Saving Face

In 1 Samuel 15 we see Saul being given another opportunity to show himself right before the Lord. If we look closely we see Saul putting on a good face. He is disobedient (vs 9), a liar (vs 21) and argumentative (vs 16-25). Instead of confessing, he blames. Instead of being found right with the Lord, he desires to look good in front of the people (vs 30). He is only concerned with how he looks.

Last week I had the opportunity to hear from a pastor who humbly admitted to an anger issue in his life. It seems that his anger went unnoticed or ignored by himself for years.  But then he was confronted with it and after many years of service he repented privately and publicly. He too could have kept a good face on, blamed others, and pointed fingers away from himself. What changed him? The willingness to be right with his God and to know that nothing hindered their relationship.

In Saul we are reminded that we, too, need to be more concerned with facing our God with clean hands rather than pleasing those around us. We see in a number of instances that Saul’s heart had rejected the Word of God.

As this pastor shared his story and continued his teaching he encouraged all of us to reflect. Reflect on motives. Reflect on actions. Reflect on our priorities and where our hearts are with Jesus.

I would like to encourage you to reflect too. We will be looking at God’s choice for a king – David- in the next chapter. As you reflect I would ask, “Is yours a heart that is after God’s heart?”

May it be that we would say “Yes!”

Blessings, Kathy

Kathy’s on staff at America’s Keswick in the Development Department. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 28 years.  They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local Church and has taught Sunday School and Bible Studies for women. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God’s Word.

 

Pray for One Another

The effective, fervent prayer of a righteous man avails much. James 5:16

A dear friend recently attended a ladies retreat. She was challenged to ask people to pray each day for two requests for the next month. I was honored to be asked to stand in prayer with my friend for her two requests. In just the first week we have seen some answers to one of the requests. The other request is a bit more long-term but we know God is moving. As I think about praying for one another I am challenged, first of all, to keep my commitment to pray and secondly, to be mindful to look for the way God is working.

I received a text from this friend one morning with the challedge to watch for a God sighting that day. I watched…for maybe a half hour…then got caught up in the day. How much do we miss because we will not pray and we will not watch?

We can all do better. Will you join me in praying and watching more intentionally?

Blessings,
Kathy

Kathy’s on staff at America’s Keswick in the Development Department. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 28 years.  They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local Church and has taught Sunday School and Bible Studies for women. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God’s Word.

 

It’s Just a Game

On Facebook I found myself part of a game for Breast Cancer Awareness. I didn’t want to play because some of the things you were asked to post were a bit much. I can’t even tell you why I picked the post of least offense and posted it. But it didn’t sit with me so I ended up deleting it. I began to feel think, “what were you thinking?” and obviously, I was not! We think some things are so little they can’t possibly count. We think we can play but we ought to flee! We think it’s just a game but it reveals something about us that isn’t always pretty. I knew I should not have posted yet I did…..and I regretted it!

Today would you and I be more mindful of the little things we “play” with? It doesn’t take much to get tripped up and find ourselves playing a game that we have no part in.

O Be Careful Little Eyes
O be careful little eyes what you see
O be careful little eyes what you see
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little eyes what you see

O be careful little ears what you hear
O be careful little ears what you hear
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little ears what you hear

O be careful little hands what you do
O be careful little hands what you do
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little hands what you do

O be careful little feet where you go
O be careful little feet where you go
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little feet where you go

O be careful little mouth what you say
O be careful little mouth what you say
There’s a Father up above
And He’s looking down in love
So, be careful little mouth what you say

Blessings,
Kathy

 

Kathy’s on staff at America’s Keswick in the Development Department. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 28 years.  They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local Church and has taught Sunday School and Bible Studies for women. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God’s Word.

 

The Roaring Lion

Be sober-minded; be watchful. Your adversary the devil prowls around like a roaring lion, seeking someone to devour.  1 Peter 5:8

How tempting of a meal are you for that prowling lion?  Without diligence, discipline, and intentional watchfulness we put ourself on the menu.

We need to be alert and vigilant, not turning our back carelessly to our enemy.

Imagine a lion gets loose at the zoo and they can’t quite track down its location. I suspect the way you walk through that zoo as you head to your car is way different than if that lion was safely behind bars.  You would be watchful, alert and at-the-ready.  You would take that threat very seriously.  God tells us through Peter that our adversary prowls around like a roaring lion seeking someone to devour.  Why do we take that threat any less seriously?

We have a very real adversay that requires a keen but not paranoid eye.  I am not suggesting we become obsessed about our adversary as some are prone to do.

I like the way Beth More puts it.  “Much about Satan, more about God.”

“Much about Satan, More about God.”

 

Blessings,
Diane

Diane Hunt is part of the Development and Addiction Recovery teams at America’s Keswick.  In addition to being a Biblical Counselor, she is a Women’s speaker for retreats, conferences and events.  She is a regular writer for Victory Call and one of the authors of Crossing the Jordan Bible Study. She has been married to her husband John over 28 years.  She has 2 adult children, 3 grandchildren, 3 adult step-children with 7 grandchildren making 10 in all.  She delights reading and teaching, but mostly laughing at the funny things her grandchildren say and do.

He’s Got It

There is a lot going on in my life this morning.  Some things are good, even exciting, but others are hard and difficult. It is easy to allow myself to be overwhelmed. I woke early this morning with everything spinning through my head. I came into work early to catch up on a few things. I sat at my desk and turned to the next card in my promise box and read “Precious Kathy….Let God have all your worries and cares, for He is always thinking about you and watching everything that concerns you” (1 Peter 5:7).

First, I need to give all that was spinning in my head earlier to the Lord. Secondly, I need to trust that He is thinking of me and working out all the details. Thirdly, I need to remember that He is watching. His attention is on and His hands are working in my business!

Today perhaps you need that reminder as well. As you start your day give ALL your worries to the Lord, trust that His thoughts have been and remain on you and and know that He has His eye on you today!

Blessings,
Kathy

Kathy’s on staff at America’s Keswick in the Development Department. Kathy has been married to her husband Dave for 28 years.  They have two adult children. Kathy is active in her local Church and has taught Sunday School and Bible Studies for women. Her passion is to encourage women to deepen their walk with Jesus Christ by finding and living out the truths of God’s Word.

The Faith of Mary

“’I am the Lord’s servant,’ Mary answered.  ‘May it be to me as you have said.’  Then the angel left her.” (Luke 1:38)

The angel Gabriel had just announced to Mary that she was going to bear a son, the Messiah, God’s promised and long-awaited Savior, who would be conceived in her by the Holy Spirit.  This was startling news!  Yet Mary’s response, though she was young, shows a very mature faith.

“A young unmarried girl who became pregnant risked disaster.  Unless the father of the child agreed to marry her, she would probably remain unmarried for life.  If her own father rejected her, she could be forced into begging or prostitution in order to earn her living.  And Mary, with her story about being made pregnant by the Holy Spirit, risked being considered crazy as well.  Still Mary said, despite the possible risks, ‘May it be to me as you have said.”  When Mary said that, she didn’t know about the tremendous opportunity she would have.  She only knew that God was asking her to serve Him, and she willingly obeyed.”

In addition to the risks mentioned above, Mary faced the very strong possibility that her fiancé, Joseph, would no longer want to marry her.  And, had Joseph decided to make a public spectacle of her, by the law of the day she could have been stoned to death.

As I consider all of this, I then picture young Mary, and her faith-filled response.  Am I as readily obedient to the Lord in much simpler matters, let alone something that looks potentially disastrous?  Lord, help us, by your grace, to be obedient in all things, whether or not we can see the outcome.

Stacey Poplawski
WOC Graduate

The Life Application Bible, New International Version Edition, Tyndale, Wheaton, IL 1991, p.1787.

His Name

Did you ever stop to think about God’s reputation?  We can get so upset when we think our reputation is in question through a misunderstanding, but what about God’s reputation?

As a biblically defined follower of Jesus Christ – regenerated by Holy Spirit power – we reflect our Father.  The family name – Christian—is at stake.
Growing up, were you aware, like I was, that what I said and did reflected on my parents, on my family?  In much the same way, what we say and do now reflects on the whole family of believers, our brothers and sister in Christ.  I suspect that you, like me, have heard comments and negative opinions about “Christians” other people know.  “Christians” that have not acted or lived like Jesus-followers.  Truth be told, I am sure there are ways that I have not represented the family name well.  Like when the irritation in my voice is evident with the incompetent clerk, or when I shake my head (like I did yesterday) at the truck driver that cut in front of me at a light… or the times I yelled at my young children IN PUBLIC (or at home).  In those moments, and I have had many, I am not living in Gospel truth reflecting my Father in an honoring way.

Beyond the family reputation, there is the reputation of our Father and Jesus, His Son and our Brother.  As a Jesus-follower, our lives should look and be different from our unregenerate neighbor.  I don’t want it to be said by those around me, “I never knew she was a believer.”

God is Jealous for His name.
1. For my own sake, for my own sake, I do it, for how should my name be profaned? My glory I will not give to another. Is 48:11
2. But I acted for the sake of my name, that it should not be profaned in the sight of the nations among whom they lived, in whose sight I made myself known to them in bringing them out of the land of Egypt. Ezekiel 20:9
3. But I had concern for my holy name, which the house of Israel had profaned among the nations to which they came. “Therefore say to the house of Israel, Thus says the Lord God: It is not for your sake, O house of Israel, that I am about to act, but for the sake of my holy name, which you have profaned among the nations to which you came. Ezekiel 36:21-22
4. And my holy name I will make known in the midst of my people Israel, and I will not let my holy name be profaned anymore. And the nations shall know that I am the Lord, the Holy One in Israel. Ezekiel 39:7
5. I will be jealous for my holy name. Ezekiel 39:25
6. They have defiled my holy name by their abominations that they have committed, so I have consumed them in my anger. Ezekiel 43:8

May our lives reflect the character of Jesus our Savior and may they honor His Name and reputation.
Blessings, Diane

Diane Hunt is part of the Development and Addiction Recovery teams at America’s Keswick.  In addition to being a Biblical Counselor, she is a Women’s speaker for retreats, conferences and events.  She is a regular writer for Victory Call and one of the authors of Crossing the Jordan Bible Study. She has been married to her husband John over 28 years.  She has 2 adult children, 3 grandchildren, 3 adult step-children with 7 grandchildren making 10 in all.  She delights reading and teaching, but mostly laughing at the funny things her grandchildren say and do.