Carol

Who Do You Stand With?

797D8378-A26A-4E6B-A017-7CC2F630D42BOne spring day last year, as I was coming out of Dollar General Store, I noticed a colorful umbrella sitting on the side walk. I’m not sure how it got there, but in a matter of minutes my thoughts turned to God! I remember hearing encouraging words before, about the blessings of staying under the covering of our Heavenly Father. What happens if you get caught in the middle of storm unexpectedly? Yes, you will get very wet, unless you find some sort of shelter. The umbrella, at that moment, is our covering.

 

Did you know that God can be your covering?

A few months later, I had the opportunity to attend a women’s church breakfast. This time, that abandoned umbrella on the sidewalk, had grown to a deeper meaning. As I stood up to worship, my eyes noticed one of the colorful banners on the wall. The banner proclaimed Jehovah Shammah. I had never heard of this name of God before. So I decided I would look it up when I returned home. One of the songs we sang, was entitled, His Banner over me is Love. Jehovah Nissi is found in the Book of Exodus. It means, “The Lord is my Banner”. Jehovah Shammah means, “The Lord is There.” It is mentioned in the Book of Ezekiel .

The Lord had already showed me two symbols that were relational to that abandoned umbrella.

Before I even decided to write this blog, He gave me one more reminder. My husband and I attended a peach festival in the summer. While crossing the street, I saw two people standing on the other side. The woman held a huge black golf umbrella over her, and she had a teenage boy next to her. They were standing next to a wooden standup sign, which I couldn’t read. I walked over and started to talk to them. I was surprised to learn that they were Jehovah witnesses. I had never seen Jehovah witnesses just standing around. They usually come up to an individual and start engaging in a conversation.

This time I was doing the engaging. The well dressed woman and I talked for awhile. She even pointed out certain scriptures and asked my thoughts on them. I believe, in the end ,she was surprised at my responses. The Holy Spirit guided me greatly and gave me boldness.

After this encounter, I decided to write this blog.

What is a banner? A banner can be a flag or a slogan, that represents a company, a cause, political party or an organization’s beliefs. It is usually supported by a team effort.

In the Book of Exodus in the 17th Chapter, Moses and the Isralites were on their way to the Promised Land, and they were unexpectedly thrown into a battle with Amalekites.

Mel Gibson, in the Patriot, didn’t want to go to war, but his son was killed by Brititsh Soldiers. People try to avoid conflict and only desire peace, but sometimes conflict will come to your door! D.Z. Cofield, Good Hope Missionary, Texas.

Moses, took immediate action and commanded Joshua to select men to fight against the Amalekites. He told Joshua, that tomorrow he would stand at the top of the hill, holding the staff of God in his hand. Only days, before, Moses had struck a rock with the staff and miraculously water gushed out of it! Moses knew that God’s power was demonstrated by the staff. He knew how important it was to the outcome of the battle.

The next day Moses went up the hill with Aaron and Hur. He held up the staff high in his hand so all the Israelites could see it! As long as the staff was held up, the Israelites were winning, but when Moses lowered the staff the Amalekites had the advantage. Eventually, Moses became very tired, so Aaron and Hur positioned him on a rock and helped hold up his hands. Moses and the two men were there till sunset. The Israelites were victorious and defeated the Amalekite army.

After the victory, the Lord instructed Moses, “Write this down on a scroll as a permanent reminder, and read it aloud to Joshua: I will erase the memory of Amalek from under heaven.” 15 Moses built an altar there and named it Yahweh-Nissi (which means “the Lord is my banner”). 16 He said, “They have raised their fist against the Lord’s throne, so now[c] the Lord will be at war with Amalek generation after generation.”

The Banner of the Lord represents God’s authority and power, His ability, and His work. Dr.  Mark Estep, Spring Baptist Church 

 

How can we proclaim our Lord as our Banner?

I’m sure many of us even myself are so shocked about this worldwide pandemic. But even in the midst of this, I still remain faithful to my Heavenly Father. He saw this coming, just like he saw the Amalekites coming to attack the Israelites. Instead of getting so wrapped up and consumed with all the hype, death toll, number of cases, politics, media, and upsetting news; we should set our eyes on our Lord. Jesus tells us to be in this world, but not of this world. We can still have awareness of real facts, but we also must seek the Holy Spirit for discernment.  We mustn’t fill our thoughts with what if’s and fear. 

Did Moses run away and retreat? NO! He developed a plan. He didn’t panic and shrink back. He appointed Joshua to fight, and he and his two leaders went up on the mountain and interceded for Joshua and the men fighting in the valley.  It was a group effort, teamwork. They saw God rescue them before, so Moses put his complete faith and allegiance to I Am.

How do we fight?

We fight by staying in the Word. We fight by lifting our hands in praise and worship. We intercede by going into our prayer closets. We make our God the source for every need we have. We go to God with all our questions. We go to Him for his guidance and for his strength. We know He is with us and we know He wants us to keep our faith strong until He returns for his Bride the Church. We have the victory in our Saviour Jesus Christ.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Update

Hello Friends,

I just wanted to share that ever since my accident in October of last year, our family has been in a rough storm.

  • On October 24th I suffered from a concussion.
  • On January 5, 2020, my daughter was in a car accident with her friends in Canada. We later found out her car was totaled!
  • In mid January my husband was admitted into the hospital for an infected hand.
  • Yesterday my husband went to the ER because his finger on his right hand got dark red and swollen. He is resting home on antibiotics.
  • I’m not working outside of the home. I haven’t made any money on any of my side businesses either. Needless to say money is very scarce right now.

It is times like these, that people can lose their hope. But we must be strong and cling to the cross. Jesus is our anchor and our rock.

We have this hope as an anchor for the soul, firm and secure.
It enters the inner sanctuary behind the curtain, (Hebrews 6 :19)

In the Eye of the Storm

I received this small picture frame at a women’s conference . I wrote on this rock after the simulcast with Charlotte Gambill.

This is the final post in our blog series entitled “In the Eye of the Storm”. If you remember from our previous posts, I wrote about the two types of personalities that were aboard the ship in the storm with the Apostle Paul.

Today we will be discussing about the “no hoper”.

The crew, captain, and Apostle Paul were surrounded by darkness, Acts 27:20.

Have you ever been in a situation where everything around you was falling apart? Did you go to a dark place inside of yourself? How did you feel? Did you feel trapped and all alone? Did you think the situation was hopeless?

After they had gone a long time without food, Paul stood up before them and said: “Men, you should have taken my advice not to sail from Crete; then you would have spared yourselves this damage and loss. 22 But now I urge you to keep up your courage, because not one of you will be lost; only the ship will be destroyed. (Acts 27:21-22)

Charlotte pointed out to us that, some of our eyes maybe looking at the “damaged” ship. What is your “damaged” ship?

Get your eyes off the Storm and onto your Savior! Charlotte Gambill

“Do not be afraid said Paul (Acts 27:24)

I like to stop and reflect on the definition of the eye of the storm. The eye is a region of mostly calm weather at the center of strong tropical cyclones. The eye of a storm is a roughly circular area, typically 30–65 kilometres (19–40 mi) in diameter. It is surrounded by the eyewall, a ring of towering thunderstorms where the most severe weather and highest winds occur. In my opinion, it actually looks like the pupil of an eye. I found this information on the Wikipedia website.

Charlotte pointed out that the eye of the storm is past the noise and chaos.

I Am

is your Peace when your are anxious

is your Father when you are alone.

is your Healer when you are facing illness.

Charlotte pointed out that storms “starve” us. Some of us are so into our storms, that we stop reading our Bible, we don’t want to talk to our Christian friends or even celebrate with them in church.

Paul instructed the men to eat. (Acts27:34) He took some bread, and thanked God in front of all the men. The next day the men tried to save their ship, but couldn’t. The soldiers had wanted to kill the prisoners, but the Centurion wanted to spare Paul’s life! (Acts 27:35-43).

Here are some following thoughts from Charlotte Gambill.

Life is full of storms!

  • Be spiritually in tuned because God may warn you.
  • You have to learn to navigate them.
  • Learn how to speak to your storm
  • You have a voice in the storm
  • The enemy is trying to rob your voice while you are in the storm.

Do not let the winds and waves lie to you. Charlotte Gambill.

 

 

In the Eye of the Storm

Hello Friends,

We are continuing our blog post series entitled “In the Eye of the Storm”. If you remember from our previous post, Charlotte had mentioned the three types of personalities that were aboard the ship in the storm with the Apostle Paul. The three personalities were the roper, thrower, and no hoper.

Today we will be discussing about the the “thrower“.

In Acts 27:18-20, in order to prevent the ship from sinking, the crew threw the cargo overboard. The next day they threw the ship’s equipment away and any other things they could think of, that wasn’t necessary for their survival.

“We can disregard things in the panic!” Charlotte Gambill

She points out that the enemy will try to give us suggestions of things or people to throw away during our moment of weakness.

  • Relationships
  • Commitments
  • Confidence
  • Faith

As I was pondering and reflecting on these particular scripture verses, I was led to the Book of Exodus. Before Moses went up to the mountain where God resided, the people exclaimed, “We will do everything the Lord has told us to do.”

Moses stayed on the mountain forty days and forty nights.

Moses was getting ready to bring down the Ten Commandments, and God commanded him to quickly go down the mountain because the Israelites were worshiping an idol. The people had lost faith in Moses and in God. They didn’t know what happened to Moses. They panicked and were in fear.

And Arron took the gold, melted it down, and molded and tooled it into the shape of a calf.

The people threw away not a “thing”, but their faith (belief, obedience, and trust) in God!

Have you ever been in a situation that troubled you so much, that you didn’t turned to God and pray? Do you react or respond to difficulties in your life? If you react, you may not be listening to your Spirit. When you respond, you think things out rationally and in a calm manner.

Offense is the tool the enemy will use often to cause chaos, hate, indifference, and division between people. Has a church member or employee ever offended you? Has your spouse or sibling ever offended you?

Do you agree, that your faith might have been shaken? Did you ever make a foolish decision or decisions in the mist of your worry and panic or grief?

Prayer

Father God help us to have humble hearts and always seek you first when trouble storms come in our lives. Give us your strength to carry on. Give us ears to hear, discernment to understand, and wisdom to know and apply your will. May we walk in the Light and not listen to the lies of Satan or fall into any of his devious traps. In Jesus name Amen.

In the Eye of the Storm

 

 

 

Storms can be very unpredictable.

Thunderstorms can be quick and the clouds will pass by and move on to another location. Other storms like a hurricane that is accompanied with high winds and heavy rain can last for days. Weather conditions can change rapidly and sometimes shore residents have a little time to prepare or evacuate.

In March of this year, I attended a powerful woman’s conference sponsored by my local Assembly of God Church entitled “Uncommon”. This simulcast was led by Debbie Morris of Pink Impact. Debbie is the leader of Pink Impact, as well as she is the executive pastor of women at Gateway Church.

Charlotte Gambill, The lead pastor of Life Church in the United Kingdom, presented an in-depth mini sermon about the storms in our lives. She referenced The Book of Acts chapter 27.

 ” Life is full of storms and we need to learn how to navigate them.”  Charlotte Gambill

She points out that in the beginning of Acts 27, many things began to unfold and various attitudes and behaviors were demonstrated.

The Apostle Paul and other prisoners were now in route to Rome, Italy on a second ship. Unfortunately, because of the rough winds they had lost a great deal of time. The weather was becoming dangerous for long voyages, because it was now late in the fall. The Apostle Paul warned the officer in charge that they would soon encounter trouble ; they would be shipwreck, lose cargo and endanger peoples lives. (Acts 27:10) The officer did not heed Paul’s warning, he listen to the ship’s captain and owner.

  The captain ordered the crew to set sail; the weather changed abruptly and a wind of a typhoon strength ( a Northeaster) caught the ship and blew it out to sea. (Acts 27:14)

Several times in the Bible God would send the prophets, and even today he sends messengers to warn us of eminent danger. That is why is it so important to be led by our spirit which brings wisdom, and not by our flesh which can cause us to think foolishly.

What about your own life?

Did God warn you not to do something?

Did he warn you not to go to a certain place?

Did he warn you not to associate with a certain person or group?

Charlotte, points out the three types of personalities that are demonstrated during the storm. The first personality is the “roper”, the second is the “thrower”, and the final personality is the “no hoper”.

Today I like to just discuss about the “roper” or control freak.

The sailors placed ropes under the ship to strengthen it. (Acts 27:17)

Charlotte pointed out that the roper doesn’t pray and doesn’t have faith. The roper simply delegates and has many rope burns. Women can rope their marriage, rope their child or children and even rope their relationship with God.

Genesis 15 & 16: God’s Promise to Abram & Sarai’s Doubt

God had promised Abram a son, but after a period of two years, Sarai became impatient. Sarai, was a “roper”; she took matters into her own hands, and told Abraham to lye with her maid servant, Hagar.

Hagar had a son and she named him Ishmael. Then fourteen years later Sarah had a son, Isaac, and God’s promise was fulfilled.

I’m sure many of us at one time or another, have been a “roper”. We try to control a person or a situation. How does this make us feel? Do we “really” feel in control and have a sense of accomplishment?

                                      Or

Do we become frustrated, weary, and have many “rope burns”?

Charlotte encourages us to trade our “rope” for trust. She further tells us that we can experience peace from Jesus.

This concludes our first segment of our message “In the Eye of the Storm”

Blessings,

Carol

 

No comments to show.

Drawing Close to my Lord.

I trust the Lord to lead the way.

I seek his guidance every day.

I feel safe when he draws near to me.

My soul’s alive, my spirit runs free.

Long to see his radiant face.

Spending time in the secret place.

Learning to trust and give him control.

It’s where I can share and bear my soul.

@Carol Strang 06/14/16

Our Weakness and Limitations

Hello Friends,

I apologize I couldn’t post this blog sooner. I’m thankful, though, I was able to post this blog in the month of May.

I wanted to share an event that happened to me in March of this year. I was sitting in my car and I noticed a pretty little red lady bug was resting on my steering wheel.

The lady bug only stayed there for a minute; she opened her tiny wings and began to fly. I watched her intently as she flew around to different areas of my car interior. I thought to myself…

It didn’t matter how hard the lady bug flapped it’s wings, it was still trapped! It was still limited where it could go.

Have you yourself ever been in a situation where you felt inadequate limited or trapped? I’m sure many of us have felt this way at least once in our lives. Some of us might have felt that we weren’t smart enough, talented enough, or strong enough to handle a certain task or project. I hear negative remarks like this from some of the students I work with in our elementary school. I even have heard this phrase many times, ” I can’t do this!” “This is too hard.” “I’m not smart.”

Where you ever in a serious situation that you didn’t see any way out?

It saddens me when children criticize themselves this way. We as adults should encourage our children. And yet, haven’t we, also had these very same thoughts. We might not have said them out aloud, but we still marinated in them.

Did you know that some of the men in the Bible also expressed their thought of inadequacy. Some women felt trapped and thought there lives were over!

In the Book of Exodus, Chapter 4, God commanded Moses to free the Israelite slaves from the Egyptians. Before Moses accept his assignment, he asked God many questions. Moses wasn’t comfortable and in fact he was operating in a spirit of fear and doubt.

Finally, after God answered all of his questions and addressed his concerns, Moses still wasn’t ready. “Pardon your servant, Lord. I have never been eloquent, neither in the past nor since you have spoken to your servant. I am slow of speech and tongue.”

God replied, “Who gave human beings their mouths? Now go; I will help you speak and will teach you what to say.”

Moses replied, “Pardon your servant, Lord. Please send someone else.”

God saw that Moses was still apprehensive, so he suggested that Aaron his brother could be his mouthpiece. Moses and Aaron began their journey en route to Egypt.

In the book of Judges, Chapter 6, the angel of the Lord appeared to Gideon, “The Lord is with you, mighty warrior.”

The Lord instructed him to fight the Midianites. ” Go in the strength you have and save Israel out of the Midian’s hand. Am I not sending you?’

“Pardon me, my lord,”…but how can I save Israel? My clan is the weakest in Manasseh, and I am the least in my family.”

“I will be with you, and you will strike down all the Midianites, leaving none alive.” Gideon didn’t see himself as a “mighty warrior.”

In the Book of Kings, Chapter 4, there was a widow who was in a great deal of debt. She was so broke that one of his creditors had told her that he will have to take her two sons away and make them slaves. The prophet Elisha replied, “How can I help you? Tell me, what do you have in your house?”

The widow replied, “Your servant has “nothing” there at all, except a small jar of olive oil.”

Elisha said, “Go around and ask all your neighbors for empty jars. Pour oil into all the jars, and as each is filled, put it to one side.”

The widow followed Elisha’s instructions exactly. She filled every jar, and then the oil stopped flowing. The widow left her home and told the prophet that she filled all the jars.

“Go, sell the oil and pay your debts. You and your sons can live on what is left.”

In Mark 6 , after Jesus learned that John the Baptist was killed, he withdrew by boat to a quiet place. The crowds followed him by foot. Jesus finally came up the shore and ministered to the people. It was getting dusk, and the disciples suggested to Jesus to, “Send people away so that they can go to the surrounding countryside and villages and buy themselves something to eat.”

Jesus replied, “You give them something to eat.” The disciples could not figure out how they could feed so many people. They told Jesus they would have to spend, “more than half a year’s wages”.

“How many loaves do you have?”

The disciples told Jesus they had only five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus looked up to heaven and gave thanks and broke the loaves. The disciples distributed the food to the people. They all ate and were satisfied. There were twelve baskets left over.

These are just a few of the stories in the Bible where people felt inadequate, limited, or trapped. God told Moses and Gideon he would go with them. Elisha was a prophet that heard from God and he knew God was able to multiply the amount of oil. The disciples were with Jesus when he blessed the bread and fish.

In conclusion, yes we are human, and imperfect. However, remember God is always with us. We can accomplish great things or be delivered from impossible situations by his sovereign hand. Never lose hope, always trusts, always believe. Greater is he who is in us, then he who is in the world. (1 John 4:4)

God bless.