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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

May 5, 2013

There was a loud, long crack that reverberated into every fiber of my being. Then everything split apart and crashed to earth. It sounded like clanging cymbals rather than tinkling glass.

I'm talking about my world as I knew it. The crack was when the Sheriff put a notice on my back door that if we didn’t move by the end of the week, all our stuff would be outside by the street. Our home of over ten years was repossessed. Then the crash was when my teenage daughters came home from school and found their father in bed with two whores. That was special.

It was…  ( Click for more )

April 28, 2013

James 1:4 But let endurance and steadfastness and patience have full play and do a thorough work, so that you may be [people] perfectly and fully developed [with no defects], lacking in nothing.

It's a wonder I survived

There was something that went around the internet a million years ago talking about being a child of the 50s. Well, I am a product of the 60s. Gasp. I'm still alive and I'm healthy. That is such a remarkable thing because listening to news stories, or product recalls, or even doctors it's a wonder that children reached the ripe old age of 10 or saw the…  ( Click for more )

(Column rerun this week. This originally ran May, 2009) I am presenting my capstone project for my Master's degree and deeply desire your prayers.)

Thunder crashing, rain pounding, water rising... those are things people pay attention to. If we don't something might happen, something beyond our control, but nevertheless, something bad might happen. Why is that? Why do we fear the things beyond our control?

We have a mighty Creator who stirs up the sea and makes its waves roar (Isaiah 51:15) He has covered us with His hand. He is our LORD and He is mightier than any…  ( Click for more )

April 14, 2013

Because He wept at His friend’s grave, He understands my grief as my tears roll down His fingers and my trembling chin is lifted by His palm. Because He had no place to lay His head, He knows the weariness of my body. Because He walked with feet bare and dusty, He knows the pain in my feet. Because He held a baby, He knows my love for my children. Because He stilled the sea, He knows the storms in my heart. Because He knew hunger, He knows my hatred for diets. Because He built a chair, He knows why I must sit down. Because He loves me, I am at rest. Because He died for…  ( Click for more )

2 Samuel 14:13

Like water spilled on the ground, which cannot be recovered, so we must die. But God does not take away life; instead, he devises ways so that a banished person may not remain estranged from him.

And you wonder why things we consider bad sometimes happen.

The crevasse within the soul is such a god-sized hole, one must either find or create a god to fill it. For the most part, Americans give evidence that they use two primordial gods called Fortune and Destiny to that end. The question is why do so many put faith in what has proven very fickle…  ( Click for more )

Perhaps you’ve seen the movie Barabbas with Anthony Quinn, or the other one updated as a mini-series. I had often wondered about this story until I heard James Merritt preach on Barabbas that helped me to understand this truth:

The story of Barabbas was put in the Bible to explain in a physical way the Spiritual truth of propitiation. Barabbas was a robber, a murderer, a liar, a cheat, and profaner of God Himself. He broke every commandment and was sentenced to pay for his crimes. It was a just sentence from the Hebrew perspective of the Ten Commands. The…  ( Click for more )

(Originally published in Arizona Medicine, March 1965, Arizona Medical Association. A medical explanation of what Jesus endured on the day He died.)

By Dr. C. Truman Davis

Dr. C. Truman Davis is a graduate of the University of Tennessee College of Medicine. He is a practicing ophthalmologist, a pastor, and author of a book about medicine and the Bible.

Several years ago I became interested in the physical aspects of the passion, or suffering, of Jesus Christ when I read an account of the crucifixion in Jim Bishop’s book, The Day Christ Died. I suddenly…  ( Click for more )

There was a story last year that hardly caused a ripple in the new media. Very few news outlets took up the story, and hardly any followed it through to the “end”. Judge Michael F. Urbanski offered a tentative settlement between ACLU and a school district of just removing the first four commands of the Ten Commandments to make the document more palatable to the ACLU..

The case was ordered into mediation. In June of 2012, the school board not only voted to take down the Ten Commandments at the high school, but also in every other school in Giles County,…  ( Click for more )

Isaiah 1:18 Come now and let us reason together, says Jehovah: Though your sins are as scarlet, they shall be white as snow; though they are red as the crimson, they shall be like wool.

Isaiah 58:2 Yet they seek Me day by day, and desire knowledge of My ways. As a nation that has done right, and not forsaking the judgment of their God, they ask Me about judgments of righteousness; they desire to draw near to God.

Isaiah 58:3 They say, Why have we fasted, and You did not see? We have afflicted our soul, and You did not acknowledge. Behold, on the day of your fast you…  ( Click for more )

In the Garden…

Seemingly the women and the men are working at cross purposes toward the same end: annointing of Christ's body before burial. The women and also Nicodemus & Joseph of Arimethia want to prepare it. (John 19) Since Nicodemus and Joseph were associated with the Jewish leaders, the women (as we say here in the South) had no truck with them so separate preparations were made. Since Joseph asked for Jesus' body and the tomb was his, this is most likely why he and Nicodemus were able to prepare Jesus' body for the burial before the women got finished…  ( Click for more )

When you are betrayed, life shatters into so many pieces it is difficult to know where to start picking them up and putting them back together. The need to save face after a betrayal stems from a self-misconception you deserved the betrayal or that you caused it in some way. You do not wish to be judged; therefore you use masks to cover the deep emotional turmoil in which you are embroiled. A person will exhibit different aspects of several communication theories while trying to do just that. Politeness Theory explains a lot of the behavior exhibited when a marriage initially…  ( Click for more )

February 17, 2013

I kept putting off writing this last week because I thought I had just too much on my plate to take time for it. I thought other things were more important. Well, school work is more important right now, but I’ve had this column as a responsibility long before I went back to school to earn my Master’s.

It’s the desk lasagna that gets in my way. I suddenly found that I was closed in and had a 5” x 10” space to write in, and that all my layers had closed in over things I needed. This reminded me of how much worldly things close in around…  ( Click for more )

February 10, 2013

This week I just want to point out some very interesting correlations. In Numbers we are told the story about the people murmuring [read that grumbling and complaining] against being in the dry desert and having to eat food from Heaven. God was providing all they needed, and they had conveniently forgotten that they would have been in the Land of Milk and Honey if they’d believed God in the first place instead of running in fear of the giants of the land.

God deals with the sin of His people in different ways. When Rueben sinned with his father’s concubine,…  ( Click for more )

February 3, 2013

The first place in the Bible where the phrase “shall be forgiven” is used is in Leviticus 4:20 Thus shall he do with the bull. As he did with the bull of the sin offering, so shall he do with this. And the priest shall make atonement for them, and they shall be forgiven.

Of course there is discussion and processes for atonement in Genesis and Exodus, and Moses intercedes for Israel asking for forgiveness in Exodus, but God’s promise of forgiveness isn’t promised until Leviticus. The promise of forgiveness is huge here because the Messiah won’t…  ( Click for more )

January 27, 2013

Have you ever been up to your neck in alligators? That's where I was this week [sheepish grin]…  ( Click for more )

January 20, 2013

Exodus 19:5 Now therefore, if you will indeed obey My voice and keep My covenant, then you shall be a special treasure to Me above all people; for all the earth is Mine.

Special treasure is what God called Israel several times throughout scripture. They did obey Him especially during the times of an obedient judge and obedient kings. Unfortunately, there were more often times of rebellion and disobedience. Christians have that problem, too.

A particular insight into God’s heart is what Jesus says in Matthew 6:21 “Where your treasure is, there is your heart also.”…  ( Click for more )

January 13, 2013

This Sunday, Southern Baptists focus on the Sanctity of Life with the focus usually on how abortion is murder. For the longest time I believed the poppycock that unborn babies were just parasites until I was teaching a Sunday school lesson on this theme. I realized how wrong I was. Then came time for me to kill a snake, and I just crumpled inside when I took its life. Killing roaches doesn't make me crumple, but I do cringe. Taking life from something that God has blessed with life just makes me raw inside.

On January 8,2008, a father of four children, (four months old,…  ( Click for more )

January 6, 2013

When I bought a new Bible several years ago, I transferred all my underlinings, highlightings, and notes over to my new Bible from my two other old Bibles. I had two reasons for this. One was because I wanted to see how much I had grown since receiving the older Bible as a high school graduation present, and the second reason was because I wanted that flow of familiarity when I turned the crisp, new pages of my new Bible.

I was astounded at how many promises God had made me over the decades. There was one particular passage that had several years notated beside it indicating…  ( Click for more )

December 30, 2012

Lamentations 3:21 This I recall to my mind, Therefore I have hope. Lamentations 3:22 Through the LORD's mercies we are not consumed, Because His compassions fail not. Lamentations 3:23 They are new every morning; Great is Your faithfulness. Lamentations 3:24 "The LORD is my portion," says my soul, "Therefore I hope in Him!" Lamentations 3:25 The LORD is good to those who wait for Him, To the soul who seeks Him. Lamentations 3:26 It is good that one should hope and wait quietly For the salvation of the LORD. NKJV

The word faith is used…  ( Click for more )

December 23, 2012

In your living room or somewhere in your house there may be a green tree standing tall and draped with beautiful, tinkling jewels of light and gaiety. Today there is an ongoing argument whether it should be called a Christmas tree or a Holiday tree. Most Christians realize holiday is a derivative of holy day, therefore there is no real difference between the two if we get down to the brass tacks of the matter. In fact, if we want to be extremely technical, the expression “happy holidays” describes the season better than “Merry Christmas” because Satan…  ( Click for more )

December 16, 2012

I used to really hate the holidays. It wasn’t the holiday itself or what each stands for, but it was all the rigmarole that went with it. It was so aggravating to have to change plans fourteen times to accommodate all the members of the family.

It wasn't so complicated when my girls were little and still living under the same roof as me. It wasn't so complicated when I was little... well… at least I didn't notice any complications. Except the day that I bawled and squalled because it snowed and we couldn't go to my grandmother's house in Oklahoma. All the…  ( Click for more )

December 9, 2012

I missed my regular posting this week due to heavy school schedule. I got my research proposal turned in and am able to relax just a bit. Have you ever had that muscle tension, bone crushing kind of pressure that you just could not relax the hair on your head? Well, this recipe I have had for ever and a day should help you to relax, take it easy, and get a good night's rest.

In honor of the Holidays, I dug up this recipe again and am re-posting it. I hope you enjoy :) Hey everybody, I wanted to share this favorite recipe of mine. I've had it for years and years and it…  ( Click for more )

December 2, 2012

(Excerpt from my book)

I have heard it preached from the pulpit. I have experienced the prejudice first hand. I have seen the devastating disappointment incurred by the mistaken belief that divorce is a sin. It is not a sin. What caused the divorce is the sin. Yes, God hates divorce; and from the very beginning it was not ever a godly solution to human problems. However, God exposes the sin which is good cause for divorce in several books of the Bible. We find these passages in Ezra 10, Ezekiel 16, the entire book of Hosea, and in every other book of the prophets. Adultery,…  ( Click for more )

November 25, 2012

Spanked or yanked home early?

1 John 5:14-17. We are instructed to pray within the will of God according to His will. There is sin that leads to physical death for believers. This whole letter of John's is to and for believers. Verse 16 carries a terrible implication. It is very possible for a believer to sin the final one that is at the end of God's tolerance for His child. In other words, it is the final embarrassment of God and He just yanks that rebellious child home. In this case, the sin that leads to death. You do realize, don’t you, that it is a deliberate…  ( Click for more )

The Associated Press has a story on the tragedy in Texas where a train crashed into a parade float killing four veterans: Killed were Marine Chief Warrant Officer 3Gary Stouffer, 37; Army Sgt. Maj. Lawrence Boivin, 47; Army Sgt. Joshua Michael, 34; and Army Sgt. Maj. William Lubbers, 43.

Then there is the story of Hostess Bakeries that has gone out of business after almost 100 years leaving 18,000 people without jobs right before the holidays. Perusing headlines can make a person want to sit down a cry. But, when it happens to you and your family it touches a nerve that can…  ( Click for more )

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