Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 5, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah – Day 34

Today’s assignment in our journey through Isaiah is to read chapter 39. It is a very short chapter in the Book of Isaiah, and since I am in need of encouragement today…I am going to be reading Isaiah 40 too, both today and tomorrow.

I am going to be praying this morning for our dog, Charlie, and my family. I will be taking Charlie this morning to the animal hospital and leaving him there around 9am CST. My daughter will be meeting me, we both agreed that the men in our family could not do this as bravely as we hope to be.

My strength comes from the Lord! He makes me brave!

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This is a picture of Charlie from this past week…handsome boy!

Lord, I know that I am your child and as such you hold me higher than the angels and the animals that you have created. Even so, pets are all important to you whether it is a dog, cat, lizard, snake, hamster, pig, a fish whatever it may be, you created it. Lord, I thank you for your awesomeness and power, for providing for my every need and the needs of my animal. So, Lord, I come to you now praying for healing for my dog, Charlie. I am in need of your help. You know the exact illness that is afflicting Charlie, even though he cannot speak; I trust your divine guidance in Charlie’s life. Help the Doctor, Lord; help the medical personnel deliver Charlie from any pain and suffering. Grant my family your peace as we place Charlie and his surgery in your capable hands. I ask for healing, I ask for strength, I ask that your perfect will be accomplished in Charlie’s life and through his illness, may it all be for your glory, in Jesus name. Amen

 

 

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Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 4, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah – Day 33

We have made it to Isaiah 38, and I am pretty excited that we will be reading my life verses in just two days. I am going to be, truly, in need of the hope I am going to find in reading Isaiah 40 on Tuesday. Because that is the day, if all goes well, we will be picking Charlie up from the veterinarian. Surgery for Charlie is scheduled for tomorrow, Monday, February 5th, please keep Charlie and my family in your prayers.

For today, let’s concentrate on Isaiah 38.

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Isaiah shares some difficult news with Hezekiah,

 “Set your house in order, for you shall die and not live.”

 On the one hand, those are not words you want to hear…on the other hand, Hezekiah has been given the opportunity to set his house in order, and to pray for a reprieve.

Look closely to what Hezekiah does in verse 2,

 “Then Hezekiah turned his face toward the wall, and prayed to the Lord,”

 Hezekiah removed himself from the distractions in that room, he turned from the world to concentrate on God and he said this prayer.

“Remember, O Lord, how I have always been faithful to you and have served you single-mindedly, always doing what pleases you.”

Hezekiah knew God is the only One who could help him. (I need to add a side note here, I know the message at church this morning is going to be on single -mindedness. I might be sharing more later today).

What happened next? God heard Hezekiah’s prayer and saw Hezekiah’s tears, and gave Hezekiah a 15 year reprieve.

“Go back to Hezekiah and tell him, ‘This is what the Lord, the God of your ancestor David, says: I have heard your prayer and seen your tears. I will add fifteen years to your life, and I will rescue you and this city from the king of Assyria. Yes, I will defend this city.”

Hezekiah does not waste a moment…when he was well he composes a poem to God, His savior. At the end of the poem we find these words of praise that also contain some wisdom we should try to emulate.

“Lord, your discipline is good,
    for it leads to life and health.
You restore my health
    and allow me to live!
17 Yes, this anguish was good for me,
    for you have rescued me from death
    and forgiven all my sins.
18 For the dead cannot praise you;
    they cannot raise their voices in praise.
Those who go down to the grave
    can no longer hope in your faithfulness.
19 Only the living can praise you as I do today.
    Each generation tells of your faithfulness to the next.
20 Think of it—the Lord is ready to heal me!
    I will sing his praises with instruments
every day of my life
    in the Temple of the Lord.”

Today, and everyday, let’s remember to sing His praises…everywhere we go!

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Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 3, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah – Day 32

In Isaiah 37, King Hezekiah received some disturbing news and he immediately goes to the Temple of the Lord to pray for his people. Hezekiah knew he needed help, he went to the One True God and he asked for help from the prophet Isaiah.

Hezekiah was a man of strong convictions! He knew that God was his answer and he went to God for help.

“Wise people determine their convictions before trouble comes, not when it comes.”

Hezekiah did not stand around and wonder what should be done in his time of trouble. He had already determined a plan of action for “the days of trouble”, and when it came…Hezekiah executed the plan just as God wanted him to.

We have to be prepared for the problems we are going to face. We need to know where our help comes from and like Hezekiah, our first course of action needs to be prayer. And, might I suggest that you write out a battle plan for your personal “days of trouble”.

I found a template online that you can use as a tool to get you started.

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You can fill this out and put it in your prayer journal as a prompt or reminder of Who your help comes from. I think one thing that is important for you to do is write out a bible verse under the “Yes” column that points to an attribute of God or one of His promises.

Here is another tool you can use to get you started…a list of emergencies and where you should look in the Bible for direction.

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Let’s prepare for the battle and not be caught unaware.

 

Lord, in every need let me come to You with humble trust saying, “Jesus, help me.”
In all my doubts, perplexities, and temptations, Jesus, help me.
In hours of loneliness, weariness, and trials, Jesus, help me.
In the failure of my plans and hopes; in disappointments, troubles, and sorrows, Jesus, help me.
When others fail me and Your grace alone can assist me, help me.
When I throw myself on Your tender love as a father and savior, Jesus, help me.
When my heart is cast down by failure at seeing no good come from my efforts, Jesus, help me.
When I feel impatient and my cross irritates me, Jesus, help me.
When I am ill and my head and hands cannot work and I am lonely, Jesus, help me.
Always, always, in spite of weakness, falls, and shortcomings of every kind, Jesus, help me and never forsake me.
Amen.

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 2, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah – Day 31

“But perhaps you will say to me, ‘We are trusting in the Lord our God!’ But isn’t he the one who was insulted by Hezekiah? Didn’t Hezekiah tear down his shrines and altars and make everyone in Judah and Jerusalem worship only at the altar here in Jerusalem?

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Rabshakeh’s question was proof that he did not understand what Hezekiah had really done when he destroyed the shrines and altars. Hezekiah removed the obstacles that were hindering the people from worshipping and trusting the One True God!

What is hindering you? What is keeping you from saying, “I am trusting in the Lord my God” with everything in my life.

It’s not easy, but nothing in this world is easy! But it is necessary for us to put our total trust, in every area of our life, into the hands of our God who has proven He is faithful and just.

I read a post today who’s author was speaking to how long the month of January had seemed to her this year, and I agree wholeheartedly. This past month seemed like it contained way more than 31 days, and I have been blessed with “Praise the Lord” moments in the midst of some pretty big storms. God has shown me, in all His power, that He is trustworthy and that He is working on the hearts of my children…whether they know it or not…or I see it or not!

Let me ask you, “Who are you trusting?”

 

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 1, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah – Day 30

Hope for Restoration

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When I saw the words “Hope for Restoration” as the heading for Isaiah 35, I just had to praise and thank God! Yesterday was a pretty big step in the restoring business in my family. My children reached out to each other, through the health crisis of our dog, and exchanged “I love you’s” and promises of being there for each other and, Charlie. It made me very happy and thankful that they are communicating and taking steps of reconciliation with each other.

Other words in Isaiah 35 give me hope for the most important reconciliation for my children, reconciling their life to God’s truth!

With this news, strengthen those who have tired hands,
    and encourage those who have weak knees.
Say to those with fearful hearts,
    “Be strong, and do not fear,
for your God is coming to destroy your enemies.
    He is coming to save you.”

And when he comes, he will open the eyes of the blind
    and unplug the ears of the deaf.
The lame will leap like a deer,
    and those who cannot speak will sing for joy!
Springs will gush forth in the wilderness,
    and streams will water the wasteland.

 

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Through the beginning of Isaiah 35:6 I had an opportunity to share a testimony with my daughter. I sent her a text after reading Isaiah 35 yesterday. I explained that I was reading through the book of Isaiah over the first two months of the year and that I was on chapter 35, and then I shared the words, “The lame will leap like a deer”. I also reminded her of how much Charlie reminded us of a baby deer, when we first got him, and that I felt God was letting us know that despite the cancer in Charlie’s leg and the surgery needed…Charlie will again leap like a deer. She replied that she thought that was a good sign too.

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Do you see what I mean…baby deer?!?!?!?!?

Whether or not Charlie leaps like a deer again or if God really was using Isaiah 35 to speak to us about Charlie’s surgery, I am most thankful that it provided an opportunity to share God’s word with my daughter.

I am looking forward to those blinders being removed and those ears  being opened.

Please continue to keep my family in your prayers, we need them and so does our baby deer doggy, Charlie!

God, I just have to praise You in the midst of this storm! Thank You for answering some prayers…You did soften hearts! You did open some doors, You are moving and You are working in the hearts and minds of my children. Please be with us as we navigate Charlie’s surgery and recovery, and let us never forget that loving and serving You and each other is what is important in this world. Amen

 

 

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | January 31, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah – Day 29

Isaiah 34 is about the destruction of all nations, The Battle of Armageddon! It is a terrifying picture of what God is going to do in His anger against those who have refused to ever believe in Him. God’s patience with these people has run out, and now there is no turning back for them.

Isaiah is issuing a warning to all nations, and when we consider how long ago this warning was issued…God has been very patient.

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God does not want one of the people He has placed on this earth to perish, He wants all to come to Him!

2 Peter 3:9 The LORD is not slow in keeping his promise, as some understand slowness. Instead he is patient with you, not wanting anyone to perish, but everyone to come to repentance.

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The best way we have to meet God and, to understand what He has promised us, is offered up to us in Isaiah 34:16a.

Search the book of the Lord,
    and see what he will do.

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I came across a blog this morning that shares how we can find God’s voice in the scriptures, and I am going to share that with you at the end of my post.

But, first I would like to thank you for your prayers, yesterday for my family and update you about our dog, Charlie. He has bone cancer and the specialist we saw yesterday morning has recommended that we amputate his front leg. As of this moment that is the plan, and it is scheduled for this coming Monday. Please continue to lift us up in prayer and to specifically ask God to direct us to the best decision for Charlie and not for us. Thank you.

https://www.thebrooknetwork.org/2018/01/30/how-can-we-hear-gods-voice-in-scripture-2/#more-11589

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | January 30, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah – Day 28

We will be reading Isaiah 33 today and I am going to share a few verses from the reading and ask for your prayers for my family today. We just found out yesterday morning that our dog is sick. We will be taking him to a specialist this morning to determine our options, plus we will be sharing the news with our adult children.

This is going to be a difficult day and a difficult journey. I know Who I can depend on to see me through and my prayer is that God can use this and me to show my family Who they can depend on.

 “But Lord, be merciful to us,
    for we have waited for you.
Be our strong arm each day
    and our salvation in times of trouble.” Isaiah 33:2

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In that day he will be your sure foundation,
    providing a rich store of salvation, wisdom, and knowledge.
    The fear of the Lord will be your treasure. Isaiah 33:6

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 “The sinners in Jerusalem shake with fear.
    Terror seizes the godless.
“Who can live with this devouring fire?” they cry.
    “Who can survive this all-consuming fire?”
15 Those who are honest and fair,
    who refuse to profit by fraud,
    who stay far away from bribes,
who refuse to listen to those who plot murder,
    who shut their eyes to all enticement to do wrong—
16 these are the ones who will dwell on high.
    The rocks of the mountains will be their fortress.
Food will be supplied to them,
    and they will have water in abundance.” Isaiah 33:14-16

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 “The Lord will be our Mighty One.
    He will be like a wide river of protection
that no enemy can cross,
    that no enemy ship can sail upon.
22 For the Lord is our judge,
    our lawgiver, and our king.
    He will care for us and save us.” Isaiah 33:21-22

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Jesus, today I am struggling with a heavy heart. I feel broken and shattered. Every moment the darkness grows deeper. I am concerned for our dog, Charlie, I am heartbroken for my family and worried about how they will react. I know that you do not want me to worry, it is a sin! Help me, Lord to put my full trust in You. Be our strength when we share the news about Charlie with our children. Be our strength to help them through this, be our strength as we make the decision about what is best for Charlie. I am going to lean on Your strength, power, love and mercy, knowing only You can turn my darkness into light. Hold me in my weakness and surround me with Your love and protection. Wash away my sins in Your precious blood, and bring me through my grief and sorrow. In Your most holy and precious Name I pray. Amen.

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | January 29, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah -Day 27

I was very blessed in church yesterday morning to receive some help with what I should share about Isaiah 32. The church is reading through the book, Believe, which is about 90% scriptures and 10% reflection. Yesterday the sermon was about Bible Study and why it is so important to study the Bible, daily. And not just study it, but to live it out in our lives.

One of the reasons the pastor gave to explain why we need to be in our Bible is so we are not deceived by false teaching, Isaiah 32:6 also warns us about fools who spread false teachings.

“For fools speak foolishness
    and make evil plans.
They practice ungodliness
    and spread false teachings about the Lord.
They deprive the hungry of food
    and give no water to the thirsty.”

We have to know what the Bible says so we can train ourselves to discern good from evil. But bible knowledge, alone, does not equal spiritual maturity. We need to be spiritually mature to really use the bible in a way that honors and glorifies God (1Corinthians 13:-1-3). Which leads me to the first of three components needed to live a spiritually mature life. It is my favorite one.

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COMMUNITY CONTEXT (Hebrews 5:11 – 6:1)

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We need to study our bible in community with others. I need your context for my context to grow. Seeing things from only my perception does not help me in my walk. We grow when we teach and when we are taught. I need your input too! Inward focus does not lead to the maturity I am seeking.

 

BIBLE STUDY (Acts 2:42)

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The early church came together and devoted themselves to the teaching of the apostles. But they didn’t stop there…they also spent time in fellowship, eating together, and most importantly, praying for each other. Now, we may not be able to eat a meal together, not in our current formation, but we can fellowship together and definitely pray for and with each other. (One reason why I have been considering restarting our conference calls).

REFLECTIVE APPLICATION (James 1:22-25)

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This is where we use what we are reading to become transformational in our life. If we don’t allow what we are reading to change how we are living our lives, we are not maturing spiritually. “Spiritual maturity is the degree to which my life looks like Jesus.”

At the end of the service we sang this song, Your Word, may it bless you and remind you how important God’s word is in your life.

And one last thing, if you feel moved to share your context from the verses we are reading, it would mean more to me than you would ever know. Happy Monday, friends!

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | January 28, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah -Day 26

What sorrow awaits those who look to Egypt for help,
    trusting their horses, chariots, and charioteers
and depending on the strength of human armies
    instead of looking to the Lord,
    the Holy One of Israel. Isaiah 31:1″

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There have been many times in my life that I have looked to others, in this world, for my help and not to God, just as the people in Isaiah 31. God was not even a part of the thought process, not in their minds or in mine, at the time.

I just have to praise the Lord that, for me…He has turned me around. More and more and more, each day, He is at the beginning of my thought process. If I go to someone for help, it is to ask them to pray or to ask for godly advice. If I am need of refreshment in the moment to moment activities of the day…a prayer and some worship music and a walk around the track…puts me in align with my Heavenly Father.

And as many times that I have woken up each morning, since committing to reading AND BLOGGING about the book of Isaiah, and wanting to do anything but blog…He has met me in the moment and directed my step for something to share.

Friends, we can’t put our trust in the world…the world will not sustain us. We must put our hope and trust in God. He is Wisdom. He is Strength. He is our Help. He is our Love. In Him is found our Hope!

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Posted by: heisourstrongtower | January 27, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah – Day 25

Who sits on the throne in your life? Are you trusting in God or are you looking to other people for your help in this world?

Isaiah 30 teaches us that God will be our helper, if we invite Him into the situation.

“18 So the Lord must wait for you to come to him
    so he can show you his love and compassion.
For the Lord is a faithful God.
    Blessed are those who wait for his help.”

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It is so important to pray and ask God to be our helper. So many times I have found myself trying to figure out how I should handle certain situations in my life. My mind is racing with a million thoughts in my head or I head to my phone to call a friend for advice…when a thought pops into my mind…PRAY!!!

Godly reminders!!! PRAY first!

He wants to be our helper. He wants us to come to Him for our answers! He is our greatest source and resource of love and compassion. He gives it to us and through this gift, we can pass it on to others.

And in Isaiah 30:19, God promises this…

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