FOCUS ON WHATEVER

by Tammy Phillips
October 20, 2021

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV)

Both of my sons have a thing for shoes. They really like them and they like a variety of them.  Our youngest loves a bargain, as much as I do.  He loves to find a good sale on a great pair  of shoes.  Recently, he and I were talking about spending  and saving money.   He told me that his thoughts had changed a little bit on shopping for shoes.   He shared how his fiancé’s  younger sister, Claire, looked at a purchase.  Claire is a mere freshman in college.  She determines if she is going to spend by how many “wears” she believes she will get from the purchase, or how many times she will wear the item.  She is wise beyond her years.  I do not know where she learned this concept, but I wish that I had only been as wise, as early.  She looks at a purchase in reference to the value she will get from it.  If she is not going to wear it a lot, she is not going to buy it.

What if we looked at everything in life with Claire’s philosophy?  Actually, we will give credit where credit is due. This is a precept of life that Paul taught inspired by the Holy Spirit in 1 Corinthians 10:31.  

“Whatever” is a BIG word.  It means all, the whole thing, anything, and everything. “Whatever” we do should be done to be bring glory to God.  Pause and really think about that. “Whatever” we do should add value to the kingdom of God, the lives of others and our lives.  As Christians, we always want to know the will of God.  Here it is in black and white…

“Therefore, whether you eat or drink, or whatever you do, do all to the glory of God.” (1 Corinthians 10:31 NKJV)

  • Whatever we eat
  • Whatever we do not eat
  • Whatever we drink
  • Whatever we do not drink
  • Whatever we buy
  • Whatever we sell
  • Whatever we give
  • Whatever we say
  • Whatever we do not say
  • Whatever we pray
  • Whatever we hear
  • Whatever we watch
  • Whatever we read
  • Whatever we write
  • Whatever we post
  • Whatever we tweet
  • Whatever we snap
  • Whatever we wear

Talk about life changing and transformative.  Of course, the Holy Spirit brought this lesson to me on a day that I am going to Nashville to shop.  We have to practice what we preach, right?  I am going to really focus on “whatever.” 

I enCOURAGE you to pay attention to your “whatever’s.”  Personally, if I ever needed a tattoo, it would say “Love & Whatever.”   Actually,  I have this scripture picture tucked into my refrigerator and my pantry .  I need to always focus on “whatever” when I open those doors,  I know it would be transformative.  I suppose we all need to focus on “whatever,” whenever. 

THE LORD MADE THE WAY TO CROSSOVER

Jesus made the way from our desert to our destiny, the promise land, by literally laying down His life on the cross. He made a way for us to crossover our own “Red Sea” and raging river. He is the bridge to cross over. He is the Passover.

by Tammy Phillips
October 19, 2021

Dutch Sheets delivered a powerful message at Riverside Church on October 10, 2021.  I have listened to it several times.  He shared how Abram was called the Hebrew in Genesis 14:13.  Hebrew means to pass over, or by, or through; cross; cross over; march over, go over; go to the opposite side.  Abram means Father.  Abram the Hebrew was the father of the Crossover. He was later name Abraham  which means the Father of a multitude.  He was the father of faith.  We follow Him in faith in God and in the crossover.  However, it was, and always is  the LORD who makes the way to crossover.

 “This is what the LORD says–he who made a way through the sea, a path through the mighty waters,” (Isaiah 43:16 NIV)

“See, I am doing a new thing! Now it springs up; do you not perceive it? I am making a way in the wilderness and streams in the wasteland.” (Isaiah 43:19 NIV)

” When you pass through the waters, I will be with you; and when you pass through the rivers, they will not sweep over you. When you walk through the fire, you will not be burned; the flames will not set you ablaze.” (Isaiah 43:2 NIV)

In the above verses we see the LORD made a way through the sea, a way in the wilderness, a way through the rivers and a way through the fire.  He makes the way through this crazy life.

Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” (John 14:6 NIV)

The Lord made a way …

…for Abraham to leave his home and move to the land the Lord promised even though he had to go through Egypt to get there. (Genesis 12-13)

…for Moses and all of Israel to escape from slavery in Egypt and crossover the Red Sea to freedom. (Exodus 14)

…in the dessert for Joshua and Israel to cross over the Jordan River to the promised land. (Joshua 3,specifically, 3:16)

…for Hananiah, Mishael, and Azariah, also known as Shadrach, Meshach and  Abed-Nego to make it through the fire.  (Daniel 3 19:25)

…for the disciples to crossover the Sea of Galilee. (Luke 8:22-27)

…for us to escape the penalty of sin and crossover to freedom in Him.(Acts 2:38)

…for us to be delivered from the grips of death and to live eternally with him.  (John 3:16-17)

…for us to escape the desert and step into our promised land…

Jesus is the way.  He provided the way for us to be born again into His kingdom.  He made the way by His death on the cross for us to escape death.  He made a way on the cross for us crossover from wilderness living to the promised land. He made us joint heirs. 

Do you see the picture of how the cross made the way to cross over?  The Cross is the only way to cross over.  The cross is literally in the word cross over.  The Lord bridged the gap through the Red Sea, over the Jordan River, through the fire, over the Sea of Galilee and most importantly the chasm between man and God.  Jesus is the Way. 

I enCOURAGE you to crossover.   Follow Father Abraham in the faith.  Follow Jesus.  Leave your past behind and all its baggage.  Allow the cross of Jesus to move you from the desert wilderness to the land He promised and paid for.  The Lord made the way to crossover.  He is the only way to crossover.

The cross of Jesus is without size.  It cover any and all sin.  The cross of Jesus is without size.  It crosses over the smallest pebble or the largest ocean.  It crosses over any obstacle of any size and will always lead to the other side if followed.  Jesus is the way over, around and through! 

FORGET THE PAST

by Tammy Phillips
October 18, 2021

“Brothers and sisters, I do not consider myself yet to have taken hold of it. But one thing I do: Forgetting what is behind and straining toward what is ahead,” (Philippians 3:13 NIV)

“Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, the new creation has come: The old has gone, the new is here!” (2 Corinthians 5:17 NIV)

FORGET THE PAST

The old has gone and the new is here and now!  We cannot live in the past, live in the now, and step into our future all at the same time.  When we choose, and it is our choice to forget the past, we can live in the now and take steps forward into our future. 

We cannot live in the prison of our past and step out the open cell door into freedom.  It is one or the other.  How do we forget the past?

  1. FORGIVE YOURSELF AND OTHERS

Are you holding onto memories, hurts, or betrayals from your past? Who has betrayed you?  Have you been unfaithful to God and to yourself?  Have you cheated on your best you with your worst you?   The truth is, unless we let it all go and shake it off, unless we  forgive ourselves and all others, until we leave the past in the past, we cannot move forward. OUCH!

FORGET THE PAST

No matter what mistakes we have, we cannot move forward unless we forgive  and forget the past. Our should be on our upward and onward calling. We lose precious time living in the past.

We make mistakes.  Our family and friends make mistakes.  We have been set free. We are  promised a future as long as we do not allow ourselves to be held  hostage and imprisoned in our pasts. Make a list of things your need to forgive yourself for and  people who you need to forgive. Literally, throw it to the Lord and do not pick it up again. Forgive yourself. Forgive others.

  1. THINK DIFFERENT

Think about what you are thinking about.  The world says, “you are a loser and you cannot leave the past behind.”   The Word says, “Forget the former things; do not dwell on the past. See, I am doing a new thing!” (Isaiah 43:18-19 NIV)

We either take  control of our thoughts and walk in the freedom Christ paid for or our thoughts take control of and imprison us.  We are responsible for our thoughts and no one else.     

“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 10:5 NIV)

FORGET THE PAST

We forgive ourselves and others.  We do not beat ourselves up nor others over things in the past.  We shake it off and “and strain toward what is ahead.”

  1. CHANGE THE DAILY ROUTINE

We cannot do what we have always done in the past and expect change. We have to step into our future differently. Habits are hard to break, but not impossible.  We have to work to change.  

FORGET THE PAST

Choose one thing to change.  Set specific goals, big and small.  Start small.  Make a simple change-plan with attainable goals.  Take action and make the change.  For example:

Goal:  I want to drink more water daily. 
Change:  I don’t hope I will do it. I plan to do it.
Plan:

  • Determine specific amount of water for the day, 80 ounces.
  • Fill a large container with 80 ounces of water.
  • Plan to drink a certain amount each hour. Drink 10 oz of water each hour.
  • Carry a 10 oz cup. Fill and drink 10 oz. each hour
  • Victory! Small goal attained! The past of not drinking water is left behind and defeated.

It is difficult to Change habits, but it’s possible.  All things are possible through Christ.

  1. STEP TOWARD THE FUTURE

Taking small steps leads to extraordinary progress over time.  If we walk a mile today, we may be running a mile next week or walking three.  It does not matter.  Progress is progress.  We just have to take steps forward in any direction to leave the past behind.

FORGET THE PAST

  1. FIND AN ENCOURAGEMENT TEAM

We should surround ourselves with a strong, supporting cast of encouragers.  Negative and pessimistic complainers  will bring us down and keep us in the past.  Encouragers will build us up.  They will cheer us up and out of our past. We can do the same for them.  They will tell us to…

FORGET THE PAST

The people we allow in  our lives affect our lives. If they try to tear us down, they are attempting to imprison us in their misery.  We need surround ourselves  with people who are going in the same resolute, new, direction. Building a tribe of people with similar goals can help us move on from the past and press forward into the life we have been called to live.

I enCOURAGE you to work on forgiveness.  Change your thinking.  Align it to the word of God.  If it is not a God thought, leave it behind. Change your daily routine, little by little.  Take small steps into the new.  Spend time with your people who encourage, support, and guide you to attain your high calling.  Leave behind impossible and step into the way, full of possibilities. Look to the future.  Look to Jesus the Author and Finisher of you. FORGET THE PAST and do not look back!

“I will follow you, Lord; but first let me go back and …” Jesus replied, “No one who puts a hand to the plow and looks back is fit for service in the kingdom of God.”” (Luke 9:61-62 NIV)

 

 

GOD IS OUR STRENGTH

by Tammy Phillips
October 17, 2021

“God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble.” (Psalm 46:1 KJV)

When we finally realize that God is inside of us…
When we finally comprehend that He abides in us…
When we finally grasp that He lives in us…
When we finally get that we can do nothing in and of ourselves…
When we finally understand that God alone is our power source…
When we finally recognize that God is our strength…
When we finally take hold of that it is all Him and not us…
When we finally believe that God is who He says He is, He can and will do what he says He will do, then we can boldly believe…

WE CAN DO ALL THINGS THROUGH CHRIST WHO GIVES US THE STRENGTH TO DO IT because it is not us doing it anyway.  It is God inside us. It is not us!  “I have been crucified with Christ and I no longer live, but Christ lives in me.” (Galatians 2:20 NIV)

When the Word says God is our strength,  this is not one a one-word arsenal.  The word  strength throughout the Bible can mean might, power, authority, ability, fierce, bold, courageous, obstinate, established, fixed, a steadfast mind, comfort, repaired, refreshed, riches, wealth, hold up, and resolute in one direction.  These are all things that God gifts us with  to strengthen us.

When our bodies are weak and our minds are cloudy, God is the strength.
When we have no physical strength left, He steps in and holds us up.
When we think we cannot take one more step, He tells us think different, it’s Me not you.
When we are not sure if we can stand any longer, He encourages us to be resolute.
When we are at the end of our rope and barely hanging on, Jesus says, “Have faith in God.”

The LORD has been the source of power the whole time.  We were just  temporarily fooled into believing that we had something to do with it. 

My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever. (Psalm 73:26)

The Lord is my strength and my  victory. (Exodus 15:2)

He gives strength to the weary and increases the power of the weak.  (Isaiah 40:29)

He renews our strength. (Isaiah 40:3)

He will strengthen, help, and hold us up.  (Isaiah 41:10)

“The LORD my Lord is my strength; he makes my feet like those of a deer and enables me to walk on mountain heights! ” (Habakkuk 3:19 CSB)

His power is at work in us. (Ephesians 3:20-21)

He comforts our hearts, establishes, and strengthens  us in every good word and work. (2 Thessalonians 2:17)

He is faithful who shall establish, strengthen, and keep us from evil. (2 Thessalonians 3:3)

He himself makes us strong and establishes us.  (1 Peter 5:10)

He did not give us a spirit of timidity, but a spirit of power, of love and of self-discipline. (2 Timothy 1:7)

My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness. (2 Corinthians 12:9)

He gives us strength to do everything! (Philippians 4:12)

I encourage you to “seek the LORD and His strength, seek his face continually.” (1 Chronicles 16:11 KJV). It is His strength which gets us through each day.   It is He alone who heals, completes, and saves us. When we cry out, He answers.  He makes us BOLD IN OUR SOUL with His strength. (Psalm 138:3)

“‘Ah, Lord GOD! Behold, You have made the heavens and the earth by Your great power and outstretched arm. There is nothing too hard for You.'” (Jeremiah 32:17 NKJV)

Since nothing too hard for God, He gives us His strength, and nothing is too hard for us…in Him!  No hill is too hard to climb!  No mountain is too hard to move!  No obstacle is too big to overcome!  AMEN!  God is our strength!

IT DOES NOT GET EASIER; IT GETS BETTER

Kris running the 2021 APSU Scholarship 5k and running his personal best time. 10/2/21

by Tammy Phillips
October 16, 2021

“And let us watch out for one another to provoke love and good works, 25 not neglecting to gather together, as some are in the habit of doing, but encouraging each other, and all the more as you see the day approaching” (Hebrews 10:24-25 CSB)

My husband has always worked out like a fanatic because he wanted to eat whatever he wanted, whenever he wanted.  Earlier this year, he decided to drink more water and really pay attention to what he was putting into his body.  He has transformed his body at 51 and lost close to 51.

He works out at Orange theory at least four to five days a week.  The work out is in circuits of rowing, cardio, and strength training. Trainees wear monitors that record and display real time results on screens in front of all.  The trainers push trainees through resting, easy, challenging, uncomfortable and All Out’s during the workout session. The coaches instruct when to push harder and when to pull back for recovery. The goal is to spend 12 minutes or more with an elevated heart rate in “The Orange Zone”  which  boosts metabolism, burns fat, and burns more calories.

Besides my husband being in great shape, he also is very competitive.  Imagine a muscular, military, twenty-ish young man coming to work out beside him.  I can hear Kris’ thoughts, “it is on.”  After the workout was complete, the “spent, younger man told my husband, “thanks for pushing me.”  My husband replied, “It does not get easier.  It gets better.” 

We often think that when we reach a goal, we win the prize, and the hard work is over.  Wrong! There will always be another hard road in front of us, another goal to achieve or another mountain to climb. However, there will also be the choice of the easy road, too.  The Word states:

“Enter by the narrow gate; for wide [is] the gate and broad [is] the way that leads to destruction, and there are many who go in by it. 14 “Because narrow [is] the gate and difficult [is] the way which leads to life, and there are few who find it.” (Matthew 7:13-14 NKJV)

Think of it like this.  Nobody starts out running marathons.  A runner starts training with the first mile and that becomes easy.  The runner can keep running the easy mile or challenge himself to run a 5k or 3.1 miles  After the 5k, he may keep running 5k’s or decide to compete in a 10K (6.2 miles). The next step would  be to run a half marathon or 13.11 miles and then finally, a marathon or 26.3 miles.  The competition does not end there is always a harder race or an attempt for a personal best time.  Get the picture?  There is always a more challenging race to run, if we accept the challenge, keep growing and racing. 

Our focus scripture today instructs us to watch out for each other and to provoke each other to love and good works.  To provoke is the Greek word, paroxysmos, that means:  to make sharp; to stimulate; to spur on; to urge on; to stir up; to sharpen alongside.  The Greek word for encourage is parakaleō and it  means  to call near; address; implore; exhort; strengthen by consolation;  comfort; to call to one’s side. 

We all need people in our lives who tell us the truth and provoke us by saying:  “It does not get easier.  It gets better.” -Kris Phillips.  We need people in our lives who encourage us, “We are to take the obstructive path!” -Kristi Stephens.  We need Jesus to tell us to take the narrow gate.   

Each difficult road we take leads us higher and higher and makes us better and better.  We need each other to help us keep on keeping one. 

I enCOURAGE you to be that someone.  Watch out for your brothers and sisters in Christ.  Choose to sharpen and encourage them.  Get together.  Meet together.  We all need each other.  We cannot be our best, nor successful in our journey…alone.   Hebrews 10:25 tells us we were meant to do life together.  As Jesus’ return draws nearer, we are to encourage each other “ALL THE MORE.”  Things are going to get tougher.  Trials will get harder. We should decide to  promote each other to endurance, perseverance, and diligence.  It’s what the word says to do.

RESPECT ALL

by Tammy Phillips
October 15, 2021

“Honor all [people]. Love the brotherhood. Fear God. Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17 NKJV)

“HONOR ALL.”

HONOR

  • Regard with respect
  • Fix the value of
  • Prize

ALL

  • Every
  • Any
  • Everyone
  • Everything

Prize all people.  Respect all people.

We are to value the one who cut us off in traffic?
We are to prize all who hurt us?
We are to honor all who rejected Jesus?
We are to respect all who have attempted to cancel justice and righteousness?
We are to honor all who have slandered us?
We are to prize all who persecute us?
We are to honor the person who attempted to destroy our marriage?
We are to respect all who targeted innocent victims?

Yes, because until ALL take their last breath there is a chance for them to turn to the Lord.  If we don’t believe that ALL have some redeeming value, we will not work to share Jesus with them.  We are to love all, forgive all and honor all.

I don’t know about you but this one is a hard one to chew.  It is what Jesus did.  Paul who pursued, persecuted, and murdered Christians was prized by God.  He chose Him and used Him to turn the world upside down for Jesus.  The LORD valued us and saved us.  Our sins are no cleaner than anyone else’s.  Jesus paid the same price for ALL sins and ALL people. 

“LOVE THE BROTHERHOOD”

LOVE

  • Be fond of
  • Prefer
  • Wish well

THE BROTHERHOOD

  • Brothers and sisters in Christ
  • The Christian Fraternity
  • The Christian Family
  • Born again of the same Father God

 “Love one another, as I have loved you.” (John 15:12 KJV)

“Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.” (1 John 4:11 KJV)

 “And this commandment we have from Him: that he who loves God [must] love his brother also.” (1 John 4:21 NKJV)

Church hurt is some of the worst hurt.  We expect that we should all love well in the family of God, but that does not always happen.  We are all in different spaces and places with the Lord on our journey.  As children of God, we are on the path to learn to love well like Jesus and that can look different.

  • Brothers are rejected because tattoos.
  • Sister are shunned because they don’t wear the right clothes.
  • Brothers and sisters are unwelcomed because of divorce.
  • Brothers are blackballed because of past or current sins.
  • Sisters are cancelled because one wears a mask, and one doesn’t.
  • Brothers are ostracized because they got the vax or did not get the shot.
  • The brotherhood is snubbed for so many reasons.
  • The Word tells us to love unconditionally.

Still chewing on this word from Lord.  How about you?

“FEAR GOD”

  • Revere God
  • Respect God
  • Be in awe of God.
  • Be amazed by God alone.

We have nothing to fear but God.  He is the only One who should make us shake in our boots because of His awesomeness.

“HONOR THE KING.”

HONOR

  • Regard with respect
  • Fix the value of
  • Prize

 THE KING

  • The leader of the people
  • The ruler of the land
  • The commander in chief

“Let every soul be subject to the governing authorities. For there is no authority except from God, and the authorities that exist are appointed by God.” (Romans 13:1 NKJV)

“By me kings reign, And rulers decree justice.” (Proverbs 8:15 NKJV)

“And He changes the times and the seasons; He removes kings and raises up kings; He gives wisdom to the wise And knowledge to those who have understanding.” (Daniel 2:21 NKJV)

“The Most High rules in the kingdom of men, Gives it to whomever He will, And sets over it the lowest of men.'” (Daniel 4:17 NKJV)

Honor the King. When the king, queen, president, prime minister, or leader of the country is not the leader you chose, we are still told to honor, respect, and value the king.  According to the multiple verses above, He nor she would be in the position, but God.   Our command?  Honor the King and pray for the leaders.

“Therefore, I exhort first of all that supplications, prayers, intercessions, [and] giving of thanks be made for all men, 2 for kings and all who are in authority, that we may lead a quiet and peaceable life in all godliness and reverence.” (1 Timothy 2:1-2 NKJV)

 In the United States, we can all be united in one thing.  Most of us have been unhappy with leadership over the past two years in one way or another.  Many did not like Trump, and many did not like Biden.  Over the two-year span in the country, we have differed on our opinions of the leadership.  According to the word, we are to honor and pray.   Yes, this is really hard to chew.

The ten words of 1 Peter 2:17 have really challenged me and I suspect I will chew on these for a while.  How about you?

I enCOURAGE you to join me and crucify your flesh.  Ask the Lord for help.  “Honor ALL [people].  LOVE the brotherhood.  FEAR GOD.  Honor the king.” (1 Peter 2:17 NKJV). Ouch! This one hurt!

PS…You don’t have to agree with me.  It is your choice.  However, if we choose to disregard the verses from today, we are disregarding the word of God and definitely not fearing Him.  And, Yes..I am having to ask for forgiveness.

YOU ARE SEEN

Sunrise in Clarksville today. I wonder what it looks like from heaven? Beautiful here.

by Tammy Phillips
October 14, 2021

The LORD looks from heaven; He sees all the sons of men.” (Psalm 33:13 NKJV)

I do not know which path the LORD took me down to even get me to this verse today.  Even though I ask Him what to share every day, I know He saw me struggling today.  Somedays, it is so easy.  Some days, I am given words a week in advance.  Sometimes, I have to trust Him with the word for the moment and that was today.  He looked down and saw me.  He sees you, too.

Do you ever walk into a party, work or even your home and feel invisible?  Do you feel lonely?  Do you feel unimportant?  Do you feel less instead of the most? Do you wonder if the Lord hears your prayers?  Do you question if the LORD even sees you?

  • THE LORD…
  • LOOKS
  • LOOKS INTENTLY
  • SHOWS REGARD
  • NOTICES
  • CONSIDERS
  • FIXES HIS MIND ON
  • CAREFULLY EXAMINES
  • THINKS ON WITH CARE
  • PONDERS
  • STUDIES
  • PAYS ATTENTION

He sees you.  He sees all.  He is looking for you and I know He sees you.  He says He does.   You are not invisible to Him.  You are not lost in the sea of seven billion.  He has His eye on YOU.  He loves and cares for YOU.  He is El Roi.  It is one of His names, The God who Sees!

“Then she called the name of the LORD who spoke to her, You-Are-the-God-Who-Sees; for she said, “Have I also here seen Him who sees me?”” (Genesis 16:13 NKJV)

The above verse was an encounter Hagar had with the Angel of the Lord.  Hagar was feeling invisible and hated.  She had done what was asked of her.  She was pregnant and running away from her boss that absolutely despised her and treated her terribly.   The Angel of the Lord saw her, stopped her, talked to her, and turned her around.  She was seen and it changed her life.

I enCOURAGE you to stop running.  THE LORD SEES YOU right where you are.  He is in the middle of the struggle with you.   You cannot get away from His watchful and attentive eye.  He is thinking about you.  He wants you to turn your thoughts and prayers to Him.  He sees the way out and is willing to guide you through, if you just ask.   He wants to change your life and your situation, if you will allow Him.

 

 

 

THE LORD KNOWS

The LORD knows it’s fall and transforms nature to the most glorious colors.

by Tammy Phillips
October 13, 2021

THE LORD KNOWS the way of the righteous,
But the way of the ungodly shall perish.” (Psalm 1:6 NKJV)

The LORD knows our ways. We should follow Him.

THE LORD KNOWS the days of the upright,
And their inheritance shall be forever.” (Psalm 37:18 NKJV)

The LORD knows our days, our nights and every second we breathe. 
We should follow Him.

THE LORD KNOWS the thoughts of man,
that they [are] futile.” (Psalm 94:11 NKJV)

The LORD knows our thoughts are useless.  He lavishes us with useful thoughts.
He gives us the mind of Christ so that our thoughts can be transformed to His thoughts.

THE LORD KNOWS the thoughts of the wise,
that they are futile.”(1 Corinthians 3:20 NKJV)

The LORD knows He alone is wise, and we need all the help we can get

“Nevertheless, the solid foundation of God stands, having this seal:
THE LORD KNOWS those who are His,
and Let everyone who names the name of Christ depart from iniquity.” (2 Timothy 2:19 NKJV)

The LORD knows His children.  He knows us by name.  We are sealed in Him.  We are made righteous in Him.  We should run, revolt, and remove ourselves from all unrighteousness.  We should live worthy of the Name.

THE LORD KNOWS how to deliver the godly out of temptations
and to reserve the unjust under punishment for the day of judgment,”

(2 Peter 2:9 NKJV)

The LORD knows how to deliver the godly OUT of every temptation.    Temptation is like a river flowing fast and furious. The LORD sees and knows how to rescue us from the drift.  He knows what life preserver to throw at us to save us from being taken away by the roaring rapids of life.

THE LORD KNOWS.

I enCOURAGE you to follow the LORD.  Hold tightly to the LORD.  He knows the WAY, the DAY, the THOUGHT, and what to SAY.  He knows us and knows we need delivering.  He shows us the way and tells us how to pray, “Forgive us our sins; for we also forgive every one that is indebted to us. And lead us not into temptation; but deliver us from evil.” (Luke 11:4 KJV) The LORD KNOWS.

ASK GOD TO SHOW OUT

Sunset over the Cumberland, September 9, 2021

by Tammy Phillips
October 12, 2021

“And Moses said to the people, “Do not be afraid. Stand still, and see the salvation of the LORD, which He will accomplish for you today. For the Egyptians whom you see today, you shall see again no more forever. 14 The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.”” (Exodus 14:13-14 NKJV)

What God did for Moses, and Israel He will do for you.  He is no respecter of persons. (Acts 10:34; Romans 2:11). I am not talking about asking God for signs and wonders.  I am talking about asking God for the impossible. 

My sisters in Christ inspire me.  We ask God for big. We ask God for bigger.  We ask Him for what seems impossible.  I want to brag on God. I want to give Him the glory He is due!   I want to share with you four different times in the past week that God has showed out and showed himself big in my sister’s lives.

  1. Last year, one sister wrote in her journal “My list of Impossibilities.” She numbered three things.God being God tackled her biggest ask first.  One impossible marked off the list.  Glory to God. 
  2. Another sister was having a retreat where she was meeting a new partner in her business that she had never met in person before.She wanted to warmly welcome the new partner with a yummy treat.  She asked God for help in picking the dessert.  The only thing that came to mind was Key Lime Pie.  When she presented the new partner with the pie, her response was, “How did you know?  I have been craving that Key Lime Pie.  It is my favorite.” 

  3. My mom wanted to gift a friend. She labored a little bit as to what present to give.  She did not waste much time before she turned to God for help. Immediately, Holy Spirit instructed her to gift a journal.

  4. One sis had a friend who got covid and was on a ventilator. On the 35th day in the hospital, hope for recovery seemed impossible.  She asked God to show out.  We asked God to step in.  Step by step Jehovah Rapha healed her and she is recovering.  She is off of meds and the ventilator.  Glory to God.

There are so many more God stories!  In the words of John, “And there are also many other things that Jesus did, which if they were written one by one, I suppose that even the world itself could not contain the books that would be written. Amen.” (John 21:25 NKJV)

These might seem like little things to you, but they were big things to my sisters and me.  The Holy Spirit is our Helper.  God is our Provider.  All we have to do is invite God in, ask Him to show out, patiently wait, and then give Him the glory for answering. 

If I could write the Phillips Interpretive Version of Exodus 14:13, it would read like this:

Tammy borrows the words of Noah and says to the people of God today…

Don’t be afraid. Don’t fear.  Don’t hear and fear.  Don’t see and fear.  Don’t dread.  Don’t revere.  Don’t be astonished or in awe of the impossible “Red Sea” before you nor the impossible “enemy” behind you.   

Stand still.  Be set.  Stay in place. Stand fast.   Stand forth.  Stand up. Withstand.  Remain.  Station yourself. Take your stand. Be resolute.

See the salvation of the LORD.  Look at the salvation of the Lord.  Watch the LORD show out and save you from whatever you need saving from, every enemy, and every Red Sea. 

He is our Savior!  He is our savior when we need the impossible.  He is our Savior when we need help picking a pie, a gift, or an outfit.  He is our Savior from the penalty of our sins.  He is our Savior from the flames of hell and eternity separated from God. 

He will accomplish it for you!  He will attend to it for you.  He will work on your behalf.  He will show out and show you that He is the God of impossible!  The enemy who you see today, you shall see again no more forever!  The LORD God will wipe away sickness, debt, loneliness, injustice, fears, anxieties and so much more.  We just have to ask and trust Him with it.

The LORD will fight for you, and you shall hold your peace.  It is not our battle.  It is His and He has already won.  Our battle stance? Resolutely standing in awe of Him alone.  We are not to be astonished by the impossible giant in front us yapping in our in our face, not the enemy in hot pursuit behind, nor the deceitful whispers of our adversary to left and the right.

I enCOURAGE you to ask the LORD to show out and do the impossible.  Be courageous and ask big.  He is God.  He can handle it…you…and absolutely anything and everything.  Don’t forget to patiently wait and then give Him the glory for all answered asks.   

BE STEADFAST: GROW AND GO

photo credit: Maria Silén

by Tammy Phillips
October 11. 2021

“…some things hard to understand, which untaught and unstable [people] twist to their own destruction, as [they do] also the rest of the Scriptures. 17 You therefore, beloved, since you know [this] beforehand, beware lest you also fall from your own steadfastness, being led away with the error of the wicked; 18but grow in the grace and knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ. To Him [be] the glory both now and forever. Amen.” (2 Peter 3:16-18 NKJV)

Have you ever had anyone twist your words to make themselves be in a better light?  Peter tells us that people will twist the word of God for their own use.  When Jesus was led into the desert to be tempted, Satan twisted and tried to tempt Jesus with the word of God.  Do not think for a minute that the false accuser will not try to distort; put to the rack; torture; overstretch; dislocate the word of God and attempt to lead us into destruction.   This is why everything we hear and do needs to be aligned with the word of God.  If anything, we hear or read does not align with the Word, it is error and needs alignment.   However, if we are not reading and spending time studying the Word, how in this world would we have a clue what is wrong?

Peter plainly tells us to BEWARE! We are in danger of falling out of line and “falling from your own steadfastness, “if we listen to the twisting of the unlearned and unstable. When we don’t listen nor accept the truth, we are out of line with the word of God and are in danger of falling.  Remember…

Truth is plumb.

How do we keep standing and avoid stepping into error?  How do we remain steadfast and aligned?  Peter tells us:

  1. Grow in the grace of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

“Grace and peace be multiplied to you in the knowledge of God and of Jesus our Lord,” (2 Peter 1:2 NKJV)

We grow in grace by growing in knowledge. 

  1. Grow in the knowledge of our Lord and Savior Jesus Christ

We grow in knowledge by giving all diligence.  There is that word again, diligence.  We grow and go by “…giving all diligence, add to your faith virtue, to virtue knowledge, 6 to knowledge self-control, to self-control perseverance, to perseverance godliness, 7 to godliness brotherly kindness, and to brotherly kindness love. 8 For if these things are yours and abound, [you] will be neither barren nor unfruitful in the knowledge of our Lord Jesus Christ.” (2 Peter 1:5-8 NKJV)

Be diligent and fruitful in knowledge:

  • Labor to know Him.
  • Be transformed by Him.
  • Be more like Him.
  • Be diligent like Him.
  • Have faith like Him.
  • Be virtuous like Him.
  • Be knowledgeable like Him.
  • Be self-controlled like Him.
  • Persevere like Him. 
  • Be reverent, respectful and in awe of Him.
  • Love like Him.
  • Love Him.

When we grow in grace and the knowledge of Him, we remain steadfast and prevent a fall in times of apostasy. When we guard our hearts and minds in all diligence, we grow and continue to stand in Him.

I enCOURAGE you to live like a “last days” Christian.  2 Peter 3 is a great outline of how to do just that.  Remember the word.  Jesus is coming.  Know scoffers will come.  Don’t be a scoffer.  Be prepared and watch for Him.  He is not constrained by time.  He could come anytime but He is not slack concerning his promise.  He is coming, but He is longsuffering to want all to repent. Change your mind.  Turn to Him.  Open the door to Him in every area of your life.  Invite Him to come in and abide.  Ask Him what kind of person He wants you to be.  Be diligent in pursuing Him and your relationship.  Get to know Him and His Word.  Grow in in the grace and knowledge of Him to keep you from falling. Keep on keeping on.  Stand. Be diligent.  Be resolute. Give Him the glory forever!