What is the Point of Reading Scripture?

Years ago, when our house was up for sale, a realtor asked, “Why do you have Bible verses taped to your kitchen window and hanging on the walls?”

“They help me to live my life.”

Once, I taped a verse to the kitchen window and I told a close friend of my husband’s I felt it was for him. After he read it, he said it pertained to him and his wife. I had no idea.

Sometimes, I read the Bible out of duty or because I’ve set a goal to read so many chapters. Other days, I put on the tea kettle and picture myself having tea with our invisible God. Later, I read the Bible as I sip, and anticipate learning more about the Creator, the joy giver, the author of my faith, the God Who possesses Wisdom, according to (Proverbs 8:22, NKJV).

(John 10:10, NKJV) says: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

The real Jesus came to watch over His sheep, His followers. The thief, the anti-Christ comes to steal, kill and destroy people. Sometimes, I don’t want to read the book of Life, God’s Word which nourishes my spirit and my soul because of spiritual warfare-which I’m not always aware of.

(https://www.youversion.com/the-bible-app-for-kids/)

I read Proverbs this week, chapter 1-12 so far. Wisdom is telling us in (Proverbs 8:30-31, NKJV) that during the creation of the world, “Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, Rejoicing in His inhabited world, And my delight was with the sons of men.”

Wisdom is always with God. So, God’s Word is filled with wisdom, which I need every day. When I rejoice and am grateful it changes my attitude, the brain develops healthier memories and releases dopamine-a pleasure hormone. For more insight, check out “Neuroscience Reveals: Gratitude Rewires Your Brain to be Happier,” a blog from goforthrecovery.com at https://goforthrecovery.com/articles-news/addiction-recovery-neuroscience-gratitude…

God says we are fearfully and wonderfully made in Ps. 139:14. So many encouragements, so many promises, so many warnings and incredible truths in the Bible. To me, that is the point of reading Scripture: to know God better and His ways for us.

Searching for God

            I feel as though God is saying, “Search for Me. Seek Me,” today.

            When I was a city girl, we kids often played Hide and Seek. Our lightning-struck maple tree became home-base for the half dozen or more of us. How I loved the game. Hiding, waiting, judging if there was time to outrun the person who was “it” back to home when they left to find players.

            I’ve heard it said that God hides so we’ll try to find Him. Yet, there’s Scripture that says if we’ll seek God, we’ll find Him: (Deuteronomy 4:29, KJV).

            Jesus said in (Matthew 6:33-34, HCSB): “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore, don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

            Don’t fret over clothes, or what you will eat or drink, it tells us in Matthew 6:25. God is our provider. While we can work, He oftentimes provides jobs for us. He tells us to do our work heartily as unto the Lord in Colossians 3:23.

            But, to get back to seeking God: I heard about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, God the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God with three persons. I didn’t understand what it meant to be a child of God, loved by Him, created for His good purposes as stated in the book of Philippians.

            Once it made sense to my mind and my heart, I committed to follow Jesus. I became hungry to get to know Him and I read J.B. Phillips The New Testament in Modern English, commonly found in the early 1970’s. Looking for references, I found it was published in 1958 for J.B. Phillips’ youth group.

            I read it whenever I could. I underlined it with a black marker using a ruler. I asked more advanced Christians what certain passages meant. I prayed for understanding and suddenly three pastors from across the United States preached on the topic I struggled with, on our local Christian radio station.

            I think when God whispers to my thoughts, “Search for Me,” He’s asking me to return to my first love for Him, when I couldn’t get enough of the Word of God.

            May God bless you, big time!

Books

            Our library is open and I’ve been enjoying suspenseful romance novels by Mindy Starns Clark. One is A Penny for Your Thoughts, copyrighted in 2002 by author Mindy Starns Clark, published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR.

https://www.amazon.com/Penny-Thoughts-Million-Dollar-Mysteries/dp/0736929568

I don’t know why I didn’t start with this first book but I finally got to it last week. I am enjoying this series. I was going to write that she is a new author to me, but as I looked for an image of this book, I saw that she wrote a book I bought a few years back, entitled The House That Cleans Itself, copyrighted in 2007 by Mindy Starns Clark, published by Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR.

https://www.abebooks.com/House-Cleans-Creative-Solutions-Clean-Orderly/30819463303/bd?cm_mmc=ggl

The House That Cleans Itself: Creative Solutions for a Clean and Orderly House in Less Time Than ...

Another author in the same genre is Colleen Coble and I started the Sunset Cove Series last week. The first book is The Inn at Ocean’s Edge, copyright 2015 by Colleen Coble, published by Thomas Nelson, Nashville, TN.

The Inn at Ocean's Edge - Book #1 of the Sunset Cove

https://www.thriftbooks.com/series/sunset-cove/79841/?gclid=CjwKCAjwj6SEBhAOEiwAvFRuKJGwmrCNDc8YFMzoEa3YIdApkPwT61GZvwz_w50mi9SXVUuNcwdRBxoC2M0QAvD_BwE

Both authors penned books with family betraying their members, which made me feel sad. I don’t have a perfect family. I don’t know anyone who does. But maybe it’s the way I was brought up-as best we could our siblings watched out for one another. I recommend both these authors if you enjoy solving a puzzle while wondering if the heroine will find the love of her life.

I usually read Christian novels. Non-fiction is the kind of book I select most often, but I can relax and learn a little something from fiction at the same time as well.

Sometimes I’ll read and feel dissatisfied, so I’ll stick a bookmark in the tome and pick up my Bible. After a few pages, I’ll think about the life I find in Scripture. It doesn’t compare to a normal book. I ponder why I’m reading things other than the Word.

I don’t think God minds me reading other books since I do read the Bible, but I do know He wouldn’t have me make an idol of fiction or non-fiction works. God is jealous for us. He made mankind for relationship with Him. Rather amazing when I consider that He’s so much more than a tiny human being.

I hope you are well. May God bless you.

“All My Life You Have Been Faithful”

CeCe Winans sings a song entitled “Goodness of God,” with a group of singers and musicians. It’s live out of Nashville, TN and there is a blue background. I wanted to share this with you and hope you’ll be as blessed as I have been! I set it up as full screen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y81yIo1_3o8

May God bless you!

If It’s Not Right, Change It

Sometimes I write a blog and I don’t send it out because it doesn’t seem right, which I’ve done more than once lately. So, last night I left one behind, picked up my pen and legal pad and started over again.

I went to the library last evening to get a book I asked the librarian to buy, and it came and got processed in less than a week! I asked for two. “The second one is from another warehouse,” she said, “so it’ll be delivered later.”

I called to thank her because at first, I didn’t realize it was new. I took out a book some years ago on cleaning and organizing. It was a brand-new hard cover edition and six months later I decided to reference it. By then, the tome was smelly, dirty and food stuck the pages together. This too is a book on organizing, so I was a little disappointed to receive a used book-until I checked which library owned it. It looked too good to be used. It belonged to our library, yay!

9780785278412: Mid-Course Correction: Re-Ordering Your Private World for the Second Half of Life
https://www.abebooks.com/products/isbn/9780785278412?cm_mmc=ggl-_-COM_DSAETAFEED_Trade-_-naa-_-naa&gclid=CjwKCAjw3pWDBhB3EiwAV1c5rLAb_BqdZWWKq5V5AOyWcxXLOWYeXCA2h1KiN5XO5ycDDx_62prLuhoCckEQAvD_BwE

The second non-fiction book I requested was written by Gordon MacDonald, Mid-Course Correction: Re-Ordering Your Private World for the Next Part of Your Journey, copyright 2000, published by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN, because author/agent David E. Fessenden recommends it in his book, Writing the Christian Non-Fiction Book: Concept to Contract, published by Sonfire Media, Galax, VA, copyright 2011.

http://Amazon.com

I ordered A Resilient Life: You Can Move Ahead No Matter What by Gordon MacDonald, copyright 2004, and published by Thomas Nelson, Inc., Nashville, TN from another library. I thought if David Fessenden says authors will learn from studying Gordon MacDonald’s style for certain kinds of writing, any of his books in our library system may help.

Front Cover - A Resilient Life
https://www.christianbook.com/a-resilient-life-gordon-macdonald/9780785287919/pd/87914?en=google&event=SHOP&kw=books-0-20%7C87914&p=1179710&dv=c&gclid=CjwKCAjw3pWDBhB3EiwAV1c5rLksDY6ooIu8345ricFM2pV6T1WynnJf19ZPMEgCv8oC6pHy5pQEmxoCqlkQAvD_BwE

At the very beginning of this tome, I realized being a year into a global pandemic, it’ll help to read about persevering during tough times. Pastor Gordon MacDonald learned many life lessons from his track coach, Marvin W. Goldberg at Stony Brook School, a college preparatory school on the north shore of Long Island, New York. At the time, he thought he was learning about running techniques and conditioning the body for success. Over the years, when facing difficult situations, he tells the reader he learned many life skills that he applied to his relationships, business decisions, and to pastoring people from advice from Coach Marvin W. Goldberg.

If you like sports, encouragement, and some good insights perhaps you’d like to read A Resilient Life: You Can Move Ahead No Matter What. When I read books, I’m often surprised at how they speak to me. Not as deeply as the Word of God speaks, but I’m enjoying this hardback that entertains and tells of hard-earned wisdom. Gordon MacDonald learned to stick to difficult tasks.

Even if you must start over again, as I have over the years, there is a learning curve that comes from experience that helps you stay the course in trying times, and that brings satisfaction.

May God bless you!

James-Count It All Joy

As I listened to a pastor on our local Christian radio station speak on James 1:2 I had an aha moment. The New King James Version of the Bible states James 1:2-4 this way: “2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

It’s my understanding that as trials make us “perfect,” it means “mature.” The whole book of James is full of wisdom, akin to the book of Proverbs, but with four chapters instead of thirty-one.

Holy bible pictures free stock photos download (264 Free stock photos) for  commercial use. format: HD high resolution jpg images
https://images.all-free-download.com/images/graphiclarge/bible_holy_book_christianity_266463.jpg

I knew a lady in her late 80’s or early 90’s. She came to our Bible study. One day she said, “I’ve been reading James 1. It says to count it all joy when going through various trials and temptations. Imagine that! We’re to count it all joy!”

I believe she was having a Rhema Word, when God highlights a Scripture to you, giving you a deeper insight. I’ve been reading Deuteronomy lately. Oh, the tremendous promises of God for those willing to love Him first and foremost and to obey His commands.

Then there are the curses that come upon people when they serve the false gods of the land the Israelites were about to enter. Sacrificing children to Baal by fire, worshiping gods made of wood, silver, or gold; and bowing down to the sun, moon and stars infuriated the God they could hear but not see. The God Who said He created everything, in Genesis 1 and elsewhere in the Bible.

And so, I hope you can count it all joy because of Jesus and the hope He gives if you’ll look to Him. During these times of quarantining and missing others who’ve chosen to stay away even when they’re healthy, with political upheaval, and civil unrest I hope you’ll seek Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He promises never to leave nor forsake us!

I was reminded by the radio show’s pastor to count it all joy when going through hard times. I needed to remember that and to ask God to help me not to lose peace and joy, for my sake and for the sake of those around me.

May God bless you!

Comfort at the Expense of Freedom?

            I got a letter from a ministry concerned about the education of American children. Changing history, skewing the amount of racism prevalent at the founding of our country. I come from Upstate New York-part of the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves. People helping people despite the risks.

            My oldest daughter said, “How can America be racist now and vote in an African American president not that long ago? Just because I’m white doesn’t mean I’m racist.”

            Another thing this ministry letter said, “A majority of college students are for Socialism and Communism.”

            I recently read a book copyrighted in 1992 by T. Davis Bunn, entitled The Amber Room, published by Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN. I’ve read Mr. Bunn’s books for years and met him at a writers’ conference in Montrose, PA where he spoke to prospective authors.  

https://pictures.abebooks.com/isbn/9781556612855-us.jpg

He researches his fiction through historical documents, books, internet, interviewing experts and visiting the locale of the literature’s setting.

            The Amber Room delves into the history of valuable antiques in Europe and Russia. Also, some of the detrimental effects of living under a Communist regime in East Berlin before and after the Wall came down. The lives of the people and their perspectives came through the story startlingly clear.

The Amber Room is the sequel to Florian’s Gate and the second tome begins with romance and an introduction to an antique collector looking for clues professionally and personally.

            When I got done, I thought every college student who thinks Socialism and Communism is better than our American system of government-a Republic-well, they should read this book. I have neighbors who moved here from Russia and I met them a few years back when they purchased their house near us.

            When I mentioned a historical document concerning their leader, Stalin, the father hung his head. “That was not the best time for our country.”

            Last year, I read online that the richest group of immigrants in the United States are from Russia. Perhaps because of their lack of hope in the past. My neighbors put in a vegetable garden, planted fruit trees and then flowers for beauty. They worked hard.

            The Apostle Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 that those who will not work, neither should they eat. I don’t know if Americans think the government can take better care of themselves than they can. Perhaps they’re not checking out history books and science fiction, like George Orwell’s book, 1984, copyrighted in 1949 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0452262933/ref=rdr_ext_tmb           

Our forefathers fought the American Revolution in bare feet in the winter and had days of starvation because of the lack of supplies. They fought for freedom we seem to be willing to give away.

            I keep praying to God to wake us up and to help us before we find ourselves under dictators who took power because American citizens are fighting each other. Jesus said a house divided against itself cannot stand.

            Communist countries have rich rulers; middle level managers and spies and prison wardens and enforcers, and the lower tier are oppressed people working hard to support the system. If you don’t believe it, ask refugees that stole out of Cuba or find people who made it out of Eastern European countries and Russia once Communism fell. The transition out of Communism isn’t easy, either.

            The Amber Room is a story showing reality and possibilities, and the bad and good in history. As Tiny Tim said in the movie “Scrooge,” “God bless us, every one!”

            “Please!”

            Jesus came to set mankind free, no matter the government over them. I love being a Christian. I also appreciate living in “the land of the free…”.

            As I see America’s freedoms slipping away, my prayer is people will wake up before their choices get stripped away under a totalitarian government.

Does God Care?

I wonder why I’m having a hard time blogging lately. I love to write. I love people. Sometimes, that’s the rub. Also, my computer is driving me crazy, not acting like it should.

            My daughter and her fifteenth-month-old daughter began staying here about two weeks ago. Her husband and other workers are rebuilding and replacing portions of their house. Lots of sawdust in the air, primers, paint and polyurethane fumes in the atmosphere to irritate skin and lungs. This caused her husband to ask her to vacate the premises for safety sake.

            So, we told her it’s okay to come and stay for a week or so. During week two my daughter’s been saying, “I think I’ll be going home soon.”

            My life is not my own, but I live in a delusional state where I think I have control. My granddaughter doesn’t like to sleep. She’s bright and interested in taking in as much as she can in any given day.

            She’s practicing walking with joy and purpose. She doesn’t like to fall so she holds onto one adult finger and tries to direct the parent or grandparent or aunt her way with such a grip that the tip of our fingers turn red and hurts.

loving senior with grandchild - grandma walk with child stock pictures, royalty-free photos & images
https://www.gettyimages.com/detail/photo/loving-senior-with-grandchild-royalty-free-image/184296859

            If I have another direction in mind, I’ll begin turning her gently and she sets her whole body the other way. So, today we kept going in circles until I stopped us both. I was getting dizzy.

            If I’m intent and direct more firmly, she’ll twist quickly with all her strength and down she goes. And then she cries. I pick her up, comfort her and she extends her arm with fingers stretched out to show me she wants my hand. She’s raring to go. On with her mission to explore, to gain balance, to be in charge. Lately, she’s been lowering her head like a bowling ball to her waist to get her way, but then I hoist her up. She’s such a little peanut.

            Last week, I lost my favorite and only travel mug that doesn’t leak. I use it every day, first thing in my day.

            I thought I left it at church after I searched my house and any canvas bag I might have used last week. Prayed to find it at least three times a day. I asked my visitors and my husband if they’d seen it. I checked the car. I looked at church four times over the week. Each time, I saw a paper mask under a pew that no one else would see because of our social distancing procedures.

            By the fourth time, I told God, “I give up. If I never find my purple mug, I’ll just replace it.”

            Then, I thought, pick up the paper mask and throw it away. I laid down on the pew in the empty building to reach the mask and my leg kicked a wooden support of the pew in front of mine. Suddenly, the purple mug flew past me and that little event gave me joy.

            So, on Sunday I gave a testimony of God answering prayer and my husband felt sure it would be about the mug. But it wasn’t. It was about God healing my friend after I (and others, I’m sure) prayed for her on a consistent basis. Just a short prayer each morning.

            As I was writing this, I pictured myself walking and directing my granddaughter. I’m so much taller. I weigh almost 10 times more than she does. I know she shouldn’t climb light weight items and she is determined to do so, so I’ll pick her up and re-direct her and she’ll squeal in protest until I distract her with a book or a toy.

            Is that how I am with God? He’s far bigger and far more knowledgeable than I am. So, I’m praying to find my mug. I know from the Old Testament that He didn’t like it when the Israeli’s spent time and money building their homes while the temple sat idle and neglected. I’m tidying my house from all the company being over. Yet, every time I saw that paper mask on the church floor, I resisted picking it up. I checked under the pew four different times from four different angles. Each time I almost picked up the mask. Was God nudging me? Trying to re-direct the angle of sight? I’ve had people ask, “Do you really think God cares about little things like that?”

            I think He cares because He enjoys answering prayers. Do you think God cares about the little things of life? Does He care about bloggers blogging?

May God bless you.  

Three Recommendations

I have three recommendations for you today. Do as you will with them.

  • One: read Psalm 91 from the Old Testament of the Holy Bible.
  • Two: watch “Social Dilemma,” from Netflix.
  • Three: Love one another, especially your family. At the least, be kind to each one. We are all part of the human race, equal in the sight of God our Creator.
25 Children's Books That Celebrate Differences | HuffPost Life
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffpost.com%2Fentry%2Fkids-books-diversity-differences_n_5b912bd8e4b0cf7b003d3508&psig=AOvVaw1j2A85p_iWz1JDogP8qAHN&ust=1609364637761000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAoQtaYDahcKEwiws4zjlPTtAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBw

May God bless each and every one of you.

Daniel, A Man of Renown

A couple of weeks ago, I finished reading the book of Daniel in the Old Testament of the Bible. One thing after another kept me from blogging this entry. Sometimes, I think it’s spiritual warfare. Other times, I wonder if God doesn’t want it out there. Today, after a delay, all worked on the computer and on the WordPress site. Maybe I’m supposed to be learning a lesson in perseverence!

Well, anyway, when I read chapter one, it described four teenagers, handsome and intelligent men being trained to work for the king of another nation. They got captured as spoils of war, probably children of the royal family of the nation of Judah, and then neutered. Further on, I found out Daniel and his three friends are required to eat of the kings’ meats and to drink wine.

FreeBibleimages :: Daniel and his friends obey God :: Daniel and his friends  refuse to eat foods that God had forbidden (Daniel 1:1-21)
This is a picture of Daniel and his three friends obeying God from freebibleimages.org.

            I don’t know why the guys wanted to eat vegan. Maybe the meats included pig and rabbit, on the unclean animal list for the Jewish youth.

            They looked better after their trial run of vegetables and water for 10 days. Apparently, between the favor of the head eunuch and their healthy appearance, they continued on what is now called, “The Daniel Diet.”

            After King Nebuchadnezzar talked to Daniel and his three friends, the king found them 10 times wiser and more understanding than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all the realm-a huge kingdom from years of taking over other countries, showing little mercy.

            If I had been in Daniel’s and his friends’ shoes, I hope I would have clung to God despite any risks to life, like they did. Over 70 years serving the various kings, Daniel held high positions of authority and influence. What a legacy!

            I wish I understood the visions Daniel experienced from God, near the end of the book of Daniel for the latter days. An angel explained, but it’s beyond my level of expertise.

God took care of Daniel in the worst of times. The book of Revelation in the New Testament says that God is, God was, and God will always be. I can rest in His care no matter what because God doesn’t change.

May God bless you!