Monday, July 23, 2012

Claudia and Pat 2009
Colette, my sister

Going to Iowa tomorrow for a family reunion - will meet a grand niece that I haven't met yet and see other niece and grand nieces from Korea that I haven't seen in 3 years (daddy has his first command there and they will remain for 2 more years!) Will also see other nieces and nephew - Mick will be at home in the mountain meadow taking care of cats and holding down the fort...

SO I will not be posting things for a time here.

Can't wait - still have to figure out how I go to Houston to go to Iowa....GRIN

Will start the day very early tomorrow.

thanks for being a follower of my blog and see you when I get back!!

Colette, Ken and the kids and kidlets 2009

Barb 2009

Sunday, July 22, 2012

God is Talking to Us

Nope, this isn’t some science fiction fantasy piece. It is about hearing the voice of God, the very God who created the universe and set those stars in place. It still boggles my mind that He would desire a relationship with us as individuals, but He really does. He has expressed this in His Word, the Bible. That is one way He can and does talk to us, through His Word. Have you ever been reading along and had a particular scripture almost jump off the page at you? HE is trying to make something real and clear to you.
The Bible also mentions that God speaks to us with “a still, small voice” – that gentle nudge and knowing in your heart, that peace after prayer about a decision or that unrest when you know this is a turn you shouldn’t take.

Or that person who mentions a scripture and says that they were praying for you and that scripture came to mind. They might not even know what you are praying about and the give youi the same scripture which “jumped off the page” while you were reading His Word the day before.

Yes, it sure helps if we read His Word. Then it is fresh in our minds and He can highlight things He really wants us to absorb. It also helps to have praying friends.

Have you ever run and sat in your Daddy’s lap? Just to let him surround you with his arms and hug you close? You still can, figuratively, with your Heavenly Father. Maybe you never had an earthly Daddy you were close to – well, your Daddy God would like to be that Dad even today, the one you thought you never had. He is waiting, ready and willing to hug you close with His everlasting arms.
If we listen really carefully we can hear His heart for us today:
Sit. Bring your mind into captive concentration on my Word and your Jesus.

There is warfare going on and the spiritual enemies are everywhere. They  permeate the world BUT mighty is HE who overshadows all, has overcome and is yet to RETURN. 

Be a disciplined soldier loved and encouraged as the child you are, SOON to see your FATHER and redeemer!!! Selah. Selah. Selah. (Pause and think calmly about that)

Following are some scriptures to think about.

the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. (NIV)

Do not conform any longer to the pattern of this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your mind. Then you will be able to test and approve what God's will is—his good, pleasing and perfect will. (NIV)

So what shall I do? I will pray with my spirit, but I will also pray with my mind; I will sing with my spirit, but I will also sing with my mind. (NIV)

You, dear children, are from God and have overcome them, because the one who is in you is greater than the one who is in the world. (NIV)

I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. (NIV)

Endure hardship with us like a good soldier of Christ Jesus. (NIV)

Prayer: Oh, Father God, please help us to be good soldiers.  Help us to be equipped by You to fight the battle in our minds and to pray always without ceasing in the Spirit and in our understanding, to grow up to be like our Jesus.  AMEN.

I would love to have you come to my blog:
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Friday, July 20, 2012

Soak in the Word of God

Back in the days of snail mail I can remember longing to hear the mailman’s cart driving down our block, waiting with excitement that I might be getting a letter, from a boyfriend, from my sister or parents or good friend who no longer lived in the same city as I did. And the joy that was there as I ripped open those envelopes addressed to me. I also felt my stomach bottoming out when there was nothing but bills or advertizing in that clump of mail I grabbed from the box.

Well, the Creator of the Universe has written us a letter. Today I was reading an all scripture devotional and there was a paragraph about Jacob. I have been reading this devotional for over 30 years now with its dated pages. Yet today, January 3rd, when I read those scriptures about Jacob jump off the page for me. Why? Mick had called to say he’d be home early because his work was slowing down. His boss is not getting enough signed contracts right now. 

I prayed for work to pick up as I always do. In 2009 Mick was actually laid off for 4 months but somehow we managed even though our taxable income for that year was about a thousand above poverty level. God got us through and we didn’t feel deprived either.

When Mick came to the Lord he felt impressed that he was like Jacob. All those Jacob scriptures have always had a very special meaning for him. So I am reading along in my scripture devotional. The scriptures are talking about God’s faithfulness to Jacob in a dry and weary place. Those words lit up and jump off the page as I read on about God’s faithfulness and provision. I was reassured that our Lord had seen Mick and me though many a tight spot, through scary issues with health and finances. Also, through to the other side, we have made it with our hands held tightly in God’s.

Those scriptures gave me a real peace in remembering God’s faithfulness and feeling that He was speaking to me today through those passages about Jacob. 

I don’t always read the Bible every day. This New Year I purposed to spend time in God’s Word each day. What would have happened if I hadn’t been reading today? Would I have gotten more into panic mode about the budget and Mick’s lack of work? I might have forfeited that peace that I am now wearing like a warm and cozy garment had I not read.

My God is in control. He has numbered those hairs on my head and Mick’s that seem to wash down the drain every shower. Oops, there goes number 209. Yes, that seems sort of overkill, but the contrast is if he has named (numbered) each of our hairs then how much more is He concerned with every detail of our days and lives? He cares. He is able. He loves you and me incredibly more than we could even understand. How can we hear from Him? One way is to delve into His Word, that love letter written just for you and just for me, that testament with sentences which will literally jump off the page for you with encouragement, instructions and hope for today.

Can you hear Him whispering to your heart?

Daughter, read my Word, your answer is there in. My purpose is manifold. Walk forward in faith. I will direct and guide.

These scriptures speak of God’s faithfulness, our walk with Him and reading His Word. I hope they are an encouragement to you and a challenge. Soak in His Word.

My eyes will be on the faithful in the land, that they may dwell with me; he whose walk is blameless will minister to me. (NIV)

And he is also the father of the circumcised who not only are circumcised but who also walk in the footsteps of the faith that our father Abraham had before he was circumcised. (NIV)

It is to be with him, and he is to read it all the days of his life so that he may learn to revere the LORD his God and follow carefully all the words of this law and these decrees. (NIV)

After the reading from the Law and the Prophets, the synagogue rulers sent word to them, saying, "Brothers, if you have a message of encouragement for the people, please speak." (NIV)

Blessed is the one who reads the words of this prophecy, and blessed are those who hear it and take to heart what is written in it, because the time is near. (NIV)

Prayer: Dear Lord our Savior, help us to number our days and realize that the time in indeed near. Give us Your boldness when it is time to speak and Your knowledge of when to be quiet. Thank you for Your Word and its incredible fullness. What love You have for us, what incredible love!

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Tuesday, July 17, 2012


It is a watered down lemonade kind of sunshine day, where the sun tries to break through the clouds but doesn’t do a really good job of it. There is no fog, just gray clouds. There is a wind, but not enough to whip your words away. You can smell the wonderful saltiness in the air. We are finally back at the Oregon coast.

Mick and I are glove in glove with our hooded jackets zipped up. I turn to him and say, “Hey, we haven’t been to the Oregon coast since our honeymoon.”

“Yep, and I think it was a bit warmer that July than it is in this December. At least we have this whole beach area to ourselves.”

We had walked to the edge of a twenty foot drop off and noticed writing on the rock walls. “In remembrance of Jake, RIP," I read aloud. "What do you think that means?”

“Ah, probably just kids messing around, let’s see if we can find a way down closer to the water,” said Mick.

We can see the waves about one hundred yards out from us and a lazy tanker on the horizon. It was a great day to walk and chat. We finally find a little trail going down to the sandy area below us with remnants of old bon fires, seaweed, various shells and pretty rocks.  There are some huge tree trunk sized logs also. 

“Hey, those would be great to sit on if we’d brought a picnic. It's too bad we didn’t, huh, Mick?”
We walk the sandy beach for quite some time. There were no seagulls today, but winter at the beach was pretty, in its own way.  We continue walking parallel to the cliffs.

Mick pockets a really pretty shell. I am lagging behind looking for a shell of my own.

“Jo, RUN, RUN!”

I look down to see about an inch of water lapping at my new leather hikers and took off towards my husband.  I sure don’t want to ruin these!

WHAP! I am hit from behind.  My head is under icy water.  I am trying to push up but my legs will not move as they are weighted down. By this time I am coughing, sputtering and terrified. I get my head up enough to realize that one of the “tree trunk” logs is pinning my lower legs.

“Joooo!” Mick cries as he sloshes out to me, grabbing my shoulders from behind.

I could be drown in two feet of water!

 I choke and spit out, “Help, Jesus, help!” as the water slightly recedes and the log crushes my legs even tighter.

Then suddenly, the log lifts even though the water is receding, as if there was an unseen hand reaching down.

Mick lifts me to my feet, “Can you walk?”

“What happened, there was no water within blocks of us? We could have been washed away or I could have had my legs crushed by that tree! Thank you, Jesus!”

“Let’s get back to the truck. You must be freezing.”

Maybe that writing about Jake wasn’t just kids playing around.

We walk quickly finding the little trail going up.

“Why don’t you go to the restroom and get as much of the wet clothes off as possible. We can turn the car heater on full blast to help.” Mick looks at me kind of shaking his head.

In the restroom is a sign that says “Hazardous beach in the winter, beware of rogue waves”, this, in the restroom, not by the path going down to the beach. I take off my soggy, sodden, salty layers to find sand in my underwear, in my hair and ears... yep, sand in my mouth too.

Returning to the car, I said to Mick, “You will never guess what the sign in the bathroom says….”

“Come on, let’s get back to the car and get you warmed up.”

As the warmth stopped my chattering teeth and slowed my heartbeat, I said, “Honey, we could have been drowned, I could have had crushed legs and hypothermia, we could have been dragged out to sea…..”

Mick turns to me, giving me a huge hug, “Thank God He heard us!”

Even though that day was over 23 years ago I remember it daily. The leather hikers are still my favorite boots, only now they climb mountains in Colorado. The pretty shell Mick found resides in our bathroom. Written upon it is Psalm 55:16 “As for me, I will call upon God: and the Lord shall save me.” Neither of us will ever forget the hand of the Lord which was firmly upon us that nippy winter day.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Monday, July 16, 2012

Sometimes God Uses Us as His Messengers

 I used to think each time the Lord gave me a peek into something someone close to me was struggling with was supposed to go and speak with them about that issue. Pretty soon it became very evident that most of the time those things were for me to pray about on their behalf, a “prayer burden” if you will. Something I was supposed to intercede for until I felt a release. On rare occasions the Lord would make it clear if it was something I was to share with the person I was praying for. His timing was rarely mine and listening to Him was the key. Most of the time it was praying for someone when maybe they couldn’t even pray for themselves. I know people have told me about times when they were praying for me when I simply didn’t have the strength to do it for myself.

The following was started with a prayer burden I had for orphans. I wanted to leap in and do something (anything?) immediately. It was months later that things were clarified and I found myself going to Guatemala to work with orphans there. The prayer was part of the preparation for me and for the Lord’s work to be done in Agua Viva (Living Water) as our team went. His timing was perfect and mine was definitely lacking but I listened and prayed.

Let not your heart be troubled. I will give you direction and prepare your way. You shall go forth in My name and My time. Be not alarmed. I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say. Forget not the widows and orphans in their need. Rest and be not dismayed for I shall unfold and clarify for you. Reach out in My strength. I love you and want to love them through you. Selah. It is in My timing, I won’t send you unprepared not overwhelmed with fear. There is a time to get ready. Not all done for Me is on instant impulse. I would not ask that which I couldn’t/wouldn’t equip you to do. You SHALL know the timing soon, WAIT, be open and ready. Selah.

In John 14:1 we are encouraged to not let our hearts be troubled but to trust in God and Jesus.

Using the application of the above scripture you simply cannot go wrong.

Exodus 23:20 speaks of God sending an angel to prepare our way and bring us to the place he has prepared.

We think we can rush in but God sees the whole picture and is making preparations in the situation. He is preparing our hearts, finances, character and the hearts of the other people involved. I imagine there are wars in the heavenlies taking place on our behalf too. Only He knows the perfect timing.

In Isaiah 62:10 we are shown a process of the Lord’s preparation “Pass through, pass through the gates! Prepare the way for the people. Build up, build up the highway! Remove the stones. Raise a banner for the nations.” (NIV)

Exodus 4:12 shows God’s faithfulness in giving us even the words we are to speak telling us to go and that He will help us speak and teach us what we are to say.

I know for a fact that Him teaching us what to say eliminates the “foot in mouth” syndrome in our lives. All we need to do is tune into what the Holy Spirit is saying and speak His words. It works!

Finally a great promise, again from Isaiah:
So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand. (NIV)

Prayer: Dearest Jesus, almost every word in your Word holds promise and hope – thank you for placing them there for us to encourage, instruct and help us get up and go on.  Thank you for your perfect timing and that you don’t ask us or send us unprepared. Thank you for going before us and preparing the way and leading in your most incredible footsteps.  AMEN

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Thursday, July 12, 2012

Jesus Intercedes for Us and Our Loved Ones

We all have those family members who seem to plow on, making choices which break the heart of God and their loved ones, those who are doing things which are tragic in consequences. Maybe they are deep into drugs, alcohol, bad relationships. Maybe they are winking at “cheating”, stealing life from their marriage. Maybe they are stealing from their boss or just into themselves to the extent that they crowd out all those who love them.
Sometimes it becomes overwhelming to the family onlooker who has found forgiveness and been set free, someone who has turned their life over to God and is learning, day by day, to walk a different pathway.
That family member or friend who has been changed is chomping at the bit to share with you Who has come into their life. Who has set them FREE! And this all seems to be falling on deaf ears. That family member can so relate to where you are right now because, not too long ago, they walked the road with you.
There is much encouragement in knowing that Jesus prays. Jesus prays for us who know and love him.  He intercedes for us, maybe even praying that we will know the correct timing and boldness for sharing with a loved one and when to be quiet….
My daughter, my precious daughter, you are my own.  My hand is upon you. My Spirit is with you, be not afraid. I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say. Your loved ones are safe entrusted into my care. I lift them up in intercession before the Father’s throne continually. Be of good faith/cheer I hear your pleas and know the desires of your heart. You shall see fruit blooming in my splendor soon. Selah.

Now He who searches the hearts knows what the mind of the Spirit is, because He makes intercession for the saints according to the will of God.

Who is he who condemns? It is Christ who died, and furthermore is also risen, who is even at the right hand of God, who also makes intercession for us.

Therefore He is also able to save to the uttermost those who come to God through Him, since He always lives to make intercession for them.

So they said, “Believe on the Lord Jesus Christ, and you will be saved, you and your household.” (NKJV)

And if it seems evil to you to serve the LORD, choose for yourselves this day whom you will serve, whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the River, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land you dwell. But as for me and my house, we will serve the LORD.” (NJKV)

Prayer: Dear Lord, sometimes the hardest people to witness to are our own flesh and blood. Make me bold when you have opened that door and make me quiet unless you have gone before and prepared the way. Help me to remember I am not to play Holy Spirit but speak the words you have given me. AMEN

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Monday, July 9, 2012

His Glorious Plans

Oh, Lord Jesus
You start those little hopes
In my heart of hearts
As I begin to get a hint
Of the glory You have in mind

Saw a peek of Your splendor
In the sun’s fiery rising orb
Over misty morning lake
As boisterous birds and bovines called
Praises to Your mighty name
At the lifting of today.

Though he slay me, yet will I hope in him; I will surely defend my ways to his face. (NIV)

He whose walk is blameless and who does what is righteous, who speaks the truth from his heart…. (NIV)

"Have you ever given orders to the morning, or shown the dawn its place…(NIV)

Ascribe to the LORD the glory due his name; worship the LORD in the splendor of his holiness. (NIV)

The Mighty One, God, the LORD, speaks and summons the earth from the rising of the sun to the place where it sets. (NIV)

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Saturday, July 7, 2012

Clinging to His Hand Devotional (Words from the Lord Series)

Child, you are my daughter, growing in me. Jesus, your Lord will show Himself your Champion as you place your tiny hand in His most capable one. Trust – abandonment to Him who is most trustworthy. You’ve proved Him over and over. You grow as you lean more on your Lord. He is able to carry your load, your life, your growth. The more you let go the more you grow up in Him. Trust is a paradox of letting go while holding tightly to His hand. Childlike skipping along as He leads, your incredible Lord who loves you so.

[ The Little Children and Jesus ] Then little children were brought to Jesus for him to place his hands on them and pray for them. (NIV)

[ Jesus Comforts His Disciples ] "Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God ; trust also in me. (NIV)

Put your trust in the light while you have it, so that you may become sons of light." When he had finished speaking, Jesus left and hid himself from them. (NIV)

Instead, speaking the truth in love, we will in all things grow up into him who is the Head, that is, Christ. (NIV)

And we pray this in order that you may live a life worthy of the Lord and may please him in every way: bearing fruit in every good work, growing in the knowledge of God….. (NIV)

But Jesus called them to Him and said, “Let the little children come to Me, and do not forbid them; for of such is the kingdom of God. (NKJV)

Prayer: Dearest Savior, You give us SO much and ask SO little. Please help us to become more childlike, to be able to drop the childish from our lives.  Help us to cling to and lean on You as we walk the road in Your footsteps. AMEN

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Thursday, July 5, 2012

Jesus is the Answer

This is in the format of my book My Incredible Lord which is available (see button at the left) with spaces for the reader to fill in what the scriptures are whispering to your heart today. I will have at least two more devotionals coming up. Have SO enjoyed writing these books!

My daughter, close your eyes and meditate on Me. I AM your every answer.

Today’s admonition is short and straight to the point. Do we meditate much? I am speaking of focusing on God’s Word, reading a scripture over and over, “chewing” on the goodness of various promises and asking God to teach us from His Word.
Joshua 1:8 This Book of the Law shall not depart from your mouth, but you shall meditate in it day and night, that you may observe to do according to all that is written in it. For then you will make your way prosperous, and then you will have good success.


What is the Holy Spirit teaching you through these scriptures today? There is so much to “meditate” upon, God’s love for us, God’s laws, The promises He has taken time to write down for us. What a treasure.

My commitment:

Prayer: Dearest Jesus, within your Word we see the “recipes” for LIFE…we can meditate on Your love, Your works and mighty deeds, Your promises and what Your hands have made AND Your law and precepts.  We love you so much and thank you for leaving such meaty Words for us to “chew” on. AMEN

(C) all rights reserved Marijo Phelps. Use giving proper credits.

Tuesday, July 3, 2012

What Does Anxiety Purchase for You and What Does that Cost?

Think about being anxious or worried, it takes time and is a total distraction. Hanging on to anxiety doesn’t solve the problem, does it? It might actually keep you from prayer which could solve the problem. It keeps your focus on you and usually off the One who could do something, God. It gives you the side “benefit” of a tummy tied in knots, a wrinkled expression on your face and sends the message that you do not trust. That is quite a price to pay for being able to have an anxious moment or day, isn’t it? How do I know all of this? I have paid that price realizing in hind sight that even one day is too great a price to pay when there is an alternative.

Listen carefully to what Father God would say. Remember that He and maybe He alone is able to make that difference in your anxious situation:

You are so filled with questions – some necessary and pertinent. Some you’d do better without, for your own anxiety. You are learning the difference even now.

Your mind shall be refreshed and renewed as you focus on Jesus and ask. I am with you to teach, strengthen and empower you in His name.

Be flexible in my Spirit and when in doubt, ASK ME. I won’t leave you in doubt.

Praise be to God most High for His incomparable gift, His Son, Jesus Christ, your Lord.

Isaiah 26:3 speaks of peace, perfect peace saying God will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on God, because he trusts in God.

If we can focus on God and His capabilities instead of our lacking ones in the circumstances we find ourselves so much changes in our perspective.
Philippians 4:6 exhorts us to be anxious for nothing (that doesn’t leave very many exceptions, does it?) then it goes on to tell us what we should do, in everything (again, no exceptions) by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

Talk to Him who is so able. Looking up supplication we find that it too is prayer, earnest and humble prayer. We know what thanksgiving is and there is one who can never be told enough how thankful we are, Jesus. He gave His all to set us free. He paid for our freedom, why do we sometimes still act like slaves? For me this means it is time for an attitude adjustment so that my thoughts line up with His reality.
Luke must have known our propensity to “wart” about things when he said in 12:29 to seek not what you should eat or drink nor have an anxious mind.
Looks like this “anxiety” thing is not new to this era but goes a long way back.
In 2Corinthians 10:5 we are encouraged to cast down arguments and every high thing that exalts itself against the knowledge of God, bringing every thought into captivity to the obedience of Christ.
In a practical sense this means to put on our Jesus filter in our mind and eyes and ears and mouth. Let His perspective prevail and toss out anything that doesn’t line up with His Word and the principles brought forth therein. Toss out all else, the Word of God is our reality for life and we need to make active choices based only upon His Word and the promises, thoughts and instruction we find there. Get rid of the junk. Ask the Lord to help you clean your closets tossing out every wrong conception that doesn’t line up with the Bible. It is amazing to me how many things are part of my life and thinking that really have no scriptural basis. Over the years I have prayed to have the Lord “clean my closets” many times and have never been disappointed.

I will end with a great scripture which tells us what we should dwell upon:

Philippians 4:8
[ Meditate on These Things ] Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. (NKJV)

Prayer: Dear God, I know the mind of Christ is in me. Please put a lid on those wanderings and flights of thought I have that do not line up with your Word. Help me to bring every thought captive to the perfect will of Christ in my life! Let no anxious thought be found in me. AMEN
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with with proper credits.