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Suffering according to the power of God

Posted by on Sep 29, 2023 in Daily walk, Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on Suffering according to the power of God

Therefore do not be ashamed of the testimony of our Lord or of me His prisoner, but join with me in suffering for the gospel according to the power of God” 2 Timothy 1:8

I don’t know how often I have read 2 Timothy, but this verse recently jumped out at me, as if for the first time. I come from a faith tradition that does not preach or teach much on suffering; I know some who do teach about this topic, but it makes sense to me why it’s not an extremely popular or sought after subject. Who wants to be reminded of suffering?

Here I go, anyway.

This phrase in 2 Timothy 1:8 kept rumbling around inside of me—suffering for the gospel according to the power of God—and then shortened to simply suffering…according to the power of God.

I thought of the apostle who wrote this letter to Timothy and how his entire life as a believer in Jesus was punctuated with suffering.

I love comfort. I told God that. But being a realist, I recognize that this life has its share of suffering, and no one is exempt. Whether the suffering comes in the form of rejection, mockery, lack, pain, illness, loneliness, or any number of other sources, it struck me that there is a way to suffer according to the power of God. Therefore, if I am to undergo suffering of any kind, I choose to do so according to the power of God.

Psalm 91:15 reveals an amazing statement from God. It declares, “I will be with you in trouble”. If you are IN trouble of any sort, know this for certain: That is exactly where the Living God is as well. He is WITH YOU. IN TROUBLE. He’s not like so many whose instinct is to ditch you at the first whiff of difficulty. NO. He’s right there with you in the middle of your trouble. Where you suffer. And if you dare to believe that, then you will be empowered to suffer according to the power of God, a suffering in which the Almighty bears the brunt of your pain and will turn it all around for your good. Why? Because HE’S good.

In August of 2003 I underwent bypass surgery to correct an anomalous right coronary artery. When I awoke in ICU, it felt like my chest had been crushed by an 18-wheeler. Immediately the Scripture came to me, “He was wounded for our transgressions. He was CRUSHED for our iniquities” (Isaiah 53:5a). And I experienced (as I was waking up from a 14 hour stretch of unconsciousness) the Lord’s crushing in place of mine. My pain was still there, but I was keenly aware of the intense pain He endured for all of us and mine became miniscule in comparison. Without being aware of 2 Timothy 1:8, I had entered into suffering according to the power of God.

And today I was reading Hebrews 2. In verse 17 I read that He was made to be like all of us in all things (the Greek meaning of “was made to be” is He “was obligated to be”. That means if He refused to be made like us in all things, then none of us would ever taste the freedom of being forgiven and cleansed or the joy of experiencing the love of God and eternal life with Him. For us to be fully accepted in Christ, He was obligated to become human…and hence, to suffer like we suffer—and beyond.

Hebrews 2:18 continues, “For since He Himself was tempted in that which He has suffered, He is able to come to the aid of those who are tempted.”

There is something about suffering that is readily linked to being tempted. Resisting temptation carries a form of suffering—you refuse to pamper or give into whatever is luring you to disobey God. However, I saw something deeper here as well. Suffering of all varieties brings with it great temptation to be outraged at God and ditch HIM for all kinds of reasons. “Why did this happen? I PRAYED!” “Why won’t this go away? I don’t get it! I did everything the Bible says to do and I still hurt (lack, feel depressed, am lonely, etc.)”

Jesus was tempted in the very things He suffered. Don’t think He wasn’t tempted like we are when we suffer to scream, cry, yell, question God and tell Him off, slap faces, punch holes in the wall, kick the dog or cat, and throw an absolute hissy fit and a great big pity party! But He didn’t. Why not? Because He suffered according to the power of God. And in that, He conquered temptation and never gave in to a bit of it.

This verse goes on to say that as a result of His temptation in the things He suffered (and the inferred overcoming of it all), He is ABLE—He has the POWER—to come to the aid of all those who are tempted. That includes you.

Are you in the middle of some kind of suffering that is tempting you to question your faith and everything you know about God? Then you qualify to receive His ability and His power to aid, assist, and support you right where you are, in whatever condition you find yourself.

The victory is not in avoiding suffering altogether (although He so often is gracious to cause us to bypass it), nor is the victory in how short the suffering lasts (although He frequently brings about quick deliverances).

The victory IS found by fixing our eyes on Jesus despite whatever we may be suffering, and to know that the Greater One IS at work in our lives and that He will turn this whole situation around for good. Press on despite it all. Victory IS yours.

This is how you suffer according to the power of God.


© 2023, Dorothy Frick

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God in the clouds VS the Cloud is god

Posted by on Sep 1, 2023 in Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on God in the clouds VS the Cloud is god

I wrote this is in a comment on a secular news site and decided to share it here:

“The push to veer human thinking into the concept that there is no God in the clouds—that the Cloud is god—comes from anti-free will enthusiasts who want to circumvent human free will so that when we have nothing (by their oh so god-like design), we will be happy.

“Free will in humanity was definitely a risk for God—many choose not to follow Him, many mock those who do—but He is quite big enough to handle those slights. But those who are anti-free will and want to form Human 2.0 without a free will also want total control thinking that will make them god. Sorry Charlie, only the One big enough to handle rebellion and turn things around for good to those who love Him can wear the name God effectively.

“But the little gods will have their hour, and it won’t be pretty.”

Here’s to the God in the clouds!


© 2023, Dorothy Frick

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Posted by on Aug 10, 2023 in Help from God | Comments Off on Mom

Thirty-seven years ago on August 11, my mom left her worn out body and moved to Heaven. She was still young (in terms of dying, at least), not even to her mid 60’s, but she simply wore out. A lifelong smoking habit (which she stopped cold turkey with great difficulty a few years prior) had taken its toll on her lungs. In turn, to keep breathing, she became dependent on steroids, and they had taken an unseen toll on some of her other internal organs.

A week before she passed, she underwent a simple procedure to remove her ovaries. The concern we had at the time was that the pain she had been experiencing may have been cancer, but we received the post-op “all-clear”—the removed ovaries were simply calcified; and we rejoiced.

The next afternoon, however, my dad called. “Come home right away. Your mother is dying.”

I called my friends, Jack and Mary, who I knew would pray with me about it. I slept on their couch that night after praying with them so I could make the four-hour drive to Springfield, MO in daylight.

That August morning, Springfield was gloomy and dank; the sun was nowhere to be seen. I parked at the hospital and found Mom in her room with my dad sitting beside her bed, concern etched on both faces.

Later that day as my dad was holding her hand, she said to us, “Let me go!” Dad quickly pulled his hand away, and she said emphatically, “No! Hold my hand but let me go! I want to go to Heaven!”

The next day after tests, the team had discovered the problem: while removing the ovaries, they had accidentally perforated her small intestines (according to the team, they were tissue paper thin due to her continued use of steroids), and they were decaying within her at the rate of an inch per hour.

As soon as an operating room was available, she was whisked away for emergency surgery. She never regained consciousness and remained in a coma for two more days before she died.

My friend Betsy showed up to support me while Mom was unconscious. I will never forget how graciously she spoke to my mom about what a wonderful mother she had been for me, how she had instilled a love of nature and good character into me. I watched my mom’s face as Betsy spoke to her and saw a tear roll down her cheek. Speak kindly and speak encouragingly to those you love who are seemingly unconscious. They will likely hear you. Let your words be life to them as Betsy’s were.

When Mom passed, I was exactly half her age; I was the age she was when she gave birth to me.

I knew she went to Heaven. Although she never spoke much about her faith, she made it very clear one day while listening to a debate between my ex-brother-in-law and me. He contended that Jesus was merely a good man; He never was supposed to be an object of faith. Of course, I disagreed and was diving into the argument.

Then my mom interrupted us. She spoke with calm confidence and said something to the effect of “You know, I never really raised my kids to believe the way Dorothy does, but she is right. Jesus is the only way to God the Father.” It was a mic drop moment, and the topic changed.

I had two very unusual experiences as well before that sad week in August that showed me, first of all, that God was ordering my steps, and second, that my mom was indeed Heaven-bound.

You see, I had been planning an exciting vacation to start the first week of August with my friend Ellen. We were going to drive down the Gulf side of Florida and up the Atlantic side, alternately camping out and staying in motels until time or money ran out. But during the last two weeks of July a sense of gloom and anxiety started growing so much that whenever I prayed about the trip, I felt nothing but dread. It was like I was being tackled in my spirit. I had to break the news to my friend that I didn’t know why, but I could not proceed with our planned trip.

On August 11, when Mom died, Ellen and I would have been somewhere camping on a beach. And since there were no cell phones back then, no one would have been able to reach me. God wanted me by my mom’s side and “tackled” me in that unusual way to make sure I would be there.

The second unusual experience happened the day before her “simple” surgery. I felt rotten. My throat was sore, and my head and body were aching, telltale signs of flu. I went to bed that night still bummed about missing my “dream vacation” and sick as could be.

In the middle of the night as I slept, I dreamed that someone was praying for me. The love I felt as they prayed in a heavenly language while placing their hands on my aching shoulders and back, was tangible. I turned around in my dream to see who this amazing person could be, and there she was—my mom. Now understand, in all my years with her she never prayed with me, but that prayer was so real, so powerful, and so full of love I wept in my sleep.

And in the morning, I woke up 100% well. She had prayed in my dream, and the signs of a believer had followed her. (See Mark 16:17 and 18.)

As I remember that impactful time, although the sadness was raw and real, the sense of utter peace and comfort was every bit as real to me as well. I know I will see my mom again.


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Cognitive Dissonance and the last days

Posted by on Mar 25, 2023 in Reflections in the Word | Comments Off on Cognitive Dissonance and the last days

I read Matthew 24 this morning for my Bible reading. In that chapter, Jesus discusses the end days with His disciples. Very interesting read.

I used to follow David Guzik’s commentary on that chapter to see what he had to say about it. He pointed out that even though Jesus describes the absolute chaos and calamities of that time, the Lord also states that during that season, people will go about a fairly normal day to day life— “eating, drinking, marrying and giving in marriage” (vs. 38).

Guzik asked, “In this, there is a dilemma. How can Jesus” [return at the end of time (my clarification)] “to a ‘business-as-usual’ world, and a world experiencing the worst calamities ever seen on earth?”

I thought about that, and then while comparing his question to our current cultural situation, I feel the answer to this dilemma is easy:

COGNITIVE DISSONANCE: The refusal to recognize that things are spinning apart and that evil is permeating and influencing everyday people’s daily lives and decisions.

Another way to view this dilemma is the frog in the unhurriedly but continually heated water analogy. The frog incrementally becomes more and more adapted to his soon-to-be fatal surroundings because it is all happening so slowly—and so comfortably.

I can see how in the last days people will act like nothing out of the ordinary is happening while chaos and disaster and violence spread like butter over the toasted earth.

Something to think about.


© 2023, Dorothy Frick

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Power, love, and self-control

Posted by on Feb 12, 2023 in Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on Power, love, and self-control

For God did not give us a Spirit of fear but of power and love and self-control. 2 Timothy 1:7

Power is the Greek word “dynamis” here, which is basically God’s power and not our own.

Love is the Greek word “agape”, which is known as the God kind of love…something we receive from Him to be able to love with the love of Christ.

And self-control? (Other translations call it discipline or sound mind.)

Somehow we think WE are in charge of creating this in ourselves, but just like POWER and LOVE–both imparted to us from God–SELF-CONTROL is likewise just as divine–a virtue He pours into us and which we grow in as we step out in it by faith.

We sometimes stumble in the power arena; we sometimes stumble in the arena of love; but both are inexhaustible in Christ and can be accessed again and again, humbly, when we fail (and we will at times).

I believe self-control operates in the same way. It is from God to enable us to walk this natural life with Heaven’s ability. We will sometimes stumble, but HIS self-control poured out into us is inexhaustible and can be accessed again and again, humbly, when we do fail.


© 2023, Dorothy Frick.

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Jesus rescued me!

Posted by on Dec 29, 2022 in My testimony | Comments Off on Jesus rescued me!

The Bible says that God is longsuffering. He patiently presents His truth to us throughout our lives in a variety of ways. He is the Supreme Teacher, and He provides individualized instruction to each of us. Sometimes we “get it” and sometimes we don’t. Still, He persists in His patient pursuit. On December 29, 1974, I finally “got it”.

My testimony, Part 2

Be merciful to me, O God, because of your constant love. Because of your great mercy wipe away my sins! Wash away all my evil and make me clean from my sin! Psalm 51:1-2, Good News Translation

Repentance is a funny thing. It demands that you recognize your own sin; but it is also accompanied, very often, by an abhorrence of what you have allowed, done, or become; and true repentance will birth a change of heart and behavior in you as well.

When I was in high school, I quit drugging and drinking after the heavenly “vision” I had experienced my junior year one night while on opium. Some may consider this to be an act of repentance, but it wasn’t. Yes, I changed my behaviors; yet I, myself, remained unchanged.

Later, in college after I had resumed drinking (and became quite accomplished at it!), I realized late on Halloween night, 1974, after hours of partying without feeling any effect of all the liquor I’d consumed, that I had become an alcoholic. I wept and grieved about the control I had allowed alcohol to gain over my life (my dad had been an alcoholic as long as I’d been alive), and I told God how sorry I was…but even that was not full repentance. I sorrowed, but my behaviors remained stuck, unchanged.

After crying out to God on November first, I continued drinking but didn’t enjoy it; I felt enchained by it and couldn’t get free. In fact, a couple of days after Christmas, once again, there I was, getting drunk in a bar while my friends partied away with glee. As I sat alone, absentmindedly watching the band play song after song, I noticed that many of the partiers on the dance floor were swaying with their arms lifted up to the sky. Just then I heard a voice in my ear: Lifted hands are a sign of worship.

I dropped my head and said, “I’m in hell.” I acknowledged my sin but had no idea where to go from there.

But God had a plan, and He came through for me in the most unexpected way.

Two evenings later, on December 29, I received a phone call. I took it in my parents’ bedroom on their princess telephone while standing next to their full-length mirror. (For those of you much younger than me, princess phones were quite the thing back then.) My friend on the other end wanted to know if I was planning to get drunk on New Year’s Eve. Now remember, I had gotten smashed just two nights earlier and desperately wanted to quit but felt utterly unable to do so.

Out of nowhere, I heard my mouth saying, “Haven’t you heard? I quit drinking.”

“You WHAT?!” she bellowed. I WHAT?! my mind echoed.

“What are you talking about?” she persisted.

I looked at my reflection in the mirror and gave myself a puzzled look. I also noticed a small smile tugging at the corner of my mouth.

“Drinking is so un-ecological! Think of it! You drink and drink and drink, and all those resources are just wasted! Trashed! It’s just not good for the environment!” I could feel my mind scrambling for some sort of excuse to cover for what my mouth had just announced.

“Oh man, are you ever messed up!” she exclaimed, and with that our conversation abruptly ended.

There I was, standing before my parents’ full-length mirror, and two things happened. First, I felt something literally leave my body, making me feel about two thousand pounds lighter. Second, as I looked into that mirror, my face was glowing. I’d never seen anything like it in my life. Something very profound had just happened to me, that’s for sure, and I had a feeling that Jesus was at the bottom of it.

I went to my bedroom and found a daily devotional I had just bought sometime in November to make sense of my spiritual condition. Instead of opening it to December 29, I opened to my birthday page. And there, in bold Living Bible terminology was Hebrews 10:19-20. It said, “And so, dear brothers, now we may walk right into the very Holy of Holies, where God is, because of the blood of Jesus. This is the fresh, new, life-giving way that Christ has opened up for us by tearing the curtain—his human body—to let us into the holy presence of God.

And then I saw Him. There in my bedroom, all alone, I saw Jesus opening His chest with His two hands and beckoning me to enter through Him into the presence of the Father. And as I wept in thankfulness to Him, I said, “I believe I’m a Christian now!”

And thus my journey ended; and so my journey began.


You will seek Me and find Me when you search for Me with all your heart. I will be found by you,’ declares the Lord…” Jeremiah 29:13-14a

…if you confess with your mouth Jesus as Lord, and believe in your heart that God raised Him from the dead, you will be saved; for with the heart a person believes, resulting in righteousness, and with the mouth he confesses, resulting in salvation…for whoever will call on the name of the Lord will be saved.” Romans 10:9-10, 13

© 2015, Dorothy Frick, and updated 2017 and 2022.

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My testimony—Before Christ

Posted by on Dec 28, 2022 in My testimony | Comments Off on My testimony—Before Christ

Who has believed our message? And to whom has the arm of the Lord been revealed? Isaiah 53:1

I ran across this verse earlier this week and it hit me—the prophet was lamenting the seriously insignificant number of souls who simply heard the good news of God’s love and as a result embraced it in faith. To top it off, it seemed Isaiah was also expressing the sad fact that even when the Lord went further in His pursuit of people’s souls by “revealing His arm” (a metaphor for His intervening power), again, very few grasped the significance of His overture and then nonchalantly turned back to their own deal.

I had been one who heard the message…and scoffed. For years I scoffed those who conveyed this message—although internally I questioned, I prayed, I sought. I would listen to George Harrison singing “My Sweet Lord” as I hid away in my dark bedroom lit only by a red candle, and I’d whisper, “Come into my heart NOW!!” Nothing.

And yet, Someone was quite aware of my search despite my outward disdain.

And then one night He revealed His arm…

It was a snowy night late in January of 1972 after a high school basketball game. My date and I planned to go to a party, but he took a detour to a park where he showed me two joints that he wanted to share with me. I was game but told him that they would likely have no effect on me—I’d smoked pot eleven times before without any noticeable results. (Have I ever mentioned that one of my quirks is an OCD tendency to count things?) He assured me that these were different—they were laced with opium.

When we got back to his car after puffing them down to nothing, I said to him, “I told you these would have no effect…” And then my words echoed back at me, again and again.

As he drove to the party, I was in a virtual echo-chamber. I could see nothing but flashes and sparkles. He commented to me as he was driving, “That tree just turned into a pinecone.”

Unconcerned about having a hallucinating chauffeur driving me around the streets of our town, I replied, “Give my regards to its mother.” I was too busy in my echo-chamber to give much thought to safety.

And then a series of hallucinations happened that resulted in a type of “line in the sand” between the Lord and me. First, as I looked out of the big windshield on that dark January night, I saw my mom’s loving face filling a brilliant blue sky. I was horrified, realizing that I was breaking all of her rules, potentially hurting her very deeply. Then her face was gone, and I saw the dark expanse of the starry heavens and thought, “God can see me!” so I ducked below the dashboard in an attempt to hide from the Almighty.

What happened next forever changed the way I viewed Jesus. Immediately I was at my trial on Judgment Day (not a popular topic in the particular mainline denominational church I attended). I was about to be sentenced to Hell by a raging jury; they shouted at me with faces filled with fury, pounding their fists. I stood with my head hung down knowing I deserved no mercy. And then Jesus approached. He was robed in white with a gold cord around His waist and radiated golden liquid love. He first turned to the jury, raised both hands and then lowered them in a gesture of silence. Begrudgingly, the jury quieted as the Lord turned to me.

I will never forget the love I saw in His face as He gazed into my eyes while speaking to the jury. “This is My own dear daughter whom I love very much. She wants to be with Me. I think she will.”

With that, the hallucination/vision faded. I was back in the car, in a vehicle driven by someone who had just smoked the same stuff I had—and I was very aware of the dangerous position I was in. But a deep sense of peace and God’s protection came over me as I said to myself, “I’ll be a Christian someday.”

© 2015, Dorothy Frick, and updated 2017 and 2022.

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