THE BATTLE AGAINST THE DARKNESS

Sometimes I do not know if trouble is in my life because I live in a fallen world, because I have sinned, or because I am experiencing spiritual warfare. But two weeks ago, when I was giving a retreat, it became clear, Satan did not want me giving the message I had planned for Saturday night. It was on overcoming the lies of Satan during suffering. Friday night and Saturday morning, everything went smoothly. But Saturday afternoon I wrenched my back somehow and could hardly stand up, but I was going to set my face like flint and power through. Then, just before I was to speak, my complicated audio-visuals refused to work. Even the mike failed. The women at the retreat were mature and I told them I thought it was spiritual warfare since the message was on overcoming […]

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THE SONG OF THE BRIDEGROOM

THE SERVANT SONG THIS WEEK IS FROM THE LORD JESUS HIMSELF, OUR ULTIMATE BRIDEGROOM. THIS SONG CULMINATES WITH THE NEWS THAT HE WILL REJOICE OVER US AS A BRIDEGROOM REJOICES OVER HIS BRIDE. IT CONSISTS OF A SINGLE SONG, SEVEN VERSES, THAT BEGINS IN ISAIAH 61:10 AND CULMINATES IN ISAIAH 62:5. HOW DO WE KNOW JESUS IS SPEAKING? WE LOOK BACK TO ISAIAH 61:1-3, AND TO THE SCROLL THAT LUKE TELLS US JESUS UNROLLED AND READ. AFTER READING ISAIAH 61:1-3, JESUS SAT DOWN AND SAID: “TODAY THIS SCRIPTURE IS FULFILLED IN YOUR HEARING.” I AM EXCITED ABOUT THIS WEEK, NOT ONLY BECAUSE IT PICTURES JESUS AS OUR BRIDEGROOM, BUT BECAUSE I HAVE A WONDERFUL FREE VIDEO FROM MIKE REEVES ON THIS SONG. REEVES IS THE THEOLOGIAN WHO HELPED US SEE JESUS AS THE BRIDEGROOM IN THE SONG OF SONGS. NOW […]

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CAN A MOTHER FORGET?

BECAUSE OF HER SUFFERING, ISRAEL FELT GOD HAD FORGOTTEN HER. “THE LORD HAS FORSAKEN ME, MY LORD HAS FORGOTTEN ME.” (ISAIAH 49:14) HAVE YOU EVER FELT THAT WAY? I CERTAINLY HAVE. MANY OF YOU HAVE HEARD THIS STORY, SO I’LL TELL A READER’S DIGEST VERSION, FOR IT FITS SO PERFECTLY WITH THIS WEEK’S SONG FROM ISAIAH. I was a new widow, missing Steve so. We used to call each other co-dependent insomniacs, because if one of us couldn’t sleep, he or she would say to the other, “Are you awake?” And then we both would be. So often Steve would pray over me, sing over me, or say our favorite nursery rhyme to try to lull me to sleep. “Winkin, Blinkin, and Nod sailed out on a moonlit night.” I missed my husband so. I lamented: “Lord, You promised to […]

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A SMOLDERING WICK

ALL OF US HAVE HAD TIMES WHEN WE FELT LIKE A SMOLDERING WICK WHERE IS THE FIRE, THE PASSION, THE FAITH WE HAD TO BELIEVE? LIKE PETER, WE ALL HAVE FAILED. AND THE ENEMY IS CLEVER, KNOWING THAT FAILURE CAN LEAD TO RETREAT, AND THEN EVEN TO DOUBT. BUT IF WE ARE HIS, THERE IS ALWAYS A FLICKER OF LIFE, A SMOLDERING FLAME THAT HE WILL NEVER PUT OUT. ISAIAH PROMISES THAT THE MESSIAH WILL NOT PUT OUT A SMOLDERING WICK. INSTEAD, HIS SPIRIT WILL FAN IT INTO FLAME. HE MAY BRUISE US TO DO IT AS HE DID PETER OUR RESPONSE TO THE BRUISING IS IMPORTANT. IF WE RESPOND WITH TRUST, HE CAN MAKE US A GREAT HEART, AS HE MADE PETER A GREAT HEART. HERE IS THE PROMISE FROM ISAIAH: Here is something else: The Lord is revealing […]

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REVIVE US O LORD! LENT 2017

PAST LENTEN SEASONS WITH YOU ON THIS BLOG CAUSE ME TO SO LOOK FORWARD TO WHAT GOD WILL DO IN 2017!   MY FRIEND TWILA RECENTLY SAID, “JESUS IS AS REAL TO ME AS YOU ARE.” I PRAY WE CAN ALL SAY THAT BY EASTER SUNDAY! I’M SO EXCITED ABOUT WHERE HE IS LEADING FOR THIS LENT. ISAIAH CONTAINS “SERVANT SONGS” DESCRIBING THE COMING MESSIAH. EACH SONG UNVEILS MORE OF HIS BEAUTY, MORE OF HIS LOVE FOR YOU. FOR EXAMPLE, THIS WEEK WE WILL LEARN THAT HE IS SO GENTLE THAT HE WOULD BE CAREFUL NOT TO BREAK A BRUISED REED ANOTHER WEEK WE WILL SEE THAT HE IS EVEN BETTER THAN A MOTHER WHO WOULD NOT FORGET THE BABY AT HER BREAST WHEN WE GET CLOSE TO HOLY WEEK WE WILL BEGIN TO GAZE ON A LOVE THAT WAS […]

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FORGIVING DEEP HURTS

WEEK 1 WHEN YOU HAVE BEEN DEEPLY HURT IT IS A STRUGGLE TO FORGIVE. WE WANT TO GO OVER IN OUR MINDS WHY SHE (OR HE) WAS WRONG, AND WHY WE ARE RIGHT. I HAVE DONE IT: NURSING MY GRUDGE, FEEDING THE FIRE OF MY CONTROL IDOL   WITH MEMORIES OF INJUSTICES FROM MY PERPETRATORS, OR OF KINDNESSES I BESTOWED ON THEM, UNTIL THAT IDOL GROWS INTO A MONSTER, OVERTAKING ME. IN THESE TWO WEEKS BEFORE LENT BEGINS, WE WILL CONCENTRATE ON HOW WE CAN BE SET FREE FROM UNFORGIVENESS, FOR IF WE ARE NOT, IT BECOMES OUR IDENTITY, AND SUCH AN UGLY AND VICIOUS ONE IT IS! FIRST, WE MUST FACE THE FACT THAT WHEN WE HAVE BEEN DEEPLY HURT, WE DON’T WANT TO FORGIVE. WHEN A WOMAN STOLE THE FOUR PIECES OF JEWELRY MY LATE HUSBAND HAD GIVEN […]

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Becoming Fully Human

How Gepetto rejoiced when Pinocchio became a real boy! In the same way, our Creator rejoices to see us becoming fully human. We were dead in our sin, when His Spirit quickened us, and began the process of turning our hearts of stone into hearts of flesh. Whatever stone is left in us when we get to heaven will be melted by Aslan’s breath, and we will become, as Lewis puts it, “more human than you ever succeeded in being on earth.” But here on earth there are those who become “more fully human” than do other believers. They have discovered that, as 1 John teaches: EACH TIME THEY LOVE, HIS LOVE IN THEM GROWS STRONGER EACH TIME THEY WALK IN THE LIGHT, HIS LIGHT IN THEM GROWS BRIGHTER, AND EACH TIME THEY CLING TO THE TRUTH, HIS TRUTH IN […]

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DAILY RESURRECTION POWER

In Tender Mercies (one of my all time favorites!) God uses a young widow to love “Mac,” a recovering alcoholic, into the Kingdom. Her son, “Sonny” and “Mac” are baptized one Sunday. On the way home, they reflect. Sonny: “Well, we’ve done it, Mac. We’re baptized.” Mac: “Yeah, we are.” Sonny: “Everybody said I was going to feel like a changed person. I guess I do feel a little different. But I don’t feel a whole lot different. Do you?” Mac: “Not yet.” Sonny: “You don’t look any different.” (Sonny sits up to look at himself in the rearview mirror.) “Do you think I look any different?” Mac: “Not yet.” Rankin Wilbourne said he knew after receiving Jesus, that Jesus promised rivers of living water would flow out of his heart, but it seemed more like a trickle than a […]

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HIGHER GROUND IN 2017!

TRULY, I BELIEVE TOGETHER WE CAN MOVE TO HIGHER GROUND THIS YEAR. IF YOU’VE BEEN HERE BEFORE, WELCOME BACK! IF YOU ARE NEW, WELCOME! (Newcomers — go to Dee’s homepage, click Bible Study Blog on the top, and then look for this picture, click on it, and it will give you easy directions to participate.) THOUGH IT IS TRUE NEW YEAR’S RESOLUTIONS TEND TO BE BROKEN, I THINK THAT IS BECAUSE WE ATTACK THE SYMPTOM AND NOT THE ROOT. We resolve to spend less, eat less, get less angry. Or, we resolve to be more like Jesus and give more grace, be more other-centered, live more simply… But we seem to break all those resolutions. MY BOOK OF THE YEAR FOR 2016 IS: FOR THE NEXT TWO MONTHS I WILL CONCENTRATE ON SOME OF THE LIFE-CHANGING INSIGHTS FROM SCRIPTURE THAT […]

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HE’S HERE! (CHRISTMAS WEEK)

MERRY CHRISTMAS MY DEAR SISTERS! I MADE A SPECIAL GREETING FOR YOU, TO TRY, IN MY SMALL WAY, TO TELL YOU WHAT YOU MEAN TO ME! WE ARE GOING TO PONDER EACH DAY THIS WEEK, AS MARY DID, AS THE SHEPHERDS DID, AS THE WISEMEN DID… WHAT IT ALL MEANS THAT HE’S HERE! This song from Francesca Battistelli touches me so deeply. Here the lyrics and the you-tube version to begin your Christmas Day! Hold on now, I gotta take a deep breath I don`t know what to say when I look in your eyes You made the world before I was born Here I am holding you in my arms tonight Noel, Noel, Jesus our Emmanuel You`re here, i`m holding You so near I`m staring into the face of my Saviour, King and Creator You could`ve left us on […]

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BIRTH PANGS (ADVENT 4)

I’m memorizing Luci Shaw’s poem: “Made Flesh.” She reflects on what Jesus surrendered — for us. How the Light was eclipsed in amniotic gloom. How the Word was stern sentenced to be nine months dumb. How the Almighty submitted to a woman’s birth pangs. And then she parallels how, because of this, she surrenders to the crush and cry of birth. AND THAT IS THE SECRET TO REAL LIFE. THAT FULFILLS THE REASON HE CAME.     HE CAME TO RESCUE US FROM THE PENALTY OF SIN AND HE CAME TO RESCUE US FROM THE POWER OF SIN. THE FIRST IS INSTANTANEOUS, WHEN WE TRUST, THE SECOND REQUIRES SUBMITTING TO BIRTH PANGS. THERE IS A SECRET WOVEN THROUGH ISAIAH, SONG OF SONGS, & TRULY, THE WHOLE NEW TESTAMENT THAT WE KNOW, BUT HAS IT BEEN QUICKENED IN US? EVERY YEAR […]

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FAR AS THE CURSE (Advent 3)

WHEN LUCY STEPPED THROUGH THE WARDROBE TO NARNIA SHE FOUND ANOTHER WORLD. A WORLD THOSE ON THE OTHER SIDE OF THE DOOR FOUND HARD TO BELIEVE. YET, IT WAS TRUE. AND ONE DAY, WE WHO ARE IN HIM, WILL STEP INTO THE WONDERLAND ISAIAH 11 DESCRIBES. EXACTLY WHEN THIS WILL HAPPEN IS DEBATED AMONG THEOLOGIANS, WILL IT BE DURING THE 1000 YEAR REIGN REVELATION DESCRIBES? IS IT HEAVEN? WHAT MATTERS IS THAT IT IS GOING TO HAPPEN, AND BELIEVERS WILL “STEP THROUGH THE WARDROBE” INTO ANOTHER WORLD. A TIME IS COMING WHEN EDEN WILL BE RESTORED. NO MORE WILL SINS AND SORROWS GROW, NOR THORNS INFEST THE GROUND. FOR HE COMES TO MAKE HIS BLESSINGS KNOWN FAR AS THE CURSE IS FOUND. HE WILL BE OUR KING AND THE SPIRIT OF THE LORD SHALL REST UPON HIM. HE WILL REDEEM […]

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HOW GREAT OUR JOY! (Advent 2)

Though there are flashes of light in the first eight chapters of Isaiah, most of it is gloom and doom for God’s disobedient people. But when we arrive at Isaiah 9, the light is almost blinding, the promise almost too good to be true, and yet, it was true. It did happen, just as Isaiah said it would. And everyone who has received Jesus knows it is true, for God’s Spirit bears witness with his spirit, and he rejoices, “as with the joy of the harvest.” (Isaiah 9:3) I was one who surrendered to Christ reluctantly, because I became convinced He was who He claimed to be. The fear of the Lord brought me to my knees. But then! Oh! He took the blinders from eyes I didn’t know I was wearing. But I knew it when they were gone! […]

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GOD WITH US (Advent 1)

Advent 2016 has arrived, and how we need it! We will look at passages from Isaiah this Advent, and I am thrilled that this is how the Lord is leading. There so many parallels to where we are today. In America we’ve just been through the basest election season in my lifetime, and perhaps in history. There was time when Lincoln and Douglas referred to one another as “my honorable opponent.” But in 2016, all civility vanished. Both sides poured out vile words, harsh ads, and personal attacks.  Facebook was filled with tasteless posts, even from believers, that revealed a festering oozing wound, like the wound God saw in His people in the days of Isaiah. (Isaiah 1:5) Our Canadian and European sisters have written that they have preceded us in a cultural downward spiral. Believers from poor nations are […]

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PRAISE DEFEATS OUR ENEMIES

I AM A WEAK WOMAN. WHEN MY HUSBAND WAS DYING, I WANTED TO DIE WITH HIM, BUT HE PRAYED FOR GOD TO TURN MY MOURNING INTO DANCING. AND, AMAZINGLY, GOD HAS! I LEARNED THE POWER OF THANKSGIVING, THE POWER OF PRAISE, AND THE POWER OF SPEAKING INSTEAD OF LISTENING TO MY SOUL. THIS IS ONE REASON, I BELIEVE, GOD COMMANDS PRAISE. IT IS FOR US! WE LEARN WHAT JEHOSHAPHAT OF OLD LEARNED! PRAISE DEFEATS OUR ENEMIES! Thank you for your encouragement and prayers concerning this blog. What I am sensing is to continue, for we all are so blessed by the fellowship here. The lessons will be shorter and after Advent I may go bi-weekly. We are so blessed by women of depth here, and I would miss you — but I also know we all have other commitments. So, […]

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