Feeds:
Posts
Comments

Archive for February, 2012

…One day, my parents and I decided to go ATV riding near our home. It was a trail I hadn’t taken before, so I rode with my dad on the back of his ATV. It was a pleasant drive, and I was enjoying the beautiful day.

We’d been riding for at least an hour when we crested a hill and came into a small valley. My dad slowed, and I looked around him to find out why. I gasped and shrank back at what I saw.

sheep and lambTo read more, please visit http://www.cbn.com/spirituallife/devotions/veldboom-shepherd.aspx, where I am extremely humbled and excited to have my article “A Shepherd’s Rescue” appearing as the daily devotional. Thank you so much for your support!

Advertisements

Read Full Post »

As I held the small angel ornaments in my hands, ready to purchase them, tears came to my eyes even as a smile touched my lips. I fingered the pretty white lace, and breathed in the words the angels held in their embrace: love, and joy. Yes, I had love. And I had joy, for I was loved.

But let me rewind a little bit. One morning last December in my prayer time I felt as if God were asking me to focus on “love” and “joy.” Love and joy? I thought, crinkling my brow. Could you be more specific, God? That’s kind of general.

If only I knew then how specific He could get.

A few days after that, I came across a blog post about the widespread phenomenon of the “one word for 2012” campaign. Basically, instead of concentrating on a huge resolutions list for the new year, participants were asked to consider focusing on just one word for 2012. They could do this through prayer, journaling, and just by asking God how He would have them apply that word throughout daily life.

The idea intrigued me, and I decided I, too, would focus on one word for 2012. As I mulled on it, my conversation with God a few days earlier came back to me. Focus on love and joy. Could those be the words God wanted me to concentrate on for 2012? I hoped not. They were two very broad terms. Besides, they were just that: two. I needed one word.

A week later found my mom and I at a craft fair. In the first room we entered, a woman selling lace angel ornaments caught our eye. As we ventured nearer, I felt a gentle tugging in my spirit to pay attention. Curious, I tried to listen closely to what God was trying to tell me. But instead of my ears, it was my eyes God used.

Looking up, one angel stood out from among the many. Love, I read. That would have been enough to make me wonder, but then I felt another gentle urging to keep looking. I swept my gaze to the side, and immediately recognized what I was supposed to see: joy, said another angel. I couldn’t believe it.

That was at least two months ago, but the words “love” and “joy” have kept resurfacing everywhere I go. And I’m not a bit surprised.

You see, I serve a God who takes joy out of the little things. Who never overlooks the smallest detail or tiniest trouble. Who orders and plans and organizes our steps. He is a God of greatness, yes-but He is also a God of the still, the small, the silent.

Psalm 37:23 says, “The LORD directs the steps of the godly. He delights in every detail of their lives.” (NLT.)

Every detail? Yes. Even the smallest: a single tear wetting the pillow; a snowflake drifting from the skies of heaven; the lace in an angel’s skirt.

No one is ever too insignificant for Him to notice. No problem too small for Him to care. Knowing He delights in and takes care of every little detail in our lives, we can rest easy and without fear.

I love that God delights in the details and in the small things. But even more-I love that God finds delight in the details of my small life.

I Hear Ya: In what small ways has God shown that He delights in the details of your life recently or in the past? What one word would you choose for 2012?

Read Full Post »

Imagine you’re on a battlefield. Cannons are booming, and you feel the wave of sound assault your eardrums. Strong men all around you cry out in pain. A buddy near you yelps and falls to the ground. He grips his leg and grits his teeth. A dark red stain appears and spreads out from beneath his fingers.

If it were you in this scene, what are three things you absolutely wouldn’t want to be without? I’ll bet you can come up with them quickly.

One would be armor. There’s no way you’re going out there without some protection, right? You’re lucky if you survive with armor, so you’re definitely not going out there without anything at all.

Another would be a weapon. Some way of defending yourself. You wouldn’t go out on that battlefield without a way to fight back.

And finally, shelter. Some covering. You can’t be out in the open the entire time, or you’ll be as easy to pick out as a flamingo in a line-up.

What if I told you that every day, you’re walking out onto a battlefield without armor, without a weapon, and without any covering? That would be crazy, right? But us Christians do it all the time.

The Bible says we have an enemy. This enemy is the devil. We know that we do not fight against flesh and blood enemies, but against powers and authorities of the unseen world. (Ephesians 6:12.) In other words, demons. We know they are out to steal, kill, and destroy. (John 10:10.) Whether we like it or not, we are in a war.

Consider yourself drafted.

But here’s the choice we do have: we can fight back. We can either be an easy target, or a mighty warrior.

How do we fight back?

Well, for starters,

1) We make sure to wear our armor: Ephesians 6:13 urges us to “put on every piece of God’s armor,” which includes the belt of truth, the breastplate of righteousness, the shoes of peace, the shield of faith, the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the spirit. Each of these items are worth studying on their own, but since I have limited room in this blog post, today I’ll just focus on the shield of faith.

The shield of faith reminds us of the many ways God has shown us His character in the past, and helps us to trust Him. Who was it that parted the Red Sea like a curtain so His people could get through? Who was it that laid the foundations of the earth and molded the mountains with His hands? Who was it that used a shepherd boy’s sling to topple a mighty giant? Remembering God’s deeds also reminds us of just who is on our side, and gives us strength for the battle.

Next,

2) We grab our weapon: It’s interesting to note that the only offensive weapon listed in Ephesians 6 is the Sword of the Spirit, or the “word of God.” (6:17.) The weapon we use to counteract our enemy’s advances? God’s Word. We should never underestimate the power of the Scriptures. Jesus Himself used Scripture to fight off the devil when he was being tempted by him in the wilderness. (Matthew 4:1-11.) It is so, so important we are reading our Bibles daily so we can fight back against the devil’s strategies.

Finally, and most importantly,

3) We find our shelter: Many places throughout the Bible, the Lord is described as our “place of refuge,” our “shelter,” and our “hiding place.” Psalm 91:1 says, “Those who live in the shelter of the Most High will find rest in the shadow of the Almighty.”

When the battle becomes too much, when all our strength is spent, when fear rules and our courage wanes-what grace to know we have a fortress to run to. A safe place where we can rest.

For our God is not a commander who lets His troops struggle alone on the battlefield. Instead, He bears arms and comes right alongside us. May we never forget that Jesus walked the very same sod we walk today. That His blood is poured out for us so that we might have the victory.

Knowing that our God goes with us, no matter how bleak or terrifying the battlefield, we can march forward without fear.

So pick up your armor, child of God. Draw your sword. Rest in your shelter. Then go forth, and win.

 I Hear Ya: What battles has God helped you win lately or in the past?

P.S. There will be no blog post on this coming Monday, February 2o, as I will just be getting in from out of town. I will most likely resume blogging the following Monday, February 27.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Read Full Post »

The results are in! I put the names in a hat, and had my dad randomly select the winner. And the winner of Grace Fox’s book Moving from Fear to Freedom is…

Nichole Parks! 

Congratulations, Nichole! You’ll be receiving your free copy soon.

Thank you to all who entered, and make sure to visit again for more giveaways in the future!

Read Full Post »