Curtailed

Occasionally I look at my life from an objective viewpoint, or as much of an objective viewpoint as is humanly possible. Lately I’ve noticed that people I saw regularly have been moved out of my life. I don’t see some due to sickness, some from changed circumstances so their time doesn’t mesh with mine much, and some from their lack of interest. I decided that there are seasons in life when people are nearby and seasons when they’re gone and then it changes, and they’re back again.

It doesn’t feel that way right now. I wonder if the Lord is trying to get through to me and I’m not hearing Him. Recently, when plans are made or opportunities come along, the door gets slammed shut. Not all of them, but some of them. I’ll make plans and move along to fulfill them and then someone calls and cancels. My husband and I accept invitations and then work demands more of him than he expected and he tells me we can’t go. Then one of us picks up the phone and apologizes. Either the Lord is trying to get through to me or He’s helping me to adjust to variations so I can be flexible.

On the other hand, I’ve also noticed how He orchestrates my steps. I’ve been on my way somewhere and think that we’re almost out of bread. I have time to stop at the store. Once there, I’ll run into someone I haven’t seen in a while and they need to know something I can answer, or I need advice or prayer and they’re there for me. I’ve seen it over and over again with different situations.

Today I intended to spend half the day at home doing chores. My husband and one volunteer have been working hard to get handicap bathrooms into our church. We’ve moved more than once in our lives, so I’ve learned how to paint. I intended to offer to help paint tomorrow. Then I realized they were painting today and my husband looked tired.  So, I ended up staying there to paint and another lady joined me. I got hungry before he did and the helper, an expert contractor actually, agreed that he could eat as well. I ordered pizza with my husband’s approval and that blessed the man that has so greatly blessed us. My husband calls this volunteer “The boss” because his level of expertise in building far surpasses ours.

Others have volunteered as well, but not as steadily.

Maybe the reason I feel like a bird whose wings have been clipped every time my expectations get dashed is because God wants me doing things for others that are more important than what I’m aiming for. I enjoyed painting today and getting to know a couple of people better.

I don’t have anything to complain about, I just feel a bit off-kilter. 🙂

I guess that’s a part of life.

How are you doing today?

May God bless you!

 

Meeting of the Minds

I went to a meeting today because a regular attendee couldn’t make it. I thought it would be good to be in the loop. The consultant asked who didn’t like a certain event and he told me that I should not be on that committee since I did like the event. He wants ways to improve it and if I’m happy with it, I won’t have ideas to change it for the better.

It occurs to me tonight that my reasons for attending were because of thoughts that my husband wanted me there, maybe I could be of help, and I’d enjoy it. He consistently said I was welcome if I chose to be there. He didn’t exactly want me there. I might have been of some help, but the leader needed to hear what we thought needed fixing. I probably did 50/50 of that and what was working. He only wanted a little of what was working. I enjoyed it, but a project I hoped to work on today got put aside until tonight when I was tired.

So, I’m going to attend the meetings I need to attend as a leader and pastor’s wife and leave the other meetings for the regular attendee to resume.

There are only so many hours in the day and the Lord did say in Ephesians  5:16, (KJV),

Redeeming the time, because the days are evil.

Eph 5:17  Wherefore be ye not unwise, but understanding what the will of the Lord is.

Image result for clock with pictures instead of numbers

(I reached this from Google by clicking on clock with pictures on their list of entries.)

I know the Lord has me doing a few things that require me to be in a quiet mode which is impossible in a group setting. So, I only got half of what I wanted to get done when my husband came home. Then I switched to a book and notebook to jot down some notes while he was busy doing his thing across the room from me.

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

Fear Not

Jesus Calms the Storm

 

image from : https://www.christianbook.com/jesus-calms-the-storm/9780758606372/pd/606370?kw=606370&en=shopping&p=1012505

Jesus spoke to His disciples a few times saying, O ye of little faith, fear not; or something to that effect.

In Matthew 8:23, (KJV), the Word of God tells us: And when he was entered into a ship, his disciples followed him.

Mat 8:24  And, behold, there arose a great tempest in the sea, insomuch that the ship was covered with the waves: but he was asleep.

Mat 8:25  And his disciples came to him, and awoke him, saying, Lord, save us: we perish.

Mat 8:26  And he saith unto them, Why are ye fearful, O ye of little faith? Then he arose, and rebuked the winds and the sea; and there was a great calm.

Mat 8:27  But the men marvelled, saying, What manner of man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey him!

The next verses tell us:

Mat 8:28  And when he was come to the other side into the country of the Gergesenes, there met him two possessed with devils, coming out of the tombs, exceeding fierce, so that no man might pass by that way.

Mat 8:29  And, behold, they cried out, saying, What have we to do with thee, Jesus, thou Son of God? art thou come hither to torment us before the time?

Mat 8:30  And there was a good way off from them an herd of many swine feeding.

Mat 8:31  So the devils besought him, saying, If thou cast us out, suffer us to go away into the herd of swine.

Mat 8:32  And he said unto them, Go. And when they were come out, they went into the herd of swine: and, behold, the whole herd of swine ran violently down a steep place into the sea, and perished in the waters.

Mat 8:33  And they that kept them fled, and went their ways into the city, and told every thing, and what was befallen to the possessed of the devils.

Mat 8:34  And, behold, the whole city came out to meet Jesus: and when they saw him, they besought him that he would depart out of their coasts.

They feared what they didn’t understand, I think.

I remember many years ago, a visiting evangelist and her traveling companion ministered at a city church. They invited us to the altar area to receive prayer if we wanted it. I went forward. The younger lady asked me what I wanted. I told her I wanted whatever gift of the Spirit God wanted to give to me. Yet, I felt fear. She looked at me. “God won’t give you anything that you can’t handle. Do you still want me to pray?”

I told her I did, and then she said that God was going to give me the ability to speak in more than one kind of tongues by the power of the Spirit.

Why do we Christians fear what God may ask us to do? Has He not said in 1 Thessalonians 5:24: Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it?

It comes from this passage in the King James Version: 1Th 5:8  But let us, who are of the day, be sober, putting on the breastplate of faith and love; and for an helmet, the hope of salvation.

1Th 5:9  For God hath not appointed us to wrath, but to obtain salvation by our Lord Jesus Christ,

1Th 5:10  Who died for us, that, whether we wake or sleep, we should live together with him.

1Th 5:11  Wherefore comfort yourselves together, and edify one another, even as also ye do.

1Th 5:12  And we beseech you, brethren, to know them which labour among you, and are over you in the Lord, and admonish you;

1Th 5:13  And to esteem them very highly in love for their work’s sake. And be at peace among yourselves.

1Th 5:14  Now we exhort you, brethren, warn them that are unruly, comfort the feebleminded, support the weak, be patient toward all men.

1Th 5:15  See that none render evil for evil unto any man; but ever follow that which is good, both among yourselves, and to all men.

1Th 5:16  Rejoice evermore.

1Th 5:17  Pray without ceasing.

1Th 5:18  In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.

1Th 5:19  Quench not the Spirit.

1Th 5:20  Despise not prophesyings.

1Th 5:21  Prove all things; hold fast that which is good.

1Th 5:22  Abstain from all appearance of evil.

1Th 5:23  And the very God of peace sanctify you wholly; and I pray God your whole spirit and soul and body be preserved blameless unto the coming of our Lord Jesus Christ.

1Th 5:24  Faithful is he that calleth you, who also will do it.

I remember the first Sunday that my husband was supposed to preach at the church that called him to pastor. The night before, he looked so ill that I began asking him to call someone to fill the pulpit for him. He tends to be healthy and he reminded me that he didn’t know anyone to call. I started telling him that I could just see it, we would wake up, he’d still be sick and I would end up preaching. He didn’t expect that to happen.

The next morning he still felt terrible. He began to prepare me to get ready to present a message to the church, to his aunt and to his dad who were traveling about an hour to hear him preach. I prayed like crazy and went through a message I heard the weekend before at a retreat for pastor’s wives. I stole most of the message, giving credit to the author so they knew it wasn’t my original ideas. When the singing part of the service concluded, my heart started working overtime and my knees knocked together and then I started imploring God, “Please don’t let me have a heart attack.”

By the end I didn’t want it to end so soon. Whether it was early or not, I couldn’t tell you. I went from almost paralyzing fear to the joy of connecting with the people over God’s Word.

I’ve been asked to speak at women’s groups but never to preach again. I found that God enabled me to stretch and do what I thought was impossible. He continues to lead me to circumstances that I don’t think I want to do nor think that I can do. With His help, they’ve all worked out. To God be the glory!

When fear comes knocking, I answer with the Scripture from 2Timothy_1:7 , (KJV): For God hath not given us the spirit of fear; but of power, and of love, and of a sound mind.

I’ve literally felt the fear lift off of me when I’ve spoken that Scripture out loud.

May God bless you.

Encouraged

My husband and I met with some friends tonight and one of the people wanted us to read Scriptures tonight to encourage us. She didn’t want to be reminded of all the sad things happening or even to think of politics and platforms.

Knowing her, she’s prayed about all these things, she will cast her vote in November, and she will stay aware of current events. But for tonight, she wanted to hear others read aloud Scriptures reminding everyone that God loves us, He does things well, and He is in control.

She understands we’re to revere God and she stands in awe of Him. But tonight, she wanted words of comfort and for her husband and friends to leave lifted up in spirit – feeling God’s compassion for us when things feel difficult, almost impossible.

So, I’d like to share some of the verses. With my husband’s help maybe we can remember most of them. Here they are:

  • Psalm 46:1,10,11 – Psa 46:1 To the choirmaster. Of the Sons of Korah. According to Alamoth. A Song. God is our refuge and strength, a very present help in trouble. “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!” The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah.
  • Zep 3:14 Sing aloud, O daughter of Zion; shout, O Israel! Rejoice and exult with all your heart, O daughter of Jerusalem!

Zep 3:15  The LORD has taken away the judgments against    you; he has cleared away            your enemies. The King of Israel, the LORD, is in your midst; you shall never again                  fear evil.

Zep 3:16  On that day it shall be said to Jerusalem: “Fear not, O Zion; let not your                     hands grow weak.

Zep 3:17  The LORD your God is in your midst, a mighty one who will save; he will                     rejoice over you with gladness; he will quiet you by his love; he will exult over you with         loud singing.

  • Zec 9:9 Rejoice greatly, O daughter of Zion! Shout aloud, O daughter of Jerusalem! Behold, your king is coming to you; righteous and having salvation is he, humble and mounted on a donkey, on a colt, the foal of a donkey.
  • Eph 1:1 Paul, an apostle of Christ Jesus by the will of God, To the saints who are in Ephesus, and are faithful in Christ Jesus:

Eph 1:2  Grace to you and peace from God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ.

Eph 1:3  Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, who has blessed us in           Christ with every spiritual blessing in the heavenly places,

Eph 1:4  even as he chose us in him before the foundation of the world, that we                         should be holy and blameless before him. In love

Eph 1:5  he predestined us for adoption as sons through Jesus Christ, according to the            purpose of his will,

Eph 1:6  to the praise of his glorious grace, with which he has blessed us in the                          Beloved.

Eph 1:7  In him we have redemption through his blood, the forgiveness of our                           trespasses, according to the riches of his grace,

Eph 1:8  which he lavished upon us, in all wisdom and insight

Eph 1:9  making known to us the mystery of his will,   according to his purpose, which           he set forth in Christ

  • Psa 100:1 A Psalm for giving thanks. Make a joyful noise to the LORD, all the earth!

Psa 100:2  Serve the LORD with gladness! Come into his presence with singing!

Psa 100:3  Know that the LORD, he is God! It is he who made us, and we are his; we are           his people, and the sheep of his pasture.

Psa 100:4  Enter his gates with thanksgiving, and his courts with praise! Give thanks              to him; bless his name!

Psa 100:5  For the LORD is good; his steadfast love endures forever, and his                              faithfulness to all generations.

  • Psa 119:1 Blessed are those whose way is blameless, who walk in the law of the LORD!

Psa 119:2  Blessed are those who keep his testimonies, who seek him with their whole           heart,

Psa 119:3  who also do no wrong, but walk in his ways!

Psa 119:4  You have commanded your precepts to be kept diligently.

Psa 119:5  Oh that my ways may be steadfast in keeping your statutes!

Psa 119:6  Then I shall not be put to shame, having my eyes fixed on all your                               commandments.

Psa 119:7  I will praise you with an upright heart, when I learn your righteous rules.

Well, I guess that’s all I can come up with now. May God bless you as only He can. 🙂

To Clean or Not to Clean

 

I went to the library today because I had three magazines to return. I always take out three and study them in case I want to write for them. It helps to read at least three issues if not more. When I wrote down the name of the editor and checked out the masthead for query information, in the tiniest print it said that particular periodical keeps all rights to the written word so the author can’t sell the same information a few years down the line to another magazine without any chance of an overlap of readers. So I chose another magazine to study instead.

The same corporation published both periodicals, but the second one didn’t say anything about keeping all rights to the material. I checked out some articles about organizing and decorating and cleaning the house. I intended to clean when I got done anyway, so I figured those were good articles to stimulate my thoughts towards order and a pretty home. As soon as I got home, my husband called to say he was on his way to our house and could I please fix him dinner since we both had a class to attend. By the time the meal was ready, we needed to eat quickly and scoot out the door.

We had company last weekend, so I’ve been finding toys under the couch and a plastic alligator with an open mouth by the back door. I also noticed I’d tucked some clutter into an empty laundry basket that I’d intended to get to right away so it didn’t find a permanent home there. Tonight I got working on sorting through the items in the basket and recycled some papers and threw some things away and was just about to put things in their proper place, when my husband looked at the clock. “Are you going to blog tonight?”

My husband reminded me to blog and didn’t suggest I finish my de-cluttering! Wow! Genesis chapter two tells of God creating woman from the rib of Adam so he could have an help meet for him. That’s King James for a suitable companion and one that helps him face life. That’s my thinking from reading lots of stuff and hearing sermons on the Scriptures. He’s strong in his ways, she’s strong in her ways and they complement each other. My husband and I celebrated our forty-first anniversary this summer and in Genesis 2:24 it says in the (KJV) of the Bible, “Therefore shall a man leave his father and his mother, and shall cleave unto his wife: and they shall be one flesh.”

My husband encouraging me to write, me enjoying de-cluttering so much that I forgot to write, I’d say it’s happened. 🙂

 

God bless you big time.

Internet Down

I started to blog earlier today but our Internet was down. I went to blog tonight and after my husband used Internet most of the day, it was down again.

He wonders if it’s because many people are using the Internet to watch the Olympic Games.

So I’m using my phone to blog and it will be short because I have the worst time on this device.

Occasionally I wonder what would happen if the Internet tanked. We’re so thrilled to use this wonderful device, many young people pay all their bills on it and do online banking.

I submit writing on my e-mail instead of using the post office many times.

I hope the Internet stays available, I really do,  but I wonder how will we manage if it shuts down for more than a day or so. It’s something to ponder.

No worries. God is on the throne and He tells us to be anxious for nothing in Philippians 4:6 by Paul’s  pen.

May God bless!

 

Thwarted Plans

After my trip to the hospital the other night, I got thinking how my plans for the next day went by the wayside.

I had to cancel a dermatology appointment I’d been waiting months for. I intended to visit a gal in a nursing home. I wanted to buy jewelry to promote a cause, pretty to look at as a plus.

Proverbs 27:1 (ESV) says, “Do not boast about tomorrow, for you do not know what a day may bring.”

I’ve seen that truth portrayed over and over again in my life. It helps if I can stay calm in the midst of unexpected events.

Yesterday my husband and I made plans but when our daughter and her husband asked if they could come over to talk, we rearranged our schedule.

On Thursday I had this thought to check out my planner. When I did I realized it was forty-five minutes past an appointment to be at the auto shop. I called and they said if I got in before the next hour or so, it’d be fine.

When I came in, the mechanic said, “I wondered what was going on, you’ve never not shown up.”

Getting ill early in the week has thrown the whole week off, my perspective on my days and responsibilities are off kilter. I know this too shall pass.

As much as I can know anything.

God bless!

Words from God

I happen to believe that God is alive and that He speaks to people through His Word, the Holy Bible. I also know that He speaks with a still small voice, and it never contradicts the Bible.

In 1Kings 19:11, (KJV), God is speaking to the prophet Elijah:  “And he said, ‘Go forth, and stand upon the mount before the LORD.’” And, behold, the LORD passed by, and a great and strong wind rent the mountains, and brake in pieces the rocks before the LORD; but the LORD was not in the wind: and after the wind an earthquake; but the LORD was not in the earthquake:

1Ki 19:12  And after the earthquake a fire; but the LORD was not in the fire: and after the fire a still small voice.

1Ki 19:13  And it was so, when Elijah heard it, that he wrapped his face in his mantle, and went out, and stood in the entering in of the cave. And, behold, there came a voice unto him, and said, “What doest thou here, Elijah?”

Therefore, in my opinion when someone thinks God is telling them to kill a president or a rock star, they are sadly mistaken. If God wanted that person dead, He’d simply take them out. God gives us breath. Gen_2:7, (KJV) tells us: And the LORD God formed man of the dust of the ground, and breathed into his nostrils the breath of life; and man became a living soul.

Every morning when we awake and take a deep breath, we can truly say, “Thank You, God for this air I breathe and for the ability to take it in.”

My sister developed COPD, and when she struggled to breathe, I found myself sucking in a deeper breath, as if to help her. I’d become terrified, but she’d wave at me to calm down. As soon as she could talk, she’d say, “It’s okay, I knew I would breathe as soon as I cleared my airway.”

From that point on, I didn’t take my healthy pulmonary system for granted.

Today I was reading the Bible to get ready for an upcoming Bible study and when I read a verse off topic that said Jesus is coming back soon, it almost jumped off the page at me. Then I thought, I should have written the reference down. So I opened the book at random and it opened to 1 Peter 4:7, (ESV): The end of all things is at hand; therefore be self-controlled and sober-minded for the sake of your prayers.

I was trying to find the above verse by E-sword’s search and the following verses popped up. So I copied them to include here:

Heb_10:25, (GNB): Let us not give up the habit of meeting together, as some are doing. Instead, let us encourage one another all the more, since you see that the Day of the Lord is coming nearer.

Heb_10:37  For, as the scripture says, “Just a little while longer, and he who is coming will come; he will not delay.”

I ran into a friend from church and we got talking about the state of the world. She spends lots of time in the Word. She said at the end times things will wax worse and worse. This is a quote from Paul in Second Timothy. The following selections are a part of the conversation: 2Ti 3:1, (KJV)  This know also, that in the last days perilous times shall come.

2Ti 3:2  For men shall be lovers of their own selves, covetous, boasters, proud, blasphemers, disobedient to parents, unthankful, unholy,

2Ti 3:3  Without natural affection, trucebreakers, false accusers, incontinent, fierce, despisers of those that are good,

2Ti 3:4  Traitors, heady, highminded, lovers of pleasures more than lovers of God;

2Ti 3:5  Having a form of godliness, but denying the power thereof: from such turn away.

2Ti 3:6  For of this sort are they which creep into houses, and lead captive silly women laden with sins, led away with divers lusts,

2Ti 3:7  Ever learning, and never able to come to the knowledge of the truth.

2Ti 3:8  Now as Jannes and Jambres withstood Moses, so do these also resist the truth: men of corrupt minds, reprobate concerning the faith.

2Ti 3:9  But they shall proceed no further: for their folly shall be manifest unto all men, as theirs also was.

2Ti 3:10  But thou hast fully known my doctrine, manner of life, purpose, faith, longsuffering, charity, patience,

2Ti 3:11  Persecutions, afflictions, which came unto me at Antioch, at Iconium, at Lystra; what persecutions I endured: but out of them all the Lord delivered me.

2Ti 3:12  Yea, and all that will live godly in Christ Jesus shall suffer persecution.

2Ti 3:13  But evil men and seducers shall wax worse and worse, deceiving, and being deceived.

2Ti 3:14  But continue thou in the things which thou hast learned and hast been assured of, knowing of whom thou hast learned them;

2Ti 3:15  And that from a child thou hast known the holy scriptures, which are able to make thee wise unto salvation through faith which is in Christ Jesus.

2Ti 3:16  All scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness:

2Ti 3:17  That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works.

In the King James Version here, it says “That the man of God may be perfect, thoroughly furnished unto all good works,” and the word perfect means mature. We won’t be perfect until we enter eternity with Jesus.

Well, to go back to the beginning, I found the verse that almost jumped off the page at me: James_5:8,(RV)  Be ye also patient; stablish your hearts: for the coming of the Lord is at hand.

As I spent time with God today I felt Him saying to write His Word for the nations. This blog is the only way that some from other nations may read my writing unless I get some articles published by international magazines. So I’m doing my best to be obedient and leaving the results to Him.

My husband and I took coaching classes and occasionally as we talk it may turn into coaching of sorts. This weekend in the car I talked to him about managing my writing time and housework time in a way that works. We decided on three hours of concentrated cleaning and hours of writing time according to the rest of my schedule. So I’m blogging earlier in the day and setting goals for my other projects. To God be the glory!

May God bless you big time.

 

Sixth

The sixth commandment in the NKJV of the Bible in Exodus 20:13 states, “You shall not murder.”

Murder is the taking of an innocent life, which I heard quite a bit about on our Christian radio station today when the news came on.

Police in Dallas, TX were shot and killed by a sniper. Buffalo, NY police received threats that they were next. People killed in nearby cities. It broke my heart for the victim’s families and for our nation.

I said to my husband, “What is going on?”

“As people move further and further from God, people will do whatever is right in their own sight,” he said.

That’s what happened in the book of Judges.”

The Old Testament gives examples of people’s lives for our benefit. It shows individuals making good choices and making evil choices. The Bible doesn’t sugar coat things. If a man or a woman decides to act shamefully, there will be consequences. Gal_6:7, (KJV), says, “Be not deceived; God is not mocked: for whatsoever a man soweth, that shall he also reap.”

A common cliché in America based on that verse: “What goes around comes around.”

The twenty-five year old sniper in Dallas lost his life today as well. What a tragedy.

People need the Lord to get past hate and violence. He made us all and values us all. “Dear God, please help us! I ask in Jesus’ name.”

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.