13 Year Anniversary

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

May God bless you.

Walk It Out

Psalm 25:4-5 (NKJV): Show me Your ways, O Lord; Teach me Your paths. Lead me in Your truth and teach me, For You are the God of my salvation; on You I wait all day.

I began my day in a strange way today, thinking of the future with tears in my eyes as I pictured a sad probability. As I sat with my Bible and opened it to read, the first thing I saw was Psalm 23: 4b-6, (NKJV): I will fear no evil; For You are with me; Your rod and Your staff, they comfort me.

You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies; You anoint my head with oil; My cup runs over.

Surely goodness and mercy shall follow me All the days of my life, And I will dwell in the house of the Lord Forever.

Before I sat down to be with God, my youngest texted me. Mom, I have an idea for your blog on organizing/decluttering today: “If you haven’t used it in 6 or more months, get rid of it! Even if you really don’t want to.  It will help you break past emotional, materialistic issues.”

Most experts say if you haven’t used it in a year, etc. Some say to put the stuff in a box or bag, store it away and in a year if you’ve never gone near it, don’t open it! Give it to your favorite charity or sell it.

I got thinking of all the things I’ve held onto and I almost panicked. “Dear God, help  me.”

So I sat down to my cleared kitchen table – “Thank You, Jesus for the changes You are gently encouraging me to make.”

I read beyond Psalm 23. Psalm 24: 3-5 (NKJV) says: “Who may ascend into the hill of the Lord? Or who may stand in His holy place? He who has clean hands and a pure heart, Who has not lifted up his soul to an idol. Nor sworn deceitfully.

He shall receive blessing from the Lord, And righteousness from the God of his salvation.”

“Is that my problem? Are things an idol to me, Lord?”

So, I speak the words, “I repent, Lord, I truly repent.”

Now for His grace to walk it out.

Be blessed my friends.

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.

Work My Way to Heaven – Continued

Yesterday I meant to tell some verses that Jesus spoke. In John 6:26-29, (NKJV) “Jesus answered them and said, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.’

 

“Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’

 

“Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.’”

 

Jesus spoke often of faith and repenting of sin because the kingdom of God was near then; how much closer is His return over 2,000 years later?

 

One of the pastors at our church taught on the dispensation of times. She said we’re at the end of the Church Age. The next dispensation on her teaching chart is the Rapture of the church: (believers/disciples).

 

May God bless you!

What’s Being Taught?

Whenever we watch television sitcoms with married couples insulting one another I’ll look at my husband and say, “If people really talked that way to each other, their marriages would never make it.”

He agrees. If we see too many in a short time span, I find myself getting grumpy with him.

Those negative remarks permeate the atmosphere of our home. Then we stop watching them or I go to another part of the house to fold laundry or to do some reading or writing. A bit later and there’s an uplifting show on instead. 🙂

I remember years ago a friend sent me an e-mail about an unwelcome guest. It said that people wouldn’t invite rude and obnoxious and dangerous speaking individuals in the front door, but what about television?

Last night my husband turned on a movie about a down and out guy who decides to adopt a five year old boy. I came in from the kitchen and this PG-13 rated movie shows two other men kissing. I didn’t expect that and I didn’t care to see it. Just like I’m offended to see unmarried men and women in bed together in PG-13 movies or on tv dramas.

God made sex for married couples and the first family couple portrayed in the Bible for our example were male and female.

A lady in a small town asked me to write her story last year. I drove to her place to interview her and after 30 min. I got fidgety. There was nothing to write that might interest readers.

I prepared to leave and she grabbed my arm. “Please, I need you to write about my concern.”

She told me some personal heart wrenching tragedies but I didn’t think publishers wanted to touch those issues since editors mentioned that at conferences I’d been to: too much of that out there already. She said, “I don’t care about that! The thing that needs to be addressed is the changes in society.”

She wore a dress and was probably in her late seventies. “I volunteer at the local school in this small town. I want you to write about 2nd and 3rd grade boys holding hands on their way to school and telling people they’re gay. What in the world are they teaching the children in school? Where are the parents? Those boys are too young to have any idea at all if they’re gay or not.”

She wanted me to warn parents.

God loves all people and tells us to love others as we love ourselves. But He calls certain things sin that He won’t tolerate: sex outside of marriage, gossip, homosexuality, stealing, lying, drunkenness, idolatry, covetousness, greed, etc.

That’s why He sent Jesus, God the Son to take on all the sins of the world and Jesus told us to repent.

Believe in Jesus Christ, admit our sins and repent of them, and obey God. That’s what Jesus said when He walked on earth in the form of man. He said we’d be born again and able to be called sons and daughters of God. It’s in John 1 and John 3 and John 14.

“Please God, have mercy on our souls. Keep us from wrong viewing habits, listening habits and reading habits that You don’t like, for our own good and the good of others. We need Your help and I ask this in the powerful name of Jesus Christ, God Almighty. Amen.”

 

 

 

 

Jesus -the Jewish Messiah

I stand amazed at the plan God made to redeem mankind. I don’t always understand it, even though I’ve been reading the Bible for a few decades or more, almost every day.

I don’t say that to brag, it’s just that after all that exposure, I still have tons to learn. What I think I understand having read the King James Bible and many others is that God gets seriously ticked at sin. So mad at murder and sex outside of marriage and homosexuality and stealing and gossiping and lying and cheating on your spouse and violence and taking His name in vain and for many other rotten things we humans do, that He sometimes wants to annihilate all evil people. On the other hand, He made all humans in His image and He loves people and enjoys us and wants to spend time with us.

So, He came up with a plan. Instead of wiping out most of mankind like He did when Noah was alive, and just saving a handful of people, He decided to send a substitute to take on all His wrath, so mankind could repent from their sins and this substitute would be chosen to take on the punishment.

The Jewish religion called for a perfectly formed lamb (or other acceptable animals) to be sacrificed for their sins at different times of the year for all those willing in Old Testament times. Thousands upon thousands of animals got killed as innocent sacrifices for the sins of the people. Maybe God got tired of seeing His creatures killed. He surely hated sin though and all the damage it causes others.

Yet, He made folks with the choice to love Him back or to reject Him. When men and women reject Him, He departs from their presence, even though He knows all and sees all, because He’s holy and sin is ugly. He removes His hand of protection from those that curse Him and don’t want Him around and so He says let their false gods take care of them. That’s in the book of Isaiah.

Eventually God the Father, God the Son and God the Holy Spirit, three separate persons in One God, a complete mystery, decided the world needed help. So Jesus volunteered to become the Lamb of sacrifice the first time He came to earth and He took on the sins of the world for all of time. No human is perfect, so God became flesh since He is perfect.

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To access that forgiveness, He asked people to believe in Him and to repent of their sins and to follow Him. He gave them a choice. He came to the Jewish people at one of the worst times in history. They were subjugated to Rome’s rule.

He became a victim of crucifixion, one of the most tortuous ways to die. He became totally separated from His Father because God hates sin and He took on all the sins of the world from the past to the present to the future. Jesus became sin so we could be set free from sin if we choose.

Some Jewish leaders and some Roman leaders worked together to have Him crucified. Some of the priests and other Jews in authority wanted Him dead so He wouldn’t call out their sins to them. When King Herod killed John the Baptist, Jesus mourned.

Yet, the almighty God allowed Himself to be beaten and to be crucified for our sins so we could one day enter into heaven with Him and God the Father and God the Holy Spirit.

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In the meanwhile, He said that we who believe will do more than He who came down from heaven to our mess. Maybe because there’s so many of us and we have God working through us.

He says He’s coming again, the Jewish Messiah that encouraged the apostles to change tradition and invite Gentiles to worship God and become His children as well. The Jewish people that accepted Jesus’ teaching and followed Him as Lord and Savior were first called Christians in Antioch.

Many prophesies in the Word of God say Jesus will return. The second time He is coming as the Lion of Judah.

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No longer a lamb, but a lion. If you listen to those who study prophesies and those who study the times, they are saying He’s coming soon. Are you ready? Am I ready? I fervently pray so.

Christians Need to Fight

Sometimes I’ll tell my husband that I feel like I’m in a spiritual battle. Big sigh.

He’ll tell me, “We’re always in a battle.”

No big deal. That’s life.

Today I pondered the idea of fighting back. Not taking kick boxing classes, (are those for fighting or getting in shape)?

Anyhow, I thought of Christians all over the world being persecuted for their faith. Americans only face a little of that so far, although in the secular media I’ve noticed that the crazy guy with the ax often carries a Bible in the other hand. Right. I know a LOT of Christians and none of them are murderers.

So, to get back to the fighting bit. I think every Christian should pick up their Sword of the Spirit – the word of God, and yield it with all their might, humbly on their knees in prayer.

Can you imagine if every Christian in the world spent an extra five minutes a day repenting of sin and then praying for others, using God’s word to remind Him of His promises, and then listened quietly for another five minutes? I believe the battle in the heavenlies would rock our world like ISIS or that mean person in our lives never dreamed of.

Eph. 6:12  (KJV) states: “For we wrestle not against flesh and blood, but against principalities, against powers, against the rulers of the darkness of this world, against spiritual wickedness in high places.”

God wants us involved in this life for His glory and for His love to be spread to others through us. How can we love others if we’re not in communication with the Great I Am?

We can only love and pray and serve and exist with the strength God gives us. When we try and do it on our own, we wimp out. We get tired, sick, discouraged, misdirected, maybe even feel manipulated.

Even Jesus took time with the Father every single day. If God the Son needs time with God the Father to be re-charged, how can we go it alone?

I’m just picturing more victory in this world when we all participate, because for some odd reason, God wants to include us in the heavenly realms’ battle, which impacts our sod.

Rather amazing.Praying Handson bible

Hearing from God

Do you ever hear a Scripture over and over again, through prophesies, preaching, and/or casual conversation? I’ve been hearing and reading in the Word, Isaiah 64:6. Here it is in the Amplified Version of the Bible:

For we have all become like one who is unclean (ceremonially, like a leper), and all our righteousness (our best deeds of rightness and justice) is like filthy rags or a polluted garment; we all fade like a leaf, and our iniquities, like the wind, take us away (far from God’s favor, hurrying us toward destruction). (Leviticus 13:45, 46)

Then I hear that even though all fall short of the glory of God, (Romans 3:23), it is for sinful man that Jesus Christ came from heaven to earth. He took the curse of sin, and the sin itself, upon Himself (He who knew no sin), took my sin on Himself so I could be washed clean. Then Father God says, “I see you my beloved child, free from sin,” because I repented and believed on Jesus, God the Son.
When I die, God will say, “Come into My heaven, your home. Your mansion awaits. There’s no crying here. Enter into rest and be free of all aches and pains. Experience the joy and love of God forever.”

Why do I keep on hearing about “none are righteous, no not one.”? Maybe so I’ll be less hard on myself when I miss the mark of the high call of God. Maybe because pride is the basis of all sin, C.S. Lewis thought so. Then I’ll know any good thing in me is because of Jesus Christ, the Savior.

Isaiah 9:6 (KJV) says: For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counsellor, The mighty God, the everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.

To stay rooted and grounded in Jesus, I must live a repentant lifestyle. When I sin daily, hourly, moment by moment sometimes, I need to repent daily, hourly, moment by moment. God forgives and I must forgive myself. To live in God’s joyful presence, what a privilege. Grace – not striving, not legalism – but grace!

We are able to hear from God because of His grace.

Writing is a Joy

Writing for a few hours today took lots of concentration. I’m writing a chapter for a non-fiction book writing class. Although I’m under a deadline, I notice that thinking until my brain hurts and typing until my wrists ache doesn’t deter me from enjoying the process. Writing is fun, even when it’s hard to come up with ideas. Even when everything feels like it’s been said before. In Ecclesiastes, the wisest man in the world said, “There is nothing new under the sun.”

Writing books say, “You are unique. No one can say what you have to say because each person’s life is experienced in their own way.”

In other words, I am “new under the sun.”

Jesus said to repent and come follow Him. He came to give us life and that abundantly. He said the devil came to steal, kill and destroy. When I write, I feel the joy God intended me to have on this planet. When I read my Bible, pray, worship God, the devil tends to stay away. Yay!

I appreciate being able to write on WordPress.com and that Facebook allows it to be forwarded their way. I sent an editorial to our local free paper with my opinion that Jesus is returning soon. I gave my reasons. One of which is the tremendous number of prophecies that have been fulfilled. They chose not to publish it.

I’ve heard that the UN wants control of the internet. Post while you can. Read about Jesus while you can. Love God and others while you can. Thanks for reading, if you stuck with the post this far. Write with freedom, amen.