Thursday, May 26, 2022

The Power of Faith

The Power of Faith


Hebrews 11:6 (TPT)

“And without faith living within us it would be impossible to please God. For we come to God in faith knowing that he is real and that he rewards the faith of those who passionately seek him,”

Reading Hebrews 11 and 12, I am amazed at the power of faith.  From Abel to the present day, individuals have faced hardships. Amazingly, the one thing that brought victory and hope to those listed in these chapters was their faith that God was in both the good and bad situations they were in. Here we read of testimony and faith power. These are some of them:

  • Abel chose by faith to make an offering that was acceptable to God – the best portions of his firstborn lambs. This instructs us today that obedience through sacrifice pleases God.
  • Enoch never died – he just went straight to heaven - because his life was a faith walk that pleased God. He was a living example of trust and obedience powered by faith.
  • Noah’s heart welcomed God’s warning. Believing His word in opposition to people of the day, he built an ark that saved his family and future generations while being mocked and scorned.
  • Faith motivated Abraham to blindly obey God, even as a migrant traveling through unknown countries. His hope held to a promise of fulfillment for the unknown future. He was willing to sacrifice his promised son, Isaac, because he believed God would fulfill His promise of creating a great nation through him.
  • Sarah’s faith through the years rested in the power of God and His faithfulness. Then, at an old age, she conceived and bore Isaac, the child promised by God to her and Abraham.
  • Joseph was upheld by his faith in God’s purpose for his life as he was sold into slavery, interpreted dreams, led a godless nation, and prophesied the deliverance of Israel which led to saving the Jewish nation.
  •  The parents of Moses believed that he was to be saved and found a way to preserve him for God’s purpose.
  • Moses chose beyond what the world could offer. Following God’s will by faith, he led Israel through deliverance and a desert. He was disrespected, rejected, misunderstood, and exhausted while still anticipating and expecting favor and a future reward. Faith even removed his fear of a government official.
  •  Faith made it possible for the Hebrews to cross the Red Sea safely and the enemy was destroyed!
  • Faith in an unseen God was the basis upon which Rahab, a prostitute, was saved from destruction.
  •  Kingdoms were conquered and saved based on the power of faith. It happened and does happen for prophets and ordinary people.                                                                                                
  • Many died holding onto their faith without receiving their promise during their lifetime.

Each was able to do this because their hearts were fixed on what was ahead of them: heaven, where being face to face with Jesus.  He was their promise.  Hebrews 11:34 tells us that their “faith imparted power to make them strong.”  In the Aramaic, this is translated as being “restored or healed”.

All throughout the New Testament, we are shown the power of faith as apostles and disciples alike preached the good news. Strength was given to endure, be courageous, to suffer, to minister, to care for others, and so much more. Faith gave them the power they needed to live a life of belief and hope for what was yet to come beyond this world.  They fixed their mind, sight, and anticipation on what was eternal so that they could make it in this life.

If you are feeling weak, worn, and woeful, fix your thoughts, imagination, and hope on a heavenly world with a kingdom of love and life.  It is absent of hate, cruelty, sickness, death, and poverty.  Praise God who has given us the promise of a perfect life with a perfect Father, God, who will reward us for our active faith in Him. 

By Joy Pedersen

Tuesday, May 3, 2022



Happy Mother’s Day to all.  Whether your mother is living or has passed away this is a  time to celebrate the handiwork of God. Some women are blessed to raise children given by birth, and some are blessed by giving care to those who need mothering. Whatever your blessing, this is a day to commemorate the heart of a mother designed by God. Each woman contains the ability to mother.  

In May we celebrate motherhood, an honor and privilege created specifically for women.

Father God is revealed by Isaiah as also having the image of mother. It sounds unbelievable that He can identify so personally with the role of mothers. As we read this prophets description of God as a woman in labor (42:14) and as a mother who nurses and comforts her child (66:10-13) this truth is evident. Then Jesus came along and compared God to a mother hen who gathers her children under the safety of her wings (Matthew 23:37 and Luke 13:34).

Even as a small girl, I recall caring for my dolls as I rocked, fed, protected, sang to, played with, and talked to my ‘children’. Mother did these things with me, and I mimicked the activity and love. I think of Deborah as a mature woman given the position of mothering the nation of Israel. Judges 5:7 tells us that: “Deborah took command, protecting Israel as a mother protects her children”. She mimicked the image God showed to a nation. These character qualities of God were passed on us. As we fulfill the role of mothering for those who need protection, comfort, safety, food, and other provisions, God is on display for others see and believe in His love and care. 

As you celebrate this created role here in May, give thanks for those who have tended to your needs spiritually and emotionally, forgive those who have failed you personally as mothers, pray for those who are searching for fulfillment through a loving mother, and bless the Lord for all that He provides in this difficult world while mothering and fathering us.

- Joy Pedersen

A Prayer of acknowledgement for God who fulfills our need for a perfect mother!

God our perfect mother,
living water,
river of mercy,
source of life,
in whom we live
and move
and have our being,
who quenches our thirst,
refreshes our weariness,
and washes
and cleanses
our wounds,
be for us always
a fountain of life,
and for all the world
a river of hope
springing up in the midst
of the deserts of despair.

--Miriam Therese Winter


Saturday, April 9, 2022

Developing Intimacy

“The most important commandment is this: Listen, O Israel!  The Lord our God is the one and only Lord.  And you must love the Lord your God with all your heart, all your soul, all your mind, and all your strength.  The second is equally important: Love your neighbor as yourself.  No other commandment is great than these." Mark 12:29-31(NLT)



Webster’s definition:  A state of close relationship. We are made for intimacy; with God and with each other.  Intimacy allows people to bond with each other on many levels.  Therefore, it is a necessary component of healthy relationships.  In order to have intimacy with others we need to have intimacy with God first.

Being intimate means “in-to-me-see”.  It is a blending of our heart with another's, so we can “see into” who they really are, and they can “see into” us.  This is the mixing of our life with another’s, a mingling of souls, a sharing of hearts.  We all long for this because it’s how God made us.  We were designed to connect.

Real intimacy makes us feel known.  Real intimacy makes us feel alive like we’ve been found, as if someone finally took the time to peer into the depths of our soul and really see us there. Until we experience true intimacy, we will feel passed over and ignored, like someone is looking right through us. 

Sadly, we can miss out on intimacy that can make us and another person feel known, when we predetermine what we think we should see when we examine their life, heart, personality and soul.  When this happens, we will try to mold and make them into who we believe they should be.  As a result, we are blinded to their good qualities, and love and intimacy are destroyed.  When we ignore another person’s beauty and all that God made them to be, intimacy is lost.  Why?  Because intimacy flows out of feeling wholly accepted just the way we are.

-Sally Samarin


Friday, February 25, 2022

Pour Out Life


“For you were called to freedom, brethren; only do not use your freedom as an opportunity for the flesh, but though love, be servants of one another.” – Galatians 5:13 RSV


What freedom and wonder I feel when sowing into others, watching the transformation that takes place in their lives just because love, grace and compassion are freely poured out.  The tired souls of those who receive this love are like wilting flowers awaiting a cup of water to revitalize their weak and drooping existence.  And when that cup is poured out, they can again lift their faces to the sun and take in the life-giving force of their Creator.  Standing tall and experiencing all that is so freely given in this life force, I can sow into them because I received it first. Praise God, Who pours His love into my heart.  Praise God, Who uses my life to pour His love into others. - Joy Pedersen

Tuesday, February 15, 2022

He Never Leaves

If you’ve ever had a loved one walk out of your life – a family member, a friend, a spouse – then you know the trauma an experience like this causes.  This is especially true if it wasn’t because of something you said or did that was ‘wrong’, but it was a choice they made willingly and, perhaps, unexpectedly.

When a loved one leaves like this, it can feel a lot like a death.  I remember several years ago when my BFF at the time, a woman I considered a sister, walked out of my life right as I was in the middle of chemotherapy for breast cancer.  Oh, how I agonized and analyzed every word I had said to her during our last – seemingly wonderful – dinner together.  I searched my heart for weeks, looking for some clue as to what would’ve caused her to betray our friendship like that.  As physically sick and emotionally wrought as I was at the time, I didn’t have the strength to “pursue” her.  Not only that, I knew her well enough to know that whatever the reason, she wasn’t going to “come back”.

It took a while but I recovered, both physically and emotionally.  My health is very good now and I have made many new friends since then. Friends that fill my life with laughter, love and Godly wisdom.

One thing, and one thing only, do I attribute my restoration to:  I am loved by the God Who Never Leaves. 

Jesus, when He walked this earth, experienced the painful betrayal of family and friends.  He knows what it feels like when someone leaves you in your darkest hour.   He understands the humiliation and heartache of rejection.

And because of this, He knows exactly how to comfort us when someone does this to us.  His strength becomes our strength so that we can feel joy and hope again.  Isaiah 61:1-3 says that Jesus came to bind up the brokenhearted, to comfort those who mourn, and to give beauty, joy and praise to us when we’re mourning and in despair.

Friend, have you been abandoned and betrayed by someone you love? Come to Jesus!  Forgive those that have wounded you and let the Healer restore you to wholeness and peace.

He has always been, and will always be, the God who will never leave!

With love,


Saturday, January 8, 2022

A New Year Prayer

"And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us, and we beheld His glory, the glory as of The Only Begotten of the Father, full of grace and truth. John 1:14


Blessed Lord, Your Word never fails! Your Word is a lamp unto our feet! 

Every word we read speaks to us perfectly! It is a soothing balm! It is rousing and invigorating! It is our plumbline against which we measure all things! Your Word guides us, reminds us, convicts and challenges us. Your Word satisfies like nothing and no one else does! Your Word fills us with wonder and awe! Your Word makes us yearn to see You face-to- face, in person, in the flesh! 

By Your Spirit, please open our minds and hearts to know You and understand You more each day! 

In Jesus' Name we pray. 

- Lisa Flanagan

Friday, December 31, 2021

2022 – A Message From Joy

Entering 2021 our thoughts were filled with hope of returning to ‘normal’. There were visions of no more masks, vaccines that would fully remove concern over Covid, work back in full swing, and economics regained. However, at the end of 2021 we are less hopeful and inundated with government rules and limitations not imagined.

So, what now? The reality is that the only true hope we have rests in Jesus Christ (whom we just celebrated at Christmas). If we have been hoping our government would rescue us from the pandemic and give us confidence in our future, we realize it has not authored hope, but more likely frustration.

Proverbs 4:25 gives us wise instruction for times just like these: Set your gaze on the path before you. With fixed purpose, looking straight ahead, ignore life’s distractions.(TPT)

Certainly, Covid has been a distraction stirring up fear, worry, isolation, loss of finances, distrust, disconnection from others, and so much more. Warring against these things with churches moving to you-tube and other media has caused much spiritual and emotional pain. So what is next? What were the instructions to early Christians that can help us?

Hebrews 12:1-2 tells us to look back at previous followers of the Faith and follow their example. So, we must let go of every wound that has pierced us and the sin we so easily fall into. Then we will be able to run life’s marathon race with passion and determination, for the path has been already marked out before us.  We look away from the natural realm and we focus our attention and expectation onto Jesus who birthed faith within us and who leads us forward into faith’s perfection. His example is this: Because his heart was focused on the joy of knowing that you would be his, he endured the agony of the cross and conquered its humiliation, and now sits exalted at the right hand of the throne of God!” (TPT)

I pray that your 2022 will be blessed and that you run the race showering the love of God on those who are without hope. Look ahead with fixed purpose, igniting in others the hope you have found in Jesus.