was successfully added to your cart.



Merva’s Verse4Monday


Greetings Firestorm!

Today is an exciting day for Firestorm!  Merva’s Verse4Monday has been a Firestorm favorite for many years.  Merva and her husband George were on the way to the Firestorm conference when Merva fell and broke her elbow.  There have been a lot of challenges since then including two surgeries and a very serious infection.  Please continue to pray for Merva & her husband George.  Be blessed today as you read Merva’s Verse4Wednesday (this week)!  We love you Merva!



Merva’s Verse4Wednesday

Proverbs 26:21

July 17, 2019


“Just as charcoal and wood keep a fire going,

a quarrelsome person keeps an argument going.

(Proverbs 26:21 NCV)

An arguing man makes fights worse.

He is like coals to burning wood

and wood to a fire.

(Proverbs 26:21 NLV)

Revenge, vengeance and retaliation never work with EGRs.

(Extra Grace Required people)

It tends to escalate, or cause them to become more intense or

serious whatever problem you’re encountering.

I’ve read in a few devotionals, the first four steps in dealing with people who frustrate, annoy, and hassle us:

Look at their behavior.

Refuse to be offended.

Cut them some slack, and

Refuse to gossip about them.

You know what else?

You also need to refuse to play their game!

EGRs love to argue and debate!!  They use conflict to get our attention.  Did you know that?  When people try to get our attention through conflict, they’re just trying to hook us.  They don’t really care what we think.  They’re just trying to pull us into their game.

You may have seen something like this on the internet.  Somebody makes an off-the-wall statement, and you go, “I’m going to set him straight!”  And at that moment, the other person is going, “Got ’em!  I just hooked a big one!”  Every bone in your body wants to fire off a reply to that blog, that e-mail, or that Facebook post!

“Don’t do it!  It’s a trap!”

Someone once said,

“If you wrestle in the mud with a pig, both of you will get dirty,

but only one of you will enjoy it.”

Stay out of the mud!  Don’t get sucked into the argument!

Just walk on by!

Proverbs 26:21 NCV says,


“Just as charcoal and wood keep a fire going,

a quarrelsome person keeps an argument going.”


EGRs love to keep the argument going.  Did you know that?  They find their meaning, their purpose, and their value by getting you/us upset! 

REMEMBER, don’t play their game!


Don’t get drawn into it!  They’re not looking for answers! 

They’re just looking for an argument!!

How many people does it take to argue?  It takes two, right?  If one of them walks away, what happens to the argument?? 

It ENDS!!!  The fire goes out!  Sometimes, the most merciful thing you CAN do is WALK AWAY FROM the ARGUMENT!!!


What do you think?



Merva’s Verse4Monday

1 Timothy 4:8

June 26, 2017

Do YOU have pretty good physical strength??

“Physical training is good, but training for godliness is much better,

promising benefits in this life and in the life to come“.

(1 Timothy 4:8)

One of the ways we train for godliness is by maintaining our

physical strength.  Personally, I didn’t know that, but the truth is that

your  body was not designed for inactivity.

Did you know that God created you to be active?

Even a daily walk will make a difference

in your physical and spiritual well-being

You know what, though?  Most of us are convinced but not committed.

We know that exercise is good for us.
The thing is, though

we are convinced of that,
but it doesn’t mean we are committed to exercise!

What is the common excuse?  “I don’t have the time.”

Well…do you have time to be sick?
If you don’t make time for exercise, you’ll probably be forced to make time for an illness.

Is THAT how you want to spend your time?
I don’t think so!

What is the common mistake?  We overdo it at the start.  We do??

We make big resolutions or goals and try to meet them in a few weeks.

Some of you might have said at one time,

“I’m going to get in shape if it kills me!”

Sometimes we think that if something is good, then more is better.

We don’t even think, but if we’ve been out of shape for several years,

then we try to get in shape in one week!

Soooo, we work ourselves to death, maybe get totally exhausted, and, as a result,
we wear out quickly and give up!

The key is training, not straining.  IF you want to get in shape, gradually increase your exercise!  
That will help you stay committed to a consistent, regular exercise program.

Now, to get trained Spiritually, we have to increase a certain exercise, don’t we!

We have to spend time in God’s Word…Study His Word, right?

I know I HAVE to do that…do YOU???

WHAT do YOU think?

Merva Hand


Merva’s Verse4Monday

Jeremiah 17:9

July 3, 2017

“The human mind is the most deceitful of all things.

It is incurable.  No one can understand how deceitful it is.”

Jeremiah 17:9

There’s one fundamental question in life that stands above all others!

“What will have the FINAL authority in your life?”

Hmmmm…I wonder!

What sources might help you determine your values?

Will it be your parents?  Or, your peers?

Maybe even your school or the books you read?

What about movies or TV shows you watch, or

the songs you listen to?

God allows you to make the decision, hasn’t HE?

He’s given us “free will”.

WOW…that really makes me think!  What about you??

Most of our options come down to three different choices.

MYSELF:  Of course we can depend on our gut to tell us what to do, right?

But, there’s a problem with that.  Study after study reveals that our perceptions are more likely to be wrong than right.

In fact…sometimes we lie to ourselves.

In the Bible, in Jeremiah 17:9 (GW), it says,

“The human mind is the most deceitful of all things.  It is incurable.

No one can understand how deceitful it is”.

THE WORLD:  We can depend on what other people think to determine

our values.  But, we’ve sort of got a problem…that the world often values the wrong things, right?  For instance, the world may emphasize beauty over character, or tells us to pursue whatever feels good, or, declares that whoever has the most possessions wins.

        We are bombarded with these worldly values through all sorts of media —
so much so, that it’s easy to start thinking that God put us on this planet to look good, and get stuff.

But, that couldn’t be further from the truth, could it!

GOD’S WORD:  You know…God’s Word is objective and truthful,

as opposed to our own perceptions or the world’s opinions.

God’s Word says,

“If you continue in My word…you will know the truth, and the truth

will make you free.”  (John 8:31-32 NASB)

After reading about these choices, where will you look to determine your values?
Which one will you choose to be the final authority in your life?

What will have the final authority in your life??

How have you seen other people make poor choices
by valuing the authority of anything other than God??

Why would the “most fundamental question in life”
be so critical as the choice of authority?

What will have the final authority in your life??
How have you decided to answer that question??Have you given it a thought?

WHAT do YOU think??

Merva Hand


Merva’s Verse4Monday

Romans 8:1

July 10, 2017

“There is no condemnation now for those who live in

union with Christ Jesus”.

(Romans 8:1 TEV)

God doesn’t expect us to be perfect.  Did you know that???

He knows that failure is part of life!

He even sent JESUS to clean up our mess!  He didn’t send Him to point

an accusing finger.  Thank You Lord!!

No matter how bad you blow it in life, God will never condemn you.

HE is for you, not against you.

It’s encouraging, isn’t it, when you overcome a tough circumstance…or, you are trying to make changes in your life.  Knowing that God is for you, and not against you, will change the way you respond to the times you slip up.

 It should give you the confidence to keep moving forward in “faith”, because God is on your side.  That’s a relief isn’t it!?!!  He wants you to have “victory through Him” over your hang-ups and mess-ups, too.

It’s so good that God doesn’t expect us to be perfect on our lives, isn’t it!?!?  That’s why He sent His perfect SON — to cover the sin that you

wouldn’t otherwise have been able to overcome.

You’re NOT a failure to God!

The ONLY time you fail is when you refuse to get up and keep going!

We have to believe God — that He DOES forgive our failures.
We are human!!
All we really have to/or should do, is TRUST IN THE LORD — trust in His forgiveness AND His LOVE for us!!!

 Have you learned any lessons from the failures in “your” life?

How have they helped you grow spiritually?

WHAT do YOU think???

Merva Hand


Merva’s Verse4Monday

Matthew 20:9,10

July 17, 2017

“Those hired at five o’clock came up and were each given a dollar.

When those that were hired first saw that, they assumed they would

get far more!”  Matthew 20:9-10 (The Message)

Do you know how to overcome envy??

I think it’s to stop comparing yourself to others!

Did you know that comparing is the root of all envy?

Do you remember the parable of the vineyard workers?  The first mistake was made when the ones who were hired last “came up and were each given a dollar.  And, when those who were hired first saw that, they assumed they would get far more.”  In other words, they started making comparisons:

“Look what they’re getting.  So we’re going to get more. 

We deserve more”. 

(Kind of greedy, don’t you think??)

The Bible says over and over again to never compare yourself to anyone else for two reasons:

First, you’re unique. 

God made you special…there’s nobody like you!

HE made the mold, and then He broke it!!

You’re not comparable to anyone else!

Second, if you do start comparing, it’s always going to

lead to one of two sins:  PRIDE or ENVY.

When you compare yourself to  others, you’re either going to think

“I’m doing better than they are,” and you get full of PRIDE.

Then…“they’re doing better than I”, and you get full of ENVY.

PRIDE and ENVY are both sins.

I didn’t know that…did you??

You know that envy occurs when you don’t really know someone intimately.

You can see a person’s strengths and successes from a distance, but

it’s different when you get closer to them…you see their hurts, habits, and hang-ups.  Everyone has hidden pain, don’t they.  When you see people at a distance, it’s easier to miss their fears and faults.

Then…there’s no better way to get to know people up close and personal than in a small group.  “If we all put our problems in a big pile at the center of a room and looked at them, at the end of the evening, we’d probably all take our problems back and go home.”

What do YOU think?

When you get to know people closely, you don’t envy them.  BUT, you CAN learn how to pray for them.

ENVY isolates us.  Fellowship binds us together and helps us get to know each other so we can stop comparing ourselves to others.

Who is someone you envy, or have envied before?  What could you do to get to know that person better?  Do you know what gifts God may have given you that make you unique?  All these questions have to do with envy and how it might help you to understand them AND yourselves better.

WHAT do YOU think???

Merva Hand


Merva’s Verse4Monday

Matthew 18:21-22

July 31, 2017

“Peter came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me?  Seven times?’  ‘No, not seven times’, Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven!’”

(Matthew 18:21-22 NLT)

I read that forgiveness is rarely a one-time event.  Hmmmm.

So, how often do you have to keep releasing your right to get even??

I think maybe until you stop feeling the hurt?

Then, you’ll KNOW that you’ve forgiven that person.

In Matthew 18:21-22, it says,

“Peter came to Him and asked, ‘Lord, how often should I forgive someone who sins against me?  Seven times?’  ‘No, not seven times,’ Jesus replied, ‘but seventy times seven’”.  (NLT)  

 Peter thought he was being pretty forgiving, or generous!  I wasn’t aware of this, but in Jewish law, you’ve got to forgive a person three times, and after you’d forgiven them three times, that was it.  Ha, that’s all.  You didn’t have to forgive them anymore!  WOW!  So, Peter starts thinking…”The law says three times, right?  How about if I double it, and add in one for good measure?  Seven times?

(God’s going to be really impressed with this, isn’t He?)

BUT, Jesus says,

“Wrong!  You aren’t even close! 

How about 70 times seven!?” 

Here, He’s saying that you just have to keep on doing it!!!  You just keep on forgiving until the pain stops!  Every time you remember that hurt, you make an intentional choice to say,

“God, that person really hurt me, and it still hurts.  But because I want to be filled with love and not resentment,  I am choosing to

 give up my right to get even and wish bad on that person.  I am choosing to bless those who hurt me.  God, I pray You’ll bless

their life — not because they deserve it.  They don’t! 

I don’t deserve Your blessing either, God.  But, I pray that You’d show grace to them like You’ve shown to me”. 

It’s NOT easy, is it?!?!?

 You know, you might say,  “I don’t feel like forgiving”. 

Who does???  NOBODY ever feels like forgiving, do they!

You may do it because it’s the ‘right thing to do’…and, then to get on with your life, right?
These steps are NOT easy, BUT with GOD’S POWER,

You can do it.

What hurt from the past still brings you pain?

How can forgiveness help you move forward??

When it comes to your relationships, what does it mean to have

God’s power working in your life??

WHAT do YOU think?

Merva Hand


Merva’s Verse4Monday

Romans 5:8

August 7, 2017

“God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die forus while we were still sinners”

(Romans 5:8)

Do you know that Jesus LOVES you?  He really does!!!

EVERYTHING that Jesus DID for YOU, He did out of LOVE!!

The Bible says that God made you to love you!

The only reason you are alive is because you were made to be

loved by God.  Did you know that?

If God didn’t want you alive, your heart would stop instantly; you wouldn’t even be breathing right now.  God made you and wants you alive so He can love you and so you can love HIM back!!!

You know…God didn’t just say He loved you;

He showed it, didn’t He?!?!

The Bible says,

“God showed His great love for us by sending Christ to die for us while we were still sinners”.  (Romans 5:8 NLT)

It says…while we were still sinners!  It was before I even knew God, or knew I needed God in my life,


You know…there ARE people that believe that we have to clean up our act before we can come to God.  “I’ve got to get it all together.  There are a few things I’ve got to get right in my life first, and THEN I’ll come to God”.

The answer to THAT is:  NO!!!

You come to God with your problems — the good, the bad, and the ugly!

It’s like when we brush our teeth before we go to the dentist to have them cleaned, or, when we wash the dishes before we put them in the dishwasher.

WHY do we do this???

God says, “No, no!  You don’t have to clean up your act. 

Just bring it ALL to Me.
Bring Me ALL of your problems!
I have ALL the answers!

Come AS YOU ARE!!!”

You know, the Bible says in Psalm 57:3a TLB, that HE will send down help from Heaven to save me because of His love.”

WOW!!!  Just because He LOVES me!!!  Thank You dear Lord, Jesus!!!

Anyway, that’s what Jesus did on Easter.  He sent Himself from Heaven to save us because of His love!  SO…because of His love, we can bring our problems to God…because


IF you DON’T act on this news, then the death of JESUS CHRIST and His Resurrectionare wasted for you personally!

It makes NO difference in your life

 Now, you may recognize the gift, but you still have to receive it!

“You will be saved, if you honestly say, ‘Jesus is Lord’, and if you believe with all your heart that God raised Him from death.  God will accept you and save you,

If you TRULY BELIEVE this and tell it to others!

(Romans 10:9-10 CEV)

You know…

God is NOT asking you to make a promise you can’t keep.

God is asking you to believe a promise that only He can keep!

What do YOU need to let go of that you’ve been trying to clean up before you can approach God?  And, how does your life reflect the extravagant love God has for you and that you have accepted?? These are things to think of!!

WHAT do YOU think??

Merva Hand


Merva’s Verse4Monday

Galatians 6:2

Monday, August 14, 2017 

“By helping each other with your

troubles, you truly obey

the law of Christ.”

Galatians 6:2 NCV)

I feel that our natural reaction is to pull back and isolate ourselves when we go through major disappointment in life…don’t you??  We want to handle it ourselves, don’t we.  We’d like to keep our losses and failures and mistakes and crises a secret.  We want to withdraw.  What a terrible idea, huh??

When you go through disappointment or crises or loss, is when you need your friends the most, right?  You need to accept help from others.  God doesn’t intend for you to handle all the pain and stress in your life by yourself!  We were wired for each other.  We need each other.  We are social beings.  You know, the first thing God said in the Garden of Eden is,

“It’s not good for man to be alone.”

We’re made to be in relationships.

Job 6:14 says,

“When desperate people give up on God Almighty, their friends at least, should stick with them.”  (MSG)

You know that there may come a time when you’ll say, “I don’t have any faith right now.  I’m full of doubt.”  That’s when you need your friends to step in and say,“That’s okay.  We will have faith for you. 

We will trust Go for you in this.”

“By helping each other with your troubles,

you truly obey the law of Christ”.  

(Galatians 6:2 NCV)

What’s the law of Christ?  It’s this:

Love your neighbor as yourself.”

The Bible commands us to help each other.

Every time you help somebody

who’s going through  pain, you are fulfilling

the law of Christ.

Trying to handle your trouble yourself will only make you more tired and stressed out.  You need to accept the help of others, and let your friends carry you through it.

 And KNOW that God is WITH you ALL the way!!!

HE is at work in your circumstances,

even if you can’t see Him working at this point.

WHO in your life supports you through your loss and disappointment?  Do you do the same for them??

What are things you find most helpful when you’re in a difficult situation??

What can we learn about God through the support of our friends who follow Jesus, too?

WHAT do YOU think??

Merva Hand



Psalm 40:17 (MSG)

July 23, 2018

“I’m a mess. I’m nothing and have nothing; make something of me.

You [God] can do it; you’ve got what it takes” 

— but God, don’t put it off.

(Psalm 40:17 The Message). 

It has been almost a year since I have written “Merva’s Verse4Monday” because of a fall that I had which my right elbow was shattered/destroyed, and since the surgery, my right hand doesn’t have much feeling in it, so it is difficult to type.  I’ve had the elbow replaced, but the recuperation has been the pits!!  Only by the grace of God, will it ever be healed completely!

Anyway, I think that I’ll be writing my “Merva’s Verse4Monday” just once a month for a while til my right hand types better, OK?

I was reading an article and wanted to discuss it with you.

In this article, it said that people are basically good and unselfish…and that it’s their environments that turn people’s hearts toward evil.  I personally don’t really agree with that cuz it just doesn’t square with what we see in human nature.  What do you think??

If you have been around small children, you probably get this.  That, they’re born with a selfish nature!  There are phrases like, “Feed me!  Care for me!  I’m the center of attention”, and are the rule rather than the exception.

Human injustice throughout the world, and in our communities, also shatters any misconception we have that we humans are all basically good.  Left to our own devices, we oppress other people, hoard our food, and generally think about ourselves much more than anyone else.

It’s as if God looks at the humanity He created and says, “OK, you think you’re basically good.  You think human nature is basically unselfish?  I’ll step back and let human nature take its course in the world.  We’ll show you what happens when I AM isn’t in the picture.” 

Want to know what THAT looks like??  Just pick up a newspaper.  What’s true in children and society in general, is also true in our lives today.  We are treated unfairly all the time. But, here’s a secret you may not have considered.  YOU treat people unfairly from time to time as well.

Our tendency to treat one another unfairly doesn’t surprise God.  In fact, it shows why we need Jesus.  In Ecclesiastes 3:18 (TLB) it says,

“God is letting the world go on its sinful way so that He can test mankind, and so that men themselves will see that they are NO BETTER than BEASTS.” 

You know something??  Without God in the situation, people are very inhumane to each other.  That’s the heart of all the injustice and unfairness in our world.  One day, God will judge every person on the planet for the injustices they commit against others.  There MUST be consequences for how we treat others, because God is just.

That means we need mercy.  All of us have been unfair with others from time to time.  We aren’t just the victims of injustice…we’re perpetrators, too.


      God wouldn’t have needed to send His SON to die on the cross if people were generally good, would He?!?!  NO!

Now, the vast injustices in our world make it clear that humans can’t live moral lives on their own.

NEXT TIME you’re treated unfairly, let it be a reminder.



WHAT do you think?

Merva Hand