Happy Winds-Day

Dogwood

Photo by Kim Lance (Used by permission. Click image for more of Kim’s work.)

Happy Winds-day, as Winnie the Pooh would say. It most certainly is Winds-day lately. My hair looks reminiscent of a five-year-old child who just got out of bed, after a restless night of tossing and turning. Got the picture?

No matter. It was really nice to feel the warm sunshine yesterday. I needed it. I needed it a lot.

I needed the blue sky to remind me that my Heavenly Father is always shining His smile on me whether I feel it or not. I needed the warmth of the sun to remind me that He holds me close whether I can feel it or not.

When life gets hard I feel the cold blast of wet winter storms. I see the dark skies and the oppressive clouds obscuring the light I long for.

But what we see and feel is not necessarily truth. I know it’s real; it’s just not truth. It is feelings.

We were born to rely on our feelings, but that is only beneficial when we are babies. Not when we are adults. If it were, we would never do anything we didn’t really feel like doing. And that includes a long list for most people; well at least it does for me.

Feelings change. Truth does not. And the truth is: your Heavenly Father loves you all the time. Not because you are good or you do well, but because of Jesus.

If Jesus is our sacrifice, then His payment for us is complete. And that means there is nothing else needed for us to be accepted by our loving Heavenly Father who sent Jesus as that payment.

Whether the wind blows cold and is bitter or whether it is gentle and sweet, the truth is you are a beloved child of the Most High. You are valued because of the price of the One who took your place in death. And you are blessed not because of what you do, but because Jesus is our payment. Period.

So let’s all walk around knowing that we might feel like that five-year-old with the wind-blown hair, but in truth we are deeply loved and highly cherished children – loved by a Heavenly Father who really is that good.

Phyllis Keels

The Turning Point

This is a previously posted entry formerly titled “Pushing Through.” I am using this today for someone who needs to hear that the victory has already been won!

Sunshine

Photo by Kim Lance (used by permission)

Have you every noticed in the fight scene of a book or movie when:

    • The hero has been wounded
    • The villain knows just where the wound is (usually because he’s the one who gave it to the hero)
    • The villain hits, squeezes, stabs or otherwise inflicts severe pain in the hero’s wound

I’ve seen it many times. I think it shows a great spiritual truth.

Most of us are walking around wounded. Our wounds just don’t show. When we stand up for what’s right, when we remain faithful to our Lord Jesus, when we love others without expecting to be loved in return, often we get wounded.

Our enemy, the devil, knows exactly where our wounds are. And he knows just where to squeeze, hit, stab, and kick us to cause the maximum amount of pain, doesn’t he?

I am certain he does this to steal our peace, our rest, and our faith in God. He does it for distraction so we we will focus on how awful things are.

But he doesn’t stop there. Notice what He does next. He’ll throw in the “verbal” taunt meant to completely demoralize and weaken the hero into giving up. You’ve heard them:

“You’re all alone. No one cares what you’re going through.”
God doesn’t care about you. You’re so awful, how could he?”
“You’re trapped. There is no way out of this mess you’ve gotten yourself into.”

Liar! He is such a liar!

Jesus said that the devil is a liar and the father of lies; that when he speaks a lie, he speaks his own language.

Do not listen to the liar. Listen instead to the Author of Truth, Jesus Christ!

You are not alone. Your Heavenly Father – the Most High – has said He will never leave you nor forsake you. Just because you can’t feel Him near does not mean He isn’t near. He knows what you’re going through and will carry you through it. Cry out to Him for help.

Others care about you too. Others are praying for you whether you know it or not. I pray daily for groups of people the Lord brings to mind (the troubled, the addicts, the ones snared by adultery, the lonely, the ones in prison, the lost…). You are being prayed for, friend.

God does care about you and His caring is not affected by any awful thing you might have done. The blood of Jesus Christ cleanses all sin – ALL sin! That includes yours and mine. If it did not, then Jesus died for nothing, and He did not die for nothing. He died to save every person who ever lived or will live.

You are not trapped with no way out, friend. Jesus said he came to set the captives free. He, in fact, led captivity itself captive. He has conquered death and hell and the grave. The enemy has already been defeated!

Jesus ame to give you, not just life, but abundant life! All you need to do is stand on the truth of that. Stand on the very Rock of Truth and do not move from it no matter what.

We must be like the hero in the book or movie who, at the enemy’s taunt, rouses all his anger. You’ve seen the turning point clearly in the face of the hero. Ironically, it’s the taunt that makes the hero push through his pain and slay the enemy where he stands.

Do not give up and do not give in! Do not believe lies about your Heavenly Father who loves you with an everlasting, all consuming love!

He is worth standing firm for. He is worth pushing through the pain. He is worth loving because He is the Mighty God who loved us even before we knew Him!

Phyllis Keels

A Promise in the Names-Judah to Solomon

Image courtesy of Wikipedia

Judah – praised (Image courtesy of Wikipedia)

Are you wondering this Christmas if God really loves you? If all this stuff about Jesus the Savior is true? If you can choose to believe, and stand in faith against a strong tide of opposition?

I want to show you something the Lord let me see this year. When I realized what it was, I almost wept in gratitude. It happened while I was studying the book of Ruth. I had gotten to the end where part of Jesus’ lineage is listed, so I looked up the meaning (in Strong’s Concordance) of each name in that portion of His lineage.

For reasons I did not understand at the time, I included Judah at the beginning, and Solomon at the end. (If you want to see the whole lineage, look at Matthew chapter 1 and Luke chapter 3. FYI, they’re different because Matthew shows Jesus’ lineage through David’s son Solomon. Luke shows it through Nathan, another of David’s sons).

Here is what I found:

Judah – praised

Perez – breach, to break through

Hezron – surrounded by a wall, court, enclosure

Ram – high, exalted

Amminadab – my kinsman is noble

Nahshon – enchanter, to practice divination, (one commentary said literal meaning is “to know secrets”)

Salmon – mantle, outer garment

Boaz – fleetness, swiftness

Obed – serving, to labor, to make oneself a servant

Jesse – “I possess,” being, existence, substance

David – beloved

Solomon – peace, (from the Hebrew shalom) completeness, soundness, welfare, safety, friendship, quiet, tranquility, prosperity, contentment

That’s not even the best part. It was when I read the meanings in the order of the lineage, and sentence appeared. Here is what the Lord showed me:

“The One who is praised, broke through the wall (of our sin); He is highly exalted, our noble kinsman, who knows every secret; the mantle He took quickly to make Himself a servant, to possess His beloved in peace.”

Do you see Jesus there? I do! To me, this was an unmistakable declaration of what Jesus would come to do. He left the glory of heaven, made Himself a servant, and died to give us His perfect peace. All for His beloved.

Now, let me ask you: how could these generations of parents have given their children names that would record a promise of this kind of love?? The answer is: they couldn’t! God the Father left a promise of love for you.

You are Jesus’ beloved, and He came to give you, to hold you in, His peace. My friend, there are no insignificant details in the Bible. It is not just a book. It was not authored by man. It was transcribed by man while the Holy Spirit spoke what was to be written.

It really is the Word of God. You really can trust it, because the Author does not lie. All He asks is that you believe Jesus is who He says He is, and believe how very much He cares for you. You, His beloved! Because when you know who you are – beloved of the King – it makes all the difference in the world.

Phyllis Keels