Monday, August 29, 2011

The Lesson in the Rubber Snake

Never let your 5 year leave his toys in your bathtub.

As I was preparing to clean house last week, I gathered my supplies together. I leaned over the tub to commence with my can of scrubbing bubbles when I almost jumped out of my skin!

I took a second look and realized it was Will's rubber coral snake. Silly! We don't have coral snakes in this area, I thought. I picked up the snake, put it in the small basket where he keeps the rest of his bath toys and got back to business.

Has something caught you off guard recently? Perhaps it was bad news at the doctor's office or at your work, your finances are looking bleak, or maybe even the relationship you thought was stable is on shaky ground.

When Joshua succeeded Moses, he had quite the daunting task ahead of him. He looked out and saw all of the nations before him and, no doubt, was overwhelmed with fear. Moses told Joshua in Deuteronomy 31:6, "Be strong and courageous. Do not be terrified because of them, for the LORD your God goes with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you." Forsake means to 'leave entirely; to abandon'. If you've read Joshua's story, you know how it ended.

It is so easy to let fear grip you when you encounter something unexpectedly. Before you let that happen, take comfort in knowing God is with you and he will not abandon you. Don't let your fear get in the way of your faith.

And if you look a bit closer, you may see what you thought was worth being afraid of...really isn't after all.

Monday, August 22, 2011

The Power of Joy

A viewer sent an email recently with a question:

"I know everything in your life can't be going as good as it appears it is. You're always smiling. How do you smile and seem so happy all of the time?"

This viewer is correct. We all have bad days, trials, hurts and various things that weigh heavy on our mind. However, joy is a choice you make.

You have God's promise, but it seems like nothing is changing--nothing is happening. You keep waiting, but you keep your joy level set on high because you are expecting to receive. James 1:2-4 says, "My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing." Joy gives you staying power. It helps you stay in a position of faith while God is working a miracle. If you rejoice and praise God while you are waiting for the answers to your prayers, you can smile through the dark days.

Your joy is a demonstration of your faith in the supremacy of God and His Word. Rejoicing is a demonstration that you believe God's promises and trust His faithfulness to do what He has said He will do. David said in Psalm 119:162, "I rejoice at Thy Word, as one that findeth great spoil." How would you act if you discovered a treasure chest of gold? When we get thrilled with the Word of God is when it comes alive and we see supernatural results.

There is serious business being done in heaven when we rejoice in the Lord continually. There are answers to prayer, healing, and provision found in the amazing power of joy!

Friday, August 19, 2011

God Uses Burned Stones

Nehemiah had watched the walls of Jerusalem crumble in fire at the hands of the Babylonians and felt called to rebuild the wall. With nothing left but rubble, he approached the throne of King Artaxerxes to ask for favors--Nehemiah wanted the King to send letters of recommendations to the area rulers for timber and supplies so the rebuilding could begin. Although the King did, the governors didn't oblige and were angry Nehemiah was helping the Israelites. Nehemiah pressed on with what was left of the wall.

Instead of using new building supplies, God wanted Nehemiah to use the burned rubble to rebuild the wall. After 52 days, the wall was completed. Nehemiah 6:16 says, "When all our enemies heard about this, all the surrounding nations were afraid and lost their self-confidence, because they realized that this work had been done with the help of our God."

If God has called you to do something, He will give you the faith in His promise to see it through. But He may want you to start with the rubble of what's left. He may want you to rebuild with the burned stones in your life. However, He will make your faith stronger than it was before where you can say, this work has been done with the help of my God!

Monday, August 15, 2011

Running Toward Or Running Away

I remember growing up in our home how we would have to watch the number of long distance calls we made. A few minutes here and there would really add up! Now with various calling plans, we can now call people who were once considered long distance with no extra charge.

God is tired of having long distance relationships with His people. He was tired of it in Moses' day and He is tired of it today. He wants intimate, close encounters with us so that when people walk through the doors of our home, they feel His presence and begin to weep with wonder and worship Him the moment they enter.

Exodus 20:18 says, "And all the people saw the thundering, and the lightning, and the noise of the trumpet and the mountain smoking: and when the people saw it, they removed and stood afar off." It's obvious what the people did, isn't it? Verse 21 says, "And the people stood afar off, and Moses drew near unto the thick darkness where God was." One ran in and the other ran away!

God was wanting the once close relationship He had with them before when they used to walk in the cool of the desert, when they used to sit and share His heart with them. God wanted more than just a long distance relationship with them but they said in verse 19, "let not God speak with us, lest we die." By running away, they were stating they weren't ready to live up to what God wanted for them.

It is a sad reality that many Christians don't have a real sense of the everlasting presence of God because they refuse to clean up the clutter in their lives. While God is calling them up to the mountain, they run in the opposite direction.

(Barbie's speaking is filling up fast for the last quarter & inquiries are being taken now for 2012. If your church or organization is interested in booking Barbie, please go to ).

Friday, August 12, 2011

Pruning Time!

I have a few rose bushes I love watching bloom. My carpet roses take off this time of the year, but my most mature rose bushes are having a hard time this season. They are growing like crazy with tall stems and beautiful leaves but they aren't producing any roses. Although I don't like to prune in the hot summer months, it looks like I may have to do it to get them revived again.

We can have the outward appearance of being a mature Christian as we "look" the part. But maybe we haven't been tested to the point of it being evidently clear that we are or we haven't grown in our faith. We seem to know all of the answers but it's time for some growing to take place. James 1:3-4 says, "the testing of your faith produces perseverance. Let perseverance finish its work so that you may be mature and complete.." By the time the disciples wrote their epistles, they had learned to see every trial as a chance to perfect their trust in the Lord and multiply their effectiveness for Him.

God's pruning will intensify as His "shears" cut closer to the core of who you are. But God isn't trying to take anything away; He's trying to make room to add strength, productivity and spiriual power in your life. His goal is to bring you closer to the "mature and complete" image of Christ.

Pruning isn't fun and it often times removes things I thought were important, but I grow stronger every time I'm pruned and unessential parts are removed.

I don't know about you, but I welcome His pruning shears!

Monday, August 8, 2011

It's Time to Deal With the Culprit

Have you ever been hurt by someone? Maybe it was something they said or did. I get it every day. I even have those who write vicious comments right here on my own personal blog. Exodus 22:9 says, "The one who the judges declare guilty must pay back double to his neighbor." Who is the judge in our life? Jehovah God. To keep from being hauled into see the judge, Satan tries to make you think it was Sally that made an offense to you, not Satan, or Larry instead of Lucifer. We don't nail the devil; we nail everyone else. You can find it all through the Bible.

Luke 13:10-17 tells the story of the crippled woman who had been crippled "by a spirit for eighteen years". Jesus healed her and the synagogue ruler was furious because Jesus healed her on the Sabbath. Jesus reminded them that they would untie their own livestock to lead them to water. "Then should not this woman, whom Satan has kept bound for eighteen long years, be set free on the Sabbath day from what bound her?" (verse 16). Jesus napped the culprit.

Jesus said it again in Mark 8:33 when Peter said Jesus didn't have to die on a cruel cross. Jesus told Peter, "Get behind me, Satan! You do not have in mind the things of God, but the things of men." Jesus called Satan out.

When Job began to lose everything, everyone else got blamed for it except the one who caused it. Job 1:13-19 puts the blame on the Sabeans, fire of God, Chaldeans, and a strong wind for taking away everything Job had. Not one person mentioned the REAL culprit--the one behind it all--Satan.

We stay puffed up and mad at people whom the devil used and not mad at the devil. Worse yet, don't lend yourself to the devil to use you in anyway to hurt or offend someone else. Satan will use your mouth, your money, your energy and your mind. He'll use it to condemn you. Release those who have hurt you! Deal with the devil. It's easier to have reconciliation and restitution when you realize the one that hurt you didn't do it anyway.

Friday, August 5, 2011

Has The Devil Taken Something From You?

I've been away for a few weeks spending time with my family at the Neshoba County Fair and my mother's re-election campaign. What a whirlwind it's been!

If you're like me, you feel a greater intensity when it comes to spiritual warfare. Where there is warfare, there is a fight to the finish. Jesus said in John 10:10, "The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full." Jesus knew the thief personally as Lucifer in heaven. The thief isn't always violent. He is slick. The things he gets, he gets by fraud and by deception. The thief is empowered by you. Therefore, he has no power unless he gets it from you. But God said the thief must give it back in Exodus 22:1-9. If your joy has been stolen, your good name, your self-confidence or anything else has been taken from you, God is a judicious God and He will give it back to you.

Most people want to negate the Old Testament. They don't like what they read and they don't think it's relevant. There is so much to reveal about who God is in the Old Testament. God said in Malachi 3:6, "I the LORD do not change." Therefore, God takes theft seriously.

I Peter 5:8 says, "...Your enemy the devil prowls around like a roaring lion looking for someone to devour." Notice the word "as". The cowardly lion in the Wizard of Oz acted like he was a roaring lion, but he wasn't. Stop believing in a big, bad devil and start believing in a bigger God!

If you notice, the devil starts out as a serpent in Genesis and ends up as a dragon in Revelation. How does he do that? By humans empowering him. The more attention and emphasis we give Satan, the bigger he grows. It's time to put an emphasis on the Lord who has already defeated him. Christ de-fanged the devil, so act like it!

Monday, August 1, 2011

Barbie is still away at this time. She will return this Friday. Feel free to browse the blog & read the viewer comments!