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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

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?




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 )

August 28, 2016

Too frequently I hear someone calling adultery a “mistake,” or when caught stealing it’s called “messing up.”

Clay Waters of the New York Times Magazine chided Republicans for calling illegal aliens "illegals." He says they should be called "undocumented." Let's see. Did they come into the U.S. without permission to do so? Did they have visas? Did they apply for green cards in order to take a U.S. citizen's job? To my way of thinking that is: Breaking and entering, fraud, and stealing, and I call that definitely illegal. Now…  ( Click for more )

August 21, 2016

What was your latest storm’s name?

Was it death in the family? Divorce? Financial difficulties? Lost job? Upheaval in your church?

Even one of these things can not only disrupt peace, but can displace your faith if you allow it. I hear your pain because I’ve suffered all of the above several times. Each time Satan tries to destroy my peace and my faith, it only makes them stronger. It certainly didn’t use to be that way. Years ago, I would worry and fret at the least little thing like paying bills with invisible money, or dealing with a husband with a roving…  ( Click for more )

The Voice of the Martyrs reports Christians in Bangladesh have been "pressured

to worship at a mosque." The church is 25 Christians strong, and had been meeting secretly. More than 200 protesters marched against this tiny congregation, and authorities threatened burning of homes if they did not close the church and comply with denial of their Christian faith. The Christians threatened with beatings and banishment from their village if they refused. Eight people caved in to the demands. The Constitution of Bangladesh protects the religious freedom of its citizens. They…  ( Click for more )

August 7, 2016

In these days of soft-soap Christianity and the feel-good-do-it society, I've noticed that people reach for that pleasure factor in worshiping our Lord God Almighty. Have you noticed that?

I think there is nothing wrong with going to God for the pure pleasure of it. In fact it gives great pleasure to believers to go into the Throne Room to worship and bring praises to God our creator and our deliverer. But just…  ( Click for more )

When someone hurts you, can you tell if it was intentional or if it was in reaction to something or someone other than you? Do you snap back without even thinking it through? I've done it plenty of times and to my dear sweet mother, too!

Well, when a brother or a sister has a field day with your feelings...

First, pray. Ask God for guidance in how to respond. You know He'll say, forgive. That's a given when dealing within the Body. Don't even think differently because Jesus spoke plainly about that to Peter.

Second, tell your sibling exactly how you feel. Do not…  ( Click for more )

July 17, 2016
Ruined I fight to open my eyes, but something inside me warns me not to wake up. My stomach hurts. My head feels heavy. And who’s vacuuming? Don’t they know I’m trying to sleep? Where am I, anyway? “Happy birthday dear Chloe, happy birthday to you.” I blow out the six pink candles, straighten the princess birthday crown on my head, and eagerly anticipate a giant piece of angel food cake with strawberry frosting and my most favorite ice cream—chocolate, chocolate chip. “Oops, Mommy, I dropped ice cream on my princess…  ( Click for more )

At that time, the LORD started sending troops to rob and destroy towns in Judah. Some of these troops were from Babylonia, and others were from Syria, Moab, and Ammon. The LORD had sent his servants the prophets to warn Judah about this, and now he was making it happen. The country of Judah was going to be wiped out, because Manasseh had sinned and caused many innocent people to die. The LORD would not forgive this (2 Kings 24:2-4).

What an aching statement that is. The LORD would not forgive this. Those innocent people are the many babies, first born sons, that Manasseh…  ( Click for more )

It took nearly 20 years to write this book, but it is now published and available at I actually did pour my heart and soul into this book, when you read it, you'll understand why it took so long to write it. It is packed with practical advice on how to handle difficult people, what to do when you face adversity in the workplace or at church or in the home. These are things that God taught me the hard way. But not just me, numerous pastors and other Christians have given insight in how to deal with difficult people, how to deal with hurt dished out by those close to you,…  ( Click for more )

June 12, 2016

Charles Stanley once said to never throw away your notes. If it was important enough to write it down once, then it is important enough for you to retain because your memory will fail you.

How true those words are, especially since I have grown so much older.

I really needed what I was reading this morning in my notes. I have been trying to do everything by myself because God gave me those abilities. Those things that I can do in a most excellent way because of the training and talent that God has blessed me with through the years. When things get piled up so…  ( Click for more )

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