Revenge Handed to God

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God bless you!

Barak and Deborah

Yesterday I read the story of Barak in the first half of the book of Judges. Deborah told him God said to take other warriors and go claim the land.

When the judge and prophetess, Deborah agreed to go with Barak to battle Israel’s enemies, she told him Sisera, the armies’ general for King Jabin of Canaan would die by the hand of a woman. He wouldn’t get the glory.

Barak was okay with that and had even told Deborah he wouldn’t go if she didn’t go with him.

In Judges 5, the song of Deborah and Barak, son of Abinoam records the greatness of God and the recent history of their victory over the Canaanites and more. I’ve heard it said that the Old Testament is written as an example for us, so we can emulate the right choices and avoid the bad ones.

When I think about the goodness of God to those who obey Him and even to those who don’t, I wonder why I don’t thank Him more often. I need to remind myself not to take Him for granted.

May God bless you.

God Loves You and Me

 

4 Keys to Staying Full of God: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Andrew+Wommack+four

This site showed up from my friend today, Part 1 of 4. Whenever I hear something, I try to “eat the meat and spit out the bones” as my husband suggests when there’s a good teaching but possibly a bit off. As I listened to this teaching, there was only one part I wasn’t sure about. Maybe you’ll get a chance to hear it and you’ll let me know what you think.

Pastor Wommack makes a point of remembering that God loves him and has his best interests at heart. Since God is all powerful, that helps him to keep his peace and his joy. I got a lot out of this sermon and I hope to hear the other three parts soon.

The more I read the Bible, the more I realize that God loves people more than I can understand.

May God bless you!

 

Am I Not Enough?

I have a friend at our church who has said to me, “I thought when my children grew up I would stop worrying about them.”

I tell her it’s because she’s a mom. She tries not to worry and prays for them often.

Sometimes I pray about things and other times I picture events happening. I anticipate how I’ll react and at that point I forget to pray. Occasionally I’ll think God is saying, “Am I not enough?”

I tell Him He is more than enough.

I was in one of these, if this happens, then I’ll do that, frames of mind when my oldest daughter called.

The last time I headed north to help out two weeks in a row with six days at home in-between, I got thinking something had to change.

As I left her house I asked if she knew of anyone in her vicinity that might babysit for her children when they got sick and she had to work. With both adults working, it makes it hard.

Our ladies’ Bible study group even prayed with me for her benefit. Yesterday she called me to say a youngish grandmother from her church told her she’d be glad to babysit when the kids are sick. “I rarely catch anything, it’s no problem,” she said.

She also offered to help when she gets overwhelmed and told her to let her know.

I felt tears prickle my eyes as she shared her good news. I couldn’t help think of the kindness of God to answer our prayers. Then I immediately thought, why do I worry about her? God is so good to her.

This relieved my mind and enabled me to quit figuring out plans for future events that may never come to pass.

I know there are kind and compassionate people around, but not everyone has the flexible schedule and the ability to act on their desire to help others. I appreciate her and I don’t even know her. 🙂

I realize that God doesn’t want us to worry. The Apostle Paul wrote in Philippians 4:6, (KJV):  do not be anxious about anything, 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 your minds in Christ Jesus.

Php 4:8  Finally, brothers, whatever is true, whatever is honorable, whatever is just, whatever is pure, whatever is lovely, whatever is commendable, if there is any excellence, if there is anything worthy of praise, think about these things.

Php 4:9  What you have learned and received and heard and seen in me—practice these things, and the God of peace will be with you.

Jesus said in John 14: 1, (KJV): “Let not your hearts be troubled. Believe in God; believe also in me.”

I also love Matthew, chapter six. Near the end of the chapter Jesus says to seek God and His righteousness first and all these things will be added to you. He’d been talking about food and clothing and how God provides for the birds of the air and the lilies of the field and that we are much more precious to God than those.    Make Ree's Barbecue Meatballs ahead of time for the perfect stress-free, game-day dish.

(photo from https://www.pinterest.com/explore/church-picnic-games/ )

 

My dad worried that my mom would spend or give away any money he’d saved for their retirement when he died. Then she died first and he was totally shocked and unprepared.

My mom knew blindness ran in her family so she learned to read braille and typed on a special braille machine to make books for those without vision. She never lost her sight even into old age.

So I learned that worrying doesn’t do any good and it’s harmful to our health. Also, it’s a lack of faith in God which is insulting to the great “I Am.”

So when I worry, I stop and tell God I’m sorry. Then I pray about the situation.

Jesus spoke about making plans in Luke 14:28-32, (KJV):

Luke 14:28: “For which of you, desiring to build a tower, does not first sit down and count the cost, whether he has enough to complete it?

Luk 14:29  Otherwise, when he has laid a foundation and is not able to finish, all who see it begin to mock him,

Luk 14:30  saying, ‘This man began to build and was not able to finish.’

Luk 14:31  Or what king, going out to encounter another king in war, will not sit down first and deliberate whether he is able with ten thousand to meet him who comes against him with twenty thousand?

Luk 14:32  And if not, while the other is yet a great way off, he sends a delegation and asks for terms of peace.”

What He’s saying here as He continues to speak in the following verses is that if you decide to become His disciple, there is a cost. You’ll have to give things up that you used to find pleasurable. You may be called to give up your life or your goods.

God wants us to use our minds and think and plan. He wants us to rest in His care for us and He doesn’t want us fretting. I hope He’ll never have to ask me again, “Am I not enough?”

May God be your strength and your portion in whatever comes your way. Amen.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Love Makes the World Go ‘Round

Love Makes the World Go ‘Round” is a popular song written by Bob Merrill for the 1961 Broadway musical Carnival! (This is a quote from Wikipedia.)

This morning early in my day, I thought about life. Back in my childhood a saying got repeated, “Love makes the world go ’round.”

I didn’t know until a few moments ago that it was a song title. 🙂

My brother and sister-in-law uprooted themselves to help take care of her parents in their latter years. Love is not easy at times. They’re sacrificing for others, and yet they’re enjoying this precious time with family.

As a young mom, I learned to discipline my children in a consistent manner even when it broke my heart to see them cry. When they got older I wouldn’t let them watch violent movies or see R-rated or worse films. Sometimes my husband and I were too restrictive over other matters and we needed to learn to see things from their point of view.

Our children heard us say we’re sorry but I think they understood we were looking out for their best interests.

Love means saying no to the bad. My parents wouldn’t let us go see the 1961 movie, “West Side Story” when it came out in the theaters. I was maybe nine years old. Lots of the kids went. I stomped my foot and complained. “You’re too young,” my mom replied and that was that.West Side Story(photo from Wikipedia)

After more thoughts this morning, this came to mind, what shall I do today?

Part of the Scripture from Proverbs 6:6-8 (NASB), took root:

Go to the ant, O sluggard, Observe her ways and be wise, Which having no chief, Officer or ruler, Prepares her food in the summer, And gathers her provision in the harvest.

I, too, have no one barking commands at me. My husband gives suggestions occasionally and then he gets on with his day.

It’s not that I don’t like housework. I get bored. After lots of hours alone, I want to see people.

The point of cleaning and organizing beyond the removal of germs and bad smells and nerve-wracking messes is love. Love for others sharing the home, love of self, love for others stopping over, even love or respect for the neighbors shows up with a tidy place.

I thought, if that doesn’t motivate me to continue on with this organizing quest I’m on, nothing will.

When I start my day in God’s Word and in prayer, I’m centered and reminded that His love goes with me and upholds me.

When I feel I have too much to do I break it down to smaller steps. I’m trying to remember that I have time to continue and if people interrupt, people are more important.

Too much self-centeredness does not make the world go ‘round. When it’s all about me, joy and love get sucked away. I know. I’ve been there and done that and missed out on simple pleasures of life because of complaining and a stinking attitude.

God help me; I don’t want to go there.

May God bless you!

Forever Gone

I began a blog last night that had 196 words in it and suddenly my computer froze and it was gone. The computer offered me a chance to recover the document and it was an empty page. A computer guru may have been able to recover it, but I’m just saying c’est la vie, which sounds like say la vee and is French for “such is life,” or sometimes I’ll say, “it is what it is.”

A minor disappointment can be overcome. Sometimes I wonder if things disappear from my writing because they weren’t worth writing about in the first place. 🙂

Yesterday at Bible study I felt such an overwhelming sense of unease in the atmosphere that I stopped the reader from proceeding with the book and asked them to sing a worship song. We opened in prayer and then sang an older song with lyrics “What a mighty God we serve, what a mighty God we serve, angels bow before Him, heaven and earth adore Him, what a mighty God we serve,” by Hezekiah Walker.

Then with help from the youngest member of the group we sang, David Crowder band’s song, “How He Loves.”

I started it with “He is jealous for me…” and asked her if she knew the rest. She sings beautifully and she began it again. The heaviness in the atmosphere lifted, what a relief. I was reminded of a verse that says that God inhabits the praises of His people. Psalm_22:3, (KJV):  But thou art holy, O thou that inhabitest the praises of Israel.

“Earth has no sorrow that heaven can’t heal,” is part of the song David Crowder sings in “Come As You Are,” such a beautiful song.

I decided to play a stream of his songs and now “I Am” is on. These are some of my favorite songs! https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=P5AkNqLuVgY&list=RDr2zhf2mqEMI&index=10

When I feel discouraged or any other negative emotion, it amazes me how God erases those with praises to Him and with time in prayer and in the Word. Heaven is a place with light and love and darkness is banished – forever gone.

It’s time for me to move on with my day. I’m working on new curtains for the kitchen. I found my way to a fabric store on Tuesday.

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.

Companionship

My youngest daughter called me this morning to see if she could spend the day. I told her it was okay but I needed to work on the kitchen. She needed to do some paperwork, so that would be fine.

As I washed some breakfast dishes, she picked up the towel and began to dry as we visited. When I cleared off the refrigerator to clean it, she chatted as I removed some items off the top. After I washed the door, she asked if I wanted her to work on a spot I missed. Of course, I said yes. 🙂

She and I were both heading to a meeting to hear a Christian speaker we enjoy and they ask for a snack from the attendees. So, we made banana bread. She mashed the bananas she brought from home while I blended the sugar and shortening, etc.

I needed to return a book to the library that was due today and she stayed at my house to start her paperwork.

Christian Writers Market Guide 2017  (image from https://christianwritersinstitute.com/all-books/christian-writers-market-guide-2017)

Later, I ordered the 2017 Christian Writers Market Guide, published by Christian Writers Institute and a couple of 2017 market guides published by Writer’s Digest publisher F & W Media, Cincinnati, OH which I’d been meaning to get to.

When we reached the home of the lady hosting the speaker and the group, there was expectancy in the air. As a worship leader strummed her guitar and sang the first song, “How Great is Our God” by Chris Tomlin, many voices rose in reverence and praise. Two teenagers accompanied their parents, single folks and married couples attended, young to elderly folk interacted, Caucasian and African-American and one Jamaican held hands to pray. Some of the people have received the gift of prophecy from the Holy Spirit and words of encouragement or admonition were given in a loving manner.

I sensed a nudge from the Holy Spirit to pray for a lady that I’d never met before. Her throat was bothering her so I layed my hand by her neck and asked God to heal her throat and because I felt a lump I asked God to heal her thyroid. When we got done, she said that she’s been diagnosed with thyroid cancer but the medical community has told her to go elsewhere for treatment. She feels God told her He’s going to send many people to pray over her. I didn’t expect to pray for thyroid when I started.

One man was told that he has been empowered with the gift of bringing comfort to people, but that he needs to open his mouth and start speaking words of comfort to people. He hesitated so a pastor asked him to start right then if he pleased. He did and the speaker took hold of his hand and eventually asked his wife to take hold of his hand. They looked visibly moved.

I’m never sure what a day will bring.

This day was filled with more accomplished in the kitchen, a great day with part of my family and some special time with God in the Word and then in fellowship with believers I don’t normally run into. The speaker and his wife flew to NY from FL. I felt privileged to hear him share what God had been teaching him lately and to hear his encouraging words.

A different pastor read a Psalm and said it was for me. Then a man spoke about re-writing my novel. I don’t know if he was prophesying or just suggesting it, but he did say God would help me with it, so it might have been half a prophetic utterance. God knows.

There were a number of pastors there, now that I think of it and all from different denominations or non-denominational houses of worship.

May God bless you.

Remember Who You Are

Our Wednesday morning Bible study had a lady attending who belonged to another church. She used to be a member at our church many years ago and then left. Part of her heart is still with us, so she attended Wednesday mornings for years. This year near the end of the year she backed out because her sister got a life threatening disease and she’s spending more time with her. I miss her because she’s a likable person and she added to the group.

Unfortunately, as Christians we may be well aware of our sins and shortcomings and spend more time on them than God may want us to. In the psalms, we are told that God loves us and forgives us.

Psalm 103:11, (ESV):  For as high as the heavens are above the earth, so great is his steadfast love toward those who fear him;

Psa 103:12  as far as the east is from the west, so far does he remove our transgressions from us.

Psa 103:13  As a father shows compassion to his children, so the LORD shows compassion to those who fear him.

Once we truly repent, He does not expect us to continually beat ourselves up. He expects us to love ourselves in a healthy way, not a narcissistic way. These verses show God’s high regard for us loving Him and loving ourselves and loving others.

Mark 12:28, (ESV)  And one of the scribes came up and heard them disputing with one another, and seeing that he answered them well, asked him, “Which commandment is the most important of all?”

Mar 12:29  Jesus answered, “The most important is, ‘Hear, O Israel: The Lord our God, the Lord is one.

Mar 12:30  And you shall love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength.’

Mar 12:31  The second is this: ‘You shall love your neighbor as yourself.’ There is no other commandment greater than these.”

Mar 12:32  And the scribe said to him, “You are right, Teacher. You have truly said that he is one, and there is no other besides him.

Mar 12:33  And to love him with all the heart and with all the understanding and with all the strength, and to love one’s neighbor as oneself, is much more than all whole burnt offerings and sacrifices.”

Mar 12:34  And when Jesus saw that he answered wisely, he said to him, “You are not far from the kingdom of God.” And after that no one dared to ask him any more questions.

So, as I was saying, this lady attended our group and if we got down on ourselves, she would nicely tell us to remember who we are in Christ. We are forgiven. God calls us righteous in His sight because of the shed blood of Jesus for our sins. He took on the payment of our sins so when we stand before God at judgment day, we can claim that Jesus covered our debt or He wiped our slate clean so there’s no mark against us.

We must continue to seek God, despite distractions, despite our flesh crying out for entertainment or more money or whatever it is that keeps us from opening the Word of God. Thursday and today I intended to read the Word early in the day. Today it was almost one thirty in the afternoon. I’d done laundry, finished a writer’s magazine, did dishes, got myself ready for the day, called people, etc. My husband and I needed to be somewhere around four and I had to prepare some things before getting there. Plus, I needed to go to the store.

I made myself sit down and focus on the Lord. I remember doing that when the children were little. Putting all else aside for a short period of time and concentrating on the Lord. I told them to behave and to be quiet while I spent time with God and they did. When I don’t give time to the Lord the cares of this world press down on me, I feel lonely inside, I may become fearful over things. All those things are alleviated by spending time in God’s Word.

Hebrews 4:12, (ESV)  For the word of God is living and active, sharper than any two-edged sword, piercing to the division of soul and of spirit, of joints and of marrow, and discerning the thoughts and intentions of the heart.

Heb 4:13  And no creature is hidden from his sight, but all are naked and exposed to the eyes of him to whom we must give account.

Heb 4:14  Since then we have a great high priest who has passed through the heavens, Jesus, the Son of God, let us hold fast our confession.

Heb 4:15  For we do not have a high priest who is unable to sympathize with our weaknesses, but one who in every respect has been tempted as we are, yet without sin.

Heb 4:16  Let us then with confidence draw near to the throne of grace, that we may receive mercy and find grace to help in time of need.

When the lady at Bible study reminds us that we belong to God by our own choosing, and that He makes us righteous, it always brings a smile to my face and to the others. She hasn’t had to say it a lot, but more than once.

We’re praying for her sister to recover and be perfectly whole.

May God bless you and yours.

Christmas Cards

I have some pretty cards at home. Some came in the mail. Others are on the kitchen table waiting for signatures and an enclosed letter and possibly a few lines of greeting. Still others sit in a drawer in a box with a lid.

The stamps were purchase two weeks ago.

I got a call from a cousin a few days ago and told her I had a dilemma. My schedule blossomed while time remained static. She said, “Who says cards have to be sent by the number 25?”

So, as I worked feverishly to finish the memoir for someone else’s Christmas, and made a handmade gift or two, and baked cookies, and entertained guests and decorated a Christmas tree, etc., I remembered what the organizing book author, Regina Leeds mentioned in the chapter about December in One Year to An Organized Life, published by MJF Books, New York, NY and copyrighted in 2008 . Something like you may not be able to do everything you want to do for your holiday. You may have to skip something. Sweet sigh: it’s okay, I’m an adult.

May God bless you and protect you and enfold you in His loving arms.