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The Greater Miracle

If it be so, our God whom we serve is able to deliver us from the burning fiery furnace, and he will deliver us out of thine hand, O king. But if not, be it known unto thee, O king, that we will not serve thy gods, nor worship the golden image which thou hast set up. (Daniel 3:17-18)

A Child’s Prayer

I appreciate all the prayers going up to the Father on my behalf. So many family members, friends, and people I’ve never met continuously ask God to spare me from the torment this disease can cause and to heal me immediately. I pray for His mercy as well.

Recently while making my request for deliverance, I heard these words in my mind, “I’m working on a greater miracle.” I thought a lot about those words since then. In our realm, what could be greater than a complete healing? I have no clue. That’s how I know it was God’s voice and not my own desires. Plus, the account of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego has not left my mind.

In case you don’t remember the events that surrounded their circumstances, read Daniel 3.

God preformed the greater miracle for them.

The fire, though it consumed the guards who throw the prisoners into the furnace, had no effect on them. Nebuchadnezzar saw them walking down there with another man who was like the son of gods to the king. He then told Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego to come out. They didn’t even smell like smoke.

Now, that’s a great miracle! Far more of an impact than merely delivering them from going into the fire in the first place. But that’s not the greatest miracle God performed that day.

The greatest miracle God performed that day is found in verses 28-30. Nebuchadnezzar  immediately makes another decree declaring the God of Shadrach, Meshach, and Abednego the God who saves like no other god can and anyone who speaks offensively against this God will be put to death. Then the king makes a profession of faith in Daniel chapter 4 verses 1-3.

Conclusion:

God didn’t permit the Hebrew men to be thrown into the fire to strengthen their faith. Their faith had already matured to the point of dying for their beliefs in their eternal Father. God’s purpose for all humanity is to bring praise, honor, and glory to Him. His purpose in this event was to draw praise, honor, and glory to Him from Nebuchadnezzar and from all the people in his earthly kingdom.

I rest in the assurance that my suffering will likewise fulfill God’s purpose for me by strengthening my faith and drawing out more praise, honor, and glory from me. But not only me, through my testimony, many others will see His mighty works in me and also bring Him praise, honor, and glory. He never works in one of us for our own benefit. He is concerned with everyone around us and will use whatever it takes to bring them to a realization of who He is and His plan and purpose for their lives.

Be of great courage when faced with trials, infirmities, and disasters. God is at work in your life to perform a greater miracle than you can imagine.

How about you? How is God using your current situation to bring praise, honor, and glory to Himself?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

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Wigs and Miracles

The Lord is not slow concerning His promise, as some count slowness, but is long-suffering toward us, not purposing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. (2 Peter 3:9)

Wigs don’t feel comfortable in hot weather. They make you sweat. So I haven’t worn mine since the onset of summer heat and humidity.

However the past few days, low humidity and tempts drew my attention back to fake hair. I’ve grown so accustomed to wearing hats, having a full-head of hair looks almost as peculiar to me as being bald did in the being of my treatments. But my mother used to say, after not feeling well for a few days, how doing her hair rejuvenated her. So I thought wearing my wig would give me the same sort of pick me up. And it did.

Nevertheless on Sunday, I hesitated to wear it to church. You see, there’s a sweet, six-year old, with luxurious thick, curly hair, who has told me several times she’s praying for me to have hair—so I can be like everyone else she added one time. I appreciate her innocence as well as her prayers. I didn’t want her to think God had performed a miracle and made my hair grow thick and quick. Children at that age are very observant and take everything exactly as they see it. Knowing this, I don’t want little Sadie to be devastated or bewildered the next time it’s too hot for a wig on Sunday, and I show up sporting a hat to cover my baldness. I want her to continue praying and believing God can make my hair grow again. I want her to see the true miracle He performs when it does.

I’m trusting God that sometime between October and January I’ll see signs of that miracle in progress. In the meantime, I’ll wear my wig with thanksgiving in my heart for the Lord’s provision.

My wig now serves as a reminder of how we often grow impatient with God when it comes to waiting on His promises. We want instant gratification. It’s our society’s new norm. Everything happens in the blink of an eye these days. So we try to apply the same timeline to the Lord. He does not comply to our standards or our timetables. He works out His promises according to His ideal for our situation. He’s never reluctant, slow, or late. But that’s not fast enough for us. We attempt to rush, even force the promise into existence. The outcome usually is as effective as putting a wig on a bald head—close but not the real thing.

Instead, let’s remember God is not slow in fulfilling His promises to us as we consider slowness. He has a purpose in His timing which cannot be altered. Our time will be better spent in praising Him for the promise as though it has already been completed.

How about you? What promises are you waiting for God to fulfill in your life?

See you in a twinkling,
Brenda K. Hendricks

Make My Path Straight, Lord

Proverbs 3:6  In all your ways submit to him, and he will make your paths straight.

fall-path-with-deer-4-webThis past year, my path seemed anything but straight. It’s had more twists, bumps, and tummy-turning drops than the nation’s biggest rollercoaster and haunted house combined. We no sooner got beyond one incident that another one blasted us in the face.

I began to analyze Proverbs 3:6. If I submit all my ways to God, He will make my path straight. Hadn’t I done that? I thought I had, at least to the best of my ability. I asked the Father to reveal to me what I had missed. I learned that Jesus is the Way. In Him there is no darkness. And He never promised we’d go through life struggle-free. In fact, He said, “In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).

“But what about the straight path?” I asked.

Again, my heart heard His words, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me” (John 14:6).

I realized the path God has promised to make straight is the spiritual path we travel when we accept Jesus as our Savior and not the physical or emotional journey we travel in this world.

But how do we enter and remain on that spiritual path no matter what this life hands us?

I wrote on acronym using the word PATH to help us remember. For the next four weeks, I’ll share one of the letters on this blog.

P is for Praise 

God, not only for what He does, but for Who He is.

A good method of praising God is alphabetically name God’s characteristics. I’ve made a list to get you started. But by all means, add to it.

A – Almighty God, Author and Finisher of my Faith; B – Buckler, Banner; C – Christ, Crucified; D – Deliverer; E – Everlasting Father, Eternal; F – Faithful, Forgiving; G – Gracious, Glorious; H – Hope, High-Priest; I – Immanuel, Infinite; J – Justification, Judge; K – King of kings; L – Lord of lords, Lamb; M – Majesty, Marvelous in all His ways; N – Nobel; O – Omniscient, Omnipresent, Omnipotent; P – Prince of Peace, Propitiation; Q – Quick to Forgive, Quote worthy; R – Redeemer, Resurrection; S – Savoir, Sovereign; T – Trustworthy, Truth; U – Unique Son of God; V – Valiant; W – The Way, Wonderful; X – Excellent (okay, I cheated a little there. If you have an X word, please share it with the rest of us.) Y – Yahweh; Z – Zealous

How about you? How do you Praise the Lord?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

Horse Sense

Horse 4 webThis past Saturday, I had the opportunity to introduce my seven-year-old grandactive Sydney to the world of horses. She approached the mighty beast with caution and bravely petted his neck. It took a little talking on my part, but finally, Sydney stretched her wary hand out to touch his velvety nose. The horse chose that moment to nicker, frightening Sydney a bit. A little later, I convinced her to ride a pony. She climbed into the saddle with the help of a handler. Poor Sydney looked petrified. A few trots down the path, my little girl’s eyes sparkled. A small smile transformed her expression into a look of approval.

When the ride ended, she hopped down pleased with the experience. I suggested she try one of the horses. She declined. So we moved on to participate in some other activities.

About an hour later, she said, “Can I ride the brown horse now?”

“Of course.” I led her back to the area, surprised at her decision. The brown horse was the biggest one.

When she finished her ride on the brown horse, Sydney grinned so broad I thought her cheeks would explode. Then she wanted to ride the other horse. On the way home, she said riding horses was the most amazing thing she’d ever done.

It didn’t take much to convince Sydney horses are one of the most majestic, beautiful, trustworthy animals God has ever created. I think God agrees too. Did you know horses are mentioned about 170 times in the Bible? It says they are strong, valiant, and dependable in battle. It also says Jesus will return ready for battle on a white horse followed by His army of believers. Woo Hoo! We’ll have horses in His kingdom.

As I drew the above picture, I thought of all the admirable qualities of a horse. How beneficial would it be if we simulated some of their good traits? I made an acronym to help remember some of the well-trained horse’s attributes that would be good to develop ourselves.

H umble

O bedient

R eady

S ensitive

E nergetic

These positive horse traits don’t have to be explained. We all know we should be humble, obedient, ready, sensitive, and energetic. But I wanted biblical verification. What I found surprised me. Instead of Scripture that endorsed positive horse behavior, I found verses that said, “Do not put your trust in horses” (Psalm 20:7). “Do not be like the horse” (Psalms 32:9). “A horse is a vain hope” (Psalm 33:17).

Proverbs 21:31 states the reason the previous statements were made. “The horse is made ready for the day of battle, but victory rests with the Lord.”

No matter how strong, noble, or majestic a horse appears, only God controls the battle. Only God deserves our praise. And if we want to develop noteworthy character, we should emulate only God.

How about you? Whom do you trust and emulate?

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks

P. S. If you guested a horse for last week’s mystery picture, you were right.

 

Everyday Thanksgiving

Forgive me for neglecting my blog for the past month and a half. I was busy creating an Advent devotional with ADULT COLORING PICTURES. It will be available soon on Amazon. I’ll let you know when the date arrives. Here are a few sample pages.

Now back to my regularly scheduled blog.

Since I missed an entire month of blogs, I decided to do an acronym using the word Thanksgiving and post every day from now until Thanksgiving Day. Each day I’ll post something I’m thankful for that begins with the appropriate letter. It’d be fun to see what you’re thankful each day too, so let a comment.

Apple of God's Eye finished 4 WEBT is for trees. Without trees, birds, squirrels, and lots of other animals wouldn’t have homes. Come to think of it, many of us wouldn’t either. We wouldn’t have paper to write and draw on. That would make me very sad. We’d have to do without luscious fruits such as cherries, apples, peaches, and plums and all the wonderful desserts we make with them. I wouldn’t have me desk or firewood or frames for my paintings. My husband’s job (he makes cabinets) would look very different.

But mostly, I’m thankful for trees because Jesus hung on a cross made from a rough cut tree so that I could have eternal life.

Yes, I’m very thankful for trees.

And out of the ground made the Lord God to grow every tree that is pleasant to the sight, and good for food (Genesis 2:9).

How about you? What are you thankful for that begins with the letter T?

Be Thankful!

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 Prayer

Advent 2014

Day 19

“Watch and pray so that you will not fall into temptation. The spirit is willing, but the flesh is weak.” (Matthew 26:41)

The Gift of Prayer

The Gift of Prayer

I enjoy having my devotion time first thing in the morning. Yes, the day does seem to go better when started with time alone with the Lord. However, I also stand guilty—if I don’t take time first thing, I don’t find time later in the day. It just doesn’t happen. Too many other things, time-consuming things get in the way. I’d like to also mention that my mind is more alert after a good night’s sleep. But that’s not the case either. When I pray, I find my meditation drifts into slumber. I occasionally reread a Scripture passage five times before I get to the end of it. I often read aloud just to keep from dozing off. So, when I read the passage about the disciples falling asleep in the Garden of Gethsemane, I get it…BIG TIME!

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Tomorrow, we’ll ponder the Gift of Surrender. Prepare by reading and meditation on Matthew 26:47-55.

See you in a twinkling,

Brenda K. Hendricks