Wednesday, May 30

What's in Your Alabaster Box?

I have an old shoe box. Packed away somewhere. Filled with precious things. Love letters from my pre-wedding hubby. Old mementos. Probably a pressed flower or two. And other things I don’t even remember. I haven’t seen its contents in years.

Do you have a box like that? Is it filled with precious keepsakes like secrets, baby shoes, love letters, awards?

We keep tokens like this because we value them, maybe not so much for worldly value but for heartly value.

We have all read or heard many times of the story of a box (or jar) made of a highly esteemed stone, containing a prized ointment of great monetary value.

Passover was near. Jesus was in Bethany, having dinner, and “there came unto Him a woman having an alabaster box of very precious ointment, and poured it on His head as He sat at meat.” (Matt. 26:7 KJ21)

Such a touching and devoted gesture. An alabaster passion box, full of an extremely valuable, perfumed oil of spikenard poured out on the One she loved the most.

In regard to this, I wrote in a past post, Sweet Smell of Sacrifice ...

She lovingly poured it upon Jesus’ head, and it likely trickled down His cheeks, seeped into His beard, and gently dripped upon His shoulders, saturating His garment...

Don’t you know that through the long hours of His agony in the garden, during His betrayal, in the courtyard of His judgment before Caiaphas and Pilate, and until that garment was removed, Jesus must have breathed in that sweet smell of sacrificial love poured out upon Him, while this scripture likely echoed in His Spirit, “The odor of your ointments is fragrant, your name is like perfume poured out.” (SOS 1:3 Amp)

As He probably did not wash His hair, the fragrance clung to it. That sweet aroma must have wafted its fragrance of love into His nostrils throughout His torment at the whipping post and while hanging on the cross, more than likely thinking, “This is for all those who will pour out their love on Me.”

But when she poured her fragrance of passion upon her Beloved Lord, some of the disciples became indignant and asked, “Why was this wasted?” (Matt. 26:8 NLV)

What would happen if we considered our heart as our alabaster box?

What precious things fill your heart? Special memories of love? Treasured moments with friends or loved ones? Encouraging words said to you? Cherished times spent with the Lord?

Or maybe it is filled with bitter memories of anger, abuse, addiction, or unforgiveness.

When you meet with your Beloved, to dine in His presence, to sit at His feet and tell Him you love Him, what passion fragrance do you pour out on Him?

Do you pour out the stench of whining, complaining, or bitterness? As the disciples said, “What a waste!”

Or do you pour out that overflow of sweet-smelling love, gratitude, and thanksgiving? Does your Beloved Lord receive it as He did the loving gift of spikenard?

“Our lives are a Christ-like fragrance rising up to God.”
(2 Cor. 2:15 NLT)

~Lord, may the contents of our alabaster hearts and lives be poured out as a pleasing aroma in Your presence.

Hooking up with...

Imperfect Prose

 Beholding Glory/Faith Filled Friday


Sunday, May 27

All the Empty Chairs

This is my annual post to recognize and honor those who have given their lives, standing in harm’s way, that we all might live in freedom...

Memorial Day… 

…originally known as Decoration Day as it was a day to honor the Civil War dead by decorating their graves. First observed on May 30, 1868 by proclamation of General John A. Logan of the Grand Army of the Republic, an organization of former sailors and soldiers.

Part of his proclamation says…

“What can aid more to assure this result than by cherishing tenderly the memory of our heroic dead, who made their breasts a barricade between our country and its foe? Their soldier lives were the reveille of freedom to a race in chains, and their death a tattoo of rebellious tyranny in arms. We should guard their graves with sacred vigilance.

“All that the consecrated wealth and taste of the Nation can add to their adornment and security is but a fitting tribute to the memory of her slain defenders. Let no wanton foot tread rudely on such hallowed grounds. Let pleasant paths invite the coming and going of reverent visitors and found mourners. Let no vandalism of avarice or neglect, no ravages of time, testify to the present or to the coming generations that we have forgotten, as a people, the cost of free and undivided republic…

“Let us, then, at the time appointed, gather around their sacred remains and garland the passionless mounds above them with choicest flowers of springtime; let us raise above them the dear old flag they saved from dishonor; let us in this solemn presence renew our pledges to aid and assist those whom they have left among us as sacred charges upon the Nation’s gratitude,--the soldier’s and sailor’s widow and orphan.”

Congress instituted Memorial Day by passing a law on May 11, 1950, intending it to be a national day of prayer for peace. Part of the White House Memorial Day Proclamation says:
Section 169g. Memorial Day as day of prayer for permanent peace -
“The President is authorized and requested to issue a proclamation calling upon the people of the United States to observe each May 30, Memorial Day, by praying, each in accordance with his religious faith, for permanent peace; designating a period during such day in which all the people of the United States may unite in prayer for a permanent peace; calling upon all the people of the United States to unite in prayer at such time; and calling upon the newspapers, radio stations, and all other mediums of information to join in observing such day and period of prayer.”

Young people today probably do not know that Memorial Day used to be a solemn day, honoring those who paid the ultimate price for our freedom. Businesses closed for the day. Parades were held. Speeches and prayers were offered up at cemeteries. People took flowers and flags to the gravesites of those heroes who died in service for their country. In a few places, these things still take place out of respect and honor.

A hero is one who puts himself or herself in harm’s way to protect someone he/she doesn’t even know, who puts his/her life on the line that you and I can live in safety. And usually with little thanks.

The next time you see one of our nation’s heroes in uniform stand and applaud him or her. Give that one a big hug, a pat on the back, or a handshake. Give that one your heartfelt thanks for protecting your homeland.

Please pray for all the families of our fallen service men and women as they leave behind empty chairs in their families. And pray for all those troops now deployed in harm’s way that they will return safely to their homes and sit once again with their loved ones.

I hope you will take time to view this video. I know you will be blessed…

Some gave it all. Pray that there will be no more empty chairs.


Thursday, May 24

A Mother's Heart...Morning Merices

“Be ready in the morning to...present yourself to Me.”
(Ex. 34:2 TLB)

The first shards of dawn’s light fell abruptly through the slits of the bedroom blinds and rudely awakened me. Before I was ready.

But I got up...quietly. And dressed.

Walking outside into the cool, dawn air, wrapping my fuzzy, blue blankey around me, I watched God make a morning.

As the horizon released the sun, soft wisps of yellow, amber, rose, coral, and tangerine mingled with the delicate blue sky, delighting my eyes.
A gentle brush of wind caressed my cheeks.
The fragrance of a multitude of blossoms gratified my nostrils.
The cooing of turtledoves gently infringed on the silence of the morning.

The blush of light filtered through the leaves of the towering birch trees, pooling on the ground as ethereal stepping stones, as if beckoning me into the Lord’s presence.

While the beauty of creation infused my soul with awe, the sweetness of His presence filled my heart with His peace and comfort and wrapped its warmth around me just like my fuzzy blankey. Then, He whispered a beckoning call, “Come humbly to Me in morning’s light.”

God’s morning mercies are new every day; they arrive with the appearance of sunrise. Each day is a fresh start. No carry-overs from the day before. Whatever we have endured in the dark of night, “The Lord’s unfailing love and mercy still continue, fresh as the morning, as sure as the sunrise.” (Lam. 3:22-23 GNT)

Each morning presents us with an empty vessel to be filled with our words, our thoughts, and our actions. What sets the standard for these is our attitude upon wakening. Each day should start with a positive and grateful attitude, for it will affect how we treat our children, our spouses, our friends, our neighbors, and even strangers.

Mothers need special attention in the morning, a special cup filling. And I don’t mean the caffeinated kind! I mean this kind...

Fill my cup Lord, I lift it up, Lord!
Come and quench this thirsting of my soul;
Bread of heaven, Feed me till I want no more--
Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole!

Spending time with the Lord in the morning sets our day on the right course, and we receive our guidance, strength, and comfort to face whatever will come our way for the next 24 hours. David said, “Let me hear of Your unfailing love to me in the morning, for I am trusting You. Show me where to walk, for I have come to You in prayer.” (Ps. 143:8 NLT)

A bright new opportunity arises for each of us with every sunrise. What do we do with it?
Do we greet the Lord before we greet the day? Do we have a negative attitude as soon as our feet hit the floor?

Someone once said, “Blessed is the day whose morning is sanctified!”

Have you ever gotten up in the concluding hours of night just to watch God make a morning? To see the Master Artist paint the sky with His palette of glory? To allow His light to dawn upon your soul? To receive His guidance for the day? To take delight in your Beloved?

Get up early. Go humbly to Him and receive your morning mercies.

~I’m over at The M.O.M. Initiative today. Please stop by.

I’m also hooking up with Beholding Glory...


Sunday, May 20

Stairway to Heaven

Some years ago, the Lord showed me a vision of a beautiful, grassy mountain with plateaus at different levels up the mountain. I saw people filling each level, as many stood around talking to each other.

Some people climbed the stairs that ascended up the mountain. The steps at the bottom were steeper and harder to climb; the closer to the top, the smaller and easier to climb they became. The stairs were concrete-hard with a golden handrail up the middle.

As some climbed up the stairs, they yet went backwards, not even realizing it. All kinds of people filled the top of mountain: short, tall, young, old, children. Adults held babies as they stood looking at the beautiful glow above the top of mountain.

Then, the Lord said...

“When you step out to enter My pathway to heaven, the path of the Christian walk, it is not an easy walk. The early steps seem difficult to climb, but the higher you rise, the easier it becomes. The stairs are hard as concrete, not at all pretty. The way is difficult but do-able, because I am there.

“Sometimes you will back down the stairs, not turning around to see where you are going but backing down sometimes in disbelief, doubt, worry, sometimes in disobedience to the call of the next step and you may not realize it. Be sure you keep your focus on Me. You may at times even slip and fall, but I am there.

“The beautiful mountain is calm and serene, yet raging all about it are the storms of life. If you shift your eyes from the way before you to the roar around you, you will fall. The winds may even blow you off course and try to loosen your grip.

“Keep your eyes fixed at the top of the steps, from which comes the source of the golden glow, the throne room of the great I AM.

“The higher you climb, the purer the air becomes as you rise away from the stench of earth. Those standing at the top have reached the gate to heaven. They are standing in awe of the glorious sight they have been afforded.

“The babies being held by others have died or been aborted. They are welcomed into loving arms by those who have never known the love of a child, and by those who have had children die. The babies await the parents who will join them.

“Those standing on the different plateaus are waiting further instructions. Some need a rest. Some are truly weary and must pause for refreshment. Others are just listening in patient stillness for their next orders.

“Strive always for courage and strength to reach the next plateau. Always wait for My instructions before taking another step.

“Hold onto My handrail that stretches out like a golden thread beside your path. Keep a firm grip. It is My constant hand steadying you and helping you up when your trip or miss a step.

“Keep your eyes focused on the view at the top. Breathe slowly and deeply. Keep your feet on the path. All is in My safe-keeping on My mountain.”

The promise of heaven’s eternal resting place is for all, for all of us “whose names are written in heaven,” who have been “made right with God by placing our faith in Jesus Christ,” “that those who are called may receive the promise of the eternal inheritance,” “an inheritance that is kept in heaven for you, pure and undefiled, beyond the reach of change and decay.” (Heb. 12:23 NLT, Rom. 3:22 NLT, Heb. 9:15 NKJV) (1 Peter 1:4 NLT)

But are you sure of that eternal resting place? You have been “invited [as you are] to belong to Him.” (Rom. 1:6 Amp) Have you said “No thanks” to Christ’s gracious invitation? Have you said “Yes” but are unsure of your eternal home?
Peter pleads with you, “So, friends, confirm God’s invitation to you, His choice of you. Don’t put it off; do it now. Do this, and you’ll have your life on a firm footing, the streets paved and the way wide open into the eternal kingdom of our Master and Savior, Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter. 1:10-11 Msg)

May you cling to that hope of a promise, as Abraham did, who “was completely sure that God was well able to do anything He promised.” (Rom. 4:21 TLB)

Today, I am hooking up with Duane Scott’s new blog hop...

...and with...


Wednesday, May 16

And We Know...

“And we know that all things work together for good
to those who love God, to those who are the called
according to His purpose.” (Rom. 8:28 NKJV)

I’m at it again! Dissecting Scripture and digging into the meanings of the words. 

If you read my post on Hebrews 11:1, Now Faith Is..., there is a word used there that is used in the verse above also. In the Hebrews passage, it is translated now, and in the Romans passage, it is translated and.

If you didn’t read that post, I’ll reiterate (you can click here to read it). The Greek word for now and and is a conjunction or connecting word between two thoughts. It also means but, moreover, moreover also, also, and also, or but rather. It would be more appropriate to say, “Moreover we know…” or “Also we know...”

The Greek word used in this verse for know actually means to see, the implied meaning is to know. It also means to perceive, notice, discern, discover, pay attention, observe, inspect, examine, look at or behold, experience, and suggests a full knowing.

The Greek word for working with is sunergeo, which, in part, means to labor together as partners, co-operate, co-worker or fellow-worker, help (work) with, work, or to put forth power together with and thereby to assist.

It comes from the word sunergos, which is the basis for our English word synergy. It means a combined action of two or more agents, when combined, have a total effect that is greater than the sum of the individual effects. Or as one definition for synergy says: to be more successful or productive as a result of a merger.

The first definition of synergism listed in The Random House Dictionary of the English Language, published in 1966, says “the doctrine that the human will cooperates with the Holy Ghost in the work of regeneration.” Thank you, Random House! There’s the total effect of a merger!

Good means excelling in any respect, distinguished, useful, to advantage, suited to something, pleasant, agreeable, joyful, happy, benefit, etc.

Called means invited, appointed, a saint, saints by calling, or an appointment to apostleship.

The Greek word for purpose is interesting. It means a proposal as an intention, setting forth of a thing, placing of it in view as show-bread is exposed before God.

Don’t you know love those definitions?

Before we put it all together, what is before this verse? What is it moreover or also? Romans 8:27 starts out with that moreover/also/now/and word again, “Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.” (NKJV)

Now, what would Lynn’s Version say? More than knowing that the Spirit intercedes for the saints, pleading on our behalf...also we fully know that all things are synergistic, being more successful as the result of merging with the Holy Spirit, and working together for good, for benefit, for advantage, for those who love God, for those who are invited to be saints according to His intentions set before Him.

If we are in sin or worry and fret about a situation, we impede the Lord’s hand to work for good, because we are not working in accordance with His purpose. But when we take our attitudes and our hands off, leaving it in His hands, it all works together for our good and for our benefit.

God takes all our negative circumstances, our stormy trials, our griefs and heartaches, our failings, our weaknesses, our needs, and mixes them in with His love, guidance, comfort, peace, supply, and power, stirring them all together, molding them, and turns them around to display His creation of good.

Then, we can say with the psalmist, “This is the Lord’s doing, and it is marvelous to see!” (Ps. 118:23 TLB)

...and we fully know!

Hooking up today with...


Sunday, May 13

Coaxed Back to Life

Spring always makes me think of my dad. I was thinking about him the other day. Nostalgia set in. Thinking how he would have thoroughly enjoyed his three great-granddaughters. My heart ached that they never got to know him.

I thought how much fun they would have had in his greenhouse. Dad had a green thumb, as they say. Well, no, not really. He had green fingers! All of them! Anything he planted always grew.

He could stick any wilting flower, dying plant, or practically dead twig he picked up off the ground into his special blend, water it, fertilize it, put it in the right spot of the greenhouse for the perfect warmth and healing power of the sun, and otherwise coax it back to a healthy, strong, and flourishing condition.

The secret of his special concoction for nurturing dying plants back to life died with him. I never found out what it was. He left this earth sooner than any of us thought.

I miss my dad. I miss his hugs. I miss seeing him in his jeans and nourishing his fledgling plants.

As I reminisced, I thought about how he and my mom nurtured me as their daughter. I was just like one of Dad’s plants: I was placed into the special blend of people as my family watered me, feed me, protected me, supported me, encouraged me, brought me up in church and to know the Lord, planting the seeds of Christian values with me, and nourished me in every way they knew how, placing me in the right spot for the Son to coax me to a healthy, strong, and flourishing condition.

They believed in “Train up a child in the way he should go, and when he is old he will not depart from it.” (Prov. 22:6 NKJV) I love the way some other versions state it:

* “Teach a child to choose the right path...” The Living Bible
* “Direct your children onto the right path...” New Living Translation
* “Start children off on the way they should go...” The new New International Version
* “Bring up a child by teaching him the way he should go...” New Living Version
* “Teach children how they should live, and they will remember it all their life.” Good News Translation

They taught; I remembered.

And when circumstances hover over me as a black shroud and I feel them sap my strength, leaving me like the wilted flower or the stick lying on the ground, giving up, my heavenly Father comes along, picks me up, and sticks me in His special blend of love, encouragement, and peace, nurturing this fledgling back to health and strength.

The Lord is our Husbandman, the One who knows His soil and purposes to have a harvest. When circumstances hover over you, beating you down, allow Him to do His nurturing in your life, coaxing you back to a healthy, strong, and flourishing condition.

“You have allowed me to suffer much hardship,
but You will restore me to life again.” 
(Ps. 71:20 NLT)

Today, I’m hooking up with the blog chain for For other great posts on the topic of nurture, please find the list in the right sidebar.
Also with...

On In Around button


Saturday, May 12

Happy Mother's Day!

“I remember your genuine faith, for you share the faith that first filled your grandmother...and your mother...And I know that same faith continues strong in you.” (2 Tim. 1:5 NLT)

May your mother’s heart be filled with faith, love, and abundant blessings.


Friday, May 11

Discover the Riches of His Grace book tour

Today, I’m happy to bring you another e-friend, Elizabeth Marks, who is the author of Discover the Riches of His Grace: Learning to Do relationships God’s Way.

She has written a devotional inductive Bible study based on the book of Ephesians. It includes 18 lessons, 6 devotions, and 6 chances to connect online to share what you learned through the study with others. 

As the author of ThinkOnIt Devotions, Elizabeth has a heart for encouraging and equipping people with God’s words. Need some hope? Visit her site ThinkOnIt today for Bible devotions, Bible studies, small group leader tips, and more.

What is the audience for your book? 

The primary audience is women who long to draw closer to God and improve their relationships. It is also for individuals and small group leaders who want to dig deeper into the Bible and learn new study methods. 

What area some of the things readers will learn? 

*Discover a fresh perspective on all God has done for you.
*Discover how inductive Bible study method helps you unlock the Bible and make it understandable.
*Learn how to create own observation worksheet for better interaction with God’s words.
*Build your confidence in correctly interpreting God’s words through use of Bible concordance and word studies.
*Identify five healthy life patterns leading to satisfaction in Christ Jesus.
*Understand the importance of sacrifice and submission in relationships.
*Record your discoveries in our Truth Tracker to help you remember what you learned.
*Connect with the author and others online to share what you discovered through the study.

In what formats is it available? 

Hard Copy: Amazon
PDF and/or email subscription: ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries

How did you get started writing? 

In 2006, God started speaking to me through my devotional time with Him. As I meditated on Scripture, a certain theme, point, or truth would stand out and resonate with me. I wouldn’t know fully what it meant unless I journaled it out in handwriting. 

These journal entries turned into devotions I shared with my women’s small group to encourage them. Sometimes these devotions make it back to me and actually end up encouraging me! Isn’t funny how God uses things to get our attention?

Why did you write this Bible study?

I took a class on bringing the Bible to life and was excited about the inductive study method. It unlocked Scripture for me. I wanted to share it with it with my workplace small group. The women from my small group enjoyed the study tools I taught and encouraged me to share it with others.

Why did you pick Ephesians as the first book to try the inductive study method?

Ephesians is a wonderful book filled with the awesomeness of God and His blessings towards us. It is packed with valuable relational lessons that will not only draw us closer to God but with the added benefit of improving our earthly relationships too.

Is this study part of a series of studies?

Actually, yes it is. This is the first of a new line of Bible studies branded Your Discovery Series. There are several studies (James, Colossians, Haggai, Joshua, and Obediah) in the works to follow this one. 

How would someone connect/follow you?

Sign up for our newsletter at ThinkOnIt Bible Ministries
Like us on Facebook
Follow us on Twitter
Like us on LinkedIn

Are you available for any face to face encounters?

Yes. I am available to visit your small group if you live in Southern California. I am also available to speak at local churches in Southern California. I’m always happy to share how God rocked my world. Feel free to contact me at

Monday, May 7

Passing Gas!

We just celebrated the Run for the Roses, the Kentucky Derby, and all the events that led up to it. The air show and fireworks display is the biggest event, attracting hundreds of thousands of people, sometimes three quarter million, from many states.

As I watched the air show on television, I learned that those flying the Lockheed Martin KC-130 in-flight refueler call what they do...passing gas! (Gotcha!)

Wikipedia says, “The Lockheed Martin KC-130 is the basic designation for a family of the extended-range tanker version of the C-130 Hercules transport aircraft modified for aerial refueling.”

The KC-130 is capable of fulfilling a multitude of roles and missions. As a tactical tanker/transport, it provides support for the Marine Air Ground Task Forces, such as...

*carrying wounded
*being the largest aerial firefighter
*having some converted into gunships
*emergency supply into battle areas
*emergency medical and other evacuations
*aerial delivery of troops, cargo, and equipment
*humanitarian missions for food and medical supplies
*in-flight refueling for both tactical aircraft and helicopters as well as rapid ground refueling.

So, what does this have to do with you and me? Let’s see.

We have our own personal air and ground Task Force, the Lord and His army, His hosts of heaven. He is our Refueler. He is all things to us, working for us in every area of our lives.

The Lord is to us whatever we need:

*He carries us when we are wounded and hurting, when there is only one set of prints in the sand, as Mary Stevenson said in her poem Footprints in the Sand, “The times when you have seen only one set of footprints, is when I carried you.”

He carries us through those wilderness days, as He did the Israelites, “You know how I carried you on eagles’ wings and brought you to Myself.” (Ex. 19:4 NLT)

*He puts out the fires around us, joining us in the midst of the fiery circumstances, just as He did with the Three Amigos when they were bound in the midst of the fiery furnace. Others saw that over their “bodies the fire had no power; the hair of their head was not singed nor were their garments affected, and the smell of fire was not on them.” (Dan 3:27 NKJV) The Lord enters our flaming trials and we are loosed, walking unhurt in their midst.

*He helps to fight our battles and makes them His, as Scripture says, “The Lord your God, who goes before you, He will fight for you,” (Deut. 1:30 NKJV) and “Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s.” (2 Chron. 20:15 NIV)

*He brings emergency supply into wherever we are and in whatever we need, for “my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” (Phil. 4:19 NKJV)

*He is there to evacuate us from certain situations. “I am the Lord; I will bring you out from under the burdens of the [enemy], I will rescue you from [his] bondage, and I will redeem you with an outstretched arm and with great judgments.” (Ex. 6:6 NKJV)

*He supplies our need for daily sustenance, “He has filled the hungry with good things,” (Luke 1:53 NKJV) and “He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.” (Ps. 107:9 NLT)

*As our Refueler, He fills us when our soul-level gets low or drains out and we seek His infilling. Scripture tells us, “He fills my life with good things. My youth is renewed like the eagle’s!” (Ps. 103:5 NLT) And “I have satiated the weary soul, and I have replenished every sorrowful soul.” (Jer. 31:25 NKJV)

The questions are: Do we allow Him to refuel us with His Spirit and fill us with all He offers in order to accomplish all the things He desires us to do? Do we run to Him to be refilled in whatever we lack?

“Now may the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, that you may abound in hope by the power of the Holy Spirit,” and may you be “made full and complete by Christ, who fills all things everywhere with Himself.” and “be filled to the measure of all the fullness of God.” (Rom. 15:13 NKJV, Eph. 1:23 NLT, Eph. 3:19 NIV)

Do you need to be refueled today? Need gas?


Thursday, May 3

Now Faith Is...

“Faith is permitting ourselves to be seized by the things we do not see.”
Martin Luther

One of my very favorite verses is Hebrews 11:1, “Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.” (NKJV) I love taking verses apart and finding the definitions of words to discover a deeper meaning. Wanna see what I found?

Faith, to be beneficial, must always be now, in the present tense. We can’t have hindsight faith. However, the meaning of the word used in this verse for now does not mean at this moment of time, though many good sermons have contained that meaning.

It is a conjunction or connecting word between two thoughts. It means but, moreover, moreover also, and, also, and also, or but rather. It would be more appropriate to say, “And also faith is…” or “Moreover faith is…”

The Greek word for substance is hupostasis, which means a setting under, support, essence, assurance, confidence, person, the substantial quality or nature of a person, substructure or that which has foundation, hence, is firm and has actual existence.

(This word is used in Hebrews 1:3 of Jesus as the “express image of His essence,” or the actual existence or personification of God.)

Vine’s Expository Dictionary of New Testament Words says, “It here may signify a title-deed, as giving a guarantee, or reality.”

*Things hoped for...
The word for things hoped for is elpizo, which means to expect, confide, trust, or confident expectation. Its root word means to anticipate, usually with pleasure.

Evidence also means that by which invisible things are tested or proved, conviction, proof, or test.

Pragma is the word for the second use of the word things, which also means an object, business, matter, work, that which is an accomplished fact or is being accomplished, that which exists, and so on.

(From this, we get our English word pragmatic, which one definition means the testing of concepts to determine their validity by the practicality of their results.)

Therefore, defined, this verse might say, “Moreover, faith gives actual existence as a guarantee to what is expected, as the confident anticipation of matters being accomplished with practical results as proof of the invisible.”

When we co-operate with God by faith, we are fellow-workers with Him and we will see the answers to our prayers, which are already accomplished and held in expectancy in heaven as something yet to arrive or be revealed.

Only when faith is attached to all we do are we pleasing God, as the writer of Hebrews tells us, “So, you see, it is impossible to please God without faith.” (Heb. 11:6 NLT) If we have no faith to please Him, how do we co-operate with Him?

Those who are willing to trust God and apply faith to His Word, without further evidence, will receive the visible proof of His promises. And “if we hope for what we do not see, we eagerly wait for it with perseverance.” (Rom. 8:25 NKJV)

Smith Wigglesworth said, “I believe there is only one way to all the treasures of God and that is the way of faith.” And St. Augustine said, “Faith is to believe what we do not see, and the reward of this faith is to see what we believe.”

Just remember, faith is not a big, copper cauldron in which we conjure up our slightest wish. Nope, nope, nope! Faith is the producer of the will of the King, not the will of the servant. As Jesus said, “Not My will, but Yours, be done.” (Luke 22:42 NKJV)

A. B. Simpson once said, “True faith drops its letter in the post office box, and lets it go. Distrust holds onto a corner of it, and wonders that the answer never comes.”

Faith: Though the eye beholds no evidence, the spirit is assured of its existence.


Wednesday, May 2

A Symphony of Seasons book tour


Today, I'm happy to be a part of the book blog tour for A Symphony of Seasons, written by my e-friend, Connie Arnold.

Seasons of Life

Some days we feel depressed and blue,
Not knowing what we are going to do,
Struggling just to get through the day,
Wondering why life must be this way.

Do you ever feel this way? I imagine most of us have felt at one time or another that life is a struggle, and we don’t know what we should do. Yet often things will turn around, and we will have days when things seem to go right and we enjoy life again.

These ups and downs of life are a bit like the seasons. Throughout our lives we will encounter change time after time and need to learn to find the joy and beauty of life again in our new circumstances.

For the ups and downs we face there are reasons,
Like nature, our lives also have seasons.

In autumn the leaves fall, leaving the trees looking lifeless and bare. Have you experienced that sluggish, exposed feeling in your life? Or as winter turns cold and icy, have you ever felt like you have a cold, frozen heart?

But, oh, the joy when spring returns with new life and beauty abounding! It is certainly a season of hope and renewal, and God brings this season into our lives as well, filling us with hope, renewed vigor and joy.

As summer brings warmth, sunshine and usually increased opportunities for relaxation and fun, the Son’s light shines into our lives bringing warmth to our cold hearts and joy to our lifeless existence.

In good times and bad, it’s increasingly clear
Every life has its seasons through each passing year.

May God bless you through each season of the year and all seasons of your life!

This is part of a Book Release Blog Tour for A Symphony of Seasons. The tour schedule is posted on Connie’s blog so you can visit as many of the stops as you can to enjoy more poems, photos, videos, reviews, interview and receive entries to prize drawings at the end of this tour. 

The two prizes are a Vivaldi Four Seasons CD and a hummingbird suncatcher wind chime. Enter the drawing for these two prizes by commenting below. Additional entries can be earned for comments left on the other blogs during the tour and for sharing this post or any of the posts during the tour on Facebook or Twitter (be sure to post a comment here when you do that so you'll get your extra entries). 

Purchase a signed copy of A Symphony of Seasons from Connie’s website Inspirational Poetry of ConnieArnold or email conarnold(at)gmail(dot)com to receive a free gift with your purchase, a framed nature photo from one of the seasons with a short verse. Be sure to specify if you have a preference for a particular season.

A Symphony of Seasons is also available from:
ebook available at a discount through May 31, 2012
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