Wednesday, October 30, 2013

The Better Thing

Today I'll choose the better thing,
The rest to do another time.
To linger in Your Presence, Lord,
Is a joy that's most sublime.
With praise songs softly playing,
My glad heart will worship You.
There is  no place I'd rather be
Or thing I'd rather do.
The clothes that need a washing,
The floors that need a sweep,
The emails still unanswered
Are all things that will keep.
To sit and talk with You, Lord,
And meditate on Your Word
Refreshes me like nothing else
And prepares me for the work
Of being parent, spouse, and friend,
And office worker, too,
Affording me the privilege
Of lifting those to You
Who may not know You as I do,
Or know how much You care--
Who may not know that they themselves
Can come to You in prayer.
Oh, help us all to come aside
From all that holds us fast,
That Your embrace we may enjoy
Before this day has passed.
Each moment spent with You, dear Lord,
Prepares us for the 'morrow
When all will fade on earth below
And heaven will hold no sorrow.
Lord, strengthen us with grace each day
Our trials to withstand
Until we pass through heaven's gates
Into our Promised Land!


Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Sunday, October 27, 2013

Is It Even Worth It?

Of all the questions we ask ourselves perhaps one of the most compelling is, "Is it even worth it? Does what I do make a difference?  Does anybody really care?"

I don't know what you do to make a living or what thing it is that gives you purpose, but I do know that it is human nature to second-guess ourselves and at times, second-guess God's purpose and plan for our lives.   Second-guessing God's calling is something I do more often than I care to admit, particularly when book sales are slow and my calendar is empty.  But then I am reminded that my life is about so much more than writing and marketing -- it is about walking out my faith before family, friends, and strangers.  It is about being the hands and feet of Christ to those around me.  If God chooses to use me in the ordinary circumstances of life rather through the extraordinary, who am I to argue?  All that really matters is his glory and the souls of those he brings across my path.

God is so gracious to encourage me through my readers when I need it most. Through their encouragement he lets me know that when I do seek his will and write about the lessons he is teaching me, he uses what I have suffered to encourage others in their difficulties (2 Corinthians 1:3-4).  Even in my suffering God proves himself faithful to his Word.  Somehow that makes any suffering I endure all the more worthwhile.

Sometimes I am criticized for being a little too transparent when I write about the things I grow through.  (No,  that is not a typo because I do, in fact, grow through the experiences of life, especially the hard ones.)  If we aren't transparent at times, how can others know that not only can they survive a particularly difficult trial, but thrive as a result of it because God has promised to meet them at their deepest point of need?

What you do, sweet friend, matters so much more than you know. Whether you write, parent, work in an office, or labor on an assembly line, your work matters!  The life you live matters!  It matters to those around you who are struggling to find the hope that you have, those whose dark paths long to be illumined by the light of Christ that beams brightly through you.

When you are frustrated and ready to throw in the towel ask God to renew your sense of purpose and help you see, from his perspective, that what you do really does matter.  Beloved, no matter how feeble your efforts or how often you stumble, what you do matters most of all to God.  Call on him to help, inspire, and motivate you to carry on for the glory of his name!



Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Saturday, October 26, 2013

Not the Only One

Hard pressed on every side, not crushed,
Perplexed, but not despairing --
A broken, contrite heart I bring,
O Lord, for Your repairing.
A sacrifice of praise to You
My heavy heart I offer
With glistening tears and trembling hands
To lay upon Your altar.
Oh, Lord, I'm not the only one
So overwhelmed by life,
Who finds each day less filled with joy
Than bitterness and strife.
Your children struggle day-by-day
To find their hope in You,
To overcome the trials of life
By walking in Your truths.
I'm not the only one, dear Lord,
Who feels a little lost,
Who needs to sense Your presence near
To help me bear my cross.
O Word of God, speak now to me
Your truths to give me courage,
To fight with faith and run the race
And others to encourage.
Lord, bless all those who seek Your grace
As on their paths they trod.
Supply Your peace, reminding us
You are Almighty God,
Who cares for us and wipes each tear,
Who knows each pain we feel.
Help us to live in such a way
That You, God, are revealed.
Lord, let the hurt and pain we feel
Be stepping stones of grace
To help the lost ones find their way,
Your salvation to embrace.


Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Wednesday, October 23, 2013

When the Numb Wears Off

Going to the dentist isn't my favorite thing to do.  In the past few years I have had a couple of root canals, some crown work, and a couple of cavities filled.  I've also had my bank account drained as a result!

Fortunately my dentist and endodontist are careful to make sure I am adequately medicated so that I don't experience any major discomfort during a procedure.  The problem with the medication is that it often results in a crooked smile and a mouth that cannot even sip water until hours after the procedure!  Even though the medication makes the dental work relatively painless, there is often residual pain and discomfort from the procedure when the numb wears off. 
 
So it is with life. We may medicate our hurts and stresses in life with drugs, food, sex, alcohol, or some form of entertainment in order to avoid facing our problems or dealing with the reality that life in a fallen world is painful.  But when the substances we use and abuse wear off, the pain will still be there.  Why?  Because nothing in this life -- no drug, no distraction -- can heal the hurt or fix the underlying cause of our pain.
 
So, what is our hope?  Jesus, plain and simple.  He created us and this world in which we live.  He is not responsible for the bad things that happen as a result of man's sin nature but his death on the cross is our salvation and provides assurance of a gloriously painless eternity in heaven, if we choose to receive him as Savior and surrender to him as Lord.
 
Bad things will always happen to good people.  But with Jesus as our Rock and our ever-present help in time of need, we can get through the storm and find healing from the pain.  I know this to be true because I made the choice long ago to put down the bottle and pick up my Bible and live my life God's way instead of my own.  I still have pain some days, but I possess an even greater peace because of the One who walks through every storm with me.  You can know that same peace, too.


Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Saturday, October 19, 2013

Go...Fight...WIN!

On this beautiful fall afternoon in the middle of football season it only seems appropriate to write about perseverance and victory.  After all, isn't that what the Christian life is all about?

Sometimes it seems that life is one big skirmish.  We fight and scrape our way through each day's challenges, bobbing and weaving through our days like a quarterback through a defensive line.  (Disclaimer:  I really know very little about football, so if my analogies are a little off-base then feel free to throw a penalty flag!)  Eventually though, if we do not grow weary and give up, we will eventually find ourselves doing a victory dance in the end zone!

I feel like I've been running the ball all day, making puny advances and gaining very little yardage.  But my eye is on the goal and I am determined to make it across the goal line no matter how many times I get sacked by the distractions and disruptions that oppose me.

How about you?  There is a "great cloud of witnesses" cheering you on from a heavenly grandstand, witnesses who played this game before you.  Will you carry the ball that has been passed to you, persevering until you reach the goal?  Hear them cheer you on:  "Go...Fight...Win!"




Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Thursday, October 17, 2013

Work It Out!

"Do not repay anyone evil for evil. Be careful to do what is right in the eyes of everyone.   If it is possible, as far as it depends on you, live at peace with everyone.  Do not take revenge, my dear friends, but leave room for God’s wrath, for it is written: “It is mine to avenge; I will repay,” says the Lord" (Romans 12:17-19 NIV).

Relationships.  They're what God created us for.  He created us to be in relationship with Him and with one another.  If that is the case, then why do we have such trouble getting along?

Often selfishness is the culprit in our most challenging relationships. But sometimes other factors come into play: financial difficulties, mental illness or emotional instability, stress, or the demands of work and play.  Somehow we get so caught up in the stresses of everyday life that we lose sight of the truly important things, especially when it comes to family and friends.

If you are struggling with a difficult relationship, try to look at your situation objectively. 
  • Step away from the conflict and allow God to quiet you, then ask Him to show you the cause of the conflict and give you the wisdom to handle it the way He would.

  • Without enabling destructive behavior or habits, do everything you can to live at peace with that button-pushing sandpaper person who seems bent on making your life miserable.

  • If there a problem that you cannot control, such as unrelenting anger, addiction, or abuse, then realize your limitations and seek help for yourself or for that individual with whom it seems impossible to make peace.  Contact a counselor or trusted friend who can advise you or at least lend you a listening ear and pray for you.

If there is a flaw in your character which needs an overhaul, give God permission to work on you! Sometimes the best change we can pray for is a change in our own behavior.  When we begin to pray less for God to change the other person and ask Him instead to change us, quite often peace finds its way back into our broken relationships.

Life is too short to be at odds with someone you love.  Take your troubled relationship to the Lord and together with Him, work it out!


Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Monday, October 14, 2013

Having Faith When You Haven't a Clue

"When it snows, she has no fear for her household; for all of them are clothed in scarlet" (Proverbs 31:21 NIV).
One thing in life is certain -- life is full of uncertainty.  Will somebody say, "Amen"?

We all face circumstances in life that leave us scratching our heads and wondering what on earth to do.  At times, uncertainty can paralyze us with fear, causing us to lose sleep, become agitated, and forget what it means to be truly joyful.  Like an ominous cloud in an approaching thunderstorm, uncertainty can fill us with fear of what may come and cause us to question how well prepared we are to face yet another storm.

Even as we continue waiting to hear whether my husband will lose his job due to corporate restructuring, I find myself filled with a peace that can only come from God.  It has been less than a year since we struggled with the sudden loss of his previous job and the financial reversal that resulted from it.  Yet I know that whatever may happen with Steve's current job God will continue to provide for us as He has promised in Scripture to do (Philippians 4:19).  I have no fear for my household because the blood of Christ has redeemed us and as His children we can confidently stand on the promises laid out in His Word.

God uses the uncertainties in our lives to prove Himself faithful not only to us, but also to the onlookers who are watching to see how we will weather the storm.  Even though our journey may produce unexpected twists and turns, God will never leave us to find our way alone.  With His Word to guide us and His promises to assure us, we can be certain that He will work all things together for our good.  And when He does, not only will our faith be strengthened but those who have prayed us through will find encouragement for their own lives.

If you are facing uncertainty as I am, know that God is with you, God is for you, and God has everything worked out down to the last detail.  Stand on His promises, hold Him to His Word, and thank Him for all the blessings He has so graciously showered on you.  He's already got it covered!


Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Saturday, October 12, 2013

I May Never...

I may never write a book that makes the NY Times Bestsellers list because I will never write a book full of lust, witchcraft, profanity, or wanton violence.  But I will have the thrill of knowing that someone might experience the joy of a closer walk with God and discover that there is freedom, not bondage, in God's amazing love. 

I may never solve the social ills of poverty, homelessness, and abandonment.  No one person can do all that.  But I will do my part by financially supporting organizations that minister to the downtrodden and reaching out to the lonely and hurting when God provides the opportunity and means to do so.  I will give to my local church, support other ministries and relief organizations, and use God's blessings in my life to bless others.

I may never break the bondage of consumer debt that I now carry because of foolish decisions I made decades ago.  But, having repented of foolish and destructive spending habits, I will continue to pay back every penny I owe until the last debtor is paid or Jesus returns, whichever comes first.  I will educate my children about the proper use of money, the failure of "things" to satisfy the longings that only Jesus can, and His faithfulness to supply all our needs according to the promises of His Word.  I will lead by example and be transparent when it comes to sharing the consequences of what can happen when we are unwise stewards of God's gifts.

I may never be called the "world's greatest mom" by my children or give them everything that their friends have been given.  But I will teach my children about God's love and His ways by upholding and modeling a biblical lifestyle even though it is not a popular way of living.  They will know the mistakes I made and the consequences I suffered as a result.  And while I hope they will follow my example I know they almost certainly will not.  They will have to learn life's lessons the hard way as I did in order to embrace for themselves the love and grace of God and the forgiveness of sin purchased for them on the Cross.  While they find their way and stretch their wings I will pray without ceasing and trust God to work all things -- even their gravest mistakes -- together for their good.  I will trust Him to accomplish the good purpose He has for their lives, even in their seasons of rebellion.  And I will never cease to believe that one day, no matter how far they may wander from the will of God, they will return and serve Him with great passion and purpose.

I may never have a ministry that has the kind of global impact that others have.  But if one person comes to Jesus as a result of anything good they see in me, then my life will have made a difference and my goal of glorifying Him will be complete. 

I will certainly never claim to be perfect or better than anyone else because I am just a sinner saved by grace.  But until Christ comes I will try to live as one redeemed by the amazing grace of the One who died for me, to the glory of His holy and precious name.


Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Friday, October 4, 2013

Trading in My Shell

"For God did not give us a spirit of timidity (of cowardice, of craven and cringing and fawning fear), but [He has given us a spirit] of power and of love and of calm and well-balanced mind and discipline and self-control" (2 Timothy 1:7 AMP).

Have you ever wondered why turtles are so timid?  Every time I walk around the lake I see turtles of all sizes sunning themselves or swimming.  Without fail, every time a human approaches (or least every time I have approached), these creatures plop back into the safety of their aquatic habitat.  It's as though they forget they have a shell to protect them from larger or more curious creatures.  Or maybe they just don't like people.  I know a few folks who make me want to crawl into my shell, too!

The baby turtle to the left was courageous enough to climb a cement slope to sun himself but immediately dove into the lake as I walked on the path a few yards away.  I wasn't even walking toward him -- only past -- but his survival instinct kicked in and before I knew it he disappeared!  Seems such a shame when I know how hard he must have worked to reach the summit only to let fear steal his victory!

Can you think of some things that create such fear in us that we run and hide?  How about that debt collector whose call you ignore when his number pops up on the caller ID, or the person across the room who has reserved a few choice words for you and is waiting for the opportunity to give you a piece of her mind?  There are so many things in life -- joblessness, illness, plain old stress -- that make us cower in fear even though God tells us, "So do not fear, for I am with you; do not be dismayed, for I am your God. I will strengthen you and help you; I will uphold you with my righteous right hand" (Isaiah 41:10 NIV).

God has supplied us with amazing armor (Ephesians 6:10-18) to protect us from the dangers that surround us.  He has equipped us with the power of His Holy Spirit to guide and direct us in all areas of our life.  And he gives us his amazing grace.  In 2 Corinthians 12:9, Paul writes:  "But he said to me, 'My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.'

Since I have learned that God's grace is sufficient and his armor is more than adequate to protect me from the enemy, I am trading in my shell.  God has also shown me that as long as I surrender my plans and problems to him, I have nothing at all to fear for he is trustworthy and faithful to his promises.  There is no need to run away from the enemy as long as I remember to run to God!



Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!

Thursday, October 3, 2013

Where My Books Are Sold

All three of my books are available locally at:

The Crosswalk (inside Central Church)
2005 Winchester Blvd.
Collierville, TN  38017

 
Now This Is Living! is also available at:
Cornerstone Bookstore (inside Collierville FBC)
830 New Byhalia Rd.
Collierville, TN  38017

You can also purchase all three books online at www.amazon.com (paperback & Kindle), www.bn.com, and a host of other online booksellers worldwide. 

Signed copies may be ordered from my website at www.deedeewike.com.

The Envelope


On my walk around the lake at my favorite park I observed a young Asian woman sitting on a bench nearby.  In her hand she held a tattered envelope with writing on it, which she was studying intently.  Could it have been a note from a loved one who is far away or perhaps even deceased, or merely a bit of English she was translating?  Intrigued by the possibilities and the amount of attention she was giving that piece of paper, I walked away pondering the tattered envelope.

As I completed the half-mile loop and once more passed by the bench, I  noticed her still sitting there studying the writing on that piece of torn paper and I wondered, Do we cherish and study God's Word so intently?  God's Word is his love letter to us, written to reveal his character and instruct us in the way we should live.  It tells of mankind's history and foretells our future.  The Bible tells the story of God's redeeming love and points the way to our Savior.

You may be a keeper of love letters and cherished cards from friends.  But have you read and hidden God's Word in your heart?  If not, I challenge you to spend five minutes a day reading and studying God's Word. In it you will discover for yourself his amazing love, learn his ways, and fall in love with the One whose story it tells.


Copyright © 2013 by Dee Dee Wike. All rights reserved. www.deedeewike.com

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Thank you for visiting my blog! You are encouraged to post a comment and share this blog with a friend. By sharing, you are helping to encourage others with the truth of God's Word!