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Proactive: Partners with God

When he had thus spoken, he spat on the ground, and made clay of the spittle, and he anointed the eyes of the blind man with the clay,  And said unto him, Go, wash in the pool of Siloam, (which is by interpretation, Sent.) He went his way therefore, and washed, and came seeing. (John 9:6-7)

I apologize for my lack of contributing to this blog.

Since my last post, I’ve been diagnosed with breast cancer. The first diagnosis was difficult enough to hear. But then, it got worse. A pet scan showed the cancer had passed through my lymph nodes (our filtering system) into my blood stream. From there it invaded my lungs. The spots are small, which means it’s treatable and controllable.

I began chemo May 2.

Needless to say, a lot of emotions have been boiling up in our house. But God is faithful and is with me every step of the way.

When the doctor told me the biopsy tested positive for cancer in my lymph nodes, he said “it was a miracle they even found it. It never would’ve shown up on a routine mammogram.” Which I’ve had every year for the past fifteen years, by the way. My first thought was God has a plan.

He has surrounded me with a “cloud of witnesses” in every doctor’s office I’ve visited thus far, as He compels me forward through chemo treatments. Many believers ask why I’m going through medical treatments when God has the power to heal. Yes, I believe with all my heart that God could heal me immediately without an oncologist’s intervention. But which takes more faith to believe God can when He does? Or to still believe He can even when He doesn’t?

I’m not a super-saint by anyone’s standards. I’m simply trusting my Father to do what is best for me and what will bring Him the most glory. While I prayed about this, He showed me something quite amazing. During His earthly ministry, Jesus did not heal everyone who asked immediately. He told ten lepers to go and do whatever the law required. As they walked away in faith, they were healed (Luke 17:11-14). Similarly, Jesus made a mudpack, smeared it on a blind man’s eyes, and told him to go wash at the pool of Siloam. The man obeyed in faith and returned seeing (John 9:6-7).

Jesus wants us to be proactive in our healings and every other aspect of our lives. Yes, He can do all things. And He does them well. But He, more often than not, expects us to take an active part in His work within us. So I go to the center for my treatments. I try to follow the doctor’s advice. I even signed up for a Look Good, Feel Better class next month. But more than anything, I’m following Jesus’ instructions and trusting Him to heal my body, to strengthen my faith, and to hold me close when I’m overwhelmed with the process.

How about you? How are you actively participating in the Father’s work in your life?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

K is for Kingdom

So the people shouted when the priests blew with the trumpets: and it came to pass, when the people heard the sound of the trumpet, and the people shouted with a great shout, that the wall fell down flat, so that the people went up into the city, every man straight before him, and they took the city. (Joshua 6:20)

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When it came time for the Hebrews to enter the Promised Land, Moses had died, and God had chosen another man to lead His people into their inheritance. But before they could occupy the territory, they had to defeat the established kingdoms. Joshua believed and trusted God to do as He said He’d do and led the Hebrews into battle after battle, conquering the nations as God directed them.

None of the battles were won by the strength of Joshua’s army but by the strength of God’s hand. One of the most well-known battles is the battle of Jericho. God instructed Joshua to have the men, including with the priests, march around the city once a day for six days. On the seventh day, they were to march around the city seven times. On the seventh lap, the priests were told to blast their trumpets and the men were told to shout. They followed the instructions, and the walls of the city collapsed.

Battle after battle, God miraculously delivered the kingdoms of Canaan into the hands of the Hebrews as long as the followed His instructions.

We, like the Hebrews, have to follow God’s instructions if we want to enter His kingdom. And as He did for the Hebrews long ago, God will deliver us from the powers, principalities, and kingdoms of the air. Jesus came to assure and secure our victory.

You can read the story of the battle of Jericho in Joshua 6:20

How about you? What reminds you of Jesus that begins with the letter K?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Dead but Now Alive

But if Christ is in you, then even though your body is subject to death because of sin, the Spirit gives life because of righteousness. (Romans 8:10)

God's Not DeadA few years ago while Gene was at work, I discovered a small water snake cheerfully sunned himself on our driveway. I wasn’t about to give the creep-crawly the opportunity to take up residence in our garage or under our front deck, so I grabbed a garden hoe and chopped at it. It took several good blows before its head was severed from its body enough to suit me. However, the stupid creature would NOT stop wiggling. I knew it was dead, but the snake refused to acknowledge the fact and continued to squirm. I became so unnerved by the sight of it, I ran to the neighbor for help. He laughed, picked up the snake, and dropped it in the burn barrel. I was relieved to see it gone from my sight.

That wiggly, dead snake bears a strange resemblance to sin and our flesh.

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Next week:

We’ll talk about sonship. Please reread Romans 8:9-17 in preparation.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Sheep on the Battlefield

For “you were like sheep going astray,” but now you have returned to the Shepherd and Overseer of your souls. (1 Peter 2:25)

Sheep on the BattlefieldWhen my husband served in the U. S. Army Reserves, he often came home disgruntled. Many men and women who signed on the dotted line for the pay didn’t want to do the work. Imagine that. They thought their weekend maneuvers and summer camps were meant for relaxation and partying for which they’d get a monthly check.

Some of the women stuffed their duffle bags with mirrors, makeup, hair dryers, and curling irons to spend two weeks in the field (as in simulated combat conditions). Where’d they think they’d plug their electrical appliances in? Trees and rocks don’t come with electrical outlets.

The men showed up wearing leather jackets sporting their gangs’ logos, do-rags, and earrings. They had to be told to change or leave.

These people didn’t take their training seriously. They had no real commitment to their duty as soldiers in the U. S. Army. Because of their self-centeredness, they were vulnerable and would’ve jeopardized the lives of everyone in their unit had they been placed in a combat situation. They were like sheep on the battlefield.

We, Christians, are also like sheep on the battlefield.

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Next week:

We’ll look at repentance. Prepare by studying Luke 7-9.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Generational Curses—Stop the Slavery

And when Peter was come to himself, he said, Now I know of a surety, that the Lord hath sent his angel, and hath delivered me out of the hand of Herod, and from all the expectation of the people of the Jews. And when he had considered the thing, he came to the house of Mary the mother of John, whose surname was Mark; where many were gathered together praying. (Acts 12:11-12)

Anger Paints an Ugly Portrait colorGenerational curses come in many forms from drug and food addictions to anger induced rage. Not every obese person, tyrant, or pedophile can claim their conduct stems from a generational curse. We all have a sin nature and basically choose the path we travel. But some of our characteristics are passed down from generation to generation as the Bible says, “The LORD is longsuffering, and of great mercy, forgiving iniquity and transgression, and by no means clearing the guilty, visiting the iniquity of the fathers upon the children unto the third and fourth generation” (Numbers 14:18). We learn and repeat the behavior patterns of those around us—good and bad. But generational curses go deeper into the soul than learned behavior.

How to recognize a generational curse:

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Next Week:

We’ll discuss Being Set Free through Recognizing Our Needs. Prepare by studying Luke 18:35-43.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Not My Army; Not My Battle

“Do not be afraid or discouraged because of this vast army. For the battle is not yours, but God’s. You will not have to fight this battle. Take up your positions; stand firm and see the deliverance the Lord will give you …” (2 Chronicles 20:15-17)

Disclaimer: If you feel uncomfortable or singled out while reading this post, know it’s the Holy Spirit’s voice not mine. That’s His job. I’m simply obeying the call to write about my recent experience with spiritual warfare.

Unwanted VoicesThe enemy seems to hit me from behind…as in the past. Throughout my life, I’ve been left out of a lot of activities with people I care about. Every time it happens, questions arise that threaten my self-worth, my usefulness, and even my salvation. I know these matters don’t depend on what anyone thinks of me. The Lords says I’m worthwhile. I’m useful as long as I’m obedient to Him. And Jesus paid the ransom for my salvation. Nothing can change those things.

Yet rejection by people we want desperately to accept us can give the devil a foothold into our souls.

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Next week, we’ll take a look at Jesus’ example of handling spiritual warfare. Prepare by studying Luke 4:1-13.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

The Gift of Victory

[youtube http://youtu.be/ZhT2j_1gJho]

 

 For everyone born of God overcomes the world. This is the victory that has overcome the world, even our faith. Who is it that overcomes the world? Only the one who believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (1 John 5:4-5 NIV)

The hope of victory over the curse of sin began centuries before King David sat on the throne. God had made a promise to Adam and Eve that a son would be born who would take away that curse, which sentenced them and everyone after them to hard labor. Decades later, Lamech, at the age of 182, prove his faith in the promise when he named his son Noah and said, “He will comfort us in the labor and painful toil of our hands caused by the ground the Lord has cursed” (Genesis 5:28-29 NIV). This took place generations before God called out a nation unto Himself from Abraham’s seed.

Through the ages, the Hebrews failed, were enslaved, and freed many times; but they held onto the hope of Israel—a messiah would come to save them and to rule the nations.

Jesus was that Man. However, God’s plan of victory differed from that of the Jews.

  • They thought He came to overthrow Caesar, but He came to defeat the prince of the air.
  • They thought He’d ride a white warhorse, instead He rode a donkey of peace.
  • They thought He’d organize a mighty army, but He surrendered without a fight.
  • They thought He’d reign on earth, but His kingdom is in heaven.
  • They thought He died for a lost cause, instead He died for lost sinners.
  • They thought death won, but Jesus conquered death and lives today.

We are now on the other side of the cross looking back in awe with gratitude and looking forward to His second coming. Then He will return on that white warhorse as the conquering King the Jews anticipated. His army of saints will follow Him to war and celebrate the victory over the fall of the enemy—Satan.

How about you? Are you enjoying the victory that overcomes the world through faith in Jesus Christ?

Next time, we’ll review The Gift via another time-lapse art video that brings the whole subject together. Prepare by studying Romans 6:19-23.

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks