and the One who walks with me on it.

Friday, September 23, 2011

Testimony of Prayer

       I need to preface this post with a strange bit of pertinent information you might not know.  Hamster balls are plastic hollow spheres, with holes in which hamsters, gerbils and other small rodent pets are placed, allowing them to run around outside their cages without the risk of getting lost under furniture or in walls. 
Bet you wonder where this one’s going…

       During the worst struggle of my life I was convinced I would literally not live through it (no, it wasn’t when I had cancer).  It was a torturous time that felt like I was being injured by every weapon available to man, and only a couple friends were here to support me during it.  Then my friends -and many strangers as the information was passed on- began to pray, though they didn’t understand the whole picture, and they didn’t stop praying for a very long time.  Many of them will never know the extent we coveted their prayers!

       Within days of the various groups and individuals lifting us up in prayer it felt like I was walking around in a giant hamster ball (really!), and all the weapons coming at me were bouncing off the ball unable to touch me.  What had been so painful became survivable for me all because many ‘someones’ chose to pray for us and put great effort into it.  Besides having the strength to endure hit after hit, I also found my heart began responding to the Lord more openly again.  I don’t know where I’d be today without the prayers of the saints.

The prayer of a righteous person is powerful and effective. (Jam. 5:16b) ISV
or… The effectual fervent prayer of a righteous man availeth much. KJV
(Remember, through faith in Jesus Christ we are justified and therefore righteous in God's eyes)

with all prayer and supplication praying at all seasons in the Spirit, and watching thereunto in all perseverance and supplication for all the saints, ASV (Eph 6:18)

Pray without ceasing. (1Th. ) 

       Let me just say from the heart, I don’t think I would have survived without the prayers of my brothers and sisters.  I don’t even want to imagine what my life would have been like without them.  Don’t ever trivialize prayer, and don’t take it lightly.  The Lord God, the Creator of all the universe hears those prayers and will help.  Don’t ever think your prayers don’t matter because they are helping whether you see the results or not!  Pray in all seasons with all perseverance (persistence, urgency) and supplication (requests, pleas) for all the saints. 

Thank you to everyone who is praying for someone.  Your prayers are needed.  Keep it up.

Thank You Lord for hearing our prayers and for being with us in all our struggles.

Thursday, September 22, 2011

A Simple Matter

And the LORD said unto Joshua, Stretch out the spear that is in thy hand toward Ai; for I will give it into thine hand. And Joshua stretched out the spear that he had in his hand toward the city.  For Joshua drew not his hand back, wherewith he stretched out the spear, until he had utterly destroyed all the inhabitants of Ai.
(Jos. 8:18,26) 

       The people of Israel had already defeated Jericho, and now they were taking on Ai.  The Lord gave Joshua a fairly simple instruction- stretch out the spear in your hand toward Ai- with the promise that He would give them victory.  Joshua had confidence in God, and trusted that He was able to give the victory, so for one who had seen so many miracles perhaps this simple task was not too difficult to do.

       It is several thousand years later, and we are not used to seeing visually apparent miracles the same way, not here in North America anyway.  So, what would you do if the Lord told you to stretch out your pen toward your government buildings and He would stop a bad law from being accepted?  Would you do it?  Would you take time off work, drive all the way out there paying for the gas to get there, and stand out in the public with your arm outstretched pointing a pen?

       What would you say to those who asked you what you were doing? Would you continue when people started laughing at you or looking at you like you were sick in the head, and then when the news showed up to interview you?  How long would you last?  Worst of all, would you even attempt it if you weren’t quite sure it was God’s voice?

       I question all the time.  If my hand had a green light that would come on anytime the Lord was saying something to me, then I would know for 100% it was Him, but there is no such assurance.  Instead, I must live with the uncertainty of wondering.  It’s easy if what you hear goes against the Word because then you know it is not God for He will never void His Word.  So, if it doesn’t go against the Word, you should do it right?  Not so simple a matter anymore.

       We have all our personal flaws that get in the way.  For some, it may be a lack of trusting God to come through, for others a lack of boldness or feeling unworthy to serve Him.  Some might be afraid of what others will think of them.  For me, it is fear- fear of people getting hurt emotionally if I am wrong.  There is enough pain and suffering in this world and I don’t want to be the cause of anymore.  But… I have to remind myself that to not say or do what the Lord wants can also cause others to remain hurt, in pain, or in oppression.

       It’s hard for me to admit these truths to others because it makes me feel exposed, but how will we ever improve if we aren’t honest?  I wish I was 100% certain of the Lord’s voice all the time.  I hope one day I will be and I pray for it often, but in the meantime, I have to do what I think He wants me to honouring that His Word says, ‘And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose.’ (Rom. ) and trusting that He will use my words and actions on His behalf for good.

Remember Vicky it can be a simple matter,

   Trust Him.  Trust Him.  Trust Him.  Trust Him.  Trust Him.  Trust Him.  Trust Him.  Trust Him.  Trust Him.

Wednesday, September 21, 2011

Joshua and Caleb

       Oshea, whose name Moses changed to Joshua (Num ) served Moses since he was a youth.  This would have put him in the limelight.  He led the army to fight against Amalek.  He had many opportunities to be in God’s presence in the tabernacle of congregation with Moses where he stayed even after the leader left. (Ex. 33:11)  As a ‘prince’ of his tribe (Ephraim) he was sent to scout out the Promised Land with 11 men, and he was one of two men to return saying Israel was more than able to take the land with God’s help (Num. 14:6-10) and was almost killed for it.  After Moses death, Joshua took over leadership, brought the people into and conquered the Promised Land, then helped to divide it between the tribes. (Jos. 14+)  He was honoured by the people as Moses was. (Jos. 4:14)  He died at the old age of 110. (Jos. 24:29)

       Caleb was from the tribe of Judah.  The first time he is mentioned is as a ‘prince’ in his tribe when he was sent along with 11 others to scout out the Promised Land.  He was one of two men to return saying Israel was more than able to take the land with God’s help (Num. 14:6-10) and was almost killed for it.  It is  noted that he tried to silence the negative talk and encourage the people to go fight. (Num 13:30)  Also God said he had another spirit (different from some of the others) Num. Then Caleb disappears for 38 years into the crowd and we don’t hear about him again until the land is ready to be allotted.  Read what he says at age 85.  Talk about faith!

And now, behold, the LORD hath kept me alive, …and now, lo, I am this day fourscore and five years old. As yet I am as strong this day as I was in the day that Moses sent me: as my strength was then, even so is my strength now, for war, both to go out, and to come in. Now therefore give me this mountain, whereof the LORD spake in that day; for thou heardest in that day how the Anakims were there, and that the cities were great and fenced: if so be the LORD will be with me, then I shall be able to drive them out, as the LORD said. (Jos.14:10-12) Then he did it. (Jos. 15:14) 

       After his take over of the land, Caleb isn’t mentioned but briefly.  His death is not listed in the Bible.  Two men, two different lives and purposes: one in the limelight, one in the background.  One in a position of great power and responsibility and one documented as standing out only a couple of times.  Was one more important than another?  I think not.  The Lord planned their paths to be distinctive, yet He used each of their lives.

       Both Joshua and Caleb were greatly used by God.  They believed God was able to help His people conquer Canaan.  Joshua and Caleb tried to change the people’s minds from giving up. (Num. 14:7-9) though they were almost killed for it.  The Lord said they both wholly followed Him.  (Num 32:12)  They had full confidence in their Lord.  They had similarities of faith but diversity of paths and purposes, each to the glory of God.

       These two men could have fought the paths God wanted them to follow, they could have been jealous of someone else’s position.  They could have thrust themselves into the forefront or background where God didn’t want them.  Instead they fulfilled God’s plans in their individual lives.  I would say, both men were highly successful.  Wouldn’t you?

Tuesday, September 20, 2011


Webster’s 1828 Dictionary defines mercy as:
That benevolence, mildness or tenderness of heart which disposes a person to overlook injuries, or to treat an offender better than he deserves…  (this is also compassion)

       If original sin through Adam had never happened, would we still need mercy?  After all, if there is no sin, there is no offense and therefore no judgment.  But I know unequivocally that I could have never gotten to my teen years without sin of some kind, let alone to my forties. (Rom. )  Man was given free will and that free will leads us to sin simply because we want what we want.

       We still need the mercy of God.  We need it because no matter how hard we try we still sin by action, word, or even lack of action (Jam. ).  That sin would condemn us to an eternity separated from God in Hell (Luke 13:3), but for the mercy of God (Ps 103:8) which is everlasting (v. 17).  He shows us benevolence and forgives us of our sins though we don’t deserve it.  He sent Jesus, His precious Son, just for that purpose, to be the payment for our sins.  That is the act of a merciful God, and I, for one, am eternally grateful that I won’t receive the punishment I deserve.  (Thank You Lord!!!)

       The thing is, that which we’ve been given by God, we are supposed to give out again.  Some examples are comfort (2 Cor. 1:4), love (John ), and mercy as shown below:

Blessed are the merciful: for they shall obtain mercy. Matt. 5:7
Be ye therefore merciful, as your Father also is merciful. Luke 6:36

       The second one here is a command and not a suggestion.  We are to be merciful.  That means we are supposed to overlook injuries, or treat others better (than we think) they deserve.  It doesn’t seem right, does it?  I mean, Christians are supposed to know better than to injure us!  And since we feel that injury, they are most definitely aware that they caused us that pain, right?  As pointed out this weekend, we are all human, and we all make mistakes.  Dealing with problems head on (not behind backs or with others who weren’t even involved) is the honourable way to deal with injury, but we must show mercy to those who may not deserve it remembering that we received great mercy from the Lord which we did not deserve. 

If we do not show mercy to others, then why should the Lord show us mercy?

Monday, September 19, 2011

Peace in the Storm

       It was about 7 km. into my bike ride to church when my pedals refused to budge.  I realized my bearings were shot so I locked up my bike to walk the last 3+ km. in to church.  For maybe the first time in my life I didn’t throw myself a pity party or start thinking how ‘all these things’ were going wrong in my life.  I simply started walking and carrying my 10+ lb. bike bag.

       On the long walk I had time to contemplate why God would allow this literal journey.  By the end of it I found no rhyme or reason, except I realized that before God healed my lungs I couldn’t have walked so far as fast as I did.  It wasn’t until I walked in my church to the washroom that I understood: the peace of God had remained with me… and I wasn’t mad at Him for anything!  My post on April 14, 2011 spoke about a woman whose peaceful demeanor I desired to have no matter the struggles of life.  Yesterday, I felt that peace.

Now it came to pass on a certain day, that he (Jesus) went into a ship with his disciples: and he said unto them, Let us go over unto the other side of the lake. And they launched forth. But as they sailed he fell asleep: and there came down a storm of wind on the lake; and they were filled with water, and were in jeopardy. And they came to him, and awoke him, saying, Master, master, we perish. Then he arose, and rebuked the wind and the raging of the water: and they ceased, and there was a calm. And he said unto them, Where is your faith? Luke 8:22-25a

       How much more peaceful can you be than to be sleeping in a heavily rocking boat while winds rage and others are panicking and rushing to bail out all around you?  Yet there slept Jesus most peaceful in the assurance of the Father’s protection… right up until the disciples woke him up!  He simply rebuked the wind and surging water, and they ceased.  Where is your faith? he asks them.

       How often when the storms or struggles of life come do we start rushing around trying to solve the problems on our own?  How worried and panicked do we become, and how fast do we lose our peace?  For me that answer would be too fast.  Almost every struggle I’ve been in, I was able to trust God for a short time and then when He didn’t do what I expected in my timing, I would bail on Him or get angry at Him.  My basic problem was that I lacked faith/ trust/ confidence in Him, and that He would do what His word promised:

And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. Rom

       I hope what happened yesterday is a new trend for me; that I won’t ever go back to my old ways.  It’s funny, as I was walking with neither the smallest of blame or frustration, I just knew, “Okay Lord, You’ll work this out for good somehow.”  Truth is, I’m not sure how I got to this place, but I’m pretty sure it was my Lord’s doing.

Thanks Lord… please don’t stop changing me.
And thanks for putting up with me this long.  I love You.