Day 23 | Remember What He Has Promised–He Will Supply Our Needs

day 23When my friend, Kelli and I were missionaries in Costa Rica, our primary mission was to teach English in a Costa Rican school; but our true mission turned out to be our work on Saturdays in Los Guidos.  There we would simply show up with a Bible lesson and a craft, and go from door to door inviting the children to join us.  We met under a large tree in the center of the camp.


The homes there consisted of pieces of wood or tin thrown together to make dirt floor shacks.  The children were very poor, and often hungry and dirty.  One day in particular, God revealed His grace, and mercy, and power in an awesome way.  We had been going every Saturday for a couple of months and we had never had over 15 children.  As we packed the bag of supplies, I carefully counted out enough supplies for 20 craft projects, just in case we had a couple of extra children.


To our surprise, as we began the lesson with singing and a Bible story, the children kept coming.  I began to feel very nervous about the craft projects, knowing that was the biggest reason they were coming, since this was a luxury that was uncommon to those children.  As soon as I would finish counting, more children would come.  I began to pray furiously, as our translator finished up the story.  At last count, I realized that there were 40 children gathered around the big tree, listening to a story of God’s faithfulness.


I didn’t know what else to do, except begin to pass out the supplies.  I reached into the bag to gather supplies, Kelli reached into the bag to gather supplies, and Ivonnia, our translator, reached into the bag to gather supplies.  We kept going back to the bag for more supplies over and over until every child had made a craft project.


After the children left, I looked into the bag once again…there were still supplies in the bag.  I had packed the bag myself.  I knew exactly what was in the bag.  I wept when I realized in my heart, not just in my head, that our Lord is the same yesterday, today, and forever.  The same Lord, who blessed and multiplied the fish and the loaves, multiplied our supplies that day.  And though those 40 children will never know of the miracle that day, I will never forget.


And my God will meet all your needs according to his glorious riches in Christ Jesus.

Philippians 4:19

Day 22 | Remember What He Has Promised–He Will Contend

day 22I have had a hard time surrendering my children to the Lord.  It has been based in fear, really.  I guess it took me a few years to really believe that God loved them more than I did.  It took me a while to really trust God with my children, no matter what.  I remember the point of surrender with my kids.  I was at Pickwick Lake.  I felt overcome with a case of the “What Ifs”. The more I thought about the future, the more fearful I became.  I remember praying a desperate cry for help.  I got my Bible and prayed, “Lord, I need a word from You.  I need a word from You that I can hang onto.”  Though I don’t really recommend this method, I simply opened my Bible and the first verse I saw was,


As the rain and the snow come down from heaven, and do not return to it without watering the earth and making it bud and flourish, so that it yields seed for the sower and bread for the eater, so is my word that goes out from my mouth:  It will not return to me empty, but will accomplish what I desire and achieve the purpose for which I sent it.

Isaiah 55:10-11


I prayed, “Yes, that is true.  God’s word will not return void.  And I do pray God’s Word over each of my children.  But Lord, I need a word from You that is specific to them.  Give me a word for my children.”  I flipped a couple of pages and my eyes fell upon the following verse:


“I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.”

Isaiah 49:25


I immediately felt an overwhelming peace flood my soul.  The fear fled.  The calm returned.  I prayed, “Ok, Lord.  I believe you.  Help me with my unbelief.”  And whenever Satan tries to bind me again with fear concerning my children, I let my powerful God “contend” with the enemy, and I simply remember and believe.


A few months after this word from the Lord came to me my family attended a family revival at First Presbyterian Church in Corinth, Mississippi.  The speaker offered a time to come to the altar if you wanted to receive Christ as Savior and Lord.  All of the sudden my son, Joseph, jumped up and grabbed my hand and began pulling me down the aisle, all the while encouraging his cousin, Rebekah, to go, too.  As I made my way down the aisle with my son to pray, very clearly to my mind came the precious words from the Lord:  “I will contend with those who contend with you, and your children I will save.”


A couple of years later, we had a little bit of a scare with Joseph.  I had to take him to get a cat scan of his brain, because he was experiencing a lot of dizziness.  I remember fighting off the “what-ifs” and praying instead, “Lord, I gave him to you a long time ago.  I will not take him back now.”  That was a difficult prayer to pray.  You see, it is very hard to surrender something to the Lord and not pick it back up again.  But we must remember that His promises are true.  He will contend for us.

Day 21 | Remembering What He Has Promised – Heaven

day 21“Be faithful, even to the point of death, and I will give you the crown of life.” Revelation 2:10

Do you fear death, like the believers in Smyrna?  Many of us do.  I have at times.  I don’t really fear death, but I do sometimes fear dying.  But that is the one thing we have in common with every person on the face of the earth.  We will die.  We can’t get around that fact.  But we do have a choice as to whether we are faithful unto death—faithful no matter what our death looks like, be it illness, old age, or persecution.  We must remain faithful unto death.

My grandmother was one of the sweetest, most godly women I have ever met.  She was diagnosed with bladder cancer when she was eighty years old.  I felt cheated.  Until the cancer, she looked and acted much younger.  I envisioned trips together, holidays, and visits with her great-grandchildren.  And yet, death came knocking.

One day, about two weeks before she died, my mother and my sister were in the hospital room with her.  My sister has a beautiful singing voice, and my grandmother always cherished hearing her sing.  So Grandmama requested that my sister sing “Amazing Grace” to her.


As my sister sang, my grandmother closed her eyes.  The look on her face was that of peace and amazement.  As strange as it sounds, God gave her a picture of heaven.  When she closed her eyes, she saw light and life and love.  She saw loved ones long passed.


At one point, with her eyes still closed, she said, “Someone’s calling me baby.”

Then she gasped. “Daddy!” she said, her face beaming with joy.
After that, my grandmother was not only unafraid; she was anxious to go.  Previously, she had selected her blue suit to be buried in.  She immediately changed it to the white suit, “Because everyone was dressed in white,” she said confidently.


We all came to the hospital that day, knowing that time was drawing near.  We were the ones who were sad and upset, not her.  As we all gathered around her, she said, “When your time comes, don’t be afraid.  It is wonderful there. Rejoice.”


My grandmother still had much pain to endure in the next couple of weeks.  But she knew where she was going, and that truth, placed front and center in her mind, caused her to be faithful unto death.   We will all die.  But may we live for Him until the moment we run into His arms.

Day 20 | Remembering What He Has Promised–Protection

day 20Whoever dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty.

I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.”

Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge;

His faithfulness will be your shield and rampart.

You will not fear the terror of night, nor the arrow that flies by day, nor the pestilence that stalks in the darkness, nor the plague that destroys at midday. A thousand may fall at your side, ten thousand at your right hand, but it will not come near you. 
You will only observe with your eyes and see the punishment of the wicked.

If you say, “The LORD is my refuge,” and you make the Most High your dwelling, no harm will overtake you, no disaster will come near your tent. For he will command his angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways; they will lift you up in their hands, so that you will not strike your foot against a stone.  You will tread on the lion and the cobra; you will trample the great lion and the serpent.

 “Because he loves me,” says the LORD, “I will rescue him; I will protect him, for he acknowledges my name.  He will call on me, and I will answer him; I will be with him in trouble, I will deliver him and honor him. With long life I will satisfy him and show him my salvation.”                                    Psalm 91


This passage has literally saved my life at times.  When Mont was sick in the hospital with meningitis and we were quarantined from all family and friends, this is the passage that I read aloud over and over.

Three days later, when we discovered that our 7-week-old, Ellie, also had meningitis, I once again clung to these verses.  I was definitely dwelling in the shelter, because I knew that no one and nothing else could help me.

When I found myself in China, or Ecuador, or Costa Rica, unable to communicate in those foreign languages, I thought of those verses.

When I feel myself overwhelmed with fear concerning my children, these are the verses that I cling to,

that I pray,

that I struggle to believe.

And as I meditate on them—DWELL on them—then I do grow in my faith once again, and choose to believe, to KNOW, that my Almighty Father will never forsake me.


We can’t dwell in the protective shelter of our Almighty Father, if we haven’t become one of His children.  That is the start of it.


According to my computer dictionary, to dwell means the following:

To Dwell:  to live in or at a specified place


Sally didn’t dwell with us until she became officially ours.  When we become officially His, He makes His home in our hearts and He lives in us and we live in Him.  We dwell in His heavenly realm, even while we are on this earth.  And it is the only truly safe place.

As I studied the word Dwell, I also saw another meaning:

 ( dwell on/upon) to think, speak, or write at length

( dwell on/upon) to linger on with one’s eyes or attention


When we dwell on Christ, focusing our thoughts, our eyes, our attitudes, our attention on Him, then we are living in His Shelter.  That is how we stay in that safe place.

Dwell in His presence today.  You will be safe and secure.




Day 19 | Remembering What He Has Promised–Forgiveness

day 19Blessed is the man

who does not walk in the counsel of the wicked

or stand in the way of sinners

or sit in the seat of mockers.

But his delight is in the law of the LORD,

and on his law he meditates day and night.

Psalm 1:1-2

Notice the progression of the action words in the first sentence.  Think about this in contrast to the blessed man.  A wicked man will first walk near wickedness, then decide to just stand there, then find himself sitting among the wicked, right at home as one of them!  That is a lot like the progression of sin.  First we walk nearby it, thinking it won’t affect us.  Then we pause.  We stand there close by taking it in, but not really participating, but before we know it, we are sitting there smack in the middle of a sinful situation.  Maybe we never intended to sit there, but we are. Why?  Because the first mistake that we made did not seem “so bad”.  But it started the downward spiral.  It made our hearts a bit harder.  We should have run away from it at the first conviction.  We should not have rationalized it away.

We must realize we are all sinners saved only by the grace of God.

We all have seasons of sin, whether the rest of the world ever knows about it or not.

We all must repent.

What does it mean to repent?  To turn around and go in the opposite direction.

Do you need to repent today?  I do.


If we CONFESS our sins, He is FAITHFUL and righteous to FORGIVE us our sins and to cleanse us from                           ALL unrighteousness.

1 John 1:9