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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

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 )

As Christians we get caught up in our daily living, and sometimes we forget that being Christian is work. Paul’s letters to the Corinthians prove that when we are saved, we don’t automatically become mature in Christ, but we are babies along with all that implies. We are given certain character traits simply because we are new creatures in Christ because we have the fruit of the Spirit given freely to all God’s children who are joint heirs with Christ. Those wonderful traits are found in Galatians 5:22-23. We know that these are traits that must be nurtured…  ( Click for more )

July 31, 2022

One of my favorite weather scenes is fog of a morning. I love the mysterious tendrils as they swirl about me as I walk through the morning. The chill of the air, the soft bird songs as the world waits expectantly for something wonderful to happen. Then the sun lift its head over the tree tops and stretches out its rays to wrap around the fog transforming the morning into something so crisp and bright.

Fog has a marvelous way of touching every molecule of your being and even penetrating the recesses of your clothing, weighing it down just enough so you’ll know you’ve…  ( Click for more )

July 24, 2022

This Sunday, Southern Baptists focus on the Sanctity of Life with the focus usually on how abortion is murder. For the longest time I believed the poppycock that unborn babies were just parasites until I was teaching a Sunday school lesson on this theme. I realized how wrong I was. Then came time for me to kill a snake, and I just crumpled inside when I took its life. Killing roaches doesn't make me crumple, but I do cringe. Taking life from something that God has blessed with life just makes me raw inside.

Two years ago, almost to the day, a father of four children, (four months…  ( Click for more )

Ever notice the directions on products? Some of them are quite humorous, such as “do not operate this hair dryer when sleeping”. Really? Visions of women lying in bed with their blow dryer grasped in a white-knuckled grip trip through my mind. Another favorite is the peanut package on airplanes which says, “Open packet. Eat nuts.” I guess that is for those who would rather slip the packet into their purse and smuggle it off the plane. Found on a Korean kitchen knife, “Keep out of children;” on a batman costume, “This cape does not…  ( Click for more )

The new year marks the 4th Centennial of the KJV. While this was not the first English translation, it has become one of the most widely used, in its modernized form, of all the early English translations. John Wycliffe was the first to translate the Bible into English and was widely circulated in manuscript form (before the printing press). It became illegal because of his stance against the Catholic Church’s teachings on several things in England in 1409. The manuscripts usually had a date before 1409 to circumvent the religious ban. Interestingly, because…  ( Click for more )

Under the tree is bare except there might be a scrap or two of wrapping paper back in the corner. The toys are scattered about. The slippers are warming the feet and Dad's tie looks great with his new shirt. Leftovers still taste good and memories of another glorious family celebration are still fresh in our minds. I'm wondering if you've unwrapped every gift? Is there one that is drawing your attention? See it sparkling in the Christmas lights?

John 4:10 Jesus answered and said to her, If you knew the gift of God, and who is the One saying to you, Give Me to drink, you would…  ( Click for more )

June 26, 2022

Little, sweet baby feet. Mary will soon cover them with her hand, warming them against the night chill. She has treasured in her heart all the words spoken about her first born Son. Things like, "The angel was so glorious, shouting out praises to God on High and the Good News! The Messiah is born! Our long awaited Savior, the Lord, is born!" And word went out publically, through the bright streets of Bethelehem. The star shining down on the child. The little feet, toes curled against the chill, wiggled in His mother's hand. Eight day old, tiny feet with pink…  ( Click for more )

June 19, 2022

To repent and turn from our wicked ways is the only way we can be fruitful. Solomon comes to my mind here. He was literally hell bound. In 1Kings chapter 11 we find out God talked to Solomon twice about turning from his wicked ways. He did not wholly follow the Lord and His ways and the punishment God had for him was not Hell's Fire... but the punishment was physical. God raised up two enemies against Solomon. Hadad and Rezon. Then God promised to take away the united kingdom of Israel from Solomon's son. I once thought that Solomon would not be in heaven. I thought because…  ( Click for more )

Benjamin Franklin once said that to set a habit, one had to practice a certain behavior for thirty days, and I’ve often heard that to get rid of a bad habit, one must work at that for forty days. There certainly seems to be something about that number forty because it appears in scripture many times, mostly in times of testing or healing, and specifically when God judged earth with rain for forty days and nights.

Habits can work for us or against us, and the smart woman will learn which habits will be most beneficial to her lifestyle and which ones are better tossed. I look…  ( Click for more )

I often wonder how seriously we take that. "Our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the furnace of blazing fire; and He will deliver us out of your hand, O king. But even if He does not, let it be known to you, O king, that we are not going to serve your gods or worship the golden image that you have set up" - Dan. 3:17-18. Even if He does not... that was life or death to those young men, friends of Daniel who steadfastly stood up to ole Nebuchadnezzar. It's commitment, but it is deeper than that. Some people like to call it faith which is knowing…  ( Click for more )

The Groom, The Bridesmaids and the Bride

A very interesting parable is found in Matthew 25. 1Then the kingdom of Heaven shall be compared to ten virgins who taking their lamps, went out to a meeting of the bridegroom. And five of them were wise, and five foolish. Those being foolish, taking their lamps, did not take oil with them. But the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. But the bridegroom delaying, all nodded and slept. And at midnight, a cry occurred: Behold, the bridegroom comes! Go out to meet him. Then all those virgins were aroused and prepared their…  ( Click for more )

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 )

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