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Bringing Biblical Truths to Daily Life


Obey anyway

Posted by on May 14, 2018 in Everyday Observations | Comments Off on Obey anyway

Here’s what I just posted on Facebook:

A little something I saw while reading Hebrews 11:7 (I capitalized the part in question): “By faith Noah, being warned by God about things not yet seen, in reverence prepared an ark for the salvation of his household, BY WHICH HE CONDEMNED THE WORLD and became an heir of the righteousness which is according to faith.”
 
Here’s what knocked me over the head: Your obedience to God CAN result in someone–even MANY–feeling condemned. You yourself are not condemning them, but your obedient actions are.
 
Obey God anyway.
Dorothy
© 2018, Dorothy Frick

God’s response to me at year’s end

Posted by on Jan 24, 2018 in Prayer Perspective | 4 comments

During the last week of 2017 I was seeking the Lord about seeking the Lord. I realized that I had drifted away—again!—in my fervency toward Him in my daily life. Yes, I loved Him; yes, I sought to live by faith; yes, I endeavored to keep a clean conscience toward Him; and yes, I attempted to walk in love in my interactions with others.

That morning as I prayed, I heard the still small voice I’ve grown to trust and to love. The depth of correction and comfort His words brought to me may help some of you—who like me, have walked a long time in the things of God, yet who (like me) have painfully recognized some staleness in your pursuit of Him.

May you find comfort, strength, and whatever correction you may need as you read.

 

“You can be genuinely sweet. You may be extremely moral. You may walk in true kindness and have keen discernment between truth and error, good and evil.

“But you can be all this and still forsake your first love; and those things—if you do not repent and turn back to that first love—will eventually ring hollow and become more and more lifeless.

“To the good. To the kind. To the champions of My Word. To the discerning. To the giving. To the moral. To the sweet. To the embracers of Truth:

“‘Remember what I said to the beloved church in Ephesus through My apostle John in the Revelation he received from Me:

“‘I know your deeds and your toil and perseverance, and that you cannot tolerate evil men, and you put to the test those who call themselves apostles, and they are not, and you found them to be false;

“‘And you have perseverance and have endured for My name’s sake, and have not grown weary.

“‘But I have this against you, that you have left your first love.

“‘Therefore, remember from where you have fallen, and repent and do the deeds you did at first; or else I am coming to you and will remove your lampstand out of its place—unless you repent’ (Revelation 2:2-5).

“What are the deeds you did at first? You hungered for Me. You pursued Me. You thirsted for My Word and for the knowledge of My Word, simply because you loved Me and all that I said—and you wanted more and more of it—of Me.

“Your hunger was not to prove yourself right. Not to appear spiritually profound or proficient. Not to be seen of others as being a fountain of wisdom or truth. No. Simply because you wanted more of Me you pursued Me hotly and with a sincere heart. Simply because you had experienced how wonderful I am.

“Now that you’ve attained much knowledge, some insight, some discipline, some success over bondages and habits, some skill in articulating My Word, some acclaim because of your connection to Me and you have some experience of My deliverance, help, and presence in trouble…you have grown complacent in your seeking. You’ve grown complacent in your pursuit. You’ve become complacent in your sheer delight at finding Me and watching Me show up. It’s as if you think My supernatural presence and involvement is normal (and it is), but the complacent normal becomes common. The complacent normal becomes average. The complacent normal becomes humdrumand if you continue to allow driftage, it all begins to slide into ‘so what’.

“When that happens, the blessing on your life becomes an entitlement to you (after all, you’ve become ‘so skillful in the things of God’). You become self-satisfied and your felt-need for connection with Me fades.

“To My sweet, My kind, My discerning, My moral, My giving, My embracers of Truth, and My champions of the Word:

“Remember your first love! Pursue Me as purely as at first and allow Me to cleanse those motives that have been tainted by pride, by wanting to be seen, by wanting to be first…or best…or foremost…or most accurate.

“Let Me cleanse you of any motive that feeds self-honor and let Me recreate in you the desire to please Me—Me alone.

“As you submit to My correction, I will rework those things—attitudes, views, motives—within you which have facilitated slippage from your first love; and I will render you down to the purity of the beginning of your fervent walk with Christ.

“It is time to purge that most insidious brand of complacency from your life and heart—complacency concerning your private, intimate pursuit of Me.

“It is written in Proverbs 1:32-33:

“‘For the waywardness of the naïve will kill them, and the complacency of fools will destroy them. But he who listens to Me shall live securely and will be at the ease from the dread of evil.’

“Always I give a choice. Always. I allowed you to choose or reject My Son. And now, I allow you to choose or neglect continued intimacy with Me…that intimacy which only comes by pursuit of Me—even now, even as you grow older in Me.

“Continue to pursue Me privately. Continue to pursue Me intimately. Continue to place yourself before Me—alone—where I can correct and comfort you, discipline and direct you, fill you and free you.

“I am your God. Even now, as you have acquired years and depth and experience in Me, you still need Me as desperately as ever you did when you began your walk with Me.

“Let Me delight in you as at the beginning, for I delight in your hunger, your thirst, your pursuit, your readiness to enter in to hear from Me.

“Set yourself in this place before Me as you did in the beginning; get your sustenance and solace from Me; and you will indeed see the salvation of your God all over again with new, cleansed eyesight.

“All the other things you’ve done in a more outward pursuit—these are goodbut neglect not the first things—and everything else will fall into its proper place.”

 

Thanks for reading,

Dorothy

© 2018, Dorothy Frick

Born again; what next?

Posted by on Dec 31, 2017 in My testimony | Comments Off on Born again; what next?

I had been born again, not due to the prodding or preaching of men, but by the longsuffering, interactive invasion of the Living God into my confused but seeking life.
 
I had little training outside of my mainline denominational church as to what to do next; but a Christian friend back in high school told me years before that I needed to “get into fellowship”. I’m so thankful she planted that seed in me, because it was about to bear fruit. Here’s what happened next:
 
Sometime in January, 1975, I was back to Mizzou after Christmas break. But nothing was the same. Over break, as you know, I had a life-changing encounter with Jesus Christ; my day-to-day life as I knew it was about to undergo a sweeping overhaul as well.
 
Because my entire perspective on life and living had just been radically altered, I was not quiteshall we sayas celebrated by my party friends upon my return to school as I had been when I left for break.
 
Alone and feeling dejected after a post-party Friday night accusatory grilling by peers (you see, I had the audacity to drink Sprite and not liquor throughout the party), the next morning I wandered the 3rd floor of my dorm where I knew some Jesus freaks lived, knocking on doors. Finally, a door opened, and who should answer but one of those Jesus freaks!
 
I announced, “I am a Christian now and none of my friends like me anymore. Will you be my friend?”
 
She was prepping to take a bus back to her hometown for the night but offered me an invitation that would set the stage for the stability and depth of my faith for the remainder of my life.
 
“Bible study is Tuesday and Thursday nights. This week it’ll be in Rick’s room up on 6th floor Hatch. Be there.”
 

I went; I continued to go until I graduated two and a half years later; and I experienced what real community and care among believers was all about.

The foundation I received in those dorm meetings established my faith with biblical, rock solid anchoring; the atmosphere that prevailed of love, acceptance, and celebration of each individual soul in that ever-growing group of youths remains to this day my measuring stick of what true Christian community looks like.

I am forever grateful to God for His marvelous and timely intervention in my life!

Dorothy

© 2017, Dorothy Frick

Jesus to the rescue

Posted by on Dec 29, 2017 in My testimony | Comments Off on Jesus to the rescue

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 3:

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 and quit drugging and drinking due to the heavenly “vision”, some may have considered this to be an act of repentance, but it wasn’t. Yes, I changed my behaviors; yet I, myself, remained unchanged.

Later, in college when I recognized that I had become an alcoholic, I grieved terribly about the control I had allowed drinking to gain over my life and 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 in November, 1974, 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, 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 folks 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 had 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!” 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 in the middle 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 it 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 gratefulness to Him, I said, “I must be a Christian now!”

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

Dorothy

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.

What a terrible savior am I

Posted by on Dec 28, 2017 in My testimony | Comments Off on What a terrible savior am I

Yesterday I posted an encounter I had with Jesus when I was a teen. This second of three posts describes my attempt at cleaning myself up and taking charge of my destiny. Like so many others, I decided that if I could get good enough, I probably wouldn’t need to upend my life by receiving Christ. The thing I didn’t reckon with was this: I sucked at being my own savior. Therefore, I have entitled this part “What a terrible savior am I”.

My testimony Part 2:

After Jesus appeared to me while I was in an opium-induced hallucination back in January, 1972, I decided that I needed to stop all my drugging and drinking. After all, I would be a Christian some day. This began a very frustrating, legalistic season in my life. I stopped drinking; I stopped doing drugs; I was working my way to Heaven.

This lasted a good year and a half…but then I went to college. There was no way I could attend Party School, USA, and not join in on the fun! Therefore, I compromised with my savior (who was, frankly, me, myself, and I at the time): I could drink all I wanted to, but no dope.

Quite honestly, I learned something profound through that decision. Improving myself was not the same thing as being a new creature. I had tried to be good for God; however, I was terribly bored with that lifestyle, and deep down, I knew I still wanted to party.

I jumped into freshman year with gusto. Five of us—three gals and two guys—became a close-knit band, gallivanting from party to party, kegger to kegger, and bar to bar. I taught them camp songs that we sang at the top of our lungs through the streets of the campus following our nights of drinking; after that we would return to the dorm and buy chocolate milk as a chaser, always throwing the empty cartons on the roof of the dorm lobby. After the five of us parted ways for the evening, it was my practice to sit on the landing of the seventh floor stairwell and talk to God about the evening’s adventure.

Life was good; I was a good person—I wasn’t doing drugs and I was keeping the lines of communication open with God. I was pretty much in charge of life and doing a darn good job of it. And then came the summer.

I had been assigned the role of primitive camp director at my summer camp. I loved that camp, I loved the woods, I loved primitive camp, I loved the magic of it all. However, there was one problem. I made a lousy primitive camp director. I could build fires and shelters with the best of them; I could spit a watermelon seed further than most; however, I had no clue how to build a diving tower, the premier project every summer at primitive camp. You’d think I’d just tell the camp director that neither I nor the young man hired to assist me had any idea how to manage that job, but as a daughter of the seventies, “I was woman, hear me roar,” and I couldn’t swallow my pride enough to admit “WE NEED HELP OVER HERE!” Two sessions later—and no tower—sent up a big red flag back at main camp: Get a skilled male counselor over to primitive camp and do it now!

Although I felt relieved, the whole thing mortified me. No one else thought anything about it (except probably the male counselor who lost his job); however it left me feeling like a total failure. My fantasy of being a super woods-woman was crushed; frankly, by the end of that summer, I was spiraling into disillusionment and near self-loathing.

Sophomore year couldn’t come too quickly. My two female friends had joined sororities, but I still had my trusty partners-in-crime, John and Charlie. We partied our way through first semester, and on Halloween, I decided to take a little alcoholic trip down memory lane. I purchased a bottle of Boone’s Farm apple wine and a six-pack of beer—the first smorgasbord of liquor I got pass-out drunk on back in high school. Dressed as Mary Poppins, I downed all of it as I wandered the campus with Charlie, John, and a few others. And I discovered something that utterly shook my already-fragile frame of mind—I wasn’t getting drunk; I wasn’t even tipsy. I needed far more alcohol to achieve far less! And then it dawned on me—I had become an alcoholic, just like my dad.

The next morning, November first, I woke up early, fighting a growing, gnawing sense of panic—I’m out of control! I’m not in charge of my life; I’m a mess! My fantasy about my personal invincibility had been eroding rapidly ever since the diving tower fiasco; and now here I was—an alcoholic at nineteen years old. And I knew I could do nothing about it.

I grabbed a Good News for Modern Man: New Testament and Psalms which I had acquired earlier in my quest for truth and headed out to the only place of refuge I could think of—the woods toward the edge of campus.

I made my way to a creek, and with tears streaming down my face, I trudged down the dried up creek bed, ashamed to speak to the God I once thought I had all but figured out. The sense of guilt and unworthiness overwhelmed me as I carefully held the Bible, frightened of the contrast between its purity and my sin.

It fell open. Fearing to read it, but needing to with every fiber of my being, I saw the heading: Psalm 51.

1Be 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!

I recognize my faults;
    I am always conscious of my sins.
I have sinned against you—only against you—
    and done what you consider evil.
So you are right in judging me;
    you are justified in condemning me.

I remembered the jury in that hallucination so long ago. I continued reading.

7Remove my sin, and I will be clean;
    wash me, and I will be whiter than snow.

I wanted nothing more than to feel clean again.

10Create a pure heart in me, O God,
    and put a new and loyal spirit in me.
11 Do not banish me from your presence;
    do not take your holy spirit away from me.
12 Give me again the joy that comes from your salvation,
    and make me willing to obey you.
13 Then I will teach sinners your commands,
    and they will turn back to you.

With all my heart I desired that.

17 My sacrifice is a humble spirit, O God;
    you will not reject a humble and repentant heart. (Good News Translation)

Feeling lifted but still heavy-hearted, I picked my way back out of the creek bed, through the woods, and back to the dorm.

© 2015, Dorothy Frick, and updated 2017.

Next: December 29, 1974Jesus to the rescue

Jesus quieted the jury

Posted by on Dec 28, 2017 in My testimony | Comments Off on Jesus quieted the jury

My testimony Part 1:

One of the last stanzas in the carol “O Little Town of Bethlehem” asks this of the Lord:

O holy Child of Bethlehem,
Descend to us, we pray;
Cast out our sin and enter in,
Be born in us today.” (Phillips Brookes, 1868)

This birth is exactly what happened within me in 1974, four days after Christmas. I want to take a few days to share with you my personal journey to both the manger and the cross. Perhaps my story is somewhat non-traditional; however, as this same carol declares:

No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still,
The dear Christ enters in
.”

I was raised in a “Christian” family; we were Presbyterian, but the church we attended in the sixties focused more on issues of social relevance than it did the state of our souls. As far as I could tell, everyone went to Heaven if they were good; Hell was likely a really bad state of mind; and the devil was either an allegorical representation of evil or a red-pajama’d fairy tale, believed in only by the weak-minded.

My mom had been raised by a staunch southern Baptist. She and her sisters married intellectual men and shunned the more “primitive” demonstration of Christianity. Whereas Mom and Dad held to the ritual of denominational Protestantism, my aunts and their spouses ran as far away from religion as they could. Grandma was the “black sheep” of the family; we visited her only because we had to; we put up with her praying over the meals only because we had to; we tolerated her “are you saved?” inquiries only because that was part of the whole package of who she was—and the rules said we had to go see her.

I didn’t mind Grandma, though; I secretly admired her persistence in the face of eye-rolling, dismissive behavior, and condescending comments.

At home, however, with Mom and Dad, religion—especially talk of relationship with God (and even worse, with Jesus)—was taboo. If you wanted to see over-the-top discomfort, just drop the J-bomb. Talk of Jesus was fine at church—where it was safe—but you didn’t bring Him into the conversation at home unless you wanted to be branded a religious fanatic like Grandma.

One snowy night late in January of 1972 after a high school basketball game, my date and I planned to go to a party. 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 pine cone.”

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 became terribly convicted, realizing that I was breaking massive 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 a 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.

For Thy pleasure [Updated 2017]

Posted by on Dec 23, 2017 in Christmas | Comments Off on For Thy pleasure [Updated 2017]

Will you be alone on Christmas Eve? I was in 1978.
 
My parents had moved to Pittsburgh; my sister was in Oregon; and my brother was AWOL as far as the family went. I was a substitute teacher with very little income and couldn’t afford the flight to PA. So this 23 year old braved the cold and attended Grace Christian Center’s Christmas Eve service alone.
 
As I joined in the worship, the carols ministered to my quiet melancholy, drawing my attention off of myself and onto the newborn King. Then, a song welled up from the worship team—not a carol—but a simple worship song honoring the God of creation. It went like this:
 
For Thou hast created, hast all things created.
For Thou hast created all things…
And for Thy pleasure they were created.
Thou art worthy O Lord.
 
My eyes were closed and as these words played: “And for Thy pleasure they were created…” I saw something flash across the screen of my consciousness…
 
A gentle snow was falling, and I saw a little raccoon waddling down to a very familiar, half-frozen creek—the creek that traversed land that my family once owned and where I used to catch crawdads. As I watched, the raccoon took a sip of water at creek’s edge.
 
It surprised me—it wasn’t a Christmasy-type of “vision” at all. But then I heard the Lord say softly on the inside of me, “This just happened, and I wanted to share it with someone. I knew you’d like it, too.”
 
And ever since then, I’ve known I’m never alone, really. And my friend, neither are you.
 
My prayer for you—no matter what’s going on in your life—is that you will experience Christmas this year with the One who created all things.                
 —Dorothy
© 2016, Dorothy Frick

Faithful, joyful, and triumphant [updated 2017]

Posted by on Dec 22, 2017 in Christmas | Comments Off on Faithful, joyful, and triumphant [updated 2017]

 

If you’re like me, you’re getting tired of the nonstop bad news and constant spin (from all sides!) demanding attention and manipulating cultural thought into a pattern designed to conform with those who “know better” than the rest of us. It seems as if we can’t get a break from it all—even now, just days before Christmas.

But listen to the words of a familiar carol:

O come all ye faithful, joyful, and triumphant
Oh come ye O come ye to Bethlehem;
Come and behold him born the King of angels;
O come let us adore him Christ the Lord.”  (Attributed to John Francis Wade, 1751.)

Who is this company of the faithful? Who are these joyful and triumphant? Do the lyrics refer to men and women from the past who because of their uniquely peaceful time in history were able to live victorious Christian lives? Is this the company to whom the carol refers?

This company, from every land, language, and race, spans both history and the globe. This company—the faithful, the joyful, and the triumphant—is your company. If you have made Jesus your Lord, you are counted among them.

Indeed, in the last days difficult times will arise. Men will be lovers of self and haters of good, lovers of pleasure rather than lovers of God. The Lord warned us of this ahead of time. But you, Christian—you are called faithful. You are called joyful. You are called triumphant. This is who you are. This will never change—despite the spin culture puts on your deeply held, Bible-based beliefs.

You are faithful because of the Lord’s faithfulness to you. Therefore, your ability to be faithful does not rest upon circumstances or the rise or fall of the popularity of the gospel. You can remain faithful because you know He will never fail you nor forsake you. You will be able to stay faithful throughout the rest of your days because He will never let you down. Let this truth build great strength within you.

You are joyful because His joy—one of the fruits of the Spirit—is planted deep within you. This joy, like God’s Word, is imperishable. It cannot be stolen from you. Whether you feel it or not, joy is there inside of you, waiting to be cultivated and nourished through your sacrifice of praise to God. As you sow thanksgiving to Him, the crop of joy will increase and abound, and sooner or later it will overflow in your life. The Bible says that the joy of the Lord is your strength. God’s joy will lift you above every subtlety, scheme, and snare that Satan can concoct. God’s joy, when acted upon, will transform your tests into testimonies—whether the culture believes it or not.

You are triumphant because of Jesus’ triumph over sin, death, and hell. You have been ransomed from the domination of the devil and have been transferred into the safety and soundness of the kingdom of God’s beloved Son. Because Jesus has crushed the serpent’s head, you, too, can tread upon serpents and scorpions and over all the power of the enemy and nothing shall by any means harm you. Because Jesus rendered powerless him who had the power of death—that is, the devil—you are now free from slavery to the fear of death. Of this you can be confident: God will always lead you in triumph in Christ and will manifest through you the sweet aroma of the knowledge of Him in every place.

Will the knowledge of Him always be warmly embraced? If the prophecy concerning the turbulent last days in 2 Timothy 3 is any indication, the answer to that is no. However, take it from those faithful, joyful, and triumphant souls who have gone before you: Your victory is not based on the behaviors, opinions, or applause of the age in which you live. You are triumphant. It’s a done deal in Christ. So walk in it with the confidence that comes from above.

Don’t allow this generation to tell you who you are. You are the faithful. You are the joyful. You are the triumphant. And you have the right to unashamedly adore Christ the Lord.

Dorothy

Don’t let the world around you squeeze you into its own mould… Romans 12:2, J.B. Phillips

© 2015, Dorothy Frick

Christmas Series table of contents

Posted by on Dec 5, 2017 in Christmas | Comments Off on Christmas Series table of contents

Merry Christmas!! I am presenting my Christmas Series again this year. If you want, go to the categories menu and click on the “Christmas” link on the right and look around.

Or, if you prefer, here is a table of my Christmas Series blogs to look through.

  1. The Most Wonderful Time of the Year  http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7668
  2. O Holy Night    http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7674
  3. The Forerunner     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7676
  4. According to Your Word     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7678
  5. Joseph     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7680
  6. Emmanuel     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7683
  7. The government     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7686
  8. Bethlehem     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7689
  9. O Little Town of Bethlehem     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7695
  10. No room     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7697
  11. Shepherds       http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7699
  12. Interview with the magi, part 1     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7702
  13. Interview with the magi, part 2     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7704
  14. Interview with the magi, part 3     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7706
  15. Heaven greets earth     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7708
  16. For Thy pleasure     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=8114
  17. Faithful, joyful, and triumphant    http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=8107
  18. Christmas Eve     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7713
  19. I Heard the Bells on Christmas Day     http://www.firstofallpray.com/?p=7715

May God bless you and keep you safe and sound throughout this holy season, and may you bring honor to Him in your life every day.

Warmly,

Dorothy

Four life-changing insights from Luke 11

Posted by on Nov 29, 2017 in Book of Luke, Prayer Perspective | Comments Off on Four life-changing insights from Luke 11

Jesus is the most profound, well-grounded Human in the history of the planet, and Luke 11 is chock-full of His wisdom. The fifty-four verses in this chapter reveal a universe of Truth; here’s a sampling:

Insight # 1: Developing a deeply personal, intimate prayer life isn’t as tough as you think.

Lord, teach us to pray…Luke 11:1b

The disciples had a ringside seat to the compassion-packed power and wisdom of the Master. Wherever He went, amazing things followed; whenever He was absent, they knew He was off praying. As a result, it wasn’t surprising when they asked, “Lord, teach us to pray like You do.”

His answer was simple but powerful; the expected in-depth dissertation never came. Instead He shared a short set of priorities for them to pray about, and with this, the well-known Lord’s Prayer was launched. He told them:

  • Honor God as your Father and treat Him and His name as holy (vs. 1).
  • Ask for God’s will and kingdom to be established in your life and in the world around you (vs 2).
  • Ask Him to provide your daily needs (vs. 3).
  • Acknowledge your need for forgiveness in the specific areas where you’ve fallen short (vs. 4).
  • Purposely forgive others who have wronged you in the same way you’ve asked God to forgive you (vs.4).
  • Request that He lead you away from the things that tempt you (vs. 4).

Realize this: Jesus never expected His disciples to rattle off this little prayer, line by line, day after day, clocking in and clocking out. The Lord didn’t present this targeted outline to be used as a magic spell, mantra, or fix-it elixir. Instead, He provided these simple prayer points as springboards by which anybody could launch into prayerful intimacy with God, just by talking to Him about these things. And in this way, He opened the door for His disciples to get as personal as they possibly could with their Father.

The Lord invites you, too, to use the “bullet points” from the Lord’s Prayer to enter into deeply personal, very specific communications with Him. His door is always open; His welcome mat will never be pulled out from under you. And as you enter in, know that you’re praying just the way He prescribed.

Insight #2: Persistence pays off.

…because of his persistence he will…give him as much as he needs. Luke 11:8b

I’ll bet you’ve heard someone say, “I don’t want to bother God about that.” Maybe you’ve said it yourself, hoping the Lord would appreciate your humility. So you back away from praying about those needs you’ve hoped forever that God would take care of, and you tell yourself that you can get by without. And all the while you feel more and more distant from the One you long to know.

But then Jesus goes and tells a parable that flips your “don’t-bother-God” humility on its head!

You see, Jesus told a tale about a persistent man who pounded relentlessly on his neighbor’s door at midnight. A visitor had unexpectedly arrived; the man was out of bread and needed to feed his guest. The neighbor had already gone to bed; climbing out from under his cozy blankets was the last thing he wanted to do—friend or no friend. Surely Jesus was about to rebuke such loud, demanding racket; how very impudent of this man to expect his friend to get out of bed merely to help him out of a self-inflicted jam! You can feel it—you just know what Jesus’ punchline will be: “And YOU? Don’t you DARE bother God about your petty little needs! Don’t you know He’s busy running the universe?”

But wait! Jesus didn’t condemn this man’s boldness; He commended it! “I tell you, even though he will not get up and give him anything because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will get up and give him as much as he needs” (Luke 11:8).

Could it be true? Is Jesus actually saying to YOU, “Don’t you dare NOT bother God about your needs! And while you’re at it, stick with it until you get your answer!”? Believe it; your bold persistence doesn’t bother Him—it blesses Him.

Insight # 3: The lit lamp and the clear eye.

The eye is the lamp of the body…watch out, then, that the light in you is not darkness. Luke 11:34a, 35

Paul once wrote, “…I am not ashamed of the gospel, for it is the power of God for salvation to everyone who believes…” (Romans 1:16).

Jesus said it this way, “No one, after lighting a lamp, puts it away in a cellar or under a basket, but on the lampstand, so that those who enter may see the light” (Luke 11:33). Why would anyone put a brilliantly glowing lamp in a cellar or under a basket? Could it be that they feel ashamed of the light?

Paul’s attitude toward the gospel was the opposite of shame; he embraced it as the power of God for salvation to everyone who believed. Jesus likewise highlighted what a normal, healthy attitude toward the Light looked like: Not hiding it; just letting it do its thing—SHINE.

Interestingly, right after Jesus taught about displaying—not hiding—the Light in your life, He said, “The eye is the lamp of your body; when your eye is clear, your whole body also is full of light; but when it is bad, your body also is full of darkness” (Luke 11:34).

I don’t know how many times I’ve read this section in Luke, but this time, I saw it differently. Could it be that Jesus linked our approach toward letting His light shine in our lives with the health of our vision? Could our perspective about the Light of Jesus—whether we hide it or let it shine—affect the clarity of our perception?

When you allow the Light to shine brightly in your life, do you safeguard your vision? By the same token, is your vision mucked up when you’re ashamed of the very Truth that once set you free?

If you are currently experiencing overwhelming darkness, confusion, or oppression, make tracks back to the Light of the world, soak up His rays, and allow His brightness to radiate boldly once again through you. His Light is unquenchable; the only one who can block it in your life is you.

Go ahead—pull that lamp back out from under the bed or basket where you’ve been hiding it. Bring it on up from the cellar and let its beautiful radiance once again be a beacon of Life to the world around you.

Then Jesus again spoke to them, saying, “I am the Light of the world; he who follows Me will not walk in the darkness, but will have the Light of life.” John 8:12

The light shines in the darkness, and the darkness has not overcome it. John 1:5

Insight # 4: Cleanness—major on inner; minor on outer.

When the Pharisee saw it [that Jesus had sat down for lunch without washing up], he was surprised that He had not first ceremonially washed before the meal. Luke 11:38

Some of us seem to place top priority on how we appear to others, whether physically, socially, intellectually, or spiritually. We want to “get it right” on the outside no matter what might be happening on the inside. As long as we look good to others, that’s all that matters. Or is it?

Jesus, frustratingly so to the religious folks of His day, wasn’t too concerned at all about the externals. Oh, He nitpicked, but not about how people looked. He pointed His laser light on the inner workings of the heart—pride, ambition, kindness, and humility before God and manmotivations of the heart.

He said to them, Now you Pharisees clean the outside of the cup and of the platter; but inside of you, you are full of robbery and wickedness” (Luke 11:39).

Imagine offering your friend a steaming cup of coffee or tea in an exquisite, sparkling cup. As they gratefully receive it and start to sip the contents, they notice crusty leftovers growing mold inside just below the lip of the cup. Then they notice something wiggling around, making figure eights in the brew. A critter surfaces and winks at them.

“What are you trying to do to me???? Are you crazy???” they yell as they toss your beautiful cup aside.

But you blink with astonishment and say, “But that cup is gorgeous! It looks so clean and sparkling in your hand!”

This is, in reality, what we are doing when we place all our focus on how we appear to others—whether physically, socially, intellectually, or spiritually. We may be a beautiful, stylish, with-it looking vessel, but beneath the surface—where it really counts—we’ve let leftovers accumulate, growing mold and attracting critters. If this describes your situation right now, don’t be surprised if someone says, “No thank you” to your offered cup of tea.

Jesus declared, “You foolish ones, did not He who made the outside make the inside also? But give that which is within as charity, and then all things are clean for you” (Luke 11:40, 41).

When you pay more attention to the climate inside of you than you do to how others think you look, your outer appearance will reflect a pure heart sooner or later.

Then when you offer your cup of brew to someone, they will find its contents wonderfully refreshing and mold- and critter-free.

May you walk freely, simply, and boldly with your Friend, the Light of the world.

Dorothy

 

© 2017, Dorothy Frick