Wednesday, December 31, 2008

Good-bye 2008 - - Hello 2009!!

My devotionals are centered on the power of prayer and over the last week these have intimately looked at Hannah's prayer of 1 Samuel 2: 1-10 (MSG). The more time I spent in it the more I have turned it into a prayer reflecting my own heart over the closing of this year. If I may be so bold to personalized her prayer for my life in prayer of praise and honor to God:

Pamela prayed: I'm bursting with God-news! I'm walking on air, I'm walking in truth. I'm laughing at satan's schemes within this past year. I'm dancing in my salvation of the grace and love of my God. Nothing and no one is holy like God, no rock mountain like my God. I dare not talk pretentiously of my successes or blessings—not a word of boasting ever, for it is not about me but about God's work in and through my life! For God knows my life, He is the reason for my transformation. He takes the measure of everything that happened this past year, He knows my heart. The weapons of the satan are smashed to pieces, while the my weakness are infused with fresh strength. My God has supplied my needs over and over! God brings death and God brings life, brings down to the grave and raises up. God brings poverty and God brings wealth; He lowers, He also lifts up. He put my broken spirit and willing heart on solid ground; He rekindled my burned-out and rejected life with fresh hope and spiritual renewal, restoring dignity and respect to my life. I priase Him for what His hands have created. He has laid out His plan and will for me and strengthened His firm foundation in my life. He protectively cares for for me, step by step, moment-by-moment. My life relies solely on God! God's enemies, my enemies, will be blasted out of the sky, crashed in a heap and burned. God will set things right all over the earth and in my life. He'll give strength to me His maidservant as I journey ahead in 2009. He'll anointed my life and continue His restoration! Praise be to my God!

I welcome 2009!! I am excited about what He has planned for me.
His maidservant~Pamela

Friday, December 26, 2008


Christmas was different this year for our family. As a follow-up from my last blog entry, my husband and I went shopping to buy our girls gifts to place under the tree with the unexpected money we had received. We found nothing. Literally-nothing. Nothing seemed right. No matter what we could put into a wrapped boxed... a pair of jeans, that new perfume they wanted, the electronic all seemed empty. We walked out of the shopping center with gift cards instead. There were no presents under the tree. We really felt burdened about the meaning of Christmas in our house and how we needed to honor it this year. So this year each girl received a stocking with candy, make-up items, the gift card, and one special gift God laid on my heart. Joe and I felt so strongly this year that the best gift we could give our girls was the gift of having a relationship with God, a real relationship.

Now you and I know that Joe and I cannot give this to them-so as parents how do we encourage this? This is something they have to accept from God himself and as parents we can plant the seed. We both have come so far with God and it is only because of the time we commit to Him each morning and through the way we try to walk our life each day. Though we are not perfect, we are changed. Our life is secure in Him. We want our girls to have that.

So each girl received a journal in their stocking and we have encouraged them to journal a piece of scripture each day. The more they spend in scripture, the more they will get to know Him and the more He will become a part of their life. Though each girl has accepted Christ as their Savior, their lives are their own. They don't seem to include Him in much. So we introduced a discipline to them. Though we have planted rewards for them if they do this, it is up to them to accept the challenge we presented before them. We know in the the end, the ultimate reward will be the discipline of spending time with God.

Years ago I was introduced to the "S.O.A.P" method of journaling scripture. I have taught it to women at several conferences I have been involved in. I was attracted to it I think because it was similar to the old way of charting we did in the medical field in the 70's & 80's. I introduced this to our girls and I thought I would share it with you. I still use this from time to time such as when I am between studies during my own quiet time. I do not know who the creator is to give them the credit. Maybe one of you will find this useful within your quiet time for 2009. Here is a condensed version of the S.O.A.P method:

~record the verses or verses you have read within your quiet time
~what is the verse saying? What is the message?
~How can you apply it to your own life?
~pray the scripture back

It is so simple but can be so powerful.

I can reflect back on 2008 and see it as the year of TRUTH. Every study I was involved in, every devotional lead me to the TRUTH of who I am in God and where He is taking me in this journal of life. It has been a most amazing year of growth, release, capture, renewal, and security. Like Hannah (1 Sam. 2:1-2), I am “rejoicing in the Lord! The Lord has made me strong. Now I have an answer for my [past]; I rejoice because God rescued me. No one is holy like the Lord! There is no one besides God; there is no rock like our God".

2009 holds to be a year of PRAYER for me (I recorded how I came to this here). I am excited about this journey and the changes it will mean for me and the continual molding of my Fathers hands. I pray all of you experience God in a profound way in this new year. I hope all of you have found that special piece of Scripture to carry you though 2009. Be determined to know Him better! I wrote Phil 3:10-11 in my girls journal covers and I will pray it for each of you.

Striving to live in the power of prayer~Pamela

Friday, December 19, 2008


The Hebrew word SHALOM is understood around the word to mean peace. In Jewish custom it is used as a greeting or farewell proclaiming the blessing of peace on one another. In biblical terms, SHALOM means so much more. A word study in the Strong's Concordance and New King James Version associates SHALOM with completeness, wholeness, health, welfare, soundness, tranquility, fullness, rest, harmony, the absence of agitation or discord....PEACE.

That is what I have been feeling as I entered this CHRISTmas holiday. SHALOM. God has blessed our family so much. My husband stepped out of his job of nearly 25 years in August. It no longer was worth it for him to stay in the position mentally, physically, even financially. He started a new adventure with another guy on the leadership team of our church. He is doing what he always wanted to do-flip houses. They will have completed their first house in less than 3 months. I am so proud of him. And there is a potential buyer!

Why do I share this? There has been no income from Joe. It will not come until the close of the house. So I took on a second part-time job to cover most of the lost income but it barely covers the bills and cost of living we have with all our girls. It meant no money to buy Christmas gifts this year. But I had complete SHALOM in this. I turned my focus instead to the true meaning of CHRISTMAS and all was good mentally and spiritually for me.

We told our girls we would do Christmas once the house closes (Joe will make more on this house than if he had stayed at his previous job). The girls have accepted the gift situation but they struggled with it at first. I had to remind them that being in a blended family they would receive plenty from their other parent and grandparents. They will not be in need.

We did not share our situation with others because we are so blessed with all that we have. There are so many others out there who no loner have an income or house or food this season. Instead of opening gifts next to a lighted tree I wanted to go on Christmas Eve, which is our holiday time with our girls, to a shelter to serve those who truly do not have what they need-but all the shelters have plenty of help that day. I could only imagine the possible effect it would have had on our teenagers.

Last Sunday, at church, the leadership team (of whom my husband is a member of) approached Joe stating they knew how we had use our own income within the youth ministry over the past few years instead of using the youth budget. Since we are not paid in this ministry they wanted to present us with a gift. We have not asked to be paid in this ministry. We are filling a need. But on Sunday, Joe was handed a "love offering" that we can use to celebrate a secular Christmas and pay a few bills. Unbelievable how HE works. We tried to give it back.

I don't want to lose the sacredness of what I had found in my heart. As I stated above, even before this blessing I had such a peace about this holiday. I didn't need the presents. I don't want the presents. The girls would be taken care of. It's not about that. It's about SHALOM, the completeness of our faith in the birth of our Christ. So, we will accept this blessing and try to bring it into the sacredness we have in our heart. We do not plan to buy much-maybe two gifts per child, maybe three to reflect the gifts of the wise men. We want to keep it as spiritual as we can.

What I cherish most this season is the fact that I have scripture to connect me to this event, this event that has become my whole being in life. The meaning of CHRISTmas. SHALOM. Completeness. Wholeness. Health. Soundness. Tranquility. Perfectness. Fullness. Rest. Harmony. A God who can make anything happen chose to have His son enter this world in a stable instead of a kings palace. God chose the imperfect for the perfect...just like He chose us...imperfect to be made perfect in Him. Love. Grace. Security.

SHALOM. I wish you all peace as you celebrate this holiday with your family and friends. I wish you soundness of mind and fullness of heart. I pray for harmony and tranquility within your homes as you come together. And may "the Lord bless you and keep you. May the Lord make His face shine upon you and be gracious to you. May the Lord lift His face upon you and give you SHALOM. In the name of SAR SHALOM-the Prince of Peace."~Numbers 6:24-26

Celebrating Him~Pamela

Sunday, December 14, 2008

To Live By Prayer

Now that the semester is coming to and end, I am having more free time. This is finals week and I am done with lectures! YEA! I will not be back to the campus until the end of January. So what are my plans when I am not working at the hospital? I will be buried deep in books...books on prayers. I have started a new book titled "Praying with Purpose" by Stephen and Michele Henderson and I am already being blessed towards building a stronger prayer life. In my reading this evening, I came across this familiar piece of scripture and the relevance of prayer....

Philippians 2:5-11 (New International Version)
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus: Who, being in very nature
God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness. And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death—even death on a cross! Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, 10that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

Pastor Henderson has pulled out four key commands we can do in our prayer life from this set of scripture which I would like to share with you. I will place his key commands within this scripture:
Philippians 2:5-11 (New International Version)
Your attitude should be the same as that of Christ Jesus:
  • Ask God to help you develop the kind of attitude Jesus had
Who, being in very nature God, did not consider equality with God something to be grasped, but made himself nothing, taking the very nature of a servant, being made in human likeness.

  • Praise God for giving His Son, Jesus Christ
And being found in appearance as a man, he humbled himself and became obedient to death--even death on a cross!
  • Commit to obey whatever God commands in His Word
Therefore God exalted him to the highest place and gave him the name that is above every name, that at the name of Jesus every knee should bow, in heaven and on earth and under the earth, and every tongue confess that Jesus Christ is Lord, to the glory of God the Father.

  • Thank God for the honor of coming before Him in prayer
Four easy steps in the life of prayer that we can plan to integrate this week. I say easy...who knows what we might be challenged with but I am up for it!

"Within His body, Jesus has all the power and authority of God, yet He prayed. His prayer life sets a perfect example of how a person should live in communion with God. But His prayers were not offered just for the sake of providing an example. His prayers were real. He lived by prayer." (pp.17)

What a fabulous live by prayer.

And so this journey begins for me. Will you join me?

If you have a prayer request, will you post it and I vow to lift it up daily as I learn to discipline myself in my prayer live by prayer. And if you are in this journey with me, please pray for my oldest daughter, that Christ will capture her heart, not the world, which seems to have it. Pray for our relationship as it is strained. Thank you friend.


Thursday, December 11, 2008

With Scripture, how can you go wrong?

For the last 4-5 years I had made it a practice to have a "life verse" for the new year. I choose a verse that relates to what I feel God has laid on my heart for me to accomplish. It replaces New Year resolutions. I have never been too good at those.
I write this verse('s) out and place it where I will see it throughout the year (car visor, journals, Bible, etc.). I carefully choose a verse to work through for that year for I know I will be met with challenges from within it's content and meaning. Plus, satan sees it as a challenge and does everything in his power to make me fail in it. However, I can rest knowing and believing that in the end, God has always prevailed, maybe not as I had thought when that new year started but in His Way. I also choose a piece of scripture for any conferences or special retreats I may be involved in. I connect a piece of scripture related to what I hope to accomplish personally from that event. I will share from this past year how it has worked for me...

For 2008 my life scripture was from Isaiah 61 (Amplified)

[1] THE SPIRIT of the Lord God is upon me, because the Lord has anointed and qualified me to preach the Gospel of good tidings to the meek, the poor, and afflicted; He has sent me to bind up and heal the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the [physical and spiritual] captives and the opening of the prison and of the eyes to those who are bound,
[2] To proclaim the acceptable year of the Lord [the year of His favor]
and the day of vengeance of our God, to comfort all who mourn,
[3] To grant [consolation and joy] to those who mourn in Zion--to give them an ornament (a garland or diadem) of beauty instead of ashes, the oil of joy instead of mourning, the garment [expressive] of praise instead of a heavy, burdened, and failing spirit--that they may be called oaks of righteousness [lofty, strong, and magnificent, distinguished for uprightness, justice, and right standing with God], the planting of the Lord, that He may be glorified.

This past year, God laid on my heart a desire to help others who have been afflicted because for the first time I was accepting the beauty that had come out of my own past afflictions and adversity. This desire He placed on my heart is still there and He has used this past year preparing me in this ministry. I have grown stronger in Him, He has placed hurting souls in my path and challenged me to use His grace, love, and forgiveness in reaching out for Him. As predicted, satan has attack me in this journey, but he did not prevail. And so I go forth, through the next door, armed and equipped for more of what God has for me.

This past summer God provided a community service award of $1000 that allowed me to go to the She Speaks conference offered through the Proverbs 31 Ministry. My desire to go was strong but I was not sure why. Instead of choosing to go through just one of their tracks offered (they have three to choose from), I experienced a variety of topics as I felt God leading me to do this. It was all jsut stepping stones in this journey of faith and ministry and I was so blessed! I chose the following verse for this trip since I was not sure what God had in store for me but I knew He would show it once I got there and He did!

I know your deeds. See, I have placed before you an open door that no one can shut. I know that you have little strength, yet you have kept my word and have not denied my name.~Rev. 3:8 (NIV)
I posted the transformation of my mind, heart, and spirit from this conference experience here. At the close of the conference I left clutching a verse I had received when I emptied myself at the foot of the cross during the Saturday evening session. The verse on the card was randomly handed to me-it was from God and left me with chills, left me humbled, left me secure:
"Let the beloved of the LORD rest secure in him, for he shields him all day long, and the one the LORD loves rests between his shoulders."~Deut. 33:12 (NIV)
When I need a piece of scripture to carry me, I look up a key word. I have felt the "desert" of my call in women's ministry this past year...I found this scripture just this morning regarding this:
The LORD your God, who is going before you, will fight for you, as he did for you in Egypt, before your very eyes, and in the desert. There you saw how the LORD your God carried you, as a father carries his son, all the way you went until you reached this place."~Deut 1:30-31(NIV)
Yes, He has carried me many time this past year as I have journeyed through His TRUTH and His plans for me. My heart has been so burden these last few months over two areas (as I stated in my last post). I talk to God all throughout the day but my private prayer time, in my room, with the door closed, on my knees (Matt 6:6) is lacking. It is my goal to change this. Outside of our youth ministry, the women's ministry I am leading in has not been producing fruit, not as I have desired. The ministry has been hit with resistance and lack of participation. My pastor even encouraged me to let the ministry rest as the church works through it's own loss and growth process.

But the burden is still on my heart. As women in this church we need to bond, encourage each other, and lift each other up and it is not happening. Considering my pastors words and through events of other church's throughout the United States I have randomly read about, the thought has been planted that maybe, just maybe, God is calling me to step outside the church walls to minister to the "unchurch" (like we do with our Thursday night youth group. 80% of these kids are the kids from within our community and "unchurched").

I presented this concept in our monthly Women of Grace meeting this past Monday and the few women that were there confirmed this is indeed what God wants us to do. They too expressed a desire to step outside the church walls and reach out to those who need to know about God's love and grace. One lady even expressed that is how she bonds with others-by serving. So with this in mind, after praying and searching scripture, I think I have my 2009 scripture. Of course, a blog post, sermon, or radio broadcast may present another piece of scripture between now and the New Year that will take my breath away. But for now, I had a hard time choosing between Col 1:9-14 (personalize the scripture by placing your name, I, me, etc. into its verses and it becomes a beautiful prayer) and Col 4:2-6.
Considering the goal God has placed on my heart, I will be claiming the Col 4:2-6 (Holman Christian Standard Bible) for 2009:
[2 ] Devote yourselves to prayer; stay alert in it with thanksgiving. [3 ] At the same time, pray also for us that God may open a door to us for the message, to speak the mystery of the Messiah—for which I am in prison— [4] so that I may reveal it as I am required to speak. [5] Walk in wisdom toward outsiders, making the most of the time. [6] Your speech should always be gracious, seasoned with salt, so that you may know how you should answer each person.

So what scripture will you claim for 2009? Try it!!

I shared my process to hopefully encourage you to do this and just be amazed where it takes you. Whether through seasons of storms or rest, or periods of being in a desert or a forest, my prayer for us all is that we will find the most amazing spiritual growth and experience a seasons of producing fruit for God like never before.

In Him~Pamela

Monday, December 8, 2008

Christmas Give-Away-Winner Announced!!

Ok...I can't wait until Friday like I said I would. I really want to give this structured prayer journal away now! So in my fancy old-fashion kind of way again, I had my youngest daughter Sarah do the honor to pull the winners name from a bowl.....

and the winner is.......

April! I am sorry my pictures are so dark to not show the name that well. April, I hope God blesses you richly with this journal. He knew it would be you to win this and He has something special planned for you and Him in using it!! I am off to a Christain bookstore to see what I can add to this (pen, fillers, etc ) and then I'll mail it to you. Send me your mailing address to my e-mail @

Now my blog friends, I need your help...I always begin each year with a new "life verse", a piece of scripture that helps me focus on what I feel God wants me to accomplish in the new year. My scripture for 2008 was Isaiah 61:1-3 and in a future blog I will testify how satan fought me all year long with this Scripture and how the Lord prevailed with it in my life. This year I feel God is focusing me on two areas I need to address. First, my prayer life, and second, my ability to evangelize and bring lost souls to Him. I am looking for a verse or verses that address the power of prayer. I talk to God all the time but I am not as faithful to spend time quietly, behind closed doors, on my knees. I want to be more diligent in this in this new year. I have found tons of Scripture related to witnessing but my primary focus is to be more structured in my prayer life.
So, if a particular piece of scripture fitting for this comes to mind, please share it with me....
Merry CHRISTmas everyone!!

In Him~Pamela

Friday, December 5, 2008

Christmas Give-a-Way

Lysa TerKeurst is hosting a "The One Cool Christmas Contest" in which bloggers are hosting give-a-way's! Be sure to visit them all by clicking on the icon above and you will be there. Here is what God laid on my heart yesterday morning to give away. It's a God thing for just the right person!

A few years ago a very dear friend of mine gave me a pink leather planner for journaling and recording prayer request. She knows how much I enjoy journaling to God each morning. This particular journal is a very structured, unlike me when it comes to my journal practices.

Within this binder are pages for recording the scripture you read, your daily prayer request, answered prayers, and journaled thoughts. The speaker who presented this journal to us has her pages divided into daily events for each week of the month. For example, she assigns each day a specific person and topic to pray for. She assigns her family members to a day, one day for missions, one day to concentrate on our government, etc. She included pictures and mementos related to that day. A person can be real creative and make this to fit their needs.
I am a person who spends my quiet time in Bible study booklets and I journal back scripture in a prayer to God but have always used a basic journal. I need the ability to be able to use half a page if my writtened prayer is short or to be able to use multiple pages if I choose to write a long prayer to God. Though I cherish this friend, this pink leather bound journal has sat on my shelf too long and I am confident God has it intended instead for one of you to use...someone more structured in their quiet time than I!

Deuteronomy 4:29 (NIV)
But if from there you seek the LORD your God, you will find him if you look for him with all your heart and with all your soul.

Good luck and Christmas blessings to you all! I will leave this up for a week and post the winner on Friday, December 12th.

Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Holiday Doors

I love old doors. The bigger the better, the more detailed the lovelier. I have a collection of door pictures and eventually will put them into a frame and onto my walls. Why? Doors represent life, they represent journeys, the represent the spiritual. Sometimes on the other side there is promises of peace, healing, or there may be a new ministry, a new person to witness to, and sometimes on the other side of that door Christ is waiting.

It has slowed down for me this week and I had the joy of blog-hopping. I was so excited when I stopped by Rachel Olson's blog site to find that she was doing a daily posting on this season of advent and using beautiful doors to depict the spiritual significance of drawing closer to God. I have not given "Advent" much thought in the past. I have seen the calendars for this. I even went this year surfing for more information on it's meaning, looked for a book to read, etc. I want this year, this Christmas, to be more spiritual and less secular. God answered my prayers with Rachel's blog site. I don't have to spend a penny (which I don't have at the moment) to live out this advent season. It was a God thing!

Reading Rachel's post these last few days and adding in my fascination here with doors, I felt God asking "What does the door to your heart look like this advent season?".

We are good at decorating our doors for the seasons. The picture below on the left is not my door. There is nothing wrong with decorating for the season, don't misunderstand me here. I have a simple Christmas decoration hanging on my door (as kind of seen in the picture of my door on the right). Nothing fancy. A red tin vase holding an array of pine branches and pine cones. It's pretty but no blinking lights. No Satan Claus, reindeer's or snowmen. No "wow" factor I am afraid. Simple. Simple is good but dare I venture to say uninviting? I hope not. I want the door of my house and the door of my heart to say "come near, see what is good in my life and let me share with you how this all started many years ago in a little town called Bethlehem.....

In this Christmas season it is so easy to get wrapped up in the madness of shopping, office parties and family dinners...but how is our heart decorated? Are we paying more attention to man's view of Christmas or are we focused on Christ in CHRISTmas? Decorate the door to your heart with love, compassion, servanthood, grace, and forgiveness. Remove the anger, bitterness, envy, and greed. Decorate in truth, not in the flashy and unreal. Radiate the presence of the one we celebrate this season and worship all year long...CHRIST! Draw Him in this season!!

Listen to my instruction and be wise; do not ignore it.

Blessed is the man who listens to me, watching daily at my doors, waiting at my doorway.

For whoever finds me finds life and receives favor from the LORD.
~Prov. 8:33-35

Well ladies, what does the door of your heart look like this advent season?