What is the Point of Reading Scripture?

Years ago, when our house was up for sale, a realtor asked, “Why do you have Bible verses taped to your kitchen window and hanging on the walls?”

“They help me to live my life.”

Once, I taped a verse to the kitchen window and I told a close friend of my husband’s I felt it was for him. After he read it, he said it pertained to him and his wife. I had no idea.

Sometimes, I read the Bible out of duty or because I’ve set a goal to read so many chapters. Other days, I put on the tea kettle and picture myself having tea with our invisible God. Later, I read the Bible as I sip, and anticipate learning more about the Creator, the joy giver, the author of my faith, the God Who possesses Wisdom, according to (Proverbs 8:22, NKJV).

(John 10:10, NKJV) says: “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy. I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

The real Jesus came to watch over His sheep, His followers. The thief, the anti-Christ comes to steal, kill and destroy people. Sometimes, I don’t want to read the book of Life, God’s Word which nourishes my spirit and my soul because of spiritual warfare-which I’m not always aware of.

(https://www.youversion.com/the-bible-app-for-kids/)

I read Proverbs this week, chapter 1-12 so far. Wisdom is telling us in (Proverbs 8:30-31, NKJV) that during the creation of the world, “Then I was beside Him as a master craftsman; And I was daily His delight, Rejoicing always before Him, Rejoicing in His inhabited world, And my delight was with the sons of men.”

Wisdom is always with God. So, God’s Word is filled with wisdom, which I need every day. When I rejoice and am grateful it changes my attitude, the brain develops healthier memories and releases dopamine-a pleasure hormone. For more insight, check out “Neuroscience Reveals: Gratitude Rewires Your Brain to be Happier,” a blog from goforthrecovery.com at https://goforthrecovery.com/articles-news/addiction-recovery-neuroscience-gratitude…

God says we are fearfully and wonderfully made in Ps. 139:14. So many encouragements, so many promises, so many warnings and incredible truths in the Bible. To me, that is the point of reading Scripture: to know God better and His ways for us.

Searching for God

            I feel as though God is saying, “Search for Me. Seek Me,” today.

            When I was a city girl, we kids often played Hide and Seek. Our lightning-struck maple tree became home-base for the half dozen or more of us. How I loved the game. Hiding, waiting, judging if there was time to outrun the person who was “it” back to home when they left to find players.

            I’ve heard it said that God hides so we’ll try to find Him. Yet, there’s Scripture that says if we’ll seek God, we’ll find Him: (Deuteronomy 4:29, KJV).

            Jesus said in (Matthew 6:33-34, HCSB): “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be provided for you. Therefore, don’t worry about tomorrow, because tomorrow will worry about itself. Each day has enough trouble of its own.”

            Don’t fret over clothes, or what you will eat or drink, it tells us in Matthew 6:25. God is our provider. While we can work, He oftentimes provides jobs for us. He tells us to do our work heartily as unto the Lord in Colossians 3:23.

            But, to get back to seeking God: I heard about having a personal relationship with Jesus Christ, God the Father and the Holy Spirit, one God with three persons. I didn’t understand what it meant to be a child of God, loved by Him, created for His good purposes as stated in the book of Philippians.

            Once it made sense to my mind and my heart, I committed to follow Jesus. I became hungry to get to know Him and I read J.B. Phillips The New Testament in Modern English, commonly found in the early 1970’s. Looking for references, I found it was published in 1958 for J.B. Phillips’ youth group.

            I read it whenever I could. I underlined it with a black marker using a ruler. I asked more advanced Christians what certain passages meant. I prayed for understanding and suddenly three pastors from across the United States preached on the topic I struggled with, on our local Christian radio station.

            I think when God whispers to my thoughts, “Search for Me,” He’s asking me to return to my first love for Him, when I couldn’t get enough of the Word of God.

            May God bless you, big time!

“All My Life You Have Been Faithful”

CeCe Winans sings a song entitled “Goodness of God,” with a group of singers and musicians. It’s live out of Nashville, TN and there is a blue background. I wanted to share this with you and hope you’ll be as blessed as I have been! I set it up as full screen.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y81yIo1_3o8

May God bless you!

Three Recommendations

I have three recommendations for you today. Do as you will with them.

  • One: read Psalm 91 from the Old Testament of the Holy Bible.
  • Two: watch “Social Dilemma,” from Netflix.
  • Three: Love one another, especially your family. At the least, be kind to each one. We are all part of the human race, equal in the sight of God our Creator.
25 Children's Books That Celebrate Differences | HuffPost Life
https://www.google.com/url?sa=i&url=https%3A%2F%2Fwww.huffpost.com%2Fentry%2Fkids-books-diversity-differences_n_5b912bd8e4b0cf7b003d3508&psig=AOvVaw1j2A85p_iWz1JDogP8qAHN&ust=1609364637761000&source=images&cd=vfe&ved=0CAoQtaYDahcKEwiws4zjlPTtAhUAAAAAHQAAAAAQBw

May God bless each and every one of you.

Despite the Odds

When COVID-19 hit the news in March of 2020, the predictions of two million or more people dying from the disease staggered my imagination. Scary thought. The idea of healthy folks quarantining felt surreal. Acquiring masks became a reality I didn’t look forward to. Some individuals refuse to wear them for their health’s sake or because they don’t want their children to think mask-wearing is the norm.

I remember going into a grocery store early on, and I didn’t have a mask on since it wasn’t required by the governor of NYS yet. Another man didn’t have a mask on either and he looked at me and smiled and then pointed his finger at me as if he were shooting an imaginary gun. We both nodded our heads. Mask wearers usually connotate someone ready to rob a store or a bank. After he smiled again and then left, I felt a little uneasy.

As COVID-19 continues to impact our lives, I wonder if our former reality will return quickly or are we as lambs being led to the slaughter? I remember as a young girl reading a comic square in the back of the newspaper, entitled “Pogo.” In my memory, it repeated itself often and I developed the habit of looking for it. The caption said, “We have met the enemy and he is us,” written by Walt Kelly, a former Disney cartoonist.

36. “We Have Met the Enemy and He Is Us” – Tales from the Vault: 40 Years /  40 Stories
library.osu.edu

I pondered it with my young mind. Does that mean that someday people in our country will turn on each other?

It didn’t occur to me to ask an adult. I looked up the information for Pogo on http://www.Britannica.com and found more information on the http://www.library.osu.edu site on a page after clicking on the image. That indicates it’s about pollution.

I wonder if I had the beginnings of the gift of prophecy, because I’ve never seen so much division in our country over all of my years. I’ve never seen a president blamed for so many things outside of any human being’s control.

All I can do is pray and try and take care of myself and others in my immediate circle of influence where it’s appropriate to my role in life. I’ve been reading the book of Jeremiah and Lamentations in my daily Bible reading lately. Not uplifting books, but they do show a side of God when He finally gets fed up with the lifestyle of His chosen people. He sends judgment with the promise of future redemption, because He loves His children. Their actions and God’s responses are eerily familiar.

God warns the nation of Israel through the prophets and they resist the message and keep acting in ways that upset their Maker. Burning their babies in the fire to false gods. Lots of flagrant sin. Finally, Babylon comes along, as prophesied and captures them, kills some, robs them, blinds the king, etc. Awful stuff. And at the end, God promises that after 70 years, the nation will come back to Israel and He will be their God and they will be His people.

God is not a respecter of persons. He loves to bless people, especially those that commit their lives to Him. With all the unrest in America, I’m doing fairly well, only because I hold on to the promises of God in His Word. And I’m praying and seeing answers to prayer!

In the confusion of life, I’ve lost some of my zest for writing and talking on the telephone until just lately because I’ve been spending more time in the Word of God in the last week or so. Holding on to the promises in Psalm 91.

May God bless you and keep you in the palm of His loving and protective right hand, despite the odds.

Reasoning with People and Reasoning with God

My husband said, “I think the greatest miracle ever is when someone receives the Gospel of Jesus Christ and gets saved.”

I had to ask, “What do you mean?”

“For a person to turn from their normal way of doing things, repenting of sins they enjoy and trusting God with their lives and their eternity, I think it’s a miracle.”

In (John 6:26-29, NKJV) it says:

Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 

Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”

Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”

                   Jesus is speaking of Himself as the One whom God sent. Not only did Jesus tell the people that He was God the Son, for which they tried to kill Him as a blasphemer, but read what it says in (Matthew 4:17, NKJV): From that time Jesus began to preach and to say, “Repent, for the kingdom of heaven is at hand.” 

                   Jesus’ Second Coming is after wars and rumors of wars, when there are famines, pestilences, the love of many growing cold, people going to and fro over the earth, the increase of knowledge, and many will be persecuted because of the name of Jesus. There will be false prophets and false messiahs or christs. I found most of this in Matthew 24.

 And references for Signs of the End of the Age were noted in the NRSV Bible as (Mark 13:3-8; Luke 21:7-11).

                   Are these uncertain times causing you to look to God? In Isaiah 1:18-20, God said, “Come, let us reason together. Though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as snow; though they are red as crimson, they shall become as wool.”

                   In (Isaiah 1:19, NRSV): “If you are willing and obedient, you shall eat the good of the land; but if you refuse and rebel, you shall be devoured by the sword; for the mouth of the Lord has spoken.”

                   If you are not born again, as Jesus exhorted Nicodemus about in John, chapter 3, I pray you’ll consider it, even if life on this side of heaven is difficult at times following Jesus. There are many pluses, too while alive. God’s love surpasses anything on earth.

                   May God bless you!

“I Know the Plans I Have for You,” Says the Lord

I’m feeling overwhelmed today because my schedule is off and I’m missing friends. I made a list of activities to do on a four-quadrant sheet from 10 time management choices that can change your life by Sandra Felton & Marsha Sims, © 2009. It was originally published by Revell, a division of Baker Publishing Group, Grand Rapids, MI. Spire Edition published a paperback in 2015, and the quadrant paper is described on pages 128 and 129.

Ten Time Management Choices That Can Change Your Life by [Sandra Felton, Marsha Sims]

https://www.amazon.com/Time-Management-Choices-That-Change-ebook/dp/B00MBTYBW6

It helps me when I’m having an overloaded schedule. So, I prayed today, “God, what would You have me to do?”

I decided to finish a quilt today for a baby, which I started months ago. Two of my three attempts at it went wrong. That’s when I got wondering if I chose the wrong thing to put my hand to. Then, “write” came to mind. So, I put the sewing away.

I’ve been reading Lioness Arising by Lisa Bevere, copyrighted in 2010, published by Waterbrook, New York, NY.

 Lioness Arising: Wake Up and Change Your World   -     By: Lisa Bevere

Lioness Arising: Wake Up and Change Your World   -     By: Lisa Bevere

https://www.christianbook.com/lioness-arising-wake-change-your-world/lisa-bevere/9780307457790/pd/457790

I bought it over a year or more ago in Hobby Lobby, prompted by the Holy Spirit. Then last week, I read a book by Brock and Brodie Thoene, copyrighted in 1997, the first novel in The Galway Chronicles about people’s lives in Ireland, Only the River Runs Free.

Only the River Runs Free (The Galway Chronicles, #1)

https://www.goodreads.com/book/show/30053.Only_the_River_Runs_Free

Between reading the Bible and these two books, I got stirred up! God is a miracle-working God and He has a plan for every person’s life. (Jeremiah 29:11 ASV): For I know the thoughts that I think toward you, saith Jehovah, thoughts of peace, and not of evil, to give you hope in your latter end.

Why did I choose to write out a four-quadrant list a few days ago? Because I wasn’t sleeping, I got up to talk to God and I felt as if He directed me to do about 10 different things.

At 1:20 a.m. I’m jotting down short sentences. “I want you to go to the store and buy grape juice to have communion with your friend.”

After a few more directions: “Make a list, and keep it before you-work your list. I will help you.”

Which I did and got some things done. Did I do it today? No, and then I felt down after reading Facebook earlier in the day. Maybe that’s why I’m writing, to be reminded of God’s plan for me today.

I know one thing, as I’ve been writing and typing, “Jesse Duplantis Live with Sid Roth” on YouTube has been airing, with two other men at the end of the presentation. I’ve been blessed watching that program, from 2017, I think, for the first time. I feel better when I include God in my plans.

May God bless you!

Times They Are A-Changin’

If you wonder where I got my title, there’s a song from my younger years sung by Bob Dylan entitled, “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” My husband and I spoke to a couple in their late sixties today. The husband said, “Things may never be the same after this,” speaking of the Corona virus pandemic.

I know I’m more apt to ask God for protection, like today, out loud without hesitation. My hairdresser sent a text: if you’re healthy please give me a couple of minutes to sanitize between customers. If you’re coughing, sneezing, feverish, have a runny nose or other symptoms, please re-schedule.

Thankfully, I was over a sinus infection, etc. so I could go. On the front door, a large sign said, “Wash your hands before your hair cut.”

I did that and then the stylist used bleach to clean the chair and other places. When she began combing my hair the bleach assaulted my nose and throat and then my lungs. I spoke sincerely to the Lord, “Please protect the beautician’s and my lungs, Father God.”

She thanked me and then we visited as she trimmed my hair. Her hands looked terribly red from the cleaning solution.

Today, I heard our governor is asking the workforce to be limited by half so people can stay home. Asking folks to be patient if they can’t get the help they’re used to receiving.

Schools, bars, county office buildings: closed. Restaurants, banks, grocery stores: limited services.

Last night, after we prayed, my husband and I took a 77-year-old lady to the Emergency Room because she had a huge sore on red ankles, and pain and color rising up her leg. The doctor asked why we would chance bringing someone in her age range to the hospital. We’re not medical folks, but we have heard of blood getting infected. They took an x-ray to be sure her bone wasn’t infected, and gave her a strong antibiotic via an IV, plus a prescription for more antibiotic to be taken at home.

Image result for free family friendly pix of a hospital
elderly patient photo from en.wikepedia.org

Things we’ve taken for granted are unsure now, but God is on the throne. He still heals, and sends peace, and provides if we’ll ask and believe.

May God bless you!

Why Does God Love Us?

Sometimes I wonder why God loves me. Maybe I see my negative traits instead of the positive ones. Maybe it’s because of the society I was born in. “Why do something if you can’t do it right?” was a statement in our household growing up, or something to that effect.

So, I lost my keys again. I wonder how many times I’ve lost my keys over the years. I don’t like it, but I don’t worry until about day three. I hesitate to ask my husband if he’s seen them, because he really doesn’t like it. I told him I misplaced the keys this morning, and he’s asked me at least five times if I’ve found them yet.

I canceled my trip to the library to really look for them. I called the pizza place he drove us to last night to see if they were there. They have a huge lanyard on them. I used to hang them up religiously, but lately they’ve been cozying up with my gloves in whatever coat I happened to wear that day. I fish them out of the coat and think, next time hang them up. But once I slide down that slippery slope of neglect, it snowballs.

I hurt my shoulder today, really bad. Exercised without warming up or it’s old age or I held it in an awkward position. I could hardly drive with our set of spare keys. I tried to keep it still and steered the car with my less used arm. I texted by voice. So, even though I know my husband is having a really busy day and he was about to leave for another appointment, I stopped at church to ask him to pray for my shoulder. He did, but it was short and to the point and he asked about my keys, again.

So, even though I knew they weren’t there, I looked throughout the church for the missing items. And I tried not to cry. I ran an errand and came right home. I looked for the tenth time and prayed and felt as though the Lord said to blog. I also took time to text my husband to thank him for praying, because the excruciating shoulder pain left. He told me God is good, he is not.

God loves us whether we’re stinkers or selfish or inconsiderate, etc., etc. I thanked God for healing my shoulder and I asked Him why He loves me when I keep struggling with some of the same things. He said, “Because I love you.”

I love my kids even when they’re not perfect, so intellectually, I get it. But to receive unconditional love blows my mind. When I find the two blogs I wrote out and one I really liked, I will plan to post it or maybe them. Why I’m losing track of things outside of the norm is beyond me, but God knows. I am getting lots done in other areas. Maybe I’ll try and be grateful for the progress I’m making and thank God for His help and for His unconditional love and relax in the fact that I’ll find the keys. I always do, even when I left them in VA on my way home to NY.

May God bless you!

Happy New Year 2020!

Image result for family-friendly photos of New Year balloons
This is from Pinterest.com

My friend, Anastazia called me tonight on New Year’s Eve.

We met many years ago, and I’ve caught up with her after she moved to a state away from Upstate NY. She told me tonight that her favorite verse is John 14:6-7. These are the verses in the Contemporary English Version, (CEV): John 14:6  “I am the way, the truth, and the life!” Jesus answered. “Without me, no one can go to the Father. 

John 14:7  If you had known me, you would have known the Father. But from now on, you do know him, and you have seen him.” 

Jesus goes on to explain that He and the Father are one.

Anastazia said she used to believe in reincarnation until she read these verses. She decided it didn’t matter if she lived 50 different lives, according to Jesus she wouldn’t make it to heaven to the Father without faith in Jesus Christ. She decided to find out more about Jesus, God’s Son. She asked me, “Do you know that no other god died for the sins of people so they could be forgiven?”

She gathers with a group of people that meet because they were born in the same part of the world that she was born in, across the ocean, and now they all reside in the United States of America. They asked the attendees to share something they’re grateful for.

She spent two minutes telling them how much God loves them and that she was grateful she found out about Jesus and that through Him she can enter heaven one day. He took her sin upon Himself to satisfy the requirements that God the Father has, only righteous people can enter heaven and if we ask Jesus to forgive us of our sins, turn from them with His help, and ask Jesus to be the boss of our lives, we’ll have wonderful purpose for our lives and an amazing eternity, free from the torment of hell. His sacrificial offering makes people righteous.

When I sin, I ask Jesus to forgive me and I try to make it right, as Jesus asks me to do. His sacrifice makes me clean every time I repent. I can’t plan to rob a bank or plot to react to someone in anger and decide I’ll just ask Jesus to forgive me afterwards. It doesn’t work that way.

I like talking to Anastazia because she gives me things to think about. She spoke to a large group of people, but she kept it short and succinct.

We didn’t talk about plans for the New Year, but I like to dream and ask God for direction. Have you ever asked Jesus about Him being the only way to heaven? He came to His own people, the Israelites first and then He wanted non-Jews to find Him next. I read Revelation chapter 22 today and it describes heaven. What a wonderful place!

If you’re interested in salvation, 2020 could be the most amazing year of your life. Not without strife, but with the help of God at your side.

May God bless you!