Monthly Archives: July 2012

“He will keep him in perfect peace, whose mind is stayed on Thee, because he trusts in Thee.” Isaiah 26:3

Dear Friends:

I did not have time to complete, The Last Big Wave: Part 2, before leaving town for a writer’s conference. Perhaps I can finish it on our long trek to Texas next week.  We.So.Need.A.Vacation! :0)

In the mean time I wanted to pass along my publisher appointments and ask you to please cover them in prayer.

2:00 pm ( In one hour and 15 minutes! But whose counting?)  I meet with Kim Brouillette of Comfort Publishing.

Saturday 10:00 am: Kim Bangs of Regal Books

Saturday 2:15 pm:   Pamela Clements of Abingdon Press

Saturday 3:30 pm:   Sarah Atkinson of Tyndale

Lastly, thought you all might like to know that I had one of those: “That did NOT just happen” moments on the airplane.

Yes, it was time to close our trays and move our seats to their upright position to prepare for landing.  As I reached for  my tray table I managed to dump my hot (warm) tea into the lap of the unfortunate gentleman sitting beside me! Thankfully he was extremely gracious about it.  I handed him my business card and told him I was on my way to a conference in hopes of finding a publisher for my book porposal.  I relayed that if I happened to get published and he happened to come across my book…….he could tell everyone that the author doused  him with hot tea on a plane ride!

The Last Big Wave: Part One

The LORD said to Satan, “Very well, then, he is in your hands; but you must spare his life.” (Job 2:6)

The summer of 2011 was the most relaxing I’d ever experienced. The Lord provided several amazing trips, including two of them to the beach. Is there anything more relaxing then sinking your toes into the sand as the waves splash over your feet?

The summer was full of refreshment for my body and soul, as the Holy Spirit impressed upon my heart that I was being prepared for something. Even as I pondered the reality that something big may be coming, He enabled me to soak in the rays, as the “Sun of Righteousness arose”.

During our first vacation of the season, at my sister Sharyn’s home in Corpus Christi, Texas, I had a vivid dream.

Sharyn and I were sitting in our old red truck on the beach, (yes, you can drive your car on the beaches in Texas!) in the cool of the evening, delighting in some sister time. As we were gazing at the stars and listening to the sound of the surf,we simultaneously looked up to see a tsunami was upon us! I was terrified as the furious surf spun us about like a toy car. Just as is seemed our lives were ending, the trauma ceased, as abruptly as it had begun. We looked around in awe as the beach was completely calm and peaceful.

Just as we heaved a sigh of relief, our eyes moved upward only to see yet another huge wave was on the horizon. The shear terror returned as I gasped for air. I again gave up all hope of survival, when all at once relief filled my soul as the beach suddenly returned to its surreal state.

We experienced the exact horrific scene of chaos followed by calm, at least three times. As I looked up for the final time, my heart was pounding out of my chest, as I spied another massive wave swiftly approaching. With all the strength I could muster, I called out to Sharyn to let her know I could cling to life no longer. As I was saying goodbye, she calmly grasped my hand and said, “It’s okay Cheryl, this is the last big wave.”

The next morning I related the dream to Sharyn, then thought nothing more about it.

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee.” Psalm 56:3

Dear Friends:

I will be writing a short Bible study to accompany each chapter of my book.  Would you prayerfully consider using the following study of Psalm 56 during your quiet time over the next week……and then leave me feedback?

Blessings,

Cheryl

End of chapter Bible study for Chapter 11:

“What time I am afraid, I will trust in Thee” Psalm 56:3

Day 1:

1) Pray: Ask the Holy Spirit to open your heart and mind as you read His Word

 

2) Read Psalm 56

This is a prayer for relief from tormentors. David composed this psalm when the Philistines captured him in Gath.

Whether it is physical enemies or the invisible enemies of our souls, this psalm provides us with answers on how to engage in battle.

3) Read verses 1–2

Questions:

A) What is the first thing David asks of God in verse 1?

As blind Bartimaeus of old (see Mark 10:46–52), our heart’s first cry should be an utterance for mercy (or grace).

B) What does Lamentations 3:22 tell us about God’s mercies (or compassions)?

C) What does verse 2 tell us about our visible and invisible enemies?

If they do not rest in their pursuit of us, should we rest from prayer and the Word?

Do these verses tell us David had only one enemy to contend with or many?

D) Read 1 Thessalonians 5:16–18.

What does verse 16 tell us to do?

E) Close in prayer using Psalm 54.

Optional: Do a word study on mercy and grace.

Day 2:

1) Pray: Before opening the Scriptures, spend a few minutes in prayer asking the Holy Spirit to illumine your heart.

2) Read Psalm 56 all the way through at least two times

3) Read verses 3–4

Questions:

A) What emotion was David feeling in verse 3? What was his solution for dealing with his fear in verse 3?

 

B) What was his solution for dealing with his fear in verse 4?

C) Do you ever spend time “praising God’s Word”?

D) What can man do to us? Read Matthew 10:28 to find out.

Have you professed Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior? If so, your soul is the property of Jesus!

Close by spending time in prayer praising God’s Word. Use Psalm 119:9–16 as a guide.

Optional: Do a word study on fear.

Day 3:

1) Pray: Ask the Holy Spirit to show you great and mighty things from His Word.

2) Read Psalm 56

3) Focus on verses 5–7

Questions:

A) In verse 5, what does David say that they do to his words?

Has anyone ever twisted your words and used them against you? As the Holy Spirit brings these wounds to your mind, ask Him to heal and cleanse you of the pain.

B) We know that the wicked hate us, but did you know you have an enemy of your soul?

Satan and his demons hate us, and their thoughts toward us are evil.

Read 1 Peter 5:8

What are we told to do to avoid falling into Satan’s trap?

Remember, if you are a child of God, the only one who has access to your soul is the Holy One of Israel!

C) Spend time in prayer pleading the shed blood of Jesus upon you and your loved ones.

Day 4:

1) Pray: Ask the Holy Spirit to make God’s Word come alive in your heart.

2) Read Psalm 56 slowly out loud

3) Read verses 8–11

 

Questions:

A) What does verse 8 tell us that our tender Father does for us?

What does this tell us about His amazing love for us?

B) In verse 9, what happens to David’s enemies when he cries out to God? How does he know this is true?

C) Meditate on Romans 8:38–39, and Isaiah 54:17

Do these verses cast away your fear and flood your soul with peace?

Optional: Find at least five verses in Scripture that describe God’s love for you

Day 5:

1) Pray: Ask the Holy Spirit to show you any sin you are clinging to in your heart. Confess and ask His forgiveness. Hiding our sin can give the enemy a foothold.

2) Read Psalm 56, making it your prayer of forgiveness

3) Read verses 12–13

Questions:

A) Verse 11 sounds like verses 3 and 4. What is David reminding himself of?

When you find yourself under oppression, as a follower of Christ, remind yourself in whom you have put your trust.

Ask yourself what your physical and spiritual enemies can do to you. Can they take away your salvation? Read John 10:29.

B) What do you think verse 12 means when it says, “Thy vows are binding upon me”?

Matthew Henry states: “It ought to be the matter of our consideration and joy that the vows of God are upon us—our baptismal vows renewed at the Lord’s Table, our occasional vows under convictions, under corrections, by these we are bound to live to God.”

C) List the things that God has done for David in verse 13. Can we say the same thing?

D) Close your time in prayer by praising God for the great things He has done for you!

Optional: Find at least five verses that have to do with vows.

 

 

Mawage. Mawage is wot bwings us togeder tooday. Mawage, that bwessed awangment, that dweam wifin a dweam…

Twenty Three years ago today I married my pastor and best friend.  Happy Anniversary, Alan!

The following is an excerpt from Chapter Four of my book:

Chapter 4:  Life in a Fishbowl

“For God has not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.”(2 Timothy 1:7)

Dating a minister was quite a fishbowl existence for this 22 yr old girl who continued to struggle with paralyzing shyness and social anxiety.  Only by God’s grace did I get through the public courtship, engagement, and marriage.  One Sunday during the time before our first date, my sister Sharyn and I decided to stay for a fellowship luncheon.  There “happened” to be an empty seat beside mine.  Alan sat down and began conversing with us.  At one point he turned to me and asked what I had been studying that week.  My mind was racing as I sat there trying to think of the most spiritual and intellectual sounding answer regarding what portion of scripture I had been digging into.  My dear sister finally turned to me and said, “Cheryl, aren’t you studying Early Childhood Education?”  The poor man was merely trying to ask me what I had been looking at in college that week.

The public courtship was difficult on Alan as well, and the teasing he endured was overwhelming at times.  My fears continued.  How could I be dating a pastor?  The last thing I ever wanted or dreamed of was being a minister’s wife! Meanwhile, Heritage church was abuzz.  Who was this young lady that their dear pastor had fallen for? 

Note: I’m so glad I said yes! 🙂  I now feel priveleged to be married to a man who preaches and teaches the Word of God.

Besides, “This is true love, you think this happens everyday?”

(Quotes are from The Princess Bride.  Best.Movie.Ever.)

 

Not Against Flesh and Blood!

“Be strong in the Lord, and in the strength of His might. Put on the full armor of God, that you may be able to stand firm against the schemes of the devil. For our struggle is not against flesh and blood, but against the rulers, against the powers, against the world forces of this darkness, against the spiritual forces of wickedness in the heavenly places.” (Ephesians 6:10–12)

Through the years, many dear friends had mentioned the possibility that my perplexing physical issues might have something to do with spiritual warfare. Frankly, these suggestions puzzled and frightened me. I was well acquainted with the story of Job from the Scriptures; however, I believed that after Christ’s resurrection, Satan no longer had the power and authority to torment Christians in the way he tormented Job. I was terrified to think that demons might have the ability to wreak such havoc on a believer in Christ. Furthermore, as a Reformed Presbyterian, I believed this idea attributed more power to Satan than he actually had. My understanding was incorrect. I am willing to die for the truth that God alone is sovereign! Satan has no power except that which is given to him by the living and true God. Yet, the Scriptures do teach that we are engaged in a battle, and it is “not against flesh and blood.” At times, God gives demons permission to buffet us. However, their power is limited. Also, when God allows this kind of suffering, it is always for His glory and our good.

What about you, dear friends? Have you wrestled with the reality that, though we belong to Christ, we still are vulnerable to oppression from the enemy?

Note: This is an exerpt from Chapter 14 of my book.