Be Prepared


bible3

“Thy word have I hid in mine heart, that I might not sin against thee.” Psalm 119:11

Do we take the word of God for granted? Have we become so accustomed to having it around that we have forgotten how precious it is? What if a time came when we did not have access to God’s Word any more? What if the only Scripture we had were the ones we had learned in our lifetime? What if the only Scriptures we had were the ones which we had hidden in our hearts?

Every day at school we have a certain routine that we follow. Being a Christian school, we center the things we do around God and His Word. We begin each day with our pledges. We recite the pledge not only to the American flag, but also to the Christian flag and to the Bible. In our pledge to the Bible we recite,”… I will hide its word in my heart that I might not sin against God.”

I realized one day that I was reciting this pledge while never really thinking about what I was saying. As God brought this to my attention, I committed in my heart to really mean those words when I made my pledge every morning.

Do we, as Christians, really understand the importance of Scripture? Do we really do as the Bible tells us to do and hide it in our hearts?

What if the day were to come when our Bibles were taken away? It may seem like a far-fetched idea, but if we stop and look at the world in which we live, is it really? We have already taken God out of our schools. We have taken Him out of our government. We are even trying to take the phrase, “In God we trust”, off of our currency. When we look at things from that perspective is it really hard to believe that we could one day lose access to God’s Word? I do not think it is.

I do not know about you, but I want to make sure that I never take God’s Word for granted. I want to make sure that I do as I pledge each day at school; I want to hide God’s word in my heart that I might not sin against Him.

I want to make sure that I hide God’s word in my heart so when temptation comes my way I will know how to resist the devil. When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness, He used the Word of God against every temptation that Satan handed to Him. (Matthew 4:3-11)

We are told in God’s Word that if we resist the devil he will flee from us. ( James 4:7) How do we resist the devil? We do so with the Word of God. How can we resist the devil if we do not hide God’s word in our hearts? It makes sense, does it not?

God’s Word is full of wisdom that we need every day. God’s Word is the only book in which we can find every answer we will ever need.

I want to encourage you today. Study God’s word. Hide His words in your heart, so that if the day ever comes when all you have left is the Word that is hidden in you heart, you will have what you need.

Jesus knew the importance of God’s word when he walked on this earth. If Jesus knew how important God’s Word was to Him, how much more do we need God’s Word in the world in which we live?

Guest Post: Peace In Your Journey


peaceful road2

“Peace I leave with you, my peace I give unto you: not as the world giveth, give I unto you. Let not your heart be troubled, neither let it be afraid.” John 14:27

Have you ever felt frantic? I witnessed frantic today. My husband caught a flight out of Atlanta-Hartsfield Airport this morning, which resulted in me driving home from the airport in pre-dawn metro traffic. If you have ever been to Atlanta, Georgia, you will understand the dread a driver feels at the mere mention of things like “the Connector” or “two lanes closed” or “stalled vehicle”. Drivers in every major metropolitan area have a thorough understanding of what it means to feel frantic.

After dropping my husband off at the airport, I was headed back out of the city while most daily commuters were driving into the city. The outbound lanes, while rather busy, were uncongested and flowing smoothly. As I breezed my way out of town in the darkness, my way being lit by the magnificent Harvest Moon, my thoughts turned to the other commuters.  While inbound drivers were navigating their way through six lanes of high speed, bumper-to-bumper traffic, jockeying for position, searching for exits, my cruise control was set on the posted speed limit and I calmly settled into the far right lane. I had completed my important task for the morning and could now return home with no worries and no need to hurry.

As I saw that wide ribbon of headlights on the other side of the freeway, it reminded me of our daily lives. There are times when life is simply, for want of a better word, frantic. We are urgently running here and there, struggling to meet deadlines, navigating our way through or around obstacles which at times obstruct our pathway. But when we have our hearts set on God, when we put His will at the forefront of our lives, we can find ourselves experiencing His peace.  Even though the world around us may be in a frantic rush, He can grant us peace of mind as we rest in the knowledge that we are accomplishing the goals He has for us.

And just like that daily commute, even when we find ourselves caught up in the frantic rush of everyday life, He will light and guide us on our way, illuminating the darkness, helping us navigate the traffic, safely delivering us to our destinations, and rejoicing with us when we accomplish our goals. Be encouraged! We are not alone on this journey!

By: Cynthia Hill Collier

Your Calm in the Storm


Peace2“These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.” John 16:33

Peace. It seems in our world today we have forgotten what this means. Everywhere we look there is fighting going on. People all over the world are fighting for something.

I often look around and wonder just how much longer we can live in a world that is so full of hatred and fighting.

There is good news, however. God understands. It is no shock to Him. He knew in this world we would have trouble. How do we know? God warned us in His word. In today’s Scripture we see God telling us that in the world we will have tribulation.

Praise God, He did not leave us there! He did not tell us we would have tribulation and then leave us to figure out the rest. He tells us we can have peace in the midst of all the fighting and the chaos.

He also tells us that not only can we have peace in times of trouble, but we can even be happy. You might be reading this and wondering how that is possible. In the last part of the verse, God tells us. It is because He has overcome the world. This means no matter what happens in this life, God has already won. For this reason alone we should always be able to find joy in every situation.

When hard times come, you can still have joy. When life throws you a curve ball, you can still be happy. When something unexpected happens and you wonder how you will ever make it through, remember this verse, and smile. God is in control. He is never caught off-guard. He is never surprised. He never has to figure it out. God knows and has known from the very beginning of time how things are going to go.

Here is the best part, the part that brings me the most hope and joy: God knows how it all ends. He has already written the ending to the book, and He has shared it with us today so that we may have peace through Him.

Let us look at today’s verse one more time: “These things I have spoken unto you, that in me ye might have peace. In the world ye shall have tribulation: but be of good cheer; I have overcome the world.”

I have made some of these words bold because I want us to focus on them and hold onto them when times get hard. God has promised us peace if we will trust in Him. God has warned us of hard times, but has followed that warning with a command. “Be of good cheer.” God wants us to remain joyful even through the roughest times. Why? Because He has overcome the world. He has won. If you are saved, if you are a child of the King, then you too can be sure of how your story will end.

I pray these words have encouraged you today. I know that life gets hard. I see the news and I understand that there is a lot of fighting going on in our world right now. I understand that we may be facing some uncertain times in our lives, but I also know the One who controls the universe, the One who has set it all in motion. I know and trust what God has told us in His word. I know that no matter what we have to face in this life, it is nothing in comparison to what God has prepared for us in Heaven.

I pray today that you will hold onto this Scripture. Hide it in your heart. When times get hard, when things go wrong, remember what we have read today, and smile. Remember that no matter what this life brings, God has told us to be of good cheer, because He has already overcome anything that we will have to face.

Motivational Monday: Press On


pink_desert_flowers__in_jpg_by_soileddude-d2tc9bu

“For God is not unrighteous to forget your work and labour of love,

which ye have shewed toward his name,

in that ye have ministered to the saints, and do minister.” Hebrews 6:10

Are you tired? Do you need some encouragement today?

I often find myself here, friend.

I know that from time to time we all need a little encouragement, a little nudge to say, “You are doing great.”

As a teacher, I often walk by a child’s desk and see that look of defeat in his eyes. I try my best to take a moment and offer a little encouragement. Sometimes all he needs is a smile and to hear that he is doing great. It seems that often all a child needs is the reassurance that he is on the right track, that he is making progress even if he can not see it.

As a writer I often find myself in that same place. I sometimes wonder as I sit down to write, “Is this getting through? Am I making any sense?” I am sure that I am not the only one who has ever felt this way. In any type of ministry, whether it be a song leader, a preacher, a youth leader, a school teacher, or any number of titles, we all find ourselves here at some point.

I have shared a song at the end of this blog that I pray will offer a little encouragement today. I have heard this song for years. Every time I hear it, my heart is immediately encouraged.

Friends, I want us to remember, as we are ministering for the Lord in whatever way we have been called, to do so that we are making progress. No matter how many times you feel discouraged, no matter how many times you feel like you are spinning your wheels, no matter how many times you feel like you are not making sense, remember that God is using you.

God has called you for a purpose. God has placed you where you are for a reason. If you will be obedient to that calling, if you will be faithful to do as God tells you to do, He will use you in ways you could never imagine.

We must remember that we may not always see the progress. We may not always get to see the fruits of our labor. We must trust that God will do what he has promised. In His word God has promised us that His word will not return to Him void. (Isaiah 55:11)

God is using you, friend. As long as you are faithful to your call, God is making a difference through you.

Be encouraged today. God has a plan. His will is being done. We just have to press on.

A Day to Reflect


vigil-candle

If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

2 Chronicles 7:14

I remember where I was and what I was doing when I received the news of the tragedy that had just taken place in New York City, on September 11,2001.

I had just rounded the corner at the hospital where I was working, going to take my place at the reception desk. As I approached the waiting room, I saw people gathered around the television. I could tell they had tuned in to the news, but I was still unsure of what had grasped everyone’s attention. With each step, the picture drew clearer, until I could tell exactly what was going on. We all watched in shocked silence as the story unraveled about exactly what was taking place that very moment. I can remember the fear that gripped at my heart as I heard the news anchor announce that what had happened was not an accident as was previously suspected, but an act of terrorism on our country.

I was pregnant with our first child at this time. I can not tell you the fear that I felt as I thought about what this event meant for our country and for the future of this unborn child that I was carrying. I can remember the fear and confusion on the people’s faces as they learned of the tragedy of that day.

I can still remember seeing cars sitting in long lines at the gas stations, filling gas cans and vehicles with as much gas as each would hold. I can remember shelves suddenly emptying of staple foods and supplies as people tried to prepare for the unknown days ahead.

I spent the night with my parents that night because my husband was working away from home and I was too afraid to stay alone. I remember sitting with my parents and trying to process the events of that day. I remember asking my dad what was going to happen now, what this meant for us as a nation.

I remember watching in the days that followed the attack as  people came together in prayer. Senators, Congressmen, even our President, all banded together, asking God for grace and comfort. It seemed that everyone was looking to God for answers, help, peace.

We said we would never forget. We said that this horrific tragedy would forever hold a place in our hearts and in our minds, and it has. Every year we remember, we hold memorial services, and we take time to reflect.

We said we would not forget, but we have. No, we have not forgotten the loss, the pain, the tragedy, or the fear we felt on that day. Yet, we have forgotten something very important. We have forgotten God. We as a nation have forgotten the very One who holds our universe in His hands. We have forgotten the One who carries us through these times of pain and loss. We have not only forgotten Him, but we have gone so far as to remove any recognition of Him from our day of remembering of September 11.

What happened to the nation that was calling on God the day our world turned up-side-down? What happened to the nation that stood hand in hand and asked God to help us in our time of need? What happened to the one nation, under God?

Just as the events that happened on September 11 struck fear in the hearts of Americans everywhere, so should the fact that we are not only forgetting about God and all He has done for us, we are allowing Him to be shoved out of the very memory of everything our country is built upon. It is a scary fact when we consider that we as a nation are telling God that we do not need His help, we do not want Him in our Schools, we do not even want His name spoken in public places. These are the things that should scare us.

Man only has so much power. Under the protection of God our Savior, man can only do so much to us. Outside of that loving protection is a world we can not even imagine. Yet, we long for it, we beg for it, we as a nation fight every day for it.

Friends, as we take some time to reflect on today and what it has meant for our nation, let us not forget the real tragedy that is still taking place in our country. Yes, September 11, 2001 was a horrific time in our lives. Yes, thousands of innocent people lost their lives. But our world is still under attack. The difference in then and now is this: Then we were standing hand in hand praying for God to help and protect us. Now we are shaking our fists in His face and telling Him that we do not want any part of what He has to offer us. That is the true tragedy that we face today, twelve years later.

Today, on the anniversary of September 11, let us remember the innocent lives that were lost, let us remember the fallen heroes who gave their lives to help those in need. But, let us also remember the One who loved us so much that He was willing to die for our sins. Let us remember the One who holds us up and protects us from dangers that we can not even see. Let us remember the One who has promised to come again, and take us home to be with Him in Heaven.

Let us never forget all the  sacrifices that were made. Not only on September 11,2001, but ultimately on Calvary all those years ago.