About Valerie Rumfelt

Valerie enjoys finding new ways to keep her life with Jesus insightful and interesting. She expects to learn more about her friend Jesus and loves to spend time with Him. He is her dearest friend and His word is life to her. She shares her life with her loving husband, Clark.

Imagine a New Life

Yesterday morning in church, we sang a medley of songs about heaven, as well as grace. While singing, my mind pondered how freeing it is to live a life indelibly marked by God’s grace. None of us deserve God’s grace. Maybe as a believer in Jesus, you have wondered where you would be if it had not been for the Lord. I often do. Then other times, when aware of my sin nature, the idea of God’s grace made known to me causes me to want to weep, and sometimes I do. If you are a believer in Jesus, surely you know and experience the grace of God daily!

He cares so deeply for His children, and His love is boundless and inexhaustible, unfathomable.

With all the uncertainly in this world, the lack of peace has to cause many who don’t know Jesus to at least wonder how to make sense of it all. Surely, observing the events would shake one’s soul and cause questions to swirl. I’m wondering if you are in that state now, would you be looking for peace?

The One that lives inside me is the only One that’s been able to give my life

peace,

purpose,

and a plan.

He is my stability, my Rock, and my Home. This all-encompassing God also has a place reserved for me in Heaven. I know this for certain, and it’s not because of anything I’ve done. It’s actually because of everything He did for me when He died on the cross. Then when I made the choice to receive His gift of salvation, certainty and assurance became my eternal hope.

 I don’t deserve this one bit.

It certainly isn’t because I’m a good person or because of any good works I’ve done.

I am not a good person, nor do I have to do good works to earn this salvation.
Any good coming from me is Jesus inside me, and the good works are done only because I love Him.
Earning my salvation is not needed.
My faith is in the person of Jesus, not a religion. This keeps me from becoming callous to the world and its troubles.

In fact, my heart is more tender to this world and prayer is my response.

Certainly, I’ve decided to follow Jesus which means my life is directed to being part of the solution to the worlds ills. But my hope and peace are not found in this world. So how does one find this peace?

These verses explain how to find peace with God.

John 3:16&17- “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.

John 14:6- Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.

Romans 3:23-for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

Romans 6:23- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:8-9 – I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. 9 It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it.

Acts 2:21 – And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

I Corinthians 3:16 – Do you not know that you are God’s temple and the Spirit of God dwells in you?

If you believe what you’ve just read, then you can ask Jesus to live in your heart and He will. It is the best decision you will ever make. You can pray something like this and Jesus will hear you and by His Spirit come live in your heart.

Dear God, I know through your son Jesus, I can have forgiveness of my sin. I know I need you. I believe Jesus is God’s son. I believe Jesus died on the cross for my sin. I believe God raised Jesus from the dead. Because He lives, I can live too. I receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior now. Please forgive my sin and by the power of the Holy Spirit, help me to follow you faithfully all the days of my life. Amen.

Please leave a comment below to tell your story of when you became a follower of Jesus. Or, leave a comment if you just began that journey.

If you did decide to follow Jesus, begin reading the Bible. Ask God’s Holy Spirit to give you understanding and begin to obey what you read. Contact another Christian and share your decision. Ask the Holy Spirit to guide you to.a church family who believe in the Bible as God’s Holy Word, who worship the triune God in all its purpose, and values growth of Christian character found in the person of Christ.

©Valerie Rumfelt

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The Security of the Believer

I remember pedaling down our street and my daddy holding on to my bike seat. The training wheels had come off, and here we were, working together to take it to the next level. Now, I can’t tell you if I was hollering, “Daddy, let go!” or, “Daddy, don’t let go!” I just know my daddy was right there running and exerting all the encouragement he had to release me into the world of childhood biking. I worked with him while wondering if the bike would continue on wheels or if I and the bike would end up sprawled on the asphalt.

Later I would make more memories of me careening down hills without holding the handlebars embracing my play life on wheels. My daddy knew those days would come, but I didn’t. Perhaps he thought, ” I don’t want to let go of my sweet girl.” Who knows? But to this day, it is a vivid memory of growth and faith, and dependence on my dad.

Now while that’s a sweet memory of my dad holding on to me, his power was limited. He couldn’t hold me forever. He had to release me, and I had to have faith that I was going to stay up on those wheels. My faith was in my dad and my ability, both limited.

But when you become a child of God, that means you placed your faith in God. God. Omnipotent. Omnipresent. Omniscient. God.

He is not going to let you go, not one time. As a fact, He can’t. It is not in His nature to be faithless. (2 Timothy 2:13) . When you ask Jesus to save you, He saves you and keeps you. It is His responsibility to hold you forever. He will not let you go. You can rest in His powerful work in your life at the point of salvation. The triune God, the Maker of heaven and earth, is faithful and will never let you out of His hand(John 10:27-29). You can know He lives inside you forever if you’ve asked Him to.

It is not necessary that you continue to ask Him to. He is God, and He is able to keep you(Jude 24). Anything you think you might contribute to your salvation, you don’t. You received Him by faith (Ephesians 2:8-9), and there’s no work you can do to keep Him. He is keeping you. He did the work on the cross, and if you are His child because you have decided to be, then He is keeping you now.

If in a season of doubt, take some time and write the verses listed below and repeat them, memorize them, and pray them back to God with confidence and thanksgiving. Peace and confidence will be restored in the person of Christ, the One who saved you.

One side issue: If you are in a season of disobedience, this can cause you to doubt your salvation. As you grow in your faith, your behavior won’t trigger you to question your salvation. You will learn to trust Him. You will remember your salvation does not depend on you. You will discover your faith is in the person of Christ, not your changing feelings. But you should confess your sin to Him if you feel distant. It is always we who move away from God, not Him from us. He wants to have full, restored fellowship with you, and sin gets in the way. Confess your sin immediately, and walk in obedience again(I John 1:9).

Be sure you have time with God every day, preferably in the morning. This gives you the time to confess your sin, reflect on who He is, get solutions to your problems, build the faith you need to let God do His work in your life, and give you the strength to obey Him.

So whether you are a new Christian or one in a season of doubt, or you’ve been a Christian for decades, here is a list of verses you can put your hope in, memorize, write down, pass on or hand them out to your Sunday school class, small group, or someone you are working with.

  • I John 5:11-13 – And this is the testimony: God has given us eternal life, and this life is in his Son. Whoever has the Son has life; whoever does not have the Son of God does not have life.
  • John 1:12 – Yet to all who did receive him, to those who believed in His Name, He gave the right to become children of God –
  • John 10:27-29 – Jesus answered, ” My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one will snatch them out of my hand. My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all; no one can snatch them out of my Father’s hand.
  • Jude 24 – To Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without finding fault and with great joy.”
  • Romans 8:38&39 “For I am convinced that neither death nor life, neither angels nor demons, neither the present nor the future, nor any powers, neither height nor depth, nor anything else in all creation, will be able to separate us from the love of God that is in Christ Jesus our Lord.

*If your thoughts are not doubts but conviction and an invitation by the Holy Spirit to accept Jesus by faith, then read the link below for more information.*

Let me know your thoughts.

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Walk in the Rain

Walk in the rain that turned to storm

Some avoided this morning’s norm

No one out; the metropolis quiet

because of pounding rain, but we desire it.
Why out in the rain and not at home?

Did we not get the memo, stay out of the storm?

We knew the report, but we wanted to worship

So off in the rain we went to the church house.
Why walk in the rain when you could drive?

We couldn’t drive in our situation at this time.

Maybe a taxi, but it didn’t come to mind, 

so off in the rain our hearts sublime.
The destination worth it, the puddles unavoidable

Around each one we tried but wet was our stride

The pastor made comment of the weather amid,

“…also, a wonderful, dry room to worship in.”
How grateful he was and so were we

If work had called, we’d on time be.

So why miss assembly and worship a tree

Yes, a storm is on us, but we are free.
With lungs to breathe air, and eyes to see,

ears to hear tapping of wet moisture on me

It seemed such joy to be able to worship

A little rain, or a lot was not to disturb us.
Never should keep us from gathering or deter

So go to church, and be on time as it were.

A privilege that not all in the world can embrace

Be a Jesus freak, run and stay in the race.
The worshiping assembly is a joy of the Kingdom.

Make it a habit but not an agenda.

Don’t be one of those with no good reason

Go to church, worship Jesus, and live life in season.

©Valerie Rumfelt

2022

24 And let us consider how to stir up one another to love and good works, 25 not neglecting to meet together, as is the habit of some, but encouraging one another, and all the more as you see the Day drawing near. Hebrews 10:24-25

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Wrap your Mind Around Worry

Has worry ever grabbed you, and suddenly you feel suffocated by a situation beyond your control? Worry is a condition many live in regularly. We all know there are some rather large situations in life that can escalate our concern to full-blown worry.

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If you are a Christian, I can tell you Jesus doesn’t want His children to make a practice of worrying. Worry is a sin, and any effort we put forth to get it under control is time well spent. Some of those efforts are talked about in other blogs on this site, but spending time in Scripture or prayer is some of my go-to strategies.

The immediate reward of choosing to slow down and engage with God’s Word or talk to Jesus is undeniably beneficial. Ultimately, worry harms our mind and body, which could be why God doesn’t want His children consumed by it. Our heavenly Father knows His children, and He knows when we worry, our hearts and minds are not on Him. It’s as if we agree with our flesh and/or the devil about situations instead of trusting Jesus and gaining strength through the Holy Spirit to wait on His outcome.

All through the Bible, solutions are given to help us give our worries to Him, to turn our worries into prayers, and cast our burden on Him.  Maybe this is where you find yourself now.


If you are in this consuming situation now, take a healthy break, and be intentional. Sit down and read these scriptures. The mind will move from worry to the Word if you read out loud. Do it repeatedly if needed, and your mind will engage with Scripture.

Matthew 6:25-34

Psalm 19 (the whole chapter)

Then take a few minutes and write these scriptures.
Then pray the scripture back to God.

This is a winning way to follow Jesus. If you are a Christian, then you will feel God’s peace inside. You will be more relaxed. Then you will know God is in control of the situation. Then you can praise Him for the beautiful work He did in you over the last few minutes, and you can thank Him for what He will do in your situation.

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We cast behind fear, sin, and death;

With Thee we seek the things above;

Our inmost souls Thy spirit breathe,

Of power, of calmness, and of love.

Hymns of the Spirit

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Easy Recipe

The theme of my website is “Winning Ways to Follow Jesus,” and taking care of our bodies is a winning way to follow Jesus. So in this article, I have a healthy, easy recipe to help you out this weekend and spur you on toward love and good deeds(Hebrews 10:24). But since we’re on the topic of taking care of our bodies, let’s look a minute at verses from scripture that go along with this idea. These are not all verses that apply to this topic.

I Corinthians 6:19-20 – Or do you not know that your body is a temple of the Holy Spirit within you, whom you have from God? You are not your own, for you were bought with a price. So glorify God with your body.

Every follower of Jesus has the Holy Spirit. He comes to live in us at the moment of salvation. We belong to God. He is our master from that point, so our bodies are to glorify Him.

Ephesians 5:29 – For no one ever hated his own flesh but nourishes and cherishes it, just as Christ does the church…

We are not to hate our body. Jesus had a real flesh and blood body, which was given to pay the price for my sin and yours. Our body is His temple. How can we hate our body? We can make daily choices to lovingly care for it and protect it.

Ephesians 2:10 – For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand, that we should walk in them.

God has work for each of His children to do until the day we die or until Jesus comes again. When we fail to care for our body, His workmanship((Genesis 2:7), then we will feel bad. Then we don’t have the energy or desire to do the works God has for us to do. We will miss out on what He had planned and lose our purpose.

Have fun researching this topic for yourself. And enjoy this tasty recipe!

Roasted Vegetables:

Wash 2 boxes of cherry tomatoes and dry

Open 1 frozen bag of vegetables(keep frozen)

Combine tomatoes and vegetables in a bowl

Drizzle olive oil on the tomatoes and vegetables

Add your own spices. Last night I used garlic powder and a little salt, and generous pepper

Stir until all is covered with oil and spices

Spray oil on a foil-lined pan and arrange tomatoes and vegetables on pan

Bake on 400 until tomatoes pop and vegetables are browning

1st picture – tomatoes and frozen vegetables:

2nd picture – roasted tomatoes and frozen vegetables

Serving suggestions:

Serve as a side dish

Serve over pasta and mozzarella

Serve over rice

© Valerie Rumfelt

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The Practice of Prayer

If you are a Christ follower, then you know that spending time with the Father through Bible reading and prayer is not a legalistic exercise, but you cherish this practice; it is life to you.

As carelessly as some followers approach reading His Word, there can often be little attention given to prayer unless in a crisis. A Christ-follower can engage with God through the power of His Holy Spirit in prayer. If you only go to God when something immediate is wrong in your life, then you are no better than the characters on a soap opera. I used to watch them, and characters prayed only in a crisis to a god they didn’t know. So, how do we keep from being or becoming people who only pray in crisis?

  1. Expect results. Prayer is a discipline. I know that sounds like “eat your vegetables,” but to get out of “crisis mode only” with prayer, you will need to practice. Now that is not to say you can’t pray at other times. You can pray all day long, anytime. But praying as a choice is necessary to learn how to pray effectively.
  2. Expect to hear from God. We all fear that God might speak to us in our prayer, and we aren’t sure we want to hear what He has to say. But once you pray intentionally, you become fearless. Your faith strengthens and you are willing to accept any instruction, comfort, or guidance He gives. Even if something is hard to hear, you can pray about it.
  3. Expect better relationships. Prayer keeps you honest before God. It stands to reason that if you are honest before God, your relationships will get more honest, and more peace will be produced in your life. Every relationship problem may not be solved, but you will have more peace.
  4. Expect to use the Bible in your prayer time. Use the scripture you read earlier in devotions. Or find a passage particular to your situation. Praying scripture is a submissive choice to agree with God that His Word is true and true for you.
  5. Expect answers to your prayers. God honors those who honor Him and He is waiting to hear from you. The more you pray, the more answers you will get. He will answer prayers that are for your good and His glory which is directly connected to His will for your life.

None of this means that you’ll be spared suffering. God is not a genie. But a fervent prayer life will sustain you in suffering. True followers of Christ will suffer in this life. That is theologically based right out of God’s Holy Word, but your prayer life will give you strength and wisdom for each trial.

Do you need to get on your knees?

I choose to get on my knees because something supernatural happens there. It’s a humble posture; once again, I have no trouble thanking God for who He is. Praise comes out of my mouth easily. I confess my sins. Isn’t this what you’d expect to do in prayer? It goes from being a stiff “have to” step in my quiet time to a desire to know Him and enjoy His presence.

I hope these tips will encourage you to enter into God’s presence with expectation and gladness.

“True prayer is a way of life, not just for use in cases of emergency. Make it a habit, and when the need arises you will be in practice.”

Billy Graham

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Lamp to My Feet ~ Light to My Path

Some people love adventure, and roaming the earth to have an adventure is done with ease. Home is where my heart is. I love everything about home. I have a Pinterest board with that title.

My family moved a lot when I was a child. I have always had trouble leaving the familiar. I need a plan. Anxiety began to reside in me at a young age. Every move was another traumatic, lonely excursion. It never occurred to me that I could do something about it, and over time, like stubborn weeds grip hard soil, it became part of me. I tried hard not to let it stop me, but I’m sure opportunities were missed.

In the late 90s, my husband and I took two trips to Ukraine, and while those trips showed us spiritual lostness on a world scale, I battled anxiety. The first one we went as team members.

Once we returned to our comfortable life, pride and amazement swelled in me. That trip was my first time flying too! Mission accomplished; good job. A big check for such a feat.

Barely enjoying normal life again, to our surprise, we received a message requesting my husband be the team leader of another trip to Ukraine, to take place only six months later. I could not believe it. But I knew God was doing this. Me resting on my laurels was not in His plan.

Thankfully, the Lord used a completely different situation in the early 21st century to call me to pay attention to my issue with anxiety. I won’t explain that, but the result was I obeyed. Through the power of His Holy Spirit, God guided me to some practices that put me in scripture consistently, daily. These practices were in addition to a morning quiet time I’d had for decades. The result was His peace and a transformed mind.

Anxiety starts in the mind. Much of what was begun then remains in my spiritual practices today. 

In 2019, my husband sensed we would take a new direction different from anything we’d done before. I could not believe it. I knew this would mean we wouldn’t visit a foreign and unfamiliar country, but we would live in a foreign and unfamiliar country.

For years, whenever I’d read Psalm 139, my eyes would gaze on vs. 9, which says, “If I rise on the wings of the dawn, if I settle on the far side of the sea, even there your hand will guide me, your right hand will hold me fast.” Thoughts would swirl as I wondered if Psalm 139:9 would ever be true for me.

Today as I live in a foreign country writing this, I am aware I am very far from the familiar, it is on the far side of the sea, and I’m living in the verse to the praise of His Name.

Yes, anxiety visits still, but God’s Word has long-term effects, and I benefit greatly from the years of investment. You can too.

“Let God’s promises shine on your problems.” Corrie Ten Boom

For the word of God is alive and active. Sharper than any double-edged sword, it penetrates even to dividing soul and spirit, joints and marrow; it judges the thoughts and attitudes of the heart.

Hebrews 4:12

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Focus on Fruit – a poem

Every person in Christ has a treasure inside. It comes by way of fruit. The fruit within shows the world our Friend and the quiet display of His love.

 It is said we become like the ones nearest us so the fruit should be picked every day.

Evidenced through the trials we bear; down here there’s suffering and testing that tear. But it’s here when fruit bursts forth and grows strong, for endurance is needed and can be so long.

For how else will love grow but when put with a foe. Someone who is tiresome or one who is gruff. As God’s Word our guide and this fruit down inside commands love burst forth, alive!

Joy unending, flowing under it all, is the oil that yields produce, the soothing gladness of soul.

But joy brings peace and peace is still because peace is the space where the soul can heal.

But peace walks with patience and patience is lovely. What a relief when we do not act ugly.

Kindness can flow from a heart that is patient because kindness is known by a desire to be gracious.

Next on the vine, goodness joins kind because goodness describes God’s heart. God, if anything is always good, and goodness beside kindness is best understood.

To be a friend, to walk through a trial, to love when it’s hard is where faithfulness is found.

It may be the root of all the fruit, for faithfulness is lost now and needs to be found.

Gentleness, how lacking in this cruel world, is stolen, replaced by asserting ourselves. Passivity its counterfeit, but so far from right; Gentleness is strong and a soothing, warm light. To comfort, to calm, and quiet a fear. Gentleness works and draws us near.

But self-control beats a loud drum indeed. Dominance it needs in order to lead. The flesh needs a pause, self-control to rule, it’s payback is great, and it makes no fools.

So what is this fruit that comes from above? Is it useful and profitable and marked by love? Yes, winsome it is to a weary world and brings humility in midst of trial.  So how can fruit be good to the taste? It is in spending time not in want or in waste. And linger in quiet, the Spirit transform. For an increase of His company is how to reform. The flesh or the Spirit, this forever our choice, until He returns and then we’ll rejoice!

By Valerie Rumfelt

Based on Galation 5:22-23

5/2022

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Are You On Your Way to Heaven?

Have you wondered how to get to heaven? Many people have ideas about getting to heaven. The sources for information that are readily available many times are the ones least likely to have the answers you’re looking for.

 There is an idea out there that if one has not offended humanity in some overt way, then heaven is surely possible. This is a popular belief of our day. Good works is a gospel quite prevalent in many religious sects. One must abide by a set of rules or do many works. This will surely reserve one’s place in heaven. The perpetrator of these lies leading people to hell is the enemy of our souls. The Bible says the devil, a predator, roams around seeking who he may devour (I Peter 5:8). He is successful in leading millions to believe in these ideas or others. Each of these mentioned is putting trust in oneself for salvation. It seems like a glance at humanity could bring an intelligent conclusion that salvation surely does not come from within the heart of humanity. But the enemy is vicious and clever, so the lies perpetuate from one generation to the next.

The Bible is clear that our works do not get us to heaven (Ephesians 2:8-9). We will express our faith through works once we are saved by faith in Jesus, but that is a compelling expression of our love and service to Jesus and His church, not out of obligation. The Bible is clear that no one is good, so all our sin is an offense to God (Romans 3:10-12). We all sin (Romans 3:23).

Many are missing the best information. There is only one way to fix the human heart. God made us in His image (Genesis 1:27), and He desires for us to know Him. God loves us. He loved us so much that He sent His one and only Son to die so we could have eternal life(John 3:16). Because there is only one way, there is no guessing. Jesus stated in John 14:6, “I am the way, and the truth, and the life, no one comes to the Father except through me.” The statement is clear and spoken with authority by the One and Only One who can provide the way. The only way to God is through Jesus.

The world religions make it complicated and exhausting to get to God. Thank God for Jesus!. Jesus never sinned. This fact made Him the perfect sacrifice. In John 1:29, John the Baptist said, “Behold, the Lamb of God who takes away the sin of the world.” The purpose is clear why Jesus came to earth. Jesus came to take away our sin. Because He never sinned, He could take our sin. He bore our sin when He bled and died on the cross. Because our sin is an offense to Him, we cannot get to heaven because no sin is in heaven. We have to be righteous, and when we receive Jesus, then His righteousness covers us, and we are declared righteous.

Jesus made the way for everyone to come to God through Him. Although He provided the way with His flesh and blood sacrifice, not everyone will choose Him. It is a personal choice that every person on the planet, past, present, and future, must make. What to do with Jesus? Those who choose Him can know that His resurrection ensures resurrected life for them too. The assurance is when He returns, every person who has put their faith in Him will be resurrected, whether in the grave or still alive (John 14:1-3).

Some people reject Jesus in their last bitter breath. Some receive Him in their last believing breath. But everyone will decide. It is not an objective decision. It is not an arbitrary decision. Philippians 2 tells us that one day every knee will bow. Every tongue will confess when Jesus comes again. What you find the hardest to do now will be forced out of you because no one will be able to be in His presence, see His presence, or know the reality of His coming without being in submission. But it will be too late at that moment. Every human on the planet, past, present, and future, has to decide whether they will make that choice now. Now is the time. It will be too late the moment you die or the moment He appears. Now is the time.

I’ve included verses that will help you ponder so great a salvation. The most important decision you can make now is what to do with God’s Son, Jesus.

As you read these verses, I pray that you will believe these verses. I pray you will receive Jesus as your Savior. Jesus is the only One who ever claimed to be God. In John 10:30, Jesus said, “I and the Father are one.” This so clearly declared Jesus is God. This is a life-changing statement of truth. Only Jesus could state this.

Please read and ponder these verses today. Jesus is the only way to God. I hope you decide to receive Jesus and claim Him as Lord of your life. He is so wonderful. He will be your dearest friend every day of your life. You will find His friendship the best and His love for you dear and kind. He is worthy of trust, and He has a plan for your life that you would never think of on your own. If you decide to follow Him, you will wonder what took you so long. I know others who would agree with me about this. Please give your heart and life to Jesus today. I’ve never heard anyone say they regret it. Jesus is the way to heaven, and once you know Him, your place is reserved.

If you are reading this and already have this relationship with Jesus, then please share this post with someone you know who needs to know how to get to heaven.

How to get to heaven:

John 3:16 & 17- “For God so loved the world, that He gave his only Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have eternal life. For God did not send his Son into the world to condemn the world, but in order that the world might be saved through Him.

Romans 3:23-for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God…

Romans 6:23- For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is
eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Ephesians 2:8-9 – I mean that you have been saved by grace through believing. You did not save yourselves; it was a gift from God. 9 It was not the result of your own efforts, so you cannot brag about it.

Acts 2:21 – And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved.

John 11:25 – Jesus said to her, “I am the resurrection and the life. The one who believes in me, even if he dies, will live.

Romans 10:9 – If you declare with your mouth, “Jesus is Lord,” and believe in your heart that God raised him from the dead, you will be saved.

Years ago, my husband and I shared this wonderful news with a group and when we led them to consider these truths, one man declared aloud to his wife, “Now we know how to get to heaven.” This man was around 90 years of age. The Lord was merciful to him and let him live long enough to believe and receive Jesus in his heart. Maybe wherever you are now, you too will receive this wonderful gift of grace, given freely by Jesus, the Son of God.

Now is the time. May today be the day you can say with assurance, “Now I know how to get to heaven.”

These things I have written to you who believe in the name of the Son of God, so that you may know that you have eternal life.

I John 5:13

© Valerie Rumfelt

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No Ordinary Trees

I don’t know about you, but time and again, I’m amazed by how one can take great photos from an iPhone! In my day, great photographs came from a traditional, expensive camera, and there were people called photographers who took those photos. The rest of us attempted great shots but were often disappointed by blurry, oops, our finger in front of the lens, not great at all pictures. But these days, technology is so advanced that our devices can capture our lives with precision and clarity that is beyond our expectations. Additionally, free online classes that teach how to shoot these eye-catching photos with the iPhone give us skills at our fingertips.

One day as I was listening to an iPhone photography video, the instructor taught me how to frame a photo. There was one tree in a field that was his focus. When he talked about framing the picture, he said, “ It’s just an ordinary tree.” He was setting me up to show me how he could make an “ordinary tree” look spectacular. Instead, he sent my mind thinking, “ there are no ordinary trees!” As a lover of trees, I thought of the times a tree initiated my worship of its Creator. Trees are amazing as most things in creation, but trees have a presence and display God’s glory and what they offer to humankind, and the animal kingdom is magnificent.

Some trees are stunning in their form, whether my amazement comes from their stately form or their spindly or gnarly details. Others are dead yet still, display a hollow, docile beauty of their own, and others are floral or bear fruit, and fragrance wafts from their verdant form. Still, others are puny, unpruned, out of control, and fruitless. Whatever the tree’s condition, trees are incredible. There are no ordinary trees.

I think this is what our Creator God thinks because He uses trees throughout His holy Word to make points and underscore principles. There was one tree from which our Savior hung so that all who believe would be forgiven and gain eternal life. If you’ve not paid attention to the trees nearest you lately, perhaps these verses will bring awareness to the fact that there are no ordinary trees.

Then God said, “Let the land produce vegetation: seed-bearing plants and trees on the land that bear fruit with seed in it, according to their various kinds.” And it was so. Genesis 1:11

Let the fields be jubilant, and everything in them; let all the trees of the forest sing for joy. Psalm 96:12

Though the fig tree does not bud and there are no grapes on the vines, though the olive crop fails and the fields produce no food, though there are no sheep in the pen and no cattle in the stalls, yet I will rejoice in the Lord, I will be joyful in God my Savior. Habakkuk 3:17-18

But blessed is the one who trusts in the Lord, whose confidence is in him. They will be like a tree planted by the water that sends out its roots by the stream. It does not fear when heat comes; its leaves are always green. It has no worries in a year of drought and never fails to bear fruit. Jeremiah 17:7-8

“No good tree bears bad fruit, nor does a bad tree bear good fruit.”  Luke 6:43

The fruit of the righteous is a tree of life, and those who win souls are wise. Proverbs 11:30

Then he lay down under the tree and fell asleep. All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” I Kings 19:5

He is like a tree planted by streams of water that yields its fruit in its season, and its leaf does not wither. In all that he does, he prospers. Psalm 1:3

Zaccheus was trying to see who Jesus was, and he was unable due to the crowd because he was short in stature. So he ran on ahead and climbed up a sycamore tree in order to see Him because He was about to pass through that way. Luke 19:3&4

The glory of Lebanon shall come to you, the cypress, the plane, and the pine, to beautify the place of my sanctuary, and I will make the place of my feet glorious. Isaiah 60:13

Then I will give you your rains in their season, and the land shall yield its increase, and the trees of the field shall yield their fruit. Leviticus 26:4

His shoots shall spread out; his beauty shall be like the olive, and his fragrance like the Lebanon. Hosea 14:6

The God of our fathers raised up Jesus, whom you had put to death by hanging Him on a cross. Acts 5:30

I think that I shall never see a poem lovely as a tree.

Joyce Kilmer

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Notes off Notes App

Cleaning up my data on my phone recently when I discovered these notes. I’m passing them on to my readers. Remember the word content is not mine. Priscilla Shirer (daughter of pastor Tony Evans) was in person a few years ago at FBC Jackson and this is notes from that message. Take what’s useful.

Priscilla Shirer

Prayer doesn’t manipulate God, it gives you access to what He already has planned for you.

The enemy wants to devalue.

Psalm 133- God commands a blessing. 

Unity- He commands that there be a blessing.

Philippians 1:6 

We sit on our feelings like they are fact

You don’t execute- you just hold on to your knowledge.

We never need to pray about a command.

Only the Creator can define you and call you by your name.

You are not defined by anything other than who God says you are.

The applause of those around or lack of applause doesn’t define you.

Even your weaknesses can become a platform.

When I surrender all I am to God then I become a temple for the Holy Spirit.

When God encountered people He changed their name.

Align everything with your identity.

Over 8000 promises. To grab hold of them you gotta know who you are. 

When you don’t know who you are you get attacked by the enemy. 

Judges 6

And everyone was doing what they thought was right in their own eyes. 

The Middianites had conquered them.

Vs 11&12- Gideon was met by the angel and the angel called him a valiant warrior.

The angel of the Lord came to meet with mere people. It is God. Gideon is threshing wheat in a wine press. He is hiding. The angel of the Lord went to him. vs 11- He was there but in vs 12 he became aware he was near.

Open our eyes to see Him.

We want the manifest presence of God. We see Him. We see His tracks.

He hilights the word!

Spiritual senses so that our spiritual radar is up.

If you’ve not been able to detect God, and you can’t trust His hand then trust his heart. 

You know you are hearing from God, when you hear truth. He will not conform to us. We must turn into His likeness.

Truth doesn’t change just cause we don’t like it.

Ch 6&7

You’re entire family is waiting for you to figure out who you are.

The whole nation was waiting on one person.

Daniel- God didn’t take them out of the fire, He joined them in the fire.

Isaiah 65- I allowed myself to be found by people who didn’t want to be found.

©Valerie Rumfelt

After a Bad Day

It is only January 5th of 2022, but a bad day has already shown up, and you are discouraged. Is this your situation? If it is, let’s remember that if you follow Jesus, then He is with you. He loves you. You need not fret or allow your spirit to be troubled. Bad days are a reminder of how dependent we are to be on Jesus. They are not a commentary on how life really is.

Psalm 73:26 says, “My flesh and my heart may fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.”

Often bad days are full of lies. They are meant to discourage you. While there usually is something to learn from a bad day, it is not a reason to give up hope, lose faith in God, or believe that a plan He’s made clear to you has ended. A bad day isn’t that serious. Try to keep your perspective because the same God who is with you before and through the bad day is with you beyond the bad day! Praise the Lord! Last night in a devotional piece by Amy Carmichael, I read this reflection:

“And if the day ends in what seems like failure, don’t fret. Tell Him about it. Tell Him you are sorry. Even so, don’t be discouraged. All discouragement is of the devil.”.

 She went on to say this…

Then let your soul hang on Him. “My soul hangeth upon Thee” (Ps. 63:9, PBV)—not upon my happiness in prayer, but just upon Thee. Tell Him you are sorry, and fall back on the old words: “Lord, thou knowest all things; thou knowest that I love thee” (John 21:17)—unworthy as I am. Let these words comfort your heart: “The Lord . . . lifteth up all those that are down” (Ps. 145:14, PBV). “Cast not away . . . your confidence” (Heb. 10:35); there is a “great recompense of reward” waiting for you a little later on.

Carmichael, Amy. Edges of His Ways (p. 243). CLC Publications. Kindle Edition

There are a few other things to remember after a bad day:

1. God is still working even if your bad day was a direct consequence of your actions, a sin against God or another person. If it is because of another, then forgive them now. Move on.

2. God sings over you, and He is the lifter of your head. Zephaniah 3:17 says,

“The Lord your God is with you, the Mighty Warrior who saves. He will take great delight in you; in His love He will no longer rebuke you, but will rejoice over you with singing.”

You may not be singing, but He is. That is a mystery to me, but I choose to believe it.

But you, Lord, are a shield around me, my glory, the One who lifts my head high. Psalm 3:3

3. God is your hope. A bad day is not a predictor of the future. Go to Him in prayer. Sing a hymn. The devil is not coming around anyone singing to Jesus. Determine to focus on Jesus.

It’s a new year. Your emotions are not telling you truth. Turn to scripture for truth, and keep trusting God and putting all your hope in Him.

Happy New Year!

© Valerie Rumfelt

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Why the Angels Sing

0e3fe-hark-the-heraldChristmas music abounds with scads of beautiful and touching carols, but none has captured my heart more than “Hark the Herald Angels Sing.” I checked a few lists and this triumphant, happy song makes the top 20 Christmas songs. The theology in the hymn is crystal clear, and my heart rejoices to hear and sing it. The imagery of angels singing is not hard to visualize. The story told within the verses is joyful and masterful.

You may pick out some other Christian themes in it, but these are the ones obvious to me.

  • God sent Jesus into this world to save us.
  • All the nations rejoiced at His coming.
  • The angels proclaimed His birth.
  • Jesus is the highest and all supreme God, born of a virgin.
  • He deserves our devotion and allegiance.
  • The Trinity, God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit were all present at His conception and birth.
  • HE IS WITH US.
  • He is the epitome of hope because He brings life to all who accept Him.
  • For those who accept Him, death is just a passage to the best life.
  • He is PEACE, He is RIGHTEOUS, He is LIGHT and LIFE.
  • He put His glory aside to come to earth as a humble babe.
  • Those who know Him, one day, will rise to reign with Him. And lastly…
  • All glory, any amount, should be directed and freely given to Him.

HARK THE HERALD ANGELS SING

Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King
Peace on earth and mercy mild
God and sinners reconciled
Joyful, all ye nations, rise
Join the triumph of the skies
With angelic host proclaim
Christ is born in Bethlehem
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King

 

Christ,the everlasting Lord
Late in time behold him come
Offspring of the Virgin’s womb
Hail the Flesh, the God Head
Hail the incarnate Deity
Pleased as man with man to dwell
Jesus, our Emmanuel!
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King

 

Hail the Heaven-born Prince of Peace
Hail the Son of Righteousness
Light and life to all He brings
Risen with healing in His wings
Mild He lays His Glory by
Born that man no more may die
Born to raise the sons of earth
Born to give them second birth
Hark! the herald angels sing
Glory to the new-born King

Hark! The Herald Angels Sing lyrics © Warner/Chappell Music, Inc, Sony/ATV Music Publishing LLC..Hark-the-Herald-Angels-Sing

This carol thrills my soul. Hearing the introductory notes, my heart and spirit get simultaneously glad, and the words bring tears to my eyes. True worship of our King Jesus is contained in this song. It’s easy to see why the angels sing!

Listen here…

Glory to the New Born King!

“Suddenly a great company of the heavenly host appeared with the angel, praising God and saying, ‘Glory to God in the highest heaven, and on earth peace to those on whom his favor rests’.” Luke 2:13-14

 

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When God Has You in a Place

Do you remember a time when you thought you needed something and it didn’t come? Maybe it was a report from the doctor, a friend to show up, for a situation to end, for a situation to begin, or a hug. But it didn’t come. What did you do? Did you cry? Did you pray? Did you question God? Did you harden your heart? Did you praise God? Did you give thanks to God? Did you complain to others or to God? What did you do?

Sometimes God has you in a place. Sometimes that place has no door for exit and no window for hope. What do you do? What can you do?

There’s a sense of powerlessness. Whatever you desire is not in your control to fix or attain. You can’t push things along. You can’t escape.

God has you in a place, and you are forced to do things His way. You are forced to beg him for His intervention. You are forced to seek His perspective. You are forced to praise Him. You are forced to give Him thanks. 

Not too long after you begin to be honest with God and you quit carrying the desire, burden, need, hope, or longing, then you realize there is a burden bearer. There is a caregiver for your soul. There is a tear wiper and a compassionate ear. Even though He may seem silent, He is not inattentive. He is present.

When was the last time you poured out your heart to God? When was the last time you gave up being strong? When was the last time you went to your knees in surrender?

For the follower of Christ, this is where Christianity is proven. These are the places where no human can fulfill. You may know that God doesn’t even want you to share this with another human. It’s just you talking to Him. You didn’t think He was enough. You thought you needed a friend. A human. He is teaching you that HE is enough. He is your best friend. He is the one who can fix, fulfill, and fan into flame whatever the plan is. No matter how long you have to wait. Even if you don’t see Him do anything. Even if what you thought you needed never happens.

I could tell you what the Bible says about how valuable giving thanks is, being content, how He gives perseverance, how He gives strength to the weary, and so on. If you are a follower of Christ, you are familiar with all these promises. It’s your choice to cling to them.

What you may not be familiar with is waiting the way He wants you to wait. We will do most anything other than wait well. It seems so counterintuitive. But that is where the presence of God is. It’s that still, silent place, sometimes full of peace, sometimes uncomfortable.

Let’s not rush the process and ruin His plans with our own plan. He is a God of love who longs to give His children good things. Wait.

“Waiting silently is the hardest thing of all.”

Elisabeth Elliot

©Valerie Rumfelt

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Soul Survival Everyday

Psalm 25 is hidden in my heart, but recently when I revisited it, the first nine words grabbed my attention like a diamond in a well-lit jewelry case. My eyes and heart were fastened to it, and I could not move further into the verse or chapter. Here are the first nine words to this beloved Psalm:

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul…

This is what saturated my mind as the Spirit of God had me slowed to a stop on these words.
God is the only One trustworthy to care for my soul.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul…

The Spirit undoubtedly directed David’s heart, and David knew that God was his absolute help for the eternal core of his being, whether in peace or crisis.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul…

Why wouldn’t I, too, lift up my soul to the only Soul Lifter?

Is there anyone more trustworthy than the Lord? 

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul…

To experience what David knew in the very first line of this Psalm, then certainly we have to go to the Lord to lift our soul to Him. We can not remain unaffected by this great God we know.

We can not hide in our super busy life avoiding Him.

We can not be puffed with pride in our significant space.

We can not run by Him in ministry mode.

We can not excuse our presence with Him because of a caretaking call.

We can not rest in complacency in our relaxation room. 

No, we must choose to go to God.

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

Are you overwhelmed that you can even approach God? 

God is available to every follower of Jesus. He is our Father, and He is there for us anytime, any day, any season of our life. But we must choose to stop our life, and go get His life each and every day.

Why not every morning say to Him…

To you, O Lord, I lift up my soul.

The soul actually demands as much attention as the body…the soul was made for God, and without God, it is restless and in secret torment.

Billy Graham

©Valerie Rumfelt

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