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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

June 1, 2014

I'm cheating a bit here today. I've lifted the ending of this column from my blog from last month. However, in studying this week's Sunday school lesson (we are studying Ezekiel), I noticed something spectacular. I hate flashbacks, but I must back up two weeks to give you the whole picture. I am expounding my study on the Crowns of the Believers to put it in book form. In my study I ran across an online discussion of Bible archeology where the Believers were in stark contrast to the Human Reasonist camp. The general consensus of that camp is that we should not necessarily believe…  ( Click for more )

May 25, 2014

So often Jesus’ lineage is studied with great emphasis given to the long line of men listed in the begats. There are only four women listed: Rahab, Tamar, Ruth, and Bathsheba. In this list are a Canaanite harlot from Jericho, a Canaanite woman, a Moabite, and an adulteress.

I have to wonder why these women were singled out to be mentioned. What could possibly be so different about them that they needed mentioning when not even Sarah was mentioned or Isaac’s wife, Rebecca? I do not think it is solely because of their sin. Although, I do believe that God has reminded…  ( Click for more )

Could we take a minute here and look at the Lampstand at Ephesus?

The New English Bible translation says in Revelation 1:20 "Here is the secret meaning of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and of the seven lamps of gold: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lamps are the seven churches."

Then Revelation 2:5 says: "But I have this against you: you have lost your early love. Think from what a height you have fallen; repent, and do as you once did. Otherwise, if you do not repent, I shall come to you and…  ( Click for more )

Could we take a minute here and look at the Lampstand at Ephesus?

The New English Bible translation says in Revelation 1:20 "Here is the secret meaning of the seven stars which you saw in my right hand, and of the seven lamps of gold: the seven stars are the angels of the seven churches and the seven lamps are the seven churches."

Then Revelation 2:5 says: "But I have this against you: you have lost your early love. Think from what a height you have fallen; repent, and do as you once did. Otherwise, if you do not repent, I shall come to you and remove…  ( Click for more )

Dear readers, But I do ask for your prayers. When a family as close as ours ages, there is a trend that starts to sap your strength. My aunts and uncles are going to see Jesus on a very regular basis. Earlier this month it was my Aunt Alease whom I adored. She was my dad's sister. Soon my Aunt Vonny, my mom's sister, will join her. We're traveling this week to Oklahoma so Mom and I can see Vonny most likely for the last time this side of Heaven. So I ask for prayers for traveling grace. And I know this is stupid, but my kitty cat needs medicine everyday so we'll have to take him to…  ( Click for more )

April 27, 2014

The Spring breeze was cool and crisp. The sky was crystal clear, and all was right with the world on sheep shearing day, a festival to rival the king’s. Even when the rest of Judah was mourning the death of Samuel, Nabal had a feast spread full of plenty of food and alcohol. Nabal, means foolish or wicked. Why would a parent name his child Foolish? He was certainly foolish with wine that day when David sent his young men to ask for provisions for their winter’s labor protecting Nabal’s huge flocks. The normal, manageable flock was 25, but Nabal’s…  ( Click for more )

Have you ever wondered why Moses asked God, "What name shall I give the Israelites when they ask?" Perhaps it is simply that names connoted character or aspects of a person. " And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM." And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' " Exodus 3:14 YHWH -- self sufficient, I AM, no beginning, no end, eternal, infinite, forever. LORD God. Several places we find YHWH written before the word 'ĕlôhı̂ym which is translated God, but is actually the…  ( Click for more )

April 6, 2014

The sun is warm on my face and it feels good to these old bones of mine. I listen, but the house is still. It is only me and Hara now. The children have homes and children of their own and my sweet husband has gone to rest in Abraham’s bosom. That other is gone, too, God bless her. Why Hara stays and takes care of this old woman, I do not know. God’s blessing, for sure, but why a young woman would care for an old woman when she should be caring for a husband is beyond the reach of my mind.

“Enjoying the sun, my dear ‘Em? Here is something…  ( Click for more )

March 30, 2014

What Hannah did to bring Israel one of the most influential prophets of Israel, and the man who anointed Israel’s first two kings, has several great lessons. We women of today, and men as well, do well to pay attention to these lessons of commitment and fortitude.

Walk with me, if you will, though 1 Samuel 1 for a glimpse at what makes women tick.

There was a man...named Elkanah...and he had two wives…

Of course polygamy/bigamy is forbidden in the U.S. and in most places around the world it isn’t…  ( Click for more )

March 23, 2014

(I'm inserting this sidenote in the middle of this series because it has great bearing on why some women acted they way they did, and it marks a stark difference between the godly woman and the Jezebel of the church.)

The first thing to understand is that men and women were created equal. Both were created in the image of God (Genesis 1:26-27) In His image He created them, both male and female He created them. Man was not given dominion over woman as in the dominion given to both over the earth and all creation in the earth. (Genesis 1:26,28-30) Woman was created for Man…  ( Click for more )

March 16, 2014

In Luke chapter 2, a woman by the name of Anna is a prophetess. She continued to speak/declare (laleo) to those who were searching for the Messiah. Laleo means to declare one's mind and disclose thoughts.

God considered Anna the perfect person to teach about His Son in the Temple. Yes, I know. The actual word for Teacher isn't there. However, consider what that word didasko (which is there) actually means.

a) to hold discourse with others in order to instruct them. b) intended to convey instruction and information as well as pleasure and entertainment; c) making…  ( Click for more )

March 9, 2014

God chose her as a judge. God gave Deborah authority. Not just general authority, but Spiritual authority. Her being a Judge was not Israel's doing nor was it the act of any human to raise her up as a judge. God did it and the reason we know it was God's doing is because there was peace in the land for 40 years while she was judge. Why? Because she led the people in the right ways of God. God's righteousness and not to the left or to the right but in the straight path of the Lord. Judges 2:18 And when Jehovah raised up judges to them, then Jehovah was with the…  ( Click for more )

The pendulum has swung so far back the other way since I was a teenager. When I grew up the feminism movement was taking its first breath to scream for equality and justice for women. Back then men were not made fun of or scorned publically. The man actually wore the pants in the family. Daddy was someone you squealed and ran toward because you were so happy he was home from work.

One day I was washing my face with Ivory soap, and that smell sometimes made me recall a commercial. Maybe you remember it? This young man and young woman are walking along in the spring time. It…  ( Click for more )

February 23, 2014

Several years ago I wrote a column called Weightlifting or Carrying Baggage. The main question is first: How do we look more like the Father? The second question is: How can we be blameless?

One thing to remember is that being blameless in God's eyes is not at all the same as being sinless. We are blameless because Jesus stepped in to take the wrath of God onto Himself rather than us having to endure it all because we believe God, believe in His Son, and understand that we are sinners in desparate need of God's grace.

Let's look at one passage which is indicative of how…  ( Click for more )

Job 11:12 For an empty-headed man will be wise when a wild donkey's colt is born a man.

I have talked about this verse before in an earlier column. Can't you just hear the exasperation and the deep frustration? I can and it makes me laugh. It reminds me of Solomon saying "Living with a contentious woman is like incessant, dripping rain." (Loose paraphrase).

And here is another one, Proverbs 11:22 As a ring of gold in a swine's snout, So is a lovely woman who lacks discretion. That is so true and said with such a twist of humor I can't help but laugh at…  ( Click for more )

February 9, 2014

My favorite verse that gives me hope and helps me trust is Zechariah 4:6 So he answered and said to me: "This is the word of the LORD to Zerubbabel: 'Not by might nor by power, but by My Spirit,' Says the LORD of hosts.

When people seem to get in the way of what God is trying to do, I get frustrated. When people take over my job, the task I've been trusted to do, I get frustrated. My column is very late this week because of so many reasons, but I have to remind myself that God is in control. No matter how much a Diotrephes tries to take over, God's work will be done…  ( Click for more )

(I feel so strongly about this I've posted this on my blog also. Please forgive the repetition.)

Here is another case of Satan using laws of the land against biblical belief in biblical principles.

In a note from Tony Perkins where he highlights the battle occurring in Massachusetts over a homosexual male teaching in an all girls Catholic academy. He applied. Got the job. Then when school officials noticed that this man listed his spouse as his homosexual partner as the one to call in an emergency, they called him in and rescinded the job offer.

Catholics have…  ( Click for more )

Several years back, I had wondered why the apostles had to journey to Samaria to "lay hands" upon those believers there in order for them to receive the Holy Spirit. I took a closer look at the over all indwelling of the Holy Spirit which led to a closer study of the gifts of the Spirit.

I believe that understanding comes from asking God for help with my understanding so I asked Him. Several passages and other things came to my attention concerning this. One was Peter's vision of the sheet dropping down with all types of food to eat (including those things that were…  ( Click for more )

Do you ever wonder why David cut the corner off Saul’s robe rather than killing him in that cave? (1 Samuel 24). Then David’s heart was troubled after he did that. That word troubled is a very strong word in Hebrew that means to strike (as the KJV translates it) but also means to kill, slaughter, murder, stripes, wound.

David felt that for just cutting off the corner of Saul’s robe. Yet, he took the life of Uriah (1 Samuel 11-12). One would think that David would remember how his heart wounded his soul for taking the robe’s corner, but…  ( Click for more )

January 12, 2014

No one understands God's perfect ways or even why God acts in such a way for some and in another way for others. How do we even know for sure we are walking in His will?

We can't see the future. Our feelings are fickle. We can't control other people's decisions. So how do we walk down that specific path God has lighted for us?

We live in a very imperfect world and since we don't control other people, we can't be responsible for their choices. The only alternative we have, then, is to walk the closest we can to the Lord God Almighty and expect Him to turn us from the…  ( Click for more )

(I'm cheating... this is from my blog post yesterday.)

I get depressed thinking about making New Year Resolutions. Do you? Do you look at your list six months down the road and think... ACK! I've failed!

How often do we recognize what others need to change in their lives before we recognize what changes we need to make? So many of us make New Year’s resolutions with truly less resolution and more "feel better about myself". After the first month it seems all the resolution to change and be a better person dissolves. Sometimes we keep those resolutions…  ( Click for more )

December 29, 2013

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…  ( Click for more )

December 22, 2013

Many times in my life the splendor and glory of God bursts upon me in sudden and astonishing ways. When I was much younger, it felled me to my knees. Now that I am older, this majesty that explodes before me spiritually puts me on my face before God. I cannot fathom even from the depth and breadth of my soul just how wonderful and marvelous God is to astound me, pointedly and specifically.

After 20 years of marriage, God gave me permission to leave my husband. I had been providing for him for almost three years—providing his liquor and his women while he lounged…  ( Click for more )

Over on, my dear sister in Christ, Julianne, of Family Blueprint, had posted an article that sheds some light on something that is truly shocking. The article is no longer there, but I have a copy of some of it here.

I have suffered through co-dependency. I have seen friends of mine suffer this. Women have emailed me after reading about my co-dependency on my blog, so from my perspective, it may seem more prevalent than it really is. On the other hand, abuse toward women in the church is more prevalent than people would like to think. It doesn't just happen…  ( Click for more )

My very first inkling there was something magnificent in Scripture when God used the word rock was in a youth retreat study comparing the Israelites trek through the wilderness and the Christian lifestyle. There I came face to face with the notion of strict obedience to God’s word because He has special meanings for that obedience. At the time, I had no real idea of the kind of spiritual truth God was portraying with the physical illustration. When He told Moses to strike the rock for water at the first place of contention, Moses did and sweet, fresh water came pouring…  ( Click for more )

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