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Part of “getting the gospel” is understanding how deeply we are loved. We doubt His love because we know ourselves, our sin, and can’t imagine how Someone so wonderful could love us so deeply. But that is the gospel — the same God that loved Gomer the prostitute and Jonah the racist loves us. He sees  us as covered in His righteousness. Anne helped us with that last week, talking about the covering, and showing us it visually through Rembrandt’s painting. (Nouwen said to look at the father’s cloak — like wings, that cover us.)

I have so enjoyed having Diane, our Canadian, with us on the blog. This is also a chance for you to get to know her a little. Diane has a rich Christian heritage. Her parents were missionaries in India when she was a little girl, and she sometimes writes of how thankful she is for the way they loved and modeled Christ. Diane lives, as I believe as her mother did, a life of quiet service. I remember when Jesus said of Nathaniel, that he was without guile. I sense that sincerity and purity in Diane, and am so thankful for her.

From the stories she has told of her husband Aubrey, and just by looking at his face, I told her he looked like a gentle man. She said he was very gentle. What a gift! Here they are, in their beautiful country of Canada. O Canada!



As God is on the move here, revealing idols. He is helping Diane see how her idols block His love. People can never love us the way God love us, even the gentlest of hearts pale in comparison to God’s GREAT HEART for us. Diane tells a simple every day story with which I think you will identify, based on the verse:

“Those who cling to worthless idols forfeit the grace that could be theirs.”

Sometimes it is in the petty annoyances that God whispers His lessons of grace to us. Keller defines
grace as “an undeserved gift from an unobligated giver.”

It is easy for me to forget God’s grace and slip into fear that I am not good enough. I fear being
criticized. Recently, it has fallen into my lap to type the bulletin for our small church. I constantly make
mistakes or omit something. Last Sunday, several people came up to me to point out an error in the


















I made a joke at the time about it keeping me humble, but inwardly I was upset. I personally
hope someone else volunteers to do the bulletin soon, but I am learning that God never wastes a
pain. Now I am wondering what God is trying to teach me about my fear of not being perfect. God
is whispering His love to me in spite of my failures and insecurity. I don’t have to be perfect. I am
unconditionally passionately loved by God, even though I don’t deserve it.

Dee’s Reflections

Diane’s story convicted me — for I realize how often how quick I can be to point out an error. I did that in side-ways ways to my administrative assistants, and it beat them down. Little things I should have just covered, as God covers me, for love covers a multitude of sins (or typos)! We are all fragile, and we all need grace.

Diane also is a model of speaking truth to her soul — something we need to constantly do. We fail all the time in little ways and big ways. And the closer we get to the Lord, the more His light illumines our impurities. Often the godliest people are the hardest on themselves. George Whitefield said, “I sin when I pray, I sin when I preach…” It is good to see our sin, for it helps us repent — but if we do not also comprehend His GREAT LOVE, His covering, we are beaten down. We run to our idols for we fear He will not be there for us.

The Gospel shouts His love.

Sunday/Monday Icebeakers

1. What thoughts do you have on the above and why?

2. How have you grasped God’s love, His covering, for you this week?

Tuesday: Diane points us to an interesting passage.

3. Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-27

A. Describe King Jehosphat’s crisis.

B. Describe his honesty.

C. What did Jehosaphat know about God that helped him pray strongly? (Look at his praise.)

D. Take a part of this prayer and pray it for whatever little or big crisis you are facing.

Wednesday-Friday  Last thirty minutes of Keller teaching on Jonah. Here is his outline (for the last thirty minutes) for your note-taking

Gospel Communication — with these sub-points

    • What does he say about intelligibility?
    • About Credibility
    • About plausibility
    • About intimacy

Gospel Formation

Gospel Incarnation


Link: Click Here


What’s your take-a-way and why?

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  1. oh Diane–you are so beautiful–inside and out! LOVE seeing this picture of you and your husband! I can completely relate to the typo story-both on your side–and also as Dee said, being the one with the critical spirit. I learn so much from you here each week Diane–so thankful for you

  2. All–I was wondering if we could all try to join in prayer for Chris on Wednesday–maybe noon EST?

    1. Yes, Elizabeth, that sounds like a good thing to do.
      How are you feeling?

      1. thank you Susan–yesterday was actually a better day–the pain stays always now, arms, legs and mostly chest-but I rated it a “5/6” on my pain scale, and that was the first day I’d had like that! I’ve also slept fairly well the last 3 nights.
        Susan I was so heartsick reading your post on last week’s–the pain from your son’s words…I pray you hear the Lord tell you “well done, faithful servant”–hear that TODAY. You are NOT a failure. You are a true example of being spent for the sake of the Gospel, and in your own home. Much love and prayers to you friend~

        1. So sorry your pain continues! I hate pain!! I have been praying for you off and on but have not had time to read many comments. Oh Elizabeth may He be your relief and may He relieve this quickly as He wills! HUGS!

          I could pray too for Chris at noon. Again I missed the comments so what is going on? I know God knows the details.

        2. Thank you Angela, so much, for your prayers. I regularly see a car with a “lyme awareness” sticker–reminds me to pray for you too. How are you doing?

          Wednesday is the anniversary of Daniel’s assault (unless I have that down wrong, Chris?)–I hate that we can’t be with her, but thought we could join by setting a time when we would each be praying for her.

        3. Yes very thoughtful! Will be praying!

          I am doing really good health wise right now. Thanks for asking! Taking every good day with thanks!

        4. Elizabeth,
          Have you started taking the Neurontin now? Is it helping? Are you still doing physical therapy? I feel so badly that you can’t be pain free, that it’s constantly with you. I keep praying for you!

        5. Elizabeth, Great idea to pray for Chris!

        6. I’ll be praying also

        7. Praying for you, Elizabeth and you, Susan!

    2. Great idea elizabeth!

    3. Yes! I will pray too. Great idea, Elizabeth.

  3. I LOVE that picture of Diane and her husband. It just brought me such joy! They are a couple I wish that was around to mentor us! 🙂 And how beautiful is the scenery!!

    1. What thoughts do you have on the above and why? Covering is such an interesting thought. I keep thinking of How God covered Adam and Eve when they sinned and tried to cover themselves, however their covering was not enough. God took skins, probably the first animal sacrificed, to cover their nakedness. Covering requires death. I think about Jesus and His death on the cross to cover us, what great love He has for us. That picture of Gomer and thinking of Jonah and how God still covered them. How often I am quick to judge. How often I do not take the time to cover my children but instead they have to run for their own covering from my own words toward them because of their sin. This pricks my heart. I do see God molding my heart into one of more gentleness. I praise Him for this. I am thankful He is my covering. I am one of those people who are way too hard on myself but I am realizing His love more and more.

    2. How have you grasped God’s love, His covering, for you this week?
    This past week He has given me a new fervor for His word. I am drinking deep and it helps me die to self and accept those things I do wrong knowing His love for me. I can confess this sin and move forward. Specifically He has helped me piece together curriculum for this next school year including a preschooler. This is a big deal to me. I could feel His peace whenever I was trying to fret over it, I knew He would lead and guide my selection to fit the individual learning styles of my children AND give me things to do with my preschooler at the same time. 🙂 I guess it sounds simple but is huge to me!

    1. Angela,
      I’m glad your health is stable now, thankful for that!
      Your words about “how often I do not take the time to cover my children…” stuck with me – it’s a beautiful word picture of being more gentle with our children, covering them instead of hurting them with words. Thank you for that.
      I admire you for homeschooling, how you have to select different curriculums for different age groups. I imagine that requires a lot of thought and prayer to fit the needs of each individual child!

      1. ha ha thanks ladies! Homeschooling to each individual child is a task! But such a joy to me.

    2. I appreciate your thoughts on “covering” from Scripture. It is such a rich picture and so encouraging to us.

  4. We sang this today and I really think it fits so well this week–“Jesus Draw Me Ever Nearer” (Margaret Becker) http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgpKYWENgNQ

    The lyrics, hit home for me:

    May this journey bring a blessing
    May I rise on wings of faith
    And at the end of my heart’s testing
    With Your likeness let me wake

    Jesus draw me ever nearer
    As I labor thro’ the storm
    You have called me to this passage
    And I’ll follow tho’ I’m worn

    Jesus guide me thro’ the tempest
    Keep my spirit staid and sure
    When the midnight meets the morning
    Let me love You even more

    Let the treasures of the trial
    Form within me as I go
    And at the end of this long passage
    Let me leave them at Your throne

    Jesus draw me ever nearer
    Jesus draw me ever nearer
    Jesus draw me ever nearer to You
    To You

    1. I just got an opportunity to listen to this song, elizabeth, and I just wanted to say how beautiful the words are and such a haunting melody. Sounds Celtic. Love the pictures, too.

      1. Diane–I went to the library to pick up the Elisabeth Elliot book on Loneliness you had mentioned and I had requested–but “somehow” they gave me hers called “A Path Through Suffering”–OH so good. I still plan to look at the other, but obviously He led me to this one, have you read it? I have backed away from books on suffering lately b/c I’m scared to read it IN the trial–too heavy, if that makes sense…and yet, it has comforted me.

        1. No, I have not read “A Path Through Suffering” but I imagine it is good too. There is something about Elisabeth Elliot that I find comforting as well, but, not in a weak way, in a deep honest real way. I have read some of her novels and the book about her husband Jim Eliot and loved them. Right now, I have just started her book on discipline, I can’t remember the title just now. I haven’t read enough to know if I feel the same about it.

  5. 1. What thoughts do you have on the above and why?

    Diane is a jewel and a woman who is indeed in pursuit of God. She encourages me and I so appreciate her mentorship. She is wise and has walked with the Lord for a long time, and her willingness to yield to Him encourages me.

    This is one of my favorite paintings of Martin French. Diane’s story of being perfect is totally me, and it is comforting to read about her struggle and then how she spoke truth to her soul.

    2. How have you grasped God’s love, His covering, for you this week?

    A great example is this past week one thing after another was going wrong and one day in particular most everything went wrong. I worried and started getting down-BUT it moves into me being frustrated with myself that I am worrying and getting down because I know I am not loving God-I am forgetting the Gospel and moving toward my idol-then I get frustrated with myself that I forgot Him. It is amazing how murky and churning my waters really are-thoughts are deceptive and can really spiral. I don’t even realize it until I start to have anxiety or fear. This led into that same old fear of singing again. I am singing on w.t. and doing a special this coming weekend, and the fear of getting on stage crept up again. I was acting as if He wasn’t there for me. Then my husband asked our friend Tim to video me singing, and my approval idol came in and I said, Tim you don’t have to do that-it is worship time and it might distract. The truth is that I don’t want our w.t. leader thinking I am narcissistic. 🙂

    So as I prayed I went back to recount my thoughts, and look at the lies, and am applying the Gospel-the reality of who God is, the reality of the Cross. He died for it-he doesn’t see my sin but He sees Jesus’ covering. He loves me even though I mess up-my life isn’t about not making any mistakes. It is the opposite really-the mistakes are opportunities for God to chip away at the stone in my heart-to sift mud from my dark churning waters, and give me opportunities to practice applying the Gospel so that I can grow. Why? Because He loves me and wants to take me higher, so I can delight in Him-be part of the dance..I am His forever and He is faithful-His love is unchanging and constant.

  6. Oh and Sunday as I was speaking truth to my soul and turning-this worship song came up on the set and OH it was a beautiful opportunity to adore Him.


    I thought of how in Isaiah 6:1-4 the Angels shouted to one another loudly, “Holy Holy Holy is the Lord almighty, the whole earth is full of his glory!”

    The Great I Am
    Here are the Lyrics:

    I wanna to be close close to your side
    So heaven is real and death is a lie
    I wanna hear voices of angels above
    Singing as one

    Hallelujah Holy Holy
    God almighty Great I am
    Who is worthy
    None beside Thee
    God Almighty
    Great I Am

    I wanna be near near to your heart
    Loving the word hating the dark
    I want to see dry bones living again
    Singing as one

    Holy Holy
    God almighty Great I am
    Who is worthy
    None beside Thee
    God Almighty
    Great I Am

    He’s the Great I Am Great I Am

    The mountains shake before Him
    The demons run and flee
    At the mention of the name
    King of Majesty
    There is no power in hell
    Or any who can stand
    Before the power and the presence of the Great I am
    The Great I am The Great I am
    The Great I am The Great I am The Great I am

    1. I hope you continue to enjoy a rich week with your daughters and their families this week, Dee!

    2. So thankful you are having such a rich time with your daughters and their families! Love to hear of the wonderful ways in which God has and is showing His goodness to you.

  7. 1. What thoughts do you have on the above and why?

    This is one of my very favorite works by Martin French. I am always moved by it, how it shows the tenderness of Hosea, the shame of Gomer; yet he loves her.

    “Part of “getting the gospel” is understanding how deeply we are loved. We doubt His love because we know ourselves, our sin, and can’t imagine how Someone so wonderful could love us so deeply.” This is exactly why I struggle to really deep down believe God’s love for me; it’s because I know myself all too well.

    I love the picture of Diane and her husband, Aubrey, in the beautiful scenery of Canada. And I think Dee’s description of Diane’s heart and character is so true – a life of quiet service, sincerity, purity. I am so glad to get to know Diane on this blog! And her “simple every day story” is both simple, yet profound. It describes the daily battle we have; outwardly presenting that we are okay to others, yet inwardly being gripped by feelings of fear and inadequacy. Yet Diane is growing in her understanding of the gospel and in God’s love for her.

  8. 1. What thoughts do you have on the above 1, and why?

    I have spent the last few weeks studying the state of maine for my paper. I have “run” into canada in my studies often! There are a couple of places I have wanted to visit since I moved to new England; nova scotia is one of them. Especially the bay of fundy with it’s variant tides. I really enjoy traveling and seeing new things. The study I am working on has truly been interesting and I hope to take my own field trip some day! Diane reminds me to enjoy life and our earth with this picture of her and her husband. My poor husband has been so neglected of late. Maybe he and I can take a fun day trip someday soon.

    2. How have you grasped God’s love, His covering, for you this week?

    I know this will sound weird, but several days I have woken up and been thinking/dreaming things that didn’t make a lot of sense to me. I believe that He gave me these thoughts to use in the paper or for the research of a certain point in the paper. One was a name of a geologist I remembered hearing talk many years ago. I was looking for info on something in Maine and sure enough, he end’s up being a Maine state geologist! I am on a mission to track him down and ask a few questions. I feel God is protecting now. Sarah is home and basically behaving (dare I say this?). This is protection also as this is the most stressful week I will have. He is here, with me. Thank you Jesus.

    1. Laura – Dancer! Maine and Nova Scotia are the 2 areas I have brochures on for a trip I am planning for my 50th birthday next year!
      I have always wanted to do a hiking trip and see the East Coast Lighthouses, planning on taking a ferry to Nova Scotia for a few days and the drive the coast down to Boston.

      1. How fun for you! The Maine coast is very stark and different; in it’s own way a beauty. You will not be disappointed. York beach is neat and I hear that old orchard beach is a good place to go as well. Acadia national park is absolutely gorgeous, as is bar harbor. Enjoy!

      2. Laura Marie, I live in New Brunswick, Canada which is neighbouring both Maine and Nova Scotia. It is all beautiful scenery.

  9. 2. How have you grasped God’s love, His covering, for you this week?

    Today is Monday, so I am going to be on the lookout this week. I don’t think I am even close to grasping it. I am seeing how self-focused I am. I have a real problem with comparing myself to others, and I either build myself up falsely, or tear myself down. The way others react to me is like constantly looking at myself in a mirror; my self-image is defined by the words and reactions of others. My past still causes me to feel ashamed.
    I get mired in the “if onlys”.
    I’m trying to piece all the things we are learning together. Rebecca’s beautiful picture and Scripture of coming out of the cleft of the rock and going higher. Chris’ post about persevering in trials, Anne’s post last week to stop covering up before Him.

    Lord, please help me to see how You cover me with your love and grace. The mystery of how I can be uncovered and yet covered in a beautiful white robe of Jesus’ righteousness. Help me to lose myself and all my “self” stuff in beholding You. Help me to focus in the Martin French painting more on Hosea and his covering than on Gomer and her shame, because that’s where the true beauty lies. The beauty is in You, Lord. In Jesus’ Name, Amen.

  10. Dee you spoke of Diane being quiet and reflective. I long to say less but be meaningful in what I say. Our pastor had a great sermon yesterday on trials in our lives and how God is refining us through them. One thing that struck me was when he described heating a mixture of gold in a crucible in chemistry class. How the heavy metal would sink to the bottom of the melt and the light elements would float to the top, some actually escaping as fumes. He said what was left was the purest of the mix; the actual gold. He described it better than I have here. His point was that we are all being refined like the gold, to be pure. We must go through the trials we do so we can get rid of the “slag” (my thought!). Trials are very difficult, but necessary also. Maybe one day I will get rid of my mouth!

  11. 1. What thoughts do you have on the above and why?
    I so identify with Diane’s reaction to people pointing out her typos. I find myself avoiding situations where I can be criticized, which can be hard because I take most things as criticism, even a glance or uneven breathing. I need to look at it as growth in the humble department, which I need plenty of!

    2. How have you grasped God’s love, His covering, for you this week? It was my 28th anniversary on Saturday, and God has blessed me with a strong, loving and very supportive husband. We had such a good weekend together. It’s hard to imagine that 7 years ago, I was planning to divorce him when our youngest turned 18. Our marriage was going down hill fast. God rescued us, opened our eyes and turned us around. I am so thankful for that!!

    Side note: I started with a new psychologist. She is a Christian and she challenges me (but doesn’t push me too hard) and holds me accountable for my actions.

    1. Wow, Dawn! Happy anniversary and praise God for you hanging in there with your husband. I wonder if many of us have those same thoughts? I think I have felt that way about my husband too. I’m glad we have God who teaches us patience 🙂

    2. Dawn, So encouraging to hear how God healed your marriage, and I am happy for you that you are seeing a new psychologist. She sounds wonderful!

    3. Glad you found a good psychologist, Dawn, and Happy Anniversary to you – I am so glad your marriage was turned around!

    4. Thanks wonderful Dawn! (your comments and that your seeing her)

    5. Happy Anniversary Dawn. So glad to hear that God does restore marriages.

  12. It was uplifting to come on and read everyone’s praises, there is much to be thankful for here among our group.

    I am so glad that Diane is one who has been drawn here, I love her humility, her desire to know what God would have her understand, even when it is very hard. I too can relate to that condemning paralyzing voice that magnifies my imperfections and makes me feel worthless.

    The thoughts on covering bring to mind for me how I have to tell myself again and again that I have no righteousness of my own, it repeatedly seems a surprise to me, oh yeah, I haven’t earned any of the favor I have with Christ, but I can be completely secure in His love, it truly is Good News, so good I have to keep telling it to myself over and over.

    I am emotional lately, part of it is hormonal. It seems a bit unfair to me that I am having full blown hot flashes with a pounding heart and anxiety interrupting my sleep while simultaneously having an awful heavy period. I wish my body would get this all figured out.
    We started the day yesterday with Zach coming to church with Bill and me, I cried a lot having him there next to me. After church I made Zachs request of Sausage Gravy & biscuits then we all went to the Indians game as a family, Bill and me, Josh, Leigh and Bryar, Joe and fiancée Joanne, Zach and Brian. It was a good day, not exactly how I had imagined it, but good. Joanne is Buddist, and we had a good conversation at dinner started by Brian about giftedness of believers, and about our decisions in life being shaped by our convictions. I wish it had lasted longer, and that Zach and Joe had been there (they were outside smoking…sigh).

    I am humbly grateful for Elizabeth’s idea of your prayers for me,and yes you are correct about the date. I am very busy with work today & tomorrow, I have to put pain and memories on the back burner until Wednesday, I am off that day and can fall apart if I like when Zach leaves. I must hold on tightly to the hope that grows inside of me.
    Love to all of you

    1. So great that you had a good conversation with some of your family. It must be difficult with Joanne being a Buddhist. There is such a difficult tight rope to walk with trying to share about Christ and not overwhelming. We know that many times actions in love speak as loudly as words, so be encouraged. God is at work.

      Do you have a plan for Wednesday, Chris, to help you keep focussed on Jesus? I know it will be a very hard day. Do not let the devil suck you down. I’m praying.

    2. Chris, Elizabeth’s idea is an excellent one. We will be holding you up. Thankful for your good family time.

    3. Chris,
      We will all be praying for you, especially on Wednesday. I think Diane’s thoughts here are good – to have some sort of a plan for that day to keep you close to the Lord.

      1. I was actually planning to fall apart Wednesday night, to take time to grieve. Zach will be going back to North Dakota tomorrow, I will in some measure hold my emotions at bay till then. I can’t allow myself to think too much about my pain while I have so many responsibilities, I feel a bit like and old rusty car that is being asked to go too fast on the freeway, in danger of falling to pieces

        Thank you Diane for suggesting that I should have a plan, I will give that some thought and pray about it.

        I have another out of the ordinary assignment for work tonight, they are hosting a political fundraiser for which I am preparing the food. I am blessed and thankful my employers support the same party we do. Anyways, these past few weeks have been a busy and stressful time, yesterday I had a mini meltdown, with just too much on my plate, I took a few minutes alone and cried and prayed.
        I am going to listen to the sermon while I work on the food for tonight.
        Thanks girls for your care

  13. Hi everyone! I can’t believe that I have missed an entire week of life on this blog. I have been camping and out of range of the internet entirely. I am still on vacation this week, but have internet this week. We are visiting friends in Ontario, staying at their place and doing vacation things from here.

    I have briefly scanned our study and your kind comments. Thanks for your affirmation. Hopefully I will have more time soon to comment more deeply. Sorry to hear about your difficult pain, Elizabeth. And Chris I am definitely praying for you during this difficult week.

    I have had a great week of vacation and managed to avoid a major forest fire and also bears in the areas where we were camping. God is good. Nothing like being outdoors 24/7 in the wilderness to make me very aware that God is very powerful and in control of the big things as well as the little ones.

    1. Diane, your vacation sounds like quite an adventure. Glad for your glimpse of His glory and for His deliverance from danger. Enjoy the rest of your time away but I am glad you now have Internet. We missed you.

  14. Hi ladies,
    I’m Krista, Diane’s daughter. She’s constantly talking about Dee’s blog/Bible study and I knew she was doing part of the study for here soon. I told her to let me know when it was up. 🙂
    I know I’m way behind in the study….but I hope it’s okay for me to do it this week. Likely in the evenings once my boys are all in bed. Oh, and I will introduce myself more later as well.


    1. oh Krista–WELCOME! so fun to have you join us–I hope you’ll stick around beyond this week. We love and admire your mom so much–I continually learn from her humble and wise spirit.

      1. Thanks Elizabeth. 🙂 I know I do need to do some kind of Bible study.
        It’s so hard at times to see my mom beyond being ‘my mom’. 😉 I know she is wise, though, and I’m very thankful for her in my life. Her and my dad. He truly does have such a gentle spirit and is a truly godly man. I admire their faith so much!


        If you click on my name it will take you to my blog. I don’t post a whole lots, but from time to time. Some about my sweet boys, some about my personal life.

        1. Krista–I tried a few times earlier to respond here, and for some reason neither time showed up–I will try again! I loved what you wrote about Stephen. Your boys are adorable! And I LOVED the poem at the end–you have a deep heart of faith, like your mom.

    2. Welcome Krista! We love your mom! Looking forward to being with you here on Dee`s blog. 🙂

    3. Krista, so glad to have you here. We do love your mom so much. She has been a great blessing to us.

    4. Welcome, Krista! I’m glad to get to “meet” you here – I admire your mom so much and she has been a fountain of wisdom and depth here. Looking forward to having you share!

    5. Krista, Read several posts on your blog last night and just love your heart. 🙂

    6. Krista, Dee’s Bible study is the best! She keeps me connected to Christ. Glad you could join us 🙂

    7. Hi Krista! So nice to met you! I read some of your blog. Your boys are so cute!

    8. Welcome Krista, glad to have you!

    9. Welcome Krista! Glad to have you whenever you can make it.

  15. 2. How have you grasped God’s love, His covering, for you this week?
    I’m struck by the various forms of His covering. A few nights ago, when I completely over reacted to something my husband said, His covering came like rain and washed me, opened my eyes to my sin and brought me to humility. Rather than leaving me in my pit, He cleansed me and I could quickly apologize and be restored. Today, His covering was more like a shied. I felt totally emotionally exasperated by a situation with one child—to the point that the long road ahead seemed insurmountable. After I stayed on that path a while, He reminded me, He doesn’t make mistakes in creating our families, He knows what He’s doing and He will strengthen and equip me for the task. Often His covering has come as a blanket lately, holding me close, swaddled as His child, under His secure protection.

    1. Elizabeth, I like this, “His covering came like rain and washed me, opened my eyes to my sin and brought me to humility”, and “Often His covering has come as a blanket lately, holding me close, swaddled as His child, under His secure protection.” The first one involves pain and the second involves comfort. So true..He often does this simultaneously it seems and especially so in the middle of a storm! 🙂

  16. Sunday/Monday Icebreakers
    1. What thoughts do you have on the above and why?

    I love the picture of Gomer and Hosea’s covering her. Covering has such a rich imagery in Scripture, as we are discovering. To realize that God knows exactly how sinful we are and pursues us anyway, deeply loving us and seeing the potential in us for godliness and purity, is truly amazing. I loved doing some studies on Hosea a little while back here in this blog about Hosea as a Christ figure. It was truly helpful in giving me a much richer picture of the unconditional love of God.

    2. How have you grasped God’s love, His covering, for you this week?

    God has given me the gift of hope this week. My estranged brother has agreed to a form of contact again. Although he does not want to see me face to face while I am in his area this summer, yet he has agreed to phone or email contact and is tentatively considering coming down in the Fall to a major family get-together. This is a major step and I am awed that he would even consider it. This could only be a result of God working at some level in his life. Please pray for my brother that he will respond to God’s leading, and for me and my family as we try to respond to him in a godly way. There is a long road ahead.

      1. Amen Lord, thank you this change of heart! You are working in our lives!

    1. Praying, Diane. This is a wonderful breakthrough, a first step.

    2. Diane, this is very encouraging! Yes we will pray.

    3. You know I’m praying. I know I’ve struggled with this situation as well. Though of course not as a sibling, but him being my uncle. And it has hurt me so much to see you hurting. We need to keep believing God will work in his heart. I TRULY hope they will come down in the Fall! I hope & pray that there will be even more healing there.


      1. Praying this also Krista.

    4. oh Diane, I am so encouraged to hear this light breaking through in your relationship with your brother–will continue to pray for complete restoration.

    5. Great news Diane. Happy to see the walls are breaking away little by little.

  17. I want to share a praise with you ladies. My friend and her husband are both non believers, but she knows that I am a Christian. Her husband is disabled and has finally applied for SSI. It was denied a couple of weeks ago and he was told that his court date could take up to 3 years. I had been praying for a sooner date than that and I finally told my friend about it so that when it happened she would know to thank God. She told me I was sweet and she understood that it was my “thing” and she appreciated the thought. He got a court date!! She thanked me for whatever it was that I said when I prayed, I told her that I knew God wouldn’t let her down. I know that God doesn’t always answer this way but I am SO GLAD that He did this time!!

    1. Praise the Lord!!!!!

    1. Dee, EXCITING..Praying. 🙂

    2. praying dear Dee!

    3. Praying!

    4. Praying Dee

    5. Also praying, Dee. Thanks for sharing these specific requests.

    6. Will pray, Dee.

  18. 3. Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-27

    A. Describe King Jehosphat’s crisis.

    The Ammonites, Moabites and the men from Mount Seir were coming to destroy Israel.

    B. Describe his honesty.

    He starts out appealing to God based on who He is and His faithful history to Israel, then he moves into expressing his fear of the size of the armies coming against them and cries out to God that he doesn’t understand how this can happen when Israel was faithful to God in the past. Then he moves into God’s character again and asks if God would judge them, but doesn’t try to control God-he is praying with a humble and yielding spirit. As He prays he is yielding to God placing His trust in Him. “We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

    C. What did Jehosaphat know about God that helped him pray strongly? (Look at his praise.)

    That God is ruler over all the kingdoms of nations-that power and might are in His hand.

    D. Take a part of this prayer and pray it for whatever little or big crisis you are facing.

    Lord, are you not the One who spoke the universe into existence? The One walled in Mary’s womb? The One whose love endures forever? My Shepherd, My Savior who shed His mercy and Grace all over me on the cross-whose hands made me to delight in Him. Who is bigger than the biggest mountain on Earth and who reigns over all. I have seen your faithfulness to me despite my failures. I have seen your Grace through your preservation and protection of my heart sifting out the mud and drawing me near. I have seen your goodness to me with my boys, with provision, with my husband, with many godly friends. Are you not still a faithful, merciful God full of Grace? You are so much bigger than anything-Help me as I put pen to paper this morning in working out things-go before us and strengthen us. I don’t know what the future holds but the future is in your hands. I will trust you.

  19. 3. Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-27
    A. Describe King Jehosphat’s crisis.
    He gets word that the Moabites, Ammonites, and Meunites, had joined forces to make war on him.

    B. Describe his honesty.
    Jehoshaphat admits his fear and turns immediately to the Lord for guidance. He also ordered everyone in Judah to begin fasting.
    v. 12 “We are powerless against this mighty army that is about to attack us. We do not know what to do, but we are looking to you for help.”

    C. What did Jehosaphat know about God that helped him pray strongly? (Look at his praise.)
    He recalls God’s power ““O LORD, God of our ancestors, you alone are the God who is in heaven. You are ruler of all the kingdoms of the earth. You are powerful and mighty; no one can stand against you!”
    Then, the night before the battle, instead of wrestling with fear–Jehosaphat leads them in bowing down and worshiping the Lord.

    I also love this from v. 15, spoken by Jahaziel -“This is what the LORD says: Do not be afraid! Don’t be discouraged by this mighty army, for the battle is not yours, but God’s.”

    D. Take a part of this prayer and pray it for whatever little or big crisis you are facing.

    O Lord, my Father. You alone are Creator of all things. You alone have all power—to heal, to restore, to make something beautiful out of brokenness. I see Your faithfulness in my every breath. I see it in the Sun that rises every morning. I see it in the moon, the stars, the flowers—Your thoughtful creativity reveals Your heart to us at every turn. You are a God who makes all things new. Forgive me Lord for my disbelief. Forgive me of my doubts. Forgive me for the moments when I sink into despair instead of resting in Your covering. I can cry out to You to save, and You will hear me and rescue me. You already have—You have saved me Lord from the only battle that could have ever separated me from Your presence. I praise You Lord.

    1. Elizabeth, you are so good with words. You said everything that was in my heart, but couldn’t express it…for you and for myself, in that last paragraph…Thank you!

    2. Elizabeth, thank you for pointing this out to me:

      Then, the night before the battle, instead of wrestling with fear–Jehosaphat leads them in bowing down and worshiping the Lord.

      I really needed to read that right now.

      1. Laura–praying for you too–so sorry for all you have to struggle with–praying you can hold on to His promises

  20. 3. Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-27

    A. Describe King Jehosphat’s crisis.

    He and his people were going to be overtaken by a large army of Moabites and Ammonites.

    B. Describe his honesty.

    Johoshaphat asked God why He would do this after all it took to get to this place. He wonders why these people were spared when others were not, when God cleared the land to make way for His people. He says they are “being repayed” for the moabites and ammonites being saved by being overtaken.

  21. C. What did Jehosaphat know about God that helped him pray strongly? (Look at his praise.)

    He knew that Gods love was forever and that he would take care of him and his people. He told them to sing and praise and have faith.

    D. Take a part of this prayer and pray it for whatever little or big crisis you are facing.

    Dear Lord, thank you for friends. Thank you for them listening, caring, sitting shiva, and understanding. My prayer is not for me this morning, but for my friend. She is going through a very difficult time right now in her marriage. Lord, the world is an ugly place sometimes; not like the beauty of the mountains and valleys and oceans, but the ugliness of the people who reside here. We don’t deserve your beautiful land. Please let my friend know you are there for her. She is lost and needs to lean on you, Lord. You know her pain, Lord. Please help her to not give up. She only knows one way to solve these problems; her way. Help her to see that there is also Your way. Remind her that “your love endures forever” as johosaphat said. Help her to know this soon, Lord. I pray in your Holy name. Amen.

    1. Amen. Praying for your friend, Laura

  22. 3. Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-27

    A. Describe King Jehosphat’s crisis. A great multitude was coming at him to war with him.

    B. Describe his honesty. He was afraid – sought the Lord. Knew he could do nothing but the Lord could.

    C. What did Jehosaphat know about God that helped him pray strongly? (Look at his praise.)The things He did in the past.

    D. Take a part of this prayer and pray it for whatever little or big crisis you are facing.
    Lord when we cry out you do hear and save us! Lord you put the desires in our hearts. Please drive out the obstacles that stand in the way of them. Make a straight path and give us the courage to follow it as you fight this battle. For we know we cannot control others actions but you oh Lord move and change hearts. Lord, move in this situation. Let us watch and marvel and praise Your great names in it! (Regarding situation with little man.)

  23. A. Describe King Jehosphat’s crisis.
    A great multitude of enemies was approaching and he was afraid

    B. Describe his honesty.
    He admitted that all they held dear had been blessings from God, that they were powerless to stand without His help, he did not attempt to figure the way out on his own, but cast all his care upon God, like a child

    C. What did Jehosaphat know about God that helped him pray strongly? (Look at his praise.)
    Jehoshaphat knew that Gods steadfast love endures forever

  24. C. What did Jehosaphat know about God that helped him pray strongly? (Look at his praise.)
    Verse 21 shows that Temple singers and military were sent out to lead the army.
    “…he appointed those who should sing to the Lord, and who should praise the beauty of holiness as they went out before the army and were saying ;
    Praise the Lord,
    For His mercy endures forever!”

    Lord you see my condition and know my heart!
    You see my struggles and my weakness!
    Forgive my doubt, my unbelief,
    Like you did for your servant, Jehoshaphat,
    Who shouted Praise to your Name!
    So shall you will do for me when I turn my eyes from my own self,
    And turn them to the One who brings Victory to His people,
    And mercy to the humble heart!
    I thank You and Your Name!
    You Mercy endures forever!


    1. I meant to say the Temple singers were sent out, not the the military.
      Which for me is telling . We often say in the Pentecostal church to praise your way out of a trial , you will see victory ahead. Praise is a powerful weapon and we use it a lot in our churches.
      It is very liberating.

  25. I have been without internet service most of the past few days but finally figured out the problem.

    1. What thoughts do you have on the above and why?
    I love this from above: As God is on the move here, revealing idols. He is helping Diane see how her idols block His love. Funny, I know this is true and probably have heard it but really “SAW” it tonight as I read about Diane. I want this truth to really get deep in my heart this week. Diane is a woman I would like to know and have lunch with, I’m sure we’d be fast friends!

  26. I just love all your prayers to the Lord. So encouraging. All your encouraging words to me and to my daughter Krista are so appreciated.

    Sorry I have not had much time to post. Today we went on a driving tour and saw lots of beautiful scenery. We went up to Georgian Bay which is a big bay off from Lake Huron (one of the Great Lakes). I had never seen it before. It was windy and lots of huge whitecaps but the sun was out and the sky was clear. I just love God’s amazing creation of sea and sky and countryside.

    1. Sounds beautiful, Mom. So glad you are enjoying yourself. 🙂


  27. Please pray for my friend’s mom, Barb. She has a tumor in the bone in her leg. After her first round of chemo, she experienced every side effect and was rushed to the hospital very ill. She recovered, and this week is taking her 2nd round of chemo, but at a lowered dose. Praying specifically for God to get her safely through this round of chemo, for it to be successful.

    Also, my son, Adam, received his MCAT scores today. He scored well on the test! He’s ready to start applying to med schools. I’m just praying for God to open doors for him and to help him through the application and interview process which will be the next step. He’s got one more year of college to finish his chemistry degree. I think God has gifted him in the areas of math and science, and he is coordinated with his hands (wants to be a surgeon) and is compassionate and caring. Thanks for praying for him when he took the test!

    1. Susan, I will pray for your friend’s mom. I am so sorry about what she is going through.
      This is wonderful news about Adam’s test. He is such a gifted young man. He must be very excited. I will also pray for him.

    2. Susan, I’m so thankful, Adam passed with flying colors! He sounds like he’s been gifted by God to go into this field. How proud you must be of him!
      I will be praying for your friend, Barb. It was so hard for Kendra’s girl, Shanon and she is only 22 yrs. She finished her last chemo and is still very ill. So sorry for Barb:(

    3. Will pray for Barb’s chemo.

      That’s wonderful news for Adam. Will continue to pray.

    4. Susan, Yeah! So happy for Adam and for you, mamma! It must be a pleasure to see your son using the abilities and compassion God has given him to help and serve others this way. How exciting! 🙂

    5. Susan–SO thrilled to hear this about Adam! Thankful you had us pray for the test–it makes this even sweter to rejoice in with you.

      And I too pray for Barb–that God would carry her through this round, and that it would work.

    6. Susan I will be praying also for Barb, that her body accepts the treatment she needs, and congrats on the new for Adam!

  28. Thank you for all your welcoming words! I’m trying to figure out when would be the best time for me to do this. During the day I’m taking care of my boys and the house, then in the evening once the boys are in bed I want to spend time with my husband. And here it is not far from midnight and I should REALLY be in bed!

    I know it’s Tuesday, but I will start with the Sunday/Monday one:

    1. What thoughts do you have on the above and why?
    I remember reading Hosea when I was a teenager and thinking “Why in the world is he staying with her? He deserves so much better! I wouldn’t stay with someone like that!” It’s true, I very likely wouldn’t. But yet his love was true, he was devoted to her. I can’t imagine how many times she broke his heart, yet he kept accepting her back. Just like God with us. We keep messing up, yet when we turn around He’s right there with open arms, His love never-ending.

    2. How have you grasped God’s love, His covering, for you this week?
    More so covering my husband’s sister’s family then for myself. Long story, but God is good. Just some family issues there, but I can see God’s hand very clearly there, covering them.

    A little more about myself. I have been married almost 8 years to my best friend, Jeff. We were high school sweethearts. 🙂 We actually share our anniversary with my parents. Just the way the dates worked out. 🙂 We have 3 beautiful boys. Stephen will be 6 in October, will be going into grade 1. He’s sweet, silly, out-going, stubborn(!!!), sensitive, and loveable. I often call him Jeff jr. as he definitely takes after my husband. Josh is 3 1/3 and dealing with potty training right now. 😉 He’s doing AWESOME, though, soo much easier than it was with Stephen. Josh is such a sweetie, can easily melt your heart, is almost always smiling (I think of him as Joyful Josh), and loves to play with his big brother Stephen…even when Stephen at times doesn’t want to play with him. They really are the best of buds, though. Caleb, my “baby”, turned 2 the end of May. He’s the baby and he knows it! He soo cute, has an impish grin, loves to mimic his brothers, can have quite the little temper when he doesn’t get his way, but can be easily distracted. He has such an adorable laugh, you can’t help but smile when you hear it. 🙂

    Looking forward to getting to know you ladies!


    For those who read my poem on my blog, my love of writing and poems definitely comes from my mom. I remember reading some of hers when I was younger and being so amazed at her way with words. I was inspired by her, for sure. 🙂

    1. Krista, you sound like a sweet caring mother, wife and daughter. I look forward to reading more of your insights 🙂

      1. Thank you! I look forward to getting to know all of you.

    2. Krista, your family sounds wonderful! I wish I had those sweet days back with my little ones…..cherish them now; before you know it they are grown.

      I know what you mean about time. I don’t care for mornings too much, so I wake up and lay in bed doing this study on my phone! If you don’t have a smart phone, do you have a lap top you could keep by the bed? Nancy Leigh demoss suggests starting your day in the word. I lay here for about 45 minutes and “wake up.” it helps me get going with a positive attitude everyday. Just a thought 🙂

      1. I’m definitely not a morning person. 🙂 We keep the laptop downstairs. Once the boys are up (usually 7am, once in a blue moon the sleep longer) they don’t leave me alone for very long. 🙂 I will just have to figure out something.

    3. Krista, thank you for telling us alittle about you and your sweet boys..they are very special and are blessed to have you as their mommy! Diane, You have always been such a inspiration here for me and I truly loved this picture of you and your husband! How nice to have both you and your daughter here

      Krista, you could stay up late like I do, but them with three little boys to care for, I don’t think that’s a good idea!!

      1. Oh, I know. I’ve been getting in the bad habit of staying up too late this summer. I really need to try to get to bed at a decent time so I’m not so tired in the morning!

    4. Hi Krista,

      I can so relate! I have four boys ages 13, 12, 10 and 8. I remember the younger years and so cherish them. I know what it is like to desire time with God in His word and have it interrupted regardless of the time I set aside. Wish this blog were around when my boys were younger! 🙂 I look forward to fellowshipping with you here!

      1. Thank you. 🙂 I always figured if we had another baby it most likely would be another boy! I know them being so little is a time to cherish and I have to keep reminding myself that on the days it’s not so easy.

    5. Krista,
      Thank you for sharing about yourself and your family – your boys sound delightful! Brings back sweet memories for me!

      1. Thank you Susan. I am definitely blessed to have my precious boys. 🙂

  29. Sunday/Monday Icebeakers

    1. What thoughts do you have on the above and why? – Its good for me to know that God is there to cover me to be there with open arms waiting to take me back into his arms even though I’ve sinned. I’m pretty hard on myself and if I can just grasp this blessing of God’s love and forgiveness, His mercy and grace, I would see that I will never be alone. He will be there to lift me up. I love how humble and reserved Diane was to those who were commenting on her mistakes. How quick they are to lay the blame or show the error even though they did not step up to the plate and take on the tasks that Diane has done. I’m not so sure I would have been that nice especially with the weeks I’ve been having lately. The more I have on me the easier it is for me have a comeback answer. Thank you Diane for being open with your life. Very nice picture too!

    2. How have you grasped God’s love, His covering, for you this week? – God’s love is all around all the time. Do I always see it, no. Do I appreciate the love He gives to me thru others no, I’m very sorry to say. But these last few weeks I’ve had a lot to deal with. I’ve been poked, prodded and had to sit and wait for results. I’m thankful for the love that God has shown me thru my husband, my sons, family and friends. How they have checked on me but at the same time, left me alone so I can rest. How they prayed for me to have good results and with Gods love I have had some, but not completely. How they continue to pray for another upcoming test, for all to be ok, but to also find the cause of the pain. Gods love comes into our lives in many ways, will we see it when it comes, or will we be so wrapped up in our self pity, or our busy lives that it will float right on by? I hope that I am able to be more aware of the love God has shown me that I accept it with open arms and have it cover me like a blanket.

    1. Oh Julie, I am so sorry for the storm you are going through with the pain and the test results! This must be so difficult.

      Lord, thank you for Julie and for her heart that so desires you. Thank you that you are The God of all comfort and that you so desire to cover Julie. We ask you would come like the Spring rain to her soul. Help her, nurture her and hold her up. Thank you for how you have comforted her through her family for you are unwavering in love and so full of Grace.

    2. Praying for you too, Julie–for healing and for peace.

  30. Julie, Maybe I missed something here, but what’s going on with you, so I can pray? I’ll be praying regardless…hope your okay!

    1. Me too, I must have missed this? Praying for you to feel better though 🙂

    2. Ladies no nothing missed, having some pain with the female organs, and not sure why. I’ve had a CAT scan to make sure the colon is ok since it’s near the women’s organs, I then had to have an internal ultrasound because of the report from the CAT scan and now because of those results had to have an endometrial biopsy on Tursday which was not pleasant at all. Hopefully will have those results on Monday.

      Thanks for the prayers ladies I really do appreciate them!

  31. I just want to share this prayer by Dietrich Bonhoeffer with Chris S. especially this morning. I am praying for you, girl.

    Bonhoeffer was imprisoned and later killed by the Nazis for his stand on Jesus Christ. You can tell he must have been very discouraged when he wrote this poem and I can so identify with his words in his search to focus on the truths of Christ. I use this poem regularly as part of my morning prayers.

    O God, early in the morning I cry to you.
    Help me to pray
    And to concentrate my thoughts on you;
    I cannot do this alone.
    In me there is darkness,
    But in you there is light;
    I am lonely, but you do not leave me;
    I am feeble in heart, but with you there is peace.
    I am restless, but with you there is peace.
    In me there is bitterness, but with you there is patience;
    I do not understand your ways,
    But you know the way for me…
    Restore me to liberty,
    And enable me to live now
    That I may answer before you and before men.
    Lord, whatever this day may bring,
    Your name be praised.

    1. love this Diane–thank you for sharing it

    2. Amen.

    3. Wow that really says it all. I’m going to have to copy that. Thanks Diane!

  32. A. Describe King Jehosphat’s crisis.

    Judah was being attacked by a huge army and they couldn’t possibly defend themselves on their own.

    B. Describe his honesty.

    Even though he was king, he had no difficulty admitting he was afraid, but he immediately sought the Lord and called all the people to fast and pray with him.

    In his prayer (vs. 12) he says, “For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.”

    C. What did Jehosaphat know about God that helped him pray strongly? (Look at his praise.)

    He remembered what God had done for his people in the past. He also quotes Solomon’s words at the temple’s dedication that, if the people were in trouble, they were to come before the temple and cry to the Lord for help.

    2 Chronicles 6:34, 35 “If your people go out to battle against their enemies, by whatever way you shall send them, and they pray to you toward this city that you have chosen and the house that I have built for your name, then hear from heaven their prayer and their plea, and maintain their cause.”

    I see the similarities of Jehosaphat’s and Solomon’s prayers to Jonah’s prayer to the temple while he was in the belly of the fish. They all prayed toward the temple for salvation from the Lord. Keller’s explanation about praying toward the temple and its meaning for the people of Israel has turned a light bulb on in my head to recognize this connection again and again in the OT, just as now we can pray to Jesus whenever we are in need.
    And I just love this verse: “For we are powerless against this great horde that is coming against us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you.” (12)

    D. Take a part of this prayer and pray it for whatever little or big crisis you are facing.

    Father, thank you that you have given me hope regarding the situation with my brother. I cannot change his heart and speak truth to his soul, but you can. I am powerless, but I fix my eyes on you. You are the God of miracles who changes lives. I love you Lord. Do not forsake us. I pray for mercy in this difficult family situation. Overrule the lies of the Enemy, but your power and love. Amen.

    1. I pray this prayer with you, Diane, with the faith that God will restore you and your brother, to live in peace again!

  33. This came to mind for Chris this morning–this is the Message version, since she uses that a lot:

    Psalm 46
    1-3 God is a safe place to hide, ready to help when we need him.
    We stand fearless at the cliff-edge of doom,
    courageous in seastorm and earthquake,
    Before the rush and roar of oceans,
    the tremors that shift mountains.
    Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    GOD-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

    4-6 River fountains splash joy, cooling God’s city,
    this sacred haunt of the Most High.
    God lives here, the streets are safe,
    God at your service from crack of dawn.
    Godless nations rant and rave, kings and kingdoms threaten,
    but Earth does anything he says.

    7 Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    GOD-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

    8-10 Attention, all! See the marvels of GOD!
    He plants flowers and trees all over the earth,
    Bans war from pole to pole,
    breaks all the weapons across his knee.
    “Step out of the traffic! Take a long,
    loving look at me, your High God,
    above politics, above everything.”

    11 Jacob-wrestling God fights for us,
    GOD-of-Angel-Armies protects us.

    1. Thank you, Elizabeth. Praying for you, Chris and all your family and for Zach’s safe return. I know the next few days will be very hard for you, Chris….thinking and praying for you:)

      1. Chris, prayed for you yesterday, sis. Know this must be hard for you-will pray today. Much love to you.

  34. I awoke this morning ready to pray for Chris. Lord, I ask you to give Chris and her family your sweet presence rather than suffering. May they feel your arms around them as never before. Amen.

    3. Read 2 Chronicles 20:1-27

    A. Describe King Jehosphat’s crisis.
    A vast army was coming against him.

    B. Describe his honesty.
    He was quick to admit he needed God and prayed, “For we have no power to face this vast army that is attacking us. We do not know what to do, but our eyes are on you. ”

    C. What did Jehosaphat know about God that helped him pray strongly? (Look at his praise.)
    He had seen God work in the past and believed in Him.
    After consulting the people, Jehoshaphat appointed men to sing to the Lord and to praise him for the splendor of his[c] holiness as they went out at the head of the army, saying: “Give thanks to the Lord, for his love endures forever.”

  35. Chris,
    Remembering you today especially in prayer. I am thankful you don’t have to go it alone, you have the Lord with you. May He hold you tenderly in His arms today.

    1. Yes, Lord, Amen.

  36. Lord, I thank You for Chris. Thank You for the example of faithfulness she is to us, to her family. And thank You that her life reminds us that You never let us go–Your hold on her is so evident. You are her hope. I’m thankful for the example to me her life is of Your never ending power and love.
    Please let her feel overwhelmed by Your love for her today.

  37. Would you all please pray for me. I am at the beach and sick. I feel feverish with abdominal pain, nausea and loose stools. I can’t eat or drink anything and ache all over. I would go to an urgent care but it is too late now. Thank you.

    1. oh Lord, I lift up dear Anne to You right now. Please bring healing to her body. I pray she would be able to sleep and wake restored in her health, Lord. Please protect her. Amen

    2. Praying, Anne. Hope you are already feeling better.

    3. Anne, I pray you are much better by now and when you awaken in the morning, it will seem like a bad nightmare:( This is no way to spend your time at the beach! I will continue to pray untill you tell us you are doing good:)

      (Praying you are doing okay, Chris)

    4. Oh Anne, Read this last night while out of my home and couldn’t respond, but prayed for you. I am concerned! Keep us posted on how you are doing!

    5. Anne, I am praying too, please let us know as soom as you can how you are doing.

      1. Thank you all for your prayers. I am a lot better today. Just woke up from my 2nd nap and thinking how blessed we are to be able to call on each other for prayer.

        1. 🙂

        2. great news.

        3. Wow read your post, but now glad you are ok and feeling better.

  38. D. Take a part of this prayer and pray it for whatever little or big crisis you are facing.

    God I admit the limits of my understanding. I am dependant on you to light my path, to keep me from temptation, to deliver me from evil. You alone can rescue me, even from my own thoughts. Keep my mind stayed on You, give me a heart of love for others instead of my stone heart that seeks comfort. Lift my head from discouragement, I am sad but grateful for what you have blessed me with, teach me to number my days aright that I might gain a heart of wisdom. I pray this greedy pray, I am needy, I am empty unless you fill me, I am here for my daily bread, I am depending upon Your love & Your promises. Show me how I need to trust You for today. Draw my attention to evidences of Your love for me, I don’t want to miss it. Thank you for my sisters, your servants here, being your hands and feet to me.

    1. What a beautiful honest prayer, Chris. Hope you have a blessed day!

    2. What a beautiful prayer, Chris. I know you don’t know me, but I am praying for you.

  39. Thank you everyone for your love to me, for your prayers.
    I cried a ton last night, I gave myself permission to be really sad.

    I was glad the plan was that I was driving Zach to the airport, just the two of us, but he surprised me by asking a girl to come with us. I was so disappointed not to have that time alone with him and also not to be alone on the 1 1/2 drive back. This same girl was part of the story when Zach broke off his engagement to a girl we adored, he broke it off during the time Daniel was in the hospital, more really painful memories.

    I had to drive by the hospital where the trauma center is on the way to the airport, seeing the Lifeflight helicopters, remembering, ohhhh

    Depression is crouching at my door, it desires to have me, I have a wedding at work today, I am glad to be forced out of the house by obligations at work.
    I am ever so grateful for your prayers, no one seemed to realize what day yesterday was for us except all of you

    1. Oh, Chris. Sorry you had such a tough day yesterday! Fight off that enemy crouching at your door! The Lord is in this battle with you and so are we. Praying, praying!

    2. I saw this today and think it’s a good thing to pray: Heavenly Father, I welcome you to enter my mind, rebuke all the poisonous thoughts evil has put there to weaken me. In Jesus name, amen.

    3. Chris, thank you for sharing your pain with us. I think entering in and feeling your pain is a most important thing we can do for you and your words help me to do that. The enemy crouches at the door but he is on a chain. You have God’s wonderful promises and us praying for you.

    4. I’m so sorry for the pain you’ve felt this week. But know the Lord is there with you thru it all. Will continue to pray.

  40. Gospel Communication//4 stages
    What does he say about intelligibility? most skips these and goes right to intimacy. today cannot assume this anymore that others already know truth. Jonah gave message of destruction…Then as they repent King says well perhaps God will have mercy. Said we are in trouble, we need to do something and repented. God worked with that. Though Jonah did not proclaim God’s love. Means telling the truth. Acts 17, worldview evangelism. Many think you gotta do the whole thing,,,,then here is the prayer. Many people do not know what God means or sin means, etc. will absolutely misunderstand you…You are being a legalist in this sense.

    About Credibility?blind man and elephant…You cannot tell this story unless you see the whole truth. As Christian I believe I am exclusive. Other people are doing the same. Listen to defeaters find hole in them to deconstruct.

    About plausibility?Get into their concepts, longings, aspirations. All these things can only be resolved by Jesus Christ. Show them this. everybody has exclusive views. Whose views most lead to love and peace on earth. tell truth and love whether they believe it.

    About intimacy?

    Gospel Formation-God brings life out of death. Fruitful evangelism comes from Christ power demonstrated in our weakness. Here is how you know you really met God, you limp. Need to be humbled. Need sign of Jonah life out of death, strength out of weakness.

    Gospel Incarnation-Jer 29-move into city that prob hurt loved ones go into it and make peace and prosperity to make it a great city.went to city but did not love it (faith is a gift assuredly.)does our love show?

    We do not need programs we need prayer. Prayer moves and changes hearts.

  41. Would also appreciate prayer if it does not rain I will meet this Saturday with little mans birth family.

    1. You got it, Angela!

  42. oh chris i am so sorry. i wonder if zach was trying to protect you from having to make the drive back home alone? so sorry but i am glad you gave yourself permission to let it out last night. you would tell each of us to do that–to give yourself the freedom, the grace to grieve–love you and covering you–praying your prayer with you that you will not miss His love poureed out on you today

    1. Yes, I thought the same thing – he was protecting her.

    1. Dee, I will pray but I am not sue what the differences are.

    2. The more ways in which people are able to access your messages the better. If it’s an either/or then I would go with the downloads because I don’t have a smartphone.

    3. I really like the idea of the access online. An app may be due able too but I still know many who know nothing of apps. 🙂 Watching them online for free is an amazing ministry you can give ppl. I was asked to do a review for an author who wrote a devotional about Jesus. He had certain days of the lessons attached to a video online you could watch online for free. It was in the holy land so you could see the actual places Jesus walked. Such a good resource. I loved it!!

      And though I love group women’s Bible study in my stage of life it is difficult for me to go because of homeschooling, and kids with special needs needing daycare. I am more likely to buy a book and do a study I can do with the video than one that has videos but they cost $50. Also, I could do it alongside my women’s group and be intentional about talking with them about it.

      Just some thoughts. 🙂

    4. praying Dee! I lean towards downloads but only b/c I’m not an app-user and too ignorant of the whole thing! But praying for wisdom 😉

    5. Praying for wisdom for you. I prefer downloads as well as I don’t do apps.

    6. Dee, I’m kinda behind times, so I don’t understand what you mean, but I’m praying for God to show you his plan, for the video.

    7. Dee,
      I think having downloads from websites would make it available to more people.
      It would be great if you could do both though.

      I was thinking downloads would work well for women who want to hook a laptop up to their t.v. to show the videos during their group Bible study.

  43. Was up a few times last night with my 3 year old, Josh. Both Stephen & Josh has had coughs recently that get worse at night. Last night Josh’s cough was really bad. He was pretty stuffed up, too. Gave him water, Vicks all over his chest, neck, feet, and honey. Still didn’t help a whole lot. But thankfully he didn’t wake up again after 1am until 7am, and went back to sleep for a bit. Feeling kind of tired today…

    1. Krista, sorry your boys are sick. Praying for them. We could have kept each other company last night.

    2. Praying Krista…THat is so hard with little ones being sick.

    3. so sorry krista–losing sleep is always hard–praying tonight is better and that they get better

    4. Thanks girls. You’d never know he felt so awful last night. He’s totally fine now! Oh to have the energy of little kids. 😉 But like I said the cough usually gets worse at night.

    5. Sorry Josh did not sleep well last night. Hope he is better tonight. I know how hard it is be so tired you don’t feel like doing anything.

    6. Krista, these hard time with little ones being up in the night, sick or just scard, bring back such memories! I pray the boys stay well and you can get some needed rest!

    7. Thanks. I know this may sound selfish, but I really don’t want the boys. or myself & Jeff, to be sick this weekend. Saturday is our (Jeff & my) 10 year high school reunion. Really don’t want to miss it! Jeff & I hardly every get out, just us, so it will be like a date for us. Plus of course will be nice to see some people we haven’t seen since high school. Jeff’s mom is coming out to take care of the boys.

      1. Hope you have a good time at the reunion.

  44. D. Take a part of this prayer and pray it for whatever little or big crisis you are facing.
    Lord, we need rain badly. Many fires in Nebraska and other parts of the country. I remember how grandma would pray for rain and trust you and she told me you always saw them through. So I lift up my faith like grandma did many years on the family farm. Thank you for being faithful. I praise you for your past goodness and trust you in this. Amen.

    1. Amen!

    1. Dee, Yeah!! 🙂

    2. That’s what I was hoping for – something I can do easily(download) and something I don’t understand yet (apps). Perhaps others don’t get it either. I need instructions and explanations for techy stuff. 🙂

  45. Is anyone having trouble understanding all of keller’s lecture? I am finding it somewhat difficult to ingest. I have listened to it several times and even attempted to take notes! I don’t know why I am not getting it 🙁

    What does he really mean by credibility? I understand the word; people we are ministering need to feel we are credible people, right? Then, he goes about trying to make his point and I lose him.

    Also, intelligibility…people we are ministering to need to feel like we know what we are talking about. Again, lost him on him making his point.

    Dee, can you explain?

    1. Your not alone on this, I actually listened four times and found it a little hard.

    2. Laura Dancer, I totally get what you are saying..It is difficult to follow unless you go slow and some of us don’t have the time sometimes. 🙂

      If you read my notes to laura Marie I hope they help. In regard to what you said about intelligibility. I think what Keller is saying is that when you share the Gospel they will see it through their screen-their world view and they won’t get or hear what you are saying-they will just look at you like a cow at a fence because they are solidified in their world view. They have this screen up and they will sift what you say through their world view first so when you share the gospel they won’t get it.

      It is a process like it was with the Ninevites in Jonah. So we must address their screen or worldview first, and that entails listening to them.

    3. Laura-dancer, I think part of the difficulty is, from what you wrote, that you are taking Keller’s 3 points and applying them to yourself. I got that he meant the Gospel has to be intelligible, credible and plausible to the people that you are speaking to, not that you’re supposed to be. That you can’t assume that the unbeliever has any of the ground beliefs that used to be a “given” in times passed.
      My experience has been that Christians are viewed as people with a set of rules which they use to judge other people. That Christians are hypocrites and think that they are better than everyone else. You have to be the opposite of what they expect.

  46. Gospel Communication — with these sub-points

    What does he say about intelligibility?

    “People have to clearly perceive what it is you are giving them.. With people who don’t know what God or sin means, they are going to read what I say through their screen-their world view. I need to slow down and lay down the ground work. I can’t throw the whole Gospel at them.”

    I can’t skip to intimacy without laying the ground work first because if they do accept Christ, when it doesn’t work for them they will bail. Why? Because the groundwork in their thinking hasn’t been up rooted-Deep down they believe truth is relative-whatever works for you is good and it may be different than my truth but my truth works for me so it is good to.

    About Credibility

    “In the older Christianized western culture the average person believed in the Bible, the after life. Now in our culture they have a set of common sense beliefs. there isn’t one religion. Everyone has to decide what is right and wrong for themselves.”

    “If you don’t deal with these beliefs in your routine ministry, you will give the Gospel and their eyes will be glazed over. Even they won’t know why what you are saying makes sense.” “Presuppositional apologetics is trying to show people their belief system isn’t true on their own terms, not on your terms.”

    About plausibility

    “It is where you get into their concepts, into their aspirations, into Their hopes, into their longings and you try to connect with them… In plausibility, you have to show how the lines of their own lives, the hopes of their own hearts, the struggles of their own cultures, the longings of their own lives will only be resolved in Jesus Christ.”

    In Acts 17:16- Paul went into Athens and ‘reasoned’ with them..When he shared about Jesus they were like the cows at the gate until he went further and addressed their idolatry first. Keller is right about contextualization.

    Loved Keller’s response to the Elephant example. I have it all written down-so good.

    Basically, Keller said you have to ultimately show them this: “Over here you have people who have a set of exclusive beliefs where they turn their nose down at primitive people who are religious. Then you have others who have exclusive beliefs who are morally superior who turn their nose down at those who are immoral. But I have a set of exclusive beliefs that are Gospel beliefs. At the heart of it is a man dying for his enemies and it can’t lead me trampling on people but serving them.”

    (My husband needed the computer this morning in the middle of my time, so I am going to finish tomorrow morning. So so good though.)

    1. Thanks Rebecca, this wasn’t easy for me to understand but your notes help!

      1. Laura Marie,

        So glad to be able to help! I can see why this is difficult to get at first. If you would play and replay Keller’s answer to the Elephant example in the ‘Plausibility’ section, you will get what he is saying as far as how to address their relativistic thinking.

        They think their beliefs about spiritual reality aren’t exclusive or ‘absolute’ because everyone’s truth has some relevance to it, but that statement in and of itself is an absolute-an exclusive belief. They think they are not being exclusive in thinking their belief is better than others yet they are because they think everyone should see spiritual reality their way. Even atheists and agnostics are absolutists, yet they claim they are against any kind of absolutes, or exclusive beliefs. Keller teaches us how to expose this in his answer to the Elephant example. They need to see their faulty thinking in order to be open to hearing the Gospel-does that make sense?

        The common thread with all these people and their belief systems is that they trample on others to some extent-even though they may do good deeds.. Keller is saying the difference between them and Him is that his beliefs are Gospel beliefs and are based on a man dying for his enemies and it can’t lead to him trampling on people, but serving them.

      1. Oh Dee, I totally understand! So glad I could help.