The Widow’s Mite

1 Kings 17: 8 – 16

Then the word of the Lord came to him, saying, “Arise, go to Zarephath, which belongs to Sidon, and stay there; behold, I have commanded a widow there to provide for you.” So he arose and went to Zarephath, and when he came to the gate of the city, behold, a widow was there gathering sticks; and he called to her and said, “Please get me a little water in a jar, that I may drink.” And as she was going to get it, he called to her and said, “Please bring me a piece of bread in you hand.” But she said, “As the Lord your God lives, I have no bread, only a handful of flour in the bowl and a little oil in the jar; and behold, I am gathering a few sticks that I may go in and prepare for me and my son, that we may eat it and die.” Then Elijah said to her, “Do not fear; go, do as you have said, but make me a little bread cake from it first, and bring it out to me, and afterward you may make one for yourself and for your son. For thus says the Lord God of Israel, ‘The bowl of flour shall not be exhausted, nor shall the jar of oil be empty, until the day that the Lord sends rain on the face of the earth.’”

This is not the story you expected when you saw the title, but you will see that this woman, like the widow in Luke 12: 44, gave all she had, the very last of her provision. The widow woman of Zarephath was in the midst of a drought and a famine. She was in hard economic times, not unlike many of us today. When the economy is bad, like it was in Zarephath, people need to hear from God.

The story actually begins with God telling Elijah to go to Zarephath because He had appointed a widow there to provide for him. When Elijah arrived in Zarephath, he found that his “provider” was so broke and destitute that she was gathering sticks to make a fire so that she could use the last handful of flour and the last bit of oil to make a bread cake for her and her son to share. Her after dinner plan was for them to lay down and die. She was done. She had no more money and no prospects. As far as she was concerned it was all over. This is to whom God sent Elijah for sustenance. Now how was the widow supposed to care for Elijah when she couldn’t even care for the needs of herself and her son? God knew that this woman needed a miracle. That is why He sent his prophet and a prophetic word to her.

I want you to notice the first thing that Elijah said to the woman when she told him she had neither meal nor oil. He said, “Do not fear.” Fear is the first thing that has to be dealt with in hard times of any kind. Often, when an angel would visit someone, the first thing the angel would say is, “Fear not.” We’ve got to get that fear out of our environment so that faith has an opportunity to work. Faith and Fear are opposites so you can’t have a faith environment where there is rampant fear. So, fear was the first thing Elijah had to deal with in order to get this woman’s miracle to her. How was she going to walk in faith and make a cake for Elijah as long as she was gripped by fear? She would have been unable. But faith took hold in her, and she did as Elijah said. And she received her miracle. Her flour bowl was constantly full as well as her jar of oil. She was, therefore, able to support Elijah as well as feed herself and her son.

The first step to your financial breakthrough is to rid yourself and your household of fear. Don’t mind what the economists and broadcast media tell you. Use the newspaper as kindling if you must. Those sources are going to be sources of fear, not faith. And where do you find faith? “So faith comes from hearing, and hearing by the word of Christ (Romans 10: 17). You’ve got to hear God and what He says about your situation. God’s word has got to be your final authority like it was for the widow woman rather than what the media says or the way things look. Facts are situational. They can change today and no longer be the fact at all.

Second, don’t be afraid to give. Do you see that the widow’s own miracle was in her seed. God sent Elijah to her so that He could give her a miracle. She sowed the last of her flour and oil into the Kingdom of God by feeding it to God’s prophet and God made her flour bowl and oil vat bottomless. That was some well invested flour and oil!

Listen because God is calling out to his kids. God may be speaking to you right now. He wants you to be free of financial care. He desires to have your cup runneth over. Take some time to listen to God and then hearken to the voice of the Lord.


Psalm 46: 1 – 3

God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. Therefore, we will not fear, though the earth should change, and though the mountains slip into the heart of the sea; though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains quake at its swelling pride.

Above the psalmist paints a picture of great natural disasters. I see volcanoes erupting with violent earthquakes. The earth itself is afire while the sea is whipped into a tempest. And yet, through it all we shall not fear for the Lord God is our refuge and our very present help in every time of need.

The Bible is consistent in telling us to “fear not.” Yet there are many times that we do allow fear to persuade our actions. It is not because of disobedience that we fall into fear. It is because we do not have a complete revelation of the power of our God. We are not as connected to his strength as the psalmist was. We have not yet developed our awareness of God as our refuge to the point that we can have unshakeable confidence in His ability to take care of us.

Some have though. During recent calamities there arose stories of the people who were saved because they hid in God. The great and devastating tsunami took many lives but there were those who surfaced to tell us how God protected them. These same kinds of experiences were recounted from survivors of the trade tower attacks and the subway bombings in England. Wherever the forces of evil arise to threaten the children of God, there will be the stories of victory from those who ran into the refuge of their Lord. Let us, therefore, give more attention to the saving strength of our God than to the fear campaign of the wicked. Our God is supreme. His power and love are everlasting. Let us praise and thank Him for all that He is. Let us hide ourselves in Him.

Don’t Worry, Be Happy

Isaiah 41:10

Do not fear, for I am with you; do not anxiously look about you, for I am you God. I will strengthen you, surely I will help you, surely I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.

This doesn’t, at first blush, look like a healing verse. And, sure, you could, and should, be using it for any number of situations. However, is there any situation, which causes us to look anxiously around us more than a problem with our health? That is when God says, “I am right here with you. You don’t need to look around.”

Receiving a diagnosis that there is something amiss in your body is always a bit off putting. You feel rocked back onto your heels even if your faith is still in place. And, if we’re being honest, there is a moment, no matter how brief, when your heart feels the sting. Even if you are not facing a life and death matter, having a health situation or an injury troubles your heart. So, here we are, at the feet of God, asking Him how we confront the issues that attempt to create anxiety within us.

You know, I am quite fond of giving you tools, and today’s verse is a strong one. Here is what I want you to do. Stop reading this for a moment and re-read today’s verse. Read it aloud, even multiple times if you want. I’ll wait . . ..

Do you hear something when you read this? I hope you were able to read it aloud. And, if you read it aloud several times you may have noticed that your voice became stronger each time you read it. That is what this verse gives you. I wrote above that it is a strong tool, but I wanted to write “powerful” because I believe it is. I figured, though, that if I said it was powerful, you would think I was embellishing. However, when I read this verse, I feel strengthened inside of me. It’s like my spirit just rises up to take on whatever the world throws our way. Can you not hear the voice of God in this passage? Oh my, He is speaking right to us saying, “Don’t be afraid. Don’t worry. I am your God. I am with you, and I am going to help you.”

How is this not a verse for healing? God told us early on that He was our healer. Then we get to this verse and hear Him saying, “Don’t look anxiously around you because I am here. I am your healer.” Anxiety is a thief. It steals your calm, and it actually compromises health. God is showing us how we can retain a healthy body by giving Him all our anxiety and worry.

Do not fear. Yahweh is God. Do not let fear and anxiety steal from you. Remember who your God is and that He is with you. He is upholding you with the might of His right arm.

Fear, Faith and Wisdom

1 Corinthians 1: 30

But by His doing you are in Christ Jesus, who became to us wisdom from God.

My friend, Ann, brought up a really good point recently. She expressed concern over whether we are walking in faith or fear. This is always a good question but especially now during the corona virus situation. The virus is a real thing and has impacted every life. However, we must stand in faith if we are to eradicate it. Fear will undermine our fight. So, are you praying in faith or fear?

Jesus said, “If anyone loves Me, he will keep My word, (John 14: 23). If this means anything it means we walk in a way which is consistent with his teaching. This necessarily means we must walk in faith. This is where Ann’s concern lies. Are we praying about our health, the virus, etc. and feel that we are praying in faith but then cowering in fear in our daily walk? Do we expect God to protect us and our families or are our actions colored by fear? Jesus teaches us faith and wisdom and that is the model which will get us through.

No one is suggesting that any of us go expose ourselves to the corona virus intentionally and dare it to infect us. That is not faith. It is foolishness. We are to be led by God in Godly wisdom. When you walk in God’s wisdom there is no reason to fear. Fear contaminates faith. We are either in faith or fear but not both. If we pray in faith and then succumb to fear, it will contaminate our faith. So, we must build ourselves up on our most holy faith (Jude 1: 20), but how do we do build ourselves up in holy faith? Jude says it come by praying in the Holy Spirit (ibid). If you feel fear arising in your heart, pray in the Holy Spirit. Allow the Spirit of God to fill you.

Let’s be smart. Let’s walk in wisdom. Take your vitamins, eat a healthy diet of whole foods, drink plenty of water, wash your hands, wear your mask, etc. but don’t let those things be an excuse for failing to feed your spirit with the faith it needs. Then stand in your most holy faith knowing that your God is for you and with you. Let faith and wisdom speak to your heart and guide your prayers. Sing in faith and let not fear have a root in your heart. Your faith overcomes mountains. Let God guide your prayers and devotional time. Let Him speak to your heart and build you up. And, bless the Lord.

Raging Storm

Matthew 8: 18, 23 – 26

Now when Jesus saw a crowd around Him, He gave orders to depart to the other side . . . and when He got into the boat, His disciples followed Him. And behold, there arose a great storm in the sea, so that the boat was covered with the waves; but He himself was asleep. And they came to Him, and awoke Him saying, “Save us, Lord; we are perishing!” And He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?” Then He arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and it became perfectly calm.

Let me ask you a question today. Do you think when Jesus got into the boat, he knew there would be a storm? As we stop and ponder this situation, I bet a lot of us would expect that Jesus was aware a storm was coming. He was prophetic after all. I mean, how does he not know? If we presume he did know a storm was coming, then how rational does it sound to lay down and take a nap? I mean, knowing a big storm was coming, a storm capable of capsizing the boat, he went to sleep. We know it was a big storm because the waves were threatening to swamp the boat. Also, the disciples tell us they were “perishing.”

When he was aroused, he was nonchalant. The disciples must have been amazed, dumbfounded, and infuriated. “We’re dying here, and he is bothered that we awoke him? Really?” It gets worse for them, though. He was bemused to have been awaken for something as trivial as a life-threatening storm. He chastised them for having so little faith. The God’s Word version says it even more plainly, “Jesus said to them, “Why do you cowards have so little faith?”

What did he expect to happen? Did he expect to get to sleep all the way to the other shore even knowing that a tempest would assault the boat? Apparently, he did. Do you find this baffling?

It seems clear that he expected his disciples to take care of the storm. The humor in the situation is that he has just spoken on anxiety, but I don’t think his disciples would have considered a raging storm mere anxiety. Their lives were in peril. Jesus, though, sounded annoyed that they didn’t handle the storm themselves. “Why have you so little faith that you feel the need to awaken me?” None the less, he spoke to the wind and the sea and the sea became perfectly calm.

Verse 27 reads, “And the men marveled, saying, “What kind of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Jesus’ response can be found in John 14: 12, “Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes in Me, the works that I do shall he do also; and greater works than these shall he do; because I go to the Father.”

There is a lesson here. What is Jesus saying to us today?


Psalm 13

How long, O LORD? Will You forget me forever? How long will You hide Your face from me? How long shall I take counsel in my soul, having sorrow in my heart all the day? How long will my enemy be exalted over me? Consider and answer me, O LORD my God; enlighten my eyes, or I will sleep the sleep of death, and my enemy will say, “I have overcome him,” and my adversaries will rejoice when I am shaken. But I have trusted in Your lovingkindness; my heart shall rejoice in Your salvation. I will sing to the LORD, because He has dealt bountifully with me.

Throughout the Covid crisis, I have tried to write to the needs created by the virus outbreak. Of course, each person is at a different place in situation, emotions and their walk with God. Still, there have been outstanding sentiments which, have washed through the world, affecting many. At first it was fear and panic yielding the resultant shortages. Then there was resignation and accompanied by increasing faith, followed by prayer and courage. Interspersed in there was a second wave of fear as people lost their jobs or were temporarily furloughed. Through each of these stages we have reached out to our God for comfort and strength. Many people will be able to testify about how God embraced them during the tough times. However, we have now reached the hardest stage of all, uncertainty. Should we begin to return our lives to something that resembles normal or not? What are the costs and benefits?

That is a challenging question for which I do not presume to have an answer. What I have noticed, though, is rising emotions flooding the country. Fear has given way to anger. I believe this anger is born of frustration and loss. There are many different kinds of loss; jobs, activities, freedom of movement, and so on. Of course, in the midst of the challenge each person is experiencing, I cannot forget those who grieve for loved ones who have died from Covid-19. In the beginning, we all were in the same boat, none of us knowing what tomorrow would hold. Now we have diverged in our experience and our loss. Those divergent experiences are becoming increasingly divisive. We are becoming politicized in our separation, even amongst Christians.

Our need is, therefore, great. Whereas we stood as one people locked in battle against a common enemy, we have now become splintered. People’s hearts are more aggrieved now than in the beginning because of the isolation. Physical separation has given way to emotional and ideological separation. People are hurting and the anger you hear in the marketplace of ideas is the rejoinder to that intense stress response. By now, even people’s physiology will be reacting to the increased tension.

Fortunately, we have a remedy. Here is the way to take care of yourself. Please pass this on to anyone and everyone, but especially those who you notice expressing intense emotions. First, there is no pill, prescription, method or remedy better than our Lord. Entering into a quiet state of mind and putting ourselves fully in His hands and even His embrace is the best tonic of all. Bathe yourself in His presence. You may find the Psalms very helpful for finding that place of refuge.

Second, let us return to prayer. Today’s psalm is titled, “Prayer for help in Trouble,” which sounds appropriate. The more we focus on others, the nation, and the world through prayer, the more our minds are able to shift the attention off ourselves thereby reducing our stress. That is not to say your problems aren’t real and valid. It is just means that you need a break from them. So, this is an opportune time for prayer. The more we pray for others and for the broader situations we all face, the more cathartic it will be for us. Therefore, pray so that your soul may receive nourishment from above. In the balance you will be doing God’s work and helping your fellow humans.

Third, tap, tap, tap! Do you remember the article on Emotional Freedom Technique (EFT) which was highlighted in the Word of the Day on April 21st? Click here. Our God has created a biomechanical mechanism which we can use anytime to reduce stress in our bodies. See this insightful message from two Christian EFT practitioners. There is also a link on our website:

Fourth, turn off television news. It is really tough on you. If you can, try to get your news from print media. There are sources which provide curated articles and show a very low bias. Personally, I think you will be blessed to avoid both the liberal and conservative bias so that you can be persuaded by your own heart. Look for news feeds which give you data so that you can sort through it for yourself. Still, even limit that. Your spirit was not intended for 24-hour news channels or even the inundation you can get through print or internet news. Catch up on the headlines then let it go. It’s just not good for us to dwell on those things. What did God tells us, “Finally, brethren, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is right, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is of good repute, if there is any excellence and if anything worthy of praise, dwell on these things,” (Philippians 4: 8). Dwell on the good news.

Our spirits need God now more than even in the beginning of this crisis. We are tired and it feels we are pursued from every angle like David was. But also, like him, we have our refuge in the Lord. Take full advantage of this time with God. You may never have an opportunity to spend such large amounts of time with him again. Feed on His presence so that you may be renewed.

Courage vs. Denial

Deuteronomy 31: 6

Be strong and courageous, do not be afraid or tremble at them, for the Lord your God is the one who goes with you. He will not fail you or forsake you.

So, I’m working today and praying as I do and asked Father to give me a heart of courage that I may stand strong and confident during these trying times. He said to me, “Ivey, you have one of the strongest hearts I know. That does not mean that you don’t feel. There is a big difference between courage and denial.”

That was an eye opener for me, and I had to stop what I was doing and begin to write. He has told me before that I have the heart of a lion, but He has also shown me that I have a big heart. Are these congruous with one another? What’s more, over the last many years He has continually unveiled a tender heart within me. How does tenderness harmonize with courage? All of a sudden, I feel like the lion from the Wizard of Oz. Not so very brave and yet . . ..

A truly courageous person allows her heart to feel. Anesthesia is not synonymous with courage. As a young person I learned to be brave by anesthetizing my heart. To feel was to experience pain. Our Father had quite a job on His hands to get me to allow my heart to feel. I didn’t want to feel the pain, who does? Living without the ability to feel deeply and strongly is not the way. Learning to feel the full range of emotions and still stand confidently with the courage of a lion is the grown-up stuff of life and even (or especially) of Christianity. If your heart does not weep right now when you hear of the thousands of deaths around the world then you need God to perform heart surgery. The tragic circumstances should not cripple you though. Perhaps it brings you to your knees but in prayer rather than defeat.

As I have pondered this today, Father has shown me that the reason I am able to feel deeply and tenderly and yet be strong is because I have learned to turn to His presence within me. I do not meditate on negative thoughts or doomsday scenarios. I keep picturing angels with flame throwers. I seek God within me. I will tell you another truth. I do not inundate myself with press conferences or news. In fact, I try to stay far away from sensationalized broadcasts. Those people peddle fear and discord and I cannot afford to have those deposits made in my spirit.
Another thing I do is pray. I am praying more now than ever before. There have been seasons of prayer in my life previously, but I know that I need the prayer as does all the world. I am praying for you and every other person on this dirt ball that is hurtling through space. I feel the responsibility to pray but I also know that I am taking care of my spirit by praying. My own spirit needs more prayer and nurturing than normal.

Learning to be tough and tender has been one of the hardest lessons of my life. I am sure I am not where I need to be yet, but I thank my God for where He has brought me. I can feel the love and compassion of God and even express it, but I have God’s own strength to stand in a torrent and fight with conviction and vigor. I have finally realized that to be like my Father, I must be tender-hearted, allowing myself to feel things intensely, and yet be strong and courageous. Denial is not bravery. It is buckling to a lie, bowing one’s knee to cowardice. I will not buckle in this time of challenge. I will stand boldly, with you in, the name and faith of our Father. Let us, therefore, stand – shoulder to shoulder in compassionate courage.

If you need someone to talk to, you are welcome to call or email me. We are in this together.