Divine Power to Demolish

For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does.

The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world.

On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds.

—2 Corinthians 10:3-4

When discouragement comes my way, I cannot pick up a big stick and hit it.

If regret comes prowling around my heart, I cannot shut a door and keep it out.

When failure threatens to tear down success, I cannot push it away with strong arms.

The wiles of the enemy must be conquered through prayer and the power of God.

As I see strongholds of many kinds tightly binding those I love, I grieve for their condition and I long to help.

By myself, I can do nothing.

With God as my heavenly Father, I can pray and ask for His victorious  divine power to break the chains that hold them captive.

God is our healer.

He is the One who restores.

He makes things new.

He frees us from the ravages of the enemy.

He delivers us from evil.

Praise God from whom all blessings flow!

strongholds

Everything He Does

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Walking over to a bush in my yard, I suddenly noticed something on a Lantana bloom.

Not really being sure what it was, I cautiously approached an intricately designed, winged creature.

Was it a wasp or a bee?

Would it decide to sting me at any moment, for being so close?

One photograph after another, it remained on the flower, content to be the object of my curiosity.

Looking on the internet later to try to find out what it was, I found that I had been watching a Polka-Dot Wasp Moth.

Well, now.

Imagine that!

Wonderfully arrayed in red, white and blue, this moth was such a beauty to behold.

Psalm 111:3 reads,

Everything He does reveals His glory and majesty. His righteousness never fails.

God fashioned this moth just the way He wanted to.

In each color and design on its body, God’s marvelous power of creation was evident.

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God’s Way

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There is an orange grove just across the street from my home.

Where I live, the oranges will be ripe in a couple of months or so.

Steadily they grow, getting sweeter each day.

God has been at work in my life, changing me and growing me since the time that I became a Christian years ago.

I have known that He was with me, guiding me and protecting me.

I want to live God’s way.

How about you?

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But what happens when we live God’s way? He brings gifts into our lives, much the same way that fruit appears in an orchard—things like affection for others, exuberance about life, serenity. We develop a willingness to stick with things, a sense of compassion in the heart, and a conviction that a basic holiness permeates things and people. We find ourselves involved in loyal commitments, not needing to force our way in life, able to marshal and direct our energies wisely.

—Galatians 5:22-23 

The Message

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Quiet and at Rest

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What is there to worry about?

Plenty of things.

Yet, worrying won’t change them.

It won’t help at all.

Sometimes, it’s just good for me to walk around outside–even if it is just in my own yard–and look at the fascinating creations of God that are right there.

Flowers, butterflies, tiny blooms on weeds.

Birds flying overhead, lizards scurrying about, dragonflies that come to hover near me.

There, I find a calm and a respite from responsibilities, if only for a short while.

I have been praying lately about many things, wanting to trust God with people and situations, instead of worrying.

God is in control.

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Don’t worry about anything; instead, pray about everything; tell God your needs, and don’t forget to thank Him for his answers.  If you do this, you will experience God’s peace, which is far more wonderful than the human mind can understand. His peace will keep your thoughts and your hearts quiet and at rest as you trust in Christ Jesus.

—Philippians 4:6-7

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Done in Love

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I read the sign in front of a veterinary clinic as I drove past.

“DEAF PETS HEAR WITH THEIR HEARTS.”

Those words went straight to mine….

I have a fifteen year old Basset Hound.

Her eyesight is failing and she can barely hear.

Sometimes, I pick up one long ear (they are several inches in length) and say, “I love you” directly into it.

I hope she hears it.

If she doesn’t, I hope that she feels it in her heart when I brush her, give her a bath, take her for a walk or put my arms around her and hold her sweet doggy face near mine.

As you can tell, I truly do love my dog.

But after only seconds had past from my reading of the sign, I thought about it in a different way.

Certainly, deaf pets hear with their hearts.

The ones that have good ears do, as well.

Not only that, I believe that PEOPLE hear with their hearts.

Babies do.

Children do.

Teenagers do.

Adults do.

We may not hear the words, “I love you,” but we feel it when love is shown to us in the actions of others.

The thoughtful remembrances.

An outstretched hand.

The sympathy card.

The home cooked meal.

The flat tire fixed.

The tender hug.

Just sitting near us when we’re sad.

Just cheering from the stands when we’re out on the field….

God wants us to love each other.

1 Corinthians 16:14 reads, “Let all that you do be done in love.”

I have an idea for another sign.

It should read,

“ALL PEOPLE HEAR WITH THEIR HEARTS.”

Wouldn’t you agree?

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But Rejoicing Comes

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Sing the praises of the Lord, you his faithful people;
    praise his holy name.
 For his anger lasts only a moment,
    but his favor lasts a lifetime;
weeping may stay for the night,
    but rejoicing comes in the morning.

—Psalm 30:4-5

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I Am Doing a New Thing!

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On my way to church this morning, I noticed a group of purple flowers on the side of the road.

They were growing in an arch out among tall grass and weeds.

I made a mental note to stop and photograph them when I returned toward home later in the day.

Having lived in the same neighborhood for several years, I am surprised that I had not noticed these wildflowers before.

Could it be possible that this is the first year they have bloomed in this area?

Upon closer inspection, I am guessing that the winding plant with purple flowers is a type of climbing wild potato vine.

I didn’t plant it there.

In fact, I’m not sure anyone did.

However the seed was planted, it is God that has been making it grow.

Before the purple blooms appeared, I had not noticed what God was bringing about at all.

The vine was there, though, growing steadily each day.

There are so many concerns that I am praying about.

Could it be that God is answering my prayers—even now—yet I am not noticing it yet?

Could it be that God is at work changing and bringing something to life that will bloom in the beauty of His divine purpose very soon?

My heart swells with joy when I think about the moments I will perceive His answers to prayer, decorating my journey of faith with vibrant assurance of His presence and love.

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See, I am doing a new thing!

Now it springs up;

do you not perceive it?

I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.

—Isaiah 43:19

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Blessed is the Nation

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Blessed is the nation whose God is the Lord,
    the people He chose for His inheritance.
 From heaven the Lord looks down
    and sees all mankind;
 from His dwelling place He watches
    all who live on earth—
  He who forms the hearts of all,
    who considers everything they do.

—Psalm 33:12-15

God considers what the people of my country do.

God considers what the people of my state do.

God considers what the people of my county do.

God considers what the people of my city do.

God considers what the people living on my street do.

God considers what I do.

Blessed are the people who God considers and finds that they are trusting in Him with hearts of faith.

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