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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

May 20, 2018

What’s so amazing about grace? Philip Yancy asks that question in one of his book titles. Great book, too. We Christians, I believe, don’t consider the answer to that question enough.

What is so amazing about grace? It couldn’t be that even while we were filthy in our sin, depraved by our nature that Jesus chose to go to the cross to pay for everything, could it? Or could it be that out sins are tossed into the rubbish heap to burn up? Or could it be that God forgives the past, and we are not called to live a life of rigid legalism?

You do know there…  ( Click for more )

May 13, 2018

Do you believe God?

I know beyond any doubt that God can be trusted. He has been true and faithful my whole life even when I decided to turn my back on Him. Dark days those were, too. God never forsook me, never denied me, and remained faithful even when I was unfaithful.

I was angry with God’s children, not with Him. Those children had belittled me, had bullied me, and had berated me. I had been teaching Sunday School since 1972! How could they treat me so callously? So I turned my back on the church and the people within it. Still read my Bible, still told Bible…  ( Click for more )

May 6, 2018

David inspires us to sing a new song in Psalm 96. Beautiful call to action. I’m pretty sure David isn’t talking about the newest praise song that has seven words and seven repeats.

Sing a new song. The Hebrew reads exactly that – a fresh, new song or singing, or new singer.

Isn’t it amazing that God gave us capacity to use the octave of notes on eighty-eight keys and our voices to create eons of new songs? There are so many songs in the Bible, but the music to those songs is lost. That doesn’t mean the songs are lost, though because they…  ( Click for more )

April 29, 2018
To be betrothed. How marvelously wonderful that is. A Jewish mother would be proud. "See my daughter over there? No, the beautiful one. She's betrothed. She'll be married for all eternity." I know He will come. I am eagerly anticipating His coming for me. My lamp is lit and I have plenty of oil. How secure that is. What's that? Is security all I'm looking for? Oh, no. Security is just a fringe benefit. There is something far more valuable. I've never been dead, but I imagine it is not a pleasant state when one does not have a Betrothed. A state I do not wish to contemplate…  ( Click for more )

Numerous times God has spoken to me or given me a delight for encouragement. Oh, not out loud, but in such a way I knew it was Him talking to me.

I was on my teeth-grinding drive home from Arizona after my second husband decided he didn't want to be married anymore. I was devastated and I kept wanting to turn back. God kept nudging me forward. Finally, the whole western sky was a brilliant orange and I heard plain as day, "I've got your back." That night as I lay in a hard, motel bed, I was sobbing my eyes out and crying out to God, "Why?" "What is so…  ( Click for more )

April 15, 2018

Last week I said:

Do you think it possible that God has pulled back to test the hearts of His children? To show us just how lax we’ve become to righteousness? Or perhaps it is to spur us to intrepid prayer for our country, to humble ourselves, to align our hearts with His purpose. Or perhaps it is so that some of these politicians and pundits and top officials to repent after their deeds have been exposed.

Do you think Believers in Jesus have become lax in their righteousness? Perhaps we are becoming the church at Sardis (Revelation 3).

Perhaps it isn’t…  ( Click for more )

Certainly there is much to warrant Him backing away. Blatant deceit permeating our politics and public media with no regard for truth. Abortion acceptance. Homosexual lifestyles accepted as normal lifestyles. No public prayer allowed in schools and certain other places. Even talk of striping the Ten Commandments of the first four commandments to make it palatable for posting in schools and courtrooms.

Perhaps Anne Graham Lotz was correct, that God has backed away from America because we have absolutely backed away from God.

We could certainly find plenty of Biblical backup…  ( Click for more )

Genesis 22:5 Genesis 22:5 And Abraham said to his young men, you stay here with the donkey. I and the boy will go over there that we may worship and may return to you. Genesis 22:6 And Abraham took the wood of the burnt offering and laid it on his son Isaac; and he took the fire and the knife in his hand. And the two went together.

שׁחה shâchâh shaw-khaw'

A primitive root; to depress, that is, prostrate (especially reflexively in homage to royalty or God): - bow (self) down, crouch, fall down (flat), humbly beseech, do (make)…  ( Click for more )

...sometimes we are at our most unstill. God said to "Be still, and know that I am God..." Yes. It works rather well in the light of day, but sometimes when trying to go to sleep, we start tossin' and turnin'.

Why do we toss and turn? Are we lost in this world? Is it lack of faith and trust? Is it from worry, or is it from some sin that has its claws in the heart and/or mind?

When we confess our rebellions and disobedience, when we turn to Him and come home from our wayward and wastrel ways, God literally runs toward us, scooping us up in His mighty and strong…  ( Click for more )

1 Peter 1 5 who are protected by the power of God through faith for a salvation ready to be revealed in the last time. John 10 28 and I give eternal life to them, and they will never perish; and no one will snatch them out of My hand. Philippians 4 7 And the peace of God, which surpasses all comprehension, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus. John 6 37 "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 39 "This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has…  ( Click for more )

March 11, 2018

The Corinthians had trouble in Church City, and that Trouble had a capital T. Paul spent 18 months with them as he taught and preached the Gospel training them in the righteous ways of the Lord. But, as humans tend to do, it didn’t take long for these new, Gentile Christians to allow the old-man-ways to disrupt their unity in Christ. Satan was quick to use this disunity to draw them away from each other using their own earthly pride and prestige against their once unified front (1 Corinthians 3).

New believers in Christ are weak infants in need of milk as…  ( Click for more )

March 4, 2018

A few weeks ago my mom passed away. Before you think this might be a depressing post, let me assure you nothing could be further from the truth.

I’ve been sad and lonely for a while only for myself, but for Mom I am rejoicing greatly. For me, it is difficult to get past the accident and the last few days of her life. Memories of the accident, the trip to the hospital – actually three hospital emergency rooms – and the intensive care unit where we could only visit a few minutes at a time keep replaying. Satan is trying his best to accuse me and throw those…  ( Click for more )

February 25, 2018

If Christians were to follow Paul’s caution to “Repay no one evil for evil. Have regard for good things in the sight of all men,” and especially to take to heart his admonition that peace begins with us (Romans 12:17-18) then the acerbic tongue would not blow fiery destruction without regard to mayhem, and seeking forgiveness would not be necessary. In Paul’s day, those who had never met Jesus or any true believer were astounded by his teaching of blessing those who persecuted them, and those who cursed them. This would be Rorty’s abnormal discourse…  ( Click for more )

February 18, 2018

In The Godzilla Syndrome (part 1), I discuss Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus, and why he was breathing fire and murder against Christians. It is an age old problem of not truly understanding or embracing truth. We accept opinions as truth, and we allow society to define sin.

Tim Muehlhoff and Todd Lewis describe Deborah Tannen’s argument culture as today’s communication climate. It is a negative communication climate geared toward a battlefield environment affecting behaviors against anyone who believes differently. Opinions and beliefs seem…  ( Click for more )

February 11, 2018

In The Godzilla Syndrome (part 1), I discuss Paul’s experience on the road to Damascus, and why he was breathing fire and murder against Christians. It is an age old problem of not truly understanding or embracing truth. We accept opinions as truth, and we allow society to define sin. Unfortunately, humans hunger for peer approval rather than seeking God's approval. It's why we listen so desparately to peer pressure and opinion at the cost of truth.

Christian scholars and secular scholars have different viewpoints on what causes anger. Dale Miller (2001) points to the…  ( Click for more )

February 4, 2018

I am savoring something so sweet that I can hardly breath for the wonder of it. My first grandson was born last Wednesday. I now have four grandchildren. What amazing blessings they all are. So that is why I've taken a very old blog post for today... and I added a comment on that post as well... Back next week in full force!

...I want to take a minute to savor something. I've only been to one wine tasting in my entire life, and that was before I knew I was allergic to wine. Thank goodness, when you taste wine you roll it around in your mouth and then you spit it out. If I had…  ( Click for more )

January 28, 2018

What discussion of the Lamb’s Book of Life would be replete without some discussion of the books of the dead? Written in these books that are opened are all the deeds that bear witness to the wickedness by which the dead are judged.

Revelation 20:12 And I saw the dead, great and small, stand before God; and the books were opened: and another book was opened; which is the book of life; and the dead were judged by those things which were written in the books, according to their works.

John saw great and small standing before the Great White Throne. Great and…  ( Click for more )

January 21, 2018

Someone once asked me:

From what I understood, the Psalm's Book referred to God's plan for everyone's life. The OT Book of Life referred to those in the OT who went to Abraham's Bosom (such as Lazarus of Luke 16:19-31). The NT Lamb's Book of Life is the record of the redeemed by the blood of Christ who believe in Him and are thus written into that book as they believe, and when Christ rose again, every name that was in the OT Book of Life who were in Abraham's Bosom had their names converted over into the Lamb's Book of Life on the 3day. Any possibility for that?

Why…  ( Click for more )

January 14, 2018

Romans 1:18 For God's wrath is revealed from Heaven on all ungodliness and unrighteousness of men, holding the truth in unrighteousness, 19 because the thing known of God is clearly known within them, for God revealed it to them.

First, God makes sure that everyone has a yearning for Him. We are created in His image and we have an embedded knowledge of Him.

Second, God doubly makes sure that everyone knows of Him by creation and "...being understood by the things made, both His eternal power and Godhead, for them to be without excuse."

Third, verses 24…  ( Click for more )

January 7, 2018

God created life. Therefore life has sanctity because God called it Good. And we know that life can only be created by God. We humans think we're the creators when we plant a garden or conceive a baby, but we are only using what God set in place eons ago when He created life.

The first two people written in the Book of Life were Adam and Eve. We know from inference that the Book of Life has all the names of everyone conceived with life written in it. Here's why.

Psalm 69:28 Blot them out from the Book of Life; yea, let them not be written with the righteous.

Psalm…  ( Click for more )

December 31, 2017

I did a google to see if I could find some funny resolutions to post here. I was shocked at the irreverent and nastiness of some people trying to be funny. Some people have no filter on their minds so some things posted for public consumption leave a really bad taste in my mouth.

Most of what I observed was about justifying maintaining the status quo. Do we Christians really need to resolve to change? Aren't we changed enough already? Paul tells us that we've been metamorphosed from the caterpillar to the butterfly metaphorically speaking. The Holy Spirit indwells so we've got…  ( Click for more )

December 24, 2017

Have you ever looked up and before you is such magnificence that it takes your breath away? A sunrise or a sunset? Joy and happiness of a loved one? Your newborn baby? The Green Flash? Brilliance and majesty blended so beautifully that no words could possibly describe it. You just have to see it to experience it, and the sight of it pierces your soul.

Those moments can bring joy or fear depending upon where you are with God. Joy because you know that all that power of God is tempered by grace toward you. Fear, perhaps, because there is sudden, momentary conviction of unworthiness…  ( Click for more )

December 17, 2017

Little, sweet baby feet. Mary covered them with her hand, warming them against the night chill. She treasured in her heart all the words spoken about her first born Son.

Things like, "He will be great and called the Son of the Most High." And what the shepherds told, "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!" The star shining down on the child guided the shepherds to worship. And then they spread the word through the bright streets of Bethlehem. …  ( Click for more )

December 10, 2017

Don't wrestle with pigs... or pitbulls

Sage advice. Who would want to wrestle with pigs? Possibly this axiom is little different from the old proverb, “Cast not your pearls before swine.” Isn't that just what we do when we fire back at someone who has hurt our feelings? Well, maybe not the casting pearls part, and perhaps hurt people who hurt people aren't really pigs. So perhaps that doesn't apply. Then again, falling into the strife-trap of the instigator certainly does apply.

It isn't worth the fight, is it, for believers to jab and stab at every opportunity.…  ( Click for more )

December 3, 2017

God never promised an earthly rose garden for His children.

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…  ( Click for more )

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