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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

Were the OT saints that came out of their graves after Jesus died on the cross and after He rose from the dead in glorified bodies or were they visible spirit bodies ... ghosts? Look at Matthew 27:51-53

Matthew 27:51 Then, behold, the veil of the temple was torn in two from top to bottom; and the earth quaked, and the rocks were split, 52 and the graves were opened; and many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised; 53 and coming out of the graves after His resurrection, they went into the holy city and appeared to many. If they were spirits, or “ghosts”…  ( Click for more )

There are certain characteristics that must be present in order for a great relationship to develop. One of the most famous, truly great relationships occurred between David and Jonathan, and we find that in 1 Samuel 18. To understand this relationship there are some characteristics of each man that contribute to the relationship. However, the most telling is how God says in 1 Samuel 18:1 Now when he had finished speaking to Saul, the soul of Jonathan was knit to the soul of David, and Jonathan loved him as his own soul.

That is so telling because this relationship…  ( Click for more )

October 13, 2013

I started a series a while back about the promises of God in His word. There are numerous promises where God does not require anything from us such as His promise to never again destroy the world by water. He caused the rainbow to appear as a reminder of that promise. However, there are more than 300 if/then statement promises that mean there is something required of us for God’s promise to happen.

These take many forms. In Genesis for example God says to Abraham, If I find more than 50 righteous in Sodom, then I will spare the city for their sakes. Powerful promise.…  ( Click for more )

October 6, 2013

…in hectic daily living.

What does your average week day morning sound like? Is it filled with soft, shuffling breezes carrying the scent of frying bacon and brewed coffee? Does the gentle sound of children’s giggles waft to you as the dulcet warmth of a hot shower cascades down your back?

Neither was mine twenty years ago. Kids gathering homework, phone ringing, breakfast frenzies, all the while trying to get mascara even and hose untwisted, the right color shoes and so on. You are up to your neck in alligators five minutes after you awaken. It was nothing…  ( Click for more )

It was the sixth hour—around noon. Can't you just feel the heat of that day? Jesus was weary from His journey from Jerusalem to Sychar in Samria. He was hot and He was thirsty, but that didn't stop Him from recruiting a most unlikely missionary. Someone who was counted as worthless in her village, but would be instrumental in the salvation of the entire village... He chose Jacob’s Well to rest.

The word John uses for well in 4:6 is pege meaning gushing or running. Jacob’s well is spring water that is still running today. When the woman mentions the well…  ( Click for more )

September 22, 2013

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 cleansing…  ( Click for more )

September 15, 2013

How can it possibly be all right for any person to sin and then to blame someone else for the sin?

Because we say, "That's okay. It's all right, I forgive you," it feels as if we just told the offender the act was okay. (Which is what forgiveness actually feels like on the surface.) When an offense has been committed, it is not okay. However, who wants to carry dead weight around? Letting go of the offense and allowing God to deal with it in His own way and His own time is the act of forgiveness. I seriously doubt that anyone who forgives an offense can completely…  ( Click for more )

September 8, 2013

Five years ago I posted this article here after I studied the Crowns for a Sunday school lesson. It is one of the most popular articles I have on my website. More people copy this one than any other article (more than 12,000 so far). I then taught it to my Thursday morning Bible study class after doing a lot more digging into Scripture. God kept nudging me (you might could call that nagging me) to put it all down in a book. Many prayers, late nights, study, and 130 pages later, the book is published.

You can read the first chapter, and order the book at Amazon. My missionary…  ( Click for more )

September 1, 2013

An interesting online survey was conducted by Lifeway

May 24-25 from 1040 respondents to a survey with a margin of error +/- 3.1%. Some of the questions asked were: Q: “How do you feel about God when suffering occurs that appears unfair?” Q: “When a natural disaster occurs, my interest in God increases.” Q: “I trust faith-based disaster relief agencies to use their donations more responsibly than secular groups.” Q: “Praying can avert natural disasters.” Q: “Do you post that you are praying…  ( Click for more )

August 25, 2013

The LORD forgives the past. His great compassion is far beyond understanding. If we were to be asked to give our first and only beloved son to pay for the lives of the most wicked of people who had nothing worthy to give back, our hearts would be granite and our faces would be flint. Yet, God has mercy for us because while we were yet sinners, Christ willingly died for us. Below is the Biblical proof of it.

Hebrews 10:17 “their sins and their iniquities I will remember no more.”

Here’s an exercise. Fill in the blanks below.

Jeremiah 31:34…  ( Click for more )

August 18, 2013

I get to the screaming point. I want to shout out the truth,

But to no avail. I work and work at trying to be what God wants me to be

And I 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 that hair that I have pulled out. Rub the steel bands that are supposed to be my shoulders for I am done with things as they are, I no longer look back and pout. Whisper my name, cause me to be still.

Tomorrow I shall go…  ( Click for more )

August 11, 2013

I generally try to keep my blog posts and my columns different especially recent posts. Although, I plagairize myself all the time by reaching back into archives and reposting for greater exposure. But today, I'm posting something from my blog that has very current ramifications in light of the Zimmerman case, and the three thugs that beat up the boy on the bus because he wouldn't buy drugs from them. Poverty of values is not my phrase but comes from Dan Quayle. You remember him don't you?

I know there are thousands of people who remember Dan Quayle as vice president, and most…  ( Click for more )

August 4, 2013

We are told to “follow your heart” in some of the best books and films. Is that the best advice that man can conjure? Or does that actually come from Satan? Follow your heart, do what your heart tells you. Is it your heart or is it chemical reaction? Is it your heart or is it lust?

I have often thought it would be nice to have someone to share things with when God reminds me that I do that with my Mom. Then I wonder if I am to live out the rest of my life alone as Paul did. And God reminds me that His grace is sufficient for me. God tells me that I do not understand…  ( Click for more )

July 28, 2013

Paul said, God's objective truth has become subjective truth for all of us, and none of us has excuses to deny His Truth (Romans 1, loose paraphrase). I see this at work everywhere I look. God has set down the Truth that is solid and indisputable. Because a person believes there is no God does not dispense with God. He remains Truth. Just as no amount of denial can remove gravity from existence, no amount of denial can dispense with God, or the eternal consequences of such denial.

He is the one that made us complex beings in His image. Scientifically, Jesus was. He walked,…  ( Click for more )

July 21, 2013

Sometimes broken things fascinate me. It was a passion with my Dad to fix broken things. He was an engineer without a degree. If something was beyond repair, he would set the thing aside to make sure there were no parts or pieces that could be used to fix something else. I cannot testify that he ever threw anything away except maybe used paper towels or Kleenex. There isn’t enough room here to itemize all the handy tools and gadgets that Dad had engineered. When he passed away, my sister and I found little bitty pieces parts organized in boxes, cans, and other containers…  ( Click for more )

July 14, 2013

My baby girl, all of four years old, looked up at me with a tear-streaked face and whispered, “I’m sorry, Mommy.”

How can you look at a sweet face and get angry? When I took time to look at both my girls’ faces, I never could get deeply angry with them. Bone of my bone, flesh of my flesh was not foremost in my thoughts, but how precious were these two gifts from God. How wonderful and marvelous that God trusted me with them, to nurture them and raise them in Him. Besides, they were so cute.

We had a sunken den, which is one of the most dangerous…  ( Click for more )

Several years ago, I was driving down the highway and just as I got to my turn off something came flying at me from the truck in front of me. This white thing tumbled onto the highway spewing ice and straw and whatever liquid was at the bottom of the cup. It was a government truck, too. You'd think government people would know better ...

It got me to thinking about character and how our actions expose our character when we least expect it. Flaws shine out like light house beacons, or personality strengths take on the glow of heroes at work. Throughout life we learn certain…  ( Click for more )

The "Gay Rights" advocates had a hay day with the Supreme Court ruling this week. But, the laws of the land are still the same. There are still 38 states that outright ban same sex marriages with constitutions defining marriage between one man and one woman. The judicial courts do not make laws, and in California, a district court cannot negate a law voted on by the people. So the debate rages on...

I read one of the best discussions on the public debate that homosexuality is a sin argument.

Of course we Christians know it is a sin, but we are all sinners.…  ( Click for more )

June 23, 2013

If you google wisdom, you can find some tiny drops of wisdom, but mostly it is just hot air. For instance, Ralph Waldo Emerson once said, “Do not go where the path may lead, go instead where there is no path and leave a trail.” That saying rings all kinds of warning bells in my head. Of course, I get the implication. Forge your own way and forget about following where others have trod. God points out an instance where that advice is perfect wisdom.

In Deuteronomy 12:13 God warns not to follow behind those that have been destroyed before the Israelites. The wise…  ( Click for more )

June 16, 2013

Have you ever noticed that without wind a sail boat just drifts? We can row, but how much energy that takes, and it takes so long to go a short distance. We have motors on boats that help us to get from point A to point B, but what happens when the guide wire breaks?

My sister and I were water skiing at Lake Bruin (gorgeous place in Northeast Louisiana) with several friends in an older, but refurbished wooden boat. Actually, I was just along for the ride because I had sprained my ankle badly the day before. We dropped off a few friends at their camp and were about to go back…  ( Click for more )

Bible scholars point to this psalm as reflecting David’s reaction to his circumstances at the time. Another aspect scholars relate to this psalm is that David is a type of Christ (much like Psalm 22 where David cries out “My God, my God, why have You forsaken me?”

Looking at the surface of this psalm, one would think, “How can David say all these things about himself? How can he assert his innocence when we have all sinned and come short of the glory of God?”

Psalm 26:1 Of David. Vindicate me, O LORD, for I have walked in my integrity, and…  ( Click for more )

Several years ago, I was talking to my sister and she told me that my nephew was divorcing his wife. My great nephew was barely two years old.

"Why? What happened?" I asked, crushed that this young little family was breaking up. My great nephew won't know the safe harbor of a close knit family. The dilemma being is it better to grow up in a house full of strife or in a fatherless home? Then again, you can never truly know a person’s heart, can you? I could hear the anguish in my sister’s voice.

"I don't know, Gina,” she replied. “It's…  ( Click for more )

Last year my friend Mike Duran asked his readers a few questions about the most interesting and impacting books they have read. I had written a post back in 2006 answering similar questions. I thought my list would probably change since I review about 40 to 50 books per year, and surely I would find a newer book that would take the place of an older one on my list. Even after seven years, my list is about the same. I thought it would be good to get other people's lists (hopefully you will share yours!) so we could get some summer reading done. Here are my answers...

Books that…  ( Click for more )

The first key to handling difficult people (part 1 is here) is to understand what is difficult about them. Yes, I know, they are difficult and they drive you crazy, but how are they difficult?

Does this person know-it-all? Does this person fly off the handle for no apparent reason, acting irrationally at the slightest provocation? Completely egotistic? Does this person take credit for your work and your ideas? Does the word prickly aptly describe him? Does she wear her feelings on her sleeve, and you can’t say anything without instigating some drama?

The reason…  ( Click for more )

God designed the human being as a fellowship-driven being. Our relationships with others determine our opinion of them. How we Christians interact with others is closely watched by God and by Satan, not to mention many who know we are Christian and judge us accordingly. If a person has an excellent work record, but she has a prickly personality that causes more problems than solves them, she does not exhibit the kind of life that draws people to herself; much less draw them to Christ. When a Christian knows what God wants done such as forgiving a wrong, and that Christian willfully…  ( Click for more )

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