Prayer for Law Enforcement, Firefighters and more

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This is my daily prayer for all law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency responders.  If you know anyone who works in these fields, would you please send this to them so they can actually see a prayer that is going out EVERY day for them?  They work such thankless jobs, and I know they would appreciate seeing that someone cares enough to lift them daily to the Lord.

Lord, I lift up all law enforcement officers, firefighters, and emergency responders, asking that whether they are working today or not, You will protect them at all times, in all ways, in all circumstances, and conditions. For those who will be working into tomorrow morning, I ask that you keep them safe throughout their entire shift. I ask that you grant them wisdom, insight, and discernment that goes far beyond what their natural minds can know.  If they are about to be ambushed, I ask that You put them on a heightened sense of alertness so they can take swift, decisive action to protect themselves and others.  Lord, I also ask that you will keep our LEO from shooting anyone w/o it being absolutely necessary.  And I also ask that you keep all of them from doing anything that would put them or their departments in a bad light.  In Jesus’ Name.  Amen.

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Watchman, What of the Night?

This is a fabulous message!  He gives great insights into what is ahead for us and how to maneuver through them.

Watchman What of the Night 
A Sermon by Nathan Leal

Are you Downtrodden? Struggling in your faith? Confused?

Do you need Spiritual encouragement in this late hour?
This audio sermon examines Isaiah’s calling to be a watchman for his people who were afraid, and offers hope and encouragement for you.
This sermon comes with a promise to touch those who are hungry for God.
In His Service,
Nathan Leal

 

Download the Audio by right clicking this link to save to you PC.

 

http://watchmanscry.com/audio/sermon_watchman_what_of_the_night.mp3

Nathan Leal,
Watchman’s Cry

Voices

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Voices

We are surrounded with voices that tell us what we should do.  There’s the radio, the TV, the newspaper, our friends and family.  The list is endless.  Sometimes it makes it extremely difficult to determine which voice is the correct one.  Even in church, we can be bombarded by the voices of people who feel the need to give us their opinions on issues when we didn’t even ask for their advice.

Many times, I think we have the assumption that the older ladies in the church have much wisdom to share.  While they should have much wisdom to share, there are times when that just isn’t true.  I have seen a few cases where an older woman is nothing more than a busybody, feeling the need to voice her opinion on every issue.

I remember a time when a couple in our church was celebrating over fifty-five years of marriage.  My husband asked the lady later what the secret was to the longevity of their marriage.  She told him that men feel the need to be right about everything, and a smart woman will just be quiet and let him think that way.  I wish I could say that I was shocked by her response, but I wasn’t.  You see, I have seen this older lady in action for years.  Her comment made her husband look really bad.  It was a ‘man-bashing’ comment.  Quite honestly, the need to be right is not just a ‘man thing.’  We all struggle with that issue.  This woman obviously had no idea of what being a help meet was.

A friend of mine shared a time when she and her husband felt that they should get their children involved in an activity that would take up two evenings a week.  Because of taking on this new commitment, she felt the need to step away from a Bible study that was taking place at their church.  (Keep in mind that her family was still going to be attending Sundays and Wednesdays.)  She had several ladies pressuring her to be at this Bible study.  They continued to pressure her even after she expressed that she and her husband felt that this activity was not for them at this time.  She got no affirmation from anybody in the church that she was making the right choice.

When you face times like these, remember that even Jesus said and did things that people didn’t understand.  They were quite vocal in voicing their opinions too!  Some of them were so angry with Him that they decided to throw Jesus off of a cliff.  I love what Jesus did in this situation!  He simply walked right through the crowd and went on His way.  (Luke 4:30)  He didn’t seek their approval.  His approval came from God.  It’s the same for us.  When we know deep in our heart that we are doing the correct thing, we need to remember that it is God’s approval we are seeking, and not the approval of men.  Keeping this in mind makes it easier for us to avoid listening to the wrong voices.

For those who may be married to an unbelieving husband, please don’t let what others think of you take precedence over what your husband thinks of you.  Many times, after a wife gets saved, she quickly wants to get involved in her local church.  While there’s nothing wrong with this, if you see that your husband is quite upset over it, it might be best for you to stay home with him.  You could still get the sermon on tape, watch preaching on TV when your husband isn’t around, and invite some Christian ladies over for some fellowship when he isn’t home.  You may even find a women’s Bible study that meets during the hours when your husband is working.  In this way, you will still be fulfilling the admonition of Hebrews 10:25 that urges us not to give up meeting together with fellow Christians.

There will likely be some well-intentioned ladies may try to sway you to be there for every single service, but these ladies probably haven’t had to live with an unsaved husband who resents these new affections in his wife’s heart.  After all, she’s has a new lover – Jesus, the lover of her soul.  Don’t be swayed by their voices.  By continuing to attend church services when your husband is adamantly opposed to it, you may turn his heart from ever desiring to follow the Lord.  Yet, if you follow the biblical mandate to have the unfading beauty of a spirit that is quiet and gentle, you are going to have your husband wondering just what has taken hold of you!  (I Peter 3:4)

What voices are you hearing?

© 2005, Stacy R. Miller

 

 

Spiritually Used

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Spiritually Used

It is a noble thing for a woman to desire to model Titus 2:3-5.  However, because a woman has a passion to minister to other women, she can easily fall prey to the tactics of a user.  Women who are timid find it difficult to say “no” to a user.  Women with strong personalities often find pleasure in being asked to share their opinions.

I met a lady whom I will call Betty.  We hit it off very well, seeming to share the same values.  We forged a friendship, attending some of the same classes, and even visiting each other on occasion.

I began to notice a pattern to our conversations.  They seemed to revolve around the happenings in her life.  She was constantly seeking my advice.  When I would respond with scripture, she would quickly affirm my insights with comments like, “Oh, that is good,” or “I never thought of it like that.”  Because I thrive on words of affirmation, I never seemed to notice that she rarely brought scripture into our conversations.

Several months later, Betty was faced with a difficult dilemma.  Because of my desire to help women, I spent a great deal of time counseling her with a scriptural approach to her situation.  A few times I even left messages for her, stating that I had some more information which she may find helpful.  Those calls were always quickly returned.  Yet on other occasions, she would rarely, if ever, return my calls.

One evening, I was quite stressed and in despair over a situation of my own.  I knew Betty had faced this very circumstance, so I decided to call her.  I left a message for her, leaving no doubt as to my frame of mind.  I knew I could count on her to help me.  After all, Betty was my friend.  However, she never returned my phone call.

As I pondered and prayed about this, I realized that I was not being unreasonable in feeling that I deserved a return phone call, for true friends are kind to each other. (Job 6:14)

I also came upon the realization that some people are only friends with us if we give them gifts. (Proverbs 19:6) I had poured myself into Betty’s life, yet was not getting anything in return.  I discerned that what Betty was doing was using me.  She was seeking the spiritual food which I had earnestly sought so she would not have to be diligent in the Word herself.

By trying to be a Titus 2 woman, I had ended up becoming spiritually used, allowing her to use up my time, my energy, and my spiritual food.

The Word tells us that faithful friendships are refreshing. (Proverbs 27:9) A true friend sticks by you in good times and bad times. (Proverbs 17:17; 18:24)  Real friends are like iron sharpening iron. (Proverbs 27:17)  If you cannot say this is true of your friendships, perhaps you have also been spiritually used.

Take some time to evaluate your friendships.  Have you been spiritually used?

© 2007, Stacy R. Miller

My Sheep Know My Voice

My Sheep Know My Voice

I was facing a situation where I knew I needed to call a couple of wise, godly friends and ask for their counsel on an issue.  What they said confirmed the action I was thinking of taking, so I planned to follow through quickly.  However, later that day, as I began to dust the furniture, I heard that still, small voice of the Lord.  Though what He said was spoken very softly, the impression on my spirit was incredibly strong.  He told me not to take action; He would take care of it.  I was amazed when the entire situation was taken care of in just a few weeks time, and with no action from me.

What my friends said all sounded very logical, yet I knew I had to listen to what the Lord was speaking to me.  It gave me a new understanding of the importance of John 10:27 where Jesus said that His sheep know His voice and will listen to Him.  There are many times when we want to follow what sounds logical.  Yet, when the Lord speaks something that doesn’t sound logical to us, we need to follow His voice.  This is even more important since I believe we are living in the last days.  There are many voices speaking things which “sound” good.  Yet, we cannot discern what is truly good unless we clearly know the voice of our Shepherd.

Do you know your Shepherd’s voice?
© 2008, Stacy R Miller

An Instructed Tongue

An Instructed Tongue

The tongue is a very hard thing to tame.  James calls it a fire, a world of evil that is set on fire by hell.  He calls it a restless evil that is filled with deadly poison.  (Jas. 3:6-8)

Webster’s Dictionary defines ‘restless’ as unable to relax, giving no rest, rarely quiet or still, or discontented.  I don’t know about you, but just seeing that definition in light of how I use my tongue, I’m getting convicted already!

When we find that we are unable to relax our tongue, we will find ourselves being quick to speak.  Yet, James tells us that we should be slow to speak. (Jas. 1:19)

When we have a discontented tongue, it’s hard to follow the admonition in Philippians to think upon the things which are lovely, true, just, pure, and excellent.  We don’t allow ourselves time to shut up long enough to count our blessings.  That discontented tongue just has so much to say!

Another thing that a discontented tongue can do is make us like the quarrelsome wife, who is like a constant dripping. (Pr. 19:13) We fall into the habit of nagging, whining, complaining, and/or disrespecting our husband because we have become discontent with our lot in life.  No wonder Proverbs 21:19 tells us that a man is better off in the desert than living with a quarrelsome woman!  At least in the desert, he might find some peace and quiet.

When our tongue gives us no rest, we miss out on intimate moments with the Lord.  He may be calling us to find rest for our weary souls. (Mt. 11:28-30) In John 10, Jesus tells us that His sheep listen to His voice.  If our tongue gives us no rest, how can we hear His still, small voice?

In Pr. 31:26-27 we see that ‘when’ the virtuous woman speaks, her words are kind, giving wise counsel and instruction.  The word ‘when’ implies that she isn’t talking all of the time.  She has learned to be silent at times.  She also doesn’t eat the bread of idleness.  Idleness is a dangerous trap because when we become idle in our bodies, our tongue usually doesn’t follow.  Instead, it finds reason to  gossip or even to wallow in self-pity because we are discontented.  Those ultimately lead us to that place of having a restless tongue.

How do we stop this vicious cycle?  It is certainly a hard one to break once we fall prey to it.

Is. 50:4 says that God has given me an instructed tongue so that I will know what to speak to the weary.  He awakens me morning by morning, wakening my ear to listen to Him, like one who is being taught.

When we begin to honestly pray for God to give us an instructed tongue, we may find the resulting fruit:
1.  Our kind words may cheer up someone.  (Pr. 12:25)
2.  Our lips will nourish many. (Pr. 10:21)
3.  Our wise words will bring healing to others.  (Pr. 12:18) In fact, our wise words may even bring healing to ourselves because we begin to speak the Word over our situation instead of speaking out of our fickle emotions.
4.  Our words can become a fountain of life.  (Pr. 10:11)
5.  Wisdom will flow from us.  (Pr. 10:13)
6.  We will learn how to weigh our answers before we speak. (Pr. 15:28)

An instructed tongue…..I want it!  How about you?  Do you want it?
© 2004, Stacy R Miller

Go Ask God, part 1

Go Ask God, Part 1

I remember a story about a wonderful saint in our church who has gone on to be with Jesus.  Everyone in the church called her “Grandma Rose.”  One day, someone asked her a question.  She paused to think upon the question, then she said, “Go ask God!”  What wisdom Grandma Rose possessed!  Too many of us would come up with some kind of answer, even if it were the WRONG answer.  Grandma Rose was wise enough to admit that even she didn’t have all the answers, and when she didn’t know the answer, she knew Who would have the answer!

Moses had a lot of questions for God.  In Ex. 3:13 he was asking God what he should tell the Israelites that His name was.  In the next verse, God told him to tell them that “I AM has sent me to you.”  When God told Moses that he was going to be God’s spokesman to people, Moses came back with these reasons of why he couldn’t possibly be the servant to speak to the Israelites.  In other words, he was questioning God’s wisdom in choosing him. – How many times have we made excuses for not doing what God was clearly telling us to do?

Once Moses spoke to Pharaoh and told him to let the people go, the workload of the Israelites drastically increased.  Moses approaches God in Ex. 5:22-23 asking Him why He had brought this trouble upon the people. – I can picture Moses whining in this particular question.  How many times do we go whining to God?  In spite of this, as you read through the life of Moses, you can see that God used him mightily to fulfill His desire for the Israelites.  God can even use us in spite of our own whining!

In Ex. 15:24, the people are grumbling to Moses about the bitter waters at Marah.  Moses cries out to God.  God told him to throw wood in the water (wood representing Christ), making the bitter waters sweet. In Ex. 32:9-10 God calls the Israelites a stiff-necked people, and He is ready to destroy them.  Moses asks God another question, seeking God’s favor for the people.  He reminds God of His promise to Abraham, Isaac, and Jacob.  Because of this, God relented and did not destroy the people.  Maybe YOUR intercession on behalf of some people could cause God to change His mind on what He is going to allow into their lives.

In Ex. 33:16, Moses says, “What else will distinguish me and your people from all other people on the face of the earth?”  (NIV)  God answers him by telling him that He will go with them.  He also tells Moses that He is pleased with him and knows him by name.  – Let me remind you that God knows you by name.  Even on those days when you feel utter despair creeping in, He still knows you by name, and His presence goes with you, just as His presence went with the Israelites.

In spite of the many questions that Moses had for God, God didn’t give up on Moses.  In fact, they had an awesome and intimate relationship.  When Moses died in Deut. 34:5-6, God was the one to bury him.  In verse 10 of that same chapter, we see that there was never another prophet in Israel whom the Lord knew face to face.  Sometimes I think we fear going to God and asking Him any of our questions.  God is a loving, gracious, and compassionate God.  We don’t need to fear asking Him questions.  It doesn’t mean that we will get the answer for every question we have, but we just might get some answers that give us very clear insight.

Is II Sam. 5:19, we find David asking God if he should go and attack the Philistines.  – How often do we think to ask Father God if we should go do “this or that?”  Too many times, we just make our plans and ask God to bless them, without waiting to see if that is even His plan for us.

In II Sam. 12:16, we find David pleading for the life of the child who was conceived in his adultery with Bathsheba.  I can imagine him asking God many questions during the time that he was pleading and fasting on behalf of the child.  In spite of not receiving the answer that he so diligently sought, we find that David cleaned up, then went to the house of the Lord and worshiped.  – Many times we may not receive the answers that we want.  We need to remember that God’s ways are higher than our ways, and that His thoughts are higher than our thoughts.  (Is. 55:8)  Even if the answer isn’t what we may have desired, we need to remember that God always has our best interest at heart.

I have seen the above happen in my own life when I miscarried my first child.  Although after eight years, I still have times when I am so saddened by the loss, and feel the emptiness, I can now say that I wouldn’t trade that experience for anything in this world.  I have learned too much about my God through it.  I have come to intimately know Him as my Comforter and my Shield.  I have seen Him as the Healer of Broken Hearts.  I have seen Him take my hard heart and soften it to be responsive to the pain and despair others are feeling. 

 

 

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