Archive for October, 2013

I saw my ole friend Devil

Wednesday, October 30th, 2013

I saw my ole friend Devil
Dawdling t’other day,
Gift of gab unblemished,
Master of persuade,

And I must say he’s aged just fine
Despite the women song and wine
I guess the souls on which he’s dined
Combine to keep his youthful shine.

His stories weaved and wooed
I wept
He promised paths of peace
I slept
And in my dreams I saw a light
That drew me like a moth, the fright
Bestirred a sense of wrong and right
I woke and dodged the Devil’s bite.

I said goodbye, my friend
He left
Sulking, droopy tailed
Bereft
But soon he’ll find another mark
On which to ply his skills so dark
I shiver, thinking, how in past
His presence on me prison cast.

~ * ~

Copyright 2008-2013 by Roadrunner.

All rights reserved. Used by permission.

See more works at Roadrunner’s web site

Furtherreaches.com

How Do You Show Your Appreciation?

Tuesday, October 29th, 2013

1 Timothy 5:17: “The elders who direct the affairs of the church well are worthy of double honor, especially those whose work is preaching and teaching.”

October is not only National Breast Cancer Awareness Month and Domestic Violence Awareness Month, it is also Pastor Appreciation Month.

How often do we pray for our pastor? He needs prayers too. He has a wife and family. They all need our prayers too.

When was the last time we sent a thank you note for the powerful Sunday message the pastor prepared?

What would we do if we were under the constant microscope the way a pastor and his family members are? How would we hold up under that pressure?

Can we imagine our lives without much privacy and our phone and doorbell ringing incessantly?

Let’s send gift cards, coupons, or a gas card to our pastor. Let’s fill his pantry with groceries.

Does the pastor’s office need remodeling? Every church has painters, electricians, and carpenters in the congregation. They could offer their time and talent to the project.

What Bible commentaries would the pastor like? Could the pastor use a new computer and printer? Would he like an iPad Air?

These are a few ideas. I’m sure you can come up with more.

Dear God, help me be thankful for my pastor and his family all year round. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to show appreciation to your pastor?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Copyright 2010-2013, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

A Christian Woman in a Domestic Violence Relationship?

Friday, October 25th, 2013

Psalm 55:4: “Fear and trembling have beset me; horror has overwhelmed me.”

Besides National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, October is also National Domestic Violence Awareness Month. Our church members aren’t exempt from breast cancer. Neither are they exempt from domestic violence.

Some men in the church use submission as their excuse to ridicule, punch, kick, curse, name call, and deprive their wives of family, friends, and the necessities of life. Outside of the home, those men seem nice and loving.

Psalm 55:12-14 explains the confusion and fear a woman feels:

If an enemy were insulting me,
I could endure it;
if a foe were raising himself against me,
I could hide from him.
But it is you, a man like myself, my companion, my close friend,
with whom I once enjoyed sweet fellowship.

Your immediate reaction may be to ask why she doesn’t leave the relationship. First of all, she loves the man and wants to keep her marriage and family intact.

The batterer may have apologized and promised not to abuse her again. Statistically, those apologies and promises don’t last long, but she clings to them.

Secondly, shame and guilt overwhelm the abused woman. He has told her if she would clean house better, fix a good meal, be a better wife and mother, he wouldn’t have to hurt her. She thinks it’s her fault.

He tells her she is ugly and dumb, and no one would want her. He threatens to keep the children if she leaves him.

Dear God, help me sense the fear of an abused woman. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to befriend an abused woman?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Copyright 2010-2013, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

The Lights of Home

Thursday, October 24th, 2013

“For now we see through a glass, darkly; but then face to face: now I know in part; but then shall I know even as also I am known.” 1 Corinthians 13: 12 KJV

Have you ever looked out the window at night and couldn’t see anything? Perhaps the street lights were off and the moon and stars weren’t giving off enough light for you to see anything. I have good news for you. No matter how dark the tunnels of despair, heartaches, trials, crises and criticism are in our lives if we will look beneath all the hurt and pain in our hearts, we will see the lights of hope, encouragement, laughter, peace and joy.

Jesus gives us all of these wonderful things because if we have made a personal commitment to Him and asked Him to forgive us of our sins, save us and come into our hearts to be our personal Saviour, He is the light in our hearts and His light never goes out. Because of all the criticism and sarcasm that satan and people hurl at us with their poisonous barbs, we become discouraged and defeated and we are tempted to give up. All too often instead of looking at the light in our hearts, our precious Saviour, we focus on the darkness of our situations and we suffer needlessly.

It does not matter how many heartaches, crises, criticism and trials we are experiencing. Jesus is still in our hearts and He is shining brightly to bring us hope, joy, peace and happiness once again by His unconditional love and understanding. Stop looking out the dark window of despair and hopelessness. Instead, focus on the bright light in your hearts, the Saviour of the world. He not only is the light in our hearts; He is the light of our home in Heaven.

Of course, if you have never asked Jesus to forgive you of your sins and come into your heart to be your personal Saviour, you don’t have this bright light in your heart. You will never know real happiness, real joy and real peace until you accept the sacrifice that Jesus made for you when He hung on that cruel cross of agony. He died so you may live. Do you have this light in your heart today? Have you said “yes” to Jesus? If not, then not only will you have darkness in the world, you will spend all eternity in darkness in hell with satan.

What is your choice, the light of Jesus or the darkness of satan? Only you can make the choice. Your family, loved ones and friends can’t do it for you as much as they want to do it. Salvation is a personal meeting with Jesus. It is only as we humble ourselves and admit that we are sinners and accept Jesus as our personal Saviour, that we have this glorious light of hope, peace, unconditional love, happiness, contentment and joy in our hearts. Give your heart to the one who gave His life for you. He is waiting for you with His arms open wide.

Copyright 2007-2013  by Joanne Lowe, all rights reserved
The author may be contacted via her website: http://www.heavenwardbound.com

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here

Not a member yet? Join us!

True Change

Monday, October 21st, 2013

“When he (Holy Spirit) comes, he will convict the world of guilt in regard to sin and righteousness and judgment:  in regard to sin, because men do not believe in me; in regard to righteousness, because I am going to the Father, where you can see me no longer; and in regard to judgment, because the prince of this world now stands condemned.” (John 16:8-11, NIV)

At first glance this passage might seem to be harsh or difficult to understand. Quite the opposite is the truth. First the word convict or conviction is directed toward the unbelieving world and simply means they have yet to “become absolutely convinced by irrefutable argument” of the finished redemptive work of Jesus.

And second this function of Holy Spirit’s work in all (unbelievers and believers) is called ‘prevenient grace” or the grace that draws us to saving faith in Jesus. And third, the best news for and of all is that the “prince of this world” is already judged and condemned for all eternity.

Holy Spirit convicts the world of where it is falling short; in “sin,” in needing Christ’s righteousness and God’s total judgment of the prince of this world. Contrary to popular religious thinking, the Holy Spirit “convinces” Believers of truth and reveals lies we have believed. His primary ministry is not to convict us of sin but convince us that Jesus has cleansed us of our sins and that we share in his righteousness. This convincing of truth allows us to “change our minds” (repent) and think differently. Every time we believe the truth it sets us free!

“True convincing (conviction) leads to a change of thinking (repentance), and it happens in an atmosphere of love and acceptance without the presence of condemnation.”(Pg. 107 Pure Grace).

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article ! Copyright, 2000-2013 by Ron Ross.
All rights reserved. Used by permission.

Rev. Ron Ross is a pastor, author, teacher, and counselor.
As founder of NET Casting Ministries, he equips the church
around the world to care for the wounded and addicted.
Ron is a cofounder of the NET Training Institute.

What Do You Act on What You Know?

Thursday, October 17th, 2013

1 Corinthians 3:16: “Don’t you know that you yourselves are God’s temple and that God’s Spirit lives in you?”

I’m humbled to think my body is God’s temple and God’s Holy Spirit lives in me. What about you?

My ninety-two year-old dad exercises every day, walks, and still works. He looks fabulous and can pass for my brother. He’s my incentive to exercise daily.

As a woman during National Breast Cancer Awareness Month, I want to encourage women to do the monthly self-exams and to go for an annual mammogram.

If you feel no peace about the mammogram results, ask for an ultrasound. When I had breast cancer almost thirteen years ago, the tumor didn’t show up on the mammogram. It showed up on the ultrasound.

That same thing happened to many of the women in my cancer support group.

Men are not immune to breast cancer. Often, they don’t pay attention to a lump, or their doctor tells them they couldn’t possibly have breast cancer.

Men can and do get breast cancer. Some die from it because they ignore the signs, or their doctor ignores them until it’s too late.

Men and women, please take care of your body. It’s God’s temple. God’s Spirit lives in you.

Dear God, help me see my body as your temple. Amen.

Application: What will you do this week to take care of the Spirit’s dwelling place?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !

Copyright 2010-2013, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

Why God?

Wednesday, October 16th, 2013

“For My thoughts are not your thoughts; neither are your ways, My ways. As the heavens are higher than the earth–so are My ways higher than your ways, and My thoughts than your thoughts!” Isaiah 55:8-9

God’s dealings are very mysterious. His way is in the sea, and His path in the mighty waters, and His footsteps are not known.
We looked for light–but behold darkness.
We expected success–but we meet with failure.
We anticipated prosperity–but we are plunged in adversity.
Our purposes are broken off.
Our plans are frustrated.
Our skies are clothed with clouds.
Beloved, such is the case with us sometimes! Our circumstances are so painful, so different from what we anticipated, that in bewilderment we exclaim, “Truly, You are a God who hides Yourself!”

God will do just as He pleases with His own children. He has the right–and He will exercise it. He will often . . .
cross our wills,
hedge up our paths,
cut off our expectations, and
give us wormwood and gall to drink!

And <b?why? Because He loves to cause us pain–or takes pleasure in our sighs and sorrows? No! Oh, no! But because He consults our welfare. Because He is wiser than we are!

Why am I poor–and my brother rich?
Why am I sick–and my sister healthy?
Why are my efforts crossed–and my neighbor’s crowned with success?
This is often deeply trying. But our Father refuses to answer such questions! He asks, “May I not do as I will–with My own?” He kindly quiets us by the assurance, “You don’t understand now what I am doing–but someday you will.” Well did the patriarch exclaim, “He gives no account of any of His matters.”

How difficult to say sometimes, “Though He slays me–yet will I trust in Him!” How difficult to believe that this rough road is the right road, which leads to the celestial city.

Our Father wisely appoints the circumstances and lot of every one of His children. He has mapped out the path in which they are to travel. He has appointed their bounds, which they cannot pass. Then with Job we say, “He is in one mind–and who can oppose him? He does whatever He pleases. He will certainly accomplish what He has decreed for me.”

We must not murmur, we must not complain–but patiently follow wherever the Lord leads, and quietly bear whatever He lays on us. Patience must calm the spirit, quiet the heart, and close the mouth. Then shall we say with the Psalmist, “I was silent, I opened not my mouth, because You are the One who has done this!”
Had it been man–it might have been wrong.
Had it been chance–it might have been injurious.
But it was You–and, therefore, it must be wise, holy, and kind.

We are required quietly to persevere–though the way is rugged, though the thorns pierce our feet, though we cannot see one step before us! We must walk by faith, not by sight, believing…
that we are safe–in the midst of danger;
that we are right–though everything is perplexing;
and that all will end well–for “We know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love Him, and are called according to His purpose!” Romans 8:28

~ James Smith, “PERPLEXITY” 1865

Where Can You Find Strength?

Monday, October 14th, 2013

1 Chronicles 16:27: “Splendor and majesty are before him; strength and joy in his dwelling place.”

After a seven-hour trip, two speaking engagements in two days in addition to sightseeing, I felt my strength evaporate. I still had another speaking engagement the following morning and the trip back home.

“Oh Lord, give me strength,” I prayed.

Have you ever felt so tired your bones hurt, your eyes drooped, and your legs felt like two cement blocks? You were sure you couldn’t make it another hour much less another day.

What did you do?

In times like that, I praise the Lord for his splendor and majesty. I ask him for strength and joy. As I spend time in his presence, I feel his strength invigorate me and sense his joy return.

You may think you don’t have time to spend in God’s presence. You believe you’ll never finish your tasks if you stop to praise him for his splendor and majesty.

When I stop and remember I’m God’s child, I know he desires to fill me with his strength and joy. As I praise him, he assures me I will complete what needs to be done that day with his help.

Dear God, I need your strength and joy. Amen.

Application:  When will you praise God for his splendor and majesty this week?

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Copyright 2010-2013, Yvonne Ortega, LPC, LSATP, CCDVC
All Rights Reserved. Used by Permission.
Yvonne is a Speaker, Author, Counselor, Cancer Survivor and
serves on the Board of Directors of Christians in Recovery.
She is the author of Finding Hope for Your Journey through Breast Cancer.
If you would like to have her speak for your organization or church, please contact her through
her website: http://YvonneOrtega.com

Going Beyond The Words

Monday, October 7th, 2013

I’m an impatient reader.

It’s a curious weakness, and it doesn’t matter much what kind of material I’m reading. I might begin with good intentions, but as soon as I start reading I find myself looking for the end.

This bad habit makes studying difficult. I blast through the words, but often realize I’ve little idea what I just read. I hate to think about how much scripture I’ve “read” without really digesting its meaning.

So last week I decided to try something different. I opened the book of 1 John and tried to avoid reading through chapter 1 from beginning to end. Instead, I just looked at the sentences until I got one main idea or impression I could summarize and record.

The next day I returned to the same chapter and repeated the process. No agenda or timetable — I just figured I’d keep scanning those same phrases until I didn’t see anything new. Then I figured I’d move to Chapter 2 and just see what happens.

I’m recording my conclusions on Twitter when I come up with something. That’s the other thing–I spend a few minutes and if nothing comes that day, it’s okay. If you want to see the results, follow me: @Rich_Dixon

Here’s what I’ve seen so far:

  • We’re told to “walk in the light.” Maybe this is a good day to stop choosing darkness.
  • What would change if we spent more time simply doing the truth we know?
  • Easy to repeat someone else’s words. Takes guts to say, “This is my experience and what I’ve learned.”
  • I love God’s economy. Claim you’re free and you’re trapped. Acknowledge your sin and you’re free.
  • I can’t see much difference between knowing Jesus and doing the stuff Jesus said.

I keep thinking that these words came from a man who walked with Jesus, sat around a campfire with Him, and shared some of His most private moments. I want to do more than just read through the words.

I want to hear what he’s saying to me across all these centuries.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog HERE
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article ! Dixon
Copyright 2008-2013 by Rich Dixon, All Rights Reserved. Used by permission.Rich is an author and speaker. He is the author of:

Relentless Grace: God’s Invitation To Give Hope Another Chance. Visit his web site www.relentlessgrace.com

Are You Spiritually “ADHD”?

Friday, October 4th, 2013


But he who received the seed on stony places, this is he who hears the word and immediately receives it with joy; yet he has no root in himself, but endures only for a while. For when tribulation or persecution arises because of the word, immediately he stumbles (Matthew 13:20-21, NKJV).

When I hear so much talk about ADD and ADHD these days, I smile. I had an ADHD child “back in the day,” before such a diagnosis was common knowledge. By the time my youngest son was born, the condition was just beginning to be recognized, and the moment I read about it I knew I had two boys with ADHD.

What does that mean? ADHD stands for Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder—what my dad used to refer to as “ants in your pants.” Children with ADHD can scarcely sit still for any length of time and have a terrible time focusing without being distracted by the first shiny object that happens along. It made studying and learning for my boys a real challenge, let me tell you! But a challenge does NOT mean impossible. With a lot of extra effort and prayer, we found ways to make it happen. A diagnosis of ADHD does not have to amount to a label of defeat.

The same is true in our spiritual lives. Some of us find it easier than others to apply ourselves to reading and studying Scripture, to praying and witnessing and ministering. But spiritual growth is available to each of us if we’re willing to apply ourselves and not be distracted by every “shiny” thing comes along.

Jesus talked about this issue in the famous Parable of the Sower, explaining how the sower sowed seeds on all sorts of ground—the road, rocky places, thorns, good soil. These ground conditions parallel our heart conditions and our willingness to receive and cultivate the seed of God’s Word. Any of us can become spiritually “ADHD” with all the distractions going on around us, but each of us can also CHOOSE to stay focused and allow God’s word to take deep root in our heart. It is the only way we can become spiritually mature and begin to effectively impact the lives of others.

In Psalm 46:10 God admonishes us to “Be still and know that I am God.” The word “know” in that verse implies intimate, life-producing knowledge and relationship. If we want that sort of relationship with God, we need to “be still” and make sure we don’t have spiritual “ants in our pants” or get distracted by the shiny temptations of this world.

It can be done, with determination and discipline, remembering that God stands ready to help us if we will just ask.

CIR Members can share their thoughts regarding this blog here2
Don’t miss CIR’s Daily Article !
Copyright 2009-2013 Kathi Macias, all rights reserved. Used by permission.
Kathi Macias is a multi-award winning writer who has authored 30 books.
“Beyond Me. Living a You-first Life in a Me-first World”

“Mothers of the Bible Speak to Mothers of Today”

She also writes novels:Deliver Me From Evil, (finalist for the Golden Scrolls Novel of the Year Award) and Special Delivery.
No Greater Love, More than ConquerorsThe author can be reached at: http://www.kathimacias.com