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!

Advertisements

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!

Writing Books

 

I like reference books. When I buy a writers’ book, I often begin working the examples. One of James Scott Bell’s pieces of advice suggested to read through the book once and highlight what grabs you. Then, read through it again and underline the thoughts that really stand out in red. I’ve done that. I began with his book, Plot & Structure: Techniques and exercises for crafting a plot that grips readers from start to finish.

 Front Cover

It was copyrighted in 2004, and published by Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, Ohio. The photo is from: https://books.google.com/books/about/Write_Great_Fiction_Plot_Structure.html?id=0arFsgEACAAJ&sorce=kp_cover

 

 

 

Another of his books I like is The Art of War for Writers: fiction writing strategies, tactics and exercises.   

Front Cover

This photo is from: https://books.google.com/books/about/The_Art_of_War_for_Writers.html?id=9vwzOJFKtc8C&source=kp_cover

 

 

He copyrighted it in 2009, and Writer’s Digest Books, Cincinnati, OH published it.

 

Yesterday. I mentioned that we are made in the image and likeness of God and therefore, we are creative beings. I read and implement strategies from a variety of published authors that move from fiction to writing non-fiction about what helped them in the craft. Each book is unique because we are all individuals.

 

I’ve enjoyed learning from so many writers over the years, whether in person at writer’s conferences or through their expertise on the written page via paper or electronic devices. What a privilege. After the learning comes the doing, putting words on paper or screen.

 

Where we differ from God: He creates and it’s perfect. We attempt artistry and if we leave it alone for a few days, when we read it, our masterpiece doesn’t make sense or present the image we pictured in our mind. Then the editing begins.

 

Also, we may face fear of ridicule or rejection. God’s Word tells us that perfect love casts out fear. God’s love is perfect because He is love. 1 John 4 talks about His love.

 

Apostle Paul wrote the Colossian believers and in the following verses he talks about Jesus:

Col 2:6  As you therefore have received Christ Jesus the Lord, so walk in Him,

Col 2:7  rooted and built up in Him and established in the faith, as you have been taught, abounding in it with thanksgiving.

Col 2:8  Beware lest anyone cheat you through philosophy and empty deceit, according to the tradition of men, according to the basic principles of the world, and not according to Christ.

Col 2:9  For in Him dwells all the fullness of the Godhead bodily;

Col 2:10  and you are complete in Him, who is the head of all principality and power.

 

From these verses and others in the Old Testament, I believe Jesus is God, the Son. I can’t say that He didn’t fear when He took off all His godly attributes and took on the form of man. Before the crucifixion, it says in the Gospels that He sweat blood because of the anguish He experienced in the Garden of Gethsemane during prayer.

 

In the book of Hebrews, it tells us that Jesus understands us completely because He became a man, but He was completely filled with the Spirit of God. As humans, we can experience an infilling of the Holy Spirit at times, but we have to seek God for more of the Spirit. It takes work because we’re in a spiritual battle and our flesh wants to do what the body wants to do.

 

It’s the same with writing as a career. I find that I can’t give up trying to learn more and trying to face down a tired mind and a weary body when I need to get something done for a client or a deadline. Also, keeping up with technological changes and industry standards and marketing takes stamina and using more brain cells.

 

To me, staying the course in Christianity and keeping on track for writing are worth the effort and bring me joy. The latter is a lesser joy, but if I give up there’s something within me that urges me back to the creative endeavor.

 

For a while in college and then for another seven years, I pushed God aside and lived as I saw fit. As a newlywed and a new mom, it should have been the happiest years of my life. Things and people satisfied for a short amount of time; selfishness caused discontentment and frustration and sorrow.

 

When we moved to another town, God allowed me to run into Christian neighbors and at first, I resented them. Then, they were so stinking nice. One said to me after I started to argue about a Christian public figure whom I knew nothing about, but I’d been hearing newscasters bashing him, “I thought you said you were a Christian? Can’t we agree to disagree?”

 

What could I say to that?

 

More than thirty years later, I’m still following Jesus and even in the hard times, I’d never turn back.  That’s my fervent prayer and hope. I don’t trust myself, but I’ve prayed, “God keep me.”

 

When I first read the Scriptures where Jesus said if they persecuted Him they’ll persecute His followers, I stopped and pondered that a while. I’d rather be persecuted here on earth for a short time than to be in hell, tormented forever.

 

Christians are persecuted more now than ever before in history.

 

I heard the stars and planets are lined up exactly as they were when Jesus came to earth. Some folks believe Jesus is coming back for His church on Saturday. My daughter said when they start saying the day and time, then we know that won’t be the day or time, because Jesus said we won’t know the day or hour.

 

With all the earthquakes and hurricanes and tumult in the world, it seems closer than ever. I guess we’ll wait and see.

 

May God bless you. I’m grateful for the opportunity to write. Thanks for reading this if you stuck around for the whole thing. I didn’t expect to say so much.

God Versus the Devil

 

God is good and the devil is not. God is all powerful and the devil is the defeated foe. Why then do Christians fall under the devil’s limited power?

 

 

Our Friday afternoon Bible study read through Mark 11 yesterday, in the New King James Version.

 

 

After each section, I’d teach what it meant with God’s help and I also listened to the others’ opinions.

 

 

When we came near the end of the chapter at verse 19, we’re told they left the city in the evening.

 

 

In the beginning of the chapter Jesus looked through the leaves of a fig tree hoping for figs because He was hungry. It wasn’t the season for the fruit but I’ve heard that occasionally there is a second growth.

 

 

When the tree proved to be unfruitful, Jesus cursed the fig tree.

 

 

Mark 11:20  Now in the morning, as they passed by, they saw the fig tree dried up from the roots.

Mar 11:21  And Peter, remembering, said to Him, “Rabbi, look! The fig tree which You cursed has withered away.”

Mar 11:22  So Jesus answered and said to them, “Have faith in God.

Mar 11:23  For assuredly, I say to you, whoever says to this mountain, ‘Be removed and be cast into the sea,’ and does not doubt in his heart, but believes that those things he says will be done, he will have whatever he says.

Mar 11:24  Therefore I say to you, whatever things you ask when you pray, believe that you receive them, and you will have them.

Mar 11:25  “And whenever you stand praying, if you have anything against anyone, forgive him, that your Father in heaven may also forgive you your trespasses.

Mar 11:26  But if you do not forgive, neither will your Father in heaven forgive your trespasses.”

 

 

I stopped a minute to think. How often do I pray with absolute, unshakable faith?

 

 

A few years back, I prayed for a pastor set to go in for surgery by the end of the week. In full faith, I told him God could heal him so he wouldn’t need the procedure. When he asked me to pray, my faith wavered. I did pray but he knew my confidence had fled.

 

 

Every month now, we pray for healing at our church. My faith rarely wavers and if it does, I ask God to give me faith, right in the middle of the praying and receive it. Sometimes God moves and answers our prayers. Other times, it seems as though people leave with their illnesses intact.

 

 

I don’t doubt God’s ability. I’ve seen too many answers to prayer and many healings.

 

 

Perhaps our sin hinders God’s response or we harbor bitterness against others. Maybe we’re in a Job situation.

 

 

When King David asked God to cleanse his heart and renew a right spirit within him, I believe he received what he asked for, a right standing with God. He also lived a life filled with consequences for previous sins.

 

 

When King David ignored his son’s sinful behavior and failed to punish him, as noted in 2 Samuel 13, Absalom, another son of David’s with a different mother, took vengeance. Things got worse from there.

 

 

I believe when we Christians live for ourselves and disregard God’s commands, we empower the devil to come against us and God allows consequences so hopefully, we’ll wake up and commit ourselves to follow God with all our being. The devil is defeated but he’s crafty and he lays traps for people.

 

 

May God bless you and me. I need Him more all the time.

 

“Left Behind” Movie

I went to see a friend today to visit and she told me she watched a movie about the Rapture with Nicholas Cage and that it was biblically based. So, I researched it on the internet and eventually came up with the movie, “Left Behind.”

Left Behind film poster.jpgThis photo is from: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Left_Behind_%282014_film%29

The word “Rapture” is not in the Bible, but the concept is. It is the belief that Jesus calls the ones believing on His name and repenting of their sins and asking Him to save them, at a set time in the future, to their heavenly home. Believers leave this place and leave others behind that don’t believe Jesus on the earth. The reference chapter is Matthew 24 in the New Testament.

As she recommended it, I tried to remember if I’d seen it before. It’s based on the books of the same title written by Jerry Jenkins and Tim La Haye. Vic Armstrong directed “Left Behind,” which was written by Paul La Londe and John Blatus.

The film’s theatrical release date of 10/3/2014 occurred via Stoney Lake Entertainment according to Wikipedia.org. and they said the critics didn’t care for it. I’ll have to check it out and make up my own mind. It’s been a while since I saw it at the movie theater.

I’ve liked shows in the past that writers discounted, so I take reviewers’ opinions lightly if I don’t know them and their philosophies in life.

I’m keeping it short tonight because I’ve been away from home a lot lately, so I’m tired.

I hope you are doing well. May God bless you.

Exercising for Good

 

A few weeks ago, I joined a group of elderly ladies to exercise using stretch bands, two Frisbees to clap overhead or by our sides, a chair for balance, two foam-like squishy balls, and a room to walk around in. It didn’t seem like much, but we got an amazing amount of stretching and resistance workouts in.

This week I needed to see an expert in body movement and I received an assignment to do stretch and resistant activities to work neglected muscle groups. It’s taking about two hours per day for these additional actions, so I told the neighbor that invited me to the group not to expect me for a while.

Family Fitness provides a friendly neighborhood environment, combined ...http://www.goodsearch.com/search-web?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keywords=pictures+of+ladies+exercising+family+friendly&button=

She’s such a nice lady. “Join us again when you can,” she said.

So, it’s about time to call it a night and I just realized I neglected the second time to pull out the mat and the papers with the diagrams and instructions. So this is a short blog entry. I know my life is not my own, but I really feel it lately. J

“Keep leading me, Lord. Help me to follow You and not mess up. I ask in Jesus’ name. Amen.”

May God bless you, my friends.

Disappearances

My husband called to see if I could find a necessary receipt to prove we’d paid for something. Then I got online so I could let the agency know we’d paid. I looked at the clock and two hours had slipped away.

I went to the library today and got rewarded with a dark chocolate candy today because I “got caught” reading. While my friend dished out the sweet morsel, she got serious. I waited a moment and then she said, “*Marcy passed away at the end of April.”

“I’m so sorry to hear your mom is gone. I loved your mom.”

“Me, too,” she said.

I’m invited to her memorial service at the place where her mom worked because she loved it there and it seemed appropriate to her daughter and Marcy’s  boss is all for it. They had a lot in common.

Later in the day I did some typing for someone and the last time I worked, I put the info from the flash drive onto my computer. I thought, I don’t really need to do that, but there’s no harm in it and I think I have lots of room on the hard drive to save it.

Tonight I decided to type for at least an hour and when I searched for the thumb drive it was gone. I didn’t search high and wide because I didn’t want to waste time, but I couldn’t believe it wasn’t where I normally store it. After I post this, I’ll look slowly and thoroughly and if my husband is up I’ll ask him to check. He’s been known to find things that are in plain sight that I’ve not been able to see when it was right in front of me.

Sometimes I get ideas to do things that don’t make perfect sense to me and then I realize that it saved me stress and I thank God that I did that.

Well, I need to cut this short because I’m busier than normal because I prayed for work and God answered that prayer the very next day. Now, I have a commitment to do the work.

Speaking of commitments, I usually attend a Bible study on Fridays, but my husband’s cousin who has been sick for a long time now, gave up the fight and he’s no longer with us. I’d like to attend the funeral. I guess I’ll have to see if someone is willing to fill in for me on short notice or I’ll have to stay home and send my condolences with my husband.

A friend of mine tried to find me once and I was missing from all the normal places I might have been. Finally, I was able to answer her voice mail. She said, “I thought you got raptured and I missed out on it.”

I laughed and told her I was pretty sure if I got raptured, she would too. If there truly is a Rapture, when it occurs, there’s going to be lots of folks disappearing.

At the second coming of Christ, Jesus said to be aware and to be ready, for He is going to return like a thief in the night in Matthew, chapter 24.

May God bless you!

* Not her real name

Rich or Poor

The other day I spoke to the volunteer at the local Historical Society and the subject of wealth came up. Many of our town’s philanthropists over a century ago made lots of money through banking or through medical practices and businesses.

I could be wrong, but I got the impression that the man didn’t think highly of those who accumulated significant wealth. This is the second time in my many years here that I have run into people with good retirement incomes, enough that they can go on cruises or take other vacation trips, yet they seem to disdain the acquisition of lots of money.

I pointed out to the man that these rich folks built hospitals,  the library, homes for orphans, invited government institutions to settle here, which provided jobs for the inhabitants, supported churches, and gave land and hired landscapers to fashion parks for everyone to enjoy, etc.

As I read through the book of Luke today, I came across Jesus telling the story of the rich young ruler. It can be found in Luke 18:18-27, Matthew 19: 16-26 and again in Mark 10: 17-27.

My husband told us this past Sunday that the reason there is more than one telling of the same story is because each individual has their own perspective. They’re all seeing the same thing from different angles and all is true.

When I read in Matthew about the rich young ruler asking Jesus what good deed should he do to inherit eternal life, He told the man to keep the commandments. The young man said he’d kept them since his youth. Then Jesus said if you wish to be perfect then go and sell your possessions, give the money to the poor and you will have treasure in heaven; and come follow Me.

The young man went away sorrowing because he owned many things. I’ve heard it preached that if he had given all his money to the poor, the Lord would have blessed him with even more earthly possessions, but I don’t see that here. What I see here is a young man being allowed to follow God the Son, to learn from Him and to experience first-hand the love of God. What a privilege he walked away from. Jesus didn’t say he wouldn’t go to heaven, He tells the disciples that it’s difficult for a rich man to get to heaven, but nothing is impossible with God.

In Matthew 6:24 of the Word of God Jesus tells us that we cannot serve two masters. Either we will hate one and love the other or be devoted to the one and despise the other. Man cannot serve God and mammon (money).

If a believer becomes rich, it would behoove that person to hold on to the money very loosely and to be willing to let God direct the wealth. Even King Solomon with all his wisdom used riches for selfish reasons and to placate his wives. He built their gods buildings to be worshiped in and began to follow those gods and incurred the wrath of God.

I think God wants us to be good stewards of whatever He gives us to use. If we consider money as a tool, then we’re not in danger of letting material goods become an idol. Money is not to be greedily sought after or abhorred. It’s necessary at times in life to have resources. God is our provider, that’s the thing to remember. Matthew 6:33 tells us to seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things shall be added unto us.

May God bless you and watch over you.