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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

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 )

Job 38 has a list of huge things that God did. Job is feeling a bit abused and a bit upset at the way things have gone for him lately. In fact Job can find no reason for the disasters that befell him, rather he found much about himself that was righteous, and outlines those things in Chapter 31. And then the three "friends" fell silent after Job's speech because Job was righteous in his own eyes (Job 32:1). Now this extolling of righteousness makes Elihu angry because Job was touting all his righteousness rather than God (Job 32:2).

We read several chapters of Elihu's…  ( Click for more )

Years ago, when I was first introduced to Guideposts, I read an article by Corrie Ten Boom who chose to go to war-scarred Germany to carry her message that forgiveness is possible. The article began:

It was in a church in Munich that I saw him, a balding heavyset man in a gray overcoat, a brown felt hat clutched between his hands. People were filing out of the basement room where I had just spoken, moving along the rows of wooden chairs to the door at the rear.

It was 1947 and I had come from Holland to defeated Germany with the message that God forgives.

It was…  ( Click for more )

May 14, 2017

Mercy. Hezekiah understood this. In his song that he wrote after God spared him from his deathly sickness, he wrote,

Behold, it was for my welfare that I had great bitterness; but in love You have delivered my life from the pit of destruction, for You have cast all my sins behind our back (Isaiah 38:17).

That’s that place in the middle of your back that you can’t reach except with a long-handled back scratcher.

We humans have trouble with our memories. I think that Satan has a field day pulling out all the files where he’s written down the terrible…  ( Click for more )

I often wonder how seriously we take that.

I am tremendously thankful that my daughter’s faith is strong and getting stronger. But she is really angry with God right now because He has allowed her father, who finally turned around with that 180-degree repentance thing and became a real father after God’s own heart, He has allowed her father to have a catastrophic stroke and basically lose almost all voluntary functions. He can blink his answers “yes” and “no” and he can barely squeeze your hand. He’s been this way since Thanksgiving…  ( Click for more )

April 30, 2017

Hebrews 10:26. Let this verse melt into your being for a moment. It says:

For if we willfully persist in sin after receiving the knowledge of the truth, no sacrifice for sins remains: only a terrifying expectation of judgment and a fierce fire which will consume God's enemies.

Insisting upon the crucifixion of Jesus a second time is woefully a sin that bears unforgiveness. Jesus offered Himself once. It was a serious struggle for Him. So serious that He sweat drops of blood. He said, "Lord, take this cup...nevertheless, not My will, but Yours."

The…  ( Click for more )

April 23, 2017
Why did the sacrifices have to be perfect, without blemish or any disfigurements to satisfy God? What does it mean to satisfy God?

“It is finished,” Jesus said while on the cross just before He died.

The fact that all sin had to be paid for in order for it to be finished as Jesus stated on the cross comes from several different places. One is in Leviticus 16 in the Law for Atonement. Aaron was to take two he-goats, one for sacrifice and the other for confession, and then to illustrate the complete removal of the people’s sin, the scapegoat…  ( Click for more )

One has to wonder why the Romans started the practice of releasing one prisoner during Passover. Who decided this was something that should happen and when it should happen. God, of course. Men thought they were brilliant thinkers and of great influence. Little did they know that it was God’s plan all along to illustrate His perfect plan of mercy and forgiveness and justice.

The story of Barabbas was put in the Bible to explain in a physical way the Spiritual truth of forgiveness.

Barabbas was a robber, a murderer, a liar, a cheat, and profaner of God Himself.…  ( Click for more )

It was a terrifying sight. One minute the world was steady and everything in its place, the next minute the ground turned to jelly in a blender, the sky went black as ink hiding the sun, and even twelve hours later the moon looked bloody. The mountains were shaking like trees in a tornado twisting and writhing as if in pain. Then the sky snapped shut like a book.

Ever had a day like that?

This warning comes from Revelation 6:12ff. Most scholars I’ve studied say this is symbolic, especially since the previous five seals being ripped from the scroll are considered…  ( Click for more )

Today is a beautiful day, I am rejoicing... or was until my laptop that has my everything on it from Sunday School lessons to my entire work environment has suddenly become allergic to my browers--all of them. For some reason I can use my browser and then their connection to the Internet is broken. It isn't my modem, or wifi, or my Internet. Yes, I paid my bill LOL. It is something internal with my laptop that the diagnostics are recognizing. It happened to my ethernet card on my desk top and I'm thinking I'm about to lose my laptop card.

Technology is a wonderful thing. There's…  ( Click for more )

I never really liked going fishing with my Mom. Oh, I loved the fellowship with her, but she caught all the fish while I trailed my hook in the water and fed bait to the fish. One clear day in June, she had talked me into going fishing (her job) feeding the fish (my job). We were trolling along her favorite spot on Lake Bruin and something grabbed my hook. I was so startled I nearly lost my fishing rod. I pulled back then let out the line a little. It was a very strong fish. It headed out in front of the boat then turned back and shot under the boat. That manuever broke the line.…  ( Click for more )

In Genesis 22, we read the story of the sacrifice of Isaac where Moriah (mo-ree-yah) is mentioned first. The Hebrew word means seen of God. Now God said for Moses to go to "the land of Moriah" -- not Mount Moriah -- to a place He would show him. Then He tells Moses to offer up his only son as a burnt offering on one of the mountains.

Several crucial things happen in this story that happened more than 1,500 years before Jesus, God's only begotten Son, went to the cross.

When Isaac points out they had the fire and the wood, and then asks but where was the sacrifice,…  ( Click for more )

February 26, 2017

Extraordinary! Look what I found…

Genesis 3:17 Then to Adam He said, "Because you have heeded the voice of your wife, and have eaten from the tree of which I commanded you, saying, 'You shall not eat of it': "Cursed is the ground for your sake; In toil you shall eat of it All the days of your life.

Exodus 3:17 and I have said I will bring you up out of the affliction of Egypt to the land of the Canaanites and the Hittites and the Amorites and the Perizzites and the Hivites and the Jebusites, to a land flowing with milk and honey."

Hebrews 3:17…  ( Click for more )

February 19, 2017

This morning I did not want to get out of bed. I did not want to study my Bible, I did not want to go to Bible study. I was in a blue funk. It has been cloudy and no sunshine for seemingly weeks now in the middle of winter--and it's not even cold outside on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. Of course, (remembering last week's lesson) I still have a heart full of joy but very much lacking in the will to move mountains with my faith. It doesn't take any muscle power to just lay in bed, does it?

How marvelous God is to give us just what we need when we need it for encouragement…  ( Click for more )

February 12, 2017

And here is a puzzle that I cannot seem to wrap my mind around, but it is true to the core, happiness dissapates and sadness abounds but I have not lost my joy because my joy comes from the Lord.

I can be depressed but I have not lost my joy. Despair flees because of my joy.

I have not lost my joy because I am confident that He loves me... that He takes care of me... that He provides for me. He lights my world with His love.

And because He is love,

I understand love better.

Because I understand love better,

I can live a more pleasing life to Him. …  ( Click for more )

February 5, 2017

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 enable user…  ( Click for more )

January 29, 2017

The other day I heard running water where water should not be running. At first I thought a pipe might have burst. I checked outside, and the faucets were shut tight and still wrapped against the few hours of freeze that we have down here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast. I chased the sound into my bathroom. The tank to the toilet was leaking so the water never shut off and the tank never filled up.

Now this simile could go two ways. A Christian’s heart should be like that so that we have a constant flow of fresh living water pouring into our souls ever ready to flush…  ( Click for more )

January 22, 2017

Listen children, miracles of God happen every single day.

The problem is that the Bride of Christ who is sick with unbelief never recognizes the miracles, or so it seems.

I had forgotten that I witnessed several miracles in one weekend, and then heard of three more a day or two later. It is amazing what you find when you dig in your own archives. What an amazing miracle I wrote about here. These soldiers who walke into an ambush were outnumbered, but all survived with little more than a scratch. Here's another example...

One of the Board of Directors couldn't make…  ( Click for more )

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