Release Your Inner David!

Last night while I was sleeping, I began to dream. I felt this presence come over me. It held me down, shut my lips, and would not allow me to move. As I was laying there, motionless, the only thing that I could whisper was, "Jesus". I began to whisper it over and over. I was slowly able to say it louder and louder, until my lips were loosened, and I was able to say, "In the name of Jesus!" I suddenly awoke! My heart was pounding out of my chest! I snuggled close to my husband, as if he could protect me from this nightmare. I laid in silence, heart pounding, for what felt like an eternity. Everytime I felt that my heart was about to slow down, it began to pound once again. My heart finally settled down, and I felt a peace come over me. God said to me, "Release your inner David." Release my inner David? What does that even mean. I slowly got up the courage to grab my Bible, leave my little, safe cocoon, and go onto the couch to figure out what God was trying to tell me.

Most people have heard of the story of David and Goliath. Even if you don't crack the Bible often, you have heard of that story as a child. It takes place in 1 Samuel 17. In this story you have war. The fight is between the Israelites and Philistines. In the story it talks about a Giant named, Goliath. The Bible states that Goliath was 9 ft 4" tall! Wow! It says his helmet was made of bronze, and his armor weighed 125 lbs! The army of the Philistines stood behind their giant. He went each day to the front of the line and screamed, "Send one of your 'men' to fight me!"

Now, in this story, we know of a young shepherd boy. He was, just a boy. He helped his father and older brothers tend their sheep. While some of his brothers went off to fight, his father sent him to take them food and to check-up on them. David took the food, and while at the front of the battle line, he watched as this giant of a man came out and said his speech once again. "Send one of your 'men' to fight me!" David, although just a boy, wanted to know what was going to be done about this giant that mocked God and their army. It says that David said to Saul, "Don't let anyone be discouraged, I, your servant will go and fight this Philistine! 1 Samuel 17:32. Can you imagine what Saul is thinking right now? He has an army of all these strong men that run and hide at the sight of this giant, and this boy comes to him, ready to step up to the plate and take him head on! It says that Saul replied, "You can't go against this Philistine and fight him, you're only a boy! (Vs 33). After David convinced Saul that he was right for this job, Saul tried to give him armor. This armor was way too heavy, for he was only a boy! He told Saul that he could mot wear it for he was not used to it. He took it off and as we all know, found those smooth stones. A weapon he was used to. He was familiar with it, because God had already trained him how to use it effectively in his life.

Now, little David was ready to face this giant. He had his large, strong army...er...scared army behind him. He has his amazing armor...um...his slingshot and rock, while Goliath had a confident army, and armor that probably weighed as much as David alone! David did not let those thoughts stop him! He knew that God was with him. In the Bible it says that Goliath began to go towards David. At that moment, David ran to meet him! Not only did David go out there with no army behind him and no armor, he ran to his enemy! It says he took that one smooth stone, and you know the rest! Yep, right between the eyes! Down goes that 9 ft 4 inch giant! One stone!

Now, what does that story have to do with me? With us? I am but a small person. I am human, weak, and at times feel ill-equipped. We have mountains that we face, dragons to conquer, and giants to kill. But....we are just a boy inside. We feel at times these giants are too much for us. We run, we hide, we look for others to fight for us. We look at the armor of the enemy and think about how strong they must be as we sit and hold this little, tiny rock in our hands. We forget at times that we have the greatest weapon...God! The Bible says, "If God is for us, who can be against us!"

Last night, I awoke from a dream where I was held down, mouth muzzled, not allowed to move! The one thing I could do? Say the name of Jesus! It started out as a whisper, and grew, and grew! I awoke! Fear overcame me! God took over and encouraged me to find my "Inner David"....my confidence...my calling!

What giants are you facing today? Do you feel overwhelmed, inadequate, ill-equipped, and like you are just a small boy that is powerless against such an obstacle? Release your inner David today. Do you think David had fear? Do you think that his heart was pounding out of his chest while he ran to his enemy? I do! I feel, though, he ran with confidence! He knew that God had prepared him for this moment...not with swords, bows, guns, grenades, but with a sling and a stone, that had been used to protect his family's sheep. What is your weapon? What has God given you to defeat those giants in your life? Use what is uniquely yours, given to you by God! Take hold of that sling, be confident, run up to that giant, and release your inner David!


Touched by an Angel

Many of you may have heard, read, or seen the book or movie, "90 Minutes in Heaven." This story is about a preacher who was hit by a truck on a highway, died, went to Heaven, and returned back to earth to tell us of his journey. It is a very powerful story that God used to give us a glimpse of Heaven, to show us that it is real, and to remind us to keep the faith! My story is not about a horrible tragedy; I was never in harm nor was I dying, but my story is just as real.

Do you ever struggle with fear? When you were young, did you jump under the covers during a thunderstorm, cry for your mother when that thunder clapped, or run to the closet at the first blast of wind? For me, one of my greatest fears was a thunderstorm. I always envisioned a tornado destroying the house, taking me up in it, or that the lightning would strike me. (I suppose I had seen Dorothy in her flying house too many times!) During those moments, I would be completely consumed by fear. I would cry uncontrollably and run to the closet for safety, hide under the covers, or run to my mom!

I grew-up in a 4 story home. You had the attic, which was cool to me, filled with trinkets from the past, the upstairs, the downstairs, and the creepy basement...hey, I was little! Since the time I was born, I shared a room downstairs with my brother while my parents had their bedroom next door to us. I was always near someone while I slept. I felt safe and secure. As I got a little older, my parents decided we needed our own rooms and moved us upstairs. I had this nice, big room filled with my toys and stuffed animals. Along with this wonderful room came windows...lots of windows. We lived on a farm, and from where my room was, you could see fields and farm equipment for a mile. The view was amazing, until it was night when it was completely dark or there was a thunderstorm. Most nights, if I was afraid, I would either run downstairs to jump into bed with my mom or I would sneak into my brother's room for safety. One night I awoke to flashes of light. A storm was upon us! Lighting the night sky was constant flickers of light, loud crashes, and whistling winds. I jumped out of my bed, terrified! I remember thinking that I was a big girl now, I shouldn't bother my parents or brother, and that I needed to be brave. But, the problem was, I didn't know how! I ran to the upstairs hallway and silently began to cry. In the hallway was a picture that had been hanging there since I could remember. It is a very famous picture of two children about to cross a bridge as an angel stood near to protect them. I stared and stared at that picture as I silently cried and cried, afraid of the noises and lights that the storm was producing. I walked back into my room that was lined with windows. Everywhere I turned I saw the storm that was terrorizing my thoughts. After standing there crying, feeling like my feet were frozen in fright, I jumped into bed and pulled the covers over my head. I do not remember falling asleep, but I must have, as the next memory I have was being awoken by a different light. This light was beautiful; it glowed. My eyes opened as I looked to my left and saw an angel sitting beside me on my bed. Unable to speak or move the rest of my body, I remember feeling startled, yet calm. In a voice so clear, the angel said, "Do not be afraid, God is with you." As quickly as he had appeared, he had gone. In what seemed like an instant, it was morning. I awoke and immediately knew what had miraculously occurred. I rushed downstairs quickly to tell my mother. Unlike the story of the man afraid to tell others, in fear that he would appear crazy, I knew that my parents would believe me. I had seen an angel. God had sent me my guardian angel! I did not hesitate to share the news.

To this day, I can remember it like it was yesterday. I remember the room, where he sat, his voice, and the exact words. I apply it to my life, and tell the story to my children to let them know that God is real. I was not dying, I was in no real harm, but God cared enough about me, a little child, that he took time to comfort me and let me know that it will be alright...He is with me; He is always with me. I carry this story with me always. He is not just with me during the thunderstorms; He is with me when I feel afraid in any situation of my life, no matter how big or small.

Are you afraid today? Have you let the storms of life consume you with fear? God is with you; there is no need to be afraid.

Isaiah 41:10 "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.