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Refreshment in Refuge

    by Gina Burgess

Why does He love me so?

Remember when love first blossomed?

What about now? Is it Saturday Night Fever or is it Monday Night Football? Is it The Sound of Music or The Sound of Silence? Is it $60 a dozen or $1.50 a stem including thorns? Ideal or Idle? Which of these best describes your fellowship with your First Love, our LORD Jesus?

Those questions come from one of my very favorite devotions coming to my inbox by Alan Smith of Helen Street Church of Christ in Fayetteville, North Carolina called Thought For The Day

I cannot fathom why God loved us so much He gave…  ( Click for more )

July 26, 2020

Luke 15:8 Or what woman having ten drachmas, if she loses one drachma does not light a lamp and sweep the house, and look carefully until she finds it? 9 And finding it, she calls together the friends and neighbors, saying, Rejoice with me, for I have found the drachma which I lost.

The drachmas, in Jesus time, was equivalent to the Roman denarii and was worth about 18 cents, so ten coins was worth about $2 or approximately ten days wages. James Merritt told his congregation back in March of 2002 that these ten coins this woman possessed were her engagement ring and that…  ( Click for more )

July 19, 2020

In Gone With The Wind, Scarlett stands in the midst of a sea of bodies, some still as death, others rolling and groaning in pain. It's just her and the doctor, and perhaps one or two others. She tries desperately to get the doctor to come help Melly who is having her baby. It is the last vestiges of the Civil War and the South was dying, her sons dying, her cities burned and destroyed, her plantations desolate. Scarlett suddenly decides she has had enough and she races home to pack and leave Atlanta to go home to Tara. Everything seems hopeless until Rhett Butler scrounges up a buckboard…  ( Click for more )

July 12, 2020

Warning: This column is not for the squeamish. The last chapter of Proverbs is probably most famous for the woman worth far above rubies. However, in Proverbs 31: 8-9, we are given a directive that many would probably not consider when thinking about the sanctity of life. Speak for the speechless, for those who are ready for death. Our society abhors child abuse, yet, so often we miss the signs either because we are not trained for it or because we do not wish to see.

"No bite baby. No, no bite baby," an eighteen month old child cried out when she saw her biological…  ( Click for more )

July 5, 2020

Don’t you just love that movie, The Pursuit of Happiness? The main character, played by Will Smith, gets bugged by how happiness is spelled on the side of a wall. He just says it once, “Happiness is spelled with an I, not a Y,” as he and his son go into the daycare. His point is that ignorance is why someone spelled I it with a Y.

My point is that it is spelled with an I because the state of being Happy is generated from within you. It is our choice. It is not generated from circumstances, just like joy or faith or love is not generated from circumstances. …  ( Click for more )

June 28, 2020

Do you know how many stressed--out mothers it takes to change a light bulb?

One. ONE!! And do you know WHY it only takes ONE? Because no one else in this house knows how to change a light bulb. They don't even know the bulb is burned out. They would sit in this house in the dark for three days before they figured it out. And once they figured it out they wouldn't be able to find the light bulbs despite the fact that they've been in the same cabinet for the past 17 years. But if they did, by some miracle, find the light bulbs, two days later, the chair that they dragged…  ( Click for more )

June 21, 2020

One night a man lay sleeping peacefully and hopefully, settled in how his life would unfold. Nothing specatcular, mostly ordinary with a future of creating things with his hands. It would be a good living, maybe not rich, but good, with his yound wife by his side. That life suddenly shattered around him like over-fired pottery, and then the future looked bleak, indeed. His wife to be was found with child. He knew he had never laid a hand upon her in that way and had never known her intimately. But, he intended to quietly set her aside privately, without public shame. He was a righteous…  ( Click for more )

June 14, 2020

One of my all time favorite stories is Apollo 13. Who hasn't said at one point in their life, "Houston, we have a problem." And when Gene Krantz says, "Gentlemen, failure is not an option." I just get all tingly and proud of what the genius of our country accomplished. In Jim Lovell's book, Apollo 13, he tells a very amazing story about a flight he was on while stationed on a carrier. (I do not recall the name of the aircraft carrier.)

It was coming on dark and he was quite a ways from the carrier when all his instruments went dead. He was literally flying…  ( Click for more )

June 7, 2020

Why do we toss and turn? Are we lost in Him or lost in this world?

When we confess our rebellions and disobedience, when we turn to Him and come home from our wayward and wastrel ways, God literally runs toward us, scooping us up in His mighty and strong arms, holding us and kissing us with great devotion and great joy for the return of His prodigal child.

Psalm 33:13 -- Jehovah looks down from Heaven; He sees all the sons of mankind.

God also searches the hearts of men. He knows without being told what we are fearful of, and yet He tells us to fear not.

Psalm…  ( Click for more )

Our destination is assured because the Lord is the Fountain of Living Water. Isaiah 44:3 For I will give you abundant water to quench your thirst and to moisten your parched fields. And I will pour out my Spirit and my blessings on your children.

Discovering Refuge in the Lord…

When we stop and think about it, Jesus did not hurry through His ministry, checking His watch or always looking over the shoulders of His disciples toward the next project. He walked…He sat… He ate… He drank… He taught… He prayed... and prayed... …  ( Click for more )

I am sick and tired of having homosexuality being shoved in my face as "normal". It is not. But, this column isn't about homosexuality. It is about all kinds of seductive sin that the Great Deceiver seduces us into, weaving a web so tight we cannot move.

I do not believe homosexuality is biological. I strongly believe it is a well-seeded lie by Satan to subvert God in a person's life. The farther away Satan can make God seem the less likely that person will seek His comfort and rest. This lie perpetuates humans unbelief in God's power, and it matters not whether the…  ( Click for more )

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 problem, so why do we tremble and let Satan win the battle of our mind? Our greatest lesson is learned during the storm so that our greatest purpose can be…  ( Click for more )

Going to an fro, hardly time to sleep much less time to smell the coffee, or drink it while it's hot. Sound familiar? You don't have to have two small children and a husband to feel like that... or hold down two jobs... or have a demanding family that you are trying to house, feed and clothe all with the shrinking dollar. There is a term used today - Time Poverty. We all suffer from it, or do we really. What exactly is sucking up all our time?

Do we sit in front of the computer for hours on end? Do we hold a phone to our ears chatting with dozens of people? Do we sit in front…  ( Click for more )

May 3, 2020

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 wrong…  ( Click for more )

April 26, 2020

Matthew 12:6-8 But I say to you, One greater than the temple is here. 7 But if you had known what this is, "I desire mercy and not sacrifice," you would not have condemned the guiltless. (Hosea 6:6 ) 8 For the Son of Man is also Lord of the Sabbath.

Does anyone really know what mercy is? Have you actually experienced it to the point you know that the relief is so deep and so overwhelming that you did not "get what you deserved" you wanted to faint with it? What's the worst thing you ever did and did not have to suffer the consequences of you action?

I'm…  ( Click for more )

April 19, 2020

EL, Elohim, El Shaddah, Adonai, Jehovah-The LORD, Jehovah-Jireh- The LORD provides, Jehovah-Rophe=The LORD heals, Jehovah-Nissi=The LORD our banner, Jehovah-M'Kaddesh=The LORD Who sanctifies, Jehovah-Shalom=The LORD our peace, Shepherd, Judge, Jehovah Elohim=LORD God, Jehovah-Tsidkenu=The LORD our righteousness, Jehovah-Rohi=The LORD our Shepherd, Jehovah-Shammah=The LORD is there, Jehovah-Sabaoth=The LORD of Hosts, El Elyon=Most High, Abhir=Mighty One, Branch, Kadosh=Holy One, Shaphat=judge, El Roi=God of Seeing, Kanna=Jealous, Palet=Deliverer, Yeshua=Savior, Gaol=Redeemer, Magen=Shield,…  ( Click for more )

April 12, 2020

There is much evidence that this Book, the Lamb's Book of Life in Revelation and the Book of Life of th4Old Testament is one book. Before you pass on, give me a chance to explain why.

Psalm 69:28 Blot them out from the Book of Life; yea, let them not be written with the righteous. This tells me that at one time, the unrighteous were written in the Book of Life since they can be blotted out. On the other hand... Psalm 139:16: "Your eyes have seen my unformed substance; And in Your book were all written The days that were ordained for me, When as yet there was not…  ( Click for more )

April 5, 2020

I was sitting in our Sunday School class and we were discussing some things prior to our lesson. One of the ladies spoke about Congress's serious lack of concern over abortion. This was just shortly after I'd written an article about Paragraph M. What I found in that research for that article was very disturbing... and was so very encouraging, too. I shared my research with my SS class. It isn't well known because the so-called Right to Choose proponents have done so much to squelch it.

I was happily in the middle of breakfast when I heard that the Supreme Court had upheld Congress…  ( Click for more )

March 29, 2020

I love the story below. I have kept it for many years because it always reminds me that it is my responsibility to listen for God's voice. I don't know who wrote it, or even if it is true. But, the message is a good one.

Back when the telegraph was the was the fastest method of long-distance communication, a young man applied for a job as a Morse Code operator. Answering an ad in the newspaper, he went to the office address that was listed. When he arrived, he entered a large, busy office filled with noise and clatter, including the sound of the telegraph in the background. A…  ( Click for more )

March 22, 2020

For what is your life? James asked. It is only a vapor for a little time then vanishes away.

Talk about putting things in perspective.

I know you'll find this hard to believe, but I threw a temper tantrum today. I have an average size plate with an average size fork, and I'm sitting in my spot minding my own business. And yet, people (and myself) keep piling things on my plate. They do look good, mind you. Smell good and taste good. But, when the stuff gets stacked two feet high, there is a feeling of overwhelming that pervades my stomach. Ever been there? Don't worry, you…  ( Click for more )

One of my all time favorite songs is "For I know Whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep that which I've committed unto Him against that day..." That is found in most hymnals even though it is such a very old song. So old, it is found in 2 Timothy 1:12. How sweet to have that deep confidence and that utter trust in the One who saves us from that most heinous day of judgement. There is another verse in that chapter that holds sweet assurance.

2 Timothy 1:7 For God did not give a spirit of cowardice to us, but of power and of love and…  ( Click for more )

There are 41 senators that are deceived into thinking that aborted babies are not worthy of medical care if they survive the abortion process.

One of the latest bills (S.311) that was put forth to protect babies that live through the abortion process. "...establishes requirements for the degree of care a health care practitioner must exercise in the event a child is born alive following an abortion or attempted abortion.

A health care practitioner who is present must (1) exercise the same degree of care as reasonably provided to another child born alive at the same…  ( Click for more )

March 1, 2020

My beloved friend Stan over at Birds of the Air wrote a beautiful post about loving his wife. It isn't an Ode to Love or a Sweet Puff... it is simply a declaration of one man saying that the love he has for his wife comes directly from God. His love for his wife is perfected by God. This is the truest of observations, I believe.

But... I'm going out on a limb here, I do not think it is possible for a human being to be able to unconditionally love another person.

Parents have great love for their children... but, that love is birthed at birth, flesh of my flesh and…  ( Click for more )

February 23, 2020

The message of the Cross is "No Stones". There are two stories that come to mind which convey this strongly and Jesus is prominant in both. One is the woman who was caught in adultery and brought before Jesus, the other is the Woman at the Well. Can't you just feel the heat of that day? It was the sixth hour. Jesus was weary from His journey. 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...

Jesus instructed…  ( Click for more )

February 16, 2020

And He said to them, Why did you look for me? Did you not know that I must be busy in the affairs of My Father? Luke 2:49

Did you not know? The Apostles knew and they were busy about God’s business and carrying out the Great Commission. Everyone they met, they told. Apollos knew, but he didn’t have the whole story. Paul knew, but he had to go to Arabia for three years to get the whole story. Timothy knew, but he got stomach aches from it. Luke knew, and he wrote about it so centuries of believers would have the story. What about you? Do all you know and are all…  ( Click for more )

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