"But Jesus bent down and started to write on the ground with His finger. When they kept on questioning Him, He straightened up and said to them, "If any of you is without sin, let him be the first to throw a stone at her." Again He stooped down and wrote on the ground. At this, those who heard began to go away one at a time, the older ones first, until only Jesus was left, with the woman still standing there. Jesus straightened up and asked her, "Woman, where are they? Has no one condemned you?" "No one, Sir," she said. "Then neither do I condemn you," Jesus declared. "Go now and leave your life of sin." John 8:6-11 The story in John chapter 8 shows so much about Jesus' personality and who He is. This is yet another wonderful moment in the Bible that I can just picture in my head. Walking to the temple, so very early in the morning, Jesus came to begin His day. The people spot Him and begin to crowd in and around Him. Seeing their desperation, He sits down and begins to teach. The Pharisees are watching. They just couldn't let it die. They saw one more opportunity to try and find fault with this man who called Himself the 'son of God'. They come toward Jesus, pushing their way through the crowd, pulling a woman behind them. Very loudly do they announce that she is nothing more than a lowly woman who uses her body to please men. According to 'spiritual law' during that time, Jesus could not 'excuse' her sin of adultery. But, according to Roman government, He could not take it upon Himself to condemn her either. Jesus, knowing this is a trap, bends down and begins to write on the ground. I have read this passage many times and only now have I ever wondered what He wrote. The Bible does not tell us. Many scholars and theologians say that He wrote the ten commandments because of the Pharisees reference to the Law of Moses. I believe He did write something to convict those who were accusing the woman. Why? Because we know that after He wrote on the ground and asked them to throw a stone if they were without sin, they all walked away. The writing had to be very powerful and convicting. Jeremiah 17:13 says, "...Those who turn away from you will be written in the dust because they have forsaken the Lord." The Pharisees didn't get it. They didn't get that Jesus was about to die for them so that they could have a relationship with the almighty God. The veil would be ripped soon. But then, I noticed Jesus wrote on the ground a second time. After everyone left, Jesus raises up and tells the woman to go and basically be free from her old life. So the question is, what did He write on the ground the second time? Most of you who know me know that when I think or believe something that is really just my opinion and I have no actual proof, I call it Corrieology! Ha! So this is Corrieology on what I believe Jesus wrote the final time. I believe He wrote directly to the woman. In my heart, I believe He wrote her a wonderful love letter that said something like: " You don't have to be empty anymore. I love you and I forgive you. " What a wonderful thing it would be to have a love letter from God! But you know what? We have one! God's word is our love letter. Do you know this? Do you know that you are so very valuable to God? No matter what you have done in your lifetime, you don't have to be empty anymore. He wants to fill your emptiness with forgiveness and a relationship with Him. Maybe you have been drug in by the "Pharisees" of the world and looked down upon for your past. He wants to erase it and fill you up with a different life. Are you willing to pursue this?Maybe you are God's child but have walked away from Him and feel as though you have hurt God to much to turn back to Him. All you have to do it just turn back. He just wants a relationship on a daily basis. You see, to me, this story is not only about us refraining from morally judging others before looking at ourselves. It is also about Jesus' compassion for the relationship with those who fail Him. That is me. I fail Him on a daily basis. But, I want a relationship with Him. So, I will continue to strive to turn away from ways that I know hurt Him. I don't actually know what Jesus wrote that day. But I do know, at the end of the story, the only people left were Him and the woman. Jesus took the time to personally and privately tell her she was forgiven and to go and live a new life in Him. He wants that same meeting with you. To know how to live your life in Him, you and I must continue to read God's word... His love letter. Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, thank you for loving me when I fail you and I don't even love myself. Thank you for leaving your word as a love letter to me so that I can know who you are. I pray for those who read this today. Let them know how special they are to you and that you want a relationship with them...
Tuesday, December 16, 2008
Friday, December 5, 2008
"Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." James 1:2-3 I hope all of you had a wonderful Thanksgiving! I must apologize that I am late on writing my post. Guess I was overwhelmed by turkey! Just kidding! I was thinking about how Thanksgiving has somehow taken on a different meaning to me this year. Of course, on Thanksgiving, I began to recap my year and all the blessings God has allowed in my life. Then, my mind recalled struggles I had faced in the 2008 year too. I thought of the many 'scares' I had had with my disease; quitting my job and walking away from a 10 year career; loosing my grandfather while at the same time, watching my remaining grandmother fight Alzheimer's for her every memory of our past as a family; wondering if I will have other children; hearing the doctor say, "you are a long way from remission"; hating that my husband has to go through the holidays without his mom...trials. Hard trials. But this year, I found myself being thankful for the trials almost as much as the blessings and here's why. I have begun to desire the truth and faithfulness of God's word. For so many years, I have read and even memorized verses in the Bible. But now in the end of our days, I have to do more than read. I have to be able to walk this Earth until my Lord splits open the sky and returns for me. If I am going to go through trials, I want to be able to do more than just "survive them". When the trial is over, I want to be able to 'come forth as gold' and be able to feel God's breath on the back of my neck from His closeness. For me to be able to see this happen, I need to believe God's word is effective and true. So, my philosophy is to apply it. I know, I know. It's not like it's my own invention! I mean, God tells us Himself to test Him and apply His word! But I have come to the conclusion that there is a way to apply His word and see a difference in our life. How do we do it?... being able to find joy in our trials. James 1:2 says to 'consider it pure joy' when you have a trial. We must first understand that when we face a trial, God is not telling us that the trial will produce a 'happy' feeling. Joy, in this sense, is being referred to as the outcome of having an intimate relationship with God. Because it is a fruit of the Spirit, it can not be achieved by ourselves but is given to us from Him. So this joy, James speaks about, comes from drawing as close to God as we can when we face a trial. Yet when we face a trial, God is often the last person consulted. Or, He is consulted and is abandoned when we do not get the response we wanted. This is why James relates perseverance with the trials. I have found that the joy comes when I continue to pursue a closeness with my Lord, despite the devil's tactics to pull me away. What about you? Are you currently facing a trial that causes you pain and despair day after day? We must know that God anticipated the problems we have in our homes, our jobs, our schools, our churches, and even our nation. He knew that His people would need both a reason to persevere and a way to do it. I hope you will join me in finding this 'joy' by drawing close to the one who can turn our despair into triumph... Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, I believe you. I can't imagine what I would do without your word to cling to. Help me to hold to you when I am on shaky ground. Use every trial to bring me closer to you and farther away from me. May I find joy in loving you...
Posted by Corrie at 9:14 PM
This past Tuesday, I had the privilege of sharing a word from God at the women's conference at Calvary Baptist Church in Russellville, Alabama. Because I grew up only a few miles from there, it was great to see so many of my friends and family. I can truly say I felt God's presence with us that evening. The Holy Spirit filled the room and poured out on those who were there. Wow! Thank you ladies for the invitation to come and be a part of such a special night! Love, Corrie
Posted by Corrie at 9:05 PM
Saturday, November 22, 2008
And they said unto Him, "Do you hear what these children are saying?" "Yes," He replied; "Have you never read, 'out of the mouth of babes and sucklings thou hast perfected praise'?" Matthew 21:16 A couple of months ago, I was cooking supper (spaghetti... to be exact) and my son, Canaan (age three at that time), ran into the kitchen holding his finger. I was frantically fighting with my spaghetti, trying to keep it on low heat so it wouldn't splatter all over the stove! In a sad and tearful voice, Canaan said, "Mommy, I hurt my finger and I need for you to pray for it." With dish towel on shoulder, I looked at his finger and didn't see blood. I knew that was a good sign (all you mommies know what I mean!). I kissed the hurt finger and promised to pray for it when we ate supper (the spaghetti was still splattering!). Canaan said, "No mommy. I need for you to pray now." So, I knelt down by that sweet baby in the middle of my kitchen floor and asked God to take the hurt away and to help Canaan's finger to be well. When I said Amen, Canaan looked up at me with a big smile and said, "Mommy! My finger is better!" He then ran off to resume playing. I began to cry for what my son had just shown me. Canaan had shown me the faith that God requires of me. When I prayed and asked God to 'take care' of his finger, Canaan believed it...instantly. There were no questions, no doubt, no wondering if God would really do it. How ashamed I felt to think of all the times I had asked for God to come to me and help, but walked away in disbelief. I know that throughout the Bible, there are countless examples of faithful men and women. There are numerous commands for us to hold firm in our faith. So why do we have such a difficult time believing that God will do what He says He will do? I believe alot has to do with the fact that when we become adults, we have a set mind that keeps God in some sort of box, rather than have an on-going relationship with Him. When we need Him, we let Him out of the box. When we are done, we stuff Him back in again. Children don't have that mindset yet. They are trusting and have no problem believing in something or someone they cannot see. Our job as the adult, is to communicate to them that they can have a relationship with God; that He has a personality and a love for them that is huge. I liked the fact that when Canaan was hurting, he thought about God first. Before a band aid or a cold washcloth, he wanted to tell God. In Matthew chapter 21, a big parade is going on (Palm Sunday) to welcome Jesus into town. The Pharisees are all there, watching, doubting. The end of the story takes place in the temple where Jesus had to 'set some things straight'. The verse above comes into play when children, noisy children, come running through the temple shouting, "Hosanna! Hosanna to the son of David! Hosanna in the highest!" The Pharisees perhaps gasp and basically ask Jesus if He heard how rude those children were being! Jesus reminds the men of Psalm 8:2, which points out how important the words of children are. I know that I am thankful for the words that come from my child. Canaan is learning everyday. He is so desperate to know why and how and when, but little does he know that he is the one who teaches me how to love God purely. The point of this story is two fold. First, trusting God is more simple that we (adults) make it out to be. We base our degree of faith on the seriousness of our circumstances. I am finding out that faith is faith simply because God is God. Whatever the circumstance, I can rest that God will work it for my good. I am striving to trust that and stop my adult brain from going any farther. Second, we must listen to our children and learn from them. I praise God for children. I understood that day of the 'hurt finger' why Jesus tells us that we must become like a child to understand what He fully came to do on this earth. I hope you will pay attention to your child or children. If you don't have children, still take the time to listen to those who are around you. Because when you listen to a child, you can often hear God's voice too... Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, thank you for children. Thank you for showing me how my faith is sometimes overshadowed by my adult mind. Help me to love you with all that I am and to never question who you are. Thank you for giving me Canaan to help me learn to love you all over again day after day...
Posted by Corrie at 12:46 AM
Saturday, November 15, 2008
"Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." John 20:29 Those of you who know me well, know that I have no sense of direction and panic when I am driving somewhere I have never been before. I don't know how to follow directions that deal with north, south, east, and west. I would rather you tell me to turn left when I see a big green house or something (poor Shane!) Anyway, this weekend, I was asked to speak at a retreat in Leesburg, Al and I had no clue how to get there. Shane had a great idea and he suggested that I take his GPS along ( I call it TomTom because that's the brand it is and it sounds like TomTom could be the name of the guy in the box that talks). For those of you who are like me and unfamiliar with the GPS navigation system, you type in your destination and then TomTom tells you where to turn and what roads to follow. My best friend Angel and I set out for this place we had never been before with no map, no directions...just the voice of TomTom. Soon, much to our surprise, we arrived safely to our destination. Then, when we were ready to begin our journey home, both of us had complete faith that TomTom would get us back. God, ever so sweetly, convicted me of my lack of faith in Him and my new faith in this box. I so often doubt God, who has done so many things in my life and given me overwhelming evidence that He is present, but then completely trusted this crazy box with no question! I smiled when I thought about the verse in John 20:19 when Jesus says that those who would believe without seeing Him would be blessed. We are 'those'. I read my Bible sometimes and think how amazing it must have been for the people in Jesus' day to witness His miracles or walk and talk with Him. How the sick woman must have felt when she reached out and touched the actual hem of Jesus' garment! But as awesome as it must have been, there were still those that saw all of this and still didn't believe. I know that had to be difficult for Christ. He was showing them the way and yet, they still didn't get it. Don't we still do that? God reminded me today with that crazy TomTom that no matter how afraid I feel sometimes or even when I think He is distant, His Holy Spirit NEVER leaves me...not even for a moment. In John 16: 5-16, Jesus is trying to tell the disciples what will be in store for them after He left. He says something that I find very comforting: "But I tell you the truth: It is for your good that I am going away. Unless I go away, the Counselor will not come to you; but if I go, I will send Him to you...I have much more to say to you, more than you can now bear. But when He, the spirit of truth, comes, He will guide you into all truth." Have you ever felt sad because you just couldn't feel God as close to you as perhaps you had felt Him the day before? I have. God is speaking to me tonight to say that having a relationship with Him is not based on "a feeling". It's based on faith. A commitment that exists between me and God. This is the faith that Jesus refers to that is all about believing God to be who He says He is ALL THE TIME. That was God's plan. When Jesus went back to Heaven, the Holy Spirit was sent to stay with those who asked Christ into their lives. I hope you will consider what kind of faith God requires of you and me. May we put our trust in Him with no questions or hesitation on a daily basis and look for His glorious return! Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, how wonderful you are to give your life for me. May I be that woman of faith that presses on even when I don't know where you are. Help your promise and gift of the Holy Spirit in my life to be enough for me...
Posted by Corrie at 5:11 PM
What a privilege it was for me to be invited to bring God's word to the precious ladies of Angel Grove Baptist Church of Jacksonville, Alabama! The retreat was held at Chestnut Bay Resort in Leesburg, Alabama and the theme was: A faithful friend (Proverbs 18:24). We had a wonderful time sharing, laughing, crying, and playing games that will forever be etched in my mind!! (Ladies, you know what I mean!!!) God also blessed me and my best friend Angel to attend the retreat together and catch up on lost time. God filled the meeting room with His presence and truly showed us how to become Godly friends.
Posted by Corrie at 4:53 PM
Friday, November 7, 2008
"Hear O Israel: The Lord God, the Lord is one. Love the Lord your God with all your heart, with all your soul, and with all your strength. These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the rode, when you lie down at night and when you get up." Deuteronomy 6:4-7 This past week's election is said to be one of the most memorable elections in history. Statistics show that more people voted in this presidential election than ever before. I have listened as many Christians encouraged others to vote for Godly principles and how that we must "take a stand" for what we believe in. While this is true and I did take my stand by voting, it is important for believers not to sit back after an election is over. We must remember that our faith and hope is not determined by a man, a government, or laws. We have hope in our Lord. Our hope came at Calvary many years ago. His name is Jesus. We must accept that no matter the outcome, God still remains in control. The question becomes, "what do I do now?" What do we, as God's people, do until we leave this earth by death or by rapture? The answer is found in Deuteronomy 6:4-7. God's word gives us direction. He tells us to love Him with all our hearts, soul, and strength. I think we sometimes believe that if we attend church once a week, try to read our Bible every once in a while, and live a lifestyle that is acceptable in the eyes of the church, we are showing God love. This is false. God asks us to love Him completely with all that we are. This is a concept that I am experiencing now. I am deeply in love with Him and I have just scratched the surface! It comes about by emptying yourself before Him daily. We must get rid of all the junk or idols that are before Him in our day-to-day life. How much attention does God get from you and I? Not enough, at least from me. God also tells us to impress this on our children. Have you ever needed a blueprint or an instruction manual when it came to raising your children? I need one that deals with 4 year olds now!!!! But we have one! In those same verses in Deuteronomy, God tells us to talk about Him with our children when we sit at home, when we are on the rode, when we lay down at night, and when we get up. Seems simple enough...but do we really do it as often as He says. Perhaps we can't tell our children about God because we aren't as close to Him as we would like to be. There are so many things that distract us from telling our children about Him. I want Canaan to know that God wants a relationship, a friendship, with him. I want Canaan to know what God has done in my life and for him to see God's power. For me to see this come about, I must keep a close relationship with God on a daily basis. What about you? Do you feel fearful and afraid because of the world? God's word tells us in 2 Timothy 1:7, "For God has not given us the spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind." That's exciting! Who doesn't need a sound mind?! God's word says He doesn't give us fear. God does want us to fear Him because it offers us protection. Proverbs 14:26 says, "He who fears the Lord has a secure fortress, and for his children it will be a refuge." Again, God tells us and our children how to endure walking on the earth until he comes. I hope you will join me in taking refuge in our Lord and teaching our children just how wonderful He is. You and I must also remember that if we are afraid, we are choosing to be afraid. God gives us other options... Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Father, how wonderful you are to provide a refuge for me and my family. Thank you for showing me that I never have to be fearful, no matter my circumstances or the circumstances of the world. Forgive me when I choose fear over your peace...
Posted by Corrie at 1:37 PM
Thursday, October 30, 2008
(vs 22) "You were taught, with regard to your former way of life, to put off your old self, which is being corrupted by its deceitful desires; (vs 23) to be made new in the attitude of your minds: (vs 24) and to put on the new self, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness." Ephesians 4:22-24 When I think about masks, I immediately think of Halloween. Though I am not promoting it's intended and original reasons for celebration, Halloween is a time of disguise. It is a time when people wear masks or a costume of some sort to pretend to be someone or something else. Masks are usually used to conceal the identity of the wearer. The origin of masks date back to 20,000 BC. They then were brought into the arts and were used to bring about different characters in plays. But still, masks are used to protect the one wearing it. Tonight, I began to think of the "masks" we wear on a daily basis as Christians. Many of us have worn a mask for so long, we sometimes forget we have it on. I am referring to the show that we 'put on' for the world so that the world will not know who we really are or what we are truly dealing with inside. God's word tells us this is wrong. Paul is telling the church of Ephesus that when we begin a relationship with God, it will be through Him that we are able to put off our old self (our mask=our identity) and put on our new self (the identity of Christ=who we are in Him). I believe that we sometimes are under the impression that once we become a Christian, we will no longer have struggles. We tend to think that our circumstances, both past, present, and future, should be immediately different and wonderful. This is not true. Our heart becomes different because the Holy Spirit has been invited in it. We, however, must begin the footwork of beginning a relationship with God in order to do as the verse above suggested: seek a new attitude of our minds. This is what changes our perception of our circumstances. Notice I said "change the perception" of the circumstances; not the circumstances. While God is powerful and can change anything He pleases, I have found that that isn't my concern. He wants me to be content with Him and Him alone...whatever the circumstances. How do we "put off" the mask? We must learn to change the attitude of our mind. This means perception to me. Philippians 2:5 says, "Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus." The problem for me was (and still is) that I didn't know Jesus enough to know what His attitude was like. The solution is the relationship (you knew that was coming!). It's true though. The more we get to know Christ, the more we can take on His identity. This is what we are able to "put on". What about you? Do you wear a mask to hide that you battle a rocky marriage? Does your mask conceal an addiction? Do you pretend that you have a strong spiritual relationship only to feel distant from God? There are numerous masks for all of us. It really doesn't matter. God tells us that we don't have to pretend anymore. But we have to take the mask to Him and lay it down. I hope you will join me and lay down your stronghold or burden. If you don't, remember that you are choosing to continue to wear the mask... Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, thank you so much for your death on the cross. It allows me to put off my mask to hide the imperfections of Corrie and take on your identity. How I wish I had removed it long ago. Thank you for providing me a way to live on this earth with hope and peace. I find it in you...
Posted by Corrie at 9:26 PM
Tuesday, October 21, 2008
While Jesus was in Capernaum... (vs 2)"There a centurion's servant, whom his master valued highly, was sick and about to die. (vs 3) The centurion heard of Jesus and sent some elders of the Jews to him, asking him to come and heal his servant... (vs 6) So Jesus went with them. He was not far from the house when the centurion sent friends to say to him: "Lord, don't trouble yourself, for I do not deserve to have you come under my roof. (vs 7) That is why I did not even consider myself worthy to come to you. But say the word and my servant will be healed. (vs 8) For I myself am a man under authority, with soldiers under me. I tell this one, 'Go,' and he goes; and to that one, 'Come,' and he comes. I say to my servant, 'Do this,' and he does it." (vs 9) When Jesus heard this, He was amazed at him, and turning to the crowd following Him, He said, "I tell you, I have not found such great faith even in Israel." (vs 10) Then the men who had been sent returned to the house and found the servant well." Luke 7:2-10 This is an incredible story that spoke volumes to me because it discusses a topic that is required by God's children...faith. Luke records many of Jesus' parables and life examples of people who had a lot of, or lack of, faith. This is important to me because I think that for myself, I must learn how to have incredible faith to continue to walk in this world until Jesus returns. I want to have faith that is so strong and unshakable, that it withstands whatever the circumstances are around me. The faith of Abraham that was credited to his righteousness. I felt that by reading about the Centurion, it gives us a good idea of where to begin... After a sermon, Jesus came into Capernaum and was told of a troubled centurion who had a sick slave who was going to die. A centurion was a soldier in Herod Antipas's army who commanded and led over 100 men. Theologians tell us that the centurion was a Gentile but had heard of the healing power of Jesus. Out of respect, the soldier sends Jewish elders on his behalf to relay this message to Jesus. Jesus decides to go and help the centurion's slave and begins to journey toward his house. Luke then tells of the centurion's humility because he tells that he is so very unworthy of Jesus even entering his home. Then, the point of the story unfolds. The centurion recognizes Jesus' authority. He tells Jesus that he to, is a man of authority and when he gives a command to his soldiers, it is done! Wow! And then my favorite part... Jesus was amazed. He was amazed that this guy, this Gentile, who had no obligation to believe in Jesus because of the law, the crowd that was following Him, or anything else, established his faith based on Jesus' authority alone. This centurion knew all about the power of command and he knew that Jesus' authority was all that was needed to produce healing. I feel that this is a concept that we (I) often forget when it comes to strengthening my faith. I believe that we tend to try and 'muster up' faith from other Christians or from certain verses that tell us that everything is going to be 'ok'. While God's word is written to bring us comfort in the midst of our trials, it is also, above all, written to remind us of God's authority over our circumstances. I guess what I am saying is that it is important to not only "read" the scriptures, but to pay attention to our mindset while reading the scriptures. I tend to read them from a very defeated standpoint. I don't know about you but when I think of the power of Christ, I get so excited. I think about His authority over satan. I think about His authority over the wind and the storms. And then, I think about His authority over my sickness, my enemies, and whatever fiery dart is thrown my way! This, my friends, should increase our faith! It is all about His authority. The centurion committed the life of his beloved friend into the hands of Jesus because he understood the simple spoken power Christ had over any obstacle that would present itself. It is my desire to amaze my Lord. I want to have confidence in the God I serve. In this story, the slave was healed. However, we must be willing to be content with the outcome of the One who is in authority. You and I must agree to give Him authority first. How offensive it must be to doubt Jesus' authority over my petty problems in my life when He overcame death. I pray that you will join me in learning from this story. May we, His children, recognize the awesome authority of our Lord and then began to draw our faith... Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, I stand in awe of your word. Thank you for letting me see this story of the centurion and what was missing in my relationship with you. You are my conqueror and my redeemer. Help me never to forget that in my walk with you...
Posted by Corrie at 7:07 PM
Saturday, October 11, 2008
"For you, O Lord, have delivered my soul from death, my eyes from tears, my feet from stumbling, that I may walk before the Lord in the land of the living." Psalm 116:8-9 This week is bitter sweet for me in regard to memories. On October 16, 2004, God blessed me with the most incredible gift...my son, Canaan. Shane and I had tried for a long time to have a baby. In conversation with God one day, He promised that He would give me a child. But even with that promise, it was a sad time in my life. But before God could give me the child He'd promised me, He had to help me learn to depend on Him and He had to show me that I needed to be delivered in many areas of my life. Why? Because I would need to teach that promised baby how to depend on Him for deliverance as well. What a happy day it was when I heard that baby cry! His name, Canaan, reminds me and all who see him that waiting is an important part of spiritual growth and God's promise. On October 4, 2006, my grandmother died. One week later, I was hospitalized and the doctors of UAB confirmed my diagnosis of Takayasu's Arteritis. I felt as if my life was slipping away that October. My grandmother...how could I go on with out her in my life? My disease... would I even live to see this 'promised child' grow to have children of his own? But soon, God began to reveal Himself to me in a mighty way. I realized something that I'd never realized before. I suddenly knew that this life, this 'land of the living', was only that. There was so much more in HIM! You see, with out a personal relationship with God, you can only exist in the land of the living. But with an intimate daily relationship with Him, you can be delivered! The Psalmist writes that in the verse above. What is the difference between 'just existing' and walking before the Lord (finding out God's will for your life, which is the very best! )? The difference is deliverance. God has ever so sweetly shown me that when I come to Him when I am weary from my sickness or tired from financial strain, He personally delivers me in some way. When I am saddened with grief when I loose those I love, He delivers my eyes from tears. He is the one who keeps my feet from stumbling...even over objects I may never see. What about you? Do you feel like you are only existing? Maybe you need to be delivered from sin through salvation. Maybe you are His child but don't feel a bond with Him like you want to or that your heart aches to have. Good news! He delivers. Deliverance can come in different forms, though. For example, God has left my disease in place for now, but continues to deliver me from fear and sadness that come to my mind. The key is believing that He can deliver. That has made the complete difference in my life. I believe that He will deliver me and however He does it, I must trust that it is the best for my life. Perhaps you find the trial you face to be the same, day after day after day. Perhaps you find it too difficult to "just believe" Him to deliver you. It is my prayer that we focus not on the trial at hand and not on the deliverance itself, but that you and I focus on how to know the ONE who delivers! Soon, we will become so in love with Him that we will be able to find actual joy in the trial (James 1:2). I hope you will run to Him tonight. I hope you and I will 'walk before the Lord' (and not just exist) in the land of the living... Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Father, how happy I am to have you as my God, my deliverer. You have sometimes left trials in place, but delivered my mind and my emotions, bringing me freedom like I've never known! I pray for those who read this. May they truly see you for who you are and believe you to be their deliverer!
Posted by Corrie at 7:54 PM
Monday, September 29, 2008
"Every day He was teaching at the temple. But the chief priests, the teachers of the law and the leaders among the people were trying to kill Him. (48) Yet they could not find any way to do it, because all the people hung on His words." Luke 19: 47-48 I can picture the verses above in my mind. I can see the see the chief priests dressed in robes of the finest linen. The robes would have been vibrant in color, such as deep blue, violet, and scarlet. In between these colors were woven specks of gold. These colors represented the sanctuary. Upon the chief priests' head were plates of crowns of pure gold with the inscription, "Holy to Yahweh!" The well dressed men were important figures in the crowd... but not that day. The attention was on another man. The man that held their attention; the man who was simply dressed and no doubt looked tired and dusty from travel. This man called Jesus. I can see the crowd pressing into Jesus trying to be as close to him as they could. The men and women and children longed to hear what He was saying. The chief priests and the 'teachers of the law' perhaps stood from afar with their arms crossed and their temples empty. They plotted to kill Him. But as they came close to Jesus, the crowd pushed them away because they wanted to hear every word that Jesus said. Haven't we, as a nation, tried to 'kill' this man called Jesus? Hasn't he been removed from our schools? Hasn't He been excluded Him from many American homes? He has been told that He is not welcome in many marriages. We have even pushed Him away from His own house-the church. Many churches are facing spiritual death because they refuse to believe that His word is real and true. Why have we (as a nation) done this? I believe the answer is that we refuse to 'hang on His word.' We have become a self-help nation. We are running to find the latest self-help book or will tune into the daily talk show to seek advice to find healing for our broken hearts and broken homes. At times, I am guilty of calling a friend before I will tell my Lord that I am sad or anxious. We read a verses like Luke 19:47-48 in the Bible and think how 'hypocritical' it was for the Chief Priests to want to rid the world of Jesus because they simply did not believe He was who He said He was. I cry tonight because it's 2008 and we still are a nation who doesn't fully accept this man for who He is. I can't bear the thought that His very own people, me, doubt Him daily. Perhaps you are having difficulty in your life and your heart is breaking. Perhaps you long for peace, hope, and a promise that in the end, you will be loved. I write this post tonight to let you know that if you begin to believe in the word of God, He will make your burden light. My Bible is so very special to me. I know that what ever happens in my life, God will speak through His word. The question is, "Do I hang on every word?" Hang, used in this sentence, means 'to give complete attention'. How often do I fail to give God and His word my complete attention. Will God's people rise up to give Him our complete attention? Will we be radiant beams of light reflecting who He is to others? I pray we do... Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, I am so sorry that I have taken you for granted. Forgive me for not totally giving you complete control over every area of my life. Help me to look to your holy word and be so captivated by it that I can't begin or end my day without it. Help me to live it out loud...
Posted by Corrie at 5:38 PM
I would like to thank the ladies of Saragossa Baptist Church for inviting me to participate in the wonderful Prayer Fest this past Saturday! The theme was "The Marriage of the Lamb" which came from Revelation 19:7--"Let us rejoice and be glad and give him glory! For the wedding of the Lamb has come, and his bride has made herself ready." The whole day was devoted to celebrating the fact that we are indeed his awaiting bride and we must prepare ourselves. The day was wonderful and the Holy Spirit truly came and filled our hearts. Love, Corrie
Posted by Corrie at 5:21 PM
Sunday, September 21, 2008
"... for death is the destiny of every man; the living should take this to heart." Ecclesiastes 7:2 "He is not here; He has risen, just as He said. Come see the place where He lay." Matthew 28:6 1 Corinthians 16:54-55 "...Death has been swallowed up in victory. (v55) Where, O death, is your victory? Where, O death, is your sting?" I would like to thank you for your prayers, cards, calls, and emails. This week has been a trying time for me and my family due to the loss of my grandfather, Guy Williford. As I prayed about what to write for a new post, God began to open my eyes and helped me look at death with a whole new perspective. I couldn't wait to share it with you... I truly believe that there is one thing that we, universally, can relate to and that one thing is death. We have all experienced, or will experience, the loss of someone very dear to our hearts at some time in our life. For me, each time I experience a death of a loved one, I feel as though my heart is breaking into. One reason I believe death to be so painful is that, for our earthly bodies, it is final. 1 Thess. 4:16 tells us that death is for every man and that the living should take it to heart. We should pay attention to that and count our time with our loved ones as valuable. But I think that 'valuable time' is time spent telling them about our Lord and Savior. Caring for their soul is taking it to heart because that is true love...God's love. As I stood beside my grandfather's casket, I found myself wishing for a brief moment that this could all be a mistake. I suppose I had realized the earthly finality of death. But then, my mind began to move to Jesus. I suddenly realized why God chose death for Jesus to overcome! Jesus conquered death! He knew that everyone would experience the sadness of death and He knew the impact of rising again. 1 Corinthians 15:55 makes reference to the 'sting of death' being no more because of the great victory of Christ! Standing there, I began to praise God for allowing His son to die for me and then to raise Him up for me as well. I can't help but wonder if those who were at the cross looked upon the lifeless body of Christ and thought about the finality. But when they went to the tomb and found it empty! How they must have rejoiced when they figured out what had happened! Matt. 28:6 tells that Christ had risen...JUST AS HE SAID! That tells me that God does what He says He will do. If you and I are facing problems in our life and are afraid or concerned about how it will turn out, we can know that God will do what He says He will do! We must read His word to find out what that will be. Why can't we believe that God would surly help us when we are in need when He raised Jesus from the dead? I've got to tell you that none of my problems are bigger than that! I have come to believe that in order to survive in this place called "earth", I must trust God to do what He says He will do. This is faith. The power that Christ had to conquer death is the same power that is given to us when we invite Him into our lives. I must tell you that I seldom walk around with this in mind. How easy it is for me to think that I am defeated by my sickness or defeated by my circumstances. This past week has helped me to better understand the true meaning of James 1:2: "Consider it pure joy, my brothers, whenever you face trials of many kinds, because you know that the testing of your faith develops perseverance." Through the death of my PaPaw Guy, I have learned that Jesus was victorious over physical death so that I can have victory over spiritual death! By trusting Him as my Lord and Savior, I am dead to sin and have a new life with Him! Do you know that victory? If you are His child, do you know that the power of the Holy Spirit flows within you? For whatever you are facing, I hope you will remember that His power was enough for Him to conquer death, so it will be enough for you and me. Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, I praise your Holy name for being victorious over death! Because of you, I will be with you in eternity. Because of you, I will be reunited with those I love. Help me to remember that your power over death out weighs any obstacle I have before me. I will bring my burdens to you and watch you be victorious over and over again!
Posted by Corrie at 10:32 PM
Tuesday, September 9, 2008
Genesis 5:23-"And after he became the father of Methuselah, Enoch walked with God 300 years and had other sons and daughters. (24) Enoch walked with God; then he was no more, because God took him away." (NIV) "By faith Enoch was translated that he should not see death; and was not found, because God had translated him: for before his translation he had this testimony, that had pleased God." Hebrews 11:5 (KJV) I was reading in my Bible the other day and stumbled across the above scripture in Genesis. I thought the fact that a man actually walked with God was incredible and stayed on my mind. I now know that God allowed this to stay on my mind and peeked my curiosity. I wanted to share with you what God revealed to me about this man; this man, who seems to have so very little recorded about him... a man called Enoch. If you noticed, I used two different translations in the above verses to help explain the content for this post. Enoch was a descendant of Adam and yes, Cain. At first glance, it looks at though very little is said about Enoch. But if you look closely, you find two incredible things about him-1.) He walked with God and 2.) He did not die but was 'raptured up' by God. While escaping death is enough for me to say, "hummmmm", knowing Enoch walked with God prompted me to look deeper as to how he was able to walk with God and was this something I could do? When I think about walking with someone, side by side, I usually have a very good reason for doing so. The reason is usually to engage in a conversation. If I am walking behind someone, their voice is often muffled or distant and I find myself constantly asking them to repeat themselves. If someone is behind me, I find that I have to stop or slow down with my walk to talk to them. This to, interferes with my destination. I thought about the relationship between God and me. I am often running ahead of Him with thoughts or actions that I think He should already be doing! Or, I find myself dragging slowly behind as He calls me to step out on my faith, creating resistance to His plan for me. I have decided the best place to be is walking with Him, side by side. After all, isn't this the best scenario for two people who are communicating or who have a relationship? So, how do we do this? How do we 'walk with God' just as Enoch did? This brings me to the second above scripture, Hebrews 11:5. The King James version refers to Enoch as having this 'testimony' that pleased God. By definition, testimony refers to "an outward sign" or "evidence" of something. I believe Enoch lived out what he believe about the God he served. I believe he was able to do this because of the faith he had in God. The whole chapter of Hebrews 11 is dedicated to the great men and women of faith. Enoch is one of those mentioned. Immediately following the mention of Enoch, the Bible says, "And without faith, it is impossible to please God, because anyone who comes to him must believe that he exists and that he rewards those who earnestly seek him" (Hebrews 11:6). I don't believe this was just 'randomly' inserted. I believe God associates the type of faith that is pleasing to him with a man who possessed such faith--Enoch. We cannot get around believing God. We talk about how difficult it is, yet we have no reason to doubt. I have come to a powerful conclusion: I want to live a testimony that is pleasing to God so that I can walk with God. I don't want to try to lead God or drag behind. I want God to want to walk with me because I believe in everything He says He is and is to come. I want to be close to His shoulder if I need to cry and close to His hand in case I stumble... Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, how I fail you with my doubt and lack of faith. I have nothing that tells me you will not be faithful to me, but have your whole word that tells me just how faithful you are. Help me to live an outward testimony to who you are...
Posted by Corrie at 7:03 PM
Sunday, August 24, 2008
"Let the words of my mouth and the meditation of my heart, be acceptable in thy sight, O Lord, my strength, and my redeemer." Psalm 19:14 "Is God happy with me, Mommy?" asked Canaan (my 3 year old son), as we were driving down the road. The question shocked me and melted my heart at the same time. I wondered what was going on in that precious busy little mind of his that he would ask such a question 'out of the blue'. I asked Canaan, "Do you think God is happy with you?" He said, "Yes Mommy. I love God and He hears me when I say my blessing and my night-night prayers." Tears filled my eyes because God allowed me to see just how profound my son's question and answer really was. I wanted to share my thoughts with you... The Bible tells us with numerous examples how important children are to God. Often, Jesus uses the innocence of children and the simplicity of them to illustrate how easy accepting salvation really is. One might think Jesus' references to children are silly. But after listening to my son share his love for God, I agree with Jesus totally. You see, as adults, we have a tendency to complicate things (that's a shocker!ha!). Or at least, we are so skeptical and distrusting, we are sure there has to be a hidden "catch" to having a relationship with Christ. How could the Almighty God who created the universe actually love me and want to have a relationship with me? That is the beauty of it all! There is nothing hidden. It is all in God's word. He shares from Genesis to Revelation exactly how to begin and maintain a relationship with Him. So why can't we get closer? Why does having this relationship seem to come so hard to us at times? For me, there are so many reasons, I don't have enough time or space to list them all. But for now, I am learning that just like beginning a human relationship, I must care about what makes God happy. I now know that God has emotions. He laughs, He cries, He gets angry, jealous, and the list is virtually endless. As I am getting to know God by spending time with Him, I am learning what He likes and hates. God allowed me to notice that Canaan asked if God was happy with him. All to often I ask God if He is upset with me or if He is angry with me. Seldom do I ask God if He is happy with me. The truth is that I ask out of selfishness because I fear discipline. I want to care enough about God to want Him to be happy. When you truly love someone, you want them to be happy. You do things for them, you spend time with them, you tell them how much they mean to you, and you avoid hurting them at all cost. Why? Because you care about their happiness. How often do I put my happiness before my heavenly Father's. I want to take Psalm 19:14 and live it out loud every day. I want the words I say, my thoughts, and my motives behind those thoughts to make my Redeemer so happy, that He wells up with tears. I hope you will take time to build your relationship with Christ. I hope you desire to make him happy too. "From the lips of children and infants, you have ordained praise..." Psalm 8:2 Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, forgive me for forgetting about your happiness. You gave your son to die for me and I continue to fail you without caring that your heart is broken by me over and over again. I want to have a pure heart so that you will be pleased with your servant...
Posted by Corrie at 7:33 PM
Thursday, August 14, 2008
Immediately Jesus reached out His hand and caught him. "You of little faith," He said, "why did you doubt?" Matthew 14:31 I guess I have read the story about Jesus walking on the water 100 times from my childhood up until now. But tonight, God has revealed things to me about this passage that I have never noticed before. I am excited to share them with you... One dark and stormy night, the disciples decide to go fishing and Jesus goes to pray. The Bible says that during the fourth watch (about 3:00 a.m.), Jesus goes out to them and tells them not to be afraid. I'm sure all of the disciples were nervous about this figure walking out toward them! But Peter decides that even in his fear, he will call out to Jesus. I think that sometimes, because of pride or fear, I fail to call out to my Lord for help. Yes Peter was impulsive, but he was the only one who tried to get to Jesus. Jesus then tells Peter to come to Him. Peter does well while he's walking on the water and looking toward Jesus. But the moment...the very instant Peter takes his eyes of Christ, he begins to sink and panic. And then, the best part of the story happens: Jesus immediately reached out His hand to help Peter. After all the times I had read that story, I had never noticed the word 'immediately'. Jesus immediately came to Peter's rescue. Why? Because that's who He is. How ashamed I feel for the countless times I have worried that God-Jehovah-is going to forget me or not help me in time! But I realized something else. Peter had to be close to Jesus in order for Jesus to reach out his hand to help him. That to, is often our problem. We want immediate help or God's outstretched hand when we are so very far away from that hand to begin with. Out of the 12 disciples, the one that was always sticking his foot in his mouth, always acting impulsively and saying the right thing at the wrong time, the one who Jesus seemed to always be correcting, is none other than Peter. In the beginning, we find that Jesus changed the name of this famous apostle from Simeon to Peter. Ironically, Peter means "Rock". It seems hard for us to grasp why Jesus would give this great name which meant 'stability' or 'strength' to a man that proved to be the very opposite. But if we look deeper, we find a man who had a passionate love for Christ. Peter was the only one willing to get out of the boat and even try. Peter was always the spokesperson for the disciples and he asked alot of questions. But Peter got to know Jesus. I believe God lets us glimpse into the life of Peter because He wants us to see that we are going to make bad decisions, say the wrong things, and act before we think. But God also shows us a man that was transformed by a relationship with Christ who eventually fit the very name Jesus gave him--Rock. Jesus knew, even when no one else could see, that Peter loved Him. Jesus knew that He had left an impression on the heart of Peter and that Peter would be who He would 'build his church upon'. I thank God for letting me read about Peter's life and transformation. It makes me ask myself the question of 'can God build his church upon me?' Is the relationship that I have with Christ as passionate or as impressionable as Jesus and Peter's? I hope that it will be. As I said, I have learned many things from this passage. But the one thing I have learned that I will always remember is that I must stay close to God. For as long as I keep my eyes on Jesus, I will not be afraid to walk out onto the dangerous waters... Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, praise you for allowing me to see how you want my relationship with you to be. Help me to never take my eyes off you when you call me to come to you. My trust grows for you every day. I also thank you for allowing me to see myself in Peter. Thank you for taking my failures and teaching me how to love you more...
Posted by Corrie at 8:07 PM
Wednesday, August 6, 2008
"Those who trust in the Lord are steady like Mount Zion, unmoved by any circumstance." Psalm 125:1 I am so excited to share with you what God has impressed upon my heart tonight! Wait, let me back up a little. You'll need more info... For the past couple of days, I have been sick with a cold. A regular cold for a "normal person". But for me, the cold turned into a sinus infection. While being sick, I prayed and shared my heart with God, but because I didn't feel well, I spent alot of my time in bed. This left little time for me to be in God's word. In other words, I had been doing alot of talking to God, but left God no opportunity to talk. This gave satan opportunity to come at my mind because I wasn't guarded. Today, satan attacked. He came at me and began to present worries about our finances. Before I knew it, I began to cry and panic. I immediately began to feel God come to my rescue, as He so very lovingly does. But because He does love me, He also reminded me of how I had left myself unguarded. I began to wonder why I was upset. Had God not promised to take care of us financially? Yes. Was there anything too hard for Him? No. Then what in the world was I crying about? This is what I've concluded... Psalm 125:1 refers to the 'steadiness' of a place called Mount Zion. After researching this, I found that Mount Zion is the place on which the City of David was built. Mount Zion was an incredible place. It was considered to be a fortress. David chose it to build his kingdom on because of its solid firmness that would withstand attacks from enemies. I also found that Mount Zion is often referred to in the Bible as a symbol of spiritual steadiness. Faith in God that is so incredible, nothing can shatter it; not even for a moment. Wow! What does this mean for us as God's children? It means that just as Mount Zion cannot be removed, our trust in God should be equally as steadfast. As I thought about my time of tears and panic due to my circumstances, I asked myself, "Is my trust in God steadfast?" I began to cry again but this time, it was because I was so ashamed of how easily I had allowed my trust in God to be "moved". God had pointed out that I needed to fix this area of my walk with Him if I wanted to be closer to Him and experience His will for my life. After all, what kind of relationship with God do we really have without trust? In a commentary by Merrill Unger, he discusses the importance of placing emphasis on God as the object of our trust, rather than the firmness of the trust. This was helpful to me. It is important to keep our eyes on God and learn to know Him rather than to try to just increase our trust in general. Without time spent knowing Him, we have no reason to trust Him. I think we make excuses for ourselves not to trust God. We say things like, "I am only human!" or, "that's just the way I am sometimes." But God doesn't allow us any excuse not to trust Him. Yes, we are sinners and we will fail. But it can never be accepted or condoned. We must strive to learn from our sin and try not to make the very same mistake (sin) again. Psalm 125:1 says that those who trust in God will not be moved by any circumstance; Not just some circumstances, but any. I pray that whatever circumstance you are going through, you will join me in learning how to have a steadfast trust in God. I plan to make Him the object of my trust by getting to know Him better... Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, I beg your forgiveness for allowing myself to waiver in trusting you. You have been so faithful. Tonight, I will remember what you have done for me and how you have blessed me. Thank you for being steadfast in my life. I will learn to focus on you and make my trust like that of Mount Zion.
Posted by Corrie at 11:29 PM
Saturday, July 19, 2008
Isaiah 45:9-"Woe to him who quarrels with his Maker, to him is but a potsherd among the potsherds on the ground. Does the clay say to the potter, 'what are you making?'Does your work say, 'he has no hands?'..." (V 11) "This is what the Lord says-the Holy One of Israel, and its Maker: Concerning things to come, do you question me about my children, or give orders about the work of my hands? (V 12) It is I who made the earth and created mankind upon it. My own hands stretched out the heavens..." I must tell you, before you read any further, that this is a very powerful word from God. God revealed this to me last night as I began to ask Him for a post to write. God spoke directly to my heart and convicted me of changes that needed to be made within my walk with Him. He has also asked me to share it with you... Chapter 45 in Isaiah is talking about an anointed man of God named Cyrus. Though God had big plans to use Cyrus and plans to bless him, Cyrus did not really know just who God was. God would soon show Cyrus parts of His personality and that He was the One True God and Victorious over all! But...God showed Cyrus this over time. He had to let Cyrus decide for himself and to learn to trust Him. God showed me that this passage of Cyrus was similar to the relationship, or lack there of, that was between God and I for over 20 years. I had accepted Christ into my life at a young age but only began to learn that God wanted a relationship with me when I entered my 20's. I would not know God would call me to begin a ministry until 2003 and would not let me even begin sharing it until 2008. Strange? No. Like Cyrus, I had to learn who God really was. God knew there would be trials. Trials that would force me to trust God rather than to question Him. God is very bold and blunt in verses 9-11. He basically says, 'who are you to question the One who made you?' God refers to a potsherd, which is a fragment of broken pottery. He also makes reference to clay giving input to its potter on how to form it! Sounds alot like me sometimes--arrogant! If we find ourselves often questioning God with alot of whys, it is important to ask our self how well we know The Potter. I am often asked how my spiritual life has changed in the past 5 years. I would have to say that the first 3 years were spent learning God's personality. The next two have been about applying what I have learned and believing God to take care of me, whether I can see around the next corner or not. It is crucial for us to get to the point of trusting God to go where He says to go, do what He says to to, or wait until He says move. We can pray for God to reveal things to us but I do believe we must be willing to trust Him if He doesn't reveal it before He gives the command. I am reminded of my son, Canaan. I can see at three years old, he trusts me completely. He rarely questions me when I tell him to go with me. He knows that no matter where I take him, I will let nothing or no one harm him. I want to get to the place where I have complete trust in My Maker. I want to be willing to go through anything as long as God promises to be there. I know He tells us He only wants the best for us but I must believe it. Perhaps one of my favorite parts is in the beginning of the chapter where God says He will take hold of Cyrus' right hand. We can rest assured that when we follow God's path for us, He will lead us literally by the hand. I have so much more to learn about God and I have so much more doubt to get rid of. But I am thankful that He gives much detail about who He is in this chapter of Isaiah. With a description such as Holy One, Lord, Maker, Lord Almighty, we have no reason to doubt Him...so why do we? Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, you are truly Jehovah! Thank you for taking precious time to show me who you are. Please don't stop. I want to know all I can about you. Forgive me for demanding more information from you before I step out on faith. For faith is all about stepping when I hear you, not for what I can see...
Posted by Corrie at 7:33 PM
I had a wonderful time at the youth retreat with the young men and women from First Baptist Church, Livingston, Alabama! The retreat was at Shocco Springs Baptist Conference Center and the focus was on finding clues to have an intimate personal relationship with God on a day to day basis. I had the privilege of working with Michael Snider and his family (Amanda and Lilly Beth) who led the youth in praise and worship music. God also allowed me to spend the weekend with my best friend Angel, who is the youth leader of FBC. With an Indiana Jones theme, God showed up and showed up big!!! It was amazing to see Him move and prompt changes in the hearts of all that were there. Love, Corrie
Posted by Corrie at 7:19 PM
Sunday, July 6, 2008
"But He knows the way that I take; when He has tested me, I will come forth as gold." Job 23:10 When I am discouraged, I love to read this verse. It calms me because I feel God saying that there will be an end to my trial. And when, not if, it is over, I will emerge better than I was before the trial started! How? Only if I pass the test, of course. What is the test? I believe it is the testing of my faith and the question God asks me over and over again, "do you really believe I am who I say I am?" While preparing to write this post, I read interesting research by a precious metals broker named Don Stott. In an article, Stott shares that gold was a very important metal in Biblical times. It is the first metal mentioned in the Bible and is used more frequently than any other. Stott explains that David, Solomon, and other Godly men used gold to decorate temples, robes, utensils, and alters. Stott estimates that Solomon's temple could have very easily been valued at over 5o billion dollars! Why did God so often chose gold? Gold has a resistance to oxidation and resists tarnishing. Gold shimmers and as a finished product, can withstand fire. Perhaps this is God's word to us today. God's word is true but it tests my faith daily. If God says that He knows the way I am going, will protect me so that I won't be harmed, and promises that I will come forth shining and of great value, why do I doubt Him? I am reminded of a story that my friend Wendy shared with me. She shared how a man and woman were walking in the woods one day and came up on a small house. They saw fire coming from the chimney and decided to go in. There, stood an old man bent over a large pot over a fire. When the couple asked the man what he was doing, the man replied, "I am making gold." This intrigued the couple and they asked the man about the process. The man shared that he kept the fire very hot and when the impurities came to the top, he would skim them off. The woman asked, "How do you know when you have pure gold?" The man replied, "When I can see my face in it." This story always reminds me of what God is doing in my trials. He will keep the fire hot and my impurities will surface and I will be faced to change them. The way to come forth as gold is to allow Him to see Himself in me. This is taking on the identity of Christ. To be more like Him every day. Philippians 2:5 tells us that our attitude should be like that of Christ Jesus. I must say that is a challenge. I hope this was encouraging to you. To you who are waiting...To you who's fire is so hot that you feel as though you can't stand another day. You will come forth as gold if and only if you begin to allow Him to humble you and be as much like Him as you can. Gold is truly valuable! Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, thank you for your word. Thank you for allowing me to know that I will be protected when I am in the hottest of flames if I depend on you. Forgive me for wavering in my faith. For you have never given me a reason to doubt you...
Posted by Corrie at 3:27 PM
How excited I am to share what God is doing! God gave me the privilege to lead the Bible study for the Mountain View Youth retreat at Double Head Resort in Florence, Al. The theme was: The Mystery of God's Treasure and came from Colossians 2:2-3. God's presence was among us and those precious young men and women allowed God to change their hearts and minds. God showed us that some treasures that we chase are only worldly and they never fill the 'gap' that is within us. The Holy Spirit revealed that the true treasure lies within Jesus Christ and is all about having a relationship with Him on a daily basis. It was amazing to watch God make Himself known to those young people. I was honored to be part of such an awesome event! Please keep all of them in your prayers. I think we forget about our youth of today. We forget that they are a rising generation that must be protected from satan's snare. God bless those who are willing to rise up and tell others how they too can know Him.... Love, Corrie
Posted by Corrie at 1:11 PM
Thursday, June 19, 2008
Hey everyone! Please be in prayer for the Mountain View Youth Retreat next week. God will be using me to bring the devotions so please pray that I will be able to hear what He wants to share with these special young men and women. I will write a post as soon as I get back and tell you all the wonderful things God did! How do I know? Because I expect Him to do big things. And He never disappoints... "The Lord your God is with you, He is mighty to save. He will take great delight in you, He will quiet you with His love. He will rejoice over you with singing." Zephaniah 3:17 "Delight yourself in the Lord and He will give you the desires of your heart." Psalm 37:4 This past week, I was talking to my best friend Angel on the phone. She said, "let me tell you just how much God loves me." Angel began to share that her week had been somewhat hectic at home. Her son's hamster had gotten loose from his cage and had been missing for a couple of days ( I know...that creeps me out too! This is why my son has a goldfish.). She also said that her husband, Larry, had gotten poison oak all over his arms and was miserably itching. Angel said that she woke up during the night and began to pray for her husband to be able to sleep peacefully(without itching) and for God to please find the hamster! Several hours later, God awoke Angel to find her husband snoring and the hamster sitting on top of her dresser! I laughed and cried at the same time when she told me that she thanked God for caring about "itchy arms and hamsters!" This illustration is one of many that proves God's word to be true. I must say that Psalms 37:4 has been my favorite verse for a large part of my life. Delight, in this sense, is used as a verb; it is an action. Delight means 'to please'. I love the fact that if I please the Lord, He will give me what my heart truly desires. But I have found that the Lord also delights in us as well. Why is this so special? Because I think it is so sweet that the Lord, Jehovah God, Yahweh, wants to please me. He loves me that much. He cares if I desire the smallest of things or the largest, most complicated things. I believe His word to be true. It is important for us to improve our relationship with Him by knowing Him to be this personal. Do you know this about Him? Do you believe that He cares about you so much that He is paying attention to every detail? He is recording what you desire ever so deeply or even desperately in your heart. But you must tell Him. Please tell Him what you really desire. Often this is taking Him our raw emotions that we don't tell anyone else. I hope you will join me in telling God your hearts desires. And remember...He really does care about itchy arms and hamsters!! Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, how humbling it is to know that the mighty God of Heaven and Earth takes the time to care for my every need. I fail you so often. It has to be your mercy that allows you to love me deeper each and every day...
Posted by Corrie at 9:06 PM
Thursday, June 12, 2008
Let me begin by saying thank you to all of you who prayed for the women's conference this past weekend at Dwight Baptist Church in Gadsden, Al. To Know Him is to Love Him was the theme and God's presence was truly amazing! How beautiful it was to watch my new precious friends seek to draw closer to the Lord! Thanks to those ladies, as well, for making me feel so welcome...
"Humble yourselves , therefore, under God's mighty hand, that He may lift you up in due time." 1 Peter 5:6
In my Christian walk, I must say that I have experienced the power of God's hand on many levels and on many occasions. His hand has opened up and poured out blessings so plentiful on me and my family that it leaves me speechless. The countless times His hand has sheltered me from disaster and protected my life from harm are so very memorable. I would say that my favorite times are when His hand comforts me when I am sad and wipes away every tear I cry. But it has been lately that I have realized when I am under His hand, that precious hand, He also presses me to give Him my all. His hand presses me to purge the impurities from my heart so that I can become in His likeness. I have found that being under God's hand is a choice. It is a choice that is made by faith. The choice is choosing to trust that being 'under His hand' will allow me to be 'lifted up'. And when God lifts your heart, it is the greatest feeling of all time! I am striving to stay under God's hand. You see, you can't stand under His hand; you have to kneel. This is the picture of being humble. Being humble is being utterly and totally submissive to God and His will. It is a matter of trust. Some times, we choose to stand around God's hand because under it, the pressing of the heart can be very intense. We, as humans, don't like to be told when we are wrong or when we have to change something. And when you submit to His Lordship, expect change. When I am 'under His mighty hand', the Holy Spirit convicts me of sin in my life or in my heart that has to be forgiven in order for me to be 'lifted up'. I have also noticed that when God brings me to the end of my trial (or lifted up), it is perfect timing. Perhaps you are struggling with a trial and see no end in sight. Maybe you are feeling little to no direction in your life. Perhaps you desire to have God's best for your life but don't know how to go about seeking it. I can tell you that you can begin by humbling yourself to be under His hand. Trust Him and be totally submissive to His power. And in due time, His time, you will be lifted above your trial and blessed more than your mind can conceive!
My prayer for today: Lord, help me to trust you and be totally submissive to your will for my life. To do this, I know I will need to be under your hand. Mold me and make me to be like you...
Posted by Corrie at 4:01 PM
Wednesday, June 4, 2008
Hey everyone! I am excited to finally be able to write to you again. I have had alot of pain in the joints of my hands this past week and it was too difficult to type. Please continue to pray for my health.God continues to remain faithful to me and my family. Today, God has placed the following verse on my heart and I wanted to share it with you: "The Lord says: These people come near me with their mouth and honor me with their lips, but their hearts are far from me." Isaiah 29:13 My goal in my life now is to find out how to be as close to God as I possibly can. I want to find this out for myself and to be able tell other people also. I believe that one of the main ways to accomplish that closeness is to use our Bible. I feel like that is one reason we have God's word. We can actually look at people in the Bible and know what 'to do' or what 'not to do' based on their lives. Years ago, when God called me to begin Filling the Gap ministry, He led me to "investigate" the lives of two people who had phenomenal (that is the best word to describe) relationships with God: David and Abraham. As I began to study David, I noticed many things. I saw how he failed God with an affair, plotting of murder, etc. But the Bible describes David as a 'man after God's on heart'. I wondered, "what does this mean and how can we actually use this to draw closer to God?" I believe that David's quest in life was to make His heart mirror God's. I also believe that over time, he did just that. How? He was honest with God about what was IN his heart and David did this by taking God his emotions. I believe that God is telling us in Isaiah that we pray to him and maybe we say the right words but 'our hearts' (our emotions) say something totally different. I have thought at times, "God knows my heart, so why tell Him how I feel?" It is true that God is all-knowing. But the important part is for me to know what is wrong in my heart. By wrong, I mean incomplete; not content. Psalm 78: 70-72 discusses how and why God chose David to be a leader of people. Verse 72 says, "And David shepherded them with integrity of heart; with skillful hands he led them." By definition, integrity means: a state of being complete; honest. God desires us to possess a heart that is complete. He wants to be wanted and needed in our lives. He wants to be depended on. That's why He gives us free-will. We lie about our emotions to so many people. Why do we lie to God? The one person who can actually do something about the way we feel. I believe the real reason is that we are not completely aware of our emotions that are hidden so deeply. Perhaps they are became hidden because of events in our past or even present circumstances. Nevertheless, God asks us to bring Him our emotions so that He can give us peace of mind and freedom from emotional strongholds. For me, this was a treasure to find. It gives me something else to work on to bring me closer to the God I love. Love, Corrie My prayer today: Lord, how thankful I am for David. Thank you for teaching me that you want me to tell you everything I feel. You want to be included in every aspect of my life. Help me to remember to tell you my emotions and seek your face in dealing with them...
Posted by Corrie at 3:48 PM
Friday, May 23, 2008
"...And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God." Micah 6:8 How wonderful it is to serve a God who listens so intently to our requests and answers us! He continues to amaze me every day by giving me the best for my life. God's best is always greater than anything I could have asked for or even imagined. That is because I ask and believe God to be faithful to me. But I can't help but wonder...what does God require of me? I must tell you that over the past few days, God has led me to know exactly what He requires of His children in order to have this wonderful relationship that we so desire. Throughout the Bible, God tells us many characteristics He desires us to possess, certain behaviors to implement, and even ways to cope with our thoughts and emotions. But "require" is quite a strong word. By definition, it means to 'demand as necessary'. That means that God demands this of me. And for that, it was worth looking into. When reading Micah 6:8, "to walk humbly with your God", caught my eye. I began to research the word 'humbly' and found it to mean: offered in a spirit of submission. I then knew for me to be obedient, I had to really understand submission. Submission means to 'yield oneself to authority or to 'consent to abide by the opinion of another.' God began to reveal to me that walking humbly with Him meant that I had to be submissive to His Lordship. I had to yield myself to His opinions, His way, His will. This sounds easy enough. But I thought about all the times I had begged to be close to Him but wanted to do things my way. Today, I have learned that He requires me to trust Him...to have faith in Him. It's not an option. I am REQUIRED to believe Him. How often do we doubt Him then think that we should be patted on the back for having faith? I Corinthians 4:2 says, ..."now it is required of those who have been given a trust to prove faithful." God has entrusted me with a relationship with Him. Full access to the God of Abraham, the Almighty, Consuming Fire...God! He has also entrusted me and you, as His children, to tell others how they too can know Him. A long time ago, just catching glimpses of God was enough for me. But now, I want to walk with Him. I want to feel Him near me. So, I will remember what is required of me and that is to be submissive to His will for my life. I don't always understand it. But He has never, ever given me reason to doubt Him. Will you be submissive to His will for your life? Can you turn over controlling areas of your life that are consumed with fear? I hope you can. I plan to try. Why? Because there is nothing greater than walking side by side with God. Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, I commit today to surrender to being submissive in all areas of my life to you. Forgive me for holding back parts of my life that I thought didn't matter and only I wanted to handle. I will be mindful to be humble. Help me to see others through your eyes. Help me to listen to you. Be clear and show me your will for my life...
Posted by Corrie at 11:42 AM
Wednesday, May 14, 2008
"The men were amazed and asked, "What kind of man is this? Even the winds and the waves obey Him!" Matthew 8:27 In the last few years, so many things have happened in my life. Both blessings and trials have left me forever changed. But the one thing that has changed my life, has been getting to know God. I had no idea that this God, who I gave my heart to at five years old, wanted a relationship with me; a friendship. I open my Bible now and I feel like I am reading a personal love letter... straight from Him to me. And it all began several years ago with one question in my mind...Who is He? I realized that the person I wanted to spend eternity with, was someone who I didn't even know. I have recognized that other Christians feel this way. This is the very reason for God founding Filling the Gap Ministries. In Matthew Chapter 8, Jesus has just calmed a terrible storm while on the boat with His disciples. I can't imaging their eyes when Jesus simply told the winds and the waves to basically just 'hold up!" (Corrieology for 'be still'!) As God spoke to me through this passage, He pointed out something I had never realized before. The DISCIPLES are the ones who make the statement, "what kind of man is this?" Not people who are strangers and just meeting Jesus for the first time, but the ones who had agreed to follow Him on a daily basis. To me, this is very symbolic of us as Christians. Many of us don't know the one who we accepted salvation from. What about the relationship? If you are a Christian but you don't feel close to God or you don't feel as though you know Him the way He intends or the way you see that other people know Him, please decide to change this. I can guarantee that this relationship will change your life forever. How can you find comfort for grief if you don't know the Comforter? How can you find answers to a broken relationship when you don't know that restoration is one of His specialties? How can He tell you what to do about a job or financial problems when He isn't asked? I feel as though God laid it on my heart to write this today for someone who wants to close distance between them and God. I am finding out that a REAL relationship and REALLY walking with God takes much more than just being 'in the boat'. What kind of man is this?...that is the question. Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, how I praise you for wanting a relationship with me. I can't even believe at times that you would even want to talk to me when I forget about you or ignore you. Yet, you remain the most constant in my life. How wonderful it is to know you have a personality and you want to be my friend...
Posted by Corrie at 3:09 PM
Friday, May 9, 2008
"As for you, Solomon my son, know the God of your father, and serve Him with a whole heart and a willing mind, for the Lord searches every heart and understands the intention of every thought. If you seek Him, He will be found by you, but if you forsake Him, He will reject you forever." 1 Chronicles 28: 9 Sunday is Mothers' Day. While I am very thankful for my mother and honor her on this day, I find myself giving alot of thought as to the mother I am or want to become for my son, Canaan. I feel as though our society causes mothers to sometimes feel that giving birth is the end of our "job" and we are just needed to "find stuff" around the house or bandage up 'boo-boos' or to solve problems quickly. I have met woman who look and feel tired or used and who don't understand their value as a woman or as a mother. I must encourage all of you who read this to know that God considers women and mothers very valuable. In 1 Chronicles, David is getting ready to basically hand over his kingdom to his son, Solomon. As I read David's advice to his son, I was humbled that this great leader's only advice was to KNOW God. David tells Solomon to 'know the God of your father'. This means that David was bold about his faith in God and he gives his son the very key to his success...knowing God and having a relationship with Him. I believe that this is the greatest gift we can ever give to our children. We strive so hard to give our children a "good life". But what does that mean? Will our children remember how we told them that the key to being happy and fulfilled is to know the God who made them? I know alot of moms who work and alot of moms who work at home. Either way, our job is the same: to show our children (young and old) how to know God. David was a man who made mistakes. Many mistakes. He was human. But he is described in the Bible as a man after God's own heart. This, to me, means that he knew God's heart and wanted his heart to mirror God's. That is what I want. And most of all, I want the opportunity to lead my son to Christ one day. Do you? The way I will be the greatest mother is to have a close relationship with God and make it so appealing that my son will want the very same thing... Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, thank you for blessing me as a woman and as a mother. Help me to seek you in raising my child. Even when he is old, I pray that he will remember me as a mother who put God first in her life and tried to teach him your ways. I pray for those mothers who are struggling today. Help them to move close to you. Shield them, comfort them, love them...
Posted by Corrie at 9:30 AM
Friday, May 2, 2008
"I sought the Lord, and He answered me; He delivered me from all my fears." Psalm 34:4 I can't believe it is already May. In the post that I wrote the day or so after I resigned my job back in March, I shared how God had led me to quit my job even though, on paper, Shane and I would be at least $300.00 short per month with our finances. April was our first month to go through on one income. I remember telling God how afraid I was to walk away from a job that provided for us. He told me that the job never provided anything--He provided it all. And He would continue to do so. The question was did I really believe He would? God told me to trust Him and I walked away from a 10 year career to begin this new ministry. I couldn't wait to tell you that during the month of April, all our needs were met. He did exactly what He said He would do! I wanted to share that with you to give God the glory for His faithfulness. I also wanted to share how you can also experience that same faithfulness from Him as well... I believe Psalm 34: 4 holds the key to knowing the faithful side of our father. It tells us how David sought God to deliver him from his fears. Seeking God is the first step. How often do we jump on the telephone to our best friend or family member to tell them our fears and our frustrations? I can't imagine what it is like for God to hear that conversation and know that we could have come to Him first. I am trying to do just that. I believe God wants us to seek Him. To come to Him and tell Him the emotions that we feel. If it's anger, sadness, or even fear, He still wants know. He wants us to be "poured out" before Him. We have to be empty before we can ever be filled. I am learning that when I am honest with my God, He begins to deliver me from my fears. I am beginning to know Him. Really know Him. And the more I know Him, the easier it is for me to believe Him. This is the most wonderful thing I have learned in my Christian in walk. Have you come to a place in your life where you believe God instead of just believing IN God? The Bible tells us that even Satan believes IN God. I hope that you will be encouraged to go to your Saviour and tell Him , honestly tell Him, your thoughts. This is seeking Him. And the more you seek Him, you will believe Him to deliver you from everything you don't need in your life. Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, thank you for not ever turning your back on me when I have ran to you. Each time, you gently console me when I am afraid and you pick up my cares and concerns so that I don't have to carry them anymore. Thank you for loving me enough to deliver me from my fears...
Posted by Corrie at 7:23 PM
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
The Lord said to Moses: "Here is the place near Me. You are to stand on the rock, and when My glory passes by, I will put you in the crevice of the rock and cover you with My hand until I have passed by. Then I will take My hand away, and you will see My back, but My face will not be seen." Exodus 33: 21-23 Don't we all want to hear from God? I mean, everywhere I go, it excites me to see those who are beginning or renewing a relationship with God and are so passionately trying to "hear from Him". I have shared with you before that even though I have been a Christian for over 26 years, I have only learned to "hear" God in the past 5 years. I realized that He had been speaking for the whole 26 but because I didn't know Him intimately, I had no clue what His voice sounded like. How do you hear from God? That is the popular question. For me, God's speaks on many levels. I have recently found that being content with God's voice is crucial to hearing Him again. What good is it for Him to speak to us when we ignore what He says? When I read this passage of scripture with Moses, I can hardly breath. To think what it must have been like to hear God give specific instruction in order to see His glory pass by! But tonight, I realized that God still does this today! But we often do not "hear" Him, nor do we see His glory, because we are not willing to be content with seeing His 'back'. God tells Moses to stand on a particular place in a rock (the crevice) and He will cover Moses with His hand as His glory passes by. Then God says He will move His hand, allowing Moses to see His back. How often have I felt that God has left me or is distant from me only to find that He has carefully hidden me in the crevice of a rock to protect me. I never realized I was seeing "His back". I was so focused and demanding to have it my way. How thankful I am to have seen His back because it meant that He was shielding me. He was standing in front of me. I have begun to focus on being content with details...the details in God's voice. When we pray for direction, God answers and tells us exactly where to stand to see His glory. But if we are not content in just hearing Him or seeing Him in whatever way He chooses, then we miss Him...and the glory. I hope that you will join me in being content with God's voice and with whatever and where ever He leads you and I. And I have found that the crevice of a rock can be a very good view. Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, thank you for loving me. Thank you for wanting to have a relationship with me. Forgive me for ignoring your commands sometimes because I was not content with seeing your "back". You hang on my every word and catch every tear that falls from my face. Help me to be still and trust you when you have me safe in the crevice of the rock...
Posted by Corrie at 7:14 PM
Wednesday, April 16, 2008
“I will give them a heart to know me, that I am the Lord. They will be my people, and I will be their God, for they will return to me with all their heart.” Jeremiah 24:7 I was very amazed how God spoke to me through this passage in Jeremiah and wanted to share it with you. During the exile from Babylon, The Lord spoke to Jeremiah and showed him two baskets of figs. One basket was filled with good, early ripened figs (which were considered to be a delicacy). The other basket was filled with bad figs, which were rotten and of no use. God then uses the figs to symbolize what is to come for Israel and His love for them. God promises to watch over them, to bring them back, and to build them up and not tear them down. And then God says this: “I will give them a heart to know me.” That is my favorite part. Over the past few years, God has shown me that we all were created with a hole in our lives that was deliberately designed by Him. This hole can never be filled with anything or anyone but God himself. I have seen people search and search only to find who was there at the beginning-God. The only thing that will fill this gap in our lives is the relationship with God. He wants the relationship so bad with us that He gives us a head start…a heart to know Him. He knows that if we begin to know Him, we will eventually know and love Him wholeheartedly. I am learning to love Him with my whole heart. To Jeremiah, the basket of good figs represents those who God loved and wanted to be near. To me, it represents the same thing today. God’s promise in Jeremiah is so moving and shows the depth He is willing to go just to have a relationship with His children… those who have accepted Him as Lord and Savior of their lives and actually open the door to that relationship. My ministry is solely dedicated to helping others know God the way He wants to be known. We must ask God to help us to love Him with our whole hearts. To give everything to Him…our time, devotion, love, honor, worship, tithes. I want to be in the basket of figs that God considers valuable. I have spent years knowing about God and of God, and I have returned because I now know God and am learning what loving Him whole heartily is really about. It is about faith in my Lord that takes my breath away; it is about sacrificing my health if it brings Him glory; it is forgiving and being humble even when it hurts. I have so much more to learn. If you have invited Christ into your life but are struggling to know who God really is, begin by asking Him to help you love Him whole heartily…and believe me…He will. Love, Corrie My prayer for today: Lord, help me to love you with my whole heart. I desire to be close to you…to feel your very breath. You are so holy and I am so unworthy. Yet, you continue to want me…even when I fail. Thank you for loving me.
Posted by Corrie at 5:02 PM
Saturday, April 12, 2008
Hey everyone! Just a note to request your prayers. I have had a bad case of the stomach virus over the past few days. I am better but still feel very weak. Because of the virus, I was unable to take my medicine for the past 3 days or so. Please pray that this will not cause a relapse of my disease. I am going to try to take my shots Sunday. Thank you all so much for your comments and emails on the posts for the blog. You encourage me to keep listening to God to continue writing. I hope you know that I don’t just “sling the posts” up on the blog, but spend much time in prayer to find out what God wants to say to those who read it. Also, my ministry website (designed by Adam Hyche–who is awesome and who I love very much!!!) now has my blog and website combined. We will eventually be using this only. So please take a look at it and sign in. The address is www.fillingthegapministries.com (or .net). Thank you for all your encouragement and prayers for this ministry… Love, Corrie
Posted by Corrie at 12:01 PM