Wisdom

(James 1:5, GNB)

Jas 1:5  But if any of you lack wisdom, you should pray to God, who will give it to you; because God gives generously and graciously to all. 

(James 3:13-3:18, GNB)

Jas 3:13  Are there any of you who are wise and understanding? You are to prove it by your good life, by your good deeds performed with humility and wisdom. 

Jas 3:14  But if in your heart you are jealous, bitter, and selfish, don’t sin against the truth by boasting of your wisdom. 

Jas 3:15  Such wisdom does not come down from heaven; it belongs to the world, it is unspiritual and demonic. 

Jas 3:16  Where there is jealousy and selfishness, there is also disorder and every kind of evil. 

Jas 3:17  But the wisdom from above is pure first of all; it is also peaceful, gentle, and friendly; it is full of compassion and produces a harvest of good deeds; it is free from prejudice and hypocrisy. 

Jas 3:18  And goodness is the harvest that is produced from the seeds the peacemakers plant in peace. 

In the beginning, God created the universe by speaking it into existence over six days. It says so in Genesis chapter one and tells more of God’s creative work in Genesis 2. It takes faith to believe such a thing.

It takes faith to believe in the religion of macro-Evolution. Both take faith to believe how everything got started. In one religion, there is love and compassion and listening to others and humbling ourselves before God and trusting that He has everything under control. In the other, the fittest, smartest species survive; and the weak dies out, and what is our purpose? Not a lot of hope there.

And no mention of an incredible eternity that is so beyond our comprehension, God doesn’t spend tons of time on it in the Bible, maybe because we’d be so homesick, we couldn’t stand being here. There’s also experience with God that macro-Evolution cannot manufacture. Relationship with God that’s hard to describe if you’re not willing to give God a chance, because He’s not a supreme Magician, performing tricks for the insincere.

He promises peace that passes all understanding. I’ve been enveloped in a cloud of well-being feelings in the midst of turmoil because years ago, not really understanding what I was doing, I surrendered my life to Jesus Christ, the Son of God, the Jewish Messiah.

When I’m about ready to ream somebody out for an offense, I’ll get a little nudge inside, almost like a look from Mom or Dad as a kid warning me not to act out. A gentle reminder: don’t go there. Then, I’ll hold back the angry retort and wait. Maybe the person will look back and realize they cut me off and give an apologetic glance. Or they’ll notice that the object they bounced off of was a person and not an inanimate something, and say, “I’m sorry, are you okay?”

Then, I’m happy I didn’t overreact. If someone hurts me on purpose, God gives me the grace to forgive them. They will suffer consequences usually, but not bitterness, nagging, and continual reminders; because of God. Once I process the event.

One man in the library I worked at never learned socially acceptable behavior growing up. I asked God to help me to see him as God saw him. I sensed a sister-brother kind of love inside me then. He could tell something was different in me when we had to interact. Suddenly, he relaxed and didn’t say or do things he shouldn’t.

I’d like to say that feeling stayed with me forever, but one day I realized I’d lost that insight. So, now when I see him, I am friendly to him and ask God to help me to be loving and kind in a way that he’ll interpret correctly. I set definite boundaries and pray for God’s wisdom when he approaches my car in a parking spot.

In (James 1:5, CEV), I read: “If any of you need wisdom, you should ask God, and it will be given to you. God is generous and won’t correct you for asking.”

Other versions say God gives wisdom generously. In these confusing and changing times, I need all the wisdom I can get. I’ve experienced God’s love and protection and compassion and provision and forgiveness over the decades. Jesus promised to never leave us or forsake us. I am grateful that somehow, I found out about God at a young age. My life has never been perfect. I am not perfect. This earth is not a perfect place. But God! He is my help.

May God bless you!

“All My Life You Have Been Faithful”

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

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

May God bless you!

Comfort at the Expense of Freedom?

            I got a letter from a ministry concerned about the education of American children. Changing history, skewing the amount of racism prevalent at the founding of our country. I come from Upstate New York-part of the Underground Railroad for runaway slaves. People helping people despite the risks.

            My oldest daughter said, “How can America be racist now and vote in an African American president not that long ago? Just because I’m white doesn’t mean I’m racist.”

            Another thing this ministry letter said, “A majority of college students are for Socialism and Communism.”

            I recently read a book copyrighted in 1992 by T. Davis Bunn, entitled The Amber Room, published by Bethany House, Minneapolis, MN. I’ve read Mr. Bunn’s books for years and met him at a writers’ conference in Montrose, PA where he spoke to prospective authors.  

https://pictures.abebooks.com/isbn/9781556612855-us.jpg

He researches his fiction through historical documents, books, internet, interviewing experts and visiting the locale of the literature’s setting.

            The Amber Room delves into the history of valuable antiques in Europe and Russia. Also, some of the detrimental effects of living under a Communist regime in East Berlin before and after the Wall came down. The lives of the people and their perspectives came through the story startlingly clear.

The Amber Room is the sequel to Florian’s Gate and the second tome begins with romance and an introduction to an antique collector looking for clues professionally and personally.

            When I got done, I thought every college student who thinks Socialism and Communism is better than our American system of government-a Republic-well, they should read this book. I have neighbors who moved here from Russia and I met them a few years back when they purchased their house near us.

            When I mentioned a historical document concerning their leader, Stalin, the father hung his head. “That was not the best time for our country.”

            Last year, I read online that the richest group of immigrants in the United States are from Russia. Perhaps because of their lack of hope in the past. My neighbors put in a vegetable garden, planted fruit trees and then flowers for beauty. They worked hard.

            The Apostle Paul said in 2 Thessalonians 3:10 that those who will not work, neither should they eat. I don’t know if Americans think the government can take better care of themselves than they can. Perhaps they’re not checking out history books and science fiction, like George Orwell’s book, 1984, copyrighted in 1949 by Houghton Mifflin Harcourt.

https://www.amazon.com/dp/0452262933/ref=rdr_ext_tmb           

Our forefathers fought the American Revolution in bare feet in the winter and had days of starvation because of the lack of supplies. They fought for freedom we seem to be willing to give away.

            I keep praying to God to wake us up and to help us before we find ourselves under dictators who took power because American citizens are fighting each other. Jesus said a house divided against itself cannot stand.

            Communist countries have rich rulers; middle level managers and spies and prison wardens and enforcers, and the lower tier are oppressed people working hard to support the system. If you don’t believe it, ask refugees that stole out of Cuba or find people who made it out of Eastern European countries and Russia once Communism fell. The transition out of Communism isn’t easy, either.

            The Amber Room is a story showing reality and possibilities, and the bad and good in history. As Tiny Tim said in the movie “Scrooge,” “God bless us, every one!”

            “Please!”

            Jesus came to set mankind free, no matter the government over them. I love being a Christian. I also appreciate living in “the land of the free…”.

            As I see America’s freedoms slipping away, my prayer is people will wake up before their choices get stripped away under a totalitarian government.

The Lord’s Prayer in Luke 11 in the New King James Version

Lord's Prayer - Wikipedia
photo of Jesus teaching the Lord’s prayer from en.Wikepedia.org

Luk 11:1  Now it came to pass, as He was praying in a certain place, when He ceased, that one of His disciples said to Him, “Lord, teach us to pray, as John also taught his disciples.” 

Luk 11:2  So He said to them, “When you pray, say: Our Father in heaven, Hallowed be Your name. Your kingdom come. Your will be done On earth as it is in heaven. 

Luk 11:3  Give us day by day our daily bread. 

Luk 11:4  And forgive us our sins, For we also forgive everyone who is indebted to us. And do not lead us into temptation, But deliver us from the evil one.” 

Luk 11:5  And He said to them, “Which of you shall have a friend, and go to him at midnight and say to him, ‘Friend, lend me three loaves; 

Luk 11:6  for a friend of mine has come to me on his journey, and I have nothing to set before him’; 

Luk 11:7  and he will answer from within and say, ‘Do not trouble me; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed; I cannot rise and give to you’? 

Luk 11:8  I say to you, though he will not rise and give to him because he is his friend, yet because of his persistence he will rise and give him as many as he needs. 

Luk 11:9  “So I say to you, ask, and it will be given to you; seek, and you will find; knock, and it will be opened to you. 

Luk 11:10  For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it will be opened. 

Luk 11:11  If a son asks for bread from any father among you, will he give him a stone? Or if he asks for a fish, will he give him a serpent instead of a fish? 

Luk 11:12  Or if he asks for an egg, will he offer him a scorpion? 

Luk 11:13  If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him!”

I felt as if God said to blog on Luke 11. I cannot say more than what Jesus is saying here. I know that I feel such a need to pray for our country and our world and politicians and the media and tiny babies lying on the floor in a public laundromat and for those who are sick and for those helping the sick. I hope you are looking to God, the author and finisher of our faith.

As it says in (Heb 12:2-4, NKJV): looking unto Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith, who for the joy that was set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. Heb 12:3 For consider Him who endured such hostility from sinners against Himself, lest you become weary and discouraged in your souls.
Heb 12:4 You have not yet resisted to bloodshed, striving against sin.

May God bless you.

Are You Waiting for the Lord?

(Isaiah 40:31 NRSV) But those who wait for the Lord shall renew their strength, they shall mount up with wings like eagles, they shall run and not be weary, they shall walk and not faint.

            Whenever I get sick, I lay around to recover, eat as healthy as possible, read the Bible and pray for healing. Besides that, I call every person involved with appointments that I need to cancel. Sometimes, I wait too long to go to the doctor or to get on an antibiotic. When I told someone I wasn’t feeling well, they asked if I had the flu!

            I don’t watch a lot of news, when I’m on the internet, I scroll past all the stories about Corona Flu Virus and how to make tons of money, and about who is marrying whom, and read the article I’m looking for.

            Over the phone, when my acquaintance asked if I had the flu, I wasn’t prepared for the note of anxiety in their voice. “No, I had a sinus infection which caused a bad cold because I didn’t treat it soon enough.”

            I didn’t think much of it until I healed up. Feeling normal today, I went to the library and the drug store. The last few times at the library, it seemed emptier than usual. Then, the clerk at the drugstore spoke about the Corona Flu Virus and oil prices in Arabian countries and the stock market dropping so fast they closed it for 15 minutes.

            Three days out of circulation really made an impact on my life. I was mostly out of the loop of things going on. Then, young people in their cars in the parking lot talking about the virus as I left the store. In between, when I made my purchase in the drug store, I noticed the young man who waited on me looked redder than usual. So, I told him I give all this stuff to God, (my concerns).

            He looked blankly at me. We’ve talked in the past, and once or twice about God and belief.

            I tried again. “What is it that concerns you so much about the Corona Flu Virus?”

            He told me you can have it without symptoms for a bit. I told him this flu virus is not a new virus, a variation, I thought. “So, you catch the flu, you get sick, you get over it.”

            He said, “I’m not as healthy as I look.”

            Fear and anxiety can play havoc with one’s health. That’s why Jesus spoke so often about not fearing and not worrying. I don’t know if the little I said to him eased his concerns, but I do know I’m going to start praying for him and those hit with terror.

            Before Jesus comes back, He said, “Men’s hearts will fail them for fear,” in Luke 21:26-28.

            It is found in the passage on the return of Jesus Christ. He tells those who believe to pray that they can endure until the end. He warns those that don’t believe in Him. Many trust in self-reliance, or another god, or science, etc. Eventually they cease contemplating Jesus, the Savior Who gave His all on the cross for the Jew first and then for the Gentile—the Awesome Messiah!

            I am confident that God keeps those who are born again, as He promises in Ephesians, chapter one. Yet, I’m aware that He warns His followers to beware because Satan sends delusions and other traps, so if it were possible even the very elect could be deceived. Why would He warn us? It says in the end times many will turn from the faith and a great multitude will be saved.

            I tell Jesus, “Whatever it takes, keep me in the faith,” and I do my part. He is a good God and I trust Him!

            May God bless you!

Happy New Year 2020!

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God bless you!

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!