The Book of Jeremiah

 

A few months after the beginning of January, 2017 I decided to start reading the Bible through from start to finish. In the Old Testament, I’m only in the book of Jeremiah. I wouldn’t want to be a false prophet. God’s anger seethed against them and they either got imprisoned or they ended up dying before the end of the year.

 

Some years ago, I had a next-door neighbor. She never wanted to be on a jury because she could always feel sorry for the law-breaker, no matter what she or he did. I think she thought God doesn’t get mad, either. In Jeremiah, he prophesies by saying, “Thus says the Lord God Almighty,…”

 

Jeremiah 28:11, (NKJV)  And Hananiah spoke in the presence of all the people, saying, “Thus says the LORD: ‘Even so I will break the yoke of Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon from the neck of all nations within the space of two full years.’ ” And the prophet Jeremiah went his way.

Jer 28:12  Now the word of the LORD came to Jeremiah, after Hananiah the prophet had broken the yoke from the neck of the prophet Jeremiah, saying,

Jer 28:13  “Go and tell Hananiah, saying, ‘Thus says the LORD: “You have broken the yokes of wood, but you have made in their place yokes of iron.”

Jer 28:14  For thus says the LORD of hosts, the God of Israel: “I have put a yoke of iron on the neck of all these nations, that they may serve Nebuchadnezzar king of Babylon; and they shall serve him. I have given him the beasts of the field also.” ‘ ”

Jer 28:15  Then the prophet Jeremiah said to Hananiah the prophet, “Hear now, Hananiah, the LORD has not sent you, but you make this people trust in a lie.

Jer 28:16  Therefore thus says the LORD: ‘Behold, I will cast you from the face of the earth. This year you shall die, because you have taught rebellion against the LORD.’ ”

Jer 28:17  So Hananiah the prophet died the same year in the seventh month.

 

God allowed the Babylonians to capture the Israelite’s, both North and South kingdoms-Israel and Judah, and take most of them to Babylon. The ones that stayed behind, God told them they’d be devoured by the sword, famine and pestilence, in Jeremiah 21:9.

 

It concerns me when I read Jeremiah because one of the sins the Israelite’s committed was to follow and worship Baal, the god also known as Satan. They threw their babies into the fire as an offering to Baal. We in America have killed over 63 million babies. God says He is the same yesterday, today and forever. Surely, He’s furious with us as a nation. I don’t even know how to pray for our country, other than for revival and repentance. Even after the Israelite’s repented over the years, they seemed to go through cycles and when they chose sin over God, He eventually sent punishment. He’s merciful, but after a while, He says, “Enough is enough!”

 

That is the benefit of reading the Bible through from cover to cover. We can see the character of God and His behaviors. He is loving and kind and compassionate and gives us undeserved grace, but after we’ve wallowed in sin for a long time, and ignored His Word and His prophets, He usually sends severe weather, famine, plagues, etc. Mostly to get our attention so we’ll cry out to Him, but as in Jeremiah, even our most merciful and loving God says, “You’ve gone too far. What kind of a loving parent would I be if I didn’t discipline you and try to turn you around?”

 

Some people resent the authority of God. Some want to serve Satan. If they studied those who allowed Satan to be their god, they would see that many end up committing suicide. Satan is dark and hateful and wants the glory that belongs to God, so he deceives multitudes of people. I see young people wearing a tattoo around their wrist. I asked one, “What does your tat represent?”

 

“It’s my pledge, I belong to Satan.”

 

A friend and I talked to him and found out his heritage is Jewish. I said, “You are one of God’s chosen people, why would you bow down to Satan?”

 

I then told him many of the things God had done for me over the years. One is: I’ve never been hungry a day in my life unless I chose to fast.

 

His mouth dropped open. “You’ve never been hungry?”

 

My dad was a hard worker and a good provider. If he couldn’t work in his home town, he drove an hour or two to another city to work until he could be gainfully employed at home again.

 

My mom stayed home with us and sewed clothes, canned fresh produce, baked and cooked for us all, cleaned the house, nursed our wounds, and helped us with homework. She welcomed our friends with open arms, taught us about Jesus, and listened to us when we needed to talk. She wasn’t perfect, nobody is perfect, but I’ve found Jesus to be faithful to me even when I messed up. She would agree, based on 1 John 1:9. If we confess our sins, God forgives us and cleans us up.

 

I hope that young man reconsidered his allegiance to Satan. From all that Jesus spoke about hell, I wouldn’t wish that place on anyone.

 

May God bless you. He came to give life and that abundantly, according to John 10:10.

 

 

 

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“The King is Coming”

 

 

I sat in a recliner reading Proverbs the other day and the song, “The King is Coming” popped into my brain out of nowhere. I sang that at a Christmas play four years ago or more.

 

From what I understand, Gloria Gaither wrote it in 1972, so I went to YouTube to copy the video link for it if you’d like to hear it.

 

I went to the nursing home for our weekly Bible study and after going through Mark 11, one of the younger women, sitting in a wheel chair and needing oxygen, asked about heaven. So, we read Rev. 21 and 22 for her. The end of chapter 22 tells us that the King is coming soon, be ready and tells us what type of sins will keep people out of heaven.

 

My daughter told me recently that the stars and planets are lined up as they were when Jesus arrived as a newborn over 2,000 years ago and so, many Christians are saying that Christ is coming back tomorrow. Her pastor asked her if she’s ready for Saturday. She said, “If people are saying Jesus is coming back on Saturday, September 23, 2017, He’ll come on another day because He said no one will know the day and the hour.”

 

He did tell us that we should be looking up because our redemption draws near. That we would know by the hurricanes, rumors of war, the love of Christians growing cold, people going to and fro over the earth, and earthquakes, etc.

May God bless you!

Fresh Power

 

I read the last book in the Fresh Wind, Fresh Fire; Fresh Faith; and Fresh Power series.

The photo is from Christian Book Distributor and the book is copyrighted in 2001 by Jim Cymbala and published by Zondervan. Jim Cymbala and Dean Merrill wrote it.

A friend of mine from out-of-state recommended his books. What a treasure those tomes became to me.

At times, I didn’t want to finish the last one. It was either because I didn’t want the insights to end or because the enemy of my soul didn’t want me to finish reading it. There’s lots of meat in those books. The last one reiterates what I’ve felt for years.

The Holy Spirit wants to empower Christians if we’ll only take the time to seek God, to repent of our sins, to ask Him to lead us and help us to obey.

There’s probably four verses in that last sentence: 2 Chronicles 7:14, Matthew 10:28, John 15:16, and John 15:4.

Anyway, God is able to deliver us from evil and help us through difficult times.

There seems to be lots of Christian songs lately talking of holding onto God during hard times.

Laura Story, Crowder, and Mercy Me are just a few of the artists portraying God’s love in the midst of hardship.

Jesus said in John 15:20, (ASV): “Remember the word that I said unto you, A servant is not greater than his lord. If they persecuted me, they will also persecute you; if they kept my word, they will keep yours also.”

I hope you’re reading some great books.

May God bless you.

 

 

Bewitched

I looked up the word “bewitched” in the search section of e-sword, a digital Bible and reference site available online. There are three listings of verses in the New Testament, one in Galatians 3:1 and the other two are in the book of Acts.

I was thinking of the television show, “Bewitched” with Samantha and Darren and baby Tabitha as some of the main characters. Elizabeth Montgomery played the pretty mom, Dick York as the first actor to portray the dad, with Dick Sargent as the last, and Erin Murphy as the little one.

I was doing dishes and thinking that I didn’t dislike housekeeping as much as I did years ago.970617650-woman-washing-dishes-housewife-housework-comfort-retro-style ... (Photo from:  http://ts1.mm.bing.net/th?id=OIP.zw__H3aWQZEZ0wVQ3YpDcQEUDi&pid=15.1&w=126&h=103&p=0 )

 

Suddenly an image of Samantha’s vacuum cleaner working around the house after she twitched her nose came to mind. I used to wish I was a witch so I could get my work done and go outside many years ago. Immediately, I’d negate that thought. I’d been brought up going to church on Sunday and I felt a love and respect for God from childhood on up. It just felt wrong to think I wanted to be a witch.

That television show introduced me to witches’ jargon I’d never been aware of. Possibly many in the country felt the same way. Such beautiful people with powers, and the nosey Gladys Kravitz–the neighbor, seemed annoying. She was played by Alice Pearce at first, and then Sandra Gould stepped in as one of the performers. She used to dress up with white gloves and wear a white hat, on occasion, probably on her way to a service to worship God, the foolish woman who was just seeing things, according to her husband’s point of view.

Initially remembering the show gave me a warm feeling inside, but as an adult it occurs to me that the normalization of witchcraft, which God abhors, is not a good thing.

It’s funny how as a child I instinctively knew that certain things were taboo. In the book of Acts, we hear of sorcery from God’s point of view.

Act 8:5, (ESV):  Philip went down to the city of Samaria and proclaimed to them the Christ.

Act 8:6  And the crowds with one accord paid attention to what was being said by Philip when they heard him and saw the signs that he did.

Act 8:7  For unclean spirits, crying out with a loud voice, came out of many who had them, and many who were paralyzed or lame were healed.

Act 8:8  So there was much joy in that city.

Act 8:9  But there was a man named Simon, who had previously practiced magic in the city and amazed the people of Samaria, saying that he himself was somebody great.

Act 8:10  They all paid attention to him, from the least to the greatest, saying, “This man is the power of God that is called Great.”

Act 8:11  And they paid attention to him because for a long time he had amazed them with his magic.

Act 8:12  But when they believed Philip as he preached good news about the kingdom of God and the name of Jesus Christ, they were baptized, both men and women.

Act 8:13  Even Simon himself believed, and after being baptized he continued with Philip. And seeing signs and great miracles performed, he was amazed.

Act 8:14  Now when the apostles at Jerusalem heard that Samaria had received the word of God, they sent to them Peter and John,

Act 8:15  who came down and prayed for them that they might receive the Holy Spirit,

Act 8:16  for he had not yet fallen on any of them, but they had only been baptized in the name of the Lord Jesus.

Act 8:17  Then they laid their hands on them and they received the Holy Spirit.

Act 8:18  Now when Simon saw that the Spirit was given through the laying on of the apostles’ hands, he offered them money,

Act 8:19  saying, “Give me this power also, so that anyone on whom I lay my hands may receive the Holy Spirit.”

Act 8:20  But Peter said to him, “May your silver perish with you, because you thought you could obtain the gift of God with money!

Act 8:21  You have neither part nor lot in this matter, for your heart is not right before God.

Act 8:22  Repent, therefore, of this wickedness of yours, and pray to the Lord that, if possible, the intent of your heart may be forgiven you.

Act 8:23  For I see that you are in the gall of bitterness and in the bond of iniquity.”

Act 8:24  And Simon answered, “Pray for me to the Lord, that nothing of what you have said may come upon me.”

In the King James Version, it says Simon had bewitched them with sorceries.

Exo_22:18, (KJV):  Thou shalt not suffer a witch to live.

Deu_18:10, (KJV):  There shall not be found among you any one that maketh his son or his daughter to pass through the fire, or that useth divination, or an observer of times, (Practicing magic) or an enchanter, or a witch,

As I continued around the house I got thinking of Galatians 3:1, (ESV) and beyond:  Gal 3:1  O foolish Galatians! Who has bewitched you? It was before your eyes that Jesus Christ was publicly portrayed as crucified.

Gal 3:2  Let me ask you only this: Did you receive the Spirit by works of the law or by hearing with faith?

Gal 3:3  Are you so foolish? Having begun by the Spirit, are you now being perfected by the flesh?

Gal 3:4  Did you suffer so many things in vain—if indeed it was in vain?

Gal 3:5  Does he who supplies the Spirit to you and works miracles among you do so by works of the law, or by hearing with faith—

Gal 3:6  just as Abraham “believed God, and it was counted to him as righteousness”?

Gal 3:7  Know then that it is those of faith who are the sons of Abraham.

Gal 3:8  And the Scripture, foreseeing that God would justify the Gentiles by faith, preached the gospel beforehand to Abraham, saying, “In you shall all the nations be blessed.”

Gal 3:9  So then, those who are of faith are blessed along with Abraham, the man of faith.

Gal 3:10  For all who rely on works of the law are under a curse; for it is written, “Cursed be everyone who does not abide by all things written in the Book of the Law, and do them.”

Gal 3:11  Now it is evident that no one is justified before God by the law, for “The righteous shall live by faith.”

Gal 3:12  But the law is not of faith, rather “The one who does them shall live by them.”

Gal 3:13  Christ redeemed us from the curse of the law by becoming a curse for us—for it is written, “Cursed is everyone who is hanged on a tree”—

Gal 3:14  so that in Christ Jesus the blessing of Abraham might come to the Gentiles, so that we might receive the promised Spirit through faith.

“Satan is an accuser of the brethren,” it tells us in Rev_12:10, (KJV):  And I heard a loud voice saying in heaven, Now is come salvation, and strength, and the kingdom of our God, and the power of his Christ: for the accuser of our brethren is cast down, which accused them before our God day and night.

He works against all people in very subtle ways. As a writer, I’ve had the thought that Christian concepts could be boring to people. If that is not a thought from God’s enemy, I don’t know what is?

When I felt the power of God heal my left side a couple of Sundays ago, I was filled with joy. I had noticed a sharp-edged bone as I exercised and on Sunday I thought the still, small voice of the Lord asked me to go forward and pray for me and anyone else that needed healing. I did that in our small church and it wasn’t easy to take that step of faith. Warmth flooded me from the hip down to my ankle. After church a lady asked if I was getting physical therapy without having had an X-ray or an MRI. I admitted I hadn’t had one. So, my dr. sent me for an X-ray and all was well.

I can’t say that my muscles are completely better yet, but there is much improvement. God is far from boring and His Word delights and speaks to internal issues I need to deal with and relationship helps I should take advantage of, and so much more. Plus, after life, there is an awesome eternity that we can’t even imagine, it says in the New Testament.

I really went on a long time, and if you stayed with me, I pray God will bless you big time. Have a great day.

 

 

 

 

 

 

Baby Steps

I keep coming across opportunities to learn more about writing or marketing or launching a new business. The only problem is every one of these costs a significant amount of money. So, I’ve determined to live within our means and get educated from books in the library or from volumes at a low enough cost at a bookstore online or in a store.

I read about Abraham Lincoln learning as much as he could as a direct result of his step-mother’s encouragement. She used to read to him from books at home until he learned how himself. He made a point of getting his hands on whatever tomes interested him, including borrowing law books when he got older.

Also, there are mentors available. I take it as a blessing when an expert comes my way. We have a new mom from another church coming to our ladies’ Bible study because most of the people in her church are young themselves. She wants to learn from those who’ve lived a long time and have loads of wisdom stored up. We are delighted to have her because she asks great questions and she’s fun.

When she gets overwhelmed, we tell her to take one step at a time. She’ll learn what’s important and what’s not with her responsibilities and her little one. She talks to us about electronic tablets and even offered to order books online for the ladies because I asked them to get their own this time. Some don’t have any idea about computers.

I think God is pleased when the generations mix. He’s the one who made families as the first social unit. Adam and Eve lived in perfect harmony when you read about them in the beginning chapters of Genesis. It’s only after they decided to trust the snake over God that dysfunction entered their home due to sin entering their lives. Then God shows us what a contrast they experienced from living in perfect harmony in an ideal setting to living outside of the Garden of Eden and finding their son, Cain killed his brother Abel.

Mankind will never be as God, knowing everything and being able to handle all situations that come our way, even though Satan still uses the lie he gave Eve.

That’s why God made a way for us to function and not melt down into hysteria. It’s called prayer and believing in God for help and an eternal home. Easy-peasy, as younger folk than I, say. At least it’s supposed to be. Jesus said in Matthew 11:27, (KJV):  “All things have been handed over to Me by My Father. No one knows the Son except the Father, and no one knows the Father except the Son and anyone to whom the Son chooses to reveal Him.

Mat 11:28  Come to Me, all who are weary and burdened, and I will give you rest.

Mat 11:29  Take My yoke upon you and learn from Me, for I am gentle and humble in heart, and ‘you will find rest for your souls.’

Mat 11:30  For My yoke is easy and My burden is light.”

I know I make it harder than it needs to be at times, trying to work things out without even asking God if I’m heading in the right direction.

I need to take baby steps holding onto God’s little pinky and then look up to see if He’s smiling or gently guiding me with a purposeful countenance to the left or right.

May God be glorified on this planet He created.

May God bless you.

Unusual Week

I know people don’t have the same opinion as I do sometimes. Yet, I have to say, “God is good.”

My car acted up the other day, so I took it to the shop and they were so busy they couldn’t look at it that day. They checked it over and called experts and couldn’t get the problem to repeat itself. I don’t know how much time they spent. They drove it at least twice. They checked the wiring for a loose connection. When my husband drove me over, I asked how much I owed. “No charge.”

We’ve been customers of theirs for probably nine years now if not longer, but it’s that kind of service that keeps us returning. They know we use them for most of our automotive needs and we keep our cars until they’re not usable anymore. So as the cars age, they get more business from us in repairs. They practice integrity and we reward them by continuing on as their regulars.

That’s what author Stephen Covey called a win/win situation.

I found an exercising group for older folks at a local home for disabled and/or elderly adults today.

Last Saturday I hurt my back. It’s almost totally normal now, but when we did leg lifts from a sitting position in a chair, I thought, No way am I going to chance re-injuring those muscles. So, ladies in their seventies and eighties did most of the routine and I skipped at least a third of it. That humbled my pride. 🙂

My husband and I listened to Richard Wurmbrandt tonight, a Jewish man persecuted for his belief in Christ in a Communist country. He was in prison for 14 years and suffered terribly. Tonight I heard him say he felt bad that he got out after only 14 years. “Who will witness to the torturers if all the persecuted Christians get out?”

He’s 80 now. He got released years ago and almost didn’t leave, but the other prisoners told him to go and tell the world about Jesus and the fact that Christians are suffering for their faith.

How can I say that God is good when people suffer? Just because others choose to act in despicable ways doesn’t mean that God isn’t good. It means that what He has said about human beings is correct. We all fall short of His glory. That’s in the book of Romans.

We need Jesus to change us into less despicable acting folks. We needed Jesus to take our sins on Him so we can go to heaven and live with God, our perfect Father. God sees the overall picture. He’s good and He asks us to be a part of His kingdom, even while we’re still alive on earth. He wants us to represent Him – loving, kind, compassionate, just, merciful, giving so people will of their own accord come to faith and change their wicked ways with His help.

Richard Wurmbrandt really gets this and tries to let Americans and persons of other nationalities know this.

I hope lots of people will know that God is good, so they’ll turn to Him and receive His love and citizenship in heaven one day.

I’m ending here because I am really trying to sleep earlier at night. Last night, I was up much later than normal.

By the way, I’m going to meet a friend tomorrow to catch up with each other. I haven’t seen her in at least two years. Another unusual event and I’ll skip mentioning the rest.

May God bless you!

 

Time is of the Essence

photo from:http://www.visitdelaware.com/things-to-do/history-heritage/dupont-mansions-gardens/

Last Sunday at church, I felt as if the Holy Spirit was saying to be ready for the end of life for one or more of the attendees there. That they should be ready or as my husband says, “Keep short accounts with God.”

We all mess up. So, immediately make it right with God by repenting and then if possible, make it right with the person that got hurt by your actions, if that’s the case. I was considering God’s characteristics yesterday, and one of them is that He is a merciful God. He’s a loving God, as well.

Today at the nursing home Bible study we read Matthew 19 and then Matthew 20. Somehow, the conversation came up about God’s forgiveness. I think it was around the passage where the landowner hires workers at the beginning of the day, the earlier part, the middle part and at the end of the day. He paid the last workers first and they received a denarius. The workers that bore the heat and toil of the day expected the landowner to pay them more. He said, “Didn’t you agree to the wages I offered? Why are you jealous over my generosity?”

I got talking about the fact that the Jewish people knew God and were loved by God for many years before He reached out to the Gentiles in a bigger way. The Jewish people received the benefits from God: love, provision, acceptance, mercy and direction. They also experienced discipline, attacks from the devil because of them being God’s chosen people, self-sacrifice through obedience to God which is not always easy but makes for a better life, and occasional chastening when His people followed the Gentile’s gods and ways.

So, as we spoke about these things God’s response to repentance came to mind.

Isa_1:18, (KJV):  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isa_43:25  I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Isa_44:22  I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

Mic_7:19  He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

I thought the Scripture that says God forgives our sins and throws our sins into the sea of forgetfulness was in the book of Isaiah. 🙂

When King Hezekiah was very sick, he said in Isaiah 38:17, (KJV):  “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.”

After this, God healed King Hezekiah.

God amazes me. He loves us unconditionally, but He is a judge and we must believe on Him and His Son and repent and let Him be our Master. That’s what He says in His Word, especially in the book of John. I think that’s why when people become born again, they are often directed to read the Bible and to begin in the book of John.

I hope this finds you well. This earth is only ours to visit for a short time and then we have the opportunity to live in heaven for all of eternity. That’s the promise in John 14:

John 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Joh 14:2  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Joh 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

winter walk near biltmore house photo from: http://www.goodsearch.com/search-web?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keywords=Biltmore+mansion

Of course, God’s mansions will far outdo any mansion man can build. Just look at creation and His animals and His people!

May God bless you.

 

Wisdom on the Fourteenth

I got reading Proverbs 14 today in the NASB – 1977 version and the following ones resonated with me:

Proverbs 14:26: In the fear of the LORD there is strong confidence, and his children will have refuge. *On the side of the margin there was a translators’ notation showing “His” as an alternative for “his.”

Proverbs 14:27: The fear of the LORD is a fountain of life, That one may avoid the snares of death.

Proverbs 14:34: Righteousness exalts a nation, But sin is a disgrace to any people.

In this day and age, I know people that work their own businesses and occasionally they find themselves short on finances. A person told me today that when reading the Bible it occurred to them that there may be times coming when it’ll be best to ask God to supply their need and not necessarily in a monetary way. Then the individual said, “If ever government required their citizens to buy and sell by using a chip in their forehead or in their wrist, by already having the faith to pray for needs, the person could avoid having a chip inserted into their very being.”

We were discussing the new credit cards which are slowly being replaced with cards containing a chip, mandated by the US government. From a chip in a card, may we be made to get a chip in our body some day? Certain people think the number “666” will be hidden in a binary code made up of zeros and ones, so ordinary folks wouldn’t have a clue that they were receiving the mark of the beast under their skin. It could be sold to the people as a security measure.

So, reading verses that say that if I have the fear and/or reverence of the LORD, I’ll have confidence and a refuge place, those Scriptures bring comfort and the wisdom to continue following God. My husband reminds me that the twelve disciples chose death over life when asked to recant their testimony of Jesus and His miracles and His choice to be the sacrificial lamb for the sins of all the world – for the Jew first and then for all the rest of the nations’ known as the Gentiles. They saw Him risen from the dead with the marks of the crucifixion and of the beatings and of the plucking of His beard. Heavy stuff on my mind tonight.

I hope this finds you well and looking up to the Father of lights, as James called God, for your provision and peace and refuge in times of trouble.

May God bless you.

 

God Likes Change

Last night after I finished blogging and reading other’s blogs, I got ready for bed. My mind raced with people’s opinions and my opinions. It occurred to me that I ought to blog earlier in the day.

Within the last couple of weeks I blogged about eating at a home with many folks we didn’t know. The lady I sat next to turned out to be a professor. She mentioned the changes in education that may be coming under President Trump if Betsy DeVos becomes United States Secretary of Education. The professor said she knows principals who are experiencing Post Traumatic Stress Disorder over the chance that she’ll be nominated. This dinner and conversation took place before President Trump took office.

I don’t understand. Why would people become afraid before something even comes to pass? I told them that it’s a complicated situation that needs to be handled with a lot of wisdom and I was going to research so I could know more about it. They agreed.

Lately, I read two blogs with people upset over proposed changes President Trump said will come into being. One lady, a teacher from the South said she’s never been in a protest march but now she was going to march with women in Washington, DC in the million women march (which happened a few days ago).

As a Christian for many years now, I’ve noticed that even though I don’t always welcome change, my life is continually being nudged and sometimes shoved into new situations requiring me to adapt. At times, I’ve been the one to take a risk and embrace a challenge. Three homes ago, I told the Lord I thought I’d moved enough, thank You very much. I wonder if He smiled. I’ve heard it said that God loves me too much to allow me to stay the same. He wants me to become more Christ-like according to the Bible.

The Apostle Paul wrote to Timothy in 1Timothy 1:12, (CEV):  I thank Christ Jesus our Lord. He has given me the strength for my work because he knew that he could trust me.

1Ti 1:13  I used to say terrible and insulting things about him, and I was cruel. But he had mercy on me because I didn’t know what I was doing, and I had not yet put my faith in him.

1Ti 1:14  Christ Jesus our Lord was very kind to me. He has greatly blessed my life with faith and love just like his own.

1Ti 1:15  “Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners.” This saying is true, and it can be trusted. I was the worst sinner of all!

1Ti 1:16  But since I was worse than anyone else, God had mercy on me and let me be an example of the endless patience of Christ Jesus. He did this so that others would put their faith in Christ and have eternal life.

1Ti 1:17  I pray that honor and glory will always be given to the only God, who lives forever and is the invisible and eternal King! Amen.

The Apostle Paul tells believers to walk in a manner worthy of their calling. In Col 2:5, (CEV) it says, “Even though I am not with you, I keep thinking about you. I am glad to know that you are living as you should and that your faith in Christ is strong.

Col 2:6  You have accepted Christ Jesus as your Lord. Now keep on following him.

Col 2:7  Plant your roots in Christ and let him be the foundation for your life. Be strong in your faith, just as you were taught. And be grateful.

Col 2:8  Don’t let anyone fool you by using senseless arguments. These arguments may sound wise, but they are only human teachings. They come from the powers of this world and not from Christ.

Col 2:9  God lives fully in Christ.

Col 2:10  And you are fully grown because you belong to Christ, who is over every power and authority.

Col 2:11  Christ has also taken away your selfish desires, just as circumcision removes flesh from the body.

Col 2:12  And when you were baptized, it was the same as being buried with Christ. Then you were raised to life because you had faith in the power of God, who raised Christ from death.

Col 2:13  You were dead, because you were sinful and were not God’s people. But God let Christ make you alive, when he forgave all our sins.

Col 2:14  God wiped out the charges that were against us for disobeying the Law of Moses. He took them away and nailed them to the cross.

Col 2:15  There Christ defeated all powers and forces. He let the whole world see them being led away as prisoners when he celebrated his victory.

 

So, it is my opinion that as Americans we should sit down with others of differing cultures and opinions and listen to one another.

I went to a parochial school until I finished eighth grade and then I went to a public school in a city in NY and then to a public school in a suburb in NY. Violence was beginning to encroach upon the peaceful students in the city school and we became a family that finally moved to the suburbs for my mom’s peace of mind and for our well-being. Violence begets violence.

When my mom reached her seventies, I asked her for a bit of wisdom. She thought a moment and then said, “Be ready for change. Life brings change all the time.”

Jesus offers peace and love and forgiveness and kindness. The fruits of the Spirit are in Galatians, chapter five.

May God bless you.

Remember Who You Are

Our Wednesday morning Bible study had a lady attending who belonged to another church. She used to be a member at our church many years ago and then left. Part of her heart is still with us, so she attended Wednesday mornings for years. This year near the end of the year she backed out because her sister got a life threatening disease and she’s spending more time with her. I miss her because she’s a likable person and she added to the group.

Unfortunately, as Christians we may be well aware of our sins and shortcomings and spend more time on them than God may want us to. In the psalms, we are told that God loves us and forgives us.

Psalm 103:11, (ESV):  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

Psa 103:12  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Psa 103:13  As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

Once we truly repent, He does not expect us to continually beat ourselves up. He expects us to love ourselves in a healthy way, not a narcissistic way. These verses show God’s high regard for us loving Him and loving ourselves and loving others.

Mark 12:28, (ESV)  And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

Mar 12:29  Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Mar 12:30  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

Mar 12:31  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mar 12:32  And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him.

Mar 12:33  And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Mar 12:34  And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

So, as I was saying, this lady attended our group and if we got down on ourselves, she would nicely tell us to remember who we are in Christ. We are forgiven. God calls us righteous in His sight because of the shed blood of Jesus for our sins. He took on the payment of our sins so when we stand before God at judgment day, we can claim that Jesus covered our debt or He wiped our slate clean so there’s no mark against us.

We must continue to seek God, despite distractions, despite our flesh crying out for entertainment or more money or whatever it is that keeps us from opening the Word of God. Thursday and today I intended to read the Word early in the day. Today it was almost one thirty in the afternoon. I’d done laundry, finished a writer’s magazine, did dishes, got myself ready for the day, called people, etc. My husband and I needed to be somewhere around four and I had to prepare some things before getting there. Plus, I needed to go to the store.

I made myself sit down and focus on the Lord. I remember doing that when the children were little. Putting all else aside for a short period of time and concentrating on the Lord. I told them to behave and to be quiet while I spent time with God and they did. When I don’t give time to the Lord the cares of this world press down on me, I feel lonely inside, I may become fearful over things. All those things are alleviated by spending time in God’s Word.

Hebrews 4:12, (ESV)  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Heb 4:13  And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Heb 4:14  Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Heb 4:15  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Heb 4:16  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

When the lady at Bible study reminds us that we belong to God by our own choosing, and that He makes us righteous, it always brings a smile to my face and to the others. She hasn’t had to say it a lot, but more than once.

We’re praying for her sister to recover and be perfectly whole.

May God bless you and yours.