Monday, December 31, 2007

Running the Good Race


Last day of the year! Hard to believe 2007 is gone. It was a blessed year for us.

I went running today: 6 miles. My toe felt excellent all the way! The new shoes are perfect too. I am ready to try and run 10 miles this weekend and then it is downhill all the way to race day:

January 13, 2008.

I am sooo ready for this race to be over.....

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Four

"To obtain an inheritance which is
imperishable and
undefiled and will
not fade away,
reserved in heaven for you."
1 Pet 1:4
Hello friends, let's pray....
"LORD, God we seek You this day and ask that You give us an understanding of Your precepts as we study Your word today. I pray that You will teach us the way of Your statutes so that we can keep them to the end. Help us to meditate on Your precious and perfect holy word this day.
I seek the forgiveness of my sins because I know my sins separate me from You. I want to hear from You this day, LORD, that I might live and grow in Your words. I pray that You will cleanse me, renew me, and fill me with Your Holy Spirit.
I pray for each lady reading this study today that You would speak to her through Your word. I pray that You will encourage her to keep going even if times are tough. I pray that each of us would be encouraging to our husbands and submit to them wholeheartedly as though serving You, oh, LORD. Help us to be the wives You want us to be. Please be welcome in our homes.
In Jesus' name....amen."
We looked last time at the Word of life: Jesus, in scripture. We also looked at why John used so many persuasive verbs when beginning his letter. So, today we will look more at who John was writing to and why.
Gnosticism was a prevelant religion in this historical period of First John. It was a very popular false teaching that believer's were dealing with. John knew this and decided to write letters of encouragement and warning to these believers.
John explained that he is a credible witness to Jesus Christ coming in the flesh:
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands handled..."
The Docetics & Gnostics believed Jesus was spirit and that Jesus only appeared to be human so that He was not a real incarnation of God...therefore He was not a divine Savior who died for sinners (docetism) and that only salvation can come through life experience or supreme knowledge (gnosis- "knowledge"). (New Geneva Study Bible, 1995)
So, John was clearly trying to persuade his readers that docetic and gnostic beliefs were in error because He saw Jesus and he knew Jesus was God in the flesh....a satisfying sacrifice for sinners.
Now let's look more into the "life manifested" written in First John 1:2-
"-the life manifested, and we have seen, and bear witness, and declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us-"
Please read:
  • John 14:6-
The life.
  • Col. 3:4
He is our life.
  • 1 John 4:9
Only begotten Son of God.
  • Ps 113-
He condescends toward us.
  • Acts 3:11-16
The Holy One, the Just, the Prince of life.
  • Acts 2:22-38
A Man approved by God.
  • Ps 118:22
The Chief Cornerstone.
  • Jesus was the life God for His divine purposes. We are saved by no other name! Through Him we have LIFE.
"...declare to you that eternal life which was with the Father and was manifested to us." [emphasis mine]
Please read:
  • John 3:14-16
Eternal and everlasting life was promised to us by Jesus when He walked the earth.
  • John 6: 47-
Believe in Jesus..
Does that mean that all who know Jesus is the Son of God are saved??
  • Luke 4:31-34-
The demons called Him the "Holy One of God" yet were these demons saved?
  • Luke 4:40-41
"You are the Christ, the Son of God!" The demons acknowledged who Jesus was: the Messiah, the Son of God, but was that enough to redeem them to God?
  • Hebrews 11:6
One must believe that Jesus is and that He is the rewarder of those who diligently seek Him. Did the demons diligently seek Him?
  • James 2:9
The scriptures bear witness of Jesus....
John 5:39
Luke 24:27
  • Eternal life lies in Christ, not the scriptures. We do not worship the Bible, but the One whom the Bible reveals! Do not worship creation, but the One whom creation reveals!
Please read:
  • Acts 8:26-40
Eunuch was saved by God.....the Spirit moved Phillip and the Eunuch.
The Gospel is revealed to some and veiled to others:
  • 2 Cor 4:3-4
Veiled to those who are perishing....
  • 2 Cor 3:14-17
The veil is lifted or taken away in Christ!

He is the giver of eternal life.

"...which was with the Father..."
Please read:
  • John 16:28
Jesus was with the Father from the beginning.
  • 1 Tim 1:16
Those who are "going to believe on Him for everlasting life" have already been selected by God. He calls them to Himself...
  • Ps 9:10-
He does not forsake those who seek Him.
  • Ps 91:14-16
Jesus will show His salvation to those who seek Him.
  • Eph 1:11-12
Predestined and chosen to believe in Him.
  • Luke 18:18-
Some heard and were not called to follow.....
  • You may be thinking about that the person you know who is not a believer could never come to a knowledge of Jesus as their Savior...they are too far gone or too hard headed to ever trust and believe. But remember the God whom you serve. He is the same God who parted the Red Sea. He rose Lazarus from the dead 4 days after he died. He rose Jesus from the dead and He lives today.
Nothing is impossible with God. If your friend or loved one is chosen by God then he/she will come to Christ before he/she leaves this earth. Count on it!
Job 42:2
Jer 32:17
Zech 8:6
Matt 19:26
Luke 1:37
That promise of eternal life holds true to this day...
Romans 1:1-5
Ro 4:13-17
Titus 1:1-2
2 Cor 1:18-20
2 Pet 1:3-4
Gal 3:14
Praise be to God He keeps His promises!!
  • Life Application
We can have comfort and peace in knowing that God's promises are YES! in Christ Jesus. We can know we have eternal life because God is faithful and He will do it.
  • John 10:27-
"My sheep hear My voice, and I know them, and they follow Me. And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand. My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father's hand. I and the Father are one."
  • Jesus is the Good Shepherd. He knows you and all your needs even before You know them. He has made a place for you in His kingdom from the beginning of time. He is yours and you are His. As we continue further into 1 John, you will read more about how you can know that you are His and He is yours. There is great rest and assurance in 1 John. It will become your "go-to" book for those times when you may have doubts.
  • You will find great comfort in the words John wrote to his fellow believers who may have been doubting the Gospel after hearing the docetic and gnostic teachings.
  • But 1 John was written that we may KNOW that we have eternal life! Praise God now for that gift.
What were you saved from??
Please read:
  • John 3:36
God's wrath. That alone is worthy of our praise and adoration.
  • Some non-believers see God as an egotistical demagogue who desires us to fall down and worship Him only to please Himself.
But remember, God is eternal. There is no need in an eternal being. God does not "need" us to worship Him. It is the other way around: He knows we need to worship Him in order to live.
  • Just like the does not need us in order to shine. It is us who need the sun shine in order to live! God knows that the greatest thing for us is to know and worship Him....that is why He provided a way for us to know Him and worship Him.
So, take this knowledge and comfort of His promises to you and meditate on them today. Truly apply this knowledge of the God you serve with you today and pass it on...not only in word, but in deed too.
Until next time......
"The joy a Christian experiences as a result of trials can be the best kind he will ever know. But so often we allow the everyday stress and strain of financial difficulties, health problems, unrealized goals, and many other trials rob us of our joy in Christ. True joy stems from spiritual realities that are much greater than temporal circumstances.
...Peter (1 Pet 1:4)gives us one strong reason for rejoicing-confidence and hope that as Christians we have inherited a place in Heaven."
-John MacArthur (Strength for Today Devotional, May 8 entry, 1997)

Saturday, December 29, 2007

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Three

"Do all things without
complaining and disputing
that you may become blameless
and harmless, children of God
without fault in the midst of a crooked
and perverse generation,
among whom you shine as lights in the world,
holding fast the word of life,
so that I may rejoice in
the day of Christ that
I have not labored in vain."
Philippians 2:14-16
Let's begin out time in study with prayer.....
"Heavenly Father, we come together this day to thank You for the Word of life. We know that without Your word, we are lost in this crooked and perverse generation. Help us to remember to hold fast to Your word and learn to love Your commandments.
I ask forgiveness of my sins today. I know that I have sinned against You and only You. I pray that You will wash me clean this day and renew a steadfast spirit within me.
I pray for each lady reading this study. I pray that she will be renewed by studying this book and learn something new today. I pray that You will come alongside her and give her strength.
In Jesus' name....amen."
The Word of Life
1 John 1:1
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life-"
As we begin today's lesson, remember what we looked at last time: who John was as a witness to Christ and who Christ was...the incarnation of God in the flesh, the incarnate Word of God made flesh.
Today we will look more into the phrase "Word of life" so that we can have a full understanding before we delve deeper into chapter one.
Please read:
John 1:1-14
Phil 2:16
1 Pet 1:23
1 Thess 2:13
Is. 40:6-8
After reading these passages we find a similar thread throughout them all: God's Word abides and lives forever. It is no wonder Christ Jesus was called the Word of life. We see in scripture that God's word is life to our bones.
Look up and read:
James 1:17-18
Here it is called the Word of truth
John 6:63-69
Jesus called His words "spirit" and "life".
And Simon Peter called them "words of eternal life."
John is alluding to the fact that all he had written is about Jesus as the Word of life. This word came alive and is still alive to this day:
Heb. 4:12-13
It is living and powerful...sharper than any two-edged divides: households, friendships, marriages, businesses, countries. God's word is that powerful!
Psalm 147: 15-20
Input the word, "Son" where it says "word" and you can see a clear picture of how God uses His Son.
Isaiah 49:2- Here we see a more clearly defined role of Christ as the LORD's servant.
But not all believed in the Word of life....
Please read:
John 12:48
We will be judged by the words of Christ....and whether or not we believed and obeyed them.
Rev 19:11-16
The Word of God shall strike the nations with the sharp sword that comes out of His mouth.
John 5:24
But those chosen by the LORD will hear His words and have life....
John 4: 13-15
She heard the words of Jesus and He gave her eternal life....
John 6:33 & 47-51
giver of life...
2 Tim 1:1 & 9
Promise of life....
Titus 1:2-
hope of eternal life....
So, we see here that God's word is powerful, alive, sharp, and it is TRUE....His promises are true and endure forever. His word is His bond. We can trust in His word because He IS HIS WORD. He has sworn an oath on His word, on His diety that all these promises are YES in Christ Jesus! (2 Cor 1:20)
How great is that??
Life Application
We can read 1 John 1:1 now with a clear understanding of what he was writing: he is a credible witness to who Jesus was and what He did and that all this is concerning the Word of life which is Christ the Lord Himself.
How do we apply this knowledge to our lives? Having complete faith in God's word is the backbone of Christianity. To claim to be a Christian and not believe in the Bible as the infallible word of God is to reject the words of Christ reject His body and His spirit.
So, how can one claim to be a Christian without depending solely on the Bible? As we read deeper into 1 John, you will see how these early Christians were dealing with the same dilemma as we do to this day: People who were not truly called by Christ were claiming to be Christians.
Today it is easy to get caught up in the need for intellectual arrogance. Attaining a degree of higher education can make one feel proud or boastful, until you read the Bible and realize it is all futility.
Relying on God's word for life is essential for living because His word endures forever whereas this world does not.
Apply these verses to your life by making sure you are wholly dependent on the Bible for life. Constantly remember that the things of this world are passing away....just like us.
As Christians, we are to know this word of God and hold it deeply to ourselves as though tomorrow it will be gone. It sustains us, it nourishes us, and it repairs our relationship with God so that we can have fellowship with Him.....and that is the greatest thing for our souls.
Until next time.....
"God is loving, but a major part of what He loves is His own perfect character, with a major aspect being the importance of maintaining justice and righteousness. Though God pardons sinners and makes great provision for expressing His mercy, He will never negotiate His justice. If we fail to understand that, the cross of Christ will be utterly meaningless to us."
-Dr. R.C. Sproul (The Truth of the Cross, 2007, p. 19)

Friday, December 28, 2007

Running the Good Race


Was able to run just under six miles today. My toe felt better. Hardly any pain at all during the run. It hurt a little more after I stopped running, but now it is fine.

Bought new shoes!! They felt great during the run. Didn't bother my toe at all.

Am so grateful to be running again. I missed it so. The race is Jan 13th....right around the corner. I want to do one more long run before the race, but we'll see what happens....

The First Epistle of John: Lesson Two

"For this they willfully forget:
that by the word of God the heavens
were of old, and the earth standing out of water
and in the water,
by which the world that then existed
perished, being flooded with water. But
the heavens and the earth
which are now preserved by the
same word, are reserved for fire until the
day of judgment
and perdition of ungodly men."
2 Peter 3:5-7
Good day, ladies! As with all Bible study, let's begin by seeking the Lord.....
"Holy Father, thank You for reminding us in Peter's epistle about the power of Your word. As we study this day about who You are and what Your word is, may we be blessed and renewed.
I seek the forgiveness of my sins...even the sins I do not know that when I read Your word this day I may clearly here Your voice and not be separated from You. I pray for a cleansing by Your precious blood.
I pray for the ladies reading this study this day. May we all be changed through the reading of Your word. I pray that You will go to her and hear her prayer for help and renewal. I pray that You will teach her how to be a better servant to You, LORD.
In Jesus' name....amen."
What Was Heard, Seen, and Touched
As we begin this lesson today, it is important for us to remember those words of Peter's above. God's word is indeed most powerful. More powerful than any nuclear weapon and more powerful than any earthly army.
His words brought life from nothingness. Ex nihilo...something from nothing. And by those words we will be judged in the end for what we did and did not do according to His word.
1 John 1:1
"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and out hands have handled, concerning the Word of life."
Whenever I teach English and writing lessons at my son's school, I have to remind the students about different types of writing: narrative, informative, persuasive, etc. They can easily tell what type of writing their story is by knowing these types thoroughly.
When a writer lists facts and specifics, they are usually trying to persuade the reader of the author's expertise or experience for validation.
Here we have John telling us that from the beginning he was there to hear Jesus, touch Him, see Him with his eyes, and handle Him with his own we, the reader, may know that John has the expertise and experience to write about Christ. He knew Him intimately and Jesus knew John intimately. This gives credibility and validation to the letter.
Please read:
Mark 1:14 -the fisherman
  • John's calling
  • Jesus called John...John did not seek Jesus

Luke 5:1-11

  • Witnessed miracles along with Simon
  • They forsook all and followed Him

Matt 4:20

Matt 19:27

Mark 3:13-18

Luke 9:1-3

  • Most mentioned disciples: Peter, James, & John

So, we read here that Jesus chose these men....He performed miracles before them, and then He gave them the power to preach the kingdom of God and to heal. John was a credible witness to the acts of Jesus.

Acts 4:1-4

  • "...many who heard their words, believed."
  • Christ gave power to their words

Please read:

John 1:1-4

John 1:14

1 John 1:1

"...that which we have seen with our eyes.."

John beheld the glory of the Word becoming flesh and dwelling among them. He also saw that glory being beaten, tortured, ridiculed, and finally...killed.

John 19: 25-30

Imagine you are John. You were chosen by Jesus to do and witness great things. You saw with your own eyes the dead rising again! You sat under Jesus' teachings. Imagine that!! You ate with Him and talked to Him.

Then, you saw Him bleeding and hanging on a cross...the very glory of God hanging like a criminal just as He said. Suddenly, you watch Him die.

John 20: 1-23

Bu then, with those same eyes, you see the empty tomb, the linens gently placed, and then you see the risen Christ standing before you just as He said He would.

Imagine that!

John 1:1

"That which was from the beginning, which we have heard, which we have seen with our eyes, which we have looked upon, and our hands have handled, concerning the Word of life.."

Yes, John was the credible witness chosen by Jesus to write these words that we may know and have fellowship with Christ Jesus.....just as he did.

Praise be to God.


Life Application

So, how do we take all this and apply it to our lives? Well, are you a credible witness of Christ just as John was? Do you know Jesus intimately enough to tell others about Him and His words?

Please read:

1Tim 1:16-17

Is Jesus using you to show to others how to get through pain and suffering so that they may know how to suffer in Christ Jesus?

A teacher at Nathan's school was recently hired to take over for another teacher who left. She has no experience at all in teaching, but she came at a time when I was there teaching full time for 6 weeks. I came alongside her and helped her with lesson plans and classroom management while another experienced teacher helped her with administrative tasks. Together, all three of us grew close and began to know each other intimately. So intimately, that this teacher shared with us that she was having marriage problems and financial troubles.

As a result, I was able to share with her how Jesus brought me and Scott through similar troubles and how faithful Christ was to us throughout all the hard times. Jesus used our pain and suffering "as a pattern to those who are going to believe on Him". She was very encouraged by my tansparency. Especially when I told her that only 4 short years ago I was cleaning toilets as a janitor at our church and now I have a Masters degree in education and am a teacher. She was amazed at what Jesus did with my life.....and what He can do with hers.

1 John 1:4

The purpose for the First Epistle of John is clear: that we all may have the full and complete joy that comes with having fellowship in Christ Jesus.

Know Him personally. Know Him intimately. Then, tell others about what you have seen, heard, and witnessed Him doing in your life.


Next time we will look deeper into the "Word of life" .

Until then.....

"The gospel is a message of good news that something extraordinary has happened. At the heart of that message is that Jesus, God the Son incarnate, has atoned for the sins of all His people, turning away the righteous wrath of God. The gospel is a cross-shaped message. Sadly, in our day, this message is being re-shaped into other forms, and the results are not happy."

-Dr. R. Scott Clark, Associate Pastor, Westminster Seminary California (cited from the book, The Truth About the Cross, R.C. Sproul, 2007)



Monday, December 24, 2007

The First Epistle of John

"In the beginning
was the Word, and
the Word was with God,
and the Word was God. He was
in the beginning with God. All things
were made through Him, and
without Him nothing was made
that was made."
John 1:1-3
Good morning ladies! As with all Bible studies, we will begin with prayer....
"Father God in heaven, as we come together at this time of year to celebrate your birth, life, and death, may we never forget what it was that You did for us: conquered death once and for all so that we may never face it. You alone lived the perfect life here on earth that we may know how to live and You died the perfect death that we may know how to die for God, but You conquered our foe, Satan, once and for all so that we now face a conquered foe.
I seek the forgiveness of my sins knowing that my sins affect all of creation. I know that my sins separate me from You and I pray that You will cleanse me and renew me this day.
I pray for this study of the first book of Your servant, John. I pray for each lady reading this study that she will glean much out of it. I pray that after reading these words of John, she will know for sure that she has eternal life.
I give You this study, LORD, and ask that You be glorified in it.
In Jesus' name.....amen."
An Overview of First John
In this first lesson we will look at the whole book of First John then, later in the next lesson, we will concentrate on chapter one. I pray that you were able to print out the first chapter and mark it for key words, if not you may want to do that now by cutting and pasting the chapter from if you are not comfortable marking your Bible.
This study will mirror Kay Arthur's First John study. If you have ever been in a Kay Arthur study, you know that it is inductive. This means that we will only look at the facts in the Bible and come to a conclusion on what the writer meant. We won't use commentaries unless necessary.
In this overview of First John, we will look at the book in its proper context and how the author reveals his purpose for writing the book.
We can do this with any book in the Bible by asking the 5 W's and an H questions:
  • First John was written by the beloved apostle, John. It was written while he was exiled on the island of Patmos during the time of Ignatius and Polycarp (110 A.D.).
  • First John is believed to have been written after the book of John because of how clearly John criticizes false teachings and antichrists. It seems to have been written at a time when identifying yourself as a Christian was well-established. John seems to be writing a a certain group of people.
  • The "letter" does not have the usual greeting or salutation as in other letters in the New Testament, but it is considered a letter due to how it was written.
  • First John was written as a warning to Christians on how to spot antichrists from among them and about how to know when someone is a true Christian or not....even themselves. So you can see how contemporary and relevant this book is to us today when many people call themselves Christians.
Let's now look at each chapter in an overview:

Chapter one:

Uses the word "know" 4 times and "sin" 5 times as well as "light" 3 times.
Chapter two:
Uses the word "abide" nine times and "sin" 4 times, but John uses the word "know" here 13 times and "love" 5 times. He also uses the word "write" 11 times and "light" 3 times.
Chapter three:
Uses the word "sin" 10 times and "know" 9 times as well as "love" 9 times. He uses the phrase "born of God" 5 times in this chapter and "abide" 7 times.
Chapter four:
Uses that word "love" 27 times and "know" 7 times as well as "abide" 6 times and "born of God" 1 time.
Chapter five:
Uses the word "know" 8 times, "love" 5 times, and "born of God" 3 times in this chapter.
By looking at the book in this way, we can easily see John's message: we may know and abide in Christ and be born of God and we may know love if we do not sin.
I call chapter three the "sin" chapter and chapter four the "love" chapter. It helps me remember these books easier!
The book theme of First John is:
That we can know that we have eternal life in Christ Jesus, that we cannot just say this but we must "do" this as well, and that we may know what salvation is and isn't.
So many times we meet someone who claims to be a believer, but how can we know for sure? First John was written that we may know.
Key words:
born of God
eternal life
Purpose of the book:
That we may know...
Historical setting:
False teachings were everywhere
Believers were turning away from their faith
Some believers were Jewish and knew scriptures
Chapter themes:
1) Fellowship with God through Jesus- if we know God obey Him, if we sin confess it.
2) If we abide in Jesus we know no sin; abide in the light. Know Him, keep His commandments.
3) Anyone born of God cannot continue to live in sin.
4) We must love one another as God loved us. LOVE.
5) Know that you have eternal life through Christ.
Okay! This concludes our Overview of the First Epistle of John. I hope that after reading the book and this overview, you have a better understanding of this book. I hope that you will have pure joy in reading this book as it reveals to you the assurance...absolute assurance...of your salvation in Christ Jesus!
  • We will look at chapter one next time and use scripture to study its contents further until we know what the chapter says.
I am excited! I hope you are too...
Until next time...................
"But thanks be to God that though you were slaves of sin, you became obedient from the heart to that form of teaching to which you were committed, and having been freed from sin, you became slaves of righteousness."
-Romans 6:17-18

Sunday, December 23, 2007

Running the Good Race


Was able to run just under 5 miles yesterday. It was so cool out: 59 degrees at 3:00pm. It felt great and there was no pollution. Quite a change from the summertime.

Will do North Mountain tomorrow so I can eat without any guilt tomorrow night and Christmas!


Wednesday, December 19, 2007

Running the Good Race


Ran 3 miles again today!! Felt much better. My knees were hurting a little, so I may still have to buy new shoes...not sure.

Just so thankful to be running again....thank the LORD.

Tuesday, December 18, 2007

The First Epistle of John- Introduction

Good morning!!

This is the first post of this study of 1 John.

1 John is one of my most favorite books in the Bible because it touches on so many emotions that we endure daily and because it tells us of our assurance of our salvation: how we may KNOW that we have eternal life.

I pray that you will enjoy this study. It is based off of Kay Arthur's precept study of the book, but not the exact study as it would be too hard to do online as a precept.

So, here is a brief layout of how this study will be:

Every other day I will post a lesson for you to read. Included in the lesson will be Bible passages for you to look up and read. The study will begin with an overview of 1 John and a little background on who John was in Scriptures.

The first thing you should do to prepare for this study is to read the entire epistle of 1 John. Then, read it a second time, only this time look for key words in each chapter. If you feel comfortable t marking in your Bible, underline or highlight key words such as know, sin, love, life, abide, and fellowship.

If you are not comfortable marking your Bible, cut & paste then print out the chapters separately (you can find them at and then mark them accordingly.

You will be amazed at how many times these words are used in this small but important book in the Bible.

Finally, read the first chapter and look for key phrases.

Well, that will be our study for the next few weeks...however long it takes us to get through the whole book.

Looking forward to it!


Running the Good Race


I finally went running last night!!! 3 miles with little pain. It felt GREAT!!!

Will try and do 3 again on Wednesday and then 6 on Friday. Lord willing I will be back to my 9 mile- 10 mile long runs soon.

Am using this marathon as a fundraiser for a needy family. Pray that the Lord helps us to finish this race for little Hana.

Monday, December 3, 2007

Running the Good Race


I was able to go up the mountain last Monday and last Wednesday as well as ride the stationary bike. It hurt a little running up the mountain, but not as bad as walking down the mountain did!

Will go up the mountain again today and try to run on the treadmill this week. The toe is healing and my foot is getting stronger.

Sunday, November 25, 2007

Running the Good Race


Was able to go running up North Mountain yesterday with minimal pain. My toe is getting better. I will try to run 3 miles tomorrow after work.

The stationary bike has helped tremendously. My legs were strong going up the mountain and my cardio was strong too. Hopefully I will be able to run long runs again soon.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Running the Good Race


I was able to ride the stationary bike this week as well as walk on the treadmill. My toe is definitely getting better.

We did our annual Thanksgiving hike this morning up North Mountian and my toe did fine. It hasn't hurt much all day!

I will do the treadmill tomorrow, weights, and stationary bike. I think that will help my cardio.

Also, I will go up North Mountain on Saturday and possibly run on Sunday afternoon (3 miles).

Sunday, November 18, 2007

Running the Good Race


I was awake on Saturday for about 3 minutes when I broke my toe.

So, no running for awhile. I borrowed my sister-in-law's stationary bike to keep my cardio up until I can run again.

I am hoping (and praying) that by Thursday I can go on our annual Thanksgiving Day morning hike that my family does. Today I did the stationary bike for 30 min. and it felt great. Some pain from the broken toe, but nothing I couldn't handle.

Will do the bike until Wednesday, hike Thurs. and try to run on Fri. Hopefully, by Sat. I will be running regularly again.

Darn those bed posts..........

Friday, November 16, 2007

Running the Good Race


Had to work full time this week substitute teaching. Was too tired on Wed. to run and since I worked at GCC at night, I couldn't run on Tues. or Thurs. after school.

So, I had to wait until tonight to run. It was nice and cool out this evening for a 3.5 mile run. I was tired, so I didn't over do it. Knees were a little tight at first. Think I will purchase some new shoes next week.

Will run a mile and do weights tomorrow then run 10 miles on Sunday after church.

Monday, November 12, 2007

Running the Good Race


Ran four miles today at 11am. It was nice and cool out. So fun to run now in cooler air anytime of day that I can. I did the 4 miles in 40 minutes. Had some knee aches at first. May need new shoes before the marathon....not sure.

Felt great. Will do 5 miles on Wednesday.

Sunday, November 11, 2007

Running the Good Race


The hubby and I set out to run 9.5 miles on Saturday.......and we did it in 1 hr. 35 min!!

We both felt pretty good, too. My hip was hurting this morning, but other than that I felt great.

No school tomorrow (Veteran's Day- hug a Vet!!) so I will run 4miles.

Thursday, November 8, 2007

Running the Good Race


I decided to run 6 miles today and did it in 58 minutes. Felt great. It was only 66 degrees out and breezy.

Slight knee pain at the start, but it went away. Hardly any traffic where I ran and no noise or pollution at all. Much better than Tuesday! ...and no bloody sock. Yeah!

Will run 9 miles on Sat.

Tuesday, November 6, 2007

Running the Good Race


I had to sub yesterday and when I went to leave, I had a dead battery in my car. So, needless to say, I got home too late to go running.

Ran this morning instead: 3 miles in 27 minutes. BUT it was a huge mistake. I ran north/south on 7th ave and along Deer Valley only to breathe in alot of pollution. Ick!!

I think I inhaled about the equivalent of 10 cigarettes worth of carbon monoxide with all the traffic. It was horrible! NEVER again.

Will run Wed.

Saturday, November 3, 2007

Running the Good Race


Had to sub Fri. so I didn't run. Needed to rest for our LONG run today....

We set out to run 8 miles, but we ended up covering 9 miles!! We both felt much better this week. I made sure and ate carbs the night before and drank plenty of water.

It was a good run. No knee pain and very little hip pain. Of course, we will be hurting tomorrow!

Tonight is our church's progressive dinner and we are going to EAT alot!

Wednesday, October 31, 2007

Running the Good Race


Didn't have to sub today, so I went running this morning: 6 miles in 58 minutes. Felt pretty good too. The weather was very nice. It was so cool out at 8am.

I need to run in the morning more often to get used to it for the race.

Will do 4 or 5 on Friday and then the LONG run Sat. morning: 8 miles.

Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Running the Good Race


Ran 3 miles yesterday in 22 minutes. I decided to run at a fast pace since I felt pretty good. It is funny how 3miles is so easy now.

It was warm out yesterday, but I still enjoyed my run. No knee pain at all, which is always nice.

Will rest today then run 5 or 6 miles Wednesday.

Saturday, October 27, 2007

Running the Good Race


Ran up North Mountain on Friday for endurance.

Today we set out to run 8 miles, but we ran 7.5 and walked 1/2 a mile. I was really burnt out at mile 5, so we walked 1/2 mile into mile 6 then ran the rest of the way. I am glad we walked otherwise I wouldn't have finished. I just pooped out!

I need to buy those energy Jelly Bellies to help out. I also didn't eat enough carbohydrates today. Had plenty of protein, but not enough carbs. My body just quit too early. Everything else felt fine: a little knee and ankle pain at the start, but it went away.

Will REST tomorrow then run on Monday.

Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Running the Good Race


Ran 5 miles in 50 minutes tonight. It was warmer today: 94 degrees while I ran. Glad I took water!

Knees were hurting at first again....may be time for new shoes. Bloody sock as well. Gotten used to those!

Will go up North Mountain tomorrow then rest on Friday for the LONG run on Saturday: 7.5 miles.

Monday, October 22, 2007

Running the Good Race


Ran 3 miles in 28 minutes tonight. It was so nice outside! What a difference cooler air makes. I am actually enjoying my runs now.

Knees were still a bit touchy and my left ankle was tight, but I felt great. Did weights and hamstring work when I got home.

Will do 5 miles on Wed.

Sunday, October 21, 2007

Running the Good Race


We did it! We ran 7 miles yesterday in 1 hr. 14 minutes. That last mile was tough, but I felt good. I had some knee pain in the middle of the run. I think it was because I had squatted alot while gardening in the yard that morning. Squatting is terrible for my knees. They let me know about it during mile 4 and 5. Yeowch!!

But I was able to finish strong. I felt good overall. Another bloody sock, though. Hate those.

Rested today and will do 3 miles on Monday.

Saturday, October 20, 2007

Running the Good Race


Ran on Wednesday after work. 5 miles in 48 minutes. I felt good, but my legs were tired.

Ran Friday with my hubby. We did North Mountain. It is a great hill/endurance run. We both needed a jolt to our metabolism and this sort of anaerobic exercise is great.

The endurance run will help us meet our long run goal today: 7 miles.

We'll see if we can do it!

Tuesday, October 16, 2007

Running the Good Race


Went running yesterday: 3 miles. I felt ok. Had a sore hamstring, so I didn't want to push it. Will do 5 miles on Wednesday & 6 on Friday, Lord willing!

Had no hamstring pain today! That's good.

Have to do 7 miles on Sat. to remain on target.

Saturday, October 13, 2007

Running the Good Race


I ran 3 miles on Thursday. Felt a little weak, but did pretty good.

I decided to take Friday off to rest.

Hubby and I ran 6.5 miles in 1.25 hours.on Saturday. We both were very tired due to the fact that we forgot to bring water. It wasn't hot out at all...actually, it was perfect. But it was DRY out and running that long without water is hard. We won't do that again!

So, I seem to be back on track for training. My legs felt great and my breathing was easy. I think if we had water I would have done much better. Live and learn.......

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Running the Good Race


Still too weak to run today. I subbed at Nathan's school all day then did weights when I got home. I will definitely go running tomorrow and then Friday as well.

Will do the long run on Saturday (6.5 miles) with the hubby.

Gotta get back in the, race.

Tuesday, October 9, 2007

Running the Good Race


Well, the inevitable happened: I got sick.

Seems I got bit by the flu bug on Monday and was sick all Monday night into Tuesday morning. I feel much better now, but not strong enough to run yet. I am hoping I can run at least 2 miles tomorrow night.

It is better for me to be sick now rather than in December or January. There is still time for me to recover before the race.

I just have to stay healthy until then!

Monday, October 8, 2007

Running the Good Race


We decided to take Friday evening off to rest up for Saturday's long run.

Saturday we ran 6 miles in 59 minutes. We both felt great and had a strong finish. I had some ankle pain, but no knee pain or hip pain at all which is good.

Woke up Sunday with some achilles tendon pain, but that was it. I think we could have easily gone 6.5 miles, so this week's long run will definitely be 6.5 miles.

Today I will run about 5 miles.

Thursday, October 4, 2007

Running the Good Race


Ran 4.75 miles last night. No knee pain and I did lunges after to strength my knees further. The run was great. Humid, but cool out.

Today I just rested since I subbed then taught at GCC at night.

Tomorrow I will run 6 miles again....

My massage was great! A bit rough around the neck area, but the rest felt very relaxing. I could tell i had a lot of knots in my shoulders and back. Not anymore!

Next massage is at the end of the month.

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Running the Good Race


I ran 4.5 miles tonight. Had some knee & ankle pain at the start, but it went away after the first few minutes.

I will do pilates & weights Tuesday and then run 5 miles Wednesday.....

I have my 1st FREE massage today at GCC. Can't wait!!!

Monday, October 1, 2007

The Living Water-Lesson Thirty-Six

"On the last day of that great day of the feast,

Jesus stood and cried out, saying, 'If anyone

thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He

who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said,

out of his heart will flow rivers of

living water.'

But this He spoke concerning the Spirit,

whom those believing in Him would receive;

for the Holy Spirit was not yet

given, because Jesus was not yet glorified."

John 7: 37-39


Let's seek the Lord together one last time...

"Father in heaven, I praise Your holy name and thank You for giving us this study in Your word. How wonderful it has been to open up Your word and learn so many wonderful things together. I thank You for showing us how Messiah wasn't just for the Jews, but for us Gentiles as well. Thank You for including us into Your family all because of Jesus.

I pray for each woman who has read these studies here. I pray that she has come away with a deeper understanding of John Chapter 4 and the woman at the well. I pray You have revealed more of Yourself to her in these verses. I know I have learned so much.

May she continue to thirst after You and Your word each day. May You be with her and encourage her to stay near You, for You are the Living Water that we need to live.

In Jesus' name.........amen."


John 4: 42

"Then they said to the woman, "Now we believe, not because of what you said, for we ourselves have heard Him and we know that this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."

Imagine the moment when the Samaritans were listening to Jesus speak and the Holy Spirit opened their eyes and ears....then they realized that this was the Christ, the Messiah, the Savior of the world with them. Just imagine.....

At this time, the Jewish people assumed the Messiah was going to come only for them, but now we read that the Messiah was the Savior of the world and He came for the Gentiles too.

Please read:

Is 60:3

John 17: 20-23

1 John 4:12-16

Is 19:19-20

Is 43:1-3

Is 60:16

Jesus is our Savior and He came to save both Jews and Gentiles.


"For we ourselves have heard Him....."

All of the earth hears the voice of God and obeys:

Matt 8: 23-27

Jonah 2: 10

But His people stopped hearing and disobeyed:

Matt 13: 15

Zech 7:11-12

2 Tim 4:3-4

Heb 5:10-11

Pray that you will be one whose eyes are open and ears hear the Lord:

Matt 13: 16-17

Mark 9:7


Life Application

" ...this is indeed the Christ, the Savior of the world."

Well, we have come to the end of our journey with Jesus and the woman at the well. We began our journey in Sychar at the place of Jacob's well. We sat with Jesus as He waited for the Samaritan woman to come to the well with her waterpot as she did day after day in the odd hour of the day.

As we read the words of the Lord which He spoke to her, He spoke to us as well:

He taught us who we worship and how we are to worship the One True God.

He taught us that the things of this world will never satisfy us like the things of God. He taught us that the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus our Savior.

He taught us of the Living Water that will never leave us thirsty for more but will satisfy us to overflowing like a fountain!

He convicted us of our sins so that we could hear Him and serve Him.

He taught us that God is Spirit and that He is God in the flesh.

He revealed to us that He is the Messiah.

He taught us that His food is to do the will of God and that our food is perishing.

He taught us in this lesson what compassion truly is: loving all the brotherhood.

He taught us not to take the harvest for granted but to reap it at the appointed time or it will be wasted.

He taught us that some sow and some reap but each will have their reward with Him.

He taught us to labor together so that we all can rejoice together when lost souls are found.

He showed us how His sheep hear His voice and come to Him...even the Gentiles.

Finally, most of all, He taught us that this world and all that is in it is not about us, but everything is about Him.

I pray that You have enjoyed this study as much as I have enjoyed putting together each day. What a blessing it has been to read and re-read these verses over and over asking the Lord to reveal to me new insights so that we may grow.

He answered my prayers and gave me scriptures each day to share with you. It has been such a blessing to do this study.

I pray that you leave here with a deeper understanding of the Lord Jesus whom you serve.


Until next time..........

"If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water." John 7:37-38



Sunday, September 30, 2007

The Living Water: Lesson Thirty-Five

"The voice of the LORD is over the waters;

The God of glory thunders;

The LORD is over many waters.

The voice of the LORD is powerful;

The voice of the LORD is full of majesty.

Psalm 29:3-4


Good day! Let's begin with prayer....

"Holy Father, I want to thank You for this day and for Your glory. You alone are the God Most High. You alone gave us the gift of the Living Water and washed me pure.
I seek forgiveness of my sins because I know I have put myself ahead of You lately. I pray that You will forgive me of my selfishness and cleanse me with Your word this day. I pray that You will give me wisdom liberally.
I also pray for each lady reading this study today. I pray that You will go to her and speak to her new things. I pray that You will encourage her and give her a heart that is willing to obey Your words.
In Jesus' name............amen."


John 4: 41

"And many more believed because of His own word."

The word of God is powerful. It cuts deeply and changes the hearts of men. Here in this verse we see that now the people of Sychar, having seen Jesus and having heard His words, believed because of Him.

The Samaritan woman's witness was effective in getting the people to Jesus. They believed her and came to see "a man" who could be the Christ. As Jesus spoke to them for two days, we are told that many believed.

Please read:

Luke 4:31-32

From the beginning, Jesus was able to persuage men with just His words. For His word had authority.

John 6:63

His very words are LIFE to us. As we have read before, Peter understood this:

John 6:68

The words of Jesus are eternal life.

John 17:17

They are TRUTH.

Col 3:16

And they should dwell in us deeply.

Heb 1:1-4

And that is how God spoke to His people and to us know: Through Jesus.

Rom 10: 16-17

It is God who opens ears to hear the words of Christ. Just as He opened the ears of the Samaritan people around Jesus, He opened our ears as well and now we can read the Word and hear it and be changed.

Jesus' words changed the Samaritan woman. They gave her new life....a new purpose. She left her waterpot: her old ways, her old purpose in life...and began a new journey. The Lord promised her He would give her that Living Water that would finally quench her thirst forever.


How did God's voice (His word) change others in scripture?

Please read:

Gen 1:3

Gen 3:9-10

Gen 3:13

Gen 4:6-7

Gen 6:7-13

Gen 7:1

Gen 9:8

God's words convicted men of sin, spoke to them of His covenant, encouraged man to worship Him. God's words are important. We were created in His image, so it makes sense that our words are important as well.

Gen 11:1-9

The word "Babel" means confusion. It is also translated as Babylon. Man took language for granted, so how did God punish His people? By taking away their one language and confusing them. Words are very important to the Lord. They should be important to us.

Gal 3:8

God rewarded Abraham for believing God's words.

Deut 17:18

His words should instill fear on His people.

Deut 18:17

God's words were put into Jesus' mouth.

Deut 18:20-22 False prophets shall be judged for the words they say in God's name.

I think it is safe to say that God's words are LIFE and TRUTH to us. We would be wise to take them seriously. We would be wise to read them daily and have fear of God because of His words. He keeps His promises.....He keeps His word.

Praise God today for His word. Praise Him that He did not leave us here alone without any knowledge of Him. He is merciful and His voice is indeed full of majesty.


Life Application

"...because of His own word."

Some believed because of the Samaritan woman, and now we read that many more believed because of Jesus' own word.

Please read:

Jer 23:9-10

Here we read how the holy words of God given to the prophet were not heeded and the whole of creation suffered. Do we heed those words today? Does creation still suffer because of our sin of disobedience?

Jesus' own word is what saves us. He died to save us from His wrath and that is why He is exalted by His death. His life and death were perfect. And now He is exalted. Because of His perfect words, we have life. We have been saved from that curse.

2 Tim 3:16

All scripture...every profitable and it equips us for every good work of the Lord. That is why we must stay near the Lord. Like the people of Sychar, we must "urge" Him to stay with us so we can hear His words....His own word and be healed, cleansed, saved, transformed.

Stay in the Word! I know life gets hectic and time gets away from us. Before you know it, the day is half over. Find time to be alone with the Lord each day. Use these studies to be in the Word. I have given you much scripture to read in this study. Stay in the near God's Word, learn it, memorize it and tell others what you have learned.

That way we can abide in Jesus and He will abide in us.


Until next time......

"It troubles alot of people that Christ died to exalt Christ. Boiled down to its essence, 2 Corinthians 5:15 says Christ died for us that we might live for him. In other words, he died for us so that we make much of him. Bluntly, Christ died for Christ. Now that is true. It's not a word trick. The very essence of sin is that we have failed to glorify God- which included failing to glorify his Son (Romans 3:23). But Christ died to bear that sin and to free us from it. So he died to bear the dishonor that we had heaped on him by our sin. He died to turn this around. Christ died for the glory of Christ."

-John Piper (The Passion of the Christ, 2004, p. 82)



Running the Good Race


I had a "date" night with my husband on Friday: we ran 6 miles together along the canal bank. It was so cool out and the sunset was fantastic!

We set out to do 5 miles, but realized that, after an hour, we had run 6. We felt good, but I was hurting the next day!

Saturday was a rest day and Sunday was pilates.

I plan on running 5 miles tomorrow....we'll see!

Thursday, September 27, 2007

The Living Water: Lesson Thirty-Four

"And in that day it shall be
That living waters shall flow from Jerusalem
Half of them toward the eastern sea
And half of them toward the western sea;
In both summer and winter it shall occur.
And the LORD shall be King over all the earth.
In that day it shall be-
'The LORD is one,'
And His name one."
Zechariah 14: 8-9
Hello...let's pray...
"Father, God, in heaven. I thank You for these verse in Zechariah in which You describe to us what the day of the Lord will be like. Your presence will bring streams of water. Those waters will bring healing. You alone are God.
I pray that You will forgive me of my sins this day. I know that I have often put myself ahead of my family and ahead of You. I know this is sin. I pray that You will wash me clean with Your word and fill me with Your Spirit.
I pray for each lady reading this study today. I pray that she will earnestly seek Your face today in prayer and in Your word. I pray that she will turn to You for guidance and patiently wait for You. I pray for peace in her home and obedience in her heart.
In Jesus' name............amen."
As we come to the end of our study, we will look at the incredible results of the woman's testimony on the people of this Samaritan city.
John 4: 40
"So when the Samaritans had come to Him, they urged Him to stay with them; and He stayed there two days."
The reaction of the people to the Lord's presence is quite a contrast to the Jewish leaders' reaction to Jesus at that time. The people of Sychar were so eager to hear Jesus talk and to be with Him that they urged Him to stay with them.
Just imagine the reaction of Jesus as He stood among the people of this Gentile city where Jacob's well was planted. Here He is, the Christ Himself, there in the midst of this old city of the scriptures.
But we know that not all people will receive Jesus:
Please read:
Luke 9:51-56
Here Jesus sends messengers to Samaritan villagers in order to prepare them for Jesus' presence but they did not receive Him. So Jesus went to another village because He acknowledged that not everyone will be saved.
Luke 19:1-9
Zacchaeus, the tax collector, received Jesus into his house and was saved.
As we read in the New Testament about the many times Jesus was rejected or received, we can be sure that not all those who will come in contact with Jesus in us or with His word will receive Him or be saved. But those who hear His words....they shall be saved:
John 5:24
Hearing the words of the woman brought the people to Jesus. But soon they would hear the words of Jesus Himself. Jesus opens the ears of His own sheep so they hear His voice.
So, that is why it is so wonderful and encouraging to us to see what happened with the Samaritan woman. She, a sinner, was sought by the Christ. She was changed by the words of Jesus. She was given that Living Water when she was told how to worship the One True God who is spirit.
Then she was used by Jesus to bring others to Him.
That fact should encourage all of us to take our testimonies and be bold witnesses for Christ.
Life Application
"...and He stayed there two days."
One thing about the Lord is that He keeps His promises. He had promised that He will never leave or forsake us in His word.
Please read:
Heb 13:5
Gen 28:15
Deut 31:6, 8
Josh 1:5
He has promised that if we keep His commandments, He will abide with us:
1 John 2:24-25
1 John 3:24
Jesus stayed with the Samaritan people for two days.....but He promises us that He will abide with us: that is more permanent. He will actually dwell with us forever.
The word "abide" means to dwell. It is as if I would say that I would come to your house and live there with you. Fellowship, on the other hand, is more temporary. Jesus had fellowship with the people of Samaria. He only stayed temporarily......but to dwell, or abide with someone is more permanent.
When Jesus says that He abides with us and we with Him, He means it on a more personal and permanent way. If we obey His commandments.....we have permanent dwelling with Him and He in us. How much more special is that than staying with us a mere two days??
That is what I used to tell the inmates at the prison. I knew they had been rejected and left by people all their lives. But for them to hear that God....the GOD who created them and loved them....actually promises to dwell with them forever, never to leave them or forsake them, well that was something they could truly grasp onto.
God says that He will never leave us (that's a temporary leaving where someone will be back soon) nor forsake us (that is a more permanent leaving as though someone will never return much like in death or abandonment).
All of us have been there. We have either had someone close to us leave us or even forsake us. But God says He will do neither. Soon those living waters will flow from Jerusalem and we will be there to see it with Him. And we will dwell with Him forever.
How wonderful is that?? God is wonderful. Praise Him today.
Until next time.........
" Let us further consider that our following the example of Christ in the work of the ministry is the way to enjoy the sensible joyful presence of Christ with us. The disciples had the comfort of Christ's presence and conversation by following Him and going where He went. When we cease to follow Him, He will go from us, and we shall soon lose sight of Him."
-Jonathan Edwards (1703-1758)
(Altogether Lovely, 1997, p. 198)

Wednesday, September 26, 2007

The Living Water: Lesson Thirty-Three

"And in that day you will say:

O, LORD You were angry with me,

Your anger is turned away, and You comfort me.

Behold, God is my salvation,

I will trust and not be afraid;

'For YAH, the Lord, is my strength and song;

He also has become my salvation.

Therefore with joy you will draw water

From the wells of salvation.'"

Isaiah 12:1-3


Let's seek the Lord today in prayer......

"Father, You are our strength and our song. You alone are our salvation. Say to our souls everyday that You are my salvation. Let me draw water from the wells of salvation.

I come to You in prayer this day to seek forgiveness of my sins. Forgive me for not submitting to You. Forgive me for putting my needs above others'. Forgive me for having anxiety about the future when I know that everything is in Your hands.

I pray for each woman reading this study that she will know that You are her salvation. I pray that she will know that You are her strength and her song. Help her to know that she is not alone. Speak to her soul today.

In Jesus' name...........amen."


John 4:39

"And many of the Samaritans of that city believed in Him because of the word of the woman who testified, 'He told me all that I ever did.'"

Here the scriptures say why the people came to Jesus....because of the woman's testimony.

We tend to forget the power of our testimony. Like Paul, we should use it to tell others about the love of Christ.

Please read:

Acts 17: 1-4

Acts 18:1-4

Acts 20:17-37

Acts 22:1-29

Paul used his conversion to spread the Gospel message. Sometimes he spoke about how Jesus took him from Saul of Tarsus and made him into Paul the Apostle of Christ.

Gal 1: 13-17

Phil 3:4-11

Like Paul, we can use our testimonies to help bring people to Jesus. Our testimonies were given to us by Jesus. Mine is about sexual sin and the consequences of it, Paul's was about persecuting Christians.

Whatever your testimony is, use it to the glory of God.


Life Application

"...because of the word of the woman..."

Knowing how important it is for us to spread the Gospel message, we should always be ready to give the reason for our hope and faith.

Please read:

1 Pet 3:15-17

"Be ready to give a defense to everyone who asks you..."

Whether we are asked by a friend or co-worker or someone as important as a King, we should always be ready to defend the Gospel:

Ps 119:46

And what is that hope? What is that message?

Titus 3:4-7

Rom 3:23

Rom 6:23

John 3:3

I have often felt called by God to use my testimony as a way to share the Gospel with young women who may have strayed from the Lord or who may not know the Lord. That is why I feel compelled to go on a mission trip to Slovakia next year and maybe Romania the following year to take the Gospel message to these young women.

It isn't easy to share our stories. Some of you have shared your stories with me and I know it is painful for you to go back and think about those times before the Lord saved you. Devote time to prayer and ask the Lord to remove the shame, guilt, and pain from your testimony so that you can share it with others. I also felt shame and guilt whenever I thought on my past, but I did pray and ask the Lord to remove that shame and guilt so that when I shared my testimony, I was able to focus on what the Lord had done for me and not what I had done in the flesh.

He has answered my prayer and I know He will answer yours. Reading Paul's words comforts me tremendously since his past was so shameful, yet the Lord brought Paul out of that bondage and used him in mighty ways.

He can use you too.


Until next time.......

"God has given to each one of us a measure of faith (Rom. 12:3), and He expects us to use our faith to overcome our fear. Why is this important? Because fear is always a component of adversity. A degree of fear is part of what makes a situation an adversity instead of just another experience. Fear is part of the negative dimension of an adversity.....Faith tells us the opposite story. Faith says that God is in control and when He is in control, all things work together for our good (Rom. 8:28). Faith says that we will recover and that our final state will be better than anything we have experienced or been thus far. Faith says that whatever Satan steals from us, he must restore, and in virutally all cases, he must restore more than what he stole."

-Charles Stanley (Advancing Through Adversity, 1996, p. 68)