I didn’t see it with my own eyes but I heard about it. The Israelites faced a desperate circumstance—the Red Sea before them and the Egyptian army behind them. No way out! Then the Lord sent a strong east wind causing the water to pile up like walls making a path, and turning mud into dry ground for that massive throng to cross. When the army pursued, the waters returned to normal flow and swallowed the Egyptians (Exodus 14).

I didn’t see it with my own eyes but I heard about it. After the Israelites had wandered in the wilderness forty years because of their unbelief, the Lord said it was time to take possession of the land he’d promised them. How would they cross the Jordan River? Again he caused the water to rise in a heap, and they crossed the Jordan—at flood stage—on dry ground (Joshua 3:9-17).

I didn’t see it with my own eyes but I heard about it. The Israelites used a baffling strategy—marching around the city of Jericho once for six days and on the seventh day, as the Lord commanded, they marched seven times, blowing trumpets and shouting. The walls tumbled and the Israelites conquered the city (Joshua 6:1-21).

I didn’t see it with my own eyes but I heard about it. As the Israelites fought for the land they would inherit, Joshua asked the Lord to let the sun stand still while the nation battled the Amorites. “The sun stopped in the middle of the sky and delayed going down about a full day” (Joshua 10:1-14).

What’s your desperate circumstance? Do you wonder if it’s too difficult for the Lord?

He often reminded his people, “You have seen with your own eyes all that the Lord your God has done” (see Deuteronomy).

Don’t forget what you’ve seen with your own eyes…or what you’ve heard about. The Lord has a reputation for doing the impossible.

“Ah, Sovereign Lord, you have made the heavens and the earth by your great power and outstretched arm. Nothing is too hard for you” (Jeremiah 32:17).

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s secretary of Christian Authors Network and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

 

 

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Dianne Barker, Topics: Marriage * Parenting * Living in joy *

Dianne Barker, CAN Secretary Topics: Marriage * Parenting * Living in joy *

Done… Now What? 

Done. That’s what I told the Lord, repeating it many times during a long drive, alone except for him.

I’m a big dreamer, and I’ve spent my life pursuing dreams. That’s not a bad thing. Other people call this goal setting. I call it pursuing dreams because that’s the way I’ve lived it—chasing dreams the Lord put in my heart.

I did a pretty good job of living in the moment—with plans always simmering. Then I seemed to reach the end of the path. No clear direction to move ahead. So I got honest with the Lord.

I’m done! Done trying to arrange circumstances. Done trying to figure how to use my gifts to bring you glory. My life is yours. If you don’t tell me what to do, I’m done.

I wasn’t quitting on God…just letting him know if nothing else comes, I’ll continue living in the moment, not worrying about the future, content and grateful for my wonderfully blessed life today.

Maybe he accepted that as a fresh surrender. I’m still reeling from what happened next—unexpected opportunities and exciting possibilities, all bearing his fingerprint.

My computer Thesaurus gives these synonyms for surrender: relinquish, give-up, hand over, part with, forfeit, concede.

Many years have passed since I first learned God requires total surrender. Andrew Murray writes in Absolute Surrender, “The condition for obtaining God’s full blessing is absolute surrender to Him…Give yourselves up absolutely to the will of God…what can God do to fill a vessel absolutely surrendered to Him?…God has prepared unheard-of-things, blessings much more wonderful than you can imagine, more mighty than you can conceive.”

These words are embedded in my heart. “’For I know the plans I have for you,’ declares the Lord, “plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future’” (Jeremiah 29:11).

I’m done! Lord, your plans are better than mine. You lead. I’ll follow.

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She’s secretary of Christian Authors Network and a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

 

 

 

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Have you ever asked, “Why this waste?”

While Jesus was in Bethany at the house of Simon the leper, a woman brought an alabaster box containing expensive perfume and poured it on his head.

“Why this waste?” said the disciples, indignant. “This perfume could have been sold at a high price and the money given to the poor.”

The woman’s deed was to prepare him for burial, Jesus said. “Wherever this gospel is preached throughout the world, what she has done will also be told, in memory of her” (see Matthew 26:6-13).

In baffling times when I could see no purpose, I’ve asked, “Why this waste?” Someone I loved was disabled by a devastating disease. A friend’s young child died tragically.

What good could come from such waste?

Scripture gave answers.

  • We may comfort others. “Praise be to the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, the Father of compassion and the God of all comfort, who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God. For just as the sufferings of Christ flow over into our lives, so also through Christ our comfort overflows” (2 Corinthians 1:3-5).
  • Others see our faith. “Then the Lord said: ‘I am making a covenant with you. Before all your people I will do wonders never before done in any nation in all the world. The people you live among will see how awesome is the work that I, the Lord, will do for you” (Exodus 34:10).
  • We share in the fellowship of Christ’s suffering. “I want to know Christ and the power of his resurrection and the fellowship of sharing in his sufferings, becoming like him in his death” (Philippians 3:10).
  • We learn obedience, as Jesus did. “Although he was a son, he learned obedience from what he suffered” (Hebrews 5:8 KJV).

God never wastes an experience. Knowing he’s weaving everything together with purpose satisfies me.

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books, including the best-selling Twice Pardoned and award-winning I Don’t Chase the Garbage Truck Down the Street in My Bathrobe Anymore! Organizing for the Maximum Life. She serves as secretary of Christian Authors Network and is a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

 

 

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This week our CAN authors are sharing heart warming stories of fulfilling the Great Commission and speaking around the country on matters close to their heart!

Grace Fox just completed an 11-day trip through Nepal. This was a pilgrimage of sorts for her and her eldest daughter who was born with hydrocephalus in Nepal 33 years ago. Her daughter’s lifelong dream has been to visit her birthplace, and this trip fulfilled that dream. Read the beginning of this story—how Grace’s husband returned to North America with their three-day old daughter while Grace was left behind in Kathmandu not knowing whether or not she would see her baby alive again. https://www.christianity.com/11622440/

Also on this trip Grace and her husband, Gene, visited the village where they lived for two years in the 80s. Gene was a civil engineer then, and he helped build a hydro project that brought electricity to this region. They discovered that these Hindu friends now watch TV programs that present the Gospel. Without electricity, this wouldn’t be possible. Another highlight was distributing Nepalese Bibles to the villagers. God is on the move.

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Western romance at its best – An Unexpected Redemption is available  for pre-order, Book 2 in Davalynn Spencer’s Front Range Brides series. See her website for details: http://davalynnspencer.com/books/an-unexpected-redemption/

 

Davalynn will be speaking April 11 at the Canon City, Colorado, public library on the writing process as related to her 2017 release of The Canon City Chronicles.

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Dianne Barker will be speaking for “The 4Gs” women’s group in Gray, Tennessee, on April 10. The theme is “Remembering Billy Graham.” Dianne’s first book was Billy Graham in Big Orange Country about the 1970 Knoxville, Tennessee crusade. Follow her blog atwww.diannebarker.com.

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Cindi McMenamin, author of 17 books from Harvest House Publishers, will be the keynote speaker for the Women’s Retreat for Green Valley Baptist Church of Henderson, NV April 13-15, 2018 in St. George, UT. She will be speaking on her newest release, Drama Free: Finding Peace When Emotions Overwhelm You.

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What does walking by faith mean?

Romans 1:17 caused me some consternation. “The just shall live by faith.”

Sounds simple enough. But when I was a young believer seeking to know Christ better, this idea seemed vague and confusing. I needed a how-to. You know…five simple steps.

I heard this explanation: we’re saved by faith, trusting Christ alone; and we walk by faith, trusting Christ alone.

Being an emotionally expressive person, I let feelings trip me time after time. When anger, worry, or discouragement robbed my joy or a bad decision knocked me off track, I’d come to the Lord confessing my failure and expecting him to forgive and cleanse me and restore my joy.

Going on with my day, I didn’t feel forgiven…or joyful. I’m not clean enough! I’ll never be clean enough!

Living by feeling plunged me into despair. How will I ever be able to please the Lord?

Reading Hebrews in The Amplified Bible, I came across this explanation of faith: “leaning of the entire personality on God in absolute trust and confidence in His power, wisdom, and goodness” (4:2).

As that truth soaked in, I recognized my error: I didn’t believe the promise of 1 John 1:9. “If we [freely] admit that we have sinned and confess our sins, He is faithful and just (true to His own nature and promises) and will forgive our sins [dismiss our lawlessness] and [continuously] cleanse us from all unrighteousness [everything not in conformity to His will in purpose, thought, and action].”

If I confess, he will forgive and cleanse. My feeling doesn’t change fact. I can go my way rejoicing that God has done what he promised, whether I feel it or not.

Walking by faith is simply moment by moment leaning my entire personality on Christ in absolute trust and confidence in his power, wisdom, and goodness.

I think I’m getting the hang of it!

Dianne Barker is a speaker, radio host, and author of 11 books. This post is adapted from Cabbages and Kings—Reflections on Living Abundantly in Christ. She serves as secretary of Christian Authors Network and is a member of Advanced Writers and Speakers Association and Christian Women in Media Association. Visit www.diannebarker.com.

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