Versatile Blogger Award

At the end of January, just before my youngest daughter got married, I received my first award ever for writing, the Versatile Blogger Award, sent to me by therealliferealtalk.com blogger, Chanel. Thank you, I really enjoy your blog!

I’d like to nominate fifteen others. I hope they’ll be blessed as I was. 🙂

  1. Beautybeyondbones
  2. gracemusing.wordpress.com
  3. cherrydropprincess.com
  4. JeffreyHKing.wordpress.com
  5. tworiversblog.com
  6. middleme.net
  7. ashleyhearod.com
  8. lauraecpaul.wordpress.com
  9. fargaregardsanna.wordpress.com
  10. literarymoose.wordpress.com
  11. moylomenterprises.com
  12. photo-art.me
  13. chantericaware.wordpress.com
  14. raulconde001.com
  15. cafebookbean.com

Now, I’m supposed to write seven things about myself.

  1. I don’t know how to make the above sites listed into links. Sigh.
  2. I heard about Jesus Christ and God wanting to be in relationship with me and I didn’t get it for many weeks, although a high school class mate had something to say about it Monday through Friday.
  3. I’m married to a wonderful guy.
  4. I’ve worked at two libraries over the years.
  5.  I finished a novel but its lacking what it takes to get published now. So I’m thinking.
  6. I’m blogging almost six days a week, consistently. That’s amazing to me.
  7. I’m blessed to have children and grandchildren and friends.

I don’t write to win awards, but I have to say, it warmed my heart. I write because I have to write, it’s become a small part of me. Enjoy your day.

What Really Happened?

I intended to write some true stories of how God intervened in the lives of people we’re getting to know. We drove with them to a Celebrate Recovery meeting on Friday night.

It occurred to me that she is a writer and she just got some things published. So I’ll ask her first before I write stories that belong to her family.

Years ago, my youngest sister used to tell me why she believed in God. One of the reasons was because she experienced Him keeping her safe. I’ll tell one time here.

One Sunday afternoon after a family meal, she pulled me aside. “Guess what God did for me?”

“I don’t know, what?”

“Sue and I were driving down the road and it had that black ice on it that’s hard to see. Our car started spinning out of control!”

I thought, Uh oh!

“Somehow the car ended up in the other lane facing oncoming traffic!”

“Oh, man! What happened?”

“We couldn’t do anything so I started calling out, ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!’ ”

She took a deep breath, her brown eyes sparkled. “Connie, I can hardly believe this, but it was like a big hand lifted our car into the other lane and turned us in the right direction.”

“What did Sue think about it?”

She looked at me with sad eyes and said, “She doesn’t believe it.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know,” she spoke softly. Then her voice rose, “but I’ll never forget it for as long as I live. One minute our car is out of control on the ice and we stop facing traffic. The next second we’re out of the path of danger and our car is heading west instead of east. You explain it.”

I shrugged my shoulders. She shook her head decisively. “It was Jesus. I called on His name and He saved us.”

I smiled and she smiled. Then she strode out of the room. I thought about my sister-in-law, Sue, two people in the same situation reaching opposite conclusions. I never got to ask Sue about it. I don’t think she heard much about God as she grew up. She might have been 20 years old at the time.

I wonder what she would say now.

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend. May God bless you!

 

Celebrate!

My husband and I went for an hour drive to attend a Celebrate Recovery meeting so we could understand how it works. I’ve been telling people we’re going to start a group on May 5, and he’s been telling me that’s too soon. “How can we possibly be ready?”

After we experienced the gathering, it seemed it will take a year maybe. We’ll keep preparing and praying and see where it goes.

Part of the procedure tonight was a celebration of people for resisting whatever is plaguing them – addiction or a bad habit from a hurt received in life. When someone was thirty days free of their addiction or life controlling habit, they received a coin with an imprint and a big shout of encouragement from the crowd. Sixty days, a leader called out? Another recipient, another cheer and on it went until there were no more claimants.

There was such excitement for staying the course and fighting the battle. I didn’t expect it. It was great. I hope we can do this ministry.

I hope you are well! May God bless you!

Am I Not Enough?

I have a friend at our church who has said to me, “I thought when my children grew up I would stop worrying about them.”

I tell her it’s because she’s a mom. She tries not to worry and prays for them often.

Sometimes I pray about things and other times I picture events happening. I anticipate how I’ll react and at that point I forget to pray. Occasionally I’ll think God is saying, “Am I not enough?”

I tell Him He is more than enough.

I was in one of these, if this happens, then I’ll do that, frames of mind when my oldest daughter called.

The last time I headed north to help out two weeks in a row with six days at home in-between, I got thinking something had to change.

As I left her house I asked if she knew of anyone in her vicinity that might babysit for her children when they got sick and she had to work. With both adults working, it makes it hard.

Our ladies’ Bible study group even prayed with me for her benefit. Yesterday she called me to say a youngish grandmother from her church told her she’d be glad to babysit when the kids are sick. “I rarely catch anything, it’s no problem,” she said.

She also offered to help when she gets overwhelmed and told her to let her know.

I felt tears prickle my eyes as she shared her good news. I couldn’t help think of the kindness of God to answer our prayers. Then I immediately thought, why do I worry about her? God is so good to her.

This relieved my mind and enabled me to quit figuring out plans for future events that may never come to pass.

I know there are kind and compassionate people around, but not everyone has the flexible schedule and the ability to act on their desire to help others. I appreciate her and I don’t even know her. 🙂

I realize that God doesn’t want us to worry. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6, (KJV):  do not be anxious about anything, but in everything by prayer and supplication with thanksgiving let your requests be made known to God.

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

Php 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Php 4:9  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Jesus said in John 14: 1, (KJV): “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”

I also love Matthew, chapter six. Near the end of the chapter Jesus says to seek God and His righteousness first and all these things will be added to you. He’d been talking about food and clothing and how God provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field and that we are much more precious to God than those.    Make Ree's Barbecue Meatballs ahead of time for the perfect stress-free, game-day dish.

(photo from https://www.pinterest.com/explore/church-picnic-games/ )

 

My dad worried that my mom would spend or give away any money he’d saved for their retirement when he died. Then she died first and he was totally shocked and unprepared.

My mom knew blindness ran in her family so she learned to read braille and typed on a special braille machine to make books for those without vision. She never lost her sight even into old age.

So I learned that worrying doesn’t do any good and it’s harmful to our health. Also, it’s a lack of faith in God which is insulting to the great “I Am.”

So when I worry, I stop and tell God I’m sorry. Then I pray about the situation.

Jesus spoke about making plans in Luke 14:28-32, (KJV):

Luke 14:28: “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

Luk 14:29  Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,

Luk 14:30  saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

Luk 14:31  Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?

Luk 14:32  And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.”

What He’s saying here as He continues to speak in the following verses is that if you decide to become His disciple, there is a cost. You’ll have to give things up that you used to find pleasurable. You may be called to give up your life or your goods.

God wants us to use our minds and think and plan. He wants us to rest in His care for us and He doesn’t want us fretting. I hope He’ll never have to ask me again, “Am I not enough?”

May God be your strength and your portion in whatever comes your way. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Makes the World Go ‘Round

Love Makes the World Go ‘Round” is a popular song written by Bob Merrill for the 1961 Broadway musical Carnival! (This is a quote from Wikipedia.)

This morning early in my day, I thought about life. Back in my childhood a saying got repeated, “Love makes the world go ’round.”

I didn’t know until a few moments ago that it was a song title. 🙂

My brother and sister-in-law uprooted themselves to help take care of her parents in their latter years. Love is not easy at times. They’re sacrificing for others, and yet they’re enjoying this precious time with family.

As a young mom, I learned to discipline my children in a consistent manner even when it broke my heart to see them cry. When they got older I wouldn’t let them watch violent movies or see R-rated or worse films. Sometimes my husband and I were too restrictive over other matters and we needed to learn to see things from their point of view.

Our children heard us say we’re sorry but I think they understood we were looking out for their best interests.

Love means saying no to the bad. My parents wouldn’t let us go see the 1961 movie, “West Side Story” when it came out in the theaters. I was maybe nine years old. Lots of the kids went. I stomped my foot and complained. “You’re too young,” my mom replied and that was that.West Side Story(photo from Wikipedia)

After more thoughts this morning, this came to mind, what shall I do today?

Part of the Scripture from Proverbs 6:6-8 (NASB), took root:

Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, Which having no chief, Officer or ruler, Prepares her food in the summer, And gathers her provision in the harvest.

I, too, have no one barking commands at me. My husband gives suggestions occasionally and then he gets on with his day.

It’s not that I don’t like housework. I get bored. After lots of hours alone, I want to see people.

The point of cleaning and organizing beyond the removal of germs and bad smells and nerve-wracking messes is love. Love for others sharing the home, love of self, love for others stopping over, even love or respect for the neighbors shows up with a tidy place.

I thought, if that doesn’t motivate me to continue on with this organizing quest I’m on, nothing will.

When I start my day in God’s Word and in prayer, I’m centered and reminded that His love goes with me and upholds me.

When I feel I have too much to do I break it down to smaller steps. I’m trying to remember that I have time to continue and if people interrupt, people are more important.

Too much self-centeredness does not make the world go ‘round. When it’s all about me, joy and love get sucked away. I know. I’ve been there and done that and missed out on simple pleasures of life because of complaining and a stinking attitude.

God help me; I don’t want to go there.

May God bless you!

Listening Skills, II

Isaiah 26:3 (NKJV) says, “You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, because he trusts in You.”

Have you ever noticed that before you say something if you start meditating on God and His ways, you may change your mind and your words? I asked my husband to go to a store 50 minutes away from home because he was going to be nearby.

He agreed but didn’t want to because I needed one and a half yards of 45 inch wide fabric to make a curtain for a door. I wrote out the size needed, cut off a swatch of the remnant and told him he could ask the saleslady. Usually he calls me, but my note told him to ask for advice. My mistake was forgetting she was a SALESlady. They didn’t have 45 inch wide fabric – it was 44 inch wide fabric. I would have said, “Fine.”

She said, “Let’s go to 92 inch wide fabric or somewhere near that width. As she measured for the yard and a half, they came to the end of the bolt. “Would you like the extra yard at the end for half price?”

“Okay,” he said.

When he got home with a large plastic bag with lots of folded fabric inside, my eyebrows lifted. “Here’s your fabric. I don’t like shopping in a store mostly for women.”

“Why didn’t you call me?” I asked after he explained his purchase. He might have said, “Be glad I got it for you.”

I don’t remember.

I told my daughter. From my peripheral vision I saw him standing there, listening. I snuck into another room and called my other daughter. Now I’m telling her that I’ll certainly have enough fabric and there he was to get something and he’s listening.

So, I prayed about it and thought about it. Just because I’m trying to eliminate clutter, it’s not that big of a deal. I did thank him for going out of his way a bit and taking the time on a busy day.

The next day I’m telling a friend at church but now I’m saying, “Maybe there’s a reason for the extra material,” and he comes into the room and this time he joins the conversation and we’re laughing.

I did buy fabric for curtains for another room and I told the young girl I needed more than the bolt held. She assured me that there was plenty. I bought it at a store an hour from home and sure enough, the length was off. I called some fabric stores and got online to find there wasn’t any available. This extra material may allow me to add some length.

The thing I realized is how often my husband listens to me when I’m unaware.

Occasionally I’ve started to relay something and he’ll say, “I know, I heard you on the phone.”

This got me thinking of verses Jesus spoke to the Pharisees in Matthew 12:34, (ESV): “You brood of vipers! How can you speak good, when you are evil? For out of the abundance of the heart the mouth speaks.

Mat 12:35  The good person out of his good treasure brings forth good, and the evil person out of his evil treasure brings forth evil.

Mat 12:36  I tell you, on the day of judgment people will give account for every careless word they speak,

Mat 12:37  for by your words you will be justified, and by your words you will be condemned.”

Being an extrovert, words come easily to me at times, and one day I got worried. My spouse said if I spoke in a way that offended God, repented and asked forgiveness, I wouldn’t need to be concerned on judgment day. Big sigh of relief!

Not only have I found out that my husband listens to me when I’m not sure he is, but I realized that he’s good at reading non-verbal communication. If I’m mad about something but I’m not sure if it’s a good time to bring it up, he’ll see me avoiding eye contact, biting my lower lip and being extraordinarily quiet, possibly tapping my foot or doing other restless gestures. Then he’ll ask, “What’s the matter?”

I got online today to see what Focus on the Family’s website had to say about communicating. I read two articles out of many, and here’s the link to one of them: http://www.focusonthefamily.com/marriage/communication-and-conflict/effectively-communicating-with-your-husband

I enjoyed what I read, but it just helped me to springboard to this idea for this blog. Although I couldn’t find the reference, one comment about communicating being hard work struck a chord with me. When I’m tired, I have to force myself to pay attention to the other person and to try and decipher what they mean.

Hope you’re communicating effectively. May God bless you!

Listening Skills

Eph_4:29 , (ESV) from the New Testament of the Bible says: “Let no corrupting talk come out of your mouths, but only such as is good for building up, as fits the occasion, that it may give grace to those who hear.”

I was going to start with some listening techniques I learned when I volunteered for an organization some years back. But, I wanted to be sure and mention us being kind to one another as we try to communicate.

Anyway this organization hired a lady with social work training. One I remember is reflective listening. An example: I hear my husband say, “I’m not thrilled with the idea of going to the Ida May Americana Restaurant.”

I say, “You’re not thrilled about going to the Ida May Americana Restaurant?”

I’m mirroring back what I heard him say. Then I bite my lip and wait for his response.

“They serve greasy and flavorless foods. I wanted to try that new international place that opened, overlooking the Falls.”

If I can keep quiet, he may tell me, “I really don’t want to go out to dinner with your cousin George and his wife, Lulu. He never shuts up and she wears that awful perfume and they don’t like spicy food – it’s perfect.”

I don’t have a cousin George with a wife Lulu and all of the above is made up. The first time I tried this it felt awkward, but it does help real communication evolve.

I hope you’re well. May God bless you.

 

Hey, I’m Talking to You

 

I’ve been blogging about marriage lately. This blog will relate to marriage partners and anyone else who chooses to communicate.

Reading the NKJV Bible entitled Jesus Calling Devotional Bible today, I read the Self-Control entry on page 921, copyrighted in 2011 by Thomas Nelson, Inc.

The devotionals have three verses suggested on the bottom of the page. I didn’t expect the piece to be on controlling one’s tongue.

My favorite verse was James 1:19, “So then my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;”

Yesterday, I spoke to my son on the phone and I noticed I interrupted him but he kept talking. Sometimes I feel like if I don’t chime in on the subject, I’ll forget what I had to say. It’s not a good excuse for being impolite, but that’s what I concluded when I thought about it.

Anyway, he kept talking, and then I started to call his name to tell him I couldn’t hear him. He didn’t seem to hear me, so I pressed a button on my husband’s cell which I’m not familiar with. It was a picture of a phone with a plus sign, so I figured it makes the volume go up. Wrong. It may have caused the phone to mute.

If we had a split screen with him on one side, me on the other, he’d be talking away and I’d be raising my voice so he could hear me over his conversation, and it might look comical. Then I start asking my husband how do you turn up the sound on this thing and my son is saying, “Can you hear me, are you there?”

He hung up and my husband fixed the phone and we started over again and then I apologized for interrupting him.

I have a relative I haven’t spent a ton of time with over the last few years and when we got together she was talking to me and I’d add my two cents (as my mom used to say), and finally she looked at me and said, “Would you please just listen to me?”

I was so embarrassed. She was very polite about it and then I clammed up and listened with no comments until she got quiet and then I responded to her comments.

Today, I decided to memorize that Scripture. So, I’m repeating “So then my beloved brethren, let every man be swift to hear, slow to speak, slow to wrath;” James 1:19.

I’m aware that words are very important. I try to remember to pray that I’ll say the right things and keep quiet if I’m about to say something I’ll regret or that others will regret hearing. Today, after reading the devotional, I prayed that I’d say only the things I should say when I see my hairdresser. If I forget to pray that before I see her, I prayed that prayer would be set up for all time. I’m not sure what God thinks about that. I know I’ve moved places and realized that twenty or thirty years prior, I’d be thinking I wanted to live in a certain location. Then after moving there, I’d remember really wanting to live there.

If there are times you’ve suffered from communicating in a way that caused problems, as I have, unfortunately, with my spouse and children especially, I found that asking their forgiveness and saying sorry helped a lot. Then, I tried to refrain from the same behavior. Trying to make amends without having any intention of changing is a total waste of breath. After a while, the person can rightly say, “Yeah, yeah, I’ll believe it when I see it.”

Whoever said, “Sticks and stones can break my bones, but words will never hurt me” lived in a delusional world. We can choose to forgive words that hurt us and only remember it enough to avoid being the target in the future if at all possible, if we want. We can forgive and keep away forever if possible, as well.

I’m still learning about speech and about choosing quiet. The book of James is a big help to me, too.

God bless!

Jesus’ Return

Tonight some friends gathered around a table with my husband and I. We sang a song that one of the men wrote about watching for the Lord. Later on, the same man asked us what we thought of verses in Matthew 24. We all read a few verses at a time out of various versions of the Bible and then gave our opinion if we had one. The following verses are the ones we read, these are from the King James Version:

Mat 24:3  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Mat 24:5  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Mat 24:6  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Mat 24:7  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Mat 24:8  All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Mat 24:9  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

Mat 24:10  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Mat 24:11  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Mat 24:12  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Mat 24:16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

Mat 24:17  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

Mat 24:18  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

Mat 24:19  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

Mat 24:20  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

Mat 24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Mat 24:22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Mat 24:23  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

Mat 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mat 24:25  Behold, I have told you before.

Mat 24:26  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

Mat 24:27  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mat 24:28  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Mat 24:29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Mat 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Mat 24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mat 24:32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

Mat 24:33  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Mat 24:36  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Mat 24:37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mat 24:38  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

Mat 24:39  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mat 24:40  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Mat 24:41  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Mat 24:42  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Mat 24:43  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

Mat 24:44  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

People guess about the year based on prophesies and on symbolism and numbers that God uses frequently. The thing is, we don’t really know. Jesus does say to be ready at all times.

I’ve been feeling like I need to read the Bible more; I know I’ve been hearing it from various pastors on the radio.

I read Isaiah 55:6, (KJV):  Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.

Sometimes I feel as though God might be whispering that to my spirit: Seek Me.

A lady at our gathering said she feels we are close to the time when Jesus will return for His servants. Then the man leading the discussion reminded us to read the Bible through in a year. He gave us a paper with the amounts to read every day, a few chapters of the Old Testament and a couple chapters of the New Testament. He’s been following that format for years and the more he reads the Bible the more he sees things he’s missed before. There’s a date before each entry, so you don’t have to start on January first if you didn’t get the paper beforehand. I like that.

What do you think of this section of Scripture? Is Jesus coming back to earth soon?

 

Writing of God

 

I went to the library despite the biting cold wind. I ran into a friend and we got talking about writing. She’s beginning to attend a local writer’s group and invited me to attend. She purchased “Writer’s Digest Magazine,” which is a good idea and some DVD’s on writing from a group proclaiming themselves as experts.

I told her she’s starting to sound like a writer because she loves the way a great sentence flows. She’s hungry to express ideas well.

I told her I’d taken a book out of the library written by a humorous author I thought I’d enjoy. I said I’d like to create like she does.

Then I read more and the person incorporated dialogue by “God” saying he wasn’t perfect! Then she has “God” asking questions of a character as if he didn’t know. The more she described her god, I thought, Why am I wasting my time with this book?

One time one of our librarian clerks gushed over an author famous for her expertise of the Pilgrims. She highly recommended her book to me. Quite a bit of the book was an explanation of why she couldn’t believe in the faith of the Pilgrims. We didn’t get to talk about it, but I’m sure the clerk knows I didn’t appreciate it once I saw her again. She looked at me and then ducked her head.

When I read the book, I thought it was all the same inane thinking the media and the education system uses to try and debunk faith in people. Did she honestly think I’m not aware of opposing viewpoints? I went to a secular college with a course in Satanism available, plus all the other philosophies that were acceptable. The only faith not pushed for us to consider, back in the day was the faith our parents taught us, which was primarily the Judeo-Christian faith. If Judeo-Christianity has no power or truth, why are Jews being persecuted more in America lately? Why are Christians being killed for their faith at over 800/day according to statistics given by an executive pastor from our denomination’s state headquarters?

To return to the book by the humorous author, she never said she was a Christian on the back cover or on the inner flap. I thought she was from a previous book she’d written that got made into a movie. I just wish I hadn’t recommended it in a library that echoes.

I do like the way she writes and her sense of humor, but I can’t help thinking if I were God and she’s misrepresenting God that I would not be happy about it and she’s in trouble. (I’m so glad that I’m not God since I’m incapable of being God.)

Anyway, I read Isaiah chapters 6-12 today and God is not always a jolly fellow. We’re made in His image and if we get mad, it makes sense to me that He gets mad.

If you believe the Bible, God is holy and when the angels proclaimed it, the sound was enough to shake the foundations. Isaiah saw this and he cried out, “Woe is me, I am undone. I am a man of unclean lips.”

I’ve heard it preached that Isaiah was probably a more righteous man than most of us, but somehow he got to have a vision of God, high and lifted up and God’s train filled the temple. That’s where he saw the angels crying out, “Holy, holy, holy is the Lord God Almighty.”

I’ve read Isaiah chapter six many times and I never noticed that their loud voices shook the door posts in heaven, (KJV).

God is merciful and kind and loving, but He’s also truthful. He never says mankind is basically good. The good news of the Gospel is that mankind is evil but God made a plan. He wants to change us from behaving like the devil sometimes and becoming more like His Son, Jesus if we’re willing to. Believing in Jesus Christ as God the Son is the work we have to do to enter heaven:

John 6:28, (KJV):  Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?

Joh 6:29  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.

 

Once we believe, then we repent of our sins, ask God to forgive us – which He does, (1 John 1:9, King James Version:  If we confess our sins, he is faithful and just to forgive us our sins, and to cleanse us from all unrighteousness.

1Jn 1:10  If we say that we have not sinned, we make him a liar, and his word is not in us),

and then allow Him to make changes in our character.

We cooperate with His plan for our life, which is not easy at times, plus Satan then hates us because he hates God. So we engage in spiritual warfare with God’s help and He tells us how in the Bible: [Ephesians 6:10, (KJV):  Finally, my brethren, be strong in the Lord, and in the power of his might.

Eph 6:11  Put on the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to stand against the wiles of the devil.

Eph 6:12  For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

Eph 6:13  Wherefore take unto you the whole armour of God, that ye may be able to withstand in the evil day, and having done all, to stand.

Eph 6:14  Stand therefore, having your loins girt about with truth, and having on the breastplate of righteousness;

Eph 6:15  And your feet shod with the preparation of the gospel of peace;

Eph 6:16  Above all, taking the shield of faith, wherewith ye shall be able to quench all the fiery darts of the wicked.

Eph 6:17  And take the helmet of salvation, and the sword of the Spirit, which is the word of God:

Eph 6:18  Praying always with all prayer and supplication in the Spirit, and watching thereunto with all perseverance and supplication for all saints; ]

and then we end up in an amazing unimaginable paradise with God the Father and God the Son and God the Holy Spirit at the end of our lives. One God made up of three persons. Deuteronomy 6:4, (KJV) says, “Hear, O Israel: The LORD our God is one LORD:”

I’ve heard that some Jewish teachers don’t allow Isaiah 53, because that’s the suffering Messiah chapter. But in Isaiah 6-12 I read descriptions of Jesus that He fulfilled as the Messiah.

There are many mysteries in the Bible and the Apostle Paul said that God was allowing people to understand them now if they were willing to be teachable and to seek God for the answers:

Ephesians 3:2, (KJV):  If ye have heard of the dispensation of the grace of God which is given me to you-ward:

Eph 3:3  How that by revelation he made known unto me the mystery; (as I wrote afore in few words,

Eph 3:4  Whereby, when ye read, ye may understand my knowledge in the mystery of Christ)

Eph 3:5  Which in other ages was not made known unto the sons of men, as it is now revealed unto his holy apostles and prophets by the Spirit;

Eph 3:6  That the Gentiles should be fellowheirs, and of the same body, and partakers of his promise in Christ by the gospel:

Eph 3:7  Whereof I was made a minister, according to the gift of the grace of God given unto me by the effectual working of his power.

Eph 3:8  Unto me, who am less than the least of all saints, is this grace given, that I should preach among the Gentiles the unsearchable riches of Christ;

Eph 3:9  And to make all men see what is the fellowship of the mystery, which from the beginning of the world hath been hid in God, who created all things by Jesus Christ:

Eph 3:10  To the intent that now unto the principalities and powers in heavenly places might be known by the church the manifold wisdom of God,

Eph 3:11  According to the eternal purpose which he purposed in Christ Jesus our Lord:

 

One of the reasons I want to write is because people in the world give their opinions of God  or their philosophies without a second thought. As a Christian, I want to write what the Bible says. Why should a Christian’s voice be silenced when all others have the right to speak?

This beginning writer asked why I would bother blogging? “Isn’t it just talking about yourself?”

I told her that lately I wrote about marriage, it’s not all about me. I hope to give something of value to people.

If readers don’t want to read about Christianity when that is my topic, they can always stop reading, as I chose to do with the humorist’s novel.

May God bless you!

 

 

Marriage Takes Work

 

I’ve been hearing a lot about marriage ever since I started writing about it the past few days.

I heard a couple speak about their marriage on Focus on the Family radio broadcast yesterday. The woman said they found out after the wedding that despite having many interests in common, they discovered they were exact opposites in their personality traits and in the way they did things.

The man said it added flavor and spice to their interactions and he wouldn’t have it any other way. She agreed.

That surprised me. I’ve heard other people say the same thing, but their differences drove each other crazy.

So, how do you work things out?

  • Be willing to try things another way. You may find you like his favorite lunch: a peanut butter onion sandwich, if you take a bite.

  • When your spouse rolls the toothpaste tube up tight and you like it flat, consider if that is worth even arguing about. Do you have control issues? Talk about it, or pray about it and then bring it up, or gasp! – ignore it. It’s easy to get over things if you don’t build them up. Maybe be grateful that your spouse brushes their teeth in the first place.

  • When both parties are not tired, make a list of things you like to do together. If there isn’t anything, ask what they like to do and see if you can force yourself to go. Stepping into the other person’s world can bring a connection worth any initial discomfort. If you hate it, be honest and tell your partner that it’s just not for you. At least now you probably have an understanding of the job or hobby and it’s an area you can talk about.

When you love someone, you want what’s best for them. If you’ve lost that loving feeling, become a detective and look for things you like about your spouse.

Concentrate on the positive attributes and try to ignore the minor annoyances. When you try and bless the other person, they will notice and usually pay attention. That’s a great first step to re-kindle the spark that ignited early in your romantic relationship.

Image result for male and female couples on a date

I’m not very familiar with arranged marriages, but I’ve met some people that started marriage due to their parents’ agreement with another family. They seemed content with one another.

If a person finds themselves in a marriage with someone with serious issues, many folks find help with a marriage counselor’s assistance.

To me, a marriage is worth working on to strengthen the bond between man and wife. I remember a friend of mine back in high school. She was an art student. She showed me her arm and the way it curved. She said it’s perfectly designed to fit with a man’s arm.She found that fascinating. An arm linked with the arm of a person of the same sex does not meld together.

In the book of Genesis, near the beginning, God made man and then He made woman to be a helpmate for him. Men have strengths and women have strengths and they complement each other.

In our home, if one of us is better at paying bills and keeping a budget, that person does the work regardless of their gender. If one of us likes to garden and the other doesn’t, then the other gets to totally ignore the garden and the landscaping and the other gets to choose plants and dig in the dirt until the sun goes down if they want to.

1 Corinthians chapter 7 gives principles of marriage: these include showing affection for one another and realising that since they became one flesh they don’t have authority over their own bodies, but their spouse has authority over the other’s body. So they should not deprive the other person without permission from their spouse. Even then, Paul says it should not be for a long time so they don’t get tempted by someone else.

There’s so much about marriage, I could write a book, which is why I started to. I don’tknow if I’ll write anymore about marriage for a while. I’ll have to pray about it. I just know that the longer I’m married, the more I appreciate God coming up with the model of marriage for men and women. Marriage gives men respect, purpose and stability. It gives women love, value and security, to name a few benefits for both sexes.

May God bless you.