Did Jesus have a Facebook Page?

Christianity 0ut of the Box



“If you look at the world you will be oppressed; if you look at yourself you will be depressed; but if you look at Jesus you will be at rest.”

Corrie ten Boom

Jesus is our “Shield” Genesis 15: 1 “After these things the word of the LORD came to Abram in a vision, saying, “Do not be afraid, Abram. I [am] your shield, your exceedingly great reward.”



Faith Unleashed

Faith is a tricky thing. It actually grows when you don’t realize it.
The more time you spend with God, reading his word and praying faith seeps in and makes a home.

Coming from a no-faith place, I remember telling God I didn’t really understand it much less have any.

He quietly led my thinking to the simple everyday tasks or actions we take where faith is automatic or taken for granted like,

Sitting on a chair
Driving a car
Eating or drinking food or liquids believed to be healthy
Lying down on a bed

Faith is taking these natural acts and transferring it to God. In other words trusting God whoever made the chair we are sitting in isn’t going to collapse with us in it.

Certain areas of faith are harder to put to the test than others. It shouldn’t be but it is.

Why is it easier to believe God for that perfect job than healing?
Why do we trust him more for protection than providing our every need financially?

There is no difference. He promises all we need no matter what it is which covers everything from a new car battery to food on the table.
The more a person has tends to lead to self-sufficiency which removes the need for God. One thing for sure is if you find yourself in that league, be prepared. God keeps him promises; even the one that says, “God giveth and God taketh a way.”

Many in the Bible were graced with the label as “faithful.”
Abraham, Joseph, Moses, Esther, Job, David, Solomon, Samson, Daniel, Mary, John the Baptist.

Then there were those who had faith grow as the word was written about them or by them such as Paul, John and the other disciples. Mary Magdalene and the two sisters Mary and Martha who observed the raising of their brother from the dead. Watching a scene like that would make anyone’s faith explode!

The times we are living in are in need of Abraham’s, Moses’, David’s and Esther’s.

So where does God go to find such examples?now-faith-is-the-substance-of-things-hoped-for-the-evidence-of-things-not-seen-hebrews-11-1-kjv
How do we know anyone like them even exists?

Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


Don’t Rain on my Parade

The prevalence today that God doesn’t care about people is simply a false thought or statement. He is near and very interested in every detail of our lives.

The closer one gets to know God, the more he involves us in his. As I wrote before he tells me when certain pieces of mail are about to arrive. He also reminds me of important issues that need attention.

This April will be my tenth wedding anniversary to my husband Mark. Much has happened during these years from his loss of a job he thought he would have for the rest of his life and the fact we had to move and completely start over.  We have already spent a lifetime of going through a great deal of heartache and pain but through it all, God has been one step ahead of us.

Rarely these days do I spend money on myself; and I am not saying that out of a martyred heart. There are much more important issues to use God’s money for.

When Mark and I got engaged 11 years ago, his dear father rushed to bring to me his first wife’s diamond ring. She passed away in 1999 so I never knew her.

He was so happy I was marrying his son he wanted me to have her ring.  Not sure if he wanted me to straighten Mark out but if he did I am still working on that one.

His approval humbled me as he is a very admired and respected retired Professor and Doctor of Music.

We took the ring and had the diamond redesigned into a new setting.  Inexpensively we added two small emeralds placed on each side of the diamond. It served me well.

For the last 2 years the thought kept running through my mind I wanted to change it; a tenth anniversary says we are supposed to do that! LOL! I continued to put if off but periodically the nudge to take it to a jeweler crept up on me but life was hectic so I ignored it. Or ignored the Holy Spirit.

It just so happens a member and Deacon of our church who we both know is a 15 year Graduate Jeweler Gemologist, JA Certified Senior Bench Jeweler and Accredited Quartz Watch Technician with the American Horological Institute. Tim Hipkins works for a prestigious Jeweler here in our town.

My upgraded ring

My upgraded ring

A few weeks ago, the nudge became almost a hit on my head. “Take the ring to Tim.”  OK!

Little did I know the setting was falling apart.  One of the emeralds was cracked in the middle, and the prongs holding the diamond were loose. As Tim gave me this news, I thanked God the diamond had never fallen out.  He told me he couldn’t believe I had had the ring for 10 years and it was still all in one piece.

Tim and I began discussing what could be done to upgrade. As he drew me a picture of what he envisioned, I was shocked. It was exactly as I had envisioned it myself.   Talk about knowing God had a plan, this was it.

Today, I have a beautiful ring fit for my small fingers custom designed by a pro.  Tim said this should last me for the next 25 years as long as I have him check it!

When God sheds his light on what he wants us to do, he provides all that is needed.  The matter of living within his will makes all the difference in our abundance or the lack thereof. We both know as hard as it was moving here, we are definitely in the center of his will.

The clarification is an inner peace; a “knowing” you are placed by God for his purposes.

Abraham knew what it felt like to have to leave his family, friends and a familiar lifestyle. God told him to go to a land he didn’t know existed; we did the same thing.

Genesis 12:1 “The LORD had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”

Sometimes life throws rocks on our parade. Other times you feel a great big push.

God is not sitting on his “Throne of Grace” eating chips and dip with an ice, cold Coca Cola in his hands.

He is the one throwing the rocks.coca cola

He is shoving us in the direction he wants us to go.

If you don’t have a “reigning ear” you better move out of the way.

He might hit someone else who is listening and bless them with what he planned to give to you.





Copyright @ 2013 All Rights Reserved


A String of Benedict Arnolds

I hear Joseph coming.

He strolls around Egypt in his golden chariot. People know who he is by now. He is no longer the betrayed brother; but the 2nd most powerful man in town; or the world.knife

His suffering is off in the distance and only a reminder of where he was. He was the last person on earth his backstabbing turncoats believed would ever amount to anything.

But….Joseph trusted his God.

And God believed in his Joseph.

The fires of hell are smaller than we make them out to be. The enemy must have our consent to perform his sinister deeds. Joseph knew this. Joseph endured it. Joseph became what the devil could not stop. Joseph took authority over wickedness and won.

What evil meant for harm, God turned for good.” Genesis 50: 20
And not just for Joseph but his string of Benedict Arnolds.

He was the favored son of Jacob, yet a pawn of sibling rivalry that ultimately backfired.

He was to carry on the lineage of Israel God set forth from his ancestor Abraham.

Joseph’s ability to forgive his brothers was a prized characteristic. It was a key element of God’s plan for it to be fulfilled.

He knew God had a much larger picture to be painted than one just with him in it even if he had no idea what the frame would include. As it turns out, Joseph was a survival kit in the making for the lineage of Jesus.

How often do we contemplate what God is going to do?

We dig deep in our closets for a frame to paint our plans. Opinions and brainstorming ideas are tinted with each stroke of the brush as if God is waiting to see what we have come up with.

Most likely he will never allow it to be placed in his gallery of artistry.


His ways are not our ways. Isaiah 55: 9

Joseph understood God’s future for him was limitless. However the notion he would reign as the only man directly under Pharaoh probably wasn’t on his radar. And I am sure his zealous brothers never “dreamed” the dream Joseph told them would ever come true.

The sordid clan he grew up with never saw it coming.

Shock couldn’t describe the look on their faces when they realized Joseph not only had risen to heights unseen, but he forgave them.

Why did he forgive them?

God’s plan for Joseph was to save his people; even if it meant immense loneliness and distress for the son of Jacob for many years. He held his faith in God through and over his pain. Why?created

Because Joseph trusted his God to complete the painting.

And his God understood Joseph knew the painting would one day line  Heaven’s gallery with the words written above it,

“It is finished.”





Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved


Interrupt me? No…..

Who are we to be interrupted? Our lives are full, running over and bulging at the seams.

“I don’t have time to stop. So leave me alone. Why would I listen to you anyway?”

“Because this is God; I need your attention.”

Me: “oh, is this really you God?”

God: “yes, what do I need to do…write it in the sky?”

Me: “well, that would be helpful.”

God: “Those nudges and heartfelt whispers in your ear came from me.”

Me: “ugh…oh. So it wasn’t just my thinkin.”

God: “No. You are too comfortable and there is much to accomplish. This is an interruption.”

Me: “but God, what about all this stuff I want to do. Can’t it wait?”

God: “remember Jonah? He ran away from my call like he thought I wouldn’t know where he was. He knew my intentions but refused to listen so Plan B came into play.”

Me:OK! OK! OK!  Just promise me you will not throw me into a fish!”

Stubbornness is like a harness around our necks. Wearing it with pride we adjust, loosen and stretch it until the fish opens his big mouth.

Scott and Tanya Shipes are missionaries from our church. Home for Thanksgiving from Botswana, Africa. Scott spoke at all 3 services about how God “interrupted” their cozy, convenient lives to do the unthinkable.

You might say they were living the “American Dream.”  Family, educated, successful careers, a prestigious position in church and community; what more could they want?

Well, what they didn’t want was to stare face to face with a big fish whose mouth was the size of the American Dream they had acquired.

No, God had other plans for the Shipes and it wasn’t to sit and fill the row of chairs each Sunday at Alice Drive Baptist Church.

A few years ago God messed up their American Dream. He called them to Africa. Now, I can’t say for sure but I never heard him say that was on their to-do list; ever.

Everything changed. The tug God was pulling removed them from their sheltered row to change the hearts of people on the other side of the world; and it is working.

The conversation of “God, can’t it wait?” happened to me years ago. I actually remember saying those very words to him as he threw his fishing line once again to catch me.

He allowed me to go further into the deep waters but his hook remained intact. He was interrupting me; causing me further agony as I tried to push him away or promise him,
“I will do what you want later, but right now I am having too much fun.”

As time passed, I would notice a voice, a nudge or the fishing line pulling me. Little by little he continued reeling me in until one day I began to drown in my own sea of smudge.

Funny, how we can get ready to follow God really quick when we feel the undertow pulling you away from him.

Now, many years later his fishing line has reeled me in leaving my soft, warm, complacency behind. I won’t say it has been easy. God reminded me of how he told Abraham to gather his family, and belongings and go to another land he didn’t know existed.

Genesis 12:1 The Lord had said to Abram, “Leave your country, your people and your father’s household and go to the land I will show you.”

God promised Abraham he would be a great nation, blessed and be a blessing to others.

I am no Abraham, not even close but I can relate. While God was uprooting our lives, stripping us of all that we thought was secure, I found faith to trust him as I had never done before.

We arrived in our “Land of Canaan” and immediately I felt a sense of peace that was different. We knew no one. Knew very little about this land, but God made it clear to me we were in the center of his will.

And as it was for Abraham, it has been for us. The rest is history.





Copyright @ 2012 All Rights Reserved