Blog Archives - Page 5 of 8 - Pearls of Promise

River in the Wilderness by Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Image by Mylene2401 from Pixabay

Is your life lacking variation right now because of COVID-19? Are you wishing this Coronavirus would die a quick death or go back to where it came from? You’re not alone, but we all have to remember that even in the midst of these difficult seasons, God can still provide something beautiful.

On Thursday I came across this verse in the Psalms: “He split open a rock, and water gushed out to form a river through the dry wasteland” (Psalm 105:41). The verse is referring to the scene in Numbers 20 when the Israelites camped in the wilderness of Zin and complained because there was no water to drink. God told Moses to speak to a rock and water would pour out, however Moses struck it twice instead. Water still gushed from the rock, but for disobeying God it did cost Moses an entry card into the Promised Land. That, however, is not the point I am making here. I never realized the water that poured out formed a river in the wilderness. I thought it was more like a garden hose that turned off and on or like a quick burst of tap water from the kitchen faucet. But according to Psalm 105, this gush of rock water formed a “river.”  A river in the wilderness.

It made me think about the rivers that I’ve experienced during this never-ending COVID-19 wilderness.

One river is simply the back yard that I love so much. Now that I’m home more, I have thanked the LORD numerous times that I have such a pretty view from my kitchen table where I work. It’s especially beautiful now that the Crepe Myrtle is blooming.

When I take my morning walks, the street is lined with Crepe Myrtles, my favorite trees. They’re a gift. Desert streams.

I am grateful for the river of marriage, and that I do not have to shelter alone—but if you are feeling alone for whatever reason, know that you are never alone—Jesus is always with you if you believe. “Anyone who believes in me may come and drink! For the Scriptures declare, ‘Rivers of living water will flow from his heart’” (John 7:38).

I have also praised God for the river of “purpose,” as we are still doing our topical and evangelical POP Talk television and radio shows, this week reaching the 100 thousand mark on Facebook Live and going into a potential 133-million homes through the Faith Unveiled Network. That’s more like river rapids!

Then there are others I know who are experiencing a river in the wilderness. Yesterday, my friend and Christian Women in Media Founder, Suellen Roberts, got married to a wonderful man, Stan Burke. Stan was the teacher of her Sunday school class and she had recently become the director of the class. If it had not been for COVID-19, they probably wouldn’t have worked so closely and fallen for each other. A river of love.

I have a longtime friend who just told me she had contracted COVID-19. She felt really bad for one day, better the second day, then resumed her walks on the third day. That’s a river of healing.

How has God provided rivers for you during this season? Sometimes we are so focused on the wilderness that we miss the river.

Lord, will you help us to take our eyes off of everything bad and open our eyes to the good that you are working in the midst of the turmoil? Show us the rivers we can’t see and quench our thirst for hope.

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We hope you will join us for our next POP Chat, July 29th on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching about “How to Find Your Peace” and Renee Rollins will lead our worship for this beautiful one-hour of fellowship. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

What is “Post-COVID-19” Success? By Debra Moore

Our guest blogger today is Debra Moore. Debra is a loving Christian wife and mother of three wonderful adult children and one spoiled grand dog named DJ. She is a 25-year church volunteer in various ministries including the mental health ministry where she’s been an instructor and facilitator for the National Alliance on Mental Illness. Mental Health training and family education is her passion and because of that, she has been interviewed about the subject on both television and radio.. Debra’s heart for the mentally ill comes from having had a mother with mental health difficulties. She serves her DFW Community in honor of her mother and those who suffer from mental health difficulties.

After praying many years for perissos” blessings which are more than enough or more than anticipated, the Lord has brought us to this new perspective:

“Success is not about personal accomplishments or material possessions.”

We heard George Barna discuss success on the radio during the Covid-19 epidemic. Barna’s definition of success is as follows: 

Working toward spiritual growth

Sacrifice, Servanthood

Being absolutely committed to the Christian faith

Attending worship service

Allowing our faith to help us process international disasters

Being people of faith with the reality of having an intimate, growing relationship with Jesus Christ.

Surprisingly, there was no mention of intellectual, financial, educational, professional development or physical appearance factors in the article. According to Mr. Barna, my husband and I are successful! However, up until now we have felt like failures. Financial or professional success has often been temporal or elusive. For many years before we met, and after losing both our first spouses, relational failure seemed our norm.

With the destruction of the nation’s economies due to Covid-19, success cannot be defined as being financially wealthy anymore. God was clear when economies around the globe stopped producing instantaneously. Each of the markets that ran our pre-Covid economic successes crashed. The markets were left barely breathing, face down on the floor of global economic failure. Our barest existence as humanity came down to all the toilet paper, sanitizer, Lysol spray, face masks and gloves we could hoard. 

Image by Christo Anestev from Pixabay

Which leads us to the next definition of worldly success—our appearance. Did Covid-19 discriminate because of appearance? Both the gorgeous and the glum were affected. If our money and our good looks are not going to make us successfully impervious to disaster and pandemic, maybe it is time to reassess our own definitions of life success. As we peered out over our protective face masks and felt our warm breath fog up our lenses, we reached out our blue-gloved hands for our Bibles.

Let’s say that each morning we read verses or have a prayer time? What would happen if we got time in with God before the electronic hum of negativity took over? What if we asked God to forgive us of our sins and the sins of our nations? We could thank and praise God for who He is and what He has done for us. We could pray prayers of thanks for shelters in place, clothing, food, peace and security which are all promises of God to us. We could pray for our church and pastors, for our nation and national leaders. We could pray for our characters and hearts to be changed. 

We could lean into this new perspective of spiritual accomplishment and share any material possessions we may have with others. All the while openly smiling at ourselves and the sweet spiritual success of Christ living in us. Here’s to having an infectious and true relationship with the living God where there is eternal success. It’s truly more than enough.

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We hope you will join us for our next POP Chat, July 29th on ZOOM at 6:30 p.m.. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be teaching about “How to Have Your Peace” and Renee Rollins will lead our worship for this beautiful one-hour of fellowship. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

Laughter in the Midst of Crisis by Rosemary Legrand

Laughter is the best medicine.

The Bible says in Proverbs 17:22: “A merry heart doeth good like a medicine: but a broken spirit drieth the bones.”

A good hearty laugh will make us feel good for a long time. That’s why we tell jokes. You can ask any of my close friends and they will tell you I love to tell jokes. In fact all my family loves to laugh. I was told one time that I should be a comedian!

Laughter is the best medicine in your ordinary day too. With humor you may find a whole new way of looking at your life and discover solutions you might not have thought of before.

Sometimes we take life way too seriously. Recently I was craving yogurt from my favorite place. I was driving there and was so happy; you’d think it was Christmas. When I arrived at the yogurt shop I found out, because of COVID-19, they closed early. Was I disappointed? Yes!!! I almost cried, then I texted my girlfriend and told her of my disappointment. I said, “My friend, I was so disappointed I felt like doing something illegal.” “She said illegal? You mean my miscellaneous funds would become bail money?” I laughed so loud I forgot the disappointment.

We have been taught to run through our lives with such a speed we have no time to laugh. The word of God ask us to rest. One of my favorite Bible verses about rest says, “Be still, and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth” (Psalm 46:10). We are human beings, not human doers. We tend to be over-worked and under-rested. Proper rest, however, plays a significant role in living the abundant life.  

When we are able to rest and laugh, we are in touch with life’s goodness. If you are down, laughing aloud may seem impossible. You may even look at laughing people and feel they are inconsiderate and loud. But if you are one of the laughing groups, you’d never think that. You enjoy laughing too much. I have always said that the saints of today, the ones who believe the verse, 1 Peter 5:7, “Cast all your anxiety on him because he cares for you,” understand that God is in control of their lives. They can trust him, casting all cares and anxiety on Him, literally throwing all at His feet. They let Him take care of the circumstances, and they are the ones who make you laugh, mainly because they’re not worried. They give you the best gift—the gift of joy. They really demonstrate that laughter is the best medicine.

When I was in London recently, I was so happy to play with my great-grandson. I tickled him and heard him laugh. Child laughter comes straight from the heart. They have the best giggles.

And do you still remember those wonderful days with your best friend when you could start laughing for no reason and you laughed so long you could barely breathe? I still remember and it makes me smile. I wholeheartedly agree with the Word of God that says, “Laughter is the best medicine.”

So don’t forget to laugh. 🙂

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We’d love for you to join us on the next POP Chat, July 29th at 6:30 on Zoom. Dr. Lynnette Simm will be speaking about “How to Find Your Peace,” and Renee Rollins will be our worship leader. We will also have a time of conversation about peace. Only one hour! Hope you can join us. Here’s the link to sign up: https://share.hsforms.com/15bHBupdrTBugXxD9Y8Q_MQ3jo4z

Where Does Your Help Come From? By Lisa Burkhardt Worley

Do you seek godly counsel when perplexed about a situation? It’s important to reach out to other Christians when you’re not sure how to proceed. Proverbs 15:22 says, “Without counsel plans fail, but with many advisers they succeed.” I did that this past week. I needed some advice about a couple of scenarios I was facing so I sought counsel from long-time sister friends. They gave the exact same direction, which in my mind was a confirmation of what I was already thinking.

But when we are struggling, our help shouldn’t only come from our pals. Sometimes it’s a natural tendency to run to our friends first—we long for human conversation, a person on the other end of the phone line. We crave their discernment, however, our all-knowing loving God, who knows the number of hairs on our heads, wants first fruits. He desires for us to take our confusion, worries, and relationships to him before anyone else. Isaiah 2:22 says, “Stop trusting in mere humans, who have but a breath in their nostrils. Why hold them in esteem?”

The book of Hosea is written to God’s chosen ones, the Israelites, and reveals the Lord’s broken heart because His children have turned to others besides Him. They have embraced idols and worshiped other gods. The one true God feels like He’s been cheated on and because of that, pronounces judgment for the Israelites’ unfaithfulness. He reminds them in Hosea 14:8, “O Israel, stay away from idols! I am the one who answers your prayers and cares for you. I am like a tree that is always green; all your fruit comes from me.”

Where does our help come from? “My help comes from the LORD, the Maker of heaven and earth” (Psalm 121:1).

I know it’s difficult when we can’t see God face-to-face and we can’t reach out and touch Him, but over the years, I’ve found Him so faithful to provide direction.

If I’m not supposed to proceed in a certain direction, I ask Him to block it.

He does.

If I am supposed to move forward, I pray for His favor.

He gives it.

He places people in my path, His Holy Spirit’s voice in my spirit, and the words of the Bible often leap off the page when He’s speaking. I know He cares about the details of my life, just as He cares about your specifics.

The next time you have a problem,, it’s important to ask other believers for advice, but always remember that no one knows you better than your heavenly Father. Check in first to His divine Help Desk.

Nothing to Say by Dr. Lynnette Simm

Today has been a very hard day. In fact the last few days have been very hard, very emotional, and very overwhelming. normally I would label these days as “blue days.” However, I don’t think it’s because I am feeling depressed, due to my chemical imbalance that I have struggled with my whole life; rather, I’m depressed with what is going on all around us. There seems to be a constant strain over communication with pretty much everybody. So because of that I am not going to write a blog. Instead I’m going to share music. 

Here are some songs that I hope will bring you hope, strength, faith, and love. 

First look up David Dunn’s song Starting Now. 
https://youtu.be/p1BB0Huj_Y8

Then look up TobyMac’s song, Move (Keep Walking). 
https://youtu.be/tzYsrAcuS0s

Look up Zack Williams’s song (with Dolly Parton) There Was Jesus. 
https://youtu.be/37wV6D49iEY

And just for fun, Electric Light Orchestra’s Mr. Blue Sky. 
https://youtu.be/aQUlA8Hcv4s

Finally, a simple, straight forward song about love. The Beatles’ All You Need is Love. 
https://youtu.be/4EGczv7iiEk

My hope is with these songs you have your day brightened, you mood lifted, and your heart opened to what the new day holds. Only God knows each day, but we know HIM, so Everything’s Gonna be Alright. (Yes, I went there with some Bob Marley) 

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