Strange Beginnings

My husband had to go somewhere this morning and I needed to be somewhere else a couple of hours later. Just as he headed for the door, he received a text. A close friend of his and mine with diabetes woke up with clammy skin, a sign of low blood sugar. His wife gave him a cookie to eat and prepared other food that he ate. She began a chore as he sat down to recover, told her he didn’t feel well and then he left his body for a walk into eternity with Jesus.

Yesterday, I looked through the obituaries because someone that used to work for my husband had passed away and I found two others that I knew, one my next door neighbor, who moved closer to family, and the other more of an acquaintance from my time working at the library.

That’s a lot of deaths in a couple of weeks’ time.

A lady came to the door looking to get into the building I had the key for, and I gave her the secretary’s office key instead of the church key. Thank goodness I came to my senses quickly and called out to her before she drove away.

I’ve been calling people at different times of the day to let them know, so that they don’t hear of it early in their day tomorrow in church. I’ve also asked people on the prayer chain to pray for the recently bereaved lady. She too is a friend of ours.

She will have lots of support, of that I’m sure. It’s true what God’s word says, Gal 6:7, (KJV):  Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.

Gal 6:8  For he that soweth to his flesh shall of the flesh reap corruption; but he that soweth to the Spirit shall of the Spirit reap life everlasting.

Gal 6:9  And let us not be weary in well doing: for in due season we shall reap, if we faint not.

Many say, “What goes around comes around,” which is a paraphrase of God’s Word saying you reap what you sow.

She and her husband went out of their way to help others when they felt that they should. Probably many more than I’m aware of had reason to thank them for their help and for their generosity. I had an elective surgery early this year and of all the people I know, she was the only one to visit me besides my husband. People often asked her husband to help cart this or that in his pickup truck, and he did.

So, I’m sure she’ll have people help her figure out what to do. She lives in a snowier area than we do, and he took care of snow removal. In the summer, he took care of cutting the lawn. She may have to figure out how to use the mower or hire someone when the warm weather hits. I feel sure folks will visit often and give her a helping hand.

Tomorrow, our church celebrates Christmas and the birth of the King as a little bundle of joy. In the upcoming services I’ve been asked to play and sing Christmas music since the Christmas carols are a lot more challenging on the piano than they are on the guitar. I have a few in mind and I need to choose some more. Others will sing with me, and I am grateful for that!

Snow is heading to New York State. I’m hoping tomorrow will have a normal beginning, middle and end. If we get too much snow, we may have to cancel our services. We’ll have to wait and see what the day brings. One never knows.

May God bless you!

Jesus Prays Before He Gets Betrayed

I enjoy going to the nursing home for our Bible study, but I have to admit that I’m tired by Friday. Today we studied a few chapters in John. It’s a privilege to discuss the Word of God with women that have known Jesus for many decades and then to try and teach a woman in her 90’s. One of the ladies fell asleep in her wheelchair in her room. When I entered, she had fallen forward and her hand reached out in a funny way. I started praying, “Dear God, please let her be alive.”

He is a good God, she woke up easily. I guess that’s a position that stretches her back in a positive way and she’s happy when it happens. We’re all so unique, aren’t we? I would have had a muscle pull, I think.

When I checked the Holy Bible on my cell phone, the (NKJV) highlighted certain sections of the Scriptures. Since we studied them this morning, I wanted to write about them tonight. I’m including the headings, but I’m using the (ESV) instead from   e-sword, an internet company that provides the Scriptures and dictionaries and concordances and other benefits for a serious study of God’s Word.

These are the last words of Jesus to his disciples in a private session before He gets betrayed by Judas Iscariot. The title of John 17:1-5 is “Jesus Prays for Himself.”

Joh 17:1  When Jesus had spoken these words, he lifted up his eyes to heaven, and said, “Father, the hour has come; glorify your Son that the Son may glorify you,

Joh 17:2  since you have given him authority over all flesh, to give eternal life to all whom you have given him.

Joh 17:3  And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Joh 17:4  I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

Joh 17:5  And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

The second section is entitled, “Jesus Prays for His Disciples.”

Joh 17:6  “I have manifested your name to the people whom you gave me out of the world. Yours they were, and you gave them to me, and they have kept your word.

Joh 17:7  Now they know that everything that you have given me is from you.

Joh 17:8  For I have given them the words that you gave me, and they have received them and have come to know in truth that I came from you; and they have believed that you sent me.

Joh 17:9  I am praying for them. I am not praying for the world but for those whom you have given me, for they are yours.

Joh 17:10  All mine are yours, and yours are mine, and I am glorified in them.

Joh 17:11  And I am no longer in the world, but they are in the world, and I am coming to you. Holy Father, keep them in your name, which you have given me, that they may be one, even as we are one.

Joh 17:12  While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.

Joh 17:13  But now I am coming to you, and these things I speak in the world, that they may have my joy fulfilled in themselves.

Joh 17:14  I have given them your word, and the world has hated them because they are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

Joh 17:15  I do not ask that you take them out of the world, but that you keep them from the evil one.

Joh 17:16  They are not of the world, just as I am not of the world.

Joh 17:17  Sanctify them in the truth; your word is truth.

Joh 17:18  As you sent me into the world, so I have sent them into the world.

Joh 17:19  And for their sake I consecrate myself, that they also may be sanctified in truth.

The third title is “Jesus Prays for All Believers.”

Joh 17:20  “I do not ask for these only, but also for those who will believe in me through their word,

Joh 17:21  that they may all be one, just as you, Father, are in me, and I in you, that they also may be in us, so that the world may believe that you have sent me.

Joh 17:22  The glory that you have given me I have given to them, that they may be one even as we are one,

Joh 17:23  I in them and you in me, that they may become perfectly one, so that the world may know that you sent me and loved them even as you loved me.

Joh 17:24  Father, I desire that they also, whom you have given me, may be with me where I am, to see my glory that you have given me because you loved me before the foundation of the world.

Joh 17:25  O righteous Father, even though the world does not know you, I know you, and these know that you have sent me.

Joh 17:26  I made known to them your name, and I will continue to make it known, that the love with which you have loved me may be in them, and I in them.”

To me, there is such meat in these verses. I’m always excited to see what I consider proofs that Jesus is God the Son; not Jesus, a child of God like we are.

Joh 17:3  And this is eternal life, that they know you the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent.

Joh 17:4  I glorified you on earth, having accomplished the work that you gave me to do.

Joh 17:5  And now, Father, glorify me in your own presence with the glory that I had with you before the world existed.

Jesus says here that He was with the Father and was glorified with God before the world existed. I don’t know how much clearer He could make it. That is why in the Gospels we can read that Jesus received praise – which infuriated the Pharisees and they called Him a blasphemer for receiving praise. Only God deserved to receive praise. Jesus knew that and they knew that. They chose to not believe that Jesus was the Son of God, the Messiah.

Mat 21:13  He said to them, “It is written, ‘My house shall be called a house of prayer,’ but you make it a den of robbers.”

Mat 21:14  And the blind and the lame came to him in the temple, and he healed them.

Mat 21:15  But when the chief priests and the scribes saw the wonderful things that he did, and the children crying out in the temple, “Hosanna to the Son of David!” they were indignant,

Mat 21:16  and they said to him, “Do you hear what these are saying?” And Jesus said to them, “Yes; have you never read, “‘Out of the mouth of infants and nursing babies you have prepared praise’?”

What do you think?

May God bless you!

 

God is Real!

At a ladies retreat last week, I met my roommate, the pastor of the Family for Christ Assembly of God Church in the Bronx. She grew up in Africa. She moved to the United States some years ago. Monica drove to this function with three other women. All three women told me to talk to her about her life experiences. When we were alone I asked her to share some of her stories.

She gave her life, soul and spirit over to Jesus Christ as a girl. As she began to know God’s voice in comparison to her own thoughts or the voice of the enemy of our souls, she said God told her she would marry a man from another country. Later, He told her the name of her husband, a student at her school she didn’t really know. When she met him, he fell in love with her and she with him. Years later, after the birth of four sons, God gave her a dream. Do not take your husband to a certain hospital in California. He will receive an IV, a man will come in and put a shot into the IV. Your husband will die.

When her husband got ill they took him by ambulance to that hospital, and when she protested and told of her dream, they ignored her. She watched the man come into her husband’s room, put a shot into the IV, and her husband died within two minutes. She never felt such a lack of control.

When she spoke of falling some months later and getting seriously hurt, the doctor told her he couldn’t help her. She needed to rest and let the body heal itself. She cried to God. “I need to work. What am I going to do for money?” She said God sent angels to massage her sore muscles and a man glowing white, who she thought was Jesus Christ, to touch her stomach. When she woke up, she was totally healed,

Then I remembered about twenty years ago being at a different ladies retreat, and I went to my room to be alone. I cried over a deep hurt and I felt the arms of an angel or God hugging me. I felt no warmth from the embrace, but comfort. I had forgotten all about it.

God answers prayer and fulfills His promises in my life, so I know that I know that He’s real. But some of these highly personal touches bring me to a higher level of appreciation.

No wonder God tells us not to forsake the assembling together of believers. We get ignited from the fire of others’ faith. It builds up our faith and reminds us of the fact that God is not a respecter of any person. He loves the ones He’s created. John 3:16 says: For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whosoever believes in Him will not perish but have eternal life.

Yay God!