Wednesday, June 26, 2013

Sammy (Sam-Sam) Stormy Too

We are very blessed to be able to adopt Stormy, yes, that is his name from precious owners who couldn't take him where they moved... and our Stormy died 2 years ago - this one is mellow just like his "big brother" We were going to take him to a kitty placement group today and Mick asked this AM if I would like to keep him (I had asked and then tried to shut up and pray for over a week now since we first visited him) I am THRILLED with my 28th anniversary gift! (since he didn't seem to recognize the name Stormy we are calling him Sammy (Sam-Sam) and he seems to be learning that name now... I don';t think he ever played with a "swizzel stick" or came to kissing sounds like our other cats - he isn't deaf (we tested him) Still a very affectionate boy even though today all the others are still hissing away - how rude (this PS is Saturday - the day our water heater QUIT.....)

Monday, June 24, 2013

Why Do We Always Want to Be in the Driver’s Seat?

We were trying to buy the tiny lot to build our first home. The cost breakdown came in too high. My dad decided on a business proposition as he wanted to invest in land but not where he was living. He rarely ever helped in his children's finances but he offered here. We bought the lot and then more things came in "over budget". I was at the point where I thought it was never going to happen and the Lord laid this on my heart.

Cannot I control? I who bedecked the starry heavens in ornamental splendor? Cannot I work out the small details for one of my beloved child's heart's desires? 

You may choose to REST in who I am or limp, encumbered for a time under the weight of cares you needn't assume in the first place. Is your loved one going to fail you? Did he? Neither will your Father in heaven. 

Breathe in my peace. Fret not. I am working miracles of self revelation in your husband to encourage him, draw him and help him be sure. You allow him and I AM to take the responsibilities for your covering. 

I have gone before you and the way is being prepared. 

I love you with an unquenchable love and am acting out that love in your life, home and marriage for My glory. 

Breathe in my peace, receive. 

Daughter I am your beloved, your redeemer, your ways and means preparer. Know with a certainty you have no need to doubt but enjoy this time as it unfolds for you. Be lifted up now.

We built the house and had much fun (and "blood, sweat and tears" equity) and 4 years later sold it and got completely out of debt, then built another. God is good!

In Genesis 50:21 the bible encourages us to not be afraid saying God will provide for us and our little ones, going on to say that he spoke kindly to them and comforted them. I think this might apply to us ever today.

In John 14:27 Jesus is speaking of the peace he gives to us, not as the world gives but Jesus peace. I have found that it rises above the world the cares thereof. The Lord goes on to say to let not our hearts be troubled or afraid.
Do we trust Him enough to believe these scriptures and allow the Lord to actually drive the car? Do we trust Him to get us to our appointed destination, the best one we could ever arrive at? Can we trust Him enough to turn over control to Him, the one who made us? If we can’t trust the Lord Jesus then who can we trust?

Prayer: Dearest Lord Jesus, help us to remember, moment by moment, who is able to guide, direct and lead us right where we are supposed to be. The wisdom of the world is foolishness. Help us to follow hard after You, the best shepherd we could ever hope to have! AMEN

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

Friday, June 21, 2013

Recent Fires

These are some photos in our front yard (and back) in the recent fires - you can see the one behind us as it just started (little puff of smoke on the mountain). The one with the orb is the sun in the smoke that came from a fire 50 miles from here. the others are also the smoke as it came in - you can barely see our close mountains and finally is a "normal" sunset before the fires sent smoke etc our way....

Wednesday, June 19, 2013

Flowers Sent too Late Or Maybe Just In time

Galatians 4:15 What then was the blessing you enjoyed? For I bear you witness that, if possible, you would have plucked out your own eyes and given them to me.

My closest friend wrote me a letter. Her teenage nephew has died suddenly, unexpectedly during an overseas trip. Her letter told me of his death and how she regretted the things she had never said to Ryan, things she thought but had never expressed to the person who needed to hear them most. Sort of like giving a corsage the day after the big dance, or perhaps even like sending flowers to a memorial service. The time was past and there was no going back.

She then went on to talk about our friendship and the little things I had said or done that had special meaning for her. I got tears and choked up. I had never guessed those were her feelings nor that a little comment I made way back had impacted her in that way.

My challenge to all of us is that we take time. Sit down, think of those in our lives who have impacted us, been there for us and helped us along life’s road. If this was that very last time to say something to them, what would you like to communicate?

Maybe you could go to the local book and stationary store to get a box of cards, you know, the encouragement and friendship kind? Just think of those you assume know how you feel. They just might not, you know.

Sit down, write that person a note and share your heart. That’s what writers do, isn’t it, how much more important to share those thoughts and encouragements with close friends and family members. Give them a blessing. Give them a verbal bouquet. Winter has been here long enough, it is time for flowers even if it is only at the tip of your pen.

Hey, you could also get the real thing to go with your written sentiments, flowers to brighten their day. Dedicate a poem or short story to them if you aren’t the kind who can tell it like it is. If you have a family member who is a “shut in” you could think about a box of cards that encourage. Sit, right now, and address the whole box. Write something special on each one, something you remember about them, some wisdom they may have shared, some character trait they modeled for you over the years and write the whole box to be mailed one a day for twelve days or however many cards there are in the box.

You have no idea how this could positively impact someone’s life. I will never forget the comments Paula made in her letter to me on the occasion of her nephew’s death. And to think that I might never have known what she felt and thought otherwise, if she hadn’t taken that time of reflection.

We can all think of someone who we appreciate. Today is the day to let them know just how much! Don’t wait, don’t think you’ll do it tomorrow but get busy and bless someone you love right now.

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

Monday, June 17, 2013

All the Nations Before Him are as Nothing

Our scripture for today seems to hit that nail on the head with appropriateness for the season: 
"All nations before him are as nothing;and they are counted to him less than nothing,and vanity." (Isaiah 40:17)
Our eyes should be looking up because it seems that His coming back is oh, so very much closer! Only when our Lord is here to rule and reign will we have perfect government. 
I am not sure if the world leaders right now are incapable of good government or just choosing ways which do not have the highest good of any population at heart. It seems that things are getting worse and worse with each passing minute.
However, if you balance all that out with careful reading of the scripture, especially end times scripture you know that many things which might notfeel good or right need to happen and then our Lord will come back. Most of the major prophesies have been fulfilled. There is an anti-Christ. There has to be such a world-wide mess that he can come in with a one world system and take over. One world finances, money and government will be. It is in the Bible and it is a question of when. Good news, we dont have to have that all figured out but we need to be ready. Praying, staying in the Word and close to our Jesus. Learning how to listen and get direction from His Holy Spirit. We need to be growing into that beautiful Bride who will be without spot or wrinkle and telling many in our daily lives about our incredible, beautiful, freeing, powerful Lord Jesus.
We are to be light in this current darkness which grows dimmer. We need to share our hope with those who ask a reason that we have that hope within us. The Bride can choose to look to His Word and see that though this whole planet might seem to be spinning out of control, God is right on time with His eternal plans. We are part of that plan and need to take hope in Him.
We need to make sure we have oil in our lamps and be very ready for our Bridegroom.
Matthew 25 (New King James Version)
The Parable of the Wise and Foolish Virgins
 1 “Then the kingdom of heaven shall be likened to ten virgins who took their lamps and went out to meet the bridegroom. 2 Now five of them were wise, and five were foolish. 3 Those who were foolish took their lamps and took no oil with them, 4 but the wise took oil in their vessels with their lamps. 5 But while the bridegroom was delayed, they all slumbered and slept.
6 “And at midnight a cry was heard: ‘Behold, the bridegroom is coming;[a] go out to meet him!’ 7 Then all those virgins arose and trimmed their lamps. 8And the foolish said to the wise, ‘Give us some of your oil, for our lamps are going out.’ 9 But the wise answered, saying, ‘No, lest there should not be enough for us and you; but go rather to those who sell, and buy for yourselves.’ 10 And while they went to buy, the bridegroom came, and those who were ready went in with him to the wedding; and the door was shut. 11 “Afterward the other virgins came also, saying, ‘Lord, Lord, open to us!’ 12 But he answered and said, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, I do not know you.’ 13 “Watch therefore, for you know neither the day nor the hour[b] in which the Son of Man is coming.

We can do this and all the while be praying ending those prayers with Maranatha – come Lord Jesus!

Come visit my blog!

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved.

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Bond Servant of Jesus Devotional (Words from the Lord Series)

Child you are my servant. Cast away all doubt and deception. You are sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise unto Me against that day.

Cast down your fears and imaginations. Be not paralyzed but free in Your Lord Jesus Christ. I have bound you to Me.

My bride, My bride, no fear but stand. I love you beyond your recognition. Rest. Selah.
In Him you also trusted, after you heard the word of truth, the gospel of your salvation; in whom also, having believed, you were sealed with the Holy Spirit of promise…. (NKJV)
For this reason I also suffer these things; nevertheless I am not ashamed, for I know whom I have believed and am persuaded that He is able to keep what I have committed to Him until that Day. (NKJV)
Who are you to judge someone else's servant? To his own master he stands or falls. And he will stand, for the Lord is able to make him stand. (NIV)
[ Jesus Washes His Disciples' Feet ] It was just before the Passover Feast. Jesus knew that the time had come for him to leave this world and go to the Father. Having loved his own who were in the world, he now showed them the full extent of his love. (NIV)

O LORD, truly I am Your servant; I am Your servant, the son of Your maidservant; You have loosed my bonds.(NKJV)

Who would you rather be serving? One who gave His all to set you free? One who died in your place? Or one who came to lie, cheat, kill, rob and destroy? A look at scripture will show you the truth and that there is really only one logical choice. HE (Jesus) is so able and we are but dust.

And as we have borne the image of the man of dust, we shall also bear the image of the heavenly Man. (NKJV)

The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly. (NKJV)

Prayer: Dearest Lord Jesus, thank you that I am sealed, bound and can stand in You! You paid the price for all this victory.  Even when I feel puny, because I am bound to You and You are standing, so am I! Your gifts just keep overwhelming me day by day. You are my Incredible Lord Jesus! AMEN

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

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Nightmares - A Biblical Solution

Have you ever awakened with your heart pounding, looking around in a panic or with heavy feelings that things are not right? Have you ever been really upset and then so relieved to figure out that you were asleep and now you are awake and what you were dreaming about is not real. Maybe it is time to go to the bathroom, whew.

I was having nightmares and the Lord took me through a process.  I was reminded of how Jesus faced temptation by the enemy and how he deals with it. He always used the Word of the Lord to make the enemy stop. “It is written….”

Matthew 4:7

Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’”

Matthew 4:6-8 (in Context) Matthew 4 (Whole Chapter) NKJV

Matthew 4:10

Then Jesus said to him, “Away with you, Satan! For it is written, ‘You shall worship the LORD your God, and Him only you shall serve.’”

I used the above idea out loud in prayer before quoting some scriptures before bedtime. NKJV

Philippians 4:7

and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. NKJV

Philippians 2:5

[ The Humbled and Exalted Christ ] Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus. NKJV

I prayed that the mind of Christ was in me, whether awake or asleep, and that He was guarding my mind and basically told the enemy he had no right to be there – some other scriptures I quoted were:

Romans 8:1

[ Free from Indwelling Sin ] There is therefore now no condemnation to those who are in Christ Jesus, who do not walk according to the flesh, but according to the Spirit. NKJV

2 Timothy 1:7

For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind

Lastly, I prayed the scripture below and reaffirmed that the mind of Christ was in me and the enemy had no place and I was trusting Jesus to do the rest. NKJV

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

I was dreaming about people I had wronged before coming to the Lord. I had asked forgiveness, or in some cases was no longer able to contact with the person. The enemy was beating me over the head with condemnation and I would wake up feeling totally condemned. After praying the above, if I had a dream I would wake up and pray for the salvation of those I had nightmares about.  It all stopped really quickly.

Pray about this and see what the Lord opens up for you.

Lord Jesus, I pray that you would be with my sister/brother in a most mighty way.  That you would give her/him peace and sweet dreams. We bind the enemy in the most mighty name of Jesus and by the blood shed for us at Calvary.  Your mind is in us, while we are awake and asleep. Lord we love you.  Please set us free from the torment of the enemy.

Psalm 4:8

I will both lie down in peace, and sleep; For You alone, O LORD, make me dwell in safety. NKJV

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

Friday, June 7, 2013

GOD is Your Father!

Do you find yourself needing to get a picture of just how BIG your Daddy is? Sometimes I find that I do. And He will gently nudge and remind me little bits and pieces of just who it is that I can rely upon. Bit by bit as He speaks to my heart and as I see more of a picture of Him portrayed in His Word I really do begin to understand. Once in awhile, I get a much needed “booster shot”. I am sure that we can all relate to this at one time or another.

My Daughter, who is your Father? Is His arm too short that it can’t reach? My love for you is boundless, limitless. All things work together for good. Know that with security. Be not dismayed or discouraged.

Isaiah 59:1 reminds us with rhetorical statements that the Lord’s arm is not too short so that it cannot save nor his ear heavy so that it cannot hear.

You might have noticed by now that I love Isaiah – the writing style and topics covered and the promises contained within that book are incredible for this believer.

In Romans 8:28 we are encouraged by the verse which tells us that all things work together for good for those who love God and are the called according to his purpose. Notice that it does not say that all things are good, but rather that all things which come in life work together for ultimate good if you love God and are part of the called according to God’s purpose. The focus is on our heavenly Father, loving Him and being obedient to His purposes for our lives. How can we then go wrong?

Romans 8:16-17 speaks of the Holy Spirit “bearing witness”, reassuring us that we are God’s children and heirs – heirs of God and joint heirs with Christ, if we suffer with Him that we may be glorified together. Maybe this is the original “no pain, no gain” but we do need to be willing to suffer with Christ. There is a definite cost to pay in coming to the Lord Jesus Christ but it is such a small cost compared to the “gain”. 

Who is your Father? God, the one and only who created the universe and hung the stars in place can be your Father, if you just ask Him. Forgiveness is the most liberating thing in life, Christ died and paid the price to set each of us captives free, to give us a heavenly Father who “adopts” us as His sons and daughters. There is no time like today to ask, He will definitely meet you where you are.

Prayer: Dear Jesus, please help me to TRUST during those times things look blurry to my natural eyes. Help me remember whose hand it is that I clasp tightly and to REST in You. Lord, help any who haven’t asked your forgiveness to do so even now. Lord Jesus, you paid with your very life so that each and every one of us could be forgiven and free. Impress this afresh upon our hearts today and help those who haven’t asked to speak with you about their forgiveness. AMEN

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

Monday, June 3, 2013

Trusting and Believing In One Who Will NEVER Let You Down


Have you ever told someone you’ll be there and then something happened and you were not there, whether emotionally, physically, spiritually you simply did not or could not show up? I suppose we have all experiences friends or family “letting us down” in that way too. There is Him who is closer than a brother who will never let you down.

Trust not in your own understanding but lean unto Mine. I am with you and do go before you always. Have care, not to get caught up in trifles unnecessarily but trust and believe in Me. 

Your ways are not always mine but know that you are learning and growing in Jesus, my son. 

Your obedience shall bring forth fruit in my vineyard. Go unto your Jerusalem and I will open doors for you to speak about and share your Jesus. 

Be ready. I will be with your mouth and teach you what you shall say.

Psalms 119:34 is a plea to God from the psalmist for understanding so that he can then keep God’s law and even observe it with his whole heart.
What a reasonable thing to ask for, understanding to help us know why and enable us to be more obedient.

You know those acronyms and abbreviations? ILY, LOL, BTW – don’t they make much more sense when you know and remember what those initials stand for? “I love you” jumps right off the page. whereas “ILY” might not. Back a few years ago my sister and I used LOL for “little old lady”, not it means lots of luck. And I don’t think that anyone had invented BTW as by the way too far back. So, if we understand God’s laws it makes sense that we’d relate to them better and be able to function within them better too. That means doing a little digging in His Word and praying. Are you up for that? It is time well spent.

Proverbs 3:5-6 is one of my favorites. It is the foundational scripture the Lord gave Mick and me when He wanted to move us to Colorado almost 17 years ago. Colorado, where we didn’t know a soul, didn’t have jobs or have any idea why our Lord wanted us here. We came. We have been blessed and blessed and blessed. But that’s another story for later on. This proverb morsel encourages us to trust in the Lord with all our heart, lean not to our own understanding, acknowledge Him in all our ways and He shall direct our paths.
Think about the strength in those words. God’s strength: trust with ALL our hearts, no halfway commitment here; put aside how we are understanding this issue, acknowledge God in ALL our ways and then He will direct our paths. Was that easy? Nope but it started us out on the greatest adventure of our lives and we are blessed, Blessed, BLESSED!

It is easy to give up “control”? No, but when the one we are yielding to is the Lord Jesus Christ we simply cannot go wrong, there is no better way.

Prayer: Lord Jesus thank you for being willing to teach and have patience with us! Help us to soak up the fact that our understanding is, well, pretty puny, Yours is beyond compare. Help us to act like we know that fact at all times. You are SO able and we are “but dust”. AMEN

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

Saturday, June 1, 2013

Sizzling Summer

Hosea 10:12 Sow for yourselves righteousness; Reap in mercy; Break up your fallow ground, For it is time to seek the LORD, Till He comes and rains righteousness on you.
“Come on, let’s try it!” my sister is visiting for the summer from Minnesota and has never experienced Stockton at its hottest.

“You need to try to fry an egg on the blacktop? I just got some blisters running across it barefoot…”
The elder sister’s wisdom coming through in my voice, but the egg actually cooked. No wonder my feet had.

We share an upstairs apartment and the window air conditioning unit has gone out. The landlord isn’t returning our calls. I am not sure why it doesn’t occur to us to withhold our rent check to see if that would prompt any action. But we are young.

So, there we are trying to sleep on a double hide-a-way couch. Sticky hardly began to describe how we feel.

I am working to establish residence to get back to college. Nursing is my chosen major of the moment. Colette is babysitting for three kids of a friend of mine from work.  They spend their days in the swimming pool at the college across the street.

The blue skies, with never a puffy white cloud and no hint of rain, were our umbrella. It was a time of innocence and adventure. We play penny ante poker with others in the apartment complex, have times of bar-b-que grilling together and rafting on the rivers. 

Still the landlord doesn’t fix the air conditioner.  The nights are long and hot and, well, somewhat sleepless. 

It is so hot during the day that when you blew your breath out of your mouth it felt cool on your lips, 114 degrees in the shade at 4PM for 5 days in a row.  We think about melting and I am so glad I work in air conditioning. In our part of California it doesn’t rain from April through October, nary a cloud in the sky.  Must be why it is known to be the fruit producer for our nation, that and irrigation change our desert into a most productive area.

Without the irrigation, it would  be a wasteland. Neither of us know the Lord then. Our lives are sort of a wasteland. We work, pay our rent, play poker, eat great food and live for the weekend parties and time off.

Colette is going back to college in the fall as a sophomore music major.  I am still changing majors so it is a good thing I take a year off to work and find out what this part of life was all about.

We are blind.  No one that I remember even mentions Jesus to us, well, unless you count what came out of their mouths when they lost at poker.

After the insufferably hot summer is over I discovered, quite by accident, that the window air conditioner hadsa fan button.  We could have brought in the cool air of the evening all night long had we but pushed that little button.

Not unlike how we could have both called out to Jesus to take over our lives and save us.  Save us from ourselves. Save us from making more bad choices that scarred us and our friends, save us from sinning and ruining that innocence we’d been given by our creator.

I am so thankful that both of us, years later, finally called upon His most incredible name and were set free.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved Use giving proper credit only!