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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

November 26, 2017

Can you imagine an event so filled with delight and pleasure that the trees and fields lift up voices in praise and joy?

Psalm 96:9 Oh, worship the LORD in the beauty of holiness! Tremble before Him, all the earth.

Psalm 96:10 Say among the nations, "The LORD reigns; The world also is firmly established, It shall not be moved; He shall judge the peoples righteously."

Psalm 96:11 Let the heavens rejoice, and let the earth be glad; Let the sea roar, and all its fullness;

Psalm 96:12 Let the field be joyful, and all that is in it. Then shall all the…  ( Click for more )

November 19, 2017
Several years ago I wrote a column called Poverty of Values. It's a term coined by Dan Quayle. Remember him? Vice President? It was in a great speech, which I can't find now. However, as we watch the private lives of many celebrities being pinpointed with the light of truth exposing some scandalous behavior, that term keeps echoing in my head. I heard a senator say that society values have changed since Bill Clinton, and what was “boy being a boy” in the oval office wasn't so bad way back then, but horrifying today. Really? Rape is still punishable by death in the Bible.…  ( Click for more )
November 12, 2017

(Forgive me, but I have that stuffy nose, bubblegum-filled head, ache-in-th-bones, coughing, sneezing, headachy feeling today, so I'm copying one of Alan Smith's posts with permission.) 10. God worried that Adam would always be lost in the garden because men hate to ask for directions. 9. God knew that Adam would one day need someone to hand him the TV remote. (Men don't want to see what's ON television, they want to see WHAT ELSE is on!) 8. God knew that Adam would never buy a new fig leaf when his seat wore out and would therefore need Eve to get one for him. 7. God…  ( Click for more )

November 5, 2017

Thought bombs are a nefarious tool used constantly by Satan. Thought bombs lead to sin because they sit there in our mind just waiting for us to light the fuse. We either embrace the thought, light the fuse, and let it permeate our being leading us down temptations path, or we sweep it out the door giving it to God to dispose of. Christians are human and are prone to do the former, so it takes practice to do the latter.

Thought bombs cause anxious thinking, and anxious thinking permeates our world today because we are flying around trying to get a thousand things done in 30.5…  ( Click for more )

October 29, 2017

Walter Lang said, "Being created by God, man is the crown of creation." I never thought about that before even when I did a deep study of the crowns of the believers. It is just, then, that God has reserved crowns for His believers, and has given one or two to His believers already.

Crowns depict the epitome of human adulation. Through eons, kings, queens, and priests have worn crowns of gold and precious jewels as an indication of their exalted station in life—this temporary, physical life. Then the crown of the person who is long dead and buried is exhibited…  ( Click for more )

(John 20:22 NKJV) And when He had said this, He breathed on them, and said to them, "Receive the Holy Spirit. 23If you forgive the sins of any, they are forgiven them; if you retain the sins of any, they are retained."

These verses read like we have the power to withhold forgiveness for sins here on earth. It's why these two verses are in the group of Scriptures that are difficult to understand.

Here is something to ponder.

Christians' mission is to make disciples, teach them Jesus' commands, and do this throughout the world as we live our daily lives. We are…  ( Click for more )

October 15, 2017

I have been receiving TFTD since 1997. Here is one of my favorite ones from Alan Smith...

WALKING IN THE LIGHT A young Marine and his commanding officer board a train headed through the mountains of Switzerland. They can find no place to sit except for two seats right across the aisle from a young woman and her grandmother.

After a while, it is obvious that the young woman and the young soldier are interested in each because they are giving each other "looks." Soon the train passes into a tunnel and it is pitch black. There is a sound of the…  ( Click for more )

Have you ever wondered, "How could she do that when she says she's a Christian?" or how about, "Where does he get off talking like that going to church and all?" Often times we may be taken aback at what our Christian brothers and sisters in Christ say and do. I was astounded at how much better I understood my Christian siblings after I wrote this bible study from Charles Stanley's sermons and from a book by Don and Katy Fortune.

It wasn't that [names are changed here] Selina was mean, she had a strong gift of Perceiver. To her everything was black or white,…  ( Click for more )

September 24, 2017

The sweet sound of rain splashing outside filled me with joy this morning. It was so soothing I went back to sleep listening to it. So, I slept late. Sometimes that is a very good thing, and this morning was no exception.

When I awoke again, the rain was still coming down, and it was still dark outside. I love how it sounds dripping through the oak trees, splashing in the puddles. Refreshing, cleansing, and reviving. I was acutely reminded of when I lived in the high desert of Arizona.

Months of dry, clear skies, and months of heat never washed clean of dust by refreshing…  ( Click for more )

September 17, 2017

Romans 1:1 Paul, a slave of Jesus Christ, a called apostle, separated to the gospel of God.

Paul, Peter, James, and Jude all called themselves slaves/bondservants of Jesus Christ. Paul called Epaphras Jesus’ bondservant.

A slave of Jesus. I have often thought that being a slave was a bad thing. In fact, today’s society wants to completely wipe out the history of our nation in the belief that slavery was so heinous we can’t have statues or memorials or sites or memories of the Civil War, which wasn't only about slavery in America, but also states' rights. …  ( Click for more )

September 10, 2017

There are times when a little fear is good... like when walking across a swinging bridge that has no guardrails and the drop down is about 100 feet or so to cold rushing water. Did that one time and my heart still pounds at the thought of it.

Those times don't come around very often. God says we are not to worry. Jesus said, "Do not worry." Angels have told men, "Do not fear." I’ve been told that it’s in the Bible 365 times, one for each day of the year.

Worry is a sin.

So how do we deal with worry? I love what Dale Carnegie said, "Figure…  ( Click for more )

September 3, 2017

The Hebrew propensity for character analysis through a person's name is indicated by God when He changed Abram's name to Abraham, and Sarai to Sarah and Jacob to Israel.

Back in 200 AD when the Mishnah was being created, biblical scholars began to use the term The Name HaShem, (ha=the and Shem=Name). It was reverential. The four letter YHWH or as written today YHVH was pronounced with the vowel sounds but written with no vowels. Hebrew linguists believe YHVH is a form of the verb havah, meaning "to be or become." Therefore, the name God gave to Moses is correctly translated…  ( Click for more )

August 27, 2017

I know you've seen this before. I have seen it several times and saved it, but after a computer crash several years ago, I lost it and thought it gone forever. Then I was at BJ Hoff's Grace Notes, which is now no more, and not only did I find it again, but now I know who wrote it! BJ Hoff wrote it during a time of great trial. Thank you, BJ, for bringing back a friend I thought I'd lost. Only One I've often heard your question. This message is My answer. You're concerned about the hungry in the world, the millions who are starving and in need ... and you ask Me, 'What…  ( Click for more )

The science world would have us believe that because some elements in quantum act randomly that these elements have free will. In the 1980s research scientists developed empirical evidence that our brains prepared for action before our conscience mind decided to that action, therefore humans didn’t have free will because our conscience mind was “ruled” by our brain’s preparatory activities toward a specific action. (Just Google free will and free choice and you’ll find numerous references to these studies.) Then in January 2016, a new study was published…  ( Click for more )

August 13, 2017

Take a trip with your mother... just you and her. I highly recommend it. There is nothing like it and you have memories to cherish. My mom and I took a trip to Eureka Springs, Arkansas. She is so precious and it was quite a trip, what with her breaking her ankle within the first hour of arriving at our little bungalow on the west side of Eureka Springs. The trip would have been better I were not in the thoes of menopause. That curious happening to older women is the real curse. Having babies is child's play to this insidious monster who has kidnapped my personality and makes me…  ( Click for more )

Sounds rather like an oxymoron to me since God never recognized homosexuality as right, but as an abomination in His eyes.

The fact that so many homosexuals say that you can't use the Bible in your argument against homosexuality because they don't recognize it as an authority is an indication that more and more people have bought the empty package that truth is relative to belief. Frankly, it doesn't matter whether someone believes something is true or not. Believing a falsehood never makes that falsehood a truth. By the same token, believing truth does not make that truth…  ( Click for more )

Have you read Psalm 107 lately? Ages ago, I made a startling discovery. I’m sure you did, too, when you read it last.

There is a wondrous progression in this Psalm that astounds me. From Moses leading the Children of Israel out of Egypt into the wilderness where the Israelites wandered, to the sinful living during the times of the Judges, to the exile to Babylon, to the disciples’ dangerous voyage across the Sea of Galilee when Jesus spoke to the storm and it died to glass like stillness, to the peace and abundance of the thousand years of peace. And finally,…  ( Click for more )

It seems that the media has become overly concerned about making the rules rather than reporting.

Last year, you may remember, Bruce Springsteen's bullying North Carolina because he didn't like the "new" law about men using the men's room and women using the women's room. He got astounding accolades for his stance both from his peers and from the press.

Numerous famous people have been spouting hate speech against our president. When they do, such as when Stephen Colbert used foul word-imagery comparing Trump and Putin, he got roars of approval from his audience.…  ( Click for more )

Dear Abby asked that question years ago. My immediate thought was Jesus Loves Me. What do you think it is?

Give up?

It's Happy Birthday.

Well, I sang that song to my granddaughter this week who turned three on the 11th. She's been celebrating her birthday all week long. She was so excited about her birthday party and all her little school friends coming to play on the water slide, but she still had time to come running to me and give me a huge hug hello and say, "Gigi! I'm so glad you made it! Come see... This is my friend Riley!"

Just warmed my heart…  ( Click for more )

July 9, 2017

God is very emphatic about how to get to Heaven. It’s only through His Son. There are some people who believe in Jesus as Christ and say they believe Jesus is God’s Son, but they believe He was created.

So how can they possibly get this idea from Scripture? They give lots of references such as Acts 5:31 and John 14:28 by which they assume that Jesus is not God.

When one lifts up proof texts to prove a point, one is treading on very thin ice.

Jesus said, “I and My Father are One.” (John 10:30) But, John said in the beginning was the Word…  ( Click for more )

Judge Talmadge Littlejohn, back in 2010, asked everyone in his courtroom to stand and say the Pledge of Allegiance. A civil rights attorney refused.

Does the judge have the legal right to order the Pledge said and to order Attorney Daniel Lampley to jail with criminal contempt? In a word, yes. The legal definition of chancery is a court that can order acts performed, so technically, Judge Littlejohn can.

Respect for our Flag and for our National Anthem is not mandated or constitutionalized. It is traditional. You can check out Flag Etiquette here. It is common practice…  ( Click for more )

We soon we will celebrate the 241st anniversary of thousands of lives given in sacrifice to a young America and just celebrated the memory of all our fallen defending our freedom 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…  ( Click for more )

Proverbs 20:22 Do not say, "I will recompense evil"; Wait for the LORD, and He will save you.

The wise father will not retaliate or seek revenge against friends, enemies, his wife, or his children. Waiting upon the LORD is not an easy thing to do, but God deals with each person within that person’s own special heart language. Only God builds and restores families and marriages through forgiveness which is a vertical thing, not a horizontal thing. Forgiving someone is not saying, “What you did is okay, I condone it.” Forgiving someone is saying,…  ( Click for more )

Here is an interesting thing: Being Blameless. What makes a person blameless in the eyes of God?

And in your opinion, is there any difference between sinless and blameless?

Noah, Job, Abimelech were blameless. But the Corinthians were not. Why is that?

As Christians, we have the mind of Christ, we are not carnally minded. But we do wage a war in our physical bodies against our carnal nature. And in physical bodies we are conformed to the laws of physics because God created us this way. As physical—flesh, bone and blood--we cannot enter into the presence of God.…  ( Click for more )

June 4, 2017

"Would you like to take a walk with me?" my grandfather held out his huge hand.

Eagerly, I jumped up and ran to him, my tiny fingers barely able to grip his. I was somewhere between one and two. I remember I was fascinated by the sun in the trees; and Granddad asked this question of me every day of his visit. As we would walk down the gravel road, he was very careful of the ruts, holes and rocks for us both.

I, on the other hand, walked with my face toward the sun, watching the play of light in the leaves. I had no notion where I put my feet or which direction…  ( Click for more )

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