Monday, October 5, 2015

God's Downloads

By Andrea Merrell

That the God of our Lord Jesus Christ, 
the Father of glory, may give unto you 
the spirit of wisdom and revelation 
in the knowledge of him . . .
Ephesians 1:17

My friend was excited as she shared her story with me. “Have you ever watched God download into someone as you were talking to them?”

I immediately thought of all the times I had watched with awe and wonder as God truly “downloaded” his thoughts, ideas, and plans into someone’s heart. It’s that ah-ha moment when God is speaking and his child is listening. 

It has happened many times in my own life—times when I “got it”—instances when God’s plan and purpose were made clear and revelation knowledge exploded in my spirit.

While attending a writers’ conference in the beautiful Blue Ridge Mountains of North Carolina, I had the pleasure of seeing God “show Himself strong” on behalf of those seeking His will for their lives and His blessing upon the work of their hands. I witnessed the favor of God as it rested upon those whose hearts were open and pure before Him. One prayer after another was answered and people were knit together with cords of love. As divine connections were made, the presence of God was almost tangible. As the blessings continued, I smiled and rejoiced. I think God did too.

God desires to give us the spirit of wisdom and revelation in the knowledge of him. He wants to open the eyes of our understanding so we can know and walk in His calling. God is always speaking, always at work accomplishing His will in the earth. When we stop and call on Him, He is ready, not only to answer, but to include us in His plans.

My prayer today is that God will always help me to see the big picture and cause me to remember that it truly is all about Him and not me—that I will be “heavenly minded,” listening for His voice, and always available to promote His Kingdom in whatever way He chooses.

How about you?

(Photos courtesy of Miles.)


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Monday, September 28, 2015

Forgive AND Forget

By Andrea Merrell

 And I will forgive their wickedness,
and I will never again remember their sins.
Hebrews 8:12 NLT

“I might forgive them, but I’ll NEVER forget what they did!”

How many times have you heard someone say this? Maybe you’ve said it yourself. I know there have been times in my life when people and situations caused me to think that way.

Mental and emotional wounds go deep. Betrayal—especially by a trusted friend—cuts to the core of our being and lodges there. The Bible says we are to forgive in order to be forgiven. Yet, even when we can manage to offer forgiveness, sometimes the memories of the pain float to the surface when we least expect it. So, what’s the answer? How do we “forget” the offence?

God says, And I will forgive their wickedness, and I will never again remember their sins. Never? Seriously? Does God have a bad memory? Is He forgetful? Is His mind so full—trying to keep up with all the messes His kids have made—that He just can’t keep track of everything?

NO! Absolutely not.

God tells us He will forget our sins. It is His decision. He chooses not to remember, dwell on, or rehearse our failures and shortcomings. He chooses to put those things securely under the shed blood of Jesus … which is where they belong. When we refuse to forget the sins of others—and our own sins—and continue to rehash the gory details, we are actually questioning God’s mercy and the truth of His Word. We also give the enemy ammunition to attack us with guilt and condemnation. One writer says, “When you keep rehearsing your past, you not only keep it alive; you empower it. What you keep on deposit, you’re more likely to withdraw and act on in a moment of weakness.”

When we mess up or someone offends us, we must make a choice to forgive. The good news is that we can also choose to forget.

Bottom line? Forgive others. Forgive yourself. Don’t hold on to the past. Make a decision to forget and let it go—once and for all. You were created to walk in God’s mercy, grace, and freedom. Why not start today?

(Photos courtesy of Freedigitalphotos, Stuart Miles, and jesadaaphorn.)


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Monday, September 21, 2015


By Andrea Merrell 

Everyone enjoys a fitting reply;
it is wonderful to say the right thing 
at the right time. 
Proverbs 15:23 NLT

“Oh, no!” I gasped in horror as I stared at my computer screen. 

Panic began to rise as I frantically searched my Yahoo account for a way to retrieve the e-mail. I called a friend. “What can I do? I have to get that e-mail back!” 

Too late.  

My words had entered cyberspace, never to return. And that, as they say, was that.

You see, I had been working on a draft for several days, trying to present my thoughts and feelings in a logical, cohesive manner.  The e-mail was not ready. It still needed quite a bit of tweaking.  After a desperate prayer, a couple more phone calls, and a few minutes of trying to figure out how to fix my blunder, I gave up.  The damage was done. My only recourse was to follow it with another e-mail that began, “I know this sounds lame but . . . I hit the “send” button too soon and this is what I really meant . . .”

That little scenario reminds me of all the words I have spoken over the years that should never have left my lips . . . words not ready to be spoken by me, and not ready to be heard by the receiver. Too many of those words had poison tips that needed to be drained of their venom. Others were like bombs, needing to be defused. Still others simply required a little sanding, polishing, and a whole lot more thought.

Words are powerful and they are eternal.  Once they’re spoken, Tweeted, posted on Facebook, or sent into cyberspace, there’s no turning back.  That’s why it’s so important for us to think before we open our mouth and give consideration to the havoc we will wreak with words spoken (or written) in haste, frustration, and anger. “I didn’t mean it,” or “I take it back,” doesn’t mean much when the wounds have already been inflicted.

Avoiding such a faux pas takes effort on our part and a decision to do it God’s way instead of our way.  His Word tells us to use soft answers and pleasant words, making sure they are wholesome, edifying, and beneficial to the hearer.  Words are seeds, and we need to be careful and conscious of where and how we are planting them.  

We can give in to our flesh, or we can pray, Lord, put a guard over my mouth and let my words be sweet, for tomorrow I may have to eat them.

(Photos courtesy of


Monday, September 7, 2015

Why Me?

By Andrea Merrell

If you’re like most people, the first question that pops into your head when a crisis hits is “Why me?” Whether it’s a car accident, sickness, or unexpected expense, it’s hard to look at the situation objectively when trying to analyze the problem and figure out why it happened to us in the first place.

Life happens. God never promised us that things would be perfect and free of difficulties. What He did promise was His wisdom, comfort, and never-ending presence in our lives.

Too many times—when we finish whining, crying, and complaining—we run to the pastor, a counselor, or a trusted friend. Those things are fine, but we should first consult the One who can part the waters, turn water into wine, and even raise the dead. He has the ultimate solution to anything we could ever face, from the smallest inconvenience to the worst catastrophe imaginable. The best part is that He knows the problem inside/out, from beginning to end, and everything in between. He is the ultimate problem solver.

I met a wonderful lady at a writers’ conference recently who had been through a terrible ordeal with her health. She was not angry, depressed, or defeated. Her attitude toward her problems was inspiring. When I asked how she was able to keep such a positive outlook, she simply said, “I don’t say Why, Lord? I say ... What’s next?

I think I’ll try that from now on. How about you?

(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.)


Monday, August 31, 2015

Written on the Heart

By Andrea Merrell

Clearly, you are a letter from Christ 
showing the result of our ministry among you.
This "letter" is written not with pen and ink, 
but with the Spirit of the living God.
It is carved not on tablets of stone, 
but on human hearts. 
2 Corinthians 3:3

Nothing is more fun than watching my five lively granddaughters stand in front of a TV screen, singing all the lyrics and doing all the motions from the movie Frozen—especially the three-year-old. Actually, they know most of the words and actions to all the popular movies for kids.

When my children were growing up, they were constantly coming home from school, outings, or visits with friends, spouting some catchy little tune or rhyme—some cute, others not so much. 

I’ve often wondered how their little minds absorb so much information and retain it, when mine struggles to remember what I learned five minutes ago.

I heard a line in a song recently that said, “Write your story upon my heart.” That’s exactly what God said He would do … not with pen and ink, but with the Spirit of the living God.

Too many times, we shy away from—or put off—sharing God’s love and His Word with our children, simply because we think they’re too young. The truth is, they are far more perceptive and smarter than we give them credit for being.

Children are clean slates, ready to receive words that will shape and transform their life. The question is: What are we writing there?

(Photo courtesy of freedigitalphotos.)