In the Word

NKJV Giant-Print Personal-Size Reference Bible; Imitation Leather Blackhttps://www.christianbook.com/page/bibles/translations/nkjv?event=Bibles|1000153

I’m in the book of Ezekiel this week. Ezekiel follows Lamentations, and frankly I dreaded reading it. That’s where Jeremiah cries because of the pain of seeing God’s judgment on Israel. Lamentations turned out to be small, so I carried on to Ezekiel in just a little time.

It’s so hard to understand, and I tried to picture the wheel within a wheel, filled with eyes. Disconcerting, actually.

What always comes through is that God has standards and when evil prevails, He finally sends judgment. One of the sayings that kept coming up was, “That you may know that I am the Lord.”

Another verse: Ezekiel 11:5, (ESV), And the Spirit of the LORD fell upon me, and he said to me, “Say, Thus says the LORD: So you think, O house of Israel. For I know the things that come into your mind.”

Now, I’m fully aware that God knows all things, but tonight the idea that He knows every thought that comes into my mind felt intimidating because I’m not perfect. In Proverbs 1:7, (NKJV), it says, “The fear of the LORD is the beginning of knowledge: but fools despise wisdom and instruction.”

I definitely felt fear or awe of God when I realized He knows my every thought. On the other hand, tonight I was thinking that when I’m struggling, only God knows what kind of spiritual attack I might be under that is causing me to feel discouraged or sick or lonely or whatever malady may come my way.

He knows when I willfully disobey Him and choose to rebel. He knows when I make a mistake. He knows when I get deceived. He knows when I take credit for giftings that He placed within me. He knows everything. It’s a comfort and it’s a reason to consider what my attitude and my actions are going to be.

He sets things out so clearly in Deuteronomy 8:11-20, (ESV), “Take care lest you forget the LORD your God by not keeping his commandments and his rules and his statutes, which I command you today,

Deu 8:12  lest, when you have eaten and are full and have built good houses and live in them,

Deu 8:13  and when your herds and flocks multiply and your silver and gold is multiplied and all that you have is multiplied,

Deu 8:14  then your heart be lifted up, and you forget the LORD your God, who brought you out of the land of Egypt, out of the house of slavery,

Deu 8:15  who led you through the great and terrifying wilderness, with its fiery serpents and scorpions and thirsty ground where there was no water, who brought you water out of the flinty rock,

Deu 8:16  who fed you in the wilderness with manna that your fathers did not know, that he might humble you and test you, to do you good in the end.

Deu 8:17  Beware lest you say in your heart, ‘My power and the might of my hand have gotten me this wealth.’

Deu 8:18  You shall remember the LORD your God, for it is he who gives you power to get wealth, that he may confirm his covenant that he swore to your fathers, as it is this day.

Deu 8:19  And if you forget the LORD your God and go after other gods and serve them and worship them, I solemnly warn you today that you shall surely perish.

Deu 8:20  Like the nations that the LORD makes to perish before you, so shall you perish, because you would not obey the voice of the LORD your God.”

God is loving but He’s also tough. He’s not wishy-washy.

Well, in this time of joy and shopping and visiting with many others, as I read along in the Word of God, my thoughts get carried away to what I think God is concerned about.

I hope you’re taking time to ask God what He would have you read and pursue. You may be surprised what He has in mind for you.

One of my favorite verses is Jeremiah 29:11, (ESV), “For I know the plans I have for you, declares the LORD, plans for welfare and not for evil, to give you a future and a hope.”

This was written to the Jewish people when they were being warned about the length of their captivity by the Babylonians. At this point, some of them were already taken to that far away land.

These verses remind me that God is a fair judge, yet He’s got the welfare of the people He loves in mind, even when disciplining them. He tells us that He is the same yesterday, today and forever. That gives me hope.

May God bless you.

 

 

 

 

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Healthy Habits

 

I read Jeremiah 1:4, “Then the word of the LORD came to me, saying:
Jer 1:5 ‘Before I formed you in the womb I knew you; Before you were born I sanctified you; I ordained you a prophet to the nations.’” (NKJV)

It strikes me that God has a purpose for every one of us, and for those who call Him Lord and Savior, He says in 1Corinthians 6:19 “Or do you not know that your body is the temple of the Holy Spirit who is in you, whom you have from God, and you are not your own?
1Cor. 6:20 “For you were bought at a price; therefore glorify God in your body and in your spirit, which are God’s.” (NKJV)

The previous verses talk about sin and in this case, are saying people in Christ should not be sexually immoral.

In Proverbs 23:15, (NKJV), King Solomon says, “My son, if your heart is wise, My heart will rejoice—indeed, I myself;
Pro 23:16 Yes, my inmost being will rejoice When your lips speak right things.
Pro 23:17 Do not let your heart envy sinners, But be zealous for the fear of the LORD all the day;
Pro 23:18 For surely there is a hereafter, And your hope will not be cut off.
Pro 23:19 Hear, my son, and be wise; And guide your heart in the way.
Pro 23:20 Do not mix with winebibbers, Or with gluttonous eaters of meat;
Pro 23:21 For the drunkard and the glutton will come to poverty, And drowsiness will clothe a man with rags.”

I know these verses and in my mind, I want to eat healthy and stop eating when I’m full. I also think about exercising regularly, it’s a good thing.

I have developed some good habits: when craving sweets, I’ll grab a fruit instead of dessert. I park the car far from the store when feasible; when grocery shopping, avoid the sweets aisle or if it’s not possible, avert glance away from the cookies, etc.; walk the stairs instead of using the elevator; eat less fatty foods, substitute lean choices and choose spices for added flavor.

I’ve been spending more time preparing healthier foods lately, but I keep missing organized exercise classes our town offers for free.

Since the food preparation has improved, I may be ready to begin the exercising within the next couple of days.

My brain acknowledges the truth of the Scripture that this body is the temple of the Holy Spirit and therefore it is not my own. It hasn’t made it to my heart, even after all these years of following Jesus and knowing that He bought me with the price of His sacrificial death.

I accepted His free gift of salvation and told Him I wanted to belong to Him.

My doctor doesn’t tell me I need to lose weight, I’m just aware of the stealthy creeping in of eating unhealthily and the numbers on the scale going up.

So, I’ve been cutting back and making wiser choices but it’s not always easy.

Oven-baked root vegetables tasted good to me tonight. My husband thought they were too sweet and with a tiny amount of spice the taste of vegetables predominated. We’re experimenting with new recipes lately. Winter weather hit our region; it was a pleasure to set the oven to 425 degrees Fahrenheit for over an hour.

Are you considering your health? Do you sneak in exercise or resist potato chips in a way that can be copied for good health? I’d like to hear from you.

May God bless you!

A Movie for Thought

My husband and I, and my sister watched the movie, “The Shack,” the other night. We ordered it from Netflix.

 

I wrote my thoughts before I read the review from “Plugged In” from Focus on the Family website. Here’s the link I copied: http://www.pluggedin.com/movie-reviews/the-shack-2017/

I got the photo from that link.

I read the book years ago and if I saw the movie, I didn’t remember it. The idea of an African-American woman being God didn’t set well with my pre-conceived belief of God, the Father.

 

As I heard her explain that since the main character’s upbringing might cause him to reject an image of his cruel daddy, the three in the godhead agreed that “I Am,” aka God, should show up as a female.

 

That same person comforted him as a young child after a trauma and I wondered why he didn’t remember her in his adult years.

 

As the movie progressed, it got into some deeper issues. Why does God allow evil? Also, Romans 8:28. Additionally, where is God when we suffer?

 

Wisdom, a female as represented in Proverbs, had the main character put evil ones on trial. He was the judge. As an adult, he got to see his father traumatized as a child.

 

We noticed a contradiction to Scripture when they said God is not a god of wrath. He does get mad and metes out punishment-just read the Old Testament. God is the same yesterday, today and tomorrow.

 

It seemed as if all of mankind gets into heaven, if I understood the movie correctly. That is definitely unbiblical. Yet, by the end of the show I felt as if I knew God more. I experienced an infusion of hope.

“Plugged In” gives sidebars:

CAST

Sam Worthington as Mack Phillips; Octavia Spencer as Papa; Radha Mitchell as Nan Phillips; Megan Charpentier as Kate Phillips; Gage Munroe as Josh Phillips; Amélie Eve as Missy Phillips; Tim McGraw as Willie; Avraham Aviv Alush as Jesus; Sumire Matsubara as Sarayu; Alice Braga as Sophia; Graham Greene as Male Papa

 

DIRECTOR

Stuart Hazeldine

 

DISTRIBUTOR

Lionsgate

 

RATING

PG-13

 

GENRE

Drama

I believe the producer is Summit Entertainment because that’s at the movie’s website http://www.theshack.movie

 

God bless you all! Any thoughts you’d like to share?

Where Does It Start?

The internet can be awesome and it can be dangerous. Awesome in the freedom of information that flows through it. Dangerous in the freedom of information that flows unabated.

I heard that President Obama wanted to regulate the internet. It didn’t come to pass. I wouldn’t want it to pass. Yet, there are times when bullying on social media sites is said to have caused people to commit suicide. That is just awful. Where are the parents or the other youth when all this is going on? Doesn’t anybody know or stand up for those being trashed on websites?

Another thing that can be good or bad on the world wide web is talking about God.

My husband, the pastor told me on Saturday night that he’s seeing more info on the web trying to convince people that there is no God. An occasional site will write that Christianity is dangerous. Negative comments about Christianity are nothing new because Jesus said that the devil comes to steal, kill and destroy in John 10:10. That same verse also says that Jesus came to give life and that more abundantly.

So it’s no surprise that people cut down Christianity. Jesus said Christians would be persecuted, even as He was. Despite persecution, I’ve heard that Christianity is the fastest growing religion outside of Western Civilization. I know why. Once I became a Christian I found such incredible peace and felt God’s love.

Lately, a man I met, age 52, in a nursing home because of contracting Multiple Sclerosis, said that even though he doesn’t like having the disease, he isn’t as upset anymore. He recently accepted Jesus as his Lord and Savior due to the evangelical efforts of one of our elderly parishioners. She kept talking to him and giving him hand written Bible verses. Eventually he accepted a Bible from her. This last Saturday he told me he had become a Christian. He figures if he hadn’t gotten ill, he would never have found God. He also had been very bitter over someone taking advantage of him and keeping his money, a large amount. When he told me about it, he was very calm. My friend was amazed at his attitude. She said, “I know he got saved. He’s not bitter any more.”

He’s still trying to get his cash back, but now he’s calling people that may be able to help and he’s not freaking out. They are cooperating and he’s amazed. No one listened to him before.

Our church attendee also loved her roommate with patience and kindness. After a year of being a friend, the roomie – a 93 year old former librarian, whose mind is still sharp, accepted Jesus as her Savior and King. So now we’re in a Bible study with two others as well.

Where does it start? Loving people pray for unsaved others to come to know Jesus Christ as Lord and Savior. How did they get saved? From others that believed and prayed and then talked to them or wrote about the gift of Jesus’ life for our benefit. It really started when Jesus decided to leave heaven, put off his godly attributes, and become a human being. Filled with the Holy Spirit, Jesus constantly prayed so He would know His Father’s will. Then He obeyed God always, so we could become born again as Jesus said to do in John 3. It all began in heaven, when God said, “We need to make a way for sinful man to get right with Me.”

I’m paraphrasing. Jesus offered to be the sacrifice for God’s punishment for our sins. “He paid a debt He didn’t owe”, a Southern Gospel song written by Ellis J. Crum says.

We have hope through Jesus Christ, God the Son. He was there in the beginning of creation. He promised to never leave us nor forsake us. Any questions about this mystery of love and sacrifice and forgiveness and mercy and judgment and redemption?

Maybe I can answer them. If not, I’ll try and find a more knowledgeable source. Whenever I get stumped, I pray about it and then I’ll hear a sermon or a program on the radio answering my question. The Bible is filled with answers. A book thousands of years old that answers today’s conundrums. That’s got to be God-inspired. The book of Hebrews tells most of the doctrines of the entire Bible.

So, back to the internet: it has good advice and then at times it has total garbage and wrong information, too. So I keep away from the garbage and the danger it offers to the best of my ability and try to embrace the good. I hope and pray parents are guarding their children from the evils of the internet, especially stalkers of the innocent. I pray for children often, even those I don’t know, because we live in a crazy world. I hope you’re well.

Write For Life

I set some goals to get my novel proposal done before October 28, which I’ve been meeting. I also decided to write everything for God a while back. It may not always be a Christian work, but it won’t be displeasing to God. I want to write words for life. Jesus said that He came to give life and that abundantly, John 10:10. When I die I want to stand before God and hear Him say, “Well done, thou good and faithful servant.” In a parable, Jesus talks like this in Matthew 25:21, 23.

In Philippians 4:8 it says, “Finally, brethren, whatsoever things are true, whatsoever things are honorable, whatsoever things are just, whatsoever things are pure, whatsoever things are lovely, whatsoever things are of good report; if there be any virtue, and if there be any praise, think on these things.”

With all that’s going on in the world, I want to write about Jesus and the hope of knowing Him as Lord and Savior. This life is short and eternity is forever. When I hear that the city of Houston is asking pastors to give their sermon notes to the government in America, where there is supposed to be separation of church and state and I hear of atrocities around the world, I keep thinking the prophecies of Jesus’ soon return are being fulfilled before our very eyes.

If you write, do you have goals set? Are you working on them? If you are a Christian, are you thinking on positive things and praying for others and letting others know of the hope of heaven and the ability to avoid hell?

I wish I was better at it. I’ve been asking God to help me. The gospel is offensive, calling people, all people, sinners. I’m too much of a people-pleaser at times. How happy will they be if I don’t tell them in love of heaven and hell, and they end up in hell? Dear God.

Love

“Love covers a multitude of sins,” is from James 5:20 and a similar verse is in Proverbs 10:12b.

We had a Bible study last night with a foursome. My husband likes to have each person read a verse and then we discuss the verses. In Ephesians 1:18 (NASB) it says, “I pray that the eyes of your heart may be enlightened, so that you may know what is the hope of His calling, what are the riches of the glory of His inheritance in the saints,”

In thinking of the last part of that verse, we thought, Jesus’ inheritance is the saints. His glorious inheritance is the saints, those who believe in the Lord Jesus Christ and are in a righteous relationship with Him. It blew us away. God loves us so much that He considers us part of His inheritance.

In that light, I guess that explains the gospel. Jesus gave up His existence in heaven to come to earth to take the punishment for our sins upon Himself to restore for whosoever would, (John 3:16), the conditions of the Garden of Eden or possibly way better, since I wasn’t there, and then people can experience an eternity with God. They’ll have a new name, a new body, a new heart/soul, all perfect or complete, to live forever, in an environment that is all love, no evil.

They will have a purposeful life for all of time with a creative, loving, brilliant God. I’m paraphrasing the verses about heaven. Jesus spoke of heaven in the four gospels of Matthew, Mark, Luke and John. Heaven is mentioned in the last chapters of Revelation and elsewhere in the Word of God.

Jesus’ love covers a multitude of sin for a multitude of sinners. Perfect, unconditional love.