Day 220

“The righteousness of thy testimonies is everlasting: give me understanding, and I shall live.”  (Psalms 119:144)

I can’t help but think of the words of Paul, inspired by God to the Galatians:

“I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.”  (Galatians 2:20)

Everything the psalmist has been writing about in this chapter has focused on God’s Word.  He has noticed that the only way to live this life here on the earth in the flesh as Paul so aptly put it, is if God will teach us about His Word.

I have heard people say that the Bible is boring or that they just don’t understand It.  Maybe they need to read the Scripture while asking God to teach them what It is saying, and what It’s words mean.

I know we all get into ruts or phases in our lives when it is a struggle to read….trust me, it is NOT easy when you are living in a tent like I am right now.  I feel strung out all over the country and I have found myself asking attendants in jiffy stores what state I am in!  But this is JUST the time I need to MAKE sure that His Word is first in my life because I need it to LIVE this life!

Take time today to pray before you read.  Ask the Author of the Word and YOUR life to help you understand what you will read.  God, in ALL of His righteousness will bend His ear to your words and give you understanding. Then, take that understanding and APPLY it to your life so you can live for the LORD here on this earth.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 219

“Trouble and anguish have taken hold on me: yet thy commandments are my delights.”  (Psalms 119:143)

Not long after Mark and I finished language school we packed up all our belongings and put them on a 3 decker boat.  I held on to Sam who was still just a baby and I walked across the wooden plank that spanned across the dark, murky water some 8 to 10 feet below between the floating dock and the boat.  Mark led our other three little ones across one at a time as men formed a human chain and tossed crates of beer bottles to each other.  I watched in amazement as more and more people flooded the dock with their bags and wares to take up river.

Trash, excrement, and lonely flip-flops floated in the water around the banks of the Rio Negro, the tributary where I would call home for many years to come.  I put on a brave face and pretended that I wasn’t bothered by all the stares coming from the brown faces crowded around me.  Mark finally led us to our room and thankfully we didn’t have to hang in hammocks that first 36 hour trip up the river.  I walked inside the 6×6 little room that held a set of bunk beds and nothing else.  The children climbed up on the top bed and began fussing over where each of them would sleep and Sam was hungry and had to be fed.  I was tired, hot and sweaty but I knew it was time to suck it up and just do what needed to be done.

We arrived at our little jungle town and an old Datsun pick up truck drove us to our little yellow wooden house with red cement floors.  Katie and Wyatt ran to the room all four of them would share while I situated the bags and waited for several hours while Mark loaded another truck with the rest of our things.  Eventually we moved everything in the little house and life took over.

The village where we would plant our first church was another hour and a half up river but we didn’t even know about it yet.  We helped in the little Baptist church in town as we acclimated to our new life.

One night at the close of the Sunday evening service, I hauled Sam and the other three kids out to my bike.  I had gotten quite adept at riding the bicycle while carrying Sam on one hip and Katie sat on the back holding Amelia and Wyatt rode on the handle bars.  I was adjusting everyone when all of a sudden I heard a woman screaming.  Everyone ran out of the church to see what was the matter.  The street in front of the church ran parallel with the river and there was a small hill leading up to where we were all standing.

The lady continued coming our way as she screamed in Portuguese with all her might, “NO! NO! NO!  HE CAN’T DIE!  HE ISN’T SAVED!”  Women ran to her and I recognized her as one of the ladies from our church.  Crowds were forming around her and people began rushing down the street towards the bank where the large river boat we had ridden on just a few months prior had just left to make the trip downriver.

Apparently, the woman, Mrs. Grace, was married to a boat captain of a smaller vessel that had gone down river to pick up a group of visiting doctors and nurses from the Capital.  On the return trip as he navigated the waters back towards town, the larger 3 decker boat was headed his direction, but had lost power from it’s generator and was traveling in the dark.  The two boats collided in the middle of the river before one could maneuver away from the other.

Mrs. Grace’s husband jumped free according to the doctors who had also managed to escape and swim to nearby trees hanging over the sides of the water.  It was a confusing few moments as everyone realized what had happened and the captain dove back into the water to rescue his two year old son who had been sleeping in a hammock.  Sadly, they both drowned as the boat drug them to the bottom.

Mark and every other man in town who had a boat headed out to rescue those who had jumped free and they searched for hours to no avail for the captain and his son.  The following day my husband headed out at daylight to zig-zag across the waters looking for  the father and son.  Mark says he will never forget seeing the little boy floating in the middle of the waves made by the search boats.  He pulled up along side and stopped his motor as the men in his boat lifted the child’s body into the boat and then carried him to the shore.

This was an awful tragedy for this dear sister in Christ to endure.  She lost her son and also her husband in one night.  But even worse, she knew her husband was unsaved and what he was suffering in death without Christ.  Trouble and anguish had found her.

But do you know what this lady did?  She grieved, but she didn’t let Trouble and Anguish become her captors.  She wept as the bodies of her husband and son were laid to rest, but she didn’t allow the loss to consume her.  She showed up at the church for every service, read her Bible and became a testimony of God’s grace……true to her name, Mrs. Grace.

Mrs. Grace had a choice as trouble and anguish found her.  She could have become a bitter, sad, lonely old woman, but she grabbed hold of the Word of God and lived her life for the Lord.  She found her delight in the only place that could help her, the Word!

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I need to be reminded that my situation isn’t as bad as the devil makes me think it is.  If I will keep my sights set in and through the Bible,  I won’t become captive to the lies of the devil or his minions.  They are rendered powerless at my trust in God’s Word.  Fear is dispelled with each verse I read and claim.

Let’s dwell in the Word, even when trouble and anguish come and find us.  Let’s not allow the enemy ANY chance to tug our thoughts in the wrong direction.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 218

“Thy righteousness is an everlasting righteousness, and thy law is the truth.”  (Psalms 119:142)

Don’t you just love being lied to?

Seriously, isn’t it such a great feeling when someone thinks so little of you that they tell you a lie for their own benefit?

It’s so awesome, isn’t it?

Being lied to just makes you happy, right?

NOT!

NOT a thousand times a thousand!

We ALL hate being lied to!  No one enjoys being played the fool.  It is a terrible feeling when you find out someone has lied or you catch them in an untruth.

So, let me ask you this:  If we hate being lied to, then why do we consistently listen to the Father of Lies?

When the devil comes to us and says, “You are unloved by God because He is too High for you, too Pure, too Holy.”  Why do we listen to him when the Bible (TRUTH) tells us:

“For God so loved the world, that he gave his only begotten Son, that whosoever believeth in him should not perish, but have everlasting life.”  (John 3:16)

“He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.”  (1 John 4:8)

“But God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”  (Romans 5:8)

Reject the lie of the Deceiver and embrace the Truth of the Law of God.

GOD LOVES YOU!

When the devil comes to us and says, “You don’t fit in because you are too fat or too skinny, too ugly or too pretty, too quiet or too loud, too crazy or too boring, too friendly or too unfriendly….etc.”. Why do we listen to him when the Bible (TRUTH) says:

“To the praise of the glory of his grace, wherein he hath made us accepted in the beloved.”  (Ephesians 1:6)

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  (Ephesians 2:10)

YOU ARE ACCEPTED!

When the devil comes around and says, “Who do you think you are to serve God?  Your children don’t measure up to their children and your spouse is not as great as their spouse, and your ministry doesn’t measure up to their ministry, and your life is not as great as their life.”  Why do we listen to him when the Bible (TRUTH) clearly says:

For we dare not make ourselves of the number, or compare ourselves with some that commend themselves: but they measuring themselves by themselves, and comparing themselves among themselves, are not wise.”  (2 Corinthians 10:12)

But he that glorieth, let him glory in the Lord. For not he that commendeth himself is approved, but whom the Lord commendeth.”  (2 Corinthians 10:17-18)

And I will repeat….

For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them.”  (Ephesians 2:10)

YOU ARE ENOUGH!

Listen, we need to recognize that the devil will always be out to twist the Truth.  He has been doing it since the Garden of Eden and he won’t stop.  The Bible is the One Thing you can pattern your life by and know that you are walking in the right direction!  There is such a peace in that.

When the Bible says something, you can trust IT!  When God says He hates something, you should hate it.  When God says to obey something, you should obey it.  When God says to forsake something, you should forsake it.

When God says He loves you, you can lay your head on your pillow and block out every single other voice in the world and know for a fact…..GOD LOVES YOU.

Yep.  He loves you when you are good, He loves you when you are bad.  He wants you to look into His Word and learn and be helped when you have erred, but He still loves you with all His love.

And He loves you NO MATTER how other people in churches, your family or your ex makes you feel.

Whether you woke up today behind bars in a cold prison cell or you woke up in a penthouse on the upper east side of New York City, God loves you and wants the best for your life.

Whether you have the memory of an abortion or you set a table for twelve in your home where you have raised ten children and homeschooled them all, God loves you equally and God wants to fellowship with you.

Whether you ate cheesecake and cried for three hours in depression or went to the gym and checked off a list of chores, God loves you and wants to be the One you are listening to and living for.

No one is a throw away in the sight of God.

Read the Word.  Dwell in Truth.

Jesus said:

“Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.”  (John 17:17)

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

 

 

 

Day 215

“My zeal hath consumed me, because mine enemies have forgotten thy words.”  (Psalms 119:139)

I have a really, really bad memory.  Like, I am not even kidding.  I am not talking about forgetting to turn the lights out or unplug something, I am referring to entire events in my life that others can recall in detail, but to me it never even happened.  I have forgotten whole moments that sound so interesting, but no matter how deep I reach into the recesses of my mind, I can’t recall them ever having happened.

Alzheimers is a disease that I am scared to death of getting.  I play memory games, do puzzles and write down things in order to combat ever losing all my memories.  It is a big deal to me.  My children joke with me about it, but they all know I take it very seriously.

There is one thing I don’t ever want to be guilty of forgetting though, and that is God’s Word.  One of the reasons I believe I forget some things is because I have not rehearsed it over in my mind.  Therefore, I KNOW I must stay in God’s Word or I will forget some of what It says and teaches.  And the very thing I forget, may end up being what could save me from a nuclear bomb going off in my soul.

While I believe that some Christians get out of the habit of daily Bible reading which causes them to forget what God has said, and subsequently causes them to err in their living; I also believe some Christians cast God’s Word away from their thoughts on purpose.  Sin has taken such a deep hold and root on them that they don’t want to think about what God has said about it and they purposefully forget His Word.

This is what the psalmist is talking about and it has made him upset.  He sees the lack of respect and care for God’s Word.  He knows from personal experience where it will take people and he wants to do all he can to keep them from suffering the way he has.

I hope we never forget or cast away God’s Word.  And the first step towards making sure these things happen is to DWELL in God, all the time. The moment you sense a coldness seeping in, combat it with all you have and don’t forget all God has brought you through!

Until Next time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 191

“Depart from me, ye evildoers: for I will keep the commandments of my God.”  Psalms 119:115

We like to think of God defending us and being our Protector, but when was the last time you stood up for Him and His Word?

When was the last time you defended Him?

A friend of mine and I were talking today by way of text and we both agreed on the fact that we LOVE the Bible.  We have experienced It’s changing power in our lives and we know it can transform the reader.  His commandments are not something to think of as chains or weights!  His commandements are the KEY to unlocking us from what holds us back!

“For this is the love of God, that we keep his commandments: and his commandments are not grievous.”  1 John 5:3

When we read the Bible and take time to do more than grab a Psalm here and there, we will find that when our “frienemies” come along and want us to do something contrary to what God has taught us, we will rise to the defense of RIGHT.  We will have confidence to say to those people, “No, that isn’t for me, I am not about to participate in it, and you can just move on along!”

Maybe if we had more women soaking their lives in the Word, we would have less affairs going on in our churches.  Maybe if we had more young women studying the Bible, we would have more ladies to lead our children in Sunday Schools and VBS around the country.

I don’t know about you, but I would like to have the pleasure of NEVER reading another spiritual obituary of another brother or sister in Christ, and I certainly don’t want one written about me!  Let’s have the courage to say no and stand for what is right!

We need to stand up to and stand against what is wrong and tell the evildoers that want us to join up with them, “NO! I am going to keep the commandments of MY GOD!”

Get to know God, make Him personal to you and dwell in His Thoughts today!

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 190

“Thou art my hiding place and my shield: I hope in thy word.”  Psalms 119:114

I don’t know about you, but just reading today’s verse in Psalm 119 gives me a little comfort.  He is my hiding place and shield!  I can hope in Him.

There are those who would make us feel like we are weak or cowardly if we run from some hard trial, but I submit to you that God knew we would come under such great attack in our lives that we would NEED a hiding place and in his GREAT love for us, He supplied One.

God loves you and me so much that He becomes a place we can run to in secret and He will cover us and protect us.  I find I need that place more and more these days.  And I believe it doesn’t show weakness, but it shows faith.  When you believe in God and run to Him with your problems, that means you are realizing that YOU don’t have the answer and only He does.  You have chosen to let Him work things out, and NOT your power.

He is not only our hiding place, but He is our shield.  That means He lets us run to Him and then He sticks out that strong mighty arm of His and wards off the enemy and says, “Nope, don’t take another step toward my daughter.”  And He protects us there as we pray, cry and do whatever it is He directs us to through His Word.  That leads me to the final part of today’s verse:  We hope in His Word.

I get physically drained sometimes and usually that is when the devil comes tiptoeing up behind me and starts whispering some awful lies and accusations.  It is not always my first choice to pick up my Bible, although it should be, but sometimes instead of running to my Protector and having Him shield me, I listen to the enemies lies.  Then I become mentally drained which can lead to a spiritual wasteland.  That is no way to live!  Whenever I catch myself doing this, I make an effort to go immediately to the Lord and ask Him to help me.  And He always does.  Why?  He loves me.

In John 4:10, Jesus is talking to the Samaritan woman and He tells her that if she KNEW Who it was that she was addressing, she would ask for living water and He would give it to her.  Well, you and I DO KNOW who HE is!  As Christians we have that Living Water and if we have lost sight of how truly wonderful Christ is, then we need to hit a reset button in our hearts.

If you have lost your way in your spiritual life, don’t worry, you haven’t fallen into a black hole without a way out!  God’s arm is not short and He hasn’t lost any of His love for you.  He WANTS you to talk to Him today!  He wants to show you in His Word the way to follow Him in every single area of your life!  Isn’t that AWESOME?

He is WHO He says He is!  What greater hope is there?

Run to God, hide there while you need to and allow Him to shield you…..but don’t lose HOPE in His Word!  Read It and allow It to make the difference in your life today.

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri

Day 187

“Thy testimonies have I taken as an heritage for ever: for they are the rejoicing of my heart.”  Psalms 119:111

Can you hear the lilt in the psalmist voice as he pens these words?  Can you sense the joy bubbling in his heart as he realizes that nothing else has mattered, nothing else has helped, only the Word of God?

When we read the Word and the Holy Spirit speaks to us in a manner that no fellow man can, we know that rejoicing that is spoken of here in this verse.  Oh the delights to be had within the pages of The Scriptures!

Recently at a missions conference at the church I grew up in, a young man walked up to me and handed me a present.  His grandfather, my former pastor, had recently passed away. As this man was going through his grandfather’s belongings he came across a ton of American flag pins, but only one Brazilian flag pin.  He wanted me to have it.  That pin made my heart melt.  I love having something of Dr. Blooms that I can cherish and one day leave to my own children.  It makes me happy just thinking about it.

Dr. Bloom was preaching the night I got saved.  He also was a WW2 Veteran.  That means I owe him for my freedom as an American and as a Child of God.  So you can see, this Brazilian flag pin is priceless to me.

But my flag pin still doesn’t compare to the way I feel when the preserved, God-breathed words in the Bible reach out and soothe my soul.

The Word of God is the greatest heritage you and I could ever possess.  Let’s not let it lay on a table and gather dust, but let us envelope our lives in It and dwell in the Lord daily, rejoicing for such a treasure as His Word!

What makes your heart rejoice today?

Until Next Time, Lord willing,

Sheri