,. Lord, whatever those scans show, I will be faithful. I will accept. I will quit trying to manipulate the situation the way I want it to go. I will trust you, Father, and I do, and I pray that everyone will have the Peace of Jesus. What a gift it is! I am so thankful for what He has done for me so that peace, joy, and contentment are mine everyday no matter the circumstance. It is so freeing just to trust in Jesus.
We trust Him with our salvation, so why did I want to hang on to the little things in this life for so long.
When I was a little girl and even into adulthood, one of my least favorite jobs was cleaning out my daddy’s ashtray. Yuck! I am 47 years old: Daddy has been gone nine years, but thinking about it still makes me GAG!!! It stunk! It was nasty. It made my head hurt. The Lord has been dealing with me. My heart can be a lot like that dirty ashtray, full of dark, ugly sin. In Luke 11:39, Jesus says, “Now you Pharisees cleanse the outside of the cup and of the dish but inside you are full of greed and wickedness.” It can be easy to clean up the outside, but the hard work is getting rid of the nasty, smelly black inside created by my selfish sinful desires.
I thank God that He sent His Son to atone for my filthy sins. He did what I cannot do, so with faith as that of a child, I surrender; I trust the One who cleansed me white as snow.
” Come, let us settle this,’ says the Lord. ‘Though your sins are scarlet they will be as white as snow; though they are crimson red, they will be like wool. If you are willing and obedient you will eat the good things of the land. But if you refuse and rebel, you will be devoured by the sword.’ For the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”
As I study the scriptures to draw near to the Lord, I want to know my Father’s mind. I did a quick Google search and found that wool is a durable fiber that resists wear. It will shed water and regulate body temperature (keeping the body cool and refreshed). Not only is wool mold and mildew resistant, but it resists odor and fire. What have I to fear? Nothing! He has made my sins as white as snow and like wool that has no stench and can resist the fire of Hell. Not because of anything I have done, but because of His righteousness. With His enduring love and compassion, He has saved me from an eternity of Hell that I deserve to live with Him in glory forever and ever!
“For great is your steadfast love toward me, you have delivered my soul from the depths of Sheol.”
As chaos ensues around me, I can hold fast and stand firm on His promises. I know full well that He is faithful. He has been merciful to me and shown me His favor time and time again. He has called me friend. (John 15:15) He is my peace. (Isaiah 53:5) I praise Him for I am fearfully and wonderfully made! (Psalm 139:14) Hallelujah!
On the night of October 22, 1983 my pastor had a dream. I praise God for giving Carl Campbell that dream and for the fact that he was obedient to our Lord and Savior. I was ten years old and had already made a private confession of faith by repenting of my sins and asking Jesus to live inside of my heart. I had been convicted for quite a while to make a public profession of faith. However, week after week, I would not step out from the security of my pew and take the walk down the aisle, but October 23, 1983 was a different day.
I have no idea what Elder Carl Campbell preached about that Sunday morning. I just remember when the pianist and song leader were about to stop the invitational hymn that my preacher would not let them. He said that he had a dream on the night before that someone really needed to walk down that aisle on this particular day, and that we were not leaving until he had peace over the situation. I was only ten, and I don’t recall the song or how many verses we sang, but I know that we sang for a while.
If I remember correctly, a young lady finally went down front during that altar call and made her public profession of faith. We all thought, “Well good, we can go home now.” Not so quick! Brother Carl said that he knew in his heart that there was another person who had to come down that day before we left church, so we sang and sang. Finally, I surrendered. I looked up at Mama and said, “I want to go.” I asked her to walk with me, and she did.
I was a very timid child, and I often wonder if my life would have taken a different turn had a man named Carl Campbell not obeyed God that day. What if Mama had not taken me to church that Sunday? I have been thinking a lot about this lately, and I truly believe that when God says, “Move,” we better move. When, He says, “Speak,” we best speak. I am thankful for the faithful saints who led the way before me. They obeyed God, and it has made all the difference.