Times They Are A-Changin’

If you wonder where I got my title, there’s a song from my younger years sung by Bob Dylan entitled, “The Times They Are A-Changin’.” My husband and I spoke to a couple in their late sixties today. The husband said, “Things may never be the same after this,” speaking of the Corona virus pandemic.

I know I’m more apt to ask God for protection, like today, out loud without hesitation. My hairdresser sent a text: if you’re healthy please give me a couple of minutes to sanitize between customers. If you’re coughing, sneezing, feverish, have a runny nose or other symptoms, please re-schedule.

Thankfully, I was over a sinus infection, etc. so I could go. On the front door, a large sign said, “Wash your hands before your hair cut.”

I did that and then the stylist used bleach to clean the chair and other places. When she began combing my hair the bleach assaulted my nose and throat and then my lungs. I spoke sincerely to the Lord, “Please protect the beautician’s and my lungs, Father God.”

She thanked me and then we visited as she trimmed my hair. Her hands looked terribly red from the cleaning solution.

Today, I heard our governor is asking the workforce to be limited by half so people can stay home. Asking folks to be patient if they can’t get the help they’re used to receiving.

Schools, bars, county office buildings: closed. Restaurants, banks, grocery stores: limited services.

Last night, after we prayed, my husband and I took a 77-year-old lady to the Emergency Room because she had a huge sore on red ankles, and pain and color rising up her leg. The doctor asked why we would chance bringing someone in her age range to the hospital. We’re not medical folks, but we have heard of blood getting infected. They took an x-ray to be sure her bone wasn’t infected, and gave her a strong antibiotic via an IV, plus a prescription for more antibiotic to be taken at home.

Image result for free family friendly pix of a hospital
elderly patient photo from en.wikepedia.org

Things we’ve taken for granted are unsure now, but God is on the throne. He still heals, and sends peace, and provides if we’ll ask and believe.

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!

Why Does God Love Us?

Sometimes I wonder why God loves me. Maybe I see my negative traits instead of the positive ones. Maybe it’s because of the society I was born in. “Why do something if you can’t do it right?” was a statement in our household growing up, or something to that effect.

So, I lost my keys again. I wonder how many times I’ve lost my keys over the years. I don’t like it, but I don’t worry until about day three. I hesitate to ask my husband if he’s seen them, because he really doesn’t like it. I told him I misplaced the keys this morning, and he’s asked me at least five times if I’ve found them yet.

I canceled my trip to the library to really look for them. I called the pizza place he drove us to last night to see if they were there. They have a huge lanyard on them. I used to hang them up religiously, but lately they’ve been cozying up with my gloves in whatever coat I happened to wear that day. I fish them out of the coat and think, next time hang them up. But once I slide down that slippery slope of neglect, it snowballs.

I hurt my shoulder today, really bad. Exercised without warming up or it’s old age or I held it in an awkward position. I could hardly drive with our set of spare keys. I tried to keep it still and steered the car with my less used arm. I texted by voice. So, even though I know my husband is having a really busy day and he was about to leave for another appointment, I stopped at church to ask him to pray for my shoulder. He did, but it was short and to the point and he asked about my keys, again.

So, even though I knew they weren’t there, I looked throughout the church for the missing items. And I tried not to cry. I ran an errand and came right home. I looked for the tenth time and prayed and felt as though the Lord said to blog. I also took time to text my husband to thank him for praying, because the excruciating shoulder pain left. He told me God is good, he is not.

God loves us whether we’re stinkers or selfish or inconsiderate, etc., etc. I thanked God for healing my shoulder and I asked Him why He loves me when I keep struggling with some of the same things. He said, “Because I love you.”

I love my kids even when they’re not perfect, so intellectually, I get it. But to receive unconditional love blows my mind. When I find the two blogs I wrote out and one I really liked, I will plan to post it or maybe them. Why I’m losing track of things outside of the norm is beyond me, but God knows. I am getting lots done in other areas. Maybe I’ll try and be grateful for the progress I’m making and thank God for His help and for His unconditional love and relax in the fact that I’ll find the keys. I always do, even when I left them in VA on my way home to NY.

May God bless you!

Spiritual Warfare

I purchased Beth Moore’s book, Praying God’s Word: Breaking Free From Spiritual Strongholds, © 2009 by Beth Moore, a few months ago. B & H Publishing Group, Nashville, TN published this tome.

Praying God's Word: Breaking Free from Spiritual Strongholds, Paperback Edition  -     By: Beth Moore

I read a page or two per day until I got hit a couple of weeks ago with spiritual warfare. Distractions, discouragements, disagreements with people I love, despair tried to get a hold of me. I woke up to the premise of Beth Moore’s book, praying Scripture against any attacks. Then, I asked God to rebuke the enemy as the book of Jude tells us in the New Testament of the Bible. I apologized for my part in the disputes and received apologies. Other things improved.

Just before the battle began, I read pages 59 and 60 in the chapter “Overcoming Pride,” by Beth Moore. I will quote it here since it’s a small amount of words out of the entire piece:

“the biggest injustice of pride: it cheats wherever it plays.

My name is Pride. I am a cheater.

I cheat you of your God-given destiny . . . because

you demand your own way.

I cheat you of contentment . . .  because you

“deserve better than this.”

I cheat you of knowledge . . . because you already

know it all.

I cheat you of healing . . . because you’re too full of

me to forgive.

I cheat you of holiness . . . because you refuse to

admit when you’re wrong.

I cheat you of vision . . . because you’d rather look

in the mirror than out a window.

I cheat you of genuine friendship . . . because

nobody’s going to know the real you.

I cheat you of love . . . because real romance

demands sacrifice.

I cheat you of greatness in heaven . . .  because you

refuse to wash another’s feet on earth.

I cheat you of God’s glory . . .  because I convince

you to seek your own.

My name is Pride. I am a cheater.

You like me because you think I’m always looking

out for you. Untrue.

I’m looking to make a fool of you.

God has so much for you, I admit, but don’t worry . . .

If you stick with me

You’ll never know.”

What an eye opener, or should I say, what an inroad to the heart? Then, Beth Moore continues with examples of prayer that reference Scripture within the words to God.

I hope this finds you well!

May God bless you!

The Places You’ll Go

I wrote this in early December of 2019 and never sent it out. I looked for another one I jotted down, but this one caught my eye.

Some of you may know that after a week in Tennessee, driving home on Thanksgiving, that night I packed another suitcase. On Friday, November 29 a friend and her daughter and I headed from rural Upstate, NY to JFK Airport in Queens, NY to go to Paris, France.

Image result for airplane cartoon pictures free
This airplane is from http://clipart-library.com/airplane-images-cartoon.htm
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I hadn’t been on a plane in a number of years. We flew economy because our final destination was a mission in Romania in Eastern Europe.

We walked past a number of rows of roomy seats into a narrowing of numerous mid-sized seats and past a second curtain to the third section of closer-set smaller chairs. Every seat on the plane was filled and the sections held more than two aisles across. We were the last group invited to board and when I finally got situated, an aroma of pretty perfumes mixed with unwashed body odors added to my sensory overload.

I sat quietly waiting for the take-off and felt my heart rate increase. A sense of foreboding washed over my nerves. I turned to my seatmate. “Are you feeling anxious?”

She nodded her head and whispered, “Yes.”

2 Timothy 1:7 says God has not given us a spirit of fear, but of power and love and a sound mind. So, I prayed, including that Scripture and we both took a deep breath and settled in for the long flight.

Our first leg of the journey to http://Beliefinmotion.org began and we tried to sleep. My chair reclined some, but not so for one of the seats in our row of three. So that person sat ramrod straight as she wore her black-out eye mask and tried to sleep without much success.

Our nine-hour layover in Paris, France hovered in my sub-conscious mind. We all anticipated a wonderful opportunity to see the famous city of Paris.

My friend quoted Pastor Joel Olsteen a few times over the ten-day excursion, and I hope I’ve got it right: “Oh, the places you’ll go, and the people you’ll see where God takes you!”

May God bless you! If you’d like to pray for me, I’m still awaiting my suitcase from the return trip from Rome. 😊

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!

God Will Do A New Thing

I read Isaiah 43:18,19 today from a note. It said, “Remember ye not the former things, neither consider the things of old. Behold, I will do a new thing; now it shall spring forth; shall ye not know it? I will even make a way in the wilderness, and rivers in the desert.”

At the end of summer this year, my husband and I went to an annual picnic hosted by friends. They always lock their dog in a bedroom near the bathroom because she’s bitten people in the past.

The owner invited me into her home and just before I entered, a song we sing at our church downloaded into my mind. I was surprised.

“For the spirit of heaviness put on the spirit of praise,” a paraphrase of Isaiah 61:3 (KJV).

Then, peace flooded my entire being. I walked inside and the dog began heading my way. “Don’t be afraid. She’ll be all right if you don’t show fear.”

“I’m not afraid,” I told her as my mind wondered, why is the dog out?

I felt the dog’s cold nose touch the back of my leg and the peace never lifted. The little canine got bored and went into another room. I’ve been afraid of dogs for over 30 years when my oldest daughter got bit and I stood by paralyzed by terror.

In October, I stopped at a farm to buy apple cider and apples. A mongrel came charging out, barking away and I scanned the yard for a farmer. I put the back of my hand out for the mutt to sniff and thought, surely, they wouldn’t have a mean dog interacting with the public in the middle of the day.

The dog sniffed me and off it went. I experienced no fear!

Fast forward to December and our trip to Romania to Beliefinmotion.org. We hear not to handle dirt because of all the wild dogs roaming the countryside. “You don’t know what may be mixed in the soil.”

Fear stayed away. Many homes had courtyards with canines chained just inside their metal-walled gates. Fierce barking greeted us and I veered closer to the house, respecting the dog’s right to protect its masters, but my heartbeat didn’t spike like it used to. How great is our God!

            May God bless you!

Mission Trip Realized

In the last blog, I mentioned writing smaller pieces more often because of an upcoming busy season. What I didn’t know-there would be no internet in many places I stayed at.

                I went south for a wedding and the day after Thanksgiving got on a plane to Europe. My husband texted, “Enjoy your life long dream of going on a mission’s trip.”

                After a layover in Paris, France which thrilled me, off we went to the airport in Budapest, Hungary and afterwards a four-hour trip to BeliefinMotion.org mission for eight days. What a privilege to meet godly leaders and staff, and to pitch in to help where I could.

                On our way home, we got to John F. Kennedy Airport in New York City and it was the least impressive of the four airports we visited. We stopped in Rome on our way back.

                We distributed gifts to people in poor villages in Romania and told them Merry Christmas in their language. I am still in jet lag status, so I’ll sign off. I hope to include a photo or two.

                May God bless you!

A Change in Techniques

I just got back from TN tonight. I went down to attend my granddaughter’s wedding, which was simple and relaxing and great! Our family stayed for a few days before and after, so once again I fell behind in blogging.

I decided with all the holidays and trips here and there being scheduled, that I would publish snippets of favorite things.

Here is a poem on a parchment gift from close friends with a matching Scripture:

The Grace of God

will enable you to be

what He made you to be

and do what He has called you

to do.

Then, there’s a pretty feather for effect.

Then, the Scripture:

“The one

who calls you

is faithful and he will do it.”

1 Thessalonians 5:24

May God bless you!

Old Men and Women Shall Dream Dreams

In the book of Joel there is a Scripture about the elderly dreaming dreams when the Spirit of God pours out His Spirit. It’s in Joel, chapter two, verse twenty-eight.

Today, when I thought about an older spoon I chose to stir my tea, wondering if it’s a cancer risk to use it, felt sure that God’s still small voice said, “Do I not see you and have I not taken care of you?”

I answered Him, “Yes, my God,” which reminded me of a dream from the other morning, a warning. An unsettling series of pictures and reactions.

I dreamt before waking up the other day. A dog-like creature in a cage with black severe eyes. Pointy ears, long pointy snout, and a very long tail, I knew it was Satan.

Before long, I became accustomed to him. He was out of the cage and some of my dread of him was gone.

Later, he’s rolling in the grass and I’m walking along looking at him acting harmless. Then, I woke up!

I felt alarmed that the most evil creature in all of creation whom Jesus said about in John 10:10, “The thief does not come except to steal, and to kill, and to destroy,” that creature felt so familiar.

Jesus continued to say in John 10:10, “I have come that they may have life, and that they may have it more abundantly.”

God is loving, strong, compassionate, and speaks clearly in Joshua 24:15, “And if it seem evil unto you to serve the Lord, choose you this day whom ye will serve; whether the gods which your fathers served that were on the other side of the flood, or the gods of the Amorites, in whose land ye dwell: but as for me and my house, we will serve the Lord.”

In verse 20 of Joshua, chapter 24, God says through Joshua, “If you forsake the Lord, and serve strange gods, then he will turn and do you hurt, and consume you, after that he hath done you good.”

God has blessed America so much over the years, it’s rather incredible. Not that everyone is well off, we have our poor in America. When the Pilgrims came to the shores of the Atlantic Ocean from England via Holland, they were escaping from persecution for their Christian faith. They dedicated this continent to God and found friendship and help to live from the Native Americans that occupied the land before them. Thus, we celebrate Thanksgiving the last Thursday in November as a remembrance of God’s grace in keeping them alive.

Today, when visiting my daughter, she was listening to a report from Rabbi Jonathan Cahn. He described a temple built in New York City dedicated to Baal, one of the gods warned against by Joshua! Baal followers threw their children in the fire to their “god” Baal.

Americans have thrown babies and some of their moms to their death, so to speak, in abortion clinics across the land. God became furious with the Jewish people for leaving Him to follow false gods and for burning up thousands of their children to serve Baal. Imagine how He feels about Americans that have murdered over 63 million babies to the god of convenience, our own Baal.

The Israelis found themselves captured by aggressive, harsh captors and taken an incredible distance to ancient Babylon. Will Americans wake up and repent and return to a gracious, merciful God or will they rebel against God, ignore the enemy of our souls and suffer under the hands of conquerors?

After my dream of the other day, I sought God today as I haven’t for a while. Not that I haven’t been praying and reading Scripture, but today I quieted down to listen and to pray for this grand country that is filled with moral chaos in the minds and hearts of some. I fasted television and blogged according to God’s direction.

May God bless you and yours.