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!

James-Count It All Joy

As I listened to a pastor on our local Christian radio station speak on James 1:2 I had an aha moment. The New King James Version of the Bible states James 1:2-4 this way: “2 My brethren, count it all joy when you fall into various trials, 3 knowing that the testing of your faith produces patience. 4 But let patience have its perfect work, that you may be perfect and complete, lacking nothing.”

It’s my understanding that as trials make us “perfect,” it means “mature.” The whole book of James is full of wisdom, akin to the book of Proverbs, but with four chapters instead of thirty-one.

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I knew a lady in her late 80’s or early 90’s. She came to our Bible study. One day she said, “I’ve been reading James 1. It says to count it all joy when going through various trials and temptations. Imagine that! We’re to count it all joy!”

I believe she was having a Rhema Word, when God highlights a Scripture to you, giving you a deeper insight. I’ve been reading Deuteronomy lately. Oh, the tremendous promises of God for those willing to love Him first and foremost and to obey His commands.

Then there are the curses that come upon people when they serve the false gods of the land the Israelites were about to enter. Sacrificing children to Baal by fire, worshiping gods made of wood, silver, or gold; and bowing down to the sun, moon and stars infuriated the God they could hear but not see. The God Who said He created everything, in Genesis 1 and elsewhere in the Bible.

And so, I hope you can count it all joy because of Jesus and the hope He gives if you’ll look to Him. During these times of quarantining and missing others who’ve chosen to stay away even when they’re healthy, with political upheaval, and civil unrest I hope you’ll seek Jesus, the author and finisher of our faith. He promises never to leave nor forsake us!

I was reminded by the radio show’s pastor to count it all joy when going through hard times. I needed to remember that and to ask God to help me not to lose peace and joy, for my sake and for the sake of those around me.

May God bless you!

Finding Relief

Do you ever find yourself overwhelmed with all the changes going on and all the negative news? Wednesday was one of those days for me, so I sought out a favorite song on YouTube performed by The Martins: “The Promise”. https://www.google.com/search?client=firefox-b-1-d&q=YouTube+The+Martins+singing+%22the+promise%22+song

After that song played, a medley of songs by Mercy Me and other artists came up, one after another. I remember “Holy Water” by We The Kingdom and Tasha Cobbs started and that is a praise and worship song. I must have pressed the +50 button. Some of those spiritual warfare songs rising up got me dancing. The next one was Mercy Me’s “Even If”.

In the Bible in the Psalms somewhere close to Psalm 150, it mentions fighting the adversary of our soul. I believe I learned that singing to Jesus and dancing for Him makes the enemy flee. Lisa Bevere taught many years ago at a Ladies’ Retreat offered by Bethel Full Gospel Church on East Avenue in Rochester, NY. The ladies traveled to Watson Homestead in Coopers Plains, west of Corning, NY. Maybe that’s when I learned it.

The next song may have been “Raise a Hallelujah” by Bethel Music. I remember “Chain Breaker” performed by Zach Williams and “Redeemed” by Big Daddy Weave and “Eye of the Storm” by Ryan Stevenson and “Surrounded (Fight My Battles)” by Michael W. Smith.

Earlier, I was asking God, “What’s the matter with me?”

Were tears brought on by being overtired, not getting the right nutrition, because after all this alone time-meetings starting three to four a week, what was it? Or maybe a combination of it all? Company staying over for days on end, as much as I love the people involved? Reading the book of Job in my daily devotions?

Heart breaking from my country attacking itself from within. Disbanding police is the most ludicrous thing I have ever heard of. Dear God.

After a few songs, a few worshipful dances I began to realize whatever was bothering me was completely gone! Lifted! As long as I’ve been a Christian, there are still times when I don’t recognize spiritual attacks. The enemy of my soul threw salt into wounds. Looking to God, Who is in control-even if I can’t see the way things will work out for people, gives me back my peace and my joy. Repentance and then prayer moves the hand of God!

May God bless you!

God’s Healing Touch

 

 

Every afternoon or later, I take some time to read A More Excellent Way: Be in Health by Dr. Henry W. Wright. I read the Bible earlier because I’m aware that I need God’s input sooner, before I’m scrambling.

I own Dr. Wright’s book copyrighted in 1999, 2005, and 2009 by Be in Health®, Inc.A More Excellent Way by Dr. Henry W. Wrighthttps://resources.beinhealth.com/

Whitaker House, New Kensington, PA published it. On page 13, Dr. Henry Wright emphasized this statement: “The beginning of all healing of spiritually rooted diseases begins when you make your peace with God, and accept His love once and for all, accepting yourself and others.”

After giving two Scriptures from the Old Testament: Deuteronomy 6:5 and Leviticus 19:18, he tells us how Jesus put the two together in the book of Matthew: Jesus said unto him, Thou shalt love the Lord thy God with all thy heart, and with all thy soul, and with all thy mind. This is the first and great commandment. And the second is like unto it, Thou shalt love thy neighbor as thyself. On these two commandments hang all the law and the prophets. (Matthew 22:37-40 KJV)

God helps us to love Him wholeheartedly. God restores our emotions, our mind, our physical being so we can love ourselves after we’ve been condemned by people and the enemy of our soul. Then we’re able to love others.

In Romans 12 it says: I appeal to you therefore, brothers and sisters, by the mercies of God, to present your bodies as a living sacrifice, holy and acceptable to God, which is your spiritual worship. Do not be conformed to this world, but be transformed by the renewing of your minds, so that you may discern what is the will of God—what is good and acceptable and perfect. (Romans 12:1-2 NRSV)

I wrote, “So much to think about as I rest.”

Then, on yesterday I thought I heard the still, small voice of God say, “You are healed.”

I felt a tiny increase of health, so I said, “Thank You!”

Then, I found I was needed for Celebrate Recovery at night and I had the strength to go and cover a couple of the leadership spots because we had just enough leaders. Praise God!

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

Peace

https://www.iloveny.com/listing/letchworth-state-park/4625/

The first time I went to Letchworth State Park was as a child with my family.

Happy Memorial Day to those who celebrate this holiday. I got thinking about peace today, not really pondering peace among nations, but peace in the hearts of ordinary people. My husband has been preaching out of Matthew 24 about end times. Some day there will be peace for 1,000 years when Jesus reigns on this earth. Then Satan will be loosed from the prison he was in and the people will choose-God or the devil, as we have freedom to choose now. God must really value free choice or He wouldn’t have set up the world the way He did.

Here are a couple of sections of Scripture I turn to when I want comfort and/or instruction:

Wisdom from Above

 

James 3:13, (ASV):  Who is wise and understanding among you? By his good conduct let him show his works in the meekness of wisdom.

Jas 3:14  But if you have bitter jealousy and selfish ambition in your hearts, do not boast and be false to the truth.

Jas 3:15  This is not the wisdom that comes down from above, but is earthly, unspiritual, demonic.

Jas 3:16  For where jealousy and selfish ambition exist, there will be disorder and every vile practice.

Jas 3:17  But the wisdom from above is first pure, then peaceable, gentle, open to reason, full of mercy and good fruits, impartial and sincere.

Jas 3:18  And a harvest of righteousness is sown in peace by those who make peace.

 

These Scriptures are from e-sword.com:

Taste and See That the Lord Is Good

Psa 34:1  Of David, when he changed his behavior before Abimelech, so that he drove him out, and he went away. I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.

Psa 34:2  My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the humble hear and be glad.

Psa 34:3  Oh, magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!

Psa 34:4  I sought the LORD, and he answered me and delivered me from all my fears.

Psa 34:5  Those who look to him are radiant, and their faces shall never be ashamed.

Psa 34:6  This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him and saved him out of all his troubles.

Psa 34:7  The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.

Psa 34:8  Oh, taste and see that the LORD is good! Blessed is the man who takes refuge in him!

Psa 34:9  Oh, fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no lack!

Psa 34:10  The young lions suffer want and hunger; but those who seek the LORD lack no good thing.

Psa 34:11  Come, O children, listen to me; I will teach you the fear of the LORD.

Psa 34:12  What man is there who desires life and loves many days, that he may see good?

Psa 34:13  Keep your tongue from evil and your lips from speaking deceit.

Psa 34:14  Turn away from evil and do good; seek peace and pursue it.

Psa 34:15  The eyes of the LORD are toward the righteous and his ears toward their cry.

Psa 34:16  The face of the LORD is against those who do evil, to cut off the memory of them from the earth.

Psa 34:17  When the righteous cry for help, the LORD hears and delivers them out of all their troubles.

Psa 34:18  The LORD is near to the brokenhearted and saves the crushed in spirit.

Psa 34:19  Many are the afflictions of the righteous, but the LORD delivers him out of them all.

Psa 34:20  He keeps all his bones; not one of them is broken.

Psa 34:21  Affliction will slay the wicked, and those who hate the righteous will be condemned.

Psa 34:22  The LORD redeems the life of his servants; none of those who take refuge in him will be condemned.

 

And finally: God Is Our Fortress

Psalm 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.

Psa 46:2  Therefore we will not fear though the earth gives way, though the mountains be moved into the heart of the sea,

Psa 46:3  though its waters roar and foam, though the mountains tremble at its swelling. Selah

Psa 46:4  There is a river whose streams make glad the city of God, the holy habitation of the Most High.

Psa 46:5  God is in the midst of her; she shall not be moved; God will help her when morning dawns.

Psa 46:6  The nations rage, the kingdoms totter; he utters his voice, the earth melts.

Psa 46:7  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

Psa 46:8  Come, behold the works of the LORD, how he has brought desolations on the earth.

Psa 46:9  He makes wars cease to the end of the earth; he breaks the bow and shatters the spear; he burns the chariots with fire.

Psa 46:10  “Be still, and know that I am God. I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth!”

Psa 46:11  The LORD of hosts is with us; the God of Jacob is our fortress. Selah

 

I hope you are well! May God bless you!

Fun on a Sunday

Sunday morning we went to a picnic spot with a pond and a pavilion. We enjoyed a beautiful sunshiny day and lots of pleasant company accompanied by some tasty food. I got to know some of the people better that visited this year.

IMPROVEMENTS TO THE POND(photo from: (www.timberlandbait.com)

 

Usually we cancel our evening service the day of the picnic because people are tired. I tried to rest a little and then it was time to choose worship songs. Not that I had much of a voice left. 🙂

 

After singing, my husband left the sound booth so we could pray. Seven folks gathered and he didn’t feel like a sermon was the right route to go.

 

“If we keep canceling Sunday night service, people will stop showing up.”

 

Then he gave us some direction. “Let’s pray like Jesus taught the disciples – starting out with ‘Our Father which art in heaven, hallowed be Thy name.’”

 

He went on to explain that hallowed denotes honor and praise. “How can you show God the respect due His name? What words can you describe Him with in the form of a prayer?”

 

We began talking to the Lord and when someone asked for needs to be met, my husband told the person that we’d get to that, but now is the time to exalt our Savior. A bit later, we did pray for personal requests with the addition of the phrase, “Thy will be done on earth as it is in heaven.”

 

Jesus said in the New Testament, in Matthew 18:20, (KJV): “For where two or three are gathered together in my name, there am I in the midst of them.”

 

We didn’t linger a long time, but as we left each face exhibited peace and contentment.

 

Then, my husband and I began our Sunday night ritual: “Where should we eat?”

 

Sometimes I cook on a Sunday night, but if I’m tired and we’re able to, we eat out. There’s not a lot of restaurants open at that hour of the day.

 

I told my hubbie I was going to pray about it. We have a number of small towns around our little home spot and I’m not familiar with them all.

 

I felt impressed to head north and he was okay with it. We found a new restaurant, to us, that we both enjoyed and hope to visit again sometime.

 

I said, “What a nice day we had,” and he agreed.

 

This is the second Sunday night we’ve prayed at our church over the last thirty days and the people really liked it. Both times it was spontaneous and I missed the first one for a family member’s milestone birthday party in a nearby city.

 

I’m glad I made it for lots of reasons but when I saw the glow on one of the ladies’ faces outside of the church after the meeting, I thought, Aw, wish I’d been there.

 

God gave me the desire of my heart this last Sunday.

 

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

 

 

 

 

 

Bluebirds

Do you ever feel like you’re hitting your head against the wall, to borrow an oft-used cliche? I decided to take a picture of a puzzle I put together. I sent the picture to my e-mail account. Then I opened it and copied it, but when I went to paste it on WordPress it didn’t work. Then WordPress disappeared. I tried to re-open it and the computer told me I have no internet connection. Which I knew was a lie, because a quarter of an inch from the WordPress tab was my e-mail tab and it was functioning. So, I re-opened WordPress, ignored the lie and walked away and seconds later WordPress was open. So, I searched my computer for the bluebirds and the download is gone. When I went to the world icon and typed in the JPEG code, it showed up but I couldn’t get it to open. Aargh!

My husband came to the rescue, thank You. Lord.

IMG_1863

This is a puzzle from a company in Buffalo, NY, buffalogames.com, and the shapes of the pieces are unique and challenging themselves. I took the photograph with a Smart phone and that’s the best photo of about eight tries. The white shiny spot is from the light overhead, so it doesn’t accurately portray the beauty of the picture. I bought it because I like birds and the quality of the color and thickness of the material impressed me.

When I look at bluebirds and cardinals and blue jays and robins and big black crows I think how creative God is and we are creative as well.

I’m blogging at the end of a very long day. So I will sign off.

May God bless you. I have a verse on a bulletin board over my desk. A note says: Isaiah 26:3 “You will keep him in perfect peace Whose mind is stayed on You, Because he trusts in You.”  Ahh. Peace.

God Loves You and Me

 

4 Keys to Staying Full of God: https://www.youtube.com/results?search_query=Andrew+Wommack+four

This site showed up from my friend today, Part 1 of 4. Whenever I hear something, I try to “eat the meat and spit out the bones” as my husband suggests when there’s a good teaching but possibly a bit off. As I listened to this teaching, there was only one part I wasn’t sure about. Maybe you’ll get a chance to hear it and you’ll let me know what you think.

Pastor Wommack makes a point of remembering that God loves him and has his best interests at heart. Since God is all powerful, that helps him to keep his peace and his joy. I got a lot out of this sermon and I hope to hear the other three parts soon.

The more I read the Bible, the more I realize that God loves people more than I can understand.

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.

Times in Life

There are times in life when things come along that lift me up and on the same day another happenstance takes me by surprise and I find myself grieving.

So I grieve for a bit and then press on. Tonight we’re watching “Hope Floats” starring Sandra Bullock and Harry Connick, Jr. and Gena Rowlands, directed by Forest Whitaker and produced by Fortis Films in 1998.

What a tear jerker. I wouldn’t have chosen it but I was in the living room when it came on. Maybe sad movies act as a release for feelings in real life. They say violent movies have a cathartic effect on adults although for children violent videos produce violent children.

I know myself if I see too many heartbreaking shows and read too many sad stories I don’t have the emotional reserve to face loss in life. So I purposefully cut back on joy stealers.

Philippians 4:8 is one of my favorite verses in the New King James Version: Finally, brethren, whatever things are true, whatever things are noble, whatever things are just, whatever things are pure, whatever things are lovely, whatever things are of good report, if there is anything praiseworthy – meditate on these things.

Paul continues to say in verse nine, “The things which you learned and received and heard and saw in me, these do, and the God of peace will be with you.”

Jesus shared some last words with His disciples in John 16:33, “These things I have spoken to you, that in Me you may have peace. In the world you will have tribulation; but be of good cheer, I have overcome the world.”

I hope God blesses you big time today.