THE TWELVE LIFE RECOVERY GIFTS :: HOPE

REACHING HURTING WOMEN MINISTRIES OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH OF THE YEAR.
EACH OF THE POWER-PACKED THEMES ARE A 12-MONTH STUDY SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH BEGINNING IN JANUARY. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I’LL BE REVIEWING TOUCHING INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC. COME ALONG. LET’S LEARN SOME NEW THINGS TOGETHER!
On the third Friday of each month in 2021 we’re studying the Life Recovery Gifts. We’ll learn about the blessings God brings us to honor our choices and encourage our journey through the Twelve Steps of Life Recovery. This is the first column in the Life Recovery Gifts series.

For my recovery work this year I’m going through The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery by Stephen Arterburn and David Stoop. Each month of 2021 I will be discussing what I have learned on my journey. Today we are learning about the gift of Hope.

HOPE: desire accompanied by expectation of or belief in fulfillment; believing that something good will happen.

Now may God, the inspiration and fountain of hope, fill you to overflowing with uncontainable joy and perfect peace as you trust in him. And may the power of the Holy Spirit continually surround your life with his super-abundance until you radiate with hope! ~ Romans 15:13

“The gift of hope is the motivation for our continuing on the same track when something is painful or difficult.” ~ The Twelve Gifts of Life Recovery

For those of us on the Life Recovery journey, it’s important that we stay connected to a support group and/or an accountability partner. If we don’t and then try to do life under our own power, our lives quickly become unmanageable and we set ourselves up for relapse.

We admitted that we were powerless over our problems–that our lives had become unmanageable.  ~ Step One (The Twelve Steps of Life Recovery)

When we stay close to our support system, be it a Bible study group or an accountability partner, we draw hope and courage to continue our journey. The  gift of hope is shared between each member as it inspires everyone to not give up.

Hope is a gift because it is something that is beyond our human power and abilities. It comes through God’s power which is founded in our relationship with God through Jesus Christ.

The gift of hope gives us motivation to press on when temptations arise, times become difficult and we don’t see anything happening in the natural.

Reach out to God today. Let Him put His super on your natural. Ask Him to fill you with His strength and transforming power that will give you the hope to carry you through!

Prayerfully listen to this classic hymn sung by David Crowder and Tauren Wells. You will be blessed!

THE HOLY SPIRIT STUDY :: WHO IS THE HOLY SPIRIT?

Reaching Hurting Women Ministries OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH of THE YEAR.
EACH OF THE FOUR POWER-PACKED THEMES are A 12-MONTH study SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I’LL BE REVIEWING TOUCHING INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC.
On the second Friday of each month in 2021 we’re studying the Holy Spirit. We will learn who the Holy Spirit is, about His gifts and fruits to us as believers and how to walk those out in our life each day.  This is the first column in The Holy Spirit Study series.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

Today we begin our study series on the Holy Spirit. Come along as we dive into one of the deepest subjects in all of Christianity. Probably the most misunderstood person of the Godhead; the Holy Spirit has existed since the beginning of time. He was with God the Father at Creation, caused Mary to conceive, was at the baptism of Jesus, and rested on the apostles like tongues of fire on the Day of Pentecost.

Let’s look at a several of the attributes and workings of the Holy Spirit in Scripture and in our lives.

The Holy Spirit as Third Person in the Trinity

As the third person of the Holy Trinity the Holy Spirit was involved in creation with God the Father and Jesus Christ, the Son. He fully possesses all the divine attributes of God, gave life to God’s creatures and gives spiritual life to us.

The Holy Spirit has great power, performs miracles and raised Christ from the dead. He is everywhere and all powerful; eternal with no beginning or end. He dwells in Heaven with the Father and Christ, yet in the heart of every believer here on earth.

I’m an open book to you;
    even from a distance, you know what I’m thinking.
You know when I leave and when I get back;
    I’m never out of your sight.
You know everything I’m going to say
    before I start the first sentence.
I look behind me and you’re there,
    then up ahead and you’re there, too—
    your reassuring presence, coming and going.
This is too much, too wonderful—
    I can’t take it all in!Psalm 139:1-6

The Holy Spirit’s Work in the Church

The Holy Spirit is the church’s greatest partner in evangelizing the world for Christ. He convicts hearts of sin, testifies of Christ, intercedes on our behalf and comforts in times of need. He directs decisions of the church, chooses and sends out missionaries and directs the  missionary enterprises.

In one of the most fascinating verses in Scripture, before commissioning His apostles, Jesus appeared to them in a locked room…

Then, taking a deep breath, he blew on them and said, “Receive the Holy Spirit. ~ John 20:22

Only those uniquely called in the Old Testament received the anointing of the Holy Spirit. But because of Jesus and the New Covenant every believer is given new life and the indwelling presence of the Holy Spirit.

For his Spirit searches out everything and shows us God’s deep secrets.~ 1 Corinthians 2:10-11

The Holy Spirit’s Work in Believers

The Holy Spirit draws us into fellowship. He teaches us about Christ, convicts us of sin, enables us to find the truth, reveals God’s secrets and shows us God’s love. He helps us live the Christian life, prays for us in times of crisis, gives us His sword to fight Satan and even raises the dead

 God, the searcher of the heart, knows fully our longings, yet he also understands the desires of the Spirit, because the Holy Spirit passionately pleads before God for us, his holy ones, in perfect harmony with God’s plan and our destiny. ~ Romans 8:27

The Holy Spirit encourages us, gives us the power to witness and then teaches us what to say. He sanctifies our lives, gives us the gifts of the Spirit and works His fruit in us.

But the Holy Spirit produces this kind of fruit in our lives: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. …Since we are living by the Spirit, let us follow the Spirit’s leading in every part of our lives. ~ Galatians 5:22-26

In the life of a believer, the Holy Spirit signifies God’s ownership. Because of the fruit we bear in our lives, the Holy Spirit is the proof of future blessings bringing us a taste of eternal life and power.

Who is the Holy Spirit?

As we have learned the Holy Spirit is a person who hears and speaks, experiences feelings of joy or grief. He counsels, encourages, testifies, teaches and prays. While He can be resisted, tested and angered, the Holy Spirit is all merciful, forgiving and loving.

In this post there is no way we can possibly uncover all there is to know about the Holy Spirit. Even after a lifetime of study and relationship with God, one would still be left wanting and needing to know more.

In my writing preparation I’ve come away with a greater understanding of the Holy Spirit. I pray you have as well. Next month we will learn about the gifts and fruit of the Spirit. See you then. Blessings…

Join me as we prayerfully sing with Bryan and Katie Torwalt:

“Holy Spirit–You are welcome here. Flood this place [and my heart] and fill this atmosphere.”

Photo Credit: gracel21

PSALM 91 :: THE SECRET PLACE

Reaching Hurting Women Ministries OFFERS FOUR THEMES FOR study and CONTEMPLATION EVERY MONTH of THE YEAR.
EACH OF THE FOUR POWER-PACKED THEMES are A 12-MONTH study SERIES ASSIGNED TO A SPECIFIC FRIDAY OF EVERY MONTH. IN MONTHS WITH FIVE FRIDAYS I’LL BE REVIEWING TOUCHING INSPIRATIONAL MUSIC.
On the first Friday of each month in 2021 we will be studying Psalm 91. We’ll be learning this powerful psalm and applying its phenomenal promises to our life  one phrase at a time.  We begin today with verse one.

He who dwells in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty. ~ Psalm 91:1

DWELL

When we commit our life to God by accepting Jesus Christ as our Savior, we become hidden with Christ in the dwelling place with God the Most High. Here we have a special relationship, where we can live safely protected and secure. When we live from a place of rest and peace the blessings will flow.

The name of the Lord is a strong tower; the righteous run to it and are safe. ~ Proverbs 18:10

SECRET PLACE

This secret place isn’t actually a secret. Nor is it just for the special few. The secret place is for all who humbly come to Christ… young and old, rich and poor. All are welcome. Dwelling in the secret place allows us to live our life free from fear, in a peaceful rest knowing that God is taking care of everything as we cast our cares on Him.

For you are my hiding place; you protect me from trouble. You surround me with songs of victory. ~ Psalm 32:7

THE SHADOW OF THE ALMIGHTY

Being in the shadow of the Almighty shows how close God is to us. We are so close that His shadow covers and protects us. This closeness represents a spiritually intimate relationship with God our Father.

When we make time to be in God’s presence — pray, worship, and grow in our relationship by reading The Word — we will stay close to our Heavenly Father, safe in His protective shadow.

I pray you are blessed by Victory Boyd’s beautiful rendition of Psalm 91.

RHW 2021 PREVIEW

In 2021 Reaching Hurting Women continues our magazine format which offers four different themes for study and contemplation every month for the year. Each of the four power-packed themes will be a 12 month series assigned to a specific Friday of every month. In months with five Fridays we’ll be offering a special column reviewing touching inspirational music.

Happy New Year! I’m so excited to give you an overview of the upcoming weekly Reaching Hurting Women columns for 2021.  We’ll be continuing our magazine format which offers four powerful themes for study each Friday of the month. The schedule will be as follows:

1st Friday of Each Month: Psalm 91 

The first Friday of each month we will be studying Psalm 91. We’ll be breaking down this powerful psalm one phrase at a time and applying its phenomenal protection promises to our life today.

2nd Friday of Each Month: The Holy Spirit

On the second Friday of each month we’ll be going through an in-depth study of The Holy Spirit. We will be learning about who The Holy Spirit is, what are the gifts and fruits of the Spirit and how we can walk them out in our daily life.

3rd Friday of Each Month: Life Recovery Gifts

Continuing our ongoing recovery work, this year we’ll be studying the 12 Gifts of Life Recovery. We will learn about the hidden blessings that come as an added benefit with our journey into wholeness and health.

4th Friday of Each Month: The Do It Afraid Book Study 

Our book study for 2021 is Do It Afraid: Embracing Courage in the Face of Fear by Joyce Meyer. We will learn how to understand fear, recognize how it works in our life, confront the fears that hold us back and achieve lasting freedom from those fears. Join me as we dig into Joyce’s awesome and timely released new book.

5th Friday Months: Music Reviews 

I’m really happy to be continuing the special column that I premiered in 2020. On the last Friday in each of the months that have five Fridays (January, April, July, October and December) I’ll be bringing you reviews of Christian music that has particularly touched my heart and spirit.

I’m so looking forward to a wonderful year of writing and study together in the Lord. I hope you’ll join me and bring along a friend when you can.

I pray God’s many Blessings upon you and your family for this coming year and always… Tamara

THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: WRAP-UP

Today’s column is being released on Christmas day 2020. I pray God’s richest blessings on you and your family!

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED FRIDAY OF THE MONTH. TODAY’S COLUMN IS THE LAST IN THIS SERIES.

In 2020 we’ve been going through a wonderful book: THE RED SEA RULES. Today we’ll wrap up our series by reviewing what we’ve learned from Robert J. Morgan’s 10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times. Below you’ll find snippets from each month with links to that specific column.

 

January: INTRODUCTION

In 2019, a dear friend introduced me to Robert J. Morgan’s lovely little book The Red Sea Rules. Upon reading it, I did a book review in November of that year. Shortly thereafter, when planning my column topics for 2020, I decided that this wonderful book would be perfect to write a study series on. Below you will find snippets from each of the monthly column studies we have gone through this year.

February: RULE 1: GOD MEANS FOR YOU TO BE WHERE YOU ARE

It’s easy to get bogged down in worry and wonder why we are in the situation we are in today. In times like these it’s important to realize that God has everything under control. He has either put us here and will get us out, or if we have put ourselves here, God will still get us out and good will come from it.

March: RULE 2: BE MORE CONCERNED FOR GOD’S GLORY THAN FOR YOUR RELIEF

If we can see our difficulties as an opportunity for God’s grace to shine on our behalf we will maintain a more balanced perspective and give God more glory in the middle of our struggles. Today instead of asking God to get me out of the mess I’m in, I’ll ask God how can I bring glory to His name in the middle of my mess.

April: RULE 3: ACKNOWLEDGE YOUR ENEMY BUT KEEP YOUR EYES ON THE LORD

We can’t foolishly live as easy prey for Satan. We must be always on our  guard. To prevent ourselves from succumbing to the enemy’s attacks we must humbly submit and draw near to God. As we humble ourselves before God He will lift us up. Even in times of confusion, when we feel blocked by a seemly dead end, God will protect us. He provide an escape just in time!

May: RULE 4: PRAY

Don’t waste a moment. In times of crisis we must call upon the Lord immediately.  When you pray be honest with God about your needs. After all He knows them already. Then trust that God has heard your prayer and will answer in His perfect way and time.

June: RULE 5: STAY CALM AND CONFIDENT, AND GIVE GOD TIME TO WORK

Cornered by the Egyptian army at the edge of the Red Sea, the Israelites faced impossible odds. We must remember God doesn’t show favoritism. Meaning that I am just as important to God as the Israelites were. My impossible situation is just as important to God. Just like the Red Sea opened up for the Israelites, my impossible situation can be solved by God. It’s up to me to stay calm, confident in whom I trust, and wait for God to work the solution out in HIS timing.

July: RULE 6: WHEN UNSURE, JUST TAKE THE NEXT LOGICAL STEP BY FAITH

Whether it’s good things coming or bad, God protects us from knowing too much in our future. If we knew bad things were coming tomorrow, we might give up on God altogether and go down in a tailspin of anxiety and depression. If we knew good things were coming tomorrow we would become prideful and might decide we don’t need God’s help at all. God wants us to faithfully depend on Him every minute of every day. Looking for His perfect Light to shine on our path for guidance and listening for His gentle whisper for direction.

August: RULE 7: ENVISION GOD’S ENVELOPING PRESENCE

The pillar of fire and cloud that followed the Israelites through the wilderness was later seen as a cloud of glory in Solomon’s temple and again in the Upper Room on the day of Pentecost. This same Presence resides every moment within all Christians. It’s important to remind ourselves the Lord’s Presence is with us. We can practice the Presence of God daily by: affirming God’s nearness in our hearts; visualizing God’s Presence in our mind; accessing God’s nearness through prayer and finally reflecting God’s Presence in our behavior.

September: RULE 8: TRUST GOD TO DELIVER IN HIS OWN UNIQUE WAY

Just like we need to see all of life from God’s perspective, we must try to see our deliverance from His perspective. God designs each deliverance to each individual trial or trouble. Whether God delivers us in a miraculous way or not, every intervention He makes in our lives will make us better to serve in His kingdom now or for eternity. Today we need to trust His plan for us and know it’s going to be for our good and for His glory!

October: RULE 9: VIEW YOUR CURRENT CRISIS AS A FAITH BUILDER FOR THE FUTURE

The unknowability of the future can be a fearful thing. However, it’s important that  we remember God allows everything we experience to grow and build our faith as we trust in Him. As we surrender our life, God will soften our heart and shape our future to be the best that He has designed for us. Let God take over your life and your soul. With Him in control everything will work in your favor when it’s all said and done.

November: RULE 10: DON’T FORGET TO PRAISE HIM

After a long dark night the nation of liberated slaves had miraculously been saved from Pharaoh’s mighty army. Their faith in God had been vindicated. God was not just a historical memory from their fathers. He was now their personal savior. God often allows us to go through challenging situations. Maybe He is hoping they will give us an opportunity to praise Him.  Let’s not wait to delivered from a crisis before we praise God.

As we wrap up this series today, let’s each reflect on our own Red Sea journey with God. I encourage you to take a few minutes and listen to this sweet song by Ellie Holcomb: Red Sea Road and soak in her hope-filled lyrics:

“When we can’t see the way, He’ll part the way.

And we’ll never walk alone down a red sea road.” 

THE NEW LIFE :: REPRESENT JESUS

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In THE NEW LIFE series we’re studying one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Colossians 3:1-17. As you will see, this is a rich chapter full of valuable life transforming lessons. Today’s column concludes this series for 2020.

 

Let the message of Christ dwell among you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom through psalms, hymns, and songs from the Spirit, singing to God with gratitude in your hearts.  And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him. ~ Colossians 3: 16-17

As we wrap up The New Life series today, we focus on the last two verses in my favorite section of Scripture. Here the Apostle Paul encourages his readers with some important words that perfectly cap off our study. Let’s look at four points and apply them to our lives today.

  • Let the Word of Christ Dwell In You Richly

It’s easy to allow our Bible reading to become a rote habit, flying through a chapter of Scripture just to get it checked off our to-do list. If we’ll take time to slow down and chew on a verse slowly we will find God’s Word more nourishing to our soul and spirit.  As we meditate on Scripture it will become more a part of who we are. Little by little a change will show up in our words and behavior. Soon our life will begin to reflect the character of Christ for others to see.

  • Teach One Another with All Wisdom

This verse flows so beautifully to talk next about teaching each other. As we have filled our spirits on God’s Word we will naturally want to share it with those around us. The more we know Christ, the more we will want to tell others about Him. We will be drawn to opportunities where we can share God’s goodness with those who need to hear it.

  • Sing psalms to God with Gratitude in Your Hearts

One of the most important things we can do is sing songs of gratitude and worship to God. It not only lifts our spirits but it honors God for who He is and what He has done for us. The book of Psalms is the best place to go when troubled. The songs there span every human situation and emotion imaginable. The psalmists put words to our heartache and troubles. They help us process our pain while the Holy Spirit brings healing and wholeness in a time of need.

  • Do Everything Representing the Name of Jesus

To top it all off, we must do everything as a representative of Jesus Christ. As Christians we are ambassadors for Christ to the world. We are in essence presenting what may be the only Jesus some people may ever see. Our words and actions must be in harmony with Jesus’ identity and be under His authority. Wherever we go, whatever we do, we are leaving an impression on people. Will they see Jesus Christ when they see and talk to me? It’s my prayer that others will see will see more of Him and less of me. That they truly will see Christ in me.

Take a few minutes and be blessed with this beautiful song by Jeremy Camp.

Today we bring this series to a close. If you’ve missed any of the columns this year, please check out all the previous articles here: THE NEW LIFE SERIESI hope this series has been a blessing to you like it has been for me.

THE SPIRITUAL DISCIPLINES :: FELLOWSHIP

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH. TODAY’S COLUMN CONCLUDES THIS SERIES FOR 2020.

In The Spiritual Disciplines series we’re learning 12 disciplines that guide us as we grow deeper in our walk with God. Spiritual Disciplines are not a list of religious duties but rather habits that nurture and mature our spiritual growth. They are inward, spiritual attitudes walked out by behaviors and actions. These habits are critical for lasting spiritual growth and true life transformation.

FELLOWSHIP: Engaging with other disciples in the common activities of worship study, prayer, celebration, and service, which sustain our life together and enlarge our capacity to experience more of God. ~ The Life With God Bible

The whole body, joined and knit together by every ligament with which it is equipped, as each part is working properly promotes the body’s growth in building itself up in love. ~ Ephesians 4:15-16

Usually when we think of fellowship a social gathering comes to mind. But it’s more than a cup of coffee and small talk with a friend. Fellowship is the united body of Christian believers working together to grow spiritually as individuals, mentor each other in discipleship and share the gospel with a lost world.

Fellowship: koinoonia: communion, commonalities, participation, friendship

Naturally as fellow believers in Christ, we fellowship because we have many things in common: the same faith in God through Christ and we can converse about the same subjects of prayer and Scripture. Fellowship is not only a state of being or identity with Christ. Fellowship is also an activity: such as assembling together for the shared purpose of study and worship.

Fellowship for Spiritual Growth

Fellowship provides a solid foundation for our spiritual growth. Contact with fellow believers shapes us; sometimes with sparks flying like an axe being sharpened, other times a gentle polishing to a smooth shine. Whichever the case, fellowship strongly influences our spiritual foundation and should be used to the full.

Ideas for Spiritual Growth Fellowship In Person or Virtual

      1. Join a small group in your church.
      2. Find a prayer partner and meet regular to pray.
      3. Lead a Bible study in a local retirement home.
      4. Start an online Bible Study or Small Group.

Fellowship for Discipleship

We become like those we spend time with. So if we want to grow stronger and mature in our faith, we need to spend time with those further along the spiritual journey than we are. As we continue to grow and mature we in turn can reach out to those new in the faith and mentor them as well.

Ideas for Discipleship Fellowship In Person or Virtual:

      1. Find a mentor, spiritual director or friend who models their faith.
      2. Meet regularly for spiritual growth and accountability.
      3. Find a friend or neighbor seeking guidance that you can share.
      4. Invite neighbors to an online worship service watch party.

Fellowship for Evangelization

Before becoming a Christian most of us had no problem spending time with strangers. The Church today is lacking in social activities that would draw in the unchurched of our world. We as individuals need to create ways to reach the people in our circle of influence: neighborhood, public transportation, maybe even a fellow coworker.

Ideas for Evangelism Fellowship In Person or Virtual:

        1. Pray for God to open doors and boldly walk through them.
        2. Create a list of folks to pray for regularly.
        3. Find ways to reach out to lost friends.
        4. Record your testimony and share it on social media.

For some of us fellowship isn’t always as easy as 1, 2, 3. Many of us are introverts and prefer to not be in the spotlight. However, Jesus commanded us to follow him and share His good news.

Sadly, with this season of Covid-19, fellowship has taken a back seat in most churches. And we are all suffering for it. Above are a few suggestions to help find or create some fellowship opportunities  in person or virtually if you are high risk.

I encourage you to look over the list of ideas and find one or two that can work for you. Take a leap of faith. God will meet you there and give you what you need to be successful in fellowship whether it be for spiritual growth, discipleship or sharing the gospel. You will definitely be blessed as you do!

Enjoy one of my favorite songs by Hillsong United. Here Now sings of the ultimate experience of fellowship available to us as believers… Fellowship with God!

 Today we bring this series to a close. If you’ve missed any of the columns this year, please check out the previous articles here: The Spiritual Disciplines Series. I hope this series has been a blessing to you like it has been for me.

 

THE LORD’S PRAYER :: FOREVER

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH. TODAY’S COLUMN CONCLUDES THIS SERIES FOR 2020.

In The Lord’s Prayer Jesus teaches his disciples how to pray. He’s not just giving them a prayer to recite, but a model prayer for everyone of us. Each month in 2020 we’ve been studying this beloved prayer phrase by phrase.

Today as we bring our series to a close we’ll recap what we’ve learned with snippets from each of the monthly columns. If you’ve missed any of the columns this year, I’ve included links that you can check out at your convenience. I hope this series has been a blessing to you like it has been for me.

Our Father which art in heaven, Hallowed be thy name. Thy kingdom come. Thy will be done in earth, as it is in heaven. Give us this day our daily bread.  And forgive us our trespasses as we forgive those who trespass against us. And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil: For thine is the kingdom, and the power, and the glory, forever. Amen. ~ Matthew 6: 9-13

 

JANUARY: The Lord’s Prayer or the Our Father prayer begins where we must start… recognizing and honoring our heavenly Father. For some, seeing God as a father is painful  because our earthly father may have let us down in some way, maybe even harmed us. But Father God isn’t an untrustworthy man. Our God is a good Father who provides, nurtures, protects, comforts, heals, guides, encourages, trains and corrects us… all for our benefit.

I will be a Father to you, and you will be my sons and daughters, says the Lord Almighty. ~ 2 Corinthians 6:18 

FEBRUARY: The use of God’s name is so important it made God’s top ten list of commandments.God’s name isn’t to be used lightly or thrown about casually. God’s name is to be set apart from all others, respected and reverenced. As believers we carry the name of Christ and must honor and respect the holiness of God’s name by how we live.

You shall not misuse the name of the Lord your God.~ Exodus 20:7

MARCH: Today, Jesus’ Kingdom is represented in this world by His body of believers. I believe when we pray Thy Kingdom Come we’re asking for more of God’s presence to come by way of the Holy Spirit through the body of believers. For God to show out more and more to the unbelieving world in a way that they will know Jesus is the only Way and Truth!

He is the One who loves us, who made us free from our sins with the blood of his death. He made us to be a kingdom of priests who serve God his Father. ~ Revelation 1:4-6

APRIL: Much like a child would go to their earthly parent seeking permission or direction, when we go to God and we ask for something we can also pray thy will to be done.” God is for us and wants to help us. However, like a loving parent, Father God is looking for a good attitude and a submissive, obedient heart.

This is the confidence we have in approaching God: that if we ask anything according to his will, he hears us. And if we know that he hears us—whatever we ask—we know that we have what we asked of him. ~ 1 John 5:14-15

MAY: As believers we are not of this world, we are earthen vessels filled with heaven’s breath, citizens of an unseen heavenly kingdom, in two realms at once. We are tasked with living on earth and in heaven. Our physical bodies inhabit the earth while our spirits are seated with Christ in heavenly places. We must live each day reminded that we may be the only example of heaven that those who are around us may see today.

…each of you should possess your own vessel in sanctification and honor…~ 1 Thessalonians 4:4

JUNE: We can take the analogy of our daily bread and use it to address our need for God’s Word daily in our life. God used manna in the wilderness to teach the Israelites their need for God daily. Jesus tells us that we’re not to live by bread alone but by every Word that proceeds from the mouth of God.

“I am the true Bread of Life.Your ancestors ate manna in the desert and died. But standing here before you is the true Bread that comes out of heaven, and when you eat this Bread you will never die. I alone am this living Bread that has come to you from heaven. Eat this Bread and you will live forever. The living Bread I give you is my body, which I will offer as a sacrifice so that all may live.”~ John 6:48-51 

JULY: Though we’re taught here in The Lord’s Prayer to ask God to forgive our trespasses, we must never forget that because of the blood of Christ we have already been forgiven. All we have to do is repent and accept his forgiveness.

I am writing to you, dear children, because your sins have been forgiven on account of His name. ~ John 2:12

AUGUSTUnless we are able to forgive others, we cannot accept the forgiveness given to us by God. The other side of that principle is:  Who are we to accept forgiveness from God and not grant it to others? By not forgiving others we are saying we better than God.

Has God graciously forgiven you? Then graciously forgive one another in the depths of Christ’s love.~ Ephesians 4:32

SEPTEMBER: Jesus will always be our way out, over, through, and around all temptations the enemy may throw at us. There’s nothing we face that isn’t filtered through God’s loving hands. No matter what comes God will never fail us. He will take what the enemy means for harm and turn it to good in our life.

And each test is an opportunity to trust him more, for along with every trial God has provided for you a way of escape that will bring you out of it victoriously. ~ 1 Corinthians 10:13

OCTOBER: In The Lord’s Prayer, Jesus is teaching His disciples, and us, that prayer is our main defense against the evil one.  As we pray the Our Father we’re acknowledging that God is sovereign over all things including Satan and any of his wicked schemes and He will deliver us from all evil.

Let the mighty strength of the Lord make you strong. Put on all the armor that God gives, so you can defend yourself against the devil’s tricks. ~ Ephesians 6:10

NOVEMBER: Along our journey with the Lord, if we focus on the dirt beneath our feet we will be overly sensitive to every rock and bump in the road–distracting us from the purpose God has for us. But by praying the Lord’s Prayer our focus will be on heaven and God’s presence… looking to His kingdom, His Power and His glory.

…live the kind of life that pleases God, who calls you to share in his own Kingdom and glory. ~ 1 Thessalonians 2:12

Forever… it’s a difficult concept. Our human minds can’t understand the idea of time not marked by a clock ticking minutes away. Which is exactly what eternity will be forever with God. Timelessness filled with all the love and goodness of God wrapped up in The Lord’s Prayer.

Take a few minutes and let’s sing praises with Michael W. Smith for all of God’s Forever love and goodness!

THE RED SEA RULES STUDY :: DON’T FORGET TO PRAISE HIM

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED FRIDAY OF THE MONTH.

In THE RED SEA RULES series we’re using the wonderful book by Robert J. Morgan as our guideline for a deep study of Exodus 14. Join me on the fourth Friday of each month in 2020 as we apply Morgan’s “10 God-Given Strategies for Difficult Times” to our lives today.

RED SEA RULE 10: Don’t forget to praise Him. 

Moses and the children of Israel sang this song to the Lord, and spoke, saying: “I will sing to the LORD, for He has triumphed gloriously! The horse and its rider He has thrown into the sea! The LORD is my strength and song, and He has become my salvation; He is my God, and I will praise Him; my father’s God, and I will exalt Him.” ~ Exodus 15: 1-2

This glorious song of rescue, considered by many to be the oldest example of the Hebrew language, is an important part of Israel’s faith even today. In this triumphant moment, with a recurring first-person narrative, the children of Israel lift their voice as one in praise to God. It’s no accident that it is the first recorded song in Scripture!

 

You are holy, enthroned on the praises of Israel. ~ Psalm 22:3

After a long dark night the nation of liberated slaves had miraculously been saved from the Pharaoh’s mighty army. Their faith in God had been vindicated. God was not just a historical memory from their fathers. He was now their personal savior.

What can we learn about praising God from this song today?

      • Praise God for who He is.

The Lord is my strength and song.

He is my God, and I will praise Him.

My father’s God, and I will exalt Him.

      • Praise God for what He does.

He has triumphed gloriously.

The horse and rider are thrown into the sea.

He has become my salvation.

“…praise and worship are the sand and cement that hold the bricks in place along life’s daily pathway.” ~ Robert J. Morgan

God often allows us to go through challenging situations. Maybe He is hoping they will give us an opportunity to praise Him? Let’s not wait to delivered from a crisis before we praise God.

With Matt Redman let’s list the 10,000 Reasons why we should be praising God in the middle of our Red Sea journey.

THE NEW LIFE SERIES :: BE THANKFUL

AT RHW WE PUBLISH A NEW COLUMN EACH FRIDAY. WE’RE GOING THROUGH FOUR SPECIFIC STUDIES WITH EACH SERIES BEING PUBLISHED ON A DESIGNATED WEEK OF THE MONTH.

In THE NEW LIFE series we’re studying one of my favorite chapters in the Bible: Colossians 3:1-17. As you will see this is a rich chapter full of valuable life transforming lessons. Join me on the third Friday of each month in 2020 for this in-depth Bible study with real world applications.

And let the peace that comes from Christ rule in your hearts. For as members of one body you are called to live in peace. And always be thankful.~ Colossians 3:15

In today’s verse Paul encourages us to let God’s peace rule our hearts. Because we are members of the body of Christ we are called to live in peace. And then should always be thankful.

Umpire of Peace

The word rule in this scripture comes from the language of athletics and refers to an umpire or referee. Our hearts are often the center of conflicting feelings and emotions–hopes and fears, love and jealousy. Paul is telling us to let the umpire of peace choose between the conflicting elements. Which choice will bring peace to our soul or our relationships?

Life of Peace

Having received Christ as our Savior we are now members of His mystical body, the Church. And as such we are called to live peaceful lives. Lives that are peaceful are free from anxiety, fear or worry.

Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart. And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus. ~ Philippians 4:6-7

With the peace of Christ ruling our hearts we will truly able to be thankful. Here are three things we should all be thankful for:

  • God has chosen us. We should be so thankful that God has chosen us to be a part of His forever family.

You are the people of God; He loved you and chose you for His own. ~ Colossians 3:12

  • God’s gift of Christ. We should be forever thankful for the gift of Christ’s sacrifice which allows us to have relationship with our heavenly Father.

Praise God for his astonishing gift, which is far too great for words! ~ 2 Corinthians 9:15

  • God’s gift of life. We should be thankful for all the things we’ve been given: God’s Word, air, food, water, shelter, sun, rain, family, friends, flowers, dogs, ice cream… for all things!

And give thanks for everything to God the Father in the name of our Lord Jesus Christ. ~ Ephesians 5:20

 Join me in a worship of gratefulness with this awesome song  by  Elevation Worship

Elevation