My Sister, Mary Recommended John Osteen

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.

May God bless you!

What’s Your Calling?

I keep hearing sermons or discussions among Christians about people following their calling from God. Then, I read book titles or newsletters on the same topic. Inevitably, the question arises, “Have you taken time to seek God to see what your calling is for life? What did God create you to do?”

When I’m thinking I’m hearing God in my thoughts, often it’s “Feed My sheep,” or “Write.” Sometimes it’s “Clean” or “Rest.”

(Eph. 2:10 NKJV):  For we are His workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared beforehand that we should walk in them. 

This verse made me think our calling as a Christian is to walk as Jesus did. Not in malice, wrath or in jealousy, or covetousness, not causing strife, or gossiping. Gossiping hurts people’s reputations-it’s akin to murder.

So, I’m mindful of God’s commands in the Word and I’m trying to do what I think He wants me to do. When it feels like more than I can handle, I cry out to God for wisdom or whatever will get things done. God is my refuge and strength, an ever present help in times of trouble; it tells me in (Psalm 46:1 NKJV). “Praise You, God!”

May God bless you.

Privileges and Responsibilities of Being Christian

I’m sitting in a recliner with my feet up because a week and four days ago I went to the foot doctor to have a small biopsy taken off a toe. It hurts and daily there’s been a touch of blood on the bandage, so I decided I’d better take care of it.

To change the subject, I love being a Christian because God answers prayer, besides the benefits of getting to know Him. On Mother’s Day, our church gives each lady a carnation and some of the last of us divided up the leftovers, so I got four. After putting them in a wide-mouthed vase, they looked like they needed more flowers in there. I wanted more but not enough to go to the store, maybe because of my hurting toe.

On Wednesday I went to a place of ministry and the person in charge of it asked a few ladies if we could join her in prayer there. Afterwards, she and I pulled out a book we’re studying every two weeks together. Well, that’s the plan anyway. In an office, I noticed two bouquets of flowers almost out of water, so I suggested she water them. She bought them for two employees and one recently quit without notice. “Want one?” she asked.

“Yes,” I said.

I thought, God gives us the desires of our heart when we follow after Him. That might be in the book of Proverbs.

Also, we’ve been having a lot of rain, which fills half of our basement floor. In the book of James, it says, “You have not because you ask not.”

When we first moved into our place, the basement was dry. I’m not exactly sure what we did, but it changed. So, my husband took on another chore in his already busy schedule because the water is too heavy for me to lift.

With days and days of rain, my heart ached for my husband and I asked God to keep the water out of our basement. Because of His compassion, He did something. Our basement is dry!

I prayed a week or so ago for my husband and I to get away for a break. A couple of days ago, a lady at our church called me. She said she went to get a hair cut and it turned into a God appointment. The hairdresser is Christian and she and her husband have a heart for pastors and missionaries. They open their place in the Southern Tier for a small retreat for a donation. My friend said, “My husband and I want to pay for you to stay there for a couple of days.”

I tell you, that felt great to know they cared and God made a way. My husband is thinking about it and I told the Lord if it falls through, it’s okay. It’s just awesome to see how much He cares.

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=free+picture+of+the+Christian+flag

Our lives are not perfect. My emotions get out of hand at times. Today, I called a friend for prayer because of another sinful decision our Federal Government made in the House of Representatives to favor one small group of Americans to the detriment of a larger majority of others. It’s causing me stress physically as well, which is not helping my toe to heal. So, I’m doing my best to cast my cares upon Him for He cares for me, as paraphrased from (1 Peter 5:7).

https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=free+picture+of+the+american+flag

I’m asking God to influence the Senate and the President to keep this bill from becoming a law. I’m reading the Old Testament and I know God punished Israel for all the choices they made which America is making now. Our country is in a spiritual war and it’s heartbreaking. I’m praying Americans will write their Senators in Washington and vote their consciences in the Fall and may God have mercy as He continues to judge our land in an effort to get people to turn to Him for their eternal welfare.

So, I continue to lean into God and continue to learn lessons about the need to depend on Jesus and to rest in His loving arms. I saw a Christian program on YouTube last week and the host said he had a dream. Three times Jesus appeared to him and said, “I am coming soon.”

I clicked to the beginning. The show aired in 2017. Sid Roth loves the Jewish people and he said many in Israel are becoming Messianic Jews. They’ve determined that Jesus fulfilled the many prophecies of the Christ in the Old Testament. To God be the glory, thousands and thousands are coming to faith in other countries around the world.

If you are a born-again Christian in America, living out the faith as best you can, repenting and making amends when you fall, please join me in praying for revival to come to America. Please ask God to soften hearts. I’m asking the Lord to show me what He’s called me for and to strengthen me to fulfill that calling. If you haven’t done that, I hope you’ll do that today.

If you’re not sure if you’re going to heaven when you die, the Bible says in (Romans_10:9 NKJV) that if you confess with your mouth the Lord Jesus and believe in your heart that God has raised Him from the dead, you will be saved.

May God bless you!

Sad, and then Not

I wrote a blog last week that I hoped readers would find interesting. I also decided to author an article and a sidebar for a magazine I’ve been published in before.

Then, one thing after another grabbed my time. So, on this less hectic day I went to my desk and there’s the manuscripts for the magazine but no tablet with the blog.

I searched high and low, no luck! So, I began another and it didn’t set right, so I put a big X through both sides of the paper.

I try to write things out on a legal pad first. I feel like the words flow with the gel ink and the cursive letters.

A friend of mine suggested we watch a children’s movie from Walt Disney Co. called, “Inside Out,” on a DVD. My husband thought it was a deep topic for children. Maybe it’s because of the last week or so, but it made me feel sad. My youngest daughter stopped by tonight. She said her husband loved it. It shows how important emotions can be and he particularly liked “Joy.”

I did, too. Who wouldn’t? Today I told my husband I felt sad. “How come?” he asked.

Part of it is because I prayed for a young mom to get healed from cancer. I knew she was near death when we began praying for her. “You didn’t even know her,” he said.

That’s true. Things have a way of working out. I recently heard of a man marrying again after his first wife died, and the second wife was more compatible with him than the first. So, one never knows. I’m fully convinced God could have healed her. I’ve seen Him allow miraculous healings over the years. Plus, I’ve weathered blasts to my faith when prayers didn’t get answered with a “Yes” in the past.

Sometimes God says, “No,” and I find out later why. Other times He says, “No,” and I’m left pondering until I acquiesce to His sovereignty and then move onto something else to consider.

I trust God knows best because I’ve seen how gracious and kind He can be. I watched Christian television the day after this lady passed away. He said if a person has a burden from the Lord, it’s almost like being a little depressed over a life or death situation. He’d learned to get away to a quiet place and to pray until the heaviness of spirit lifted. Then, the ill person would recover or God would take them home to heaven having accomplished what He wanted done through the prayers.

I did feel that “heaviness” on Monday before she died, but I didn’t know about the “burden” praying or didn’t remember having heard it. My husband said, “How do you know that preacher is correct?”

“I don’t know,” I told him. “I just remember how I felt on Monday and it lifted by evening time.”

By then, she was already gone. My friend went to see her a week or so before she passed away. They talked about salvation and she prayed to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. That takes the sting out of death!

I don’t feel sad very often and, when I do, something happens and the melancholy state of mind lifts. For that and many other blessings, I say, “Thank You, Jesus!”

Spring is finally coming our way and the robins appear much fatter than normal to me this year. I watched one suck a long earthworm out of the ground one morning. In all my years, I’ve never seen that before.

http://allaboutbirds.org

God says His eye is on the sparrow and if He takes care of the birds and the lilies of the field in all their glory, how much more will He take care of you and me as we follow Him and endeavor to be righteous as He asks us to? That’s a rough and short paraphrase of Matthew 6:25-34.

May God bless you!

Going To and Fro

Easter

 

Image result for family friendly pictures of people eating togetherphoto from https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eatingtogether.com%2FImages%2FABOUT.jpg&imgrefurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.eatingtogether.com%2FAbout.aspx&docid=1k9lLoAiFwYlRM&tbnid=fdCCcxVQdqKdUM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwjdxNKZ267aAhUq1oMKHXkGCAcQMwh-KDowOg..i&w=540&h=360&bih=637&biw=1366&q=family%20friendly%20pictures%20of%20people%20eating%20together&ved=0ahUKEwjdxNKZ267aAhUq1oMKHXkGCAcQMwh-KDowOg&iact=mrc&uact=8

 

A month ago, after dinner, a devotional on the cross and Resurrection taught by a lady brought tears to her eyes. “I never get tired of hearing of Jesus’ sacrifice and all He went through-the awful beatings, His beard plucked from His face and ultimately, one of the cruelest forms of execution. He took the punishment for my sins and multitudes of others, some of whom end up rejecting Him.”

 

Tonight, we attended the dinner in a different locale and it was my turn to present the devotional. I left my statements and Scripture references early with an open-ended question because the ages of the Christians vary and their years in the faith vary. To say they are mature Christians would be an accurate statement. Completely perfect, impossible. Only Jesus is perfect, back when He walked the earth and now, alive in heaven. They are a group of believers that try to keep their eyes on Jesus and they repent when they mess up, but they sincerely try to follow God’s commands.

 

My text was James 1:5 and then James 1:6-8. God promises us wisdom from Him if we ask with faith. Then I went to James 3:13-18 which tells us in the ASV, (which I downloaded from e-Sword.net):

Wisdom from Above 

Jas 3:13  Who is wise and understanding among you? let him show by his good life his works in meekness of wisdom.

Jas 3:14  But if ye have bitter jealousy and faction in your heart, glory not and lie not against the truth.

Jas 3:15  This wisdom is not a wisdom that cometh down from above, but is earthly, sensual, devilish.

Jas 3:16  For where jealousy and faction are, there is confusion and every vile deed.

Jas 3:17  But the wisdom that is from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, easy to be entreated, full of mercy and good fruits, without variance, without hypocrisy.

Jas 3:18  And the fruit of righteousness is sown in peace for them that make peace.

 

Even when God tells me I’ve done something wrong, the idea may be firm but it’s not condemning, nasty, and/or contradictory to Scripture.

 

So, when I ask God questions like, “Father, what should I do in this situation? Is anything hindering Your will?”

 

I can expect Him to give me the wisdom I’m seeking. In the past, when I needed answers, I’ve asked God what something meant and then I’d hear teachings from pastors or teachers on Christian radio. Sometimes, I’d sense a Scripture pop into my brain and there would be the answer.

Other times, I’d ask my husband or if we were at a different church sitting under a pastor, I’d ask the pastor. God always showed me what I needed to know.

 

What about you?

 

One of the ladies said that she hears from God when she spends quiet time reading the Word and praying and listening for Him and often times it’s such a silent little nudge in her thinking that is outside of her normal way but well within the precepts of Scripture. Once she felt she should share of her bounty with a fellow-believer, but she wanted to be sure and so she prayed for six weeks. She kept sensing the same direction, give to your friend. When she gave her the money she offered an apology for waiting so long. The friend said the income came at just the right time. Our associate said, “Isn’t that just like God? He knew it would take me six weeks to get to the place of obedience, so He started trying to get through six weeks before the need arose. He knew when she would need it. He knew how long it would take me to act. He is incredible and He is gracious.”

 

Many participated, although some did not. One person said he mostly gets what God wants Him to do by reading the Word and as he sees a need before him, he’ll help if he has the means and he’ll pray that he errs on the side of grace. There are times when he doesn’t give because he can tell the person is totally scamming him and is capable of working but chooses not to. Then he spoke about people losing the fear of the Lord, how God is a just Judge, but not completely forgiving and kind and willing to slip-slide around when it comes to His commands. That brought up more discussion. God does forgive when someone truly is sorry and truly starts to turn from their sin. He knows our hearts, our thoughts, every intent, every word we’re about to speak.

 

That’s why He tells us in Proverbs 21:23, (NKJV), “Whoever guards his mouth and tongue Keeps his soul from troubles.”

 

That’s a good word for me.

 

May God bless you.

Use of Time

My sister and I headed 30 minutes south so I could have a regular checkup at the dr. He said all looked fine and off we went to shop at about five other stops.

I figured we’d get home by 6:00 p.m. We left at 10:30 a.m. I got held up at the grocery store trying to procure a coupon at Customer Service and two-three times I told her I’d just as soon shop. She’d raise her finger, signaling for me to wait and turn to talk to a co-worker or to call the home office.

She couldn’t give me a paper coupon, so she called a front manager to okay my discount. Every now and then, I’d tell her my sister had an electronic coupon I could use, but she’d raise her finger for me to pause again.

I did use my sister’s coupon electronically linked to her grocery card and I paid cash so it worked out. I had conflicting emotions. On the one hand, I was impressed with their service. On the other hand, I felt my time was more valuable than the small amount of the coupon. What felt like half an hour later, I got released to shop and I made it short because by then it was past dinner time and I was ready for home.Image result for free family friendly pictures of grocery shoppershttp://www.eatright.org/resources/kids-eat-right-listing

A few days previous to this, I went to the evening service at church. I thought perhaps the Lord was speaking to me in His still, small voice saying that He’s returning soon. I asked my husband, “if I knew Jesus was coming back tomorrow, or next week, or next month, how would I live?”

“How do you live now?”

“Good point.”

He gives me food for thought, that man.

I hope you are well! May God bless you!

Stretching

Is God asking you to do something that stretches you? Sometimes, stepping outside of our comfort zone gives us a zest for life and may help others in their quest for fulfillment.

 

What might the Lord be asking you to do that seems beyond your abilities?

 

There’s a Scripture that helps me, from the Apostle Paul’s writings: 2Corinthians_12:9,10, (ESV): But he said to me, “My grace is sufficient for you, for my power is made perfect in weakness.” Therefore I will boast all the more gladly of my weaknesses, so that the power of Christ may rest upon me.

For the sake of Christ, then, I am content with weaknesses, insults, hardships, persecutions, and calamities. For when I am weak, then I am strong.

 

If He wants you to take a chance and do something different, He’ll confirm it through others and it won’t contradict His rules for proper behavior.

 

I rely on His strength!

 

Care to share if this resonates with you?

 

I am placing ads for writing services beyond my normal reach. I have been trained but not tested.

 

May God bless you!

“Storms Are Coming”

Image result for free pictures of winter snowstorms(photo from: https://www.google.com/imgres?imgurl=https%3A%2F%2Flh6.ggpht.com%2FhWfmFjOeICvmyoSweWxcNz45kfW5b1ymEy7P0OynBQWw9O2u8h4fkTlQpvmz6rejXg%3Dh900&imgrefurl=https%3A%2F%2Fplay.google.com%2Fstore%2Fapps%2Fdetails%3Fid%3Dcom.wallpaper.nad.christmas3&docid=6o38y4KWWVvMiM&tbnid=Iml7Don-Zzq2oM%3A&vet=10ahUKEwiGiurM3b_YAhWCNd8KHSAFDCsQMwhEKA8wDw..i&w=1280&h=800&bih=662&biw=1366&q=free%20pictures%20of%20winter%20snowstorms&ved=0ahUKEwiGiurM3b_YAhWCNd8KHSAFDCsQMwhEKA8wDw&iact=mrc&uact=8)

My husband opened our church for prayer from Monday through Thursday this week, and tonight I thought the Lord said, “Storms are coming.”

As I read the Bible, I’m aware that God speaks words that use scenarios His audience is familiar with. We’ve been getting hit with cold temperatures and all the schools around us are closing tomorrow because of the frigid air that is headed our way. It’s supposed to be windy with the chill registering at a negative 25 degrees Fahrenheit or 25 degrees below zero. That can damage a body. So, I’m well aware of storms.

Jesus used farming words for his agrarian listeners to talk of their hearts being like the soil, rocky, hard, or fertile, etc. When the apostles asked Him to explain the parable, He said the seed being sown was the Word of God, and the soil represented the ability of the Scriptures to penetrate their spiritual being.

So, storms coming may mean natural storms are coming and I should prepare myself: pick up some groceries, buy jugs of water, that sort of thing. It could mean spiritual warfare is going to increase and I’ll need to be in the Word and in prayer, and offer praise to God. God’s Word says that God inhabits the praises of His people. In times of trouble, I want to know with a certainty that He is right nearby. He promises to never leave nor forsake those who love Him, and intellectually I know that. Singing praises to Him reminds me that He is in control and above all.

I hope you are well and avoiding harsh weather.

May God bless you!

Another Movie for Thought

theyoungmessiah_05Last night, my husband and I, and my sister watched a DVD entitled, “Young Messiah” presented by Focus Features, a Comcast Company in association with Ocean Blue Entertainment, a 1492 Pictures/CJ Enterprise Production distributed by Universal with imaginings of what Jesus’ life would have been like at age seven.

http://youngmessiahresources.com/trailer

theyoungmessiah_05

 

When I saw the hills of Jerusalem, an urge to visit there rose up within me. So, tonight I

 

saw a lady that traveled to Israel with a group earlier this year.

 

She said it revolutionized her life to walk the “Stations of the Cross” and at one place to bear the cross until it was time to pass it on to another.

 

If I don’t get to Jerusalem in this life time, eventually there will be a new heaven and a new earth with a new Jerusalem as described in Revelation 21 and the beginning of Revelation 22.

 

The movie, “Young Messiah” showed the times, the culture, spiritual warfare up close, miracles and family unity.

 

 

 

Every time Jesus faced danger, I thought, it’s not His time to die yet.

 

God has a plan for us, according to Jeremiah 29:11, to give us hope and a future.

 

May God bless you!