How Will You Live in These Times?

            I don’t know how many more days I’ll live, just like everyone else in the world. I know people healthy and active in their mid-90’s.

            Although, one lady only goes to the grocery store, maybe to her church on occasion. So, I decided to write a “Before I Kick the Bucket” list of things I want to do before I die. One thing I wrote, I want to see my granddaughter and her family. Our great grandchild arrived many months ago in FL. When I told my daughter-in-law, she started brainstorming. I loved that!

            I watched a Kent Christmas Wednesday night blog on YouTube the other day. He quoted C.S. Lewis, who wrote when all were concerned about dying from the atomic bomb. C.S. Lewis told people to get together to play games. Gather in church to praise God, hear the Word, and fellowship. I am not quoting exactly; this is the gist of his message: live while you can.

            What is the point of reaching 98 if you stayed away from relatives, friends, and church family from age 95 due to COVID? I’m not saying, “Don’t be careful.”

            What I am saying is look to Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He told us not to be afraid over 360 times in the Old and New Testaments of the Bible.

            Although, prophets warned of dire consequences when sin prevailed. Then, God said to draw close to Him and repent. “The fear of God is the beginning of wisdom.”

            To go back to Jesus’ sayings, He also told all believers that we are to be in the world, but not of the world. We can’t be in the world if we’re in our homes. How can people see how we handle the COVID crisis if we stay in front of our entertainment screens, hibernating?

            We are to be in the world, not of the world. We should be loving God, loving others, loving ourselves so we can function with sound minds and a sound heart-not filled with fear. Then, when we’re in the world, people who don’t know Jesus should not see us self-medicating with alcohol or drugs or other addictions. They should see some joy. I’m talking to myself here. I need to live like Jesus. Not react to life as if I don’t have hope or as if I don’t have God, Who promises to be my fortress and my strength in Psalm 91.

            Christians are affected by COVID, for sure. One of my friends said to another Christian, “You have faith not to get vaccinated. I have faith to get the shot(s). I want to go to Europe by airplane to minister to an oppressed and poor people group.”

            So far, she’s fine and so is her unvaccinated friend. I have two close friends that feel strongly that everyone should get vaccinated. I know others against the shots and against being pressured to get inoculated.

            How can Christians be so diametrically opposed? I don’t live near these friends anymore. I told one, “It’s a shame people get so divided in our country,” and we both got quiet and agreed.

            On the second phone call, I said immediately, “I don’t want to talk about the COVID vaccines because I almost got into a heated argument with a close friend about it.”

            She agreed. But when the subject came up a few minutes later, I noticed we spoke for a fraction of the time we usually conversed.

            In the Old Testament and the New Testament, God says to love Him with all our heart, soul, mind, and strength. The second greatest commandment is to love others as we love ourselves.

            Love others, love ourselves. I know of young and old people who received the shot and died within a day or two. I know of many that got the vaccine and after a minor illness, felt great. They’re sure it’s kept them alive, and they didn’t catch the virus.

            We love God, we love others, we love ourselves. We do what we think is best within those parameters.

            I trust God, Who has numbered my days, to the best of my ability. I ask Him for wisdom. He tells me to live in peace with others as much as I can. That’s what I need to remember. Let others choose for themselves. I’ll choose for myself. People can avoid me if they don’t like my choice. I can keep away from them if I’m concerned about their actions. At some time, these days will pass.

            May God bless you!

Daniel, A Man of Renown

A couple of weeks ago, I finished reading the book of Daniel in the Old Testament of the Bible. One thing after another kept me from blogging this entry. Sometimes, I think it’s spiritual warfare. Other times, I wonder if God doesn’t want it out there. Today, after a delay, all worked on the computer and on the WordPress site. Maybe I’m supposed to be learning a lesson in perseverence!

Well, anyway, when I read chapter one, it described four teenagers, handsome and intelligent men being trained to work for the king of another nation. They got captured as spoils of war, probably children of the royal family of the nation of Judah, and then neutered. Further on, I found out Daniel and his three friends are required to eat of the kings’ meats and to drink wine.

FreeBibleimages :: Daniel and his friends obey God :: Daniel and his friends  refuse to eat foods that God had forbidden (Daniel 1:1-21)
This is a picture of Daniel and his three friends obeying God from freebibleimages.org.

            I don’t know why the guys wanted to eat vegan. Maybe the meats included pig and rabbit, on the unclean animal list for the Jewish youth.

            They looked better after their trial run of vegetables and water for 10 days. Apparently, between the favor of the head eunuch and their healthy appearance, they continued on what is now called, “The Daniel Diet.”

            After King Nebuchadnezzar talked to Daniel and his three friends, the king found them 10 times wiser and more understanding than all the magicians and astrologers that were in all the realm-a huge kingdom from years of taking over other countries, showing little mercy.

            If I had been in Daniel’s and his friends’ shoes, I hope I would have clung to God despite any risks to life, like they did. Over 70 years serving the various kings, Daniel held high positions of authority and influence. What a legacy!

            I wish I understood the visions Daniel experienced from God, near the end of the book of Daniel for the latter days. An angel explained, but it’s beyond my level of expertise.

God took care of Daniel in the worst of times. The book of Revelation in the New Testament says that God is, God was, and God will always be. I can rest in His care no matter what because God doesn’t change.

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!

Full Focus

https://fullfocusplanner.com/wp-content/themes/fullfocusplanner-v3/images/v3/ffp-stack-white.jpg

I ordered Michael Hyatt’s Full Focus Planner. When I made the purchase there was a special offer of free training videos, which I appreciated. I went through the training and filled out a couple of goal sheets which have similarities and differences from others I’ve used over the years.

Something I’ll find helpful is the limit of 7-10 goals for the whole year, 2-3 goals for the quarter of the year. I chose work around the house for one and writing for number two. My third goal will be holiday preparations and I’m delighted to break the whole into small steps.

I got invited to a seaside home and requested the last part of September before the cold weather hits. We’ve had extraordinarily warm weather this Fall, although yesterday the temperature dipped down to our ordinary cooler days and nights. Today stayed the same, and I wore a couple of jackets when we went out. Tonight, in our heated home, I left one of the jackets on and put on a knit cap with ear flaps and tie strings for under the chin. My husband suggested I take a selfie and put it out on the blog. I looked in the mirror and decided it didn’t look too bad. He glanced up and smiled big time. Well, laughed really. I had already told him I’m not putting a picture of me in this warm cap online. I mean, why would I? 😊

So, at the end of September, near the lake, we boarded a pontoon boat, with a wide sturdy dock which suited this grandma perfectly. I wore a raincoat even though it was significantly warmer than today because I know I get chilled on the water unless it’s around 75 degrees F or higher. A breeze kicked up from the lake and we turned around to stay on the smaller waterways leading to the bigger body of water. I’ve been wanting to get on a boat, but I didn’t tell anyone. I thought of the verse that says if we’ll delight ourselves in the Lord, He’ll give us the desires of our heart. I’m not perfect at delighting myself in the Lord because I get my mind on self or responsibilities, but I do appreciate God for Who He is and how He blesses me. I thanked my friends personally, but I’ve been writing on my planner for days now, send a thank you note. They said it’s not necessary, but my mom always stressed sending a handwritten thanks to someone who did something nice for you. And the folks I went to visit provided a pleasant place for a sleep over, pleasant company, pleasant food, a pleasant dog and a pleasant cat who purred while sitting cozily next to me.

The only downside was going home to reality. Not only did we eat at a delightful soup and sandwich shop, which my co-visitor treated us at on our last day, but we stopped at some local stores with friendly workers with low costs compared to my neck of the woods. After I got home, it was my turn to cook, clean, do laundry, figure out the menu, etc. So spoiled. But, as has been said many a time, “home is home and it’s always wonderful to be in your own bed,” and with people you’ve grown fond of and see regularly.

I’m still reading Isaiah, going through the book, and it has harsh warnings and wonderful promises. A friend said today that true Christianity is a religion that embraces questions and thinking and reasoning, which is based on a verse in Isaiah: (Isa 1:18, CEV) “I, the LORD, invite you to come and talk it over. Your sins are scarlet red, but they will be whiter than snow or wool.”

I hope you are well. May God bless you.

 

 

Going To and Fro

Modern Day Miracle?

I went with a friend to see another friend at the hospital today. We talked and laughed and then the nurse came in with a wheelchair. A heart catherization scheduled for 11 a.m. stopped our revelry. I asked if we had time to pray and she gave us the okay.

Three hours later, we began to fret. It was usually an hour-long procedure and no one knew if she rested in the recovery room or if they were still in surgery.

Her husband and son left the room to check the status board and we didn’t see them for a while.

Then the gurney arrived and she looked better than she had before the surgery.

During the operation, the doctor discovered there was no blockage in her heart.

Somehow, the blockage they saw in tests dissolved away. Perhaps the medical procedures did that. They don’t know. All I can say is that she had a large amount of prayers ascending to heaven after news of her mild heart attack reached prayer warriors.

When I told a close friend of hers, she got so excited and started bragging about the goodness of God.

She quoted Scripture from the book of John where Jesus said that His Father is always working. Then she said, “God doesn’t need rest like we do.”

Her joy and awe of God added a sweet touch to a great day.

May God bless you!

Encouraged, Exhorted and Rewarded

I went to a writers’ group last night. I left feeling encouraged with a plan for marketing and ideas for further chapters. That’s gotta be why the Apostle Peter wrote to Christians about not forsaking the fellowship of believers.

We need each other. Sometimes people can see we’re under spiritual attack and then they’ll promise to pray.

Besides, friends will listen to us and if they’re frowning, it prompts us to ask, “What’s wrong?”

Usually, I pray, “Lord, give me ears to hear what I should hear, and discernment to know what isn’t of You.”

When I used to volunteer at a ministry, I prayed the above plus asking God to limit what the other party said so I didn’t hear yucky things. Then, I’d pray I wouldn’t say things I shouldn’t say. That’s a prayer I ought to pray every time I interact with people. As a sanguine, my greatest gift can be my greatest weakness.

I was reading in the gospel of Matthew today and Jesus said, “If anyone desires to come after Me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross and follow Me. For whoever desires to save his life will lose it, but whoever loses his life for My sake will find it. For what profit is it to a man if he gains the whole world, and loses his own soul? Or what will a man give in exchange for his soul? For the Son of Man will come in the glory of His Father with His angels, and then He will reward each according to his works. Matthew 16: 24-27, (NKJV)

I never heard the lie when I came to Christ that everything would be better and that prosperity is an entitlement for those who give money to certain ministries. I heard that God wanted me to be in relationship with Him; that was news to me. I heard that when you go through the deep waters, God would go with me. I heard that if I cast my cares upon Jesus, He would care for me. If I’m having cares to cast, that means things aren’t going my way.

One prosperous lady I knew lost her husband in their sixties after he became a born-again Christian. She stayed at the church, and made many friends. Then, she became a born-again Christian. She told me immediately, things got worse. She fell at a grocery store and broke both wrists. That made her helpless and vulnerable. She needed basic human compassion and care. Her son kept making lousy decisions and she would bail him out, time and again. Talk about family strife. The last major blow, she contracted Parkinson’s Disease. Yet, she had more joy over the latter part of her life than when I first met her.

She made friends that stuck by her for years. She had an incredible sense of humor. She was loyal to me and others. She knew heaven afforded her the closest contact with God and a reunion with her husband. She would have a new body in heaven. She wouldn’t ever sin again in heaven and Jesus said those who loved Him would have a mansion up there.

I moved away before the disease got worse. I would imagine she grew closer to God through the pain. I’ve seen some suffering saints glow with the love of God. I wouldn’t choose hard times, but I’ve seen the radiance and the peace afforded by them. So, there are compensations for those believers suffering on this side of eternity.

May God bless you!

Thanksgiving Wishes

Hi! If you celebrated Thanksgiving, I hope you were able to enjoy family and/or friends, food, and able to give at least one blessing you’re grateful for this November.

https://encrypted-tbn0.gstatic.com/images?q=tbn:ANd9GcRj7cmZs4Cm2_VUfLvxkgF0JjXDSdn-UBdH1zjlBWx0KBuyhUoXOQhttps://www.google.com/search?q=thanksgiving+pictures&ie=utf-8&oe=utf-8&client=firefox-b-1

 

 

As we sat around a large rectangular table borrowed from the church, I looked at each individual adult and child and love filled my heart and mind.

 

As our middle grandson said our Thanksgiving prayer, I savored his quick acceptance to the question, “Who wants to pray before the meal?”

 

The adults and other children quickly agreed to his response and bowed their heads. It was short and to the point and it moved this grandmother’s heart.

 

Psalm 37:3  Trust in the LORD, and do good; Dwell in the land, and feed on His faithfulness.

Psa 37:4  Delight yourself also in the LORD, And He shall give you the desires of your heart.

Psa 37:25  I have been young, and now am old; Yet I have not seen the righteous forsaken, Nor his descendants begging bread. (NKJV)

 

May God bless you!

 

 

The Book of Job

I’ve been reading the book of Job, and I have to tell you, I am blessed by my friends. I don’t think I’ve ever been in a place of hurt and had my friends say, “You sinner, if you’d only stop sinning your crisis would disappear.”

I have some friends I’ve known for the majority of my life. I have had good times and bad times in childhood and beyond, but overall, I count myself fortunate. God came into my horizon early. Some folks never hear of God other than in a swear word. I found that out some time ago in a small town in Upstate, NY.

I heard a little girl swearing up a storm. I asked her to stop using Jesus’ name as a swear word. She asked me what I was talking about, so I told her Jesus is God’s Son, or maybe I said, “God the Son.”

She never knew that and before I could say much more, off she ran. How my heart broke for her. We moved away so I never saw her again, but I prayed for that little one.

God knows right where she is and He loves her.

I hope this finds you well, and not suffering like Job, although if you have a relationship with God like Job did, you can count yourself very favored by God. Not that I understand everything about the book of Job and definitely not everything about God. I don’t think that’s possible.

What do you think of the book of Job?

God bless you!

13 Year Anniversary

Our Ladies Bible study celebrated their 13 year anniversary today. It’s actually two days from now, but we meet on Wednesdays.

We’ve been getting new people lately and I love how our group welcomes visitors. Occasionally, I jump too soon into giving a book away and the person never returns.

The latest person, a young college student, rearranged her classes so she could attend today.

She is going to memorize the worship songs and bring her guitar on Sunday with permission from the leader.

I sought out a stranger in town today and found out she’s this young girl’s mother. They both have the sweetest smiles and joy in their hearts for the Lord.

One never knows what a day will bring. Since I gave away our last spare book to someone that may not come back, I’ll ask this young person if she wants our Unglued tome by Lysa TerKeurst.

My husband said since we’re almost done and if she doesn’t need the help that book gives, she may not want Unglued.

I’ll ask her on Sunday. I’m going to try and remember to bring in a zucchini plant as well. Her mom thanked me for the cherry tomato plant one of the ladies gave her daughter.

So delighted over a plant, it sparked the thought, I have four zucchini plants and a small space set aside for a garden.

I offered her a zucchini plant and she smiled with such delight, it gave me a warm feeling inside.

No wonder the Lord tells us to be thankful. It’s good for our attitude and I imagine it gives Him joy to be appreciated.

Occasionally people scam other people – strangers or friends may steal. My dad determined in his heart whenever he lent money to hope for repayment but not to expect it. That way it didn’t get in the way of relationship.

With the way the world is going, we have chances to forgive people daily – even those we haven’t met in person.                                                              (photo from http://images.search.yahoo.com/yhs/search;_ylt=A0LEVvRSUSZZpR8ADktjmolQ;_ylu=X3oDMTBsa3ZzMnBvBHNlYwNzYwRjb2xvA2JmMQR2dGlkAw–?_adv_prop=image&fr=goodsearch-yhsif&sz=all&va=praying#id=251&iurl=http%3A%2F%2Fwww.womensetapart.com%2Fwp-content%2Fuploads%2F2014%2F11%2Fbigstock-Praying-African-American-Teen-47553724.jpg&action=click)

So, we opened our Bible study in prayer, as usual, but we included people we don’t know whose names or home cities were in the news. We prayed for victims and families of deceased victims and for perpetrators and we prayed evil ones would repent and get saved and stop hurting people. Then we remembered our loving, just, all-powerful God before we shared favorite Scriptures.

A little later we celebrated 13 years of Bible studies and prayed for a continuation for as many more years as the Lord allows. Praise His name!

May God bless you.