Thinking for Life

Our ladies’ Bible study started working on the book and study guide by Joyce Meyer called Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind. I’m using the book I bought some years back published by Warner Faith, New York, NY, Boston, MA, and Nashville, TN in 2002 and copyrighted in 1995. The Study Guide was copyrighted in 2000 and published in 2002 by Faith Words, Hachette Book Group, New York, NY.

Battlefield Of The Mind 2-in-1, Book and Study Guidephoto from https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=Battlefield+of+the+Mind&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

(This is the most current book that one of our ladies bought at a brick and mortar store. The copyright is 2017 and it’s the book and study guide combined.)

 

At our Bible study we enjoyed the Scriptures and the insights Joyce gave us. We also got a chance to talk and consider how the Word applies to our lives. One of the ladies is barely in her 90’s and she’s been a Christian for decades. When Joyce Meyer spoke of Satan’s schemes, she was a bit horrified. Even though I’m sure she’s read in 1Peter_5:8 , (KJV) that we need to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

 

What I hold on to is the fact that God is the Great I Am, and Satan is His defeated foe. Not that the devil doesn’t have power. He has the power on earth that mankind gives him by following the evil one’s ways and rejecting God’s ways. Yet, he cannot do anything beyond what God allows. There is our free will to consider as well. Ah, it’s a complicated business in the supernatural. The supernatural realm lasts forever; this time on earth for us is short in comparison.

The Screwtape Lettersphoto from https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=Screwtape+Letters&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

 

So, I got talking about C. S. Lewis’s book, The Screwtape Letters. It’s a lead demon teaching a less experienced demon the subtle ways to fool people out of faith in God. This elderly lady had heard of Professor Lewis’s tome, but “didn’t think it amounted to much.”

 

Now she’d like to read it.

 

The Bible talks a lot more about God than the devil, yet it mentions hell much more than heaven. I don’t know if it’s because God knew people wouldn’t really believe in hell after a time and He wanted to be very specific about the torment there, or if it’s because He couldn’t put into words that we could fully comprehend about the wonder of heaven and being in His presence. Our brains do not compare to the all-knowing God’s capabilities.

 

I know one thing. I had to close the door behind me so I could stop listening to the television set because I kept getting drawn into a progressive story. That’s one disadvantage of Netflix. Once a series leaves the viewer on a cliffhanger, it’s a matter of moments before the next show comes on if the person so chooses to watch the next one, unless it’s the end of the entire series or the last one of the season. Some might consider that a benefit, and occasionally I enjoy not having to wait to see how things turn out, but it’s easy to lose an hour or two or three and realize important things got left undone. It’s like a drug and don’t I know that Satan loves it when I’m not writing about Jesus and the hope He gives the world.

 

I’m looking forward to continuing our study of The Battlefield of the Mind because it’s already got me thinking about the way I may ponder myself right out of the will of God. “Write a book on marriage,” I thought God whispered to my heart. Then I decided if there were so many out there what did I have to say? We’re all unique and King Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun in the book of Ecclesiastes when he was feeling down. There may not be anything new under the sun, but one person’s insights may reach a couple when another writer’s ideas didn’t touch their heart at all. If God did indeed tell me to write on marriage, then I need to obey. It’s imperative for me to seek Him to see if I heard correctly from Him or not.

 

I spoke to my husband about this show that sucked me in tonight. A young couple constantly miscommunicates. I’m mumbling, “Why didn’t he say something to her?” I turned to him, “They never talk.”

 

He said to me, “There are some people that are just like that.”

 

I then said to him, “I guess that’s why we’ve been married for forty-one years, because we talk.”

 

Today he vacuumed the rug and I made a point of saying it looked nice, because that’s important to him. He doesn’t whine or ask for compliments. I just notice that if he points out, “At least I got the carpet cleaned today,” in reference to not getting something else done, that if I say, “Yeah, it looks great,” his body language changes. Maybe his shoulders get pulled back and he stands a little taller.

 

If I don’t feel like telling him thanks because I’m tired or self-absorbed, sometimes I make myself be considerate because I’d be polite to a stranger. Why not be kind to the man I love?

 

I hope you’re having a great day. May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

Learning Curve

I got online to check my e-mail account and found some business information from blogs. I have a friend who used to work in a bridal shop as a seamstress for alterations. She’s handy with a skillet in the kitchen and had an impressive garden in the backyard. She has what I’ve heard called “good people skills.”

 

She used to help her husband with building projects around the house and she quilts beautifully. One day after I complimented her on all the skills she possesses and puts to use she said, “Oh yeah, I’m a ‘Jack of all trades and a master at none.’”

 

I disagreed but it didn’t really matter that much if she agreed with me or not. She’s a doer and a good friend. After reading about marketing and SEO’s and business plans and professional photographic head shots for LinkedIn, etc., I felt like a “Jack of all trades and a master at none.”

 

It’s not true for me either, but there is so much information in the world. I remember hearing about the expert on peanuts, George Washington Carver.

 

“Faith has played a key role in the history of black Americans. It’s what inspired the famous inventor George Washington Carver.

He once asked God to show him the secrets of the universe. However according to Carver, God started him out with something smaller – the peanut.

Carver took those secrets and produced hundreds of inventions that are still in use today.”

This article excerpt was written by Charlene Aaron and published by CBN on the following website on February 15, 2011:

http://www.cbn.com/cbnnews/us/2010/february/george-washington-carver-master-inventor-artist/?mobile=false

 

I enjoyed researching George Washington Carver’s life story. He was an amazing person, dedicated to serving others.George Washington Carver   This photo is from: https://i2.wp.com/www.truenorthquest.com/wp- .

I’ll bet he faced lots of learning curves and from some of his quotes, he relished pursuing knowledge and doing things with a spirit of excellence.

 

God bless you!

 

The Book of Job

I’ve been reading the book of Job, and I have to tell you, I am blessed by my friends. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place of hurt and had my friends say, “You sinner, if you’d only stop sinning your crisis would disappear.”

I have some friends I’ve known for the majority of my life. I have had good times and bad times in childhood and beyond, but overall, I count myself fortunate. God came into my horizon early. Some folks never hear of God other than in a swear word. I found that out some time ago in a small town in Upstate, NY.

I heard a little girl swearing up a storm. I asked her to stop using Jesus’ name as a swear word. She asked me what I was talking about, so I told her Jesus is God’s Son, or maybe I said, “God the Son.”

She never knew that and before I could say much more, off she ran. How my heart broke for her. We moved away so I never saw her again, but I prayed for that little one.

God knows right where she is and He loves her.

I hope this finds you well, and not suffering like Job, although if you have a relationship with God like Job did, you can count yourself very favored by God. Not that I understand everything about the book of Job and definitely not everything about God. I don’t think that’s possible.

What do you think of the book of Job?

God bless you!

Visiting a Friend

I had a chance to visit a friend today and I took her sister along, because she doesn’t drive. This is my second time in a few months going to see this lady who used to attend our church. She lives in another town now after experiencing a stroke. She worked hard to get into an apartment. With the help of a couple of aids, she’s able to manage. She even hopes to continue to improve enough to get her car back. She said today that when her health returns she won’t need workers to come to her home for help with household and personal assistance. I think she’ll miss these people, but she won’t mind being independent again. I think she has some time before she’s self-sufficient again.

I got to know her sister better this time. In the book, Univited by Lysa TerKeurst, published by Thomas Nelson with their imprint Nelson Books, Nashville, TN which was copyrighted in 2016, there is a section on page 228 entitled, ‘What’s It Like to Do Life with Me? Assessment.”

I told the ladies in our Bible study that they might want to take advantage of that segment and since it sounded personal to go ahead and do it at home. I fully intended to go through it. Maybe subconsciously I didn’t want to do that, I don’t know. It’s been months.

Today, with my friends’ sister, I could see that she acted exactly the same way I do at times. This morning, my husband pointed out some things I do way differently than he does. He didn’t criticize; he just talked about the traits and said he didn’t understand the reasoning. For instance, “Why do you take the long slower route to see the lake when you’ve seen it so much already?”

Then I got thinking about the chapter or the addendum at the end of Mrs. TerKeurst’s book, and I thought maybe God wants me to look at the questions and ponder what life looks like with me to my husband. I’ve heard it said many times that God loves us too much to leave us the same.

When I consider God’s rules, I can see that people around me and I will benefit if I follow His commands. Sometimes it’s easier to say, “Yes, Lord,” than at other times. The result is always the same. When I get around to doing it His way, there is peace, joy and satisfying results. Usually, I receive some kind of blessing I didn’t expect afterwards, too. Not that I can predict what God will do. I know Jesus says in the Gospel of John that if we love Him we will obey Him.

My husband tells me and others that he used to do things right for his parents because he wanted to please them. He loved them and respected them. He wasn’t afraid of his folks, although his dad disciplined and he didn’t want to be at the receiving end of that action. His dad used corporal punishment, but he never went overboard.

Well, I’m not going to look into what it’s like to live with me for a couple of weeks at least. I have company coming and I want to get ready for them. I think I’ll put it in my planner for a quiet day when I find a few moments alone.

I hope to see another gal in July. We spoke on the phone last week. It can be months or years apart between seeing my friend, depending on lots of things. There are a handful that are so deep in my heart, it’s as if we were never apart.

I hope you are well. 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.

Freedom

Joshua_10:12 , (Webster): Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

Jos_10:13  And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

I heard that when scientists calculated time, they ran into some hours where daylight was extended and they were not sure why. Someone told them to consider the Bible and the battle of Joshua where the sun stayed in the sky beyond the normal amount of time. When they added in those extra hours their puzzle was solved.

The book of Joshua is intriguing because it tells the story of Joshua, Moses’ assistant taking over the leadership of the Israeli’s as they enter the Promised Land soon after Moses died.

Joshua needed to negotiate with the two and a half tribes that decided to stay on the opposite side of the Jordan in regards to fighting with the inhabitants of the land. Their warriors chose to fight for the benefit of their brothers and sisters going into the Promised Land and after the pledge got completed, they would return to their portion of property and to their families.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I think I’m communicating well with someone and then I find out that they didn’t understand what I was saying. Occasionally, I’ll listen to someone and they are clearly articulating their opinion and I will respond and think they agree with me, but they quiet down. Then when I finally realize I missed their point completely, we’re either free to move forward or they decide it’s too much work and they bail out of the relationship.

Joshua found he had to talk to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh to keep things going smoothly for the entire nation of Israel and then Phinehas the priest and heads of the nine tribes needed to address them as recorded in Joshua chapter 22.

Joshua 13:7, (Webster) says:  Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh,

Jos 13:8  With whom the Reubenites and the Gadites have received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond Jordan eastward, even as Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.

They wanted to make sure that just because the Jordan divided them that they would not become a divided nation.

Jesus knew about divisiveness and He took an opportunity to instruct His disciples and the Pharisees:

Matthew 12:22, (Webster): Then was brought to him one possessed with a demon, blind and dumb; and he healed him, so that the blind and dumb both spoke and saw.

Mat 12:23  And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?

Mat 12:24  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons.

Mat 12:25  And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, Every kingdom divided against itself, is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself, shall not stand.

Mat 12:26  And if Satan casteth out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?

Mat 12:27  And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your children expel them? therefore they shall be your judges.

Mat 12:28  But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come to you.

Mat 12:29  Or else, how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and seize his goods, except he shall first bind the strong man? and then he will plunder his house.

Mat 12:30  He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.

Mat 12:31  Wherefore I say to you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven to men.

Mat 12:32  And whoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Mat 12:33  Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit.

Mat 12:34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.

Mat 12:35  A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, bringeth forth good things: and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth evil things.

Mat 12:36  But I say to you, That for every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account in the day of judgment.

Mat 12:37  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Mat 12:38  Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

Mat 12:39  But he answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh for a sign, and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah.

Mat 12:40  For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly: so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Mat 12:41  The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here.

Mat 12:42  The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

Joshua’s name means Jesus, also interpreted as Yahweh is salvation. Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua

http://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/4122/if-joshua-can-be-translated-why-is-the-name-of-jesus-translated-jesus-but-his

So, Joshua continued the quest to deliver Israel from a slave mentality to the mindset that they were free and cherished by God and capable warriors against evil.

Jesus came from heaven as God the Son, the Son of David to set people free from sin and from the power of the enemy. He defeated the devil at the cross and purchased our redemption from God’s wrath due to our sinful nature and reconciled us to God. The devil got defeated and his power got short-circuited and Jesus enabled mankind to be victorious through Him.

According to a professor I heard way back in the 1990’s from Elim Bible Institute, whose name I forget, Satan is held on a tight leash when people love God and seek to follow His ways. When mankind turns away from God and lives a life pleasing to them, disregarding God, the leash loosens, so to speak, and the enemies’ power over people increases.

That’s why every time the Israelites served false gods and idols, God allowed them to go their separate ways and in effect said, “Let your other gods take care of you.”

Sometimes they repented and called out to God after seven years, sometimes they suffered for decades. In the book of Judges, God sent them another judge to fight on their behalf many times.

Why did the generations not learn from their grandfathers or their fathers or older brothers? I don’t know. Sometimes I figure things out right away. Other times, I’m learning and re-learning and re-learning and then it clicks and sinks in.

I’m very grateful for a compassionate and loving and merciful God. When I see young people making the same mistakes I made years ago, and I see the times we’re living in, I pray that God will get through to them quicker than He got through to me. Some sins will keep Christians out of heaven because they think God winks at sin. Paul continually said to the Gentiles that they needed to stay on the narrow path, with other words. In 1 Corinthians 6:8, (Webster), Paul says to Christians, “But ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

1Co 6:9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1Co 6:10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1Co 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1Co 6:12  All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1Co 6:13  Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for lewdness, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

1Co 6:14  And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

1Co 6:15  Know ye not, that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? By no means.

1Co 6:16  What? know ye not that he who is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

1Co 6:17  But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

1Co 6:18  Flee lewdness. Every sin that a man doeth, is without the body; but he that committeth lewdness, sinneth against his own body.

1Co 6:19  What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God, and ye are not your own?

1Co 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Paul keeps admonishing the Corinthians, so they’ll know how to live in a manner that pleases God. They used to be Gentiles and serve idols. He gives them hope in 1 Cor. 10:13, (Webster) :

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

And in verse 14 he tells them to flee idolatry. He wants them to be set free from sin, addictions, people pleasing, afflictions, and oppression from the devil, etc.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a famous saying that is repeated often today, “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”Martin Luther King Jr.

The source for that quote and image is: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/10538-free-at-last-free-at-last-thank-god-almighty-we

May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

Marriage Takes Work

 

I’ve been hearing a lot about marriage ever since I started writing about it the past few days.

I heard a couple speak about their marriage on Focus on the Family radio broadcast yesterday. The woman said they found out after the wedding that despite having many interests in common, they discovered they were exact opposites in their personality traits and in the way they did things.

The man said it added flavor and spice to their interactions and he wouldn’t have it any other way. She agreed.

That surprised me. I’ve heard other people say the same thing, but their differences drove each other crazy.

So, how do you work things out?

  • Be willing to try things another way. You may find you like his favorite lunch: a peanut butter onion sandwich, if you take a bite.

  • When your spouse rolls the toothpaste tube up tight and you like it flat, consider if that is worth even arguing about. Do you have control issues? Talk about it, or pray about it and then bring it up, or gasp! – ignore it. It’s easy to get over things if you don’t build them up. Maybe be grateful that your spouse brushes their teeth in the first place.

  • When both parties are not tired, make a list of things you like to do together. If there isn’t anything, ask what they like to do and see if you can force yourself to go. Stepping into the other person’s world can bring a connection worth any initial discomfort. If you hate it, be honest and tell your partner that it’s just not for you. At least now you probably have an understanding of the job or hobby and it’s an area you can talk about.

When you love someone, you want what’s best for them. If you’ve lost that loving feeling, become a detective and look for things you like about your spouse.

Concentrate on the positive attributes and try to ignore the minor annoyances. When you try and bless the other person, they will notice and usually pay attention. That’s a great first step to re-kindle the spark that ignited early in your romantic relationship.

Image result for male and female couples on a date

I’m not very familiar with arranged marriages, but I’ve met some people that started marriage due to their parents’ agreement with another family. They seemed content with one another.

If a person finds themselves in a marriage with someone with serious issues, many folks find help with a marriage counselor’s assistance.

To me, a marriage is worth working on to strengthen the bond between man and wife. I remember a friend of mine back in high school. She was an art student. She showed me her arm and the way it curved. She said it’s perfectly designed to fit with a man’s arm.She found that fascinating. An arm linked with the arm of a person of the same sex does not meld together.

In the book of Genesis, near the beginning, God made man and then He made woman to be a helpmate for him. Men have strengths and women have strengths and they complement each other.

In our home, if one of us is better at paying bills and keeping a budget, that person does the work regardless of their gender. If one of us likes to garden and the other doesn’t, then the other gets to totally ignore the garden and the landscaping and the other gets to choose plants and dig in the dirt until the sun goes down if they want to.

1 Corinthians chapter 7 gives principles of marriage: these include showing affection for one another and realising that since they became one flesh they don’t have authority over their own bodies, but their spouse has authority over the other’s body. So they should not deprive the other person without permission from their spouse. Even then, Paul says it should not be for a long time so they don’t get tempted by someone else.

There’s so much about marriage, I could write a book, which is why I started to. I don’tknow if I’ll write anymore about marriage for a while. I’ll have to pray about it. I just know that the longer I’m married, the more I appreciate God coming up with the model of marriage for men and women. Marriage gives men respect, purpose and stability. It gives women love, value and security, to name a few benefits for both sexes.

May God bless you.

Again, God is Good

I’ve heard this dozens of times: “God is good, all the time” and then someone answers, “and all the time, God is good.”

Where did that come from? I looked online, but there wasn’t a clear source.

I’m assuming it’s from Scripture. Here’s an example: Matthew 19:13, (KJV):  Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

Mat 19:14  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 19:15  And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

Mat 19:16  And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

Mat 19:17  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Another example is in Psalm 73:1  A Psalm of Asaph. (KJV): Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

Speaking of Israel, from what I understand, President Donald Trump intends to support Israel. Psalm_122:6, (KJV) says: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.”

Those that love Jerusalem will prosper.

God’s ways are hard to figure sometimes, but when He says something, He means it. He loves all the nations:

Rev_7:9  After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Mentioning heaven, it says in Rev_21:24, (KJV):  “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

Rev 21:25  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

Rev 21:26  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

Rev 21:27  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Rev_22:2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Because God is good, He wants healing and prosperity and love to be in the hearts of mankind, and all the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22, (KJV):  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Gal 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

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

Pondering God’s Love

 

When I was reading Psalm 91 today about God protecting His children I asked the Lord if He wanted me to read a certain section of Scripture. I thought He was directing me to the book of Ephesians.

As I read slowly and prayerfully, I got overwhelmed with the idea of God choosing people from all of the nations to be His inheritors through Christ. How wonderful that is!

Then later in the night as I folded laundry and mended a fraying item, I listened to Howard Dayton and his co-host, Steve Moore on Compass 1 financial radio program. They got talking about Ephesians 2 and the fact that we’re all unique and that God has a purpose for us.

I’ve copied the first ten verses of Ephesians chapter 2:

Eph 2:1, (GNB):  In the past you were spiritually dead because of your disobedience and sins.

Eph 2:2  At that time you followed the world’s evil way; you obeyed the ruler of the spiritual powers in space, the spirit who now controls the people who disobey God.

Eph 2:3  Actually all of us were like them and lived according to our natural desires, doing whatever suited the wishes of our own bodies and minds. In our natural condition we, like everyone else, were destined to suffer God’s anger.

Eph 2:4  But God’s mercy is so abundant, and his love for us is so great,

Eph 2:5  that while we were spiritually dead in our disobedience he brought us to life with Christ. It is by God’s grace that you have been saved.

Eph 2:6  In our union with Christ Jesus he raised us up with him to rule with him in the heavenly world.

Eph 2:7  He did this to demonstrate for all time to come the extraordinary greatness of his grace in the love he showed us in Christ Jesus.

Eph 2:8  For it is by God’s grace that you have been saved through faith. It is not the result of your own efforts, but God’s gift, so that no one can boast about it.

Eph 2:9  (SEE 2:8)

Eph 2:10  God has made us what we are, and in our union with Christ Jesus he has created us for a life of good deeds, which he has already prepared for us to do.

 

After that, Dr. David Jeremiah’s show came on and He got talking about God’s love for mankind. While we were yet sinners, Jesus Christ gave His life as a ransom so people could get into heaven. He said that God is love from I John 4 and that God’s love is not fickle. He loves us even though we fall short; He loves us when we’re behaving well. His love remains constant – it never changes.

Dr. David Jeremiah likened God’s continual love for us as the kind of love a person has on their honeymoon in that God stays delighted with us even as His presence surrounds us continually.

The he mentioned Ephesians, how God loved us from the beginning of time when we weren’t even born yet, as it tells us in chapter one.

When I hear and/or read a message three times in one day, I determine to check it out and try to cement it in my brain. How about you?

May God bless you this day and many more.

 

Writing and Life

This morning I picked up a book from a shelf in the living room that I dedicate to writing books. A year ago or so I went into an area at the library where they sell used books as a fund raiser. I bought The Writing Life by Annie Dillard, published by Harper & Row, Publishers; New York, NY. Annie Dillard copyrighted it in 1989. I bought it because it looked interesting. Later, it was listed in another writing book as a book writers should read.  So, I was glad I bought it. It’s a fun, serious book. Her wordplay delights the wordsmith in me. 🙂

The Writing Life

Inside the front book cover on the leaf it starts out, “In a surprising narrative, Annie Dillard describes the working life of a writer. These are vivid and ironic encounters at a desk.”

Those sentences made me want to look inside. The day before Thanksgiving, I had pies to bake and beds to make. My husband sat in his recliner chair eating brunch and watching a comedy sitcom. So, I joined him in the living room, eating my brunch, reading this book and watching television. I felt so relieved when he turned it off. I told him it was sucking me in and I had stuff I needed to get to.

My pie crusts are like puzzle pieces straining to connect. My youngest daughter said, “Mom, they always look like that. The insides taste great though, and that’s what counts.”

I smiled and then as my husband turned to YouTube for yet another kitchen appliance tip, I got reminded by him that if I wanted to improve my pie crusts, I could always find a demonstration on YouTube. His turkey is prepped for the morning, with all the fresh spices and a lemon and onions in the interior. Butter everywhere. We’ll see if we like it.

I listened to the Bible while preparing the pies since I didn’t get an early start to my day, as I mentioned above. 1 Thessalonians is where I started, and I might have finished at Hebrews. I listened to Paul admonishing believers to work or they shouldn’t eat. He made mention of refraining from arguments. Then he talked about being hospitable. A lot of points got mentioned, but I thought the few that got highlighted to me really hit home on the eve of a holiday. My daughter invited a single mom and her two young boys to our full house tomorrow. Then she said something about inviting another single mom and her little toddler boy.

She said, “It’s funny, when I lived here, I didn’t feel so free to have people over. Now, I just tell them that we’re eating at mom and dad’s, come on over.”

When we talked about the difference, part of it is because God has changed me, I told her. If things weren’t completely tidy, I was embarrassed. One afternoon listening to Dr. James Dobson on Focus on the Family some years back, he said the reason people don’t open their homes to their neighbors and friends is because of pride. That resonated with me. Pride is a downfall. I’m not perfect by any means, but when she told me she’d already invited the families, I checked with my husband, and he was okay with it, and then I gave my okay. Avoiding having people over because my furniture is getting old or I have some clutter on the kitchen table made for some lonely days in my younger years.

If you’re alone for the holidays, maybe you can bless someone else who is alone or participate at a food center. One year in the city, our young family helped the church we attended provide Thanksgiving meals for hundreds of people. My kids said that was the best Thanksgiving they’d ever had. Our church does a Christmas meal for anyone who wants to show up. If the attendees can bring a side dish, that’s great. If not, come along anyway.

May God bless you this November day.