I only know that in every city the Holy Spirit warns me that prison and hardships are facing me. 24 However, I consider my life worth nothing to me; my only aim is to finish the race and complete the task the Lord Jesus has given me—the task of testifying to the good news of God’s grace. Acts 23-24
I do all this for the sake of the gospel, that I may share in its blessings.
I Corinthians 9:23-25
The Need for Self-Discipline
Do you not know that in a race all the runners run, but only one gets the prize? Run in such a way as to get the prize. Everyone who competes in the games goes into strict training. They do it to get a crown that will not last, but we do it to get a crown that will last forever.
I have fought the good fight, I have finished the race, I have kept the faith.
2 Timothy 4:7
Portions of the Iditarod Trail were used by the Native Alaskan Eskimo Inupiaq and Athabaskan peoples hundreds of years before the arrival of Russian fur traders in the 1800s, but the trail reached its peak between the late 1880s and the mid-1920s as miners arrived to dig coal and later gold, especially after the Alaska gold rushes at Nome in 1898, and at the “Inland Empire” along the Kuskokwim Mountains between Yukon and Kuskokwim rivers, in 1908.
The primary communication and transportation link to the rest of the world during the summer was the steamship; but between October and June the northern ports like Nome became icebound, and dog sleds delivered mail, firewood, mining equipment, gold ore, food, furs, and other needed supplies between the trading posts and settlements across the Interior and along the western coast. Roadhouses where travelers could spend the night sprang up every 14 to 30 miles (23 to 48 km) until the end of the 1920s, when the mail carriers were replaced by bush pilots flying small aircraft and the roadhouses vanished. Dog sledding persisted in the rural parts of Alaska, but was almost driven into extinction by the spread of snowmobiles in the 1960s.
The most famous event in the history of Alaskan mushing is the 1925 serum run to Nome, also known as the “Great Race of Mercy.” A large diphtheria epidemic threatened Nome, and Nome’s supply of antitoxin had expired and doctor Curtis Welch refused to use it, and then proceeded to send out telegrams looking for a fresh supply of antitoxin. The nearest antitoxin was found to be in Anchorage, nearly one thousand miles away. The only way to get the antitoxin to Nome was by sled dog, due to unusable planes and ships. Governor Scott Bone approved a safe route and the 20-pound (9.1 kg) cylinder of serum was sent by train 298 miles (480 km) from the southern port of Seward to Nenana, where it was passed just before midnight on January 27 to the first of twenty mushers and more than 100 dogs who relayed the package 674 miles (1,085 km) from Nenana to Nome. The dogs ran in relays, with no dog running over 100 miles (160 km).
The Norwegian Gunnar Kaasen and his lead dog Balto arrived on Front Street in Nome on February 2 at 5:30 a.m., just five and a half days later. The two became media celebrities, and a statue of Balto was erected in Central Park in New York City in 1925, where it has become one of the most popular tourist attractions.
However, most mushers consider Leonhard Seppala and his lead dog Togo to be the true heroes of the run. Together they covered the most hazardous stretch of the route, and carried the serum 91 miles, the single farthest of any team.
Please pray for the people of Alaska and that God’s light will overcome the darkness as many face tremendous challenges of hardship, crisis and trauma.
Warning** Do Not Do the following or allow your children to do this!
Frazzled, shaken, unstable, wobbly and obviously fluffed! This is what my poodle Angel looked like after coming out of the dryer. Not the blow dryer either! When I was a young girl I had two brothers Doug and Keith. Keith decided one day that he was going to give Angel a little ride in the dryer. He did have mercy and put the dryer on fluff. It wasn’t long, but long enough that when she came out after her ride, that she stumbled around like a wobbly newborn deer. All she wanted was to get her balance back!
Have you ever felt like that? I know I have!
Maybe it was the trauma or she was just a little strange but she never seemed to ever get her nerve back. Every time she would see Keith or get near the dryer she would start to shake. Obviously Keith felt bad, and so I had to forgive him and show him mercy.
It’s been a while since I’ve thought about Angel. but, As I listened to the message in church this morning I realized like Keith, we all do things that sometimes we regret. Like Israel we get caught in situations where we either lose our way or we stumble and shake and lose our nerve. In this case Micah was called to share with the people how they had forgotten all the wonderful things He had done and they got caught up in their own delights, or as in Angel’s case, her own bad experience.
“Stand up, plead my case before the mountains; let the hills hear what you have to say.
“Hear, you mountains, the Lord’s accusation; listen, you everlasting foundations of the earth. For the Lord has a case against his people; he is lodging a charge against Israel.”
The religious priests were the worst! Instead of pointing them to the only one who could save, deliver and heal them, they were telling the people what they wanted to hear in order to increase the offerings in the temple. Does this sound familiar in our pluralistic, self-centered and abusive society?
Justice – Hebrew word Mishpat “The way prescribed, rightful action.”
Mercy – Hebrew word Chesed “Kindness, goodness, loyal deeds, compassion.”
God is so relentless in His pursuit of us. He sent Micah to tell the people the truth. They had taken the wrong road and were pursuing things other than things that were unrighteous and deceitful. They had become cold, uncaring for the less fortunate, mean and arrogant.
There are times when I find myself in situations where if I’m not careful I begin to do and say the wrong things. I don’t set a good example of justice and mercy. In my mind, I can put people in the dryer and intenionally turn the temperature to high heat.
God wants us to be humble and upright before Him. He wants us to exhibit His character and to help those in need, the widows, the orphans, the backslidden and distressed. He wants us to love our enemies and not expect anything in return. The amazing thing about God is that He knows we can’t do this on our own. So when we come to Him and ask Him for help, He is faithful to supply and empower us with His love. This is what Micah was trying to get through to the people.
“God opposes the proud but shows favor tothehumble.”
I’m sure some of us can say, can’t believe this happened to me! Our world gets rocked and shaken. We are trembling, fearful, and weary. We are out of balance and maybe we can’t even think straight. We need to help one another to get back on God’s track. We need each other.
God has got us! He is pursuing us relentlessly, no matter what. The enemy is defeated and there is no way he can overcome us if we abide in Jesus.
Who is a God like you, who pardons sin and forgives the transgression of the remnant of his inheritance? You do not stay angry forever but delight to show mercy. 19 You will again have compassion on us; you will tread our sins underfoot and hurl all our iniquities into the depths of the sea. 20 You will be faithful to Jacob, and show love to Abraham, as you pledged on oath to our ancestors in days long ago.
My son(s) and daughter(s), if sinners entice thee,
consent thou not.
If they say, Come with us, let us lay wait for blood, let us lurk privily for the innocent without cause: Let us swallow them up alive as the grave; and whole, as those that go down into the pit:
Our sinfulness causes us sometimes to follow the wrong crowd. Sometimes that crowd looks good, sounds good and gives the impression that their cause is good. In fact you can see “good fruit” or profitable results and success come from some of the works that are being done. We must be careful not to be deceived.
Proverbs cautions us from the very beginning of this book that knowledge without wisdom is deadly. I’ve learned too many times it is very easy to be deceived, by what looks and sounds good. By seeking the LORD and His wisdom we can rest assured that He will protect, provide and care for us and help us navigate in this world filled with knowlege and deception. His plan is always for our good and not for evil.
We shall find all precious substance, we shall fill our houses with spoil:
Cast in thy lot among us; let us all have one purse: My son, walk not thou in the way with them; refrain thy foot from their path: For their feet run to evil, and make haste to shed blood.
Today we are flooded knowledge and technology through every means possible. Hours and hours of gigabytes and terabytes of information is coming to us in a way that can’t possibly be processed logically, much less with wisdom or allowing us to get wise counsel. I often find myself in this “net” and powerless to escape, except for the mercy and grace of the LORD. These traps are laid before us all. We are helpless without the help of G-d.
Surely in vain the net is spread in the sight of any bird.
And they lay wait for their own blood; they lurk privily for their own lives. So are the ways of every one that is greedy of gain; which taketh away the life of the owners thereof.
When we get caught up in lies and deceit, we find ourselves naked walking around like the Emperor in The Emperor’s New Clothes. His greedyness, pride and arrogance eventually destroyed his life and in the eyes of all who saw him he became a fool.
We can all get caught up in these traps if we don’t seek wisdom. It is critical to keep our hearts focused on the only one who can save, deliver and keep us from the many traps that are set before us.
Promise – Life Lesson # 2 The Promise of an Eternal Covenant:
“Behold, the days are coming, says the Lord, when I will make a new covenant with the house of Israel and with the house of Judah — not according to the covenant that I made with their fathers in the day that I took them by the hand to lead them out of the land of Egypt, My covenant which they broke, though I was a husband to them, says the Lord. But this is the covenant that I will make with the house of Israel after those days, says the Lord: I will put My law in their minds, and write it on their hearts; and I will be their God, and they shall be My people. No more shall every man teach his neighbor, and every man his brother, saying, ‘Know the Lord,’ for they all shall know Me, from the least of them to the greatest of them, says the Lord. For I will forgive their iniquity, and their sin I will remember no more.” Jeremiah 31:31-34
God’s purpose is to keep His promises to His children. I’m going to step on some toes here because most people don’t like to talk about money, except to say they don’t have enough. How do I know this? Because I’m one of those people!
I’ve sowed, I tithed (and still do), I give offerings (and still do) and I’ve even called the 1-800 number for the “Let’s Make A Deal With God”evangelist (don’t do anymore). I’m learning that God wants us to love and honor Him, not believe He is going to help us strike it rich, or strike us dead if we don’t do something we just assume is God. God WANTS to bless us. This is why He has created principles of giving. These principles work because they are God’s principles not mens. Some men and women take them and use them as tools to extract money from others. But, I even though it appears some are prospering, God will always take care of those that know and love Him.
When I was living in the world I foolishly flushed a lot of money down the drain. I also opened the door for Satan to sift me dry. Many times I blamed God because I didn’t listen to Him when He was trying to talk to me. I was also trustworthy and loyal which made me an easy mark for preditors. This is one reason why we can’t be double minded. It makes us unstable.
Accumulating wealth, and keeping it are two differnt things. You might say in my case, “it was gone with the wind!”
But, the day came when I had the responsibility to take care of my two little boys. I learned really fast how to earn, preserve, spend and save money. My sister-in-law helped me learn how to budget and save. God taught me about sowing and reaping and staying in His Word. Practicing these earthly and spiritual principles, I began investing in others and the works that God was calling them to.
We began having Bible studies in our home. I would get the main course, “Buy One Get One” whatever was on sale. Our friends would bring side dishes, chips, dip, soft drinks and desserts. We had leftovers for days! My friends began to multiply and we began to go and do things for God’s Kingdom. Our kids grew up having fun instead of feeling like they didn’t have anything. God always takes care of His children.
I remember one night going to a women’s retreat and an evangelist asked me to get my checkbook out and she prayed over me. She took my check book right out of my hand and said,
“You have sown and sown and sown into other’s lives. The enemy has tried to steal the blessing, the promise and the covenant God made with you concerning you and your offspring. He is your husband and so I say to you today. You will be a giver and you will receive back not 100 nor 200 but 300 fold what you have given..
She then slapped me with my checkbook not once but three times each slap saying, “See it done, in Jesus’ name, see it done, see it done! – in the name of Jesus!”
Now, deep down after this woman prayed over me and being a broke single mom I have to say I was more than a little excited! Somehow I did wonder if God was going to give me a million dollars. If He did at that time it would have been a mistake. God’s economy can not be measured by your bank account, but if you have a large one, I know the Lord can use you to help others in a mighty way by sowing into good soil. I’ve watched my daddy when he was alive sow many a seed into the ground. He never doubted a young plant would come up from it.
Some would look at me and say, “Marlene you are not a wealthy woman, but I say, No, not so… I’m the wealthiest single woman on the planet. I’m married to the King of Kings and Lord of Lords, He owns the cattle on a thousand hills and my wealth is not of this world but of a world that is not seen. God has blessed me through my offspring!
Joel 2:25 – “I will restore to you the years that the locust hath eaten, the canker-worm, and the caterpillar, and the palmer-worm, my great army which I sent among you.”
Some of my brothers and sisters know what I’ve endured, or the doubts, thoughts and insecurities that plague me at times. When I take my eyes off of my Redeemer I begin to sink.
But, when I have the courage and declare God’s glory and move by His Spirit I am invincible, indestructible and unmovable not by my own strength but by the Spirit of the living God.
“Do I walk in this daily?” “No, but God has given me the courage and the boldness to go and do things, I can’t believe that I’ve done because I couldn’t have done them any other way!”
His promises are “yes and amen”. They are not just for me but available to every soul on this planet who will choose to receive them. They are available regardless of race, creed, culture or bank account.
The gift of God’s love does not cost us anything, and it is priceless. Once we truly receive His love and forgiveness for our own sinfulness, we begin to walk in a truth that can not be overshadowed by doubt, fear and unbelief. We are able to share God’s love and plan of salvation with others.
Are we promised to be a millionaire? I don’t believe so, but inside we will feel like we are more than a millionaire. When we truly follow Him, our concerns will not be so much on earthly things, but on truly listening, loving and giving to others what God says to give. He knows exactly what each of us needs to help us be wealthy. This is how true treasure is found and wealth is accumulated.
“Therefore, my dear brothers and sisters, stand firm. Let nothing move you. Always give yourselves fully to the work of the Lord, because you know that your labor in the Lord is not in vain.” I Corinthians 15:58
When I was in Africa preaching the church was packed. People walked for hours to get to church every night. The church Pastor Mary and I were at was in a slum. Little children and people were standing outside. The “offering” was taken up to buy our dinner. The people gave all they had to bless us with a home cooked meal. We were so blessed. Pastor Laban’s mother and father prepared it and we went to their home and fellowshipped. God showed up there and blessed us, but He showed up in everyone’s life who was there those days and nights.
Below is a man that had a gnarled foot, He came in the first night on a cane. We prayed for him and he came back the second night without his cane. By the third night his foot was completely healed. Don’t you know this man was blessed! He became a wealthy man that night, able to work and walk without a limp. He was jumping and shouting for joy.
For the past 4-5 months my left hip has been out. The doctor’s couldn’t figure out what was wrong. I finally went to the emergency room and they took Xrays. I was in so much pain that I couldn’t lift my foot to put on my socks without crying out loud.
I prayed and told God, “I know you are the healer. If I’m to walk with a limp for the rest of my life, then please just take away the pain so I won’t be miserable and make everyone else miserable that lives with me.”
I felt God had heard my prayer, but I went on to the emergency room. The ER doctor said I had arthritis and would probably need a hip replacement.
I told the Lord, “I don’t have time for surgery or a hip replacement. You are going to have to fix this, especially if you want me here.” My appointment was for 10 days later. For the next 10 days, I had no pain. None whatsoever. I almost canceled my appointment but I wanted to here what the doctor said.
When the doctor came in he questioned me. He had seen the XRays. I told him that I had been healed. I didn’t think I needed surgery. He agreed, “You don’t have very much arthritis. It’s not bad at all.”
I told him my whole story. I fell and twisted my foot when I was in Ohio. I thought I had snapped it in half. The Lord reminded me of when Paul had been beaten and left for dead. He was thrown outside the city gate. Paul got up and walked away. I got up that day and walked away. No swelling, no pain, just a black ring around my ankle for a couple of months.
Then I moved back to Florida and was walking on the beach, I felt this pull, snap and sharp pain. I said, “That’s not good.” I kept on walking and didn’t think anything of it. For about 8 months I had trouble walking. I finally went to the doctor, and he took XRays. He said your Achilles tendon has come off the back of your heel and it’s healed back over with bone fragments in it. Surgery will be 6-7 weeks off your feet.
I said, “I can’t afford that.” I went back to work. So then, walking with a limp pulled my hip out of alignment. I went to the doctor and he fixed me up. Then I moved to Alaska. A couple of months after I moved to Alaska the pain and the limp started and you know the rest of the story. My King reigns and made me the wealthiest single mom on the planet!
My King was born King; the Bible says He’s the seven way King.
He’s the King of the Jews – that’s a racial King
He’s the King of Israel – that’s a national King
He’s the King of righteousness, He’s the King of the ages,
He’s the King of heaven, He’s the King of glory,
He’s the King of Kings and He is the Lord of Lords,
Now that’s MY KING.
Well, I wonder if you know Him, do you know Him?
Don’t try to mislead me – do you know MY KING?
David said, “The heavens declare the glory of God
and the firmament shows His handiwork.”
MY KING is the only one, whom there is no means of measurement
which can define His limitless love.
No far seeing telescope can bring into visibility the coastline
of His shore less supplies.
No barriers can hinder Him from pouring out His blessing.
He’s enduringly strong, He’s entirely sincere, He’s eternally steadfast,
He’s immortally graceful, imperially powerful and impartially merciful.
That’s MY KING!
He’s God’s Son. He’s the sinner’s Savior.
He’s the centerpiece of civilization, He stands alone in Himself.
He’s awesome, unique, unparalleled – He’s unprecedented.
He’s the miracle of the age. He’s the superlative of
everything good that you choose to call Him.
He is the only one able to supply all of our needs simultaneously.
He supplies strength for the weak.
He’s available for the tempted and the tried.
He sympathizes and He saves. He for guards and He guides.
He heals the sick. He cleanses lepers. He forgives sinners.
He discharges debtors. He delivers the captives. He defends the feeble.
He blesses the young. He serves the unfortunate. He regards the aged.
He rewards the diligent and He beautifies the meek.
Do you know HIM?
Well, MY KING is the King of knowledge, He’s the wellspring of wisdom.
He’s the doorway of deliverance. He’s the pathway of peace. He’s the roadway
of righteousness. He’s the highway of holiness. He’s the gateway of glory.
He’s the Master of the mighty. He’s the Captain of the conquerors.
He’s the Head of the heroes, and He’s the Leader of the legislators.
He’s the Overseer of the over comers. He’s the Governor of governors.
He’s the Prince of princes, He’s the King of kings, and He’s the Lord of lords.
That’s MY KING!
His office is manifold and His promises are sure. His light is matchless.
His goodness is limitless. His mercy is everlasting and His love never changes.
His Word is enough. His grace is sufficient. His reign is righteous.
His yoke is easy and His burden is light.
Well, I wish I could describe Him to you, but He’s indescribable!
He’s incomprehensible, invincible and irresistible.
I’m trying to tell you the heaven of heavens can not contain Him,
let alone a man explain Him!
You can’t get Him out of your mind. You can’t get Him off of your hands.
You can’t outlive Him and you can’t live without Him.
Well, the Pharisees couldn’t stand Him, but they found out they couldn’t stop Him.
Pilot couldn’t find any fault in Him. The witnesses couldn’t get their
testimonies to agree and Herod couldn’t kill Him.
Death couldn’t handle Him and the grave couldn’t hold Him.
That’s MY KING!
from ashes to beauty ~ Cinderella Released
Lessons in Life from the World’s Wealthiest Single Mom!
“The blessing of the LORD makes a person rich, and He adds no sorrow with it.” Proverbs 10:22
God has a purpose when it comes to the resources He provides in my life. Wealth is viewed very differently in every culture. I’ve had the blessing to visit other countries and places in the United States and to really realize how blessed I am and surrounded by such wealth. This post is about God’s provision for me. For many years, I felt being a single mom was one of the most difficult professions on the planet. But, today I am so thankful for all that God has provided for me and my family.
Life’s Lesson # 1 – Provision
“But My God shall supply all your need according to His riches in glory by Christ Jesus.” Philippians 4:19
In 1991 after a financial crisis, my husband and I separated and my two youngest boys and I went to Tallahassee, Florida to live with my older brother, his wife and my nieces Dena and Adrienne. After a few weeks, the Lord provided me with a good job and a one bedroom apartment. My sister-in-law helped me figure out a weekly budget and so I would cash my check and put money aside each week in an envelope, one for each of my bills. 10% of my gross income went directly into the offering plate and $35 per week was our food budget. It seemed I always had more envelopes than money at the end of the end of the week but I knew God would provide.
Then our first month’s electric bill arrived and I went to get my envelope for the electric.
To my dismay, I had only put away $6. I thought to myself, “How did that happen?”
Holding my breath, I opened the bill and a big cry of relief came when I saw the charge of only $6. But, I did call the electric company immediately. They said the bill was correct and it was probably because it was just the first month’s bill.
I promised myself to put away more the next month. When the next month came, and I opened the electric bill it was only $12 this time. As you can imagine, I didn’t waste any time calling the electric company.
Their response was,
“Mrs. Hoenig, yes there is a problem. We never got your payment from last month!This is why it’s $12.”
I said, no, you don’t understand, “This has been the coldest winter in Tallahassee and I run my heat all the time.” The operator said, “I will check the meter and get back with you.”
Well, the fact is I never got a bill that went over $6 a month for the first nine months (the entire time we were in this little apartment). Our God supplied for our needs abundantly and above anything I could dream or imagine at the time.
God also supplied us with friends and family who provided food, fellowship and lots of fun! We opened up our home each week for dinner on Saturday nights where the boys and I provided the main course. Usually I got the BOGO which always provided a great meal and our friends brought side dishes, desserts and drinks. We always had plenty of leftovers for the rest of the week. Another way we saved money and had fun was going to a local restaurant which had a “Kids Eat Free” night on Wednesday nights. It was a hot food buffet and salad bar. My boys loaded their bellies with plenty of good food and we also had fellowship with many of the families we knew would eat there also.
Amy, Maverick & Colt
Amy, Maverick & Jonah
This Life Lesson on Provision helped me become the World’s Wealthiest Single Mom!
CHOICES – People may often misunderstand your goals, your vision, your mission ~ but keep going, keep striving and continue to push, having faith in the specific calling you have been given! (While at the same time being open for Godly accountability and constructive criticism) FB Post by Maverick Hoenig June 3, 2017.
When I read this today the Holy Spirit quickened my spirit. In the area of crisis and trauma care, I see every day where hurting individuals are faced with choices that they weren’t expecting to make or having to live with choices that were made for them.
I recently talked to one of my spiritual sons who was in an accident where a semi-truck made too close a turn and drug him and his motorcycle down the road. It not only caused him to literally being run over and left critically injured and badly broken. He now has to walk with a cane and has severe health issues. He said to me,
“Mom” I can either choose to give up, gripe and B**** about my life. I’ve got to get up and live life to the fullest.”
Throughout his life, I’ve watched this young man battle through many obstacles, some self inflicted and we have had many conversations about his walk with God. He’s still sorting through his life’s purpose and I have no doubt that God is already using him in ways even he can’t see or understand. But, even through his difficult times he has been there for me when I felt like giving up. He has walked with me through crisis, trauma and hopelessness.
Today happened to be one of those days where I was questioning why things happen and if I should have made different choices.
Our conversation helped steer me and get my mind back to where it should be… on choosing to living and loving myself & others “God’s Way” – not my own.
I’ve got so much to be thankful for. Looking back I see the hard choices I had to make at times, especially when I wondered at the time if they were the right ones. God has always redeemed even my poor choices into life giving miracles….
CHOICE – **Note – FB Post from 12/19/2015 – Maverick Hoenig, Father
Wow! Jonah David Hoenig has arrived!!! 7.12 lbs! God is great and the miracle of life astounds me today!
“When a woman is giving birth, she has sorrow because her hour has come, but when she has delivered the baby, she no longer remembers the anguish, for joy that a human being has been born into the world.” John 16:12
Amy did such an amazing job in labor and I am so proud of her!!
Finally, brothers and sisters, whatever is true, whatever is noble, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is admirable–if anything is excellent or praiseworthy–think about such things. Philippians 4:8