“Father, glorify Thy name.” There came therefore a voice out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again” John 12:28

I sat dumfounded. Reading through the gospel writer’s accounts of Jesus’ triumphal entry into Jerusalem I found this gem. The Bible does this to me. Because I have always described it as a multifaceted diamond why was I surprised to learn something new?  

Previous verses state that Jesus had entered His beloved city Jerusalem. He wept over her like a mother over her wayward children. He longed to gather her under His wings and protect her but He knew that was not to be. As everyone followed, the Pharisees concluded that they were off the hook. You see a multitude had been following Jesus. The Pharisees thought that the people had gone after Him. Little did they know these very followers had been with Him when He called Lazarus out of the tomb. They had seen that phenominal act of the living God with their own eyes! They were not following Jesus to stone Him, they were following to praise Him. 

  
(Photo courtesy of my friend Don in Jerusalem today)

It seems certain Greeks came to Philip and asked to speak to Jesus. Philip went to Andrew and the two of them approached Jesus. Jesus spoke to them of His hour. He told them His hour was at hand and let them know that it was for this purpose He came. For this very hour. Jesus then said “Father, glorify Thy name.” Now remember He is standing with a multitude of folks who have been saying “Hosana”, praising Him and spreading their coats on the ground. He was surrounded. This is where I get goosebumps. In verse 28 right after Jesus says “glorify Thy name”, the Bible says “There came therefore a voice out of heaven: “I have both glorified it, and will glorify it again.””

I stopped reading, closed my eyes, took a deep breath and marveled to God that I had read this account many times and never stumbled on that verse! Well, if I’d read it before surely I had seen verse 28. Verse 29 goes on to say that the multitude heard it! Some thought it was thunder. Some thought it was an angel speaking. It was obviously very loud and completely different than anything they were used to. When I did some research I discovered that it was the same voice heard at Jesus’ baptism and by Peter, James and John on the Mt. Of Transfiguration. God spoke! Verse 30 tells us that Jesus told them that that voice had not come for His sake but for their sake. He said that judgment would be on the world and the enemy cast out. 

  
So many times Jesus told them. So many times God Himself spoke. So many signs, miracles and wonders were performed yet they did not believe. Miracles were flying all around them. This was the time of the Visitation! More miracles and wonders were yet to be performed, yet they did not believe. Jesus is still doing signs, miracles and wonders today and yet, according to a recent survey, fewer people believe in God than ever before. This grieves my heart. Continuously I stand in fervent prayer for my generations. 

I am still in awe that I am able to read the very Word of the Living God and understand it. The God Who spoke the universe in to being allows me to absorb His teachings and then delights me by showing me something completely new! My prayer for you   today precious one is that you will hunger and thirst for God and His word. In this word you will find water for your parched soul and food for your hungry spirit. Come, be refreshed. Sit by His side and learn from Him. Let Jesus Himself bring you that peace that only He can give. As we remember today His words “Father, glorify Thy name” may we pause and give thanks for everything Jesus did for us on that cross. 

  
#whenyouwalkwiththewise

Psalm 91

By now if you have been reading my blog you know about Project Penny. Psalm 91 has always been a favorite of mine. Psalm 91:1 says, “He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will abide in the shadow of the Almighty.” (NASB). I always considered Psalm 91:1 my spiritual 9-1-1. When we have an emergency we call 9-1-1. When I have a spiritual emergency I turn in my Bible to Psalm 91.

Psalm 91 is rich. It goes on to say in verses 5-10 what we will not be afraid of as we dwell with Him and seek refuge under His wings. Verses 11-16 tells us about angels and how they take charge over us. It also tells us how God will care for us and rescue us. When I am sad and have “the blues”, as my grandmother would say, I head for Psalm 91.

One day a few weeks ago I was feeling particularly down. Hey, who doesn’t some days? Opening my Bible I flipped the pages to Psalm 91 and what greeted me? A shiny penny! I could not believe my eyes. It was sitting nestled in the crease just waiting to be discovered. How did it get in there? Pouring my heart out to God I cried as I held the penny and was once again reminded to trust God especially on those days I felt like road kill.


I feel like that again today and once again I find myself at my spiritual 9-1-1. Thank you God for making a way for us to know You love us and carry us. You take care of us, shelter us, lift us up and You will answer us when we call. There is comfort in that. I give Jesus my broken heart and He holds it in His capable hands. Verse 2 says “My God in whom I trust.” Amen and amen.

#whenyouwalkwiththewise

People often send me texts, photos, or posts on Facebook when they find a penny. They have heard of my Project Penny journal. Today I saw my friend Valerie and her sweet mom Madeline at CVS. We talked about trusting God for her new life venture that started today, March 15, 2016. 

It was exciting to see her Facebook post on my wall regarding finding not 1 but 5 pennies right after we talked! In God We Trust all over the place! #projectpenny #whenyouwalkwiththewise

  

My son and his wife are at Disneyland with their 5 year old Brody. At my request they left 2 year old Braxton with me so that Brody could have his special day. From early on I have instructed Brody about my Project Penny. Every time we find a penny we pick it up and share how we are trusting God for our life. My son just texted me and said “Brody found a penny on the way in to Disneyland. He picked it up and said it’s going to be a good day.” My heart is full! 

Until now you have asked for nothing in My name; ask, and you will receive that your joy may be made full.” John 16:24 (NASB)

Summer camp. What does that conjure up in your mind? Silly or scary teen movies perhaps? Camp food, s’mores and singing Kumbaya by the campfire, hiking, canoeing, team games and sunburned faces were all a part of my experience. No, I didn’t meet my twin like Haley Mills (or Lindsey Lohan) in The Parent Trap. Who I did meet and what He would do for me would change my life forever and ever. 

  
Each year our church youth group went to the Baptist camp at Big Bear in the San Bernardino mountains. It is about a 2 hour drive from my home in San Diego. Because it was so expensive, I was not able to attend most years. Even with babysitting (.50 per hour) and my birthday money, the funds just weren’t there. In 1968 our church got a new youth pastor who was all about fundraising. Well, he was speaking my language!  I had puposed in my mind and heart that I was going to camp that summer. Every year the kids would come back closer than ever and so full of Jesus’ Spirit that I wanted to experience it for myself. 

I saved every dime that year. Informing my youth pastor of my strong desire, he put me to work. Babysitting was my specialty but I also signed up to rake leaves, clean houses, wash windows, iron clothes (yes, I said iron), fold laundry and actually do any chores offered. The folks of First Baptist La Mesa were generous with payment and I made enough to go to camp and have camp store spending money. Pumped? Yes I was! My bags were packed way early. The morning we were to leave butterflies were running amuck in my stomach. A kind lady from the church picked me up and gave me a ride to the bus. Off we went. I was ready for fun, bible teaching and learning about Jesus in a different setting. Believe me, the experience did not disappoint.

  
The week was filled with morning group meetings, individual quiet times (new lingo for me but I learned), team games and just about everything I dreamed camp would be. Our cabin counselor was a college student and summer missionary. She taught us to consider our relationship with Christ and drew us to His word. It was the afternoon and evening teachings that changed me. One of the speakers that year was John MacArthur. He taught from John 16 and from Matthew 6. I learned to be anxious for nothing, to give thanks for everything, that God would provide, He loved me more than anything and that my Heavenly Father could be totally and completely trusted to provide always. I went home on a mountaintop joyful high!  

I got a ride home since my mom forgot to pick me up but, that did not burst my bubble. When I walked in the door she didn’t say hello or even that she missed me but she did say, “Terrie Lynn tomorrow our electricity will be turned off, our water too and make any phone calls because that will go next. Your dad has not paid child support in months and there is no money.” I hugged my mom and told her not to cry, that God would take care of us. I firmly believed He would do a miracle. I asked how much money we needed and she told me $90.00 (might as well have been a million). I dropped my gear, went in to my bedroom, got on my knees and poured my newly regenerated heart out to God. I told Him we needed $90.00. I went out and told my very skeptical mom that God would pay those bills! Later that night, my Grandpa Smith called to see how camp was. I told him what I had learned and that we needed $90.00 to pay bills, and I knew with all my heart God would provide. 

  
The next day my Grandpa paid all of those bills. He would never have known if he hadn’t called. My mom told me of his generous gift,  and I hugged her so big. I remember standing in the hallway by my bedroom with tears streaming down my face telling my mom that I KNEW God would provide. He said He would and He did! My faith in God was huge. She shrugged it off as was her way, but I saw her wipe away a tear. 

Grandpa had a ledger where he wrote down his expenses. He sold real estate and kept track of his newspaper ads. When he died in 2003, my sister and I helped clean out his house. She put a black trash bag full of papers and what I thought was trash in my trunk. After about a week, I opened the trunk and saw the bag. The ledger had made it’s way to the top with the corner sticking out from between the two yellow pull straps. I opened it and cried as I saw his meticulous record keeping in that unmistakably excellent penmanship. His death devastated me, so seeing this brought comfort to my broken heart. As I closed the ledger, I saw some writing on the inside cover “August 25, 1968 Gertie $84.36 paid SDG&E, water, telephone.” 

  
He had written his account of paying those bills. My eyes instantly burned from tears as God sent a bolt of lightening through my heart. “Never forget my faithfulness”, I heard Him whisper. He gently reminded me of His faithfulness all of those years ago. Oh my goodness! Precious ones, God is faithful and can be trusted to always provide. He covers us with His wings. My faith, once again, was built as I was reminded and the 17 year old in me cried for joy once again. #whenyouwalkwiththewise 

38 years ago today Steve Bearden asked me to be his wife. Best YES I ever yessed! 

“Therefore, confess your sins to one another, and pray for one another, so that you may be healed. The effective prayer of a righteous man can accomplish much.” James 5:16 (NASB)

This scripture has been rolling around in the gray matter of my brain all week. I have a friend on Facebook that posts some pretty awesome answers to prayer. Being a praying woman myself  I contacted her through Facebook messenger and asked her if she would consider praying for me to be healed of this nagging lower abdominal pain that has me up at night. Going from doctor to doctor with no cause found yet is discouraging. I have been praying for myself and asking everyone I know to pray until they are probably thinking “aren’t you well already?”

This malady has kept me from correctly rehabing my right knee. I cannot lift my leg properly to strengthen the quad muscle so anyway it has been a disappointment as I sit here like a slug unable to get back my quick walking gait or exercise at all for that matter. Realizing there are many people a lot worse off I stopped the pity party that wasn’t much fun at all. No one would come and what fun is a party without guests? 

  
Hearing the familiar “ding” of Facebook messenger I saw her reply. She asked me to call her at 3:30. I was full of anticipation waiting to see what wonderful healing prayers she would pray. After the usual pleasantries she asked “so, do you have any unconfessed sin?” What? I hardly knew her. I wasn’t going there with her besides I was all caught up with God in that department, so I thought. Going down and checking off the “I’m good there” boxes in my head I stopped at the “my biological dad is treating me like a stranger and always has” box. We dealt with that bitterness; pulled that baby out by the root! Dad, I love you and forgive you for always not being there as a dad. Tears wiped away I was ready to receive the prayer. “Anything else?” She asked. What? Again? Ok back to the boxes. Check good. Check good. Check good. I was suddenly caught up short by this one. We think we can hide from God and we think we are OK but when we harbor sin it will eventually rear it’s ugly head. “I’m jealous of my girlfriends.” I blurted. Yes, blurted. It surprised me totally! So the green monster reared it’s ugly, slithering, slimy head.    

Goodness knows I tried to pull those words back in as she asked me why because I was about to sound like a junior higher. God was dealing with those deep seeded feelings I was holding. I have this amazing fabulous group of girl friends and we are doing life together. We have raised our kids, gone through our kids teen years together, weddings, grandbabies, deaths, serious serious problems all together like those women in the movie Steel Magnolias. These are solid rock Christian women who have always prayed for me and been there for me and now I am confessing that I am jealous of them! I am also putting this out there and some of them will read it. Hopefully they will know confession is good for the soul and love me through this (yes they will!). I was jealous of their lives. They were going to the gym, walking together, loosing weight, looking fantastic while I sit here like a slug not able to do anything! My inner child was throwing a temper tantrum and I was hardly aware. How impossibly ridiculous of me. 

Tears were streaming down my face as I sobbed in to the phone. Tears of repentance because why should I feel this way? They were going to all look amazing and I was still going to be all lumpy and frumpy. ABSURD! Oh boy our flesh  can do a number on us. Ladies, the flesh is weak. Apologizing for sounding so very foolish I wiped my tears. She told me I was not foolish at all. Those were very real feelings. They were mine and needed confessing before God so we could proceed with a pure heart. I prayed for forgiveness and then she took it a step further. “Now bless them. Pray that God will bless them in their health and new vitality.” she said. Well, that was easy and a pleasure. I poured out my heart for each one individually praying for their success. It was very liberating, such a delight. 

  
After the confession session she reminded me of this passage in James. She prayed for my healing and we hung up. I was still shaken from what my gracious merciful Heavenly Father had done in me and for me. This loving sister coaxed those sins out of me by merely asking me to examine myself. Isn’t that what we are supposed to always be doing? As you approach God’s throne today and pray, examine yourself. Ask God if there is any hidden sin in you. My lower abdomen has been amazingly peaceful since our prayer time. The pain has lessened significantly. Every day I cheer my friends on in their quest to be healthy praying for their success, sure footedness as they walk and blessings on their hearts and minds. I pray that one day I will be able to join them. The Apostle Paul said in Galations 5:1 “it is for freedom that Christ set us free.” We are free indeed. 

My soul waits in silence for God only; from Him is my salvation. He only is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be greatly shaken. Psalm 62:1-2 (NASB)

Let’s just call him “Javier”. A little boy of Hispanic heritage is sitting in my office at Christian Creative Learning Academy (CCLA) and his sweet mom is telling me his story and why she wants to enroll him in our small school. “Javier” has an anxiety disorder and panics easily. His history in elementary school has been overwhelming. He became extremely fearful of other kids who bullied him mercilessly.  In a class of 30 students he got lost and shut down; she was at her wits end. Someone told her about our little school and that the class sizes were very small. 

Not being familiar with a Christian school at all I explained to her that her son would not only be learning his academics but he would also be learning about Jesus through Bible stories, chapel and scripture memory. She was fine with that because as a child she had attended some Sunday school. This precious mom also had a myriad of health issues and relied on her 2nd grade son to care for her. This little guy was growing up too fast. When he finally spoke I realized he had the vocabulary of a 40 year old.

  
 

Enrollment papers signed Javier started school the following Monday. CCLA’s 2nd grade class had a whopping 9 children in attendance. What a blessing for this budding wordsmith. All he needed was an environment that was nurturing and non-competative. Soon he was making friends and settling down into a manageable routine.  It did my heart good to see him playing with the other children. He was accepted and loved but the best part of all was that he was taking to the Bible like a duck to water! 

As life would have it his mom took a turn for the worse and was hospitalized. That was when his father was re-introduced into his life. That would prove to bring strife and conflict between the parents putting Javier in the middle. As his mom was sobbing in my office I reassured her we would not “kick him out” if the bill wasn’t paid on time. She told me she let Javier know that he may have to go back to “regular” school because his father might not pay. Why would she put that on an already very anxious little boy? I deduced because she was just still a child herself in pain and full of fear. We prayed together and I shared scripture with her about God’s provision. Her son was flourishing in this environment. We would trust God together for His provision. 

   

I have to tell you that kid had a way with words. He was always saying something to crack us up. He was a little boy but what came out of his mouth would sound so “old soul”.   That is why one day he schooled us on anxiety. As we were talking about his mom’s situation with his classmates and asking  them to pray I asked him how he felt about sharing. Was he anxious? His exact words were “Why have a panic attack? God’s in the room!” Immediately I threw a huge private celebration in my heart and mind thanking God for what He had done for this scared, shaken little boy. Through chapel, Bible stories, a loving praying teacher and welcoming classmates this 2nd grader flourished. He was not greatly shaken any more. He knew in his heart that God was in the house!! God would take care of him in all circumstances. 

  
Beloved when you go to the “panic room” in your mind before you push that big red button I want you to remember the words of a little frightened 2nd grader who learned from the Master “Why have a panic attack? God’s in the room”.  King David said that because God was his rock, his salvation and his stronghold he would not be greatly shaken. He goes on to say in verse 6 “He is my rock and my salvation, my stronghold; I shall not be shaken.” So remember when something is repeated in scripture it means LISTEN I REALLY MEAN IT! That’s why Jesus said “verily verily” which means LISTEN UP! If God is your rock, salvation and stronghold you will not be greatly shaken and if you find yourself in a situation that might become an earthquake remember “God is in the room”.  ❤️ #whenyouwalkwiththewise