by Gina Burgess
A little dog revived with rain, a desperate woman comforted by warm arms, an intimate look at Mary Magdalene's thoughts the morning Christ arose, a woman's unselfish desire are a few of the fictional stories in this volume about living the Christian life. They illustrate some extraordinary paradigm breaks and parallels in living as Christ would have His Bride live. Interspersed with these stories are some lessons learned by Gina through her rather turbulent life after marriage.
Sometimes everyday living creates a fog over our spiritual enlightenment, dulling our understanding and even our relationship with God. Other times we get entangled in worries and cares of the world. Christs light will guide us to clear thinking, and He will burn off that fog just like sunshine. This is a collection of stories and studies of how to make Christ ruler of your heart, allowing the Son to dissipate the fog of trials and troubles that invade our lives on a daily basis.
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Refreshment in Refuge
Refreshment in Refuge Vol. 1
© 2011 Gina Burgess. All rights reserved.
No part of this work may be reproduced in any manner except brief excerpts for reviewing purposes only without the express, written permission of the author. Write to her by email at firstname.lastname@example.org
Biblical quotes from the Bible in Basic English, Public Domain
This work took many years to write, not because it took that long to put the words to paper, but I have such a stubborn streak it took that many years to learn the lessons. I thank God that He is so patient, and that He loves so deeply He never gives up perfecting His handiwork. I pray this offering gives you a refreshing.
To all my teachers, most especially my mother,
who worked painstakingly with God, and who inspired me
to be a woman who loves God above all.
The message of the Cross is “No stones,” but God never promised, “No storms.”
The storms may be painful, but surviving them strengthens our faith and our walk.
~ Gina Burgess, December 2010
TABLE OF CONTENTS
Lessons I Have Learned and Stories From Those Lessons.
The Refreshing. 7
Putting the pieces back together… 12
A living dog is better than a dead lion… 18
A true love story…... 22
Godly esteem vs. Self-esteem 29
Satan’s lies about love 34
Come Rejoice With Me 41
God Woos His Wife Israel 48
Feelings are no guarantee… 54
Blessing from sweet trust 58
7 Habits Of Highly Effective, Godly Women 67
Joy comes in the morning… 84
10 things a Christian must know, 89
Little Baby Feet…... 93
Believing walks before obedience 96
Lessons from Hannah for men… 107
Are you in a dark place? 111
Forgive Yourself…... 115
No Stones …... 119
May I have a drink, please? 125
Pressing through the storm 129
Remain calm while the storm rages… 139
Where is your goat tied up? 142
You just know it is from God… 156
be still 160
Tree of no Fruit, dealing with depression 161
Being A Well Watered Garden 165
How to bring God glory… 168
Stopped Long Enough To Hear God… 172
What is crooked cannot be made straight 175
I know Whom I have believed 180
The Domestic Diva: Proverbs 31 183
When blessings hurt…... 205
Things I’ve Learned in Fifty Something Years 207
About the author…... 212
The man gave the bolt a final twist and stepped back from under the hood of the car. He wiped his grimy hands on a rag and then stuffed it in his back pocket. He gave a satisfied sigh as he headed to the office and the coffee pot. The coffee was strong and fresh, just like he liked it. Tossing a grin to Gertrude, his part time office help, he said, “Gertie, call Kent Boudreaux and let him know his car is ready and he can pick it up any time today.”
With only a little regret, he set his cup down and headed to back the repaired car from the bay and bring in another to work on. Thank goodness God was good to provide so much work when the economy was so bad. Just as the back wheels cleared the bay doors, one of them ran over something. He didn’t have a clue what it could have been, since it had only been a couple of hours since he’d driven the car in the bay. Then his heart constricted and he groaned in sudden agony.
Alfie’s job was to meet and greet all customers that came into the shop. His throne was the cushioned chair that was next to the desk. Sure it was grimy, but it was comfortable for a small, snowy white, very fluffy dog. Normally, Alfie rarely ventured into the bay area. He preferred the cool office and comfy cushion to the cool, but mucky shop floor. Alfie was the beloved owner of the man and his family. His other job was to give love and happiness to those he loved best.
The man climbed from the car, dreading what he must surely find.
His fear was confirmed when he saw Alfie lying still and flat under the car. Tears welled up, and his heart wrenched again. Suddenly, the bright day darkened to night. The dog must have scooted out the door when he got coffee. Even though he wasn’t allowed in the shop, the dog had obviously disobeyed the standing command.
He cradled the little dog in his arms, unsure of what to do. The lifeless form just lay there; head lolled back and tiny pink tongue slack instead of happily panting. The shop owner sat down in a grease-smudged chair with the dog across his lap. What should he do? How would he tell his sweet wife and those precious girls what had happened to their sweet, adoring Alfie? Finally, he decided to put the dog in the dog food bag, and place him in the dumpster because he couldn’t possibly bring Alfie home to bury; and in this concrete garden called New Orleans, there wasn’t anywhere to bury a pet. He just couldn’t possibly bring the little thing home to bury. His daughters would be inconsolable.
The rest of the day, he worried and fretted how to tell the family they had lost one of their own that day. There was no good way to do it, so he blurted out as soon as he made it home, “I ran over Alfie at the shop today.”
The family mourned, and rain began to patter against their home’s windows. God, it seemed, was sharing the family’s grief.
The next morning, the man found no joy in his morning routine. Alfie didn’t jump all over him, ready to do morning walk, no cheerful clink of food in his bowl. Going to work was a heavy chore. Sighing heavily, all the way to work, he opened the shop for daily work, sans his beloved, tiny, fluffy companion.
The coffee had just finished brewing when the owner of the neighboring body shop burst into the office. “Are you going to tell me why your dog is in the dumpster?”
“Well, Jeb, I know he’s in the dumpster. I didn’t have any place else to put him. I ran over him yesterday.
“No, you don’t understand. Your dog is barking and jumping and trying to get out of that dumpster!”
“What? Are you kidding me?” With joyful heart, the man ran to the dumpster and grabbed up that fluffy bundle of excitement. That little pink tongue was exploring every inch of his face. That little dog had only been knocked out, and the most refreshing rain, that gift from God, had refreshed and revived him. Alfie wasn’t dead after all, he just needed reviving.
Today, how many Christians look dead? How many are asleep at the wheel or get knocked silly by being someplace they are not supposed to be? Disobedience breaks fellowship with the LORD, and we can’t afford that when we are to be ready for that great and glorious day the Father looks at His only begotten Son and says, “Go get Your Bride, Son.” Glory!
Paul tells the Ephesians And to you did he give life, when you were dead through your wrongdoing and sins, 2 in which you were living in the past, after the ways of this present world, doing the pleasure of the lord of the power of the air, the spirit who is now working in those who go against the purpose of God; 3 among whom we all at one time were living in the pleasures of our flesh, giving way to the desires of the flesh and of the mind, and the punishment of God was waiting for us even as for the rest. Ephesians 2:1-3 Bible in Basic English (1965)
Paul was talking about how they acted as unbelievers, but I have seen a lot of Believers act just like that recently. The Bride of Christ is sick these days, sick with the evil ways of the world and sick with disbelief. We can be like the Rich Young Ruler and say: These commands I have kept, I have not sinned. But, how many of us have watched a movie lately in which God’s name was blasphemed? How many of us worry and fret, harbor anger, bitterness, jealousy, seek vengeance, are critical of others, controlling, gossip, pray by rote, fudge the truth, go places we shouldn’t go, do things in secret that we’d die if it were printed on the front page of the newspaper? How many pirate music? How many think if it doesn’t hurt other people, it is okay? How many haven’t returned something that was borrowed? How many of us allow work, family, hobbies, playtime come first instead of the LORD?
How many of us have given up on a brother or sister in Christ because he looks dead? How often have we thrown a sibling in the dumpster without thought to the prayers of a righteous man and the resuscitation process laid out by Jesus in Matthew 18: 15-17? Refreshment in the refuge of Jesus is what this book is about. We cannot give up on our siblings because it isn’t God’s plan. He created us and saved us for a mighty purpose. We cannot give up on our self because God considered us worthy enough to send His precious Son to pay the ultimate Bride price for us.
Let me paraphrase Luke 8:17, not one thing happens in secret that won’t be found out, and not a single thing is done in the dark which will not be brought to light. But, why would we care more about what could be said of us in a front-page news story than what God thinks of us? How could it matter more than our precious relationship and that refreshing rain from above?
Revive us LORD Jesus, send your refreshing rain of blessings and awaken us from our dead sleep. Help us labor, watch and be ready. The Bride awaits her Groom. Come LORD Jesus and find Your Bride doing the mighty works prepared before the foundation of the world. Amen.
This was inspired by one of my favorite preachers, Dr. Preston Nix. He is an Associate Professor at New Orleans Baptist Seminary. Preach it, Brother, preach it.COLLAPSE
Refreshment in Refuge, by Gina Burgess is a devotional with meat on it’s bones. The book contains 40 readings, some with short stories followed by practical application, some that share personal lessons learned. The theology is sound and the lessons are enlightening and uplifting. If you are interested in refreshing and strengthening your walk with God, this book can help. Charlene Amsden - Goodreads reviewer
Want a beautiful way to start or end your day? Get this book and simply read a chapter or two from it as you awaken or lay down to rest. Also, it would be a great book to carry close to you when you have a time to invest in your spiritual growth.
It transcends time. One chapter will have you back in the heart of a scripture based story as if you were inside the mind of the person as they witness the events unfolding before them. Then Gina brings you to a modern day struggle with the same flair for “putting you there.”
Below are a few key relevant points concerning Gina’s book.
Gina reminds us that God is mightier than our feelings and mightier than our fears. She creates a freshness of the truth, “that in Him is our greatest hope, for He most assuredly keeps His promises.” She states, and brings to life throughout her book, “one thing I have learned during my years with my beloved Lord God – there is no faith where there is no hope.” Her chapter – “Come Rejoice With Me” Won the Editors Choice Award, October 2010, Fiction Writers Platform. It seems that her book was written with women in mind but as a man, I found it enjoyable and insightful. Gina repeats a mantra throughout her book, which is summed up in her words, “Our greatest lessons are learned in the storms of life so that our greatest purpose can be fulfilled on the other side of the storm.”She also reminds us, “. . . that Satan has no power except that which God allows, or that which we give. Knowing this we are forewarned and forearmed against an evil foe.”This book is a winner! The only sticking point I had with it was that, as a man, I struggled to identify with some of the issues Gina addresses. James Bars, Author of Insider Thought Trading
Refreshment In Refuge will do just that, it will refresh your spirit and remind you of God's unwavering love.A compilation of short stories, from the authors own life experiences make this book very easy to relate to.You can easily feel the authors emotions as she shares her inspirational and uplifting stories of faith...a chapter titled 10 things a christian must know, and eleven things one cannot live without, that I have found myself referring to several times even after finishing the book. I think because of the straightforward, clear way this book is presented it would be perfect for Bible study groups, but individuals would also find it a useful study tool as well. I feel like it would also make a great gift for anyone who needs a little encouragement or spiritual "refreshing" in their life. Brenda C. - book reviewer
Gina Burgess is a woman who has a heart for Christ. She has experienced a great deal of pain in her life, but after reading Refreshment in Refuge it is easy to see that she has also experienced a great deal of joy and grace in the Lord. In this book, Gina has put her life experiences and her observations on paper in an open an honest way and shows us through Scripture how she has been able to heal and she shows us the things that God has shown her that have brought her comfort. C. Kendall - Vine Voice
About the Author...
Gina grew up in Monroe, Louisiana and studied journalism in college there, but took a thirty year detour to raise two beautiful daughters in Baton Rouge, LA; then went back to school and graduated with a Bachelor’s degree from Midwestern State University in Wichita Falls, Texas; the same college her mother attended. Then she earned her Master’s from Spring Arbor University. Since 1972 she has taught Sunday School and Discipleship Training because God gifted her with the motivational spiritual gifts of encourager and teacher. She helped several non-profits in their start-ups, and organized help for abused children in the court system.
She is a professional editor. Gina has edited for several publications including her home town newspaper, and she writes a weekly column for LiveAsIf.org.
Gina is also a professional illustrator since 1972. She illustrates and designs book covers and children's books. Check out her website for numerous examples. http://ginaburgessediting.com
She is a professional book reviewer for several Christian publishers as well as other traditional publishers.
“I love using my God-given talent to shine a light in a dark world. I am absolutely committed to bringing God glory with my writing,” she professes.