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Forfeiting Peace

November 26th, 2009 by Corrie | Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments - Add one now!

“You will keep in perfect peace him whose mind is steadfast, because he trusts in you.” Isaiah 26:3

Not long ago, I was sitting in church singing an old familiar song. I guess I have sang these words a thousand times in my life, even had it memorized, for the most part. But this time, God revealed something in that song and suddenly I realized my eyes were locked in on this phrase. My voice had stopped singing as God let this phrase take over my mind and my heart: “Oh what peace we often forfeit”. My eyes filled up with tears when I realized how often I had forfeited peace, God’s peace. Why do we do this? God answers that question in this post…

One definition of peace is, ‘freedom from oppressing thoughts or emotions’. One definition of forfeit is, ‘to give up or to loose the right to, especially by some error, offense, or crime’. After reading these two definitions, why in the world would we ever want to use the words, forfeit and peace, in the same sentence? The reason is that Satan tells us they go together. He sells us the lie that we can’t have peace in our hearts as God’s children. God’s word tells us differently. In fact, BECAUSE we are God’s people, we are offered peace, daily peace. So why do we feel so empty at times? Why do we feel so uneasy? Why does our mind run and run, feeling as though we can’t turn it off? Why do we wake up with an unsettling feeling, and go to bed with the same? It is because we are choosing to forfeit, or give up, our peace. Yes, I did say choosing. Once a person accepts Jesus into their heart, the Holy Spirit dwells within them. The Holy Spirit gives us the feeling and the concept of peace. All throughout the Bible, we find evidence of this (Rom. 15:1; Acts 9:21). So why do we abandon this peace we ALREADY have access too? Isaiah 26:3 tells us. It says that God will ‘keep’ us in perfect peace (not a little bit of peace but perfect peace!) if we keep our mind steadfast. So, forfeiting peace begins in the mind, the thoughts. Satan loves to lounge around an ‘unguarded mind’, placing defeating, depressing, and anxious thoughts about our life. God’s word tells us to keep our mind steadfast. This means we must focus on God with our thoughts at all times. We do this by taking the thoughts captive, that shouldn’t be there (the one’s that are forfeiting our peace) and making them obedient to Christ (2 Cor. 10:5). We then make up our mind not to worry (Luke 21:14) and replace unsettling thoughts with scripture, or in other words, find out what God has to say. We do this over and over again until the peace comes. And, my sweet friends, PEACE WILL COME!! We can then find joy in our trials!!! (James 1:2). Today is Thanksgiving Day. But maybe, you are finding it very hard to be thankful for your trials in your life right now. Maybe you woke up this morning with an empty feeling. If you are God’s child, this means you have chosen to forfeit your peace. The song I wrote about at the beginning was “What a Friend We Have in Jesus”. I can sing this song with a light heart today because He is my friend. He wants to be your friend too. Maybe you have forfeited your peace because of a relationship that has gone terribly wrong. Maybe it’s because you have hurt God and others in your past and the guilt consumes you. Perhaps you can’t feel peace because your health is failing or a loved one is very critical. God needs you to know that you don’t have to feel that way. Because you are God’s child, we are given peace…if we just seek Him for it and begin with making our thoughts obedient to Him. I will end this post with evidence of that. The following is the blessing God gave to the Israelites…His people. We, my friends, have this same blessing. Remember it today: “The Lord bless you and keep you; the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you; the Lord turn His face toward you and give you peace.” Numbers 6:24-26

Happy Thanksgiving,
Corrie

My prayer for today: Lord, may we stop forfeiting your peace and receive it on a daily basis. May we trust in you with all our hearts…

CrossRoads’ Women’s Retreat

November 26th, 2009 by Corrie | Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments - Add one now!

Just a note to say “thank you” to my own church, CrossRoads Baptist, for giving me the honor to lead the Bible study for our annual women’s retreat. Words cannot express the love that I have for my sisters in Christ in my own church family. I will never forget the fellowship, laughter, and tears we shared together (and of course, other ‘memorable moments’ that will forever keep me laughing!!!). But most of all, I will never forget how God revealed Himself to us in that cabin that weekend. Hearts (including mine)are forever changed because God showed us more about Him, ourselves, and the Body of Christ. We know that an intimate, personal relationship with God is possible in the ‘land of the living’. Go West, my friends!! (wink)

Love,
Corrie

Depth Perception

October 27th, 2009 by Corrie | Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments - Add one now!

The Lord will rescue me from every evil attack and will bring me safely to his heavenly kingdom. To him be glory for ever and ever. Amen.” 2 Timothy 4:18

“Because he loves me,” says the Lord, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.” Psalm 91:14

“…and I pray that you being rooted and established in love, may have power, together with all the saints, to grasp how wide and long and high and deep is the love of Christ, and to know this love that surpasses knowledge-that you may be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” Ephesians 3:17(b)-18

Let me begin by saying ‘thank you’ to those who have been praying for me and my family for the past few weeks. For those of you who don’t know, Canaan had a terrible stomach virus and my grandmother’s health has begun to severely decline. Canaan is well but my grandmother is continuing to collect fluid around her heart. Please continue to pray for her. Many of you have been asking about my health as well. I praise God to say that He answered alot of my questions through the visit with my vascular surgeon on Thursday! New medicine is going to be given to me to try and help control the problems caused by the blockages on my left side.Thank you, also, for patiently waiting for God to reveal to me another post. God’s timing is always perfect. So, I know that God will use this post to speak to your heart as He did mine…

Every time I have been to a public swimming pool, I always see the following scene: A mom, dad, or adult (of some importance to a child), standing in the water with their arms out stretched. They are reaching to an “unsure” child that is standing on the side of the pool. I always hear the adult say, “Come on. Jump to me! I promise I will catch you. I promise I will not drop you. Jump to me!” You can see the child’s mind turning and assessing his/her surroundings, weighing the risks of jumping. They crouch down and get ready… then they back out. Why? It’s not like they are jumping to strangers, right? I, myself have had this “pool” conversation with Canaan too. I found that when Canaan was smaller, he jumped to me without hesitation. But as he became older, it took more coaxing from me or from Shane. What causes the child to hesitate? Why must they ponder jumping out on the faith that this person, he/she trusts, will catch them? The reason is the same when we, as God’s children, ‘hesitate’ to jump into the arms of a God we supposedly trust and that has ‘never missed’. The reason? We, and those children on the side of a pool, are more concerned with the depth of the water than the depth of the love of the One who is waiting to catch us…

Psychologist have studied depth perception for years. Countless numbers of tests and studies have been conducted to find out just how early humans recognize depth. One test was called the “Visual Cliff”. In this particular test, a flat glass table was used. One side was considered ‘flat’, while the other side of the table presented an illusion of a drop off(with clear glass). Infants, who were able to crawl, were placed on the table and urged to crawl toward the pretend cliff. Most of the infants crawled, but stopped just shy of the pretend drop off. To many psychologists, this showed that even as early as infants, we have a sense of depth perception. As babies, the first thing we learn is our dependency on our caregivers, usually our parents. We learn that if we cry, we are responded to and our needs are met. We learn to trust. I noticed that during this stage, Canaan, at the swimming pool, would freely jump to my arms no matter the danger because he was only acting upon his trust for me. As we continue to grow, we learn that there is danger around us. We learn this through physical injuries (Lots of band aids!). As our mind learns to assess danger surrounding us and what ‘could happen’, it becomes harder to trust. We learn that humans fail, even our parents. The child, standing on the side of the pool, becomes clouded by the danger of the water, rather than focusing on the trust they have for the parent. What about our spiritual depth perception? Could it be that we are so busy giving God our excuses of why we can’t give Him control of our problems, that we are standing, paralyzed on the side? Perhaps you are going through a difficult time of one problem after another in your life. You have asked God to ‘help’ you, yet you find you are in the same place you began. When you read His word, you find scriptures on how you can trust Him. When you talk to your Godly friends, you hear them tell you that you must let go of trying to control. And in your heart, you feel the Holy Spirit tell you to step out on faith and that God will help you if you trust Him. God is speaking to you. The reason I lacked a relationship with God for so many years is that I did not realize Ephesians 3:17-18… to know the depth of His love. Maybe you only know the ‘pits’ of the world, the heartaches, and struggles. Tell God you want to know the depth of His love in an intimate relationship with Him. This is what increases our faith. I noticed one more thing about Canaan and the other children when they stood in hesitation on the side of the pool: they only jumped when they locked eyes with the one they trusted. The more Canaan looked around, the more frightened he became. But when I said, “Look at me and jump,” it changed everything. Where are your eyes and to what or whom are they locked in on? Only looking at God through His word will keep you from ‘backing out’ in your faith. Many of you have major decisions to make in your life right now. Fear is creeping in because the jump of faith to God would be so crazy! All I can tell you is, out of all the times His children have ‘jumped to Him’, He never missed…from Genesis through
Revelation :-)

Love,
Corrie

My prayer for today:
Lord, forgive me for the times I have doubted the very One who gave me eternal life. Why would I doubt a God who made a way for me to escape Hell? I know everything you do for me is for my good. I want to grow in knowing you each and every day. You are incapable of failure. Help those who read this and are struggling, to turn everything over to you. Help them and help me to trust in who you are and the power of your word. Thank you for your faithfulness…

Rainbow

September 29th, 2009 by Corrie | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments - Add another now!

“As for God, His way is perfect; the word of the Lord is flawless.” Psalm 18:30

“My comfort in my suffering is this: You promise preserves my life.” Psalm 119:50

(Solomon’s prayer) …”You have hept your promise to your servant David, my father; with your mouth you have promised and with your hand you have fulfilled it-as is is today.” 1 Kings 8:24

***Before reading the post, if at all possible, please go and get your Bible***

For the past couple of weeks, we have had so much rain in our area. It has rained day after day. Creeks were overflowing, water was standing everywhere, and dripping constantly from the trees and the rooftops. My son Canaan and I were riding in the car a few days ago. It was raining very hard as we were driving. Canaan asked me, “Mommy, is God mad or upset with us?” Even though I have learned that age 4 is an age of what seems like, ‘never ending question-time for mommy’, I will admit, this question made me smile. It made me smile because I knew God was about to teach me something through this child, as He has so many times before. I asked Canaan what had made him think that God was mad or angry. He said, “Well, you know a long time ago, God got upset with all those people that were being ugly and He told Noah to build a boat and then He sent rain. Lots of rain! And it flooded the whole world!” I told Canaan that he was right in what had happened in the story. But then I told him that he had forgotten the best part of the story… the rainbow. I told Canaan how God sent that rainbow to show Noah that He promised never to flood the Earth, in that way, again. I heard myself end the conversation with, “And when God promises something, we can always believe Him.” At that moment, I felt the sweet, still, small voice of God say to me, “But in my word, I have promised much more, Corrie, than withholding a flood. The promises to you in my word are much greater than that of the rainbow. You must believe in all my promises like you believe in my promise that I won’t flood again. My word is full of even greater one’s for you.” This moved me to probe deeper into my own heart. I hope you will too…

Is is me or does life seem to be getting harder? Sometimes, I like to think back to my childhood and spending time at my grandparent’s house in the country. When I was four, I stayed with them during the day while my mom worked at a local sewing plant. I can remember the only cares I had were if I would be able to watch Sesame Street that day (if I got up from my nap in time) and hoping that my mom would be a little late picking me up so I could stay with my Mamaw for a few more minutes :-) As a four year old, my heart was light. All I needed, I knew my parents could take care of. Now, the world is so very different. Stress is a feeling that all of us know too well. Anxiety, depression follow stress and can be frequent ‘visitors’that weigh down our heart and mind. It is true, the world is changing and trials come harder and faster. But as Christians, this should come as no surprise. God’s word tells us from the very beginning what we must prepare for. Currently, I am learning, in my walk with God, the importance of the His infallible word. God’s word. The Bible. That is what this post is about: God’s promises to us; Do we even know them? It’s not to place focus on our trials because those are guaranteed. And to be honest, focusing on the trial is what brings us stress, depression, anxiety, etc. But it is better to place focus on how to seek answers from God through His word, while the trial is whirling around us. Kind of like, finding the eye of the storm. The question God was asking me through what Canaan had said was ‘did I believe that His word is true and is it applicable to every single question, situation, or trial that comes to me?’ The answer is ‘yes’. God’s word is not to be read just on a rainy day, or when just because it’s Sunday, or only when something is wrong. It is not a last resort. It was given to us to help us to endure, be empowered, and stand firm. It is what sets us apart as His children. A simple Proverb may sound good to even a non believer, but it is the Holy Spirit who, for the believer, takes that wording on a piece of paper and speaks to our hearts, causing us to feel a ‘lighter load’ and to build our faith in our Lord. God’s word has power. It has power because it is God’s very breath spoken to you and to me. 2 Timothy 3:16 says, “All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting, and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work.” If you can, pick up your Bible and hold it in your hands (right now, as you continue to read). Thumb through the pages. Do you know that you are holding the very breath of God in your hands? Have you searched in that word for your answers to a problem that is on your mind right now? Not just a couple of times to let your finger fall on a verse and then read it, but have you begged for God to speak to you through His HOLY word? We must believe that just as God promised not to flood the entire world again, we must also believe the other promises He states in His word for you and for me. But we must search and read His word for these answers. I know that so many of my brothers and sisters in Christ are going through fiery trials. This includes myself. Sometimes those trials feel as though you are hanging on by a thread. But God is showing me that while He is a God who comforts, He is a God who helps. He is a God of miracles and He is a God of power! You and I must dive into His word to find our answers, these promises. I want to be in His word everyday. I want to study to find these golden nuggets of what God wants for me. We must understand that the answer to a distant relationship with Him is in His word. The answers on how to give to Him a relationship that is broken between you and your spouse, your child, or your friend, is found in His word. The answer to breaking free from a dark past, doubt, and fear is found in a new identity in His word. His word tells you how to finally feel His peace for the grief you feel in the death of someone you loved. His word offers direction to having financial security. I could go on and on. The point He is making is that what we need has to be sought in His word, not in the world. I was surprised to realize that in all the times I had seen heavy rain, even flooding in some areas, I had never worried that God would break His promise that He made that day with Noah. But how I have worried in other areas of my life… and He had given me His promise not to fail me in those situations either. It wasn’t Him, it was me and my unbelief in His flawless word. His word is full of promises. Promises that He has never broken to you or to me. It is up to us to make the effort to go there first. The answers are there…the promises are there. It wasn’t about a colorful rainbow, it was a promise to His children. We can count on Him to be faithful in every problem, every season, every detail. Next time you see a rainbow, I hope it means more. It definitely will to me now…

Love,
Corrie

My prayer for today:
Father, I come to you, with your word laid our before me. Help me to remember your faithful promises, Lord. Prompt me to search for you day and night. For those who are reading this now and are weary, show them the answers that they need, God. Show them the power of your very breath leaping off the pages! For those who are reading this in places that they cannot have even one piece of paper of the Bible, bless them Father. Give them your word, somehow. Provide a way. Forgive me for taking this very copy of your inspiration for granted and sitting it aside while I look elsewhere for you. Thank you for you word. Teach me your promises for my life…

Midnight

September 12th, 2009 by Corrie | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments - Add another now!

“About midnight Paul and Silas were praying and singing hymns to God, and the other prisoners were listening to them. Suddenly there was such a violent earthquake that the foundations of the prison were shaken. At once the prison doors flew open, and every body’s chains came loose.”    Acts 16:25-26

 

“At midnight I rise to give you thanks, for your righteous laws.” Psalm 119:62

 

When I was a teenager, I always had a curfew. It was always earlier, it seemed, than the curfew of most of my friends. I thought it was horrible when it started at 11:00 p.m. and it stayed that way for a long time (my friends from high school are laughing because they know this was true!). My parents said that as long as I lived there, I would have a curfew. This curfew thing was always an issue with me and my parents. I would beg and plead to stay out until at least 12:00 a.m. For some reason, that midnight hour seemed like such a mile marker for me and my maturity and independence. But, my dad would always say, “If you can’t do what you want to do before midnight, then there is no reason for you to be doing it.” I hated that saying (of course, now I know he might have been right… ok, he was right. Shhhh!)! I remember the day that my curfew got moved up to midnight! 12:00 a.m. (you are going to laugh… I was a freshman in college!). Wait a minute.. As I pause to remember all of this, I also remember my younger brother, Kyle, NEVER had a curfew! Where is justice? Justice, I say! ( I will have to talk to my parents about that matter a little later…even though Kyle is married now :-) . Anyway, back to me. One thing that sticks out in my mind about my midnight curfew is that I viewed the ‘midnight hour’ as free and liberating. My father, however, viewed it as the darkest part of the night. I remember that when I came in, my dad was never asleep. He would be in his bed, but he never went to sleep until I was home… safe. Two very different views of midnight…

Midnight by definition means, “Intense darkness; a period of darkness and gloom; an ending of one day and the beginning of another.” As I was praying about this post, God revealed to me that so many of His children are going through very dark times. Trials that aren’t just difficult but trials where no end is in sight. They are trials that push your mind and body to a limit you never knew you had. This post is God’s very breath to speak to us with a simple message: He wants us to seek Him at midnight. I am not saying that we should all set our clocks to have a ‘quiet time’ with Him at 12:oo a.m. (We could and I bet it would be cool, though!). He wants us to seek Him in the darkness. To reach out for Him, even though we cannot see Him; to believe He is there and in complete control even though we don’t feel Him. In Psalm 119:62, I found it interesting to find that David, the King, rose to pray to God at midnight. Why? I don’t know for sure, but based on the rest of what I read from David, he wanted God to know he was making the effort to do everything he could to be close with Him. He was a man after God’s own heart, remember? He chased God’s heart to mirror it. We know that David went through very dark times. Many theologians believe David even battled depression. But in the midnight hour, the darkest time of the night, the time when you just can’t seem to sleep for your mind turning and turning, David chose to go to God and praise Him, to give God thanks. How long has it been that you were able to just thank God, even through the darkness around you? David viewed midnight as intense darkness, but he saw God as his light, his hope, his ending of one day and the beginning of another. God also showed me the reward of seeking Him in the midnight hour of trouble in Paul and Silas. Here are two men who had devoted themselves to sharing about the love and saving grace of Jesus Christ… yet they found themselves, at midnight, shackled, chained, and guarded in a cell. Sometimes, Satan convinces us that our trials we are going through have us trapped, bound, and fill us with hopelessness. I found it interesting that instead of Paul and Silas worrying about the fact that it was midnight, almost time for them to start a terrible day over again, they were singing praises (like David) to God! And guess what? God moved at midnight. There chains were broken and they were set free! Paul and Silas even lead a guard and his family to Christ! You may say, “Corrie, you don’t understand. I can’t possibly praise God with what I am going through. I have drifted from Him. I don’t even know where to start.” My friend, all I know is what is true and who has never ever failed me. I know that God says all we have to do is utter His name and He will come to where we are. He heals the broken hearted. I will tell you that when it feels like midnight to me (and it so often does), I have learned that I can dread the next day or I can go to God with every fear, doubt, and tear that I have. And with a pure cleansed heart, then and only then, am I able to praise Him. He changes my view. The shackles come off, the chains are broken, and my faith is strengthened that much more. I pray that if you are at the midnight hour, the hardest trial of your life, you will no longer view it as the darkest part of the night, but you will see it as liberating and a time to have freedom in Christ…

“We can trust God not only above our emotions, but also above our thoughts.”—-Corrie ten Boom

Love,

Corrie

My prayer for today: Lord, how I love you. I am so thankful for those ‘midnight’ hours, for it is then when I see you and your power in my life. Without my trials, I would never know how deep your love is for me. I lift up every person who reads this post, Lord. Run to them, Father, as they seek you in the darkest time of their life. Help us to wait for you to come and break us free from our shackles, chains, and doors of the strongholds. We love you and give you thanks for who you are. Our identity lies in you…

Responding to the Power of God

August 24th, 2009 by Corrie | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments - Add another now!

“For the message of the cross is foolishness to those who are perishing, but to us who are being saved it is the power of God.” 1 Corinthians 1:18

I first want to begin by thanking those of you who have been praying for me and my health. These last 2 and a half weeks have been very difficult, both physically and mentally. For those of you who don’t know, I have a rare disease that (when active) causes my arteries to narrow and close, causing little to no blood flow to my heart and brain. The main artery in my left arm is almost completely closed due to the disease’s beginning. Since then, every so often, I have problems with that arm constricting and minimizing my blood flow in my arm and to my heart. My doctors are beginning more tests to find what is causing this and to know how to stop it. As you can guess, I have been doing alot of thinking. I thought alot about my faith and God’s power. I want to be able to have that faith that melts the very heart of God. I want to be in such a deep relationship with God that my eyes never fall away, that they stay locked in His. I want to have a trust in my Lord that is so great, no circumstance could make me doubt his power. Yet, sometimes, my eyes do fall away from His. The swirling wind and waves around me get my attention. Have you ever felt that way? Have you ever wondered why, as a Christian, you feel so cowardly and confused in the trial you are going through? Have you ever asked yourself, “Why can’t I just trust God like I’m ’supposed’ too?” Well, for 22 days, I have prayed for God to reveal to me His next post. I am pleased to say that He answers those questions in this post…

When I think about what happened at the cross all those years ago, my response is bitter sweet. It hurts me to think about how badly Jesus was beaten, how much He bled, how much pain He endured. It is difficult for me to think about the insults He heard, the thorns that were pushed into His head, and the nails driven deep into His hands and feet. But then, I am filled with so much love and gratitude that I smile when I think about the fact that He did that for me, for you. I think of how God gave up His own son so that you and I could have an eternity with Him and our loved ones. I am so happy Jesus has gone to prepare a place that is so beautiful, it is called Heaven. Even though what happened at the cross makes cry with both tears of joy and with tears of sadness, what happened at the cross was powerful! It was God’s power! When we accept Christ into our hearts as Lord and Savior through salvation, we are responding to this very power (Romans 1:16-17). By making this profession of faith, our response is that we believe that we are sinners and are in need of being ’saved’ from the eternal punishment for sin, which is Hell. We are also saying that we believe that God sent His son, Jesus, to die on the cross in place of us and took on our sin (John 3:16). He became our Savior. By accepting this gift of salvation, this in turn, gives us eternal life in Heaven. We also believe that Jesus arose from the grave and ascended into Heaven and is someday, coming again for His Bride (Matt. 24:44; John 14:2-3; Rev. 19:7). Wow! We serve a God who is so powerful that He defeated death, sin, and is preparing a place for us to be with Him one day! POWER. As Christians, the power that God showed through His son’s death and resurrection is our very reason for living. It ensures our eternity. As 1 Corinthians 1:18 states, it is the ‘power of God’ and certainly not ‘foolishness’! But here is a question: Why doesn’t our response to the power of what happened at the cross (the power of God), change our response to the trials in our lives? Ephesians 1:19-23 tells us that we (God’s children), have the same power working within us that raised Chris from the dead. I believe this is a concept that Satan doesn’t want the believer to know. Do we believe that God’s power is limited to the cross? We believe that God could save us from an eternity in Hell, defeat death, but that He will fail to carry us through a fiery trial? My friends, we must realize that we are still responding to God’s power in our lives today… we either believe Him to be faithful and at work within us or we believe Him to fail us. God is showing me that when I fail to believe Him and trust Him, it is because there are pieces of me that I have failed to give over to Him completely. These are also known as strongholds. They create distance between us and our Father. They are lies that Satan uses to keep us from having an intimate relationship with God. What about you? Are you a going through a trial in your life right now? Are you a Christian and wondering why you just can’t seem to get rid of fear and doubt that God might not come through for you? We must go to God with those thoughts of fear, doubt, anger, etc. We must find out who He really is. If we draw near to Him, He will draw near to us. He will provide you energy when you are tired (Col. 1:29). He will give you strength, endurance, and patience when you think you can’t make it even one more day (Col. 1:11). Allow God to show His power in your life. It’s the same power that raised Jesus from the dead! It’s the same power that we believed at the moment we accepted Him into our hearts. We must let go of trying to control it and do it ‘our way’. It never works that way. I hope you will join me in ‘responding’ daily to God’s power. Give God complete control of your life. I would like to share one of my favorite passages in God’s word with you. It is Isaiah 49:16: “See, I have engraved you on the palms of my hands: your walls are ever before me.” In the earlier Jewish times, it was customary to puncture one’s hands with a symbol of their city and their temple as a sign of commitment and devotion. This verse and the verses before it show us God’s amazing compassion and His promise to never forget His children, even those children who disobey Him and then return. When you feel afraid that He is going to leave you or doubt that He won’t come through for you, reflect on that verse: Close your eyes and imagine that you are standing at the foot of the cross. You can see Him hanging there. Jesus, the Deity living in bodily form. His arms are outstretched. Look closer at His hands. Closer. Do you see it? Your name is written on His palm. God won’t forget us… Calvary has already proven that.

Love,
Corrie

My prayer for today:
Lord, I am so grateful for your power. Words can’t express the love I feel for you when I think about the cross. But I know that you want to show that power in my life on a daily basis. Help me to give you every part of me. Break my strongholds. I want to deepen my trust in you. I want faith that is unshakable. I want a heart that mirrors yours. Help me to give you my life fully…daily.

Rockwood Women’s Conference

August 21st, 2009 by Corrie | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments - Add another now!

Thank you, ladies of Rockwood Baptist Church in Russellville, Alabama, for hosting a wonderful women’s conference! Our theme was, “Reflections of a Lovely Lady.” Throughout the day, God revealed who He says that we are in Christ. The Holy Spirit moved in such a mighty way. It is so good to know our true identity in Christ! It was an honor for me to be with you and I am so thankful for the invitation to share God’s word. May we continue to remember Debbie King and the entire Bolton family, in the loss of Bro. Oneal Bolton. We lift you up in prayer to be bathed in God’s grace and His comfort. We also rejoice in the fact that Bro. Oneal has been called home by our Father…

Love,
Corrie

Hugging God

August 1st, 2009 by Corrie | Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments - Add one now!

“The eternal God is your refuge and underneath are the everlasting arms. He will drive out your enemy before you, saying, ‘Destroy him!” Deuteronomy 33:27

At 32, I finally understand why my dad used my brother and I as illustrations so often in his sermons: kids are great material. Yes, they are hilarious but they also say those things that are so very profound and leave you speechless; Especially when it comes to things about God. The other day, Canaan (my 4 year old son) and I were discussing things about God and I was answering his questions the best that I could (no one told me that when your kid is about 4, you need to take a class in theology!). You know, the usual questions about how God made everything and everyone, and how…why… and when. I had just finished answering a question that had something to do with God and dinosaurs. I breathed a sigh of relief, (thinking the conversation had ended and hoped I had answered his questions without making anything up :-) when Canaan asked me a question that I think I will never forget. He said, “Mommy, how can I hug God?” He continued with, “I just want to hug Him but I don’t know how.” I felt a lump rise in my throat and wanted to cry right then and there. I wanted to cry because of the love I knew Canaan had for God. To him, a hug is one of the biggest ways to show someone you love them. I wanted to cry because Canaan’s question made me check my own heart. How often do I really tell God how much I love Him? Do my actions reflect that my heart beats for Him above all else? I knelt down by Canaan and told him the only answer I could think of. I told Him that we show God how much we love Him by telling Him in prayer, showing Him by our actions, and telling other people about Him. Later that day, Canaan went on about his business, but that question about hugging God stayed with me. I looked up the definition of the word ‘hug’. It means, “to press tightly, especially in the arms.” I started thinking about God’s arms and the times they were there for me. How that during my trials, God’s arms were around me, protecting me, sheltering me, comforting me. Sometimes His arms were stern, as a loving disciplining father, directing me and keeping me from making harmful decisions. There were even times that I ran away from those arms and then wondered why I didn’t feel Him near and felt afraid. I am slowly learning that as God’s child, it is absolutely necessary to press into God’s arms. This not a suggestion or something you ‘could do’…it is a must. I was turning through my Bible and saw that Deuteronomy 33:27 was underlined. Out to the side are the words, “Proof that God Protects”. As His people, we MUST believe this verse. This verse cannot be skimmed over, it must be broken down and studied piece by piece. The beginning of the verse tells us that God is eternal. He exists even when we don’t believe He is there. No doubts that you or I have about Him, makes Him less powerful or effective. He is eternal. He has always been here and always will be. How? I don’t know; that’s one of the reasons I call Him God. The next part of the verse says that He is our refuge. He is that place of shelter in times of distress. His word doesn’t say that times of distress won’t come, but that when they come, we will press into the arms. The last part tells us that God will protect us from our enemies. I think that sometimes, we believe that people around us are where are battles are. But we forget that our biggest enemy is Satan. I believe that if God protects me from Satan himself, He can handle anyone on this earth that threatens me with harm. This whole verse is powerful, but I must say that my favorite part is the middle… ‘underneath is the everlasting arms.’ Underneath means ‘beneath the surface’. This tells me that at the end of every trial, every tear, every struggle, there are the arms… His arms. To me, stepping out on faith feels like I am just free falling. Falling and falling and having no idea where I will land. How wonderful it is to know that at the end are His arms. The arms are everlasting. There is no end to His help. You and I never have to wonder when God will leave us or abandon us. He won’t. Perhaps you feel like you are completely alone in a trial in your life right now. Maybe it is comfort you long for from His arms because of the pain that you feel. You must press into His arms. Perhaps you need protection from the fire that is flames from those around you. You must press into His arms. When you do this, He will deal with your enemies and not a hair on your head will be singed (Daniel 3:27 ). There are a million reasons to need God’s arms. We must remember that as His people, we must not worry about ‘what the arms will do’. Our job is to press tightly into them. I guess there is a way to ‘hug’ God after all…

Love,
Corrie

My prayer for today: Lord, thank you for Canaan and showing me that I need to press tightly into your arms. Thank you for loving me, disciplining me, comforting me, and just simply holding me up with your everlasting arms. Help me to rid myself of arrogance and pride and know I am nothing without you…

Strings and Knots

July 18th, 2009 by Corrie | Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments - Add another now!

“As you do not know the path of the wind, or how the body is formed in a mother’s womb, so you cannot understand the work of God, the maker of all things.” Ecclesiastes 11:5

When I was younger, I used to love to cross stitch. Of course, back then I seemed to have more patience to sit there for hours. Moving the needle in and out, hoping that soon, what I was ‘attempting’ to make would look something like the picture it came with :-) One day, I was about to continue with one of my projects. As I went to get the cross stitch piece I was working on out of my sewing box (yes, I had a sewing box! What of it!!), I noticed all these knots and strings on the back of my picture. For a second, I was amazed that so many ugly looking pieces of strings and knots could actually turn out to make such a beautiful picture. God has since then brought my ‘cross stitching’ days of glory back to my mind. He reminds me that His children (myself included!) are always looking at the knots and strings of His will for our life, questioning, wondering, why, why why? Yet, our Father, the designer of our life, is looking at the finished product. He knows the purpose for every string, every knot, every turn, and every loop. We plead for glimpses of that finished product, but sometimes they come and sometimes there is only silence. What does this mean for us as God’s people? He will tell us in this post…

I think I could learn something new about God every second of my life until the day I die and I would have still never scratched the surface of who this magnificent God really is. However, at the present moment in my Christian walk, He is working with me on belief. A question that I have often asked myself is, “Why can’t I just believe God?” The answer to this question goes back to the Garden of Eden. Believing God seems like such a simple concept. Though the concept is simple, God’s people often find it to be so difficult. The reason is sin. God told Adam and Eve not to eat from the tree of life. He didn’t tell them every detail or go over the complete plan, but He told them what He wanted them to know for the moment. You know, the ’strings and knots’? But then, Satan came into the picture. He gave Eve reasons (illusions) of why she should eat from that tree and not believe God. Sin is still the reason God’s children find it difficult to believe Him today. You see, sin creates distance between us and God. We often think of sin to be murder, stealing, big lies (as opposed to little white ones), sexually sins, etc. But in God’s eyes, sin is sin and sin equals distance. Do we ever think that pride is sin? Arrogance? Putting other people (even if it’s our own family) before God… it’s sin too. The reason we fail to believe God is because we allow (notice I said ‘we’ allow) sin to wedge itself between us and God, slowly creating distance. Satan does this by telling us lies. You may be saying, “Corrie, what lies? I know when I am being lied to!” No. Satan is very good at deceiving. Have you ever found yourself asking the question of, “Will God really help me in this trial?”; “What if He doesn’t rescue me?”; “What if everything I know about God really isn’t really true?” My friend, these are the lies that take our eyes off of our Father. And the moment we look down, the waves seem to wash over us, crashing, smothering us as if to feel as though we are drowning. So, how do we believe God and not the lies? How do we wait when we only see the ’strings and knots’? I believe the answer is in God’s word. I started looking at people in the Bible who God gave instruction to trust Him, believe Him, with only knowing very limited information: Abraham- God tells him to just pack up everything and everybody, move’m out and follow Him! Strings and knots. Abraham is also a good example for us to see what can happen if you want to flip over the cross stitch to see the finished product way too early! (But after that, Abraham did believe God for the rest of his life); Moses-God tells him to go tell this big scary tyrant to just ‘let the people go’ and if he didn’t, to threaten the big scary tyrant with a bunch of plagues! Strings and knots. Mary-God tells her she is having a baby (and we all know all the biology that was missing there!) and the baby would be the Messiah! Strings and knots. David, Samuel, Job…strings and knots. I could go on and on of people who believed God when they didn’t know what the completed picture would be like. So, if sin existed then as it exists now, how did they believe God? The reason is the relationship these people had with God. These people spent time with God, talking to Him and listening to Him, confessing sin so that they could be close with Him. When they became afraid, they drew closer and closer to God (James 4:8). That is the answer for us today. We believe God when we are close to God. The closer I get to God, the more I seek to be like Him. The more of His identity I can take on, the less sin can wedge its way in between us. When the distance is gone, trust is built! Spending time with God also includes reading and studying His word. But, in order for God’s word to bring us comfort, encouragement, power, etc, we must be able to believe the one who wrote it (Proverbs 30:5). What about you? Are you struggling to believe God in a trial right now? The way we can believe Him is to confess the sin that is causing the distance between us and God. We must stop buying into the lies of Satan and allowing him to intimidate us into doubting a God that is true. I love to read Hebrews chapter 11. It is a chapter completely devoted to God’s people who believed Him when they only saw the ’strings and knots’. You and I must be willing to believe God even though the wind howls around us. We must choose to believe Him when Satan stages the illusion of no hope being anywhere in sight. When Satan roars in our face, we must remember he was stripped of power at Calvary and that he is a lion with no teeth. We are God’s people. We must prove faithful. I will end the post with Lamentations 3:21-24: “Yet this I call to mind and therefore I have hope: Because of the lord’s great love we are not consumed, for His compassions never fail.. They are new every morning; great is your faithfulness, I say to myself, ‘The Lord is my portion; therefore I will wait for Him.” ****Here’s to ’strings and knots’!

Love,
Corrie

My prayer for today:
Lord, forgive me for wanting to rush ahead of you in your plans for my life. Those strings and knots that I have seen have been so purposeful in my relationship with you and they still are. Help me to wait on you and boldly follow you with total belief in who you are… not only for what you do..

Fireworks

July 5th, 2009 by Corrie | Posted in Uncategorized | No Comments - Add one now!

“For the Lord himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first. After that, we who are still alive and are left will be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And so we will be with the Lord forever. Therefore, encourage each other with these words.”     1 Thessalonians 4:16-18

“Therefore be on the alert, for you do not know which day your Lord is coming.”
Matthew 24:42

As I have shared with you before, after God gives me the post to write, I immediately begin to pray for Him to give me the next one. Then, rather than panic, I have learned to wait for Him. Just a few hours ago, God overwhelmed my heart with this particular post. I must say, it is perhaps one of the most encouraging and exciting post He has ever given me. I hope in reading this, God will change the perception of your day today…

I am sure many of you celebrated the Fourth of July with fireworks (unless you are like me and live in the woods and can’t because you might start a forest fire that would burn for days!). Anyway, tonight at my church, we continued the celebration by gathering together to honor both our Lord and our men and women of service. We also had the privilege of hearing our Congressman, Robert Aderholt, share his heart. After the service, hot dogs and ice cream were served. And then came the fireworks. As we all stood outside, everyone seemed to stop eating and talking as the fireworks show began. The sky was beautifully lit up with an array of color and explosions of loud sounds that indicated the beauty that would soon come behind them. All of a sudden, God allowed me to see something wonderful and exciting… so exciting that I have chills again writing about it. There, all around me, stood 2 or 3 hundred people, gazing up at the sky. They couldn’t take their eyes of what was happening in the sky. Suddenly, I felt as though I had caught a tiny glimpse of what it will be like when our Lord returns for us. I feel as though some times, we begin to think that our lives, our trials, are to hard to bear here in this old world. Satan plants the doubts of ‘is this man really coming back for us?’ My friend, God placed this post on my heart tonight to encourage you who are weary. This includes me. So many of us are undergoing trials that seem to take away our very breath. The endurance for another day seems almost to hard to bear. We must remember that we are not orphans who have been abandoned or discarded. We are sons and daughters of the King of Kings, the Lord of Lords! We are royalty, but we wait as though we are forgotten children. You and I must understand that HE WILL BE BACK! Prophecies have been and are continuing to be fulfilled. It is getting closer and closer to the day when the trumpet sounds and our eyes are drawn to the activity in the sky, once again. But this time, not for fireworks. The Lord Jesus has come to do as He promised! Our loved ones ,who have accepted Him through salvation, will rise first and then us–His children! We will be changed! My heart beats faster as I write this post. But as much as I long to see my Saviour and those who have gone before me, there is much work to be done. Jesus did not tell us to rest with our feet up while He went to get everything ready. No, you and I must share with others about the day of our Lord. Even though I know I will be a part of that glorious day, if it were today, I would be heart broken. Heart broken for those I have not told about my Lord. Do you know if your spouse has accepted Christ into their heart? Other family members? Your best friend? What about that person who is sitting next to you right now? I have failed my God miserably in this area, but I am going to strive to change that. Perhaps your are going through a difficult trial in your life right now. You never seem to be able to ‘get everything together’ here on Earth. If your are God’s child, He tells us that we are aliens and strangers to this world. We are temporary. And for that reason, we must depend on God and His power to take us through the ‘land of the living’. We have work to do, guys and gals. He is returning. What we have read is true. My heart tells me it is. But for today or tonight, whenever you are reading this, I challenge you to do something that I did tonight: Look at the sky for just a moment. If you are His child, anticipate that day where we will be caught up in the air, the trumpet… the rapture. As for our trials we face today, 1 Thess. 4:18 tells us that the return of Christ should encourage us as believers. But until that day comes, we must continue to do the work… His work.

Love,
Corrie
(Note: If you have never asked Christ into your heart to be your Lord and Saviour, I would be honored to share with you how to do that. Please contact me by phone or by email (both my email address and phone number can be found on the home page of the website). It will be the best decision you will ever make :-)

My prayer for today: Lord, how thankful I am that you have gone to prepare a place for me. A place that I can’t even imagine. I nailed you to that cross and you gave me eternity in return. I don’t know what to say except that I am thankful. I will proclaim who you are until you return.