Yay! I’m back and have good things for you!

I have successfully navigated my site and got things going again–finally!

This means, dear readers, I can begin sharing what I’ve been up to on YouTube, which I will now do with today’s broadcasts. If you like these, please do share them, and thanks very much!

Bev

P.S. There’s a Part II – still working out how to keep everything on the same video . . . So, come back for Part II or go to YouTube and search “Bev Parker at Home”.

Henri Nouwen on “hope far beyond” and changing my heart

Compassion born in solitude makes us very much aware of our own historicity. We are not called to respond to generalities but to the concrete facts with which we are confronted day after day. A compassionate man can no longer look at these manifestations of evil and death as disturbing interruptions of his life plan but rather has to confront them as an opportunity for the conversion of himself and his fellow human beings. Every time in history that men and women have been able to respond to the events of their world as an occasion to change their hearts, an inexhaustible source of generosity and new life has been opened, offering hope far beyond the limits of human prediction. – Henri Nouwen

Proverbs 14 – The Wise Woman Builds . . .

If you read the Proverb of the Day you’ll see today’s first verse (Proverbs 14:1) tells us that the wise woman builds her house. Digging into this we find “house” referring not only to a physical dwelling place, but also meaning “family.” The rest of the verse tells us that a foolish woman pulls her house down with her own hands, but let us now talk about how to build, how to be wise.

It always begins with humble and yet ferociously faithful prayer. Would you see your house as a strong and sure shelter for the hearts of all those you’ve been given to love? Do you want to build, nurture, partner with God Himself as a grace architect? Pray first. First pray. Pray, intercede, fight the good fight of faith for those you’ve been given to love. To Love.

This is serious business, this Love. This is God. We hear and say, “God is Love” and we go on and act like He’s a tyrant, not to be trusted. Well, there is one way out of that destructive thinking, and it begins with a determination to build, to obliterate the lies of the enemy, to be as Paul, “not unaware of his schemes.” In short, (this is too simple) read the Word of God.

You can begin with the Proverb of the Day–today’s the 14th, so read Proverbs 14, then get lifted with Psalms, taking your sweet time with sweet Jesus. Read some of His words in the Gospel of John, maybe try some GE Power from Galatians and Ephesians (I can’t ever read too much of Ephesians). And back to Proverbs for some scriptures on the power of the tongue, maybe . . . then full circle back to that house building.

Proverbs 14:11 tells us ” . . . the tent of the upright will flourish. Flourish–I like the sound of that, and find it defined thus in Strong’s Concordance: pârach, paw-rakh’; a primitive root; to break forth as a bud, i.e. bloom; generally, to spread; specifically, to fly (as extending the wings); figuratively, to flourish:—abroad, abundantly, blossom, break forth (out), bud, flourish, make fly, grow, spread, spring (up).

So, let’s go back to that “upright” business, as we surely want our tents to flourish. Again, from Strong’s: straight, upright, correct, right. It is straight, upright, correct, and right that we wise women build our houses–our beloveds–with faith-filled, Word-based prayer. We don’t need to talk about it, or plan ahead and dress up for it. Just do it right this very minute. Now!

“Father, I thank you for those you’ve given me to love. Let me Love as You Love. Show me how to build my house. Reveal any place I’m tearing it down. Teach me, reveal to me the glory and privilege of being Your ambassador to my beloveds. Help me to be wise. In You. Amen.”

Looking for Opportunities and Better F-Words

“You know what this is?” I asked my husband, and then answered. “This is an opportunity to trust.” We were talking about the curse spoken over me by my doctor: “If you don’t terminate the pregnancy you will die.”

When I refused he raised his voice. “You don’t understand!”

“No, you don’t understand,” I answered, and left.

Years later (that child is an astoundingly fabulous Jesus-loving 26-year-old now) I read well-meaning writers talking about abortion, and sometimes out of both sides of their mouths. Why and how can people say they’re pro-choice and pro-life? Because they care more about their own and others’ opinions than about the blood of Jesus, shed that we might have life, and life abundantly (John 10:10). Because they don’t have fear-destroying, mountain-moving, never-say-die faith. They know about Jesus, but they don’t know Him.

They don’t know that a death threat is an opportunity to trust, to obey the COMMAND, “Fear not.” They don’t know that when Satan offers his currency for doing business (fear) they can just say no. They have no idea who they are, and Who He is. Rather than taking their rightful authority as children of the Most High, they tune into their enemy’s lies. And if that’s not enough, they repeat what he says. Over and over and over. And we all know what happens when we hear a lie enough times . . . when we partner with the enemy by saying what he says . . .

When Satan shouts death and defeat (John 10:10 is where we see his stealing, killing and destroying discussed by Jesus) into our ears with a megaphone, we are to stand up and fight. It’s called the good fight of faith.

What makes it a good fight? First of all, because the faith side is the God side. It’s also because a good fight is one you can, and provided fear is strictly and absolutely forbidden, will win.

So, rather than cowering and hiding and hoping (but not really believing) you’ll somehow survive it all, TALK to it! “Fear, I know you’re Satan’s currency. I know you’re a lie. See, right here in Psalms what David said. See what He said about God. Now let’s go see what Jesus said. And did. You are a defeated foe, so get lost. Oh, but first, let’s feast a bit more on the Word of God with Ephesians, say Chapter 3. Or how about some more from Psalms? No? Oh, I’ll bet you’d like to read about Jesus’ victory over you at Calvary? That’s some seriously good Word Feasting!”

“What? You don’t want any more?”

Yes, Dear Reader, you are more than a conqueror in Christ Jesus, but in fear you are Satan’s prey. Thanks for thinking and seeking–we all need to win. Victory in Jesus! Amen.

P.S. I have new and improved F-words for you today: Ferocious Fighting, Feasting, Fearless, and Faith. Forever.

What Would Smith Wigglesworth or a mom do?

The March 21 offering in Devotional by Smith Wigglesworth is the tale of a miracle healing, wherein before Smith came on the scene God prepared a woman’s heart to receive. This was a handy thing for me to be reading, as my son came to ask for healing prayer just after I finished. My heart was prepared to pray, and I wanted his heart prepared as well.

“First,” I answered, “Sit down and do me the honor of letting me read this to you.” Benjamin sat and I read Smith’s marvelous story, beginning with Matthew 8:17: He Himself took our infirmities and bore our sicknesses.

After finishing the devotion, I took Benjamin’s right hand and wrist (where the pain was) and began praying, during which action I was impressed to remind my son that his name means “Son of the Right Hand.” There was much more, and he received more than healing. He received encouragement.

I didn’t wake up encouraged today, and I was in no mood to encourage anyone else. But then there came that miracle thing called Quiet Time, and I was encouraged by the words of Jesus in the Gospel of John; then by Paul in I Corinthians with Love words, and David speaking straight to my heart in Psalms.

In Oswald Chambers’ My Utmost for His Highest I was struck by the statement, “I have been identified with Him in His death.” Pondering this, I read from Smith Wigglesworth, focusing on the fifth verse of Isaiah 53: But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities, the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

I choose to identify myself with The Healer.

The final thought in this devotion is, “One bit of unbelief against the Word is poison.”

He IS the Healer. Amen.