Wednesday, August 11, 2010

Cathy’s Corner


Our lesson today is God is with me when I am afraid and God helped Moses. We learn how God provided for Moses though Aaron and how God was with Moses even though he was afraid. There are many times in our lives that we are in fear and we trust God for protection and provision and to calm those fears. The summer of 2007 our son, J was in Iraq for his second tour of duty. While we think it is hot here, it is usually eight to ten degrees hotter there, and it was no different three years ago. I checked and they are looking at anywhere from 116 to 118 every day this week. In August of 2007 we received a phone call from J; he began telling us one of their men had been killed by an IED two days before. Then he began to tell us about where they were and what had been going on that week. Here is an excerpt from the notes I took from that phone call.

“We are living in a safe house and building the base around it. It has a wall of Bradley’s and trucks around it and on one side is a canal. Yesterday around 11am me and five guys were clearing some reed out of the canal by burning them with jet fuel, which is pretty powerful stuff. The canal has about a 10ft drop from where the water stops, it’s deep and steep. You can’t just walk out of it, you have to climb and crawl. The other guys were on top of the canal. Sgt Robinson was hanging on to me and I had the can of fuel and was flinging it everywhere and we had made a trail with it. Something sparked and all of a sudden you could hear this “whoosh” and the whole canal was on fire. It was a wall of fire. I started crawling to get out and the fire was just chasing me and it caught up with me. I got to the top and ran out and the guys were yelling at me to stop and drop. I was engulfed in flames. They said it was like this wall of fire and all of a sudden I came shooting out. I rolled around and put myself out. I had to throw my Kevlar off because it was on fire. I heard Sgt Robinson yelling and he was running and his legs were on fire. I jumped on him and tried to put the fire out and it wouldn’t stop. I took my shirt off and started trying to smother it and that didn’t work. Then Vega came and helped me throw dirt on him and we got it put out. I heard Scremo yelling “Jones, Jones!” I found him in the back of the truck just frozen with his legs and arms burned. I got in the truck and tore off to the house so the docs could get to him. They air lifted me, Robinson and Scremo to the ER in Baghdad. I burned my hands, oh by the way; I’m in the hospital in Baghdad. When jet fuel flares up it’s a bomb fire. Everyone said I just shot out of the flaming canal. No one knows why it went up either. They said that it just went up and everything was on fire. They knew I was down in it but they couldn’t even see me when it went up and they couldn’t believe it when I came out. No one can believe I wasn’t burned anymore than I was. You know I was holding the can, I was in the canal and I was the one engulfed in flames but I have the least amount of burns.” “You know why? Don’t you?” I asked. “Yes I know why.” J answered.  “There are all of these people praying for you over here and God is watching over you and protecting you.” I said. “I know.” J said. “You know how they cut your pants off when you are at the hospital? Well they started cutting mine and they just fell apart because they were so roasted and scorched. One second I was chunking gas and the next second there were flames everywhere.” He said. “That’s just insane.” I said. He said. “NO! What’s insane are the three holes left from those IEDs. They were huge” I just kept saying thank you God the rest of the conversation and Gary and J would say, “Yep.” 

I can’t even imagine how scared my son was nor if he even had time to be scared. I was scared for him listening to him tell us all that happened. We were so grateful to God for J’s protection. There is a song called Through the Fire and one line says, “If I trust the hand of God, I know He’ll shield the flames again and again.” Just as Moses trusted God and God provided for him, J trusted God and God shielded the flames, and we trusted God to help J and to protect him and God did.


Say a prayer today for all our military men and women and their families, after all, freedom isn’t really free.

Have a great day in the Lord


Cathy’s Corner


            So I started a new diet a couple of weeks ago. The first week almost killed me. I was so tired and exhausted and had no energy whatsoever. I felt horrible and I couldn’t figure out why. I’ve been doing a lot of extra praying asking God to help me stick with it. I realized from reading up on it that my body was in detox. I had to get rid of all of the bad stuff that was in my body, like Aspartame. Now I’m not knocking anyone who drinks diet drinks or uses Sweet N Low in their tea because I’ve done it for years. I’m just sharing my experience. I gave up drinking Diet Coke a couple of months ago, but started drinking more tea and yes I used Sweet N Low as my sweetener. I had no idea until I gave it up how addictive it really can be. I’ve read it before and knew it but I didn’t really believe it. I am a believer now. I’m using Truvia which is a natural sweetener and although it doesn’t dissolve like Sweet N Low it is much better for you. This week I’ve had more energy, I feel so much better than before I started the diet and I’ve noticed a lot of changes overall. Not just the weight loss and the clothes fitting better, but I’m not hurting in places I used to hurt, that’s major. Hopefully by the end of the diet I will have learned to eat healthier and eat smaller portions. Why do we think we need so much to eat and especially when we go to restaurants, they give us way too much food? Gary and I both have noticed that we can’t eat as much as we could when we were younger so why do I still try. Because it’s sooooo good. So I’m trying to eat healthier and take better care of myself because after all, I want to be able to play and keep up with my new grand children.

            So what does my diet have to do with anything? Well, I was thinking about it and we all know what sin is, but sometimes sin is disguised and it looks really, really good to us. Satan wants to get to us and so he uses good things to tempt us and make us sin that we don’t really think are that bad. We know that there are things we should stay away from, like drugs, alcohol, pornography, movies that have bad language and sexual content, going places we know corrupt us, taking a second look at that person who is attractive and the list could go on and on. We know its bad, we read about it in the Bible and it tells us to stay away from such things but we don’t really believe it. I mean come on; I’m not a murderer, or a child sexual abuser or anything like that, so I’m not a bad person. No, but I’m still a sinner when I don’t do what God wants me to do and I don’t stay away from the things He has told me to stay away from in His Word. We feel horrible when we do those things, it weighs us down, it burdens us and we can’t figure out why. When we do realize and we start getting rid of all the bad stuff and allowing our body to detox, it’s hard because our sin nature is naturally drawn to those things and it’s hard to pull away. Some of those things can be addictive. Then we notice we start feeling better about ourselves, and we feel like we fit better in our Christian walk. Changes are taking place like feeling closer to God, and that’s major. Hopefully then we realize that we don’t need those other things and we pray and ask God to help us be strong and resist and stay away from those things. 


I Corinthians 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit, who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own? For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which is God’s.”          


Cathy’s Corner


This week we are teaching about Daniel and the Lion’s Den from Daniel 6:1-28. It isn’t always easy to do the right thing.

Daniel found himself favored by the king. Because of his integrity and his exceptional qualities the king planned to put him in charge over the whole kingdom. There were administrators who were trying to find grounds for having Daniel declared corrupt. They couldn’t because he was trustworthy, and neither corrupt nor negligent. They finally decided the only way they could get to him was to find charges that had to do with the law of his God. They were able to get the king to issue a decree that anyone who prays to any god or man except the king during the next thirty day period would be thrown into the lion’s den. King Darius put the decree in writing.

Daniel was not moved and he went home and opened up his windows and prayed three times a day, giving thanks to God, just as he had done before. Then the men reported him to the king and the king was saddened to learn it was Daniel. He was determined to rescue Daniel and made every effort to save him. But the men were insistent that he follow his own law. So the king had Daniel thrown into the lions den but he also said. “May your God, whom you serve continually, rescue you!”  The king then spent the night without eating and without any entertainment being bought to him, and he could not sleep.

The next morning the king rushed to the lion’s den and called out to Daniel to see if God had rescued him. Daniel was unhurt and the king was overjoyed. He had Daniel’s accusers thrown into the lion’s den. Because of what happened King Darius wrote to all the peoples, nations and men of every language issuing decrees that in every part of his kingdom people must fear and revere the God of Daniel.


I received this in an email devotion this week and thought the part on obedience went along with our lesson.


A Faithful Man "A faithful man will be richly blessed, but one eager to get rich will not go unpunished." Proverbs 28:20

There is a distinct difference between the workplace believers who operates based on living in the Promised Land versus the one who operates in Egypt. In Egypt, the workplace believer sweats and toils to generate an outcome. The final objective is foremost in their mind. Outcome is everything.

In the Promised Land, we learn that obedience is the only thing that matters. We are called to execute, and leave outcome to God. Sometimes that outcome is very positive, yielding a return. In other cases, we may not yield a corresponding return. We may even get a negative outcome. The difference is that we know that we have been faithful to what God has called us to and we yield results to God. God often blesses obedience beyond what we deserve. If God brings wealth to your life, it should come as a by-product of obedience, not an end in itself.

God may call each of us to be obedient to situations that may not yield immediate, positive results. It is in these times that our faith must be obedience-based versus outcome-based. What if Jesus had considered the immediate ramifications of whether he would go to the cross? Based on the immediate outcome, the decision would have been an easy one. Who wants to die on a cross? However, for Him there was a higher purpose in that obedience. We are called to this same kind of obedience. This means putting our own flesh on the line daily, dying to our own self-will. This is what it means to be a faithful man. I pray that God will make us all faithful men and women today.

Today God Is First (TGIF) devotional message, Copyright by Os Hillman, Marketplace Lead