Category: <span>thoughts by Kathy Cheek</span>

Happy is the man who finds wisdom, And the man who gains understanding; For her proceeds are better than the profits of silver, And her gain than fine gold”  Proverbs 3:13-14 

The circles I have been going around and around in my mind recently made me think about the importance of wisdom. I don’t come by it naturally but I desperately need it.

As in the great wisdom of King Solomon.

As in the wisdom written about extensively by Solomon in the book of Proverbs.

I want wisdom that will help me navigate through the choices and decisions in my life. Don’t we all? Oh how many times I have faltered because I didn’t pursue the wisest path. I want to do better in this area of my life.

In the book of James scripture tells us that all we have to do is ask for wisdom and it will be generously given.

James 1:5 “If any of you lacks wisdom, let him ask of God, who gives to all liberally and without reproach, and it will be given to him.”

What if I ask God for wisdom to discern which direction to go, or how to move forward from my present position, or wisdom to know what changes may need to be made?

And what if I ask for wisdom regarding a decision…but I don’t receive an answer?

If He hasn’t revealed something to me or pointed me in a specific direction or provided a focus, then maybe I am not supposed to know yet.

What do I do with that?

Maybe realizing that His timing isn’t the same as mine is exhibiting wisdom on my part.

Then, what do I do next?

I will remember the verse in James and keep asking God for wisdom and continue to seek His direction.

I think this is the wise thing to do.

James 3:17 But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, willing to yield, full of mercy and good fruits, without partiality and without hypocrisy. “

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission www.kathycheek.com

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Kathy Cheek Thoughts by Women

Who hears you when you cry?

Who listens when no one else cares…

Who listens when no one else is there?

Psalm 116:1-2

I love the Lord, because He has heard
My voice and my supplications.
Because He has inclined His ear to me,
Therefore I will call upon Him as long as I live
.

I am His child and He knows my name,
He knows my voice when I call out.
He lets me know that He is here
And that I am never alone.

He is the rock on which I stand,
The rock of ages to which I cling.
He is my shelter when storms come my way,
He is my refuge while the storm passes by.

How wonderful He is to me
How deep His unfailing love,
In this world sometimes cold and lonely
I know I am never alone.

By Kathy Cheek
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www.kathycheek.com

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For My thoughts are not your thoughts, Nor are your ways My ways, says the LORD.
For as the heavens are higher than the earth, So are My ways higher than your ways,
And My thoughts than your thoughts.
Isaiah 55:8-9

Our faith must be the eyes we use to see what we cannot see. The unseen, the unknown, the questions without answers…

(If God had put every answer in the Bible, we wouldn’t need faith, and our Bible would be so big we couldn’t carry it!)

God told us what He wanted us to know and called on us to believe by faith as we look at who He is, and what He did tell us, and what He has already done. We can do this by studying our Bible and also by recalling His work in our lives and those around us.

We just have to open our eyes to see Him and remind ourselves He is in control. He is working what we cannot see. We need to look through faith’s eyes.

It is hard though because our questions can be difficult.

Why didn’t you get that job?

Why did you get that diagnosis?

Why did that business deal go south?

Why did the door close to such a great opportunity?

Why didn’t that relationship work out?

Why did that relative turn away from God?

Why doesn’t God answer this? Why isn’t He moving to change things?

Maybe we can’t see the answer for which we so deeply long…

Instead, maybe what we can choose to see—is that the answers are in His hands. The timing is in His hands. The way, the when, the how, are all in His hands. God is still on His throne. We can stay strong in our faith and understand that answers don’t have to come in our time, but may slowly unfold in ways we never imagined. Maybe we need to open our eyes and see all the possibilities on the horizon and trust that God knows best.

By Kathy Cheek
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But without faith it is impossible to please Him, for he who comes to God must believe that He is, and that He is a rewarder of those who diligently seek Him”Hebrews 11:6

Faith is woven throughout the everyday fabric of my life, in the big and small circumstances, in the hard and perplexing uncertainties, and in the quiet moments when God is calling my name, drawing me near and asking me to follow wherever He leads. I will choose faith because this is what God desires.

God wants us to have Faith.

He wants us to Trust.

He requires that we Wait.

He wants us to Believe.

He requires us to Wait patiently on Him.

All of this works with our obedience in following God, and our obedience in following Him in what He has called us to do – which is His purpose in us.

We will accomplish more through our faith than through anything else, such as works, abilities, talents, and degrees. Our faith is the outward demonstration of a heart that completely trusts God and believes He will do for us what we cannot do in our own strength.

David could not kill Goliath in his own strength. That was God’s power in the slingshot and in the stone that hit Goliath. It was David’s faith and God’s power.

Joshua and his army could not make the Jericho wall fall down with shouting and trumpets, but they demonstrated faith and obedience – and God in His power brought down the city wall.

It takes faith to navigate our lives as each day comes with challenges that force us to choose to live by faith and trust in God, or the alternative, trust ourselves and the world around us.

Some days rise up like giants before us. Do we believe that God will defeat the giants for us? It takes faith to believe He will and I want to make every effort to live out that kind of faith. I want to live a faith that pleases God.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
From:  First Breath of Morning: Where God Waits For You Every Day.

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In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.” 1 Peter 1:6-7 

Day by day
God is quietly changing me
Molding me, making me
Sometimes breaking me

Loving me, leading me
Guiding me, strengthening me
Testing me in the fire-purified
Will I come forth as gold?

Part of the work God does to grow us and change us is by testing through various trials.

On the other hand, some of the changing work He does in our lives is quiet and gentle as He asks us to willingly bend our hearts to the work He is doing.

But, some of the changing work won’t be accomplished without the testing trials. Whether He is quietly working on us – or purifying us in the fire, the same result will be produced and that result will be a genuine faith deeply grounded in our hearts.

I have been through both as I am sure most of us would also admit has been the case in our lives. We have been through the challenging trials and at other times we have seen a more subtle work of change take place in our hearts, yet both were learning times when God showed us how to trust Him through a season of change.

I am thankful that God loves me enough to change me, and as I undergo this changing work He does in me, He is also giving me a glimpse of what I can become. And this is how I know I want to be all He made me to be.

Isaiah 64:8But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.”

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
Devotions from the Hear: http://www.kathycheek.com/

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I do not write this lightly, I’ve lived it and learned (slowly at times) that the way we forgive people who have deeply hurt us is nowhere close to the forgiveness with which God forgives us.

As I have repeatedly read the story of Joseph’s reconciliation (Genesis 37-50) with his brothers, I have been moved each time by the deep compassion and mercy he extended to his brothers. He taught us a valuable and beautiful lesson on forgiveness.

We don’t know how long it took him to reach that level of forgiveness after his brothers plotted to murder him, tossed him into a pit, and then sold him into slavery. In my personal opinion, I doubt it was early on because the hurt was so fresh and deep at that time. Maybe it was a work God accomplished in his heart through a slow and gradual process over the many years he was falsely imprisoned.

Maybe it was when he was released from prison and saw the enormous responsibility and position God had placed him in. Maybe his heart was opened then to a deeper understanding of God’s ways, as He learned God’s assignment for him was to save the people from famine.

Whenever it was that the healing work of forgiveness took place in Joseph’s heart, I am thankful that he obediently humbled himself and allowed God to bring this about in him. I have seen many people resist God’s work of forgiveness in their lives, and the result is always bitterness. Sometimes it is a very evident, outwardly visible root of bitterness. Sometimes it is a hidden, pushed down, denied form of bitterness, and yet it still spills forth in the life of the unforgiving person.

The evidence of genuine forgiveness was displayed when Joseph was reunited with his brothers and he didn’t condemn them.  He wept and cried and assured them that what they meant for evil, God meant for good. He took care of them and re-established relationship with them.

When others have deeply hurt and betrayed us, may we find it in our hearts to forgive as God forgives, as God taught Joseph to forgive, and as Stephen forgave those who stoned him (Acts 6 and 7). Stephen’s story is compelling beyond words. With his dying breath, he forgave those who were taking his life.

Following the example of Joseph, Stephen, and Jesus Christ, may we hold no charge against our offenders and betrayers and toss their offense ‘as far as the east is from the west’ (Psalm 103:12). God wants us to give mercy to others as He has been merciful to us. He wants us to forgive as we have been forgiven.

Colossians 3:12b-13 teaches us to put on tender mercies, kindness, humility, meekness, long suffering; bearing with one another, and forgiving one another, if anyone has a complaint against another; even as Christ forgave you, so you also must do.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
From: First Breath of Morning: Where God Waits For You Every Day.

 

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After listening to someone share how they blew it by losing their patience over a very small matter when their sincere intention was to keep calm in a disagreeable situation, I was reminded how recently a similar thing had happened to me.

Just when I think I am making progress in an area, I turn around and blow it again. I wasn’t looking to lose my control and say things I didn’t mean to say. And yet a simple conversation and small disagreement with my husband spiraled into heated words and I definitely blew it with my tongue. It was so trivial and stupid of me. I blew it again…

I was madder at myself than my husband was. For him it blew over very quickly but I continued to punish myself with the question, why did I do it? I didn’t want to do it! But I did it.

Why am I so prone to sin? Does that sound familiar? 

I do not understand what I do. For what I want to do I do not do, but what I hate I do.” Romans 7:15 (NIV)

Why can’t I do a better job of reigning myself in? Why did I do something I didn’t even want to do?

Do you hear the condemnation ringing loud in this battle raging within me? There is an answer. There is now no condemnation.

There–is–now–no-condemnation. 

Therefore, there is now no condemnation for those who are in Christ Jesus, because through Christ Jesus the law of the Spirit who gives life has set you free from the law of sin and death.Romans 8:1-2 (NIV)

When I blow it again, there is no condemnation because Jesus took care of that for me. I am so thankful for this truth. I need to accept this beautiful gift of no condemnation. It is part of my inheritance as a born again believer and child of God.

I don’t want to blow it again. But I probably will. 

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission
From: http://www.kathycheek.com/

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Blessed is the man
Who walks not in the counsel of the ungodly,
Nor stands in the path of sinners,
Nor sits in the seat of the scornful;
But his delight is in the law of the LORD,
And in His law he meditates day and night.
He shall be like a tree
Planted by the rivers of water,
That brings forth its fruit in its season,
Whose leaf also shall not wither;
And whatever he does shall prosper. 

~ Psalm 1:1-3

This passage begins our journey through the Psalms, a book written mostly by David, which is filled with turmoil and triumph, tears and joy, battles and victories. What a great declaration we read in the first few verses of this chapter, reminding us of the place of blessing we can have in our position of delighting in the Lord.

By the rivers of water,
This is where I want to be.

Wouldn’t you love to be like the tree in Verse 3 that is firmly planted by the rivers of water and is fruitful and prospers? Isn’t this the life we want to live in the Lord? This is the life He has promised to those who walk in close relationship with Him. It starts with a choice: Will we choose to follow the ways of an ungodly world, or will we choose to delight in the Lord?

What does “delighting in the Lord” mean?  It’s certainly more than having a casual relationship with Him. It happens as a result of consistently spending time building a rich and fulfilling relationship with God that leaves you wanting more. Spending intimate time with the Lord enables you to grow in a faith that is steadfast and firm. If you seek the Lord and follow after Him, you will delight in Him. To know Him is to delight in Him.

What is your desire? Do you long to be firmly planted by the rivers of water, solid and secure, delighting in the Lord day by day?

By Kathy Cheek
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Thoughts by All thoughts by Kathy Cheek Thoughts by Women

Someone posed these questions, “Where can I find God? How can I find Him?”

I thought about the answer and this I know.

He is not a God who is far off.

The truth is – we can find Him early each new day.

We can find Him in the morning.

He’s already waiting for us before the night sky turns to dawn.

He’s already there waiting for us before our sleepy eyes are wide awake.

It is the place I meet Him with whispered words and grab His hand and never let go the rest of the day.

He is already there waiting for me. While my body needed a night’s sleep to rejuvenate, He never slept or wearied for one moment. He who never tires or sleeps refreshes me each morning.

There is nothing else that inspires me more than this experience each day – knowing the Lord is waiting for me, knowing that every morning He invites me to meet with Him, talk with Him, and go through my day with Him. It always begins with the dawn of each new morning.

In the quiet, waking moment of each new morning, before the rest of the world comes rushing in, I hear His voice and know He is near.

The dawn of each new morning is not only where He waits for me. It is also where He waits for you.

Isaiah 40:28

Have you not known? Have you not heard? The everlasting God, the LORD, The Creator of the ends of the earth, Neither faints nor is weary. His understanding is unsearchable.

Psalm 121:3-4

He will not allow your foot to be moved; He who keeps you will not slumber. Behold, He who keeps Israel shall neither slumber nor sleep.

Jeremiah 23:23-24

Am I a God near at hand,” says the Lord, “And not a God afar off?
 Can anyone hide himself in secret places, So I shall not see him?” says the Lord; “Do I not fill heaven and earth?” says the Lord.

By Kathy Cheek
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There is this love I have for mornings,
Day beginning new
And I take hold of all it offers me.

In quiet moments and rising sun
Whispers of my heart say,
Thank You, Lord
For this new day that You have made.

Thank You
For loving me,
Saving me,
Making me Your child.

Thank You
For making a plan for my life
Before I was ever formed,
Leading and guiding all that I do,
Picking me up when I fall,
Teaching me to trust You each step of the way.

This is what I rise to every morning
When I wake up to You.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission from Devotions from the Heart:  www.kathycheek.com

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In this you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while, if need be, you have been grieved by various trials, that the genuineness of your faith, being much more precious than gold that perishes, though it is tested by fire, may be found to praise, honor, and glory at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”
1 Peter 1:6-7

Day by day
God is quietly changing me
Molding me, making me
Sometimes breaking me

Loving me, leading me
Guiding me, strengthening me
Testing me in the fire-purified
Will I come forth as gold?

Part of the work God does to grow us and change us is by testing through various trials.

On the other hand, some of the changing work He does in our lives is quiet and gentle as He asks us to willingly bend our hearts to the work He is doing.

But, some of the changing work won’t be accomplished without the testing trials. Whether He is quietly working on us – or purifying us in the fire, the same result will be produced and that result will be a genuine faith deeply grounded in our hearts.

I have been through both as I am sure most of us would also admit has been the case in our lives. We have been through the challenging trials and at other times we have seen a more subtle work of change take place in our hearts, yet both were learning times when God showed us how to trust Him through a season of change.

I am thankful that God loves me enough to change me, and as I undergo this changing work He does in me, He is also giving me a glimpse of what I can become. And this is how I know I want to be all He made me to be.

Isaiah 64:8But now, O LORD, You are our Father; we are the clay, and You our potter; and all we are the work of Your hand.”

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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Thoughts by All thoughts by Kathy Cheek Thoughts by Women

When people look at me
Will they see You?

When people talk to me
Will they hear You?

When they come to me
And need the strength
That You can give

Will I show them
You’re the One
The only One they need?

If I’m your hands and feet
Will others know?

If I reach out with love
Will they know it comes from You?

If I step out and show the love
That You have shown to me

Will they come to You
Wanting what they’ve seen in me
Wishing for the same?

If they see You in me
Will they come?
Will they want to know You, Lord
If they see You in me?

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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I am not the walking wounded

I received a very high compliment the other day, but in fact, it is a testimony to the amazing work God has done in my life.

The people that I meet at this point in my life don’t know the harsh upbringing I had with a very troubled father.

After sharing a little of my past history with my new friend she said she couldn’t picture me having been in that environment. She said I was too normal.

She had observed that I am not carrying around any visible baggage.

I am not the walking wounded.

There was a time when I was…(before I learned to forgive and let go). If I had waited until he was sorry, I would still be waiting. I knew I had to do it for my own emotional and spiritual health and it was the most freeing choice I ever made. Like dandelion petals carried away with the wind, the burden was lifted from my shoulders. I never imagined it could feel so good just to let it go. God surprised me with that one, and it was a beautiful blessing in my life.

Someone made the statement in a discussion recently about how sometimes we don’t receive God’s grace for healing from a painful past. She hit the nail on the head.

We discussed why two people can go through a hardship and one won’t let it go and grows bitter while the other one lets it go, let’s God work, and heals.

A long time ago I decided I knew I did not want to be that first person. Too much of my life had been robbed already and I wasn’t giving up any more ground to the past. We don’t have to go through life as the walking wounded still carrying visible baggage.

We can receive God’s strength to let go and heal. He will bring healing to the heart that opens to His work of grace.

Psalm 147:3
“He heals the brokenhearted and binds up their wounds.”

By Kathy Cheek
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praise man

To every child of God today
For a little while
Just let it soak in and savor
Who you are in Him
You are His child

He wants a relationship with you
Daily
Hourly
Moment to moment
Every moment

For a little while
Spoil yourself by sitting in His presence
Pour out your heart
Place your hand in His
Know He is with you

For a little while
Just be His child
Just be the one He formed and fearfully and wonderfully made
Be the unique person He made you to be
Be the one He wants to draw near to Him

For a little while
Indulge yourself
Just let it soak in and savor
Who you are in Him

1 John 3:1
Behold what manner of love the Father has bestowed on us, that we should be called children of God

By Kathy Cheek
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When You Need Body and Soul Rest

Do we know when we need to rest, or do we think we are super human and can go on and on forever? I tend to think we believe that with enough determination and caffeine we can go on forever. Are we thinking about what our body and soul truly needs when we are pushing ourselves beyond our limits?

What is on your plate right now? Maybe you have a full plate or far too much on your plate. Maybe you have some hard things on your plate right now and haven’t even considered taking care of yourself with some body and soul rest.

We might not want to admit it, even when caring people around us are suggesting it – we need rest.

If you are experiencing extreme weariness, frustration, and discouragement – the best remedy is to give all your cares to the Lord and rest in knowing He can carry it all. When you finally let go and stop wrestling, and instead rest, you will soon recognize that you are experiencing something new. In letting go and resting, you will find you are growing strong again.

Your strength is renewed when you let go and find God’s rest.

Can you begin to imagine the incredible source of strength that comes from our Almighty All-Powerful God? Now, imagine… He is offering it to you.

Yes, the ultimate mystery and blessing is that when you find God’s rest you will also find God’s strength.

Matthew 11:28
Come to Me, all you who labor and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest.”

Isaiah 40:31
But those who wait on the LORD Shall renew their strength;
They shall mount up with wings like eagles, They shall run and not be weary, They shall walk and not faint.”

1 Peter 5:7
Casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you.”

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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