Tag Archives: psalm

My Shelter

Cast down into darkness, the pain of his wounds was nothing compared to the anguish of his heart.  He grieved for his lost relationship with his master, whom he had loved and served faithfully, these many years, since he was sold into captivity.  “O Adonai,” Joseph wept.  “How could my master, Potiphar believe the wicked lies of that woman?  Yes, she is his wife, but he knows what she is like!  How could he believe such a thing of me?  You know, O Adonai that I was not even tempted by her wicked ways.  Indeed, I was repulsed by her.”

He remained in the place where he had been cast down for only the Almighty knows how long, but eventually, Joseph lifted his head from the cold and dank floor, looking around in the darkness of his new abode.  As his eyes adjusted to the darkness, he saw the forms of others, imprisoned with him.  Some laughed and jested, using epithets, while others withdrew into themselves, staring blankly into space, neither seeing or hearing what went on around them.  Joseph shuddered.

“‘Elyon, You are the Most High God,” Joseph whispered softly.  “And it is in Your shelter, under Your wings that I dwell.  I will say of You, Adonai, that You are my refuge and my fortress, my God!  In You, I will trust.  You will rescue me from the trap of the hunter and the plague of calamities.  You cover me with Your pinions, and under Your wings I am sheltered.  Indeed, Your truth is my shield and protector.”

Joseph’s head snapped around to the noise of raucous laughter, as some of his fellow inmates kicked and bullied another, weaker prisoner, who tried to cover his head and his sides with his hands and arms, curling into a ball, to protect his vital parts.  Eyes snapping, Joseph arose to his full height, glaring down at the man’s tormentors. “Enough!” he spoke with all of the authority he had been given by ‘Elyon.  “Get away from this man immediately.  You will not torment him while I am here.”

The bullies looked up at Joseph, standing above them, so strong and mighty.  Then, without argument, they backed down.  He had spoken to them with such power, that none, not even the biggest bully dared to cross him.  Joseph, whispered his thanks to Adonai, as he knelt down to the man, who was still curled up in a ball.  Gently, he checked his wounds, ripping his own clothing, to bind the worst of them up.  The man thanked him profusely, and watched and listened, as Joseph continued to pray.

“I will not fear the terrors of night or the arrow that flies by day, or the plague that roams in the dark, or the scourge that wreaks havoc at noon.  A thousand may fall at my side, ten thousand at my right hand; but it won’t come near me.  I will keep my eyes open, and I will see how the wicked are punished.”

“Who is this god that you pray to?” the man asked Joseph.  “You speak to Him so familiarly, as though you knew Him.  Is He not offended, as other gods are, when you speak to him in such a personal way?”

Joseph smiled gently at the man.  “No, my friend.  My God is not offended.  He is the God of my fathers, Abraham, Isaac and Jacob.  He is the living God, the only true God.  Indeed, if you will makeAdonai, the Most High, who is my refuge, your dwelling-place, no disaster will happen to you, no calamity will come near your tent; for He will order His angels to care for you and guard you wherever you go.  They will carry you in their hands, so that you won’t trip on a stone.  Indeed, you will tread down lions and snakes, young lions and serpents you will trample underfoot.

“Because I love Him, He will rescue me; because I know His name, He will protect me.  I will call on Him, and He will answer me.  He will be with me when I am in trouble.  He will extricate me and bring me honor.  He will satisfy me with long life and show me  His salvation.  He will do the same for you, my friend, if you will make Him your dwelling place.

The entire prison had fallen silent, when Joseph shared this good news with his fellow inmate.  Now, many began to question Joseph about his God, even the warden, who had come to see why the prison had become so calm and quiet.  It was clear to Joseph that God had a plan for him, even in this dark and dirty place, and with his face set like flint, he spoke silently to God in his heart, “Yes Lord.  I will follow You and obey You, even in the darkest of prisons.”

Because of his love and obedience, the Lord was with Joseph, and showered him with His faithful love.  Joseph became the warden’s favorite that day, when he brought God’s peace into the often violent prison, and before long, he put Joseph in charge over all the prisoners, and everything that happened in prison.  Indeed, because the Lord continued to shower His love on Joseph, and the prison now ran so smoothly, the warden no longer had any worries…

Beloved, even in the midst of prison, Joseph was able to not only find peace, but to thrive, because he understood that His dwelling place was in the shelter of ‘Elyon, the Most High God, not the prison where he currently resided.  Where is your dwelling place?  No matter where you reside, you, too, can have peace that passes all understanding and even thrive, as long as you dwell in the shelter of the Most High God…

© 2019
Cheryl A. Showers

Psalm 91
Complete Jewish Bible

You who live in the shelter of ‘Elyon,
who spend your nights in the shadow of Shaddai,
who say to Adonai, “My refuge! My fortress!
My God, in whom I trust!” —
He will rescue you from the trap of the hunter
and from the plague of calamities;
He will cover you with His pinions,
and under His wings you will find refuge;
His truth is a shield and protection.

You will not fear the terrors of night
or the arrow that flies by day,
or the plague that roams in the dark,
or the scourge that wreaks havoc at noon.
A thousand may fall at your side,
ten thousand at your right hand;
but it won’t come near you.
Only keep your eyes open,
and you will see how the wicked are punished.

For you have made Adonai, the Most High,
who is my refuge, your dwelling-place.
10 No disaster will happen to you,
no calamity will come near your tent;
11 for He will order His angels to care for you
and guard you wherever you go.
12 They will carry you in their hands,
so that you won’t trip on a stone.
13 You will tread down lions and snakes,
young lions and serpents you will trample underfoot.
14 “Because he loves me, I will rescue him;
because he knows my name, I will protect him.
15 He will call on Me, and I will answer him.
I will be with him when he is in trouble.
I will extricate him and bring him honor.
16 I will satisfy him with long life
and show him my salvation.”

Joyce Meyer – Anointed Woman of God or Heretic? (Part 1)

Image Credit: Zachery Oliver
Image Credit:
Zachery Oliver

I love the Lord, and I love His word. In fact, I’m very passionate about Him, His word, and His people. His word is life, therefore, it is of utmost importance that we know His word and not twist it or alter it in any way. Otherwise, we run the risk of leading many people astray.

Teach me Your decrees, O Lord; I will keep them to the end.

~ Psalm 119:33 — NLT ~

Image Credit: ubdavid.org
Image Credit:
ubdavid.org

This scripture is a promise to the Lord, that if He will teach me His decrees, I will keep them to the end. Now, it’s important that I share with you what keep means in this scripture, because it means much more than I ever realized until I studied it.

The Hebrew word for keep is natsar (pronounced nä-tsār’), which means:

I. to guard, watch, watch over, keep

A. to watch, guard, keep
B. to preserve, guard from dangers
C. to keep, observe, guard with fidelity
D. to guard, keep secret
E. to be kept close, be blockaded
F. watchman (participle)

~ Strong’s Hebrew Lexicon Blue Letter Bible ~

Image Credit: jesuscultureawakening.blogspot.com
Image Credit:
jesuscultureawakening.blogspot.com

When I look at Psalm 119:33 in this context, I realize that I have made a commitment to my heavenly Father to not only keep His word by obeying it, but that I will also keep watch over His word and guard it with fidelity, to preserve it from those who would twist it and try to altar its true meaning. I don’t claim to be a great prophet or even a great woman of God, but when I see someone misusing the word of God, or claiming lies in His name, a fire burns within me, and I must speak out and warn the people who follow false doctrines or false teachers.

I don’t like writing negative things about other people, especially those who claim to be brothers and sisters in Christ, however, I feel that the Lord has called me to be a watchman on the wall. It isn’t a job I asked for, but ever since I read the following passage in Ezekiel, many years ago, I have felt compelled to warn people from sinning against the Lord, and from following false doctrine and false teachers.

16 After seven days the Lord gave me a message. He said, 17 “Son of man, I have appointed you as a watchman for Israel. Whenever you receive a message from me, warn people immediately. 18 If I warn the wicked, saying, ‘You are under the penalty of death,’ but you fail to deliver the warning, they will die in their sins. And I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 19 If you warn them and they refuse to repent and keep on sinning, they will die in their sins. But you will have saved yourself because you obeyed me.

20 “If righteous people turn away from their righteous behavior and ignore the obstacles I put in their way, they will die. And if you do not warn them, they will die in their sins. None of their righteous acts will be remembered, and I will hold you responsible for their deaths. 21 But if you warn righteous people not to sin and they listen to you and do not sin, they will live, and you will have saved yourself, too.”

~ Ezekiel 3:16-21 — NLT ~

Image Credit: jacobcherians.blogspot.com
Image Credit:
jacobcherians.blogspot.com

Now I fully understand that these words were spoken to Ezekiel, commanding him to warn the people of Israel to repent, however, those words spoken to him by God also apply today. There are still people sinning and in danger of burning in hell for eternity, and if I know the truth, and fail to warn them, or if I fail to speak out against those who are leading others astray, doesn’t that make me as guilty as the false teachers are? Therefore, as distasteful as it may seem to some, I must speak out against false teachings and false teachers!

English: Author: myroslava (Myroslava Luzina, ...
English: Author: myroslava (Myroslava Luzina, Kyiv, Ukraine). Source: own camera. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

For this reason, I must cry out to you, my beloved readers, against Joyce Meyer and the false doctrines she teaches. Yes, I’m well aware that there are many of you who love her and admire her, and on the surface, it seems like her teachings are good for people. But don’t be fooled, my friends, because many of her teachings are unbiblical, and if you follow her teachings, they could lead you straight to hell.

I realize that I’ve made some pretty strong claims, therefore, please allow me to share some of the false doctrines that I know of, followed up with Scripture, so that you can make an informed decision about whether to continue to follow Joyce Meyer or not. Remember, my friends, to study the Word of God, for it is vital to your relationship with Him, and it will help you to discern the truth from lies…

Study to shew thyself approved unto God, a workman that needeth not to be ashamed, rightly dividing the word of truth.

~ 2 Timothy 2:15 — KJV ~

I’ll leave my concerns about money for another post. For this post, I’m just going to dive right in to expose several false doctrines taught by Joyce Meyer, and the best place to begin are right at the foundations of our faith… What follows is a soundbite of Joyce Meyer sharing some of the blasphemous heresy that she tries to pass as Christian doctrine…

Jesus Became Sin and Ceased to be the Son of God

Just to ensure that you indeed heard what you thought was said, I’ve included a written quote of what Joyce Meyer stated below…

“He could have helped Himself up until the point where He said I commend My spirit into Your hands, at that point He couldn’t do nothing for Himself anymore. He had become sin, He was no longer the Son of God. He was sin.”

Image Credit: samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com
Image Credit:
samuelatgilgal.wordpress.com

Excuse me? How could she make such a preposterous claim that Jesus was no longer the Son of God? Jesus was the Son of God in the beginning. He was the Son of God when He walked on earth. He was the Son of God when He died. He is the Son of God today, more than 2000 years after He died on the cross and was resurrected, and He will always be the Son of God throughout all eternity… Indeed, according to Scripture, Jesus is God, and God always has been and always will be.

1 In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was in the beginning with God.

~ John 1:1-2 ~

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.

~ Hebrews 13:8 ~

1 Lord, through all the generations
You have been our home!
2 Before the mountains were born,
before You gave birth to the earth and the world,
from beginning to end, You are God.

~ Psalm 90:1-2 ~

Image Credit: souldelights.com
Image Credit:
souldelights.com

Unfortunately, that is not the end to the heresy espoused by Joyce Meyer. Let’s see what other views of Jesus’ death on the cross she has… In her 1991 book entitled “The Most Important Decision You’ll Ever Make”, second printing, May 1993, Joyce Meyer made the following claim…

He became our sacrifice and died on the cross. He did not stay dead. He was in the grave three days. During that time he entered hell, where you and I deserve to go (legally) because of our sin. He paid the price there.

~ page 35 ~

Here’s the thing — if you don’t already know the whole truth, this sounds right. Jesus did become our sacrifice, and He did die on the cross. Jesus was in the grave for three days, and during that time, He did go to hell. And none of us could argue the fact that we all deserve to go to hell because of our sin. Sounds good so far, right?

There’s only one problem with what Joyce stated in her book, but it’s a major problem. In fact, this one statement she made is grounds for calling her a heretic. You see, Joyce Meyer claimed that Jesus paid the price for our sin in hell, and not on the cross! That is absolute heresy, and totally goes against scripture.

But Christ has rescued us from the curse pronounced by the law. When He was hung on the cross, He took upon Himself the curse for our wrongdoing. For it is written in the Scriptures, “Cursed is everyone who is hung on a tree.”

~ Galatians 3:13 ~

He personally carried our sins in His body on the cross so that we can be dead to sin and live for what is right. By His wounds you are healed.

~ 1 Peter 2:24 ~

Do you understand this? Christ paid for your sins and my sins on the cross, NOT in hell! There are numerous scriptures that show that Jesus paid for our sins on the cross, but the words of Jesus on the cross say it all.

After Yeshua had taken the wine, He said, “It is accomplished!” And, letting His head droop, He delivered up His spirit.

~ John 19:30 ~

I realize that this version of this scripture may not be as familiar to people as the King James version, where Jesus said“It is finished,” however, I love how the Complete Jewish Bible says, “It is accomplished!” 

I think it’s important to understand exactly what Jesus meant when He said, “It is finished (accomplished).” Therefore, I would like to share the Greek word, teleō (pronounced te-le’-ō), for finished, that was used in this scripture. 

I. to bring to a close, to finish, to end

A. passed, finished

II. to perform, execute, complete, fulfil, (so that the thing done corresponds to what has been said, the order, command etc.)

A. with special reference to the subject matter, to carry out the contents of a command

B. with reference also to the form, to do just as commanded, and generally involving the notion of time, to perform the last act which completes a process, to accomplish, fulfil

III. to pay

A. of tribute

Just look at the meaning of teleō, particularly number II. When Jesus said that it is finished, He was saying that He had completed and fulfilled the command that He had been given, and now it was accomplished. What Jesus accomplished on the cross was enough, and nothing more was required to save us. He was the Lamb without spot or blemish, who was sacrificed as the atonement for our sins. With His blood sacrifice on that cross, He completed His mission.

My friends, there is so much more that I want to share with you about this topic. There is more that you need to know about this heretic. For those who follow Joyce Meyer’s ministry, I urge you to pray about what I have shared with you, and please come back and read my next post about Joyce Meyer. 

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays!

Image Credit: http://gracepieces.com/
Image Credit:
http://gracepieces.com/

How my soul longs for You, Lord!

1 As the deer longs for streams of water,
So I long for You, O God.
2 I thirst for God, the living God.
When can I go and stand before Him?
3 Day and night I have only tears for food,
While my enemies continually taunt me, saying,
“Where is this God of yours?

 ~ Psalm 42:1-3 — NLT ~

So far, 2013 has been one of the most painful and difficult times of my life, and that’s saying a lot. I’ve been battered and bruised by the enemy of my soul, as I’ve suffered chronic acute pain, grief, and illness, followed by the deepest darkest depression I’ve ever experienced, and on top of that, terrible financial difficulty because I am no longer able to work. All of these things combined have also left me struggling with fear and anxiety. I keep trying to remember that God does not give us me a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind, but these things just keep attacking me from nowhere, while I am at my weakest. Continue reading Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays!

On Eagle’s Wings

June 14, 2013 by 

#FWF FREE WRITE FRIDAY: IMAGE PROMPT
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photo by Matt Black, 2011 (Matt Black Photography)
photo by Matt Black, 2011 (Matt Black Photography)

Oh, that I had wings like a dove;
then I would fly away and rest!

~ Psalm 55:6 — NLT ~

With worried wrinkles in her brow
Tousled tresses tucked smoothly now
Flo’s flowered frock hangs loose and limp
Penniless pauper, forced to scrimp

Longing, lusting, she yearns for more
Searching the sky, she longs to soar
But burdens bog, too big to fly
Helpless, hopeless, too tired to try

Pausing to pray, she hears a voice
Speak to her soul, give her a choice
“Wait, watch with wit; soon you will rise
“Don’t dash or rush; you must be wise.”

Passionate praise springs from her lips
Singing, shame’s shadows now eclipsed
Radiance risen above dirt
Purify, purge away life’s hurts

Pious, prostrate revering Him
Rejoice, revere, with songs and hymns
Against all odds, hope is now born
Washed white now, she no longer mourns

Pulse pounding, eyes sparkle and shine
In God’s grace, His presence divine
Lavished in love, Her spirit springs
Swiftly she soars on eagle’s wings

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays!

Image Credit: http://gracepieces.com/
Image Credit:
http://gracepieces.com/

Jesus Is The Rock Of My Salvation!

Image Credit: Living Praise Ministries
Image Credit:
Living Praise Ministries

I love You, Lord; You are my strength.

The Lord is my Rock, my Fortress,
and my Savior; my God is my Rock,
in whom I find protection. He is my shield,
the power that saves me, and my place of safety.

~ Psalm 18:1-2 — NLT ~

My Psalm of Hope and Despair

Have mercy on me, O God, have mercy!
I look to You for protection.

    I will hide beneath the shadow of Your wings
until the danger passes by.
I cry out to God Most High,
to God who will fulfill His purpose for me.
He will send help from heaven to rescue me,
disgracing those who hound me. 
Interlude

My God will send forth His unfailing love and faithfulness

O Lord, You know the pain I’ve dealt with for so long now!
You alone know my struggles and my deepest fears.
Only You know the torment I’ve suffered this year.
Father, I am weary, and weak and so broken. Continue reading My Psalm of Hope and Despair

Daily Prompt: Third From the Top

Daily Prompt: Third From the Top

by michelle w. on April 6, 2013

Head to “Blogs I Follow” in the Reader. Scroll down to the third post in the list. Take the third sentence in the post, and work it into your own.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Give the king thy judgments, O God, and thy righteousness unto the king’s son.

~ Psalm 72:1 ~
Third Sentence in Third Post on My List
“A Psalm For Saturday”

In Love With The Lord Poetry and Prose

This is a prayer that King Solomon, son of King David offered up to  the Lord. It is a beautiful prayer asking the Lord to help him lead his people in righteousness. Let’s take a look at this powerful psalm.

1 A psalm of Solomon. Give justice to the king, O God, and righteousness to the king’s son. 2 Help him judge your people in the right way; let the poor always be treated fairly. 3 May the mountains yield prosperity for all, and may the hills be fruitful, because the king does what is right. 4 Help him to defend the poor, to rescue the children of the needy, and to crush their oppressors. 5 May he live as long as the sun shines, as long as the moon continues in the skies. Yes, forever! 6 May his reign be as refreshing as the springtime rains — like the showers that water the earth. 7 May all the godly flourish during his reign. May there be abundant prosperity until the end of time. 8 May he reign from sea to sea, and from the Euphrates River to the ends of the earth. 9 Desert nomads will bow before him; his enemies will fall before him in the dust. 10 The western kings of Tarshish and the islands will bring him tribute. The eastern kings of Sheba and Seba will bring him gifts. 11 All kings will bow before him, and all nations will serve him. 12 He will rescue the poor when they cry to him; he will help the oppressed, who have no one to defend them. 13 He feels pity for the weak and the needy, and he will rescue them. 14 He will save them from oppression and from violence, for their lives are precious to him. 15 Long live the king! May the gold of Sheba be given to him. May the people always pray for him and bless him all day long. 16 May there be abundant crops throughout the land, flourishing even on the mountaintops. May the fruit trees flourish as they do in Lebanon, sprouting up like grass in a field. 17 May the king’s name endure forever; may it continue as long as the sun shines. May all nations be blessed through him and bring him praise. 18 Bless the LORD God, the God of Israel, who alone does such wonderful things. 19 Bless His glorious name forever! Let the whole earth be filled with His glory. Amen and amen! 20 (This ends the prayers of David son of Jesse.)

~ Psalm 72 NLT ~

Image Credit: http://www.jonmcnaughton.com/
mending-the-nation/

I wonder what kind of world we would live in, if every king, president, prime minister, and emperor sincerely prayed this prayer? I wonder what kind of world we would live in if our congressmen, senators, governors and mayors sincerely prayed this prayer?

What would it be like, if President Obama began to pray this prayer for himself and the people he has been ordained to lead. Now, I know that many Christians may disagree with me about Obama being ordained to lead this country, because he has so obviously proven himself to be a man who stands on his own selfish principles, and against the statutes of God. However, my beloved brothers and sisters, I would admonish you to read the following scriptures and pray about it.

1 Obey the government, for God is the one who put it there. All governments have been placed in power by God. 2 So those who refuse to obey the laws of the land are refusing to obey God, and punishment will follow. 3 For the authorities do not frighten people who are doing right, but they frighten those who do wrong. So do what they say, and you will get along well. 4 The authorities are sent by God to help you. But if you are doing something wrong, of course you should be afraid, for you will be punished. The authorities are established by God for that very purpose, to punish those who do wrong. 5 So you must obey the government for two reasons: to keep from being punished and to keep a clear conscience. 6 Pay your taxes, too, for these same reasons. For government workers need to be paid so they can keep on doing the work God intended them to do. 7 Give to everyone what you owe them: Pay your taxes and import duties, and give respect and honor to all to whom it is due.

~ Romans 13:1-7 NLT ~

Now that’s a pretty hard pill to swallow, isn’t it? Not only did God place Obama and all of the U.S. Senate and House in their positions, but He also placed Korea’s dictator,  Kim Jong-un and Iran’s Mahmoud Ahmadinejad in office. What’s more, it was God who placed the Emperor Nero into his position of power, and many centuries later, He placed Adolf Hitler in charge of Germany… So what’s up with that?

Image Credit: http://www.vice.com/en_za/read/ win-a-chance-to-be-at-hitlers-trial

Are we supposed to obey a corrupt government, like Hussein’s Iraq or Hitler’s Germany? After all, Romans 13:1 clearly states that we are to obey the government and that all governments are placed in power by God. The answer to that question is yes, unless that government commands you to do things that go against the law of God, such as denying Christ as Lord, murdering, and harming others or stealing from others, etc.

But Peter and the other apostles answered and said: “We ought to obey God rather than men.”

~ Acts 5:29 NLT ~

I must address another question that must be on many minds… Why would a holy and righteous God place a corrupt leader to rule over a nation? Now this might now set well with many, but I can live with that. You see, the answer to this question can be found in 1 Samuel 8, which I’ll paraphrase for you, along with a bit of history from the book of Judges in the Old Testament as well. (click the link if you’d like to read the chapter that I’m paraphrasing)

Back in Old Testament times, long before the nation of Israel had kings, God placed judges over the people. Some of the judges were good and obedient to the Lord, leading the people in the ways that they should go, but then, there were others, who were wicked, leading the people astray. The people of Israel would walk in obedience to the Lord for a while, but then, they would turn from the Lord, and instead of obeying Him, they would do what seemed right in their own eyes. Doesn’t that sound familiar? Wouldn’t you say that is how we Americans, and indeed, much of the world now lives?

Image Credit: http://www.israel-a-history-of.com/ enoch-the-prophet.html

When the people lived in obedience to the Lord, He never failed to bless them and their nation with success. However, when the people turned against Him, He placed evil leaders over them, and those leaders treated the people harshly, causing other nations to war against them, and often to rule over them. During these times of tribulation, when the people were oppressed, they would begin to think back on other times, when their people prospered, and it was then, that they would remember the Lord, and they would begin to follow His ordinances, and cry out to Him for mercy. And here is the most wonderful part — no matter how many times Israel turned her back on God, whenever she repented and cried out to Him, He forgave her and delivered her from bondage.

Now, Samuel was placed over Israel as a judge, and he was a good judge, who loved and served the Lord faithfully, but already, the people were beginning to turn from the Lord, as they looked to other countries. And when Samuel got old, he placed his sons as judges over Israel… the problem was, Samuel’s sons were not faithful to God like he was. They were completely and totally corrupt, for they were greedy for money. They accepted bribes and perverted justice. So the people came to Samuel, and pleaded with him to give them a king, like all the other nations had.

Samuel tried to warn the people that a king would not be good for them, but the people insisted. They didn’t want the righteous Samuel to lead them any longer, nor did they want his corrupt sons to be their leaders, and Samuel was very upset with their request and went to the LORD for advice, telling the Lord everything.

“Do as they say,” the LORD replied, “for it is Me they are rejecting, not you. They don’t want Me to be their King any longer. Ever since I brought them from Egypt they have continually forsaken Me and followed other gods. And now they are giving you the same treatment. Do as they ask, but solemnly warn them about how a king will treat them.” (1 Samuel 8:7-9 NLT)

So Samuel, though brokenhearted, did what the Lord had ordered him to do. “This is how a king will treat you,” Samuel said. “The king will draft your sons into his army and make them run before his chariots. Some will be commanders of his troops, while others will be slave laborers. Some will be forced to plow in his fields and harvest his crops, while others will make his weapons and chariot equipment. The king will take your daughters from you and force them to cook and bake and make perfumes for him. He will take away the best of your fields and vineyards and olive groves and give them to his own servants. He will take a tenth of your harvest and distribute it among his officers and attendants. He will want your male and female slaves and demand the finest of your cattle and donkeys for his own use. He will demand a tenth of your flocks, and you will be his slaves. When that day comes, you will beg for relief from this king you are demanding, but the LORD will not help you.” (1 Samuel 8:11-18 NLT)

Image Credit: http://entretenimento.r7.com/rei-davi

Now with a warning like that, you would think the people would see that it would be better for them to serve the Lord as their King, rather than a man. But the people refused to listen to Samuel’s warning. “Even so, we still want a king,” they said. “We want to be like the nations around us. Our king will govern us and lead us into battle.” (1 Samuel 8:19-20 NLT)

So Samuel told the LORD what the people had said, and the LORD replied, “Do as they say, and give them a king.” Then Samuel agreed and sent the people home. (1 Samuel 8:21-22 NLT)

So the people got what they asked for… They got King Saul, and if you read the scriptures, King Saul turned out to be a lunatic, and he did everything that Samuel had warned the people he would do…

So, what does all of that history have to do with 2013? I believe that the Lord has heard the cries of the majority of people in this country, and in other countries around the world, and He has given them the leaders they and we desire in our hearts. Those countries and our country, like Israel in the Old Testament, have rejected Almighty God, and chosen to do what seems right in our own eyes, and men and women throughout the world are reaping what we have sown.

Image Credit: http://www.jonmcnaughton.com/content/ Obamanation.html

Having said all of that, I do not believe that mankind is doomed. I believe that as long as there are men, women and children who do still love the Lord and serve Him, they will be lifting their voices and crying out to God for mercy, and He hears those who love Him. I believe that as long as Jesus tarries, delaying His return for the sake of mankind, there is hope…

The Lord isn’t really being slow about His promise to return, as some people think. No, He is being patient for your sake. He does not want anyone to perish, so He is giving more time for everyone to repent.

~ 2 Peter 3:9 NLT ~

Even though the kings, presidents, prime ministers, senators and congressmen throughout the world do not pray the prayer that Solomon prayed in Psalm 72, all is not lost. What if the men and women of God throughout the world began to pray for their leaders, as scripture commands?

I urge you, first of all, to pray for all people. As you make your requests, plead for God’s mercy upon them, and give thanks. Pray this way for kings and all others who are in authority, so that we can live in peace and quietness, in godliness and dignity.

~ 1 Timothy 2:1-2 NLT ~

I believe that if Christians all over will pray for their leaders and one another, God will honor their prayers. If we will join together in praying Psalm 72 over our nations and our nations’ leaders, God will answer our cries, just as He did in the days of old, when He spoke these words to Solomon:

“Then if my people who are called by My name will humble themselves and pray and seek My face and turn from their wicked ways, I will hear from heaven and will forgive their sins and heal their land.”

~ 2 Chronicles 7:14 NLT ~

Image Credit: https://www.facebook.com/ GatewayPrayerandIntercession/ posts/300418160071370

How about it, men and women of God? Instead of griping and complaining about the terrible state our country is in, why don’t we quit murmuring and complaining (God hates murmuring and complaining anyway)? Instead, let’s join together and humble ourselves and pray, for our president, our congressmen, our senators and legislators, the judges, and the kings, dictators, and rulers of other countries. And let each one of us examine our own hearts and repent, turning away from our wicked ways. Then, just watch and see how God responds to our prayers! For He is still the same God who parted the red sea, turned water into wine, cleansed the lepers, made the blind to see, the lame to walk, the deaf to hear, the mute to speak, and the  dead to rise. He has not changed, and His eyes run to and fro throughout the entire earth, seeking to show Himself strong on behalf of those whose hearts are loyal to Him… Let us join together in prayer for our countries, and then watch in awe, as God heals our lands, just as He promised to do.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

From a Humble Perspective

This post is in response to the Weekly Lite Prompts by Tilda Swift at her blog, Swift Expression. If any of my readers derives inspiration from this post and would like to do something similar on their own blog, please provide full credit to Weekly Lite Prompts by Tilda Swift (as stated above) to abide by copyright laws.

Praise the Lord! Sis Caddo Veil wrote several nonets, which were so moving, that I just had to try also. For those who don’t know, a nonet is 9 syllables on the first line, going down to 8 the next, 7 next, and so on, all the way down to 1 syllable on the last line. I tried doing one of these earlier today, and it was such fun, that I decided to have a go at it again, with this second writing prompt… 

Tilda, I know you said to choose one of the following prompts, but I couldn’t make up my mind because I liked them all, so I decided to use them all! Many blessings!
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I Am A Moth

English: moth on a surface
English: moth on a surface (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I am a lowly moth seemingly
Fragile and frail with gossamer
Wings, but look again, and see
My frailty’s but a ruse
A disguise to hide
Destruction I
Bring to
You

 “Don’t store up treasures here on earth, where they can be eaten by moths and get rusty, and where thieves break in and steal.” ~ Matthew 6:19 NLT ~

English: A crown of thorns in the stores of Be...
English: A crown of thorns in the stores of Bedford Museum. (Photo credit: Wikipedia)

I Am A Thorn

I am a thorn, sharp, pointed, painful
Be careful or I will pierce you
My wounds can be quite deadly
I pierced the Savior’s brow
Blood ran down His face
Beware – I have
No mercy
I’ll trap
You

“But I will fence her in with thornbushes. I will block the road to make her lose her way.” ~ Hosea 2:6 NLT ~

Image Credit: http://www.angelfire.com/jazz/karen_trust /PrayerLog/Nov2007.html

I Am A Small Gray Feather

I am a small gray feather, soft, light
Though gentle and warm, there is strength
Come, My beloved and hide
In My shadow and wings
I will cradle you
Defend, protect
Rest safely
In Me
Come

He shall cover you with His feathers, And under His wings you shall take refuge; His truth shall be your shield and buckler. ~ Psalm 91:4 NKJV ~

Dandelion

I Am A Little Weed

I am a little weed, a nuisance
Try to get rid of me, kill me
But I will return, stronger
Meaner, more determined
I will destroy you
Suffocate you
Temptations
Better
Run!

Here is another story Jesus told: “The Kingdom of Heaven is like a farmer who planted good seed in his field. But that night as everyone slept, his enemy came and planted weeds among the wheat. When the crop began to grow and produce grain, the weeds also grew. The farmer’s servants came and told him, ‘Sir, the field where you planted that good seed is full of weeds!’

“‘An enemy has done it!’ the farmer exclaimed.”

‘Shall we pull out the weeds?’ they asked.

“He replied, ‘No, you’ll hurt the wheat if you do. Let both grow together until the harvest. Then I will tell the harvesters to sort out the weeds and burn them and to put the wheat in the barn.'” ~ Matthew 13:24-30 NLT ~

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays!

caddo-7-word

Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays!

His Strength is Made Perfect in Weakness

9 But He said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly about my weaknesses, so that Christ’s power may rest on me. 10 That is why, for Christ’s sake, I delight in weaknesses, in insults, in hardships, in persecutions, in difficulties. For when I am weak, then I am strong. (2 Corinthians 12:9-10 NIV)

As I sit here, battling nausea, I am thankful – for His unending love and faithfulness… for His mercies that are new every morning… for His grace… that this too shall pass… Meanwhile, I will trust in the Lord and lean on His strength…

His Strength is Made Perfect in Weakness

Thank You, Father, for Your perfect strength, which holds me and carries me in my weakness… Thank You for Your great love, Lord, for Your perfect strength and Your perfect love…

His Strength is Made Perfect in Weakness

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

When Life Just Doesn’t Seem Fair! ~ Part 2

Image Credit: http://susanfee.blogspot.com/2011/11/be-glad-that-life-is-unfair.html

Here I am again, talking about the unfairness of life. Sometimes it really stinks, doesn’t it? I get so angry sometimes when I see the opulent living some people enjoy because they have swindled those less fortunate to support their lifestyles. Where is the justice in that? And what about the leaders of various countries, who live lives of decadence, while the citizens of those countries live meager lives, struggling just to find food and water for themselves and their families, never mind shelter!

For that matter, am I the only one who is outraged by our very own congress, who has the authority to vote for their own pay raises each year? How is it that they are allotted this privilege, when the rest of society must earn their raises based on merit, and even then, much of society still does not receive the raises necessary to make ends meet, regardless of how hard they work, and how dedicated they are to their various employers? Is that fair? I think not!

And what about those who get away with falsely accusing others, in order to cover their own shortcomings? I’ve been both a victim of this, as well as a witness to others who have suffered wrongly because of the lies of others. Is this fair? Of course not. That’s why I want to continue encouraging you, my brothers and sisters, to read the Word of God, and see that you’re not alone in this, as we learn how to deal with life’s unfair reality.

5 Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust Him, and He will help you. ~ Psalm 37:5 NLT

Beloved, as I did yesterday, I want to continue today, breaking Psalm 37 down, because it is so rich and full of wisdom and hope, and today, we’re going to camp right here at verse 5…

Image Credit:
http://wallpaperscristaos.com.br/christianwallpapers
/commit-your-way

Commit everything you do to the LORD. Trust Him, and He will help you. This is huge. Stop and think about this for a while, then ask yourself, “Do I commit everything to the Lord?” Think about it… have you given Him all of your hopes, all of your joy, all of your plans and all of your dreams? Have you given Him your parents, your siblings, your spouse and your children? Have you given Him your friends, your acquaintances, your co-workers and your boss? Have you given Him your entire life, to do as He pleases?

When you commit everything you do to the Lord, you do as Christ did…

5 Your attitude should be the same that Christ Jesus had. 6 Though He was God, He did not demand and cling to His rights as God. 7 He made Himself nothing; He took the humble position of a slave and appeared in human form. 8 And in human form He obediently humbled Himself even further by dying a criminal’s death on a cross. ~ Philippians 2:5-8 NLT

Image Credit: http://souljournaler.blogspot.com/2010/07/self-selfless-two.html

Jesus committed everything He did to the Lord. His whole life – indeed, His whole purpose was to please God in everything He did. When He was treated unfairly, He never said, “You don’t know who you’re messing with. I’m a child of God, and you have no right to treat me like that. I know my rights,” like so many of us do. He knew who He was, and yet, He willingly laid His rights and privileges as the Son of God aside, so that God’s will might be accomplished, and not His own…

“Father, if You are willing, please take this cup of suffering away from Me. Yet I want Your will, not Mine.” ~ Luke 22:42 NLT

Image Credit: http://pinterest.com/pin/231020655855545967/

When I dare to complain about the unfairness of life, I find it very difficult to get past Jesus’ life. I’ve served God faithfully for more than twenty-five years now, and my husband and I haven’t had any income since November 2012… I’ve been hurt, abandoned and rejected by people that I love many times throughout the years… I just lost my mother, and she was only seventy-four years old… Less than a month after losing my mother, I found myself in the hospital, which I can’t afford, with a possibly deadly illness, and yet, when I think about Jesus and all that He endured for my sake, I just can’t bring myself to complain about the unfairness of it.

You see, even though I’ve had no income since November 2012, the Lord has been so very kind to me by making a way for my husband and me to keep our house. I have a roof over my head…

But Jesus replied, “Foxes have dens to live in, and birds have nests, but I, the Son of Man, have no home of My own, not even a place to lay My head.” ~ Luke 9:58 NLT

Image Credit: http://www.christianforums.com/t7461156/

Wow – how unfair is that? I, a sinner saved by His grace and His suffering have a home and a place to lay my head, while the Son of Man did not…

And though I’ve been hurt, abandoned and rejected throughout the years, the Lord has graciously and mercifully brought reconciliation in many circumstances, while other times, He has placed new people in my life, who love me and accept me as I am, so how can I complain about the  unfairness of it?

3 He was despised and rejected — a Man of sorrows, acquainted with bitterest grief. We turned our backs on Him and looked the other way when He went by. He was despised, and we did not care. ~ Isaiah 53:3 NLT

Image Credit: http://tazi-san.deviantart.com/art/Silent-Lamb-62444292

How can I complain about the unfairness of suffering pain, abandonment and rejection, when Jesus, Son of God, Savior of the world, left His home in glory to seek and save the lost ~ people like me, and His very own people ~ the ones He came to seek and save, hated Him and rejected Him? How can I whine about life’s unfairness, when He was hated and rejected to the point of death, and those people that He loved so much and came to rescue (people like you and me) turned our backs on Him? But even so, He didn’t whine or complain about it. He endured the shame and rejection and chose to rescue us anyway, even though we treated Him so unfairly…

I lost my mother, and then less than a month later, I wound up in the hospital with a potentially deadly illness, but dare I complain about that? No, my beloved, I can’t even complain about that, when I think about Jesus, who died at only thirty-three years of age. He died such a horrible, agonizing death, at such a young age, and He didn’t have to do it. He was beaten, spit upon, lied about and rejected, and He didn’t even argue about it. He didn’t tell His Father it was unfair, and He didn’t tell the scribes and pharisees it was unfair… 

“No one can take My life from Me. I lay down My life voluntarily. For I have the right to lay it down when I want to and also the power to take it again. For My Father has given Me this command.” ~ John 10:18 NLT

Brothers and sisters, in those times when life seem so unfair, don’t lose heart, and don’t be discouraged. Instead, let us look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who willingly endured all of the shame and the pain for the joy that was set before Him…

2 We do this by keeping our eyes on Jesus, on whom our faith depends from start to finish. He was willing to die a shameful death on the cross because of the joy He knew would be His afterward. Now He is seated in the place of highest honor beside God’s throne in heaven. 3 Think about all He endured when sinful people did such terrible things to Him, so that you don’t become weary and give up. 4 After all, you have not yet given your lives in your struggle against sin. ~ Hebrews 12:2-4 NLT

My beloved brothers and sisters, life is indeed very unfair, because we live in a fallen and sinful world, but don’t despair. No matter how bad our suffering, praise God, none of us have given our lives in our struggle against sin. And as Psalm 37:5 tells us, if we commit everything to the Lord and trust Him, He will help us…

This is my prayer for those of you who are currently suffering from the unfairness of life…

Heavenly Father, I pray that You would arise and show Yourself strong on behalf of my brothers and sisters, who are suffering from the unfair and unjust attacks from the enemy of our souls. I pray, Lord, that You would give them wisdom to know that if You are for them, no one can stand against them, and that You cause all things to work together for good to those who love You and are called according to Your purpose for them.

Lord, I pray in Jesus’ name that my brothers and sisters would commit everything they do to You, and that they would walk in Your ways, no matter how difficult the road may be. I pray that You would enable them to say, like the apostle Paul: 

“17 For our present troubles are quite small and won’t last very long. Yet they produce for us an immeasurably great glory that will last forever! 18 So we don’t look at the troubles we can see right now; rather, we look forward to what we have not yet seen. For the troubles we see will soon be over, but the joys to come will last forever.” ~ 2 Corinthians 4:17-18 NLT

In Jesus’ mighty name I pray, amen and amen…

May the Lord bless each one of you, my beloved readers, and I look forward to sharing with you again, as we continue this in depth study on the unfairness of life and Psalm 37.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

When Life Just Doesn’t Seem Fair! ~ Part 1

Image Credit: http://youngunsofindia.blogspot.com/2011/10/life-is-unfair.html

Sometimes it’s so hard living in a world that is so unfair. There are some days when it seems nearly impossible to make it through, because of those who lie about you… reject you… use you… abuse you… blame you and shame you… There are so many days when it seems like the wicked prosper, while those of us who try to live godly lives are trampled on and squashed like bugs, as we struggle, not to get rich for ourselves, but to survive and to help others.

Have you ever asked yourself why life is so unfair? Have you ever questioned God about why life is so unfair? Have you ever just wanted to throw in the towel and give up, because of the unfairness of it all? Have you ever envied the wicked one who seems to have it all, while you, the man or woman who tries to live uprightly before the Lord, have nothing?

My beloved friend, you’re not alone in your struggle. Many times, I’ve cried out to God and told Him, “Lord, that just isn’t right!” And He knows that. Let’s look to the Word of God, and see what the Lord says about these things through David in Psalm 37:1-4, and bear with me while I break it down, bit by bit, because this Psalm is so rich, that I don’t want to miss a thing…

1 A psalm of David. Don’t worry about the wicked. Don’t envy those who do wrong. 2 For like grass, they soon fade away. Like springtime flowers, they soon wither. 3 Trust in the LORD and do good. Then you will live safely in the land and prosper. 4 Take delight in the LORD, and He will give you your heart’s desires. ~ Psalm 37:1-4

Image Credit: http://www.lifeinitaly.com/garden/lawns-italian-gardens.asp

Think about this, my friend. Don’t worry about the wicked and don’t envy those who do wrong, because they won’t always get away with it.

Have you ever looked at someone’s beautifully manicured lawn? I love looking at rich people’s lawns. They’re so lush and green and perfect, and then, I look at my patchy lawn that is full of dandelions and weeds, and while it looks good when it’s mowed, it certainly isn’t beautiful like the lawns I’m talking about, with their diamond patterns mowed into them. Still, at the end of the summer, or certainly after the first frost, the same thing happens to those richly manicured lawns that happens to mine. The grass dies.

Image Credit: http://freecodesource.com/myspace-graphics/spring/

And don’t you just love daffodils and tulips and hyacinths, and all of those lovely springtime flowers? They are so beautiful and fresh smelling, aren’t they? But do you know that a daffodil usually only stays in bloom for 8-10 days? Tulips only last for 1-4 weeks, and hyacinths mostly only stay in bloom for 3-7 days, and then they begin to wither. King David compared the wicked to grass and springtime flowers. Don’t envy them, my friend, and try not to fret about them, because they won’t last long.

Instead, beloved, trust in the Lord and do good, so that you will live safely in the land and prosper. Delight yourself in the Lord, and He will give you the desires of your heart. Now, I’ve heard many preachers preach that if you do good and delight yourself in the Lord, you’ll get that mansion and those cars you’ve dreamed about. I’ve heard them say you’ll become a great entrepreneur and that you’ll become independently wealthy… (all for the sake of the Kingdom of course)… 
heart on fire_v2But I want to share the truth with you. My dear reader, I used to have all those desires, just like anyone else, but something funny happened when I began to delight myself in the Lord. You see, as I began to take joy in being in His presence, I wanted to get to know Him better, and so I began to read and study His word. Then, as I studied His word and learned more about Him, my prayers started changing. You see, the more I prayed to Him, the less time I spent asking Him for things that I needed, because I found that my desires were changing. Now, I desired to know Him more… to see His face… to hear His voice… I couldn’t stop thinking about Him, because I was falling in love with Him, and the more I loved Him, the more I wanted to please Him. Now, I didn’t worry so much about me. Instead, I began to love the things He loves and hate the things He hates. Instead of looking at the weaknesses and vices of others with condemnation, I began to have compassion on the people.
Image Credit: https://marc5solas.wordpress.com/2012/10/04/its-not-supposed-to-be-like-this/

Now, instead of hating those who hurt me, I felt mercy for them, as the Lord began to reveal their pain to me. I began to feel empathy for others who were trapped in sin, and my desire was to set them free from its death grip on them. Beloved, as I delighted myself in the Lord, He truly did give me the desires of my heart, by changing my desires. Now, I pray for those people who God loves and longs to set free from the bondage of sin… death… fear… rejection… abandonment… hopelessness… envy… strife… bitterness…

 
Beloved, when life just doesn’t seem fair, believe me when I say that there is One who is fair and just, and He sees it all and remembers it all. When you’re discouraged because of the unfairness of life, read Psalm 37, where you’ll find hope. Meditate on what I’ve shared with you today, and return tomorrow, when I’ll share some more of Psalm 37 with you. Meanwhile, this is my prayer for you today:
Heavenly Father, watch over my beloved brothers and sisters today, and comfort them. Comfort them with the knowledge that You see their pain, and You see when they are misused and abused, and that their perpetrators will soon fade away like grass and wither like the flowers in spring. Lord, I pray that You will help them to trust in You with all their hearts, leaning not on their own understanding, as they acknowledge You in all their ways, and You direct their paths. I pray Father that they would take great delight in You, finding joy in Your presence and in Your word, as You reveal the truth to them and set them free, thus giving them the desires of their hearts, in Jesus’ name, amen.
© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Serendipity

Image Credit: http://kellieelmore.com/2013/03/01/fwf-free-write-friday-word-prompt-3/

Hallelujah! As soon as I saw this word, the spirit within me rose up, and I knew that I had to respond to this #FWF Free Write Friday: Word Prompt
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Do you know what it’s like to spend your whole life longing for purpose? Did you ever long to know that there was some reason for your existence? Yes, some people believe that we’re here by accident, but I’ve never bought into that theory. 

You see, I’m one of those people who believe in absolutes. I believe in black and white… I believe in the existence of good and evil… I believe in absolute rights and absolute wrongs… 

I believe that every man, woman and child was created and placed here on this earth for a very specific reason. I truly believe that every human being was created by God Almighty, and that before He even formed us in our mother’s womb, He had a plan for our lives, and I would like to share His plan for my life with you.

You see, while I have always believed in God, I didn’t always believe that everyone was created for a specific reason. I didn’t believe this, because for much of my life, I felt that I was a mistake. Indeed, there was a time that I hated to even look in the mirror, because I did not like the person looking back at me. I thought that person was an ugly mistake, and I tried for many years to mold myself into someone more acceptable. 

Image Credit: http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/829.html

For many years, I tried to be the person my parents wanted me to be, but I was destined for failure, because that was not who God created me to be. When I would meet people that I admired, I would try to take on the personality traits that I admired. I have a friend who is very meek and soft-spoken, and I tried very hard to be like her. The problem with that was that I am neither meek nor soft-spoken. I can be very loud and opinionated, which does not work well when you are trying to be meek and soft-spoken. 

For so many years, I didn’t know who I was, or what I was here for, and I envied those who had purpose in their lives and walked confidently and comfortably in their skin. I spent so much of my life trying to be acceptable to my family, to the people I looked up to, and to the people that I went to church with, and the truth is, I was miserable, though I was very careful not to let anyone see it.

Then, out of nowhere, as I was preparing for a Sunday School lesson that I was about to teach, I had the serendipity of discovering a truth that changed my life forever! 

13 For You formed my inward parts; You wove me in my mother’s womb. 14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. 15 My frame was not hidden from You, When I was made in secret, And skillfully wrought in the depths of the earth; 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 one of them. ~ Psalm 139:13-16 NASB

Image Credit: http://www.heartlight.org/gallery/523.html

God chose to reveal the answer to this problem of my existence that had haunted me all of my life serendipitously, as I prepared to teach a Sunday School lesson to teens. He revealed to me that He formed all of my inward parts, and that He had skillfully woven me together…

That meant that He had deliberately given me buck teeth, which required braces when I was younger. I wasn’t just some ugly freak. He had skillfully created me like that for some reason that I didn’t understand. And the scoliosis that caused me to wear a back brace as a young teenager, He had deliberately created that curvature in my spine. Again, it wasn’t just the result of some freakish accident – this was a result of His divine plan…

Now, here is the most amazing part of all of that:

14 I will give thanks to You, for I am fearfully and wonderfully made; Wonderful are Your works, And my soul knows it very well. ~Psalm 139:14 NASB

Image Credit: http://www.preeminenceofchrist.org/fearfully
_and_wonderfully_made.htm

I am fearfully and wonderfully made… With all of my physical problems, my back problems, the arthritis, the crooked teeth I had as a child, I was and am still fearfully and wonderfully made. I was created in His image. I wasn’t a mistake. He deliberately created me, with my loud voice (it’s the voice of a prophet and preacher), with my strong, uncompromising beliefs (a prophet cannot back down from what the Lord commands him/her to do, no matter what the cost). 

He wasn’t surprised by all of the suffering that I’ve gone through in my life. I’ve been abused, rejected and lied about. I’ve been cursed and ridiculed and belittled. And God not only allowed these things to happen to me, He ordained it!

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 one of them. ~Psalm 139:16 NASB

That’s a hard thing for many people to swallow, and you may wonder why I would find comfort in knowing that He ordained all of the painful events in my life, so I will try to explain it to you. 

I was a prison minister for almost ten years, and God allowed me to love and minister to those women because of what I had experienced in my life. You see, if I had never suffered rejection, abandonment, and abuse, I wouldn’t have been able to relate to those women as well as I did. If I hadn’t had those experiences in my life, I may not have had the love and compassion for those women that I have. You see, when I went in the prison to minister to them, I never felt that I was above them. I knew the truth — that it was only by the grace of God that I wasn’t an inmate.

Image Credit: http://www.oneyearbibleblog.com/2008/05/may-17th-one-ye.html

If I hadn’t suffered the things that I’ve been through in my life, I might never have known the love of Christ. I might have never realized how desperately I need Him, if I hadn’t suffered as I did. If I hadn’t suffered the things that I’ve been through in my life, I wouldn’t be the woman that I am today, and I certainly wouldn’t be writing as I do.

You want to know something? As I write this, I’m not even sure this is a good example of serendipity, because the truth is that I didn’t just find this wonderful news without looking for it. The truth is that it found me. God sent His only begotten Son to find me, and if He hadn’t purposefully sought me out, I would never have discovered these wonderful truths.

Can I share just one more thing with you? Did you know that you are fearfully and wonderfully made? Did you know that God skillfully knit you together in your mother’s womb? Did you know that God has an ordained plan for your life? Please don’t let what I’ve shared with you scare you off, because I saved the best news for last.

28 And we know that God causes everything to work together for the good of those who love God and are called according to His purpose for them. ~ Romans 8:28 NLT

Isn’t that wonderful? Because I love God and I’m called by Him, He makes every bad thing in my life work out for my good! Do you love God? Have you heard Him calling you? If your answer is yes, rejoice! Because He will cause everything to work together for your good too! 

If your answer to that question is no, then I pray that God will open the eyes of your heart, and that He will reveal Himself to you. I pray that you will believe in Jesus, His one and only Son, who died to pay for my sins and yours, so that we would no longer be bound by them. I pray that you will know that even though Jesus suffered, bled and died for the sins of all mankind, He rose from the dead, and is now seated at the right hand of God, and that He is coming back again to reign and rule over all the earth. I pray, in Jesus’ mighty name, that as you read my  post, you serendipitously come to know and love the Almighty Creator of the universe, and that you know that you are no accident.

© 2013
Cheryl A. Showers

Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays!

caddo-7-word

Caddo’s Seven Word Sundays!

Your love, O LORD, reaches to the heavens,
Your faithfulness (reaches up) to the skies. 
Your righteousness is like the mighty mountains,
Your justice (flows) like the great deep.
 O LORD, You preserve both man and beast.
How priceless (amazing!) is Your unfailing love!
Both high and low among men find
 Refuge in the shadow of Your wings.
(Psalm 36:5-7 NIV)

Words of Jesus – Sh! Don’t Tell Anybody

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“Take care! Don’t do your good deeds publicly, to be admired, because then you will lose the reward from your Father in heaven. When you give a gift to someone in need, don’t shout about it as the hypocrites do — blowing trumpets in the synagogues and streets to call attention to their acts of charity! I assure you, they have received all the reward they will ever get. But when you give to someone, don’t tell your left hand what your right hand is doing. Give your gifts in secret, and your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.

“And now about prayer. When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:1-6 NLT)

Does anyone else struggle with this portion of scripture? I don’t mean to imply that I don’t understand what it says, because its meaning is abundantly clear! When I ask if anyone else struggles with this scripture, I mean does anyone else have difficulty living this one out?

There Jesus goes again, turning my world upside down. You see, my whole life I’ve bent over backwards to win people’s approval, first my parents, then later my teachers and later still, anyone’s approval! And then He comes into the picture and tells me to stop doing what I’ve always done – the only thing I know how to do.

Just when I think I’ve got a handle on things, and I’m really starting to do what’s right in my walk with the Lord, He shows me that I’m still not like Him as much as I want to be. “My thoughts are completely different from yours,” says the LORD. “And My ways are far beyond anything you could imagine. For just as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are My ways higher than your ways and My thoughts higher than your thoughts.” (Isaiah 55:8-9 NLT)

So again, I’m thrown into a quandary. What happens when I try to walk this out, and people reward me with their praise? Do I lose out on God‘s blessing?

I don’t want to do that. You see, as much as I want others to love me and validate me, I NEED His love and approval, because the truth is, I could still write, preach, and minister without another person ever witnessing it, but, without His anointing, without His presence, without Him giving me the words, the heart and the mind to write and minister, I couldn’t do it!

Yes, it feels good when you deliver a powerful word from the Lord, and people confirm it. But, as I’ve said before, it also makes me apprehensive… What if my motives are wrong? What if I’m trying to please people more than Jesus? Lord, what if I’ve totally missed the mark?

And then, things become more challenging for me when Jesus speaks about prayer. “And now about prayer. When you pray, don’t be like the hypocrites who love to pray publicly on street corners and in the synagogues where everyone can see them. I assure you, that is all the reward they will ever get. But when you pray, go away by yourself, shut the door behind you, and pray to your Father secretly. Then your Father, who knows all secrets, will reward you.” (Matthew 6:5-6 NLT)

So, here’s my other dilemma. I’m a minister. I minister in prison and I’m part of the ministerial staff at my church, as well as being a Sunday School teacher, and I’m often called on to pray – Publicly – where others hear my prayers. And again, when I’m writing, I often pray as I write, and everyone who reads my posts, may at some point or other read my prayers.

Lord, am I cheating myself out of Your blessings? 

And I hear words of the Lord saying, The human heart is most deceitful and desperately wicked. Who really knows how bad it is? But I know! I, the LORD, search all hearts and examine secret motives. I give all people their due rewards, according to what their actions deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:8-9 NLT) 

http://sheddinglightonthepath.blogspot.com/2012/05/jesus-prayer-for-you-and-me.html

You see, according to this, I don’t even know how wicked my heart really is, and my heart is likely to lie about its motives. I might think I’m doing the right thing for all the right reasons, when in reality, my heart may have deceived me. So, now what?

All I (we) can do is cry out to the Lord. Search me, O God, and know my heart; test me and know my thoughts. Point out anything in me that offends You, and lead me along the path of everlasting life. (Psalm 139:23-24 NLT) 

Create in me a clean heart, O God. Renew a right spirit within me. Do not banish me from Your presence, and don’t take Your Holy Spirit from me. Restore to me again the joy of Your salvation, and make me willing to obey You. (Psalm 51:10-12 NLT)

He knows our hearts, better than we do, and He is able to search them out. Praise God, He is so faithful too, telling us that if we confess our sins to Him, He will forgive us and clean us up from all unrighteousness. Aren’t you grateful for that? I know I sure am.

So, in conclusion, God is interested in the motives of our heart. What motivates us to minister, to give, to pray or to serve? Is it the accolades we receive from others? If so, we’ve already received our reward. Do we do it for recognition? If so, that is our reward.

But what if we write, we pray, we preach and we minister, because His word is like a fire shut up in our bones and we grow weary when we try to hold it back? If some people are inspired by those words or “like” them, then we must make sure that we let them know they’re not our (my) words, but only a gift from Him. And if they dislike those words, they’re still His words, not ours (mine), and it’s all for His glory, and not ours (mine).

© 2012
Cheryl A. Showers

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O God You Are My God…

As I was reading Psalm 63, this song, Sometimes By Step, by the late Rich Mullins began to reverberate in my spirit. Listen to it and be blessed. The prayer beneath the link is my love song to the Lord…

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y-b7TQMoZsM

O God, You are my God

And I will always praise You

When I rise in the morning,

It is Your face that I seek

When I lie down at night

It is Your name I breathe

When my heart is filled with longing,

Only Your touch can comfort me

And when I hunger and thirst,

Only You can satisfy me

O God, I will seek You in the sanctuary

And in the quiet of my secret hiding place,

I will find You

When I follow after You,

You will shelter me in the shadow of Your wings

Hiding me, holding me, lifting me, filling me, leading me

You protect me from my foes

And I rejoice in Your presence

You surround me with Your lovingkindness,

And my lips sing Your praises

O God, You are my God

And I will follow You all of my days

O God You Are My God based on Psalm 63

© 2012

Cheryl A. Showers