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.

Keeping One’s Peace

Lately, I’ve determined to stay quiet, as much as possible, and listen to others sometimes. Today, I spent some time with the Lord and I thought he said to listen to a friend when I saw her in the afternoon. She didn’t show up to walk and I missed her text message saying she wouldn’t be able to walk and when she did arrive so we could go to our reward for organizing our homes, she had words of wisdom that blessed me.

When she didn’t show up I began to wonder if I really heard from the Lord. Yet, as she spoke about feeling resistance from the enemy of our souls and to her that was proof that these changes we’re making must be close to being accomplished, I felt a whoosh of joy almost like a whoosh of air but inside of me!

Thank you, Jesus.

I have been going to the two doctors that I usually go to when I’m wondering if something is up with my body. The last time I went she suggested I have a scan at the hospital so she’ll know if I need medicine. She’s young enough to be my daughter. Usually we talk about my writing or some other subject for a little bit. Not this last time. I’m telling her I don’t want medicine and she’s telling me the risks of not taking the medicine and of course, she tells me it’s my choice. If I don’t, I may just DIE! A horrible death, I’m sure, so I meekly say, okay, I’ll take the test. Okay, I’ll stay on the medicine. Brother.

Now that I’ve had the test, I think I’ll exercise more and eat a little bit better. I had two kinds of soup today, one our leftovers, the other at a friend’s home. We did not walk either – this is another friend – because of the rain. Healthy soup should help, shouldn’t it? I believe food makes a difference in people’s health. I told that to the dermatologist last week. He doesn’t think so. If I ate blueberries and apples and broccoli and red cabbage every day, I think my dermatologist would see me less often. When I juiced carrots two-three times a week and drank carrot juice every morning, my eyes improved – small cataracts disappeared.

I thank God for doctors, I really do, but I don’t think they spend enough time on the benefits of good nutrition in their studies, from what I’ve heard over the years. God made our bodies with healing properties inside us, but if we sabotage them with unhealthy foods and drugs and excess alcohol and bad habits they will age more rapidly and get sick.

One day we will all die and we can impact that date and the quality of our lives to some degree. God talks about us disappearing like the lilies of the field and that we should live our lives to the fullest while we have the opportunity to do so. Unlike the devil and people that live for themselves and Satan, God wants us to do good to orphans and to widows and to the poor.

Jesus spoke here:

Luke 14:12, (ESV):  He said also to the man who had invited him, “When you give a dinner or a banquet, do not invite your friends or your brothers or your relatives or rich neighbors, lest they also invite you in return and you be repaid.

Luk 14:13  But when you give a feast, invite the poor, the crippled, the lame, the blind,

Luk 14:14  and you will be blessed, because they cannot repay you. For you will be repaid at the resurrection of the just.”

John 14 talks about eternity and our heavenly home, but the verses near the end of chapter 14 are of Jesus teaching His disciples about love and obedience and of His mission to return to the Father for our benefit:

Joh 14:24  Whoever does not love me does not keep my words. And the word that you hear is not mine but the Father’s who sent me.

Joh 14:25  “These things I have spoken to you while I am still with you.

Joh 14:26  But the Helper, the Holy Spirit, whom the Father will send in my name, he will teach you all things and bring to your remembrance all that I have said to you.

Joh 14:27  Peace I leave with you; my peace I give to you. Not as the world gives do I give to you. Let not your hearts be troubled, neither let them be afraid.

Joh 14:28  You heard me say to you, ‘I am going away, and I will come to you.’ If you loved me, you would have rejoiced, because I am going to the Father, for the Father is greater than I.

Joh 14:29  And now I have told you before it takes place, so that when it does take place you may believe.

Joh 14:30  I will no longer talk much with you, for the ruler of this world is coming. He has no claim on me,

Joh 14:31  but I do as the Father has commanded me, so that the world may know that I love the Father. Rise, let us go from here.

 

My prayer for all of us is to reside in God’s peace. He stands ready to help us and to encourage us and to strengthen us no matter what comes our way if we will call on Him and then wait patiently for Him to show Himself strong for our defense.

I’m also learning to “hold my peace,” as my parents used to say back in the day. “Keep quiet.” Holding onto my words as one of six children surely gave them a measure of peace and quiet. 🙂

God bless!

Why Call Me Lord and Not Obey?

My husband has been preaching about the Beatitudes lately and this morning my devotional time lined up with his talks. In Luke 6:46-49, (ESV), Jesus says: “Why do you call me ‘Lord, Lord,’ and not do what I tell you?

Luk 6:47  Everyone who comes to me and hears my words and does them, I will show you what he is like:

Luk 6:48  he is like a man building a house, who dug deep and laid the foundation on the rock. And when a flood arose, the stream broke against that house and could not shake it, because it had been well built.

Luk 6:49  But the one who hears and does not do them is like a man who built a house on the ground without a foundation. When the stream broke against it, immediately it fell, and the ruin of that house was great.”

As society presses us to conform more and more to its ways, we as people will find our lives crumbling around us when we go the opposite way of God.

I got a newsletter from Evangelist Dea Warford yesterday and he said that Fox television runs a commercial from the Ad Council showing two same sex people kissing and others clapping around them. The ad is called “Love has no labels,” and Dea tells us the announcer says, “Love is love.”

We stopped getting television some years back because the shows and commercials were offensive to my husband and me. He is a sports fan, so it’s been hard on him some days. We get Netflix and search to find wholesome shows.

We are not hiding ourselves from the world. What people believe, they act on. An acquaintance at the library over the past year adjusted to her husband deciding to become a woman.

Later, I asked her mom if she was going to remain married to him. She looked shocked. “Of course!”

The first time her daughter saw me after he published his name change in the newspaper to Joy, she lowered her eyes and gave me room to avoid contact.

We’d talked about marriage in the past. Once a year they talk and see if they’re okay. If they are, they remain a couple. I told her we made a commitment and divorce is never considered an option. We looked eye-to-eye, blinked a few times as we processed the different approaches and then went on our way.

Lately, I attended a writer’s meeting and she bustled around the room at the end. In a high-pitched voice, with enthusiasm I heard her speaking. “Joy did ….” “Then Joy said, ‘….’”

I couldn’t make out anything but the name from across the distance.

My husband asked, in the very beginning, “I wonder if he considered the medical risks of taking these sex-changing hormones?”

A bit later I heard him murmur, “I’d like to talk to him.”

Who knows, it’s a small world, as the saying goes.

It’s clear in God’s Word that He made each of us as male and female in the first chapters of Genesis.

What a slap in God’s face, fooling with one’s gender. I imagine they’re not considering God. They’re listening to their own thoughts and thinking of persuasive messages from the world around them.

Speaking of messages, I think God is telling me to write early in my day. Jesus said in John 10:4-5 (BBE):  “When he has got them all out, he goes before them, and the sheep go after him, for they have knowledge of his voice.

They will not go after another who is not their keeper, but will go from him in flight, because his voice is strange to them.”

Yet, Gideon asked God to prove he was hearing from God in Judges 6:36, (KJV):  Then Gideon said to God, If you are going to give Israel salvation by my hand, as you have said,

Jdg 6:37  See, I will put the wool of a sheep on the grain-floor; if there is dew on the wool only, while all the earth is dry, then I will be certain that it is your purpose to give Israel salvation by my hand as you have said.

Jdg 6:38  And it was so: for he got up early on the morning after, and twisting the wool in his hands, he got a basin full of water from the dew on the wool.

Jdg 6:39  Then Gideon said to God, Do not be moved to wrath against me if I say only this: let me make one more test with the wool; let the wool now be dry, while the earth is covered with dew.

Jdg 6:40  And that night God did so; for the wool was dry, and there was dew on all the earth round it.

God was not offended at Gideon. I ask God to confirm His still small voice when I think I’ve heard from Him and it always lines up with His commands in Scripture.

If I think God is telling me to kill someone – that is not God. If He wants someone to die, He can easily take their spirit from them without human help.

The devil comes to steal, kill and destroy it says in John 10:10 and Jesus came to give life and that abundantly. Those who embrace homosexuality and divorce their spouse destroy the security of their mate and if applicable, their children.

My acquaintance may be putting on a false, cheerful front with a transgender mate, but I imagine she’s shed a boatload of tears.

A friend in college got forsaken by her boyfriend. He told her, “I’ll either choose you or choose the homosexual lifestyle and she got rejected back in the 1970’s before I knew her. When I visited her at home, she turned on me and mocked me with some details I’d shared with her.

As we stayed apart until my departure time arrived, her mom asked if the problem arose from me or from her. I admitted it came from her daughter and she nodded her head as if she knew it.

His choice rocked her whole being and frankly it had nothing to do with her. She left college over that summer, so I never saw her or heard from her again.

I hope she healed from that rejection.

Over the years I’ve come to realize that when I follow Jesus and obey Him, trusting Him as best  I can, He upholds me during the storms of life. Godly choices keep me from experiencing the bedlam of worldly choices no matter how narrow-minded society calls me. I don’t have to taste from the yuck of life’s offerings to know they eventually bring about strife, death, over-emphasis on pleasing self, a lack of stability and well-being.

With God’s help I’ll call out to the Lord in times of trouble and obey Him along life’s way. A saying my husband had us repeat on Sunday, “I can’t do it without Jesus.”

Ain’t it the truth?

God bless!

Freedom

Joshua_10:12 , (Webster): Then spoke Joshua to the LORD in the day when the LORD delivered up the Amorites before the children of Israel, and he said in the sight of Israel, Sun, stand thou still upon Gibeon, and thou Moon, in the valley of Ajalon.

Jos_10:13  And the sun stood still, and the moon stayed, until the people had avenged themselves upon their enemies. Is not this written in the book of Jasher? So the sun stood still in the midst of heaven, and hasted not to go down about a whole day.

I heard that when scientists calculated time, they ran into some hours where daylight was extended and they were not sure why. Someone told them to consider the Bible and the battle of Joshua where the sun stayed in the sky beyond the normal amount of time. When they added in those extra hours their puzzle was solved.

The book of Joshua is intriguing because it tells the story of Joshua, Moses’ assistant taking over the leadership of the Israeli’s as they enter the Promised Land soon after Moses died.

Joshua needed to negotiate with the two and a half tribes that decided to stay on the opposite side of the Jordan in regards to fighting with the inhabitants of the land. Their warriors chose to fight for the benefit of their brothers and sisters going into the Promised Land and after the pledge got completed, they would return to their portion of property and to their families.

I don’t know about you, but sometimes I think I’m communicating well with someone and then I find out that they didn’t understand what I was saying. Occasionally, I’ll listen to someone and they are clearly articulating their opinion and I will respond and think they agree with me, but they quiet down. Then when I finally realize I missed their point completely, we’re either free to move forward or they decide it’s too much work and they bail out of the relationship.

Joshua found he had to talk to the tribes of Reuben and Gad and half of the tribe of Manasseh to keep things going smoothly for the entire nation of Israel and then Phinehas the priest and heads of the nine tribes needed to address them as recorded in Joshua chapter 22.

Joshua 13:7, (Webster) says:  Now therefore divide this land for an inheritance to the nine tribes, and the half tribe of Manasseh,

Jos 13:8  With whom the Reubenites and the Gadites have received their inheritance, which Moses gave them, beyond Jordan eastward, even as Moses the servant of the LORD gave them.

They wanted to make sure that just because the Jordan divided them that they would not become a divided nation.

Jesus knew about divisiveness and He took an opportunity to instruct His disciples and the Pharisees:

Matthew 12:22, (Webster): Then was brought to him one possessed with a demon, blind and dumb; and he healed him, so that the blind and dumb both spoke and saw.

Mat 12:23  And all the people were amazed, and said, Is not this the son of David?

Mat 12:24  But when the Pharisees heard it, they said, This man doth not cast out demons, but by Beelzebub the prince of the demons.

Mat 12:25  And Jesus knew their thoughts, and said to them, Every kingdom divided against itself, is brought to desolation; and every city or house divided against itself, shall not stand.

Mat 12:26  And if Satan casteth out Satan, he is divided against himself; how then shall his kingdom stand?

Mat 12:27  And if I by Beelzebub cast out demons, by whom do your children expel them? therefore they shall be your judges.

Mat 12:28  But if I cast out demons by the Spirit of God, then the kingdom of God is come to you.

Mat 12:29  Or else, how can one enter into a strong man’s house, and seize his goods, except he shall first bind the strong man? and then he will plunder his house.

Mat 12:30  He that is not with me, is against me; and he that gathereth not with me, scattereth abroad.

Mat 12:31  Wherefore I say to you, All manner of sin and blasphemy shall be forgiven to men: but the blasphemy against the Holy Spirit shall not be forgiven to men.

Mat 12:32  And whoever speaketh a word against the Son of man, it shall be forgiven him: but whoever speaketh against the Holy Spirit, it shall not be forgiven him, neither in this world, neither in the world to come.

Mat 12:33  Either make the tree good, and its fruit good; or else make the tree corrupt, and its fruit corrupt: for the tree is known by its fruit.

Mat 12:34  O generation of vipers, how can ye, being evil, speak good things? for out of the abundance of the heart, the mouth speaketh.

Mat 12:35  A good man, out of the good treasure of the heart, bringeth forth good things: and an evil man, out of the evil treasure, bringeth forth evil things.

Mat 12:36  But I say to you, That for every idle word that men shall speak, they shall give account in the day of judgment.

Mat 12:37  For by thy words thou shalt be justified, and by thy words thou shalt be condemned.

Mat 12:38  Then certain of the scribes and of the Pharisees answered, saying, Master, we would see a sign from thee.

Mat 12:39  But he answered and said to them, An evil and adulterous generation seeketh for a sign, and there shall no sign be given to it, but the sign of the prophet Jonah.

Mat 12:40  For as Jonah was three days and three nights in the whale’s belly: so shall the Son of man be three days and three nights in the heart of the earth.

Mat 12:41  The men of Nineveh shall rise in judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: because they repented at the preaching of Jonah; and behold, a greater than Jonah is here.

Mat 12:42  The queen of the south shall rise up in the judgment with this generation, and shall condemn it: for she came from the uttermost parts of the earth to hear the wisdom of Solomon; and behold, a greater than Solomon is here.

Joshua’s name means Jesus, also interpreted as Yahweh is salvation. Sources: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Joshua

http://hermeneutics.stackexchange.com/questions/4122/if-joshua-can-be-translated-why-is-the-name-of-jesus-translated-jesus-but-his

So, Joshua continued the quest to deliver Israel from a slave mentality to the mindset that they were free and cherished by God and capable warriors against evil.

Jesus came from heaven as God the Son, the Son of David to set people free from sin and from the power of the enemy. He defeated the devil at the cross and purchased our redemption from God’s wrath due to our sinful nature and reconciled us to God. The devil got defeated and his power got short-circuited and Jesus enabled mankind to be victorious through Him.

According to a professor I heard way back in the 1990’s from Elim Bible Institute, whose name I forget, Satan is held on a tight leash when people love God and seek to follow His ways. When mankind turns away from God and lives a life pleasing to them, disregarding God, the leash loosens, so to speak, and the enemies’ power over people increases.

That’s why every time the Israelites served false gods and idols, God allowed them to go their separate ways and in effect said, “Let your other gods take care of you.”

Sometimes they repented and called out to God after seven years, sometimes they suffered for decades. In the book of Judges, God sent them another judge to fight on their behalf many times.

Why did the generations not learn from their grandfathers or their fathers or older brothers? I don’t know. Sometimes I figure things out right away. Other times, I’m learning and re-learning and re-learning and then it clicks and sinks in.

I’m very grateful for a compassionate and loving and merciful God. When I see young people making the same mistakes I made years ago, and I see the times we’re living in, I pray that God will get through to them quicker than He got through to me. Some sins will keep Christians out of heaven because they think God winks at sin. Paul continually said to the Gentiles that they needed to stay on the narrow path, with other words. In 1 Corinthians 6:8, (Webster), Paul says to Christians, “But ye do wrong, and defraud, and that your brethren.

1Co 6:9  Know ye not that the unrighteous shall not inherit the kingdom of God? Be not deceived; neither fornicators, nor idolaters, nor adulterers, nor effeminate, nor abusers of themselves with mankind,

1Co 6:10  Nor thieves, nor covetous, nor drunkards, nor revilers, nor extortioners, shall inherit the kingdom of God.

1Co 6:11  And such were some of you: but ye are washed, but ye are sanctified, but ye are justified in the name of the Lord Jesus, and by the Spirit of our God.

1Co 6:12  All things are lawful to me, but all things are not expedient: all things are lawful for me, but I will not be brought under the power of any.

1Co 6:13  Meats for the belly, and the belly for meats: but God will destroy both it and them. Now the body is not for lewdness, but for the Lord; and the Lord for the body.

1Co 6:14  And God hath both raised up the Lord, and will also raise up us by his own power.

1Co 6:15  Know ye not, that your bodies are the members of Christ? shall I then take the members of Christ, and make them the members of a harlot? By no means.

1Co 6:16  What? know ye not that he who is joined to a harlot is one body? for two, saith he, shall be one flesh.

1Co 6:17  But he that is joined to the Lord is one spirit.

1Co 6:18  Flee lewdness. Every sin that a man doeth, is without the body; but he that committeth lewdness, sinneth against his own body.

1Co 6:19  What, know ye not that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit which is in you, which ye have from God, and ye are not your own?

1Co 6:20  For ye are bought with a price: therefore glorify God in your body, and in your spirit, which are God’s.

Paul keeps admonishing the Corinthians, so they’ll know how to live in a manner that pleases God. They used to be Gentiles and serve idols. He gives them hope in 1 Cor. 10:13, (Webster) :

There hath no temptation taken you but such as is common to man: but God is faithful, who will not suffer you to be tempted above what ye are able; but will with the temptation also make a way to escape, that ye may be able to bear it.

And in verse 14 he tells them to flee idolatry. He wants them to be set free from sin, addictions, people pleasing, afflictions, and oppression from the devil, etc.

Martin Luther King, Jr. had a famous saying that is repeated often today, “Free at last, Free at last, Thank God almighty we are free at last.”Martin Luther King Jr.

The source for that quote and image is: http://www.goodreads.com/quotes/10538-free-at-last-free-at-last-thank-god-almighty-we

May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

What Really Happened?

I intended to write some true stories of how God intervened in the lives of people we’re getting to know. We drove with them to a Celebrate Recovery meeting on Friday night.

It occurred to me that she is a writer and she just got some things published. So I’ll ask her first before I write stories that belong to her family.

Years ago, my youngest sister used to tell me why she believed in God. One of the reasons was because she experienced Him keeping her safe. I’ll tell one time here.

One Sunday afternoon after a family meal, she pulled me aside. “Guess what God did for me?”

“I don’t know, what?”

“Sue and I were driving down the road and it had that black ice on it that’s hard to see. Our car started spinning out of control!”

I thought, Uh oh!

“Somehow the car ended up in the other lane facing oncoming traffic!”

“Oh, man! What happened?”

“We couldn’t do anything so I started calling out, ‘Jesus, Jesus, Jesus!’ ”

She took a deep breath, her brown eyes sparkled. “Connie, I can hardly believe this, but it was like a big hand lifted our car into the other lane and turned us in the right direction.”

“What did Sue think about it?”

She looked at me with sad eyes and said, “She doesn’t believe it.”

“Why not?”

“I don’t know,” she spoke softly. Then her voice rose, “but I’ll never forget it for as long as I live. One minute our car is out of control on the ice and we stop facing traffic. The next second we’re out of the path of danger and our car is heading west instead of east. You explain it.”

I shrugged my shoulders. She shook her head decisively. “It was Jesus. I called on His name and He saved us.”

I smiled and she smiled. Then she strode out of the room. I thought about my sister-in-law, Sue, two people in the same situation reaching opposite conclusions. I never got to ask Sue about it. I don’t think she heard much about God as she grew up. She might have been 20 years old at the time.

I wonder what she would say now.

I hope you’re enjoying your weekend. May God bless you!

 

Jesus’ Return

Tonight some friends gathered around a table with my husband and I. We sang a song that one of the men wrote about watching for the Lord. Later on, the same man asked us what we thought of verses in Matthew 24. We all read a few verses at a time out of various versions of the Bible and then gave our opinion if we had one. The following verses are the ones we read, these are from the King James Version:

Mat 24:3  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Mat 24:5  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Mat 24:6  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Mat 24:7  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Mat 24:8  All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Mat 24:9  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

Mat 24:10  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Mat 24:11  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Mat 24:12  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Mat 24:16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

Mat 24:17  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

Mat 24:18  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

Mat 24:19  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

Mat 24:20  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

Mat 24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Mat 24:22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Mat 24:23  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

Mat 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mat 24:25  Behold, I have told you before.

Mat 24:26  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

Mat 24:27  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mat 24:28  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Mat 24:29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Mat 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Mat 24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mat 24:32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

Mat 24:33  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Mat 24:36  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Mat 24:37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mat 24:38  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

Mat 24:39  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mat 24:40  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Mat 24:41  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Mat 24:42  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Mat 24:43  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

Mat 24:44  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

People guess about the year based on prophesies and on symbolism and numbers that God uses frequently. The thing is, we don’t really know. Jesus does say to be ready at all times.

I’ve been feeling like I need to read the Bible more; I know I’ve been hearing it from various pastors on the radio.

I read Isaiah 55:6, (KJV):  Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.

Sometimes I feel as though God might be whispering that to my spirit: Seek Me.

A lady at our gathering said she feels we are close to the time when Jesus will return for His servants. Then the man leading the discussion reminded us to read the Bible through in a year. He gave us a paper with the amounts to read every day, a few chapters of the Old Testament and a couple chapters of the New Testament. He’s been following that format for years and the more he reads the Bible the more he sees things he’s missed before. There’s a date before each entry, so you don’t have to start on January first if you didn’t get the paper beforehand. I like that.

What do you think of this section of Scripture? Is Jesus coming back to earth soon?

 

What’s Going On?

 

It amazes me what God does for me and for others. I’ve seen so many answers to prayer.

Yet, sometimes it’s the little things that capture my attention and appreciation. There are times when I write or sew at night because I’ve been busy throughout the day. Last night I started to put the stitching across the top of a curtain. I added extra stitches to the end to reinforce it on one side. As I continued, the thread broke. No matter what I tried, the thread kept breaking.

Finally I remembered how I’d had manuscript submissions get stuck because the e-mail account wouldn’t send. After trying everything I knew to do, including getting help from others, I’d give up. Then, I’d notice a typo or realize the article was missing pertinent information. Once I fixed it, I’d attach the piece and then hit send. Off it went to the editor!

So last night I looked closely at the second section of the curtain set. I needed to flip the curtain over to sew the top on the other side. I tore out the stitches that had made it half way across. Then I pinned the fabric the correct way and decided to quit for the night. Somehow I knew my machine would work perfectly today. And so it did.

I moved on to the next window’s fabric and worked on it until I started losing energy. My husband asked a good question, “Isn’t it when you’re tired that you start making mistakes?”

I’d been debating over doing one inch side hems around the circle of the valance and then sewing the top seams for the ruffle and the rod pocket. I may need to remove a few stitches so it lays flat, now that I think about it. Anyway, I decided tomorrow is another day.

If someone doesn’t believe in God, they may think good things happening are only a coincidence. I believe it’s God because in the book of James it says all good things and perfect things come from heaven above, from the Father of lights. (James 1:17)

I believe in God because as a young girl when I first learned of God, it resonated deep within.

Some people believe Jesus was God because others walked and talked with Him and saw Him perform miracles. These “others” went to their deaths instead of recanting their eye witness accounts. Why would anyone die to support a lie?

More Christians are being persecuted for their faith today than ever before.

I believe Satan knows his time is short and he’s fulfilling what Jesus said about him in John 10:10: “The thief comes only to steal, kill and destroy but I have come to give life and that abundantly.”

When life gets hard on earth, I find comfort in the Bible with its many promises. My mother-in-law’s favorite Bible verses were in Psalm 91 and I have a friend that tells me she prayed Psalm 91 over me today. That always makes me smile.

Psalm 91 (Webster):

Psa 91:1  He that dwelleth in the secret place of the Most High shall abide under the shadow of the Almighty.

Psa 91:2  I will say of the LORD, He is my refuge and my fortress: my God; in him will I trust.

Psa 91:3  Surely he shall deliver thee from the snare of the fowler, and from the noisome pestilence.

Psa 91:4  He shall cover thee with his feathers, and under his wings shalt thou trust: his truth shall be thy shield and buckler.

Psa 91:5  Thou shalt not be afraid for the terror by night; nor for the arrow that flieth by day;

Psa 91:6  Nor for the pestilence that walketh in darkness; nor for the destruction that wasteth at noon-day.

Psa 91:7  A thousand shall fall at thy side, and ten thousand at thy right hand; but it shall not come nigh thee.

Psa 91:8  Only with thy eyes shalt thou behold and see the reward of the wicked.

Psa 91:9  Because thou hast made the LORD who is my refuge, even the Most High, thy habitation;

Psa 91:10  There shall no evil befall thee, neither shall any plague come nigh thy dwelling.

Psa 91:11  For he shall give his angels charge over thee, to keep thee in all thy ways.

Psa 91:12  They shall bear thee up in their hands, lest thou dash thy foot against a stone.

Psa 91:13  Thou shalt tread upon the lion and adder: the young lion and the dragon shalt thou trample under feet.

Psa 91:14  Because he hath set his love upon me, therefore will I deliver him: I will set him on high, because he hath known my name.

Psa 91:15  He shall call upon me, and I will answer him: I will be with him in trouble; I will deliver him, and honor him.

Psa 91:16  With long life will I satisfy him, and show him my salvation.

May God bless you!

Fear Not

Jesus Calms the Storm

 

image from : https://www.christianbook.com/jesus-calms-the-storm/9780758606372/pd/606370?kw=606370&en=shopping&p=1012505

Jesus spoke to His disciples a few times saying, O ye of little faith, fear not; or something to that effect.

In Matthew 8:23, (KJV), the Word of God tells us: And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.

Mat 8:24  And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.

Mat 8:25  And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.

Mat 8:26  And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Mat 8:27  But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

The next verses tell us:

Mat 8:28  And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

Mat 8:29  And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Mat 8:30  And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.

Mat 8:31  So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.

Mat 8:32  And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

Mat 8:33  And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.

Mat 8:34  And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.

They feared what they didn’t understand, I think.

I remember many years ago, a visiting evangelist and her traveling companion ministered at a city church. They invited us to the altar area to receive prayer if we wanted it. I went forward. The younger lady asked me what I wanted. I told her I wanted whatever gift of the Spirit God wanted to give to me. Yet, I felt fear. She looked at me. “God won’t give you anything that you can’t handle. Do you still want me to pray?”

I told her I did, and then she said that God was going to give me the ability to speak in more than one kind of tongues by the power of the Spirit.

Why do we Christians fear what God may ask us to do? Has He not said in 1 Thessalonians 5:24: Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it?

It comes from this passage in the King James Version: 1Th 5:8  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

1Th 5:9  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Th 5:10  Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

1Th 5:11  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

1Th 5:12  And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

1Th 5:13  And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

1Th 5:14  Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

1Th 5:15  See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

1Th 5:16  Rejoice evermore.

1Th 5:17  Pray without ceasing.

1Th 5:18  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1Th 5:19  Quench not the Spirit.

1Th 5:20  Despise not prophesyings.

1Th 5:21  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

1Th 5:22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.

1Th 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Th 5:24  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

I remember the first Sunday that my husband was supposed to preach at the church that called him to pastor. The night before, he looked so ill that I began asking him to call someone to fill the pulpit for him. He tends to be healthy and he reminded me that he didn’t know anyone to call. I started telling him that I could just see it, we would wake up, he’d still be sick and I would end up preaching. He didn’t expect that to happen.

The next morning he still felt terrible. He began to prepare me to get ready to present a message to the church, to his aunt and to his dad who were traveling about an hour to hear him preach. I prayed like crazy and went through a message I heard the weekend before at a retreat for pastor’s wives. I stole most of the message, giving credit to the author so they knew it wasn’t my original ideas. When the singing part of the service concluded, my heart started working overtime and my knees knocked together and then I started imploring God, “Please don’t let me have a heart attack.”

By the end I didn’t want it to end so soon. Whether it was early or not, I couldn’t tell you. I went from almost paralyzing fear to the joy of connecting with the people over God’s Word.

I’ve been asked to speak at women’s groups but never to preach again. I found that God enabled me to stretch and do what I thought was impossible. He continues to lead me to circumstances that I don’t think I want to do nor think that I can do. With His help, they’ve all worked out. To God be the glory!

When fear comes knocking, I answer with the Scripture from 2Timothy_1:7 , (KJV): For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

I’ve literally felt the fear lift off of me when I’ve spoken that Scripture out loud.

May God bless you.

Colors

My daughter gave me a bar of black soap for Christmas over a year ago. It has African shea butter and sea salt in it which I found very soothing. It rested on a white soap holder which held fragments from a pink soap bar yesterday. The color contrast struck me with the polar opposite of shades.

When I lathered the black bar, the bubbles spread out gray and eventually turned to a sparkling white.

When I glanced back to the soap holder, streaks of black liquid streaked down the pebbly white surface and I recoiled a little. Then I reminded myself that the black streaks weren’t dirt streaks and I rinsed them right off.

photo from http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-YEAR-Roses-Rose-Flower-Orange-Yellow-Fragrant-Live-Plant-Bush-Bare-Root-/292007492486

I recently transplanted a beautiful grouping of roses with orange blossoms and a plethora of buds. The rose’s perfume was worth every second of my time as I stopped in the kitchen to inhale their aroma. But not too long after I bought them the leaves began to wither. What began slowly escalated.

Every bud shriveled and died, every mature blossom hung onto the brown stalky stems which used to be green. With their sustenance cut off their orange petals paled to a light cantaloupe flesh hue. Paper like with tan edges, the prettiest blossom gave up the fight for life.

The scent faded and then the exquisite smell disappeared.

Three of the tiny rose plants went into a pretty clay pot with stones for drainage and new soil. I watered them after I clipped all the dead wood away and removed every offending curled up and detached leaf.

I placed the most promising rose plant in its own pot, again with stones or broken pottery on the bottom for drainage and new potting soil.

The three plants in the bigger pot only have a few green twigs on one rose. The other two are browner yet. I tried to remove one but it seems entwined with the others.

I didn’t like seeing the dirt on my counter top after the transplant. That’s why the black soap trickling down brought dirt to mind so quickly. Sometimes what we see is not representing actuality.

Later,I tried to tug those “dead” roses apart but I didn’t want to fling potting soil around in the kitchen.

Jesus tells a parable of a farmer planting good wheat seeds into the ground. When his servant comes to him, he reports weeds that look similar to wheat have sprung up in the crop. The farmer says an enemy must have planted bad seeds in the furrows. Then he tells the worker not to pull up the weeds lest the wheat gets yanked out with them. At the end of the harvest they’ll be more distinguishable. The wheat will be set aside for use and the weeds will go into the fire to be destroyed. (Matthew 13:24-30)

That is what I’m doing for a season with the three rose plants. I’m watering them less and leaving them alone to see if any leaves will sprout on the one with the green stems.

The fourth rose plant went home with my daughter and I saw its few branches sprouting at least five forest green leaves today. “Live little plant and bring forth beauty and a sweet smelling aroma in your time.”

The enriching soap is called 100% Natural Black Soap w/ African Shea Butter & Sea Salt. Soapbox makes it and the package says “buy one & we give one to a child in need. Find out how at: soapboxsoap.com.”

My daughter likes to buy products that bless the poor. She knows I appreciate that too, so the gift is a win/win.

May God bless you.