March 28, 2010


Jesus answered him, If I have spoken evil, bear witness of the evil: but if well, why smitest thou me? John 18:23

Today's thought is primarily for those of us who are God's children. We've been born into His family through accepting His gift of salvation through Jesus, and more than likely we are familiar with His promises found in Scripture. Maybe we can even quote some great promises verbatim. I wonder though, when the first sign of trouble comes along, is our faith shaken? All of a sudden, if the precious promises of God have not taken a deep root within our hearts, our faith rapidly deteriorates.  I can look back and say, "Yes, this is true of my past experiences. . . (and if I'm honest, there may be times in the future when I find my faith to be too small.)

Have you ever had an experience that brought you so low, that when others around you tried to encourage you with God's promises, that you have outwardly expressed your doubts? God is listening. He is not pleased when He hears us filling the atmosphere around us with our doubts of His sovereignty.

Malachi 3:13 reveals our Father's inward feelings towards our outward expression of doubt and fear. He says, "Your words have been stout (harsh) against me. Yet ye say, 'What have we spoken so much against thee?'" Verse 14 reveals His answer: Basically He says, "You have said it's of no use to serve me. . .look at everyone around me that has no trials, has "been blessed with ease and comfort in this life."  Did you ever stop to think that whenever we talk, just in passing, no matter how minute the comment may be, that our Lord is listening, and taking notes?  Did I say notes? Yes...Look at verse 16: "Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name." He is writing down what we are saying about Him. Whoah.

Let's don't diminish our "opinion" of God..or our impression of Him.  Do not try to contain the Uncontainable with your "plastic" circumstances (trials.)

When I read John 18:23, the Holy Spirit paused my thoughts..."dwell on that." Then He began to tie everything together: Jesus is the Word. He promises to meet our need in every situation, no matter how big our problem may be! (Phil. 4:19) He promises to comfort the broken-hearted and to save those with a crushed spirit. (Psalm 34:18)

Now, look at John 18:23 again..."If I have spoken evil..." His promises are God's SPOKEN Word to us. Who of us could ever say that anything that came forth from Our Lord's mouth was ever evil? None of us could because He spoke the Truth. He IS Truth.

He seems to be challenging us to take Him at His Word! "Tell me if I have spoken evil!" BUT, look at the rest of the verse! "But if (I have spoken) well, WHY SMITEST thou me?" God says our verbal (and inward) expression of DOUBTING His promises, are "Harsh!" "Why smitest thou me?" Could it be that we are smiting our Lord whenever we doubt Him and have the nerve to EXPRESS our doubts??? It seems like it to me.

Checkpoint: Have you doubted Him today? Let me encourage you to take Him as His Word. He honors His Word above His name! Do not try to contain Him, the Uncontainable, within your circumstances. NOTHING is too big for Him to turn around for your good and His glory.

Dear Father, please forgive us of how we talk, even within the confines of our home. Help us to remember You ARE listening. When we doubt You, because of our lack of faith, You are not pleased. Don't You grow weary of our inability to SEE You (And TRUST YOU) for Who You are? Help us to please You by the way we present You (and our faith IN YOU) to others around us. Do a "Word-Check" on our discussions, and check us if we are speaking anything but the Truth, which is YOUR Word. Thank You for Your Divine Enabling to get us this far in our journey with You. In Jesus' Name I pray, amen.

March 25, 2010

Fossilized Faith

But the Lord is faithful, who shall establish you, and keep you from evil. 
II Thessalonians 3:3

More than likely you're familiar with Philippians 1:6.  You know the verse, "He who began a good work in you...will be FAITHFUL to complete it." 

Oh.  Being a mom of two young children, I catch myself thinking, "If only I had a dollar for every time I hear, 'I'll do it later, Mom'."    Or how about, "Sure, Mom, I'll do it" only to find that the requested task has not yet been completed.   *sigh*  

In my walk with the Lord, many times I find myself frustrated with myself, with the lack of immediate progress---or worse:   The problem I "thought I had overcome" yesterday creeps back up a day or two later, and I seem to have completely forgotten how to apply what I learned a few days earlier.  OH!   When will this "work in ME" ever be done?    When will the lessons I've learned really "SINK IN???"

Ever been there?   If so, there is good news for you today.   When I was studying II Thessalonians 3:3, the Lord revealed a wonderful treasure to me in three words:   Faithful, Establish, Evil. 

March 23, 2010

You are what You Think

"Now the just shall live by faith:  but if any man draw back, my soul shall have no pleasure in him."  Hebrews 10: 38

We're all familiar with the phrase, "You are what you eat."  Recently, I began to wonder if it would be better to say "you are what you think."  Don't you think there is some truth to that statement?

You can do an experiment to test this "theory."  Next time you begin to feel "down and out," frustrated, discouraged, confused, down-right grouchy, STOP and think. . . and while you're thinking, ask yourself, 'What Am I thinking anyway?"  I can almost gair-own-tee (guarantee) that your thoughts have become negative.   "This is never going to work out."  "We'll never see the light of day."   "This house is a disaster."  "Why can't they pick up their own clothes?!"  "That pile of laundry just keeps GROWING."  "I can't do anything right!"   "These kids will never learn."  Oh my--those are to name just a few.  

We are surrounded by negativity.  The atmosphere has become bogged down with negativity.  No wonder we're discouraged and walking without faith!   Faith can barely breathe when stifled by negative thoughts.

March 19, 2010

Which Faith Do You Have?

But without faith it is impossible to please Him:  for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.  Hebrews 11: 6

As you may remember, I've been reading a few books by A. W. Tozer.  I must admit that I'm only within the first thirty and forty pages of each book, but that's okay.  Like the joy of sipping a warm cup of coffee while basking in the sunlight through a bay window, I'm digesting these words of wisdom from the Lord.   MMMmm good!

I'd like to ask you...which type of faith do you have?  I know, you're asking, "What in the world are you talking about, Tammi?"    Nominal faith is faith that accepts what it's been told, believing the text, even quoting the text by heart, just to prove it.*  Do you possess this kind of faith?  I think of it as "surface faith."  Reading the Scripture, maybe even accepting God's promises as true, but leaving it at "that" is not TRUE Faith in God's character.    It's just faith in the text of His Word. 

March 18, 2010

God Incomprehensible

The heavens declare Thy glory, Lord,
In every star Thy wisdom shines;
But when our eyes behold Thy Word,
We read Thy name in fairer lines.
                                       Isaac Watts

Recently I began reading a book by A.W. Tozer entitled The Knowledge of the Holy (published by HarperCollins).   Because of the depth of knowledge that Tozer shares, I'm only on page twenty-six.  I guess it's taking time for me to digest what he is saying about our Lord.  

Even though I've been a child of God since I was seven years old, and I honestly have seen His fingerprints all over my life through times of testing and trials, and although I've learned lessons from those circumstances, I've come to realize that I have formed an "idea" of who God is.  However, this very idea or conception of God in my mind is far beneath the Majesty and Authority of the true God.  In essence what I had conceived God to be had become a intellectually-formed idol.  Truly.  I know this is deep.  I hope I've not lost anyone. 

God is indescribable.  Uncontainable.  Unfathomable.  Mysterious.  Holy.  Love.  Glorious.  Unlike any other.  Since He is unlike any other, there is no way I can truly form an idea of Who He is, or "what He is like" without deep study and humble prayer.  He has revealed many attributes of Himself through His Word, and only as His Holy Spirit self-discloses these to me will I ever begin to attain the knowledge of the Holy.

March 16, 2010

Faith in Waiting

Truly my soul waiteth upon God:  from Him cometh my salvation.  Psalm 62:1

Waiting.   When I think of waiting, and what that means, typically it brings a sense of impatience, discontent, traffic lights, bumper-to-bumper traffic, going nowhere "fast."  It makes my heart thump faster and beat irregularly just thinking about it right now.  (If you're familiar with Hampton Roads traffic, you know exactly what I'm talking about.)

Anyway,  what are you waiting for?  Anything special?  A dream to come true?  A hope to turn to reality?  Are you waiting for a red light to turn green in your life?  No matter what it is you may be waiting for, be sure you're waiting ON the Lord.  He is the only One Who can bring about the best of the best in your life.  Sometimes He takes us on disappointing detours.  Other times we find ourselves rapidly gliding upon an icy road without any sense of control.  Either way---we're looking towards a definite end.   Since our Lord has already gone ahead, it's safe to say that He knows the way through the turbulent times, and can ensure us a safe arrival to our destination. 

March 12, 2010

Mouse Trouble

"I will instruct thee and teach thee in the way which thou shalt go: I will guide thee with mine eye."  Psalm 32:8

Not been able to update my blog recently due to mouse trouble.  No, not the kind with a long tail and squeaky little voice.....but the computer mouse.   Then after I hooked up the new mouse, our keyboard refused to work for a while.   Hmm.  Wonder what's going on here?  

It's amazing how one little piece of hardware can render a computer useless.  The mouse---small, handheld, and simple---yet a very necessary tool to "getting us where we want to be" in "Computer Land."   It's the same with the mouse and the keyboard...both are "told what to do" by humans.  Either we "point and click" or we type in the keystrokes.    If they're working properly, they will respond immediately to our "command."

I wonder, though, are we willing instruments in the Master's hands?  Or are we "out of service?"  Is He able to "Point and Click" us in the right direction with the ease of a quick nudge, or are we "frozen in time?"  (Like our computers sometimes "Freeze and Hang in Cyber Space")

March 10, 2010

What do You Have to Offer?

Remembering my time as a "K-4" teacher, often brings with it memories of such elementary poems and jingles that paint a picture of the innocent, impressionable minds that once were entrusted to me.   There was one poem in particular that we used to quote around Christmastime.   I'm sure you're familiar with it.

"What can I give Him,
Poor as I am?
If I were a shepherd
I would bring a lamb,
If I were a wise man
I would do my part.
Yet what can I give Him?
Give my heart."
(by Christina Rossetti)

It is true---He wants us to give Him our hearts.  But, for a moment, let's take that a step further.  I believe that this "opinion of our hearts,"  if left at this level, is hazardous to our view of the Lord and His majesty, His awesomeness, and our NOTHINGNESS.  Therefore our WORSHIP of Him and the work we do for Him is truly lacking. 

The Bible says, "The heart is deceitful above all things, and desperately wicked: who can know it?" (Jeremiah 17:9)   If we view our God in heaven, as Someone Who could remotely accept anything FROM US, apart from Himself, we have lessened Him, and subsequently brought Him to a level beneath the Almighty.   Prior to having His life breathed into us, there is nothing in us worth ANYTHING to Him.  

March 8, 2010

Stooping and Seeing

But Mary stood without at the sepulchre weeping: and as she wept, she stooped down, and looked into the sepulchre, and seeth two angels in white sitting, the one at the head, and the other at the feet, where the body of Jesus had lain.  John 20:11, 12

*I was listening to Evangelist Tom Gilliam give a series of messages on Discipleship 101 yesterday, and the Lord gave me the following blog entry to write in regards to what He taught me through one of Brother Tom's messages.  The link to Brother Tom's web site is listed to the right.  Feel free to visit his site where you can listen to more of his messages or find out if he'll be in your area soon.*

I'm familiar with the verse that says, "Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time.."  (I Peter 5:6)   But did you ever stop and think about how this is reflected in Mary's response at the tomb? (as quoted in John 20: 11, 12.)  

March 4, 2010

What Does a Clean Tub Have to do with Your Kingdom Anyway?

Be ye strong therefore and let not your hands be weak; for your work shall be rewarded. 
II Chronicles 15:7

Have you ever noticed how difficult it is to be consistent and energetic in your work on cold, blah days, where the sun doesn't seem to be shining?   No one's around....nothing out of the big pressing deadlines, just ordinary life, at its "best." 

Daily duties seem to be drudgingly boring, and unimportant.   Ever felt like asking, "Seriously, dear Lord, I ask You, how will a swept floor and vacuumed carpet make a difference for Your kingdom?"    Could that be our problem?  Are we trying to equate our ordinary lives with the wonderful, mysterious kingdom of God?  If we are, we'll always be dreaming of bigger, loftier things to do for the Lord.  "Forget the house work that needs to be done...what about starting a Bible Study or Sunday School Class, Father??  Doesn't those sound much better?  After all, it seems that is what You've placed me on this earth for..not cleaning house."  If we are faithful in our ordinary duties, however mundane they may be, He is pleased, and we will receive a reward!  So, get busy, put away that stack of files; make the extra copies for your boss; grab a cup of coffee for a co-worker; straighten up your desk, clean that commode!  (ugh)  :o)  You get the picture.  Just keep chuggin' along, even in the boring, every-day-hum-drum-of-life. 

March 3, 2010


And he said unto them, "Come ye yourselves apart into a desert place, and rest a while: for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat."
Mark 6:31

Well, there was no blog entry yesterday for the simple reason of me just being plum worn-out...trying to catch up with some school work, and house work, among many other things.  But thankfully the Lord reminded me that sometimes He, too, had to come away from the crowd and get some rest.  It's important for us to listen to Him when He quietly suggests to us to "come away with Me, to a quiet place and get some rest."   

Being a musician, I am reminded of the word "rest" basically meaning "pause."   For us, it means "take a break, draw strength from the Lord, and think about what He has done."  After all, didn't He rest on the last day of Creation?   He wasn't tired, of course, but He did set an example for us--to take some time to STOP, think about what He's done in our lives, and just REST.  

March 1, 2010

The Empty Well

"Sir, Thou hast nothing to draw with."  John 4:11

It's Monday.   Need I say more?   *sigh* 

"Okay, here we go, Lord...just You and me...or is that You and I?"  Too tired to check out the proper grammar.   Anyway, here we go...I can't face this day..nor can I do anything productive without YOUR help.   Thank You for showing me something last night...the something about the woman at the well.   You asked her for something to drink...knowing she had absolutely NOTHING to offer You...nothing.   But You asked her in order to make a point. . .to show her a need...a very important need..her need for YOU. . You offered her Living Water.   She replied, "But Sir, Thou has nothing to draw with, and this well is D E E P."    Whew!  That reminds me of ME today.   You have asked me for something today, Lord.   You have given me a set of duties to accomplish, for Your glory.  But I reply, 'Sir, You have nothing to draw  with....and this well is too deep! It's impossible!'