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

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

I walk slowly when I pass this tree on the dirt path at the edge of the woods when walking by the creek near my home. Some of the branches overhanging the path are just a little too close for comfort and so I proceed with caution. Because I remember what it feels like to have a thorn painfully piercing the flesh of my arm when I was a little girl.

I don’t remember the specific details of an ordinary afternoon playing in some woods with neighborhood friends, but I do remember it happened when I was six years old and a sharp thorn ended up lodged in my arm, close to my elbow, and I remember my mom and dad coming at me with tweezers to pull it out. I have not forgotten how much I dreaded that pain and clearly indicated it with fierce screaming, on top of the crying I was already doing because a thorn was stuck in my arm.

They had to firmly hold me down, forcing me to be still because I didn’t make it easy for them to remove the painful object. But once it was out and the wound had been cleaned and medicated, the pain eased, and I was up and playing again in no time. The thorn was gone.

Holding onto pain is like living with a thorn lodged in your heart that needs to be removed. Sometimes that means intentionally choosing to let it go even when that seems the most difficult thing to do, and yet you know for your own well-being it has to be done.

It isn’t healthy to keep a thorn in your arm, and it isn’t healthy to hold a hurt in your heart. God wants you to heal. This is His desire for you. He doesn’t want you to go through life handicapped by a neglected wound He wants to heal.

The place where you let it go—is the place He comes in and heals you, and the deep wound becomes a place of healing. God replaces the past and present pain with present and future wholeness…and hope.

He can do that for you because God has healing in His hands.

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

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission


Are you hanging onto pain? Do you have Jesus in your life so he can bind it up and heal it?   Would you like to have a relationship with Him? If you do,  you can start today by committing and submitting your life to him. It starts with a simple heart felt prayer:

Lord, thank You for dying so we can be set free from all of guilt and sin — no matter how big or small.  Your blood has erased all of our sin. Thank You so much! Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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I woke up today and I felt small.
It happened when I fell into the trap of comparing myself to others.

I doubt that I am the only one that does that. You might also be feeling small, insignificant, and maybe even invisible sometimes. I have felt all of those at one time or another.

But I reminded myself that the Bible tells me otherwise. I have read how God worked in the lives of insignificant and invisible people in a mighty way. I could easily think of five that God moved from a place of insignificance to a position of great ranking.

David was invisible and God handpicked him while a young shepherd and anointed him to be the king of Israel.

Joseph was invisible while falsely imprisoned – until his appointed time when God promoted him to second in command to Pharaoh in Egypt and was used by God to save the people from famine.

Moses was invisible, feeling defeated and finished on the back side of the desert until God burned a holy bush and called him to let His people go.

Nehemiah was invisible during his captivity as a cup bearer for King Artaxerxes and God enabled him to lead the rebuilding of the walls of Jerusalem.

Gideon was invisible as he hid threshing wheat in a wine press when the Angel of the Lord appeared and called him a mighty warrior and God gave him an unconventional victory in battle with only three hundred men.

Recalling the accounts of each of these men assured me that God sees me. He sees you. We are not invisible to Him. But if you feel that way today I would suggest you read about David, Joseph, Moses, Nehemiah and Gideon. Let their stories tell you what they told me today. We are not invisible.

David: 1 Samuel 16:1-13; Joseph: Psalm 105:16-22, also see Genesis 41:39-41; Moses: Exodus 3:1-10; Nehemiah: 2:4-6; Gideon: Judges 6:11-12

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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When we have worry, doubt, and fear clutched tightly in our hands and our hearts are ruled by anxiety, God wants to say something to us of this effect,

Let go of your burdens and give them to me. I will put in your hands that are now empty and open…

Joy
Peace
and Freedom.”

All we need to do is give God our burdens and He will give us rest. He will give us joy, a fullness of indescribable joy we have not known before.

From my own experience, I can tell you it will not happen if we keep holding on. We have to let go of one to gain the other. I know what He has to offer is so much more than what we are holding on to, and I know this because I have walked that road before.

The joy I now have is because I finally made the exchange. When I grew weary and tired of my burdens, I finally trusted and obeyed My Father’s voice. I finally let go and I was amazed.

I don’t ever want to walk that road again. The road that says it is too hard to let go. If you want to walk in joy, make the exchange. Open your hands to Him, let go, and place your burdens in His hands. Soon you will know what it is to walk in His peace and joy. Soon you won’t be weary under the load of burdens you were carrying on your own.

It starts with a step of faith and a heart of trust and emptying your hands of the burdens God asks you to lay in His hands.

Will you make the exchange?

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

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission


Do you know this love that is found in God alone, through Jesus?  Would you like to give your burdens to him and have a relationship with Him?  It doesn’t mean that life will be easy but it does mean you have Jesus walking by your side. It starts with a simple heart felt prayer:

Lord, thank You for dying so we can be set free from all of guilt and sin — no matter how big or small.  Your blood has erased all of our sin. Thank You so much! Lord Jesus, I want to know you personally. Thank you for dying on the cross for my sins. I open the door of my life to you and ask you to come in as my Savior and Lord. Take control of my life. Thank you for forgiving my sins and giving me eternal life. Make me the kind of person you want me to be. Amen

It is the first step.  Keep learning more….


If you prayed this prayer we would love to hear from you . If you would like to know God deeper we can connect you with an email mentor and/or send you some great links.


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But the LORD said to Samuel, “Do not look at his appearance or at his physical stature, because I have refused him. For the LORD does not see as man sees; for man looks at the outward appearance, but the LORD looks at the heart.”
1 Samuel 16:7

In a culture that thrives on how we look and what our status is, how can we be grounded in the truth of what God considers important and of value? I have a perfect example in the story of God choosing David to be king of Israel. In this lesson we find out what God is looking for when it comes to the depth of character He desires.

When the prophet Samuel was sent to anoint a king to replace Saul and Jesse parades his sons before him, God refused one who Samuel thought he would choose. By doing this, God makes a very important statement about outward appearance versus what is in our hearts. Samuel took one look at Eliab and said, “Surely the Lord’s anointed is before Him.” God quickly corrected Samuel’s error in assumption. A few verses later, it is clear God has chosen David, and he is anointed to be the next king in Israel.

In the very next chapter, we see a close up look at David’s heart when he declares the battle is the Lord’s! Without hesitation he goes to fight Goliath. We see his strong faith and confidence in the Lord, and we see his deep courage in living out that faith when he takes on the giant with a slingshot and five stones.

When I read in the Bible that God is more interested in our inner beauty than our outer beauty, I am encouraged. If my value was only placed on my outward appearance, this world wouldn’t attribute great value to my life. When I speak of outward appearance, I am not merely referring to physical appearance, but also the outward things we do to make it appear that we are of great value. We place much of our own value on the material possessions we accumulate and the credentials and status we acquire.

I’d rather be rich in faith than rich in the things of this world. I’d rather acquire the riches found in sitting at the Lord’s feet than the wealth that accumulates in a big bank account. When God looks at my heart, I want Him to see what He saw in David—a steadfast devotion and confidence in Him and the courage to fight the battles of life knowing our battles belongs to the Lord. 1 Samuel 17:45-47

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

From: First Breath of Morning: Where God Waits For You Every Day.

If  you don’t have a relationship with Jesus, you can learn how to start one at this link:
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Romans 8:38-39
For I am persuaded that neither death nor life, nor angels nor principalities nor powers, nor things present nor things to come, nor height nor depth, nor any other created thing, shall be able to separate us from the love of God which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

Jeremiah 31:3
Yes, I have loved you with an everlasting love;
Therefore with loving kindness I have drawn you.”

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

Deuteronomy 31:8
And the Lord, He is the One who goes before you. He will be with you, He will not leave you nor forsake you; do not fear nor be dismayed.

By Kathy Cheek
Used by Permission

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His Magnificent Presence

His is a very near presence that we will know,
When we draw close to Him.

In a conversation with a friend who just recently finished several months of chemo sessions, she talked about the deep and intimate closeness to the Lord that she experienced while going through cancer treatment.

It reminded me of the very similar way I felt when my husband and I grieved in 1992 for our baby who only lived on this earth for two days. I told her that I literally felt like God’s arms were around me, holding me.

Both of our experiences were the evidence of every Bible verse on God’s comfort and every verse and teaching that He is always with us and we are never alone and that His grace is sufficient.

My friend and I agreed that we want that special closeness to continue even though we are not in those dark valleys anymore.

But we also admitted that even when life is “normal” we can still have a close and intimate relationship with the Lord as a result of intentionally pursuing Him and drawing near. We can experience His magnificent presence any day of the week when we genuinely seek Him.

It might not be the same as the uniquely powerful and comforting grace He provides in a valley or trial. Yet, every normal and ordinary day we still have the humbling honor to draw near and know His magnificent presence ever near to us.

James 4:8
“Draw near to God and He will draw near to you.”

By Kathy Cheek

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devotional on the Lord is my Shepherd

There have been many times my life did not track the way I thought it would. Yet, I learned that when it doesn’t track according to my plan, that doesn’t mean it isn’t tracking according to God’s plan. When I watched my life take twists and turns that did not seem to add up to any expectation of what I perceived to be God’s plan for my life, I wrestled with how to deal with the perplexing turns my life was taking.

I know God is in the business of changing, molding, shaping, and testing us. There will be unexpected twists and turns in the events of our lives that will make us wonder what God is doing and the answer won’t seem clear at all. That is part of the test to see if we are serious about the work He has called us to do. It is also part of the test to see if we are willing to be changed, molded, and prepared for what He has planned for us in His perfect timing, perfect way, and in His perfect will.

I don’t know if the perplexing part of my journey was God changing me, preparing me, testing me, or the enemy assaulting me, or if it was all of those. If God was changing me, I am definitely a different person now. If He was testing me, I want to pass the test.  If He was preparing me, I am thankful for the work He is doing in me. If the enemy was attacking me, he failed.

God is building something out of our lives, and the beginning product does not look like the finished product. God is the one with the blueprint and the plan. Looking back across the years of my life’s journey, I can trace God’s work in my life through many turns in the road, including detours and disappointments, along with joy and blessings. Ultimately, His will is being accomplished in my life, and I choose to walk this road with Him, even when I don’t know where the road is leading.

Proverbs 16:9A man’s heart plans his way, But the LORD directs his steps.”

By Kathy Cheek

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Devotional Our Power Against Fear

The stronger our trust is in God, the greater our power over fear.

Have you ever noticed how quickly fear can sneak up on us and sweep us up into a whirlwind of anxious thoughts spiraling out of control? Have you also noticed that fear often rolls in like storm clouds that darken every thought in every corner of our soul?

This is the work of the Enemy – he does this often, he loves this scare tactic, because sadly, it works almost every time.

Sometimes a very small circumstance that is troubling us becomes huge in an instant and fills us with fear, and we don’t even know how it happened so suddenly. That is the nature of fear. It eats away at any peace and stability in our lives. It threatens to invade every waking moment of our day.  Fear takes on a life of its own and undermines our faith and trust in God.

God has not given us a spirit of fear. God gives us courage, boldness, and strength. That is His nature and it is what He desires for us through His strength inside of us. Our enemy, Satan, wants us to walk in fear. God, our heavenly Father who loves us with an everlasting love desires us to cast out all fear and walk in power, love, and with a sound mind. When we do this, fear is conquered! We overcome what the enemy brings against us in an attack of fear.

When we learn to fight fear and receive God’s strength to do so, we will face fear as a challenge we know we can overcome, instead of letting it overcome us.

2 Timothy 1:7 “For God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and of love and of a sound mind.”

By Kathy Cheek

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devotionalFollowing a blow-out that one of our daughters had on her way back to college a few years ago, we were parked at a gas station unloading Mary’s trunk to retrieve the spare tire. We were three hours from home and still three hours from our destination with Randy and me in our car and our two daughters in Mary’s car.

Mary’s trunk was filled with back to college items, which she and her sister Amy were helping their father stack on the pavement. I was preparing to also help when someone appeared out of nowhere as I stepped out of our car. A stranger with dirty, stringy, greasy hair and a wild look in his eyes that instantly made me uneasy – asked if he could help, and I promptly replied that my husband was putting the spare tire on the car and we didn’t need any help. I was thinking to myself, I hope he accepts this answer and walks away. He basically gave me the creeps.

Just as I said we didn’t need any help, Randy told me he couldn’t get the last lug nut off, and he had tried with every wrench in his toolbox.

Aaron, or should I say, Crazy Aaron as the girls dubbed him, pipes up, “I’m a mechanic. I can help you. There’s an auto parts store down the road, I can take you there to get the right tool.”  Randy agreed and jumped into a beat up old pick-up truck with Crazy Aaron and headed to the store.

They came back a little later and Crazy Aaron popped that last lug nut off with the new tool. Randy whispered to me, “He drives like a psychopath! I’m glad we’re back!” Aaron proceeded to put the spare tire on, he seemed eager to help, and Randy pulled me aside to softly tell me that Aaron had shared that he had recently lost his job. Randy told me he wanted to pay him generously for helping us. I had cash in my purse and Randy took out more than I would have guessed Aaron’s help was worth. But God had already convicted Randy to give him above and beyond what seemed the appropriate amount.

Aaron with the stringy, greasy, dirty hair and wild look – had tears in his eyes and his voice trembled when he saw how much money Randy was giving him. He said to us, “You have no idea what you have done for me today! Thank you so much!”

I felt about an inch tall. My rush to judgement now had me swimming in shame. I apologized to him for brushing him off so quickly when he first arrived on the scene. And what was he doing on the scene? He had run out of gas and was able to coast to the same gas station where we pulled into after the blow-out. He had to call his dad and plead for money to put gas in his truck. His dad had just arrived and gave him twenty dollars and told him, there wasn’t going to be any more where that came from.

Then, Aaron turned around and saw us and came over to help.

I still think about that day and wonder, did God send Aaron to help us, or us to help Aaron? The answer is both. God crossed our paths to help each other and to meet our needs – and He also taught me not to make quick assumptions about people.

You know, when Aaron smiled, he didn’t look so scary any more. He left us with a smile that day as he drove off in his pick-up truck, driving a little reckless if you ask me.

We all smiled too, as he drove away, absorbing the events that had transpired that hot August afternoon. God had been very good to all of us, even Aaron.

And my God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19 (NKJV)

Lord, help me to not make a rush to judgement when I meet someone and thank You for how You work to meet our needs. Amen.

By Kathy Cheek

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