Favorite Activities

Two of my favorite activities are writing and reading the Bible, not necessarily in that order. Yet, in striving for order at home, holidays, lots of company over, a new housemate and those demands, a ministry about to embark, and regular activities, the writing and Bible time have flown to the wayside.

No writing, no blogging accomplished. Little Bible reading, less peace. Eating in excess, plus adding junk foods in, less energy and less of a feeling of well-being.

Tonight, I’ve determined to set a new nighttime routine so I get better rest. So, this will be a small blog, but Praise God, at least it’s being done. I miss reading others’ blogs when I don’t blog. I wonder how they’re doing, what they’re learning. I miss researching for my blog. I like to learn.

I enjoy the holidays and I really enjoy it when they’re over!

Ecclesiastes tells us in A Time for Everything that:

Ecc 3:1  For everything there is a season, and a time for every matter under heaven:

Ecc 3:2  a time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up what is planted;

Ecc 3:3  a time to kill, and a time to heal; a time to break down, and a time to build up;

Ecc 3:4  a time to weep, and a time to laugh; a time to mourn, and a time to dance;

Ecc 3:5  a time to cast away stones, and a time to gather stones together; a time to embrace, and a time to refrain from embracing;

Ecc 3:6  a time to seek, and a time to lose; a time to keep, and a time to cast away;

Ecc 3:7  a time to tear, and a time to sew; a time to keep silence, and a time to speak;

Ecc 3:8  a time to love, and a time to hate; a time for war, and a time for peace.

Those verses were from the NKJV of the Bible. I remember a song based on those verses from the 1960’s sung by The Byrds and written by Pete Seeger in the late 1950’s.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=W4ga_M5Zdn4

May God bless you!

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Practicing Good

Gal 6:9, (ISV):  Let’s not get tired of doing what is good, for at the right time we will reap a harvest—if we do not give up.

Gal 6:10  So then, whenever we have the opportunity, let’s practice doing good to everyone, especially to the family of faith.

These Bible verses came up in our Ladies’ Bible Study at church today. Then I got treated by a Christian friend to high tea in a small city in the Southern Tier. They’ve been open about a year and a half our waitress told us. They had beautiful artwork on the walls. Muted colors for the tablecloths caused the pink and blue flower-patterned china setting to sparkle in contrast.

I really like tea and I’ve heard about Darjeeling a lot lately so I ordered the never ending teapot of the Darjeeling Autumnal variety.

We decided we liked the chai tea the best. I ordered ginger orange second and my friend ordered a white tea whose name escapes me. It’s picked when one leaf and one bud open and is preserved for the customer’s use. She said the flavor was light and delightful.

We chatted over the various courses. It was a bit of a drive. There were three courses altogether and a lemon sorbet to cleanse our palate before the sandwiches and sweets arrived at the end.

I got home four hours after we left. My husband asked, “What can you possibly find to talk about for four hours?”

I told him we didn’t talk the whole time. We spoke to the waitress and the owner. I got to view some art and hear the history of the young girl in one of the paintings.

Somewhere between 1850 and 1910 at age 16 she got shipped off to marry a 47 year old man. She looks grumpy in the picture and the owner said, “Who can blame her?”

My friend and I talked about the Bible, politics, pets, fashion and available stores, shoes, nutrition, exercise, computers, Wonder Woman and other stuff. It doesn’t take long to fill the hours with good conversation when there’s listening and thoughtful responses.

I have another friend I drive 20 minutes to see and we spend hours, too. The times are spread out, but so far we’ve never run out of things to talk about.

I appreciated the high tea today because my schedule is about to become more structured and I don’t want to sabotage it once I begin.

When company comes to visit this summer, I’ve warned the groups that I host that someone else will have to lead. They’re very accommodating.

The second treat of the day, two mourning doves near our front door.

 (photo found on http://animals.mom.me/care-baby-mourning-dove-6968.html and tagged Tom Brakefield/Stockbyte/Getty Images)

 

The second one didn’t fly away immediately. After some time my husband drew closer, calling softly and then the young bird flew to avoid the perceived danger. Such beautiful creatures, I love their gentle cooing and their exquisite coloring. The little one blended into the bushes and the dirt with its camouflaging feathers.

How kind our God is to disguise animals to protect them from predators. I lost the little fellow for a few moments before he took to the air.

May God bless you.

God Blesses

God has been blessing my family and me lately, not because we’re good, but because He’s good.

I ordered a Dragon Speak Upgrade after calling Nuance Co. to be sure I didn’t need an original product to upgrade from. The customer service representative said the product could stand on its own. When it didn’t, they made it right. They requested receipts and had a record of my conversations as proof that all was legitimate.

My daughter and her husband need a better car and his mom sold them hers for a good deal.

I read in the book of Luke near the end where Jesus gave up His life for us, taking on the punishment for our sins. Since He was willing to give up His physical life for everyone, it makes sense that He would provide for our material needs.

He’s not a cash register in the sky, but He does say in Matthew, chapter 6 that if we would seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, then all the food and clothing we needed would be provided for us by Him.

There is so much insight in the book of Matthew. A pastor I met years ago told me to read Matthew chapters four through seven as often as I could and they would benefit me. The Beatitudes are in those chapters.

I hope you are seeking God in these turbulent times. I’ve asked Him to prove Himself or to show me answers to questions that arose from things I read in the Bible, and I’ve never been disappointed. Sometimes I’d hear a sermon on the radio or I’d ask a more mature Christian to please explain something for me. I’d read the Bible and the thing I wondered about would come up in another section and I’d have clarity. God is good. He answers prayer.

May God bless you and yours.

Perseverance, Anyone?

As I read in the book of Luke today, I noticed Jesus telling people to ask and keep on asking. Knock and keep on knocking. Seek and keep on seeking, and ye shall find. I paraphrased it from Luke 11:9.

Matthew 6:33 tells us not to be anxious for anything, another paraphrase.

If you have anything overwhelming you, you are not alone. Hold on to Jesus. Read the Bible for encouragement and direction. Pray and rest in God’s promises. Whatever you are going through, others are, too. My mom used to say, “This too shall pass.”

I heard yesterday that a high percentage of what people worry about never comes to fruition. It might have been 77%. That’s a lot of worrying over nothing.

Well, I am determined to get to bed earlier than normal, so I bid you a great night.

May God bless you.

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.

Is Time Short?

Mat 16:1 And the Pharisees and Sadducees came, and to test him they asked him to show them a sign from heaven.
Mat 16:2 He answered them, “When it is evening, you say, ‘It will be fair weather, for the sky is red.’
Mat 16:3 And in the morning, ‘It will be stormy today, for the sky is red and threatening.’ You know how to interpret the appearance of the sky, but you cannot interpret the signs of the times.

I spent some time on the front porch reading a Bible study and then getting into the Word with a warm breeze blowing and a black crow caw-cawing.

Our trees are just beginning to change color. It doesn’t seem real that the year is three quarters done already. When I try to hear God’s still small voice lately, it seems as if He’s urging me not to be complacent, that time is short.

My husband has told me in the past that we are a lot closer to Jesus’s return now than we were 2,000 years ago.

Imagine that, He’s impacting the world even today.

 

God bless you!

To Clean or Not to Clean

 

I went to the library today because I had three magazines to return. I always take out three and study them in case I want to write for them. It helps to read at least three issues if not more. When I wrote down the name of the editor and checked out the masthead for query information, in the tiniest print it said that particular periodical keeps all rights to the written word so the author can’t sell the same information a few years down the line to another magazine without any chance of an overlap of readers. So I chose another magazine to study instead.

The same corporation published both periodicals, but the second one didn’t say anything about keeping all rights to the material. I checked out some articles about organizing and decorating and cleaning the house. I intended to clean when I got done anyway, so I figured those were good articles to stimulate my thoughts towards order and a pretty home. As soon as I got home, my husband called to say he was on his way to our house and could I please fix him dinner since we both had a class to attend. By the time the meal was ready, we needed to eat quickly and scoot out the door.

We had company last weekend, so I’ve been finding toys under the couch and a plastic alligator with an open mouth by the back door. I also noticed I’d tucked some clutter into an empty laundry basket that I’d intended to get to right away so it didn’t find a permanent home there. Tonight I got working on sorting through the items in the basket and recycled some papers and threw some things away and was just about to put things in their proper place, when my husband looked at the clock. “Are you going to blog tonight?”

My husband reminded me to blog and didn’t suggest I finish my de-cluttering! Wow! Genesis chapter two tells of God creating woman from the rib of Adam so he could have an help meet for him. That’s King James for a suitable companion and one that helps him face life. That’s my thinking from reading lots of stuff and hearing sermons on the Scriptures. He’s strong in his ways, she’s strong in her ways and they complement each other. My husband and I celebrated our forty-first anniversary this summer and in Genesis 2:24 it says in the (KJV) of the Bible, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

My husband encouraging me to write, me enjoying de-cluttering so much that I forgot to write, I’d say it’s happened. 🙂

 

God bless you big time.

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.

A Little Under the Weather

 

I felt a little ishy last week, so on Saturday I lost myself in a Victorian murder mystery by Anne Perry. It was the second book with the main character, Mr. William Monk. The first was Face of a Stranger.

I wanted to continue the series so I got online to find what order they were published in so I didn’t have to skip around and then I read Defend and Betray.

She writes a compelling story, and on Sunday I was anxious to finish it, to find the culprit, so to speak. But today in the library I ordered some books from Christian authors. I’m going to take a break from the Perry series and see if I want to go back or not. I do that sometimes and I realized I’d not finished the Heirs of Arcadia series written by Davis Bunn and Janette Oke, so I ordered that and a couple of others. I discovered Lisa Tawn Bergren recently; she authored the other fiction book.

I like Richard Peck’s books for children, he’s so funny. I just realized he writes for adults when I read the fore pages of the book listing his other titles. He’s got a book that I thought might be interesting for writers. I’ll see when I read it. It’s called Past Perfect, Present Tense.

I started reading Divergent tonight because an editor recommended it to me at the Montrose Christian Writers Conference since I thought I might be writing a speculative novel. She thinks it may be more of a realistic story with occult elements included. Nancy Lohr gave me some insights to improve the novel I’ve been working on, like forever!

I read novels with a whole lot more appreciation than I used to before I tried to write one. So many things to consider….

My health is restored. Thank You, Jesus. Just a minor inconvenience. New York weather can be volatile and if my immune system is a little down, I may catch something. This week is heading for the sixties and possibly seventies for a day or two. This morning it was below freezing early on. By noon I was taking a walk and the corner bank had a display of the temperature at an even 60 degrees Fahrenheit.

Well, I hope you’re enjoying life and praying over the hard stuff and finding God’s Word for any questions you might have. His wisdom covers relationships, financial decisions, health, etc. You name it, it’s in there. Some of it may be round about, but that is a book I never tire of reading. It’s deep. 🙂

 

Spring and Winter

I saw geese traveling in their “V” formation today, flying in the New York skies.

We’ve had such a mild winter. The last few days, the temperature  dropped, the sleet and snow arrived. When the geese flew overhead, I knew that is the sign that Spring will be here soon. I felt like Spring and Winter wrestled for preeminence.

Last night, some ladies and I watched a DVD produced by Harvest House some years back. I bought it and the book in 2012 at a conference in Syracuse , NY with keynote speaker: Thelma Wells. It’s entitled, “Don’t Give In, God Wants YOU to Win.”

She speaks with passion and authority. She tells about the devil wanting to kill, steal and destroy as stated in John 10:10, but Jesus came to give us life and that, abundantly! She believes there is a devil, despite many that don’t believe, because “it’s in the Bible, ‘the B I B L E: that’s the book for me.'” She quotes a song that Sunday School children sing. She’s lived her life according to the Scriptures since she was four years old and she has found them to stand true under testing.

Spring and Winter may wrestle for preeminence and evil and good may struggle for preeminence, but Jesus, God the Son says in Rev 3:11 (BBE), “I come quickly: keep that which you have, so that no one may take your crown.
Rev 3:12 Him who overcomes I will make a pillar in the house of my God, and he will go out no more: and I will put on him the name of my God, and the name of the town of my God, the new Jerusalem, which comes down out of heaven from my God, and my new name.
Rev 3:13 He who has ears, let him give ear to what the Spirit says to the churches.”

We have the power to overcome the whiles of the enemy, the principalities of the air because of Jesus’ victory over evil and His victory over the second death. We are told to hang on, to persevere, to overcome. God never tells us to do anything that we can’t do, because of God’s power to help us do all that He asks us to do.

Thelma Wells reminds herself of helpful Scriptures every day. She inspires me. Geese inspire me that the cold Winter and buried gardens will give way to warmth and living gardens in Spring.