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.

The Presence of God More or Less

My husband and I are watching “Iron Chef” on YouTube tonight. It makes me want to expand my recipes and to try them soon. 🙂

We tried a new restaurant half an hour from home today in order to meet my brother and sister-in-law out on a day trip.

We met at a stone-oven pizza place, but my husband and I ended up ordering submarine sandwiches. They shared a Maryland crab pizza which looked tasty. They liked it. What a nice surprise to see loved ones on a glorious day.

As I looked at the blue sky and the bright sunshine I got thinking about the verse that “The heavens declare His righteousness and all the people see His glory,” Psalm 97:6 (KJV).

It’s so easy to get right to work or to turn to entertainment or to relationships and/or exercise and then put God in the “catch you later” time frame. I found this to be especially true when I worked outside of the home. Day after day I thought, I’ll have my devotional time tomorrow.

As with all relationships, a lack of time together and interaction lessens the connection between those involved.

So I try to spend time with God daily and keep Him in mind and pray as I go about my day.

I didn’t do so well with it today. I don’t feel like I have to, I just sense the necessity of it. Later in the day I went to see the dermatologist and he took four small biopsies. By the fourth one it became very painful and I felt a few tears surface. So the doctor asked the nurses to take me to a separate room to compose myself.

I know God never leaves me alone, but there are times when His Presence is heavy like a warm blanket on a chilly day. Today was not like that, but in the car I sorted out my feelings as my husband listened and that blessed me.

So, tomorrow I will spend quiet time alone with God, pen in hand and notebook nearby to jot down impressions. When I’m in that mode, time flies and there’s such peace I hate to break away, but I usually have a list of duties I’m working on.

That extraordinary peace stays with me for quite a while.

May God bless you!

Alone

There are times when people long to be alone. Away from crowds, noise, responsibilities, and even loved ones. When we’re alone and away from the television, computer, electronic devices, radios and phones we may stand a chance of connecting with God. As I’ve written before, Psalm 46:10: “Be still, and know that I am God: I will be exalted among the heathen, I will be exalted in the earth,” is one of my favorite verses.

There are times when I was alone and I was lonely. Trying to get over the loneliness, I called friends or family, watched television, buried my nose in a book, ate something whether hungry or not, or went shopping. After none of those things lessened the loneliness one day, I began singing, “What a Friend We Have in Jesus,” a hymn from 1855, written by Joseph M. Scriven, with a copyright status of Public Domain. The composer of the music was Charles C. Converse in 1868.

As I sang the song it felt like I woke from a dream, “Oh, yeah!”

I’m never alone. Jesus promised to never leave nor forsake us in Heb 13:5, (GNB) Keep your lives free from the love of money, and be satisfied with what you have. For God has said, “I will never leave you; I will never abandon you.”

In the book of John, chapter 15: 1-11, (ESV) it says, “I am the true vine, and my Father is the vinedresser.

Joh 15:2  Every branch in me that does not bear fruit he takes away, and every branch that does bear fruit he prunes, that it may bear more fruit.

Joh 15:3  Already you are clean because of the word that I have spoken to you.

Joh 15:4  Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it abides in the vine, neither can you, unless you abide in me.

Joh 15:5  I am the vine; you are the branches. Whoever abides in me and I in him, he it is that bears much fruit, for apart from me you can do nothing.

Joh 15:6  If anyone does not abide in me he is thrown away like a branch and withers; and the branches are gathered, thrown into the fire, and burned.

Joh 15:7  If you abide in me, and my words abide in you, ask whatever you wish, and it will be done for you.

Joh 15:8  By this my Father is glorified, that you bear much fruit and so prove to be my disciples.

Joh 15:9  As the Father has loved me, so have I loved you. Abide in my love.

Joh 15:10  If you keep my commandments, you will abide in my love, just as I have kept my Father’s commandments and abide in his love.

Joh 15:11  These things I have spoken to you, that my joy may be in you, and that your joy may be full.”

All those years ago, I discovered that I am never alone. It has brought me great joy. Not that I don’t get lonely anymore, but it’s not often and when I do get lonely, I realize I need to read the Bible and talk to Jesus. That’s what I’m really longing for.

May God bless you.

“War Room”

Copyright, TriStar Pictures, a division of Columbia TriStar Motion Picture Group, owned by Sony Pictures Entertainment

My husband and I went to see the movie, “War Room” many months ago written by Alex and Stephen Kendrick, a Kendrick Brothers Production, from Sony, Tri Star, provident Films, and Affirm Films – a Sony Co., copyrighted in 2015.

We watched it again tonight on DVD. I love that movie. I always want to storm heaven after seeing it with prayer requests that line up with God’s Word.

There’s humor, crises and answers to prayer. The characters love Jesus but their weaknesses aren’t hidden. There is one reference to all believers uniting in Christ in a prayer by one of the main characters, Miss Clara. Then there’s a panoramic view of multitudes of Christians praying all over the world. Many faces and many races are represented. Awesome.

The main emphasis is on prayer and relationship with God and how that impacts us all.

1John 4:7, (KJV) says:  “Beloved, let us love one another: for love is of God; and every one that loveth is born of God, and knoweth God.

1Jn 4:8  He that loveth not knoweth not God; for God is love.

1Jn 4:9  In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.

1Jn 4:10  Herein is love, not that we loved God, but that he loved us, and sent his Son to be the propitiation for our sins.

1Jn 4:11  Beloved, if God so loved us, we ought also to love one another.

1Jn 4:12  No man hath seen God at any time. If we love one another, God dwelleth in us, and his love is perfected in us.

1Jn 4:13  Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us, because he hath given us of his Spirit.

1Jn 4:14  And we have seen and do testify that the Father sent the Son to be the Saviour of the world.

1Jn 4:15  Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God, God dwelleth in him, and he in God.

1Jn 4:16  And we have known and believed the love that God hath to us. God is love; and he that dwelleth in love dwelleth in God, and God in him.”

 

The God Who loves us encourages us to pray to Him.

John 16:24, (KJV), Jesus is saying here: “Hitherto have ye asked nothing in my name: ask, and ye shall receive, that your joy may be full.

Joh 16:25  These things have I spoken unto you in proverbs: but the time cometh, when I shall no more speak unto you in proverbs, but I shall shew you plainly of the Father.

Joh 16:26  At that day ye shall ask in my name: and I say not unto you, that I will pray the Father for you:

Joh 16:27  For the Father himself loveth you, because ye have loved me, and have believed that I came out from God.

Joh 16:28  I came forth from the Father, and am come into the world: again, I leave the world, and go to the Father.

 

Later, Jesus prays to His Father: John 17:17, (KJV), “Sanctify them through thy truth: thy word is truth.

Joh 17:18  As thou hast sent me into the world, even so have I also sent them into the world.

Joh 17:19  And for their sakes I sanctify myself, that they also might be sanctified through the truth.

Joh 17:20  Neither pray I for these alone, but for them also which shall believe on me through their word;

Joh 17:21  That they all may be one; as thou, Father, art in me, and I in thee, that they also may be one in us: that the world may believe that thou hast sent me.

Joh 17:22  And the glory which thou gavest me I have given them; that they may be one, even as we are one:

Joh 17:23  I in them, and thou in me, that they may be made perfect in one; and that the world may know that thou hast sent me, and hast loved them, as thou hast loved me.

Joh 17:24  Father, I will that they also, whom thou hast given me, be with me where I am; that they may behold my glory, which thou hast given me: for thou lovedst me before the foundation of the world.

Joh 17:25  O righteous Father, the world hath not known thee: but I have known thee, and these have known that thou hast sent me.

Joh 17:26  And I have declared unto them thy name, and will declare it: that the love wherewith thou hast loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

 

Praise God for sending us His Son, Jesus.

May God bless you, and if you haven’t had a chance to see the movie, “War Room,” I hope you’ll try and see it.