God is Love


There is a God in heaven watching over mankind. The first man in the garden of Eden was made in the image of God. Adam walked with God and told Him about the animals Adam named. See (Genesis 1 and 2).

After a while in Genesis 1, God decided Adam needed a helpmeet, someone to complete him and to complement him so together they were better than apart. God put a deep sleep on Adam and removed a rib to fashion a wife for him, named Eve. She became the first mother of all of mankind. All of the races came from Adam and Eve, and variations came in skin tone because of the closeness of the sun or being further from the equator and the power of our closest star.

When President Obama came into office, I heard he and Vice President Dick Cheney were two of the most liberal men in American politics. President Obama, as a senator in Illinois, was the only senator to vote to let a botched-abortion baby languish on the table. It was considered inhumane to kill a young baby not that many years ago.

Now, a majority of the United States Senate voted to leave a botched-abortion baby to die despite the chance for survival with medical treatment. God in heaven gave us emotions like He has: love, joy, peace, anger and sorrow to name some. In the book of Psalms in the Old Testament of the Bible, God tells us that children are our heritage from the Lord. He loves to create, which is why we love to create. The earth and sky declare the majesty of Father God.

When I hear and see the deaths in America portrayed on countless television shows and in movies, the romanticizing of zombies, the news broadcasting husbands killing wives and drug pushers killing their customers with tainted opioids, I think of how entirely devoid of life this planet would be without Jesus Christ.

Jesus said, “The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy. I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.” (John 10:10 NRSV)

In (Joshua 24:15 NRSV), the Word of God says, “Now if you are unwilling to serve the LORD, choose this day whom you will serve, whether the gods your ancestors served in the region beyond the River or the gods of the Amorites in whose land you are living; but as for me and my household, we will serve the Lord,” Joshua declared.

It takes courage to serve God. Christians are being maligned by some of the media in America and persecution is increasing. Why? Because in the last days some say “Good will be spoken of as evil, and evil will be spoken of as good,” as referenced in (Isaiah 5:20).

Many New Yorkers, believers in Christ and those who don’t believe but have morals, are outraged over the extremely liberal abortion rights. If Planned Parenthood and other abortion providers continue murdering viable infants about to leave the womb at nine months along or before, or at full term and the abortion technique failed, so a fully formed infant is born-and the workers do nothing for the child, they will stand before a holy, just God Who happens to love babies and humankind, one day.

I think of people who move merrily along, harming others. Do they ever consider that God gets mad and sends punishment their way or on the land their country inhabits? God sees all.

Our country has experienced more floods, hurricanes, tornadoes, forest fires, mud slides and destructive diseases over the past ten years or so than I recall beforehand. The numbers of tragedies have grown exponentially as people have turned from God to psychics, the occult and false beliefs.

Would God the Son willingly endure extreme suffering from Roman soldiers before being crucified by them, if He didn’t love mankind and step forward to take on God the Father’s wrath for all our sins? The Apostle Paul wrote, “Therefore, we are ambassadors for Christ, God making his appeal through us. We implore you on behalf of Christ, be reconciled to God. For our sake he made him to be sin who knew no sin, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God.” (2Co 5:20-21 ESV)

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God is love. Those who choose to believe in God the Son and the fact that He rose from the dead, and willingly obey Him become lovers of God and love their fellow-humans. The book of First John near the end of the New Testament tells us about these previous statements.

So, what happens? If you read the Old Testament which God gave us for an example, you’ll see as evil infiltrates a land, and God honors the wish of the people to live their lives without Him, “all hell breaks loose,” as my parents used to say way back in the day.

The devil hates born again Christians because of the power of God available for the good of mankind. God is love and light and life. This place is temporary. God’s place is eternal and so incredible according to the last chapters of the book of Revelation, that it’s hard to picture it.

We can choose love and light, or selfishness and darkness. We can discover that God is love.

We can experience the emptiness and dread of following our own will to reject God and end up as Satan’s pawn. Have you ever thought of these things? Where do you stand?

Sad, and then Not

I wrote a blog last week that I hoped readers would find interesting. I also decided to author an article and a sidebar for a magazine I’ve been published in before.

Then, one thing after another grabbed my time. So, on this less hectic day I went to my desk and there’s the manuscripts for the magazine but no tablet with the blog.

I searched high and low, no luck! So, I began another and it didn’t set right, so I put a big X through both sides of the paper.

I try to write things out on a legal pad first. I feel like the words flow with the gel ink and the cursive letters.

A friend of mine suggested we watch a children’s movie from Walt Disney Co. called, “Inside Out,” on a DVD. My husband thought it was a deep topic for children. Maybe it’s because of the last week or so, but it made me feel sad. My youngest daughter stopped by tonight. She said her husband loved it. It shows how important emotions can be and he particularly liked “Joy.”

I did, too. Who wouldn’t? Today I told my husband I felt sad. “How come?” he asked.

Part of it is because I prayed for a young mom to get healed from cancer. I knew she was near death when we began praying for her. “You didn’t even know her,” he said.

That’s true. Things have a way of working out. I recently heard of a man marrying again after his first wife died, and the second wife was more compatible with him than the first. So, one never knows. I’m fully convinced God could have healed her. I’ve seen Him allow miraculous healings over the years. Plus, I’ve weathered blasts to my faith when prayers didn’t get answered with a “Yes” in the past.

Sometimes God says, “No,” and I find out later why. Other times He says, “No,” and I’m left pondering until I acquiesce to His sovereignty and then move onto something else to consider.

I trust God knows best because I’ve seen how gracious and kind He can be. I watched Christian television the day after this lady passed away. He said if a person has a burden from the Lord, it’s almost like being a little depressed over a life or death situation. He’d learned to get away to a quiet place and to pray until the heaviness of spirit lifted. Then, the ill person would recover or God would take them home to heaven having accomplished what He wanted done through the prayers.

I did feel that “heaviness” on Monday before she died, but I didn’t know about the “burden” praying or didn’t remember having heard it. My husband said, “How do you know that preacher is correct?”

“I don’t know,” I told him. “I just remember how I felt on Monday and it lifted by evening time.”

By then, she was already gone. My friend went to see her a week or so before she passed away. They talked about salvation and she prayed to receive Jesus as Lord and Savior. That takes the sting out of death!

I don’t feel sad very often and, when I do, something happens and the melancholy state of mind lifts. For that and many other blessings, I say, “Thank You, Jesus!”

Spring is finally coming our way and the robins appear much fatter than normal to me this year. I watched one suck a long earthworm out of the ground one morning. In all my years, I’ve never seen that before.

http://allaboutbirds.org

God says His eye is on the sparrow and if He takes care of the birds and the lilies of the field in all their glory, how much more will He take care of you and me as we follow Him and endeavor to be righteous as He asks us to? That’s a rough and short paraphrase of Matthew 6:25-34.

May God bless you!

Colors

My daughter gave me a bar of black soap for Christmas over a year ago. It has African shea butter and sea salt in it which I found very soothing. It rested on a white soap holder which held fragments from a pink soap bar yesterday. The color contrast struck me with the polar opposite of shades.

When I lathered the black bar, the bubbles spread out gray and eventually turned to a sparkling white.

When I glanced back to the soap holder, streaks of black liquid streaked down the pebbly white surface and I recoiled a little. Then I reminded myself that the black streaks weren’t dirt streaks and I rinsed them right off.

photo from http://www.ebay.com/itm/NEW-YEAR-Roses-Rose-Flower-Orange-Yellow-Fragrant-Live-Plant-Bush-Bare-Root-/292007492486

I recently transplanted a beautiful grouping of roses with orange blossoms and a plethora of buds. The rose’s perfume was worth every second of my time as I stopped in the kitchen to inhale their aroma. But not too long after I bought them the leaves began to wither. What began slowly escalated.

Every bud shriveled and died, every mature blossom hung onto the brown stalky stems which used to be green. With their sustenance cut off their orange petals paled to a light cantaloupe flesh hue. Paper like with tan edges, the prettiest blossom gave up the fight for life.

The scent faded and then the exquisite smell disappeared.

Three of the tiny rose plants went into a pretty clay pot with stones for drainage and new soil. I watered them after I clipped all the dead wood away and removed every offending curled up and detached leaf.

I placed the most promising rose plant in its own pot, again with stones or broken pottery on the bottom for drainage and new potting soil.

The three plants in the bigger pot only have a few green twigs on one rose. The other two are browner yet. I tried to remove one but it seems entwined with the others.

I didn’t like seeing the dirt on my counter top after the transplant. That’s why the black soap trickling down brought dirt to mind so quickly. Sometimes what we see is not representing actuality.

Later,I tried to tug those “dead” roses apart but I didn’t want to fling potting soil around in the kitchen.

Jesus tells a parable of a farmer planting good wheat seeds into the ground. When his servant comes to him, he reports weeds that look similar to wheat have sprung up in the crop. The farmer says an enemy must have planted bad seeds in the furrows. Then he tells the worker not to pull up the weeds lest the wheat gets yanked out with them. At the end of the harvest they’ll be more distinguishable. The wheat will be set aside for use and the weeds will go into the fire to be destroyed. (Matthew 13:24-30)

That is what I’m doing for a season with the three rose plants. I’m watering them less and leaving them alone to see if any leaves will sprout on the one with the green stems.

The fourth rose plant went home with my daughter and I saw its few branches sprouting at least five forest green leaves today. “Live little plant and bring forth beauty and a sweet smelling aroma in your time.”

The enriching soap is called 100% Natural Black Soap w/ African Shea Butter & Sea Salt. Soapbox makes it and the package says “buy one & we give one to a child in need. Find out how at: soapboxsoap.com.”

My daughter likes to buy products that bless the poor. She knows I appreciate that too, so the gift is a win/win.

May God bless you.

Food Poisoning

Ecc_3:1, (KJV) To every thing there is a season, and a time to every purpose under the heaven:

Ecc_3:2  A time to be born, and a time to die; a time to plant, and a time to pluck up that which is planted;

I took a break from writing a blog on Tuesday night because I developed symptoms from food poisoning on Monday night shortly after writing and sending a blog out.

The doctor asked if we ate out the night before and we had. My husband didn’t think that was the problem because he ate a small amount of the same food. I don’t know. So, I felt as if the Lord told me early on I’d be going to the hospital.

Later on, I also thought He was telling me I was all done being sick, and I wasn’t.

A few decades ago my husband and I worked with a youth pastor. He said, “I’ve asked God to speak to me in the same voice so I always recognize it.”

I need to do that. I’m not sure why I haven’t done it already. Anyway, after three hours of sickness, I began telling God I wanted to live. My husband said, “I’m going to call the doctor.”

That’s not his norm. The doctor told him I needed to get to the hospital. The problem was, how to manage while, er, busy.

Eventually things settled a little, and off we went. On Monday night I wrote about my sister having trouble breathing and that night I got so sick I was having trouble breathing.

Evelyn Christenson, a favorite author of mine when I was a young mom said she got tested on whatever she wrote about. The first book I read was What Happens When Women Pray. I got the picture of the book from her website where folks can order it. How awesome!

When I reminded my husband of that considering the circumstances, he said, “What are you going to do, stop writing?”

I don’t know if I could stop writing. It’s one of my six top priorities in life. Only if God told me to, and I’d ask Him to confirm it seven times at least.

People say that the number seven is the number of perfection and God used it to set up our week in Genesis, and He wrote to the seven churches in the book of Revelation, etc.

Anyhow, do you have a person that speaks common sense to you when you need to hear it? I really appreciate my husband.

Also, he took every turn in the roads to the hospital with care. Considerate.

May God bless you!

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.”

Cancer Shaking Faith

I have a friend that lost her thirty-six year old daughter to cancer in January. My friend has been reading in Hebrews 12, verses 26 through 28 about things being shaken that can be shaken and things which cannot be shaken shall remain. As we reel from the shock of losing this loved one that we’ve been praying for incessantly for months, and who was proclaimed healed in December of 2011, only to pass away in mid-January, we’ve felt shaken to our very core. This mom holds on to the promise of God that we are sealed by the Holy Spirit and God will not let His believers go. Even so, we are hurting.

My faith feels like a wet towel slapping against the inside of a dryer, with the heat blasting, scorching, daring my faith to fluff and spring back and recover. The young lady is not related to me, but I knew her and her children and her siblings and her newlywed husband; and her mom is dear to my heart and it hurts to see her suffer and lose weight and battle some kind of respiratory illness for two months, made worse by stress, I presume.

So I cry out to God and pray for the remaining loved ones and for God’s protection and move along. I mailed out a devotional the other day that I wrote twenty years ago. It’s been sitting in a file cabinet. I’m sending out stuff that’s been sitting, thank You, Jesus. This devotional tells of my preteen’s daughter’s faith in me to buy her a certain Christmas gift that I thoroughly intended not to get her. Writing the article opened my heart to a fuller understanding of faith. God allowed me to see this faith building devo when I needed it these many years later.

We are not the only ones being shaken on this planet earth. God tells us to hold on to the end. Revelation repeats this often, “He who overcomes…” will receive a promise listed in each of the messages to the churches in chapters 2 and 3. Shaking happened 2,000 years ago. It will happen tomorrow. It’s a part of life on earth. We get tossed around.

God does His part, we have to do our part, even when our prayers don’t get the answer we’re looking for. Because God is sovereign, He knows all things, He understands all things, He is loving and kind. We are strangers here and our home is not here. So I’m following God and doing what my heartbroken friend is doing, trusting that God will work all things together for good to those who love Him, who are called according to His purposes, as stated in Romans 8:28. God gives me free choice. I choose to follow Him and not the enemy of my soul, whose goal is to steal, kill and destroy. Spiritual realities are beyond my full understanding, but what I’ve been able to grasp keeps me holding on to God and intending to overcome to the end. I hope you will join me in this journey called life, following Jesus Christ, God the Son, the Savior offered to everyone in the world. God bless you, fellow sojourners.