Birth of a Promise

When God births a promise, he does it in a stable.


The stable is simple, humble, and void of the embellishments which would detract from the miracle.

In the stable, the newborn promise is kept from the public eye. During the infant miracle’s most vulnerable stage, it is shielded from scrutiny, jealously, criticism, theft, and attack. Birthed in seclusion, it is given the best chance to survive and grow to maturity.

Jewel, birth of Brandy pic #2 cropped for blog 11192014_0000

Once the miracle has strengthened, and has acquired agility in its movements, it will be released to spend time in the outdoors. That experience too, will be controlled for safety’s sake. Fences keep out predators and prevent the young promise from roaming naively into the path of danger.

Jewel, Brandy at 6 weeks old for blog 11192014_0000

Development takes time, and with it, the manifested promise will be permitted more and more freedom. Until then, be thankful for the fences. And be grateful for the chosen birthplace of the simple stable, where the newborn promise is accorded its greatest chance of survival.




To Uphold

Cindi Gale

When you are fearful, remember Isaiah 41:10, contemplate the meaning of “uphold”, and absorb its inspiriting synonyms:


verb: maintain, support

  •  advocate, confirm, defend, encourage, endorse, hold to, justify, promote, side with, stand by, vindicate, aid, assist, back, bolster, boost, brace, buttress, carry, champion, countenance, elevate, help, hoist, prop, raise, rear, second, sustain, uplift, upraise, back up, buoy up, hold up, pick up, shore up, stick by, stick up, take up, upbear, uprear

If you’re still afraid, consider these antonyms of “uphold” and be assured of what God will never do to you: 

  • attack, deny, oppose, protest, abandon, decrease, depress, destroy, discourage, drop, fall, halt, hinder, hurt, injure, lessen, lower, neglect, obstruct, prevent, stop, undermine, weaken

Don’t be afraid, my friend. He will uphold you. 

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Fishers of Men

Cindi Gale

“As Jesus walked beside the Sea of Galilee, he saw Simon and his brother Andrew casting a net into the lake, for they were fishermen. ‘Come, follow me,’ Jesus said, ‘and I will make you fishers of men.’ At once they left their nets and followed him”

This was Jesus’ message to Simon and Andrew—follow Me, learn of Me, pass through My refining fires, experience firsthand My nature and My message. Only then will you be able to be fishers of men.

And yet many of us were never taught to follow Jesus. We were instead taught “Fishing for Men 101”. It goes like this:

As a believer of Jesus, it’s your duty to get out there and fish. Pull in those converts. You don’t need to know God to do it, only this simple formula: Build rapport with your target fish. Be interested in him. Gain his trust. Wait…

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Did Anyone Ask God?

Some religious people make all kinds of claims about God and what He endorses:  a certain cultural value or political view, a specific theology, and, increasingly frequently, a dismissive conclusion about people who don’t comply with those views. But who among those “so-sure-of-themselves-people” even stops to ask God what He has to say?

I’ve asked that question of a few individuals before — people who are so entrenched in their “correct”, hateful stances that they don’t even see they are nothing like the Christ they claim to represent. Their answers were all some form of the same “We’re done here” rebuke:

“I don’t have to ask God. He clearly already commanded it in His Word.” The intimation is, ” If you were in right standing with God, you would know this, too”, said non-verbally with a parting prolonged stare, the equivalent of a gavel pummeling their bench of judgment.

I have come to hate that word, clearly. Clearly — enough said. I am right and you are wrong. End of discussion. Guilty as I charged. It is used by those who are embedded in self-righteousness, safety-in-numbers, corporate self-exaltation, and “outsider” judgement, dismissal and relegation.

They are so proud, that they no longer have eyes to see that many of those “outsiders” are actually “insiders” with God.

Many are meeting God all by themselves (“What, they can’t do that!”), and responding to Him, loving Him, even obeying Him. (“But we didn’t get to take credit for their conversions, or assign them to ourselves as their mentors!”) Many are sacrificing for Him, enduring the refiner’s fires for Him. Many, many, many people actually KNOW Him all on their own. (“Without interventionists?! Not possible! Clearly!”)

Yes, possible, and they actually LISTEN TO God. And HONOR God.  And have given their lives to do with as He pleases. They are forging ahead in admirable and honorable relationships with the Holy Spirit of God, and are grateful for the poignant, humbling, sometimes-difficult, occasionally-painful, always-sublime PRIVILEGE of knowing Him.

So, to the Pharisees of present day, you “clearly correct”, self-assigned and self-promoted “ambassadors of Christ” …

Many of those who you disqualified actually ARE ambassadors of Christ. Because they DO think about God. They DO listen to God. They DO care about what He thinks, what He wants, what He says, what He endorses, and where He leads. They actually connect directly with Him as a branch to the vine.

You say they can’t do that? — They must connect to the humans that claim His name, they can’t bypass the religious institution?

Oh, but they can. And they are.

I ask those who already think they know everything of God …

“Do you ever think about God?” Oh, not what your religion says about God, not even what you have read in the Bible — Do you KNOW Him? If you can’t tell me what He has “spoken” to your heart and mind about a myriad of present-day questions and issues, that’s fine, that’s honest — just don’t claim that you already clearly know exactly what God thinks and feels about those issues.

If you haven’t cared enough about God to even ask Him, to wait as long as it takes to hear it from Him, and Him alone, then …

It’s time you stop demanding others comply with your views.

It’s time for you to push the “PAUSE” button of your religiosity …

It’s time for you to “STOP” …

It’s time for you to “LISTEN”.

I have thought about God and my own life’s existence
And it’s not like I’ve not been on my knees in repentance
Bigger than life and out on my own
I’ve come to these conclusions about God

I have thought about God when searching for solutions
Disappointment and cost birthing such confusion
Surrendered my trust to the truth, not a system
And to God

How can we walk underneath an open sky?
How can we say we have eyes and yet we can be so blind?
You have your race and religion and I guess I have mine
What about God?

I had thought about God when my own father was dying
I thought the idea of death and its timing
I turned the other cheek only because I was crying
Out to God

How can we walk underneath an open sky?
How can we say we have eyes and yet we can be so blind?
You have your race and religion and I guess I have mine
What about God? What about God?

How can we walk underneath an open sky?
How can we say we have eyes and yet we can be so blind?
You have your race and religion and I guess I have mine
What about God? Do you think about God?

You can look through the windows of a stained-glass cathedral
You can speak in tongues in a church with a steeple
Who holds the keys to your own heart’s temple
I wonder if it’s God, I wonder if it’s God

Do you ever think about God?
Do you ever think about God?

Written and performed by Rita Springer, “About God” from the album “Effortless”.

Why Try?

Cindi Gale

Someone I know has had an agonizing time trying to get a family member out of a foreign country. The specifics must be withheld, for good reason. Just know it has been a grueling, potentially life-and-death ordeal based on politics and power.

It’s a case of individuals imploring national government, the small guys rebuffed by powers that be, living conditions prime for contracting diseases, a divide of thousands of miles, travel restrictions, and complicated laws. Add to that finite personal resources of time and finances, and it’s been two long years of herculean efforts going nowhere.

Meanwhile, life must go on, including attending to other family and responsibilities, and when able, going to the same vocation-related meeting I do. Yesterday we were mid-discussion when someone rounded the basement stairway to join us. We looked up to see our friend had arrived.

But it was not just one person standing there…

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He Blesses

Cindi Gale

Why is it that negative circumstances so often speak more loudly than positive ones? It’s as if they hoist megaphones to gleefully scream: TROUBLE! FAILURE! IMPOSSIBLE! LACK! RUIN! DISASTER! DEFEAT!

Their goal is to kill your hope, your faith, your expectations of good on this Earth we share, and thereby extinguish the life that could be yours.

On discouraging days, tune out the voices of cruel, mocking, arrogant circumstances — they are the words of an assassin — and refute deceptive rhetoric with truth:

God is a shepherd to the sheep. His ferocity is directed at marauding wolves, not his dependent charges.

To the vulnerable, he is gentle. He does not scream, he whispers. He does not accuse, he commends. He does not deprecate, he encourages. To the defenseless, he does not destroy, he builds. He does not take, he gives. He does not smother, he preserves. God does not kill, he creates…

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Persevering Faith

Some days I can’t digest the day’s news; I know I’m at risk of giving up hope for something specific, or my belief in general that humanity is good. On those days I don’t partake in what damages my faith, and feed instead on words and stories of inspiration, beautiful music or art, nature, or memories of previous victories over fear.

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As for my confidence in a God of compassionate intervention, a God who can and will bring miracles to fruition in our lives, I oftentimes must “go it alone” to sustain my faith. When people (including some preachers and many, many Christians :) approach with metaphorical axes to hack at my belief in the mighty salvation of our God,  I do whatever I must to protect what took so long to grow within.

Courage, faith, hope, love, and peace are precious. They are fine jewels. They are valuable gems. I must not let them be stolen, mocked, quenched, smothered, damaged or destroyed. They weren’t acquired in a day. They didn’t happen overnight. They cost me greatly. They were forged in the fires of affliction and injustice. They are gold.

I must do whatever is needed to sustain it, to persevere in faith.

Hebrews 10: 35 So do not throw away your confidence; it will be richly rewarded.

36 You need to persevere so that when you have done the will of God, you will receive what he has promised. 37 For,

“In just a little while,
    he who is coming will come
    and will not delay.”

38 And,

“But my righteous one will live by faith.
    And I take no pleasure
    in the one who shrinks back.”

39 But we do not belong to those who shrink back and are destroyed, but to those who have faith and are saved.