Thursday, December 11, 2008

The rest of the story

Isaiah 5:20 (New International Version)

Woe to those who call evil good
and good evil,
who put darkness for light
and light for darkness,
who put bitter for sweet
and sweet for bitter.




A prayer by Billy Graham’s aired by Paul Harvey:

‘Heavenly Father, we come before you today to ask your forgiveness and
to seek your direction and guidance. We know Your Word says, ‘Woe to those who call evil good,’ but that is exactly what we have done.

We have lost our spiritual equilibrium and reversed our values.
We have exploited the poor and called it the lottery.
We have rewarded laziness and called it welfare.
We have killed our unborn and called it choice.
We have shot abortionists and called it justifiable.
We have neglected to discipline our children and called it building self esteem.
We have abused power and called it politics.
We have coveted our neighbor’s possessions and called it ambition.
We have polluted the air with profanity and pornography and called it freedom of expression.
We have ridiculed the time-honored values of our forefathers and called it enlightenment.

Search us, Oh God, and know our hearts today; cleanse us
From every sin and Set us free. Amen!’


Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Fixed

Proverbs 22: 17-19
Incline your ear and hear the words of the wise, and apply your heart to my knowledge; for it is a pleasant thing if you keep them within you; Let them all be fixed upon your lips, so that your trust may be in the Lord; I have instructed you today, even you.

Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Scrubbing

But godliness with contentment is great gain, For we brought nothing into this world, and it is certain we can carry nothing out,

1 Timothy 6:6,7


I washed my hands at the kitchen sink after being outside cleaning the glass top table on the back porch. The dust of the fall season covered the glass like glue making it hard to get off so it took several tries before I made much headway. I threw the paper towels in the trash and looked down at my hands. What a mess!

The warm water felt good and I worked hard to scrub the dirt off my skin and under my nails. It was then I realized some spots weren’t coming off. Age spots, I finally have some. I wonder why I didn't see them before? I smiled when I thought, "Well, now maybe I can connect the dots."

Monday, December 8, 2008

Heart overflow

The good man brings good things out of the good stored up in his heart, and the evil man brings evil things out of the evil stored up in his heart. For out of the overflow of his heart his mouth speaks.


Luke 6:45

My cell phone went dead while I was talking with my mother. The phone had given me a beep signal to let me know I needed to recharge the battery so that gave me time to tell mother that if she needed me to call 911 and have the police come and get me. I'm one of the ones that has gone exclusively to cell phone and it's times like this I really want my old land line back. Fortunately I had already told mother what I needed her to know.

Talking with mother this morning and getting disconnected made me think how important our conversations really are. We say so much even when we don't say anything important. The big reason for our conversation this morning was just to be family and let mother know I love her.

Sunday, December 7, 2008

New tongues - God's Grace

Mark 16:17

And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;


God's Grace

Today I praise God for His grace. This morning sitting in the early church service I was faced with the full meaning of God’s grace. The message was about many of what we think of as being our Bible Hero’s. You know them as father Abraham, king David, Noah, … and on. Well, each of these had big time reasons to fall under the grace of God for deliverance from sin and it’s consequences… which is eternal death. I do too…big time. Thank you God for your grace and for the understanding I received this morning. New tongues, new understanding.

Friday, December 5, 2008

Tacky

Do everything without complaining or arguing.
Philippians 2:14

I caught a glimpse of a T.V. show where a lady was complaining about Christmas and how she wished the holidays were over. We all get in situations where we feel overwhelmed with the commercial aspect of all the holidays, not just Christmas. I understood what she truly meant.

As I continued to decorate the house for company I felt another burst of holdiay spirit and a smile came on my face thinking how really tacky everything I had done looked. It reminded of my friend Anne who said there were two things in life that should be tacky, engagement rings and Christmas trees.

Thursday, December 4, 2008

Packages

A fool finds no pleasure in understanding but delights in airing his own opinions.
Proverbs 18:2

Yipes, today’s proverb hit me right on the head like a V8 commercial. Yacky, yack, yack what on earth have I been thinking and insisting that others think like I do? Somewhere there is a balance that needs to be found. Listen more, talk less; understand.

The count down is on to Christmas day. Excitement is in the air and I feel it in little bursts. Yesterday I pulled out the Christmas decorations. I don’t have a thing decorated or purchased and was reminded by someone on the T.V. that this year’s holiday shopping season is shorter because Christmas day falls on Thursday, three weeks from today! Is it me or is time faster?

Wise saying:
A man wrapped up in himself makes a very small package.


Wednesday, December 3, 2008

Freight Trains

My God, my Rock, in Him will I take refuge; my Shield and the Horn of my salvation; my Stronghold and my Refuge, My Savior...You save me from violence.


2 Samuel 22:3

The train stopped me from crossing the road. I was glad that I was behind other cars because, to be honest, I don't think I was paying that much attention and I had never seen a train actually go by that road before. Yes, I had driven over the tracks many times, but not often enough to know when to expect a train. I don't even know if freight trains have schedules especially on that track.

I watched the train go by and tried to count the cars. Maybe I counted them because I had done so in my childhood, but I think I was just passing time like ticking off seconds to get going again. My mind had been a million miles away trying to deal with the little problems that seemed too big for me to handle. With each car that passed I reminded myself that the train would end soon... one car at a time. I smiled and breathed "this too shall pass" as I dropped the tissue from my eyes and thanked God for slowing me down, protecting me and giving me His word, His promises and His love.

Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Cleaning up

Strive first for the kingdom of God and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well
. Matthew 6:33

I'm a list maker. Only list makers can understand why we do it... and it isn't the same for all of us or all the different lists we make. It hurts my head when I think about how many different types of lists there are and the methods to get them done.

In the simplest form there are two types of list makers, those who work their list and get it done and those who make lists and don't get them done.

Under the heading of those that get the list done there has to be different types who work the list in different ways with the end result of success. Under the head of those that don't get the list done are some that I think are still successful, but just not quite perfect or completely done. I fall into that category. I'm not completely done and neither is my list... almost any list I make.

Yesterday I decided that maybe what I needed was a better plan. I decided that I would concentrate on just one room and get it cleaned top to bottom. Well, guess what, it didn't get done. It seems I fall into the other category of list makers that get sidetracked. Reorganizing the bookcase and cleaning tons of dust from books I didn't even remember I had, I found myself enjoying the afternoon with old friends inside the books. After that it was on to the photo albums and they are still scattered on the couch where I left them when my eyes were just too tired to look more and it was off to bed for me. This morning my mind is still on the books and photo albums.

This morning’s scripture pulls me back and reminds me to put my visit with God at the top of all my lists thanking Him for all things.

Monday, December 1, 2008

Thanks-Giving

Paul wrote, "I thank my god every time I remember you, constantly praying with joy in every one of my prayers for all of you." Philippians 1:3-4

Yesterday, after church, we all sat down for Thanksgiving dinner delayed. Anna Claire couldn't stay awake to eat, so she slept while we sat around the table. Some how sitting around the table brings even the most busy families together.

As I sat in my chair I smiled in my heart thinking to myself what a wonderful family I have. Even this morning I'm thinking about how Carley Ann brings smiles to everyone with her sweet, funny ways and Anna Claire with her expressive hands saying many times what her mouth can't get out quick enough. I see so much pride in the eyes of Terri and Brent and love the fact they know these are precious times.

Saturday, November 29, 2008

Letters

2 Corinthians 3:3

You show that you are a letter of Christ, prepared by us, written not with ink but with the Spirit of the living God... on tablets of human hearts.


Send an email, press a key... instant communication.
Smile and you send .... instant communication.
With each action you send ....instant communication.

Isn't it amazing that now almost everyone recognizes that we can have instant communication with each other using email! I watched a bit of Jetsons yesterday and told Terri that we use to think we would be living life like Jetsons by now. Well, in so many ways we do. Who would have thought communication via something called the internet would connect people from almost everywhere on earth.

Still, the biggest means of communication we have is being living examples. We hold letters from God that He has written in our hearts when we communicate His love to others no matter if it is typed or just visible on our heart screens.

Friday, November 28, 2008

Moses or Jesus

1 John 1:5
God is light and in Him there is no darkness at all.






Fun tonight making Christmas cookies, stars, trees, and gingerbread men. We went to Walmart and bought a new TV, then we watched a bit of inspirational cartoons on the TV seeing as we now can get the high number channels. Anna got confused over the difference between baby Moses and baby Jesus and I caught Carley Ann trying to tell her the difference. At two I'm thinking she is doing good just to know there is a baby Moses and a baby Jesus. BTW, the difference, according to Carley Ann, is that baby Jesus didn't get to get in the water until he was older.

Thursday, November 27, 2008

God's gates

Enter into God's gates with thanksgiving
Psalms 100:4

Food is right up there in the top three essentials for life - food, shelter and clothing, so it only stands to reason that celebrating the harvest would have roots all the way back to ancient cultures. The Hebrews, Egyptians, Romans, Greeks and other cultures added their own twist to being thankful for the harvest each year and I’m sure those cultures still celebrate the harvest in one way or another even today.

The American Thanksgiving celebration, or Harvest celebration began unofficially in 1621 near the end of the Plymouth colony’s first year of existence. The history books tell us that the settlers gave thanks for a plentiful first harvest celebrating with the natives after arranging a peace treaty. Everyone feasted on geese, ducks, deer, corn, oysters, fish and berries bringing out the very best to share with each other.

After years of unofficial harvest celebrations, in 1863, during the Civil War, President Abraham Lincoln proclaimed that Thanksgiving should be a national observance. The American people were dealing with a lot of difficulty and deprivation, so this was one way to lift their spirits and also make people realize that even in difficult times they have lots to be thankful for. This is true today. We have so much to be thankful for in this country especially when you look at the news and see the things that are going on in other countries.

Today I'm thankful for God's gates and the protection I feel from them. Gates are meant to keep things in but also keep things out. Either way, the gates are important just as food, shelter, and clothing. His gates to me are love and I hope they are too you. I just finished reading a blog from someone who has decided to leave the Christian faith behind. I can't imagine making this decision. Never the less, I know God's Gates will always be there and I'll keep this person in my heart and prayers.

Sing with me:



Thanksgiving poem written by Lydia Maria Child

Over the river, and through the wood,
To Grandfather's house we go;
The horse knows the way to carry the sleigh
through the white and drifted snow.

Over the river, and through the wood -
Oh, how the wind does blow!
It stings the toes and bites the nose
As over the ground we go.

Over the river, and through the wood,
To have a first-rate play.
Hear the bells ring, "Ting-a-ling-ding",
Hurrah for Thanksgiving Day!

Over the river, and through the wood
Trot fast, my dapple-gray!
Spring over the ground like a hunting-hound,
For this is Thanksgiving Day.

Over the river, and through the wood -
And straight through the barnyard gate,
We seem to go extremely slow,
It is so hard to wait!

Over the river, and through the wood -
Now Grandmother's cap I spy!
Hurrah for the fun! Is the pudding done?
Hurrah for the pumpkin pie!

Wednesday, November 26, 2008

Before Thanksgiving


1 Peter 4:10

Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.


I've had sick grandchildren for the last several days and when this happens and I get to keep them all day my entire life gets turned upside down. Plans made get changed and things that might have seemed important become less so. All efforts are directed to making that little one feel better.

This morning the house is quiet again with the exception of Cocoapuff who keeps reminding me that she too needs my attention. My mind is on Thanksgiving and all that means. I'll cook a turkey today and enjoy the smells and think about how thankful I am for my family, thankful for the freedom to worship my God, actually, thankful for everything in my life.

Sunday, November 23, 2008

The light of the world

John 8:12

When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, "I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.


http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ool3VUX1yc0

Friday, November 21, 2008

A cold fall night

John 13:13 (King James Version)

Ye call me Master and Lord: and ye say well; for so I am.


John 13:13 (New King James Version)
You call Me Teacher and Lord, and you say well, for so I am.


Many years ago, ha... just yesterday in my mind... I read this passage and others like it and thought having a "Master" wasn't such a good thing. I didn't understand what a master was. I thought having a master would be someone who would make you do things you really didn't want to do, enforce obedience or only have his/her wishes fulfilled with no regard to a lowly servants needs much less desires. I thought of a master as being mean, beating someone into submission. I was so wrong. The New King James version and others gives a better translation as Teacher so when I think of having a master in the light of having a teacher I can begin to understand better. To have a master and to be mastered isn't the same.

God doesn't make me or you do what He wants. Life would be so much easier if He would. Then we wouldn't make so many mistakes and their wouldn't be so much suffering in the world. But, God in his wisdom, didn't create us with that in mind. He made us so He could have a personal relationship with us built on love. That is a lot to think about on a cold fall night. It IS still fall isn't it?

Thursday, November 20, 2008

Not knowing

Romans 8:26

In the same way, the Spirit helps us in our weakness. We do not know what we ought to pray for, but the Spirit himself intercedes for us with groans that words cannot express.


Sometimes you just don't know what or how to pray, but thank God, the Spirit himself does and can.

Wednesday, November 19, 2008

An acrostic poem

Psalm 34
Of David. When he pretended to be insane before Abimelech, who drove him away, and he left.
1 I will extol the LORD at all times;
his praise will always be on my lips.
2 My soul will boast in the LORD;
let the afflicted hear and rejoice.

3 Glorify the LORD with me;
let us exalt his name together.

4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me;
he delivered me from all my fears.

5 Those who look to him are radiant;
their faces are never covered with shame.

6 This poor man called, and the LORD heard him;
he saved him out of all his troubles.

7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.

8 Taste and see that the LORD is good;
blessed is the man who takes refuge in him.

9 Fear the LORD, you his saints,
for those who fear him lack nothing.

10 The lions may grow weak and hungry,
but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

11 Come, my children, listen to me;
I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

12 Whoever of you loves life
and desires to see many good days,

13 keep your tongue from evil
and your lips from speaking lies.

14 Turn from evil and do good;
seek peace and pursue it.

15 The eyes of the LORD are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their cry;

16 the face of the LORD is against those who do evil,
to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

17 The righteous cry out, and the LORD hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.

18 The LORD is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.

19 A righteous man may have many troubles,
but the LORD delivers him from them all;

20 he protects all his bones,
not one of them will be broken.

21 Evil will slay the wicked;
the foes of the righteous will be condemned.

22 The LORD redeems his servants;
no one will be condemned who takes refuge in him.


I think it's rather cool that this psalm is an acrostic poem, the verses of which begin with the successive letters of the Hebrew alphabet.

Tuesday, November 18, 2008

Praise

13 The trumpeters and singers joined in unison, as with one voice, to give praise and thanks to the LORD. Accompanied by trumpets, cymbals and other instruments, they raised their voices in praise to the LORD and sang:
"He is good;
his love endures forever."
Then the temple of the LORD was filled with a cloud, 14 and the priests could not perform their service because of the cloud, for the glory of the LORD filled the temple of God.


II Chronicles 5:13-14

Monday, November 17, 2008

Learning authority

Romans 13: 1-7

1 Everyone must submit himself to the governing authorities, for there is no authority except that which God has established. The authorities that exist have been established by God.

2Consequently, he who rebels against the authority is rebelling against what God has instituted, and those who do so will bring judgment on themselves.

3For rulers hold no terror for those who do right, but for those who do wrong. Do you want to be free from fear of the one in authority? Then do what is right and he will commend you.

4For he is God's servant to do you good. But if you do wrong, be afraid, for he does not bear the sword for nothing. He is God's servant, an agent of wrath to bring punishment on the wrongdoer.

5Therefore, it is necessary to submit to the authorities, not only because of possible punishment but also because of conscience.

6This is also why you pay taxes, for the authorities are God's servants, who give their full time to governing.

7Give everyone what you owe him: If you owe taxes, pay taxes; if revenue, then revenue; if respect, then respect; if honor, then honor.


As I sit this morning with my coffee and turn to my Bible I am thankful for His word that can speak to me on so many levels. I smiled this morning thinking how thankful I am for my family, home, country and for my place on this earth. This weekend just couldn't get any better than having my granddaughters spend the weekend. Watching them grow and explore all things new is amazing.

Carley Ann found my old rubics cube. We had a fine time playing and she giggled each time we made another side of the puzzle fall in place. I looked for it this morning but it's disappeared probably under the couch or tucked away in the toy bin.

Terri and I took the girls to the Christmas village market to see all the trees decorated with different ornaments. Santa was there but Carley Ann and Anna Claire wouldn't get near him. Carley Ann said his beard was too long and she liked the Santa only when his beard was short. She did shake the elf's hand and smiled at the gingerbread man. Anna Claire wouldn't look and kept her head buried in her mothers shoulder. I did see her take a quick peak just once. These are such happy days.

Monday, November 3, 2008

Calling all sinners

10While Jesus was having dinner at Matthew's house, many tax collectors and "sinners" came and ate with him and his disciples. 11When the Pharisees saw this, they asked his disciples, "Why does your teacher eat with tax collectors and 'sinners'?"

12On hearing this, Jesus said, "It is not the healthy who need a doctor, but the sick. 13But go and learn what this means: 'I desire mercy, not sacrifice. For I have not come to call the righteous, but sinners."


Matthew 9: 10-13

Friday, October 31, 2008

Remember where you came from

The Value of Diligence

1 Cast your bread upon the waters,
For you will find it after many days.

2 Give a serving to seven, and also to eight,
For you do not know what evil will be on the earth.
3 If the clouds are full of rain,

They empty themselves upon the earth;
And if a tree falls to the south or the north,
In the place where the tree falls, there it shall lie.

4 He who observes the wind will not sow,
And he who regards the clouds will not reap.

5 As you do not know what is the way of the wind,
Or how the bones grow in the womb of her who is with child,
So you do not know the works of God who makes everything.

6 In the morning sow your seed,
And in the evening do not withhold your hand;
For you do not know which will prosper,
Either this or that,
Or whether both alike will be good.

7 Truly the light is sweet,
And it is pleasant for the eyes to behold the sun;

8 But if a man lives many years
And rejoices in them all,
Yet let him remember the days of darkness,
For they will be many.
All that is coming is vanity.


Ruth and I had a wonderful day painting yesterday. We painted from a yard tucked beneath a mountain. Well, I call it a mountain, I know that those that live out west where the mountains live would call my mountain just a hill. Same thing with things that bother us or problems we have to solve. To us they are mountains, but to others they are just hills.

Thursday, October 30, 2008

Consider your life

Ecclesiastes 9: 1-12

1 For I considered all this in my heart, so that I could declare it all: that the righteous and the wise and their works are in the hand of God. People know neither love nor hatred by anything they see before them.

2 All things come alike to all:
One event happens to the righteous and the wicked;
To the good,the clean, and the unclean;
To him who sacrifices and him who does not sacrifice.
As is the good, so is the sinner;
He who takes an oath as he who fears an oath.


3 This is an evil in all that is done under the sun: that one thing happens to all. Truly the hearts of the sons of men are full of evil; madness is in their hearts while they live, and after that they go to the dead. 4 But for him who is joined to all the living there is hope, for a living dog is better than a dead lion.
5 For the living know that they will die;
But the dead know nothing,
And they have no more reward,
For the memory of them is forgotten.
6 Also their love, their hatred, and their envy have now perished;
Nevermore will they have a share
In anything done under the sun.
7 Go, eat your bread with joy,
And drink your wine with a merry heart;
For God has already accepted your works.
8 Let your garments always be white,
And let your head lack no oil.


9 Live joyfully with the wife whom you love all the days of your vain life which He has given you under the sun, all your days of vanity; for that is your portion in life, and in the labor which you perform under the sun.

10 Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might; for there is no work or device or knowledge or wisdom in the grave where you are going.

11 I returned and saw under the sun that—

The race is not to the swift,
Nor the battle to the strong,
Nor bread to the wise,
Nor riches to men of understanding,
Nor favor to men of skill;
But time and chance happen to them all.


12 For man also does not know his time:
Like fish taken in a cruel net,
Like birds caught in a snare,
So the sons of men are snared in an evil time,
When it falls suddenly upon them.


Ruth and I had a wonderful time yesterday painting. It was a bit chilly in the morning hours, so we waited to paint in the afternoon. Ruth painted two paintings and I painted one which I promptly wiped off. I so enjoyed getting my paint into my brushes again. Work is good for the soul.

Wednesday, October 29, 2008

Dreams

Ecclesiastes 5: 1-7

1 Guard your steps when you go to the house of God. Go near to listen rather than to offer the sacrifice of fools, who do not know that they do wrong.
2 Do not be quick with your mouth,
do not be hasty in your heart
to utter anything before God.
God is in heaven
and you are on earth,
so let your words be few.

3 As a dream comes when there are many cares,
so the speech of a fool when there are many words.

4 When you make a vow to God, do not delay in fulfilling it. He has no pleasure in fools; fulfill your vow. 5 It is better not to vow than to make a vow and not fulfill it. 6 Do not let your mouth lead you into sin. And do not protest to the temple messenger, "My vow was a mistake." Why should God be angry at what you say and destroy the work of your hands? 7 Much dreaming and many words are meaningless. Therefore stand in awe of God.


Last night I had another dream that for the life of me I can imagine why I'm dreaming. Nothing like that seems to be on my mind and I don't have a problem like my dream I'm trying to work out. Still, there's that dream that keeps popping up. Then I woke to find this passage looking thru me.

...

Ruth arrived safely, today we'll paint and enjoy each others company. I am so thankful for my life and all the plans God has for me even if most of the the time I don't have a clue what those plans are. No need to listen to dreams, thank God.

Tuesday, October 28, 2008

Sold

14For we know that the law is spiritual: but I am carnal, sold under sin.

15For that which I do I allow not: for what I would, that do I not; but what I hate, that do I.

16If then I do that which I would not, I consent unto the law that it is good.

17Now then it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

18For I know that in me (that is, in my flesh,) dwelleth no good thing: for to will is present with me; but how to perform that which is good I find not.

19For the good that I would I do not: but the evil which I would not, that I do.

20Now if I do that I would not, it is no more I that do it, but sin that dwelleth in me.

21I find then a law, that, when I would do good, evil is present with me.

22For I delight in the law of God after the inward man:

23But I see another law in my members, warring against the law of my mind, and bringing me into captivity to the law of sin which is in my members.

24O wretched man that I am! who shall deliver me from the body of this death?

25I thank God through Jesus Christ our Lord. So then with the mind I myself serve the law of God; but with the flesh the law of sin.


Romans 7:14-25
I love this verse. At first it rolls off everyone's tongue like a tongue twister and a bit of a puzzle but after really looking and hearing, just about everyone sees that it's just a picture of our human condition. We all sin and most of us hate sin. I would venture to say that even those that enjoy sin actually deep down don't really want to sin.

I think until we actually are faced with spiritual law we don't see how really sinful we are. It's like my paintings. I think they are GREAT until I go see some in a museum or even put them beside some of the work of my friends. Then I see. :)

Praying today for safe travel for my friend Ruth. She will be coming to spend a few days with me. I haven't seen her in about 5 years and it will be good to connect again and have time to enjoy her company.
This is one of her paintings and it belongs to ME! :) BIG GRIN It's my Tuesday Treasure. :)




See more of Ruth's paintings here.

Monday, October 27, 2008

Evidence

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.
Hebrews 11:1

It is hard to believe in something you can't see. I'm thankful today for healing that can't be explained for my friends Johnny B. and Sandy. The doctors at Houston medical told them that they do not preform miracles, but they see them every day.

Be well Johnny and enjoy your life.

Sunday, October 26, 2008

Under our feet

Psalm 8 To the Chief Musician. On the instrument of Gath. A Psalm of David.


1 O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth, Who have set Your glory above the heavens!

2 Out of the mouth of babes and nursing infants You have ordained strength, Because of Your enemies, That You may silence the enemy and the avenger.

3 When I consider Your heavens, the work of Your fingers, The moon and the stars, which You have ordained,

4 What is man that You are mindful of him, And the son of man that You visit him?

5 For You have made him a little lower than the angels, And You have crowned him with glory and honor.

6 You have made him to have dominion over the works of Your hands; You have put all things under his feet,

7 All sheep and oxen— Even the beasts of the field,

8 The birds of the air, And the fish of the sea That pass through the paths of the seas.

9 O LORD, our Lord, How excellent is Your name in all the earth!


Praises to God this morning. I woke in the middle of a dream, I remember I was trying to explain a point to someone and I kept getting interrupted. I never did get to make my point, but had made it to others earlier in the dream so maybe the others would pass it on. Don't know. Can't get back there. :) Then I fixed my coffee and opened my Bible to this passage. As happens many times, I paused over the scripture before heading to read my scriptures for today in a Bible study I'm doing on the book of John.

Friday, October 24, 2008

Now showing

Psalm 73 - A Psalm of Asaph.


1 Truly God is good to Israel,
To such as are pure in heart.
2 But as for me, my feet had almost stumbled;
My steps had nearly slipped.
3 For I was envious of the boastful,
When I saw the prosperity of the wicked.

4 For there are no pangs in their death,
But their strength is firm.
5 They are not in trouble as other men,
Nor are they plagued like other men.
6 Therefore pride serves as their necklace;
Violence covers them like a garment.
7 Their eyes bulge[a] with abundance;
They have more than heart could wish.
8 They scoff and speak wickedly concerning oppression;
They speak loftily.
9 They set their mouth against the heavens,
And their tongue walks through the earth.

10 Therefore his people return here,
And waters of a full cup are drained by them.
11 And they say, “How does God know?
And is there knowledge in the Most High?”
12 Behold, these are the ungodly,
Who are always at ease;
They increase in riches.
13 Surely I have cleansed my heart in vain,
And washed my hands in innocence.
14 For all day long I have been plagued,
And chastened every morning.

15 If I had said, “I will speak thus,”
Behold, I would have been untrue to the generation of Your children.
16 When I thought how to understand this,
It was too painful for me—
17 Until I went into the sanctuary of God;
Then I understood their end.

18 Surely You set them in slippery places;
You cast them down to destruction.
19 Oh, how they are brought to desolation, as in a moment!
They are utterly consumed with terrors.
20 As a dream when one awakes,
So, Lord, when You awake,
You shall despise their image.

21 Thus my heart was grieved,
And I was vexed in my mind.
22 I was so foolish and ignorant;
I was like a beast before You.
23 Nevertheless I am continually with You;
You hold me by my right hand.
24 You will guide me with Your counsel,
And afterward receive me to glory.

25 Whom have I in heaven but You?
And there is none upon earth that I desire besides You.
26 My flesh and my heart fail;
But God is the strength of my heart and my portion forever.

27 For indeed, those who are far from You shall perish;
You have destroyed all those who desert You for harlotry.
28 But it is good for me to draw near to God;
I have put my trust in the Lord GOD,
That I may declare all Your works.


Yesterday afternoon I took my mom to the Ritz theatre to see "Billy", about the early years of Billy Graham. Both of us really enjoyed it. Hope you get to go see it. This is a movie of fiction based on facts, but again, I think you will really enjoy it. :) See the Christian Post review

Sometimes you just have to try eating cereal another way.

Thursday, October 23, 2008

To my King and my God

Psalm 5

1 Give ear to my words, O LORD,
Consider my meditation.
2 Give heed to the voice of my cry,
My King and my God,
For to You I will pray.
3 My voice You shall hear in the morning, O LORD;
In the morning I will direct it to You,
And I will look up.

4 For You are not a God who takes pleasure in wickedness,
Nor shall evil dwell with You.
5 The boastful shall not stand in Your sight;
You hate all workers of iniquity.
6 You shall destroy those who speak falsehood;
The LORD abhors the bloodthirsty and deceitful man.

7 But as for me, I will come into Your house in the multitude of Your mercy;
In fear of You I will worship toward Your holy temple.
8 Lead me, O LORD, in Your righteousness because of my enemies;
Make Your way straight before my face.

9 For there is no faithfulness in their mouth;
Their inward part is destruction;
Their throat is an open tomb;
They flatter with their tongue.
10 Pronounce them guilty, O God!
Let them fall by their own counsels;
Cast them out in the multitude of their transgressions,
For they have rebelled against You.

11 But let all those rejoice who put their trust in You;
Let them ever shout for joy, because You defend them;
Let those also who love Your name
Be joyful in You.
12 For You, O LORD, will bless the righteous;
With favor You will surround him as with a shield




Yes, this is another photo of the children. Praying today that God will surround all of us with his shield to protect us in whatever we do. I know we don't have to keep asking for what God has already promised us, but I think of it as not so much asking as confirming just like we all do when we greet someone or as we are leaving when we say "love you." I am very thankful for His protection and thankful I can talk to my King and my God anytime and He listens.

Wednesday, October 22, 2008

Children are a heritage from the Lord

Psalm 127


1 Unless the LORD builds the house,
They labor in vain who build it;
Unless the LORD guards the city,
The watchman stays awake in vain.

2 It is vain for you to rise up early,
To sit up late,
To eat the bread of sorrows;
For so He gives His beloved sleep.

3 Behold, children are a heritage from the LORD,
The fruit of the womb is a reward.

4 Like arrows in the hand of a warrior,
So are the children of one’s youth.

5 Happy is the man who has his quiver full of them;
They shall not be ashamed,
But shall speak with their enemies in the gate.


I thank God for the blessings in my life and the opportunity not only to have children in my youth, but grandchildren that make me smile every day.

Monday, October 20, 2008

Full Circle

For eyerything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven.
Ecclesiastes 3:1

It's finally fall here in Georgia. The air is crisp and there is talk of frost. The trees know it and are turning all colors and getting ready for a winter's rest so they can have strength to start anew in spring and shade us in summer.

Our lives run in cycles too. It's God's Spirit that helps us through them, helps us grow and mature using each cycle for our good. It's fun to think about us starting out like little seeds nurtured by God helping us through the trials of our lives to make us wiser and complete in Him. Each cycle has a purpose fitting us in the larger plan He has for all of us and each cycle builds on the next making a full circle to repeat over and over until the "season" is finished.

It doesn't really matter what "season" we happen to be in. God sees and works in our lives even when we are not aware. This past week has been a busy week for me. Terri and the girls spent the entire week with me as Brent went on a misson trip to help build houses in Mississippi. It was a wonderful week for all of us and now the house is much too quiet. It's another cycle come and gone. I smile and look forward to daybreak to see what God will show me this day on this wonderful earth.

Friday, October 17, 2008

Justice

Psalm 111
1 Praise the LORD. I will extol the LORD with all my heart in the council of the upright and in the assembly.

2 Great are the works of the LORD; they are pondered by all who delight in them.

3 Glorious and majestic are his deeds, and his righteousness endures forever.

4 He has caused his wonders to be remembered; the LORD is gracious and compassionate.

5 He provides food for those who fear him; he remembers his covenant forever.

6 He has shown his people the power of his works, giving them the lands of other nations.

7 The works of his hands are faithful and just; all his precepts are trustworthy.

8 They are steadfast for ever and ever, done in faithfulness and uprightness.

9 He provided redemption for his people; he ordained his covenant forever— holy and awesome is his name.

10 The fear of the LORD is the beginning of wisdom; all who follow his precepts have good understanding. To him belongs eternal praise.


Thursday, October 16, 2008

Crucified with Christ

Galatians 2:20
International Standard Version (©2008)
I no longer live, but the Messiah lives in me, and the life that I am now living in this body I live by the faithfulness of the Son of God, who loved me and gave himself for me.
New American Standard Bible (©1995)
"I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I who live, but Christ lives in me; and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by faith in the Son of God, who loved me and gave Himself up for me.

GOD'S WORD® Translation (©1995)
I no longer live, but Christ lives in me. The life I now live I live by believing in God's Son, who loved me and took the punishment for my sins.

King James Bible
I am crucified with Christ: neverthless I live; yet not I, but Christ liveth in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

American King James Version
I am crucified with Christ: nevertheless I live; yet not I, but Christ lives in me: and the life which I now live in the flesh I live by the faith of the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself for me.

American Standard Version
I have been crucified with Christ; and it is no longer I that live, but Christ living in me: and that life which I now live in the flesh I live in faith, the faith which is in the Son of God, who loved me, and gave himself up for me.



No one can be united with Christ until he is willing. To be crucified with Christ takes more than just asking for forgiveness, it takes giving up your old life, your old way of looking at things and seeing, feeling, hearing with the eyes of Christ. Does this hurt? Yes. Maybe part of it is like growing pains. When we begin to see ourselves in our sinful nature and see what Jesus Christ did for us... taking on all our sin, we realize what a sacrifice it was and how painful it was not only for Jesus, but for God too.

Thinking about being crucified with Christ brings me back to thinking about submission and how the crucifiction was the ultimate submission act. God submitted to us, Jesus submitted to us and now we can make the choice to submit to Him. Submission is an act of love not a duty or a chore.

Wednesday, October 15, 2008

Lightbulb moment

40 Then Jesus said, "Did I not tell you that if you believed, you would see the glory of God?" John 11:40


In my Bible study class last night we were talking about the glory of God and Jenny, our leader, asked us to give a definition of glory. I don't think I had ever thought about what glory actually meant until last night. Think about it. Glory must be something we just can't comprehend, better than anything we can think about.

Before we see the glory of God we have to believe. It's in the daily walk, our daily trust in God, that we begin to really see Him and His glory. Each day we take that walk our faith grows stronger. Each day we take that walk we understand more, love more and can give more. That is why it is hard for those that don't believe to understand how important building a personal relationship with Jesus is. Once a persons believes they are able to see the glory of God. Until they believe the glory of God is hidden from them. Understanding this helps us better relate to those that don't believe in Jesus. They can't see God as we do. It's only when they take those first steps to believing that His glory is revealed. I'm picturing a man or woman walking toward a light they see in the distance. The closer they get the brighter and more awesome it becomes. Maybe that's why folks say they have a light-bulb moment when they begin to understand something. They finally see the light. :)

Tuesday, October 14, 2008

On Prayer

9 “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you.

10 For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened.

11 If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish?

12 Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion?

13 If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”
Luke 11: 9-13

When I think of someone praying I first think of someone either on bended knees or sitting at a table with hands folded, but prayer doesn't rely on posture. Prayer relies on the Holy Spirit.

When we choose Christ as our Savior we automatically have the life of the Son of God living in us. Then we can choose to either nurture or starve that life.

I know many times in my life I've thought of prayer as a means of getting things for myself but the bible idea of prayer is that we may get to know God himself. Jesus said that we should become like little children and I believe it's that childlike wonder that He wants from us. He wants our complete trust, our faith in Him, our devotion. It's in that spirit that God will give us all good gifts even those that we have not even asked for.

Also, I think it's the very things that we haven't asked for, but trust God to give us what we need, that are the most important things for us to recognize. Maybe we never will recognize them. Maybe they are all woven in the fabric of our lives just as the mystery of breathing in and breathing out is. When you get right down to it, our lives are miracles. Prayer and praying is like that. It's not so much that prayer changes things as it is prayer changes us.


Monday, October 13, 2008

Stewards

1 Peter 4:10

Like good stewards of the manifold grace of God, serve one another with whatever gift each of you has received.


What was I thinking? Last night I forgot to let Cocoapuff back in after Anna Claire and Carley Ann had opened the door for her to go out. I suppose I got so busy getting Anna Claire settled down and into bed, I forgot poor little Cocoapuff. It wasn't until this morning when I sat down at the computer I heard her crys at the door. Fortunately she was okay... but a little misty from the morning dew.

Lately I've been thinking about our responsibilities and how God has given us charge over animals and all the earth. We are their protectors just as we are protectors of our earth. I've been working on a new garden plot just outside the studio. It's a small spot but I am determined to make it be the best. I hope next year I will be able to put in some vegetables to enjoy and maybe save a little on the grocery bill.

We also have responsibilities to serve one another. This also has been heavy on my heart of late and what I'll be thinking of today.

Sunday, October 12, 2008

Sending Love

The Lord will swallow up death forever. The Sovereign Lord will wipe away the tears from all faces.
Isaiah 25:8

Today I learned of the passing of a sweet, precious soul... a son of a friend of mine. His name was Ronald. Ronald was severely disabled and so medically fragile all during his 19 years. His presence in this world proved to be such a blessing to his parents. I know the heart space he occupied will be with all those that loved him forever. He has a twin brother Anthony who suffers from the same debilating illness so his parents have many concerns for him since they don't yet know the actual cause of Ronalds death. Abby, their 9 year old daughter who is turning into a great little artist just like her mother, will also have lots of questions that will need special answers since she is such a smart little girl but yet not quite old enough to take it all in. Please help me pray for this family that they will know the love and peace of God during this time.

7And the peace of God, which transcends all understanding, will guard your hearts and your minds in Christ Jesus.
Philippians 4:7


Ronald

Friday, October 10, 2008

Endurance

James 1:3

The testing of your faith produces endurance.


I've learned so much by studying God's word and mediating on His promises, but I also learn by the way I see God working in the everyday experiences of my life and others. It takes opening your ears and your eyes.

Same thing with painting. Today I want to share a painting by one of the hardest working ladies I know, Linda Blondheim. She is talented in so many areas I hardly see how she can just focus on one. I suppose she does it one thing at the time, but looking at her blog, you'd never know it. Enjoy, it's one of my favorites. You can email Linda from her web at http://www.lindablondheim.com At this moment, the painting is available but look at all her other work... and look at her blog. You'll see what I'm talking about.



Oaks and Palms
14x18 inches
oil on canvas
1100.00
shipping 75.00
gold or silver frame

Thursday, October 9, 2008

Being one

John 15:5

5 “I am the vine, you are the branches. He who abides in Me, and I in him, bears much fruit; for without Me you can do nothing.


I love this passage for many reasons, but more because Jesus is talking directly to us and telling us how to live. He doesn't tell us to copy what he does. He tells us that we are both the same when we are living within each other. He in us and we in Him.

Now, I'm just a lay person and don't have a great deal of book theology behind me so in the beginning I thought of Jesus as a person to copy to emulate like you would someone you admire or hope to be like one day. Growing as a Christian I realized my thinking was wrong once I read this verse and remembered the goal is not to copy, but rather be. Don't get me wrong, I don't mean be Jesus, I mean have Him live in me and have me live in Him. Being one, that's the goal.


This is a painting by my friend L. Diane Johnson. The painting is sold, but you can find more of her work by going to http://www.ldianejohnson.com Or,it is also in print at Art.com:

http://www.art.com/asp/sp-asp/_/PD--12119367/SP--C/IGID--12119367/Vineyard_in_the_Garden.htm?sOrig=CRT&sOrigId=66290&ui=82681C8CE94D431BA89CD2862B2148A1

Enjoy

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Faith

Hebrews 11:1

Now faith is the substance of things hoped for, the evidence of things not seen.


Somewhere between being a child and trusting God's abilities and becomming a Mature Christian like I think of my grandmother being, we fall into the chasm of doubt. Well, that statement might be a bit strong, but I know I've felt the seeds of doubt trying to take root in my head... but thankfully my heart stops them.

In this age of information one has to realize that everything that is in print or on the TV is not the gospel truth. More and more I hear and see folks trying to tear down our faith and belief in God, Jesus, and the Holdy Spirit.

I tell my self... hold on... God has promised you wisdom. Walking with Him will get me and you there.

Tuesday's Treasure: Yes, I have one for today. Well, I don't actually have one in my house, but my mother does and I've always loved them.

Monday, October 6, 2008

Forgiveness

1 John 1:9

If we confess our sins, He is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.


"None of us are 100% perfect", I heard Pastor Bill Barber say in the pulpit yesterday. How many times have I heard and even said that? Still the guilt of sin lingers on and on even after we have realized our sin, confessed our sin, and know we are forgiven. Why is that? I think one reason is because even though we know God has forgiven us, we can't forgive ourselves and perhaps feel that others haven't forgiven us.

There have been many articles written about how to forgive yourself. A search on the Internet using search words of "forgiving yourself" yields link after link for consideration. Web MD has several pages about your health and forgiveness. Just as being forgiven is a personal act between the person and God, so is self-forgiveness. Although God forgives instantly, we are not God. The process of self-forgiveness is slower as we gain wisdom and understanding of how and why sin entered in our lives in the first place. With God's forgiveness power we begin to forgive ourselves and continue our life journey. Without His power we can do nothing.

I am thankful that God immediately forgives. I'm also thankful that He is patient with me as I continue to find ways to forgive myself and realize that none of us are 100% perfect.... for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. (Romans 3:23)

Sunday, October 5, 2008

Contentement

Hebrews 13:5

Let your conversation be without covetousness; and be content with such things as ye have; for he hath said, I will never leave thee, nor forsake thee.


I know in the he back of my head, and sometimes the front of my head, what's happening to my 401K right this very minute bothers me. The problem with being content with what I have is my need to hold on to what I have if that makes any sense at all. I worry and I am afraid for myself, others and our country.

We are promised that we would never be left alone or that He would ever forsake us. I know I trust the promises of God. I take a deep breath with the assurance He knows everything about me and will take care of me. In God I trust.

Friday, October 3, 2008

Time alone

Psalm 62:1

Truly my soul waited upon God: from Him cometh my salvation.


In the Bible we read many accounts where people including Jesus would seek out solitude so they could talk with God one on one. I catch myself saying a quick prayer here and there, doing my devotion time and then going about my daily life.

God listens patiently but I know He wants more. He wants more because He wants to give us more. I know this is true because the times I have given my relationship with God the time and effort it deserves, I have felt His presence, His love, His guidance, His power in my life beyond anything I expected or certainly deserved.

No, I don't think we have to have a mountaintop or desert experience every day. I just think time alone with God in a new place reconnects us in a way that living our routine Christian lives can't.

Today is my son's birthday. I remember well the day the nurses placed that baby boy in my arms. I think I share a common experience with many mothers and fathers when they say they know their children were a gift from God. Brent certainly was and still is. I'm thankful for God's presence that day in the hospital and for His continued presence in all our lives.

Thursday, October 2, 2008

Short Story

Luke 9:23

23 Then He said to them all, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross daily, and follow Me.


I've read that Ernest Hemingway was challenged to write a story in six words. After he had done that he said he felt it was his greatest work. The words read, "For sale: baby shoes, never used." Reading this story tells the story, but leaves one wanting to dig further as to why. It's human nature to want to know why.

We all have heard and even repeated Luke 9:23 but for each of us the answer to what it means is different with each new day we face. Even the words "take up his cross" will mean different things to different people because Jesus is speaking directly to the reader when he says his cross. We don't pick up the cross of others, but rather pick up our own cross... daily. It's all part of accepting Jesus Christ by faith. One commentary by Darrell Bock, I read said it like this:

The essence of discipleship is humility before God. That humility expresses itself as self-denial. Taking up the cross daily and following Jesus means approaching ministry in the world as he did. He served and gave of himself daily, even to the cultural ignominy of publicly bearing rejection on the cross (Acts 5:30; Gal 3:13). The Savior bore rejection and death for others, and the disciple must follow in the same path of service. We must be prepared to accept rejection as a given. Everything Jesus teaches his disciples in chapters 9--19 will underscore this point.


Other commentaries said the cross is not ours but the cross of Jesus. Either way, I feel Jesus meant it to be the same. It's a short story with big impact and I am thankful for the message and the desire to know more.

Monday, September 29, 2008

It's a mystery

James 4: 15

For that ye ought to say, If the lord will, we shall live, and do this, or that.


I love a good mystery, but have to admit to jumping to the end chapters on occasion just to find out if I'm headed in the right direction with my thinking. For many of us, God's will for our lives is a mystery. We want to jump to the end chapters so we can better understand why some things happen to us the way they do and just how God will work our problems out for our good. I have to be honest when I say sometimes I doubt some of the things that have happened to me are for my good, but then I realize it's all part of the mystery. We will not be able to read the final chapter until we reach heaven and I'm counting on being there!



I think Anna Claire is worried about the bugs, but as usual, Carley Ann doesn't care. :) They are both little mustard seeds ready to soak in all God has to offer, grow and learn and enjoy life.

Sunday, September 28, 2008

Your will be done

Luke 11: 1

1 Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.”
2 So He said to them, “When you pray, say:

Our Father in heaven,
Hallowed be Your name.
Your kingdom come.
Your will be done
On earth as it is in heaven.
3 Give us day by day our daily bread.
4 And forgive us our sins,
For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us.
And do not lead us into temptation,
But deliver us from the evil one.”


It's been said that a man will suffer in this life if he doesn't pray, but I think they have this confused with the material and physical aspects of life. What will suffer is the life of Jesus in him, which is norished not by food, but by prayer.

It's not so much that "prayer changes things" as it is that prayer changes us. Our conversations with God bring us closer to Him and we find that His ways are so much better than anything we could choose for ourselves.

Saturday, September 27, 2008

The power of prayer

Hebrews 4:16
Let us therefore come boldly to the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy and find grace to help in time of need.


God knows you. He knew you before you were even born. He knows your strengths, weaknesses, needs and wants. God is all knowing and his wisdom is beyond anything we can even imagine. He would not honor any request that would injure or harm you or disgrace His name. He wants the best for you and everyone else. What a comfort!

Remember that Jesus has left promises for all of us. He has ascended into Heaven and is now at the right hand of God making intercession for us. We have power in prayer because prayer can do anything that God can do!

God is able to do all things that are true to His nature and character. For that reason we shouldn’t expect God to help us do something wrong because He cannot sin. Sometimes we feel that our prayers aren’t being heard because we don’t get the answer we think we should. We have to remember that our wisdom is not the wisdom of God. Be strong knowing there is power in prayer and God will work out all things for the good of all who love Him.

Creamy Hash brown Casserole

1 package (30 ounces) frozen shredded hash brown potatoes, thawed
2 cups (16 ounces) sour cream
2 cups (8 ounces) shredded sharp cheddar cheese
1 can (10.75 ounces) condensed cream of chicken soup, undiluted
1/2 cup chopped onion
1/4 cup butter, melted
2 tablespoons chopped fresh parsley
1/2 teaspoon pepper
1/4 teaspoon salt

In a large bowl, combine all ingredients. Transfer to ungreased 2 quart baking dish. Bake, uncovered, at 250 degrees for 1 hour or until heated through. Yield; 8-10 servings. This dish is definitely not low cal or low fat, but is definitely wonderful.

Saturday, September 20, 2008

Seeking

1 Chronicles 16:11

Seek the Lord and his strength seek his face continually.

Thursday, September 18, 2008

Call home

Psalm 8:1
1 O LORD, our Lord,
How excellent is Your name in all the earth,
Who have set Your glory above the heavens!


Psalm 9:10

And those who know thy name will put their trust in Thee; for Thou, O Lord, has not forsaken those who seek Thee.



Master

Luke 5:5

5 But Simon answered and said to Him, “Master, we have toiled all night and caught nothing; nevertheless at Your word I will let down the net.”


The question today, for me, is do I call him Master? That word makes me think deep about what it means to have a master. Simon called Jesus Master. I don't think I've ever actaully called Him master, but from now on I will.

Wednesday, September 17, 2008

Glory

John 17: 1-5

1 Jesus spoke these words, lifted up His eyes to heaven, and said: “Father, the hour has come. Glorify Your Son, that Your Son also may glorify You,

2 as You have given Him authority over all flesh, that He should give eternal life to as many as You have given Him.

3 And this is eternal life, that they may know You, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom You have sent.

4 I have glorified You on the earth. I have finished the work which You have given Me to do.

5 And now, O Father, glorify Me together with Yourself, with the glory which I had with You before the world was.


What an awesome picture of Jesus fully man yet fully God.

John 10:28-30

28 And I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; neither shall anyone snatch them out of My hand.

29 My Father, who has given them to Me, is greater than all; and no one is able to snatch them out of My Father’s hand.

30 I and My Father are one.”

I looked up the word glorify in the dictionary because I caught myself wondering exactly what that word meant to me. Take a look... Glorify. To be honest with you, I can't think of this word without thinking of Jesus. I know we use the word to describe other events or people like when we say, " Well, that's just a glorified version ...", but still when I think of being glorified, I think of Jesus.

I can hear my Grandmother say the word "glory". She used it in her best southern drawl to exclaim something so unbelievably beautiful or astounding as not had been seen or thought of before. This is what I believe we will be wrapped in when we die and become present with the Lord. Glory.

Tuesday, September 16, 2008

Love again

Romans 5:5

1 Therefore, having been justified by faith, we have peace with God through our Lord Jesus Christ,

2 through whom also we have access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and rejoice in hope of the glory of God.

3 And not only that, but we also glory in tribulations, knowing that tribulation produces perseverance;

4 and perseverance, character; and character, hope.

5 Now hope does not disappoint, because the love of God has been poured out in our hearts by the Holy Spirit who was given to us.


Where does love come from? The answer is found in verse 5 of Romans 5. Love can't be forced; love isn't premeditated. Love is spontaneous and comes upon us when we least expect it. I'm not sure I even have adequate words to say what love is, but am reminded that in human terms, even Forrest Gump knew what love is and said so. "I'm not a smart man, but I know what love is." We can list the attributes of love like it says in 1 Corinthians 13.


1 Though I speak with the tongues of men and of angels, but have not love, I have become sounding brass or a clanging cymbal.

2 And though I have the gift of prophecy, and understand all mysteries and all knowledge, and though I have all faith, so that I could remove mountains, but have not love, I am nothing.

3 And though I bestow all my goods to feed the poor, and though I give my body to be burned, but have not love, it profits me nothing.

4 Love suffers long and is kind; love does not envy; love does not parade itself, is not puffed up;

5 does not behave rudely, does not seek its own, is not provoked, thinks no evil;

6 does not rejoice in iniquity, but rejoices in the truth;

7 bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

8 Love never fails. But whether there are prophecies, they will fail; whether there are tongues, they will cease; whether there is knowledge, it will vanish away.

9 For we know in part and we prophesy in part.

10 But when that which is perfect has come, then that which is in part will be done away.

11 When I was a child, I spoke as a child, I understood as a child, I thought as a child; but when I became a man, I put away childish things.

12 For now we see in a mirror, dimly, but then face to face. Now I know in part, but then I shall know just as I also am known.

13 And now abide faith, hope, love, these three; but the greatest of these is love.


That passage always brings tears to my eyes and speaks to me on so many levels that most of the time I have to just put my Bible down and pray without going further. Maybe it's a woman thing, I'm not sure. So I pray and then feel the love of God through His closeness by faith with hope.

The springs of love are in God, not us. God is love. Try as we might, we will never be able prove how much we love Him by our planned efforts. Of course there is nothing wrong with making plans to do good things but the real evidence of our love for God comes spontaneously by the out pouring of the Holy Spirit as we go about our daily lives. When God's love pours out of us without us even realizing it, we find love.

Matthew 25: 40
40 And the King will answer and say to them, ‘Assuredly, I say to you, inasmuch as you did it to one of the least of these My brethren, you did it to Me.’

Monday, September 15, 2008

Asking

Jeremiah 45

1 The word that Jeremiah the prophet spoke to Baruch the son of Neriah, when he had written these words in a book at the instruction of Jeremiah, in the fourth year of Jehoiakim the son of Josiah, king of Judah, saying,

2 “Thus says the LORD, the God of Israel, to you, O Baruch:

3 ‘You said, “Woe is me now! For the LORD has added grief to my sorrow. I fainted in my sighing, and I find no rest.”’

4 “Thus you shall say to him, ‘Thus says the LORD: “Behold, what I have built I will break down, and what I have planted I will pluck up, that is, this whole land.

5 And do you seek great things for yourself? Do not seek them; for behold, I will bring adversity on all flesh,” says the LORD. “But I will give your life to you as a prize in all places, wherever you go.”’”


I don't think anyone can say that they understand completely what each scripture in the Bible is trying to say. At least that's my opinion and my experience. Often times I read and I don't understand a word. Other times I read and completely understand. Often the words I read make me have questions within myself.

This morning’s passage stops me in my tracks making me think back to "Ask and it shall be given you." What am I actually asking for? Am I asking something for myself or am I asking in complete trust that He knows and will supply everything I need because He knows my needs before I even ask?

Still, God wants to hear us. He wants to give us everything but more important, He wants us to abandon ourselves completely to His care because He sees the big picture. Through our conversations with God he is working out His ultimate perfection, listening to us, giving us what we need each day, and working it out so we might become one with Him. He takes us where we are and brings us to where He is.

Sunday, September 14, 2008

Blessed

Matthew 5: 1-12



1 And seeing the multitudes, He went up on a mountain, and when He was seated His disciples came to Him.

2 Then He opened His mouth and taught them, saying:

3 “ Blessed are the poor in spirit,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.
4 Blessed are those who mourn,
For they shall be comforted.
5 Blessed are the meek,
For they shall inherit the earth.
6 Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness,
For they shall be filled.
7 Blessed are the merciful,
For they shall obtain mercy.
8 Blessed are the pure in heart,
For they shall see God.
9 Blessed are the peacemakers,
For they shall be called sons of God.
10 Blessed are those who are persecuted for righteousness’ sake,
For theirs is the kingdom of heaven.

11 “Blessed are you when they revile and persecute you, and say all kinds of evil against you falsely for My sake.

12 Rejoice and be exceedingly glad, for great is your reward in heaven, for so they persecuted the prophets who were before you.

Saturday, September 13, 2008

All night prayer

Luke 6:12

And it came to pass in those days, that he went out into a mountain to pray, and continued all night in prayer to God.


I don't think I have ever prayed all night long except for maybe times that concerned sick children. Even then, I know I didn't pray all night because I was also taking care of them. What a image Jesus has left us to ponder. There have been a few times I have set aside special hours to pray for certain things and all of these times have been very deep and special times. It makes me wonder why I don't do this often. So many times I quickly say a prayer, study a bit and move on. Finding this verse today feels like a nudge from God to talk with Him and listen to what He says on a deeper level.

Friday, September 12, 2008

Memories of flannelgraph

Ephesians 6:13-17

13 Therefore take up the whole armor of God, that you may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

14 Stand therefore, having girded your waist with truth, having put on the breastplate of righteousness,

15 and having shod your feet with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

16 above all, taking the shield of faith with which you will be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked one.

17 And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God;




I was so happy to learn I can still get flannelgraph sets for my granddaughters! My memories of sitting on the floor while my Sunday school teacher told all about the different characters in the Bible are still with me today and I want this experience for my granddaughters. Sure they have the videos and I'm sure their teacher today works with power point and all the new tools but there is something about being able to hold baby Moses in your hand and then put him in his basket that makes the story come alive. I can't wait to order! Here's the site I found! http://forevertoys.zoovy.com/category/8a_biblefelts/



Oh... don't know what flannelgraph is? What a pity. :) http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Flannelgraph

Thursday, September 11, 2008

Armor

Ephesians 6:11-12

11 Put on the whole armor of God, that you may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

12 For we do not wrestle against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this age, against spiritual hosts of wickedness in the heavenly places.


I don't really know how many times I've studied this particular passage but visions of a flannel board with warriors being put up for us to learn from come to my mind so I know I've been reading and studying these verses since childhood. It's no wonder too because unless we do have the proper armor we will never be able to stand against the devil.

Hope you have a good day today.

Wednesday, September 10, 2008

God and His garden

John 14: 12-14

12I tell you the truth, anyone who has faith in me will do what I have been doing. He will do even greater things than these, because I am going to the Father. 13And I will do whatever you ask in my name, so that the Son may bring glory to the Father. 14You may ask me for anything in my name, and I will do it.




Email below - Author- unknown

Why do I always have to be the one that starts to do laundry and there's no detergent? I guess it was time for me to do my 'Dollar Store'run, which included light bulbs, paper towels, trash bags and Clorox. So off I go.

I scurried around the store, gathered up my goodies, and headed for the checkout counter only to be blocked in the narrow aisle by a young man that appeared to be about sixteen-years- old. I wasn't in a hurry, so I patiently waited for the boy to realize that I was there. This was when he waved his hands excitedly in the air and declared in a loud voice, 'Mommy, I'm over here.'

It was obvious now, he was mentally challenged, and also startled as he turned and saw me standing so close to him, waiting to squeeze by. His eyes widened and surprise exploded on his face as I said, 'Hey Buddy, what's your name?' 'My name is Denny and I'm shopping with my mother,' he responded proudly. 'Wow,' I said, 'that's a cool name; I wish my name was Denny, but my name is Hal.' 'Hal like Halloween?' he asked. 'Yes,' I answered. 'How old are you Denny? 'How old am I now Mommy?' he asked his mother as she slowly came over from the next aisle. 'You're fifteen-years- old Denny; now be a good boy and let the man pass by.' I acknowledged her and continued to talk to Denny for several more minutes about summer, bicycles and school. I watched his brown eyes dance with excitement because he was the center of someone's attention. He then abruptly turned and headed toward the toy section.

Denny's mom had a puzzled look on her face and thanked me for taking the time to talk with her son. She told me that most people wouldn't even look at him, much less talk to him... I told her that it was my pleasure and then I said something I have no idea where it came from, other than by the prompting of the Holy Spirit. I told her that there are plenty of red, yellow and pink roses in God's garden, however, 'Blue Roses' are very rare and should be appreciated for their beauty and distinctiveness. You see, Denny is a 'Blue Rose' and if someone doesn't stop and smell that rose with their heart and touch that rose with their kindness, then they've missed a blessing from God. She was silent for a second, then with a tear in her eye she asked, 'Who are you?' Without thinking I said, 'Oh, I'm probably just a 'daffodil or maybe even a dandelion,' but I sure love living in God's garden. ~~~~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~~~~ ~~~~~~

This email was cleaned by emailStripper, available for free from http://www.papercut.biz/emailStripper.htm

Tuesday, September 9, 2008

confidence in Him

1 John 5: 14-15

14 Now this is the confidence that we have in Him, that if we ask anything according to His will, He hears us.

15 And if we know that He hears us, whatever we ask, we know that we have the petitions that we have asked of Him.


NPR has a program called "This I Believe" where folks submit essays on what they believe. If I wrote an essay for the program, the verse quoted above would be at the heart of it.

Today's photograph is from the festival I went to over the weekend and had the opportunity to paint with a group of plein air painters. I painted but have to admit I enjoyed people watching as much as I did painting. Many of the people who came to the festival came dressed like folks did in the 1800's. A photographer had a booth behind the place I had chosen to paint and I turned and caught his photograph with my digital camera while he was busy working. I'm telling ya, I'm extremely glad I don't have to wear the clothes they ladies did in the 1800's.

Monday, September 8, 2008

Remain in His love

John 15: 7-10


7 If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be given you.

8 This is to my Father's glory, that you bear much fruit, showing yourselves to be my disciples.

9 "As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Now remain in my love.

10 If you obey my commands, you will remain in my love, just as I have obeyed my Father's commands and remain in his love.




We had a wonderful time at the paint out. It was a fun filled day with lots of old and new friends.

Sunday, September 7, 2008

What a Friend

John 16: 23-24

23 In that day you will no longer ask me anything. I tell you the truth, my Father will give you whatever you ask in my name.

24 Until now you have not asked for anything in my name. Ask and you will receive, and your joy will be complete.


Again Jesus bridges the gap between the Old Testament and the New Testament in that before Jesus people had to pray to the high priest and the high priest would pray to God for them. Now that we have Jesus, we can go to Him directly, presenting ourselves to Him and asking Him anything even down to the smallest request anyone can think of.

Listen: What a Friend we have in Jesus

Saturday, September 6, 2008

Travel prayers

Colossians 3: 16-17

16 Let the word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God.

17 And whatever you do, whether in word or deed, do it all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God the Father through him.


Today I'm off to paint at the Tunnel Hill Battle field, in Tunnel Hill, Georgia close to the Tennessee-Georgia line. I'll be meeting some of my painter friends to paint outside in the open air... heat, bugs, wind, and all that. Pray with me for save travel and to be open for whatever God plan for my life today is.

Friday, September 5, 2008

Life Experience

Romans 8:28

And we know that in all things God works for the good of those who love Him, who have been called according to His purpose.


Philippians 1:12

Now I want you to know, brothers, that what has happened to me has really served to advance the gospel.


2 Corinthians 1:4

...who comforts us in all our troubles, so that we can comfort those in any trouble with the comfort we ourselves have received from God.


Many times I have wondered why we have to go through troubling times and others have told me that we should count everything as a blessing. That's hard to do when you hurt, but turning to God for comfort makes dealing with the hurt so much easier. After the hurt is over we find that it's even easier to share our experience with those that are going through something similar.

I once read a story about a doctor who had to have a major surgery. Being a surgeon himself, he knew what the technical aspects of the surgery would be like. It wasn't until after the surgery he gained insight into what an actual patient experiences. That one surgery has made him a better surgeon. Our life experiences, good and bad, make us better equipped to share with others, offer them encouragement and fulfils God's purpose for our lives.

Thursday, September 4, 2008

All about you

1 Corinthians 2:11

No one can really know what anyone else is thinking or what he is really like, except that person himself.


In the study guide for today it asked us to write our name and then write our name using the opposite hand, and note the difference. What they were trying to get across is when we are working in our natural state we do a better job easily.

More thoughts on this a bit later.... Anna is awake and we all know that means time is all about her. :)

---
Noon:

Anna Claire and Carley Ann are safely at day school and the house is quiet. I love having them spend the night with me and last night was a real treat since I don't usually keep them in the middle of the week. I have to admit I begged to keep them last night because I am going out of town this weekend and knew I'd miss my Friday night PJ party with them. Still, it's funny how my schedule gets all out of wack when I have more than me to take care of. :)

I suppose the same thing happens when we try to work in areas that don't suit our personality. We can get all out of wack when we are trying to do something that is against our natural nature.

God has made us all different and there is no "right" or "wrong" temperament to accomplish His work. He uses the extroverted as well as the introverted. He uses thinkers and feelers. He use those that like routine and those that like variety. He uses those that are self-controlled and those that are self-expressive. He uses those that are cooperative and those that are competitive.

Since we know ourselves better than anyone else does, it would be a good thing to examine ourselves and pray about the ministry area that God may have created us for before we choose a career or a ministry area. I know many times in my life I have said yes to someone who asked if I could help in areas that I knew I really didn't have the temperament or the talent for.

Please don't ask me to sing in the choir or make posters. I can't carry a tune and I can't letter like a sign painter does. :) I will, however, do my best so be forewarned if you set next to me when I have a song book in my hands.

Wednesday, September 3, 2008

Spirit-filled

Matthew 12:34

The mouth speaks what the heart is full of.


Hebrews 4:12

The word of God ... examines the thoughts and motives of the heart.


Proverbs 4:23

"Guard your heart, for it is the wellspring of life."


When I was little we use to play a word association game where we would say a series of words and ask what they all had in common. That's sort of what I'm doing with today's verses. I'm asking myself what they have in common.

The study guide I'm using for the next few weeks tells me that the verses have to do with why I say the things I do, why I feel the way I do and why I act the way I do which are all God-given motivations. To be honest I'm a little confused over this statement because sometimes I think I don't talk, feel or act Godly and I think if these are God-given motivations I would.

Still, the guide goes on to say that almost every one of our passions (motivations) can be identified in the ministry of one of the twelve Apostles. That was interesting to me and I'll have to think further on that.

Psalm 37:4 says

Delight yourself in the Lord and he will give you the desires of your heart.


I suppose if you are delighting yourself in the Lord, the things you say, feel and do will be from the Lord. Maybe the key for me is to understand that everything we do doesn't have to be "spiritual" to be God-given.

The Bible use words like "passion" to describe all kinds of motivations that we all have like our hopes, dreams, ambitions, affections, things we love to do and all of those don't necessarily have to be labeled with the word spiritual. They are just ordinary activities of our everyday life. Actually, I believe this is what God wants from us. He wants our everyday life, our everyday attention. If we give Him our everyday life, our everyday attention, our lives are spirit-filled which I think He wants from us more than being spiritual if that makes sense.

I suppose what makes me make this connection is looking at the list of synonyms for the word spiritual: religious, pious, holy, sacred, devout which are actions we can do, but the word spirit-filled makes me think more on the terms of God doing the action. Being spirit-filled is His gift to us as we give our lives to Him, I’m thinking.

Anyway the verses for today gave me a lot to think on as I go about my everyday life this day. It's already started out to be a great day and I hope yours will be too.

Word of the day.

.:.