Archive | January 2015

Free Yourself with the Help of the Lord!

Free yourself, like a gazelle from the hand of the hunter,
    like a bird from the snare of the fowler. Proverbs 6:5

This verse was today’s devotion from the Duck Commander Devotional. It was written by Jase Robertson. He was using an analogy of how the prey that is hunted needs to understand the tactics of the hunter.

As Christians, we have a enemy that is looking for someone to devour. He sets traps for us. We need to be aware that the devil is out there, and that he is our enemy, hoping we slip up, and that he can defeat us.

We have a Savior, Jesus Christ, who is willing to help us when we fail, and ‘get trapped’. We just need to call on Him, and He will help us! That is how we “get free” from the traps of the Devil.

Thank You, Lord, that when we get in trouble, You are there to help us! I have been a victim of the tactics Satan uses, but You have saved me, and won every battle. I am Yours, and You are mine. Please continue to watch over me, and all Your followers. In Your Name, Amen.

-Dawn-

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The Solid Rock:

Middle Sister Lookout

Middle Sister Lookout

Matthew 7: 

24 “Therefore everyone who hears these words of mine and puts them into practice is like a wise man who built his house on the rock. 25 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house; yet it did not fall, because it had its foundation on the rock. 26 But everyone who hears these words of mine and does not put them into practice is like a foolish man who built his house on sand. 27 The rain came down, the streams rose, and the winds blew and beat against that house, and it fell with a great crash.”

I have spent many summers working in the mountains, staying in a fire lookout on top of a high mountain peak.

Summer storms can be very severe in the mountains. The air can be turbulent, from warm to cold in a matter of moments, and strong winds that are constantly changing.

Storms can produce hail, sleet, snow, lightning, thunder, and high winds.

In a lookout, you are surrounded by windows. The glass at the lookout where I stayed, was old, single paned, and easily broken.

The lookout cabin was on a forty-foot wooden frame, and it was 14’x14′ inside the cabin. The peak, Middle Sister, was about 7,000 feet high.

Inside the cabin, there was a stove, a fire-finder, a refrigerator, and a small bed on glass insulators.

My job was to look for fires, especially after a storm. Lightning strikes would cause many fires in the forest, and the best time to see them was after a storm, when a column of blue smoke would rise up from where the lightning hit.

The lookout, because it is high off the ground, has cables stretched from its four corners to the ground to give it stability.

There was a ‘triangle of death’ that one had to avoid during the lightning storms. It was the between the metal parts of the fire-finder, fridge, and stove, and you had to stay away from them.

All metal had to be grounded in the lookout.

A stool was provided to sit on that had insulators on the bottom.

Some lookout employees have been killed by being struck by lightning. Many have stories to tell of the raging storms they have experienced.

The lookouts are usually on the highest peak so you can have the best view of the area, and they are a target for lightning strikes.

Many storms were an opportunity for me to pray, because the shutters banged above the windows, and the hail hit the glass, the winds could be over fifty-miles-an-hour, causing the lookout to move back and forth. It was very loud! It could be a wild experience! Lightning strikes reflected off the glass, and the thunder boomed and cracked violently! It could be fierce!

My spiritual home is the solid rock, Jesus Christ. I would have been way more fearful of being in those turbulent storms if I didn’t have Christ!

Dear Lord, I know you have protected me many times in various storms! Thank You that You are my solid rock, my protection, and my refuge! You are the one who has the power to calm every storm in life. Amen.

-Dawn-

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My son, Dan, at the Fire - Finder

My son, Dan, at the Fire – Finder

Abby, Lucky, and Ritzy:

Abby

Abby

Lucky

A righteous man regardeth the life of his beast: but the tender mercies of the wicked are cruel. Proverbs 12:10

Animals help us to learn about compassion and caring without getting monetary rewards. In fact, animals can be messy, and try your patience.

They can be like little children who want things right now, like when our dogs hear the word, ‘walk’, they will run over anyone, or anything, to get out the door.

The word, ‘ride’ can have the same effect.

Most of the time they are good dogs.

I guess I should start by saying we had two dogs for over fifteen years. We got Blacky and Foxy from the pound. They were cell mates. One was a black retriever, and the other, an Australian Shepherd.

We loved them and treated them like family. When my son was born, just like in “Lady and the Tramp”, our dogs could be a handful, and had to take second and third place, sometimes. I would get tired, and it was a chore to have so much to do. But, they were still family, and went everywhere with us, and my son grew to love the dogs.

At first he had an allergy to them, and instead of finding the dogs a new home, I kept the house spotless, more mopping, sweeping, dusting, but worth it! Those dogs protected my son, and they showed him love, and he grew out of the allergies.

Then, when the dogs got old, and Blacky couldn’t see too good, and had a stroke, and Foxy could no longer get up, as her hips bothered her, we had to let them go. That was so hard. I missed them so much.

I couldn’t bring myself to have more dogs.

Then, along came Abby, a stray, and she stayed and would not leave. It was winter when she arrived of her own accord. She would sled down the hill on her belly and back when my son and I would go sledding. She was so cute. I put up signs with her picture, trying to find her owner. Then we brought her to the vet to see if they recognized her. They found a microchip in her, and told me who to call. We found her owner, and she refused to take her back.

I tried to give Abby to a friend of mine, who lived a mile away. My son cried, and wanted her back. I took a walk with my son, telling him that he was older now, at ten-years-old, and I wanted to be able to travel more, and take him places, but if it was God’s will, He would send her back to us.

Abby was waiting for the us on the driveway before we even got back from our walk. My friend said Abby ran away the minute she got out of their car at their house. She said Abby wanted to live with us, and we better keep her. So, that’s how we got Abby.

That was February, and by May, Abby had eight puppies! Little Husky/ Aussie mixed ones. They were a handful! Five of the puppies were not near Abby’s body after they were born, and were cold and hard when my son, and I, found them. We rubbed their bellies, like on “101 Dalmatians”, and they all lived!

At almost eight weeks old, the puppies were old enough to give away, but we kept one, and gave one to my neighbor.

My neighbor had a medication reaction, and passed away when the puppy was a couple years old. We took “Ritzy” back to live with us.

Now, we have Abby, Ritzy, and Lucky. Abby is about ten years old, and the puppies are almost seven-years-old.

Life had had its modifications, and maybe it isn’t what I would have chosen, but God answered my son’s desire for Abby, and the affection and love that the dogs give us on most days make up for the hectic times, when they tip over the water, scratch the door, throw up on the furniture, and wake up early, expecting everyone else to be up.

We have grown to love each other, and to regard the lives of each other. I do have to say that Huskies use mind control, and you have to be a strong person to rule the house. I am not, so the dogs have ruled me at times.

It has been fun and interesting, and I would be sad if any of the dogs left us.

Lucky has been very ‘lucky’ and interesting. He ran through the woods, and got a stick in his eye. We ran him to the vet. When he removed the pencil-sized stick, he found that it had gone under the eye-ball. His eye was fine!

Previously,I had been praying all the way to the vet that Lucky would not lose his eye or his sight, and this was an answered prayer.

Then Ritzy and Lucky harassed a porcupine in the woods, and the porcupine won. It was over $600.00 later at the vet that most of the quills were pulled out, and the dogs were “no worse for wear”.

In yesterday’s post, I wrote about Abby and the Cougar. So the animals make our life very interesting!

We do regard the life of our beasts.

Dear Lord, I am thankful for animals. They do help us hone the skills of patience, goodness, mercy, and love. To care for a living thing that cannot give us monetary rewards makes us better people. Thank You for putting all these amazing creatures on the earth. Thank You for Your care for us, too! In Your Name, Jesus, Amen.

-Dawn-

Lucky with Pocupine Quills

Lucky with Pocupine Quills

Ritz

Ritz

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A Mountain Experience in Prayer:

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Isn’t that good advice, to lift up your holy hands and pray without anger or doubt?

I took this picture in the Panhandle National Forest, St. Joe area, and if you look closely, there is a deer running through the meadow.

I would take my dog for a walk in the early morning,, when I worked as a fire lookout. I saw amazing things, giving me many reasons to lift up my hands, and praise God.

One morning, my little Australian Shepherd, Abby, looked under a pine tree at two tufts of brown hair sticking up. She turned her head as though she was confused about what she was seeing. I heard a loud scream, and instantly knew it was a mountain lion. It leaped at my dog! My feet felt as though they were stuck in concrete. I couldn’t move!

I had a flannel shirt that I had taken off, and I used it to wave in the air, and I yelled back at the cougar, “No!”

I didn’t want my dog to get hurt. Abby was running past me, and the cougar was maybe twenty feet away from me, when it stopped and looked and growled. It had beautiful green eyes! But somehow, I wasn’t afraid, and I kept my stance and authoritative voice, and again said, “No!” It wasn’t happy, but turned and walked away.

Wow! I couldn’t believe what happened when it was all over. It still is so hard to believe. No one was on the mountain, but Abby and me, and that lion—and God!!! I know He must have been with us. Cougars have been known to attack dogs and people. They have also been known to be shy. I would think that because the chase was in progress, that we were exceptionally blessed to have not been hurt.

That was a day for praise, and thanking to God, and there was no anger or doubt in my prayer of thanks!

Dear Lord, You have given me so many reasons to thank You and praise You, and lift my hands up to You to worship You! This incident will always be remembered, and I will always be grateful for Your intervention in giving me the ability to stand firm, with courage from You, to face this lion, and speak with authority. Normally, my desire would be to ‘turn face and run’! Abby was grateful for Your intervention too! You are my strength and song! My refuge in times of trouble! Amen.

-Dawn-

A Woman Who Listened to God:

I can do all things through Christ which strengtheneth me. Philippians 4:13

If you read articles from the Christian Post, you might have read “Haiti’s ‘Voodoo Mountain’ Transformed After God Compels US Woman to Drop Everything and Move to Impoverished Country

You can read it here: http://www.christianpost.com/news/haitis-voodoo-mountain-transformed-after-god-compels-us-woman-to-drop-everything-and-move-to-impoverished-country-132977/

It is an amazing article about an amazing woman!

Megan Boudreaux heard God calling her to go to Haiti, and that she did! She is a modern day example of faith in action!

From the article:

Megan Boudreaux had visited Haiti before on short-term business and missions trips, but never did she imagine that God would call her to permanently abandon a comfortable life in the U.S. for a bare-bones one in a third-world country plagued by poverty and child slavery and that was just starting to climb its way out of a devastating earthquake.

Through serving God, and the people of Haitti, she founded “Respire Haiti”. http://respirehaiti.org/

Boudreaux eventually founded Respire Haiti, initially started to help empower Haiti’s estimated 300,000 child slaves and get them an education. Through feeding programs, a school, and a medical clinic, Respire Haiti‘s mission has come to encompass its entire community in Gressier. Not only are 500 school children educated every year at Respire Haiti, but the nonprofit employs more than a hundred locals.

If you would like to know more about her life, and how she has helped bring the gospel to Haiti, you might want to find and read a copy of her book, http://www.amazon.com/Miracle-Voodoo-Mountain-Remarkable-Darkness/dp/0529110946, or try your local library.

One thing that stands out to me is how she handles spiritual battles, or rather lets God handle her spiritual battles:

“During my time in Haiti, I have experienced many different encounters with evil, including walking and interrupting full-blown voodoo ceremonies on Bellevue Mountain confronting and fighting child trafficking, and battling the abusive restavek situation,” she writes in Miracle on Voodoo Mountain. “Prayer and worship are my secret weapons, whether dealing with a voodoo priest, a corrupt pastor running a sham orphanage, or a servant of the head horseman. I am learning to let God fight my battles.”

Prayer and worship, and God fighting our battles, are the best tactics of any war we face!

Thank you, God, for people like Megan, who inspire me as a Christian to want to serve You! Great things are still being accomplished in Your Name. I do not know Megan, but I know the same God she does, the One who gives us strength for every work You’ve called us to do. Help us to know Your desire for us, that we would please You in every good work. I pray for Megan, that You will encourage her heart, and bless her with the strength she needs to continue to serve You. I pray for the children and people of Haiti, that You will be with them, and help them to know You, and that they would find salvation through Jesus Christ. Amen.

-Dawn-

Blessed to be Forgiven

Psalm 32:1,2,5

Blessed is he whose transgression is forgiven, whose sin is covered.Blessed is the man unto whom the Lord imputeth not iniquity, and in whose spirit there is no guile……….I acknowledge my sin unto thee, and mine iniquity have I not hid. I said, I will confess my transgressions unto the Lord; and thou forgavest the iniquity of my sin. Selah.

I only know of one person who said she’s never sinned, and I also know she is a liar. The Bible is very clear that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God.

1 John 1:8
If we say that we have no sin, we deceive ourselves, and the truth is not in us.

There is only One who walked this earth who knew no sin.– That is Jesus Christ.

2 Corinthians 5:21 

21 For he hath made him to be sin for us, who knew no sin; that we might be made the righteousness of God in him.

Part of ‘being saved’ is to acknowledge that we have sinned, and that we want to turn from our sins, and want to be forgiven.

When we confess our sins, God will forgive us by His grace, through His Son, Jesus Christ.

I know that being a Christian is a daily walk, we are not yet perfect while we walk this earth. We will still need forgiveness, and we will still sin, but God is willing and merciful to forgive if we ask.

Dear God, Thank You that You forgive sinners. You are merciful. Your love is so amazing! I am so thankful for salvation through Your Son, Jesus. You are wonderful! Amen.

-Dawn-

He gives us the Victory:

When the perishable has been clothed with the imperishable, and the mortal with immortality, then the saying that is written will come true: “Death has been swallowed up in victory.”

“Where, O death, is your victory?
    Where, O death, is your sting?”

The sting of death is sin, and the power of sin is the law. But thanks be to God! He gives us the victory through our Lord Jesus Christ.

Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain. 1 Corinthians 15:54-58

I had a good friend who once told me the saying, “Only one life, will soon be past, Only what’s done for Christ will last!”

These verses in Corinthians are a reminder that life is perishable and mortal.

With Christ though, we have been clothed with immortality, and we are imperishable, because he has had the victory over death.

Jesus was also victorious over sin, and has the power to forgive us our sins! He has already won the ultimate victory, and if we have Christ in us, we are victorious too!

These verses tell us that whatever we do for Christ is not in vain, and we should give ourselves fully to the work of the Lord!

Dear Jesus, help us to live for You, giving ourselves fully to the work You have prepared for us. You are victorious, and with You, we too, have victory! Help us to realize Your awesome power and love. Amen.

-Dawn-