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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

August 12, 2018

Sun beating down, heat rising up, sweat rolling down and still the man chipped away at the tall stone in front of him. With each pounding of the hammer, more stone pebbles spattered down the stone face adding to the already deep pile of sand and chips. Sand had gathered in the tiny wrinkles of his skin, and his sweat only partially washed the bits of grit away. For hours and hours, perhaps for days he worked on each stone. Words formed as the grit fell away.

יהוה קרא משׁה... ... YWHW called unto Moses …  ( Click for more )

Have you ever thought how God might talk to stiff-necked Christians? Have you ever thought about how we weary Him with our cries for help? We act like that servant who owed his master millions then when his debt was forgiven, he badgered all the other servants to pay him back the $10s and $20s. Do you think He might say something like this?

What? Oh you want something from Me? Let me guess. You want me to heal you, or is it you want Me to take away your pain. Ah... you always pray to Me but your prayers are like the bleating of plugged trumpets letting Me know you are in…  ( Click for more )

July 29, 2018

Genesis 22:5 And Abraham said to his young men, You stay here with the ass. 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.

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) obeisance, do reverence, make to stoop, worship. …  ( Click for more )

1"Shout! A full-throated shout!

Hold nothing back--a trumpet-blast shout!

Tell my people what's wrong with their lives,

face my family Jacob with their sins!

2They're busy, busy, busy at worship,

and love studying all about me.

To all appearances they're a nation of right-living people--

law-abiding, God-honoring.

They ask me, "What's the right thing to do?'

and love having me on their side.

3But they also complain,

"Why do we fast and you don't look our way?

Why do we humble ourselves and you don't even notice?'

"Well,…  ( 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 are the ones holding…  ( Click for more )
July 1, 2018

Romans 1:1 Paul, a servant of Jesus Christ, a called apostle, separated to the gospel of God Apostle literally means "sent one, a messenger, an envoy, ambassador of the Gospel, a commissioner of Christ". Men down through the ages have given it that a real Apostle was taught by Jesus in person. Most people give the 12 disciples the title Apostle and hold back from giving that title to anyone else today because of this. Yet, Jesus was given the title in Hebrews 3:1 For this reason, holy brothers, called to be partakers of a heavenly calling, consider the Apostle…  ( Click for more )

June 24, 2018

I've posted some of Alan Smith's Thought For The Day (TFTD) before, and I'm going to do it today. This one is very thought provoking because we humans have some dangerous tendencies in our frailness. Alan addresses one that could potentially be dangerous to one's faith health...



I heard a story about a young girl who wrote a letter to a missionary to let him know that her class had been praying for him. But evidently she'd been told not to request a response to her letter because the missionaries were very busy. So the missionary…  ( Click for more )

June 17, 2018

Lord God Almighty, our Father in Heaven, your holiness overwhelms. Your love endures forever.

Thank you for our daddies.

Thank you for giving them the wisdom when to say yes and when to say no. Thank you for their lovingkindness and their faith. Father, thank you for teaching them so they could teach us.

Thank you, Father, for helping them find a good woman to love and to bear us, the children, for guiding them, for giving them heart attitudes that nurture instead of divide. Thank you for our daddies’ obedience so they can teach us obedience.

Thank you,…  ( Click for more )

June 10, 2018

What did the disciples try to do under their own strength? Sail across a lake in a storm... cast a demon from a boy... walk on water... understand Jesus' teachings... Probably a better question would be what did they not try to do under their own strength. Jesus made it very clear when He called them little-faiths: ὀλιγόπιστος oligopistos (ol-ig-op'-is-tos) From G3641 and G4102; incredulous, that is, lacking confidence (in Christ): - of little faith. We smile and shake our heads and say, 'How…  ( Click for more )

June 3, 2018

Have you ever noticed in the Bible that when God "remembers" someone, things happen? God remembered Noah and all the living things in the ark... God remember Rachel and she got pregnant with Joseph... God remembered His covenant with Abraham and He brought Israel out from slavery... God remembered Hannah...

One of my favorite remember verses is Numbers 10:9 And when you go into battle in your land against the foe distressing you, then you shall blow with the trumpets, and you shall be remembered before Jehovah your God. And you shall be saved from your enemies. …  ( Click for more )

Do you ever have a day like this? I probably should have posted this one last week and then last week's this week. Funny how God works, though, since He is outside time and space.

be still

I want to shout out,

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 hair I've pulled out.

Rub the steel…  ( Click for more )

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 )

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