Personal Devotions – Trusting in the Power of the Resurrection

A couple of days ago I was stuck at this Scripture verse – 2 Corinthians 1:8-11  (MSG)

8-11We don’t want you in the dark, friends, about how hard it was when all this came down on us in Asia province. It was so bad we didn’t think we were going to make it. We felt like we’d been sent to death row, that it was all over for us. As it turned out, it was the best thing that could have happened. Instead of trusting in our own strength or wits to get out of it, we were forced to trust God totally—not a bad idea since he’s the God who raises the dead! And he did it, rescued us from certain doom. And he’ll do it again, rescuing us as many times as we need rescuing. You and your prayers are part of the rescue operation—I don’t want you in the dark about that either. I can see your faces even now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of us, a rescue in which your prayers played such a crucial part. (emphasis mine)

These verses have struck me ….  I really HAVE felt as though I won’t make it, that it is all over for me …and OH how I’ve felt like a death row inmate over my past indiscretions.  But the concept of the fall out of my actions forcing me to trust God totally – that spoke to me.  There’s nothing else without God.  And he is the God that raises from the dead! He is the God of the resurrection!

This Scripture gives me hope, because God rescued in the past, and he’ll do it again – “… as many times as we need rescuing!”  That is so awesome to me, because I’ve been in a cycle of trying to get out of needing rescue, and then needing it again, for a while.

And “[you] and your prayers are part of the rescue operation.”  I would probably be much further away if I didn’t have so many wonderful people praying and interceding and standing beside me….. I am humbled by the support of so many I have never seen face to face, as well as those I know personally.  “I can see your faces now, lifted in praise for God’s deliverance of [me]….”  Well, okay, not physically see your faces – yet – but I can see them in the Spirit… and I am grateful for each one of you….  And just like Paul said, I don’t want you in the dark about that, either.  Your prayers HAVE played a crucial part in my life – and I am eternally grateful.

Please continue to pray for me – and for a couple other people who need it:

  • Amy Woodell – suffered a stroke at 24  (more details here)
  • Mandy Thompson – recently finished a blog series on her struggle with infertility –  read her blog series “The Waiting”, and pray!
  • Lost Sheep – My friend who is going through a major set of oppression, and recovering from spiritual abuse.  Read her blog here.
  • Darla – Also going through some internal struggles …. read some more here.
  • Alece – Not only personally, but for her ministry at Thrive Africa – I wrote a post about her and her ministry.  Read it here – and go over and support the Ten Buck Tuesday initiative.
  • And anyone else the Lord lays on your heart today.

More Hockey Themed Posts….

My friend lost sheep has two more posts on the theme of hockey and spirituality…

Just thought I’d drop more plugs for her blog….

Here’s more hockey and faith themed posts:

Deliberately keeping this post short so you’ll have to go see her posts!  But here’s a tease….

once the training, and foundation is solid (such as a good coach that meshes with their team, supports their team, etc)–then all that can happen is growth in faith–as well as growth in a championship team.

Go read up!

Hockey – the Game of Life!

Just read an awesome post linking the Christian life to hockey ……and I really liked it!  Now I know nothing about hockey proper, but this analogy spoke to me….

Trying to look at my spiritual warfare battle, and race as a hockey game—Since I love hockey and my team is the PENS–as a Pittsburgh Penguins team (and to make it fit even better lets face the NJ “Devils”).  We are all going for the ultimate prize—the Stanley Cup.

Ok so we have the premise of the post right up front.  See who the opponent is? The Devils … sweet 🙂

As a rookie player (baby Christian/believer) you step out on the ice rink by yourself—boy is this slippery going as you find yourself falling on your face each time you try and take a step.

Who hasn’t felt like that – falling flat on your face each time you move?  Huh?  Show of hands?  Yes, exactly…..

Boy this ice skating is hard—so you decide that maybe it would be easier if you partook in some practice, training with some other team mates—maybe they can teach you better, support, and encourage you (kind of like discipling you and helping you grow)—things are better off with fellowship, fellow believers, team mates—as you do this you run into a few who are negative, pick on you, and give you all kinds of false advice, and lie about the rules of the game—this hurts you dearly, but you brush yourself off and regather yourself.

Kinda reminds me of the word that says

10 If one falls down,
his friend can help him up.
But pity the man who falls
and has no one to help him up!

11 Also, if two lie down together, they will keep warm.
But how can one keep warm alone?

12 Though one may be overpowered,
two can defend themselves.
A cord of three strands is not quickly broken. (Eccl 4:10-12)

Much easier with a team, right? Rather than alone?

Time for the first game—-you put on your uniform—again, just the basics—as you watch others putting on helmets, jerseys, shin guards, etc.  Why are they putting all this on?—all you have to do is skate and hit the puck in the goal—that is easy.

Most new believers think that way, don’t they – “Piece of cake!”  and then they see those more mature ‘strapping up for war” and wondering … what’s up with that?

Your team does awesome and it is time for you to show your stuff—-you get out on the ice—people are yelling at you: offsides, tripping.  You find yourself in the other box—penalty??? (what is that) You are starting to doubt your life as a hockey player—you are getting into so much trouble and stuck in this darn box. The coach is certainly going to kick you off the team if you keep this crap up.

The first time a Christian goes out – and has no idea what he’s doing!  I for one have done my share of doubting….

I was tempted to comment more about the parts of the article that stood out to me, how the hockey uniform is contrasted to the armour of God … but I am not that nice! (well, I am, but I wanna push traffic to her site!)

So go over to her site and check it out!

Fun: Pet Peeves

Decided to post a periodic series:  Just Kidding!  Time to liven up around here….

I’ve seen this kind of post several places around the blogosphere…. and I thought that I’d steal the idea today.

Several of my Pet Peeves are:

  • Being awoken from deep sleep for something frivolous.  That REALLY annoys me.  More now that I seem to be suffering from insomnia ….
  • Being talked down on or interrupted.  I REALLY detest when I’m talking and the person I’m speaking to railroads me and overcrowds my conversation to get their point across.
  • When someone puts the phone down in my ears while I’m in the middle of speaking.  REALLY. TICKS. ME. OFF.

I’m a really easy going person, so …. I’m not usually pissed off at the world… not everyday anyway.  🙂

What are some of your pet peeves?????

    God’s Word Today – “NEVER GIVE UP!”

    God’s been knocking at my heart today – everything – I mean EVERYTHING that I have been told today has been God knocking at my heart shouting “DON’T GIVE UP!”

    I saw a friend today that I haven’t seen in MONTHS – and she gave me these two Scriptures that she is standing on – but they definitely hit home for me too:

    Isaiah 50:7 (New International Version)

    7 Because the Sovereign LORD helps me,
    I will not be disgraced.
    Therefore have I set my face like flint,
    and I know I will not be put to shame.

    Jeremiah 30:16 (New International Version)

    16 ” ‘But all who devour you will be devoured;
    all your enemies will go into exile.
    Those who plunder you will be plundered;
    all who make spoil of you I will despoil.

    She’s said things like this, “yeah man, just know no matter what u are going through don’t give up”; “God is good and he loves us and he is for you! [And] all your enemies shall be destroyed in the name of Jesus!”

    She told me her son was taking the Common Entrance Exam this year.  For those outside the Caribbean, it’s an entrance examination for primary school students (typically at age 11 – hence its ‘other name’ … it’s colloquially called the ’11 Plus Examination’.)  I gave her some encouragement – that he’ll do fine… and she replies, “Yes, prophet.”

    I said, “Man I have been beaten down so much over the past months… thank God that his word doesn’t deal with how I feel… haven’t felt like a prophet in a long time”

    To which she replies, “It ain’t about feeling… it’s time for you to get on the offensive and start beating …. put on the armour! Stand strong IN THE LORD!”

    She also said, “God loves you Robert and he has not given up on you don’t give up, you shall overcome.”

    So it’s time to start BEATING!


    I also read this in my email today too, from another friend, who said:

    i still see you in the pasture—i know you are hurting, and feeling alone like no one cares, and probably even HE doesn’t care—but you know what—i see many trying to be there for you, trying to support you, shining lights down on you, and you just don’t want to see them—HIM maybe yes—but the others, no—you are NOT alone–you have so much support here via internet, and i even think in your own life that you don’t realize–(well don’t want to realize)—but the only way you can get out of this “valley” is to look towards the light—and grab hold of those that want to help, support, and be there for you—they will help lead you out–let them—-and once you grab hold—reach for the light—i know, believe you will get out and once you do—regardless of your life—you will continue to shine a breathe of light onto others to help  lead them out of the valley—even if you have to literally pull them out.

    That hit me straight between the eyes.  People who are for me that I don’t WANT to realize…. sounds familiar….

    I’m trying to change my attitude towards those I don’t want to acknowledge because they hurt me.


    I even had a prophetic word told to me where the Lord practically shouted that the things I say are over are not over.  He never said they were over… hmmm

    Basically, God hasn’t given up, so neither should I.

    I’ll be linking to a beautiful parable that has spoken to another friend of mine – she was led on a journey in a park that God used to speak volumes to her – and to me.  I’ll update this post with a link when she puts up hers.


    Recently – while listening to the daily audio reading of the Bible on, Brian Hardin – the community’s leader and the narrator of the podcast, read 1 Samuel 17 – the fight between David and Goliath… and this quote stuck out at me…

    45 David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. 46 This day the LORD will hand you over to me, and I’ll strike you down and cut off your head. Today I will give the carcasses of the Philistine army to the birds of the air and the beasts of the earth, and the whole world will know that there is a God in Israel. 47 All those gathered here will know that it is not by sword or spear that the LORD saves; for the battle is the LORD’s, and he will give all of you into our hands.”

    I know that God has been trying to get my attention for a while… but I think he succeeded with this.  I was at the point of giving up – of throwing in the towel, of saying, “To hell with all of this!”, but I think the Lord has finally started to help me to see that there is a way out…

    Please pray for me, and for anyone else who is tempted to give up.  Thank you for those who have stood by me – even those who I was pushing away because of pain.  I pray that God will continue to strengthen me in the inner man so that I can fight off the darkness that threatens to envelop me.  This prayer is not just for myself, but for all those who also are in a battle.  As I heard in the Word recently – “The battle is not ours, but is the LORD’s!”  AMEN

    Blog Highlight: Mandy Thompson –

    I met this blogger through traversing through a mutual friend’s blogroll.  I fell in love with her quirky humour and lovely posts – and recently was touched by her songs (she’s an awesome songwriter and singer, as well as a worship leader) as she posted them up when she did a blog re-design.  I was going through a very dark day and just found myself on her Albums page and just listened to her songs over and over. And over. And over.  Until I started  to see the darkness lift off my soul.

    She has chosen to reveal a hard part to her and her husband’s life.  And I thought that I would forgo the post I was going to put up here to highlight her today.

    Infertility is not often talked about.  But it should be.  The pain. The depression.  The wait.   She is currently going through this , and it probably took a lot out of her to reveal this publicly to the world.

    Start to read up on her story so far entitled The Waiting: Part 1 – We Have A Story; Part 2 – The Real Reason I Quit Seminary;  and Part 3: Clomid.

    For those who are going through, or knows someone who is going through – point them over to Mandy’s blog. And get involved.  And then explore the rest of her site – because she is FUN to be around, notwithstanding the heaviness of the above series…

    And… Mandy – I love you. I love your courage, and your commitment to your husband and the rest of your family – and their commitment to you during this time. I will do my part by listening – and by sharing.  And may someone else be helped because you were open.


    Personal Devotions – Redemption

    “Fear not: for I have redeemed thee, I have called thee by thy name; thou art mine. When thou passest through the waters, I will be with thee; and through the rivers, they shall not overflow thee: when thou walkest through the fire, thou shalt not be burned; neither shall the flame kindle upon thee. For I am the LORD thy God” Is. 43:1-3

    This is where I’m at.  I need to believe this.

    I guess this is gonna be the shortest Personal Devotions post I’ve written to date. *grin*

    I saw this comment on one of my favourite blogs – Alece’s Grit and Glory.  Alece was speaking about guarding her heart, and Julie said:

    Julie Todd says:

    It is for your freedom that He has come…. (Isaiah 61)….. Beauty for ashes, a garment of praise for your heaviness… He won’t relent until you know how fully, deeply, intimately you are loved…. He loves you so!

    I saw that as a word directly to my spirit… so I’m borrowing her comment for myself – and for anyone else who needs to be encouraged today.

    Actually, for even more encouragement, read her last blog post on her blog – Jewelz Sightings – As A Mother Comforts.  I read it and had tears in my eyes.  Did she read my mail?  That’s exactly how I need to see God right now.

    Read.  Pray.  And be encouraged.

    (PS –  How much more impactful is this when you realize that I read this the day after Mother’s Day in the West…. hmmm…  Happy Mother’s Day to all mothers reading this!)