Author Archives: Marilyn

THE IMMUTABLE GOD IS MY FORTRESS – Introduction Lesson 3 – Sept. 25 – Oct. 2

What do imagine when you think of a “fortress”? If you think of a massive or monumental structure that was built in a very strategic location for the defense of a city or populated area, you would be correct. In many places there were very protective walls attached to the stronghold and a citadel was often built inside of the fortress, so that there was a final defensive and secure place if the walls fell. Through the centuries a whole vocabulary of words became associated with the construction of a fortress – bulwark, bastion, rampart, parapet, and buttress, for example. If you would visit the remains of one of these enormous structures, you would soon realize what an amazing amount of work and design went into the construction of the fortress so that the city would remain safe and secure from any attack by an enemy. It was extremely important to know that the fortifications would be adequate for the defense of the area so that the people could live without the fear of being conquered or defeated.

It should not come as a surprise that David used this very vivid image when he was looking for ways to acknowledge what God meant to him. He knew without a doubt that it was God who had defended him when the enemy was more powerful than his army. He knew that it was God who kept him from yielding to the temptation to take revenge on King Saul when he had the opportunity to kill him. He knew that it was the Lord God who protected him from yielding to discouragement and despair. He knew that it was the word of God that would enable him to live without paralyzing fear and give him hope for the future. He knew that when he called on the Lord, He would surround him with His arms of protection and guard him with His presence. (Psalm 37: 39 – 40)

In his song, David was able to put into meaningful words how grateful he was for God’s protection from both the human enemies that surrounded him throughout his life, starting with Goliath and the Philistine army, but also from the very real internal enemies that could have easily distracted him from his faith, defeated him through pride or jealousy, or discouraged him from trusting his God throughout all the days of his life. “I love You fervently and devotedly, O Lord, my fortress and my high tower”. (Psalm 18: 1 – 2 Amplified Bible)

 

THE ALMIGHTY GOD is MY STRENGTH – Introduction – Lesson 1 – Sept. 11 – 18

Are you by any chance feeling lonely or weak, discouraged or afraid? Perhaps you are feeling over-whelmed by an unexpected turn of events or the restrictions of this Covid pandemic.  Maybe you are experiencing health problems, family issues or misunderstandings with your boss or a co-worker? Do you know anyone who cannot identify with these…Continue Reading

GET READY, GET SET . . .

Some of the most poignant writing that people do is often written in the final years of their life. It is frequently very reflective and introspective. It might be centered on cherished memories or relationships or on recalling special events or major turning points. There might be some advice or counsel or choice morsels of…Continue Reading

What Does It Mean to “Ponder”?

It’s a very old-fashioned word, isn’t it?  In spite of that, you probably have a good idea of what it means and can think of several synonyms for it.  Here are a few – meditate, deliberate, reflect, consider.  The dictionary suggests that it means “to think deeply about something” or “to think with painstaking care and…Continue Reading

“I LOVE YOU, O LORD”

A study based on David’s Song of Praise and Trust – Psalm 18 To View or Print Study Guides “I LOVE YOU, O LORD” If someone asked you to list ten or more reasons why you love God, how would you respond? Why don’t you try it? Then you’ll have your answer ready just in…Continue Reading

PRAYING WITH CONFIDENCE

Lesson 9 – Hebrews The contrast is striking.  Our culture teaches us that “self-confidence” is one of the greatest traits that parents and teachers should build into the lives of children.  Counselors spend hours helping people to have a realistic view of their own potential and value.  While all of this is very true, it…Continue Reading

PRAYING FOR EACH OTHER

Lesson 8 –  James How much of the time do you feel you are “righteous?”  Originally that word was translated into English as “rightwiseness”, that is 100% good and right and wise.  All of us falter and fail when it comes to controlling our tongue, attitude, and behavior at times.  Our sinful nature seems to…Continue Reading

PRAYING ERNESTLY

Lesson 7 – Colossians We seldom use the word “earnestly”, do we? You might think of other words like soberly or fervently when you hear it. It has a very strong word meaning – “determined or passionate, not trivial or petty.” It infers that you are very serious about the subject or concern that you…Continue Reading

PRAYING WITH JOY

Lesson 6 – Philippians Do you think there is a difference between happiness and joy?  What makes you happy?  What gives you joy?  Do you use the words interchangeably or do you make a distinction between the two of them in your mind and conversation?  Webster’s dictionary indicates that happiness is characterized by luck, good…Continue Reading