Sunday, August 28

Fixin' Up the Ol' Shack!

There once was a man who bought a lush piece of property with an old shack on it. He decided to renovate it and worked hard to fix it up, spending a lot of money in the process.

When he was almost finished, a windstorm came and blew most of it down. When the man thought he would rebuild it one more time, he sent for the inspector to check out the remains of the house.

The inspector said, “You should have called me to look at this before you wasted your time, effort, and money fixing up this old shack. I would have told you that it wasn’t worth the effort. You should have torn it down and started a new structure on a sure foundation. I wouldn’t try rebuilding this again.”

How well built is the dwelling place we give our Beloved Bridegroom? Is it built on Him, as our sure Rock-foundation? Does it come crashing down in a storm of affliction?

Paul said, “When someone becomes a Christian, he becomes a brand new person inside. He is not the same anymore. A new life has begun!” (2 Cor. 5:17 TLB) So, if the old dwelling place of our hearts is cleansed and created anew, do we keep it that way, or do we allow the winds of worry or the storms of strife to revert it back to the same ol’ rickety shack?

Here’s what I asked the Lord...

~Lord, my heart is Your home. Let’s build it together and keep it clean together.

* Clean out the closet of my hidden thoughts and throw away the trash of wrong attitudes.
* Dust behind the doors where preconceived ideas accumulate like cobwebs.
* Sweep out the corners of my heart where the soil of unwillingness piles up.
* Dig into those deep crevices of my soul where stubbornness plants its roots.
* Take down from the shelves of my mind all the negative thoughts I cling to and replace them with all Your promises that they may be readily available whenever I need them.
* Scrub down the walls littered with the graffiti of my words that have blemished Your Spirit and Your Word.
* Repair the cracks in the walls so that the enemy cannot ooze in with his unwanted ideas.
* Fix the holes in the roof where the rains of difficulties leak in and threaten to dampen my soul-rest.
* Seal up the broken windows where the winds of discontent blow in so easily.
* Clean out the soot of wrong burning desires that have blackened my chimney and allow the vapors of praise to rise heavenward.
* Rekindle the embers of my heart’s passion that have grown cold.
* Use my tears to mop the floor of my soul where it has been trampled upon with the muddy feet of those who would rather walk over me than to see the hurt and pain within me.
* Shine Your light into the dark cellar of my emotions so nothing can remain hidden from Your forgiveness.
* Help me erect that exterior that holds all else in place, as I use my obedience to cement Your bricks of truth in place. May I not leave them lying useless on the ground.
* Help me build on the one sure Foundation that is unshakable and can withstand all storms and disasters.

Lord, may my heart always be a temple in which You may reside and always feel proud to bring others to visit. May it be a monument to Your grace, Your forgiveness, and Your love.~~

What kind of home are you building for your precious Lord? Do you schedule regular maintenance projects? Do you allow the Master Craftsman to construct according to His divine plan?

“Unless the Lord builds a house, the work of the builders is wasted.” (Ps. 127:1 NLT)


Thursday, August 25

Taken Aside by Jesus

“And taking him aside from the crowd [privately]...”
(Mark 7:33a Amp)

Have you ever had a deep, dark struggle in your life? Most of us have. I have. And it sent me to my knees to seek the Lord. During that time of struggle, I wrote this...

Oh, from these bars of confinement shutting me in, I cry out to God. From this darkness surrounding me, all seems lost. Yet, I know all things are sifted through the loving fingers of my precious Lord. Wishing to commune with me, He allows this thing to touch my life.

Though others see not my streaming tears, the Lord sees my aching heart and gently wipes away those tears. “Nearly all God’s jewels are crystallized tears,” someone once said.

Too many voices clamor for my attention. Wearied from the noise of the world, my ears impatiently wait for the comforting sound of His voice. The Lord “takes me aside from the crowd privately” into absolute aloneness with Him, that I may listen only to Him. His words of love and comfort speak thunderously in this solitude.

When darkness and loneliness loom endlessly, they yet result in the richest and most rewarding of all spiritual experiences, for it is then that I see my darkness is but the overshadowing of the wings of the Lord, and I await the radiance of His glorious light to fall from heaven that I might behold my precious Savior.

The Lord’s purpose in taking me aside is never immediately discerned. However, getting my attention and bringing me into a deeper relationship with Him is always His will in my blackest hours.

The Holy Spirit comes as the dew of dawn to silently dispense His peace and comfort. In waves of coolness, He breathes upon me like a refreshing wind.

This parched mortal vessel yearns to be filled with those Living Waters provided only by the Lord. His peace pours forth as an endless river, rushing over me to cleanse all that would obstruct my view of Him. As I go to the Well, I drink in His Life and I am revitalized.

Then, I sing of His wonders and tell of His glories, and my walls of confinement fade into nothingness. The way opens before me. I see His brilliant, glistening footsteps on the path before me as if sprinkled with the glitter of heavenly dust, and only the light of praise brings them into focus.

Not all my questions are answered nor all my longings appeased, but His gracious mercy provides the path of recovery to soundness, to wholeness, to a larger place, to Himself.

It is for this that I praise Him...for “taking me aside.”

~~Lord, may rivers of blessings be poured out to other parched souls because of my desert. I pray that freedom may come to them out of my confinement, that light for blind eyes may come out of my darkness, and that comfort for the hurting may come out of my loneliness. Amen.~~

Today, I'm hooking up with...

Canvas Child's Imperfect Prose on Thursdays...

Reflections of His Grace...

Coming soon...


Monday, August 22

Swimming in the Deep End

photo via niascissorhands @photobucket

Gasping for air.
Swallowing water with each breath.
Reaching for anything to grab.
Going under for the third time in water depths twice my little height.
Frightened beyond words.
Will anyone notice?

Suddenly, someone grabbed my arm and pulled me up.
I clung to an inner tube from a truck tire that just happened to be in the deep end.

Around the age of eleven, I was with some friends at the pool. Some of the older kids played a game with other kids on their shoulders in the deep end of the pool. I don’t remember if they were playing “chicken” or not.

One of the older girls asked if I would get on her shoulders.

“Sure,” I said. “Just don’t dump me backwards in the deep end.”

Into the shallow end we went and up on her shoulders I went. And what does she do? Yup. She dumps me backwards off her shoulders into the deep end!

I couldn’t swim very well. I could play around in the water if my feet touched the bottom of the pool; I felt safe there. I always struggled to swim. I had no body fat to keep me afloat.

I tried swimming lessons but I told the instructor that I would sink. He didn’t believe me. On the first lesson, I made it across the width of the pool just fine. But halfway back...I sank!

I almost drowned in the deep end that day. The deep end still scares me. My lungs even close up when I see someone struggling underwater on television or in a movie.

I didn’t have a storm around me, though it felt like it, so I wonder how Peter felt, as he looked at the raging waves billowing against him, when “immediately Jesus stretched out His hand and caught him.” (Matt. 14:31 NKJV)

He heard my cry, just as He heard David’s plea, “Reach down from heaven and rescue me; deliver me from deep waters” (Ps. 144:7a TLB), and He answered, as David said, “Though I am surrounded by troubles, You will protect me...You reach out Your hand, and the power of Your right hand saves me.” (Ps. 138:7 NLT)

Jesus calls us in the midst of the rushing, storm waters to come to Him. Ever so gently He calls...Come a little deeper. Come on. I’m right here. I’ll not only rescue you but I’ll teach you to swim in the deep end. I won’t let you drown.

There is no fear of sinking, for He reaches out, grabs us with a mighty grip, and will not let go. He is our Life Preserver.

Have you been swimming in the deep end lately?

~~Today’s post is part of Peter Pollock’s One Word at a Time Blog Carnival on the topic of childhood.


Coming soon...


Thursday, August 18

A Vision of Earth

A few years ago, the Lord showed me a vision of man’s sin on earth. I now share it with you.

As a spectator looking down on the planet from outer space, I observed earth slowly shriveling like a prune, drying up for lack of sun and moisture. At the same time, humanity was withering in the same way, evaporating from the lack of the Son and dew of the Spirit.

Barely a division between those in the church and those outside the church existed. Man’s selfishness covered the earth.

Man’s sins - his inhumanity, pride, bloodshed, lust, perversion of what God intended to be pure, such as marriage and His relationship with His own children - rose up from the earth as thick, ebony smoke, constricting the planet, as if squeezing the life out of it. It ascended into the atmosphere as a dark veil, deflecting the light of God.

“Oh, God,” I cried. “How can this be reversed? What can man do to bring back Your light into the world?”

Without a verbal answer, He showed me men lying prostrate on the ground, all across the globe. Like little spikes sticking up out of a deflated ball, hands were thrust up in prayer. With a great breath, the Spirit exhaled a current that encircled the earth and broke through the veil.

The Spirit then began to move upon those with uplifted hands, sparking a revival of the church, and the influence spread to unbelievers who accepted God’s salvation. It brought to my mind creation in Genesis 1:2, as tohuw and bohuw, without form and void, as the Life of the Spirit hovered over the earth.

I said, “Lord, what will bring this about?”

He answered, “Prayer, prayer, and more prayer, and the hearts of My people longing to bring men into My Light and My salvation.”

Then, the earth and humanity’s darkness gradually became illuminated, growing brighter and brighter, as if released from the black of night to the brilliance of the noonday sun.

God said, “As men will cleanse themselves in the blood of My Son to rid themselves of the darkness within, My Light will shine, for I am Light and in Me there is no darkness, and if I, the Light of the World, live in you, there must be no darkness in you, for dark and Light cannot dwell together. Only when you shine as pure light will My Light be manifested to the world.”

“Look around you!” the disciple John said. “Vast fields of human souls are ripening all around us, and are ready now for reaping.” (John 4:35 TLB)

But what are we doing about it?


Monday, August 15

At His Feet

With this post, I’m taking part in In Other Words of the site Writing Canvas, which is hosted today by Debbie on her blog Heart Choices. Here is the quote used for this post...

“I must make a conscious, deliberate,
daily choice to sit at His feet,
to listen to His Word, to receive His love,
to let Him change me,
and to pour out my heart’s devotion to Him.
When I get into His presence,
the whole world looks different."
A Place of Quiet Rest by Nancy Leigh DeMoss.

Oh, to be in the audience of the King of heaven and earth! To be in His presence to worship Him!

Do you cringe or smile when you think of sitting at the feet of the Creator of the universe?

Where do you go when your heart is aching, when the world comes crashing down on your shoulders, when storms hit and there isn’t much you can do? Do you immediately seek the advice of a friend, or do you seek the Best Friend of all?

If you seek the feet of Jesus, what will you find?

*at His feet... are received, never rejected

*at His feet... are renewed

*at His feet... are respected

*at His feet... are reassured

*at His feet... are rejoiced over

*at His feet... realize His forgiveness

*at His feet... are rewarded with His presence

*at His feet... reap more than you can imagine

*at His feet... receive comfort in your pain and sorrow, peace in your unrest, provisions for your lack, and all the other answers to your prayers.

Are we willing to lay it all down at His feet? Will we be as the rich young ruler or as Abraham? Will we leave all our burdens with Him or pick them back up again?

When we sit at the feet of Jesus, do we...

*...praise Him for Who He is?
*...sit silently at His feet, just to be near Him?
*...tell Him of our unreserved confidence in Him that He will always fulfill His promises?
*...tell Him of our tender love for Him or continually question Him as to why things are happening?
*...follow after Him seeking something from Him as the multitudes did, or do we lean upon His breast as John the beloved did, just to be near Him?
*...sit at His feet to serve Him in worship by pouring out our thanks and our tears of joy as precious, fragrant oil upon His feet as the woman who came while Jesus reclined at the table?

Have we limped in our obedience to God? Staggered in our love? Halted in our service? Ceased our worship of Him in order to prostrate ourselves at the feet of something else?

Lots of questions to ponder, aren’t there?

The Still Small Voice has no destination if there is no listening ear!
It only costs us our time to listen but it costs us our quality of life not to listen!

Those drawing near to the Redeemer’s feet will find His grace, acceptance, and sufficiency for their needs. Never turning us away, He will always accept us, just as we are.
“You will show me the way of life,
granting me the joy of Your presence
and the pleasures of living with You forever.”
(Ps. 16:11 NLT)

~~Lord, may I sit adoringly at Your precious feet just to be near You, to seek Your Presence rather than Your hand.~~

Writing Canvas


Thursday, August 11

Tree Service

“The tree you saw was growing very tall and strong, reaching high into the heavens for all the world to see. It had fresh green leaves…Wild animals lived in its shade, and birds nested in its branches.” (Dan. 4:20-21 NLT)

That was Tree. Deep in the midst of nature’s sanctuary, he stood above all the rest. Grand and beautiful.

Tree’s branches stretched toward the sky as if to touch his Creator and reached out in a wide circle as if to encompass all those around him.

In spring, he blossomed with new growth, opening his limbs as a portal of welcome for the birds to come sing their sweet melodies to their Creator.

In the hot, summer sun, his leaves unfurled as a canopy of shade for the lovers who came to sit on the bench beneath his shadow and commune with the Master of the forest.

In the midst of fall, seedlings of hope fell from his limbs to the ground, spreading out his tiny descendants of the future. He dressed in a multicolored coat of beauty for all to enjoy before the grave of winter entombed him.

With all that, he still felt useless.

I provide comfort for all the Creator’s creatures,
thought Tree. But oh, I wish I could be of greater service to Him. How can I be an entrance of praise to my Maker? How can I be a support to the Creator’s followers? How can I be a likeness of the Master’s message of love and forgiveness? Oh, to be of greater service!

But he puzzled just how to this.

One day, Tree heard his Creator say, “Because it is in your heart to serve Me, I shall grant your heart’s desires.”

On the outskirts of the forest, nestled in the lush, green valley laid a picturesque town. A small, white church sat in the midst of the town square.

One day, a fierce twister ripped through the area, cutting a devastating swath through the forest and the middle of town, destroying most of the old church.

When the parishioners came to assess the damage, they were overwhelmed with despair as they walked through the piles of rubble. But they gathered themselves together and began working to rebuild the church on their own as they could not afford to hire anyone for the work.

One day, one of the workers, a carpenter, had an idea. He went out to the forest to find a tree felled by the storm’s ravages. He walked deep within the forest and found a magnificent tree lying on the ground.

Oh, how can I ever be of service now that I am destroyed?
thought Tree.

Taking out his axe, the carpenter chopped Tree into sections and hauled them back to his workshop.

On his way there, three ideas swirled around in his head. For the next several months, the carpenter sacrificed all his time to fashioning three special items out of the tree for the church.

The following spring, when the work was completed, the people came the first Sunday to worship. Arriving at the church, they all marveled how beautiful it looked and how it glorified God. The carpenter had used the remnants of the tree to fashion the front door, the pews, and the cross.

You could almost hear Tree sigh. Now, my heart’s desires to be of service are answered.

Because of the carpenter’s handiwork, I am now an entrance of praise, a welcoming portal, that worshippers may come to the sanctuary of God and sing their sweet melodies of praise.

Because of the carpenter’s artistry, I am now polished pews, supporting the Creator’s followers, as they come to commune with the Master.

Because of the carpenter’s sacrifice, I am the cross that proudly proclaims the Master’s message of love and forgiveness, that more may have eternal life.

We are God’s trees of righteousness (Is. 61:3). Though we serve the Lord, occasionally, we feel useless and desire to be of greater use. Just as the little, white church, we, too, must sometimes suffer a ravaging storm to blow through our midsection as it attempts to destroy our temple that we may be of higher service.

When we feel we have been felled by the world’s axe of affliction, the Carpenter can still make us useful. If that is our hearts’ desire.

*Because of God’s handiwork in our lives, we open our hearts to praise Him.
*Because of Christ’s artistry in our lives, we can be reshaped to support God’s people.
*Because of Jesus’ sacrifice on the cross, we can share His love with others and point them to His cross of forgiveness and eternal life.

Just as the carpenter sacrificed all his time to fashion special items for the little church, Jesus the Carpenter sacrificed for us to be made into His implements for the church to glorify Him.

Trust the Carpenter to do His work well with you.

“Now to Him who is able to do exceedingly abundantly above all that we ask or think, according to the power that works in us, to Him be glory in the church by Christ Jesus to all generations, forever and ever. Amen.” (Eph. 3:20-21 NKJV)


Monday, August 8

Fenced In or Fenced Out?

In the beautiful story of Ruth, we find Boaz, as the lord of the harvest and the dispenser of bounty, saying to Ruth as she gathered grain for her needs, “Listen, my daughter. Stay right here with us when you gather grain; don’t go to any other fields.” (Ruth 2:8a NLT)

Boaz recommended that she stay close to his other servants, those with experience, those who knew the boundaries, so that nothing would happen to her and she would know what to do.

He said to Ruth, “Stay right behind the women working in my field. See which part of the field they are harvesting, and then follow them.” (Ruth 2:8b-9a NLT)

In ancient times, no fences marked the perimeters of fields.
Owners sometimes used rocks to mark boundary lines, which were easily moved and the borders then transgressed. One who moved his neighbor’s landmarks was, by law, cursed.

Solomon said, “Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers.” (Prov. 22:28 NIV)

In some cases, no stones were used and the dividing lines became blurred.

Boaz warned Ruth to keep her eyes on the field of the lord of the harvest and do as his servants did, to walk after them and follow their example. As a newcomer, she was allowed to glean and partake of the harvest with the seasoned workers, within the limit of the boundaries.

After Ruth accepted Boaz’s invitation to join the other workers in a meal, she went back to work. Boaz then commanded his men to let her glean “right among the sheaves without stopping her, and to snap off some heads of barley and drop them on purpose for her to glean.” (Ruth 2:15-16a TLB)

The lord of the harvest prepared special provision for Ruth, and no set boundary within his field limited her search. Her redeemer gave her the right to appropriate the things of his field for her needs. Given access to and allowed to participate in the harvest, she searched the field at will.

As our personal application, fences keep in and fences keep out.
God allows us free reign within the limited boundaries of His field of plenty. Without the clear line of demarcation, to keep us out of the world’s field of play, we will always get into trouble.

If we do not heed those seasoned and experienced workers around us and those who went before us in ages past, we will wander out of God’s field of provision and protection. We will be enticed to succumb to the enemy’s allures and temptations and jump over the fence to that “greener grass” on the other side.

And in jumping over, what do we find?
The pasture of that so-called greener grass not only needs mowing, but it also has weeds and cows! In other words, we will always step into a pasture pile! It is never exactly what we expect!

As the Lord of the Harvest, God tells us, “Here are My borders. It’s easy to cross that line into unknown territory, so watch out. I am your Redeemer. I am the Father of the Field. Stay here with Me and follow My servants.”

Do we fully realize our Redeemer, our Lord of the Harvest, has made a place for us,
“lifted us to take our place with Him,” (Eph. 2:6 Phillips) granting us access to His field of promise, to bring in the sheaves of all that is necessary to fulfill our needs and the needs of others?

Search His field over for the provision of all that you lack. When was the last time you gleaned from the Word, truly searching its pages for a message as a bundle of harvest from the Lord? “When did a needy gleaner ever turn to its pages and not find just the word for himself? How it declares the heart of God, that He has scattered from end to end of His book handfuls of blessing, messages of love and grace.” (Judges and Ruth by Samuel Ridout)

Do we keep our eyes on God’s field, watching where we glean?
Do we follow His “old pickers” as our examples? Whether we are a new Christian or a seasoned one, we may gather nourishment from the Word for all our needs.

Has God not dropped tidbits along the way for you, handfuls pulled from His bundles of grace, those precious golden nuggets of the provision of His Word, as little surprises strewn along the path of your searching, for His “paths drip with abundance” (Ps. 65:11 NKJV)?

Has your boundary between God and the world become blurred? Or do you keep Jesus the Rock as your dividing line?

Oh, that our hearts would remain in the field of God’s grace and provision without jumping the fence and wandering from His borders of protection!

Which would you rather be...fenced in or fenced out?

~~This is part of Peter Pollock’s One Word at a Time Blog Carnival,

Soli deo gloria

Shanda Oakley's On Your Heart Tuesdays...


Sunday, August 7

Moving from Fear to Freedom blog tour

Today, I bring you an interview with Grace Fox, the author of Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman-to-Woman Conversation.

Has fear kept you awake at night? Has it hindered you from saying yes to a new opportunity? Has it caused you to make impulsive choices you later regretted? If so, you’re not alone! Fear is a big deal for many women. If left unchecked, it can prevent us from fulfilling God’s purpose for our lives. So, what’s the answer? How can we move beyond fear into freedom?

Author Grace Fox has partnered with Stonecroft Ministries to write a small group resource titled Moving from Fear to Freedom: A Woman-to-Woman Conversation. This resource addresses women’s common fears and gives biblical and practical strategies to move beyond them.

Fear seems to be an ever-present theme throughout the Bible. Describe the difference between healthy and unhealthy fear.

Healthy fear steers us toward wise decisions and actions. It promotes self-preservation. For example, we look both ways before crossing the street for fear of getting hit by a car. In contrast, unhealthy fear hinders our ability to fully embrace life because it consumes us with negative thinking and what-ifs. The effects can literally make us sick.

How does destructive fear stunt our emotional or spiritual growth?

Destructive fear—the fear of rejection, for instance—might keep us from admitting to someone that we’ve been physically or sexually abused. Without receiving the help we need to deal with those issues, we never experience freedom. Our struggles might seriously hamper our ability to truly love and receive love in a marital relationship. This is just one example among many of how our emotional growth is affected.

Spiritually, fear can cause us to say no to God-given dreams or assignments because we’re afraid of personal inadequacy or financial insecurity. If we never step out in faith, then we never experience God’s ability to equip and provide in amazing ways. Spiritual growth comes when we say yes to God and “do it afraid.”

You suggest we need to place our focus on God and not on fear. In practical terms, how do we do this?

Several strategies that I’ve found helpful…
• Memorize Scripture promises and meditate on them throughout the day and as we fall asleep at night. We are transformed as our mind is renewed.
• Fill our homes with praise and worship music.
• Spend time in God’s word on a regular basis, not just when we’re in a panic. The more we do so, the more familiar we become with His promises and the better prepared we are to face frightening circumstances when they come.
• Talk to the Lord throughout the day. Invite Him into the mundane. Practice His presence. The more we get to know Him, the more we’re able to trust Him in the face of fear.

Most of us feel inadequate at times. You suggest we cannot use our inadequacies as an excuse for not participating with God’s purposes. How do we get past this?

We get past our fear of inadequacy by admitting we have it. Then we need to retrain our thinking to focus on God’s adequacies rather than our inadequacies.
• Tell God how we feel. "Help! I don't think I can do such-and-such."
• Tell a trusted friend and ask her to pray for us.
• Move forward. Do it afraid and expect God to equip us.

Describe this resource and how participants can receive the greatest benefit as they use it.

It’s a seven-week study filled with biblical teaching and personal anecdotes that can be used easily by either a small group of friends in a private home setting or a large women’s ministry. Each session begins by viewing a 25-30 minute teaching video. When the video ends, participants follow suggested Table Talk questions for about 15 minutes. Then they do the Bible study questions together. Each participant uses her own guide book so she can take notes and write answers. Facilitator’s notes are included. The study covers these topics:
• an overview of fear
• fear for our loved ones' well-being
• fear of personal inadequacy
• fear of rejection
• fear of facing the ghosts of our past
• fear of the storms of life
• fear of the unknown future

Where can I buy this study?

It’s available through your local Christian book store, on Amazon, Barnes and Noble,, STL Distribution, WinePress Books, and of course, on Grace’s website, where group discounts apply. Visit Grace’s website for more information about her other books and speaking ministry.

For more opportunities for a FREE copy of this DVD & Study Guide set of MOVING FROM FEAR TO FREEDOM, please follow this CSS Virtual Book Tour on Twitter (@Christianspkrs) or Facebook

~~I was given a complimentary copy of this DVD & Study Guide set from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speaker Services (


Thursday, August 4

Does the Cock Still Crow?

In the chill of the evening, they stroll to the Mount of Olives.

Along the way, Jesus talks to the disciples, preparing them for the coming ordeal, and says, “All of you will be made to stumble because of Me this night.” (Matt. 26:31a NKJV)

Peter stops dead in his tracks, turns to Jesus and declares, “Even if all are made to stumble because of You, I will never be made to stumble.” (Matt. 26:33 NKJV)

“Simon, Simon, Satan has asked to have you, to sift you like wheat, but I have pleaded in prayer for you that your faith should not completely fail. So when you have repented and turned to Me again, strengthen and build up the faith of your brothers.” (Luke 22:31-32 TLB)

Laying His hand firmly on Peter’s shoulder, Jesus continues, “I tell you the truth, Peter—this very night, before the rooster crows, you will deny three times that you even know Me.” (Matt. 26:34 NLT)

Peter, grasping Jesus’ hand and falling at His feet, cries out to Him, “Even if I have to die with You, I will not deny You!” (Matt. 26:35 NKJV)

As Peter follows so closely that Jesus can detect Peter’s breath, they all leave this scene and enter the garden of Gethsemane, where the events of the evening play out. The soldiers arrive and arrest Jesus. As they lead Him away, Peter follows.

On their way to appear before Caiaphas, the soldiers stop before the assembled chief priests and scribes in the high priest’s courtyard. Peter slips over to join the servants warming themselves by the fire in the courtyard.

Three accusations unfold, followed by three denials.

And then...


The words of his precious Lord echo through Peter’s mind and stab him in the heart: “Before the rooster crows, you will deny Me three times.”

The saddest moment of Peter’s life is then exacerbated as the Lord turns and looks at him.


Oh, what a look that must have been. And “Peter went out and wept bitterly.” (Luke 22:62 NKJV)

How chilling that crow must have sounded; how grievously Peter’s heart must have pounded.

Was that the end of the crowing? Doesn’t a rooster crow each morning?

Wouldn’t that cock-a-doodle-doo pierce Peter’s ears and heart each dawn as the enemy’s condemnation, a reminder of his failure?

But wait! What was that noise three days later...on resurrection morn? Didn’t the cock crow that daybreak also? Did Peter’s heart change that day?

In the years that followed, did he continue to hear that daily crowing as the enemy’s memento of opposition to his heart’s desire to serve the Lord or as the Lord’s resurrection reveille to rise up out of despair and serve Him?

Does the enemy crow in your ear? What does he bellow at you? Condemnation of your past? How unworthy you are? What a stupid thing you did? You’re a failure? Why would anyone want to hear what you have to say? You’re a lost-cause at business? You’re a terrible spouse or parent?

Or do you hear that triumphant shout of resurrection morn? Telling you that you have victory over your past? That the Lord gives you strength for each task? That you are blessed beyond measure? That you are loved more than you can comprehend? That you are a delight to your heavenly Father’s heart? That you can do all things through Christ?

Does each dawn’s awakening cry encourage you, as “His mercies begin afresh each morning” (Lam. 3:23 NLT)?

Which crow are you listening to...the enemy’s attempts to crow in opposition to all that you do, or the Lord’s resurrection reveille to rise up out of despair and serve Him?


Monday, August 1

What is August to You?

What is august to you? August...not the month but the word. Do you know what it means?

According to the dictionaries, it means inspiring reverence or admiration, of supreme dignity or grandeur, majestic, venerable, eminent, worthy of respect because of age and dignity, high position, having exalted birth, character, state, or authority.

Sounds pretty descriptive of God, wouldn’t you say?

God exhibited all these august attributes when He spoke creation into being. Each seed of God’s Word stood positioned at conception’s gate, primed and eager for the Starter’s pistol to sound its commencement, and when God spoke His Word of power, He released the seeds of life and reaped the harvest of creation.

Scripture says, “By the word of the Lord were the heavens made, and all their host by the breath of His mouth.” (Ps. 33:6 Amp)

All matter came alive at the sound of God’s voice.
Within that matter is His voice imprint, His Word, still to this day, resonating in the entire universe, within every molecule, every atom, and every cell of every created thing – plants, animals, planets, sun, moon, stars, mankind, everything.

God’s Word never dies. How do I know? Because the Bible says so. Peter said, “The word of God which lives and abides forever…the word of the Lord remains forever.” (1 Peter 1:23b, 25 Received Greek Text) Would that just be His written Word or would that include His spoken Word?

David said in Psalm 33:9, “For He spoke, and it came to be; He commanded, and it stood firm.” (NIV) Meaning it remained, endured, continued.

And the writer of Hebrews tells us, “The word of God is living, and powerfully working.” (Heb. 4:12a RGT) The Greek word for “powerfully working” used here is energes, which means active, operative, effectual, at work, or powerful. The living, breathing Word of God is active and operative, giving “life and breath and all things to all.” (Acts 17:25 RGT)

Not ordinary words, God’s words are unseen, living entities,
actually working energy and living matter of the eternal kind. A part of Himself.

And that part of Himself He graciously shares with those who love Him. Just as God’s Word gave life to the universe, His Word gives life to body, soul, and spirit because Jesus is “the Word of life.” (1 John 1:1b NLT) Jesus said, “The words which I speak to you are spirit and are life.” (John 6:63b RGT) If we have invited Jesus to rule our hearts, we have that living Word within us.

But if creation is so inspiring and God is so august, so worthy of respect, reverence, and admiration, then why do some not recognize God’s majestic handiwork in creation and accept Him as Creator?

The Word says, “They know the truth about God because He has made it obvious to them. For ever since the world was created, people have seen the earth and sky. Through everything God made, they can clearly see His invisible qualities—His eternal power and divine nature. So they have no excuse for not knowing God.” (Rom. 1:19-20 NLT)

However, do we who know God appreciate His majesty and grandeur?

Step out into your backyard, or go to the outstretched ocean, or a gorgeous garden, or a flourishing forest, or the majestic mountains, whichever may be your favorite scene of nature, and just look around you. What greets you?

*Does the morning dew comfort you with the thought of drinking in God’s mercies or of His showering you with blessings?

*Does the mist of the ocean kiss your face with soothing relief, offering you God’s vast supply of living water to restore your tired body?

*Does the garden’s produce reward you with gratitude for the harvest of nourishment or fill your senses with its floral bouquet?

*Does the lush green of the forest refresh your soul as the trees unfurl emblazoned boughs as a canopy of shade and as a pavilion for the feathered set to convene their songfest?

*Does the purple mountain’s majesty fill you with awe for inspiration, stimulate your creativity, enliven your dreams?

All these are the entities of God’s voice imprint, surrounding you... pulsating in every living thing.

How can our hearts not feel gratitude to the One Who made this magnificent world
and surrounds us every day with His august presence? Who pours out new mercies every morning? Whose Spirit is generously shared with all who love Him? Should we not bow in awe and pour out worship, thanksgiving, and unrestrained praise?

David said to the Lord, “All Your works shall praise You, O Lord, and Your saints shall bless You. They shall speak of the glory of Your kingdom, and talk of Your power, to make known to the sons of men His mighty acts, and the glorious majesty of His kingdom. Your kingdom is an everlasting kingdom, and Your dominion endures throughout all generations.” (Ps. 145:10-13 NKJV)

Now, what is august to you?

~~This is part of...
*August blog chain at Check out all the other great entries in the right sidebar.

*On, In, and Around Mondays
On In Around button

*Playdates at the Wellspring/Laura Boggess

*Soli deo gloria at Finding Heaven Today