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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

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 )

Ten years ago I wrote myself note when I got a new job in a different town and realized I was going to have to move once again. After ten years, I've discovered something things I needed to add to this note.

Remember how much work all the painting and the additions were... but the work was worth the result...

Remember the area and that all the additions won't pay off in the resale of a mere house,,, but renovations and additions to one's soul have a huge pay off when Heaven bound...

Remember that when you say you never want to move again, it doesn't necessarily mean…  ( Click for more )

January 8, 2017

Last time we talked briefly about making that conscious and deliberate decision to quit ________. The importance of this step cannot be emphasized enough. (If you missed it, here’s the link. I do strongly encourage you to read it first if you are serious about breaking the chains.)

If you recognize there is a problem, admit that what you are doing is wrong, but if you make a decision to quit doing it, the flesh will win out every time. Sounds counterproductive to say, “Don’t make that decision to quit.” But, there is something about deciding to quit and…  ( Click for more )

January 1, 2017

Years ago I did a series on How to Break a Sinful Habit. Since we are beginning a hopeful New Year and this is the season for resolutions, I want to recap that discussion today and next week.

First we need to recognize that remorse is easy, but the practice of repenting is not. When faced with an addiction, a person has to do much more than just decide "I'm not going to do that sin anymore." A person has to go through a heart- or will-process whereupon a 180 degree turnabout is accomplished. That means not doing it anymore. The flesh is weak, and God knows this. When…  ( Click for more )

December 25, 2016

Lord, help me to relax about insignificant details beginning tomorrow at 7:41:23 a.m. p.s.t. Lord, help me to consider people's feelings, even if most of them are hypersensitive. Lord, help me to take responsibility for my own actions, even though they're usually not my fault. Lord, help me to not try to run everything. But, if You need some help, please feel free to ask me! Lord, help me to be more laid back and help me to do it exactly right. Lord, help me to take things more seriously, especially laughter, parties, and dancing. Lord, give me patience, and I…  ( Click for more )

December 18, 2016

Arise and shine for the Light has come, and the glory of YHWH has risen on you. Isaiah 60:1

That is just one of the prophecies that Jesus would be born. I so much love this verse because it says so much in just a few words.

Arise: that Hebrew word is qûm koom which is a primitive root and has a great number of words that it means in various applications literally, causatively, intensively, and figuratively. It means to rise up, stand up, rouse up, stir up, uphold, enjoin, make good, abide, be clearer, confirm, decree… and on and on.

Let’s take that…  ( Click for more )

December 4, 2016

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 toes…  ( Click for more )

November 27, 2016

When you turn on the rude box we call the TV do you hear the rattle of dry bones? The voices of unbelievers abound in chaotic noises, and it sounds more like a death rattle than a symphony of revitalization from dried out, nothing-further-from-life bones.

Of course I’ve read the story in Ezekiel about this valley full of dry bones. I’ve even sung the song “Dem Bones, Dem Bones, Dem Dry Bones,” haven’t you? But did you ever think about what it meant?

Power of the Lord?

Miraculous resurrection?

Breath of life?

Ruach? -- (roo' akh)…  ( Click for more )

November 20, 2016

What does the movie Little Women have to do with unconditional love and with God’s plea to “Return to Me!” in Jeremiah?

There I was, ten years old, standing in the movie theater and just crying my eyes out. Big, sloppy tears soaking the front of my shirt, making it stick to my chest… not a tissue to be found, either.

“Get your coat on, Gina,” Mom said as the credits to “Little Women” were rolling on the huge screen in front of us: The old black and white one starring June Alison as Jo, and Peter Lawson as Laurie.

“But,…  ( Click for more )

October 30, 2016

I have a writing friend, Kristine McGuire, who wrote an enlightening book about her experiences as a ghost hunter. Escaping the Cauldren is quite frightening because she became a Christian when she was younger, but she definitely fell into a pit when she allowed herself to be sucked into hunting ghosts. She had a gift of being able to tell people things about themselves that were true. The longer she hunted ghosts, the more she opened herself to these demonic forces, the more accurate she became at this "discernment" into other people's lives. She could tell them where…  ( Click for more )

October 16, 2016

God reminded me just today about a potent promise He made through the psalmist in Psalm 145: "The LORD lifts those who are heavy laden and those bent beneath their loads." How incredibly comforting and marvelously packed with potential.

We get lost in our own little world these days like a 5-member family going in five different directions, all at top speed. How can we possibly do God’s ministry justice when life is packed so full of everything from sunrise to sunrise with little time for rest and relaxation.

God often recalls to me that old song that…  ( Click for more )

October 9, 2016

When was the last time you read Proverbs 7? It’s all about how a young man was enticed by a married woman because he lacked understanding. As I read it, I couldn’t help but think about Gomer and Hosea. It’s as if Solomon was prophesying Gomer’s actions as she cavorted with other men after she married Hosea. But then, we know that the story of Gomer and Hosea was God's way of physically illustrating a spiritual truth about Israel's spiritual welfare. It was also His promise that Israel would eventually be gathered back into His loving arms. But, oh, what a…  ( Click for more )

October 2, 2016

Justified by faith?

Blameless?

Rectitude?

Morality?

In 1 Samuel 24, Saul tells David that David was much more righteous than he because “you have repaid me with good, whereas I have repaid you with evil.”

Psalm 19:9 The fear of the LORD is clean, enduring forever; the judgments of the LORD are true, and righteous altogether.

When comparing the wicked with the righteous, what characteristics come to mind? I see the wicked act with only self in mind motivated…  ( Click for more )

Think about Isaiah when he saw the Lord sitting upon His throne in the Throne Room of Heaven (Isaiah 6). Today we live in a culture that does not recognize the sheer mightiness of God. We're blind to His glory. We are deaf to His voice. Busyness shuts out His presence. Perversion of marriage mocks true spiritual intimacy with Him. The gift of life He gave us is made a travesty through murder of the unborn and the violence depicted in movies, on TV, and in video games. The colossal miracles that He performed (and still performs) are paled by the man-created drama in those same movies,…  ( Click for more )

September 18, 2016

I bet you thought I would write a column about traits of a good Christian wife this week. Well, no. In the Bible study I'm teaching, we are studying wisdom so I revived the bones of an old column about the seven habits of godly women. I got to thinking about how wisdom is expressed these days, and the huge difference between godly wisdom and worldly wisdom, and it isn't just for women... besides men are wonderful cooks, too. It is a crucial message for all Christians that are just sorjourning in this wicked world.

Habits can work for us or against us, and the smart person learns…  ( Click for more )

September 11, 2016

Men, do you want your wives to respect and honor you no matter what? Do you deeply desire the kind of marriage relationship that God desires for you? Of course there are a lot more traits that can be found in Scripture, but these hit the high points. In my old age, I can see so many things that my husband and I did so very wrong that if we had bent our knees more submissively to the Lord God, then our marriage would still be intact and strong against the buffets of life. Learn from our mistakes.Young men, please cultivate these traits as you grow in the Lord. They will benefit you…  ( Click for more )

September 4, 2016

Have you ever watched those videos of criminals caught on tape? Some of the things they do are hysterically funny because they are so stupid. Who would drop down out of a vent into a store without a way to get out of that store? Who would use the back of his own check to write a note to a teller to give him all the cash in the drawer? Who would scrawl graffiti signing his name to the artwork on the side of the building he just robbed?

My son, if you receive my words, And treasure my commands within you, So that you incline your ear to wisdom, And apply your heart to understanding;…  ( Click for more )

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