Desperate For Jesus

At this Blog, you will find devotions, testimonies, heart thoughts, and poetry that lift up the name of JESUS, Son of God. I desire to write words of encouragement and hope for those who know sorrow, or who are going through a dark time in their lives. And because I am a Bible Teacher, at heart, there will be articles to stir you to think!

Wednesday, November 29, 2006

Be Encouraged!

Today, if you are feeling lost when you thought you were found,
I encourage you to look to Jesus; the Author and Finisher of your faith.

Today, if you are discouraged, down-trodden, or depressed, look to Jesus;
He is the one who lifts your head.

Today, if you are drowning in financial problems, look to Jesus; He
will supply all your needs according to his riches in glory. The silver
and the gold are HIS. He owns the cattle on a thousand hills. He will
make a way where there is no way.

Today, if you are feeling like you can’t go one step more, look to Jesus.
He is your strength, and he will make your steps secure. Focus on Jesus;
It will help you stay in the race until the end.

Today, if you are physically sick, look to Jesus; He sent his Word to heal
you; He took stripes on his back for your healing, which is your bread.

Today, if you are emotionally, spiritually, or physically sick, look to Jesus.
When He walked this earth, He went about healing ALL who were oppressed,
sick, and diseased. He has not changed! He still heals!

Today, I wish to remind you of portions of John chapter 10, in which Jesus said,
(paraphrased) “The thief comes with three goals in mind: To kill, steal, and
to destroy. I am the Good Shepherd who has come to give you not just any kind
of life, but abundant life…a blessed life that will overflow onto others.”

Today, if you feel you have been ripped off and robbed, know this: Jesus does
not rob or rip-off anyone. He does not kill, steal or destroy. He is the giver
of life, the one who lavishes you with all good things to enjoy; the one who
builds up and restores broken lives.

Today, I wish to remind you that Jesus came to this earth to destroy the works
of the devil. You do not have to live in bondage to the works of the flesh;
He came to open prison doors and set captives free. You don’t have to walk in
darkness, because He is your light.

Today, be encouraged! Do not give up on Jesus, and do not give up on yourself!
Jesus thought you were worth dying for, so don’t despair. Don’t allow anyone
or anything to stop you from following Jesus…..all the way.

This is my prayer for you today,

Barbara

Tuesday, November 21, 2006

Chosen to Write Your Heart

Father, I have an unquenchable, burning desire to write for you; but even
more, the desire is to write what is on your heart. I cannot do this without
knowing you intimately. And Father, I desire to know you more intimately
today, than I did yesterday.

I desire to write to those who are weary, to those who are discouraged,
and have lost hope. To those who are about to let go of life, my heart’s
desire is to not only tell them, “Hang in there; you can make it,” but my
strong desire is to show them how to make it by giving them a picture of
you, through the words you whisper to me.

Many of your own children do not know how much you love them. Their
view of you has been distorted by earthly fathers who did not know how
to love. I desire to draw a picture of your perfect father heart, a heart that
beats only for your children.

Thank you, Father, for choosing me to write your heart. Help me to be found
faithful, doing what you have called me to do when you return to this earth.

And Father, it is my sincere prayer that the weary ones you have assigned
me will find a place of refreshing and hope…a hope to anchor their soul, in
part, as a result of my obedience, and my intimate relationship with you.


© Barbara Thompson-Young

Monday, November 20, 2006

Honey or Vinegar?


I love the Bible for many reasons; one in particular is the fact
that somewhere between the first page and the last, is the answer
to every question we might have.

Today, a certain question has been rumbling around in my spirit.
“How am I to treat a brother or sister who commits a sin?” Ignore them?
Pretend I don’t see them? Tell them how wrong they are, and they’re
going to hell in a hand-basket?

In Galatians 6:1, it says, “If someone is caught in a sin, you who are
spiritual should restore him gently. But watch yourself, or you also
may be tempted."

Restoration is at the very heart of our God. He never seeks to condemn
or destroy. He values restoration so much, he gave us, his children the
ministry of reconciliation.

What an honor! We flawed human beings have the ability to help
bring a spiritual sibling back into friendship with God. I don’t know
about anyone else, but this fact makes me tremble.

We “saints” react in various ways when we see someone who calls him or
herself a “Christian” commit a sin. Horror of horrors, how could they do
such a thing!!! Regardless of the many ways we may respond, truth is,
the Bible way is the best way.

When we look at the above Scripture, it is plain to see it is possible for
anyone to sin but not everyone can restore.

The Bible says, “You who are spiritual…should restore him…gently.” So, we
see who is to do the restoring, and how they are to do it.

This has been a big problem in our spiritual family. Everyone thinks they
can restore. Wrong. Our Father knew if we did not attempt to restore gently,
we could possibly destroy, instead of restore.

Am I spiritual? Do I walk in the Spirit? Do I live in the Spirit?
If I do, the fruit, or evidence will be seen in how I treat those who sin.

If I am not attempting to bring them back to spiritual health by my
“gentleness”, the truth is, I have no business pointing out their sin.
I will do more harm than good to their spirit. I will be acting out of a
spirit of “self” righteousness.

Paul, the Apostle cautions those who see their sibling sin, and respond to
what they see. He warns, “Watch yourself, or you also, may be tempted.”

If I am going to be so bold as to point out one’s sin, I must first be
careful to look at my own heart. My attitude must be one of humility,
knowing
I am not above being tempted.

If I am spiritual, I have been given the honor of helping to bring back one
who sins, to spiritual health. The old saying, “You can catch more flies
with honey than you can with vinegar”, can be applied here.

If my heart is to see my brother or sister restored back to a right relationship
with God, I will not only be careful what I say and do, I will be careful as
to how I say and do it.

My words should always be spoken, or written in love, with my ultimate goal
being to restore. There’s only one way it can be accomplished, and that is-
g-e-n-t-l-y. If I respond any other way, all my words will be in v-a-i-n.

In recapping,

Q When we see a member of our family sin, how are we to respond?
A. We are to help restore them back into a healthy relationship with God.

Q. Who is to restore them?
A. You who are spiritual.

Q. How is the restoration process to be done?
A. Gently, with humility.

Q. Who are we to look at?
A. Ourselves (our own heart), lest we too, be tempted.

Prayer: “Father, before I, by my words attempt to point out another’s sin,
help me to first look at my own heart. If I have not learned the art of
gentleness, please help me to be silent and pray for my sibling.

Amen
When you go into the land I have given you, be aware, that it is a land where you shall reap a great bounty. But also be aware of this: there will be giants in the land, waiting to attack.

And just as Moses told the people, "I am not able to bear you myself, alone," know too that you cannot bear these people by yourself, alone.

Fear not, neither be discouraged, for I am with you to lead you and guide you and instruct you.

Learn early to lay everything at my feet, for it is in laying it all at my feet that you will find rest and safety.

I have sent, and I will continue to send men and women to support you and at times to even counsel you, and sustain you.

I am giving you x-ray vision for this work you are about to take on. When they walk through the door, when they shake your hand, I will give you vision to see if this one is a sheep, or a goat, or if that one is a wolf in sheep's clothing.

The giants you will face in the land may be new to you, but they are not new to me. I will show you how to distinguish one from the other.

Fear not! Don't be discouraged! I have placed you in a strategic place. For I am planting you in a place of depravity, hopelessness and despair. A place of lack and of poverty...financially, and spiritually. But am I not greater than depravation? Are not the gold and the silver both mine?

Look to me, look to me for there will be giants of obstacles to overcome, but know that in your own strength and even the strength of the people I am sending to help you, combined, will not be enough. Your secret weapon will always be in laying it all at my feet.

Do not attempt to carry out this mission alone. When temptation comes, and it will come, bring it to me and lay it at my feet.

Know, too, that there are giants of religious spirits, waiting to attack. Just as they were waiting on the children of Israel, so they wait for you. But do not be afraid or discouraged. The battle is not yours, and I will show you how to push through and overcome every religious spirit.

When it seems you've hit a brick wall of religious pride, know that as you persevere and lay it at my feet, and draw counsel from those I place around you, you will break through every religious spirit that raises its head.

And remember this! The giants are there, but so are the children! And I will give you the children. Know it. Count on it. Write it down. Look for it. For I will give you the children, in the land I am taking you to. Great shall be your ministry to the children!

GO AFTER THE CHILDREN! For the giants have captured some of them already. I will give you strategies and show you how, by my Spirit, to take them back, and out of the enemy's hands.

Do not look to the old ways. I am doing a new thing in the land where I am taking you. I change not, but my methods are constantly changing. Flow with me. Walk with me. Run with me. Persevere with me, for your bounty will be great. For it is my work, it is my load, and it is my responsibility to see it throught to completion.

And it is your responsibility to sit at my feet and worship me and be still before me, and drink in of me, and I will give you the wisdom and strength you need for the work ahead.

It is a good work! I will give you souls....

And I WILL GIVE YOU THE CHILDREN!
The Woman In The Mirror


She wearily pushed back the worn, musky-smelling bedcovers and willed
her feet to touch the cold, bare floor. She sighed, and as though in a
trance, made her way down the long, dark hall to the bathroom mirror.

She reached up and tugged at the dirty string dangling from the naked
bulb; exploding light momentarily blinded her. She winced and held her
eyes closed tight until she could adjust to the harsh, glaring light.

When she opened her eyes, she gasped at the face of the stranger
staring back at her. Her cheeks were sunken in; her eyes were
empty-looking and sad. This stranger bore a faint resemblance to
someone she used to know, but who was she?

As the woman gazed more intently into the mirror, she realized she was
staring at a reflection of herself...the woman she had become. Bitter
tears ran down her face, like water at the sink where she stood.

Questions began to prod her mind, each one demanding an answer...
questions like, "What are you doing here?" "How are you going to
get out?"

In a split-second of time she was no longer a tormented woman
struggling with shame and regret; she was an innocent little girl,
standing at the altar of a small country church, with the other girls
and boys of her Sunday School class. With joy and conviction she
sang with them:

"Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me! Yes, Jesus loves me!
The Bible tells me so!"

The scene vanished, forcing her to stare, once more, at reality.
New questions began to invade her mind...

"Could it be that Jesus still loves me? Could it be that He is the way
out of this mess I've made of my life?" And, "Could it be that He is the
only way?"

A shiver of new energy ran through her used and discarded body; like
an electrical current it revived her soul.

Hope stirred in her, and the woman in the mirror knew, this time, she
was going to make it.

As she turned and walked from the room, her singing heart beat fast to
the rhythm of four little words dancing around in her head....

"Jesus is the Way! Jesus is the way!"

..."I am come that they may have life, and have it to the full."
John 10:10 (NIV)


Copyright Barbara Thompson Young
Greetings! This is my first post since January!
It's amazing how time seems to fly by! I promise
to stick around and post on a more regular basis!

If this is your first time of visiting my blog,
then "WELCOME, MY FRIEND!" I hope you find words
of encouragement for your soul.

Hope you will check out this blog later this week,
as I plan to make several posts by week's end.

God bless you for stopping by today!

Barb

Wednesday, January 18, 2006

Good (snowy) morning! Yesterday it was dark, gloomy, and
rainy all day. When I woke early this morning, snow covered
the ground. That's Ohio weather for you! A little of everything,
cause we aim to please! Seriously, it all comes from our Lord.
I am trying to learn gratefulness in all kinds of weather.

My main reason for posting today is to give an update concerning
our 15 1/2 years old Shitzu, T-Baby. I did not ask the Lord
to heal her and return her to us. There is a time to hold on
and a time to release. Yet, the Lord has saw fit to return her
to our home, and our lives.

I spent the two days she was in the hospital, preparing my heart
for her demise. Obviously, the Lord revived her, and she is now
home, recouping. T-Baby is weak, in her hind quarters, and
especially on her back, right side. It does appear that she is
gaining a small amount of strength each day. Whether she ever
returns to her "old self", remains to be seen. We will face this
situation one-day-at-a-time.

Isn't that how we should approach every situation in life? I
think so. Yet, how many times do we fret, fuss, and worry over
things in which we have no control. Our times are in God's
hands..and yes, I believe the lives of our animals are in His
capable hands, too, for He made them.

Today a Scripture comes to me that says, "Cast all your cares
on Him, for He cares for you." It's hard to cast your cares on
someone unless you trust them. Who would want to give their
cares to an "uncaring" person? Not me! But the Lord has proven
that He cares for us, and if we've served and known Him for any
amount of time, we know it to be true because we've experienced
His caring provision. He is strong enough to hold all our cares,
be they large or small. Be they valid or invalid. He wants to
relieve our hearts of carrying around unnecessary burdens.

Blessings to you and yours as you cast your cares on the Lord.
Never done it? Give it a try! Cast them! Just like you would
"cast" out a fishing line for a good catch, throw off all that
weighs you down, and wait to see what a "catch" you will find
waiting for you. You see, he never leaves us empty. When we
release all our cares to him, he fills us with peace, acceptance,
and a knowing that He cares much more for us than we can imagine.
And, that fishing line will not come back without a blessing!

Thank you for praying for T-Baby, and for her owners! The longer
we have a beloved pet in our homes and lives, the harder it is
to let go, but, God gives grace for each moment, and each crisis
we face. Thank you for stopping by today!

Barbara

Saturday, January 14, 2006

Yesterday was my husband, Norm's 62nd birthday. He took a vacation
day from work. We had a couple places we needed to go to, and when
we returned home, two hours later, our 15 years old shitzu, T-Baby
couldn't walk. You would have to know how emotionally attached
we are to her, to understand the situation.

Besides not being able to walk, she was not responsive to us. She
just sat with her head tilted upward, panting like crazy. I called
the vet and we got her in within a half hour.

He thought that perhaps she had a siezure while we were gone from the
house. When we left the clinic, we left without T-Baby. Scott, our
vet, wanted to do some blood work to rule out a siezure or brain tumor.
He gave her an IV, and then the waiting began.

This morning he called to say that she was still not walking, however
he did get her to make an attempt. So she is still on the IV, and
he wants to keep her another day. In going over her records, he
noticed that he had treated her for an inner-ear infection back in
October. He wanted to treat her for that again, in the hopes that it
might be the same situation again. More waiting.

I didn't ask him if one more day actually meant Monday, because they're
closed on Sunday.

When we first got T-Baby, no one told us how attached we would come
to be, to her. Our children are grown, and even our grandchildren
are almost grown, with the youngest being 18, so I guess we have
traded our kids and grandkids for a dog!

My husband and I have been discussing lately, how hard it will be to
lose T-Baby. She's not getting younger...and neither are we, for
that matter! But, now we may be down to having to make a decision
as what to do about her...if you know what I mean. I don't have
the courage to put the words down on paper. But it is ever-present
with me...and I pray for grace. Only another owner of a beloved
pet could possibly understand where I am coming from.

Well, my friend(s) I must close for now. Thanks for listening!
And if you would be so kind, please pray with me that our vet will
find out what is wrong with our T-Baby, and that the Lord's will
is done.

Blessings!
Barbara

Saturday, January 07, 2006

Oh my! Where have I been? It has been about three months
since my last post. Truth is, I got all caught-up in trying
to get my new book of poetry completed!

Putting this book, "A Light Shines Through" together, was much
like being in labor far too long! but, much like a labor to
bring forth a baby, this labor was empowered by love.

The theme of my book is "poetry for those who walk, for awhile,
in the dark." It is a book of thirty-five poems, and amazingly
enough, they were thirty-five years in the birthing! I did not
consciously choose that amount to match the number of years it
had been since the first poem.

Have you ever walked through a dark time in your life? You
wondered where God was, and you sure didn't know where you were!
Life can do that to us, but I am a testimony to the fact that
God is very close during our darkest moments.

If we cannot see him, it is because he is hovering over us, so
closely, with his wings of love, we cannot see him.. But rest
assured, in the end, if we do not give up, but will keep our
trust in him, we will see the light again.

If we never knew what it was to walk in the dark, and still trust
him, how could we say that we trust him? To trust someone, there
must first be a reason for that trust. That someone had to prove
himself. When he has proved himself, nothing or no one can ever
change our thinking about this person.

That's the way it is with our Heavenly Father. It's in the dark
times of our lives that he is able to prove himself to us. Because
we kept our trust in him, when it seemed he had gone to the other
side of the world and had forgotten us, in the end, he proved
faithful,loyal and true!

There's a book called, "Lessons I Learned In The Dark". I've never
read it, but the title is intriguing. There are truly lessons to be
learned in the dark, that could not otherwise be learned.

On another, subject, I'm not sure how many people read my blog. Well,
I know at least one person is reading, that is, if she did not give
up looking for a new post!

I sure would love it if someone out there in cyber space would let
me know they stop by....even if just to say,"Hi."

Blessings to you as you being your New Year!
Barbara

Monday, October 24, 2005

Today's post is about "shining". Did you know that
you are a "light" to others? Sounds sort of scary
when you think about it, that we are responsible
to others. According to Jesus, "You are the light
of the world. A city on a hillside cannot be hidden."
Matthew 5:14 NIV.

Everything in life has purpose. The purpose of a
light is to shine. That's all. One specific
responsibility in life. But something interesting
happens when the light shines. The light dispells
darkness. In other words, light brings revelation.
When light is shined on an area, it reveals hidden
things. What was hidden, is now exposed, or made
known.

Even a tiny match can drive out darkness.
No matter how large a room is, if it is pitch black,
and you strike a match, there is no more total
darkness in that room.

Jesus has shined into our hearts, his life. The Bible,
in St. John chapter one, says, "That life was the
light of men." His life in our hearts brings forth
light. We, those of us who love him, have been given
the awesome responsibility of allowing the life that
is within us, to shine forth into the world around us.
We are to provide light for those who walk in total darkness.

When I need a flashlight to work, I push the little switch
forward. A connection is made, instantly, between the
batteries and the tiny light bulb, and a light comes on.
The flashlight is then productive, and I am able to use
it for the very purpose it was invented.

Jesus tells us in Matthew 5, how to cause our lights to
shine. He says when we do good deeds, others see them,
and they praise our Father in heaven. Now there is no
amount of good deeds we could ever do that would make us
"righteous" before a holy God. Jesus is our righteousness.
By faith, I receive that I am the righteousness of God,
(in this world)in Christ Jesus.

I bring up "righteousness" because "religion" has caused
many in life to think they will be accepted into eternal
life because of the good deeds they do. But the truth is,
we do righteous deeds because the love of God is in our
hearts. We now desire to do acts of love, mercy and kind-
ness, because the love of God has been "shed abroad" in
our hearts. We now desire to minister to those around us
who walk in the dark, as we once did.

Jesus said, (ie) "You are a light, set upon a hill. Every-
one can see the light that is within you. So, let your
light shine before men. They will see your good deeds and
glorify your Father which is in heaven."

Isn't it amazing to think that you are a light, and you
can, by your righteous acts of love, mercy and kindness
show others the face of the Father? These attributes of
our Father, are a powerful force, causing others to want
to know this God whom you serve and love.