Wisdom

(James 1:5, GNB)

Jas 1:5  But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all. 

(James 3:13-3:18, GNB)

Jas 3:13  Are there any of you who are wise and understanding? You are to prove it by your good life, by your good deeds performed with humility and wisdom. 

Jas 3:14  But if in your heart you are jealous, bitter, and selfish, don’t sin against the truth by boasting of your wisdom. 

Jas 3:15  Such wisdom does not come down from heaven; it belongs to the world, it is unspiritual and demonic. 

Jas 3:16  Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil. 

Jas 3:17  But the wisdom from above is pure first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle, and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy. 

Jas 3:18  And goodness is the harvest that is produced from the seeds the peacemakers plant in peace. 

In the beginning, God created the universe by speaking it into existence over six days. It says so in Genesis chapter one and tells more of God’s creative work in Genesis 2. It takes faith to believe such a thing.

It takes faith to believe in the religion of macro-Evolution. Both take faith to believe how everything got started. In one religion, there is love and compassion and listening to others and humbling ourselves before God and trusting that He has everything under control. In the other, the fittest, smartest species survive; and the weak dies out, and what is our purpose? Not a lot of hope there.

And no mention of an incredible eternity that is so beyond our comprehension, God doesn’t spend tons of time on it in the Bible, maybe because we’d be so homesick, we couldn’t stand being here. There’s also experience with God that macro-Evolution cannot manufacture. Relationship with God that’s hard to describe if you’re not willing to give God a chance, because He’s not a supreme Magician, performing tricks for the insincere.

He promises peace that passes all understanding. I’ve been enveloped in a cloud of well-being feelings in the midst of turmoil because years ago, not really understanding what I was doing, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Jewish Messiah.

When I’m about ready to ream somebody out for an offense, I’ll get a little nudge inside, almost like a look from Mom or Dad as a kid warning me not to act out. A gentle reminder: don’t go there. Then, I’ll hold back the angry retort and wait. Maybe the person will look back and realize they cut me off and give an apologetic glance. Or they’ll notice that the object they bounced off of was a person and not an inanimate something, and say, “I’m sorry, are you okay?”

Then, I’m happy I didn’t overreact. If someone hurts me on purpose, God gives me the grace to forgive them. They will suffer consequences usually, but not bitterness, nagging, and continual reminders; because of God. Once I process the event.

One man in the library I worked at never learned socially acceptable behavior growing up. I asked God to help me to see him as God saw him. I sensed a sister-brother kind of love inside me then. He could tell something was different in me when we had to interact. Suddenly, he relaxed and didn’t say or do things he shouldn’t.

I’d like to say that feeling stayed with me forever, but one day I realized I’d lost that insight. So, now when I see him, I am friendly to him and ask God to help me to be loving and kind in a way that he’ll interpret correctly. I set definite boundaries and pray for God’s wisdom when he approaches my car in a parking spot.

In (James 1:5, CEV), I read: “If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking.”

Other versions say God gives wisdom generously. In these confusing and changing times, I need all the wisdom I can get. I’ve experienced God’s love and protection and compassion and provision and forgiveness over the decades. Jesus promised to never leave us or forsake us. I am grateful that somehow, I found out about God at a young age. My life has never been perfect. I am not perfect. This earth is not a perfect place. But God! He is my help.

May God bless you!

How Will You Live in These Times?

            I don’t know how many more days I’ll live, just like everyone else in the world. I know people healthy and active in their mid-90’s.

            Although, one lady only goes to the grocery store, maybe to her church on occasion. So, I decided to write a “Before I Kick the Bucket” list of things I want to do before I die. One thing I wrote, I want to see my granddaughter and her family. Our great grandchild arrived many months ago in FL. When I told my daughter-in-law, she started brainstorming. I loved that!

            I watched a Kent Christmas Wednesday night blog on YouTube the other day. He quoted C.S. Lewis, who wrote when all were concerned about dying from the atomic bomb. C.S. Lewis told people to get together to play games. Gather in church to praise God, hear the Word, and fellowship. I am not quoting exactly; this is the gist of his message: live while you can.

            What is the point of reaching 98 if you stayed away from relatives, friends, and church family from age 95 due to COVID? I’m not saying, “Don’t be careful.”

            What I am saying is look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He told us not to be afraid over 360 times in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

            Although, prophets warned of dire consequences when sin prevailed. Then, God said to draw close to Him and repent. “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”

            To go back to Jesus’ sayings, He also told all believers that we are to be in the world, but not of the world. We can’t be in the world if we’re in our homes. How can people see how we handle the COVID crisis if we stay in front of our entertainment screens, hibernating?

            We are to be in the world, not of the world. We should be loving God, loving others, loving ourselves so we can function with sound minds and a sound heart-not filled with fear. Then, when we’re in the world, people who don’t know Jesus should not see us self-medicating with alcohol or drugs or other addictions. They should see some joy. I’m talking to myself here. I need to live like Jesus. Not react to life as if I don’t have hope or as if I don’t have God, Who promises to be my fortress and my strength in Psalm 91.

            Christians are affected by COVID, for sure. One of my friends said to another Christian, “You have faith not to get vaccinated. I have faith to get the shot(s). I want to go to Europe by airplane to minister to an oppressed and poor people group.”

            So far, she’s fine and so is her unvaccinated friend. I have two close friends that feel strongly that everyone should get vaccinated. I know others against the shots and against being pressured to get inoculated.

            How can Christians be so diametrically opposed? I don’t live near these friends anymore. I told one, “It’s a shame people get so divided in our country,” and we both got quiet and agreed.

            On the second phone call, I said immediately, “I don’t want to talk about the COVID vaccines because I almost got into a heated argument with a close friend about it.”

            She agreed. But when the subject came up a few minutes later, I noticed we spoke for a fraction of the time we usually conversed.

            In the Old Testament and the New Testament, God says to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second greatest commandment is to love others as we love ourselves.

            Love others, love ourselves. I know of young and old people who received the shot and died within a day or two. I know of many that got the vaccine and after a minor illness, felt great. They’re sure it’s kept them alive, and they didn’t catch the virus.

            We love God, we love others, we love ourselves. We do what we think is best within those parameters.

            I trust God, Who has numbered my days, to the best of my ability. I ask Him for wisdom. He tells me to live in peace with others as much as I can. That’s what I need to remember. Let others choose for themselves. I’ll choose for myself. People can avoid me if they don’t like my choice. I can keep away from them if I’m concerned about their actions. At some time, these days will pass.

            May God bless you!

Is This a Word From the Lord? You Decide.

            There are so many things I can choose to write about, and Lord willing, I shall. One is the first chapter of Ephesians, chock full of great promises from God for believers.

            I’ve been going through the HCSB version of the Bible: Reading God’s Story: A Chronological Daily Bible, compiled by George H. Guthrie and copyrighted in 2011 by Holman Bible Publishers, Nashville, TN.

Reading God's Story-HCSB: A Chronological Reading Bible
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            Sometimes, I get a little behind. So, today I caught up by reading Isaiah 63-66, then onto 2 Kings 21, 2 Chronicles 33, Nahum 1-3 and then snuck ahead to the next day’s reading. I chose to do a chapter only—Zephaniah, Chapter One.

            The Old Testament tells the relationship of God to His chosen people, the Israelites. In the New Testament, we are told the Old Testament is an example for us today. It also foretells the future.

            Some of the prophesies have been fulfilled—for example, the suffering Messiah in Isaiah 53, Jesus Christ. He will return as the Warrior to defend Israel, also prophesied in Isaiah.

            I digress. To return to the stories of Israel in Isaiah and the other books: God entreats His children to seek Him and to follow His commandments. The promises: He will pour out blessings and protect His people from the evil one. If they serve demonic gods—casting their children in the fire, seeking fortune tellers or in our day, psychics; worship the hosts of heaven; love idols: power, money, possessions, food, sex outside of marriage, status, etc.; God promises judgment.

            Yesterday, when I watched a television commercial for medicine to help with HIV/AIDS in the middle of a hot summer day when children may be influenced, men kissed each other full on the mouth. Women held hands and looked with longing at each other. God says homosexuality is an abomination to Him.

            As I sat quietly this morning, trying to hear from God after reading warnings and seeing redemptions from God our Father, this is what I believe He downloaded to my spirit:

            “Feed My sheep, the good and the bad. For bad is coming to the United States for polluting her ways. She was a bride and I was her bridegroom, but she has become a great harlot, polluting the world. Unless the people rise up and cry out against the wickedness and repent and turn from their wicked ways and seek My face, I will destroy the United States as I destroyed Nineveh and that great city, Babylon.”

            As I pondered this and hesitated, I sensed God’s impression, “Feed My sheep.”

            At the bottom of my journal where I wrote this prophetic statement out, I underlined Ephesians 1:7: “In Him we have redemption through His blood, the forgiveness of sins, in accordance with the riches of God’s grace.”

            God longs to shower His love upon us, but as a Father, He also brings discipline.

            I told my husband, “I am not watching television anymore. “Lord, help me to follow through with that declaration, I ask in the mighty name of Jesus! Amen.”

            May God bless you.

Listening

Somewhere this week, I read “Documentary filmmaker Valarie Kaur on listening: ‘Deep listening is an act of surrender. We risk being changed by what we hear.'”

I try to note where I found a quote, but this week is a time of much reading to prepare my mind for writing a nonfiction book. I jotted this quote in a notebook called “Picturesque Speech,” which Charlie Shedd recommended writers keep, in his book If I Can Write, You Can Write.

His book is copyrighted in 1984 by Charlie W. Shedd, published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH.

I looked through my current books, and decided I saw the quote by Valarie Kaur on Facebook. Not that I knew anything about her or her stance in life. I know a little now from getting on Facebook.

I’m trying to listen more closely to my husband, because sometimes he tells me I don’t listen to him. Or, I’ll exclaim over a revolutionary idea that will be an answer to a dilemma and he’ll tell me he told me that–many times before. “Really?”

I guess I wasn’t ready to hear it at that time. In the book of Proverbs, it speaks often about listening. (Proverbs 1:33, CEV) says, “But if you listen to me, you will be safe and secure without fear of disaster.” That is Wisdom speaking.

Proverbs is a book in the Old Testament written mostly by King Solomon, the wisest man in the world, but not perfectly wise. Too many women led him astray. Following false gods because of the ladies he married, or because of his concubines caused him a severe depression as he aged. Thus, we get the book of Ecclesiastes. By the end of Ecclesiastes, he tells people to remember God.

Solomon didn’t listen to his father, David. He also made wrong choices, but the Bible tells us David was a man after God’s heart. David listened to the prophet Nathan, when he confronted King David about a couple of terrible sins. David repented and faced some harsh consequences. Maybe he didn’t talk to Solomon much. His parenting skills suffered. The Bible doesn’t hide human foibles.

If someone you know offers you some great advice, I hope you will hear them. I’m not sure why I didn’t hear my husband those times. Maybe I wasn’t ready to make a change. Not listening can cause consequences. Good or bad, depending on the wisdom of the one doing the talking.

Proverbs talks about avoiding hours drinking alcohol and missing out on life. Proverbs tells the sons of Solomon to be faithful to their wife, even unto their elder years. I like that one! How to invest money. How to plant crops. How to manage time. So many categories. “The fear of the Lord is the beginning of wisdom,” is early in the book of Proverbs. Maybe you and I will read from this book and “hear” something we will want to act upon, for our good. I read Scripture aloud sometimes as I pray for understanding. Maybe you do, too.

I pray this finds you well! God bless!

Write Light for Ten Years!

Wow! I wrote a letter to an agent today. I told him I’d been blogging for seven years. Then, I saw an anniversary announcement from WordPress.com saying, “Congratulations!” Ten years! I’m blown away, like a dandelion seed. 🙂

nature,grass,plant,cloud,sky,field
https://pxhere.com/en/photos?q=dandelion+seeds&search=

My daughter wrote two children’s books that encourage kiddos, so I spoke to Bob Hostetler, an agent at Steve Laube Agency about sending her manuscripts to him. He said, “Yes!”

We wrote one story together, so I sent that one as well. I’ve had one thing happen after another, more so than my norm. So, if you happened to write to me in the last two months and I didn’t respond, I will do my best to go back to any comments I missed, and read your words this week. I hope you are well!

May God bless you and keep you in the palm of His outstretched hand. He loves you, and longs for you to seek Him. “Seek the Lord while He may be found,
Call upon Him while He is near,” (Isaiah 55:6, NKJV).

Flowers and People

I’m walking up the street after a rainfall in Upstate, NY. Some of my neighbors landscape beautifully. Other’s flower beds are sadly neglected. Maybe the people are not feeling well or are too busy.

May was a hard month for me, so I got help from my husband, my grandson and then later from my son from a town a couple of hours away. None of the three love to garden, but they love me and I thank God for them.

Silhouette, Adoption, Diverse Family
https://pixabay.com/images/search/family%20fun/

When I was a young mother and my husband worked a ton of hours, I remember thinking of running away for about a minute and a half. Then, despite not being fond of washing, drying and changing cloth diapers and sticking pins through all those layers, with my thumb posed to take the sharp jab if need be, I’d see the beautiful baby.

What were a few lonely hours compared to the joy of family life? When I read Genesis 2, God set Adam and Eve in paradise and as the first family.

They started out without sin for who knows how long? No selfishness, belittling one another, greediness, or any other ugly thing imaginable. That is, until sinful choices entered the picture. Then, God drove them out of the garden of Eden.

The world as we know it began. If there was no sin, there would be no racism. A young man asked my middle-aged friend why God made people with different skin colors and characteristics unique to various races. She prayed silently, “Father God, how do I answer this?”

Then it came to her. “Do you see all the different colors, sizes, shapes and fragrances of flowers? God likes variety.”

I do, too.

I hope you are doing well. May God bless you!

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!