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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

January 29, 2023

We hear this term bandied about like so much confetti. The fact is, there is no real definition of it. In general terms, the United States began as a social justice government stated in our Declaration of Independence:

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights…

Although, the term first appeared in The Federalist Papers and, here's a cougher, in The Rise and Fall of the Roman Empire by Edward Gibbons, I had an opinion that Social justice was just an oxymoron…  ( Click for more )

Jesus saved the best for last. This eighth sign John notes for us is found in John 21. One would think this was the least of the signs after seeing Jesus turn water into wine, heal the sick and the lame, feed 5,000 people with no more than two fish and five loaves of bread, walk on water, heal a man blind from birth, and raise a man from the decaying dead.

This sign is one of assurance. Jesus was showing His disciples the importance of obedience. “I write these things, little children, that you may be assured of your hope,” John wrote much later because he recognized…  ( Click for more )

In chapter eleven of John, we see the story of Lazarus being raised from the dead. Herein lies the seventh sign of Jesus’ authority and prophesy fulfilled.

Martha, Martha… How I can so identify with her. Not that I worry so much anymore, or that I have a dust-free, immaculately kept home, or worry about what to feed a group of people when they drop in; I do not. I figure if someone drops in, they can jolly well have what I’m having. She knew Jesus could have prevented the death of Lazarus. She doesn’t exactly chide Jesus for not coming sooner, but in…  ( Click for more )

On Monday, July 4, it will be the 235th anniversary of thousands of lives given in sacrifice to a young America just so we have the privilege of pledging our allegiance to the flag of the United States of America.

Shame on anyone in the United States who has lost that patriotic spark when the fireworks go off, the lump in the throat when we sing "Oh, say can you see by the dawn's early light, what so proudly we hailed at the twilight's last gleaming. Whose broad stripes and bright stars, through the perilous fight, o're the ramparts we watched, were so gallantly streaming?…  ( Click for more )

John 9:1-41 – Jesus heals a blind man from birth

John does an intriguing thing with this story when he includes the Pharisees interrogation of the healed blind man. How extraordinary John draws a distinct line between faith in action and willful unbelief.

Jesus spits and makes mud from the clay then spreads it over the man’s eyes – In the beginning God spoke and many things happened over a six day period. The one thing God created using His hands was human. God personally drew minerals, salt, and water from the earth creating Adam, then drew a rib from…  ( Click for more )

This is the fifth of the eight signs. In John 6:15-21 we read how the people who were fed supernaturally with food from Jesus’ hand wanted to forcefully make him king over all. Jesus was appalled about it and secluded Himself to pray; and immediately (Matthew 14:22) when evening came (John 6:16) He urged the disciples to cross the lake to Bethsaida (Mark6:45). In the fourth watch, while storm winds churned up the waves, Jesus walked on the water to the boat in the middle of the sea. When Peter and He had sat down in the boat, immediately the wind ceased and the sea calmed.…  ( Click for more )

Jesus is the Bread of Life – John 6:1-14; 26-40 – Jesus feeds the 5,000. The crowd was not so amazed at this feat because Jesus was never loud in performing His miracles. Unlike many sorcerers of the day, Jesus was unobtrusive in a lot of the miracles He performed. However, certain followers of Jesus were astounded and said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world,” meaning the Messiah. Jesus explains in verses 26-27 what the miracle of the feeding actually meant. He vocally pointed out the crowd wasn’t seeking Him out because they…  ( Click for more )

There are a lot more, of course, but John depicts eight which John MacArthur points out. Studying each of these will give a broad view of Jesus’ authority. John used the word signs to indicate significant displays of divine power which drew, through the eyes of faith, direct attention to deeper divine realities. Each act was a physical event which depicted a deep spiritual truth. We find the all through scripture.

In John 2:1-12— Jesus is the source of life – Jesus turns water into wine at the wedding in Cana. Mark Lowery said, “You gotta love a…  ( Click for more )

It is early 1944. The 5307th Composite Unit (Provisional), better known as Merrill’s Marauders need replacements. A young volunteer named Ray Mitchell wants to volunteer to the Army. His father drives him and his cousin from Picayune to Camp Shelby just outside of Hattiesburg and drops them off at the gate. Only now, after being a father does Mitchell understand what must have been occurring in the chest of his father that day.

“Wanted: Volunteers for a Dangerous, Hazardous Mission in Jungle Warfare” stated the sign that young Mitchell saw.

“Pretty…  ( Click for more )

November 27, 2022

The most important role of woman is to be the light of the home; and the keeper of the household. Her role as wife and mother biblically preempts any other roles in her life. It is such a huge shame that women have opted to relinquish those roles in pursuit of other gains. I have even heard some very prominent women who look with disdain upon childbearing and marriage. How sad. The feminist movement absconded with femininity because it is perceived as weakness. This view is hugely unbiblical. One needs only to study Proverbs 31 to realize just how feminine a woman should be all…  ( Click for more )

Many, many people hold up one verse as the ultimate of prohibition of women teaching men in the church. That verse is 1 Timothy 2:12.

1 Timothy 2:12 And I do not allow a woman to teach nor to exercise authority over a man, but to be in silence. 13For Adam was formed first, then Eve. That is the literal translation.

I am not attempting to retranslate the Bible, nor am I saying that the men translators from eons ago got it all wrong. What I am saying is that there is a tendency toward assumptions that perhaps have a bit of prejudice in them rather that objectivity.…  ( Click for more )

There are so many precious men who love the Lord and are so sensitive to His voice. There are others who are not so sensitive. In the same way, there are many women exhibiting the same attributes of leadership, organization and perception, just as there are many who have other motivational gifts. We are each individuals making up the Family of God and each of us is given our Spiritual Gifts according to the Holy Spirit's discretion. Being individuals, we have work prepared specifically for each one. This is where our study stems. God is the one Who calls, God is the one Who designed…  ( Click for more )

I started this study a very long time ago on my blog in my post The Perfect Wife in Proverbs 31. A little expounding on this subject will follow. It has been my experience that most men have a huge problem with women in leadership roles in the church. It is not Biblical that women should not hold teacher positions or have leadership roles. However, it is very biblical that women should never wrench leadership positions from men. While we're camped there for a moment, these days men are getting beaten up pretty badly in the media. I am so sorry that is happening because it seems…  ( Click for more )

October 30, 2022

Centuries before Jesus was led to Golgotha, God provided a picture of that event, a promise to His chosen people in the form of the Passover. He said it was to be an ordinance forever.

The lighting…

The lighting of the candles... Only the woman of the house may light the candles because she is the light of the home. Also, through a woman, through Mary came the Light of the World. The Light of the World is Jesus.... John 9:5 While I am in the world, I am the Light of the world. Revelation 21:23 And the city had no need of the sun, nor of the moon, that they…  ( Click for more )

October 23, 2022

Are angels our protectors, such as guardian angels? Or, are they messengers like what the word angel means, or both? See Psalm 91, for clarification... Psalm 91:11 For He shall give His angels charge over You, to keep You in all Your ways. 12They shall bear You up in their hands, that You not dash Your foot on a stone.

Satan quotes this in Matthew when Jesus is tempted. This in no way makes God's promise in Psalm 91 any less a promise. There is a limitation, though. I've bolded it above. As I see it, if we Christians step outside God's ways, then we succumb to God’s…  ( Click for more )

October 16, 2022

Jeremiah 17:5 So says Jehovah, Cursed is the man who trusts in man, and who makes flesh his arm, and who turns aside his heart from Jehovah. 6 For he shall be like a juniper in the desert, and shall not see when good comes. But he shall live in parched places in the wilderness, in a salt land that is not inhabited. 7 Blessed is the man who trusts in Jehovah, and Jehovah is his refuge. 8 For he shall be like a tree planted by the waters. It sends out its roots by the stream, and it will not fear when the heat comes; but its foliage will be green; and it is not anxious in the…  ( Click for more )

God designed humans as social creatures therefore we are taught from the first of our toddling steps how to share, and how to communicate with others. We will gravitate to those that have similar interests so we share commonalities. Generally, we do not choose whom we work with, nor do we choose whom resides next to us (unless we own that house, too). But we do choose our friends. Fair weather friends and associates are plentiful, but good friends are hard to find because our society has changed gears in recent decades toward more work time, and less play time. In years…  ( Click for more )

This process can be applied to any situation where you need to make an important decision. If you follow these ten basic steps, you will find yourself making wiser decisions in your professional as well as your personal life. Just remember, Proverbs 16:33 The lot is cast into the lap, But its every decision is from the LORD. When a person slogs through life being blown by every wind, it is sadly a lack of asking for godly wisdom. Define, as specifically as possible, what the decision is that needs to be made. Is this really your decision or someone…  ( Click for more )

September 25, 2022

David sings a song of rejoicing and supplication in his prayer Psalm 86. We can learn so very much about how to live daily within the perfect realm of God’s will from this psalm.

David has a wonderful way of supplication and reasons for his requests all through his songs and prayers, and here, he asks for God to hear him because he is needy and poor. There is only one person in all the universe who can fulfill all our needs. Humans are needy to the point of desperation. David is completely open about his deep need. Are you? We humans have a tendency to hope others…  ( Click for more )

September 18, 2022

Years ago, my neighbor informed me that I wasn't a Christian unless I prayed in tongues, and she assured me that if I was truly a Christian, then most assuredly all I needed to do was open my mouth (without any thoughts in my head, of course) and speak out loud. She also informed me that praying that way was a sure fire way of getting my prayers answered, but she stopped short of telling me any other kind of praying would never get an answer from God. Being the good Christian, of course I wanted the proof of speaking an ecstatic language so I asked God for the gift so I could pray…  ( Click for more )

September 11, 2022

Job 38:4 Where were you when I founded the Earth? Declare if you know understanding.

Not even a twinkle in my daddy's eye! I do not understand how God spoke and brought the universe from nothing. Scientists cannot tell us either. Isn't it interesting that God shared with Job some of the things that we humans have never seen until the last 50 years or so?

Job 38:5 Who has set its dimensions, for you know? Or who has stretched a line on it?

Oh... yes! God stretched a line around the Earth's middle and we can see it from space. Job didn't have the faintest notion…  ( Click for more )

September 4, 2022

Back in the 50s and 60s women had a huge responsibility within the family unit. They actually said with straight faces, “I don’t work.” In the 70s it became, “I don’t work outside the home,” said sheepishly and downcast eyes. Let’s face it, when their day of toil began before sunup and didn’t end until long after sundown and the kids were asleep. They wore dresses and girdles to do house work. Girls were taught how to be women, graceful and lovely and unruffled. We were taught how to make an Entrance without being considered a show-off.…  ( Click for more )

In the valley of Achor, the Children of Israel found themselves between a rock and a hard place, literally. The mountain to one side of them was Mount Gerizim, the name translates rocky, and to the other side was Mount Ebal which means bald: a Rock and a Hard Place.

Joshua 8:33 Then all Israel, with their elders and officers and judges, stood on either side of the ark before the priests, the Levites, who bore the ark of the covenant of the LORD, the stranger as well as he who was born among them. Half of them were in front of Mount Gerizim and half of them in front of Mount…  ( Click for more )

Jesus was raised for the perfecting and completing of our justification. Sanctification and justification are two different things, very closely related, but they are two different things.

When Jesus was buried, He took the punishment or the consequence of our sins upon Himself. He was locked in prison, just as those OT saints were locked in Paradise with no way out until The Door opened in Heaven giving them their way into God's presence.

It is the resurrection of Jesus that proves we are not justified by our own works. It is the resurrection that proves God was satisfied...…  ( Click for more )

Now, the sacrifice that Jesus made willingly of His lifeblood was to satisfy the Law. It paid for all the sins ever to be committed, from Adam until the end of time.

Hebrews 9 explains it in detail. The sacrificial blood of goats and bulls was only the shadow of Jesus' sacrifice. Here, see this... 9:14 by how much more the blood of Christ (who through the eternal Spirit offered Himself without blemish to God), will purify your conscience from dead works, to serve the living God!

From verse 14 through 23, the Hebrews’ author describes the reason for sacrifices.…  ( Click for more )

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