Abraham was Fierce!

The patriarch, Abraham, leads the way in creating a lasting relationship with God. In my mind, Abraham was a rock star! I say that, not simply because he is chronicled among the icons of faith in Hebrews chapter 11. I declare it because I am in awe of the audacity of his friendship with God. His lifetime of greatness was wrapped up in God’s promises.

God promised to make Abraham a blessing and to grant him boundless gifts in many areas. God promised to bless him personally, bless his name, bless his descendants, and to bless all the earth through him. God did all that…and more.

The portrait painted in Genesis of Abraham is strikingly candid. No airbrushing, no puffing him up. He was, by no means, a flawless man. He had fears. Failures. Missteps. Nevertheless, when God said, “Leave your kingdom, your kindred, and your dwelling and journey to a land I have not even told you about yet”—Abraham’s response was: “Okay.” Abraham believed God and that unflinching trust was credited to his spiritual account.

Some of the most wonderfully written and deeply moving stories in the Word are told about Abraham—the birth of his son, Isaac, and then complete surrender in the test to sacrifice Isaac.

When God called Abraham to go, he went. In my personal life, my husband and I left our very own Ur of the Chaldees (in our case, it was Marion, Ohio) and set out on a journey of faith. God has, indeed, proved faithful.

In sharing the story of Abraham, students, seekers, scholars and teachers will all find value in the pamphlet available from Rose Publishing entitled, Abraham: A Journey of Faith. There are maps and a timeline of his life, a description of God’s covenant, and examples of Abraham’s strengths and weaknesses. I can see myself in Sarah. When God’s plan tarries, I have said to God—“That’s okay, Lord. You’re really going to like my plan better anyway.”

This foldout pamphlet is perfect for any teaching moment or for any Bible student to grow in knowledge and understanding. The pamphlet’s price is small enough to share multiple copies with classes or friends. You can check it out and order copies on Amazon here: http://bit.ly/amazon-abraham. Or on the Rose Publishing website here: http://bit.ly/Rose-Abraham.
Free weekly e-charts are available at http://www.rose-publishing.com/eCharts.

Say My Name

In Your name I rejoice all day long, and in Your righteousness I am exalted. For You are the glory of my strength, and in Your favor my horn is exalted.
–Psalm 89:16-17

Here’s a parenting or mentoring assignment. For parents or mentors of young people of all ages–but particularly pre-teens, teens and college students, please give your young charges a late summer assignment. Continue reading “Say My Name”

What Do You Fear?

How many fears should you have? I believe the number should be zero.

According to WebMD, 19 million people in America experience phobias. A phobia is an intense, prevailing, irrational fear that leaves you powerless over your reactions. These extreme, life-altering feelings of anxiety aren’t diminished by telling yourself your fears simply don’t make sense.  If all 19 million have two fears, the total number of fears is close to 40 million. That’s a long way from zero.

“I will not fear though tens of thousands assail me on every side.”—Psalm 3:6, NIV

One fear many experience is aerophobia, fear of flying. It can be triggered by real experiences, like severe turbulence, or imagined ones. Earlier this summer I needed to travel from Nashville to Memphis for a conference and hated the thought of a 3-hour drive. Then, I discovered SeaPort Airlines.

I’ve been on jumbo jets but never anything as small as their fleet. Yet, it was a wonderful hassle-free experience that made my journey fantastic. Small plane, yes. Could I have reached out and tapped the pilot on the shoulder, sure. Boarding at the private airport in Memphis, a German traveler got on with a 2-liter Dr. Pepper. That’s how different it was. If there was ever a smidgeon of fear of flying small aircraft, it’s gone now.

There is a natural purpose for fear when it protects us from danger. The problem today is that people exist in perpetual fear; that’s not how God intended us to live.

When we are fearful, where is our confidence in God? Trusting Him involves refusing to let fear impact how we respond to people or situations. God demands complete trust and dependence.

There are 336 references to the word “fear” in the New International Version of the Bible, including stories of Biblical heroes melting in fear in the face of their enemies. Not so with David as he fled from his son, Absalom.  David commences Psalm 3 counting his enemies, but he concludes, in verse 8, by affirming, “Real help comes from God.” (Message Bible)

Getting to “Whatever”

“Whatever happens, keep thanking God because of Jesus Christ.  This is what God wants you to do.”   1 Thessalonians 5:18 (Contemporary English Version)

             There are times in life when the atmosphere simply shifts. The earth moves. The stars swing into motion and reappear in a completely different part of the galaxy. It is at those times, that Paul’s letter to the church at Thessalonica speaks volumes. In those surprising “whatever” moments, that’s when life happens. When you face the unexpected. When some part of the mere process of living on planet earth simply jumps out of the darkness and shouts, “surprise!”

I know about “whatever” moments. And I know because the Lord designed a paradigm shift in my life. In a new, untried place, I learned a deeper lesson of what it means to completely rely on His design.  I live in a new place. I have a new, unanticipated marital status—widow. But, in your case it may be joblessness, finding a home, entering a relationship, having a child, facing an illness, finding financial balance. Any new phase can lead to those “whatever” moments. Mine is clearly a new walk, yet I trust that God’s guidance and sufficiency are not behind me—not in my past—they are ahead of me, in the future He is leading me towards.

When I spoke with a friend’s daughter who unexpectedly became a very young widow, I shared the importance of thankfulness at her new “whatever” point.

The advice of Paul is clear. When you come face-to-face with “whatever,” your response must be to immediately start thanking. Then, keep thanking.  Thankfulness is the posture God wants for you.

Even when we are blessed, secure, healthy and comfortable, we must constantly be aware of the fact that thankfulness, in every situation, is essential. Today, more than ever, I recognize small mercies. Never wait for the big miracles; be thankful for breathing, thinking, walking, talking, working, eating, loving someone and having folks who love you. Life sparkles when we give thanks in all things.

You get to that thankful place of “whatever” by growing up in your faith. And by trusting God for all of your tomorrows, even the unplanned ones. Do not hinder the work that God will accomplish in you by anything—especially by seeds of doubt about whether or not you can see all that is in your future. Because you cannot.

Still, know this. His abundance is enough. In that grace, embrace every one of life’s “whatever” moments.

(Image:  iStock Photo by Aldo Murillo)

Change Your Joy, Change Your Life

In 2001, I received the shocking diagnosis of stage 4 non-Hodgkins lymphoma.  It was a cancer that I knew very little about at that time.  I had repeatedly gone to the doctor to complain of bone-penetrating fatigue, initially, my only symptom.  The diagnosis was life-altering.

From that moment on, I learned that the right attitude can change your health.  It can certainly change your life.  I researched and collected every healing scripture that I could find in God’s Word.  Next, I applied those scriptures, just as if they were medicine.

Transformation evolves out of information and I believe that information has power. Even though your transformation may come about through prayer and suffering.  Despite that devastating diagnosis more than ten years ago, I was determined to be healthy again.   Today, I remain healthy and cancer-free.

I knew, without hesitation, that God would work through the excellent medical care I was poised to receive.  My faith did not preclude seeking medical therapies–chemotherapy, etc.  My immediate reaction was:  So, what kind of medicine do you have for this? By the time I had my first meeting with my wonderful hematologist-oncologist, Dr. Edward Prendergast, I was well educated on the disease, clinical trials and cutting-edge medicine.  Most important, I set out to learn all that I could about the spiritual side of healing.

Those lessons are meant to be shared. The book that I am writing is a collection of healing scriptures and stories that describe more of my experience…as well as telling the stories of others who believed for and received healing miracles.

I know that Christ still heals, just as He did in Biblical times.  “Is there anything too hard for the Lord?”  When we allow the joy of Christ to overflow into our personal universe, it transcends the harsh realities of whatever may be happening at that moment.  We rise to a new level of being.  A level in which we actually think like Jesus thought.

            Let this mind be in you which was also in Christ Jesus.~Philippians 2:5 KJV

Please share with me your personal comments, questions or interests about healing. I’d love for your input to help craft my book. You may share them as public comments on this site or as personal comments to my email address:  regina@reginaprude.com.