Category Archives: HOLY SPIRIT

Diligent Meditation – Part Two

Last week we considered points 1 through 3 below. Today, we cover point 4 – why do we meditate?

  1. Meditating on the move.
  2. So, what is meditation?
  3. Meditation can heal your heart and your life
  4. Why do we meditate?
  5. HOW? Start with what you need
  6. HOW? Practice and persist in your practice.
  7. HOW? Diligent study first.
  8. HOW? Then diligent meditation – ???
  9. How does God’s Word renew your mind?
  10. Why memorize
  11. The power of God’s laws

Image result for Free Clip Art of Why. Size: 60 x 110. Source:[4]       Why do we meditate?  First, God tells us to. That is enough for me!

The second reason is that God promises blessings if we meditate on His Word. Joshua 1:8 gives a succinct summary:

This Book of the Law shall not depart out of your mouth, but you shall meditate on it day and night, that you may observe and do according to all that is written in it. For then you shall make your way prosperous, and then you shall deal wisely and have good success.  (AMPC) (emphasis added)

So God is saying that talking and thinking about His Word all the time will lead us to obey His laws and then—because we obey His laws–that will make us prosperous, be wise and successful. This same promise is repeated in Psalm 1. Part of the godly life described in Psalm 1:1 is to “desire His law and find delight in it and to “habitually meditate (ponder and study) by day and by night on His law (the precepts, the instructions, the teachings of God.) (paraphrased)”

Image result for free picture of tree by waterIf we live that godly life in verse Psalm 1:1 and meditate by day and by night—constantly:

  • We will have a constant supply (“like a tree firmly planted [and tended] by the streams of water”),
  • we will do the right thing at the right time (“ready to bring forth its fruit in its season”);
  • Our “leaf also shall not fade or wither” and
  • we will be successful in all we do (“everything he does shall prosper [and come to maturity].” (Psalm 1:2, AMPC)

One more benefit of meditation is wisdom. Slowly read Proverbs 1 through 8. See how important wisdom is for the believer! Pondering verses 8:34-36 tells me that seeking and finding wisdom daily leads to life and God’s favor. To miss wisdom, is to hurt ourselves and “court death.”

<<How God feels about meditation.>> For more proof of how strongly God feels about meditation, consider the entire sixth chapter of Deuteronomy. In the opening chapters of Deuteronomy, after they had wandered in the desert forty years because of doubt, unbelief and rebellion against God, the children of Israel were finally about to enter the Promised Land.  At that point, in Chapters 1:6 through 5:34, Moses reviewed the history of God’s goodness to them in spite of their doubt and rebellion and he “expounded the law”.

Image result for free picture of mosesIn his second address, Moses urged the people to follow the decrees and laws of God, repeated the Ten Commandments, again urged the people to obey God so that they and their children could prosper, and then he tells them that for God’s blessings to continue, each must “. . . love the LORD your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your strength.” (Deuteronomy 6:5, NIV). Then the very next thing in verse 6 through 9, Moses explains how to do thatby meditating – all day long.

“These commandments that I give you today are to be upon your hearts. Impress them on your children. Talk about them when you sit at home and when you walk along the road, when you lie down and when you get up. Tie them as symbols on your hands and bind them on your foreheads. Write them on the doorframes of your houses and on your gates. “(Deuteronomy 6:6-9, NIV).

 <<Meditating is part of loving God.>> The fact that God’s command to meditate comes immediately after His command to love Him with all our heart means to me that keeping His Word constantly in my mind is part of how to love Him with all my heart and soul and strength. Let’s look at God’s commands in these verses in more detail.

“These commands . . . are to be on your hearts.” If something is on my heart, it colors everything I do. When my loved one is sick, he is on my heart, in the forefront of my thoughts, all day long. I am preoccupied with his well-being. I cannot get him off my mind. That is how we are to be about God’s laws. If I have been trained in the laws of good manners, those laws are on my heart, and I will say please and thank you in every situation, all day, every day. It will be natural for me to do so.

Impress them on your children.” Israel was instructed to impress God’s laws on their children. That means to imprint or fix God’s laws in their minds. How to do that? By talking about God’s laws ALL DAY LONG, which means at home and away from home, from getting up to going to bed. Then God says put reminders of His laws on your hands (so that as you reach out to do anything, you will think how God’s law applies to what you are about to do) and on your forehead, symbolizing that your every thought is to be controlled by God’s law.  Furthermore, God said write them on your doors and gates so that you see them when you enter your house and when you come and go from home. That will also be a reminder and witness to your children and others.

Image result for free picture of parents and children talkingChapter Six concludes by telling parents that when their children ask what the laws of God mean, they are to explain how God delivered them from slavery “with a mighty hand” to bring them to the promised land, how He commanded them to obey all His laws and to fear Him so they would “. . . always prosper and be kept alive, as is the case today.” (V 24)  Parents were to tell their children that “If we are careful to obey all this law before the LORD our God, as he has commanded us, that will be our righteousness.” That way, when the children hear their parents talk about God’s law and when they see the visible reminders, they will also remember that God promises blessings for obeying. God was working to ensure that each succeeding generation would give Him and His Word first place in their hearts.  He put that there for you and me, too.

For the rest of this blog post. . . The rest of this vital topic is posted on the Books and  More page of this website. Please do not feel obligated to pay. This is a long and detailed piece of writing and the rest of it seems to fit best in that format.  Blessings and heart peace to you!


Diligent Meditation – Part 1

Image result for free clip art of quill penHello – This long piece of writing began as a blog post but grew and grew. Trying something new, I will post the first two sections as blog posts then put the remainder on the Books and More page as a booklet.  Why so many words about this topic? God says it is important! And it totally changed my life. Here is an outline.

  1. Meditating on the move.
  2. So, what is meditation?
  3. Meditation can heal your heart and your life
  4. Why do we meditate?
  5. HOW? Start with what you need
  6. HOW? Practice and persist in your practice.
  7. HOW? Diligent study first.
  8. HOW? Then diligent meditation – ???
  9. How does God’s Word renew your mind?
  10. Why memorize
  11. The power of God’s laws

Meditating on the move. “The Lord is good to those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him. So, it is good to wait quietly for salvation from the Lord. Lamentations 3:25 and 26. (NLT)”

I looked once more at the half sheet of paper, folded it in half once more so it fit into my purse, then walked out the door, repeating “The Lord is good to those who depend on Him, to those who search for Him. So, it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:25 and 26. The Lord is good. . .”   As I walked down the stairs, my frayed blue and white paisley gym bag, the one my daughter Sharon had used in high school, banged against my knee.

 “Hmm..” I half moaned as stiff hips complained. “Lord, thank You that I live on the second floor. That gives more exercise for the hips and low back. Help me, Lord, not complain!”

Image result for free picture of flock of sparrowsA slight breeze moved cool morning air over my face as three chestnut brown sparrows flushed into the dense bushes bordering the sidewalk, chirping in chorus as they flitted from sight. I put my gym bag in the back seat, my purse in the front, pulled out my verses and read them again, slowly, before backing the car up.

 “It is making a difference, Lord, it really is. Your Word pops into my mind so often now when the enemy shoots thought arrows of fear and discouragement.”

 “The Lord is good to those who depend on Him. . . uh. . . “The Lord is good to those who depend on Him. . . uh. . . mmm.”  Up and down the little hills on First Street I struggled to remember the next phrase. Finally, at the stop light, I glanced at my paper. “to those who search for Him. So, it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. Lamentations 3:25 and 26.”

 “Ah! Yes, that was it! ‘The Lord is good. . . ‘” During the five-minute sprint on the interstate, where there were no stoplights, I managed to repeat the whole passage in my mind. During the next hour of stretches, weights and recumbent bicycling, I repeated that passage and talked silently with the Lord about it.

Well, Lord, that says to me that You want me to depend on You and wait for You, with patience, and to keep searching for You. So, how do I depend on You today, right now? If I am depending on You, then I will not worry about . . . “

 That scene happened more than two years ago, on a morning in April 2019. That was the year God dramatically healed my life-long struggle with depression and anxiety. What brought about the healing, when nothing else had worked?

Taking God’s Word like the medicine He says it is healed depression and fear and renewed my mind. (Romans 12:2, Proverbs 4:20-22.)  Since I began diligently meditating God has kept me in His peace, even in these troubling times. Yes, I’ve stumbled a few times but God always gets me back in peace as I get my mind back on Him. If meditating is a daily habit, I rejoice with you! However, many are like I was, far from God’s mark regarding meditation.

Image result for free picture of arrow missing targetSo far from the mark. That morning back in April 2019 God began unveiling this invincible weapon that Satan had hidden for most of my life as a believer. I was ignorant of what God means by meditation and taking his Word like the medicine it is until I was actually doing it.

Some reasons we fail to follow God’s clear commands about meditation are:

  • Meditation does not come naturally. Forming new habits requires discipline and self-control. We may not even know how important it is. How often do you hear about meditation?
  • Our enemy knows how dangerous and powerful the Word in the mouth of a believer is and he sets roadblocks using lies, distractions, and our flesh. How often I said, “I just do not have time” or “I just cannot remember” or “I tried but it will not work for me.”
  • Pride blinds the eyes of the heart. 1 Corinthians 10:12 warns us, “So, if you think you are standing, be careful that you don’t fall!” (NIV)
  • Image result for free picture of grand pianoComparisons also blind us to the truth. It is tempting to think we are doing fine because we are “doing more” in some areas of spiritual life than someone else. We are unwise if we compare ourselves with others and use ourselves as the standard of measurement (2 Corinthians 10:12b, NLT). A piano tuner uses a tuning fork, not another piano.
  • I had to confess a very ugly, very bad attitude. I remember thinking that constantly thinking about God’s Word was for people who are “far out” there with God. Wow was I in danger! Fortunately, God convicted me, I confessed and turned away from that attitude, and by His grace, I do the same thing that I, to my great regret, spurned for so long.

 [2] So what is meditation?  To meditate is “to dwell on anything in thought; to contemplate; to study; to turn or revolve any subject in the mind.” ( Synonyms include to ponder, muse, brood, concentrate, be lost in thought, think deeply and carefully upon–and my favorite—to chew the cud! Cows chew their cud up to eight hours a day, chewing each mouthful 40 to 60 times so the grass will be digested properly and absorbed by the body. The cow eats the grass and then, later chews it. We read the Word, and then, later, we think about it until it is digested.

Image result for free clip art of cow chewing cud<<Meditation on the Word changes us from the inside out.>> To meditate means to ponder and think about a verse or passage so long that it becomes part of you. Grass, properly chewed, becomes part of a cow. The Word, properly meditated upon or thoroughly chewed and swallowed, becomes part of who we are. The Word changes our innermost being. It renews our mind (Romans 12:1-2).

Meditation is NOT yoga. When we meditate, we do not repeat a mantra. We are thinking about and talking with the God Who made heaven and earth, the Most High, and His Word to us. We are purposefully thinking, not trying to turn off our thoughts. We are pondering on, contemplating, thinking about God’s law – His instructions to us on how to live.

[3] Meditation can heal your heart and your life. The power of God’s Word will “fix” your heart whether your problem is addiction, anger, self-control, loneliness, depression, or fear. Then, as your heart changes, your life will change. Hebrews 4:12 says God’s Word is alive and full of power, and that it “judges the thoughts and intents of the heart.” (NIV) That phrase means to me that God’s Word in my mind enables me to discern, or to judge, whether thoughts and feelings in my heart are good or bad, true or false, beneficial or detrimental, holy or corrupted, whether they are from God or from the devil, and whether they lead toward life or lead toward death.

<<The light of truth chases the darkness of lies away, just as dawn chases the darkness of night away (Proverbs 4:18).>> While deeply depressed and cowered down by fear, most of my thoughts were negative. The enemy and my own downtrodden heart generated thoughts and feelings of hopelessness and discouragement, day after day. Only when I began studying the Word for myself in my areas of need and then consciously kept those verses in my mind minute by minute, hour by hour, day by day, did healing begin.

Image result for free picture of dawn<<As God’s truth increases in your heart, lies and darkness decrease.>> When we meditate on God’s truths, truth begins occupying more space in our thoughts than lies, and truth becomes dominant, or foremost.  You eventually make salt water drinkable if you add enough pure water. Really, it is more like a desalinization plant because the salt, or lie, is actually removed, not just diluted!

I believe that is one reason God tells us, many times, to think about His Word all day long. As we keep His Word in our mind, hour by hour, day by day, we begin to think about life and situations like God thinks about because we have more of Truth about life and those situations in our hearts. We start to walk in truth, to live in truth, to think like God and to act in more godly ways.

As we keep diligently studying the Word, treasuring up truths in the storehouse of our mind, we grow spiritually, we step into Satan’s snares less often, and strongholds constructed of his lies crumble.

To be continued. . .

Diligent Bible study–now! Part Three

Image result for free picture of bible studyReview:
Part One  and Two showed we must study the Bible diligently because  God says to;  we need God’s peace to withstand the evil attacking our nation and our world today; and we must be ready to do our part in the world-wide revival that has already begun.

Guidelines in Part One and Two of “Diligent Bible Study–now!” urged us to
A.  Read the Bible through each year.
B.  But do not just read – STUDY.
C. And do not just study—study FOR YOURSELF.
D. And do not just study for yourself—study IN YOUR AREAS OF NEED.
E. Let Holy Spirit teach you—DIRECTLY!

Today we will look at one guideline — the importance of getting the context when we do Bible study.

Image result for free picture of fishing with cane pole[F] Use a context net to study the Word, not just a cane pole. If you want just one fish, a cane pole might catch a fish. But what if you want all the fish you can get? What if you hunger and thirst for all the fish in an area? In that case, you would use a cast net.

A cast net is a fishing net with weights on the side that help it sink so as to catch whatever creature is in the netted area. You catch few or no fish if you do not know how to cast the net properly because it will not open up and cover the area you are focusing on. Your net will hit the water in a wadded-up, probably fish-less tangle.  Watch any video on using a cast net. A person knowing the basics of cast netting makes the net unfurl just right and cover the area he wants it to cover.

Image result for free picture of using cast netBut suppose you have never seen a cast net properly used. You make toss after toss of your wadded up net, you catch one small fish, and stop. Or, suppose you often catch nothing but you keep casting that net, day after day, because other people say they catch many fish. You grow discouraged and feel something must be wrong with you but you keep trying. And you survive on the occasional fish you catch yourself and the abundance that others share with you from their own fishing.

<<God means for you, too, to be a successful fisher for His truths.
That requires casting a net wide enough
to pull the context of a verse into your thoughts.>>

Are you catching the context? Just reading one verse is like overhearing one single sentence of a ten-minute conversation. To correctly interpret one or two sentences you hear requires hearing the entire conversation, in other words, catching the context.  God wants you to correctly understand His “conversations”, or discussions, in the Bible. So, at bare minimum read verses before and after the one you are studying. Preferably, at least glance over the entire chapter and an outline of the book of the Bible you are studying or a short summary (both of which are often included in the front of each book of the Bible and always in the front of study Bibles).

What is context anyway?  If we think about Webster’s 1828 online dictionary definition, we see that context means the general sense or structure of a discussion, specifically the parts of a discussion coming before or after the sentence quoted,  or “the passages of Scripture which are near the text, either before it or after it.”

Image result for free picture of ancient scrollIf we still read the Bible on scrolls, we would nearly always at least skim the context. Think about it. Back in those times, suppose you were a cruel husband and wanted to justify how you treat your wife. If you heard that Paul’s teaching on marriage was “toward the end of the Ephesians scroll”, you would have to at least skim through many sentences to find the passage. And if you were looking for that specific statement that wives are to submit to their husbands (what we label today as Verse 22 of Chapter 5), you would need to read that entire passage slowly and carefully.  In so doing, you would at least be exposed to the context. And if your heart was right, God would use that entire passage—not just one isolated statement—to guide your conduct.

Do you see how the modern convenience of grouping verses into sections and assigning chapter and verse makes it easier to take God’s Words out of His intended context and misuse them? No, God did not “accidentally” let us put His Word into this format. Using a book format, with section, chapter, and verse designations is helpful but God’s Word—and simple common sense—tell us that studying the Word correctly involves more than plucking a sentence here or there.  Would you approach a college chemistry textbook that way, or a recipe for lasagna, or the instruction manual for assembling playground equipment?

We cannot take one isolated verse here, one there and another fifty pages away and think we have “studied”, for example, what God means by righteousness. If we get the correct context of each of those three verses, and then study them, however, we might have a little bit of a start on understanding righteousness.

Image result for free picture of if thenAnother example. To further illustrate this point, suppose you want to find some verses about safety because you travel often.  You find a list of verses and start with Deuteronomy 28:6: “You will be blessed when you go in and blessed when you go out.” (NIV). It would comfort your soul to rest in that promise but wait. Do you know to whom God is making that promise? This promise and those following apply to those who fulfill the conditions of the first two verses of Chapter 28. Hear verses 1 and 2: IF you fully obey the Lord your God and carefully follow all his commands I give you today, the Lord your God will set you high above all the nations on earth. All these blessings will come on you and accompany you IF you obey the Lord your God:” (emphasis added)

But suppose you are not really interested in what God thinks about this subject, and you do not take time to reason with Him and see His perspective. No, you only want to get something for yourself., not really study the Bible.   So you do not cast that wide context net and you fail to see what is around that one little blessing you want to grab. Instead, you claim that blessing and go on to the next verse on your list.

What if Holy Spirit is right there, longing to correct you, to convict you of sin, true righteousness and the consequences of disobedience? What if Holy Spirit wants you to remember one instance where you have not fully obeyed Him. What if, for example, you recently stopped tithing because finances are tight and someone you trust said “God will understand”. What if God wants to use this verse to convict you for your good—so that you can correct your behavior and He can bless your finances.

Suppose, that in this same time of Bible study, after claiming Deuteronomy 28:6, you read another verse on the list–Psalm 91:11—where God says He will “command His angels concerning you to guard you in all your ways” but again, you fail to catch the context.

Image result for free picture of child driving carSadly, you do not hear God explain that the astounding promises in Psalm 91 are for those who fulfill the conditions in the first two verses–verse one that requires us to dwell (which means to make our permanent home) in His very presence, and verse two, which requires us to say God is our refuge and our fortress and that we trust in Him. If we have not done that, we sit in a parked car, spinning the wheel and making “Vroom vroom” sounds.

<<Like a child engaging in fantasy,
we deceive ourselves into thinking we are going somewhere
but we never activated the engine.>>

I simply cannot read part of an operator’s manual for a complex machine and expect to operate the machine correctly.

How do you know how wide to cast your context net? One way is to look for connecting words and phrases.  Pay attention to connecting words, such as because, for, therefore, whereas, accordingly, etc. Words like these link statements or ideas together where the second statement or idea depends on the first. Connecting words show you the if/then nature of God’s laws and promises. They show what we must do to have the uncountable blessings He has prepared for us. Just as you cannot correctly understand what you read without understanding the context, you also cannot understand how God’s laws and promises work if you only grasp the end of a chain of thought.  You will not see God carefully, lovingly telling you what obeying and disobeying do and what will be the effect of your actions.

Image result for free picture of using cast netVerses 1 through 6 of Psalm 119 start explaining how to live an upright life, a life pleases God. Verse 7 says I will be able to praise God with an upright heart “when I shall have learned [by sanctified experiences] Your righteous judgements [Your decisions for and against particular lines of thought and conduct’]. (AMPC) We learn when we experience consequences for our actions, when we experience God’s judgements for what we think and do, when we see the results or effects of breaking or keeping His laws. If we search out the Word, seeking to understand how God’s laws work, we will see that our action was the cause that led to the effect, or result, we experienced.

As you become more keenly aware of context, you will start going backward and forwards as a habit, seeking to see where the condition for a promise was stated, and you will find yourself reading bigger and bigger segments of Scripture.  Woohoo! Keep going!

<<God’s Word NEVER fails, although
it APPEARS to fail
when WE FAIL to handle the Word correctly.>>

A pause to reflect. You might be saying, “This is getting complicated, and it will take a lot of time!” As for the former, with persistence these things will become as automatic as driving a car. As for the latter, yes, following these suggestions you are reading about requires time and steady, focused effort.

Image result for free picture of pilgrim on pathDear fellow pilgrim, please hear me. I dare not presume to explain exactly how God works, but I can, with trembling and reverence, put forth some Bible truths. (1) God rewards obedience and He loves those who approach Him with sincere, pure motives. So, I believe He rewards any sincere effort at Bible reading and Bible study.  (2) However, God also says—many times in His Word—that we get what we deserve. “I the LORD search the heart and examine the mind, to reward a man according to his conduct, according to what his deeds deserve.” (Jeremiah 17:10, NIV). God does just give us many, many things, but He does require us to labor for some things. Would it be fair if I rarely even read my Bible yet received the same deep understanding as someone who reads the Bible daily and studies diligently several times a week?

<<Little effort studying the Word, yields little reward.
Great effort produces great reward. >>

God will teach you how to study better.  And let’s demolish another sinister lie from the enemy that so often provides excuses for not studying the Word. God WILL teach you His Word, if you make the effort, no matter your situation or circumstance. Would God be fair if He withheld the riches of His Word from those of lesser means or education? No! He longs to open the storehouse of His Word to you—if you ask Him to! It does not matter if you “never were a good student” and/or have no formal training in Bible study. If you whole-heartedly ask God to help you, He will—somehow, some way—teach you how He wants you to study better.

God will give you the gift of wanting to do Bible study. Enjoying the act of studying is a great blessing. But whether it comes naturally or not, God will give you great pleasure in studying His Word. He did it for me and millions more. Proverbs 2:11 says “For wisdom will enter your heart, and knowledge will be pleasant to your soul (NIV). When we look at the verses before this one–when we unroll the scroll, when we cast that context net–Holy Spirit teaches us that this enjoyment of the Word is but one blessing that comes when we do what He lovingly urges us to do in Verses 1 through 4.

All these guidelines for Bible study require no formal training or costly resources, just a sincere heart, sincere effort, and faith—like a little child–that God WILL teach YOU, directly, through His Word. He wants you to catch lots of truth when you go fishing with Him!

Image result for free picture of using cast net



Diligent Bible study–now! Part Two

Image result for free picture of bible studyPart One  of this series showed we must study the Bible diligently because  God says to;  we need God’s peace to withstand the evil attacking our nation and our world today; and we must be ready to do our part in the world-wide revival that has already begun.
We saw that it is important to:
A. Do read the Bible through each year.
B.  But do not just read – STUDY.

Part Two: Today, we will look at the following guidelines:
C. And do not just study—study FOR YOURSELF.
D. And do not just study for yourself—study IN YOUR AREAS OF NEED.
E. Let Holy Spirit teach you—DIRECTLY!

[Guideline C] And do not just study–Study for yourself! It is vital that you study for yourself, not just what other people have labored to unearth. I read many, many excellent books by sound Bible teachers about handling emotions, and I took part in Bible studies, but God did not heal me until I dug deeply into the Word for myself. Be warned especially if the study materials you rely on are strings of single verses, lacking the context of those verses and failing to show how those verses fit into God’s laws—His causes and effects, His conditional promises. If you are in a Bible study group or working through a Bible teaching book – good and very good! But you also need—as much as you need oxygen—to study for yourself!

Image result for free picture of DO NOT LIKE STUDYINGBut what if you just do not like studying, what if you do not have training in how to study the Bible, what if you cannot afford or do not know how to use computer programs or cell phone apps that provide commentary and exposition of Greek and Hebrew words? What if you are decades away from the classroom?

SO WHAT!!!! Are you going to believe that God can do anything (Job 42:2) or not? Are you going to let the devil or fear or laziness rob you of constant peace and of the strength to overcome temptation? Will you let self-doubt rob you of the wise counsel of the LORD, of knowing the deep, inner meaning of His covenant, as He promises in Psalm 25:14? Will you let Satan steal the healing God has for you? Will you refuse God’s call to prepare yourself to share the Bread of Life with starving souls He wants you to nurture? Certainly not!

<<The key point here is— I must do my own
digging–just me, my Bible and Holy Spirit.
Further, I must dig for what I, as an individual, need. >>

[D]  And do not just study for yourself—study IN YOUR AREAS OF NEED. You will never find wheat in the apple orchard. If you need potatoes, you do not go to the cornfield! If I wander around through acres and acres and acres of rich farming country, I will  perhaps find the specific fruit or vegetable, nut or berry that I need, but it will take a looong time! And I will likely give up and just eat what is convenient, although I really need something else.

Image result for free picture of tailor taking measurementsWe all must understand the basics of our faith and then keep learning—all of the Bible. It is wonderful to follow a planned curriculum that will cover the entire Bible but it could take years before that curriculum followed by your church focuses on conquering fear, anger, depression, lust, or whatever you most need. Even then, that curriculum will not be personalized for you, as Holy Spirit will personalize it. Nor will books specifically devoted to those subjects be personalized for you. Some books are good starting places but they are just that – a point from which to start your own study with God as your teacher.

So, how do you study strategically, in your area of personal need? Here are four steps.
[1]        Identify what you need God’s help with.
[2]        Use a concordance to find verses about that subject.
[3]        Study those verses.
[4]        Meditate on those verses constantly.

[Study for yourself-Step 1]  Identify what you need God’s help with. You likely already know what your greatest struggle is. If not, ask God to show you. How will He do that? If I lose my temper in traffic and an obscenity pops out of my mouth. Hmmm. I need to study self-control. What if I see a romance novel, but I see the cover indicates the book is really pornography. Hmmm. God says to study temptation and purity.

[Study for yourself-Step 2]  Use a concordance. Most Bibles have at least a small concordance in the back. You can start there or use another concordance. I suggest saving for later the exhaustive concordances—which list every time a word appears in the Bible. Smaller, compact concordances and those in the backs of Bibles list just the most important occurrences in the most common verses.

Do not get bogged down trying to decide which concordance to use—just start! Holy Spirit is right there with you and He will guide you.  If you are humbly seeking God, God will “guide you in what is right and teach you His way.” (Psalm 25:9) Yes, YOU!

Image result for free picture of marked up bible[Study for yourself-Step 3] Study those verses! Later sections will cover more about studying but, briefly, at a bare minimum, please, read the verses before and after and preferably the entire chapter. Read the verses slowly, phrase by phrase, thinking about what the words mean. Rewrite the verse by hand, adding underlines and arrows, using all capitals or circling the words and phrases as Holy Spirit emphasizes—for you—what He meant when He moved on people to write His words.

<<Sit there a while. Just look at the verse. Think about it.
Give yourself time to hear what God wants to tell you.>>

 Consider this: does a good classroom teacher rattle off rapid-fire explanations of complicated concepts? Does she yell her most important points at students zipping up backpacks, eager to go on to the next thing? No! She waits for the full attention of the class and then speaks slowly and clearly. And she is entirely willing to answer questions.

 So, take your time. Rewrite the verse in your own words. Look up other verses in your list and see if they help you understand better. If you vaguely remember a verse that seems relevant but cannot recall where it is in the Bible, skim the rest of your list for that verse, but if you cannot find it, return to the verse you are studying. God will arrange for you to find that verse later. Yes, He will! Just try Him and see.

Image result for free picture of cow chewing cud[Study for yourself-Step 4]  Meditate on those verses constantly. To meditate is to roll something over and over in your mind so as to understand it. A cow chews cud to render the food digestible. We are commanded to meditate constantly and promised tremendous blessings if we obey. It is NOT an option! We must meditate, taking time to think deeply, while we are studying, and we must also keep thinking about God’s Word all day.  Because this is vital, detailed suggestions are provided in Guideline G on how to make that a habit, but for now, let’s look at another key to diligent Bible study—letting Holy Spirit Himself teach you.

[Guideline E] Let Holy Spirit teach you – directly! In looking up verses about Holy Spirit as teacher, I found an excellent writing by R. A. Torrey, world-renowned pastor, evangelist, educator and writer. Pastor Torrey referenced I John 2:27:

As for you, the anointing you received from him remains in you, and you do not need anyone to teach you. But as his anointing teaches you about all things and as that anointing is real, not counterfeit-just as it has taught you, remain in him.”

Amen, Pastor Torrey! Amen! Pastor Torrey eloquently states that the humblest believer has the privilege of being taught by God directly. And, although we do learn from others who have been taught by Holy Spirit, we “never truly know the truth” until we are taught directly by Holy Spirit. Further, he says that those who are taught by Holy Spirit will have better understanding of the Word than those who know Greek and Hebrew thoroughly and have studied diligently but without being taught by Holy Spirit. (See

Paul tells us in I Corinthians 2:13 that God’s Holy Spirit reveals the deep things of God to us “not in words taught us by human wisdom but in words taught by the Spirit, explaining spiritual realities with Spirit-taught word” (NIV).

I cannot urge you strongly enough:

<<Let Holy Spirit–Himself!–teach you directly,
in your areas of need,
as you sit alone with just Him and His Word.>>

In March 2019, depression and fear made me desperate enough to finally take advice I had heard repeatedly from Bible teacher Joyce Meyer: to study the Bible, for myself, in my personal areas of need. Having made growing with God my priority for 38 years and loving Bible study, I thought I was doing okay, hearing sermons each week, reading the Bible, doing Bible studies and reading Christian books. No! No! No! I was trying to hear God second-hand.

I cannot explain why anointed, root deep understanding that changes hearts, was withheld until I came to God as my Teacher directly—rather than second-hand. But I unintentionally proved that to myself through personal experience. Perhaps it is like trying to experience a hug using someone else as a go-between, or your beloved pouring out his heart to a mutual friend who then writes a love letter to you.

Would the words that mutual friend chose hit the mark as well as those of your beloved? And would the actual presence of that mutual friend be as satisfying as that of your beloved? Could you discuss a problem as well with that mutual friend as you could with your beloved, who knows all your past, who knows how you feel, who knows how you think, and who knows just what to say and when and how to say it? Could you trust that mutual friend as deeply as you trust your beloved?

<<Would you want to hear whispered words of love
through a mutual friend, or from your beloved?>>

Image result for free picture of COUPLE EMBRACINGWould it not be better—and the desire of the Lover of your soul—that the actual sound of His very own words fall on your ears? What if, dear friend, what if that mutual friend and your beloved were both in the room with you. Would you not wound your beloved deeply if you turned away from His outstretched arms and embraced the mutual friend instead?

From the moment I turned my heart to the Lover of my soul directly, from that first morning when I prayed, then sat at my desk, one Bible opened to the concordance in the back, looking up verses on peace in my copy of the Amplified Classic Bible, and taking notes on a clean stack of paper, Holy Spirit–Himself!–began teaching me what the Word meant for me. And He started with what I needed most which was how to find and stay in His peace that He describes in Isaiah 26:3-4.

No, I did not hear an audible voice but I read those verses, over and over, copied them in long-hand, and I kept looking at them, asking God “Lord, I believe You will teach me. Please show me how Your Word can heal this depression and fear. I believe Your Word is true. Help me see how to have this constant peace You promise . . . “

As I studied, I also paused often to look out the window and pray in the Spirit, which means to pray in tongues. I do not understand it-and do not have to!—but many times as I pray in tongues, God puts fresh, just-what-I-need thoughts in my mind. This will be the subject of a future writing, soon

Image result for free picture of HOLY SPIRITAnd He did teach, on that morning and countless times since. God revealed, directly, yes, to little insignificant me, the deep truths of those verses. Using just the plain Word and His Spirit—–no commentaries, no fancy Bible app, no human Bible teacher–He gave understandings that I had never heard taught before, understandings that gave the first measure of true peace I had experienced in years, peace that has settled a velvety blanket over my soul every single day since.

<<Holy Spirit longs for you to ask Him
to teach you – personally>>

Next week — The next segment of this writing starts with Recommendation D – Cast a big net.

Fresh focus for

FRESH FOCUS. There is a renewed focus for, which is  to give you hope and help in your daily life so that you can,
>>   live a holy life before God,
>>  press on to spiritual maturity,
>>  and take your position in the great awakening God has already begun.

Image result for Free Picture Of Focus. Size: 156 x 100. Source: www.pixelstalk.netDEAR FRIEND, this website is changing. When I began blogging in 2016, I aimed to share hope and healing for emotional and spiritual hurts through stories showing what happens to an ordinary person who uses God’s Word like the medicine it actually is. (Proverbs 4:20-22).  However, as I dug deeper into the Word, I fell deeper in love with God and more convinced of the power of His Word to change lives.

Sensing God’s loving direction, the inspirational, short-story type writing focused more on the Word and on spiritual maturity, not only on emotional healing. All the while, as I asked God to grow me up, as I joined in on intercessory prayer calls, God urged me to learn more about current events from His perspective and more about modern-day prophets and spiritual warfare.

That is how I found fresh fire, fresh focus, and my personal assignment in the Kingdom.

Trying to cope with this world can so damage and infect your soul that coping becomes your main focus. I aim to focus you on God, His Word and Holy Ghost power. In so doing, I pray I can help you fulfill the one purpose of your life as a believer.

Image result for free Picture of Vessel of Honor. Size: 158 x 110. Source: www.slideserve.comYOUR ASSIGNMENT AND MINE. We both have an ASSIGNMENT in God’s Kingdom, not a purpose, rather an assignment.  What? You say you already know your purpose? Listen to Mario Murillo in his must-read book “Vessels of Fire and Glory”.  Mario says that:

“Jesus is the one with a purpose and we have an assignment within that purpose.”

“What is Christ’s purpose on earth? First John 3:8 says, “He who sins is of the devil, for the devil has sinned from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that He might destroy the works of the devil.”

Your assignment in the army of God is your individual expression and extension of Christ’s destruction of the works of the devil. You are a destroyer of the works of the devil. God will give you a way to do it that is all your own.

Until that gets through to you—until you admit and agree to those terms—God will remain silent about your assignment.” (p. 116-117)

That is what I experienced, and let me tell you: once you find your assignment, look out! God will pour out on you more than you can ask or imagine or even dream about. What you have now of God in your life will be as a trickle compared to a mighty river. Zealously, passionately give God all you have, and watch what He does.

Don’t dare entertain doubts about qualifications or lack of time, health or other resource. Someone said, “God does not call the equipped. He equips the called.” Beloved, God has called each of us into the harvest. He WILL equip you.

I aim to help you grow even more than you have, to help you learn how to apply the Word and Holy Ghost power more effectively, and to help you fulfill your assignment in our world today.

HOPE AND HELP FOR YOU. I offer you hope and help—concrete, practical help—-as you grow in maturity and consistency. Living a consistently victorious daily life, growing up in God, and finding your assignment is hard work. We all need all the support we can get! There are no shortcuts but I aim to shine the light of God’s truth on the path before you. Though not perfect, God has—through His Word and Holy Ghost power–trained me to keep fairly consistent victory.

WHY LISTEN TO ME? If your spirit does not bear witness with what I say, then do not listen. But if you are stirred and desire to know more—more about consistent, victorious living, more about applying God’s Word, more about the Spirit-filled life and understanding God’s activity in our current world—here is what I offer.

HELP IN WALKING AND WARRING. I am offering to help you keep growing, to walk in the fullness of the Spirit and to start engaging in the battle. Regarding things of the Spirit and the spiritual battle waging today, as a Spirit-filled believer for 40 years, I explain, from a foundational level, what might seem strange, even unbiblical to you if you have not been around Pentecostal believers. You may have doubts and fears about talking in tongues, laying on of hands, words of knowledge, prophecy and other facets of Pentecost. Let me assure you: they are all Biblical. You may have seen God’s gifts misused and even some counterfeits, but His gifts are in operation today in millions of hearts across His beloved earth.

Image result for Free Picture of Holy Spirit. Size: 206 x 110. Source: standrewsgreencastle.orgDO NOT BELIEVE LIES ABOUT GOD’S HOLY SPIRIT! One key point–Do not believe the enemy’s lie that such things are not biblical. C.S. Lewis said one of Satan’s most effective lies is that he does not exist. Satan uses the same tactic to keep people from using the unlimited devil-smashing power source of the Holy Spirit for fruitful witnessing and living a holy life.

Though not an expert, I understand one thing thoroughly enough to explain basic facts and teach Biblical guidelines–how to apply the Word and Holy Ghost power to mature the sincere believer into consistency.

I can also help you start learning what God is doing in our world and point you to people with decades of experience and knowledge about that, people with whose work I am acquainted.

HOW DID GOD GET ME ON THIS PATH? Desperation led me to apply God’s Word like the medicine it is to break the bondage of depression and fear so severe that they were life-controlling. Continuing in the Word and the power of a Spirit-filled life trained me to maintain victory and to be about my Father’s business, rather than my own featherweight purposes.

In all the writings, I show how all that looks in clear, easy to follow steps, saturated with practical application of God’s Word and fully leaning on Holy Ghost power.

Image result for Free Picture of framed in House. Size: 153 x 110. Source: ALL NEED A FOUNDATION FOR NEW THINGS. Having a framework of basic understanding about anything helps you progress faster. This is especially critical if what I have been saying is new or just plain strange-sounding to you.

Learning and retaining and applying what you learn works best when you have a framework to which you can attach new ideas. If you hear teaching and do not understand the basic terms and principles of that topic, you will have nothing to help you retain and apply that knowledge. Try building a house by nailing horizontal wooden beams to vertical beams made of cardboard. I can provide a solid foundation of vertical beams for you to build upon.

I can provide that framework because I have been there, skeptical and uneducated in these matters but wanting desperately to please God. I am mindful of what might need explaining. Also, because I am an ordinary person, I am assured that what worked for me will work for you. I strive to communicate clearly, step by step, what God did as I followed Him. I know how helpful simple summaries of complex topics can be as well as previews, definitions, diagrams, flow charts and memory tips

Image result for Free Picture of Child jumping into father's arms. Size: 112 x 106. Source: forwardfertility.comHEALING AND GROWING. I am offering to help you grow, which includes having the Word and God’s spirit occupy their rightful place in your heart and your conduct. We do not know what that feels like until we start doing it. If you now struggle with emotional problems, all this might sound too strong for you right now. Be assured: it is not! The way to healing is to jump into God’s arms and let Him heal while He grows you up in ALL areas, not just where your heart now hurts. He did that for me, and I want to share those stories with you.

Just as God had a bigger assignment for me, so He has for you, no matter the struggle that may now hinder you. He has an assignment for you in this world-wide revival now happening. Yes, you!

ARE YOU ENGAGED IN THE WORLD? Believers today must participate in the world-wide revival now going on because that is what God is doing in the world today. You can participate by targeted prayer, getting informed and telling others, and in many other ways. If you listen to mainstream media, if you do not hear news from godly sources, and if you do not follow God’s modern-day prophets, you might not perceive the fierceness of the battle taking place all around us in the unseen, spiritual realm. You also might not know that world-wide revival has begun. This is what many are calling the Third Great Awakening.

Image result for free picture of jesus and the worldTHE THIRD GREAT AWAKENING. It has already begun—the greatest spiritual awakening earth has seen. The prophets are saying this awakening will be even greater than the one that started the Jesus movement of the 1960s, when Holy Spirit simply overwhelmed people outside churches and hippies walked into churches, wanting to know more about God and what had happened to them.

These last few years, while God has worked mightily behind the scenes to clean up and to expose the evil and filth in our nation and the world, He has already begun this greatest move of God, starting with thousands saved and miraculous healings in tent revivals in California, one of the most left-leaning, anti-God states. These revivals are spreading as God sends His Holy Ghost power. Pastors are smashing denominational walls as they gather together to equip and encourage each other to take their part in this awakening.

The darkness and evil of our present world has made people desperate for light and all that is good. The fields are ripe. God has already begun His harvest. World-wide revival is upon us.

WILL YOU PARTICIPATE?  If you do choose not to participate in this next great move of God, you will be not just be on the sidelines. Jesus says in Matthew 12:30 “He who is not with me is against me, and whoever does not gather with Me scatters.” Trying to stay neutral and uninvolved in the battle now going on means you are against God.

If you decide to join the battle (and I pray you do!) you do not have two years to conquer addiction or depression or other life-controlling problems, to press on to maturity, to learn to walk in the fullness of the Spirit, and to find your place in God’s mighty army. God is doing great and fearsome and wonderful things NOW. God needs ALL His warriors engaged in the fight NOW. That is why the focus of this website is more than ever on helping you grow and mature.

I aim to point out snares in your path so you can drink deeply of Living Water and feast on the Bread of Life as God grows you up and helps you walk further along that narrow path.  Notice I said as “God grows you up”, not me. I am even now nudging you toward Him as hard as I can. Righteousness with God and skill in applying His Word and His Holy Ghost power is necessary to overcome this world and destroy the works of the devil.

God is exposing evil and has already begun the Great Awakening. We must fulfill our assignments! Sharing what I learn is one way I am gratefully fulfilling my assignment. I am excited beyond words to share this new and deeper hope, this new and deeper healing and fulfilling of God’s purpose, the reason He sent Jesus for us—to destroy the works of the devil. (I John 3:8)

Image result for free picture of pressing on to the goalLet us follow Paul as he followed Christ (I Corinthians 11:1) and press on to maturity. Let us make Philippians 3:12-16 our aim. Let us say, with Paul:

12 Not that I have already obtained it [this goal of being Christlike] or have already been made perfect, but I actively press on so that I may take hold of that [perfection] for which Christ Jesus took hold of me and made me His own.

13]Brothers and sisters, I do not consider that I have made it my own yet; but one thing I do: forgetting what lies behind and reaching forward to what lies ahead,

14 I press on toward the goal to win the [heavenly] prize of the upward call of God in Christ Jesus.

15 All of us who are mature [pursuing spiritual perfection] should have this attitude. And if in any respect you have a different attitude, that too God will make clear to you.

16 Only let us stay true to what we have already attained.

Image result for free picture of praying hands and bibleIf you think I am too “far out”. If talking in tongues, prophecy, the laying on of hands for miraculous healing, and other elements of the Spirit-filled life offend you, you might reject my words, for now. I pray, though, that when you get desperate for the power of a Spirit-filled life, you will be back.

Whether you use this website now or not, I pray God stirs you up mightily and gives you no rest until your heart burns—and remains–white-hot with holy zeal!

Grace to you!