Clearing My Calendar

 

I cleared my calendar for this week when my grandchildren showed up for a little more than a week last Sunday.

They are getting old enough to sleep away for a week in the summer from their folks at home. My father-in-law used to have our kids over for a week in the summer, so the tradition continues, although I think he took them one at a time. He used to hire them to help around his place and I intended to do the same on a lesser degree, but the time is flying by. Plus, we’re making plans to see some attractions and extended-family, so it may not work out.

Years ago, a pastor younger than my husband and I told me if I ever wanted to get my house spruced up, invite people over. It proved true for me this week. I emptied a closet out in two rooms and re-organized them, threw stuff away and placed some items in a give-away spot.

I kept waiting for the weather to warm up so I could apply house numbers to our mailbox that I bought in Feb.

I cleaned the outside of the mail receptacle, rinsed it and dried it. I carefully affixed the large numbers at around 9:00 at night. I’m expecting a few more family members tonight. I even washed fingerprints off the screen doors’ glass around 10:00 p.m. because it’s been driving me crazy and the children are sleeping.

We tried to read about Moses tonight for their Bible story, but unfortunately, last night they were so stinking cute and I was tired and I got laughing and they got laughing and we cut it short. Then the second born told me we didn’t get to read about Moses, so I promised we’d do it tonight. They like to act the story out and I didn’t let them last night because I was not up to it. So, they tried to act it out tonight. The last born decided he wanted to be God in the story, but halfway through God’s speech to Moses where God says His name is “I AM,” the little one decided he wanted to be the king instead. The oldest told me that’s because Jesus is the “King of kings.”

I was beginning to agree to that and suddenly everything ran amuck. The second born starts laughing because he likes to laugh and he’s remembering last night, but it’s just when the youngest says in the lowest voice he can muster, “I AM.”

It seemed so awe inspiring to me, that I didn’t want laughing at that juncture and then my husband comes into the room and says, “How long of a Bible story are you going to have tonight? Are you planning on going on until 11:00?”

By then, my granddaughter who got tired of the small amount of lines from Pharaoh’s daughter had decided she’d be God instead of her abdicating brother. Her oldest brother, Moses was trying to stay the course but every once in a while one of the younger ones would give him an unexpected hug from behind that was almost a tackle and he’d start laughing. I gave up.

I hope you’re enjoying this month. I write to someone in Bolivia and it occurs to me that when we’re finally getting sunny days in between this rainy spring that they’re heading into winter.

By the way, have you cleared your calendar lately?

May God bless you!

cropped-family.jpg

God loves His children!

Judging a Book by Its Cover

As a pastor’s wife, you run into lots of people from various cultures. We have a young lady that started attending church months ago. Her dad is Puerto Rican, her mom is African American with parents from Louisiana – Creole in heritage. Such a beautiful girl. She says strangers can’t decide if she’s Hispanic or African American with light skin or from India or other far away countries, then she laughs with a delightful sound.

I ran into someone else today who had to go to court and she was dressed in a pretty black dress with a multi-colored necklace and shiny silver shoes. The only thing out of the ordinary is an exotic hair style. The person that wanted her in court to press their case wore a man’s big sports t-shirt, sloppy shoes, baggy slacks, and a really short haircut. She usually eats poorly and sleeps erratic hours, so there’s dark circles under her eyes.

I told the first one she looked pretty. Then I asked how the other person appeared. She said, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

I said, “In this case you can.”

The court case didn’t go the way the finely dressed girl wanted it to, but it went the way she expected it to. She had been trying to help a friend and the judge said if the person doesn’t want assistance it’s time to stop. The one receiving care wanted to speak badly about the other. The judge raised her hand and stopped any comments. We’re not here for a discussion.

She ruled on the case and then turned to the lady in the dress. “Thank you for all that you’ve done.”

Friendly Female Judge Cartoon Clipart

(photo from clip art)

 

 

 

Then to the one that brought the case to court, she instructed her to get her act together and she wanted to see proof that the girl carried out the correct behavior. “No one will call you or set up appointments with professionals for you, but you will be required to carry through or face consequences.”

It was more than the pretty dress and clean appearance that caused Her Honor to praise the one girl and her husband. The judge saw a couple who truly cared and had stepped in when someone was floundering. Unfortunately, other influences occurred and voices spoke that stopped the positive direction. It’s not easy to change and sometimes people don’t want their friends or family to walk away from activities even if it’s the absolute best for them.

So I’m praying for all the parties involved. I’ve seen God answer prayers in amazing ways that seemed convoluted at the time. Yet, every twist and turn set the path for the proper ending. There are times when it’s appropriate to let go and wait and see how things work out. Especially if a judge says, “Thanks for trying, but it’s out of your hands now.”

That is exactly what God does when He gives us free choice. He gives people the opportunity to seek Him and find Him and learn from Him. He gives folks the chance to try other faiths or atheism. He tells of the benefits of following Him and He tells of the consequences of rejecting Him. I’ve been reading in 2 Chronicles and sometimes it’s long and not interesting and other places it’s absolutely riveting. When the kings stopped honoring God and obeying Him, their choices became absolutely demonic. I marked my Bible with that word outside the printing at 2 Chronicles 28:3 – demonic.

It’s such a relief when the chapter begins with the new king and the Word says this one did what was right in the sight of the Lord as his father David did. These kings were descendants of King David generations down the line.

We’ve been getting so much rain in Upstate, NY. Being a gray day didn’t help the emotions of the young girl summoned to court but God answered our prayers. I prayed that no weapon formed against her or her husband would prosper. That’s a promise from Isa_54:17 , (KJV): “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me,” saith the LORD.

She prayed that they would be careful to speak with wisdom. God answered our prayers and He knows all about both young ladies and the situation. We can rest in His provision and control, just as King David trusted in God to protect Him in difficult situations.

I try not to judge people by appearances because sometimes scam artists dress very fine and clean up really nice. God knows all about everybody. I’m glad Christians kept after me even when I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear. One girl spoke gently and intriguingly to me every day at school for months. Then I would go home and ponder. She was not the only Christian I ran into in those days. Somehow it finally made sense to me.

May God bless you.

 

 

 

Grandma, Are You Awake?

 

Sometimes my grandchildren stay overnight when they’re here to visit. I make pancakes for them in the morning with New Hope Mills buttermilk pancake mix. We like it. Sometimes the oldest will start chattering away. I’ll tell him, “Not right now, I’m not awake.” 🙂

He peers closely at me. I’m mixing water and pancake powder into a bowl. Afterwards, I’m walking around the kitchen. Tentatively, he says, “Grandma.”

I sigh. “What sweetheart?”

“You look awake.”

I wish I could say I smile at him, but alas, there is no smile that early in the day when I stayed up late the night before, even when I know they’re up and about at six or seven a.m. I remain civil but mostly mute for probably half an hour.

I try to read my Bible first thing in the morning, but that suffers also, if it’s too early because my brain is sluggish some days. Although today I began my Life Plan from Michael Hyatt’s and Daniel Harkavy’s book, which I’ve blogged about before. So, I rose around 7:30 surprisingly alert. With appointments shortly after arising, I didn’t get to read the Word until this afternoon.

I read 2 Chronicles 11:22, 23 and couldn’t help but laugh. The king wanted to avoid strife between his sons, so he sent some of them to different cities, gave them an abundance of food and many wives. God said the king showed wisdom in this.

The content men, busy with their lives didn’t look outside their borders to war for the kingdom.

On a serious note, reading in 2 Chronicles about the kings of Israel, when they sought God to know Him better and to worship Him, He blessed them in many ways. When they decided to marry outside of their faith and worshipped the Baal’s and set up an abominable Asherah, He removed his favor from them.

When they put their children through the fire to appease these false gods, He got seriously ticked.

America has murdered over 60 million babies through abortion. Jonathan Cahn, a Messianic Jewish rabbi I listened to said, “America sacrificed these children to the god of self.”

“Oh, Lord help us.”

Jonathan Cahn feels we’re at a crossroads.

I’m paraphrasing what he said based on the fact that the Old Testament is an example for us to learn from according to 2Peter 2:6, (ISV):  and if he condemned the cities of Sodom and Gomorrah and destroyed them by burning them to ashes, making them an example to ungodly people of what is going to happen to them;

2Pe 2:7  and if he rescued Lot, a righteous man who was greatly distressed by the immoral conduct of lawless people—

2Pe 2:8  for as long as that righteous man lived among them, day after day he was being tortured in his righteous soul by what he saw and heard in their lawless actions—

2Pe 2:9  then the Lord knows how to rescue godly people from their trials and to hold unrighteous people for punishment on the day of judgment,

Here’s my paraphrase of Jonathan Cahn’s remarks: If we continue with pagan philosophies, we will continue to experience the wrath of God in a greater measure.

Or, Christians can repent, turn form their wicked ways, pray for our land, obey God and hopefully we’ll see revival. Otherwise, our country will face what Israel faced so many times: hardships, severe weather, famines, and wars. Sometimes they lost their country to foreign powers and their brightest and best became slaves to the conquering nation.

The book of Daniel tells of Babylon’s victory over Israel and of the young men made to serve King Nebuchadnezzar as eunuchs many miles from home and family.

As a grandma, I don’t want to see my country taken over by a foreign land more for the sake of my children and their children than for myself. I take comfort in the fact that God is in control. Daniel faced trials in Babylon, but God watched over him and allowed him to rise in the political ranks so he helped the Babylonians. In return, King Cyrus helped the Israelites to return to their promised land, many years later.

God has a plan for Israel; God has a plan for America. This is what God spoke in Jeremiah 29:10, (ISV):  “For this is what the LORD says: ‘When Babylon’s seventy years are completed, I’ll take note of you and will fulfill my good promises to you by bringing you back to this place.

Jer 29:11  For I know the plans that I have for you,’ declares the LORD, ‘plans for well-being, and not for calamity, in order to give you a future and a hope.

Jer 29:12  When you call out to me and come and pray to me, I’ll hear you.

Jer 29:13  You will seek me and find me when you search for me with all your heart.

Jer 29:14  I’ll be found by you,’ declares the LORD, ‘and I’ll restore your security and gather you from all the nations and all the places to which I’ve driven you,’ declares the LORD. ‘I’ll bring you back to the place from which I sent you into exile.’

A lady from our church felt God was asking that we put this Scripture on our sign, so we did for a time: 2Chronicles_7:14, (KJV):  If my people, which are called by my name, shall humble themselves, and pray, and seek my face, and turn from their wicked ways; then will I hear from heaven, and will forgive their sin, and will heal their land.

I believe God is awakening people to His reality. I’ve been lulled to sleep by good food, a good husband and entertainment. I need my grandchildren to say, “Grandma, are you awake?”

May God bless you.

A Plan Set in Motion

The rain drops sit on my husband’s windshield as if they’re glued droplets of glass.

I’m in the car waiting for him so we can catch a new action movie at the theater. Of course, I just made a cup of Rooibos tea, so I put it in a travel mug and I’m determined to wait long enough so I don’t burn myself on it.

Even the side windows’ rain drops are defying gravity. Hmm.

Anyway, I set my Life Plan from Michael Hyatt & Daniel Harkavy’s book, Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want on paper today. The tome is published by Baker Books, Grand Rapids, MI and copyrighted by the authors in 2016.

Living Forward: A Proven Plan to Stop Drifting and Get the Life You Want  -     By: Michael Hyatt, Daniel Harkavy

(photo from https://www.christianbook.com/living-forward-proven-drifting-life-want/michael-hyatt/9780801018824/pd/018820?product_redirect=1&Ntt=9780801018824&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCG )

I copied the author’s empty ideal week template with Monday – Sunday across the top and time from 5:00 a.m. – 9:30 p.m. on the left column. I looked in their book at an executive’s schedule which didn’t match my lifestyle. He started about that early. I’ve heard my husband say I don’t even know there’s a 5:30 in the morning. Which I deny vigorously. I’ve been on vacation or headed to a meeting that required me to be in the car by 5:30 a.m. probably three times in my life. 🙂

I digress.

I copied the light green weekly sheet and started to put in my meetings and schedule for work and exercise, etc. My Sunday ended up on a second page and I just realized I never filled that one out, so after I blog I’ll go back to that sheet of paper.

The evening hours suggested family time, reading, planning and I grabbed that idea for me. I’m tired of blogging at 11:00 p.m. and then reading others’ blogs which gets my brain charged up and then I get to bed at 1:00 a.m.

So today, I figured 5:00 p.m. to start preparing a meal, then eating, and then cleanup. Time with family & reading & an early bedtime sounded great. When my husband asked if I wanted to go to a movie, I looked at my plan. Family time, etc. beginning at 5:00. So I said, “Sure.”

I read my Bible earlier in the day, ran some errands. I usually mark my calendar for shopping and stuff on Friday but today I realized that I really do my running around on Tuesdays. So, my ideal week reflected that.

I want more time to write than I planned, but if I’m consistent with what I chose, the words should add up. If my husband has meetings, I can grab pen and legal pad or sit at the computer when he’s away during family time.

I’m looking forward to a more structured life. Even if curveballs come my way, I have a reference point for decision making.

I forgot to schedule hobbies in, my lowest priority. I may have to sneak some time on the weekend.

I’ve been praying for wisdom and today I felt as if God’s Spirit whispered to me, Ask and you shall receive, seek and you shall find, and knock and the door will be opened for you.

What a wonderful God He is!

May God bless you.

David Versus Goliath

 

My husband and I watched a movie on Netflix tonight about young David when he first became anointed by the prophet Samuel to become king of Israel. The producer wrote at the outset that the movie was not historically accurate for dramatization effect. They gave the biblical reference for this event and the fight against Goliath. He fought for the Philistines. The information is recorded in 1 Samuel 17 in the Old Testament of the Hoy Bible.

I have to admit that it made me realize what a lowly position David was in as a shepherd. To go from shepherd to king is quite an adjustment to make. The story line got changed quite a bit. We thought the biblical account showed conflict and determination and violence. The television movie upped the ante even more.

David and Goliath (1 Samuel 17:47) Bookmarks, 25(photo from https://www.christianbook.com/david-and-goliath-bookmarks-25/pd/123443?event=ESRCG )

Lately, some of the biblical movies are not only historically inaccurate, but some are so altered as to be offensive. I saw that the film, “Noah” is available on streaming on Netflix. That show radically changed Noah’s life and perspective enough that a pastor at our church left the theater. She said it’s blasphemous. To portray Noah, a godly man, thinking of killing his only grandchild, the only child left after the worldwide flood, shocked me. The rest of the events were bad enough, but that was right in line with people that believe the planet should be worshiped, animals should be protected at all costs, and human kind needs to be catastrophically eliminated so the number of persons is about a third of the number we have today.

God is for life and not for death. It must have broken His heart to start over by punishing mankind with a flood. The Word says the violence and the worst kinds of sin filled the earth. Noah was the only person on the planet whom God called righteous. Even his wife and sons and daughters-in-law did not honor God. After the flood, God made a rainbow as a promise that He would never destroy the earth by water again. The account is found in Genesis 7 in the Old Testament.

The signs of a worldwide flood can be found underground in oil deposits, on top of the earth in mountains, in the Grand Canyon in Arizona – which shows layers of various deposits of soil and minerals. Fish skeleton fossils are found on top of the mountains. Tree fossils are found with the roots on top and the rest of the remains pointing down or laying sideways.

In the book of Job it sounds as if dinosaurs, called dragons back in the day, were on the planet at the same time with man. If Tyrannosaurus Rex walked the land with humans imagine the terrifying violence that would occur when the creature got mad or afraid and decided to lash out. Consider Michael Crichton’s book and the movie version of it, by Steven Spielberg in 1993, “Jurassic Park.” Talk about scary.

To think that God never intended sin or death to be part of our existence here on planet earth, according to Genesis 1. He gave vegetables and fruit for the animals and humans to eat. It wasn’t until after the worldwide flood that God told Noah to eat meat. All the vegetation was washed away.

Later, it wasn’t too long after Noah’s ark landed on dry land that the family’s sinful choices got recorded for all of us to read. I know I’m a sinner. It’s not easy to admit it some days. So God the Father, God the Son, and God the Holy Spirit decided to make a plan for salvation. One God, three separate persons – like an egg is one egg but there’s the shell, the yolk and the egg white. It’s a mystery that’s hard to fathom.

Jesus, the Messiah, came to earth once to take on the sins of the world so the wrath of God would fall on a willing perfect scapegoat. The Word of God calls Jesus the Lamb of God, the sacrificial unblemished offering. After He died, Jesus got resurrected from the dead by God the Father.

When He comes again, every person on earth will see him and if they’ve ignored Him or rejected Him, they will be terrified. This time He is coming as a warrior to defeat the Evil one and to punish sinful mankind who didn’t repent and accept His free gift of salvation.

I don’t understand it all. Teachings on the end times are in Thessalonians in the New Testament and in Revelation. His commands and prophecy for the future are scary. He came in person, his life story is historically proven, and He wrote a book for us. In 2 Peter 3:9 it says that God is patiently waiting for people to repent, because it’s not His will that any should perish – suffer in hell with the devil. The lake of fire was made for Satan and his demons.

When we choose to reject God, we’ll suffer consequences. Once someone is dead, their fate is sealed. I try not to think about people I know that wouldn’t even listen, and now they’re gone. It’s too heartbreaking.

I didn’t know I would write about this tonight. I asked God what should I write and this came to mind. Many prophesies in the Word of God about Jesus returning are being fulfilled. Certain things have to happen first and most, if not all have already happened. I hope you are ready for Jesus’ return. If not, please look into the Bible before it’s too late. Pray and ask God to show you, if you’re unsure.

May God bless you.

 

2 Kings

I started reading 2 Kings yesterday and it occurred to me that God asks what do you want in the Old Testament and in the New Testament. Was it because of where I was reading that I felt as if God asked me what did I want today? Whatever the reason, I did ponder that question.

If the God of the universe is asking me what I want as He asked Solomon and as Jesus asked the two blind men calling him from the side of the road in Matthew 20: 30-34, then it’s worth serious consideration.

What would you ask God for if you thought He was asking, “What do you want?”

Would you ask for healing for the short amount of time we have on this earth compared to all of eternity? Would you ask for a mate to marry and then possibly have children with that mate if you’re in child-bearing years? Would you ask for a better job? Would you ask for wisdom or riches? Would you ask for a skill to better the world for all of mankind? Would you ask for help in a faltering relationship? How about asking for social justice?

When Elijah neared the end of his life, his protégé Elisha stayed close by him even when Elijah tried to get him to leave. Finally, before the chariot from heaven came to collect Elijah, he asked his apprentice what he wanted from him. He wanted a double portion of Elijah’s spirit. After the request was granted, stories of God’s power in the hands of Elisha got me thinking of the wondrous nature of God.

God removed poison from the pot of stew, He restored the life of a young boy, He allowed Elisha to call down a curse on a large group of young men that mocked Elisha and two mother bears came and attacked 42 of the boys.

I’ve heard that story before and it never occurred to me that that number of young men was a sizable group. I wouldn’t want to meet up with a gang that size and them looking for trouble.

Also, in the Jewish culture, respect for parents was part of their law. Lev 20:9, (CEV):  If you curse your father or mother, you will be put to death, and it will be your own fault.

Honoring elders was a part of their culture, so for them to mock Elisha showed a lack of morals. In addition, if they knew he was a prophet, then the offense would have been worse.

I love reading the Bible, yet in the book of 1 Kings and 2 Kings, it shows the kings of Israel and sometimes Judah, turning from God to false gods and what a mess that results from that choice. The Moabites worshiped Molech and they threw their children into the fire as a human sacrifice. God abhors that and the penalty for that in Leviticus 20:2 is stoning of the offenders.

I know God sometimes asks us what we want, but how often do we ask God what He wants? I don’t know about you, but I don’t ask often enough.

May God bless you.

Noises

I planned to blog earlier tonight, but my computer informed me it was beginning updates until it reached 35 thousand something. So, I left the room and picked up the Kindle my son gave me a few Christmases ago and it began to update itself. So, I put it down and decided to clean the kitchen for a bit. Now I’m back at the computer and I visited someone’s site that liked one of my posts and I heard a terrible sound so I quickly exited their site.

It reminded me of an enemy of a duck stepping on it as it lay down and the quirky duck sound from characters in cartoons filled my ears until I clicked on the x button as soon as I could.

Then I immediately prayed for God to protect this computer. There are times in life when a noise occurs that I know means trouble. Unusual grinding noises in my car cause automatic reflexes – foot on the brake, eyes scanning the dashboard for warning lights and little icons that mean something if I can find it in the car manufacturer’s instruction book hidden away in the glove compartment.

At one of the various jobs I held, my boss’s shoes clickety- clacked towards me on the tile floor at an accelerated pace. Then she’d open a drawer and start pawing through things and I’d do my best to escape from the narrow passageway as she grumbled about not being able to find …

After she released pent up anger or frustration, I’d hear the drawer slam and her shoes moving slower and with daintier steps away and I’d re-appear to wait on customers. I used to thank Jesus that she was not my mother and pray for her children and all of her employees. I ended up leaving that job for a different opportunity and my friends told me she became easier to work for after a little while. Who knows what stress people live with that we know nothing about?

Yesterday my daughter came over to the house for much of the day. She brought a nineteen month old boy she and her husband are caring for quite a bit to help out his mom. I’m teaching him how to race down a hallway with all the doors shut and no barriers to stumble over. When we get back to the living room, he lets out a delighted laugh and turns back to the entryway to start over. I point out my toe and hold him back as I say, “Ready? On your mark, get set, Go!”

Off we run with him in the lead. As he beats me, he gives me a high five and then he tries to say the word, “Ready” which comes out like, “Rery.”

That’s a noise I like to hear. He has a hearty laugh that gets me laughing right alongside of him.

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you!

Rich or Poor

The other day I spoke to the volunteer at the local Historical Society and the subject of wealth came up. Many of our town’s philanthropists over a century ago made lots of money through banking or through medical practices and businesses.

I could be wrong, but I got the impression that the man didn’t think highly of those who accumulated significant wealth. This is the second time in my many years here that I have run into people with good retirement incomes, enough that they can go on cruises or take other vacation trips, yet they seem to disdain the acquisition of lots of money.

I pointed out to the man that these rich folks built hospitals,  the library, homes for orphans, invited government institutions to settle here, which provided jobs for the inhabitants, supported churches, and gave land and hired landscapers to fashion parks for everyone to enjoy, etc.

As I read through the book of Luke today, I came across Jesus telling the story of the rich young ruler. It can be found in Luke 18:18-27, Matthew 19: 16-26 and again in Mark 10: 17-27.

My husband told us this past Sunday that the reason there is more than one telling of the same story is because each individual has their own perspective. They’re all seeing the same thing from different angles and all is true.

When I read in Matthew about the rich young ruler asking Jesus what good deed should he do to inherit eternal life, He told the man to keep the commandments. The young man said he’d kept them since his youth. Then Jesus said if you wish to be perfect then go and sell your possessions, give the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow Me.

The young man went away sorrowing because he owned many things. I’ve heard it preached that if he had given all his money to the poor, the Lord would have blessed him with even more earthly possessions, but I don’t see that here. What I see here is a young man being allowed to follow God the Son, to learn from Him and to experience first-hand the love of God. What a privilege he walked away from. Jesus didn’t say he wouldn’t go to heaven, He tells the disciples that it’s difficult for a rich man to get to heaven, but nothing is impossible with God.

In Matthew 6:24 of the Word of God Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters. Either we will hate one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. Man cannot serve God and mammon (money).

If a believer becomes rich, it would behoove that person to hold on to the money very loosely and to be willing to let God direct the wealth. Even King Solomon with all his wisdom used riches for selfish reasons and to placate his wives. He built their gods buildings to be worshiped in and began to follow those gods and incurred the wrath of God.

I think God wants us to be good stewards of whatever He gives us to use. If we consider money as a tool, then we’re not in danger of letting material goods become an idol. Money is not to be greedily sought after or abhorred. It’s necessary at times in life to have resources. God is our provider, that’s the thing to remember. Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto us.

May God bless you and watch over you.

Get Ready, Get Set, Go!

 

Earlier this week, I wrote in my planner for today, 8:00 a.m. appointment for a doctor’s appointment – that’s not earth shattering, Thank You, God.

Then I wrote, visit a friend – who had a stroke many months ago. She finally got into an apartment possibly eight months ago and I don’t see her very often.

I chose to shop today because my doctor was close to a number of stores, which is not the norm for me. After going to the second store, I called my friend to see if today was good for her. It turned out that she’d be available, so I set up a vague time frame. Then I received a text message. My brother and sister-in-law were going to be passing by and wanted to stop in to see me. I never turn those opportunities down if I can help it because I don’t see them very often.

I called my friend back at a convenience restaurant which was swamped with customers to see if she wanted me to get her a coffee I’d promised to pick up for her, since our time was limited. Her aide said she was downstairs waiting for me and finally the line began to move, so I told her I’d get the coffee after all and to please tell her I was running late. Then, my daughter called. She needed a favor. She has a part time job and her husband wasn’t going to be home in time for her to get to work. Could I please come and babysit for the eighteen month old under their care? That was for about a couple hours after my brother and his wife were due to get to the house and she lives a half hour away.

So, sad but true, my visit with my friend was short and I could feel the caffeine and the adrenaline causing my insides to race. She’s a little more distracted than usual since her stroke. She did laundry and had brought her lunch downstairs to eat while she did laundry and spoke to her aide and to neighbors and fit me in when she could. So, it was a little bizarre anyway.

When I got home, I brought a couple of the purchases inside and put them away and then I started straightening the house up. I lived next door to a lady in the early 1980’s. She did her housework early in the day and finished what she started and gardened for peace of mind and had a place for everything and everything in its place.

My sister-in-law keeps her house tidy and pretty, as well. As they entered I was extremely glad that I’d vacuumed the night before and put some things away. Yet, some things left undone stood up and shouted, “Look at me!” in my imagination. I stifled a groan, swept my arm up and around and said, “You’ll have to take me as I am.”

My gracious sister-in-law smiled and said, “We don’t come to see your house, we come to see you.”

What a sweetheart. Anyway, the phone rang and we couldn’t talk because my brother needed to exchange important information. Then he passed the phone to me, and then I passed the phone to her and then as the time conscious person that she is, almost immediately after she hung up the phone she told me it was time for me to go to my daughters’ house. I laughed about that and thanked her.

I drove to my daughter’s with the non-perishable shopping items in the car, began to babysit and his mother and grandmother showed up and I hung around making myself useful getting supper while she played with her son. I thought, as long as I’m here, I’m going to stick around. When my son-in-law came home, I visited a little and then went on my way.

Once home, I grabbed one of my many books on organizing, this one is entitled, Emile Barnes’15 Minute Home and Family ORGANIZER: Two Bestselling Works Complete in One Volume. Inspirational Press, a division of BBS Publishing Corporation, New York, NY published it in 1998 by arrangement with Harvest House Publishers, Eugene, OR because they had published separately, The 15 Minute Organizer in 1991, and 15 Minute Family Tradition and Memories in 1995 and they hold the copyright.Emilie Barnes' 15-Minute Home and Family Organizer by Emilie Barnes ...(photo from http://www.goodsearch.com/search-web?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keywords=Emilie+Barnes%27+15+Minute+Home+and+Family+ORGANIZER&button=)

These fifteen minute activities sometimes show up on a page and a half with a Scripture reference that is applicable right under the title of the chapter. Chapter 1 is “Goal Setting Made Easy.” Chapter 2 is “Establishing Daily Priorities.” After a day like today, I need  bite-size encouragement. I’m also going to end my day earlier than normal to the best of my ability. “Please, God, please!”

Has your day ever gone off in directions like water escaping over the top of a plugged sink?

I plan to blog tomorrow and intend to spend more time catching up with others through their blogs. I really enjoy seeing what other folks are up to. 🙂

May God bless you.

Why Call Me Lord and Not Obey?

My husband has been preaching about the Beatitudes lately and this morning my devotional time lined up with his talks. In Luke 6:46-49, (ESV), Jesus says: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Luk 6:47  Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like:

Luk 6:48  he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

Luk 6:49  But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

As society presses us to conform more and more to its ways, we as people will find our lives crumbling around us when we go the opposite way of God.

I got a newsletter from Evangelist Dea Warford yesterday and he said that Fox television runs a commercial from the Ad Council showing two same sex people kissing and others clapping around them. The ad is called “Love has no labels,” and Dea tells us the announcer says, “Love is love.”

We stopped getting television some years back because the shows and commercials were offensive to my husband and me. He is a sports fan, so it’s been hard on him some days. We get Netflix and search to find wholesome shows.

We are not hiding ourselves from the world. What people believe, they act on. An acquaintance at the library over the past year adjusted to her husband deciding to become a woman.

Later, I asked her mom if she was going to remain married to him. She looked shocked. “Of course!”

The first time her daughter saw me after he published his name change in the newspaper to Joy, she lowered her eyes and gave me room to avoid contact.

We’d talked about marriage in the past. Once a year they talk and see if they’re okay. If they are, they remain a couple. I told her we made a commitment and divorce is never considered an option. We looked eye-to-eye, blinked a few times as we processed the different approaches and then went on our way.

Lately, I attended a writer’s meeting and she bustled around the room at the end. In a high-pitched voice, with enthusiasm I heard her speaking. “Joy did ….” “Then Joy said, ‘….’”

I couldn’t make out anything but the name from across the distance.

My husband asked, in the very beginning, “I wonder if he considered the medical risks of taking these sex-changing hormones?”

A bit later I heard him murmur, “I’d like to talk to him.”

Who knows, it’s a small world, as the saying goes.

It’s clear in God’s Word that He made each of us as male and female in the first chapters of Genesis.

What a slap in God’s face, fooling with one’s gender. I imagine they’re not considering God. They’re listening to their own thoughts and thinking of persuasive messages from the world around them.

Speaking of messages, I think God is telling me to write early in my day. Jesus said in John 10:4-5 (BBE):  “When he has got them all out, he goes before them, and the sheep go after him, for they have knowledge of his voice.

They will not go after another who is not their keeper, but will go from him in flight, because his voice is strange to them.”

Yet, Gideon asked God to prove he was hearing from God in Judges 6:36, (KJV):  Then Gideon said to God, If you are going to give Israel salvation by my hand, as you have said,

Jdg 6:37  See, I will put the wool of a sheep on the grain-floor; if there is dew on the wool only, while all the earth is dry, then I will be certain that it is your purpose to give Israel salvation by my hand as you have said.

Jdg 6:38  And it was so: for he got up early on the morning after, and twisting the wool in his hands, he got a basin full of water from the dew on the wool.

Jdg 6:39  Then Gideon said to God, Do not be moved to wrath against me if I say only this: let me make one more test with the wool; let the wool now be dry, while the earth is covered with dew.

Jdg 6:40  And that night God did so; for the wool was dry, and there was dew on all the earth round it.

God was not offended at Gideon. I ask God to confirm His still small voice when I think I’ve heard from Him and it always lines up with His commands in Scripture.

If I think God is telling me to kill someone – that is not God. If He wants someone to die, He can easily take their spirit from them without human help.

The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy it says in John 10:10 and Jesus came to give life and that abundantly. Those who embrace homosexuality and divorce their spouse destroy the security of their mate and if applicable, their children.

My acquaintance may be putting on a false, cheerful front with a transgender mate, but I imagine she’s shed a boatload of tears.

A friend in college got forsaken by her boyfriend. He told her, “I’ll either choose you or choose the homosexual lifestyle and she got rejected back in the 1970’s before I knew her. When I visited her at home, she turned on me and mocked me with some details I’d shared with her.

As we stayed apart until my departure time arrived, her mom asked if the problem arose from me or from her. I admitted it came from her daughter and she nodded her head as if she knew it.

His choice rocked her whole being and frankly it had nothing to do with her. She left college over that summer, so I never saw her or heard from her again.

I hope she healed from that rejection.

Over the years I’ve come to realize that when I follow Jesus and obey Him, trusting Him as best  I can, He upholds me during the storms of life. Godly choices keep me from experiencing the bedlam of worldly choices no matter how narrow-minded society calls me. I don’t have to taste from the yuck of life’s offerings to know they eventually bring about strife, death, over-emphasis on pleasing self, a lack of stability and well-being.

With God’s help I’ll call out to the Lord in times of trouble and obey Him along life’s way. A saying my husband had us repeat on Sunday, “I can’t do it without Jesus.”

Ain’t it the truth?

God bless!