The LORD (Yahweh) says to my Lord (Adonai – the Messiah): “Sit at my right hand, until I make your enemies your footstool” (Psalm 110:1).

A correlation to this verse is found in Joshua 10. It’s the account of Joshua and the armies of Israel coming against the kings of the Southern Kingdoms of Canaan. The battle was fierce, but they had learned a hard lesson from their initial defeat at the city of Ai and were now listening and following God’s instructions through their leader.

God showed Himself so powerful in their behalf, at Joshua’s prayer, that the sun stood still and the day was lengthened until the enemy was defeated. During the battle the five kings escaped and hid in a cave. Victory secured, Joshua gave the order to remove the rocks covering the opening and bring out the kings. He then ordered his commanders, “come and put your feet on the kings’ necks.” And they did as they were told.

I can only imagine God’s heart as He looked on in this victorious moment knowing that as HIS STORY continued unfolding, this picture would be repeated again. Jesus – His Son in human form – would fulfill the promise of Genesis 3:15, The LORD God said to the serpent, I will put enmity between you and the woman, and between your offspring and her offspring; He shall bruise your head, and you shall bruise His heel.” 

This account reminds me of an experience Bob and I had on our children’s ranch in Uvalde, Texas. During our first visit Jason & Audra loaded us in their Ranger and the teenagers followed on 4wheelers. Their ranch has varied terrain – hills, trees and creeks, and arid rocky areas. Jason navigated us over one of those rocky roads and topping a hill we saw crawling across it a ring-tailed rattlesnake about 4-foot long.

Jason stopped the vehicle, pulled his 9mm from its holster and shot the snake in its head killing it with one shot. We all felt safe enough then to go and view the frightening scene there on the ground. What happened next is the point of my story.

Miss Abbey, my adventuresome granddaughter, wanted the rattlers as a trophy. However, the bodies of snakes continue to move after they are dead. She wanted the rattlers, but was undone by its continued movement.

Jason, father and protector of his daughter, stepped over and put his foot on the neck of the snake. He took out his hunting knife, handed it to Abbey and said, “Now he can’t move, YOU cut off his rattlers.” She continued to dance around and squeal –  like we girls do – with a mixture of excitement and fear, but eventually her desire for the prize prevailed. She took hold of the tail of the snake and cut the rattlers off. They still hang on her bulletin board today.

Look again at these verses, “Then they came near and put their feet on their necks. And Joshua said to them, ‘Do not be afraid or dismayed; be strong and courageous. For thus the LORD will do to all your enemies against whom you fight.’ “

In reference to these verses the Spirit Filled Life Bible says, “the avenged believer tends to doubt or fear the prospect of receiving dominion over the dark powers of the Enemy. The lesson in Joshua’s admonishing his captains to place their feet on the necks (an ancient custom) of the evil kings they had conquered demonstrates our privilege through Christ’s complete victory over the Devil.”

Genesis 1:28 records God’s creation mandate (His plan from the beginning of time), And God said to them, “Be fruitful and multiply and fill the earth and subdue it, and have dominion over the fish of the sea and over the birds of the heavens and over every living thing that moves on the earth.”

Adam and Eve, through their disobedience, gave that dominion privilege away to our Enemy. But God redeemed us – through the life, death and resurrection of His Son, Jesus – thus restoring us to that position again.

And you, who were dead in your trespasses , God made alive together with him, having forgiven us all our trespasses, by canceling the record of debt that stood against us... This he set aside, nailing it to the cross. He disarmed the rulers and authorities and put them to open shame, by triumphing over them in him (Colossians 2:13-15). 

A study of these verses uncovers a truth as profound in relationships as the atom is to a molecule. It is a truth and a power-to-stand we may not see or understand. Therefore – unrecognized – it remains ineffective.

Oh Lord, show us how to stand in this victory You bought for us and gave us to display. May we stand bold and unafraid as we face the threats of our Enemy. Cause us to see this truth as never before, that You, Jesus, are the victor over every plan –  every weapon – our enemy can muster. You call us into the battle to partner and then pin the victory prize of our testimony to the bulletin board of our lives for Your Glory. Amen

But we have this treasure in jars of clay, to show that the surpassing power belongs to God and not to us (2Corinthians 4:7).


Are you ready for another “AH HA” moment?

There is still one more POWER word that Paul wants us to recognize and understand in his Ephesians 1:19 prayer. He finishes the verse, “according to the working of His mighty POWER (verse 20) which He wrought in Jesus, when He raised Him from the dead.”

It would be easy to assume – as I did – that POWER here is the same word. It certainly sounds like miracle working power. However, this is a totally different Greek word (kratos) that means great vigor or dominion. The word is used eleven (11) times in the New Testament. Ten (10) of those times it refers to the Lord God and His reign. In this verse this “mighty power” is derived from God’s position of authority in and over His entire creation. This is, as stated in the Spirited Filled Life Bible, “power shown effectively in a reigning authority.”

Let’s break in on Paul’s word to Timothy as he describes our Lord in chapter 6 verse 15, “…who is the blessed and only Potentate, the King of kings, and Lord of lords; Who only hath immortality, dwelling in the light which no man can approach unto; whom no man hath seen, nor can see: to whom be honour and power everlasting. Amen.” That description is our God!

At the end of Ephesians in verse 10 Paul says, “Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of His might.” “Strong” here means: made strong, empowered. Our power to overcome – to be overcomers in every circumstance – is from Christ’s position of being seated at the right hand of God the Father, having gained victory by defeating all His enemies and OURS.

As my West Texas brother-in-law (aka policeman, detective, range master) would say, “I’ve not only got the badge, but I’ve got the gun to back it up.” “If you won’t honor the badge on my chest (delegated authority), I suggest you respect the gun (power) in my holster.”

Because we are “in Christ” we live in a position as sons – joint heirs with Christ – and are seated with Him in “heavenly places,” (the unseen spirit realm that exists around us) “far above all principality, and power, and might, and dominion, and every name that is named, not only in this world, but also in that which is to come” (Ephesians 1:21).

Just as true, is the truth that He is “in us.” “Those who obey His commands live in Him, and He in them. And this is how we know that He lives in us: We know it by the Spirit He gave us” (1 John 3:24 NIV). As perplexing as it may seem, we are in Him positionally, and He is in us to release that dunamis power. How can that truth be? It is true because our spirits are eternal – beyond time and space – and, therefore, have unlimited capacity to hold the things of God Himself.

Luke 9:1-2 “Then He called His twelve disciples together, and gave them power and authority over all devils, and to cure diseases. And He sent them to preach the kingdom of God, and to heal the sick.” The same words, the same truth are repeated here. Jesus sent them out with miracle working power and His delegated authority to restore the Kingdom.

In a sense, it’s the parable of the talents now in reality. Jesus in essence is saying, “I’m going away and I’m putting this ability in your hands. Even greater things than I’ve done you can do, and by-the-way, you will be expected to give an account when I return. Because He is “in us” and we are “in Him” – we truly can do “all things.” As my dear father would often say in his preaching, “I double dog dare you” to BELIEVE this is just as true of you.

I pray you grasp, my friend, what the Master of all things has put into your hand. By doing so, He has given you authority to put in use the talents and ability you now possess – with full miracle working power. I submit that His purpose is to fulfill Jesus’ prayer to the Father – “Thy Kingdom come, to earth (the physical realm) as it is in heaven (the spiritual invisible realm).”

Now to Him Who, by (in consequence of) the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams] — To Him be glory in the church and in Christ Jesus throughout all generations forever and ever. Amen (Eph 3:20-21AMP emphasis mine).

So be it, Lord!


 I simply love, “AH HA” moments, and Ephesians 1:19 contains two hidden nuggets of truth that provoked just that response. The word POWER is used twice in Paul’s prayer for the saints. I hear in his words a cry for us to grasp the potential of the grace gift God has made available through the overwhelming victory of His son, Jesus.

 This word POWER is used 274 times in the King James Version of the Bible and 156 of those are in the New Testament. I believe our most common response to the idea of power is – a demonstration of strength – and it is. However, a study of the word in its Greek form – especially as seen in this verse – uncovers a new perception of God’s provision and our potential as His sons and daughters.

 The first use of the word POWER is the Greek word “dunamis.” It’s often been described as the word we get dynamite from, and it truly is that kind of power.

 Can you hear the travail of Paul’s heart? “That God, may give unto you the spirit of wisdom:…the eyes of your understanding being enlightened, that ye may know what is the exceeding greatness of His POWER to us-ward who believe” (emphasis mine). Exceeding greatness means the ability to “hit it out of the ballpark”—to beat the last record and set a new one.  That concept is amazing enough, but there is so much more to be discovered here.

 The word “dunamis” contains in its definition the word MIRACULOUS or miracles. In fact, nine (9) times in scripture dunamis is interpreted using the word miracle(s). Paul is writing about “miracle working power.” Many of us can believe God possesses miracle working power, and Jesus certainly performed miracles, but the key in the phrase is the unusual word us-ward.” It is an emphatic word that means “for us” and “IN US.” This – beyond anything we can imagine – miracle working power has been deposited in us. God will work miracles for us, and He also desires to perform miracles through us.

 A miracle is a physical demonstration of a previously invisible reality. It is the ability to tap into the spiritual-invisible realm and bring something into the physical and visible realm.

 Matthew 25:15 is the parable Jesus told of the talents. He said, “The Kingdom of heaven is like this…” Then He told how a Master was about to go on a long journey and gave talents to each of his servants according to each one’s ability (the word ability here is that same Greek word dunamis). I’m having another “AH HA” moment. Are you? Each of these servants held within them the ability to release something miraculous through the talents they each were given. They only needed to recognize and apply it – two of them did, the other did not!

 Can we grasp what Paul knew and lived? Acts 19:11 says, “God did extraordinary miracles (dunamis) through Paul.” Verse 12 continues, “so that even handkerchiefs and aprons that had touched him were taken to the sick, and their illnesses were cured and the evil spirits left them” (NIV). The “dunamis” that he carried by the Holy Spirit even absorbed into objects and continued to release miracles.

 Paul is crying out to us here and saying, “I know what it is to carry this dunamis power given by God in my body, and I long for you to draw upon the talent and ability He has set with power in you.” Even Jesus said, “I do nothing except the Father in heaven tells Me.” But look at the miracles He did!

 In case you’re starting to have visions of Superman or the Avengers, know that this extraordinary (miracle working) power is not magic that we can conjure up. The only true source of power is released by our God, through the Holy Spirit, who lives in us.

 Acts 8:18 tells us of a man named Simon who saw what was happening through the disciples and offered money to access their “power.” The word power he used literally means “superhuman or mastery” – as though he could be given something he could rule over and use at will. Peter rebuked him vehemently until the man begged for mercy.

 There is one more aspect to this power word – dunamis – that needs to be explored. Luke 8:41 begins the account of Jesus moving through a throng of people. A woman who suffered for years with no cure reached out and touched the fringe of His robe. Jesus stops and says, “Somebody hath touched me: for I perceive that virtue is gone out of me.” The disciples respond incredulously, the woman draws back in fear of reproach, BUT JESUS caring response reassures her that all is well and she is healed.

 Virtue (dunamis), the healing power of God has flowed like a channel from the inner spirit of Jesus to this desperate soul. Another miracle from God the Father has occurred. We, though “earthly vessels of clay,” hold – as a treasure – and God can release that same power out through our lives.

 What about your unique talent (ability) that God, the Master, has set in you and expects to see released through your hand? Is it a skill, a visionary gift, art, music, discernment, teaching, a healing gift, the heart of a servant? Don’t be like the unbelieving servant who hid his talent out of misunderstanding and fear. Recognize the wonder that God has placed in you. Dare to accept and to release God’s POWER from the spiritual-invisible realm into the circumstances He has set you in.


Recently, a beautifully designed invitation arrived in our mailbox. Opening it I read of an event at a prestigious Dallas location. What an honor to be included on the guest list! The details told of acclaimed speakers, entertainers, and even a special time with a nationally known and admired Christian minister. Reading further, however, I discovered there were conditions to the invitation and only the very affluent would enjoy the company and personal interaction with that special man.

I went back to that invitation several times and visually moved up the ladder to see which level of financial support I could rise to. With good conscience and our budget, I realized we could not justify higher than level one or two, and only a very few could “get in” and enjoy all the invitation offered.

For us, at what age does it begin – the evaluating, the wondering, the compromising – the question, “what do I need to do to fit in?”

Considering that question just recently, we concurred – no later than our teenage middle-school years, possibly sooner. All teenagers know what’s accepted (or expected in order to be accepted): clothes, shoes, hairstyle, tattoos, athletic prowess – all matter – and that’s just the beginning. Traversing that tenuous gauntlet will only get you the outside chance of “getting in” to the right club or clique or team. All this, in order to pacify that longing to be ACCEPTED.

Every age, every station of life – if God hasn’t done a true redeeming and healing work – will struggle with the need to be accepted throughout their entire life. From the rich and famous to the deadliest gang – all are searching and longing to satisfy that gnawing need to be recognized and belong. One notable author, who listed what psychologists say are the 5 basic needs of man, listed recognition second only to security.

ACCEPTED: admitted, received into, given approval, able to take hold of, to receive a favorable response. Anonym – rejected, denied, left out.

We all know the feeling of not making the cut – not good enough, not smart enough, not cute enough, not born well enough, not rich enough. Who’s to blame: parents, geography, or GOD?

Acceptance was a critical thing in the Bible. The Hebrew word literally means: to elevate. Only four chapters into the record of man, God regarded Abel’s sacrificial offering and was displeased with Cain’s. Undone by the rejection – the first murder was committed over acceptance.

God set His standard for acceptance high – actually higher than any of us could ever reach through our own effort. The embodiment of the law was to implement God’s standard of acceptance – the way “in” to experience the presence and approval of a holy God. The Old Covenant is the picture of His allowing man to make his best effort at meeting that standard. The Tabernacle had to be precisely constructed in order to be accepted (Exodus 40:33-34); the Priest had to be meticulously attired (Exodus 28:38); the sacrifice had to be perfect (Exodus 12:5). All this so that man could dare approach a holy God.

Who alone has immortality and lives in unapproachable light,

Whom no man has ever seen or can see.

Unto Him be honor and everlasting power and dominion.

Amen (so be it).

1 Tim 6:16 AMP

There are other notable examples: Jewish queen Esther was accepted by the King, Joseph was rejected by his brothers but became a ruler. David was accepted – Saul was not, Jacob but not Esau, Barabbas but not JESUS.

My sophomore year in high school, I was encouraged to pledge the most sought-after sorority in the school. Looking my best, acting my best, trying my best – the memory still lives of the night they drove past my house with the girls “who made it” hanging out the windows and celebrating. I too clearly saw that all my efforts were not enough. I thought I’d learned well enough and performed well enough to fit in – but didn’t make the cut. That event burned a recording in my soul that repeatedly reminded me that I didn’t measure up and must always be aware of the places I didn’t belong.

For most of us, our lives are spent on the sidelines, and we find ourselves looking at the television, a magazine, or the newspaper trying to imagine what it would be like to be accepted by the crowd. God knew that deep down inside none of us could. Oh, for a while we might find a way to belong to this or fit into that, but it would only be a passing season and truly a counterfeit of what He had in mind and intended true acceptance to be.

Stuck at the end of a very long sentence at the opening of Ephesians and grouped with other weighty words such as predestined, adoption, His will, praise, glory, and grace is this phrase, “by which he made us ACCEPTED IN THE BELOVED (caps mine).” Having researched the better part of those words, I’d almost moved on to the more acclaimed sections of the book.

Wonderfully, it caught my eye!

“’Accepted in the Beloved,’ ACCEPTED, I’m ACCEPTED!”

Not by some sought-after organization or clique, but by the God and creator of the entire universe. The God who knew there was no way for man (you, me) to meet His requirement of holiness, perfection or righteousness made a way. He, “chose us in Him before the foundation of the world” – that IN HIM we could be approved of, received into, made able to take hold of, and admitted into His Kingdom family.

Because of a covenant vow, King David searched and found a crippled and impoverished Mephibosheth and honored him as a son in his house— endowing him with land, servants and wealth. David declared to all that this son of Jonathan “shall eat bread always at my table” (2 Samuel 9).

Our God has made a greater vow – a better covenant – with us through “the Son of His love.” The key word in Ephesians 1:6 is not praise, glory, grace or even accepted. The word that unlocks and secures our acceptance is “IN.” “In Him was life”; “for all the promises of God are in Him”; “in Him we live and move and have our being.” The term “in Christ – in Him” is used 165 times in the New Testament, and nine of those times are in Ephesians chapter one.

There are many examples of being accepted in the New Covenant that give us hope: blind Bartimaeus, the woman who crawled to touch the fringe of His robe, Zacchaeus, the little children, the ten lepers, the woman at the well. A misfit in her culture, born a lowly Samaritan, rejected by husbands – she learned the requirements to survive, the timing to avoid the whispers, when and to whom to speak.

But Jesus – the Beloved Son – reached through all that and offered acceptance and hope for a whole new life IN HIM.

A few weeks ago it was again time for Mimi to emerge in order to spend precious time with the first set of grandsons. My daughter and son-in-law were attending a statewide convention in a town nearby so the timing was perfect to bring the children for their annual visit. My daughter had planned to bring the children and have dinner since her husband would already be heavily engaged in committee meetings. The day before they came she called and said, “Mom, I’ll need to come earlier and can’t stay for dinner. We’ve been included in an exclusive dinner with the Governor, and I’ll need time to get ready.

Wow, dinner with the Governor! My daughter, as special as she is to me, does not know the Governor well and would not be on the short list of people to include at such a gathering. My son-in-law has a completely different relationship with this much admired political figure. Unsurprisingly, where he is invited; she is invited. She can look at anyone who would give a questioning glance as to her right to be there and confidently say, “I’m with him.”

Amazingly, I can do the same! My Brother, my joint Heir, is none other than Jesus Christ. In Him I am accepted – fully accepted – and share the privileges and access to spiritual authority and the very throne room of God’s presence that He enjoys. It’s all because:

“You were slain, and with your blood you purchased men for God

from every tribe and language and people and nation.

You have made them to be a kingdom and priests to serve our God,

and they will reign on the earth.”

                                                                               Rev 5:9-10 NIV


The Bible is filled with verses that describe our relationship with God in prepositional phrases. This fact caught my attention several years ago, and I shared with others the idea as it related to the concept I was taught in English class. We were taught to identify a prepositional phrase by the way it related to a box: in the box, from the box, by the box etc. The same truth exists as it relates to Jesus: in Him, from Him, to Him; and that source “the Box” is a life-giving source. “Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made.”

(John 1:3 NIV)

   Recently, a devotional study verse contained one of those phrases, and I was sharing this concept with my husband, Bob. He began telling me about his experience in seminary where he remembered a professor saying that a study of the prepositional phrases is one of the greatest theological studies one can undertake. He expanded on some of the Greek root words. OF means place of origin or out of. TO means the place reached. However, the meaning of the word THROUGH (also translated IN) is instrument or channel.

INSTRUMENT! This simple word came alive and became pregnant with meaning. Instruments are used as tools in every walk of life and are the means by which almost all things are accomplished – music, science, surgery, on and on. Most familiar to me – from the construction business – are a brick hammer, trowel, ruler and level. However, the deeper value of the meaning of the word through excited me even more when I realized that it is the description I use for the content of my book, “Made Again, a Journey from Brokenness to Joy,” as “a book of “through” lessons – through the problems but rarely snatched out.”

The stories of the Bible suddenly meant even more. Noah went through the flood, the children of Israel went through the wilderness, the three Hebrew children went through the fire.

“Some through the water, some through the flood,

Some through the fire, but all through the blood.

Some through great sorrow, but God gives a song

In the night season and all the day long.”

(God Leads Us Along, G.A. Young 1903)

   The deeper value of testing and trials, the pain of difficult circumstances, the losses of life suddenly took on a new perspective. “Ye though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death…” God intends these THROUGH experiences to be instruments in our lives – an instrument of healing through His surgical hands, an instrument of rebuilding broken places, an instrument of assaying, purifying and refining our souls. I can be confident that each is not only an instrument in His hand, but the right one as well.

Upon further study, I experienced the crowning moment regarding the often mysterious meaning of the verse, “For from Him and through Him and to Him are all things.” (Romans 11:36 NIV) The deepest meaning of this verse teaches us that “from Him” – the origin of place, time, or cause – and “through Him” – the instrument or channel – “and to Him” – the place, time or cause reached – “are all things.” Further, the picture of THROUGH also carries in this meaning one of a fixed position of rest. It all began with Him, it all ends with Him, and He is the means by which we get there. Assured of these truths, we can rest.

It’s the picture of the flights our team made times overseas, with the first stop being London, England. We’re flying 45,000 feet (about 8 ½ miles) above the ocean’s surface, at a speed of 600+ miles an hour – impossible on my own – in an airplane that has structural and mechanical limitations, some of which could mean certain death. Yet, we are relaxed (at rest), eating, watching a movie and eventually sleeping throughout the journey.

Through the instrument of the blood of our Lord Jesus, our journey is all-inclusive – victory over every enemy, peace (rest) in every situation, growth and maturity through an intimate relationship, and a guarantee that we will arrive safely at our eternal destination.

“Through many dangers, toils and snares I have already come,

His grace has brought me safe this far,

And grace will lead me home.”

The day had begun early and included the normal routing of starting my morning work out with ten minutes on the elliptical machine. Enjoying Joyce Meyer on her daily television program at 7:00 am causes the mundane time to pass much faster. I was delighted to find her interviewing John Eldredge – one of my most revered authors. She asked him to describe the turning point in his life that let to the intimate relationship with God that he so ably writes about.

His answer, “It happened when I realize that GOD SPEAKS!”

He expanded on the often-missed truth that God’s speaking flows out of His desire to talk with His children. Eldredge further conjectured that God may actually delay answers to our prayers – which mostly involve asking for something – so that we will come and spend time talking to Him.

Later in the morning I settled down in my favorite chair and continued my daily routine of sitting with hot, honey-accented coffee in front of a warm fire, reading a few pages of scripture and lines in a devotional book or two that lie near my chair. Still reflecting on John’s words, I spoke with a renewed longing, “Lord, I want to hear You speak today.” Only moments passed before four simple words impressed my mind – He careth for you.

I knew the words were connected to a familiar passage, but the beginning of the verse eluded me. Reaching for the Strong’s Concordance that is kept next to my chair, I looked for that unique King James word—careth—that you’ll never find in a dictionary.

There it was in 1 Peter 5:7, and I found the definition in the Greek section. As so often happens, the simple meaning of the word came alive and washed over my soul. Careth: it matters! Instantly tears were streaming down my face.

My heart began to cry out, “Oh God to know that Justin matters, Kody matters, Sherri matters, Caleb matters”—family members who are especially struggling with the issues of life.

“Janine – who already struggles unimaginably with physical challenges – just had a car accident and is hurting even more. She matters.”

“Mary Ellen, who’s over in Ft. Worth facing the daily challenges as a first year medical student, matters!” On and on I prayed and talked back to my Father God.

Even as the morning passed on and I prepared for the tasks of the day, images of friends and family continued rolling through my mind. Cathe – overwhelmed in this season – alone and seemingly forgotten. “God, I declare she matters to You. Right now—in this ‘How did I get here?’ place—You know, You see, YOU CARE.”

With those four simple words God addressed my deepest questions: Does anyone see me? and Does my life matter?

Earlier in the week, adding the final touch to our date night, Bob and I walked into a favorite dessert spot. We were warmly greeted and led to a cozy booth against a window that framed a picturesque street. The evening was far spent, so the café was sparsely filled; yet the waiters kept passing us by. After ten minutes or so, we’d begun discussing our options when a friendly young man abruptly stopped at our table and asked if we’d been helped.

“No,” we responded in unison; and before he could go further I said as lightly as I could manage, “We thought we were invisible.”

He did not know that feeling is an ongoing theme for me. “Does anyone see me? I’m here, I’m talking, I’m asking. Does anyone notice? Does my life matter?”

God responded today to the deepest cry of my heart as He reminded me of His unfailing promise – He careth for you. As I read and pondered the scripture, my heart heard my Father’s love as He said, “Others may not notice, but I not only see you – it matters. You matter!”

Our date night climaxed as this wise young waiter insisted that we order any specialty coffee we wanted, for the price of a regular one. I ordered an expertly made cappuccino while Bob went looking for the dessert. He had quite a time choosing the perfect one from the display case. Of course it had to be chocolate – the darker the better – and it had to be fresh, with just a touch of fruit. When our waiter served Bob’s final choice on a plate with two forks, we were still discussing the choices he’d faced and the ones we’d anticipate trying the next time.

Lesson learned? If this young waiter—stranger that he was—saw, if he understood, if he read and realized our need—amidst all the customers that come and go—how much more, oh so much more, our God and Father knows and CARETH!

Casting the whole of your care
[all your anxieties, all your worries, all your concerns, once and for all]
on Him, for He cares for you affectionately and
cares about you watchfully.

1 Peter 5:7 AMP

He Is Able

It began as any ordinary school day. The first in a long line of stops, our eight year-old son boarded the school bus a little after 7 a.m. and would return—the last stop—around 4:30 p.m.

Scott loved country life. In a world filled with endless acres of ranch and farm land, equipped with a Yamaha 60 motorcycle and a Daisy BB gun, he and his playmates were ready for any adventure.

The call from the school came mid-morning telling us dynamite sticks had been found on the school bus during the morning route, and our son—they felt certain—was the one responsible. The charges were still undefined, but a Texas Ranger was on his way to our home to discuss the details. Even today my mother heart still feels a sharp pang as I remember the story Scott tells from his perspective.

He and another young friend had found the box of dynamite sitting on the ground at an unmanned construction site near our land. The temptation to take part of this rare find was more than they could resist, so several sticks were carried home as—in their minds—the ultimate prize.

Backpack armed and ready, he boarded the bus certain that his dreaded possession would ensure a rise from his lowly position in the school bus pecking order, imagining that any guy brave enough to carry such a powerful weapon on his person would surely be seen as fearless and someone to be revered. Only a few miles passed before he began brandishing his new-found treasure to schoolmates seated around him. Someone—likely a girl—screamed, “Dynamite, he’s got dynamite,” and the bus driver heard the commotion.

Scott tells how he put the stick on the floor and pushed it firmly behind him and could hear the bump, bump sound as it rolled toward the back of the bus, freeing him of any suspicion. Nevertheless, when the driver suddenly put on the brakes the rolling motion reversed. When he arrived at Scott’s seat, the dynamite had returned to its owner and lay precariously at his feet. His dreams of cowboy heroism had lasted only a few minutes.

Intrigued by the simple word, ABLE, found in an often-quoted scripture in Ephesians, I went searching for a better understanding. “Now to Him Who, by… the [action of His] power that is at work within us, is able to [carry out His purpose and] do superabundantly, far over and above all that we [dare] ask or think [infinitely beyond our highest prayers, desires, thoughts, hopes, or dreams]” (3:20 AMP). What a promise!

Able is a common word that by ordinary definition means: capable or qualified (based on performance). As is so often the case—especially when a word is applied to God—the Greek usage of the word means so much more. This Greek word, dunami, is the very word from which our English word dynamite is derived. Suddenly, this simple “able to do” phrase takes on a completely new meaning. Our God is not just capable in the midst of our circumstances; He is all-powerful against any challenge.

About ten years ago the Arkansas Highway Commission made the arbitrary decision to extend a “scenic” route of Interstate 540 through our ranch land. Despite all our efforts to keep them from dividing our land with a 200 ft. high bridge and six lane roads, the work began. Rocks were blasted out of quarries, hillsides were reshaped or flattened, a tunnel was created, and the terrain was forever changed. Dynamite had fulfilled its purpose; the transformation was complete.

Numerous scriptures clearly describe God’s intervening power: that He is “able to make,” “able to save to the uttermost,” “able to raise up.” No situation in life—whether brought about by our own choices, by those who would come against us, or by the enemy of our souls can withstand the redemptive and transforming power of the God of the universe who calls Himself our Abba Father.

Paul said it so well in 2 Timothy, often referred to as his last will and testament.
“…I know whom I have believed, and am convinced that he is able to guard what I have entrusted to him for that day” (1:12 NIV emphasis mine). Is life coming at you from all directions: finances, health, relationships? Do you feel overwhelmed with no one “big enough” or interested enough to come to your aid?

Your God is able. Not only is He able, He is attentive and listens for your smallest or most desperate cry. For because He Himself [in His humanity] has suffered in being tempted (tested and tried), He is able [immediately] to run to the cry of …those who are being tempted and tested and tried [and who therefore are being exposed to suffering] (Heb 2:18 AMP emphasis mine).

Scott had the dynamite stick, but what he did not have, was a fuse or a blasting cap. Without that vital connection the stick was of little use. Our prayer—our cry to God is the connection point He waits for. Psalm 18 perfectly pictures our Hero as He comes riding on the clouds in response to our need.

In my distress I called to the LORD;
I cried to my God for help.
From his temple he heard my voice;
my cry came before him, into his ears.
The earth trembled and quaked,
and the foundations of the mountains shook…
Smoke rose from his nostrils;
consuming fire came from his mouth…
He parted the heavens and came down…
He brought me out into a spacious place;
he rescued me because he delighted in me.

       (6-9, 19 NIV emphasis mine)