What’s Going On?

 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Psalm 91 (Webster):

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God bless you!

Strong

My husband preaches about Jesus being a strong man. Jesus walked up mountainsides with His disciples. He was a carpenter without power tools. He ate healthy foods, like fish and figs.

I’ve been re-reading the book of John because a woman in her nineties came to Christ and we are studying the book of John a chapter or two at a time. We’re on our second time around instead of going to another book.

This last time, I was listening to her read. Ninety-four and she reads well and understands. She used to be in the Navy and then she was a librarian at the VA. A tough cookie with a tender heart.

Anyway, we were reading where Jesus taught the Jewish people and some of the leaders questioned His authority and His deity. He spoke with strength of character and pure truth. Joh_8:44,(ESV) “You are of your father the devil, and your will is to do your father’s desires. He was a murderer from the beginning, and does not stand in the truth, because there is no truth in him. When he lies, he speaks out of his own character, for he is a liar and the father of lies.”

It hit me as if I’d never read those words before. Jesus said what He felt needed to be said. He told them that where He was going they could not go when He went to the Father. I thought, my goodness, He’s telling them out right, they’ll not make it to heaven.

Then they told Him the miracles He performed were from the devil. Some people have no fear of God. They saw Him raise a young man from the dead, so his widowed mother would have her son to provide for her. It doesn’t ring true that the devil would heal a young man and be kind. He hates us because we’re made in God’s image. Jesus said in John 10:10, (ESV): “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life and have it abundantly.”

When I see hatred and tragedies, I think how the devil is stirring people up. I understand it, too. Sometimes I feel ugly inside, and then I have to pray and ask God to help me, and repent if I’ve acted out at all. His perfect peace that passes all understanding, (Philippians 4:7) comes upon me, so I can gain control over my emotions and I think once more, how great is our God!

 

May God bless you!

 

God is Good

“God is good” are the lyrics to a lively song we used to sing in our church when our pianist, in her seventies at the time, I think, still played the ivory keys.

I know God is good from many experiences of His provision, His still small voice giving me peace in the midst of a stressful situation, from His word doing what it said it would. Speaking 2 Timothy 1:7 out loud when I got hit with fear, the fear lifted, supernaturally. The verse states, For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind. (KJV)

One time as we drove along, I felt completely overwhelmed with worries and sad things recently experienced. As I spoke, my husband said to me, “Connie, have you forgotten? God is good.”

I had been so focused on the negative that I had forgotten that God is good. When we lived on very little in a southern state we’d moved to, far from family, and unfortunately I had put God on a back burner, I called a radio station to try and win a prize of $100.00. Somehow, I just knew I was going to win that money. I did. God knew how we needed it.

I can look back over the years and see God’s hand lovingly shielding me from harm or preventing further harm from coming my way. Hard things I’ve gone through have shaped my character, and even that is God allowing some difficult things to work out for my good, eventually.

Romans 8:28 is one of my favorite verses:  And we know that all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose. (KJV)

If the harsh realities of life start to overwhelm, I cry out to God to remind me to look to Him and to look for the good. He came that we could have peace and joy and hope and an abundant life. So many verses promise us good things in this life and the next.

My husband has been saying lately that God is most concerned with our relationship with Him and our relationships with others. To God be the glory.

Be blessed!

Easter – Resurrection Sunday

Hi! I wrote this for our church’s April newsletter. I’m copying it here because I love what Jesus did for everyone and because I’ve had a stomach bug three times in March and so I’m catching up on things as I carry on in life. God bless. I intend to share comments made on the blog on how to find the “right” spouse later this week.

Consider the love of God, which never fails. Romans 8:38,39 (KJV) says: “For I am persuaded, that neither death, nor life, nor angels, nor principalities, nor powers, nor things present, nor things to come, Nor height, nor depth, nor any other creature, shall be able to separate us from the love of God, which is in Christ Jesus our Lord.”

I remember going to Catholic Church as a young girl seeing the Stations of the Cross, as they were called, miniature three dimensional carvings of the steps Jesus took on the way to the crucifixion – ending with His dead body being held by loved ones as they began to place him in a stone hewn resting place.

As I got older, on Good Friday at noon, I read the Bible’s account of Jesus’ betrayal and then His journey to the cross and to His death to my Mom. It was our tradition. I wasn’t born again yet, but the sacrifice Jesus made for my sin touched me deeply.

Resurrection means to be revived from death. After hearing that Jesus’ choice to endure the suffering and agony at Golgotha would enable me to be in a right relationship with God, I eventually understood salvation and asked Jesus to be my Lord and Savior!

He rose from the dead after three days in the tomb. My flesh came alive to the Spirit of God after many years of hearing His Word and many months of listening to an evangelical friend that didn’t give up on me. She prayed for me, she gave me nuggets of truth five school days of the week.

There are so many lies about Jesus – He’s not God, He’s just a prophet, a child of God like we are. Satan loves to deceive people; ensnare people with hurts, offenses, addictions; kill people with lies about suicide offering a peaceful alternative to this world.

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 abundantly.”

It’s never too late to experience God’s love, His deliverance, His protection, His provision, His still small voice welcoming you to get to know Him better.

Suicide – the Great Deception

Suicide is a permanent solution to a temporary problem.

I saw my doctor for a routine check-up and I told her I’d been to the hardest funeral the day before, a suicide of a young person. She said they are altogether too common, and this young doctor dropped her head.

The funeral on Sunday broke my heart. The tightly held tears wracked my body for this precious girl and her family. Jesus said in John 10:10 that “the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy, but I have come to give life and that abundantly.”

We are in a spiritual battle and God, the creator of the universe, invites us to fight for life and righteousness through prayer and loving Him and others, and witnessing. He gives his children free will to choose Him or to choose Satan’s course, a life rejecting God and going our own way.

From what I’ve read in the Bible, Satan relishes his hatred of mankind and uses his influence to cause havoc around the world. He hates people because we are made in the image and likeness of God, Who kicked Satan out of heaven for wanting to take God’s place, as found in Isaiah 14:12.

I remember thinking of suicide in college because the thought of it kept hitting my brain. When I mentioned it to my boyfriend, now my husband of nearly 40 years, he said, “Why would anyone think of suicide?”

I told him I would never do that. But Satan wants people to kill themselves. He is a liar and a thief. I don’t know how many suicide victims make it to heaven, it depends on their belief in Jesus Christ and their repentant heart. I prayed long and hard that none of the people at that funeral would succumb to the well-meaning phrases of the pastor.

He called her death a tragedy twice in the midst of a long eulogy extolling the wonders of heaven and God’s incredible love. As this beautiful, 28 year old daughter lay in her coffin, her mom and dad poured out memories as they tried to keep their woundedness at bay. The dad did better than the mom. As her mom told us of the ignored text, “Please, please, don’t do it,” her daughter chose to end the gift of life from God above, and her mom bawled as she ended her talk.

Her first-born and only daughter will never text her again, listen to advice or offer her mom insight and hope that young people often impart back to their parents.

I can’t help but cry as I write this because I knew her as a baby, I’ve been close friends with her grandmother for years, I saw her as a college graduate with a degree fashioned so she could help others. I witnessed the pain of her loved ones.

I’m sad. I’m mad. America embraces a culture of death when God’s plans, as stated in Jeremiah 29:11-13, are for a future, a hope, peace, a life filled with a relationship with God.

I shopped for infant wear last month and skipped racks of clothes with skulls on them in a local department store, which I found appalling.

“Dear God, protect our young people from suicide, I pray. May they know Your love and protection and hope and guidance, I ask, in Jesus’ mighty name, Amen.”

Wrestle or Surrender?

Ephesians 6:12 (KJV): For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.

I love being a Christian for many reasons: one is experiencing God’s love as He shows Himself to me as I read the Bible. Today I read in Romans 8 that nothing will ever separate me from the love of Christ. Not principalities, nor powers, nor tribulations, and I’m paraphrasing here. I’ve been running into some difficulties lately, which feels like spiritual warfare. Some of the stress is because I need to let go of things and give them to God. So when I read Romans 8 today and then Ephesians 1, which reminds me that God predestined believers to come to Him before time began, I experienced such peace, which is the second reason I’m glad to be a Christian.

In 2 Peter 3:9 it says that God does not want anyone to perish, but all to come to repentance. In Romans 3:23 it tells us that all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God. So, we all need a savior to make it into God’s holy heaven.

I wonder if everyone is predestined to go to heaven if only they will choose. I guess that doesn’t make sense. Someone once told me that they thought everyone’s name is written in the Book of Life until they reject Jesus Christ, God the Son, or the Father, or the Holy Spirit, and then their name is blotted out. So I guess they believe everyone is predestined until they say, “No thank you.”

The third thing I enjoy about Christianity is leaving the guilt behind. Once I repent, if I need to every ten minutes, God says our sins are as far away as the East is from the West in Psalm 103:12. He remembers them no more.

The fourth thing that I enjoy is that God wants what’s best for me and for all of mankind, so He tells us in the Bible to fear not. My daughter said it tells us that 365 different places in the sixty-six books. Which is why I’ve been willing to face rejections when I send manuscripts out to publishers. I ignore the fear and try to do the best writing and follow the writers’ guidelines and choose topics the editors actually want to see and send them out.

So, do I wrestle against flesh and blood when things go bad in my life and people act against me? According to God, when terrible things come my way I have to consider the source. Satan comes to kill, steal and destroy, Jesus said in John, chapter 10. Jesus came to give life and that abundantly, according to John 10:10.

I write because I really like to write. I surrendered my life to God many years ago so I will never have to surrender to the enemy of my soul, who only wants to inflict pain, and keep me from what I like to do. When things get bad, I turn to the word of God and He fights my battles for me. Jesus spoke the word against the devil and the power of that word sent him scurrying. I speak the word and it changes the atmosphere. To God be the glory.

 

Writing is a Joy

Writing for a few hours today took lots of concentration. I’m writing a chapter for a non-fiction book writing class. Although I’m under a deadline, I notice that thinking until my brain hurts and typing until my wrists ache doesn’t deter me from enjoying the process. Writing is fun, even when it’s hard to come up with ideas. Even when everything feels like it’s been said before. In Ecclesiastes, the wisest man in the world said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Writing books say, “You are unique. No one can say what you have to say because each person’s life is experienced in their own way.”

In other words, I am “new under the sun.”

Jesus said to repent and come follow Him. He came to give us life and that abundantly. He said the devil came to steal, kill and destroy. When I write, I feel the joy God intended me to have on this planet. When I read my Bible, pray, worship God, the devil tends to stay away. Yay!

I appreciate being able to write on WordPress.com and that Facebook allows it to be forwarded their way. I sent an editorial to our local free paper with my opinion that Jesus is returning soon. I gave my reasons. One of which is the tremendous number of prophecies that have been fulfilled. They chose not to publish it.

I’ve heard that the UN wants control of the internet. Post while you can. Read about Jesus while you can. Love God and others while you can. Thanks for reading, if you stuck with the post this far. Write with freedom, amen.