The Rock of Gibraltar

Teresa Poucher

Way back in the late 1890s, the Prudential Insurance Company used the Rock of Gibraltar in their advertising slogans, “Get a piece of the rock” and “the strength of Gibraltar.” Like their slogans, this company has proven the test of time and withstood many a storm. Prudential is still a highly successful business.

I was unaware Gibraltar was a monolithic limestone promontory.

‘Reminds me of our God:

And did all drink the same spiritual drink: for they drank of that spiritual Rock that followed them: and that Rock was Christ.” (ICorinthians 10:4) The writer was speaking of the Israelites drinking from the rock spoken of in Exodus 17:6.

Strong’s Concordance: Rock [G4073] in Greek is “petra” – a (mass of) rock. We also read in Matthew 16:18, “…upon this rock I will build my church.” The word “rock” here is also petra in Greek.

  We often hear of Peter being called a rock:

And he brought him to Jesus. And when Jesus beheld him, he said, Thou art Simon the son of Jona: thou shalt be called Cephas, which is by interpretation, A stone.” (John 1:42)

And I say also unto thee, That thou art Peter, and upon this rock I will build my church; and the gates of hell shall not prevail against.” (Matthew 16:18) When we look up Peter in Strong’s, we see [G4074] Petros – a (piece of) rock. So, Peter was a piece of the rock, somewhat like the Prudential slogan, “Get a piece of the rock!”

  The church was not built on Peter, “a piece of the rock;” It was built on Jesus, The Rock.

Therefore thus saith the Lord GOD, Behold, I lay in Zion for a foundation a stone, a tried stone, a precious corner stone, a sure foundation...” (Isaiah 28:16)

Ye also, as lively stones, are built up a spiritual house…. Behold, I lay in Sion a chief corner stone, elect, precious:” ( I Peter 2:5-6)

For other foundation can no man lay than that is laid, which is Jesus Christ.” (I Corinthians 3:11)

  Peter (Petros) was a piece of The Rock (Petra – a mass of rock). He received a revelation that Jesus was The Christ: “…God was manifested in the flesh…” 1 Timothy 3:16

He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock (Petra): and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock (Petra).” (Luke 6:48)

I surely want a piece of that Rock, the revelation of who Jesus is. I want to build my life on The Rock, Christ Jesus.

So!

Teresa Poucher

There are three girls in our family. I’m the youngest. My oldest sister Linda is intelligent, beautiful, caring, and, let’s just say, a little bossy. Well, that is what older sisters are supposed to be — in charge when Mom isn’t around. What if Mom is around?

Let’s not leave out the middle sister, Debbie. Funny how the middle child often gets left out. She is also smart, beautiful, sensitive, and more passive. I, on the other hand, am stubborn (still working on that). Like most younger siblings, I loved to aggravate my oldest sister. I would even encourage Debbie to stand up for herself. I would tell her, “Just hit her once, I’ll take over.” (That one, I have gotten over.)

  All I had to do to make Linda mad was to say, ”So.”  I enjoyed it so much; she would get furious.  I didn’t care if she would hit me; I wasn’t afraid of her.

  Hmmm, maybe we need to tell Satan that liar, “So!”

“Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour…” (I Peter 5:8)

  Psalms 37 tells us not to fret, but to trust, delight, commit, rest, cease from anger, and depart from evil.  Every one of these words or phrases could be a study in themselves.  When things are rough, and you don’t know what to do, continue to do those things you know to be tried, tested, and proven.  Just tell that liar, “So!” We don’t have to be afraid of him.

“But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them…” (II Timothy 3:14)

One Memorial That will Not Come Down

If one would ask 20 people to mention a memorial, which one would pop into their minds? I would imagine, depending on their age or ethnicity, they might come up with 18-20 different answers.

  “A memorial is an object which serves as a focus for the memory or the commemoration of something, usually an influential, deceased person or a historical, tragic event. Popular forms of memorials include landmark objects or works of art such as sculptures, statues or fountains, and parks.”  (Wikipedia)

When we look up memorial in a Bible dictionary, we see something similar. Yet when we reference Strong’s Concordance, our definition is a little different. All definitions of “memorial” are as a remembrance. Yet Strong’s also adds: “[H2146] writing, record [H2142] zakar, ZA-jar’; a primitive; root; also as denomination from H2145 properly, to mark (so to be recognized), I.e. remember. [H2143] scent[H234] offering

“And the LORD said unto Moses, Write this for a memorial in a book, and rehearse it in the ears of Joshua: for I will utterly put out the remembrance of Amalek from under heaven.” (Exodus 17:14)

  I believe it would behoove us to write some things down that God has done for us.  After all, even God has a book of remembrance.   

  “Then they that feared the LORD spake often one to another: and the LORD hearkened, and heard it, and a book of remembrance was written before him for them that feared the LORD, and that thought upon his name.”   (Malachi 3:16)

“…set a mark upon the foreheads of the men that sigh and cry for all the abomination…slay utterly … but come not near any man upon whom is the mark and begin at my sanctuary…” (Ezekiel 9:4,6)

And when he looked on him, he was afraid, and said, What is it, Lord? And he said unto him, Thy prayers and thine alms are come up for a memorial before God.” (Acts 10:4)

Last, but surely not least, we remember the woman that poured the ointment on Jesus’ head. Not just Judas, but “his disciples” called it a waste. (Matthew 26:1-13) We also read in the book of John, of Mary anointing Jesus by pouring the nard on his feet and wiping his feet with her hair. (John 12:1-8) What love, and devotion! While she offers this sacrifice of worship, the aroma fills the room. While they condemned her for waste, Jesus said it would be a memorial to her. I know we are not going to get five stones out of the Jordan river,so go ahead, write in your journal the good things God has done or the treasure you found in His Word. Cry out and mourn for the abominations that are taking place in our world. Give of your time and finances. Let the sweet aroma of your prayers and praise build a memorial that won’t be forgotten.

…The God of heaven, he will prosper us; therefore we his servants will arise and build: but ye have no portion, nor right, nor memorial, in Jerusalem. Nehemiah 2:20

Have you made a memorial that won’t come down?

Friendly Fire

Teresa Poucher

  I am proud to say, I was brought up in a military family. I want to express my thanks and admiration to all who have or will serve in the armed forces.

  I’m familiar with the term “friendly fire.”  

  I can’t begin to imagine the pain a family faces with friendly fire. Death or injury by any means is a tragedy.  To die or be wounded at the hands of your own people is horrific. One is considered a hero if they die in war. What consolation is it if it’s friendly fire…?

  What about the person that received the wrong coordinates or other miscommunication…?

  I’m saddened to see friendly fire in our churches. We expect attacks from the adversary.  If a flood or hurricane comes through,you can rest assured we will pull together, giving our finances, as well as time, to clean and rebuild.

  We are the body of Christ.  Also known as the bride of Christ.  When we cause pain to our brother or sister, it’s like we have an autoimmune disease, wherein the body attacks itself.  Talk about friendly fire. 

  The United States is anything but united right now.  We know there is power in numbers, but the power of unity surpasses that of the multitudes.  Take for instance the story of Gideon found in the fourth chapter of Judges where God dwindled an army of 32,000 down to 300.  Yet they won the battle against the Midianites and the Amalekites.  

  We are one body with many members.  We are “the bride” of Christ.

  “Endeavouring to keep the unity of the Spirit in the bond of peace.  There is one body, and one Spirit, even as ye are called in one hope of your calling;  One Lord, one faith, one baptism…”   (Ephesians 4:3-5)

  “Behold, how good and how pleasant it is for brethren to dwell together in unity!”  (Psalms 133:1) 

Does my heart have the proper coordinates? Are all my communications appropriate?

Go Digging

Teresa Poucher

  I do like to dig in the dirt.  With the COVID-19 pandemic, we have a lot of time on our hands.  Hmmm, I’m actually thinking about digging a hole to put my quail’s dung in.  I can use the dirt I have now that was in my old burn pile, replace it with waste, burn on top of it, and next year, I’ll have some good dirt for my garden.  Sounds like I’ll be busy tomorrow.

We dig for many reasons – usually to plant flowers, bushes, or a garden. Living in south Louisiana, I have dug with a shovel and hit water. In 1848, people rushed to California to dig for gold. My grandfather migrated from Spain to West Virginia to dig for coal. Others will dig for precious stones, copper, silver, and hidden treasures.

  In the Bible, we find men also did a lot of digging.  The need for wells was a necessity.  Abraham and Issac were known for digging wells.  

  The Bible is the most wonderful book ever written.  Bibles come in many fonts and sizes, maybe 3/4 of an inch to 3 inches or more; yet, you can dig ‘til the day you die and never find all the golden nuggets and hidden treasures.  The more you dig, the more your desire grows. So, dig deeper into the unending treasures of happiness, joy, peace, truth, and knowledge of the love of God and everlasting life. Go ahead, no telling what you will find!

He is like a man which built an house, and digged deep, and laid the foundation on a rock: and when the flood arose, the stream beat vehemently upon that house, and could not shake it: for it was founded upon a rock.” (Luke 6:48)

“…and dig for it more than for hid treasures…” (Job 3: 21)

The Sacrifice Of Praise

By Teresa Poucher

  The words, “laughter” and “slaughter,” are only one letter apart.

I will offer in his tabernacle sacrifices of joy.” (Psalm 27:6) Here, David equated sacrifice with joyous laughter. It’s a joy to sacrifice to God when you love Him.

  Strong’s Concordance defines “sacrifice” (H2076) as “slaughter.”

  In chapter 22 of Genesis, we see Abraham going to offer his son Isaac as a burnt offering (a sacrifice, or a slaughter) Amazing when you look up the name Isaac, it means “laughter:  Per Strong’s, “Isaac” or “Yitschaq” (H3327) means “laughter,” and “tsachaq” (H6711) means “to laugh,” as in “Sarah laughed.”   

Abraham told his servants, “Abide here…I and the boy will go yonder to worship…” (Genesis 22:5) This is the first time the word “worship” is mentioned in the Bible.

   When our sacrifice turns to worship, it is then we are blessed.  

That in blessing I will bless thee, and in multiplying I will multiply thy seed as the stars of the heaven, and as the sand which is upon the sea shore; and thy seed shall possess the gate of his enemies;” (Genesis 22:17)

  We no longer slaughter animals; instead,we offer our lives as a living sacrifice. This is a real joy.

Looking unto Jesus the author and finisher of our faith who for the JOY that was set before him endured the cross.” (Hebrews 12:2)

Let your sacrifice turn to laughter!

S-O-S

Teresa Poucher

Although we have heard it defined as “save our souls” or “save our ship,” SOS is just a distinctive Morse Code sequence that is not an abbreviation for anything.

  Wireless telegraphy developed in the late 1890s.  It was extremely important for maritime communications.  In 1904, SOS became an official distress signal.  However, it was not universal until 1908.  

  The Titanic sunk in 1912.  They first sent out a CQD distress signal.  Later, they sent the universal SOS.  Possibly, if they had immediately sent an SOS, the SS California, which was the closest ship in the area, might have been able to save more lives.

  A couple of weeks ago I had a dream.  As I looked at the beautiful blue sky, I only saw 3 clouds.  They spelled out SOS.  We know SOS is universal. I feel this is a universal warning to our world:  Impending danger!  

  Strange as it may seem, the clouds were not dark.  They were bright cumulus clouds.  For the child of God, we see the second coming of Jesus is near, and we look forward to going to be with our Savior.

Jesus saith unto him, Thou hast said: nevertheless I say unto you, Hereafter shall ye see the Son of man sitting on the right hand of power, and coming in the clouds of heaven.” (Matthew 26:64)

  The year 2020 has been rough for everyone.  I would like to say things will get better.  However, I believe the end time is upon us.  We need to seek the Lord now like never before.  

  We believe in God; we go to church.  Do we have an intimate relationship with Him?  We are to be His bride.  How long does it take a bride to get ready for her wedding day?  Everything must be just right.

  Invite all your guests. Your dress must be perfect with no spot or blemish.  Your to-do list should be totally clear.  Check your RSVP’s — you don’t want to miss this.  Check on your marriage license.  Are you in compliance with the law?  Have you paid for everything?  Did you leave anything off or undone?  You don’twant to miss the rehearsal dinner.  Surely, you do not want to miss the marriage supper of the Lamb! Everything must be prepared.

“…Surely I come quickly.” (Rev. 22:20)

Are You A Victim Or A Victor

Teresa Poucher

Perhaps you know what it is to be a victim. Numerous children have been victims of verbal, physical, or sexual abuse. We are aware of elders becoming victims to neglect and emotional abandonment. Something rises within us when we see children or elders being victimized. Why would someone take advantage of someone who could not help themselves?

  Maybe you have been robbed, assaulted, or even worse.  Some have been plagued by illness. 

  Was Jesus a victim?  Herod plotted to kill Him as an infant.  He was rejected by his people.  

He is despised rejected of men; a man of sorrows, and acquainted with grief: and we hid as it were our faces from him; he was despised, and we esteemed him not. Surely he hath borne our griefs, and carried our sorrows: yet we did esteem him stricken, smitten of God, and afflicted. But he was wounded for our transgressions, he was bruised for our iniquities…” (Isaiah 53:3-5)

  One has little control over someone else’s actions.  However, how we respond to those actions generate a large contrast.  I can fall into the trap of becoming a victim by thinking, “They always have it in for me,” by having a negative attitude, or by holding on to grudges.  So, tell me, how is that working for you?  

Jesus did suffer at the hands of the ones he created, but it was a choice: “Yet it pleased the Lord to bruise him…” (Isaiah 53:10)

  I thought, “How in the world could it please Him?”  Because He saw the end result. His death would bring salvation to those who desired Him.  The same is true with us today.  We can choose to be more than conquerors… 

Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.” (II Timothy 3:12)

Daniel was thrown into the den of lions and escaped injury. The three Hebrews were thrown into a fiery furnace yet escaped death. John the Baptist was beheaded. Steven was stoned to death. All of these were victims; however, they were all victorious.

We have a choice to put on the mind of Christ and become victorious through our Lord Jesus Christ. Even if, at times, it might mean being a victim and showing God’s love and forgiveness.

For whatsoever is born of God overcometh the world: and this is the victory that overcometh the world, even our faith.” (1John 5:4)

Empower the victim to become the victor!

Over My Dead Body

Teresa Poucher

My mother’s dad was an evil man. He was from Germany and my mom was seeing a US army soldier. He said it would have to be over his dead body for her to marry an American. Sure enough, her father did die, and he died screaming, “No, don’t take me, my feet are on fire!” Can I tell you, my mom did marry that soldier, who was my dad.

  Hell has a gravitational pull.  As sure as something goes up, the law of gravity will see to it that it falls.  To walk uprightly and go to heaven, we must have power — the power of the blood of Jesus that we have applied to our lives to defy gravity.

For a plane or rocket to go heavenward, it must have a thrust of power.

  We will either apply the blood or trample it underfoot.

When Cain spilled Abel’s blood, it cried out for retribution; but when Jesus spilled His own blood, it cried out for redemption and justification. We must be born of the waters of baptism in Jesus’ Name and be filled with His Spirit with the evidence of speaking in other tongues. This signifies His death,burial, and resurrection. Applying His blood defies gravity.

Jesus answered, Verily, verily, I say unto thee, Except a man be born of water and of the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God. That which is born of the flesh is flesh; and that which is born of the Spirit is spirit. Marvel not that I said unto thee, Ye must be born again.” (John 3:5-7)

I don’t know if Hades is in the center of the earth or if it’s possibly a black hole in space, but it has a pull that leads to self-destruction.

If one goes to hell it will be over Jesus’ dead body.

The Finish Line Is In Sight

Teresa Poucher

The first time I ever heard that expression, it was from a father almost done paying child support. So when have you used it? When graduating from high school or college? While paying off a car or home mortgage? Or possibly near the end of a series of cancer or chemo treatments?

  There are many instances in the Bible that come to mind:   

Abraham, awaiting his promise; Joseph, whose story has always intrigued me (what patience he had!); and Job takes the prize. What about Jesus?

“Then He said to them, “With fervent desire, I have desired to eat this Passover with you before I suffer…” (Luke 22:15 NKJV)

I believe Jesus looked back thousands of years, all the way back to the Garden of Eden before Adam and Eve sinned, when He had a perfect relationship with mankind. As soon as they sinned and obstructed their communion, He implemented a plan to restore this fellowship with his creation — talk about patience! When Jesus was on the cross to pay the penalty for my sins, His finish line was in sight. Then just before He gave up the ghost He said,” It is finished!”

  His death and our obedience to repentance, baptism in Jesus’ name, and infilling of His Spirit enable us to have fellowship with The Lord.  Yet there is another finish line… 

Then we which are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds, to meet the Lord in the air: and so shall we ever be with the Lord.” (1 Thessalonians 4:17)

  We like to call it the rapture, a day we long for with great anticipation.  We see the signs showing the time of his returning everywhere.  One doesn’t have to be a Christian to know this world is in a bad way.  

And when these things begin to come to pass, then look up, and lift up your heads; for your redemption draweth nigh.” (Luke 21:28)

But none of these things move me, neither count I my life dear unto myself, so that I might finish my course with joy…” (Acts 29:24)

I am looking to Jesus the author and finisher of our faith. The finish line is just in sight.