Wednesday, March 28

A Mother’s Heart...An Intimate Moment with Mary

She stands at a distance. The sight before her pierces her heart as if thrust in by a javelin.

Her puffy eyes sting with tears, blurring her vision.

Deep sobs heave her chest as her heart pounds in agony.

The crowd jostles her, oblivious to her obvious pain, a pain so deep that no mother on earth will ever feel again.

What brings her to this gruesome sight? A mother’s love...

My son, she cries. Her name is Mary and her son is being crucified. Naked, exposed. Blood trickles down His face from the open wounds in His head when soldiers twisted a crown of thorns upon Him and out of every flesh-exposing lash He received earlier.

Each clang of the soldier’s hammer upon the metal spikes driven into her son’s body jars her whole being. She shakes with empathetic pain as they raise Him up and hang Him in place on the upright beam.

Memories rush through her mind of the child she once carried, of the One Who sat upon her lap and nestled against her. But another memory crowds those out; one she tried to lock away in a secret corner of her heart. Those prophetic words spoken to her after His birth, which now come back to haunt her, “And a sword will pierce your own soul, too.” (Luke 2:35 NIV)

And that moment finally arrived.

Now, greedy soldiers toss out dice to see who gets the bragging rights of owning the traditional garment she lovingly created for her son when he left home. The garment saturated with the perfumed oil of spikenard from the broken alabaster passion box.

She is exhausted from all that has happened to her precious Baby Jesus, the Son of God. Her body reacts to the dreadful stress causing her knees to buckle. But John, the disciple who had leaned upon this Divine Man so many times, stands close to Mary and shores her up.

Seeing His mother beside John, Jesus speaks in a weak whisper to her, “Dear woman, here is your son,” (John 19:26b NLT) as He nods to John. And to John, He says, “Here is your mother.” (John 19:27a NLT)

Moments later, all is over. It is finished, He sighs and gives up His last breath.

Mary wonders: what will it be like without Him, never again to embrace Him, to hear His infectious laugh, to see His ready smile?

Oh, what agony must have filled Mary’s mother-heart that day, probably never realizing the impact of that scene for the thousands of generations yet to come.

A mother’s heart...of love...broken. The greatest pain a mother will ever know, losing her child.

And the rest of the story?

Up from the grave He arose,
With a mighty triumph o’er His foes,
He arose a Victor from the dark domain,
And He lives forever, with His saints to reign.
He arose! He arose!
Hallelujah! Christ arose!

“Amazing LOVE how can it be, that You, my King, would die for me!”

May your heart live daily within the rest of the story.

I'm also sharing this over at The M.O.M. Initiative. Please come on over!


Sunday, March 25

The Journey Chapter Three

♫ On the road again! ♫

Back on the next leg of our journey. Today, we’ll stroll along the path of betrothal and be joined by the ancient bride. We’ll learn how the betrothal of old applies to us today in our earthly marriage and our spiritual marriage.

~Hope you’ve been following along, but, in case you haven’t, please check the end of this post if you’d like to catch up on the previous journey stops.

*The bride of old...

When a young woman went through the process of being betrothed to a young man, she would participate in kiddushin with her husband-to-be. Kiddushin was (and still is) a very serious commitment.

The word kiddushin comes from the same root word as “holy” but has no English word equivalent. This process consecrates a man and woman to each other.

Being bound together by the Law, the couple was referred to as husband and wife, though the marriage covenant forbade them to live together physically. They pledged to remain holy in their covenant relationship, making a strict vow of purity and allegiance to each other.

If the bridegroom found any uncleanness in his bride, according to the Law, he had the option of putting her away, or divorcing her, which required a public performance. Only death or a public document had the power to end betrothal or the marriage itself. The bride or wife could never divorce her husband.

Just what constituted uncleanness sometimes became a matter of debate between the rabbis. Some even considered bad cooking a good reason.

*The bride of today...

How seriously do we take the wedding vows of our earthly marriage covenant? Are they just ceremonial words we stumble over in nervousness? Do we adhere to a holy relationship of strict purity?

According to the vows used in years past, each partner promised to love, honor, and cherish, for better or for worse, for richer or for poorer, in sickness and in health, forsaking all others, cleaving only to each other, to have and to hold from this day forward, until death parted them. That is covenant language.

Today, it has become all too easy just to toss the marriage certificate of covenant in the garbage, especially for Christians. The divorce rate within the church is a disgraceful witness to the world.

Understandably, under certain conditions, divorce does occur, and although God’s forgiveness covers divorce, it is not His ultimate will for He hates divorce (Mal. 2:16a).

*The spiritual Bride...

Covenant is one of the most significant truths in God’s Word, laying a foundation for establishing our relationship with God as our provider, with Christ as our Bridegroom, with the Holy Spirit as our comforter, with our spouse in marriage, with each other in God’s family, and for understanding Scripture.

As our ancient, betrothed bride and groom were considered as one entity, the same truth exists when believers covenant themselves with Christ, for they become a part “of His body, of His flesh and of His bones,” (Eph. 5:30 NKJV) as a divine oneness.

As Paul said, “This is a great mystery, but I speak concerning Christ and the church.” (Eph 5:32 NKJV) The mystery, the secret? “And this is the secret: Christ lives in you.” (Col. 1:27b NLT)

Paul wrote to the Corinthians, telling them, “I am jealous for you with the jealousy of God Himself. I promised you as a pure bride to one husband—Christ.” (2 Cor. 11:2 NLT)

In our divine, covenant relationship, we vow to remain pure and holy. We vow to love, honor, and obey. When our Bridegroom finds uncleanness in us, He does not dismiss us with a certificate of divorce. The Holy Spirit convicts us of our sin; then, we ask for forgiveness and are cleansed by the shed blood of Jesus, being restored to our state of purity.

Just as our earthly marriage makes no room for any additional partners, so our heavenly espousal allows no desire in our hearts to be a rival for our Bridegroom. A heart yoked together with the Bridegroom in a holy union—one undivided in its affection, giving Him its full allegiance, without infidelity, hypocrisy, or unbelief—is His desire for us, His Bride.

Scripture cautions us, “Shun (keep clear away from, avoid by flight if need be) any sort of idolatry (of loving or venerating anything more than God).” (1 Cor. 10:14 Amp) Anything! If anything is dearer to our hearts than the Lord, then, it is an idol and threatens our relationship with our heavenly Bridegroom.

As has been said, “If He is not the Lord of all, then He is not the Lord at all!” So then, “looking away [from all that will distract] to Jesus,” (Heb. 12:2 Amp) we cleave only to the Bridegroom, saying as the Shulamite woman, “I am my beloved’s, and my beloved is mine.” (SOS 6:3 NKJV)

We cherish our Bridegroom as our First Love, to have and to hold from this day forward, guarding our covenant of betrothal with Him.

“Come, let us join ourselves to the Lord in a perpetual
covenant that shall not be forgotten.” (Jer. 50:5b Amp)

So ends today’s journey. Thanks for walking with me. Happy trails!

~If you did not read the reason for this monthly journey, you can read it here and the first step of the journey here. The second leg of the journey is here.

Linking up with...


Saturday, March 24

Special Delivery ~ book tour

Today, I bring you an interview with Kathi Macias, author of another special book entitled Special Delivery. Please leave a comment to be eligible for the book giveaway.

Special Delivery is book two in the Freedom (human trafficking) series. For anyone who may not have read book one, Deliver Me From Evil, can you fill us in on the focus of the series in general, and Special Delivery in particular?

The Freedom series is a three-book fiction series built around the horrifying topic of human trafficking. People often ask me why I decided to write about such a dark topic. First, I explain that I’m not writing about a dark topic; I’m writing about the Light that shines in that darkness.

And second, I believe the Church should be at the forefront of the modern-day abolition movement to set the captives (modern-day slaves) free. The three books in this series specifically follow the life of a young woman named Mara, who was sold into sexual slavery by her own parents in Mexico, and then smuggled across the border into San Diego by her uncle who then served as her pimp.

A strong sub-plot throughout the series tells of two sisters in the Golden Triangle of Thailand, Chanthra and Lawan, who are also trapped in a brothel. Finally, a teenage girl named Francesca, kidnapped in Juarez, Mexico, and forced into prostitution, is introduced in book two. Special Delivery picks up two years after book one, Deliver Me From Evil, ends, and continues with the stories of Mara and Lawan, as well as others carried over from book one.

Mara hopes she is finally free to pursue her own life because she was rescued from the brothel and her testimony helped lock up her uncle for life. But the man has underground connections and is driven by revenge to reach out from behind bars and deliver the ultimate punishment to his niece.

This isn’t the first fiction series you’ve written on nationwide and even worldwide social issues, the one previous to this being the persecuted Church. What draws you to these difficult topics?

As a Christian, I believe I am compelled to use my God-given gifts to honor God in all I do—and that includes exposing the deeds of darkness, calling sinners to repentance, and taking a stand for righteousness by doing all I can to help rescue those who are suffering. I dare not turn my back on “the least of these.”

I also believe that God placed this sort of burden on my heart even before I became a Christian at the age of 26. I’ve always been a champion of the underdog, a “soap-box” preacher, if you will. When I met Jesus, I simply redirected that passion toward His people, realizing I couldn’t effect real change in my own strength anyway.

With your obvious passion to right social and moral wrongs through the power of the Gospel, how did writing and speaking enter into that?

I’ve known I wanted to be a writer since I was a child—never wanted to do anything else. When I was a teenager I told my then boyfriend (now husband) that I was going to be a writer one day. What a blessing that God allowed me to fulfill that dream!

After becoming a believer and growing in my faith, it was natural to take my passion to fight for others and incorporate it into my writing. Speaking, on the other hand, was an entirely different story. I was terrified of public speaking when I was young, and the day I received Christ I made a “bargain” with God, promising to do anything He asked of me—so long as it didn’t include public speaking. (Does God have a sense of humor or what???)

Now, when I stand in front of audiences where I believe God has called me to speak (and actually find myself enjoying it!), I tell my listeners that if God has called them to do something and they feel it’s impossible, they can consider me their “visual aid” that NOTHING is impossible with God IF we will simply take that first step of obedience and let Him fulfill His purpose in and through us.

With the topics of the worldwide persecuted Church and human trafficking under your belt, what other issues are you dealing with in your writing?

My Christmas 2011 book, A Christmas Journey Home, dealt with the immigration/border problem, and my Christmas 2012 novel, Unexpected Christmas Hero, will be about homelessness in America. The next issues-related fiction series I have on tap—which I am just starting to write, by the way—is called the “Patches of Courage” series and will begin releasing in late January 2013.

Book one is The Moses Quilt, based on the life of Harriet Tubman, and will be followed by The Christmas Quilt and The Impossible Quilt. This series of books will highlight historical American women whose Christian faith enabled them to walk in great courage and make a difference in the lives of countless people.

Where can people find out about you and your books/speaking/appearances?

They can go directly to my website ( or Bold Fiction) or my Easy Writer blog. I’m also on Facebook, Twitter, Pinterest, Google, and various other social sites. Would love to hear from all of you!

Where can people find out about free book giveaways on this blog tour?

The blog tour host is giving away a set of two books from the Freedom Series - Book 1 (Deliver Me From Evil) and Book 2 (Special Delivery). Also, readers can follow @ChristianSpkrs on Twitter or follow on Facebook at for more book giveaway locations on the tour.

~I was given a complimentary copy of this book from the author in exchange for posting the author’s interview on my blog. This blog tour is managed by Christian Speakers Services Christian Speakers Services

~Don’t forget to comment for a chance to win the book!


Thursday, March 22

Don't Be a Hirpler!

Hirpler? What the heck does hirpler mean? Let’s see...

Jacob, alone in the camp. Out of the dark, a Man, an Angel of God, appears.

He touches Jacob’s hip, wrenching it out of its socket. Jacob is now a hirpler: a limper. Dawn arises on the two, still locked in a scuffle. The Man says, “Let me go, for the dawn is breaking!” (Gen. 32:26 NLT)

No, says Jacob. He is determined to cling with all his might. “I will not let You go unless You declare a blessing upon me...And [the Angel of God declared] a blessing on [Jacob] there.” (Gen. 32:25b, 26b Amp)

The Word says Jacob wrestled with the Man. In the Hebrew, wrestle means to bedust or grapple. hold or make fast to something, to seize another or each other in a firm grip as in wrestling, or clinch.

Jacob clung. Hosea tells us, “Yes, he struggled with the Angel and prevailed; he wept, and sought favor from Him.” (Hos. 12:4 NKJV) Jacob prevailed, or, more literally, was able, and received the favor and blessing he sought, not by so much by wrestling but by clinging.

We put the emphasis on what Jacob did instead of on what he said: I will not let You go!

It’s not about wrestling an answer from God. We don’t need to wrestle with God. The struggle is as Oswald Chambers (My Utmost for His Highest) said, “You have to wrestle against the things that prevent you from getting to God...Don’t be a hirpler in God’s ways, but be one who wrestles before God with things, becoming more than a conqueror through Him.”

When we cling to the Father seeking His favor, we will receive it. But if we limp through life as a hirpler, we will not be bold enough in our faith to cling to Him and wait for His favor.

So, {lovingly said} don’t be a hirpler!

Reflections of His Grace


Monday, March 19


“I thank God, whom I serve with a pure conscience, as my forefathers did...when I call to remembrance the genuine faith that is in [me], which dwelt first in [my] grandmother...and [my] mother.” (2 Tim 1:3,5 NKJV)

“Yes, I have a goodly heritage.” (Ps. 16:6 KJV)


Participating with...

Peter Pollock One Word at a Time Blog Carnival

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Friday, March 16


As a moderator on a Christian writing site, I have experienced the site’s occasional hiccups, which happens at one time or another on all sites on the internet.

The other day, when trying to access a certain area (that I had permission to enter), I got this message...

You don’t have permission to access /group.php on this server.

The words practically slapped me in the forehead! I thought, wouldn’t it be nice if, before we decide to succumb to some God-forbidden temptation in life, a huge FORBIDDEN warning sign popped up in front of us?

When the seductions of the world beckon with a come-hither finger to woo us from our faith and principles, wouldn’t it be reassuring if a warning sign materialized in front of us that said: don’t have permission to access that!

But we do have that warning sign...the Holy Spirit!

Jesus said He would leave His peace to the world. That peace comes to us through His Spirit, which rules in our hearts as an umpire.

Colossians 3:15 in the Amplified says, “Let the peace (soul harmony which comes) from Christ rule (act as umpire continually) in your hearts [deciding and settling with finality all questions that arise in your minds, in that peaceful state] to which as [members of Christ’s] one body you were also called [to live].”

When those wrong passions tempt, we can rely on the Spirit to act as umpire to restrain them, as “God’s peace...shall garrison and mount guard over your hearts and minds in Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:7 Amp)

Rely on the Spirit’s guidance and you will always have peace about all you decide to do.

Linking up today with Beholding Glory

Beholding Glory


Monday, March 12

Each Blank Page

I recently entered a contest, for which I did not win, by the way, for limericks about writing. Here’s my entry...

There is an “albino monster”
That begs for attention and taunts her
It comes out day or night
Giving her such a fright
That now the “empty page” haunts her!

Oh, well! Only rarely does poetry strike my soul. However, this one is a little better...

Finger Painting

A blank canvas begs my attention,
A palette of white before my eyes,
Awaiting my fingers to begin.
What will be its completed surprise?

Painting images that dance in my head,
Drawing them in orderly fashion,
To give them substance and come alive,
That’s my desire, that’s my passion.

Coloring, shading, tinting here and there;
There must be a point at which to start,
To choose from the hues of my palette,
And blend them into a work of art.

Stirring scenes depicted by my touch,
To express the feelings of my heart,
Offered when troubles surround a soul,
For its comfort I long to impart.

Giving my fingers freedom to move,
Yet sketching with a divine restraint,
Guided by the Master Craftsman’s Hand,
I click on the keys and start to paint.

Obviously, it’s about writing also. But this post isn’t about writing. I used writing as an analogy. Just as any writer, artist, or composer uses a blank paper or canvas to display his or her work, so, too, do we.

This post is about the blank page God gives us of each day. It is to be filled for His glory with all that we say, do, and think. His plan and purpose will fill each 24 hours in the best way possible...if we follow them.

However, in all the daily hubbub of a busy schedule of running errands, working (and some working two jobs), appointments, emergencies, cleaning the house, or whatever, we get sidetracked and leave God out of our day.

Therefore, Paul exhorts us...

*“And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through Him.” (Col 3:17 NIV)
*“Work willingly at whatever you do, as though you were working for the Lord rather than for people.” (Col. 3:23 NLT)

Each day’s activities will be gathered up and, on Judgment Day, they will show how well we filled each blank page of our lives. Paul said that each person’s work will be shown for what it is, because it will all be brought out into the light. “It will be revealed with fire, and the fire will test the quality of each man’s work.” (1 Cor. 3:13b NIV)

What are you writing on today’s blank page? Does it glorify God? Is it fireproof?

“He will keep you strong to the end so that
you will be free from all blame on the day when
our Lord Jesus Christ returns.”
(1 Cor. 1:8 NLT)


Sunday, March 11

Every Which Way to Pray ~ Review

Hayley and Harley hippo believe they must be close to God to talk to Him and that there are rules to praying, according to Harley’s book, The Rules of Prayer. But the two quickly learn through their friends that the rules are too restrictive. And there really aren’t any rules.

As you all know, I do not do book reviews. However, occasionally, I do offer you book blog tours to make you aware of new books. But I could not resist the invitation of Joyce Meyer’s representative to give a review of Joyce’s first children’s book, Every Which Way to Pray, which was inspired by her adult book, The Power of Simple Prayer.

Just inside the cover of Every Which Way to Pray is an overall look at the whimsical place called Everyday Zoo. The adorable illustrations by Mary Sullivan are expressive and colorful.

The reader is also introduced to the wacky cast of characters that live in Everyday Zoo. Living there are siblings Hayley and Harley hippo and their friends Pouch (a pelican), Sarge (a bear), Midge and Pidge (ostriches who are quite possibly twins), and Miss Bimble (a sheep).

Harley and Hayley think that, in order to be close to God, they must be up high. Skipping through the Everyday Zoo park one day, Harley thinks he sees an angel. Hayley and Harley move closer to find it is only Pouch the pelican sitting on a rooftop.
“I guess that’s not heaven up there, is it?” said Harley disappointed.
“No...but the view is heavenly,” Pouch chuckled.
“At least you’re closer to God up there,” Hayley called out.
“We’ll NEVER get that close to God,” grumbled Harley. “Hippos can’t fly or climb. We’re stuck here on the ground.”
“You don’t have to be high in the sky to be close to God!” Pouch squawked. “That’s what prayer is for!”
Hayley and Harley looked surprised. They had always thought of prayer as hard work. At least, that’s what it said in Harley’s book, The Rules of Prayer.
With the help of their friends, the siblings learn that there really aren’t any rules to prayer and they can talk to God without being in church or dressed in one’s Sunday best, without using holy words or a soft voice.

Pouch tells Hayley and Harley to talk to God like a friend. Sarge tells them prayer is simple. He says they can talk, listen, praise, thank, and ask advice. And then he adds, “It’s got to come from here...your heart.”

Joyce teaches young children a valuable lesson through these lovable and comical characters that one can pray anywhere, any time, and in any way.

*I recommend this book.
**For ages 4-7, but younger ones may also enjoy the pictures and the story.
***The book is available from numerous stores plus Amazon and iTunes for iPhone, iPad, or iPod touch, as well as through the Joyce Meyer website.

****This product was provided to me free of charge for the purpose of this review.


Thursday, March 8

This Old House

In the neighborhood where I live, I have one neighbor who likes to cause trouble. He picks the fruit from my trees, chops down my shade trees, and mows down my flowers.

He dumps trash in my yard, reads my mail, steals my packages from the delivery man, tries to tell me all the neighborhood gossip about my friends, and does his darnedest to make me mad.

Forever prowling around the premises, he tries to sneak in the windows and get his foot in the door, attempting to steal my belongings. So I put an alarm system on all the doors and windows.

He likes my house and wants to live here, but I’m under a lease contract for a single dweller. He can’t have it and he certainly isn’t going to move in with me! But he still continues to try to take it away from me.

It’s a comfortable old house, though it’s not the most beautiful on the block nor is it the biggest. The landlord was very generous in his lease, so I appreciate what I have, even if a few structural changes are needed.

A few of its rooms have become dusty and overcrowded and need remodeling. Some of the junk needs to be put out with the trash. Some rooms are in a constant state of upheaval; others just need rearranging.

The windows have become a little foggy, so they’re not as easy to see through as before. Some of the shingles are falling off the roof, while some of the fence pickets are missing.

A few of the hinges have become a little rusty and don’t work as well as they used to, but the landlord I lease from said he would make all the necessary repairs. I know he will, for he is a man of his word. However, he does have a busy schedule, so I’m just patiently waiting my turn.

I thought it might be time to move, but he says I can stay a while longer, if I do some of the maintenance work. I do look forward to moving, though, because I’ve had my eye on this perfect, little cottage that’s being built. I’d really like to move there some day…there’s no traffic, no noise, the air is clean, great neighbors, the scenery is beautiful, and best of all, no more Mr. Meany!

I’ve called ahead to see if it was ready but they tell me they’re still working on it. Well, I guess I can wait a little longer. I’m not really finished renovating this one!

~~I hope you know this was all tongue-in-cheek and about my physical body-home. Paul wrote, “For we know that when this tent we live in now is taken down-when we die and leave these bodies-we will have wonderful new bodies in heaven, homes that will be ours forevermore, made for us by God Himself and not by human hands.” (2 Cor. 5:1 TLB)

This was one of the first posts when I started my blog. Hope you enjoyed it for the first time or as a rerun.

Linking up today with...
Reflections of His Grace

Some Girl’s Website

Beholding Glory
Beholding Glory


Sunday, March 4


One of hubby’s and my very favorite restaurants is Romano’s Macaroni Grill. When we are able to treat ourselves to dinner out, nine times out of ten, we will choose to go there.

We order our most favorite item on the menu, Chicken Scaloppine with artichokes, mushrooms, prosciutto, lemon butter, and capellini, or our second favorite, about to push into the #1 spot, Parmesan-crusted Sole, which is served with lemon butter, capers, and sun-dried tomato orzo. These two items are so delicious.

While we wait for our meal to arrive, we delight in a loaf of freshly baked rosemary bread, dipped in olive oil, and a shared Caesar salad.

With the first bite of our entree, we look at each other, roll our eyes, and go, “Mmmmmmmmmmmm!!!” Any meal at an expensive restaurant could barely compare!

If we split the meal, and still have room for dessert, we share a wonderful tiramisu. We savor every single bite of our meal and we go home with bellies full and satisfied!

There are two others who savor their food: our two youngest granddaughters. They will eat anything. They love to eat! On the occasion that they come to our house after pre-school, they are starved and the first thing they ask for is “pink” or “purple,” meaning the pink (strawberry) or purple (blueberry) yogurt.

The older one would eat three containers (or more) of it if we’d let her. She usually scarfs down two. Both of these little ones (2 ½ and 3 ½ ) will lick their bowls clean. They savor every single bite. And with the other food we give them, they bellies are satisfied.

The word savor also means to delight, enjoy, or relish.

Our hearts should take delight in God and His Word as Paul’s did, “My inner being delights in the law of God.” (Romans 7:22 GNT) The Greek definition of delight means to delight with oneself inwardly in a thing, to rejoice in with oneself, feel satisfaction concerning something.

*We savor steak, chocolate, and homemade bread.
*We delight in vacations, pay raises, and ball games.
*We enjoy concerts, movies, and books.
*We relish being patted on the back, winning a game, and beating out the other guy for that big promotion.

Why is it that we tingle with delight for our taste buds to savor that delectable, warm-out-of-the-oven piece of bread or piece of chocolate, but we cannot tingle with delight to savor God’s delectable Word, that Bread of Life?

As the Bread of Life, Jesus said, “There is far more to your inner life than the food you put in your stomach” (Luke 12:23a Msg), and there is more to your inner life than the things you do.

We are to savor the Life within us,
filling ourselves with that Bread so our spiritual bellies feel full and satisfied.

My prayer is as David’s, “Blessed Lord, teach me Your rules. I have recited Your laws and rejoiced in them more than in riches. I will meditate upon them and give them my full respect. I will delight in them and not forget them.” (Ps. 119:12-16 TLB) Is it your prayer as well?

Mmmm...I’ve chosen to savor His Word and His presence. Have you? Is your belly full and satisfied?

"Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!"
(Ps. 34:8a NKJV)

Today, I'm taking part in the blog chain. Please check out the other participants listed in the right sidebar.

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Thursday, March 1

Don't Let the Lion Knock You Down!

“And there came a lion.”
(1 Sam. 17:34 KJV)

Sneaking. Craftily.

Slithering through the underbrush, like a fat snake.

Gingerly touching his paws to the tall, dry grasses.

His movements, almost imperceptible, as if in extreme slow motion. So as not to make his prey aware of his presence.

Eying his victim. Poised to pounce.

A magnificent creature, which lion considers a delectable morsel for his lunch, stands nearby, unsuspecting. Leisurely nibbling on grass and sipping from the stream, satisfying its cravings. Neglectful to its surroundings, distracted from being vigilant.

Unfortunately, its inattention prompted its demise.

There was another lion; his name was Clarence. You may remember him, if you’re old enough. His eyes were crossed. Because of this, he relied on humans for his survival, which made him a friendly and safe lion. He was definitely a big pussycat!

He “acted” in several movies, one being Clarence, the Cross-Eyed Lion, and in TV programs like Daktari. When he got past his prime, he became even more docile; in fact, he was playful as a kitten and loved people.

I once heard a story about him. When he was no longer needed, some people adopted him and took him into their home. One night when the owners were out, a burglar broke into the house. But as he was about to leave, Clarence wandered in.

He knocked the man down and sat on his chest, wanting to be friends and play. However, the man didn’t know this and was scared stiff. Literally! He couldn’t move a muscle.

When the owners arrived home, they found Clarence still sitting on the man, who was now white as a sheet. After calling the police, the owners told the man that Clarence would not have eaten him. He didn’t have any teeth!

Unfortunately, there is yet another lion. One the Bible tells us about. He isn’t friendly and he isn’t safe like Clarence. He has a full set of teeth, like the first lion above, one that prowls around, “looking for someone to devour.” (1 Peter 5:8 NLT)

This lion is sneaky. Crafty. Gingerly tiptoeing around. He slithers through the world, like a fat snake. He eyes his prey, his victims. Ready to pounce at any moment.

We are his prey, his delectable lunch. This lion comes...

* to steal our joy, our praise, the word of God out of our hearts.
* to kill our faith, our confidence, our trust in the Lord.
* to destroy our fellowship with Jesus.

Sometimes, we disregard living a holy life. Satisfying our worldly cravings blinds us to fulfilling our true needs, our spiritual needs. Busyness sidetracks us, distracting us from being vigilant to more important things. Trials can sideswipe us, knocking us off God’s path.

When we allow these things to happen, we will either draw closer to God or pull away from Him. If we pull away, we will neglect our time with the Lord and His Word. We will lack the supply of all we need to function properly each day and the enemy’s tactics will be to our defeat.

You can take away that ol’ lions teeth and silence his growl. Because of your position in Christ, your righteousness in God, you possess the confidence and boldness to stand up to that assassin.

What did Jesus tell the seventy disciples? “Look, I have given you authority over all the power of the enemy.” (Luke 10:19 NLT)

You have the same privilege. You can use the Name of Jesus and His authority to stand against your opponent. Keep in mind: he’s already a defeated foe!

The Bible tells us...

* “For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.” (1 John 3:8 NKJV)
* “Submit yourselves, then, to God. Resist the devil, and he will flee from you.” (James 4:7 NIV)
* “Stand firm against him, and be strong in your faith.” (1 Peter 5:9 NLT)
* “Leave no [such] room or foothold for the devil [give no opportunity to him].” (Eph. 4:27 Amp)

Just remember: The hollowness of hell’s hunger hankers to be filled with God’s delectable morsels – His children. If you hear its stomach growl, watch out!

Therefore, stay alert! That ol’ enemy of yours is prowling after you. Don’t let the lion knock you down, sit on your chest, and growl in your face!

Give him your best growl back!

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