Love Conquers Hate

 

I heard the news about White Supremist’s group gathering in America in Charlottesville, VA  and the tragedy of a person’s reaction to those standing against the ideology of white supremism.

 

This is a quote from Reclaim Our Republic blog on WordPress.com at the address:

https://wordpress.com/read/feeds/693245/posts/1559598312 : “Some have suggested that the violent atmosphere and lack of police presence was a factor in the decision and ability of 20 year old white supremacist James Alex Fields to drive his 2010 Dodge Challenger into a crowd of counter-protesters, killing 32 year old paralegal Heather Heyer and injuring dozens of others.”

 

Some time ago, then-President Obama said that America is not a Christian nation any longer. Our country has never been perfect even when considered a Christian nation, but it is becoming increasingly worse since many are trying out new philosophies.

 

The New Testament of the Bible in 1 John 4, (GNB), says this,

“1John 4:7  Dear friends, let us love one another, because love comes from God. Whoever loves is a child of God and knows God.

1Jn 4:8  Whoever does not love does not know God, for God is love.

1Jn 4:9  And God showed his love for us by sending his only Son into the world, so that we might have life through him.

1Jn 4:10  This is what love is: it is not that we have loved God, but that he loved us and sent his Son to be the means by which our sins are forgiven.

1Jn 4:11  Dear friends, if this is how God loved us, then we should love one another.

1Jn 4:12  No one has ever seen God, but if we love one another, God lives in union with us, and his love is made perfect in us.

1Jn 4:13  We are sure that we live in union with God and that he lives in union with us, because he has given us his Spirit.

1Jn 4:14  And we have seen and tell others that the Father sent his Son to be the Savior of the world.

1Jn 4:15  If we declare that Jesus is the Son of God, we live in union with God and God lives in union with us.

1Jn 4:16  And we ourselves know and believe the love which God has for us. God is love, and those who live in love live in union with God and God lives in union with them.

1Jn 4:17  Love is made perfect in us in order that we may have courage on the Judgment Day; and we will have it because our life in this world is the same as Christ’s.

1Jn 4:18  There is no fear in love; perfect love drives out all fear. So then, love has not been made perfect in anyone who is afraid, because fear has to do with punishment.

1Jn 4:19  We love because God first loved us.

1Jn 4:20  If we say we love God, but hate others, we are liars. For we cannot love God, whom we have not seen, if we do not love others, whom we have seen.

1Jn 4:21  The command that Christ has given us is this: whoever loves God must love others also.

 

There is no racism in God’s kingdom. God made every person in the image and likeness of God. See the beginning of the book of Genesis.

 

Also, God is no respecter of persons, it says in 1 Peter 1:17.

 

Here are verses with 1 Peter 1:17 included, in the CEV version of the Bible, a little easier form of writing to understand:

 

1Pe 1:13  Be alert and think straight. Put all your hope in how kind God will be to you when Jesus Christ appears.

1Pe 1:14  Behave like obedient children. Don’t let your lives be controlled by your desires, as they used to be.

1Pe 1:15  Always live as God’s holy people should, because God is the one who chose you, and he is holy.

1Pe 1:16  That’s why the Scriptures say, “I am the holy God, and you must be holy too.”

1Pe 1:17  You say that God is your Father, but God doesn’t have favorites! He judges all people by what they do. So you must honor God while you live as strangers here on earth.

1Pe 1:18  You were rescued from the useless way of life that you learned from your ancestors. But you know that you were not rescued by such things as silver or gold that don’t last forever.

1Pe 1:19  You were rescued by the precious blood of Christ, that spotless and innocent lamb.

1Pe 1:20  Christ was chosen even before the world was created, but because of you, he did not come until these last days.

1Pe 1:21  And when he did come, it was to lead you to have faith in God, who raised him from death and honored him in a glorious way. That’s why you have put your faith and hope in God.

 

God loves variety. He may have created different skin tones and types of hair that differ from one group of people to the next, but nowhere does it show that one race is superior or inferior to another. I’ve blogged about George Washington Carver. He sought God about knowing things in the universe and supposedly God said it was too big for any human to comprehend. So God chose to answer Mr. Carver with lots of information about the peanut. I’ve heard it said that God tells us in His Word that he gives people witty inventions. Professor George Washington Carver came up with a multitude of uses for the peanut–some in food products, many for businesses, with paint thinner as one example.

 

Neo-Nazis, KKK members, all who say they are Christians had better read their Bible. God is against hatred and Jesus said in John 10:10, (KJV):   The thief cometh not, but for to steal, and to kill, and to destroy: I am come that they might have life, and that they might have it more abundantly.

 

God, please help our country to be unified by love and kindness and graciousness towards each other, I pray in the mighty name of Jesus, Amen.

 

 

 

 

Fun on a Sunday

Sunday morning we went to a picnic spot with a pond and a pavilion. We enjoyed a beautiful sunshiny day and lots of pleasant company accompanied by some tasty food. I got to know some of the people better that visited this year.

IMPROVEMENTS TO THE POND(photo from: (www.timberlandbait.com)

 

Usually we cancel our evening service the day of the picnic because people are tired. I tried to rest a little and then it was time to choose worship songs. Not that I had much of a voice left. 🙂

 

After singing, my husband left the sound booth so we could pray. Seven folks gathered and he didn’t feel like a sermon was the right route to go.

 

“If we keep canceling Sunday night service, people will stop showing up.”

 

Then he gave us some direction. “Let’s pray like Jesus taught the disciples – starting out with ‘Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.’”

 

He went on to explain that hallowed denotes honor and praise. “How can you show God the respect due His name? What words can you describe Him with in the form of a prayer?”

 

We began talking to the Lord and when someone asked for needs to be met, my husband told the person that we’d get to that, but now is the time to exalt our Savior. A bit later, we did pray for personal requests with the addition of the phrase, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

 

Jesus said in the New Testament, in Matthew 18:20, (KJV): “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

 

We didn’t linger a long time, but as we left each face exhibited peace and contentment.

 

Then, my husband and I began our Sunday night ritual: “Where should we eat?”

 

Sometimes I cook on a Sunday night, but if I’m tired and we’re able to, we eat out. There’s not a lot of restaurants open at that hour of the day.

 

I told my hubbie I was going to pray about it. We have a number of small towns around our little home spot and I’m not familiar with them all.

 

I felt impressed to head north and he was okay with it. We found a new restaurant, to us, that we both enjoyed and hope to visit again sometime.

 

I said, “What a nice day we had,” and he agreed.

 

This is the second Sunday night we’ve prayed at our church over the last thirty days and the people really liked it. Both times it was spontaneous and I missed the first one for a family member’s milestone birthday party in a nearby city.

 

I’m glad I made it for lots of reasons but when I saw the glow on one of the ladies’ faces outside of the church after the meeting, I thought, Aw, wish I’d been there.

 

God gave me the desire of my heart this last Sunday.

 

I hope this finds you well. May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

 

Thinking for Life

Our ladies’ Bible study started working on the book and study guide by Joyce Meyer called Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind. I’m using the book I bought some years back published by Warner Faith, New York, NY, Boston, MA, and Nashville, TN in 2002 and copyrighted in 1995. The Study Guide was copyrighted in 2000 and published in 2002 by Faith Words, Hachette Book Group, New York, NY.

Battlefield Of The Mind 2-in-1, Book and Study Guidephoto from https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=Battlefield+of+the+Mind&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

(This is the most current book that one of our ladies bought at a brick and mortar store. The copyright is 2017 and it’s the book and study guide combined.)

 

At our Bible study we enjoyed the Scriptures and the insights Joyce gave us. We also got a chance to talk and consider how the Word applies to our lives. One of the ladies is barely in her 90’s and she’s been a Christian for decades. When Joyce Meyer spoke of Satan’s schemes, she was a bit horrified. Even though I’m sure she’s read in 1Peter_5:8 , (KJV) that we need to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

 

What I hold on to is the fact that God is the Great I Am, and Satan is His defeated foe. Not that the devil doesn’t have power. He has the power on earth that mankind gives him by following the evil one’s ways and rejecting God’s ways. Yet, he cannot do anything beyond what God allows. There is our free will to consider as well. Ah, it’s a complicated business in the supernatural. The supernatural realm lasts forever; this time on earth for us is short in comparison.

The Screwtape Lettersphoto from https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=Screwtape+Letters&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

 

So, I got talking about C. S. Lewis’s book, The Screwtape Letters. It’s a lead demon teaching a less experienced demon the subtle ways to fool people out of faith in God. This elderly lady had heard of Professor Lewis’s tome, but “didn’t think it amounted to much.”

 

Now she’d like to read it.

 

The Bible talks a lot more about God than the devil, yet it mentions hell much more than heaven. I don’t know if it’s because God knew people wouldn’t really believe in hell after a time and He wanted to be very specific about the torment there, or if it’s because He couldn’t put into words that we could fully comprehend about the wonder of heaven and being in His presence. Our brains do not compare to the all-knowing God’s capabilities.

 

I know one thing. I had to close the door behind me so I could stop listening to the television set because I kept getting drawn into a progressive story. That’s one disadvantage of Netflix. Once a series leaves the viewer on a cliffhanger, it’s a matter of moments before the next show comes on if the person so chooses to watch the next one, unless it’s the end of the entire series or the last one of the season. Some might consider that a benefit, and occasionally I enjoy not having to wait to see how things turn out, but it’s easy to lose an hour or two or three and realize important things got left undone. It’s like a drug and don’t I know that Satan loves it when I’m not writing about Jesus and the hope He gives the world.

 

I’m looking forward to continuing our study of The Battlefield of the Mind because it’s already got me thinking about the way I may ponder myself right out of the will of God. “Write a book on marriage,” I thought God whispered to my heart. Then I decided if there were so many out there what did I have to say? We’re all unique and King Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun in the book of Ecclesiastes when he was feeling down. There may not be anything new under the sun, but one person’s insights may reach a couple when another writer’s ideas didn’t touch their heart at all. If God did indeed tell me to write on marriage, then I need to obey. It’s imperative for me to seek Him to see if I heard correctly from Him or not.

 

I spoke to my husband about this show that sucked me in tonight. A young couple constantly miscommunicates. I’m mumbling, “Why didn’t he say something to her?” I turned to him, “They never talk.”

 

He said to me, “There are some people that are just like that.”

 

I then said to him, “I guess that’s why we’ve been married for forty-one years, because we talk.”

 

Today he vacuumed the rug and I made a point of saying it looked nice, because that’s important to him. He doesn’t whine or ask for compliments. I just notice that if he points out, “At least I got the carpet cleaned today,” in reference to not getting something else done, that if I say, “Yeah, it looks great,” his body language changes. Maybe his shoulders get pulled back and he stands a little taller.

 

If I don’t feel like telling him thanks because I’m tired or self-absorbed, sometimes I make myself be considerate because I’d be polite to a stranger. Why not be kind to the man I love?

 

I hope you’re having a great day. May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

Judging a Book by Its Cover

As a pastor’s wife, you run into lots of people from various cultures. We have a young lady that started attending church months ago. Her dad is Puerto Rican, her mom is African American with parents from Louisiana – Creole in heritage. Such a beautiful girl. She says strangers can’t decide if she’s Hispanic or African American with light skin or from India or other far away countries, then she laughs with a delightful sound.

I ran into someone else today who had to go to court and she was dressed in a pretty black dress with a multi-colored necklace and shiny silver shoes. The only thing out of the ordinary is an exotic hair style. The person that wanted her in court to press their case wore a man’s big sports t-shirt, sloppy shoes, baggy slacks, and a really short haircut. She usually eats poorly and sleeps erratic hours, so there’s dark circles under her eyes.

I told the first one she looked pretty. Then I asked how the other person appeared. She said, “You can’t judge a book by its cover.”

I said, “In this case you can.”

The court case didn’t go the way the finely dressed girl wanted it to, but it went the way she expected it to. She had been trying to help a friend and the judge said if the person doesn’t want assistance it’s time to stop. The one receiving care wanted to speak badly about the other. The judge raised her hand and stopped any comments. We’re not here for a discussion.

She ruled on the case and then turned to the lady in the dress. “Thank you for all that you’ve done.”

Friendly Female Judge Cartoon Clipart

(photo from clip art)

 

 

 

Then to the one that brought the case to court, she instructed her to get her act together and she wanted to see proof that the girl carried out the correct behavior. “No one will call you or set up appointments with professionals for you, but you will be required to carry through or face consequences.”

It was more than the pretty dress and clean appearance that caused Her Honor to praise the one girl and her husband. The judge saw a couple who truly cared and had stepped in when someone was floundering. Unfortunately, other influences occurred and voices spoke that stopped the positive direction. It’s not easy to change and sometimes people don’t want their friends or family to walk away from activities even if it’s the absolute best for them.

So I’m praying for all the parties involved. I’ve seen God answer prayers in amazing ways that seemed convoluted at the time. Yet, every twist and turn set the path for the proper ending. There are times when it’s appropriate to let go and wait and see how things work out. Especially if a judge says, “Thanks for trying, but it’s out of your hands now.”

That is exactly what God does when He gives us free choice. He gives people the opportunity to seek Him and find Him and learn from Him. He gives folks the chance to try other faiths or atheism. He tells of the benefits of following Him and He tells of the consequences of rejecting Him. I’ve been reading in 2 Chronicles and sometimes it’s long and not interesting and other places it’s absolutely riveting. When the kings stopped honoring God and obeying Him, their choices became absolutely demonic. I marked my Bible with that word outside the printing at 2 Chronicles 28:3 – demonic.

It’s such a relief when the chapter begins with the new king and the Word says this one did what was right in the sight of the Lord as his father David did. These kings were descendants of King David generations down the line.

We’ve been getting so much rain in Upstate, NY. Being a gray day didn’t help the emotions of the young girl summoned to court but God answered our prayers. I prayed that no weapon formed against her or her husband would prosper. That’s a promise from Isa_54:17 , (KJV): “No weapon that is formed against thee shall prosper; and every tongue that shall rise against thee in judgment thou shalt condemn. This is the heritage of the servants of the LORD, and their righteousness is of me,” saith the LORD.

She prayed that they would be careful to speak with wisdom. God answered our prayers and He knows all about both young ladies and the situation. We can rest in His provision and control, just as King David trusted in God to protect Him in difficult situations.

I try not to judge people by appearances because sometimes scam artists dress very fine and clean up really nice. God knows all about everybody. I’m glad Christians kept after me even when I wasn’t sure I wanted to hear. One girl spoke gently and intriguingly to me every day at school for months. Then I would go home and ponder. She was not the only Christian I ran into in those days. Somehow it finally made sense to me.

May God bless you.

 

 

 

Jewish Messiah

 

Our ladies’ Bible study had a Christmas brunch today. We invited all the ladies of the church, but only one non-regular attendee showed up.

Her mom used to attend our church years back. She decided to return and people welcomed her with lots of hugs.

After many months, her daughter came to our church a few weeks back. I didn’t expect her this morning, but it was good to see her.

This afternoon I read in Romans 9-12. The Apostle Paul writes of his beloved people, his nation, Israel and how God called them to Himself. Not all wanted God and in the book of Isaiah God laments that they would rather worship idols made of the same wood that they baked their food over:

Isa 44:13, (KJV):  The carpenter stretcheth out his rule; he marketh it out with a line; he fitteth it with planes, and he marketh it out with the compass, and maketh it after the figure of a man, according to the beauty of a man; that it may remain in the house.

Isa 44:14  He heweth him down cedars, and taketh the cypress and the oak, which he strengtheneth for himself among the trees of the forest: he planteth an ash, and the rain doth nourish it.

Isa 44:15  Then shall it be for a man to burn: for he will take thereof, and warm himself; yea, he kindleth it, and baketh bread; yea, he maketh a god, and worshippeth it; he maketh it a graven image, and falleth down thereto.

Isa 44:16  He burneth part thereof in the fire; with part thereof he eateth flesh; he roasteth roast, and is satisfied: yea, he warmeth himself, and saith, Aha, I am warm, I have seen the fire:

Isa 44:17  And the residue thereof he maketh a god, even his graven image: he falleth down unto it, and worshippeth it, and prayeth unto it, and saith, Deliver me; for thou art my god.

Isa 44:18  They have not known nor understood: for he hath shut their eyes, that they cannot see; and their hearts, that they cannot understand.

Isa 44:19  And none considereth in his heart, neither is there knowledge nor understanding to say, I have burned part of it in the fire; yea, also I have baked bread upon the coals thereof; I have roasted flesh, and eaten it: and shall I make the residue thereof an abomination? shall I fall down to the stock of a tree?

Isa 44:20  He feedeth on ashes: a deceived heart hath turned him aside, that he cannot deliver his soul, nor say, Is there not a lie in my right hand?

Isa 44:21  Remember these, O Jacob and Israel; for thou art my servant: I have formed thee; thou art my servant: O Israel, thou shalt not be forgotten of me.

Isa 44:22  I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

Isa 44:23  Sing, O ye heavens; for the LORD hath done it: shout, ye lower parts of the earth: break forth into singing, ye mountains, O forest, and every tree therein: for the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and glorified himself in Israel.

Isa 44:24  Thus saith the LORD, thy redeemer, and he that formed thee from the womb, I am the LORD that maketh all things; that stretcheth forth the heavens alone; that spreadeth abroad the earth by myself;

Isa 44:25  That frustrateth the tokens of the liars, and maketh diviners mad; that turneth wise men backward, and maketh their knowledge foolish;

Isa 44:26  That confirmeth the word of his servant, and performeth the counsel of his messengers; that saith to Jerusalem, Thou shalt be inhabited; and to the cities of Judah, Ye shall be built, and I will raise up the decayed places thereof: …

The Apostle Paul continued speaking of his brothers, the Jewish people and said that God sent him to the Gentiles in order to make the Jewish people jealous. He said that the time of the Gentiles will come to an end and that the Jewish people would begin to recognize that Jesus Christ, (Yeshua) is and was and will be the Jewish Messiah, first and foremost. That the Jewish people will come to understand the Lord Our God is One; is God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit.

My mom used to say that something was as clear as mud. I hope this is as clear as crystal seas.

May God bless you!

A Restful Day

There is one advantage to a cold and windy day in my life. Every time I thought about going outside, a loud rumbling wind shook our house a tiny bit. I’d look outside and see the trees flinging their leaves through the air and think, I’m not going out in that freezing weather. (It’s still windy tonight and it started yesterday evening.)

So, other than cooking and doing some dishes and a small excursion out the front door to see if our garbage can survived the blowing, (it had disappeared), I stayed inside. I layered myself in blankets and scarves made of yarn and a fluffy long cowl in style last year. It may still be fashionable, but I don’t notice what’s happening in the clothing industry at the beginning or the end of trends.

Anyhow, when my husband got home from work he asked me what I did all day. I told him I mostly read a book. “You took a day off?”

“Yes, a day off.”

Last week, I mentioned on this blog that we counseled a young mom with lots on her plate that she take a day off once a week. As my husband emphasized this to her, I thought, When is the last time I took a day off? On Sunday, I got up earlier than I wanted to, to fulfill an obligation, then I helped with the children, took a small nap because I was exhausted, and then got to evening church earlier than normal because the worship leader asked me to for extra practice. Unfortunately, I drank a caffeinated drink, not thinking how late it was, and so I didn’t sleep well.

So, I slept in this morning and the day took off on its own. It felt kind of nice to have a day off and I’ll be busy with family and preparations for Thanksgiving for the next few days.

I read in the book of Acts today. It’s so easy to read about the Apostle Paul being empowered by the Holy Spirit to speak more boldly of Jesus Christ and then the consequences of it. He received power from on high, so he worked miracles and then people got saved. Other people got jealous of the crowds leaving their religion to follow Jesus, and then Paul got persecuted – stoned and left for dead, beaten with whips and placed in jails. On his way to Rome, his ship got beaten by a severe storm and they all had to float to an island on boards of the ship if they couldn’t swim. When a poisonous viper attached itself to Paul’s arm, the natives thought Paul was destined to die. After he shook the snake into the fire, they waited for him to swell up with the poison coursing through his veins. After he lived, they decided he was a god and tried to worship him. The same thing happened earlier in Athens, they thought he and his co-worker were descendants of Zeus and began worshiping him. He had to set them straight.

I tried to picture living the life Paul lived, an imperfect man trying his best to represent Jesus Christ to the Jews and then to the Gentiles in a humble manner. To be trusted by God with the gift of miracles and to suffer “a thorn in the flesh,” to be reminded that his full reliance is on God. He couldn’t expect a pain-free life here on earth.

I don’t read the Bible to be entertained, but not having lived to those extremes, it gets me thinking of faith and what it may require. My fiction book today spoke of Christians living with pain. I’ll try and write of that tomorrow.

All in all, God is near to the brokenhearted, it says in Isaiah_61:1, (KJV), The Spirit of the Lord GOD is upon me; because the LORD hath anointed me to preach good tidings unto the meek; he hath sent me to bind up the brokenhearted, to proclaim liberty to the captives, and the opening of the prison to them that are bound;

And again, Jesus says this in Luke_4:18, (KJV), “The Spirit of the Lord is upon me, because he hath anointed me to preach the gospel to the poor; he hath sent me to heal the brokenhearted, to preach deliverance to the captives, and recovering of sight to the blind, to set at liberty them that are bruised,”.

May God bless you!

 

 

 

Retreat

My husband used to go on a men’s retreat two times a year with a group of men from the city we lived in at the time, some from the same church, some unchurched, some from smaller churches. Most were believers in Jesus Christ and went to seek God on a deeper level and to enjoy camaraderie with others. They spent three days in the Spring, if memory serves me correctly, and five days in the Fall.

At first, I resented it. I was a stay-at-home mom and he worked a ton of hours. I sensed God’s Spirit saying to let him go. So, I agreed, hardly wholeheartedly. I didn’t hide my feelings. When it was extremely difficult to let him go, I would wipe away the tears. He would hug me and say, “I love you. We’ll be praying for you.”

Then he’d surprise me, once with a plaque of an old-fashioned beautiful mother with her long flowing gown, ministering to her young ones. The bottom of the picture quoted a Scripture from Proverbs 31 praising the wife. One other time he brought me a bouquet of flowers. It always surprised me because of the randomness of the gifts, but the greatest gift was his safe return and his growth with God and with his friends. Our marriage improved, too.

All these years later, he is going with the friend that took the first trip with him. They walked Mt. Washington along the road with bags of provisions attached to cheap backpacks up and hiked the trail down. Yowza. Over the years they discovered great camping equipment, maps of the trails, dried food, light weight clothes, and their favorite restaurants along the journey.

Now, his buddy for over thirty years has an RV and they’ll take the trip with less physical exertion. We wives will wait at home and pray for them and they’ll seek God and hopefully find their favorite bakery, and a great pancake house that gives portions beyond belief.

These two men are so different from each other that they bring out the best in each other. His friend gets him laughing like none of his other friends, and they discuss God and His characteristics, and they share things no one else is privy to, or so he’s led me to understand. I get it, I have friends like that. What a blessing.

So, I’ve decided to take a few days to go visit one of my kids and the grand-kids, yet I plan on getting home before him so I can see the missionary and his wife who’re coming to our church.

Sometimes, it’s just good to go away to get refreshed and to seek God in another environment. I told my daughter I am not bringing any books to read or any writing assignments. I’m going to relax and maybe help her out some around the house and then turn around and come home recharged. That’s the plan. She’s free to sit with me in her church which is much different than ours, and that will be re-energizing as well. That’s what I’m thinking anyway. 🙂

May God bless you.

What Does God Want?

 

We enjoyed a pleasant visit with friends and some fine food last night. The lady of the house loves to cook and they both enjoy people. So, she and her husband invited us and another pastor and his wife to their home. The pastor’s wife has a ministry in mind that all six of us are interested in, but we all agreed to pray about it, before beginning. She gave us an introduction to the classes by giving us the book for leaders. Her husband helped set up the video so we could see the people that began this opportunity to bless others.

Her husband can help, but his church and the denomination they serve under has increased his role in other churches, so his time is limited. They also hope to use our location since their church is far away from most folks.

I liked the fact that we’re going to pray before we decide for sure if we’ll step out and make this commitment.

We haven’t seen the host and hostess at their home for a couple of years, so it was nice to talk to them and to get to know the other pastor and his wife better. We’re not in the same denomination, so we don’t run into them very often.

I know God wants us to love Him and to walk humbly before Him, and if I can I’ll find the verse that says something to that effect. This verse talks about humility, but it’s not the one I was thinking of: 1Peter_5:5 , (KJV), Likewise, ye younger, submit yourselves unto the elder. Yea, all of you be subject one to another, and be clothed with humility: for God resisteth the proud, and giveth grace to the humble.

I had to ask my husband and he found it right away. Micah 6:8, (KJV),  He hath shewed thee, O man, what is good; and what doth the LORD require of thee, but to do justly, and to love mercy, and to walk humbly with thy God?

Occasionally, He wants us to step outside of our comfort zone to serve others not in our own little world. I guess that’s pretty clear with the story of the Good Samaritan.

Luke 10:25, (KJV)  And, behold, a certain lawyer stood up, and tempted him, saying, Master, what shall I do to inherit eternal life?

Luk 10:26  He said unto him, What is written in the law? how readest thou?

Luk 10:27  And he answering said, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy strength, and with all thy mind; and thy neighbour as thyself.

Luk 10:28  And he said unto him, Thou hast answered right: this do, and thou shalt live.

Luk 10:29  But he, willing to justify himself, said unto Jesus, And who is my neighbour?

Luk 10:30  And Jesus answering said, A certain man went down from Jerusalem to Jericho, and fell among thieves, which stripped him of his raiment, and wounded him, and departed, leaving him half dead.

Luk 10:31  And by chance there came down a certain priest that way: and when he saw him, he passed by on the other side.

Luk 10:32  And likewise a Levite, when he was at the place, came and looked on him, and passed by on the other side.

Luk 10:33  But a certain Samaritan, as he journeyed, came where he was: and when he saw him, he had compassion on him,

Luk 10:34  And went to him, and bound up his wounds, pouring in oil and wine, and set him on his own beast, and brought him to an inn, and took care of him.

Luk 10:35  And on the morrow when he departed, he took out two pence, and gave them to the host, and said unto him, Take care of him; and whatsoever thou spendest more, when I come again, I will repay thee.

Luk 10:36  Which now of these three, thinkest thou, was neighbour unto him that fell among the thieves?

Luk 10:37  And he said, He that shewed mercy on him. Then said Jesus unto him, Go, and do thou likewise.

The Jews and the Samaritans did not associate with each other. They walked miles out of their way to avoid going through the others’ territory.

God’s ways are not our ways, it tells us in the book of Isaiah.

Isa_55:8, (KJV),  For my thoughts are not your thoughts, neither are your ways my ways, saith the LORD.

Isa_55:9  For as the heavens are higher than the earth, so are my ways higher than your ways, and my thoughts than your thoughts.

God gets me thinking, that’s for sure. Yet, He makes it clear what He wants, if I’m willing to read His book and figure it out.

May God bless you.

Encouraged

My husband and I met with some friends tonight and one of the people wanted us to read Scriptures tonight to encourage us. She didn’t want to be reminded of all the sad things happening or even to think of politics and platforms.

Knowing her, she’s prayed about all these things, she will cast her vote in November, and she will stay aware of current events. But for tonight, she wanted to hear others read aloud Scriptures reminding everyone that God loves us, He does things well, and He is in control.

She understands we’re to revere God and she stands in awe of Him. But tonight, she wanted words of comfort and for her husband and friends to leave lifted up in spirit – feeling God’s compassion for us when things feel difficult, almost impossible.

So, I’d like to share some of the verses. With my husband’s help maybe we can remember most of them. Here they are:

  • Psalm 46:1,10,11 – Psa 46:1 To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah.
  • Zep 3:14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!

Zep 3:15  The LORD has taken away the judgments against    you; he has cleared away            your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again                  fear evil.

Zep 3:16  On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your                     hands grow weak.

Zep 3:17  The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will                     rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with         loud singing.

  • Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
  • Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

Eph 1:2  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in           Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

Eph 1:4  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we                         should be holy and blameless before him. In love

Eph 1:5  he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the            purpose of his will,

Eph 1:6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the                          Beloved.

Eph 1:7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our                           trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Eph 1:8  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight

Eph 1:9  making known to us the mystery of his will,   according to his purpose, which           he set forth in Christ

  • Psa 100:1 A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!

Psa 100:2  Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!

Psa 100:3  Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are           his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Psa 100:4  Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks              to him; bless his name!

Psa 100:5  For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his                              faithfulness to all generations.

  • Psa 119:1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!

Psa 119:2  Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole           heart,

Psa 119:3  who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!

Psa 119:4  You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.

Psa 119:5  Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!

Psa 119:6  Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your                               commandments.

Psa 119:7  I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.

Well, I guess that’s all I can come up with now. May God bless you as only He can. 🙂

Mysteries

 

What is it about mysteries that intrigue us? I firmly believe we’re made in the image of God. Yet, God, Who knows all doesn’t get to solve mysteries.

Jesus spoke to people in parables. When the disciples asked Him what the parables meant, He explained them.

Tonight at our Bible study, we got talking about 1 Chronicles 28:9 telling us to “Seek Him and He will be found by you.”

God knows we like to play Hide and Seek as children. We like stories. Babies like to play Peek-A-Boo.

I like watching mysteries with my husband because we’re doing something together and we both like to try and figure them out.

When I read books that the Apostle Paul wrote, he talks about discovering the mysteries of God, which is available at a deeper level since Jesus came to earth. 1 Corinthians_4:1: This is how one should regard us, as servants of Christ and stewards of the mysteries of God, (ESV).

After Jesus died, the Temple veil separating everyone from the Holy of Holies got torn in two. I’m not talking about a couple of layers of fabric. Some teach that the veil was as thick as the length of a man’s hand. Others teach that it was as thick as the palm of a man’s hand, either way, not able to be torn by one person.

Here are the Scriptures: Matthew 27:50, (ESV) And Jesus cried out again with a loud voice and yielded up his spirit.

Mat 27:51  And behold, the curtain of the temple was torn in two, from top to bottom. And the earth shook, and the rocks were split.

Mat 27:52  The tombs also were opened. And many bodies of the saints who had fallen asleep were raised,

Mat 27:53  and coming out of the tombs after his resurrection they went into the holy city and appeared to many.

Mat 27:54  When the centurion and those who were with him, keeping watch over Jesus, saw the earthquake and what took place, they were filled with awe and said, “Truly this was the Son of God!”

So, if you like to search out mysteries and you’re not convinced that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and He died for our sins so we could be washed clean of the errors of our ways so we could enter God’s presence, I invite you to search out the claims of the Bible.

I encourage you to seek for God with an open mind and ask Him to show you if the Bible is true or not. Josephus was a secular historian. His writings will say if Jesus was even alive at the time of Pontius Pilate as he ruled in Jerusalem, from what I understand.

I was brought up with a belief in Jesus Christ, but not with a biblical foundation, so I tested the Bible as an adult. I didn’t seek out secular assurances because after I prayed to receive Jesus as my Lord and Savior, something happened inside. Nature became more vivid to me. I felt a love and compassion for people that I never experienced before. I hungered to read the Word of God. I shared my new found discoveries with my family, sometimes too ardently. I truly became a new person inside but as a human I had bad habits to overcome and wrong thinking and behaviors to overcome with the help of God. I’m not perfect but I see some changes.

To God be the glory, great things He has done.

May God bless you.