Trial to Triumph – or “Why is this happening to me?” Part 8

picture gold cross13 Moses told the people, Fear not; stand still (firm, confident, undismayed) and see the salvation of the Lord which He will work for you today. For the Egyptians you have seen today you shall never see again. Exodus 14:13

When Moses spoke those words the Israelites were standing between a huge Egyptian army on chariots and a large body of water – the Red Sea. Apparently, they forgot in that terrifying moment all that the Lord had done for them when he dealt with Egypt with ten plagues and how they had come away with the riches of the Egyptians and how He was still standing as a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night. When Moses told them to stand still it went against every natural inclination. Fight or flight. The Lord said “Fear not, stand firm and see”. They finally did and the Lord made a way that was a miracle – through the Red Sea!

Being a person who constantly has to remind my self to let the Lord be Lord and to not get in His way, it has been a challenge to learn to just stand firm and not fear. But when I have done this the Lord has always acted mightily on my behalf.

When I worked for the County Health Department I had many opportunities to share the Gospel with staff and patients. Only one nurse had a problem with me and she would complain periodically about me. When she did I would get called into the Director’s office and be told to stop talking about religion. What a temptation to “speak my peace”, but the Lord always told me to keep quiet. Nothing bad ever happened to me and later the Director came to me in secret and asked me to pray for her son-in–law who had lost his job.  I am thankful to the Lord for that great lesson in fearing not and standing firm.

We have seen that trials are for our good, purifying our faith and bringing us the characteristics of Jesus: patience, steadfastness and endurance. We have learned that trials are not punishments and that the Lord is with us during the trial. We found that the way to go through a trial is to let the Lord know what our needs are specifically and to fear not, stand firm and see him take care of all our needs and problems.

So the next time a trial comes we can say: “Woo hoo!”

Jesus is Lord!


Trial to Triumph – or “Why is this happening to me?” Part 7

picture gold barsRejoice in the Lord always [delight, gladden yourselves in Him]; again I say, Rejoice!

 Let all men know and perceive and recognize your unselfishness (your considerateness, your forbearing spirit). The Lord is near [He is [a]coming soon].Do not fret or have any anxiety about anything, but in every circumstance and in everything, by prayer and petition (definite requests), with thanksgiving, continue to make your wants known to God. And God’s peace [shall be yours, that [c]tranquil state of a soul assured of its salvation through Christ, and so fearing nothing from God and being content with its earthly lot of whatever sort that is, that peace] which transcends all understanding shall [d]garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus. Philippians 4:4-7

Going through a trial is no picnic but the Lord has given us some clear directions for how to continue in His peace during the trial. He tells us not to fret or worry but to tell Him by specific requests what we need.  I have learned to be accurate in asking for what I need.

 I have a sister in the Lord who was in deep debt. She added up all her debt and came to an amount of one hundred thousand dollars. We prayed and trusted the Lord that He would cleanse her of all debt. A few months later – her debt was met and cleared! Praise the Lord! When I prayed for a husband I was very specific. I searched my heart and asked the Lord for a tall businessman who was a seasoned Christian who had no children and did not need me to support him. The Lord answered my prayers with my wonderful husband Walt who is all of the things I asked for and so much more.

Notice what happens when we ask and also thank the Lord for all that He has done and for what He is going to do especially during a trial. His peace comes to us. That peace guards our hearts and minds from attacks of the enemy.

Jesus is Lord!



Trial to Triumph – or “Why is this happening to me?” Part 6


picture gold being meltedI have called you by your name; you are Mine.When you pass through the waters, I will be with you, and through the rivers, they will not overwhelm you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned or scorched, nor will the flame kindle upon you. Isaiah 43:1-2


As I look back on the trial of losing two jobs and moving to a new state I can see how badly my faith needed to be purified. I can also see how the Lord never left me. He wasn’t mad at me. He is a good Dad. I worked in Emergency Care for eight years.


We often don’t understand why things happen to us. But even if we asked the Lord to explain it all to us, we might be incapable of really understanding it. Think about when we were babies and our parents or family members took us to get our immunizations. As far as we could see it was a bad thing. Somebody was holding us while someone else stuck a needle in our leg or arm. Ouch! Even if our mothers told us what the needles did – giving us protection from disease, it would have been nonsense to two month old us. We got our shots at two months, four months, six months, twelve months, eighteen months and age five. Those shots were painful to us, but provided us with precious protection against diseases that used to kill thousands of children. Our moms got us those shots because they loved us. The Lord is the same way.


When we go through a trial He is with us. He doesn’t leave us for a second. Trials are for our good.


Jesus is Lord!




Trial to Triumph – or “Why is this happening to me?” Part 5

Trial to Triumph Part 5

picture of gold after chemical separationHe will sit as a refiner and purifier of silver, and He will purify the priests, the sons of Levi, and refine them like gold and silver, that they may offer to the Lord offerings in righteousness. Malachi 3:3

I had gotten the very job that terrified me. Emergency Room Nurse Practitioner, but I felt that the Lord wanted me there. Remember He had given me a heads up months before. So I surrendered myself to the Lord. I knew I could not do this on my own. The doctor that hired me told me that I would be given a three month internship with an experienced ER Nurse Practitioner and would not be expected to operate alone until she was satisfied with my skills. She taught me to read x –rays, suture, what labs to order etc. She was literally a God-send. I actually started to like the job. The Lord gave me favor with the doctors and staff. The job paid significantly more than I made up North.

There is a process to purifying gold:

First the gold ore is crushed.

Then it is placed in a furnace in excess of 1900 degrees Fahrenheit to elevate the gold about its melting point. Impurities are burned off in the furnace – but other metals remain.

In order to separate the gold from the other metals, chemicals such as mercury or cyanide solution are introduced. This causes the gold to coagulate and form nuggets and clumps of gold.

After the gold smelting process is complete, the gold is melted once more and poured into molds to form ingots.

Later the gold ingots may be used for various purposes.

When our faith is purified from self reliance, fear, doubt, reliance on money, people or things it is able to be firmly placed in the Lord. We can access the power of the Lord. Then the fruit of endurance, steadfastness and patience emerge, the way purifying gold brings out its clarity, shine, brilliance and usefulness.

Jesus is Lord!


Ouch,That’s My Foot!

For as in one physical body we have many parts (organs, members) and all of these parts do not have the same function or use,So we, numerous as we are, are one body in Christ (the Messiah) and individually we are parts one of another [mutually dependent on one another]. Romans 12:4-5

picture of foot and tackWhen I got saved I did not realize for a long time that I was now part of a great and wonderful Body of Christ. I did not know that when I was hurting and a faithful Christian prayed with me and encouraged me that I was being ministered to by the Body in Christ. But I know it now and that understanding has changed how I look at and relate to my brothers and sisters in Christ. That understanding has made me sensitive to the hurting brothers and sisters at my church, in the community and in the world.

Imagine that you have stepped on a tack. Ouch! That hurts! What happens? First the message goes to the brain. In a nanosecond it starts giving orders to your body. Immediately your leg muscles lift up getting your foot off the floor. Your vocal cords and lungs cause you to yell out. Your hand goes to your foot to remove the tack. Then your other leg takes over and you hop to a chair to assess the damage and get help.

Now imagine that you are going through a crisis of some sort. The message goes to the head – Jesus! Immediately orders are given to the Body. Orders are given to the parts of the Body that are needed to help the situation. Prayers, help, understanding, financial assistance, etc are ordered by the Head – Jesus!

There have been times when the Lord has told me to pray or to give somebody money, food, a phone call, clothes, a hug – once it was art supplies. I got an order from the Head of our Body and I acted quickly. No delay. The Lord does this all the time. When we hurt He acts on our behalf! What a great God we serve!

Jesus is Lord!



Right Place, Right Time

25 Now when [the apostles] had borne their testimony and preached the message of the Lord, they went back to Jerusalem, proclaiming the glad tidings (Gospel) to many villages of the Samaritans [on the way].26 But an angel of the Lord said to Philip, Rise and proceed southward or at midday on the road that runs from Jerusalem down to Gaza. This is the desert [[g]route].27 So he got up and went. And behold, an Ethiopian, a eunuch of great authority under Candace the queen of the Ethiopians, who was in charge of all her treasure, had come to Jerusalem to worship.28 And he was [now] returning, and sitting in his chariot he was reading the book of the prophet Isaiah.29 Then the [Holy] Spirit said to Philip, Go forward and join yourself to this chariot. Acts 8:25-28.

I love this story about Philip. He was a man who obeyed the Lord without arguing. Because he was quick to obey the leading of the Lord, a man who had great influence with the Queen of Ethiopia was saved. Who knows how many people that eunuch was instrumental in bringing to the Lord? How many families did he impact after his salvation?

picture man with suitcaseLet’s go back and look at Philip. [Read more…]


Serious Love

picture people getting along14 If we love our Christian brothers and sisters,[d] it proves that we have passed from death to life. But a person who has no love is still dead.15 Anyone who hates another brother or sister[e] is really a murderer at heart. And you know that murderers don’t have eternal life within them. 1 John 3:14-15

I was reading 1 John today and as I read it I noticed how many times John stressed to his readers to love one another. Somebody told me once that the letters were written because churches were struggling with problems. So I suppose that John wrote that because some people in the church were struggling to love each other, and in fact some hated each other!

Now why did that happen? Brother Yun, author of the Heavenly Man said that in China non believers hurt Christians but in the United States Christians hurt Christians. The closer we get to one another, the greater the chance of hurting each other.

We all say and do things without thinking sometimes. Our words or actions can wound. That’s why forgiveness is so critical. So that even if we are hurt by another Christian we can avoid becoming  “hateful” and continue to love each other – yes, even if the person never apologizes to us. Notice that John says that anyone who hates another brother or sister is a murderer at heart! That is serious! 

There was a woman at my church many years ago who went out of her way to wound me several times. I had a real struggle to keep on loving her. [Read more…]


Staying Attached to the Vine

Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me. John 15: 1-4

 picture of vine and grapes


I had dinner the other night with a group of women. The woman sitting next to me was a missionary. As we spoke I noticed how she made her decisions based the guidance she received from the Lord in prayer and in the Word. I thought that was great. And it touched my heart to see how the Lord has a special and unique relationship with each and every one of us.

He wants to guide and help us through our lives. Before the earth was formed He gave careful thought and planning to us and our lives. He knows the best plan for our lives.

How do we get to the point that we want the Lord to direct our lives and decisions? I think that the more we come to love Him, the more we trust Him with our lives. I could see how very much that Missionary loves the Lord and spends time in prayer. She is like someone who has moved closer to hear better. She is firmly attached to the vine and the very life of Jesus flows through her life.

She is attached to the vine.

Let’s do the same.

Jesus is Lord!


Be Patient with Me- I’m Being Pruned

picture of man pruning tree15 “I am the true grapevine, and my Father is the gardener. He cuts off every branch of mine that doesn’t produce fruit, and he prunes the branches that do bear fruit so they will produce even more. You have already been pruned and purified by the message I have given you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. For a branch cannot produce fruit if it is severed from the vine, and you cannot be fruitful unless you remain in me.


I was out looking at my rosebushes a few days ago and decided that they desperately needed some pruning.  Branches were going everywhere, flowerless branches stuck out among the bloomers. They were overgrown and the flowers were getting unimpressive. Air and light were having trouble getting to the inner parts of the plant.

So  I Googled “pruning rose bushes”. Apparently pruning is a delicate business. Fruitless branches are removed; blooming branches are cut back but not too far. You have to look and see just the right spot to make the cut- not too high and not too low. Branches growing across the bush in the wrong direction are removed too. At first the bush looks pretty bad. No blooms and it looks kind of scrawny. But later wonderful large roses will bloom in abundance.

We are like those rose bushes. We may have some fruitless activities in our lives, maybe some things going in the wrong direction. Maybe our growth has gotten stale and slow or out of control. We need a good pruning by the Word of God. 

Another thing I learned is that the pruner has the best interest of the plant at heart. Pruning is done lovingly to bless and help the plant. But maybe the plant sees it another way. Ouch!, branches are being removed. Maybe the plant liked that branch that was not productive. Maybe we like some things in our lives that do us no good.

Jesus prunes us with the word of God. Our job is to listen, heed and obey the word of the Lord. Sometimes it can feel a little uncomfortable, but hang in there. The Lord is doing this to make you even more fruitful.

“But the fruit of the [Holy] Spirit [the work which His presence within accomplishes] is love, joy (gladness), peace, patience (an even temper, forbearance), kindness, goodness (benevolence), faithfulness,” Galatians 5:21-23

Good pruning brings good fruit. Prune us,  Lord.

Jesus is Lord!


Follow Him


picture jesus and cross

23 And He said to all, If any person wills to come after Me, let him deny himself [[a]disown himself, [b]forget, lose sight of himself and his own interests, [c]refuse and give up himself] and take up his cross daily and follow Me [[d]cleave steadfastly to Me, conform wholly to My example in living and, if need be, in dying also].Luke 9:23.


Once in a great while that Lord gives me a dream that is clearly from Him. One night as I slept I saw Jesus standing next to me. We were in what looked like a reception area with a counter that ran the length of the room on my left. Behind that counter I could see as we walked , Christians. One was watching television, one was reading a book, and I forget what the third one was doing.


 No one looked up to see that Jesus was walking by. At the end of the room the counter became an L shape. I went and stood at this counter and someone handed me a cross. I wasn’t too heavy for me to carry and I carried it easily. Jesus then led me to a elevator and we got in and went up in the elevator. Then I woke up.


As I thought about this dream later I understood that the people behind the counter were all me! But Jesus wanted me to follow Him and not be distracted by the many things I had let bog me down in my life.


He wanted me to pick up my cross and follow Him. Simple.


I began to streamline my life, getting rid of unnecessary activities. I’m following Jesus now with fewer distractions in my life. I pick up my cross daily to follow Him.


Jesus is Lord!