Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 12, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah – Day 41

“Listen to me, descendants of Jacob,
    all you who remain in Israel.
I have cared for you since you were born.
    Yes, I carried you before you were born.
I will be your God throughout your lifetime—
    until your hair is white with age.
I made you, and I will care for you.
    I will carry you along and save you.” 
Isaiah 46:3-4

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This is the month of my birth, 60 years ago, and as I enter into my “senior” years these verses from Isaiah 46 give me such hope. To have it confirmed in writing that God has known me, even before I was born, and that He will care for me, carry and save me! Wow! I just have to praise the Lord!

As I was writing this another thought came to mind. Right now, in our family, another life is awaiting her birth in four months. God is taking care of my fifth grandchild, a girl, in the womb of her mother.

I know the life that God would like her to live is all about honoring and serving Him. This is my desire for her too! I must be in prayer for her and her parents to know the Lord and the power of His salvation. I need to pray for her health in the womb, as well as, the life she is going to live here on this earth.

I need to mix my faith with God and pray for my newest grandchild, as I pray for the other four grandchildren.

I have a picture with a list of daily prayers to pray and I want to share it with you. (It says children at the top, but I know God will hear these same prayers for my grandchildren).

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These things above I want for my family…everyone in my family, my husband, my children, their significant others, and my grandchildren. My hope is in what God can do through my prayers of faith in His ability to move in the lives of my loved ones.

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Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 9, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah – Day 38

The Lord has promised much to us and many of those things He has promised can be found in Isaiah 43.

We belong to Him

 “But now, O Jacob, listen to the Lord who created you.
    O Israel, the one who formed you says,
“Do not be afraid, for I have ransomed you.
    I have called you by name; you are mine.” Isaiah 43:1

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He is always with us

When you go through deep waters,
    I will be with you.
When you go through rivers of difficulty,
    you will not drown.
When you walk through the fire of oppression,
    you will not be burned up;
    the flames will not consume you. Isaiah 43:2

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He is our Savior

For I am the Lord, your God,
    the Holy One of Israel, your Savior. Isaiah 43:3 

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He loves us

Others were given in exchange for you.
    I traded their lives for yours
because you are precious to me.
    You are honored, and I love you. Isaiah 43:4

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He created us

Bring all who claim me as their God,
    for I have made them for my glory.
    It was I who created them. Isaiah 43:7

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He Alone is God 

“But you are my witnesses, O Israel!” says the Lord.
    “You are my servant.
You have been chosen to know me, believe in me,
    and understand that I alone am God.
There is no other God—
    there never has been, and there never will be. Isaiah 43:10

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He makes all things new

For I am about to do something new.
    See, I have already begun! Do you not see it? Isaiah 43:19

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He will blot out our sins

“I—yes, I alone—will blot out your sins for my own sake
    and will never think of them again. Isaiah 43:25

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These are just some of the promises I saw as I read Isaiah 43, and I know there were more. What promises did you find as you read our assignment for today? And which one spoke to your heart and had singing praises to God? I would love to hear from you…

 

 

 

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 8, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah – Day 37

“Look at my servant, whom I strengthen.
    He is my chosen one, who pleases me.
I have put my Spirit upon him.
    He will bring justice to the nations.” Isaiah 42:1 (NLT)

The very first verse in Isaiah 42 is pointing us to the coming Messiah, Jesus. The King James version of this scripture speaks of Jesus as “mine-elect”, which means “set apart for a definite purpose”.

Behold my servant, whom I uphold; mine elect, in whom my soul delighteth; I have put my spirit upon him: he shall bring forth judgment to the Gentiles. Isaiah 42:1 (KJV)

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I am not sure which of these versions I like more!

But I do know that I love the meaning behind mine elect! Jesus was set apart for a definite purpose, to bring hope to a dying world.

I just pray that the people who are still living in denial of who He is, gain wisdom before it is too late.

Because of a discussion I had yesterday, I have decided that I would rather be wise than just intelligent. Intelligent people know many things and they can speak to a wide range of topics, but if they don’t know Jesus…what good does all that knowledge do them?!?!?!?!?

I asked the person I was talking to yesterday this question, “If I am wrong about Jesus, how does that harm me?”

His reply, “It won’t, it’s just people think you aren’t smart.”

My answer to that, “I know where my help comes from and in whom I believe. It does not matter what other people think of me and my beliefs!”

I don’t want to be intelligent in the eyes of man, I want to be wise in the ways of my Savior!

God, the Lord, created the heavens and stretched them out.
    He created the earth and everything in it.
He gives breath to everyone,
    life to everyone who walks the earth.
And it is he who says,
“I, the Lord, have called you to demonstrate my righteousness.
    I will take you by the hand and guard you,
and I will give you to my people, Israel,
    as a symbol of my covenant with them.
And you will be a light to guide the nations.
    You will open the eyes of the blind.
You will free the captives from prison,
    releasing those who sit in dark dungeons. “

Those people who do know God, do not understand how blind and bound they are!

Lord, I pray that You open the eyes of the blind. Take their hands and lead them into the light of Your love. Set the captives free, Lord! Save them from the lies of this world. Give them the wisdom that will show them that You are the way, the truth and the light, and the only One who can save them from themselves and this dying world. To You be the honor and the glory for ever and ever, amen.

 

 

 

 

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 7, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah – Day 36

But as for you, Israel my servant,
    Jacob my chosen one,
    descended from Abraham my friend,
I have called you back from the ends of the earth,
    saying, ‘You are my servant.’
For I have chosen you
    and will not throw you away.
10 Don’t be afraid, for I am with you.
    Don’t be discouraged, for I am your God.
I will strengthen you and help you.
    I will hold you up with my victorious right hand.” Isaiah 4
1:8-10

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This morning I have been reflecting on the word “wait”. I believe we are always in a season of waiting, on something or someone. Just like the people in Isaiah 41 are waiting on the “righteous man from the east” to conquer Babylon, we are all in a state of wait. I almost wrote “we are all experiencing the waiting game”.

Only this is not a game, this is for our eternal good and God wants us to use these times as moments of rest and refreshment, so we can renew our strength. I also believe He wants us to be quiet in the wait…He is not playing with us!!!

Listen to me in silence, O coastlands;
    let the peoples renew their strength;
let them approach, then let them speak;
    let us together draw near for judgment.” Isaiah 41:1

We need to be quiet, so we can hear what God wants us to do. I am finding His instructions for me in His word. This daily journey through Isaiah has been such a blessing to me. I am learning more about God’s character and He is showing me, through each reading, who He wants me to be.

And, I need to share with you that I have been doing my best to remain quiet. I have a tendency to speak before praying or thinking, and God has been working on me to default to Him. I know that my one word from Him this year, “reconciliation”, is because I don’t pause and ask for His guidance before I speak or take action.

I have gotten so much better in this area in the last several months. And the results from me keeping my mouth closed and giving all my worries and aggravations to Him have been for my good and for the good of my family.

We may have difficulties, but I am taking to heart and God is proving it to me everyday…that I don’t have to be afraid or discouraged. He is my God! He will strengthen and help me! HE WILL hold me up!

I am watching these words come to life through our dog’s cancer. Charlie is home and he is doing so much better than we expected. God is helping Charlie too. He is using my family as a visual for Isaiah 41:10. We are supplying Charlie with some of our strength, we are helping him, and we do need to hold him up and steady him. But it’s amazing what Charlie is able to do through the help he is receiving, and because he knows he can trust where his help comes from.

Let’s follow Charlie’s example and put our full trust in the One who is our helper and our strength!!!

 

 

 

 

Posted by: heisourstrongtower | February 6, 2018

Reading Through the Book of Isaiah – Day 35

I believe that I have read Isaiah 40 three times, in two different versions, in the past two days. I intend to read it a few more times today too. I am going to saturate myself in Isaiah 40. It is beautiful prose with rich meaning. I pray you love reading this chapter in Isaiah too!

So let me update you on our dog, Charlie, and about how Isaiah 40 got me through the waiting period.

My daughter met me at the veterinary hospital yesterday a little before 9. She helped Charlie get out of my van and we took him inside and got him registered. She loved on Charlie, while I took care of the paperwork. Sara had the important job! All too quickly, it was time to leave him…we waited to shed the tears after they took him from us.

We hugged in the parking lot, exchanged “I love you’s”, and went our separate ways. I drove immediately to where I go now to relieve stress and for prayer…the local community center to walk the track! I put my earphones on and walked that track like it has never been walked before. I praised and said many prayers to God during my two mile walk. And it helped to release my fears and share my hopes, for Charlie, with God. I prayed, specifically, for the doctor and the medical personnel that would be taking care of Charlie.

At 12:02 my phone rang, it was the vet hospital. I thought the call was going to be that surgery was over and all went well, but it was surgery was going to start shortly and they would call me after it was over. The call was made by the veterinarian who was doing the surgery and it gave me the opportunity to let him know I had been praying for him. I told him I had asked God to provide him with skill and wisdom and a steady hand. I think he was surprised by my admission, he paused a bit before replying to me. His reply, “I’ll take it.”

I waited for a return phone call back from him for a little over 2 hours. I believe it was a mixed blessing to have received the first phone call. I am so thankful for the opportunity to let the vet know I was praying for him, but the wait was a little stressful. I know what you are thinking, Isaiah 40 has my answer to the wait…my strength will rise as I wait.

but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint.”

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Oh, and look at the end of that verse, “they shall run and not be weary; they shall walk and not faint.” 

The vet had good news, Charlie, did very well during surgery and was in recovery. Charlie was beginning to come out of the anesthesia and was responding to his name. We are now back in the stage of waiting…for another phone call, today, on how well Charlie did last night and how soon we can take him home. Please keep Charlie in your prayers as he recovers, and my family as we help Charlie through this cancer!

I know that God cares for Charlie, and that He will even use this cancer in Charlie to fulfill His plan for my loved ones and me. He will make something good from this terrible disease in Charlie!

“Have you not known? Have you not heard?
The Lord is the everlasting God,
    the Creator of the ends of the earth.
He does not faint or grow weary;
    his understanding is unsearchable.
29 He gives power to the faint,
    and to him who has no might he increases strength.
30 Even youths shall faint and be weary,
    and young men shall fall exhausted;
31 but they who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength;
    they shall mount up with wings like eagles;
they shall run and not be weary;
    they shall walk and not faint. “

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Those verses above…all of them are my life verses! I am not even able to describe how just seeing these words helps me.

I would love to know what your life verses are! Please feel free to share them with me! Thanks for being on this journey with me and for your prayers.

 

 

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

 

 

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.

PRAYer-strategy-template1

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

 

 

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