Month: January 2022

January 24th – John 14:27

John 14:27

After suffering a childhood trauma, I was diagnosed with PTSD. And as a result, I know first hand the debilitating effects anxiety can have mentally and physically in a person’s life. Feelings of panic. Spiraling irrational thoughts. And paralyzing fear. I used to deal with the anxiety by hiding myself away from the world. The safe little bubble I created kept the anxiousness at bay. But that’s no way to live. Because God wants us to live full abundant lives. To experience the peace that Jesus died to give us.

I wish I could tell you there was a magic pill, a fool proof therapy, or a sure fire yoga pose to combat fear. But there’s not. Because what works for one may not work for the next. And even as a Christian, I fight the battle of anxiety every day. But I don’t fight it alone. This is a war I wage together with God. The moment I feel the fear start to creep in, I cry out to my Father, sharing with Him every thought and feeling. I visualize His hand firmly gripping mine. And I recite out loud Bible verses reminding me of the Lord’s promise of peace. A promise that tells me if my fears never come to pass, or if my greatest dread is realized, Jesus is there.

We can’t just wish our fears away. We need to act on God’s Word instead of reacting to the situation. Today I challenge you to dig deep in finding the root of your anxiety. Begin with your doctor. Make sure there isn’t an underlying physical issue causing your symptoms. Talk to your minister, rabbi, pastor or priest. Ask around for recommendations for a good counselor. Share your feelings and struggles with those around you. And above all else, turn to the Lord. He loves you and wants to see you living in His peace. A peace, that dries our tears, quiets our fears, rejoices during trials, and sings in suffering.

January 23rd – Matthew 6:34

Matthew 6:34

The lyrics to one of my favorite songs go, “One day at a time, sweet Jesus. That’s all I’m asking from You. Just give me the strength to do everyday, what I have to do.” Every day is filled with its own unique challenges and circumstances. And Jesus wants us to focus on each one as it comes without worry for the future. Why? Because the Lord knows that worry causes needless fear and anxiety. Needless because no matter what tomorrow brings, God is already there. He’s there, in control, and working His plans for our good. Our focus should be on the day at hand. And trusting in God every moment of every day to supply all we need to get through it in victory. Now that doesn’t mean we don’t plan for the future. But what it does mean is that we shouldn’t let the worry about that future rob us of the joy from God’s gift of today.

January 22nd – Psalm 27:3

Psalm 27:3

With the days growing darker and the enemies of Christians closing in on all sides, how can we not fear? King David felt that same type of fear. In the over 20 years after being anointed to actually taking the throne, he too faced enemies from every side. Yet with confidence David declared, “Whom shall I fear?” How could David be so fearless? Because he knew that neither his own strength, nor his cleverness could save him. No the king of Israel knew his deliverance would only come from the Lord. And David trusted that as he followed in obedience, the Lord would defend him at every turn. For David knew the love God had for him, and put his security in that love. God also loves us with the same intensity. And we can rest securely in the knowledge that God’s love will protect us no matter what. So we too can boldly say, “Though my enemies surround me, my heart will not fear!”

January 21st – Mark 5:36

Mark 5:36

There’s no better barometer for the depth of our faith than when we’re in the middle of a crisis, or knee deep in fear. The synagogue official Jarius had just lost his daughter. And he came to Jesus in search of a miracle. But instead of comforting him Jesus told the man, “Just believe.” Christian theologian, John Walvoord once said, “Believing is accepting as a fact and making a commitment of your own future to the promises of God to save you; simply by believing in Christ.” When our hearts are broken, our fears overwhelming, and our spirits in turmoil, it is our belief in God and His promises that gets us through. For the “Lord is good to all, and His mercy is over all that He has made.” (Ps. 145:9) Those around Jarius told him to give up and move on. But because Jarius choose belief over fear Jesus gave Jarius that miracle. And when we too obey Jesus and “just believe”, He will work miracles for us as well!

News Of The Day – January 20th

Lawsuit Forces California Dept. Of Education To Remove Aztec God Chants

In response to a lawsuit filed on behalf of parents, The California Department of Education will no longer be teaching students two religious chants to Aztec gods from its ethnic studies curriculum. The program, was adopted last May, featured a section called “Affirmation, Chants, and Energizers,” which included an invocation of five Aztec deities called “In Lak Ech Affirmation.” The affirmations addressed the deities by their names, acknowledged them as sources of knowledge and power, called on their assistance, and expressed thanksgiving to them. Read more about the lawsuit here.


Supreme Court Questions Boston’s Refusal to Fly Christian Flag

The U.S. Supreme Court heard oral arguments Tuesday on whether Boston city officials wrongfully denied a request to fly the Christian flag at City Hall. The nation’s high court heard arguments in the case of Harold Shurtleff, et al. v. Boston, MA, et al., with the justices expressing skepticism of the arguments on both sides. Shurtleff’s request to fly the Christian flag (which features a cross) outside of City Hall on Constitution Day 2017 was denied based on a policy that gives the city discretion on which flags it can fly on the City Hall flagpoles.  The court will decide if the denial was unlawful discrimination and censorship. Read more about the lawsuit here.


Former Israeli Leader Benjamin Netanyahu Considering Pleas Deal In Corruption Trial

Benjamin Netanyahu, who lost the premiership of Israel last June after 12 consecutive years in power, is accused of bribery, fraud, and breach of trust in a series of complicated cases. He has denied all charges. Now after vowing to fight all charges, he is considering a plea deal which would keep him out of prison but also out of politics for the coming years. The deal would likely limit his sentence to a fine and several months of community service. But it would state that Netanyahu’s wrongdoing amounted to “moral turpitude,” a determination that would ban him by law from holding public office for at least seven years. Read more about the plea deal here.


Group Donates 20 Million Dollars Towards Preservation Of Black Churches

$20 million dollars has been donated towards efforts to preserve, rebuild, and share the stories of historically Black churches. The donation was made by philanthropic foundation Lily Endowment Inc. to the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s African American Cultural Heritage Action Fund. The money will go to help congregations including one that was slammed during the tornado that killed more than 20 people in Mayfield, Kentucky, last month. Rather than just fixing broken windows or straightening rafters, the project will provide assistance with things including asset management and helping historic churches tell their own stories, said Brent Leggs, executive director of the fund. Read more about the donation here.



January 20th – psalm 55:22

Psalm 55:22

Between the government, social media, and news outlets, fear is peddled as a hot commodity. No wonder in today’s climate people are afraid to even step out of their front door. But God, in His great love, reminds us that as His children we need not fear. For the Lord our God is with us. And with His mighty hand He will provide, sustain, and strengthen us. And never will He let us be shaken. But for that to happen we have to trust in Him and His promises. And let’s be honest. It’s easier to have fear than faith. To act on emotion instead of in standing in God’s truth. Billy Graham once said, “Fear can banish faith, but faith can banish fear. Faith isn’t pretending our problems don’t exist, nor is it simply blind optimism. Faith points us beyond our problems to the hope we have in Christ.” A great hope that allows us to cast all our cares upon Him, knowing we are wrapped in God’s love, goodness, and mercy.

January 19th – Psalm 5:11

Psalm 5:11

Have you ever been in an emergency situation and needed a place of refuge? I have. The year was 1995. My husband was 230 miles away being cared for by his parents as he recovered from a plane crash. I was in Pensacola, Fl working and caring for our 20 month old daughter. That morning I awoke to a strong hurricane which had suddenly turned in the night and was heading directly for our coastline. I picked up my mom, packed a few things, and headed to where my husband was.

Eight hours later we were only 40 miles north of Pensacola. Traffic accidents had bogged down all the major roadways. And the radio kept reporting it wasn’t safe to stay in your car. We were tired, hungry and it would be getting dark soon. We needed a rescuer and a place of refuge. I prayed for God’s intervention.

How relieved I was to see a police car on the side of the road. I stopped and asked for help. The officer gave me directions to a high school that had been turned into a shelter. I was beyond grateful, for never would I have found this place on my own. There we were able to get a warm meal, stretch our legs, contact my worried husband and watch coverage of the storm on TV. God watched over us that day and night, providing who and what we needed. And oh, how my heart rejoiced! 

A refuge is a place that provides shelter or protection, or something to which one has recourse in difficulty. The Scriptures tell us that God is our refuge place. But, we have to seek His refuge. We can’t stay exposed and vulnerable spiritually, trying to make it on our own.

To make God our refuge means we seek Him and have connection with Him, That way He can guide and provide spiritual resources for us.  The Lord delights in both helping us and our dependence upon Him. Are you depending on God to be your place of refuge? Are you staying connected to your spiritual lifeline? If not, make a point to intentionally seek Him in some way and make this a daily connection. It could be through prayer, Bible study, fellowship with other Christians. 

Blessings, Becky

January 18th – Romans 8:28

Romans 8:28

In this fallen world disappointments and discouragements are an unfortunate part of life. After all, we are all sinners living among sinners. Therefore we’re bound to experience trouble. Which is why this verse is one we should not only memorize, but hold unto tightly. For in this verse there is hope. I truly believe if we will only rest in this massive promise, our lives will be more solid and stable. And when Satan sends those negative thoughts that try to bowl us over, we will be able to stand strong! How you ask?

When you are hurting find God’s purpose in your suffering by prayerfully asking yourself:

  • Could God be using this trial to increase my faith?
  • Could God be using this trial to build my character?
  • Could God be using this trial to prepare me to better serve Him and others in some way?

Answering these questions will help you discover God’s plan for your life. And I can honestly promise you, that when you see the “big picture” (the one with God in it and on it!), you not only will be able to stand, but find yourself happy, rejoicing, and giving thanks for it all!!

Blessings, Sue


News Of The Day – January 18th

Tulsa Pastor Rubs Spit On Face Of Man During Sermon

While we are still fighting the covid  pandemic, a Tulsa pastor is stirring controversy after he was seen wiping spit on a man’s face during his sermon Sunday. Pastor Mike Todd of Transformation Church made some people in the crowd and online uneasy during the demonstration as he wiped spit onto the face of another parishioner to show that “receiving God’s vision can sometimes be nasty.” After receiving backlash Todd stated, “That was gross. I want to validate everybody’s feelings,” he said, apologizing. “That was a distraction to what I was really trying to do.” Read more about the disgusting act here.


Governor Phil Murphy Signs Law protecting Abortion Rights

A bill affirming abortion rights has passed in New Jersey while a looming U.S. Supreme Court decision means that the future of choice remains uncertain nationwide. The Freedom of Reproductive Choice Act was signed Monday by Murphy. In a statement, Murphy praised the “historic legislation” as a necessary precaution with the United States Supreme Court slated to rule on a case that could reverse or chip away at Roe v. Wade, the 1973 decision that legalized abortion nationwide. New Jersey Republicans opposed the legislation. “This bill and the rhetoric we’ve heard from the other side is: any abortion, at any time, for any reason,” said Assembly member Jay Webber this week. Read more about the bill here.


How Rabbi Charlie Cytron-Walker Helped Fellow Jewish Hostages

On Saturday, a stranger knocked on the door of Congregation Beth Israel in Colleyville, Texas. The rabbi, Charlie Cytron-Walker, assuming the stranger needed shelter from the cold, invited him in and made him tea. But moments later, the stranger made clear he had a gun and took the rabbi and three others hostage. The ordeal dragged on for 11 hours. “In the last hour of our hostage crisis, the gunman became increasingly belligerent and threatening,” Cytron-Walker said. But the rabbi knew what to do.  a statement provided to CNN. Cytron-Walker waited for the right moment before throwing a chair at the assailant, buying enough time for himself and two others to run out. Read more about his heroic efforts here.


Man comes To Christ After Finding Lost Bible

Victory Church Pastor Paul Daugherty lost his personal bible fifteen years ago, and now that bible has been found and is helping another person. The bible had belonged to Daugherty for many years and he even made it his own journal, filling it with notes, underlines, and thoughts scribbled throughout. Daugherty learned that the bible was found at a local shelter by a man named Clayton many years ago who has treasured it ever since finding it. At the beginning of January, Clayton showed up at Victory showing the bible to Paul, and then started attending church at Victory to hear Paul preach. The Bible remains with Clayton where Pastor Paul says it should stay. Read more about the encouraging find here.