Monday, January 31, 2011


Separation from the world is not the mark of maturity. It is the mark of beginning to serve the Lord. ~Wayne Van Gelderen, Sr.

Monday, January 24, 2011

A Strong Tower

"The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe." - Proverbs 18:10
I recently heard a sermon from evangelist John Van Gelderen on this passage, and these thoughts are taken from that message. Throughout the Bible, the word LORD is used in many different ways. The sermon focused on three specific passages.
In Genesis 22:14, God's name is Jehovah Jireh - The LORD is my Provider. The story is of Abraham and Isaac, just as Abraham was about to take the life of his son in a test of Abraham's faith and obedience to God. God stopped Abraham just in time, and showed him a ram caught in a thicket. That ram took Isaac's place, and Isaac was spared. God provided a substitute for Isaac, which was a picture of how Jesus would be our Substitute on the cross.
Exodus 17:15 refers to the LORD as Jehovah Nissi - The LORD is my Banner. This could also be said, the LORD is my Victory. The Israelites were fighting the Amalekites, and Moses stood on top of the mountain watching the fighting. As long as Moses held up his hands, Israel was winning. But as he got tired and his hands fell, Amalek would start to win. Aaron and Hur stood on either side of Moses and held up his hands for him. As long as Moses' hands were held up, it showed the faith that Moses and the Israelites had in the LORD. God gave them the victory over the Amalekites that day.
Another passage, Judges 6:24, refers to the LORD as Jehovah Shalom - the LORD is my Peace. The angel of the LORD had appeared to Gideon and told him of the task he was to accomplish. Gideon was doubtful at first, and asked for sign that the angel was indeed from God. Gideon brought an offering of food to the angel of the LORD, and the angel consumed the offering with fire. Gideon immediately realized that the visitor was indeed from God, and he became fearful because he had seen an angel face to face. The LORD responded with gracious words, "Peace be unto thee; fear not, thou shalt not die." Gideon built an altar to the LORD, and called the place Jehovah Shalom.
We, too, can run to the strong tower - the name of the LORD - for provision, for victory, for peace. We can trust Him to provide for all our needs. We can trust Him for victory over sin in our daily lives, by relying on the Holy Spirit instead of ourselves. And we can trust Him for peace in the midst of trials and troubling times. Learn to run to the strong tower.

Thursday, January 20, 2011


Blessed Quietness

Joys are flowing like a river,

Since the Comforter has come;

He abides with us forever,

Makes the trusting heart His home.

Blessed quietness, holy quietness,

What assurance in my soul,

On the stormy sea, He speaks peace to me,

How the billows cease to roll.

The words remind me of the Bible story of Jesus asleep in the boat while his disciples desperately tried to fight a raging storm. They had Jesus with them the whole time, but they forgot about Him. Instead of trusting, they panicked. Those fearful moments must have been horrible. But so unnecessary, because they were never in any danger since the Master was with them. His simple yet commanding words remind us of His awesome power - "Peace, be still." I love how the Bible records that immediately the wind and the waves obeyed Him. I wish I could have been there to see the change that took place - from raging tempest to beautiful calm.

photo from


When you look at nature, you just can't help but be in awe of God's handiwork and design. God made such a beautiful world for us to enjoy, didn't He? Have we stopped to thank Him for that today?

Tuesday, January 18, 2011

Grace for the Pace

Our Sunday School class is studying our way through the book Grace for the Pace - Finding God's Strength For Your Daily Race, by Paul Chappell. It is put out by Striving Together Publications, a ministry of Lancaster Baptist Church in Lancaster, CA. It is an excellent devotional book, and I look forward to Sunday School every week because the lessons are just so practical. The book helps Christians to understand exactly what God's grace is, and what it can do in the life of a believer. There is so much misinformation out there in some churches today about what grace is, and sadly, believers are buying into these wrong teachings. Like I said, this book is filled with very practical lessons that really stick with you throughout the week.

Check out the website: Striving Together Publications

Friday, January 14, 2011

The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry

Our family just recently heard about and watched the movie, The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry. We LOVED this movie! It stars Gavin McLeod - remember the captain on "The Love Boat" or Murray from the "Mary Tyler Moore Show"? I won't spoil the movie here by giving away the plot, but it is a very powerful movie about being a soul-winner. Gavin has a very interesting story. He was a Hollywood actor who divorced his wife Patti. His wife basically fell apart after the divorce, seeking psychiatric help for three years. Then Patti was invited to a Christian prayer group by comedian Jerry Lewis's first wife. Patti trusted Christ as her Savior, and before long, Gavin noticed that she was very different. He eventually trusted Christ, too, and before long, they got re-married! How many times has that ACTUALLY happened to Hollywood actors? Gavin wrote a book, "Back on Course: The Remarkable Story of a Divorce that Ended in Remarriage." He also plays in Rich Christiano's "Time Changer" movie. Both "The Secrets of Jonathan Sperry" and "Time Changer" are excellent Christian videos that have a pretty clear gospel presentation given throughout the movie, and I highly recommend both!

First Post

"A word fitly spoken is like apples of gold in pictures of silver." ~ Proverbs 25:11

Words can be so powerful. They can hurt and destroy in just one sentence, or they can encourage and edify just as easily. Each day we have a choice of how we will use our words. It really is a choice! How will you use your words today?