"My grace is sufficient for you, for My power is made perfect in weakness..." 2 Corinthians 12:9b

Monday, October 31, 2011

Waterfalls and Waves

“My soul is downcast within me…Deep calls to deep in the roar of your
waterfalls; all your waves and breakers have swept over me.”
Psalm 42:6-7

One day I lay in bed and cried all day long. Nothing my husband could say made me feel better and I couldn’t explain what was going on inside of me. It hurts and takes some aligning of your heart and mind when it becomes obvious that God’s answer to your cherished prayer is, “No.”
As the day wore on it became clear that I had a choice to remain sad and angry or to accept God’s will and move on, trusting Him.
He is God, by the very virtue of His name, the Creator and Ruler of the universe, the Name at the sound of which “every knee shall bow and every tongue confess.” Only He knows why some things must be and why some things will never be. The reasons may have to wait for heaven—a lifetime of not understanding—of accepting and moving forward.
Verse 7 reveals the all-powerful, sovereign God, the One who is above all other powers, the Name above all names, the One who controls the immense and raging might of a waterfall.
We stood, one time, at a look-out point atop the Lower Falls of the Yellowstone River. It was awesome, beautiful and terrifying at the same time. We held tight to the hands of our children, unless fascinated, they should lean over the railing too far and be swept away.
If we are to live our lives victoriously, we must reach that point where we submit ourselves to the will of God. We must accept that what He has allowed, even if His reasons are not revealed until eternity, will be best.
Notice when the writer says the waves and breakers swept over him, Who controls and owns them. The master of the mighty waves that threaten to sweep us away and fill us with fear and dread, is none other than the sovereign God who inspires awe by His mastery of the waterfall’s power.
What waves threaten to overcome you today? What seems to be sweeping everything away, leaving you no hope?
Look to the One who controls all things. Remember His everlasting love. Do not fear the events which swirl out of your ability to check and contain. He is in control.

Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston-Holtman & 2MefromHim Ministries, 2011. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission of author.

Monday, October 24, 2011

Jesus Has Overcome

“For every child of God defeats this evil world,
 and we achieve this victory through our faith.”
1 John 5:4 NLT

A dear friend is experiencing the devastating effects of an illness which makes it impossible to live life normally. Another is undergoing treatment for cancer and has limited ability to withstand the treatments available. I have suffered the effects of a life-altering and debilitating condition for many years.
          We live in a time where the numbers of those without jobs seems to escalate by the day. To simply have a job, in this day and time, is to be blessed. Friends are making decisions about retirement based on the financial prospects of the future and benefits that are necessary to maintain a comfortable way of life.
          Jesus spoke of many things the night before His death, things we need to know in order to live in the power of His promised Holy Spirit. He knew that there are no certainties in human life. He told His disciples that they would face troubles of many kinds, but to take heart in the fact that He had overcome the world.
          Many of us live each day fighting to overcome an enemy which threatens to overcome us. Sometimes we give in to fear, fatigue and fatalism. If you are a believer it is not necessary to allow the world and the circumstances of your life to overcome you. Your spirit cannot be held prisoner.
Jesus is not captive to any earthly circumstance. Bank accounts, wheelchairs and the ability to communicate or function as a productive member of society are not boundaries to Him. He is at work somehow, even if others cannot see Him, even if you cannot see Him right now.
          Your trial may be for the benefit of others, rather than yourself. We are not privy to the workings of the Holy Spirit, but when we face life with the knowledge that His will is perfect, we will be overcomers. It is His promise. Therefore it is reality.
          What threatens you? What holds you captive? What appears to render you ineffective?
          Make the choice today to trust that the promises of God are unfailing. No matter what encumbers you, chose to look for the ways Jesus is enabling you to be an overcomer.

Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston-Holtman & 2MefromHim Ministries, 2011. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission of author.

Monday, October 17, 2011

Be Ready

 “The Lord is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance. But the day of the Lord will come like a thief. The heavens will disappear with a roar; the elements will be destroyed by fire, and the earth and everything done in it will be laid bare.” 2 Peter 3:9, 10

I sat on the gurney in the emergency room hooked up to a heart monitor. My husband sat nervously by my side as the doctor explained there was a slight abnormality in my EKG. They would be keeping me overnight in the observation unit to do more tests in the morning and determine if I might have had a heart attack.
          At 56 years old this is not something I expected to be doing. As I lay there and prayed for the doctors to make the right diagnosis, a deep calm descended on me. I answered questions and went along with what they tried to do to relieve the tightness in my chest and the shortness of breath. I had no fear.
          The testing showed no heart attack. We rejoiced and went home, knowing I had to undergo more testing, but the worst thing that could have happened, had not. God is good!
          One day it will be your turn. The end of life comes to us all. We don’t always know it is coming. It can happen in an instant.
          I have faced cancer twice. Once it was, once it was not. I have been blessed to have 8 years free of cancer, and now am blessed to have not experienced heart attack. I know many others who have not been so fortunate.
          I could not have had such calm if I was not in His word on a daily basis, learning to know the God of the universe who died for my sins so that when the times of testing come I can say with Him, “Not my will, but yours.”
          Paul says it is not God’s will that any should perish. God wants each and every one of us in heaven with Him for all eternity. He wants you. He loves you. He died for you.
          Determine today to get on your knees and either thank God for His grace and goodness, or to confess your sins and accept the forgiveness only Jesus Christ can offer. Be ready and then you can be at peace.

Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston-Holtman & 2MefromHim Ministries, 2011. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission of author.

Monday, October 10, 2011

Are There Squirrels in Your House?

“Do not move an ancient boundary stone set up by your forefathers.”
Proverbs 22:28

It could have been a catastrophic mistake. I did what I consistently tell others not to do.
          I failed to close the screen door of our mountain home. When my husband came in several hours later he saw the door open and a big squirrel sitting on the door step.
          Of course I have been teased mercilessly. I’m constantly telling people to close the doors or we’ll have squirrels in the house. Fortunately the curious little fellow did not come in and neither did any of his friends.
          I’ve heard stories of the terrible way squirrels wreak havoc in people’s homes. They’re very wily and difficult to catch. They chew things and steal things and make a mess of everything.
          Screen doors serve as boundaries to protect us from a lot of pests and varmints. Without them we couldn’t enjoy the fresh breeze bringing in the wonderful scents of our mountain surroundings, free from the worry of unwanted visitors. In the same way, God’s word places boundaries in our lives, providing us with the protection we need from things that have the power to destroy our lives, robbing us of the blessings of obedience.
          Just as I warn my family of the dangers of squirrels in the house, God’s word reminds us of the dangers of allowing things like unclean thoughts, wrong attitudes, bad habits and temptations of the enemy into our lives.
The enemy sneaks in when we remove God’s boundaries and whispers things like, “Just this once won’t hurt,” and “If you’re careful no one will find out.” Those little lapses become habits and one day someone discovers the havoc in our private life and everything we have worked for is in jeopardy.
          It is necessary for me to hide the word of God in my heart on a daily basis so sins don’t creep in and destroy all I’ve been blessed with. I hear His voice warning me to keep the boundaries where He set them. I don’t want those bad habits creeping in any more than I want squirrels in my house.
          Vow today to close any doors in your life that allow bad habits to enter in. When you keep the boundaries where God set them you will see His blessings.

Copyright by Norma Gail Thurston-Holtman & 2MefromHim Ministries, 2011. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission of author.

Monday, October 3, 2011

Attitude Check

“The Lord was with Joseph and he prospered…his master saw that the Lord was with him and that the Lord gave Him success in everything he did….” Genesis 39:2, 3

          His brothers plotted to kill him in rage and jealousy. The story could be on the news any day of the week, in any city in America. Our world has become filled with unspeakable acts of violence and hatred for fellow human beings—total disregard for human life and well-being. Yet this story comes right out of the Bible—the story of Joseph, sold into slavery by his brothers only because there was more profit in selling him than in killing him.
          When I become angry it is usually because I feel my rights have been trampled on. I get irritated, thinking and saying things which hurt others in attempts to repay them for what hurt me.
          The results—hurtful words, hateful looks, broken relationships and shattered lives. The newspapers and our discussions over lunch or at the water cooler are full of them.
          Time and again in the book of Genesis, we read about the Lord prospering Joseph in everything he did, even though he was still in slavery. The Lord gave him such success even his master saw God was with him. The Lord showed him favor and kindness in prison. He became second in command to the most powerful ruler in the known world. What an attitude of trust and acceptance Joseph must have had. How graciously he must have submitted himself to the authorities over him. How accepting he must have been of the place he found himself in, understanding God’s concern was more about his character than his circumstances.
As a result of his acceptance and obedience, even in situations he did not deserve, he was blessed. He had such peace in his heart regarding God’s control of all things that he was able to forgive his brothers for the terrible injustice they had wrought upon him.
          The story of Joseph convicts me that my attitude should always be submitted to the Lord so others can see Him reflected in me. Rebelling and grumbling hurt me and my witness and sometimes people I love.
          Make the choice today to allow God to bless others through your attitude of submission and acceptance. You cannot control the actions of others, but you can control your reaction to them.

© By Norma Gail Thurston Holtman, September 30, 2011. All rights reserved. Do not use without permission of the author.