Thinking for Life

Our ladies’ Bible study started working on the book and study guide by Joyce Meyer called Battlefield of the Mind: Winning the Battle in Your Mind. I’m using the book I bought some years back published by Warner Faith, New York, NY, Boston, MA, and Nashville, TN in 2002 and copyrighted in 1995. The Study Guide was copyrighted in 2000 and published in 2002 by Faith Words, Hachette Book Group, New York, NY.

Battlefield Of The Mind 2-in-1, Book and Study Guidephoto from https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=Battlefield+of+the+Mind&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

(This is the most current book that one of our ladies bought at a brick and mortar store. The copyright is 2017 and it’s the book and study guide combined.)

 

At our Bible study we enjoyed the Scriptures and the insights Joyce gave us. We also got a chance to talk and consider how the Word applies to our lives. One of the ladies is barely in her 90’s and she’s been a Christian for decades. When Joyce Meyer spoke of Satan’s schemes, she was a bit horrified. Even though I’m sure she’s read in 1Peter_5:8 , (KJV) that we need to “Be sober, be vigilant; because your adversary the devil, as a roaring lion, walketh about, seeking whom he may devour:”

 

What I hold on to is the fact that God is the Great I Am, and Satan is His defeated foe. Not that the devil doesn’t have power. He has the power on earth that mankind gives him by following the evil one’s ways and rejecting God’s ways. Yet, he cannot do anything beyond what God allows. There is our free will to consider as well. Ah, it’s a complicated business in the supernatural. The supernatural realm lasts forever; this time on earth for us is short in comparison.

The Screwtape Lettersphoto from https://www.christianbook.com/Christian/Books/easy_find?Ntt=Screwtape+Letters&N=0&Ntk=keywords&action=Search&Ne=0&event=ESRCG&nav_search=1&cms=1

 

So, I got talking about C. S. Lewis’s book, The Screwtape Letters. It’s a lead demon teaching a less experienced demon the subtle ways to fool people out of faith in God. This elderly lady had heard of Professor Lewis’s tome, but “didn’t think it amounted to much.”

 

Now she’d like to read it.

 

The Bible talks a lot more about God than the devil, yet it mentions hell much more than heaven. I don’t know if it’s because God knew people wouldn’t really believe in hell after a time and He wanted to be very specific about the torment there, or if it’s because He couldn’t put into words that we could fully comprehend about the wonder of heaven and being in His presence. Our brains do not compare to the all-knowing God’s capabilities.

 

I know one thing. I had to close the door behind me so I could stop listening to the television set because I kept getting drawn into a progressive story. That’s one disadvantage of Netflix. Once a series leaves the viewer on a cliffhanger, it’s a matter of moments before the next show comes on if the person so chooses to watch the next one, unless it’s the end of the entire series or the last one of the season. Some might consider that a benefit, and occasionally I enjoy not having to wait to see how things turn out, but it’s easy to lose an hour or two or three and realize important things got left undone. It’s like a drug and don’t I know that Satan loves it when I’m not writing about Jesus and the hope He gives the world.

 

I’m looking forward to continuing our study of The Battlefield of the Mind because it’s already got me thinking about the way I may ponder myself right out of the will of God. “Write a book on marriage,” I thought God whispered to my heart. Then I decided if there were so many out there what did I have to say? We’re all unique and King Solomon said there is nothing new under the sun in the book of Ecclesiastes when he was feeling down. There may not be anything new under the sun, but one person’s insights may reach a couple when another writer’s ideas didn’t touch their heart at all. If God did indeed tell me to write on marriage, then I need to obey. It’s imperative for me to seek Him to see if I heard correctly from Him or not.

 

I spoke to my husband about this show that sucked me in tonight. A young couple constantly miscommunicates. I’m mumbling, “Why didn’t he say something to her?” I turned to him, “They never talk.”

 

He said to me, “There are some people that are just like that.”

 

I then said to him, “I guess that’s why we’ve been married for forty-one years, because we talk.”

 

Today he vacuumed the rug and I made a point of saying it looked nice, because that’s important to him. He doesn’t whine or ask for compliments. I just notice that if he points out, “At least I got the carpet cleaned today,” in reference to not getting something else done, that if I say, “Yeah, it looks great,” his body language changes. Maybe his shoulders get pulled back and he stands a little taller.

 

If I don’t feel like telling him thanks because I’m tired or self-absorbed, sometimes I make myself be considerate because I’d be polite to a stranger. Why not be kind to the man I love?

 

I hope you’re having a great day. May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

I Love a Prisoner

 

I went to the library to return a couple of books and hopefully do some writing. I heard about an author I may like, so I took out one of her tomes, and as I reached the circulation desk I got a nice surprise. I ran into a young lady that started attending our church regularly and then stopped. I prayed I’d see her again. God answers prayer!

I said hello but backed off. She told me she’d call me tonight, so I said, “Okay.”

Just before going to the library, I wrote a letter to someone whom I love dearly. That person ended up in prison. As I jotted down my thoughts, I added a small amount of Scripture. Then I mentioned the verse from 1 Corinthians 2:12 (WEB): Now the natural man doesn’t receive the things of God’s Spirit, for they are foolishness to him, and he can’t know them, because they are spiritually discerned.

I had to hear over and over again that Jesus Christ, the Jewish Messiah, God the Son, came to earth for all mankind. He took on all the sins of the world – the spotless, sinless Lamb of God.

How could He stand it?

Now if we believe on Him, and repent, and receive His sacrificial gift of taking our sins, He’ll give us peace, freedom, heaven instead of hell, joy, love, kindness, goodness, meekness, strength and provision. He forgives us and asks us to forgive others so we don’t get bitter and poisoned inside. Once we make Him our Lord and Savior, the Bible becomes understandable to us. It may take us a lifetime to get through it over and over again. We may comprehend a lot of it. Yet, I’ll bet there are things I won’t get until I stand before my God and King in heaven and see what He wants me to see.

My husband and I got watching a movie tonight called “Hacksaw Ridge,” rated R for violence. It’s based on a true story of a Christian man who wanted to be in WWII as a medic as a conscientious objector and they didn’t know what to make of him.

My husband said, “War is ugly.”

When we go our own way and ignore God’s way, we are prisoners to self and the ruler of this world – Satan, even though we’re not aware of belonging to him. So Paul wrote in the New Testament.

After watching this movie, I know one of my duties as a Christian. I need to continue to pray for prisoners and for our troops and for my country and for folks around the world.

May God bless you.

Unusual Week

I know people don’t have the same opinion as I do sometimes. Yet, I have to say, “God is good.”

My car acted up the other day, so I took it to the shop and they were so busy they couldn’t look at it that day. They checked it over and called experts and couldn’t get the problem to repeat itself. I don’t know how much time they spent. They drove it at least twice. They checked the wiring for a loose connection. When my husband drove me over, I asked how much I owed. “No charge.”

We’ve been customers of theirs for probably nine years now if not longer, but it’s that kind of service that keeps us returning. They know we use them for most of our automotive needs and we keep our cars until they’re not usable anymore. So as the cars age, they get more business from us in repairs. They practice integrity and we reward them by continuing on as their regulars.

That’s what author Stephen Covey called a win/win situation.

I found an exercising group for older folks at a local home for disabled and/or elderly adults today.

Last Saturday I hurt my back. It’s almost totally normal now, but when we did leg lifts from a sitting position in a chair, I thought, No way am I going to chance re-injuring those muscles. So, ladies in their seventies and eighties did most of the routine and I skipped at least a third of it. That humbled my pride. 🙂

My husband and I listened to Richard Wurmbrandt tonight, a Jewish man persecuted for his belief in Christ in a Communist country. He was in prison for 14 years and suffered terribly. Tonight I heard him say he felt bad that he got out after only 14 years. “Who will witness to the torturers if all the persecuted Christians get out?”

He’s 80 now. He got released years ago and almost didn’t leave, but the other prisoners told him to go and tell the world about Jesus and the fact that Christians are suffering for their faith.

How can I say that God is good when people suffer? Just because others choose to act in despicable ways doesn’t mean that God isn’t good. It means that what He has said about human beings is correct. We all fall short of His glory. That’s in the book of Romans.

We need Jesus to change us into less despicable acting folks. We needed Jesus to take our sins on Him so we can go to heaven and live with God, our perfect Father. God sees the overall picture. He’s good and He asks us to be a part of His kingdom, even while we’re still alive on earth. He wants us to represent Him – loving, kind, compassionate, just, merciful, giving so people will of their own accord come to faith and change their wicked ways with His help.

Richard Wurmbrandt really gets this and tries to let Americans and persons of other nationalities know this.

I hope lots of people will know that God is good, so they’ll turn to Him and receive His love and citizenship in heaven one day.

I’m ending here because I am really trying to sleep earlier at night. Last night, I was up much later than normal.

By the way, I’m going to meet a friend tomorrow to catch up with each other. I haven’t seen her in at least two years. Another unusual event and I’ll skip mentioning the rest.

May God bless you!

 

Jesus’ Return

Tonight some friends gathered around a table with my husband and I. We sang a song that one of the men wrote about watching for the Lord. Later on, the same man asked us what we thought of verses in Matthew 24. We all read a few verses at a time out of various versions of the Bible and then gave our opinion if we had one. The following verses are the ones we read, these are from the King James Version:

Mat 24:3  And as he sat upon the mount of Olives, the disciples came unto him privately, saying, Tell us, when shall these things be? and what shall be the sign of thy coming, and of the end of the world?

Mat 24:4  And Jesus answered and said unto them, Take heed that no man deceive you.

Mat 24:5  For many shall come in my name, saying, I am Christ; and shall deceive many.

Mat 24:6  And ye shall hear of wars and rumours of wars: see that ye be not troubled: for all these things must come to pass, but the end is not yet.

Mat 24:7  For nation shall rise against nation, and kingdom against kingdom: and there shall be famines, and pestilences, and earthquakes, in divers places.

Mat 24:8  All these are the beginning of sorrows.

Mat 24:9  Then shall they deliver you up to be afflicted, and shall kill you: and ye shall be hated of all nations for my name’s sake.

Mat 24:10  And then shall many be offended, and shall betray one another, and shall hate one another.

Mat 24:11  And many false prophets shall rise, and shall deceive many.

Mat 24:12  And because iniquity shall abound, the love of many shall wax cold.

Mat 24:13  But he that shall endure unto the end, the same shall be saved.

Mat 24:14  And this gospel of the kingdom shall be preached in all the world for a witness unto all nations; and then shall the end come.

Mat 24:15  When ye therefore shall see the abomination of desolation, spoken of by Daniel the prophet, stand in the holy place, (whoso readeth, let him understand:)

Mat 24:16  Then let them which be in Judaea flee into the mountains:

Mat 24:17  Let him which is on the housetop not come down to take any thing out of his house:

Mat 24:18  Neither let him which is in the field return back to take his clothes.

Mat 24:19  And woe unto them that are with child, and to them that give suck in those days!

Mat 24:20  But pray ye that your flight be not in the winter, neither on the sabbath day:

Mat 24:21  For then shall be great tribulation, such as was not since the beginning of the world to this time, no, nor ever shall be.

Mat 24:22  And except those days should be shortened, there should no flesh be saved: but for the elect’s sake those days shall be shortened.

Mat 24:23  Then if any man shall say unto you, Lo, here is Christ, or there; believe it not.

Mat 24:24  For there shall arise false Christs, and false prophets, and shall shew great signs and wonders; insomuch that, if it were possible, they shall deceive the very elect.

Mat 24:25  Behold, I have told you before.

Mat 24:26  Wherefore if they shall say unto you, Behold, he is in the desert; go not forth: behold, he is in the secret chambers; believe it not.

Mat 24:27  For as the lightning cometh out of the east, and shineth even unto the west; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mat 24:28  For wheresoever the carcase is, there will the eagles be gathered together.

Mat 24:29  Immediately after the tribulation of those days shall the sun be darkened, and the moon shall not give her light, and the stars shall fall from heaven, and the powers of the heavens shall be shaken:

Mat 24:30  And then shall appear the sign of the Son of man in heaven: and then shall all the tribes of the earth mourn, and they shall see the Son of man coming in the clouds of heaven with power and great glory.

Mat 24:31  And he shall send his angels with a great sound of a trumpet, and they shall gather together his elect from the four winds, from one end of heaven to the other.

Mat 24:32  Now learn a parable of the fig tree; When his branch is yet tender, and putteth forth leaves, ye know that summer is nigh:

Mat 24:33  So likewise ye, when ye shall see all these things, know that it is near, even at the doors.

Mat 24:34  Verily I say unto you, This generation shall not pass, till all these things be fulfilled.

Mat 24:35  Heaven and earth shall pass away, but my words shall not pass away.

Mat 24:36  But of that day and hour knoweth no man, no, not the angels of heaven, but my Father only.

Mat 24:37  But as the days of Noe were, so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mat 24:38  For as in the days that were before the flood they were eating and drinking, marrying and giving in marriage, until the day that Noe entered into the ark,

Mat 24:39  And knew not until the flood came, and took them all away; so shall also the coming of the Son of man be.

Mat 24:40  Then shall two be in the field; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Mat 24:41  Two women shall be grinding at the mill; the one shall be taken, and the other left.

Mat 24:42  Watch therefore: for ye know not what hour your Lord doth come.

Mat 24:43  But know this, that if the goodman of the house had known in what watch the thief would come, he would have watched, and would not have suffered his house to be broken up.

Mat 24:44  Therefore be ye also ready: for in such an hour as ye think not the Son of man cometh.

People guess about the year based on prophesies and on symbolism and numbers that God uses frequently. The thing is, we don’t really know. Jesus does say to be ready at all times.

I’ve been feeling like I need to read the Bible more; I know I’ve been hearing it from various pastors on the radio.

I read Isaiah 55:6, (KJV):  Seek ye the LORD while he may be found, call ye upon him while he is near.

Sometimes I feel as though God might be whispering that to my spirit: Seek Me.

A lady at our gathering said she feels we are close to the time when Jesus will return for His servants. Then the man leading the discussion reminded us to read the Bible through in a year. He gave us a paper with the amounts to read every day, a few chapters of the Old Testament and a couple chapters of the New Testament. He’s been following that format for years and the more he reads the Bible the more he sees things he’s missed before. There’s a date before each entry, so you don’t have to start on January first if you didn’t get the paper beforehand. I like that.

What do you think of this section of Scripture? Is Jesus coming back to earth soon?

 

Time is of the Essence

photo from:http://www.visitdelaware.com/things-to-do/history-heritage/dupont-mansions-gardens/

Last Sunday at church, I felt as if the Holy Spirit was saying to be ready for the end of life for one or more of the attendees there. That they should be ready or as my husband says, “Keep short accounts with God.”

We all mess up. So, immediately make it right with God by repenting and then if possible, make it right with the person that got hurt by your actions, if that’s the case. I was considering God’s characteristics yesterday, and one of them is that He is a merciful God. He’s a loving God, as well.

Today at the nursing home Bible study we read Matthew 19 and then Matthew 20. Somehow, the conversation came up about God’s forgiveness. I think it was around the passage where the landowner hires workers at the beginning of the day, the earlier part, the middle part and at the end of the day. He paid the last workers first and they received a denarius. The workers that bore the heat and toil of the day expected the landowner to pay them more. He said, “Didn’t you agree to the wages I offered? Why are you jealous over my generosity?”

I got talking about the fact that the Jewish people knew God and were loved by God for many years before He reached out to the Gentiles in a bigger way. The Jewish people received the benefits from God: love, provision, acceptance, mercy and direction. They also experienced discipline, attacks from the devil because of them being God’s chosen people, self-sacrifice through obedience to God which is not always easy but makes for a better life, and occasional chastening when His people followed the Gentile’s gods and ways.

So, as we spoke about these things God’s response to repentance came to mind.

Isa_1:18, (KJV):  Come now, and let us reason together, saith the LORD: though your sins be as scarlet, they shall be as white as snow; though they be red like crimson, they shall be as wool.

Isa_43:25  I, even I, am he that blotteth out thy transgressions for mine own sake, and will not remember thy sins.

Isa_44:22  I have blotted out, as a thick cloud, thy transgressions, and, as a cloud, thy sins: return unto me; for I have redeemed thee.

Mic_7:19  He will turn again, he will have compassion upon us; he will subdue our iniquities; and thou wilt cast all their sins into the depths of the sea.

I thought the Scripture that says God forgives our sins and throws our sins into the sea of forgetfulness was in the book of Isaiah. 🙂

When King Hezekiah was very sick, he said in Isaiah 38:17, (KJV):  “Behold, for peace I had great bitterness: but thou hast in love to my soul delivered it from the pit of corruption: for thou hast cast all my sins behind thy back.”

After this, God healed King Hezekiah.

God amazes me. He loves us unconditionally, but He is a judge and we must believe on Him and His Son and repent and let Him be our Master. That’s what He says in His Word, especially in the book of John. I think that’s why when people become born again, they are often directed to read the Bible and to begin in the book of John.

I hope this finds you well. This earth is only ours to visit for a short time and then we have the opportunity to live in heaven for all of eternity. That’s the promise in John 14:

John 14:1  Let not your heart be troubled: ye believe in God, believe also in me.

Joh 14:2  In my Father’s house are many mansions: if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you.

Joh 14:3  And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again, and receive you unto myself; that where I am, there ye may be also.

winter walk near biltmore house photo from: http://www.goodsearch.com/search-web?utf8=%E2%9C%93&keywords=Biltmore+mansion

Of course, God’s mansions will far outdo any mansion man can build. Just look at creation and His animals and His people!

May God bless you.

 

Again, God is Good

I’ve heard this dozens of times: “God is good, all the time” and then someone answers, “and all the time, God is good.”

Where did that come from? I looked online, but there wasn’t a clear source.

I’m assuming it’s from Scripture. Here’s an example: Matthew 19:13, (KJV):  Then were there brought unto him little children, that he should put his hands on them, and pray: and the disciples rebuked them.

Mat 19:14  But Jesus said, Suffer little children, and forbid them not, to come unto me: for of such is the kingdom of heaven.

Mat 19:15  And he laid his hands on them, and departed thence.

Mat 19:16  And, behold, one came and said unto him, Good Master, what good thing shall I do, that I may have eternal life?

Mat 19:17  And he said unto him, Why callest thou me good? there is none good but one, that is, God: but if thou wilt enter into life, keep the commandments.

Another example is in Psalm 73:1  A Psalm of Asaph. (KJV): Truly God is good to Israel, even to such as are of a clean heart.

Speaking of Israel, from what I understand, President Donald Trump intends to support Israel. Psalm_122:6, (KJV) says: “Pray for the peace of Jerusalem: they shall prosper that love thee.”

Those that love Jerusalem will prosper.

God’s ways are hard to figure sometimes, but when He says something, He means it. He loves all the nations:

Rev_7:9  After this I beheld, and, lo, a great multitude, which no man could number, of all nations, and kindreds, and people, and tongues, stood before the throne, and before the Lamb, clothed with white robes, and palms in their hands;

Mentioning heaven, it says in Rev_21:24, (KJV):  “And the nations of them which are saved shall walk in the light of it: and the kings of the earth do bring their glory and honour into it.

Rev 21:25  And the gates of it shall not be shut at all by day: for there shall be no night there.

Rev 21:26  And they shall bring the glory and honour of the nations into it.

Rev 21:27  And there shall in no wise enter into it any thing that defileth, neither whatsoever worketh abomination, or maketh a lie: but they which are written in the Lamb’s book of life.”

Rev_22:2  In the midst of the street of it, and on either side of the river, was there the tree of life, which bare twelve manner of fruits, and yielded her fruit every month: and the leaves of the tree were for the healing of the nations.

Because God is good, He wants healing and prosperity and love to be in the hearts of mankind, and all the fruits of the Spirit listed in Galatians 5:22, (KJV):  But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith,

Gal 5:23  Meekness, temperance: against such there is no law.

I hope this finds you well! May God bless you.

Hungry, but Not Sure for What?

Once a year, a ministry borrows our church for their annual Christmas party. They invite us since we know them and it’s our building, kind of.

We sing Christmas carols, eat a catered meal and hear an inspirational message. I always want to support them because they care about reaching people for Jesus.

I read a quote yesterday about Christianity being great for a pluralistic society because God allows people to accept His gift of salvation, ignore it, or refuse it. He honors their intelligence, their feelings and their boundaries.

As a Christian, when I’m praying for my loved ones to receive Christ so they’re not suffering for eternity in a loveless place where there is “wailing and gnashing of teeth,” as found in Matthew 13 near the end of the chapter, where Jesus is speaking in parables, I wonder if God presents more opportunities for them to understand the message.

My dad used to tell my diabetic sister to drink water instead of diet soda pop because it wasn’t good for her. Eventually, I became aware of all the sodium in it. The salt causes the drinker to thirst, so the customer buys more soda pop and sales go up. Our local store often does a buy 2/ get 3 free sale of soda pop hoping to get more customers to start their product.

I’m hoping God will cause my relatives, friends and many others to hunger and thirst for His righteousness so they’ll want God in their life. That’s why I pray.

I try not to grow weary in prayer because I figure someone prayed me into the kingdom of God. Some people think it’s arrogant to say you know you’re going to heaven, but I say it only because Jesus said it.

Luke 6:17, (KJV):  And he came down with them, and stood in the plain, and the company of his disciples, and a great multitude of people out of all Judaea and Jerusalem, and from the sea coast of Tyre and Sidon, which came to hear him, and to be healed of their diseases;

Luk 6:18  And they that were vexed with unclean spirits: and they were healed.

Luk 6:19  And the whole multitude sought to touch him: for there went virtue out of him, and healed them all.

Luk 6:20  And he lifted up his eyes on his disciples, and said, Blessed be ye poor: for yours is the kingdom of God.

Luk 6:21  Blessed are ye that hunger now: for ye shall be filled. Blessed are ye that weep now: for ye shall laugh.

Luk 6:22  Blessed are ye, when men shall hate you, and when they shall separate you from their company, and shall reproach you, and cast out your name as evil, for the Son of man’s sake.

Luk 6:23  Rejoice ye in that day, and leap for joy: for, behold, your reward is great in heaven: for in the like manner did their fathers unto the prophets.

 

Earlier tonight, I spent almost an hour online looking to find the quote about Christians living side by side with others that worship other gods in a pluralistic society. I found T.S. Eliot and it might have come from him, but if it did, it wasn’t in the form I read. I have heard of his name, but have been unfamiliar with him and his thoughts.

He is a famous poet and playwright and educator from America with his ancestry from England. He returned to England and gave up his American citizenship for an English citizenship. He watched Europe grapple with their re-structuring after WWI and sensed society moving more towards mankind relying on themselves and becoming more materialistic. He prophesied, in my opinion, on the falling away of the believers in the Christian faith and that society would suffer from turning their backs on Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. Even in his day, professors in college and prominent writers turned from Christianity. He became a sole conservative voice in his close circle of influence. People respected him, even if they disagreed with his religious viewpoint.

I hope you are enjoying the season of life you find yourself in. May God bless you.

 

 

 

Sacrifice of Praise

 

Psalm 118:24 This is the day which the LORD hath made; we will rejoice and be glad in it, (KJV).

 

Philippians 4:4  May you always be joyful in your union with the Lord. I say it again: rejoice!

Php 4:5  Show a gentle attitude toward everyone. The Lord is coming soon.

Php 4:6  Don’t worry about anything, but in all your prayers ask God for what you need, always asking him with a thankful heart.

Php 4:7  And God’s peace, which is far beyond human understanding, will keep your hearts and minds safe in union with Christ Jesus.

Php 4:8  In conclusion, my friends, fill your minds with those things that are good and that deserve praise: things that are true, noble, right, pure, lovely, and honorable.

Php 4:9  Put into practice what you learned and received from me, both from my words and from my actions. And the God who gives us peace will be with you, (GNB).

 

I am choosing to praise God today after hearing some bad news. A lady that mentored me a little, with a love for God and for her husband and for her family and for her friends had two brain surgeries. The first seemed to go well and then lately they decided something was wrong and so they went in again. Last night my husband told me she was in Palliative care and not expected to live. I prayed for her and midway through I got the distinct impression that her time here on earth was over.

So, I prayed more in case I was mistaken. I prayed more for us than for her. Heaven is a wonderful place from what I’ve read in the Scriptures. There are more warnings about hell than there are descriptions about heaven in the Word of God. I’m thinking if God put too much about heaven in there, we may get so homesick we could hardly function down here. He wants us to be joyful even in the midst of hard times.

 

Jer_33:11  The voice of joy, and the voice of gladness, the voice of the bridegroom, and the voice of the bride, the voice of them that shall say, Praise the LORD of hosts: for the LORD is good; for his mercy endureth for ever: and of them that shall bring the sacrifice of praise into the house of the LORD. For I will cause to return the captivity of the land, as at the first, saith the LORD, (KJV).

 

Jeremiah was a prophet to Israel warning them of the upcoming takeover of their land and their people by the Babylonians. They didn’t believe him and they persecuted him. In the years to come, he turned out to have preached the true Word of God. Israel got punished for turning to the gods of the other nations that practiced things that God hated: Offering their babies to a false god by putting them through the fire, enjoying the temple prostitutes of these other faiths, and telling God they would release their Israeli slaves and soon after putting them back into slavery, etc.

The verse of Jeremiah 33:11 tells the Israelites that they will be returned to their homeland. My husband is teaching the book of Daniel on Sunday mornings. Daniel prayed near the end of the seventieth year of their captivity because it was prophesied that they would return after seventy years. Daniel prayed humbly and beautifully to remind God of His promise. Indeed, God rose up a king that wanted to bless the Israelites and help them be restored to their land, as Jeremiah had said.

Our God is a God of justice and a God of hope. Those who may think God is too kind to punish someone have not taken the time to read the whole Bible. He rewards those who obey Him and love Him; He punishes those who disregard the sacrifice of His Son for our sins and live selfish lives.

I’m so glad my friend knew Jesus, God the Son. I plan on seeing her again.

Be blessed.

Go Into All the World

Our church has been hosting unchurched people to give them opportunities to ask my husband questions they might have about God. When one of the pastor’s placed an ad about the Bible Study, Totally Forgiving God by R T Kendall, one man wrote a scathing letter.

I’m not aware of the contents. My husband thought he’d contact the writer to see about opening up a dialogue. I’ll be praying it goes well.

I was reading the last chapter of Mark, the last words of Jesus before He went up to heaven. In Mark 16: 15-20 (KJV), it says: And he said unto them, Go ye into all the world, and preach the gospel to every creature.

Mar 16:16  He that believeth and is baptized shall be saved; but he that believeth not shall be damned.

Mar 16:17  And these signs shall follow them that believe; In my name shall they cast out devils; they shall speak with new tongues;

Mar 16:18  They shall take up serpents; and if they drink any deadly thing, it shall not hurt them; they shall lay hands on the sick, and they shall recover.

Mar 16:19  So then after the Lord had spoken unto them, he was received up into heaven, and sat on the right hand of God.

Mar 16:20  And they went forth, and preached every where, the Lord working with them, and confirming the word with signs following. Amen.

I’m not sure what it means, “they shall take up serpents.”

Something to look in to.

May God bless you.

 

 

Reunited

Twice now my husband has shown “The Way of the Master” videos by Ray Comfort and Kirk Cameron at our church. We get sparked to tell others about the Gospel of Jesus Christ because they show clearly what God’s Word says – there is a heaven and a hell.

 

What kind of Christian never tells anyone about a heavenly home and never warns against another place? Jesus said hell is a place of torment with people gnashing their teeth for eternity.

 

That’s why Jesus came to earth and took on all the sins of the world: every unkind word, every murder, every theft, every lie, every sexual sin, every kidnapping, etc. He’s a perfectly sinless man Who took every sin on Himself: God became flesh. Why? So we could get to know Him and decide if we wanted to repent of our sins and become children of God, or if we wanted to continue with our lives as usual and reject God.

 

When I sin I feel yucky inside and if I ignore my sins and choose not to repent, I get dull to my conscience. Once, I’d turned from Christ for a number of years and when I moved to a neighborhood with a few Christians, I said with disdain, “Oh, no, there’s a Christian.”

 

Deep inside, I thought, what’s going on with me?

 

When the young lady in her denim skirt finally met me, she asked if I was a Christian. I said, “Yes, I am.”

 

Weeks later, as we waited at a neighbor’s home, Jerry Falwell came on the television set. It was at a time when “talking heads” on television reviled him for some of his stances. I didn’t know anything about him, truth be told.

 

An argument against Jerry Falwell rose up within me. That precious lady blinked. She smiled at me. Gently she said, “I thought you said you are a Christian.”

 

“I did.”

 

“Can’t we agree to disagree?”

 

I backed down. Then they began to befriend me, day after day, sometimes talking about God, sometimes not. My hunger for God returned and I began reading my Bible again. Sweet relief!

 

We raised our babies together, learned to garden, learned to make soup, learned how to love our husbands despite some other women constantly putting their husband’s down.

 

God spoke to me to stop the gossip sessions with my unsaved neighbors. “If you think your husband is bad, you should see what my husband does…”

 

I discovered an amazing thing, my attitude toward my husband improved. In my experience, following God blesses many aspects of life.

 

I hope this finds you well. God bless.