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Sweet Jesus Peace




One of the first albums I bought after coming to Christ in 1977 was Lady by Reba Rambo and I wore that cassette tape out! (Dating myself here.)

I recently found the whole album on YouTube and have been playing those songs for days. One, in particular soothes my heart every time I hear it. The title is Sweet Jesus Peace and starts like this...

 

WHAT DO YOU SING WHEN YOUR WORLD’S DRAPED IN SADNESS
AND THERE’S NO MUSIC IN YOUR SONG
HOW DO YOU SMILE WHEN YOUR HEART’S LOST ITS GLADNESS
AND THE SOUND OF LAUGHTER IS ALL GONE


WHEN ALL THOUGHTS INSIDE YOUR MIND
LIKE A CIRCLE KEEP A-SPINNING ROUND
WHEN ALL THE FRIENDS YOU THOUGHT YOU HAD
SUDDENLY THEY’VE LET YOU DOWN


WHERE DO YOU GO


I KNOW A HAVEN INSIDE YOUR MIND
A COOL, RUSHING RIVER
REFRESHING NEW WINE
IT CAN SPLASH THOUGH THE CANYONS
LIKE THE WAVES ON THE SEA


THERE’S NOTHING QUITE LIKE IT
THIS SWEET JESUS PEACE


Haven't we all been there? When life and your thoughts have you in such a whirlwind of turmoil that the harder you fight to break out of the storm, the more you are sucked under.  I've learned the secret to finding peace and it's not in trying to break out of the turmoil, it's going deep. Deep within your own spirit to the place where God dwells. Connecting with the Holy Spirit, who lives inside you. It's whispering His name and listening for his whispered response.  It's feeling that sweet, Jesus peace, flowing in and pushing the turmoil aside.

Have you discovered it?

Here's a link to the song. It's an oldie, but the message is timeless.




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Upward Falling


I heard a song this morning (Touch the Sky by Hillsong United) and these words grabbed my attention...
photo courtesy lusi on rgbstock.com

Upward falling
Spirit soaring
I touch the sky when
my knees hit the ground.

This is what prayer does for me.  When I'm bogged down by life, by the evening news of horrendous things mankind is doing to each other. When I hear a friend is hurting or moving away. When the doctor says something I didn't want to hear. When someone I love is heading down a path that can only lead to destruction.

When I feel my spirit tanking, my knees hit the ground and after a while, I'm falling...UPWARD. 

My spirit soars above the quagmire into the realm of faith and the assurance that God is there. God makes a difference. Praying for others changes things. Not instantly, but definitely. I am lifted up, when I am on my knees.

The situation may not have changed, but God has changed something in me so that when I rise, I am no longer bogged down. I am walking on clouds of faith and trust in God, who is good, who is for me and who is with me in all circumstances.


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Will Satan be in Heaven with You?


 "I'm going to Heaven."

"How do you know?"

"Because I believe in God and I believe that Jesus is the Son of God."

"That's great, but that doesn't mean you're going to Heaven."


"You believe that there is one God. Good! Even the demons believe that—and shudder." James 2:19
Satan believes in God. Satan knows that Jesus is the Son of God. Do you believe that Satan will be in Heaven?

It's not enough to believe in (acknowledge) God's existence. You must "believe" in the biblical sense of the word.

The Greek word used in the Bible for "believe" is "pisteuĆ³".

pisteuĆ³ - to rely on, cling to, trust in, commit to

It's intimacy with, not just head knowledge.

Do you believe in Jesus Christ?
Are you relying on Him?
Clinging to Him? 
Trusting in Him?
Committed to Him?

Romans 10:9 says...

If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved. 

The word "Lord" means master, owner...
He calls the shots.
Everything is done to His liking.
His is in charge, not me.
I do things His way.

Is Jesus LORD of your life?

Do you dare to really believe?

How do you become a child of God?

The Bible answers that question clearly...

Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in his name, he gave the right to become children of God—John 1:12
Two things - You must believe that Jesus is God and receive Him as LORD.

If you have never done that and you would like to become a Christ follower - a child of God, forgiven and going to Heaven, then take a moment right now to pray. Confess your sins and your need for a savior. Ask God to forgive you. Ask Jesus to be LORD over all your life.

If you did that - you have not stepped into the most incredible relationship of your life. I would love to hear about your decision. Please leave a comment below.


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When the Holy Spirit is Stirring


Is it just me, or is there a stirring of the Spirit in the body of Christ, right now?

I sense it. Like something just under the surface, something not quite clear in the fog. I know it's Him. It's a foreshadowing of something to come. God whispering, "Pay attention, daughter, I'm getting ready to move and I want you to be ready to move with me."

The feeling I'm feeling brings to mind this verse...
 "For now we see only a reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; then I shall know fully, even as I am fully known."  1 Corinthian 13:12
I strain to understand, to know what He is telling me, but as always, this is a walk of faith, so even if I don't fully grasp, I trust that as I hold tightly to His hand and keep my ears and eyes wide open, when the time is right, He will reveal to me, my part.

I'm standing by, Lord.



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Fear crept up and jumped on my head!


A simple trip to the doctor to see why I was experiencing hearing loss turned into a biopsy of a suspicious spot on my nose, with positive results for basal cell carcinoma, a consult with a Mohs surgeon and a plastic surgeon and an upcoming surgery to remove the cancer.

The worst part? I learned that I have to be awake for the surgery that will take several hours to perform, followed by another surgery to close the would with a skin flap.  The more I thought about it, the more apprehensive I became. How much of my nose would they have to take? How bad would it hurt? How long would it take to heal? How bad will I look afterward?  As I mulled things over and insidious spirit of fear slithered it's way into my mind and took over. I was afraid - really afraid!

I thought if I Googled Mohs surgery it might give me a better understanding of the surgical process and calm my fears. WRONG!  

Before I could even find the facts, I was inundated with frightening pictures of noses post surgery. Big gaping wounds, disfiguring - faces bruised and stitched. Horrible pictures that scared the wits out of me. I turned off the computer, jumped in bed and pulled the covers over my head. I spent the night in fits of sleep, interspersed with scary images, imaginings and unsettling dreams. I prayed, but peace didn't come.

The next day was worse. Fear had a strangle-hold on me.  I recalled this verse....

 
 When I am afraid, I put my trust in you. Psalm 56:3
I repeated it over and over, declaring my trust in the Lord. He'd never let me down in the past and I knew he wouldn't let me down this time, but...

fear wouldn't give up that easily. 

So, I initiated my secret weapon. I contacted prayer warriors around the country. Friends and family who love me and know how to hit their knees in intercession and spiritual warfare, because I believe in the power of prayer and the loving councel of godly people.

The fear lifted. I said...THE FEAR LIFTED!

That just makes me want to sing and shout! God is awesome and His people are kind, supportive and caring.

How do people go through these kinds of things without God and Christian brothers & sisters?

I still have to face the surgery in several weeks, but now I have peace. I'm sure fear will try to weasel his way in again, but I'm on guard, now and I know just what to do.

Joshua 1:9 says...

"Yes, be bold and strong! Banish fear and doubt! For remember, the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.”

Today, I met 3 of my friends for our weekly coffee, chat and blogging session. One of them, Joy, walked in and sang a little ditty she'd made up...

God will never forsake you. He'll never ever leave you.
No, never,  no, never, never never, no, never no, never, never, never, never, never, NO!
So, there, Fear - take that!

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Time to get back in the game!


It's been 5 months since I last posted here on Refreshed by the Word. Yikes!

Where have I been? Drifting. 

James Tissot [Public domain], via wikimedia


Drifting is not a good thing. Wandering around aimlessly, not really accomplishing anything. Filling my time with Facebook, Games on my Kindle, Thrift store shopping...you know, just killing time.  Why? I think it was a knee-jerk reaction to schedule overload. As you could probably tell from my last few posts back in September, 2014, my calendar was full and overflowing, because I have a hard time saying that little two letter word - NO.

Since then, I have whittled my schedule down. Maybe too much. I find myself looking for things to do.  The last couple of weeks, I've been asking God what he wants me to do. A familiar verse from the book of Timothy floated to mind...

Photo by Hans Splinter
"For this reason I remind you to fan into flame the gift of God, which is in you through the laying on of my hands."   2 Timothy 1:6
 So, here I am - back at the keyboard, refreshed and ready to share again, the story of God's love for you, his amazing way of bringing us back to who we are - who we were meant to be - our purpose - our calling.

Photo credit: ;J. Star / Foter / ;CC BY-NC-SA
"For we are God's handiwork, created in Christ Jesus to do good works, which God prepared in advance for us to do."  Ephesians 2:10
We were created with purpose. Drifting along, not using the gifts God gave us to fulfill our purpose is unacceptable.  We are meant to change our world. To be light in a dark place, to bring hope to the hopeless, to encourage, to inspire...to shake things up. We were not meant to drift along, withdrawn, getting by - salt that has lost it's saltiness - good for nothing.

So, if you've been drifting along aimlessly, like I have, it's time for us to get back in the game. Time is short. We have a message that will change peoples lives. If you woke up this morning, then God's not finished with you yet. He wants to see you grow. He wants you to bring his message of love, forgiveness and restoration to those around you.

How about it? Have you been drifting, too?

 
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Have you ever felt like running away?

Photo courtesy RichardSweet, rgbstock.com
Running away. 

That's what I want to do when I allow my life to get too busy. When I'm juggling so much that things start falling through the cracks. When the pace I'm keeping causes my body to rebel and I find myself fighting stress-induced maladies. When I have so much on my mind that I can't remember important stuff. 

I tend to keep going until I hit the wall. I crash and burn. I get all ugly with everyone in my life. Everything they do irritates me.  I don't even like the face I see looking back at me in the mirror.  I rant, I grouse, I snap. You don't want to be around me. I don't even want to be around me.

That's the state I've been in for a while, now. This weekend, it all came to a head and I just wanted to run away. Unfortunately, that's not an option, so I turned to my old stand-by stress reliever - food.  I headed to the grocery store with every intention of filling my cart with junk and then eating myself into oblivion. 

I started through the aisles with a lump in my throat and tears threatening to bust loose. I had just placed the first item in my cart when I got a text from a friend.

"Come have breakfast with me in the morning."

My response - "I'm pretty toxic right now and I'm probably contagious."

I told her where I was and what I was about to do. Fortunately, she loves me enough to risk making me mad. The next few texts back and forth made me face the truth, made me realize that was a stupid way to handle my feelings, made me admit that gorging myself on junk food would only make things worse.

I already knew that, but at the time, I didn't care. Thank God, she did!

I left the store without buying anything. Knowing she was praying for me at that very moment. We met the next morning for breakfast and then spent the day together.  We talked through what was bothering me.  We laughed together.  She listened. She gave good, godly advise. She understood.

I didn't want to run away anymore.
Thank you, Lord, for seeing me right were I was - in the middle of the grocery store about to indulge in sinful gluttony - my drug of choice. You loved me enough to prompt a friend to contact me at that very moment. Thank you.

It's true, when you are tempted, God will provide a way out (1 Corinthians 10:13). 

It's up to us to take the way out or to continue on our path of destruction.

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