My sister, Mary was an imperfect person, but she loved
Jesus. She enjoyed blessing people with gifts. She laughed and her wit was
quick and sharp. One day she told me she really enjoyed listening to John
Osteen from Houston, TX and said I ought to hear him preach. He’s been gone for
twenty years now. She’s been gone for about five years, I think. Today, I was
searching for a sermon on television and I found this on YouTube. So, in honor
of my sister Mary, I copied and pasted it. I thought I’d share it here.
It’s sounds hard to be a Christian, and sometimes it is, but
the alternative is much, much harder. I’ve lived both ways and I’ll take Jesus
over not having Him any day. Jesus makes life worth living, even when life hits
and hits again, and the pain hurts. Jesus takes the sting out of the hurt,
compared to going it alone.
is a God in heaven watching over mankind. The first man in the garden of Eden
was made in the image of God. Adam walked with God and told Him about the
animals Adam named. See (Genesis 1 and 2).
a while in Genesis 1, God decided Adam needed a helpmeet, someone to complete
him and to complement him so together they were better than apart. God put a
deep sleep on Adam and removed a rib to fashion a wife for him, named Eve. She
became the first mother of all of mankind. All of the races came from Adam and
Eve, and variations came in skin tone because of the closeness of the sun or
being further from the equator and the power of our closest star.
President Obama came into office, I heard he and Vice President Dick Cheney
were two of the most liberal men in American politics. President Obama, as a
senator in Illinois, was the only senator to vote to let a botched-abortion
baby languish on the table. It was considered inhumane to kill a young baby not
that many years ago.
a majority of the United States Senate voted to leave a botched-abortion baby
to die despite the chance for survival with medical treatment. God in heaven
gave us emotions like He has: love, joy, peace, anger and sorrow to name some.
In the book of Psalms in the Old Testament of the Bible, God tells us that
children are our heritage from the Lord. He loves to create, which is why we
love to create. The earth and sky declare the majesty of Father God.
I hear and see the deaths in America portrayed on countless television shows
and in movies, the romanticizing of zombies, the news broadcasting husbands
killing wives and drug pushers killing their customers with tainted opioids, I
think of how entirely devoid of life this planet would be without Jesus Christ.
said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may
have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 NRSV)
(Joshua 24:15 NRSV), the Word of God says, “Now if you are unwilling to serve
the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors
served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land
you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord,” Joshua
takes courage to serve God. Christians are being maligned by some of the media
in America and persecution is increasing. Why? Because in the last days some
say “Good will be spoken of as evil, and evil will be spoken of as good,” as
referenced in (Isaiah 5:20).
Many New Yorkers, believers in Christ and those who don’t believe but have morals, are outraged over the extremely liberal abortion rights. If Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers continue murdering viable infants about to leave the womb at nine months along or before, or at full term and the abortion technique failed, so a fully formed infant is born-and the workers do nothing for the child, they will stand before a holy, just God Who happens to love babies and humankind, one day.
think of people who move merrily along, harming others. Do they ever consider
that God gets mad and sends punishment their way or on the land their country
inhabits? God sees all.
Our country has experienced more floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, mud slides and destructive diseases over the past ten years or so than I recall beforehand. The numbers of tragedies have grown exponentially as people have turned from God to psychics, the occult and false beliefs.
Would God the Son willingly endure extreme suffering from Roman soldiers before being crucified by them, if He didn’t love mankind and step forward to take on God the Father’s wrath for all our sins? The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2Co 5:20-21 ESV)
God is love. Those who choose to believe in God the Son and the fact that He rose from the dead, and willingly obey Him become lovers of God and love their fellow-humans. The book of First John near the end of the New Testament tells us about these previous statements.
So, what happens? If you read the Old Testament which God gave us for an example, you’ll see as evil infiltrates a land, and God honors the wish of the people to live their lives without Him, “all hell breaks loose,” as my parents used to say way back in the day.
devil hates born again Christians because of the power of God available for the
good of mankind. God is love and light and life. This place is temporary. God’s
place is eternal and so incredible according to the last chapters of the book
of Revelation, that it’s hard to picture it.
We can choose love and light, or selfishness and darkness. We can discover that God is love.
We can experience the emptiness and dread of following our own will to reject God and end up as Satan’s pawn. Have you ever thought of these things? Where do you stand?
I have not written as much
lately because I spent thirteen days with my children and four grandchildren.
Three of the grandkids caught the flu, so I drove north to babysit them for a
week. The rest of the time they visited us during February break from school
while construction workers replaced ceilings, put in overhead lights, and
refashioned an archway between two rooms, etc. at their home.
I love being with family-playing games, making meals and doing dishes, catching up on laundry. Fortunately for me, they just had fevers and coughs when I reached them on Sunday night. Although, I kept telling them to cover their mouths when they coughed and to turn their heads. “I don’t want to catch the flu!”
Recently, I lost some of
my joy because I live in New York State. Our legislators passed a bill that if
the mother of an unborn baby has any reason for wanting to abort that child,
for whatever medical reason they can come up with, at any time before the little
one leaves the womb, they can let the medical person know and the human being
is killed. It may be hours from birth, a perfectly viable life and get snuffed
Then to add to my
distress, living in the land of the free, the land of the brave, dear God, how
far have we fallen, the senators in Washington, D.C., including our New York
State representatives, voted that if a living baby survives the attempted
murder during a botched abortion, no medical care will be extended. The tiny
person is not offered a blanket or something to suck on for sustenance. It’s
left to die. I never thought I’d hear of INFANTICIDE in this country.
So, I haven’t felt like blogging, I’m sorry to say. I’ve taken joy from the children around me. I’ve cried out to God to soften the hearts of people that probably would be outraged at the inhumane treatment of animals and yet, disregard the lives of babies that God says He knows as they’re fashioned in the wombs of their mothers in Psalm 139:13-16.
I know times get worse
before Jesus comes back and an increase in evil comes forth as people reject
God and His ways. It’s just hard to see it and understand. When President Obama
was a senator in Illinois, he was the only politician to vote to let a newborn
languish on the table if the abortion failed. That wasn’t that long ago. The
U.S. senate has two senators per state, and they only needed seven more votes
to protect the little ones. They got 53 votes. That means 67 people said, “Let
the infant die,” although I heard the weather kept some senators from reaching
Washington, D.C. on time. But, did they wait for a larger turn out? No!
I think the senate should
have been mandated to go to an abortion clinic and see what happens before they
cast their votes. And if they came to New York State, they would see that the
providers don’t have to be a doctor to perform an abortion. So much for the
safety of the mother.
I took science fiction
courses in college back in the day, and some of the stuff that I shuddered over
back then and felt would never happen is upon us now. So, I pray for people to
wake up and consider what they believe and why they believe it. Is it worth
killing babies for the convenience of the mother? Many women suffer after they’ve
taken the lives of their child with depression, breast cancer, and infertility.
One thing I’ve heard-the younger generation is not believing the embryo is
fertilized tissue with no life at conception. So, I try to remain hopeful and I
pray that people won’t want to use these so-called “freedoms” of choice. Then
it won’t matter what’s in the law books.
If you read through my
rant, God bless you. Maybe if enough people stand up and say this isn’t right,
the politicians will understand their tenure is on shaky grounds.
May God bless you and
protect you from the evil one.
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
(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;
Php 4:7 and
the peace of God, which surpasses all understanding, will guard your hearts and
minds through Christ Jesus.
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
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.”
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.