and the One who walks with me on it.

Saturday, October 22, 2011


       As I reflected on one of my favorite scriptures I realized that with all the things we have to do in life, we sometimes forget the basic important things, and because of that life gets a little more difficult to walk through.  Here is a part of that scripture from TLB which states it so well.  Almost the whole Psalm is about God’s love for individual man. 

You made all the delicate, inner parts of my body, and knit them together in my mother’s womb.  Thank you for making me so wonderfully complex!  It is amazing to think about.  Your workmanship is marvelous- and how well I know it.  You were there while I was being formed in utter seclusion!  You saw me before I was born and scheduled each day of my life before I began to breathe.  Every day was recorded in your Book!

How precious it is, Lord, to realize that you are thinking about me constantly!  I can’t even count how many times a day your thoughts turn towards me.  And when I waken in the morning, you are still thinking of me!  Ps. 139:13-18

The Lord is thinking of you today.

Are you thinking of Him?

Friday, October 21, 2011

Ugly Little Black Box

       If you’ve been reading this blog, you know that I see things in pictures or picture things and draw parallels.  This post is a very personal story, one that may be difficult to get through, but I will do my best.  There I was, on the floor once again in the Lord’s presence and I heard Him say, “It’s time to bring it out.”  “Bring what out?” I asked innocently, but deep down in my gut I knew- I just didn’t want to admit to its existence.

       The rest of the conversation went something like this:  “It’s time.”  “No it’s not” “I know it’s in there.”  “I know you know, but I don’t want to bring it out.”  “You need to bring it out Vicky.”  “I don’t want to bring it out because it will be too painful.  I can’t.  Please don’t make me.”  “Vicky, I want to heal you.  Trust me.”  I could feel His love.  “Okay…” I whispered apprehensively.

       It was one of the most difficult things I’ve done lately.  Though I’d worked through the majority of each of my trials over the years, I had kept a small remnant of ‘junk’ from each inside of me.  I reached deep down inside myself and pulled out the ugly little black box that I’d hidden there years ago.  It was buried deep where it couldn’t be found by anyone as it held dark parts of my past that I never wanted to confront.  Hidden in it were the last vestiges of my painful, angry, sorrowful, traumatic, shattering, grief-filled past, over many years; the ones that still contained some resentment towards the Lord I love for His lack of responding to my many prayers in the way I wanted.

       Slowly the box was brought up and out, and I laid it down at my Savior’s feet… (1 Pet. 5:7) and I proceeded to fall apart.  The pain was strong, I wept and groaned, but I felt safe in the Lord’s strength.  When it was all over, it felt like a huge weight had lifted off my shoulders; (Mat. ) a weight I hadn’t realized was still there because I’d squished it all into that little box.  But the box was no longer mine.  It was given to my Savior for only He has the strength to carry my weights and sorrows.  Only He is able to bring genuine freedom in my life.  He loves me more than any other person does. (John 3:16)

       They’re not there anymore, those niggling things that remained over the years.  I am free to trust my Lord without that tiny voice saying, ‘maybe He won’t come through for you again.’  And though many times in the past I’d asked for forgiveness for the resentment I felt towards Him, it finally feels like that ‘slate’ has been wiped clean.  It is a great feeling.

       In sharing this story with you, my hope is that you will desire to bring the ‘hidden box’ in your life out so the Lord may heal you and you may experience true freedom in Him.  I’m sure there’s still more to come for me, but I must take one step at a time.  Consider if this is the time to deal with those ugly little things you keep hidden away.  The Lord already knows they are there and He wants you to trust Him.  He wants to carry your burdens for you.  (Ps. 55:22)   Imagine living life free from the bondages that so easily affect your life.
(Gal. 5:1) 

Imagine the


Jesus quoted:
The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound; Is. 61:1; Luke 4:18

Thursday, October 20, 2011


       Oh Lord, I have failed (You) again…  How many times have you said that within yourself?  For me, it is just one more time this morning.  It’s not the same as 25 years ago when my failures were of a different kind, but I am still human and despite wanting to be perfect, perfect I am not.  But I no longer believe these are genuine ‘failures’ so much as ‘fallings’.  We are human and are prone to stumbling and falling because of our sinful human nature*. 

For a just man falleth seven times, and riseth up again: but the wicked shall fall into mischief. Pr. 24:16 
Humble yourselves in the sight of the Lord, and he shall lift you up. Jam. 4:10 

       Notice it is the believer, the just or righteous man who falls.  What?  We can still fall?  Yep, according to scripture we can, and do.  Many men of God fell and it is recorded: David, Elijah, Abraham, Jonah, Peter, Paul.  Notice also it is the wicked that fall and don’t get up, but the just man ‘riseth up again’.  Why are we able to rise again?  Because the Creator of all the universe is our Father and He will lift us up whenever we humble ourselves before Him.

       Failure is not falling; failure is not getting back up and trying again.  I always tell people who are struggling with bad habits such as biting nails, smoking and such, just keep trying to quit.  Even when you keep restarting the bad habit, eventually you may stop for good, but you won’t know unless you keep trying.  If you give up trying, you will surely fail to change.  And where our ‘trying’ is limited, we can count on a great and mighty God to help us up to try again.  He is willing to help.  "Being confident of this very thing, that he which hath begun a good work in you will perform it until the day of Jesus Christ:" (Php. 1:6)

       Thomas A. Edison, who invented the electric light bulb and other great inventions, has some good quotes.  Here are a few:
“I have not failed. I've just found 10,000 ways that won't work.”
“Many of life's failures are people who did not realize how close they were to success when they gave up.”
“Our greatest weakness lies in giving up. The most certain way to succeed is to try just one more time.”

       And so today, I will try again to follow the Lord completely like I want to do, knowing that I am unlikely to accomplish it perfectly, but knowing He will not give up on me.  If I fall yet again, I will pull myself back up with His helping hand.  My Lord has never given up on me and that is why I am certain He loves me.  He will continue His work in me until He returns to bring me home- to Him. 

Thank You Lord for Your patience.

*1 John. 1:8; Rom. 7:14-25; Ps. 51:5; Is. 64:6; Rom.

Tuesday, October 18, 2011

Who is in control?

For by him were all things created, that are in heaven, and that are in earth, visible and invisible, whether they be thrones, or dominions, or principalities, or powers: all things were created by him, and for him: And he is before all things, and by him all things consist. Col. 1:16,17
Hath in these last days spoken unto us by his Son, whom he hath appointed heir of all things, by whom also he made the worlds; Who being the brightness of his glory, and the express image of his person, and upholding all things by the word of his power, when he had by himself purged our sins, sat down on the right hand of the Majesty on high; Heb. 1:2,3 

       There isn’t any possible way, within our human power, that we can control nature - we can barely control ourselves.  Take the example of our mouths and minds; how often do we control them?  This lack of control may bother some people, but not me.  I’d rather leave control of natural things in the hands of someone unselfish and wiser than me, who knows what is best for the whole of humankind.

       Today I feel a great assurance that all is well in the universe because our Lord is in control.  He is sustaining the universe and making sure it runs just the way it is supposed to.  I don’t have to worry about the Earth spinning off its orbit, or its axis tilting wrong.  Earth will not bounce into Mars today, the stars will not crash down on our planet, the sun is still shining (though I can’t see it here through the clouds), gravity is keeping my feet on the ground, the air remains for me to breathe, our molten core is not oozing over the earth, and we are experiencing typical seasonal cycles.  Overall, things are going well today.  I am assured our Lord will keep the universe running the way it should be.

Lord, thank You for upholding all things by the word of Your power!

He sits enthroned above the circle of the earth,
   and its people are like grasshoppers.
He stretches out the heavens like a canopy,
   and spreads them out like a tent to live in. v.22
“To whom will you compare me?
   Or who is my equal?” says the Holy One. v.25
Lift up your eyes and look to the heavens:
   Who created all these?
He who brings out the starry host one by one
   and calls forth each of them by name.
Because of his great power and mighty strength,
   not one of them is missing. v.26

The LORD is the everlasting God,
   the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He will not grow tired or weary,
   and his understanding no one can fathom. v.28

Monday, October 17, 2011

Dying To Self Will

       I found this on a site called Free Bible Lessons- available for use and to change.  Such interesting thoughts on a day when I am considering if it is possible that I can ever truly die to self.  It is a mix of A.B. Simpson’s work with additions from Rod’s blog and from me.

…If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow me. Luke 9:23
He must increase, but I must decrease. John 3:30
I am crucified with Christ… Gal. 2:20
Wherefore if ye be dead with Christ… Col. 2:20
John 12:24,25; Gal. 5:24; Col. 3:5; I John 2:15-17

When we read scriptures about sinning, we naturally tend to think of the more obvious sins—adultery, murder, rage, etc.

However, Satan doesn’t generally tempt Christians on that level. With Christians, the sins take on a more sophisticated look. I like to call them “sins of sophistication.” They are sins that are not easily noticed by others. They can creep into a Christian’s life and destroy our effectiveness.

Here are eleven different sins: myself included in the struggle thereof. None of us is immune. Like Paul, we need to press on to take hold…Phil. 3:12


Doing a thing because you like to do it to the detriment of God’s kingdom.

Examples: Gluttony is a direct result of the sin of self-indulgence. Remember there are more skinner gluttons than fat ones. You can’t tell a glutton by their weight!


(also defined: self satisfied, self contented)
Self-complacency is being more interested in what others think of you, than in what you are really like.  This is vanity.

A real danger here is to create this attitude in others by building up their vanity (ex. by flattery, over praising).


Confidence in our own strength.
Consider where our true strength comes from.  The correct terminology is “God-confidence.”  Humility is the opposite of self-confidence.

To have humility simply means to recognize our source of strength. We have been fooled by the world. We need to teach our children who they are in Christ, not who they are in themselves.


The susceptibility of your feelings to being wounded.

I wish every one of us in this church could have a deep, caring sensitivity to others; and yet have a hard shell when our own rights are violated.  Problems in this area can lead to church splits.

Selfish affection

Wanting people to love you because you like to be loved. 2 Cor. love to bless others not to be blessed.

Selfish desires

 “When you ask, you do not receive, because you ask with the wrong motive…” James 4:3  Most of the time we ask for what we want for our own selfish reasons and not for some greater purpose.  Or we give our wants a greater purpose in the hope God will then provide.


Desiring for yourself what rightfully belongs to someone else.  In the Christian life this can manifest by example: covet a job in the church that has been given to someone else.

Who does that class/ ministry/ position really belong to? You or God?

Selfish motives

Having actions which fulfill selfish desires
Manipulating circumstances so you benefit to the disadvantage of others.  Example: you walk in a room—6 tables, 4 with treats, and 50 more people are behind you. Where will you sit? Example: a church potluck where there is not enough food. We you be in the front or back of the line?  Are you in the back so it looks good on you?

Selfish possessions

Refusing to relinquish property in our stewardship to its rightful owner.

Who really owns all the blessings of possessions and finances in your life?  If the Lord gave it, why do we refuse to give it up?

Selfish sorrows

Tears we shed for our own sorrows.

This doesn’t mean we are never sad but rather ‘crying’ over what we don’t have usually because it is more important to us than Christ. (living well, lots of new toys, success)

Self-sacrifice or denial

Denying pleasure to ourselves with the intent of becoming more acceptable before the throne of God.

Humanistic religions are like this:
Mormans—work your way to heaven
Jehovah’s Wit.—witness way to eternal happiness
Eastern—crawl to the shrine for ?

Self-denial was taught by Plato. Deny the flesh to build up the mind.  However, it has crept into the church.  Man’s attempt to reach God has always been through this avenue of self-denial.  We are all tempted…
     Maybe if I never miss church… Go to enough Bible studies…
     Pray one hour each day… On my knees even…
     Drive a new car… Drive an old car…
     Wear old clothes… Wear new clothes…

The beauty of salvation is that we are acceptable by what Jesus did on the cross. We can add nothing to that finished work.

We are not under bondage, but freedom. We attend church because we enjoy worshiping God and the fellowship of the Saints. We serve God not out of guilt, but love.

Sunday, October 16, 2011


      Nathan the prophet went to King David to give the message that God was displeased over David’s sin with Bathsheba and to her husband.  David immediately confesses, “I have sinned against the LORD.” (2Sa. 12:13)  Unlike our government leaders of today who often lie, cover up, or simply use a variety of words to gloss over sin, David acknowledges his sin against God and throws himself upon God’s mercy.  David wrote Ps. 51 after his meeting with Nathan.

Hide thy face from my sins, and blot out all mine iniquities.  Create in me a clean heart, O God; and renew a right spirit within me. v.9,10
For thou desirest not sacrifice; else would I give it: thou delightest not in burnt offering. The sacrifices of God are a broken spirit: a broken and a contrite heart, O God, thou wilt not despise. Do good in thy good pleasure unto Zion: build thou the walls of Jerusalem. Then shalt thou be pleased with the sacrifices of righteousness, with burnt offering and whole burnt offering: then shall they offer bullocks upon thine altar. Ps. 51:16-19 

wash me, and I shall be whiter than snow
       “Don’t keep looking at my sins- erase them from your sight.  Create in me a new, clean heart, O God, filled with clean thoughts and right desires.” TLB David says to the Lord.  He could have tried the easy way out.  He could have gone and given hundreds of sacrifices pouring out rivers of blood, but David knew that was not what God wanted.  The outward sign of a changed life- going to church, speaking Christianese, praying impressive prayers, teaching and serving- is not what God wants.  Those are the sacrifices we give to Him, but read again what He wants.

       The Lord desires a broken spirit, a broken and contrite heart.  A broken/ crushed spirit speaks of remorseful and penitent life as well as a broken/ crushed and collapsed (no pride left) heart (feelings, will, intellect).  We are supposed to feel anguish for the guilt of sin in our lives, and then follow those feelings by action- changing our lives.  It’s not good enough to just be sorry; we need to make practical steps to change.  That is what God wants, and David knew that. 

       After the broken spirit and broken/ contrite heart David continues with THEN, God, you will be pleased with the good I do and the sacrifices I bring.  Not the other way around.  David seeks God to forgive him, erase his sins, and to change his heart into a new, clean heart instead of the old sinful self serving one.  We should seek the Lord for the same thing- with humility and brokenness; for we are nothing without Him, and we cannot be forgiven without Him for we are condemned by our own guilt.  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.  (1John 1:9)