Archive for the ‘Uncategorized’ Category

What’s Lurking in the Shadows of Your Life?

Aug 22

by Victoria Robinson

Shadows can be either beautiful or scary. I get great enjoyment when the trees bring shadows into the windows of my home. When the season changes to autumn I love the rustling of the trees in the wind and the dappling of light as it shifts and sways. For some reason this brings comfort to my heart. However, I do not want my heavenly Father to possess the same qualities. That would be terrifying! Not knowing when the shadows would move and what in the world could be lurking in them.

Fortunately, the Word of God shows us that our heavenly Father does not change like shifting shadows. The apostle James describes God as, “the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.” Our heavenly Father is totally trustworthy. In fact, in the book of Hebrews we read the wonderful words, “Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever.” Just like the shadow of trees brings me comfort, knowing that our Lord never changes gives me even greater comfort.

Girlfriends, what shadows are lurking in your life? Is it the regret of your past? The stress of your present life? The fear of your future? If you are dealing with any of these dreaded shadows, then you need to embrace the comfort of your heavenly Father found in His unchanging Word. The Word of God is soothing to our hearts in times of distress. It does not shift or change like a shadow. The apostle Peter wrote a beautiful quote from the book of Isaiah, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.”

Dearest girlfriends, when we see shifting shadows in our life, lets us place our trust in the unchanging truth of our heavenly Father.

Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. ~ James 1:17 NIV 

Jesus Christ is the same yesterday, today, and forever. ~ Hebrews 13:8 NKJV 

For you have been born again, not of perishable seed, but of imperishable, through the living and enduring word of God. For, “All men are like grass, and all their glory is like the flowers of the field; the grass withers and the flowers fall, but the word of the Lord stands forever.” … ~ 1 Peter 1:23-25 NIV

What Will Your Restoration Look Like?

Aug 15

by Victoria Robinson

What does restoration look like? Is it an exact replication of what you have lost? Is it being able to reset the clock and go back in time? Being someone who likes antiques, old houses and historic buildings, restoration in my mind tends to go for transforming something back to it’s original state. But alas, that is not always an ideal solution.

In 1929 my grandparents got married and these sweet newlyweds purchased some furniture. One item in particular that I now possess is an oak table. As much as I love my grandmother’s 1929 oak table that graces my breakfast nook, it is not completely original. This precious keepsake has had many transformations in it’s life. It started life being blue with gold trim. Yet when I was growing up it was natural wood. When my sweet grandmother handed it down to me I stained it light teal blue. In one of our moves to a new house we stained it a lighter blue to match the décor. Thankfully, it is now back to a beautiful stained cobalt blue minus the gold trim. Though I am not even certain it is the exact original blue, it brings me joy to know my grandmother’s table is now restored to a darker blue. Our plans include restoring the gold trim.

The truth is, the chairs my grandmother had with the table are long gone, so the chairs I have are antique replacements. My restoration will always be flawed in my mind without those original chairs, yet that is how the restoration process goes. In downtown Tampa we have a historic treasure—a theater built in 1926. It has now been restored, but needless to say everything is not original. The marquee sign is an exact reproduction using the same types of materials. Not perfection, but close to it!

Do you envision restoration entailing whatever you have lost being restored exactly the way it was before? A man named Job and his wife needed restoration desperately, yet their restoration would not look the same as what they had lost in several devastating tragic events. After losing their entire family, possessions and even Job’s health, restoration from the hand of the Lord would come in an avalanche. As suddenly as tragedy overtook them, the Lord healed Job, restored their fortunes and gave them seven sons and three daughters.

Still Job and his wife’s restoration certainly could not change their past. Their losses were still very real. The imperfections of living in a fallen world are what we will have to contend with until our eternal restoration of perfection comes when Christ returns. If you have not personally experienced the restoration of knowing Jesus Christ, you can click on this link and find out how. Heaven

Perhaps your restoration will turn out with you getting back everything just the way it was. In the book of Second Kings there was a Shunammite lady who not only had her land restored, but all the proceeds that had been made on it for seven years. In the book of Joel we see the Lord declaring restoration for Israel when He said, “So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you.”

Girlfriends, what will restoration look like for you? Whatever restoration your heavenly Father chooses for you will be perfect. Whether your life will be totally different or restored to what you had does not matter. The important thing is that if you need restoration, you seek and trust the Lord to do a wondrous work in your heart.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would allow our heavenly Father to bring restoration to all areas of our lives, letting go of all our past expectations and trusting Him for a wonderful future.

One day when Job’s sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, a messenger came to Job and said, “The oxen were plowing and the donkeys were grazing nearby, and the Sabeans attacked and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The fire of God fell from the sky and burned up the sheep and the servants, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, another messenger came and said, “The Chaldeans formed three raiding parties and swept down on your camels and carried them off. They put the servants to the sword, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” While he was still speaking, yet another messenger came and said, “Your sons and daughters were feasting and drinking wine at the oldest brother’s house, when suddenly a mighty wind swept in from the desert and struck the four corners of the house. It collapsed on them and they are dead, and I am the only one who has escaped to tell you!” ~ Job 1:13-19 NIV

So Satan went out from the presence of the LORD and afflicted Job with painful sores from the soles of his feet to the top of his head. Then Job took a piece of broken pottery and scraped himself with it as he sat among the ashes. ~ Job 2:7-8 NIV

After Job had prayed for his friends, the LORD made him prosperous again and gave him twice as much as he had before. All his brothers and sisters and everyone who had known him before came and ate with him in his house. They comforted and consoled him over all the trouble the LORD had brought upon him, and each one gave him a piece of silver and a gold ring.The LORD blessed the latter part of Job’s life more than the first. He had fourteen thousand sheep, six thousand camels, a thousand yoke of oxen and a thousand donkeys. And he also had seven sons and three daughters. The first daughter he named Jemimah, the second Keziah and the third Keren-Happuch. Nowhere in all the land were there found women as beautiful as Job’s daughters, and their father granted them an inheritance along with their brothers. After this, Job lived a hundred and forty years; he saw his children and their children to the fourth generation. And so he died, old and full of years. ~ Job 42:10-17 NIV

Then Elisha spoke to the woman whose son he had restored to life, saying, “Arise and go, you and your household, and stay wherever you can; for the Lord has called for a famine, and furthermore, it will come upon the land for seven years.” So the woman arose and did according to the saying of the man of God, and she went with her household and dwelt in the land of the Philistines seven years. It came to pass, at the end of seven years, that the woman returned from the land of the Philistines; and she went to make an appeal to the king for her house and for her land. Then the king talked with Gehazi, the servant of the man of God, saying, “Tell me, please, all the great things Elisha has done.” Now it happened, as he was telling the king how he had restored the dead to life, that there was the woman whose son he had restored to life, appealing to the king for her house and for her land. And Gehazi said, “My lord, O king, this is the woman, and this is her son whom Elisha restored to life.” And when the king asked the woman, she told him. So the king appointed a certain officer for her, saying, “Restore all that was hers, and all the proceeds of the field from the day that she left the land until now.” ~ 2 Kings 8:1-6 NKJV

So I will restore to you the years that the swarming locust has eaten, the crawling locust, the consuming locust, and the chewing locust, My great army which I sent among you. You shall eat in plenty and be satisfied, and praise the name of the Lord your God, Who has dealt wondrously with you; and My people shall never be put to shame.  ~ Joel 2:25-26 NKJV

Though you have made me see troubles, many and bitter, you will restore my life again; from the depths of the earth you will again bring me up. ~ 71:20 NIV

Restore us, O God; make your face shine upon us, that we may be saved. ~ Psalm 80:3 NIV

Restore to me the joy of your salvation and grant me a willing spirit, to sustain me. ~ Psalm 51:12 NIV

Your Clouds Are the Dust of His Feet

Mar 15

by Victoria Robinson

The storms of your life come with clouds. The prophet Nahum said, “His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet.” The Lord is there in the midst of your storm clouds.

The Word of God is filled with instances where the Lord is present in clouds. When we are enduring the storm clouds of life it is important to recognize His presence. Girlfriends, He is right there to bring you safely through whatever troubles you are experiencing. Trust in Him when the clouds are so dense you cannot see what your future holds. Nahum goes on to say, “The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him …”

Dearest girlfriends, let us trust in His presence during the storms of life.

… His way is in the whirlwind and the storm, and clouds are the dust of his feet. ~ Nahum 1:3 NIV
 
The LORD is good, a refuge in times of trouble. He cares for those who trust in him … ~ Nahum 1:7 NIV 
 
Then the LORD appeared at the Tent in a pillar of cloud, and the cloud stood over the entrance to the Tent. ~ Deuteronomy 31:15 NIV

♥ Many Waters Cannot Quench Love ♥

Feb 14

by Victoria Robinson

Song of Songs is a book written in the form of a lyrical love song. Within this romantic poetry we see such beautiful thoughts as, “Many waters cannot quench love …” In many ways the sentiments found in this book are a reflection of the love our heavenly Father has for us. His love can never be quenched. A comforting thought knowing we have the security of never being abandoned by the one who loves us more than anyone else ever could, after all, God is love.

A love that cannot be quenched is trustworthy. The love of our heavenly Father is the most wonderful love we all desire. His love for us stands eternal. Dearest girlfriends, as we celebrate this Valentine’s Day let us have a heart of thankfulness for the secure and everlasting love our heavenly Father so graciously lavishes on us.

Set me as a seal upon your heart, As a seal upon your arm; For love is as strong as death, Jealousy as cruel as the grave; Its flames are flames of fire, A most vehement flame. Many waters cannot quench love, Nor can the floods drown it. If a man would give for love All the wealth of his house, It would be utterly despised. ~ Song of Songs 8:6-7 NKJV

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence … ~ 1 John 4:16-17 NIV

The LORD appeared to us in the past, saying: “I have loved you with an everlasting love; I have drawn you with loving-kindness. ~ Jeremiah 31:3 NIV

Relying on the Confidence of His Love

Feb 07

by Victoria Robinson

Your heavenly Father is all-powerful. Therefore, there is naturally a fearful nature of our relationship with Him. The Word of God clearly tells us, “.. what does the LORD your God ask of you but to fear the LORD your God …”   However, fear can be a complex concept. While we are to have complete respect and fear for the Lord, we are also told there is no fear in love. His love for us gives us the freedom to not fear Him for the punishment of all our sins, as He has paid the ultimate price through the sacrifice of His Son. His unconditional love assures us we have a secure relationship with Him. In fact in the book of Hebrews we read these wonderful words of encouragement, “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” That is how we can rely on the confidence of His love.

Girlfriends, if you have accepted Jesus Christ into your heart, you do not need anymore to fear the retribution of your heavenly Father. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would rely on the confidence of His love and not live a fearful life.

And so we know and rely on the love God has for us. God is love. Whoever lives in love lives in God, and God in him. In this way, love is made complete among us so that we will have confidence on the day of judgment, because in this world we are like him. There is no fear in love. But perfect love drives out fear, because fear has to do with punishment. The one who fears is not made perfect in love. ~ 1 John 4:16-18 NIV
 
Let those who fear the LORD say: “His love endures forever.” ~ Psalm 118:4 NIV
 
And by that will, we have been made holy through the sacrifice of the body of Jesus Christ once for all. … “Their sins and lawless acts I will remember no more.” And where these have been forgiven, there is no longer any sacrifice for sin. ~ Hebrews 10:10,17-18 NIV

Heavenly Lights

Feb 04

by Victoria Robinson

There are some interesting comparisons between the sun, moon, and stars which provide earthly light for us all and the eternal light of Jesus Christ. The sun, moon, and stars are a great reminder of the attributes of our Lord and Savior. 

  • Without them we would not realize what darkness really is …

In Genesis we read, “God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness.”

Jesus was the fulfillment of the prophecy spoken by Isaiah, “The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned.”

  • They are both good …

After God placed the sun, moon, and stars we read, “And God saw that it was good.”

The apostle James said, “Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven’s lights. … In his goodness he chose to make us his own children by giving us his true word.” The true word here is Jesus Christ, for through Him we can become children of God.

  • They both govern …

We see in Genesis, “God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night …”

The psalmist tells us, “He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice.”

  • They both are worshipped …

While it is incorrect, people who practice astrology are worshipping the stars as it says in Isaiah, “All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you.”

The correct worship is Jesus Christ, the Lamb of God as recorded in Revelation, “Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” 

Jesus Christ is the Morning Star who brings eternal light into our hearts. Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would allow His light shine in our hearts as a testimony to a lost and dying world.

God made two great lights—the greater light to govern the day and the lesser light to govern the night. He also made the stars. God set them in the expanse of the sky to give light on the earth, to govern the day and the night, and to separate light from darkness. And God saw that it was good. ~ Genesis 1:16-18 NIV
  
The people walking in darkness have seen a great light; on those living in the land of the shadow of death a light has dawned. ~ Isaiah 9:2 NIV
 
But you, Bethlehem, in the land of Judah, are by no means least among the rulers of Judah; for out of you will come a ruler who will be the shepherd of my people Israel. ~ Matthew 2:6 NIV
 
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.” ~ John 8:12 NIV
 
Whatever is good and perfect comes to us from God above, who created all heaven’s lights. … In his goodness he chose to make us his own children by giving us his true word. And we, out of all creation, became his choice possession. ~ James 1:17-18 NLT
 
The city does not need the sun or the moon to shine on it, for the glory of God gives it light, and the Lamb is its lamp. The nations will walk by its light, and the kings of the earth will bring their splendor into it. On no day will its gates ever be shut, for there will be no night there. ~ Revelation 21:23-25 NIV
 
The LORD reigns forever; he has established his throne for judgment. He will judge the world in righteousness; he will govern the peoples with justice. ~ Psalm 9:7-8 NIV
 
Give thanks to the Lord of lords … who made the great lights— His love endures forever. the sun to govern the day, His love endures forever. the moon and stars to govern the night; His love endures forever. ~ Psalm 136:3,7-9 NIV
 
Praise him, sun and moon, praise him, all you shining stars. ~ Psalm 148:3 NIV
 
“I, Jesus, have sent my angel to give you this testimony for the churches. I am the Root and the Offspring of David, and the bright Morning Star.” ~ Revelation 22:16 NIV
 
All the counsel you have received has only worn you out! Let your astrologers come forward, those stargazers who make predictions month by month, let them save you from what is coming upon you. Surely they are like stubble; the fire will burn them up. They cannot even save themselves from the power of the flame. … Each of them goes on in his error; there is not one that can save you … ~ Isaiah 47:13-15 NIV
 
“Worthy is the Lamb, who was slain, to receive power and wealth and wisdom and strength and honor and glory and praise!” ~ Revelation 5:12 NIV

Has Your Betrayer Come?

Jan 20

by Victoria Robinson

Girlfriends, have you ever experienced betrayal? The pain hurts sooo bad! Betrayal is such an ugly sin. As we all know, our Lord and Savior experienced the ultimate betrayal. In the book of Mark, Jesus said the dreaded words, “Here comes my betrayer!” He knew all along this was going to happen. Unlike Jesus, the betrayals in your life have most likely happened unannounced. After the shock subsides, you are left with agonizing pain. The pain in turn has the potential to produce in you a bitter heart. Once this happens, you are now taking on the ugliness of your betrayer.

Just like Jesus, your betrayer has possibly come from those closest to you which might make the thought of forgiveness unimaginable. Yet it is important to stop the cycle of misery by forgiving your betrayer. Think of it as giving yourself a betrayal makeover. Trust me girlfriends, your beauty will shine like your Lord and Savior!

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would deal with betrayal in a godly manner and allow the forgiveness of our heavenly Father to flow through us.

… Here comes my betrayer! ~ Mark 14:42 NIV
 
Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. ~ John 6:64 NIV
 
See to it that no one misses the grace of God and that no bitter root grows up to cause trouble and defile many. ~ Hebrews 12:15 NIV

Bear with each other and forgive whatever grievances you may have against one another. Forgive as the Lord forgave you. ~ Colossians 3:13 NIV

What’s In Your Wallet?

Dec 04

by Victoria Robinson

We have all heard the advertising slogan, “What’s in your wallet?” So girlfriends, I am asking, “What’s in your wallet?” Cards galore I bet. There are debit cards, credit cards, store rewards cards, and maybe even a little cash, just maybe. Who carries cash anymore?

In the book of First Samuel, there was a boy who carried a wallet. He had something very different in his wallet. He placed five stones in his wallet. I have never felt the need to put stones in my wallet, have you? However, these stones proved to be quite important to this young man. It is with this provision that David slayed the now infamous Goliath.

So again I ask, “What’s in your wallet?” I am of course referring to your spiritual “wallet”. According to the apostle Paul our spiritual weapons are not the same ones used by the world. We have divine weapons to demolish strongholds. In fact he tells us we should take every thought captive to make it obedient to Christ. Perhaps what we need in our wallets is a “thought catcher”. In order to take our thoughts captive we need to be able to discern which thoughts are godly and which ones are from the enemy.

In fact in the story of David and Goliath, we see Goliath taunting David. David must have taken the ensuing thoughts of fear captive in order to conquer Goliath. (My knees would probably have been knocking!)

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would use a “thought catcher” by filling our minds with the Word of God.

And he took his staff in his hand, and chose him five smooth stones out of the brook, and put them in the shepherd’s bag which he had, even in his wallet; and his sling was in his hand: and he drew near to the Philistine. ~ 1 Samuel 17:40 ASV
 
He said to David, “Am I a dog, that you come at me with sticks?” And the Philistine cursed David by his gods. “Come here,” he said, “and I’ll give your flesh to the birds of the air and the beasts of the field!” David said to the Philistine, “You come against me with sword and spear and javelin, but I come against you in the name of the LORD Almighty, the God of the armies of Israel, whom you have defied. ~ 1 Samuel 17:43-45 NIV
 
As the Philistine moved closer to attack him, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet him. Reaching into his bag and taking out a stone, he slung it and struck the Philistine on the forehead. The stone sank into his forehead, and he fell facedown on the ground. So David triumphed over the Philistine with a sling and a stone; without a sword in his hand he struck down the Philistine and killed him. ~ 1 Samuel 17:48-50 NIV
 
For though we live in the world, we do not wage war as the world does. The weapons we fight with are not the weapons of the world. On the contrary, they have divine power to demolish strongholds. We demolish arguments and every pretension that sets itself up against the knowledge of God, and we take captive every thought to make it obedient to Christ. ~ 2 Corinthians 10:3-5 NIV

Does the Bible Read Like a Cookbook?

Dec 03

by Victoria Robinson

There are all kinds of cookbooks with the word Bible in their title. There is: The Cake Bible, The Meatball Cookbook Bible, The Sausage Cookbook Bible, The Slow Cooker Bible, The Pasta Bible, and The Pie and Pastry Bible, just to name a few. As an avid collector of cookbooks, I must confess I do not own any of these. There is just something about using the word Bible in a title for a cookbook that is a little unsettling to me.

The truth is most of us want the real Bible to read like a good cookbook. One of my favorite cookbooks is, Mastering the Art of French Cooking by Julia Child. When I read one of Julia’s recipes, I know it will be complete with no mystery as to what steps I need to take in order to accomplish success. If the recipes had not  been written with clarity, I do not have the option of contacting Julia and asking for help. The sad fact is, Julia Child passed away on August 13, 2004.

While I do not need to have a relationship with Julia Child to understand her book, I do need one with God to understand His book. Fortunately the author of the Bible is available to answer questions about the mysteries found in it. Yes, there are some Scriptures that are not as easy to understand as reading a cookbook.

Dearest girlfriends, I pray we would ask the Holy Spirit to teach us how to understand the mysteries found in the Bible.

Above all, you must understand that no prophecy of Scripture came about by the prophet’s own interpretation. For prophecy never had its origin in the will of man, but men spoke from God as they were carried along by the Holy Spirit. ~ 1 Peter 1:20-21 NIV
 
All this I have spoken while still with you. But the Counselor, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, will teach you all things and will remind you of everything I have said to you. ~ John 14:25-26 NIV
 
… but God has revealed it to us by his Spirit. The Spirit searches all things, even the deep things of God. For who among men knows the thoughts of a man except the man’s spirit within him? In the same way no one knows the thoughts of God except the Spirit of God. We have not received the spirit of the world but the Spirit who is from God, that we may understand what God has freely given us. This is what we speak, not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, expressing spiritual truths in spiritual words. The man without the Spirit does not accept the things that come from the Spirit of God, for they are foolishness to him, and he cannot understand them, because they are spiritually discerned. ~ 1 Corinthians 2:10-14 NIV

Hi Girlfriends!

Sep 08

Welcome to Girlfriend’s Oasis Blog at MyChurchGrowth.com