Is My Way the Right Way?

Proverbs 3:5,6 (NKJV): Trust in the Lord with all your heart, And lean not on your own understanding;

In all your ways acknowledge Him, and He shall direct your paths.

 

If I were to do this consistently, the issues that pop up would get hammered down.

 

How do I know this is true? Because sometimes I actually comprehend it and act accordingly.

 

Other times I trust God’s Word but I fail to act on it. “Rebellion is as witchcraft,” it says in I Samuel 15:23 (KJV).

 

Sadly enough, I rebel against what is right on occasion. Not only do I suffer the consequences but then I need to repent and one of the consequences is Things Don’t Change! Or they get worse.

 

When I’m reading Exodus and the people complain about eating manna every day, I don’t understand. What is their problem?

 

Yet, not only can I not imagine eating the same food every day, I’m used to changing footwear and outfits. Their sandals and clothes didn’t wear out for forty years! No new fashion trends for them.

 

In Isaiah 55:8, (KJV), the Word says: “For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways,” saith the LORD.

Isa 55:9 “For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.”

 

Most of the time I get that. When it goes against my ideas, then I need to decide. Will I trust God with all my heart and put my reasoning aside? Will I acknowledge Him as I make decisions and follow His leading?

 

I want to. “Dear Lord, please help me to get past choosing my way over Your ways. Thank You, merciful God. Amen.”

 

 

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Brothers and Sisters

 

“God setteth the solitary in families,” it says in the KJV of the Bible in Psalm 68:6.

 

When one of my sisters died from a prolonged illness, I felt a closer bond to my other siblings. We are the only ones with the same parents and a shared history at the formative years of our lives.

 

A similar sense of humor surfaces when we get together. Certain phrases bring a knowing glance with no explanation needed. Yet as the years pass and the miles separate, it’s inevitable that there are experiences that siblings may know nothing about if communication becomes limited.

 

I remember moving into a new location and I ran into a fellow I hadn’t seen since ninth grade. His sister and he hung around together in school at the lunch room. I’d hear them joking and laughing. I asked, “How’s your sister doing?”

 

He shook his head. “We don’t have anything to do with each other.”

 

I was shocked. Maybe brothers and sisters drift apart over the years easier than sisters. After I got married, I didn’t see as much of my younger brother because we didn’t live right nearby and there are enough years between us, he gravitated to the sisters closer in age to him. He’s a busy guy, as well.

 

Proverbs 18:24, (KJV), says, “A man that hath friends must shew himself friendly: and there is a friend that sticketh closer than a brother.”

 

It’s probably hard to keep close ties with brothers and sisters over the course of a life time with all the changes that life throws our way. I’ve met some Christian folks that I count as close as family in many regards. I thank God for them and I thank God for my flesh and blood relatives.

 

I hope you enjoy your weekend. In America we’re celebrating Memorial Day Weekend to honor our veterans for their sacrifices.

 

God bless.

Praying for One Another

 

New York State is experiencing a warm spell. Yesterday it hit 80 degrees Fahrenheit which is more like summer temperatures.

 

A common cliché over the years in New York: “If you don’t like the weather, stick around, it’ll change.”

 

A relative stopped by the house after disembarking from a motorcycle. After the visit, it began to rain softly. So, off they took, saying their home town had a forecast for cloudy skies, that’s it. They were better off out of here.

 

Due to a change in my life, I’ve had more rest and fewer responsibilities to fulfill lately. People that I care about with ordinary pressures seem to be in a rain storm with gusting winds. Some fear harsher gales ahead.

 

That’s why we’re admonished to pray in James 5:13-18, (ESV):  Jas 5:13  Is anyone among you suffering? Let him pray. Is anyone cheerful? Let him sing praise.

Jas 5:14  Is anyone among you sick? Let him call for the elders of the church, and let them pray over him, anointing him with oil in the name of the Lord.

Jas 5:15  And the prayer of faith will save the one who is sick, and the Lord will raise him up. And if he has committed sins, he will be forgiven.

Jas 5:16  Therefore, confess your sins to one another and pray for one another, that you may be healed. The prayer of a righteous person has great power as it is working.

Jas 5:17  Elijah was a man with a nature like ours, and he prayed fervently that it might not rain, and for three years and six months it did not rain on the earth.

Jas 5:18  Then he prayed again, and heaven gave rain, and the earth bore its fruit.

 

Jesus spoke about prayer in Matthew 6:6-18,(ESV):

Mat 6:6  But when you pray, go into your room and shut the door and pray to your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

Mat 6:7  “And when you pray, do not heap up empty phrases as the Gentiles do, for they think that they will be heard for their many words.

Mat 6:8  Do not be like them, for your Father knows what you need before you ask him.

Mat 6:9  Pray then like this: “Our Father in heaven, hallowed be your name.

Mat 6:10  Your kingdom come, your will be done, on earth as it is in heaven.

Mat 6:11  Give us this day our daily bread,

Mat 6:12  and forgive us our debts, as we also have forgiven our debtors.

Mat 6:13  And lead us not into temptation, but deliver us from evil.

Mat 6:14  For if you forgive others their trespasses, your heavenly Father will also forgive you,

Mat 6:15  but if you do not forgive others their trespasses, neither will your Father forgive your trespasses.

Mat 6:16  “And when you fast, do not look gloomy like the hypocrites, for they disfigure their faces that their fasting may be seen by others. Truly, I say to you, they have received their reward.

Mat 6:17  But when you fast, anoint your head and wash your face,

Mat 6:18  that your fasting may not be seen by others but by your Father who is in secret. And your Father who sees in secret will reward you.

 

How Great is our God!

 

God bless.

 

 

 

Spring’s Promise

Tulips

This photo came with my computer as a sample picture. I love tulips. Must be the Dutch in me. And so this blog will begin:

 

Spring brings flowers, showers, some early herbs as a gift from my neighbor’s garden.

 

I really like Spring, it’s a hopeful time of year. The birds sing early in the morn. The sun shines on grass and leafy trees.

 

I went to a concordance to look up the word flowers and after reading Psalm 103 in the King James Version, Psalm 104 grabbed my attention.

 

It starts out, “Bless the LORD, O my soul. O LORD my God, thou art very great; thou art clothed with honour and majesty.

Psa 104:2  Who coverest thyself with light as with a garment: who stretchest out the heavens like a curtain:

Psa 104:3  Who layeth the beams of his chambers in the waters: who maketh the clouds his chariot: who walketh upon the wings of the wind:

Psa 104:4  Who maketh his angels spirits; his ministers a flaming fire:

Psa 104:5  Who laid the foundations of the earth, that it should not be removed for ever.

Psa 104:6  Thou coveredst it with the deep as with a garment: the waters stood above the mountains.

Psa 104:7  At thy rebuke they fled; at the voice of thy thunder they hasted away.

Psa 104:8  They go up by the mountains; they go down by the valleys unto the place which thou hast founded for them.

Psa 104:9  Thou hast set a bound that they may not pass over; that they turn not again to cover the earth.

Psa 104:10  He sendeth the springs into the valleys, which run among the hills.

Psa 104:11  They give drink to every beast of the field: the wild asses quench their thirst.

Psa 104:12  By them shall the fowls of the heaven have their habitation, which sing among the branches.

Psa 104:13  He watereth the hills from his chambers: the earth is satisfied with the fruit of thy works.

Psa 104:14  He causeth the grass to grow for the cattle, and herb for the service of man: that he may bring forth food out of the earth;

 

Wonderful Spring! How great is our God.

 

God Bless.

Money, Money, Money

1Timothy 6:10, (KJV)  For the love of money is the root of all evil: which while some coveted after, they have erred from the faith, and pierced themselves through with many sorrows.

 

I’ve heard many say that money is the root of all evil, but God’s word says, “The love of money is the root of all evil,” as noted above.

 

It’s when money becomes all-encompassing, like a god to a person that trouble brews.

 

As I read the fantastic account of Lynda Resnick’s journey in her book, Rubies in the Orchard, with co-author Francis Wilkinson, I need to guard my heart. She’s worked hard with her husband in business and marketing and to find products with value for others.

 

The research costs in dollars and time and heart boggle my mind. She shows the steps forward and the hold ups. I’m half way through this tome published by Doubleday Publishers, New York; London; Toronto; Sydney, and Auckland. It’s copyrighted in 2009.

 

Lynda’s and Stewart’s increase in sales is so beyond my lifestyle, it’s almost hard to comprehend. I need to be careful not to covet their bank account and their savviness.

 

In the Ten Commandments in Exodus 20:1-17, (NKJV), which I’ve edited for brevity, the first commandment says: “I am the LORD your God… you shall have no other gods before Me.”

The second one says: “you shall not make yourself a carved image – any likeness of anything that is in heaven above, or that is in the earth beneath, or that is in the water under the earth; you shall not bow down to them nor serve them…”

The third commandment says: “You shall not take the name of the LORD your God in vain, for the LORD will not hold you guiltless who takes His name in vain.”

The fourth commandment: “Remember the Sabbath day to keep it holy. Six days you shall labor and do all your work, but the seventh day is the Sabbath of the LORD your God.”

The fifth commandment says: “Honor your father and your mother.”

The sixth commandment: “You shall not murder.”

The seventh: “You shall not commit adultery.”

The eighth: “You shall not steal.”

The ninth: “You shall not bear false witness against your neighbor.”

The last commandment, number ten says: “You shall not covet your neighbor’s house; you shall not covet your neighbor’s wife; nor his male servant, nor his female servant, nor his ox, nor his donkey, nor anything that is your neighbor’s.”

 

So I may choose to read a book that teaches how to prosper if I’m willing to work hard and make changes and sometimes take a risk of losing everything.

 

I need to remember that money is a tool. I will not worship money or anything it can buy. I will not covet anything I see or touch or hear about that belongs to others.

 

The Ten Commandments are great guideposts for life and for a healthy society. It comes down to choice. Do I believe God gave Moses the Ten Commandments? Do I follow them or not?

 

Our decisions impact life here and life in the hereafter according to the Bible.

 

Something to seriously consider.

 

God bless.

 

 

 

Two Latest Reads

 

Last week, I finally read the third novel in the The River of
Time series by Lisa Tawn Bergren, entitled Torrent.

Torrent is published by David C. Cook publishers, Colorado Springs, CO and copyrighted in 2011. I went to the author’s website to possibly get a copy of the book cover and discovered that there are more books in the series! It seemed like it could end, but I thought, What about the Black Plague, historically known to be heading their way? What choices will the other family members make? 

 

This book and the next one I’ll be mentioning offer action, intrigue and a bit of romance. I read Young Adult because that’s the genre I’m working on.

 

The book I read this week by Jill Williamson netted a book award, so I decided to give it a try. I’m so glad I did. By Darkness Hid was published in 2009 by Marcher Lord Press, Colorado Springs, copyrighted in 2009. Enclave Publishing is the new publisher of the book according to the author’s website. This complete novel ended with me wanting to know more. I’m so glad for sequels.

 

I’m not sure why I’m reading books that deal with sword fighting heroes and heroines, but that’s been the case lately.

 

In the spiritual realm, I’m aware of warfare in the heavens. The Bible is filled with it, especially in the book of Daniel.

 

When I’ve prayed lately, I’m praying on the Sword of the Spirit, (the Word of God) from Ephesians:

Eph 6:10  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;

 

I really like the book of Ephesians. So many good books in the Bible.

 

God bless!

Hidden Gems

 

I took a book out of the library a few weeks ago, by Lynda Resnick with Francis Wilkinson, entitled Rubies in the Orchard: How to Uncover the Hidden Gems in Your Business. It’s published by Doubleday, New York, NY and four other notable cities around the world, and copyrighted in 2009.

 

I grabbed it because the top of the cover says: The POM Queen’s Secrets to Marketing Just About Anything. The O is shaped like a heart, but it didn’t copy that way for me here.

 

The picture on the cover shows a petite lady in a man’s suit with a matching derby hat on her head. On the middle of her face sits a pomegranate, reminiscent of a clown’s nose.

 

She got dozens of short, inspiring endorsements from famous people. One said something about learn and be entertained at the same time. How could I resist?

 

As I mentioned in a recent blog, marketing writing should occupy 50% of an author’s time; unless the words are meant for family, friends and self. This book gives wonderful insights.

 

I just want to add here that the best book I’ve ever read is “the B-I-B-L-E, that’s the book for me…” to quote a children’s song.

 

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend.

 

God bless.

The Great Waste

Pro 18:9, (KJV) He also that is slothful in his work is brother to him that is a great waster.

Pro 18:10  The name of the LORD is a strong tower: the righteous runneth into it, and is safe.

 

As I read Proverbs, I wonder why they are linked together without a discernible connection.

 

These two proverbs got me thinking. If I am lazy in my work, I’m negating productivity for my boss or for my own business purposes, even non-profit purposes. By neglecting housework and decorating, a house will lose value on the market when it’s time to sell.

 

If a person neglects seeking God because they don’t care to work against their fleshly desires, great waste comes into their lives: earthly and eventually eternal destruction.

 

Now, someone may say, “Who do you think you are saying if I don’t seek God, I’m courting wastefulness?”

 

Recently, I spoke to a young nurse. I told her that after I went to college, I turned from following Christian practices for a period of time. When I met Christian friends and decided to get back on track with God, it impacted the number of children I had. I felt content with two children. Then spending time in the Word and prayer, I felt as if God wanted me to have another baby.

 

My neighbors told me I’d have another and I said, “No way.”

 

It wasn’t much longer and I began praying that we would have one more child. God gives all of us the choice to follow Him or not. I just know that I’ve heard many testimonies of people that planned to live one way until they decided to give God the reigns of their life.

 

Then the desires of their heart changed. Some missionaries changed course radically. From business school to Bible College, from the accumulation of money to the pouring out of their lives to the poor, they found a radical transformation in direction.

 

If a person decides to follow the precepts of the Bible, they may adopt a stronger work ethic because of reading various verses encouraging working for God and not for man.

 

For example, in Col 3:22, (KJV)  Servants, obey in all things your masters according to the flesh; not with eyeservice, as menpleasers; but in singleness of heart, fearing God:

Col 3:23  And whatsoever ye do, do it heartily, as to the Lord, and not unto men;

Col 3:24  Knowing that of the Lord ye shall receive the reward of the inheritance: for ye serve the Lord Christ.

 

Previously, in Col 3:17, (KJV), it says, “And whatsoever ye do in word or deed, do all in the name of the Lord Jesus, giving thanks to God and the Father by him.”

 

With a greater work ethic, promotions may come along. In some companies, persecution may arise as well, if everyone else slacks off. Jesus said if they persecuted Him, His followers could expect to be persecuted as well. The payoff of eternal life instead of eternal death outweighed any difficulties this earth offers.

 

The Apostle Paul worded it this way in 2Cor. 4:17, (KJV)  “For our light affliction, which is but for a moment, worketh for us a far more exceeding and eternal weight of glory;

2Co 4:18  While we look not at the things which are seen, but at the things which are not seen: for the things which are seen are temporal; but the things which are not seen are eternal.”

 

God bless!

 

Controlling Words

 

When I spent some quiet time with the Lord today, I thought, what should I read?

 

The book of James came to mind and for some reason I read it out loud. That made it more immediate. When the part about controlling the tongue came up, and just how difficult it is to do so, I considered that’s not bad advice for being careful about what I write as well. Here’s the verse: Jas 3:8  But the tongue can no man tame; it is an unruly evil, full of deadly poison.

 

God is the only one that can help me control my tongue when I ask Him to. I try my hardest and when I sense I’m about to fail, I can call out to Him and save myself and others a tremendous amount of hurt.

 

I remember many years ago, when I took a correspondence writing course on Fiction, my instructor asked me if I wanted to portray my character in a harsh light.

 

It hadn’t occurred to me that I was doing that. That’s why professional writers usually want an editor to go over their stuff. Even if it hurts sometimes.

 

I’m spending more time writing lately and catching up on craft books. Today I continued reading and highlighting The Complete Idiot’s Guide to Publishing Magazine Articles by Sheree Bykofsky, Jennifer Basye Sander, and Lynne Rominger, published by alpha books, Indianapolis, IN and copyrighted in 2000.

 

I’ve owned it for many months. Sometimes I don’t get to the books I own for a while because I get books from the library with a due date to consider.

 

Anyway, the editors quoted in the book say, “Please familiarize yourself with our magazine before trying to write for us.”

 

There’s a lot of work to freelance writing beyond learning grammar and point-of-view and other basics. I’ve heard an author who wants to get published needs to spend fifty per cent of the time on writing and fifty per cent of the time on marketing. I’m reading this book on publishing magazine articles because it’s good to be reminded of the necessary steps for a freelancer. Also, some of it is review for me, and some points I’ve never heard of before.

 

I count on magazines and the internet to keep me current on writing trends, and conferences.

 

God bless!

What About Marriage?

I listened to Dr. David Jeremiah on Christian radio tonight. He spoke about marriage with the Song of Solomon as his book of reference in the Old Testament. He’s continuing his thoughts tomorrow, he announced.

 

Dr. Jeremiah mentioned that God often puts opposites together: night owls/early risers, a neat person/slob, spender/saver, etc.

 

My youngest son took a course on marriage at a Christian college. One book they read asked the question – “What if God designed marriage to help make us holy?”

 

 

Sacred Marriage: What If God Designed Marriage to Make Us Holy More Than to Make Us Happy?

by Gary L. Thomas, copyrighted 2000, 2015, published by Zondervan, Grand Rapids, MI.

 

Dr. Jeremiah went through the reactions of the Shulamite bride and Solomon’s responses. When Solomon knocked on the door of the Shulamite and she sent him away, Dr. Jeremiah said she immediately felt bad about her response and then she went to her friends for their help in locating him. They wanted to know what was so special about him and then she gave them an earful.

 

When I hear things and read items about marriage, and at weddings, I automatically look at my relationship with my husband. It’s like writing, there’s always room for improvement. In my opinion, it’s always worth working on my marriage, too. I try not to get obnoxious about it and work on my side of things. He’s in charge of his part. I’ve tried to help him along over the years and finally decided that was ridiculous.

 

Dr. Jeremiah had a lot more to say than I covered here. I hope to tune in again tomorrow night as well.

 

God bless!