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DEFEATING OUR ANCIENT FOE

snake-preparing-attackHERE’S MY PLAN FOR NEXT FEW MONTHS:

FINISH OUR REVIEW OF THE GOD OF ALL COMFORT IN THE NEXT WEEK

GET INPUT ON SOME BOOK IDEAS AND PICK YOUR BRAINS FOR REST OF MAY – I AM PERCOLATING AND WOULD LOVE YOUR THOUGHTS

BEGINNING JUNE 1, I’M THINKING OF GOING THROUGH A WOMAN OF WORSHIP FOR SUMMER STUDIES. IT IS A STUDY OF PSALMS AND IT HAS A MUSICAL CD IN THE BACK WITH PSALMS SET TO MUSIC. IT’S THE KIND OF STUDY YOU CAN POP IN AND OUT OF AND NOT BE LOST. YOU DON’T HAVE TO HAVE THE STUDYGUIDE, BUT IT WOULD ENRICH YOUR STUDY — ESPECIALLY THE CD. SO YOU MAY WANT TO ORDER IT NOW. WE’LL GO SOME NEW PLACES WITH THE PSALMS, AND IT WILL ENRICH YOUR LIFE. I’VE BEEN THINKING SO MUCH ABOUT HOW THE ONLY WAY I CAN GET RID OF THE IDOLS OF MY HEART, OF THE ROTTENNESS FESTERING IN MY SOUL, IS BY FALLING MORE DEEPLY IN LOVE WITH JESUS — AND I KNOW THE PSALMS ARE KEY TO THAT.

What do you think about this plan?

BUT LET’S FINISH OUR REVIEW:

1. Satan wants to cause “attachment disorder.” What does this mean? What is the lie that threatens to undo us?

2. What truth can you tell to your soul about:

A. God’s heart — how do you know God is for you?

B. God’s history — how has He been for you and God’s people in the past?

C. God’s heaven.  The best is yet to come. What do you know about heaven that encourages you?

3. Review the hymns that have helped you the most. For me it is A Mighty Fortress and Be Still My Soul. But bring what has ministered to you and share why.

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38 comments

  1. Thank you to Marlys, Anne, and Tammy and Dee for your support and prayers.
    What Dee posted in the last blog about suicide; although my nephew’s death was accidental, I know he didn’t commit suicide, yet there ARE similarities and the emotions that the kind of death he died that his family are left to deal with are similar to a suicide. Sometimes I find myself angry at him for doing this to himself; he had to have known the risk he was taking with his own life.
    And Anne, you asked about his salvation. I only know that when he and my niece were young, they went to a Bible believing evangelical church; and at some point, he may have been around 10 or 11, he had asked to be baptized because he had put his faith in Jesus. So I know at that point, as a young boy, wanting to make his faith public, as it were, by being baptized, to show outwardly what had happened to him on the inside, I know that then he would be in heaven, even if he fell into addictions later in life. His dad was a believer yet he struggled horribly with alcohol and drug addictions before he died at the age of 49. I was blessed to witness the baptism of my brother-in-law, just two weeks before he died. I heard him say how he loved Christ, and admit to the church his struggle with alcohol and drug addictions. He once said that he wasn’t afraid to die, he was afraid to live, because of the daily battle.
    Marlys, I will check out that online book you recommended.

    I guess what I am struggling with is that my faith took a hit. With two lives utterly destroyed and lost, it just seems that Satan is all too alive and well. Good thing this is where we’re at with this post, about how the enemy lies to us.

    Dee, I would love to continue with some kind of study that helps me, helps us, to get closer to Jesus. Every now and then, I get a taste of that intimacy with Him, but it’s not as consistent as I would like it to be. I know part of it is my fault because often my days are so busy I don’t make the time to spend with Him that would foster that intimacy. I once had the privilege to hear Joni Earackson Tada speak at our church, and she said how most people jump out of bed and dash into the shower and then they’re off! and they never take the time to be with God, while she must lie in bed and wait for someone to bathe, dress her and get her into her wheelchair; so she said she knows she is dependent on God for everything. She said she considered herself more fortunate than the person who can take-off on their own but doing it on their own, without God.

  2. Dee, I think your plan for the summer studying Psalms, learning how to fall more in love with Jesus sounds wonderful & just what I need also. Thank you

  3. Susan thanks for sharing how Thomas seemed spiritually. That is very encouraging to me.

    I vote for the Woman of Worship. As Susan says, I want to foster intimacy with Jesus. It is so funny that I also have this study. I picked it up when I was a the conference I mentioned before. I started to do it after Forever in Love With Jesus but just stalled out. I think the timing was just not right. So I have had it for a couple of years. I listen to the music and it is beautiful. I had it on my clock radio to wake me up in the morning. Now I have Amy Shreve on. I love it because often the lyrics are with me into the day.

    I also plan to read Whiter Than Snow. I like what you say about it Dee.

    1. Satan wants to cause “attachment disorder.” What does this mean? What is the lie that threatens to undo us?

    I think that ‘attachment disorder’ is refusing to attach for fear of being rejected.
    The lie is that God does not care about us, that He does not always hear our prayers and is only casually interested in us. That He is self absorbed and too busy running this great big universe to be concerned with a small fry like me.

    2. What truth can you tell to your soul about:

    A. God’s heart — how do you know God is for you?
    The Bible is full of references to God’s love for man. Jesus loved people every where He went. He told many parables that illustrated God’s love for the lost (the lost sheep, the lost coin and the prodigal son). He responded in love to the woman caught in adultery and many other blatant sinners. The only time He spoke critically was to the self-righteous and that was really love too because He spoke the truth to them. However, the most absolute proof that I have is Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross. I will not come to what would have been because I will not face the wrath of God that I deserve. As far as the east is from the west is how far He has removed my sin from me. The distance is infinite.

    B. God’s history — how has He been for you and God’s people in the past?
    The Bible is also full of accounts of God’s deliverance in the past. History books record God’s faithfulness if they are truthful. I will never forget reading The Glory and the Light to my son. I was amazed at how God had protected and provided for His people in the founding of this country, but I did not learn these things in school unfortunately. God has been for me personally in so many ways. The most tangible I think is in answered prayer. While some things are not finished yet He has never left me destitute. He has always provided for my true needs. Satan wants me to fear the calamity that I see happen to people who do not know God. The truth is that even if the unthinkable does happen, He will be with me every step of the way.

    C. God’s heaven. The best is yet to come. What do you know about heaven that encourages you?
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NnwQ51Q3pWc I love this song and when I was just now listening to it, I thought of Thomas and his father because it says that the wounds this world left on my soul will all be healed and I’ll be whole. I look forward to heaven for so many reasons. I know that the beauty I find in this world is only a shadow of what will be found in heaven. I get so tired of my imperfect body and soul. I think it was in this study or somewhere recently (tired of the imperfect mind too) I learned that we are only a seed compared to the glory that will be our resurrected bodies. That’s cool in my opinion. But most glorious of all will be His presence. Another line from the above song says that sun and moon will be replaced by the light of Jesus’ face. I so often catch myself praying that Jesus would take me home. It is almost like breathing. I have to stop myself and get a grip. I wonder if I am depressed, morbid or rightly looking forward to heaven. For sure I am not suicidal so I think I’m ok.
    I think I’m developing an ‘attachment disorder’ to this world.

    1. Anne, you made a great point in your answer to #1. about the lie being that God is only “casually interested in us” and too busy to be concerned with us. My dad made a statement the other day, saying “I’ve heard about the Holy Ghost, but I don’t know Him, and what would he want with me, anyway? With all the problems in this world, why would He be bothering with me?”

      1. When I think about what your father said and my own tendency to think those same thoughts, I realize how small is my understanding of the character of God. This must make Him sad. All the more reason for the Woman of Worship study.

    2. I just went to youtube and listen to the song by Selah. It was really encouraging! I also like to picture my nephew and his dad in heaven, their relationship restored because they are free from sin and drugs and alcohol.

      1. That is SUCH a wonderful thing to think about!

  4. #1. Satan wants to cause “attachment disorder”. What does this mean?

    In The God of All Comfort, Dee gives a great example of her adopted daughter, Beth’s history of abuse, abandonment, and further abuse at the orphanage. She describes how Beth had difficulty trusting her new family, she had trouble attaching to people, even those who loved her. She’d flinch when she was touched, and often prefer to be alone.
    Attachment disorder is seen in children who have been abused by those who should have loved and protected them.

    Satan wants us to feel this way about God. He wants to twist the way in which we see God, to get us to view Him as an “abusive parent” instead of a loving Heavenly Father. To believe the lie that because we have been hit by suffering, ourselves, personally, or in losing a loved one through death, that God is treating us punitively, punishing us, that He may be angry with us, that He failed to protect us and love us or that He failed to love and protect the one we lost to death.

    So, like Beth did at first, when God reaches out to us, we “flinch” away from Him, we retreat and prefer to be alone in our grief instead of talking to Him, we can’t quite believe that He really is a God of love and that He can be trusted.

    What is the lie that threatens to undo us?

    The lie is that God does not love us. For me, it was God didn’t love my nephew enough to rescue him from drugs and keep him from dying.
    A lie that Satan has used on me over and over again is also causing me to doubt my salvation. I think I probably set some world record in how many times I prayed to be saved over the years, because I would look at myself and think, “How can you be a Christian and do…..? or think……?” I would worry over the verse that describes our hearts as being deceitful, and think how do I know if I was really, really sincere when I prayed to receive Christ?
    Charles Stanley gave a good sermon on the radio once about how if Satan can get you to doubt your salvation, you are rendered totally useless for God, because you certainly wont witness about your faith that you’re not sure you even have, it’ll affect your prayer life, it affects everything!

  5. #2. What truth can you tell your soul about:

    A. God’s heart: How do you know God is for you?

    I know God did not spare His Own Son for me. I like how in the book, on page 227, Dee writes about how she kept “beating herself up with regrets and remorse and if onlys”. She knew “in her head” that she was forgiven but she “couldn’t get it into her heart”.
    I know I can find verse after verse about how much God loves me, how Jesus died for me, that He will never leave me, but yes, the difficulty is getting that head knowledge into my heart.
    I must tell my soul the truth over and over again and trust God’s truth, not how I feel.

  6. 3. Review the hymns that have helped you the most. For me it is A Mighty Fortress and Be Still My Soul. But bring what has ministered to you and share why.

    We have shared so many wonderful songs and I have found many more as we have gone along. Beloved songs from the past and wonderful new ones but for what I have learned in this study, I agree with you Dee. The reason is that both of these songs remind me that the Lord is with me and He is on my side. The creator of heaven and earth is for me, who then can be against me?

    I like God’s Own Fool a lot, but for other reasons. Often at Christmas I marvel at how God could fit into a baby. Then I marvel at the reverse which is what a wonderful creation a baby is. This song magnifies how Jesus bent down for us so that He might lead us. Even more than that, I try to wrap my mind around the mystery of God’s wisdom that can not be understood by proud men.

    Here is another very good song by Michael Card. God orders every step of our lives. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ofaLGuviY5w

  7. 2 a.Isaiah 49:14-16 (Holman Christian Standard Bible)
    14 Zion says, “The LORD has abandoned me;
    The Lord has forgotten me!”
    15 “Can a woman forget her nursing child,
    or lack compassion for the child of her womb?
    Even if these forget,
    yet I will not forget you.
    16 Look, I have inscribed you on the palms of My hands;
    your walls are continually before Me.

  8. Attachment disorder is the inability to trust anyone fully, this attitude often impacts our relationship with God as well. The lie is that we are not worth the time, or that we will be hurt and let down in the end.

    I know God isn’t against me, or He wouldn’t spend so much time helping me clean up the messes I make along the way. That means He is for me, even if it means to allow pain in order to correct some issues.

    So far, every pain I’ve ever endured has been used for good. Not usually the good I want and find myself asking for at first, but in looking back the good things are even better, deeper and more satisfying than what I was asking or praying for.

    Knowing heaven is there brings comfort because it gives a sense of purpose beyond the grave. If all I’ve got to look forward to in the end is a long sleep…. then it becomes very difficult to see hope in anything. Life isn’t exactly easy, so heaven presents a hope of something better than what I’ve seen thus far.

    ‘The More I Seek You’ is the one song (maybe a hymn) that brings me comfort in my darker hours, because the promise is that no matter what I mess up or need, and no matter when I realize that I need something from God…. all I ever have to do is seek for God and He WILL be there.

  9. I am soooo glad to read that the study will be ongoing… I was absolutely dreading its end.

    I like the plans for summer. 🙂

    2. What truth can you tell to your soul about:

    A. God’s heart — how do you know God is for you?

    Knowing that Christ went to the cross for me and spared Himself nothing of God’s wrath upon sin — my sin — tells me that He is for me. I am not condemned, as Romans 8:1-2 says (“Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit of life set me free from the law of sin and death.) I also think of Romans 8:28-39 when I know that because Christ died for me I cannot be separated from Him, all of which points to the fact that He is completely for me.

    B. God’s history — how has He been for you and God’s people in the past?

    The Psalms are full of imagery of God’s faithfulness, and especially Psalm 42 reminds me of this as David quiets his soul with the memories of God’s triumphs on his behalf in the past. We celebrate those memories and use them as a fortress in hard times.

    Psalm 42:5-6
    Why are you downcast, O my soul?
    Why so disturbed within me?
    Put your hope in God,
    for I will yet praise him,
    my Savior and my God.
    My soul is downcast within me;
    therefore I will remember you
    from the land of the Jordan,
    the heights of Hermon—from Mount Mizar.

    C. God’s heaven. The best is yet to come. What do you know about heaven that encourages you?

    I know that God has prepared a special place for me — because He knows my heart better than I do myself it will be exactly right and I won’t lack anything truly good. John 14:1-4 always touches me so much. I get tears in my eyes every time I see Jesus telling us that He does not give as the world gives. I do not have to fear harshness or cruelty, so common in the world, from my Lord.

    John 14:1-4
    “Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father’s house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.”

    3. Review the hymns that have helped you the most. For me it is A Mighty Fortress and Be Still My Soul. But bring what has ministered to you and share why.

    The hymn that helped me the most is A Mighty Fortress because it reminded me of God’s strength, that He wants me to hold firm in Him because He has power over everything in the universe, even over the things that hurt us so much — sin and death.

  10. Dee, what are your thoughts on this article? I go to a very biblicaly sound church but I have never heard any reference to this subject. I am planning to forward to my pastor but wondering if you have any thoughts before I do. http://www.safeplaceministries.com/pdf/The%20Silent%20Killer%20of%20Christian%20Marriages.pdf

  11. I found this post on my pastor’s blog. Susan, I know we already discussed this but I thought you might like to read it since it has references to scripture.

    On Sunday I had an elderly lady come up to me after service and ask me to pray with her… She told me Mother’s Day was the most devastating day of the year for her because her mother, who struggled with severe depression, had taken her own life many years ago. As we got ready to pray she said, “I just can’t bear the thought I’ll never see her again.” I asked, sadly, “Had she not put faith in Jesus?” She said, “Oh yes… she was an active and vibrant believer. But she struggled with depression, and we were told that because she took her own life she forfeited her salvation.” I said, “But that’s not true,” and showed her how we all struggle with various sins throughout our lives, and if we happen to die in the midst of a struggle, that doesn’t trump the work of Jesus on our behalf, if we have embraced it. That sure includes the depression that leads one to taking her own life. I showed her that after Paul talked about his life long struggle with certain sins, he boldly proclaimed that there is no condemnation for those that are in Christ… (Romans 8:1).

    She began to weep and, in a 70 year old way, jump up and down. She said, “This is the greatest Mother’s Day I’ve ever had. Thank you, thank you, thank you…”

    It was a reminder to me that theology matters… even difficult and more obscure questions in theology, because theology is about the weightiest matters–God, heaven, and hell.

  12. Hi ladies! Enjoyed everything I’ve read and just wanted to post a Scripture I came across even last night that is encouraging me on how God’s heart is towards me even when my actions are displeasing to Him and he calls or chastises me to repentance(Which I wasn’t looking for last night, just happened to open Bible (God’s love letter to me, to us) and there it was: Jeremiah 31:18-20 (20 is the one that captured my eye and heart first)- “I have surely heard Ephraim bemoaning himself thus; Thou has chastised me, and I was chastised, as a bullock unaccustomed to the yoke: turn thou me, and I shall be turned; for thou art the Lord my God. 19 Surely after that I was turned, I repented; and after that I was instructed, I smote upon my thigh: I was ashamed, yea, even confounded, because I did bear the reproach of my youth. **20: Is Ephraim (is Jan Elizabeth) my dear son (daughter)? for since I spake against him (her; paraphrase..for since I chastised her), I do EARNESTLY REMEMBER HIM (her) STILL: therefore my bowels are troubled for him (her): I will surely have mercy upon him (her), saith the Lord.

    And that Truth is what is helping counterattack and subdue the enemies lies to me that God is not for me, that he’s eager to chastise me or even worse, I guess I have been turned over to a reprobate mind since I can’t seem to get right and stay right..maybe this is IT so just go on and give up now. Satan, you are a liar and a defeated, deceived one at that! I like what I heard a preacher say just last week concerning Satan’s darts: “If you’re catching hell, THROW IT BACK! STOP ACCEPTING EVERYTHING SATAN SPEAKS AGAINST YOU THROUGH YOUR MIND OR THROUGH THE MOUTHS OF OTHERS!”

    1. What you say, Jan Elizabeth reminds me of a very old Don Francisco song called The Package. You may not like Don. He is very folksy and came from the days of the Jesus People but he wrote songs full of great theology. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xE7U3yKRHKY

  13. First of all, I would like to say yes to the Woman of Worship study. I find it interesting Dee wants to take us through it for it was the study God used to begin the healing process after the annulment of my marriage. Now, it seems He is going to use the study to launch me into the abundant life He desires me to live.

    1. What is attachment disorder?

    Ya’ll know me. I have to dig. Googled attachment disorder and found a quote from a book written by Dr. John Townsend. The name of the book is HIDING FROM LOVE:HOW TO CHANGE THE WITHDRAWAL PATTERNS THAT ISOLATE AND IMPRISON YOU. Here’s a passage:

    Attachment deficits occur in different forms. There’s a common denominator, however: a lack of connectedness in the person’s significant relationships. The detached person was not “met where he was” in some way.

    At times this lack is blatant, such as the emotionally cold or hostile family. It’s clear that here the need for constancy [in being and feeling connected] was not met.

    Other times, it is more subtle, as in the superficially warm family that appears to be intimate. In this case, there’s generally a withdrawl of the warmth when painful subjects are brought up. The developing child learns that she can be attached when she doesn’t have needs or problems. But her hurts and fears go deep inside into an isolated place in the heart, where they may stay for a lifetime.

    Since God created us for bonding, it’s part of our very essence…we are created to bond in either a growth-producing or a death-producing manner. If we cannot bond to loving relationships, we will bond to something else that is not so loving. This the root of the addictive process.

    Dr. Townsend goes on to say that healing from attachment deficits involve two factors:

    First, it requires finding safe, warm relationships in which emotional needs will be accepted and loved, not criticized and judged.

    Second, repair requires taking risks with our needs. These are genuine risks….when those unattached parts of the self become connected to others, our ablility to tolerate loss of love increases. The more we internalize, the less we need the world to approve of us constantly. This a hallmark of maturity.

    What is the lie that threatens to undo us?

    On page 157, in The God Of All Comfort, Dee wrote “Satan’s most deadly lie is to say that we suffer because God does not love us. This is the lie that “A Mighty Fortress” warns against, the lie that “threatens to undo us.”

    As I answered the above question one verse of scripture kept twirling around in my head. “God demonstrated His love for us, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.” (Romans 5:8) Having this truth so ingrained why would I even consider listening to the voice of the enemy?

    2. What truth can you tell to your soul about:

    A. God’s heart-how do I know God is for me?

    First, I know God is for me because He tells me in His Word. If God be for me who can be against me? (Romans 8:31)
    Second, I know God is for me each new day I awake to His new mercies and compassions. I AM ALIVE!!! I don’t consider myself lucky to have escaped an abusive relationship. I consider myself graced. I know the enemy was cheated of ridding the earth of one who belonged to Christ. Especially one who had begun to live a life of praising God. I have come to understand just how important the spiritual battle is. Life is indeed a precious gift from God and I don’t want to take it for granted or squander it.

    B. God’s history-how has He been for me and God’s people in the past?

    I’m returning to scripture to answer this question. I have the following verse taped inside my 2009 sermon journal.

    “…I created you and have cared for you since before you were born. I will be your God throughout your lifetime-until your hair is white with age. I made you, and I will care for you. I will carry you along and save you.” (Isaiah 45:3-4)

    Preservation. God keeps those who belong to Him. I am learning to rely on His promises more than anything else at this time in my life. His promises are all I can rely on. God guides me with His presence-the Holy Spirit.

    After the annulment of my marriage I considered throwing out every life artifact from 1994-2008. Some things no longer meant anything to me. And, little by little, I have thrown out the lies-birthday cards,
    anniversary cards, love notes, etc. I even considered throwing away my journals. But, after some time had passed, I told myself that if I threw out my journals I would be throwing away the story of God’s faithfulness to me during this time in my life. I was lamenting for 14 years before I ever knew what lamenting truly is. I know now those 14 years were the stairs of faith God built before He could reveal to me the truth of the messy life situation I had gotten myself into. His mercy is written across every year.

    C. God’s heaven. The best is yet to come. What do I know about heaven that encourages me?

    I know the following about heaven:

    1. Jesus is there preparing a place for me.
    2. I will live in glorification. Free from the presence of sin. Sin is not there.
    3. I will be reunited with my beloved family and friends.

    3. The hymn that has ministered to me the most is “Be Still My Soul”. I had never heard this hymn until this study. I am slowly ‘chewing’ on the words and have the first two stanzas memorized. I have made it my goal to memorize all 5 stanzas. I know this may sound nuts to some but I got overwhelmed with this study when I added the study guide when the group began meeting at church. The only way I can describe is I was as a malnourished person trying to eat rich, rich food when I needed to eat just the basics until I could handle heavier food. Does that make sense? Anyway, I concentrated on the first line and have that truth embedded. Layer by layer, God has been peeling off the ‘scabs’ of my wounded soul. What this hymn tells me is God cares so much for me He is standing by me healing me of my soul diseases so I can live the abundant life He has in store for me. I heard in a sermon the definition of an abundant life is a life lived continually dependent on God. That’s the rub with the enemy. He hates it when God’s people learns the real truth and practices living it out.

    I want to share an excerpt from my 2008 prayer journal. I do this to share how this study has been an answer to a deep, deep desire to know God better.

    December 28, 2008 (Three months eleven days after annulment)

    Dear Tammy,

    It’s time for you to become the woman God desires you to be. It is time to leave ALL in the past and begin making new memories. You are so valuable in God’s eyes.
    You learned today (the hard way-is there any other way for you?) that your stomach (god) will NEVER satisfied. Satisfy yourself with the Word of God and you will always be full. You have strayed away from the path to home. Get back on.
    Chart your success by progress….So many marvelous blessings are waiting for you in 2009. Don’t miss a one!
    Look how far you have come. You are no longer a woman of affliction. You are a woman of peace. God has given you SHALOM SHALOM-His peace that surpasses all human understanding.
    God wants to carry you to higher heights and deeper depths. Are you willing to follow? You have what it takes.
    I will close for now but I will be encouraging you again soon.

    Your Soul.

    As this part of my spiritual journey nears the end, I want to thank all of you who have prayed for me since the beginning. I also prayed for each one as you were brought to mind by God’s Spirit. This is a very special community of believers and I’m so glad I am able to participate on this blog. Thank You Dee for following God’s direction to guide us.

    1. Tammy,

      Thank you for sharing from your journal. You are an amazing woman, indeed. We have all been blessed so much by your sharing your spiritual insights and growth.

  14. Tammy, you are very special indeed. Thanks so much for sharing your journey with us. We are so blessed by you.

  15. #2. B.
    God’s History

    One of the things that comforts me is that God is unchanging; He is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So when I read in the Bible about how Jesus hung out with his disciples for three years, putting up with all of their faults, making them into the men He had designed them to be, He’s still the same today.
    I think of how He brought me into a relationship with Him, how I was completely ignorant of God and how He pursued me. I certainly did not pursue Him. My salvation was all His work.

    ( Dee, I had to resubmit my name and email address as I had trouble posting a comment this morning; I kept getting an “error” message and had to submit my name and email again)

    1. Dear Lord,

      Please bless Dee’s meeting today with prison ministry leaders as they work together on a curriculum for the women inmates, and provide much wisdom and clear communication. We thank you, Lord, that Dee has a heart to reach out to these dear ladies who so need to hear of Your grace and mercy and love that You have for each of them!
      We pray in Jesus’ Name,
      Amen

    2. Lord thank you for giving Dee this opportunity to meet with our sisters who are prison ministry leaders. Fill their minds with your wisdom. May we all remember our sisters who are in prison as if we were there with them. In the name of Jesus I ask Amen.

    3. Lord thank you for this opportunity for the women in this prison to learn of Your wonderful love for them and of Your marvelous ways. We don’t understand the hows and whys for their present circumstances, but what we do know is that You are able to form beauty from the present ashes of their lives. We thank You for preparing each heart. Give Dee the full measure of wisdom and Your Spirit as she prepares curriculum for them. May the good news of Your provision for them in Christ reach deep into each heart and bear much fruit upward.

      Lord I won’t forget that each one of these women lives with an enormous amount of pain, regret and danger each day. We ask for Your comfort, protection and healing. Give each one favor with those in authority over her and someone to come alongside and encourage her. Most of all I ask for truly a repentant heart for each woman that she may be set free from her chains by our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen

  16. #2. C. God’s Heaven. What do you know about heaven that encourages you?

    That it is a place of no more tears, no more crying (except tears of joy!), no more death, no more good-byes, no more separation.
    That it is a place where we will be fully known, fully loved, and free from sin. A place where relationships will no longer be fractured by misunderstandings, wearing masks, hiding one’s true feelings, rejection, or fear. We will finally live and love one another in the same perfect relationship as exists between God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit. No more loneliness.

    Jesus said “I am going to prepare a place for you”. If He is preparing it, it must be really awesome.

  17. 3. One of the hymns that has helped me the most is A Mighty Fortress. Sometimes I lay awake at night, and all the terrible possibilities fill my mind. It helps me to sing in my mind the verses to this hymn.
    I like when it says “Were not the right Man on our side, the Man of God’s own choosing. Dost ask who that may be, Christ Jesus it is He! Lord Sabaoth His name, from age to age the same, and He must win the battle.” It reminds me that Jesus is Lord over EVERYTHING!

    From the Amy Shreve CD I also find comfort in Jesus, Lover of My Soul.

    “Hide me, O my Savior hide, till the storm of life is past…”

    “Cover my defenseless head with the shadow of Thy wing. O what grace with Thee is found, grace to cover all my sin; let the healing streams abound ( a positive water image!); make and keep me pure within.”

    And the last stanza of What Wondrous Love:

    “And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on;
    and when from death I’m free, I’ll sing on.
    And when from death I’m free, I’ll sing and joyful be;
    and through eternity, I’ll sing on, I’ll sing on.”

    These give me alot of hope.

  18. Marlys,
    I read some of Hannah Whitall Smith’s online book. I read “God’s part and man’s part” and also the second chapter. Wow, she could have been writing directly to me as I read how she describes knowing all the promises of Scripture but not living it out as a reality in your life. I could put my name every time she used the word “you”. I look forward to reading the whole book!

  19. Dee, your idea for the summer sound great to me. I’m meeting with my summer study friends at the end of May to kick things off, so the timing couldn’t be perfect-er. 🙂 Looking forward to growing, growing, growing this summer! That’s what summer’s are for! Gloris

  20. I have a very large prayer request to share with all of you. I do not fully understand it myself and that is part of my request. It involves boundaries that I have not set with other people in my life. I find all of my relationships affected but most acutely my marriage. It seems that I have become paralyzed, as if God is telling me to stop trying to do everything, let him step up to the responsibilities that are his. This is deeply frightening to me and that is why I suspect it is a stronghold. Most frightening is the realization that I must begin to set boundaries with people, especially with my husband. A friend loaned me a book called Boundaries this morning and I will begin now to read it. I so need prayer on this.

    1. Anne I have already walked where you need to go and let me say the walk will be worth it. Once you experience the peace of living as God intends you will be amazed. I had to tell myself many times “it’s okay to take of yourself”. Will be lifting you up.

      I also have a special prayer request. One of my clients has been diagnosed with stage 2 ovarian cancer. She has returned home to Alabama for another surgery and treatment. Her name is Susan.

      1. Lord we lift Susan up to You. This is such a difficult road. I can only imagine from what I have seen others go through. Give her Your perfect peace Lord and may she be completely free from fear. Order her steps now as she seeks treatment. Bring just the right doctors and treatments to her right now. Not only that but also people who can help and encourage her. Take care of all of her responsibilities and minister to her family, especially children, show them how to help and minister to their mother during her illness. Give them precious times with her now and for many days to come. Lord I ask that You would heal her completely now, but if that is not possible in Your plan, be so close to her that all of the hardship and pain pales in comparison to Your wonderful presence. I realize my assumption that she knows You Jesus. If not may she meet you now and receive Your marvelous salvation. Your grace is enough. We love you so much Lord. Amen

  21. I haven’t been on the blog for some time, once, I think. But, I would like to share some truths that spoke to my soul from “The God of All Comfort”

    The use of Psalms. Mime has been a sorrowing fearful heart (my husband died 7 months ago) when I began reading Dee’s book. I will just quote some verses that spoke to me so clearly.
    Ps: 77:6. “I strum my lute all through the night wondering how to get my life together” (from Petersonn’s translation.
    Learning how to lament – how it frees us to be honest with God and dialogue with Him….. Ps 38:17 Truly I am on the verge of falling and my pain is always with me ….. Ps. 13:1 “How long, O Lord?….how long shall I have perplexity in my mind, and grief in my heart, day after day?….”

    The hymns were also important – the one line that I carried with me and shared with many is from “Be Still my Soull”…..bear patiently the cross of grief…..

    I went thfough a time of fear of dying myself. In a dream these words came to me. “The heart afraid of dying will never learn to live.” I seemed to be engulfed by fear – fear of dying, fear of being alone, fear of the future…. Dee’s chapter, Songs in the Night I read and reread. I began to understand the importance of slowly reading and lingering, looking and listening with my heart (as you said Dee). My friends and family have been very comforting, but I especially liked the quote from Charles Spurgeon you included. “Poor Christian, thou needest not go punping up thy poor heart to make it glad. Go to thy Maker, and ask him to give thee a song in the night….Do not go to this comforter or that, for you will find them Job’s comforters, after all; but go thou first and foremost to thy Maker who giveth songs in the night.”

    In recent weeks I have experienced periods of quiet calm and assurance that all will be well – eventually. Ps.30:11,12,13 have new meaning – You have turned my wailing into dancing, you have put off my sack cloth and clothed me with joy” (well, somewhat). Vrs 13 – Therefore my heart sings to you without ceasing, O Lord my God, I will give you thanks forever.” he is slowly restoring my to health -Ps 30:6.

    Thank you Dee for your “God of All Comfort” which has played such an important role in my grief journey. God bless you in the next plan you shared with us.