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Jesus' Desire for Us

John 17 records Jesus’ last prayer before He went to the Garden of Gethsemane, where He cried to God before His crucifixion. We don’t have to ask what Jesus was feeling before He was crushed for us. His desire is laid out clearly in John. He opens up His heart and lets us listen in on the most intimate moments of His life on earth.

John 17:24-26 says: “Father I desire that they also whom You gave Me may be with Me where I am, that they may behold My glory which You have given Me; for You loved Me before the foundation of the world.

“O righteous Father! The world has not known You, but I have known You; and these have known that You sent Me. And I have declared to them Your name, and will declare it that the love with which You have loved Me may be in them, and I in them.” read more

The Value of Loneliness

In May 1984 Billy Graham spoke at Westminster Chapel. His subject was “loneliness.” He took his text from a strange verse; Psalm 102:6, in the King James Version, in which the psalmist likens himself to an owl in the desert. Graham definitely hit a nerve! There are so many people today who are lonely.

Loneliness is a painful condition, a dreaded state that, given the choice, most people would do anything to avoid. It is enforced solitude.

There is obviously a significant difference between enforced solitude and chosen solitude. Some of us appreciate the bliss of solitude. Jesus needed to get away from the crowds, and there are some who, by nature, are loners; they love it that way. My friend Robert Amess calls himself “the complete loner,” but he is not lonely. read more

The Perfect Dinner

Years ago, when my husband, Terry, and I were dating, I set about to fix what I called the “perfect dinner” for Valentine’s Day. On the menu were Terry’s favorites: baked pasta with marinara sauce smothered in cheese, salad and buttery garlic bread. How difficult was that? In a word, highly!

You see I was a woman with an unsavory “kitchen past” and a long list of disasters to prove it. My most recent one was when my popovers (containing too much baking soda) exploded like hand grenades in the oven!

“Well, never mind,” I told myself, as I braved the kitchen to fix the perfect dinner. Terry didn’t need to know about my hidden disasters, just tonight’s grand performance of undaunted love revealed perfectly on a red linen tablecloth. read more

God’s Bouquet of Love

“Call in! Your chance to throw a brick or a bouquet!”

The radio host was inviting his coast-to-coast listeners to air a grievance or grudge against someone—their chance to get even. Or they could call in and compliment someone. The choice was theirs!

Most were angry callers with a grudge and a beef to air. The disturbing thing was that they were taking fiendish delight in putting people down and flattening them before the public. The radio airwaves were thick with tension and hate.

Then came the call that changed things. A sweet lady was calling in to tell her teenage niece how much she loved her. “I want to throw her a bouquet tonight,” she said, “to express my love for her.” read more

Getting Angelic Assistance

In Acts 27, the apostle Paul was a prisoner on a ship with 276 passengers onboard. Launching the voyage in the winter, the ship headed into a violent sea storm, called Euroclydon. The ship tossed like a leaf in the wind and was in danger of splitting into pieces. No stars or light from the moon was seen for many days, and because of the dangerous rocks and quicksand, it appeared that Paul and the passengers would drown in the murky waters.

Paul had been on an extended fast and was praying for God’s intervention. God released a heavenly messenger to bring Paul this encouraging Word: read more

Protected!

I was going to a birthday party. Like any great Pappy, I stopped on the way to the party to get my grandson, Elijah, a present for his first birthday. He was at the age where he mimicked sounds. If you asked him, “What does a doggie say?” His reply was “Arf.”  How did he get to be so cute?

As I walked into the little toy area of a drug store, I spotted the perfect toy. A drug store doesn’t have a really big toy section I found out. But here it was: a cute, fuzzy, battery-operated puppy. A long cord was attached to the toy, with a small box on the other end. It had two buttons on it, to make the doggie bark and walk. Now this was a cool toy! It was well worth the $5.99 price tag. read more

We Can Move Mountains

We are a product of what we say. This is true even in the business realm. If you have ever been involved in sales of any type you will understand what I mean. You are taught to set a goal and then tell other salespeople in your district that you are going to sell a certain amount of goods during that period. As you say it with your mouth, a certain amount of truth will enter into the situation.

The reason is that we are created in God's image (see Gen. 1:27), and God has what He says! When He said, "Let there be light," there was light (v. 3). Since we are created in God's own image, we have the authority to open our mouths and put in motion what we desire for the future. read more

Come Through Into Power

There are times God sits you down and says, “Here are some things you need to know!” When God brings you into that kind of season, it’s a very special time. Treasure it! What He teaches you in a season of instruction will equip you for all that lies ahead.

The children of Israel went on a journey through the wilderness before they entered their promised land. In this entire journey, God was working to accomplish one thing: to prepare a people for Himself. He was teaching them that they could trust Him; from trust He would lead them into the fullness of His promise. He is the same today and is doing His will the same today. God is working in your life to teach you and strengthen your faith so that you can enter into the blessing He has prepared for you. read more

Prayer: A Three-Pronged Approach

The greatest joy one can know in life is the presence and peace of God. As we open our hearts and spirits to Him we give Him opportunity to speak to us and to fill us with His joy and peace.

The Bible tells us that in His presence “is fullness of joy” (Ps. 16:11, NKJV). Because this is true, our most important APPOINTMENT each day must be our time alone with God and His Word, a time when He can speak to us and we can speak to Him.

Satan, our No. 1 enemy, would rather have us do anything than keep this appointment. So we must ask for and receive God's help in order to be faithful on a daily basis. read more

Behold His Glory!

Early one Sunday morning I found myself pacing back and forth in front of the altar in my church’s sanctuary, crying out to God. With a heavy heart I wept, asking God to send His glory to my church. “Please send Your glory to us,” I pleaded.

That was when the Holy Spirit spoke these words to me, “Fuchsia, what are you looking for?”

I replied emphatically, “The glory.”

He continued, “When the glory comes, what will it look like?” read more

Yuletide Carols Not Sung by a Choir

It was late afternoon on Christmas Eve. I was getting ready to pay a visit with my church cell group to The Meadows nursing home. Each of the five members of our group was to take a plate of cookies, to mingle a bit and to wish everybody “Merry Christmas.”

The phone rang and changed that. It was Miss Evelyn, our group leader, giving me short notice with a tall order that our little group was now to “sing like a choir” to the group at The Meadows. “Well, they asked us in good faith, so it’s up to us to have good faith that we can do it!” stated Miss Evelyn. read more

Hope, Peace and Joy

What a value!  Last year, a colleague related an interesting story. Evidently, his daughter needed some new Christmas plates. Those of us who are men should be very grateful that God created women to live our lives with us. Otherwise, we would use the same plates all year—even at holiday times.

Now, you can even decorate with a larger plate to go underneath the regular plate. The larger plate (called a charger) is available in a multitude of colors, one for each season and/or holiday. And of course, they can’t go in the dishwasher because they are too delicate and must be washed by hand. But, I digress. read more

Prepare the Way of the Lord

In some liturgical circles, last Sunday, November 27, marked the beginning of the season of Advent for the year 2011. This, the period beginning four Sundays before Christmas, is the time of year during which we prepare to celebrate the coming of the Lord. On a natural plane, we decorate our homes and buy gifts for family and friends; on a spiritual plane, we purify our hearts.

The spiritual tradition dates back to the days of John the Baptist, a man who was appointed by God to announce the coming of Christ and "prepare [His] way" (see Mal. 3:1) by encouraging the people to repent of their sins. The Bible tells us, "The word of God came to John the son of Zacharias in the wilderness. And he went into all the region around the Jordan, preaching a baptism of repentance for the remission of sins, as it is written in the book of the words of Isaiah the prophet, saying, 'The voice of one crying in the wilderness: "Prepare the way of the Lord; make His paths straight" ' " (Luke 3:2-4, NKJV). read more

Understand Your Spiritual Authority

When Adam and Eve were created, God gave them authority to manage all matters on the earth. “The heaven, even the heavens are the Lord’s; but the earth He has given to the children of men” (Ps.115:16). Satan convinced them that God was holding out on them, and he appealed to their pride to be all knowing like God (Gen. 3:5). Each of us has an innate sin nature that wants to be boss, not just a steward of what God has entrusted to us. However, stewardship is man’s role to represent God’s interests and to execute His will on earth.

When man sinned in the Garden of Eden, that authority was transferred to Satan. He was given free rein over the earth because of man’s disobedience. It was not until Jesus came to earth and reclaimed that authority through His death and payment of sin that man could stand against the power of Satan (see Col. 1:19-20). read more

Encountering Jesus Through Your Pain

In the Bible, we see God dignifying those who suffer and sharing in their pain. He points us to the joy that is to come and gives us supernatural grace to triumph over our suffering. One of the most helpful skills we can develop as believers is the ability to meet Jesus in our own pain, therefore being able to lead others to Him in theirs. read more

God's Supernatural Door to Joy

Have you ever looked through a kaleidoscope lens to see a picture form, only to turn the base and experience an entirely new picture form before your very eyes?  I had this kaleidoscope effect happen to me one day—surprisingly, at a time when I least expected it.

I was sitting on the couch, feeling overwhelmed by some challenges, and feeling less than up to facing any of them.  This is when I prayed. And this is when the kaleidoscope thing began to happen in a way that I could only describe as supernatural of God. read more

Magnify!

Magnify. Growing up, we never had PlayStation, Wii or Xbox. We lived on a small ranch in Colorado and had a lot of work to do. Cleaning stalls, painting fences, irrigating the pasture and picking up rocks (Colorado soil grows rocks) were necessities of the life we lived.

My brother and I are only 17 months apart in age, and we were really each other’s entertainment. We spent a lot of our spare time riding our bikes and creating adventures. Our imaginations worked overtime to invent new games. Cowboys and Indians was a favorite, as well as building forts and hideouts. We even had a secret place in the hayloft of the barn. read more

When Bad Things Happen to Good People

One of life’s most perplexing mysteries is why bad things happen to good people. We have all heard the stories of how the most dedicated teenager in the church was abruptly killed in an automobile accident, or how the beautiful young mother with three children is stricken with cancer and suddenly passes, leaving her infants to be raised by loving family members. Why the righteous suffer has always been an enigma.

There is no one set reason or explanation as to why bad things happen. However, after years of ministry, I have some observations as to what may, at times, help prevent bad things from occurring: read more

The Therapy of Forgiveness

When I first met my husband, Jim, he was a man with a past. For the prior 15 years he had been a heroin addict on the streets of Chicago, involved in every kind of sin imaginable. He had been an alcoholic as well, and to support his addictive lifestyle he had become a criminal, spending much time in jail. He had married and divorced not once, but four times.

On January 21, 1972, Jim knelt before the Lord and prayed a very simple prayer: “God, I don’t know much about you, but if you’ll make me happy like these Christians here [at Chicago Teen Challenge], I’ll do anything you want me to do.” read more

Find God!

What could be more important than finding God? Take a day, a week or a month and do nothing but seek Him, persisting until you find Him. He has promised, “You will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart” (Jer. 29:13).

If we truly find Him, no one will have to tell us to be humble. No one need convince us our old natures are as filthy rags. As we truly find God, the things that are so highly esteemed among men will become detestable in our sight (Luke 16:15). read more

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