Wednesday, November 21, 2007

Hebrews 9:27-28

Happy Thanksgiving!
Tomorrow is turkey day and I'm ready. We're going to our son and daughter-in-law's for the day. We'll also bring home our two oldest 'grands'. Because we share Nate with his other g and g, we don't get to have him; Chuck and I are both bummed about that. We'll enjoy what we can.
The other day I thought about a blog and I'm finally getting here to share it with you. I learned quite awhile ago that the reason that churches in the olden days built their buildings beside where they had their cemetery was so that when people saw the head stones that it would remind them that death was reality and that eternity needed to be dealt with.
That brings this verse to mind: Hebrews 9:27-28: "Just as man is destined to die once, and after that to face judgment, so Christ was sacrificed once to take away the sins of many people; and He will appear a second time, not to bear sin, but to bring salvation to those who are waiting for Him."
Have you ever thought about those verses? What do you think about them now? We're all going to die. Then what? When I got sick with Lyme disease and almost died, I knew where my soul would go, to heaven to be with our Lord. Because I was so sick and in great pain, I wanted to go home. A part of me didn't because of family, but I longed for my Lord so greatly that I grieved what I couldn't have: heaven.
The Lord wasn't ready for me, so I'm still here. Our days are numbered by the Lord, even before the world began. So, walk with the Lord in such a way that your heart, soul, mind and strength are constantly directed at Him, the author and perfecter of our faith. Then, when you stand before the Lord, Christ's blood, covering us will find us acceptable to the Lord and we will spend eternity with Him. Alleluia! Amen.

Blessings to you all,

Wednesday, November 7, 2007

Matthew 5:10

Isn't this fall weather giving us a gorgeous sky? We are so blessed by the Lord in His nature. Do you feel blessed today? Have you counted some blessings?
When I look at the scripture for today I tried to think of a good story and here's what I want to share: Mattew 5:10 "Blessed are those who are persecuted because of righteousness, for theirs is the kingdom of heaven."
When we were in Europe, one of the camps that we had in western Czech was attended by a lady from the states that had been born in Hungary. Her name is Maria and as the camp progressed we realized that she was only there so that she could get a free trip back to her home country.
She didn't want to teach and Chuck and I had to take care of her classes and the fall out onthe first couple of days as this problem became evident. The students rebelled and justifiably. She also seemed to direct all of her angst against me. There wasn't anything that I could do right. Even her team members noticed and tried to correct her bad behavior. They were embarrassed.
When we were finally done with the camp and back in Prague for the team to sightsee and then leave, Maria needed to catch a train to Budapest. The night before she left, we all were going sightseeing and to supper.
As we were walking to the trolley station, Marie started in being really nasty to me. Her team members jumped all over her, but it didn't stop her bad behavior. Finally I stopped and faced her. The whole team was gathered around watching what was going to happen. Many times through the week the team had talked about how patient I was with her.
So, I was put to the test and because the Spirit allowed me to see through the week that I was being persecuted, not by Maria, but by warfare, I was able to handle the persecution with grace. I apologized for anything that I had done or said that might have hurt her. I was sincere and she knew it. It took her completely unaware.
It was hard for her to accept my apology. Everyone gathered said that I wasn't at fault, but I knew that in order to diffuse the situation, I needed to apologize. Whether I had done anything or not. I took the darkness of persecution, and exposed it to the light, therefore the hold of persecution was disarmed.
When we got on the Trolley, Chuck was worried about me, so I quoted Ephesians 6:12. I wasn't hurt by Maria because I saw it for what it was: warfare because we were doing the Lord's work. I knew that Maria was being used. Satan loves to use those that are weak in their faith to persecute others.
My witness to all of the team was important, as a teaching tool. Hopefully the Lord used that time to help them see what was going on so that they wouldn't be harsh with Maria when they met up again, back at their home church.
It wasn't me that handled this situation well, it was the Spirit in me handling everything well. I just got to see the Spirit at work and to have His comfort as He dealt with the persecution.
Not all problems in life are persecution, but many are and we need to know how to handle them, with God's grace.

Grace abiding,

Saturday, November 3, 2007


Hey Everyone,
I've not done well with blogging this week; sorry :(. Life has been, well life. Anyway I'm not going to blog anything scriptural today. But, I do have some news, sort of.
Froggie/Herbie has been evicted. Today when I was watering my plants, little tree toad Froggie/Herbie jumped out. I guess he didn't like the sudden bath. Chuck came with a Puffs tissue and gently picked him up (after a few tries) and took him out to our mulch pile so he could find safe harbor for the winter. Lots of good food and wonderful mulch in the rotting leaves.
So, the croaking at unexpected times is gone. I'm going to miss that. But at least he lives to go on with life as a tree toad. He was kind of cute.
Aren't you glad that the Lord doesn't evict us because we sometimes get in the wrong place? I mean, like out of His will? He never moves away from us but is always there, waiting for us to come back into His will and presence. We are so blessed by His patience too.
It was interesting that the plant that Froggie/Herbie jumped out of wasn't the plant that he came into the house in. The plant that he started out in is a hanging spider plant. The one I found him in this morning was a jade plant, on the floor. So, sometime he jumped out and landed in the jade.
I wonder if he was surprised to find himself in another plant? I think the Lord protected this little animal of His. Believe it or not, I prayed the Lord would take care of him, and He did.
If the Lord will take care of a tiny tree toad, how much more will He take care of us????


Tuesday, October 30, 2007

Matthew 5:9

Hello All,
What a gorgeous day the Lord has given us. The sky is so brilliantly blue. We are so blessed. Have you counted your blessings today? I did a few. It's good to count blessings each day to help keep our equilibrium in this crazy upside down world we live in.
Today's blog is on Matthew 5:9: "Blessed are the peacemakers, for they will be called sons of God." I like this one because I live with a peace maker. I've seen how the Lord uses Chuck through the years to help keep peace in our home.
Our daughter is so much like Chuck that it's scary. But, it's also a wonderful blessing. But, because she's like Chuck, she's not like me and we would often collide in many ways. Chuck, thankfully, would be the peacemaker between us. He was always encouraging us to keep communications open, even if there was anger on either/or both sides.
I think that being a peacemaker is a gift from the Lord to help keep things from getting out of proportion, especially emotionally. Another name for peacemaker is mediator. Christ and the Holy Spirit are mediators between us and God.
So, how to do you act as a peacemaker? Do you need a peacemaker to help in your life? Why do you think that Jesus said that peacemakers will be called the sons of God?
I think that those who cause trouble are living in a sinful state. When we come to Christ, we have His peace in our lives. If we are not being peaceful in our every day lives, we are not manifesting Christ to others. If a person is NOT saved, they certainly aren't going to be peacemakers, are they?
God blesses us when we are peacemakers. He gives us His peace and the assurance that we are doing His will when we manifest His peace and help others achieve peace in their lives. Strive to be a peace keeper.


Thursday, October 25, 2007

Matthew 5:8

What a cold blustery day! Where is our fall? Of course, our spring was spectacular, wasn't it? Did you enjoy the revival meetings? The Lord blessed us with good attendance every night. I enjoyed going through the old testament looking at examples of revival and obedience to the Lord.
I enjoyed the worship that Chris and Vanilda brought us too.
Today we're going to look at Matthew 5:8. "Blessed are the pure in heart, for they will see God." This is such a wonderful verse. Do you know of anyone that you could say is 'pure in heart'? I do. Her name is Retha and when I'm in her presence, I sense the Lord's presence more fully. When she prays, I feel like the Lord Himself sits down beside her, waiting to answer her prayers.
Retha has cerebral palsy. She's older then me and has difficulty getting around. Her speech is difficult to understand sometimes, even though she speaks slowly to help us understand her. She loves the Lord so much and has been a prayer warrior for me through the years since I met her back in 1982.
What does it take to be 'pure in heart'? I think it means to walk in obedience with our Lord in such a way that the purity oozes out. This 'heart' is kind, gentle, loving, patient, prayerful, etc. I have too much fire in me to be pure of heart, but it's something wonderful to aim for, isn't it?
So, what changes can you make in your life to become 'pure in heart' so that you fulfill this blessing? I'm thinking of ways and seeking the Lord for His help. How about you?


Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Genesis 3

I've finally decided on Genesis 3 to use with our resident tree frog. I named him Froggie, but Chuck calls him Herbie. Anyway, I think he's hiding in the dirt and until I re pot the plant, we have a new addition to our menagerie.
Froggie/Herbie likes to croak at really weird times. If I speak to him, he shuts up for about 5 minutes. Now, we're assuming that Froggie is a boy, but he could be a she. I guess I'm not ready to call her Frogette. Anyway, Froggie hides from us and that brings me to the reason for this topic.
Hiding. We hide or try to hide from God. We hide our sins, thinking that He doesn't see them. We hide from doing service because we don't want to get involved. We hide from listening to Him when He wants to spend time with us.
Adam and Eve tried to hide from God also. After reading Genesis 3, come and join me......
After the pair had eaten from the tree it tells us starting in verse 8, that they could hear God walking in the garden. God calls to them: "Where are you?" Because God is all-knowing, He knew where they were and what had happened. They didn't understand this because the Bible had not been written yet to tell them. But, they had an advantage over us: they walked with God.
Adam answered that he was naked and hid from God. He knew his sin, didn't he? Then, he tried to pass the buck of responsibility to Eve, telling God: 'the woman you put here with me-she gave me some fruit from the tree, and I ate it.'
So here's the list of sins: defied God's order to not eat of the tree of knowledge of good and evil. Believing Satan's lies instead of God's truth. Hiding from God when no one can hide from Him, ever. Then, blaming Eve for his own sin. Also, as head of the family, he was responsible for Eve's being led astray and him not correcting the situation.
Adam's sin didn't just affect him, did it? Eve, and all generations to come have paid the price for not listening to God. That's a great example for us, in that our sins affect those around us, even to further generations.
So, what decisions are you going to make so that you don't hide from God? How can you lead the way in your family to help others not hide from God so that their sins don't grow?
Don't be a Froggie. Hiding from our Lord is Satan's way of deceiving us. God's way is truth. Remember: He is the truth, the way and the life.

Trying not to hide,

Wednesday, October 17, 2007

Mathew 5:7

Hey Everyone,
I'm not doing well in blogging every day. Sorry. Life happens. Prayer, for everything. We need prayer for our revival at church. Betty and Debbie are going to have surgery. I learned a couple of days ago that a very dear friend, Diana Rea has Mezophilioma cancer. That's the cancer from Asbestos. She's a mom with 8 children and a pastor's wife. Her lungs keep collapsing. There isn't any cure for this and the standard chemotherapy won't touch it. She's about 50 and a wonderful Christian woman. Please, keep her in your prayers too. Thanks!
On a funnier side, we have a tree frog in the spider plant in our living room. I took the plant back outside to try and get rid of it, but it won't go. Needless to say that when we're not expecting it to 'croak' it does. Even Tucker looks up to see what's going on. I have named it Froggie and Chuck is calling it Herbie; go figure! Not sure how long it will last, but for now we have an additional pet in our home. I've been trying to find a verse so I can do a blog on Froggie, but haven't come up with anything, yet.
Our verse today is from Matthew 5:7: "Blessed are the merciful, for they will be shown mercy. Because I like what Warren Weirsbe teaches in his commentary, I'm going to quote it: We experience God's mercy when we trust Christ (Eph. 2:4-7), and He gives us a clean heart (Acts 15:9) and peace within (Romans 5:1). But having received His mercy, we then share His mercy with others. We seek to keep our hearts pure that we might see God in our lives today. We become peacemakers in a troubled world and channels for God's mercy, purity, and peace."
That says it all, doesn't it? Do you share His mercy with others? Those of you who have the gift of mercy, you do it better than people like me who don't have the gift. But, we're all to give mercy because we've received mercy. I like what Warren said at the end: we are channels for God's mercy, purity, and peace. What an opportunity to be those very things to our families and others.
What things hinder our being merciful? Perhaps selfishness? Or busyness? Not thinking about others at all?
I'm married to a giver of mercy and I've watched him through the years and learned a lot of things. I've told people before that Chuck got all the mercy in our family; none leftover for me. I have to work at being merciful. I have care and concern for people, but I don't always show it. That's the difference between Chuck and me.
So, watch those with mercy and study them. Then, using God's Word as your guide, emulate what they do in their service to the Lord with His wonderful gift of mercy.

Working to display His mercy,

Friday, October 12, 2007

Matthew 5:6

I hope your week has gone well. The cooler temps are ushering fall in and I don't think I'm ready. The prospect of winter doesn't sit well with me. I like warm weather better than cold. It's too bad we won't have beautiful fall leaves. Our lack of rain has played havoc with the system.
The verse for today is one that I really like: Matthew 5:6 "Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled." I hunger and thirst for righteousness, do you? When I seek God and His precepts in His Word, I am filled, full to overflowing.
Do you remember the song with the line: 'you fill up my senses, like a walk in the sleepy blue ocean'? God fills our senses with Him when we study His Word. When I was a new believer, I didn't know anything about the Bible. I thought I would never be able to learn anything. As a stay at home mom, I felt that my brain had gone to mush. But, as I studied His Word, I did learn. I found things in the Bible that I had never known. It showed me how I should live a righteous life before God.
Have you found that as you study His Word, that you find nuggets of gold? Do you want to find more? Does the information meet a need in your life? What do you do with the information after you've read it? Do you apply it? Remember, studying His Word is called hermeneutics, applying is called exegesis.
What would you think if after sending your children to school, then off to college that when they got out they didn't know anything? A waste of time andmoney right? Well, when we become Christians, it's our responsibility to learn from God's Word what He wants us to know. Then, we need to apply it.
Hunger and thirst for righteousness, for you will be filled; God guarantees it.

Hungering and thirsting,

Wednesday, October 10, 2007

Jeremiah 35

Praise the Lord, that even in the midst of many difficulties all around us, He is Sovereign. With many friends going through trials, every time I open His Word, I'm reminded that He is with us, carrying us and walking with us through these trial and tribulations. So many people to pray for and with revival coming to our church, Satan is working overtime.
The chapter I gave you to look at today is long, but worth the reading. It really speaks toward revival. The Jews were being 'stiff necked people' and not listening to the Lord as He was calling them into obedience. Verse 17b says:"I spoke to them, but they did not listen; I called to them, but they did not answer."
That's where we are as a church, as a country and world. God is calling, and we're not listening. Daily as I pray for revival, I have to ask myself: Do I need to be revived? No matter how close we walk with the Lord, I do believe that we all need to be revived.
In some cases, people have walked away from the Lord, their first love. Others, are walking with Him, but not as closely as He desires. Still others are walking close and delighting in the fellowship, but just long for more of Him and less of them. Where are you?
Because Chuck is gone for his job, our time on the weekends is catchup time. Not just to get work done, but to spend time together. When we don't get that time because of family or other obligations, we both end our weekend knowing that even though we've been together, we've missed out on something precious.
Revival comes in all shapes and sizes. What is your shape or size? What is your need or want in your walk with the Lord? As you read this chapter, see that the Lord blesses the descendants of Jonadab, because of their obedience to Him. God rewards our obedience. Come to the alter and be revived.

Seeking Him,

Sunday, October 7, 2007

Matthew 5:5

I see that it's been awhile since I've blogged. Sorry; my days are jumbled I guess. I hope that you're all doing well. The evil world is working overtime with our church preparing for revival. We need it badly. Too many people are not loving God like they should, or each other. Thank you for all who pray.
When I was preparing this portion today, I tried to think of a word picture. The story that I'm going to share comes from just before we moved to the Czech Republic in 1993. Chuck had gone over to be a part of an Evangelistic English Language Camp in Northern Czech, near the Polish and Slovak border. Sitting on top of a mountain has its rewards, for the beauty, but also its trials.
Chuck had a young man in one of his classes that proclaimed he was an atheist and was quite vocal about it. Chuck just kept loving the guy even through his persecution.
The pump for the well gave out and before they could get another one and get it hauled up the mountain, some one had to get the water drawn so the cooks and people could have the much needed liquid.
Early in the mornings, before anyone was up, Chuck would go up to the well and start the process of running the generator to draw the water. It was quite a process with the generator being fussy.
One morning, much to Chuck surprise, the young atheist joined him. Slowly Chuck built a re pore with him and was able to share Christ. By the end of the camp the guy said that he finally believed that there was a God. Not a Christian yet, but at least the first major step.
Our verse from Matthew 5:5 teaches: "Blessed are the meek, for they will inherit the earth." This young man was on his way to meekness. By acknowledging that God exists, he was surrendering his idea about God; that's meekness.
Secondly, Chuck was meek to not force the issue of God being God. He just calmly shared his heart with this young man and God used Chuck's meekness to draw that young man to Him.
The point of this verse is two fold. One, we are to be meek and this brings Heavenly rewards. Meekness is basically 'power under control' and we are to be meek toward others. Secondly, we are to be meek toward God, thereby being submissive to His power.

Trying to be meek,

Tuesday, October 2, 2007

Matthew 5:4

The Lord has been pouring out His blessings with the fine weather we've been having. It's so pleasant to sit outside and enjoy. Tucker likes when I sit on the deck, then she can keep the squirrels from reaching ground and going about their day. There has to be a blog in that somewhere! I know, Satan prowling around like a roaring lion, waiting to attack us. Thankfully, the Lord is bigger and stronger and can protect us.
Matthew 5:4 tells us: Blessed are those who mourn, for they will be comforted." Have you ever looked at this verse as mourning our sin instead of mourning the loss of a loved one? Because, that's what it's talking about. Do you mourn over your sins? Does it motivate you to do better?
In what ways can you do better, as in not sinning, or perpetuating a particular sin in your life? I think the best way is to repent. To turn away and not do the sin. What does the Word teach about your particular sin? Have you studied it? What does the Word say as to how you're supposed to live a victorious life?
The last part of the verse gives us the fruit: for they will be comforted. I know that when I'm sorry for my sin, truly repent, then the Lord brings the comfort that I'm forgiven and cleansed. He also gives me help to not continue in the old way, but to forge ahead into a new way of living.
So, confess your sins and be comforted, knowing that you are right with our wonderful Heavenly Father in your obedience. Revival is on the heels of confession, you know.


Friday, September 28, 2007

Matthew 5:3

Good Morning all,
Another beautiful day that the Lord has made; let us rejoice and be glad in it. I've spent the morning watering trees. I sure wish the Lord would bring us some much needed rain. Are we being judged? Considering the spiritual state of our town and with the prison in our area, probably so. But, that's another blog entirely.
I told you that I'm doing a study on Matthew, chapters 5-7. It's called the sermon on the mount. It's also called the beatitudes. 'Be' is the key here. We are to 'be'. What are we to 'be'? We are blessed if we: are poor in spirit.
Today's verse is 5:3: "Blessed are the poor in spirit for theirs is the kingdom of heaven." Have you ever really looked at this portion of scripture? Why are we blessed if we are 'poor'? In order to better understand what this verse and portion (vs. 3-11) you have to understand the history of the Jews.
They thought that material wealth meant the God was blessing them. If a person was poor materially, then they were under condemnation. It's the same with women that were childless. If a woman had a child(ren) then she was blessed. If not, she was cursed. I know, such nonsense.
What Jesus was doing with this teaching is telling the people that material wealth was not an indication of God's blessing, or lack there of. We are to be poor in spirit, toward God. I think this means to be submissive to Him in all areas of our lives.
When we realize that we are literally paupers spiritually, then we are ready to surrender all to Him. That means we have to shove everything aside that we hold dear and rest in His arms. This could be people, or things, maybe projects and ministries.
So, are you poor spiritually toward God? If not, why not? What is in your life that you need to forsake so that you can 'take' God as He wants you to take Him?
God's motive for helping us to be 'poor in spirit' is that He loves us so much. Being poor in spirit is a good thing and delights our Heavenly Father, right down to His toes!


Thursday, September 27, 2007

Isaiah 45:8-10

Isn't the weather gorgeous? I hung clothes and sheets out today and they dried so nicely. I like the smell of clothes hung outside to dry. The sky is such a vivid blue that I always connect with Autumn.
I read these verses a couple of days ago and really felt led by the Lord to study them. So here is what I came up with: God is Sovereign. Isaiah 46:8-10. After you've read them, come join me....
Verse 8 tells us to remember. We are not to forget what this is saying. In other words: it's important what I'm going to tell you. If something is fixed in our minds, it's there permanently. When it's God's Word, that's a good thing. But, it calls the Israelites rebels. Are you a rebel? If so, in what way? Is your heart soft toward the Lord? Are you surrendered?
In Verse 9 God states: I am God, and there is no other; I am God, and there is none like Me. That's quite a statement, but one that He can tell truthfully and we need to obey. He is God. Because He is God, we owe Him our very lives. Do you live your life in such a way that you always honor Him? Do you fully understand what it means when God says that He is God? If not, why not?
Verse 10 teaches that He makes known the end from the beginning. We have the Bible, God's written word to tell us just that. Have you read His book from cover to cover? What did you learn? About who God is? About how He wants you to live your life?
The last sentence tells us: and I will do all that I please. Have you heard people who think that God should stop all the trouble in the world? Why do innocent children die or are abused? Why so many people die of drought, hunger and disease? Well, God has a purpose for causing and allowing these things to happen.
Sometimes it's judgment. On a government, a group of people or one individual. Sometimes innocent people are hurt because of sin by those who act unrighteously. God knows the final story. He knows everything because He's omniscient (all-knowing).
So, here's the question: are you going to trust our Sovereign God to know what's best for your life and live accordingly? How will you manifest this belief? If you don't trust Him, why not? He is trustworthy. How do I know this? Because He's proven Himself so many times in my life that I can't even count them.
God knew before I got sick, the beginning from the end. He allowed me to get sick, and to stay sick. He has a purpose. Some of it I know, but not all. I'm sure some day I'll be able to know the 'beginning from the end' as He allows me to understand His purpose. I just know this: I trust my Sovereign God to work His perfect divine will in my life to His glory. What will you do?


Tuesday, September 25, 2007

Psalm 33:4

After a busy weekend, it's nice to slow down just a little. I trust your weekend was a good one too. We're trying to get things accomplished outside; we're buttoning down for the winter, so to speak. I like to call it "cozying in for the winter".
The scripture I've chosen today is from Psalm 33:4: "For the word of the Lord is right and true; He is faithful in all He does." I look at this verse as a sure foundation that I can hang on to when life gets difficult. As I search His word, His promises remind me that God is faithful and that I can depend on that.
Anytime that Chuck and I have stepped out in faith to begin a ministry that we haven't been a part of before, like going overseas as missionaries, we've had to depend on God to be faithful to us in many ways.
We needed His word to teach us how to be good servants to Him. We definitely needed help with all the myriad of emotions that accompanied our leaving our son behind to continue his education at college.
We were stepping out into unknown (to us) territory by living in a foreign culture. We didn't know the language, or custom's of the Czech Republic. He helped us to acclimate fairly quickly and well so that we could begin ministry to the wonderful people He brought before us.
We asked Him to help us to love the Czech people and He was faithful to pour out His love in us and through us. So many times we'd hear people ask: "why do you love us so much?" That warmed our hearts and I know it pleased the Lord. We were depending on Him for everything and He was faithful.
In what ways do you see God faithful to you? Do you even look for His faithfulness? How are you faithful to Him? It's surprising how little He asks of us, but yet He promises us so much, if we are obedient to Him.
Do you remember 1 John 1:9? Go look. He is faithful. Depend on His faithfulness to help you live a faithful life before Him.

Striving to be faithful to Him,

Friday, September 21, 2007

Micah 6:8

Good Evening,
I trust you've all had a good day. I worked in the garden, cleaning it so Chuck could till it tomorrow. Fall is fast approaching.
One of the things that the Lord has impressed upon me through the years is that He delights in our obedience to Him. His Word proclaims it and He says He will bless us for our obedience. I'm sure you can think of many ways that the Lord has blessed you.
When we were overseas we saw His hand at work in so many ways. Because we were obedient to His call to go to the Czech Republic, He allowed us to see the fruit of our labors.
We were at a camp in southwest Bohemia and a young girl told me that she wasn't a believer like we were. I had never met her and as this was the first day of camp, I was mildly surprised that she said this so soon into the camp.
Over there, people understand about being a believer in Christ, and not. The lines aren't so fuzzy as they are here. Many people couldn't understand why we'd leave our cushy life here to live over there.
I think the scripture today says a lot about our going and serving. Micah 6:8: "He has showed you, O man, what is good. And what does the Lord require of you? To act justly and to love mercy and to walk humbly with your God."
We tried to live that verse before the Czech people and they could see it played out, even when we didn't realize it. People knew we were different, not because we were from another country, but how we lived our life and the service that we did for Him.
So, do you act justly and love mercy and walk humbly with your God?

Walking, walking,

Thursday, September 20, 2007

Joel 2:12-13

Hey Everyone,
Another hot day. Summer is going out with a bang. I put out fall decor yesterday. I was ready for a change. I guess even after all these years of living 'south' my brain tells me it's fall even though summer is still going strong.
I did a study on Joel today and these verses impacted me, so I thought I'd share them. Because we're going to be having revival meetings in October at church, I thought these verses applied. Actually, chapters 1 and 2 are about repentance and revival.
I realize that this was written to the Jews, but I think it applies to us also. Joel 2:12-13 "Even now," declares the Lord, "return to me with all your heart, with fasting and weeping and mourning." Rend your heart and not your garments. Return to the Lord your God, for He is gracious and compassionate, slow to anger and abounding in love, and He relents from sending calamity. As Pastor would say: WOW!
Verse 12 impacted me the most. This is the repentance part. So do you fast, weep and mourn? I can't fast from food because of my health, but I choose other ways to fast. The Lord honors that because He knows the situation. When you fast, do you announce it to the world? Do you fast in sincerity of seeking God for answers, or in order to please Him?
Do you weep out of sorrow of your sinfulness? Do you weep because you have not served Him as you should, or as He has wanted you to?
When you mourn, is it because of your sin and disobedience, or because He's had to discipline you and you didn't like it?
In verse 13 rend means: to split or tear violently. That's an earth shaker. 'Rend your heart, not your garments.' When people of old mourned, they would tear their clothes and pour ashes on their heads to show the world that they were grieving. Here, God says to rend our heart.
I think this means to show God that we're serious about repentance. Remember, God looks at the heart, not the outward. He wants full repentance from our sinning. He wants revival!
Are you ready for repentance and revival in your heart? Go before the Lord and seek Him for anything that is blocking your fellowship that you need to repent of. Ask God to revive your heart!

Send Revival Lord,

Wednesday, September 19, 2007

Lamentations 3:22-26

Dear Friends,
I trust that you are finding the Lord Faithful, because He is, and that you are trusting in His faithfulness.
As I looked at Lamentations 3:22-26 today I thought about how for the last ten years, since 1997 when I got bit by a tick carrying Lyme disease, Chuck and I have been in a desert. My illness has taken its toll in so many ways. But, during this time of dry, desert wandering, the Lord has been faithful to walk with us, showing us Him in new and wonderful ways.
After you read the verses, come and join me.......Have you ever felt consumed by something? Maybe it's a situation with your family. I think of LeaAnn and her family with Anna's illness. I'm sure there are times is consumes time, attention and emotions.
The first verse tells us that because of the Lord's great love, we are not consumed. I think it means emotionally more than anything else. Our emotions can swamp us so quickly and take away our ability to even think positively. But the rest of the verse also tells us that His compassions never fail. Even when life seems to be failing us, He does not.
In verse 25 He tells us that He is good to us when we hope in Him. Do you hope in Him? In what ways do you hope? That He'll help your illness to go away? I'm sure Betty would like that. Or, that your children would follow God and bypass all the terrible things that can trap youth? You don't want them to be scared by memories in later in life.
Verse 26 says that it is good to wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord. When I think about these last ten years and how I would like to be delivered from my illnesses, I wonder if I've waited quietly? Probably not. I don't like being sick, but I know that the Lord has taught me so many things through it all. Chuck too has learned many things that we then can use to help others. So, is suffering good? No, but it produces good things.
Someday none of us will hurt, or have emotional pain, then we will have collected our salvation from the Lord. Because His mercies are new each morning (23), take each day, one at a time, and wait on Him (24).


Friday, September 14, 2007

Mark 12:30


What gorgeous weather, again. Are we not blessed? I hung clothes out yesterday and they dried so nicely. Having the windows open again is so refreshing.
The passage I chose today is one that the Lord has been really filling me up with. As I pray over this passage and then detail on paper all that I glean, I'm overwhelmed again on how awesome our Lord is.
Mark 12:30: "Love the Lord your God with all your heart and with all your soul and with all your mind and with all your strength." Deuteronomy 6:5 says: heart, soul and strength. Matthew 22:37 says: heart, soul and mind.
Why the differences? I have no clue. Strength and mind are different, but not really. It takes strength to love the Lord fully, as He deserves; strength of mind over will.
Looking at heart, in what ways can you purpose to love the Lord will all your heart? I made a list and I suggest you do the same. It may take you a few days, but what you come up with may be eye opening. The Lord wants all of you; in what ways? That's a place to start.
Your soul belongs to the Lord if you have trusted Christ's work on the cross and asked Him to be your Savior.
In what ways can your mind be all for God? Think about surrender as a start. Then there's strength. Chuck has so many bulging muscles from throwing 50# tarps everyday. I, on the other hand am incredibly weak physically. But when I thought about this, I realized that the strength is more than physically helping the Lord. Service is very important as it shows the Lord that we love Him.
But for me, doing things is hard, so I looked at strength of purpose to make sure that my mind and will are totally surrendered to Him, all the time. Now, don't get me wrong; I know that I sin. But, I need to work hard and try to be obedient. There's also things like strength of character, etc.
So, that should give you something to think about and work on. Let me know how you come out with your searching so that you can love the Lord with all your heart, soul, mind and strength.

Serving Him,

Wednesday, September 12, 2007

Sow Generously

Hi Everyone,
What glorious weather we're having. Isn't our Lord generous with us? I trust you are all working hard for the Lord in prayer, supplication and service.
As you can see by the title, we are going to look at sowing generously. 2 Corinthians 9:6 tells us: "Remember this: Whoever sows sparingly will also reap sparingly, and whoever sows generously will also reap generously."
This portion is talking about money, giving, tithing, etc. But there's a second message here and that is when we are generous with our prayers, service, kindness, etc., it multiplies. If we hold our gifts from the Lord close and don't use them, they will dwindle away.
I spent a portion of my morning re potting plants. The African Violets went from two pots to four and the variegated spider from one large to two large. I have a really hard time throwing away plants, especially nice ones. So, if anyone wants a spider plant or violet, just let me know.
These plants I have tenderly watched over and they've grown from tiny sprouts to huge, magnificent plants. But, without care, watering and fertilizer, they would have withered and died.
God expects us to take the gifts He gives us, whether money or service gifts/spiritual gifts and use them. So, look at your bounty from the Lord and see where you need to divide and share.

Sharing the bounty,

Monday, September 10, 2007

Jeremiah 8:21-22

It's been so long since I've blogged; I'm sorry. Between a blog that doesn't like to recognize me and 'life', I've not been getting a few things done and this is one of those things.
The Lord has been blessing me in so many ways and I've really rejoiced. We were together with family on Saturday because of our youngest grandson's birthday. Family time is always wonderful. Chuck is finally feeling a little better from the gout that's been plaguing him. But, my health has taken a downward turn and that's been a concern.
When I was reading in Jeremiah, I ran across the verses in 8:21-22. "Since my people are crushed, I am crushed; I mourn, and horror grips me. Is there no balm in Gilead? Is there no physician there? Why then is there no healing for the word of my people?"
Gilead was a place of healing salves and lots of medical learning. So when Jeremiah is saying: is there no balm in Gilead, He's talking about comfort from pain, distress. I don't know about you, but I've been crushed before, more than once even. It says here that Jeremiah was crushed. He mourns and horror grips him. Jeremiah was just like us. He cried out to the Lord, just as we do and can.
God feels what we feel, and He knows what hurts us because it hurts Him too. Because the Lord lives in us, He experiences everything we do, good and bad. Jeremiah's question about why there isn't any healing for the wound of his people is confusing, because God is the great physician and He is our healer. Not necessarily of our physical, but definitely of our spiritual.
You have to realize that God was drawing the people to Him. They were being brought before the Lord to recognize their sinfulness and need to repent. The hearts of Israel were hardened. Just because we are crushed does not mean that we have sin that the Lord wants to have us repent from. Sometimes He brings pain into our lives to draw us closer and to realize that He is our refuge and strength.
So, when you are crushed, know that the Lord is crushed too. He mourns when you do, over your pain, your sin and your struggles. He cares for you and me; He is our strength and refuge.

Heart to heart,

Saturday, September 1, 2007

Psalm 22:1-2

Another sunny hot day, but soon it will be cool and we'll wish for warmth. God has blessed us with His beautiful blue sky and lots of sunshine. And, don't forget His Son shining in our hearts!
Lately the Lord has been bringing people before me to listen to them and sometimes to share what the Lord lays on my heart for them. So, today I thought I'd share Psalm 22:1-2 with you all.
"My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Why are you so far from saving me, so far from the words of my groaning? O my God, I cry out by day, but you do not answer, by night, and am not silent."
Aren't these heart wrenching words. Can't you just feel the pain of King David. He felt that God had abandoned him. As you read the rest of the Psalm, you'll see that David regained his standing before the Lord, as he usually did.
But, let's look at the very words: My God, my God, why have you forsaken me? Do you remember in Matthew 27:46 when Christ uttered those very words? Christ knew why He came to earth, to die for our transgressions (sins). Yet, when He was on the cross He knew that God the Father had to turn His back on Christ and allow the sins of the world to be carried upon His shoulders.
When God says in Hebrews 13:5 and in John 10:28-30 that He won't leave us or forsake us and that no one can snatch us out of His hand, then we can know that He has not forsaken us as He forsake Christ on the cross. David didn't have the whole picture before Him, but because of the Bible, we know the beginning to the end.
So, if you don't feel like your prayers are being answered and that God has forsaken you, my guess is a couple of things are playing into those dynamics. One is that you have sin that needs to be confessed. It could be a sin of commission, you did something. Or it could be a sin of omission, you didn't do what He wanted you to do.
The second thing is that God is testing your faith. Do you still believe that He is with you, even though you don't see any evidence, or feel His close presence? Trust me when I tell you that He hasn't left you; His scripture says He hasn't.
Then there's a third thing. Prehaps you've been praying for a long time about something(s) and you aren't seeing a resolution. It doesn't mean that God hasn't heard, or doesn't care. It just means that He's said: yes, no or wait. Sometimes we need to learn something first before He answers our prayers.
So, are you trusting that God hasn't forsaken you? That He is working on your problems and needs? Which He says He will supply. Grow your faith by telling yourself and Him that you will trust Him, not matter that you can't see, feel or touch Him. Trust me, He's there, waiting on you.


Friday, August 31, 2007

Proverbs 3:5-6

Hello Everyone!
If you've wondered where I've been, well Google wouldn't let me into my blog, again. We'll see how long I can go this time before it refuses me entrance.
One of the wonderful things about God, is that He never refuses us entrance into His presence. That knowledge should give us all great joy and peace.
It's been interesting how the Lord has been showing me quite a few things these last few weeks and then He's brought people before me who need to hear His message. What He teaches me, I turn around and share and that makes what He teaches become solid in my learning, but also multiplies the blessing of His knowledge.
I've probably taught on this passage before, but this is one of the verses that the Lord has been helping me to understand better. "Trust in the Lord with all your heart and lean not on your own understanding; in all your ways acknowledge Him and He will make your paths straight." Some versions say: direct your paths.
As I meditated on these verses, I didn't struggle with understanding anything, until I got to the 'lean not on your own understanding'. Does that make sense??? I trust God, for my very breath, life, family, etc. I know that He takes better care of things than I can. My heart is His, hook, line and sinker.
I'm the kind of person that needs to know what's going to happen. I don't especially care what's going to happen, I just want to know the itinerary. When Chuck comes home on the weekends, I want to know his schedule. That's just the way I'm wired.
God knows this wiring, because He's the electrician. Because of this 'wiring' He knows that I need to know things, but what He wants is that I trust Him with the: need to know. He tests me constantly in order to grow my faith. As I determine in my heart and mind to trust Him, even thought I can't see where He's leading, my faith grows and that pleases my Holy Father greatly.
Because I always want Him to direct my paths (make them straight) I need to exercise my faith, and trust Him for what I don't understand. How about you? Are you wanting to know what God's will is for your life? For tomorrow? His word tells us not to worry about tomorrow, just to take care of today.
So, step out in faith along with me and 'lean not on your own understanding' and acknowledge that He is God and that He can and will direct our paths. He's Sovereign, so He's in control. Back off and let Him drive.

Leaning on Him,

Friday, August 24, 2007

Psalm 46:10

Good Friday!
To all who are reading this, Betty is really sick and needs prayers. Thanks!
Today when I was thinking about what to blog I thought of a time when we lived in Europe and we went with other staff members to celebrate Thanksgiving in Hungary. That story is for another blog.
When we were traveling home, we had to go through the Hungarian/Slovakia border. When we got to the Slovakia side, we suddenly quit talking. None of of said it was time to be quiet, but watching the guards we just knew that this wasn't going to be a pleasant border crossing.
The regular guards were really nervous and a big whig came out of the office and approached our vehicle. He wanted to know who we were and were we carrying any contraband; cigarettes and liquor were forbidden. Of course we didn't have any.
This guy was real scary and even though one couple spoke Slovak, we didn't let on, just gave him our passports. He checked our luggage area and found nothing bad. He had told us that he didn't speak English, but when he gave us back our passports, to told us in English to go away, to travel on. We did.
There were five of us in the van and none of us said anything until we were quite aways from the border. They have microphones that can pick up stuff for many meters. When we finally were far enough away we started sharing our thoughts about what we'd experienced. We all felt like the area was full of demons and was so black.
The verse I want to share is one that's helped me many times when troubles or trials come. Psalm 46:10 "Be still and know that I am God; I will be exalted among the nations, I will be exalted in the earth." Many quote the first part of that verse, but I like the whole thing.
That night we were still and God saw us through a difficult crossing. He protected because we easily could have been thrown in jail, even though we didn't do anything wrong. Communism isn't dead in Europe.
When you're troubled or in trouble do you quote Bible verses to comfort yourself? Do you grab your Bible and read the Psalms or a favorite verse? When we are still, and know that He is God, we have all that we need to carry us through difficult times in our life.
God is Sovereign and He knows everything you're going through and He will provide, just 'be still' and let God be God.

Being Still,

Thursday, August 23, 2007

Isaiah 43:10-13, 15

Horky Den!
That means 'hot day' in Czech. Another scorcher. I wonder if this is just a taste of what hell will be like, except that I know hell with be dark because of the absence of the Lord. Just a thought that came through this gray haired head of mine. I know, I don't think like most folks.
As you can tell by the title, our scripture today is from Isaiah 43:10-13,15. I ran across this portion of scripture quite awhile ago and made a note to share. I won't type out the verses, so please read them, then join me......
One day when I was looking out into the back yard I noticed a squirrel trying to have a dust bath in a small area underneath the clothes line. The spot of dirt wasn't hardly big enough for the little guy, but he was rolling around and acting real goofy.
I glanced from the squirrel having his dirt bath to a larger area not far away that our 'grands' play in. That dirt pile is quite large and would accommodate the little squirrel quite nicely and give him a great dust bath. I'm sure he knows it's there, but instead he chooses a small patch that isn't big enough for his small body.
Don't we do the same thing, not the dust bath, but don't we limit ourselves where God is concerned? The verses today have God 'shouting' to the Israelites that they were His witnesses to His might, power, salvation, etc. Yet, I have a feeling that they weren't seeing the 'bigger picture' of who God is and what He wants to accomplish in their lives; in our lives.
In what ways do you limit God? I know that lack of trust is a big one for everyone. That lack of trust means that we don't have the faith to believe that when God says: (vs 11) 'When I act, who can reverse it?' He goes on in vs 12: 'I have revealed and saved and proclaimed'. Are we listening? Are we truly hearing what He's saying?
You ask, how do I know what God is saying to me. Open His Word and read. Then, apply. But I think the key to all of this is: trust and obey. As you start to trust Him, that He is all that He says He is, then your faith will grow and you will please Him greatly and He will reward your growing faith in Him.
In verse 15 He says: I am the Lord, your Holy One. Do you believe this? If so, how is your life reflecting that belief? Step out in faith and believe that God can change how you think, feel, understand, work, etc. Don't worry about others, just work on you and let God work on you. Then, I promise, He will reveal Himself and you will see Him as He wants you to see Him, in all His fullness and splendor. Say to Him: Lead on King Jesus.


Wednesday, August 22, 2007

Revelation 3:16

Hello All,
Life has been so hectic, but good. Family time over the weekend as we celebrated Chuck's birthday was great. But, as you can see, it's taking me awhile to get back to my schedule. Thanks for your prayers.
When Chuck and I were in the Czech Republic, we often visited a nearby city that had a mineral spring spa. We'd take our teams there to experience this unusual place and enjoy watching their faces when they tasted the mineral water.
There was a fountain that you could fill small vessels with and then drink. Many people would actually spit out the small amount they tasted. Others would boldly swallow and ask for more! I didn't like the water at all, mainly because it was lukewarm and tasted horrible.
We would buy mineral water called Vincenka and use it for sore throats and colds. It had marvelous healing properties, but I always drank it icy cold or warmed in a pan and sat with a towel over my head to capture the steam.
In Revelation 3:16, John writes: "So, because you are lukewarm-neither hot nor cold-I am about to spit you out of my mouth." Jesus is ticked off! The church at Laodicea was just like the church today, lazy, complacent and not honoring God.
But, lets bring this closer to home. How is your walk with the Lord? Is it lukewarm? Are the holes in your life being filled by the Lord and His Spirit or have you shoved Him out with busyness, family, work, pleasures, etc?
How much time do you devote to you and your 'things' that occupy every day life? I'm really horrible with math, but I know that percentages are out of balance if 'things' are taking up the lion's share of our day and that the Lord gets shoved into a few minutes before we fall asleep on Him.
So, do you want to be spit out of the Lord's mouth or held dearly in His arms are you walk closer every day with Him? It really is your choice. He's always there with His arms wide open, waiting for you to run to Him. So, get your running shoes on and hit the road.


Thursday, August 16, 2007

Jude 16

Rain! Yeah. I know we need more, but anything is better than nothing. Praise the Lord for answered prayer. I hope you are all well and that the Lord is revealing Himself to you daily through His Word and the Holy Spirit.
We're almost finished with the 3:16's and today it's Jude 16. Please read this tiny book so that you'll better understand what this verse is teaching. Now that you're back, here we go: "These men are grumblers and faultfinders; they follow their own evil desires; they boast about themselves and flatter others for their own advantage."
I seriously don't think that everyone who finds faults or grumbles is in the same league as the ones that Jude is talking about. But, there are people just like Jude describes and you may have met a few of them in your lifetime.
A few years ago Chuck and I went into a second hand store to look around. As we were browsing, suddenly we heard a man with a bad temper who had many really bad expletives come pouring forth, loud enough for people in the next state to hear.
Chuck and I looked at each other with huge eyes. A Saturday cartoon came to mind and I said to Chuck: Razzle, frazzle, dazzle, the Tasmanian devil language. Both of us started to laugh silently and by mutual mute agreement we headed for the car. When we got inside we laughed our heads off. So, now, when one of us gets frustrated, we say: razzle, frazzle, dazzle. It lightens our mood and the situation becomes easier to handle.
This man was grumbling and finding fault and letting everyone around him know it. People in the church do the same thing. Instead of going to the source of our complaint or praying about it, we voice it for all to hear. I don't think that attitude or action is pleasing to the Lord.
The people Jude describes were false teachers and they were really causing trouble. When someone seeking the Lord, or a new Christian hears people in the church grumbling and finding fault, what kind of witness is that? Are we to confront people who we hear doing this?
If I understand this portion of scripture I think if we hear someone maligning the Word of God or finding fault with people in a very public place especially, we need to have a private conversation and point out scripture that teaches their actions and words don't honor the Lord.
I'll close with Jude's doxology: to Him who is able to keep you from falling and to present you before His glorious presence without fault and with great joy- to the only God our Savior be glory, majesty, power and authority, through Jesus Christ our Lord, before all ages, now and forevermore! Amen.

Seeking Him,

Tuesday, August 14, 2007

3 John

Another blistering hot day. Kind of like the blistering hot letter that John sent to his dear friend Gaius. Read all of 3rd John, then join me.
Gaius is a good guy but there's a bad guy named Diotrephes who's been running the church and not doing a good job of it. He's power hungry and being nasty. Paul sounds like he'd like to take Diotrephes on in a personal battle. My guess is that Diotrephes wouldn't win.
There's always church conflicts and some leaderships handle it well, Biblically, and other's don't. Then, there are churches that don't confront false teaching/teacher's and everything falls apart with people leaving and much discouragement.
In verse 11 Paul tells his dear friend: "do not imitate what is evil but what is good. Anyone who does what is good is from God. Anyone who does what is evil has not seen God." When I think about that small verse, part of me says, but some day, those people will see God and He will destroy them for all the harm they have done.
In the mean time, how do we handle people who cause trouble for us individually, or the church corporately? I think it's our responsibility to counteract false teaching with good solid teaching. I think that Diotrephes epitomizes those who go through life looking for trouble and not caring how much havoc they wreck. Ever met someone like that?
When our children were little I sometimes babysat for a young boy that was constantly looking for trouble. I couldn't believe some of the things that he did and he was only 4! He terrorized the neighborhood kids when he was with us.
I tried many things to stop him, anticipate his actions and even confronted his mother, but to no avail. Sometimes I felt he was headed for prison, some day. It was like there evil in him that controlled him. I don't know how he turned out because we've moved away. I do know that his sister married a friend of ours son and that she's just so sweet and good. Why one bad acting child and one good out of the same family? Only God knows.
That's my point in this, it's God's to deal with. He knows the hearts of everyone and will work His justice. But, we are to make sure that people don't wreck havoc in the church, so if you see or know of something that dishonors God, you have a responsibility to notify the leadership. They're responsible before God to deal with it. We are accountable before God for allowing sin to prevail.

Prayers to you all,

Monday, August 13, 2007

2 John 6

Good hot Monday afternoon,
I trust you're all staying cool. I've been outside briefly, but the heat drove me back inside. It's August, what can I say?
There isn't a 16th verse in 2 John, so I chose verse 6 instead. "And this is love: that we walk in obedience to His commands. As you have heard from the beginning, His command is that you walk in love."
That's pretty straight forward isn't it? This second book of John's is all about keeping on target spiritually. John's addressing false teacher's that have invaded the churches teaching that Jesus didn't come in the flesh. I think he nails them very well and admonishes all to walk in truth. Truth seems to be his key word in the beginning.
Note that in verse 5 he says: "I am not writing you a new command but one we have had from the beginning. I ask that we love one another." He's right, loving isn't a new command but one that doesn't get done, or is done but not as the Lord would want us to do.
Loving first has to be directed toward God. We show Him our love by our obedience and service. Then, we're to love one another, warts and all. Are you loving others, even then they are difficult to love? It's not a choice you know.
Also keep in mind that it's a command to love. It doesn't mean mushy, gooey love, but it does mean that we try to do our best for others, not persecute or malign and help if help is needed.
At different times in my life there have been people who have persecuted me for whatever reason. It's been difficult for me to even be in the same room with them, much less show them love. But, when I put that person into the Lord's hands and prayed for them, my feelings started to follow the command. I found that I could forgive and be civil to them in a kind and generous way. How they reacted was not my responsibility, but God's.
So, are you loving others? Even the hard ones? Remember, God loves you, even when you aren't very lovable or being loving. It's a little thing called: agape love (unconditional).

Working on loving others,

Friday, August 10, 2007

1 John 3:16

Good Friday Morning,
A little relief from the heat. When I was walking Tucker this morning, a cool breeze kept me from overheating. God is good to supply what we need. In this case, a break from the oppressive heat.
Looking at 1 John 3:16 today is so refreshing, just like the breeze this morning. "This is how we know what love is: Jesus Christ laid down His life for us. And we ought to lay down our lives for our brothers." In order to get all that John is saying, please read verses 11-20.
We can all agree that Christ's sacrifice on the cross was the ultimate act of love. Although we are not asked to die for another, we are asked to lay down our lives. What's the difference you ask? If you continue to read you'll see that John is talking about helping one another, even to the point of sacrifice.
Have you ever given of yourself, time, talents, money, stuff to the point of sacrifice? When I tried to think of a time that I did, I'm reminded of going overseas to serve. We left behind our son, got rid of many possessions, giving much away and left friends and family.
We had many people ask us why we came to the Czech Republic and it gave us the perfect opportunity to share the message of the cross with them. It was hard for them to understand why we'd leave the abundant life here for a meager life there. We shared that possessions aren't what life is all about, people are.
Sure, we sacrificed things, and time with people here, but God rewarded our sacrifices, our laying down our lives for Him by giving us a ministry that far exceeded anything we could ever have imagined. We gave, and He gave back, a thousand fold. There are people who will spend eternity with all of us that came to Christ because of His message, leading and our laying down our lives for Him and them.
So, who will you lay down your life for? In what way will you do it? Ask God to show you the way, then hang on for the ride of your life!

Praising Him,

Thursday, August 9, 2007

2 Peter 3:16

Good Evening All,
I got into my blog easily, which is a miracle. I talked with our son today and he said he didn't do anything to my blog. Maybe Google finally caught up on the problem and fixed it themselves. Anyway, here we go.
This portion of scripture, 2 Peter 3:16 needs to be read in whole, as in the whole chapter. It's talking about end times when the Lord destroys the heavens and the earth. When we get to verse 16, Peter is talking about the Apostle Paul (see vs.15) and he says: "He writes the same way in all his letters. speaking in them of these matters. His letters contain come things that are hard to understand, which ignorant and unstable people distort, as they do the other Scriptures, to their own destruction."
Peter is explaining that we need to walk with God in a blameless and upright way/manner. Paul's teaching was always guided by the Lord and Peter is adding his instruction here too. When you read verses 14-16 the explanation is more clear.
There are people, Peter calls them ignorant and unstable people who will always distort the truth of the word. But, if you don't know the word, how will you know if they are teaching false doctrine? Know the truth and you won't be trapped by the lies.
Have you ever met someone that was teaching falsely and you knew it and when you tried to point out the truth, they wouldn't listen and got really upset with you? I've had some people that have been really smug about what they believe and that arrogance is hard to understand for me.
When the Word is truth, it speaks for itself. We can't change peoples opinions and beliefs, but we can point them to scripture that speaks truth and let it challenge their beliefs and give them the information they need. The rest is up to the Lord, and them.
On a final note, I'd like to ask for prayer. I'm having some health issues and need, and covet your prayers as I find solutions and hopefully find a resolution.


Wednesday, August 8, 2007

1 Peter 3:15-16

I'm back!
My Google account didn't want to have anything to do with me and it's taken forever, and with the help of our son I'm back blogging again. I've really missed this, so it feels really good.
I hope you've all been well. I know some haven't felt the best, but the Lord has held you close.
I've included verse 15 because 15 and 16 are one sentence. "But in your hearts set apart Christ as Lord. Always be prepared to give an answer to everyone who asks you to give the reason for the hope that you have. But do this with gentleness and respect, keeping a clear conscience, so that those who speak maliciously against your good behavior in Christ may be ashamed of their slander."
Many years ago at a little church we attended, I was slandered against because I'd ask people to share their testimony with me. Now, I love to hear how the Lord brings people to Him and saves them. I was misunderstood and maligned badly. Many in the church were up in arms against me. My motives were pure before the Lord and those close to me knew I hadn't done anything wrong.
At a Bible study we were sharing prayer requests. When a person was mentioned that I didn't know I asked if they were saved. Basically I would pray for the person, but if they weren't saved, I also wanted to pray for their salvation.
One of the ladies in the church, a pillar in many ways, lit into me about judging. It blew me and everyone there out of the water. She rained coals of condemnation on me for about five minutes. Needless to say I was hurt and confused.
Our pastor's wife and another dear saint addressed the issue immediately. It was nice that they defended me, but even they misunderstood. No one asked me what I meant and I didn't have the opportunity to even say anything until they'd had their say.
When they finished, I was asked what I meant and I shared that I would pray, but if they needed salvation I wanted to add that to my prayer. The looks of everyone there told the sad story of people jumping to conclusions and not asking what I meant by my question. It was a good lesson for everyone, including me.
Thankfully the lady who attacked me did apologize. But, the damage was done and I was badly hurt. The other ladies told me I shouldn't be hurt, but I was. God knew my heart and He always knows our motives. He did comfort me, as He always does.
It was a lesson to me to be careful not to attack others because they think or believe differently. Also, ask questions to clarify what is meant. Hearts are tender and easily hurt.
Praying for you all,


Monday, July 23, 2007

James 3:16

Hello on this sunny Monday,
I hope you had a great weekend and especially yesterday celebrating Jesus. LeaAnn isn't feeling well, so keep her in your prayers please. Don't forget Amy and baby either. My weekend was a good one. We didn't do tons of work and our time at the prison was special, just like always.
There's a young man leaving on Aug. 2nd and as of yet he doesn't have a home to go to. Pray for him as he adjusts to living outside of an institution. He's such a wonderful man who loves the Lord. I'm going to miss his smiling face every month. His name is Brian. Thanks!
Today's blog is James 3:16: "For where you have envy and selfish ambition, there you find disorder and every evil practice." When I read this portion, I thought about Nette and the people that are constantly giving her fits about stuff. Are they jealous of her and the success she has with her tumblers? The Lord uses her in so many ways in service; she's a real visionary. Jealousy can be so distructive, not just to the person that's jealous, but the target of that envy.
Do you have envy or selfish ambition in your life? On reflection I can't think of any for myself, but because I have a sinful nature, that's always a possibility. As I study scripture it tells me to apply what I learn so that these negative attributes don't take hold, or spring up in our lives.
When I see the word: Disorder, I think of chaos. God is a God of order, not chaos
(1 Corinthians 14:33). So, these negative things obviously are not from God, but from our sinful natures that war with rightousness. Verse 15 tells us that they are also from the devil (read verses 13-18 for the whole understanding of this passage). There are two kinds of wisdom, we need to choose which one we are going to manifest.
What I like best, is that the Lord helps us to live in a righteous manner. He doesn't just give us rules and walks away. He's with us, helping us to make right choices through His Holy Spirit who lives in us. Isn't He wonderful? Yes He is!

Walking with Him,

Friday, July 20, 2007

Hebrews 3:16

Good Morning all,
The coolness of the morning is SO refreshing and we have a short interum of cooler weather and I'm looking forward to being able to get outside some. I prayfully hope you have a great day.
There isn't a third chapter in Philemon, actually there's only one chapter, period. So, moving on to Hebrews 3:16 we find: "Who were they who heard and rebelled? Were they not all those Moses led out of Egypt?" Now the question is, how to I make a blog out of that??? Well, here goes.
Chapter three is comparing Jesus to Moses. The people that Moses led through the desert were rebellious and had hardened their hearts. The warning here by the author is that we shouldn't harden our heart and rebel against God.
God kept the first generation that left Egypt from entering the promised land. Their sons and daughters entered because they were not in leadership during the exodus time. So, how does this apply to us? Are we hindering God's work in our lives and the fallout hits our kids too?
Have you hardened your hearts? I know a couple of times in my life I've done that. I didn't want to be hurt, so by hardening my heart I thought to protect myself. In the end, it only made matters worse because I didn't allow the Lord to work His grace in and through me during my time of pain. I missed out on His blessings, just as the Israelites missed out on entering the promised land. I know, the comparison isn't the same, but the concept is.
Have you hardened your heart toward God, or someone? Have you rebelled by not allowing the Lord to work His grace in your life? Have you missed out on blessings because you weren't open to His leading and obedient to Him and His call on your life?

Grace abiding,

Thursday, July 19, 2007

Titus 3:15

You probably did a double take when you saw Titus 3:15. Because there isn't a verse 16, I decided to fudge a little. The verse doesn't have any great theological theme, but I like it, so here goes.
"Everyone with me sends you greetings. Greet those who love us in the faith. Grace be with you all."
Most of you know that I like to make and send cards. Whether birthday, anniversary, thank you or just: thinking of you, I like cards. I'm sure the post office is happy about all the stamps I buy!
The apostle Paul is sending greetings for himself and those with him. Paul traveled with many people who were constantly gleeming information from him as he taught. He encouraged them in this final chapter to do good work, not to be lazy but productive.
His ending reminds me of when people you love say goodbye, or you telling them. I say 'I love you' to family, a lot. I want to make sure that they know and feel my love. But, when I think about this small verse, I realize that I may not convey love to those in the faith.
Did you know that Paul uses the words: greet those who love US in the faith. He didn't say that he loves them, but you know he does. He's sent so many letters of encouragement and instruction all over the areas that he's traveled.
"Grace be with you all." Isn't that a wonderful way to end a letter. God's grace, poured out in full measure on lives that are following Him. Paul understood grace extremely well and when he made this benediction, he was conveying an important truth: God's grace is with us all.
How do you know His grace is with you? It isn't something you can feel. Romans 5:17 tells us: "For if, by the trespass of the one man, death reigned through that one man, how much more will those who receive God's abundant provision of grace and of the gift of righteousness reign in life through the one man, Jesus Christ." Grace is a gift from God through Jesus Christ, therefore you have grace in your life. Remember, grace means: God's unmerited favor; or: God's Riches At Christ's Expense.
So, when Paul tells them: grace be with you all, he just reminding them of a gift from God.

Grace received,

Tuesday, July 17, 2007

2 Timothy 3:16

Good evening,
Canning pickle relish took up a major portion of my day and I only ended up with 4 quarts. But, I make the best relish! I know, I'm bragging, but it's true. The recipe came from a friend and I modified it many years ago. I basically only use the relish in my famous potato salad, so a jar lasts a long time. That was my day. How was yours?
When I first started canning years ago I made a lot of mistakes until our neighbor shared with me the finer art of proper canning. No more jars that exploded! Through the years I've canned hundreds, possibly more than a thousand. Every year when I got done with the produce from the garden, I'd looked at the lined shelves and know contentment that our family had lots of food to get us through the winter, good wholesome food. Except for a few beans, cherry tomatoes, salsa, I don't can or freeze anything anymore.
All those years ago I had a great teacher. The men who wrote the Word of God for us also had a great teacher, the Lord Jesus Christ. "All Scripture is God-breathed and is useful for teaching, rebuking, correcting and training in righteousness, so that the man of God may be thoroughly equipped for every good work." I included verse 17 to finish the thought.
There's companion verses that you should look up: 2 Peter 1:21, 1 Corinthians 2:13, Psalm 33:4. They share the same thought, that God is the author, men just did the actual writing. When the Lord gave Moses the Ten Commandments, He wrote them on the tablets, but when it came to the rest of His Word, He commanded men, and they were obedient.
If you look at what the verse teaches, all the things that the Word is meant for is to train us to be obedient, to the Lord. Then, comes the good works. When we learn, apply and grow, we automatically want to serve. His Word teaches us how to learn, apply, grow and how to serve.
It's hard to be rebuked by the Lord, but His rebuke is perfect and timely. Listen to His heart for you and let His Word speak to you His love. Then, go and serve.

Serving Him,

Monday, July 16, 2007

1 Timothy 3:16

Good Afternoon,
Hope your day is going well. Mine has been busy, but good. The heat outside has kept me in, except for a short respite early this morning to have tea and relax after my walk.
When I read 1 Timothy 3:16 today my first impression was: it's about Jesus, but after all Paul was saying, it seems out of place. This chapter is about how the church is supposed to function according to God's instructions. I read a foot note and it explain what was being said about the mystery of godliness. As I thought about that and the previous verses I realized that the Paul is telling us in order to be obedient, we have to concentrate our life and efforts on Christ.
"Beyond all question, the mystery of godliness is great: He appeared in a body, was vindicated by the Spirit, was seen by angels, was preached among the nations, was believed on in the world, was taken up in glory." This whole portion is so different in literary style that again I went to the side note. It calls this a poem about Christ.
When we concentrate on being godly, we can easily get the focus on ourselves instead of on Christ where it needs to be. Without Him we can't be godly in anyway. We need to focus on Him, then we can move toward inner spiritual maturity. This is the mystery of godliness.
So, are you focussing on Him as you mature? Seeking Him for His help to learn and apply? If you read verse 15 it talks about how a person is to conduct themselves in church. Are you following His guidelines on how to act in church, in your every day life? You do realize that when you are obedient and follow Him, you acquire godliness because you begin to reflect Christ?
Re read the poem and enjoy Him.

Focussing on Him,

Friday, July 13, 2007

2 Thessalonians 3:16

Good morning All,
It's such a pleasant morning and I trust the Lord gave you a good nights sleep. I can hear the birds singing to the Lord; don't you just love the birds? Can you tell I'm a bird 'liker'?
Today's message from 2 Thessalonians 3:16 is about peace. I know that peace is hard to come by sometimes, but when there's a peaceful morning like today I think: God has given His peace.
That's outside peace, but what about the inside peace? Do you have it and if so, how much? Every day? Is it fleeting? Never in your life? Be honest now.
"Now may the Lord of peace Himself give you peace at all times and in every way. The Lord be with all of you."
First, the Lord is peace. He's not a turbulent God. Does He have righteous anger and can He wipe out people with a breath? Yes! But, He's more importantly a God of peace. He desires for us to have His peace too.
When you got saved, He gave you a peace that will never leave you. You might not always recognize it's there, but it is. It's His peace of knowing that you're saved. If you don't have that peace, let me know! We need to talk.
His peace is abundant, not stingy in any way. He gives it generously and willingly. But, do you take hold of His peace? Do you claim it?
Years ago when I was first sick from Lyme disease, my body couldn't produce the chemicals needed for emotional well being. I had a good supplement from the doctor, but it just wasn't doing a good enough job.
Chuck was working two jobs to make ends meet and was gone all the time. No one came to visit me so I was alone 24/7. I was incredibly lonely. One day I was sitting at the computer and journaling and tears were running in streams down my face. I knew I needed something, I just didn't know what. I typed this statement: "Lord, I need something, but I don't know what I need."
He let me understand in His still small voice: hope. Right then, I knew He was right. I asked for His hope and He gave it to me in abundance and along with the hope came His peace. It spread over me like a blanket, enveloping me completely, giving me a warm fuzzy hug.
The Lord gives us what we need, when we need it. Just ask. As the end of the verse says: the Lord be with you all.


Thursday, July 12, 2007

I Thessalonians 4:16

You may be wondering why chapter 4 verse 16. That's because chapter 3 only goes to verse 13. So, I decided since chapter 4 was an interesting verse, I'd use it instead.
There's so much controversy about illegal aliens in our country. And, I won't get into that issue, but do you realize that we are aliens? As Christians, our home is heaven, not earth. We are only here temporarily. Have you ever thought about that? I have. I long for heaven and all that goes with it, mainly being with the Holy Trinity. Some days I plead with the Lord to come back soon and take us all home.
A couple of years ago I did a great study on 1st and 2nd Thessalonians. Kay Arthur has written many study books and this one is no exception. These two books talk about the end times activities. It shares about biblical living also, which we can apply to our lives. We definitely live in an immoral world, just as the people Paul addressed in these two little letters.
Read the small book, then come back and read 4:16. The hope that is proclaimed there should give us a focus on our future, even in the midst of trials on earth. "For the Lord Himself will come down from heaven, with a loud command, with the voice of the archangel and with the trumpet call of God, and the dead in Christ will rise first."
Christ is coming down to us! Can you imagine? If we are not already dead, we will see and hear His coming. He will give a great command. What command? I don't know, but I speculate on His calling us to come to Him and meet Him in the air. He doesn't actually land on earth, this time.
Do you see that the voice of the archangel, Michael or Gabrial (I think) will join our Lord's in calling us? Then a trumpet! There's going to be enough noise so that no one who is a believer will be left behind. I've often wondered if the non-believer's will hear the call, but of course not be able to respond?
We will be sent heavenward by the Lord's power; gone in a flash. I personally think that all our clothing, jewelry and glasses, etc. will be left behind and we will be clothed in garments whiter than snow. Can't you visualize that?
Then, those already dead, Christians, will rise first (verse17) to join the Lord Jesus Christ and then, all of us. We will get to see loved ones again. Will many of your relatives be with you? Will it be church family alone?
I know how hard it is to pray for family and for them not to trust Christ as Savior. At this point, the only person I know for sure that will be waiting for me in heaven is my baby sister that died at one month old.
I do have the comfort of my mother-in-law being there ahead of me. I'm sure that she prayed me into heaven and I still miss her. I have told Chuck for years (teasing of course) that she loved me more than him.
So, are you waiting for the Lord's return? Are you prepared in your heart? Are you serving Him so that He finds you busy with His work when He returns to take you home? Food for thought, heavenly food!

Ready to go,

Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Colossians 3:16

What a beautiful day we've had, isn't it? The Lord is blessing us richly. 'Richly' is my word for this day. It's found in our verse, Colossians 3:16: "Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly as you teach and admonish one another with all wisdom, and as you sing psalms, hymns and spiritual songs with gratitude in your hearts to God."
Isn't that just the most wonderful verse? I'm going to pick it apart, a few words at a time. Glance back over the whole chapter to get a better idea of what the theme is. Yes, it's rules for Holy living. I think verse 16 is the crux of the whole chapter.
Let the Word of Christ dwell in you richly. How does this happen? Basically by studying His Word every day. Reading His nuggets of gold, pondering/meditating on what He's telling you and asking the important question: how do I apply this to my life?
I think the richly part is an extra blessing. When we read and apply, the benefits are seen in how we live our life before the Lord. Notice I say: before the Lord. It doesn't matter what people think, just what the Lord thinks. If we are pleasing Him, we don't have to worry about what others think. But, it's our nature to wonder: what do others think of me? Why do we pay more attention to others than to the Lord, who is perfect in His appraisal and blesses accordingly?
Next comes the teaching and admonishing. Many of you have heard often that we are not to judge one another. That scripture is talking about motives. How can we admonish someone for their walk with the Lord if we are judging their walk (the fruit: good and bad).
We are to teach, and the admonishing is connected by 'and'. How can we teach if we don't know the Word of God? Many times you've heard me in Sunday school teaching God's truth and correcting someone on what they know. Hopefully their belief will follow the new understanding and truth of God's Word versus what they used to believe.
Then: wisdom. How do we obtain wisdom? Again, studying God's Word and applying it to our lives so we can then turn around and teach others. I really like when the ladies in our Sunday school class share what they think/believe. It's great to hear a verse shared, or a thought. I'm often challenged, encouraged and enlightened by what's shared. The Bible tells us that iron sharpens iron. The Bible is the Sword of the Spirit and swords are made of iron.
The rest of this verse is directed in worship to God, with gratitude for Him, who He is, and all that He does. He is wisdom, our sword to do battle against sin and our comforter as He dwells in us richly.
So, does God's Word dwell in you richly? Are you learning, studying and applying? Are you blessed by Him daily working in your life?

Richly blessed,

Tuesday, July 10, 2007

Philippians 3:16

Greetings to All,
I used to work at an insurance office. One of my bosses (family owned business) was the wife. Jean was a really good woman and became very dear to me. She appreciated the hard work that I did and gave me raises accordingly, even when she didn't give the other women one. Part of me didn't think that was fair, the other part of me thought that it was. I was torn in my thinking. I worked hard and was rewarded for that hard work. That increase in pay was also an encouragement to work hard, continually.
Philippians 3:16 teaches us: Only let us live up to what we have already attained. So, what is it talking about? In order to understand the passage you have to go back and read chapter 3 in its entirety. So, after you've done that, come and join me.....
There were some false teachers that were trying to add works to grace. They were saying that the believer's needed to be circumcised. But, Paul takes them by the throat and gets their attention by establishing his right as a Jew and a circumcised one at that. He knew the way of the cross and he was telling them that the false teachers were trying to add something that the Lord didn't want there.
Paul ends the chapter by saying: hang on to the original: grace. Press toward the goal of obedience and service as we wait eagerly for the Lord's deliverance of our earthly bodies. He tells them to mature. In verse 15 he says: all of us who are mature. That alludes to those that aren't, are believing in something that they shouldn't.
In 17 he tells us to be an example, following his example. He ends all with telling us that one day our lowly bodies will be like Christ's glorious body. I can't wait! How about you? Are you living in such a way as to be an example of Paul who was an example of Christ? Are you maturing and being obedient to His Word? If not, why not? Don't put yourself before Him; there's no glory for Christ in that.

Already attained,

Friday, July 6, 2007

Ephesians 3:16

Hello All,
Hope your week is going well and that you see the Lord's blessings daily. Chuck's still on vacation and we're trying to get some things done, but still get some rest. I'm still working on trying to rest from being with my parents. It seems that everything in life takes time, even getting rest.
Today's word is from Ephesians 3:16. This is a verse that I pray every Monday. It reads: "I pray that out of His glorious riches He may strengthen you with power through His Spirit in your inner being."
In order to understand the full meaning of this verse, please start your reading at verse 14 and finish with 21. This is a prayer from Paul to the Ephesians. Paul has been busy teaching them many things through this small book, but this portion is actually a prayer. Enjoy!
The reason that I pray verse 16 is that I need His strength daily. I'm not just talking about physical strength, although I really need that, but also His spiritual strength. In order to live an obedient life, I need His strength to choose the right things to do, say, think and feel. I can't do these things under my own power, I need Him, in abundance.
The key for all of these verses is faith. Without faith, I won't be able to obtain what He has for me. So, that begs the question, how do we have the faith to believe that God will provide what He says He will, in these few verses and throughout the whole Bible?
My experience has been to trust Him in the small things that have come my way. He's tested me to believe Him and as I have decided in my mind and heart to trust, He's brought bigger things my way.
My illness from Lyme disease was given to me at a time when the Lord was testing me in a much bigger thing than I've ever known. I think I'm passing the test, but I know that I will have to continue to pass this test for the rest of my life.
Why do I say that? Because as I grow progressively physically worse, my faith, patience and endurance will be tested. So I have a choice: to pass the test, or not to pass the test. It is my choice. It's also my choice how I pass the test, with grace or by whining and complaining.
So, where is your faith? Are you passing the tests that the Lord is sending your way? You can pray for Him to give you strength in your inner being. What's keeping you from passing the test? From gaining His strength in your inner being?

Being strengthened,

Monday, July 2, 2007

Galatians 3:16

What a glorious sunny day we have on this early morning in July. I trust that your day of worship was a blessing to you yesterday. I really appreciate our Sunday school class; you ladies always contribute so much.
My mom is still doing well. Her spirit is good. She has a check up today and hopefully they'll adjust her new blood pressure medicine because it makes her really sleepy and fatigued. Thanks for your prayers for her and me while I was gone.
I've chosen today Galatians 3:16 and I really like what it tells us: The promises were spoken to Abraham and to his seed. The Scripture does not say 'and to seeds,' meaning many people, but 'and to your seed,' meaning one person, who is the Christ.
This portion of scripture is written by Paul and he's talking about the covenant between God and Jesus Christ. There were some people that we trying to add to the covenant of grace. All through this chapter he's admonishing the Christians to hold fast to the truth that our salvation comes through Jesus Christ by grace.
When he gets to this verse he's telling them that the covenant that was made by God can't be added to. When two people have a contract, no third party can come in and change that contract without permission; it's legally binding. The false teachers in this time were trying to do just that, change the original intent.
How do we try to change what God has given us? Do we try to add works to His grace? Do we NOT accept His grace by thinking that His grace is not good enough to cover our sins?
Do you trust His covenant of sending His son to be our propitiation? Along with this trusting comes living like you believe it. We can say we trust, but do we? Do our actions manifest our belief?
I had to fly twice for my visit to my parents. I had to trust that the airplane would fly me where I needed to go. I don't understand anything about the dynamics of flying, but I trusted that they would get me where I needed to go. I didn't tell the pilots how to fly, or change the rules and regulations to fit my needs. I wanted to though :).
What God has set in place, we are not to change or want to change His perfect plan of salvation by grace in which to live by. So, how are you living your life so that you confirm to Him that His plan for your life here on earth and eternal life is perfect and doesn't need any changes or suggestions from you? Trust, because He's trustworthy.

Trusting in Grace,

Wednesday, June 27, 2007



I'm finally back home from taking care of my mom, but I really need some rest, so it may be a couple of days before I blog. Just know that you're all in my prayers.

Thank you for your prayers for Mom; she's doing really well, all things considered.


Friday, June 15, 2007

2 Corinthians 3:16

Hey Y'All,
That greetings a leftover from our short foray into Missiouri. How was your day? I prayed for you all that the Lord would make His presence known in your life today. I trust that He is.
Ladies, do you remember when you got married and you had a veil on your head? I know some of you didn't, but I did 34 years ago. When I looked through that veil, everyone was just not as visible as when it was turned back by Chuck before he kissed me.
2 Corinthians 3:16 talks about another type of veil, but one that keeps a person from seeing clearly the spiritual things of the Lord. When we trust Him as Savior, that veil is lifted and we see clearly what He wants for us to know. "But whenever anyone turns to the Lord, the veil is taken away.
You have to go back to the beginning of the passage to get the meaning behind this small verse. The veil here is the New Covenant that Christ brought. Christ fulfilled the law requirement for a blood sacrifice.
There are still things that are veiled: 1 Corinthians 13:12. "Now we see but a poor reflection as in a mirror; then we shall see face to face. Now I know in part; than I shall know fully, even as I am fully known." Some day when we're in Heaven we'll know fully.
If you go on to read 17 and 18 you'll see two really great verses, full of doctrine. Part of the trinity is revealed in 17: now the Lord is the Spirit. This same spirit gives freedom. Many times I've talked about our freedom in Christ. Freedom not to spend eternity in hell, free not to sin but to live a victorious life with Him, even while we're still here on earth.
Because we've trusted Christ's work on the cross, we have unveiled faces. We are being transformed into His likeness (see Romans 12:2). This transforming happens by God's Spirit when we study the Word and apply what it says.
So, is your face unveiled? Do you take hold of your freedom in Christ? Are you being transformed daily? Food for thought. If there's conviction, look to the Lord.

Transforming daily,

Thursday, June 14, 2007

I Corinthians 3:16

What a day I've had. I got to see our son and his family. I just love cuddling on the couch with two of my grands. Then the dreaded thing: shopping. I know, many women like to shop but I don't; never have. At least I found basically everything I went to find and that was good. The heat, well, it heated up!
Today's verse is wonderful and I can't wait to share it: "Don't you know that you yourselves are God's temple and that God's Spirit lives in you?" Isn't that super? The Holy Spirit, a gift from God when we trust Him as our Savior, lives in us.
Let's back up this Biblical information just a bit. The Apostle Paul was talking about divisions in the church and they were pitting one teacher against another. It helps to read verses 10-15 first. You've all heard me use this portion of scripture many times. So, after you read it, including the first 9 verses to get a better idea of what led Paul to tell him in 16 that the Holy Spirit lives in us.
As Paul talks about the divisions that threaten to destroy the church, he's talking about God's dwelling place. In essence, God's temple was being threatened. But, because we are the dwelling place of God's Spirit, our very lives can be damaged.
How does this happen? Why sin of course. When we allow sin to rule in us, we aren't good representatives for Him. Do you remember what Ephesians 5:18 says? "Do not be drunk on wine, which leads to debauchery. Instead, be filled with the Spirit."
When we are filled with the Spirit, we are not allowing the 'world' to rule in us and negate the work of the Holy Spirit. When we walk with the Lord in obedience, we are not causing trouble with other believer's and are walking in such a way to then honor God.
I think the best part of this verse is the teaching that the Holy Spirit lives in us, and He's always with us. Remember some of his titles? Comforter, counselor, advocate, teacher, etc. Isn't it wonderful how He works in us to bring us to the Lord in completeness?
So, are you walking with the Lord and letting the Holy Spirit work His work in your 'temple'? If you are, wonderful. If you're not, why not? What is hindering your walk with the Lord?

His temple,

Wednesday, June 13, 2007

Romans 3:16

Yesterday I labeled my blog Mark 3:16 by mistake. It should have read Acts 3:16; sorry! I found out that blogger doesn't handle 'oops' very well, so we're stuck with my mistake.
Researching today's blog of Romans 3:16 I had to go back to Isaiah 59:7."Their feet rush into sin; they are swift to shed innocent blood. Their thoughts are evil thoughts; ruin and destruction mark their ways." Romans 3:16 says: "ruin and misery mark their ways"
The Apostle Paul is talking about when Isaiah was speaking to the Israelites about sin, confession and repentance. Paul actually quotes quite a few verses from all over the old testament. But, I want to concentrate on just verse 16.
Paul is making a statement about our sinfulness and that no one is righteous. As verse 16 says, ruin and misery mark their ways. When you look at your life, do ruin and misery seem to plague you? Do you ever see victory over your sin?
I think Paul made a very good argument that we ALL are plagued by sin, ours and others' sins. Our sin shows us that we need a Savior. When Paul ends this portion at verse 20, he states: Therefore no one will be declared righteous in his sight by observing the law; rather, through the law we become conscious of sin.
In verses 21-31 Paul goes on to teach about righteousness through faith. First we understand we're sinners, then we are justified through faith in Christ. I think it's really important that Paul showed us our sinfulness first, but then he gives us hope by how he ends the chapter.
Finish reading this chapter and delight that we are saved from spiritual death by the blood of the cross. Also remember, we are sinners, but we are also forgiven, past, present and future sins. That's freedom in Christ. Now, go and live like you're forgiven, without constant misery and ruin.

Living for Jesus,