So, I found this wonderful quote by Martin Luther’s wife (whom I never knew had written anything).    “I had never known,” said Martin Luther’s wife, “what such and such things meant, in such and such psalms, such complaints and workings of spirit; I had never understood the practice of Christian duties, had not God brought me under some affliction.” 

It is not often spoken of.  The goodness of affliction.  Our culture today runs away from it and looks down on those who are underneath some kind of hardship or illness.  But King David understood it all too well.  Here are his words:  Psalm 119:71

It is good for me that I have been afflicted, That I may learn Your statutes.”

I have personally found that some of the greatest “gifts” from God, have been the afflictions He has allowed in my life.  It is then that I have pressed so deeply into His word, searching for a truth to comfort my soul.  It is then, in the pain of illness that the sweetest songs have been born. The most fragrant words of poetry reaching deep into uncharted depths of my soul and driving me into the Presence of Almighty God. Reaching way beyond casual devotions.  From this place have come the most comforting words that I have to give to others.

Some may scoff at this notion.  Indeed at times I have even felt “persecuted” by those who should have offered comfort.  It used to hurt me, as I have had chronic pain for many years. But now I feel sorry for those that have never experienced the pain of God’s “rod and staff”.  Though the world will soon be placed under this wisdom from above.

God is a good Father.  Yes, He is!  You may think this funny, but as one that is most likely a bit ADHD – it helps me to slow down and come away.  Like Joni Erickson Tada (a quadriplegic)  has said,  the sweetest time of day is when I am alone tucked in bed, abandoned into God’s presence and totally dependent on Him.  She has learned a secret.  

Everything we need is in Him.  All that the World tells us is necessary for a good life is passing away.  But His Word – His Presence – His fellowship,  these endure forever.  And not even death can take this away from us.  

Even the great Apostle Paul said,  “…..2 Corinthians 12:7

“And lest I should be exalted above measure by the abundance of the revelations, a thorn in the flesh was GIVEN to me, a messenger of Satan to buffet me, lest I be exalted above measure.”

Notice the word “given”. A gift.  If you look it up , Paul asked the Lord to remove it three times and God’s reply was “My grace is sufficient for thee”.  It kept him dependent on God and saved him from the destruction of self sufficiency.

While I completely believe that God is able to heal people and still does (I have seen many miracles and experienced Divine healing too),  we must determine if it is an attack from Satan to stop us, or if it is something God is allowing for a time as a tool to take us where we need to be with Him.

I hope you will all remember to “take it to the Lord in prayer” when you are called apart by some calamity or hardship.  Allow God to be at work.  Lean into it until you have reached a place in Christ that you have not been before.  Dig deep into His Word.  His saving grace is there.  If you do choose to meet these calamities of life with this insight, you can walk away from every one of them with a treasure given by God.

“All things work together for good, to those that love the Lord and are called according to His purpose.”  Romans 8:28

Again it is true that  “Satan comes to steal, kill, and destroy.” John 10:10  But you can always beat his attacks by leaning into God and getting the treasure that is waiting there.  This is a beautiful secret that Martin Luther’s wife discovered.  I hope you will too.

2 Corinthians 2:14

Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ, and through us diffuses the fragrance of His knowledge in every place.  

A THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

June 16, 2020

It is important to see things through the eyes of God, which can totally be found in the scripture if we read it for ourselves and ask His help to understand it.  Everything happening today was foretold by God.  Thousands of years in advance.  Because “ He knows the end from the beginning.”  He dwells outside of time.  That’s why it is so foolish for man to seek “mediums” and horoscopes and such to find “wisdom”  when God is Wisdom Himself.  He made everything and knows what it’s purpose is, and when it will come to an end.

The beauty is – that He has offered us through accepting what Jesus Christ did on the cross and accepting Him as our Lord – we are offered the promise of living in His kingdom – forever – where there are no more tears, pain, sorrow…..heaven.  And in the here and now – we will never be alone.  He will never leave us or forsake us.  Good promises to stand on.  Having faith is believing what He said – no matter what you see.

God will protect us in this crazy time or take us home to His house at our appointed time.

As for where we are now…..it’s all in the Book.  Don’t be afraid to look.  

God will arise to judge the earth – but if we are in Him, in Christ – it will all be okay for us.

Here is an interesting scripture about God “shaking” the earth.  For us – it is so our reliance will be on Him.  But for the world and the enemy of humanity, the devil, Satan.  He gets his way for only a moment in time – and people decide who their allegiance will be to.  Then for Satan and all those that have chosen to follow his ways……it will end…..and not well.  Choose life.  God rules heaven and earth and yes, we will have to live by His ways…..because a kingdom divided against itself cannot stand.  And heaven is undivided.  

Isaiah 2:17-22

 The arrogance of man will be brought low    and human pride humbled;

the Lord alone will be exalted in that day,

and the idols will totally disappear.

 People will flee to caves in the rocks

and to holes in the ground

from the fearful presence of the Lord

and the splendor of his majesty,

when he rises to shake the earth.

 

In that day people will throw away

to the moles and bats

their idols of silver and idols of gold,

which they made to worship.

 They will flee to caverns in the rocks

and to the overhanging crags

from the fearful presence of the Lord

and the splendor of his majesty,

when he rises to shake the earth.

Stop trusting in mere humans,

who have but a breath in their nostrils.

Why hold them in esteem?

A THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

May 29, 2020

Did you know…..King Solomon – the wisest man that lived, wrote the entire book of Proverbs and was chosen to build the temple of God.  Did you know that he fell away from God and worshipped idols at the end of his life?  I don’t think I have ever heard a sermon on it, though I had read it in the Bible.  And still, it shocks me today.  Here is the account in 1 Kings.

1 Kings 11:4-10   For it was so, when Solomon was old, that his wives turned his heart after other gods; and his heart was not loyal to the Lord his God, as was the heart of his father David.  For Solomon went after Ashtoreth the goddess of the Sidonians, and after Milcom[b] the abomination of the Ammonites.  Solomon did evil in the sight of the Lord, and did not fully follow the Lord, as did his father David.  Then Solomon built a high place for Chemosh the abomination of Moab, on the hill that is east of Jerusalem, and for Molech the abomination of the people of Ammon.  And he did likewise for all his foreign wives, who burned incense and sacrificed to their gods.

 So the Lord became angry with Solomon, because his heart had turned from the Lord God of Israel, who had appeared to him twice,  and had commanded him concerning this thing, that he should not go after other gods; but he did not keep what the Lord had commanded.

So the reason I bring this up is because of the following scripture below concerning the falling away

2 Thessalonians 2:3,4    Let no one deceive you by any means; for that Day will not come unless the falling away comes first, and the man of sin is revealed, the son of perdition,  who opposes and exalts himself above all that is called God or that is worshiped, so that he sits as God in the temple of God, showing himself that he is God.

At end of his life, after such a life of glory – he fell away from God.  Soloman!!   How could this be?   It is actually quite simple.  He did not obey God in everything and ignored God’s warnings and command.   

1 Kings 11  “But King Solomon loved many foreign women, as well as the daughter of Pharaoh: women of the Moabites, Ammonites, Edomites, Sidonians, and Hittites— from the nations of whom the Lord had said to the children of Israel, “You shall not intermarry with them, nor they with you. Surely they will turn away your hearts after their gods.” Solomon clung to these in love.

It is often that we do the same things.  Cling to the very things God has asked us to let go.  We stay in the “worldly mindset” and don’t renew our minds and lives to the Word of God and God’s ways.  It may not matter for a long, long time – but look at the end results.  

This should be a warning, especially in this hour to listen and obey God’s directives.  Lest we think, like Soloman, and dismiss some of  God’s commands and end up snared and trapped.  Apart from God we can do nothing…

I know it’s a lot to think about.  But we are living in the last days and things can’t be taken for granted.  We need to live under the shadow of the Most High (Psalm 91)  where our good Father just wants to protect us and keep us safe.  

Lord show us any area we have been ignoring and blowing you off.  Keep us safe in the shadow of Your wings and protect us in the hour.  Amen

SPIRIT, SOUL, AND BODY

December 22, 2019

A THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

December 16, 2018

I was reading this morning in the Daily Walk Bible and this analogy about trials really blessed me.  It read:   “If you want to get in shape physically, there are some helpful steps you can take:  eat properly, get adequate sleep, take a multi-vitamin capsule every day.  But in the final analysis, there is no substitute for exercise – working against a resistance.  The same is true in the Christian life.  Proper nourishment from the Word is essential but so is “exercise” –  in God’s strength, facing and conquering trials and difficulties.  God – the perfect Coach- knows exactly what kind of “workout” you need in order to turn an area of weakness into an area of Christlikeness.

So maybe some of our trials are more of a workout – allowed by God – than some kind of negative thing.  It’s worth pondering.  Sometimes I get tired of trials, but I’ve never gone through one (while leaning on God)  that I did not come out either stronger, or with a wisdom and understanding that I lacked before it.  

The Apostle Paul says:   My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials”   (James 1:2)   Joy?  I used to think he was nuts.  Who gets joyful at trials?  Until you really begin to believe and value the rest of his statement.   knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience.  But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”  (James 1:3,4)    Perfect and complete lacking nothing!!!   I would like that!!   I’ve come to the conclusion that it is wise to embrace the pain so to speak or at least don’t fear it.  One person said it this way,  “Run to the roar.”   Remembering that like Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego;  Jesus was with them in the fire.  (see Daniel 3)

Lord, grant us a fresh perspective in these areas.  Help us see that you waste nothing that happens to us.  Even the things that the devil brings to steal, kill, and destroy (John 10:10)  you can turn around and make it work for our good  (Romans 8:28) when we go through things with you!  Always remember that God is for us and not against us.  (Rom. 8:31)  If we are going through some thing painful – we might as well get something of value from it!  With God all things are possible!  

Shalom!

THE PAINTERS HOPE – POETRY

December 15, 2018

We paint upon the canvas

Of our childrens very souls

What picture we do paint

Will forevermore be told

 

Not one of perfection

Does our dear Lord require

But an honest projection

Our need for Him is dire

 

We paint on them forgiveness

Our lives can be a mess

We show them how great His love

Our sins we must confess

 

We paint an honest picture

Denial to avoid

As we come before the Lord

His mercy we implore

 

We paint upon them hope

Of an ever loving God

One we need not hide from

Who is alway on our side

 

We paint upon them grace

That can never be earned

Freely given to us

His character we learn

 

We paint upon them attitude

Of a humble heart we choose

Always bowing down our heads

Or else there’s much we’ll lose

 

We paint upon them seeking

The One who should come first

There is no higher person or thing

For which our hearts should thirst

 

We paint upon them dignity

Our actions shine out loud

What we do in secret too

That’s hidden from the crowd

 

We paint the crown of righteousness

A life well lived receives

Giving glory to the Lord

For the good things we’ve achieved

 

We paint on them the honor

Of service to the Lord

Obedience unto our call

Commitment to His Word

 

We paint upon them sacrifice

His example we must see

Taking up our cross each day

Continuing to believe

 

We paint His face of Justice

He sees both good and bad

One He will reward so good

The other makes Him sad

 

We paint the hope of heaven

With friends we’ll reunite

A happy place that’s paradise

All things will be made right

 

We paint on them endurance

One day at a time

Clinging to the promises

His faithfulness we’ll find

 

We paint on them their value

A gift we have to give

Showing them how much they’re worth

Our words can help them live

 

We paint on them the love we have

Received from God above

Passing it on to them

With prayers He’ll fill their cup

 

We cannot reach perfection

This side of the dirt

We point in His direction

And hope that they will learn

 

Amen.

copyright  2018  Jean Chamblee

Unique

March 4, 2018

As we walk down this road called life, it’s important to remember that we are unique. God created us each with something in mind unlike any other. Sure we are alike in our humanity, but not in destiny. We may even be similar, but not exact. Our experiences, values and mindsets are different. Even where we grew up, our home and childhood surroundings set us apart and add to who we are. Remind yourself. “I am unique” and never let culture of societal expectations define you. You are a child made by God, to be you. His plans for you will not be exactly like another and that is a beautiful thing. We are each threads in a tapestry, God’s tapestry, and while we are part of a bigger picture, we remain individually unique.

A THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

October 3, 2017

A CALL TO ARMS

As I lay in bed early this morning and listened to the school bus go down the street in the pre-dawn hours, picking up neighborhood children……I thought about them, and about the events of yesterdays shooting in Las Vegas.

I thought about the following scripture and was stirred in my heart:

Ephesians 6:10-13 “ Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord and in the power of His might.  Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.  For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places. Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.’

We live in a dark world. There is a battle going on that life tries to blind us to until something happens that jerks us back into “Kingdom realities”. We are called to fight. We have an enemy – a cruel one. (John 10:10 “. “ The thief (satan) does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy.” His whole purpose against humanity is destruction.

God has given us tools to battle with. Through the redemptive work of Christ, His truth and His Spirit – we can be victorious – though the battles can be fierce. (2 Corinthians 2:14
“Now thanks be to God who always leads us in triumph in Christ…)

The enemy constantly tries to lull us to sleep to these truths. Because he knows if we awaken to truth and our God given authority to pray in Jesus name….that he’s gonna lose ground and be defeated. I think he still believes he can win against Christ and judgement day will never come.

I was pricked in my heart about these kids and how that since my children are now grown…..I seldom think to pray for the schools and for protection and revival to break out there like I used to. God forgive me! And all of us, as we have not taken our place in praying for our neighborhoods, families, cities, states, and nations. At least not to the level that God desires from His sons and daughters. Wickedness has flourished in our nation and we have not battled it out enough in the spirit realm with the name of Jesus on our lips. He has given us authority to pray in His name and that is a powerful thing.

As I prayed this morning I felt to say it out loud. IT’S A CALL TO ARMS. I pray this will inspire you to join me in “doubling down” on our prayers for our fellow Americans and be aware of all the other assignments the Lord may lay on our hearts.

2 Corinthians 10:3-5
“For though we walk in the flesh, we do not war according to the flesh.  For the weapons of our warfare are not carnal but mighty in God for pulling down strongholds…”

Cry out to God in prayer. Pray in Jesus name. Let this take priority over lesser things. This is a true war. Mark 4:23 “ If anyone has ears to hear, let him hear.”

A THOUGHT FOR THE DAY

August 31, 2017

SATAN IS AFTER THE THRONE OF OUR HEARTS! Just exactly what does that mean?
We must ask ourselves…..WHO is supposed to be the King of our hearts? God!! (Father, Son, and Holy Spirit!) We know from scripture that Satan is a thief and comes to steal, to kill and to destroy. (John 10:10)

What did he want more than anything? Isaiah records Lucifers words:

Isaiah 14:13-15
“For you have said in your heart:
‘I will ascend into heaven,
I will exalt my throne above the stars of God;
I will also sit on the mount of the congregation
On the farthest sides of the north;
I will ascend above the heights of the clouds,
I will be like the Most High.’

Lofty words he uttered. He wants to “sit on the mount of the congregation”. That is us.

So how does he accomplish this? Predominantly with lies and deception. (John 8:44) “…When he speaks a lie, he speaks from his own resources, for he is a liar and the father of it.”
(2 Corinthians 11:18)
And no wonder! For Satan himself transforms himself into an angel of light.

He comes in stealth to take the throne of our hearts and souls. Our soul is our mind, will, and emotions. That’s where it gets tricky. They are always at work and engaged in something. But according to the Word of God, anything we allow to take up our mind, will, and emotions more than God …has become an idol in our hearts. (1 Corinthians 10:14)  “Therefore, my beloved, flee from idolatry.”

On more than one occasion God has called me on the carpet saying “You have an idol in your heart” Each time I was floored thinking that it couldn’t be. But when He told me what it was….I had to agree and admit that what or who He named was occupying my thoughts more than He was. OUCH!

So I simply repented and began to pay attention to my thoughts and affections, making sure they were set first on God. Our priorities in life should be 1. God 2. Spouse 3. Kids/Family 4. Job/Ministry When this delicate balance gets out of whack so do we. It can result in depression, anxiety, overwhelming stress or show up in many different ways. These are just the symptoms that something is amiss in our souls and needs to be adjusted.

It is pretty easy to fix. Just recognizing it is half the battle. Then begin casting down and resisting those thoughts that occupy too much of our being! God is a jealous God. “…For I, the Lord your God, am a jealous God…” (Exodus 20:4) “…for you shall worship no other god, for the Lord, whose name is Jealous, is a jealous God…” (Exodus 34:14)

Actually I think it’s cool that He is so passionate about us. He certainly paid a huge price to show us how much He loves us. To prove His love for us.

I truly believe this is a season of repentance. Even on the Hebrew calendar …we are in the month that they consider a time of repentance. So I encourage each of us to examine our hearts and see if anything or anyone is occupying our mind, will and emotions more than our God. I pray you won’t be a stubborn mule like I can often be and wait until things start falling apart to get my attention! Thank goodness for His mercy! He loves us, wants us, created us…..to be His. I hope you can hear that this is truly a LOVE MESSAGE, and no condemnation. He wants you. What could be better news than that! The King of the Universe wants to be the King of your heart! You are loved!

Lean into the sting of things
The cutting and the knife
Let the Maker of our souls
Shape and mold our life

It’s not the pleasant things that bring
True and lasting change
But painful blows that pound our souls
With power to rearrange

Rearrange our carnal self
And bring us into light
The pounding of the anvil
Unveils and makes things right

This life it is no picnic
Our time here short and sweet
But honey comes from creatures here
That also contain a sting

If we choose not to run away
From the anvil and the sting
Let it shape our destiny
And the goodness that it brings

The beauty of the mystery
Will far outweigh the pain
As God reveals His plans for us
Our pain will bring such gain

So learn to lift your head up high
Lean into the sting
Let it shape you deep inside
God’s treasures it will bring

copyright 2017 Jean Chamblee

Isaiah 64:8   “But now, O Lord, You are our Father; We are the clay, and You our potter; And all we are the work of Your hand.”

 

(Youtube channel – Jean Chamblee – Passing The Torch)