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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

May 22, 2022

I can't post a picture here, but imagine if you will a lonely turtle placed high up on a post. There is no way the turtle can get there by himself, and there is no way that anyone else (wife or friend or co-worker) can be there with him. It is lonely at the top, is it not?

A manager in a Fortune 500 company keeps a picture of a turtle on a post in his office for that very reason. He keeps a close relationship with those who work for him because he knows he didn't get to the top by himself. Oh, I got the point. I thought it an extremely good point and I've carried that thought…  ( Click for more )

Samson was ordained from the womb. The Angel of the LORD visited a barren woman and expressed to her she would have a son. She was to drink no wine nor eat anything unclean as her son was dedicated to the LORD as a Nazirite from the womb. The LORD had a much bigger plan in mind than a new judge for Israel. He was going to use Samson to move against the Philistines. The prowess of Samson is depicted in his many acts, yet his judgment isn’t as wise as one would think. He was blessed by God with mighty strength, and brawn of body, but his eyes languished for women outside his…  ( Click for more )

Be strong in the Lord Be as strong as Samson, with Samson’s power. In order to have that Supernatural Power, we need to study Ephesians chapter six.

Truth #1 – The same power that raised Jesus from the dead is the same power available to all God’s children. It is mightier than the strength of Samson.

Mighty Power – Ischurf Endowment of physical or mental or moral power. God is perfectly capable of empowering us with His mighty power. Kratos denotes the presence and significance of force or strength rather than the exercise of that power. God has…  ( Click for more )

I found an old faded copy of something that is almost illegible and has the number 46 at the bottom of it. I have no idea where it came from or who wrote it but it is an amazing piece of prose. Update: A dear friend sent me a message of where to go to find the author. It was written by Frances J. Roberts. Thank you, Peter for helping me with this!

Oh my child, have I ever failed thee? Have I ever turned my back on thee? Is the way it starts out. God has never, ever failed me, or forsaken me and has never turned His back on me. That is something that I cannot say about any one…  ( Click for more )

The Seven Crowns we receive…actually there are more.

Paul was very fond of using The Race as an analogy for the Christian Lifestyle. To the Corinthians, he espoused this theme pointing to the victorious receiving a crown of corruption. That was a wreath of leaves of laurel which would soon wither. It wasn’t the crown that the runner strived for, it was the victory which was coveted. The crown was the proof of victory, but lasted for such a short time. Paul immediately points out that our crowns are incorruptible, lasting forever, being the proof of victory of Christian…  ( Click for more )

April 17, 2022

Continuing the discussion from last week on meekness and how we should exhibit this trait in order to please God, we need to take a closer look at the purpose God has for Christians.

The word that Paul uses for purpose is prothesis which is the Greek word for showbread. I explained briefly that because Paul uses the word prothesis, it indicates we Christians are the showbread, the purpose of God to illustrate His manifold wisdom to the principalities and powers of the heavenlies, Ephesians 3. That word manifold in the Greek is polupoikilos meaning much variegated, perhaps…  ( Click for more )

April 10, 2022

Meekness... oy vey! πρᾳότης praotēs prah-ot'-ace, if you say that fast, it almost sounds like practice. It is defined gentleness; by implication humility: - meekness.

Let’s take a look at what God says about meekness.

Numbers 12:3 And the man Moses was very meek, more than any man who was on the face of the earth.

Psalm 22:26 The meek shall eat and be satisfied; those who seek Jehovah shall praise Him; your heart shall live forever.

Psalm 25:9 The meek He will guide in judgment; and the meek He will…  ( Click for more )

April 3, 2022

Someone asked me the other day what I meant when I said that I was engraved in His palm. I pointed to Isaiah 49:16 "See, I have enscribed you on the palms of My hands..." God said. Engraving in the palm is so permanent. Once there, nothing can blot it out or remove it except it be cut out. Even if cut out, the hole is still there. "I will not forget you." "Who can undo what I do?" says the Lord of hosts. My Bible opened to that verse and I was thinking about it, and God happened to be in a talkative mood. "What else happened…  ( Click for more )

March 27, 2022

Defining goodness is as hard as being good. Jesus said that only One is Good. Only One exhibited unconditional love in the giving of His only begotten Son to die so that we might live even while we were black with sin. He exhibits selfless Love all the time and has this characteristic. We humans are given the chance to be Good, but how many times do we let self get in the way? Our desires constantly override that which is good for another. We humans have fits and starts of goodness, even those who do not have the indwelling of the Holy Spirit exhibit goodness of morals, values,…  ( Click for more )

The written word is a mighty thing.

I reached in my bag to grab my Sunday School book to study and a blue piece of paper came out with it. “What in the world?” I thought as I opened the folded note.

Suddenly, I was transported back a couple of years to a happy Sunday morning. The note was from my pastor’s wife encouraging me and telling me something to make me smile. Just a little three inch by three inch scrap of paper and a few words from a beloved friend lifted me out of the humdrum onto a floating blessing. It wasn’t much effort on her part. It…  ( Click for more )

March 13, 2022

...and unconditional love.

Being a Christian since I was six years old, I guess it was inevitable that I should take God's Grace for granted. I know absolutely that God has a purpose for everything and that includes me. So, I was sitting there feeling incredibly sorry for myself... trying to pray and realizing that my prayers weren’t even getting off the ground. Not, because there was unconfessed sin, but because I was focusing on my depression rather than on God's grace.

Have you heard of Tony Evans? He wrote a most enlightening book called Totally Saved. I think this…  ( Click for more )

March 6, 2022

Spiritual bankruptcy is something that happens a lot in our stressed-filled lives. We fight it, of course, by reading our Bibles and going to church. Sometimes we are spiritually depleted just as Elijah was after he ran for his life into the desert away from Jezebel. He collapsed under a broom tree, crying out for God to take his life. Remember, this was after he chided all the prophets of Baal and Ashtoreth… after he spoke to God and asked for fire to consume the sacrifice… after he had 12 barrels of water poured over the altar soaking the wood and the bull.

Admittedly,…  ( Click for more )

February 27, 2022

I get to the screaming point. I want to shout out the truth, but to no avail. I work and work at trying to be what God wants me to be and I always fail. Help me, Lord. Carry me over the fjord. The chasm is deep and I weep. Dry my tears. Release me from my fears. Carry the truth to those ears that refuse to hear the truth. Put back that hair that I have pulled out. Rub the steel bands that are supposed to be my shoulders for I am done with things as they are, no longer look back and pout. Whisper my name, cause me to be still. Tomorrow I shall go forward, leaving…  ( Click for more )

February 20, 2022

Kindness is the outward evidence of the Spirit. When we show kindness we are extending God's hand to others around us. Frankly, I do not see a whole lot of kindness in the Church. It takes effort and energy and it takes all the other parts of the gift of the Spirit in order to evidence kindness.

Galatians 5:22 But the fruit of the Spirit is: love, joy, peace, long-suffering, kindness, goodness, faith, 23 meekness, temperance. Against such things there is not a law.

A person in deep depression has little thought of exhibiting kindness for he is wrapped up in his own Hell.…  ( Click for more )

The one time I was blessed enough to go to Charles Stanley's church in Atlanta, he made a statement that penetrated my hard head. He said, "Never throw away the notes you've made while in study of the Bible. These were important enough for you to jot them down, they may be a life saver later on." I had just decided to clean out some files when I got home so that I'd have room for more files without have to buy another filing cabinet. There went that plan, tossed out with a few words from Charles Stanley. Well, he was right! I have spent a few minutes each day…  ( Click for more )

No one understands God's perfect ways or even why God acts in such a way for some and in another way for others. How do we even know for sure we are walking in His will?

We can't see the future. Our feelings are fickle. We can't control other people's decisions. So how do we find the path where God’s word is the light for it and the lamp for the feet? Of course that question suggests that we must know which direction to take in order to be in His will. I don’t think we really ever need to know exactly which direction we are supposed to go. It is something we must step…  ( Click for more )

January 30, 2022

I have heard until I am sick to death this rubbish that people are not healed from their sicknesses because they just don’t have enough faith. To say that a person just doesn't have enough faith is an out right lie straight from the Father of Lies, Satan himself.

You want to know why? Because God takes care of His children and their needs regardless of what, when or how they ask. Matthew 6

You don't have to believe when you pray for something. Go read Acts 12. Peter was amazed he was standing outside the prison. He thought he must be dreaming, yet it was real.…  ( Click for more )

January 23, 2022

Have you come down with an illness? Has silence descended into your marriage? Have you lost your job? Have you lost your church position? Have you been rejected by your peers at work or by your boss? Have your finances taken a slide downhill? Have you had to quit your job in order to take care of elderly parents, or a sick child?

There once was a fish that God had appointed to do a great service for Himself and to Jonah. Sometimes God puts us in the dark place so that we can realize what God has known all along. Sometimes the belly of the fish is the only place where we can come…  ( Click for more )

If you missed the first three parts, the links are at the bottom of this article.

Now we are at the part where the rubber meets the road, so to speak. The decision has been made, the temptations have been recognized, and you have a regimen to deal with those pesky temptations, so now it’s all smooth sailing, right? Not by a long shot. Now begins the real battle. Now is when Satan will dig in his heels and begin the battle in earnest.Now is when you fight more than just your fleshly desires, the Spiritual Battle begins, and Satan will be using every fiery dart and piercing…  ( Click for more )

Last time we talked briefly about making that conscious and deliberate decision to quit ________. The importance of this step cannot be emphasized enough.

If you recognize there is a problem, admit that what you are doing is wrong, but don’t make a decision to quit doing it, the flesh will win out every time. Temptations are extremely strong when we let them roll around in our heads. There is a very thin line between thinking about doing something and actually doing it.

According to the University of Baltimore the neurons in our brains initiate thoughts and memory. Without…  ( Click for more )

Breaking a sinful addiction is the hardest thing anyone can do. Addictions have brought the mightiest to their knees, and have surprised even the most stalwart that they got caught in Satan’s web of addictive seduction. Godly people do ungodly things. It is a fact which Beth Moore explores in her book (and one that I highly recommend), all because the flesh is weak.

As in every problem solving situation, one must first recognize there is a problem. It is a key element. There was a man who was suffering from severe alcohol withdrawal symptoms (DTs) and his family rushed him…  ( Click for more )

There are countless ways we Christians sin. We have called someone "you fool", even under our breath when they pull out in front of us on the highway. We have been angry with our siblings without justifiable cause, or even with justifiable cause but we are consumed with anger and bitterness rather than forgiveness. We have taken communion while being angry at a sibling. We have taken the LORD's name in vain, we have lied, we have stirred up strife. We have held a thing or a person higher than the LORD. We have stolen. We are not without sin.

Habitual sin, however, is…  ( Click for more )

1. The difference between love and lust.

1 John 4:16 And we have known and have believed the love which God has in us. God is love, and the one abiding in love abides in God, and God in him

Jeremiah 22:17 But your eyes and your heart lust for nothing but your unjust gain, and to shed innocent blood, and oppression, and to do violence.

Galatians 5:16 But I say, Walk in the Spirit, and you will not fulfill the lust of the flesh.

2. When to hold on and when to let go.

Proverbs 3:18 She (wisdom) is a tree of life to the ones who lay hold on her, and happy…  ( Click for more )

A trip to the store on Wednesday had me reaching for a blindfold. What are women thinking? I saw lots of belly fat through thin T-shirts. I saw lots of chest skin and held my breath hoping against hope that a woman’s breasts would not fall out of her shirt when she bent over to unload her basket into the trunk of her car. It was a Fallout Alert! Why do women think this is pretty? Why do young girls cheapen themselves by wearing next to nothing? Why aren’t mothers telling their daughters, “You can’t wear that, it makes you look cheap.” Which is what my…  ( Click for more )

This month we’ve been studying scripture’s Wonder Woman. I was taught in Sunday School when I was a teen, that this paragon of virtue was a guideline, but unachievable. I bought into that for a long time. Only after studying this passage with the proper guidance from the Holy Spirit have I realized that the Bride of Christ is really Wonder Woman. Not because she is stronger than a locomotive or faster than a speeding bullet (oh, wait, that’s Super Man—hmm), but because of the omnipotent, omnipresent, omniscient, living God Who dwells within us. Everything…  ( Click for more )

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