Category Archives: Faith

His Divine Protection

It is safe to say that we all experience close-calls in life.  Those are the frightful moments when danger brushes by. It is interesting that once the rush of anxiety passes, we wipe our brow and blithely move on.  We go about our business with little recollection of the incident.

30997809_lThose of us who are parents can relate to the near misses that our children experience.  For instance, consider the time when the baby’s walker got caught on a towel preventing her from sailing down a flight of stairs. It would have been disastrous if that towel had not fallen from the laundry basket earlier that day! We all have stories.

What about those divinely orchestrated delays that interrupt our schedules and frustrate us?  Could it be the strategic work of God’s angelic response team to disrupt our agendas and timetables?  Are they the cause of a missed appointment or wrong turn off the highway? How wonderful it is that God cares enough to assign ministering spirits to attend to us during these urgent times. At His command, they divert, catch, answer, comfort and protect. They impact our lives regularly, delivering blessings and pleasant outcomes.

We would certainly be living very different lives if even half of these threats were not averted.  So, the next time we witness a divine rescue, before wiping our brow and moving on; let’s tell God how thankful we are for His watchful eye and divine protection.

Psalm 91:11 KJV For He shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 11/30/2008 9:56 PM

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Real People, God’s World-Changers

Our family watched a movie about one of the most historical events ever; “The Nativity”. The way the film portrayed the personality of Mary, the mother of Jesus, was curious to me because she rarely smiled.  Being the mother of Jesus, Mary was a world-changer, so I expected her character to meet certain expectations.

dreamstime_10092825bIn the movie Mary was portrayed as a responsible young woman who lived with her family in a region under Roman governance.  King Herod was the ruling authority at the time. Herod was considerably threatened by rumors of another King emerging in the land and he made regular attempts to identify his rival. Sadly his methods imposed treacherous and sometimes lethal assaults on the common people.

As I observed Herod’s desperate efforts to protect his monarchy, I began to see reason for Mary’s stoic countenance. It was not unusual for Roman soldiers to sweep into an area without warning in order to intimidate, capture, or kill.  Mary lived in a day when public abuse and punishment were marked. The striking sight of a human corpse in a tree or dangling from scaffolding was not uncommon, and the emotional effect of such scenes had to be reckoned with. As a result, the movie portrayed a Mary who had to manage her passions and emotions like anyone else in order to cope with the dissonance in her day.

Considering Mary’s calling to be a world-changer I was expecting a very different Mary; one protected from ugliness, pretty much glowing with joy, skipping through life under a God-beam.  With each on-screen appearance I searched Mary’s face for a hint of happiness.  And then I got the revelation; the character portrayed in the film was the more accurate one. God was identifying the disparity between the ‘human’ person, and the ‘superhuman’ or ‘supernatural’ God.

In order for Jesus to be born as both God and man, a human vessel was required.  Mary was the perfect representation of humankind.  She was a young woman living in and grieved by a sinful world, moved by humanity’s deprivation, unpretentiously waiting for the promised Savior’s appearance. God overshadowed a respectable and willing vessel to incubate the perfect union of flesh and Spirit.

So Mary did not live an advantaged life in the protective glow of a God-beam.  She was not the product of royalty, and she did not possess exceptional powers.  She was simply real, and she was willing.  God seeks real people to fulfill His sensational purposes.  They are the ones who will honestly say, as Mary did, “May it be done to me as You have said”.  From such an allegiance the world is forever changed.

Luke 1:38 NIV ”I am the Lord’s servant,” Mary answered. “May it be to me as you have said.” Then the angel left her.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 11/22/2008 11:08 PM

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You Can Always Find Your Way Home

I have a friend who has three dogs. She told me that someone opened their dog pen and the fence around her house, and the dogs dreamstime3dogsran out.  An attentive neighbor saw the dogs running through the neighborhood and caught the two oldest, but the youngest, just a puppy, ran off alone.

When my friend came home that night, she put on her sneakers and walked the streets for four hours looking for her puppy.  Sadly, she thought, “he is so cute someone probably scooped him up”, and she went home without him.

To her surprise two days later the puppy showed up at her front door.  My friend wondered how the little guy found his way home since he had never been outside the fence before, and did not know the neighborhood.  Then she remembered her four hour walk, and she realized that her puppy must have picked up on his master’s scent.

When she shared the story with me I thought of our Master, Jesus Christ. I started to wonder how attentive we are to the trail that leads to Him.  Do we read His map, the Bible? Do we discern His presence?  Are we listening to the still small voice that speaks direction to our hearts, “This is the way, walk here”?

As my friend’s presence in the street led her puppy to her door, so too the Lord’s presence leads us.  Be confident of this, no matter how far we have strayed, once we decide to return, we will find our way home.

Isaiah 30:21 NIV Whether you turn to the right or to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you, saying, “This is the way; walk in it.”

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 11/8/2008 11:35 PM

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Something to Hold

There was a time when I was deeply hurt by someone who I had trusted implicitly.  Consequently, I became dreadfully distrusting of just about everyone; anxious and emotionally bankrupt.  I was paralyzed by a mind full of confusion, and a broken heart.

42516499_s 4As I struggled to move beyond the hurt, I sought frantically for hope. I told God that I wished I could touch Him – be held by Him. I prayed in desperation asking for something concrete to hold onto, and God whispered this response, “Hold onto my Word”.

At that point I began to physically carry my Bible with me wherever I went. I brought it along to the grocery store, restaurants, my workplace… wherever I took my feet, I took my Bible.  I poured through it at every opportunity, no matter where I was, and I absorbed the words like a thirsty sponge.

As a result, I became drenched full of God’s truths and promises, and it wasn’t long before my dammed up feelings of hurt and anxiety gushed free. The Lord had made Himself so tangible and undeniably present through the pages of His book, that He satisfied my need for contact. There was no doubt that I had been touched by the living God.

Twenty years later He still resides in my heart as an abiding life-force, reminding me that He is with me and I am never alone. Through His Word He has not only healed the trauma of my past, but He has strengthened and empowered me to face an undefined tomorrow.

Though heartbreak could strike again, I am ready, for I now know that my God is near; through the loving embrace of His Word, He has given me something to hold onto.

2 Timothy 3:16-17 MSG Every part of Scripture is God-breathed and useful one way or another—showing us truth, exposing our rebellion, correcting our mistakes, training us to live God’s way. Through the Word we are put together and shaped up for the tasks God has for us.

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 10/17/2008 11:19 PM

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Daddy’s Here

Feeling a bit sad, I spent the morning alone and in prayer, asking the Lord to talk to me. After a time, I placed my computer on my lap to check my email in case someone was trying to get in touch. The first email I opened came from a woman in my church.

I was delighted with the treasure that she sefirerainbow300nt. Her email included an image of a Fire Rainbow that had been visible in the sky for one hour on the Idaho border. This phenomenon is rarely seen, because in order for one to form the atmospheric conditions must be atypical. The clouds have to be cirrus, floating at least 20,000 feet in the air, with just the right amount of ice crystals, and the sun must strike the clouds at precisely 58 degrees.

The woman who sent the image had no way of knowing that I have a fascination with such things, yet she forwarded the email to only four people, and I was one of them!

Since my adolescence, I have been captivated by the fact that God paints extraordinary pictures in the sky to communicate with mankind. He generously displays His handiwork as evidence of His paternal nearness and certainty. The Aurora Borealis, more commonly called the Northern Lights, are another brilliant example of God releasing a most splendid color palette into the heavens. He sends these out and they wave above us as if to say… “Daddy’s here!”

At a young age such heavenly phenomenon confirmed to me that our Father God most certainly did exist. I knew that this beauty could not be a result of atmospheric chance, but that it was, in fact, fashioned and displayed by a divine hand.

I may never see such displays in person, but today I was overwhelmed by the magnificent Fire Rainbow image on my lap. When I needed Him most, the God of creation spoke to me in a language that I would understand… “Daddy’s here”.

Genesis 16:13 NIV She gave this name to the Lord who spoke to her: “You are the God who sees me,” for she said, “I have now seen the One who sees me.”

Orig Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 10/4/2008 2:33 PM

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What are you Carrying?

Most people are familiar with the story about David and Goliath, where the young shepherd boy actually killed the ruthless giant with stonesa slingshot and a stone. What gave David the confidence to fight, and the ability to win?

David accomplished the unthinkable and he did it amidst the visual and audible noise of a mocking crowd. With little support, and no armor to protect him, David not only faced the vicious giant, but according to the Bible, he ran directly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. David ran in the direction of the roar, not away from it.

We frequently find ourselves running away from far less in life; the stress of a hard day at work, the disappointment of a poor grade at school, the overwhelming feeling of responsibility, financial pressure, the need to forgive, avoidance, fatigue, guilt.  We habitually super-size our problems and let them mount like a wall of defeat before us. David was courageous, determined and secure. His giant did tower over him, yet he ran toward him with confidence.

The key to David’s confidence was in the preparation that he had prior to the battle. His God had trained him well. In order to protect the sheep in his care, he had to fight the lion and the bear, so David kept his weapons nearby.

What are you carrying that makes you ready to face a future enemy? Remind yourself of the victories that God has seen you through and don’t shy from problems. Pull out your bag of experience and run toward the roar. Knock it down and be built up in your most holy faith. With each triumph against a new giant, you will have increased confidence in the next victory.

Let those jingling stones in your pocket remind you of God’s provision. In the words of David, in 1 Samuel 17:37, “… The Lord who delivered me out of the paw of the lion and out of the paw of the bear, He will deliver me out of the hand of this Philistine…”

1 Samuel 17:47 ESV And all this assembly shall know that the Lord saves not with sword and spear; for the battle is the Lord’s, and He will give you into our hands. When the Philistine came forward to meet David, David ran quickly toward the battle line to meet the Philistine. David put his hand into his bag and took out a stone and slung it, and it struck the Philistine, sinking into his forehead, and he fell on his face to the earth.

Posted by Donna M Dougherty at 9/23/2008 10:18PM

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