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.

 

 

 

Practicing Good

Gal 6:9, (ISV):  Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest—if we do not give up.

Gal 6:10  So then, whenever we have the opportunity, let’s practice doing good to everyone, especially to the family of faith.

These Bible verses came up in our Ladies’ Bible Study at church today. Then I got treated by a Christian friend to high tea in a small city in the Southern Tier. They’ve been open about a year and a half our waitress told us. They had beautiful artwork on the walls. Muted colors for the tablecloths caused the pink and blue flower-patterned china setting to sparkle in contrast.

I really like tea and I’ve heard about Darjeeling a lot lately so I ordered the never ending teapot of the Darjeeling Autumnal variety.

We decided we liked the chai tea the best. I ordered ginger orange second and my friend ordered a white tea whose name escapes me. It’s picked when one leaf and one bud open and is preserved for the customer’s use. She said the flavor was light and delightful.

We chatted over the various courses. It was a bit of a drive. There were three courses altogether and a lemon sorbet to cleanse our palate before the sandwiches and sweets arrived at the end.

I got home four hours after we left. My husband asked, “What can you possibly find to talk about for four hours?”

I told him we didn’t talk the whole time. We spoke to the waitress and the owner. I got to view some art and hear the history of the young girl in one of the paintings.

Somewhere between 1850 and 1910 at age 16 she got shipped off to marry a 47 year old man. She looks grumpy in the picture and the owner said, “Who can blame her?”

My friend and I talked about the Bible, politics, pets, fashion and available stores, shoes, nutrition, exercise, computers, Wonder Woman and other stuff. It doesn’t take long to fill the hours with good conversation when there’s listening and thoughtful responses.

I have another friend I drive 20 minutes to see and we spend hours, too. The times are spread out, but so far we’ve never run out of things to talk about.

I appreciated the high tea today because my schedule is about to become more structured and I don’t want to sabotage it once I begin.

When company comes to visit this summer, I’ve warned the groups that I host that someone else will have to lead. They’re very accommodating.

The second treat of the day, two mourning doves near our front door.

 (photo found on http://animals.mom.me/care-baby-mourning-dove-6968.html and tagged Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

 

The second one didn’t fly away immediately. After some time my husband drew closer, calling softly and then the young bird flew to avoid the perceived danger. Such beautiful creatures, I love their gentle cooing and their exquisite coloring. The little one blended into the bushes and the dirt with its camouflaging feathers.

How kind our God is to disguise animals to protect them from predators. I lost the little fellow for a few moments before he took to the air.

May God bless you.

13 Year Anniversary

Our Ladies Bible study celebrated their 13 year anniversary today. It’s actually two days from now, but we meet on Wednesdays.

We’ve been getting new people lately and I love how our group welcomes visitors. Occasionally, I jump too soon into giving a book away and the person never returns.

The latest person, a young college student, rearranged her classes so she could attend today.

She is going to memorize the worship songs and bring her guitar on Sunday with permission from the leader.

I sought out a stranger in town today and found out she’s this young girl’s mother. They both have the sweetest smiles and joy in their hearts for the Lord.

One never knows what a day will bring. Since I gave away our last spare book to someone that may not come back, I’ll ask this young person if she wants our Unglued tome by Lysa TerKeurst.

My husband said since we’re almost done and if she doesn’t need the help that book gives, she may not want Unglued.

I’ll ask her on Sunday. I’m going to try and remember to bring in a zucchini plant as well. Her mom thanked me for the cherry tomato plant one of the ladies gave her daughter.

So delighted over a plant, it sparked the thought, I have four zucchini plants and a small space set aside for a garden.

I offered her a zucchini plant and she smiled with such delight, it gave me a warm feeling inside.

No wonder the Lord tells us to be thankful. It’s good for our attitude and I imagine it gives Him joy to be appreciated.

Occasionally people scam other people – strangers or friends may steal. My dad determined in his heart whenever he lent money to hope for repayment but not to expect it. That way it didn’t get in the way of relationship.

With the way the world is going, we have chances to forgive people daily – even those we haven’t met in person.                                                              (photo from http://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A0LEVvRSUSZZpR8ADktjmolQ;_ylu=X3oDMTBsa3ZzMnBvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–?_adv_prop=image&fr=goodsearch-yhsif&sz=all&va=praying#id=251&iurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.womensetapart.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F11%2Fbigstock-Praying-African-American-Teen-47553724.jpg&action=click)

So, we opened our Bible study in prayer, as usual, but we included people we don’t know whose names or home cities were in the news. We prayed for victims and families of deceased victims and for perpetrators and we prayed evil ones would repent and get saved and stop hurting people. Then we remembered our loving, just, all-powerful God before we shared favorite Scriptures.

A little later we celebrated 13 years of Bible studies and prayed for a continuation for as many more years as the Lord allows. Praise His name!

May God bless you.

Disappearances

My husband called to see if I could find a necessary receipt to prove we’d paid for something. Then I got online so I could let the agency know we’d paid. I looked at the clock and two hours had slipped away.

I went to the library today and got rewarded with a dark chocolate candy today because I “got caught” reading. While my friend dished out the sweet morsel, she got serious. I waited a moment and then she said, “*Marcy passed away at the end of April.”

“I’m so sorry to hear your mom is gone. I loved your mom.”

“Me, too,” she said.

I’m invited to her memorial service at the place where her mom worked because she loved it there and it seemed appropriate to her daughter and Marcy’s  boss is all for it. They had a lot in common.

Later in the day I did some typing for someone and the last time I worked, I put the info from the flash drive onto my computer. I thought, I don’t really need to do that, but there’s no harm in it and I think I have lots of room on the hard drive to save it.

Tonight I decided to type for at least an hour and when I searched for the thumb drive it was gone. I didn’t search high and wide because I didn’t want to waste time, but I couldn’t believe it wasn’t where I normally store it. After I post this, I’ll look slowly and thoroughly and if my husband is up I’ll ask him to check. He’s been known to find things that are in plain sight that I’ve not been able to see when it was right in front of me.

Sometimes I get ideas to do things that don’t make perfect sense to me and then I realize that it saved me stress and I thank God that I did that.

Well, I need to cut this short because I’m busier than normal because I prayed for work and God answered that prayer the very next day. Now, I have a commitment to do the work.

Speaking of commitments, I usually attend a Bible study on Fridays, but my husband’s cousin who has been sick for a long time now, gave up the fight and he’s no longer with us. I’d like to attend the funeral. I guess I’ll have to see if someone is willing to fill in for me on short notice or I’ll have to stay home and send my condolences with my husband.

A friend of mine tried to find me once and I was missing from all the normal places I might have been. Finally, I was able to answer her voice mail. She said, “I thought you got raptured and I missed out on it.”

I laughed and told her I was pretty sure if I got raptured, she would too. If there truly is a Rapture, when it occurs, there’s going to be lots of folks disappearing.

At the second coming of Christ, Jesus said to be aware and to be ready, for He is going to return like a thief in the night in Matthew, chapter 24.

May God bless you!

* Not her real name

Keeping One’s Peace

Lately, I’ve determined to stay quiet, as much as possible, and listen to others sometimes. Today, I spent some time with the Lord and I thought he said to listen to a friend when I saw her in the afternoon. She didn’t show up to walk and I missed her text message saying she wouldn’t be able to walk and when she did arrive so we could go to our reward for organizing our homes, she had words of wisdom that blessed me.

When she didn’t show up I began to wonder if I really heard from the Lord. Yet, as she spoke about feeling resistance from the enemy of our souls and to her that was proof that these changes we’re making must be close to being accomplished, I felt a whoosh of joy almost like a whoosh of air but inside of me!

Thank you, Jesus.

I have been going to the two doctors that I usually go to when I’m wondering if something is up with my body. The last time I went she suggested I have a scan at the hospital so she’ll know if I need medicine. She’s young enough to be my daughter. Usually we talk about my writing or some other subject for a little bit. Not this last time. I’m telling her I don’t want medicine and she’s telling me the risks of not taking the medicine and of course, she tells me it’s my choice. If I don’t, I may just DIE! A horrible death, I’m sure, so I meekly say, okay, I’ll take the test. Okay, I’ll stay on the medicine. Brother.

Now that I’ve had the test, I think I’ll exercise more and eat a little bit better. I had two kinds of soup today, one our leftovers, the other at a friend’s home. We did not walk either – this is another friend – because of the rain. Healthy soup should help, shouldn’t it? I believe food makes a difference in people’s health. I told that to the dermatologist last week. He doesn’t think so. If I ate blueberries and apples and broccoli and red cabbage every day, I think my dermatologist would see me less often. When I juiced carrots two-three times a week and drank carrot juice every morning, my eyes improved – small cataracts disappeared.

I thank God for doctors, I really do, but I don’t think they spend enough time on the benefits of good nutrition in their studies, from what I’ve heard over the years. God made our bodies with healing properties inside us, but if we sabotage them with unhealthy foods and drugs and excess alcohol and bad habits they will age more rapidly and get sick.

One day we will all die and we can impact that date and the quality of our lives to some degree. God talks about us disappearing like the lilies of the field and that we should live our lives to the fullest while we have the opportunity to do so. Unlike the devil and people that live for themselves and Satan, God wants us to do good to orphans and to widows and to the poor.

Jesus spoke here:

Luke 14:12, (ESV):  He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.

Luk 14:13  But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,

Luk 14:14  and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

John 14 talks about eternity and our heavenly home, but the verses near the end of chapter 14 are of Jesus teaching His disciples about love and obedience and of His mission to return to the Father for our benefit:

Joh 14:24  Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

Joh 14:25  “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.

Joh 14:26  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Joh 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Joh 14:28  You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

Joh 14:29  And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.

Joh 14:30  I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,

Joh 14:31  but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

 

My prayer for all of us is to reside in God’s peace. He stands ready to help us and to encourage us and to strengthen us no matter what comes our way if we will call on Him and then wait patiently for Him to show Himself strong for our defense.

I’m also learning to “hold my peace,” as my parents used to say back in the day. “Keep quiet.” Holding onto my words as one of six children surely gave them a measure of peace and quiet. 🙂

God bless!

Soup’s On

Yesterday, visitors stopped by the house mid-afternoon and I threw on a pot of soup. My husband and I ended up eating potato soup with a slight variation – a moist vegetable bouillon added at the end of cooking instead of butter. I threw in some half ‘n half since we don’t buy milk. So much for a vegan meal. 🙂

My daughter and son-in-law dropped over with a toddler, and a bagful of Mexican-American style fast food in hand. As they unpacked their meal and began to eat, I told her I was hungry.

“Oh, Mom I’m sorry. We thought you would have already eaten or we would have bought you some.”

I thought, what can I make that’s quick to eat? Cous cous came to mind, so I made that. While the cous cous steamed, off the heat in a lid-covered pan, I began preparing the onions and celery for the soup.

I remember years and years ago buying a book at the grocery store checkout entitled, Soups by Irena Chalmers. She was born in London, England and “she studied at the Cordon Bleu School of Cookery,” according to the back cover of the 48 page book. Potpourri Press, Greensboro, NC published the book and it’s copyrighted by Irena Chalmers for the text in 1975 and by Bob Penny for drawings in 1975.

In the early years of our marriage, my husband and I lived in a neighborhood with a number of stay-at-home moms. My next door neighbor and I used to search for new recipes. I wanted to make wonderful soups and I never seemed to reach that level until I got the Soups book.

I remember using leftover vegetables. On page 7, Ms. Chalmers revolutionized my thinking with these two sentences, “…, a good broth is made from only the freshest of ingredients. Every vegetable that is put in the pot must be fresh enough to be served raw.”

My younger sister helped with soup preparation advice some years later when I lamented about “watery” tasting soup. “You need more spices.”

I kept adding more ingredients and more water expecting the flavor to remain as tasty. Hmm.

Tonight, I pulled out a cookbook to make black bean soup but after I began the basics I changed my mind and it turned into minestrone soup. Mm mmm good, if I do say so myself.

It’s funny the things I used to struggle over that come so easily now, although rarely now, I’ll make a pot of soup and mix spices together from cuisines from around the world that don’t mesh well together.

Mint, cumin, garlic, tarragon, dill weed, garam masala, chili powder, ginger, nutmeg, cinnamon, and turmeric thrown together turns off the appetite and spoils the rest of the ingredients.

I exaggerated here, but I’ve mixed conflicting tastes while experimenting and ruined some meals.

Speaking of ruining a meal, in the Old Testament, some men made food in a large pot and someone threw in gourds from a likely looking vine which turned out to be poisonous. Here’s what happened:

 2Kings_4:38, (ESV): And Elisha came again to Gilgal when there was a famine in the land. And as the sons of the prophets were sitting before him, he said to his servant, “Set on the large pot, and boil stew for the sons of the prophets.”

2Ki_4:39  One of them went out into the field to gather herbs, and found a wild vine and gathered from it his lap full of wild gourds, and came and cut them up into the pot of stew, not knowing what they were.

2Ki_4:40  And they poured out some for the men to eat. But while they were eating of the stew, they cried out, “O man of God, there is death in the pot!” And they could not eat it.

2Ki_4:41  He said, “Then bring flour.” And he threw it into the pot and said, “Pour some out for the men, that they may eat.” And there was no harm in the pot.

God protected the men through the prophet and Jesus said in Mark 16:15, (ESV): “Go into all the world and proclaim the gospel to the whole creation.

Mar 16:16  Whoever believes and is baptized will be saved, but whoever does not believe will be condemned.

Mar 16:17  And these signs will accompany those who believe: in my name they will cast out demons; they will speak in new tongues;

Mar 16:18  they will pick up serpents with their hands; and if they drink any deadly poison, it will not hurt them; they will lay their hands on the sick, and they will recover.”

Mar 16:19  So then the Lord Jesus, after he had spoken to them, was taken up into heaven and sat down at the right hand of God.

These are the final words of Jesus that He wanted to impress on His people because they were important to Him.

I don’t take the promises of Jesus lightly and I surely appreciate them.

Ms. Chalmers said to use fresh ingredients in the soups for better flavor but she also mentioned legends of men eating a generation old soup and the fact that food poisoning would result.

I ate a sauce at a restaurant that caused a food allergy which felt like poison to me. I thank God that He protected me and I appreciate emergency room doctors and nurses.

Do you have a favorite soup or food? I tend to order broccoli soup when out, although it’s easy to make at home.

May God bless you.

 

 

 

Did He Consider the Consequences?

When I read 2 Samuel 23 today I wished I knew President Trump well enough to have him read the following verses: 2Sa 23:1, (ERV):  These are the last words of David: “This message is from David son of Jesse. This message is from the man God made great. He is the king chosen by the God of Jacob, the sweet singer of Israel.

2Sa 23:2  The LORD’S Spirit spoke through me. His word was on my tongue.

2Sa 23:3  The God of Israel spoke. The Rock of Israel said to me, ‘Whoever rules people fairly, who rules with respect for God,

2Sa 23:4  is like the morning light at dawn, like a morning without clouds. He is like sunshine after a rain that makes tender grass grow from the ground.’

Anyway, then I read to the end of the chapter. David recounts his chief men and tells of their exploits. At the end of the list of thirty-seven heroes that fought valiantly for David and their country, I read Uriah the Hittites’ name.

Now whether Bathsheba bathed on her roof hoping to be seen is not clear in the Scriptures. It does say in 2 Samuel 11:2 that David got up from his bed, went up on the roof and then saw a beautiful woman bathing. Perhaps it was hot and very late, so she thought no one would be out and about to view her at home.

When David asked one of his officers who she was, the man told David her name and the name of her husband. Then he sent messengers to her to come to him. When the most powerful man in the country summons a person, that person goes to see him. If she hadn’t, what would have happened to her and/or to her husband?

David was known for being a godly man. He stayed home from war that Spring. Perhaps he was in the midst of a mid-life crisis. Maybe he felt lonely and was at odds with his wives. Possibly the tempter kept at him and when the enemy of his soul realized he was vulnerable, the evil one set a trap and David fell victim to his desires. He chose to sleep with another man’s wife. He chose to try and cover up his sin and it didn’t work. Then, he chose another sin. He asked his captain to set Uriah in the most dangerous location for a soldier and in doing so, other valiant soldiers died along with him so Uriah’s death didn’t stand out as a plotted event.

Do you ever think God isn’t watching what you’re doing with your life? Somehow, David got so involved in all this, that I think he actually forgot that God knew the intents of David’s heart and that God watched him acting on those intents.

2Sa 11:26  Bathsheba heard that her husband Uriah had died, so she mourned for him.

2Sa 11:27  After her time of sadness, David sent servants to bring her to his house. She became David’s wife and gave birth to a son for David. But the LORD did not like what David had done.

The next chapter in 2 Samuel starts out with Nathan the prophet telling a story that relates to David but it’s hidden from him until David reacts. Then Nathan tells him what the consequences are going to be. When the consequences finally hit, David is so humble as he loses many things that are important to him. It’s no wonder God calls David a man after His own heart, in 1 Samuel 13:14, (KJV). David saw the wrong that he did and he repented before the Lord. He accepted the punishment.

2Sa 15:25  Then the king said to Zadok, “Carry the ark of God back into the city. If I find favor in the eyes of the LORD, he will bring me back and let me see both it and his dwelling place.

2Sa 15:26  But if he says, ‘I have no pleasure in you,’ behold, here I am, let him do to me what seems good to him.”

He totally surrendered to God.

When I totally surrender to God, day by day, my life goes better and I’m less stressed.

The Case for Christ(photo from Christian Book Distributors website: https://www.christianbook.com)

My youngest brother told me he picked up Lee Strobel’s book, A Case for Christ just lately and then another book on quotes from famous Rock ‘N Roll musicians to keep things balanced. 🙂

I’ve been praying that he’ll find Jesus as his Lord and Savior so he’ll be less stressed for now and for eternity. It’s hard to imagine that God made us so we could be in His family and talk to Him and learn from Him.

As I thought of the opening to this blog and President Trump, I looked for verses in Proverbs about God setting kings into places of power. I found the surrounding verses too good to ignore. So to read Proverbs 8:15-16 in context, I included the verses from Proverbs 8:12-24.

Pro 8:12  “I, wisdom, dwell with prudence, and I find knowledge and discretion.

Pro 8:13  The fear of the LORD is hatred of evil. Pride and arrogance and the way of evil and perverted speech I hate.

Pro 8:14  I have counsel and sound wisdom; I have insight; I have strength.

Pro 8:15  By me kings reign, and rulers decree what is just;

Pro 8:16  by me princes rule, and nobles, all who govern justly.

Pro 8:17  I love those who love me, and those who seek me diligently find me.

Pro 8:18  Riches and honor are with me, enduring wealth and righteousness.

Pro 8:19  My fruit is better than gold, even fine gold, and my yield than choice silver.

Pro 8:20  I walk in the way of righteousness, in the paths of justice,

Pro 8:21  granting an inheritance to those who love me, and filling their treasuries.

Pro 8:22  “The LORD possessed me at the beginning of his work, the first of his acts of old.

Pro 8:23  Ages ago I was set up, at the first, before the beginning of the earth.

Pro 8:24  When there were no depths I was brought forth, when there were no springs abounding with water.

God gave David and Bathsheba’s son, Solomon more wisdom than any man on earth. Solomon asked God for wisdom to rule God’s people in a dream and that pleased God. It’s found in 1 Kings 3: 5-15.

I pray for wisdom because we are living in perilous times. I heard on the news yesterday that robots are being made to act as security guards at shopping malls and they should be in service in a year. They weigh 300 lbs. What consequences of that invention will Americans find?

God help us.

I didn’t expect this blog to go this route, but, “it is what it is,” as the saying goes.

May God bless you and protect you. I have some friends that absolutely love Ps. 91, as did my mother-in-law. She was a smart lady.

Words Easily Spoken

I called my introvert daughter by accident today and she called me back. I got talking to her about writing to build up marriages and mentioned a friend, Elaine Miller who writes for that purpose and she got asked to speak in Russia where the divorce rate at that time was 90%. What a shame.

Then talked about some people I know that are battling sicknesses. She sounded upbeat when I first called and then she got quiet.

I got thinking that what I’ve heard about and prayed about is news to others and they may leave the conversation feeling down when we’re done. Rats! I know that introverts process things deeply.

Wednesday morning at our Ladies’ Bible Study a woman spoke up about hearing some teachers on television admonishing people to be careful of their words. Don’t speak negatively about others and about yourself. Don’t gossip. Don’t put other people down as you’re talking to them.

I agreed with her wholeheartedly, yet I did caution her that if a person is kind of obsessive-compulsive, they may get so wrapped up in being careful that it could play with their brain. “Is this okay, is that okay? Did I speak something that is calling a negative consequence into being?”

My husband had to remind me that I don’t have to carry it to extremes. God has more power than I do and if I say something that He doesn’t want to happen it won’t happen. I breathed a sigh of relief.

Tonight I went to a writers’ group for critiquing and I decided to be careful as I exchanged ideas. I hoped to be helpful and not too critical. I was blessed by the feedback I got back. The hostess thanked me for coming.

After all, King Solomon wrote in Eccl 3:7, (KJV) that there is “A time to rend, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;”

When my daughter called me later, she sounded like her day went well. Phew. 🙂

May God bless your day!

 

Revenge Handed to God

I went to the library this afternoon and expected to do about five different things there, but only finished a few. When I got reading the Bible to catch up on a “read the Bible in a year” plan I got so intrigued with the content I kept going. When I got home I realized I didn’t read the list right, so I’m still two chapters short. I’ll catch up tomorrow.

I’ve read 1 and 2 Samuel before, but I kept noticing how often David left revenge for God. David’s followers wanted to kill King Saul for him or urged him to kill the king so they could quit hiding from Saul in caves and forests and in the wilderness.

Once David cut off the corner of King Saul’s outer garment and then he showed it as he told King Saul that he could have killed him.

Over and over again David explained, “I will not touch God’s anointed.”

I have a friend who owns a business. When other associates steal her fees that she’s due to collect she doesn’t sue them. I asked her once why she doesn’t try and get her money from them. Many years ago she told me, “God watches over me. I leave it up to Him.”

Not that I’ve ever needed to sue anyone, for which I thank God. But I remember the first time she told me that, I was flabbergasted.

Her business puts her into shark-infested waters, so to speak. She’s experienced others grabbing her commission at least once.

God takes care of her. She’s thinking of writing a book and I’ve encouraged her to do so. I’ve seen tremendous answers to prayer which came about from big trials in her life and in those close to her.

A Christian cliche is, “You can’t have a testimony without the test.”

I’ve heard it said that the Bible continues to be a best-selling book year after year in many parts of the world.

It’s filled with human interest stories, battle plans, history, geography, genealogies, insight into God’s character and His opinion of us, the keys to God’s kingdom, poetry, love, death, common sense, financial advice and more.

It must be because it’s God-inspired as it says in 2 Timothy 3:16, (KJV), “All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:” that I keep gleaning more and more from it even though I’ve read it almost daily for decades now.

May God bless you!

Health and Well-being

When I wrote about http//:www.soapboxsoap.com ’s Black Soap yesterday I neglected to mention that the box identified the product as detoxifying. I’m all for that.

I go to a dermatologist twice a year for a checkup since I overexposed my skin to the strongest sunshine over the years. I remember as a teenager soaking up the sun’s rays with an iodine/baby oil solution slathered on. A younger teen with the whitest skin I ever saw suggested the combination to enhance tanning.

I had my doubts and sure enough, I remember her in her bathing suit with blisters on her chest from the hours she spent in vain trying to darken her lily-white complexion.

I never stayed that long. Even as a young person I somehow knew that too much sun, too many cookies, long hours of reading with no exercise harmed health. Not that my friends or siblings listened to me. 🙂

In the New Testament, the Apostle Paul said in 1Timothy 4:8, (KJV):  “For bodily exercise profiteth little: but godliness is profitable unto all things, having promise of the life that now is, and of that which is to come.”

Climbing Stairs photo from: http://www.freeimages.com/search/man-exercising

I don’t believe he means that we should neglect taking care of our body. I think he means we can get carried away with the outward appearance and our health, when God is more concerned with our inner person, our heart and soul and spirit.

I hope this finds you well!

May God bless you.