The God of Peace

With all that’s going on in the world, and then in New York State where abortion rights have been expanded to the furthest degree possible, I need to look for the good in life and keep my eyes on Jesus, for God amazes me!

So, I thought I’d look for encouragement in the Word and this is what I came up with:

This is a letter from the Apostle Paul to the Philippians while in jail. I copied a small portion that always reminds me to keep looking up.

Php 4:4, (NKJV):  Rejoice in the Lord always. Again I will say, rejoice! 

Php 4:5  Let your gentleness be known to all men. The Lord is at hand. 

Php 4:6  Be anxious for nothing, but in everything by prayer and supplication, with thanksgiving, let your requests be made known to God; 

kids praying children's prayers
Photo from https://www.thoughtco.com/prayers-for-children-to-say-701346



Php 4:7  and the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and minds through Christ Jesus. 

Php 4:8  Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is any virtue and if there is anything praiseworthy—meditate on these things. 

Php 4:9  The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you. 

May God bless you!!

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Trusting God

One of my favorite Bible verses is: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto you. (Matthew 6:33 NKJV)

I heard a few weeks ago that General Motors is firing 15 per cent of their workforce in Detroit, MI and other locations in the United States and Canada. Ford Motor Company may not be far behind.

I don’t live near these cities, and none of our acquaintances work in the automobile production industry. Yet, I feel compassion for those being let go. Some people in America don’t save money for emergencies.

We received a gift from a relative which allows us to see local television for the first time in many years. I got used to programs without commercials. The advertising costs an incredible amount of money to lure customers to purchase stuff. I looked away from the appealing pictures of new cars, cruises in warm weather ports, diamond rings equated to love, and lots of beer commercials during the football games.

All of those things may deplete an emergency savings account, if one ever got started. None of those things count as needs. In the Apostle Paul’s letter to the Philippians in chapter 4, verses l0-13 it says in the New King James Version, “But I rejoiced in the Lord greatly that now at last your care for me has flourished again; though you surely did care, but you lacked opportunity.

 “Not that I speak in regard to need, for I have learned in whatever state I am, to be content: I know how to be abased, and I know how to abound. Everywhere and in all things I have learned both to be full and to be hungry, both to abound and to suffer need. I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.”

When people in America lose their homes from unemployment, mud slides, fires, tornadoes, earthquakes or floods, etc. I pray for their physical needs, their emotional and spiritual condition.

In First Peter 5:7 in the NKJV, Peter tells us, “casting all your care upon Him, for He cares for you,” happens after we’ve humbled ourselves under the mighty hand of God. When God sees humility towards Him and others, He’ll exalt us in due time.

Our lives are meant to bring glory to God in good times and in bad. The Bible is our life manual for every aspect of life. If you’re suffering, God sees you.

He understands your choices. He promises to take care of all your physical and eternal needs if you’ll seek the kingdom of God first in your life. Food, clothing and housing: Jesus said God knows your requirements for life.

As earthly possessions slide out of our grasp, the eternal stays with us forever.

May God bless you!

Perfect Peace

 

Isa 26:3, (NKJV): You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

 

I have been living in circumstances that required me to cry out to God. This week, a close relative needed surgery to save his life and the doctors were not optimistic of the outcome. Lots of people prayed for him and he came through the procedure with a bit less needing to be done than they anticipated. Now, he needs to heal up after the invasion to his system.

 

My daughter and son and her four children came down to visit and before long they showed symptoms which included fever. One had strep throat, another an ear infection, the next-possibly strep throat, and the next-a sinus infection. The youngest child didn’t get better once on the antibiotic and his fever spiked to 102.9 degrees Fahrenheit. When the on-call doctor returned our telephone call, she wasn’t worried even though 103.5 is dangerous. She said, “I’m more concerned that you keep him hydrated.”

 

So, we gave him sips of water or juice or bites of frozen fruit juice confections every fifteen minutes and put a cold wash cloth on his forehead. She washed down his chest and back with cool water and we kept praying. His cheeks were bright red and his big brown eyes looked dully at us, all glassy. She’d text people to pray and I’d text others to pray as well. Finally, after a few hours, the fever broke.

 

This morning, the oldest came down with a fever, but just like he was all week, while everyone else suffered, he seems fine. The four other adults seem to be okay, although I have to admit, I’m praying for all of us to stay okay, and I’m drinking echinacea tea at least once a day.

 

My sister is moving out tonight after all these months. I don’t think she’ll miss all the noise. She’s single and a houseful of adults and children can strain the nerves when you’re a senior citizen. I remember when we all moved in with my father-in-law when we were selling a house and waiting to close on the next home. He and his house mate got stretched at times. We had four children at the time, although our oldest son was on his own then.

 

As I’ve dealt with the stresses of illness and new ministries and friends that are hurting and other things, I got reminded that if I’ll turn to God and rest in His promises and continually forgive those that offend and ask forgiveness of those that I offend, things work out according to God’s good purposes. He is kind and caring and has taken care of everything we’ve had need of, continuously.

 

I’m off to church for Celebrate Recovery. If you are feeling overwhelmed, I pray you’ll seek God. He is faithful, even if sometimes He says wait or no.

 

My youngest grandson is almost back to normal, a little less energetic than normal and they’re all taking a long nap now.

 

May God bless you!

 

 

 

Favorite Things About Christmas

Do you have favorite things about Christmas?

I got some Christmas cards in the mail today. I really enjoy sending and receiving cards because we’ve moved enough times that I have friends I don’t hear from like I used to. At Christmas time, as I write out the cards, my mind gets flooded with fond memories of family and friends.

I love hearing the Christmas story in Luke and in Matthew. I try to picture how Mary felt and I feel awe for Joseph’s brave stances to buck society’s standards and follow God’s directions.

Mary On Donkey With Joseph Figurine  - Photo found at: https://www.christianbook.com/mary-on-donkey-with-joseph-figurine/pd/590021?dv=%7Bdevice%7D&en=google&event=SHOP&kw=ornaments-and-holiday-decor-0-20%7C590021&p=1179710&gclid=Cj0KCQiAg4jSBRCsARIsAB9ooatRNZxPJngIzobXSX6LPMcYuyMbtDHh0oGZ0qR6-U0vzUjqwuCLlsQaApIWEALw_wcB

 

This is the first year our church didn’t do the Christmas Eve candlelit service because of Christmas falling on Monday. My husband thought families would want to spend time together at night since they went to church in the morning. I always cherish the time listening to the people share their blessings. Seeing the expectant faces in the shimmering candle light with the overhead lights extinguished is precious. And beautiful.

Shopping for gifts for my loved ones is fun when there’s money in the budget. We always limit the amount and tell our family not to expect extravagant items. Some folks go into debt, we don’t go for that. To us, Christmas is about the Savior’s birth.

I think it’s fun to get presents, my husband doesn’t. So, our kids respect that and either give to charity in their dad’s name, or just say “Merry Christmas,” and leave it at that. His dad didn’t want us to spend money on him either, but an occasional small antique item, like salt and pepper shakers and a magnifying glass caused a smile to light up his face. I don’t expect anything from my children, but if they choose to get something, they know I prefer an inexpensive gift.

I’ve been more sentimental lately, and when my husband told the Christmas story from Mary’s point of view, her willingness to listen to the angel and then her obedience to the privilege of being mother to the Son of God, with all the unanswered questions she pondered over, well, I almost cried in church.

As my husband said, she really didn’t know what she was getting herself into, but she never hesitated. She trusted God. When I read Daniel a day or so before the sermon, I noticed that Daniel fainted when the angel spoke to him. The angel told him not to be afraid. When Daniel said his strength left his body, the angel supplied strength to Daniel’s body, mind and spirit. When the heavenly being told about end times, it kind of scared me, because so much of what was said seemed like it could be current events. Other things, I couldn’t make sense of. I wish I had my youngest son nearby because he graduated from college with a degree in History, and I thought he might be able to interpret some of the military battles. Some of the verses might have been referring to the conquests of Alexander the Great.

Mary heard the same thing from the angel that visited her, “Be not afraid.”

She also was called “highly favored among women.”

She is never called extraordinary. It doesn’t say anywhere in the Bible that she should be prayed to. I think she did her best to follow and honor God. I also assume she was one of the best moms ever, imperfect but gentle and wise is how I imagine her.

Christmas carols prevail on the radio at this season of the year. There are so many beautiful tunes and choruses. I’ve heard some new ones this holiday time that touched my heart.

Well, those are some of my favorite things. Nice meals, Christmas cookies, and family and friends gathering for games need to be included as well.

I tried to write Merry Christmas and include a picture of a creche, but my computer kept freezing up, so I decided to let it rest for a day or two around the twenty-fifth. That’s how life goes sometimes, smooth as whipping cream or bumpy like a topping of walnuts.

May God bless you!

 

 

Driving for Changes

Landscape, Vineyards, Windräderhttps://pixabay.com/en/landscape-vineyards-windr%C3%A4der-2930996/

I drove North to a city today to pick up my sister from the hospital. She is so much better than she was a week ago.

I wondered if she knew me last week. Nope. She remembered me telling her my daughter’s name and asking if she knew her.

My sister has a black eye today she didn’t have yesterday. She said they gave her quite a bit of heparin and the corner of her eye has been itching, so as she scratched it, it bruised. Same with her arm. That’s a medication that thins the blood to prevent blood clots. She told me the heparin will wear off over time. Praise God.

I was so blessed to have clear roads. The sky was jam-packed with clouds. I heard that city is going to be hit with snow tomorrow. I’m glad I picked her up today.

When we got ready to leave the hospital, I told my sister how kind the social worker and her nurse were. She thought those who work with people in a medical setting who don’t care deeply for others burn out and quit within two years.

She’s been a medical secretary for years and she’s my go to person when I don’t understand blood work numbers or a diagnosis or medicine.

I’m so glad God spared her life from the diabetic ketoacidosis which almost killed her. On a selfish note, I’m glad to be able to stay home and get ready for Christmas, Lord willing.

It is an adventure following God. My days completely change on occasion and I’ll sense God’s Spirit whispering, “I’ve got this.”

Other times, a tiny thought, “You don’t have to worry.”

I hope you’re well. May God bless you!

Walk This Way Only

 

Deuteronomy_5:33, (KJV): Ye shall walk in all the ways which the LORD your God hath commanded you, that ye may live, and that it may be well with you, and that ye may prolong your days in the land which ye shall possess.

I went to visit my sister in the hospital on Thursday and some of this Scripture popped into my mind for her. Something about when the Lord directs her, she should turn to the left. When the Lord directs her, she should turn to the right.

She was a bit disoriented because of a fall. High blood sugar caused her to get dizzy. She fell into the bathtub and bruised her forehead and stayed knocked out for a while. When I arrived with my daughter, those whispers of words came into my head, indicating she should listen to the Lord and follow the pathway He sets for her.

She kept nodding off, so I intend to write down what I remember for her. In the meanwhile, as she recovers I thank God that she is recovering.

I don’t understand insulin and why blood sugar can change so dramatically depending on her eating habits and the amount of stress in her life. All I know is she can’t do it alone. That’s why God gave her family and good friends and professionals to safeguard her when the diabetes gets out of whack.

We went to a church to visit another pastor and his wife and family and the congregation. We missed out on the singing but stayed for the fellowship. A meeting ran longer than we thought it would, so we were late.

This church believes as we do that the Holy Spirit still heals people. One of the young ladies welcomed us and said that she found this church after praying to God for a church where the Bible is preached from. Then the pastor told us one weekend he and his wife were away for the weekend and she prayed at the altar by herself and sometime later she realized she was pain free. She’d been suffering from fibromyalgia for twenty years. What a vibrant smile she had on her face tonight.

My sister came out of her coma before twenty-four hours passed. She’s still tired and drops off to sleep suddenly, but her bruise is significantly smaller. Her blood sugar was over 600 and now it’s over 100, so she’s on the mend. So many people said they’d pray for her! To God be the glory, great things He has done.

God bless you all!

Christmas Play

Image result for christmas tree undecoratedhttp://exchangedownloads.smarttech.com/public/content/c6/c6b1f98d-2ee6-4c9e-ad05-71edfcd42f76/previews/medium/0001.png

 

As I stacked dishes to wash, I listened to a recording of lines I need to memorize for our annual Christmas play.

I don’t think I’ve ever memorized lines for a play and I’ve only been in three, maybe.

We have two more practices and then the play! I hope the kids will be ready. It’s amazing how fast time goes before a main event.

There’s a tree, candy canes, Christmas songs and lines declaring Jesus’ love. I’m praying God will bless our efforts.

Are you doing anything fun before December the 25th?

May God bless you!

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.

 

 

 

Organize Your Day

I ordered an e-book from our library when I couldn’t get there, so I looked for one of my favorite topics – getting organized.

Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims wrote a book called Organize Your Day: Time Management Techniques That Will Work for You, published by Revell Books, Grand Rapids, MI and copyrighted in 2009.

Organizing your day by Sandra Felton(photo from https://www.christianbook.com/organizing-management-techniques-that-will-work/sandra-felton/9780800733155/pd/733155?product_redirect=1&Ntt=733155&item_code=&Ntk=keywords&event=ESRCP )

What I love about their books is their motto about taking “small” consistent steps to effect real change.

I tend to think that starting four habits when I want to make one alteration multiplies the results. Surely, more is better than less, but then reality sinks in. “I can’t do this!”

In this book, Sandra Felton and Marsha Sims give four styles of organizing charts. One that caught my attention was for a man with such a broad range of interests that he wrote sixteen things he wanted to do.

Of every two items, the man chose the most important and soon the list was down to eight. Once again-the most important whittled down to four.

It forces the planner to think-now it’s down to two. Final choice, what is the most significant thing to the individual? The man felt relief, one thing I can focus on until it’s done.

This morning as I read in the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, published by Thomas Nelson Nashville, TN; Dallas, TX; Mexico City, in Mexico; and Rio De Janeiro, in Brazil; and copyrighted in 2011, there was a devotional page which I thought was from Sarah Young’s book, Jesus Calling.

Jesus Calling, was copyrighted in 2004 and published by HarperCollins Christian Publishers, Nashville, TN.

On page 1037 in the Jesus Calling Devotional Bible, there’s an entry entitled “Protection” and it’s got a reference: “(From Jesus Lives by Sarah Young)” on the bottom of the page.

She reminds us that Jesus is with us in the good times and the bad times. When we’re struggling during times of affliction, He’s even closer than usual.

So, He hears our cries over a lack of control over clutter or gluttony or road rage or whatever tendencies which cause our hearts to hurt. The Scriptures the Bible gives at the bottom of this devotional are “Isaiah 41:10, Isaiah 12:2, Psalm 23:4, and Psalm 18:35.”

Jesus is our protector if we ask Him to take control over our lives completely. He helps us to release the tight grip on our lives in a manner that we can deal with, if we really mean it. He’s not a mean task master in the sky. He’s a loving Father, beyond what any earthly dad could ever mirror with their behavior.

I hope you are well. May God bless you and protect you, lead you and guide you if you want Him to.

 

Peace

 

 

 

http://flickr.com/photos/xnir/8433880311

Isa 26:3  You will keep him in perfect peace, Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.

The Mountain of the Lord

Isa 2:1  The word that Isaiah the son of Amoz saw concerning Judah and Jerusalem.

Isa 2:2  Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And all nations shall flow to it.

Isa 2:3  Many people shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion shall go forth the law, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Isa 2:4  He shall judge between the nations, And rebuke many people; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

Isa 2:5  O house of Jacob, come and let us walk In the light of the LORD.

This is a prophecy concerning the end times here and again in Micah:

The Mountain of the Lord

Mic 4:1  Now it shall come to pass in the latter days That the mountain of the LORD’s house Shall be established on the top of the mountains, And shall be exalted above the hills; And peoples shall flow to it.

Mic 4:2  Many nations shall come and say, “Come, and let us go up to the mountain of the LORD, To the house of the God of Jacob; He will teach us His ways, And we shall walk in His paths.” For out of Zion the law shall go forth, And the word of the LORD from Jerusalem.

Mic 4:3  He shall judge between many peoples, And rebuke strong nations afar off; They shall beat their swords into plowshares, And their spears into pruning hooks; Nation shall not lift up sword against nation, Neither shall they learn war anymore.

Mic 4:4  But everyone shall sit under his vine and under his fig tree, And no one shall make them afraid; For the mouth of the LORD of hosts has spoken.

Mic 4:5  For all people walk each in the name of his god, But we will walk in the name of the LORD our God Forever and ever.

The Lord Shall Rescue Zion

Mic 4:6  “In that day,” says the LORD, “I will assemble the lame, I will gather the outcast And those whom I have afflicted;

Mic 4:7  I will make the lame a remnant, And the outcast a strong nation; So the LORD will reign over them in Mount Zion From now on, even forever.

Mic 4:8  And you, O tower of the flock, The stronghold of the daughter of Zion, To you shall it come, Even the former dominion shall come, The kingdom of the daughter of Jerusalem.”

I’m reading in the book of Isaiah, sixty-six chapters, as there are sixty-six books in the Bible. I’ve heard it said that if a person reads Isaiah, they will read a synopsis of the entire Bible.

In Isaiah 53, the Messiah is described and Jesus fits that description. How I needed a savior when I was young. Now that Jesus is my Lord and Savior, how I need the Holy Spirit to comfort me in the middle of the sorrows that come upon me and all of mankind when evil has its way.

So, I pray for those close to me and for those that I may never know, when I hear tragedies in America and around the world. The only way to avoid being cast into despair is to cast my cares upon God Who cares for me, as directed in 1 Peter 5:7. Not only does He comfort me, but He comforts whomever calls upon His name.

He promises that those who call upon the name of Jesus will be saved, in Act_2:21, (NKJV),  AND IT SHALL COME TO PASS THAT WHOEVER CALLS ON THE NAME OF THE LORD SHALL BE SAVED.’

Having Jesus love you and call you His very own imparts peace, and fills the longing of the heart that searches for more.

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