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Are you living like it’s Saturday?

Posted by on Apr 19, 2019 in Special days | Comments Off on Are you living like it’s Saturday?

Are you living like it’s Saturday?

For most of us, Saturday means this:

Projects. Pastimes. Parties. Plans. Playing.

Rest. Recreation. Recuperation. Recharging.

But once, a couple of thousand years ago, there was a Saturday unlike any other Saturday. That day, like every other Saturday before it and after it, was sandwiched between a Friday and a Sunday. But those two days (as you can imagine) were unlike any other Friday or Sunday before or after.

On that Friday a group of friends witnessed the vile, unjustified arrest of their Friend, a blatantly rigged trial, and a patently predetermined death verdict. They watched helplessly as their Friend was dragged away, flogged, and beaten beyond recognition.

The hope which permeated His every word burned in their own hearts, stoked by the power of His presence. He was the One. He was the Messiah; but here He was now, brutally cut down as they heaved Him high on the crossbeams, slamming His tormented body into place for all to see…to mock, to jeer…

Hope was fading. Joy had withered away. Their Friend, the One who had healed the sick and raised the dead, was gone. His lifeless body was laid in a tomb with a stone covering it so decay could finish its slow work unmolested.

It was Saturday. A numb, raw, gloomy Saturday.

Sunday had not yet arrived.

Now, you and I know what that particular Sunday had in store for His friends…for the world…and for you and me. We know of the pre-dawn rendezvous at the tomb; the rolled-away stone; the discarded burial ointments and herbs when once the strange salutation was spoken, “Why do you seek the Living among the dead? He is not here. He is risen.”

Now, we, like His friends of old, know Him. We have walked with Him and have talked with Him. We know He is risen, He is alive, and because of that, we know that we too are alive in Him.

But today I heard the Lord ask me, “Are you living like it’s Saturday?”

It jolted me. Was I? Was I, a friend of the crucified One, so saddened by losses and weighed down by the perplexities of life, living as if it were only Saturday? Was I living a pre-Sunday life?

I KNOW BETTER.

I had to come to terms with the Truth: It’s not Saturday anymore!

Jesus conquered death. He conquered sin. He conquered pain. He is the Way-Maker when there is no way; He is the Quiet in every storm; He is the Light that overcame darkness—and He is my God. He who crushed the serpent’s head and pulled me out of self-destruction can walk me through torrential winds or crashing waves to the other side—Safely. Unscathed. Strengthened in hope and in faith.

I’ve made up my mind. I refuse to live like it’s Saturday ever again. For me, it’s Sunday now.

Dorothy

Therefore if you have been raised up with Christ, keep seeking the things above, where Christ is, seated at the right hand of God…When Christ, who is our life, is revealed, then you also will be revealed with Him in glory.” (Colossians 3:1, 4).

© 2018, Dorothy Frick; reposted 2019

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Memorial Day

Posted by on May 30, 2016 in Praying for America, Special days | Comments Off on Memorial Day

Greater love has no one than this, that one lay down his life for his friends. John 15:13

Every year on this day we remember those who gave the ultimate sacrifice—their lives in defense of our nation. Memorial Day was once called Decoration Day and originated after the Civil War to honor both the Union and Confederate soldiers who died fighting in that conflict. Now on Memorial Day we remember all Americans who gave their lives in service to our country—men and women who laid down their lives for their friends back home—and for you and me.

This is the oath that our enlisted men and women pledge as they enter the Armed Forces:

“I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to regulations and the Uniform Code of Military Justice. So help me God.”

Below is the oath pledged by our National Guard members:

“I, (NAME), do solemnly swear (or affirm) that I will support and defend the Constitution of the United States and the State of (STATE NAME) against all enemies, foreign and domestic; that I will bear true faith and allegiance to the same; and that I will obey the orders of the President of the United States and the Governor of (STATE NAME) and the orders of the officers appointed over me, according to law and regulations. So help me God” (see http://usmilitary.about.com/od/joiningthemilitary/a/oathofenlist.htm).

These men and women make a solemn oath first of all to support and defend the Constitution of the United States against all enemies, foreign and domestic. Secondly, they pledge to bear true faith and allegiance to the same. Third, they pledge to obey the orders of the President of the United States and the orders of those appointed over them. It is my opinion that the sequence of this oath is not random, but it reveals what is their top priority—to defend the Constitution and its provisions with true faith and allegiance.

Our Constitution has altered somewhat with time. Built into it is a mechanism by which to change or tweak it. This mechanism is called an amendment to the Constitution and requires a well-thought out, specific, sober, and meticulous process to enact.

One way an amendment is introduced is when both the House of Representatives and the Senate approve a joint resolution by a two-thirds vote. If approved, this by-passes the Executive Office and goes straight to the fifty states for ratification. Another way an amendment may be proposed is for two-thirds of the state legislatures to ask Congress to call for a national convention to propose an amendment, although this method has never been used.

In order to ratify an amendment, three-fourths of the state legislatures must approve it. The repeal of Prohibition was an exception; it was enacted first by conventions held in three-fourths of the states—the only time an amendment was passed this way.

Ratification, according to the Supreme Court, must be done within “some reasonable time after the proposal.”  Typically, that “reasonable time” is seven years, but this is not set in stone. Since the writing of the Constitution, only 27 amendments have been ratified, including the ten listed in the Bill of Rights (see http://usgovinfo.about.com/od/usconstitution/a/constamend.htm).

The Constitution, which our men and women in the Armed Forces pledge to support and defend as their top priority, was designed to protect both the rights of the majority of the population and those of all minorities—down to the lone individual with a very unpopular or distasteful point of view. Each man and woman (including those who serve this nation in the Armed Forces) has been endowed by his or her Creator with these certain unalienable rights: Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness; when upheld according to the letter of its content, the Constitution defends these rights. This document—protected and safeguarded by American armed forces throughout US history—was designed by its framers to withstand the vagaries and societal conceits that cry for quick, and often, irrational or destructive, change. To withhold its protections from any free American is, by definition, unconstitutional.

May we never forget the brave sacrifice that our military dead have made on our behalf so that we may enjoy life and freedom supported and sustained by the greatest man-made document in history. May God grant knowledge, wisdom, and holy boldness to those He has chosen to continue to ensure that this nation will remain and become again strong, brave, and free.

May the wisdom and enduement of God’s power pour out upon men and women of virtue, humility, and upright desire from sea to shining sea to boldly do their unique part in and for this nation.

May God save and bless America. In Jesus’ name, so be it.

Dorothy

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Looking back

Posted by on Dec 31, 2015 in Memorials, Special days | Comments Off on Looking back

All over America and around the world, people are taking time today to look back on this past year. After all, today is the last day on the calendar, and tomorrow begins a new year.

The Bible has two things to say about looking back:

1.) Do it.

2.) Don’t do it.

This can seem like a huge contradiction until you consider what Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes 3:1, “There is an appointed time for everything. And there is a time for every event under heaven.” Just like there is a time to give birth and a time to die, a time to weep and a time to laugh, a time to embrace and a time to refrain from embracing (see Ecclesiastes 3:2-5), so, too, is there a time to look back and a time to stop looking back. Let’s take a look at some biblical reasons to look back.

Why look back?

1.)    The word of your testimony. “And they overcame him because of the blood of the Lamb and because of the word of their testimony, and they did not love their life even when faced with death” (Revelation 12:11). The word of your testimony can involve two things. First, the Word of God itself is your testimony, and you have the right to speak it in faith to overcome your enemy, the devil. Second, your personal story of salvation and how God has manifested His care for you throughout your life is also included in the word of your testimony. You have the right to overcome the devil by reminding yourself and him of all the astonishing ways God has come through for you in the past.

2.)    Memorial stones. God stopped the Jordan River from running, causing the waters which flowed down from upstream to pile up in a big heap (see Joshua 3:13) so that the tribes of Israel could cross on dry ground. Joshua, their leader, then commanded men to remove twelve stones from the supernaturally dried up river bottom and to set them up on the other side as a memorial to this miracle from God. Joshua directed “…when your children ask later, saying, ‘What do these stones mean to you?’” (see Joshua 4:6), then the adults could tell them how God held back the Jordan’s waters in a big heap while they passed through on dry ground. Memorial stones are very similar to the word of our testimony. We use both not only to overcome the devil and pull ourselves out of unbelief or despair, but also to train up young believers in God’s miraculous ways.

3.)    For our instruction. “For whatever was written in earlier times was written for our instruction, so that through perseverance and the encouragement of the Scriptures we might have hope” (Romans 15:4). If in your looking back you are not instructed, encouraged, or made hopeful, then you’re not looking back in the way God has prescribed. If this describes you, then stop looking and ask God to help you to adjust your vision.

4.)    As examples. “Now these things happened to them as an example, and they were written for our instruction, upon whom the ends of the ages have come.  Therefore let him who thinks he stands take heed that he does not fall” (1 Corinthians 10:11-12). George Santayana wrote in 1905, “Those who cannot remember the past are condemned to repeat it.” Looking back upon failures—those recorded in the Bible, in history, and in our own lives—can be a beneficial discipline when it is done as a study in what not to do. Be instructed, and then pressing on in faith, put what you’ve learned into practice.

The Bible also instructs concerning not looking back, as in Isaiah 43:18: “Do not call to mind the former things, or ponder things of the past.” From what I can determine, the privilege to look or not to look is all in the “hows” and “whys” involved in the looking. Are you looking back to give glory to God, to encourage yourself or others, or to overcome attacks or negativity battering your mind? You are looking back in accordance to the will of God. Are you looking back to receive instruction in proper decision making? You are looking back according to the purpose of God—but leave room for the Holy Spirit. Are you looking back to determine how to avoid repeating certain failures of the past? You are looking back in line with the plan of God as long as you take the information you need and then return, girded and armed for an overcoming lifestyle.

Don’t be afraid to assess this past year. A good look back is beneficial on so many levels. You can receive instruction and wisdom for your future as you prayerfully consider the last 365 days.

But most importantly, as you look back, be sure to give God the glory for all that He has done for you. Because of Him, you have arrived here, on the last day of the year, to think about all that has transpired this year. He has granted you life, health, a sound mind, and the strength to finish out the year. And it is by His grace and eternal purpose that you will enter the new year tomorrow.

To God be the glory!

Dorothy

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The power of thanking God

Posted by on Nov 26, 2015 in Special days, Thanksgiving | Comments Off on The power of thanking God

Have you ever wondered how to pray about the chaos out there without being weighed down by its sheer awfulness? Here’s a hint: Your natural tendency is to gravitate to­ward the object you are observing. I learned this from my drivers’ ed teacher when I was fifteen. He warned the four of us crammed into the well-dented ‘beginner drivers’ car that if we watched cows and horses grazing in the field, that’s where we would end up—in the pas­ture and not on the highway! That’s why God included thanksgiving in His list of prayer methods—thanking Him causes you to gravitate toward Him and not the problem!

Have you ever been frightened about situations in your life and asked God for help? If you prayed without thanking or praising Him, you probably continued to feel very afraid, trying to battle anxiety on your own because your eyes remained glued to the problem. Giving thanks to God pulls your attention off of the enormity of the problem and onto the greatness of God. As you gaze at God, giving Him thanks for His willingness to do wonderful things for you, the anxiety you feel drains away. If you find it creeping back in, you just ramp up your thanksgiving to God again! Thanksgiving is a powerful antidote for the anxiety you feel.

Do you try to ignore fearful situations in your life in an attempt to resist fear? Do you think about Job when he said, ‘For what I fear comes upon me, and what I dread befalls me’ (Job 3:25) and try to avoid Job’s out­come by pretending there is no problem? Is denial your strategy for dealing with fear? Is that the way you walk by faith?

Think of the boy David, one of the greatest wor­shipers in the Bible, watching sheep out in the pas­ture. When he spied the lion and the bear stalking his sheep, did he conquer his fear by ignoring the situa­tion? Of course not! He rose up, likely with a mixture of adrenaline, fear, and a strong protective instinct and killed the carnivores! His faith empowered him to con­front those hungry varmints despite the very real dan­ger! He didn’t seek to protect his faith by looking away from the predators or by denying their existence. Dead sheep would have been the outcome of that kind of faith walk. Even worse, without the experience of sub­duing the vicious beasts, David may never have been equipped to take down Goliath!

Ignoring evil, by definition, is ignorance! Thanking God, however, in the face of evil acknowledges His greatness despite the growing darkness. This power­fully applies to facing the destructive forces at work in our nation. Faith confronts the frightening events with the Word of God. Ignoring such forces in our country in an attempt to stay in faith actually prevents you from becoming a part of God’s solution to change the course of events. The sense of fear is not always the spirit of fear spoken of by Paul (see 2 Timothy 1:7); at times Holy Spirit-initiated warnings are alarming—even frighten­ing—yet they are sent by God to reveal that danger is looming. In response you pray and dig into the Word to prepare for battle—and victory.

When fear does rise up—and it will—ask God how to deal with it and the fearful situation instead of hiding under the covers, hoping the boogeyman will go away! Declare like David, ‘When I am afraid, I will put my trust in You’ (Psalm 56:3). Then in prayer con­front the giants both in your life and our nation, giving thanks to God for His Goliath-defeating power!

(The above paragraphs are excerpts taken from pages 20-23; First of All, Pray: Prescription for a Nation in Crisis; © 2013–Dorothy Frick; available on Amazon.com)

Have a glorious, thankful Thanksgiving! See you in December!

Dorothy

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Concerning 9/11/01

Posted by on Sep 11, 2015 in Special days | Comments Off on Concerning 9/11/01

Almost everyone 21 years old and up remembers where they were and what they were doing on 9/11/01, when they heard the news that our nation had been attacked in NYC, Washington, D.C., and Shanksville, Pennsylvania.

My eighth graders were taking a pre-algebra test. A girl returning from the restroom came to my desk and asked me if there had been a crash at the airport. Since our school was near that hub, and it was only 9:00 or so in the morning (CDT), I told her “No, honey, why do you ask?”

“Mrs. McDuffie and some of the other teachers are out in the hall crying, and I heard the word ‘airplane’,” she responded.

As she took her seat and the other students were completing their tests, I quietly poked my head out of the classroom and called Mrs. McD. over. “What’s going on?” I whispered.

Grasping my wrist, with tears streaming down her dark cheeks, my colleague responded, “Girl, it looks like America is under attack! The World Trade Center has been hit twice, and so has the Pentagon!”

Hardly able to comprehend what I had just heard, I returned to the class and walked around the student desks in restless bewilderment as the remaining few kids finished up their tests. When the last student turned in his exam, I quietly told the class what I had heard. I decided that since they were 13 and 14 years old, they would be able to process—at least as much as any of the rest of us—what was going on in our country; in fact, I felt they needed to know—and I had to know. I turned on the classroom TV bolted high on the wall in the back of the room, and all of us watched in shocked silence as we stared at the screen.

Later that day, when I returned home, I prayed, cried, and watched TV in stunned horror. I opened one of my devotional books which I read nearly every day, and to my amazement, the September 11 entry, published nine years before 2001, had a timely message for our nation. Ever since that fateful day, on 9/11 every year when I read that simple entry, I am amazed at the kindness and providence of God, Who, in advance, provided words of comfort and resolve to anyone who would open that little book in those dark hours.

Here is the September 11 entry, published in 1992, entitled “Don’t Be Disturbed”:

“‘The Lord bringeth the counsel of the heathen to nought: He maketh the devices of the people of none effect.” Psalm 33:10

“You may be facing trouble today that’s being caused by people who have willfully plotted to do you harm. They may be trying to steal your business, your home, your children, or even to destroy your marriage. If so, I have a word of encouragement for you. According to Psalm 33:10, God will bring the plans of those people to nought. He will make their devices of none effect. The counsel of the heathen is brought to nought, but the counsel of the Lord stands forever!

“Remember this: When you make God your stronghold in the time of trouble, no one can overcome you. No matter how powerful they are in the natural, the odds are in your favor because you trust in the Lord. They may think they’ve got an edge over you, but God is on your side and that gives you the advantage!

“Rest assured, you are eventually going to triumph over this trouble. In the meantime, if you’ll set your affections on the Lord, the thoughts of His heart continually will be coming into your heart. ‘The mouth of the righteous speaketh wisdom, and his tongue talketh of judgment. The law of his God is in his heart; none of his steps shall slide’ (Psalm 37:30-31). God’s counsel will give you stability when all the world around you is shaking. Evil tidings will not be able to steal your peace. The thoughts of God will immediately rise up and rebuke the evil tidings from taking root in your heart.

“Don’t let the temporary successes of the troublemaker disturb you. Instead, ‘mark the perfect man, and behold the upright: for the end of that man is peace’ (verse 37).”

—Gloria Copeland, From Faith to Faith; September 11 entry, copyright 1992.

May God comfort you and give you resolve to stand strong as you follow Him.

Dorothy

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Labor Day thoughts: Work

Posted by on Sep 7, 2015 in Finances, Special days | Comments Off on Labor Day thoughts: Work

Some Scriptures about work:

The hand of the diligent will rule, but the slack hand will be put to forced labor.  Proverbs 12:24

In all labor there is profit, but mere talk leads only to poverty. Proverbs 14:23

A worker’s appetite works for him, for his hunger urges him on Proverbs 16:26

He who tills his land will have plenty of food, but he who follows empty pursuits will have poverty in plenty.  Proverbs 28:19

There is nothing better for a man than to eat and drink and tell himself that his labor is good. This also I have seen that it is from the hand of God.  Ecclesiastes 2:24

I know that there is nothing better for them than to rejoice and to do good in one’s lifetime; moreover, that every man who eats and drinks sees good in all his labor—it is the gift of God.  Ecclesiastes 3:12-13

Here is what I have seen to be good and fitting: to eat, to drink and enjoy oneself in all one’s labor in which he toils under the sun during the few years of his life which God has given him; for this is his reward. Furthermore, as for every man to whom God has given riches and wealth, He has also empowered him to eat from them and to receive his reward and rejoice in his labor; this is the gift of God.  Ecclesiastes 5:18-19

…and to make it your ambition to lead a quiet life and attend to your own business and work with your hands, just as we commanded you… 1 Thessalonians 4:11

For even when we were with you, we used to give you this order: if anyone is not willing to work, then he is not to eat, either.  2 Thessalonians 3:10   [NOTE: For those who are out of work, your job search or the time you put into starting a business is your work. If not enough income is coming in, however, you may need to take a job below your qualifications for a season.]

A word to employers:

Behold, the pay of the laborers who mowed your fields, and which has been withheld by you, cries out against you; and the outcry of those who did the harvesting has reached the ears of the Lord of Sabaoth. James 5:4  [NOTE: You may not run a business, but you likely hire people to work for you. Does someone mow your lawn? Do you have someone come in periodically to clean house? Have you ever hired friends or acquaintances to do repair work around your home? Then you are an employer and those people are your laborers. Don’t seek to withhold blessings—a fair wage—for the work they do for you. If you don’t pay them fairly, their wages will cry out to God against you. That’s serious stuff.]

For those of you with the day off, enjoy! If you have to go to work today, praise God for the opportunity to make a living. And if you’re looking for work, may God shine light on your path and direct all your ways.

Dorothy

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