Thursday, May 26, 2016

Making Time and Taking Time

Have you had a time when you weren’t working or were between jobs with a little more time than usual? And then realized that maybe you missed the most important thing you could be doing during that time? I have been there. In retrospect the most important thing I could have done was to spend time in the Word and with my Lord Jesus. I didn’t. I know there is no condemnation to those in Christ who walk according to the Spirit and not according to the flesh. I am reflecting back on that time so that next time I will have learned what really matters.
Here is what was on my heart back then:
Prayer: Father, I need You and I want to really desire to press in spending quality time with You; undistracted, in Your presence. I am not such a blessing to You lately. Please help me? Please help us in the church to be where You want us – SOON, Lord Jesus. Forgive me for not using my recent jobless time to get closer to You. Thank you for the time you do give me each and every day – help me to choose wisely! AMEN
"Strive not, daughter. Be at peace before Me. I have heard your cries. I Am working. Let your focus be Jesus. Timing is the key. My timing is perfect. SELAH."
Prayer: It’s July, oh, Father where are the months going and the years? I thank you for who You are and that we are Your people and You’re our God. Help is to choose, moment by moment to draw closer to You!!
In Ephesians 6:18 we are encouraged to pray in the Spirit on all occasions with all kinds of prayers and requests.

Our Lord is present and we don’t need an appointment or to leave a voice mail hoping He will get back to us later. He is there. He is with us. He is ready, willing and able to talk to us and to listen.
In 2 Corinthians 1:11 speaks of prayer again saying, in part ”Then many will give thanks on our behalf for the gracious favor granted us in answer to the prayers of many.” (NIV)
Prayer is talking to and listening to God, simple and straight forward but we do need to take time and make time to do that often.
Philippians 1:19
Yes, and I will continue to rejoice, for I know that through your prayers and the help given by the Spirit of Jesus Christ, what has happened to me will turn out for my deliverance. (NIV)

In Philippians we are told of deliverance. How many of us have circumstances today in which we could use a bit of help or deliverance? Prayer to the Lord works. I know sometimes it seems like I think of many ideas and solutions and then remember that I should pray about any issue that concerns me.
In Revelation 5:8 we are given another picture of prayer: Revelation 5:8
And when he had taken it, the four living creatures and the twenty-four elders fell down before the Lamb. Each one had a harp and they were holding golden bowls full of incense, which are the prayers of the saints. (NIV)
Prayer: Dear Jesus, it is incredible that You always listen and answer our prayers. Sometimes it is yes, sometimes no and sometimes in your perfect timing but you always answer. Thank you for your patience and for teaching us even through our blunders. We praise Your incredible name, Jesus. AMEN
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Wednesday, May 18, 2016

And By His Stripes We Are Healed

Many of us have read the physician’s account of what happened during the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. It was something even this RN could not get clinical about, I reacted poorly when reading it. And then to think He did that just for you and for me. To say that sacrifice “boggles the mind” would not begin to touch the subject.
Are there things in your past that are raw and hurting like they happened today? Do you suffer from something that traumatized your emotions, your physical self or your family?
The Lord Jesus can gently take you by the hand and bring forth a healing process that will set you free. How can I say this with certainty? I know from personal experience as there were shattered parts of my life that the Lord Jesus Christ has made whole. Those pieces of my life which were not even recognizable as anything but shattered pieces. The “me” that came out of those pieces walking hand-in-hand with Jesus is more whole and complete than I had been to start with before the fragmentation. I have also experienced physical healing on occasions. My doctor has the before photos on my chart and I am living proof of the “after”. HE is able.
Isaiah 53:5 But he was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.
Several years ago I sat with notebook in hand and wrote the following that I felt He was placing on my heart:
"Oh, my daughter, there is so much for you to learn. Healing flows not undimmed by human tears, where freedom is found. Allow Jesus access. His healing balm flows through you.
Daughter there are others who need my touch where you are. I will bring them to you and as you lift me up they shall know deliverance and health in my name.
See my life flow freely forth, beauty out of ashes. Your scars can heal others as I have healed you. Don't cover them up (scars) share in love."
In 2Corinthians 1:4 the Bible is speaking of Jesus saying that He comforts us in all our tribulation, which we may be able to comfort those who are in any trouble, with the comfort with which we ourselves are comforted by God.
Although that particular scripture is a tongue twister it is full of promise and meaning. I have seen His faithfulness to that scripture in my own life over and over.
Please grab a pen and notebook and look up the following verses. Write what the Lord is speaking to you through these scriptures.
James 5:16
1 Corinthians 14:3
Romans 15:5
Isaiah 61:3
2 Timothy 1:6
We have all been given gifts from God and they are to be used to encourage and reach out to others. We are His hands and arms here on earth until He comes back. What an awesome responsibility and honor!
My Commitment (Based on what the scriptures said to you and what you learned in the study):

God is so faithful. He can and does heal today. All we need to do is ask. All we need to do is allow Him to use us to reach out to others. Can you let Him use you to be an instrument of His peace?
Prayer: Dear Father, please help us to reach out in your name. Help us to share the comfort with which You comforted us. Help us to be an unclogged vessel for your use daily, in our Jerusalem, in the most wonderful name of Jesus we ask this, AMEN.
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved - use giving proper credit to author - thanks!

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

FEAR Looming Like a Horrible Storm on Your Horizon – There Is Help!

FEAR Looming Like a Horrible Storm on Your Horizon – There Is Help!
What if I have an accident on the wintry roads? What if I lose my job? What if my husband gets laid off? What if the kids get a horrible disease? What if someone is breaking into the house tonight?
We get to be really good at “what if-ing” if we aren’t careful. I am sure the enemy will whisper some of these ideas in our ears if we aren’t thinking them up ourselves. Is that your focus? Is that where your mind naturally goes?
1 John 4:18
There is no fear in love; but perfect love casts out fear, because fear involves torment. But he who fears has not been made perfect in love.
1 John 4:16
And we have known and believed the love that God has for us. God is love, and he who abides in love abides in God, and God in him.
“Perfect Love casts out all fear….” My word picture might not be the intended meaning of this portion of scripture but it was very powerful for me. Who/what is perfect love? God, the Lord Jesus Christ, the Holy Spirit are perfect love. God is love and there can be no one more perfect than God. The picture that came to me is my most powerful savior coming on my behalf and taking those dark, ominous storm clouds replete with lightening, thunder and throwing death at me… God came and cast them out – away from me to a place where they could no longer impact me – not with one tiny sprinkle or shiver. Jesus did it and they were gone!
Then I thought of the times recorded where Jesus was taken by the Holy Spirit (yes, the Holy Spirit) into the wilderness.
Matthew 4:1
[ Satan Tempts Jesus ] Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil.
How did our Lord, savior and prime example respond? “It is written….” And he quoted God’s Word to Satan over and over.
Apparently Satan can argue with you and me but he cannot argue with God’s Word. It looks like that is a sure fire way to get the enemy to hush up and leave. All we need to do is have a stockpile of ammunition ready (God’s word memorized or maybe even a topical book of promises if you haven’t memorized yet) and use it.
Matthew 4 (New King James Version)
Satan Tempts Jesus
1 Then Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness to be tempted by the devil. 2 And when He had fasted forty days and forty nights, afterward He was hungry. 3Now when the tempter came to Him, he said, “If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread.”4 But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’”5 Then the devil took Him up into the holy city, set Him on the pinnacle of the temple, 6 and said to Him, “If You are the Son of God, throw Yourself down. For it is written: ‘ He shall give His angels charge over you, ’and,‘ In their hands they shall bear you up, Lest you dash your foot against a stone.’”7 Jesus said to him, “It is written again, ‘You shall not tempt the LORD your God.’ 8 Again, the devil took Him up on an exceedingly high mountain, and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world and their glory. 9 And he said to Him, “All these things I will give You if You will fall down and worship me.” 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.’”11 Then the devil left Him, and behold, angels came and ministered to Him.
When you are fearful, aren’t you really saying that your God is not big enough for your circumstances? Or that the promises he makes in the Bible are for someone else but not really for you? Knowing these scriptures helps you to see what he has promised on your behalf and to get them into your heart and mind so they are ready when you need them.
James 4:7
Therefore submit to God. Resist the devil and he will flee from you. (NKJV)
That is a most powerful promise! It doesn’t say he might flee, or maybe in a couple of days he will go…. It says he WILL flee from you. I think the key is not our spouting off at him or ranting and raving but being submitted to God. Realizing HE has done it all on our behalf and taking Him at His Word.
Here is the kind of fear we are to have, this and only this fear:
1 Samuel 12:24
Only fear the LORD, and serve Him in truth with all your heart; for consider what great things He has done for you. (NKJV)
Psalm 115:11
You who fear the LORD, trust in the LORD; He is their help and their shield. (NKJV)
Proverbs 9:10
“The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom, And the knowledge of the Holy One is understanding. (NKJV)
Maybe you can think back to recent times when things looked impossible, you were afraid AND God came through on your behalf in a creative and unexpected way. It never hurts to review those times of His faithfulness.
Now let’s take a look at His Word. There are many scriptures which speak of God’s promises and would help you stand against ungodly fear.
Psalm 23:4
Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me. (NKJV)
Will we never have troubles or times of trial? NO, but God will be right there with us, walking us through so that we are able to “fear no evil”.
Psalm 27:1
[ A Psalm of David. ] The LORD is my light and my salvation; Whom shall I fear? The LORD is the strength of my life; Of whom shall I be afraid? (NKJV)
David had much to fear in the natural. Saul pursued him and tried to kill him over and over. David, in spite of his choices and sin, chose to believe God and God’s plan for his life. His trust is reflected in many, many of his writings like the Psalm above. They are there today for us to think upon and hang onto in our stormy times.
Another most powerful weapon against fear is prayer, communication with the Lord Jesus Christ:
Psalm 34:4
I sought the LORD, and He heard me, and delivered me from all my fears (NKJV)
Psalm 46:1-3 (New King James Version)
1 God is our refuge and strength, A very present help in trouble.
2 Therefore we will not fear, Even though the earth be removed,
And though the mountains be carried into the midst of the sea;
3 Though its waters roar and be troubled, Though the mountains shake with its swelling. Selah
Have you ever noticed that the enemy cannot stand to hear the praises of God? During a worship service or when you praise him privately? He usually leaves. Praise is also a big weapon against fear. Worship songs or choruses or scripture that you sing.
When I “what-if” I am really saying that my God isn’t quite big enough to handle the problem. I know from His Word that is not true and I know from experience. There is something about declaring that out loud too. There is really no better way that saying “it is written” and quoting a scripture which applies to your situation and circumstance.
(You might also enjoy reading my piece entitled “FEAR – Good Fear, Bad Fear – Is There Really a “Good” Fear” which addresses the different types of fear.)
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.

Friday, May 13, 2016

Are You a Spiritual Wiggler or Worrier?

When I was growing up I don’t think they had invented the hyperactive diagnosis yet. Yes, I could sit for hours and hours reading, however, when I was confined to a desk in school I stretched my arms, moved my legs, twisted and squirmed. I wonder…… Nowadays, when I am far removed from that school desk , I seem to hear the Lord Jesus telling me man times and is various words “Daughter, be still, quit your “wiggling”, tune your ears to Me. OK I know that I still need “schooling” so, God, please help me to be still enough to “hear” You. That really is my heart’s desire in spite of what may be evident from watching me.
My little daughter, the confusion you see is of the enemy but I am working through it for your good.

Whether you're frantic or at peace in Me, the outcome is the same.

So you can turn it loose to me. I have a plan for you birthed out of love.

Still yourself in Jesus and behold as it unfolds. Trust me.
In Psalm 4:5 the writer speaks of offering the sacrifice of righteousness and putting our trust in God.
The Lord would not recommend that if it were not possible in Him. How do I show my trust in God? Among other things would be obedience, quick and unquestioning. Oh, the angst and tight squeezed we could avoid if we learned that one really well. No arguing or questioning or “ya, but” responses but action on our part.
In Psalm 18:2 David is speaking about the Lord being his rock, fortress, deliverer; my God, my strength in whom will I trust; my shield, the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.
I think he captured a great snap shot here and this wasn’t even taken from the Amplified version. David had to know his God, know Him well to be able to list all these ways he was fortified by his God. How did he know God that way, through closeness in times of trouble, daily walking by his side and by relying on Him. I suspect that obedience was definitely at the top of David’s relationship priorities with God too.

Moving to Proverbs 3:5-6 we find one of my lifetime scriptures “Trust in the LORD with all your heart, and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.” 
The Lord used this one some 19 years ago to speak to Mick and me about moving to Colorado. We prayed for a year and a half while trying to sell the house and have been here ever since. I cannot tell you the blessings of that move, the wondrous plans of God since we came here.  He is totally incredible, have you “tasted to see that God is good” lately? I would encourage you to do just that!
This one is a bit different. I’d like to challenge you go to Proverbs 3:5-6 and read it thoughtfully – ask our Lord to make it real and alive for you today in whatever situation you find yourself. The Word says “we have not because we ask not….” Ask Him questions. “What does trusting You look like, Lord Jesus? What is all my heart? What does it mean to not lean on my own understanding? What does it mean to acknowledge You in everything? Show me how to walk in the paths You pick out….” He will give you more to chew on also I am sure. Read it over, read it again, read it several more times within the next few days and see what He opens up to you.
My Commitment: write down what the Lord is nudging you to make a commitment to, today.

PRAYER: Dear Jesus, please help me to be at peace in You. Looks like You are telling me that frantic wastes so much time and energy. I do hear You, help me to remember when I am in the thick of it next time. Help me to be quickly obedient. You are a most wonderful blessing. Open the eyes of my understanding, Lord Jesus, in Your Name,  AMEN.
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved - use giving proper credit to author. Thanks!

Friday, May 6, 2016

Can We Dare to HOPE?

I have not been a Trump supporter - had 2-3 picks before who have since left the race. I am not one to "stay home" but will keep seeking the Lord for who to vote for. A number of weeks ago, I was getting pretty passionate about this whole election thing. Never have I seen so many, even within the Body of Christ, at polar opposites in this choice. I prayed and felt the Lord lay on my heart "when the time comes, you will know who to vote for..." That told me that the field would be narrowed, that I would be voting and that the choice would be evident. I was then wrapped in peace.

Yesterday, after I saw something very negative about Trump I received an e-mail from a Christian friend who is sold out to Jesus. She had felt impressed, months ago, to begin earnest prayer for Donald Trump and she did.

She sent me the following video of an interview and asked me what my impressions about it were.

I am posting this so that maybe we can DARE TO HOPE. I had some questions at first but they were all addressed through the rest of that interview.

Please give me your thoughts on this?

I was totally blows away by the possibilities.

(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Please feel free to repost giving credit to the author - thanks. I am not copyrighting the contents of that video (BTW)

Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Elections - Time to Get Serious about America and GOD!

YES - I was hoping and praying to be able to vote Cruz-Fiorina.
YES - I am bummed that they didn't win

 BUT - I am now more bummed by those promising to "stay home"

STAY HOME - is a vote FOR Hillary. ...

Proverbs 21:1
The king’s heart is in the hand of the Lord, Like the rivers of water; He turns it wherever He wishes.
PRAY - pray much
Each time this has happened in the past (according to my memory) the WORST candidate has won... we need to PRAY like crazy - and pray for Trump to be used in a mighty way by God...
I have serious, sold our Christian friends who the Lord impressed to begin praying for Trump months ago...there must be a reason in all of this? I am praying that our next "leader" will not be used in judgment against this nation. Although we do need repentance beginning with the "church" God, YOU and YOU alone are ultimately our ONLY hope....
(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved.

Sunday, May 1, 2016

God is Talking to Us

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 you 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.
Following are some scriptures to think about.
Romans 8:7
the sinful mind is hostile to God. It does not submit to God's law, nor can it do so. (NIV)
Romans 12:2
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)
1 Corinthians 14:15
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)
1 John 4:4
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)
Psalm 135:5
I know that the LORD is great, that our Lord is greater than all gods. (NIV)
2 Timothy 2:3
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.
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(C) Marijo Phelps all rights reserved. Use with proper credits.